I realized today that I haven’t been posting as often this trip as I did last time. At least it doesn’t feel like I am (I’m not going to check) because we’re not going out and exploring as much as we did last time, and I think it comes down to a couple reasons.
1. Our apartment is bigger this time. It may be only a little bit bigger, but it’s enough that we’re not all on top of each other. Last time, if we couldn’t get out of the apartment it was … (I’m trying to not resort to hyperbole) not good. We all got cabin fever on a daily basis. This time we all have enough space to breathe, and the girls have space to play. The result is that I don’t find myself saying, “Get your shoes, let’s go find something to do!”
2. We know we’re coming back. Last time there was the possibility that this was it, that we needed to see all of Tokyo that we could. This time there’s not that pressure, so I’m not so exacting about getting us out to see everything that we possibly can.
3. We’re in Daikanyama this time, which is not on the Yamanote train line. The Yamanote line is a blessing from God. OK, so maybe that’s hyperbole, but it is a beautiful circular train loop that goes to all the wonderful places you might want to go. Last time, when we lived in Meguro, we were 5 minutes from the station, and from trains that would take us straight to those wonderful places. This time we’re 3 minutes from a station, but that station is a 3 minute ride from a station that you then have to walk for 10 minutes to get to the other side of to get to the Yamanote line. And if the place you’re going on the train is half an hour away, then you just made that a 45 minute trip. The other option is to just walk from our apartment to a different station that is 10 minutes away and is on the Yamanote line, but again, that’s adding at least 10 minutes to the trip- and usually 20 on the way home when little legs are tired. Not that I’m complaining, I LOVE the trains here. They are a thing of beauty and a joy forever. But it does add a hitch to heading out to see the world.
This was not supposed to be the point of this post. I was going to share what we did today, on just a normal day, doing normal things. And so I will.
We got up around 7:30, after the girls lounged in beds for a while reading. The girls had breakfast (yogurt, which they were thrilled about- the store we usually go to doesn’t have the kind they like, cereal, and bananas), and got dressed. B and I did the same, and he left for work around 8. The girls played with Lalaloopsies and My Little Ponies while I worked out (that part of the day is not normal, and was painful), did breakfast dishes, and did some cleaning.
Around 9:30 we got on the train to Shibuya to meet B at his office. We needed to get pictures taken for our visa applications, so we went to a little booth that takes such things. After many shenanigans because such booths are not really designed for very short children, we got pictures taken of everyone. After dropping B and the pictures off at his office again and hanging out for a bit with the girls’ good friend, the President of McAfee Japan, the girls and I left to go home. Part way to the train we had to turn around because they needed something additional from us at B’s office, so we went back and met some more of his co-workers who very much enjoyed the girls’ cuteness.
On the way back to the train, we decided to pick up some treats from a waffle store. Waffles full of whipped cream and fruit. YUM!!
A short train ride and we were back home. We had some lunch (cheese sandwiches), and then it was school time. We’ve recently moved school to the afternoon from the morning after Z completed a learning preferences assessment wherein she indicated that she has the most energy in the afternoon. And whattayaknow, school is going SO MUCH BETTER. Anyway, we did math ( a combination of a computer game practicing addition and subtraction facts for accuracy and speed for both girls and a worksheet adding multiple multi digit numbers for Z), a spelling test for Z, reading lesson for Tiny, science- which consisted of predicting how many seeds were in different fruits and then cutting them open to see, looking inside the seeds to see the different parts, and discussing what constitutes a fruit. For history we discussed early inhabitants of the Americas and their mythology and use of animals and the difference between their resources and those of the people in Greece/Persia/etc. Have I mentioned that I love homeschooling?
After school we went to the grocery store to pick up rice, apples, and bread. We have to buy bread ALL. THE. TIME. Almost every day. I will be so glad when I have my bread maker here and I can just make bread when we need it.
The store is just around the corner, so that only took a few minutes and then we were home again. The girls got to play their DS games, and then played more with their toys and imaginations while I put in my time on Rosetta Stone. Slowly but surely. Did you know that the symbol for the sound “to” (which sounds like toe) looks like a toe with a nail sticking up? It does!
Now the girls are watching Leapfrog shows and I am listening to Lady Gaga (one of my few guilty pleasures- I do feel guilty about it) and posting this. It’s about time for me to make dinner for them. They eat between 5 and 5:30. After that they’ll have showers and get their pajamas on. At that point I pin up the blankets in their window that block out the light so they’re not up at 5 in the morning and get out Tiny’s futon. B gets home somewhere between 6:15 and 6:30, and he and I either eat then or after the girls are in bed. Around 6:30 the girls get into bed and I read to them for a half hour (we’re currently reading Magic by the Lake and they are LOVING it). Then Tiny stays in bed and Z gets to come out and read for 1/2 hr. If B and I have already eaten then we hang out and read with her, if not then she hangs out with us and reads while we eat. Then at 7:30 she heads into bed.
Then B and I have the evening for Doctor Who or Community or movies or reading.
And that’s a normal day for us in Tokyo.