these days


A few pictures from life these days... things have been a bit of a whirlwind lately and the last few months with baby Ellie have just flown by. I'm still trying to figure out how to keep up on everything that needs to be done with 5 little ones, it seems like a constant rotation of feeding and cleaning (Groundhog Day anyone?) but we're starting to get a good system down and there might even be some sleep in my near future (praise God!). It's certainly a lot of fun having a baby in the house again, even though Violet still thinks she's the baby too!

Henry is constantly doing the most amazing things that just make me go what? how did we get so lucky to have him as our boy? The other day he wanted to reorganize his nature books and he categorized them into diverse wildlife, creatures with scales, survival books, encyclopedias, small animals, and habitats. He's amazing. That's all I can say.

The kids are starting to get excited about Christmas and Akemi has been talking about holiday lane and the christmas lights and candy canes since about June so she is especially happy. I would say it's her most favorite time of the year for sure! She has been taking ballet and just adores her class. She insists on wearing her ballet tights all the time and the other day I warned her she may get a hole in the knee from wearing them so much and she said "no mom, these won't rip, they're made of rubber silk! it's the strongest fabric you can find!" I just love her crazy ideas! 



I have to be honest, Halloween is my least favorite holiday. For me, October marks the sad but inevitable end of warmer weather and sometimes I'm just not ready to see it go (ok, I'm never ready to see it go). But the kids love dressing up and the whole pumpkin carving, candy, scary movie thing so we usually keep it simple and do just that. This year, we decorated cupcakes and made some spooky art too. Akemi and Violet wanted to be princesses so I made them some costumes that I'm sure they'll get lots of use out of in the dress up trunk for the rest of the year. Naomi wanted to be a Japanese princess and wear my kimono from Japan and Henry basically just likes any excuse to put on his sombrero, so that was easy! They had a great time trick or treating, especially Akemi who was talking the entire time and had tons of commentary on every house she visited (oh nice house! that's a cool doorbell, it lights up! that garage has two cars! this is a fancy house! they gave me TWO candies!). And just as we headed home there was thunder and lightening and the rain came down, so all in all it was a very spooky night. And now I'm happy to move on to other holidays! 

And just for fun, Halloween last year and back in 2010.

two months old


Our sweet little Ellie is 2 months old already, how did that happen?! It feels like just yesterday the kids were lying in our bed with their hands on my belly to feel her little kicks and we were all debating what color hair this one would have. And now here she is! Fitting into the nooks and rhythms of our daily life like she was always here. I'm still a little awestruck looking at her because honestly, this pregnancy was the roughest on me and I'm just kind of amazed we got through it all. All those moments I would daydream about seeing her little face and now, she's staring back at me with her big brown eyes and chubby little smile. It melts my heart every single day and I am so grateful. 

And she certainly is lucky to have her own little fan club right from the get go... the kids are always racing over to see who will get to hold her when she's done nursing, or sneaking in first thing in the morning to coo at her when she wakes up. Akemi and Naomi just adore the early morning hours with the baby and Henry has taken to snuggling with Violet, so really, that takes care of all our kids and Kenji and I get to have coffee together almost every morning (and I count my lucky stars for that because time together can be a rarity!) I'm so thankful we have easy babies and she is such a dream to be around.

The kids all have the cutest things they love to do for her, like Akemi will dance and sing for her and say "mama I taught Eleanor how to dance today!" and Naomi loves to hold her. Violet calls her "bebe ellie" in the cutest little voice and tells us what we should do with her...  she has so many commands!

put bebe ellie bouncy seat!

no nurse bebe ellie!

bebe ellie wake up!

bebe ellie say hi!

give it papa! she says when she wants papa to hold the baby so I can hold her. Oh Violet, we love you too.

So, baby Ellie, our house may be crowded and the days may be loud but there is love here... so much love. We're all pretty smitten with you.