Friday, October 01, 2010

Organizing the boys closets. More Fall prep! Trip to Disney and hotel planned. Also a Guam trip for next week! Plus a trip to the hair salon.

Sorry about the freakishly long title. But honestly as the title suggests, things have been pretty busy here. Two trips in the works. Have been totally getting ready for Fall (as usual for me this time of year ; ). If you have been reading my blog for a while. You'll know every Fall, I would have posts titled something like..."Branden's closet cleaned, and sorted out and Fall ready". And then usually a week later followed by a "Noah's closet Fall ready" Something along those lines. And I would have most definitely done the same this year, post wise. But honestly have been so busy. Good busy though. So, I will lump both the boys closet sortings in one post for this year instead. First I went into the attic. Pulled out a big plastic clear box with lid of stuff for Winter 5T stuff brought it downstairs to the 2nd floor and then brought it down to the first floor of the house. This coat was in there that used to be Branden's. I love this North Face coat. However I think it's a bit too big still, perhaps next year for Noah. Sorry kiddo, it went back into the attic for you for next year. ; )
Many long sleeve tops.
Some sweatshirts (surprisingly not too much though, so we had to buy Noah some online, which I already did that and they are at my dad' house now). And oddly enough, we found about 10 pair of sweatpants in there in size 5T/110cm. @_@ Yikes a little too many sweatpants, I think. But on the bright side, he will have plenty of comfy pants for lounging at home. ; ) These tan cords, and jeans. Gap fleecy jeans in the box too. It was nice to be able to get to use what we already had from when B was age 5. I feel as always... really happy and not wasteful to be able to use the clothes from son to son this way.
This sweatshirt we found in the box when we dug out the Summer 5T stuff, but now that it's getting cooler weather wise, this sweatshirt can get some usage from little brother Noah.
Another Gap/ON package came last week.
Long sleeve tops mostly.
Noah got only 3 things this time. But really cute things though.
A very preppy sweatshirt, I love this. And the newsboy cap, I love too. Can't wait for it to get cooler/colder so he can wear this.
A beautiful long sleeve that will look great with overalls for Fall.
Branden's stuff, 2 extra pair of sweatpants. And 3 is more then enough for anyone. In fact 3 would have been enough for Noah. Hmm. How did B get so many sweatpants at age 5?! That's a mystery.
A pair of pj's for Branden, I liked the plaid and I liked that the shirt said, "dream on" because it's for sleeping in, so well said. ; )
2 long sleeve tops for B. Perfect for Fall just wearing with jeans or for when it gets even colder he can layer under a sweatshirt.
I'm American, so I love football and I'm from Denver and I grew up going to Broncos games with my family. Freezing our butts off in the stands, screaming so loud our voices hurt! Our boys here love American football. And they are huge Broncos fans. Good thing for satellite, we get to catch all the games on TV here in Japan. And this red shirt, I ordered the same one, 2 orders ago in a different size and it was ginormous, so this time I ordered it in the correct size.
What else have we been doing? Besides me working my butt off getting the kids ready for Fall. Well the neighborhood kids have still been coming over. They come over all the time. Sometimes they play in the backyard on our playground. But they don't come over just for that, by any means. They come over to play in the front yard, to play DS, beyblades, play kori oni, soccer. And on this particular day they all went bike riding. : ) Branden's also had 2 study dates/get togethers. Last week a little girl in his class came over with books in hand to study with B. And then another time, a boy in Branden's class, invited 3-4 kids to go study at his house and Branden was invited so he rode his bike and took his school books over there. Needless to say, Branden's a really popular kid.
Last week sometime we went out to eat at a Chinese restaurant. This particular place is our favorite restaurant, they have good combos/sets.
And also last week, I baked a gratin. ; ) Just regular life going on over here. Just rearranging closets, cooking, going out to eat, kids studying, friends coming over to play. Mundane I know, but, it's honestly what we've been up to. : )
