Thursday, February 17, 2011

Heading to San Francisco today and then on to Los Angeles.

Good morning everyone, I didn't feel right just leaving on vacation without saying good-bye first. : ) So, anyway....today we are leaving to California. We will be flying into San Francisco. The flight is 10 hours or so long. Umm, I haven't been to the US mainland in 2 years, so this is sort of exciting for us. : ) We will leave today (Thursday) and arrive US time very early Thursday morning (yep we will have 2 Thursdays : ). Get our rental car. Check into our hotel in the San Francisco area drop off any luggage and we'll freshen up. Then we'll sight see a bit in San Francisco. Because we will be no doubt jet lagged and our days and nights will be a bit mixed up, we are assuming we'll start getting really tired around 6pm. So we're sorta planning that. Going to sleep early and we'll probably wake up ridiculously early thanks to the jet lag and wake around 3 or 4 am. We plan to leave San Francisco Friday morning around 5-6am and drive the 6 hours or so to Los Angeles. We have a hotel booked there already too. We have a lot planned on that end (Knotts Berry Farm included and a trip the the museum etc). And then a day before we leave we will again drive all the way back to San Francisco stay one last night in San Francisco before flying out. We will be gone 1 whole week. Anyway so now you'll know why my blog is quiet this coming week or if I'm not around the blogosphere you'll at least know why. We're gone for the week. : ) Anyhow...what's with the picture up above? I'll be taking a small bag, that bag of mikans with us for the long flight. I know if we don't eat them, we will throw them in the plane since you can't bring any fruit in. But more then likely the family will have these eaten in the plane. : ) I know my family they'll eat them. Which is good. Fruits good. : ) I am also making 2 trays/disposable obento full of karaage and 1 plastic disposable obento of rice balls/onigiri. For the kids when they get hungry on the flight.
And what's in here? It's the carry-on snacks.
3 curry mini senbei.
And 2 salad/salt senbei plus the 3 curry ones.
2 mini packs of strawberry chocolate chip cookies and 1 regular chocolate chip cookies.
They're all the petite series so they're small. But they'll come in handy if the kids want a snack during that long flight.
Mini donuts and those chocolates are sorta like plain M&M's. And gum and hi chews (sp) (which are a real rare treat to have for my kids). I just think it's hard on their teeth and don't want them to get cavities. But for the flight I sorta let them. They're very quiet on the plane. : )
Okay so that's all folks. Plus the karaage obentos and rice balls. I am also going to buy 4 cheeseburgers at Mc D's right before we head to the gate. So they can have those too if they want. No fries they'd get cold and greasy and yuck by that time. But the burgers they can enjoy.
Packed all up. And ready to go. Branden and Noah's mini dvd player is all charged up, they have plenty of dvd's they picked out last night. Their ds's are charged and games packed in their backpacks. My ipod broke last week. Can you believe it?! Right before a trip. My goodness! What are the odds! ; ) But I can use Branden's. I downloaded, Keri Hilson's Pretty Girl Rock and Check it Out the clean version with Will I.AM and Nick Minaj last night. Hmm, I wonder what the 2 movies in the airplane will be. I'll probably watch those knowing me.
And an extra bag for the trash. And I even have hand wipes. Phew. We're ready. The kids are packed, I'm packed. Noboru's packed.
I took this pic while I was packing for Noah. Getting his jeans and pj's and undies and sweatpants for the long drive all rounded up.
This pic has zero to do with leaving to San Francisco today. But...we went to Makuhari yesterday because a friend of Noboru's is lending him his navigation handheld device that works in the US and Japan. And Noboru wnats to use it for the drive to LA. So, we were in Makuhari anyway and Noboru then suggested why not we have pizza from Costco last night. For dinner because we were all sorta busy doing last minute stuff for the trip. So that saved me cooking. So while we were trying to make our way from the top floor we were on the escalator and saw the raincoats. Even from the escalator, Noboru mentioned this raincoat. He said...those colors reminded him of Noah. I said..what? : ) He said he wears lots of orange and yellow. Which is ture, he is right. That this would be good for him. I said he has a Gap one. But he bought this for Noah because he said it's got a longer length and will be better protection from the rain. @_@ Noboru isn't really into shopping at all. I mean at all at all. So, if he was pushing for Noah to get a raincoat. I said...why not. So, he bought this raincoat for Noah. Before we went to the bottom floor and checked out and got our pizza. : )
A size 6. I tried it on Noah and it's big but good big... he'll grow into it. He's skinny and 5, so yeah he'll grow into it. : ) Anyway...sorry if I didn't put this here. It would be all out of order if I put the pic up after the trip. It would be weird and out of order. So...doesn't have a hill of beans to do with San Francisco. But...anyway...sorry. : )
The pizza we ate last night. We whacked it in the oven and reheated it. Anyway you guys I have to go...I have to start up the oil and get the karaage frying up. Our flight leaves around 3:30pm. So it's not a morning flight. The granny next door is house sitting. And the boy next door and his mom are watching for us too. They're good house watchers. : ) We're in good hands there. Anyway I have to motor. See you all in a week. : )
PS...sorry I have not had enough time to reply to the last post comments yet. Forgive me. Now it makes sense why though right. I have been busy trying to get ready to leave. : ) I will reply after I get back though. I promise. : ) Alrighty you guys....see you all in a week. : )

