Thursday, 31 December 2009

Himeosame & Happy New Year

This is what the gods at our place get to feast on as they welcome in the new year...
Hand pounded mochi rolled into rounds the size of small frizbee with oversized mikan orange on top, some toshikoshi soba (buckwheat) noodles, bit of rice, some fruit, beer and sake. This is what the normal people had...
Sukiyaki - probably had by a few households around the country tonight. We were planning on putting Ryu to bed and having a sukiyaki party with Granny K, Marina and Shou. Unfortunately Granny K was the only one that lasted the distance AND wasn't in and out of Ryu's cot all day. Shou and Marina had left overs and some sushi and were both asleep by quarter to seven - mainly due to Shou not having an afternoon nap and Marina running round like headless chicken in between climbing in the cot, getting told off, laughing at getting told off and calling all in sundry a 'baka tare' (only took one day to get her mouth round it!) SIGH.

Sukiyaki was yum - thanks to the superb ozzy beef, homegrown veges and top class eggs (that you have raw and dip everything else in). There was some Asahi and maguro sashimi thrown in for good measure. Granny K had three mouthfulls of beer and declared that she was extremely hot. I suggested perhaps was about the seven layers she had on in room with hot fire going, sitting infront of hotpot with sukiyaki. Turns out she only had six layers on - compared to my one!!

Hub is now asleep on the couch - no doubt not up to going to the midnight burn your previous years good luck charms event at the Shrine two hundred metres away. He usually goes with the other 'machitsukuri' lads and puts on sweet amazake for the boozy Shrine goers at midnight.

I wonder if he will wake up for 'himeosame' or perhaps after midnight for 'himehajime' :)

Hime is princess and osame is end and hajime is start. So...

Himeosame - last shag of the year.
Himehajime - first shag of the year.

If you time it right you could get two out of the way in one go. Tis hard when have aging husband. Would need to have both eyes on the countdown. Right love, away you go. Thirty seconds till midnight.

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone. I hope 2010 brings you all whatever it is you want it to - to shed a few kilos (or 15), to get better oraganized, to be a better mummy (sigh), to make it through the year with self and family in one piece - and all still residing under the same roof.

SDGH&QL

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Mochi and Wannabe Firemen

I am embarrassed to say that what I got today may actually warrent being called a 'sleep in'. I woke up (came to) when Marina, my grouchy morning princess, decided it was the start to her day. We went downstairs and whadda you know - it's 7am. I had to double check the clock on the wall. Is super-sonic GPS solar powered piece of fancy that got from Solar Panal Man's mum (as they don't just put up solar panals and dig wells, they also have a clock and watch shop).

Ryu was happily bouncing away in his bouncer and Shou was making up a story with his magnetic construction vehicle book that he got yesterday. Slap on my wrist. I have a few things to get us through the weeks vacation and found myself getting the first one out for Shou yesterday - only a day after he got his last Christmas prezzie.

I know, I know.

Starving children in Africa and all that.

But shit, I had to do what I had to do myself for survival yesterday.

So, kids fed and clothed and it is time to make Mochi - wahoo. That white sticky shit favored by many Japanese at this time of year. Personally, if I was in charge of the mochi making I would add some food coloring and make a batch of blue-tac.

We had no relatives coming this year so it was just hub and Granny K - she does most of the preparation (actually ALL of it) and then rolls and turns the motchi as hub pounds it with big wooden mallet. Only one lot being pounded this year.

Shou wanted a go of course - but couldn't lift mallet as weight of baby elephant.

They all rolled it into rounds - half as is and half with sweet bean shit inside (anko) - sorry. Am not a motchi fan myself. Everyone else was well into it though. Shou and Marina both had some and was small miracle that Ryu managed to stay off the mochi food chain line . Thank God. I don't think my baby food manual suggests going from pureed pumpkin to motchi.

While this was going on I printed out the last of the nengajo - Yay. They may have even made it in time to get delivered on the 1st. All I had to do was go drop them off at the post office. Was just hoping secretly into the car to do that when fricken siren one metre from backyard sounded - fire alarm. Hub looked almost pleased. We exchanged places and he went off to wannbe firemen pretending to be real firemen putting out fires.

Someone had been burning rubbish outside and it took to their garage and it burned to the ground - with tractor and combine harvester inside - which is of course better than wife and grandkids but still a big thing in Kunimi, where tractor and combine harvester much more willing to plow fields than wife and grandkids.

Shou of course wanted to put on hub's fireman hat and go with him. I relented slightly by piling the two of them in the car and leaving Ryu with Granny K while we went in pursuit of fire-engines. Kind of like those tornado hunters. EVERY SINGLE noddyland firetruck in Kunimi was there - about eight I think - plus of course the one big one which the real firemen have. We couldn't get close though so Shou had to be content with seeing loads of smoke and flashing lights. He wasn't happy. He wanted to be in the thick of it holding the damn hose.

Went and dropped the nengajo off at the post office, picked up some milk, and then we went home via the fire site again just so Shou could see it was all over and daddy would be coming home soon. Quite lucky man wasn't burning rubbish tonight - as all wannabe firemen would turn up half pissed after their drinking thing - which of course follows some tactical fireman training (putting on their gears and seeing how long they can stay in a straight line for).

After lunch Ryu got with the program and they all napped for two hours - hub included. It was so nice and quiet that I couldn't bring myself to nap as well. A cuppa and some of my new Marian Keyes book seemed like a much more productive way to spend the time.

There was talk of taking Shou's shinkenja kite to the park for a test run but the wind and rain picked up and Granny K wanted to hit the shops - ie get some carrots half price at the supermarket. They went and Marina, Ryu and I stayed playing with Chrissy toys and with Marina spending twenty minutes behind the couch while she did a crap in her nappy.
There was relatively no fuss at dinner and bath time and by seven forty five the kids were all asleep and hub was out at wannabe firemen practice slash dinner slash get on the piss and hope noone else burns their shed down in the mean time.

And me... I have some alone time. Time to hanker down for some serious nenmatsu (end of year) TV specials. Tonight - za gyoten news which is currently playing bit about a woman who ran from the police for 14 years. Good Wednesday night entertainment. If I was a good wife I would grab the pile of hub's shirts from the laundry and iron them.
Pity I'm not ;-)
Nighty night.
SDGH&QL

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Sleep In, To. Def...

Today was yet another example of why I pay professionals to look after my children six days a week. Some people have mummy flair - I'm more of a mummy in the making. Not going to be bloody good at it until my kids have grandkids and then I will know EVERYTHING.

Last night wasn't quite as bad as the night before - Marina and Shou slept through but Ryu was being a fussy tart. I remember an add from when I was little that said 'never shake your baby'. I probably used to think how odd it was that people would even think about it - and now. Now I get so close sometimes I have to shake myself to sort my shite out.

Hub did the breakfast thing and I got to sleep in.

Sleep In, To. Def - to enjoy thy bed and peaceful slumber for longer period of time than usual in the morning.

Sleep In, To. Def - (mother of toddlers and babies) ... the word you searched for could not be found.

My sleep in this morning was...
5am - Shou gets up and hub takes him downstairs. I didn't even realise.
5:30am - Ryu wakes up and hub brings him into the lounge too. I didn't even realise.
5:45am - Shou decides to wake Marina up and comes upstairs. Marina is not a good morning person and I hear everything but try to pretend I am still 'sleeping in' by hiding self under layers of duvets.
6am - Marina and Shou are in Ryu's cot AGAIN and hub gets them out. Loud voices, a few 'bakatares' (from Shou), a few 'bakares' (from Marina who can't quite get her mouth round the whole bakatare (which means dickhead)) and I get up through lack of any other choice really.

Awesome. My having to come downstairs four times last night for Ryu meant Hub got up with the kids first thing and I got to 'sleep in' for an extra thrity minutes. Fuuuuuuuuuuuck, I'm lucky.

This morning I had to finish the nengajo for his office - all new people and addresses from this year. He gets all shitty and I pack a sad that I am there doing the nengajyo for his office and could he at least entertain a child or two and pawn the rest off to Granny K. Half an hour later and we are ready to get out the door - via the post office - to the hospital so that hub, Granny K and I can get out 'parents of children under one year old' swine flu jab.

Takes way longer than I anticipated and had to use my whole days bestest mummy skills to keep them in semi order in the full waiting room. Which is why the rest of the day was spent telling them off - mainly for climbing into Ryu's cot.

After lunch Marina, Shou and daddy have a nap. Ryu went down as soon as we got back from the hospital and was therefore just waking up when the others went down. Sigh. How nice it would be to have a KY (kuuki yomeru - hmmmmm, English??) baby for once who sleeps when everyone else does. I decided to plonk him in front of DVD for forty minutes while I napped on the couch.

The afternoon was chaos, followed by dinner which was remarkably OK and the bath thing which was good, minus a few fights over Marina's teapot. Hub went off to wannabe fireman training thing where they stand outside in straight lines puffing their chest out. Following that they get in the noddy firetrucks and cruise round - they have just gone past us with a million bells a ringing, a thousand lights a flashing, aaaaaaaa lot of noise. la da di da and a partridge in a pear tree.

Ryu woke up. Dummy got stuffed back in. Ryu went back to sleep.

Only fifteen nengajyo to go - better get to it.

