Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Indulging Our Obsession

Originally uploaded by rustyandlaura.
For those of you who have been wondering why we haven't been blogging very much lately, I have two words for you: Battlestar Galactica. This scifi drama, a "reimagining" of the original series produced in the 70's, is arguably the best show on television these days (sorry, LOST fans), and certainly the best, most creative, most thought-provoking science fiction show I have ever watched. Even if you aren't a fan of science fiction, you should certainly give this show a try as it is primarily a human drama, with the setting being outer space. And don't worry, there aren't any green one-eyed aliens running around the set.

Anyway, Rusty and I got hooked (shamelessly addicted, actually) on this show last year when the first season was airing on the SciFi Channel. For my birthday this year, I asked for Seasons 1 and 2.0 on DVD, and my parents brought them over when they came to visit in March. They also brought a few of the most recent episodes on VHS, which they taped for me before their trip. So, for the last week and a half, we have engaged in a "Battlestar Galactica" marathon. Now that we are finished, I promise to get back to blogging. I have Easter pics of Alex to post, and more.

By your command.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Proud to Be an American

alexamerican, originally uploaded by rustyandlaura.

My son,

You don't know it yet, but you are a citizen of a very great nation. A nation where freedom is valued above all else. Many great men and women have fought and died throughout the years so that you could be free. Free to become whatever you want to be. Free to live where you want to live. Free to worship our God. Free to vote. Free, even, to criticize our government and to take steps to change the things you disagree with.

One day, when you are older, I hope you will come to appreciate, as I do, the blessing it is to be an American. Although I have lived most of my life in other countries (or maybe because of it), I am deeply appreciative of my heritage and citizenship. I hope to pass this appreciation on to you as you get older. You are a second generation TCK (third culture kid), but I hope you'll always be proud that your "passport country" is America.


(Picture taken outside the US Embassy in Tokyo on March 31st, 2006, the day we took Alex in for his birth certificate and passport.)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Tub Time

Originally uploaded by rustyandlaura.
Just thought I would post some pics so everyone can see how Alex is growing. He is filling out and getting fat rolls in all the appropriate places! I know it is such a cliche, but they really do grow and change so fast. He has started smiling at us, but we have yet to capture a really good smile on the camera. Coming soon, I hope!

Originally uploaded by rustyandlaura.
It's hard to see in this picture, but the hood of the towel says, "I love my daddy." Thanks to our friends at the Thyatira Church of Christ in Mississippi for the great photo op!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

One Month Old

Originally uploaded by rustyandlaura.
Tuesday, March 28th marked Alex' one-month birthday. Baby Sophie had her one-month birthday just the day before. So, we had a little birthday celebration, complete with cake and candles. Since both babies were asleep, their mamas had to blow out their candles and eat their cake for them.

On Thursday, March 30th, Alex and I had our one-month check-up at the Suzuki Clinic. Alex has gained one kilo in his first month of life (he weighs over 9 pounds now), and I have lost a kilo. I'll be fitting into my jeans again soon!

I can't believe Alex is already a month old. Let's see, in his first month of life, besides gaining over 2 pounds, he has learned to hold his head up really well, to take a pacifier, and to sleep for three to four hour stretches at night, mostly in his own bed. He loves looking at the wall hanging in our living room and the Japanese doors in our bedroom, sitting in his bouncy chair, being held by his daddy, and his nightly bath. Oh, he also loves eating (and is putting on the pounds to prove it)!

We're looking forward to what the second month will bring...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Daddy's Boy

573457884305_0_ALB, originally uploaded by rustyandlaura.

Originally uploaded by rustyandlaura.
These pictures were taken when Alex was three weeks old at Suwa Park in Hitachi. The plum trees are in bloom, the weather is getting warmer, and spring is finally here! I'm looking forward to Alex' first Easter in just a couple of weeks.

A Cradle for Alex

Originally uploaded by rustyandlaura.
It was handmade by Doug Davis of the Metro Church of Christ in Portland, Oregon by request of Alex' Grandma. It arrived at our house via express mail about two weeks after Alex was born (no, you do not want to know how much that cost). It was reassembled with care by Alex' papa and now stands in our bedroom, ready to rock our son into dreamland each night.

Alex has been given many gifts, and each one is a special reminder of the many people who love him and us. But the cradle will go down as one of the most touching and meaningful gifts we were given. Thank you, Doug and Grandma Mary! I envision using it for all our children, and someday, maybe grandchildren...

Sweet dreams!

540362684305_0_ALB, originally uploaded by rustyandlaura.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

My First Sunday at Church

Originally uploaded by rustyandlaura.
I went to church for the first time when I was 12 days old. I enjoyed listening to the singing. Babu preached a great sermon, and after the service, everyone enjoyed the monthly fellowship meal. (I slept through most of it.) Everyone at Taga church loved me and said what a cute little boy I was.

Originally uploaded by rustyandlaura.
This is me with Kaminaga-san, one of the members at Taga church. She is almost 90 years old and still lives alone and rides her bicycle everywhere. She is an amazing lady with more energy than most people who are half her age.

My First Road Trip

Originally uploaded by rustyandlaura.
When I was 10 days old, I got to go on my first road trip. Mommy and Daddy and I took Nyanya and Babu to Nikko, one of the religious centers of Japan. On Friday night, we drove to Mashiko, a pottery town, and stayed in a minshuku (a family run bed and breakfast). The next day, we drove to Nikko. We enjoyed looking at the beautiful temples and shrines. On the way home, we stopped for dinner at Subway in Utsunomiya.

I enjoyed my first road trip and I can't wait to take another one! Mommy says I am my father's son because I am such a good traveler. Daddy just says, "That's my boy!"

Enjoying the Plum Blossoms

Originally uploaded by rustyandlaura.
When Alex was 8 days old, we took him to Kairakuen in Mito, along with my parents, to see the plum blossoms. Kairakuen is one of the three most famous parks in all of Japan. Every year, around this time, thousands flock to Mito to enjoy the beauty of the plum trees in full bloom. Unfortunately, we were about a week early and many of the trees had not popped out yet. Still, it was a gorgeous spring day, and Alex and I enjoyed being out and about in the warm weather.

Our First Family Photo

Originally uploaded by rustyandlaura.
My sister commented that she is enjoying all the pictures, but wanted to see some of Rusty and I. So, here it is -- our first family picture. This was taken in the hospital when Alex was 2 days old. (For a larger version of any of these recent photos, just click on the picture and you will be taken to our Flickr homepage.)