Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Vacation days were approved, so everything’s set now for July. A little Old Navy shopping, a good deed and a relaxing night at a yakiniku restaurant with my family...

How is everybody doing? I have some pretty great news. Noboru *did* get his vacation days off, in July as requested. So it is official, we are going away, on a family vacation. We will be gone from July 17th, to July 28th is when we will be returning back to Japan. Again though depending on which flight, it could be a day early or even 1 day later. But those are the dates.  I want you all to keep things, on the down low for now. And, frankly speaking, I wasn't going to mention dates at all, and usually I will NOT mention dates. But yep, it will be a very nice long vacation. We are looking daily now... on which flight looks best for us, to get to California. Haneda or Narita. Narita for us is best, because we live so close, all the Delta folks know Noboru at Narita so that helps. But if we go to Haneda, we don't know any of those folks and frankly Haneda is very far from our house and Haneda people are sticklers with the weight of their plane, and cargo. So often they bump folks, even if seats are available. Second resort would be... for us to fly Narita to Seattle. That flight is wide open and then us transfer via Delta to LAX (Los Angeles) Again we'd get there, the same day as if we flew directly to LAX. So flying via Seattle wouldn't be bad either. Also, I half heartedly wrote a shopping list. Because frankly we weren't 100% sure... if we could get there... if he didn't get his days off or not. But now that we know, it's 100% set. Now, I am spending a lot of time...again watching YouTube videos. Seeing what's new in America. Checking Sephora and Target online. Going through my food pantry, what do I need to stock up on? So...if my blog does go a bit quiet as time draws near....July comes and rolls on...you who read this...will know. Yep, I know why, Gina's blog is quiet. : ) Quite a few of his coworkers did not get their vacation days off. And they wondered why Noboru did. However...Noboru didn't take a vacation day off. Not even for a observation day. He would tell his manager, this week is my kids observation day and I am not going because I am saving my time for July. And then Noah had another observation day and he again made it clear...again it's my son's observation day and I am not attending because...I am hopeful for July. He went to work sick once and said, I am not taking off because I am hopeful for July. Since January he has not requested a thing off. And they knew it. And so when the time came...they had to be fair. The other guys requested days off each month but not Noboru. we found out last Wednesday or Thursday...Noboru called me at work and said...guess what? I got my days off and we are GOING! I screamed from excitement! Ahhh. The boys both know now.  Anyway hopeful for California and we think we'll get there. But as usual...our last last resort is.. we go to Honolulu for vacation, which would still be amazeballs. However though...we really want to take the boys to Universal Studios. So anyways...enough talk about that, for now. I better hurry up with this post, I have a ton to do today. : ) Friday, I made the homemade pizza dough. And after picking up the boys, we had homemade pizza from scratch and sodas and we just relaxed for the night. Saturday was spent relaxed and low key too, we had a family movie night at home. 
Sunday we four, went to the Aeon mall in Tsukuba, Ibaraki. This mall is *huge* ya'll. Plus they have Old Navy. 

Not sure if you can see the sign in the window at Old Navy 100 yen flip flops for the family.They had huge 50% off sales, 20% off sales and 30% off sales too. Men's swimwear was 900 yen. Not all of it but, most of it was. Bran got 2 new pair of shorts around Golden Week. And so Sunday Noboru bought Bran 2 extra pair of shorts. So now Bran has 4 new shorts this year, plus 1 pair from last year from Uniqlo that still fit. So 5 pair of shorts for Bran. Shorts wise, he is done! Also, important to note, while Branden was in a dressing room and Noboru was also in another dressing room. Noah was with Branden in his dressing room. I was sitting in the center in a chair waiting on Bran or Noboru I glanced at the open dressing room next to Bran's dressing room and someone left a shopping bag with wallet left in the bag. I was like OMG! So, I ran it outside to this Japanese man pictured here. He's my favorite worker at this Old Navy, he's worked here... since it first opened, he speaks English fluently, used to live in America, he's gay (sorry TMI, but we have talked through all our times shopping there, but it's just the back of his head so his identity/privacy is safe) but he's wonderful. I told him right away...I found this wallet, he said...OMG thank you and he ran it inside and put it behind the counter and instructed the 3 check out people...who were crazy busy with a long line of customers, which is why I didn't give it to them first. He told them...if anyone claims a wallet have them describe it and then he popped back outside. I believe he is the manager for that store. After that... we went upstairs and went to Sports Authority and bought Bran's rashguard. By the way...this is the 2nd time I have found a wallet here in Japan and I have blogged about it both times. I am a firm believer in return things to their rightful owner...because it's just good karma! It really is. 
And Sunday nights dinner. Yakiniku! We wanted to celebrate Branden being finished with all his tests for this semester. Now we can all sorta take a load off and relax. And during this picture we already knew we were indeed going to California. So...we had even more reason to celebrate. And we also wanted to celebrate Noah too. Because we don't want Noah to feel...left out. So we said this is for Branden finishing up on his tests and this is also for you too Noah...for doing so well in swimming this week! : ) Which made him smile. Both boys were happy. Wow...funny what a difference a week makes right? Last week at that time...Bran was in hardcore study mode. And so were we. Now 7 days later we're all...like Julie Andrews singing...the Sound of Music on a mountain top...type ecstatic! : ) Yep what a difference a week makes. : ) We also ordered a veggie platter and some flat leaf lettuce to wrap our meat with, but it didn't come out...before this pic. 

