Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The first of the bad?

Was just thinking that if yesterday was the 'last of the good' then that should make today the 'first of the bad', and it definately wasn't that. It had a lot going on I guess and hub has only just walked in the door now but been there, done that, I think we might manage. Until the bunster arrives at least and then I do believe all hell will break loose. But until then...

The morning started off as one of those very pregnant ones. You know, where you brush your teeth with your hub's facewash by mistake because it is in a blue and white tube as well. Got rid of any blackheads on my tongue at least! I then realised in the toilet at the conbini on the way to the hospital that I had the black hangy strip thing of my jumper around my neck too. That bit that is there to make it easier to hang on a coat hanger! I can't really explain how it ended up where it did, it wasn't even tight and kind of just looked like a loose black silk choker. Not quite sure if I can start a fashion trend, but you never know. Scrunchies are back in fashion aren't they?

I took Marina to the doctors for some snotty nose and cough drugs. She has been having the chemist stuff for about four days and not getting better so lets hope the same old drugs we always get from the doctors actually decide to work this time and fix it before it gets worse. She hasn't got a temp though so she will be off to kindy tomorrow :) After her doctors visit we then went for mine.

I wasn't scheduled to go until this Saturday for my thirty week check - but I had a good three hours last night where an unexplanable pain in my tum kept me awake and very worried, as even third time mothers get. It was fine by the morning but by then you have already convinced yourself you can't feel the baby moving any more and that it has drowned in a sea of australian cheddar and cadbury cream eggs. The carpark for my clinic was empty and I initially thought perhaps they weren't doing checks today but they were, and I have now decided that Tuesday mornings will be my check-up day! Marina had the whole waiting hall to run rampage in, so that she did. She was over the pretty tired hump and resembling what I imagine Carl Lewis on speed would be like, albeit in pink trackpants with the words princess written across the bum!

My check went fine and everything with the bunster is perfectly normal. Having the check today means I don't need to go on Saturday - which is good as I was going to go after hub had dropped Granny K off at the train station. Unfortunately there are no slow boats to China that leave from that particular station. I 'overheard' her on the phone to the eldest son last night. She is going to stay the night this Saturday and hub has to take her to the closest train station which is fifty minutes away - and about ten minutes from my ladies clinic.

I am of course wondering how she will get back from the station on Sunday - what with husband having to work all day for the 'economic incentive' money scheme the Japanese government is doing and her probably not having the guts to ask me to come and pick her up. The other option is that eldest son will drive her back on the Sunday and then maybe expect a family meeting because according to sister in law he is going to talk to Granny K on her own while she is there on Saturday night. Bugger bugger fuck. Hopefully they arrive when the kids are in full todler mode, hurling toys round the house and screaming at each other.

I have almost got Marina's stuff sorted for kindy. I have huge bag of changes of clothes - mainly Shou's handme-downs. She has her spoon and fork set, bum wipes, box of tissues, milk and I just need to put in a bottle and her nap kit - which is up in her room and still to be named. I have just been writing the first kanji of our surname on everything though. Dreams of having my kids stuff perfectly named with hand sewn name tags.... out the window a long time ago.

I think I was going to post list of things to do - but am going to flag it tonight as I think ankle rub is more important!

SDGH&QL

Monday, 30 March 2009

The last of the Good

Today was probably the last day for the next two or three years of weekdays that hub was home at half past five. He knows this of course too and was an absolute gem. He is at this moment putting Shou to bed. Tomorrow is his last day in the local office and there is a leaving dinner for the twenty sixty year olds who are retiring, following which hub has to take his shite to the new office half an hour away.

The tax section he is in charge of is in a busy time right now - a busy time that won't ease up until the last day in May. So the next two months will be reliving our trip home - except of course both the kids will be at daycare during the day and I will be getting as fat as a house. Well on the way already in fact. The tum is now officially in the way of everything. It is impossible to look after a two and a one year old without bending over for some reason or another. Ah well, the bunster will just have to get good at headstands and back flips.

Really not much to report today. Shopping, raking the leaves, playing outside in the sun, mopping the floors, making nikujaga for dinner, shining the bench rah rah.

This morning Marina wouldn't have any breakfast. I got up for a brief second to put more wood on the fire and Shou sat in my place and then proceeded to feed Marina ALL her breakfast. She ate everything!! Considering some days it is hard to get him to even feed himself this was boardering on a miracle. The teacher at kindy will like that if it means there's one less littley to feed. They were also extremely cute playing together after their bath. Love those moments.

Tomorrow I think I will post a list of all the jobs I have told myself I will get down during the two months I have while Shou and Marina are both at kindy and the bunster is still on the inside. Seeing the list in print might actually shock me into doing some of it.

Right, better jump in the bath before sasuke starts on TV - do love it.

Tomorrow - last day before my little girl goes to day care :(

Or is it a bit of :) too.

Hmmmm

SDGH&QL

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Nearly Moonwalking

Nothing like a Sunday spent with two toddlers, one who now thinks screaming is better than trying out new words and sounds, to get the ready to snap level up. The morning was pretty standard. Marina and I hung out inside pottering, doing some cleaning and then making corn fritters for lunch while hub and Shou pottered outside doing manly things like cutting wood and cleaning the hubcaps, which next to shochu drinking and shaguddling (and trying to shaguddle) must be hub's top past time.

After lunch hub was to take Granny K to her home temple (the one we got married in) for some temple rah rah bonanza that she had to attend. He said he would take Shou, and in fact would me and Marina like to go too seeing as we hadn't seen them since before Marina's operation. All agreed and then Granny K says we have to swing past town to pick up her vestling sister. Swinging past to pick up someone else is something you would really like a bit of warning for when you have two carseats in the car - A bit of rearranging later, putting down the back seats and putting Shou and Marina in the third row of seats so that the vestlings didn't need to clamber over carseats to get it, and we were off. Granny K spends half trip to sisters hanging over the seat trying to play some sort of clapping game with Shou. I ask her about three times to please put her seatbelt on - until she pipes up that it isn't illegal to be in the back with out a belt. Bloody belt that strap over your mouth woman.

I said that wasn't point, we need to set good example for kids, especially Shou who is forever trying to get away with taking his seat belt off. She mutters something under her breath and I sigh.

After a bit of a mad play at the temple with a room full of vestlings saying how cute our two boys were - one of whom was dressed entirely in pink - we take leave and go home for a nap. Nap time over and hub and Shou head off to pick the vestling sisters up. Marina and I stay home to start on dinner. Just as hub and Shou are pulling into the drive I ring a friend who got home from the hospital (in NZ) yesterday after having her second child. After goss about the trials and tribulations of child birth and second children she asks about the situation with Granny K.

It turns out that at the exact time that I was telling her that we had made her room off bounds and that any play with the grandkids time had to happen in here under my watchful eye, Shou was... wait for it .... playing with scissors in Granny K's room. I ask hub, plead with hub, that I really need for this rule to work out or I won't be able to cope. Of course trying to get Shou out of her room was eventful. I made the point of saying again that sorry Shou, it wasn't his fault, but mummy and daddy had decided that this room was off limits and Granny needed to come out to our lounge to play. She made no attempt at trying to encourage Shou to come with me (apart from saying that Mummy didn't want him to play with her 'SIGH') so I had to go in and pick him up.

Result .... ten minutes of crying outside Granny K's locked door. We are in here getting dinner and things sorted. Have tried to coax Shou in here but to no avail. After ten minutes Granny K comes out and brings Shou in here where she tells me it was just too kawaisoo listening to him cry. I am thinking that when the baby arrives and I have a baby crying and one or god help me both Marina and Shou on the go too that I am going to have to nail bits of wood over her door. Maybe I will use extremely long nails in the hope that she is standing right on the other side.

So anyway, as per usual she agrivates me to no end. It is a bit easier now I have made the decision to not actually try and get along with her for the sake of me - I will for the sake of the children but not because I want a good relationship with my spastic mother in law.

Close of Sunday antics.

Ooh, on nice note, my friend has named her second child after me - well, middle name. No, I don't mean her name is Stella Gaijinwife. Stella Kate. Isn't that lovely. A bright and absoultely fabulous future awaits you stella kate.

SDGH&QL

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Last 2 days

No, I haven't been spending two days with a spade, lugging a body in a blue sheet. Granny K has been wisely keeping her distance. I have spoken to her maybe twice. I have heard her a couple of times on the verge of coming in here and I have spoken very loudly to whichever of the kids about how it is just about time for dinner, bath, bed rah rah. That has seemed to curb her barging in urge and we have been able to continue on with routine without interuption. That said, she has still had time with the kids though. I haven't been a complete nazi bitch and not let her see her grandkids at all. Although I must admit scouting the room for scissors and other hair cutting equipment when she is around :p

I found out the other day that come April, half of Shou's current little kids group at day care will be moving up to the bigger kids class. All the one's that have turned three since last April. This means that Shou and only one other little girl will be left. Marina of course joins the class and one other girl is starting too. So, Shou will be the oldest by about a year and will be surrounded by girls. This has made me feel a lot better about sending Marina, as I think it will be better for Shou now too. Of course the whole day isn't just spent in their little group. The general play times and outside time, walks etc are with the bigger kids so he will still get a chance to flirt with his older woman, fight with the other blokes and in general pretend to be one of the big kids. Very important when for the other half of the day he will be surrounded by girls who can't really converse with him, join in on conversations about fire engines and snakes. He will go from being the second youngest in the class to the oldest in one day which may mean he gets less teacher time and will be in need of more mummy time when he gets home. But that's OK, he has been getting cute again lately - inbetween the spawn of devil child moments.

