Monday, November 30, 2009

Gobble gobble gobble the Thanksgiving dinner we had. My dad's and also Jun's visit, etc! : )

Here's a picture of our family on Thanksgiving day. We were having a prayer before we ate, my dad was the one giving grace as I quickly snapped this picture and then joined in prayer before starting in our dinner.
The lights by now have already been hung and everything is all nicely set up, the timer goes off at 4:50pm every single night! : ) But wait a minute...I think I am getting ahead of myself. : ) I better back up a minute and catch up with you all first. Swine flu wise... oh dear so much has happened since my last post.
Okay this is where I left you all last post. Branden was diagnosed with the swine flu last Friday. And the day after that, the following Saturday Noah came down with a 40 C fever, I also wasn't feeling well either! @_@
See these adult capsules of Tamiflu? Yup, these little suckers were mine. Noah had swine flu and so did I. Everyone came down with swine flu in our family but Noboru. So last Saturday and last Sunday, the 3 of us were as sick as dogs! : ( My throat, my stomach, it was horrible. I even thought about canceling Thanksgiving dinner. Because I was having trouble even putting socks on my feet or slapping a pony tail into my hair or shuffling myself to the kitchen to make myself a cup of hot tea much less imagine how I was gonna whip up a pie...from scratch nonetheless! The good thing is the Tamiflu works fast. I hear Relenza works just as fast too. By last Monday, I was feeling much better not 100% granted, but I could at least clean house like mad on Monday and I was feeling way better by Tuesday when my dad had come. Branden was 100% back to normal by Sunday morning and Noah was back to normal by Sunday night. But of course they finished all their meds and stuff though. We did get ahold of Jun and would you believe they were recovering from it too. So, it all sorta worked out for us all in the end. Kids were done with their meds by Thanksgiving anyway. And I was done with my meds by Friday morning. The day after Thanksgiving day.
Sunday morning the turkey came. I was aware it was coming beforehand. Geeze I even picked the time for that. :P But I think with the swine flu kicking my butt last Sunday morning, when the doorbell rang I was thinking at first..."who is ringing the bell, who could it be?" Looked at the security monitor and saw and then went "duh" to myself and opened it and collected the turkey. Boy did I feel like a dork! : ) We order our turkey from Gourmet Meat World, they're the cheapest we found on the internet.
19.55lbs. He had come all the way to Japan from America.
Monday is when the hubby started on the lights. We keep our lights in an old suitcase in the shed.
Stretching out the icicle lights. Noboru hung the lights while I cleaned the house. We were both busy busy busy last Monday. Oh yeah, last Sunday the day the turkey came. We had got an email from Branden's school saying the whole second grade #2 class was closed for the whole week due to the swine flu. Oh yeah I better back up even more regarding that. Last Friday evening, the day before Noah and I were diagnosed. Yuka-sensei called our house and told Noboru that 4 kids in B's class have swine flu. Some girl (hubby forgot her name), Kouki-kun but not the one who lives in our housing community another Kouiki. Branden and Genki-kun! Branden's best bud Genki, since yochien. Yup the one and the same. : ( So anyway the Yuka-sensei said that info to us on Friday and said if 1 more kid in the class gets it, the whole class will be shut down for a week! The rest of the school will remain open but just B's class would be out. And then Saturday, boy next doors grandma was out in her backyard and we had just confirmed mine and Noah as swine flu. And she meanwhile said she thinks "boy next door" also had it and his little brother and his mother, so they were on their way to the clinic. So that was LAST Saturday. And then the next day, the day I was looking and feeling like crap and the day the turkey came, that's when we got the email that said the whole entire ninensei #2 class was closed for a week. So if you recall the yochien said, Noah may return when Branden returns, so that meant no school for either boy all last week. In a way I sorta liked it. I didn't have to wake up at 5:30am every morning. I didn't have obento to make. I didn't have to race from school to school daily. So, although I shouldn't admit this. Being off for a week sorta suited me just fine. Ha ha ha. Oh brother sorry for admitting that. : )