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Happy Valentine's Day to those in the US. It's still Valentine's Day there. And for those of you in Japan. Happy Valentine's Day to you too. I hope yesterday was a nice Valentine's Day for you all no matter where you live. I baked these cupcakes for Noboru yesterday in the day but the boys and I decorated them last evening.
Both Branden and Noah helped me decorate them and when we finished they said..."these came out so pretty mama" I also took a pic with my keitei and sent it to Noboru who was about to head home. He said...he couldn't wait to eat them. : )
The sprinkles were chocolate which you can read it says chocolate on the left. So he did get some chocolate in there.; ) And Noboru doesn't care for overly sweet anything. So, the light strawberry cupcake and whipped cream frosting was light enough for him. He had 3 last night and 2 this morning with his coffee. The kids had munched them last night and this morning as well. I had 1 cupcake last night. Just the one. I enjoyed every single bite of it though. Ha ha ha. ; ) This morning I would have loved one...but I had a yogurt instead. Coming from a person who used to have zero will power at all. This is actually pretty impressive. : )
I loved the cup cake cups. They went perfectly with the toppings and sprinkles.
Noah enjoying one! : )
And not sure if you can read the name on the bag. It says...Branden-kun. Our doorbell rang around 8pm Sunday evening. We had already taken baths and showers. I was wearing a night tee. So, I couldn't answer the door, Noboru did. Kids were winding down about to go to sleep at 8:30pm. Anyway...it was Nozomi-chan and her mom. With Valentine's goodies for Branden. Branden thanked her and bowed and smiled. Noboru also went to the door because he had sweatpants on. I popped my head into the genkan and thanked her as well. She said they were fresh and it was raw chocolate or something so they had to be eaten right away. So...Branden ate them Sunday night and went and brushed his teeth a 2nd time. But he was very happy receiving them from her.
Many homemade things from her inside the bag. He will be getting her a fantastic gift in return while we are in the US for when White Day happens next month.
And then on Monday. Mana-chan. His classmate and also she swims with him and is also a level 1. Anyway. I have to back up. I think we might have an actual crush going on. In December. Right before Christmas break. She gave him a small note in Japanese. He still has the note. And it reads. "You are my type!!!" Branden brought it home in December. Anyway now back to V-Day....she made homemade from scratch donuts. She wrote a little lovely card inside the envelop. And she said ..I baked these for you Branden-kun. Branden's cheeks went a little red while reading the note. And I didn't want to make a big deal out of it, as to not embarrass him. I just said...how cute honey. He went upstairs and took her note and hid it away in his locked drawer on his desk. Where he keeps all his important letters he gets. ; ) Anyway...just keep this between you guys reading and me. I think a little girl has a little crush. I sort of think it's cute. I saw her on the intercom when she delivered the donuts. She had a cute little rhinestone barrette in her hair. And wearing a pink sweatshirt. She was quite the little cutie. : ) She's really short, like the shortest girl in his class but very pretty. And heck, nothing wrong with being short. : ) I'm not exactly the tallest person on the earth either. : ) I will be looking all over while in California for a present for Mana-chan.
Anyway hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's day. And if you're wondering what I got for Valentine's Day. I'll share. Noboru mentioned a V-day gift last week. And I suggested I'd prefer get my hair straightened and cut versus getting some chocolates or flowers. My hair straightening will last 4-5 months until I get regrowth. So it'll last a whole lot longer then flowers would. Do you know what I mean. So....probably a very unromantic gift. But a very useful and practical gift. And I am so happy with my V-day gift. : ) Anyway, just wanted to say....Happy Valentine's Day everyone! : )

