Thursday, 31 July 2008

Days of Our Lives

I had all good intentions (again) of blogging last night but got caught up in trying to explain story line of Reseviour (sp??) Dogs to Hub - and I myself am not too sure because at time it came out I was far too busy trying to fake my ID to get into pubs to dance to the soundtrack.

Hub, at this very minute, is outside talking to the OC Credit Card man - who turns up at nine o'clock to ask hub to sign a contract that will get OC card (type of visa card) to pay for electrical bill. Using this system will mean five dollar discount every month - AND you don't pay any interest on the credit card!! hmmmm. am not too sure how this works but man bought a can of beer with him to soften hub up. He is also some relatives brother's uncle's son in law. The beer was a 'mejiron' character can - mejiron is the green bird cartoon mascot for this year's all Japan games that are being held in Oita. Shou LOVES mejiron. He can sing the theme song and sway and stamp his feet!!

Speaking of Shou.... I went to pick him up from kindy. It was a prescious moment. He understood all my English - put the books away honey, OK, sit down and we'll put your shoes on ... and then... he picked up the pace on the way to the car - which met with a concrete faceplant and very sore looking scratches to forehead (big forehead inherited from mother) nose and chin - according to the kindy teachers his nose only got wasted because it was so 'takai' - high - as in instead of flat Japanese nose. Whatever.

Oooh (and this is totally rated and very private) have just had interlude in shower. far too much information I know but for some reason I think a lot of Japanese men seem to think that pleasing thyself is also pleasing thy wife. Considering the amount of porn in this country you would think they would be a little bit more educated. Of course there are times when I do put in a bit more effort and wont get down to business straightaway. There are othertimes though when christ, it is just easier to please and leave. Go back to washing the dishes, writting the blog or whatever :p My husband isn't in his twenties anymore so it doesn't take much time to earn brownie points.

Anyway, back to mundane family news.
Marina and I ventured to Toys R Us this morning in search of a new car seat. I found one, and a potty, and a very cool young einsteine play thing which is for Marina after her operation, and a variety of other merchandise. I bet the checkout girl could tell I don't get out much.

On the way back to Kunimi I stopped at Meiho Junior High - a school in Beppu I taught at for five months last year before Marina was born. I showed Marina off and then met up with a teacher for lunch. We went to nice coffee shop and had their set lunch - which was a thousand yen and included rice, salad, chicken and vege servings followed by small helping of cheesecake and icecream. It also just happened to be ladies day - which in Japan doesn't mean men are going to start stripping in front of you. No, better than that. We got a free strawberry sundae. I rolled out of there an hour later vowing to have no dinner and nothing to eat tomorrow.

I stuck to my word and had no dinner. But this has been cancelled out cause Hub came home with a couple of beverages and, like a magnet, like a fish to water, like a silly married man to a stupid married tart (read below) I had one. Well, I had gotten home with Marina at four, sorted dinner out, gone to pick Shou up at five, dealt with his injuries, come home and fed both kids at same time, bathed both kids (at same time), put Marina to bed, played with Shou for extra 'big boy' half an hour, put him to bed, and then had an English lesson from eight until nine. God damit, I deserved that beer.

About the title to this blog - days of our lives. Hub claims (and don't hold me to this if you find out otherwise - as if) that someone told him that someone told them that they saw Married man come out of neon palmtree love hotel with married bit on the side!!! Arrrgghh. the scandel. Maki seems to think that they will both divorce their partners and get married!!! Whats the fun in that though!!

In other news - Shou did a wee on his new potty. This is almost worthy of front page Oita Newspaper. Very exciting times at the Aramaki household.

Nighty night campers.


Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Osakan Sun

I had all good intentions of blogging last night but got engrossed in a book called 'Under the Osakan Sun' - a tale of three years on the JET Program in a small-ish town in Osaka. Written by a New Zealand bloke called Hamish Beaton. Have just finished it now. Was highly entertaining and brought back memories of my three years here on JET. The english teaching, organizing tea-parties for two year olds, the mad drinking episodes, although I failed to keep up the New Zealand end of things by not throwing up on myself or anyone else. Kunimi also doesn't have a train that I could have fallen asleep on and woken up two hours later at the last stop two prefectures away.

Shou and I had a run in yesterday morning because he wanted to wear his newly washed and just hung out to dry emergency vehichles T-shirt to kindy. ALL of his other T-shirts have an assortment of cars, trains and emergency or construction vehicles on them but they didn't cut the mustard. Thirty minutes of non-stop crying - mostly spent in his room. Hub decided I should blowdry the T-shirt and just let him wear it (sigh), give in to the two year old, which I might add I didn't. He went to kindy in his digger and concrete mixer top. Granny K came in to the lounge in the early stages of things (shou had only been nutting out for ten minutes and I was just about to take him to his room because he was disrupting Marina feeding time and Marina and I were ending up with more breakfast on our persons than in her mouth). Granny K starts doing the seventy year old cackle laugh and telling Shou that its all right he could come and play in her room.

Steam coming out ears.

I tell her to bugger off and go back to her room and lock the door. I know I know, don't sweat the small stuff and all that....

Granny K told Hub she needed to be driven to the hospital - ten minutes before she wanted to leave. Hub asked me and I refused and said that it was his mother and he could bloody well take her. Had wicked thoughts of ringing up doctor and asking to substitute Osteoperosis (sp??) meddy for arsnic.

Marina and I took Shou to kindy. When we arrived he promptly forgot about the person who pushed him into the world and was far more intrigued with the lizard and grasshopers the other kids were trying to catch.

Marina came home and went straight to bed and I did half an hour of step your way to a fabulous new you workout. Didn't go out at all. Did spend an hour or so on computer trying to sort out tickets home. Travel agent came back with all Seoul to Auckland flights are fully booked. Korean Air would end up being about seven thousand dollars as opposed to Air New Zealand's nine. We usually end up getting the waiting list tickets but for some reason I really want it sorted out properly this time - in advance so I don't have to be stressing up until two weeks before we go. There is a lot more to do this time - booking domestic flights, renting a car, renting car-seats and pushchairs rah rah. If agent can't find flights with empty seats then we will just pay the extra I guess. We won't be going home for another two years at least anyway - and definately no mini breaks planned for next year. Unless it involves a trip via a home to drop Granny K off.

