Saturday, January 28, 2006
The fence is completed for the side and back yard. A bit is still going to get finished tomorrow but 98% of it is done. Because we were worried the kids might get out of the yard or fall since our land it quite high up, on a ledge. We made sure that our fence had to be completed by the time we moved in. The fence guy, is the same guy who built our back wall (formerly known as "the wall guy" lol). His prices are just unbeatable and we like his personality and work. He's a very funny old guy and his wife helps him. So, they are both quite a couple of characters! And they work hard as hell, they put the entire back fence up in just one day! And they also gave us extra dirt for our back yard and they made the fence so precise and straight! They really are just excellent workers! We have a lot of respect for them and their work.
The fridge got there today as well, and it's gorgeous! Also the guy came to start the gas, so the stove is now working! And Noboru also got the floor heating filled up and the floors are now nice and warm.
Today we signed the last of the papers and the keys to the house were handed over to us today. So today is the day the house became officially ours! We are so excited beyond words!
These next two days, Sunday and Monday will be our most busiest days. Monday is the day we will be officially all moved in and we will be living there full time from Monday. But on Sunday, (tomorrow) all the way until Tuesday we will be running everywhere. Running to the Royal Homecenter in Yachiyodai to buy a few things. Running to Costco for some things. And running a few more places. So, if I can't blog properly for the next couple days, forgive me. I will blog as soon as I can. But we gotta set up our house first and get ourselves settled in.
I'll try to update as soon as possible, but bare with me, we will be super busy these next couple days.
Love to you all,
Friday, January 27, 2006
Today was Branden last day of school. Sigh, what can I say about this? It's really hard for me to express my true feelings about this but let me try.
My son started school there last April. He didn't like it at first. For nine days straight, every time we took him to schoool he would cry. He hated it. But he adjusted to it and eventually he loved it. He was shy around the sensei's at first and then he grew to love them. He made many friends and even had a couple very best friends. Like Sho-chan and Tama-chan and Naru-chanor Take-chan.The school became such an important part of his life. Even on vacations he would drive me nuts because he wantd school to start again so he could see his favorite sensei's and best friends. They played in the splashing pool together at school in the summer time, they experienced their very first undokai together and made mochi at school together, just a bunch of stuff. They took their first field trip together. They shared a lot! For Branden, he was very sad leaving his school and saying good bye to his friends and sensei's.
For me, I also admit I didn't want to say good bye to my yochien friends either. I have tendancies where I can be a bit shy around people, I don't know too well. And I know that. But when Branden started school, I forced mnyself to pull all my effort out and say konichiwa or ohayo, to every single mom every morning and sayonara to all the mom's every afternoon when I picked up Branden every single day. I forced myself not to by shy around them. Sometimes I would feel absolutely stupid standing there, not knowing what they were chatting about, but I stood there anyway, smiling and giving my best and not giving up! Overtime, my determination got me many friends. I never really have had Japanese girlfriends before and yes they are quite different then my western friends. I actually prefer to have western friends, only because we have so much more in common but I also like having Japanese friends too. But I tried so hard at yochien, because I figured I wanted to make things easy for Branden. If his mommy got along and had friendships at his yochien, it would be easier for him and yes it certainly was true! So I am glad, I tried so hard. But after a while I really started to develop close friendships and made many true friends.
These women at yochien, we se eachother twice a day, 5 days a week! After all that time, we all knew eachother's outfit's and clothes like clock work. We became so used to seeing each other in the mornings, with no makeup on and also got used to seeing eachother at the Christmas recital's and undokai's all made up, ha ha ha! We all knew eachother quite well indeed!
I developed many friends but two * best* best friends. Their names were Miho and Aiko. Aiko and I, had two older 4 year old boys and two 6 month old boys. We both liked going to Starbucks and we both like many of the same things. She's actualy a Costco member too (maybe someday I will run into her there, who knows). Miho, she juist went to Malaysia this December and we chatted about her trip over coffee the other day and that's when I realized wow, they are such an important part of my life and I have become a part of their life as well.
How do I say good bye? Oh my god, I'm actually getting teary eyed typing this out right now. My friends and loved ones are the most important things to me. If you are my friend, you know that I'd do anything for you. But, I hate good byes, I have actually been dreading Friday all week long, I didn't know how to say good bye. I was afraid I would cry or get too sentimental. Friday morning, Aiko and Miho and Sho-chan's mom brought good bye gifts. I almost dreaded picking up Branden at 1:50 pm because I knew I'd have to say good bye for real. But, we did it. We gave out letter we made them, of thanks to our sensei's and to about 5 of our close friends at the school. We gave them our address and a map of our new house. We also bought 2 very generous "thank you" snack type gifts for the school.
So, we gave them out and then we waited to get Branden. All the mom's started saying good bye and I was okay and still said good bye and smiled. The two main sensei's were teary eyed and I started getting teary eyed too. I hugged them and I saw the younger sensei went into the room and started wiping her eyes. It was hard. Tama-chan said good bye to Branden and hugged him. Tama-chan's mom took a picture of them together. Saying good bye to most of them was okay, sad but still okay.
So, as we were walking towards the exit the #1 sensei who helped us the most. Came to say good bye. She was crying and I couldn't help it, I started crying too. She told me, "I last took English 30 years ago in high school, yet you always try hard to understand me, thank you" and I told her thank you and apoligized for my bad Japanese. We hugged and then she said "I will never forget Branden, or your family" Ahhhhh, it was really hard hearing that!
I was still sad, but a bit okay. I didn't see Miho or Aiko. In some small way, I was hoping I could leave without seeing them only because I knew saying good bye to them would be the hardest of all. So, we almost made it out the gate, had about 6 feet left, but Miho and Aiko caught up with us. They said, Ginachan, Ginachan. My eyes were pink already from talking to the sensei. But I noticed their eyes looked as sad as mine did. They both looked so crushed. Miho said, "I promise to learn to drive, so I can come see you often" I hugged her and she cried. And Aiko, she was speaking in Japanaese but started crying and I was crying too. My heart was just absolutely crushed. I hugged both of them *so* hard and I said, while still crying, "thank you very much for being my friend!" And I left! It was unbelievaly hard for me to leave. I cried in the car and put my head on Noboru's shoulder. I was really broken hearted.
