Friday, December 30, 2005

I'm being so lazy today

I snoozed today until 9:45 am. Oh man, I am just loving this holiday vacation! I think, I will seriously be sad next week when he has to return to school on January 6th. Sigh! Lol.

I got up and did 2 loads of laundry. Made breakfast. Just cereal and toast. And I had coffee. And I have been just lazing back in bed ever since. Noah is fast asleep. Branden is playing his video game. So, he is in game mode and totally mesmerized as we speak. And I am just laying down in my bed with the heaters on and I am cozy in the blankets just watching TV.

I watched Larry King Live this morning. I am actually watching Friends on Fox right now.

It feels good to have a week, to just relax and get rested up. Because next week, it will be back to being hectic again. I'm making cream stew tonight. I've got the chicken defrosting in the fridge right now.

Btw, Noboru is really wanting to go to Osaka. I think with the New Year upon us, it makes him really want to go home. We can't be there for New years. But, I think pretty soon, we will end up going. Oh, well, I think this is unavoidable. So, I better try to go in with a good attitude, but so far...just thinking about it makes me think. Blech! LOL, I still have a little time, so hopefully my mind frame will change by then.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

the dining room





Here's pics of the dining room. I guess I should have shot it at a different angle to show the whole dining room, huh? LOL. But this at least gives you all some idea of the dining and kitchen at least. Good points are you can see the 1 big window and also the sliding glass door for the dining room, so we got 2 big windows in the dining area, which means lot's of sunshine and light, which is always nice. Plus don't forget the other 2 kitchen windows, so the entire dining/kitchen area has 4 windows. The actual whole house has about 20 or 22 windows in it total. So, we will get plenty of sunshine.

Also, I like that when we were deciding which way to face the kitchen and counters versus the backyard, we made our counter *facing* the patio and backyard, so I can keep an eye on our kids while I am chopping or prepping dinner. This is one of the reasons we decided to face it that way to begin with and now that it's actually done, and we look at it...we realize we made the right choice. That easyness (is this even a word?) of being able to keep an eye, on what's going on in the back yard and if the kids are okay and stuff, gives me peace of mind. Because if my kitchen was facing the opposite way, I'd be constantly turning around or walking through the house with chicken/salmonella hands or whatever I was chopping at the time, yk. This way, I don't gotta drip food bits everywhere while looking out the window because the counter is facing the right/correct way to begin with.

update on my kitchen




Okay, so we went to our house today. While we were there doing the fence estimate and measuring our windows for the blinds, I snapped a few pics of the kitchen. I will share them with you now.

I think this gives you all, one heck of a good idea and look at the kitchen. The side where the stove and counter tops are, are on the left side obviously. In that one pic. And you can see the 2 kitchen windows. And the other pics, are of the other side and that's where the two pantries are. One where the food goes and the other is where the dishes go. And the open space next to the two pantries is where the fridge will go. It sure is bright in there and we get lot's of sun in there too, which is nice. Especially since where we live now, is totally in the shade 24/7, ha ha ha.

PS, it still isn't totally finished yet either, so it will look better when it's all finally done. And also the 4 little holes or openings on that wall near the pantry doors, but facing the other way, that is where our TV monitor for the front door will go and the heating switch and the light switches and stuff. : )

PSS, notice that we chose tiling behind our stove/oven and sink and counter area. We did that because we know with cooking you get grease or food splatter and that could ruin the wall paper, totally right away, yk! So, we thought and asked for tiling. That way it can just be wiped down easy. And also with the sink and obviously water being near, we didn't want water marks/stains on the wall papering either, which is why we wanted tiling near the sink area too...so we asked them to just do tiling on that side, so the walls would always look and remain nice looking and the wall paper or walls wouldn't get all gross and ruined. See? no wonder we have been having a headache, thinking so hard for this past year and all the possibilties and "what if's" lol. Ahh, well it was worth it all in the end, because we're almost done.

Sakai is gonna be our moving company!

Okay, wow what a long day! We ended up calling the old guy who built our wall (he has his own crew) and we asked him if he could give us an estimate to make our fence, because we need that fence on ASAP. So, the kids don't get out of the yard and be smashed like panckaes! Ha ha ha!. And with time running out, we sorta need it quick. He said he was on holiday with it being New Years and all (yup most people get off like 5 days here in Japan). So we said okay and we will talk to him after the new year. Anyway he must have talked it over with his wife because he called us back within 5 minutes saying...he will gladly go to our new house and meet with us and give us an estimate, lol. I guess, the lure of extra customers persuaded him (even though it's technically a holiday now here)

Oh btw, the ant people gave us a high estimate. And we ended up going with the Panda company (Sakai). The ones who came at noon today. We, already made a contract and everything and they will come on January 30th and move the entire house contents for us.