Bits and pieces and odds and ends from the weekend. : )

This pic was taken last Friday about 30 minutes after I got home from the hair salon. It snowed off and on for our part of Chiba through the night but Saturday was gone and melted away. Also the day Noboru got his sneakers it snowed a bit that day as well, but after about 30 minutes it turned to rain. Big clumpy rain...but rain. And even this morning Tuesday...we woke up to a light sprinkling in the backyard. It's all melted now of course. But this at least gives you an idea of the weather we've been having lately.
Last Friday after taking Noah swimming. We 4 headed out to a ramen shop. Noboru had a ramen set/combo with gyoza. The kids had ramen kids sets with fried rice, ramen, dessert, drink and a toy. : ) And I had the spicy ramen but something very interesting happened. I could only eat half. See all the noodles in my bowl? I left them. That's not happened to me before. I usually can finish a lone bowl of spicy ramen. But this time I couldn't. I think with me working very hard with cutting my portions down, my stomach shrank? Or I don't know. Also, I still have not lost anymore then the 2kg. And I also have not gained it. So a 2kg loss. However, Noboru measured me with a tape measure 3 weeks ago or so. And then he measured me last Friday and I lost 3cm on my waist measurements. So, that's a really good thing, I guess. : ) Anyway enough fitness talk.....
Saturday morning I baked the boys a homemade apple pie. With the weather being very cold. And with us just going to be staying home anyways for the weekend. It sounded perfect. I made the crust...a homemade butter crust. And peeled the apples.
Some flour so the apple juices don't become runny. Thickens it up a bit. Some brown sugar and some cinnamon. And a little lemon juice.
Mixed it all up. Rolled out the crust.
Smelled so good. I had 1 slice the whole weekend. Both Branden and Noah and the hubby loved and munched it all weekend. I think it was gone by Sunday afternoon. @_@
I also asked the kids a few days earlier what would they like and they said we haven't had pizza in a long time. So, I agreed and I made the crust Saturday morning. The 4 of us, enjoyed pizza Saturday night. I had 2 slices and enjoyed every bite. : ) We watched a dvd. And just had a good time with family night last Saturday. : )
This sort of didn't happen over the weekend but I haven't posted it. I placed an order for the kiddos in mid January. I had that 30% coupon. So the stuff was ridiculously cheap. So smart buys. Thanks to the 30% off coupon.
Misc boys stuff. With a few flippies for me.
Covered the rhinestones with paper which was nice.
Two have rhinestones and the other ones have a nice sized corsage on them.
Branden's stuff.
Undies and a university tee.
Being 9 has been a bit weird because they don't sell size 9 stuff at most clothing shops. They sell size 8 which is supposed to be 8-9. And he has that swim trunk size and it's more like a size 8. So he's outgrown it. So I went with a size 10.
Rashguard.
Size 10 swimwear in kelly green for Branden this year.
A nice yellow sweatshirt with pale blue writing.
Noah's stuff. a basic striped shirt and a shirt that says...Today Rocks. I use the word..."rocks" a lot. So, I smiled when I saw this one.
Peace. : )
And the same sweatshirt.
This is the magazine I read while getting my hair done last week. I also finished up a good book. While there too.
Branden being silly. ; )