Hub didn't get home till eleven on Thursday night and I hope to god that isn't a preview of things to come after he starts his new post. It was job handover related stuff so here's hoping it was a one off, or at least a very rare occurance. I didn't marry a rural civil servant so that I could be at home and never see my husband, as if he was a salary man in Tokyo. He did however manage to get yesterday off. He told me on Thursday so I had to mail solar panal man's wife and cancel our pie bake off that had been scheduled for yesterday.

Hub spent a few hours in the morning collecting more wood and then we took Marina and went to sushi - finally. How many times have we been meaning to go and not made it? Marina didn't eat anything - except a couple of hot chips which she ate like she was eating corn on the cob - but hub and I had loads. Yum yum. We got home and all had a nap. Love the kids when they decide nap times can be together.

I haven't had to go into either Marina or Shou's room at night for about a week - this is bloody fantastic news as the nights are getting shorter now the tum is getting bigger and I can't get in a good position, and have to pee 24/7. Both of the kids have had crying out moments and one night it sounded like Shou was trying to run away from a helicoper with a troll and a concrete mixer. I have given up trying to figure out his dreams!!

Hub has just walked in the door now from the first of this end of year and change of posts season's drinking things. Fortunately it was just over the road - and I mean just over the road. The local hall is our second closest neighbour. Not far to stumble at all. Actually, to his credit there was no stumbling and he walked in with a big thing of juice, tea and a bottle of Japanese shochu - his drop of choice. The dinner didn't cost anything and he came home with free goods. On top of that he is now washing the dishes and then we are hoping in the bath. Wink wink.

I would have put wink wink, nudge nudge, but he got the nudge nudge part of that last night so might only be up for some wink wink tonight. He tried to get a leg over when we had a wee nap this arvo but I had to draw the line. It's ok for him, he only had a tummy full of lunch noodles. I had lunch noodles and a baby in there and I really just couldn't muster the energy. He did try to encourage me by saying I hardly had to do anything though. How very romantic.

Rightio, dishes are done. Off we go...

nighty night campers

SDGH&QL

Thursday, 26 March 2009

7 Things I Love

My second post for the day - means I am procrastinating. But not to worry, Marina will wake up soon and then it will be all go for the afternoon and evening.

Lulu has tagged me for the 7 Things I love meme - Being the naturally pessemistic person that I am, I am going to have to really think about this. Being pregnant also lets me get away with crap answers.

1. My children. They easily come first because they are still at the age where everything is new and exciting and a learning experience. Marina especially is at the cuddle as much as you want stage and hasn't got enough words yet to answer back or say 'mummy kirai' (I hate mummy) which Shou now pulls out everytime he gets in trouble!

2. My husband. As much as I harp on about the man he is still the man I chose to be with for better or for worse (even if I couldn't pronounce the Japanese properly when I was saying it). He pisses me off something chronic sometimes but for the best part we enjoy each others company, have great talks and good shaguddles - but that will pick up when I get back into not being so tired all the time and perhaps when I lose the with-baby belly and then the without-baby belly enough so can wrap legs round some more interesting places.

3. My friends. Where would we be without good friends? While most of my long term friends are back in New Zealand, I am lucky enough to have some good Japanese and foreign friends close by. Essential to survival in rural Japan - a sounding board for advice and venting frustration.

4. God, am I only up to number four. Um, the bunster. He didn't make the number one children cut because well, at the moment he is still just a cheese and bread absorbing lump in my tummy that keeps me peeing and awake all night. The further along I get the more excited I get about meeting him properly, holding and feeding a baby again, but also scared at the prospect of having to push another big half foreign head out into the world.

5. A nice clean house - my house isn't as clean as I like but I love it when it is at it's cleanest. I am looking forward to April and May when Marina will be in daycare too and I will have two months before the baby is due to nest and organize wardrobes, toys, kids clothes rah rah.

6. The quarterly lotto draws that keep me and hub in dreams about being able to have enough money to sort out other living arrangements for Granny K. Honestly, the amount of time and fun we have talking and getting excited over the prospect of winning. And half the time we don't even have tickets!!

7. Most foods and beverages starting with C. Cheese, Chips, Chuhai, Champers, Chocolate, Cheese, Cheese and Carbs.

Of course I love my family in New Zealand but the selfish hormonal pregnant woman in me only chose those things that have a direct affect on here and now. I love having my blog - a place to keep record of my life, rant, vent and rant some more. I also love having a toilet upstairs cause god knows having to do the stair thing five times a night at the moment would piss me off. I guess I take a lot of things for granted and I am sure my list would change if I suddently was unable to live the life I live and love (despite daily rants) so much.

I think I am meant to tag some more people. So, if you haven't had the meme already I would love to know what you love so much, Jo, TJKL, Illahe, Rachel, Sassymoo and Anchan. Sorry for not being able to add links but computer is acting like a hormonal pregnant woman. Fingers crossed it lets me save and post this.

SDGH&QL

Sister-in-Law

The sister-in-law (wife of eldest brother who is policeman and lives in city two hours away) rang yesterday morning. I immediately thought it was to ask me about how things were with Granny K. Wasn't though. Granny K had sent them some rice and she was ringing to say thank-you. I did end up asking her though if she had heard anything about Sunday's gaijinwife kusobaba explosion.

She said that Granny had rung the son and only mentioned it in passing - in that we had a little run in over a piece of hair.

A little run in over a piece of hair???

Please.

So anyway, we spent next forty five minutes discussing (having good goss) about the cons of having to live with Granny K. Of course she can't really do anything but agree and support what I say as there is no way in hell she wants Granny K to move in with them. She said something about Granny K maybe going there for a night in April and that she would get the son, her hub, to talk to Granny K then. GK doesn't listen to me, talks to hub like he's a dog, but may well take the advice of her eldest child. Me hopes so anyway. The advice is mainly going to be along the lines of...

Just fuckin stay in your room or the vege patch. Just back away from the gaijin and her offspring as detailed studies have shown gaijin get very protective of their offspring around viscious old vest wearing ling lings.

I saw her briefly yesterday - when she popped her head in the room to say she was off to pottery. I made no attempt at conversation and just said 'haaaai'. She then of course had to make a bit of a deal of giving Marina a wee cuddle and 'oh my, hadn't she gotten so heavy in the 48 hours since she last cuddled her'. Yes, Granny K. Marina is putting on weight at the same pace as an oversized twenty eight week pregnant gaijin. Oh Shit. That's me.

When it came time for my afternoon English lesson I asked Granny K to please keep an eye on Marina in our lounge and to not take her off on random little excursions to the temple next door where it is my suspicsion Marina gets feed an assortment of senbei and chocolate.

She was still in here when hub got back from work but then made as hasty an exit as possible for a vestling granny wanting a bit of attention from her youngest son and two grandchildren. In her absence the whole dinner and bath, bed routine went very smoothly. Tonight might be a bit of a different story as hub will be late and I have two hours of English this afternoon - meaning Shou gets picked up at five forty, meaning dinner and everything is that little bit later. Shou then needs to get put to bed and be asleep by eight o'clock when my night English class students come.

Ah well, come April and the work move and there will no doubt be a lot more nights when this is going to have to become the norm. And of course come June I will have a baby hanging off one tit while I do it all.

Oh, the joys of motherhood.

Speaking of which, the bunster is doing well - or as well as a mother's instinct can tell her without a protiein wee test, blood test, internal exam and 4D ultrasound. My ankles haven't been puffy at all lately which makes me think the lining of carbs sitting in my tummy is absorbing all the fluid, or the bunster is doing a stellar job in headbutting my bladder enough to get it all out before it even hits my legs. Needless to say I am still getting ankle rubs - using the theory that all these rubs is actually making wonderful difference in keeping puffy elephant ankle syndrome at bay.

A friend has just been for a visit with her eldest boy, who is now on kindy spring vacation, and her third boy, who is just two months old. The middle boy is in the same class as Shou at daycare. I had a good snuggle with bubs who immediately felt safe in the folds of my gaijin boobs and settled down for a good bit of shut eye. Shou's latest game in the bath is trying to get mummy to shoot water by pushing boobs together - but that's a whole nother post all together.

I should probably get about to hanging out the third load of washing for the day - can't wait till we get out economic incentive whats it money from the government so we can go washing machine shopping.