I will truly miss my friends. : (
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
So, anyway I think I will start saving for the couch set and hopefully by April or May I can buy it. Same with the kitchen table, maybe in March I can buy it. We aren't in a big hurry to buy furniture because as long as we are moved into our new house, we know we aren't going anywhere. We'll be living there forever. So, there's no rush and whenever we can afford nicer furniture then heck....we'll buy some. But at least now I found a great one I really love.
We also went to Starbucks right after our furniture shopping, I had to get myself a hot caramel machiatto. And then we went to The Outback Steak House for dinner. We have a fantastic dinner there. Noboru used his birthday coupon and got a free steak dinner out of it and a free hot fudge sundae. The three of us, shared the hot fudge sundae and it was delicious (Noah's not allowed sweets like that yet). I had the Alice Springs chicken dinner, my usual meal, lol. And we had fried mushrooms for our appetizer. Branden had the chicken fingers kids meal. And Noboru and I, each had ceasar salads as well. And Noah had some of my cheese and butter baked potato and buttered bread.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Batman Begins, I've seen all the other Batman movies and they were all pretty okay. But this one sorta sucked. The movie lost me, when he went somewhere in Asia (they never mentioned where, but it wasn't Japan) after his parents died to become a thief and then became some sorta ninja type fighter trying to channel all his grief and guilt. All in all, I would not watch this again at all. I'm glad I saw it, for curiosities sake but yup, it was a dud!
Team America, to be fair, I should say I hated this movie last year before I even saw it. Just by the commercials I saw of it last year, this looked so stupid and dumb! Little marionette type dolls were the actors in this movie. Noboru has been wanting to see this *so* badly. So, to be fair, since I picked Batman, I watched this. I must say this was even stupider (is this even a word?) then I thought! This has truly won the award for being the worst movie on the face of the planet! And no I am *not* glad I saw this one for curiosities sake at all! I would like to be given back the two and a half hours of my life back that I *wasted* watching this movie! That's how truly horrible this movie was! Also, I am by no means a prude and I have heard foul language in my life obviously! But this movie curses every second or every other word was a curse word! The song during the movie was....America F**k yeah!!!! I swear these were the words and there was no mistake (and I do apologize for saying the word here, but I need to make my point by just how totally gross this movie was and what they said!) The constant inappropiate language was a total turn off from the entire movie!There was a horrible sex seen, that was quite vulgar. I had Branden cover his eyes. If I would have know this was what it was, I would have *never* agreed to watch it in the first place! Horrible movie for kids to watch and horrible movie for adults to watch too! Be warned.....do *not* rent Team America! Unless you like to watch marionettes get it on, and curse like the dickens! Worst movie ever! I actually fell asleep during the last 10 minutes and Noboru woke me up on the couch. Boring and horrible! And very foul language! Naughty little movie! Stay clear of this one! Trust me! : )
So yesterday we had an appointment to meet the United Homes home building supervisor and also the United Homes supervisor (the one who helped us find the land and who helped us design our house) anyway we went to meet them to go around and look for flaws. They have seven days to fix it before it officially becomes ours. I've never heard of actually asking the customer to check it and look for flaws but they sure did! They wanted to make sure we will be 100% happy when we move in and satisfied. So, hey, they asked us to come and look, so we did what they asked, which was look for any flaws. Anyway the appointment was at 2:00 pm. By car there are two main ways to get to our new house. The fast way from the highway or the long and scenic route. We usually go the long and scenic route every week, but since we had that big snow storm that hit Chiba a few days before, we decided we better take the highway because the side roads could still be icy.
So as we were driving along the highway Noboru's cell phone rings. It's the United Homes people and they got into a bit of an accident. Yup, as you can probably guess, they took the scenic route and their car hit some black ice and they wiped out and hit a snow covered mountain! As amazing as it sounds, it's completely true! They called a tow truck but it could take forever. So, we decided to quickly go there and help them. We did get there. And Noboru being such a handy and useful type of guy, he helped them dig the car out and push the car back and they finally got the car out. Me and the kids stayed in the car and watched. It was really interesting.
Their car was not very damaged at all and still drivable, we asked them if they'd like to reschedule but they said no, they wanna keep the appointment. And so afterwards we all went to the house and looked for flaws.
Looking for flaws was hard because in a way I feel badly. I feel like some uber bitch that is looking for some tiny miniscule dot of paint that has chipped etc. It's hard because you don't wanna appear like that. And it's hard because I actually like both those guys, they are quite nice. But then some part of me knows, it's just business and we gotta do the inspection. So there we both were, I was on my hands and knees looking all over the kitchen walls, floors, cabinets. I had them adjust my cabinet doors for example. I saw some tiny scuff mark in the dining room and asked them to fix that. It was hard because I hate being mean! But, I did manage. Noboru on the otherhand did very well. He had no problem pointed at this or that. Good thing, Both the guys had note pads and took notes of every complaint we had. The building supervisor, may inform the builders that they did make scuff marks and whatnot, I'm not sure. I'm just glad Noboru's strengths are where my weaknesses are and vice versa, so we sorta overlap and compliment each other which is good for us as a couple.
Also they gave us a walk through of the house and told us how to use stuff. Like how to use the bath tub. This was very important because the bathtub we have now is old fashioned and it has a nozzle where water comes out and a faucet handle (besides the fact it's probably 1 billion years old, lol). But our new bath tub has no faucet handle and no nozzle, Noboru and I have been joking for month's now, where does the water come out of our bath and can we even get the darned thing to work? Ha ha ha, so them teaching us how to run the bath yesterday was really important. He also taught us how to clean the toilet jets once a month. All this stuff, I had no idea about! Because my toilet now is normal and basic and doesn't do anything except flush! LOL. So yesterday was a learning experience. : )
Sunday, January 22, 2006
But I think he is going through a growing spurt at the moment. From December to January, he grew 1 whole CM. Even the sensei's mentioned this to us. Usually they write the height in the booklet. And while they did write it down in the booklet, they actually mentioned it to us, when we picked him up. They said, "wow he grew so much since last month!"
They have also mentioned to us at the teacher/parents conference. That Branden loves milk! They said he always requests a second milk and they oblige him every day. But many times he requests a third milk and they said they won't give him a third milk because they are afraid he will throw up. Ha ha ha. I understand and wasn't upset at all. I'm glad they give him 2 milks every day at lunch. Granted I was a bit shocked, he actually wanted a third milk as well.
