Saturday, 28 February 2009

GK needs a suitcase!

The day started out as any other although with Shou not waking up during the night until 4am I got what I think was five hours of solid sleep in a row. Body still trying to figure out what went on. We had an early-ish night last night, finishing with a short but worthwhile international relations meeting - after which hub was trying to calculate about how many more meetings we need in order to make up for the few lost months post pushing the head and limbs out. Of course his mind is also going into overdrive as to what 'natsukashi' positions we will need to get in to as the bump just gets bigger. Must be fun being a man sometimes - being able to spend hours just thinking about sex and positions without distractions like did I put that last load of washing on, was that Marina coughing herself sick again, how big would that frypan have to be to really hit the spot... rah rah.

Speaking of frypans... may not need one if Granny K is true to her word. We had a falling out / argument / run in / bitch fight / whatever this morning. I got a bit 'what the fuck Granny K' pissed off when, after spilling a bit of kerosean she had gotten to refil her kerosene heater in her room and after Shou making a comment along the lines of how it stunk, she shoved her kerosene soaked hand in his face and said 'yes, isn't this stuff smelly'. ??? No aversion to her sitting in her room losing brain cells sniffing kerosene but not my two year old thanks. Stupid woman. She's obviously spilt a bit more kerosene in her seventy years to be behaving like that. Now, if only her room wasn't attached to the rest of the house and if only I could find a lighter with a nice juicy flame.

So anyway, I was in a Granny K induced baddish mood anyway. I went upstairs to get Marina up from her nap. At the same time as I picked her up and held her round her tummy she had a coughing fit. End result - chuck-up all down self and mummy. I stripped her outer layer off and brought her down stairs to where the fire was on and it was cosy and warm. Any person with a working nose could tell she also had a nappy that needed changing so I went off in pursuit of a new nappy and a change of clothes. In that thirty five and a half seconds Granny K came in to the lounge and first comments on how cold Marina was in her underwear and shouldn't I put some more clothes on her and then made approximately five consecutive comments about a smelly nappy and how kawaiso (poor her) it was that it hadn't been changed yet.

I know I know, I should just let these moments slide right on by but... I'm foreign... I'm pregnant... and I don't particularly favor the silly woman, so I couldn't let the moment go. Resulting conversation...

Gijinwife: I only need to hear it once.
Granny K: but poor Marina with her smelly nappy and oooh how cold she looks.
Gaijinwife: she just vommited all over her PJs and I am in the process of changing them. (said from hall where I was in transit collecting things)
Granny K: poor Marina
Gaijinwife: Christ, can you not just leave it alone. I'm sick of listening to you.
Granny K: Why do you go off the handle at the drop of a hat (said confrontational-like, which is quite unlike her)
Gaijinwife: (in shock) because you annoy the shit out of me with your endless carrying on.
Granny K: You shouldn't take it to heart
Gaijinwife: how can I not, you harp on at me everyday about trivial shite and it just gets to me. Once is enough.
Granny K: Your baby isn't going to be very cute/genki if you're always that angry and stressed.
Gaijinwife: YOU are the cause of most of my stress.
Granny K: Really? Then I'll leave.
Gaijinwife: yoroshiku onegiashimasu (go ahead please)

Actually, I didn't say the last line cause GK bolted out of the room before I could. As soon as she had gone I felt this weight had lifted. She wont move out but she finally knows that I really dislike having to live with her. My God what a nice way of putting it.

Marina was changed, dressed and we were out the door in about ten minutes - off for a playdate to meet up with 'Illahee' and her three beautiful kids, 'Kuri and Ping' and the infamous pinglet, and Rachel from 'Yokomatsu family blog'

I needed the hours drive to do some thinking and serious singing. We had a great afternoon. True to her word Rachel had custard, jelly and colored cream for the kids to eat (read as play with, spread in their hair and fling round the room). Actually it was very tame and I think I was the only one that ended up with any in their hair!

It was great to meet Illahee and see Kuri and the pinglet again. I was thinking it would be a bit strange as I tell so much of my life on here - and have never met someone before who knew so much about me before meeting me. It was exactly the afternoon I needed. Had I stayed at home I may well have thrown a suitcase in Granny K's room and started packing for her.

We picked up some things for yakiniku (BBQ) on the way home and arrived just as hub was pulling into the drive with Shou. There was a bit of a frenzy to get the dinner and bath thing over with so that we could go out and see all the fire engines - that were having some kind of patrol round the town. We got to the town office just as the head honcho was telling all the firemen (in their uniforms) whatever it was he was telling them. Then they all stood to attention and signed off, got in their noddy town fire engines, made sure the lights and sirens all worked and went off in procession down the road. Shou was in fire engine heaven. There was even an ambulance!! I was surprised we were the only family turning the event into a family outing. Hopefully it catches on and next year there will be twenty families with their two year olds boys and perhaps a takoyaki stand.

Marina and Shou in bed and hub and I had our dins. He is now watching CSI in Japanese - I forgive this only because I have seen this episode twice! I would love to stay up for Grays Anatomy and Project Runway but hub is working all day tomorrow and I don't think getting to bed at 2am is the best way to start a day of full on Shou and Marina.

Sorry for the rant.

SDGH&QL

PS - Hub found the shoyu place OK - completely not where Granny K had said it was but he found it none the less.

Friday, 27 February 2009

TGIF

Actually my week is usually thank god it's any day but Sunday when a weekly typhoon comes rampaging through the house in the name of Shou. And this Sunday hub is working ALL DAY.

Don't worry though, ...

I may well do a gaijinwife drive by of the Jumbo Taihyo (Pachinko) in Kunimi if the kids are getting cabin fever and we need to get out. I have a feeling the work alibi is legit though as he had the same thing last year and the year before and the year before that, and what with being a man and all, I don't think he has it in him to make up something that elaborate. Far too much multitasking involved.

They have two Sunday's during tax season where they stay at the office and open it for people who work during the week and can't get help with their tax returns. I have seen a few adverts on TV for e-tax, doing your taxes online. Doubt that will be hitting Kunimi for another fifty years though, due to the majority of people who need help with their taxes being at that age where 'just put in your figures and push enter' would mean actually having to find a person called enta to push first. Hub spent today at the old people's home doing their returns. He must be a lot more patient than I give him credit for!! But then he does put up with me.

Granny K has been having a bit of a rough time today - sitting on the loo most of the day. Her new meds aren't agreeing with her - according to her. I would put it down to some old scungy vegetable she scrapped off her floor and deemed still edible. She has stoped her meds anyway so you never know, I may not need to find the perfect frying pan to whack her over the head with, she might shit herself to the next life...

