Saturday, November 19, 2011


So, I completely forgot my scrapbook day this month! YIKES. How could I forget when it was 11-11-11?! I think that pregnancy forgetfulness has turned into full blown mama forgetfulness and come 8:00PM I am so tired that I do not want to blog, email, facebook, or any of that other stuff. I simply want to sit on the couch and be a vegetable. I used to LOVE to read. Even when we had just Miyako, I was an avid reader. But lately I simply am too tired at night to get through a few pages. I hope that changes as the kids get a bit older as I really do love to read, but I am learning to accept where I am at with this phase in my life and be okay if not everything gets done.

So, I looked back at our calendar for 11-11-11, and it was just a normal day for us. We had music class and if I remember correctly, it was POURING down rain and COLD. Miyako insisted on walking in her rain boots and carrying her new Hello Kitty pink umbrella that she got as a birthday present from a dear friend. Needless to say, the walk to the bus stop took twice as long, but eventually we made it. We came home straight after class and stayed put for the remainder of the day. It was cold, dreary and one of those days where I was missing my car terribly. I needed comfort food for dinner so I made skyline chili for Kan and I after the kids went to bed. Yum.

We have been doing a Flat Stanley project for a friend in Kentucky. We take Flat Stanley with us and take some fun pictures of him around Tokyo. I need to mail him back by Monday of this week so he gets to Kentucky by December 1. For this post, I included a few photos of Flat Stanley and the kids at Roppongi Hills. The Christmas decorations are out and about in the city, which gets me in the mood for the holidays, and we spotted a pretty tree in Roppongi Hills, across from the really LARGE spider statue.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Potty Training

Tomorrow it will be one week of potty training for our sweet three year old and she is doing great! We came home from her birthday party and she went straight to her bedroom to get big girl panties. She had a few accidents that day, but on Friday she did great. She had one accident at the park on Friday, but from then on she has been accident free. Today we did wear pull-ups to BSF. It is a hour train ride there and back and I was not sure how she would do with someone else taking her to the potty. She did go on the potty break with all the other children, but she told the teacher she would go at home with Mama. I did not want to push her. She has done so well. I told her we would wear pull ups to Bible study for a couple of weeks, but once we run out she has to wear underwear. My only concern potty training here in Japan is getting stuck on a train and she HAVING to go. There are no bathrooms on the subway trains so it makes me nervous. We have stayed pretty close to home the past week and just done local parks and such. We will slowly start to add bigger distances with underwear on - maybe church this Sunday. I am really really proud of her. It has been fairly simple. She knows when she needs to go and goes on her own. I do not have to constantly ask her if she needs to go. She is going poopy and wee wee in the little potty. I will be happy when we switch over to the big potty. I am a bit tired of cleaning the little one. She also goes in the middle of the night. Now, do not get me wrong - I am a bit tired of the middle of the night potty calls and having to put Woodstock stickers on the Snoopy Success chart in my half opened eyes, but I am pretty impressed that she wakes up in the middle of the night to go potty when she just started potty training. My big concern now is when do you stop giving potty treats and stickers?! She is not used to having candy at home so getting a Snoopy gummy fruit snack every time you go potty is a lot of fun for our little girl.

I learned that prepping her verbally really helped. We talked for months about wearing big girl panties when she came home from her third birthday. And she did. Now our next big transition - sharing a room with the K Man. I have started telling her at Thanksgiving she and little brother will share a room. Today I asked her when they would share a room and she said, "At thanksgiving and we can talk to each other at bedtime." Cute huh?!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Happy 6 Years!

Saturday marked our sixth anniversary. We did not do much in terms of celebrating - a quiet evening at home with Chinese take out after putting the kids to bed is what we both needed. Last year, I wrote about how wonderful my husband is. And he is still wonderful. This year, as we came upon our anniversary, I thought back to our wedding day. I remember waking up and thinking this was going to be the best day of my life. What I did not realize then that I see now, is that the days just get better and better because I am living with God's unique best for me. Is it always easy? No. But it is better, much better, than it was 6 years ago.

