Monday, June 30, 2008

Today we spent our day getting ready for Noah's upcoming birthday next week! : )

Well with Monday being a day off for Noboru and with Branden also having the day off, since he had that day of school on Sunday. We figured today would be a good a day, as any to go and look for something for Noah's upcoming birthday next week! First stop, Toys r us.

Looking at high powered water guns! We bought Noah one for his birthday and also bought the rest of us a water gun each as well! Because we will be having a water gun shoot-out extravaganza this summer! Ha ha ha! : )

After finishing our Toys r us shopping, we were starved and ready for lunch! : ) We went to one of our favorite Chinese restaurants! This was my combo. Gyoza, fried rice, karaage and a small salad and it also came with egg drop soup, which I gave to Noah, since Noboru gave his to B! : )

We ordered the kids an adults size of their own fried rice and they split that. We also shared karaage with them. And Branden had 2 egg drop soups (their fried rice, also came with egg drop soup), and Noah had half the adults size fried rice, 1 bowl of egg drop soup and 1 gyoza and 1 karaage. Kids were stuffed, we were stuffed and we left and went to the Aeon mall with the Gap in it, in Chiba New Town. It was about a 3 minute drive from this restaurant.

Noah enjoying his lunch! : )

The boys, being silly, decided to skip into the Gap, lol! See the pic? They really did! Ha ha ha! : )

I wasn't looking for it. But oddly as we had finished our Gap shopping and riding the escalator down to the Starbucks. This tiny birthday decorations place just opened up! How unusual and what a coincidence! Uncanny! They were missing a #7 and the bottom row of more normal # candles (meaning not the flashy rainbow ones) only had 3 numbers, 3, 5 and I think it says, 8 or 9? Well whatever, again as luck would have it, Noah will indeed be age 3! So, we bought the bottom normal style #3 candle for Noah's cake for next week! And the price, was pretty near the price in the US. Super cheap price on the candle, under 150 yen! It really is sorta downright odd, how we lucked out like that! Ha ha ha. But no complaints! : )

Went in and we ordered ourselves 2 iced caramel machiattos. The medium sized ones. And we went home! Pretty darn uneventful, I'd say, ha ha ha! But was good to get this type of stuff outta the way. That way we don't wait for the last second before his birthday! : )

Heading out of the mall and on our way to the minivan. Branden and Noah walk closely together. And Branden keeps a hand on the back of Noah. He's very protective of his little brother! Good big brother, very good big brother! : ) I also asked Noah, do you wanna hold your Gap bag Noah? he said, no thanks! Ha ha ha. But Branden said, "I'll help you mommy" and so he carried it! : )

The birthday bags, what's in those? Well, I can't tell! Ha ha ha! Okay, maybe I'll give you a peek at a few of the things but not all.

We got these cool jean shorts for Noah! I loved the big "G" on these. And the stitching of Gap 1969 or whatever on the little pocket in the front. We got these in a 3T, which is a 95 at Gap. Hmm, he usually wears a 100cm all over Japan, whether it is at Nishimatsuya or anywhere. Aeon, or any place. These pants ran a bit big though (and most of his Gap bottoms are indeed 100cm, so hmm), also the size 100cm of the other pair we got Noah the same day were the same exact size, yet they were a 100cm ones. Hmm. Also, Noah is really thin, so that didn't help! Ha ha ha. : ) Good thing they have that adjustable waistband thing. Winks.

I liked the back of these too. The back tag that says Gap and the line stitch on the pockets. All those odd little details that would never matter to a single person on earth but I found pretty cool! Ha ha ha! : )

These look like jeans but they are not! They are stretchy and I swear these feel as comfortable as "room wear"! Ha ha ha. Play comfy pants, type pants but he can wear these anywhere because they still look cool! : ) The price of these was almost as insane as the gap shorts with the "G" on them's a birthday, so we said, why not! : )

Hmm, don't these 2 shorts look about the same size? Actually if anything the ones with the G on them look bigger then the other ones. Yet, the ones with the G are 95/3T and the other's are a size 4/100cm. I am glad I always have the boys try their stuff on at Gap because the sizes really do vary from item to item. And I really don't care what the size says, as long as it fits, that's all we care about. So, yeah, 1 pair in 1 size and the other in a different size. Hmm. : )

We also got him this cute little summer T, at Gap too. Something about sand castles. : )

And just because it's Noah's birthday doesn't mean we didn't look for anything for B. We found him a new pair of flip flops. Yes he has freakishly big feet for a 6 year old! LOL. Size 1/2.