SDGH&QL

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Silence is Golden

Marina got a pretty good night sleep for someone sleeping in the hallway. The bunster and I didn't though and I had a wickedly sore tum for about an hour - so much that I thought the silly bitch had worked me up into early labor and I was going to have to run a trip to the lovely ladies clinic in Beppu - where I went for a few of the no gos and for the first six months I was pregnant with Shou. The doctor there is Japanese version of Magnum PI and the clinic is lovely. Wouldn't have been as so under the circumstances if I had actually needed to go but. I can definately say that sleeping in a bed when you are 28 weeks along is a hell of a lot preferable to a futon. Especially when you need to get up to pee five times a night.

I tried to convince Marina she needed a long morning nap but she was wide awake so we pottered round and then come ten o'clock hopped in the car to go to the big department store for some hate-the-mother-in-law retail therapy. Ended up with very styly top and shoes for Marina from trendy kids shop that was having seventy percent off closing down sale. Got lots of foreign sweets and cool stickers for English class purposes. Hmmm, got some very cheap ozzie beef that has been put in freezer for the start of yakiniku season and hmmm, that might have been it. We had ramen for lunch and everybody around us was so engrossed in the Japan vs Korea final of the World Baseball Classic that they didn't notice Marina having great time flinging bits of tonkotsu ramen all over the place.

Speaking of which, we got home in time to see the end of the baseball. I am not a huge baseball fan - what with being from the land of shite baseball players and all, but must admit that even I was engrossed for the end - sitting on the edge of the kitchen chair, biting my nails and watching with the sound down for christ sake - like when watching a thriller. Somehow watching without the sound makes the suspense more bearable!! And then we won - as in Japan. Was highly exciting and felt like going out to buy bottle of champers just so could crack it open and spray all over place.

As for Granny K - I haven't seen her since Sunday - not counting the few fleeting glimpses of something very short in a vest pushing a wheelbarrow up to the vege patch. I am presuming her absence means she hasn't sat down and contemplated our Sunday run in and come to any conclusion along the lines of...

OK, so the damn woman called me a silly bitch but I guess I can understand seeing as I obviously crossed the line and, eventhough I don't think it was wrong, it obviously upset her and perhaps I should be more sensitive to her way of doing things.

There was one instance today when I thought she might be coming in here to say something - and I was honestly wondering where I could hide. The bump obviously means that quite a few hiding places are out of the question though. As it happened she didn't come in and I didn't have to crawel out from under the dining room table to try and remember the speal I had practiced in the car on the way home - about different cultures, about clashes of opinion, about blah blah rah rah. Remembered and stored for another day.

Time to hit the hay. Am a bit shattered from the drive, the not much sleep and the shopping :). Can't complain though. I have realised I need more out times to cope with the current situation. That, or a hammer, or a frypan, or a chainsaw, or a bit of arsnic, or a vestling exploder, or a .....

SDGH&QL

Monday, 23 March 2009

Girl's night away

As I left the kunimi boundry this morning I felt a weight lift. A little bit later and some more lifted. I swear by the time I got to Beppu I must have been down to about sixty kg! Knowing that rapid weight loss isnt good for the baby I promptly made plans to meet a friend at starbucks after marina and the bunster had had a nap.

Had great gossip over my orange honey latte. Friend went back to work and I rang another friend on the off chance she would be free. She was. She asked if wanted to take Marina to a park. Have parks in Kunimi but. What dont we have in an eighty mile radius of the vestling patch? Thinking, thinking. Aha. Mister Donuts. So, after a thirty minute stroll round town I had another latte and gossip. And of course a donut.

Marina and I got back to apartment, had dinner and a bath, rang home to say good night to Shou and daddy and now Marina is asleep in the hall! The apartment has a dining kitchen area and a tatami mat room. The sliding doors have been taken out and I cant find them anywhere. Hence why the porta cot is in the hall. There are a lot of night noises being in the city and in an apartment building.

Thankyou for the words of support. Its nice to know am not alone in thinking granny k was totally out of order.

SDGH&QL

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Shou's First Locks

Where to start... without ripping the computer socket from the wall and throwing it out the window. Not that I'm angry at the computer of course - it would just be taking my frustration out on something other than the culprit, which is, as per usual... the spectacular Granny K.

Knowing that Granny K was involved - and that the title of the post is Shou's first locks - as in hair - can you guess what the silly bitch did??

We were upstairs after lunch having a family nap when Shou came out with 'Granny chopped my hair with the scissors'. I thought I had heard wrong - as had hub. Now, obviously his hair hadn't been given the once over or we would have noticed straight away, but upon closer inspection his one and only long piece at the back was gone - all together one good curly lock.

This was THE FIRST time anyone had taken a pair of scissors to his hair. While I was pregnant with Shou I bought a baby book and therefore for the last three years had been waiting patiently for the time when I could cut his first lock and put it in the special 'baby's first lock of hair' envelope. I also heard that in Japan some people use the first hair from the first cut to make a caligraphy pen. Hub and I had discussed this and even though Shou's first cut was obviously going to be a lot later on than a lot of the boof hairy Japanese babies, we were still thinking about doing it. His hair is still extremely fine and soft and would have made quite a fine pen me thinks.

I was in disbelief really and wondering how Granny K was going to explain herself out of this one. I made the conscious decision to wait while hub went in to talk to her and to try and retrieve the piece of hair that had, according to Shou, been thrown in her scodey vestling rubbish bin. I knew if I went in first off things wouldn't be pretty.

As it happened, the way she spoke to hub about it

'for god's sake, it's just a bit of friggin hair. Get over it'

kind of thing I just couldn't stop myself.

I went in.

I conquered.

And I left.

Well, I did go in. I then told her that it was not her place to give Shou his first hair cut. I was upset more than angry. I felt cheated of an experience that should have been mine not hers - as trivial as it may seem.

I asked her was she not even sorry, would she not even try to understand or appologise. Her response.....

'Jya, gomenasai'

An appology as an afterthought with no heartfelt oomph whatsoever.

I lost it.

I said something to her I have never said before.

I swore in English. God save us. Hub knows things are serious when I curse in English.

After her pathetic excuse for an appology I called her a...





Stupid Fucking Bitch. (cue gasps and cries of shock from the audience)





followed closely by....



Kusobaba



Just in case she didn't get my heartfelt oomph behind the English one.


She tried to follow us out into the hall. I slamed the door in her face. Haven't seen her since. I was shaking I was so worked up. I had the prescious lock of hair from my first born son but it had been fished out of her scummy rubbish bin. It is in the envelope with a less snarky version of the truth under the 'my first haircut' page.

I phoned my mum to try and calm down - which helped a little but I didn't need the 'it's just a power struggle thing between you two. You just don't won't her doing ANYTHING concerning the kids without her permission.' This is partly true - concerning important things like feeding the kids shit all day, letting them play with inappropriate things, and things like giving them their first haircut. When they are in her room though I don't stand at the bloody doorway watching her every move.

Rationally I know that Granny K wasn't sitting there cutting his hair thinking 'ooh, this will piss the bitch of a daughter in law off'. She just doesn't think FULL STOP. I would have thought after the blowup last time that she would be more careful in doing something that might have even the slightest chance of making things blow up again.

Hub tried to tell me I shouldn't get worked up or (and where have I heard this before) the bunster would be a very angry baby. I calmly said that my stress levels would be way down if she wasn't here and that if she was thinking about the well being of her grandkids and her son's family then she would maybe think that moving out would be the best option too.

But, been there, had that discussion, lost that war.

I have one more English session this week that I need her to keep an eye on Marina for. After that and Marina will be in kindy and I have all of June off already for the baby. So three months of not having to ask her to help.

I don't need words of wisdom. I know I overreacted. I could have acted a lot more calmly and explained why I was so upset. But, that wasn't how things worked out. Gaijinwife blew her stack and at this point in time I don't really feel like trying to work things out. The hole in the bridge is too damn big. Ain't no cars getting across there for a while.

Marina and I are going to the city tomorrow for some mummy time out. Solar panel man and his wife own the apartment building I used to live in while I was working in Beppu. They also have the nicest apartment in the building and hardly ever use it. I did a very non Japanese thing and asked if I could use it for the night. After making sure it wasn't a hub-wife blow out and that hub and Shou were OK, it has all been sorted and solar panal man's wife is dropping the key off on her way to work.

I need to get out of the confines of living in the same house as her - even if it is just for twenty four hours. Might give hub and her some time to discuss things. I think she has already rung the brother and sister and law today - I got an email from my sister in law about half an hour ago asking if everything was OK with okaasan.

LOL

Is everything OK.

You live with her and I'll email you in four years and ask you the same question.

But enough already. If I can figure out how to post from my keitai again I will do so tomorrow night.

SDGH&QL

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Early Riser

Spring has definately sprung - how can I tell? It is getting lighter outside in the morning and it is getting harder to fool Shou that ten to six is still the middle of the night.

After taking Shou to kindy hub spent the morning plowing Granny K's vege patch out the back and collecting loads of firewood. I cleaned and pottered round in my PJs until it was indecent not to.

