Sarah Joy Albrecht

Bad Shopping Trip

Sep
29

soysauce

Even with all of the shopping rules in place, sometimes you’re just going to have a bad shopping trip.

Sometimes you want to go to the store in the morning, but you can’t make it out the door until 4 p.m. because, unless the knocked-over bowl of leftover kimchi fermented-hot pepper-liquid in the refrigerator gets scrubbed, you won’t have a place to put your groceries when you get home. Or, you are trying to cram in the basic subjects for at least the older kids so you still can count it as a homeschool day. Or, the house is so trashed from the weekend that you can’t walk without stepping on something and need to at least kick a path from the front door to the kitchen.

Sometimes it’s pouring dreary rain, kids are cranky, and they don’t have the ingredients you’re looking for at the store — either that or they do, and you would never know because you can’t read three different Japanese alphabets yet.

Sometimes you’re so stricken with cramps that you feel like you’re going to just keel over, but have to press on.

Sometimes four and six year old boys have no idea how loud they are.

Sometime there are TVs blaring jingles in high-pitched Japanese on every mega-bright aisle so fascinating that your kids become paralyzed and have to be dragged away from each one.

Sometimes you don’t realize how many items you’ve put in your shopping cart until you make it to the very last aisle, because your mind is on your hurting tummy and threatening migraine, and you have to traipse back through the store to put away those “extras” because there is no such thing as debit cards in the country where you live, and the ATM has closed for the day. Sometimes when you’re putting said items away, you get stared at in horror by face-mask-culture folks, because your six year old is suddenly having a coughing fit during flu season, as if the packaged, whole frozen King Crabs for 599Â¥ are suddenly contaminated.

Sometimes your husband whispers in your ear as he’s leaving for work that he’s looking forward your nice hot dinner. You have every intention of cooking and are looking forward to serving him, yet you come home moments before he is due to arrive. Breathlessly, you putting away perishables and put nabe (鍋物) broth on to boil, when all you really want to be doing is sit on a couch curled up in a ball.

I do have days like these.

Today was one of them.

…. and sometimes, while you’re waiting for that broth to boil, and you’re in the middle of writing a post like this one, your husband calls and says he’s going to be late (sad for him… but phew!) and that he’ll pick up some drinks on the way home to share with you later that night when the kids are in bed.

Photo credit: “Grocery Store, Kamo” by kristi-san via Flickr.

September Giveaway Winner!

Sep
28

Congrats to “Just Mom” and her seven year old whose name “Whitefire” was chosen as the winner for the September Giveaway!

My little Avatar fans couldn’t resist a name that included the word “fire”. They love it!

Thanks for the participation and making this so much fun!

Next month’s giveaway to be announced soon – stay tuned…

What Does the Inside of a Japanese Grocery Store Look Like?

Sep
27

No need to reinvent the wheel. Singer/songwriter Tom Fallon did a great job filming the inside of a Japanese grocery store. With the exception of the wall-o-rice (Kashiwa is known for growing rice, so there’s pretty much just Kashiwa rice here… no variety), it’s very similar to what ours looks like — wiener bread, dried squid snacks and all.

There’s a few ‘bad’ words in the monologue, so parents showing this to kids consider yourself warned.

Did you see the bed warmers at 8:50?? HERE’S my video from last year on how to use them. It’s almost that time of year again!

Jumping

Sep
26

standair

“Jumping is standing on air.” – Leah

Photo credit: OliverAlex via Flickr

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Cooking Poll: How Did You Learn to Cook?

Sep
24
Mundelein, IL, My grandma Jean and her sister. She apparently had a suitcase of pills. Yeah, that's what doctors did for stressed out, suburban housewives in the 50s.  - whatchumean via Flickr

Mundelein, IL, My grandma Jean and her sister. She apparently had a suitcase of pills. Yeah, that's what doctors did for stressed out, suburban housewives in the 50s. - whatchumean via Flickr


Finding Time to Exercise With Small Children at Home

Sep
21

How can I find time to work out when I have small children?
What are some of the benefits of working out, even if I am of average height and weight?
Is it alright to exercise because want to look and feel good for my husband?

This video is in response to Frances, a lady who wrote to me after watching my previous video, Exercise: A Mom’s Motivation to Begin.

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