Saturday, June 18, 2005

Military Movie Theaters

I know it sounds like a weird subject to write about, but I just went to my first movie in a military theater last night. We took Caitlyn to see Madagascar. Not sure if it's been out in the States for long, but this is the first time its played out here (there is only 1 screen in the Bong Theater and only one movie plays every night). Therefore, everyone and their mother decided to go see this movie. More acurately, I should say, everyone sans their mother decided to go see this movie. While there were plenty of families with small screaming children, the vast majority of the audience was made up of obnoxious pre-teen kids with no parents to be found. We were surrounded on all sides! I know I must have once been that age myself, and I am sure I was just as annoying, but it is hard to fathom! I absolutely dread the idea of Caitlyn going through those awkward times. In addition to this environment, we were forced to sit in the third to last row (despite arriving 40 min early, we barely made it in) which meant that the door to the lobby was directly behind us. Normally I would say this was a good thing since I am quite pregnant and my bladder was tiny to begin with; however, pre-teens evidently don't actually watch movies, they just go to walk in and out of the lobby every 2 minutes so that the large spotlight comes flooding in on the people forced to sit in the back. Even worse than the obnoxious children and their rude behavior were the obnoxious and rude parents who stood up to yell at their kids and/or bring them popcorn and soda every five minutes. I kid you not, this went on through the entire 100 minutes of the movie. I don't think we went more than a minute without some kind of interruption. I have never had an experience like that at any theater, including some very nasty dollar theaters I used to go to in order to save money. Caitlyn, on the other hand, had a great time. Go figure.

Well, our vacation is upon us, so I may not write for a little while. We're headed to Texas and Minnesota to visit a variety of family and really soak up the sun (although I will most likely pass out from heat exhaustion at some point since today was the first day it hasn't rained and the temperature surpassed 50's really summer now! :) Sadly, the thing I'm most excited about returning to the States for is the food! We live in the boonies here in Japan and there are not exactly any gourmet restaurants out here (it is mostly greasy, bad Chinese or Japanese food) or anywhere nearby. Tokyo is another story, but it's way to far and way to expensive to be any kind of option. I just miss having a variety of choice. There are a few Italian places out here, but they don't really serve anything I would consider remotely Italian (except that there's pasta in it). Other then that, Chinese and Japanese are pretty much your only choices (surprising, there is nowhere that serves Western-style food) and that gets old fast. Not to mention the fact that I can't really eat sushi riht now because of the pregnancy and the idea of greasy Yakisoba (which I used to love!) absolutely makes me want to hurl. So, I'm pretty much stuck with Popeye's (which we have on base) and home cooking (while fabulous, it doesn't cut it when I get home late and just want to eat!). So I am looking forward to impressing my doctor by gaining over 20 pounds while I eat like a hog in the States, yay! Well, wish me luck on my multi-day journey back to the States. It should be even more fun now that I'm 8 months pregnant! ;) See you all when I get home!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Sorry For the Long Wait!

And here I thought having a blog would make it easy to keep in touch with everyone! Sorry for the long, long wait between posts. We have been busy (and very tired) here in Japan. A few updates, I am now nearly done with being preggo (or so I keep telling myself!), just 10 more weeks to go! It's true...I am engaged. That ring you see on my finger is indeed a beautiful diamond, and I am very, very happy. I wanted to wait until the family reunion to surprise everyone, but I have absolutely no patience! In other family news, we now have two dogs: a 2-year-old Shiba/collie mix named Brittney and a 3-month-old pure bred Shiba named Yuki (which means snow). Brittney is the perfect dog for us (well, me anyway), I have never met a lazier dog in my life. All she does is eat and sleep and want to be petted (just like me! :) She also doesn't jump, sniff or hump anything, bark (except in extraordinary circumstances), drool, or have any other disgusting doggy habits. She is very well trained and makes an excellent companion for Caitlyn (she is, in fact, Caitlyn's dog. Caitlyn gives her food and water everyday and also brushes her, although she doesn't shed much). Yuki, on the other hand, is a puppy we are trying to house train. Other than the peeing and pooping on the carpet, she is also a great dog with a great temperment (no drooling, jumping, sniffing, or humping here either).

Caitlyn is getting ready to wrap up Kindergarten next week. She has had a bumpy year what with the move and my long TDY, but I feel she is in a very good place right now. She has a good group of friends (they are all "fashion girls"), and she loves to read (which she can now do on her own!). Caitlyn is also going through a rough time of missing her dad and not understanding the circumstances. I'm at a loss as to how to explain things, too. My general comment whenever she tells me she misses her dad is that I miss my mommy and daddy, too, but we don't always get what we want in life. Obviously, this is not a very satisfactory answer to a 6-year-old, and Caitlyn is pushing me for more of the "why." She definately doesn't understand why we are going on vacation to visit Tim's family and my family, but she isn't getting to see her dad. How do you explain to your child that their father is a miserable bum who had over a year's notice to save money to see you, yet, somehow couldn't be bothered to save enough money to take you for even a small portion of the 6-weeks he's supposed to get? It's not like he pays child support or anything, so I don't know where his money goes. She seems to think this is somehow me wanting to keep her away from her daddy (daddy being the mythic figure who can rescue her when she's getting in trouble). I'm also a little nervous about her meeting Tim's kids and how she will feel about having to share him with them. I think everything will probably be fine, since Caitlyn will be thrilled to have some playmates instead of just her boring old parents all the time, plus we're planning a shitload of kid-friendly activities since we'll have the three kids with us.

We still haven't come up with a concrete name as of yet. We both like Alexandra as a middle name, so I think that will stick, but the first name is a little harder. Stephanie and Aubrey are currently the top contenders. I had my baby shower a couple of weeks ago. It was very nice, but I couldn't help thinking about all of you. I have only one really good friend here in Japan and a few good aquaintences, but nothing like the friendships I made in college or my prior military service. It's just really hard here beause there's so few female officers to hang out with. I got lucky with Donna, but she's leaving here in the winter :( At any rate, we are stacked with baby clothes and we have most of the furniture we need, but I'm beginning to realize that I've forgotten a bunch of other essentials. For example, no diaper genie, stroller, car seat, diapers, bottles, etc...just a few things, really ;) I remember, with Caitlyn, I was all over getting all the essentials before I had even hit the halfway point. Now it seems like I got the crib and was, like, we'll wing it from here :) Oh, and a big thanks to Laura for the Lamaze book she sent me. They don't offer any childbirth classes out here, which really annoys me because it isn't like I exactly have any off-base options, and I didn't do lamaze with Caitlyn and always regretted it. So, this book is the next best thing. Plus, I'll have Tim and my mom here during the birth, so I'll have some experienced back-up this time. Hope you all enjoyed the pictures I sent. I'll post some new ones when I take them :)