Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Lucky One (^_^)

This morning Iki-chan picked up one lucky person who gave comments on this blog's 4th birthday. Thank you for all the comments. Thank you for following my life -oh no, OUR lives through this blog. Thank you for being my best friends through this blog too :)

So...Ehm ehm....look at how Iki-chan chose the lucky person :p



Let's see who he/she is....?!



TADAAA!!!



Congratulations!!!!



Dear Lady in Red, please email me your address. I actually prepared Japanese cool "summer goodie", but I know you are having winter now in Aussie hahahaha. So you'll get special souvenir from my next week trip to Sendai instead (^_^).

Again, congratulations. And thank you for all the comments.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Visiting Rui

We went to Shin-Urayasu today to visit mbak Maria and Rui. The station is just one station after Disneyland's station!!!! The train was loaded with excited kids going to Disneyland. I think I will go to Disneysea later before we leave Japan (^_^), with Mbak Maria and Rui, perhaps? :p

To my surprise, look what Mbak Maria prepared for lunch!!! I couldn't remember how many times did I said "Oh My God!" :p

Nasi Kuning topped with abon sapi and sambal goreng tempe



Siomay



Ayam Goreng



Es Buah



Iki had fun too. He is definitely the quietest among Kiyo and Rui, but he enjoyed playing by himself. That's why I could eat as much possible hahaha. I forgot my diet programme completely today :p



Oh, I also tried Mbak Maria's rodeo. It said that that machine could reduce the waist line (and perhaps my fatty stomach too) so I wanted to give it a try hehehe. I think that machine reduce 1/12 calorie of all the food I ate this afternoon :))



I even brought home some food for our dinner. Iki really loved that nasi kuning and the ayam goreng. He kept saying: "ayam goreng enak, ayam goreng enak yoooo".

At the end of the day, I asked Iki-chan if he was happy today. Sleepily he answered: "very happy. Bu'de gave kakkoi cars". LOL

Thanks a lot for today, Mbak. We definitely will come again (^_^)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Scared

It's raining hard outside. With thunders and lightning, the big ones. We both are really scared. Iki just fell asleep after hugging me tightly while crying for half an hour. I'm afraid to turn my PC on. Even I'm too scared to go to toilet.....

I hate thunders and lightnings.....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Our future neighborhood?

I got these pictures from Hiro this morning.



A house. Not an apartment anymore.
With space where I could have some real gardening. Not on small pots on the veranda anymore.
Perhaps a bit more space where Iki-chan can have a small sand box, or a small plastic pool to play in, or a small slide and a small wooden swing?
Or perhaps a back garden too, where we could have BBQ with our new friends? :p



Look at that! A beautiful lake within walking distance!
And I think city center can be reach by bicycle too :p

Isn't it cool?

Would this place be our future neighborhood?! (^_^) I would love to!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A treat to myself

This afternoon I had a late lunch at Ikebukuro alone after cleaning up the house the whole morning (at last! :p). Since Hiro was away, this living room has become our bedroom too. This time of the year I feel lucky that we are using Japanese style bed, that can be fold during the day and moved anywhere easily. We only bought one air conditioner and put it in the living room. I hardly want to go to the other rooms during the day then (read: I don't want to clean those rooms too). Classic reason, because it's very hot there!! :p



Anyway this was a treat to myself today: Chilimenjako to mentaiko spaghetti with Mayonaise (Spaghetti with anchovy and spicy cod roe topped with mayonaise). Something I would never try if I dine out with Hiro :p. I'm leaving Japan soon, so suddenly today I wanted to try something with Japanese' extraordinary menu.



It was shocking at first, but actually it didn't taste bad :). I think those green things you could see on the picture ruined the taste!! (and made my mouth smelly, huh!)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

"Busy"

Papa-chan has been away for two weeks. I haven't cried or longed for him yet :p. First because we still could communicate everyday (thanks to Skype), and second because I try to make myself busy and I think I'm successful!

Thanks God I have a lot of friends that keep me "occupied". In a day I could have two appointments with two different groups of friends. By the end of the day then we both are tired already, so that we could enjoy our relaxing night time, and sleep in no difficulty at all.
  • I could spend one day going to Saitama to visit Nova and Kiyo.
  • I could spend the other day playing at the park with Tateyama, went back home for a shower, and met her again for having lunch together. In the evening then I met Tomomi (with her son, Aki-kun) for some shopping and walking around the neighborhood.
  • I could also spend the rest of afternoon having lunch with Keiko and her daughter Sakurako after Iki's swimming class; and then having pizza party for dinner with Aki (with her daughter, Hanon) and Na young (with her son, Kenshin), and went back home a little bit too late :p.
  • I even spent my supposed-to-be-staying-at-home Saturday with Tomomi at The Children Support Center today.


