Monday, December 7, 2009


Remember the story I told last year, about my friends whose husband came back from Iraq and surprised the kids when they were visiting Santa at the Mall?

You can read the story here

Anyways...the father/husband in the story has been redeployed (just before Thanksgiving) and will be gone for another 11 months.

This really makes me sad...and angry...

And wishing those kids would have their daddy here for Christmas this year...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mango and his date(s)

Things I'll have to tell you about it later...

1. Yesterday was Mango's B-day.
2. Mango won an award at his Water Polo banquet last night
3. We are heading off to Disneyland today..YIPEE!

And most importantly

4. Mango went to Homecoming last weekend and had 5 dates... then spent the night with them...

Full story, coming soon...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Harro...Japan Calling

I am missing Japan today...

I miss the history and culture that surrounds you,
Really, there is SO much history...The time we spend with family when we are there,
Like my grandma...(Momo loves hanging with her great grandma)And my uncle, the high fashion photographer...
who, just the day before this photo, was busy shooting a cover for J.Lo
And I miss the food...
dear gawd...I miss the FOOD!
And the shopping (at both cheap and chic stores)
The souvenir's that we inevitably buy every year for all the gai-jiin (foreigners) back home
The transportation system...
(b/c I really love not driving everywhere I go)
The thick summer I actually crave it
And the condoms...
No...Not really...I don't miss the condoms, but you gotta read the signs...too funny!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 2

Today is Day two of NABLOPOMO and I have already failed...

I forgot to post yesterday.

It was the first day (and apparently the last for me)!

This picture of Momo captures the way I feel about my failure... So sad.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Where Oh Where?

Where Oh Where...Have I been?

1. I have been BUSY
I have been to volleyball practice with Momo 3x per week
I have been to many games and tournaments with both of the weirdos
I have been teaching 4 classes with 35 students each (and tons of grading)
I have been trying not to neglect HWMNBN

2. I have been LAZY
I have been spending my downtime happily on my couch.
I have been watching the tv (that takes my mind off how busy I feel)

3. I have been HUNGRY
I have been eating (or thinking about eating) a keep my mind off of busy

4. I have been NOT BLOGGING
I have been unconsiously avoideant of my blog for a good 2 weeks and NABLOPOMO is upon me...just 2 days away...I hope I can do it?!?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bacon Potato Pie

Mc Donald's in Japan is something of a dream.

Not only are they immaculately clean and amazingly service oriented, they have some great items that we are seriously deprived of in the great ole' US of A.

One of these items (that I dream about from time to time) is the Bacon Potato Pie.
It looks just like the apple pie sold at Mickey D's in the US, except it is filled with a savory concoction of potato's and bacon...HELLO!!!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Playing with the Devil

Should I warn Momo about playing with the devil?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Public Humiliation = Good Discipline (Pt. 3)

Yesterday was a very busy day.

Mango played in a Water Polo Tournament all morning and into the afternoon down the coast in Malibu.

He's the goalie there in the red/white cap.

They did very well for a very novice team (only 2 of whom have ever played the game before) but in the end they got clobbered by both teams they played against.

In the meantime, Momo, HWMNBN and I got sunburned in the hot California sun and by the time we left the tournament, everyone was a little grouchy...and HUNGRY.

The kids wanted burgers and fries so after about an hour of driving, we trekked over to one of their favorite spots, Red Robin, which is housed inside a semi-local shopping mall.

My kids were getting grouchier by the minute and all the eye-rolling and purposeful sibling annoying was getting on my nerves.

I decided it was time for some good old fashioned discipline (MomoMama style) and I found these outfits for my kids to wear. Forget their demoralized expressions and please notice their subservient posture and hint of apology in their eyes...

Public humiliation works people, it works!

Just minutes after donning the banana suit and bee costume, my dear children were back to their normal, non-eye-rolling selves.

Mango was running around Target in a banana suit, making friends with anyone who would look at him...

and Momo was bouncing up and down in some America's Best Dance Crew vibe shouting "Yeah...I'm a Bee...What? What?...I'm a Bee Y'all"

You see, you never know how public humiliation will turn out, but in our house, with the weirdo kids and weirdo parents (and even weirdo extended family members)...
"Goofiness" = our normal state of being and
Public Humiliation always = "good (fun) discipline".

For more of my fantastic parenting stories, check out Public Humiliation = Good Discipline Part 1 & Part 2

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Thousand Words Thursday

When was the last time you found an escalator to be this much fun?

Cheaper Than Therapy

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Swine Flu and Pig Love

We have been really sick around here and HWMNBN is convinced that we have/had swine flu.

HIGH fevers (103.4 was the max for the kids, 102 for me and the hubby), bad coughs, super achy muscles, stuffy heads, sore throats, major lethargy, and major difficulty getting better.

Mango was actually the first to get sick about a month ago and despite antibiotics, his symptoms never really went away and now he is totally sick again...on round two of antibiotics. HWMNBN and I are both about 75% better and though we are up and functioning again we still have residual symptoms that won't seem to go away.

