Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Shomyoji Hanami

Hanami: the practice or custom of viewing cherry blossoms when they are in full bloom.

Japan is magical for about two weeks while the cherry blossoms are in bloom.  We, and everyone else in Japan, like to make the most of it by getting outside and enjoying springtime.  It is very common to go to a park and picnic under the trees.

On this day we went to one of our favorite parks, Shomyoji for hanami.
 The kids, posing at the train station.

I didn't get any pictures, but we did a short hike that had a great view and ate at the top.  There were a lot of stairs and it was hard with Calista.  Last time I carried her, but I was already carrying Beatrix.  I think I'll have to hold off on any real hiking until Calista is bigger or Bob is with us so we can both carry a child.  We went pretty slow because of her and I did feel like we were holding friends up.  Not that they said anything.
Tucker couldn't come because he needed to be home to take care of a neighbors dog.  He was happy to miss the hike, but I wished he could have home and enjoyed the outdoor time with us.

 And the walk back to the train station.
Each time we go we stop for some taiyaki.  This time I tried both sakura (cherry blossom) and blueberry.  Everyone agreed that the blueberry was much better.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Basketball Season

Last year basketball season was crazy, which is why I was happy when Tucker was the only one who wanted to be on a team this year.  I will probably encourage more kids to participate next year.  But one child on a team was all I could handle this year.  Having a baby kind of kept me pretty busy.
Tucker really enjoyed it, and I could tell he improved throughout the season.
Bob was able to leave work for each game, but he had to go back once it ended.  The kids made made sure the utilize him being around for the hour each Saturday.

These pictures are from a couple different games.

I think Tucker had really great coaches this year.  They seemed to know what they were talking about and were also pretty great with the kids. 

Now for a free Saturday to catch up on some blogging before baseball games start.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Scarlett for Kate Spade

It wasn't until watching Scarlett at this Kate Spade shoot that I realized how much she really seems like a professional model.  She has came such a long way from her first shoot, it is really amazing.  I was talking to a friend about it and she thought it was funny how they call the kids and babies models.  At first I might have thought the same thing, but not anymore.  Some of these kids do everything just like an adult model and at the shoots they really treat them like the model.  It really is  a job for them and I feel like I'm supporting them and kind of an afterthought.

The catalog came out a couple days ago and we were thrilled that Scarlett was on the cover.  There is a link to the catalog here.  But we went to the actual store to hunt down a couple hard copies to keep.  Sometimes the agencies give out a copy for the models and sometimes they don't, it just depends on what they are given.  We never get to keep any of the clothing, which is a bummer.
It is so funny to see which pictures they liked and put online or in print.  Like this next one of Scarlett, why did they choose her grumpiest face?  I know it happens, but she has not been to a shoot yet where they ask her to smile.

Now I want to share the background and set up of the photo shoot.  Above you can see the two pictures they took from this set up.
The clients are usually very particular and want everything exactly the way they have in mind.  

Lots of people are there to watch and make you feel weird.  One person is dedicated to helping the kids get dressed and have snacks.  Then there is the hair person, the photographer, and others that I really don't know what they do.
There is usually some sort of plan up on the wall with the clothing and kids pictures.

And there is usually lots and lots of waiting and downtime.  Like we could be there an hour or two and do nothing.  There are usually more then one child taking pictures and they rotate individuals and groups to get the shots they want.  They are in no rush at all.  I did go to two shoots where we were busy pretty much the whole time, but generally we are all very bored the whole time.

I took a video of the last shoot Scarlett did.

And here is Scarlett at the Kate Spade store, holding the catalog, standing in front of the mannequin that is wearing the dress she is wearing on the cover.  The employee's were very excited that she was there.  They took pictures and seemed more excited about it than Scarlett.  I was probably more excited than she was as well.  Calista really wanted out of the stroller and to be done for the day.  She is not a fan of hour long train rides.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Beatrix 2 Months

Two months!  Yay!  
The last couple of weeks I've been able to notice a big change in Beatrix.  She really is starting to feel less like a newborn and more just like a baby.  One of the biggest changes is that we have been able to get her on a schedule of sorts.
She doesn't follow it exactly, but I've been trying to feed her at the same times every day and put her down for naps at consistent times.  She basically eats every three hours, is awake for an hour, then goes down for a nap.  Eat, play, sleep, eat, play, sleep...
It is much easier for me because I put her down to nap in her "bed" (pack and play in our closet and then I have a little bit of time to get things done before I need to feed her again.
The first week of trying to be more consistent went pretty poorly.  But the next two weeks it started to get better.  The hardest part was getting her to sleep during the sleep times, and she really started getting the hang of it.  I think consistency is key!  Always putting her down in the same place at the same times was most helpful in getting her to learn to sleep without being held.
We sure do love her.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Leon's 6th Birthday Photography

Where better to take pictures of a six-year-old boy then his neighborhood park?  We snuck out Saturday morning while everyone else was doing chores to take pictures.  Leon was pretty easy to get to do a natural smile.  I just had to pretend to tickle him or tell him not to smile and it worked every time.  He is really such a happy little guy.

We made sure to do lots of playing pictures between posing pictures.  They might be my favorites because they show how Leon actually is.  He never just stands still and smiles.
He is always playing.  Either by himself or with one of his siblings.  Usually Tucker.  They wrestle around quite a bit.  But he isn't against playing with one of the girls either.  Leon can even be pretty helpful with Calista.
True to most six-year-olds Leon can get pretty upset over what seems like small things.  I think he has little brother syndrome because he is always so loud.  He has to be loud to insist he gets a turn or his fare share.  I feel like I'm always asking him to calm down or quiet down.
I made Leon wear jeans for these pictures.  He usually always wears sweats and a t-shirt with tennis shoes.  It is almost like these shoes go by the front door instead of by the other shoes because he cannot remember to put them away, and he is always taking them off and on to run outside.

Leon is very sweet and likes to give me lots of hugs.  Like lots and lots of hugs.  Ok, probably just a couple a day, but they seem to come out of nowhere and sometimes I have to resist pushing him off of me and asking what he is doing.  I have to slow down and remind myself that he is just trying to give me a hug and he is not trying to make me spill the food I'm making for dinner.
These we Leon's favorite pictures.  He just played on the bar for a little bit while I took photos.

It is cherry blossom season here in Japan meaning his birthday pictures will probably always be near the pretty sakura trees.

Happy Birthday Leon!