Monday, July 31, 2006

Tonight, the Chronicles of Narnia. Tomorrow, Tokyo Disney Sea! : )

Noboru's at work right now. It's just the boys and I tonight. Tonight's plan is, I'm going to make us three some dinner. Cleanup. We will all take showers and bath's and then we will watch the Chronicles of Narnia with a bag of popped microwave popcorn and some iced tea. I also bought us some chocolate covered almonds from the store for the movie tonight already.

Tomorrow Noboru and I, will be taking the boys to Tokyo Disney Sea. It's a tough choice when you have basically two Disneyland's right next to one another. Except one is Disneyland and the other is Disney Sea. We just went to Disneyland a few month's ago and have gone there 3 times over the past 12 month's. So we thought going to the other one, is going to be fun too and a nice change! So tomorrow, Tuesday Japan time. We will be spending the entire day there and we will stay until the park closes. The park opens at 8:30 am for sure, and I think it closes at 10:00 pm. We will be waking up at 5:00 am tomorrow morning. And we will leave our house at 7:00 am, because it's a long drive in the minivan on the highway to get there.

Have a good night everyone! : )

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Dvd rentals tonight from Tsutaya, lol!

We rented two movies tonight. One was Memoirs of a Geisha, but in Japan it's called, Sayuri. We also rented the Chronicles of Narnia.

We saw Sayuri, right after we finished with dinner. I loved this movie. It was awesome! I recall there was a bit of controversy of this movie last year especially since the lead role was given to a Chinese actress over a Japanese one. There was a bit more controversy over this movie as well but that is what sticks out in my mind the most. However, I think she did wonderful in this movie!

This actress was also in a Japanese hair commercial here in Japan selling shampoo last year. The song for the commercial went...something like "Asian beauty". And the actress (Ziyi Zhang) was on a stage, while 2 western women looked at her in awe of her great beauty. If you live in Japan, you've more then likely saw this commercial.

Anyway this movie was really good. Very sad in parts. Very real and honest in other's. The thing I recall is that Sayuri was in love with someone. Same as Hatsumomo was in love with another. Each were told, "you are not allowed to love" Geisha are not allowed to love" Of course I'm not exactly quoting this 100% right, but that was the jist of it! Very sad.

Really a beautiful film! Very captivating! This movie held my full attention for the entire time. And Ken Watanabe, was as gorgeous and wonderful to watch in this, as he was in the Last Samurai. He's totally drool worthy! : )

Chronicles of Narnia, we didn't get to watch yet. We will watch it tomorrow. However Noboru works tomorrow from 4:00 pm to midnight, so he won't get to watch the Chronicles of Narnia with us. Just the boys and I will watch it tomorrow night by ourselves, which is fine. : )

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Homemade chicken katsu for dinner tonight! Yumm! : )

I made chicken cutlet tonight for dinner. Noboru mentioned two days earlier, he's been wanting to eat some. I make a very good chicken cutlet or pork cutlet or ebi furai/fry thanks to my hubby. My husband taught me how to make this, a very long time ago. After we first were married and living in Denver still. So wow, he taught me how to make this, when we were newlyweds, geeze that must have been about 9 years ago. So anyway, nothing going on here, just rest, relaxation. And plenty of days and meals at home. Our simple meal consisted of chicken cutlet, rice and shredded raw cabbage that I topped with a couple cherry tomatoes. In Japan it's common to eat your deep fried foods with raw cabbage on the side because they say raw cabbage soaks up the grease in your tummy or body! So they eat the cabbage to balance out the meal. My mother in-law, is the one who told me about this years and years ago. Japanese people think this so much in fact, now a days you can even buy a cabbage pill here in Japan at a drug store over the counter of course, before you eat your fried food meal, that is if you don't want to actually eat the raw cabbage. At our house though we all like raw cabbage, so we eat it the old fashioned way, lol, no pill for us. : )

PS, yes for dinner time, I slide the 4th chair, the one Noah will be using some day, outta the way. But since he's still in a high chair, since he's still a baby. We move it out of the way to make way for the high chair during meal time. : )

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Pictures of tonight's fireworks at home! We all had so much fun! : )


The boys and I snoozed in until 10:20 am. Ahh this summer break is so great! Branden and I baked brownies today while Noah napped. We made two batches! First batch went to Rumi, my friend who lives a half a block from me. The second batch we kept and ate. This was great, because it gave Branden something different to do. He liked stirring the mix and licking the bowl with his fingers afterwards, the best!

