Monday, June 28, 2010

The perfect weekend!!!

After the week, I had, this was exactly the type of weekend I needed. We stood home and hung out as a family but also did some light gardening. Both Branden and Noah played with friends in the neighborhood. We BBQ'ed and basically we all felt completely recharged. This first pic...the flowers we just pruned. So that they could grow back fuller and with more flowers. In just 1-2 days the flowers are already budding with new flowers and indeed coming back fuller. Meanwhile, I am not sure if you can see the butterfly at the flower in this picture. But he was wildly attracted to the flowers and my presence didn't seem to bother him at all, so I stood there watching this butterfly fly around the flowers a bit before going into the house. Also, ahem. You know how you have a male and a female flower blossom in the zucchini, well after reading online, we did what they suggested and got a Q-tip and "helped" the whole pollination between the male and female blossoms along with a Q-tip and sort of going between each of the blossoms. The website said the zucchini should grow way bigger after doing that and it actually did grow quite a bit after giving mother nature a little push in the right direction.
Finally we made our way to the mall and picked up Branden a bigger size swim towel. Now he has 2 which is what he needs for swimming at both swim school and elementary school. Also, this year for the 3rd grade they now have a higher level and it's called the "Super dolphin" and you have to test to get in, but he tested and he's a super dolphin now. And they elected a captain for the super dolphin and it was B. ; ) So Branden is actually the team captain this year at the elementary school in the super dolphin level. He was quite happy about that.
Saturday, Branden and Noah played with a whole bunch of little boys from the neighborhood. E-Kun, Kouiki-kun, Keita-kun. The boys next door, the boy next door's little brother, Go-kun (sp?), Ako-chan, so many kids. Then around 4pm or so they all sorta disbanded, some went home. Or broke off into littler smaller groups. And so K-kun and the other K-kun and Branden and Noah went into the backyard. I gave them all a popsicle. Meanwhile we started up the grill.
At 5pm, the music played in the neighborhood telling all the kids to go home. ; ) And then that was it. It was about time for us to eat as well.
A simple weekend BBQ.
A grape soda with ice. And some dinner.
Hi gorgeous....hi Noah, enjoying your dinner? ; )
Hi sweet pea, looks like you had a ball with your friends today. Time to dig in and get started with dinner.
What's coming up this week? This week looks mild. It doesn't look completely busy yet not completely with nothing to do either.
Tuesday/tomorrow. Branden has a medical exam. All 3rd graders are to meet at the town clinic for a full health check first thing tomorrow morning. Which they will also be drawing blood from the kids. We were given a note last month and we had a choice to allow our kids to do this or not. It just a health screening, so we said yes. They will also be checking their cholesterol etc etc. I had never heard of a kid getting a cholesterol check this young. But then this is a different country then how I grew up. I gather from what Branden says, 5 of his classmates will not be taking the medical tests. But the rest of the 2 third grade classes are. We were given a note last Friday. Do not feed your child breakfast beforehand because they will be testing for things like sugar levels and cholesterol etc. So, instead they asked us to send them with a "breafast obento" I have made many many obento before. However I have never made a breakfast obento before in my life. So tomorrow morning, I will be a bit busy, making Branden a breakfast obento and Noah a regular lunch obento. @_@ ha ha ha. It's okay. I really don't mind.
Wednesday is my cancer check. I think I'll bring my Oprah book since I'm still mid through it now. And I'm sure I'll have a bit of a wait until my name is called. And it'll keep me occupied and my mind occupied. Throw myself into a good book. That's the plan. ; )
Thursday, July 1st in the morning is my date with Noboru, we're going to the movies to see SATC 2, and same day but at 3:50pm is the parent teacher conference with Noah's teacher at the yochien.
And July 2nd, is another games meeting. I think this week is going to be a pretty great week, a little busy, but fun though. : )

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My week in a nutshell!

