Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Very (Un)Merry Birthday!

Fox and His Boys

  Fox had a birthday a couple of weeks ago! He had a busy but good day that started with volunteering at Cash's school and ended with chocolate cake! However, as per tradition, his birthday triggered a string of unfortunate circumstances! His birthday weekend was spent dealing with a case of lice on Cash (curse you, public school!), hours at a laundromat using every last cent of birthday money to get everything dried, and as a result, an unfortunate shrinking of his favorite wool coat.
   The day after that, my parents' car got backed into while we were leaving a Target parking lot. We also found a few more straggling lice throughout the week, which meant everything got washed 3 more times to be safe. So, life lessons were aplenty as Fox started the next year of his life.

Lessons learned:
--Take your wool coat to the laundromat
--RIDx does nothing for lice. Stick to tea tree shampoo, olive oil, and a hair dryer.
--Don't go to Target in the midst of crazy Christmas shopping!

  As far as "tradition", last year, Fox had an all-day migraine on his birthday.  The year before that, he was recovering from his second hernia surgery.  The year before that, our car broke down on his way home from work and the beautiful cheesecake I baked him turned out to be completely uncooked in the center!

   This past year has been really hard on him--hello, months-long unemployment--yet he continues to amaze me with how strong he is staying! In fact, after that string of trials and doing countless loads of laundry, he said, "You know, we really are blessed." I wanted to say, "Are you kidding me?!" but it's true--we have been kept healthy this year, and our children are growing and thriving.

So, a very MERRY birthday and BLESSED new year to my husband of a DECADE who literally drops everything to serve me and our children the minute he walks in the door...

You deserve the best, and I know that good things are coming your way this next year! I love you, my lifetime boyfriend :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

When Mom's away, Coco will...

...color her entire hands in blue "washable" marker. Washable? Really? Hmmm, Crayola, this is after 15 minutes of scrubbing with various solvents...

...pour herself a bowl of sprinkles, breakfast of champions.
Don't worry--she only ate a few spoonfuls before I got to it! I think...
 I think someone is LOVING having a baby brother who needs to get laid down for naps gets mom out of the room for a few minutes.

And thus begins her year as a 4 year old!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Coco's 4th Birthday Recap!

   Cosette had her birthday last month, and, despite going to the ER in the morning, she had a good time! 

Grandma gave her a fluffy unicorn before heading out to Wisconsin.

On the way home from the E.R., she got to go to the toy store and pick out this bow/arrow/dress set from the movie Brave.

She requested strawberry angel food cake for dessert!

Auntie Ru gave Coco the movie Brave and a ton of her favorite treat--bubble gum!

She spent some birthday money on this color-your-own purse.  So cute that Daddy is helping her--she did great staying in the lines!

  Coco is such a fun, goofy girl!  She really doesn't care much for dolls and would much rather spend her days dressing up, singing, or playing horsey (oh yes, that is where I pretend I am the horse and she sits on my back while I gallop-crawl around the house. Not my favorite). She is working on her Scottish accent to be like Merida from Brave and has gotten quite good at it!  She is definitely her Daddy's girl!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

2 months later...

  Our laptop is slowly dying, so it's hard to upload pics--but here goes! Here is Quincy at 9 months:

And the other crazies...

  For his 10 month shot, this dark, dark photo is the best I got out of the bunch :(

 He was wailing and wailing and only little distractions could console him (after I decided that chopsticks aren't the best things to chew on):

 Now here is my happy Quincy boy when not being forced to pose on a chair!  He is standing and actually started taking steps tonight!

  He is growing 4 top teeth right now, so we've had some sleepless nights these past few weeks.  Other than that, he is a fun, curious baby boy.  I can't believe he'll turn 1 in 6 weeks!  Too crazy :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dorthinia!

 I asked Cosette if she was going to be Coco or Cosette on her birthay (her preferences change daily). She told me neither--on her birthday, her name would be: DORTHINIA !

Other birthday preferences for Coco:
 1.) A real live pony for her birthday
 2.) Snake meat for her birthday dinner (hmmm...)
3.) A Merida dress and toy bow-and-arrow from the movie Brave.
Ummm...I think we can make #3 happen at least :)

  Meanwhile, she started her birthday by watching the sunrise outside. Unfortunately, that was in an effort to get the cold air to help her breathing, since she was up throughout the night with a croup-y cough. Shortly after that, Fox took her to the E.R. to get a steroid shot to reduce the inflammation of her airway. Poor girl. Here's hoping the rest of the day just gets better.

