Saturday, August 27, 2011

Maximo is 4! Things That Go Party

I always think of a theme a few months before Maximo's party and then look for things while I'm out and about. Last year was the "Ocean Theme" and today was "Things that GO!". I didn't tie all the details together as much as I wanted because now there is two and it was a really busy week.

I had a couple of students come to help out and I gave them the camera to take pictures since I had my hands full. So there are no photos of the little details like the submarine sausages. But you can see the "stoplight" cupcakes and tons of the kids playing.

We invited Maximo's new class and some of our friends' kids. It was a grand time, but it was super hot! My classroom is located outside next to the playground, so after about four trips on my bike to bring things up, we were set to go. We had to keep chasing Maximo out of my room because it was cool in my room. We kept it fairly simple. It was nice to meet some of the parents of kids in Maximo's class.

I took a little video of the birthday song:

And here are the pictures:
And now the festivities are over.
In a few hours we'll have a 4 year old.
And we have a day to regroup before going back to work!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Photo Friday - Week 37

Just kidding, here it is:

It took a few this morning. We kept her in her jammies because these are a pair of our favorite hand-me-downs from Maximo.

School Party 2011

Enjoy this! John and I went to Maximo's classroom for his classroom birthday party. Being able to go to this is definitely a HUGE perk of working at the same place your kids goes to school.

Now we're planning for party 2, tomorrow at the playground. Tonight will be baking and getting everything organized...

More posts to come.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

First Day of School 2011

A new Lemley Family tradition, a first day of school picture:Los Lemleys - First Day of School - 18 August 2011

I was all stressed this morning trying to balance getting Maximo to class without incident, with all his supplies, and hurrying back to my own classroom to the crazy first day advisory (homeroom) which included handing out schedules, locks, etc., so I didn't get a picture of him going into his classroom.

He did well, although cried when it was time to leave (as he did yesterday when we were leaving Open House). This week and next week are transition weeks, so they only go half days. It's tough for him because we're not there to pick him up, he just goes across the hall to Peter Pan, the onsite childcare. I guess it's better to cry because he didn't want to leave rather than cry because he didn't want to go!

And of course, I had to make a cute first day of school lunch. Although I tried to make tamago (egg) sushi because he loves it, but I failed miserably. (I have the special pan, but lacking in the special technique!) He still ate it though.After school today, we had a Listening Conference with his teacher where we talked about Maximo and she took notes. It's a new type of parent conference the Elementary School is doing to establish a good relationship between families and teachers - to have a positive meeting where the teacher can learn more about his/her students and their families.

It takes a whole lot of planning and organization to get everyone packed and out of the house and to their respective places in the morning, but we survived day 1. Only 179 more days to go...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

An Interview with Maximo

@ Almost 4 years old.
1 day before his first day of "big boy school" - BBP @ Canadian Academy.
I originally grabbed the camera when he was showing the miniscule amount of loving Lola, but then thought it'd be good to get him to talk a bit more so we can remember what he was like at this age!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Survival Mode

John and I have started back to work and the kiddos are in their respective daycares. It's been an okay week. But there's a lot of planning and organization that goes into get the kids packed and out the door in the morning.

Blogging will slow down I'm sure now that I'm back to work, but I'll try my best!Here's little Lola with her "water spout" 'do. It's about the only thing I can do with her mohawk.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Photo Friday - Week 35

Lola Caroline wearing her yukata
@ 8 months
...Top two teeth popping through
... Still sleeping through the night (unless she has a 3:00 am bowel movement)
... Happily transitioning to daycare
... More sensitive skin issues (heat rash)

My last Photo Friday as a stay at home mom... It's been a wonderful 8 months!

Monday, August 08, 2011

1 More Week of Summer - Ick!

We've had a great summer, but now we only have a week left! John and I are flipping kid & work time to try to get some things done in our classrooms before the craziness starts on Monday.

These pictures are from last week when Max and I went to the River Mall.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Photo Friday - Week 34

Lola - just a few days shy of 8 months

Lola started going to daycare this week for a few hours a day, she is cutting her top two teeth and she started sleeping through the night in Max's room. Easy peasy. We'd have a boatload more if they were guaranteed to be this easy. Okay, maybe not.

For some "Photo Friday" photo shoots it takes 50 shots to find one decent one. Today wasn't one of those days. Today I had a hard time choosing, because there were so many good ones. Max and Flavius wanted in on the action too!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

They Did It!

Slept together in their bedroom, that is! And everyone *almost* slept through the night. We've been on a mission: "sleep through the night and everyone is in their own beds" since we arrived in Japan. It's been a slow and rather stress-free process that I'm glad we conquered before going back to work.

