I hope to get birthday pictures from Uncle Tsuyoshi as I didn't have much time to take photos. The birthday party was a great success. All of the Ito family except Aunt Yaeko and Uncle Shiochi were here. I had had a cold for two days prior--meaning I was cleaning house with a kleenx stuffed in my nose (which Tomoki didn't like at all!). The Lord answered my prayer, though, and it was much better by Saturday. I was also worried about Tomoki getting it, and he didn't--not until Monday! Also in answer to prayer, he slept in really late that morning, so was ok to go down very late for his nap as the gathering was at noon and people didn't leave til 3. We had homemade mochi (compressed rice) made in Akihiro's birthday present from me--a mochi maker. It was our third try at it and thanks to Akihiro's research, we were able to keep it really soft and yummy for quite a while! Tomoki loves it dipped in soy sauce. (He's a real "dipper"--will eat almost anything if it has "dip" or "sauce".) We also made pizza and since Akihiro's dad had just caught a big fish (buri) at Hakodate, we had teriyaki fish steaks too--quite the combination--but it was good. Grandpa Ito was so impressed with how Tomoki could blow out his candles on his birthday cake, that he wanted to do it again! He loves the new dump truck and puzzles he got and went to sleep saying, "dump truck" that night.
He is speaking more and more. His little Japanese is so cute. Probably only people whose second language is Japanese can appreciate its cuteness. Japanese people have heard "baby Japanese" a lot before, but I haven't, so it is just priceless when he says, "kore nani?" to ask, "what is this". It is equally cute, though, when he says, "this guy?" I've got to get some more videos of him. We have quite the "conversations" now.
Otherwise, we are enjoying nice fall days. My Japanese mom next door has a tree with Chinese dates on them, and I tried to dry some in my oven, but I pretty much burnt them the first time. My second and third batch turned out good though. They are really tasty fresh--Tomoki gobbles them down. They taste a bit like apples.
We have been enjoying going to the library as they have a decent English section. "Read book please, mama" is a frequently heard saying at our house. I think he has discovered that if he uses "please," it is so cute and polite, that mama has a hard time turning down his request!