You know those days when you question why you decided to live in a foreign country?? Yesterday must have been one of those days. I rang mum this morning but should have forwarned her what kind of mood was in and that I needed a 'oh darling, it's OK, everything will work out,we can't wait to see you .....' phone call. I think homesick moments are when you expect more from your family and therefore should refrain from calling them because they are never going to say exactly what you want them to.

Anyway, enough of a vent. I better put a bow in my hair and put on some lippy and rouge. A friend is coming shortly but am totally prepared - house is tidy, two loads of washing are done, brownies are cooling on the bench that has been shined to within an inch of its life, and refreshing lime juice cooling in fridge.

Right, green or yellow bow...

Monday, 28 July 2008

Mini Break??

Yesterday and today were our Beppu Fireworks Mini Break Extraveganza / Bonanza. Who ever came up with the word 'Mini Break' was probably a single working woman who thinks life is so hard that a three day weekend is the answer to all her prayers - a chance to drink too much, smoke fags on the side and shag her boss, who may or may not be called Daniel.

Last night was our first whole family 'Mini Break' away. Having a mini 'break' implies that you are getting away from normal routine and actually getting a 'break' of some sort. Think that families should be allowed to rename it to a 'mini more' as infact end up doing a lot 'more' than when staying at home. Families of toddlers and babies may call it a 'Mini fricken nightmare' and families of toddlers and babies and mother in laws are entitled to go the whole hog and call it a 'Mini fuck right off Break'

We have all arrived in one piece back in Kunimi - but only because I was not in possession of any crushable drugs that could slip into Granny K's green tea.

I knew from the start she didn't really want to go. Hub told her more than asked her. But still, it was a night away, a chance to do some shopping in Tokiwa, the department store to end all department stores in the eyes of anyone over sixty, and the chance to have a leisurely soak in a nice hot spring and spend night in fully paid for hotel. Before I go on, this will be a lengthy post so if you have just dropped in for a few seconds in between writing emails and ordering crap bollocks things you just have to have off amazon and the like then I appologise.

We left yesterday at about half one - timed so that both kiddies could have nap in car for two hours. Leaving the house got my slightly frazzled (defininte understatement) but we still managed to make it out the door in an efficient manner and I don't even think the neighbours heard my shouts of 'you're a grown man, how hard can it be to pack your own toothbrush??' (minus about ten obscenities in both Japanese and English'.

We arrive at hotel at just after three. Get shown to our room - two tatami rooms with an 'engawa' corridor waste of space bit (but perfect size for portable baby bed), toilet and century old bath and shower. The hotel was obviously very popular forty years ago. There were ornante vases and flower arrangements scattered around the room on low tables. I spent the first 43 seconds putting all breakable shite up high. The young lady who showed us to our room - casually slinging 12kg porta cot over arm (which may well cut all circulation) - then proceeded to pretend to set the aircon and pour the three adults some HOT green tea. Hmmmmmm. I know it's probably in their employment manual but do we really need three hot cups on the low table, with a toddler running rampage, in 35 degree heat, and an aircon that appears to be as old as the rest of the building?

Ten minutes later and we are all out the door - as is cooler outside and we are headed for much much cooler pastures, namely Tokiwa. Marina and I were meeting a friend for coffee at Starbucs, Granny K was just happy browsing - cause god knows it must be pretty 'in' to browse Tokiwa, and hub and Shou were off to the new 'YOUME' department store to bide time in the kiddies corner and eat shaved ice.

Marina and I met my friend from years gone by when worked at APU, a local university that claims to be a leader in the fostering and nurturing of international minded people cabable of working on the international stage. Ahem. Taken straight off marketing pamphlet. Might have mentioned before that she (friend from APU) is the sister in law of the man in Kunimi who is doing the dirty with a woman who is mother of one of the kids I used to teach English to. The man is married with three kids. His wife is the teacher of the daughter of the woman who is shagging her husband. The woman has a husband who is in China on business - for three years. All very very days of our lives. Anwyay, a grande coffee frappucino later and we had swapped all necessary gossip - all very hush hush you understand. Marina was very intent on just sucking in second hand coffee fumes and listening to the cogs of 'inaka' (rural) Japan gossip in action.

Sooo, to slightly digress from mini break extraveganza news...

The wife has FINALLY kicked the husband out of the family house. He is now living with his mother, who knows what is going on but who tells everyone that her son needs looking after because he gets panic attacks - she can't talk about 'IT' because son starts hyperventilating, as you would when your life as you know it is about to change because you can't keep you small Japanese willy (just a myth by the way) in your pants. His eldest son is saying he isn't going to go to high school and instead wants to pursue life as baseball player. He HATES his father - even though the real reason daddy dearest has moved out of home hasn't been officially told to the kids. The wife, god love her, still really really loves her husband. Even though she knew about the affair she was shocked to find out that most of Kunimi also knew - and this led to her decision to kick hubby out - hubby who claims that he never really felt like he belonged at home anyway. Sob sob sob. Silly man. Sort that out before you start frequenting the neon palmtree love hotel two towns over aye?? As far as gossip antenna can pick up the two lovebirds have not seen each other since he was kicked out of home.

Anwyay, enough rubbish. Back to the important stuff...

After my coffee I went back to the hotel to feed Marina. Hub, Granny K and Shou decided to go off for eel (Granny K's suggestion). However, it started raining something chronic, thunder and lightening, the works. So, the three of them decide to stay in Tokiwa. Apparantly Shou acted slightly disgracefully - quite like a two year old would, which led Granny K to say, on their return to the hotel, that she was not going to look after both of them so that Hub and I could go out. The plan had always been to put both kids to bed and then go out - in fact the going out bit for us was the highlight of, and almost the decision behind, spending four hundred dollars for the night away. We were going to go to some of our old haunts back from the days of when we were young and in love. Actually I take that back. Hub was never young.

So, after they have had their nice hot spring I put Marina to sleep and Hub and I take Shou down to the fireworks. Half the population of Beppu and possibly the entire prefecuture is there and so the heat, combined with the bloody push chair and the long lines for the 'nama' beer (on tap) didn't make for a night of holding hands and oohing and ahhing at the fireworks. Hub went off in search of beverages and Shou and I made a mad escape back to the main road to try a different route. We ended up with luke warm can beer and a ten centermetre slab of concrete to perch my big ass while we waited the extra twenty minutes for the fireworks to start. Once they started though Shou was enthralled. We stayed for half an hour and then took advantage of Shou's good mood, despite being two hours past his bed time, to head into town. ALL the old haunts were closed (Sunday night) so we ended up at beer restaurant where we had a few cervasas and some fried chicken, chillied shrimp and cheesey potato. Was actually very nice and Shou remained entertained by seeing how many toothpicks he could poke into the salt shaker.