Some new dvd's came. The Women with Meg Ryan, Jada Pinkett Smith, Annette Benning, etc. Wonderful cast, this movie was a remake. I enjoyed it. Again didn't think it would have won any Oscar awards or anything, but a good girls movie for sure. I enjoyed watching this one evening, after the kids went to sleep and while the hubby was working. With a bowl of popcorn, I sat watching this and really enjoyed it. Would I watch it again? Ehh, probably not, but I'm glad I saw it though. The other one, we have yet to see. It's with Jennifer Anniston. Noboru and I will watch this one together this weekend. Side note on the movie "The Women" Often before I rent a dvd, I will look up the details and reviews on IMDB online. One of the commentors/reviewers on that website said something along the lines of and sorta snarky like..."Was that Meg Ryan, if so what did she do to herself?" She had too many plastic surgeries and/or botox. Then...the commentor/reviewer compared her to the Joker from Batman. Now people...I like Meg Ryan. I mean who doesn't. I enjoy all her movies and she genuinely seems like a nice human being. Also, When Harry Met Sally is one of my most favorite movies. That said..ever read anything you wish you could unread? Hear something you could unhear? I rented the movie anyway. Tossed that mean "Looks like the Joker" comment aside. And watched the movie. OMG! She did have some botox put in. And her lips or smile...really did look a little reminiscent of the joker. : ( Ugh...why did I read that....I wish I would NOT have read that coment on IMDB now...because for a great deal of that movie, that was the only thing I was thinking about. : ( Oh dear.
So last Friday. Everyone I know kept mentioning...a typhoon's coming today. Not quite sure if the typhoon ever camelast Friday or if it was just downgraded (as usual ; ) But in anycase it did rain last Friday. The boys were at school. And I meanwhile ran to the grocery store, then the meat shop, then went and picked up Noah last Friday from yochien and he and I went to the bakery together. Last Friday's dinner? Steaks, baked potato and salads for the boys and myself. Steaks for Noboru, and rice and (instant) miso soup and salad for him. I wanted to enjoy last Friday, and with all the rain, an easy dinner of steaks sounded right up our alley. : )
I also picked up some cheap/afforadable roast beefs, for some upcoming crock pot curry. two days worth of crock pot curry.
This is what Noah and I picked up last Fridat at the bakery. Figured if we were to be homebound. And indoors because of a possible typhoon, we might as well have some yummy breads for after our steak dinner. Picked up B last Friday at 2:45pm, my windshield wiper blades on high speeds and we went home, literally ran from the car to the front porch and went inside.
Friday and Saturday were great. They were quiet days spent at home. Relaxing. And it did rain. The boys watched, Ice Age, 1,2, and 3 on dvd over the weekend. Then on Sunday. Finally no rain. At this point, I thought it would be a great idea to wash all the upstairs beddings on the 3 beds. And also pull out all the fleece blankets we use in the Winter time. So, I ran to the laundry mat. And filled 2 huge washers. Hot temps, and the blanket cycle. I went back into my car and read a book as they washed. Threw them into the dryer. And then came home as soonas they dried. What was Noboru doing while I was washing the blankets? He was switching the flowers on the front porch to our Fall Halloween pumpkin decorations with the boys. So he was busy too. I came home, ran upstairs made all the beds. And though the temps are still in the 70's.... 77F in the house still and we haven't even turned on the central heating yet for the season or turned on the floor heating yet. So understanably, it's still too warm to use the fleece blanets. However I have now folded all the fresh clean, fleece blankets and placed them at the foot of all 3 beds. When someday, whoeever gets too cold, they can use them and they are now fresh and clean. So the beds are indeed Fall ready. Phew. I still have yet to pull the flannel sheets out for the 3 beds but again it's still too warm for them.
I also, on Sunday, first day of no rain in a few days. I had a load of towels on the fence. And 2 or 3 loads hanging on the playground. Noboru is meanwhile cutting all the yellow patches out of the yard. And will fill with dirt. And then next Spring he'll replace with new sod/grass. It is a fair statement to say we were all sort of busy last Sunday. The kids weren't so much though. Ha ha ha. They were just sorta hanging and then their friends swung by and they played.
Towels all the way over there.
Man knowing how much work we put into the grass, and seeing the hubby cut the grass out. It was like a knife to the heart, lol. But I know it will look better next Spring. And I know he's right. But yeouch. It was hard to watch. ; )
Still Sunday...after I made the beds. I took our hydrangea wreath down and packed it away safely. And then brought out the Fall one.....
Fall means, scarecrows, leaves changing and squash etc. So, I do enjoy seeing our wreath at the front door, every time I come into the house.
Tomatoes are still producing , it's slowing down a lot. But since I counted these tomatoes in this bowl they were 35 total. And we've been growing about the same amount a about 35 a week, I'd say. Enough to not have to buy tomatoes at the store yet. And enough for our salads throughout the week.
So many sweatpants on there. Levi's jeans for both the boys. All their lunch mats and handkerchiefs, etc. Meanwhile Noboru was still killing the yard, I mean fixing the yard. ; )
I wanted everything washed up. And I managed to get everything done Sunday, laundry wise.
I have to rearrange during the day, as stuff gets dry, I take it off, move things around, make more room. It's work. To say, Sunday was a productive day would be an understatement. ; )
