Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The weed whacker put into use. The mole that is no more. Gap, Old Navy Spring shopping and a few extra bits for good measure


A few weeks back. Before the snowman was built. Anyway the weeds next door have grown out of control. The problem for us in they make seeds. Weedy seeds and they blow off into neighboring yards. Mostly ours. But like I mentioned on here before, Ayumi-chan's mom also mentioned to us about the yard next door and we all agreed and the grandma next door also. The 3 of our households have chatted about this last Summer. The problem is, the grandma and grandpa couple who own this land, the grandpa died last year. So no one to care for the weeds. I suggested they give her some grace time/period. It must be hard for her being elderly all by herself. Others suggested contacting the towns people/heads. @_@ Me being the softy I am. Mentioned to Noboru, maybe we can help her by cutting them for her. Plus you did get that new weed whacker for New Years. That way you can try it out next door. Hey, hey, great idea, right? : ) And even if she doesn't know who helped her by cutting her weeds or frankly even if she doesn't know the weeds were taken care of period, or who did it/helped her, you know....it doesn't really matter. As long as we'll know, that's all what matters honestly. : ) Noboru agreed. And I felt like I did a good thing by suggesting it but Noboru did the most right on thing of all....by actually getting out there and cutting them down for her. Noboru went next door and got started on them. He did clear a huge amount of weeds for her. and that way none of the neighbors will complain this coming Spring and Fall. This is the land next door that we would absolutely love to buy. But so far not for sale. : ( Bummer. It was bitterly freezing this day. But I stood outside, chatting with Noboru. keeping him company. I guess I just figured if he was willing to cut the weeds for me, the least I could do was sit and chit chat with him. And for the record, Noboru found 2 soccer balls. 1 baseball and 1 toy gun, the toy gun was not Branden or Noah's. Amazing all the junk found in the field next door. : ) I think this was the day we BBQ'ed but don't quote me on that for sure. See this is what happens when I delay posting. : ) I forget. The next paragraph is about the mole so if things like that bother you, don't read the next paragraph.
In other news. Noboru caught our resident mole. Moles are teeny tiny as you can see in the picture. They have incredibly clean fur. No eyes (we think) or (else they must be) super tiny eyes. But we looked and we saw no eyes. More then likely for being a creature who lives underground, they probably just evolved that way over time. Since he's a digger, you can see he has super wide front hands/paws. Imagine if you had huge kleenax boxes attached to your hands, the wide width way. @_@ It was a weekend when this happened, Noboru told me that morning, I caught him. I was surprised. Went outside. And felt sad. He looked so small. I felt so sorry for him. He didn't look like a horrible monster. Much the opposite actually. He looked so small. Noboru said, so what do you think? All I could come up with is....awe...you killed him. : ( The boys made their way outside and we turned it into a learning thing. They got to see the incredibly wide/fat front hands. The extremely clean fuzzy type fur. His incredibly odd shaped snout. We said can you find his eyes. They both looked. And said...no. Yeah we couldn't find the eyes either. Not even itty bitty ones. Life of country kids, I suppose. Catching frogs, zarigani in the Summer. And if we lived on an actual real farm they'd have to get used to not being too close/attached to the animals because they could be turned into food. You know. Inaka type stuff. : ) Also we learned that they must not apparently live in groups, because since the end of our resident mole, no more holes have been dug in our yard. So we think either they are loner types? Or this one had no family. : (
When the weather has been good, which is few and far between lately. But this pic was taken 3 weekends ago? The neighbor boys do come to play, when it's a day that it's not snowing or raining or just plain freezing cold. : )
I wait for Gap to have a 25% -30% sale online and that's when I usually purchase a large order.
I am slowly but surely gathering things for Spring/Summer type weather for Branden, Noah and myself.
These are Noah's things. A couple tees and a couple hats. Especially since he'll be wearing regular clothes starting in April for school. A white tee with bright colored stripes. And a yellow V neck. 1 navy blue Old Navy cap with red and white writing/stitching. And 1 pretty colored blue Gap hat and 1 in orange since yellow and orange are Noah's 2 favorite colors.
I also ordered Branden this polo top. I liked the aqua color with orange stripes. And the same colored hat Noah got, in blue. I also ordered Branden 1 in orange, but it was not pictured. Because, it wasn't in the order, like it was supposed to be.... I called Gap immediately and they shipped one immediately too. Telling me sorry that the robots sometimes make mistakes. Me thinking...what??? @_@ I thought/assumed humans packed the boxes. Nope the lady kindly said, it's all automated now. @_@ Wow, learned something new that day. ; )
Size 10-12 for Branden.