She cornered hub just before and 'told' him he had to go to the next town over tomorrow to some shoyu (soya sauce) place to pick something up for her. Hub tried to say no but she bullied him into it - she must feel she needs to stand her ground with someone and seeing as she doesn't get anywhere with me she has to pick on hub. Honestly the way she spoke to him.

GK: .... ittekure yo (go to the ... (no please or thankyous))
Hub: basho wa? (where is it)
GK: shiran yo. shirabechottekure yo (dunno, look it up for me)
Hub: ashita jyanakute ii ya (Can it not be tomorrow?)
GK : mooooo (like a two year old (not a cow - although that could be debatable))

She isn't even going herself - just sending him on a mission for her. To some mystery soya sauce location. I offered to go on monday for her - but apparantly IT HAS to be tomorrow. I get stupidly protective of our days off - and is even sillier tomorrow as Marina and I won't even be here so hub has the whole day to bow down to Granny K's every whim.

Solar panel man's wife came over this arvo. She is having issues with her mother in law, who tends to take control and plan their life for them - even though they don't even live together. She stayed for three hours during which time we agreed on having a baking session next Friday. She wants me to teach her how to make some stuff. No doubt one of our collective kids will get sick on thursday night and we will have to postpone. It is Granny K's birthday on the Saturday so I thought I would save, if the bunster allows, some of the goodies to give to her. Although I did offer her some of our dinner tonight and she flat out said 'iran - geri dakara' (don't want it - got the shits). Rightio then, last offer of tastey Grandmas chicken stew for you you ungrateful bitch.

SIGH

SIGH

SIGH

SDGH&QL

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Best Time of Day

A recent Japanese TV show did a study into the time of week that husbands and wives look forward to the most. The show pretty much only looked into two parent households with children where the wife was a stay at home mum - limiting the study of course but interesting none the less.

As they were doing the lead up I had in mind the exact time I thought a mother would say. When the scene of the husband's 'most favoured' time came up Hub totally agreed - a scene where the husband is sitting down on the couch obviously after dinner, a pre-teen son is showing him a picture or homework from school, and the wife is looking pretty, smiling and putting a cup of tea for her tired husband on the table - no mug by the way, all coasters and pretty cups. I laughed.

Then the scene the mother 'most favoured' came on. 10 am on a Monday morning. The business of the morning and doing lunches, getting kids sorted, doing breakfast and getting the family out the door is over. The first round of cleaning is probably done and the mother is sitting on the couch with a mug of coffee stuffing her face with morning tea and laughing hysterically at something on daytime TV.

Clasic!

That has been my morning this morning although it is only half nine and a Thursday. I still have a lot to do of course but at the moment I have my big size starbucks mug (full of instant coffee unfortunately), the fire is on, two loads of washing are done, the vacuuming finished, the bench shiny, hub sent off to work with a wife-made lunch with all the compulsory obento bits and beautiful color arrangements, a son sent off to kindy fed with all his clothes on the right way and a daughter in peaceful slumber upstairs. I am not laughing hysterically at something on TV - as for me TV doesn't really crank up until later in the arvo when the re-runs of CSI and Medium and the likes come on satelite. Not much viewing on Wednesdays and Thursdays though due to afternoon English classes.

It is a beautiful day. I was even able to, wait for it, hang washing outside and reclaim our lounge that has for the past few weeks been a Chinese laundry. I even might be up for a walk later if I can bundle Marina in enough clothes and sneak her past Granny K, aka the wannabe weather lady.

Yesterday I went to the town office to sort out the gaijin card. It was an easy process but things got difficult when I asked if I could fill something out to get Marina and Shou's name on my paperwork. There was half an hour of manual reading between the two people manning the 'residents' desk at the office. They didn't look like there were getting round to reaching a conclusion anytime soon so I asked if I could take a nutting out Marina away and come back on our way home. No problem.

We went on our playdate and did the shopping on my list and stopped back at the office a couple of hours later. APPARENTLY....

Because I am not the head of the household (what do they know) I am only able to get hub's details on my paperwork. Should I need anything certifying things then I needed to get a copy of hub's family register. I got a tad irate and fired question after question at the lady - who I know hasn't got anything to do with the stupid politics behind it but still - shoot the messenger. In the end I said

'so I have none of my own paperwork that says I have two children?'
'No, but you don't need it, you have your husband's'
'If I was a permanent resident would it be any different?'
(she looks back at her books and makes to take it off her desk)
'Don't worry. Do I need to fill anything out, cross anything else out on that last bit of paper?'
'No'

- sound of big pregnant angry foreigner exiting town office
- sound of big pregnant angry foreigner squealing out of carpark
- sound of big pregnant angry foreigner crying in frustration again

(camera zooms back to town office where lady has written a message for hub saying 'watch out tonight, your wife is in a bitch of a mood ;p )

Actually hub didn't say anything about it so no doubt the whole office (only twenty of them) are just thinking to themselves what a pshyco I am and feeling sorry for hub. Or they could be passing an envelope round to try and raise money for my ticket home - alone, what with seeing as I officially don't have any children and hub is a single father of two.

Anyway, that's out of my system.

Both english classes yesterday went well. I had bought a strawberry roll cake for the evening class. yum yum. One of the girls who was leaving had made me a batch of scones and written a very nice letter that made me laugh - thinking that she was probably complaining to her mother as to that she didn't know what to write and her mum was probably telling her to just write something that would make the teacher feel good. This is what she wrote...

immamade honto ni arigatou gozaimashita
tottemo tottemo tanoshikatta desu
bijin de totemo omoshiroi sensei deshita
korekaramo karadani kiwotsukete kawaii kodomosan to ganbattekudasai

Thank you for teaching me the last three years.
I really enjoyed the classes.
You are a beautiful and fun teacher.
Please take care and all the best to you and your beautiful children.

Ah well, brownie points for giving me a laugh and making me feel good. The scones were exceptionally yummy too.

Well, It's nearly ten so I should get into round two - which is sorting out my English classes for this arvo. As it is the end of the month I will be giving them their fee envelopes to take home, put some dosh in, and bring back next week - to give gaijinwife the needs to fund her international phone and satelite bills. However, I first need to make a record of all the dosh I got during 2008 - hub needs a record for tax purposes and that shite needs to be submitted by Monday I think - shit bugger bugger, actually maybe it needs to be before the end of the month which would mean tomorrow is my last day. Definitely worth getting my shit together and doing though as last year hub got me 60,000 yen back - about a thousand dollars NZ. He works out stuff like electricity used for English classes at home, amounts for photocopying rah rah... Quite useful having a tax man husband. I'd rather he was a chef or a masseus (sp??) but beggars can't be choosers.

SDGH&QL

Sweet Dreams, Good Health and Quiet living.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Daily UV Protection

The only thing in the cupboard that could replace the holiday sun moisturiser was the Johnson's baby lotion, daily UV protection. 180 degree change that hub hopes will make his hands look less sick very fast. I'm still enjoying my nice tanned feet.

