ohanami). Taiga's little buddy from Sacramento visited us. And my childhood friend (osananajimi), Cindy and her daughter, finally made it this summer. Aki and Taiga were lucky enough to join them on their trip to Kyoto. They could see Japan's most famous festival, the Gion Matsuri.
We celebrated Aki's nieces birthdays at Disneyland. Aki's brother, Uncle Yasu, is 6'2 inches (188cm) so we always tell Taiga if he eats his veggies and drinks his milk he'll grow up to be big like him. :)
Taiga continues to entertain us. He loves singing to himself, telling jokes and then saying, "That's a funny one huh" and just loves loves talking. We call him our little "chatterbox"! He also loves riding his bicycle, riding trains, swimming, running and eating ice cream and snacks. He goes to daycare twice/week and "Baba" (grandma) babysits him once a week. He loves going out and meeting people. He'll wave and say "hi everyone" or "konnichiwa" to anyone. He speaks English with daddy and nihongo with mommy and can switch back and forth effortlessly. We were amazed how he just naturally knows which language to use. Inside the house, it's all Thomas the train or Cars! Daddy's favorite inside activities are "Hide & Seek" (kakurenbo) or wrestling with him. He started potty-training a few months ago but sad to say there has been almost zero progress. On Christmas Eve, he left out cookies and milk for Santa and was happy that Santa came and left him a present. :)
Aki was busy this year taking care of our family and school. She goes to the gym when she can find some free time. This year she's also really improved her ukulele playing. Her group even had a couple of performances. I'm still teaching part-time at university (pic. at lunch with Tokai colleagues) and full-time at our school. Thank goodness I love my work/students. I still love playing basketball. I'm the number one bench-warmer but don't mind. Actually playing one quarter a game is quite enough for me! It's just fun to be part of a team and playing with a bunch of good guys. I tried getting into jogging this year but can't seem to get past 10K or one hour of running. I go to the gym (4B) once a week. I can see my friends and exercise at the same time. :)
Watching Taiga grow and spending a lot of quality family time has made 2012 a very good year! Only a few days until the new year. Much happiness and good health to you all in 2013!