Monday. Branden was off school. So, after Noah went to school. Branden and I went into his room. He tried on many questionable things to see..."do they fit?" or "should I pack them up for future use for Noah. These 4 shorts, too small and so they got packed up.
These meanwhile fit, and stayed in his "shorts drawer"
Since it is now Fall. The hats will lay on top of the shorts in the shorts drawer. Likewise in Summer, when it was melting hot outside, the hats all laid on the pants drawer.
I have Branden, make 2 piles of undies, 2 piles of lunch mats and handkerchiefs and 2 piles of under shirts. Somehow though, a week later it's all jumbled again. ; ) But Monday, I made sure, it was all put in correctly yet again.
Gym clothes drawer, chisai towels, extra red/white hats. And socks all in 1 drawer. Branden knows exactly where all his stuff goes. School stuff in 1 drawer basically. It's a no brainer.
Pj's, still fit and can be worn, the others packed them up as well.
We vacuumed. We switched B's bed, moved it to the other side of the room. So rearranged his furniture. Dusted, vacuumed. Cleared off his school desk. We finished Branden's room 100%. We were hot... tired. Phew. We went downstairs, had lunch. Then took a 10 minute break. And we went to Noah's room. This is Noah's long sleeve drawer. He also has nicer shirts that are hung.
Noah's pj drawer, short sleeve and sumer pj's at the back, long sleeve and winter pj's at the front. Again easy. And swim stuff on the left.
All of this of Branden's, got it all nicely folded, the ichinensei/ninensei swim trunks B wore. Some tops, sweatshirts, got everything packed up.
The polo jeans, Hillfiger coat, and final bits of sweatshirts and took this box to the attic. Said goodbye and see you in a few years.
See you in 3 years... box! ; )
Sure there were things like jeans with holes, shogako gym pants with holes and not really wanting to patch them, so some stuff went straight to the trash can.
This was from Monday (before the closet and room rearranging). Since B had the day off school because of undokai. He could walk Noah to class. Half of the kids have older siblings and half don't. The senseis all talked with B since he used to go there too. And the kids all said.."wow look that's Noah's big brother" One kid even said...My brother is in the 2nd grade. How old is your brother. Noah said, "he's a 3rd grader." Wow, that kid said. @_@ Again, this is stuff us adults would laugh and utterly silly. But for kids. This is so cool. So, yeah Noah loves the days when B can walk him to class. He gets all happy. : )
On Monday of this week during our cleaning of B's room frenzy, the ribs came. We ordered 2 sets. So 4 baby back rib slabs total will be there. We will be BBQ'ing them next week sometime if the weather permits. ; )
Also Noboru bought me a brand new dryer. The same exact one as before. Last week, during one of the rainy days, when I was using the dryer in the laundry room. The dryer started squeeking. It dried the stuff, but the squeek was still there. We called a service man to come and see. He said it was a belt going bad on it. And keep in mind a new dryer is about 33,000 yen. About $300 US. So, we asked him, how much to replace the belt. Should be cheaper we thought. He said somewhere between 25,000-28,000. That's nearly the same cost as a new one. The guy literally told would be better buying a new one. @_@ So, we thought and we agreed. Noboru looked in person and the price is higher at the shops in person, we saw. But online they are quite cheap. So, we bought online. It was shipped this Tuesday evening. And they took the older but dead ringer.... look alike with them and we got the new one put back in the same place. I like being able to have a load in the wash and a load drying up at the same time. And by the time the dryers done, I can fold them and throw another load in the dryer. I feel I can get so much laundry done that way. And that's probably why I will never buy a new washer type. Unless I could keep my dryer. Because I like being able to use both at the same time. For me it's just a time saver.
When the dryer came, the kids said...'mama do you know that looks, EXACTLY like the old dryer?" Yes, kids...I am aware of that. :P Goodness gracious. ; )
Omiyage, with it being a 3 day weekend for our town. Not for Noah he still had school. Anyway, the boy next door, his little brother, mom and grandma next door and grandpa all went and took a mini getaway. I kept my eye on the pups. Talked to them, left my back porch light on so they would not get lonely while grandma next door was away. When they came back, the grandma brought us some omiyage from Hokkaido. Hokkaido, I said. Wow, I have been wanting to go there. How was it? She said they stayed at a really amazing onsen. Had so much fun. Etc etc. The weather was lovely. I enjoyed hearing all about it. You know, her and I chat every morning in Japanese as we both hang our laundry. She's my really good friend, the granny next door. I really *really* like her. She brought us cheesecake and canteloup caramels/chews. So good. And I thanked her a bunch and closed the door. And the next morning as her and I were side by side or I gather back yard to backyard hanging our clothes, I told her....those cheesecakes were soooo good. LOL. And I thanked her once again. ; )