After I made lunch. The boys and I then went on the front porch to sweep. Branden usually doesn't have to work and sweep the porch, since he's usually at school. But today he did, he helped me quite a bit, both the boys did actually. It was fun.

Our new kitchen table came from Ikea today at 2:00 pm. Noboru built it. He loves building stuff like this. He's very handy to have around. The table is gorgeous and really fits in well in the dining room and kitchen area quite well. I'll try to post a proper pic of it later in the week, if I get a chance. Because I think in the dinner pic, you can see a bit of it, but not really so much. : )

As usual, I kept dinner super simple. Sorry, with two kids in the house, we seldom, if ever have long tedious drawn out 10 hours to prepare type meals or meals with 6 courses, ha ha ha. Easy to prepare and easy to clean up, is greatly appreciated at our house! LOL. I bought some gorgeous steaks. They were quite thick, so the meat was thick, so juicy and so soft and tender! I fried them in a bit of olive oil and garlic and salt and pepper. Man, they were good. Branden and Noboru both devoured theirs. This is a pic of mine. Noah had his own corn on the cob and a half of tomato and some diced up steak and rice as well. Everyone loved it. Not bad for a quick meal at home. Besides we had planned that tonight we would do fireworks outside, so after dinner I threw the dishes into the dishwasher and we all went outside to watch the fireworks. : )

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Dirty talk and butt cracks! : )

So Noboru stayed home with Noah. While Branden and I went to swimming school today. He swam and I chatted with the other mom's from yochien. There's about 15 kids swimming on Wednesday's. 10 of the kids all go to the same yochien. The other 5 are, I think going to another school or yochien. This class is just for 3 and 4 year olds. So the waiting area for us mom's consists largely of us from the Catholic yochien. I arrived and saw Rieko sitting on the floor showing her pictures that she took from the summer festival. Everyone was oohing and ahhing over them, so I quickly greeted everyone and sat down and joined them in their oohing and aahing brigade, lol! I know, I know! However, it's how things are done here in Japan. It isn't such a big deal to fit in so much, unless you have kids, but once you got kids, it's pretty important. So I try my best to fit in and not embarrass my child too much, by having an American mommy. LOL. If I were to go and sit by myself, I'd be seen as a social outcast. And it could reflect on my kids. Again, I know, I know, absurd isn't it! So, I join them. Ohh and awe! And try my best and get along and make friends! It's not so bad after a while! Not so bad at all really! : )

How's Branden doing? Well, he's doing fantastic at swim school! He loves it! And today he learned how to hold his breath under water without physically plugging his nose while pinching it! So he can now go under water for 15 seconds! I know because he's been practicing under water in the bath tub lately! LOL. All the ladies told me they thought Branden was doing fantastic! That made me sorta proud and happy!

The swimming teacher's are mostly women however two of them are guys. My fellow yochien mommy's have their minds constantly in the gutter! The guy teacher, was walking and his swim trunks must have slipped down a bit, because he was accidentally showing a tiny crack of his butt at the top. I didn't even notice it, to be honest! However the other mom's noticed it right away and said, how sexy he was and commented that he was flashing us on purpose and giving us a good show! Since we are all in a room behind glass, no one in the pool can hear us! They were cheering and hollering. Whoot whoot! For what it's worth, this guy is sorta hot and and has an awesome body. But my face was so red! I get embarrassed quite easily and when I do, my cheeks light up bright red quite easily!

Then there was a sorta over weight guy swimming laps back and forth. They joked about him. Rieko even screamed Gambarre, a few times at him! These ladies are just so naughty, lol.

I often wonder what the 5 lone mom's think at swim school. Since they don't go to the same yochien, they are never included in the conversations at all (which I personally find weird, they should be included, I think). And the five mom's don't sit together either. They each sit by themselves spread out! But I know they hear our rowdy bunch.

