Monday, January 23, 2012

Last week, Noboru's birthday, the mole in the backyard, and lunch with friends

Last Monday, while the boys were at Kumon. By the way you know how Noah's swim day has to switch every few months, well he is now swimming on Monday's now. So Mondays after regular school and yochien, things are quite busy here Monday's. Noah is exchanging his homework every Monday now for this month only and his Kumon teacher knows. But he's there Thursday. So, after school, they both go to Kumon, Branden stays. Noah exchanges his work and then Noboru or I will go to swim club. And the other one of us will be near by for when Branden is done with Kumon. So Monday's are going to be a bit hectic this month, but it's okay, it won't be that way, for too long and it's not forever. We look forward to when his swim day changes to Friday. The rest of our week was quiet. Anyway last Monday, I made this. We had 2 roasted whole chickens. Mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy. You know, I wish I would have had time to make a salad or some steam veggie. But Monday's are always the hardest days to be back to the weekday routine. And with the sad news Branden's classmate was going through. Besides the Kumon and swim schedule, I'm actually glad I managed to put this together. So, I'm not going to be hard on myself. I think I did okay, considering last Monday was a real stinker of a day. So not too bad. : )
See this weather. 73 degrees inside, and the humidity freakishly dry inside our home. Anyway, Tokyo was hit with snow last week. Lucky them. : ) I love the snow, so I look forward to it. Anyway 32 F is freezing so while it was extremely cold all week last week, technically it wasn't freezing outside. It rained all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday for us here in Chiba. Well our part at least. But not a flurry of snow. But yeah during the days, during the nights, weather wise it was superly cold outside. Felt freezing...almost, but not quite. : )
Tuesday, I cleaned house, I worked out, got ready for the next days lessons. Did laundry and baked 2 cheesecakes. The boys have just school, nothing else after school Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Fridays. It was nice to come home and not run someplace else. : ). Wednesday, last week, I worked. Ran to the store after work and swung around and picked up Noah from yochien. January 18th, last Wednesday was also, Noboru's birthday, he turned 40. It's also my good friend Rumi-san's birthday as well. I know her husband is doing tanshinfunin (meaning her husband is working and living for the most part elsewhere), and she has 3 children, she is very considerate of others and kind and I'm lucky to have her as my friend and neighbor. I know....sometimes a birthday can get lost in the shuffle. So, just in case.... I didn't want that to happen to my friend, so I went to Fujiya after picking up Noah from yochien and we picked 5 slices of cakes for her and her 3 kids to enjoy. I figured, if I get 5, she could enjoy 2 slices and have first pick, since I picked an assortment. Anyway, it made me happy to be able to do that for my friend even if it was a small gesture, I tried. Everyone should feel thought of for their birthday, I think. : ) Birthdays are special.
Still Wednesday. By now I have both Branden and Noah home. And while Branden worked on his homework and Noah did his Kumon homework at the kitchen table, I started making the gratin potatoes from scratch. Peeling and slicing the potatoes here.
Making my roux (sp?)
Everyone like I said deserves to feel special or thought of on their birthday. And for Noboru, his favorite thing to eat on the planet is spiral ham. So, I made him a ham, I baked in the oven. Baked homemade gratin potatoes, green beans, we also had crescent rolls. He didn't get off work until 8pm and wouldn't be home until 8:30pm. And knowing it was a school night, the boys and I ate before. The boys needed to take showers and get ready for the next day.
The boys eating and enjoying the meal, we made for daddy.
Do you see, I placed and wrapped Noboru's plate on the table. Aww, I got it all ready for him. : ) These are the bath powders we're using this month. The one we used last month was the same type of brand, but was shea butter it smelled awesome. I should buy that one again. This time we're using peach and the other is green tea. We take a few baths a week, besides our nightly showers and enjoy the long hot soak in our tub. Noboru and the boys always have fun splashing in there and sometimes just the boys splash alone when Noboru's got a wonky shift. But so fun in Winter. I like soaking in there on the weekends. : )
I baked Noboru 1 cheesecake, however I had a lot of filling leftover, so I ended up baking him 2 instead. The other was a tad less, but it was still great. The one in front cracked a bit but the one in the back didn't.
Noboru's favorite cake is hands down cheesecake. When Noboru got home last Wednesday, the boys had already had their cheesecake and brushed their teeth. I waited on the dessert. We all greeted him..happy birthday daddy the boys yelled out. I said happy birthday. Noboru came in. Said, smells so good in here. The boys got tucked in after they said their happy birthdays, and good nights. And then I sat at the table with Noboru. he ate his dinner. He loved it! I mean he really loved it. And then I started the hot water pot and made him a cup of coffee and sliced him a big fat piece of cheesecake and put some blueberry filling on top. We enjoyed dessert together. We talked about his day. I talked about my day teaching at the hoikuen. Told him how Branden and Noah were doing, the homework they'd done. He read Branden's renrakucho and stamped it. And then he took a shower and soaked in the tub. I made sure Noboru had a fantastic birthday and plus we did take him to the restaurant the weekend before.
In other news last week. The moles are back! Now, I'm not trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill here. ; P But, they're all over our housing community. All our neighbors have mole hills in their yards too. Even the grandma next door.
You probably can't see it, but there is another mole hill behind the middle swing behind the bark area. Noboru is fed up. So he has been researching once again how to deal with these moles. He has now seen every "catch a mole" video on youtube. : ) And he bought 3 traps last night. He says he is going to get them! I however think they're pretty fast. So we'll see. Who will win, who will lose? Noboru or the mole? I'll let you know. : )
You probably can't see the rain in this picture. But it was raining. And yeah...those mole hills.

