2014/11/30

Happy Birthday Grandma!

I went to my parent's house with my children to celebrate my mother's birthday yesterday.

We prepared two presents for her.

One was a birthday card.

My 5-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter wrote messages and pictures for her.

Another one was a DVD.

I recorded my son's playing Electone (*1) , their songs and messages for her.

(*1)It is a trademark used for electronic organs produced by Yamaha Corporation.
       He goes to Yamaha's music school every Saturday and learns how to play Electone.

On our way to my parent's house, I bought a birthday cake at my favorite cake shop.

I was going to buy a whole cake with a message on top using a chocolate , but my son told me that he wanted a piece of chocolate cake insted.

Since my daughter heard him insisted with my idea, she also told me "I want to eat this whole strawberry sponge cake alone!".

They started quarreling in the shop.

I told them "Whose birthday is it today? Your grandma, right? You can see "Happy Birthday" written here, can't you? Let's buy this one!"

I decided to buy a whole strawberry sponge cake, but since my son never gave up buying a piece of chocolate cake, eventually I bought both of them.


We sang a happy birthday song and my mother blew out the candles.

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA!"

Of course the chocorate plate on the top of the cake was eaten by my children!




After we finished eating a cake, we took a walk around the house.

My hometown is famous for its traditional ceramics.

I found a pretty cat postman which made of ceramics on the post as we take a walk and it catched my attention so I took a photo of it!



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2014/11/29

A wedding invitation

I received a wedding invitation recently.

A friend of mine who was my classmate in high school will be getting married January next year.

I met her once during our college reunion after 16 years last October.

I attended together with my two friends and she was there too with her friends.

Since all of us went to the same high school and it had been so long since we've met, we got excited over talking about the old days.

She mentioned about her getting married next year, so all of us were invited to attend her wedding ceremony.

It was such a long time since I attended a wedding ceremony, so I am looking forward this event after she invited me.




These are stamps for the auspicious event which will be used in sending the wedding invitation to all attendees.

92 yen stamp is for the envelope of invitation, and 52 yen stamp is for reply confirm the attendance.

It is one of our customs to use these stamps for a wedding invitation.

It has been said that it is unlucky to paste two stamps on one envelope because it connotes separation of the couple.

We have various manners to follow when it comes to ceremonial occasions in our country.



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2014/11/28

An impressive concert at the nursery school

The concert was held at the nursery school yesterday, so my mother and I went to watch it.

Usually there are three grades in Japanese nursery school.

My 4-year-old daughter is in the first grade, and 5-year-old son is in the third grade.



My daughter's class sang 2 songs and played a tune in concert.

They were still young, the principal told the audience " Please shake your hands if you find your child, or they will ease their tension".

We shook each other's hands with a smile.

When they sang the fun song, there were some children ended up jumping.

There were also some children who were nervous and couldn't sing.

My daughter sang merrily although she looked shy.

They were still very young and cute!



My son's class presented 6 songs.

Three of them were played by keyboard harmonicas, one of them was a song and a tune in concert, one of them was a song with sign language, and the last one was a song.

I was especially impressed by their attitudes

At first, they looked nervous, they didn't smile though their parents or grandparents shook their hands, they kept serious looks.

But according to my son, they were told by their teacher "do seriously, do not playfully".

Everybody sang and played eagerly.

I know their usual attitudes, so I was impressed by the differences.

The highlights of the concert were the tune in concert and a song with sign language.

My son played the keyboard harmonica.

He practiced it at home many times.

He could play it well, and other children were also well done!

The principal said that they used all instruments in the nursery school, a big drum, a snare drum, cymbals, bells, castanets, tambourine, xylophone, glockenspiel, wood blocks, keyboard harmonicas, and the teacher played the piano.

Their performance was very powerful and impressive.

I was about to cry with my deep emotion.


A song with sign language was excellent!

I was surprised that they could remember it in short term.

I was deeply impressed that I felt their growth.

Most of mothers were recording videos, so they couldn't clap.

But we gave a generous applause to them when they finished their performance.


After they came back home, my son told me "I was so tired today because I did my best."

I could understand his word well.