On the way home, I stopped at 7 eleven and bought Branden and myself each an ice-cream. : )

When I got home Noboru asked what we all talked about. I told him honestly, they all chatted about some sexy swimming guy's butt crack. He laughed! : )

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Capricciosa Ristorante Italiano! : )

Tuesday we went to Chiba New Town. We went because we have been wanting to go to
Capricciosa Ristorante Italiano. This restaurant has been a favorite of ours for years! It's a chain here in Japan and they also have them in Guam as well. This restaurant is famous for it's huge portions! And so since we were heading down there anyway for dinner, we though we might want to get there an hour early or two early and stroll the shopping mall nearby.

The sale at Baby Gap/Gap kids is still going on strong. I asked the lady how long the summer stuff would be on sale. And she said they are trying to get rid of all the summer stuff now. And also fall stuff is starting to come in as well. So they will continue to mark the summer stuff until it is gone. Also the Gap near me is pretty well stocked for Branden's age (he's a 120). Like sizes in 110 and up are fully in stock. It's almost like no one bought *anything* in those sizes at this Gap kids, all summer long lol.

However, the Baby Gap is pretty much slim pickings! So I imagine there must be about a million Gap babies running around where I live in Chiba. Go figure!

I didn't buy too much. However I did buy things that I could put away for next spring/summer. Like the swim bag, Branden can use that swim bag next year. Because in Japan even at kindergarten in the summer, you have to bring a swimming suit to school with you, and a swim bag and also a towel. So, even though he has a Nike swim bag now, that I bought him for school last year (on sale btw), he can use this cute little Gap one with the words, Hawaii on it for next year. And it was 50% off, and that's what I liked about it best! I also got Branden two pairs of flip flops. These are for now and they were also marked down. These were 300 yen each! I don't now what the original price was on these probably 2,000 yen? However they were marked down twice. And said, 1200 yen on them however the manager was throwing them into a bin marked 300 yen. She was throwing all the flip flops in there. I even asked her twice to make sure, they really were that price. She said, yes. So I got two pairs. I also checked the Gap US website and see they are on sale in America for $1.99 right now So the sales are pretty fantastic all over when it comes to the end of season type sales. I learned to buy and stock up at the end of the season sales for the following year, back when Branden was a baby! So, I'm quite good at this already, lol. Plus he really needed these flip flops for going back and forth to and from swimming school twice a week, so buying these and for only 300 yen was, so totally right on! And I got Noah a pair of the cutest preppy little plaid canvas sneakers! They were originally 1900 yen (which is ridiculous!) But they were on sale for 600 yen, talk about unbelievable. I went with a pinch bigger size so they will last longer and I'll get more usage outta them. I can't believe it, 600 yen for the cutest sneakers ever!

I'm happy because I got a great deal for both my boys. Saved money, which I love that! And they still came away with some fantastic stuff! My total for everything was under 2200 yen or $22.00 US. I think it was 2180 or something like that! Amazing considering I got 3 pairs of shoes! And a swim bag.

After this, we strolled around some. And then we headed to dinner. Dinner was fantastic, they have a dinner special, which we ordered and it comes with everything. So we got a big cesar salad (you know their portions are huge at this place, this was large enough for all 3 of us to eat, Noah didn't have any salad but had everything else), then we all got a large Margherita pizza (fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese) and then we had two huge portions of pasta. And finally we all had 3 desserts, which all four of us happily shared. And 2 coffees, plus 1 tea, since they were kind enough to switch Branden's coffee to an iced tea. All of this and believe me, it was a lot of food, we practically had to roll out of there, lol, for 5200 yen. They also have a dinner deal for two, which is like 3200 yen or something like that! But it comes with everything minus the extra serving of pasta. The dessert with vanilla ice cream and heated blueberry sauce, yumm! They have chocolate cake or cheesecake you can choose from as well, as a bunch of sorbets, but we always get the three ice-creams with the heated blueberry sauce.

It was so nice, because you all know we rarely eat out much. Maybe once a week tops! So it was nice to go and eat here! Really nice actually!

Side note: They have this Indian restaurant in the bottom of where Capricciosa is located. It's in a mall with just a bunch of restaurants. Anyway this Indian restaurant always seems to be packed with customers. And there were a slew of foreigners in there, while we were in Capricciosa. No foreign ladies, just a bunch of foreign guys. Could have been American, Canadian or from the UK or wherever. I'm thinking we should go and try this restaurant out! I mentioned this to Noboru and he said we will go and try them maybe next week. I can't wait!