Moving companies in Japan are a bit different then the US. In the US, most people rent U Haul's and move it themselves, lol. But here, they have movers move for them and they got different grades.

Highest grade is where they come in and pack and box it up for you. Bug bomb, your articles along the way...yes while in the van!!! And then they will unpack it for you! LOL And that is the most expensive.

Then they got mid grade ones too. And the cheapest is where, you pack it yourself and you unpack it yourself.

We found out moving on the weekends is twice as expensive. We could moved in Saturday, but it costed $2,000 US. But, only $1,000 US if we move on the weekday.

The ant company wanted to charge us $1600. But the Panda company is going to charge us only $1,000 US. So not bad considering it's Japan. And they will pack it for us. And place our beds upstairs and washer/dryers upstairs but they won't unpack our boxes...we didn't wanna pay that much, lol! Plus we opted to move on the weekday, which was cheaper!

I wondered why Noboru's coworker paid way more then us considering it was still Narita to Narita, but Noboru said, moving season in Japan is March and those moving companies are double or triple during the moving month. Phew! Thanks god we aren't moving during the high moving season!

PS Noboru called and cancelled our appointment, with the final moving coming to give us an estimate. Also, the company we went with, Sakai, they gave us a gift for coming to do the estimate. And that was 1 kg of white rice. Ha ha ha. For all of you in the US, I think that's about 2lbs (or somewhere around there), so it was really, this itty bitty little bag of rice! LOL especially since I usually buy 10 kg's of rice, this rice looked like a shrimp compared to my usual sack of rice, oh well it was a nice gift anyway! And very useful. : )

We're getting our first estimate right now...

We actually have the "ant moving people" doing our estimate for our move right now. They are downstairs.They came upstairs already. They have to go through each cupboard and each closet to see what exactly has to be moved. So, we were saying "this goes" and point and say "this doesn't" and point...so imagine a hundred..."this goes"...and "this doesn'ts!" Ha ha ha.

We have a rough idea how much it'll be. Because a lot of the NWA guys have bought houses recently and they all recommend hiring a mover vs. moving it yourself. Because one guy our good friend Aki, he moved it himself and he ruined his own brand new flooring. Ouch!

A friend of ours in Narita who lived in a tiny apartment and moved in Narita but to a new house. They had to pay US $1,800!!! I think that's 180,000 yen (sometimes I am off with my yen lol but I think I'm right). But considering he stayed in Narita...from to Narita to Narita. And the cost was nearly 2 grand! Gee can you imagine what the price will be for someone changing different cities?

So, since we are changing cities, but will still be located in Chiba. We imagine that alone will be expensive. Since we are changing cities!

So, anyways I hope our estimate doesn't come back too shockingly expensive! LOL. Good thing we are going to have 3 estimates done. But only two today. Basically the house you buy is expensive, but the cost to ACTUALLY move is enormous!

We gotta disconnect our Jcom cable. Which means we will have to all get new email addresses. And a new home number. All this has been taken care of. We gotta sign up for Satellite TV. Get our new phone #. Get our lights turned on etc. So much actual planning these next 26 days.

Anyway so our plan today is, get our two estimates. Then we have to drive down to our new house....why? Because we are about to order our new blinds from Guam actually. We were going to buy from United Homes, but they charged more for the blinds and it was just cheaper for us in Guam and when we were there last week, we actually went there and asked if they'd ship it to us in Japan and they said yes! LOL. So, although we got measurements already we wanna measure one more time just to be sure.

So two estimates and then go drive down to the new house. Hmm sounds like it'll be a whole day thing today.

Also, we have to decide on how we want our front yard landscaped! Sigh, so we have been deeply thinking about that too. I'm telling you...we are deeply thinking about everything relating to this house so much. But we sorta have to yk.

We walked through the house the other day actually looking for tiny flaws, so we can be ready for the "2 week fix up" Moving into a new house is really a hell of a lot harder then I think most people realize. Front yard has to get done still and back yard. Ahhhh!

And I'm not complaining....because we are busy but in a good way! And this is hard but again...in a good way!

