Thursday, May 31, 2007

Icecream from Genki-kun's mom! : )

I forgot to mention it, but I thought it was sorta really nice, which is why I am mentioning it now. This afternoon at the bus stop, while we waited for the school bus to pull up, Genki-kun's mom brought me a whole assortment of ice-creams and a melon shave ice and mochi covered strawberry ice cream and stuff. I was a bit surprised. She said it was because, I drove her to the lunch the day before. I told her, I didn't do it to get anything, I just did it because I could help. I should help and so I did, no big deal. Heck, if the shoe was on the other foot and I didn't drive, I'd hope she'd drive me. Do you know what I mean? Ha ha ha. I was glad to help but I certainly didn't expect anything. Not at all. But, it was kind of her and since it was blazing hot, it was sorta nice to go home after picking up B, and change into our comfy clothes and sit down and I let Branden pick out what he wanted first. And then Noah and I shared the fruit popsicle ball/circle things, in the picture. They were great! Noboru had the strawberry mochi icecream, as soon as he got home. And we finished off the rest after dinner! Ha ha ha. It was very nice of her! : )

Tomorrow is our day to switch into the summer yochien uniform! : )

June 1st, is the day Branden's Catholic yochien is switching to the summer uniform. In Japan we switch from winter to summer uniform on certain days, determined by our own individual school. Now I know we all have kids that go to different schools and have things on different days and stuff. Probably some of you aren't switching uniforms yet. And heck maybe some of you already made the switch, ha ha ha. And some of you might not know the date of when your kid is switching (even me, I get totally confused on the dates of stuff). It might be a good time to ask a yochien friend/mom or maybe your husband. Anyway, just trying to help is all. Just in case, and of course you all probably know this already. But just in case, I just wanted to say we are switching tomorrow and you might wanna double check and see what your date is, to switch the uniform too. : )

Okay, I gotta motor, I have to get dinner started now, have a good night everyone! : )

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Onigiri Wednesday at our Catholic school and some donation money too! : )

Tuesday was jammed pack. Mostly cleaning and blanket washing for all the beds upstairs, wow what a hoot! And making dinner and reading books to the kids at night and then showers and bed. Phew, it was a long day (compressed version here sorry). And here is how Wednesday went. I'll give you the long version, versus the compressed version. So, I woke up, and Noboru had a very early morning shift so he was long gone by the time I woke up at 7:00 am. So, I woke up at 7:00 am (err just said that), and shuffled myself into the kitchen. Had a cup of hot coffee. Turned on the music. Today was our Wednesday for onigiri. And also some small donation for the Catholic church as well. I had a lot to do today. Today was my lunch with my fellow yochien mom's at that Japanese restaurant in town. So I hurried with the onigiri. Chicken and cheese mini cutlets were the center of the rice balls. My onigiri usually come out cute, but *not* today. They came out horrible looking. I sorta thought they looked like snowballs, especially the one on the right! Sigh. But with time running out and 2 kids to watch and making sure one got himself dressed and such, I let the onigiri stay looking like that. I got a handful of change and let B, stick the change into the donation carton, himself, since he enjoys doing that, so he can hear the coins drop! Ha ha ha. I quickly made sure Branden got his teeth brushed, face washed with a steaming hot wash cloth, twice. Always twice, ha ha ha. Wet and combed and waxed his hair! Made sure he got dressed, Noah was wearing crappy house clothes, which is was so darn early in the morning, and besides we were just cruising down the block. Not down the catwalk or anything, ha ha ha! And get this. We walk out the door and rain! Sigh, sigh, sigh! Stop everyone! I ran back inside the house and grabbed Branden's rain coat and Noah's rain coat. Two umbrella's and I didn't even have time for the stroller rain cover. I was seriously *that* pinched for time. So, me and the kids go booking down the street. Branden and his yellow raincoat and duck umbrella. And Noah sitting in his stroller,with his raincoat on and no shoes! And me, in my house shorts and a sweatshirt, and my umbrella and we ran! We made it. The bus was there, it just got there. I greeted the bus driver, and the lady who sits on the bus with them and genki-kun's mom as well. Waved as the bus drove away. As, I was about to walk away, Genki-kun's mom asked me if I could drive her back home, after the lunch thing. I said, sure. By the way, I did ask her last week, if she needed a ride to and from this lunch shin dig, and she said no. She coulda just changed her mind or maybe something changed, whatever the reason, it was 1000% fine with me, the more the merrier. I don't mind in the least, she's sweet, very nice and my friend so of course!!! So why not! I said, sure, and matane/see ya! And she said the same. : )

