Thursday, 31 January 2008

Feeling Better

Have had a lot of mails and spoken to someone who has a daughter who had an op like M will probably be having. While it's still not an ideal situation must admit am feeling a bit better about the whole thing. We are meeting with the specialist tomorrow arvo so will know then how serious it is and when we need to start getting ready for a hospital stay. Fingers crossed till then I guess.

On another subject, we have decided to put big bad solar panel on our roof so we can produce half of our own electricity. Has been a lot of number crunching, but come another 15 years we should start making money on it!! Up until then we should at least be paying less than what we are now - presuming of course neither of the kids start a rock band in the garage. We were meant to be signing things tomorrow but fortune has it that I was talking to a friend and she said her hubby fitted solar panels and we should go through them - and get a five thousand dollar discount - yay yay yay. We get a cool panel that tells us how much electricity we are making and how much we sell each month - the deal is you sell the electricity you make to the electricity company during the day - when you get a good rate and try and use as little of your own as possible - 10pm to 8am are the cheap hours so guess that means no more daytime japanese soaps and doing the washing first thing in the morning.

Right, better get these triffles in the fridge - having friends (solar panel man and his wife) for dinner tomorrow night.


Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Doctor Panda

Whatever bubble I was in yesterday has been deflated by our trip to Doctor Panda today. All the doctors in the children's ward of the hospital we go to have been allocated different cute animals. We have doctor panda. He is rather young, always looks a bit rugged and lacking sleep, and has an impressive selection of glasses.

When M was one week old we were told she would need today's test when she was three months old - which she now is. We weren't allowed in the room - which seems to be quite a Japanese way of doing things. I don't think I fit into the hysterical mother category and probably got more worked up by being posted outside the door and having to listen to M nutting out and not being able to see why. Well, I know why and I would have nutted out if they had been doing that to me too. The test basically proved that her urine is going back up to her kidney - that in itself is not overly uncommon in small babies - but doctor panda said that on a scale of one to five - with five being the worst - M is a five. the x-ray pics looked shocking, even from an untrained eye. Looked like a sausage as it comes out of a sausage making machine. - the what you me call it tube from her kidney to her bladder. Very swollen.

So anyway, the op we thought she would have at three or four years old she might need in a month or two. At least it is something that once it is fixed its fixed (I think) but still not something you want to put your baby through.

M herself is very genki (cherry) and her usual happy chappy self. I wasn't but am getting back there - onwards and upwards, the cups half full, positive thinking and all that.

So no funnies in this post. Maybe tomorrow, when I have had a chance to reflect on life and realise that things could be a whole lot worse than they are.


Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Prune Protein Bubble

Had to get out of there. Nearly got sucked into the prune protein bubble! They are in a world of their own. What I don't understand is if these prune products are so good why do they all have an illness story to tell. According to the top lady, she had trouble getting pregnant so started taking prune products and then what do you know low and behold (ten years later) she was fortunate enough to get pregnant with twins! Am wondering if perhaps it wasnt the fertility treatment as opposed to the prune miso soup and prune infused rice balls. One of the ladies did have a daughter who had a similar kidney condition to what M has though. She hadn't become a prune promoter at that time but if she had .... then maybe her daughter might have got better on her own or not have gotten as sick. Definately a lot of maybes but the general consensus was that I should be giving M watered down prune protein every day. I don't lead a supersize me kind of life so am inclined to think booby milk is the best protein for M at the moment.

So anyway, we have made it home without a trunk full of protein shake mix, prune juice, prune extract facial cream, prune extract houshold cleaner - hey if its good for you its good for your bathroom and your floors.

Hmmmmm, I was almost ready to purchase a trial pack until she started talking about the whole amway pyramid sales scheme. The other six of them - who claimed to be just being introduced to it for the first time too - were almost too in tune with the whole rant - they could talk the talk and walk the walk. Am wondering if perhaps they just pretend to be newbies for the sake of the one real newbie. Ooohs and aaahs in all the right places. Was like watching the audience on a tv shopping program.