SDGH&QL

Monday, 28 December 2009

Festive Season Blogging

This must be the holiday season blog thing - slow down on the blogging or forgo it all together for festive season festivities and following day slogginess. God knows what will happen over the next six days when Gaijinwife kindy opens up 24/7. I will probably either have to throw the computer out the window or not be able to find it under the pile of cars, tea sets and nenga bloody (fucker, bollocks, shit, crap, all other obscenities) jyo.

I realised what may have been wrong with the printer - a choccy paper appeared from inside the cogs and was nice pretty one with santa and christmas trees on it. Took it out and all of a sudden things started printing straight. Great. Might finally have all the bloody things finished by tomorrow.

Anyhoo, yesterday we ventured over to Jo's for a post christmas get together and lunch with her crew and Rachel and her girls. Shou attacked the toy cupboard withing ten seconds of walking in the front door and proceeded to spend the best part of two hours playing with a Thomas the tank engine railroad set. He got a bit stroppy with Erica (Rachel's two year old), who told him to 'christmas tree' in a very angry voice - obviously Erica-go (language) for fuck off you twat.

I ate far too much and somehow managed to come away with left over Christmas turkey and gingerbread men - which didn't make it through the night I might add.

Last night was pretty horrific between Marina and Ryu - bastardy buggers. Was not asleep for more than forty minutes I don't think. Marina was having full conversations with her glow-worm at 2am - glow-worm that I had turned sound off on but which still glowed - smugly no doubt. Marina would push it to glow and then ask it if it was OK before telling it she needed to go to sleep. Replay times a fricken hundred.

I was so not in a happy peace with the world place this morning - I nearly cancelled my meeting with the man from the English school who keeps ringing me and whose calls I keep ignoring. But, my curiosity won over and I took Ryu and we went to meet him for coffee.

He's a bit full of himself - a lot of name dropping, his academic greatness rah rah. For someone who is so wonderful he sure doesn't google very well. Despite all this I have almost agreed to teach from Jan until the end of March, when we will discuss things from April. It is only two hours on a Friday with the addition of Wednesday mornings from April.

I'm not entirely convinced I'm doing the right thing as a very good source/s says he is crap to work for. I figure it's only about ten weeks though and then can bail if want to. Will be nice little bit of pocket money (not as much as really wanted and probably actually very shite considering high possibility class schedule will be changed) .

So after our meeting I came home and did some cleaning before the rath of six days of being able to do nothing, and then headed off to friend's sons's birthday in next town over - where I ate chips and salsa non-stop for two hours. Excellent. I am so starting the water and air diet tomorrow.

Best get off to bed for another fun-filled night of babies and toddlers who think 2am is perfect time to bond with glow-worm.

Oh, and a pic from Jo's yesterday - Ryu in between the two puppets that Rachel's girls got from Santa.

SDGH&QL

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Season's Greetings.

Merry Christmas, seasons greetings, joyous festivities, pished chrissy bubble snogs and herald all the angels harking.

I find the day after Christmas is always a bit of a downer. The lead up is so huge that impossible to keep the chrissy bubble bubbling over to boxing day.

The kids were spoilt rotten. They opened stockings yesterday morning before kindy. Shou's number one stocking filler turned out to be a long arm digger. Quite obviously more exciting than the wind up grass hoper that had too many festive beverages and lost it's wind. Marina's butterfly was on fire though and that took pride of place for thirty seconds before she unwrapped the angel wings - that she then wore to kindy.

They went off to kindy and I came home to tidy and sort things out - put prezzies under the tree, get the christmas dishes out. Went to find a wee something for friend at the local pottery shop. I have a lot of stuff from here and now it turns out, I have a lot more!

These are made by the owner's autistic son. He spends hours upon hours making figurines. Up until now I have really just seen a lot of monkies and monsters so was stoked to find some cute Christmas ones. The reindeer was thrown in for good measure at the end. I am wondering if could show boy pictures of three wise men, Mary, Joseph and baby jesus in a manger and get him started on a few thousand of them for next year!!

Went to pick friend up at lunch time and came home via the supermarket, ending up with bags of goodies for dinner so I wouldn't have to do anything except arrange it nicely on plates and tell everyone it was mine!

Hub was home at half five which was good cause Shou was just about to tear some wrapping paper - after first lining all the prezzies up in order of ones he wanted judged on size, paper and weight!! Prezzies were opened while we ate and Shou took an immediate shine to Marina's tea set - she took a shine to it too but really didn't stand a chance. Shou set about making 'yakiniku', 'udon' and 'coffee'.... yum!!?

No kids got bathed and were all in bed at a good time - enough for friend and I to open bubbles and gass until nearly 2am. Crazy. I should have been feeling a lot worse than I was this morning!

Had to take friend home after dropping Shou off at kindy - alone. Marina had her second normal flu jab this morning and the kindy didn't want her back for the day. Something about running round at kindy all day after her jab might lead to a temperature. She got free reign of her tea set and even Shou's fire rescue super tomycar truck exploding out wing thingy. While she was doing that I put away all the chrissy decs and hub went to give the ancestors a good scrub at the grave.

This christmas was probably the best one in Japan so far, no doubt thanks to having kids at an age that can enjoy the whole prezzie and Santa thing. Can't wait till they are all at that age. Also looking forward to a time when hub gets with the christmas program and buys me something I'm not expecting! Even Granny K got me something - 3,000 yen worth of vouchers for a local department store. She had written my name on the outside of the envelope and then crossed out 'sama 様' and written 'へ' instead! Oh well, I doubt I would ever address anything to her with 'okaasama'

We are out for the morning tomorrow and then there is Monday at kindy followed by six whole days of holidays. My god. I'm actually going to have to look after my kids for six whole days. What to do, what to do??

The house got trashed yesterday and I fear that after six days of the same we will be wading in knee high tomycars, tea sets, nappies and rolled up bits of newspaper, which for those of you without a three year old boy, is for 'rocks and dirt' for construction vehicle 'genba' (site).

Best hit the hay. Knackered. May Ryu sleep like a champion again - I got seven hours out of him the night before Christmas! Must have been dreaming of sugar plum fairies.


SDGH&QL



Thursday, 24 December 2009

Really Twas the Night Before Christmas...

Have just spent an hour doing damn nengajo. Would you believe the printer packed a complete spaz and for some strange reason I have had to print out addresses and hand write the post code. Have done the out of town ones and tomorrow will get about the local ones done - well, by Monday anyway!

I also spent an hour wraping and sorting out stockings for Shou and Marina. Some small prezzies, a couple of choccies etc. It will get left on their bed tonight.

It is hard sorting things out when they are at kindy everyday - I don't wont to let them unwrap loads of prezzies tomorrow morning right before kindy - or in the evening only a couple of hours before bed. Hub reckons we give them a prezzie each in the mornings until Sunday and then give them the rest! They have lots and have been spoiled rotten.

My afternoon English class was cancelled due to the oink flu, which I might add has reached our pre-school - which is joined to the kindy. Arrrgghhh. When I went to pick the kids up today the teacher asked me if I was going to keep them home tomorrow. The kindy and pre-school had a big eat together and play together thing a few days ago so if it's going round it's going round. That said, the kids that have it aren't the ones that Shou and Marina seem to 'hang out' with. If you can hang when you are three.

Time will tell I guess!

If they are both fine still on Sunday morning I still intend on coming over to yours Jo?? If you or Rachel are iffy about this then let me know and we'll stay home. Totally understand.

My evening English class came though and we had a Christmas thing - where we made paper foldy things and iced cookies. Despite being teenagers they actually enjoy this kind of stuff.

I have been thrashing Chrissy songs for the past couple of days and am even getting used to the shite renditions on my latest album. In a couple of years I think I will be able to talk to Marina and Shou about the reason behind Christmas. In the meantime I think I'll spend a couple of years looking for the perfect Bethlehem set - three wise men, Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus. Perhaps a few farm animals.

Growing up we had to make the nativity set every year - in a shoe box and using what we could muster up for the wise fellas and the regals. If I remember correctly we had the three wise men, Luke Skywalker and Princess Laya were Mary and Joseph, and baby Jesus was a lego construction worker minus his helmet. Awesome. We are so not going to heaven.

Nearly forgot - today went to Hub's work to pick up Ryu's passport. He had to appear in person to get it!! I dressed him up - kind of. He had on a red jumper and Christmas booties with Jeans. Hub took one look at him and asked why I had put him in Red - cause he looked like a girl. I said people the world over don't go round accusing Santa of being gay just cause he wears a red suit.

The rest of his office thought Ryu was cuteness of all Christmas santa cuteness. And he was. And I have the bestest photo of him with his new Christmas talking teddy but for the life of me have no idea where have put camera cord. And am in no state to look now so will have to wait till tomorrow or the next day!

Oh, made left over roast lamb curry tonight.

What NOT to make for dinner.

Hub ate it but the smell put me off. I LOVE Roast lamb but any other way and I'm a bit iffy. I made it for dinner but had to get creative with some cheese, bread, sausages and eggs for the kids.

Ohhh, is officially 12 o'clock

Merry Christmas!

SDGH&QL

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Twas the night after Christmas...

Well not quite but celebrating Christmas on the Emperors birthday and things start to get confusing. The Gods must have been smiling, or perhaps the Emperor, because today could have followed one of a million patterns that was worse than what it was but it didn't.