Noah and I walked home in the rain. But he was bone dry thanks to the rain coat, phew. The stroller was wet though. But it dried. I got home, started cleaning the kitchen. Did a load of towels. Packed Branden's swimming backpack. And then it was time for me to get myself and Noah ready for the lunch. The lunch was at 11:30 am. However I wanted to leave at 11:00 am because of the rain. While I was getting myself ready in the bathroom upstairs, my phone rang. I answered it and it was genki-kun's mom. I said, hello. She said, something and before you know it, my phone hung up on her (the battery died)! Oh my god, did I just hang up on her on accident? Yes, I did! My battery died, needed to be recharged. As I was looking for her #, she called me back and asked me to drive her to the restaurant. I said, totally cool, and absolutely fine! And we will leave at 11:00 am, she said sounds great and we hung up. Phew, after that hanging up on Genki-kun's mom fiasco, lol, which she didn't mind, she knew it was an accident. I went back upstairs and finished getting ready! I, was ready, ready! I put my hair in hot rollers, ha ha ha. Am I admitting that or what? I lined my lips, I even shook my hair upside down a few times. And even didn't forget to wear perfume this time! I was ready and rarin to go! So Genki-kun's mom and Noah and I drove there. We chatted, while I drove and then I parked. Hmm. I arrived 15 minutes early and yet, everyone was already there! Geeze, how early did everyone get there? ha ha ha! Everybody was all dressed up, thank god I did the same. We all sat on tatami mats, but there was a place for your legs beneath the table. Only 2 children were there. Noah and a newborn beautiful little boy, who is my friend Naomi's son. She also takes her older son (same age as B) to swimming on the same day I take B, so we know each other twice (swim school and Catholic school). Everyone had a choice of like 5 meals. I picked karaage, days ago. All of us preordered through the PTA. The lunch was good. And this is sorta funny. My good friends and I were not seated near each other unfortunately. It was a pick your seat # out of a hat type thing. Anyway, the lady on the right of me...just when lunch was served, said really loud in Japanese "I'm sure she can't use ohashi/chopstick, someone please get her a fork" someone call the waitress she can't use a chopstick!" Geeze, I didn't even grab my chopstick yet. I just said very politely...."chopsticks are fine." And I smiled. The waitress brought me out 2 Buzzlight year utensils, 1 fork and 1 spoon (and nope these were not for Noah, they were for me, lol). I thanked her and put them to the side and I split my ohsahi apart and I ate my entire meal with a chopstick ( fwiw, l use chopsticks so much actually, for some stuff, I actually prefer chopsticks over forks for some stuff now). Ate my cabbage salad with it as well. At the end, someone said, "wow she really uses those chopsticks good", I even fed Noah with my ohashi. I said, thank you. And no, I don't think she said to get me a fork to be mean at all. I think she actually did that out of kindness. She wanted to be helpful and kind (and this isn't the first time that's actually happened to me actually, ha ha ha, it's happened to me before). Since I was seated next to mom's, I really didn't know too well. I got the usual questions most of us have probably been asked about a billion different times. What language does your son speak/understand? I said, he speaks both English and Japanese. Do you drive a car? Yes. Did you drive here today? Yes. What children's songs does your son like, as they pointed to Noah. (thinking, and gosh this question caught me off guard, a bit, lol) ummm ummm, "I'm a little teapot"? And about a million more questions followed. After lunch, they got down to business. They spoke about a few PTA related things. And then they told us how they have nominated 3 people to be in charge of the good- bye party for the sensei's/ teachers. As they rolled off the names. they said So and so's momma. And everyone clapped and I clapped. And then they said, such and such'es momma and again we all clapped. And then they said, and finally, last but not least, Branden-kun's momma! It was like *double or triple gong!* I thought, alright who was the wise guy who nominated me? I didn't want that job! Ha ha ha! They all said, onegaishimasu (sp?) and clapped for me! Doh! It's me. I'm in charge of something now. It's for next year, before school ends next February, I think.