Anything else to add? Yes tons!

Guam trip: Within the next 7 days I will already be back in Japan already and it's only for 1 night anyway. I have been ordering lots of stuff from Gap and Old Navy lately to get us Fall/Winter ready. And have 3 large packages, or 2, I forget at my dad's. I finally thought, too many to have him forward onto me. Which he never minds. But....still. So, I thought why not I go for one of those arrive at midnight and fly back to Japan at 6am type trips, and then the hubby said. You deserve a rest. You do a lot for us and around the house. So, he booked me 1 nights stay at the Hilton. And I have decided to take the boys too. Perhaps we'll take in a movie, if anything goods playing that is. We'll get to eat some yummy nummy's. ; ) Do some Halloween shopping. And some early Thanksgiving shopping. Hit Blockbuster. And can't forget the eyebrow wax. ; ) It's just a 2 day, one overnight trip, but I will enjoy it. I can barely wait to check into my hotel room and jump on that big fluffy white bed. My dad's picking us up from the airport. And the kids can't wait to see grandpa again.

First time using our hotel vouchers: As you know, because of the career my husband has, he has amazing benefits obviously. And I'm not even talking about the flight benefits. We also get, to stay at a lot of approved hotels in Japan. His job will pay 5,000 yen each person. So, since there are 4 of us, we can pick up... to a 20,000 yen room (about $200.00 US) and they will pay for it. We won't have to spend a dime/or a yen. We get 4 nights a year. We can stay at the Hilton in Hokkaido for example. Kyoto. You name it. Each city we have a choice of about 20 different hotels. Anyway, we have never used the hotels in Japan... vouchers before. Everyone my husband works with has used them. And we have not. What's taken us so long? I don't know. Finally, we decided....what the heck. We should start enjoying Japan too. So, we gave Branden a choice. We said...for your birthday, we can take you to an onsen and we can stay at a hotel. And go to all the cool onsen spa pools. Or we can go to Disneyland or Sea and stay at one of the 4 approved hotels that our airline will cover that are right smack dab, right near the Disney's. He has been thinking all last week, and he finally decided he wants to go to one of the Disney's. So, we booked a room already. So, for part of B's birthday present, we will be staying a night at a hotel right near Tokyo Disneyland/Sea. Having the breakfast bakery buffet the hotel offers and then head off to the Disney of his choice and spend the whole day and evening playing and riding all the rides then come home. The cost of the hotel for us. Absolutely free. We chose the room with no balcony and no oceanview because we will arrive to the hotel around 8pm-ish and so we will shower go to sleep and be waking up for Disney. So a hotel room with a view is really unnecessary. Our room costs the airline company, according to online, 17,500 yen. So under the 20,000 limit. Again we coulda picked a room with a balcony (I think that was 10 bucks extra and we would have still been under the 20,000 yen limit even) but why if we won't use it. Branden will also get a few conservative presents and stuff. But yeah...he is really looking forward to going to stay at the hotel and ride all the rides. Noah is excited too. ; )

