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? Well...so 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 week...so 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 think...how 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 us....you 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 know....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 huge...like 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 today...it 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. : )