When you have kids, you change. You celebrate everything together. You cherish the seasons changing and watch as your kid changes with them.
So, usually by now I would have taken Jude to a pumpkin patch for pictures and to pick out a pumpkin for Halloween. But seeing that we now live in Tokyo, Japan, that won't be happening this year. Missing our American holidays is one of the draw backs of living in Japan.
I miss everything associated with fall. I miss pumpkin patches and haunted houses. And seeing as how we live in a concrete jungle called Tokyo, I don't think we will be able to find a pumpkin patch to play in this year. However, last year we carved multiple pumpkins at YaYa's house, roasted pumpkin seeds, and went trick or treating at the beach. Jude had a great time. This year, we'll only be carving one pumpkin because they cost so much here in Japan. Another thing I miss about Fall are the scrumptious sweet potatoes I used to eat, especially the ones at Texas Road House Steak House. Japanese sweet potatoes are good, but much drier than American ones. I've tried repeatedly to add brown sugar and marshmallows to the Japanese sweet potatoes, but they come out dry and nasty.
I've tried my best to decorate our apartment with "Fall" like items to remind Jude of the way we used to celebrate the change of seasons. However, I've failed miserably!
And, this year we will be celebrating Jude's birthday without family and life long friends. (Jude's birthday is on the 21st.) Last year Jude had multiple birthday parties and cakes for his birthday. BJ and her husband J were certainly the hostess with the mostess and helped Jude celebrate a great 3rd birthday Halloween style. They opened up their home to our family and friends and helped create wonderful memories for our kiddo. We even had a ghost pinata and a spider made of cup cakes for his birthday. Thanks BJ and J for the great time last year! Jude often looks at his pictures from his last birthday and smiles. So, this year Jude decided that he wanted to celebrate his 4th birthday at the local indoor pool. Considering he loves swimming now, he wanted to invite all his friends to join him for an afternoon of swimming and cup cakes. Even though YaYa and PoPo can't be here, they have been showering Jude with boxes and boxes of gifts for his birthday. Of course like any good mother, I've been hoarding them away in the closet until his party. For his birthday party this year, I've invited about 20 of his classmates and friends.
But, even though we can't be in the states for his birthday or back with our family, we will be celebrating Jude's birthday with a new group of friends this year. And, I hope he will look back and smile at these new photos and new friends we have made here in the Land of the Rising Sun! I know I will!