We arrived back to the hotel in good spirits to find that Granny K had been sitting the whole time with Marina asleep in her arms because she cried when she tried to put her to sleep on the futon' and she couldn't reach down far enough to put her in the porta-cot - which was a bit baffling because how did she get her out of the cot in the first place. She obviously only pulls out the go go gadget arms when she feels like it. Marina was fast alseep so I put her into her cot and we got ready for bed. Shou went to sleep witout much of a hassle but spent whole night trying to sleep horizontally across all three pillows and sleep talking about his toy police car. Needless to say hub and I got very little sleep.

The buffet type breakfast was another saga on its own. Somehow managed to feed shou while Marina was sucking back a bottle after being feed mash in the hotel room.

Hub decides we have to go to 'Rakutenchi' an amusement park built in the seventies on a hill in Beppu that is closing down at the end of August (hill not closing down, amusement park is). We go. Shou has blast in run down ball park while daddy takes a nap.

Granny K was outside entertaining Marina.

This photo is scary. Marina is definately part 'Granny K'.

We stayed for about an hour, saw some penguines, a couple of monkeys, some flamingos, rode on the thomas the tank engine bumper car (was highlight of trip)and had some shaved ice and icecream. We then had to carry the pushchair back down the stairs to the cable car - the only way to get up the hill.

We then departed Beppu and both kids slept the whole way home. It may not seem that was such a disaster - and in some ways it was some fun, but there would have been a lot less 'you stupid old bitch' moments had Granny K not been present. And at the end of the day we didn't get our 'lets go out and have some drinkies and bring back the love' time alone together anyway. I know I probably sound selfish that that was why we took Granny K with us in the first place but god the woman complains about everything (says I who has just finished blogging long list of complaints!!).

It's too hot to be driving all the way to Beppu
The hotel is too expensive (she wasn't paying for anything anyway)
It's too hot to have a hot spring (I agree but she is Japanese- she was born in a fricken onsen (hot spring)
I don't feel like anything for dinner but I guess if we have to I could force down some eel which I actually do like but only if it's on a bed of rice.
No way can stay in hotel room with two sleeping children even if am only phone call away and five minute walk for us away if either of them so much as 'ahem' in their sleep.

Anway, here we are. Everyone else is in bed. These times make me want English more and more though so I am waiting to watch 'Regensis' at 10 o'clock, even though I did spend a very enjoyable couple of hours this afternoon at New Zealand friends house for her son's birthday with Shou. Was good fun - so much so that blogging about it would spoil effect of Granny K being the worst Mini Break companion in the history of mini breaks.


Saturday, 26 July 2008


Not quite jiving round the living room to Saturday Night Fever but it has been a pretty good hot summers day. Took Shou to kindy and was going to go with hub to Beppu so could look for car seat for Marina - but hey - why spend three hours in the car when I could stay at home and have snuggles with my princess. Hub had a union lunch bollocks 'we need more wages' roar roar meeting in Beppu.

Marina went down for morning nap at nine (had been awake since half five) and so I went into our room and put on cooler and spread eagled on the queen size bed for an hour and a half!!! Unheard of. I was so revived from power sleep that the half an hour I had before Marina woke up was super productive. You know (women) those times when you have ten things on the go - making baby food boiling veges in the pot, hanging out one load of washing while another is in the machine, trying to core rhythm to Macy Gray but realising Macy isn't quite Latin enough to samba too ... rah rah. You know what I'm talking about.

Then someone's brothers uncles cousin turns up and Granny K 'tells' me to give him some watermelon. I had of course already given him (without being 'told') refreshing lime suqash refreshment with icecubes clinking in lovely crystal glass. He is I think Hub's second cousin. He lives about five kms away and grows veges - is forever telling me he will bring me over some fresh basil!! Bring it on. Pesto, baby, Pesto. Have yet to see any basil. God knows what he does with it all. Its not as if basil is a daily ingredient (actually Granny K has never ever had it) in the Japanese diet.

Marina and I met friend for lunch at revolving sushi place. Am now VIP customer. Marina coo-ed for the waitresses and gave the head sushi man a gummy grin. Yes, at nine months exactly she still has no teeth. Never mind, menu is a lot easier when food is all mash. She had watermelon, kiwifruit and banana mash for breakfast this morning. yum. Kiwifruit seeds went in one end and straight out the other but I think the green bit got absorbed somewhere.

We got back from lunch, coffee and shopping and she went straight to sleep and I sat down and thought about dinner for half an hour before going to get Shou. We had cold Chinese noodles on deck. Not cold because couldn't get everything organized, but cold because that's what the way meant to be. Hiyashi chuuka. Marina of course was having spud and vege mash which she hurled up - product of getting fed dinner while in bouncer. REALLY NEED to get the highchair her dinner (not regurgitated vege mash cause that would be gross - went for some banana) after her bath and then she went straight to bed with bottle of milk and have not heard a peep out of her. Hub is upstairs at moment putting Shou to bed.

Hub has the river burning bonanza tomorrow morning from 6am, followed by weed-eating extravaganza until lunch time, after which he will come home and have lunch and shower and then at about half one we will all pile into the family wagon and head to fireworks bonanaza extravaganza in Beppu!! Yeah, baby, yeah.

I should probably get all the shite needed for me and toddler and baby to spend night away. Hopefully hub remembers to pack spare pair of undies and aftershave, because multitasking packing a 40 year old's undies is doable but not desireable. Must encourage independance.


PS - Granny K must think I am last known survivor of great potato famine cause she has grown a whole paddy of spuds and I have to have spud on menu every day to get through them. Also have tomatos coming out ass. Anyone have a good tom sauce recipe??

Friday, 25 July 2008

Umeeee (yum yum)

Have just raided last year's umeshu (plum wine) stash from under the stairs - coolest place in house. The plum I just had could possibly be stronger than about ten tequila worms. Will do the gagging for water test in the morning. Will be highly impressed if one glass of my homemade umeshu can throw me more than last Friday's efforts though.

