Thursday, June 28, 2007

We've been in Japan for almost a week now and I still haven't written down how the flight goes.

We got to the airport at about 7am. After checking our luggage in, we got gate-check tags for our stroller and a carseat, had breakfast at Burger King, brushed our teeth, and I then had just enough time left to brush the girls' hair and do ponytails & hairclips.

Our first flight was only an hour and a half. Short & sweet. Autumn & Heidi played and loved the pretzels and drinks provided by the airline. Esther didn't like this flight since it was past her naptime. She just wanted to lie down and go to sleep.

We arrived at the San Francisco Airport and discovered we wouldn't be able to take the bus to the International Terminal....only stairs led to the pick-up and we had our double stroller. So we booked it through the airport from Gate 73 to Gate 95. We had to go through security again when we got to the International Terminal (GRRR....) and made it to our gate as they called "Final Boarding Call"!

The girls did great and our longer flight was really pretty uneventful. Esther played & slept some on the floor at my feet in a collapsible "Moses basket" I made for the trip. Heidi slept as much as Esther did (4 hours of a 10 1/2 hour flight) and Autumn slept for TEN MINUTES. The biggest thing to happen on that flight? Esther dumped a FREEZING COLD cup of water on me! Thankfully, it dried quickly. My biggest worry before flying was how we would negotiate going to the bathroom on the airplane. Guess what? All four of us fit in the bathroom together!

My mom was waiting for us at the airport and we then waited together for a shuttle-bus to take us to Camp Zama (the army base where dad works). After 2 flights, waiting for the shuttle-bus, and riding to Zama -- we walked in Mom & Dad's door 24 hours and 30 minutes after leaving Orem.

Our bodies have now adjusted to the time zone and the next step is to adjust to the sun! Japan is appropriately called "Land of the Rising Sun". The sun comes up between 3:30 and 4:00 in the morning. Our bodies seem to think they should rise with the sun....but are beginning to realize they don't really want to (wake-up time has been 5:30ish). We're getting there a few minutes at a time. Until then we take naps or go to bed a little early.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I'm here in Japan and already discovering some things I want to take back with me - starting with their toilet paper holders! Seriously! Well, what I really want is to have them custom-built into my house...whenever that house is built. :)

Eric & I have already decided we'll have German shutters (rolladen) on our dream home so why not add Japanese toilet paper holders? Take a look at these.

The cover on the top makes it easier to rip the toilet paper off and those little gray pieces hold the toilet paper roll up but also retract allowing you to simply pull up to replace a toilet paper roll! Forget removing the rod with the spring inside -- how come noone has thought of this before? Of course...the Japanese also have toilets with false case you have a need to mask any other sounds! But only in the womens' bathrooms! What?!

And these are the German rolladens we love. I can't stand American windows -- so much heat escapes out! And I also really hate venetian blinds. They're not pretty and they're so easily mangled and tangled with kids around the house. So if you don't know about German rolladens, here's why I love them (I'm beginning to feel like some spokesperson but this is just so cool!):
- they keep out the sun
- they keep in the heat
- kids can't play with them
- nevermind those blackout curtains for sensitive's pitch-black when they're down, completely closed and the lights are out
- they reduce outside noise
- security...have fun trying to break into THAT
- since they keep in the heat, lower utility bills

Friday, June 22, 2007


We're here, our luggage's here, and we made it in one piece!

More later on our adventures...but today I just thought I'd say after our travels that I have GREAT appreciation for:

  • Safety Harnesses (aka LEASHES)
  • Sippy Cups that DON'T LEAK (and yes they really do exist)
  • Sticker Books
  • Extra nice flight attendants
  • Extra friendly airport staff
  • and our BEDS

As I type, Autumn is sitting with Grandpa reading a story, Heidi is zonked out on the couch, and Esther is napping in their room.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

2 adults + 6 hours = 1 ReloCube packed and 2 adults ready to collapse
7 adults + 2 1/2 hours = 2 ReloCubes packed and all adults ready to call it a night (although still only 2 are ready to collapse!)

Summary: Even if you feel like you have to pack all day, it's better to wait for the help to come.

Although I do feel pretty impressed with Eric and me that we loaded up a whole ReloCube ourselves. That was hard work. And it DID minimize the work our wonderful friends would otherwise have had to do.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day Daddy!

I love you too! -- Heidi
Daddy, I love you because you give me hugs and kisses. And because you're always there for me. -- Autumn

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Cleaning up someone else's throw-up when you yourself are sick...

I can't think of anything worse right now!

Here's to tomorrow which can't come quickly enough for me. How I hope and pray we're all healthy in the morning!

The Influenza Virus -- creepy huh?
(This is NOT what we have...)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Okay, so it's not exactly Vogue, but I had to get a picture of this adorable summer jumper!

I don't know what happened with this picture, but it's kind of cool! She's turning the pages of a book.

Esther has recently discovered how fun it is to look at books (and to turn the pages!). She loves animals and especially animal sounds. The pigs are her favorite right now. She'll be looking at the book all by herself and laugh out loud when she gets to the page with the pigs. She loves it when we oink and must be remembering the sound. I can't wait until she decides to TRY it!
Posted by Picasa

"Cleaning Up"

Yesterday when Autumn & Heidi were cleaning up, they piled most of the toys here and said they were making "a picture". So naturally, I had to take a picture of it. :-)
Posted by Picasa

I wish I could say this was the extent of Heidi's adventures when we turn our backs...but alas - this is the RARE occurrence. She has a nose for disaster and is inexplicably drawn to everything "non-toy" in our house. If she weren't so cute, she'd really be in for it!

You'll have to excuse the graininess of the pictures...I'm still figuring out the new camera...

Heidi ate her dessert in the bathroom on Sunday -- and NOT sitting on that box! I discovered her in the middle of all this, sitting on the toilet! And the boxes and buckets were her idea.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Multi-tasking already...sucking her thumb and...praying?

First bite

Second bite -- what IS this stuff and why haven't I had it before?

SO tired!

I wish I could say she's just crying for more cake & ice cream...
But after:
a morning at the playground
3 hours of freeway driving
only 20 minutes of naptime
another 2 hours running errands
presents, cake & ice cream
not even another piece of cake would solve this! She was SO happy to see her bed.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

This weekend the girls and I drove down to Junction to visit Grandma, Grandpa & Buddy and on to Cedar City to visit Rachel and my beautiful new niece - Savanna.

Having had a baby sister of their own born just last summer, Autumn & Heidi seemed more excited about Buddy than their new cousin...but Esther and I sure enjoyed Savanna in all her tininess! (Is that a word?)

Buddy & the girls

Pictures with Grandma & Grandpa

Grandma & Grandpa have new neighbors with an eight-year old girl, Emily. Autumn had so much fun playing with her that I couldn't bear to interrupt for pictures. Next time.

Shaking Our Legs Before the Drive Home

These were bittersweet visits for me. I never thought I'd live in Utah as long as I have and now I find myself sad to be leaving. I'm saddest to be leaving family and friends I've been able to live close to and visit often. Thank goodness for technology that keeps us connected even when we can't visit! SUCH a blessing.