We (predominantly 'I') have been having some rough nights lately. Marina still has a bit of a smokers cough but she isn't usually the problem. It is Shou and his night terrors and the 'papa to neran, mama ga ii' (I don't wanna sleep with daddy, I want mummy) thing. ARRGGHHH. I don't mind snuggling in in his bed for some of the night but he unfortunately doesn't sleep vertically up and down with his head on the pillow. He is all over the place, with his feet finding most of their warmth in the folds of my pregnant belly. His in-utero little brother is starting to protest, as is his mother who finds herself needing to whiz every time Shou changes positions!!

Fortunately hub is finding a bit of a routine in the mornings that starts with getting up with Shou at about six and going downstairs and having breakfast. This morning he came back upstairs and got Marina when she started making herself heard at half six and I got to sleep in until a glorious seven oh nine. I came downstairs, fed Marina, dressed Shou and cleaned his teeth and got his kindy bag ready. Hub took him out the door for kindy at ten to eight and Marina and I were left to dance to 'inainai ba' (peekaboo) in our jammies.

She is now having a nap and I am half way through the house stuff. When she wakes up we are off to the town office because they have to know about my new spouse visa and write something on my foreigners card, probably to effect of 'another foreigner we can't seem to get rid of in a hurry'.

Then we are off for a play date over the hills and then it's a spot of shopping - hub's hair shite (honestly, he spends more time than a girl getting ready in the mornings), his deodorant, and a kiddies umbrella for Shou - and probably something sweet for English class tonight. To of my junior high girls are stopping. I have been teaching them for three years so it's a bit sad. That said though, they are only first year junior high and the other three students are second year. It will be good to have all the same level again. When they were still in primary school it didn't make much difference but now that they are studying English at school every day and at different levels it is starting to show.

Really, I am just looking for an excuse to buy something sweet!

SDGH&QL

Monday, 23 February 2009

Bahama Brown??

I noticed this morning as I was getting dressed that my calfs, ankles and feet are a lovely brown - as if they alone have had a holiday to the Bahamas without the rest of my body. I have of course put two and two together and had a good giggle - especially as hub's hands are also tanned nicely...

The culprit is my Johnson's Holiday Skin Body Lotion, guaranteed to 'gradually build a beautiful, light tan.' I can vouch that this is true so if anyone is thinking of getting a self tanning lotion I definitely recommend this one :) I had on my pregnant woman radar when getting hub to use this for my ankle rubs. To begin with I was using a normal body lotion but this ran out so I hunted the cupboards and found this one - I didn't really read anything except the Holiday Skin Body Lotion bit.

For fear of scaring the doctor and midwives with my nice tanned feet I will either have to go in search of a normal moisturiser or get hub to gradually massage the rest of my body. Hmmmmmmm. I know which I would prefer. I'm just scared hub would agree with me and then we would be in a compromising position for half an hour every evening. One way to scare Granny K into moving out I guess!

Marina and I did the drive to the city this morning - two hours each way. Getting my new visa sticker in my passport at the immigration office took about seven and a half minutes. We then went to get some goodies, and some chocs for hub to give back to the girls in his office on March 14th - unfortunately there wasn't a huge selection out this early so I flagged it and hub will have to fend for himself in this department. I got some things for Marina's lunch and then we went to my sister in law's house for a pitstop. I wasn't expecting to be fed but fed I was. We had a good goss in between which I casually asked if they had any spare room for Granny K - a cupboard, a garden shed, anything would suffice really. Unfortunately they don't. What a surprise!

Marina, who hadn't napped during the morning, fell asleep within about five minutes of the drive home and slept the whole way which was a bonus. I got to drive full tit (well, as full tit as you drive with a baby on board and a seat belt sticking into your seven month pregnant belly), singing unashamedly loud to mainly the cayote ugly soundtrack - again.

I am going through several hot spells where it seems I am the only one to feel any of the heat. Being in the lounge with the fire pumped up can get me in a sweat and I can only presume the bunster is inside sweating in his sauna, with a white towel draped over his midriff, pouring more water on the coals. I can't remember these hot flushes with the first two pregnancies so am attributing it to the extra padding I had at the start of this one!

I have got everything that can be crossed crossed in the hope that hub doesn't work late tonight. I am bit knackered after all the driving and would love to curl up in bed with a cuppa and my latest read after the kids are in bed.

Hence the blogging now and not later.

Right, off to pick Shou up from kindy.

SDGH&QL

Edit - hub came home tonight and expressed a bit of concern over the color of his hands. He was extremely releived to hear it was my attempt at spreading some summer into our winter. He thought he was getting sick :p

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Hiatus

Sorry for the weeks hiatus. Nothing major to report really, just a continuation of days where time for sitting down at the computer didn't happen. There were a couple of nights I guess but getting an ankle rub seemed more important :p

Yesterday when I was thinking I would get the chance to blog I was contemplating a 'Bless Granny K' title. Not in the religious sense, as am not religious and don't really even know what is involved in an actually blessing - does it involve a lot of water like a baptism? or a sword to the shoulder like a knighthood? Today however, the only chance of giving Granny K the honor of such a blog title would be if blessing did in fact involve a lot of water that just happened to be in a bucket into which I could stick her in upside down.

Over the last few days (not counting today) she has been very good. Shou has been home from kindy a few days. Not with anything serious of course - just the standard kindy teachers lark of ringing parents up as soon as their child has a temperature of about 37.8 or more. I got a call on Tuesday morning so went to pick Shou up. Fair play though he was quite hot and that night was a bit of a nightmare and I think the bunster and I got about twenty minutes sleep all up - the bunster got all twisted in sympathy for his brother and I had a very sore tummy and a bashing bunster for a good couple of hours. If it had been my first pregnancy I probably would have scared myself into thinking the bunster had wrapped the cord round his neck and was fighting for a breath.

On Wednesday the kindy was having their annual photo shoot so I took Shou along just for that where he was extremely good and waited patiently for the entire ten minutes it took for the cameraman to set up (after all the kids were seated on their knees in tidy little rows on cushions on the floor) and a further ten minutes where they were told to look good but not smile too much as too many happy smiley faces would ruin the photo. Cue, gaijin mum to bash camera man on head.

After the pics I took him to the doctors. His temperature had gone down but he has been a very snotty nosed boy for the last week and his cough was getting worse - almost a pack a day smokers cough. Doctor gave him some meddy and declared him an otherwise fit and healthy spawn of the devil child.

I had to cancel my afternoon Wednesday classes - and again on Thursday as the kids were both at home again and Granny K doesn't do the looking after Shou and Marina thing. I did my Wednesday and Thursday night classes though.

