Wednesday, 31 December 2008

My Year in Review

Despite just blogging I found this on Lulu's blog and thought it would be a good thing to try and get out and to reflect on later on. It is a bit long so mushy brain hormones may cause it to start losing sense from about half away - or actually right from the top for that matter. Not sure.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Travel long distance on a plane with a two toddlers.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Obviously not. I'm still fat and still pregnant. Of course I'll make more. What's a New Year without a Resolution!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Fortunately not me. But yes everybody I know is either sleep deprived or pregnant - or both.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
Japan and NZ - and Korea if you count transit.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Pelvic floor muscles - but think that will probably have to wait until 2010

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Oct 27 - Marina's operation date (finally)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting through it

9. What was your biggest failure?
Losing it on too many occassions

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I don't think being sleep deprived or pregnant falls under these does it??

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I would like to say some bling but that might have to top off my 2009 in review list.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Marina's nice doctor at the Fukuoka children's hospital

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My own and that of everyone I live with at some stage

14. Where did most of your money go?
Hopefully not pachinko

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Coming back to NZ for holiday

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
If your happy and you know it clap your hands / Bob the builder soundtrack

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder

This time last year I had a one and a half year old and was breastfeeding a three month on. Does it get sadder than that?? YES - this time next year I'll have a three and a half year old, a two year old and be breast feeding a six month old. Awesome.

ii. thinner or fatter?
Will just ignore that

iii. richer or poorer?
richer emotionally (haven't you just always wanted to be able to say that)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Spending time at the hospital with Marina

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Spent already - family day minus hub but with lots of other extras

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Nope, but if a doctor had given me some sleeping tranquillizers for the kids I may well have fallen in love with him.

23. How many one-night stands?
Glad I didn't answer this ten years ago

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Not my fav but Grey's Anatomy and red hair/thin lip CSI man got me through my 'Give me some English right now or I will self destruct' times

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nope, I think Granny K topped the list last year too (but don't hate - just strongly dislike on average of about three times a week)

26. What was the best book you read?
Not very good because I can't remember it

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Marina's laugh

28. What did you want and get?
For Marina to come out the other side

29. What did you want and not get?
Probably loads but would all sound petty and childish (petty and childish! Me??)

30. What were your favorite films of this year?
Lightening McQueen (but only because only film watched from start to finish - just like two hundred times)

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Shared it with Shou who was two and I was 32.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Winning the summer lotto so Granny K could get her own abode.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
So not happening and probably part of the food pyramid

34. What kept you sane?
hehe. Sanity is so over rated. hehe LOL hehe ROTFL

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Bob - but I think Wendy has dibs on him. Or is Wendy a lesbian?

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

37. Who did you miss?
Everyone not in Kunimi

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Solar panel man and his wife - who I did know but who didn't really become friends with properly until 2008

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Don't sweat the small stuff and She's not going to live for bloody ever

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
If your happy and you know it clap your hands!! Doesn't sum it up but does say what I need to do more of. Note to self, must enjoy the simple joys more.

2008 - I probably need to read over my own blogs to remember it properly but toddlers, babies, a live in mother-n-law and a new bun to nurture and worry about and I think we managed to get through the year OK. We live and we learn and I think I have done a lot of learning this year. And that is about as serious a comment as you will get from me.

Until next year...

Sayonara 2008

As predicted I am sitting here in a little black dress sipping some champers and trying to decide what shoes to wear as I slink out the door off to some fab parrttee.

Or rather, I am sitting here in black leggings that have so many food groups spilt on them I could chart the whole food pyramid. I am skulling back some diet coke - but what's the point really. In the diet part that is. It is shapping up to be a night on the couch with my friend Mr. TV remote and Mr. Sky remote.

Shou and Marina are asleep after a big day of playing with Ame, chasing ducks and generally acting like a two year old on speed - again. Marina, my princess, wasn't on speed though and was content to sit in her pram munching crackers while Ame and Shou ran round the park. She ate all of her hot chick and even Shou managed a bit even after grazing on crisps and dip for most of the afternoon.

Happy parties and festivities to those lucky enough to actually take part in such things this New Years. If you happen to still be single - then enjoy it while you can. Life as you now know it will come to a complete halt when the sproglets come along. Actually if you are a bloke you will probably still get away with about half the normal drinking quota - unless of course you have a gaijin wife, in which case kick back as much sake as you can now because the whip starts a cracking a lot harder when there are babies and small children (and mother in laws) in the house.

Happy New Year people.


Tuesday, 30 December 2008

P Enlarger thingy

A bit worried that writing the whole P word followed by the Enlarger word would hit me a number of page loads from men looking for information to pump up their you know whats its. Not sure if this will be of any help to them if they do land here or not...

But more about that when I get to it...

We had a quiet morning which Shou spent vacuuming and then mopping the carpet - thanks for that Shou. Marina had a good morning sleep and after she awoke we went and picked up some sushi and had it down by the port watching the big cranes and forklifts.

We ALL had a nap this arvo and when Granny A popped round to drop some mail off she said the house was silent - with even the cat sprawled out and the dog snoring on the couch. We had a late afternoon play date with Amelie - where we stayed the first two nights we were in NZ but who is now back in Napier with her mummy and daddy staying at her Granny's house which is conveniently located just round the road. Both Shou and Ame somehow ended up in the pool with Marina on the side in the nude having a splash round. We got caught in a four minute torential downpour just as I was trying to manouver my hired and very hard to manouver off road double buggy down the five or so steps to my sisters place. The kids weren't going to be bathed after their swim but were now so wet I gave them one anyway.

Because we left all the bath toys round at Granny A's Shou raided the tuppaware drawer and plastic utensils for things to play with in the bath. Tonight he found a new one - the air sucker outerer thing that you use to suck the air out of an opened bottle of wine so that it keeps better. Quite a neat gadget that I also have but don't really use as back in my pre-sprog wino days I was at a loss as to exactly why you would go the trouble of opening a nice bottle of wine (any bottle for that matter) if you weren't going to empty it in one go. A hereditary fault I think we got passed on from our mother.

For those not in the know this gadget fits nicely over the top of the wine bottle - you then have to pump it a few times and well.... back to the title of the blog ;)
Shou had only been in the bath for about two minutes when he realised he could fit his you know whats it in and start pumping... Great laughs. Not quite fun for the whole family but I had to really try not to laugh. I had to get stern and tell him his chinchin (willy) would fall off. It did make me think instantly of all the spam emails you get with the words Enlarge your .... (insert with p**** / man**** or even perhaps bulging man****). I have never seen the real deal but wonder what that kind of pump actually looks like.

After the dinner and bath lark the kids looked so nice and clean in their PJs that I decided to take them down to show them off at the late night department store. My main mission was to buy the new 'Kiwi Favourites' cook book - a must for every kiwi overseas me thinks. It has the good olds like Anzac biscuits, lemon meringue pie, pav, lamb and beef roasts etc. It also has some interesting additions like sushi and moroccan carrot and cumin salad!! Some new kiwi favourites.

Shou managed to convince me he absolutely needed a plastic rake - which I do believe has replaced the concrete mixer or whatever it was he slept with last night. I also managed to convince myslef I needed a green stone (jade) necklace. I got a really nice one years ago from mum and dad but lost it. I probably wouldn't wear one much if I lived in New Zealand but living in Japan I think it is nice to have something that is so typically kiwi. Plus they were half price. Shite, have just remembered that you aren't meant to buy green stone for yourself, you are meant to be given it. Hmmmm. I wonder if solar panal man's wife would wear it and then I could give Shou some money and he could hand it over to the girl at the shop to buy me another.

Well, tomorrow is New Year's Eve. I have a case of Moet chilling and a slinky LBD hanging up ready to put on and parrrrrttttteeee. Would be what would want to be doing but in actual fact Ame is bringing her parents round here in the late arvo and we are going to have take away hot chic (which is not seedy takeaway stripper but tastey roasted chiken, spuds and gravy). I imagine that they will leave around kiddy bed time and I will be left to put Shou and Marina to bed before settling down to some TV and possibly a call to Hub. I don't think I have EVER spent a New Years on my own - as in not inebriated with group of equally inebriated friends or at least snuggling up to hub. Ah well, such is the reality of being a temporary single mum.

I will no doubt get time to blog tomorrow while all you lot are off squaffing bubbles. Do enjoy. And have one for me.


Monday, 29 December 2008

The Zoo

I have some great pics of Shou feeding some goats, ostriches, alpacas, llamas... but our camera connection is at Granny A's so the pics will have to wait. The morning was a bit testing and despite being now able to make as much noise as they want at breakfast time I found myself just about having to put them in time out until they are 18. I went past the sushi shop on the way to our victor bravo meeting spot with Granny K Rocks T-shirt Boy's mum. The thing that saved me was a new cafe opened up beside the sushi shop that served ice lattes. It is HARD to find good ice coffee in New Zealand. And I don't mean ones with all the works, I just mean bog standard cold coffee. Sure, I could have made a hot one last night and left it on the bench and drunk it this morning but it's just not the same.

We arrived at the farmyard zoo at approximately the same time as the other half of Napier that weren't in town enjoying the sales (and no doubt buying up all my bling). Payed five dollars for Shou, who immediately ignored all the cute animals, lambs and peacocks roaming free and headed straight for the old tractor, where he stayed in farmland fantasy for about ten minutes.

