Friday, May 31, 2013

May wrap up

With all the craziness our lives have been, we have had little time to post on here.  Instead of post in individual posts (I don't have the time) I will just do a monthly wrap up!
Final day in Okinawa.  Daddy got an award at work and Zach got a haircut!

Packing up and taking a final photo in front of our home in Okinawa

Saying bye to Japan.  Our home, Daddy's work, the highway, and of course- Jail!

Ready to go!  Bye bye Whitney!  

Welcome to America!  Our home, our ugly monkey drapes in our new home (I may have to keep them!) the price of apples (wow so cheap!) and of course- TARGET!

How the boys keep busy without our things
New things!  Zach's new car- Mommy's new car- Our new couches

getting things done.  Making a pallet garden, making a bird feeder, painting the dining room, and some of our things arrived!

love the japanes kanji!

Playing outside.  I love zach's fat face!
 love these boys!
strawberry picking with auntie
Auntie came with Lidia! 

Went to the zoo!

A bunch of randoms!  Dima gave Eli the shot glass to play with because he had no toys yet!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Elijah 365 part 36

Another crazy week!  This week started with lots of errands and stuff again.  On Tuesday, Eli's Auntie came from NYC to visit him.  We had a fun week with her, and Daddy even returned to work.  Things are beginning to feel more settled.  
Eli's got lots of teeth coming in at once.  He's got 4 currently about to break through the skin, so he's in a lot of pain.  He has been fighting naps and bed because he's miserable.  It doesn't help too much that he's been restricted on movement.  He is also getting very confident in his standing!  He can almost do it all by himself by now.  My how fast it's all happened since he began sitting up.  Next time I blink he'll be off at college at this rate!
Day 254- May 20.  Playing with his doggy in his playroom

Day 255- May 21.  His Auntie Liza and pretty much Cousin, Lydia came to visit!

Day 256- May 22.  Family time in the front yard with Auntie

Day 257- May 23.  Tubby time fun.  We made a big bubble bath

Day 258- May 24.  Spending time with Daddy before bed

Day 259- May 25.  Went to the zoo today in DC.  The boys were being silly when we stopped for some starbucks

Day 260- May 26.  Chowing down on some snacks

Saturday, May 25, 2013

DC Zoo

One of the best things about living in Northern Virginia is the fact that we are so close to DC.  We love touring the free museums along the National Mall.  One of the many museums along the way, is the national zoo.  It is one of the few museums in the world that hosts pandas.  We were even lucky enough to have had perfect weather the day of our visit!  And having Auntie Liza with us helped out as well.  
Well to say our trip didn't go as planned would be an understatement.  We woke up in the morning and quickly got dressed and headed up north on 95.  Zach was doing great.  Quiet, and eating along the way.  Well as we got into DC, he got abnormally quiet.  Just as we were passing the federal buildings and numerous national police, he decided to upchuck every bit of his snack as he ate.  There is nothing worse then watching your child getting sick.  The fact that we were next to national federal buildings didn't help.  We pulled over and Dima ran across the street to a McDonalds to grab some napkins.  I grabbed Zach and tried to clean him up a bit.  It was no use.  He was soaked.  I had to take all his clothes off (as police and passerby stared at me.) and hugged him tight to me.  He stunk, but he was freezing. (A sensation he hadn't ever felt before I might add!) 
After everything was cleaned up as much as we could, we had to stop somewhere to get new clothes.  His clothes were beyond disgusting and we had to throw out his only shirt we purchased in Oki.  As usual, the DC traffic was terrible.  We couldn't find a parking spot, so Dima had to circle around the area until we could buy everything.  Luckily they were having a huge sale and we got a shirt for 2 bucks, and hats for those cold bald heads for .25 cents!  
After that mayhem we finally made it to the zoo, much later then planned.  We again couldn't find a parking spot.  Eventually We all got out of the car and Dima spent 45 minutes finding a spot. (far from the park!) In any case, we had fun seeing the animals.  We could tell Zach wasn't quite himself still, but turns out he was just starving from throwing up!  He may still be a bit young to be interested in the zoo though, because we seemed to be more enthused then he was!  

The weather was cold (45 degrees is very cold to us oki people!) so the pandas were inside today.  This was taken from very far away in very bad lighting.  