Last year when I blogged about our anniversary, a friend commented that she wanted me to share details of that day. So, I thought I would finally honor her request and go back in time a bit. If I have to use one word to describe our wedding, I would call it "FUN!" We wanted it to be fun and it was!

My best friend picked me up that morning in her minivan along with a couple of other bridesmaids and we all went to get our hair done first. My hair dresser at the time had a huge bridal breakfast spread, complete with mimosas, and I partook in one, or two or get the drift. I just needed to relax a bit. From there, we all headed to the church to start getting ready. My bridesmaids did an incredible job of making me feel special that day. We got to church early, so we hung out, laughed, cried a bit, ate some food and then before I knew it, it was time to get ready. My seamstress delivered my dress and I was ready to go!

Kan and I opted for pictures before the wedding (one of the best decisions of the day). Those 20 minutes of just us, getting our pictures made, were the only 20 minutes we had to ourselves until we left the reception. It was sweet and a precious time I will treasure. We did all of our pictures beforehand so it felt like a huge party with family and bridal party members floating in and out of the church. The guys had two TV's in their room and were bringing round the clock football scores to those who were in the church (Tates Creek Presbyterian Church, Lexington, Kentucky). It was very relaxed.

Finally, 6:00 came and it was time to march in! I remember they lined my bridesmaids up and left me in the bridal room by myself and I started to tear up, so my maid of honor came back and waited with me. It was time. I was excited and so nervous...not about marrying Kan...but just nervous. You think about this day your whole life and then it is finally here and you are like "Oh my goodness. This is it." I walked down the aisle to "Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee" and as the congregation stood up I simply was overwhelmed with how many people were there. So many people from so many different parts of our lives were there to celebrate us and encourage us. It truly was unbelievable.

Our ceremony was short and sweet - 20 minutes - not kidding. We walked down the aisle and hopped on a trolly and rode with our wedding party to the reception at The Red Mile Clubhouse. I loved the trolly! It was so fun to have everyone on it. We got to the reception and as we walked in to "Rocky Top" (yes, that is how much I love my husband) I knew it was going to be a fun night. We went through the things you have to do pretty quickly - cut the cake, toasts, first dance (Harry Connick's version of "It Had to be You,") dance with Dad (Keb Mo's version of "Isn't She Lovely" - if you have not heard of Keb Mo, go check him out - he is fabulous and Kan introduced me to him on an early date), and the dollar dance. Ok, so you do not have to do the dollar dance, but we did and considered it our receiving line. From there, Kan and I split ways for the evening - he went downstairs and watched football with the guys and I switched from heels to my ballet slippers to enjoy live music with G Funk and the All Stars. I think he came up for one or two dances, but for the most part it was me and whoever else wanted to join me on the dance floor. And, I was totally ok with that. I LOVED our reception. I had so much fun. I danced all night. I did not worry about not talking to every single person. Maybe that is rude, but I had my own personal G Funk party. I was not going to spend 3/4 of it talking. I gave my parents the duty to talk to their friends, and I called it a night! G Funk is my all time favorite band from my college days so needless to say when I found out their costs were within my band budget, I jumped on it. They did take a 10 minute break, long enough for me to play "Brass Monkey" and "Come on Eileen" on a CD, but they played for three hours and it was so so fun.

Last call came and it was time to go. We totally forgot our food they had prepared for us, which I was pretty disappointed in because I did not taste anything and heard it was fabulous. Instead I had a hamburger via room service. Oh well. At least my folks enjoyed it the next day. From there, we ventured off on our honeymoon to Antigua for a week of rest and relaxation. The only detour on our honeymoon was a weather delay on the way, which caused us to spend one night in Puerto Rico on our way. Turns out it was a Monday night, which meant Monday Night Football, and it was on a huge screen in the casino of the Ritz Carlton. It was Kan's lucky night - Peyton Manning and The Colts were playing. I think he knew he married the right girl when I agreed to have beer and wings and watch The Colts while staying in the Ritz.

