Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Let's catch up! : )

How's everyone been? I imagine we all sort of have our own things going on these days. Same for us. : ) Hopefully I can get this posted up today. : ) Things have been really good. A little busy here and there, but not too terrible either, guess I just needed a blogging rest for the past week, ha ha ha. Here are some pics of Branden that I took last Wednesday. Both boy's are still swimming like mad every week! They both love it and continue to thrive in swimming school.

Branden's getting taller and getting older. But he'll always be my baby though. As I am sure that's how my own parents still feel about me and I'm an adult! Ha ha ha. : ) He's a good kid, a really good kid! And the kindest heart you guys! : )

Noah got some more homemade goodies from another little girl, that's a friend. That was pretty nice. And now I sorta have my thoughts on White day. I am sort of debating just buying like 5 of Noah's girl pals something or should I buy something or bake something for his whole class? And same for B, should I just buy for his 3 good girl friends or the whole class. Buying for a whole class can get rather expensive though, right? Anyways....yeah I sorta have White day on the brain right now. Trying to figure out how to go about this. Decisions, decisions. :D
I'm still eating more sensible dinner meals (size wise). Not over eating for any meals, yet not starving either, lol. No, I'm not going crazy, I assure you. Promise, promise. :D Just sorta knowing the time for our end of exercise will end in about 60 or 64 days or something like that. So, I have been trying really hard you guys. Ginger pork, rice and green beans. I was full afterwards. And I think because I am so conscious about servings now, I find I have cut down snacking a lot also. Sure, I still will eat a bowl of popcorn, once or twice a week but not everyday type stuff.

Another night, I made fried pork chops. For those of you not in Japan you can see the price and get a round about idea of the cost of things here. And I made 2 pork chops each person, (Noah ate one for supper and the other went for his obento). So about 2 bucks per person, that's not really so bad really. Broccoli was 100 yen and the rice a roni I got a big Costco size from Cost u less, think we paid 5 bucks for about 8 boxes of them or so. So an affordable meal.
My servings. Again, I am not out to starve, and I won't do this forever, I don't think... but just, for about 20 more days, I just wanted to try this for a full month to see if I see any changes. That was sorta the thing I had in mind for myself. This was more then enough food for me. 2 pork chops and rice a roni and steamed veggies. I didn't feel deprived of anything.
Another night I made yakisoba for my family. And I don't mind telling you, this was not enough for me. I had to get more after I finished. Again, I am not going to starve or lie at all, and I am just using it as a gauge/monitor of how much I am eating, yes I get more food if I feel like it. Today obviously it wasn't enough and so, I got more food. Starvation diet no thanks! Ha ha ha. Anyway just trying to find that balance. And again, at least I am trying. A for effort! : )
So, what else is new? Besides, still taking my 2 kiddos to swimming school and regular school and B, to Kumon weekly? And still cooking meals of course. Well....I am still making obento's. Yup, I am still at it. Here is an obento I made for Noah sometime last week. Obviously they were leftovers from the night before. Which is smart and how most mom's I know do too. A fried pork chop on a bed of rice a roni and some steamed broccoli for his veggie. I was giving Noah a fruit everyday and he wasn't eating it. I gather he just has a tinier tummy then Branden did when he was a blue badge. So, my meals have been scaled back in size and for the most part I will leave out the fruit because he just has a little tum tum tummy! His meals will grow in size as he grows in size. This is fine for now though! : )
Another obento I made for Noah, was an obento I had made for Branden many a times. Pizza. Love that tabasco pizza toast sauce, it's handy and 1 packet is enough for 1 slice of pizza toast.

Three slices of pepperoni pizza (toast) , 4 fries and some steamed green beans and the jelly (mini lime jello).

And every other Wednesday like clock work it's onigiri day! : )
2 weeks ago, we got a note, that said, the school will be making homemade curry. It will be for the "good bye lunch" to the blue badges, sniff, sniff! Branden had this last year, when the lunch was for his class and the year before when he was just a pink badge. And now, as a new little yellow badge, Noah is way way off from leaving this school. Ha ha ha, he just barely started. But, saying good bye they all will do. And, so a 1/2 cup of rice and 1 potato is what the yellow badges had to bring. I think last year B took a 1/2 cup of rice and a carrot or onion? I forget. : ) Anyway, funny enough....Noah actually remembered when Branden brought his rice and veggie last year. He said..."can I cook like Branden did last year?" I said, yup! And so, last week, any day of the 5 days, you could send your kid with their rice and veggie. Last Tuesday is when I sent Noah with his! : )