Meanwhile I also already have long list of appointments for the coming weeks. Including visiting Iki-chan's grandparents tomorrow, visiting Rui, lunch at my place with Tomomi, meeting Misao, visiting Emmy in Sendai, visiting Aki's new house at Saitama, and going to Ropponggi with Aki and Na Young (minus the kids - we plan to leave them with the grannies!).

I think I must start "thinking" to find some free time for sorting and packing our stuffs already. We are moving out of Japan soon!!!! (^___^)

For you who are still interested to get my blog's 4th birthday giveaway, there's still time to give comment until July 30th. Who knows if you're the lucky one :p!

I actually really want to upload my "busy" days photos with my friends, but Japanese don't like publicity. They won't be happy to see their faces on the web :p

Anyway I'm enjoying my days here. Our last few months of living in Japan. I'm both sad and happy leaving what I already have now. Sad because I have to say goodbye to those very nice friends and in-laws. Happy because we're going to live together again with papa-chan, and start a new life again at a completely new place........


PS: this post is an answer to Diva's emails too. Thanks for making me smile -or laughing everyday :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Doyou No Ushi No Hi (どようのうしのひ)

Is a day in the middle of super hot summer when people all over Japan eat Unagi (eel). Japanese believe that eating the nutritious Unagi during the very hot summer time can bring back their stamina. If you want to read more about this eel day, this web has the answer (^_^)

I actually had no idea about Unagi day, but was wondering why they were so many unagi(s) displayed at the supermarket yesterday. Today when I had some shopping with a friend and passed the Unagi display, she told me about this Unagi day.

So I bought Unagi obento for our dinner tonight:



Hopefully I will have good stamina (and good mood too!!) to face the rest of summer here (^_^)v

PS: how many times did I mention "hot"??? :p

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

4th Birthday (^__^) giveaway

Happy birthday, my blog
Happy birthday, my blog

Happy birthday, happy birthday...

Happy birthday, my bloggggg.....


On July 22, four years ago, I finally started this blog after almost everyone at the office had one. Since then this blog has been my best friend, where I could write whatever happened in my life. The happy moments and the crappy ones.

I will send a small "surprise" package to one lucky person who gives comment to this post. Iki-chan will pick up one name on July 31st, so we are waiting forward for your comments until July 30th (^__^).

And this is how we celebrated my blog's birthday:



Macaroni Schotel. It tasted good though was not satisfying. But little Iki ate his portion excitedly :p

Monday, July 21, 2008

Grumpy Boy

Iki just fell asleep, still with watery eyes. He caught a cold today, perhaps because he was too tired yesterday, or because of the high temperature nowadays.



He said, "Iki-chan inside neck painful", this morning.

He is weak, cranky, and wants full attention. Poor boy, hope he will recover soon.

Gtg now, it's chance to do my housechores while he's sleeping :p

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tired

Yesterday I slept over at my parents in law's place and today we went to Yokohama to visit my sister in law's family. Just got back now, very late, but I couldn't stand another night at my parents in law's house. It's mentally tiring :p

Night night...I don't bother to take shower tonight!

Single for a day

My husband is abroad and my son excitedly said goodbye to me when his grandparents picked him up yesterday morning. What could be better? haha.

So eventhough it was damn 35 degrees celcius, I was off to enjoy my single day. At first I went to Omotesando area to pick up my sunglasses at Oliver Peoples, and then had a bit walk. It is a very fashionable and expensive area. I could see row of branded shops, from Channel to Louis Vuitton, crowded with customer at that very first day of summer holiday. How Japanese love branded goods!!.
I enjoyed watching pretty women in their most fashionable outfits, as much as watching the hot guys. I saw this very handsome one, sitting in front of me on the train. He has beautiful nose and lips. I regretted that I had to get off at Shibuya haha.

It was the last day of summer sale every shop was jammed with people. I lost my shopping mood yet could buy two tops and a cheap big sunglasses :p.

