Friday, 30 May 2008

Neglect

Hub is in the bath and I am sitting here with what seems a few phantom toys - ones that start talking for no reason. The current one is one that a friend bought in Britain so it has a british accent going 'one,' 'two,' 'triangle,' 'square.' Need to find the off switch. Don't wont that scaring the shit out of me in the middle of the night.

Have had a bit of a full on week. M had a raging temperature on Monday and Tuesday so off to the hospital to make sure it wasn't a kindey infection. It wasn't thank god. Although I had packed a weeks worth of stuff just in case we had to stay in hospital. The doctor (her usual one) and I almost laughed with relief when he said the test results said her pee was fine and the temperature was probably just from her raw red throat. Yay, thank god for raw red throats. rah rah. pop open the champers. Her throat wasn't so sore and red that she couldn't not chuck back normal amounts of milk and mistery mash though.

The temperature meant that the big hospital in Fukuoka wouldn't do her tests that had been booked for Wednesday. Luckily we rang on Tuesday to check. They have been rescheduled for next week.

S is coming out with new words every day - including 'yucky' - in reference to the green peas in his pea rice (mame gohan) the other night, and 'bakatare' which is worse than just 'baka' which I guess translates to dickhead. Anyway, S got five minutes in his room for calling his mother, the woman who spent her own birthday screaming blue murder pushing him out, a dick head. He is getting very adapt at changing the subject and knowing just how to push which buttons. I hate to think how far these skills will have developed by the time he is three.

It is his(our) birthday on the 17th. I haven't done anymore by way of organizing the tea party for two year olds - expect telling the four friends' parents about it. We are having it on the 14th - which is father's day in Japan. I have ordered a clown and a bouncy castle so it should be fun and games all round.

Right, I am off for a bath and then bed.

Will try and be more diligent with posting but blog neglect increases in direct relation to incoming translation work.

SDGH&QL

PS - I was joking about the clown and the bouncy castle. Perhaps Hub can act stupider than usual and the kids can roll round on our soft 'bouncy' grass - which, I might add, is still home to our resident fu%$# mole.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Catch up

A steady flow of English checking work has come in this week - hence the internet hibernation. I have just sent some more work off and at this very moment have half an eye on the TV. Back to the future is on!!! God, you know you're getting old when you think Back to the Future is a cool movie. Those were the days.

Things have been abnormally quiet around here - the quiet before the storm perhaps! We are taking M for a check up at the big hospital on Wednesday. A very nasty test that I am only glad she won't remember when she is older. A test that I am not allowed the room for (well, at the last hospital I wasn't - but maybe this one they will let me). All over in about half an hour thought. We should hopefully be putting in the dates for her operation too, so all in all Wednesday is a big day. Hub has the day off work and we have prepped Granny K for the morning routine with S - seeing as we have to leave at 6am. Another taxi to kindy!

I had lots to write but is not a coming out...

best get to bed then - and hope that I get a better night sleep tonight so I have more energy to get back online tomorrow.

SDGH&QL

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Burny Bum

This is one of those slides with the rollers all the way down it. This one is particularly good for people wanting a bum massage. I believe at this precise moment I am yelling out 'oshiri ga itteeeeeeeee' - my bum hurts!

We went for a picnic to the park in the next town over. It was the first time S has been to this place which is a bit rundown but they still cut the grass and there are loads of cool slides and things. M was happy to just sit back in her pram and scoff down mashed peas and yoghurt - gag.

She is sleeping now but before bed she did a huge power chuck. Not quite an out the nose one but pretty close. Damn Japan for making my first thought be 'should we drive the hour to the hospital??' No, no, no, no. Don't be silly. When she woke up before she inhaled a bottle of milk - no doubt ravenous after losing all her dinner. So far so good. Still in there - as far as I can tell from the baby monitor. I have got the volume set to eight so I can hear every breath. Warning.... crazy mother alert!

I have just finished some english checking and now it's time for bed.

SDGH&QL

Friday, 16 May 2008

Volunteer

Nearly off for an early night. M has been an angel all day and S was pretty good considering. His arm swelled up after his jab. He has gone to bed with a cool temperature sheet thing stuck to his arm. I took him to see the doctor this morning - the one who did the jabs. The lady on reception said there would be an hour and a half wait!! I said but I rung up and spoke to the docter in person and it was him that did the jab in the first place and hey... listen lady... do you really think this nearly two year old is going to sit nicely in this waiting room with these fifty vestlings!!! Not a chance. At that moment the doctor's wife saw me and ushered me in through a back door so the vestlings wouldn't see I was getting preferential treatment. I know her from way back. They give us firewood, I advise her on good travel plans for her trips to New Zealand, and I sat next to her the other day at Solar Panel man's son's christening lunch thing. We both poured each other too much beer. So all in all S was still at kindy by ten past nine.