Finally coaxed him away with a cup of corn to feed the goats and biggest pig have ever seen. It was still feeding it's eight or so piglets so is no wonder it had beefed up for the motherly months. My boobs have been getting a bit sore lately and I am only producing one. Imagine the state of them to get ready for eight - no nipple protectors and boob crack lotion for mother pig. Poor wee thing. No wonder she lives in a pit of mud and sleeps all day. A single mother to eight...

We walked around the wee farm and Shou (and me) were highly entertained. Granny K Rocks T-shirt boy's mum was pushing Marina in her pram so I forgot about her most of the time. She didn't seem too put out but was getting very sleepy by the time we hit the carpark to go home.

We had a wee visit with a friend this afternoon. I had good intentions of seeing her pics from recent trip to South America and hearing all about her antics with Spanish nurses and Peruvian doctors, but alas, Shou was on speed again and intent on not letting us get a good few words in. Needless to say the pics remained away for another day.

So, a releatively busy day and now the two sproglets are sleeping. I need a dose of crap TV or maybe a bath and a book.

Hub mailed and said he has spent the last two days doing 'osoji' the spring cleaning most Japanese people do before New Years. He listed everything he did and said how he wished I could see the sparkling house. I wish I could see it too. It has a whole month to get Granny K-ified before we get home. Don't be fooled. Granny K doesn't help with the osoji for the house - in fact I would be pushed to believe she even did her own room. Hub also did the garden and no doubt shined the hub caps to within an inch of their life. Shou and I did try to ring but to no avail - perhaps he was rewarding himself with a post spring clean pachinko outing, or was too busy cleaning the windows to get to the phone. Hmmmmmm. Shou left a very loud 'papa daisuki' (love you daddy) on the answer machine instead.

Right, off to enjoy some me time.


Sunday, 28 December 2008

New Abode

This morning we vacated Granny A's and moved to my sister's house around the road for four nights. Grandad was looking like he was on a slippery slope and me and the kids, or rather the noise and just being of a one and two year old, were going to be the brunt of a bit of a meltdown. We decided to head to quieter pastures for a few days to give the granparents and us a break. My sister and family left today for ten days camping so we have their house to ourselves until my other sister comes down on the 2nd.

It was a bit of packing up stuff and the kids will have to get used to a new bed again but so far so good. They are both asleep.... long may it last.

The last few days have been pretty full on with lots of people, Christmas, boxing day rah rah. Having your house taken over must be a bit of a test - and Shou, Marina and I have been there for going on five weeks. So that is five weeks that Grandad and Granny A can't do their usual routine. I can see myself and my temper in my dad and it does scare me a bit. Am wondering if I should stock up on some chill pills now in preparation for Shou and Marina and the bun bringing their kids over in thirty years time!! Or really I should just sort the issues out now so I am just one big chill pill all on my own. Quite a lot of sorting to do ;)

Tomorrow we are heading to a farmyard zoo with Granny K Rocks T-shirt boy and family. We are going to feed the animals, maybe strap Shou onto a Pony and generally just get out of our respective houses and get some fresh air, a strong coffee or two and no doubt some good old bitching and gossiping about our past, present and probably future situations. Not many issues a good bit of bitching and gossiping can't fix.

Had big chat to hub last night seeing as Granny A put a ban on the computer. I know, I know. He is planning a pachinko expedition on the 3rd. Nice to be informed. I have enquired about pachinko location (unspecified) and budget (about the cost of the nice box my yet to purchase bling will come in) He also listed off the nights he would be otherwise engaged - ie intoxicated so don't bother trying to contact him. His brother and family aren't coming home for New Years so it will be just him and Granny K rocking the toshi-koshi soba and osechi ryori - New Years noodles and the set of special dishes you have the first few days of the New Year. No doubt they will be up at the crack of dawn on the 31st pounding away at enough mochi (rice cakes) to feed the entire neighbourhood.

Well, I might have a shower, fold some towels, see to the animals (and I mean animals in the real sense of the word, not kiddlie winks) and get an early night.


Friday, 26 December 2008

The Almost Champions

The Stocking!! Not much in it but that was probably a good thing as everything bar the plastic green toaster got discarded anyway!
At the kitchen bench with new toys. Shou with a piece of toast in mid-flight and Marina having more fun with the packet.
Granny A and Marina in her Christmas dress, that got covered in cherry juice but which Granny A managed to napisan clean again. I can't wait till Marina has some hair and I can have something to stick a pretty girlie clip or band in.

So today.... the pentanque competition.
My eighty plus great Aunt declined to play - what with having a walker and all. I therefore was thrown into the draw to keep numbers even. We ended up with five teams and my partner was Mike, my brother in law's brother.

Marina had a nap this morning but as the pentanque playing lawn is right outside her and Shou's bedroom windows the afternoon naps, after the competition was in full swing, was so not going to happen. And it didn't. Despite both being very tired Marina and Shou did a stella effort in keeping awake and in good form. I think Shou only removed a ball from play once. Granny A removed more than that - or rather got them removed because she had too much vino and forgot her game, obviously thinking she was an Australian cricket player and resorting to an underarm bowl. Definately not in the rules.

Mike and I did very well despite my having a child on hip half the time. I was also the most sober person on the green - something that usually works against you on a pitch that is so bumpy. Sometimes pays to not be able to see properly in these situations. It was a round robin tournament with each team playing three games and a final at the end. We won two out of our three and had to play Granny A and my brother in the final. Things didn't get too agro, although the tape measure did make a number of appearances.

The family tends to not be very PC when there is festive beverages on hand (actually not very PC when completely sober either) and have named the drop shops - where you go for a direct hit to knock someones ball out of play - the hiroshima or the kamikaze. I did a couple of fabulous ones and was hence knicknamed the kyushu bomber.

We lost the final but all in all it was a very entertaining afternoon that wound down at about half four. The kids, like everyone, grazed on food all day and so come dinner time I just tried to shove in as much as I could and then let them be. Shou just about fell asleep in the bath and was asleep in bed two minutes after we went there - at 6:02. Marina took a bit longer but is in peaceful slumber now and both will hopefully stay that way until tomorrow - yeah right.

Hub had his last day of work today and is now about two hours away from going on the lash in Kunimi with his office. The office has an official end of year party and then a not so official one on the last day of work - I usually make him pick one of the two and he usually picks the official one because it means going to the city and staying in a hotel - which of course equals a whole night of uninterrupted kiddy sleep. I have emailed and, to my credit, told him a big 'otsukare' for the last day and that I hope he enjoys the night on the lash with the office. I didn't even put any 'don't drink' too much' or 'be good's in there!! Ooooh, the restraint.

I was hoping too get to the jewlers for the start of their boxing day sale today but Granny A had too much to get ready this morning to look after a child for that long. I want Michael (Michael Hill Jewlers Michael) to get me a nice diamond on no deposit eighteen months interest free - the kind that I can pass on to Marina in years to come. If I had a nice bit of bling on my left hand I wouldn't bother but unfortunately I have to wait until our ten year anniversary for that and it is my belief that after three pregnancies, three births, and three years of sleepless nights and shitty nappies, that I deserve one of the following....

a) some sleep (might get my nights back in a few years)
b) a personal trainer (don't think Kunimi does those)
c) some time to go to a gym to get even half my body back (Kunimi doesn't do gyms either)
d) a nice coffee shop so I can regain some sanity on a regular basis (ditto)
e) some bling

So, for lack of actual viable choices I have decided on some bling. I could pay it off with an English lesson a week and when I think of it in those terms it doesn't seem so bad. It will mean however that I will have to pull my head in about hub going to the odd pachinko session - within reason of course and as long as it doesn't involves any 'woe is me, I work so hard / have to work overtime' lies.

So, boxing day sales didn't get a look in but hopefully I can convince Granny A tomorrow to look after the devil child for an hour or so while Marina and I go shopping for girlie bling. So.... is this the kind of thing one reports to one's husband about or do I just turn up with it on? Or do I wait until after the bun comes out as inevitably my fingers will expand and I definately don't want a bit of nice bling getting sawn off because some dishwashing liquid and force wouldn't cut the mustard.

Hmmmm, anyway. Watch this space for the bling pic.

I do believe there is a bit more grazing to be done before bed and even another chick flick tonight.


Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

Blogging on Christmas Day. Hopefully the last time this every happens!! By this time on a normal Christmas Day I would be asleep in a merry champers filled haze after a day of drink, food, drink, food, prezzies, drink, food and bed. The bun puts a few restrictions on the occassion and I have had to settle for food, food, food, prezzies, food, food and now a cuppa and a bit of Hugh Grant in Love Actually.

The best layed plans did indeed go pearshapped. Shou was past it by half eleven so he got bundled off for a nap early, lasting an hour and a half. Marina lasted the morning and was still up when people arrived but thankfully went to sleep just before Christmas dinner, leaving me with only Shou to entertain while I had my fill of ham, lamb, beef, roast veges, normal veges and of course lashings and lashings of gravy. I only get the chance at this kind of meal every few years so I have to make the most of it. The first serve was for the bun and the second serving for mummy. It is amazing how much one's tummy can expand on Christmas day. The bun is now surrounded in a warm layer of roast dinner and pavlova nests, cream and berries.