The BEST part of the day was the 37 seconds at 6am this morning when Shou realised Santa had left a box beside his bed. He had come into our room (Shou, not Santa) at five and was in sleepy haze enough to be coaxed back to sleep for an hour. Afterwhich I asked if he had seen anything in his room. He went and turned on the light and what do you know. He doesn't notice that three types of paper have been used to wrap it - or that the same paper was used later to wrap the prezzies for our friends that came over. His face was priceless. The complete and utter joy of knowing nothing but that you have been given the exact toy you have been asking for for months. It was magical.

Marina wasn't quite as good with the reaction thing but Shou kind of got her into it all which was good. Shou was almost as equally pleased for Ryu when mummy said she found a prezzie in by his cot.

They only got one prezzie each today - the big one. The public holiday for the Emperor's 76th birthday meant they had a whole day to play with it.

Hub got home at 2am last night. Wasn't impressed. He missed out on Shou's best ever Christmas expression which was his loss. He asked if he could stay in bed for another three hours - yeah right. For self-inflicted hangover? Sent Shou up after two hours to jump on him. The kids had been fed and clothed and needed entertaining while I sorted the house out and started to get ready for our afternoon guests.

All good though, got everything sorted. Lamb, spuds and pumpkin roasted, meringues creamed and fuited and eclairs iced and creamed.

Guests arrived at four with a bucket of KFC - as you do. I knew they were bringing it though as Chiemi had said her hub had ordered it a couple of weeks a go.

Great Christmas party followed and I would like to write more about it but there is a pile of dishes in the sink that need attending to. There is also a cold beer which I will be having by self as all other persons are sound asleep. Yay Marina - she went down straight away last night, nap today and this evening. Long may it last.

SDGH&QL

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Catch up.

Waiting for hub to get home - his third late night in a row. Sunday and Monday were work - and tonight is too I guess but since six it has been 'work with alcoholic benefits'.

We had some words about this last night. I said I wanted to go for a girls night in Fukuoka in February (with Ryu of course. God forbid the man and his mother have to look after three children for 24 hours, despite Ryu taking bottle) and this led to him saying that my going out for a night was completely different to him.

His is all work. He doesn't want to be actually eating fine foods and drinking fine beverages with his collegues. He would much rather be at home with three small children and a fat gaijin wife in a hissy fit. Alright then.

My debate line was that his job was taxes and it was OK to go out with tax men/wannabe firemen/workers union lads rah rah. My job was house and kids and therefore it should be OK for me to go out with mummy friends - god, the only thing we talk about is kids and useless husbands anyway. It is me getting out of these four walls to a different location.

We have agreed to disagree on this because unless he does what I do for a set period of time he will never 'get it'. I understand his argument - I've had the full time job in Japan and been expected to attend these functions. He hasn't had a piece of the house wife thing. Well, he gets a piece of me every so often but that wasn't really what I meant :p

We nearly had an argument over nengajo (news years cards) but he bit his tongue. Just as fuckin well or I would have bitten the bastard right off for him. My post codes aren't perfectly centered in the postcard set-squares on some of them. He said that and I just about ninja starred the 120 nengajo in his face. Not impressed. I suggested that perhaps I just leave all the post codes off and he can go and handwrite them all? Perfectly in the centre.

Anyway, what else.

We are on to day four of Marina in her new bed. Not the best time to start with day two, three and four being me on my own getting them all to bed. Day two was Sunday and she was asleep after twenty minutes of me telling her to stop grizzling and lie down or the hall light would go off/door would get shut. She hadn't had an afternoon nap which was our saving grace from an hour of back and forth.

Last night was a bit heinous. Fast forward an hour. I was going to wait to put Shou to bed until she had gone to sleep but she was pissing round so much that I took Shou up to bed at 8pm and had to say a few 'just go to sleep' Marina through the wall. She did. Cue snoring.

However, middle of the night and she wakes up complaining of poo. I am down stairs feeding Ryu so hub goes in and what do you know there are NO nappies in the house - only Ryu's ones. This is 100% my fault. I suggest there might be some in the emergency nappy ziploc bag in the car. But no, just small nappies and tampons.

Slam car door, times four.

Hub asks what he should do and I suggest using the swimming nappies we have in the top drawer. They are big size pull ups and we had about four packets of two in each so she just would have gone off to kindy in a swimming nappy in the middle of winter. Nevermind. Hub chose to ignore what I said and put her in one of Ryu's - which actually go up to 14kg anyway but which are tape ones not pullups. He doesn't have 'can change nappy in semi-darkness' skills like I do so had to put her room light on - bright damn fucker that it is. After changing her he left me to try and get her back to sleep.

No darling, we aren't reading the hungry catepillar at two o'clock in the morning.

No darling, Shou doesn't want your teddybear...

No darling...

Hub was not a happy chappy and so I slept in with Shou cause much warmer and lots more cuddles!

I have just finished making eclairs and microwave meringues for tomorrow. I was going to cut and par-boil (?) the roast veges too but can't be flagged. Coffee Chiemi and her boys aren't arriving till about three and hub knows he is on kiddy patrol tomorrow while I sort out the house, the roast lamb, the prezzies, the deserts, the drinks - shit, and the baby and self. Thank god I'm a multitasking female. I might even be able to do half of this with a glass of bubbles in hand.

Highly possible me thinks.

Tomorrow is our 'Christmas' and Shou and Marina will get there big prezzie in the morning so that it occupies them for the rest of oh, at least half an hour. I might have to elaborate on the night before Christmas story and say that due to time differences and jet lag New Zealand Santa arrived at our house two days before his kindy friends. They will get a stocking and some other things on Christmas day evening - not before kindy as that would be recipe for disaster.

Christmas was going to be a very low key affair - as in actual Christmas day - but arrangements today mean a friend will be joining us which is nice. The more the merrier and I know what Christmas not at 'home' is like. I have warned her that it will be Japanese chicken and sponge cake, plus some MOET, god forbid I went too Japanese and tried to fob sake or plum wine off as a Christmas beverage of choice.

My English class Christmas party for Thursday afternoon has been cancelled - or rather I cancelled it. One of the girls has been oinked, another's little brother has been and the others are all at a School where 5 out of the 30 students are away with it. Have told them we will just have a belated Christmas party in January. I think my evening class will go ahead though as they are all Junior High kids and I think they are OK.

I think that's about it. There were things over the last couple of days that I thought about posting but for the life of me I can't remember.

Better wash the dishes and wait for the 'very quiet' hub to return.

Bang, crash, pissed mutterings, bang, crash, snore, snore.

SDGH&QL

Saturday, 19 December 2009

A big girls bed at last.

The house is quiet - bar Bruce Springstein and John Foghurty (so not spelt like that. Looks far too much like yoghurt) belting out Pretty Woman on BS. The rest of the house is...

and...
and not...
but this was taken an hour before Ryu went to bed.

So, today was the day we took down Marina's cot and put her in a big girl's bed. Yes, well. Only took an hour and a half to get her to sleep!! We have put a gate over her door so she can't get out and try and get down the stairs in the middle of the night. She didn't climb out as much as I thought - just kept crying. I don't wont to get her into the habbit of going to sleep with one of us in her room - like Shou. So, I kept tucking her in, saying good night and closing the door. For the first hour anyway. Then we did controlled crying and she cried for ten minutes then five then three and then two and then zzzzzzzz.

Shou wasn't too impressed that he lost the roof off his bed (was bunks) but he went to sleep with daddy fine. I hope tonight was the worst of it cause up until now Marina has been my dream sleeper. If I was home alone putting all three of them to sleep on my own I could always count on Marina to have her bottle and got to sleep on her own. I have faith she'll pull through and get with the 'what mummy wants' program though.

Hub and I were going to be getting a load of firewood off Jo this morning but because of the snow yesterday and fact that firewood is still in trunk form on side of hill we decided too dangerous to go.

Was a lovely day today.

Could have gone afterall but might try and do it next Saturday.

Instead we went shopping and to sushi. I dropped hub off at silver ball heaven (lucky man) while I went and shopped for a matress and duvet etc for Marina's bed and for a Christmas prezzie for Granny K. She had pointed out a revolving (spinning? round and round? lazy suzy?) low chair that she wanted for her low table. It was only 6000 yen. I saw a much nicer one with a lot less bulk for three times that amount. I was very tempted but stopped myself as it wasn't the one she had cut out and therefore probably would have been flawed in some way.

Ryu and I did all the shopping - him with his monster hat on and getting lots of attention and me being well in the mood for it. Hub had a two hour time limit - unless he was raking it in and could win enough silver balls to buy me something sparkly for chrissy. He wasn't though so we picked him up and headed to sushi - which he paid for seeing as he did come out slightly better off.

On the way home he mentioned that he had a wannabe firebrigade start of new year overnight drinking thing and a one night two day work thing in January - the work thing of course including a dinner and on the lash thing that night. I didn't put up a fight, I just said that in return I would like a night away in Fukuoka (Illahee, Kuri??). With Ryu of course.

He got all narky and 'fine, stay for three nights I don't care' (Illahee, Kuri??) If I work on him I might get a week!

We then had to have a chat on responsibilities. He sometimes gets so dilluded that he actually thinks working overtime at a computer is harder than dealing with three small children on your own. He makes me feel like I should be fuckin grateful for having a night away from it all - when if it's him it's all for work or 'tsuki-fukin-ai' The argument ended when I told him to shut it cause he was the one that just spent two hours of pure him time while I went shopping for bloody christmas shit for HIS mother and our daughter and all the time holding, pushing or feeding Ryu.