I was never against co-sleeping (just to completely divert from things for a second) but have always been a firm believer that it is better for kids to have their own room and their own bed. That said though I do spend about twenty or thirty minutes every night in bed with Shou settling him down to sleep. And, for the most part (on nights when I don't have time restraints - like English teaching nights) I LOVE this time. That time before slumber when Shou is all cuddly and saying nice things. I get proper mummy cuddles and it gives me the chance to forget how spawn of the devil childish he has been during the day. I know it is the terrible twos but sometimes it is hard to be rational when he acts so ARRRRRGGGGHHHHHHH, like he is trying to annoy me on purpose. Must be frustrating for him too. He has so much energy to get out and after more days at home than at kindy he feels the strain too.

So anyway, Granny K did quite a bit of little bits of looking after Marina during the week - and usually at the drop of the hat. The biggy was on Saturday when again the kindy teacher rang up because Shou had a temperature. What did I want to do? Come and pick him up? He was otherwise fine!! Oooohhhh, I just don't understand. In New Zealand I think the routine is to ring the parent (take the temperature) after a child starts to look a bit under the weather. Here they take the temperatures after morning tea EVERY DAY - and keep a journal. Anything upwards of 38 and they get on the blower. So, hub went to pick him up at half nine. I took his temperature as soon as he got home - 36.9. And, yes our thermometer is the same one they use at the hopsitals - one of those damn things that take about two minutes to beep. I was very close to packing him back in the car and taking him back to kindy - in my pjs and not wearing a bra.

Instead we opted to get Granny K to look after Marina and we took Shou out with us. We were going to go out for lunch with Marina and go to the home centre. We switched kids and kept to the plan. Shou was for the most part very well behaved apart from when he kept yelling out 'urusai' (noisy) every time someone pushed the buzzer at the resteraunt.

What has pissed me off today about GK was something that annoys me to no end - giving Shou food in her room. He asked me for some barf natto beans at about half five this evening. I said no. Natto was on our breakfast menu and besides it was nearly dinner time, and as my mother always said, hungry is a great way to be at dinner time. He immediately took off to Granny K's room where I heard him ask for natto. I said in very loud voice into her room that Shou wasn't allowed any food right before dinner. Twenty mintues later and dinner is on the table. I go in to get Shou and find him with a nearly finished bowl of rice and natto. I told him to go into the lounge for dinner at which point Granny K tried to take the bowl off him. I put the devil gaijin wife voice on and said if you are going to be as stupid as to go against what I asked of you and give him food then the least you can do is let him take it and finish it. She tried to manhandle the bowl off him at which stage I manhandled Shou off her and took him out, muttering under my breath that I thought it was time we put another lock on her door. Don't be shocked. I am hormonal. I have a valid excuse for such petty stupidness and bitchiness for the next four months.

I told hub. I emphasised that this kind of behaviour is the underlying factor in the 'bakuhatsu' (exploding) gaijin wife. He went in and said something to her. I was too over it and too knackered to do the usual stand in the hall and listen trick.

Unfortunately because I am officially angry at the stupid woman I am unable to bring myself to go into her room to see if she will look after Marina while I drive to the immigration office tomorrow to collect my visa. I am contemplating taking Marina with me, and if it isn't raining and I get a semi-decent (anything over four hours) amount of sleep tonight then I will. Otherwise I think I will wait till after the cooling off period and book Granny K for Friday instead - by which time the kindy would have decided Shou has a rampant fever and can I please keep him home for at least a week.

Well, it is ankle rub time. Hub and I have had some squiffles this week and no doubt had I been blogging everyday I would have thought they were a lot more major than they were. As it turns out I can't think of one right off the top of my head.... which just goes to show I really do make mountains out of mole hills sometimes :)

SDGH&QL

Monday, 16 February 2009

Shaguddling Up

We shaguddled up last night - and it is amazing that men really can change so much by something so primitive. Hub was a new man today. He e-mailed after lunch to say thankyou for his lunch and to say how nice it was. He commented on dinner - and how I had gotten it just right. I refrained from telling him that the 'oyakodon' used a packet that you just add water, onions and chicken and egg too and that the packet was three months past it's use by date. We are pulling purse strings and I am trying to go through all the stuff in the pantry before stocking up again. What he doesn't know... I guess I'll have to admit it if we all get the shits in the middle of the night.

When I came down from putting Shou to sleep he gave me a cuddle and said 'thank you' for all the hard work I put in with the raising the kids thing. This is a very rare comment - probably about as rare as me saying thank you to him for going out every day and working for money for the family.

It is funny how such very simple things can make you feel so good. I had to write it down to remind myself. I think I need to slip thankyou into more of my conversations with hub. I won't go so far as to slip it in with Granny K - not yet. I think I might need a few more years of blog therapy before I can manage that. And hopefully by then she will be that one step closer to having a place in a home.

Speaking of GK - and really just because I can't have a completely positive blog, she gets on my wick with the way she 'leaves the room'. How completely petty I know but sometimes I just can't help thinking what a silly little old woman she is. We were in here this afternoon - Granny K, Marina and I - playing happy child, mummy and mother in laws. Granny K got up to leave and Marina started to get a bit clingy. Granny K puts her on the mat and then leaves and closes the door. So far so good. Then she spends about five minutes playing peek a boo through the stein glass on the door - which really doesn't help in calming Marina down. Come on woman - just make a clean break. Close the door and walk away. WALK AWAY FROM THE DOOR. Ah well, I won Marina back by making silly farting noises with the stuffed caterpillar.

Well, early nights tonight I think. Shou left us in peaceful slumber until three am last night. I almost felt refreshed enough to get up and start the day when he woke up - making random statements about 'oni' and 'concrete mixers'.

SDGH&QL

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Barney Overload

The house is quiet. No valentines day antics. We were going to have valentine's day nabe nabe (hot pot) with the daikon and carrots cut into hearts... but the ingredients got glad wrapped and put in the fridge almost as soon as they had been cut!

Another barney that started with hub's 'everything would be just perfect if we won two million dollars' comment. Not quite sure how it got twisted into what it did but my hormones got the better of me again - SIGH, how very emotionally draining. At this rate the bunster is going to come out howling because his mum has to live with his granny - instead of just howling because of the shock of taking his first breath.

Hub seems to think that 'shouganai, gaijin dakara' is a fair comment to anything - 'you're a foreigner. That's just the way it is'. To any men reading this, a bit of advice...

When a women is obviously going off on a tangent and upset about somthing, regardless of whether or not this has anything to do with you and may well probably be something you have no control over, do not just dismiss her with a one liner. Commiserate with her a bit, even if that means just nodding your head and agreeing with her outlandish comments.

