Monday, February 28, 2011

Rainy Days Are Here Again

I while back I posted about my early Christmas present to myself. Since I haven't been on my bike lately, I decided to fasten it to the stroller. The stroller is now an all-weather vehicle with rain guard to keep Lola dry and an umbrella stand to hold the umbrella so Mom can text or drink her coffee while meandering around town.

Last Spring was SUPER rainy, and I really hope since I'm home this Spring that it won't be as bad, but this week has been quite wet so far. Since our place is so small and there's not a ton of things to do with kids when it's raining, except to go to indoor play areas (which I can only take so much of), I'm trying to get more creative with activities for Max.

So, this week, we've been practicing the letter A.He still confuses his lower case a,b, and d's pretty badly, so I'm trying to find fun things to practice them - like making little a's out of Cheerios and tiny strips of nori.I found this fun activity, where he could be a little paleontologist. Since the grocery store is labeling more things in English (yay, Gourmet City), I found unflavored gelatin to make a dinosaur jello mold an authentic excavation site.

He loved it and it was perfect entertainment for him while we got dinner ready tonight!

Here are the little ones cuddling together on the couch

Lola playing on the floor.
She LOVES this octopus my students got her
and gives it goofy smiles all the time.
And I made this, Chocolate-Avocado Pudding, yesterday, and I just wanted to share, because even though it sounds kind of gross, it was really good. The avocado really made a pudding-like consistency and I felt like it was a wee bit healthier than regular pudding. I didn't go all out and make the cute flower pot treat, I just made the pudding part because I came across the recipe and had an avocado that wasn't going to last too much longer.

** Since this blog has turned into ramblings of the week, I'll explain the new blog banner. John turns forty this month, so I decided to dedicate the banner to him for the whole month. Wasn't he so cute? **

Friday, February 25, 2011

Photo Friday - Week 11

Here she is as cute as she can be!

I tried to get one with big brother, but failed. He was arching his back trying to get her off of him.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Screenshot from:

Lola (above) is starting to lose her hair, hopefully it won't look as bad as Maximo's did!

The tough tummy time = baby workout = strong neck!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Fun Long Weekend

We went to the Oji Zoo on Saturday. Which was nice. cheap and easy to get to - all three of these combined aren't always common. Max loved it. There are more pictures in our Picasa album here.

And today, we got a BIG BOY BIKE!!!

He smiled the whole time he rode home from the store. He was very proud to be able to put groceries in his basket too.

We bought it at the grocery store and the guy wouldn't let John leave without first registering it and second, giving it a safety check!

As you can see from the video, kids' bikes here all have hand breaks. We haven't taught him how to use them yet, because he hasn't been going too fast. For the first five minutes he would pedal with his right leg then coast/pedal backwards with his left. Surprisingly, this did propel him forward. By the last block before our house, he was pedaling with both legs, but he looking down at his legs, rather than forward. We'll get there!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Photo Friday - Week 10

Wow! Lola's in the double digits!

Bath time with Lola
I finally got a picture of her newly discovered smile!

Today I took 52 pictures (exactly). And out of those I got a couple of really cute ones of both kids. But the majority of them I had to delete.
Most of them looked like this (or worse):

Once again it was an eventful week at Los Lemleys, the highlight being a visit to the emergency room. On Wednesday night, Maximo fell off of one of the chairs in our kitchen and hit the floor with his head without breaking his fall with his limbs. He cried for a bit, but what made us really nervous, was that he threw up twice within a couple hours of it happening. John took him to the emergency room where he had a cat-scan. Things seemed to look okay. I watched him like a hawk all day on Thursday and Friday. He still made me nervous on Thursday because he was acting a bit lethargic, but I think it was because he got to bed late on Wednesday due to his hospital visit. He seems to be okay, but it scared the heck out of us.

Today we were hanging out at home when I heard him saying, "M-A-X-I-M-O. Look Mommy, 'Max'".
I looked down on the floor to see this:
He's been fascinated with spelling things lately - mostly making things up. But, he can spell his name. Unfortunately he's a bit confused reading backwards and forwards. It may be due to the fact that when his senseis read to him at school, they read books right to left, or it could have been that big knock to his cranium.

Monday, February 14, 2011

All You Need Is Love

Here's Valentines Day 2011
Part II:

Max and I making homemade conversation hearts

A great use of old Christmas candy canes

I can't get cheesy love songs/lyrics out of my head now

Max's lunch (above) and after nap snack (bel0w)

And even though a 3 year old and a 2 month old don't make for a super romantic setting, Max and I put together a "special dinner" for Daddy. We had Kobe beef, scallops, asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and hot crash potatoes for dinner finished off with chocolate cupcakes. Max INSISTED we make cake for Daddy - I think he thought it was his birthday. We even lit candles and drank out of fancy glasses while it snowed outside. Tres romantique!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love, Love, Love

Here's Part I:
Valentines Day 2011

After much concentration, Maximo doing " I Love You" in sign language.