I chit chatted with my good friend, Rie-san across the table, omg! She is so hilarious. She's probably the funnest/funniest person out of all of them. In her keitei pic, she has a big ol' pic of Jesus. She asked them "do you know" nobody answered. She asked me in English, Gina, do you know? I said yup, that's Jesus. She said..."yup he's my daddy" And everyone was cracking up laughing. I was laughing so hard! She's very open minded, not shy, talks to everyone. And she always speaks really super duper positively about me, in front of the other moms, I caught that at the luncheon. She backs me up a lot, tells me how good my Japanese is, even though I think it's no better, ha ha ha. She's a good friend a true blue friend, so is Genku-kun's mom too though! We were talking about having a karaoke party get together between us yochien mom's. Many thought it was a good idea, and so did I. They brought out dessert, everybody got a sundae. Oh it was great! It was those big kinds that have the Kellogg's cornflakes in them. After that, it was over. Don't ask me how we could stayed there from 11:15 am until 1:50 pm. We all filed out of the restaurant. And we all drove to the same destination. To the yochien, to get our kids. I drove myself and my 2 boys and Genki-kun's mom and Genki-kun home to their house. And then we went home. I only had time for a quick pee, change Noah's diaper and he tried peeing on the potty once, which meant I had to throw his clothes right back on after that, lol and before you know it, we were off again. Heading to swimming school.

Did I tell you? Nope I think I left that out. But you know how sometimes kids grow in spurts? Wow, Branden was 109 cm one month. And then they skipped a month measuring him, somehow. And then next thing you know, all of a sudden now he's 115 cm. All his yochien shirts needed to be changed in bigger sizes. And his swim trunks got all of a sudden way too small as well. So, I had to buy these bigger size swim trunks today.

After swimming class, the boys and I went home. I made some rice, and as it cooked in the rice cooker, it gave me time to check my email for the first time of the day! Man, some weeks are sorta slow, some weeks are busy and this was a busy one. I got out my needle and I pulled out the white waist band out of the swimwear. And I put in a stretch waistband instead. I didn't come up with that awesome idea. The yochien mom's told me about it first and it's the best idea. The swim pants don't slip down a bit at all. They stay up. So I put a new waistband in his swimming trunks while the rice, cooked, made sure the swimming backpack got unpacked. And then I managed to get dinner cooked and served. I made gyoza, and homemade fried rice with chicken and chopped up veggies. And egg drop soup. Noboru cleaned up the kitchen and I took the boys upstairs. Washed up Noah-chan. And again observed my Branden wash himself. I really am so proud of him. He does it all himself, as he should. We got our jammies on. I checked my email for the second and last time of the night. And I enjoyed my night on the couch. Noah fell asleep right away as expected. But Branden and I sat watching Animal Planet or National Geographic channel, and saw how penguins live and who eats them, like silver foxes to elephant seals. It was nice to spend that time with my son and watch that. And then he fell asleep. And then Noboru and I watched some Japanese program. Ahh, it was one heck of a long day. From 7:00 am, with onigiri that looked more like snowballs. All the way until a yochien lunch, me nominated for a goodbye party. And then swim class, switching a swimming waistband. And dinner and everything else. It was a downright exhausting day! That's ain't no lie! Ahhh, I can barely wait until the weekend.

Oh yeah, and we also got these in the mail today. Noboru ordered these. Headphones for the DVD player/TV in the car. Wireless ones. One for Branden and one for Noah. This is just for when we want to hear music in the car and they want to watch movies at the same time. So we recharged those and all that. Phew, it's been a long day, long week! And the week still isn't over yet! Ha ha ha! : )

Monday, May 28, 2007

Just another manic Monday, la la la! : )

Remember how on my last post, I said we were going to do something after Noboru got back from his test? Well, talk about ho hum. We went to the grocery store! Woohoo, oh man. Do these non stop laughs never end? Just kidding! So we got a weeks worth of food last night. Anyway, this morning, I woke up bright and early. And made Branden his lunch. I had the music as usual cranked up in the kitchen. Some of the songs from my CD, that I burned on there, were. "What a feeling", from Flashdance, lol, omg! Anyone remember this and that dance at the end of the movie? Power of Love, from Huey Lewis and the News, and Glamorous, by Fergie as well as other's. So, as I was jamming and singing away in the kitchen. I made this! What is this lunch, you may ask? Well, I'll tell ya! It's a ham and cheese sandwich. I lightly fried/browned the ham first and melted the cheese on the meat as well. Miracle whipped that croissant and cut that sandwich in two. Voila, ham and cheese croissant. The smallest amount of french fries, haven't made those in a long time, and a tiny bit of veggie (green beans), and some fresh (cheap) cherries that were on sale! I did add 1 jelly. Lunch came back empty. And this is sorta funny. But Branden told me the little girl who sits next to him said, his lunch looks so good today. Hmmm, I actually thought his lunch looked pretty simple actually. Oh well, it was quick and easy and my son loved it and that's all that matters! : )