Anyway, that was our day. Saving money while getting super deals at Gap. Again cutting corners at Capricciosa Ristorante Italiano and getting the value family meal, the smarter and better value really. But we're still just out having tons of fun! It was a nice Tuesday! : )

Monday, July 24, 2006

What I've been watching on TV in Japan lately! : )

I've started watching a series on Fox that we get on satellite here in Japan called, Tru Calling, this show started here in Japan last year, I think. But I never watched it until a few weeks ago. They've had a catch up thing for the past two weekends. Where they show like 4 or 5 episodes in a row. So now thanks to the catch up weekends they had, I'm almost done with season one now and I'm really liking this show a lot! The main character's name is Tru, hence the name. And the main character used to play Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Nip/Tuck, doesn't that show come on F/X in the US? Anyway we get it on Fox here in Japan and I'm really loving this show! And by the way, I was so shocked to find out Matt's older girlfriend was really a man! Yikes!

Six Feet Under, I think in the US this show was on HBO, but we get it on some other channel here in Japan. And I love this show, I've been hooked on this show since last year when we first got this show in Japan! I know this show ended the series recently in America, but it's not over here in Japan and I'm really into this show a lot! Every character is so complex, not just the main characters but everyone!

Cheater's, this show comes on Monday through Friday at 10:00 pm. It's reality TV, and something about the social aspects of reality shows is why I love watching them. I'm really drawn into reality TV. It's heartbreaking for me to watch someone *think* or feel their loved one is cheating. Have cheater's follow them around and get the goods on them. Then they confront them. In a way it gives them closure, I guess. But I always find myself wondering why the cheater couldn't just be honest instead of being so deceitful. I just can't help it, but I totally love this show. Noboru and I usually watch this show together.

Super Nanny, this show comes on three times a week on Lala TV at 11:00 pm. I really like watching this show because no matter how naughty I may or may not think my kids might be, they look like saints after watching this show! LOL. But also, I like this show because they have good tips. It's also nice to see other parents admitting they have trouble with their kids sometimes. Because most people hide that part and say their kids are angels 24/7, lol. So I really like watching this show.

I still watch reruns of Friends. And That 70's show and also King of the Hill! I'm also still really into Sex and the City.

I've been hooked on watching this cooking show from the UK. I think her name is Delia Smith. She's not judgmental or all hoity toity the way some cooking show people can be. She's very down to earth and in her 40's, I'm guessing. She just seems nice. And I just always seem to get stuck watching her entire show, every time I see it on. Even the boring stuff she cooks, I find myself watching the entire show! She had a whole show on cooking freakin' eggs last week and I watched the entire darn show. Just sitting here on my couch absolutely mesmerized!

What about movie rentals? I saw Fat Albert. We rented it last weekend. It was horrible! I remember the TV series on TV when I was little, just vaguely. But this movie was so bad, it was almost painful to watch this! And now, Noboru and Branden have been walking around everywhere saying "HEY HEY HEY I'M FAT ALBERT", this annoys the heck out of me for some reason! LOL. We also rented the Exorcism of Emily Rose. This was a total dud. I was expecting something super scary, like the Exorcist where her head would be spinning or levitating from the bed or something! This movie took part mostly in a court room during a trial. Where they were trying to decide if she was really possessed or just suffering mental illness. Snooze! It was really boring. If any of my friends were to ask me, I'd be a good honest friend and advise him/her to skip both of these movies. Just not worth it.

Movies on Satellite. I watched the Terminator. This movie is still pretty good even though it's like super old now. And I again watched Father of the Bride on one of the satellite channel's again ( I just watched this a week before as well). I also watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the original with Gene Wilder, last week with both the boys and Noboru loves this movie too, so we all watched this with a full bowl of popcorn. I just love it when the little oompa loompas start singing and dancing! With their smart songs!

I watch a few other things, and there's a great amount to choose from. But these are the ones I'm really into these days!

PS, I'm also really into watching a Japanese program on TV. One on an actual Japanese regular TV channel. It's a show about Japanese men who have a foreign wife! It comes on TV every Tuesday night at 8:00 pm. On Tokyo TV and this show is very good! Each week it shows two wives. Usually from two different countries. I realy dig this show a lot!