After I left the docs it appears that he rang the town office - who organzied the jabs. S was sitting on my lap when he got the jab and I was holding his arms by his side but one of the other ladies was standing behind me steadying the jab arm. She appologised to hub today, saying that it may have been because she was holding him too tightly when the jab went in. It didn't occur to me but after hub said it i had a look at S's arm and sure enough - it is swollen around the general area but there are four definate round marks - as if from someone holding him. They wanted to take a photo of it so they went to kindy after nap time. Not quite the modeling debut I had in mind for S.

It was hub's birthday yesterday. He got to sleep all night until 7am - this is a treat. Usually he gets up for the usual one time S will call out in the middle of the night and then gets up properly with him at about half five when S is all bright eyed and bushy tailed.

I spent the morning making a cake, cleaning and getting things ready - polishing the champers glasses etc. Also had to get ready for four hours of english - two at the primary school. Volunteer. and two at home - well paid. Haven't tought at a primary school for about six years. Was all good though - even if the principal has changed the once a term class to a once a month. I'll start pilching students from about July to come to my english class here. Japanese mothers tend to do a lot of school related stuff but that is when they have a child at the school in question. For some reason it's different with me - almost as if because I used to work here and teach english at the schools it's like I'm public property - volunteer her away. Just hope the other two schools in Kunimi don't catch wind of it.

I did volunteer my english story book reading skills to the kindergarten though. Proper volunteer stuff though - only when I can and not necessarily on a regular basis. Besides, S is actually at the kindy.

Speaking of work, some english checking work has come in from the university - finally. Just when I had given up hope of any. Long may it last.

Can't keep my eyes open. Must... sleep.

SDFG&QL

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Perfect Afternoon

How not to spend a Tuesday afternoon...

Taking a 6 month old and nearly two year old to have jabs on the same day at 1 in the afternoon. Bloody nap time. Every woman child, man, beast, two elephants, two camels.. Noa... were there. I picked S up from kindy after lunch and went straight there to check in at 12:45 - 15 minutes before check in even started. We were second. However, forty screaming children later the lady announces that due to numbers they wouldn't be going in order of check-in. Instead they would be going in order of injections - MR first, our one second, and BCG last. FIFTEEN kids before us. M was lapping up the extra attention but S was so into nap mode he wasn't walking straight and was starting to get very scratchy.

M was meant to have her jab first but the doctor said he couldn't give it to her because she had a chesty cough. He made this decision after already making me undress her so he could 'moshi moshi' (check) her tum and back. She started nutting out - enter S, who then starts nutting out before it's even his turn.

My God

He slept for ohhhh, five minutes when we got home before breaking into a solid hour of unconsoluble ouch it hurts - but with his eyes closed. Granny K came into the lounge and somehow together, with a lot of strawberries, cars and some rescue vehicle stickers we consoled him. A few snacks later and he is happily playing on his plastic jungle gym on the deck. The slide is about thirty cms off the ground. I was in here changing M's nappy when S starts screaming out - I run out and pick him up only to get a mouthful of blood on my white top because he has hit his chin trying to do 'the snake' backwards down the slide. Trying to get S to hold some ice on his lip was an absolute no go without restraints so I had to follow chapter seventeen of bad parenting 204 and given him two orange iceblocks - which meant he had ice on his lip for a good forty minutes. Bloody ingenius I thought.

He still ended up with a lip that looks like he's just had some botox though.

Poor wee mite. He is finally tucked up in bed. M was out like a light at half six -w hich doesn't bode well for me for tonight. Ah well, might have to sleep the morning away tomorrow.

SDGH&QL

Monday, 12 May 2008

Snakes

It would appear that S has forgone his obsession with anything with wheels for snakes. He has taken to building snakes out of his blocks - usually made up of about ten different blocks in a row, which occassionaly he will add an extra couple to the top of one end to turn it into a train. Only briefly though, and then he remembers he is more into snakes at the moment and takes the extra blocks off.

He is getting quite adapt at 'the snake', which is a two year olds version of the caterpilar and a lying down version of the moonwalk. I tried the snake this morning and was pleasently surprised to find it extremely difficult and perhaps a newcomer to the world of diet and exercise techniques. Who needs the south beach diet, the atkins diet or the zone diet when you can achieve the same results with only three minutes of 'the snake' a day. Alternatively this three minutes can be broken down into three one minute workouts. For faster results do the snake with a two year old sitting on your back.

