Monday, June 30, 2014

Swimming has already started at the local elementary school and local JHS...

Good morning everyone! : ) I'm currently working on my post on our trip we took this past weekend (it was amazing), hope to get it up soon. In the meantime this post is super short and I can get this little sucker up in less than 30 minutes, so I am gonna just put this one up first. : ) Swimming at the elementary school and JHS has already started. In Japan, the kids swim in the warmer months at our local elementary school and JHS.  We went to Xebio, which is a chain sports shop, the one we go to is in Narita just to get any last minute items needed before swimming at their school. We went here a day or so before Noah's swimming competition. Hold on let me go and check the date of this pic, okay just checked and we went to Xebio on June 14th, 1 day before Noah's big swimming competition day, because they were to start swimming that coming week. 

Every June before swimming at the local schools start, I have the kids try on their swim stuff from the year before to check...does anything need replacing? Does everything still fit? For Branden, his swim trunks needed replacing. And although in our local elementary school the rules are, needs to be basic navy blue swim wear or black... with name on it. The JHS note said anything black or navy was fine, not the baggy regular swim trunks though, you know the fitted kind and he doesn't need a great big name tag on the front anymore, go figure. Hahaha. So since he needed replacements we went and bought him this type so they could serve a double purpose, meaning they could be worn at the local JHS for swimming and also at the private swim school they swim for. We had him try on about 6 different pair, and we finally picked these ones. So in short... they can be worn at the swim school and at his JHS, and no name sewn on the suit needed/necessary at our local JHS. So perfect that he can use for both places. Which is much nicer than having to buy 2 separate pair. : ) 

Branden got a Nike swim bag in the first grade and currently he has been using this amazing Ralph Lauren swimming bag for the past year and he loves it! However, being a 2nd child, we haven't bought Noah a swim bag...ever! @.@ Poor kiddo! Hahaha. He has been using Branden's old Spongebob swim bag. And yes while Branden was a 6th grader last year, I did have to do lifeguard duty last year 1 day if you remember and sure I checked out every one's swim bags and such, because they were right there. And I made a mental note...that I better make sure to buy Noah a new swimming bag...everyone was using a sports type like this one! : ) So, this year we did that. 1 Nike swimming bag for Noah. Bought and done! : )

Not sure why this pic came out sideways, I'm sorry. : ( But anyways the zippered bottom part is for putting your wet swim trunks and rash guard in it. But since he took this to school and it was dry obviously, I packed his flip flops in there, but just for the first day. : )

It has a nice cushy diagonal strap.

Put his name on the bag, on the tag and another spot real tiny. 

When you see the kids swim, you see a long row of flip flops outside near the pool area and it is hard to track your own shoes down in the sea of flippies, very understandable. So, to help...I write Noah's first name on his actual flip flop (both shoes), that way in case his name sticker falls off, it's still on his shoe. 

I also use water proof name stickers on each flop flop, which have his first and last name on each flip flop. And I think this makes it easier for Noah to find his shoes, besides he knows his flop flops have the green skateboard motif from Old Navy. : ) 

His swim suit goes here wet and that's why there are air vents on this bottom part of the his wet swim stuff gets air and he bring his swim gear back home the day he swims, I wash it right away and hang it out to dry outside and then pack his bag all over again for him to take back to school. : ) 

Noah's Adidas swim trunks are in size 140cm so they didn't need replacing this year, but next year, yes we will replace them. He also uses a rash guard. Both in navy blue. Also starting from this year they want grades to wear the same color swim cap. Last year and years before it was, you could wear any color swim cap, so Noah always wore this yellow one (easier to see in the pool, I think). However this year all 1st graders must wear a pink swim cap, all 2nd graders must wear a yellow swim cap and all 3rd graders must wear green and so on. 

So this year it's green. I made sure Noah was all nicely packed and ready to start swimming at the local elementary school. Made sure his name was written on the green swimming cap too.

Meanwhile, also wrote Branden's name on his flip flops too. 

Also put on water proof stickers on Branden's flip flops as well. Packed up Branden's Ralph Lauren swim bag and made sure he was ready to start swimming too. Also for what it's worth....when I was in the US or ordered online at Ralph Lauren, this was year I forget where...but as a free gift they gave me a free plastic swim bag with the huge logo on it. It was weird to get that was something we could actually definitely use since we are water people and a swim beachy type family. So...yeah... best free gift ever for our family! And Branden loves it and his classmates, teachers have asked him...where did you get that?!!! He tells them honestly... my mom got it as a free gift with purchase.  : )
Since the week of June 16th both Branden and Noah have been swimming at their elementary school and JHS. There are different levels in swimming at elementary school and JHS. Range from kids who can't swim and just splash around but like to have fun with balls and enjoy which is fine.... and also a bunch of different levels all the way up to the highest level. Both Branden and Noah are the highest levels of swimmers at their local schools. So their swim lane is nice and challenging for them, and they love it! Noah is swimming with 3rd and 4th graders this year at the elementary school. And there are 5 or 6 kids in the highest level. Noah is the most experienced also out of those 5 or 6 kids, I know because I sat there for an hour while on life guard duty last year watching. Noah said...the principal has come by watching the 3rd and 4th graders swim and I know he wishes Noah were in the 4th grade already so he could represent for our local elementary this August... but he's still too young this year since he's only in the 3rd grade, maybe next year if Noah decides he wants to. So June and July are so fun for Noah for example because he swims 4 times a week, twice at elementary school and twice a week at the private swim school he swims at. Every week he tells me, "I get to swim 4 times this week!!!" So he loves it! Branden too, he swims twice a week at the JHS and twice a week privately in the evenings with Noah, plus he bikes to school 3 times a week so he gets tons of exercise and he loves swimming. Summer is both of their favorite time of year because of swimming. I am so happy for the boys to get to swim 4 times a week and they'll swim like this 4 times a week until they go on Summer vacation/break. : )  

At the local elementary school and also JHS we get weekly 1 sheet updates, these are supposed to be weekly class news... of what the kids did that week. This one says up above..."pics of swim class, looks like they're having fun!"...Here is Branden and his classmate, yes they are in the same grade and same age. Branden is much taller and much more muscular than that kiddo. Branden may not be the tallest kid in his class but he's certainly not the shortest. He's a good height and he's very muscle-y. Noboru says he has a swimmers body from all his years of swimming. : ) Anyway just a quick update..swimming at the local elementary school and JHS has started and they love they can swim 4 times a week. Being in the pool is their thing...the sport they love most. They are so in their element when they are poolside. So they're both *really* happy right now you guys. : )

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Maleficent movie tickets purchased...

Though the movie Maleficent came out in the US a while ago, for us in Japan it hasn't came out just yet. It starts showing in regular movie theaters here July 5th, I believe is the first day it starts here. Now you all know, I love movies, going out to the movies, watching movies at home. Movies are awesome! : ) And I have been badly wanting to see this movie and so have the kids! So, today I went to the movie theater and though it's too early still... to pick your seat, I can do that this next coming week. But this is a paid ticket that reserves us our seats, they just haven't been picked yet, still too early. Why buy beforehand? Good question, haha. : ) Not sure about all parts of Japan, but for our part of Japan, it saves money. Not sure if you can see the tickets on the left, it says 800 yen for kids tickets, if I waited until July, the day of the actual movie we'd pay 1,000 yen each kids ticket. So buying early for just Branden and Noah's tickets saves me 400 yen $4 US both their tickets. And heck 400 yen is still a 400 yen savings. And same with our adult tickets too. By me buying them today I just paid 1400 yen for our adult tickets $14 US each ticket for an adult. which is still highway robbery, if you compare to a movie in Guam. However, this movie looks amazing, it's superly popular right now and I'd like us to go and enjoy it as a family. And I didn't want to wait until cheap movie day, which only happens on the first day of every month because at that rate, I'd have to wait until August 1st and we'll be in California at that time anyways. : ) So...I'm happy pre-buying the movie tickets, I did save around 1000 yen by buying these early, before July. The ticket counter lady who was... by the way AWESOME : )...said as soon as the new schedule comes out, for me to come back and pick/choose our specific seats. And I believe our new weekly schedule comes out on Thursdays, so July 3rd, I'll just cruise myself to the nearest movies and exchange these tickets for actual tickets with confirmed/picked/chosen seats. : )  So movie tickets bought, yes! We just have to pick the seats this coming week, but tickets indeed bought already. : )