A few things for myself also. Gap has been rockin' lately! I am so glad they've been selling the logo stuff for us ladies again. They came out with tees called post card tees. From different places. The bottom left one is called, the Gap Los Angeles tee. The picture and colors are pretty so I ordered that one. Then the UK post card tee. Has a guardsman riding a bicycle and in his bicycle basket is a GAP bag. That is probably my favorite tee for Spring. I can't wait to wear these for Spring. And again, I got them on sale when I made my purchase. The pink top also says Gap. And the flash dance type sweatshirt with blingy GAP wording. Cute.
Yep, says Gap if you look closely. : )
I love these "perfect shorts" that's what they're called. I bought some last year. And they really were the perfect shorts. I'm a mom. Fashionable, in shape mom. But still a mom. So, I don't want to wear daisy dukes, booty type shorts with buns hanging out, know what I mean. @_@ I do dress age appropriate, not like a teenager. However I don't want to wear bermuda length either that hide half my leg. These are a perfect mid point. They're not too overly long, yet not too overly short either. They really are a conservative length, still preppy, feminine and classy. And like it says sewn into the label, they're perfect. They honestly are the perfect length. If you prefer bermuda these would be way too short for you. If you prefer daisy dukes, these would be too long for you also. But I love them.
I bought the khaki color "perfect shorts" last year. And this year, I bought the berry color "perfect shorts", these color are so pretty. The berry color is almost sold out now. And the black pair. I can always use a perfect pair of preppy black shorts.
Seems a lot of the retro style dresses are getting popular in America again. I liked this one the second I saw it online. Navy blue. With beautiful tulips. It was just really eye catching to me. It is conservative and preppy looking (figures and yes so typically me). Which is definitely my style, preference or whatever. Size L. As it says, however this does run big as the people said and I think if I were living in the US, I would have bought this is a medium for sures if I could have tried it on beforehand. However I'll probably wash it and throw it in the dryer and hope for some shrinkage. I think a simple pair of navy blue ballet flats. And my hair super pin straight down and maybe some red lips. Or who knows. I can't wait for the warmer weather now.
Both of the boys needed new swimwear this year. And I waited for that sale. This is Branden's pair.
Both the boys are UPF 50.
Surf Gap rashguard and Old Navy bottoms/trunks. Branden also has a matching navy hibiscus baseball cap. And I think this is going to be really cute for Branden this year. He really loves this. And we really do as you know, swim a lot, go to beaches a lot. So they do use their swimwear quite a bit. So, I am now very relaxed knowing Branden has his swim set.
I really loved the color of these shorts for Noah. And with the fact he will be wearing and needing regular clothes for school come April, like I said. These were perfect.
Size 6 slim. Poor guy really needs the slim sizing. He's just so skinny/thin.
This is supposed to be a Saint Patty's hat. But you know what, I loved it anyway. Loved the whole Lucky 7 with shamrock on there. I bought one for Noah since again he needs them for school this coming April. And also picked one up for Branden in a size bigger.
I also liked that it said Gap at the back of the bright green lucky 7 hat. I think they can wear this anytime of year. It's just that cute.
Noah's swimwear. Gap had this gorgeous orange and yellow rash guard and also sold the bottoms separately. It was super cool. and knowing full in well those are Noah's favorite colors. I bought it ASAP. Love this swimsuit. It's so eye catching, I'll spot Noah on the beach immediately.
It's really nice. And he has orange hats already. So it's gonna go really well. And again on sale.
All the little details on his trunks. Anyway....I just really liked it. Noah loved it when he saw it.
Branden needed more jeans. And not really wanting to drive all the way back to the outlets again. I just picked him 2 pair from Nissen. He loves them, and has been wearing them since he got them.
The dvd's got here last Friday. Which is so nice, I'm really glad I got these for Valentine's Day. Branden and Noah loved Real Steel. It was such a great movie for boys. Noboru and I watched Paranormal Activity 3, after the boys went to sleep last Friday. And we still felt it was scary. Yikes. We also watched A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas, Saturday night after the boys went to sleep. We were cracking up over that. We'll watch the others this coming weekend.
On the left, 3 preppy type skirts. Mini skirts with cargo pockets, and not so mini that booty's hanging out, it's a good conservative length, above the knee but not mid thigh or anything too short. Navy blue, (khaki) tan and army green. The price was just cheaper then buying at the actual Gap. The quality is excellent. And I can wear these a lot this Spring/Summer. And on the right, 2 pair of work pants that I teach in. Tan and army green colored pants. Wide leg type. And I wear these with matching colored cardigan sets. That's usually the stuff I wear to work.
Last week, I baked a banana bread.
The boys, and Noboru devoured it and it didn't make it 24 hours in our house. : ) I admit, I had 2 slices myself. This was so good. And the walnuts added that perfect crunch.

