And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Little Boys Bedroom

I never really grasped the concept of how two kids could sleep in the same room together successfully.  Certainly not an infant and a toddler (big kid in our case).  However, we currently only have two bedrooms in our house and with one on the way...the sharing of the bedroom is our only option.  I have tried to put as much of Dominik in the room as possible so he can be excited that it is his room, and we have been talking up the idea of him being the big brother in the room; the protector of the little brother.  The room is his favorite color (orange), and despite superhero's being plastered all over the wall (his preference), it is definitely a room that he can get on board with.  He gets his own twin sized toddler "jumping" bed (as he calls it), all of his snuggle guys (currently Austin the Alligator is the snuggle guy of choice), and his favorite books and toys.  While he is still a bit leery about the idea of a crib invading his personal space, TJ and I are certain that once Parker joins our family and Dominik gets to meet him, he wouldn't dream of not sharing a room with him. 

Festival of the Blossoms

Last year we were in DC for the Cherry Blossom Festival, and despite being on the tail end of the blossoming, it was still pretty spectacular.  This last Saturday we joined up with some friends to go see what Mt. Nago Cherry Blossom Festival had to offer. 

Overall the festival was pretty fun.  The day was hot, the hike was long (like a bazillion stairs), and the blossoms were sparse...but it was fun to be out in nature amongst friends, enjoying the beauty that is Okinawa.  Being 38 weeks pregnant is not necessarily conducive for literally climbing stairs up the mountain side, but Taryn told me that she was fully capable to taking care of me if I went in labor while we made our way to the hospital (if need be).  She is a great friend to have around!! 

After the festival we headed just a bit down the road for another nature hike to a local waterfall that the Cheneys knew about.  It was nice to break away from the crowds and feel like we were all alone on a deserted island.  The hike was beautiful and short (just the way I like them) and Dominik LOVED playing with his friends in the water.  We are really excited to come back to the falls when it is hot out so we can go swimming and enjoy the rope swing more fully :)

The day was rounded out with some good ol' fashioned American burgers and fries at Kangaroo Jacks; a local burger joint in Nago.  I literally felt like I was in a restaurant in the heart of the Hawthorne district.  It was so hip and trendy and the patrons were mostly all Americans.  It definitely made me a bit homesick.  The burgers were DELICIOUS (maybe because we were all so famished) and definitely will be a restaurant that we frequent!!

John Malan is such a sport...candid pic of the first bite :)

The day turned out to be awesome!  We are so blessed to have so many great friends and so much beauty all around us.  Hopefully this exciting adventure will get us through the next month or two of new parenthood with a newborn where we don't get out too much!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

One Athletic Child

TJ and I were recently discussing the fact that our parents back in the day would hardly spend money on any of their children's recreational activities...let alone two activities at one time.  Not that they didn't love us enough to pay for these various activities...just that they had too many kids to be carting around from activity to activity and still stay sane.  Lucky for Dominik...he is currently an only child and in order for me to stay sane and Dominik to get some social time, recreational activities are our only option.  There is also the fact that our child is terribly uncoordinated and is really into superhero's.  Not that that's a bad thing, but the combination of the two leads me to flashbacks of Brian Bolman in Jr. High pretending he's a raptor on the basketball court (complete with the motions and sound effects).  We just can't have that!!

So, Dominik is currently enrolled in swimming and soccer.  Soccer is on base and is put on by a military wife who played in college and wanted to pass on her knowledge to the little kiddos.  Dominik enjoys it and is actually picking up the skills fairly quickly. 

We just started swimming and we both LOVE it!!  I love that he is learning life saving skills to combat his complete and utter fearlessness in the water; he loves the social time and getting to play in the in my book!!  The lessons are at a local swimming pool and the teacher speaks only Japanese to the kids.  At first I think Dominik found this frustrating, but the teacher uses hand motions and points in order to get the message across.  She is so good with Dominik and he has really taken to her. The pool is about an hour away from our house - along with most things - but very worth the drive.  I can't wait to see what he learns in his upcoming lessons!!

