Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dress Up

I was getting out old baby clothes for baby #3 and stumbled across some old Halloween costumes. To say the kids had fun trying them on is an understatement. The costumes were a bit snug and short, but somehow they got them on and managed to play in them most of the day. So cute...glad I kept the costumes!

Celebrating Daddy

On Monday, Daddy turned the big 40! We had fun celebrating him on Sunday and Monday. Sunday night we hosted our pastor and his wife for a chili dinner and cheesecake dessert, one of daddy's favorite desserts. The kids sang very loud for him and helped him blow out the candles (not 40 of them, by the way, just 6 candles at random). We always enjoy the company of our pastor and his wife so it was a nice quiet dinner to help celebrate daddy. On his actual birthday, Monday, he took a half day off work and we took the kids ice skating at Midtown in Roppongi. This has become somewhat of a tradition for us, to ice skate at this particular park each year, and the husband and I wondered together if we would be doing the same thing next year at this time. The K Man was a bit more scared than he was last year when we took him, but after a bit he felt more comfortable. Miss M loves ice skating. She uses the skates with a double blade so she can go by herself, but we would like to have her try the single blade skate. Maybe she can go on a date with daddy so he does not have to be holding the K Man and Miss M when she is on the single blade. We followed it up with the regular post ice skating fun at Dean and Deluca for some fancy hot cocoa and headed home. I made the husband another favorite, chicken parmesan with sauteed zuchini and rice, naturally, and we enjoyed leftover cheesecake for dessert. We have been saying that this year would be a big year for us in terms of making decisions about our future and where we want to settle a bit. We have been in Tokyo now five years, and each year we keep wondering do we stay or do we go back to the US. With the husband turning 40, having a third baby, and the kids getting a bit older, we feel like it is time to settle somewhere. We have no idea where that will be, but we are excited at what God has in store for us and we eagerly approach his throne of grace for wisdom and discernment. Celebrating daddy was a lot of fun this year, and I could not be more blessed to share this life on earth with him. I am more in love with him now than I was nine years ago when we were first married, and I love watching God change him and grow him into a faithful leader and follower of Christ. Here is to many more birthday celebrations together...

Friday, January 16, 2015

Scrapbook Day January 15, 2015

So, a new year calls for a new scrapbook day - the 15th of each month. This month, the 15th was on a Thursday. And it rained ALL day! And it was cold! So, we did the bare minimum...our one activity was sports class for the K Man in the morning, so we ventured out for that. Then we came home, finished school, played games, and stayed warm and dry. Daddy had a late night for work and would not be home for dinner so we ate leftovers and enjoyed playing with our toys. I love that the kids enjoy playing games, even if they sometimes fight during the games. :) I have posted lots of pics of the kids on scrapbook days, but today I will leave you with a beautiful picture of the sunset from our balcony a few days ago that the husband caught on camera. I never get tired of our view.

Harumi Reunion

I have blogged in the past about the community we have made in our building. We live in a tall tower and behind it is two parks surrounded by shorter buildings. We made quite a few friends through the community of our "neighborhood" but two families moved within the past two years back to their hometowns of Sapporo and Nagoya. Last weekend they were all in Tokyo and we had a full day reunion on Sunday with a play at the park, a walk to the local mall, lunch, a play at another park, a play at the gas museum, and then dinner together in our party room in our building. It was so much fun. The kids had a ball seeing their old friends and I loved watching Miss M and the K Man be so comfortable with these dear friends.

Snow Fun 2015

Over the New Year holiday we went to Karuizawa for one night to let the kids play in the snow. We stayed at these fabulous little cabins in the woods and will definitely be going back once the weather is warmer. You could simply watch your kids run and play outside from the living room window. The kids had a ball playing in the snow. A friend showed me around the little town and introduced me to some fabulous French and German bakeries. She also gave me a history lesson of when the cabins were built and the purpose behind them, to provide a place for missionaries to come and relax when they cannot fly all the way home for the summer. Before heading back to Tokyo, we took the kids sledding and tubing. Mama was the official photographer. The kids had a ball and the K Man especially loved going fast on the tubes and sleds. It was a nice little get away during the New Year break and we were glad the kids got one good play in the snow before baby 3 makes his entrance into the world.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Pics of the Potty Trained Cutie Pie

For some reason my pics did not upload of the K Man...our cutie pie who is now officially potty trained.

Here you go...