Hub is working late tonight. The kids went to bed with little fuss so I...

have been left to my own devices.

Unfortunately, a glass of homemade umeshu is about as left to my own devices as I can do, what with the lack of wine, cheese and crackers, chick flicks, or ...

So in daily news, the photo shop rang to say they had developed the photos - and they were just lovely - but that they were about one mm out of passport photo specifications and so she was going to re-do them and they would be ready on Monday. None of this sit and wait passport photo stuff for Kunimi. No Siree. Unless you want to sit and wait for three days. I think she was hoping I would say 'sesh, a mm. don't worry about it'. But I have had passport applications sent back before because the photo wasn't spot on. Will probably take next couple of days to copy PDF application form from hub's computer to my computer and then print out anyway. God, you would almost think I was technologically stuck in the 90s. Early 90s. Minus the scrunchies.

I thought our four year old talking metalic fridge was going to pack a sad this morning. The side of it got really hot. Not like burnies hot, but more like menopausal (sp??) middle aged woman hot flush hot. By the time I got round to thinking about getting the warrent out and having a look it had cooled down again! Yay for that.

Rang another travel agent this morning. Lady sounded a lot more helpful than silly tart yesterday. Fingers crossed is all go.

Oooh, Hub just home. Boss asked him at four oclock this afternoon to do something he (boss) needed by monday. Not even hubs area. Not happy chappy. But within five minutes of walking in door thy lovely wife had thy lovely dinner on thy table and thy lovely beer in thy lovely menopausal fridge cooling!! He is, as I type, badmouthing thy boss!! Breath in.... breath out... breath in..... breath out....

Is almost over I think...

As talented multitasking woman I can type blog and be sympethetic wife (in Japanese) at the same time.

He just said (and I quote word for word)

I should change the teeth before I have a beer and bath


As a talented multitasking woman I can put this piece of the puzzle together becuase I know that thirty seconds after walking in the door he was reminding himself and me that he had to be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning to do weed-eating (cutting grass) for the local 'town revitalizing' group. The teeth - same word for blade - as in the blade on the weed-eater. We have soft plastic lawn cutting blade on and he needs to change to heavy duty cut all the crap out of the river blade. May in turn sound confusing that he has to weed-eat the river - but is really just overgrown creek. Once a year they slash and burn the crap out of it so the water flows like beer on a pub crawl into the paddie fields to feed the rice.

About the 'town revitalizing' ....

start small...

that must be Kunimi's moto.

For me, town revitalizing would involve building a starbucs and at least a ten metre stretch of road where I could go and flash my boobs for pocket money to pay for the tickets home. Although, come to think of it, the old men in the local 'snack' whiskey joints may be partial to the odd boob flashing for a one coin donation :p. And if that didn't work the man from the license lecture might be partial...

Ooh, hub has finished changing his teeth.

Should I get beer out and pour into pretty glasses and pretend are civilised couple?


Skull straight from the can and trash the boss.


Half an hour later - HUB poured beer into pretty glasses and together we bad mouthed the boss!! Although I, in mad person like gesture panic about stupid boss, knocked over my glass. Led to trip (futari de)to shower off spilt beer :-). Think boss has been forgiven!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Gold Baby Gold!!

Got my new licence on Tuesday and it appears that my recent run in with the speed camera and very efficient payment of hefty fine have gone under the radar of the licence people, in particular the silly young woman on reception - who when I turned up for the hour long lecture that is compulsory when you change your licence, told me...

Silly woman: You have brought your baby with you haven't you?
Me: (Stupid tart - I have baby on hip so is pretty fricken obvious havn't brought pet poodle.)
Silly woman: If your baby starts to cry or make a fuss you will need to leave the room and come back another day to take the lecture.
Me: ...

No thoughts even for that. The nice man taking the lecture took me aside at the back of the room to tell my boobs that he didn't mind if Marina got a little excited.

Fortunately Marina was angelic - enough so for silly woman to make comment at end of lecture about how cute my baby was. I just smiled as was still in state of shock from getting gold licence.

The hub has put on a bit of pork lately - which is in part due to ordering his lunch every day. I went back to making his lunch this week. And, I was about to add a pic here but I have lost my add a picture link at the top of this page. Bummer. Piece of shite technology that calls itself Hub's computer.

Friday - hub's computer having a good day.

Speaking of which I had chance to do a translation this weekend that would have netted me about a thousand dollars. It was a first in first serve thing and I spent an hour trying to download the bloody PDF file and when that didn't work saving it straight onto my memory stick to open on my reliable (but not internet connected) Mac. What a huuha. Still didn't get it sorted which I guess is good as if I had got the job I would have been a mess for our fireworks extraveganza mini break in Beppu on Sunday night.

Rang travel agent yesterday to start the ticket process. The lady I usually use has retired and (another) silly tart spoke to me. She wasn't unfriendly, she just didn't go out of her way to be very helpful, basically telling me that everything on Korean Air was on a waiting list already (despite the ticket prices and schedules not coming out till October!!), so did I want to try another airline too? Which I don't really as can't afford Air NZ or Singapore and have done the route through Seoul so many times that don't want to do a completely new one with divil child, just walking princess and husband in December. The waiting lists usually pull through so will just keep fingers crossed.

Took Marina in to get her passport photo today. Going to pick them up tomorrow (quick service in Kunimi!!) and then sort out Japanese and New Zealand passports.

I have been yawning for hours. I better get to bed. I think will have to put aircon on for an hour or so tonight. Way too hot.


Monday, 21 July 2008

Another disgustingly hot day. The whole family had to shower and bath at four o'clock cause all very smelly - most of all Marina's head. For a bald baby she sweats an awful lot. Probably good thing she doesn't have hair yet. When I say the whole family I mean minus Granny K. Not quite into family bonding time in the bath with the mother in law.

I went out last night...

Without any husband...

or children...

for dinner and drinks at friends house.


Got lashed .....

and came home at midnight ....

woke up this morning dreaming of water...

Had vague recollection of the words 'divorce papers' being thrown round last night after I got home - not because hub pissed off I was out. That would have been stupid considering it was him on Friday night.

Hub slept downstairs - which was nice as meant had whole queen size bed to drunk self. He appologised for last night - and so did I because obviously these things work both ways. Not exactly sure what was all about and hub declined to elaborate! I know me when I get a bit pished (well, I have other people's stories and vague memories) and know that I would have been winding things up.