Also what's up with reality shows that showcase the uber rich? Like the Simple Life? We got the orginal Simple Life, here in Japan ions ago and now we get the one called Road Trip. I watch this show. But I often get really turned off by their uncouth and inconsiderate behavior. Them being rich doesn't bother me at all. It's the way they act and treat other people that get me. Paris actually put a metal frying pan into a microwave! And she seriously had no idea she could NOT do that! What the hell? And this new series, they think work is a bore. And do stuff to get fired purposely! Like when they were maids, they called maid service to have another maid clean the room they were supposed to clean. And they ordered room service and charged the person who was staying in that room! Again, what the hell? Selfish and spoiled!

And now we get a new show here in Japan called, the Gastineau Girls. It's about a rich mom and daughter duo. One is a mom and she's self made, so I give her that! However the daughter is so selfish, has no motivation. It's ridiculous! I admit, I've been watching the Gastineau Girls every night only because it comes on after Cheater's and is on the same channel "Reality TV." I think in the US, this program is on the E channel. Hmm, just as I'm writing this just now I realize we sure get a good selection of TV here in Japan from satellite. Hmmm. : )

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sweeping the porch!

I quite honestly, took these pictures a couple days before his first birthday, right before we had left to Guam. This was taken one morning when I was cleaning up the front porch. Sweeping and killing any stray spider webs that might be around. And also sweeping any dust or dirt off the porch. Noah has been walking 100% now, for the past 2 and a half weeks now. I wish I would have had time to put these pics up a few weeks ago, but oh well better late then never! Ha ha ha. : )

Full steam ahead! : )

Thinking and wondering what he should do next!

Slap me some skin! And give me five! LOL! : )

More from sweeping the porch! : )

Hey, what's down there?
Help, I'm in jail! Wait, don't I get to make at least one phone call first?

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! This is my pirates walk! Obviously, I've been to Tokyo Disneyland way too many times to actually know this walk! Ha ha ha! : )

Now I've got the cleaning spirit! Aww! I still feel badly after making all those messes a few month's back! Ha ha ha! That's okay I know my mommy forgave me, along time ago! : )

Forget whistling while you work. I find laughing while I work is much better! : )

Oshimai~! This word means "finished" in Japanese! Which I am clearly finished cleaning in this picture! Job well done! : )
Yup, as soon as I finished my work, I took a spill! Went splat! Good thing mommy helped me up *but* after she took a couple pics first! Geeze mommy, what's up with that? Ha ha ha! : )

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The summer festival at Branden's school. : )

Branden played all the games that we had at his school. Most of the kids did too. Note, see these balloons in the little plastic pool? Rie-san and I and a few other mom's made those the day before. I filled the balloons with a big plastic syringe of water, like the other mom's did. Then the rest was filled with air. Rieko, tied them. Branden won two of these and so, two plastic water balloons are sitting upstairs in our bathroom right now as I type this. LOL.

I didn't get to see Branden playing this game, since I was in another room working at another game. So I was happy to see Noboru took these two pictures.

More about the summer festival at Branden's yochien!

Branden and his best friend Aoi-kun goofing around. These two also take swimming classes together. However, Aoi-kun has been taking swimming classes for the past year, so he is really good. Much better then Branden right now, with regards to swimming, but I hope Branden, will catch up and get as good as Aoi-kun is soon. They really are the best of friends! Look at their faces! They have a blast together always! And it's good that his mom and I are also good friends! : )

Okay, I seriously hate to admit this but Branden has become such a ladies man! It's such a shock because to me, he's still my little tiny baby! See the girl in the pink yukata on the right? His mom came up to us and told us, her daughter, who happens to also be an identical twin by the way. Anyway her daughter the one in the pink yukata has the biggest crush on Branden. She says, her daughter goes home and talks nonstop about Branden this and Branden that! It's hard for me to imagine, since I still every once in a while think about my oldest son, in terms of how he took his first steps, the first food he ever ate, etc! So yes, it's hard for me to see two different little girls oohing and awing over my son. Weird actually! Sigh, why can't he just stay little forever! Ha ha ha! He's only 4 years old, for crying out loud! I just want my kids to stay kids for as long as they possibly can.

Branden's class. He is going to a private Catholic yochien by the way.