Potty Training Number 2

This little cutie pie is potty trained, at least during the day time. Knock on wood I have had it fairly easy with potty training. With Miss M, she showed interest at 2.5 when we brought little bro home from the hospital. Conveniently every time I went to nurse the baby she had to go potty. I did not want to discourage it but it was rather a nuisance. It lasted about 2 weeks and she was back to diapers. A month before her third birthday we told her she would wear underwear when she turned three. Sure enough, after her third birthday party, she came home, put on underwear, had a few accidents and was potty trained. The night time training took a bit longer but that did not bother me so much. With the K Man, I had no interest in doing it when he turned three because we were heading to fly to America for the summer. I just did not want to have to deal with potential mess. So, around November, we started telling him that on Christmas Day he would put on underwear. He fought it on Christmas Day and finally put it on around 1PM. We had several accidents that day and a few more the next day, so we told him when he went out he could wear a diaper. However, after a few days, we saw he wanted to go potty even when we were out. Now, today on January 8th, he is potty trained during the day and doing fabulous. We have been out in underwear four days now and have not had one accident. Before I had kids I said I would potty train at age child needs to be in diapers after 2. Well, I am here to attest that I was wrong. Some kids are ready at age 2, but my experience has been waiting until 3 and 3.5 has been well worth it. I would much rather potty train in a few days and be done with it than do it earlier, try to force it, and have accidents all the time. I am thankful that I will have a few weeks of no day time diapers before baby 3 comes to greet us. I am also thankful that I learned my lesson - each child is different, each parent is different, and there is no reason to make major generalizations about such big issues like potty training, especially before you try it. Now, if I could only make him grow a few inches so when he stands on the stool, he is tall enough to hit the big bowl. Right now, we sit for the sake of cleanliness. Another milestone - he got his hair cut today and for the first time wore the cape and did not pitch a fit or make me hold him while he squirmed away from the scissors. He also requested to watch Frozen in Japanese. Hilarious. He is by far one of the cutest three year old boys I know. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Christmas Day

The husband took off on Christmas Day so we could celebrate as a family. After a late evening the night before I was hoping the kids would sleep in but no such luck. Miss M was up at 7:30 and woke her brother up shortly thereafter to check out the goods from Santa. We let the kids open stockings first and then after breakfast they can do presents. I try to keep a few toys in the stockings that are small so they have something to play with while I prepare Snowman pancakes with homemade whip cream and fresh berries. The K Man was quite content playing with his new fire rescue matchbox Dusty airplane. Miss M was quite unsatisfied wanting to open the rest of her presents. After breakfast we opened gifts. The ones from grandparents were as many as the ones from us. Again, the K Man would play with his presents for a bit after he opened one, but Miss M just wanted to go to the next present. Everything for the K Man revolved around transportation: shinkansens, a helicopter, a taxi, and a red local train from Kyoto. For Miss M, it was princess toys, Rapunzel dress up and legos. Last year we had a delayed gift from Mrs. Clause when we realized Christmas Eve night the one thing she wanted did not make it in the amazon order. We made up a story that Mrs. Clause was sending a gift to thank her for the cookies Santa shared with her. A few weeks ago she mentioned how she needs to leave Mrs. Clause cookies so she can get another gift later. Well, would you not believe the one thing she wanted (a Callico critter camper van so she can take her animals on "holiday" like Peppa Pig does) had to be ordered from the UK and is delayed! So, we made up the story and once it arrives we will pull out magna tiles for the K Man as a thank you from Mrs. Clause. Maybe next year I should shop in June! After presents and playing, we ventured out to church for an evening Christmas service, the first one our church has had. Overall it was a fabulous day as a family. For New Years Day we had a lazy day. The husband fixed traditional Japanese New Years Day foods for us and the kids tried everything. Like Thanksgiving, they asked for more rice and seaweed! We used it as an opportunity to explain that they will grow to like these traditional foods and they get the best of both worlds as they can have both American and Japanese traditions. The husband and K Man ventured to the park while Miss M and I stayed inside all day playing with our toys and Uno attack, a new family favorite from Christmas. We have so much to be grateful for from 2014 and I look forward to seeing what is in store for 2015. Enjoy the pictures - they highlight decorating Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve, a last meal with our dear friends who moved back to England on 12/23, Christmas Eve dinner and a skype date with our friends in the Netherlands, Christmas morning, and New Years Eve sunset from our balcony, New Years Day meal and enjoying our gingerbread houses, and the view of Tokyo Tower from our balcony New Years Day night. Happy 2015! I cannot wait to see what is in store for us and for each of you. I pray we know God better a year from today than we do right now, and we are serving him as a family and loving others well.