But he's growing by leaps and bounds! And this is the crazy part. Lately around 11:00 am or even midnight. He will wake up from his sleep and say he is hungry. Noboru dislikes late snacking and says we shouldn't feed him so late. But he will actually start crying and tell me how he is starving (yk how kids grossly exaggerate everything and anything, lol) he's certainly not starving by any means. Now, you all know me, and yes I certainly do feed my son a big dinner, so even I am amazed he can be hungry. I tried calming him down and urged him to sleep only because, I know he has school in the mornings and I don't want him awake all night long. But he won't give up. He keeps crying and says he is hungry. Now as a mommy, it hurts me and breaks my heart to hear my child crying because of hunger! And it still blows me away by how just a few hours before, he was stuffed to the gills (and said he couldn't eat another bite or else he'd throw up, lol). So I, being the softy or easy parent, I walk him downstairs and usually fix him a midnight snack.
I will fix him a bowel of cereal and he drinks all the milk up. And then I make him brush his teeth again of course, Or, I'll make him a quick sandwich or heat him up some leftovers from dinner. He is really good about eating. He eats it quickly and sits in the kitchen at the table and then he brushes his teeth and goes off to bed. And he does fall right to sleep after the midnight snack. I spoke to dad about it and he says it's gotta be a growth spurt and he needs the extra food to grow taller. And I agree, which is why I am allowing this midnight snacking for now.
Also, he has woken up many times this month telling me his legs are hurting him. I remember when I was a little kid and the part underneath my knee cap was hurting me and my mom and dad would massage it to make it feel better. It was because I was growing. I know Branden is just going through a growing spurt at the moment now too and so now the role has switched and I do the massaging of the legs. My first born, is growing up and going through one heck of a growth spurt at the moment. And wow, 1 CM in one month (just 30 days)! Wow!
This morning I woke up and made omelet's. Branden got a cheese omelet. And I got my usual green pepper, onion and cheese omelet. I also cooked Branden 3 Jimmy Dean sausages (Branden hates Japanese hot dogs and sausages and I don't blame him, me too ha ha ha) and I also made toast. And Branden had 2 mini cartons of milk and I had my usual hot coffee. Noah had bits and pieces of toast. And he also had some mashed up banana, that I smashed for him ha ha ha.
I washed Branden's yochien's uniforms, first thing this morning and they are in the dryer now. And I decided that today, I'm not going to do anything. Nope not one single stinkin thing to today. Why? Because every day it seems I am busy cleaning this or busy cleaning that. And sometimes you just need those days to take care of yourself, put yourself first for a change and rest up for the week ahead. Does that make sense? So, I'm going to sit in bed or laze on the couch all day long today! I deserve it and hell even if I don't, who cares! Ha ha ha. Especially with us moving next week, I need all the rest I can get and today's my only day to do it. : )
I'll make dinner tonight of course but that's about it. Besides the house is clean enough and it won't fall to a shambles, being left for one darn day. It will all be here still tomorrow. : )
Anyway, movies review time, you all know I always give thoughts on the movies I see:
Bewitched: we saw this last weekend, remember? Anyway I am sorry to say this movie sucked. It was probably the worst remake ever. It didn't even remotely follow the TV show. It was about actors trying to make the new Bewitched TV series. Yup, a movie about a actor and film crew making a TV series. Really weird! I really like Nicole Kidman as an actress, I thought she was great. I also thought Shirley Maclaine (sp?) who was pretending to be the actress playing Endora was good in this as well. The only thing that was amazing about this movie and it really deserves a mention is Nicole Kidman's wardrobe in this movie. Her clothes were to die for! Her outfits caught my eye immediately! They were all so cute and very hip! I recall her wearing some Gilligan type pink hat! And her bags that were slung diagonal (I do this myself anyways, but I thought on Nicole she looked fantastic!). Her cardigans and just all her clothes were gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! I really totally can appreciate cute clothes! And whoever dressed or chose her outfits for this movie is a wizard or a genius! I took notice of every outfit she was wearing. And made mental notes as well! I will definitely be keeping her wardrobe in mind, when I start looking for my own spring clothes this coming season.
The Island: we saw this last night. Now, you all know I am 100% honest in my reviews, I won't just say it was good, if it sucked! If a movie is horrible I will totally say so. But this movie was awesome! It was great from beginning to end! I had heard a bunch about this movie this summer when it came out in the US. But I didn't really know what kind of movie it was or what it was about. OMG! Great movie. I won't go into the story, as to not give it all away. But it had to do with harvested organs, and genetic cloning and such! This movie really challenged my views and made me think deeper about the whole genetics and cloning and organ harvesting issue. Even Noboru loved this movie! Usually a good factor for me is...would I watch it again? The answer is yes! I'd surely watch the Island again. Two thumbs way up!
Saturday, January 21, 2006
It snowed in Chiba late last night and it's even snowing where I live right now still. Just lightly, but it's still coming down. I find in Japan at least in my case, most Japanese are pretty helpful regarding letting me know about weather related stuff. Or they like to discuss the weather with me. In the summer, you'd be amazed by how many people tell me "Atsui ne", it's hot isn't it. And in the rainy season how my neighbors tell me, tomorrow will be a typhoon go to the store! Ha ha ha! Good to have such on the ball weather knowledgeable neighbors and Japanese friends. My husband also like to make little weather announcements like this to me all the time too. But yesterday, wow! Everywhere we went, people were saying, "did you hear about the snow coming tonight"? Gosh at least 15 people honestly mentioned it to us. Just by the sheer number of how many people spoke to us about it, it sorta scared me a little. Or at least got me prepared for it's coming.
We went and got all the gas filled up for our heaters. Filled them all up. Bought about 4 nights worth of food and breakfasts and lunches. And waited. A small part of me went to bed thinking, wouldn't that be just so funny if nothing happened? Meaning no snow at all? LOL.
Nope, turns out they were all right. And it sure snowed a bunch. Heaps by Chiba standards. A pinch by Colorado standards.
First thing, when we woke up this morning Branden wanted to go outside and make a snow angel and a snow man! I took a few pictures of him making snow balls. I usually let him plop down and make a snow angel but not today, ha ha ha. We had to get breakfast started. He had fun playing in the snow for about a good 25 minutes. Where were his gloves? He didn't want to wear them. He said, he didn't want his gloves to get wet. Boys! Figures he'd give me some silly explanation. He has a Thomas cotton pair and a snow ski type pair that keep his fingers insulated, so I don't know what that was all about. But in anycase, he came inside and I made him some Swiss Miss Hot cocoa afterwards. And me a hot cup of coffee.