Hair salon: Oh yeah, I went to the hair salon Wednesday morning. I had an appointment at 9:15am. I went to a new salon this time because the people who used to work at my old salon quit. So, I ended up going to the salon most of my yochien mom friends go to. I was nervous at first about going to a new salon, but I loved it. The lady was really nice. She talked my ear off. She was really friendly. I showed her a picture of what I wanted and she gave me that exactly.
This was the picture I showed her ( I just like the hair). I said I needed it straightened, with one of those Japanese thermal straightenings. And a cut. My hair was so long. It was way below my bra straps. It was REALLY long. Like so long it would cover your boobs type long. She was very honest and I appreciate that. She said, if I make it stick straight fronm root to ends, it won't flip up like that. So, she suggested a straightening on top and middle and a perm with near soda can sized big fat rollers for the ends. So it would indeed flip. I agreed completely. So, she shampooed me first and then she chopped off about geeze..longer then my foot. My feet are size 9/size 25cm. And I'd say she chopped off about that amount of length of my hair. It was shocking. But good shocking. I needed something different and I hadn't had "the rachel" in years so, why not. Plus I like that hair style on me. Yes, I flip flop from all one length to the Rachel every other year, I know. And have even gone sleek bob a few times too. So, anyway...I was there from 9:15am until 1:30pm when it was time to pick up Noah. I was so bored at the salon that long. But she chatted me up a lot, plus I did bring a very good book with me and knocked off a 150 pages. And she also brought me hot coffee in this amazing ceramic cup and dish. And someone came and massaged my neck and shoulders and that felt great too. When Noboru came home...he was pleasantly surprised. And has been calling me "hi gorgeous"....even on the telephone ever since Tuesday. ; ) He's a sweatheart. ; ) He truly knows what a wife wants to hear. Think I'll keep him. ; ) The hair stylist sent me a postcard. I received it in the mail said thank you for coming and look forward to seeing you next time. I loved getting that today. And it's those little extra touches..the reason I will definitely go back in the future. She also gave me her card when I left Wednesday. So, yep, I think it's safe to say...I have a new hairstylist. : )
What else....Oct 10th is the community/town undokai. I enjoy going to Branden's undokai. I will enjoy going to Noah's undokai. They are my children and I love them so. But the community undokai Oct. 10th? I just don't get that undokai at all. It's not all that interesting. I think Branden's class performs one musical number. And a few selected kids will run. But otherwise we will sit and sit and watch other peoples kids do undokai and the JA does undokai/sports day then too so watching them is interesting. but yeah...not so interesting this community undokai. And...if you miss it, your child will be marked abscent. So...we will go.
Noah's undokai is Oct 17th. Mitsuko has now said she may or may not be able to come. Frankly I'm okay either way. Just let me know ahead of time so I can make something special if she comes. Or just make a regular dinner if she doesn't.
Movies: I am going to the movies twice this October. I am going to see Knight and Day with Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise, with my yochien mom friends. the Jogo-san, Nimiki-san or Namiki-san (sp?) and a few other mommy's, maybe 1 or 2 more people. Date hasn't been set yet but the plan is in motion. And I am also going to see a movie with my neighbor Rumi-san and our dear friend Kaya-san (they are very good friends and have been for a long time and then I met Kaya-san since our son's were in the same class at yochien. Meaning Branden and her son. We realized years ago we all knew eachother... us 3 so we've 3 gone bowling that I blogged about, to karaaoke that I have blogged about and most recently we went to have Indian for lunch, that I also blogged about) They are both really nice ladies. And I think we might be going to see, Biohazard aka, Resident Evil for you Americans. ; ) Unless we see something else....but that plan is in the works too. I think we will go to that on October 12th?
I am sorry this post is longer then Santa Claus's good and naughty list! I am sorry. ; ) It's just I had to much to catch up on. I guess long story short would be....I have been rearranging the boys closets, getting them Fall/Winter ready. The house too, including the bedding, and the Fall wreath, and pumpkin lights etc. I have 2 more undokais coming up. 2 trips planned. My hair was chopped off. And I am going to 2 different movies with some really amazing people/friends. I look forward to my morning outside chats with the fabulous grandma next door as we hang our clothes. She honestly make me smile every morning. Hmm, okay I guess that's about it. : )
And what about today....this Friday? I made a big pot of chili concarne on the stove this afternoon. Texas style chili. As soon as I pick up B from school in about 10 minutes, I will come home and bake the cornbread (from a box but still yumm : )
Have a wonderful weekend everyone. : )


