Thursday, December 25, 2008

The cat was out of the bag last year, but...

... but he still believes.

My little guy R ("Jiji") is 9, and sometime last year he seemed to have figured out that the tooth fairy, Easter bunny and Santa Claus were not real. It seemed to happen quite naturally, and about the same age that our big son K ("Dio") figured it out, so everything seemed normal.

So, we were very surprised this Christmas to find that Jiji is now making a conscious effort to "believe in Santa". He seems to be going to some effort to preserve this belief, and he chooses to overlook evidence to the contrary.

He complains if Dio goes on too much about how "Santa isn't real, you know." He says, "Dio doesn't believe in Santa, but I do, and I'm right, aren't I." Last night (Xmas Eve) he was very excited, and told Dio several times, "If you wake up during the night and Santa is there, be sure to wake me up!!".. He also left out milk for Rudolph and Coke and cookies for Santa. Also a large bowl coated with leftover frosting from the Christmas cake we were making (a Japanese Xmas activity). With these things was a note written in his best cursive (I have been teaching him cursive this year):

Dear santa

here is some yumy cookies and cola.

oh and some frosting.

don't get sick!
from r----

He was so happy to see that these snacks were gone in the morning, and Santa had left a thank you note. He enjoyed opening his stocking, and getting several Twix, mini-Toblerones, and a mikan (mandarin orange). But in the late afternoon, in the kitchen, he came across the original larger bags which held the Twix and mini-Toblerones -- open, and about half empty. "Oh, so you guys are the ones who put the Twix in my stocking." Me: "Oh, why do you say that?" R: "Datte, the bags are here." Me: "Oh... ... well, those are just the leftovers that Santa left with us." R: "Ah -- so nanda!" (Oh, I see!)

After a few seconds' pause he then said to his brother, "It must be nice for Mommy that one of her children still believes in Santa Claus. ... You should believe in Santa, too."

By the way, here is the result of our Christmas-cake-making. Instead of strawberries (expensive!) we made snowmen for the top, as seen on A Tale of Three Beans (well, our snowman aren't as well-made as theirs, but anyway, it was fun!). Those red berries you see are a handful of raspberries from a bag of frozen raspberries I got at half-price a while back.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Things I've done or not done...

I saw this meme at Vicky's Hyotenka blog and thought it looked fun! Things I have done are in bold...

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (L.A. and Tokyo)
8. Climbed a mountain9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France (tried but failed - unbeknownst to me it was a religious holiday)
20. Slept on an overnight train (somewhere in Eastern Europe)
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked (in Germany, with a "Berlin Bitte" sign, and in Japan, holding a big sign saying "Maizuru", which didn't work...we took a train)
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (I rode in a realistic fake one at Tokyo's Disney Sea!)
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (in England, California and Utah)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (don't know)
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (I was an extra in something, but I don't think it was a proper movie)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class (no, but I just sat through my younger son's first karate class, the day before yesterday. It was neat!)
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving (NO!!! We were watching Space Cowboys last night, and I told my kids, "The lesson from this movie is, Never go into space!!")
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter (have flown a small plane myself though, with an instructor!)
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square (don't know)
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London (don't know)
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

How about you?

[Updated in 2014 to add no. 5 and no. 71.]

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Japanese names (1) - Girls' names from nature

I spent the morning digging up some of my potatoes! About 1 big grocery bag full, with some nice-sized ones amongst them. That was a little over 1/3 of the total harvest, and there is about 1/3 left to harvest now (I harvested the first 1/3 over a month ago).

I wanted to do some posts on Japanese names, because many Japanese names have a nice meaning. There are various trends in Japanese names, as with English names. Right now I will focus on some currently-popular girls' names from nature.

The names listed here are all names of girls I have met at work or at my kids' schools. Some of these names can be found in older generations, too. Some of these names are quite popular, and some may be rare.