All in all, last week. There was good and bad, and happy and sad. Same as everyone. If I ever met any of you and sat down for coffee, we'd probably have a whole heap to talk about. There's the good and funny and hilarious, like these moles. There's the sad and real life things, like Branden's classmate. There's birthdays. And PTA meetings and work. Swim clubs and Kumon. So much as always going on.

Last Friday, I had another shaon kai meeting. If you include me, 9 of us were there total. The weather was super cold, rainy and gray. We met at 8:55am at the library, in the same place as the library there's meeting rooms you can book for free. We got one and met there. The umbrellas are done (one of the kids presents for graduation), we opened the box for them, last Friday. The boys are blue and the girls are pink, the kids names are on them. That's cool! So one job complete! We also got the seating arrangements made last Friday. They want to sit the kids near their closest friends. So, the 8 mother's said...obviously Noah needs to sit near Hikaru and vice versa! @_@ yes, I know, I said, best friends ne~. : ) They're best friends. So, I can tell you, we will be seated at the penguin table for the shaon kai, 3 kids will be sitting there, Sakura-chan, Noah and his very best friend, Hikaru and us parents. Noah will be escorting the older sensei, the granny aged helper sensei, Hiroko-sensei? Is that her name? I'd have to go look at my shaon kai notes. Sorry, if her name is different I'll fix it later. We have every single last detail planned. Who is presenting the flowers, who is presenting the presents. Who is an escort for the sensei's, like I said, Noah will escort the 1 older sensei at our yochien and walk her into the place. She thinks the world of Noah, I'm sure she'll be thrilled.

Also last Monday, I got an email from the Jogo-san. My very good friend. She said, do you wanna go to lunch after the shaon kai meeting on Friday? We're thinking of going to such and such restaurant. I emailed back and said for sure! So, after the meeting had ended on Friday around 11am-ish the 8 of us, 1 mother could not come, she had something at her older son's elementary school to do. We all totally understood. So instead of 9 of us, 8 of us headed to the restaurant. It was a very nice restaurant. In fact when I mentioned to my teaching partner the restaurant we were going to on Friday, she said...ohhh fancy! : ) LOL. So, yeah we went to lunch. The Jogo-san, Sera's mom. Yukina-chan's mom. Mei-chan's mom. Aoiki-san. Leggings mom (she's so nice, so short and cute and wears the cutest leggings everyday different ones of course. : ) And then mom, who I can never remember her name mom. Gomen ne~ (I'm sorry) : ) This was a buffet. 1800 yen a person, or was it 1850. We enjoyed it. From 11am-ish to 1:50pm. We ate, chatted. Laughed, ate some more. They had salads, tempura, vegetable curry. Pasta, many many things steamed pork buns, desserts, icecream. And the drink we had, I asked leggings mom, what's this? : ) She said...fruits vinegar. Every other mom was picking it, I said, why the heck not. So, I had a glass of fruits vinegar, and you know what....it was very good. If I were to guess, I'd say 95% fruit, 5% vinegar, in fact if they didn't mention the vinegar you would barely notice it. But it was delicious, I had 2 glasses. We did the whole...what color randorseru did you pick question we have been asking for the past 3 month's now. Neither Sera nor Noah got black. We talked about graduation. Entrance ceremony's. These ladies are my friends. I am sure some we won't see as often. I know the Jogo-san and I will remain friends even after our kids stop yochien and whether our kids will attend the same elementary or not. Sera's mom and I will leave this yochien together and will continue our son's (meaning Noah and Sera's) education together at the same elementary school. So our journey is barely beginning together. : ) Anyway, I had fun last Friday with my girlfriends. We paid and left and picked up our kids. I pulled into the yochien parking lot with 2 minutes to spare (phew) same with the other 7 mom's. This restaurant is like 2-3 minutes away at the most from our yochien. It was Friday. Last Friday. So glad the weekend was here. So glad to just be able to veg out for the weekend. The only plan we had last weekend was to go to the outlet mall. Which we went yesterday.