Anything else to add: Over half the class of the Sakura-gumi/blue badges are out of school due to the influenza B. Noah who is rarely ever sick. Started feeling sick over the weekend. Monday we took Noah to the doctors and he tested positive for influenza B. So he has been out of school all week so far. Noah was given Tamiflu, 2 medications for his stomach. And 1 fever reducer (powder). He had been vomiting and had a fever and cough. The tamiflu is super strong. It has been destroying his flu since the first packet he took. The flu is weakening with every time Noah takes a packet of tamiflu. He slept for the most part of all Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Finally today Noah is feeling genki and back to his old self. His fever is gone. Noah now only has a light cough and that's all. The doctor said Noah may return this Friday. So Noah will return to yochien this Friday. I emailed the Jogo-san and told her Sunday Noah was ill. She replied so is her daughter K-chan. Reason I let her know right away was because...we all had Shaon kai meetings and other meetings both Monday and Tuesday of this week. Then she emailed me right back, it wasn't a "calling tree" type call, just a yochien mama news that was spread Sunday. The Jogo-san said, Yukina-chan was also sick. Sera. Leggings mom's son. And by the time we widdled the list down, over 50% of the class was to be absent Monday. Everyone had heard through the grape vine, that Noah was also sick. Which surprised everyone since he's rarely ever sick. So the shaon kai meeting was flatly cancelled. I think they said only 3 mom's would be able to come. The rest of us were busy with sick kids. The Jogo-san's daughter will not be returning until Thursday/tomorrow, she was put on tamiflu before Noah. Mostly everyone was absent this week for the blue badges. Anyway the meetings been rescheduled and all. I think I could send Noah to yochien tomorrow but the doctor wants me to wait an extra day and he is no longer contagious at all, he just wants him to rest. However, I have Branden's observation day tomorrow. So I'll put a mask on Noah and take him with me. He is feeling better and I'm not leaving him home alone. Besides he'll rest on the couch all day except the 1 hour we're at Branden's school.

What else. The weather. First this morning, the news said snow should be hitting Chiba today. I heard Tokyo got hit by it today. However our part of Chiba has not been touched with snow yet today. It could snow tonight granted it is freezing rain down right now as I type. But I really have no where to go. Except the shogakko tomorrow which is in our town. And I have 5 days worth of food, so snow or no snow, I'm fine either way. : )

I need to get myself to the hair salon before Noah's graduation. And I'm also assuming with graduation upon many of us, the hair salons should be getting packed as the date draws closer. I have about 2 weeks left? Or somewhere about that. So, I'm thinking head to the salon this weekend maybe or next weekend at the latest, but I'm sort of swaying towards this weekend.

Anything else? I'm heading to the movies with my dear friend Noriko. We're going to the movies this Friday. We're going to see the new Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock movie, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. And we'll probably grab some lunch afterwords. I'm looking forward to this.

I'm baking a lasagna right now. I bought the ricotta last Friday while out running errands. I can smell it right now in the oven, yumm. I also have a fresh baguette of bread from the bakery to make garlic bread with as soon as I post this.