Noboru was off today. And, so he ran Branden to the bus stop for me. Meanwhile though, I cleaned up the kitchen and got myself ready and Noah ready, because we had a full day of errands to run. Things to do. Not fun things mind you. But it' was a full day! We went to the post office, the bank. Then we ran to get that ETC thing installed into our mini van. We had it on our old car but needed to get it for this one. For those of you that don't live in Japan. It's basically just an electronic thing that is installed on your car that you can ride the highway and it deducts the money off your ETC device and card. That way you won't have to pay on the tolls lanes. They told us it would take an hour. So, we had no car for an hour. So we decided to walk to Coco's restaurant and have brunch. I had the french toast and a half quesadilla (sp?). Noah had the udon and Noboru had something but I forget now. Anyway, we ate. And still had loads of time to spare. So we walked up the street and walked into this used book and DVD store. Now we have heaps of DVD's from the US and can use them on our region free DVD player at home or region mini DVD player that the kids use when we travel. But the mini van, we just got only accepts Japan region 2 DVD's (darn it). And so, we have like only 1 of those. Shucks! Ha ha ha. So, we knew we needed some. So we just went in here to check. Not really expecting too much. We couldn't have been more surprised. We found Toy Story 2 DVD for 700 yen. Finding Nemo for 680 yen. Garfield the movie for 500 yen. And I must be the luckiest person around, because get this. I found the Wizard of Oz, for 680 yen! In my small country town, I was shocked to see the Wizard of Oz, because it may be a classic in the US, but it's not really all that popular in Japan. And we also got the Exorcist, that we will watch on long drives after the kids fall asleep. That was 680 yen. We were pretty conservative. Just bought a few. They had other more expensive used ones for like 1800 yen, but us cheapskates didn't buy those ones. Ha ha ha. Ahh, what the heck we didn't do too bad. Maybe if we buy 1 used DVD each month our collection will grow. After that we pushed the stroller, back to see if our minivan was ready and it was. By that time, we went to go pick up B from school. Good thing, I had packed his swimming backpack that morning and thrown it into the car with us. We went to the school, picked up Branden. And then with his yochien uniform still on (never had time to change), we took Branden to the dentist. See, in Japan, school's have a doctor check up once a year where the doctor comes to the actual school and checks out each kid. Also a dentist comes to check out all the kids teeth as well. However, we were in Guam when the dentist went to do his mass dental check at our yochien. And since we missed it, the school gave us a form and wanted us to go to the dentist and have him do that little free check up at his office instead. So , sigh. We went there, he saw Branden's teeth, and he said they were perfect teeth, white and straight. And stamped our paper and said, he saw us. And then we were on our way again. Full steam ahead. Noboru drove to the swimming school. Meanwhile I changed Branden in the back of the minivan. I had him take off his Catholic school uniform and switch to his swimming trunks. And put on his swimming towel cover. By the way, I bought a new swimming towel cover for swimming school, the other day. I bought a cool new Spongebob one! And it was on sale, so that made me even happier. So anyway, we dropped off Branden at swimming school. Got him all checked in. And we drove home. Noboru stayed home. Watched Noah. And helped out around the house. He emptied the dish washer, breaded the ebi fry. Diced up the cabbage, made the rice. He did an amazing job while I was away. He's a fantastic husband, he really is. Meanwhile I was busy too, because I was driving back to swimming school and went to wait for Branden. Then got him changed back into his regular clothes. Chit chatted with a bunch of my yochein mom friends in the locker room while we changed our kids. And then before you know it, we were outta there! I managed to have a second to go and buy Branden an ice cream. And next thing you know, I was driving down the road again, with my 5 year old, licking his ice cream cone in the back seat. Meanwhile I was listening to the Cure's, Standing on the Beach singles in the car, singing along with Branden the song, "Boy's don't cry" ha ha ha. I drove home fine. I was worried about how I would handle driving a bigger car in Japan, but I was fine. I pulled into the parking spaces we have out front. And I had Branden put his own swimming stuff away. He's getting older now, so his responsibility grows with him. ha ha ha. And I got into my sweat shorts, and started cooking up dinner. Dinner was great, or maybe I was just really hungry by now, I don't know. After dinner, I had Branden go cover the bath tub upstairs and meanwhile (we set the bath from downstairs) then we all got clean. I washed up Noah. Watched Branden as he washed himself. He is doing so well, you guys. I am so proud of him! I think by the end of summer, he can start showering completely alone. And we all came downstairs and had some lemon shave ice. And some popcorn. Ahhh after a whole long day, I finally had a chance to sit down, for the first time of the day. It was nice. It really was! : )

Here's what our dinner looked like. Very simple. Nothing fancy. Not that we have ever eaten fancy in the first place though, ha ha ha. Just ebi fry/fried shrimp. Raw sliced up cabbage, with tomatoes. I like to eat that as I would a salad. White rice and for dessert, we all had some fresh cherries.

