Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dental cleaning and sealants. Spring cleaning underway. 10 potato plants, as of right now and solar panels

Alrighty, this post is basically going to be a bits and pieces, on just what we've been up to around here, type post. Nothing hugely majorly important, but it's okay. : )  Bought a few Cook-Do's recently.  I use them and I like them. My mil is the one who first got me started on these a very long time ago. She made for me sweet and sour chicken with the sabuta (sweet and sour pork) sauce and it was the best I've ever eaten.  The one on the right is a shoyu butter garlic flavor and I use some chicken breast and chop up a ton of veggies. The back of the box says just add mushrooms, but I like to add some chopped cabbage with the mushrooms.  The tandoori chicken one, we haven't used yet. But, I'm using it tonight. Before the boys head to swim school.
You know me and that cheap meat store already. lol. well, They had for 200 yen. However many/as many chicken nuggets you can stuff into this bag. I figured the cost of Mc D's nuggets and thought to have this on hand for a cheap lunch during the weekends, it would be great. So, there I went. Stuffing nugget after nugget. Me and 2 older grandma types, talking, then stuffing and talking some more. As much as they stuffed in their bags, is how many I stuffed into this bag. Hahaha. I did try my best! And you know what, Branden and Noah got 3 lunches out of it. They could be baked, toaster ovened or fried. Either way. But, I did get a good deal. lol. They also had this enormous bag, about the size of a grocery bag and said for 200 yen however many onions you could stuff in that. You could get 50 onions easy. But, knowing how Noboru feels about onions, I knew I'd more then likely waste money on the onion deal, so I didn't go for the onions. : ) lol.
2kg of chicken breast. For us Americans, that is 4.4 pounds of chicken. That's a lot of chicken! About 6-7 enormous sized chicken breasts. Not medium sized.
For just 380 yen. Under $4 US. So super cheap. I usually get 2 meals out of 1 bag, can even get 3 if I make curry. Unless I make karaage and then we'll use the whole bag and end up with 2 meals worth of karaage. For about $3.80 US, that really is a great price on chicken breast. Sometimes though, if I make curry, and cream stew, I can use 2 giant chicken breasts for the cream stew and 2 more for the curry, so only use 4 and still have 2 chicken breasts leftover. So, we do get a good amount of meals from these.
I'll cruise to my cheap meat store and pick up 2 (2kg) bags of these. And then put them in my freezer or separate the chicken into ziplock freezer bags.
We buy a lot of pork from the cheap meat store too. This day, I bought 2 pork roasts. And the other package is thigh meat at the back and then there's marinated meat for an obento for Noboru for the next day.
The next time, I felt my meat in the freezer was running low, I again cruised to the cheap meat store and bought 2 more pork roasts, 2 beef roasts (these were for the beef stew) more of that marinated meat Noboru loves. Miso pork here is so delicious and already marinated and another 2kg of chicken breast for 380 yen. I always end up with a full weeks worth of meat and for super cheap. I also have a cheap veggie store, lol, that has the freshest veggies and at the cheapest price. So, those 2 shops I shop at once a week, and then I have a main grocery store, where I buy everything else. And I go  to my regular store, twice a week and get extra fresh veggies (if needed) and milk and drinks and what not. Anyway, these are just the prices for my area in the countryside.
Still getting Spring and Summer ready for Branden and Noah, little by little. Order from Cecile came in. I like ordering from here and have for years.
Shorts for Branden, 2 pair and shorts for Noah, 1 pair (remember he got more shorts the other week from Nishimatsuya, so I am just being fair).
These are perfect for Noah's slim frame. And were about 980 yen. Quality is nice too.
Also picked up a pair of jeans for Noah but a slimmer fit, it's just because Noah is stretching out length wise and not width wise, hahaha. So he needed an extra pair of jeans. I actually liked the way they fit him so much, I ordered Noah a 2nd pair of these jeans and they were only 980 yen or so, so a fair price.
I've been a Kiehl's customer and fan since high school. Even Noboru remembers after we were first married, we'd both cruise down to the Cherry Creek mall and I'd go to Neiman Marcus and pick up my Silk Groom for my hair. I don't use that anymore, but, yep have used this line/brand forever. Now days, I just get it whenever we go to Hawaii on our once a year trips there. Picked up something last year in March when we went for Noah's yochien graduation trip. So, I was pleasantly surprised when , I found out, they're in Japan now and online ordering is available.
I have been wanting a bottle of this but figured I'd have to wait until June. So was happy when I found out, we could get it here.
I really do love my hair (silly thing to admit, but true). And I really do take super great care of it though. Anyway, just wanted to say, I'm digging this new-ish product form Kiehl's.
Branden started with a tiny hole on the top of his sneaker. Pin hole size. Super small. Then it grew to a 1 yen size. Forget that.... it needed replacing. Then I looked at Noah's sneakers since they were bought at the same time. An his still fit and all and no holes, but they looked absolutely shot! So, a pair for the both of them. They had a pair of Adidas I liked for Noah and they were actually cheaper then these. 2,400 yen for the Adidas but they were white and gray and very bland looking for a shoe. And Branden's size had slim pickings. These were eye catching,  the sole was funky and cool all at the same time. So, I thought, why the heck not.
2,900 yen each. And I had a 300 yen coupon off each pair. If you went to their website while in their store to get the coupon, which I did. lol. : ) Tossed Branden's shoes in the trash and Noah can keep his shot pair.... for a spare emergency pair. You know, say he fell into a tanbo and needed a spare pair until his got washed type emergency. Granted not that I plan on that happening but ykwim.
Last Friday, when Noah got out of school, he came running down the hill with wild flowers in hand. I was the only mom to receive them last Friday. Why Noah wanted to give me flowers, who knows, but it was appreciated....and you know what, I think,  Noah will be a romantic when he grows up, I think. : ) It was very thoughtful of him.
Wild flowers picked from school. : ) Awww. Thanks Noah. : )
What else. Both Branden and Noah had their dental cleanings and check up. They also had an appointment for getting sealants on their back teeth.  Noah went first. No cavities. everything looks amazing. Like the dentist said to us. Usually kids around age 6 get their first back molars in. And they get their 2nd molars near the age of 12. Branden got sealant on his first molars when he was 6-7 years old when they first came in. And his 2nd ones came in just recently, so the dentist went in and gave Branden his 2nd sealant for his newer back teeth. Now Noah finally got his first back molars in recently, so the dentist went and cleaned all his teeth and gave Noah a fluoride treatment and he also sealed Noah's first back upper/top teeth. The dentist said the sealant should last until they get into high school! So more then likely now, that the sealant is on there, they will now never get a cavity on their back teeth. Granted it's not 100% but it does protect the teeth perfectly well. Branden went in after Noah was done. And of course Branden has never had a single cavity and his teeth are super straight and he got his 2nd sealants on the back top teeth. The dentist gave them sealants on the top back teeth. First because he said kids have a harder time cleaning the upper back teeth then the lower back teeth. When we go back in 6 months from now, the dentist said he will give the boys their lower sealants, as well. So, in a nut shell, both the boys absolutely no cavities and everything looks perfect. Teeth wise. And I am happy about it. And yes, I am a stickler about their teeth. Ahh, the picture above Branden's head. This dentist doesn't believe in giving silver colored fillings, at all, he thinks the white/tooth colored filings are more attractive. Granted neither Branden or Noah even have a cavity, never have and knock on wood they never do. And most modern dentists in America now days use white/tooth colored fillings also so, I am happy we have such a cool and modern/up to date dentist here in Japan.
Sealants 2100 yen (US $21) but we have dental insurance and so our dental visit for both boys, for a full cleaning, fluoride treatment and sealants again for both boys, cost us only 400 yen total, $4 US for both Branden and Noah total for everything they got done (cleaning, fluoride, sealants).  Anyway we'll be back to the dentist around October some time. For Branden's last sealants. And 2 more of Noah's sealants. And their cleaning and check up.