* almost because Lola cried a little bit at 3:00am, then Max called out, "Look, Daddy, Lola's awake!" but they fell asleep within 2 minutes with little intervention. Lola woke up with a poopy diaper, so that may have been the source of the cry... or not.

Since Lola has been doing fantastic sleeping through the night (Yes, I know that's where I curse myself), even though she started doing daycare 3 hours a day this week and her top two teeth and breaking through, we decided to put them together last night. Maximo has been so tired lately because he's pretty much totally outgrown his nap (I, however, never did). When he doesn't nap, we have a witching time of the day around 4:00 and it lasts until dinner time, but he's passed out asleep by 7:00.

We're still continuing to use the SleepEasy Solution as our sleep bible and it's really good. They had a section about siblings sleeping in the same room, so I read and re read it, then was ready to execute.

They make a suggestion to create a book when verbal kids are going through changes. It makes sense, we used Pirate Potty when we were potty training and we have a few "Starting Preschool" books that we've been reading lately too.

So, I quickly threw together a book (now I wish I spent a little more time on the wording, but oh well). I like the hand drawn one best, but there weren't enough graphics to engage Max, so I made one on the computer and added pictures of Maximo doing his bedtime routine.
Look how well rested we all look now!
Maximo took a pretty good picture!

OUR BOOK, if you're interested:
Max Lo La Bedtime Book

We put Lola down around 6:30 pm, then we read to Maximo in our bed, did our last bathroom run, then tiptoed "like little mice" into bed around 7:00 pm. Lola was fast asleep and Max did a good job of quietly getting into bed and getting situated.

And the rest is hopefully history...

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Living in Japan - Trash!

Trash! definitely needs an exclamation mark next to it in the title because it's really so exceptional what they do in Japan and it's something we have to be conscious of daily (like the cicadas, right now).

One of the reasons we love Japan is how clean it is. This is important when you have little kids who like to put everything in their mouths and touch everything when you go into a public restroom - ICK! The cleanliness in Japan is the polar opposite of that in Peru. Where we lived (Miraflores), a small affluent neighborhood in Lima, there were "human street sweepers" that kept the neighborhood relatively clean, but people would always let their dog poop and not clean it up and just throw trash on the ground without blinking an eye. Once you got out of the city or into some of the seedier parts of the city, there is trash everywhere - littering the streets and sometimes beautiful landscape or left burning in piles.

Again, when I write these Living in Japan blog series, I do not know everything. I will try not to post incorrect information on here, but it is my perspective and understanding of the culture and daily life. Mind you, I do not speak or read in Japanese.

Here's a picture of the English trash pick up flyer:
As you can see for yourself, it's pretty detailed. It's nice to feel that almost nothing goes to a landfill and sits, not that there is much space in Japan for that anyways. Normal trash gets burned at really high temperatures which supposedly doesn't have an detrimental effect on the environment because the temperature is so high. I tried to find information on this in English and failed.

Every day of the week, something gets picked up - burnable, non-burnable, PET and glass (bottles, glass, cans) and as of this past spring, they added a Plastics pick up - which takes care of many "packaging plastics" - plastic wrap, food containers, etc. There's also corregated cardboard pick-up every other week; it's important to plan your IKEA trips close to these days!

It takes a little getting used to, but when we were in the States it felt weird to just throw everything away (we were in a rental with no recycling directions or receptacles). Because right now when we compost too (we have a little yard), we have almost no burnable trash, everything is recyclable! And trash is serious business. Everyone pretty much complies, but there are normally video cameras at the gomi areas of apartment buildings, like ours to catch any offenders.

The only negative part of "Trash! in Japan" is that it is very hard to find trash cans out and about. Train stations have trash cans and places for plastics and bottles, but parks and other public areas do not. This is extra tricky when you are out with little kids and have paper wrappings or gasp! a stinky diaper and the stroller is already packed to the hills.

Oh, I take that back, there is one more negative aspect of trash in Japan. It is hard to get rid of things, especially large items. There are very few donation places (even with a great need in the North still) to get rid of large items, like a couch, baby toys or even baby clothes. In order to get rid of something that does not fall under the categories of the flyer, (I think) you need to call the city and you have to pay and they put a special sticker on it for pick up. Luckily, the school will take care of it for us, but we still need to pay, and get it to campus. It does make you think of your purchases, which is good. There is a lot of sharing and passing down of items which has been nice, since we haven't really bought ANYTHING for Lola, but there aren't any other baby girls on the Canadian Academy horizon, so I'm not sure what we'll do with all this "stuff" when we're done.