We've been in a bit of relaxation mode since our Tokyo trip. Mike has a whole week off work beginning Wednesday, and our original plan was to head to the mountains Nagano way. Somehow we just haven't gotten around to making a plan, though, plus we have heard horror stories about traffic during the Japanese holiday of Bon Odori. So, we decided that we are going to just stay home and maybe take some day trips around here. It should be fun. I'm looking forward to being able to spend a relaxing week at home with my husband around. Maybe we will finally get our grill put together, and I can take him grocery shopping to help me figure out what to buy so that I can cook some Japanese food.
We had a fun weekend. Friday night was a party at Mike's work for families. They open up the grounds and have food booths and games for kids, kind of like a county fair of sorts. There were hot dogs and french fries, which our kids ate, and gyozas, yaki-niku, and yakisoba, which Mike and I ate. Good food and good fun. Tons of people.
Saturday was the Kobe hanabi celebration - a big fireworks show to celebrate summer. Some friends of Mike's from work invited us to their apartment in a high rise downtown, so we had a fabulous view of the fireworks over the bay. I'm glad we live where we do, but I must say I envy the spectacular views from that high rise in Sannomiya.
Bear and I are still busy with our Japanese lessons and keeping cool in the pool. Beaver seems to actually be kind of tired of the pool. He rarely wants to go anymore, but we make him come anyway. Otherwise we will just be stuck inside all day because it is way to hot to go out. What he does want to do it watch TV. The little stinker. We have been unplugged again this summer. I love being unplugged, but my kids don't. I am pretty confident that when they are grown up they will appreciate it, though, so I keep at it. Last week, however, Bear went to a friend's house during my Japanese lesson, so I let Beaver watch TV so that I could concentrate on my lesson. Now he thinks he should be able to watch whenever he wants to. We have a Skippyjon Jones book wherein Mama and the girls "squeeze together on the couch for a little TV." Now Beaver likes to suggest, "Kwease can we squeeze together on the couch for a little TV?" Yesterday in particular, he became quite insistent. He started with me: "Kwease can I watch just one TV? Just ONE TV? Mama, I said........Kwease can I watch JUST ONE TV?!!!" After hearing no from me for awhile, he started on Mike. "Kwease can I watch just one TV?" Then, while trying to pry Mike's mouth open with his hands, "Open your mouth and say I can watch just one TV!" He even went so far as to tell Mike that I said he could watch TV. Little pill. He is quite full of opinions. Even opinions that really don't concern him at all. Like my hair. He does not like my hair. He always wants it to be "tied up" as he words it. He will wait outside of my bathroom while I'm taking a shower, and when I walk out with my hair down, he cringes away from me and whimpers, "Your hair all tied down! I want your hair tied up!" I always leave my hair down until it is dry, and then I usually pull it back. Beaver gets so happy when he sees me with my hair up. Bear is the opposite. When he was a baby, as soon as he could reach and grab, he was grabbing at my hair. When he was Beaver's age, he would twirl and play with my hair when I held him. Even now, if I have my hair in a ponytail and he comes to sit by me, he will pull it out of the ponytail and play around with it. If Beaver sees him taking my hair down, he wails, "Oh no! Bear tying your hair down! I don't want your hair tied down!" The first few times were innocent enough, but of course now Bear takes my hair down whenever the opportunity presents itself, just to make Beaver wail. Yesterday I was dozing on the couch (with my hair tied down), and Mike and the boys were in the kitchen. I heard Beaver say, with no provocation, "I want Mama to wake up so she can tie her hair up." What? I wasn't even in the same room! Why does he care?
Something I like about Japan in the summer: Seeing Japanese women all dressed up in their colorful yukatas.
Something I don't like about Japan in the summer: The humidity.
Something different about Japan in the summer: The cicadas are really, really, loud. Really loud. And much bigger and more active than any cicada I have seen in the U.S. They squawk like birds when they are disturbed.