And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentines Day

I'm so lucky to have not one Valentine...but three!  Three handsome boys that completely have my heart.  I know that some find this holiday to be cliché and not worthy of celebrating, but I can get on board with a holiday that reminds us of all the love that surrounds us.  I have three boys that are the center of my universe and I relish the opportunity to celebrate that!! 


We celebrated in style by making heart shaped pizzas (Dominik has a promising future in pizza making!) and cupid floats...at home and in style...just the way I like it!

Friday, February 12, 2016

24 months Old

Somehow by saying Parkers age in months it makes him seem a little bit younger!  Like he is still my baby!!  However, contrary to how much I want him to stay little, he continues to grow and grow and grow!  So here we are...two years old...how did this happen?!?

Parker continues to be the perfect fit into our family.  He keeps things fun, he keeps us on our toes, and most of all he keeps us humble (Dominik was so easy to parent and Parker is proving to be just the opposite). We love Parker so much and cant imagine what life would be like without him!

Parker has hit the terrible twos with full force.  He is coordinated and athletic, and pushed boundaries way more than his big brother.  He can run, jump, climb, and throw a ball.  He loves to do anything his big brother does which includes drawing, coloring, watching movies (his favorite is Big Hero 6 and Cars), eating food, riding his scooter, and playing with his friends.  He is both a lover and a fighter and is quick to say he is sorry.  He is incapable of cuddling because there is simply too much to do.  He plays hard and he crashes just as hard.  I'm certain that if he wasn't in a crib he would wake up running.  He is still in his crib but not for too much longer.  He has discovered that if he picks up his leg and pulls himself up with his big toe, that he can just about leverage himself up and out of the crib.  We are definitely on our last few months in there before we have to spring for the big boy bed.  He eats just about everything but every day continues to develop a distaste for all things healthy (just like big brother).  So far he has decided to not like cucumbers or broccoli...but I foresee it quickly escalating to most vegetables in general.  His personality is quite the clown and he loves to work a crowd.  His new trick is batting his long eyelashes and saying "pease" to an unsuspecting victim who will submit to his will.  His word database grows every day: he now says words like mama, dada, ball, thank you, please, no, mine, and many others.  He also makes up his own words that we can usually cipher.  Things like bubble (water), gumby (candy), gaga (Dominik), and a few others.  I love that he can communicate his needs to me now!!! 








For his party we celebrated with some of our great friends at a local restaurant called CC's Chicken and Waffles.  The food was delicious and all the kids were in heaven; I mean what kid doesn't love waffles and chicken!  After dinner we headed across the seawall for some cupcakes and running around...exactly what the birthday boy wanted to do.  The overall celebration was very low key and easy to plan, but I think it is just what Parker wanted.  He is a pretty easy going kid who likes to find the fun in everything he does. He has so many friends and family who love him as apparent by all the people who helped us celebrate (from both near and far)!!












Monday, February 8, 2016

Walk in His Shoes

Every day I feel like I'm ushering Parker around.  Since birth he has basically been on my time...wow, reading that outloud makes me feel really selfish.  I'm a much better mom than I'm making myself look...but today I decided to base my day on Parkers agenda.  I wanted to do what he wanted to do...so I'm here to report that this is what a morning looks like in my sweet little (almost) 2 year old boy looks like.

It starts off with a fun walk up to Kin Town.  He probably would have preferred to walk/run, but for safety reasons he was strapped into a stroller...don't worry though, he had his stick and was perfectly content to check out his surroundings.  We took our first stop at the Cosmos Fields and checked out the pretty flowers. 





Every year around late January to mid-February, farmers of Kin TOwn plant Cosmos in the rice fields of Igei Village.  According to a Kin Town resident, it is believed that Cosmos nurture and rejuvenate the soil just prior to the rice fields being utilized.  The result is an entire landscape of pink, white, and maroon colored flowers lighting up the scene!  Parker loved smelling the flowers and stomping all over them...luckily there were millions of them so I was certain that the farmer wouldn't miss a few ;)

After the Cosmos we walked home and Parker decided he wanted to scooter.  He is getting so fast, but tires easily so this activity was quite short lived.  He moved on quickly to golfing which is his new favorite past time.  He hit a gold ball back and forth for almost an hour.  His form could still use some work, but daddy couldn't be any happier about his new favorite hobby. 



Once the interest was lost in golf we took a walk down our seawall which quickly escalated into a shoe and shirtless frolic in the ocean.  He would squeal when the waves would come in and kept running back to shore...his favorite was hitting the water with his stick though.  Such a fun boy!!



The afternoon ended with a yummy PB&J and rounded out with a nice long nap.  So much of our days revolve around big brother, mama, and dada, that having a day that revolves around my sweet little boy was just the thing this mama needed!!  I'm so grateful for him and for the joy that he brings into my life.  I need to make sure I have more days like these!!

Orchid Festival

Attending the Tropical Dream Center has always been on my Okinawa bucket list...however, being outnumbered 3 to 1 with the boys, visiting a place that is 100% flowers is pretty hard to convince any interest in attending.  Since we only have 4 months left on island though I decided that we had waited long enough.  There was an orchid festival going on and today was the day!

The beginning of the year marks the flower season here on Okinawa. First there are the Cherry Blossoms, then Sunflowers, and then in February, the annual Okinawa International Orchid Show takes place at the Tropical Dream Center. It is here that orchids from around the world are put on display in an array of beauty to be judged for competition. If you are a flower lover, then this is one event you don't want to miss. According to their website, there are at least 10,000 entries from around the world. 

There are two divisions for competition: the 'Certification Division' and the 'Competition Division'. The Certification Division covers new hybrids species not yet certified by other organizations and the Competition Division is broken into five sub-categories which include: Potted, Cut Flower, Flower Display, Flower Design (small-large arrangement), and International Entrants. First, second, and third cash prizes are awarded per respective Division/category and a then an overall Grand Champion is selected.



























Dominik, Parker, and TJ actually ended up enjoying themselves and I had a great time seeing all the different types of Orchids.  I don't claim to be a flower novice by any means; but I can appreciate the beauty in an incredible flower.  Each room at the Dream Center had a beautiful display of orchids, and other flowers in the mix.  Half way through the exhibit there was an ice cream stand that the boys talked us into indulging in.  The salesman had lots of silly tricks up his sleeves and had fun with the boys.  The ice cream was really stretchy (if that makes sense) and was not your typical ice cream.  It attached to a long stick that the man used to get it out of the bin.  He would hold onto the stick with the ice cream in a cone on the end and hold it out for the boys.  When they reached out to grab it, the man would pull it away.  It was a lot funnier than I'm making it sound; guess you had to be there!






The day was wet and rainy, but we still had a great time!  We ended it with some Pizza in the Sky (one of our favorite restaurants on the island) and a long drive home!! One more thing to cross off the list!