Anything else to add? Hmm. American Idol started for us last week. Meaning the folks in the US or those of us with Slingbox. It was a good episode. I think this is going to be a good season for American Idol hopefully. What else...I watched the Drew Peterson movie on Lifetime last night. They'd been showing previews for that all week. It was a good made for TV movie. Real story of course. What else, have I been watching. Dance Mom's, I've been watching that a lot too. Goodness that dance coach is tough. Simon Cowell is like a kitten compared to the things she says. : ) She told one mom flat out..your kids not all that bright! @_@

Anyway, what did we do last week? Many things, Mostly stayed home. Except the 1 day I worked. 2 days the boys did their Kumon and Noah swam. But the rest they stood home and nobody in the neighborhood played all week last week. I think the weather and just many of us parents in our town just wanted to keep our kids closer to us last week, and hug them a little tighter. And our kids all wanted to stay closer to home too.

What's on the agenda this week? I work once this week. I also have Branden's observation day and I also have Noah's observation day too. I have no shaon kai meeting this week, but I do on Feb 3rd. I also have the last "mother's luncheon" this Friday. We'll be up in Narita for this one. Last Friday's lunch was just lunch with friends. Not even all the shaon kai was invited, it was just us core members meaning the main/head/lead shaon kai members, which I am one. But this Friday it's for the whole class of last year students mom's. I'm looking forward to lunch this Friday, The Jogo-san and I are riding up in "leggings mom's car" so the 3 of us will be chit chatting all the way to Narita this coming Friday to meet the rest of the mothers for lunch.

Anything else, Noah's desk is being delivered next Sunday. Seems they brought it Sunday while we were at the outlet. Absolutely figures, the one day we're out! And they can't redeliver it for a full week because of the size. @_@ They didn't inform us what date it would be coming so we had no idea, but now we know ahead of time. So, next Sunday, it is. We're ready. : ) And every day this week, on the days I was not here Noboru was totally here, so we overlapped here all week waiting for the desk. Even Saturday we waited. The one day we finally all left, on a Sunday even, they finally deliver it! Totally figures really! : )

Also, this March we are planning to head to Osaka. We haven't had the chance to visit Noboru's family there since last May or June. So we'd like to go, but we'll see if Noboru can get the time off from work. If he gets the time off, we will be going for sure, we all really want to go. It all depends on his work schedule though. But we're looking forward to going. Alrighty, you know how my Monday's are. : ) So, I better motor.

Oh yes, I almost forgot. We got a notice in the keiranban 2 weeks ago. It said, the crows are getting out of hand, eating the trash and littering said trash when they tear open the garbage bags on trash day. So they are letting us all know they are going to shoot them. American crows are small-ish/medium sized. They could be scared. The crows in Japan are super sized and not afraid of anything around our parts! : ) So anyway...yeah the hunters are going to go on a certain day and try their best to wipe them out. @_@ Between Noboru hunting for moles in the backyard and the hunters hunting down the crows. Should be interesting. : )

Anyway that's it for sures this time. Motoring this time for sure now. : )