Okay I guess that's it for now. Stay warm everyone.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Honolulu trip next month

I have been keeping you all updated with our trip plans little by little as they formed. However, Noboru was approved for his days off about 8 days ago so we've just finalized our plans last week, so I better update right now.

First our plan was to head to Osaka to visit with Noboru's parents and my lovely sil. And then head to Guam or Guam and then Osaka. However we got to thinking 3 and a half-4 weeks back. I think I last updated about this a month ago? We decided a month ago. Why not head to Hawaii instead as a small trip for Noah for his graduation. That way the whole family gets a fun trip. Gets to enjoy it and we get to rest up before Noah begins the first grade.

You see Noah will be off 3 weeks but nearly a month almost. Noah's graduation day is March 15th. And he starts ichinensei April 9th. So 3 weeks of a gap with nothing to do. Doesn't make sense to just sit here twiddling our thumbs really. And they do give you this time to prepare your child for the elementary however as you know. We're pretty much done. So no 3 weeks to prepare really necessary for us. Branden has off 10 days or so for Spring break. It just made sense.

So a month ago, Noboru requested 9-10 days off. Noboru went and made our hotel reservation a month ago. We had made a reservation for Guam and a reservation for Honolulu. You can always cancel later but prices go up especially around Spring break. And rooms sell out completely. So we had both ways reserved.

So, the day of Noah's graduation, after it's over. We'll run home switch from ceremony clothes to comfy clothes for our flight. The first class seats unfold to beds so we'll more then likely sleep all the way there after eating our meal first. Unless I can't sleep I'll end up watching all those on-demand movies. I'll have packed us beforehand already. And we'll head to the airport.
With all the shaon kai work, I have been doing I'll need a vacation after all that. : ) But in all seriousness. Work hard play hard as we always say. We do work hard and I've been working so hard for this graduation day. And Noah especially. This will be really good for our family to take some family time. Some time to recharge re energize and relax. Beach, shop, eat. Smile and laugh.

And then when it's time to come back to Japan, we'll be flying to Osaka directly from Honolulu. Visit with Noboru's family. Catch up. Let the kids get lots of hugs and cuddles from his family. And then head home back to Chiba for a bit.

I think because of the gap of time still, we'll probably head to my dad's condo for a bit also. And just recharge more. Then we'll come back to Chiba. And get ready for Noah's elementary school adventures to start.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The good-bye curry