This is Rieko/Rie-san and I. She is probably the one I'm closest with at the yochien. Although I got a bunch of other friends from the school as well. She and I click the most. She used to be a flight attendant. She has been in Hawaii and also Guam, a bunch of times. So when I say something or of a specific place she knows exactly what I'm talking about. She listens to a lot of music and she loves to dance. So do I, so we get along well (and no, now that we are mom's we don't get to dance anymore, although she does dance in her house, lol, I've seen her, lol). She also wears black quite a bit and so do I. Ha ha ha. Anyway this is a pic of us two nerds! We wanted to work this game together, so we did! We had a hoot! : )

Can you see the little pink badges on both our aprons? Well, each mom had to wear their child's badge that they usually wear to yochien. So, mine said Branden Blah blah (insert last name), and Rieko wore one, that said Aoi, insert last name,as well. That way every person can see what color the badge you are wearing. Which identifies which class your kid is in. Rieko and I are both wearing pink badges, so both our sons are in the pink badge class. It's also let's people who may not know us, see and read which mom belongs to which child, if that makes sense. Also it let's people know, "Oh I saw Branden's mom helping out at the school" for example.

Here, I am helping out a lovely little girl in a yukata. Each child, gave us 50 yen. And got a chance to scoop out as much candy and gum as they possibly could with 1 scoop! And they told us, if the kid didn't get too much candy, we could give them extra! I gave so many kids extra! Ha ha ha. A couple extra gums here and there or gummi bears etc.

Noboru had to take care of both the boys during the school's festival because I was working half of the festival with Rieko. And the part I was off, I was taking pictures of both the boys and also pictures of the festival itself. I also spent time with Branden. Although Branden was playing with all his friends for a good part of the festival, but we did keep a good eye on him though. So Noboru and Noah spent the entire festival together. He walked him around in the stroller for a bit outside. But mostly he just held him. Held him inside the building, where most of the games took place. Or held him in the court yard while the yochien kids danced the traditional summer festival type dances. Here is a picture of Noboru holding our youngest son Noah, while looking on as our oldest son, Branden takes part in dancing in the court yard.We all had a really good time at the festival. We all grabbed Mc Donald's on the way home from this and went home, ha ha ha! : )

Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday spent at Branden's yochien, getting ready for the festival tomorrow

I went to Branden's school today. All of us mom's had to be there at 1:30 pm for decorating. We were all decorating for the summer festival for tomorrow. I blew up water balloons. Hung paper flowers. They even had us learn and make poodles and flowers out of balloons. It was long and I was glad to get out of there when I did. I left when everyone else left. Which was at 5:30 pm. Sheesh I can't believe we all stayed so long for that!

After that I ran to my local store to take my memory card in and get some prints made. I could have got them if I stuck around and waited an hour, but I told them I would pick them up today. This way I can send my dad pics of the boys and also of the pictures from when we were in Guam, I'm sure he'd like a copy of those.

I also made 4 copes of everything, so I can send some to Osaka so grandma Mitsuko can get a few pics as well. And I will also send some to my mom in California as well.

When I got home, I put the chicken rotisserie that I got at Costco the day before, into the oven. It got all warm and the skin was nice and crispy! I also made zucchini, and we had rice, and I also made a simple salad. The boys and Noboru and I enjoyed our meal. And I liked the fact the chicken was done and just had to get warmed up. So dinner was fast and easy.

The zucchini was not completely cooked when I snapped the pic. They came out gorgeous though and tasted yummy when they were done. I also love zucchini bread as well. : )

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Southern cooking

I got my book in the mail today. I ordered it from Amazon last month. The book was actually out of stock when I ordered it, so I knew it would take a while. So it was a nice surprise to get it in the mail today. Remember the movie Fried Green Tomatoes? These are apparently the original recipes from the real Whistle Stop Cafe. I can't wait to try the recipes for fried chicken, old fashioned macaroni and cheese, garlic cheese biscuits and old fashioned cornbread and sweet potato pie and red velvet cake.

And as all of you know, I'm not from the south. I've actually only been to the south once. But I really appreciate their cooking, ha ha ha! : )

Most of the ingredients I'll need, I can buy locally at my regular grocery store. So that's nice. It helps, especialy with me living farther from Costco now. : )

Costco, phew what a long drive!