So, yes, it was a very very good day in my life. However, it was not the BEST day, because the days with my partner in crime simply get better and better with each passing year. Here is to many many more...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Miyako-chan

Our sweet Miyako-chan turned three years old this week. My, how time flies. We had a great birthday with her, starting with a party then heading to the park for lunch with some friends. Then we came home, put on UNDERWEAR, and opened presents from mama, daddy, Nana, Opah, Grandma and Papaw. We had so much fun celebrating Miyako.

Her party was a huge success! We did a "Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" theme birthday party, and had people come in costumes. Miyako was Woodstock and the "K Man" was "Snoopy." Even Mama and Daddy had Charlie Brown T-shirts to support the theme. The only problem is both kids got hot in their costumes so we did not keep them on too long. Lots of friends came to help us celebrate. We had a craft time with foam pumpkins and stickers. We played Pin the Tale on Snoopy, naturally. We ate a pumpkin cake and pumpkin cupcakes! We opened presents. It was so much fun and we felt so blessed to spend the morning with friends. We have truly been blessed with such good friends here in Tokyo and are so very grateful.

From the party, we went to our local park to enjoy a bento lunch with two friends and play at the park. Miyako's best little girlfriend came along with us and she and Miyako had a ball playing together. Miyako even wanted to sleep with her present last night. So sweet. We came home, and put on UNDERWEAR! Remember, at age three, Miyako was going to wear underwear after her birthday party. And she did. We went to the mall next door to hear a concert and she had an accident, but we remained calm, took her home and she simply put on a new pair of underwear. I found that she would go wee wee a little bit in her underwear, stop, and run to the bathroom on the first day, but baby steps is all I was really looking for. The fact that she kept trying and did not go back to diapers encouraged me.

After dinner, which was leftover yakisoba (not a great home cooked meal by mama for her birthday, but she will not remember) we opened presents from family and she loved them all. We got her a Thomas the Train track set and when she saw "Thomas" on the box, she screamed "THOMAS!" Needless to say she was really excited. We had noticed lately that she enjoyed playing with train tracks when we went to friends' homes who had lots of trains, so we thought this would be a good gift, and we were right. I am sure though she will not be happy with it when the K Man is old enough to play with it. :) Sharing is not her favorite thing. She got callico critters from Nana and Opah, and she immediately had to take them out of the box. Grandma and Papaw sent her a V-Tech camera. It is high tech, and for our little photographer, she LOVES it.

It was a fun memorable day. It was so cute - Miyako did not even eat much breakfast because she said she was excited for her party. When we prayed last night, she was thankful for her party. She asked if she would have another one the next day. She also asked if she would be two years old the next day and wear diapers. NO! I have completed the first real day of potty training. We did great in the morning but had an accident at lunch time. We also went to the park behind our building and had a small accident there. But, she kept wearing underwear and did not go back to diapers, so we will keep pursuing this until it is finished. I think running a marathon is easier than potty training, but that is just an opinion. She really is doing GREAT, but it is very exhausting.

