The Matsuri and Birthday-mania continues

 Still catching up on what we did over the weekend. On Sunday (May 21), we went to Norwalk to go to a family friend’s birthday. It was a very low key event, but a private chef did come and cater it. They served the most amazing tea and sandwiches. We also had some really good pasta salad and other picnic foods.

The kids enjoyed snacking on fruit and helping themselves to lots of herbal tea.

  

While the adults chatted, the kids basically had free reign of the house and outside. They were running around every which way just having a great time.

 

 After staying for about two hours, we decided to leave early so that we could go to “The Matsuri” in Harrison, NY. We stayed at the matsuri long enough for the girls to get to play six games each and to cash in their tokens for prizes. 

Emi playing the pitching game (not sure what this game is called). I dont think she could have gotten any closer.

  

Woohoo! She knocked a few off and surprisingly actually missed a few.

  

Mia did an awesome job and won tons of tokens.

  

Here the girls were playing a ball catching game. Apparently, this is where the yo-yo game was…but they ran out of yo-yos before we got there. The girls were pretty disappointed. Crazily enough some families would walk by and have like 10 yo-yos for one kid! We love the yo-yos too, but not sure that much!

  

Ring toss hosted by Mia and Emi’s current Japanese school. I’m not sure how much longer they will attend this place though. It’s pretty far from our house, and Emi literally breaks out in a rash from the stress of going there. Maybe a private tutor is the way to go?

  

Golf. The guy that ran this game was so super nice! He took quite a bit of time teaching Mia how to hold the gold club. He was so patient and cheerful.

   
 

Me and Emi took a break from the sun under this nice tree.


So, a few things.  The festival this year…..not as good as last. 😦 For example, the Japanese bakery wasn’t there this year. The girls realy wanted to grab a few things…but they were out of luck. Also, the food area was taken up by a giant tent selling Indian food?? I love Indian food, but you kind of want some Japanese food at a matsuri. Indian just felt out of place…..also lots of fusion options….no thanks.

Secondly, when we go to these sort of events….I totally hang out in the background and try to let Ten do his thing with the girls. It’s not because I don’t want to join in….it’s more because Japanese people tend to speak to our kids in English if they see me….but if I’m out of sight….then they use Japanese….so I’m like a creeper in the background at these things….unfortunately.

Anyway, after about an hour and a half, we headed to the grocery store and grabbed a few things for the week. Then we dropped Mia and Ten off at home and headed to our second birthday party of the day.

The second party was held at the Darien Nature Center. It was our first time there, and it was such a great venue for a birthday party. Emi actually said she was too tired to go, but these are pretty good friends…..so off we went.

The party started with a nature walk. Emi was really into trying to complete thr scavenger hunt card.

  

After the walk, we got to go inside and pet lots of critters. Some of them included bunnies, turtles, a hedgehog, snakes, and some lizards. The kids really enjoyed this part.

  
  

Finally, we headed downstairs to the basement where a very cute party room was set up. The theme was a beach party, and the decorations were adorable. Also, the goody bags were little sand buckets filled with things like sunglasses, beach balls, water guns, and more. Very fun.

  

The kids were served pizza, raw carrots, and fresh strawberries. Unfortunately, Emi was way just so overly excited about her noise maker that she forgot to eat. I had to keep going over and remind her to take a bite.

  

Simple theme and cute table.


We sang “Happy birthday,” and then ate the best cake ever. I’m honestly not much of a birthday cake fan, but they asked the adults to please have some as they just had so much left. I had barely eaten, so I took a piece….and omg. It was not overly sweet at all and had only a thin layer of icing. The center had some sort of custard cream in it…..so good. 

After Emi cleaned up her trash, we said our good byes and headed out the door with the rest of the guests. We finally made it back home at nearly six o’clock. It was a jam packed day, so we came home and crashed. I feel like even though there wa a lot going on this day, we managed to handle it in a way that didn’t feel overwhelming. 

Advertisements

Summer Adventures: Selleck Woods

 Last summer, Mia ended up doing 6 weeks of full day summer camp. It was intense, and she came home exhausted every day. Emi and I did several mommy and me type of classes, but we had to make sure we were home in plenty of time to have dinner ready and to meet Mia’s bus. It just felt way too busy.

This summer we decided to take a different approach. Mia and Emi will attend one week of half day dance camp at the beginning of summer break and two weeks of half day farm camp at the beginning of August. So, more time together and less time (a lot less) being away from home. So out of 13 weeks, they will only have camp for 3 weeks.

With all of that being said, I want to make sure that we are having lots of adventures. I’m not a huge fan of the whole “bucket list” thing, but I do like the idea of having some different summer adventures.

Today (May 17), the three of us were going to spend the afternoon at the beach. It was going to be really hot, and it would be a perfect first summer beach day (and yes I know it is still spring…but school is out for us next week). However, we got an invite to go trail walking in a nature preserve…after consulting with the girls…we decided a “nature bath” would be a good adventure to take.

So, we packed a gourmet lunch of PBJs, and I sliced up some watermelon for all of the kids….and we hit the road. About 30 minutes later, we were at Selleck’s Woods or Selleck Dunlap Woods. 

My girls were off and running as soon as we arrived. Look at all of that gorgeous greenery.

  

  

Emi and her friend were glued together while we were here. So great to have a playdate with friends who have 2 kids of similar ages.

This place is magical. There are streams, ponds, marshes, butterfly gardens, duck crossings, and more. Also, it is only two miles worth of trails. Very manageable with kids.

 

The girls had a great time running through the woods, imagining they were dinosaurs, smacking trees with sticks, throwing rocks in streams, and just being crazy. They also fell down and got countless scrapes and cuts. Living life to the fullest as preschoolers.

Taking a break after climbing up this rock.

  

The girls loved walking along this ring of stumps. The kids looked so cute in this pic. I did crop out their friends….as their faces were a little too clear in this pic.

After about an hour, we walked back to the cars and brought out a picnic dinner. The kids all enjoyed it and ate tons of watermelon. They finished off dinner with some homemade trail mix, and we then headed back into the woods for another half hour.
 

Finally, the mosquitos were starting to get the best of us, so we called it a night. We loaded back into the car and were able to make it back to our village just in time to meet Ten at the train station. 

We got home and everyone showered. We were covered in dirt and sweat. The shower was awesome. We then did a tick check and found a big splinter on Mia. We took care of that and put medicine on all of their scrapes and cuts. After reading two books all about T-Rex, the girls fell asleep immediately. Exhausted but happy.