Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Ami Premium Outlet Mall

Last Sunday in our neck of the woods, our little area was having it's 3rd straight day of rain. And the weather, last Sunday? Bitterly cold and heaps of rain. However we had a plan, to go to the closest outlet mall nearest our house and look for jeans and sneakers for Branden.
And to Gap we went. They had nil when it came to boys jeans. But they had a puff vest Branden has been wanting. He had a yellow one years ago that Noah's wearing now that he's the right age to fit it. And Branden has been asking for a vest. And they had them here at a cheap price.
Coats 1900 yen and puff vests 1200 yen.
After finishing up all our shopping, we went and bought some hot tea for the boys from the vending machine and we each had a can of hot coffee from the vending machine also. And we went into a shop that sells jelly filled donuts. So we sat and had some donuts (cinnamon apple filled, strawberry filled and blueberry filled) and coffee, the boys had hot tea while we waited for the jeans to be altered at Edwin. When they were done, we left the mall and headed home. And had dinner. We had crock pot chili con carne (Texas type chili, think sort of like Wendy's ; ) It was so good.
Gap, Adidas and Edwin.
We also bought Noah 1 hat for 300 yen. It was too good a deal to pass up and too cute a hat.
Branden's reversible vest. 1 size bigger because he wears these in winter time with sweatshirts and turtle necks etc, which means kids are bulkier in Winter, because of the extra clothing layers. So the bigger size was the right idea. The price excellent honestly.
Bright happy orange.
1 pair of jeans.
1 pair of sneakers.
That's it, not so much. But glad we found what we were looking for.
A quick try on to see if the length was perfect, a little extra room to grow, so perfect. Anyway, that's what we were up to last Sunday. : )

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. : )

Branden's classmate

Brandens' classmate's mother died last week. It completely knocked the wind out of me, if I'm to be honest with you. She wasn't someone we knew for years and years. She was someone we never even met. Let me explain. Do you remember, about 6 months or so ago, when I said, Branden has a new classmate. He just moved here from Tokyo. The new boy. So yes, while we did not enter the ichinensei together or bump into each other at observation day. Sad is still sad. And it's times like these, when you realize, wow life is short. I know that sounds cliché. But yes at times like this, you really realize wow, it could all just be over in a snap. No one is promised tomorrow.

What we're guessing is, she probably had cancer and the family knew it didn't look good and they moved closer to either set of grandparents so when the time comes, they'd be ready. That's what we're guessing. As I said, nobody really ever got the chance to meet her. Her son, yes I've seen him weekly, he lives in our same housing community and he was pictured on the cooking sweet potato day muffin post on Branden's last observation day. So, yeah I see that little boy often.

She was only 31-32 years old. Nobody can get over just how young she was, when she died last week. Everyone in our town was greatly shocked and saddened. When the karainban (sp?) was first past around last Saturday saying a death in our housing community occurred, we at that time had no clue it was Branden's classmate's young mother. We wrongly assumed it was an elderly grandma who had lived a very full and happy life. Not that I'm saying any age or time is the right time to go, you know what I mean.

On Monday, of last week, long after Branden was at school Noboru's and also my keitei/cell went off. We get electronically beeped at his school when he arrives and when he leaves the school. We also get beeped messages/updates from the school. However last Monday, the message said...so and so's mom from the 4th grade #1 class had died. Same class as Branden. To off set the cost of the funeral, they would like to collect 500 yen from each student to help chip in and help pay for that cost (this was on our cell email last Monday). I thought that was a great idea. So, Noboru and I talked about this/her passing last Monday quite a bit. He was saddened and I was very sad. When I picked up Branden and it was time for both the boys to go to Kumon last Monday. We drove past the only place to hold a rosary in our town. And the huge sign that stood at the ceremony place had the boys last name on it. It was a very sad reminder.

Branden was quite sad that his friends mother passed away. We talked about this very subject a lot last week. The boys both of them asking questions and such. Branden just felt such great sorrow for his friend. Branden told me, I wish T's (I won't say his first name on here) mom didn't have to die. I said, "I wish that too baby." I think the whole town was just sad.

