Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I hear words being screamed from the other side of the apartment.  At first I thought an angry someone needed a towel after a shower.  Then I thought something was flooding.  Whatever it was, it needed immediate attention.  I get up to open the door to the hallway.  The words become clear.  "There is a cockroach in the bathroom!!!!!!!!!  Hurry!!!!!!!"  I walk into the muggy bathroom to find a speedy earwig of substantial size and a wet, naked, freaked out child.  I grab some toilet paper, hand it over to his brother and ask him to put it in the toilet.  The deed was done.  As the earwig was off on some new adventure, I became perturbed.  How did that creature get up here? We should be able to tell a cockroach from an earwig by now. Worst of all I have a big boy who reminds me of the lady on the kitchen table screaming because she saw a mouse.  Good grief. 

The toads are out.  The weather was mild in June and the first part of July.  However, today was miserably hot and humid.  It would be a great day to go to Disneyland.  No one would be there.

 The boys always greet their dad with such joy.  This was on our way to Cold Stone.  We met up at Roppongi Hills. 
 We went to a science museum in Yokohama followed by a trip to China Town.  The above outfit picked out my Angela who came to visit Tokyo in May with Loyd and my niece.

 We went fishing locally on Father's day and last Saturday to a beach south of Yokosuka. 

 I love it when the boys fall asleep in the car.  Otherwise there is way too much nudging that is going on.  Right after this, Apolo barfed.  He held it in his mouth, the poor dear.  Luckily we had a hat he continued to throw up in.  However, he refuses to wear it anymore even though washed thoroughly.  Too bad, it's so cute.  Now, it is designated the throw up hat for car sickness. 
 This was the last night with some friends of ours.  We pretty much hung out all day, they dropped off their birds to us, went out to lunch together, cleaned their house before final checks, and finally a movie and pizza. 
 We did quite a bit with this family...water park, camping, dinners at home and out, church, the mom and I ran together, etc.  I actually met the husband my freshman year at BYU.  Unfortunately, they moved back to America. 

 The Sky Tree Tower is up and running.  It's so tall that it gets lost in the clouds.  There is yummy food to be had in there.  Ask Bobby.  He came to visit Tokyo too.
 The boys finished up international school and quickly started Japanese school.  They have to wear these hats.  I thought they would protest but they didn't.  Good for them for conforming.  Some things are better off not fighting about. 

 They look ecstatic don't they.  They have 3 days left until they are done.  We've had our ups and downs but most importantly they didn't get bullied, they were exposed to more Japanese, and they had some fun times including swimming, art, music, and new friends.  They did something they didn't think they could do.  I feel like they're crossing the finish line of a marathon.  Truly.  I am proud of them. 

 This was our last hang out with our neighbors downstairs.  I made crepes.  They were great neighbors.  The girls went to the same school and happened to be in the same classes as my two older boys.

 Often times we helped each other out.  This was the last day of school.  The kids were bringing all their stuff home.  My friend  brought the boys home.  Such great help.  We inherited their fish and salamanders when they moved to Hong Kong.  I was really sad to see them go too.

I was looking through the iphone photos and videos we've taken....thousands.  Oh my, I'll never catch up.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

K a e l a

I took these pictures a couple days ago and edited them yesterday.  I'm really happy with the end result.  I learn so much each time I take pictures and use photoshop.  This is at Arisugawa park across the street from the temple.  



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

One Year Mark

Ohisashiburi!  It has been a year since we moved to Tokyo.  In the course of the year, some things have changed and some things haven't.

For one, I'm not a blogger anymore.  I haven't blogged a lot because at first I dropped and broke my lens on my camera and I didn't have pictures to put with my posts.  I did get a new lens for Christmas but then I just didn't feel like there was anything to blog about.  We go to school, do homework, clean, shower, and sleep....boring, right?  I then became an iphone junky and it has also changed the way I keep myself in the cyber world.  It is loads of fun, light weight, completely convenient, quick, and just plain awesome.  I rarely ever sit at the desktop anymore.  It's rather freeing.  Now, if I can just take all my fb posts and put them on my blog....

Another change that happened is that I became a morning person.  For a few months, I was waking up at 5 am, sometimes before, annoyingly.  Now, I'm doing great around 6:30am.  I'd wake up to make obentos for the boys--all nut free and junk food free...no fruit snacks, cookies, chips, etc.  This is school policy.  And it's been really, really good for us.   

