The only knowledge I have of blowfish is from an episode of the Simpson’s I saw while I was in college (I think my eight year old daughter actually knows more about the fish than I do). What I took away from that episode is that blow fish is poisonous and if not prepared properly, you die. So when my father-in-law asked me if we wanted to go out to a blowfish restaurant, it took me a minute to answer while I recalled this highly accurate information I learned from an American cartoon I saw 20 years ago, and debated my own consequences. It felt like the culinary equivalent of sky diving. Was I ready to be this close to death? And with my children? Well, Homer Simpson lived, so I decided to give it a try.
It’s that time again. To have another magical mythical person/creature come into my kid’s bedroom in the middle of the night. It’s time for the infamous Tooth Fairy to grace us with her presence, again. To sprinkle her tooth glitter and magically collect some teeth. The Tooth Fairy was quite busy over here for a while with Ellie. She’s already lost eight baby teeth. But lately, Chloe has been dropping some teeth. To see Chloe so proud and so excited to have a visit from the Tooth Fairy is just so cute. She even had Ellie help her craft a letter .
It’s Teacher Appreciation Week! Every year, the PTA at my kids’ school has big plans for this week. Each day they decorate the teacher’s lounge with a different theme. Since the school is a Japanese immersion school, they alternate between both Japanese and American themes. Last year, I was on the American culture day team. Can you say hot dogs and potato chips? But this year, the themes were different. Each day was based on a different season and holiday, and I was assigned to the Valentine’s Day theme.
Every time I visit Japan, Aya’s parents always ask if there is anything specific I’d like to do or try. They have done an excellent job at showing me Japan beginning from my very first trip fifteen years ago. I’ve tried all of the most popular Japanese foods, and even some of the not so popular ones. I’ve seen the scenic sights and the city sights. I’ve gone to the hot springs, and sang karaoke. I even saw my favorite enka singer in concert! After all that, it still seemed like I had a list of things that I wanted to try. During our previous trip, I requested the KFC Christmas chicken dinner (it’s a big deal there). But now, it’s getting harder to find things I haven’t tried yet. That was until I discovered matcha.
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…