Archive for October, 2007

Fun Times

In : El Japan, Kiddo, Picture Pages, Posted by on Oct.10, 2007

We woke up on Sunday to clear skies and crisp weather.  We decided to head into downtown Kobe and see some stuff.  The girls were great, and we were able to eat in a real restaurant with beer.  Then we found a Gap and a Disney store, and then we wandered around some more.  We ended up in Chinatown in the late afternoon.  I managed to buy what I thought were sweet bao.  If you have ever eaten dim sum with us, you would know my obsession with pasty, steamed dough filled with yellow, yummy goodness.  However, I was only able to find red bean paste in the middle.  Todd was nice enough to eat them for me.  When we arrived back on the Island, the Halloween carnival was in full swing.  I took Riley to jump in the inflated tiger while Todd took Tess grocery shopping.  We paid 200 yen for 3 minutes.   Don't do the math.  It will just depress me.  After three minutes all of the kids got out — except Riley.  And actually her little "boy" friends stayed in too.  Laura and I frantically called for our kids to get out as there was a huge line of people waiting to go in. Riley laid on the floor of the tiger and pretended not to hear me. The guy who ran the tiger actually had to go in and get them.  It was embarrassing, but hilarious.   It was typical.  The only people who don't follow the rules in Japan are foreigners. 

Here are some photos from the day. 

Riley Sings!

In : El Japan, Kiddo, Posted by on Oct.10, 2007

Riley enthralls us all with her rendition of the ABCs.



In : El Japan, Kiddo, Picture Pages, Posted by on Oct.10, 2007

Fall is upon us. The leaves are turning beautiful colors. The weather is getting chillier. Our first long break is next week.

We are doing some finalizing of the apartment, but it will be a few more weeks before we have photos of finished apartment. Last week they delivered a new dining room table and a patio furniture set for our balcony. I also bought some plants, which I have yet to kill. Then we moved on the details. We bought some new pillows for the couch, and today we bought an ottoman and curtains for the living room. Now all we have left is to buy curtains for Tess's room, Riley's room, and our room. I hoping by Christmas that we have a completely finished apartment. Photos to come soon.

This month we also took some cute pictures of the kids, a beautiful sunset, and Halloween. We had our Halloween early because like I said earlier next week is fall break, so we needed to do it now before we all went on vacation. About 20 kids gathered on campus and the kiddos trick or treated at the admin houses, the on campus faculty houses, and the dorm. It was the perfect situation for our first trick or treating experience.

Photos of the month are here. Enjoy!


Riley’s Becoming a Big Girl

In : Kiddo, Posted by on Oct.10, 2007

We have been dealing with three major kid milestones with Riley over the last six months: sleeping in a big girl bed, potty training, and removing pacifiers from daytime use.

It hasn't been the best timing. We left everything Riley knew and loved in Peru. Lived for six weeks in the States where she became very close to all of her grandparents and her auntie. Then we moved 1000s of miles away to a new country. But I have never been one to shy away from difficult situations.

The big girl bed was a piece of cake. In Peru in March, Gloria, Riley and I went to a store where there was one toddler bed. I bought it, and Riley loved it. We have never looked back. After this easy milestone, I thought for sure that we were in for smooth sailing with Riley.

Potty training was a different story. She had no interest in Peru. We started putting her in panties while we were at home. That was messy and no progress was made. Then at the end of June we shipped our potty to Japan, so no progress was made during the summer. Upon arrival in Japan, we unpacked the potty and put it in the bathroom. One of the first couples we met, the Lindops, have a 3 year old, Maia, who is 9 months older than Riley. They said that bribing with ice cream worked well with their daughter. Immediately, Todd and I went to the store and bought little tiny containers of Haagen Daz strawberry ice cream. We explained the situation to Riley, and we thought there would be pee pee and poo poo in the potty within minutes. That was in August and we are still waiting. She can explain the cause and effect relationship between her potty use and ice cream perfectly. She will sit on the potty for extended periods of time as long as she has reading material, but no pee pee or poo poo will be in the potty when she gets up. Patience.

Finally, the removal her pacifier was the next hurdle in move towards being a big girl. She has used the same size pacifier (0-6 months) since she was a newborn. She must have (at least) one in her mouth and one in each hand. She wants her pacifiers whenever she is tired or stressed. She doesn't call them binkies, pacies, or soother. She calls her pacifiers "miamis." It is not pronounced like the city in Southern Florida, but more like "meame." We think it comes from Spanish for "mine for me." When she was 18 months old, we moved the miamis to only at night and we would put them at the far side of her crib so she couldn't get at them. It worked perfectly. Then she moved into a big girl bed (see above), and then she had access them all of the time, and they became day and night time miamis again. This continued because we were about to leave Peru, and we didn't want to take away her security "blanket." We discussed moving them only to night while were in the States for summer, but we decided against it because we wanted them for the trans-Pacific flight. Then when we arrived we decided a couple weeks for settling in and THEN we would do it. That's when she got tonsillitis. It took 2 weeks to recover from that.

Last weekend on Saturday morning, I woke Riley up and we played for a little while in her bed. Then I explained that miamis are going to live in a little house (we call it casita) during the day, and she can only have them at night. I had a little box for them, and then we made a label with the label maker that said "miamis" and put it on the box. I has been great since then. Riley visits them in her bed, if she needs them when we are home. She rarely asks for them when we are out. She is talking so much more now that she doesn't have that plug in her mouth. We should have done it sooner, but oh well. It's done.

Now we just have to figure out this whole potty training thing. If you have any advice, we would love to hear from you.