We made pancakes this morning. Branden helped me. They tasted great. I make pancakes once a week, only to switch things around from the typical eggs or cereal. Sometimes regular pancakes and sometimes topped with whipped cream and some thawed out frozen strawberries and some cream cheese. Yummm! But today it was just the regular old boring kind. But they were great.
For lunch we had pizza. Just cheap pizza bought at the store and we tossed it in the oven.
Noah had half a pancake for breakfast. Plain with no butter or syrup. But he did munch that half pancake! He loved it. We all did. Noah is asleep now and we three just finished lunch.I vacuumed the downstairs and the upstairs and that's all the house work I'm doing today! I got Branden's yellow Osh Kosh coat in the washer, washing as we speak.
Tonight, I'm making a pork roast, and doing something with potatoes, not sure if I will do baked potato or a more of a Sunday potatoes type thing, where they are cubed and boiled and then drained and salted and buttered and peppered. Hmmm, still thinking about what to do with the potatoes. Some veggie I'm sure, but so far the only thing I'm certain is, I know it'll be roasted pork but potato something and veggie something, lol.
I think I will rent a DVD tonight as well. And just stay home and stay warm. I'm so glad it snowed over the weekend and not the weekday, yahoo!
Okay so Branden asks me this morning, "mommy do you know who that is" as he's pointing at the syrup bottle. I said yeah that's aunt Jemima! He said, "no mommy that's the queen". I said oh yeah? Wow, I didn't know that! He was trying and I could buy the effort. I was really wondering, queen of what? Queen of pancakes? Queen of syrup? LOL, but I didn't ask and I didn't have the heart to correct him and tell him she's not a queen, just aunt Jemima! Ha ha ha!
Friday, January 20, 2006
Yesterday (Thursday), I took Branden to school and went home and cleaned up a bit. Then at noon, I met a couple of my girlfriends (5 of them, Aiko, Miho, Naruchan's mom, Shochan's mom which this is Branden's best friends mom, and used to be a flight attendant mom, lol) from Branden's yochien for lunch at the Chinese restaurant near all of our houses. It was good and we all were there until we all went to go pick up our kids at 1:50. So we stayed at the restaurant from noon to about 1:30 pm just eating and chatting. That was fun. I made cream stew last night and I did manage to vacuum and do two loads of laundry as well. I was in bed by 10:00 pm and must have dosed off around 11:30 pm.
Today: This morning I had to wake up at 7:00 am. Yuck! I hate the mornings! I got my makeup on and did my hair. Had a cup of coffee. Noboru made Branden's bento (lunch), then I woke up Branden fixed him breakfast and got his teeth brushed, hair combed, face washed with a steaming hot wash cloth and dressed. Phew! So hectic at my house in the AM. Then I woke up Noah. Lucky for me, Noboru was here at the house because he helped. He got Noah fed with some Japanese baby bread, ummm it looks like American Cream of wheat to me, lol. But they call it bread, which is fine. I'm not gonna split hairs over what it's called.Noah really likes this though a lot. He also got him dressed.
I quickly took Branden to school. Then I was off to the Aeon/Jusco with Noah. Noboru is off today but I had a date with my girlfriends from yochien again (just Aiko and Miho this time) so Noboru was left home. We met at Starbucks at 9:30 am. I was actually on time for a change. Which is a total shocker, since I'm perpetually running late. I had a caramel machiatto (sp?) and a caramel donut, yup I love caramel and was in total bliss! : ) We did a lot of window shopping. Oh yeah, I bought some cheddar cheese at Kaldi Coffee. Both my friends bought some sweets and snacks at the Aeon. Miho bought Anpanman treats, lol cute! Another friend (Aiko) wanted to look at shoes. I stayed until noon. I just got back actually. It was fun. We even ran into another yochien mom as we were all exiting the Kaldi coffee with my cheese, lol. And chatted with her for a while.
Now, I'm going to sit here a bit and have some lunch. Probably a curry cup of noodle or some left over cream stew, ha ha ha! Something cheap! And then I will be off! I gotta go to The baby bunny store to get Noah some diapers and him some food and baby senbais. And then pick up Branden. Phew again! And then we have a meeting about our exterior. Meaning our front yard, where will the driveway go etc etc.
I've got a full day ahead of me still, plus dinner. The only thing keeping me going is knowing that tonight, I will be soaking in a nice hot bath tub, then sitting in my pj's and my eyes glued to the TV and laying in bed relaxing!
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
We went to see the house today. We went because regardless if we want to or not, going to the new place every week makes sure that we know that the workers are doing everything correctly. Also, it lets them know that the owners are not some dumbasses and they can't get away with murder in the house. It sorta let's them know we can show up, at any given time. We are of course always nice, polite and even provide them drinks and stuff which we know other homeowners, don't do for them. But, we also know this will be our biggest lifetime purchase, we will *ever* make and even though it gets tiring going there each and every week. It is in the end worth it.
So, we went there again. And this was the first time, I got to see the back terrace finally done. What do I think? Wow! It looks so gorgeous! We did pick the right color, right everything. And it's non skid, so even if the boys have wet feet from playing in a small pool we may set up in the summer time, they won't wipe out on the tiling. So that's nice. The gold lighting was all installed back there as well. It was really nice to finally see it all done. I will love the backyard even more, once we grow our grass.
The bathroom sink was getting put in the day we got there. So no pics of that yet.
Noboru put our gold tone address numbers onto our house. Since it's our own house and given the fact it's brand new, he seriously practically almost busted a blood vessel in his head, shooting for perfection, practically drove him nuts. He said, how it had to be perfect and how he better do a good job, gosh he got himself all worked up, you guys should have seen it (it really was a site, lol)! He even got tape to mark precisely where the numbers should go and measured them out with a measuring tape. To make sure each number is correctly spaced and blah blah blah. This was his project and since I didn't care so much about this at all, I stayed in the house. I looked out afterwards and ohhhed and awed his handy work though, lol. But, I guess it's sorta cute that he is *so* into doing a good job.
