Monday, March 24, 2008

What's up with that and other random comments

Max and I went out to lunch the other day here in Roppongi Hills.  He behaved really well and actually ate some of his toasted ham and cheese sandwich.  The bill was 2400 yen, including 600 yen for a glass of iced tea.   With the dollar plummeting this equates to 6 dollars for a glass of iced tea.  What's up with that?  There's a heck of a lot of tea in this country.  I just don't get it.

Rich came home the other evening boasting that he had used his first umbrella condom.  In case you are wondering, this is a device that encases a wet umbrella.  Office buildings, stores and apartment buildings have these devices that you insert your wet umbrella into and voila, it comes out encased in a plastic sleeve.  No more dripping umbrellas.  Genius.

On the ground floor of our building is a dog grooming shop that Max loves to visit.  For sale in this shop are some stunning doggie ensembles --- dresses, overalls, lots of sweaters and jackets, rhinestone collars, doggie bagels, cookies and lots of squeaky toys.  Some of these doggie outfits will set you back a couple of hundred bucks.  For sale are also yorkies, miniature poodles and chihuahuas.  These are the "accessory" dogs of Tokyo.  They are dressed up and carried about in designer doggie carriers.  It's quite a sight.  I've wanted to take more pictures but have been afraid of offending people.  

One nice thing about life in Tokyo is that stores are more "parent-friendly" than I have noticed in the states.  Bathrooms have spacious areas to change babies; diapers are available in vending machines; many department stores have "nursing rooms" as well. (Breastfeeding is very much the "right" thing to do here.  You also see a lot of women carrying small babies in slings.) In the Roppongi Hills shopping complex, there's a great family lounge space where you can bring babies and small children and feed them, breastfeed in a private room, change diapers and otherwise entertain them.  Here are some shots of the lounge.

Getting Settled

Easter Sunday was a relaxing, warm sunny day here in Tokyo.  We didn't venture out much over the weekend but spent time getting the apartment organized and hanging some artwork.  We're so grateful to have our stuff finally.  The sea shipment arrived on Thursday.  It was actually a holiday here in Japan (vernal equinox) and Rich had the day off so we toiled with the movers unpacking as quickly as possible.

As more and more boxes of Max's toys began to pile up, I cursed myself for sending too much stuff.  Luckily, the apartment has a pretty good amount of storage space and I shipped a lot of baskets and containers so began to organize the toys - small toy animal figures in one basket, cars, trains, trucks in another, stuffed animals in one, kitchen toys in another, and it began to take shape.  Shove the random stuff in his closet.

The good thing is that since Thursday Max has not asked to watch TV.  Yay!  He is thrilled to have his books, farm animals and favorite toys...namely the ball machine.... a beloved hand-me-down from Colin. (See the videos for more ball action.)  Here's Max playing with his farm on his table made by Opa Mark.  You can see the view from his window a bit in this picture.

I'd still pack less if I had to do it over.  We sent over two rugs that we don't need and a few things Max has already grown out of.  So we may have to call the movers back and send our stuff across the ocean again. 

On Easter Sunday we finally met up with Tazuko and her husband Eiichi for brunch.  Max amused everyone --- especially back at the house where he ran back and forth and really warmed up to Tazuko.  Here they are chilling in the living room.  It was a great visit and a nice way to cap off Easter weekend.

Max blows off steam

Easter Sunday. Max cavorts around the house..

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Soccer Max

Mr. Soccer takes over the playground.  I think he may have some talent.


Have a look at an average evening here in Tokyo

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Max montage

This will be a random post, something to assuage my guilt for not writing more.  I'm at a loss for themes so here's a rundown of what's been happening.

1) Max started talking.  This is a pretty big deal.  We've been waiting and waiting and now words are starting to come out.  Standards such as ball, down, dog (he actually does a pretty damn good downward dog) and others like tiger, bee, baby and "inu" - Japanese for dog.

2) We have been scouting out book/toy stores that have "samples" and play areas to pass the time.  Here Max has shed his shoes per the usual instructions.

3) Max is fascinated with fish and can stare for hours at the big tank in our lobby.  We had a great time checking out the fish at the pet shop on the roof-top of Matsuya, a department store in Ginza.  I'll be getting him his very own goldfish soon.

4) We are still enjoying Starbucks and the Azuki Scone.

5) I accidentally gave Max peanuts and he survived.  (They were inside a rice cracker.)

6) We are still enjoying playgrounds.  Here, Max is playing in the sand, oblivious of the children around him - kids in the green caps are part of a school and he is using their sand toys.

7) In addition to French, Australian, Irish, British and Hungarian friends, Max and I are making Japanese friends as well.  

8) Max is eating better.  Onigiri - sticky rice molded into triangles or round discs - is proving to be a hit.  He sometimes allows me to feed him with chopsticks.  Corn was also a recent big hit.

9) And finally, Max got a spikey new haircut from new friend Monisha, who is a stylist.