As for her third year stats, she is 34 pounds (15kg) and 36 inches (90-91 cm). Last year she was 82.5 cm. tall (32.4 inches) and 12.8 kilos (28 pounds). She is in the 75th percentile for weight and about 40th for height on US growth charts. She loves Charlie Brown, the Letter Factory DVD's, dancing, singing (Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes is a favorite), Anpanman, Disney, and dance parties. We love dance parties. I will say "Hands in the air" and she will scream "Hands in the air" and put her hands up. It is hilarious! She has a gift with music and you can tell she has an ear for it. You will find her tapping her foot to the beat of a song. It really is quite amazing for a three year old. She wants a big dog (because she is a big girl) with a pink tongue and a big girl piano, both of which we told her she cannot get until we have a house in America. She loves going to Robot Park and Midtown Park in Roppongi. She wants to take daddy to all kinds of parks. When we pass stations on the train while traveling, she will tell me what parks or play areas are at the stops. It is amazing to me what she remembers. She is very clever, if I do say so myself. She enjoys the nursery at church and BSF. She is demanding and can be whiny a lot, but she is three so that is to be expected. She talks constantly, and quotes Charlie Brown A LOT! She is picking up more Japanese. I can tell in sports class she seems to understand the teacher a lot better now than what she did when we started in April. However, she still does not speak it in sentences. She simply says words. That is ok though - she will go to yochien in April and I think her speaking of Japanese will develop quickly. At bed time, she wants to sing Christmas songs - we sing the same three songs every night - "Hark the Herald," "Away in a Manger" and "Santa Clause is Coming to Town." I could go on and on, but these are things that come to my head as I type.

Miyako-chan, you are a very sweet girl. Mama and Daddy love you so so very much. Happy third birthday dear. May you know the love of Christ all your days and follow Him with all your heart.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

K Man - Six Months

My sweet little K Man is 6 months old today. I really really cannot believe it. We went to the doctor yesterday and drum roll please...he is a whopping 19 pounds (75th percentile for US standards) and 26 inches long (35-40th percentile). Seriously. I am not kidding. Miyako also had her 3 year check up and was 34 pounds (15 kg) so you do the math - between a stroller and sling I carry around 53 pounds in extra body weight. Why on earth is it taking me so long though to lose this baby weight? Well, we will not go there, but I sure do get my work out with these two.

Snoop T (as UT likes to call him) is happy and healthy, so what more could a mama ask for? He is rolling over fairly well. He does not roll across the room per se, but he can get from his back to his tummy fairly easily. He cannot get from his tummy to his back. He laughs and smiles a lot...big fabulous smiles. I pray he always has this joyous disposition that he seems to have had since easy going and laid back. Rarely does the little man cry unless he is getting shots or wants a bit of attention or is tired. Dirty diapers do not even seem to bother him. He simply rolls with the punches. He is babbling a lot these days and giving those little baby shouts that say "Oh, what is this? A voice?" Kan swears when he came in last night from work, the K Man looked up from his pack and play (which is still in the hallway) and said "da da." I am not sure about that one, but I will let him believe it for a little bit of love and encouragement. :) Yes, he is still sleeping in the hallway (Kei, not Kan). My reasoning behind it is he still has his dream feed (which we will stop in about 3 weeks after being on solids) and gets up at 7 where as Miyako gets up at 8 or later some days. I cherish that hour in the morning with just Kei before Big Sister gets rearing to go. I did not want them sharing a room and his schedule disrupting her schedule. I was thinking when we came back from the US at Christmas, and jet lag messed us up, I would put him on the same 8 to 8 schedule as Miyako so bed times would be the same and sharing a room would be a bit easier, but that trip is kind of up in the air now so I am not sure when the transition will take place. Basically I just do not want to have to deal with demanding Big Sister whining about sharing a room...I think I will tackle potty training first!

Speaking of Big Sister, the K Man LOVES her! He laughs at her and watches her all the time. She likes him, for the most part, except when we pray at night and I pray for Kei. Her response is "I do not want to pray for Kei" followed by chuckles. Stinker. Oh and she really does not like him when we skype with Grandma and Papaw or Nana and Opah. She does not want to share Skype - she will even say that - and she wants the people skyping to always look at her. Tomorrow is her 3rd birthday and Saturday is our 6th Anniversary. This is a big week for us!

K Man, you are Mama's sweet baby boy. I am completely smitten with you. Your smiles make the darkest of days light up. I am so grateful God put you in this family. I love you big boy! Mama.