If the above happens to occur when your woman is pregnant and hormonal then just nod and make affirmative sounds. Don't go so far as to actually voice your opinion as no doubt anything you say to a pergnant woman on the rampage is going to be shot down.

Then, if the immediate above also happens to fall on valentine's day, or any anniversary of significance, and presuming that you have remembered (in your best interests to get all important dates concerning your woman tatooed onto your hand) then end the nodding and affirmative sounds with a cuddle and a gentle wiping of your woman's tears.

DO NOT try and talk sense into a woman in this state as it will only make matters worse.

So, hub and I went over the 'juminhyo' argument again. I did this long mad woman speal and got all heated and upset about it, as I was pounding the heart shaped cutter through bits of raddish and carrot, only to get the one liner gaijin comment. The glad wrap came out almost immediately and I got in the bath.

I will remember not to open this can of worms again - at least until the next hormonal crisis when hub pulls out some random comment that somehow gets twisted.

Just for the record, hub thought two million dollars would solve everything because then we could build Granny K a house next door. I said if we had two million dollars she could live here and we could build ourselves a house at least two kilometers away - and a house in New Zealand so that we could go between.

Speaking of the silly woman. Shou was in her room for ten minutes before bed. I took him up to bed and was trying to get him to sleep but he was restless as and obviously not tired. He then said he was going to be sick and that it was from the 'kusuri' (medicine) he had had in Granny's room. Hub poked his head up the stairs to ask why Shou wouldn't go to sleep and I asked him to ask Granny K what Shou had had. Granny K was asleep (very unusual for her at 8pm) so hub said he couldn't ask her. Wimp. I came downstairs all ready for action. Hub decided it was safer for him to try again. Turns out it was only a cough lolly but I still got the run down for getting him to wake Granny K up. Would you have not done the same thing? It wasn't like it was three o'clock in the morning - and if it had been I still wouldn't have done the 'OK, let her sleep then'.

It could have been fricken plant fertilizer (OK, so what the odds) or vestling sleeping meddicine or god knows what. Better to know then and there I reckon.

Anyway, dramas aside, shou finally got to sleep and here's hoping he stays that way. A bit more CSI and I might head that way myself. No cuddle, snuggle or shaguddle advancements tonight though.

SDGH&QL

Friday, 13 February 2009

Bravo

Bravo and hats off to you Japan for making what could have potentially been a shite experience and perhaps even a cold day, what with all the boob flashing I thought I might be doing, and turning it into a breeze ...

It took a bit to get to sleep last night after my cry and vent. I am not good at 'switching off' at night anyway and Shou picked up on things and I think he kept just chatting away until about 1am. I was nearly ready to pack the whole day in today as was thinking I couldn't handle the two hour drive each way on only four hours sleep - which was of course not four hours in an actual row.

Anyway, alarm off at five and me downstairs in shower by five past. Put the fire on, sorted out as much of the kid stuff as I could before they woke up and then thats it for me - out the door at six for the two hour drive to the licence place. New place was very easy to find and I was first in line at the renewal office. Had a LOVELY policeman dealing with it all. And after asking if I could understand Japanese he then proceeded to talk to me like a normal person. I was in and out of there in thirty minutes. Painless. Whole centre is full of old policemen asking you what you have come for and showing you what to do. They even had a nice kiddy playroom and booby room (for breastfeeding not flashing) so that should I feel inclined to lose my licence again it wouldn't be much of a major taking a child or two with me.

From there I drove twenty minutes to the immigration office and was in there handing in my papers by half nine. There was a little bit of tut tutting from the man looking at my paperwork but five minutes later and I get called over and given a piece of paper with dates on it - during which time I need to come back so that my passport can get the new Visa sticker. I don't understand??? the immigration office has never ever been that easy. Maybe I was surrounded in a 'don't piss this gaijin off' light!

The bunster and I took advantage of the time and walked into town to Tokiwa - because there basement floor with all the food is fab and while the bunster had demanded a piece of vegemite on toast at half five before we left, I was feeling a bit peckish by ten. Very very yummy cheesey roll things and some salad and bacon, asparagas and cheese things for dinner and we were off again, via starbucs to get a take away latte. The latest one is honey and orange and oh my god, what a flavor sensation. Am thinking is bestest for bunster and surrounding tummy home that starbucs is so far away.

Got home just before one to find Marina happy, albeit with the leftovers of lunch and half a cup of snot on her face but still, happy. Not a pair of nail clippers or lighters or mochi in sight. Granny K was relieved to see us home so early and was in her room in about thirty seconds flat and by the sounds of it having a siesta about four minutes after that. We weren't far away and by one Marina and I were siesta-ing too.

So, not quite the day I was expecting. A nice surprise. Hub has said all of about ten words to me today - which included a phone call on my way home to see if everything had gone OK.

Me: moshi moshi
hub: dekitakai (get it sorted?)
Me: dekitayo (yep, sorted)
hub: jya (later)
Me: jya (later)

He was home late-ish tonight and has now gone to bed. I am sitting here wondering whether to scoff more of his valentines day choccies he got from the girls at work. I was thinking about making some chocs but he gets a 'pink pair of lips' choc that I got at starbucs this morning. He is probably hoping he gets lucky on valnetines day but then maybe, after his mad wife's mood last night, isn't expecting too much in the way of international relations meetings. Good, as really can't be flagged - especially with bunster making lower back sore and the start of the puffy ankle syndrome- although that could be due to all the walking we did or perhaps the lemon orange latte went straight down to my ankles.

Thankyou for all the cyber hugs and luck from yesterday's vent. Nice to know I'm not the only one that thinks Japan has a long way to go in making this a foreigner friendly country. I am going to go and try and 'register' my children on my paperwork on Monday.

Nearly nine o'clock - I should actually probably have an early night and a snuggle (as in exactly that - snuggle or cuddle and not shaguddle) - last night's behavior was I believe quite understandable but it really has absolutely nothing to do with hub (although I wish HE would be a bit more understanding) so I should just do the 'sorry' thing and go back to happy families.

SDGH&QL

Thursday, 12 February 2009

A Tad Livid

Warning: language may offend

ARRRGGGGH, bloody Japanese buerocracy. I always knew it was a pile of red tape shite and I used to just bitch about it as it concerned me, which was mainly when I was working full time. I haven't really had to worry about it since applying for my Spouse Visa (Spouse or Child of a Japanese National) three years ago, and at that time I didn't have Shou or Marina so I guess the bullshit didn't upset me as much.

Tomorrow I am off to get a new drivers licence and to apply for an extension of my Spouse Visa. I would ideally like to apply for permanent residency but I have to have six months left on my current visa to apply - and I only have two weeks left so I guess I will have to apply for an extension first. At the present moment the thought of being a permanent resident of this friggen backward shithole country (not much angst there) doesn't appeal much - but then it would mean no more visa extensions. Yip huraah bloody ray.