We love you, Dorthinia, snake-eating, unipeg vampire!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Halloween has come and gone...and the Christmas decorations are in the stores! The holiday/birthday season is here--hooray! Our Halloween was busy: Trunk-or-Treat at church, Pumpkin Patch field trip, Halloween Parade at school, and of course trick-or-treating.
   One of the lovely sisters in our ward set up a little photo booth at the ward party, so here are the results of that! Cash was a ninja--but apparently his mask fell into the toilet just before we left for the party. Not quite sure why he was holding his mask while going potty...

Cash's has real authentic ninja scars from falling out of a tree the day before!
Despite the appearance, Cosette is not a unicorn. She noticed her costume had wings and pronounced herself a "uni-peg" (unicorn/pegasus). My sister gave her this costume over a month ago, and she has pretty much worn it all-day everyday since. To the point where no one gives it a second thought to see a uni-peg running down the street!
Cosette with her much-loved favorite rain boots!
   And Quincy boy--yet another lesson to me about training your newborn to wear a hat! This boy rips everything off his head that touches it, so I quickly made a cheeseburger costume during naptime the day of the party like the procrastinator I am! That boy ripped that costume off as soon as I put it on, so I improvised by strapping him into my carrier and then strapping the costume to the carrier's straps.
Mama's little cheeseburger!

Next up: Coco's birthday! She asked for a live mini-pony for her birthday--so her lesson of expectation vs. reality should be very educational/tear-filled.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

8 Months!

Quincy is 8 months old!

Still just 2 teeth.  He is known to bite and giggle.

Fun with Dad.  Someone's hair is clinging for life...guess who?

Quincy loves drumming on Grandpa's head :)

Our blue-eyed babies!

       Of course, he is a joy--but he is also super exhausting! He is pulling up on anything and putting everything he can into his mouth. If he is not in-arms, he is being watched like a hawk. I forgot about this age :) Q is still a big eater and loves yogurt and peas. He also loves music and chasing balls like a puppy. And Grandpa, of course :) His sleep is kind of hit or miss, but I think that's because he sleeps next to our bed. We'll see! I can't believe he is growing so quickly!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

7 Months!

  Quincy is 7 months now! This is my favorite age for babies--not quite mobile but sitting up and super fun!

                             In the past month, he has gotten 2 teeth and learned to sit up!
           He has also started eating chunks of food and eats way more than any of my other babies! Just this week, he has started army crawling and will put anything in his mouth that he can...

                                                    And he's coming for you next!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Kindergarten Time!

      Cash started Kindergarten last week! I can't believe it! We are still in Victorville, so he started school at my old school!  In fact, he has the same kindergarten teacher my little siblings had over 20 hours ago, so she is a pro :)

The first day was an orientation. Cash is in morning kindergarten for a little over 3 hours a day.  Nothing compared to the 6 hour preschool he was used to in Japan!

Getting ready to walk!  It's about a 20 minute walk, but it is much needed, since recess is only 10 minutes! He loves to pull his socks up...hmmm...

Cash's 1st day of school cake! You know he helped decorate (aka put way too many chocolate chips on it!)

I still can't believe Cash is in kindergarten! He does know how to read already, thanks to the bilingual kindergarten where Fox taught, but I think he will still learn a lot at school. Cosette is enjoying her individual time, too, as Quincy takes his morning nap while Cash is at school. Ack, these kids are growing up too fast!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lest the other children be forgotten...

I do have other children beside little Quincy boy.  They are just far too mobile for me to document properly!

 But here is a glimpse of my four-legged child:

Cash and Coco spend a big chunk of their day on this hammock: swinging, reading, and of course, eating popsicles!  It just amazes me how much they love this hammock!

Now to work on getting some non-eating pictures out of the hammock!

6 Months Old!

  Quincy is halfway through his first year on Earth!  I can't believe it!  He is still a very mellow baby who goes to sleep easily and is just a really content boy.  He isn't sitting yet and has just recently started rolling around.  His baby hair is still hanging in there, too! 
We are entering the super fun months of babyhood where grabbing, drooling, giggling, and bouncing are the latest fun activities!  We love this little guy so much!

Here are his little 6 month pics:

Okay, I'll pose like this...

Big smile!

Enough of this blanket--It's all mine now, bahahaha!

5 Months Old!

 So...this post is a month behind!  Oops.  My free time is super limited with three little ones, and blogging is low on the priority list!

Here are a few shots from Quincy's 5th month:

5 months old!

  We started QP on solids on his 5 month mark, since he was grabbing at food and seeming hungrier than usual.  He is an eating champ!  The first time I fed him, he ate half of a mashed banana!  Oh the boys in this family! Coco wasn't interested in solids until she was almost 9 months!
Yummy sweet potatoes!