I told Branden and Noah. No kid under age 18 should ever have to be without their parent due to a death. But sometimes things just turn out that way unfortunately. But that kids need their parents to guide them and teach them and love them. For the boy, I am most saddest because, he will miss his mother forever and ever. When it is observation day he will be thinking. I wish my mother was here. When it's undokai, and he's just won the big race and he looks out in the crowd of faces, he'll be thinking, I wish my mother was here. When it's his birthday and he thinks about those special cakes or presents that only a mother would let him have or get away with having. And he no longer has her, he'll be thinking I wish my mother was here. When he wakens from a nightmare and she is no longer there and she can no longer comfort him and stroke his hair and say it's okay, mommy's here. Yes he will think...I wish my mother was here. When he has those 2-3 obento meals that need to be made at the elementary school and he's making it all by himself and hoping like heck that he's done a good job, bless his heart. And remembers his mom's obentos she used to make him, yes he will think I wish my mother was here. When he graduates the 6th grade in a few years, or attends his entrance ceremony for junior high, yes he will again think I wish my mother was here. When he's sick with the flu and needs that TLC that only a mother would do. Or when it's raining and snowing and he's walking all the way home, when all the other mom's in this neighborhood are driving their kids back in the safety and warmth of their cars and he's shivering walking down the street and he's probably thinking to himself..I really really wish *my* mother was here. All those days, I think about. Perhaps I'm too overly sensitive but those are the times he'll long for her. And when he decides what career he will have and he'll want to share it. Or when he finds his future wife and falls deeply and madly in love..he won't have his mother there to share that with either. When his children are born and that twinkle in their eye or their smile reminds him of his mother, he'll be thinking of her. He'll be missing her forever. You know what I mean here. There won't be a single freaking day that passes that he won't absolutely ache. There won't be a day that he won't long and wish for her to be with him.

And from the other point. From the mothers perspective. Since I am a mother. It must have been hardest for her. To know she was leaving her boys (yes there were 2 sons). Knowing what she'd miss. Miss them growing up, her whole life's happiness is wrapped up in her boys, I'm sure. Mine is. Knowing and probably worrying herself sick knowing she couldn't be there no matter how badly she wanted to be. Her knowing she'd have to leave her babies before her time, before they were ready! Must have been absolute hell for her.

This to me, was just the saddest thing ever. My heart ached all week, last week.... just thinking about this family. Our whole family ached for that family last week.

I know in a months time maybe people will forget about this boy, but I won't. And if he needs an obento for any special day, I'd love to make him one. It would be my pleasure and my honor. But again, we aren't supposed to mention a thing. Branden's sensei told the class on the 1 day the boy was absent, he was at school Monday and Wednesday, he only missed the cremation day which was last Tuesday. She told the class do not bring up his mother dying, do not mention a thing. So no matter how badly you'd like to pay your respects or condolences, you can't. Which that just makes me even sadder. He lives in the same housing community as I do. So, I would 100% be able and willing to give him a ride home any day he needs one. Just anything. If this kid ever needs me for anything. I am here and I mean that.

I'm not going to allow comments for this one, and I know you will understand why. There's just nothing really to comment about. It happened to a lovely boy in our town last week. It gutted me, it gutted my family, it hit Branden really hard, it's his pal, his play and hang out friend and classmate. It gutted our whole town. I debated greatly about writing this. But I just have to. I needed to get it out. Anyway, I don't want to bum anyone out. It just was an absolutely horrible thing to happen. She was too young to die and they are too young to be without their mother. Tomorrow is observation for Branden. I know the boy will be looking at the back of the class at us parents back there. And probably thinking and missing her. I better just end this here. Before I write any more and this just gets sadder and sadder. Sorry. Just had to let it out though. Deep breath.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A nice relaxing weekend

When Friday finally came around last week, I was definitely more then ready for it. : ) After both Branden and Noah were home, we had dinner. And after that we just relaxed some. Then we decided to bake something so, the 3 of us made this together. A cinnamon crumb cake. Very similar to coffee cake, if you ask me. : )
It was so good. A definite way to start the weekend. Then Noboru came home, just in time for movie night. We had family movie night after our showers. We watched Labyrinth and then 13 Going on 30. We had popcorn, Noboru had salsa and chips, it was fun. I was happy the weekend had begun and I could recharge my batteries. Noah made it through Labyrinth and watched the first 5 minutes or so of 13 Going on 30 before falling to sleep, and then we carried him to his room. Branden managed to stay awake for both but actually walked upstairs after the last movie and went to sleep, I think the first week tuckered him out as well.
Saturday afternoon, we went to a few shops. They had a very great/cheap deal on a sweatshirt for Branden. Too good to pass up.
One T&C Surf sweatshirt in a pretty green color under 1000 yen.
At 970 yen, it was too good to pass up. And we use a dryer in the winter and they do shrink up some. The 150cm seemed to be the right fit, but I knew if we dried it in the dryer it would end up being too small. This is perfect and won't be too small even if out of the dryer.