PS, I have a very busy week ahead of me. This Wednesday I also have a lunch with my yochien mom friends that I am going to. And I also have another swimming class to take Branden to, on Wednesday as well. I've got a lot of house cleaning and rearranging to do. I want to reorganize my kitchen pantry better then I have now.
PSS, I am really looking forward to going to Osaka after all. The fact is, I *love* Noboru's grandma. She is so sweet and awesome. And I can't wait to see her! And his aunties and uncles and cousins are all so awesome and loving! So, I am getting quite happy about going. Plus my MIL and I seem to be getting along well. And so, I think this is going to be a pretty good trip after all. I've got the right mindset on it. And I am looking forward to it! I really really am!: ) So all in all....all is right in the world, over here. Just really super busy lately! : )

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A surprise community clean up this morning! Ha ha ha! : )

So, I wake up. The boys and I had some croissants, that I warmed up in the toaster oven with a bit of butter on top. I sat relaxing on the couch, drinking my hot caramel machiatto and munching my croissant watching CNN. Thinking about what a nice lazy morning this would be. Noboru was about to leave for his English test thing. As I walked him to the door, I suddenly saw *all* of my neighbors pulling weeds in the neighborhood. Picture this, all Japanese women wearing gardening gloves and sun hats, meanwhile I sat in my sweat shorts and t shirt, and my hair wasn't even combed! In Japan it's common for the people who live on one street to do clean up for that street. A sorta community clean up if you will. I was mortified, I didn't know. Noboru said, "oh yeah, honey that's right, sorry I forgot to tell you, today is community clean up" Ahhhh I hate it when he does this!!! He knows ahead of time. Forgets to tell me at all. And then I find out like this! Yikes! I worried, since I went out to clean, a bit late, did I look lazy? Oh my god, I hope not! I ran upstairs and changed to a nicer shirt. Threw on Noah's shoes and took him outside with me. Branden came too. I put on my gardening gloves and dug right in. Pulling weeds, sweeping. The neighbors told us, our house always looks, okay so it doesn't need the clean up, but there is land that is unowned and we do the clean up for those areas which is fine. Also and this sorta pisses me off. But there are 2 houses on our block that don't maintain their own yard in front. And they don't help on community clean up day either! So guess who cleans up their yard? We do! That's who! They were home today, cars parked right in their parking spaces. I'm sure they saw all of us, clean up *their* yard. And no if they were elderly or had health problems or were working, we should totally do it no problem. But they are around Noboru's and my age. And the other family is older, in their 40's but all healthy and they got 2 teenage sons, nonetheless. I suppose I just don't understand that. I think it's unfair. So, yup this morning, I melted and had sweat dripping from my head, and I had to keep that watchful eye on both of my young sons, meanwhile those 2 families stayed in the comfort of their homes. Anyway, on a less grouchy note. The rest of us, all had a chance to chit chat with one another. Then we were to walk the garbage bags to the park, but as we were walking, the people on the next street asked us to help them clean their block? I wondered about that. I mean, we did just do our entire block and we were all hot and sweaty. But we obliged. I watched the women from my block, and they pulled bits, but they just mostly crouched down low and did nothing. So, I did the same. Ha ha ha. Heck, we did a whole block of our own, we were tired!

My friend Rumi happens to live on that block. She must've been pooped herself because she came over and we started chatting with one another until it ended. They passed out drinks to all of us after it was done. Teas and sodas and stuff. I chose Cider and went home. When I came back home, I saw my half drank coffee by now it was ice cold and sitting on our kitchen counter. Ahh, I just threw it away. Ha ha ha. So much for my relaxing morning, huh? Oh well, it was for a good cause.

We are going to do something when Noboru gets home from that test. I'm not sure what, but he just phoned and said he wants to do something. I hope you all are enjoying your weekends! : )

Saturday! : )

We went to the grocery store this afternoon. Nothing different except for we did it in a different car. Well, maybe I should say different minivan. We threw a Tom and Jerry DVD into the kids DVD player in the back. And after listening to them watch it and laugh, I couldn't resist it anymore. I wanted to watch too, so I turned on our screen in the front seat and I watched too. Ha ha ha : )

Yup there's Tom on the screen. : )

Noah watching Tom and Jerry.