So last Sunday evening after dinner, and bath time and the kids bedtime, I was starting to feel like I was going to be starting my period soon. Sorry TMI. Not really cramps just yet (that was the day after). Just felt no energy really at all. According to last month's calendar I *should* be starting this week anyway. Which was a good thing because I do have that cancer check next week and somehow period and pap smear just don't mix. ; ) So, definitely getting it out of the way this week would be great for me. However when I woke up Monday, is when I started to feel some mild crampage. Got the kids breakfast and also obento made. And myself ready to go pull weeds at the yochien. I wanted and wished to just lay down for the day. Watch some TV, wear a pair of comfy jammies. But nope, no such luck. ; ) I popped an Advil instead and Noah and myself went to the yochien together. I walked him to his class and then met up with the other mom's in the parking lot. With gardening gloves in hand, I started right in on the weed pulling. I wore a tampon just in case, because ummm didn't want to have any embarrassing accidents while there. @_@ Thank goodness nothing like that happened but you know....just saying. The Jogo-san, some granny and I together did this one section/area and we pulled 3 huge bags worth of weeds. We did so good, we really kicked butt. By that time the Advil had kicked in somewhat and I was feeling a bit better. Many people were talking about grabbing a bite afterwards and I usually will go too. But with the whole pms-y feeling, I really just wanted to go home. : ( So, when we had finished and otskarasama-ed everyone back and forth. ; ) I hopped in my car and went home. I snuggly bugglied myself on the couch and got a little rest, when the Advil kicked in 100%. I vacuumed, and prepped for dinner but that was it. Obviously swung around and picked up both kids at the kid picking up time and all. : )

Tuesday: I had gathered all of Noah's outgrown clothes and got them ready to give to 2 of my good friends at the yochien. 2 of my friends, both of them have daughters who are pink badges. So they're in the same grade as Noah. However they both have 1 younger brother each. And I see them everyday at the yochien. Have gone to restaurant with them before of course, and one of them, their daughter also goes to the same swim club both my boys go to. And so naturally I feel really good about giving them Noah's clothes I mean, I see them irl every single day, 5 days a week. And they also wanted them, when asked so it also helped me too....and we were talking about how fast kids grow and they barely have enough time to use them before they're outgrown. Anyway Tuesday I got the clothes ready to give to my 2 girlfriends little boys. And yep, I still had that PMS-y feeling all Tuesday btw. But, sorta blew off Monday, so I did manage to get the house cleaned Tuesday and the clothes sorted. The plan was....I would hand the clothes off Tuesday when all of us picked up our kids in the afternoon.
The biggest pile of clothes you ever did see. Some with the tags still on. That white Gap windbreaker on the left wrapped in plastic. I ordered 1 of those 2 years ago, Gap made a mistake in my order and sent me 2 of everything. I did contact Gap and tell them, what should I do? I do live overseas, should I send the stuff back to them? They said keep it. It was their mistake. So, that's why my friends ended up with a few brand new things.
Noah's top 2 favorite colors, yellow or orange.....2 yellow Gap windbreakers. 1 yellow striped shirt. This used to be one of his favorites. And yes, a few of his fave fave things I am tucking away for when he's older. ; ) So he can see.
Swim suits, I know those 2 little boys can get some good usage from them hopefully. And the rashguard. Again orange one of Noah's favorite colors. ; )
Lots of hats, even had more hats.
Those Disney tops from Tokyo Disneyland or Sea are always so cute but so expensive and then quickly outgrown. Grrr. This way, I know another little boy or two can hopefully wear them a few more times. ; )
Jammies. Gap, Old Navy etc.
Madras shorts Noah outgrew but he has bigger ones from B now...... and those Gap shorts with the letter G. Noah loved those so so much. If he could fit or squeeze into those G jean shorts now he'd probably try. Ha ha ha.
A Gap lined raincoat ...and a Gap puff vest. And so much more. We met, I handed the bags of clothes off. And they were really happy which in turn... made me even happier by giving them. And another plus/good side is, I got to declutter. So a win win for us all... for sure. Switching subjects... ; )
Tuesday, after I brought the boys home. And after we had dinner, the boys and I hopped into my car and off to the conbini we went and we came back with some dessert. Blueberry cheesecake icecream. We enjoyed these quite a bit.
I ordered this skirt from an online shop called Orvis.
It came and I was pretty happy.
My preppy madras skirt and a really similar type madras shorts but different colors. But really cute. It was my first time ever ordering from this shop, I was pretty happy with the quality and their customer service.
Also ordered a small order from Old Navy.
I picked up these extremely cute pineapple jammie bottoms. Some equally cute butterfly jammie shorts, a night gown, and an apron with an American flag on it and a swimsuit cover. You know, so I can walk down the street after swimming and maybe grab some lunch for when we go to Hawaii. It's sorta like a black striped dress but it's a swimsuit cover.

