Saturday, October 24, 2009

American... boy?

Had to share this.

Last week we received a copy of American Girl magazine in the mail. For those who aren't familiar, American Girl is a collection of historical dolls with story books. You can get a doll customized also. I saw the magazine and got slightly irritated 'How do they know we have a little girl?? Aren't they hooking them a little young?'

Then I saw who the magazine was addressed to- my father-in-law! That cracked me up. I called my mother-in-law and we had a good laugh. She wanted to see the magazine, so I put it on the kitchen table to save it.

The next morning, Eric was eating his oatmeal and I saw this...
He was casually browsing through the magazine while eating breakfast.

American Girl must know my family better than I do!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Pathetic 15 Minutes of Fame

My dad found a review of a Japanese movie that I was an extra in while living on Yokota Air Base. It brought back some hilarious memories, which I thought I'd share because I have no humorous stories to write about as of late. If you read the linked review, then you know why my family could never find this movie or heard anything about it. Apparently this movie makes Cloverfield look like Ben Hur.

A lot of American kids in Japan got into modeling and acting. During the 80's the Japanese were really into using foreignors to advertise. Many Japanese movies were filmed in English and then subtitled in Japanese. My sister was a successful model in Japan. But I was a glasses-wearing, prepubescent girl whose only modeling job was when I happened to tag along to my sister's shoot and fit into the clothes another American girl was too big for.

I had lived in Japan for maybe a month or so when our sponser told us about the opportunity to be an extra in this movie. I think their child was supposed to be in it, but he/she got sick and so they asked my folks if I would be interested. For like $50, American kids on base were picked up by bus and taken to a Japanese school somewhere off-base where they were shooting this movie. They needed school-age children, and I think I was about to turn 11. Most of the kids were my age, maybe a little older. The only thing I remember about the trip was spending the entire bus ride finishing an awful teen novel.

It was a dreary day. I'm not sure if it was raining or not. The only scene we shoot the entire day was of all us kids getting off of an American-style school bus, something they don't have in Japan. I wonder now where they got one... We would all pile on the bus. The bus would drive to the front of the school and stop. We would get off the bus. We did this over and over again, and I'm all of 10 and have no patience for this crap. So I stop getting off the bus because, really, what's the point?

Some Japanese man comes onto the bus (I'm sitting in the back) and heads straight for me. I think I'm in serious trouble. He wants me to put on an ugly orange sweatshirt over my shirt. I tell him no. Him, being Japanese and assuming I simply can't understand him, gets someone who speaks English to come onto the bus and tell me to wear it. I tell him no. But eventually they wear me down. I put it on. They leave. I take it off (I'm so screwed because this stubborn gene is already showing up in both of my kids).

We break for lunch, which is a Japanese bento box. I would kill for these kind of lunches today. But since I'm 10, I don't appreciate the food and barely eat anything. I look over and see this fat American who must have been about 14 or so eating a McDonald's hamburger. I covet. I also recognize him as being one of the kids with a speaking part. I covet even more.

After lunch I am taken to meet a very tall middle-aged American man with blond hair. He was wearing all black and had on sunglasses. I asked him for a speaking role. He said I should talk to the director. I thought he was the director. He turned out to be Troy Donahue. Oops. My dad's sister almost had a heart attack when she found out I had met her idol. I was simply pissed that the fat kid had a speaking role while I didn't.

Back onto the bus to shoot more thrill-a-second passenger shots. A boy sitting across the aisle from me told me his name, which I can't remember now. He was 12 and lived on Yokosuka, the naval base. I remember he had auburn hair and pretty eyes. He tells me he wants to kiss me, and since I'm a ugly girl with glasses I'm all for this turn of events. So the next shot when the kids are getting off the bus, this boy and I duck down and "kiss." Which is to say, we tried to get our lips to touch but ended up laughing most of the time. But considering all the takes of this stupid bus stopping and starting, we may have kissed about 10 times for all I know.

Then I think it either really did start to rain, or the director simply gave up. We piled back on the Japanese bus to head home. I looked in my envelope and saw (what I remember being) a 5,000 yen note.

So if you ever happen to stumble across this movie, and watch a scene of young children filing off of a school bus, just remember why you can't see a blond girl getting out of the bus in an orange sweatshirt. She was too busy making out with an older guy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Life in Bullets

(Thank you to Karen as I'm stealing her idea)

I've gotten a lot of people who have asked when my next blog entry is. I was working on something last week but time slipped away from me. The kids are (finally) in bed, but it's almost 9pm. And I want to watch Lie to Me and Castle (I love my DVR). So... here's what's been happening.

