Last Days Of Summer

Since things have been a bit slow for me at work lately, I decided to take advantage of it, and take a few days off to spend it with Haru and my wife.  We decided to drive over to Chiba and spend a few days at the country house again.

Personally, I don’t really like Japanese summers.  It’s hot, humid, and everywhere you go, it’s crowded.  But the one good thing about Japanese summers is that it’s cultural.  There are O-Bon festivals everywhere you go, firework shows, and other summer festivals.  And not to forget the tradition of going to the beach.  And although I don’t particularly enjoy these things anymore, I did enjoy them as a kid, and I felt that it’s only fair that Haruka experience these summer traditions as well.  So, as the last days of summer come to end, we decided to take Haruka to the beach and to Mother’s Farm in Chiba, to let her see what a Japanese summer is like first hand.

Although it wasn’t the first time for Haru to ever see the ocean, it was the first time to be at a beach.  She seemed to enjoy it a lot, until one of the waves knocked her down on her butt.  After that, she was very apprehensive about going near the water.  But overall, she seemed to like the beach.  We were there for about an hour.  And although the weather was a bit over-casted, she managed to get quite a tan in such short amount of time.

After the beach, we had lunch at the house and had nap.  We then headed up to Mother’s Farm, a small amusement park like farm up in the nearby mountains.  Apparently they have have firework shows up there so it was a good opportunity to let Haru see some fireworks.  We rode on some of the rides, like the ferris wheel and other rides for small children, and the caught the short 15 minute firework show.  It was nice in that there weren’t a ridiculous amount of people there as these things usually attract.  We were able to get a pretty seat in the grass opening and see the whole entire show.

After we got back, we decided to do our own fireworks with some sparklers we bought at the convenience store.  Haruka, unfortunately took very little interest, and preferred to break the unlit sparklers into two.  Oh well, maybe next year.

Haru, grabbing he mom by her shoulders

Watching her first fireworks show

Watching her first fireworks show

Playing in the water at the beach

Running of the beach

Haruka, not happy about the sand on her hands and feet

enjoying the light show

Running around with a bucket.  Notice the tan.

More fun with the bucket

Haruka and the dogs

Playing with fire

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Haruka, Annie, and the breakfast club

I have taken a few days off from work this week so that we can spend a few days at the country house in Chiba.  Originally, we were planing to leave today, but my wife had to go to the hospital to treat some mystery ailment that had been bothering her for the last two weeks now.  It turns out that she has some small kidney stones passing through her bladder but nothing to be worried about.  The doctor said that she’ll be able pass the stones through her system in a few days.

Meanwhile, we decided to stop at our local furniture store to look for a new living room rug.  We also went there to get some ideas on how to decorate Haruka’s room that we’re hoping to move her over to by the end of the year.  I  can already tell it’ll be a difficult transition, because she’s already climbing out of her crib and crawling into bed with us in the middle of the night.  Sometimes it takes me totally by surprise to wake up in the morning to see that Haru has stolen my pillow, my blanket, and most of my sleeping space.

Progress-wise, Haru is continuing to learn new words in both Japanese and English at a tremendous pace.  I estimate that she has a fifty word vocabulary.  She can now identify many objects in both languages, and I think she distinguish which words are Japanese and which are English.  She also knows to speak English with me and Japanese with her mother which is pretty amazing.  This means that she code-switch pretty effectively, which is something I struggled with for a long time as a child.

My wife also bought Haru the 1982 version of the movie Annie on DVD, which I enjoyed so much as a kid.  Amazingly, Haru has taken a quick liking to it.  She’s already watched it three times.  Every time Annie appears, Haru would point to the TV and say “Annie! Annie!”  Even more surprising, she’s already memorized the melody to some of the songs and she tries to hum the verses.

The breakfast club, Haru (middle) and her friends.

Haru and her friend playing in the pool.

Testing out the rugs at the furniture store.

more of the same

climbing on the furniture….

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