Everyday last week, first thing I'd do after getting both boy's sent to school is walk. Just for 1 hour. Here it is for me one day, 60 minutes and 18 seconds. Yup, I truly don't wanna go over ha ha ha. : ) Lazy bum, that I am! : )

6,676 steps for the morning, of walking. I am not a lover of exercise at all. But I honestly feel great getting a good number in like that. And then I go and clean my house for an hour. And have a good well deserved rest. By the time, I have swung around and got both boy's in the afternoon, run to and from car at yochien. etc, etc, I am past my 8,000 steps mark. Somedays closer to 10,000 steps, somedays settling in the 9,000 range, but at least I am giving it the old college try! I really am. : )
Here was the end of that day above, the one where I did an hour of treadmill in the AM. It ended with 8,665 steps. Not bad. Again, will I reach my goal or not? I honestly don't know. But I am giving it a go!
Weekends, I made optional. Because trying to cram 8,000-10,000 on weekends was too much. I was getting burned out by doing it on weekends honestly. My weekends, I can exercise or not, my choice, eat what I want. But get back on track on Monday's. I have been good about it, and not going too overboard on weekends. But Saturday, even though I wasn't really required to exercise, I did anyways. I only got 6,123 steps this past Saturday. I felt sorta proud of myself for that.

This past Sunday, I got a good working out too, 8,099 steps. Again wasn't necessary since it was the weekend, but I did it and was sorta glad.
This is the last bit of exercise challenge chatter, I will talk about for a while, I promise. I find it a bit boring to talk about in my weekly posts. But I will do an update about it every now and then. Anyway, I picked these up at the grocery store. I like that they are 97 calories for a package and I can have 1 package for the mornings. The taste of them is great, they don't taste like crap, and that's good for me, because I always have this impression that diet food tastes like crap, ha ha ha. Only thing I didn't like about these were the price. Frankly 350 yen or whatever for a small box of 4, is something I wonder if I would continue to keep buying? Hmm. Anyway just being honest, will have to think about it. Again, I like the taste and stuff but the price, wasn't crazy about the price. Will have to think if I will repurchase or not.
Okay so what else have I been doing, besides, taking the boy's to swim school, Kumon and regular school? And making dinner every night and making obento? And trying to find some smidgen each day of time to exercise? Well, I have bee enjoying watching good TV shows and good movies. Just sorta kicking back every night and enjoying myself. One night last week, I enjoyed watching.....The Queen, with Helen Mirren. This movie is about what (supposedly) happened behind the scenes after Princess Diana died. How the queen handled things, how Tony Blair helped. I enjoyed this movie quite a bit.

It had bits of real footage of Princess Diana. She was so beautiful!
The Queen in bed watching all the news coverage. I enjoyed this movie because it really made me see things from her side for a bit.
And when they came out to see the flowers and such. I actually remember seeing this on TV when it really happened.
Ahh, such a tragedy for us all losing such a great woman like Diana. You know, in America, Princess Diana was so well loved. I actually remember being a little girl in Denver and my mom and I watching the TV coverage of when she married Prince Charles. I was watching and asked my mom, "what is this mommy?" She told me, and I will never ever forget this as long as I live. She told me...."it's the making of a princess" And I recall my mom saying..."it's like a fairy tale." We sat there watching in awe, we saw the whole thing. The teacher who married a prince! Wow! And nope, I'll never ever ever forget that! Watching when Wills and Harry grew up, it was like really neat! How cool. And when the marriage took a turn and I watched that interview up above where she said...."the marriage was a little crowded with there being 3 of us" Not word for word but you know what I mean. She really was like the people's princess. The whole world loved her! I know, I did! So, one morning, newlywed's, Noboru and I were, living in Denver. I woke up and opened my paper and on the front page it said...."Princess Diana dead" or death or some equally horrible headline. What??? Besides from getting horrible goosebumps and feeling extremely sad, and then thinking about her kids and then feeling utter shock, is this some bizzare nightmare, is this real? I mean this was really a shock for the whole world. And William is the spitting image of her, I thought! Seeing Embassy's all over the world getting tons and tons of flowers. It was like the whole world lost the princess that day. I cried, sorry to admit that, but I cried. It was just all too sad. And I recall when she was laid to rest and they walked her and the boys walked along, they looked so sad, which rightfully so. I mean such a complete tragedy all the way around. Anyway...not sure why I am telling my thoughts on that. But, watching this movie last week. Sorta gave me a glimpse what was happening behind the scenes. Sigh. Sad, very sad. Anyway, I did really enjoy the movie though. I did however miss the first 30 minutes of this and I would like to catch this from start to finish next time. We'll see. : )