We had to wait 20 minutes after the boys dental visit so they could eat after their dental treatments. But by the time we drove from the dentist to Subway sandwich it was 20 minutes already. Then we drove to Burger King.
Noah about to enter Burger King.
Branden enjoying his whopper with cheese combo. Last Saturday. After their dental visit.
Noah also enjoying his Whopper junior with cheese combo. Hahaha. : )
Veggie and cheese sandwich and onion rings. This was our dinner last Saturday. And then we headed back to our area. It was very nice to get their dental exam out of the way though!
Nameko are pretty popular here. They're mushrooms. They have choco banana Nameko. And all sorts of different ones. An adorable oni  Nameko that is quite sensitive and cries. Anyway this book was around 600 yen and I picked it up for the boys to read and enjoy. They have both read it now already. And still go back and flip through it.
Spring cleaning that I have done as of right now. Note, I did no Spring cleaning on that 2 week break we had. I did do my regular light cleaning Monday through Friday. The boys helped. But last week when they started school, is when I started slowly with my spring cleaning. So far, I am getting done at a snails pace though. I cleaned out the shoe closet. Threw a whole bag of shoes that were the boys away, either too small or too old. And this week, I thoroughly cleaned the upstairs, every one's rooms and the hall and shower area. Windows cleaned and blinds everything. Except the closets haven't been done at all. But everything else has. I also threw out the boys and my nylon washing shower cloth. Noboru didn't want a new one. But, ours we threw out and got new ones. From the daiso/100 yen shop. Also Branden needed a new calculator for math at school. They had cute green and white polka dot ones. Also had blue and white polka dot ones too. I also picked one up for Noah and tucked it away in his desk for whenever someday he needs one for math class, he'll have one.
Plain lime green on the back. Not bad for 100 yen. And Branden's using it daily now.
Last week, when I was doing that big cleaning of all the bedrooms upstairs, I stripped all the bedding off all the beds. And took them down to the laundry mat.
Threw them in the dryer after they were done and folded. Then I came home, vacuumed their blinds, windexed their windows, vacuumed the carpets, then, put all the beds back together. You can see Noah's yellow bedding in the middle dryer. The 2 white washable futon/duvet that is under their yellow duvet or polka dot duvet far left dryer. And all my bedding on the far right dryer. Next week, I will go and go through Noah's closet, then Branden's... then mine and weed out anything not being the right size.
Last Friday, Noboru and I went on a breakfast date at Coco's. They have a breakfast buffet. Their drink bar is amazing. Delicious hot cocoa.
Noboru and I chatted and enjoyed our time together, while the boys were at school. After breakfast last Friday we went to the bakery for bread for weekend breakfast. And we also hit the cheap veggie store.
Saturday was our housing community's welcome party for the new ichinensei. It's held every year at the plaza. 6th grade mom's always host that. So, I went and hosted that. There are only 5 ichinensei from our housing community this year. The rest were 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade kids. They all played up a storm. I was the leader of the blue team. Branden was in my team, Saya-chan. Keita-kun, Litsu (new ichinensei and our neighbor) and 2 other kids, whose name escapes me, sorry kids. : ) First game, was we had newspaper and all kids had to fit on the newspaper and with each round, us mom's folded it up smaller and smaller. until it was nearly tissue sized!!! It was the kids idea how to fit everyone on such a small space. Branden gave Litsu a piggy back, and the other bigger kids all put the smaller ones on the bigger ones backs. It was hilarious!  