I didn't tell either of them to do anything when I took this pic. No direction from me at all. I actually wanted them both just to smile and say cheese. It makes me laugh though that Noah is always looking and staring at Branden. He truly adores his big brother. He just loves him so much. : )
What else...The movies were so good. Knight and Day was so good! Better then I thought it was going to be. I'm usually not a fan of action flicks. But this was great. And Eat Pray Love was really good too. Noboru didn't care for Eat Pray Love at all. But he's a guy and maybe he didn't get her need for her "year to find herself" or I am not sure. I liked it though. : ) He loved Knight and Day though. : )

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Super Bowl 45, The Green Bay Packers vs. The Pittsburgh Steelers! Noah's Omise Gokko (play/pretend shopping) at the yochien.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know we watch the Superbowl every year here live, thanks to satellite. And I usually blog something about it. Just a little snippet. Anyway Sunday for those of you in America but for us back on Monday morning for us in Japan. After both Branden and Noah got sent to school, we enjoyed the game. Though we watched all the pre game stuff all that morning as well. While getting the kids off to school.
Since my favorite football team the Denver Broncos weren't playing. I was rooting for the Green Bay Packers. Because I like their team and come on! What is not to love about those cheese hats the fans wear, they're cool! ; )
Lots of jumping for joy and cheers from our house Monday morning. It was a great game. : )
Also this week, Noah's yochien had their pretend shopping day at the school. These were the Wii's for sale. ; ) Cardboard box ones. All the kids make all the stuff they sell. So very creative of the kids and the teachers. I also liked how much attention to detail they paid. They had black and white Wii's. They also had the wrist bands too. And the buttons were spot on. Good job to all the kids! ; )

Tables and tables of different things for sale. And to buy these? No money needed, they used pretend/fake money too. : )
Burger combos.

Baby tomatoes and grapes in 2 different colors. : )
Churros. These are definitely modern kids. Churro loving kids! ; ) Curry in the background.
Pretend yochien bags. They also had wallets and other types of bags on the other side. : )
Hot dogs. Very useful those toilet paper cardboard rolls are, right? ; )
A ramen and gyoza set. They even colored a nice skillet fried look to the front of the gyoza! ; )
Hi Noah! I also took some good pics of him and his best friend H. Of them goofing around and doing silly poses and stuff. : )
The observation of the shopping day was very short. You could go between 8:30am and 9:10am. We stayed until about 9am and then kissed Noah good-bye. Noboru wanted to go and eat breakfast somewhere. Suggested Coco's and I love Coco's but with it being a buffet. Not sure if I would be able to have self control with all those bakery items. So, had to protect the whole "getting fit" thing and suggest Jonathon's. But Noboru said nah. So, we went to Denny's. I really prefer American Denny's. But, figured why not...go with the flow...so let's go. I had a veggie and hard boiled egg sandwich. It had ketchup on it. Which I would have never thought to use, but it actually wasn't so bad. : ) A little salad and some yogurt. It was a breakfast set/combo.
After Denny's we went to the shoe store. Noboru wanted to get some sneakers for himself. He found these navy ones with the orange swoosh. ; ) He's wearing them today, he says he wants to break them in before the trip to California.
It being a half day yesterday (Wednesday). We went and swung and picked up Noah afterwards. These are the things Noah bought.
See the custard/pudding cup engine? LOL.
Not sure if this is smoke or fire coming out the tail end since the color is red and orange. Ha ha ha. : ) Hope it's not fire. Otherwise we'll have an emergency landing on our hands.
A burger combo.

