Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing)

On Sunday we went to a hanami party with the Mukai family. It was a bit chilly, but a lot of fun.

In the morning Tak went really early – about 7 am – to put out a sheet with our name on it. A bit later in the morning one of our friends who was going went to check out the spot. At first, he thought we might have a problem because all of the spots were taken. Then he noticed the huge sheet with Mu-ka-i in big characters. Later they took 2 big rugs to put on it. Tak made a huge table out of plywood.

I made Coca Cola chicken and Tak made dangos (a kind of sweet made from rice powder) to take to the party. Obachan ordered 40 onigiri (rice balls) and 3 kg of meat and cut up lots of veggies and fruit. There were a couple of tabletop gas grills for cooking the meat.

In all we had somewhere around 30-40 people – I think closer to 40. Mizuho, Shige, Rio, and Kei had just arrived back from Bali that morning. They arrived with all of their luggage, opened the door and saw all of the hanami preparations. Obachan told them let’s go. They basically dumped their suitcases in their apartment and headed straight out again. I went slightly late because I was nursing Hana before we went.

When I arrived, Gaku was basically done eating and ready to run around and go wild with the other kids. I was trying to help him put his shoes on when he fell over and got sauce all over his pants – not just a little, but one pant leg completely saturated. He was upset and started crying, so I jumped on Obachan’s bike and made a trip home to get him a change of clothes. When I got back, he was sitting there with his fleece jacket covering his bare legs eating fruit. He was very happy to have a clean, dry pair of pants. Right after that, he headed off to the park with the other kids. I think it’s the first time he’s gone off without an adult present. Yushi, the oldest, is about 10 now. Gaku came back with a huge hole in the knee of his pants and his knee all skinned up. What a tough day on his clothes! Someone asked him if his knee hurt, and he told them it was fine, it would get better. He’s a pretty tough kid.

When we got back home, we hung out downstairs for a while. I decided I was sleepy and would come home to nurse Hana and take a nap with her. Gaku started watching Madagascar while Tak played on the computer. I slept from around 5 to 6:30, nursed Hana for a bit, and came out of the room around 7. Everything was quiet. I looked in the living room and saw Gaku and Tak completely sacked out. Hana and I went down to the bath and came back – still sleeping. Gaku woke up once at 3 am because he was wet, went straight back to sleep, and slept until Tak woke him up at about 6:30. He slept a little over 12 hours!

I took this picture this morning. Gaku is holding Hana, sitting in the Baby Bumbo chair I got for her. Hana was talking, actually more yelling. She was happy and excited to be playing with her brother. She has a really, really loud voice.

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