And finally...sorry for the boring post today. A few basic tees.
Wednesday morning, I woke up, got the hot pot heated up so I could have a cup of hot instant coffee while I checked my emails. It was around 5:30am. I knew I was going to go upstairs and wake up B at 6am. And wake up Noah at 7am. However, I have this little 30 minute window to myself to email check... surf the net, drink hot coffee do whatever for 30 mins. And guess what? Aunt flo came as I was stirring my coffee. @_@ Thank goodness I got to the bathroom in time. But took an Advil. Made sure Branden got breakfast and all packed up. Woke Noah and in his jammies, we dropped off B. Came home. By now (body wise) I felt horrible (my tummy, yeouch, yuck). Please Advil kick in. Hurry please, however would you believe, I had to hurry and get myself to the games meeting that morning. Now I really felt like lying down. It was pouring rain Wednesday, which made me happy because that meant no hanging laundry outside. ; ) So, threw clothes in the washer then the dryer, made Noah's lunch and off we went. Last year we made little purses/presents for winning at the games. However this Wednesday we made decorations for the games instead. I cut and cut and cut and cut some more. And then I glued and glued and glued some more as well. I glued, beetles, watermelon, fish all sorts of decorations. At some point the Advil finally kicked in some. Thank you, thank you! : ) And we worked right up until the minute the kids were about to let out. My Advil was working... it was about 75% working, so I still didn't feel 100% back to normal. Noah and I went home. I made Noah some lunch. Then I folded the laundry from the dryer. Prepped some veggies and meat for dinner, threw the prepped stuff into the fridge, made the rice, set the timer. Then I had a toasted myself an English muffin and laid down on the couch. Noah laid on one half of the couch and I laid on the other side. It's a big L shaped type couch, so there's plenty of room. We watched TV together. And when the Advil had finally kicked in 100% ....bliss! Phew! How I could handle, cramps, weed pulling, making decorations and surfing the crimson wave all at the same time this week. You sure got me. You know some weeks are easy peasy for me. While some weeks are tough and just trying to get through them as painlessly as possible. I'm the same as everyone else. ; ) That was sorta the Monday through Wednesday I had this week. Now I feel completely fine and back to normal. Even though my period is definitely winding down and on the way out. But wow...Monday through Wednesday this week? How did I get through. ; ) Oh well....I made it out okay. That's the good thing. So anyway...back to the story.... after dinner Wednesday, I realized I had to bake something for the next day. Thursday's plan go to the Jogo-san's house. Namiki-san was bringing minestrone soup and rare cheesecake. Jogo-san was bringing sandwiches and garlic bread and bagels. And I was bringing something. Hmmm. What to bring, what to bring. Wednesday was my first day of my period and feeling quite blah and yuck. But had to think. Came up with cookies. So after dinner Wednesday evening, I baked some cookies. M&M cookies.
I brought these cookies on this platter. Thursday at 11am. Thursday morning, woke up and did not want to procrastinate that Advil, so first thing I did Thursday was take myself an Advil. Right away. ; ) It kicked in rather quickly. And I actually wasn't feeling so badly anymore at all. Mon-Wed was sorta yucky feeling cramps wise and the whole bit. But Thursday I was fine. Absolutely fine.... I managed to get both Branden and Noah ready quickly and easily. Obento and breakfast ready. Badabing badaboom! I had a few hours before I had to be there, the boys were already at school. So, I jumped in the shower and slowly got myself ready. Then I did some laundry. And watched the news before I left to the Jogo-san's house. It was my first time ever being at the Jogo-san's