In his heart of hearts he knows that the house and kiddy stuff is hard/monotonous/painful/stressful, but then he spends too much time with other Japanese men whose wifeys seem to do everything and still have time to stay skinny and vaccum the house in a full face of makeup. Not that hub expects this of course but still, some of his mates do jack bloody shit when it comes to child raising.

That was a bit of a ranty tangent sorry. Day was actually fine. Lunch at sushi was good and we went home via Tokiwa to send his two brothers, his uncle and a prominant figure of the Kunimi community who lives down the road 'end of year gifts' - namely, box of ham X 2, box of beer and some fish or other for his manic healthy policeman brother.

Also got started on the new years postcards (nengajo) today - got our address on all of them. Still haven't really even sorted the photo and I wonder how close this year's ones will bring us to divorce. Always arguments!!

Anyhoo, off to watch the rest of CSI Mongolia or whichever one it is.

SDGH&QL

Friday, 18 December 2009

Have put a lid on the black hole.

Thank you for all the reassuring comments yesterday - it is nice to know that I am not alone. It somehow makes those hard times that little bit easier. I was a long way from the side of the black hole today. Which was probably in direct relation to the fact that shhhhhhh, I got some SLEEEEEEEEEEP.

At Ryu's 11pm feed last night I gave him 120ml of formula followed by nomihoudai (all you can drink) boob. I then wrapped him up in so many layers he resembled one of those Russian Dolls where you take the top off and there is another one inside - take one layer off and there is another, and another, and another. I also put the heater on to warm the room up which meant pulling his bed out of the butsudan room and into the tatami room beside it.

He slept until 3am when he woke up and sucked my boobs inside out before going back to sleep for another three hours. He then slept for three hours this morning and two hours this afternoon - during which time I caught up on some zzzzzz as well.

So, I'm not sure it was being warmer or being fuller that led to more sleep but we will do more of the same tonight and every night here on in if it means more sleep. I woke up this morning feeling almost human.

I had nothing pressing to do today which was nice because it was bloody cold. Our first sprinkling of snow even...
Which melted by the time the kids came home but looks like we are in for a dump over the weekend - maybe even enough to get the gloves on and make us some snowmen on Sunday. I took the family wagon to the garage after the kiddy run and got the tyres changed to the snow tyres - which almost probably definately means that after this weekend we will get no more big dumps of snow this season!

I got the Christmas baking urge - which is one of the seven wonders of the world. I have no idea who will eat it all but there is something about putting some chrissy tunes on and baking! Today I made some dark fudge and some shortbread (so much for not thinking I gave a shit about shortbread at Christmas). Very bad pic...

Speaking of tunes. My new christmas CD arrived yesterday - WOW Christmas - 30 top christian artists and holiday songs. Not impressed. I spent ages on amazon looking at song lists. I didn't want all the new 'santa baby' shit - I have that already. I wanted the traditional stuff but not with all the songs gospelled to shite. My favorite Christmas songs are:
Once in Royal David's City
The First Noel
O come all ye faithful
We three kings of Orientar (?)
They just get me in the Christmas spirit - and I think we sang these ones at school too - no doubt along with some very bad renditions of:
Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree
Jingle Bells, and
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Has anyone got a really good Christmas CD they can recommend - quickly! So, I can still order it off amazon in time for next Friday - when Ryu and I will be home alone in front of the fire listening to tunes and talking to friends and family back home.
Speaking of my little Ryudolph...
This hat arrived today from the European Stylist - along with enough winter gear to see the Aramaki kids through the winter months. The hat has monster scales all the way back. Is quite possibly the most fantastic hat I have seen. Obviously, the fact that Ryu looks so damn cute in it too... ??
He is really getting into his food now and scoffed back lots of apple and banana today and is probably hoping mummy starts actually putting in some effort and mashing some other shit too. He likes his baby crackers too...

Hub was late this evening so I did the usual on my own - and did the usual harrass the kids to eat their dinner and get in the bath. I was planning on flagging the bath entirely - something we do when it just gets too much. The thing is that when they are actually in the bath they love it, especially Ryu. But Shou said he wanted one so in we went. I had to get a bit stroppy at them which lead to Shou saying 'mummy, Santa isn't coming to give you prezzies'. I asked why and he said it was because I was 'okorisugita' - got too angry at him. God kids learn fast don't they!
Anyhoo - a complete turn around from last nights post! I had a big talk to my sister. And, it was refreshing, almost therapeutic (??). I'm so glad she phoned and that we both had an hour without interuptions to talk. I don't know if she needed it but I sure did.
So, on that positive note people
Have a great weekend in the cold or the sunshine, where ever you may be.
SDGH&QL





Thursday, 17 December 2009

Black Hole Rant

I was in a dark place for an hour or so this morning.

Was nice and warm too as burried under futon in front of fire. Hub must have brought it in here in the middle of the night because when I came downstairs at 4am he was sitting on it with Ryu trying to calm him down. For the life of me I want some god damn hours of sleep. I had been up perhaps four times before 2am (once with Marina who is in serious need of upgrading to a big girls bed as her arms and legs keep poking between bars in cot) so when Ryu started AGAIN at about 3am I burried under the covers and told Hub I couldn't do it - or rather it was in Ryu and mines best interest for me not to.

Sleep deprivation, like I have said so many times before, really is hell on earth. It gets so bad I have random flashing thoughts of life without children again. I know this will pass but some days I curse the very leg that hub got over when Ryu came to be.

It wasn't just the need to lie down that had me curled up in front of the fire ealier though. I was also having a wo is me moment - no doubt fuelled by lack of sleep but what came about after phone call home. Thats bloody it. No more calling home. It costs me half my English class money every month to pay my international phone bill. No I haven't got skype and no I can't get it until the cable gets put in next April.

I blame myself though - I obviously have a 'need' to talk to home more than home has a need to talk to me. One thing led to another and we had a couple of disagreements -that I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on.

The first was about my brother who may, fingers and all bits crossed, be coming over next year for his best friend's wedding in Hokkaido - and then down to see us. At the moment he is back living at home and working like a dog for a company started by him and two sisters and not getting paid - like so many people when they start a new business. He knows he hasn't got the cash but is still thinking about borrowing it to come to Japan. I love this idea. I have even offered to lend it to him. I have all the confidence in the world that my little brother will be in an economical situation before too long that will allow him to pay ever cent back.

The thinking on the other side of the fence is that he shouldn't go on a holiday he can't afford right now.

Fair enough. Mum seems to think he is getting unfair pressure to go from me though. I agreed that of course I was encouraging the trip. God yes. I missed my sister's wedding and one of my best friend's weddings and I regret it. I also want to see my little bro. At the moment, and being entirely selfish, I would LOVE to have either my eldest sister or my brother come and stay. They could both talk me out of my 'black hole'. My eldest sister has three kids and runs a business so is unable to come. She will one day though and it will be great. I might get one or two of the nieces for the school holidays before then but that would be great too.

Another almost argument that stemmed from this conversation was about my own wedding. I got married here at the end of April. Hub and I went home for Christmas before that and my parents very generously put on a 'wedding party' for us at home. Fifty people, speeches, cake, catering, champers. I know this was instead of anyone coming to my wedding - well actually I didn't, but this morning mum said her and dad could have come but then there wouldn't have been a party. I loved the party - it was great but it wasn't my wedding. NONE of my family came. I think I get more upset about that now than I did at the time!!

Hormonal - tis another reason for the rant. My periods seem to have gotten worse the more babies I have. Better stop having kids or I'll have to work more hours to pay for an expensive neurofen addiction.

Isn't it times like this when the distance, language and culture factors just kick you while you're down?

Anyhoo, black hole only lasted an hour and half a box of tissues before I remembered I hadn't entirely scoffed my Christmas Cadbury supply. Friends have sent loads and it's lucky I'm already married cause the skin breakouts expected next week would mean I wouldn't get any action on Christmas otherwise.

The kids have loads of prezzies waiting, which I contemplated actually putting under the Christmas tree but changed my mind. Mainly because not even the decorations seem to be able to stay on the tree so damned if some fun looking 'what's in there' packages could stay unopened for another week.

I had the first English Christmas party yesterday. We colored in Chrissy Tree puzzles (as in actual puzzle that you color in and then can break up into pieces and do - thankyou FBC) , decorated cookies and ended by making balloon animals - as you do. There were a variety of requests and then a collective 'useless sensei' when I said their only choices were a rabbit or a giraffe.

Granny K came in at end of class time - as I was frantically twisting the back legs on a green rabbit and demanded we stop what we were doing and they all go home as Ryu needed a feed - and I obviously hadn't fed him enough beforehand as he was in a stroppy mood. So we finished up, I cleared away and then went to pick Shou and Marina up.

Dinner went fine but then, oh my god, cue gasping and sounds of ringing social welfare hotline.

I showered Shou - fully clothed. He was not impressed. I wasn't either. He was being a complete pain in the ass.

Me: come and have a bath Shou (as was on own and had to get him and Marina in the actual bath before could get Ryu and myself in)

Shou: don't want one

Me: OK, can you go to Granny's room for ten minutes then.

Shou: I want a bath.

Me: OK, come here and let's get your gears off then.

Shou: don't want to.

Me: OK then, can you go to Granny's room for ten minutes then.

Shou: can you take my top off?

Me: OK, come here then.

Shou: I can do it myself

Me: OK then, away you go.

Shou: I'm not getting in the bath.

