Monday, February 27, 2012

Shobuen: the Iris Garden

I'm itching for spring, so I thought I'd post some pictures of one of my favorite places near our home-Shobuen.  Shobu means iris in Japanese.  And Shobuen is a lovely little park crammed with irises, hydrangeas, and tons of other flowers, all artfully arranged in Japanese style.  We went there last year a few times, but most memorably we went with my mom while she was here visiting just two days before Clara's birth.  It's nice because it is close enough to our house to walk, and while there is usually an entrance fee (a few hundred yen each, nothing bad) we also seem to go when it's free.  I think going on July 2 was brilliant because nearly everything was still in bloom and since it was past peak iris season (Apr-June), it was free. 

Incidentally, hydrangeas are my new favorite flowers.  They grow everywhere here and they are so gorgeous!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

There's No Place Like Home...

There's no place like home...there's no place like home...or like Mom's bed while chewing on my ruby slippers.

Our Little Artist

Ellie loves to color and paint. A lot. A WHOLE LOT!
Everyday she'll spend a good half hour or more painting.  She'd do it more if I'd let her, but frankly I can't keep up the with how quickly she goes through paper. For instance, Grandma and Grandpa Lewis gave her an art kit and a pad of nice paper that was I think 70 sheets.  They are all gone.  They were all painted on both sides. 
 Here she is at work.

She especially likes it when Ben or I draw something and she paints it in.  This was during her birthday cake phase.  She painted Ben a birthday cake for her birthday and for days afterwards she wanted to paint birthday cakes, with words of course.

The Space Science Center

 This past Saturday we didn't have rehearsal and the weather was nice so we took the train out to Yokohama (Eleanor's preferred mode of transportation) and visited the Hamagin Space Science Center.  It was a blast. And only 400yen for the entrance fee, since we decided to forgo the planetarium and film (though I'd like to go back and see that too!).  FYI-400yen is about $5, which is pretty inexpensive for Japan.
 We played with colored lights and shadows. Ben and Ellie did a cool virtual reality thing but I didn't get a picture of it.  It was pretty hysterical though.

Our favorite part was the "astronaut training" which was essentially a really awesome indoor playground.Clara even got in on the fun, you know, sitting on the bouncy foam...thing...

 Ellie putting styrofoam balls in a jet stream.
 Clara on the bouncy foam...thing...
 Ellie on the bouncy foam...thing...
Clara conducting electricity.  She thought this was pretty cool.

It's great to find fun, cheap places to take the girls here, especially when it is cold.  I definitely see another visit in our future.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

7 Months

Seriously, where does the time go.

Clara is sitting up all by herself now, and rolls successfully in both directions, though it's still a bit tough to go from her tummy to her back.
She's an expert smiler. In fact, just a few days ago Eleanor had a modeling job for ELLE Japan (the magazine), but she was being a bit uncooperative.  So they used Clara for a bit. And she was such a great little model.

She loves her pacificier, and has taken quite well to eating solids now.  Though she's only had oatmeal, bananas, and carrots to date.  I think today we'll try out peas.

She's quite easily contented.  Her latest favorite things to play with are piles of ribbon, fabric measuring tapes, triangles of fabric...oh yeah, I've been finishing up Ellie's pennant quilt so there has been a lot of sewing paraphernalia to play with.

She still has no teeth.  Whatever, no majorly painful bites while nursing!

Ben's been gone this week, so I've been working on Clara sleeping through the night. And just like magic, it only took three nights, but last night she only woke up for a few minutes around 3 am to whimper and then promptly fell back asleep.  Please let it last!

We sure love having this girl around.