He also put together the mailbox. It isn't going into the ground yet because he is going to make sure the base will be set with concrete. So, after he made the mailbox, he was going to put the metal mail box on my kitchen/dining room floor. I got my hackles up because I said, "no way, outta the question"! I suggested he leave it on the front porch but he is certain someone will steal our mailbox! (rolling my eyes) I don't think so at all. But it bothered him a lot! So that was outta the question. Then I suggested leaving it in the car and again he had some reason for that too! He again tried to put it into my kitchen. I said, hell no! Finally he gave up and he left it on the floor of the genkan. I guess that's where it is still as we speak!
I was thinking of my feelings on this house and trying to think of a good comparison the other day. This is just like when you're pregnant and you finally reached your ninth month and by this time, all you want is for it to be over! Get it done already type attitude. Same here! For well, over 16 month's we have been busy with this house. In some way or the other. And I am exhausted with it all. I am now at the point where I just want it all to be over with! I want to be moved! And be settled already! I'm over it! I'm done with it! We have just about 8 days left in this old house. And honestly the past week has gone so slowly it's like time is standing still! I wish we could just speed up this next week.
I know I will be having to deal with the hook up stage next. The phone guy hooking us up, the fridge guy delivering the fridge and hooking it up. The satellite guy coming and hooking it up. Sigh! Ahhhhh! I just wanna be done with it all! Maybe it's because I got PMS, and I am a grouch right now. But, seriously I just want this all just to be done already.
First real glance at my kitchen for real. The Kohler sink was ridiculously expensive, since it's an import and plus it's expensive in America anyway. But in the end I am glad, I have it. Notice the cool shape and how it's rounded on one side. That's because it is for pots and pans. I'm also loving my dupont counter tops.
This is our living room. I keep forgetting to show our living room. Sorry, ha ha ha! It's really big! It's 12 tatami. Umm what else should I say about it? It has a lot of windows. It also has a sliding glass door which leads to the back yard terrace just like the dining room does. The living room is on the first floor. We made all the rooms where our guests would go on the first floor. So common areas on the first floor. Meanwhile all areas of the house that are more private such as our bedrooms and laundry room and bath tub, etc are on the second floor. We did this purposely when we made the house. In the model house the laundry room was on the first level but Noboru was a stickler about our upstairs being the private areas and the downstairs being the common areas, type thing.
Notice the rounded/arched doorway in the pic. We also have an arched doorway leading to the kitchen as well. The closed door next to the stairs is the downstairs bathroom. Also the wood flooring we chose was the medium shade. We didn't want the yucky too dark color wood and we didn't want the overly bleached wood color either. So we went with the middle medium color.
Monday, January 16, 2006
Our car has been in the shop since Saturday. Noboru swears he feels ever since we took the car to the dealership for the oil change the last time, it hasn't been running right. He thinks it's in the transmission. I drive the car, all the time and it seems fine to me. But he is insisting about it, so he took the car in on Saturday for something or other. We've had this loaner car ever since. I think tomorrow we get our car back. But I will have to go pick up Branden in this today. I always feel uncomfortable driving a car that's not mine. I'm a good driver and all, but I worry getting into an accident with someone else's car. Makes me very nervous. So driving loaner cars for me are absolutely no fun : (
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Yay! The stuff Kaori forwarded on to me, from Denver via the black cat shipping company got here just now! My sister in law rocks! : ) Thanks for throwing everything into one of our old spare suitcases for me dad, I totally appreciate this! Thanks! : ) Hmm what's in the suitcase? Just a few odds and ends. : ) And the toilet mats my sil went and looked for...for us. A very helpful sil and a very helpful dad. : )
In the suitcase, we have many Disney movies that the boys will enjoy watching for years to come! We also have the extra toilet seat cover and toilet mat that we needed for our new house. They only had one set in Guam, so we had to ask my sil to pick this up for us in Denver. So, happy she got this for us! Now both our toilets will be matching! LOL. And the Gap box for which I ordered a few things for the boys. And in the small white envelop style package, that came from the Disney Store, that was Branden's secret surprise.....Herbie #53 pajamas! Yay! We all know how crazy Branden is for Volkswagon beetles/bugs in general, but the Herbie is his ultimate favorite! : ) I'm actually going to wash the pajamas now, and get them all soft and ready for him to wear tonight!
Gap had a winter ending clearance sale and I used that time to get a jump start on next fall/winter. I figure, just because I got two kids instead of just one, doesn't mean I want my kids to run around looking like raggamuffins or raggedy Andy for crying out loud! LOL. I am still going to dress my boys, like cute looking preppy cutie pies...but I've just got to be smart about when and where I shop.
Outlets are my saving grace! I am actually planning now, how I will hit the Gap Outlet and Carter's outlet and Osh Kosh outlet this coming March when I head back home. Target for many basics! And Old Navy! And just stocking up and planning ahead, saves me money.
Pictures are of, a very nice navy blue fleece Gap sweatshirt with silver letters. And it also has silver flecks in the cuffs and waist strecthy part as well. Hard to explain, but when I saw what it looked like online, it caught my eye right away! I got this for Branden in size 5T. Yes, he just turned 4. But this is for next year! And I got the same thing for Noah as well, but I got his in size 18 month's to 24 month's. Why? Because Noah will be 1 year old on July 7th and things don't really start getting chilly until October, by the time October rolls around Noah will be 15 month's old! So, buying it in a size 18mos up. Was much smarter and wiser them buying it in size 12-18 mos. That way Noah, will be able to wear this from October all the way until the end of winter which is like March! So, I will totally get my money's worth.
The other is a Gap sweatshirt but this is a zip up fleece sweatshirt. This is super beautiful. It is an emerald green color and the Gap letter coloring is yellow and the inside of the hood is also lined with yellow. I really thought this coloring made this a total stand out. So I ordered this in size 5T for Branden and in size 18 month's to 24 month's for Noah. Yes, each boy got one of these and can I just say these were only $12.50 each. So the price was too incredible to pass up!
And finally I got the boys a long sleeved t shirt. White and navy blue. Looks so preppy and cute! I bought this in 5 T for Branden (if it's a pinch big, he can roll the sleeves once and be on his way, no worries) and I got this in size 12 month's to 18 month's for Noah. I did that because I want them to wear it this spring and early summer when it still gets chilly at nights. Mid summer forget it, because it'll be too hot, but even Noah can wear it up until December probably or at least until November. I know he won't officailly hit 18 month's until January next year, but kids outgrow clothes way before they actually hit the age ykwim?
