Drive-By Blogging

Too busy to write an essay but here are a few things I am thinking about:

You MUST see this movie. It’s animated (but definitely not for children) and set in a suburb of Melbourne. Voiced by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Toni Collette. In short – one of the best movies I have seen in a long time and instantly on my list of all time favourites.

I also saw another great movie over the weekend (I love it when my Netflix queue comes through with the goods). A wonderful period drama that makes me want to learn more about Queen Victoria… and speak with a british accent. Melbourne also made an appearance in this one in the form of Lord Melbourne, the person after whom the city was named.

Thomas picked out Samuel’s clothes yesterday and they were both dressed by the time I came downstairs. Just wanted to share this newly discovered benefit of the sibling relationship. Of course I then had to go back and re-dress Samuel so that his pajamas were not underneath his shorts and his legs were through two different holes of the pants. Still, it’s progress.

Kimonos courtesy of Obachan, all the way from Japan.

Speaking of Japan, my third and final chance for the World Cup bowed out this morning. I still don’t care, but it would have been nice to jump on the bandwagon if they had won.

The next photo is for my sister-in-law. Her name is Emma and I think the illustration looks a little like her. Random.

And, finally, a photo to celebrate the fact that we had a temporary foray back to ice-cream weather on the weekend (although the pic is a couple of months old). I have my fingers crossed that the sun will shine throughout my four day weekend.

By the Seaside

I just realized that I failed to post more photos of our trip to the Oregon Coast last month. I think I mentioned that it was raining and cold during most of our stay, but we had a fabulous time nonetheless and I believe the sun even came out for a few minutes during our last few hours.

Five families, 10 adults and eight boys under 5.

We stayed in a couple of houses right on the beach – nothing fancy (and about 100 years old), but big enough to hold everyone without driving the parents crazy, and with some amazing views.

There was also a play structure right on the beach that I think Kei enjoyed just as much as the kids.

At times the weather was perfect for flying kites, although a little chilly.

And we found things to keep us occupied when the rain kept us indoors, because when you are stuck with eight boys indoors, it’s VERY important to keep them occupied.

On the final night we gathered around the campfire and cooked up some ‘smores. You could almost say we were camping (although I’m glad we weren’t). Camping or not, my intense fear of children around fires is the same. I spent so much time saying “Don’t go there” and “Keep back!” that I’m surprised I was able to get any shots at all.

Here are a bunch more favourites from the weekend because sometimes you just can’t narrow it down to two or three (or ten…)

Many directions

I have nothing fun to say today. Work is incredibly busy and is sucking every single creative word and thought from my body.

Don’t get me wrong – I love that I have a creative job and that I can spend more than an hour choosing a colour palette (happened today) or conjuring up ideas for a fun video (last week and the week before), I just feel a little drained.

But then I come home and my two year old is standing at the door saying “mummy, mummy, mummy!” before I can even turn the key and my 4 year old manages to get Star Wars Cantina running through my head over and over again (to the tune of Copacabana).

Let’s just say I have a life that pulls me in many (mostly good) directions. The following P365 photos just reinforce that fact…

Tonight Samuel said “my best friend is Thomas”. I think they had a good day together.

Where I spend a large proportion of my time. I took this at about 9pm on a Friday night during an emergency video editing session. Oh, and I don’t work for the post office. That was just a random box.

Dancing with Thomas at our local kid-friendly pizza and music joint.

Same night. This is obviously not my child, but I just love this photo of my friend’s daughter. That’s my friend in the background as well as her other daughter.

The closest thing we got to a family portrait last month.

And finally, a rare quiet moment.


It’s been a while since I’ve posted any P365 pictures and, to be honest, I really haven’t been doing the photo-a-day thing. Instead I find myself taking a bunch of photos on one day and then a few another with days in-between where I won’t take a photo at all. It seems to be working for me right now.

School finished on Tuesday but work is crazy and I feel a little overwhelmed and stressed. Adding one more thing to my list of to-do’s is just not on the cards. Instead I think I’ll just give myself a little break and let myself take a photo when I feel inspired to do so.

I am excited about one planned photo opp, however. I signed up for the Scott Kelby photowalk this year. The bad news is that I’ll have to drag my butt out of bed at 5:00am on a Sunday but the good news is that I’ll be free to take photos inside a local amusement park before it opens. I can’t wait!

I have also been lacking in the P365 photo share department so I’ll share a few recent pics that share the a common hue.

(Thanks Obachan for the Hapi coat).


Today is the last day of the school year. I have been looking forward to this day for a few weeks, not because I desperately wanted Thomas to finish his first year of pre-school, but because it means that both children will be attending the same daycare for the summer and I will be able to shave about 90 minutes from my commute each day.

I am hoping that this extra time (and a little stress relief) will help us get back on track. The past couple of months have been challenging for a number of reasons – rain, work challenges, cranky toddlers, sassy pre-schoolers, and did I mention rain? I think we’re all suffering from a severe vitamin D deficiency and a sunny day would go a long way to helping us get back on track.

We went out for dinner tonight and, as we left the restaurant following a quick but impressive rainstorm, we saw this…

It reminded me to look on the bright side and consider the many small wonderful things that are happening in our lives right now.

  • Samuel is learning to dress himself and managed to get his legs into two different holes of his pajama pants tonight.
  • Thomas has a best friend who will be in the same class again next year. We’re setting up a few play dates and sleepovers during the summer.
  • Our veggie garden is growing – at least half of it – and we have a few strawberries ripening in my new hanging ┬ábaskets. We’ll tackle the second garden bed this weekend.
  • We have family coming to visit in July – I am excited to see how much my nephews have grown over the last few years. It’s been far too long since we’ve seen them and I can’t wait to have a house full of boys (ok, I’m a little frightened as well).
  • We are planning another overseas trip – this time to Japan. (yippee!)
  • Thomas knows how to write almost the entire alphabet – in Japanese and English. I am so proud of how much he has learned in just one short year.
  • Samuel still says “I love you” every day and doesn’t hesitate to give me big hugs and kisses whenever I ask (and sometimes when I don’t). He also went to bed without crying tonight (a small victory) and has completely given up the binky (aka dummy or pacifier, depending on where you come from).

I am also grateful that I stumbled across these pictures tonight. A reminder of that special brotherly relationship.

Also a good reminder to never let your guard down with a two-year-old.

Climbing Trees: Mosaic Monday

The weather is finally turning in Portland (at least it seemed to be yesterday). For the Ishidas it meant a weekend full of veggie garden prepping and playing outside. It also meant a visit to the plant nursery and the opportunity to dream about the big tree that will one day grace our yard. I’m hoping for a eucalyptus, but I think we’ll be more likely to find (and afford) something a little more local. Whichever tree we end up with, I just hope it grows quickly so that Thomas can enjoy one of his new favorite pass times right in the backyard.

After looking at these pictures I suppose I could settle for a dogwood…

Friday Flashback

Nearly three years ago I traveled with a teeny tiny little boy to Australia and took this photo. He was not quite two years old, an only child and kindly waiting until after we returned home to hit the dreaded terrible two’s (actually, he waited almost until he turned three to hit that milestone – his brother, however…).

This morning that same boy declared to me that “My brain is the Policeman of my body. If I feel like I want to hit, then my brain tells my body not to do it and my lungs put my body in jail”. It’s crazy how much change can occur in just three short years.