We had to go on a chainsaw and nappy buying expedition which also involved a lunch stop and stock up on everything else we need. Supermarket shopping continues to baffle hub who thinks two baskets of shopping is somehow only going to come to three thousand yen. I think today is the first time I went round the whole supermarket thinking about prices and total cost. Half the shop ended up being 'top value' which is like no frills supermarket brand.

We ended up having a big talk about finances and my god are we so in no way to be packing Granny K off to anywhere!! We talked about the house loan at the end of last year. For the first three years after building the interest rate was only 1. something percent. With the current climate we decided to get a ten year fixed rate instead of a three year / three year / three year changing one. We are now therefore on 2.6 or something for the next ten years - which to people in New Zealand will seem unbelieveable. It means our monthly expenses go up 150 dollars a month. Not much but enough to feel. Likewise with the new car loan, Marina's cheap ass but still 150 dollars kindy fees and then you get things like house tax - which is half price for the first three years. Car warrent / car insurance / rah rah rah bloody rah. If it's not one thing it's another. I am going to have to get handy with a calculater and become a housekeeping and budget queen. This wole being a responsible adult lark can be very scary sometimes.

Maybe once the milk comes in I can flag the weekly shopping and the whole family can grow big and strong on gaijin boob.

Anyway, finances is far too depressing for a saturday night. After our outing we got back and Marina, Hub and I had a nice long nap and got up feeling very refreshed (wink wink nudge nudge). The neighbours grandson came round with his friend (both five) and demanded hub go and pick Shou up early from kindy so they could play in the garden. This eventuated and even Marina went out for a play - looking very pretty in her nice vest.

Granny K came in this morning at about 10 to see if Marina was awake because she hadn't seen her since Friday really and wanted a bit of Granny time. I said she was having a nap but wouldn't be far off waking. Granny K went into her room and came out five seconds latter proclaiming Marina was crying. I went up to check to find her snoring away in peaceful slumber. Tis what happens when you have your TV up on about twenty volume.

She got her play time though and Marina loved every second of it.

Saturday night nabe nabe again tonight - but maybe the last one of the season :( Think Granny K has stopped growing hakusai (chinese cabbage). What veges are next?

Well, a very boring post tonight. Nothing too exciting to report as it was a very normal Saturday. The kids weren't overly naughty - and in fact Marina is being extremely cute lately and comes up (backwards) to sit on your lap for a story. She is also getting a bit stroppy but - taking after her brother (and more likely her mother)

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend and not shitting about how you are going to make it to the next pay check while still being able to eat the occasional bit of meat and fish. Think I need to find another English class from April. That will sort things out a bit.

SDGH&QL

Friday, 20 March 2009

Too many cakes!

Spent the morning cleaning - my friend and her hub were planning on arriving about half ten but slept in so rang to say they would be coming in the afternoon instead. All good though, gave me more time to shine the bench and hub time to cut the grass and sweep the genkan. He of course asked for and received a lot of praise but then typically failed to notice the inside of the house looked like a show room. Well, not quite, but compared to its usual state. Am surprised I didn't spray the kids and try to wipe them down too.

They arrived with a HUGE box of individual cakes - about ten I think (and a bottle of nice red wine that I might have to slip into my hospital bag with me). What do you do in this kind of situation. Do you offer the cake you have made and ready in the fridge and do you put theirs away for later or do you all have a bit of what they brought so as not to appear rude - and well, because quite frankly their cakes came from a famous cake shop in Beppu and your's was helped out by a packet from the foreign food store. Not that my cheesecake wasn't nice mind you. The bunster demanded a taste test - quite sensible really as don't won't to be giving guests the shits with crap afternoon tea.

Anyway, Shou saw one look at the box of cakes and was like, well, a two year old in front of a huge box of cakes. Like me with a somebody elses visa in front of a swanky shoe store - not saying that am thief and would steal someone's visa but. I think at that point it would then have been physically impossible for me to get their cakes in the fridge and my very boring cheese cake to take top spot - especially as didn't have loads of strawberries and cream on top, which was of course what got Shou's attention - and even Marina's from across the room.

After guests left we opted to go for family stroll to neighbours - 100 metres away. Marina walked the whole way!! We gave them the cheesecake as otherwise the bunster would have demanded more taste tests and I would have ended up being forced to scoff the whole lot and with the australian cheddar already in there I don't think the bunster needs a dairy overload.

Granny K was at a houji (anniversary of someone's death) luncheon thing this afternoon. Hub and Shou went to pick her up and as the thing was attended by all over fifties Shou got a lot of attention, and consequently a full adult bento and box of strawberries. Needless to say I didn't cook dinner tonight as the packed lunches you get at these things are huge and with a little extra rice we managed to divide the thing between four of us. Well, really only three as Marina wasn't having a bar of any of it and insisted on two day old heated up cream stew. OK then.

They are in bed and we are watching a police program like top cops - but mild Japanese version. They just showed a car chase of a guy who forced three primary school girls into his car telling them he would kill them if they tried to get out. When he finally got caught twelve hours later the excuse he gave for taking them was that 'they were cute'. This makes me sick. Every so often I will get panic attacks that something will happen to the kids in the future - that I won't be able to stop or control and the thought is just so frightening.

Kudos to those parents who get their children through to adulthood without any serious mishaps - not of course including getting kicked out of pubs for parading as foreign exchange student in wig, pouring beer on bouncer, or using older sister's ID. My god, if that was considered a mishap then I must remember to appologise to my parents next time they ring. But then, despite the very cheap talk card my mum has, I doubt that will be anytime soon!

I don't know how I get off on some of these tangents sometimes.

Right, time for an ankle rub. Hub was in bed early last night and I missed out so I need a catch up, especially as ankles looking more and more like just extension of calf every day.

SDGH&QL

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Two Hours Until Spring

Officially that is. If you asked my 'bloody' tulips that I planted in November they would probably tell you spring is another couple of weeks away, but according to the Japanese calendar tomorrow is the first day of spring - celebrated by a public holiday no less.

A woman I used to work with at the university rang this afternoon and asked if her and her hub could come for a drive up this way tomorrow. They have been saying they would come ever since the house was built so I can't really say no. As it happens I am really looking forward to it, even if it means a bit of a cleaning frenzy in the morning. I have just finished making a New York Style cheesecake for the occassion although she is the type of person who I imagine will not turn up empty handed. But still, just in case is nicer to have something a bit yummy as opposed to offering a plate of sliced apple and raisins.

Hub was meant to be participating in a ground golf town office extraveganza tomorrow, followed by a drinking thing. We settled this one a while back. No, you can't go and hit a fricken wooden ball round a dirt pitch for three hours before going to the local to scoff down okonomiyaki and tap beer while your 28 week pregnant wife stays at home with a one year old and a two year old. Duh. Sort your shit out husband. Can't beleive you even tried to pull this one.

Which brings me to another huff I was in this evening - the annual department and office moves brings with it numerous excuses to get on the lash with the office. NO drinking or eating occassions are ever to 'town office worker and spouse'. I think I would be more inclined to let him go to more if at least I was invited to some!!

Please don't think I'm being a mean bitch by saying 'allow' and 'let'. The town office and the various obligatory voluntary associations hub is in all have large numbers of piss ups throughout the year and if hub went to all of them (like a lot of Japanese men do) he would...
a) be nearly as fat as me
b) be hospitalized for a liver melfunction within about the next five years
c) have no money
d) not have survived nearly five years with a gaijin wife - or this one at least

So anyway, I have told him the head of the household (moi) is only allowing three piss ups this particular departmental move season. Any that require him to drive to the city and stay a night, hence upping the cost to about 250 dollars for the night are completely out of the question - he looked a bit miffed when I put that rule out but I made the come back of...

We have to raid our son's savings just to be able to afford to have this baby. I don't think spending 250 dollars to get on the piss is very justifiable. Besides it's all about me and I'm just bloody jealous I can't go and stay a night in a hotel and get on the lash, have a nice onsen and a full night sleep (that's what it REALLY comes down to)

Any that he thinks will put him out of action for the whole next day are also to be turned down, as are any that end up at kareoke until two in the morning. The more senior you get the more of the bill you end op forking out. Stupid system when in Japan if you are young and single you will be on less money but the chances are you are still living at home sponging off your parents.

Enough about piss ups I aren't allowed to go to.

Might just finish watching this program on Wellington - god so many gaijin and my god the kiwi accent. I only lived in Wellington for just under a year but it still tickles the homesick cords a bit. Ohhhh, the cafes. I think the closest I get may be hunting down where to buy some of Starbucks new instant coffee.

SDGH&QL

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Pay it Forward

(there is a really long blog below this one for those of you with time on your hands.)

I found this on Midori's blog.

The first 3 people to leave a comment on this post will receive a gift from me by the end of May - that is my deadline as I think after the bunster arrives I will have even less brain cells to devote to remembering this kind of thing as they will get eaten up hours and hours of sleepless nights.

If you are not in Japan, and have never been here I will try and make it something Japanesey for you.