Okay enough of sharing. Okay one more....we also got him the "Bee movie" DVD! Since this one is a Japanese DVD, they can watch this in our minivan! Ha ha ha! : ) Hmm, he's not going to do so shabby with regards to his birthday pressies! Though we are keeping things as simple as always though. We have never been the type of parents to buy them 100 presents for their birthday or anything sorta like an "over kill" type way, lol. Just a few, just enough to make him feel it was indeed his special day, is all! : )

Noah's water gun! After searching through the water gun aisle! My husband searched through them all. (must be a guy thing) He wanted a pump action one for the boys. And one that shot the farthest distance. And how much water does it hold? All that stuff, he was working out and he came up with this one! We are talking some serious water gun fights, that will be going on in our backyard this summer! And yes, I also picked out my own gun! I went with the "cute and pretty water gun" though (I'm such a girl) Noboru thinks I shoulda went with a tougher one. Hmm, hope I don't get whooped by the guys outside this summer! ha ha ha! : ) All our neighbors know how silly we are...what on earth will they think when they see us all running through the yard with mammoth water guns, squealing through the yard! Ha ha ha! : ) I think I am going to have to ask a few of Branden's friends to get some guns too and perhaps we can have a flat out, water gun war out in the backyard! Ha ha ha! : ) That sounds like a ton of fun to me! : ) Whoopsies nearly forgot, we also got Noah a sword, just a foam safe one though. : )

And what size of bubbles are these? Like a 2 gallon or 3 gallon sized one? And this was so cheap, like 744 yen. But it will make sure the boys are fully stocked for bubbles all summer long. A few more gifts here and there today. But, I think, if you think about it. Just 2 nice pair of shorts, 1 nice t shirt. And a good DVD to add to the collection. But the rest is just like cheaper affordable but really fun type stuff. And shoot presents being fun or not fun, doesn't necessaily depend on price, right? : ) Sometimes the funnest presents are the cheapest ones, aren't they? Isn't that the way it goes? : ) I recall, getting a whole expensive little kitchen when I was a wee little girl, fridge, kid size stove and oven, sink and the whole bit, yet I enjoyed the *box* better then the gift inside. I had my dad cut me out some windows. And I designed and colored my own flowers on the box and everything! So yeah...I think Noah will enjoy blowing bubbles and even have a blast with his *very* cool, yet under 1000 yen water gun as well! : ) I think he will enjoy his birthday next week! : ) I hope! : ) Only thing that's left is to phone the restaurant and make a reservation and order the cake! : ) Oh yeah and wrap the presents! Ha ha ha! : )

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Our Sunday spent at the school! : )

So, Sunday morning and we indeed made sure we were at the school well before all of us were supposed to be there, school letter said to be there by 8:30 am. It was sorta like a treasure hunt type thing, but then not really, because there was no reward at the end or prize at the end. However the kids had about 5 things or so to do on a list and to prove they completed each of the tasks they would get a stamp after each thing was complete. You could go any order of your choosing, but everyone did have to finish all the things on the list. First stop for us, was to make a paper airplane and fly it and hopefully it flew a certain distance. We 4 started in, on our airplane making straight away. Noboru whipped a few paper airplanes out real quick. A few stealth type looking ones, lol. He's good at that type of stuff. Meanwhile I was plunking away and trying to make the basic bare minimum type airplane that I know how to make. Branden made one quickly. And Noah, starting folding his sheet of paper sorta like in an origami type style instead, ha ha ha! Branden quickly went to the spot and started flying his airplane. Here is a pic of Noah in the big gymnasium sitting with me, while B and Noboru went off flying their planes. : )

Tons of people all doing the airplane bit right in this picture. Also, nearly every one's dad all showed up in the school today! Noboru and I were laughing today saying our whole town was probably at the school today! Ha ha ha. : ) Anyway he completed that task, got stamped and we left! To the next task at hand! : )

This one was the next competition that Branden chose and said he wanted to do! One team was the red bottle and the other team was the blue bottles. Noboru and Branden and Noah went and tried this one. I stayed on the sidelines like most of the mothers did, ha ha ha : )

Noboru holding Noah after they played that, was the hubby smiling away or what? This actually was a really fun day for all of us! Granted not crazy about waking up early on Sunday but it actually was a whole lot of fun! : )

Branden the second after he finished the bottle game.

Excitement in this picture! Branden reading and saying which event he wanted to go to next! : )

This was a science experiment. Every child was asked to borrow a 10 yen from their parent. And then you got 3 Q-tips. One was dipped in lemon juice, the other was dipped in tonkatsu sauce, and the other one dipped in vinegar. : ) Anyway, The lemon didn't clean up our 10 yen at all, perhaps it might have, if we waited like 20 minutes or so, who knows (I know it makes hair lighter in the summer, if squirted on hair, lol,) but change our coin quickly it did not. Neither did the vinegar one. However the one with tonkatsu sauce took all the grime and discoloration clear off! In no time flat! It looked actually shiny and new after getting a tonkatsu cleaning! Ha ha ha. That was a bit shocking! A lot of the parents were! It was a fun experiment for the kids! : )

See the center of this 10 yen? This was the second after he started with the sauce. It started taking off the dark grime immediately and when B was done, it looked like a brand new coin! : )

Next was "curling" Branden and Noboru were the yellow team and the girl and her mom behind them were the blue team and they competed against one another! Meanwhile the kids were all given popcorn. See the popcorn machine? : )

Branden sliding his yellow disc thing! And that cute little 3rd grader in the Roxy shirt is Momo-chan, Genki's sister! : )

Great shot B!

Better shot Noboru and yup, looks like the yellow team won! Sorry ladies behind us! : ) It's all in good fun anyway you know! : )
Last task to do? Go and enjoy some shave ice/kakigori!!! Snacks/treats were only for kids and that was totally fine with us! : ) Branden went with his usual fav, Blue Hawaiian, and Noah went with lemon as usual!

Now that all the fun and games are done all the classes returned back to their own class and us parents sat for a PTA meeting, meanwhile the ichinensei class went to play in the gym with a few extra teachers on hand!

Outside of the class room for the first graders, each child was to paint something. Branden painted this! 2 happy kids playing with smiling faces and one holding a flower, ahhh the innocence of youth. How sweet and awesome! The meeting was about an hour, but seemed longer. After it ended, we all hopped in the car and headed to the city of Narita. Lucky for us it took about 15 minutes. : )
We ended up at our favorite cheap ramen shop! I ordered my usual fav, miso-karashi ramen. Noboru had a cold ramen.

Kids each had a ramen combo/set complete with fried rice and shu ice (sp?) (ice cream filled pastry)! : )

Noah digging in! : )

After lunch at the restaurant we hopped in the car and went to the mall for just a minute to go and pick up a dozen donuts. However, we ran into Atsushi, he was one of the guys we all lived in Hawaii with. Some of you know, about how 10 guys were sent from NWA Japan region to live in Hawaii for a few good years. Noboru was one of them and that is why B was born in Hawaii, because that's where we lived. And Atsushi was also another one. Two of the guys were supplied with a huge apartment/mansion, huge like. And so Noboru and I in our apartment lived with one guy. He was cool. And the other 8 split off in groups of 2 in each apartment. So 5 apartments total all in the same complex. So, yeah, as we were walking....I saw Atsushi waving at us. I noticed him right off and waved back. Meanwhile Noboru didn't notice at all and was about to walk right passed him! Gong! We chatted and talked. Since the Hawaii thing, he has been married and had a son last year sometime. I was very excited to see his new wife and see his little babe. We went over and said hello. His baby is so cute! Looks exactly like Atsushi....cutest baby! He must be about 8 or 9 month's old, I'd say. but man, it was great seeing our friend again. Atsushi could not believe how big Branden got! Branden didn't recognize him at all. Which was sad. : ( And he had *never* saw Noah before! So it was a really cool 8 minutes of catching up (people we got used to seeing in Hawaii on an everyday basis, and BBQ every weekend with and swim at our apartment pool with all of us, so yeah it was a nice surprise to see him)! And then we parted ways. And took our donuts home with us and we drove home! : )
Our 12 donuts.