Replenishing calories after a hard hours swim!

What's in a Name

When we named Dominik, there was no question as to what his name would be.  We had exactly one boy name we loved, and one girl name.  Unfortunately for us, we used up our boy name for Dominik and thus found ourselves praying for a girl; for the sheer sake of no other name options.  When we found out we were having a boy TJ and I were both at a loss.  Dominik on the other hand started calling him "Peter-Parker Spiderman" right off the bat.  Okay, in the event of full disclosure...he originally wanted to call him Wolverine, but almost immediately recalled and said "wait...I'll be Wolverine, and he can be Dominik."  TJ and I promptly told him that while Wolverine was a good name, it was more suitable to a superhero and not a little brother. 

The best little Superhero brother!

So, we found ourselves all calling this little peanut Peter-Parker with the looming sense that our baby would forever be called "baby boy" due to our negligence.  However, Dominik in his infinite wisdom knew that his little brother would be called "Peter-Parker" and he stuck to it.  Eventually TJ and I found ourselves calling him Peter-Parker and then finally agreeing on the name Parker. 

So with the first name figured out, what to use for a middle name?  When Dominik and I were back in the states visiting family, my grandpa Bruce Willes Papenfuss Sr. returned home to live with our Father in Heaven.  He was a wonderful man with a love of God and his family.  He worked hard his entire life and built a strong name for himself and his family.  In hopes that our son will grow to 1/2 the man that his Great-grandfather was we unanimously agreed that Parkers middle name will be Willes.  Not to mention that it is the middle name of both Grandpa Papenfuss (Bruce Willes Papenfuss Jr.) as well as Uncle Tyson (Tyson Willes Papenfuss).  All three are amazing men that Parker should be proud to carry the name of. 

So, our second son will be named Parker Willes Finlayson.  As we see the finish line nearing closer we can't help but find ourselves greatly anticipating our sweet Parker's presence in our home.  We have wanted a baby for so long and know that Heavenly Father in his great wisdom understood that this was the best time for our family to welcome him.  We know that Dominik will be the best big brother and love and protect Parker Willes to his best ability.  We can't wait to meet him!!!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Akemashite Omedetōgozaimasu

I use "akemashite omedetōgozaimasu" as the title of my post because TJ spent the better part of an hour memorizing how to say "Happy New Year" in Japanese so he could thoroughly freak out a ton of locals around the island.  These locals include the gate guard, the workers at the Thai Restaurant that we frequent, and a few others.  He is doing a very good job acclimating to the culture.  The locals also really appreciate when Americans try to learn the language and seemed super excited that TJ could say "akemashite omedetōgozaimasu" or "Happy New Year" appropriately.

Any ways...we spent the last day of 2013 just the way that we wanted to.  Thanksgiving and Christmas were both large productions with lots of food and quite a few good friends, so we wanted our New Years Eve to be a bit smaller with just us and some delicious Asian cuisine (keeping with my family's tradition).  The day time was spent outside enjoying the sunshine (I actually enjoyed the back of my eyelids inside on the couch while TJ and Dominik played with the neighbors outside).  For dinner we cooked up our favorite spring rolls and ordered take out from our favorite local Thai restaurant. 

Much like Christmas Eve, I had grand plans for how the night would play out.  We would enjoy a wonderful dinner, make hot chocolate, eat a bunch of junk food, and watch a fun movie.  Then ring in the new year as a family and all have a fun slumber party in our Cal King bed.  Unfortunately for me, Dominik played so hard outside that at 6:30pm he was sacked out and was un-wakable until New Years Day morning.  Silver Lining...TJ and I got to rent a movie that we both wanted to watch (rated higher than a "G") and not have to worry about an unruly and ornery 3 1/2 year old. 

Overall 2013 was a great year for our family; a year full of adventures and changes.  As we look forward into 2014 we greatly anticipate a new addition into our family, as well as visits from loved ones, and new adventures as we continue to explore this beautiful country we now reside in.  Here's to 2014 being a great year!!!