Friday, April 29, 2011

Photo Friday - Week 20

Today's the beginning of Golden Week Vacation for us (John). So we're looking at a 4-day weekend together. Yay!

Lola continues to be a dreamy baby.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


We did celebrate a little Easter at La Casa de los Lemleys. We had some friends over on Saturday night and we dyed Easter eggs, then Maximo woke up on Sunday to a basket full of goodies and an Easter egg hunt. Since we live overseas and do not watch TV besides downloaded shows and movies, Max doesn't have any idea about many commercial things or all the junk that there is out there for kids. So, while some plastic Easter eggs were filled with jelly beans, just as many were filled with peanuts, pecans and pistachios and he loved them just the same. He didn't even know all the Easter candy he was missing - the chocolate, the Peeps have by-passed us another year.

I didn't get any Easter-y photos. We didn't have a big family dinner nor put on our Sunday finest. However, I did get some other photos from the day. On (Rokko) Island, there was a festival for Easter which had about 50 food stalls (Asian street food is the best!) from different restaurants, so we meandered around and ate and ate and ate (Japanese, Indian, Korean, Sri Lankan, Turkish).
There were also stalls selling produce and other fun things for the kiddos to do.

Maximo's highlight was riding the horse:

Life is going by fast. I can't believe the kids and I will be heading to the US in less than 4 weeks. While I'm excited for this, I'm not excited that my maternity leave is also coming to an end. The weather continues to be fickle - with varying temperatures and quite a bit of rain.

I've updated the April Photo Album, and posted my favorites in this post from this past week:
Children's Day Carp hanging over the River Mall

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Photo Roundup

Just a few photos from the week:I made that bow!
I've been loving the sewing machine and have gotten a bit crafty lately.

Hand-me-down walker -
Lola can't touch the ground yet, but both kids loved playing with it today!

Max helped me make pasta for dinner.
He could roll it with the machine all by himself.
It was actually a great help!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Photo Friday - Week 19

Lola Caroline - 19 weeks

Lola Fun Fact: She weighs a bit over 16 lbs. Better than that - she has 5 rolls from butt to the back of her knee!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We Could Only Make Faces At Ourselves in the Mirror

Our kids are definitely growing up in a different world than we did. Max thinks everything digital is a touch screen right now, which is quite humorous.

Who doesn't love PhotoBooth? It's so easy - to make a quick movie, to take a photo, and it's an easy way to take little snippets of our life hanging around the house. Unfortunately, it records like a mirror, so the image is backwards, but otherwise it's just a one quick click solution for impromptu performances.

Lola has found her voice in the past two days. She woke up this morning and sang/yelled to the ceiling for about twenty minutes while I tried to steal a couple more minutes of sleep.

Here is her video debut and then a couple of Max who enjoyed looking at himself more than actually performing on cue.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Photo Friday - Week 18

Lola - 4 Months old
Lola's First Party (Dress) - Denis's 4th birthday

I had no intention of matching them. I didn't even realize I had until they were in the living room together. Blame it on "Mommy Brain". I also didn't realize I wore my cardigan inside out all day too.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Playdate

Eager for our guest to arrive

Today, Maximo had a friend over. It makes him seem so big, not that everything he is doing right now makes him seem like he'll be walking out the front door for college soon, or anything.

He is fascinated with picnics right now, so he wanted to have a picnic with his friend, Kiyona. Luckily, we have a miniscule backyard, so it was easy to throw something together rather than lug food and three kids somewhere. He helped with every step, from the grocery shopping (he picked out a juice box for each one of them at the store, and a muffin at the bakery, then put them in his bike basket to bring home), to choosing the menu, to helping prepare the food (he chose the cookie cutters for the sandwiches and decided who got what shape). = very cute!

They had their lunch together in the warm sunshine:

Then I brought out the small tent where they played and read books...
and then the mayhem began...

(Every time I look at this photo, I laugh out loud!)

Rolling the tent over!

They had a blast together. Max then had his last swim class of the session (HE DIDN'T GET A FAILING REPORT CARD THIS TIME!) and now he's passed out from his action-packed day.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Living in Japan - Sakura & Ohanami

I love this time of year, besides the sheer beauty of all the cherry blossoms, it also means that the cold weather is ALMOST gone. Winters are not horribly bad here in Kobe, but apartments are not insulated and we don't have central heating, so it's pretty cold. While I love being somewhere with an autumn again, I don't know if winter makes it worth it.

It's exciting when almost every store puts out their cherry blossom displays - whether it be the grocery store with their picnic mats and good picnic food displays or the stationary store with its gorgeous selection of cherry blossom paper and stickers. On the news, they post a Cherry Blossom Forecast (Prime Sakura Viewing), so one (hundreds of people) knows the best spots to visit to view the peak of the flowers. All things pink and the delicate flowers abound inside and out right now!

Sakura is the Japanese word for Cherry Blossoms. And Ohanami is what one does to enjoy the flower blossoms... Picnic under the cherry blossoms. It is taken very seriously here - if you couldn't tell by the cherry blossom forecasts. Often times, someone from an office will go a stake claim to prime places under the cherry blossoms and leave picnic blankets out for when the rest of the workers are done with work. This year, since the country is in a time of mourning, corporations are not having large drunk fests ohanami celebrations, but there are plenty of family and friends out enjoying the beautiful spring weather and blossoms this week.

Yesterday, we went to Sakura Sakagawa which is a man made river embankment with about row of about 200 yards worth of Sakura trees. We had a great time with a few friends and their families and another few hundred people.