Last Friday, Hubby was home. And he asked me, "you wanna go to breakfast after we send the kids to school?" I said, cool! So, after getting both boy's sent to school, we went to Coco's for breakfast. I had the french toast breakfast with yogurt and drink bar!!! 399 yen for french toast and stuff plus the drink bar comes with it, a truly fantastic deal!
Their drink bar is huge! They have about 15 plus different types of teas. The tea alone is enough reason to go. They also have iced caramel machiatto's, yumm! Best hot cocoa on earth, probably and tons of sodas. Yup, we enjoyed that drink bar. : )

My first cup of hot cocoa, so creamy! Then I had a hot coffee then I finished it off with my last hot cocoa. : )

As good as the picture! Which almost never happens, ha ha ha! Good portion size and I am sorta watching what I eat these days. But yeah, the hubby and I are sorta thinking of starting to come here once a week, as a sorta morning date! I like that!

Noboru of course had to have the Japanese breakfast. He loved it! We talked for over an hour in there. We laughed, we had a ball. He told me (and I'm not kidding)....this is how we started off, before kids. Now 7 years later here we are again, just you and I. I laughed, he laughed. And I agreed. So yup, this is what I did last Friday, I went on a date.....with my husband! Ha ha ha! : )
Friday, after our date, lol. Hubba Hubba. J/k! We went home. I did some treadmill and then I baked some cupcakes for the kids. The house was already clean and ready for the weekend by then, I said to myself, I have free time, a whole afternoon free, should I blog or bake cupcakes? Hmm, I went with the cupcakes, sorry. : ) And I usually use the German chocolate cake mix but it was $1.99 and not on sale this past January and the Pillsbury were on sale in just yellow and Devil's food for 99 cents a box, so that's why I just got those. I figure a dollar saved, is a dollar saved and so we used the Devil's food cake mix which was fine.

Yummy German chocolate cupcakes.
When the boy's got out of school on Friday, I wanted to surprise them with these and they loved them!!! The four of us, snacked on these cupcakes all weekend this past weekend.

After the boy's got home last Friday, and everyone was in comfy clothes zone! And home for the weekend. What did we watch? Pretty and Pink! Yup, the boy's have appreciation for the cool 80's movies! Ha ha. They love them as much as I do! They really like Duckie! After all that we watched Hannah Montana and Wizard's of Waverly Place and stuff on Disney, ha ha ha.

Saturday the weather was beautiful. Chilly but the sun was out and it wasn't raining. Granted not as nice and the weekend before, but it was still good. I decided to have a pizza night with the boy's. Hubby had to work last Saturday. : (

The boy's played out in the backyard. I made the boy's pigs in a blanket for lunch and I tried some with cheese like Slime suggested and yumm!

Around 3;30 pm, it started to get a bit nippy outside, so I called the boy's in and preheated the oven. I let Branden roll out the crust and both of them did the toppings. I said as long as mommy had half with veggies and pepperoni, do whatever ya like to their side! : )
I just supervised, I didn't really help at all. Noah is pointing where he thinks Branden should put the next slice of pepperoni, ha ha ha. It was a brotherly effort! Ha ha ha.

Noah was just touching the onions and placing them, which is why his shirt is wet here, he was washing off the onion smell off his hands. : ) So they both did the cheese, B did the pepperoni's, Noah did the onions and Branden did the bell peppers. Fair, fair, fair. We listened to music and sorta jammed in the kitchen while they made this pizza.
Here it is, the kids pizza! Now, if I look really hard and with a critical eye, I think Branden made the crust too big on the veggie side and just right on the other side. but again, they're just kids and so when the pizza came out and they said, "how do you think, OUR pizza came out mommy?" I said, what any other mom woulda said...."best pizza ever kids!!!!" Ha ha ha! A for effort and it tasted fantastic, it really did, especially the crust, I have perfected my crust down to a T. By the time they get in junior high they'll be pros by then! Ha ha ha.
Saturday night, I had 2 slices of pizza, boy were they filling. And a soda with ice. Branden went up and quickly showered, and then Noah and I went up after B was done. And then we sorta just relaxed, channel surfed until American idol. Noah as usual fell asleep way before American Idol started. But Branden managed to stay up for some. I watched half by myself, which is fine, hubby couldn't help working. Then I channel surfed some more before finally hitting the hay around 11am.