My dad's flight left Guam at 6am Tuesday morning. My dad arrived at my train station at 10am, 10:15 am maybe. Our original plan was since both boys would be in school and hubby would be at work my dad and I would go to Coco's for coffee and conversation for an hour and catch up. However with the swine flu and the kids being off a whole week, we sorta had to change plans. And that was okay. Branden had been quarantined (by me) at home for 6 days, since Thursday. He badly wanted to leave the house. Noah had been homebound for 4 days. Since they were both feeling better. I let them go in the car with me to the train station, they just stood in the car as did I, but they liked going for a car ride. Branden said, finally some wind on my face. As he walked from the house to the inside of the car. : ) We came straight home and my dad and I just had coffee at home. My dad didn't bring a whole lot this time because well, I'll be there next month, so no real reason for him to drag so much here this time. A case of beef ravioli, this is for the kids for fast lunches and also now that Noah has to switch to the winter metal obento now, he can take this now since their lunches stay in a hot warmer type thing. , Frozen bean and cheese burritos, some chargrilled (chicken breast) quesadilla type fast snack type food. A pack of frozen waffles for the boys, fast breakfast stuff for the weekday. String cheese for the boys to snack on. Hmm, he sure brought a lot of stuff for the boys. But I don't feel left out though, ha ha ha. :P Microwave popcorn the extra butter or movie theater kind. Whole cranberries. Black olives. Cheese for sandwiches.
My dad brought all this sliced cheese for the leftover turkey sandwiches. The BelGioioso is some delicious Italian American provolone cheese as you can tell by the flags on the wrapper. : ) . Every turkey sandwich after Thanksgiving that I had this week, has been made with that. With some soft bread, some miracle whip, crunchy lettuce a nice slice of tomato with a dash of pepper and salt on said tomato, some really good quality provolone and some turkey. Some chips along the side. Dear holy goodness. I have been enjoying leftover turkey sandwiches quite a bit since Thursday. : )
He brought the kids some corn nuts and some airplane lollies. And the turkey pan.
Tuesday my dad had managed to talk me into letting the boys go outside but just in our backyard. Since the whole boy next door family were swine flu victims as well as us. And given we have absolutely no neighbors behind us or to the right of us, sorta figured we had nobody to infect anyway... unless we are talking the mantis or the grasshoppers. :P And with B being stuck in the house for 6 whole days, he sorta could use the break. So, they ran outside a bit in the back with grandpa. We were all wearing our house clothes, sweatpants and stuff, you know...the stuff you would never show you wear but you really really do, when you just wanna be nice and comfortable. : ) : ) We dress for complete comfort when we are home. No fashion show going on at our house when we're home. : )
Wednesday morning, it was raining. Noboru and my dad went out front to finish up the Christmas lights. Now we always have a tradition to set the lights up the day after Thanksgiving even if we do it a few days before we never ever flick the switch until the day after Thanksgiving. So Black Friday is usually the day we turn on our Christmas lights, even as a child growing up, we always turned our Christmas lights on, Black Friday. However with Jun and my sil and niece coming, we decided to break with tradition and light them on Thanksgiving instead. Just a day ahead of usual. So not too bad. : )
The boys helped me make the homemade butter crust for the pies. Branden did the measuring, Noah put the stuff from the measuring cups into the bowl. And then Branden mixed and mixed first. I looked on.
Then Noah had a turn, he really got in there and kneaded and worked that crust really well.
The crusts have to be chilled in the fridge for some time, to hurry things along, I whack them into the freezer. Both of the boys wrapped their crusts into the plastic wrap and I thought they did a really good job.
With both crusts now chilling in the freezer for about 10 minutes. I went out onto the front porch to check on my dad and Noboru. My dad, laid the lighting along the walkway. Noboru meanwhile working hard as well. I brought them their lunch outside, so they worked and ate and worked some more. Meanwhile I got back on track with my pies.
I rolled out the dough and made 2 crusts. Placed them onto the other counter and meanwhile whipped up the pie filling with help of my Libby's pumpkin pie filling. Yay Libby's really does make the best pumpkin pie filling. I do add some extra pumpkin pie spice and whatnots but yumm.