So the sweatshirts, I will just keep them wrapped in the plastic and hide them in the closet or stash them away in both the boys dresser. And when September rolls around, I will be glad I got these when I did. The long sleeve t- shirts they can wear starting in April/May I guess : ) Good deals...good deals!
PS, forgot to add the most important thing. My dad is the one, that gave the boys a GAP gift card for part of their Christmas present this year. So we used the gift card for this purchase. Dad, now you can see the wonderful things, that your totally sweet gift card has gotten for the boys! Thanks dad! : ) I love you!
Thursday, January 12, 2006
I made a whole bunch of food for dinner tonight as usual. 10 pork chops in all! Nice big ones! And the rice a roni was so good and so was the corn! I know in Japan the portions they serve are so super tiny, but I'm not about to starve or starve my family either. So I cook a normal sized *simple* meal each night. I stress the simple part because while I cook meals every night here at home. I keep things quite simple, yet delicious but yes, no frills and thrills. Noboru just called and he was hopping on his motorcycle and is coming home right now! He knows he has a nice popping hot homemade meal waiting for him when he gets home. Hey, least I can do since he works so hard!
I shop at such a cheap store that all those pork chops were only 800 yen! For Japan that is flipping affordable.I made the pork chops the American style way this time...dipping in egg first and then rolling them into my flour mixture. Yumm (I actually like both ways, meaning the Japanese style way with the panko and American style way too...nice to be able to do both ways depending on which way we wanna eat it). We will be having that for our lunch tomorrow too (Noboru and I). I am making Branden's bento tomorrow too but I will probably make him something else (unless he prefers the pork chops and rice a roni type bento, lol it's up to him, I can make his lunch either way)
The bath tub is all set and hot. So me and the boys will be jumping in shortly. And Noboru also asked me..."hey you didn't watch Bewitched yet did you", I said no, not yet, why? He said good wait for me! LOL, so I guess we'll both be watching this after me and the boys take out bath and Noboru eats the meal I made. Also, I got ice-cream for dessert, so everyone will be happy about that! : )
Good night all of you, love to you all, as always : )
PS the pic is of Branden's dinner on the left (the smaller portion, but still very good sized considering he's only 4 years old, lol) and the one of the right is mine. I warm up Noboru's plate right before he gets home so his meal isn't pictured.
Took him downstairs. And got him fed and brushed his teeth and got him dressed. I made him and Noboru a cheese omelet (they split a 4 egg omelet) and I made toast and they also had a bit of rice on the side as well. I prefer more stuff in my omelets though, so I made myself an onion, green pepper and cheese omelet and had toast too. I made hot coffee. I felt really tired. I actually had a headache since I don't think I got enough sleep. So, I took myself an Advil along with my prenatal (vitamin) pill since I'm still breastfeeding. I actually had 2 cups of coffee this morning and boy did I need it!
Noboru drove Branden to school which was nice. Noah is asleep right now and Noboru just left to work. I have taken the meat out for dinner tonight already. I'm making fried pork chops (American style) and I'm also making chicken rice a roni and we will have corn on the cob as well. I've got to go pick up Branden at 1:50 pm today. So, I got my hair in a pony tail and I got on some under eye concealer and some foundation and that's it. It's all I wear most days anyway (makeup wise). Unless I don't wear any makeup at all (which is also pretty normal for me). Unless I go out with my friends.
We saw only one of the movies last night because we were all so tired. So tonight we'll watch the other one. Actually I'll probably watch it with Branden since Noboru works late tonight. The War of the World's was a book first I believe (HG Well's, I only know this since my dad likes a lot of his stuff) and wasn't this also an old movie too, so, I'm quite sure this is a remake. The beginning of this movie was so amazing and good. Even the middle of this movie had us on the edge of our seats. but the last 30 minutes was horrible. And how they ended it was so dumb! So many unanswered questions. I'm so glad we didn't pay full price at the movie theater for this. In a nut shell, these tough as hell aliens. Practically indestructible aliens. So smart that even a million years before the human race they buried their ships in the earth's core. And so the humans are getting their butts majorly kicked left and right. This was so action packed. Then the last 30 minutes the writers must have got lazy, because they ended it with they (the aliens) just suddenly started dropping dead everywhere? Hmmm so they went from invincible to weak aliens that turned all white and practically turned to dust (seriously not kidding, they really dropped dead and turned to a white mummy look and when touched they turned to dust...stupid or what?). We just couldn't buy this ending at all. Yup, the earth's tiny organisms and germs are what killed them! Not all of humanities mass weapons? I told Noboru..."oh I see, they weren't properly immunized then", lol. He looked at me and said...yeah that must be it! We both laughed and Noboru said to me. The ending was crap but the rest was good! I said...I thought the same exact thing! Ughh!
I am really curious and can barely wait to see the Bewitched movie tonight. Because I loved the Bewitched TV show, with Samantha and Tabitha and that god awful Larry Tate, he was such a kiss ass in those old shows, huh? And I loved Agnes Moorhead as Endora (Sam's mom) and how she always used to purposely say Darren's name wrong and call him...Derwood! LOL. BTW... I can always tell when someone purposely tries to slaughter a name like that, in real life and I think that is totally rude. Bastards is what they are (a total passive agressive type behavior)! So, yeah anyway, I am really eager to see this movie and see how it compares.
Kaori called me today. And I also spoke with my dad. They both were looking at the pictures of our new house that I send him by email! My dad loves it! And my sil loves it as well. Dad I know you haven't been checking this blog, since Kaori has been there, since my in-laws don't know about this site, so thanks for keeping my blog private. And welcome back for reading this, since I know she leaves tomorrow.
Seems, Kaori had a nice time in Denver. Dad, thanks for giving Kaori the packages of our stuff for me that I ordered. And thanks for also filling up a suitcase and putting some of the Disney movies in there for the boys. I know you got one hell of a Disney collection...had it since I was growing up. All the way up to I was in college. So, the boys will love watching all of them,. I will also try to bring back the rest next time I am in Denver. I love you so much! And I miss you bunches!