We also walked a lot.  The boys walked 90 miles during the course of the year, just to school and back.  This doesn't include all the walking they do to go everywhere else.  I walked and ran a lot more than that.  The baby fat that I couldn't get off before we moved to Japan and the other weight I was slowing gaining due to a sedentary lifestyle, is gone!  And all from just walking everywhere.  I look at pictures of Americans and am in shock now, when I wasn't before.  The stereotype that Americans are fat.....well, is looking really true from the East.

This past year, I managed to survive off one haircut.  The truth is, it is sooooo expensive to live in Tokyo.  I use to pay $50 for four piano lesson back in the states and now I pay about that for just one.  Toki takes piano lessons from a very talented musician, Lolo takes violin lessons, and Vy does Taiko drums.  In order to afford this, lots of other things have to be cut out.  I don't have a helper, which is common in expat lifestyle.  I also don't do lunch and I obviously don't get my hair done.  Our tight budget is keeping me in check!

I'm also involved more at school.  Next year, I'll be chairing the quilt group and the Mexican booth at the food fair.  This will be like a part time job for me.  I am nervous but excited.  The quilt this past year sold for $16,000 at our school Gala in May.  I have big shoes to fill.  Last year was the first year the school had a Mexican booth at the food fair in the Fall.  We used my tamale recipe.  It was a hit.   All proceeds from the food fair and the Gala go to the school.  The money is used for new equipment, projects, remodels, etc. 

I managed to learn to drive sitting in the right seat of the car, on the left side of the road.  It's very weird at first.  And something I am not proud of....I still don't have a drivers license or car insurance for that matter.  But, I'm still a good driver....I don't hit people, just things.  That hasn't changed.  I've hit two poles.  The first time I did it, I got a scratch on the car.  The second time, the car wasn't so lucky.  We no longer use the back, left door.  Such a bummer!

Some other things that haven't changed....

The kids are as active and creative as before.  Toki is down to 31 seconds to solve the Rubiks cube. They still create with legos, paper and tape, make forts with blankets, trash the house in minutes, leave their clothes on the floor, complain about homework and chores, and fight.  I am proud to say, my children still do not have armpit hair.  I refuse to have hormone laden children....no cow's milk for us.  After years of trying rice, soy, and oat milk...I have found the one I love.  Almond milk!!

We do lots of the the same things we did at home just slightly revised....fishing, camping, shopping, errands, school, work, hang out with friends, and church. 

The boys are attending Japanese public schools for the summer, about 6 weeks total.  Some might feel sorry for the boys.  I have to admit, sometimes I do too.  But the truth is, they are getting a unique, Japanese experience they might not ever get to have again.  They do swim lessons, art, music, school lunch, regular class instruction, recess, help clean bathrooms, water plants....all the while in Japanese.  I think it's all pretty dang rad, if you ask me.  They are being rewarded for completing Japanese school....Toki gets a trip home to be with his friends, Vy wants heelys and some new Wii games, and Lolo hasn't asked for anything yet.

Living in Japan, I do miss some things including the convenience of Walmart.  I love the idea of a one stop shop.  They have department stores like that, it's just 3 times as far.  My Costco run is a whole day ordeal.  It's not necessarily that far but because of the congestion and tight roads, the crowds at the store, and having to lug everything up the the fourth floor, by myself....it becomes an ordeal.  I also miss sushi!!  I live in Japan and I don't eat the fish.  How sad.  However, I feel it is important to stay on the safe side.  Most of the produce and products I buy are imported or from the south or another island of Japan.  The radiation still worries me.  Not as much as before.  I feel the air is clean now.  I still have some of my year supply of water that I shipped last year, to use.  But, we inherited a radiation filter for water, so I'm moving to that.  I have never in my life been so conscientious of what we are eating.  It is not a bad thing.  We all should be. 

We have one more year left in Tokyo.  After that.....sunny California, Europe, South America, or maybe an extension.  After having a taste of living overseas, I must say I want to do it again!


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Some gems I found

This beautiful baby has grown up so quickly.  He is enjoying kindergarten from 8:15-2:30, everyday.  He has lots of friends and has picked up Japanese with greater ease than his brothers.  He looks forward to violin and tennis.  He has to be connected to me at every chance.  It's so sweet and I just can't believe how quickly time has gone. 

the Breeland fam.