So, I rung the Immigration Office this morning - I know, cutting it fine seeing as plan on going tomorrow but honestly, the amount of shit we had to hand in for the change in status of residence to spouse status three years ago (where did you meet? how many times do you talk on the phone each day? do you make his lunch? Does he wear undies or boxers? OK, so that last one was made up but still... may as well just ask how many times we shag a week and be done with it) I just assumed (silly me) that to renew the damn thing I wouldn't need so much stuff. My god, give me a country where a little boob flashing will get me some results and I'm off. Stuff the paperwork.

To proceed - immigration lady was very condescending and spoke to me as if was five year old, which I do get in a way as when I was working with international students finding jobs in Japan - and trying to get them to deal with the immigration office it was obvious that some of them needed to be told in very basic Japanese. There is, however, a difference between speaking to a five year old and speaking to an intelligent, tertiary educated person who is just trying extremely hard to communicate in a language that isn't their mother tongue. I don't need the loud voice treatment, I just need you to repeat the titles of the forms I need to submit. I only really hear these words on average of about, oh, once every three years. Get with the program lady.

I can actually feel the heat from my body at this moment. Thought I had lost a lot of the steam in my pregnant woman needs a howl shower but obviously not. Hub has gone to bed too now which helps with the cooling down process I think.

I digress. So it turns out I need to submit lots of documents - most of which I need to get from the town office and which concern hub, HIS household and his income. The documents that are setting me on fire are the jyuminhyo (certificate of residence). I got told by the immigration office that I needed one with ALL of our details on it. I told this to hub. He rings up at lunch time and says I need to come in to apply in person to get my own one as the rules have changed and foreigners don't get a certificate of residence anymore but instead a certificate of gaijin registration - actually don't know what is in English. I USED to be able to get a certificate of residence so the fact that they have further alienated the whole thing fucks me off for one but what really gets my nut is...

Hub's certificiate of residence does not include me. It has both Shou and Marina but not me. Why?? because I am a gaijin and even though we got married by a short little priest in an old Japanese temple and that I have paid social welfare, taxes and pension fees like any Japanese Taro, Jiro or Yuki ever since I have been here, and despite the fact that I went through being pregnant, giving birth, and raising our 'Japanese' national children AND I have to live with my Japanese mother in law who has no intention of leaving us soon, I am not considered important enough to even put a PS on my husbands certificate of residence.

On my gaijin registration certificate print out there is a section for family details. Only hub is listed. The bit on the side says to put in details for mother, father or dependants - is this supposed to include children? The note at the bottom says that only those family members who the 'gaijin' has reported to the city office about by date of application are included. So, while my husband automatically gets labelled 'father' when he submits the birth certificates of Shou and Marina (that has my name on it), I am label-less unless I go in person to the office and say that I want their names on my registration???? Is this true?

So, hub and I had a wee barney about it because hub said I should have sorted it out last week and then we could have checked before tomorrow. I agree. I should have but I don't need to be treated like a two year old - I hate it when he pulls the 'you always blame everyone else' call. I tried to explain that I wasn't blaming him. I was thankful that he took the time out of his busy day to get these forms for me and that should the circumstances be reversed one day I would do all I could to help him and not let him fend for himself at a town office in New Zealand. I should have dealt with it sooner - but that wouldn't have changed the fact that I still feel very upset about not being a part of his 'certificate of residence', and that I could pop out sprog after sprog for ten years and register them all but they still wouldn't appear on my documents unless I report them in person.

Anyway, we shall see how I get on tomorrow. I thought about putting it off until Monday so I could try and get Shou and Marina's names on my gaijin rego certificate but have instead decided to wear the most pregnant looking top I can find and christ, I may even flash a boob if I think it will speed things up.

Hub has gone to bed knowing I am in a huff. He doesn't understand how totally upset I am after seeing how not a part of the family I am - or rather that my own children are listed but not me, their mother. I know, I know, it's only a bloody piece of paper. But then so is a marriage certificate and a birth certificate, and neither of those seemed to make me any closer to being a PART of the family.

Enough already. I needed to vent. Actually I needed to stop crying in the shower so getting out and blogging with half an ear on CSI Miami was good. Despite the most annoying thing not actually being hub's fault I think I will behave like a five year old anyway and go and sleep in with Shou ;)

SDGH&QL

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Early Birthday

Am trying to think what I have done this week... struggling... which goes to show how exciting it has been!

I think on Monday I went to the ladies clinic again - to see another friend who had her baby on Saturday afternoon. Shou's fav teacher from kindy had her baby the same day and so I popped in and saw her too. A baby boom at the moment :)

Yesterday Marina and I pottered around. I tried to give her room a bit of a doing over and while it did admittedly end up tidier than when I started I am not entirely sure how. In the process I remembered where I had put the 'hina dolls' and so they got taken out and put on display.

Today was 'health day' or whatever it is called in English. A public holiday so no work for hub and no kindy. It was like a Sunday with running rampage. Shite, can't believe I almost forgot. We caught a ferret in the trap last night - that we had borrowed from a neighbour. It was a big bugger and obviously the culprit behind the pile of disgusting smelling ferret poo that stunk the house out the week we got home. We had tempura as bait - just in case anyone else is wondering how to trap a ferret. We realised yesterday evening that we had something in the trap but hub decided not to venture into the roof until the daylight this morning. It was quite a production, but quite a fun one at that. Shou was highly entertained, especially as we went on a ferret mission to the mountains to let it go.

I took a photo of it and have just tried to find the cord to attach to the computer and think may have left it attached to Granny A's computer in New Zealand. SIGH. Speaking of things I haven't got... I have misplaced my drivers license. OK, lost. I thought I had put it in a safe place but it wasn't in any of the usual safe places so off I am going this Friday to the drivers license place two hours away to get a new one. I have to go and renew my Spouse visa anyway which is over that way-ish. Granny K has agreed to look after Marina, so if I can get everything over by lunch time (bloody miracle race through Japanese red tape) then I may even get time for a coffee ON MY OWN. Oh my god. I don't even know what that means any more.

Hub had a go at me for losing it and I had to remind him that I was pregnant - but then I am pretty forgetful anyway. An hour later and it was me having a go at him...

I had Shou's bob the builder's plastic pretend builder's set stashed away on top of the wardrobe in our room awaiting his birthday in June. It wasn't wrapped in anything but it wasn't totally obvious. Anyway, during the ten minutes I was at the supermarket this afternoon all three of the kids (Shou, Marina and hub) woke up from their afternoon naps. Shou somehow spotted the builders set (was sleeping in our room with hub) and hub relented and got it down for him. I had showed him the prezzie in New Zealand before I sent it back and again when it arrived and I put it away for Shou's birthday.... Oooh, I was a bit livid but we got over it by singing Shou happy birthday a few months early!! Now all he is getting is a card and cake - lucky he will only be three and he wont be traumatised for life by the birthday where he didn't get anything because dad was useless.