I think Kaori told Noboru this morning she will have this company called kuro neko. Basically it's a Japanese version of UPS basically, she'll ship them for me to my house now. She will do this from the airport when she arrives at Narita tomorrow (wait she leaves Denver, tonight Japan time which is Denver in the early am....hmm well yeah, that's right when she gets here tomorrow night, she will just forward them to us from Narita to our house. Thanks dad! I really appreciate it.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
We went to Yamada (we usually buy things at Yamada), then we went to Laox to compare prices and then off to Kojima and then finally we went to Midori. Midori said, they would match the price that Yamada said they were willing to lower the price to. But we honestly trust Yamada more. We have bought a bunch of things from them and have always been treated very sweetly at Yamada and have always got good stuff (We bought two heaters from Midori once and had to take them both back, hmmm). So, since this was such a major purchase we figured we better buy it where we are *most* comfortable.
By the way, my mil did send Noboru a credit card for us, so we could buy it as our house warming gift from her! Man that was so amazingly nice and cool of my mother in law! We bought the largest one even available in Japan and most expensive in Japan. We honestly were planning to buy this one anyways...so we didn't choose this just to sock it to the mil, lol trust us). Besides you all know how picky we both are...so yes we would have got this one anyways. We bought the Mitsubishi 545 liter one! You just can't buy anything bigger in Japan!
Funny because at all electronic type stores like this. They sell the fridges in a line. Starting from smallest all the way to the biggest. We got the one all the way on the farthest left, lol. Couldn't be any bigger then the one we got today!
We checked and looked at many but we are both so happy knowing we got the absolute top of the line one, best and biggest in all of Japan. Cost was 250,000 yen or for those of you, in the US that's $2,500.00 US. But with proper haggling, by my wonderful husband, we got it for 200,000 yen! So that's pretty good right? Besides it was a gift from my mil. So, imagine we are pretty happy about this right now. We arranged for it to be at our new house for delivery on January 28th.
Also, today was Branden's first day of school. He was really happy to be back. Meanwhile it was quite hard for me getting up this morning but I managed. : )
We had lunch at Aeon/Jusco today. I had Italian (what else, right?), and Noboru had some yakisoba and Branden chose Mc Donald's (every kid in the world's favorite I think, lol)
We rented two DVD's. We will watch them both tonight. We got, War of the World's with Tom Cruise (Noboru picked this) and I chose, Bewitched with Nicole Kidman (Tom's ex, lol), And we will eat dinner here at home pretty soon and just stay warm and enjoy our night. So anyways....I'm going downstairs now, just wanted to fill everyone in on our day today.
Love and miss, you all : )
PS, it also has an ice maker too! Yahoo! No more having to make ice the hard way! : )
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Sorry the outside picture of the house was taken at night and the door was open and not closed. Sorry about that. But at least you can see the lighting in the house through the windows now. And you can see our front wood porch. The other pics are of our ceiling fan and our down lighting in the master bedroom. The ceilings actual shape is so awesome and ceiling is so high, we love it! I cannot wait to sleep in this bedroom. : )
Okay, so we had to go to the dump today to throw another load of stuff away. Also, I threw the Snoopy baby bath away as well! This drove me nuts to do so, since I just bought it right before Noah was born! So the things was practically new. But, I knew we wouldn't be needing it anymore and to keep it with the purpose of just to keep it would be dumb! Also, if you read how we got paid diddly squat yesterday at the recycle shop, I figured if I took this down to the recycle shop, they'd only pay me *maybe* 300 yen for it probably (is this not a joke or what? lol). So, I figured at that rate...forget it! And I will just throw it to be thrown away for garbage rather then be paid that measly 300 yen. Reason? Because we had to go to the dump anyways. And weren't driving near that recycle shop today. And the cost in gas to go someplace not really on our agenda today would probably eat up more then 300 yens worth. So it was more cost efficient for us just to chuck it into the trash! Ridiculous isn't it? But, again that's how I am learning how things are done in Japan.
We also went to our new house today and met with the guy about the wiring being in our yard. The wiring will be moved by January 18th. So that is not bad. Granted it won't be gone completely, but it will be at a better spot that we can both live with. Also, by us complaining about it. NTT and another company are going to give us some cash now. So, I guess what they say, about the squeaky wheel getting the oil is absolutely true, huh? Ha ha ha.
Also, Noboru got his stamp registered to our new place. And we went to the city ward office and now we are all now officially registered in our new city. So, we are now not even technically residents of Yachiyo anymore as of today. Our health insurance and all that paperwork was also done today as well. So, paperwork wise, we are now residents over there now.
The non skid tiling has been completed on the back yard terrace. It looks gorgeous but is being wrapped by plastic for a week to fully get set. Also, all the lighting was getting done today. 90% of it was done when we were there. And the color TV monitor and camera for our front door has been put in place. We have two TV monitors in our house. One is downstairs and the other one is upstairs. So this was no matter where we are, we can always see whose at the door and if we don't wanna answer, we don't have to. But it's cool we have two color TV monitors and not just one! The ceiling fan in our bedroom is up and the ceiling fan we just bought in Guam is up and in the dining room! Gosh, this place is getting better all the time! Also, the wood front porch has already been built. It smelled like fresh cut wood and it smelled wonderful! It hasn't been stained yet with the color we chose, but it looks awesome!
Today there were 4 electricians on our house doing all electrical stuff. Because we have so much lighting and wirings and ceiling fans etc that they had to bring in five guys. Noboru and I usually buy the guys drinks. So before we left, we ran to the conbini and bought a bunch of different hot cans of coffee. We knew they would appreciate it because it was freezing today. And many of them were outside hooking up our terrace lighting and front porch monitors etc. They loved getting the coffee. And it lets them know, we are nice and friendly and appreciate their hard work, meanwhile we are not all nasty with unfriendly attitudes type people. They actually and honestly, genuinely like being at our house. Noboru was smoking with those 4 guys and smoking and drinking coffee outside with them. And the guys said to Noboru a few things about our house!
One guys said, "I have *never* been to America before, but I know something this house is like nothing I have *ever* seen before! This is a true American house! They other guys said..this is one of the most beautiful houses they have ever worked on before! And the other guys admitted to Noboru. We make many United Homes but we have never made an American house 100% like this before. These guys were just in awe of this house! Most unbelievable house these guys said they ever saw! Gorgeous is what they kept saying.
Noboru said....the difference is most people who get United Homes are just Japanese persons trying to copy or give their best interpretation of what an American house is. But he said, he gave me the credit for it. Saying, as you could see, my wife is obviously American and she's an American making the house her style, so it will always be a true American house. Not a Japanese trying to immulate an American house but an American making an American house. He said my wife is the reason, this house looks so different and is so beautiful! Ahhh, what a nice husband I have to say those nice things about me. And what sweet guys to say all those things about our new house.
