Monday, May 22, 2006

30th Birthday Update

It's time!

If you got the evite and thought, "I don't live anywhere near San Diego, what is up with this evite?" You are probably not alone. There are actually not any people from San Diego invited to the birthday celebration. We are currently in that stage of not having friends after we move. Bad timing for a birthday, I know. So, we invited people from the far reaches of the globe.

If you didn't get an evite and thought, "Does Angela hate me? What is up with this?" You are probably also not alone. I wasn't sure who to impose an evite on. However, this doesn't mean that you are not welcome. Drop me an email and I can send you the details about the event.

Of course, this may not be the greatest birthday bash of the decade. (See above about not having friends nearby.) And for some reason, I just couldn't pull of the great Chicago Birthday Celebration of 2000 that Robin did for her 22nd birthday. She had people from Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, and Virginia attending!

I can't even pull off the combination at Dad's surprise 50th birthday party where Dad, Robin, Daniel, and I were all there (featuring Uncle Joel in chair). It was kind of funny because I flew in from Virginia for the surprise. However, I had just flown in the weekend before too for my High School Reunion, but I couldn't tell Dad in order to make it even more exciting that I was there for his birthday. :) Ah, the intrigue!

Oh, and who could forget Dan's 26th birthday in Charlotte which was full of Georgia Tech presents!

Oh, and the Dan's 27th birthday party while we were in Japan:

For my last birthday we were in Florida and took a trip up to St. Augustine (oldest city in US, fitting to visit as I was getting old). As we were in the same situation of having just moved and we didn't know anyone yet, Dan and I spent it together, just the two of us.

Who will join us this year? That is yet to be seen. We hope to see some of you on Sunday, May 28th, here in San Diego.

What about Will? Of course he will be joining us. And, since he only wakes up about 1 time per night to eat, he should be good company for those of you who decide to stay overnight with us. And, he is getting a little more interactive with smiling and cooing and stuff. He will be ready to play after he wakes up and has a bit of coffee...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Road Trip to Los Angeles

After 2 weeks of living in San Diego, it was time for a change of scenery. :) So, we spent a week up in the Los Angeles area.

Ok, it was only a 2 hour drive, but other than visiting his cousins in Sterling, VA, it was Will's first long road trip. I am happy to report that future road trips for Will look promising. He happily rode with us for the full 2 hours. We didn't have to stop during this trial road trip. This is a good thing since we plan on going to Sequoia National Park this summer, more than 6 hours away.

Will in Car Seat

Visiting Friends
Why did we go to Los Angeles? Primarily because Dan had a Systems Engineering Conference located in Redondo Beach. All of the people in the SEA program were there. Oddly, Tyler, who we met in Melbourne, was also in town for work. And, of course, we got to see a bunch of people from our church group, Vow Builders, who we met when we lived in Redondo Beach over the winter of 2004/2005.

While Dan was at his conference, I got to hang out with Tammy. We got together at her house to work on scrapbook pages. Now, I do own all of the supplies to create scrapbook pages, however, I have only actually created 1-2 full pages in my life. Typically a session of creating scrapbook pages goes like this: Tammy works on her scrapbook and completes 1 page during our 5 hours session. February creates greeting cards. I focus on the perfect details of the project and accomplish nothing. Our session last week was a little different. Yes, Tammy completed a single scrapbook page during our 5 hour session. Unfortunately Feb couldn't make it to the session. I completed the paperwork for my insurance claim related to giving birth. FINALLY! Oh wait, I was supposed to be scrapbooking. hmmm... maybe next time

South Coast Botanic Gardens
One of the activities of our visit to the Los Angeles area was our trip to a landfill. Ok, it used to be a landfill back in the 1960's. Now it is a beautiful garden. And it also has a pond where you can take quaint, "old-fashioned" pictures.

A Day in the Garden Park

We took 50 or so pictures of various flowers and some of us.

Various Flower

Another Various Flower


50 pictures in 3 hours! Not enough, you say? That's ok, Tammy covered us by taking about 150 during this time. Here is one of me looking maternal.

Turns out the shirt I bought the day before at the Galleria Mall makes me look pregnant. Somebody should have told me when I tried it on! Seriously, I am really back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I was there a week after giving birth. I really need to get some slimmer clothes.

Oh yeah, notice how I "look" maternal? Lovingly reaching down towards my baby? In reality, I am actually being vain. If you look closely at my hands, I am putting my glasses down so that I can be photographed without them. You see, I put my left contact in my eye inside out that morning and it just felt wrong. Not realizing that it was inside out, I opted to wear my glasses to the garden instead of contacts. If you look at all of our pictures from that day, you will see me in glasses sometimes and without glasses at other times.

Will wasn't up for much posing while we were at the garden. The warm weather made him kind of sleepy. So we did the best we could, posing him in his car seat.

Baby Left on the Door Step

Sitting on a Wall

Don't worry, he avoided a great fall. In another part of the garden, we posed on the cute bridge.

Scot and Tammy on cute bridge

Angela, Dan, and Will on cute bridge

We were so glad to see so many friends on our trip. On the way home to San Diego, Will slept the entire way once again. We hope to go on many more roadtrips in the future.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Child Of Unusual Size (C.O.U.S)

As you know, I recently gave birth to what may have been the largest newborn in Tokyo on April 6, 2006. Will was 10.5lbs when he was born, a size that I still can't believe. Now, about 6 weeks later, he is even bigger! Ok, maybe that is sort of an obvious statement. But my giant child is even growing out of some of his 3 month old clothes. We have upgraded to the 3-6 month size.