Happy smiles from Noah.
Happiness and *relief* from Branny B. You also know the movie "Nanny McPhee"? I also call B...Branny Mc B, a lot of times. Branden...B, Bran...Branny...Branny B...and finally Branny Mc B! I love it! : ) I tell you. Bran has about 5-6 things I call him...and he loves all the names, that I call him. I'm playful with my kids, like that! We ate and stuffed ourselves silly and then we came home. And we all took turns showering and then we all just relaxed and enjoyed the rest of our Sunday.
That's right...after yakiniku we went to the grocery store... so I could pick up some fresh cut pineapple, yogurts and fresh bread for the next morning. But, while there, we saw these newest flavors of Gari Gari...watermelon, yumm. : )
I love word play. Love it! And instead of high fashion...it's hi, fashion! Hahaha. 

Bran's waist size is a 30 American size. With a pinch of room for comfort and breath-ability..meaning you don't want your tumtum strangled to death. However these are slim fit....so he needs a size bigger for comfort. If you are in an airplane for 12 hours, do you want to be wearing skin tight pants or shorts or comfy ones with a pinch of room in your waist and tummy area. Yep, you'd pick the comfy ones. So, we're the same way... so we had him get this size since they're slim fit. 

These were 20% off of 1990 yen. So a really good deal. 

A bit blurry, but also 20% off. 

These are California shorts with spots/areas in California written all over. 

I think these are so cute and perfect for Bran! 

Rashguards are supposed to be skin tight and the medium fit skin tight. But Noboru asked B to try on the men's large. See it says men's large in the pic. And it fit better, still slim fit, but a pinch of room. UPF 50+...so great sun protection. And even though B is much tanner coloring wise, than Noah is...I still worry about skin cancer for Bran too, because I know any color/shade can get skin cancer. 

Branden has a very nice brand rashguard. OP, is a nice brand. And a men's large. This will match beautifully with Branden's navy blue turtle swim trunks from Costco. And by the way my Costco, sold out...of all men's swim trunks, they're all sold out and gone. So glad, we snapped up Branden's swim trunks, when we did. So Bran is all set now swimming wise. : ) 

This has a rubber piece at the bottom for when you boogie board, your rash guard won't slip up. A nice feature.

This will be at the back near his neck area. : ) 

Meanwhile Noboru bought himself 3 pair of shorts. This is a big deal because Noboru hates buying clothes for himself. I swear he has tee shirts, older than Branden! Hahaha. : ) He picked navy with navy sailboats. 

These were 50% off. 

The navy with navy sailboats to the left with 30% off and the pair to the right were 50% off. 

Noboru picked the same shorts Branden did too. He said he didn't want them at first knowing Bran picked them already/first..."I don't want Branden to think I copied him" I said ..."he's not going to mind, we're family"....so, I asked Branden..."is it okay if daddy gets the same pair of shorts as you?" "it's fine..I don't mind dad" Noboru was like...okay as long as you're sure. : ) Of course they won't wear them, on the same day or anything. : ) 
I washed these Monday/yesterday. And they dried up nicely outside. Now they're all ready for the guys to wear! And Noah's tinier pair on the far right. That he wore to yakiniku. And Bran's navy pair with pink flamingos that he wore, next to Noah's orange pair, that he wore to yakiniku. : ) 

Hi Noboru's shorts! : ) Hi countryside...rural Japan. : )

Anything else to add? I went and did the weekly grocery shopping yesterday, as soon as I hung up the laundry/shorts outside. I bought a weeks worth of food. Monday/last night, homemade karaage (Japanese fried chicken, so good), broccoli, rice and the hubby and kids had miso soup with theirs. Tues/tonight, we will be having curry with lots of fresh veggies and skinless chopped of chicken breast. Wednesday we will be having curry spaghetti. Again this just helps because I can double the amount of curry tonight with extra veg and meat and tomorrow will be an easy peasy meal of delicious and filling curry spaghetti, with garlic toast on the side. Thursday night we will be having niku jaga (a nice hearty meat, onions potatoes and green beans), in a shoyu, mirin and sugar base really delicious and we'll have that with rice. Friday, chicken enchiladas and Spanish rice. And Saturday will be American Independence day....so we will be having a Costco rotisserie chicken ,mashed potatoes, gravy, veggies and probably a Costco salad. Delicious but super easy too. Was going to BBQ July 4th, but Noboru's working (which is fine and with the vacation days off...nicely in the bag now, I REALLY don't mind haha)..So, Saturday, of course, I still want to celebrate the 4th as a special day with the boys. : ) Which means...I will be heading to Costco...to get big hunk of cheese (for the enchiladas) and salad and rotisserie chicken at the end of the week. But everything else...I have every ingredient for, until Friday.

Noah has observation day this Thursday, Noboru and I are both going to that (the guy who makes the schedule who is a very good friend of Noboru's said.."I gave you a very late shift, so you can go and see your kid on observation day!" What a great friend, Noboru has. He knows Noboru has not got to go to Noah's school since December. So that was very nice of him to do that. So that's how Noboru can go and see Noah now.. Noah's excited, daddy gets to come this time. : ) And I guess...that's about it for now, you guys. : )