I got your email dad and I'll call you right now! : )

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Where in the heck, did my neighbors go?


I have been meaning to post about this for quite some time, but I always get side tracked with something else. So since it's in my mind now, I figure I better blog it before I forget again.

I swear I think my neighbors have met a terrible and grizzly demise! I say this because they disappeared in October and have NEVER been seen of again! Their household consisted of one older woman aged in her 50's (my best guestimate) and her daughter maybe late 20's. And she herself had a baby last July, so the baby has to be like 18 month's old right now? Anyway, we never really have spoken to them deeply, just more superficial type stuff and they have always pretty much kept to themselves around all the neighbors. But we did always greet them every time we saw them and they always nicely greeted us as well. Our other neighbors are more talkative though (perhaps too much so, but that's another post entirely, lol).

Anyways, just one day in October, poof! They suddenly disappeared. They drive a small black car (way smaller then mine) and we've never seen that either. Not a baby's cry to be heard of since, or a car sound or a doorbell or them chatting to and from there car...no more!

At first I chalked it up and thought...hmmm they must be on vacation. The week #2 I thought, gee maybe they must be on a boat cruise, ala the Love Boat type of deal! But, by mid November, I started to really wonder. Noboru, being the wonder brain he is...didn't even realize they were missing! LOL!

I mentioned it to him in November. He mentioned it to the neighbors and they said, they were wondering the same thing! Now, it's the end of December and still no sign!

I could see it if they moved away. But all their things are still in their house. They reformed this house, according to our (nosiest, lol) neighbors 5 years ago, so I doubt they moved away! Anyway....I guess I've got my own stuff to think about.

But, seriously it is a big mystery to me. If you ever see on the news. Maybe not in the US. But, if I ever see on the news here in Japan, that some family was murdered or something else equally as horrible happened to them....I wouldn't be surprised! And yes, horrible horrible things like this happen all the time in Japan, I know because I watch the news.

Their curtains still hang in their windows and their umbrellas still sit in their container out front. Hmmm. I hate to admit it or sound too sappy, but my neighbors got me really worried! Even if I really don't even know em' too well, I'd still hate for something bad to have happened to them.

I'm enclosing a pic of the house in question, lol.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

28 more days...until we move!

This week has been so nice. I have slept in quite well each day. I don't even got to tell you all, how nice it has been to *not* have to wake up, so flipping early every morning by my annoying alarm clock! I secretly will be a bit sad, when Branden returns to yochien because that will be the end of my getting to get some extra zzz's each morning, lol. Ahh well.

Anyway, what we have been up to? In 28 more days we will be moving! Does that not say it all right then and there?

Noboru has been quite busy calling movers. He called the ant moving company and the elephant moving company and some other moving company as well. Two of the moving company's will be coming in 2 days. One will come at 9:00 am and the other company will come at noon for estimates. LOL. We are going to have to find out who is the cheapest and go with whomever is cheapest.

We went to our new house today. The entire upstairs is now finally complete. All the wall papering has been done. And the carpet has been installed. The only thing the upstairs is going to get done now, is the lighting will be installed and the toilet will get installed upstairs and that's it...our upstairs will be ready to move in *that* soon! Oh yeah and the sink upstairs too.

The actual stairs themselves have all been carpeted. The living room has had the wood flooring on for a month now, I think. And they were actually doing the flooring for my kitchen TODAY! I got to see them do it actually! They had to carry my big ass stove, from the kitchen to the living room and do the entire floor and then carry the entire stove back after the flooring was finished some odd hours later! It was amazing!

All the wall paper has been finished! Both for the upstairs and the downstairs!

Now just the lights and the ceilings fans have to be installed and both the toilets! And then...they give us 2 weeks of something called "touch ups" and they will fix and redo whatever we tell/ask them to do. And when we say....perfect! We move in!

The outside lighting has to be done as well and the non skid tiling for our terrace has to be done as well as the front porch. So, it is seriously really just about done! Just these tiny tid bits left!

In 28 days, I won't be living in Yachiyo anymore. In 28 short days we will be living in our brand new home. And yes, after a long year of planning and meetings and designing each room exactly where we wanted it and where to put our electrical outlets etc. It's finally just about ready to move in!

The feeling of total accomplishment is so unbelievably, unbelievable! Especially since we actually *designed* each room ourselves! Which is totally understandable why we are so proud.

