Parenting is tough beans. definitely the hardest thing I do. and I feel like I've had a rough couple of parenting days.
Zeb told Kent that I try to starve them while he's at work! ha! that one made me laugh out loud. he's also REALLY good at finding any contradictions in the things I say or do. It's terribly obnoxious and I have to remind him regularly that I'm the adult :) He actually told Kent and me that we are training him to be mean to his kids!! I told him he was right!! that's EXACTLY what we are doing! and Ike is a rascal in his own right. He's our defiant kid. Just says 'no' when we ask him to do anything he doesn't feel like doing. even simple things like:"you need to eat breakfast before school". it's beyond aggravating. although - I still prefer the mouthy bratty kids to a newborn screaming and keeping me up all night!! have I mentioned that's coming in three weeks?! EEEk. maybe that's why parenting is getting to me this week. I'm a little anxious.
Luckily metta has been pretty great lately. she doesn't point out my weaknesses quite yet!! She potty trained herself completely. I can't believe how easy she was. and how she'll even keep herself dry at night now. she's a toilet champ. It was all in a matter of two days. I was keeping her in diapers and pull ups when we went out and about because of the japanese hole toilets and just being busy- but she's totally fine. no accidents!!
so- this weekend- we went shrine and park hunting. We found this fabulous shrine super close to base! we'd passed it weeks ago and finally made the time to go back. it was huge. and lots more amazing than we could see from the road! We are trying to understand the culture and religious aspects of the shrines here - but there's a lot we still don't get! I'm always worried about the kids running around and being inappropriate- but there are usually Japanese kids running around doing the same things as our kids so it isn't too bad!!
I LOVE the colors in their buildings. they are so visually stimulating! this giant orange pagoda was stunning.
we never really know what all of the statues and idols at all of the shrines are. This shrine had a huge mountainside covered in miniature statues. and the people cover them with toys and trinkets and fruits and tea. We don't know if they are dedicated to the statues- or in memoriam of people. and the Japanese really truly do LOVE little character and cartoons and anime. they are EVERYwhere.
here is the huge hillside covered in statues.
some of them had bibs and raincoats on them! there were race cars and stuffed animals. and flowers and food.
I took a picture of this sign because Kent could read (at least part of) it. It says something about 'hand wash and toilet exist to the right'. At least that's what I think he said. Kent is pretty amazing with these kanji. Every time we go out- he astounds me.
oh- and speaking of Kent. He's got his pediatric boards a week from today! so send out some prayers for him. I know he'll do fine! but I think he's a little stressed :)
there was an entire complex of buildings here. We don't really understand the significance of each building. some are obviously dedicated to different Gods or entities- but we don't really know why or who.
The colored dragons are so amazing. I'm really learning to love the Asian flair to things and can't wait to buy some great stuff for our house!!
I definitely want a giant buddha belly in our house.
zeb and ike under a dragon!
One large main building had a ceremony going on inside. there were people chanting on the loudpeakers and the gongs were being gonged (is that a word??!). People walk around the big building and roll their hands along these metal turning lanterns. Other kids and families were doing it- so we gave it a try, too.
fall is just starting here and I couldn't be happier. the humidity is almost gone and the air is crisper and cooler. I can't wait for the leaves to change colors! and we lucked out with such a cool weekend on the volcano eruption day! we had shut down our A/C units to prevent ash getting sucked in! we didn't really even get anything. I was kind of hoping for a snow fall of ash but the winds died down and the ash didn't ever accumulate here! the volcano that erupted was a couple hundred kilometers away,
after our long day- we celebrated a little more of our ten year anniversary with putting the kids to bed, some takeout from "taj mahal" a new delicious indian restaurant we found with the world's friendliest owner who gave us all free "mango lassy", and a viewing of the latest episode of project runway. even with crazy kids and hard parenting weeks- I'm happy to be married to kent!
and I totally forgot about all of these pictures from last weekend! we made our first trip to COSTCO when kent was on call. I think it will be our 'call weekend' tradition. Kent can't go further than 20 minutes from base- so costco is just about the exact distance. and it was so welcoming! I felt like I was wandering the aisles in Utah with my family! it's the very same costco as in America!
well- except for the octopus:
oh, and the american ice cream is 17 dollars :)
and the pizza is covered in shrimp.
they do have LOTS of samples, though :) we even ended up buying these udon nooodles!
but check out the line for the dessert samples! and you thought the sample lines in Utah County were bad!! but the japanese people wait so politely in these long lines for their free taste :)
But, seriously- the store is very comforting and feels so familiar!
and lunch was lovely!!
the coolest part is the grocery cart escalator walkways. They have them at ikea, too. they are ramps to and from the parking garages that fit the grooves of the cart wheels so you don't fly down them!
hooray for costco!! and their free samples. and pizza and hot dogs.