So, anyway...thought I'd share what sorta comments we got today about our house.
Okay the pics I'm sharing are of the guy and the measuring tape is where he will have them move the wiring, lol. Also, you can see the wood front porch from the pic as well. The other pic is of the dining room celing fan with light that we just bought in Guam a couple weeks ago. The other pic is of our wall near the dining room. That wall, was in the process of being finished with the electrical stuff as we clicked the pic. The light switches are there. The TV front door color screen is there too and the central air/heating switch is there also. And the final pic is of the other color TV monitor that is in the upstairs hallway, so we can also view people at the door, while still being upstairs. Yippy! : )
Monday, January 09, 2006
So, I had my first experience with a Japanese recycle shop. And my thoughts? What a total and complete rip off they are! I had some stuff we both figured we wouldn't need anymore and since we are about to move, we figured it would be a great time to sell the unwanted and unneeded things.
Recycle shops in Japan are places where people sell their things of value that they don't need anymore. Some are sometimes specific type recycle shops. Such as baby recycle shops (no not a place to sell your baby, lol, but to sell your used baby items, your baby has outgrown.) Some are electronic recycle shops etc.
So since we have been seeing this new baby recycle shop near our house. We were thinking of selling our stuff there. So we loaded up the car and went on our way!
Now on the Japanese websites they all say....don't be shocked, that they all give you such a low amount of money. Okay, so we sorta knew that but, all I can say is OMG! They gave us a measly 5,000 yen! For those of you in the US that's about $50.00! Peanuts would have been better than that! To fully understand, why we were so shocked about getting that amount, let me tell you what we sold!
One crib. Flawless crib and pristine mattress! My mil bought it when we first moved to Japan. Branden never and I do mean never slept in it! And while I set it up again for Noah....fully determined to make him sleep in it! I honestly can say he never slept it, not even once! And we all know with my super freaky cleanliness...it was immaculate!
A bumper pad....I just bought this colorful bumper pad, not more then 8 month's ago. This things alone cost me about $50.00!
Matching sheet...this was $17.00 US when I bought this.
Bright and colorful mobile...this stuff came all the way from the USA. Gorgeous! And the price for this alone was again about $50.00! I didn't want to even sell this honestly but I didn't feel right lugging stuff to the new house, that I knew in my heart that we would never use anyway! So...that was the only reason I even got rid of it in the first place! Truly there will never be a nicer mobile in all of Japan! Ahhhh, can you see how bummed out selling this stuff made me? LOL!
A 4 in one stroller. This is a car seat and stroller combo. Things was over $220 US. I loved this, but frankly this was way too huge for Japan. Which is why I changed it to a much smaller Japan friendly stroller when Branden was about 8 month's old. And I use that same stroller on Noah. I did use the infant car seat to this bigger stroller that I sold. But if you read the blog...you will know. I switched car seats to the bigger car seat, for Noah a while back. So now that we aren't using the infant car seat for this anymore. And we won't be using the stroller part either! I figured we should sell it as a set!
Also, we sold a thing called the Sit and Stroll. In concept this is a car seat and stroller in 1. However this was a big waste of money and I cursed the day I bought this! I actually was going to throw it in the trash at Dallas Fortworth when I was in transit trying to get myself to Denver one time. Gosh, I remember this so clearly! So, although this thing cost us about $100.00 I was so happy to sell this darned thing!
Yup...crib, US cool bedding! Giant stroller and plus the car seat/stroller (sit and stroll)....all of it was sold and the lady gave us only 5,000 yen for everything? Can you just imagine the look of shock on my face? Noboru was actually more shocked then me! We both agreed and sold it!
Why? Because we don't exactly got time on our side! We gotta move quite soon. And. I asked my friends who might need the stuff first and nobody needed any of it. So. It was either sell it and make the measly 5,000 yen. Or junk it and get zero! So, being of sound mind...we went for the 5,000 yen!
My thoughts now? I would never sell anything at the recycle shop again! They are a big rip off!
On the bright side. And yes there is always a bright side to everything. We did get rid of a huge amount of stuff that was just taking room in the closet! And we also made a bit of spare change too. So all in all, not bad!
Also, while I was there, we saw a sit down bigger infant type shower chair. I bought Noah a Snoopy infant (for newborns) bath when my friend Darlene and I were at Aeon/Jusco last June. I think I paid, 3,500 yen or somewhere around that. Anyway I used it on Noah religiously everyday for the past 6 month's. But in December he started pulling himself up and not liking it anymore. So, I knew, I had to get the one for older infants. The sit down type chairs. I had been telling Noboru that for a couple weeks actually. So, when I was in the recycle shop. I looked and they had 3. Two of them were just plain white and had some blue color on the bar. But they were plain and didn't have anything special on them. They also had a Winnie the pooh one that had 3 fun toys on it that I thought Noah might enjoy playing with it during shower time. And the price was only 800 yen at the recycle shop and it perfect condition! I told Noboru. I bought the Snoopy one barely 6 months ago and now he outgrew it already! And Noah will probably outgrow this seat too, by the end of summer. So, why buy it new and just waste good money, if I can buy it here for only 800 yen? Seriously the sit down chair would probably be about 3500 yen brand new too. So, 800 yen used, was one heck of a good deal! He agreed. So, while we were at the recycle shop getting taken to the cleaners by that lady who owned it. We also bought Noah a bigger sized shower seat!
I did wash the Winnie the Pooh seat about 5 times, with Kirkland antibacterial wipes and also a wash cloth and bleach! And I rinsed it quite well. So it got the typical Gina clean up and Noah used it last night and loved it! And he played with those 3 silly toys on there too.
So anyway that was our recycle shop experience. We got insultingly low money for our stuff, but on the bright side we found a nice shower seat for Noah. And we also got rid of a bunch of stuff too. So not too bad, I guess!
PS, The pics I'm sharing are of the snoppy bath, that I bought brand new at Aeon 6 or 7 month's ago. For 3500 yen. Pretty expensive if you consider Noah outgrew it before he even got to be six month's old. And I don't feel I got my money;s worth out of it, at all. The other pics are of the Pooh chair for older infants that I bought at a bargain price of only 800 yen since I got it at a recycle shop! Honestly, I think this was a fantstic deal and I really feel I will get my money's worth with it!: )