I am taking both the kidlywinks for their jabs tomorrow. Granny K was going to come with us so she could keep an eye on one while I hold down the other in the jab room. It turns out she has a belated mothers day lunch thing with all the over seventy women in the neighbourhood. So I guess an unsuspecting nurse will be flung with the kids. Being the only foreigner in town and having the only semi-white babies however does have its perks. Never a shortage of people willing to hold and maul them.

Might be time for a cuppa and a few games of minesweep before bed. I go through minesweep addiction phases. Usually when I have study or work to do. Or I guess I could stay on line and look for a cool three tiered lunchbox with built in coffee machine and ice-cream maker. I WILL be queen of the picnics god damn it and I am convinced that 95% is in the presentation. Surely no one would have the gaul to actually ask to taste anything. God help me.

SDGH&QL

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Happy Mothers Day


To all mothers out there. Especially of course to my mum, who is just great. It is her first mothers day without her mother which is sad. She was going to my sisters for a big roast, fine wine and good times with them and my brother. I rang her though, sent some flowers ()wildpoppies.co.nz - best internet floral service on the planet, or in New Zealand at least) and telephoned. Had to phone yesterday too - to see if I could substitute the beef stock in a meat loaf recipe for rosmary roast gravy mix powder. She wasn't home so I had to go ahead anyway - yum yum. Who needs beef stock when you can use gravy powder.

We took Granny K out for an onsen (hot spring) and dinner tonight. M and I refrained from soaking in the 42 degree bath but S jumped right in with daddy. Before we left Granny K started making some comments about how the dinner we had pre-ordered (because as anyone with two children under two knows, there is no time for a glass of wine while ordering) was not going to be very nice. She didn't want the sushi - would much rather have boiled fish. The tempura probably wouldn't be as nice as hers and they always gave too much rice. I had to pull the 'we're all going out for a nice meal that we don't have to make ourselves so can't we just enjoy it instead of complaining'. Silence. Happy families again.

Yesterday was the family picnic for S's kindy. It was lashing rain but it was on anyway. I made a meatloaf and bacon and egg pie the day before and got up early to finish the picnic lunch yesterday. I thought it was a pretty outstanding effort on my part. I was wrong. My god. The two families sitting on each side of us had a spread similar to osettchi ryori (the meal you make for new years). I had a quick glance and then felt the need to strategically drape myself over our blanket so my big ass was covering the sight of our lunch. I think my biggest downfall (I just wrote downpour and had to delete it!!) was the containers. I had our lunch in tuppaware containers - the real thing I might add. Not cheap. But obviously I need a three tiered lacquered extraveganzer.

Apparently the grandmother of the family sitting to our left at the picnic, had (I found out hours later) gotten up at 3am to prepare the lunch. I feel slightly better - especially knowing that it wasn't the mother who is the same age as me.

Granny K is going through another 'I don't know what a good 'toy' is' phase. Yesterday S came out of her room chewing an AA battery - I kid you not. When I packed a tit about it - as you do - Granny K said 'but it's an old battery, it doesn't work anymore'. Right Granny K, thanks for that bit of wisdom. Today S came out shaking a pill bottle - with pills in it. Hmmmmm. Think I need to add a few more locks to Granny K's door. Both sides perhaps!!

Right, Hub and I are going to toast mothers day.

Night to you all.

SDGH&QL

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Tulips

This is what happens when you leave baby drinking milk on own with hat on.

Took S to the department store with the cool car trollies. We had an action plan where hub dropped me off at the entrance so I could go and fight for one of the five car trollies while he found a carpark. S was stoked with with trolly and he and daddy went to look at the woggies in the pet shop while M and I did the clothes, shoes and bags thing. I ended up buying two t-shirts. One for S and one for M. It is amazing that money comes out of thy wallet a lot faster for kids things.

After about an hour we took S to ride on the thomas ride-on thingy-a-me-jig and at the same time noticed a play park at the back of the game center - 300 yen for half an hour of play in the ball pit, balloon pit and slide. Praise the lord for slides and ball pits. Except that a parent had to be in the park too. I think I ran from the bottom of the slide to the stairs about thirty times. S was so knackered that he started weaving to the stairs. Straight lines no longer an option.