Prezzie time was a hit with the kids and Marina sat in the front of everyone getting showered with each new bit of wrapping paper. They got a stocking this morning and the prezzie of the day seemed to be a plastic toaster - that I got from the 'these have been sitting on our shelves for over ten years' bin at the local supermarket. Shou has been making me bits of toast all day and loving it. It even survived the bath but unfortunately didn't make the bedtime cut and was replaced by an elmo mobile phone and his trusty Air Korea plane - that mummy had to sneakily bash against the counter to stop from making its insistant take off and landing noise. It has since regained it's sound and may well need another bash tomorrow.

Tomorrow, boxing day, is another big day for the kids but not as important in terms of having a sit down dinner. Traditionally we have a pentanque (??) tournament on boxing day and other family occassions when mum deems it necessary to bring out the silver balls. The same congregation of people will be again congregating tomorrow for what has become quite a fierce competition. The lawn we play on out the back is so completely uneven that even the crappest of crap players can appear to be higly skilled just by having a lucky bounce. Every so often a ball ends up down the bank. Team partners are picked out of a hat and the winners get their name engraved on the tournament cup. If you win three tournaments in a row you get your own cup!! The prestige! My brother and I are the only two plebs never to have won over the years and tomorrow wont be my year either as we have uneven adult numbers and I have opted to not play - seeing as the games kick off and will resume over prime kiddy nap time and my hastey retreats to deal with the kids will no doubt piss off whoever my partner is.

Anyway, crap chick flick has started.

Hope everyone had lots of yummy goodies and enjoyed the company of the day.


Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Twas the night before Christmas...

I miss the days when Christmas was so much fun and we would try and go to bed at half six in the hope we would get to sleep earlier than normal. I am sure the excitement will come back next year and the years after that when the kids are older and getting excited - probably a bit of which will be about getting a day off school no doubt. The 23rd of December is a public holiday in Japan - the emperor's birthday. Pity his mum couldn't cross her legs for another two days but what can you do. If the emperor wants out I guess he wants out.

Marina threw up a couple of times yesterday but was in such good spirits otherwise that I just thought it was something she ate - you know, all this foreign food I've been feeding her and all. She threw up again this morning though so, in between putting the washing machine on it's second and third cycles Granny A and I took the kids to the doctors. In Japan the last hospital day before some public holidays would equal a waiting room full of frantic mothers with kids with 38 degree temps, a few coughs and no doubt a few already hooked up to an hour or so drip - to deal with the severe symptoms.

The doctors here was quiet as. Shou had free reign of the kiddies corner while Marina and I saw the doctor. Due to her history the doctor suggested we take a pee sample pack home and bring it down later to test for a bladder infection. So, pee sample pack stuck in place (like pulling big plaster off your fanny when you take it off. Can't be pleasant) we headed off to the supermarket. Stupid idea. Who goes to the supermarket the day before Christmas? Absolute chaos and a surprising number of people who had obviously left there big Christmas and holiday shop until today - not just running in to get the odd punnet of strawberries or extra bottle of bubbly.

Two hungry children and a frazzled Granny and mother later and we get home. Marina has a post-lunch chunder before Shou and I head off to take her pee sample back to the docs and then head to Granny-K Rocks T-shirt boy's Granny's House for his little brother's first birthday party.

So, Marina does have a bladder infection but it obviously isn't too bad as the nurse wasn't too concerned that sending it to the labs for further tests would probably take a day or two. I had a one hour time limit to get to the docs, pick up a prescription, get to the birthday party in time to sing Happy Birthday and blow at the candle and get back home. The cake by the way was fabulous and I wish I had my camera. Although having a record of it on my blog will just show me up in years to come when none of my cakes look that good. The candle got lit enough times so that all kids of candle blowing age were allowed a go.

We made a hasty exit and went home via the chemist to get Marina's meddy. A quiet evening followed of no more chunders, dinner and a bath. They are both now asleep - Shou with his arms wrapped round a concrete mixer and Marina on top of a freshly washed change of sheets - in what is so far a chunder smell free room.

I am on puddings for tomorrow so I need to get to it and sort out what I can tonight. The less I have to do tomorrow morning with kids wrapped round my legs the better. Everyone is arriving at half twelve for a sit down propper Chrissy dinner at one. My plan is to keep the kids up in the morning, put Shou outside on his leash for an hour or so to run round a bit, so that they are very sleepy and ready to crash just before people start arriving. It will of course mean mummy has to do a five minute wardrobe change into her frock but nevermind. It could well turned pearshaped - as the best laid plans often do - and end up with me and two screaming children down the other end of the house, the end that come about three will be noisy and party central as everyone congregates there with champers and chocolate for the prezzie opening session.

I hope everyone gets want they want from Santa.


Fingers Crossed.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

I Love Your Blog Meme

Last month Illahee tagged me for this meme - and I have only just realised. Sorry Illahee it was two days before we left for NZ and I missed it - and every blog ever written by anyone for about a week over that time! Gomen. This meme is supposed to be answered with one word answers so excuse me if I have to get creative...

1. Where is your cell phone? AWOL

2. Where is your significant other? hopefullynotpachinko

3. Your hair color? brown

4. Your mother? squiffed

5. Your father? happy

6. Your favorite thing? sleep

7. Your dream last night? ofmoresleep

8. Your dream/goal? uninterruptednightofsleep

9. The room you're in? office

10. Your hobby? makingbuns

11. Your fear? makinganotherone

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? withnochildrenundersix

13. Where were you last night? bed

14. What you're not? bunless

15. One of your wish-list items? healthybun

16. Where you grew up? NZ

17. The last thing you did? eat

18. What are you wearing? clothes

19. Your TV? ENGLISH

20. Your pet? none

21. Your computer? Dell

22. Your mood? good

23. Missing someone? yes

24. Your car? trashedbykids

25. Something you're not wearing? size10bikini

26. Favorite store? anywhereIcangowithoutkids

27. Your summer? hot

28. Love someone? yes

29. Your favorite color? blue

30. When is the last time you laughed? today

31. Last time you cried? today(buthormonalafterreadingstoryinWoman'sWeekly)

Some very long words in there. I think the deal is is that I am supposed to tag another five people. I think this meme has almost done the rounds but if you haven't had it yet then TJKR, joruraljapan and yokomatsufamilyblog then have a go - I love reading your blogs and finding out what you and your respective other halfs and sproglets are up to.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Road Trip

We have been out and about since Thursday, spending two nights with Granny K Rocks T-Shirt boy and then last night at a reunion of sorts - five of us, and our respective other halfs and/or offspring, who spent a year studying in Kyoto twelve years ago on the same university exchange program.

The travels kicked off with the AA (Automobile Association for those people thinking I might need a wino meeting first thing on a Thursday morning) man having to come up and re-start the battery on Granny A's car because Grandad had left the key on overnight. Grandad wasn't there at the time, and if he had been he probably would have jump started the car down the hill. As it happened the AA man was very efficient and it brought back not all together unfond memories of the frequent AA call outs I had to make as proud owner of a 1972 sky blue vauxhil viva, nicknamed the vulva, that I had during my second year at uni. I remember Dad saying it would be a good first car to own, so seven hundred dollars later I was driving it home. Must have been about the only trip it made without crapping out.

Anyway, we arrive at Granny K rocks t-shirt boys house to find that Shou has now inherited the t-shirt, which means I guess that Granny K rocks t-shirt boy is no longer, and will therefore be referred to by his screen name Blake.

On Friday we took the sprogletts to Lollipops - a kids indoor playground - where the kids were let loose until the inevitable melt down. Actually, come to think of it I don't think we had a major meltdown. Shou started to lose it in the supermarket on the way home but nothing as spectacular as our K-mart department store episode of a couple of weeks ago.

A magazine article I read at said friend's house that night was about verbal abuse, and what constitutes verbal abuse. Have realised am going to have to start using sign language to own children in fear of being arrested for verbally abusing them. What with the no smacking law and the slam down on verbal abuse, it is a wonder women in New Zealand are allowed to give birth at all. Birth is after all a very stressful and painful experience for both mother and child, perhaps too painful an experience for a child to go through - or rather for a mother to put her child through. After squeezing them out we are then unable to do anything but lavish untold praise on them and pat them on the back and perhaps give the odd time out - until someone introduces a no time-out law, no doubt claiming that five minutes nutting out in a room on their own will mentally harm them and they will grow up to be socially outcast. Long gone are the days of kids running away from a mother brandishing a wooden spoon.

On Saturday we packed the cars with an assortment of portacots, suitcases, screw on highchairs and children (children not screw on just normal), and did a wee road trip down the coast to our reunion. There were nine adults and six children under five. The afternoon was as you would expect; the people with children supervising playtimes, nap times and snack times, and the two couples yet to have children, staying as far away from the house as possible until it would be well, rude not to turn up. Come five o'clock though and we had all congregated together, the first time in twelve years. We have had get togethers before but the Christchurch contingent of our group has been unable to make it until now.

After the chaos that is the dinner, bath and bed routine for parents of small children, we got down to what we were really there for - looking at old pics, laughing at how young we looked, the state of our hair, clothes, past flames and other memories that quite largely revolved around being intoxicated, looking stupid and acting inappropriately. We then got on to looking up amusing things on youtube in our hosts entertainment room, that boasted a projector screen that could well have been bigger than the side of our house.