I had two English classes today - the usual two. We made valentine's day cards in the kids one and did real study for the junior high kids. A couple even brought class fees from last November which was a bonus as I had forgotten completely about them.

Well, nothing exciting to report on the Granny K or bunster front. She still exists and the bunster continues to grow and devour bread and cheese.

SDGH&QL

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Sunday Okonomiyaki

Hub got back on Friday night just before midnight. Needless to say the shochu brewery that walked in the door with him meant he got the futon down stairs treatment! He moved the futon into the lounge so he could sleep in front of the fire - which meant he got Shou jumping on him at half six yesterday morning :) No sympythy.

He had work ALL DAY yesterday - a last minute thing which I hate to admit I checked by doing a drive-by of the town office. Actually I had to drop him off in the morning because he had left his car there the night before - and everyone else from his office was already there and the lights were on and work was in full swing. A bit too elaborate of a fool-the-wife extravaganza if it really was all for the sake of a day at pachinko! His day of wood chopping and collecting will have to wait until next weekend I guess.

Our dinner at solar panel man's house got cancelled because their son Tyson got a temperature and they thought it was the flu, and therefore better we postpone dinner for a couple of weeks. We had had 'nabe' on the brain for a few days though so when I went out with Marina I got all the ingredients for 'kimuchi' nabe.

I took Marina to the clinic with me - for the bunster's check-up and to see my friend and her new baby. I was expecting a normal simple check-up but got told I should do my bloods (the tests I thought it would be too late to have) and the cancer check they do here - that is like having a smear test. I wasn't too happy about it all as I did have Marina with me and there weren't an abundance of nurses on hand to give her to. She came into the toilet with me, sat on my lap while I had my blood taken, played with the cords of the ultrasound machine while I was having that done, and sat on my boobs and face while I was in 'the chair' having the smear type swab taken - albeit behind the curtain with the nurse on the other side making baby noises. What a huuha but all in all it went better than was expecting.

After the check-up we went up stairs to the baby ward. The nurses there remembered Marina and just laughed when I said I would be back in four months. Haha - what a laugh, pushing out a 2000g head and 1000g body.

My friend was in good form and her baby was just lovely. 3600 grams ( 600 grams hair)
Her birthing story was a relief - bubs was out in just two hours. And I mean two hours of start of pain to end of pain. None of this fluffing round for twelve hours you do with child number one. Gives me hope for my slide right out dream birth.

Should probably mention that the bunster is all good - I didn't even get told off for expanding waistline but then I did have the nicer woman doctor and not the gum chewing straight talking man I usually have. Blood pressure OK, no protein in pee rah rah.

After the clinic Marina and I met up with Australian friend for lunch. Hadn't seen her since we got back so was good to catch up in person again. Marina didn't trash the restaurant too much despite being absolutely knackered. She was zonked out in her car seat within about thirty seconds of starting the drive home! AND, slept for a further hour at home in her bed.

Hub played with Shou all day today - well all morning anyway. We had visitors in the afternoon. The man who made all the doors in our house (hereinafter doorman) and his wife, seventeen years his junior (my age), and their one year old son. I used to teach the doorman English many many moons ago. Just for human interest sake I will tell you (and may have said before) that he has two sons from his first marriage, both of whom now have their own children who are all older than his son from his second marriage. Both Shou and Marina went straight for him for a cuddle so he must give off some kind of I love kids aura! Think I know who to try for babysitting now. He said the door industry wasn't too lucrative at the moment so maybe he will welcome a few bob babysitting!!

Oooh, I was naughty today (but in no fun fun sense of the word) and ordered a four draw tidy all toys in sight away stand, and a new rug for the lounge because the beige one we have is absolutely manky and I don't think another dry clean will cut the mustard this time.

SDGH&QL

PS - almost forgot about the title. Took Shou for Okonomiyaki tonight and he got a handful of goodies at the end because he kept calling the owner lady 'neechan' - a word you use for girls and young women not sixty year olds.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Hub has just phoned to see if would come and pick him up....

I said no. Not because Grey's Anatomy is about to start on BS - that has absolutely nothing to do with it. But, because the kids (obviously) are asleep and so is Granny K so, eventhough the okonomiyaki place isn't that far away, I would in theory be leaving the kids asleep at home on their own. Not quite ready for that yet. Hub seemed a bit purplexed as to my reasoning but then he has had five hours of beer and shochu and is dealing with a pregnant and unreasonable wife.

Oooh, It's started. Haven't seen it for ages. Is like catching up with old friends.

Bloody False Nails

I got some in NZ because I thought the least I could do for my newly acquired bling was to give it a nice finger to go on. I got the most 'active' ones I could get and the first time round it took a couple of days to get back into being able to change a nappy with one arm tied behind my back. I don't know how people who do it all the time cope...

I have on my second set (they are cheapy ones that you are only meant to wear for two weeks max anyway) and at the moment I am missing a nail off each hand. You get a few spares for the common sizes so one hand I will be able to fix but the thumb on my right hand... the only ones left are huge nails made for transvestites. Apologies to any women who actually have naturally huge thumb nails and wear the biggest size ;)

We took Marina for her post-operation three month check-up today. Three hours each way for a fifteen minute 'ECHO' (ultrasound) thing and wee check. She got the all clear anyway and the internal swelling from where they operated is going down at expected rate and her pee is as clear as a ... whatever I could compare beautiful clear wee to. A mountain stream??? A small pond in a glade found in a fairy tale book???

We got home in time to pick the son up from kindy. He was quite excited to have the whole family there to greet him. One of the older women (three and a half) had scratched him down the cheek, but after what I hear was a bit of a lover's spat where he got his own in and scratched her too. All's fair in love and war.

Hub had a union meeting (read as 'on the lash') that he had to be at by six so he was straight out the door again with instructions that I would do the good wifey thing and go and pick him up if I got the call before ten. He has twenty minutes. Was actually good him going out as I got some purely 'me' time - something I got a lot more of during trip to NZ. Shou, Marina and I all had a bath together which was fine now that I have decided Granny K doesn't need to be on call to get Marina out while I finish with Shou. Why ask her when however she does it will grate me and whatever I do will annoy her. Marina is pretty sturdy on her feet now though so I can leave her standing in the bath while dry self in doorway.

I am taking her to the docs with me tomorrow. Am hoping that her presence will take away from my ever expanding waist so that doctor forgets to harp on at me about diets and how hard my labour will be if I keep this pace up. I haven't taken her with me on my own before so I am presuming a nurse will be on hand to rugby ball hold her so I don't have to balance her on my boobs and face while the doctor does the ultrasound.