Branden watching Tom and Jerry! You know, I think we will end up *really* liking this car! : )

I made cream stew tonight. The kids really like it and always eat 2 bowls of it each. I wanted them to eat a lot tonight. Noboru worked the 4:00 pm to midnight shift tonight, so he didn't eat with us. It was just going to be the boys and I tonight by ourselves and that's okay. I got my American Idol at 10:00 pm tonight. And I am looking forward to it! I started dinner around 5:00 pm. We ate by 6:00 pm.

Fried up my cut up skinless chicken breasts and fried them in a bit of, margarine. Sometimes I use olive oil and sometimes I use margarine, depends on my mood, ha ha ha.

Added the veggies and stir fried until the onions and mushrooms got limp. Added the water and boiled it like crazy! After 40 minutes, I stopped the heat and added the cream stew roux (sp?) Turned the fire back on and got both the boys all served up and myself too! : )

We ate a lot. Got really full. And then I pulled out some fresh fruit. I bought cantaloupe today. Noah had a half of a slice. Branden had 1 slice. And I had a slice and a half leftover from Noah's. We sorta sat watching TV for a bit. And then we went upstairs, got soaped and showered up. Pj's on and we went downstairs. I popped some popcorn, Noah had a bit and then he fell asleep. Branden stayed up and watched American Idol with me. Noboru phoned us, off and on through the night to see if we were okay and stuff. Branden fell asleep around 11:00 pm. And I stayed awake and waited for Noboru to come home. When he came home, I warmed up some leftover stew for him (even though he ate at work), we watched TV until about 1:30 am.

Noboru is taking some English test tomorrow. I forget the name of it. You ladies in Japan probably know what it is better then I do. I think it's a TOEIC? Could that be right? Well, anyway he is taking some sorta English test tomorrow. He's taking it in Tsukuba, since it's the closest testing area near us. He asked me to go with him about a million times. Because there's a really good mall around there and he said I could hang out there with the kids and have lunch. However I don't wanna go, because hanging out at the mall is fine for about an hour. But 3 hours? And even before I had kids, hanging at the mall for 3 hours is not so bad at all. But with 2 kids, it could actually be *too* long to be at the mall. And so I just prefer stay home. And with the heat and since it's sorta an outdoor mall, I don't want to melt out there. So, tomorrow he will be testing until about 3:00 pm. Meanwhile the boys and I will be home. Probably having leftover cream stew for lunch. And I can also get all of Branden's yochien clothes all washed and dried, so anyway that is my plan so far, for tomorrow. : )

Whoops, I almost forgot the pic of the fruit we had on Saturday. I really love fruit. I buy about 2 or 3 different fruits each week. Too bad it's always so expensive though in Japan, huh? I buy the cheap ones, ha ha ha. Not the expensive watermelon, the cheap watermelon. Not the expensive cantaloupe, the cheap cantaloupe. Ha ha ha. Same with strawberry's and apples, ect. Oh well, it was still some pretty delicious cantaloupe, just the same. : )

Friday, May 25, 2007

Potty training begins! : )

I had been planning to start with potty training when July 7th rolls around. When Noah hits age 2. Not before. I didn't see the rush. However, for the past 3 weeks, Noah has been going into the bathroom and trying to climb onto the "big" peoples toilet (the normal sized adult toilet). I have been having to make sure he wouldn't fall in, because he is small/young and I didn't have the foot stool in there (now I do). And worried he would go head first! Ha ha ha. On Thursday he started pulling down his diaper and started to climb on the toilet again. I thought, hmm, maybe he is trying to tell me something here. I mean no duh! Ha ha ha. I gave it another day, just to really make sure. So Friday morning, I woke up and I was going pee in there (sorry too much information, lol) . And sure enough, Noah came in there with me and started to pull down his diaper. Branden was at school. And Noboru went to go pick up our new car because it was ready. So, I thought, hmm, I guess if he says he is ready, he must be ready then, lol, so let me go and get out Branden's old potty training toilet and see what Noah does. So, I went and pulled it from the linen closet upstairs. I didn't even get a chance to put the cloth seat cover on yet. As soon as I pulled it out and put it downstairs, he sat on it and peed in it. I cheered him and clapped like crazy! And sure enough Friday, he peed in there about 4 times total. We never asked him to, prompted him to. He just did it on his own. Amazing for me because Branden didn't really get 100% potty trained until he was 2 years and 8 month's old (which isn't really so bad either: ). But we started him on it at age 2. We finally got Branden totally done with the help of a sticker chart that hung in the bathroom. Every time he went pee pee, he could choose his own sticker to stick on the board (cardboard chart). Ha ha ha. I know many people use their own techniques and whatever works best for their family, as you should. : ) But that is what worked for us with regards to Branden. And so imagine my surprise when Noah wanted to potty train all on his own. Yup, two kids, and 2 totally different wonderful personalities. : )