To show you what I am talking about, we have used Will's bouncy chair as a measuring reference point. Here is Will on April 19 when he was 2 weeks old:

And here is Will on May 3rd when he is almost 4 weeks old:

(I think he looks like his cousin Caleb in the above picture, only not blond.)

And here is Will at almost 6 weeks on May 17th:

Will's rate of size increase almost seems inconceivable!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

My First Mother's Day

As a new mother, I got to experience the Postal Service phenomenon of receiving Mother's Day cards. Funny, you might say, Will isn't old enough to use the Postal Service. And really, how would he buy the card since he can't see over the Hallmark Store counter?

Well, I did get a card from Dan and Will, but it was hand delivered. Who then mailed me cards? It was really cool, other mothers in my life sent me cards. I got one from Lee explaining things that mothers want (example: Dinner out...) and what mothers get (Dinner out of a box...). I got one from Grandma Kroboth wishing me a Happy First Mother's Day. I got one from Dan's mom that included a proverb, Proverbs 31:28. And I even got one from my Dad!

The other neat thing about Mother's Day is that there are presents. It seems that if you are able to take care of a baby for 6 weeks, you can be trusted with the care and feeding of plants. Lee sent me a Forget-Me-Not kit and Dan sent me an Azalea Bonsai.

Ever since my mom died when I was 18, I have basically avoided Mother's Day. However, I am now seeing it as a time to be glad. Glad that my mom had a positive impact on my life. Glad that there are other mothers in my life now. Glad that I get to be a mom too.

I'll keep you apprised about the growing and thriving of my plants. And Will too!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Happy Boy's Day!

That's right, while we have returned to the United States, we are still thinking about Japanese holidays. May 5th is Boy's Day or "Kodomo no hi." You can read about it in the wikipedia article here.

While we were unable to find any carp streamers at our local Party City store, we did have a kabuto, the traditional Japanese samurai helmet, compliments of Kishi-san and Yuka.

As you can see, we have Will, sitting around, contemplating how the kabuto indicates that he is a strong and healthy boy. Also shown is a cake that says, "HBD Will." This could mean "Happy Boy's Day Will" or "Happy Birthday Will." As May 5th is Boy's Day, May 6th is Will's 1 month birthday.

Another activity that is done on Boy's Day is the comparison of height. Since Will is new, we couldn't really compare his height to how big he was last May 5th. However, when he was born, he was 21.5 inches long. Now he is 23.25 inches long. In addition to growing about 2 inches, he has also put on 2lbs over his birth weight. That's right, now the little guy weighs in at 12.5 lbs. Both Will's height and weight are above the 95th percentile for babies his age. He is the average size and weight of a 3 month old baby. So, if you were planning on purchasing any 0-3 month outfits for him or even 3-6 month outfits, please scrap those plans.

Happy Boy's Day and
Happy 1 month Birthday to Will
Return to the Land of Stuff

Dan and Will and I have successfully moved from our 300 square foot apartment in Tokyo, Japan to a huge apartment in San Diego, CA. What comes with all of this new space? That's right! Stuff! Yesterday we received 30 boxes of our stuff from the movers. We will be receiving 10 more boxes in the mail. What kind of stuff, you might ask?

Well... We are just not sure how we survived in Tokyo without our:
salad spinner
veggie chopper
mini muffin pan
vacuum sealer
crock pot
fondue set
wine rack
paper towel holder
coffee carafe
poker chips
Nintendo 64
Three TVs (our apartment came furnished, including a TV for each of us)
Fake Tree (apartment also came furnished with fake tree)

And, of course, we have accumulated a large amount of Baby Stuff:
Bouncy Chair (Will loves it, he is sitting in it now allowing me to blog)
Baby Monitor (allows us to sleep better at night since Will is in a separate room, but we can still hear him when he wakes up every night at precisely 1am and 5am)
Diaper Genie (prevents our apartment from smelling like diapers)
Baby Bjorn (helps Will to be calm when the movers move boxes in)
'Tummy Time' mat shaped like surfboard
Car Seat and Stroller (useful for taking walks over to the strip malls near our apartment)

Land of Strip Malls
We have also traded our quaint city neighborhood life for the crazy land of the suburbs. While downtown San Diego is only 1/2 hour drive away, we get to live with a panoramic view of strip malls and housing developments. The mountains are pretty in the background...

What is included in this crazy land? All within walking distance are:

CostCo, Home Depot, Comp USA, Ralph's (grocery store), Trader Joe's, Rite Aid, Michael's Crafts, Payless Shoes, Mervyn's, Ross, Marshall's, Sears, Staples, Borders, PetCo, Barnes and Nobel, Right Start (baby store), Blockbuster, Post Office, Movie Theater

Starbucks, The Coffee Bean, Hot Java Cafe, Jamba Juice, Taco Bell, Rubio's Fresh Mex, Chevy's, Jalapenos Mexican Food, Little Tokyo, Island's Fine Burgers, Yummy Sushi, Olive Garden, Bruegger's Bagels, Thaigo Restaurant, Mc Donald's, Panera, Carl's Jr, California Pizza Kitchen, Marie Calendar's, Pat and Oscar's, The Claim Jumper, Dairy Queen, Boston Market, Wendy's, Baskin-Robbins, Cold Stone Creamery, Irish Pub, Greek Restaurant, TGI Friday's

So, basically, if you come to visit us, you will be able to experience this utopian suburban world that we now live in.