Anyway, we had lovely family day today - albeit with me not being able to stomach sight of food until dinner time, something that hasn't happened since wild 90210 days in Beppu. I took Shou to Solar Panal Man's house to play with their son Tyson. Shou had great time playing in paddling pool in back yard.

He must have slid down that slide about thirty times. Only a few bumps and bruises from trying to climb up slippery slide. We got home, had some chow and then hub and kids had nap while I finally did latest invoice for articles. Came to over a thousand dollars which is half a ticket home - yay yay!! They have new native English speaker starting tomorrow so am thinking work will be slowing down a bit. Nevermind, will be nice to get my nights back.

Marina woke up in great mood just gagging for some time in the jolly jumper.

Oooh, Sream 2 has just come on cable. Absolute shite. Gotta love it.


Saturday, 19 July 2008


Have just finished last of three articles had to finish by Tuesday - as in tuesday coming up not tuesday been - which would have meant was lazy bitch sitting on big ass all day. Instead am highly organized powerful woman. Well, highly organized in that articles finished and sent ahead of schedulek (oops, extra k on schedule makes me sound like am from some eastern european country). Powerful in that I rule the Aramaki roost. Also maybe could possibly add confident, long legged and perky - but then we would all know I was on drugs.

Had Shou's kindy fiesta extravaganza last night. I took Marina - thinking would be ample people to hold her while I was doing things with Shou. No such luck. Things started getting a bit scratchy in between passing out the curry to the fifty people there and the twenty minutes it took for everyone to get their plastic spoons, cups of juice, pickles rah rah rah - how long can you keep a two year old waiting at six thirty for his dinner - when it is sitting right in front of him??

We had to depart just before the fireworks were meant to start. Got home, did the bath thing and then got them both to bed and dreaming about sugar plum fairies by nine o'clock.

Hub was out on the lash with the boys - the same people he sees every figgin day. I thought it was a whole office thing but apparently not - just the tax boys and girl. Everyone at kindy festival asked where hub was - majority of other kids had both parents there and definately no shady excuses like out drinking with the lads.

Hub had to have a two hour nap this morning and another this afternoon to help recuperate from night out. Slept more today that Marina!! Nice for some.

I don't want to deny hub his stress release nights out but have put foot down that kids things take precedent - even if said night out has been on calendar longer! Hub thinks he is hard done by because I don't let him go to EVERY drinking thing. He still has on average at least one a month - but more like one a fortnight and possible one or two a week at busy times of year - like just after tax season. Then its drinking dinners galor - every man and his dog has to go and pat self on back for making it through busy tax season. Rah rah, we are tax men, rah rah, we deserve beer, beer and more beer, possibly followed by some shochu (japanese alcohol made from potatos or wheat).

I am stay at home mother, I deserve wine wine and more wine, possibly followed by piece of cheese on toast or packet of salt and vinegar chips - if had any.

Right, i better get in the bath and wash the day away. Has been over thirty degrees every day for the last two weeks and not looking to let up. Excellent.


Thursday, 17 July 2008

Day Three

Just quickly

Had my three English classes today. Somehow managed to do a couple of articles too, make some dinner, do some washing, tidying and even a trip to the supermarket. Marina got looked after, fed and changed in between that too. I even think she got enough attention from mummy to not feel too neglected and down on the list of things mummy needs to do. Shou got the usual morning and evening routines but think hubby missing out a bit - although we did all have alfresco dinner on deck.

Marina was in fantastic pink summer beach dress and matching bloomers today. Was far too cute for staying at home - hence trip to supermarket to weezle as many 'cute baby' comments as possible in ten minute trip round supermarket for tofu and bread.

Am about to head for the bath and then bed - was really hoping a nap might be in the picture today but who has time to sleep during the day??? far too much to do. Today that is. Maybe Marina and I can have nap together tomorrow. Tomorrow evening is the kindy dinner thing. Is meant to be raining so I guess there goes the fireworks. Should be fun anyway. Must remember to charge camera battery.

Hopefully be able to post a pic tomorrow night - but then am not holding breath for four days posting in a row.

nighty night


Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Two days in a row!!

I had English this arvo - had to have a go (as in 'sit on your cushion right now or there will be no sparkly car sticker for you young boy type thing) at one of the six year olds who had a go at me and my boobies. I don't teach my English classes in a bikini top (probably illegal in Kunimi)but will definately be wearing turtle necks from next week - in thirty plus degree heat could well help weight loss cause!!

Had another class this evening - I doubt they learn anything anymore. They used to but now they are bolshy thirteen year olds and coming here for English is chance to play up and be silly bastards. They are getting better at English Poker though :p Don't worry, I don't dish out green visors and cigars. Is only the last ten minutes of an hour long class.

Hub was alright-ish today. He did say he thought coming home and being at home was no fun at all. A few years ago we had the same argument - or rather he said the same thing and I reacted completely differently. Last time I was on the phone sobbing to mum, wondering where I was going to find a job when I moved back to NZ rah rah... Now....

Bloody men.

All me me me me me.

Sorry hun, but two kids come before you, and even though you are helping, sometimes it really is just causing more shite to deal with.

Now I know - or rather, I tell myself every day - that these hard years when the kids are little - thy should forgive stupid comments and nonsense bullshit fights with thy husband. If they keep going on after kids at school then things can get serious.

Right now though - hub is still the very bestest father of they kiddlies and on nine days out of ten I still think he passes good hubby standards.

I should probably head to thy marital bed...

I might even get lucky!!


Tuesday, 15 July 2008


Hub has just finished a plate of pasta and salad. Wonder if he will plonk dishes in sink or wash them... I even wasted a glass of Kim Crawford Merlot on him. Don't know why really. He has been pushing all the wrong buttons since he walked in the door tonight :(

He emailed at 5:19 to say that he was going to get his haircut - ie; not at home for the dinner and bed routine. It usually only takes an hour though if you have booked - which he said he had (sly check of cell phone later revealed he had rung hairdressers at 5:17). So, I did the dinner thing and was quite succesful in getting two empty plates. Come half six and hub isn't home...

Has just carried dishes to sink.

... so, me and the kids jump in the bath as easily as you can jump into the bath with a two and a half year old - while holding a slippery eight month old. All fun and games though. We draw on the wall a bit with bath pens - well, mummy draws snakes and busses on demand. I imagine that Granny K is in there now washing the walls down - as I didn't get chance to wipe them down while gracefully jumping back out of bath...