A Wii. Noah has been playing with this upstairs since yesterday. I was peeking in on him and watching him pretend play... the games were quite funny. ; ) He's quite a character. ; )
Do you know what this is? I'll give you a hint. If your hair is wet and after you towel dry.... you use a......... ; )
A blow dryer. Noah, said mommy I bought this one for you. I thanked him. : )
The wallet that contained all Noah's pretend money. ; )
This is how I have been tracking my workouts. This is the cardio side. All the treadmill I've done that particular week. 195 minutes of cardio that week. And it says for my height and current weight, to lose anything I need to burn 730 calories a week which isn't so bad. And that week I took this pic, I burned 830 or so. Not to mention I also have another page that tracks all the Wii workouts and Jillian Michael's dvd's I have been doing. So, it gives you a tiny peek and idea. I am indeed working out the amount I should be doing. So, I am indeed right on track. And if you check the time spent. I am busy. So, often if you look it says...10 minutes treadmill here. Or 15 minutes treadmill there. I might once in a while do 40 minutes, but often I don't have time for that long. So, every bit does indeed count. And by gosh it is working. My dvd's time fitness minutes is also quite high each week. So....that's probably why I have been a little bit quiet lately. I am just really into working out. Spending any free time I have on Sparks. A bit boring to read I know...but.... It is fun. And something I plan to stick with for sures.
I made sweet and sour chicken recently.
And I did not make these brownies. Branden did. He has taken an interest in cooking lately. And I recall I was about at the same age when I started wanting to cook things in the kitchen when I was his age too. He can make his own over easy eggs, omelet, toast. ; ) But last weekend he said as he saw the boxes of brownie mix in the food pantry. Can I make these. I said do you want me to make them for you guys? He said, no, I'd like to try. Okay I said. I preheated the oven for him. And I sat in the kitchen keeping Branden company and keeping a watchful eye. He read the directions in the back himself. And cracked the eggs... measured the water and oil. And got the Crisco vegetable shortening out and greased the pan even. He even chopped the nuts. I was standing so close when he chopped those nuts, but he did wonderfully. I called Noboru at work that day and said Branden made them, and if he could really talk positively about them. He said for sure. And when he came home. He already knew because of my call. But he said..omg! These are the most delicious brownies I've ever eaten. what did you do differently? Branden's was smiling so much his dimple actually really sucked in. ; ) Branden said...I made them. He was so proud all night. And Noah really laid heavy on the compliments too. "Branden thank you for making such delicious brownies!" So, now he's caught the cooking bug right now. : )

Tidbits. Today (Thursday) is the last day of school for the boys. It's a 3 day weekend here in Japan. Tomorrow Friday the boys are off school. Noboru doesn't work. So, he and the boys will do something fun together (maybe even just play Wii at home but they'll have their guy time though). Meanwhile I have a hair appointment tomorrow at 10am. I haven't been to the hair salon since October. Right before Noah's undokai/sports day. ; ) Anyway I am going to try and go to the salon more often this year. Every 4 month's is my goal. So, it's definitely time. My hair is...hold on let me see how long it is right now. Let me pull my pony tail out real quick. My hair is about 10 CM below my shoulders and will probably be longer after they straighten it tomorrow. And the roots are wavy-ish. So it's time for a hair straightening. I got choppy layers last time and flippy ends. But not going to happen tomorrow. I'm letting it grow out and have face framing layers for right now. And I am getting that thermal hair straightening thing that takes like 4 hours at the salon and they use flat irons twice during the process. But it comes out stick straight afterwards. So, I imagine my entire day will be spent at the salon tomorrow. : ( I plan to take a good book, some magazines and a bottle of water with me. Though they always give me coffee and stuff and a massage during my hair straightening. The bright side is, it'll be so easy to take care of afterwards.
These dvd's came this morning. Eat Pray Love, with Julia Roberts, this movie looks so good to me. And the other is Knight and Day. Remember that time I was supposed to go to the movies with my friends and forgot? : ( Yeouch even now I wince saying/typing that.: ( I guess I just still feel badly about it. Anyway, we were to see Knight and Day. I have yet to see it. So, we'll probably see it tonight since today is the last day of school and nobody has school or work tomorrow. Stay safe and warm everyone. : )