It was indeed a satisfying single day (^_^)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Next two (or three) months resolution

  • Pilates Abs at least 4 times a week
  • Hands exercise at least 2 times a week
  • Legs exercise at least 2 times a week
  • No food after 7 p.m
  • Once a day only "heavy" snack
  • Body weight 40 kg
  • Waist size 58
You can do it, Imoet-chan!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tonari no Totoro (となりのトトロ)

I watched this movie before actually, the English version: My Neighbor Totoro, when we lived in Korea. At that time I just thought that this movie was fun, and a very good animation.



But today I watched the Japanese version one, with some of my friends plus the kids. I felt really different this time. I love this animation!! Somewhat I felt that it was really funny and touching in its real language, Japanese. And perhaps watching it together with friends plus the wild screams and laughs from the children made it even more interesting.



Too bad then the kids were starting to be sleepy and became grumpy so we all decided to stop watching and went back home :(. I think tonight I couldn't sleep thinking about this cute Totoro. I hate not to be able to watch it until the end *sigh*

This is a definitely recommended movie. You can read about this old animation (1988) here in Wikipedia, if you are interested. But for your information, this movie is still in everyone's heart after 20 years!!!



It was really a relaxing afternoon with some friends accompanied by Totoro-chan :p, though it was hot and raining and humid (_ _;)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

(>.<)

After throwing out garbage into the public trash bin, I planned to bring Iki playing at the park. As usual, I put on light make up first before going out. It was when my eyes spotted something yellowish, moving slowly among my front hair.

It was a small caterpillar!!!!
On my hair!!!!
Alive!!!
Moving!!!!!
DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!

I screamed my heart out, trying to find something to take it out of my hair. Shocked Iki gave me tissue, and without thinking I used it to grabbed that damn little moving thing from my hair. I was just a bit too strong. I squeezed that poor animal. I wanted to cry to see some yellow liquid mixed with the crashed caterpillar on my hair and forehead (>.<).

What a bad start of this very hot day!! (34 degrees, for God's sake - and it surely will get hotter and hotter in coming weeks)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Banana Choco Milkshake

This afternoon we tried making this banana choco milkshake for snack. As usual I got the idea from this awesome blog: A Bit of This and A Bit of That (^__^)

The ingredients needed are: (for 2 big glasses)
  • 1 banana
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 100 cc cold milk
First of all, cut the banana.
Iki didn't want to hold the banana because it made his fingers wet and sticky. And then put the banana into food processor.

Pour in the milk

Add the cocoa powder

Whiz in the processor until smooth

Hmmmmm Yummy!!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Muffin Tin Monday

This week's Muffin Tin Monday:

From top left, clockwise:
aji no nori, wakame and tofu miso soup, steamed rice, hourenzou no ohitashi (boiled spinach seasoned with shouyu and katsuobushi), sujiko (hmmm young salmon eggs?), and okura no bacon maki. Iki-chan finished everything!!!!

Lonely

Hiro left Japan this morning already. It explained why I lost my blogging mood last week. I spent my only available free time at nights with papa-chan. Either packing-unpacking-and packing his stuffs, had long midnight chats, or simply watching Japanese drama together.

I miss him, I really do. And so does Iki. This afternoon he told me that he missed papa-chan and wanted to give his lovely Hippochan to him. Papa-chan is leaving for a business trip for AT LEAST two months (well, talking about his company, no one could ever have exact schedule!). Then hopefully we could join him asap. I enjoy living in Japan. I just started my life here, with many friends and long list of activities. I like the facilities, safety, efficiency, and practical life here too. I could feel that this is my home, but now something is missing. I don't mind to leave whatever I enjoy in Japan to be able to live together again, even at a small village in the middle of nowhere.

But I feel really lucky that Iki is still a toddler now. My friend whose husband is going to be sent to the same place with Hiro is now really sad because they couldn't live together for about three years. The kids are at school age, that they have to live at bigger city that has International school (which is 10 hours drive plus more than 2 hours flight away from their father). Oh boy....guess this will happen to us also later!

Last night we had a small farewell dinner. Everyone enjoyed it. Even Iki behaved and ate all his food without any shout from me :p.

This is our wagyu steak last night. Papa-chan was the chef.



With a bottle of Chianti wine, my favourite.



And this is the last picture taken before papa-chan dropped my camera and broke it (T_T)



I hope two months will pass in a blink. I'll try to be busy and enjoy our leftover days in Japan with Iki. Hopefully I would always be too tired to feel lonely at night (^_-)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Waiting

We are at the hospital now for Iki's yearly check up. We have it earlier this year because papa-chan is leaving Japan next week.