If you are not in Japan but have been here before I will try and make it something that you miss - within reason. I don't think SMAP will let me tape them into a box Ruth.

If you are in Japan then perhaps something uniquely Oita - I believe limes and shiitake are our delicasies. Of coure, I could quite easily be convinced into squashing Granny K up and taping her into a box with no breathing holes.

There is a catch though, YOU have to post this on your blog and do the same thing for other people.

Recap of the Rules:
1. Leave a comment with the link to your pay it forward
giveaway from your blog.
2. Be willing to follow through on sending out 3 prizes to lucky winners of your contest.
3. Make sure your profile lists your profile contact information OR leave your email addy with your entry in the comments section.

The annual makes-no-sense move

Today the city office announced all the departmental moves. I got a phone call at 10:30 this morning from Hub. So didn't want to answer the phone - in hope that head in sand reaction would mean if I didn't acknowledge it it wouldn't actually happen.

As predicted hub has been moved to the main office. The pros and cons of this are...

Pros...
1) ummmmmm, he isn't switching actual job roles - only offices. He will be in the tax department of the main office and not the Kunimi office so at least he knows the job. It will be his 8th year doing taxes.

2) He could take it to mean that the people above think he is good at doing taxes. Not really the type of department you can let people that don't know what they are doing stay in for long.

3) He gets a small pay rise because he is become a section chief (beat stomach). I found out tonight that actually this pay rise was implemented in January. I just didn't realise and obviously I don't keep the housekeeping books up to date!!

4) Remember the couple who are having the office fling - the woman is the mother of one of my English pupils and her hub is over in China on business. The man has been kicked out of home and his wife is the class teacher of the daughter of the woman he is shagging. Dallas. Anyhow, SHE is in the same office as hub (mine) will be in from April and HE has been moved (or rather moved himself seeing as his current job is to be in charge of department moves) to the office beside hub's. Soooo, hub is as excited as a four year old on Christmas eve. He will be able to probe for goss, see when they take their holidays, what time they come in and leave, whether they are using the same mugs still etc, and be able to make routine reports of his findings to the people in Kunimi interested in finding out the local goss. ie everyone.

Cons...
1) The main office is an extra twenty five minutes away which will mean leaving at half seven in the morning and not getting back until 6pm at the absolute earliest ever - with more like seven or eight be standard I would think seeing as the plebs in the main office feel the need to work later. But this could be because they do actually have more work what with a bigger population to deal with and not just the four and a half thousand vestlings that Kunimi has.

2) The main 'pachinko' offender friend from Kunimi is also in the tax department in the main office. His wife knows he goes and is not as much of a pachinko nazi as I am.

3) Hub himself really wanted to change departments - to social welfare or education. He is over the tax man shite.

For those not in the know on civil servant type work in Japan - you apply to the town/city/prefecture office as a whole and not a particular job. You are routinely moved within the office or city so that over the course of your career you would have been in about five or six different job positions, sometimes more. The standard stay in one particular job is usually about three or four years. You get to put in a preference each year for the move but to date I can confirm that this means jack shit.

Hub tells me that if you stay in the same job for ten years you get a certificate from the prefectural office.

Yippi Yi Fuckin Yay.

Not quite the same as getting a letter from the Queen when you turn a hundred - or maybe it's the equivalent in Japanese civil servant terms.

Anyway, after mailing in the morning he then came home during his lunch - I think to check the Gaijin wife spazzing out guage. I had prepared myself for a move to the main office so I was actually quite calm - tranquilly so almost. He has decided to take a day off next week seeing as come April, and the big move, it will be harder to take his days off in lou for the work he has done in this office.

In other news today...

Well, actually yesterday, I got an email from an online baby store in New Zealand. I ordered a voucher for a friend who had her second son three weeks ago. Being the second son and all I didn't know what she didn't already have so it just seemed easier to do the voucher thing. The store said they had no record of my payment - that I had actually made the day I placed the order - by online bank transfer. There was a to and fro of emails between me and Emma, the nice girl in accounts or whatever. We reached the conclusion that yes, they had recieved the payment but that it was made from my account under my maiden name. Needless to say my bank got an extremely rude email from me. Silly inbred pleb wankers.

That aside, I got another email yesterday - from the place that took our professional pics while we were back in NZ. They are finished and can I please transfer one million dollars into their swiss bank account. Honestly, the price for a bit of cardboard with a cute kid on it. My sister is going to pick them up when she can and will send them over here. AND THEN I can wow the pants off you with the three very cute pics I have ordered. One of Shou, one of Marina (all fangs, baldness and big forehead) and one of the two of them where Marina is laughing like her brother has never pee-ed on her before - which I guess at that stage he hadn't!

That aside, I got another email yesterday - from my auntie (aka the family lawyer). Remember my granny who passed away, leaving us all a bit of dosh, some of which I used to make long, lengthy and painful donation of concrete walkway to Shou's kindy?? Well, it would seem that Granny B continues to give, give and give from the grave. Her estate has finally been rounded up and we all (all seventeen grandchildren) get another small contribution to the family housekeeping. Probably enough to fund a couple of foreign food orders from FBC, or purchase a box of English books for the town library - depending on how hormonal I feel at the time. Meaning of course that hormone overdose will almost probably most defiantely lead to purchasing random bits of chocolate and australian chedder from FBC instead of Learn your ABCs and Spot's first birthday.

That aside, I got another email yesterday - from MY lawyer. The one who told me never to go into business with your family. Wise words but too late now. My money is still sitting in my bank account and I have yet to hear diddly bloody squat from any of the family about things - well, until I rang my sister in desparation this afternoon. The business is still afloat and will probably need my injection of cash within the next month or so. It doesn't really matter when this happens as my bank manager lady knows about it and said I can do it all over the phone in ten minutes. I just would like to get it done and out of the way. The sooner the money is out of my hands and into theirs, the sooner I can start earning 10%. LOL - that's lots of orders of Australian Cheddar and a hell of a lot better than the 4% my bank would re-invest my money into.

So, that is about the goss for today I think.

Actually I lie, one more quick things.

I had my usual English class tonight - and it turns out next week will be our last. At the moment the junior high they go to is situated near their homes - which are only about fifteen minutes drive away. From April their school is closing down and they are moving to the city Junior High School and that will mean more travel. They will also be third years which means studying for high school entrance exams. Ah well, it means I can keep my ears open for another class, or I can spend Wednesday nights twiddling my thumbs. Or we could opt for weekly international relations meetings. No fun if the date is set but. Spur of the moment meetings so much more fun.

Right the lot of you. You must have nothing to do if you got this far.

SDGH&QL

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Has Spring Sprung?

It was a lovely day today. Blue sky, no wind. Hopefully there wasn't much pollen in the air because I hung all the washing outside and the fire stopped getting stoked at about 10am. I even got the whole shaggy hide all stains rug in the washing machine and dry by the end of the day. What an achievement. I do believe it is now looking a bit shaggier than it did before but at least it smells nicer.

Marina and I had lots of us time despite her huge morning nap. We danced to Abba up insanely loud. Granny K was still at the doctor's so we could groove round the hallway. She is getting better at her turns :) A lot of her dancing still just involves a lot of waving and stomping but.

Granny K got back from the docs well after lunch. She didn't divulge any information, and I didn't ask. Was gagging to know though.

Marina and I went for a huge walk - about an hour. Has been a very long while since I last did that and I think hub will have a bit of a job massaging the elephant ankles away this evening. Not too bad really - but I was knackered. Had to come home and have a nap - the first nap of the year with the afternoon sun on the bed. Don't you just love that.

I got a call from a friend this arvo. She had so much news I just about had to sit down to take it all in. I was thinking, my god, imagine if she was pregnant too - and what do you know but the next bit of news to come out of her mouth was hey, and guess what, I'm pregnant. Bloody hell, doesn't rain it bloody pours - but in a good way. Damn Monsoon about to happen at their place. Change of abode, maybe even change of country. Hub with most probably change in job and all through this said friend will be throwing up with morning sickness. Good luck friend - and keep me posted. Let me have smaller bits of information at a time. Just about went into early labour.

Hub had a trip to the city for work today - which was nice because he went off to work in his business trip suit which is quite scrummy. He wasn't home in time for bath time so Shou, Marina and I jumped in together - minus my jumping. Shou usually takes a whiz before he gets in the bath - and while I realise it would be good practice to get him to go to the actual toilet first sometimes it just doesnt happen and he pees down the drain in the bathroom - which is one big plastic mold with a bath and shower. What do you call it? A wet room? Anyway, his aim is getting a lot better but today he must have been tired and he pee-ed all over Marina - who was still in her clothes because she had snaked past me into the bathroom as I was peeling my trousers off over my big belly.

Shou got told off for peeing all over his sister which led to a huge commotion from him which in turn set Marina off and for about five minutes the two of them were screaming blue murder and had the guy from down the road not been on his tractor two meters outside the bathroom window I would have joined them. As it was I heard the door handle turn - no doubt Granny K coming into investigate what I was doing to the children. I had locked the bathroom door though so her knob turning was in vain.