Girls' names from nature:

Sumire (Violet)
Kurumi (Walnut)
Hinata (Sunlight)
Kokoro (Heart)
Sakura (Cherry Blossom)
Hotaru (Firefly)
Hana (Flower)
Yuri (Lily)
Runa (Moon = "Luna")
Riria (Lily = "Lilia")
Kaede (Maple)
Yume (Dream)

Monday, July 14, 2008

More funny

Jiji said something else funny the other day...

We were riding the bus on the way to his weekly swimming lesson, and he started talking:

"In the world we have a lot of questions that we can ask scientists. Like, how did trees grow before there were people? What, did monkeys plant them or something?" :)

He did have a point though, because when I told him that the trees just grow naturally from the seeds of other trees, he asked, "But what about the VERY first tree?"

The other day when I was posting about funny things he said during the last year, I forgot to mention that recently he has sometimes been using English that sounds like an adventure story or something. I don't know if this is because a lot of his English input is now coming from books and movies, not from other kids, since he speaks Japanese at school. Anyway... for example, my husband got him a new bronze-colored thermos a few months ago. Later Jiji referred to it as "My golden flask". Another time I asked him, "Can you watch my bag for me while I go to the bathroom?" -- he said, "I am the guardian of the bag." And another time he found two dead woodlice (potato bugs? fake roly polies? warajimushi? Anyway, they were those fake roly poly bugs that can't roll up), under a floor-sofa in our house. He said they were "travellers in the house of death." Really looking at things from the bugs' point of view!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happy birthday Jiji!

(here age 1 and 1/2)

My little guy Jiji is 9 -- Happy Birthday! He is enjoying his 3rd grade year at Japanese school. He has recently joined a baseball team, but is not so sure yet about the long hours involved, so I've been letting him skip about half of it! He would really like a Gameboy Advance for his birthday (even though they are old), because there is this one small part of this one Gamecube game that gives you something extra if you hook up your Gameboy Advance - nice going, Nintendo. Well, he will not be getting one! We have prepared a few other presents, though.

Some funny comments by our 8-year-old over the course of the year...

- "Can humans eat grass?" (while walking in the park)

- "Are midgets rare?" (he quietly asked me, a few seconds after catching sight of a very small person in a crowded department store)

- When I was discussing with my parents whether to send some of my used books via them to my sister (who had recently had her 4th child)... "Well, she doesn't have time to READ, with all those BABIES!"

He loves writing memos to the other people in our family... some memos we have found (usually on the kitchen counter) over this year...

- "Not to be tuched. Drying beetle. " (found on the kitchen shelf, next to a dead beetle)

- "To enybody From Jiji" (taped to this was a piece of dried red chili that he had found in his food, which his daddy had told him he didn't have to eat... so he left it taped to a memo paper, for "enybody" to have)

- found on my dresser, a memo tucked into one of those name-and-address tags for luggage ... "to Mommy or daddy (どっちでもいい)". [=either one] Unfolding the memo, it said inside, "I don't know what this is But I found it on my Desk"

- next to a folded tissue: "Do not throw away (this is Jiji's to ) (はがぬけたっていみ)" --- he meant to write "tooth" instead of "to", so lucky there was the explanation in Japanese, [=it means my tooth fell out]

- "ecsperiment DO NOT TOUCH" (found next to a cup of mysterious purple liquid)

- "this is for Jiji warning - (Jiji Has already Sucked on it)" -- a memo found next to a lollipop

- "I dident know what to do with the Krust So I left it Here" -- a memo found on the kitchen counter next to some bread crusts
edited to add: I forgot about 2 of the cutest ones, that are attached to our fridge. This one showed up clipped to the fridge a couple of weeks ago, after I bought Jiji some of his favorite milk (MegMilk):
- " to Mommy or daddy thank you so so SO SO So much for the Meg MiLK ♡♡ from Jiji"
- The cutest memo appeared on the front of the fridge a few months ago - "always Need to use the seceret ingridient. (Love♥) "