His condition now is actually disturbed my mind.But I'm not a profesional that I don't know until what level would it be considered alright.

One thing for sure, I don't want him to have any operation anymore.....

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Shiohigari (しおひがり)

Shiohigari (しおひがり) is a traditional activity of collecting clams at low tide in Japan. Not by the fishermen, but by ordinary people. Now it becomes one of family leisure activities. It usually starts when the weather is getting warmer, by the end of May; until Autumn is approaching.

Papa-chan is having some short holiday before leaving Japan so last Thursday we planned to have shiohigari. We started early in the morning to avoid working rush hour, but were surprised to see that there were not as many cars as expected. Seemed that nowadays people prefer to take public transportation due to gasoline's high price :p.

We went to Chiba through Tokyo Bay. It was my first time to pass Tokyo Bay Aqua Line, a bridge-tunnel combination that connects Kawasaki in Kanagawa Perfecture and Kisazaru in Chiba perfecture.

Wikipedia says:

The Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line (東京湾アクアライン tōkyō wan akua rain) is a bridge-tunnel combination across Tokyo Bay in Japan. It connects the city of Kawasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture with the city of Kisarazu in Chiba Prefecture, and is designated as part of National Route 409. With an overall length of 14 km, it includes a 4.4 km bridge and 9.6 km tunnel underneath the bay - which is the longest underwater tunnel for cars in the world.

At the bridge-tunnel crossover point, there is an artificial island called Umi-hotaru (海ほたる Umi-hotaru), ("sea firefly") with a rest area consisting of restaurants, shops and amusement facilities. Air is supplied to the tunnel by a distinctive tower in the middle of the tunnel (called the Kaze no tō (風の塔)) which uses the bay's almost-constant winds as a power source.

The road opened on December 18, 1997 after 31 years of construction at a cost of 1.44 trillion yen (11.2 billion USD at the time of opening).



There were several shiohigari places in Chiba, and we went to the first one we found ;-). The weather was unfriendly at that time. Weather forecast said that it would be cloudy, but it was REALLY cloudy with AWFULLY strong wind!! There were only four or five cars parked, but it showed that there were other crazy people going to find clams in that kind of weather besides us hahaha. More people were coming later in the afternoon though, which made me wondering how crowded would there be during weekends with fine weather?!



We used a tool called "kumade", a small rake to dig the clams out of the sand. It was really easy and fun. There are four types of clams in that area, but only two of them are edible (because those clams can be cleaned from the sand easily) : asari (Manila clam) and hamaguri (hard clam). The owner also explained us the differences of each clam. Asari has thin vertical stripes. Hamaguri has no vertical stripes but has black dot on the center. The other two types has no vertical stipes and black dot.

This is what we got:



Looking at the bad weather, we planned to spend about 10 minutes only there. But in fact, we spent about two hours digging the sand and collecting clams (how time flied!). We brought home about 2 kgs of clams, and a liter of seawater.
We put all the clams into the seawater at home for several hours to let them spit the sand out of their shells. It was really fun to see them moving and spitting water :p. The clams I usually bought at the Supermarket were not fresh enough to move and spit that active.

video

I gave some asari to my friends, and that night we had this Asari Miso Soup, and the next day I cooked Asari Gohan from the remain ones (^_^).

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Out of Service

My computer is out of service. Papa-chan is now trying to make things right. It's sad to spend two nights already without it :(

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tempura's Muffin Tin Monday

This was Iki's dinner last night.



I couldn't find shrimp at the nearest supermarket yesterday so I could only prepared vegetables tempura + Hotaru Ika (lightly boiled small squids - the purple colored one), of course with steamed rice and tofu miso soup. He was still excited to see his muffin tin plate and ate greedily.

From top left - clockwise: gobo + carrot tempura, onion tempura, sweet potato tempura, perilla leaves tempura, hotaru ika, pumpkin tempura.

I think I'm having PMS so yesterday my cooking mood was ruined. I didn't bother to cut the vegetables based on its ruled size (I was too lazy to take my cutting board with ruler from the closet :p) I thought it would be OK. They looked more or less the same anyway. But papa-chan spotted it in a second and complained a lot. It was just 2 mm different, for God's sake!!! hahahaha