Right next to the Navy base is a fun park called Mikasa Park. Last week we ventured over there one night to check it out. Ethan LOVED it because it had tons of fountains and leading to the park was a small creek in the sidewalk that you could walk in. He had so much fun walking along and putting his hands in the water. We are going to have to go back one day when he has on his water shoes so he can play in the water. The main attraction of the park is a Japanese carrier that you can tour. While we were walking around the park, we heard music and walked up to a concert going on. We were lucky enough to hear our very first Japanese punk band--ROCK ON!!!! Further on in the park, we heard music again and found a mini-Bellagio fountain. There was music playing and the fountains danced to the music. We had a fun time watching them. We are glad such a fun park is so close to us and can't wait to go back soon!
The kids have started doing some funny things since we have moved to Japan. We will start with Ethan---first off, it is kind of sad, but whenever we come back to the hotel where we are staying, he yells, "We're home" or "There's Ethan's house!" Also, there is a Chili's right next to our hotel and every time he sees it he says, "there's where we eat dinner." I should have prefaced that by saying we have only eaten there twice. For some reason it is not nearly as good as it is in the states. Eric and I are starting to feel bad that Ethan thinks our home is a hotel and that when we eat we go to Chili's.
So being in Japan, we walk EVERYWHERE!!!! Every time we cross the street, we always tell Ethan to hold our hand. Well, being the independent toddler that he is, here is a picture of what he does:He tells us, "Ethan do it." So now whenever we cross the street, he holds his own hands!
Kailey has a new obsession--shoes!!! She just loves to wear everyone's shoes...on her HANDS!!! She is always putting shoes on her hands and then crawling around--it is so funny. She does it with my shoes and with Eric's.
"Look at me Mom, I have shoes on my hands!"Crawling around with shoes on her hands.Clapping the shoes together.
Well, this past week as we have gotten out and explored more, I can honestly say that I LOVE Japan!!! In fact Eric and I are already trying to figure out a way to extend our tour here from 3 years to at least 4 years. There are so many things to do in Japan, the people are so nice and we feel like celebrities. Okay, really only the kids are the celebrities. Unlike America, you do not see a lot of foreigners in Japan, so we are a novelty, especially the kids. Everywhere we go people stare at the kids, try to touch them, smile at them, wave at them, give them candy, etc. One Japanese lady started taking pictures of Ethan on the train when he was throwing a tantrum, the craziest thing was when we got off one of the trains, we had a large group of older Japanese women just attack us. They all started touching the kids hair, one of them grabbed Ethan's hand and was walking with him and holding his hand, they were touching the kids all over and talking to them, they followed us for awhile--they were just so excited, we felt like celebrities! I know that seeing and touching the kids was the highlight of their month! Anyways, we are learning to love Japan and their culture, customs, food etc. There are so many things that are different from the U.S. but so many things that are similar. Here are a couple of pictures of what we have been up to.
Ethan learning to use chopsticks and surprisingly he could actually get food in his mouth with them! This is at our favorite restaurant so far--Red Door Ramen! It is so good!
All of the manhole covers have designs on them and a lot of them are painted like this one.A view of the base from outside the gates--if you look closely you can see three submarines. One of the trains we rode on.It is kind of hard to see, but as we were riding along there were TONS of people surfing. It reminded us a lot of being in Southern California.This is a big aquarium we took the kids to in Enoshima. In the background is a huge school of anchovies.They had this tank you could stick your hand in and the fish would just come and start eating at your hand--it felt kind of creepy. Ethan wouldn't do it, but Eric and I, of course had to try it! The aquarium was right on the beach--this is the view as we watched the dolphin show. Watching the dolphin show--we couldn't understand what they were saying, but knew when to clap.