I can see some bubbles in the sink. Looking promising.

... two kids bathed and dressed and hub still not home - I mean what is he doing - getting extensions put in for christ sake. His hair is short anyway and he said he was just going to get the tops and sides trimmed. Nice. Leave a nice mullet at the back then aye!!

Seven pm and Marina gagging for bottle and bed so thats where she goes. Half past seven and hub pulls up.

Me: that took a while. Did you spend an hour at pachinko on your way (nasty - but pissed off and tired after long day - something hub thinks impossible for stay at home mum)
Hub: loads of people. grunt. fart.
Me: I thought you booked.
Hub: did.
Shou: pee paw pee paw pee paw (said while looking at book about emergency vehicles)
Me: mmm, there's a police car, and look, a fire engine too. So, could you not have got your hair cut on Saturday morning when Shou is at kindy and well, there is usually a bit more peace in the house? Or did you JUST HAVE TO cut your hair before your drinking thing on Friday? Who are you trying to impress? (nasty - but pissed off and tired.... usual drill)

.... ooohh, dishes all done - several brownie points as done without any 'hey look at me, I am man and I am standing in kitchen washing plates, grunt. fart'

Anyway, after small 'discussion' on haridressers and how nice it would be to spend two hours at one - especially as he confessed a whole hours was spent just waiting and chatting with everyone else and flicking through mags. I don't even know what 'flicking through mags' is anymore, let alone talking with 'everyone else' - I sit down at computer to start translation that needs to be in by tomorrow morning. What do you know and the bloody fire siren blares out - speaker five meters from our back door. Shou is in fire siren heaven. Hub looks almost pleased at having excuse to get out of bedtime duties. Goes upstairs to change and then spends five minutes looking for his hat - which he can't find and starts to accuse me of doing something with (hmmm, boiled it with the rabbit darling). Notice it on top of pile of stuff he has hurled out of hall cupboard. Daddy tells Shou he is off to fight big dangerous fire (a house on fire), mummy tells Shou daddy is so courageous that he had to spend ten minutes looking for his fire hat (is cap not helmet so not going to save new haircut or big head from anything) instead of racing to scene of fire to help save life!!

Ten minutes later and he is back - fire put out before he even got there. Oh well, at least he had his hat.

Shou was still up so daddy did end up doing the bed routine - even if it was with a few 'come on shou, mummy is very busy with work' comments on way up stairs.

Enough already. Not getting divorce papers over that kind of shite - although it really winds me up.

In other news. Shou was back at kindy today which was just as well as had four loads of washing to do after weekend of two kids with temperatures - on top of two washes a day every other day anyway. Need bigger washing machine.

Had English at the primary school today. Went well considering held in third floor classroom in 33 degree heat. Was going to try and get organized for my Wed and Thursday english classes but really think bath and bed are more important at this stage. Will just have to wing it as per usual. God, I would be mortified if one of the parents suddenly said they wanted to stay and observe a class.



Sunday, 13 July 2008


Ombu means 'to be held' in Japanese. Tis what Shou has been saying to me ALL DAY. Marina woke up this morning a box of fluffies but Shou woke up with 41 degree temp. Yippy Yi Yay. I guess at least we finished with one before the other one got it.

Marina was a model younger sister of brother with temperature all day today. She didn't fuss at all and seemed quite content to see how high she could bounce herself in her bouncer and watch Bob the Builder and Cars on back to back repeat - not through any choice of her own. Shou was going between 'ombu' and 'Bob' and 'McQueen'. I feel like I have had lesson in swahili or outer mongolian - obviously not reserved for middle of the night babble but also for very sick two year olds. But by end of day I feel quite confident at being able to decipher anything from lift me up mummy, bob I want bob, no juice no juice, yes juice yes juice (said two seconds after no juice), mama isshoni neyo (mummy, lets nap together) right through to 'hebi, papa shite, kawaiso' (snake, daddy did it, poor thing) - obviously high fever induced hillucination of seeing snake being chased by daddy with a garden rake. Was quite proud of self for guessing that one right first time round.

So anyway, come seven pm and Shou's temperature hasn't gone down at all - the bum bullets worked for about two hours - during which he was 're-born' and trying to run round and do everything he had been thinking about doing but been too knocked back for six to be doing. We took him to docs - same doc that saw Marina yesterday. She must have the weekend shift. Bummer. Anyway she confirmed that same throat infection / temperature that Marina had. She gave us a few more bullets and some meddy for his throat.

Shou just woken up - hub gone up to try and settle him but me thinks there might be a 'mummy ombu' coming soon.

Best go and see to the poor wee thing.


Saturday, 12 July 2008

Auto Pilot II

Marina got a temperature yesterday - appeared to have no other cough/cold like symptoms so automatically thought was kidney related. Monitored it for the night - with a few bum bullets to keep the temperature down. She was extremely unlike herself though - and wouldn't go down on her own. Needed to be nestled in between a bit of boob to settle down. DNA from her father no doubt. Anyway hub got about four hours sleep and I think I got a total of about an hour and a half - half of which may well have been standing up swaying to self singing twinkle twinkle little star like a broken bloody record.

Dropped Shou off at kindy and proceeded on to the doctors where they tested her pee - which is I might add is as clear as a mountain stream and not a hint of anything sinister that would keep us in hospital for a week - like I thought we would be. Temperature appears to have been caused by inflamed throat - again. I will be glad when the operation is over and we wont have to drop everything as soon as she gets a mystery temperature. At least its always the same doctors and they understand.

We got home and Marina went down for a two hour nap and I surfed (or similar) to see how much would cost to rent house for two months in December and January. Found a wee place not too far from Mum and Dad's that doesn't have stairs, has a fenced yard and even offers a highchair and cot. Have made an enquiry as to whether will give me super duper flash boobies discount. Of course hub can't swan off to New Zealand for two months or THE WHOLE tax department, not just in Kunimi but possibly the ENTIRE world would come to a halt. He thinks this would happen if he was out of the office for even two weeks, let alone two months. So anyway, I put it past him that maybe he could come for a week at either side - ie; to help with the flights, which will no doubt be nightmare with two and a half year old and one year old. Although, if he can't do both ends then I will contemplate the challenge alone. I really really need some time at home, and with the ever bloody increasing prices it makes less and less sense to only go for ten days or so. Also, Shou is speaking like a desparate housewife on speed and ALL of it is in Japanese, so two months in an English speaking environment would probably be a good thing at this stage. Also means miss Japanese winter and get two months of New Zealand summer. Shou could start learning to swim, I could get a tan, maybe grow some legs up to my armpits, tint my eyelashes, read real mags every day, watch a bit of Shortland Street (is that still even on?). Bliss.