* My parents got back from Japan on Saturday. They had a lovely trip, but it is probably their last. They were able to stay the night and will be back next weekend so John and I can go to the Kansas City Chiefs game. Maybe Washington won't steal defeat from the jaws of victory yet again. Maybe.

* Rachel can sit up unassisted. While she can't pull herself into that position, her back and neck are getting stronger. I've also noticed her getting into a crawling position on her tummy. Only a matter of time before she's truly mobile. [sigh]

* Eric started saying "mama." Though he doesn't really get that it's MY name, he does understand that I love when he says it. So he says it a lot.
Me: "Eric, who am I?"
Eric: [proudly] "Dada!"
Me: "No."
Eric: [looking upset and confused]
Me: "I'm mama. Can you say 'mama'?"
Eric: "Mamamamama"

* I've started going to the gym again. I hand sanitize a TON before and after I pick the kids up from the child care place. So far so good!

* I've also started a bible study on Wednesdays. So I'm getting out of the house a lot more. Yay for getting out!

* And I just heard a big THUNK. Eric fell over the toddler rail and out of his bed. Boo for toddler rails.

* Rachel has started solids. She eats like a champ. We're on stage 1 foods, but she can finish off one of those containers in one sitting. It took Eric months before he could do that. She also likes chewing. Not sure what foods to give her so she can chew though. Eric choked a LOT so I'm terrified of her choking. I put some apple in one of those teether-bags but she wasn't that interested. Or maybe she hates apples.

And, really, that's all. Oh wait. A friend who's living in the UK may come into the DC area next month. It would be awesome to see her again. OK, that's all. Really.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Eric Got Out

This morning I was in the kitchen and I heard Eric call me from further and further away. I thought he was heading upstairs like he sometimes does to get attention. I walked toward the stairs...

... and saw the front door was open.

Eric had run down the driveway and onto the sidewalk. When he saw me giving chase, he did what any toddler would do: he ran away from me down the sidewalk, laughing his head off the entire way. I brought him back inside and fought back my panic attack. From the first time I took Eric outside of the house, I taught him to never, ever go into the street. That little bugger tested me for months. Eric would literally put a toe past the sidewalk and smirk at me to see if he could get away with it. And I always picked his butt up and brought him back inside as Eric kicked and screamed in my ear. I could kiss the ground that he didn't go into the street. Luck? Consistency? Now how can I be this consistent on things like snacking through lunch??

John was stuck in a traffic jam from hell, but at 9pm he began installing a new dead-bolt lock that must be unlocked from the inside to open. If Eric figures out how to open the door now, I think we'll give up and hire him out to thieving thugs.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Day at the Park

Pictures are worth a thousand words. On Saturday we decided to take the kids to the park. There are about 3 parks within a mile of us. We chose the one that had broken playground equipment and a BBQ/ baby shower for a Latino mother, and therefore a LOT of people at the park.

It turned out really well, though I was terrified that Eric would kill himself on the boarded up part of the playground. About 3 girls came up to me while I was with Rachel in the stroller. One spoke English and begged me to hold Rachel. How sweet is that? Her name was Jennifer, which is a great name, if I could give an unbiased opinion. ;-) Rachel for some reason started crying whenever she was looked at by anyone but me. And a LOT of kids came up to look at her. One little 1 year old boy kept touching Rachel's hair and trying to touch her eyes, which is what Eric did when he was the boy's age. Jennifer kept slapping his hand away.

So Rachel's either very shy, or she remembers all the times I told her I would sell her to gypsies when she would wake me up at 3am. I took a picture of her tear-stained little face. Poor Rachel...

Eric, on the other hand, had no problem going up to the BBQ and even was able to mooch a dinner plate. Lord, he is his mother's child. My mom told me stories of how I would invite myself to birthday parties at McDonald's. Eric loved the meat and tortilla. He's really into carbs now. He has eaten almost all of mommy's breakfast cereal; Cheerios don't cut it anymore apparently. Loves frozen pancakes (not cooked, only frozen). Even when his tortilla fell in the DIRT, and John and I tried to grab it from him to throw it away, Eric just picked it up and kept eating. They also gave Eric a Capri Sun to drink. It was so sweet of them to give Eric food. Unfortunately, Eric has yet to master using a straw so that went all over him.

All in all, Saturday was a good day. Sunday? Well... church and mowing and laundry. At least the in-laws came over and brought dinner. That was the highlight of my day. That and church. John kept the kids with him while I went to church. I had forgotten how nice it is to just go to church and be able to give my full attention to the worship and message. No pagers going off; no sobbing toddler or crying baby... It was a slice of heaven.