Also, because I bought our tickets early they gave me 4 free gifts. A nice surprise. Heck, I won't knock a free gift. ; ) So now we have 4 Maleficent eye masks, go figure. : )

PS, things to add: Both Branden and Noah are swimming right now. Branden is so relaxed and relieved his tests are over and done and have already been taken. He said he feels really good about his tests he took today. Also...yesterday, Noboru was given July's work schedule and yes he was given his vacation days off! So we are going on vacation last week of July and first part of August as well, it's a sure thing now, so we are pretty excited. We all could use a nice long vacation. So it's something to look forward to again, which is nice. My dad is in the air as we speak or I type...heading to Japan. But it's just a connecting flight. Alrighty, that's enough from me for now. : ) 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Branden’s first ever semester final for JHS is tomorrow, June 26th. For the last 2 weeks Branden has been in serious study mode... kicking butt on the syllabus given to them 2 weeks ago. What sections/specific parts will be on such and such test (Social studies, science, English, etc). Testing wise his JHS tests he does reminds me *a lot* of how I tested in college/uni in the US. So..yep...he’s been working so freaking hard on his studies and I know he's going to be super happy after tomorrows tests are over and done with!!! Good luck Bran....kick it baby!!! Kick booty on all your tests tomorrow! : )

Weekend getaway this coming weekend. Ahhhhh (sigh of happiness, lol.) Relief. Boy do all of us need this! This whole month of June has been just super crazy. Seems we haven’t had a real 2 day weekend all month, isn’t that sad or weird or both, hahaha? First weekend of June was the kids club thing, which was fine. 2nd week of June was the swimming competition, still so proud of you Noah, you amazing little swimmer and diver you!!!! ; ) Last weekend, I was at a yakuin meeting from 7-9:20pm (June 21st). @.@ Whole evening just spent talking...making decisions of prices for the things we will be selling for the summer festival next month. The box of stuff to sell that we ordered already, had arrived and we went through it (glowy stuff, plastic swords that light up, water guns, idol cards for older kids, tons of other stuff) Should we charge, 50 yen, 100 yen, 200 yen? Man, we went through item by item. Again so many behind the scenes stuff happen before the summer festival. The bright side is...I don’t have another yakuin duty/job or meeting until July 19th, when we have the fireworks!!! So, now I am free for about 3 weeks at least. So...yay me for kicking butt at the meeting last weekend. : ) Phew. So yeah...we are all really greatly needing this weekend, you guys. : ) It’s just a little 1 overnight hotel stay near-ish Mt Fuji, but that’s okay because we REALLY could use a break.  : )

So something to look forward to... for this coming weekend, for sures. Goodness we need it, superly need it...just saying. : )

My dad...he is flying out Wednesday morning Denver time. Making his way to Japan and then to Guam. So, I will be tracking his flight via online and making sure he has a smooth trip. : ) So for us in Japan time, he is leaving for us.... probably around 10pm tonight... he will be either in the air from Denver to MN and then on his way to Japan then Guam, what a long flight to get back “home”, like I said though...around 9pm-10pm tonight for us in Japan is when his journey should be starting, he has an extremely long flight so good luck dad and have a wonderful trip, watch tons of movies!: ) 

Weather wise...It’s been raining off and on all day yesterday and today, where we live. : )
Alrighty, enough from me for now. : )

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Birthday preparations...

Noah's birthday is July 7.  This picture according to the date stamp thing on this was taken June 5th, 2014 at 1:28pm. We ordered this online beforehand obviously. 2nd to last week of May is when we started asking Noah what he wanted for his birthday. His friend Seiya has a "Ripstick deluxe mini." Since April, all we have heard in this house, is how cool Seiya's Ripstick is (not to be confused with Sera the kid he went to yochien with who also lives in our town : ) and he'd like for one too. Now between you and me, I think they're cool (for other kids) but I was 100% against them for my own kids! My feelings are that they are dangerous and well, I don't want my baby killing himself with this thing, so no way! So since April, my stock answer was...anything *but* the Ripstick. Add crushing and disappointed face here. : (  In my mind everyone who uses these things ended up with a broken bone or broken or scratched up something. I have never had a broken bone and I'd like for neither of my kids to end up with broken bones either. Again, this I admit, might just be my mommy brain kicking into high gear trying to protect her young. I get that, believe me I do. But also I worried, big time worried. As usual, Noboru in May "smooth talked" me about it. Essentially saying Noah *is* a boy after all and unless we put him in a plastic bubble....or lock him in his room forever and ever, there is always a danger he could be injured anyway. Yes, yes, yes I do *get* that. But I also said... isn't this Ripstick thing though... just increasing the odds. So we did talk for days about it and I finally agreed... relented (because bottom line is and I'm sorry if this sounds all cornball, but it's true...bottom line is... I respect my husbands opinion too and I know he loves Noah as much as I do) #2 I know how badly Noah wants one and I want to see his happy face on his birthday rip open that box just as much as the next guy/ well mom, ykwim. Am I still going to have mini heart attacks while Noah rides this thing? You betcha! : ) When we finally told Noah, he could *maybe* have one, he was over the moon, so he doesn't know 100% for sure if he is getting one. We also asked him what color. We thought they had just blue, red and plain black. Noah requested...anything but blue because Seiya has blue and he doesn't want to be a copy cat. : ) Okay we said... anything but the plain blue. Anyway we did say *maybe* but we did look online and we found a special Japan only edition one and it is just super cool looking. It has words all over it, saying Peace, pictures of the peace sign and it says Japan. So very cool. : ) Yep checking the box in this pic again and yep we made sure to get exactly the right model, the deluxe mini. Check and check!

Japan! : )

Yep, this is super cool, really cool actually! : ) I think Noah's gonna freak with happiness, when he rips open that huge box it came in. : ) 

8+, so age appropriate, yes and yes! The other model (not the mini) is for older/bigger kids. 
We also picked this up at the Aeon, last week of May also. A wallet and a bag. In Japan kids all carry some sort of bag to carry their wallet at in summer for events like summer festivals and such. Maybe throw a small compact DS game, etc type thing. 

An exact matching set, though they were bought separately of course, same day same store, they didn't come together... but we wanted both to match. The red zipper on the wallet matches the bag exactly. I think Noah will love this. : )  His last wallet he has been using is his Ben 10 wallet. : ) 

First week of June, I ordered 2 things for Noah form for his birthday. I also ordered other things but I'll talk about those in another post. : ) 

My kids are just normal regular kids. They love Transformers. Spider-man. Superman. They also love bike riding with friends, fishing or crawfish/crawdad hunting. They love the water. They like watching cartoons upside on the couch at times. They dislike cleaning their rooms, even though they have to. : ) Hahaha. Anyway...Noah has 2 Transformers DVD's, 1 and 3 but he doesn't have 2. He has been asking for Transformers 2. He asked for it for Christmas and I forgot (brain fart perhaps)...I did place an order, ordered other things but somehow I keep forgetting to pick up Transformers 2. @.@ Well...brain fart no more, I made certain this time to order it! And I did! Phew! Besides buying Transformers 2, I also know that we read together every single night at bed time and since he loves reading regular kid stuff, these 5 Minute Spider Man stories were going to be *perfect* for Noah. I read the reviews of this book and lots of parents were saying it is the perfect amount for a bedtime story. And I agree. 5 minutes will be a perfect time. : ) Just enough time to make sure each kiddo has that special mom and child one on one time alone, right before dreamland time. Branden is meanwhile reading about sharks at the moment. : ) 

I also loved that it is a fat book, so not like super skinny with 20 pages type book, a nice thick book. And the book was only like $10-12 US or so, sorry I forgot the actual price but I remember thinking what a deal! 

Perfect for Noah's reading level. 

185 pages, not bad for a bedtime story book and lots of small stories to read, so we will have lots of new bedtime stories to read soon. : ) This week, Nobou and I are going to Costco to order Noah's birthday cake. I do have a few other "do-dads" to pick up too... a few last minute presents and stuff (knee pads type things for the Ripstick, etc.) But as usual birthdays around here are just kept simple, just family, low key type events. We will take Noah out to dinner of course though and have cake and ice-cream and he can unwrap his presents. : ) So we're getting there. : )

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Noah’s first ever swimming competition!

Sunday, June 15th was Noah's first ever swimming competition. Here is a picture of Noah from that very day! : )
Kids had a choice to order a lunch for 800 yen, which was a pretty great price or you could bring your own lunch. Noah's not really much of a seafood eater, and not knowing what was in the lunch, I decided it would be best to pack him a lunch. So that's what I did. It was just a very simple lunch. A ham and provolone cheese sandwich inside those Costco dinner rolls. I did skillet fry the ham for a minute or two and melted the cheese a tad. The rolls were Miracle Whipped, lol. : )  Also for a class or school field trip, I don't mind putting 3 fries and some veggie in there, but for a swimming competition lunch, I didn't want any fries, because anything with grease would slow Noah down. Just a light sandwich and some mini grapes, simple and healthy. They only got 30 minutes for lunch anyways and I figured this was enough, plus time to take a bathroom break if need be and also have some time to chat with friends. : ) 

I did however pack Noah an extra sandwich, just in case. : ) And yes he ate it! : ) This is exactly what Noboru, Branden and myself also ate too. Same type sandwiches exactly and with grapes also. 
The note a month beforehand did mention to bring snack bars that give protein or energy, they also specifically said hard candy and chocolate was also allowed, because it gives swimmers energy before they swim their race. Which is why I packed these. 
The big day! There was a fairly long line to get in. The swimmers zipped in/were allowed in, it was us parents and extended family members that had to wait outside the building. There were also *many * big limousine buses from the other swimming schools. 

Yep only about 6 benches total, as I expected. : ) And yes seating was an absolute nightmare. The sign that I whited out...said the name of our specific swimming school. So these were "our" swim school benches. However, the seats were spoken for already and regardless if these people in this picture had a child swimming that particular race or not, they never shared the seats/benches with any of us. So first come first serve apparently, these folks never left the benches, not for the whole day and if they did they put a napkin or hankie down to "save" their spot. @.@ 

People brought folding chairs, leisure sheets. This is our particular swimming school where my kids swim at, however this was our first time ever swimming a competition *here* before. Yep seating sucked big time. : ( The kids in bright pink were from our swimming school. 

For the longest time we had an actual grandma type...actually sitting in front of us with a folding chair.  Visibility... totally zero! 

People were very territorial about their spot. See the blanket. 1 family even sat on their car sunshade. We could have done that too, but Noboru said..."what for, this spot sucks, why do we save and protect a spot that sucks!" I chuckled because, he was absolutely right and...had to laugh because it's sometimes just better than getting mad. And we sat on the floor sans anything. 

Many of Noah's former yochien classmates came and their mom's had no place to sit either. I am sure they were just as surprised as we were. All the kids on the far left were from our swim school. 

A couple other swimming schools right here. 

And another view/pic of the other swim schools, total swim schools were 4 swim schools total, but 1 was our swim school, so swimming against just 3 other swim schools. : )

My sweetheart Noah, I see you kiddo. And the 3 kids on the right of Noah, in this picture, 2 kids in neon and the kid in turquoise cap, are Noah's 3 friends from yochien. : ) 
Not sure if you can read their shirts but they say...Funabashi. Team Funabashi in the house!!! ; )

These kids all in pale pink are team Inzai!!! Team Chiba New Town!!! By the way, all the kids in team Inzai thought Noah was super gorgeous and he said and Branden said, every time someone from team Inzai saw Noah., they were all talking about how cute he is, blah blah blah yada yada. They learned his name and called him over all day long. @.@ Hahaha. How funny. Good kids, team Inzai!!! 

What I did and what the other 3 yochien mom's from Noah's former yochien class did was, we walked near another school's window, where there were far less people and we had a much better spot. So all these pics were taken from a different spot. Not our schools area, sorry just not enough room. 