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2014/11/27

The excellent services of my favorite hair salon

Since I had a day off yesterday, I went to my favorite hair salon to have my hair cut.

I have tried going to the other hair salon several times, but in the end, I realize that I like this hair salon the best.

I have been having my hair cut there for 15 years.

There are some reasons why I like this hair salon.


1. My hair don't get any damage when I have my hair permed and dyed there

They give my hair a treatment called "the water treatment" before a perm or a hair dye.

I feel the water permeate my hair, it makes me feel good.


2. There is a hair stylist who is compatible to me

I always choose the same hair stylist.

Since I trust her, I request just a little, and I leave it up to her.

She knows my hair better than me, so she can choose the best way for me.


3. Shampoo is very comfortable

The seat in the shampoo station is very nice.

And their technique of shampooing are excellent.

I always feel so nice that I can't help dozing off.


4. I am able to read the latest magazines.

While having a hair cut, I like reading magazines.

The hair stylist sometimes talks to me, but she keeps quiet while I read them.

Thanks to her nice consideration, I enjoy reading them.

I usually don't have time to read someting and watch TV at home, so this opportunity is very fun for me.


 I had a very relaxing time there!



(The photo is not my favorite hair salon. It is just a image.)


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2014/11/26

They ate dinner up! ~ I recall the days that I suffered from my children's picky eating ~

Today's topic is about food again.

I made "Oden" on Monday.

(11/25 diary entry → http://a-o-j-m.blogspot.jp/2014/11/yummy-oden-i-cant-stop-eating.html )

On the next day after  I make "Oden", I often cook "Takikomi-gohan" with soup of the "Oden".

This is yesterday's dinner.

< Menu >
 
Takikomi-gohan
 
soup with beaten egg
 
ham salad
 
Japanese tea




I spent too much time making "Takikomi-gohan", so the other dishes were corner-cutting cooking.

But, my children ate them completely saying "Mom, these are yummy! Couldn't be better!"


They used to be picky eaters.

My son was especially terrible when he was 2 years old.

He only ate sweet breadsticks.

Since he didn't eat though I devised ways to make dishes easy to eat,he still didn"t eat so  I was so hurt.

I wrote the sentence below on a piece of  paper and stuck it on the fridge so I wouldn't get anggry with him.

 "It's NOT a big deal though if he eats breadsticks for three meals because he is my lovely son."


But now, he is able to eat everything including green vegetables though he sometimes says " I don't like this".

Thanks to the school lunch.

Cooks prepare nutrionally-balanced meal which is good for children everyday.

We had an enjoyable dinner time.



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2014/11/25

Yummy Oden! I can't stop eating!

"Oden" is one of the popular winter dishes in Japan.

"Hanpen"(fish minced and steamed), "Chikuwa" (a tubular roll of boiled fish paste), "Konnyaku", boiled eggs and Japanese radish etc. are stewed in a saucepan with hot soup.

We feel warm after we eat it.

It was not cold yesterday, but I wanted to eat "Oden".

In my case, I use oyster source, salt, "Hondashi(bonito fish soup stock)" as ingredients of the soup.

The food is well flavored by soup, my children and I could not stop eating!


I like eating "Oden" with "Miso"(a kind of Japanese seasoning).

The photo below is the Japanese radish and konnnyaku with miso.

It was yummy!


My son told me " You will make Takikomi-gohan (steamed rice with vegetables and meat mixed in) tomorrow, won't you?"

That's right!!

If I cook rice with the soup of "Oden", it will become delicious "Takikomi-gohan"!



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2014/11/24

Unintentional sleep deprivation caused by my children

When we sleep, we spread bedding on "tatami"( It is a mat on the floor in a Japanese -style room) and we lie down side by side.

Our sleeping position resembles to that of the kanji character which word is "river" (" " in Kanji).


Recently we lie down in this order.

(My 5-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter sometimes start quarreling about who lies next to me or my husband.)


But it was like this at 12:30am.



I was surprised because she usually sleeps without changing her sleeping position.

I turned her into a straight position and slept again.

Two hours later, I woke up again because my son put his legs under my legs.


He does this every night.

I turned him into a straight position and covered him with a futon (quilt) again and slept again.