Expect a "Noah's good-bye curry" post coming as soon as the pics become available. But as I don't have any pics yet from that day. I'll just make a tiny blurb post about it now. One of the things that I like the most about this school is that it has a tradition of having a "good bye" lunch for the graduating class. The entire grades all eat together in one room. Where they usually eat in their own class/grade. But on this day the entire school comes together and first they all help make the curry. The younger classes help wash the rice. Or clean the vegetables off. Safe jobs for their age. The older class helps peel the carrots etc with observation of the sensei's of course. At the start of this month a note was sent to us all and it said. The Yuri-gumi's will donate 1 (rice)cup of rice and 1 carrot. The Bara-gumi's will all donate 1 cup of rice and 1 potato. And the blue badge kids, the Sakura-gumi what Noah is right now, will donate 1 cup of rice and 1 onion. Make sure you bring it by such and such date. So it doesn't really cost the school huge heaping amounts of cash, they just have to buy the roux and the beef. It's like a joint effort by all us parents. And the kids all look forward to "helping".
Branden first started this school as a pink badge, when we moved to this area. And when I first got the note. I thought, wow that's very cool! Our last yochien did not have anything like that. So, I packed up for Branden, 1 cup of rice and 1 veggie. And then the day he made it at school for the blue badges. Branden came home thrilled. He loved helping cook a meal with the school, the teachers and his friends. He felt so helpful. And the next day all the kids feasted eating what they made. They all spoke warmly and kindly about the older class and said how much they'd be missed. And it was just a very good experience. And then the following year it was Branden's turn. Once again, I got the note. And sure enough packed 1 cup of rice and the veg asked for. And sure enough they helped make it the day before. And all the kids said what they'd miss most about each student. And many kids said what they'd miss most about Branden not being with them at the school anymore. He had made many friends there. And again he felt really loved and accepted and just really nice. By the way, do you know about 4 of the parents I know also went to this yochien as children? The schools been reformed like twice or three times. But it's been there for a very very long time. And they also had the same tradition back then! isn't that cool! I loved hearing/learning that.
When Noah started this school as a teeny tiny yellow badge, he also helped prepare the "good bye" curry. Noah was very young. But he has the pictures from that day still and I remember clear as a bell Noah at age 3, told me..."the big kids are going "bye bye's soon mama" and I smiled and yes, yes I know Noah-chan. : ). And then the red badge years. Noah could now understand a whole lot better and that the kids weren't coming back to the school anymore and they were moving to a different school. When he was a pink badge Noah was sorta sad because he knew this meant Chi-chan would be leaving their school and he did tell the school and her how much he'd miss her and yes Noah cried. : ( But we bought Chi-chan a very beautiful graduation card and Noah drew a picture and wrote his name, a very rough signature granted, but he did the best he could. I had also wrote a 1 line message in there, it said. "Thank you for being Noah's first friend, we will never forget you." And I meant every word. : )
Last week all of us needed to turn in our 1 cup of rice and the Sakura class/blue badges were to give 1 onion. The lunch would be this Tuesday. They all made this curry this past Monday. Finally the "good-bye curry" was for Noah. It was finally his turn. He helped prepare it on Monday of this week.
What do you need, you need 1 unbreakable plate as the note says. And 1 spoon. 1 paper napkin as the note says and 1 trash bag to put the plate in to take home. So, I packed up Noah his silly monkey plate from Target. napkin from Cainz and Spongebob spoon from someplace in the US, I forget where we picked that up.

I told Noah, Tuesday morning this good-bye curry is for you today baby! Enjoy it. Enjoy it! Enjoy it! I love you and I'll see you in the afternoon when I pick you up at 2pm. Most important thing! Have fun!!!! When I picked up Noah in the afternoon, he came out skipping and running towards me. It was so much fun he said. So many kids will miss us mommy! @_@ Oh, I said, that's a good thing, I guess. : ) I laughed. Because he's still so young. And he's taking everything so amazing. He's enjoying his final month of yochien to the fullest. And I'm so glad.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The very last shopping day at the yochien

