Squirt Guns or Electric Collars for Kids?

You know, some days… Yesterday was one of those days. They woke up fighting, fighting over toys, my water, my attention, snacks… Some days I wonder… Would a squirt gun work? You know, how you train dogs to stop them from barking by squirting them when they don’t stop? Or what about those electric dog collars? In this case, something on the wrist or ankle that is remote controlled. Just a little tiny ZAP to get their attention… I dragged Gaku and Hana off to the chiropractor with me. Sometimes they’re really, really good. Yesterday was NOT one of those … Continue reading

Cups That Don’t Leak

Well, I’m always in search of the perfect sippy/straw cup, one that won’t leak and that doesn’t break too easily. I liked the Nuby straw cups best of all, until Gaku and Hana got a bit older. Now they bite through the straw part within a day. They still don’t leak when closed, but are not really good for drinking out of anymore. Oh, and they are a bit of a pain to wash. So then I tried the Nuby sippy cups. Those were good for a few days, but then they bit them hard enough to break the part … Continue reading

Important Dates

Well, we’ve finally got the details worked out for our move to the States (well, most of them anyway). On April 3, we’re leaving Tokyo to go to Izumo. We’ll spend about 2 and a half weeks in Izumo. Tak is arranging for internet service for while we’re there. Yay! Otherwise, it’s really hard to get any work done. On April 22, we have a really long day! We catch a plane from Izumo to Tokyo (Haneda Airport) at about 7:30 in the morning, arriving in Tokyo at 9. Then we have to take a limousine bus (a little over … Continue reading


The last couple of months have been pretty busy. Just in a nutshell: At the beginning of January, Hana got sick and had a high fever. With the fever, she had a febrile seizure. When it happened, Tak had her on his back in a carrier and felt something was wrong. I looked at her and her face was funny; all I could think about was the hard cracker I had given her about 10 minutes before. We thought she was choking. Tak was pretty panicked. I was doing what I remembered from first aid/CPR. Tak called an ambulance. Before … Continue reading

Emergency – Contact

If you ever need to contact me in an emergency, the best place to send a message is to my cell phone. My cell phone mail address is: samantha51875@ezweb.ne.jp I think Cathy scared a few people by trying to reach me through facebook. Thank you so much for the messages, Cathy! Unfortunately, I was at Tokyo Disneyland so my first inkling that something was going on was when I picked up my cell phone to check the time and realized that Mom had called my cell phone twice. Mom never calls me (unless something is wrong), so… Grandma and Grandpa … Continue reading

Gotta Love ‘Em

It’s getting more and more fun to watch Gaku’s personality and his thought processes develop. A little over a week ago on Sunday, we went “hiking” at Mount Takao. I say “hiking” because it was absolutely crazy! And it wasn’t hiking. We went on a Sunday during a 3-day weekend, beautiful weather with rain predicted for the next day, and during the leaf-changing season. What were we thinking! Oh, and apparently Mount Takao recently received 3 stars in a special guide book. Tak put it perfectly when he said it was “like Shibuya on a weekend”. There were just masses … Continue reading

The Power of Wanting One Toy… Woody

Gaku is so into Toy Story it’s crazy! He’s been really into it for over 6 months now. We’ve rented Toy Story at least 3-4 times and Buzz Lightyear 2-3 times. Tak said we should just buy the Toy Story DVD so we can stop renting it. Every time Tak takes Gaku to the video rental place, that’s what he wants. When my parents were here in June, they bought Gaku a Buzz Lightyear doll at Toys ‘R Us and would have bought him Woody as well, but they didn’t have it. After my parents left, I saw a set … Continue reading

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 / Gaku’s Party

From now on, I’m going to try to make my blog bilingual, not a complete translation but at least some of the stories. Up until now, my main readers have been family in the States, but I’m trying to get some of my Japanese friends to follow it too. I’m sure the Japanese will get longer as I get better at writing! 今日から日本語もがんばって書いています。変な日本語が出るからごめんなさい。今、日本語は短いですけどもと上手に書けるになったら長くなると思います。下のほうに書いてあります。_________________________________________________________ I read a review that was talking about how awesome IE8 is, so I decided to give it a try. Well, I guess the word “Beta” says it all. The new features look pretty cool, but as … Continue reading

Kind of Blah, Ho-Hum Feeling

I’m feeling a bit tired and blah this week, a completely unproductive week all around. Oh well. Tomorrow is Saturday, so I have both Gaku and Hana for the day. I think we need to go do something fun, so I can reset. Maybe we’ll go to that water museum from the guide on kids in Tokyo? Maybe we’ll just go hang out at one of the jidokans (baby play centers)? It’s supposed to rain in the afternoon, so we’ll have to do something indoors. Hana is getting more and more mobile and interactive. It’s so much fun to watch … Continue reading