house. Though we see each other all the time...go to the movies or out to lunch. But first time to go to her house. She built a new house a couple years ago. 1 or 2 years ago, maybe. She has a very nice and lovely home. She has a rather nice garden. Her vegetables are way bigger then mine. Perhaps she started her vegetables a month or two before mine? She has eggplant, so many different types of lettuce for salad. She recommended me to try to grow some lettuce. She said not so many bugs and that was nice to hear so perhaps I'll try some lettuce myself, I really enjoyed seeing her lovely plants. Rosemary...so so many. She's quite a seasoned gardener, meanwhile I am quite the novice gardener. ; ) We talked for an eternity about anything and everything. Movies we've recently seen. Which characters are our kids into. Gardening. Soccer. Delivering our children at the hospital. Did we have an enema at the hospital for the delivery. I said, for B, no he was born in Hawaii and it wasn't a forced thing an enema. And then we moved onto Noah and I said, they had suggested enema and that was something I really wasn't willing to do. And we were laughing quite hard about it. Then the fact they each had totally different types and shapes of enema and so that made us laugh even harder. So yeah...to enema or not to enema. ; ) Good grief. We were dying laughing so many times. BTW (by the way) my Advil worked the entire time, I had zero cramps. I felt so completely back to normal and back to my old self. A complete relief. Monday through Wednesday almost a complete buzzkill. ; ) Period and cramps wise I mean. Thursday....I felt fantastic.
Came home Thursday. Noboru was having the day off, so what was Noboru doing Thursday? He was fishing. He even sent me cute keitei emails of the fish he caught. So he was happy getting out and getting to do what he really liked in his free time and I meanwhile got to catch up with my friends in my free time too, meaning while the boys were at school. So it was a sorta cool day. We did all meet up at home. We all enjoyed dinner, Noboru told us about fishing. And I told them how gorgeous the Jogo-san's house was, what a lovely gardener she is. I left all the juicy girly stories out. Nope, no silly enema stories for hubby. Our last 2 June dvd's came from Tsutaya discas. Hannah Montana the movie and G Force. ; ) We'll watch them this weekend.
Which brings me to Friday. No cramps at all. I did 2 loads of laundry got it hanging outside on the jungle gym. Noboru is the trash dumper in our household. yep, he always dumps the trash that's so sweet. Anyway Noah had a half day yesterday. So no lunch. So, I went outside to see the herbs. And guess what I spy with my little eye. Do you see it? It's on the basil. I'll give you a clue..but just a small one. Ribbit ribbit. ; ) Do you see it?
Okay how about now? As our dear friend kermit the frog used to say and sing..."it isn't easy being green." ; ) His little neck started pulsating, I knew he was nervous...:"does the human see me?" Yes I did see the little frog. and no I had zero intention of harming him. However I did take his pic. And them I backed away and let him sit in peace. ; )
After dropping off Noah, I headed to this very old grocery store. They have the cheapest vegetables here. Hmm, if someone were to ask me, how many different stores I shop at? I don't think I could answer that one. I go all over, but not every week but it depends on my mood I guess which one I go to. : ) I have a butcher, then my favorite beef shop, then my fave veggie shop which is pictured here. Then Japan Meat/Joyful Honda, then Cainz my regular shop...not to mention the drugstore which is where I get my jasmine tea at. @_@ Yikes. No wonder I say....I zip here and zip there. I'm all over the place. Ha ha ha. As I was about to lock my car with the little automatic remote car key lock thingy and suddenly..... There was an *almost* accident. Between 3 cars, they all almost slammed into eachother. So 3 cars