Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Bits and Pieces...

Holy smokes! I haven't posted in about 5-6 days. I know that I haven't had the chance to blog about Branden's birthday yet. I will be doing that soon. I haven't posted about Halloween. Or when we went to Ikspiari or anything. My sister in law in Narita had her 3rd baby. Very exciting. I went out to lunch with my besties last Friday. And I have been getting Noah ready for his 6th grade class trip. It's a 1 over night trip. Noah's actually on that *right* now. And so sorry for the quiet...it's just...regular life happening. As you all know...I'm just a regular mom. Doing mom type things. And sometimes life gets busy. I have a free hour right now. And so, I figured better go for it. I know today is November 1st. However...I didn't do a Costco cart pics post for October. I know I was there 3 times in October. So will post pics of those times now. The 3rd trip was when I just bought toilet paper so I won't post a pic of that. I showed that already. Anyway this was taken October 9th. A rotisserie chicken. Simple healthy roasted chicken. Can turn this into anything. Sandwiches. Or anything. I often bring back a rotisserie. A big pack of eggs. Weekend breakfasts. Baking season now too. So I need eggs. Tortillas. 2 types of cheese... Mexican and mozzarella. A huge honkin thing of 100% ground beef. We have had tacos. Cheeseburgers. Beef enchiladas. I like buying ground beef in bulk because I can get 3-4 different meals from it. And a huge tub of American cinnamon rolls. Holy crap are these *so* good. I know there's super so much buzz and hype right now about the hot ooey gooey Cinna- melt thing at Mickey D's. Right now and that's so hot and delicious and good. But these are good too.

Two layers of these. For many a quick breakfasts with a cup of coffee for adults or with milks for my 2 kiddos. Oh yes. 

And if they taste *really* American to you...#comfortfood...it's because they were baked in California. They're so delicious. My kids love these. 
This pic you've seen before....let's see tortillas again. Cheese again. I make chicken parmesan from scratch, hence need the cheese. Homemade pizza from scratch too, again need more cheese for that too. I make enchiladas, cheese. Tacos, so cheese is necessary and it's frankly tons cheaper at Costco than anywhere else in Japan.  I also make homemade cheese gratin potatoes. Homemade mac and cheese too. 

There are 2 huge tubs of ice cream inside this big one. And we have a half of one and 1 tub that's not even opened yet. It's in our freezer.
All October...I have loved that my morning walks now sound like crunch crunch crunch as I walk over all the Fall leaves...crispy leaves of different shades of red, orange and gold.

Noboru's brother. My brother in law Jun and his amazing wife welcomed their 3rd baby into the world. We went to the hospital to visit them October 10th. She's very small and so lovely. And we all loved getting a turn to hold cuddle and love on her. Branden held her. Noah held and cuddled her. I hugged and cuddled my newest niece and Noboru did too. We also chatted and talked with my sister in law. My brother in law was there too and so were their other 2 kiddos. My niece, who is their oldest daughter is 1 year younger than Noah. And then my nephew is just 3 years old and then the new baby too. 

