so, sasha got a bike! her birthday is august 31, which is basically the last day of summer vacation. and sure, she can ride her bike after getting home from kindy, but she loves to ride hiro's bike and the bickering was getting out of control! so, tuesday morning, before 9 am, the fighting was driving me crazy and so i said, 'that's it! we're going to costco and getting sasha a bike!' so, we got ready and headed to costco. we actually made good time and got there before it opened. of course, that's exactly when sasha needed to go to the bathroom. instead of being the first customers to stroll into costco, we actually had to wait for the crowd to disperse before going in.

we headed straight for the kids stuff and tried to wrangle a bike onto a cart. the box was far bigger than the cart but i managed it somehow. then i found the latest issue for national geographic and then we were done! fastest costco trip ever! so we paid for the bike and then got some lunch. yum! it was an early lunch, but we all got hot dogs so i just cut the kids' dogs in half and they saved them for later.

tommy was having trouble with his shorts (hand-me-downs from hiro and the elastic was dead) so i stopped over at the gap to get him some new pants. they were having a 30% off everything sale and found a couple of t-shirts marked way down so i got him a couple of shirts, too.

then we were off to aeon in kashihama to go to the toys r us and look for a basket for sasha's bike. the didn't have any, but we did get hiro and sasha helmets! then back towards home but first i went to the coin laundry to dry some clothes while we went to the next place.

next on our to-do list was go to nafco (DIY store) to get something for zorro's leash, a light bulb and some kitty litter. i had no idea where the piece i needed for the leash was so i had to go down every aisle in the hardware department. suddenly hiro had to go the the bathroom. nafco is a big place, and the toilet is actually outside the building so we had to take time to do that. eventually i found the thing i needed, couldn't remember what kind of light bulb i wanted and so we headed over to the pet department. i got the kitty litter and then we checked out the pets. hiro was fascinated by the birds. there were actually a couple of kittens (awwww) and loads of puppies. not to mention the fish. so, anyway, after a little while i was ready to leave. i told the kids that it was time to go and hiro balked. i went to the register (which is next to the pet department) and tommy and sasha went with me. hiro refused. i paid for the stuff and told hiro i was going. i expected him to follow us, but when i got to the car, it was only sasha and tommy. hiro did not come to the car. so, we went back inside and couldn't find hiro! after looking for him in the pet department i went to the service counter (i hoped they could make an announcement or contact the employees by walkie-talkie) but then i found out the employees there are less than useful. *sigh* after immediately determining that i couldn't speak japanese (BS) the lady behind the counter called for the only employee that could speak english. which he could, but he was a nervous young man who had no experience (and perhaps nafco has little experience) in searching for small children in the store. anyway, a long 40 minutes later (in which only i and the man looked for hiro), hiro was found in the plants department. which is outside. ugh. anyway, that was a wasted afternoon and the kids couldn't go in the splash pool when we got home. we picked up the dry laundry and headed home.

after that ordeal poor sasha wanted me to put her bike together but i needed a break! after a bit, though, i got the bike out of the box. it was mostly put together, really all i needed to do was put on the training wheels! that was nice and easy. of course, i checked that the handle bars were ok and the brakes worked, and then sasha was off and riding! hiro is happy to have a riding partner and tommy wants a new bike. NOW! *sigh*