It was a highly entertaining evening and its always nice to catch up with those kind of friends. You know, the ones you know will always be your friends regardless of how many years tick by (and or how loud your kids scream in the middle of the night when you are staying at their house - sorry people).

It was to go without question that I was to be first up in the morning what with being the mother of two children that think morning starts at 5am. Shou and Marina made themselves at home, helping themselves to breaky, trashing the toys and trying to turn morning-time-devil-mummy into semi-human mummy by throwing copious amounts of caffine down her throat.

We hit the road late morning and arrived home again mid-afternoon, after a lunch stop in Palmy. The kids were good for the first fifteen minutes of the second leg of the trip. Unfortunately the last hour and forty five minutes was a bit of a write off, with the last thirty minutes being particularly memorable. They both went hell for leather at the top of their voices. I really couldn't do anything except turn up Def Leapord and belt out along with it. I went to a Def Leapord concert with Granny K rocks t-shirt boy's mummy twelve years ago and have ever since been a bit of a closet Def Leopard fan. I borrowed a CD so I could have some sounds on the trip back today, and it made a nice change from the scratched Eurythmics CD that I had in there. I can't think of the title of my favorite song but it starts with

"lay me down slow and easy" (but not too easy because that's what got me up the duff with the bun). Am not entirely convinced these are the correct words. I'm a bit crap with song lyrics and quite often find I have been singing the wrong ones for years.
Anyway, Marina and Shou were a bit upset to find that mummy was being very unsympethetic to their cause and was infact ignoring them. But hey, why not. If you can't beat em join em - and I guarantee I sounded just as bad as they did.


Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Crash, Bang, Dunk

It's not even seven o'clock yet and the house is silent. Marina and Shou both snoring and mum and dad just gone out for dinner with friends. I am at a loose end. What to do?? Get on trade me and find some goodies perhaps!

Shou had a bit of a bummer morning. Granny A offered to take him for a walk in the pram while Marina was napping - so that I could have a few minutes catch up sleep too. I strapped Shou into the pram Granny A recently bought (a single stroller). He was protesting a bit at being sent out on a walk without mummy. Our drive is very steep and about a fifth of the way down I hear Granny A say 'Oh, Kate' and I turn round and Shou is face first on the driveway and the pram is rolling down the drive.

Both Granny A and I couldn't comprehend what had happened. I had strapped him in but we thought that all his quite vigorous protesting had somehow made the inside of the pram come out. What had infact happened was...

I have hired a double buggy (bigger child in front, smaller child kind of underneath and behind in a section that can be taken off) for our two months. The smaller child attachment had been placed perfectly (not intentionally) inside the other stroller. Different makes but the perfect size. I didn't click when I was buckling Shou in that the stroller he was in actually had a different buckle.

In between some very bad English words I think I actually may have laughed very briefly as Shou was still fully strapped into the double buggy attachment bit - looked like a turtle with a shell. There was blood - which Shou now associates with near death so calming him down took a while. It involved a trip to the shop to get a popsicle for his fat lip and lots of cuddles with mummy. Granny K would have had a fit. Holding Shou in my condition. The bun didn't protest at being squashed and I very much doubt the squashing got through to the inner layers anyway.

Feeding Shou has been testing as his lip is sore and everything hurts. For dinner I had gotten some sushi from the store in town - as a treat. Marina scoffed back the rice and seaweed from three bits while all Shou managed was to skull back the rest of the soya sauce from the plastic fish soya sauce container. He was complaining of sore and wattery eyes before bed and is now sleeping on a cold facecloth. I am presuming it is all part of the traumatic day he had.

Marina was not without her addition to the hall of 'my mum neglects me' fame. She took a dunk in the bath, quite a bad one by the splashing, spluttering and carry on I heard from the hall-way. Yes, my one year old was momentarily in the bath, that had more than two cms of water in it, on her own. While I have not totally forgiven myself I think she has forgiven me and is now fast asleep but will no doubt wake up after nightmares of drowning and oversized yellow rubber duckies.

We did have a play date in between things. Farm boy Riley and his mum came round and together the three kids tormented the neighbours cat. Well, the boys did. Marina was more interested in trying to get mummy's top gun sunglasses to stay on her big head!

Nearly three hours later...

Shou woke up, decided he wanted a vegemite sandwhich and has since gone back to bed. I must have fallen asleep with him because when I came out of his room it was half nine and mum and dad were home.

Mum is now refusing to go to bed until she has made sure I have gone to bed first. She must have been a bit tramatised by this morning too - doesn't want to have to offer to take the kids for any more walks on her own (so mummy can catch up on sleep) just incase she loses anymore on the way down the drive...


Monday, 15 December 2008


I think this is my 200th post. I'm sure that must entitle me to some chocolate bikkies and licorice. God, the amount of good (natsukashii) food I have been eating since I got back. I had to ask mum today if her digital scales were correct because I have weighed exactly the same morning, noon and night, fully clothed and naked, before food and after food, every weigh since I got here. It just doesn't make sense. The bun must be going hard out trying to work off my over indulgances. I have been doing a lot more walking than usual though and I can tell you, pushing a double buggy up the hill we live on makes me breathless and I have to remind self to keep stopping to inhale enough oxygen for the bun and me to keep on going. Thankfully Granny A comes on most of our walks and pushes a buggy and child too.

This morning we walked down to the water front to see the boats. We stopped via a small diary type shop that sold coffee on the way home - which was not as relaxing as it sounds. I spent most of the time convincing Shou that trying to pinch the big dog that was almost three times his size was probably not a good idea, and that no he could not take home the vast collection of shells that were in the shop's garden. We got home and Marina went straight to sleep so Shou and I went to the supermarket to stock up on bum wipes - and of course came home with a few extra supplies.

Lunch was a bit of a non event with both kids being fussy and Marina deciding to start the lady bite size thing and only opening her mouth a third of what I know she can open it. Shou went down for his nap straight after and Marina and I went to finish some stocking filler shopping. I am obviously going to have to groom her in the more refined skills of female shopping. Pulling anything within reach off the shelf, pulling all the cards out of my wallet and farting while we are waiting in line at the register are just going to have to go. I have decided that for Christmas for Marina I am going to get a second hand purse and fill it with old cards and monopoly money - and then let her see me pretending to use it for a good week or so. I will then keep it in my hand bag and pretend to get angry every time she pulls it out - but then be bloody thankful I have something that is harmless and that keeps her entertained for a good thirty minutes.

The dinner and bath thing went well. Shou was running round in his superman PJs while I was getting Marina dressed. Next thing I know and Granny A comes in with a naked Shou behind her saying that she found him half way down the concrete steps to the the drive, with his plastic concrete mixer... naked.

It only took twenty minutes to get them both asleep and then I had dinner - which Granny A leaves aside for me. I am now going to have a shower - I can honestly say that if I was a full time stay at home single mother I would be a very skanky one. Skanky in that personal hygeine seems to slip to somewhere very near the bottom of the list of things I need to survive and get my two children through the day safe and sound. I don't think I showered or bathed yesterday - unless Shou's watering me while he watered the plants counts??


Saturday, 13 December 2008

As Predicted...

Hub drank 'a little too much' (his words) last night (read as probably got absolutely off his face). This morning his office all woke up hungover and were no doubt feeling rather delicate at breakfast and not altogether much better when they all went for their annual bowling competition on the way back to Kunimi.

I have just come back from a trip to the chemist to get a thermometer. We have three at home for various reasons, mainly being I keep moving them to very good hiding places away from the kids and promptly forgetting where those places are. Anyway, Granny A didn't have one in the house and neither did my sister - which, as a mother of three, surprised me. I realise Japanese people are probably more inclined to run to the doctor at the drop of a hat but I thought a thermometer was a bog standard thing to have in your house. Obviously not. With dad being a doctor though whatever he says goes. Within almost a day of us arriving he declared Marina iron deficient. Granny A is now on at me for stuffing as much iron enriched food in her mouth as possible and I am surprised I haven't been made to puree liver yet. Dad is away this weekend though, which is actually good because it means I could go and buy a thermometer and get the chemist mans advise - which was if a small child has a temperature over 38 degrees and isn't responding to the likely suspects of baby nurofen or pamol then taking them to the doctors would be a good idea - or rather I wouldn't get laughed out of the clinic if I took a baby there with a temperature over 38. Which, I might add, is lower than the recommended doctor visit temperature reading I have been told in Japan - 38.5 degrees.

Marina felt hot before bed and was grizzly. I am inclined to think it is more teething especially as she has since gone to sleep OK - but with one five minute grizzle during her sleep. Still, I wanted to be able to check her temperature. Hopefully she wakes up with another whopper of a tooth and then I will feel OK. Despite her operation having gone well hub and I have been programmed to check her temperature and take her to the doctors straight away for anything over 38.5 for the last year. Habbits die hard, and I am still on the thermometer police top ten wanted list.

We had a relatively quiet day. We had a big walk this afternoon followed by a good bath session for Shou. Granny A had put some 'non real' toys in the bath like egg cups, an old small metal teapot and some golf balls. Shou was a bit bewildered but then got into it and started making me copious amounts of 'mamas coffee'. He even invited marina into the bath and told her it was 'omoshiroii kara haite mi' - get in cause its fun in here. He is now asleep with the said tea pot on the pillow beside him. I should go and move it or he will wake up with a big spout mark on his face.


Friday, 12 December 2008


Not sleepy in the sense that I would sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, but sleepy in that, after the performances put on by Marina and Shou last night, I should damn well be sleepy now. Mummy was not in the mood for walking to see any silly diggers and forklifts this morning. Not a chance.

Marina woke up twice and Shou woke up three times - every time he got his arm or leg stuck down between the bed and the mesh of the bed-fall-out-stopperer thing. I have been a bit sleepy lately during the days and having been saying 'ahhh, tsukareta (I'm tired)' quite a lot. Shou now says it which, if I am really tired, pisses me off because he says it when he is being pushed in the pram or even sitting down having some quiet time with mummy.

The god's must have been smiling this morning though cause for a good hour all of us got some sleep, helping me get through the aftertoon of sprinkler fun and ... Shou seeing if he could pee along with the water from the sprinkler !!! He was running round nuddies for most of the day which has been good for the toilet training.

My sister's eldest daughter Georgina came around this evening. Her two sisters are at Karate camp and mum and dad are at a Chrissy party so she got stuck with Granny A and Auntie K and two mad kids. We had fish n chips for tea - yum yum yum. I can't believe we have been here for two weeks already and this was our first. Shou wasn't overly keen on anything but the tom sauce but Marina scoffed back a fair few number of chips. They were both asleep by quarter past seven and I took George with me to do some shopping.

On the bun front - I can still wear my jeans but wouldn't be able to run miles in them. Granny A bought me some fab preggy capri pants today which no doubt I will thrash while I am here. My doctor back in Japan is going to have a fit at my next appointment in February. I haven't felt bun move yet but then there are a few more layers than last time!

Hub is, as I type, probably knocking back beers at his end of year office party in the city. Actually no, he will be probably on the way there. Yay, a whole night of sex, drugs and rock and roll without my wife mailing me every half an hour warning me about not drinking too much and what time I have to come home at in the morning and to NOT have a hangover that will be so bad I can't do my share of the kid stuff all weekend.

Cheers hub, enjoy it while it lasts.


Thursday, 11 December 2008

Missing Granny K ??

Yet again I thought I would try to have an early night and yet again I am no where near the sleepy stage. My friend (mother of Granny K Rocks T-shirt boy) has let me borrow her bed-side-gate-fence-fall-out-stopperer-thingy to put on Shou's bed so that hopefully he doesn't fall out of bed tonight and will therefore sleep all night - which would be a bloody miracle.

Granny A and I took the kids to the park this morning where Shou tried out every piece of play equipment in the space of about three minutes. Forty minutes later and he had utterly exhausted his park play enthusiasm and we headed for the pond, where about two hundred ducks waddle over for some cracker crumbs. Cheeky little buggers. It was mummy that had to put an end to the fun cause one duck was eating my hand and another was trying to munch on my top. We went home via the garden center which had another play area and a cafe so we could replenish our energy levels on frapps and sammies. The afternoon was quiet with Marina having an OK nap and Shou only forty minutes, followed by two hours outside playing with the sprinkler and picking prickles out of his feet.

So, to the title. Missing Granny K. I'm not missing her in the sense that I wish she was here... that would just be being silly. But, I am starting to realise that I don't appreciate the woman enough. Christ, I bet that is going to come back and bite me in the ass. Granny K, despite her crap advice and the fact that I despise living under the same roof as my husband's mother, is a 'granny granny'. She looks after the kids a lot - when I have English, when I need to take one or the other somewhere and even sometimes when I just ask her for no reason except that hub and I would like to go out for lunch on our own - or dinner after the kids are asleep. And she seems to actually really enjoy it, although Shou tires her out a bit too much now. Granny A isn't as much of a granny granny as Granny K. I am going to have a wee pathetic vent here, which I probably shouldn't because Granny A will read this...

Marina turned one on October 26. We didn't really celebrate it because she was going in for her operation the next day. I didn't expect that my whole family in New Zealand would decide to 'miss' the occassion as well. "You're coming home in a month, we can celebrate it, give prezzies to Marina, then" i can understand not sending prezzies when they will be seeing us so soon, but Marina didn't get one single card from her New Zealand family. She did however get a lovely card and package of goodies from the mother of my friend in Ireland, whom I have never met. Granny A asked me what Marina would want for her birthday. I suggested a card would be a good start as it is the first birthday cards you want to keep. Shou has loads. Marina has three. I almost feel the need to buy some and send them to her just so when she's older she wont wonder why everybody sent them to Shou and not her.

Anyway, after suggesting that Granny A start with a card Marina did infact get one - two days ago. It was an arty card of some dragon flies - which I can understand why Granny A chose after spending a couple of weeks in our summer fighting off the numerous swarms of dragon flies, but for a one year old!! Bring on the cutesy and the bling cards. So mum, that's that said. Marina loves her brithday clothes you got her but she has said to tell you that she thinks it is only fair that her younger brother or sister gets a birthday card actually on their first birthday. You can forget two, three, four and five but she thinks that one is a bit of a biggy.

That said though I do have it cruisy while I am here. I haven't had to cook a single meal for myself, clean or do any washing. A cleaning lady comes in once a week and Granny A does everything else. I thought I would be doing my share and I know I should but for the moment I am just enjoying it.

Grandad I is going away for the weekend. He needs time away every now and then when the house has small kids in it again. Don't really want the kids to be running screaming through the hallway and kitchen at 6 in the morning - which inevitably is what happens. I am trying to teach my two year old how to whisper (yeah right) and to my utter discredit and shame as a mother I have told him that Grandad is scary when he gets angry so he better eat his vegemite on toast in silence or else. So far so good.

Tomorrow I am walking the kids down on a big circuit of town that involves going past the Napier port - which has lots of boats and at the moment a lot of construction work. Brownie points for mummy for taking Shou to see diggers and cranes. Might have to bypass starbucs for a fix before struggling up the hill with the pram. If Granny A joins us it means at least I won't be pushing the double pram up the hill and drive, which could well cause me to pass out.

Well, I might watch a bit of telly - apart from an American, Spanish hola version of Bob The Builder (which has talking spanners and screwdrivers and hammers instead of diggers and bulldozers) I haven't watched much TV at all.

Hub emails every morning asking how the kiddies and the bump (and his lovely gaijin wifey) are. He transferred some of his bonus to my account today - yay. All the less money for him to use at the big 'P' on the way home from his end of year work do tomorrow!


Shit, nearly forgot about this pic from the girls weekend. Friend of baby on left sent it through today. Classic. Babies are (from left) Alix (8 months), Marina (14 months) & Olivia (14 weeks)

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Down on the Farm

Today the kiddies and I drove an hour into the middle of nowhere to see a friend whose hub is farm manager on a very large sheep and cattle farm. Shou managed to get to almost the end of the ride out there without pulling out the 'mummy I'm gonna be sick' call. He spent the last five minutes with his face inside an empty twistie chip bag - the only thing in the car, bar my very expensive nappy bag, that could double as something to throw up in. Luckily he lasted the distance and was immediately feeling a hundred percent better upon sighting a field full of very large and very curious cows.

We left Granny A's (mums) house just after eight this morning because she had people coming and things going on that wouldn't welcome a house of screaming mad kids. We arrived down on the farm an hour later. Marina almost immediately went down for a nap in their son's cot - the first woman in his bed apparantly. She didn't seem too plussed though and was snoring in about thirty seconds flat before doing a very offensive smelling load in her nappy and deciding she was too tired to wake up for mummy to change it. Shou decided he needed to be surrounded by all of their son's toys - well, the ones with wheels at least. My six months pregnant friend and I had a good catch up over a sugar and caffine fix for a couple of hours before getting lunch things organized.

Her hub, who had been out since five in the morning loading close to two hundred heffer cows in a truck, came home for a good farmers lunch of lamb chops, crusty warm bread and salad, followed by strawberries and meringues. I have since come home tonight and had pork, potatoes and vege for dinner - needless to say the bun is probably squashed up in what very little space is now left in there.

We left the farm about about two and about four minutes into our return trip I rounded a bend in the gravel road and was faced with about three or four hundred sheep coming straight for us. Not quite sure of the protocol in such situations I stopped the car in the middle of the road, turned off the engine and proceeded to get myself and Shou thoroughly excited. ten minutes later and we were off again. Shou slept the entire way home and I sang fifty million renditions of 'if your happy and you know it' to Marina to keep her from nutting out. We got home and Granny A joined us for a flying trip to the supermarket and chemist so I could get some PAMOL (god saviour of kiddy meddy) and some teething gel because I am suspicious that Marina is being pained by her upper second inscisors (????). That said, I completely forgot about giving her gel or meddy at bed time and she is now very happily in Marina dreamland.

We don't have anything planned for tomorrow so maybe a walk to the park so the kids can fall off more things and get more bruises. Shou did a spectacular fall off said farm friend's coffee table, had some air time, and landed on his big head. When Marina was in her highchair this evening Shou tried to move her in it and the whole thing fell sideways and her head and neck bended in a very strange way and she sconed it on the skirting board in the kitchen. Granny and I got a hell of a fright and Shou got a smack (ring 0800 badmother to report me) and taken to his room. Marina has marks on her head that look as if I have belted her over the head with a fish slice. She seems to be moving her shoulder and neck OK and her eyes haven't gone dongy and she can still clap and do peek a boo on demand.