all screeched their tires and you just see 3 cars trying to all merge into 1 single road, who's going to go first? They all wanted to! And all 3 of them were very stubborn not going to budge type people. So, all 3 cars really slammed on their horns rather long. Everyone stared, myself included, all us passerby's. And the 3 cars stood blocking this 3 pronged road that was now merging into 1 road, nobody wanting to give in! So you have 3 cars not giving way. People even came out of their businesses to look at all the commotion. This was not our tiny town, it was the bigger but still very country small city Noah goes to yochien in. Those 3 blared their horns so long, I was even in the store with cart and I still heard them blaring their horns. 3 people....stubbornly not wanting to budge. Three people all wanting to go first, not 2nd or 3rd. What happened in the end? You know, I don't know.....
The cars were long gone by the time I left the store.
2 heads of lettuce for 100 yen for both. Otherwise they were 58 yen each or for both 2 for 100 yen. Thank goodness for cheap country living. I've seen the prices of lettuce in the bigger cities in Japan, 198 yen a head. @_@ So, yeah 2 for 100, right up my alley, means lots of yummy simple salad for us this week. ; ) That fresh cut watermelon 230 yen each. corn 88 yen each. Cainz had them 150 yen each. So this was a way cheaper buy. Bell peppers 60 yen a pack. Which is a great deal. Carrots 60 yen a pack. Bean sprouts 8 yen. Zucchini 58 yen each, so I bought 2. I think I spent 1100 yen for a weeks worth of veggies. And the potatoes, I had from Rumi-san, she brought me even another fine beautiful batch this week, which I, in return gave her some M&M cookies as well. So, I was quite happy with my weekly veggie bill. After this, I ran to the 100 yen shop/the Daiso. And then to pick up Noah. And from there we headed to Cainz. Where I did our weekly shoping. Anyone else shop with a calculator? I use the function on my keitei every week. Noboru has told me...you really don't need to do that, but I like to know how much it is and stay under my own price limit I set for myself.
The rice fields are so green right now and growing...they're really beautiful right now. A view near my house as Noah and I were heading home. Traffic is zero, which is why I can actually pull over and take a pic.
With the warmer weather...I had to get many cider popsicles. A cheaper generic version of the gari gari. However no chunky bits of ice inside but really cheap 98 yen a pack. And really good and perfect to stay cool on hot days. Thought we'd give them a try. ; ) Some popsicles in the tube. And some new jelly's. Pineapple jelly's, melon, strawberry etc. They're good to freeze too.
Cards and e cards and presents are starting to come in for Noah. My dad sent this one to Noah this past week. Noah loved this card!
My dad is very generous with both Branden and Noah because they are his only grandchilden as I am an only child. He wants me to get the $200. US exchanged into yen and then to let Noah decide what he wants for his birthday. Thanks dad. : ) I save all of the cards both my kids get, and that way they can look at them when they're older and read the messages left.
And the card has a very cool birthday badge that will let everyone know....when it's Noah's birthday and he's 5! Though he has to wait until July 7th to wear that. ; )
Do you remember how in February or so, I was able to buy Branden a raincoat from Gap but they sold out in Noah's size. That was a bummer. But anyway....my mom sent Noah a Gap electronic gift certificate 2 weeks ago. So, while I didn't use even half of it so far. They are now selling new raincoats at Gap online and so I picked this one up for Noah in size 5T, and it's lined and stuff. So, this raincoat is coming for Noah not sure if it will get here in time for his birthday or not but it is coming. And a pair of PJ's are coming for him as well. Thanks mom. ; ) So many people love you Noah! ; )

