Tuesday, December 7, 2010


The weekend before Brooke left, we stayed up in Tokyo for a few days. One of the days we went to Asakusa. Asakusa is a district in Tokyo that is most famous for its Senso-Ji temple, a buddhist temple and has some other temples. It is a very japanese district and a lot of fun. Instead of taking the train to Asakusa, we took a water taxi--it was very fun to cruise through Tokyo and see all the buildings and different architecture.

This was after getting off the water taxi--Brooke and the kids in front of what has been nicknamed "the golden poo".

After walking through the first Torii gate, you enter a street that is filled with TONS of different shops--way down there at the end you can see the temple. It was very fun to walk along and see what people were selling.

For example, this shop was selling the lucky cats--that was ALL they sold! There were also shops selling Japanese sandals, fans, etc.

This is a typical scene--we are always having groups of Japanese ladies stop us so they can fawn over the kids, especially Cade--the kids are pretty use to it now and we have even learned the japanese word for cute, because we hear it ALL the time!! Also, in Japan you see people wearing masks any time they are sick.

Kailey eating a chocolate-covered banana--Japan has the best snacks and food.

They dress up statues a lot--I think it is so funny!

Brooke, Eric and the kids in front of the temple

They have these at every temple--people write down their prayers and then tie them on here.

Growing up, my dad gave Brooke incense every Christmas as a joke. Here she is finally embracing the incense.

So you shake that metal thing and pull out a stick that coordinates to a number...
on here and pull out your fortune--pretty cool!

Looking at the koi

Brooke desecrating the temple--big NO NO to ride on top of religious statues, but so funny!!
One of the many delicious treats you could buy--looks tasty, huh?

Cade has really embraced riding the train--here he is hanging on.

Brooke and I went to another temple the next day and saw tons of little kids all dressed up in their finest--here is a picture of one family--I thought they looked so cute!

Thanksgiving at Lake Yamanaka

This year for Thanksgiving we went and stayed in cabins at Lake Yamanaka. It is at the base of Mt. Fuji. We stayed in some cabins with 5 other families (3 of which were good friends). We had a lot of fun. The lake is about 100 yards from our cabins--it was gorgeous. Here are a couple of pictures!
The kids and I on a walk by the lake--Mt. Fuji in the background--as you can tell, we had some amazing views of Fuji!
Cute Kailey!
They had this giant swan boat you could ride on around the lake
Tons of fishermen on the lake
Kids playing on the swings by the cabins

The toilet in our hotel--this is a typical Japanese toilet. The best thing, is the heated seat--nothing better than sitting on a warm toilet seat. Also, when you flush, water comes out the faucet at the top so you can wash your hands--the kids loved it!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lake Kawaguchi 27K race

For Thanksgiving, we went up to a lake called Lake Yamanaka with a couple of other families for the holiday weekend. Sunday, 5 of us ran a race around Lake Kawaguchi. Three of my friends did a marathon and two of us (me and a friend) ran the 27k race around the lake. Yes, 27K is 16.7 miles--it seems long, but wasn't at all--I had a BLAST. I have run a lot of races and this was by far the most fun. As you can see from the picture above, the scenery was gorgeous. Lake Kawaguchi is one of the lakes around Mt. Fuji. We were lucky and had a clear day and some amazing views of Mt. Fuji. It was so awesome to run in such a beautiful place and take in all the amazing views. The other thing that was awesome were the costumes. Japanese people dress up in costumes to run races. I saw some of the craziest costumes and a lot of these people ran the whole marathon in their costumes. Crazy!! Overall, one of the best japanese experiences I have had here.

Picking up our race packets--we noticed they were practicing CPR--unfortunately they needed those skills--at mile 8 there was some guy that collapsed and they had to do CPR on him--not a good sign!
Another view of the lake--just gorgeous!

I passed these guys twice--they were some taiko drummers that were performing during the race--it was so cool to hear and watch them.
A woman (nope that is a man) running the marathon in his maid costume.
This guy also ran the marathon in his little tutu and don't get too close--those red panties were mesh and WAY see through--EWWWW!!
Another view of Mt. Fuji during the run and no that guy is fishing, not peeing, although I did see a LOT of men peeing on the side of the road during the race!
The chicken costume--you can't tell, but the head of the costume is like 2 feet tall.
Stitch costume and he ran the whole marathon with that huge head on--I don't know how these guys do it!
Like I said, there were TONS of costumes--it was so fun to run and watch all the people and see what they were wearing.