You know Costco in Japan actually sells Tide, Gain, Cheer, basically all the detergents from America. When I first moved to Japan, I always had to use the American laundry soap. Don't get me wrong, they are awesome! However, after living in Japan for the past 4 years. Things change, things change a lot! I'm sorry but I'm just not willing to spend 2600 yen on Tide detergent. For me 2600 yen (about $26.00 US) for simple laundry soap is absolutely ridiculous! Now maybe once or twice a year, I might buy it for nostalgia purposes, but it's few and far between! I don't begrudge any of you buying it, if you choose to do so, but for our family it's just not practical at all. I am currently liking and using Ariel. It's made by Proctor and Gamble and that's still an American company, as well, right? However it's being made here, so it's really cheap/affordable. And this Ariel laundry detergent smells freaking fantastic! You wouldn't believe how good our laundry always smells. I'm serious! Anyway, the deal is cheaper at Costco even though Ariel is available everywhere in Japan. And they sell them in a two pack. So I bought 2 (2 packs), so I got a ton of laundry detergent now. And the Ariel is about 400 yen a box ($4.00), so that's a good deal because the box is a good size. So a two pack was like 800 yen. And we basically bought all 4 boxes of ours for only 1600 yen. Even with all that soap, it was still way cheaper then buying the Tide. Saved us 1000 yen! And this amount usually lasts us about 2 month's.

Most of the groceries I buy for our family, I buy locally. You know at a typical local Japanese grocery store. Because it's cheaper for us for the day to day type things, like veggies and fruits and our meats. I used to live closer to Makuhari and therefore go to Costco about twice a month. However with us living much farther, I only get to go to Costco about once a month now.
I think some of the stuff Costco sells is a good deal, however some things, are just too expensive. So I find myself buying less. And only get the things I couldn't otherwise buy at my local store. Today I bought waffles (both my kids like them and they are one of the things that's actually a great buy so I buy them), a big hunk of Colby cheese (I buy cheese here, because it's hard finding good cheese in Japan and I like cheese, American bacon, the only reason I buy this is because we love bacon, whether it's for breakfast or for a BLT, however Japanese bacon is really different and burns so easily. It seems drier and it doesn't taste the same as American bacon at all, so that's why I bought two of these. Tostitos, regular tortilla chips are really hard to find. Some conbini's sell taco flavor or whatnot. But the plain ones are hard to find. And Costco's are only like 300 yen or around there. So that's why we just bought 3 bags of them. A rotisserie chicken, I've been dreaming of one of these for the past 6 weeks. They are a good deal. Under 1000 yen and can feed our whole family. We will have this chicken for dinner tomorrow, since we will have the pizza tonight.

Just bought two cases of store brand/Costco brand cokes. It's cheaper then us buying a 1.5 liter of Coke for 198 yen for an entire month. This lasts us about a month.

Pizza, I hoped to go to the Outback or someplace good for dinner. But we figured it would be cheapest (sigh, lol) if we just bought this whole pizza for 1500 yen and take it home. We threw it in the oven and warmed it up right after we got home. And this pizza is enormous by the way. We actually have leftovers in the fridge still.

Seriously if you really think about it. I'm doing quite good. I'm mostly making do with Japanese stuff and stuff available around me. I'm doing okay! But I still need that little bit of comfort food thrown in every once in a while. Ha ha ha. : )

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Branden's first day of swim school! : )

Today was Noboru's day off. However he slept in until 1:00 PM today since he worked so late last night. He had the night shift last night and didn't even get home until 7:00 am this morning, poor guy!

Meanwhile, the boys and I snoozed in until 9:00 am today. I made eggs and toast, no bacon though because we sadly haven't been to Costco in about 6 weeks. Coffee for me and juice for the kids. It was raining today so we stood indoors. Branden watched cartoons today. I, did a load of laundry. Made lunch for the boys. Instant cup of noodles type lunch. And then by that time Noboru woke up. And he got ready. I got Noah ready. I made sure Branden threw on his swim trunks and his robe and flip flops and the four of us all headed to the swimming school. Noboru wanted to come and see Branden swim, even though I said it wasn't really necessary for him to be there.

My friend Rieko was there with Aoi-kun (this is Branden's classmate and friend from yochien.)And about 5 other kids and their mom's from the same yochien also showed up on a rainy Wednesday. The rest will probably show up on another days, since we can go any day of the week.

The time starts at 2:00 pm Monday through Friday and it lasts until 3:30 pm.

Branden did really good. : )

In these two pics are where one of his teacher's is teaching Branden to hold his breath. : )