Shou got home from kindy today and was playing somewhere out of sight when I heard an excellent rendition of a two year old being scared shitless by a spider the size of a small pacific island. Definately DNA from his mum. Hub just pulled out the 'your a man, you can't cry over a little spider'. My God, Jackie Chan, The Terminator and Sly all rolled into one would freak at the size of the spiders here.

Hub is taking Shou to the beach tomorrow. He has a Lightening McQueen floatie thing ready to be blown up. I might ask Granny K to look after Marina for an hour or so so that I can go and throw my lard ass in the ocean as well. Granny K seems to be less and less enthusiastic about granny duties lately though, so she may well say no. I got a flat out refusal when I asked if she wanted to come to a kindy kids and families dinner and dancing thing at the kindy next Friday. Invited her because I thought she might enjoy it - and also because hub is out at drinking thing in Beppu and would have been nice to have Granny K there to keep an eye on Shou cutting up onions or to hold Marina for a few mins here and there. Far too tiring though. When I hinted at maybe leaving Marina at home I wasn't greeted with a fanfare of 'Yes, I will look after thy beautiful granddaughter', so figured easier just to take Marina with me. Besides, will be excess supply of teachers walking round twiddling their thumbs because all the kids have their parents looking after them. Am sure can pawn Marina off to one of them for while.

Was similar thing when spoke to own mum today. Was first time I pulled out the 'am thinking about coming home with both kids for two months' thing. Definately no fanfare of 'would love you to stay with darling grandson who haven't seen for two years and lovely princess granddaughter who have never met. stay as long as you want. Mi case, su casa...' :( I don't blame them really, mum has had her go of looking after small kids, what with four of us, not that I would be arriving in New Zealand and the next day leaving my kids with her so I could go off on on a bender and catch up with friends. Besides, all friends have / or will have babies by then. Their house is on the market too - so being kept in very clean state so people can come and view house anytime. But then selling house in New Zealand real estate market at moment would be like trying to sell Granny K a leather mini skirt and knee high fuck me boots. So, hoping that house doesn't sell by Christmas.

Anyway, have a month or so before need to make definate decisions. Tickets home aren't even out yet. Watch this space.

Well, Granny K - aka Vestling meets the caped crusader (well, thats what she looked like when she took off for vege patch this arvo. Dressed in about ten layers of clothes (was thirty two degrees today!!) with towel wrapped round face and flapping out the back from under her straw hat with brim big enough to hold olympic cycling race on. Marina got quite a shock and had to do a double take before giving her a gingerly 'hmmm, not quite sure if you are my granny but you do seem to have similar eyes - seeing as that is only part of you can see' smile.) has just gotten out of the bath so I think I will hop in. A cold shower would feel nicer in this heat though. It is sooooo hot that I started sweating just looking at the Core Rhythms Latin Dance Workout DVD set that arrived on Wednesday.

I did the starter DVD on the Wednesday. Teaches you all the basic moves. Got stitch after about ten minutes. On Thursday I tried the full lengh workout but had to throw in the towel after 29 minutes. Yesterday I did the short 25 minute workout and sweat about two kilos. Today.... well, I sumba-ed my way to the fridge for an ice cold beer - does that count??


Monday, 7 July 2008

Just Quickly

Things not as bad in Aramaki house as yesterday's post may have led you to believe. Children didn't wake too much during night. Once for Marina - shove pre-made bottle in mouth and hit glow worm's tummy. Shou didn't wake up AT ALL until 5:12am.

After yesterday's smacking episode - and hub saying that doing the early 5am shift when he is tired (wo is me) is really hard and, among other things, I ended up saying that if he was going to get pissed off and smack Shou then I would do the 5am shift. So, convinced shou to play quietly in room (bout as difficult as imagine trying to convince Granny K to eat lamb chops and sing christmas carols would be) until just before 6 - when Marina decided to wake up. The three of us go downstairs for very peaceful breakfast and play session. Hub comes down stairs happy at 7am - whether from uninterrupted sleep for first time in ages or dreaming about sexy boob babe with legs up to armpits not sure. Who cares really.

Hub was late tonight but both kids went down fine and I even had mad never experienced before 'god, I love my life' miracle moment on deck this evening - Marina was in her walker thing chomping on one of Shou's toy car digger's, holding a nissan fairlady Z in the other hand and giving it a good bashing. Shou was having great time watching some absolutely disgusting Japanese insect with freakishly long antenni (you know - those things that stick out of the head). The Cayote Ugly soundtrack was rumbling in the background - getcha getcha getcha getcha one way or another ...

mummy had glass of New Zealand sav(need to make point of this in case anyone has forgotten, live in middle of fricken nowhere in rural Japan so a NZ sav comes at a price)in hand.

Granny K was down at the rice paddy (ie; not in the vacinity). MY GOD, Shou and I even danced round the deck a bit - he thinking mum crazy, mum thinking son very cute.

Shou just woke up - 10:45pm. Went up to give him some water. This was total sum of converstation.

Shou... waaaaaaa
Mum... Shhhhh darling. Do you want some water?
Shou... pu pu (broom broom - as in car noise not thing sweep yard with)
Mum... (digs round for nissan fair lady Z (has survied Marina bashing) in sheets.) Here it is.
Shou... slhfawytaurpprjajf (swahili?? outer mongolian perhaps???)
Mum... Mmmmmm (really no other response) shhhhh, na night.
Shou... snore snore.
Mum... creap out of bed
floor... creak creak
Shou... mamma mamma
Mum... (whips back to bed in record spead - pats Shou on back) shhhh, shhhh, shhh.
Shou... snore snore.
Mum... (miraculously misses ALL creaky floorboards on way to door)
floor... (under breath - if she wasn't such a damn lardass I wouldn't have to creak under weight. Lucky for both of us CORE RYTHEM Dvds are on their way from amazon - unless silly cow just stashes them away under the stairs along with Billy's boot camp... bloody women)

End of interlude.