A very cute back design.
I took Noboru to dinner. But as I include the kids. I say, "we" took Noboru to dinner for his pre-birthday dinner. : ) We went to Mamma Pasta, in Narita.
It's a very pretty restaurant and excellent food. And the pizza is baked right up in their wood burning oven. It smells fantastic in there and the pizza is delicious.
We had so much to eat. We had great food and good conversation. With the boys and my sweetie pie. : )
We also asked for the dessert cart to be wheeled to us and it is so much fun and everyone looks at the cart wheeling by. Yumm. She told us what each dessert was, and then asked if we'd like them plated together or separately. Both the boys picked cheesecake. Noboru picked tiramisu and I picked caramel apple pecan pie, this was very good. So good.
After a nice dinner. We went to Hanamasa. A very unbirthday-y thing to do. But you know....we were in the area. 2 bags of broccoli, 2 bags of green beans and 1 bag of corn. Plus Noboru's birthday isn't until Jan 18th anyway.
1 big pack of thick pork chops. Perfect for fried pork chop night whenever. And 2 whole chickens which I will be roasting tonight. And we'll have stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy as well.

I went to bed early last night. And I only whacked my snooze button on the alarm twice this morning. So a real positive sign there. : ) While I'm not totally in the swing of things regarding my early morning schedule just yet, I'm feeling way better then last week. So, moving in the right direction for sure. : )

There are so many things going on here at the moment. I have been going full throttle with getting Noah ready for the ichinensei. In fact, we bought him an absolutely wicked suit for it yesterday while at Narita mall. We do have Branden's suit for it, and it was only worn once. But we wanted a different color totally. I also managed to get my graduation outfit/entrance ceremony outfit ordered. Desk has been ordered. Didn't know we were getting a desk? I wasn't planning on getting one, but Noah really wanted one. And my mil called already because it's usually custom for the grandparents to get the desk. She's very awesome for doing that. I have a ton of things to update about Noah and his getting ready for the first grade. But will have to post that later. : )

I have another shaon kai meeting Jan 20th. And a PTA meeting at the yochien tomorrow morning.

I'm working this week. In fact my teaching partner just phoned and said we will be teaching lesson 8 and 18. : ) I will be sure to go over those today and tomorrow.

How's the weather? It's been bitterly cold lately around here.

We watched the Denver Broncos game yesterday morning for us in Japan. We watched it live. We lost big time. It was so sad!

Alrighty, I guess that's it for now. : )

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The first week back and finding my groove with it

My most recent "job" for the shaon kai. Is cut out light blue circles. Other members were given different colors and for the dinner after graduation which will take place this March, these will each have a child's face in each of these circles and it will be hanging at the dinner along with all the other decorations we're making. So, I did that over the winter holiday. I tried my best to make sure they were as round as the one they had given me to trace with and therefore copy and make my light blue ones with. These were due back the first day Noah returned to yochien. And I did hand in my share of the circles on the first day back.
I have still been faithfully doing my treadmill daily. Which is still pretty remarkable considering this week has totally big time kicked my butt with the early morning wake ups.
And Noah's first obento for 2012. He needed obento today/Thursday and this is what he brought. Cheese stuffed cutlets, 2 fries, 1 steamed broccoli, rice, a mikan, peach yogurt and 1 jelly. Oh yeah and sauce for the chicken. : )

So how has my first week been? It's been good and bad.

The first day back, Tuesday was a half day for Branden and also for Noah. Branden let out at 11am. Noah was to get out at 11:40am. Here's the catcher though...if Noah's yochien was right up the street from Branden's school or shoot, even if it was in the same town, it would be okay. However with Noah's yochien all the way in the nearest city near us. And considering, when Branden electronically checks out/and I automatically get the email sent to my cell phone, yet still after that...then that's when the kids line up in a neat nice line outside etc. And walk down the hill and all that still takes some additional time as well. That could be a longer wait time at Branden's school. So, I was a bit worried on the first day back. I had made sure to let both boys know ahead of time though. I told Branden, about the possible time conflict and said not to worry so much but just try to come down as fast as you can. Because we were on a somewhat of time crunch that day. He knew and he did come down as fast as he could. So smart boy. I also told Noah, if mommy is late. Not to worry, she is on the way but she has to get Branden first. I had told him a few times. And he seemed totally fine. So day of. I was at the plaza at 10:50am. Flipping threw a magazine. Waiting until he came into my car. I did think to myself...this is another reason I will be relieved when they go to the same school. Anyway, turned out to be no problem at all. Branden was in my car at 11:09am and away we went. We actually got to Noah's yochien a little early even. Which I was relieved. Phew. : )

Both boys are happy to return to school, they have missed their friends and teachers. So, they're happy to be back.

