Month: April 2013

Mixed Results

Chilkat has slept in “her big bed” every night starting last Saturday the 20th. This is good. But there’s a catch: We haven’t gotten her to sleep before 9:20. This is about two hours later than we would like, and about 1 to 1.5 hours later than normal. And it takes two hours of coaxing from one (KrisDi) or both parents. This is bad.

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Hi! I’ve been back from Japan long enough to feel like I’m in the right time zone again. The White Sox are losing regularly. Chilkat is hilarious. She also slept in a real, honest-to-God grown up bed, all alone last night. I have to say, the sheer joy when she saw me for the first time after my trip to Japan is one of the highlights of parenting so far. I’ve never received a better hug. She was so worried about me leaving her sight again that my need to go to the bathroom was a serious problem for her. Through happily coordinated schedules, I was able to meet KrisDi and Chilkat at their arrival gate from Chicago (where they went while I was in Japan), so Chilkat got to run out of the plane straight into my arms. However, due to my lucky selection for “random customs inspection”, I got to spend an extra twenty minutes trying to explain to an apparent ex-jock that Micro Encoder doesn’t exactly encode anything…part of our company helps make encoders…which, in a manner of speaking, might be considered to encode and transmit a position, but it’s not a very accurate description…

We started trying to transition Chilkat to her new room the night before last, which was a catastrophic failure. She yelled and screamed that she didn’t want to go to bed there, and so we put her to bed in the crib that night. Last night, when KrisDi offered the big bed to sleep in, Chilkat took it. KrisDi stayed there with her until she fell asleep, and then sneaked out. Chilkoot slept through the night just fine, with a normal amount of wiggling and squirming.

She’s starting to use articles and prepositions when she talks. Very expressive facial expressions.┬áChilkat has continuing interest in using the potty, but still not consistent and still less than half the time. Last week while she was in Chicago with KrisDi, she decided she was a doctor, and needed to put stuff in KrisDi’s eyes (after which she said “All better!”) — clearly reminiscent of the eye drops for her last bout of pinkeye. She also refused a chocolate covered strawberry, saying it was muddy and she doesn’t like mud. She has figured out how to turn on the little clock radio in her new room (former guest room), and she likes to dance once she has some music playing.

A moment ago, she started piling up equipment and declared “Party time!”, then went and retrieved imaginary party hats for Mommy and Daddy, decided Daddy needed to get some music playing, and then it was time to DANCE!

KrisDi is looking increasingly pregnant. Chilkoot is strong enough that I can feel him/her kick/squirm.

More pictures:

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Today was basically the first day I’ve had all to myself in Japan. I met my boss and VP for breakfast, and then went my own way.

I was going to a Yakult Swallows at Yomiuri Giants baseball game in the Tokyo Dome. The game started at two, but being unfamiliar with the train system and the language, I wanted to go early. Plus I was hoping to find a craft beer place to visit prior to the game. So, to verify I could get to the Tokyo Dome from my hotel: Den-en-toshi line from Mizonokuchi to Shibuya, where it turns into the Hanzomon line. Ride a few more stops to Nagatacho station, and then walk (following the signs) to the Nanboku line. Four more stops to Korakuen, where I had to “adjust my fare”, since I don’t know the proper way to buy tickets for the right price. The fare adjuster assumed the white lady behind me was my wife (which was very confusing for a moment). Korakuen pops you out across the street from the Tokyo Dome. I got there at about 11, so I went back to the station and to the Marunouchi line to Ochanomizu, switch over to the surface JR Sobu line and take it to Ryogoku.

I found Popeye, but it was closed. I lingered for a while, had lunch at an Indian/Nepalese restaurant, and it still didn’t open, so I took the trains back to the Tokyo Dome. On this ride, some nice old ladies spoke to me briefly in hesitant English, telling me their names (which I forgot) and where they’re from (Chiba) and telling me that I’m very handsome.

No problem getting into the game. Some confusion getting to my seat, but cleared up by pointing to the numbers on my ticket and hoping people would point me in the right direction. It worked beautifully, as if all these strange people can read the cryptic messages on the tickets. I sat next to a young couple with a cranky one year old — I felt very smart that I was able to verify that their child was one, and that I also had a child, and she’s two. They also seemed delighted. I helped them get a picture of their whole family at the baseball game. I bought a Yebisu and a glass of Yamazaki to drink while I was there.

The Giants pretty clearly dominated the Swallows. I left after the seventh inning (2-0, which ended up being the final score), hoping to get some other interesting activity in. I got back to my hotel, was there for about five minutes, and then went back to the train station.

This time, two stops on the Nambu line to Kuji station, and about a five minute walk to the Brimmer Brewery. Scott Brimmer, the founder, had responded when I was asking if they were open to the public. He was there, moving beer in various stages of brewedness from large containers to small containers or other large containers, sterilizing containers, and generally brewing. I bugged him for about an hour, while he poured me samples from various large containers (their Anniversary Ale, their Pale Ale, and their Gold, although the Gold was apparently two weeks too young). He bottles, but he has to individually label the bottles by hand. He and his wife have a five year old son. Scott’s only been back to the US twice since he moved to Japan. He moved to Japan because his wife’s family is there; he started out working with Baird Brewing and then Ginga Kogen, where he reached the “gaijin glass ceiling” and decided that if they were going to stay in Japan, he was going to open his own brewery. He makes some pretty solid beer, and seems to distribute pretty well for a two person operation (with another dude helping on the weekends). He also told me that most beer places are closed on Sundays (hence no Popeye visit). It was very cool to go and visit and watch him do his thing.

Afterward, I needed to eat, and found my way to a ramen place (which wasn’t a huge trick, since I ate lunch there yesterday), and again felt cool because I knew how to ask for an egg on my soup (“to tomago”). Then it was off to the convenience store to buy snacks. On the way I ran into some other gaijin standing around drinking beers. They waved me over, and they briefly told me about themselves before I had to go. They’re all English teachers (a class of people in Japan that Scott told me about in a not so flattering way). Werner is a former drama teacher from South Africa, who left because he hated his job. Another guy, from New Jersey, is there because he couldn’t get a job after law school. The other guy didn’t seem anxious to volunteer information (after I embarrassed him by turning around his attempt to be racy), but apparently his wife is from Japan. But, now I know where these guys hang out, so I guess I could go stand on the street and drink beer with them some time.

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