I did take my camera a long to take a photo so I could show you what a prune protein party is like but I was in such awe as to what was taking place that I completely forgot. I was also a bit pissed at hubby's cousin who had invited me - because the first thing she told this room of people I had never met was that my daughter had a melfunctioning kidney. I hadn't even sat down before I was getting bombarded with prune this and prune that.

well, thats the duty done for another year. On the up side the lady with the daughter with the bad kidney like M did tell me about the hospital she had her operation at. I had heard about it before but was good to get that reinforced by someone who had actually been there and done that.

Off to make dinner and give M some booby before picking up S from kindy - they were having a tea ceremony today. would have loved to see that. It is such a refined process and not really appropriate for a room of two and three year olds, no doubt running riot.


Monday, 28 January 2008


Dropping S off at kindy this morning and one of the other mothers came running up to ask me if M was OK. I wondered if she thought I had left M at home alone while I dropped S off so I said that she was fine and that Granny K was keeping an eye on her (if not trying to feed her vitamin tablets like she did with S at five months). The other mother said that she was worried because she had heard that M was sick. The grapevine steamtrain in Kunimi working at full steam ahead. What is a not overly serious problem with her kidney has turned into a hole in her heart in about two weeks. I can understand the mistake though because in Japanese kidney is jinzo and heart is shinzo. An easy mistake!! Really only a matter of a couple of dots.

I am procrastinating from making a couple of phone calls. A book shop promotion place rang last week and are sending someone to come and talk about picture books, how to read them properly to different aged children and no doubt try and sell me a series of baby encyclopedias. I don't know why I agreed for this person I have never met, a man at that, to come to our house. So, time to ring and say I have to cancel because something terribly important has come up. I know it would probably be perfectly fine but Japan isn't the safe little country it used to be and I would just be sitting there the whole time wondering where the nice little book salesman was hiding his chainsaw. As it turns out, the miki prune protein cooking class is on at the same time and I think I have less chance of running into trouble with a room of middle aged woman and prune protein. But I will have to get back to you on that.

Better hang the washing out and maybe bake some muffins...

Later... I rang the book place and made appologies for having to cancel my appointment for tomorrow. What I was originally told was only a week campaign has suddenly been turned into lasting until the end of February - so could I just tell them when I had a free day. I said I would consult my schedule, which is chocker block full of muffin baking, prune protein get togethers and tea parties for two year olds. The lady on the end of the phone said SHE would ring ME back, and then proceeded to do so four times this afternoon. Luckily I was screening calls so didn't have to deal with the company which I now think is full of stalkers as well as chainsaw enthusiasts.

A friend came round with her nine month old son for a play this arvo - but is usually just bitch session about living with in-laws and not being in a fifty mile radius of a decent coffee shop. She enlightened me about some cultural things I didn't know - this year is her 'yakudoshi'. In Japan once every twelve years or so you have a three year period of supposedly not very good luck. the middle year is the worst I think. There are however various ways in which you can cancel out these bad vibes. Building a house and having children are some of these. Another is by being given something long - this was the only explanation she gave so I might have to delve into this matter a bit further. Her mother in law said she would buy her an obi (the belt of a kimono). I said I could go and cut a piece of string off the roll for her if she liked. I am in my last year of the three year period - hence why I HAD to have a child in 2006 and another in 2007. Not quite sure how to get the good vibes for this year. I guess I could always surprise my hub and go to bed early tonight. wink wink nudge nudge.


Sunday, 27 January 2008

Bloody Moles

We thought the moles had vacated the front lawn. It appears however, that despite our efforts, McGyver coming in with his swiss army knife and duck tape and the SWAT team doing a night victor victor charlie charlie raid, that the little bastards are still there. Well, one at least. Initially I was quite excited about seeing one - what with there not being any in New Zealand, but I am over that now. Locate and exterminate. They are digging up our overly priced Japanese grass. I bought a five dollar packet of grass seed back from NZ last trip home and was thinking about sowing that but our landscaper / chain smoker / talks more than a woman informed me that if I sowed the NZ grass with the Japanese grass (Japanese grass turns brown in winter and I wanted proper grass god dam it) then one type would kill the other. Don't quite know how that works. If I can marry a Japanese man and four years later one hasn't killed the other then surely our grass can follow suit!

I will try and take a pic of our crap brown grass with mole holes.

