Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thanks for 2008 and Happy New Year!

Thanks so much to everyone that has been reading my blog from time to time! Another great year is over and I hope you have enjoyed my experiences. While my son has taken over my life, and thusly my blog, please bear with me, I am always trying to think of Hamamatsu angles to my topics and anyway, Hamamatsu is still a big part of everything that we do. As are the people that stop by, so one more time, thank you so much and good luck to everyone in 2009! It will be a very tough year for some people, so those that are doing well, please try to think of those less fortunate.

I am also sorry the last 3 months, my posting has dropped off, I have been definitely struggling with the added responsibilities/time management since Ritsuko got back to work. But a new year is always a good time to renew one's efforts- so gambarimasu as they say here.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Opening presents and first performance

On Christmas, while he didn't quite have the process down, he was quite intrigued by his presents and was able to open them with a bit of help.

His second main present was a toy keyboard (that was actually reasonably priced). He had seen it at the store and was so excited about it. Here is a snip of his first ever performance- sounds a little like death metal, or 'noise'- but he is an up and coming artist...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas bonanza!

While it was Ken's 2nd X-mas, it was the first year that he could gain some appreciation out of the whole thing, so we were looking forward to it for him. He started with the Stocking and enjoyed these noisemakers and shook them quite enthusiastically.
He spotted the first big box and was quite intrigued.
The brand characters aren't so important yet, he has no idea who Thomas is, but he did like the push car that we saw at Warwicks when we went earlier in the month and I know he will get some enjoyment from this one. Music and car together.... Heaven!I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas as we most certainly did!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Turkey and Good Eats at Warwick's pad

Way back on December 7th, Warwick was holding his annual turkey feast and we managed to get our hands to a coveted invite to the event. So we loaded Ken into the car where he got some rest to to store up his energy before the event.
We arrived and quickly saw how big Tyler has become, running around and communicating and interacting with everyone quite toddler like.
Ken and Warwick enjoyed catching up on the old stories.We also met a nice guy from Canada named Robin. He was guest of Warwick's neighbours with whom he works in the school system.

We had a good time and a great feed meeting a lot of great people and eating some delicious food prepared by Warwick and Emi. Looks like we are on the hook for making the next inter-family feast!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ken talking on the telephone

Ken has taken a liking to picking up our telephone and copying our mannerisms while talking on the phone. Pretty funny sometimes...

And then he gets tired and it's time to sit down to continue the conversation...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Canucks and Shopping

I had Ken modeling my Canucks toque and was trying to figure out which way looked best on him, but they were both so danged good. I decided to run with both of them.
He doesn't really watch hockey yet, but he is totally ready to accessorize!I also took him to the new shopping mall that just opened nearby, Plehawalk and he really enjoyed cruising around the benches and talking to strangers. Looks like a little man in this picture! (by the way he still isn't really walking on his own but is very close-- he'll stand for long stretches but still a little chicken about taking steps....)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ken's Birthday

Another back-dated post for the sake of timing....
November 24th was Ken's first birthday! Wow- hard to believe it's only been a year, so many great memories already! Sadly for the days coming up to his birthday he had a fever and was a shadow of himself. Luckily on his big day he was fever free and relatively in good spirits, though the above was the only picture we took that day. We bought him a little tent that fills up with balls to play in. He loved it for the first day or so anyway....

Sadly he soon got sick again a couple of times over the next couple of weeks, so it seemed like he was sick for about a month straight. Been free and clear for the last week or so though, so hoping that sticks! (knocking on wood at this moment)

These other 2 pictures are just a couple of cute pictures that I hadn't posted yet from mid-November.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Setsuko's second party

Oops, where did all the time go? Back dating this entry so that it is a little closer to the date of the actual happening....