One and a half hours later, I happened to wake up again seeing my son's head-butting.


 Early this morning (4:00am), I cannot go back to sleep and end up writing this article.

Were you able to think why we don't sleep in a separate room for us to get a good sleep?

I should say, it's because this is our family's ordinary customs!



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2014/11/23

Wonderful and enjoyable Saturday

Since my husband worked from afternoon, my children and I went to my parents' house.

After reaching their house, my mother told me "Why don't you go to the airport? We can see the Christmas illumination  there, so Let's go and see it!"

The airport was so crowded, but fortunately we were able to find a empty parking lot vacated by someone lately.


We had dinner first.

Fried shrimps were very big and yummy!  I felt happy(^^).



There was a big paper lantern near the restaurant.



The flower festival was also held at the airport.

We had a chance to see beautiful Christmas flower arrangements.

This was the Japanese-style arrangement.

Christmas presents looked so cute!




And Christmas illimination was excellent!

We were so excited to see them.



We reached home at 8:10pm.

It was very late for little children, but they didn't fall asleep on our way home.

I guessed because they were too excited to sleep.

But, they fell asleep soon after they got into bed.

We had a very good time.



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2014/11/22

~ Daruma san ga koronda ~ Do you know the way of counting in Japanese?

In the book I read to my children the day before yesterday, there was a scene where a boy was told by his father "Count 100 before you get out of  the bath".

He didn't count like "1, 2, 3・・・", but "Daruma san ga koronda"  (だるまさんがころんだ in Japanese) ten times.

I explained the meaning of this way of counting to my children.



"Daruma" is one of the famous Japanese traditional doll.

Its figure looks like a man who has a beard.



It's not only a figurine but it's also a toy for kids.

It is a tumble doll, always returns to an upright position when tipped over.



"Daruma san ga koronda" is one of the Japanese traditional games.

I have heard that there are similar games all over the world.

It is called "Red light, Green light" in English speaking countries, isn't it?

It is written " だるまさんがころんだ" in Japanese Hiragana (one of the name of Japanese letters).

It includes 10 Hiragana letters, so it is used when we count to 10.

"Daruma san ga koronda" is easier to say than  "1, 2, 3 ( いちにさん)" and so on.


I told my children "When I was a child, your grandpa used to say "Count 1 to 100 before you get out of the bath", so I counted saying "Daruma san ga koronda" ten times."

They were greatly amused by this story, they showed that they counted by "Daruma san ga koronda" to my husband.

He said "What is it? What are you doing?"

I was surprised that he didn't know the way of counting.

It may be said that not all Japanese know about it.




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2014/11/21

The timeless masterpieces of fairy tales

I read some picture books that we borrowed from the library to my children yesterday evening.

I started reading a book to my children when my son was 0 years old.

I have a target to read more than 100 books in a year with my children.

And we achieved it for three consecutive years!


I like the time of storytelling very much.

There are 3 reasons.

1. It is heartwarming for me.

    We can touch each other while reading.

2. We can share the same feelings.

    I like listening to my children's impressions of the story because I can see how they think.

    I sometimes have a different impression of the books from my children.

    This is very interesting for me.

3. I believe that the storytelling can stir up children's concentration powers and rich sensitivities.


When I was an elementary school student, I wanted to become a fairy tale writer.

My dream didn't come true, but now I like reading fairy tales.

Because they are interesting though after we had already become adults.

I could sometimes recall my thoughts that I felt when I was a child.

Since the story is so fun for us, I sometimes get really into the story as if I were an actress who acts one-man show while reading.

When they enjoy listening to the story, I am very glad.



These are the books which I loved when I was a little child.

 < Lists >
・My father's dragon
・Guri and Gura
・The very hungry caterpillar
・The series of "Koguma-chan"
・The series of "Nontan"
And now my children also love them.

They are the timeless masterpieces of fairy tales!


My 5-year-old son also likes dinasors and insects.

He sometimes look at dinasors and insects illustrated reference books.




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2014/11/20

An injection again?

I needed to take my children to the hospital to get a flu shot again yesterday.

I wrote the first story last month.