Cookies we made for Max's friends at Yume Club

Friday, February 11, 2011

Photo Friday - Week 9

It was a good and busy week. On the milestone front, Lola is starting to smile at us and Maximo woke up two times completely dry. He's been truly potty trained for some time, but we haven't been able to master the night time.

On Sunday, he and I had a much needed date at the community pool while John and Lola went walking on the Green Belt, on Monday, Max had music and Movement class. On Thursday, Max had swim clas and Friday, (hence the dress in the picture) Lola had a little shower graciously hosted by our friends and colleagues. The weeks are flying by!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Insert Chunky Monkey

It's really horrible how easy it is to order stuff from the states and have it shipped here. We use a service called ExPat Express and with a few clicks on the internet, we can get just about anything here - except grains and over a month's supply of vitamins/supplements.

I ordered a few things for John's birthday, which of course turned into about 20 things more...
Seriously, I cannot wait to get Lola into these. So cute!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

2 month check up

I told myself (and you) that I wouldn't obnoxiously post every one of Lola's health check up statistics, but here I am typing this... We went to the doctor's today - the pediatrician we'll end up using for Lola, one that Max has seen a few times when he was sick last year(but not for a check up - oops, at least he has to have one before he enrolls in school in the fall).

It's funny how different this time around it is, with, well, everything. At first, there was mention of a double chin... (not mine, mind you), then the doctor said that the baby's head and stomach are usually about the same size at this age, but Lola's stomach is much larger than her head.

My reply, "Well, she's a good eater."

The doctor's reply, "There can be too much weight gain."

Ha. After all the measurements were taken, she fell into the "pretty little blue shaded in area" - within limits on the growth chart. (She's 12.5 lbs and 22.5 inches.)

I remember leaving in tears the first time I took my first cat to the vet and they told me he was overweight. And of course there was all the millions of weight checks for Maximo, which indeed stressed us out.

Lola will be just fine. (Our second kid mantra)

She had her first set of vaccinations today which she did NOT like. Of course it's different in every country, and we're trying to stick with a US schedule, more or less. Luckily this doctor is open to an American schedule. Unfortunately, in Japan, they don't mix all the vaccinations into one super cocktail shot, so Lola had to endure three shots today. Vaccinations always make me nervous. I know they are important. But her little body, is so, well, little. And she's had nothing going into that little body but milk. Again, she'll be fine. She's sleeping them off now.

I have no pictures of her this week (thankfully, Fridays force me to take at least one picture!) But I do have a cute one of big brother with the love of his life (besides us, of course):

Friday, February 04, 2011

Photo Friday - Week 8

We're finding a bit of a routine. which is nice. She takes a great nap in the morning, and then kind of cat naps in the afternoon. She sleeps beautifully in the stroller and the Baby Bjorn, so shopping and taking Maximo to the playground has been a breeze.

She has been going to sleep all on her own at night, but needs to be in a dark room to settle down. So I feed her around 8, then put her back in the room by herself and she puts herself to sleep. She's done a couple of 5 hour stretches, but nothing consistent yet.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

I tried.

Starting this month, Max is going to daycare part time. We couldn't justify sending him full time with me at home. We think it's important he still goes so he gets to play with his friends and so I get a little break. With the rules at his daycare, we had two part time options (with no exceptions or deviations from these options).
1. Part time until 12:30 pm everyday OR
2. 10 days per month

Before we talked with the main sensei about our part time plans, we were planning on putting him in Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays, but no go.

So, I randomly picked ten days for the month of February, trying to give him consecutive days when he did go so he was following some sort of routine.

Unfortunately at the time, I didn't really think about any special days or to ask the daycare about any trips or upcoming fun events, so today, Max missed Setsubun at daycare. I wrote about it last year here. Last year he was petrified of the "oni" (ogre) and almost every kid was screaming when I went to pick him up that day. This year he's more into it. Yesterday he told me, "Mommy, I'm not scared of the oni."

Anyhow, with a "buy at the grocery store packet" I tried to do it at home.

Mame - beans to throw at the oni

I really, really hope none of my Japanese neighbors saw or heard us. I couldn't remember what the kids said to the oni and I definitely don't know the Japanese, so Max pretty much just pelted me with beans while Lola slept today. Then we ate little mochi cakes.

Eating mochi cakes - chewy and good!

Mochi cakes wrapped (above) and naked (below)

We had fun and did it in the confines of our little backyard so we didn't offend any Japanese or their culture (or become the neighborhood laughing-stock).

Max's homemade oni mask from school with fangs and stickers

Side note: In making the link to my last year's post, I noticed the Japanese and translation of what the kids are supposed to yell at the oni. Too late now!

I'm kind of embarrassed (of my pathetic attempts, of my oni growls, of our dead grass, of our laundry) to post this, but, here is the video...