Anyway...in a nutshell I guess. My week was *very* productive, I pulled weeds, sorted Noah's outgrown clothes and decluttered. Made many decorations at the games meeting. Dealt with cramps and pms and whatnots. And even had time to bake a batch of cookies, M&M's ones. And visit at a friends house. Phew! In short, I was pretty busy this week. Which is why my blog was so quiet this week. Gomen gomen.

The day we are heading to one of the Disney's has been set....we are getting excited for that. That is our gift to Noah for his birthday. Along with a few other things.
Noah received his passport!!! He received it yesterday, on Friday! And we barely turned in the application the Thursday before! So took 6 tiny days, not counting the weekend of course. If you want to count the weekend, it took a mere 8 days! Talk about super fast! But then they have always processed our applications and given us our passports this fast though. Anyway right on the US embassy for being so fast!!!
What is today's plan? Noboru's mowing the backyard right now. And we're just going to stay home and BBQ today. And then later this evening showers, then jammies and popcorn and family movie night tonight. G Force for us this evening. Hope it's good. ; ) Have a fantastic weekend everyone. Enjoy! ; )

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day 2010! : )

Friday Noah brought home some homemade pressies for Father's Day! First thing this morning, Noah presented them and boy was Noboru smiling getting these.
A froggy photo frame that Noah made himself. That's a pic of Noah, his best pal H and their close pal S. Thick as thieves they are...really really good friends!!! ; )
Aww, this will surely make Noboru smile every time he sees this.
And a portrait of Noboru drawn by Noah!!! @_@ We all said..."wow that looks exactly like him!" ; ) This caused Noah some pretty big smiles this Sunday morning. He felt pretty proud of himself. We got a chuckle out of it ourselves. And Branden, he doesn't get to make stuff like this now that he's in the 3rd grade but it doesn't mean the sentiment wasn't there. First thing he said this morning was..."Happy Father's day daddy." He also helped Noboru pull some weeds in the backyard this morning and that thrilled Noboru like you wouldn't believe. French toast for us this morning. We had leftover curry for lunch. And I have homemade chicken parmesan baking in the oven as I type. Chicken parmeasan, pasta and garlic bread tonight.
A note to my own dad....I love you dad!!! And I'll call you this evening after dinner. Happy Father's day. Also, Noboru sent his own dad, a family photo of the 4 of us, in a really cute picture frame.
Tomorrow morning, I didn't mention it earlier because I forgot....man good thing I checked my calendar because tomorrow I have to pull the weeds at the yochien tomorrow morning with the other mother's. So Monday pull weeds at the yochien, Wednesday help make games at the yochien. Anyway happy Sunday everyone! : )

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friday's fajita dinner!!! : )

Friday I spent a great deal of the morning finishing off the house getting it cleaned before the weekend. I channel surfed, talked to my dad. Emailed some friends. And then I made some cookies. Cookies for Noboru for Father's Day and some cookies for Rumi-san because she was so kind to give us some veggies the other day.
Some Friday's... Branden gets out of school at 2:30pm and that time for me is great because it gives me time to rush down to the swim school and meet up with Noboru and Noah and watch him swim. However Branden got out at 3:30pm this Friday and that does not allow me time to rush to the swim school and watch Noah. So, after picking up Branden on a pouring down rainy type Friday afternoon around 3:30pm, I started in on dinner. Fajitas.
Man did these smell good. I also made in a separate pan, dark meat fajitas for Noboru since he prefers his that way.
By the time, Noboru and Noah came home from swimming school, I had finished making dinner. Noboru brought home a bottle of both coke and cider. Noah unpacked his swimming bag and came back down for dinner. Once again smelling like a swimming pool. ; ) We enjoyed our Friday fajita dinner so much. We actually had half of everything left over and so we had fajitas for lunch today. The weather today...it's rained off and on since real early this morning, but hasn't rained since around 10am. What's for dinner tonight? A nice hot beef curry. Yumm. We're also planning on watching the soccer match tonight, the Netherlands vs. Japan. Have a wonderful weekend everyone! ; )