Friday, January 11, 2013

First week back to school for Branden and Noah. Getting in the swing of things and finding our groove with it

 How has every one's first week back to school (for your kids) and for some of you back into the work routine. For us here, it was tough getting back into the swing of things, meaning, Branden and Noah's school schedule, plus Kumon and on top of that Noah's swimming school schedule. Especially when the past 16 or so days before was just rest rest, watch TV. With a pre new year's oosoji mixed in there, but yeah it felt great to just take a break from the same ol same ol routine stuff.  ; ) They only had Kumon a few times during Winter break but it was closed a good while too. Same with swim school.  So Sunday, January 6th morning, I got started on the boys school washing. I washed their school gym uniforms/PE uniforms. red and white hats, some misc handkerchiefs and lunch mats and their seat covers.
Noah's green seat cover in green elephant print far left on the pole, Branden's zoo seat cover next to it. Shorts, pants in the middle pole and shirts.
Actual seat cushion/earthquake cover/safety cover. I set out in the sun for the entire morning and afternoon. This sat out longest. And I whacked it with the futon stick. And dust came out of it. Every hour on the hour I'd whack it again. Branden's blue seat cushion, when I whacked it at first looked like a giant dust cloud around it. @_@ Yikes! By the end of the day though, safe to say, it was dust free and fat from the sun. They're skinny and flat as pancakes in this picture.
Came back out to check. Hmm safety cover/cushion is getting pinch fatter in this pic.
I washed this, but yep it's scary lookin'! : ) This is Branden's shuji/calligraphy outfit. When he was in the 2nd grade and they started shuji. They said to bring an old pair of grungy old clothes that you wouldn't mind ruined. Since the boys share clothes, so I wouldn't want anything really ruined. We bought the cheapest pair of long shorts we could find. 980 yen or something like that. In a baggy size and then this denim smock for like 800 yen or so I forgot the price now but it was affordable. We also gave Branden one of Noboru's old plain black T shirts and so whenever the kids do shuji. Branden switches his clothes and if he gets that paint or whatever on this outfit we really don't care/mind. When Noah starts shuji in the 2nd grade, we'll be doing the same also. That ink is so freaking beyond permanent. It's like a nightmare to get out of clothes. And after talking to my Japanese mom friends they say there's a washable kind of ink but it turns green or something so it's not as nice after it dries so we all just use the jet black regular kind. But anyway this outfit? Still stains and stuff. But at least it smells freshly clean. : )
Gym clothes and lunch mats and handkerchiefs all gone. Only thing left standing was the seat cushion/safety cover and cover for the cushion and the shuji outfit. Sunday, made sure both the boys were all packed up. All Winter homework all packed away. Seat cushions ready to go. Pencils all sharpened. Just everything ready and done for the next day.
Still Sunday, January 6th the day before they started school. The boys and I baked a gingerbread cake together.
It smelled great while baking. We just sort of stayed home all Sunday. Made sure we were ready for school. Baked an easy dessert and had dinner.
With a little dollop of whip cream. Sunday was good.
There's a new show on the OWN channel. It's called the Golden Sisters. It's about 3 elderly in age sisters but they are so funny, hip and the way they talk, they shoot straight from the hip! They're sharp and hilarious these 3. The one pictured here with glasses, gets a bit bullied by 1 sister.
This is Mary, she's the oldest of the 3. She bullies the sister up above. The other 2 sisters are identical twin sisters. They shared pics of them when they were young, totally identical but they don't look at all alike now. Mary says it's because the sister up above got fatter then the other sister. : ( See what I mean about her bullying that one sister. 
Anyway it's very funny, I kept seeing the commercials for it. It's a new show. I was wondering if I'd like it. And I checked it out and my gosh. These ladies are a riot. They're so funny.
Monday night we went to Capricciosa for dinner with our family of 4 and Jun and his wife and daughter, so 7 of us total. It was a nice dinner. nice seeing them again. My niece starts the first grade this April. And they bought her randoseru already. And they of course saw Noah's outfit and randoseru via the New year's card we sent them so we spoke a lot about elementary school prep. How it went for Noah last year. She's in the midst of shaon kai stuff, my sil right now. I've been there before myself twice, so we could talk about that stuff and laugh. It was a nice meal. And a nice catch up with them. Tuesday, we had chicken teriyaki bowls. Though I didn't technically use teriyaki, this time so. I used yakitori sauce this time since it's a a tad sweeter (the one we buy) and it's so delicious. We use fresh mushrooms in here too and some steamed broccoli and a side. So yakitori bowl maybe, hmm.  This is always my "go to" meal when I'm tired or whatever.  And Monday left us all a bit tired with having to wake up so early, plus Kumon after and dinner and the drive to Narita City we were exhausted by the time we got home but we did have a great time with the family. Tuesday also. I felt pretty tired all day. Even though I did manage to vacuum upstairs and downstairs and do laundry and swoosh toilets. Other then that I just rested.  So this was a good choice for Tuesday. Easy for me to make and the family loves this bowl type meal.