...(two more minutes of the same)...

Shou gets picked up by me and plonked under shower to assortment of screams, cries and toddler obscenities. Somehow manage to get his clothes off and wipe him down before putting him in bath with Marina - where he does a good impression of a drowned rat and jumps out. Goes to toilet and I take his PJs in to put on. Five minutes in the nude of going back and forth between me putting PJs on, Granny doing it or him doing it himself. In the end he says he wants to get back in the bath. After which I briefly have to go and stick my head in the freezer to cool self down.

Ryu has been crying for a good five minutes by this time but perks up when he gets his gears off and mummy starts singing Splish Splash I was taking a bath...

On a completely different note - Shou came home yesterday with a prize - he got second at the local agriculture (JA) festival where all the kindies have anpanman pictures on display. He got a box of crayons and a 1000 yen book voucher. His coloring is ace. Very proud parent. But no doubt he has now been so traumatised by the fully clothed shower experience that all his pictures here on in will be black squiggles and holes...

that perhaps I can jump into if need be.

SDGH&QL

And sorry for the rant. Feeling loads better now. Cheers.



Wednesday, 16 December 2009

3 years & 6 months

By the end of yesterday I was so knackered I didn't have the strength to push the computer button on. OK, so that's a slight exageration. I somehow miraculously found the strength to turn the button on AND spend ten minutes ordering some MOET bubbles for Chrissy. Only got one bottle which is very sad considering three of us will be having some but it will be between five and seven, while we sort out and eat combination of roast lamb and kentucky fried chicken, while trying to sort out 6 children.

Which will probably mean I feel like hiding in dark corner in cupboard under stairs (squashed in between toilet paper, nappies and handbags), possibly in a fetal position, and possibly wishing I had a whole bottle of Moet to myself.

There will be some beer and some chuuhai on offer, but seriously, how much can you really chuck back in that kind of situation? A far cry from being at home where Christmas lasts ALL day - and isn't just about eating a sponge cake with cream after dinner, ending in half an hour - which is what Granny K thought it was. She got a huge shock when she came back to NZ for Christmas and has handed a glass of champers before lunch. Poor woman. Had to lie down for a while.

So anyway, yesterday really took it out of me. I didn't do any exercise. I didn't even have to run up and down the stairs more than ten times or spend hours rocking the baby. No, it was head and brain tiredness. Took over my whole body - bar of course the hand that controls the mouse and takes visa cards out of wallet.

Both Shou and Ryu had checkups today. Ryu was from 1pm - 2pm, after which I had to rush him home, quickly stuff some boob in his mouth while I sorted out Shou's stuff and then leave him with Granny K while I went to kindy to pick up Shou and take him for his 2:30 - 4pm checkup.

So, very boring kiddy checkup details follow...

Ryu...
This is the first checkup he has had since his one month check. Oops.
Weight - 7900 grams
Height - 66 cm
Head - big
Chest - buff

  1. Can he roll over? Not quite but you can tell he so wants to.
  2. Does he grab for toys that are close to him? Yes - if you classify hair and boobs as toys too.
  3. Have you started the food thing? Ummmm, kind of. Being bit of lazy bitch. He likes the banana and apple he has had though. Do you know how to get stock from a piece of seaweed? Ummmm, kind of. I usually use the instant stock but not really sure how this is relevant to the banana and the apple.
  4. Does he try and take things off his face if they are covering it? Ummmmm, haven't really tried. Not part of our playtime ritual. It turns out he doesn't. He just goes into shock from having his vision taken away and nuts out. This seemed to worry EACH of the ten nurses, doctor, town office ladies that we saw. They EACH had to try their own facecloth over the face experiement - despite fact that after the first time it was then written on our chart. Crap foreign baby has no survival tactics and quite possibily will never be able to manage a stop, drop and roll in case of emergency.

The doctor was very nice. Obviously took a shine to him after on first glance he suggested Ryu be a baby model. He also commented on his flawless skin, good testicles and general cleanliness of fat rolls and underarms.

Shou...

As soon as we got there Shou honed in on the blocks and then proceeded to take a huge car thing that he had made with him around every check room. First stop - height and weight.

Height - 99.8 cm (Should have put his big fluffy socks on)

Weight - 15.6 kg

Head - big

Chest - runty

Next station - dentist's room. Teeth all present and accounted for. Good lineage, good gums, good condition all round. Ten points, Right you are then. Bugger off to the next station.

Next station - eye check. Woman holds up some random dotty pictures of an elephant, moon, car and star. Shou can say them all and can even point to the same picture on a board of zillions of dots. He is A LOT faster than me at picking them out. We didn't have a cheat sheet for that at home so am noticebly proud of son for skills - possibly skill only needed if trying to spot the poltergist (?) in the fuzzy TV screen but nevermind. He then gets handed a big 'C' and made to turn it this way and that. He was doing very well until woman held up sheet with 'C' the size of a pinhead and she was standing five meters away. Shou got annoyed and said 'how do you expect me to see that?' giggle giggle. He then obviously thought the eye check was all over and started steering the 'C' round the room like a steering wheel.

Next station - brushing. Shou got to choose a toothbrush and then show the dental nurse how he brushes his teeth. I then had to show how I finish off the brushing for him - me kneeling and Shou with his head in my lap with mouth wide open. Was picture perfect and I wondered why Shou was so complying as in reality I finish brushing his teeth on the run. He then got two packets of chewing gum. Good for your teeth gum. I know this is available but am still not sure at appropriateness of three year old being given some.

Anyway, on to last station via the toilet where Shou has to pee in cup to test for protein in pee etc. Get a bit teary at memories brought back of cup peeing into at every pregnancy check up and fact that wont be peeing into cup under such circumstances ever again. sob sob.

Last station - general.

  1. Can you say these colors Shou? Red, yellow, blue. Good boy. Can you take a crayon and draw me some circles and some crosses. Excellent. Why did you choose black? Ohh, because you'r drawing an airplane. OK. Have you been on an airplane? ...
  2. Have you got friends Shou? Of course I've got friends you spaz. Their names are Toya, Kouki, Toya and Kouki, ummm, Toya and Kouki, oh and Ayaki.
  3. What's your mummy's name? Aramaki mummy. Bloody excellent answer.
  4. My god there were so many questions fired in rapid succession. I can't remember them all. Although I do remember, upon being asked if I had any worries myself, that said I really just wanted some sleep. And that the lack of sleep was base of all other problems and that surely if I could just get you to please subscribe some family tranquilizers then we could all zonk for a week and when we woke up the world would be a better place.

Last Station - forgot momentarily that had even seen the doctor. Was the same doctor Ryu had seen two hours before. He saw me and Shou and said 'naruhodo' (I get it) and then said Oh, so there are two of you. I said there was actually another one in the middle as well.

He made Shou jump up, jump down, turn around, poke his tongue out and pull his pants down. Testicles all in right place. Thank God.

Following all the stations there was some afternoon tea which Shou polished off in five seconds flat before screaming round the room with Kouki and Toya. I was past it. I had been answering questions in Japanese non stop for close to three hours. In between I had been talking to friends but again, all in Japanese and while I can usually do this without thinking today was just one of those days. Most probaby fact that had to use nice Japanese to the doctors and nurses.

Hub was home early though and the kids were all in bed at good times, followed by me at half eight.

I am about to take the deaf temple lady from next door down to the bus stop. I offered to take her the whole way to the hospital but she said the bus stop was fine. So that it will be I think. I have to prepare for my pre-schoolers Christmas party which starts at four. Is only an hour but hub is late tonight so I need to have all the kiddy witching hour stuff sorted before English starts.

Meeting Solar panal man's wife for lunch though.

Right, best hang some washing out and put another log on the fire.

SDGH&QL

Monday, 14 December 2009

Twist me a Demented Giraffe

Before Shou's first birthday I ordered a pack of two hundred balloon art balloons, a balloon pump and a 'be the star at your kid's birthday party' balloon art instruction manual. Hub (like tennis, ice skating, darts and pool) thought that he was a dab hand at twisting balloons - despite never having twisted even a snake in his entire life. Needless to say the only use they got at Shou's birthday was for being used as luke skywalker litesavers (?) or shinkenger swords. Actually I think Shou got himself a headband.

So, I have had this huge bag of balloons for over two years now. The first balloon pump broke because Shou used THAT as a shinkenger sword and bashed the tip against something. For some reason or other I decided that today I would buy another pump and put my twisting skills to the test. I was actually hoping I could find a balloon twisting christmas thing of some kind - santa, rudolph, snowman...

My rule the world with your balloon twisting skills book is however safely tucked away in English lesson bookshelf (more like throw and stash) which I would be very hard pushed not waking Ryu up while trying to find - as is in engawa waste of space corridor bit beside where Ryu is in peaceful slumber. So, I had to resort to following a one page instruction sheet that came with today's pump. It only had a few things on it but... try and guess. And be kind.