He didn't get to feed these ones!

Playing around

The boys making a starbucks run.  We tried to buy our traditional starbucks city mug for our collection to remember this trip, but they didn't have the right one.  
After our zoo trip, we headed down to georgetown.  When we lived here 4 years ago, we spent many nights in georgetown walking along the streets and bar hopping.  Georgetown is always hopping, and is a really fun place.  Now of course, our bar hopping days are gone.  But we were excited to finally try one of the cupcakes featured on the TLC show "Georgetown Cupcake."  They always seem to have very long lines, so someone warned us ahead of time to order in advance.  We went online the night before and ordered a bunch of cupcakes.  All we had to do was stop in and pick them up!  Easy peasy! And wow, what a long line it was.  
And yes, the cupcakes were amazing.  

salted caramel, patriotic memorial day, cookies and cream, chocolate ganache, earl grey, plain vanilla with chocolate, hummingbird, another mint cookies and cream, a plain vanilla, and coconut!  
What a memorable memorial day weekend we had!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

strawberry fields forever

One of the biggest things I missed being in Japan was strawberries.  They are my favorite fruit, and the strawberries in Japan were always moldy and very expensive.  So when we got to America, we were excited for strawberry season.  Luckily, strawberry season was already upon us in Virginia.  The weather has been a bit odd in Virginia this season, so we were concerned about the picking conditions, however I think we choose the perfect morning.
We headed down the the beautiful countryside of Fredericksburg and arrived at a tiny little farm.  It was not nearly as big as the farm we were used to Connecticut, but it had a wonderful southern charm to it.  Along with some wonderful goodies in their country store.
We grabbed a basket that held 10 pounds of strawberries, and a smaller one to hold 5 pounds.  I don't think we actually picked 15 pounds, but we most likely picked 12 pounds of beautiful strawberries.  Not to mention all the ones we ate along the way!
My sister in law, Liza ready to pick some strawberries!

Beautiful strawberries


He ate more then he helped

picking while holding an infant was not easy

Zach's happy face

he wouldn't stop eating!


 After picking and buying some yummy farm fresh items (milk, pumpkin butter, local honey, and some wonderful vinaigrettes) we headed to the store to pick up some things to make preserves.  I've never done this before, but I was dying to try to make a healthier version.  Most jams and preserves are loaded with added sugars.  Turns out the pectin required for them works with sugar.  But after a bit of research, I learned that there is a pectin sold that doesn't require sugar.  Wonderful.  We headed to the nearest healthy grocery store and found it right away.
Making jam turned out to be quite easy, however I did make the mistake of following one recipe from the internet that came out as more of a sauce (which was still good!) and the other came out exactly how we wanted!  It was not fun making it, only because our AC was out and it was 90 degrees.  We also don't have all of our things still, so we were using small pots and pans!  It was worth the effort because our fresh made jam taste wonderful.
Mason jars and strawberries

ready to be "jammed"

Did you know a straw perfectly cores a strawberry? 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Exploring Nature

Okinawa had it's own Natural surroundings.  Our back yard consisted of all sorts of things from Habus to dragonflies, frogs to dragonflies, and even mongoose to geckos.  Zach was very used to these things so it was a real shocker to move here.  He had never even seen a squirrel until a week ago!  Now we have squirrels on our deck constantly!  The dog doesn't know what to do.
I am very excited to share this wonderful world with Zach.  He is very interested in his surroundings, and what better way to show him then to encourage nature to come to us?  So this week we set out to make a bird feeder.  The plan was to make our own, but we found this great kit and put together our own.  Zach was so interested and once it was set up, he kept pointing to it and asking where the birds were.  For some reason he thought they would come right away.  Sorry Zach!
Gathering our supplies

All set!  Gotta hang it now so the squirrels don't eat it all though!
Every evening, after dinner, we set aside family time to play.  That usually has consisted of playing in the driveway lately, with Zach's new play car.  While playing this week, we found a salamander!  I haven't seen one in years and was excited to show Zach.  We named him Sal, and Zach liked waving to him and occasionally getting out of his car and talking to him.  We sure do love science!  Can't wait to see more in the next 3 years!  We are even debating getting a fish tank set up soon.
Our friend Sal.  He was being attacked by bugs.  Poor guy!