HAPPY NEW YEAR…

Happy New Year! It’s still January, right? Oh, it’s February already? MID FEBRUARY!?

Man, what a year so far. We kicked off the New Year in Japan with Aya’s family. We experienced the city, we soaked in the hot springs, ate fantastic food, visited with friends and had fun with family. The kids absorbed so much language and culture while we were there too! But all great trips have to come to an end. And just before the end, the day before we left, I got the flu. And then on the plane, Ellie got the flu. And when we landed and got home, Chloe got the flu. And after a few days of dealing with us, Aya got a bad head cold. And then she left for a week long business trip. Sooo, we spent the first two weeks back sick, miserable, jetlagged, cranky, and eating terrible. We went from going out to great restaurants eating fresh fish to eating Taco Bell on the couch. But finally, finally, that’s all over with and we are looking forward to a bright 2018! Well, at least trying…

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AIN’T TOO PROUD TO DANCE

Chloe attends an all Japanese pre-school. And while it’s incredible to watch her develop a second language and get to experience her Japanese culture, it often sends me out of my comfort zone. I could easily just do drop-off and pick-up and nothing more, but I’m determined to not be invisible and be the involved parent I want to be. I have been involved, but sometimes it’s not always in ways that I would expect, or prefer. I don’t know if it’s a Japanese custom, or just-at-this-school custom, but the school likes to have a group of parents from each class to “perform” for the kids at the holiday party. That’s how I found myself doing a synchronized dance about rice with a group of moms at the holiday party.

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TOP 10 UNIQUE CHRISTMAS ALBUMS

Now that Thanksgiving is over and we are well into December, I have dropped my Grinchy attitude and have full-on embraced the Christmas spirit. Well, at least I’ve been jamming the Christmas tunes. In my last Scroogy post, I confessed my weirdo-ness and love for Christmas music. And in the spirit of Christmas I thought I’d share my top 10 favorite albums (in no particular order) that you’ve maybe never heard of. I cherish the Charlie Brown Christmas, and love Harry Connick Jr., Frank Sinatra and all the other common songs you’re familiar with, but they won’t be on this list. There are tons of weird and ridiculous albums out there, but these are a few unique ones that I genuinely enjoy and are part of our family holiday soundtrack.

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CODE TALKERS

I like how every kid has their own secret language that only their parents can understand. This is more evident when children are just learning to talk. It’s not just a matter of decoding mispronounced syllables. It really is a mysterious language of grunts that few people can decipher. Since I’m the one who spends more time with the girls, it feels extra special when Aya doesn’t even have a clue what they are saying, but I do.

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WHO YOU CALLING SCROOGE?

The day after Thanksgiving is the official start of the Christmas season.  At least that’s how it was in our house growing up. That’s when my brother and I would help my parents put up the Christmas lights on the house. There was an inside team and an outside team. The inside team were the light checkers, and the outside team were the light putter-uppers. While we did all of this we would graze on the Thanksgiving leftovers all-day long. And of course to set the mood, we would start jamming the Christmas tunes. Christmas music in November!? It’s so early, what’s wrong with you!?

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