I should have taken a picture of my kitchen today. I really wish I would have! I will next week, I promise! But all I can say is....I was speechless! And Noboru was speechless too! I just kept saying....it's beautiful, it's so beautiful...I must have sounded like a broken record, lol. I just couldn't think of any words to describe it. I was in total shock. Noboru was awed too! He kept saying...wow your kitchen is so much bigger, then I thought it was going to be! Oh yeah and he kept saying....wow...wow...wow, it's much bigger then I thought...meanwhile I am just going...wow it's beautiful, it's beautiful!

The homebuilders were watching us and were smiling, because they knew we were so happy, by their good work! They knew we were just flabbergasted! But in a good way!

So, I'm going to share some pics from today.

Pictures of the house





Here's a picture of the finished stairs. The lighting has to be done but other then that it's done! Look nice doesn't it? The next pic is the view from being inside my bedroom and I got a clear shot of both the boys bedrooms. And the other pic is from Noah's room and he has a perfect shot of mommy's room and the hallways towards to washroom.

The other pic is of the wall paper that's in every room of our home. I think the term wall paper is sorta misleading because...you say wall paper. And suddenly people get visions of 1970's yellow daisy's or something, lol. Or something shaggerific ala Austin Powers! And that's really not the case, here at all! The wall paper of today, is anti mold and has many added benfits. And looks actually like nice expensive stucco walls or whatever. It looks quite nice and expensive or pricey looking, but it's really quite deceiving, because in reality it's super affordable! We saved a bundle actually! And it looks fantastic and we are quite happy with the money we saved and the overall look! In fact, I don't think anyone would even know it was wallpaper unless I told them. And I don't mind telling anyone, I'm truthful and forthcoming : ) And no, the picture of the wallpaper I took today, honestly doesn't do it justice, it actually looks 100% nicer in person.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas stockings!


I'm including a picture of Noah's stocking, since I failed to include it the day before. The Elmo stocking is what I used on Noah, and no he wasn't allowed to eat the candy cane, but I didn't want him to feel left out if he didn't see it on his too, lol. And since I had the extra one anyways, I made Noboru a stocking, I figured he probably never had one before, when he was growing up and he might like one. LOL, and you know, I was right!!! He really was pleasantly surprised getting one. I gave him a pair of socks as one of his stocking stuffers, lol and some yucky dried squid that he loves and some snacks that would make him smile! And I also gave him some American candy and a few other things as well in his stocking. I think I am going to make him a stocking every year from now on now too (along with our boys)!

Christmas was spent nicely at home and we really had a fabulous Christmas. The boys got many gifts and they also got to spend a nice time with mommy and with daddy and have a nice family dinner.

PS: when I went to Guam, they had many Christmas stockings, with many characters. But none were as nice as what I already had. I didn't want to buy a cheapie stocking, just to have something new. Especially since the three, I have already are heirloom quality! So, next year, I will look for some new ones! But, this year with the house and all, I said...ahh forget it, we can rough it with our stockings from the past! LOL. Besides nobody minded one bit! The santa one I used for Branden's stocking this year was actually his "first" stocking from his first Christmas ever! : )

Today, we had a lazy day of sleeping in and tying up some loose ends relating to our move!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas from us, in Chiba Japan!






Ho ho ho and Merry Christmas to all our loved ones back in America, we love you!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

washing the car seats













I know you're not supposed to change your baby's car seat to the front facing one until their about 6 month's old or sitting up on their own, whichever comes first. Well, Noah's been sitting up on his own for a while now. But, I didn't switch it, because he's only 5 month's old. But, I finally noticed when I took the car seat with us to Guam. He doesn't even *like* laying back at all anymore. He pushes himself forward. So, I decided in Guam actually, that the seat needs to be changed pronto!

Yesterday I got out Branden's old car seat. Hmmm somehow calling it an old car seat sounds wrong! The thing is like brand new and the fact it was like a whopping $320.00 US (bought this in Hawaii, when we lived there). Speaks for itself that it's nice! Actually Branden could even use it now, if he wanted to, because it's for all stages. But we bought him an older toddler specific car seat last year and that's why this one has been in the closet. But, I did hold onto this one, just because it's so nice!

Anyways, I decided since I was going to run Noah's "new to him" car seat through the washer for a refreshing, I might as well do Branden's car seat too! So today, I took both car seats apart. Had both car seats without coverings, just laying on the kitchen floor today. And I washed both the seat covers for both the boys seats 3 times!!!