The guys were done with the lights. The pies were now cooking for 75 minutes in the oven. Grandpa/my dad,and Branden worked on his workbook. I had told B, do as many pages as YOU want, the second you get bored and aren't into it anymore, please stop. He did about 9 pages with my dad and when he was ready to stop, he stopped.
Now the pies were done. And considering we had the swine flu that weekend, I could not believe by Wednesday evening, we were right on schedule and the pies were done and everything.
After dinner and baths on Wednesday night. The five of us watched a Thanksgiving DVD. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. It teaches all about American Thanksgiving, we all enjoyed watching this DVD.
Thursday, Thanksgiving day. My dad was able to play with the boys in the backyard while I cooked. But my dad was kind enough to peel a whole bunch of potatoes for me before I boiled them and made mashed potatoes out of them. : )
Branden going across the monkey bars.
My dad chasing the boys with a net. Oh the boys ran fast! Ha ha ha. : )
Run Branden, grandpa came so close to catching you with a net! : )
Who's keeping who on their toes here? : )
Noah caught a mantis that morning, by now it was noon. He was nice enough to feed the mantis some lunch, 2 grasshoppers. Blech. : P
The mantis walked on Noboru's arm.
Then grandpa put the mantis on Noah's hat! He loved it!
Side profile of the mantis! : )
By now it was 1:30pm and we were expecting Jun and family over between 2-3pm. So, we had Noah put the mantis back to the wild. So my dad carefully took the mantis off his hat and placed him in the field next door. : )
There he goes.
Good boy! : )
Starting to set up the table. Meanwhile, I had my jeans on, and my face on and my hair done. Old black tee. Was waiting for right before they came so I could run upstairs and slip on one of my argyle sweaters. But that was last minute type stuff. Jun called us as they left their condo. I knew they'd arrive in about 25 minutes so about 7 minutes before they arrived is when I switched from old ratty tee to sweater. Shhhh. : ) A little extra lip gloss on the lips and a mist of CK One and I was waiting on the front porch waving to them right as they were driving in! Phew! : )
That pile of coats in the corner are my bil and sil and niece's. : ) They brought, Costco dinner rolls, dessert (tiramisu from Costco) drinks galore, Qoo (apple) , a really nice bottle of orange juice from Costco, a 2 liter of Coke, Noboru said, he hadn't seen a 2L of coke in Japan only the 1 liters. So that was sorta funny, he noticed that. The boys and my niece played outside at first. Also we did not have enough seats at the big table. So, as it's usual/normal, to have a kids table and an adults table for things like Thanksgiving and Christmas. We made the coffee table in the living room a make shift kids table. So that is where Branden, Noah and my nice Mia sat for their meal. Okay what's in this picture? Our dinner consisted of a turkey, mashed potatos, stuffing, gravy, salad, croutons, dinner rolls, black olives, whole cranberries. Not counting desserts.
My serving. Thanksgiving and the days after Thanksgiving, I wasn't really concerned about watching what I ate so much. I have been doing really good lately. And I did wanna enjoy my holiday and not behave like a total nazi about what I ate, so I didn't restrict myself during Thanksgiving or the few days after. I just enjoyed our holiday as it should be enjoyed. That is Fanta grape soda in the glass. My serving was pretty good. I was so hungry by the time we ate.
Everyone served what they wanted. We had our Thanksgiving prayer before we ate. It was pretty traditional.