Noboru made me dinner Sunday night! Ebi chili! That is the one thing I like to always request him to make! Although he can cook anything. This is my most favorite! : )

Branden's Kumon homework has been finished since Thursday. However, for Branden's reading speed, we like him to read it over here and again. So, that's what Branden was doing while Noboru cooked, he read the story aloud to us in the kitchen and we all listened! Ha ha ha. : )

The meal my husband prepared for me! : ) Ebi chili on top of some fried ramen, and raw cabbage. And a small portion of rice! : ) A very good dinner, made by my hubby. All of us enjoyed this. The kids too! : ) Noboru showered and bathed with both the boys. And I took a long relaxing one afterwards. Kids went into their dreamland soon after that. And then it was time for the hubby and I to watch TV. Share time together and unwind. We watched "Born on the Fourth of July" and then hit the hay! It was just a really long day! : )

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wednesday through Friday, including the best guacamole bacon cheeseburger ever!!! : )

Wednesday! Okay this admittedly has to be like the worst picture I have ever taken at swim school, ever! Ha ha ha! : ) Branden's level swam way on the left hand side of the pool this time and I was thinking they would have swam on the right side *as usual* as they had been doing. So, I got my seat on the right. And when the kids all filed out and I saw Branden walking towards the left hand side of the pool, all those seats were already taken, so....sigh! That's why my pic sucks eggs! Ha ha ha, sorry guys! : ) I can barely even see B is this pic, but I see his shadow swimming his laps in the pool. Hmm, grumble grumble. : ) Perhaps next week I'll get a better pic. Anyway, so Wednesday was same ol' same ol' swim club as usual. I got there and found a seat, chatted with 2 of my girlfriends at swim school. Chatted with Elena for a while and then she left. Chatted with Rieko-san for a bit and then she left and then it was just Noah and I watching B. Our necks stretched out like turtles or perhaps like giraffes. So, as our necks were all stretched out and looking left as much as possible. Ha ha ha. After swim club we went home and I fixed supper for the boys and I. A very good but quiet Wednesday in our neck of the woods! : )
Thursday: So Thursday morning, my alarm woke me up at 5:30 am, grumble grumble. I shuffled downstairs. Had a cup of coffee, listened to some tunes in the kitchen while I started in on breakfast. Another one of my crazy 80's mixed CD, I have and burned here at home. (group) Madness, (song is) Our house! Love that song anyone remember that song? Our the middle of the street, blah blah blah! LOL! : ) Anyway so I got my son his French toast all ready and he had himself a good breakfast. Got him dressed and packed up and he and the "boy next door" went trekking down the street together. Finally a non rainy day, that day! ha ha ha! : ) Meanwhile Noah woke up about 7am, and I made him french toast as well. And by now I was on my 3rd cup of coffee, time to stop my coffee intake for that day, lol. I cleaned up the house for an hour. Put a load of clothes in the washer to dryer. And then I quickly got dressed. And Noah and I headed to the grocery store. Hmm, my store opens at 10am. I was in the actual parking lot at 9:45 am. Yet, get this, there were about 15 cars also in the parking lot. A lot of older Japanese granny types. And a few 40 something Japanese gals. And then Noah and I. We all sat in our own cars and looked at one another and then tried/pretended we weren't all looking at one another. Ha ha ha. at 9:55 am, the people went and started unlocking the doors. 2 different ladies from different cars actually dashed out of their cars so quick, it was like they were in Undokai themselves. or going for the Olympics, they made it there in no time flat. By now a granny had already grabbed her cart! I sat just bewildered. Still in my car. Geeze, I wanna get there early but not like....*that* early! Ha ha ha. It was like I was watching a race almost! Hilarious. : ) So, Noah and I got out of the car and I locked the car doors safely and we walked in. Out of the 15 people, we were the last to enter the store. All I want is to shop is relative peace and quiet. I am not interested being the first person of the day or anything lol. Anyways we shopped in peace, Noah and I. : ) I got the best pick of the bananas. And other fruits. And then I skipped like all 30 rows in between and went directly to the meat section and got my fresh meats and then I went back and went row by row nice and slow. Got everything I needed to last me during the week. And I went to checkout. : )

A quick pic of Noah as I was placing our fresh fruits, peaches, watermelon 1/4, and bananas into the passenger side of the car. Hi Noah! : ) Went home unloaded all the groceries and finished cleaning the house.