It was so difficult to take my 4-year-old daughter.

http://a-o-j-m.blogspot.jp/2014/10/i-dislike-injection.html

So this time, I didn't tell her about the injection until we went to the hospital.

Before we left home, she asked me " Where are we going?"

I answered "Hospital."

She seemed to guess about the injection, she turned pale and said, "No! I don't like to go!"

I told her " But you need to go!"

I carried her , she acted violently, but I as able to put her on the car.

Since she wouldn't get off when we arrived the hospital, I had to drag her down form the car.

While we were waiting, I told her,

 "You were crying while waiting last time, but this time you are not crying! Wow! You became stronger than before!"

I continued, "You can do it. When you get an injection, why don't you close your eyes? I will be hugging you while you are having the vaccine, so don't worry!"

She told me " Can I do that?  I am scared."

But she closed her eyes and put up with it!

She didn't cry!

The doctor and nurses praised her.

She was stunned for a while but she became her usual self afterwards.

As for my 5-year-old son,  he is good at having a shot recently.

He never cries!

They got at the hospital as a reward for putting up with the injection!

My son got the "Youkai Watch" tissue because he likes it very much.

It is now very popular among the children.




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2014/11/19

"Five NOT's" that my children do are frustrating

There are five things that my children don't do.

I am often irritated by them.



1. They do NOT wake up even the alarm clock rings

The clock has a snooze function, so it alarms for every five minutes.

I set the timer at 7:10 am.

They don't wake up though it alarms 5 times, so I have to wake them up by myself.


Ironically, they wake up before 7:00 am  without the alarm only on weekends.


2. They would NOT come for breakfast or dinner immidiately

I always tell them "Time for breakfast / dinner! Come and have a seat."

But they ignore me and keep playing.


3.They do NOT want to come back home from the nursery school

Before I go to work, my 5-year-old son often tells me "Come back early mom!"

But when I finish working and go pick them up in hurry, they often ignore me even they notice that I am coming.

They get angry with me saying,  "Why do you come back so early?  I am playing with a friend happily now. I don't want to go home!"


4. They do NOT clean up their toys

I praise them when they do unusual things like cleaning up their toys

I labeled them clearly and put them in some boxes to be able to clean  them up easily.

But these were not so effective.


5. They would NOT go to bed soon

Since they can't wake up early, I try to let them go to bed early.

But they often ask me to read books before they sleep.

I finish reading a book, they tell me " One more please!"

I know that it is easier to read for them one more time rather than refuse their request, so I often read one more book.

Because reading books are fun for us, time passes so fast  and eventually we go to bed later than usual.



These 5 NOT's make me fell irritated.

But I would not like to get angry and I would like to enjoy on how to deal with these.



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2014/11/18

The sea creatures made of "Origami"

My 5-year-old son made 4  "Origami"sea creatures.



The Blue one is a dolphin, the brown one is a flounder, the red and green one is a crab, and the white one is a sting ray.

He made the crab and the flounder using his own method.

He told me that the forms looked like a crab and a flatfish while he played "origami".

I am often impressed by the imagination of the children.



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2014/11/17

Autumn leaves are beautiful!

I went to the park with my family yesterday.

There were a lot of trees in the park, the autumn leaves were very beautiful!



My 4-year-old daughter was able to stand on the swing!



When I was an elementary school student, I had fallen down from the swing and got a crack in the bone of my wrist.

When I watch over my children getting on the swing, I sometimes remember the bad incident and I worry about them.


She started playing with the boy who seem to be like her age.

She is good at making friends, she is very optimistic.


As for my 5-year-old son, he became a little pesmistic when he felt sleepy and hungry.

He told me, "I finished the all playground equipments. I want to go home!"

My husband and I decided to go to a steak restaurant near the park for lunch.

My son complained to me, "I wanted to eat Chinese style fried rice than steaks!"

We rarely have an opportunity to eat steaks because it is expensive, so we didn't change our decision.


After all, my son enjoyed having a special lunch for kids.

This photo below is a steak which my husband ordered.


We spent too much money for lunch, but we enjoyed it.

It's OK sometimes, isn't it? ( I often persuaded myself.)



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