Might just go in and check they are both still breathing though.


Sunday, 7 December 2008

Single Mum

I've only been doing this single mum lark since hub left on Thursday and already I can see how if I was a real single mother, I would have noticeably less hair and more wine stocked in the fridge. Actually I take that back. I would probably be on the tequillas most mornings by about eleven.

I'm sure Shou, Marina and I will get into more of a routines as the days tick by but as of today.... it's hard bloody yacker. My temper, which was not particularly well paced anyway, has been shot to shreds and I am surprised the social welfare hasn't come and arrested me yet - now that New Zealand has a no smacking law. Whatever. Who made that up?? Some prat who never had to look after two or more toddlers for more than an hour at a time.

Me and the kiddlie winks went down for a girls weekend (plus Shou) in Palmerston North. The house that we had rented had quite exceptional decor which actually made it less scary when the kids (read as Shou all on his own) started to trash the place - which began approximately five seconds after we walked in the door. I was the first to arrive on Friday so I got first choice of rooms. I chose a room with a double bed I could push against the wall so Shou wouldn't fall out when he shared the bed with me - or perhaps more importantly so I couldn't push him out after him sconing me in the face with his foot in the middle of the night. What is so fun about sleeping horizontally across ALL the pillows and mum's face?

The room also had a large wardrobe that had two doors that, when Marina's portacot was put in there, could almost close. So yes, you read that correctly. Marina slept in the wardrobe. And by cricky what a fantastic idea that turned out to be. After realising that she did indeed get enough air and wasn't going to suffocate, I got two very good night sleeps and afternoons of semi-peace when she was napping. She couldn't stand up and look out at the room - only blackness with a 10cm slit of light where the doors didn't quite shut. Think I might need hub to whack up a wardrobe like that when we get home! And maybe another down stairs that shuts all the way with a lock - so I can give Granny K some time out.

Speaking of Granny K. We stopped in at another friends house on the way home today. My friend has a four year old son who was modelling a t-shirt that read 'Granny K Rocks'. I WANT ONE!! Her hub had made it when he found out we were coming to play. I really should have taken a pic.

The girls catch up weekend was great though and we reminisced about university and laughed at the sight of us all pushing our designer buggies down the footpaths that ten years ago we had probably stumbled down and chucked all over after a hard friday or saturday (or sunday, monday, tuesday, wednesday or thursday) night out. We gossiped and ate too much chocolate and turkish kababs - not together, and spent last night playing slutty scrabble, which is scrabble but with naughty words. I think the best, and most correctly spelt words we came up with were tart, smut and grunt. There were a few that I can't repeat and all in all it was quite a laugh.

One of my girlfriends has a 13 week old baby. In fact we have since worked out that while she was in labour with her first child hub and I were having the international relations meeting that resulted in the bun. Ahem. Anyway, said friend is breast feeding her beautiful bubs and in order to enjoy a glass of wine with the girls she was expressing some milk. Shou, being a typical male, found the sight of her very large boobies to be almost hypnotic. He promtply walked over to her and started helping her with her hand pump. Together they expressed a good 200ml. I do have a pic of this which I did contemplate sharing. Really it is only of expressing pump and too big round things - one being her boob and the other being Shou's head. I decided against posting it though as not too keen on having sudden influx of male readers interested in my 'shou&thebigboob.jpg'

Anyway, the kiddies are now asleep for tonight and I think I am heading that way too. We have a quiet day tomorrow and then on Tuesday mum would like us out of the house so we have made a play date with a friend.

Hope everyone else had a good weekend too.


Thursday, 4 December 2008

We Have Landed


Just a catch up...

The trip was, as expected, pretty horendous. The trip to the airport was doable, as was the flight to Korea. We ended up getting a room at the transit hotel in Incheon airport so the kids could run havoc without us having to chase them through duty free and hoards of shoppers. Shou convinced me to take him shopping which turned out to be an Air Korea plane and emergency vehicle set. As soon as he had expressed an interest in it I was almost WWF body slammed by a Korean sales woman and made (for lack of a better word) to buy it. Shou was chuffed and easily persuaded, with his new goodies under his arm, to accompany me to the clinique counter, where I was somehow again persuaded to buy the complete set because quite obviously I needed the night cream as well as the day cream!!

The flight to Auckland was a bit horriffic. Shou, to his credit, did sleep for about a full five hours. Thirty minutes on his chair before he kind of slinky dinky-ed himself onto the floor and slept there for four hours! Marina had a total of two hours during the night flight - all of which was in daddy's arms. I got nothing that resembled anything even close to sleep but somehow we managed to get through it.

The excitement of arriving in New Zealand again, plus a strong shot of coffee, got me through the balls up over the rent a car. We got a big holden that was nice to drive but needed a strong step on the gass to get moving. Shou wasn't used to going round corners at such speed so he got carsick and threw up twice, which in hindsight could have had something to do with the popscicle he chopped back.

Our few days in Tauranga was well worth it. Despite the chunders, it was an OK drive down and I only had to relenquish the steering wheel for the last twenty minutes - which unfortunately included hub having to go through about five round-a-bouts, something Japan has yet to discover the greatness of.

My friend has a daughter Amelie, who played with Shou and they had a great time.
We had a lazy day the next day with a trip to the beach for hubs and toddlers and coffee and muffins for the mums and Marina.

We arrived back in Napier, my home town, with three minutes to spare getting the rent a car back on time. There was a family dinner that night and all the excitement had Marina spewing her ring out all over the cot. She seemed OK after that though and got a relatively good sleep. Shou, who was sleeping in a normal bed, without rails, fell out three times and has every night since. We have a pilt of pillows stacked on the floor to soften the falls!!

Hub left this morning and was very sad to go. Shou and I went down to the airport to see him off and point at the planes and generally run round touching everything and making lots of noise. Shou has since wanted the plane to please 'give daddy back'.

We are off tomorrow to see some girlfriends from university, two out of three who also have sprogs they are bringing along. We are renting a big house and I imagine we will spend the weekend catching up and playing mummies and no doubt wishing I could join in on the vinos being had.

My mum just went past and said it was OK to write about her seeing as I haven't got Granny K to rubbish! Not that I plan on rubbishing my mum but fairs fair. Since I have been home my dad is THE ONLY person to say congratulations on the bump. My sister asked a few questions, as did my brother. Mum has had some advice about the amount and length of garments Shou and Marina are wearing to bed and did feel the need to go into detail about how much and the tons of different kinds of food my sisters toddler and baby eat. We have had a talk and decided to come to an agreement that will involve her still saying what she wants followed by me saying thankyou for the advice but I still plan on doing it my way, followed by her then not saying anything else - which was where we were getting worked up. We have also decided that dinners will be me sorting out Shou and Marina, mum cooking for her and dad to eat at their usual time of half six, and then me cooking whatever I feel like. She has made dinners since we got here but my dad can't handle the energy (!!) of having the kids at the dinner table (and half six is too late for them anyway), and I can't handle the pressure of feeling I need to have the kids in bed by half seven to eat with mum and dad - which they were willing to do but which went pearshapped tonight because I didn't have shou asleep until after eight.

Ah well, it is still nice to be home and, despite hub not being here, I think Shou, Marina and I will survive the next couple of weeks just fine.

Might be time for another cuppa before bed - Marina and I are sharing a room. She is the nosiest sleeper and last night I almost felt like taking her cot out to the shed. Tonight I need to be that little bit closer to sleep myself before I get into bed.


Friday, 28 November 2008

Packing & Procrastinating

The house is a shambles! Apart from the damn tulips I haven't managed to tick anything else off 'the list'. Had I made a new and more practical list however I would have had a lot of that ticked off.

The past few days have been crazy with kids English christmas parties, throwing bits and pieces into the open suitcases in Marina's room, keeping the house from going into complete bomb site mode and trying, in vain, to wash and more importantly, get dry all the things I need to take with us. Despite it being a fairly nice sunny day today I did end up going to the laundromat this morning to dry a couple of loads of washing. Shou, or hub for that matter, could have written obscenities on the bottom of the washing basket and I would have been none the wiser - until this morning, when I finally got them both empty for the first time since the kids were sick and vomitty. Had I been super mummy I would have been more persistant but I draw the line at three loads of washing in any one given day.

I think I have most of the things we need organized for tomorrow. I really need to keep hand luggage down to a minimum cause if we end up with bags over shoulders and kids on hips .... easier said than done though when you wont be seeing your luggage for 24 hours and therefore need all the nappies, milk, change of clothes and bribe toys for Shou to last the distance. Who cares what hub and I look and smell like at the other end. As long as its not so bad the rent-a-car people won't rent us the car! I think the two big parts of the trip that could possibly be disasterous are the night flight from Korea to Auckland - where I am using my mummy guessing to presume Marina will fight the sleep for as long as she can - and the car trip from Auckland to my friend's house three hours away. I guess the bun is going to have to do some serious bouncing around in there from the copious amounts of caffine consumed by mummy, cause I'm not much of a plane sleeper anyway and getting straight into a car at the other end could be interesting. I so wish hub had sorted out his international license in time. Nevermind.