We finally managed to have some happy happy joy joy splish splash time and hub arrived home just as we were getting out.

They are both now asleep and I am going to have to head what way too - after an ankle rub. Sleepy sleepy.

Ooooh, should clarify here that when I use the term kindy I should probably be using day care. In Japanese it is hoikuen that Shou and soon Marina will be at. It is full time with no option of just doing half days or so many days per week - well you could I guess but it is one set price. The yochien (kindy) closest to us is a two year one for the two years before starting primary school. It is actually in the same building as the day care which is nice and the little kids and big kids do quite a bit together.

Anyhoo, must...get...ankle...rub...

SDGH&QL

Monday, 16 March 2009

Yay for Kindy

Hub came home tonight with some great news. The current situation has been that the first child at kindy is full price. This is based on our combined income and at the moment we are second from the top of the pay scale - which isn't as exciting as it sounds. There is a huge scale and I feel sorry for the people getting less pay but still being in the same bracket. As it is we pay 37,000 yen per month for Shou. This is about $600 NZ which I hear is still quite cheap. This is for 8am to 5pm six day a week child care. They feed them, nap them and even change their shitty nappies.

From the year following the year they turn three this price drops a bit and so on as they get older. Shou is three in June so the amount we pay for him won't drop until the start of April 2010.

Anyway, the second child in the same kindy is half the standard amount. We therefore thought that because Marina is still little and will be in the same group/room as Shou for a year that we would have to pay half of 37,000 yen for her - so 17,500 yen. This is still a bargin me thinks but I got a very pleasant surprise when hub came home and said that from this April there is a new system and the second child is only 9,000 yen. 9,000 yen!! $160 for full time childcare for a whole damn month. I hope this doesn't mean Marina will be getting put on a leash outside and given a bowl of water and crackers every day.

The third baby is FREE. Of course you actually have to have three kids in the same kindy for this to apply. If, I was going to put the bunster in kindy I could do so from the time he turns six months - so from January next year. I could have all three kids in day care for a whole 16 months for the same price as two and I could go out and find me a job so can afford more bling. No shit, not more bling, I meant an apartment for Granny K.

Of course the town office has fucked up our kindy fees before so maybe I should wait a few months before getting so excited!

In other news, hub finds out this Wednesday where he will be moved to. The chances that he gets to stay where he is are slim to none. I will be dreading the mail from work on Wednesday.

Otherwise, today was pretty standard. A friend came round for a play date, Marina vomitted all over the easy to hide stains shaggy rug in the lounge, that now needs a good wash as Shou also flung his miso shiru over it this evening. Stinks. Let's hope it fits in our single person live alone washing machine or I am going to have to get outside and scrub it. Went to the town office to pay car insurance and now have about enough money in the bank for half a block of tofu and a banana to last until Thursday - pay day. Supermum will have to come out of the woodwork to try and work out some interesting recipes with whats in the fridge and cupboard!

Granny K got some unscheduled play time with Marina and was very excited. She thoughtfully brought here back in her after about half an hour - not wanting to take things too far too soon.

Hub has to take her to the doctor's tomorrow morning. She went last week and while she doesn't appear outwardly sick hub is still worried something is wrong. High blood pressure perhaps! God, I'd get that having to live with me.

SDGH&QL

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Typhoon Sunday

Actually the day went very well. Hub had Shou outside helping him weed the grass this morning before going to the park, a construction site and to see the ferry come in and then leave again. They came home, we had lunch and then all had a wee nap.

Hub got a wee lecture from Granny K because we had locked the front door before all going upstairs for a nap - I do this anyway, and unless the day is really muggy will quite often keep the front door locked regardless of where I am in the house. I've seen my share of crazy people so I feel safer knowing that anyone that wanted to come in is going to have to spend at least three minutes having to bypass the locked front door before realising that Granny K's door is always wide open.

The priest from next door was coming over to do some chant rant prayer thing at the family alter - ohigan for those in the know. Don't know what that translates to - something about the coming of Spring. He was meant to come on the 20th but is busy so it was sorted that he would come today - after lunch. Hub and I both knew he was coming but didn't know when. Granny K usually does this kind of stuff anyway - the phonecall came for her and she decided the time. When the doorbell rang we were upstairs napping and the majority vote was that we wouldn't get out of bed to answer the door - what with both of us not remembering that it was probably the priest and well, me not being in a state of dress to readily jump out of bed and run downstairs - not because of anything naughty mind you, just gets less and less comfortable sleeping in trousers when you have a big belly. Jumping and running are no longer on my list of things I can do anyway.

So, after the second ring I do actually venture slowly downstairs to see the back of the priest as he is walking back next door. After first checking Granny K's room I then ask hub to ring her. Turns out she was out in her sewing shed - she thought she would wait out there so she wouldn't miss him. However, it wasn't her fault - despite knowing exactly what time he was coming, it was our fault for locking the door. SIGH. Priestman was called back and chanted away downstairs while we napped.

Other than that and about five other seconds we didn't see Granny K all day - nice happy family day. Although the five seconds she did show up she made a point of telling Shou how mummy had put a lock on her door because she didn't want him playing with her.

Bugger, shit, bitch and more sighing.

Ah well, probably brought a bit of that on myself.

Just to clarify the house situation - as I realise it all started before my blog did and I don't know how much I have written before...

The house that was standing here when I first met hub was the original family home - Hub and both of his brothers were born here - literally. It was Hub's father's family land. Granny K came here as the 'daughter in law' from the next town over. I say that like that because it was an arranged marriage and she had only met her husband to be on two or so previous occassions.

When we started seeing each other - and during our first year of marriage, I would come up every third weekend or so and hub would come the other weekends to Beppu - where I was living and working. We spent more time at my place for obvious reasons - Granny K, and the fact that Beppu is a city and we could go out for meals, to the pub etc. Hub and his previous family had built two extra rooms that were attached to the main house. There was a room for the family to sleep in (him, his wife and two children), and a living room with a couch, TV, and fridge etc.

When I came up we would spend most of our time down there and Granny K hardly ever came down that way.

When we decided to get married I told hub that the current house was just a bit too old for me - the toilet was a hole in the ground and down the end of a long scary hallway occupied by various oversized insects and vegetables. The kitchen was unthinkable - with a two gas burner and a bench the size of a small chopping board. Had it been clean I could have copped but it was crusted over with all sorts of unimagineable shite. In summer cicadas would come in and get so lost they would sing in some dark dingy corner behind the stove or something for days.

So, It was decided that we would reform the house - as, and this might be hard to believe, I actually did like the idea of leaving up the 'family home'. There was some awesome big beams and great sliding doors etc. The builder however said all the wood was infested and it would cost more to reform than to knock down and re-build.

Just to point out here - that had we lived in the house as it was we would have had to have rebuilt within less than five years anyway - and I would not have lasted that long.

So, the old house was knocked down and the new house was started. The plans for this house were done by all three of us - I insisted on some things - like a counter kitchen and separate rooms for the kids upstairs. I also got completely bulldozed on other things - like Granny K wanting two tatami rooms because that was what all rural houses had and we would need the space for the 17 year anniversay of the death of hub's dad (so in other words, for a total of about five hours). I also lost the I want a shower upstairs battle and the 'we don't need that door going out from the kitchen' battle. A lot of other small battles that I had won I realised I actually hadn't when I would come up in the weekends to see how things were going and realise that Granny K had told the builder different to what was on the plans - a few things about upstairs too and she wouldn't even be going up there!!

Added note - I am grateful for Granny K being here though throughout the building process. She was here to give them their morning tea and keep an eye on things - something that, as she liked to tell me quite often, should have officially been my job. In hindsight I should have quit my job six months early and come up then.

After we got married hub bought the family land off his two older brothers - I think he paid something like 25 man (NZ$4500) to each brother. By the sounds of it they were relieved to be rid of it.

So, the land is now all in hub's name and the house is ours - and I say ours because Granny K does not pay for anything and apart from the big gold alter, didn't contribute anything of our huge thirty year loan. No, she isn't working but she still gets her pension and has hardly any of her own expenses.

Two weeks into living in the same house we had barney number one - full on ricky lake bitch fight without the fists. Needless to say I was pregnant at the time ;p
I took some of my savings from NZ and we knocked out a wall to her room and added a kitchen so we wouldn't have to share one. From that point on it was decided that she would have her separate space and we would have ours. Somewhere after Shou was born the black and white turned to grey and things started going pearshaped.

So thats the long of it!! Some people would say that this was still more her place than mine but I feel the opposite.

Hub has been trying very hard lately - and this morning told Granny K, of his own accord, to just get away and go back to her room or where ever it was she was going. He had just told Shou off for throwing something and had put him on the stairs for time out. Shou was nutting out and Granny K came to investigate at the exact same time that I was bringing Marina down the stairs. She tried to laugh and play with Shou over the side of the stairs. Hub sent her on her way - probably because he knew that if he didn't I would have :)

Well, I am off for an earlyish night. The bunster has been head butting me all day and I think I need to get in one position and stay that way for a while.