Seriously, I just wanted to be sure they were beyond super clean! LOL. So, I washed them the first time with Oxy clean, 8 scoops! I kid you not! Then the second time I washed them with just detergent. Then the third time I washed them with detergent and added some Downy softner to it too. They were probably clean to begin with in all honesty, but I just like to have things my sons use to be *super* clean. Then I got them both dried up real nice and now I just finished putting the seat covers back on and will have Noboru strap them both back into the car!

It's nice both my boys will be able to be facing the same direction now lol. And now they will both have super clean car seats! Thanks to mommy! : )

I ran to the store today to get a bunch of food, like I usually do every week. Same ol, Same ol. And tonight when the boys get to sleep, I will do their stockings up real nice! I am also going to make a real good meal tonight and plan to make a real good Christmas dinner tomorrow too.

I love and miss you all : )

Our flight back!



By the way, because my husband works for the airline, and the flight crew happened to know my husband from seeing him all the time anyways while at work. They moved the 4 of us to First class! Yup, we all had 4 giant state of the art seats that actually folded all the way down to beds. And they had their own movie screens for each seat and played movies on demand. And the movie choice was huge! Kids movies alone there were like 10 choices of like Finding Nemo, 101 Dalmations, geeze, a whole bunch but since Branden slept the entire way and plus he has his own DVD player anyways, he didn't mind missing it! I guess the seats were just too comfy for him. LOL.

Noah didn't want to sit in his own seat or lay down either, he wanted to be hugged my mommy the entire flight, sigh! And I didn't mind so much! Because Noboru helped me the whole way anyway. Our meals were gorgeous and the coffee came in a cermiac mug cup vs. the standard styrofoam one, lol. Our nuts came in a ceramic dish that were even warmed up, ha ha ha! Noboru and I were laughing about it all!

I did get some rest but I played Noboru two rounds of Jeopardy since the games on the private TV's were able to play with other first class passengers too. Some other person joined us too, but they didn't say their name, just went by, AAAAAA and it gave the seat # of each player! I whooped Noboru's butt and AAAAAA's butt too, lol! And then I had to stop because I had to watch the new Dukes of Hazards movie with Jessica Simpson. It was really cute and funny!

The flight was fantastic! I even got about 45 minutes rest after the movie ended. I felt so refreshed after that flight.

By the way, you see the pics of Branden sleeping in the first class? Okay, you see the pic of that Japanese guy in the background? That poor old shmo couldn't work the seat and know how to make it go down. So, he had to sit totally straight up the entire flight! Ha ha ha!

last pictures from our Guam trip





Okay here's the last of the pictures from Guam. I guess you all can tell, we had a blast!

A few more presents added for Branden from Guam





Here is what we bought Branden while we were in Guam. This is his present from mommy and daddy. We decided along time ago, we were going to buy him the American model, only because we weren't really sure if the American models are compatible with the Japanese models and games or not. And Branden would be more interested in the American games anyways. Because when we went to look at the Gameboy in Makuhari the games looked really weird! Cartoons, he's not into and Noboru and I didn't even know who they were, lol. At least we figured, if we bought him an American game, he *knows* those characters, like they got a Nemo game, Charlie and the Chocolate factory game, Chicken Little game, Herbie the love bug game (Branden wants this big time and we tried to get it in Guam, but they were sold out...no worries though because you know me, I will get it for him!)

They got Sponge Bob square pants games and just games and characters more interesting for our son. So, which is the major reason why we opted to get him the game in the US.

So, at the mall in Guam the lady and man who worked there we were talking to. Told us that we should *not* buy the Gameboy advance, like we planned to. Huh, we were thinking? But then they said, the Gameboy Advance is being phased out, because it's simply a very old game system and they have a new thing out now, that's tons better! Hmmm we didn't know this! And that this newest system is called Nintendo DS (gameboy is nintendo too btw), anyways this newest system called DS, plays all DS games *plus* all gameboy advance games, (which why would anyone by the older model, that only plays one type of cartridges, when you can buy this that plays both types of cartridges! So according to them at the store, this was the better one to get! Especially since it can do everything the gameboy advance can do except do *more* and be able to accept 2 different types of cartridges! The DS cartrdige and the gameboy advance. Where as, the gameboy advance can only play gameboy advance software.

