Sunday, September 11, 2011

Getting Old & A Baby Shower

I'm getting old, now. 
I know, because I just had a birthday. It's not the number of candles that brought this fact home (24 is not such an impressive number) but the way I felt about it.  Every year I celebrate with gusto at least two or three times and make sure everyone knows about it. This year, however, it didn't seem that important. Sure, I had dinner with friends and a joint party on the weekend, and I had a lot of fun and felt very happy, but I just didn't feel like the "my" next to "birthday" was all that meaningful. Does that make sense?

The most important thing is always cake.  Especially when it's a blueberry cheesecake made by Kazuno!!
Like I said, I had a fantastic time, and I am so thankful that I have such awesome friends to celebrate with, it was just different. Better, in a way. Older. 
Or maybe just sleepier. 

I also know I am getting older because of facebook. I'd just started getting used to see wedding after friends' wedding on my newsfeed, when all of a sudden it's babies

Now, I LOVE babies. If you don't know that about me... well, you probably don't know me. So, this new online development gives me hours of oooooing and aaahing happiness, but it also makes me a little sad. My friends are having babies while I am on the other side of the world! Shouldn't they wait until I am there to hold their newborns?? 
Stephen and Corissa--I'm talking to you! I wanna meet your little girl!  :) 

Not all the babies are thousands of miles away, though! Luckily, my friend Kazuno and her husband Dameon just had a little one of their own! 
Meet Dion. 
Talk about CUTE!! 

When I found out that baby showers aren't very common in Japan, I decided that I would plan one for them! Unfortunately, I decided that a little late, and the shower had to be rescheduled when little Dion came early. :) I happily made a trip to the hospital to meet the little guy in lieu of having a party that weekend, and we rescheduled for this past weekend instead. 

Baby shower time! 

Since Kazuno is a cool surfer chick, and since it's summer in Okinawa (still), I went with a beach/ocean theme. 
Naturally, I had to have cupcakes to match.

 See the surfer?
 I even made a special "manly" cupcake for the new dad, Dameon. 

What's a baby shower without a little blood and gore?
 There was other food, too, of course. :) I had a lot of fun cooking for this party. I made baked mac & cheese, fancy crackers, grilled pepper quesedillas, and an apple vinagerette salad with roasted walnuts and bacon garnish.


 I learned an important lesson, though. Breast-feeding mommies shouldn't eat a lot of sweets or junk food. Oops! Kazuno was happy for an excuse to eat all the food that she'd been resisting, but I felt bad. Next baby, I will make sure to cook only healthy dishes, I promise!

Here are the new parents. No wonder they had such a darling baby. :)

My gift: a diaper cake. 

During the shower, we played three games. The first was a baby shower staple: "Don't Say Baby."
 I made enough origami diapers for each of the guests and attached some safety pins. If anyone said "baby" during the shower, someone else could take their pins. The person with the most pins won a prize. 
Winner in the middle. 
My awesome friends Sarra was a natural and she caught EVERYONE saying it (especially me). She also won the second game, which was to guess how many gold fish were in a jar. Two prizes, Sarra??  :) 

At least she didn't win the third game: The Baby (oops! lost a pin) Belly Game

The object of the game was to stuff the most balloons in your shirt. :) 
 Max won this one. He'd make an awful busty and lumpy pregnant woman, don't you think? 

Overall, I think the party was a success but the main attraction, of course, was baby Dion. :) 

 I am so glad the shower was delayed a few weeks. I think having the little guy there was the best part. :) 

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Infatuated, addicted, bewitched, engrossed, Android.

True love.

It's happened. When I borrowed Julie's iPhone in Taiwan, I knew it was only a matter of time before I would seek my teeth into my own delicious smartphone. My cell contract expired last month, and my opportunity finally arrived. Sold.

Javier is addicted, too.

I decided to stay with my current cell company (AU) and use the re-contracting bonus to lower the price of the phone, and they only stock Androids, not iPhones. But I love it. I will never, ever look back. This little chunk of technology has changed my life.

Let me count the ways:

1. Radio. The app TuneIn Radio let's me listen to just about any station I could desire. I've been tuning into Seattle's STAR 101.5, plugging the android into my car stereo, and pretending that I never left. It makes me happy. And a little sad.

2. Reading. The Kindle app is brilliant. No need to pan out an extra hundred bucks for a kindle when I can read all the books I want right on my phone! I just devoured the free ebook "Treasure Island" and then bought a Murakami book I hadn't read yet (Sputnik Sweetheart) and am more than halfway done already. I still love to hold a book in my hand, store it on my bookshelf... but you can't beat the convenience of an ebook.

3. Sleeping. I'm using the free trial of "Sleep as an Droid" and love it so far. It tracks my movement when I am sleeping to determine when I am in deep and light sleep, then wakes me without a certain time window when I seem to be moving the most and wake me from light sleep instead of deep sleep. I don't know if it really works or is just mental, but I wake up earlier and immediately feel more alert.  *It also records my sleep talking, which is just plain entertaining.*

4. Lists! I do love my lists, and between the OI Shopping and Taskos Apps, I can plan away to my heart's content. I love crossing things off lists, even digitally! And this way I always have my lists with me; no more forgetting them on the fridge!

Thanks for letting me get that out. This is just a very short list of all the apps I love, but I hate to bore you more than I already have.  :)