12 Months Old

It is amazing how much has changed his first twelve months of life. Starting off as a helpless baby spending his day sleeping and eating (not to mention the diaper changes) and ending as an active toddler with too much energy to sit long enough to eat or let himself fall asleep.

The body is fearfully and wonderfully made and I'm continually reminded of that with CJ's unending bumps and bruises. Fortunately he can go from looking like he's fallen down a flight of stairs to baby smooth in a matter of a day or two. I don't know if kisses are much comfort but I smother him in them anyway. He seems to love it.

We are down to one afternoon nap and my goal throughout the day is to keep him active enough that he is exhausted enough to fall sleep quickly for both nap and bedtime. DaddyO is a big part of his nightly routine and has the magic touch to put him to sleep without nursing. He still cuddles up with me at night for milk but I know that is only going to last a little longer so I'm enjoying it.

Getting him to lie still enough for his twelve month picture was a challenge. He preferred to roll, sit and climb out of the basket. 

I guess that is why continuing to 24 months would be a difficult idea. He's much prefer to be climbing and riding on the tiger with his sister.

 It has been a special first twelve months with my little guy and I hope I always savor the time I'm given with him.

Washington Sakura Blossoms

It just so happened that we headed back to VA to reunite with DaddyO the same week the cherry blossoms were in their peak blooming season.

Cherry blossom viewing season was a favorite time while living in Japan and I was curious to see how DC compared.

We booked a room at the Bolling Navy Gateway Inn  and were greeted by some beautiful trees before we even entered the city.

We drove to see the trees around the lake that evening. I was amazed by how crowded the whole area was. The paths were packed with people strolling between the trees and blankets were spread out beneath the blooms. We decided to enjoy them from our car and return early the next day.

The blooms were a couple days past peak and and petals fell to the ground like snow as we walked beneath them.

The city hosted a cherry blossom viewing festival and we enjoyed some American favorite with a Japanese twist.

I must say the number and quality of the sakura blossoms rivaled many I saw in Japan but I did miss the kimonos.

National Arboretum

We stopped at the National Arboretum for a few hours on our way down to DC. If my mom hadn't recommended the garden  I don't think i would have discovered this gem. It's situated just a fifteen minute drive from the capitol and not to be confuted with the United States Botanic Garden.

We could have spend all day walking the paths but only had a couple hours before we checked into the Navy Lodge.

I was thrilled to find the Asian gardens with a Bonsai collection (one of the largest in North America) and Ikebana exhibit.

We primary purpose for coming to DC was for the cherry blossoms and seeing the exhibits brought back a lot of memories of our time in Japan.

The flower arrangements were some of the best I have seen. The simplicity of the arrangement highlighted the beauty of the flowers and harmony between the geometry and color.


The kids enjoyed exploring the corridors of bonsai trees.

And found their favorites.


Not only was this a fun excursion for my mom and me, but the kids had a wonderful time exploring the grounds and seeing the plants.

I can see the love of nature and gardens being cultivated in both of them.

The Unofficial First

DaddyO is feverishly renovating our Norfolk bathroom while we're visiting the grandparents so we're waiting to celebrate CJ's birthday when we're all together as a family. That being said we still couldn't let the day pass by without a little unofficial birthday celebration.

Instead of a cake we made a jello ring that EJ covered with whipped cream and sprinkles.

CJ seemed to know it was a special day. He kept his party hat on and smiled for the camera.

Then came the jello cake.

He loves to blow out candles so he knew exactly what to do.

He did what a one year old is supposed to do at his birthday, get covered in sweet confection.

His sister was happy to help.

How old are you?!

I'm one!

Sure do love my sweet little boy.

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