That first one was meant to be a giraffe. I know! A giraffe in need of some serious plastic sugery. Poor bastard. Being stuck with a snout like that. Proportions are also something I obviosuly need to work on!! Since when did giraffe's have a tail like that.
That second thing was a rabbit with it's front legs tucked into it's back legs - not because I particularly felt it needed to try a new yoga move but just because that was what manual said. I do believe Miss rabbit will be joining Mr. Giraffe when he goes in to some private clinic to the balloon stars in Arizona to have his nose fixed. Am also not sure why had to twist small round bit on rabbit - possibly so that it stands up better but really just looks like poor bitch has gout or whatever that big swelling neck disease is.
And lastly - the flower that was meant to have five petals but my balloon ran out. Giggle giggle. Not a line used by men with unsatisfied parteners. My balloon ran out. Snort snort.
So anyway, watch this space. I WILL get better at this and will be twisting with the best of them before too long. Am sure will be able to have a baloon animal for everyone at Shou's 21st. Whether he bloody well likes it or not.
SDGH&QL






Sunday, 13 December 2009

Marina Meets Kitty-chan

Last night was a lot more productive on the sleep front and today woke up feeling like a box of birds.

Hub decided that today would be family outing day to Harmonyland - the amusement park dedicated to Hello Kitty. It is about an hour away and we have been once for some union workers day thing a couple of years ago when Shou was too young to give a shit and Marina was a baby.

Today was actually a lot better than it could have been - and what I had been expecting it to be. Bar of course the hour before actually leaving the house. I went a bit mental as mothers do when they inevitably have to get themselves ready, feed a baby and get everything ready for everyone for the whole day - while hub thinks changing a nappy and making sure the kids don't stick their heads in the fire is the sole sum of his responsibilities. I don't expect him to do anything else anymore but he could have at least made a better effort at stopping Marina from gum taping Ryu's dummy to his face.

The double buggy and I had a bit of a run in because the fucker was intent on staying up and laughing at me when my following said instructions resulted in nothing but many obscenities. I decided to leave it alone for five minutes while hub packed the kids in the car and I ran upstairs to change out of my PJs. Came back and it had obviously decided to comply. Cheaky bastard. I highly recommend practicing folding down a stroller of this size in the shop - before you spend five hundred dollars on it.

The trip there was fine and we arrived ten minutes before it opened at 10am - got a great park and managed to keep some kind of order as we waited at the entrance with the other fifty parents and their sproglets. As soon as you go through the gate people are lining up to get their photo with Kitty-chan. Shou immediately ran off so hub was on running after him duties while I held Marina back from ruining the twenty photos being taken before hers. She was well stoked at meeting Kitty-chan and didn't even completely weirded out by hugeness of head.

For those not in the know, Kitty-chan has no mouth so that she can be what ever mood you want her to be. You can cry into your kitty-chan soft toy if your sad and she will comfort you. You can laugh as you drink out of your kitty-chan mug and she will laugh with you. You can stare in disbelief at a pair of lacy kitty-chan panties with matching nipple peep hole bra and she will stare right back at you.

Decided that made more sense for hub and Shou to go off and ride some rides while Marina and I went to the indoor show. Kitty-chan, her shag Daniel and a few of their friends - including an extremely scary rabbit witch thing called Ruby I think. There was also about eight dancers leaping and twirling all over the place - in extremely short frilly skirts and leotards that went straight up the bum after the first high kick - cue rise in attention level of all fathers in the audience. Honest, clean fun for the whole family I tell you.

Marina was transfixed and even Ryu, after having a secret booby skull in the dark, was too memorized by the loud music, cheerleader type screams and disco lights to remember that he actually wanted more of a feed - preferrable in a quiet dark room with no distractions.

Following the show hub took Shou and Marina on the train down to the bottom level of the park where there is a boat attraction ride. I perused the omiyage shops and just about cheerleader screamed in outrage at the price of a very cute winter hat that I briefly thought might be nice for Marina. Bugger right off. Can feed family of ten for three months on such price.

Met the troops with lunch (OK - so the price of that could have fed family of ten for six months) which all got eaten - bonus. The kids weren't looking like hitting nap time meltdown so we stayed for the outside parade. Was highly entertaining and Marina even got pulled in to dance.
There were lots of floats, clowns on bikes, Noah's Ark (??), Kitty and Daniel of course, not to mention and assortment of short skirts, bare legs and up the bum leotards.
We left just as it started to rain and all kids slept the whole trip back. They somehow managed to completely trash the house in the few hours they had before dinner and that lark. All to sleep with no fuss though.
Off to finish Christmas shopping tomorrow - think I wrote that same line a few times last week or the week before. Never-ending but gotta love Christmas.
SDGH&QL

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Kiddy Recital

Yesterday and last night I felt like had been run over by a bus - well probably not a bus. More like a minivan or a kei-truck. Hub cancelled his overtime and came home early (and when I say that I mean after the end of work-time) with some throat spray and cough drops for me - and some serious cough drugs in case I decided to actually take medicine for once.

Last night was pretty heinous with Ryu waking up every two hours and me not being able to sleep much anyway. The Japanese in me made me take my temperature everytime I got up - so considering I went to bed at about eight I took it about six times. AND wrote it down. Annul beyond belief but you know what Japanese hospitals are like - what time did you get the temperature, when did it go up/down rah rah. Hub was convinced I had been oinked but I didn't feel bad enough. My temp, that only rose as high as 38.5 anyway, was gone by three in the morning. and hasn't gone past 36.7 since.

Hub read an article in the paper this morning though that said ten percent of oinky victims only get a slight temperature and don't actually feel any worse than a normal cold. So he is still convinced everyone else will get it. It sucks when something like this is going round. Can't have a day of feeling like you've been run over by a kei-truck without being accused of dossing around oinky spreaders in the city - I reminded him I was taking HIS mother for her check up.

Anyhoo, all good now. Fingers crossed the kids don't get it though cause I don't need a week of them at home right before a weeks New Year holiday.

So, we all went off to the kindy recital. Was very entertaining but unfortunately I don't feel like spending the three weeks it would take for this piece of shit calls-iteself-technology computer to upload a video onto youtube.

But here are some pics I got from the vid - so they are shit but nevermind.

Shou and Marina's little kids group doing jingle bells. This was their last dance (?) and Shou looks a bit spent. Marina was on fire though and her and the girl beside her bashed the shit out of that there piece of bamboo with their bell gloves
Marina - being a dandeline (tanpopo). This was the first dance and shit it was so funny. She didn't do much of the other bits but when the chorus came on she jumped all over the place and had some serious air time.
This is Shou doing the same dance - all very serious. Had all the moves sorted and obviously wasn't pissed at being dressed in green tights, a fringed crop top with pompoms and a gay hat.

And this is Ryu having his first tast of non-boob. Was stewed apple and after this first taste he actually did quite well.

So, anyway, Shou and Marina's part of the recital was over within half an hour - with over an hour left before we could take them home. I told hub I would walk Ryu home - who had gone to sleep. Hub looked a bit miffed and jealous. I said he could walk him home and hang out the kids futons, washing and get lunch sorted if we wanted. He decided to stay at the recital and sleep through the older kiddies dances.
Hub was a bit of twat this evening, making a few wanky comments that I am sure were fuelled by fact that he was only one in office not on office end of year slumber party. After I had JUST finished getting dinner sorted he went into the kitchen and said out of the blue

"Is that money you gave me on bonus day all the 'bakkin (fines)' you clocked up?"
"What"
"from leaving shit in the sink?"
"There isn't anything in the sink and even if there was when did the fines go up?"
"There's heaps of paper rubbish in the triangle thing (the built for that purpose triangle thing that goes in the corner of the sink) and the fine was 1000 yen per time and I will just charge you for 20 times!"
"Back up the fuckin truck buddy. 1. our deal was for rubbish in the sink - that shit is in the rubbish compartment of the sink and it will get thrown out. 2. I gave you 20,000 on bonus day out of the goodness of the family heart bank because I thought it was a nice gesture even though we can't really afford it."
"Did you know that the paper in the triangle thing gets wet and thrown into the rubbish wet, therefore using up more Co2 to burn at the burn centre?"
"... (at a loss as really con't argue with that but still, bit shocked that hub has turned into such a greenie"

The next thing he said was as he was taking Ryu from me in the bath - I was in the bath with all three kids and as he took Ryu, Shou said something, followed by Marina, prompting hub to say that " it was hard being surrounded by four demanding people". He got an in English PISS OFF to that.
BUT - he did purchase something for me off TV shopping today!!
The add came on for this thing in the morning and I was watching the add, as have done many a time, and thought out loud that I wonder if really worked and if so fab - would be saviour of mothers the world over (but not those with money to pay for fab trainer or will power of steel enough to get up at five every morning to run off flummy)
Hub rang up and they were busy but message said would ring back - which didn't happen till half eight this evening but we still got the 'if you ring in the next thirty minutes you get a free set of steak knives' deal.
And no, it isn't actually steak knives but a deal where you get more of the same product - kind of.
Heres hoping it works - or at least makes me feel a size slimmer for a while enough to want to actually lose the flummy for good!!

Cheers to a nice rest of the weekend.
A drink hub brought home without realising perfectness of.
SDGH&QL

Friday, 11 December 2009

Calmed-down Cold??

See below for yesterday's post which I wrote and then didn't get round to posting last night for one reason or another.

I arrived at kindy at 7:33 this morning. They open from 7:30. I wasn't planning on arriving that early it's just the way the flow of dressing, teeth brushing, jacket put onnering, and gumboot hurling went. That and fact that we leave same time as hub usually so he can help get the demons buckled into their car seats - and this morning he was early. The teachers didn't seem to mind. Is only twenty minutes earlier than we usually get there anyway.

And here I find myself wondering if a second cup of coffee before nine in the morning is OK and that I should probably get up and get some wood in to light the fire.

