Sunday, February 24, 2008

I promised my mom I would put some new pictures of Justin up on the blog and then realized that I didn't have very many new pictures to post. So, here are some from yesterday. I think he looks so grown up. My sweet little baby! He could really use a haircut too. This time I am not going to attempt it though. He will have to wait until the guy downstairs gets back from vacation next month. March is almost here so it won't be long. As a bonus, the long hair on his forehead covers up a big bump and several small bruises. He had a couple of mishaps last week. He did a faceplant on the sidewalk one day. The next day he saw someone walking a dog and was SO excited that he ran towards the dog. We were still inside and Justin wasn't paying attention. Instead of going through the automatic sliding door he veered a bit to the right and ran smack into the window and then fell backwards. Poor baby!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

February 5th Rob and I went to get our Japanese driver's licenses. I found it a long, interesting process. I guess it wasn't any longer that it took in Maryland. Since we arrived with all our paperwork COMPLETED and verified by the US Embassy, I didn't think it should take very long. I don't really know why it takes so long in Maryland or other places either now that I think about it. Here is our story:

We met at the Embassy at 8:50 and were given paperwork from the Embassy and a checklist to make sure we had the things we needed. At 9:00 AM we got in the van and were driven to the Japanese version of the DMV about 30 minutes away. We had instructions telling us to go to window #27 (I believe) on the second floor. We had the documents we needed: Foreigner ID card, diplomatic passport, US driver's license, notarized translations of the documents from English to Japanese, and the completed paperwork. We submitted the documents and were told to sit and wait. After over an hour and a half, we were called to the window and given our documents and told to go downstairs and take our eye test. This was the part that worried me. I have been aware that my vision is declining. I haven't ever had glasses or contacts and it has become obvious that I do. Instead of the alphabet eye chart familiar to us in the US, we did what I call the "c" eye chart. Basically it has rows of circles with sections of it missing on the top, bottom, left, or right. This makes it look like a "c" in various positions. I thought this would be tons easier than identifying letters. Rob went first and we were given directions. He had no problems. When I got up there, I could not tell which segments were missing. As the examiner highlighted a letter, I would stall asking if he wanted me to tell which direction it was pointing. Meanwhile I would squint and try closing one eye at a time to see if that helped. I did my best, but at least one was a total guess. I passed! The color blind part was easy since I'm not color blind. Even though I made it, I still realized that I have vision problems. I was still excited. With our little seals affixed to show we passed, we went back upstairs. We went to a different window where we bought special stamps which were placed on our documents to show that we had paid the appropriate fees. Then it was back to the first window. We had to wait for awhile and were then told to come up with two different four digit pin numbers to associate with our licenses. (Other than being able to access our personal information at the DMV by inserting our licenses and entering our PINs, I don't think there is any purpose for the PIN numbers). After this was done, we were told to go back downstairs and get our picture taken and turn in our paperwork. At that point we were given a number and told that our licenses would be ready at 12:20. We had to go up to the 3rd floor and sit in a big waiting room until our numbers were displayed. Then we were able to go up and get our licenses. Yay! Back out to the van and back to the Embassy. Rob and I are only "beginner" drivers since we cannot prove that we were in the United States for a full year since our license was issued. Well, of course we can't prove that, we haven't been in the US for over a year on our current US licenses. If we want to be "professional" and not "beginner" we would have to request our DMV records and submit translations of them along with our previous passports to prove our driving experience. Evidently having a license for more than half my life is not enough. Whatever. All our driving status means is that we have to have a magnet on the front and back of the car when we are driving to indicate we are new drivers. I suppose that isn't so bad. I am new to driving on the wrong side of the road! One interesting thing about our driver's licenses is the year. My birthday is listed as 47-01-29. That would look to me like I was born in January of 1947 and am older than my own mother. The 47 refers to the 47th year of the reign of an Emperor, I don't know which one though. My license expires in the twenty something year of the reign of the current Emperor. I think that is really confusing if he dies before that year comes. I was excited that I passed my eye exam and was telling everyone. Everything I have heard seems to indicate that they don't really pay attention when we take our eye exams and that it is just a formality. Rob says that sometimes it seemed the guy was moving on to the next one before he even answered. That kind of bummed me out. Maybe I can't guess as well as I think.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Justin loves to "help" me out. Sometimes it is more help than others. Evidently he thinks I keep the place a mess and he needs to do what he can to keep the place up. Either that or he is afraid I will trade him in for a more helpful child. He is cute to watch, but it can take me a lot longer to get things done.

He loves his Clifford. If only I had known I would have purchased several. Of course it is NOT machine washable. I do my best to clean off the boogers and food particles. Too bad I can't teach him to clean it, or better yet not mess it up to begin with!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Justin has decided that the best way to annoy Mom is to refuse to say her name unless he is really really mad and using it like a swear word. He has no problem with saying "Daddy" or referring to him by name. Grrr....

When asked where Daddy (or Elmo, Clifford, Pooh Bear, the ball..) is, he has no problem with that either. Ask where Mommy is and he acts bored. I suppose that is because Mommy is either right there or he is screaming because she is gone.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Justin has been keeping me busy. When he is being Monster Baby I have to be right on top of him. Either I need to watch what he is doing or he has wrapped his little body around my legs and I have no choice but to see and hear how he is feeling. When he isn't being Monster Baby I often want to be there to see what he is doing. I love it when he decides to spin around. He isn't very good at it yet, but he has a lot of fun. Sometimes he tries to get a little up and down bounce in time to the beat thrown in there too, but he falls pretty quickly doing that maneuver.

Justin also enjoys playing chase--or at least he usually does. I thought we were going to have a fun little game, but Justin wasn't amused. I think part of it was that he was upset that the Pooh Mobile wasn't going up on the rug the way he thought it should.

He was laughing really hard while playing the near and far game with his dad. Once I got out the camera he sobered up a little bit. I guess he doesn't want to have proof that his childhood was a happy one. The more screams he can get on camera, the better it is when he wants to be emancipated from his mean old parents. He can show that from a tender young age he already knew he couldn't deal with people as uncaring as we are.

On a positive note...

Justin only wakes up (without self soothing) once or twice a night. That is so much better than the TEN times it was when we moved here! He wants to eat one of the times he wakes up and the other, well, I think quite often he is ready to get up for the day. I tell him it is still night night time. Mommy doesn't get up for the day before 6:00 AM. That makes it a loooooooooong day to love the baby. I love him a lot more when I get more sleep. Some people have said that if I stop feeding him in the night he will stop waking up to eat. Perhaps. Right now at 6:00 AM he is ready for oatmeal, banana, cold cereal, and milk. He would probably rather have it at 5:00 AM. If I didn't feed him in the night he might want to get up for the day at 4:00. I usually need to go to the bathroom and grab a snack in the night anyway. I just know that it is nice not to be as tired as I was. I haven't hallucinated in weeks!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Gears, Gears, and More Gears!

Justin enjoys playing with his gear toy. I am not exactly sure WHAT it is that he does with them, but he seems to enjoy it and it entertains him. That's what counts I guess.