Momo, on the other hand, seems to be the only one who got sick and got better within a relatively normal amount of time.

I think this has something to do with her connection with swine...The girl loves pigs...she sleeps with 3 (of the stuffed animal variety) every night. She has one who that she is completely attached to (which looks just like this little fellow that we saw at a toy store in Japan)..just the sight of this little piggy brought tears to Momo's eyes.She is a bit dramatic, of course, but I think she believes the "piggy's" made her better.

Forget Antibiotics, maybe I should get Mango a stuffed piggy to sleep with too...

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Ever since Mango was a little boy, we have thought that he looks like a monchichi.

He has grown out of it a bit recently, losing the baby fat, getting taller and changing his hairstyle...but every time we see one, we still think of Mango.

Anyways, one day during our recent trip to Tokyo, we were strolling down the street and lo'and behold, I saw monchichi's...
I told Mango that I had found his ancestors.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Thousand Words Thursday

This is probably my favorite picture of my little brother and I...
Though he is taller than me now, he still warrants the title "Little Brother" due to the fact that he is approximately 9 years younger than me and at least 70 lbs lighter.

It has always been that way...the many pounds lighter and years younger, I mean.

We often joke that we look like the number 10 when we walk down the street together...he, with his tall thin stature, beside me, with my short body and gigantic hips and behind.

Honestly, what the hell does he need a killer metabolism's really not fair!

This photo has a really cool angle, a gigantic Buddha and one of my favorite people in the world by my side and the fact that it doesn't really show our major (body) disparities makes me love it all the more.... yeah, I love this pic (and my little brother) a lot!

Cheaper Than Therapy

Monday, August 3, 2009

Mango Lost It

We have been home for about 3 weeks.

It's been nice getting back into the swing of things and with all the summer activities the kids have, it feels like there has been little rest.

Fortunately I took a lot of wonderful pictures in Japan with my lovely camera that HWMNBN gave me for X-mas.

Mango also took a ton of pictures with a camera given to him by his paternal grandpa just before we went on our trip. Everywhere we went, Mango was snapping away with his camera.It felt as though every time I wanted to snap a shot of him, he was snapping a shot of something else.
He actually got a lot of really great shots.
And by the time we got home, Mango had personally taken about 1500 pictures. Which he scrolled through and manipulated for hours...
Then... he deleted them.

1000 of them to be exact.

With a few clicks of his keys and a major lapse in judgment, Mango "accidentally" deleted 1000 of the photos (taken at the beginning and middle of our trip)

It was a totally "Mango-ish" thing to do (given that he often does things without thinking of the ramifications), and once my irritation (and panic) subsided, I felt kinda bad for him...

Poor Mango...he really lost it...1000 "it's" to be exact.

Monday, July 13, 2009


The Japanese love using the English language whenever possible.

In Japan, it is not uncommon to see English writing on everything from Billboards to tee-shirts to toothpaste.

The unfortunate problem is that most of the time the English is way off.

Japanglish is one part mixed up translations+ one part Japanese grammar+one part weird pseudo-English. Spoken or read, Japanglish is sure to bring a smile to your face.

I found a great example of it yesterday when I was walking in park in Tokyo. The Japanglish came in the form of a huge sign alerting pet owners about the rules of the park.On the surface the sign looks informative, but take a closer look...Needless to say, I could hardly hold the camera still enough to take this picture...I was laughing so hard.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Just a Few Things

Here are just a few things we have been up to while in Japan

1. Bonding with Great Grandma2. Eating delicious (and cheap) Ramen
3. Hanging out in the middle of the city, late at night, with tons of other people
4. Being silly
5. Seeing the sights of Japan (lie this super old/big Buddha in Kamakura)
6. Hanging with my brother (eating delicious and expensive $600 dinners)
Just a few things...

Friday, July 3, 2009


I saw Fireflies tonight for the first time in my life...
It was really beautiful.

There was a very light rain while we walked through the perfectly manicured Japanese garden. The air was warm and damp and the earth smelled wet and fresh.

The only thing missing was my hubby, HWMNBN...
Unfortunately it was too dark to take any pictures once the fireflies were out.

For that reason, I am really glad that I took some pics before the sun went down.

On our pre-sunset walk, we saw Koi fish,
Two weirdo kids, being silly with their uncle,
Some waterfalls,
A pagoda from the 16th century,
A pretty entrance to a noodle house,
And a very old watermill,
After walking through the garden and before seeing the fireflies, we were treated (by my grandmothers dearest friend, Chono-san) to a very wonderful buffet dinner at the 4 Seasons Hotel.

The dinner cost over $100 per person and it was totally worth it. We ate everything from sushi to noodles to the most succulent beef...

Momo even ate GOLD...
She insisted I take a picture of her eating the gold flakes that topped her chocolate cake...too bad she finished the cake before i could get my camera out!