Sunday, 14 April 2013

March round-up

A little collection of things from last month, otherwise at risk of slipping through the blogging net...

H made a special 'prince and princess' meal for Hina Matsuri (the Doll Festival)

K enjoying his new Junior Monopoly

Lately T likes to hide in the living room cupboard and close the door behind him...

At our local mother-and-toddler group

We've been doing sorting activities lately

While T was at nursery, K and I made Chuggington models

At the park

K's robot costume, using MakeDo he got for his birthday

After our lunch at Agni, the boys enjoyed exploring the fake, indoor jungle

And in non-photographed events, we watched Mary Poppins, had a visit from Bud and Kyoko, K and I went to a performance of 'The Musicians of Bremen' and I skived yoga a lot...

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Back to school

K started back at kindergarten this week for the new school year, after a 2 week break. He's one of the 'big boys' now, in the last year before elementary school. The classes get shuffled each year, so he has a lot of new classmates plus a few who were the same as last year. The teachers also change classes each year, and K was surprised to learn that his teacher this year will be... the same as last year! She's lovely, so everyone's happy about that.

During K's spring holiday my schedule was virtually the same as usual, H was at work of course and even T had his usual swimming/nursery/play centre commitments. Still, we did manage to fit in a bit of fun here and there...

The new, if tiny, sand pit was popular and will do until I get around to building a bigger one

The now-traditional trip to Toy Kingdom... enjoyed to the full by both little monkeys.

A little picnic under the cherry blossoms

The 'cardboard funfair' - can you name that blur?

A day at the park...

...where T was determined to keep up with K
And of course there was also a lot of indoor tent-building, Octonaut-watching, puzzle-making, sibling-teasing, book-reading and general riot-running at home. So, not much different from term-time really...

Thursday, 4 April 2013


Did you do anything special for Easter?

We're a pretty secular family, living in a non-Christian country where the marketing potential of Easter has not yet dawned on the chocolate companies, so Easter tends to pass us by unnoticed. On the other hand, I always welcome the chance to do some craft, and eat some chocolate, so a little effort was made.

The boys made some Easter bunnies, although T's didn't last the day...

...and we tried planting some grass seeds in eggshell 'heads', but they haven't come up...

K made the stands - I told him he could decorate them as he liked. Yup, they're solar systems.

On Easter Sunday, the Easter Bunny hid 6 eggs in the garden for the boys. I briefed K to let T find some of the eggs himself, but soon realised he didn't need any special treatment.

After finding all the eggs, the serious work of unwrapping began...

Later we all went to Lisa's place for a barbecue lunch. It wasn't terribly warm, but it was good to see her parents again, visiting from Australia, and H was glad to get to see her new house for the first time too. All in all, a good day!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

2 little monkeys

Birthday season seems like a good time to write an update on my boys, so please forgive a bit of doting-mummy-ness...

K turned 5 at the beginning of March, and will start his second, and last, year of kindergarten next week. He remains as planet-obsessed as ever, and likes to draw and cut out diagrams of the solar system. In fact, give him some paper, scissors and tape and he will entertain himself quite happily. He will spend hours poring over reference books and starts many a conversation with 'Did you know...?' Lately he has gotten into Lego, and also tells everyone that he loves Cars and Lightning McQueen, despite never having seen the film. He likes to watch The Octonauts and Chuggington. He reads confidently in English, and can read hiragana and katakana (the 2 simple syllabaries) in Japanese. He can write quite well in English too, but still prefers to have things to copy in Japanese. He speaks Japanese well now, and has started to use it a bit at home too.

K has been going to swimming for almost a year now, and has recently become a lot more confident. Yesterday I watched him jump into the pool without hesitation, going completely under the water. The classes focus more on confidence in the water and proper technique than learning to actually swim so I think it will be a while until he can swim by himself, although he gets along quite well with a float. He's generally well-behaved (and his eating pace has definitely picked up, although getting dressed has slowed down), but there are rebellious moments, plus rather a lot of selective hearing, especially when related to tidying-up...

T turned 2 last week, and is in full mischievous toddler mode. A few examples, just from today: undressing himself half a dozen times throughout the day; weeing on the floor, and in his stacking cups; climbing onto the kitchen counter from the living room, leaning over to get the liquid soap and then pumping it out all over the place; moving the coffee table to the living room gate and then using it to climb over said gate, before going to the next room and playing the piano; having a mouthful of mushed-up brown stuff which I presume was a piece of cardboard. And those are just the things I know about... He sleeps well, from around 8.30 till 7.15, but doesn't nap or ease up at all in the daytime.

Still, he gets away with it because he's very cute. He eats well, usually as much as K, and uses spoons, forks and training chopsticks confidently. His vocabulary is growing in both English and Japanese and he makes little 2 word 'sentences' like 'Daddy bus' and 'stick gone'. He loves to be read to and often sits looking at a book by himself too. Lately he's interested in counting; yesterday when I pointed out some birds and counted out loud '1,2,3,4,5', he continued '6,7,8,9,10!' (although there were only 5 birds...). Going down the escalators, he pointed to the number 2 written on the floor and said 'two!', although when I pointed to '1', he said 'eight!'... Still, he's interested!

T loves Maisy, and anything Maisy-related. He even refers to any elephant as 'Eddie', and crocodile as 'Charlie'. He likes to 'draw' with crayons, and play with stickers. He likes playing outside and riding the tricycle, and impressed me at the park yesterday with his confidence in climbing, navigating obstacles and going down quite big slides! One of the questions on the 2 year check up was 'Can he run?'. Oh yes. He can certainly run, especially when it is away from me.

Both boys are quite into imaginative play nowadays, and enjoy dressing up and using the play kitchen. This is a rather recent thing for K, but T has been doing all kinds of 'pretend' play for a while. He really likes soft toys too, and will often pick up a teddy for a cuddle. Today they were being doctors in the play tent, bringing in all the teddies to be taken care of. Apparently K was the doctor, giving injections, and T was the nurse, supplying cuddles.

I'm sure I could carry on like this for ages, but that's probably enough for now. They are both beautiful, sweet little boys who I love dearly, and who drive me crazy at times...