After we finished up at Setsuko's wedding we were able to go home for a bit and charge up the batteries. After which we hopped onto the train and went into Hamamatsu Central station area for the Reception party.
Ken was enjoying the train ride, apparently so was his mother.
In Short order we arrived at our destination.
The main attraction of this party was that they had a fresh side of Maguro that we watched them chop up and then had some very delicious sashimi. We were also treated to this bizarre dance display from the groom and some of his work buddies I would guess. Afterwards his matsuri (Hamamatsu festival) team showed their faces to scream "washoi!" a few times and help the groom to get drunk. There was a raffle in the event and sadly the person right after Ritsy and I won the Nintendo DSi-- so close! A good night all in all though!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Setsuko's Wedding Part 2

After the knot had been proverbial tied, it was time to eat, drink and be merry. Ken's date was "Pengy" the squeaky Penguin toy.
Ken had a good chance to practice his finger food skills. Thank goodness for bread! There was a lot of Eye Candy for him in the form of cutlery that was a constant battle to keep out of his hands.
They cut the cake, but now that I think about it, where did all those yummy profiteroles go? I never had one...
Two handsome guys.
Pengy was hitting the sauce a little too hard.
We finally managed to squeeze in for a photo op. I'm glad Ritsy and I had a small wedding, these poor saps didn't have a chance to touch their food.
Ritsy, Ken, Setsuko and her son Yuuki.
Yochhan was overcome with emotion (and alcohol) and got a little emotional to wrap up the festivities. A very nice day all in all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Setsuko's wedding part 1

Finally we could dust off Ken's Michael Corleone suit and head out to enjoy the wedding of Setsuko and Yochhan on Sunday November 15th. It was held at Amandan Rise a new wedding house here in Hamamtsu.
The followed the itinerary's schedule very tightly and headed over to the chapel in due time.
The minister was a nice guy from Spain with whom I chatted. He scattered some English and Spanish into the mostly Japanese sermon. It was quite a nice wedding even though it was a rainy day.
The newly wed couple, the Tajima's faced the crowd. I could barely recognize Setsuko!
Finally we enjoyed a nice "kampai!" (Japanese version of Cheers!) with Ken as we all cheered the new couple. Ken loves Kampai and will initiate many times throughout any mealtime.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Family Arrive : November 15th

With Setsuko and Yo-chan's wedding a day away, Ritsuko's mom's sisters and brothers arrived and we all went for Unagi down by the Tenryu river. Sorry can't remember the name of the place, but it looks like there is a great view in the day time.
Oh no, terrible with names here- sorry! Of course, Ken was quite popular as this is the first time in a long time some of the family had seen each other. This is one of Ritsy's aunts here (maybe Reiko...?)
And one of Ritsy's uncles -Nobuo pictured above. He had previously had a stroke, but seemed in good health (a relief for me to note considering my Aunt Mary had just suffered a hemorrhaging stroke)Setsuko's son from her first marriage, Yuuki is turning into quite a good young man.Aunt Chiemi also promised her aunts the next big event would be her wedding. That would be nice to see!It was a delicious dinner and a great chance to meet some more of Ritsy's family!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Ken!

Today is Ken's birthday! Looking back at all the pictures, it's tough to believe that it's only been a year. But at the same time it's unbelievable it's a year already! Anyway, what a great first year it's been and here is to many more! Happy birthday little guy!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some more picture catching up

Ken is starting to sit like a grown up. Hard to believe it's only been a year with all the little milestones!
Sadly, he also gets hypnotized by the tv a bit. It would be hypocritical to completely keep him away from it, but I keep a good eye out that he isn't watching violent tv. Thankfully Japanese tv is a lot more family friendly (sometimes infuriatingly so).One of our neighbours gave us this simple little play gym, he loves climbing around it like a little monkey.
And he is finally taking to going down the slide frontwards. In the beginning, it was also backwards.
And of course he still loves balls and balloons. This one, daddy over filled and it popped very easily.
Okay a lot of people are curious if he is walking yet. Sadly, the answer is still no. He did start cruising really early , but he has always seemed content with just that. Recently he has started standing on his own for long stretches, and he is quite excited about it, usually clapping happily, so I think it is getting closer.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Updating pictures

Unfortunately, it took Ken having a fever and me having to take a day off to buy me time to update the blog a bit. He has taken some medicine to bring down his temperature, but he is just a shadow of himself... Hang in there little man. Here are some recent Phone camera pictures.

Couldn't resist to buy him a X-mas hat. Probably parents everywhere have tortured their kids like this.
He has taken a great interest in feeding himself now, so we often try to make finger food for him.
Mom and Ken.
He also loves picking up the phone and copying our mannerisms while we talk on the phone. Very funny. But sorry if you get an accidental call from him, Ritsuko's mom already did.