I'm not feeling a 100% and for about half an hour this morning thought I might start oinking. Throat ripped to shreds and I had a temperature that has now gone down and I can at least swallow again and talk at a push. Who am I kidding. I just tried to phone friend in New Zealand which would have led to at least half an hour of non-stop yabbering so I must be fine!

Granny K seems to think it is an 'ochitsuke-kaze', which literally translated would be 'calmed down - cold' as in a cold you get when things calm down after a hectic period, which I am presuming she means translation, followed by Fukuoka trip followed by her and her bumholeyole clinic trip. The worst thing about getting a cold when you have a baby is obviously the can't take drugs part but moreso I think the don't feel right getting right in there for neck smelling/rasberry blowing cuddles. No cough though which means I wont have people looking at me like am oinky flu spreader at tomorrow's kindy recital.

So yesterday was bonus day. I went to the bank to update the bankbook and was pleasantly surprised. It hadn't dropped as much as I was expecting. Hub got more than a 100 yen in a Lightening McQueen kiddy envelope with a wee note saying thankyou darling for all your hard work. He was surprised and asked if it meant he was still getting his piece of the translation money pie. I said yes. Now he's trying to convince me to let him have the extra so he can use all his money to buy new wheels for the family wagon. Not much point though as we will be putting studless tyres on soon anyway.

Hub came back last night in chipper mood with drinks, chuhais, chips and chocolate. I had English as per usual, during which Shou came back downstairs and after spending ten minutes entertaining my students came back in here and him and hub built houses and made 'obento' (packed lunch) out of blocks wrapped in one of Ryu's blankets. Upon being asked what was in his obento Shou replied rice, nato barf beans and icecream. Hub, after three beers, was highly amused. When I took him to bed (Shou) he brought all his obento blocks with him. Is quite surprising he managed to get any sleep at all with those in the bed.

After Shou had gone to bed I came downstairs and asked if there was any beer. Hub went to get the can he had placed in at the alter earlier. I asked if this was kosh to be ge stealing his father's beer to give to me. Is fine. I wondered out loud what his father would think of me if had lived long enough to meet me. Without even thinking hub said he would have liked my hooters. I hope I would have been more than a couple of gaijin hooters to him though.

Anyway, one mention of the word and hub starts getting all lets have a celebratory bonus day shag. It was nice and warm in front of the fire but unfortunately our sheepskin rug isn't that big so when I complained about sore head hub romantically picked up my head and put two nappies underneath it! Note to self - always keep couch pillow handy or change positions and get on top so hub can lie there with nappies under HIS head.

Well, enough said aye. Better get outside and bring in some wood. Is going to be one of those lazy in front of the fire days.

SDGH&QL

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Daughter in Law Brownie Points

A quiet house - bar the kiddy TV and the sound of Ryu with all his fingers in his mouth. I am still convinced the grizzling, red cheeks, hands in mouth is all to do with teeth coming through. At times when I can catch a glimpse of his bottom gum (easier said than done) I am pretty sure I see a bit of white and when he gummy chomps the boob it is ouchy ouchy.



All the santa letters arrived at various houses around Kunimi yesterday. My Wednesday pre-schoolers brought them with them and were very excited. Apart from the obvious excitement for the kids at getting their very own mail this exercises has taught me that, at yesterdays count of 4/4, everyone opens their mail by cutting the top off the envelope. It has also taught me that Japanese mothers are very suspicious as they all thought briefly that mail - in English - from overseas - and addressed to their five year old was obviously something 'ayashi' - like one of those 'you have won' sweepstakes things. I'm sure I told them all I was doing it but either they forgot or I just thought about telling them all!


Granny K upped my daughter in law points yesterday - and I hadn't even done anything for her. As I was going out to get more printer ink I passed the deaf temple woman from next door. She's eighty four and was pushing her baachan pushy chair thing all the way to the friggin bus stop - about eight hundred metres away. She was over half way but we took her the rest of the way. I went out in the afternoon to post all my Christmas cards (first batch at least) and on the way home we just happened to see her hobling on her way home - in the rain - with a shopping bag over her head so her hair wouldn't get wet.


Honestly, anyone would have stopped and done the same thing - especially if next door neighbour vestling. She must have rung Granny K up to exclaim in wonder that the daughter in law she bitches about so much is actually not that bad.


Good points lasted till this morning when I had to raise my voice (tis lucky nextdoor temple lady IS deaf) at both Shou and Marina. Mainly Shou though who three minutes before leaving for kindy suddenly wanted to scissor up and paint an empty cookie box. I tried to explain, I tried to reason, I tried to divert, I tried to bribe, I pretended to phone Santa. Na, zilch, nada. He was intent on having scissors. Scream, tanty, scream, hit Marina, hit mummy, scream some more and honestly all it took to get him down in the end was asking Marina in a small voice if perhaps she would like to wear Shou's cool Lightening McQueen shoes to kindy today. Woooosh, Shou into his shoes and out to the car faster that you can sing Flash... oooooooh... master of the universe.


I am about to head off to drop the DVDs back and buy some English workbooks for my kids - have decided that copying pages each week is pain in ass and spending five hundred yen for a book each (so five thousand yen all up) probably in the long rung not much more expensive.


Is also December the 10th today. Do you know what that means?


It means that all over Japan the wives of civil servants are rejoicing that today is winter bonus day. For five seconds before they realise bonus has been cut so much it may as well star in the next chainsaw masacre. Bonus?? Bonus my arse. Will have about enough for a packet of two minute noodles after all the bonus payments for the house and solar panels, hub's car, etc have been taken out.


I'm feeling oddly generous today though so perhaps I will withdraw the left over 100 yen and put it in a thankyou envelope and give it to hub.


Well, the door man is just here fixing the broken hinges on Granny K's cupboard doors - the same cupboard I took the doors off because of broken hinge and put up nice rail and curtain. He has managed to almost fix it but it really needs a new hinge and that would involve contacting the maker. Sigh, nevermind. The nice rail and curtain are now in the upstairs toilet!



SDGH&QL

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Bumholeyole Clinic Day Out

Nearly went to sleep with Shou tonight and flagged the blog but the fact that the tv, the computer and the washing machine were all own brought me downstairs. Everyone else is in bed though. I think hub was a bit shattered after the early morning start. Shou and Marina awake at five followed shortly there after by Ryu. Today was bumholeyole clinic day so I made a deal with hub. Either he could go back to bed for an hour and then get up and take her to the station before work or he could look after all three of them for an hour and I would take her - as there was no way I was going to be able to drive two hours each way on such little sleep.

Bless the man - he let me sleep for an hour and a half. And I think I actually sleep for most of it. The kids were fed, Shou was changed and I even think the breakfast dishes might have been done. I don't know how much of it Granny K was in on but who cares.

Granny K and I set off just after eight with a sleepy Ryu who slept the whole way in the car. Dropped her off and went to get my GBLatte, which I had in the mummy and baby room while I fed Ryu. Not quite like lounging on one of the starbucks sofa chairs but I not complain. Got a few more stocking fillers - namely some choccies - elephant ones for Marina and for Shou - emergency vehicles of course. Also got some Christmas shortbread, something that really has no significance for me for Christmas but Christmas in a country that hashes Christmas and I tend to do some very odd things. It's Walkers of course, and it cost half of hub's bonus but hey, there are chrissy tree shapes, santa shapes and star shapes.

Granny K and I had synchronized our watches so I got back to pick her up just as she was walking out the door of the clinic. Went to Toys R Us so she could get a small prezzie for them each - and she ended up getting a shinken ranger and anpanman hard cardboard stocking thing with 'okashi' (snacks) in it, which she could have gotten at the local supermarket but nevermind.

One last request - could we please pick up some sushi on the way to the eldest son's place. Rightio then. From where should we do this GK? Tokiwa has everything. We could get some lunch there too. Bit of a huuha trying to find a park so hard to go to a parking tower that had some parks at the bottom too. Could I please parallel park the family wagon in between those two big concrete pilons. I looked a bit like 'oh fuck, here we go' and the parking man took that as me not being able to understand him so poked his head further in the car and asked Granny K what my language ability was like. I said could understand him perfectly but was wondering at ability to park car while still being able to drive home later with the whole left side panel and bumper.

Turns out parking man was fab parallel parking teacher but not too keen on letting me go that 30 cm more forward at the end - despite fact I had to get stroller out of the boot. Nevermind though. I had my go go gadget arms on today and stroller was being very bendy and obliging.

To Tokiwa we went and to the basement food court we conquered. Granny K tried to convince me I needed sushi rice for lunch so I tried to convince her she needed lamb shanks and black pudding for dinner. We parted ways and bought our own yummies and met back up to descend on my brother in laws place and his daughter and her newest baby - which up until now we have been kind of fobbed off seeing.

Baby very cute but hard to compete with Ryu when he is doing his Yoshimoto comedian performance. Left at two, minus a humungous bag of daikon that sister in law looked about as thrilled to be getting as Granny K would if she had had lamb shanks and black pudding for dinner. I smiled at her and said if wasn't enough would vege courier another load to her tomorrow.

We left with some bread and some goma puddings for the kids which had completely forgotten about until just now. Might have to taste test one just to make sure is OK, and then the kids can have them for breakfast!

Rightio, I better fill in the rest of Shou's 'three year' checkup questionnaire. Hub came home with it all yesterday. There is a sheet with six pictures on it that they will get 'tested on' - dog, cat, elephant, shoes, umbrella and chair. There is also one of those black 'C' shapes that you have to hold up for eye checks. It also asks that you test your childs hearing by using earphones to test each ear individually. It looks like I have Ryu and Shou's checkups on the same day at the same place but not sure if in the same room or not. Bloody pain in the ass if they aren't.

SDGH&QL

Monday, 7 December 2009

Cosmo Moment & Our Day.

After I posted last night I decided to try and persuade hub into bed for cuddles - just cuddles. He tends to interpret cuddle as shag though so in order to get my cuddles I had to oblige to the shag first. He seemed to think it had been a month since our last international relations meeting but I begged to differ. I refrained from saying I could always check my blog!

Anyway, and time for a cosmo moment, halfway through the shag (what, oh, a minute) I started thinking that perhaps maybe I just didn't want a cuddle after all. Perhaps I wanted some more of the same. So, after the shag shag I requested some more of the same for me. The ever obliging husband agreed. HOWEVER, and this has never happened before, as soon as it was over hub got straight up muttering something about having to put some lip cream on Shou's lip - which he keeps licking and is getting quite sore looking. So, this means, that while I was trying to conjure up fantasies of half dressed builders and delivery men taking me in the middle of the day while everyone is out, hub is thinking about Shou and his sore lip and how he needs to put some cream on it.

I'm in a bit of a humph actually. I wonder if its my flummy! Or was he being a woman and multitasking?

So, anyway, got quite a good sleep until about half four (not that Ryu slept all that time though - I had to get up twice) when Shou AND Marina decided it was time to get up. Tried to convince them that family snuggles in the big bed was fun. So not happening though so I came downstairs at five with the two of them, followed shortly after by Ryu. Made them breakfast, set their clothes up and tag teamed with hub so Ryu and I could go back to sleep for forty minutes.

Managed to get a lot of stuff done today. The usual of course, and then set the fireplace stuff up - as in found other houses for all of Shou's emergency vehicles that were parked under and around it, got the guard set up and cut some kindling. Am out all day tomorrow so I guess we'll start cranking it up on Wednesday.

Also sent a couple of chrissy parcels off. Well, actually one was in return for European stylist sending all my English class kids the santa letters - which are winging their way back to their houses as I type. I had a moments panic attack when I thought I had put the digital camera in the top of the box I then taped up and sent to my sister. Found it though.

Wrote the Chrissy letter to put in cards to send around to people, ordered some stuff online for Granny K.

I know. Who would have thought the old girl would have a need for bright pink vibrating bunnies. Actually was very boring department store vouchers - that she got with her 'ecopoints' - points the government gives you for buying environmentally friendly electronics.

Also had some phone time which was good and even started writing some Christmas cards. Have to take Granny K to the bumholeole clinic tomorrow. I had plans to do this and do that but the schedule according to her is that I wait while she has her check (I don't think so. Am sure I can break free for a gingerbread latte run in there) and then we both go to Toys R Us so she can get Shou and Marina a Christmas present, before we go for lunch followed by a visit to see the newest addition - her great grandson. My nieces second baby. They haven't really been too keen on visitors but Granny K rang them last night and told them we were coming. I hope I get time to buy something for dinner in between all that because lord knows I wont have time to make it before having to pick the kids up.

And thats that. How very exciting my life is.

Hope everybody is getting ready for the lead up to Christmas. Shou went to sleep with a Christmas card under his pillow - stolen from my stash as I was writing them to send overseas. He decorated it (wrote in it?) for Santa and left it under his pillow with the pen so Santa could write back??

How the shite am I going to manage to extract that from under a pillow weighted down by his big head. Time for some mummy magic me thinks.

SDGH&QL

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Redeemed - just a little

Last night wasn't fun at all -and now I know why. Ryu has the showings of his bottom teeth. Lord help me it was a LOT worse than Shou and Marina teething. I was up EVERY hour last night. So come five when I came downstairs and Ryu seemed to be quite wide awake I did the bad mummy thing and strapped him in his bouncer and plonked him in front of a young einstein. Pitty those things don't work as the amount of hours he has clocked up would surely mean some awesomely high paid job and early retirement for me and hub.



As I was strapping him in I heared Shou - in Granny K's room. He has woken up before five three days in a row. We went through a couple of months of this about a year ago. I'm not happy it is happening again. I bet Granny K isn't either! But honestly he's like a bloody snake. Slithers out of bed, slides down the hall and down the stairs without a sound. Considering how much noise he makes for every other waking hour of the day it is quite remarkable.



Anyway, I came back up to bed at 5 and about five minutes later Marina started. I burried down under the futon and ignored her - hub, to his credit got out of bed and then went downstairs with her and to keep and eye on the other two. Ryu started nutting at 6 so he brought him back up and told me to go back to sleep with him - which I did after sticking a boob in his mouth. And we stayed that way for a blissful hour and a half.



Hub had work this morning but we managed OK. It was freezing so there was a mixture of balloons, drawing, origami (am totally shit) and ball tents going on.



Marina is in to going to Granny K's room, but thats OK as tis one less to worry about. Well, now that Granny K knows I will tie her to one of her tomato stakes and set the wild pigs on to her if she feeds the kids shit food at shit times, or gives them things like lighters, pruners, chainsaws, and ginsu knives to doss round with.



Hub came home this afternoon and for a blissful hour THEY WERE ALL asleep. Not Granny K - she had gone out with a friend but the rest were. Unprecedented quiet time on a Sunday.



Other than that, not much to report. Apart form that I stepped on the scales today and I seem to have put on two kilos this month - which is heinous of heinouseses.

Time to get serious.

And like how many times have I said that before.

Nighty night

SDGH&QL

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Twat Hub

Not sure how long this will be - I may end up cutting it short to vacate the premisis or at the least bash hub over the head with the computer. Complete and utter twat that he is.

We had - or rather he provoked an argument this evening while I was getting dinner ready. I was using Tofu and put the plastic tofu packet in the sink. I do this a lot - put rubbish in the sink instead of straight into the bin when I am cooking. He saw me do it, came over and put it in the bin while asking why I still hadn't remembered/learnt to put it straight in the bin.

I must have been about to flip anyway cause I lost it - told him to not even say that kind of shit when I was the one in the kitchen on a Saturday cooking the dinner. If I had finished cooking and shit and it was still in the sink then perhaps, and just perhaps, he could say something.

He said I was as bad as Shou not cleaning up his toys. I told him to fuck right off - in those words and in front of the kids. Fuck the man infuriates me sometimes. I put the kids at their table, gave them their dinner (as in put their plates in front of them) and then walked out. Got Ryu and we had a bath while I entertained thoughts of packing the kids up and going to woo some rich tycoon so we could all galavant round the South of France for the next ten years on mummy`s EU passport.

Anyway, not wasting a whole post on that twat.

Yesterday we had the kids oinky flu vaccinations. I had books, I had toys and I had chocolate. Marina was good - had to hold her of course but she didn't cry for too long. Took her down the end of the corridor at the hospital until she stopped so that the waiting room full of kids didn't hear her. Shou was fine at first - even pulled up his own sleeve. But then he started to try and bolt - fortunately he isn't stronger than the nurse and I put together.

Jabs jabbed, chocolate smeared and we made it home past the store for a `gohoubi` or treat. No, the chocolate was a bribe - to get them out of kindy, or in the car, or into the hospital, or into the doctor's chair or whatever. Was amazed I didn't need to use it until after the jabs. Hub was late home last night so that could have been why I didn't post. I was wrapping chrissy prezzies too which is always fun until you get to something fricken round. I so need to buy me a book on Japanese wrapping. Must be in the DNA.

Hub slept the WHOLE morning this morning. I slept for an hour while Ryu slept but shit, wouldn't it be nice to sleep for four hours! He had taken the kids to kindy but.

We went out this arvo - to the new denki (electronics) store and sushi, seeing as was in the vacinity and all. At the denki shop hub went off and I found him drooling in front of the 55 inch plasmas. He said wouldn't it be nice rah rah. And I said, but darling then I wouldn't be able to do this...
I was in a foul mood tonight as I said. I was a bit short with Shou and Marina who were pissing round eating their dinner. While they were in the bath (first one since Wednesday night - gasp) I got Ryu changed into his jimjams/snow suit and he promtply fell asleep while I was in the loo - on the hard wood floor. (him asleep not me loo)

He had his first non booby today - some baby melt as soon as you sniff it cracker thing. He didn't have the bestest hand eye coordination but between his efforts and mine he actually had nearly a whole one. They say from 7 months on the packet but nevermind. We will be starting honkakuteki baby food from next week - well mashed shit. Perhaps the odd watery rice shite just to please daddy and Granny K.
Might have an early night. Just the sound of hub 'being' is annoying. How petty but best to leave than get into another stupid fight about nothing. Guess am also bit pissed as dinner plans with Chiemi fell through as they are short on cash this month - despite her hub having a million and one end of year drinkies. Honestly, we try and sort out ONE night out during the end of year party season and we can't sort it cause our hubs are out at their things using all the cash.
Hub working tomorrow - half the day at least. Not impressed. He gets time off in liu which he will take like never ever. Pissy government. If you expect your servents to work on the weekends then use some of the tax payers money and give them cash - not days off.
Anyhoo, off before I spread some bad karma around the blogosphere which wouldn't be good coming up to this, the season of good times and festivities.
Nighty night.
SDGH&QL