After hub came back from voluntarily compulsorarily (???) helping out at the town marathon (directing traffic not running) we went on a family outing to the supermarket and park. Family as in minus the mother in law who really only counts as family for birthdays and national holiday events. S was a picture of perfect childness and only nutted out slightly when I told him off for trying to put the keys in the lock of the car beside ours. Nice big scratch down the side door. Well, that's how it could have turned out had I not interrupted his grand theft auto. We had a major event today - S has figured out finally how to blow his nose. Considering he is at kindy where the kids seem to be constantly running round with snotty noses this is quite a break through. Although, now that he knows how to do it we will be going through a lot more boxes of tissues.

Thats enough. I'm off to bed. The Melbourne Open is over and I am tired from just watching the men's final.


Saturday, 26 January 2008

Hina Dolls

The hina dolls arrived today. Very cute and fit just right in the genkan. Think they may have even been worth the heavily discounted price we bought them for! Of course daughter M, at three months today, has no idea and son S just wants to pull them down and no doubt race them against his fire engine. He came home injury-free from kindy today and wasn't in that much of a foul mood at all. Nice change from yesterday.

Hubby's cousin came round for a visit this arvo. She always has some legitimate reason (this time it was to drop off some photos) but always ends up ranting on about miki prune extract products and how basically IT ALONE could make you never get sick again until you turn a hundred and ten, if not solve all of the world's problems and bring peace to mankind. I have been beaten down by miki prune babble into going to a prune protein cooking get together next week. Joy joy. really looking forward to that.

Hub had a compulsory voluntary game of park golf this afternoon. All the town office employees had to go. It is a cross between putt putt golf and proper golf. The others are on the lash as I type but hub made the right decision to come home and spend some quality family time with his very demanding gaijin wife and half gaijin son and daughter.

Up for a late night tonight because just have to watch all the bitching and whinging wannabe designers battle it out on project runway. Doesn't start till half twelve but think there is some CSI beforehand. yay yay yay bring on the English telly. Japanese telly is quite entertaining but I still need to hear english. At this very moment hub is watching a Korean film with Japanese sub titles. Far too sore on the brain for me. Beverly Hills Cop the other night was fantastic. Axel Foley (??) is the man. Was singing 'the heat is on' all day yesterday.

PS (and edited a little bit later) have just finished watching CSI - who is the man with the red hair? his lips are far too thin and I really don't understand how he got the part. He has been to Japan lately and SKY TV keep playing his interview. He is all for a CSI Tokyo. Would be keen to see how CSI would handle yakuza, chinpira, wannabe anybodies, cabare girlies and hosts.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Devil Child

Up until now whenever I referred to S as spawn of the devil I was really only half serious but now .... shite .... after today S is the devil himself reincarnated. What a performance. Luckily it was at home and only myself and Granny K were privy to it. To date it was the best tanty S has had. I had to bear hug him from behind to stop him lashing out. Must admit though, he did have reason - ish.

When I went to pick him up from kindy he had three scratches down his big forehead. The head of the kindy himself came out and appologised. Apparantly S stepped out of line at afternoon tea time and didn't wait his turn. I forgive him for that though, I mean he is only one and a half. The kid next to him lashed out because S was trying to get a bikky first. Well, thats what I am putting the tanty down to. Dinner and bathtime were a battle but he went to sleep without a peep. All that agro tension must have tired him out.

M herself was a right little princess today - didn't sleep for more than about forty mintues all day. Meant I couldn't do my abs of steel dvd. well actually is a stepper dvd with bands - but it claims it will give me abs of steel in just 48 seconds a day. well not quite but something equally as unbelievable. Will let you know how it goes and will absolutely be posting pics of my abs if they decide to show themself anytime soon.

S's tanty has taken it out of me. Early night.


Thursday, 24 January 2008

Check ups

M was supposed to have her three month check-up today but hospital rang this morning and said that I had to wait because she isn't officially three months until the day after tomorrow!! what a load of shite. Anyway, had organized to go see friend in the city who is in hospital with her second baby - the same hosp I had both S and M. God that sounds terrible. S&M. maybe should have thought about names and initials a bit more!! The nurses went mental at seeing M again. They almost seemed disappointed that we had named her a Japanese-ish name and I think would have been happier had she been Angelina or Elizabeth or something equally foreign.