Monday morning (2 days ago), it was raining hard around here where we live. My plan was to go to the grocery store alone. Hubby invited himself. He asked if he could go and he said, after shopping we could go and have lunch afterwards. I said, what the heck. : ) I sat in the car while Noboru walked Noah into the school grounds and handed him over to the super nice sensei we all really like. Then went and did our shopping, then with groceries filled in our tiny little red car. We headed to lunch. This cheap ramen shop, we like and go to. I am not so crazy for regular shoyu type ramen. I always order the spicy miso type ramen instead.

He had gyoza and so did I. ha ha ha. Second date in less then 1 week. Super hubba hubba! Ha ha ha! No but seriously, with the boy's both in school now, we get that private time to reconnect together without the kids around, talk to one another, laugh at each other's dumb or silly jokes. And after being together for 16 years and married since 1997 so that's less but together for 16 years total, wowsa), Yet, he still cracks me up! He still makes me smile. And we're still totally in love and in tune with one another.
On, Monday Noah's yochien made curry, remember the goodbye and farewell curry for the blue badges. The kids were fully surpervised and got to cut, chop and stir! When Noah came home from school on Monday, he was beaming! Literally beaming! He said..."today I made curry with my sensei" I said....oh yeah? Was it fun? He said, "oh yes lot's of fun" They ate it Tuesday (yesterday). And the note said, make sure each kid comes with a breakable plate and 1 big spoon and a trash bag, like a grocery bag type dispoable bag to put their curry plate in afterwards. So, this morning, no obento making for me. No sirry! Ha ha ha. packed up Noah's Elmo plate. That I have been using/borrowing many nights, but he has other plates, shhh. They don't know about my exercise challenge thing, that's sorta between me and you guys who read this blog. : ) Anyway got him all packed up before dropping off both boy's to school and when I picked up Noah, he said "we all ate curry today and it was SO good!" Noboru teased him a bit and said....where's our curry? You didn't bring any back for us? He laughed!
In short, I guess I haven't been up to a whole lot. I have just been enjoying life. Sorta feeling a bit unbloggy these days. But just doing the same ol' same ol' basically. Loving my husband and my kids to bits! Taking them to and from school and classes. Trying to get in better shape. Trying to get fit. But not be a fitness freak either, lol, so trying to find that balance. Watching my nightly TV. I am definitely a night time couch potato, for sures! I guess I pretty much figure, if I survived my busy day and lived to tell the tale...then a night of TV is rightly deserved and in order! Ha ha ha. Every night after everything is said and done... I unwind on my couch. Getting sucked into a good movie or TV show. Laughing my butt off or crying my butt off depending on what movie. A good unwind for us all, is always in order. : )
My dad is moving back to Guam. He's been in Denver 6 month's and turns out he missed the island more then he thought. With my grandma gone and no longer with us and all my aunties/ his sisters all pretty much busy with their own lives though he still sees them weekly. And with the winters being so cold. And me, his only child on this side of the world, sorta makes sense, I guess. He had told me back in November he was thinking of going back. Also, he has a "friend" A girlfriend, though she's my dad's age and a widow so it's weird to call her a "girl"friend. So, I gather his lady friend is a better word? Ha ha ha. Anyway, she's in Guam and she's a Japanese lady and a widow. They are both good companions for one another. My dad's financially set and secure on his own and so is this lady. So, they don't want or need anything from each other but companionship. They will live seperately of their own choosing. So, anyway, that is that. My dad is indeed going back to Guam. He'll be going sometime in March. On his way to Guam he will be stopping in Japan for a few days to stay with us and visit with his only 2 grandsons Branden and Noah. And I'm looking forward for my dad coming back to Japan again.
Okay now since I spilled the, my dad is moving bit. Then now this stuff will make some sense. He won't be buying a townhome/condo like last time because it took forever to sell (and yes if we woulda known or been able to predict the future, obviously he woulda just kept his condo, lol). So he will rent this time around. We have been talking to his real esate agent, same one we used the first time. And we have about 8 places in mind so far. So, more then likely, Noboru and the boy's and I will go to Guam with my dad to make sure he gets moved in and stuff okay. We would only be there 1 or 2 days most. Since this isn't a vacation type thing. But yeah some good eats in between and a small trip to the grocery store might be able to be squeezed in there. Ha ha ha. Right now, Noboru and my dad and I, are sorta on condo/townhouse mode. And trying to decide the best day for my dad to fly out of Denver. He's using Noboru's non rev benefits, so that's the cool part for my dad. But trying to coordinate a trip from Denver to Japan and the trip for the 5 of us to Guam and for a flight that has seats available has been a small little task indeed. And it has to be before Spring break because the tourists will no doubt mean the flights will be full for going to Guam.I guess a reason I have been sorta preoccupied lately a bit.
Also, have an Old Navy/Gap order should be arriving at my dad's place any day and then he'll either mail it or keep it for when we see him in a few weeks. Stuff for the boy's.
What else? Well, today is Wednesday, it's been a cold and rainy drizzly day. Noah had a half day today. Noboru gets off at 2pm today, so should be on his way or just about on his way now. And the four of us will head to swim club and watch Branden swim this evening as a family. Leftover chili concarne and corn bread for us tonight, it's in the fridge, we will just nuke it when we get out of swimming. Have a good night everyone! : )

