One of my friends told me she missed reading about my everyday life on my blog.
Yes, perhaps for those non-scrapbookers out there, you might feel bored by my recent entries. Thanks anyway to those who have emailed me privately to comment. I'll give a little update about what my family and I have really been up to lately.
We got a new car so now our family fits into this car plus we can carry a few extra people, namingly Yusuke's mom. I personally think she is the reason he was in a hurry to trade up, but that is fine by me. I love it! It's a mini-van type car called a Nissan Serena.
Of course, Yusuke is still kind of scared to drive it anywhere, even though it has a navigator system. I knew this would happen. Here is a snippet our latest conversation regarding the car and traveling:
Me: So, do you realize that next week we have 3 holidays and that means that we have a five-day weekend?!
Him: Yes, of course.
Me: Do we have any plans? Are we going anywhere?
Him: Well, I'm thinking about it.
Me: Okay, so ... where?
Him: You know, according to the news, MOST people are not going anywhere for this holiday. MOST people are just STAYING HOME.
Me: Oh good. That means, no crowds. Let's go somewhere.
Him: Oh, I mean, SOME people will stay inside their houses, but most people, if they go anywhere, will go somewhere nearby.
Me: Great, let's go somewhere a little far away.
Him: But, those people will go by car, so the roads will be crowded.
Me: Okay. So?
Him: And, the toll roads are not charging right now, so they're free.
Me: Great. Let's definitely take the toll road and go somewhere.
Him: We don't have ETC (automatic scanning system installed in cars that scans them as they go through the toll gate). And, I think only ETC is free.
Him: Anyway, the toll roads will be too crowded. I don't think we should drive anywhere. We should just take the train.
Me: Forget it. Let's not go anywhere then.
Long Pregnant Pause
Me: Hey, how about we go to the Aoba No Mori park. It's nearby and Ailin can play.
Him: No, too many cars on the road.
Me: It's right down the road from here.
Him: We should just take the train.
Me: You can't take the train to the park. Fine, let's not go anywhere.
Me: This conversation doesn't make sense anyway.
Well, as you can imagine, still no plans for this five-day weekend. I am sure Yusuke is cooking something up, but he tends not to communicate that to me. Instead, I am supposed to guess what he is thinking. My guess is that involves alone time for him - ramen, a movie, possibly a massage. Oh well.
In Other News
Ailin talks quite a bit now, and she tends to use a lot of phrases that I say frequently. I better be more careful about that because I do tend to say nasty things while driving or parking the car. Here is a list of common phrases that Ailin says:
What are you making?
What are you doing?
What's he doing?
I don't know.
Dumbass (referring to Max)
Is it funny?
She speaks quite a bit of Japanese as well. In fact, her Japanese is a little stronger since she goes to daycare every day. My personal favorite thing she said recently was this:
Saki mita kara, mitai ne.
The story is that we went on an overnight trip to Yokohama a few weeks ago, and while there, we visited an aquarium museum in Kanazawa. One of the first displays is a huge floor-to-ceiling tank filled with sardines, sting ray and some sharks. Everyone seemed to be waiting for the show to begin. At 3pm, the music started and the school of sardines actually swam in sync to the music. They have silvery colored bodies, so their colors reflected as they swam in sync to this classical music. Everyone was oohing and aahing over this.
I'll admit that there were tears streaming down my face as I was so moved by scene. You just had to be there.
Of course, Ailin was getting tired of watching the fish and she kept going over by the penguin statue and asking us to take her photo with it.
Finally, we moved on to the next part because Yusuke said, jokingly, "Well, we didn't come all the way here to watch a bunch of sardines." Ha ha.
We rode up the escalator which goes under the same aquarium and then we watched the stingray from the other side. Ailin kept saying in a very loud voice, "Saki mita kara! Saki mita kara!" It means, "We saw this before!" I guess she wanted to move on.
Later that night, I was showing the photos on my camera and teasing her about how she kept saying "saki mita kara", and she seemed to think the name of the sting rays was "saki mita kara." So, she said, "saki mita kara, mitai ne!" "I wanna see the saki mita kara!" Either that, or she was playing along with my joke. We were both laughing about that for days afterwards.
What I am up to in my free time
I am currently taking 2 "live" online classes. One is called Oh Shoot! Digital Photography, taught by Candace Stringham. It is offered through Jessica Sprague's site. It is challenging, but very useful stuff. I am also taking a class called Organizing 101, taught by Aby Garvey on her web site, simplify 101.
My goal is to have a smooth-running and organized household by the time I go back to work next spring. Right now, I am working on re-organizing my nightmarish walk-in closet, the kids' room, and our veranda. Other parts of the house are running fairly smoothly.
I am also doing some redecorating in our multi-purpose room with the help of my friend Kirsten Woest.
We are planning to visit Wisconsin in November. Yusuke is going with us and staying about 2 weeks. I am staying with the kids for one month. My mom is flying back with us and staying in Japan for one week. We just reserved our tickets a couple weeks ago, so I now have to work on getting hotel rooms, a rental car, and making arrangements with friends that I plan to see.
Luka will also be baptized while we're there, and I have asked my sister and her husband to be the godparents. Luka is getting bigger every day, and doing all the things that little babies do, but I forgot about. It's funny to think that only 2 years ago, Ailin was doing those things and now she is so big.
Bilingual Kids Club
Still going strong, we now have 6 members. Originally, we were hoping for more members, so hopefully we will get more in the coming months. We had a meeting recently to discuss changes we need to make now that the kids are getting older. We had a meeting a few weeks ago at one of the members' houses and decided to have ONE official meeting per month. Other than that, we will try meet up once a week or so, but the activities will be less structured. Our first official meeting is in October. Each month, we are going to concentrate on a theme so we can focus our activities around certain vocabulary words.
This week, 2 of us were able to meet up at the park and do some nature-themed activities with our kids. Yoko and her daughter Yako, along with me, Ailin and my buddy Luka, all had a great time hiking through the woods, doing bark rubbings on the trees, collecting acorns, etc. We also had a picnic. Oh, and now Ailin sleeps with her bag of acorns. I guess she is really proud of them.
One Last Thing
Ailin's godfather, Karl, was visiting Japan recently and we got together with him a few times. One time, we took Ailin and Luka to the zoo. She was a bit weary of him at first since she had not seen him since he left Japan more than a year ago, but she warmed up to him after a while and they had a great time. Besides acorns, she is also passionate about sticks, here she is showing off her 2 sticks she found at the zoo.