Haven't had any translation work this week which is unusual. Hope some comes in soon so we can pay the kindy and save for trip home. Still think will only be me and M going home at Christmas though. Will be stink leaving S for three weeks but really is too far and costs too much for all four of us to go. Next time whole fam dam (minus Granny K - who has no desire ever again to spend eleven hours on a plane, let alone a whole week without rice) will probably not be until 2010. Will have to make S some flash cards of New Zealand relatives so that he will know who is who! One of the drawbacks of international marriage I guess. I should have at least married someone with a bigger pay check or who lived in a city where I had more chance of finding a proper job.

Right, might watch bit of telly - Beverly Hills Cop is on in ten minutes. Hope it is the sub titled version cause I don't think Eddie Murphy will translate well into Japanese. God knows that the cast of CSI don't. Although the lady with the extremely annoying accent sounds better. Found the telly tubby's on satelite the other day and can you believe they actually translate that shite. I mean what do they actually say apart from aaaa, iiiii, ooooo, big hug. can you name all four telly tubby's?? Took me two weeks to think of the yellow one.

Sweet dreams, good health and quiet living

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Starving Child

When I went to pick S up from kindy the teacher asked me if he eats well at home? Being a woman and all the reading between the lines that this implies I took her question to mean 'do your feed your child at all because at kindy he scoffs down all his lunch, the boy's beside him and still wants more plus a banana ten minutes later!'. Apart from his big head, the rest of him is jo blog normal size so he must be running round like a maniac to work off all those calories - pity I can't gift him some of my calories to run off every day too!

Booked M in for her three month check up on thursday. Lady on the other end of the phone suggested I book her for her BCG injections too - more like a branding than an injection though. Nine little squares imprinted on her upper arm. Crap mum that I am I don't even know what BCG stands for or what they are injecting into her! At 42 hub still has the leftovers of his branding - although I have heard they are better at it now and she shouldn't grow up worrying about wearing sleeveless tops and togs.

Early night tonight - both kids woke up twice each last night and I spent my afternoon nap time today searching the internet for hina dolls again. Ordered some that look a bit more 'now' rather than the traditional heian era face type. They cost more than my first car - which was a 1972 sky blue viva. A bargin at seven hundred dollars.

Off to bed

Sweet dreams, good health & quiet living

Monday, 21 January 2008


Murphy's Law that the one night the local firefighters are out on the lash an old woman goes AWOL. Other locals were out looking all night but hub and his wannabe firefighter lads were chucking back sake in Beppu. They arrived back a bit worse for wears this morning and had to go straight to the mountains to join in the search. Luckily the 79 year old woman was found alive and well despite being out all night in the freezing cold and rain.

I think I got a real laugh out of 3 month old M this morning. I wasn't particularly trying but she obviously found something funny in my rendition of 'paradise city'. I have just spent the last two hours searching the net for some hina dolls - which you put on display during Feb and March, but which have to be put away by the 5th of March. Leave it a day late and your daughter will be doomed to a life of spinsterdom (??) The traditional ones have about ten heian period type dolls on a tiered stand that takes up half the bloody room. The cost, which the mother's parents are meant to fork out for, is upwards of three thousand dollars. So anyway, bugger that. M will have to put up with an eight hundred dollar set that we can set up in the genkan (entranceway) I did find some very trendy looking ones but I think Granny K will think they are too modern.

I wish this had a spell check.

Sweet dreams, good health & quiet living

Fire Brigade

Hub at fire brigade nomikai(piss-up) in the city. This morning was the annual put your fireman's uniform on and march round the grounds of the local Junior High School while the govenor checks your hat is on straight and your buttons and boots are shiney. He is only a 'volunteer' fireman but I would bet that he spends more time drinking with the other 'volunteers' than he does putting out fires.

The kids are asleep as is Granny K, the mother in law. She was a help with the kids today and I think we even managed a whole afternoon without her letting 18 month old son play with lighter or nail clippers. Is time I did a quick tidy up of her room again to remove the mouldy cabbage leaves on the floor and the five months worth of mail order cataloges piling up inside the door. Will have to wait until Wednesday while she is at pottery.

I should probably get to bed, seeing as I have the whole thing to myself tonight. Here's hoping I get a full night sleep.

Sweet dreams, good health & quiet living