What was I saying? Oh yes, was having wonderful moment on deck. The world was good, life was as it should be - until granny K came back from paddy and told Shou off (indirectly telling me off) for running round outisde in barefeet. My god, the disgrace of it.

Hub has right this second reprimanded me for having one week past its best by date yoghurt in the fridge. Understandable - I am forever buying things and not using them all up. Is the way he tells me though - as if am five year old who needs extremely clear instructions. My response - if its past its best by date then can you not just biff it in the bin please. No.... will put back in fridge so I have to biff it out - and therefore be reminded of wastage. Hmmmmmm. Don't consider as wastage really as half of container helped in production of most spectacular train cake for Shou's birthday. Not my fault crap inaka (rural / backward / middle of now where) supermarket doesn't sell small size.

Oooh - in other news, had big ass hebi (snake) in backyard this morning. Fell quite ladylike (??) off wall and then packed big spazz because hub chased it with garden rake, before slithering into drain. Shou was enthralled and I doubt the kindy teachers got a word in edge wise all day today!!

AND.. Hub pulled the big 'no more children' card tonight - thinks he will have to do too much if have another baby. He then flicked TV chanel to the K1 boxing. I said I wouldn't be able to forgive Shou if he ever wanted to be boxer - Hub said similar, and besides doesn't matter as Shou will be soccer player or baseball player anyway. No time for boxing. If not soccer or baseball then next best thing is Gov. employee. Sure way to keep children from being able to spread wings. Voiced opinion as such. He said both Shou and Marina never allowed to leave Japan cause too sad for him. Which then prompted hub to say 'maybe should have another child - so then he/she can be the free spirited, leave the nest, greener pastures child'




really no other response to comment like that - apart from 'what a stupid bloody thing to say'

nighty night.

Sunday, 6 July 2008


As predicted, I had a blog relapse for a week but have come back in force. I have just gotten off the phone to a friend (Jo, you know who you are : ) ) and she has made things seem a lot more normal and am not feeling like complete mum failure anymore (thankyou). Mums of two year olds and eight months old must have these moments...??? Well, Marina is a princess. Doesn't answer back, no lip, no biting (but due to no teeth), no baka baka baka baka (idiot idiot idiot idiot), no trying to suck yoghurt off the carpet but infact making bigger mess ....... the list is just bloody endless. Trying to be promoter of the new New Zealand no smacking law but... who the hell made that law? A room full of men who spend their day surrounded by adults, having cups of coffee (the bliss) and conversations that don't include the word 'baka baka baka' or 'mushi mushi mushi' - idiot and insect - two of the same. But then room full of politicians deciding new laws to pass may well say 'you bloody idiot, you disgusting green jumping two winged eight legged good for nothing insect ...' Who knows??

Hubby smacked Shou on the wrist this morning. I know some of you probably thinking I am silly sap but I was still angry at hub. Doubled anger level when granny K decided to input some child raising advice to the tune of 'hitting child is good for child education - they need to learn'. Bad word about to come WARNING.

FUCK OFF Granny K!! Back away from the pissed off daughter in law.

Had to gently menouver her out of the lounge and close the door. After Granny K's tidbit hub and I both, at exactly the same time (synchronize your watches) said equivilent of 'shut up and bugger off' to granny K. Not a peep out of her for rest of day.

Hub and I have since had talk on Aramaki houshold smacking policy - basically when things are done that are dangerous to self or other person - fingers in sockets, trying to bash Marina on head with plastic baseball bat etc. Anything else to be dealt with using the 'time out' tactic. Think we reached some common ground. Yay of bloody all yays. Tired of thinking about it.

So anyway, about pic. Damn cute picture of someone elses' extremely cute boy playing on fort at park. Looks remarkably like Shou but I was far too pissed off at entire bloody world to take photo like this.


Off to bed to get three hours of sleep before devil one, disguised as princess, wakes wanting milk (my god, you still give your eight month old baby a bottle in the middle of the night - slap me on the wrist), followed an hour later by devil child 2, disguised as himself, Water mummy. Water mummy! Mummy doesn't come. Water daddy! Water daddy!. Daddy doesn't come. ScreAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM.

I know what you did last summer...


Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Rolling with the hommies

DJ Ozuma for those in the know on one hit wonders in Japan - 'Bounce with me bounce with me!!' One of mummies multitudes of cheap oversized sunglasses. All the better for bouncing with on the couch and bending the frame!

On the way home from kindy today - on the bike - I stopped beside the river to show him GE sized frog trying to disguise self as disgusting slimy rock. Very talented frog as Shou didn't really know what I was pointing at until it jumped (about a meter) in the air and into the water. Christ almighty I just about fell off the bike -which would have resulted in myself, said bike and said son, in river. Shou said goodbye to the froggie saying 'kaeru baibai, mata kuru ne' - equivilent to see ya froggy, I'll come back and see you. Was extremely cute - cutedar was almost maxed out - but went into red at dinner time - as per usual. Maki was at voluntary firebrigade (they meet on the fist of each month to do stuff like make sure the battery on the fire truck isn't flat), so I was sitting on the mat with my dinner in front of me on the floor, Shou sitting beside me at his little kids table trying to distract me with anything and everything, and Marina in her bouncer beside me rocking with her mouth open like a hungry underfed chick. Short of regurjitating (??) my dinner for her I tried my best to get all the pumpkin and spud mash into her mouth - very difficult when baby has figured out the physics behind how the bouncer works.

Solar Panel Man's wife and son came over to play this arvo - really was so we could figure out how much she owed my credit card from our Victoria Secret spending fest about three months ago. Hmmmm, forgot about that. Seemed so innocent at the time. We ended up with no underwear, sexy italian bras and panties, or teddies and instead got jeans and yoga pants, four inch heal espidrills and the like to the song of four hundred dollars. Shite, just about swallowed my own tongue trying to type that out. Luckily it was mostly hers so I make nice little three hundred dollar profit - profit in that my overseas bank account credit card paid for it a month or two ago so technically I have forgotten and am seeing as getting nice little windfall of cash. Her and hubby are coming round for BBQ on Saturday.

I was going to be good and do a couple of forty hour famines back to back before then but her mother in law came back from France yesterday and we inherited a nice wee box of French truffles. Am surprised I haven't thrown up yet. Will have to run marathon or two in dream.