Noah was in Go-kun's mom's lane. And Rin-kun was in Noah's lane (Litsu's brother and our neighbor). And I could keep my eye on everyone. Chat with the mom's. The ichinensei mom's came but they sat on the sidelines while us 6th grade mom's did our stuff! They enjoyed it. After the newspaper game, we did a different game....you know that game with an egg on a spoon and you race. Well, we had a ping pong ball on a ladle instead. Much cleaner. : ) And the kids raced! And I cheered so loud! Go Saya-chan go!!! Run Keita-kun run!!!! Hahaha. I high fived all the kids. Hahaha. Yep, I was pumped and ready to go! And when we had to count, half the time I counted in English and half the time I counted in Japanese. I mixed it up! So, our team had a blast. Litsu was so excited, he had to tell me every single detail about his wobbly tooth and how he thinks it's going to fall out. Being a mom and knowing what kids want to hear..I said. "Oh what tooth...show me which one!!!" Ohhhh he said, it's this one!!! "Oh this one right here?" yes, he said. It's that one! Oh wow...it's so wobbly, it might wobble right out of your mouth, be careful I said. : ) Do, you have any tissue just in case, I asked. Litsu loves the question and he does ponder/think a bit. I have my handkerchief, he says but my mom has tissues in her purse. Then he shouted to his mom, who's watching and smiling at us from a far. "Mom...do you have any tissues, in case my tooth falls out?" lol. Then I ask.... "Now are you going to throw this one way way up high or down low", I ask. We chatted all about wobbly teeth in between turns of the "egg/spoon race" Keita meanwhile wanted to be anchor. And I find him absolutely adorable, so anchor it was for Keita-kun! He's a 6th grader and I remember when he was a 1st grader all those years ago, he was out playing with Branden. My doorbell rang and I answered it, keep in mind we only met him in the first grade, so a few months beforehand. And he tells me, I got hurt, I need a hug now. Totally shocked me.... he wanted a "mom hug" from me! @_@ Hmm, what do I do,,, what to do...... So, I gave him one! And rubbed his finger even and said...all better!!!! And asked him...do you feel better? He totally did. : ) Go figure. lol. That was the darnedest thing and I swear that is what I will remember about Keita forever. Wanting a hug and comfort in the first grade. From me, nonetheless. Go figure.  He's very outgoing Keita-kun and he chatters away at me, as if I'm a Japanese mom. Clearly I'm not and that's what's so funny. He sees me as totally normal (ykwim) and like he's known me forever. So, I treat him super and I always look out for him. So yes he wanted to be anchor? Okay! : ) Done. : )  Our team unfortunately did not win any round on any game! Hahaha. Noah's team won twice though. But by gosh we had ourselves a ball. And then it was over. And we passed out the goodie bags. Fanta grape soda, all these snacks. And waved all the younger grades good bye. The 6th grade kids all stayed with us mom's and Noah (and anyone else having younger siblings) too. Us mom's swept up and cleaned up and then we all "job well done" to each other and we left. And we headed home. It went pretty well. And all the kids seemed to have a good time. Anyway that was last Saturday. And this Saturday, we have observation day and the boys need a lunch from home. But bright side is , no school this coming Monday. Silver lining...silver lining. : )

Anything else to add? The Voice is getting so good! I enjoy Usher and Shakira as new judges.  The potato plants are now 10!!! @_@  And they are even bigger then the last pics. Anything else to add. Well, we're getting solar panels to our house. It's something we considered off and on especially after 3/11. And there was of course less power available in Japan. For the past year, Noboru has been quietly studying which ones he felt were best fit for our house. There are many good Japanese brands. And there is also Canadian Solar, which is amazing too. And after Noboru debated and studied, the size of each panel versus how much energy you get from each. Blah blah blah. Plus cost of each panel yada yada yada. Long story short, you know how long Noboru took to decide the windows for our house. Well, same for the solar panels. And he picked Canadian Solar. They will not be visible from the front of our house, which is great. They will only be on the back.  I will blog a bit more about it later. But they are coming to inspect our house April 19th (tomorrow). And installation is April 26th.  They have come once already. And we have been waiting for our appointment April 26th for a long time now. So, we're ready. : ) So long story short, just your typical,  mommy grocery shopping stories. Hole in shoe, so replaced. Phew! Starting my Spring cleaning. Every 6 month dental exam and cleaning done and done!!! No cavities as usual, right on! Sealants being done! Breakfast lunch date and solar panel and potato update. Hahaha. : ) That's it for now. : )