I don't think it's a big secret but I flat out...love my nephew! He's fantastic. I love him. I adore him. And he used to be the youngest child. and he is now the middle child. I could see he noticed all the focus was on his newest adorable sister. And I could understand his sweet feelings. And again he's only 3. Everyone so focused on the new baby. Branden clicking pics of the new baby. And all of us too. And so I spent a good 7 minutes just focusing on my nephew. I turned to my nephew. And I said..."since everyone is taking pictures of your very beautiful new sister. Can I take some pictures of your cool cars?" And boy did he light up! Immediately. Oh yes! He said. And so auntie Gina clicked. And clicked some more. I took a picture of his red truck and then I showed him the pic. And my nephew said, "that's pretty good." I asked him...should I take a pic of your monster truck too? "Oh yes auntie!" And so I clicked and I clicked. And I asked him. Which of these cars is your #1 most favorite and #2 second favorite and so on? And after he answered. He was on cloud nine answering all this by the way. I answered too. I told my nephew K... this one is aunties #1 favorite, I said...oh and this red one is aunties #2 favorite. He loved this so he asked..."And which one is your 3rd favorite auntie?" It may seem like nothing. But believe me...if you have more than 1 kid...you will understand...how older kids don't want to feel left out either. Granted I was an only child growing up, but I can see and tell. And I am a mom of 2 kids. So, I do know. And so while I did love all the newborn baby cuddles. And snuggles, with my sweetest newest niece. I made sure to give equal attention to my nephew. And my older niece...she's amazing too but she's going through a shy phase. And that's okay. She would listen to me and her brother talking and shyly smile a few times. And that's okay. We only stayed for 15 minutes. We did give them 30,000 yen. Which is standard in Japan to give to a sibling who has just had a baby. So we visited. Gave the appropriate gift money. And we headed home. It was a school night. And Branden tried to come home as quickly as he could via the trains from the city. He changed clothes ASAP. And ate so fast...he barely tasted it. Haha. Then we raced from our town to Narita as fast as we could get there to make it in time. And at the same time...visiting time at that maternity clinic was quite limited in the evenings. We heard over the loud speaker...visiting hours were coming to a close. So...that's why we couldn't stay too long. But it was very important for our family to go. Which is why we made it a priority in going... even if it was a school night. Gotta always take the time to celebrate with family. Especially on such a happy occasion. 

I met up with my 2 favorite friends, last Friday. Friends I have been friends with for about 9-12 years. One I met during Bran's yochien years and one I met through Noah's yochien years. So we 3 have been friends for ages. We met up for lunch at our favorite Indian restaurant. And after that we went to Starbucks. It was from 11:30am until 2:50pm-ish. It is so important to have a really good solid set of friends in your real life. Friends you can laugh with and have a good time with, but also...talk seriously at times with too. Their oldest daughters are in their final years of high school and are now thinking about university, such smart girls. So happy to have such good friends.

Also, yes my husband and I have been going on our weekly dates as usual.This week Noboru and I went to Saizeriya. It's so super nice to talk and chit chat and enjoy each others company. This is something we both look forward to a lot.  

I went and replaced the kids and my body scrubbing towels for taking a shower with. Noboru never wants to replace his ever. I know that. So what I do is...a lot of the times...for Noboru I buy the identical one he was last using and replace his a week before I replace ours. And that way he won't really notice. And then the kids and I...I just picked out different ones. Branden prefers using a coarse scrubby towel. These scrub and clean your body really well and also make a lot of foam and you just feel really exfoliated and super clean. But Branden prefers a harsher scrubby feeling, so I picked Bran the longer length coarse shower towel on the right in this pic. And I prefer a normal/average scrub...I don't want to feel like I grated my skin personally...so I also pick normal scrubby levels for myself. And so I picked the middle one for myself and Noah suffers *extremely* dry skin. He legit goes to the dermatologist every winter for his severe dry skin and gets special ointments and creams and the doctor flat out said...do NOT use a body scrubby towel every day...only twice a week in winter, however the doctor says he can use one daily in summer though. And even last year the doctor said for Noah to use a child's strength of scrubby power...because of his severe dry skin. I do let Noah use this 3 times a week in winter, he uses it everyday in summer though, the rest of the week he just washes his body with his hands in winter because his skin is so dry and that's what the doctor recommends for Noah. So...given the fact he's a 6th grader....Pooh may not be cool...according to Noah...but Pooh it is...it's just because his skin is already getting drier by the second now that it's Fall. Noah needs a gentle scrubby in Fall and winter.

Any last minute thoughts? Noah's on his over night trip right now as I already said. Noboru will not be home until 9pm tonight. Bran will be home somewhere between 5 and 5:30pm. And we're having chicken fettucini tonight and garlic bread, just Bran and I. I have a Ginger Ale in the freezer getting cold for supper. Hmm, I should take that out of the freezer soon. Anyways, that's it for now.

I baked a banana bread yesterday. Also, no school for kids this Friday. So no school for Branden and no school for Noah this Friday. And since Wednesday and Thursday...today and tomorrow is Noah's over night 6th grade trip.... Noah gets back tomorrow evening from his over night trip. Noah won't have school until next Monday. And Bran's last day of school is tomorrow. 3 day weekend yet again. So right on!!! : )