However, this game itself, was twice the price of the Gameboy advance. Plus we wanted to buy him a game too. Noboru being a total guy said..."we gotta get this one, because it's better", lol. Errr, okay! So, we bought him the Nintendo DS and one game for a starter. Called Mario Carts, this is the #1 game according to Target.com. And Branden's loves racing games so, he'll love this.

Branden was dead asleep in the stroller, when we bought this so he has no idea at all. I wrapped it last night already too! Each of our boys will be happy come Christmas morning : )

a few more presents Noah is getting for Christmas from Guam




These are the few things we got to add to Noah's Christmas gifts from us, that we picked up while we were in Guam. I wrapped them already last night. And the pacifiers and pacifier clippy, I wrapped already too and they will be some of Noah's stocking stuffers for his Christmas stocking this year!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Some of the food we picked up....






Just got a few things that we really like, such as instant noodle soups for quick lunches. A-1 steak sauce since we do like to eat steak here at our house. Rice a roni, yumm. Miracle whip because with Branden being in yochien/preschool, I make quite a bit of sandwiches for lunches. And I love Mrs. Butterworth's syrup for when I make french toast or pancakes. My American friends and I, when we went to Costco here in Japan, walked passed some Canadian syrup and said, how us growing up in America we actually prefer the non real syrups, lol. Over the 100% maple. And I agreed because 100% maple, maybe okay but it just isn't as good to me as Mrs. Butterworth's is. We said, maybe we just prefer the fake stuff, lol. I know, I do. : )

Also picked up Mac and cheese, becaue it's delicious and we eat it for lunches or I even put it in his bentos too for a small size dish, since potato chips are outlawed in school lunches here in Japan, lol seriously they aren't allowed. And I got a pack of all beef hot dogs because the hot dogs in Japan are just plain old gross! They must be nothing but pig buttholes and snouts or hoofs or something because they don't even look like normal hot dogs, lol! Plus, I can't eat hot dogs unless they are all beef anyways! And yes, all my family reading this must be smiling because they all know that! I'm the only one, who goes to a cook out and brings her own pack of hot dogs! LOL. Hey, I just gotta make sure they are really all beef! (laughing)

a few snack things they got and more stuff for his stocking






Here are some of the snacks I got for the boys. Noah got an enormous sized box of Cheerios. Got this at the wholesale place like Costco but in Guam it's called something else. According to Parents magazine, this is one of American babies favorite snacks and I know Branden loved them, when he was a baby and now Noah loves them too! And FBC was charging 1400 yen for a tiny box where in Guam, I got this giant sized one for only $6.00. And I also got him a couple jars of American baby food. And for Branden I got him a couple more bags of chocolates and candies to add to the stuff I already bought for his stocking. And, since I know regular peppermint candy canes are *way* too hot for young kids, I bought some awesome Starburst brand ones and the red and white striped ones are strawberry flavor and the green and white striped ones are green apple flavor. Yumm, I can't wait to taste the green apple ones! I also bought Branden a bunch of chocolate puddings (obviously these are not Christmas related at all, just snacks for anytime snacking, lol). He's just crazy about American puddings since Japanese puddings taste a bit weird/off to begin with.

some of the toiletries we picked up....







Toiletries: I bought a humongous bottle of Pantene shampoo and conditioner. Only because we were almost out of it at our house in Japan and plus in Japan, it's like 1000 yen each bottle. Or for my US family, $10.00 US. And at Kmart, it was on sale for $5.00 US, each bottle, so I figured it was cheaper to just buy in Guam. Also bought 2 Dove deodorants in the Original soap scent, because I love the way Dove smells and this deodorant rocks! And got 1 Kmart brand of Listerine type mouth wash, why? Because the Listerine in the US was $6.00. And in Japan, it's even worse....like 1500 yen! So I figured since we were out, I'd be crazy not to buy it for only $2.99. Plus, 4 adult Colgate tooth brushes for Noboru and I (I stocked up a a pinch). And got dental floss and yet another bottle of Tums.

For Branden: one Colgate watermelon toothpaste for Branden. One bottle of Kmart brand, liquid children's ibuprofin (like kids liquid advil) it's a fever reducer and pain reliever. And I also got him Children's Robetussein. And Flinstone's vitamins. And a bottle of Suave kids shampoo, I still got 3 bottles of the L'oreal kids shampoo I bought this August in Denver, so I didn't really need it but I figured I might stock up a bit especially since *both* my boys use this!