We bought some lunch and had it in the shade at the park. S was almost asleep in the car on the way home when we had to pull over for an ambulance and fire engine - going full tit with sirens and lights flashing. Ooooh, kyukyusha kyukyusha (ambulance), pika pika (said for anything that is bright or flashing), followed by about twenty renditions of 'saita saita, tulip no hana ga....' (blossom, blossom, tuplip flower ...) - the song that the kindy has been practicing this month. He is getting quite good but tired, am so over the tired thing am starting to be silly, stage kicked in and the song turned into 'saita saita, baka baka baka, aka shiro kiiro' (blossom, blossom, dickhead dickhead, red, white and yellow)

For a not yet two year old I think he has quite an advanced vocabulary.

Nighty night campers.

SDGH&QL

Monday, 5 May 2008

Crying Sumo

Thought I should start introducing some characters. This is me (the foreign looking one) and Marina (the bald baby) and Solar panal man's wife (the Japanese looking one), and their son Tyson (on the harley). This was taken today at the crying sumo event we went to. There were only three kiddies from Kunimi in it but about fifty in total.
We had 'stamp on the rice cakes', followed by 'choose a toy', followed by the 'crying sumo'. Stamp on the rice cakes was ... well ... exactly that. Baby puts on red sash and headband and then pats their feet on massive rice cake that at end is divided up into fifty pieces so all participants get piece of rice cake that has been stamped on by fifty babies' feet to take home and eat.
Choose the toy is ... well ... exactly that. Put babies on mat surrounded by different things that each represent something. The ball represents sports. The money represents wealth (surprise surprise), the computer keyboard is business, the dictionary means you'll be a nerd and the pretend oversized candy represents .... your child will grow up to own a cake shop. Am partial to the odd cake so quite pleased M chose that out of everything. Means I'll be able to stop relying on things falling off the back of trucks.

As for the nakizumo - crying sumo. M was not having a bar of it. No crying for her. The competition however, took one look at the bald foreign baby and went ape shit. They won. We got some wild rice to take home and a bit of some kind of plant that damn it I was supposed to put in their bath tonight - supposed to mean baby will grow up to be healthy and happy. Last year, when we took S, I got the same bit of vegetation and probably told the same thing, but I wasn't with it and thought the long green thing was a leek and put it in the back of the fridge for a few weeks until I found it again and had to add it to Granny K's compost. I hope the gods take into account that mummy is a foreigner when they decide whether S and M will grow up to be happy and healthy. God knows I've cut them some slack before.

Tomorrow is the last day of the four day weekend. What to do with S??? Maybe a trip to the supermarket with the cool car trollies.

SDGH&QL

Sunday, 4 May 2008

4 days???

You know its the middle of a four day weekend when you are so preoccupied with wipping snotty noses and peeling squashed raisins off the floor that you don't notice the half bit of eaten cheese plastered to the side of the toilet until four in the afternoon!

The kids are FINALLY asleep. Neither of them had an afternoon nap - which is just asking for trouble. M was absolutely beside herself and S was in the sooo over being exhausted that I am wired and bouncing off the ceiling stage. Hub, who spent the afternoon entertaining S, is now snoring beside me on the rug. With a glass of 'shouchu' beside him hardly touched. Bless him. His is knackered.

Yesterday I went to the huge formal sit down lunchy to celebrate the birth of Solar panel man's son. I was a still a bit miffed that only one of us got invited - so miffed that until the day before Hub was going to be going even though I have a lot more to do with them. I haven't had to go to anything this formal since our neices wedding last February - when I still fit my suit jacket. The second child layer is taking longer to get rid of though so I had to settle for black pants and a nice top. Hub said I looked like I was just going shopping. I had to remind him that four inch black heels, wannabe diamonds and foundation weren't part of my standard shopping attire. I usually go for slip ons, small hoops and a bit of mascarra and lippy. Can't expect hub to notice these things though.

Tomorrow is children's day. M has 'crying sumo' thing in the next town over. We were planning on giving it a miss if it rains but Hub has said he will supervise the devil child well I take M. Will see I guess. We may end up throwing in the towel half way through. Last year, when we took S, it was raining and there were a hundred or so babies participating - plus their families, all in a very small enclosed space without even a change table!! Madness. The whole thing.

Today we took S for his first real ride on the train. M and I dropped Hub and S off at the train station and then net them ten minutes later at the next station. The things we do to keep our children entertained!!

Right, am going to try and move this lump off to bed.

SDGH&QL

Ohhh, about the twenty day diet - fell off the back of a truck, along with some orios and some mister donuts.