Sunday, March 29, 2020

Chronicles of Clay- 2 Months

TWO MONTHS! You go from 0 to 100 so fast, you just turn the switch on/off so well and just HATE being ignored and prefer being rocked to sleep by your dad. You started smiling a ton this month and even have chucked a few times. You will just sit in your chair watching your brother dance around and parents looking like goofs trying to get another smile out of you.

I’m convinced you are short on vitamin D, and there is no question about your gassy ways... you farted way loud during dad's work conference call while he was talking ha! We started you on some vitamin D and probiotics and hoping you will a little less of a drama king soon.

We still aren’t sure what color your eyes will be, right now they are dark grey blue but we wonder if they will fade dark brown like your brothers... any guesses?

Nicknames: Claydog (Luke’s nickname, but before you were born you were “ball face”) Clayman, Clay Bae, Claydough, Squirts, and the Ripper.

park sesh

After days inside, we snuck away to a close park grabbed some snacks and combini-store icecream and enjoyed the sunshine and blooming cherry blossoms. The boys brought the baseball bat and I brought my camera and we had a great little couple hours outside. 

 These next three pictures I couldn't decide between. . . I just loved the sunlight coming in and lens flare framing Clay who was so content. 

Neighborhood Walks

 This above picture is our apartment, not sure if I have ever took a picture of it?! So many great memories in this place! We love where we live, not necessarily the apartment that we have outgrown at this point but if we were to move in Tokyo it would be really hard to leave the neighborhood.

The 'crown jewels' of our location is we have a few really great parks at walking distance and cherry blossoms that line our street in the spring and two stations with easy access to city life. But... I also love the little corners and hidden gems whenever I am out and about. A few photos from recent walks of random things that make me smile.

before and after haircut

 I didn't realize someone was in the car until I passed and saw him smiling.


I have been feeling the need to document and write about the Corona COVID19 virus that has entered our world and lives so abruptly and very unwelcome I might add. Some have been affected far more than others, but I think everyone around the globe has been impacted in some way by it. I just wanted to write and journal about it from our perspective in Japan at this point, but this is a worldwide pandemic causing economic trouble and heartache everywhere.

The first time I heard about the virus was in the hospital after delivering Clay late January 2020. Our hospital had a random policy that only mothers could be with the babies and guest and fathers had to view baby from the window and could not hold and snuggle the baby until after discharged days later. It seemed like such a ridiculous rule at the time, but one month later many hospitals all over would be practicing separations and quarantine policies. My friend had asked me if it was because of the virus that family couldn't be with baby,  and I had no idea what she was even talking about. . .  but now it is what everyone, everywhere is talking about.

Clay just turn two months this week, and our world seems to have turned upside down during his little lifetime. The first case in Japan was reported just days before he was born. It started in China and caused so much death and sickness and lockdown there and has rapidly made its destructive way from one country to the next. The virus itself is an extremely contagious respiratory illness similar to the flu but currently has no vaccine and can be especially fatal to the elderly and those with asthma and weak immune systems.

Just before Clay turned one month, Riley had a business trip to America. This virus was in Japan at the time and the boss even gave him the option not to go, but at the time it didn't seem such such a big thing and had no idea the impact of the virus. Riley left Feb 21st and was gone for 10 days.

So much changed in those 10 days in our lives and in Japan especially. Church got canceled in Japan, schools closed, toilet paper and healthcare items disappeared from shelves, and Luke got potty trained during our time inside! I wondered if Riley would be able to make it back to Japan actually, and wished I knew how to pay rent with his card. I looked at flights back to America and wanted to go to be safe and 'wait out the virus time' there where it was "safe."

Riley traveled and returned back with no problem, but even just a week or two later it would have been a completely different story and the trip most likely would not even happened. Traveling has halted almost altogether with whole the travel industry taking hard losses. Overall in the work force, thousands have already lost jobs and many more will likely continue to lose jobs. 

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics also just got officially postponed this past week until next year. While the news was disappointing for us to hear as we were planning on Riley participating in the Nike Olympic projects and activations, we felt this was the right decision. We also felt relieved as we have felt that Japan's actions and reporting on the virus may not have been completely honest as there was pressure to put out an 'all-is-well' image in an effort to keep the Olympics. 