JY said...

Gosh busy busy! Enjoy your trip to Guam, eat lots of good food and all that! Ha ha...
Yeah I think your husband is a keeper..better keep him! ha ha ha.... I know what you mean about the town undokai's. Boring as you know what! *sigh*, but do go and get it over with....

Gina said...

Thanks JY for what you said about the hubster. : ) And yes the town undokai's so boring. @_@ Ha ha ha. ; )

Your dad said...

Congratulations on your many household chore accomplishments. You certainly have been busy as a beaver. You deserve a break for sure. I can't wait to see you, Branden and Noah when you arrive to Guam. Too bad Noboru can't come this time, he deserves a break too. Noboru stays so busy just keeping up with the yard work besides his full time job. Love dad

Gina said...

Thanks dad, we can't wait to see you either. : )

Sarah@mommyinjapan said...

Congratulations on getting the closets done. I start tomorrow! One nice thing about girls (especially now that they're older) is that they LOVE trying on whatever clothes I hand them and my younger girls are always thrilled to get hand me downs. They can remember Emi or Misaki wearing the clothes and they feel special. I know it won't last long but I enjoy it now! Wish me luck!

Gina said...

Good luck on the closets for tomorrow Sarah. And you're absolutely right about the young ones liking the hand me downs. That's the same way here too. It's sort of like a special sibling bond thing or something. Branden likes when I open up the box for Noah, he says..."I remember I used to wear that." or.... "Oh I used to really like this." or "Noah, you'll love was my favorite" And Noah's, if B loved it he'll like it too. LOL. The really special things for B, I do save for him and same for Noah. But the majority of it, they share totally. Plus it saves money.

You and Chikara and your beautiful girls, please have a wonderful weekend over there you guys. : )
And good luck on that closet stuff again...that's hard work. : )

Mariely said...

Good Morning Gina!

Wow all those chores seemed to keep you busy :) I remember when my Mom would get all our summer clothes packed up and stored away, and bring out all the winter clothes to use for the season. My Mom is a huge fan of big Tupperware containers >_<

I think it's so awesome that you're taking your oldest to Disney, and that you gave him the choice :) How lucky you are to get those awesome deals on hotels. The farthest I've been from the US is England and France and Mexico, so I rarely to get travel, just if it's here in Texas! I'm sure the haircut looks really cute on you :) Is your hair naturally curly? I hate having to straighten mine like every two days, I try not to straighten it to much because I'm scared of getting burnt ends >_<

Woohoo for Texas style chili! Have you ever had hot links baked in barbecue sauce and served on a bun, kind of like a hot dog? I don't know if it's a Texas thing but they're soooo good! You should give them a try. Hope you have a good weekend!


Austina said...

talk about being busy! but as you said, it's a good busy. you're hubby is the best! wish all men were like him :P

yay for trips! i can't wait to read those posts! :D

off topic, how did you learn your Japanese? it seems like you're darn near fluent what with you talking with your neighbors and yochien moms. i can hardly keep up a simple conversation with my in-laws, let alone talk to a complete stranger.

Thanks for sharing! :)

Gina said...

Good morning Mariely.