Thursday nights dinner! The homemade cheeseburgers we had last weekend, were such a hit, I decided to make them again tonight. Here's all the toppings we had a choice of picking! Onions, tomatoes, guacamole, crisp lettuce, crunchy bacon! Man we had the works for our homemade hamburgers tonight! Yummm! : )

I had the lean ground beef from Costco for me and the boys. And Noboru prefers the mixture of pork and beef, so I made his that way. That way everyone gets things the way they like. : ) And the kids can have cheeseburgers either way! ha ha ha. : )

I think I've been in Japan too long, because I now think a good tasty hamburger needs hamburg mix, ha ha ha. : ) Even for cheeseburgers, lol. I'm a nerd, I know! : )

I made potato wedges in the oven and just cooked them until crispy. This was a bit healthier instead of fried french fries, I thought and I little more homemade type style, ha ha ha. : )

The boys had theirs on those mini yeasty Costco rolls. Theirs sorta reminded me of White Castle burgers, lol! : )

The makings of my burger! Ketchup and mustard both on each side of the bun!

Quickly added the lettuce, onion and tomatoes for mine. Boys were off eating and Noboru was also busy adding his burger toppings on his burger at the same time as me. : )

Guacamole on my top of my bun and the cheeseburger all hot and melty ooey gooey ready to be soon munched up!

Last bit was to add the crunchy crisp bacon and I was nearly there! Almost ready to eat!

Thursday's dinner: What my plate looked like. Ahhh my plate is all served up! And yumm, could barely wait to eat! Nothing quite beats cheeseburgers made at home with all the fresh toppings all ready to go! Again, and as always, is this a fancy meal? Nah! Caviar dreams? Nope not our style, and that's okay! A simple meal of a cheeseburger and fries is right up our alley, definitely more our style! Ahhhh, yummm! : ) There you have it....a simple Thursday nights dinner, of the best tasting guacamole bacon cheeseburgers with the works! (smacks lips just thinking about it! Ha ha ha) and the roasted potato wedges weren't bad either! : ) Served with a nice Fanta grape soda with tons of ice in a glass on the side! : ) Anyhoo...what else? : )

Friday morning: I once again, woke up to the sound of my alarm waking me up! Curses on that alarm, I tell ya! Ha ha ha! Once again shuffled down the stairs. Once again got my first cup of coffee pumping through me and I, again started the tunes in my kitchen. Pump Up The Volume by Marrs! "pump up the volume, pump up the volume, pump up the volume, dance dance"!!!! LOL! I was wide awake in no time after that! Ha ha ha! What did B have for breakfast Friday morning? Well, if you ever grew up near a "Jack in the Box" You might know what a "breakfast jack" is then. It's essentially this in the pic. Basically what I made for B this morning. An over easy egg, on a bun, Bun lightly miracle whipped, not too much though. And 2 slices of fried up ham, I fried in a skillet. And I nuked a few of those potato wedges from last night. And he had a tall glass of OJ and 1 yogurt kids vitamin before he got dressed and headed out the door to walk to school!

Yup a breakfast sandwich for Friday's quick breakfast for Branden! : ) Friday afternoon, I picked him up from school. And he came home, went pee, and had a nice tall glass of iced tea. And he went right out to go bike riding with the kids in the neighborhood! He played from 3pm until 5pm. Of course he checks in a heap during that time. And at 5pm, he came in, put his bike safely in our shed. And we padlocked the side gate. I usually keep it locked at all times, especially when the boys play in the back.

