Happy Birthday Ocean!

Ocean is pictured with her new bicycle on the way to school.

Ocean turned 8 years old today. We celebrated the occasion with inviting 10 of her girlfriends to our home yesterday, as her birthday, September 26, fell on a Saturday. Ocean was so excited and woke up early to prepare for the 11:00 AM start. We had balloons, flowers and a beautiful table setting for the occasion. There were two trips to the 100 Yen shop (Daiso) to load up on gifts for the girls in attendance. Oliver performed a lip synch to the Bruno Mar’s song, “Uptown Funk” to get the girls feeling comfortable dancing. The big hit was One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”. Ocean had to open all of her gifts and mom noted who brought what gift for thank you cards. We had a variety of finger foods. We then went to the park and had races and games and all girls won two prizes. Upon return, we sang happy birthday (video) and ate the huge Costco cake. Ocean loved the Barbie makeup kit and her friends Retaj and Monica put makeup on her.

Birthday parties are rare in Japan. Most families here have smaller affairs, so the fairly large party created quite a buzz in the social life of the girls. This party contrasted with Oliver’s birthday party in April. Little girls get excited, but in a controlled manner. They were all so cute in their dresses and ribbons in the hair.

We got Ocean the bicycle of her dreams. A turquoise Japanese-style bike. She can’t wait to ride it. On the way home, the larger tires allowed her to go much faster than she does with Oliver’s hand-me-down bike. One of the things we do together is our “night bike rides” that are very special to me. It gives us a chance to be alone and she likes talking while riding. Hopefully we will go for more rides now that she has a nicer bike.

Ocean has brought so much joy into our family’s life. She is such an intelligent, caring, calm girl. She has also taught me a lot about females and it has been such a delight to raise a girl. I grew up with two brothers and never had that in my family.

Happy Birthday Ocean – we love you!

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