Also here is another thing that made me upset. We were given a swim schedule a week beforehand. We highlighted Noah's races and times of race. Noah was to compete in 3 races. First one at 10:10am. Second one at 12:50pm and last one for Noah at 2:50pm. Okay, we highlighted it. Now it was 9am-ish and there we were sitting on the again, quite possibly the worst seats of the entire swim school, Father's Day morning. : ) Again it's 9am-ish, we have plenty of time before Noah's first race.. over an hour. Next thing I of Noah's former classmates/my yochien mom friend comes running over saying....Noah's about to swim!!! OMG! @.@ Really? Thanks and so I ran....Thank the lord... for my friend for informing me. And sorry this pic is blurry, but the bright side least I got a pic. If it wasn't for my friend, I wouldn't have gotten a pic at all. : ( Noah in the white swim cap. 

Look how far ahead Noah was from the other swim school swimmer. 

Noah came in 2nd place in this race. Not bad at all. : ) 

Noah walking back to his spot. This was a relay race. 2 of our yochien mom friends kids were picked to swim it too. And believe me, they were just as shocked their kid was poolside as we were about Noah. One of our mom friends was complaining to us, saying essentially..."they should have informed us" I said, "I know right, crazy" : ) 

And this was the 10:10am race. This will give you a laugh. Look at this picture again...where are Noah's goggles. @.@ Yes we packed him 2 in case of emergency and yes you can indeed see, in the blurry pic above, he was indeed wearing the pale blue pair at first. Noah was swimming this race without goggles. Our yochien friends said..."where's Noah's goggles, didn't he just have them?" Noboru and Branden also said, where's Noah's goggles? Again, we can't go ask them, we are only allowed upstairs, they are inside the swimming area. I also wondered where his goggles were, but, it's not like I could just zip downstairs and ask him. 

4 swimmers, and 1 without goggles. Hahaha. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Just enjoy it and ask him, if you ever get the chance.  

Good luck baby. 

Noah came in 2nd place in this too, this was a 50 meter race, so back and forth. 

Noah was scheduled to swim in 3 races, however he ended up competing in about 7 total races. @.@ Same with a couple of my yochien mom friends kids'. I know right, how unexpected. This was a relay. Oh this is so funny...right about here, yet another friend of ours, walked up and said..."if Noah forgot his goggles, we have an extra pair, he can borrow" How incredibly kind really. he didn't forget his goggles and where are they? That's what I want to know too. Hahaha. That was the most wondered question of the entire day. And where is his spare pair? Again, the pool area is off limits to parents. However Noboru did walk downstairs and spoke to a coach from a totally different swimming school, he told him our son seems to have no goggles, he heard, from this coach they were lost at the bottom of the pool and would search for them during lunch. @.@ This is where you need those Bewitched powers that Samantha had, where you could just freeze the entire swimming school of people and go downstairs and find the goggles, place them in Noah's hand and them unfreeze the entire room. But just doesn't work that way. 

A confident hand on the hip, as he should. : ) Noah's been swimming since age 3 at this very school, he has some great skills. Awww. : ) 
The seating sucked, it just... honestly did. However, there's no point of letting it ruin our whole entire day and bring down our whole family vibe. And besides shouldn't we be focusing on Noah's wonderful swimming and his first time swimming at a competition ever. I think so. a certain point, we just didn't care about the seating or lack of seats or fairness from our fellow swim school folks who hogged the seats all day long. It is, what it is and you can't change that. And yes...I did worry about Noah's eyes without goggles... because he does suffer from eye allergies, especially in this season Spring/Summer, he actually gets eye drops from Branden's eye doctor every Spring. So, yeah I worried if he would be itching his eyes or if it bothered him more so... than say a person without eye allegries. But again...wasn't gonna dwell on the goggles...goggles...goggles 24/7. I just wanted to enjoy Noah swim. 5 swimmers about to compete down below. This was a relay. Noah waiting for his teammate to swim back so he could jump into the pool and get his swim on. 

This is the prettiest dive, I have ever managed to take a pic of and it come out crystal clear. Noah's dive is so beautiful here...look at that coach from our swim school in hot pink..even he had to look. Man...Noah looked like a flying squirrel or something. : ) Very cool...totally airborne. I will make a copy of this pic and put it somewhere for Noah, photo frame, charm for his backpack, something. One of the best pictures of Noah's diving. Wow, so proud of you Noah! Yes, even without your goggles, you so totally rocked it baby! A dive like that from an 8 year old, holy goodness!