Granny K has been very helpful this week. I have had to do a lot of running round so she has been on Marina duties. She has had her moments though which included telling me to clean out my freezer, in my fridge, in my kitchen. This means that during the two months we are away she will become queen of my freezer, and my fridge, and my kitchen - an no doubt leave her door open for the entire eight weeks, treading bits of dead vegetable patch through the house. She will be cooking hub's dinner though so relenquishing power over my fridge is understandable - but having to clean the freezer, which according to her is full of foreign things she doesn't know how to cook, is a bit OTT. I did however, discard (chuck, hiff, biff, throw-out) a few things that wouldn't be good for using after I get back. She now only has to gasp in horror at a bag of hamburger patties (Japanese), a bag of deep friable shrimps (Japanese) and an assortment of ice packs and ice pillows.

I better get back to whatever it was I was doing. There is no way I am going to not forget something.

Happy weekend to you all and I guess I will blog again when the travels are over and we are safe and sound in New Zealand.


Monday, 24 November 2008


I had a great pic of Marina to put up but am having technical difficulties so it will have to wait.

I didn't get round to the last part of my last blog - well not that night anyway :p
Happy frolicks with thy husband leads to happy families all round. I should really try and get in the mood more often!

Anyway, yesterday was a good day again - hub had the shrine rope twisting in the morning but was home by half ten. We took the kiddlie winks for a walk round the paddies, and to the shrine to show them daddies handiwork. It was a nice sunny day - but still a bit chilly so Marina was in three layers of fleecy stretch and grows!!

Hub took Shou to the park in the arvo and Marina and I hung out. I printed out the photo sides of all the nengajo too. Guess I can half cross 'nengajos' off my list.

Today we went to Park Place - a big shopping complex two hours away. Granny K said yes to looking after Marina for the day so it was just Shou out shopping with mummy and daddy. I bought my brothers christmas prezzie - he threw me sideways by saying he wanted some 'asian interior' for his house!! Also got a wee 'Japanesey' something for my eighty something year old great aunt who is coming to spend christmas at our house with her walking frame. Of course everything has to be non-breakable and ravel friendly.

I spent forty minutes sorting out kids clothes to take home. Have loads of things they have never even worn yet that are just right for a summer now. Think I can quarter tick 'packing' off list too!!

This week is busy - starting tomorrow morning by having to bake about forty christmas tree and stocking cookies for english parties. Have english at the primary school in the arvo and have no idea what to do for that yet. Solar panel man's wife is coming over for coffee sometime in between that and maybe the solar panel man himself - as hub rang him to ask about the solar panels - definately not selling the amount of electricity we were originally told we would be able to. And I don't mean a thousand yen out or so - I am talking 3000 yens worth a month when they should produce a max of 9000 in the good months - October and November and again in Spring.
We shouldn't have done it. But if we hadn't I would have had to come up for another name for Solar Panel Man!!

Hub and I are watching 'Scream 3'. Very comical. McDreamy off Grays Annatomy is in it.

Sorry for the very boring post. Granny K is only raking up the brownie points, no major standoffs with the hub and the kids aren't doing anything too beyond the realms of one and two year old kids. Am sure all will change tomorrow.


Saturday, 22 November 2008

You'll Never Guess...

What I did today...

hehehe, don't be silly. I don't do that kind of thing in the middle of the day. Guess again...

My god no. She still lives. Try again.

I wanted to do that but well, he's famous and I'm fat and pregnant so doubt he'd have a go of it.

No, No, No. I planted the friggin tulips - all forty of them. Granny K and I had a discussion about where to plant them while looking and pointing at the garden. I thought we had reached common agreement on where I could plant them. However, she comes trotting over while I am weeding my patch of garden and claims that I have just pulled out a whole lot of spring blooming flowers she planted a few weeks back. I very nearly had to take a photo of the 'flowers' because, and I am not even a green thumb, they looked suspiciously like weeds to me. Anyway, she sucked back the tears and then said if 'that' was where I was going to plant the tulips then I would need to take a few bucketloads of dirt from the side of the tambo (field) next to the shed. I am surprised she let me carry the buckets in my state. Obviously what pregnant women should and shouldn't be doing is Granny K selective.

So, fresh dirt is down and tulips are a planted. If they ever bloom I will take a photo. I am surprised I aren't more of a green thumb really, seeing as both my mum and dad are quite into gardening and cultivating. Maybe my one and a half hours of gardening every six months will start to increase as I get older.

After the tulips I hung out a couple of loads of washing and vaccuumed. Granny K then announced that hub's brother and his wife would be arriving after lunch. That started off some serious bench shining, floor waxing and general child-decluttering. Hub arrived home and started cleaning the windows and then the car.

The rellies arrived with piles of goodies. My sister in law always brings yummies from their local Tokiwa food department. She had brought enough dinner type things so I wouldn't have to cook tea tonight. Yay. They also brought some gifts for me to take home to my parents - some very elaborate looking Japanese hard boiled sweets and some 'sembei' crackers. I joked with my sister in law about the amount of vegies Granny K would give her when they left. She didn't think it was as funny when she ended up with a trunk full of daikon, hakusai and kabu (raddishes and chinese cabbage). We picked Shou up from kindy early so he could come home and run havoc and show them what their grandson would be like in a few years. Unfortunately Shou was angelic and they left with the impression that we have two beautiful well behaved children. The beautiful part I agree with but the well-behaved part ....

Hub is out with the lads tomorrow - they are making a new big white twisted rope thing (for lack of a better explanation) to hang in front of the local shrine. Granny K is off to the city for a pottery exhibition so it will be the kids and me left to our own devices. Excellent.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend. I should probably put on a bit of lippy and rouge and pull hub upstairs to put a knotch on the shagometer. God, it's cold though....


Friday, 21 November 2008

Thanks Granny K

I know,harping praise for Granny K is very few and far between but today she really did out do herself.

Hub and I had to leave the house at 6 to take Marina for her check-up in Fukuoka. Shou was still asleep when we left - no doubt still tired after battling whatever or whoever he was dreaming about last night. When I rang Granny K at half seven Shou was sitting down eating his breakfast on his own - well that's what GK said anyway. He could have in fact been tied to his squeaky McQueen toddler chair and force feed but I should probably give her the benefit of the doubt. They got a taxi to kindy and again Shou was on his best behaviour and didn't even call the taxi driver 'scary' like last time.

Granny K then came home and hung out the washing I had put on and forgotten about and even did another load after that. To top it off all the washing was folded when we walked in the door at four.

Marina's check-up went well-ish. Our doctor got called away to an emergency surgery so in the end we drove three hours and waited two to get told by a doctor we had never met before that Marina's pee was just lovely and wasn't she doing well. Rightio, thanks for that. We had to make a few stops on the way home to get last minute supplies for the NZ trip. I don't want to have to venture out of Kunimi this week if I can help it. Too much to do and not enough time. The tulips are still calling to me from under the stairs.

We also made a stop at my ladies clinic. I got the man doctor - who saw me through both Shou and Marina's pregnancies. He was always very vocal about my weight so I was a bit gutted when I heard his voice over the loud speaker calling me into his parlor. To his credit though he didn't say anything. Well, apart from that according to the ultrasound measurements the bun is ten weeks and five days - and due on June the 14th. Hub would like me to cross my legs tightly for three days so that I can spend yet another birthday in the labor delivery room. Am not too sure how cool would be to have my, Shou and the bun's birthdays on the same day!! Working backwards from our expected due date hub worked out that it wasn't the 'time' I thought it was but was in fact the time before that, the time when I assured him it was safe because I had just finished my period. Arrrgghhh, how depressing to be able to count back the exact times on the shagometer. Hub obviously has super swimmers with excellent survival skills as one must have been waiting round the corner of the tube to catch one of my poor unsuspecting egg days later.

Anyway, blame aside, the bun appears to have fuzzy black limbs and a huge head. I got my first bun pic and it is stuck to the fridge to try and remind me to eat healthily. Yeah, like that's worked in the past.

I was hoping to start on the new years postcards tonight - and even brought the printer in here and set it up. I then found the postcards hub had bought and realised they are the standard inkjet ones and not the nice glossy photos ones like we have used for the last three years. I was tempted to just print them out anyway but have decided to wait until Tuesday when I can go and exchange them. Here is a pic of the end result.
I think it looks quite nice but no doubt hub will have a few words of advice tomorrow morning in which case I may end up hiffing the printer out the window. Depends what kind of mood he catches me in!!


Thursday, 20 November 2008

Just Very Quickly

Because it is nearly eleven and we have to be up at five tomorrow - with no doubt at least one trip during the night to Marina's room. Marina has her check up in Fukuoka tomorrow and we have to leave at six to arrive between nine and ten. Shouldn't be a big deal. Only a pee test and a look at how scar is healing I think. Granny K is doing the Shou thing in the morning and they will head off to kindy in a taxi - such are the joys of having a mother in law with no licence.