For Noah: he got 1 bottle of Kmart infants liquid ibuprofin, which is again same as infants advil, which I also have a bottle of the infants Advil anyways that I have stocked up. It's just a fever reducer and pain reliver for infants. I also bought him, 2 big packs of scented baby wipes. Now, my reasoning for this is. Japanese wipes are honestly half the overall size wipes! Also Japanese wipes are like beyond paper thin! Where as American wipes are nicer and thicker, think along the lines of 2 ply paper for your babies butt! Also, the non scented ones are just basally water with cloth. Sorry to say it, but all babies who poo and pee and their mommy's, if they aren't lying know pee and poo smells awful. And sometimes water ain't gonna cut it! The scented ones, I think are better, because they got like a light cleansing agent on them, they clean better and the scent is NOT like a perfume! It's like a light soapy scent that goes away and all you end up smelling, is just a clean baby tooshie! So, no I won't change my mind...and I may be cheap with some things and cut corners with some stuff...but *not* with baby wipes! My friends may shake their heads at me for being so adament about my wipes, but I frankly don't care! I like what I like, so be it! I know what's good and I know what's crap and Japanese baby wipes are crap : ) Alright, I can be finicky about one thing, right?

Okay, one more thing I am finicky about is my Dove products. Now, I was a Dove baby growing up. I know many Americans know, the term "Ivory baby" because many babies used that soap. But, my mom always used Dove. The smell is so ingraind on my brain most likely. It smells so familiar and like home to me. That's the smell, I've sniffed and hold memories for the 33 years, I've been alive and it will probably never change. When I was given my baby pamphlet at the hosipital in Hawaii when I was pregnant with Branden. I was *not* surprised they recommended, all new moms to use Dove on their infants delicate skin! No wonder! It's gentle, the scent is so soft and not in your face! It is what *clean* smells like to me! Bare none! And I *know* I can't be the only one in America who feels the same way because now a days, we even got deodorant in that same scent now and everything. That scent really is the ultimate best. When I moved to Japan, I was so grossed out by the Dove bars of soap they sell in Japan. The scent is like strong perfume! Very over powering! I do like the Dove face wash in the tube that they sell in Japan. And the shampoo and conditoner in Japan are okay. But the body products in Japan suck! Also, call me crazy for buying it since I know I hate it, but I bought a liquid Dove body soap back in November. And I am always truthful and totally honest even if it's right or wrong to say but that Dove liquid body wash wreaked total havoc on me and the boys! Noah came down with 5 dry patches on his body where his skin was just totally dried out! No doubt it was that super overly fragranced stuff! It was so drying, it even managed to dry Branden's skin out and his knee caps looked ashy for weeks! And I hate to admit this but, I washed my private areas with the Japanese Dove liquid soap and all I can say is, Yeouch! It burned! I got super angry, I paid 1200 yen for that crap! I will never buy Japanese dove body soap whether it be liquid or bars! I hate that stuff! It's worse then nail polish remover! It's just too harsh! Okay, my Dove Japanese liquid body wash and bar soap rant is now over, I promise! : )

So, I stocked up and bought myself 2 Dove deodorants in the scent, I love. And I bought 2 bars of Dove soap (I had to have my family send me a few bars also because of that terrible Japanese Dove liquid body wash fiasco) and I bought the gentle American Dove body wash in Guam instead! It is gentle on my infant and gentle on my toddler and yes even gentle on my private parts (hiding behind the couch now after I admit that, lol)

Some of the the stuff we got for the house....




For our new house: We bought a fantastic white ceiling fan/light with gold trimmings. We bought this for our dining room. It only cost us $39.00 US. And it is very nice, with reversible fan blades too, so it can go both ways! You wouldn't even believe it! We also bought an American mail box. In Japan they do sell American mail boxes, but only come in yucky black and are $100 US, which is ridiculous! We got a brand new white one for only $9.99 US. And we also bought the mail box stand too for only $14.99 US. We also bought gold numbers for our street address so we can hang that outside on our house. Again each number was only $2.99 each! So cheap! We also bought toilet mats and lid cover, Martha Stewart ones from Kmart, lol! Again really a cheap affordable price! We did get a good start of house things, but we bought affordably which is the #1 important thing for us! Again, we aren't millionaires here! Noboru did splurge and buy a really nice indoor/outdoor thermastat that also tells him the humidity and he wanted it so he got it. We also bought a big pizza pan for all the big Costco pizzas, we plan to bake in that gorgeous American oven of ours! Oh yeah and a set of Martha Stewart measuring cups, lol.