I thought before I started updating on all the exciting adventures we are having in Japan, I had better briefly go over what we did the month before we left to come over here. We started off with Eric coming home the beginning of June--I can't even begin to say how exciting it was to see him and how glad I am to have him home. He was home about a week and then he and I left to drive our stuff back to Connecticut, get everything packed up and shipped, put our car in storage and check out of Groton. Eric and I flew back to St. Louis and a day and a half later flew with the kids to Utah for Eric's brother's wedding. We spent a week and a half there and then we came here to Japan. Needless to say, it was a pretty busy month!!
I made these chairs for the kids out of PVC pipe. My brother made one for his daughter and then sent me the pattern--it was so easy to make. If anyone wants to make one, let me know and I will send the pattern to you! The kids love the chairs. Ethan's has frogs on it and Kailey's has ladybugs!
Eric getting his end of tour award. He also got quite a few new ribbons/awards while he is in Iraq--he is such a stud!! Now he has a lot of bling on his uniform!
Eric and I at his brother's wedding--Congratulations Mike and Alyssa!!
We had a little birthday party for Kailey at Eric's grandparents house. She actually turned one last week after we arrived here in Japan--how many one year olds can say they celebrated their birthday in Japan!!
Doctor Kailey!!! Kailey playing dress-up at a fun museum we went to in Utah.
If being a doctor doesn't work out, Kailey looks great in the Oval office!!
At Antelope Island in Utah.
One more messy cake face picture--you can never have enough!
While we were in Utah, Eric's mom took the kids to go get their picture taken before we moved to Japan. I thought they turned out SOOOOO cute. Ethan especially had some great faces and smiles. Kailey wasn't as smiley, but she still looked cute.
This was my absolute favorite picture of the kids, I think they look so cute.
This picture is a good portrayal of what Ethan usually is like with Kailey. He loves her so much and is always coming up and hugging her and she doesn't exactly like all that love!
This is a picture of all the grandkids on Eric's side--Connor, Blake, Ethan and Kailey!!
We are in Japan-yeah!!!!!!!!!! We left Thursday, July 2nd from Salt Lake city, flew to San Fransisco and from there flew to Tokyo. We ended up getting to Tokyo at 4:15 pm on Friday. There is a 14 hour time difference. After arriving here, we had a 2 hour bus ride to the base, so by the time we checked in it was about 8 pm--needless to say we were exhausted. I have to admit, however, that the trip over here went so well. The kids did great. I was a little worried about having to sit for 11 hours, but they were champion flyers! They hardly cried, they were happy and they even slept. It was one of the most relaxing flights I have taken with the kids--I even got to sleep and watch two movies!!
The next day, Saturday, July 4th, we went to breakfast at Chili's--there are a bunch of american restaurants on base and even a Wendy's right off base. After breakfast, we walked decided to walk around the base and head over to the grocery store. We had a nice walk, got some groceries and figured out where things are. After a long nap and doing some laundry, we decided to head out and get dinner and take it to watch the fireworks. They had a GREAT fireworks display out on the ocean. The kids loved it and were sad when it was over. So far, we are just so excited to be here and can't wait to explore more. So, how does a two year old deal with jet-lag? The answer to that is NOT WELL!!! Friday night when we arrived, Ethan and Kailey went to bed about 10 pm and then woke up about 3, but then went back to sleep around 5 and slept for 2 more hours. Later that afternoon they took a 5 hour nap and we went to bed around 10 pm. However last night, after going to bed at 10 pm, Kailey woke up at 1 am and started to fall back asleep about 2 am, but then Ethan woke up and stayed WIDE awake until about 7:30 am. Luckily, Kailey went back to sleep and slept for another couple of hours. Needless to say, Eric and I are tired and hope the kids get this sleeping thing figured out!!!
Starting Monday, Eric has a week of orientation and the following week I do the week-long orientation. In orientation they go over cultural things, housing, you get a license to drive in Japan, how to get around by train, etc. It should be interesting and very useful.
Like I said before, I just can't believe we are here and we are just so excited to start discovering all the new things that Japan has!!