Hub is spending the best part of the day collecting wood - he has to chainsaw it all first and then load it. Should be almost half a winter's supply worth at the end of it, which will probably take a good few days to chainsaw through. I am seeing a friend near the ladies clinic too - and actually one in the clinic who gave birth on Wednesday. I will get more third child birthing goss without hub in tow and the other friend is a catch up all in English and hub probably wouldn't be too stoked about sitting there twiddling his thumbs for an hour or so.

I asked Granny K about keeping an ear open for the kids tomorrow night so we can go for dinner. She just went 'haaaaaaa' - you know with the intonation going up at the end. Told hub he would have to ask her as wasn't sure if that was a yes or a 'get stuffed' answer. Dinner isn't until nine anyway and I imagine we will be home by eleven which isn't past her usual bedtime. I really need to start injecting the babysitting concept into the heads of a couple my English students mothers. One in particular I would feel fine leaving the kids asleep with - and after a few times probably awake with!! Would that be a stab in Granny K's back or do you think I should just do it? Does Japan have any laws on age? In NZ it is fourteen I think. This girl will be fourteen this year.

Hub has just mailed to say 'mou sukoshi kakarimasu' (it will take a bit longer) - am not sure I am in total agreement with word choice considering he is now drinking shochu at the okonomiyaki place down the road from the original dinner and 'meeting' place. I'm just jealous I'm not the one out on the lash :)

SDGH&QL

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Another day

A very quiet day today. Marina and I spent the morning napping, cleaning and washing. I only have one suitcase left to unpack - but also have the 10kg box I sent from NZ before we left - that arrived this afternoon, along with Shou's birthday prezzie for June. A kids builders set with electric drill and all. Has gone to the top of our wardrobe to wait until June - and here's hoping he still think's bob the builder and handy manny are the bomb in four months!

After lunch we went visiting to Solar Panel Man's house for a cuppa with his wifey. Took them some NZ omiyage and had good goss about the last couple of months. Have planned a shinnnennkai (new year's dinner) for this Saturday. Is at their house this time as their son doesn't go to bed until half eight. Hub is on Granny K asking duty. Asking as in asking her to keep her door open slightly so she can hear if they nut out while we are away - so then she can ring us and tell us to come home.

I put Marina down for her afternoon nap and then started getting sorted for dinner and English class. Marina drunk her bottle and was having a grizzle. And, had been having a grizzle for a whole oh, twenty seconds when Granny K came in to inform me that Marina was crying. Approximately one minute later she came in to inform me that she was still crying. Approximately three minutes later and Marina was dead to the world and in peaceful slumber. Granny K looks after Marina during English. Marina slept through most of it but started crying (medium level) during the last ten minutes. I discovered later that Granny K was in her room with her TV blasting at level deaf person. So, while I obviously need constant reminding when my children are crying it is OK for her to 'ignore' them during the one of a total of three hours during the week when she is on Granny duty.

Half an hour after English finishes she comes out of her room and comments on how upset Marina looks and that it must be because she is hungry. SIGH. I can feel myself getting sucked into the Granny K black hole - which usually just means ignoring her completely and not even commenting. Afterall, if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all. But then what a boring place the world would be - needless to say I would have to stop blogging.

Well, time to convince my hub that my ankles are really puffier than they are so I get a foot rub.

SDGH&QL

Monday, 2 February 2009

Settling Back In

Yesterday I came to the conclusion that two months away from your live-in mother-in-law is well.... just not long enough. I had naively thought that two months away would make me appreciate her in ways I had never imagined. To an extent I can admit that I do enjoy watching her with the kids for the most part. They just love her and she is almost as silly as they are so they have a great time laughing and making stupid sounds. But, not even 24 hours back and I had told her to 'detekudsai' (get out (please)) from our lounge.

I don't think I have actually said that to her before but she was seriously doing my head in - harping on to hub after I had left the room about how inadequately I had dressed Marina - the singlet, t-shirt and jumper didn't cut the mustard because the top of her nappy and lower back was still revealed when ever she did her infamous standing up pike position. Just for the record, we were in the tv room with the fire on and it wasn't like I was sending my princess dressed like that on a 10km hike to school through the blizzardy snow with only cow patties to warm her frozen feet.

Much to my relief this comment to Granny K meant I had a completely Granny K free rest of the day. This comment did however spark up a 'discussion' about me doubting that I could last the distance under the same roof as the woman until she turns senile. Hub pulled out the 'but you knew she would be living with us before we got married' line. Arrggghhhh. Our nice family trip to the revolving sushi place turned into a quick trip to the home centre store in the next town over so hub could buy sticky ferrit and rat trap stuff - because mummy was in meltdown and the kids picked up on it and it was all just getting a bit ridiculous.

Trap stuff is like big pot of glue that you smear over piece of wood or cardboard and leave to work it's magic. Hub wanted to leave a bit of meat on it as bait. I draw the line at leaving bits of meat in the ceiling though and convinced him that apple with cinamin (what my dad used to use to trap the possums in our roof) would be OK. Watch this space.

This glue shite was extremely super duper strong - so strong I had visions of putting the left overs on the bottoms of Granny K's slippers just for something fun to do. Hub decided to prepare his ferrit bait trap extravaganza on my bench. We all know the way I feel about my bench so you can imagine how happy I was when hub got some not just on my bench but on my floor as well. Couldn't really yell at him though as was doing best not to laugh at him trying to unstick his fingers together.

Altogether yesterday was pretty tiring and by bed time at nine o'clock I was almost asleep before my head hit the pillow. Hub suggested an 'international relations' meeting to which I replied 'how can you have the energy?', to which he replied that he was also tired but that international relations was sourced by a 'betsu-chikara' or different power source. Made me laugh so much I almost relented but stuck my ground and true to form was asleep about fifteen seconds later.

Today was a beautiful day. In terms of both the weather and the fact that Shou went back to kindy. Wahooo. He cried when I took him and wanted to come back home with me, but apparently it only took a box of old scummy plastic blocks to bring him back to form where he stayed for the rest of the day until I picked him up at five. Marina had a great morning nap during which I spent two hours sorting out about 50kgs of luggage in front of the sex and the city movie - which I had amazoned to myself for Christmas and which was waiting here when we got back.

We went on a wee excursion to the supermarket to stock up on supplies and then this afternoon Marina had another nap while I cleaned. Haven't cleaned so much in one go in two months. Was an almost religious out of body experience that left me on high. The bunster got a good workout, as did all surrounding bumps and wobbles.

Well, I think I hear my nice newly made up bed in my nice newly cleaned room in my nice newly cleaned house calling me.

SDGH&QL