Noah and Branden played out in the backyard from 5pm to about 6:15pm. So they played for a good solid hour together! We were having cheeseburgers again because we still had plenty of everything from the night before! And I had extra potato wedges baking in the oven. So, all I had to do was fry up the burgers but I rush on that at all. So, I relaxed, kicked back in the backyard with the boys until after 6pm. I enjoy watching them play so much! : )

OMG, my little Noah, he is just so fearless! I kept telling him, "Noah's that's dangerous get down" He got down quickly after I told him to, but man...the kid's pure testosterone! Ha ha ha! : )

Branden's also a rough and tumble boy! Hanging from the monkey bars! Ha ha ha!

Tire swing Noah! : )

Hmm, after running like maniacs and banshees through the backyard! Now they walked but just until they caught their breath! Ha ha ha! : )

Yup, he slides down in a total hysterical laughter, yuppers that's my little one alrighty! Ha ha ha! : )

The sliding duo! : )

Look how enormous my zucchini plant grew? However, behind Branden is the 2nd zucchini and it's barely grown at all. Which is odd how one could be absolutely stunted and the other could be so super sized! Ha ha ha! : )

So the boys and I came in and we had cheeseburgers with the ol' add your own toppings, "the any way, you want it type burger!" And with the new potato wedges! Dinner was lip smackin' good! LOL. And then we all went up and B showered first. Got his house, room wear stuff on! Meanwhile, Noah and I took a quick shower and then we went downstairs and we popped a bag of microwave popcorn. And I got a small bowl of animal crackers from Costco, I put just a few handfuls in a small bowl. And the boys and I started in on Star Wars 3 Revenge of the Sith! I think Alisa on my comments section brought up that movie the other day and it sorta made me wanna watch it again. Thanks Alisa for bringing that up! : ) So with the hubby at work. The boys and I watched Anakin sadly transform into Darth vader, sniff, sniff! : ( He was fighting obi-wan right in this pic! This was right near the end.

Curses on the Sith! (shakes fist at the sky) lol! : ) J/k! : ) Noah zonked out and didn't catch the end, typical Noah! Ha ha ha! : ) Branden managed to keep his eyes open until it ended near 10pm. And then he also konked out! : ) I on the other hand. Had a nice cup of coffee downstairs and watched TV alone until Noboru got home from work! Poor hubby had to work until midnight. : ( Anyway it's been a quiet week around here! Not a whole lot of anything really going on except *life* ha ha ha! Winks* : )
In other bits and pieces, I placed a small order through the FBC deli this week! Just a small one. I expect it to get here next week, no doubt! : )
Also, this Sunday, we have to go to Branden's school. It's yet another darn observation day! Can you believe it??? Didn't I just have one of these last week or so? LOL! And on a flipping Sunday nonetheless! I tell ya, once elementary starts, it's a whole different ball game then yochien! Weekends don't necessarily mean weekends anymore, lol. Do you kwim? : ) My Sunday, or perhaps I should say, our Sunday will be spent at the school. Oh the joy, oh the rapture! Ha ha ha, yup exaggeration here! : ) On the bright side, B will have off this coming Monday, so I guess that is a good thing! : ) So yup, this coming Sunday, picture my family at the school! Ha ha ha. : ) Noah's Birthday....Also, have been in deep think mode regarding Noah's 3rd birthday! I think for our family, we feel, Noah is still too young for a full blown party. As he isn't even in school yet to have made any friends. And I guess I could round up or gather my own friends and force/drag them to come and bring their kids for cake and ice cream, lol. But ehhhh! Just doesn't seem like fun. Perhaps when he's older and has his own actual friends, then that will make more sense for our family. : ) For now, we are thinking a small family quiet thing. However for Branden's birthday, he is at the age to have a big party and B will probably get a birthday party this coming October. But Noah's just too young. I know each family's different but yeah that's what we decided. But anyhow, we still are thinking stuff like, dinner, what to eat, where to go eat. Presents, what should we get him, yk, just that sorta stuff. Has been on our minds lately! : ) I think this Monday, we will hit Gap and Toys r us, to go get some things for Noah's upcoming birthday for July 7th. Anyway, have a good weekend, friends, family and everyone else reading! : )