The past two weeks, the virus has hit America full on. Missionaries have been asked to return to the their home countries to continue their missionary service, although many have seen their missions end much earlier than expected due to the virus. Temples all together have been closed around the world. President Nelson just called for a churchwide fast specifically "for relief from the physical, emotional, and economic effects of this global pandemic."

It's tough writing about the virus as it is still very much on going and are in the middle of it now, so the 'end results' of this pandemic are still yet to be written. We do feel like these next 2 weeks for Tokyo will be extremely telling of the trajectory of the virus impact here in Japan. Either the worst has yet to come for us and if it hasn't, it will in the upcoming week or if by the end of these next 2 weeks it hasn't, we can be closer to officially saying Japan dodged most of this virus bullet. 

(what I wish i pictured, guy wearing gas mask at immigration office)

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Chronicles of Clay- One Month

2/27/2020: ONE MONTH! I can hardly believe it's been one entire month since I waddled to the hospital and you were born at lightning speed. This month has gone just as fast, and oh little boy. . . so much has changed! Your cheeks get chubby by the minute and neck rolls  collect lint. You have a lot in common with an aging man, loosing hair and putting on the LBs. Everyone says you look asian and I'm convinced it's all the rice I ate, or your dad's eyes! You sleep tons, squirt poop, and have painful gassy colic moments... but we love you anyways and so glad you are here!

Luke Potty Trained!

Luke has been diaper free since the end of February! We officially potty trained him using the '3-day program' my cousin told me about that worked for her. It was intense program had BIG doubts the first two days... but by the end of the second day it just clicked and we never looked back or did pull ups. He’s been SO good and accidents are rare and he has never wet the bed a single time yet (thank goodness we share ha!) We made a chart and had a ceremony for throwing his diapers away in the trash himself and initiation to the big boy club. So proud of this little man! 

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Favorite Movie List

fan art
 Jojo Rabbit 'Fan Art'
I have so much to journal and catch up on. Life has been interesting lately! My biggest excuse though is my laptop is on it's last leg and so ancient that it's been PAINFULLY slow to do anything on it and crashed and was in repair and now too scared to load pictures or do much these days. But a new laptop is on the horizon

With the Corona Virus at large, and being homebound I thought I would post our favorite movie list. We made it a few months ago together and been adding to it. Riley narrowed down a 'Top Ten" but I was too indecisive ha.... but here is the current "Stevenson Family Favorites" that we plan to add too and keep for future reference. Hope someone can enjoy during this period of quarantine. . . 

Also, 'a fun family fact' that is a little funny to admit, but also want to remember. . . We have never owned a TV yet in our marriage! Just watch everything snuggled up to this little old 13 inch laptop on mini Japanese couch or bed. One day we will graduate to a big screen. Anywayz, on to the list:

Stevenson Family Favorites
(no particular order, * made Riley's top ten)
- La La Land *
- Toy Story (All of them) *
- Finding Nemo
- Cars (Luke's current fav)
- Remember the Titans *
- Forrest Gump *
- About Time * 
- 13 Hours *

- Brave Heart
- The Patriot 
- American Sniper
- Saving Private Ryan
- Good Bye Christopher Robin
- Saving Mr. Banks
- The Intern 
- Gettysburg
- Hook *
- Dead Poets Society *
- Hidden Figures 
- The Natural
- Moneyball
- Age of Adaline 
- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty *

- Free Solo
- The Rookie
- Dan in Real Life
- Captain Fantastic
- Pearl Harbor
- Sherlock Holmes
- Silver Linings Playbook
- Les Miserables
- We Bought a Zoo (my fav!)
- The Greatest Showman
- Cinderella 
- Meru 
- The Dawn Wall
- The First Man
- The Green Book
- 500 Days of summer
- Goodwill Hunting

- A Star is Born
- Jojo Rabbit *
- Gifted (one of my tops!)
- Inside out
- I am Sam 
- Radio
-The Sandlot
- The Fundamentals of Caring

Friday, March 6, 2020

Happy 28th Riley!

Riley turned 28 this year on March 6th! He isn't the biggest fan of sweets or cake, so we surprised him for lunch with a "sushi cake" (created by me and Luke!). This year was an extra big one, we invested in a fancy keyboard piano for him to learn. It is not even the end of the month yet,  and he has already self-taught himself a few Disney classics and hasn't played in years! We sure love and admire this guy and all he does.