Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Caterpillar Update

All of our caterpillars are gone.  They have simply vanished off our balcony.  Husband thinks they crawled away to our neighbor's, but I'm not sure where they went.

Jude and I are disappointed because we really wanted to see them change into moths.

Oh well!

Monday Mommy Tip #3

We are a busy family with lots going on.  Jude has swimming, piano lessons, cub scouts and soccer.  It can be a real chore trying to keep track of all his junk needed for each activity.  So, to make our lives easier, we have implemented the bag system.

Basically, we use 4 tote bags for his 4 activities.  We hang the bags on wall hooks, filled with the necessary items for each activity. For example, his swim bag is filled with a swim suit, a towel, goggles, a swim cap, pool shoes, shampoo and a snack.  His soccer bag has a bottle of bug spray, his dirty cleats (in a plastic bag), shin guards, bottled water, an extra plastic bag (for muddy items), and soccer socks.

Each bag remains filled with its necessary contents.  As things are used, they get washed and replaced into the correct bag, where they belong.  That way the bags always have exactly what we need.  Then, when we are on our way out, we just grab our correct activity bag and go.

I use inexpensive, cloth bags for this.  So, when they get dirty, they can be washed in the washing machine.

Also, with this bag system, we don't have to spend hours looking for goggles or soccer socks or piano music or scout stuff.  Everything is in its handy-dandy bag where it belongs.

Monday, August 29, 2011

On your first day of first grade

Dearest Jude,

I know you were really anxious about today, I know I was.  After all, you did wake us up at 3:45 this morning.  And I know you were very nervous even though you swore you weren't.  And when you grabbed your stomach and swore it didn't hurt, I knew it did.  And that's okay.

I'm proud of you for acting like a big kid in front of your friends.  You could have cried and hugged me like some of the others, but, instead, you stayed strong and tough.

And I'm proud of who you've become over the last year or so.  You've grown into such a great big kid.  Even with all the uncertainty in March and April (after the earthquake), you handled everything like a trooper-- a brave, strong, big kid.  For that, I'm so proud.

And today, on your first day of first grade, know that I am so incredibly proud of you for all you do.  You are the smartest, funniest, most awesome first grader I have ever known!  


Saturday, August 27, 2011


Happy 41st Birthday to my wonderful husband.  I love you!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thankful Thursday #3

Today I'm thankful to have such a healthy kid.

I'm so incredibly thankful Jude's lungs work perfectly, and he's not cursed with asthma like me.  I know what it's like to fight to breathe, and what it's like to be as high as a kite, doped-up on stimulants--medications that are necessary to keep airways open.

I'm thankful he's healthy and not tied to a nebulizer or has to pop Prednisone.  I'm thankful I've never had to hear him wheeze or seen him turn blue because of a lack of oxygen.

So, today I'm thankful my kid is as healthy as a horse!

What are you thankful for?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Mommy Tip #2

If you have children, then you know just how hard it is to cut their fingernails.  It's like trying to wrestle a wild pig, times 10!  And you know just how bad you feel when you accidentally cut their nails too short, because they were wiggling like a worm.  There's nothing worse than a screaming 2 year old bleeding all over the place, because YOU couldn't keep him still, while YOU were trimming his nails.

Well, I got tired of putting my kiddo into a head-lock once a month to cut his little talons. I thought there has to be an easier way.  And then it hit me.

I had a brilliant idea: I put his nail clippers in the car along with a nail file.  Then, when he was zonked out in his car seat in the car, after a long day at Target, I would just cut his nails, quickly and safely, while he was napping in the car.  Genius, huh?!

However, if you have the perfect kid who likes to get his/her nails trimmed, then a big SCREW YOU to you, because I wasn't lucky enough to get one of those kids.  If you have one of those kids, then please disregard this blog post and kiss my ass!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I recently noticed that 5 caterpillars have taken up residency on my geraniums on my balcony.  At first, my plan was to remove them and relocate them to the park, but Jude convinced me to keep them, in hopes that we can watch them grow and change.  We aren't sure what kind of caterpillars they are, but I have a hunch they will become moths and not butterflies.  After all, I did see a giant moth hanging out on the balcony about 2 weeks ago.  But, we shall see!

Yes, that's caterpillar crap next to our caterpillar.  They make huge poo!

The black stuff below the caterpillar is poo!  Gross, huh?!

Yes, I let my kid play with fire

Last weekend my friend invited my family over to her house for a barbecue. We pigged out on grilled meats, pickled veggies and beer!  And we got to play with fireworks.  It was awesome!

Husband playing with fireworks.

Jude lighting his sparkler. 

Jude and E. 

Jude playing with a sparkler. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

So I'm a perv

I love the Twilight Series written by Stephenie Meyer.  I know I need to get a life.  But, honestly, it's my guilty pleasure.  The books are fun and enchanting, but the movies are lame and cheesy.  However, I can't wait to see Bella and Edward do the nasty in "Breaking Dawn-Part 1," the movie.  Here's the trailer to tantalize your tidbits!