We had a nice leisurely meal. The kids all ate really well. I quickly got the tabled cleared off. Noboru helped clear the table as well. I meanwhile started the hot water pot, so I could get some coffee going. We all had coffee and dessert. Everyone had tiramisu and pumpkin pie side by side. The pie had a big serving of whipped cream on top. My bil and sil ohhed and ahhed over the pie and I equally oohed and ahhed over the tiramisu. Sorry no pictures of Noah eating or Branden eating or of my niece eating. : ( We were just all so busy talking, chatting and laughing that I honestly didn't have much time for pictures. My bil brought his camcorder and taped what the table looked like and what it all looked like before we ate. So, I think he was excited and happy being here with us and we were equally excited being with them. Over dessert, they told me how Mia-chan loves Dora the explorer. Which was funny because I had given her, her serving of Thanksgiving on Dora The Explorer plate, lol. My kids also love that show so. Good to know I'm in the know. : ) They said she loved the songs of the show. So, when my niece came into the kitchen I told her..."swiper no swiping, swiper no swiping...OH MAN!!!!!" And I sang her the backback backpack song. And the "I'm the map" song too. I think she thinks auntie Gina is pretty cool because she knows all these songs. I told my bil how smart I think Mia is, yes I do, I do. How much she speaks now, wow! She's a regular little chatterbox! When the 3 kids went outside, Mia followed Noah and Branden and when they played chase, she joined them and chased with them. When the 2 boys went upstairs of the jungle gym, Branden lend her a hand and helped her up so she could join them. She's very social. Both of the boys stood near the base of the slide so when she slid down, she had her back up team waiting right there, to help her and lend a hand if needed. And I did tell the boys, please look out for your cousin, and they said, okay! And they did really well. They're both good bigger/older cousins. : ) Mia calls my boys, Branden oni-chan and Noah oni-chan. It means older brother, but can also be used on close older cousins. Awww. They're going away in December too. Noboru has a week off, Jun has 2 weeks off. We told them our plans and he said he might be going there too. So, we're not sure if they will go or be there at the same time. But he knows the days we'll be there, so we'll see.
Half of the turkey was consumed during our Thanksgiving meal and that left half for leftovers. A perfect amount for leftovers, I'd say. : ) Lots of turkey sandwiches. : )
Friday morning, after I woke up, I had a nice hot cup of caramel machiatto and a nice slice of pumpkin pie!
Friday's plan? Go to karaaoke for 2 hours and then head to swim school and watch Noah swim! So that's what we did! And it's 50% off during the day so it was very cheap! Plus the free drink bar! Good deal, good deal. : ) My dad sang a lot of songs, so did Noboru and so did I. My dad and I even sang a duet. "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Elton John and Kiki Dee. LOL, we laughed so hard during this one. My dad sang lots of Beatles. I sang, Luka by Suzzane Vega (gee the words to that are sad but a good song though) And I sang Nobody by Sylvia. 2 Madonna Songs. Hotel California by the Eagles. And I also sang Here, There and Everywhere by the Beatles too.
Noboru sang UB40's Red red wine. And a whole bunch of songs in English and also many Japanese songs.
The boys sang Ponyo together!
Yup, Ponyo. :P
And then we went to swim club. Some random lady and child sat next to my dad and B. And that was sorta cool. That means they aren't shy around foreigners. : ) I saw 2 of my fellow yochien mom's at the swim club Friday afternoon. And they greeted my dad and he greeted them back. Ha ha ha. But basically we just watched through the window of the swim class down below.
Noah's on the back stroke as you can tell in this picture. : )
One of the younger coaches and Noah meanwhile laughing. He sure does have a blast at swim school. He really really enjoys it a lot. : )
We all came home and had leftovers on Friday evening right after swim club. No worries about serving size during the holiday. We all munched and munched some more. Had some leftover tiramisu and pumpkin pie for dessert, all of us.
And then Saturday, the day my dad would leave, but his flight wasn't until 7pm and our plan was to head to the airport around 4:45pm. So he'd get there in plenty of time and go through immigration and sit near his gate with plenty of time to spare. So with that plan in motion we really had a full day with no plan. So, we thought why not take Noah to swim club 1 more day and that way my dad could enjoy watching him once more. Noah being in the A course could go any day but Branden being in the C course can't switch days so easily so that's why we took Noah once more.
This coach is the Goto-coach. He is my favorite coach of the whole swimming school. He's firm, he doesn't like any mischief going on in class but if you listen and pay attention you will get some crazy mad skills from this coach. He's so good. The photos on my front page of my blog, the side with Branden's pictures, the swimming pic of Branden and the coach, that is also Goto coach. He taught Branden for many many years and still does and Branden really likes him a whole lot. And now he's teaching Noah too.
A facing down in the water Noah. Some of the kids were crowding and not standing in line properly so the Goto coach pulled out the hula hoops and had everyone stand in a hoop, so everyone stood in a straight line and didn't crowd. Smart smart coach. I think you can see the hula hoops and the kids standing in a good line in this picture. : )
Noah kicking.
And getting out of the water about to go stand in a hula hoop line. : P
Goto coach giving Noah instruction.
More instruction even.
Noah was told he is bending his legs too much when he does the backstroke, Goto coach has been working with Noah to correct this for the past 2 weeks. And I think he's getting it about right now. He is also reminding Noah to look at the ceiling, that keeps his face more afloat if he does that. He's getting really good thanks to the Goto coach.
After swimming school, we headed straight to the airport. When we left to swim school, is when we put my dad's suitcase in the MPV. So, we had some time to kill, so we stopped to watch some airplanes landing at Narita airport.
Happy smiles.

Look at this airplane Noah! And grandpa pointed it out. : )
And look at this one too.
Watching more land. My dad is just so close to the boys, the both of them.
All four of them looking on. What a good view of the airplane.
Both kids needed sweatshirts at this point. Man these kids will miss grandpa when he's gone. : (
And by now it was about time to head to the actual airport and say our goodbyes.
My dad showing them his ticket that he was indeed in the correct line. He did have a business/first class ticket. Non rev of course, but by goodness that works!
Yup she confirmed his itenerary and waved her hand as in this picture and welcomed him to check in.
Saying our final good byes before he left. I try not to be too sad, because I'll see my dad in just 3-4 weeks from now. But yeah, when he used to live in Denver and it would be like a long time from the next time I could see him, it was always a very tearful goodbye of course. Now it's more like, "see you later" versus a good bye. At least I try to tell myself that. Sniff sniff. : ) My dad hugged the kids, shook Noboru's hand and then he hugged me last, a very long hug. And then he was gone. : (
I watched him walk away and I thought of all the fun we had and then I smiled. I kept wondering, will he turn back and look one last time or won't he? And then he did....just this one last time and I snapped him waving us good bye. I clicked this and waved and waved and waved again. It was a good trip with my dad... a very good time. : )
Since we were in Narita city, we figured why not have 1 meal that didn't include turkey for a change and have some ramen. This really really cheap ramen place. But very good. I had this spicy ramen with lots of cabbage and veggies. Kids had shoyu ramen and Noboru had something else, I forget. We ate our ramen and then headed to our tiny country town. That was Saturday November 28th.
We arrived home, parked the car. Noboru and the boys took a fast shower. Noah smelled like a swimming pool still. Ha ha ha. So after they got soapy clean, I showered and then we all watched TV in our jammies.
Anyway sorry such a delay. I just don't have the time to blog when I have family visiting, gomen ne. And Sunday (yesterday, I sorta just washed all the kids school stuff so they'd be all ready for the week back at school.) And I also rested some. Today ws my actual first day to actually get the time to post this. Anyway sorry so late. : (
What are my plans this week?
This Tuesday, tomorrow, Noboru and I are going to the movies at 10am, the first show of the day, to watch Twilight New Moon. The movies are only 1000 yen during the day on Tuesdays, so we're going to that. And I honestly can't wait. I have seen the trailer online at the Yahoo movie trailer site so many times I lost count. I seriously can't wait until tomorrow to see Twilight New Moon. We orginally wanted to see it the day it opened in Japan, but that was the same day my dad was leaving back to Guam, so a change of plans and that's okay. : )
Wednesday I have a plan to meet up with my yochien mom friend for lunch at our favorite Indian restaurant. So looks like a good week for me so far, movie on Tuesday and lunch with my friend the following day (Wednesday).
TV Talk, I am really getting into Hell's Kitchen at the moment. And the "So You Think You Can Dance" show just started a new season for us in Japan. Still watching Bones and Cold Case too. The kids are still watching Wizards of Waverly Place and I like watching that with them, as well as Hannah Montana.
Okie dokie, I don't think I have a single thing else to say. :P So I am going to post this now. I have a house that needs some cleaning. And a full load of jeans about ready to be done and folded from the dryer. Have an excellent week you guys! : )