The weather was perfect and we got right next to a tree so when the wind blew it snowed cherry blossoms. Unfortunately, I didn't get great pictures, but we had a wonderful afternoon!

Max just set up his Elmo tarp and is opening his bento lunch

Lola's first Ohanami

Friday, April 08, 2011

Tiptoeing Through the Tulips & Singing in the Rain

It is 60 degrees today, but rainy. Maximo is not one who does well when cooped up in the house all day, so we threw on our rain boots (I love mine - I don't think I've ever owned a pair before this year), ponchos AND umbrellas (Max loves to accessorize) and we headed outside.

On Rokko Island right now there is the Tulip Festival - a 20 meter by 2 meter plot of land loaded with tulips. Max loves flowers, so we tiptoed through to smell the tulips and listen to Max yell, "Mommy, take my picture, right here with the flowers."

We had to work on the placement of the umbrella.

"Max, just move the umbrella away from your face and say 'Cheese'"...

*All photos taken with an iPhone and baby strapped to chest

Photo Friday - Week 17

The flowers are blooming all around outside and on Lola!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Looky-Looky and Our Big Date

Yesterday was our 9 YEAR ANNIVERSARY! Sometimes it feels like another life ago that we got married in Savannah. Many many good things have happened to us since then, most importantly being these two beautiful babes we call our own.

Last night we went out on a date. Normally we don't get out much during the week, but John said he'd rather celebrate on the real day rather than the weekend, and I agree, it was much more special celebrating ON our anniversary.

John recommended that we eat at the place we stumbled upon on our first date (out alone) in Japan, which happened to be an Italian restaurant in Sannomiya near the train station, called Gnocchi. That first night out was frustrating, we were out for our first night alone (without friends or kids) and wanted to try something new. Unfortunately, without recommendations, sometimes it's hard to find restaurants that have English menus, and often times we end up eating at the same five places over and over and over again.

Anyhow, Lola goes down like a dream at 6:00, the babysitter arrives for Maximo and we head out for our big night out. We arrive at Gnocchi and ask for the English menu, WHICH THEY NO LONGER HAVE- Yikes! We both look at each other, with that "Oh, crap" look in our eyes. There were no pictures nor fake food displays, either (which are helpful and are in most restaurants) and one of the few things I can say is, "Kore wo kudasai" (That, please), so we can usually survive with these visuals. I know. After two years, our Japanese is pathetic.

BUT, our waitress was very sweet and spoke relatively good English and translated the set menu for us - but had to quack for the duck entree because she couldn't remember the word. We shared fish carpaccio, a bacon and onion pizza, gnocchi, we both ordered the duck, which was delicious and had apple tart for dessert. What we thought was going to be a rough meal was excellent and just what we needed. AND they had a (all-you-can-drink-for 90-minutes- wine bar) special, which we took advantage of too.

On a side note, it's quite humbling living somewhere where we are almost completely illiterate. It really gives us perspective. Both in Peru and Japan, people have ALWAYS been super accommodating and helpful. Unfortunately, that is almost NEVER the case in the US. We've both seen instances where people have been extremely rude to people who do not speak English fluently and many Americans often have the mentality, "If you live in/visit the US, you should speak English". Thankfully, people have always been nice to us, especially on evenings like last night, where our anniversary could have turned into a disaster.

After a wonderful dinner, John pulls out a little box and gives me a BEAUTIFUL necklace that I had been spying. I was so excited - and even got a little teary-eyed at the restaurant.

We ended up having a great night out and realized that we need to try to do it more often, especially since I'm at home with the kids and don't feel guilty about leaving them for a few hours at night if I'm with them all day.

Also, Spring looks like it has arrived here... so life is good.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Daddy David!

Max is talking and talking and talking these days. He'll talk to himself for about an hour before he drifts off to sleep at night and he'll point out everything he sees while he's out,
"Look Mommy, a bug!"
"Look Daddy, a crane!"

He narrates just about everything he is doing.

Many times he quotes his favorite tv shows, sometimes even in a British accent - like Charlie and Lola or he'll dictate whole stories about his trains.

Lately, he's said some super funny things that we wanted to share (and not forget ourselves).

1. Let me preface this one by saying that in true Mommy form, I use Maximo's full name (Maximo David) when he's in trouble or I really need his attention. The other day John was about to cross the street (Max is very cautious and mindful of the "rules") and Max got nervous because he didn't see the green pedestrian sign, and yelled out,
"Daddy DAVID!"

2. Today when I was helping him put on his socks while I had Lola in the Baby Bjorn.
"Mommy, he's dripping. Mommmmmmmy, HE'S DRIPPING." (Lola was drooling)

3. Maximo was looking at my stomach tonight, so I asked him, "What do you think that is, Maximo?" (Wondering if he has any recollection or connection of Lola being in my belly)
"A stain."

Friday, April 01, 2011

Photo Friday - Week 16

It's been a rough week with Lola. I'm chalking it up to a growth spurt. For the past 4 DAYS! she has eaten every 2 hours 24 hours/day. So, I'm exhausted and I think I've lost ten pounds, but finally last night, she slept for a five hour stretch, so hopefully we're back to our normal routine. She's spoiled us with her easy going demeanor and her great sleeping, so I was feeling a bit rough. I'm glad she didn't do this while we were in Guam and all sharing the same room, because no one would've gotten any sleep.

And here is the start of the April photo album, with some shots of day. It was gorgeous out today, so we spent a lot of time outside.