February 8th was Noah's final shopping day at the yochien! Here's Noah on the far right obviously. And his best friend Hikaru-kun on the far left. Yukina-chan's little brother next to Hikaru. He's a cutie pie! And next to Noah is also his swimming friend and fellow classmate Minori-kun.
Another one of Noah's besties, is the little boy in the middle. That's Ryo-kun. He lives very far away. Like farther then the Cainz store. Like 60%-70% to my work. Like this little boy lives seriously far and he will be going to elementary school alone meaning no one else will be going with him from our yochien. : ( He's a *very* smart boy, very kind and honestly very wise beyond his years type of boy. And Noah's very fond of him. He's got a couple older brothers, like in junior high type age, he's the youngest and he's just a good little boy. Noah enjoys when he swims on the same day at Ryo-kun. The other little boy...sorry I forgot his name, his dad and Noboru are fishing pals. And he lives in the city where the yochien is, so Noah and him will still bump into each other every once in a while. But Ryo-kun is a friend Noah will miss for sures. : ( I'm glad I have this picture. I'll stick this picture in Noah's scrapbook and write his name and a funny store about the two of them. Something he can read when he's older. : )
And a couple of the younger kids trying to get in on the action. : ) This made the blue badge boys giggle.
Picture time, they say us parents can come take pictures between, like 8:50 and 9:10am no longer after that. So, you have a mere 20minutes to snap pics of all the stuff. Take pics of your kids. Other people are walking around. And you're trying to do so as quickly as possible. This is where you just need your sense of humor and smile. You snap 20 pics and hope in at least 1 of those shots someones not blinking or their eyes are not closed. : )
Big crab.
Yakisoba sandwich on the right. Croquette on the left.
A puzzle. All the kids make these with help of the genius sensei's. : )
DS, remember Noah bought a Wii last year, lol. ; )
A party set. Ohhhhh ahhhh. LOL. : )
Eclairs. Omelet rice.
Check this out! Revolving sushi! They seriously think of everything. And a stove top/range with food a cookin' on the right. ; )
Yakiniku yakiniku! It even glowed inside with rolled up tissues slightly orange. It was very cool!
Noah's yochien wallet/bag.
Move over Capricciosa and Saizeriya, make way for the yochien kiddos! Pizza and pasta combo (set)
And what did Noah choose to buy. You know the stuff you think your kids will buy they don't. So it's always a complete surprise what they pick. : ) The omelet rice set. With a cider drink. : )
Yakisoba sandwich.
An alarm clock.
And I made sure I took many many photos of these things for the scrapbook. I let Noah keep these things for a full week before trashing them. Sorry but while we do save his artwork and his few important things. This stuff couldn't be saved. I did save his wallet/bag though. And I have the wallets from the other years saved as well.
What did I do after this, I went to a shaon kai meeting at Mei-chan's house with the Jogo-san, that day. This was the day I took a pic of those plates down below. Noah had a half day the day of his shopping day. So, our meeting was short. We split up the animals and made some signs for the game we'll be playing during the shaon kai. Talked a few more things over and headed right back to the yochien.
Time for a trip down memory lane. This was Noah's first ever "shopping day" at the yochien February 2009. Here he was a teeny tiny yellow badge. Just 3 years old, it was before April since it was Feb. Noah was a pre-nensho Noah was a yellow badge. This little girl, wow by now she must be a 2nd or 3rd grader right now? When Noah started yochien she took immediately to Noah. Her name was/is Chisato-chan but everyone called her Chi-chan. She was Noah's first best friend at the yochien and always made sure Noah got his smock on alright, got his lunch unpacked from his backpack, she helped him with almost everything. : ) When he went to the restroom once when he first started here, she followed him in and asked him, do you know how to go by yourself or do you need any help? Noah said, I am fine. He came home and told me. "mommy....Chi-chan's my very best friend she is so helpful" That is so good to hear Noah! She held his hand at the shopping day and helped him make his purchases. We will always have a soft spot in our hearts for Chi-chan.
His favorite purchase from his yellow badge shopping day were these pair of wild and crazy sunglasses. Noah wore these while watching TV. While eating his supper until we asked him to kindly take them off during dinner. @_@ But he loved these sunglasses wore these for months! And yes! I have these safely tucked away in the attic in Noah's yochien plastic box and I have this picture in his photobook and this story basically that I hand wrote for Noah telling him how much he LOVED these very sunglasses! Noah's magical sunglasses with the blue plastic lenses. : )
A year wiser, Noah shopping as a little red badge. A first year/freshman for kindy if you know what I mean. This was to be Chi-chan's final year here. Chi-chan was moved into the big blue badge class. So she played with Noah still but less. I worried so much at this point, would Noah be okay without the lovely and helpful Chi-chan? I was really very worried about what would happen when she left. Anyway this pic is of Noah (a red badge at the time) and Chi-chan (a blue badge) at the time the year 2010.
And Chi-chan chasing Noah all over the school grounds. During that shopping day 2010.
And this photo was happily taken last year. As you can tell by the color of Noah's badge, Noah was a pink badge here. And after Chi-chan left they mixed up all the bara-gumi and the yuri-gumi's and Hikaru was thrown into class with Noah. They hit it off instantly. They knew each other from swimming and Noah's older brother is 1 year older then Hikaru's so they have seen each other since they were about 9month's old at swim club when his mom and I would be there for our older boys. So yeah they did know each other. But the second they were put into class together. That was it. They were inseparable! All last year and all this year. What did I learn from this. And the whole Chi-chan leaving thing. Things do change. Like the old saying goes, change is inevitable. Change is bound to happen whether you like it or not. But people do adapt and adjust. And there will be bright rays of sunshine like his friendship he has had with his best friend H these past 2 years. And when Noah switches schools, it'll be different and an adjustment at first, but the important thing is to have the mindset we'll be okay. And in the end, you might make a real good friend you haven't even met yet!
I love you Noah!