In between my three English classes today and tonight I have been working on this years Nengajo - New Years Postcard. We send out about 120 every year and without fail every year we have a huge fight about something - usually revolving around fact that husband always offers to do it but never gets round to it so I do it and inevitably, as am not Japanese, make a mistake or two with the kanji. We print our own ones with photos. This year I haven't got two photos of the kids that I think worthy of putting on the nengajo so I have taken their heads and stuck them on a couple of cartoon cows - next year is the year of the cow in case you were wondering. I spent a good couple of hours in paintshop erasing and shrinking and making it look right. Hub comes home and instead of first saying hey, that looks good, he asks where I am going to fit the 'happy new year 2009' rah rah. Ooooh he drives me insane sometimes.

Damn it. Have worked self up again. May as well watch some CSI before bed.


Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Another Granny K

When hub came home last night I gave him the envelope with photos and letter. He had a peek at the photos too but didn't go to look at the letter (which by the way was in an unsealed envelope) - for oh about ten seconds and then he said 'do you think its bad to have look at letter?' I said no, no, not really - especially as was unsealed and gagging to be read. And to be perfectly honest it did happen to slip out into my direct line of sight about five minutes before hub got home. What he doesn't know though...

As someone commented it was in fact just like a CV. It had her family details and education and work history. Hub seems to think she is good catch for the lad.

Now, the interesting thing is is that the girls surname is the same as ours - which I think is originally why solar panal man's man rang hub - to see if maybe we were relatives of some sort. Hub says we aren't though. But, it gets more interesting because the girls mum has the same name as Granny K. Arrrrghhhh. There are two of them. The chinese characters are exactly the same too. This solves a bit of a puzzle though as we have had many a courier man arrive at the house with parcles for a mystery woman with the same name. The girls mum is originally from this part of Kunimi but got married and went to the next valley over.

Is all very interesting and am quite looking forward to seeing how things pan out - such is the excitement level of life in Kunimi.

I had quite a productive morning. Got all the bills and receipts that had pilled up by the telephone all sorted - and all english class and hospital related ones sorted separately so that hub can work his tax man magic on them. I packed up a box of Japanese goodies to send to New Zealand - mainly because sending foodstuffs is less hassle than declaring it and explaining it at customs. Started writing our travel insurance forms but stopped for a reason that I no longer remember. Maybe I was waiting until hub came home. He is at a workers union 'we want more pay' huha waste of time thing tonight that all the office workers have to go to. It has never resulted in a pay raise but he assures me it has stopped their pay from going down more. A couple of years a go it went down twice in one year. I also did four loads of washing as Marina threw up three times last night - within the space of two minutes. Only the first was done in her bed but she still managed to get bits on all blankets and her glow worm, again. Sigh. The lounge has been set up like a Chinese laundry all day in efforts to dry everything due to crap weather and bloody SNOW.

Had two english classes today too and three tomorrow. Only next weeks lessons and then none for two months. Yay. Although I do enjoy the pocket money. Next weeks lessons are all christmas parties which will no doubt keep me in gingerbread cookie making for most of Monday.

Hope everyone isn't as cold as we are. Am almost tempted to put the fire on tomorrow.


Tuesday, 18 November 2008

She knows!!

Well, actually I told her this morning in the car. I had to take her to the clinic to get her flu shot. I was having a rare 'Granny K isn't so bad' moment and made a very bad error in judgement by telling her about the bun. To her credit she didn't react as if I had told her had terminal illness, although I could see her thinking shit, if she's this much of a bitch now imagine what she'll be like with another baby on the loose. She then went on to impart some words of wisdom...

You shouldn't be picking Shou up like you did this morning because he weighs too much and he'll squash the baby. (Shou is a skinny little runt and only weighs three kilos more than Marina. Can't not pick up my little boy. What a stupid thing to expect me to do - I didn't say anything though as this wasn't a new piece of advice. She recycled it from when was pregnant with Marina.

You need to relax more (tell me about it) and not get so worked up all the time. Being angry throughout your pregnancy will mean an angry crying baby. I had to stop myself from saying that she was the cause of seventy percent of my getting worked up. I do in some part agree with this though. I think being a floaty free spirited genki woman who didn't get stressed over anything would probably lead to having a baby who just went with the flow. Too bad though. I can't expect to be not stressed throughout whole pregnancy - especially seeing as can't have copious amounts of white wine to aid with destressing self. (did I mention that a couple of weeks ago - infact the day Marina got out of hospital - hub was having a few beers in celebration that her operation went well. I had about a third of a small glass that hub had poured for me and when I went to have a sip of hub's about half an hour later he said, without pause, that he thought that the very occasional beer I had while pregnant with Marina was in part responsible for her having the condition she had. I think I was both too upset, and embarrassed, to blog about it at the time. I had a wild moment of visions of 'the papers' and how I would go about sneaking my kids out of the country :p)

Is lucky for me hub is away at work all day and doesn't see me chucking back tequilla slammers and smoking twenty cigarettes. Arrrgh, the bun just about sent me to the toilet just at the thought.

Anyway - I told Granny K that not many people in Kunimi knew about the bun so could she keep it to herself for a little while longer. That said, I took Marina to the supermarket in the next town over and was congratulated on my good news by the wife of the dentist I took Shou to a few weeks back. I was visible taken aback and said thankyou but it still wasn't really common knowledge (you people don't count). I then remembered I had mentioned it to a friend who is friends with this woman. Am bit pissed my friend has taken it upon her self to tell her friends but what can you do. I am now resigned to fact that whole town, and possibly whole of next town over, will know about the bun before we leave.

In other news, solar panal man's mum rang hub the other day to enquire about the relationship status of one of the lads in hub's office. She had a friend whose daughter was thinking about coming back to Kunimi (originally from here) but wanted to know if there were any hot prospects for her first. Hub was sent on mission to find out if lad was attached. He isn't. Today, solar panal man's mum comes round and gives me envelope to pass on to hub to be passed on to lad in question. Envelope has two photos of said daughter and letter introducing herself. I am only guessing about contents of letter. While the two photos did happen to fall out of the envelope and into my direct line of sight I am not brave enough to open letter and read it as that would just be rude. Is all very 'omia-poi'. In the olden days 'omia' meant arranged marrage but now it is more really just the introducing of two people who can't find anyone suitable on their own and need a bit of help. Photos are usually swapped and they can turn it all down at any time.

Granny K's marriage was an 'omia' and she said she only met hub's dad once before they got married - and I doubt very much that was for a quick shag in the back of someones car.

Anyway, I am picking that the lad at hub's office won't go for it. He seems to think he is a bit of all right and I think that he would think he could do better - of course this is very rude assumption based on very brief glance of pics. But honestly, the girl hasn't even got on any lippy or rouge people. Which, also makes me think maybe she doesn't know about the pics. Maybe it's all her mother's doing. Ooooh, the drama. Maybe I should shake the envelope a bit to see if the letter falls out...

into my direct line of sight.


Monday, 17 November 2008

Another trip to the doctors

Took Marina to the doctor's this morning - there goes my man cold theory. She had a rough night last night with a clogged system. Had to bring her down stairs at eleven as she was in danger of waking Shou with her coughing and snorting and carry on. I was on the computer while she played with Shou's cars. I hear a throw up noise and turn round and she has vommitted up one of the tyres off Shou's fire engine. Bad mothering tip 1265 - let your child play with toys with small parts that can be sucked off or wedged between two big front teeth. She was fine afterwards though and slept for four hours after that - followed by a wee grizzle followed by another two hours.

Every woman and snotty nosed baby was at the doctors. With two sets of twins and a big headed foreign baby there was quite a lot for the other mothers to look at. Our doctor sucked her snot out with the electric snot sucker machine and then gave us prescription for more drugs. Picked those up and then went to friends house for cuppa and English goss. Yay for english goss sessions. Thankyou friend.

Spent afternoon finding my sofa again through the masses of washing that had piled up. In my attempts to put all the washing away I first had to declutter the kids clothes drawers. My god, the amount of clothes these kids have. Found a couple of things I didn't even know I had and now they are too small so have gone in the bun's box.

When hub came home Shou was in the middle of feeding himself dinner in Marina's highchair and I was in the middle of feeding Marina in Shou's chair. It was all going quite peacefully. Hub must have had a shitty day because within about five minutes he had told Shou off, slurped back his misoshiru and almost thrown the bowel in the sink and very rudely shoved aside the spuds - Granny K brought in some freshly dug red spuds while I was making dinner - so I made jagabutter (potatoes with butter). They were yum. We don't often have spuds like that. I told him that if was going to behave worse than Shou then could he please vacate the lounge. He did.

I didn't ask him to help with the baths. I did however ask Granny K to get Marina out for me. By the time Shou and I were out hub was back downstairs and in a much better mood. Shou had a wee major meltdown when I wouldn't let him try and paint the walls with toothpaste. He was wailing on the mat in the lounge. I was beside him, trying to get through to him (hopeless) when Granny K came in and just stood at the door. I asked her to leave because if Shou saw her he would want to go to her and that WOULD NOT help things. She didn't budge. Hub asked her to leave. She didn't budge - said it wasn't good Shou was crying so much (go figure). Hub then told her to 'Get out'. She left the door open half way and stood round the corner in the hallway for five minutes.

Anyway, am sick of ranting about the silly woman.

I didn't get anything ticked off my list of things to do before we go home - which means I need to try and tick two things off tomorrow. Hmmmmm. Plant the tulips perhaps... Might have to write a new list with some smaller tasks on it so I can feel more accomplished.

Watch this space.