Thankful Thursday #2

Today I'm thankful for my thumbs!  Because if I didn't have them, wiping my ass would be really hard!

What are you thankful for?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Mommy Tip #1

I'm a little obsessive compulsive.  I like it that way.  And being obsessive compulsive has made me a very organized mom!  So, I've decided to share my mommy tips with you.

Tip #1:  Always keep a notepad and pen or dry/erase board  on your fridge to use as a grocery list.  That way, when you use up all the milk or eggs or pasta you have, you can write it down on your handy-dandy list, located conveniently next to you, staring at you in the face, on your fridge.  And, if others use all the butter or cereal, they have a place to write down what is needed, too.  When you and your family do this, you always know what you need to buy from the grocery store.  You don't have to guess.  And, before you go grocery shopping, make sure to take the list with you.  Then, you only buy what you need.  

****Keep in mind, this only works if everyone in your household participates.  If your husband/boyfriend/significant other/child/roommate refuse to oblige with your new grocery list system, I advise you beat them senseless until they are willing to participate.  

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Onsen trip

In a couple of weeks, we'll be headed to the Hakone Kowakien Yunessun Hot Spring Amusement Park and Spa.  It's basically a water park and spa where you can soak in different baths.  Japanese people believe visiting onsens (a Japanese hot spring pool) promotes healthy living and is an excellent way to feel rejuvenated and relaxed.

Here are some of the pools I'll be soaking in:
Wine spa!  Yum!

Green tea spa!

Sake spa!
This is going to be a great adventure!  I can't wait!  And don't worry, I'll take my underwater camera and post the pictures for your viewing pleasure.


Okay, I'm obsessed with earthquakes.  Oh, wait!  Maybe it's the other way around.  Maybe all these earthquakes are making me obsessed.  Whatever!  All I know is that each moment of everyday since March 11, 2011, earthquakes have infiltrated my life and made me more anxious, nervous and obsessed than before.

Each time I sit down in my apartment, in any chair, I sit waiting to feel movement.  And when I do feel a rumble under my rump, I jump up, scared shitless, and then hurry to my nearest internet device to check on the location of the epicenter, the magnitude of the quake, and how severe my location felt it.

Before March 11th, earthquakes were kind of cool.  They were little jolts that reminded me that I lived in Japan.  They were small, insignificant and almost fun.  But now, things have changed.  Obviously!  Now, with each small quake, my mind immediately rushes to the events that occurred on March 11th.  I remember the terror I felt as Jude and I sat under our dining room table, listening to the walls around us shake, watching as pictures fell and as our building swayed and jolted.  I remember the fear in my son's eyes as he cried hysterically, asking me if we were going to die.  I remember our mad dash down 5 stories, holding on to the railings, trying not to get separated as others in our building fled, wondering if our building was going to collapse around us.  All of that flashes through my mind when I feel the slightest movement under me.

I know for some people around me, the March 11 earthquake was a non-event--a short shaking sensation they felt before they quickly darted out of their homes or office buildings.  But for Jude and I and countless others who were in high rise buildings at the time, we had a completely different experience.   Completely different!

My Japanese friends tell me that I'll eventually get used to the shaking.  They keep assuring me that it will become a normal part of life in Tokyo, Japan.  Maybe for them this is normal, but for a midget, Mexican momma from Texas, this will never be normal!  Never!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thankful Thursday #1

I'm so thankful for all I have, and I've decided to share my thankfulness with you on Thursdays, hence Thankful Thursdays.  So, let's begin.

I'm thankful Husband has an awesome job that allows us to travel the world.  In a time when so many are unemployed and experiencing financial hardship, I feel even luckier that Husband has a secure job that pays our bills, gives us medical insurance, and allows me to be a half-ass stay-at-home mom.  For that, I'm so incredibly thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


So, I downloaded a new iPhone app. called Instagram.  It allows you to take pictures with your iPhone and then add cool filters to them.  Here a few pictures I posted yesterday.

Ome City.


High Diver. 
 So, what do you think?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

What you missed

Here are a few pictures I took during our summer vacation.  Enjoy!

Jude and Felix fishing off my dad's boat dock in Texas.  

Princess (BJ's daughter).  

Jude, looking out the window, during our cruise to the mother land.  

My family and our running buddy friends from North Texas (on the cruise).

At the Star Wars exhibit at the Houston Museum of Health and Science.  

Somewhere between Texas and California.  

Husband and Jude at the beach in Texas. 

Hello again!

Sorry for the long period of silence, but I was busy traveling.  Now that we are back home in Japan, and I've returned to my usual schedule, I've decided to start blogging again.  I'm glad you stuck around!  Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto!