Saturday, 31 January 2009

Home James

As predicted....

the flight was horrendous... but we have survived to tell the tale so here it is.
(and now that I am home watching Japanese TV at its best in front of the fire it doesn't seem as bad as it did :) )

Our flight from Napier to Auckland was good - I was on a bit of 'packing queen' high after finding out luggage weighed total of 93 kgs - out of possible 95kg for Korean Air International flight. A bit of rearranging of suitcases in Auckland - because of course Airlines don't make it easy by having the same allowances per piece of luggage! Hub had brought over all my mail for me (of his own accord not because I couldn't hangout for an extra five days) and amongst it was a grade up to morning calm grade for Korean Air - allowing me an extra 10kg of luggage. Saved the day I tell you.

At Auckland we checked in first up (with a checkin girl who was bit challenged as found out later had not been given boarding passes for flight from Seoul to Fukuoka like we usually do - and got me in trouble with Korean transit counter girlie)

Met Lucy and her mum at the International terminal for quick slug of coffee and then took two tired past it kids who had been up since before five through the departure gates to wait for our boarding call. Both kids still had the shits so there were a few nappy changes (one of which involved lightening speed change behind plastic planter) but for the most part they spent a good time watching Shou hurl his ambulance down the side of the escalator. We decided against being the first on the plane and waited almost right until the end.

Five minutes before the plane is due to take off and Shou does biggest 'better out than in' explosion that fortunately I was the only one privy too or the air hostee might have sent us back off the plane in fear of having international shitting explosion on hands. Shou seemed non plussed and I cleaned everything up in corner in front of seat. I had to laugh really as thought was a show of the next twelve hours to come. Fortunately that was the worst of those experiences although there were a good few trips to the toilet - one that involved me and Marina AND Shou. Conclusion - plane toilets not made for fat pregnant mother trying to change one and a half year old on baby change table made for three month old while two and half year old stands at her heels trying to unravel two rolls of loo paper. All fun and games though and even managed to roll most of loo paper back up. If you happen to notice that the toilet paper is rolled up quite loosely next time you are on an airplane toilet then send a sympathetic look to all the mothers of toddler age children you see on the way back to your seat!!

Both kids probably only slept a combined total of three hours on the twelve hour flight and it seemed that the plane was flying through bloody turbulence for ninety percent of the flight, meaning seat-belt sign was switched on 24/7 and nazi air hostees weren't cutting us parents of 'want-to-run-down-the-aisles' children any slack.

Got into Seoul at about eight and headed straight to the transit counter. We were going to be staying at an inner-city hotel, free of charge, for the night before our connecting flight this morning. We were next in line at the counter - with half a flight load of Germans and Kiwis behind us when Marina absolutely power chucked all over me. I had JUST put on a new jersey and had her wrapped in a fluffy blanket. We got annihilated just as the transit counter girl called us. Marina looked suitably traumatised by experience which left me in perfect situation for demanding we be allowed through transit and a room at the transit hotel. Nothing like a sick looking baby and a front load of vomit for getting people to quicken things up. The four of us went as is through security and up to transit and to the transit counter on the other side where I got told off for 'obviously having lost my boarding passes'. We got issued new ones (and told to tear up the old ones when I found them!!) and given a free room at the transit hotel and vouchers for breakfast.

We got ro our room at about eight fifty and by about eight fifty three Marina and I were stripped and in the shower. She vomited twice more before any of us started getting any sleep - which was probably only about two or three hours anyway. Up at five and checked out by six. Was moving on automatic pilot but Marina, who had probably had the least sleep, was all in for entertaining the passengers waiting in the departure lounge by practicing her walking and extremely fast crab crawl/walk. I got called on briefly by airport staff to translate for a Japanese man. Haven't spoken nice Japanese in any sense of the word in the last eight weeks so was small wonder I didn't tell the very distinguished gentleman to keep the volume down, stop dropping food or that he was in need of a time out - finishing with a bit of cup throwing of course. Keep one handy at all times as don't know when going to be so tired and stressed that plastic cup throwing is going to be needed.

In all fairness our flight from Seoul to Fukuoka was almost the epitome of the perfect flight. Both kids were asleep before the plane even took off and stayed that way the whole flight. I even got a normal cup of coffee - as opposed to one topped half up with cold water or with six baby milks in it so can drink faster. Got through customs in Japan without a hitch and ushered straight through the luggage check - much to Hub's dismay as he got a total going over on his way back on his own and all his luggage got checked.

We stopped shortly after starting our car trip back to Kunimi for some udon and rice, which both the kids chomped back. I was a little dazed as the whole 'being back in Japan' thing started to sink in. Didn't really sink in properly though until got back here to noddy house where biggest thing is sink. Shou and Marina, used to big spacious rooms at Granny A's, had to resort to doing laps of the lounge and hallway in order to work off pent up energy after spending close to 48 hours cooped up in one form of transport or an other.

Granny K was all over the kids and they were very excited about seeing her. Shou wouldn't let her our of her sight and even wanted to have his bath with her - am very glad I wasn't quite as excited to see her. About ten minutes home and I comment about horrific smell coming from cupboard in hall - Hub agrees it smells like a dead rat or something. He went up into roof through cupboard and found huge pile of ferret or similar pooh. He cleaned it up and declared that first thing tomorrow morning he was going to cut back the plum tree outside Granny K's room - the only plausible conclusion for medium sized animals to be able to get into roof - unless there is new breed of pipe shimmying ferrits or tanukis. Granny K said the animals would have crapped up there because the typhoon shutters were across the windows in the hall the whole time.


I know....

Would love to cut her head open and see the workings inside too.

This led to me asking if shutters (and therefore windows) had been across the entire time was away. Yes, they had - house must have got good occasional airings out!! If had been aired out at all maybe Granny K or hub would have noticed smell before crap pile got so big. Ah well. Wasn't expecting nice clean and nice smelling house when got back anyway. Have farbreezed (air freshener) it to within an inch of its life now.

Granny K made a few comments about the kids - their change in hair color due to foreign diet - even though this somehow made Marina's hair lighter and Shou's hair darker. She did something quite strange before. Shou went into her room after dinner. Hub went in and said that in five minutes he was going to clean his teeth and get ready for bed. Exactly five minutes later Granny K turns off the light in her room and heads out silently through the front door and locks it behind her, leaving Shou crying in her pitch black room!! ??? !!

After calming Shou down and telling him Granny had gone to work (pole dancing in Kunimi on a Saturday night perhaps) and he could play with her lots tomorrow Granny K comes back in and stands outside the lounge door - silhouette outlined in stein glass panel. Whisper to hub to tell her not to come in as not going through the Shou parting from Granny K thing again before bed. I am still a bit perplexed as to reason behind hasty exit outside and leaving Shou in darkness. Am hoping maybe is start of her becoming senile in which case my eight year wait until she turns eighty might be shortened.

Anyway, the kids were both in bed and zonked by ten to seven. It is just after half eight and I am heading that way myself. I have unpacked all our hand luggage so only have 93 kgs of luggage to deal with over the next week or so!!


Thursday, 29 January 2009

Just Very Quickly

Because S1, S2 and brother are still here and I am being very anti-social. But then so are they because they are talking shop about the new business and that's all have been listening to for last four days and am over it. Is very exciting and all that - despite the lawyer guy I went to see telling me straight off the bat that you should never do business with family!! Nothing set in stone yet though...

Bloody hell S2 talks loud after a few glasses of wine - definitely drunk loud voice gene inherited from granny A.

Hub is knackered after four days of both kids - and with my family and the not fully understanding thing. I said was harder for him because was coming from seven weeks of good sleeps to sudden chaos, bum smacking, cup throwing mayhem. Shou played up the first couple of days and wanted daddy for everything. Marina was a bit unsure of the nice man at the airport at first but only took her five minutes to figure out it was daddy.

She has been a laugh lately with her walking, thriller type dance moves and head shaking. Extremely entertaining. Unfortunately they both have a case of the shits at the moment so am hoping that slows off a bit for the plane and that they don't get the vomit bug too - which S2's daughter has had today. Really wouldn't be fun trip if they were spewing out both ends for twelve hours of airplane confinement.

Rang Korean air to confirm luggage allowances before going out to buy a double buggy. The double attachment is in our luggage - which is to the absolute limit - and the main buggy is in the box. I still had to send a box home and I think when I get home and start sorting everything out I will be amazed at amount of stuff - most of which is kiddy clothes.

I best get back to the action. Won't be seeing them for another three years or so - what with now having to save for five of us to come.

Will write at the other end - after horrendous flight and night in Seoul - where hub will spend whole night worried going to be kidnapped and taken to North Korea.


Saturday, 24 January 2009

One More Sleep

Not sure how much blogging will be being done in the next few days so thought would get in now while I can.

Auckland Zoo was both a goer and a no-goer. The zoo itself was great. Love the giraffes and the phants and the humongous rhino. I hired a double buggy which was probably the only downside. Absolutely crap buggy (for anyone thinking of hiring one). The seats were like little cocoons so once in you really had to get out again to see anything. Also crap sun visor thing so sun in face nearly whole way round. Shou was most memorized by the rabbits (which he still thinks are small cats) and the box of American cockroaches! I told the buggy hire lady the buggy was a bit crap and she offered to reimburse half the hire money - but I was being too much of a stubborn bitch by then to accept :p

We hung out at home yesterday arvo and then spent an entertaining couple of hours watching the auditions of America's Next Top Idol. Extremely entertaining viewing, some of which I had to watch through my fingers out of embarrassment for contestants and what Simon was saying. There was more same quality entertainment tonight - gotta love it.

Today we ventured out to a kiddy-friendly cafe for lunch. Had superb kiddy play area where Shou and Marina happily played through half a cup of coffee and a bacon and egg panini. Time to leave and we were into prime nap time but ambitiously thought we could manage a stop at a toy and education center. Bad move. Supreme nut out by Shou who wanted everything and was not content playing in the very well set up play area the shop had. Had to rugby ball hold him down the main street back to the car, where it took friend and I, and a few wrestling moves, five minutes to get him into his carseat. This may sound like bad parenting to some of you - but in a busy street with your car parked on side of even busier road there is no calmly talking a two year old out of that kind of tantrum. Safer for everyone involved just to get buckled in and going. He, as you would expect, went to sleep for his nap in about thirty seconds flat. Marina too. Peace for a quality hour.

The afternoon was spent jumping through the sprinkler and various other water activities. but was topped off by Lucy's dad bringing out not only the weed eater but the lawn mower as well!! What more does a two year old boy need I ask? A naked two year old girl to run through a sprinkler with and a weed eater and a lawn mower! Fun fun fun and nobody lost an eye - although Marina (and this goes back to playing at cafe at lunchtime) did put one of her chompers through her bottom lip. No fat lip though and daddy will still be greeted at the airport with two immaculately turned out children, walking, possibly clapping, possible blowing spit bubbles, and speaking perfect English - the latest of which is hereyago (one word) and ohmigod (also one word).

Spoke to hub last night - there was forecast for some heavy snow in the mountains late last night so he decided to go home straight after work, pack his two pairs of socks and undies, and drive to Fukuoka instead of waiting until this morning. He emailed this morning saying he had made it and slept in the car - at the airport I am presuming. He is a can-sleep-anywhere person and people mover is actually quite comfy. He mailed again after he had checked in - no doubt relieved that his huge suitcase wasn't questioned despite it only weighing 1.75 kilos. Actually I don't know how much it weighed but how heavy can a couple of pairs of socks be?

So, the countdown has begun. I have a pretty pink dress for the princess to wear tomorrow and Shou is wearing his James Dean look of jeans and white T-shirt. I may even be able to find a small empty box to stick up his shoulder but then no doubt Social Welfare will be on my tail for thinking I let my two year old smoke.

We are having a family BBQ tomorrow night and then on Monday afternoon I am meeting with an independent lawyer to discuss the lending money to family thing. Not sure how that will go but the office is located between two quite trendy bars so either way ...
Must admit that when I rang up to make an appointment the secretary automatically asked if it was for a separation or divorce - which means that after seven weeks my phone manner has also gone down the path of grumpy tart bitch or I just sounded so tired there must be no other reason.

So, with all the huuha of tomorrow and the BBQ I doubt the blog will get a look in. That and the fact I haven't seen thy husband for seven weeks :p

Think we are in need of some international relations meetings...


Thursday, 22 January 2009

Photo Shoot

Up in Auckland ... blogging from Lucy's mummy's house :)

Flight up from Napier yesterday was good considering it was me with Shou in window seat beside me and Marina on my knee. Only an hour flight and we had nobody sitting behind us which was a blessing as quite a bit of stuff mysteriously found it's way back there. Thank God Shou hasn't mastered the forward throw.

We had an afternoon at home playing with new toys and trashing a new lounge. Good fun. A roast chicken dinner and a three kids at the same time bath later and we were ready for bed. Marina started out in our room but wasn't too happy about being in the same room and not in the same bed so we moved her cot to the only available space - the genkan (entrance way) - or one of them. Not the main door so we could leave her cot there without causing too much inconvenience. She was far enough away to be out of the action and able to get to sleep but still in the can-hear-the-nut-out vicinity. She got a good sleep and so did Shou - and mummy for that matter. Shou woke up a couple of times laughing in his sleep so would be interested in finding out what he was dreaming about - the fact that mummy can't even break a plastic cup perhaps?

They both had a morning nap this morning which was good because today was photo shoot day. S2 picked us up after lunch and off we went. We were both under the impression that the kids would be taken away while the makeup and hair thing was going on but no - kids hanging off my legs and swinging the chair at the crucial eyeliner moment... all fun and games and I nearly did lose an eye. I got asked what kind of makeup I wanted. Considering I haven't really even worn a full face of makeup for about three years I had to bypass the drag queen mummy look for the can't-tell-this-lady-hasn't-had-good-sleep-for-three-years look. It was all very natural and my hair didn't end up looking too boof - even though it was clipped very strangely at the back and looked like I had a comb-over.

Marina had on angel wings for the Marina and Shou shots - which I didn't get to see but sounded like fun, and then we all had on white tops and darker bottoms for the fresh family shots. Shou was told to hug mummy from the side, which ended in a photo that could probably grace the cover of a wrestling mag. Enough shots were taken though so am sure there will be a nice one in there somewhere. S2 is going in next Friday - the day we leave - to choose her pics and the lady said they don't send out thumbnails by email for customers to choose which is a bit crap. They may have to make an exception though as refuse to pay price of small nation for photos I have never seen - even if sister thinks they are good.

After the pics we headed back to sister's house for BBQ with Lucy and Co, Grandad, Grandad's sister and a cousin and his wife and child who I had never met. There were six kids with Shou being the oldest and nine adults (with Grandad's sister being the oldest :) ) It was extremely fun chaos that started early and ended early. We were back here by half seven for bath and bed. Everything quiet by half eight.

Weather permitting we are off to the Auckland zoo tomorrow. Yay yay. Mummy very excited about this. Gates open at half nine and we intend to be there waiting - like a pachinko-holic lining up for their favorite machine from eight in the morning.

Hub rang and said the weather forecast for Saturday (the day he leaves Fukuoka) is snow :( He is contemplating going up tomorrow night and staying so that he definitely gets there OK - he is of course worried that if he missed the flight for some reason his wife and two kids may not get on the plane home!! He now has a list of possible questions for immigration that he can practice on the way over. He is still worried that they might be suspicious that he has a big suitcase with only a pair of socks and undies in it. Told him just to tell immigration officer that wife has been shopping. Must happen all the time.

Well, I need to take my face off before bed.


Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Carolyn Hax

Your average kiddie day today spent with S1's youngest, Olivia, who is nine. We got back to Granny A's late afternoon and I popped out for an hour soon after to be tweezered, plucked and tinted - well, just eyelashes and eyebrows. It is amazing how much information beauticians can squeeze out of you when you are lying there not able to open your eyes or run away. She was very nice though and I must admit the outcome is a vast improvement on my hardly even visible eyelashes and eyebrows that look well, exactly like you would expect under the circumstances!

Granny A had been down town and to the public library - brought back a book for me called 'Going Home without Going Crazy - How to get along with your parents & family (even when they push your buttons)' !! A bit of light reading for my trip to Auckland. I wonder if it will be passed on to Grandad to read next or if it is a younger generation needs to fit in with older generation - or whoevers house they are staying out generation? Have had a quick flick and there doesn't seem to be anything on going home with small children which in my opinion is a huge part of the grumpy tart equation.

Speaking of grumpy tarts... I rang Grandad this evening and apologized (how grown up) for spazzing out on Sunday and likewise, he apologised for me hearing a part of a conversation that was meant for Granny A's ears only. Think we have smoothed the rough edges. Nothing like four days with two toddlers and two babies for all of us to show our true colors though!! S2 is coming down on Saturday with her two and we will be back from Auckland on Sunday so.... let the grumpy bitch tarting (or grumpy tart bitching) begin :)

Anyway, a friend emailed this to me today and it made me laugh. How true...

Why Don't Friends With Kids Have Time?

Tell Me About It by Carolyn Hax : Friend really doesn't get the kid thing
Tell Me About It by Carolyn Hax
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 06.05.2007

● Carolyn:
My best friend has a child. Her: Exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today? Her: Park, play group . . .
OK. I've done Internet searches; I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please, no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners. . . . I do all those things, too, and I don't do them every day. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day, and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail?
I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events), and I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy — not a bad thing at all — but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth?
Is this a contest ("My life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids, and all us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions.
— Tacoma, Wash.

● Tacoma:
Relax and enjoy. You're funny.
Or you're lying about having friends with kids.
Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.
Internet searches?
I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand — while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom friends are either lying or competing with you — is disingenuous indeed.
So, since it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries and questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.
It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.
It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.
It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family members and friends, well-meaning and otherwise. It's resisting the constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.
It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything — language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity, empathy. Everything.
It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy — and then when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, you wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend — a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends or marvel at how much more productively she uses her time.
Either make a sincere effort to understand, or keep your snit to yourself.

~reprinted without permission

Off to Auckland tomorrow. Shou is so excited about riding the airplane I'm surprised he got to sleep at all!


Monday, 19 January 2009

De-grooved but Happy

Knew it was too good to last...

Minor meltdown at Granny A's when I overheard Grandad tell Granny A how noisy Shou was - not in a general 'god two year old's are quite noisy aren't they?' way. It was more of a 'Shou has got to be noisier than any other two year old '... which a pregnant mother obviously takes to mean as she has crap mothering skills. I don't think Shou is particularly naughtier or noisier than other kids his age. I do think though that Grandad (who was at boarding school throughout his education and raised to be seen and not heard (arrrgghhh - Anon II all over again) followed by a job that meant he was usually out of the house early and back late and therefore missing prime two year old nut out times when we were kids) has conveniently forgotten what two year old behavior is like.

It really was only a one liner and there were no raised voices but the hormones kicked in and after Grandad retired to his shed I got all upset and even more upset that Granny A was really all for just smoothing things over so Grandad was all right about everything. I packed the car and said was taking kids to S1's house, whereupon Granny A offered to look after Marina???? Why??? So she can nut out so that Grandad thinks I have not just one but two of the worst behaved kids in the world. I don't think so. Granny A had to be on her own to offer full support to Grandad and undertake any damage control - which would probably mean agreeing with Grandad that yes Shou was exceptionally noisy and that didn't I have some strange parenting ideas.

Arrrghhh, canninot deal with it captain. S1 suggested we drive straight back home to get Marina's cot so we could stay the night. Done.

S1 suggested today that we stay another night. Done.

Grandad going away by self tomorrow. Leaving tomorrow morning and then in arvo, as is Tuesday, cleaning lady will be there so we will be hanging out round here for best part of tomorrow too.

S1 did some very good damage control yesterday - with me, offering to look after both Marina and Shou for a couple of hours while I went down town with her eldest - Georgina. Was first time had been shopping (bar the bling extravaganza hour) in six weeks on own without kids. Was very muchly loads of fun and felt very revitalised upon return.

Even without the grandparents at home being here (at S1's) is so much more fun. No stress, no noise police, and I have S1 to goss with and she puts everything into perspective and I never come out of a conversation wishing I hadn't gone into it. The kids have been good - obviously - as whole stress bad behaviour thing is downhill spiral effect of me feeling pressured into having unreasonably well behaved kids so as not to upset world peace - which begins and ends at Granny A's, revolving around what kind of mood Grandad is in.

Soooo, that's the long version anyway. Short version would be...

Grandad grumpy tart stop run away to sister's stop lot's more fun stop

S1 and I had Indian for dinner - she uses different place to what had the other night. Compared Kormas and Roti and the bunster is now probably lying even lower as no room anywhere else. Bought couple of fab preggy tops that where less than half price - as in about a thousand yen each. Was one of those shopping expeditions mothers everywhere must have. Looks good, grab, buy, take home, try on. Both fit very well but of course loads of room for bunster expansion. Don't look like preggy preggy tops so might wear them for photo shoot on Thursday - did I mention that? Family portrait happening - minus hub of course but have got free shoot and no obligation to buy prints. Of course if the three of us look stunning, after being airbrushed and photoshopped to perfection, I will post a pic.

Everyone else in bed so best I head that way too.


PS - sorry for the grandparent rant. I know it gets old fast. These past six weeks have been a valuable learning experience - will make list tomorrow night of most valuable lessons learnt.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Another Beautiful Day

And while it didn't end so beautifully because it took an hour to get the princeling off to sleep, it was still a very nice Napier day.

Granny A came down with us to the park this morning where Shou spent most of the time throwing his water bottle down the slide and Marina throwing bits of bark everywhere. Throwing must be in the genes?? :p Picked up some sushi and club sammies on the way home - the policeman sushi shop as Shou called it. The other day we were there and a policeman just happened to be in behind us getting his lunch. Shou was nearly in hungry meltdown mode so I tried a "there's a policeman behind you Shou, he doesn't look very happy", which he didn't but he walked in looking like that so more probably due to morning spent chasing baddies as opposed to noisy two year old meltdown. It worked. And he kept looking out for the policeman today too.

After naps we pooled it again and Shou actually spent a good half hour in his kiddy ring - loving it. Was highly entertaining and Granny and Grandad got in too. Marina was content sucking back water (from bottle not pool) and eating crackers in the her play pen.

Didn't get around to blogging last night as went round to S1's to talk business and drink tea. Got ultrasound pics yesterday - and they aren't like the actual photo pics you get in Japan they are like X-rays that need to be stuck up on a lighted panel. Loads of them that I will give to my doctor in Japan next month. Still no word on the blood results which the midwife thought would be through yesterday.

We were meant to be going to Granny K Rocks T-shirt boys house this weekend but after six weeks and as many trips away I voted for not doing the piling the kids and every possession we own in the car and doing the road trip. Grandad has been surprisingly good since getting back from their trip and maybe we are finally getting into some sort of groove - Murphy's law that it happens three days before we fly to Auckland and ten days before we fly home.

Well, my bid for some bob the builder plastic toys on Trade me is coming up to closing. Cheap at the price - if we won the auction.


Thursday, 15 January 2009

Splish Splash

Shou is getting braver around the pool - which is good in that I don't want him to be a wimp around the water, but bad in that I have to watch him like a hawk! He used to be content with pushing his fire engine around the edge but now that just doesn't cut it. I got in too today though, as did Granny A, so had a proper swim, albeit with Shou balanced precariously on my lilo :) I'll have a pina colada with that thanks...

Went for marathon walk around the pond this morning. Pond is very large piece of water about ten minute drive from house. It is used for swimming and canoeing and windsurfing. Has a great walkway around it that Shou loved - for the first kilometre and then had to retire for a wee siesta in the buggy.

Not sure if I have posted this pic before... a great pic of Grandad with superman Shou.
As I type Shou is playing roads in his room. It is 8pm and I did spend half an hour in there doing the sleep routine but to no avail. I left and closed the door, expecting him to say "OK mummy I'll go straight to sleep now like a good two year old' but he didn't say anything. I will leave him for another ten minutes or so. Note the word leave - as opposed to ignore. Will probably go in there and find him asleep on a pile of duplo. Good sleep routine I know - shocking according to Granny A but then who put all the toys in the house in big no lid boxes to be kept in Shou's room. Is like shining a bit of shiny bling bling in front of sleep deprived bling hungry woman.

Right, a bit of financial organizing and meetings and sorting out going on over next few days. S1, S2 and brother are launching a new business and for better or for worse I am getting involved - as a silent partner so to speak as really know nothing about the industry or potential market. Lucky I bought the bling when I did or I might not be in position to do so anymore!


PS - thank you for congrats comments on Marina's first steps and the bunster. I formed a nice big reply comment and got typer happy and some how deleted it and redirected self to Illahee's profile page. Not that I mind of course - would have got there later anyway!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Helloo there.....

Mr. Bunster.

All bits, present and accounted for :)

Had a very lengthy anatomy scan this afternoon and everything got thoroughly checked out with a bit of extra time spent checking out kidneys and bladder per my request. Head was very low down so I got tipped backwards (head towards floor lying on back)to see if bun would cooperate and come down a bit. He did. She took loads of pics and I will get them all on Friday. Bunster was moving round like a mad thing - all of which I am still oblivious to. Hopefully soon though. All measurements are normal and her estimated due date was June 11.

Granny A has been being a lot more baby attentive since they got back from the holiday and I even got a couple of pats on the tum today. A bit perplexed as to the sudden change and jokingly suggested she could have a stand-by ticket waiting to fly over when I go into labour. No comment and probably not much of a joke at all :p

Friend came over this morning and we took our collective sproglets to the park and then for lunch where I do believe the pavement got more sushi and sandwiches than they did. She looked after Shou and Marina back here while I went and had scan - which was at a radiology clinic and the waiting room was pregnant woman X 1 (me) and old women reading back issues of readers digest X 5. A shame really as none of the those pregnant women knowing looks and sitting there wondering how far along other people are rah rah.

Brother brought yummy chicken korma and roti up for dinner and has just gone home now to pack for his weekend away, starting tomorrow, to a friend's wedding down South. Girlfriend obviously going too and no doubt fretting a bit at being put in a situation where she doesn't know anyone. Actually I do know what's that like but hey, she's my little brother's girlfriend so I get grumpy tart bitching rights over anything. She mailed brother at 9:30 with 'not to be a pain but how far away are you?' No comment.

Think I will take my new Lee Child book to bed. Jack Reacher is up to his neck in 'Bad Luck and Trouble'. I was reading my first one of them the other night when had big hairy man incident and I ended up sleeping with pair of scissors under pillow and fly spray beside bed. When i was little I remember setting up a string and spoon contraption across the door opening so that would clang if intruder came in. Granny A's house is quite big and very old which doesn't help me. Creaks all bloody night and where as I used to be OK at just shitting myself in bed thinking that someone was in the house now, that I am a responsible mother of two, I feel that I have to get up and check the house and the locks AGAIN. Armed of course with a pair of scissors and can of fly spray - because I am tough. Fat lot of good that would do me but hey, if it helps me sleep easier. Horse tranquillizers would also help me sleep easier but then I might be so deep in sleep that I could well be placed in ignoring kids category.

With that thought in mind - I am not going to block anonymous comments as thought I would. Will just delete any I don't feel are appropriate - like the one suggesting I go to a yoga ashram in India or whatever it was about. Obviously just picked up on the word yoga in my blog or comment from a few days ago.


PS - Marina took 8 steps today. In a row. Lots and lots of four steps and then a sixer and then an eighter. We may have some walkage going on before daddy gets here! Very exciting.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Midwife Visit

Both the kids are down which is unusual these days so I am taking advantage of some time to sit here and then get dinner sorted. Granny A on the road home and I imagine not very far away - wouldn't it be great if they arrived while both children were quiet!!

I have just got back from my visit with the midwife. Very nice woman and it was interesting to do everything in English for a change. The biggest difference with my clinic in Japan is that here you can not do everything in the one place. I had a consultation and the midwife checked blood pressure (boarder line but not surprising as am fat woman with high stress) and then listened to the baby's heartbeat - which was neat as in Japan I never got to hear that until the very end. Do the flash 4D ultrasounds have sound on them? If they do my Japanese doctor is a bit 'ketchi' (stingy) with the volume control.

So, the bun sounds as buns should sound at about 18 weeks and tummy feels as been there twice already saggy 18 week pregnant tummy should feel. The kids were good playing in the corner with the toy box - until the end when they started getting a bit scratchy as had been there for forty minutes at prime afternoon nap time and as we all know my two year old and one year old have some boundary issues and aren't usually happy sitting silently in the corner while I talk to other adults.

The midwife gave me a multitude of information and brochures - mainly on healthy eating and providing a healthy home. Being in Japan it is easy to ignore the 'what you should avoid during pregnancy' food checklist but here.... my god - shite. dame well had sushi for lunch too. Ah well, surely the Japanese DNA in there will make that be OK? I do need to eat healthier though and I know that so it was good to have a reality check. Next stop... organic veg shop.

I didn't realise but the load of blood tests they give you in Japan and in New Zealand have to be done at a certain time in order to be able to detect certain things - in New Zealand the main thing they check for is Down's Syndrome. The test is meant to be done before 18 weeks - which is what I supposedly was on Sunday - according to very shady date of last period I told my doctor in Japan. And, seeing as it will only be three days over tomorrow the midwife and I decided there is no harm getting them done - so that's where I am off to first thing tomorrow morning. They open at 7:30am. Actually they are open till 5pm so if Granny A gets back in time I will go down today.

Then at 2pm tomorrow arvo I am having a proper ultrasound - and for that one I am officially 18 weeks as they only do the anatomy scan if you are between 18 and 24 weeks. I have to go to the radiology clinic for that. My friend and her son are coming for a play date tomorrow so I am sure I will be able to juggle children while that gets done. Surely only a matter of ten minutes or so.

So that's that, no wonder pre-natal care is cheaper in New Zealand. They have you running all over town doing everything yourself. Love my nice, but pricey, clinic in Japan where I can get it all done in the one place. It honestly never occurred to me that I couldn't do it all at the midwife clinic. Ignorance? Quite possibly, but then I haven't got anything to go by. Not like I have swarms of kiddies running round New Zealand. And if I did, I wonder if they would be better behaved than my run amok half Japanese kids?

On that note - and it is with a bit of anger that I have decided to not allow anonymous comments - does anyone know, will this delete all previous anonymous comments? I don't want that. May have to moderate them instead. What a pain in the ass.

I am all up for some constructive criticism about my blog and my daily miserable life but making personal attacks and saying that basically I am such a crap mother it is a wonder I am thinking of bringing a third child into the world, and that no wonder my husband doesn't want to spend time with me.... well, that kind of bullshit is just hurtful - and having a bitch about you lovely people who comment regularly is just unnecessary. I am all for a bit of productive debate but well I'm far too delicate to put up with this kind of shit so out go the anonymous comments. Gomen.


Had to save as draft as Granny A came home - and yes the kiddies were still asleep so I did a quick runner to the bloods place and came back twenty minutes later to find both kids up. We all had Japanese curry for dinner which the kids, and Granny A and Grandad, chomped back. Kids to bed without fuss and S1 has just been round for big catch up.

The bun is now no doubt trying to fight for space amongst the copious amounts of tea I have just consumed. No bloody wonder I still haven't felt it.

So sorry, but won't know until tomorrow whether is bunster or bunnette.

Until then...


Monday, 12 January 2009

Corn Fritters

A good old Kiwi favorite. For some reason I felt a sudden corn fritter craving - and had to take the kids to the supermarket to get self raising flour, corn and eggs. The only ingredients Granny A had stocked was the quarter of a can of beer and pinch of salt and pepper.

They worked out pretty well - a lot better than the time I made them for hub. I mean come on, how hard can it be to stuff up a bloody fritter. Me thinks the secret ingredient is the beer. I am presuming that the alcohol in the beer gets cooked off as Shou had one and a half, Marina a half and the floor about two thirds.

Trying very hard thinking what we did today. Our play date got cancelled which was a shame but will be rescheduled. I did ring my dentist - and asked for copies of my latest x-rays so that I can show dentist in Japan. A root canal (what my dentist here suggested I would need) would cost in the vacinity of 700 dollars - which I may be inclined to just pay if it meant getting gassed out for the whole thing. The dentist has told me all I would get was a local anaesthetic but I hate the dentist and I want the serious drugs - which I also am thinking maybe they don't give you if you are pregnant?? I am pretty sure my insurance will cover a lot of the costs in Japan.

I also rang a local independant midwife place and was planning on booking an appointment for Thursday morning so that Granny A would be back (they get back tomorrow) and could look after Shou and Marina while I go. But, the midwife said she was good for half one tomorrow afternoon so she would see me then. Rightio. Half one tomorrow it is then. As long as I am a NZ citizen and I sign something to say that I am receiving regular midwifery (??) care from them then I can get it all for free - and possibly a scan. I told her I wanted one anyway. So, this time tomorrow I may well know whether the bun is a bunster or a bunette.

In other news - Marina took two steps on three separate occassions today. Was highly exciting. If I say 'kiss' she also comes in for the big pash with her mouth wide open. Very cute but I wonder how I get her to close it.

No afternoon naps meant they both went down pretty early tonight. Tomorrow morning is our last make-as-much-noise-as-we-want breakfast :( I am looking forward to Gradad and Granny A getting home tomorrow afternoon because it will mean some more adult talking for me - but on the other hand it has been nice having the freedom to trash the house with toys and run riot.


PS - I didn't even go near the plastic cup cupboard today. Progress??

Sunday, 11 January 2009

My Traumatised Children

Shou doing his cheeky look down at the park yesterday.

Shou 'watering' the buddha!

Marina at the park.

The kids are down for their nap - which isn't code for ignoring them. Quite happy to tell you when am ignoring them ;) They are actually asleep. Took them down to shoe shop because I brought home two left feet yesterday when bought some black sandles. I now have a left and a right :) On way back we got Uncle Dam and I a coffee and went to sisters - where he is babysitting. Gfr was having a bit of time out by the sounds of it. She had obviously overstepped some boundries. Something I guess we keep doing regardless of age.

Found Granny A's secret lollie stash - that she uses when teaching (she home teachers several children with dislexic problems). Note to self - replenish secret lollie stash. Sugar high will probably mean I won't need to resort to smacks and plastic cup throwing - although I imagine I could throw a bit further with this sugar high pent up energy. Calling all plastic cups....

Saturday, 10 January 2009


Firstly, apologies if yesterday's post offended anybody. Well, I know for sure it did and that I guess to some people the way I behaved and treated my kids yesterday is very much in the 'bad mummy of the year' category. I'm not sure that I am too thrilled about being told I probably shouldn't have a third baby if I couldn't handle having two but then each to their own I guess.

Some people must just have extremely calm personalities and if there is a person out there who is like this, and has a bag full of tricks to help get through those times then can you please tell me some - the setting boundaries comment was good and I will take that on board. Can you then please survive for four weeks on less than five hours sleep a night, look after a two year old and a one year old while you are five months pregnant, all day everyday for that same amount of time with no external help and do it whilst living in your parents house who are there most of the time but do not help and do in fact add to the stress, AND THEN pick another trick out of that handy bag of kid raising tricks and tell me another. I am not religious so taking ten seconds out to ask for help from above to calm my frazzled nerves is not an option. I have never done yoga or mediation so ditto.

It is amazing how one comment can make you feel so defensive. I did um and ah about posting about yesterday but figured that there must be other mummies out there who have bad days and lose it. I'm not proud of how I acted and I DO WISH I could have handled it better but I didn't. Anyway, crap mother business aside today was all in all a better day - and I aren't just saying that so that I don't get any more feel-bad comments.

Shou slept a lot better and mummy was a lot more refreshed this morning. After breakfast we went down to the park where I refrained from throwing park equipment at my children and smacking them in public. Actually Shou had great time lining up bits of bark in the pretend shop and selling them to me. We did the supermarket thing on the way home and then all had a good late morning nap followed by a late lunch.

Brother brought round our three nieces this afternoon and it was happy families with Shou running round naked again and watering the concrete Buddha Granny A has in the garden. Hope that hasn't ruined any karma and I did make Shou rub it's bald head in an apology. My eldest niece stayed back for a while and then we dropped her off home.

I was out in the car recharging my cell battery while Shou was flicking the hazard lights off and on when I saw a big hairy man making his way through the bushes and trees above our house - there is a row of four flats above our house and he went up the stairs to the second one and on the the deck. It just happens that my brother is the real estate agent trying to sell the flat so I called him and asked him if anyone was living there at the moment - nope. He came around and called the owners to see who else had a key - nobody. Said big hairy man then came out of flat and lit ciggy on porch. Brother saw was the slightly not quite all there son of the owners who used to live there but is now supposed to be in a home for the slightly not quite all there. Father came and picked son up and took the key they didn't know he had and I can sleep easy - or as easy as I have been - knowing that big hairy men aren't roaming the section.

Did take a couple of good pics today of my traumatised by the cup throwing experience children but my phone is out of juice again so I will try and send them tomorrow when we head out.

I happened to meet up with an old friend today and we are going to be catching up with her properly on Tuesday. She is married to a Swiss man and based in Switzerland. While their situation is very different the bilingual factor is the same and her kids are now 6, 4 and 1 and a half so it will be interesting to hear how that has been.

Until then.


Friday, 9 January 2009

Bad Mummy of the Year...

and it's only the bloody 8th or 9th or whatever it is. Arrrgghhh. Bad mummy of the year goes to the mummy who spent the day like this....

5:00 Shou wakes up - ignore him because got total of about two hours sleep and on verge of completely losing it.

6:00 Marina wakes up - shove water bottle in and then ignore her for another hour despite fact she slept eleven hours straight.

7:00 Get up and do the breakfast thing albeit without one calm word spoken. Frighten a two year old and one year old into eating their toast.

8:00 Second cup of coffee but caffeine not kicking in. Know I need to get out of the house with the kids but am too tired to do the whole get dressed thing myself.

9:00 Put marina back to bed where bless her she goes to sleep. Zonk out in Shou's room with the high-handled door closed so he can't get out. He is forced to play with soldiers and cars while mummy ignores him and tries to sleep.

10:30 Snack time - shove another bit of toast in the toaster and crank on another cup of coffee. Within the space of about twenty minutes Shou gets two time outs and a smack for running away down the drive, trying to brush Marina's four teeth by jamming an adult sized tooth brush down her throat (again) and putting a fork in the toaster.

11:00 Ring old school friend and fortunately they can come up and will be here within the hour. Small feeling of excitement and promise that the world doesn't just revolve around nappies and Vegemite on toast.

11:30 Get dressed (big achievement), slap on some deodorant and haul kids through the drive-through at McDonalds where we all get a cheeseburger happy meal with a Madagasca 2 talking giraffe.

11:45 Get home and feed kids very healthy lunch.

12:00 Friend arrives with thirteen year old and two year old daughter. Hang out and have good catch up (which almost puts me somewhere near the realm of normality)

13:30 Friends leave

14:00 Marina has nap and basically same scenario as morning nap time but only lasting forty minutes. Throw plastic cup across Shou's room and it cracks - Shou cries because that was his coffee cup. Promise to go to two dollar shop tomorrow to get new one. Hate self for resorting to throwing things.

Afternoon gets blurry - but spent mainly inside with Shou wanting to get outside and in the sandbox - which actually probably would have been a better idea but he inevitably ends up snaking me and running off down the drive and do you know how many times I have run round the outside of this bloody house trying to find him?

Dinner - a lot healthier than lunch but Shou, after sprinkling three packets of rice sprinkles on his rice-enough-for-one-packet-of-sprinkles rice ends up throwing a tanty and refusing to eat it. Smack. Ouch. For mummy too as realised half a second too late that he wasn't wearing a nappy under his shorts. Followed by a time out when he tipped rice on floor. Come back from time out and find Marina has tried finishing her rice all on her own. She looks pretty pleased with herself as does the highchair which now doesn't need to be feed for next seven months.

Bath - almost Japanese style like at home. Lots of water happening outside the bath. Marina only nearly drowned twice and is actually quite a trooper when it comes to slipping and gulping mouthfuls of water with no tears Johnson and Johnson in it.

That aside they did both get to sleep by half seven and I was able to sit down and watch crap feel good movie in which John Claude Van dam is a ballroom dance teacher at a Bronx high school. One of those - bad kids sort their shit out kind of film. Like those though so some easy watching.

Brother and girlfriend turned up half way through for a night dip - and then a cuppa. They are both on babysitting for S1's three girls this weekend and were deciding how to entertain them for that long. Brother has started calling her 'Babe' which definitely wasn't happening last week. S2 and her hub do the whole Babe and Sweetie thing and it actually suits them. Have never heard it from brother though so may take some getting used to. There wasn't any 'babe' coming back at him but so obviously they haven't decided on his pet name yet.

Anyway, they tell me that tomorrow is Saturday? Wonder what I can do to get rid of some of this two kiddy cabin fever. If retail therapy is the answer then I may well be heading back to Kunimi with more bling than fingers.


Thursday, 8 January 2009

Diamonds much better in summer...

Note to self: always buy bling in summer as diamonds look lovely in sunlight. When you aren't used to wearing anything remotely blingy on your fingers it is hard to get used to the sparkle. How do bling lovers cope?

We went for a walk in the vacinity of the shop this morning but I felt like too much of a stalker going in there again after yesterday and they said they would ring when it was ready. So, I saved a bit of face and rang them when I got home and yes the ring was ready to pick up - so after lunch that's what we did, much to Shou's disappointment who thought we were going to buy fire engine shoes. When I tried the ring on the lady kind of looked at me as if and.... so I said "do I get a nice box with it" :). I was expecting some kind of velvet number but obviously two grand is not enough to pay to get a velvet box as well. Ah well, I don't intend on keeping it in the box anyway.

My brother came over last night and I had a lovely chicken kebab with sweet chilli sauce and garlic yoghurt. Yum yum. We had a good chat about things, the universe and quite surprisingly not about his girlfriend much at all. She did text him a few times though so at 10pm he made his departure with the final note... "girlfriend and I would like to offer to look after Shou and Marina some time so you can go out and have some you time. Maybe you and Granny A could go out for lunch just the two of you?"

We haven't set a date but will probably take them up on offer as quite surprisingly Marina has taken a liking to girlfriend and Shou thinks uncle Dam (not his name but Shou thinks it is) is quite cool so I imagine wouldn't be too upset about me leaving him with them. I think I will save my babysitting coupon for me time to use just like that - on me and only me - or maybe when hub is here so we can go out for brunch or lunch or dinner or something. I imagine a lunch out with Granny A could well run into the topic of raising kids and that would so not count as 'me time'.

Or, perhaps a coffee and a tint and pluck or two...

So, here go the double standards again. Girlfriend hasn't won me over and yet here I am, contemplating leaving my first born son (and possible only born sorn) and princess with her for a few hours. Perhaps she can feel the vibe and thinks this will help matters. Well... it definately won't hurt the ratings.

I do believe there are two back to back CSI programs on now.


Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The Bling.....

pic is still not a happening. Sorry. Still no call to say has finished being re-sized. Hopefully tomorrow. Still another 24 hours to grow beautifully long and manicured nails. As is they do not deserve being adorned with bling.

Went for big morning walk - as in all breakfasted and changed by seven thirty and back from walk by eight thirty. Marina had marathon nap and I fell asleep in Shou's bed for an hour and a half while he completely trashed his room with blocks, duplo and cars. After lunch we vacated the premises because the cleaning lady was coming and Shou has a love affair with vacuum cleaners so better to be gone than annoy the cleaning lady. Clean in Japanese is 'souji' and vacuum cleaner is 'soujiki' which really just translates to cleaning machine. Every time I tell Shou the 'souji' lady is coming he calls her the 'soujiki' lady :)

We were going to go straight to the ducks but town was going off - as in very busy and lazy summer day touristy looking with a live band playing in the street and generally just fun - so I parked up and we went walking for an hour, which included a wee sushi stop and just a few purchases in the 40% sale at kiddies shop. Had the kids been more into it I would have made may way to the other end of town and purchased some overpriced sunglasses - that I tried on the other day thinking they were only 51 dollars, the number on their tag. Not to be though which is probably good as any sunglasses I buy get completely trashed by self and kids. 15 dollars should be my limit.

After town we went to feed the ducks - some stale bread and left over banana cake. Shou spent five minutes trying to catch one and was greatly disappointed when I made him get in the car without a duck under his arm. Last stop was the supermarket and then home so Shou could spend an hour following the cleaning lady about her business.

Brother and his friends arrived early evening for a swim, including a gaijinwife and child. The gaijinwife is from Denmark and their son is one month older than Marina. So while Shou ran naked round the pool while the big boys were on life saving duties, Marina had a playmate. To his credit he even ate the rice and miso soup I had made for the kids. Marina scoffed back two plates and Shou just about fell off his seat he was so excited to see some furikake rice sprinkles. All three kids then had a bath and then brother and friends left for dinner and the house was silent once again - well as silent as it can be with Shou and Marina bashing away on the piano.

Brother said we should catch up again tomorrow night and that he would call up with his girlfriend. I asked him if he wanted to come up for dinner on his own this time - seeing as I haven't actually seen him without her glued to his side or with her feet round his waist (or sitting on his lap or with her tongue down his throat or ... ) He said he would ring tomorrow arvo so we could synchronize watches. His diet I think will probably only allow him to have a chicken salad but me thinks that would be good for me too.

My big book reading session didn't happen last night as other sister, back from camping, came over for catch up. Other sister also rang today and we got over yesterday's misunderstanding which has made me feel lot better as even though was very trivial thing was very unusual way for this sister to react. She is so not the confrontational type. Other sister said when they got home their house was very tidy and dinner for that night had been made so is no wonder really that sister thought I looked angry at her - she had been cleaning and cooking and sorting out luggage, packing car and of course organizing a hub and two kiddies all morning. I probably would have acted same way. Maybe I should say sister 1 and sister 2. S1 can be the older one - who is five years older than me, lives round the round from Granny A's, has three daughters aged 12, 10 and 8 and who has just been away for a week camping - hence why we and then sister 2 were allowed to stay at her house. S2 lives in Auckland and is 14 months older than me. She has two daughters who are a little bit younger than Shou and Marina. She is the one I had the misunderstanding with and S1 is the one who came round last night for catch up. Right, easier to understand? Probably not

Anyway, here's hoping I get to upload some bling pics tomorrow.


Monday, 5 January 2009

The Wrong Look

How can one look completely shit your whole day up? Actually not whole day. Had nice chat with Granny K Rocks T-shirt boys parents, but did have to put Shou in time out for last five minutes of their visit as he was overtired and throwing toys across the room. Marina was already in bed.

After they left I decided would try and get Shou down for a nap if either of us were going to be able to make it through the afternoon. He had just, as in I think his eyes might still have been fluttering a bit, gone down when I heard my sister calling my name as she came round the side of the house. It wasn't shouting and it wasn't whispering - it was just general calling. I disentangled (???) myself from Shou as quick as could cause was not sure had left lounge door open - it was though.

Sister had forgotton her glasses and was there to pick them up on way back to Auckland. Marina started crying so got her up and took her out to say good bye to Auntie - the second I walked into the hallway Shou started to cry and I said 'Shit, Shou's awake' - from which the following conversation and things followed...

Me: Shit Shou's awake
Sister: Are you angry at me for waking him up / Are you angry because you think I woke him up (or something similar)
Me: what. No, I'm not angry
Sister: you looked just then as if you were blaming me (or something similar)
Me: what. well I appologise, I didn't mean to look angry.
Sister: well that was an angry look and all I was doing was coming to get my glasses.
Me: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to look at you that way, I was just saying that Shou had woken up.

yaddy yaddi yah rah rah rah

I wish the wind had stopped so I could see my 'angry' look. Must stand in front of mirror and practice looks. I would think it would have been more a look of dispair or frustration - but not at sister just in general for wanting the two kids to be asleep at the same time. Ah well.

She left thinking I was angry at her and I went and got Shou and together with Marina the three of us just sat there and had big cry - well, actually Marina started with some laughing but switched to crying when realised was just easier to join in. I ended with some hysterical laughing and then put Marina in her cot for twenty minutes while I got Shou to sleep properly. Marina then sat in bathroom while I had shower. Have you ever pressed youself up against glass shower door - not whole body, just tum and boobs?? I make very impressive outline of micky mouse. Marina was most impressed.

Anyway, the lunch thing got sorted and the afternoon was spent with me trying to keep Shou from running away and crapping in Granny A's garden. Sorry Granny, but don't think you should weed over under the pohutekawa tree. The afternoon seemed to consist of a lot of me shouting at the kids and I was going to flag the play date with Ame but we got loaded in the car and met them down at the park. Think I needed the fresh sea air.

They went down without much fuss tonight and I think it is time for some tea and some Maeve.


Afterthought - what is it with family and fighting. Not that this mornings episode was a fight so to speak more than a complete misunderstanding - that not even an appology would fix. I don't get it. I have spent lots of time with friends and havent had anything close to this. Do we feel we have to try that bit harder with friends and let more things slide or don't say things as outright as we would with family?

Anyway - Sister, I didn't mean to look at you with an angry look. Call it sleep deprivation, call it hormones, call it the changing bloody winds, I don't care, but don't think it was because I was angry at you.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Oh Dear

Japanese doctor going to have fit when get back to Japan. Hope he suddenly finds another bub in there to account for scale reading - actually don't hope that at all. Will have to list newly acquired bling on trade me and re-mortgage house if going from four to six person family - six and a half if count Granny K. She is very short.

We had a yum yum civilised dinner last night - bar my brother's girlfriend who displayed some shocking table manners. I felt bad for my sister who had made fab dinner of feta and rocket stuffed chiken breasts with yoghurt sauce, garden salad and roast spuds. My brother made a valiant effort to recover on her behalf but should he have to? Anyway, I have given myself a blog ban on any grumpy tart bitching of non relatives. If she ever becomes related (god (insert anything) help me) then I will back track and bring all this goss back up.

We came back to Granny A's this morning and then sister and famdam came round for swim and play this arvo. All very civilised, with Shou running round carefree and naked - watering Granny A's herb garden and I do believe even doing a deposit in behind the rosemary bush. To his credit he didn't try and crawl into the deserted dog house but perhaps it would have been more akin to his behaviour! Oh well, probably saved self about three dollars on nappies.

Got kids to sleep and came out to find Ame's parents propped on bench eating pizza - all organized of course, I just thought I would have the kids asleep a bit sooner. Loved the pizza and the garlic bread. Wonder if Antonio wants to open a chain in Kunimi. They left about half an hour ago after three hours of natter natter natter. Ame's mum I have known since primary school and dad since first year uni so there is always a lot to talk about and catch up on.

Granny A sent me a text message from their holiday - in romaji. She has been learning Japanese for a couple of years on and off and obviously decided to send me three sentence message after, what I can only presume, was a few decanters of sav. The first sentence was definately meant to be 'we are sitting around talking' and the last bit was 'how are you guys and are you ready for bed' - I think meaning are the kids in bed. The middle bit however just has to be left to the imagination. Am at complete loss. Will have to text her back when I go out in car next - the only time I can recharge my phone.

I should get to bed. Granny K Rocks T-shirt boy's mum and dad coming for coffee tomorrow morning and then maybe a play date with Ame and Co, in the afternoon. I will of course make any necessary trips to the jewelers in between should it be required to pick up re-sized bling.

Oooh - hub's pachinko extravaganza was not a success and he is now down a hundred dollars in his secret squirell pachinko caribbean slush fund account. Oh well, my account is down a bit more than that so who am I to start the budget wars. He was also going off today to car yard to purchase new sewing machine engine Honda Vamos / second car / firewood transporter / ... / ... Purchase will ensure a 2009 of no yaikiniku, okonomiyaki dates, revolving sushi outings or any family occassions that require excess of 500 yen. Am well looking forward to this year. Thank god I started it with something shiney as definately wouldn't be able to justify such a selfish purchase this time in twelve months.


Saturday, 3 January 2009

Can't see through the bling.

Well, actually it isn't bling didda bling as in big fat meaty diamonds but it will still be the sparkliest and most expensive thing my fingers have ever seen - and will see for the next five years. Unless of course We decide a family trip to Europe will take the place of my ten year diamond. I may feel the need for a holiday more than bling by then. I can't post a pic of it as will take few days to get it sized.

Granny A and Grandad went away on their trip this morning - for SEVEN WHOLE DAYS. This is a good thing - for all of us. Granny A and I had our first real argument last night - there have been a few glips where I have been called a grumpy tart but certainly nothing that warrented the thoughts and tears last night - albeit behind closed doors after the angry words were spoken. I wonder what it is about fights with family - I think in this case it was the fight that was more upsetting as opposed to what was actually said. I knew I couldn't blog last night as would have had to delete it today, especially now as Granny A keeps an eye on the blog to see how much she stars in it. Which, I must admit, is less than she would had I been able to write the blog in a language other than English. Which is of course why Granny K gets so much bad press.

The fight was basically about how soft I was being in terms of Shou's sleeping routine - the waking in the night and going straight into his room and patting him back to sleep rah rah. This DOES NOT happen back in Kunimi and I am a bit more into the tough love thing. However, the situation we are in now on holiday is not ideal and I can't feel I can leave Shou to scream the house down at two in the morning as then would wake Grandad and most definately my parent's friends who have been sleeping in the room next door. A quick 'yoshi yoshi mummys here' and the whole thing is over within a minute. For me it's a no brainer but for Granny A... she thinks I am treating him like a 'little prince'. I can see her point but am by no means prepared to try and sort out the perfect sleeping routine when in a couple of weeks we will be in yet another bed and then a week later back in Japan.

I had my share of being a grumpy tart bitch to Granny A and told her that 'was she a more willing granny granny I would be more likely to take on board some of her crap advice' Ooops. Anyway, we said our appologies this morning thank god, as didn't want that hanging there for the next seven days.

So, was feeling a bit shite this morning when dropped Marina off with sister and Shou off with Ame's dad, but nothing a good gossip and some serious retail therapy couldn't fix. Ame's mum, as she herself admits, could sell ice to an eskimo. Not that I needed much convincing in the bling department. She did however give me the push I needed and stood beside me while I made the three automatic transfers with my bankcard - as my bank has a limit to how much you can do in one go. Obviously to stop people stealing your card and going out to buy expensive pieces of bling. Pointless if you can just break the sale up though. I did try and get the price down but I never have been very good at bargaining. That said though it still had twenty percent off. Have never spent that much New Zealand money in one go. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't hugely expensive but I would say it was a medium range price and still enough to warrent being a better than cheap bit of bling that should last the distance to give to Marina in years to come.

At the moment I am at Granny A's alone - Marina is asleep at sister's and Shou is drawing endless pictures of snakes - or he was when I left. I have about another twenty minutes or so and then I need to get back. My brother and his girlfirend are coming for dinner and we are hoping to get the two babies and two toddlers into bed and asleep by seven thirty so we can try and pretend to have some form of civilized dinner - something I haven't done for at least two years. We will probably stay there tonight and come round to start the week long party at Granny A's tomorrow. Nothing like having the parents away to run havoc, break some furniture and empty the booze cabinet.... if only....

There will be a pic of a piece of bling on about Tuesday I should think. I need to thank my Granny for that - as the money we inherited from her was used to pay for it. But is nice tribute I think - using some of that money to buy something that will be passed on. Better than the weekly pay offs from English.

I still haven't said a word to hub, and to be perfectly honest it didn't even enter my mind as I was making the decision this morning. He emailed and said he was off on his New Years pachinko extraverganza. Maybe I'll wait and see if he won or not before I tell him. Gotta love the double standards. He MUST tell me everything and all of his money he earns is OUR money, but I am allowed to withhold information at will and any money I earn or have been given is ALL MINE MINE MINE.


Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

I ended up staying up until the New Year, mainly because the added noise that comes with everyone else staying up in the neighborhood and letting off fireworks and what not that a cuppa and an early night weren't going to happen.
Shou feeding a goat. Wish had got one withe the Alpacca cause was very cute but a goat will have to do. May well be heading out there again as now have Ame and Stella maybe wanting to go for visit and Shou would definately enjoy it a second time round I think.
Today Granny A and I went down and bought three bags of sand and a sand pit plastic play set - to go with his plastic rake and shovel. It was a hit and there are now an assortment of other toys burried in there too. Tonight his sleep toy of choice was a yellow plastic boat which I had to de-sand first. We only used two bags of sand so have an extra for when he has finished emptying the pit, shovel load at a time.

Cousin Stella (2) and Zoe (7 months) arrived in Napier this arvo and they all piled round to Granny A's for a BBQ dinner. We vacated my other sister's house this morning and Stella, Zoe and parents are staying there now - and we are back in the land of quiet breakfasts. Granny A had the high chair outside round the back for the BBQ and then suggested that I feed them breakfast out there too. May well find it has been moved to the bottom of the drive tomorrow with a very long extension cord for the toaster! We are stuck between a rock and a hard place because doing the breakfast thing at 6am at the end of the house we are sleeping in will inevitably wake the guests up (friends of mum and dads) and having it at the other end - in the kitchen, where normal people eat, will wake up the Grandparents.

When we first decided to come and stay - and sleep where we are one of the benefits was that the room Marina and I are in also has cooking facilities and a fridge - Marina however, the legend, has been sleeping most mornings until about seven. So, do I wake her up in the name of being able to sort out a breakfast sitting on the floor in our bedroom, where I can make toast and the kids won't have to whisper (which Shou still hasn't really got the hang of - shame on his two year old vocal chords) or do we go to the big kitchen and just try and be quiet - even though Granny A has strategically placed the high chair outside - and very openly suggested I feed them out there.

Bloody hell, McDonalds breakfast here I come. I could do a documentary on how four weeks of McDonalds breakfasts effects the growth in a one and two year old. How can one meal of the day turn into such a stress time - and then Granny A has the cheek to tell me just to do it how I want and to stop being a 'grumpy tart'. Oooohhhhh. She said she has being saying the word 'tart' quite a lot lately. I say the word bitch quite a lot too but I wouldn't call my own mum a grumpy bitch. Or wouldn't I...

Anyway, grumpy tart bitching aside, I think we are spending tomorrow arvo with the cousins and catching up with my sister which will be nice as havent seen her for a year. There is a very slight small perhaps maybe possibility that I have the maybe but not quite sure opportunity to go looking for bling on Saturday. Will keep you posted.

Marina just started doing her strangled cat inpersonation. Better be off.