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!!!! : )

I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day! We did too! : ) These are the cookies I baked for my 3 guys! : )

Meanwhile, I got this little package from my friend Noriko. She had given these to all of us on Thursday as we drove to Costco. I'm sure all 5 of us, felt lucky to receive these from her!

She loves to bake, everything she bakes is homemade from scratch. She baked us, her friends, homemade chocolate heart and star cookies. They were so delicious. And she also baked us a chocolate cupcake, 2 chocolate cupcakes, so moist and delicious! I truly and honestly loved getting something for Valentine's from a dear friend like this. Sort of reminded me, of the days how in school we'd all have a Valentine's party in the US growing up and we'd exchange cards and treats. Mom's would show up with cakes and cookies and drinks. It was really cool. And getting these from her was very cool and kind! I always feel so lucky to have such good friends.

Noah also received his first Valentine's treats!!! And, this is sorta funny but, a yochien mommy approached Noboru Friday afternoon and said..."you know your son is very popular at the yochien" Noboru said, really? Honestly Noboru didn't have any idea and doesn't really care either way, lol. She went onto say, "yes he always has at least 3 girls sitting or standing around his table trying to get his attention always." We got a good laugh about that.
Noah's first Valentine's Day card/letter! Awww!

What a cute letter! I will save this for Noah, forever and ever! So when he's an adult, and grown I will whip this out and see if he remembers! Aww! : )
Valentine's morning, I woke up and I baked some cookies for my hubby and the boys! Yes, I took the easy route for Valentine's Day this year! But that's okay, these cookies were a hit and they tasted fantastic.

If you check this blog from Valentine's of the years past. I've made hubby lovely pink cupcakes before with lovely silver bling sprinkles! I've decorated a pizza for lunch with pepperoni in the shape of a heart, made heart shaped eggs and done all that stuff before. However this year....ahh. I just wanted to take a load off. And I'm so glad I did!

I made sure we made hubby a Valentine's card. Yes we used a piece of leftover origami paper because it was perfect size and perfect color, so awesome! When Noboru, woke up, he came down and found these Valentine's cookies waiting for him, all nicely stacked and waiting on the white Ikea plate for him. He loved them! And he loved the homemade card the boy's made for him so much!

Branden made a card and Noah did the scribbly artwork. And later, I saw Noboru tucking his card away to save. That's how much he loved getting this card. My 3 guys ate the cookies all morning long. I felt, that by making sure the kids got involved and made daddy a card, he would love that, which he did. And because I didn't totally blow off Valentine's day, I made the cookies. Well, okay so I whacked them in the oven and arranged them! But the sentiment was there! It honestly brought smiles to all their faces! For lunch we had chili cheese dogs. And for the afternoon, Noboru went out and washed both our cars and waxed them both. He enjoys doing that, so he had a nice day out front with that. Meanwhile Branden and Noah played in the backyard all afternoon. The weather was 72 degrees F outside, so no sweatshirts were needed. It was just a nice restful relaxing Valentine's day! We had supper, and then we watched American Idol. After the kids fell asleep. Hubby gave me a foot rub, with lotion and everything. We still watched TV, just laughing and chatting. It was nice, simple but nice. And, every year, we usually celebrate Valentine's Day for both of us. But this year, I asked to get something on White Day instead. So, not sure which way we will like best, but for this year we will try it this way! : )

Yup, a simple, but perfect Valentine's day around here! :D
Oh and I put the table cloth on the table, that we got at Macy's remember, anyway, it fits, phew. We really love it. And it will protect the table so, that's cool too. You can see bits of the kids in the backyard on Saturday, they played up a storm for hours and hours back there! Anyway, no matter how you celebrated Valentine's Day, I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day!!! : )