When Noboru came home with the car, he was a bit surprised Noah was running around with just a shirt and no diaper on at all. He said, "oh you decided to start potty training Noah?", I said, "nope...honey *he* decided he wanted to start potty training. Not me, not me at all." What I'm going to do is this. He'll still wear a diaper when we leave the house, or to bed/sleep. But when we are awake and at home, I will let him just either run around with a t shirt or just naked if we are in the house. Nobody will see, if we are in the house and geeze he's only a little guy, who is trying his best to be potty trained, I'm sure my neighbors would understand if they saw him in the buff from time to time on accident during the summer. Ha ha ha. So yup, he's in potty training mode right now. I'm not going to push him with it at all. When it's his time to get it, he'll get it. No big deal. But since he wanted to start, I'll help him all, I can. Gambatte, Noah-chan! Ha ha ha : )

Question to any of you with more then one kid. Did you find your second or third child potty trained faster? Or was it about the same? : )

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tuesday night, the night they came to pick up our black car and take her away!

The company we sold our car to, Gulliver were kind enough to let us keep our black car until the day after we came back from vacation. They also loaned us a small little car (for free) while we were waiting for our new (to us) car to be finished with getting licensed up etc (and we didn't even buy our Mazda from them at all). The pick up time was set at 9:00 pm. I've been feeling sorta sad to say goodbye to our black car. Anyone reading this ever get sentimental about a car? Sorta silly to say, I know. And please nobody laugh too hard, but our black cars name was "Mary", and we had her for 5 years. We grew quite attached to Mary. And it wasn't like she stopped being a good car. Or stopped working properly, because we never had a single problem with her. We just outgrew her. When the guys pulled up at 9:00 pm. I looked at that car and felt like she was sorta not even ours anymore (she wasn't). I know, I know. We wanted a new car. We needed a new car. The logic was there. But I still felt badly seeing her go away!

He left us with the loaner car in this picture. It's a yellow March. I have a good friend with a March, they're cute cars. I snapped this pic, because it's the last picture I have of Mary. See her tail lights as she was being driven away? Geeze, maybe I shouldn't post this, but it was sorta really sad when they took the car away. But we know, she will go to a new family that needs her and will depend on her. Just the same as we will be depending on our new car for years to come. So, just wanted to say, bye Mary, old girl, old pal! You were a good good car/mini *mini* van! Ahhh, should I post this? Awww what the heck, I will! Nerd that I am! : )

Monday, May 21, 2007

My Sunday evening pedicure! : )

So, I arrived at Mandara Spa downstairs at the Hilton where we were staying. I brought my camera with me. But that was pointless because I never got the chance to take one single picture, ha ha ha. I went inside, it was completely lit by candle light and I think maybe 2 very dim lights that hung on the wall. It was very modern and cool, inside. The whole feeling was very mellow, Tranquil, I guess is the word I would pick. I gave them my name and room # and the nice lady who was doing my pedi, came to greet me right away and whisked me away into a private room. She told me to lay down flat on the massage table and then I got to pick my nail color I wanted from the array of many bottles she had. And she wanted me to lay down because she said, sitting was too tiring? Okay, I said, heck I won't argue with a good pampering. She cocooned me inside a white sheet. And I laid there with just my feet exposed. She had them propped up on some firm cushion thing. I laid there for an hour, getting, buffed, trimmed, cleaned, polished, my feet massaged with aromatic oils. The room was also lit by candle light. The music, was light and soft. I also heard sounds of water or rainfall, every sound to possibly relax someone was played in there. Man it was a relaxing hour. I also felt a light cool wind or breeze on my face, I even opened one eyeball once, to peek and see if I saw a fan or something, but I didn't. It was a nice perfect setting for some R&R. When it was over with, I think is when I started to dose off to sleep. Next thing you know she was unwrapping me, and I opened my eyes wide and then thinking "wow that felt great! Is it over already?" I tipped her really well and left. The place was packed with women when I was leaving. Japanese and American, both. I went upstairs. But on my way down the hall, where nobody could see, I quickly snapped this pic with my flip flops on. Sorry for the shoes, but I was on my way back to the hotel room at the time. : )