At the end of the race, instead of bagels and granola bars, you got a bowl of soup with a lot of things that I had no idea what they were!
Post-race picture with my friends, Jessica (middle) and Shari (right), who ran the marathon.

Like I said before, I had a blast--I am definitely looking forward to doing more races--hopefully a half marathon this spring (maybe I can get Eric to do it with me)! Back in June, when I started working out again after having Cade, I thought that running 5 miles was a lot. My friends talked me into doing this and I am so glad they did. I have really come to love distance running--I am slow, but enjoy the time to myself and really appreciate a husband that watches the kids in the mornings and Saturdays when I do my longer runs!!! Thanks honey!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tokyo Disney--Most magical place in Asia!

We took the kids to Tokyo Disney a couple of weeks ago while Brooke was here. Brooke had NEVER been to Disney and had always wanted to go, so, we sacrificed and took her there to help Brooke achieve one of her childhood dreams!! I have to admit, we had SOOOOO much fun. Disney really is the happiest place on earth. The kids were in heaven, Eric, Brooke and I had so much fun, it was a great day! It was also really fun to watch the japanese--all of them (men included) walk around wearing the mickey mouse ears, or hats, etc. They get so into it--we saw more japanese couples at disney than families with their kids. Anyways, here are some of our pictures.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Crazy Japanese!

In one of the train stations we were at this weekend, they had this monument--I don't know what it was a monument for, but there it was. Of course, Ethan wanted to know why the man was peeing in the water.
We also saw this sign in another train station--so please remember don't clash into anyone else!

We also saw these interesting flowers--they look like little pepper plants, but were all different colors--I thought they were pretty.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Confessions of a neglectful mom!

So, I have to admit, I lost my child the other day--actually I lost Ethan one day and Kailey the next! A couple of weeks ago, we had some friends over in the morning to play with salt dough (so much fun, if you haven't done it with your kids--much better than playdoh). Eric came home in the middle of our playdate to change clothes. Anyways, our friends left and Eric left about the same time. Brooke and I were downstairs with Kailey and Cade--busy with them. I just assumed Ethan was upstairs playing in his room or that he had gone into our room and turned on the t.v. He was quiet, so I was happy. About an hour later, I yell up to Ethan to come downstairs for lunch and he doesn't answer. I walk up the stairs to get him and he is not in his room, not in my room, I yell to Brooke to see if she has seen him and we frantically search the house--NO Ethan. I put on my shoes and run outside, luckily I think to look in the car and this is what I found:
Ethan had put on his shoes, gone out to the car, gotten into his carseat, buckled himself in and fallen asleep. I could not believe it. I should preface this by saying, that Ethan has never run away, unlike his sister, he never goes outside alone--he is a good kid. I asked him after he woke up (yes, I brought him inside and he finished napping in his bed) why he went out to the car and he said that he was tired--crazy--you never know what your children are going to do!!

P.S.--I tell this story, so all of you mothers feel better about yourselves. Like I said, Kailey ran away the next day and took her friend with her!

Halloween 2010

I know, I am slow in posting--our computer has been acting up, but my WONDERFUL husband fixed it--so now I have no excuse not to get caught up. The kids had fun trick-or-treating this year. They open the base to the Japanese kids and it was PACKED. I bought about $60-70 worth of candy--I had about 7 BIG bags of candy and only passing out one piece of candy, I was out of candy in an hour--so I had HUNDREDS of kids coming to the door, mostly Japanese. Here are pictures of the kids in their costumes.
My Buzz Lightyear
Cade was a pumpkin (just like his brother and sister were in past years)--ignore the spit-up
Kailey was a nice witch--riding on her swiffer!

The night before Halloween we decided to do a Halloween dinner with our friends. We got pretty creative in what we made for dinner--I think this is going to become a new tradition--the kids loved it and I did too!!
Our Halloween spread!

Cat Crudite's--the head is veggie dip

Spooky Desserts!

A Slitherly Snake Calzone

Bloody Monster Meatloaf Hands on a bed of mashed potatoes (we also had a meatloaf foot)

Chips and Salsa--you can't tell, but the chips are shaped like bats, witches, pumpkins, etc--we made cut them out of corn tortillas and then baked them.

Lastly, hot dog mummies