Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Time for A New Blog

Fox and Amy are no longer in Japan. If you need to get a hold of them, or read their ramblings, or view pictures of their latest children/activities, please visit:

Fox and Amy in Utah

Creative new title, isn't it? Sorry we are making everyone change their links for our family blog, but we look forward to reading your comments at the new, more appropriately-titled one!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sayonara, Japan!

Fox and Amy are no longer in Japan! We are now in Logan, Utah, where Fox will be going to school full-time and teaching part-time at Utah State University. Our journey back to the United States was long. China Airlines has gross food and doesn't let people with kids board first. But way to go on hosting the Olympics!

We are so glad to be back in the U.S. with its cheap produce and large streets. Here's a little update on each of us:

Cash is still adjusting and has not been sleeping well. He spends his days at the park across the street, coloring, reading, or terrorizing the cats. Today, he pulled Jubilee's tail and then immediately put himself in time-out, smiling the whole time. He's been eating more than ever and actually loves broccoli now. I'm amazed! We are in the process of figuring out which type of diapers work for him. We've tried a couple brands. One had fragrance in it, which made his legs break out. The other was cheap and not absorbent, so he got a bad diaper rash. Time to potty learn!

Fox has spent this last week in orientation and is really enjoying USU campus. He will be teaching a freshman English class at 7:30 am! Luckily, we live just a few blocks from campus. He is loving not having to duck under doorways. Also, he discovered that the Logan library has a plethora of graphic novels, much to his delight!

I discovered that the Logan library does not check out magazines, so it's a good thing that I no longer have my magazine addiction. I am loving Logan. Everything is on Main Street. We are within a 5 minute drive of anywhere we need to go. Also, there is a great farmer's market on Saturdays. I had my first doctor's appointment today and really like my doctor. Everything is going well with my pregnancy. Did I mention that there is a huge park across the street? It's so fun to spend the hour before Cash's bedtime just playing at the park.

Kelsy has been here with us for two weeks, and she's been spoiling me with service! She moves to her new place tomorrow, and it's right around the block. It is so nice to have her so close.

We are really glad to be back, although we really miss the people we got to know in Japan. I guess we'll have to rename this blog!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Japanese Summer Fashions

This past week, we've been able to embrace some traditional Japanese summer fashions!

Japan has a ton of summer festivals (matsuris). Since it is so hot and humid, the ladies can't dress up in their usual heavy kimonos, so they wear yukatas, kimonos made of light cotton fabric.
Here is Fox with his student Sachie, who is on her way to a yukata beauty pageant. Isn't she gorgeous?

After the pageant, Sachie gave Cash this cute jinbei. Jinbeis are kind of like pajamas and are more popular with children, but we did see several teenage girls wearing theirs at a nearby festival.

Cash and Miyuu looking super kawaii! Well, at least Miyuu--Cash looks kind of weird with his mouth full of popsicle.

Fox's student, Seiko, presented me with this beautiful yukata when we had lunch at her home the other day. Seiko and her mother dressed me in it. I was so excited! Unfortunately, having a tight obi around a pregnant belly isn't the most comfortable thing in the world.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Looking Forward To...

A ton of people have asked us what we're looking forward to when we get back. So, without further adieu, here's our list:

-- Whole wheat bread that has more than five slices a loaf. Heck, any whole grains! One can only eat so much white rice.
-- Two-way streets that are actually wide enough for two cars with no risk of driving into a rice paddy.
-- Clothes that fit! Fox is a 4 XL here and has to shop at a King size store. I am barely squeezing into a large and am out of luck when it comes to shoes.
-- Libraries with books in English!
-- Ice cream in a flavor other than vanilla and chocolate.
-- Boca burgers. Pickles. American cheese. Chocolate soymilk. Watermelon. Basically all of the foods we haven't been able to eat in quite a while.
-- Little conversations. I am excited to actually know what a store clerk is saying to me, rather than just having to nod my head and hope that she asked a yes or no question.
-- Our kitties!
-- Our piano (okay, it's an electric keyboard, but it's still cool).
-- Fox is looking forward to watching Dark Knight. The last time we went to a movie was "Stardust" last August, which was actually our last date, I think.
-- Fox is also looking forward to high ceilings. He has head trauma and a stooped back from our low doorways.
-- A full size stove, refrigerator, bed, washer...basically we're looking forward to gargantuan American portion sizing!
-- And of course, our family and friends! Four of my friends and one of my sisters have had babies, and I'm so excited to meet them all. I'm also excited to have everyone see Cash. He really thrives around being with a lot of people, and he's been stuck at home with his mom most of the time.

Despite the length of this list, there is a ton of stuff we will miss, but that's for another post. Maybe when we start missing it!

Getting Ready to Leave

We have two days left in Japan...and we aren't packed. Yikes! We're getting there, though. This week has been so busy. We've been working extra during summer special classes, as well as training the new teachers. On top of that, we are trying to keep the house clean and keep the bags packed, which is hard to do with curious Cash getting into everything. We've been able to visit with a lot of our students, which is fun but also very time-consuming!
We will leave Marugame at 6:30 am on Friday, take a 4 hour bus ride to the Kansai airport, and fly to Beijing for a 5 hour layover! We leave Beijing at 10 pm and arrive in LA at 6 pm! Crazy! Fox and I are both really anxious about traveling with a crazy toddler and hope that all of the new sights and sounds of travel will keep him occupied for a little while.
So, family, we will see you soon! Thank you for all of the love and support (and the care packages--without which, we would have died!) you've given us while we've been away. It's been an amazing year!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Our Trip to Matsuyama

Today was Marine Day in Japan, a day to give thanks for the blessings of the sea. Since we had the day off, we decided to go to Matsuyama, the largest city in Shikoku, with our friends, the Bests.
We first went to the Tobe Zoo, which was so nice. There were so many baby animals. Here's Cash checking out the hot and tired creatures...

such as this one:

Look at the size of those teeth. Yikes!

A mama monkey just hanging out with her baby, who is very latched on:

After the zoo, we ate at a department store and then headed over to Dogo Onsen, Japan's oldest and most famous bathhouse.

Yep, that's nude public baths we're talking about, people. This particular onsen was the inspiration for the famous anime Spirited Away. Fox frequents onsens, but I had never been to one. It was definitely an interesting experience--not so much the nudity as sitting in a hot tub in the middle of summer! After your bath, you change into a cotton robe and go to a huge tatami room, where you are served tea and cookies. It's a time to rest and relax...but beware of the toddler toppling over teacups and stealing snacks!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Boy or Girl? Part II

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Yay! Fox called it (again), and I had dreams about boys (again--with Cash, I had dreams of girls). We are very excited to be able to finally use our girl name, and she'll have a Japanese middle name, although we're not sure which name yet. There are some very beautiful names in Japan. Today was our last doctor's visit in a foreign country for now. It has been a very interesting experience. As we got our ultrasound today, our doctor said, "Hmm...penis nai. Onanoko!" (Hmm..No penis. Girl!) I will definitely miss racking my brain's limited Japanese to figure out what my doctor just told me.

Here I am at 5 months along and sweating uncontrollably in this humidity. Do you see the length of my hair?! You won't see this length on me again, unless we move to Alaska. I am waiting for Fox to go to Texas for a week, and then I'm getting it cut. Don't tell!