Noah chatting with a team mate. 

These are like high schoolers or something. These kids had us all... in awe!

Noah finished his lunch. That's Noah's swim bag with the Spongebob charm on it to the left and the blue backpack is also his too. He was drinking a frozen Calpis pouch drink. 

Noah came up to say hi during the lunch break. The coaches were sweeping the pool for Noah's goggles (yep that's not embarrassing at all, hahaha) meanwhile and they did not find them. Branden went down there and he found Noah's goggles. Branden said...he said..."hi everyone, please check your bags and stuff because my brothers goggles are missing and with all these people down here...more than likely they were probably tossed in another bag by mistake so please if you could...please check." Branden is very polite never accusatory and yep he found them.  And so kids all checked and sure enough...Branden did track down Noah's goggles. : ) But Noah swam with the black pair for the rest of the day though, which are in this pic in his hand. : ) Branden made sure Noah was taken care of and would pop down there from time to time. Peace of mind for me, he's a kid too, so he can slip by without coach detection. Hahaha. : ) 
Hi gorgeous, I see you talking to one of your friends. So glad to see some goggles on your head though. Huge relief. Hahaha. Especially since, like I said, Noah suffers from allergy eyes. Branden has regular allergies/like normal allergies, every spring. But Noah has just allergy eyes. : ) 

The other swimming schools were given just 1 bench each, but they would share it. Like when your kid was swimming, you would sit, and then after your kid swam, next person's parent would sit down, they took turns. Shared the seating. Our swim school parents however didn't want to share the seating or take turns at all. They glued their butts basically to the seats for the whole 8 hours or however long we were there. Which is why I was here...and stood behind another school. Just easier and fewer parents. 

Another of Noah's races, with goggles. 

Noah and his graceful dive, wonderful leg extension. That other kids was more of a canon ball or flop, sorry. : ) 

And Noah's in the lead. 

Still in the lead...

Noah and the kid in the turquoise cap are getting closer. Pick up the pace kiddo. 

Noah you are in front by a hair...but he didn't smack the end of the pool fast enough the other kid smacked the pool before Noah. Bummer...but it's alright. He learned from time he'll stretch his arm super long and smack that end of the pool. Branden teased him about that and he's a swimmer too, so he knows.
At this point, I can tell the kids are getting tired. Noah has been going like a race horse all day long. I can see my baby's face and instantly know...he's tired. He's 8 years old, I think he did wonderfully and boy did he learn a lot. 

They had yet another relay race and this time they had to wear a jogging/track suit. Thank goodness Noah wasn't in this race. : )

Wet clothes are heavy as all heck, as you know and it was hard for the kids to take them off and put them on the next person. Fun to watch though. 

And this was "supposed" to be Noah's last race for the day. The 2:50pm race. 

The backstroke.

Noah came in 3rd place for this race. 

Noah siting down next to his former yochien friends. 
What is this. Well, a group of girls Branden and Noah swim with on Thursdays swam this event and they told Branden, their parents couldn't come to this event... so if we could take pics of them and then email them the pics, it would be totally appreciated. So, all day long whenever I had my camera out, I had a group of 4 girls and one 6th grade boy making funny poses and stuff at me, pretty much all day long. So, they could make pics out of them. Meaning Branden could email the pics to them and their parents could print out their pics. So all day long besides taking pics of Noah, I would be taking pics of these silly girls and 1 silly boy! Here are a few of the *many* of them that I took. I bet the other schools many kids does this western lady have now? 4 daughters and how many sons? Hahaha. : ) Here they were posing for me. 

They are like older sisters to Noah. And why didn't Branden swim this...because he's busy with studying for his final. So he had no time to train for this.  But yep this pic is funny. Noah has his older "sisters" he rides the swim bus with every Thursday and he has his former yochien friends on the other side of him. Surrounded by friends. Real good friends. 