The bad bit for me is....as usual. I got used to staying awake late over the Winter break. So, waking up in the early mornings has been tough for me this week. I am still sleepy when I wake up. But I wake up regardless. Get both boys sent to school. Come home do my treadmill, while the laundry is going, some light cleaning. And often during the half day.... days, I run right back and pick them up. Today is Noah's first whole day. Which is why he needed an obento today.

Also, I think I slept wrong because I have had a slight kink in my neck since Tuesday. Also I have found myself taking a 30 minute cat nap this week after picking up the boys on their half day. I think I still haven't got this early to bed, early to rise routine down yet. I know like I often say, it should take me a week to 10 days to fully get back into the school routine and find my groove with that. But unfortunately not yet. : ) And to add to that, I started my period today. Sorry if TMI. But yeah...today, I feel bloated and ughhh. Or maybe it's more like a blech! Either way. I know soon I'll get my groove back. I can barely wait for the weekend. Tonight both Branden and Noah also have Kumon. So, I'll be doing the after school drop offs and pick ups this evening as well. Which is fine. I know I'll get this routine back into habit in no time.

First week back in a nutshell. Did not get in the swing of things just yet. : ) Groove has not been found yet. : )

Anything else to say. Hmm, I already mentioned I'm working twice this month. Once is next week. Good thing it's not this week. A definite silver lining there. I have those 2 observation days to do. I also have a mother's luncheon to do as well. Doesn't look like too bad of a month. Now if I could just get back my body on this school schedule a little bit faster, I'd be on a roll. : )

Alrighty, I better have myself an Advil. And do my 30 minutes treadmill (if I skip a day during the week, weekend is fine, but if I skip during the regular week, it's just hard for me to stay on track if I skip a weekday day). And then after that, I think I'm gonna give myself a day to relax on the couch. First day cramps means I greatly need a day to rest. Besides at 2pm, I'll be zipping from yochien. Zipping home until 3:45pm, then I'll be zipping to the plaza and then to the Kumon twice. So, I could use a little rest now especially with the cramps. Tomorrow I'll clean the house extra but today I really need to rest my body some. Oh crap, the mailman is at my door right now, holding a big Nissen box. @_@ Alrighty, I better answer the door and so I better post this.

PS, Noah is now training and practicing the butterfly now at swim school. Branden enjoyed watching his brother from the window at swim club. When we were there this week.

Yard work and a Costco run

The very last day of Winter break. This Monday. This pic is of Branden, Noah, the Jinbei boy and Keita. They were outside playing.
I meanwhile had the boys school shoes outside drying in the backyard, fresh out of the washer.
Both Branden and Noah's uniforms.
Noboru meanwhile weeded and transferred the bark that used to be here and put it in the jungle gym area. He wants to grow veggies or flowers here and he feels this year he's ready. I went out and helped him for 30 minutes after I posted that last post. But he did 95% of the wedding of this strip of yard right here. Now, we'll just wait until Spring. : )

After the yard work was done, and the clothes and shoes were brought in. Noboru suggested we head to Costco. We left the house at 2:50pm. No tollways. All regular roads, we got back home at 8:45pm. It's just far but even more so, it's the traffic and very often the one lane roads.
With Monday being a holiday we suspected it would be very crowded. The sign outside said park on the roof parking. Which of course made me think...wow there must be a million people in there, ykwim. However once inside the parking garage, there were a few spots here and there to be had, so we parked on a different level, same as others too. We went in, bypassed the 2nd top floor altogether. Didn't need any cleansers or shampoo. And went directly to the basement 1st floor where the food is. Quickly we got whatever we had already discussed we were looking for. Except Noboru found a ham and he loves ham, so he had to get that. But otherwise we stuck to the list.
Ordered 2 pizzas and left.
Spiral ham.
Cream cheese for the upcoming cheesecake I plan to bake. String cheese for the boys. And regular cheese for the gratin potatoes that will go with the ham. : )
Waffles. Fast morning breakfasts during the school week.
Tortillas.
Tiramisu.
Chips.
And on our way home on the regular roads we stopped at Co-op, near where we used to live and picked up some mini chicken cutlets with cheese inside. And mikan juice. That's it.
I prefer cheese, everyone else prefers pepperoni. But they all had the cheese one too. : )
We reheated half of each pizza, the night we got home and had that for supper that night. We had the other half the following night.

I'm working twice this month. Also, I know, I have 2 observation days to do this month, 1 at each school, at the elementary school and also at the yochien. The weather here in our neck of the woods this morning said, 23 degrees F outside. So it has been getting colder and colder around here lately.