I took a great pic today of Marina with the cake tin on her head. She was trying all the baking equipment on for size and found the cake tin was just right. I still haven't got the camera cord though so that pic, like all the others lately, will have to wait.

Sweet Dreams, Good Health & Quiet Living

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Another Saturday

Shou lasted the night and morning without further note-worthy toilet stops, so needless to say he was packed up and shipped off to kindy for the day as usual.

Hub and I had a big talk after we were in bed last night. I don't think we really ended up with conclusions to anything but for once the bunster hormones didn't have me in tears for no or hardly any reason. I was able to reason and think before I opened my mouth - pity I don't do the same thing on here. Tend to just type full steam ahead!!

Even though hub agrees our life would probably be easier living on our own, he said in the same breath that he is unable to tell Granny K she has to leave from 'her' home. If the only way I can go on is if she moves out then he will talk to the older brothers (actually probably only the oldest one) and get him to tell Granny K - and that that of course would mean that the brother and his wife would probably harbor not very nice feelings towards me for the rest of eternity. I find this hard to believe as I know my sister in law lives every day in thanks that Granny K is here and not there and I doubt my brother in law would hate me for it. It isn't going to happen though so no point getting tizzed up about it.

We spoke again about the pros and cons of moving into an apartment and as a stubborn woman, I refuse to give up 'my' home so a seventy year old woman can tred cabbage leaves into the carpet (so to speak - we don't actually have any carpet)

Therefore - we have to find a common ground, one that means we (which I take to mean mostly me) can live in somewhat peace and harmony. Ahem.

The door is a good start - Shou didn't go in there at all today and both the morning and evening went well and we had some great family time before bed - which was due mainly to me having had not Granny K related happenings or stress throughout the day. Hub said Granny K said (her uncle's brother said his wife said...) that she would be sad if she couldn't see the kids everyday. I replied with surely it was better to see them in a happy environment a few times a week than with the oni yome (devil daughter in law) breathing down your neck three times a day.

So, if today was anything to go by then maybe things will be on the improve. She has agreed to only step in when asked but we will see how long that lasts. I think the few big barneys over the last week or so have sent a message that has been lost in translation over the last three years. Go with the program or suffer the consequences - which would probably be us moving out to an apartment, living on the bones of our ass and me refusing to have anything to do with the woman and her losing another set of grandkids and being miserable.

Anyway, Granny K antics aside.

This morning we dropped Shou off as usual and then headed to the hospital to see the bunster on the big screen. I did my pee test and took my blood pressure and then waited for my turn in the nurses room for a pre-see the doctor consultation. This is standard procedure at my clinic. I get called in and, after standing on the scales, immediately told off for almost visible layer of Australian chedder around my midriff. Am thinking bloody shit crap, if the consulation nurse is giving me grief the doctor is going to have a field day.

Ten minutes later the gods are smiling and I hear the voice of the woman doctor calling me in to her parlor. I hop up on the bed and Hub and Marina and I get to see the bunster. The doctor gives a very detailed explanation of everything - no water in the brain, heart chambers all a pumping, spine and limbs all look fine rah rah. His head was down and to the side so we couldn't get a good look or a good 4D pic but hub still reckons the profile showed a gaijin nose!

Despite me having an excuse all ready (along the lines of 'I have a very heavy placenta') the doctor didn't make a single comment about my weight. Yay for another three weeks. I am to go back at thirty weeks.

After the clinic we went to the book shop so hub could get the 2009 naming your baby book. Hopefully he will find a good name that matches our surname, means the bunster will lead a happy and full life and one that of course pleases the gods, the position of the moon and the prevailing winds.

We then did a drive by of the kids shop to get Marina's stuff for kindy - a lunchbox, fork and spoon set and naptime futon. Couldn't go down the underwear isle without getting a four pack of construction vehicle boys undies for Shou - and more socks for everyone.

When we got home I went up the road to get a lady to sign a piece of paper verifying that I do work from home and am therefore unable to care for Marina during the day - hence why I am applying for a place for her at kindy. Is all a load of bollocks really. Pregnancy and the birth of another sibling only gets you two months at kindy so you have to prove you have a job - and if that isn't with an employer you have to have an appointed person to sign the correct papers for you. On the application we also need to say that Granny K grows vegetables and rice 24/7 and is therefore unable to look after the kids while I work!! Is unbelievable to think that some people out there may actually get refused places in childcare because the grandparents have the time to look after the kids - regardless of age and retard thinkingness.

Oh well, the application is going in on Monday and Marina will start on the first of April. I may just do half days for the first week depending on MY level of empty nest but just during the daytime syndrome. I am pretty sure that Marina will settle into the kindy routine quite quickly - especially with Shou in the same group.

What am I going to do for two months - apart from the obvious lying on the couch reading pregnancy magazines and watching re-runs of Grey's Anatomy and Sex in the City. My sister, who has three girls, assures me I should not feel guilty about the down time before number three is born as after the bunster arrives there will never be any time ever ever again for at least the next eighteen years. Awesome.

Can someone tell me - is the difference between two and three kids bigger or smaller than the difference between one and two?? Can you even remember??

Shite, I nearly forgot. Despite having almost half a block of chedder still in the fridge I won't be able to get through it as fast as the first half because hub, the spaz, broke the damn cheese slice. He has seen me use this invention of the gods at least a dozen times so I stood in awed silence when he tried to use it like a knife going vetically down the block of cheese - and not like you are meant to do which is pulling it towards you across the top. You need to hold both ends to do it properly and when I explained the correct way to use it to hub he put in too much muscle and the whole thing snapped in half. Thanks for that darling.

Off to bed - we finally have a Sunday tomorrow that hub will be home. Hopefully it won't be as cold as it was today (absolutely bloody freezing) and Hub and Shou can go to the park and play wannabe builders out in the shed.

SDGH&QL

Friday, 13 March 2009

As Predicted...

The kindy rang up this afternoon and I had to go and pick Shou up. It isn't the flu I don't think, he just has a case of the shits. If it was the verbal kind I would just presume it had been passed on from Granny K. The teacher said he went to the toilet four times - all after he had had lunch which today was a bit more upscale than usual because it was a birthday party lunch (which they have once a month) and the lunch to farewell the older kids who are leaving at the end of March. So, lots of food in both quantity and not normally consumed.

When I went to pick him up the teachers said I should take him to the doctors right then and that of course he would be taking tomorrow off sick. I said no, not going to doctors, he seems fine and doesn't have a temperature or any other symptoms apart from the shits. If he still had the shits tomorrow morning I would keep him home but otherwise he would be at kindy as usual. Shock Horror, bad mother of the year award again. But honestly, what a huha.

Came home and he ate a normal dinner, had a bath and went to bed without fuss. He usually has a toilet pit stop first thing in the morning so fingers crossed all is back in full working order by then. Talking about shit seems very normal now that there is so much of it in the house. Wouldn't have caught me blogging about this before the pregnant, kids and mother in law stuff came into the picture.

Talking of which, I got the lock changed on Granny K's door this morning. She was outside in the shed/room bit where her sewing machine is so she didn't even notice the door man come or leave. She said to hub earlier this evening that I had gone and done it and not even told her. But, that is just silliness seeing as she said her self 'sou shinasai' (you just do that then) yesterday during out spat. Shou did try and go in there this evening. Granny K came in and plonked a box of over ripe kiwifruit on our bench and walked out. Shou and Marina both love kiwifruit so they both automatically wanted some. I gave them what I could from one each. I have a feeling kiwifruits help speed your 'movements' up so I told Shou he would get more of a burny bum if he had any more kiwifruit on top of his case of the shits. He said he was going in to ask Granny if he could have it.

Luckily cunning mummy had locked the new lock alreay. The old lock is still there but doesn't actually work - is a dummy lock. Sneaky. He spotted the new lock but gave up after he realised he couldn't reach. There wasn't even any calling out to Granny or whining. I wonder if he just thought he had shrunk. Granny K is pretty short - I wonder if she will shrink with old age in which case give it a few more years and maybe even she wont be able to reach it and then I will be able to use it as a 'real' lock to keep the woman on the other side. The bliss.

So, there were no unnecessary outbursts this evening. Hub, who had mailed before lunch to say he was going to be working late and would be home at 8, turned up just before six. So whether he thought Shou was on the verge of the flu and could get out of his overtime, or guilty about going to pachinko while I was at home with Shou and a toilet full of 'geri' I will never know...

I really do need to get to the hosptial tomorrow regardless of whether Shou has to be at home or not, but if he is then I will be going on my own - all the better for getting told off about my weight though, without hub there. Although, it isn't as if my weightgain has gone unnoticed on the home front. In fact, over the last 27 weeks hub has managed to lose four of the kilos I have gained. So not fair.

Crap TV on tonight - although I must say satelite is still on their Mel Gibson run. Last night was Mad Max - thunderdome, another complete shite movie - of the three mintues I saw, and tonight is another one from back in the early days.