We got to visit Grandma Betty recently, and Quincy loves her!  She always has a big smile and high, sweet voice for him!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mrs. P's Pinata

My birthday was last week--I felt so so loved! My best buddy Ru came and brought a cupcake pinata for me and the kiddos. I have never had a birthday pinata, so it was so fun!

Swinging large sticks near Fox's head--good times!

I forced Mrs. P (aka Ru) to give it a shot!

Ru insisted on a photo of the bashers!  Quincy was napping elsewhere.

   Thank you to everyone--it was a particularly special day for me, since I have not been around my family and close friends on my birthday for ten years! Last year on my birthday, I was battling morning sickness and homesickness, so to be with my parents and friends (and get calls from my 6 siblings) throughout the day was incredibly special! And of course thank you to Fox, who cleaned, caked, and made sure we got a date!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

4 Months Old!

I realize that I really haven't blogged lately, except for monthly baby updates. I will get on that :)

  Quincy is 4 Months Old already! I can't believe--time is going by so fast! He continues to be our little cuddlebug and is just a mellow, mild sweetheart. I am sure as he gets more mobile, things will get crazier, but for now, we are just enjoying the fact that he is NOT mobile!

Silly Face!

Long skinny legs!  He definitely got Daddy's genes!

And of course, the drool has started. Fun times!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

3 Months!

Look who's 3 Months old now! 

Happy Boy!


  Quincy is now 3 months old (and a couple of weeks, since I'm behind!).  He is in America for the first time, and he is doing great!  No jet lag to speak of, and he was amazing on our 20 hour journey.  He didn't cry on the plane at all!  He is a sweet sweet baby who love his cuddles!  Now we are just waiting out his flailing-arm stage, as he has taken to pulling his hair in the middle of the night.
  Cash is still totally enamored of him, while Cosette occasionally notices his presence :) We sure love this little guy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Looking Forward

     The time has come to pack up/sell/get rid of all of our possessions here. We leave in one week. Cash and Cosette are so excited. Fox and I are super anxious and will give a sigh of relief once we get on the final leg of our journey. We are flying from Osaka to Beijing with a 2-hr. layover there and then on to L.A. This past year has had its ups and downs. We came out here expecting to be here for a long time, and here we are: returning to the U.S. with no job, no car, no apartment. It is definitely a scary time, but I know we will get where we are going soon!

   I am so grateful for the opportunity our children have had to be able to experience Japan this past year. They have learned so much. They can navigate a playground and chit-chat in Japanese. They ask for miso soup over pancakes and onigiri over pizza. They have learned origami, chopstick eating, and have been relished with attention by all the many adults they have come in contact with. Cash has his best friends here, but we're hoping they can come visit us in the U.S. soon.

   Although it did cause me some anxiety, I am so grateful that I was able to give birth in a culture that supports natural childbirth and takes very good care of mothers. I am so beyond blessed that the members of our church fed my family for two weeks! Quincy has a super cool birth certificate and blessing certificate and hopefully those won't be his only reminders of life here.

  I know this is getting long, but I thought it would be good to do another looking forward post! We are looking forward to everything on that list, plus:

--Real butter.  Yep, we've been using margarine. And powdered milk.  And artificial cheese.  Japan just does not have the grazing land to produce many real dairy products.

--Grape Nuts!  I have been craving them for 8 months!

--Greek Yogurt

--Sweet Potatoes.  Parsnips.  I love my root vegetables!

--Cottage Cheese

--Turkey sandwiches on wheat bread.

-- Visiting/Home Teaching/Teachers--it just doesn't get done here.

-- Good lotion, baby products, and make-up!  Asian skin is much different than American skin, and all of the products are watery. I paid over $10 for a small tube of lotion that was thick.

--Movies and books we've not had access to here.  I've got a long list of movies and books to check out. 

--And magazines--I am a magazine junkie and have not picked up an English magazine for over 6 months, which is a record!  Our first time here, I splurged and had a magazine subscription.

--Grass! The occasional park here will have grass, but my kids have not felt grass under their feet for about a year.

So, yes, we will miss Japan, but we are looking forward to our next adventure!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Quincy's Blessing

We blessed Quincy on Sunday, April 1st. We wanted to do it in our branch with the many members who helped us after his birth.

This is the best picture we could get.  It was naptime for everyone!

The night before his blessing, I made him this little white romper with bullet-train buttons. It was a tight fit!

  Several members of our branch came up and expressed appreciation and joy over hearing his middle name Makoto. They said it made them so happy!

I can't believe our time here is winding down. We leave for the U.S. on April 19th!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

2 Months

Look who is 2 Months Old already!!

A funny thing about QP is that he loves having his hair washed and brushed. He gets very calm. His hair is long enough to get tangled in back! The big smiles have just started, and we are loving every one of them!