I got back into the room. Noboru was waiting up for me to make sure I was okay. The kids were both still asleep and never knew I was gone, ha ha ha. And here's my toes. Anyway, no big deal really, but I sure did enjoy getting my nails done!Funny, I arrived back in Japan better then when I left a few days earlier. Eye brow wax, hair cut, and a pedi. Ha ha ha. Not too bad. Ha ha ha, Gosh I really am a nerd! : )
Monday, was a good day, we swam until noon. And then we met my dad for lunch. And then he followed us over at the airport to see us off. It was a pretty good trip. I came back to Japan feeling refreshed and everything. Ready to get back to my daily grind once more! : )

Our Sunday drive around the island, site seeing! : )

We, first stopped here Sunday morning after stopping at Mc Donald's first for breakfast, anyway, this is supposed to be where Magellan landed. It was sorta nice to see it first hand. We all got out of the car and walked around and read the plaques. They had a nicer plaque which I didn't take a pic of, sorry. : )

There's my dad reading the nicer of the 2 plaques. It was nice imagining what all those big ships in those days looked like landing here. Meanwhile my dad read what it said to Branden and he listened. : )

Noah getting to get a good look around. : )

You know where we just were? The Magellan place? Well this is right above it. We stopped of since it said, point of interest. The view was nice.

Some old canons.

Taking a closer peek at the old canon. Ha ha ha! : )

Sitting on the old canon, ha ha ha! : )

This is "Bear rock" well because it's supposed to look like a bear. : )

And this is Telefofo fall's. Now I think I screwed up the name. Forgive me if I have to correct the name later. We'd never been here and wanted to come.

First was riding in the high cable car. The view was really nice from up there. : )

The fall's. Nice waterfall. : )

Some ducks. We fed them later when we bought some duck food for a dollar. Ha ha ha.

Oh, I have got to share this with you guys. They were giving small kids balloons. Anyway since we were walking in somewhat rough terrain, the balloon popped on something, coulda been a rock or some brush or whatever. But when it popped it scared the heck out of everyone around us, including us. All of a sudden this big, pop or blammo sound! OMG! So scary but sorta funny afterwards. Yup, that orange poodle was history!

My dad and Branden looking to see how many different country coins they saw. They also gave coins as well after they spotted a few different countries coins.

Has anybody ever heard of the story of the man. Japanese soldier rather who didn't know the war had ended and he was hiding in that cave for 28 years after the war ended? It is quite an amazing story. Very nice to be able to see this place. Poor guy.

Picture explaining how he lived in the cave all those years.

Pictures of the guy, after he was found.

His cave. Now I am not sure if this is a replica cave or if they are just doing upkeep on it or what.

The walk on this bridge was a bouncy one. Ha ha ha : )

It said that these shrines were put up around where many of the Japanese soldiers had killed themselves after the war. Sigh, it was all pretty sad. But also pretty informative to see it. It really made me think.

We all had bought some extremely overpriced water from the small store at the fall's. Cooled down since it was blazing hot. We chatted with some tourists a bit and then we hopped into the cable car to get back where we first started. And in this picture all the smiles from both the kids are because grandpa was fanning them with a fan. The fans were courtesy fans tied into the cable car. So the kids and grandpa were having some fanning fun! Just goofing around basically! : )

Still fanning! : )

After we exited the cable car we went into this "ghost house" thing. We didn't know what to expect.

So we gave it a go! : )

It wasn't scary at all. Sorta silly or dumb actually. We laughed through it actually. Good thing it was a walk through and nobody was working it. Stuff from the 60's or 70's. Very unbelievable stuff. Very corny. But fun. Branden wanted to walk through it again, but it was too long to go again. And Noah was unimpressed with it either way. That was it for Telefofo fall's. We popped back in the car and went to our next stop.

About here is when my battery was running low. So I left the camera in the car. We stopped at Fruit World. Man, we ate all sorts of fruit. Star fruit, pineapple, coconut, mango, just all sorts of stuff. It was an all you can eat fruit buffet. After that, we asked my dad if he wanted to swim with us, since it was still early. So we swung by my dad's place, he got his car and his swimming trunks and then we all went swimming for the rest of the day. For an early dinner we all went to the Food Court at the mall. I had a Korean plate lunch, chicken, rice kimchee and stuff. We all said our good-byes again for the night. And we again went back to the room, munched on some carrot cake and fruit cup. And watched TV, meanwhile the kids fell asleep and i had some free time. I decided I wanted to get a pedicure, so I called the Mandara spa downstairs. Made an appointment, got showered, kissed Noboru goodbye and told him I'd see him in an hour and took the elevator and went in for my treatment. : )