Wednesday was still a tad hard for me to wake up in the morning. And I still didn't feel 100% back to my routine. I did however go to the grocery store. Plus the cheap meat store. Picked up a beef roast and pork roast and chicken and nabe stuff.  We had nabe Wednesday. And Noah also swam Wednesday after school also.
I am still working out. I am treadmilling 4 times a week. And doing a few tummy crunches here and there. I'm currently ranked 4th place for the team I'm on. My minutes are actually closer to 500 now.
Thursday afternoon, I made a batch of Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies with pecans. I didn't bake them, I kept the cookie dough mixture in a bowl with plastic wrap on it. And after the boys came back from school and Kumon and after we ate supper. We baked 2 trays of them. We still have over half the cookie mixture in the fridge and we will bake the rest Saturday afternoon.  That way they will be freshly baked Saturday the last half batch.
First batch Thursday. 
I have been lusting after that polka dot swimsuit from Modcloth for the past year. The black and white polka dot one and also the red and white polka dot one. The only reason I haven't taken the plunge is because someone said the red one in the comments when you see the swimsuit online there are comments below the suit from people who purchased it...anyway they said "something Minnie Mouse". And I am not sure why but that comment someone made is what has been holding me off so far. And the black and white one on Modcloth I love, a few people said it's light beige instead of white dots. And that sort of is holding me off too. Because I really want black and straight bright white. Plus the price is also a little high for a swimsuit for buying online when I am not sure if this company usually runs small or large with compared to ON/Gap etc etc, those types of concerns, I'd basically what I'm saying is...I'd hate to buy a swimsuit that ran 2 sizes too big or two sizes too small iykwim. Those types of worries/concerns are a bit of a deterrent for me too. Don't get me wrong I could most certainly order it if I wanted it badly enough, it's just the beige versus white comment. Etc. Anyway I had been so flippy floppy on that Modcloth swimsuit. Like forever flippy floppy and I know it. And I do still love those. Anyway to cut a long story short. I saw this one. This is a lot more conservative, smaller dots. It's still in that Marilyn Monroe-esque old style glam style of suit. You know what I mean, I hope. And it's pure black and white not beige or cream. Plus the dots are small so more conservative, like I already said. Plus the price is like half. And on top of that...the fact I order from Old Navy and Gap all the time and know my size without even trying on or batting an eyelash. And it's easy to know why, I picked this suit. A pair of black flip flops on the beach or pools.... here I come. : ) I also would like to buy another swimsuit this year maybe I'll get that red white one from Modcloth or maybe if Gap/ON comes out with another new style in a month I'll grab another style. I'd also like to buy myself a tankini if I can find a super cute one. I can't wait for Summer or playing at the pools.
I also picked up this cover up because for example when we go from hotel room to swimming pool we take the elevators and walk right through the lobby in swimsuit and that's it, is fine for kiddos but not for an adult lady. : ) So, a stylish cover up is very much appreciated. That way I can zip through the lobby and still feel covered. I have 3 here at the house, a white one, a bright blue one and a black and white stripe one. I like this red one. My other ones are 3-6 years old so could use a replacing. : )
What was for dinner tonight? Buffalo wings with ranch on the side. Cheesy baked potatoes, and broccoli. I also made 2 cups of rice in case Noboru prefers rice. : ) He's at work still. But Branden and Noah and I didn't have any rice because the potatoes were plenty. Anyway, so how was the first week back to school? For me it was pretty hard. Easier on the kids actually. I had gotten used to staying up much too late during the winter holidays. I think I was staying up to midnight most nights. Sleeping in also. So it was a shock to my system at first to start hearing my alarm at 5:30am. Even though I'd whack the alarm and snooze it until 6:20am Monday through Wednesday this week. I think Thursday I started getting out of bed at 6am and Friday/this morning I actually got out of bed at 5:50am. That's as early as I care to go and I appreciate the 20 minutes of hitting the snooze button, gives me time to actually wake up fully before stepping out of bed. So a step in the right direction. All today, I kept thinking to myself. TGIF! I can't believe I made it. : ) I will stay up this weekend and enjoy it still, but not past 11pm.

Anything else to add? We have a 3 day weekend, this weekend, Monday is a holiday. Yay! ; ) Anything else to say? We're booking our Hakone trip for February this evening after Noboru gets home. We will just be staying 1 night.  But we'll enjoy it to the fullest. Wine onsen, green tea and coffee onsen, etc, plus hotel onsen and rotenburo here we come. Plus we have those free night stay coupons and that's a smart and affordable way for us to go. Hmm, I wonder if my new swimsuit will get here in enough time. I hope so. : )  Alrighty, have a nice weekend everyone. Time for me to take a shower and jump in the tub.  That goodness for the weekends.