Oh you are so right that clothes stuff was hard work. You're mom is so smart to use those big Tupperware containers. Heck if we had those here, that's what I'd be using too, for sures. : )
My hair is naturally very very lightly wavy. More straight then wavy, but the wave is there but really really slightly. I really liked the slight wave when I lived in Denver, because the airs dry, so it stayed normal looking. ; ) But here in Japan my slightly wavy hair gets very frizzy. A lot of my non Japanese friends here in Japan have mentioned the same thing about the frizz. I don't know why that is. Hmm. : ) So, I just get mine straightened every 6 month's. : )

I have eaten those hot links. Those are so so good. Hmm you guys sure have great food in Texas. ;P

Have a wonderful weekend over there okay. ; )

Gina said...

Hi Austina. And thanks. : )

About speaking Japanese. I didn't really speak more then a few basic words when I first moved here. You know, just like good morning and stuff. ; ) When my oldest started yochien is when my language took off. Because I started "needing" to use it on a daily basis. Before that point, I was just home with a toddler and really didn't need to learn Japanese (horrible to admit I know, shame on me). *But* once Branden started yochien is when I really started using it. It helped that I wasn't really shy. Granted I made flubs and verbal mistakes all over the place at first. : ) But I kept trying. Often it looked like I was playing a game of charades then talking, ha ha ha. I made quite a few Japanese girlfriends at the yochien. And they wanted to be my friend whether I could understand them 100% or not. And I never gave up. So...and years later. It got a bit better, a tad better there. I am still not totally 100% fantastic. But I am so so much better then when I first came here. Also, I am pretty I do learn so much while, doing my errands even.: )

When I first moved here for example, I would feel stress or frustration if I couldn't find what I was looking for at a grocery store for example and I couldn't communicate to the store workers so I often left empty handed. : ( But just last week....I didn't find something I was looking for at the store and I without hestitation stopped the lady/worker at the store...politely asked what I was looking for and got it. And occured to me after the I just did that all in Japanese...go me!!! ; )

Every once in a while I will catch myself and surprise my own self I am doing this or saying that in Japanese. Especially since I was honestly pure crapola at speaking Japanese when I first arrived. And even now, like I said...I do pretty okay, I can do mostly everything, I need to get done... in Japanese but I am still not 100% by any means. And I still make whoppers of mistakes every once in a while even still.; ) But the good parts are stuff like...I look forward to going to the hair salon and don't feel nervous about talking and carrying on a conversation with the stylist in Japanese. It's okay now....but man when I first arrived. It was nerves and frustration city for me. ; )

I know you are moving here next year. When you come, just take things easy. Be at your own pace. And you will get it. You already are living overseas so I am sure you are so prepared for doing the whole second language thing already. But it'll come. ; )

Austina said...

omg, what a long reply! thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do that. it really helped a lot! *hugs* :)

i guess i'll just have to see what happens when i get over there. if our plans don't change, we'll be over there in a little over 6 months...! sigh, can't imagine... ~_~;;

Gina said...

No problem. : ) I knew sorta what I wanted to reply/say and I didn't wanna just give you a 1 liner unhelpful type response.; ) So, I waited until the kids went to sleep and stuff so I could sit down and give a proper reply. ; ) I'm glad you liked it. And goodness only 6 more month's. That's not long at all. : ) Good night.

Kelsey said...

Hey you have been/will be busy!!!!
I have to say I totally agree with you on the dryer. I have the Sanyo CD-ST60 and love it! But our new apt doesn't have space to mount the dryer above the washer, so we have to leave the dryer on the balcony (which Yamada says is ok, still I wanted to put it inside the house!)

I totally love love my dryer. We were looking at some washer/dryer units, but that makes sense that you can dry one load and then have one washing at the same time!

I also love the japanese straight perm. I get one every four or five months and my hair looks fab! Love it. It does make your hair stick straight tho. But I love the wash and go with it! I don't have deal with my natural curly mop!

Can I ask where you bought the boys cute polo pony shirts? I wanted one like that, but can never find them online. OMG have you seen the cute Halloween clothes on ON? I love their seasonal tshirts!

Take care and have fun in Guam~~~we will be going after we get settled in the new place. (Of course, we aren't lucky enough to have the great benefits like you and ur hubby...) I'm looking forward to your shopping posts! Love those~~~take care!

Gina said...