R doing the eye pose...on another picture I took, they were doing a walking type silly pose and it reminded me of the cover of Abbey Road. Crazy kids! Hahaha. : )  Yep every time I stood up with my camera I had 4 girls posing, people seated would turn around...who is taking their picture...they'd wonder. Me...just me. : ) 

The closest bestest swimming friends, you ever did see. Noah was saying goodbye meanwhile to his yochien friends. : )  I think I will make a copy of this pic and frame it and put it on Branden's desk in his room. : ) The girl second from the left is from our town, she will be in JHS next year and she has a little brother in Noah's class/grade they are real good friends too. : )
After the swimming competition, we were all pretty exhausted and a tad hungry, so we went to the Ohsho. Noah had ramen and fried rice. Swimming makes you hungry and given Noah swam in a ton of races he was starving! He was so hungry.

Noboru waiting for his meal, he had ramen and 2 orders of gyoza. Branden and I enjoyed our meal too, man it was nice to relax after a long day like that.

Oh and you remember how on the last picture of Noah swimming I said his "last race" at 2:50. I put it into quotations. Well, the reason is because we assumed it was Noah's last race of the day, since that was what the schedule said. Also factor in, the swim school only has squatty potty type toilets. And there are only 2 toilets for girls/ladies. With so many people ( felt like a billion) it was hard as heck to try and use the restroom in there. I did go and pee once around 10:45am but I can't use squatty potty's so well and so I avoided going to pee again. Branden wanted to pee also but the boy's toilet was full most of the day @.@ So, after the last race, Branden and I walked to my regular grocery store which is only about 2 minutes away on foot. They have regular toilets there and so we both went to the restroom, and then we walked back. When we came back my yochien mom friends said, you missed Noah swim. He was in the last relay of the day. I said it wasn't on the schedule, they said, they were surprised too. So..anyway that's what happened. I felt really badly for missing that.

The pros of Noah swimming that day. I'm so glad he swam, because he has never swam in a competition before and he now has the experience under his belt. And next year... if he swims for our local elementary school, he will already have the experience from that. Also the elementary school races, they only let you swim in no more than 3 races because they worry about the kids getting exhausted. Plus seating is no problem...and we can also talk to our kids throughout the day and also we can have lunch with our kids. So if Noah decides he wants to represent our local elementary school next year when he is in the 4th grade, it won't nearly be this bad or exhausting for the kids. Another pro of Noah swimming this... was he got to spend a whole day with his former yochien friends. They had just the best day hanging with each other again. Another pro or plus of Noah swimming the competition was he enjoyed the team spirit and how cool that feels being on a team and such. Also it gave him confidence that yes...Noah you are a good swimmer and you do have skills. So for Noah it was a wonderful day.

The cons from that day. The seating. The lack of seating or taking turns or fairness was just crazy. And for that reason, we would probably... not want either of our kids to swim for our swim school like this again. You know how hot and humid it's been lately, and being upstairs with all those people breathing and sweating. It was just not the most pleasurable day we've ever spent, let's put it that way. Also, the schedule wasn't 100% correct or kid was swimming in other races not even listed. How can we be at the window ready to take a picture when my child's name isn't even listed to swim until 10:10am. I mean...hello, get it together people please! Unless you wanted to stand at the window the entire day and not go pee at all, then you could ensure you never missed a race. The schedule wasn't 100%, I felt badly for missing Noah's last race which wasn't listed, but you wasn't listed and my bladder was bursting, and I had to pee. If it was listed sure I would have held it and took pics, but you know...I'm not a mind reader or future teller either. I can't know if he's gonna swim unless they tell us and it frankly wasn't listed. 
And no, for what it's worth we didn't tell Noah at all during the day about seating or any issues we had, because he is a worry wart and he would have worried all day about us. So we didn't mention a thing, we did mention it at dinner after it was over, but it was just lightly mentioned. 

The bright and most positive silver lining from that day was our swim school actually won this thing! No medals or anything were given to individuals coming in 1st or 2nd place, this was just simply swim school versus swim school type thing and just happy and thrilled our swim school came out ahead. Although the kids and folks from the other swim schools were lovely and it was nice meeting or being near others who have also been swimming since age 3 more than likely too. So spending a whole day with like minded people was nice. Because in all, these are all swimming kids and we think swimming kids are like *the* coolest! : ) And most of all, so proud of you Noah. You did it kiddo. : )