Good morning Kelsey. I was in Guam. So that's why I couldn't push your comment through faster. But as soon as I got home last night I pushed it right through. : )

You know a few years back. I was also thinking about getting the combo washer/dryer unit too. And my husband asked some of his friends/coworkers. They all seemed to agree that the dryer part of the duo unit took forever to dry the clothes. And something about lint build up or something weird the guy was talking about. Was mentioned to us. From it being a washer/dryer combo. And like they said it took a longlong time to dry. And I'm not by any means bashing those. It just didn't seem like a thing for our family is all. I personally like having a load in both at the same time. The dry time is quick. And I can fold one load and throw another in. It's just easier and more efficient for me this way is all. ; )

I love the straight perms too. I usually get it from top to ends stick straight. This time my ends flip up. But the rest is still stick straight. I'm glad you mentioned you get yours done every 4-5 month's. I'd like to see if I could get mine done 3 times a year versus twice a year. Thanks for mentioning that.

The Polo shirts. The ones with the big pony's. The one Noah's wearing that used to be B's. I got the long sleeve white one and short sleeve navy one in Denver. And the sweatshirt I got in Hawaii. Branden's now size ones I got in Guam. They usually have them at the Ralph Lauren shops for little kids. I haven't checked for women though. I've seen the black one with pink pony one for breast cancer at Ralph Lauren online, I think though.

I'll go check out the Halloween stuff today (at ON) Thanks for the heads up.

And congratulations on moving. That isn't an easy job at all. But goodness it'll be worth it in the end. : ) And heck...Guam will always be there. And plus traveling is so darn tootin' expensive. ; ) I wish airfares would get cheaper for everyone. : (

Kelsey said...

Thanks for the long reply, Gina! I think it's awesome that your dad is so close for you and the family. I wish my parents lived closer!
Actually, I'm so excited about Guam, because you always post amazing pics of the hotels, restaurants and shopping!!! I'm planning to gorge myself and my wallet, when I arrive!
I was deadset on getting a combo too, especially after the Yamada man said it was the best option. I have also heard that they take forever to dry as well, so I was just confused. My dad was saying that drum types use less water and clean better, so now again, I'm like "which one should I buy"??!
Finally I think I will get a reg. type washer and keep my dryer. I love love my dryer! I couldn't live with out it and I would be so upset if we got a combo and the dryer part didn't actually dry!
Btw how do you get the lint off the filter in your Sanyo? I always vacuum it off. Any pointers?
I will check the online shops for the Ralph Lauren tee. The breast cancer one sounds good since some ppl in my family are survivors.
Omg I'm addicted to the ON/Gap site~~| ordered some old school basketball tees for my SO there and some cute stirrup leggings for me. (I already got a Halloween witch tee!) the kids stuff is fab and very good quality IMO.
Thanks again, I love your posts!
Have a good wkend and take care!!!!!

Patricia said...


I love reading your blog! I just found it a few weeks ago as I was missing Japan and googled for a food recipe and your blog popped up! I think I really enjoy reading now b/c I have 2 boys as well (almost 4 and 2.5) and I love some of your ideas for managing your home with boys. This was a great entry, I am in the process of moving them into the same room and to share closet/dresser space so your tips about winter hats on summer shorts will come in handy!

I have lived in Japan off and on 3 years in my life and it has been 6 years since I was last there (too long!!!) I am so enjoying your photos of food, activities, the grocery, I am so ready for a visit! My husband and I live in Las Vegas, NV now but I am contemplating a trip this summer to Japan to stay for 3/4 months with my boys with some friends.

Anyway just wanted to say hello and thanks for taking the time to post so many photos and details to your everyday routine. It is a little vacation for me whenever I have five minutes with a cup of coffee....oh how nice a visit to a kissaten would be!


Gina said...

Hi Kelsey, your dad's right, the drum ones do use less water. That's a definite pro. Decisions decisions. You'll get a great one no matter which one you pick. : )

Your have breast cancer in your family? Me too. : ( My mom. Breast cancer is really close to my heart.

Gina said...

Tricia thank you SO much for commenting! And how cool, you're a mama of 2 boys as well. Age 4 and 2.5. I bet you are kept on your toes. : ) but man it is rewarding though.

You used to live in Japan, that's really cool. And I think a trip here this Summer would be great. Especially since you haven't been here in a while.

Have a great weekend. : )