Time for the bed thing I think - and if the gods a smiling the ability to lose five kilos through osmosis.

SDGH&QL

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Shit, Bugger F&%$

Warning - language may offend - or may have offended already.

Sitting here with a diet coke and a cheese sammy trying my best to simmer down. The cheese is australian chedder - which I say in a good way. As a New Zealander I may have said that with a bit of scorn had I been saying it in New Zealand, but here, in the depths of rural Japan I say it with joy. Australian bloody chedder people - delivered to my door. The doctor is going to give me assholes on Saturday when I go for my check up and may well even offer to come over and rid me of my secret timtam stash and 1kg block of cheese - which I will try my best to reduce to perhaps 300g by the weekend. Well on my way.

So this morning - stupid fuckin bitch of a bloody mother in law. It really isn't anything major, and may sound extremely trivial to the untrained - 'never lived with thy mother in law' eye but oh no, I predict the battle of Kunimi is not far a coming.

The morning started fine - like any other. I may have been feeling a bit hormonal for no other reason than well, hey I can get away with it, but I wasn't teary or on the verge of hurling knives in her door or anything even close. Shou loves his Granny - and this is a good thing as I think the kind of angst I feel for her really only needs to be a one person thing. He went into her room right as I was changing Marina's nappy - hence I was unable to stop him. He was fed (to the brim) and changed and almost ready for kindy. Five minutes later he comes out of her room with a mouthful of food.

Trivial....

Pathetic....

I know....

But christ woman have we not had this conversation every week for the past two years?? Do. Not. Feed. My. Kids. when ever you feel like it and with what ever you feel like. I thought she had finally understood this rule - that both hub and I try to enforce. Apparantly not.

The dialogue that followed was...

Gaijinwife: Shou darling you have had breakfast. If you were still hungry why didn't you come and ask mummy for something else.
Shou: I'm brushing my teeth with daddy.
Gaijinwife: (to Granny K in calm-ish voice) Have I not asked you before to not feed Shou.
Granny K - shuffle as the vestling comes out of her hive / den / sty ???
Gaijinwife: (to Granny K in not so calm-ish voice) We have been over this again and again. Shou has just had breakfast. I don't want him thinking he can get extras anytime he wants from you.
Granny K: (off the fricken scale so not calm) Would you not check what he is eating before you go off at me. It's a mouthful of puffed wheat shit
Gaijinwife: (off the fricken scale so not calm) I can see that, that isn't the point. Shou can't get snacks in your room any time he wants.
Granny K: How completely unreasonable. It was only puffed wheat.

(Bloody puff wheat shit you you stupid woman)

Gaijinwife: This is what stresses me out. Did I tell you I'm getting the lock moved up on your door so Shou can't just walk in when he wants.
Granny K: Really?
Gaijinwife: Well, if you're not going to move out like you bloody said you would ...(ooh hoo feel the nails)
Grannk K: Fine then.

Shou is all the time crying to get back into Granny K's room and saying how much he likes Granny - not the best time for mummy to be hearing this, and while I realise that he is probably upset because we are having a heated discussion (heated, hehe - fuckin burn the house down) I remove him from the equation and take him to his room - only to be followed up the stairs by 'poor Shou' comments from the witch. Safe in the confines of his room we have a talk and I read him a digger and concrete mixer book. We both calm down a bit.

Granny K needed to be taken to the hospital this morning (nothing to do with me or knives or nails) and I was going to be driving her but that quickly changed to hub. She is back now and silent. The door man came around while she was out and measured the door and is coming back tomorrow morning to move the lock.

What really annoys me is that the morning thing, and the evening thing - the times when hub and I are busiest trying to get things sorted with the kids, Shou will quite often take refuge in Granny K's room and I am usually in the middle of something. She doesn't tell him to get out and seeing as he can open the door on his own... I know that spending some time in Granny's room shouldn't stress me out so much but from experience, I don't know what she is letting them play with or feeding them while they are in there. This is afterall the woman who thinks giving an adult vitamin tablet to a six month old baby is acceptable. And that a lighter is an OK toy just because it doesn't have any lighter fluid in it.

At this prime hormonal time I also get upset when mummy loses out to Granny K. I tend to get annoyed when she comes in the picture - and me getting annoyed makes Shou want to be in her room more which in turn gets me more annoyed. It is a cycle, a cycle that I could put up with if it was once every couple of months, but damned if I am going to be devil mummy everyday of the week. I want my children to be in here, with the family - with mummy and daddy. Being a 'spoil your grandkids' granny every day of the fricken week is not acceptable. Rules and boundries are being broken left right and center and it always seems like I am taking one step forwards and two steps back.

Be doing the bloody moonwalk soon.

So, that was the start to our day. I have calmed down considerably after getting very cross at the washing while I was hanging it out. Damn you bloody socks ... bitch of a shirt...

I also spoke to a friend in New Zealand for about an hour and I think my choice of phonecalls to make on this particular morning was spot on. A diet coke and a cheese sammy latter and my blood pressure is almost back to normal. Marina will be up soon and then it's lunch (for her) and off to our play date.

I have two English classes this afternoon so I wonder if Granny K will show up - although seeing as Marina is having a late nap now I can probably get away with not putting her down for an afternoon nap until just before my classes start anyway. God, I'll entertain her at the same time if I have to.

Anyway, good to get that rant out.

Bitch drives me fuckin insane.

Sorry for the obscenities but I think cursing is an occupational hazzard if you live with your mother in law.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Shaguddle Teaser

Another day has gone by with no phone call from the kindy - Shou seems to be fine. Touch wood. Five of the bigger kids are away with the flu but still only two from the smaller kids group.

Hub has just finished watching Mad Max II - which has to be the second shitest movie ever made - coming only second to Mad Max I. It is a small wonder Mel Gibson ever made it big after appearing in those films.

Last night I was a bit of a shaguddle teaser so had to earn brownie points this evening. Last night I suggested going to bed early but got turned down in favor of Mad Max. I know I know. I thought shagging would have won over blood and guts and gore too but who knows what men are thinking sometimes. When hub did come to bed he tried to get a leg over and I agree-ed but first had to check on Marina who had a bit of a coughing fit. In that twenty seconds it took for me to get up and check her the bunster rearranged himself and I got a sore back - and out the window went any shaguddling of any kind.

So tonight - in the throws of Mad Max II action I suggested a bit of a shaguddle in the shower. In the 24 hours since last night hub has obviously learnt he needs to get any action where he can so Mad Max got ditched. Clever boy.

The day was otherwise very quiet - getting ready and having two English classes, visiting a friend in the next town over whom I haven't seen for about a month, and having a cleaning session this morning that included getting on my hands and knees (and now belly as well) and polishing the floor downstairs. Granny K is really keeping her distance and didn't even comment that hands and knees floor polishing action would surely mean the bunster grow an extra limb.

Tomorrow - the usual. Cleaning, English, a visit with a friend, and a power nap in the morning if I can get my shite sorted out before then.

Need to sleep now me thinks.

SDGH&QL

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Tears

Today I heard two bits of sad news. The first is a good gaijin friend of mine who lives not far away whose partner's father died this morning. He was 79 and had been hospitalised for a few years and I while I don't think his actual death came as a shock to the family it is always hard when someone passes away.

The second bit of news has hit this hormonal pregnant woman like a tone of bricks. A blog friend - someone whom I have never met but whose blog I read regularly and who I feel like I know through knowing the parts of her life that she shares on her blog - miscarried yesterday.

Her and her husband, who have only been married for a little while, were so excited about the prospect of becoming parents. I have never met him either but instinctively I know that they will be fantastic parents.

Knowing exactly what she is going through yesterday, and right now and what she will be going through over the next days, weeks and months really makes me want to be able to go and give her a big hug.

Hub and I got pregnant in Hokkaido on our honeymoon. On my second visit to the doctors I found out I had miscarried and had to have a D&C operation the following day. It was, to date, the worst three days of my life I think. I say three days because that was all I had off work. The only people that knew I was pregnant were my boss, my immediate friends and family. I am not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing having to go back to work and act so normally.

I had already been to the city office to get my mothers and baby handbook. I heard afterwards that in Japan there is some kind of ritual ceremony where you burn it. I was feeling so mad at the world I threw it out - along with the one scan pic I had of the dot. Life was so unfair for a while and everywhere, just everywhere I looked there were pregnant woman and babies. Curse the people who had the gaul to actually complain about having children.

I had three more miscarriages after that. I even got tested on a trip back home to see if it was something physical. There was apparantly nothing wrong but the number of miscarriages had now placed me in a 'high risk' category. I had no trouble getting pregnant, the bastards just wouldn't stick for long.

When I got pregnant with Shou I couldn't get excited until I reached 14 weeks and was over the high miscarriage period hump.

I read my friend's blog tonight and it has made me sad for her loss and sad all over again for the ones I have lost. It has also made me extremely grateful for the two (and nearly three) beautiful children I have now and makes me realise I need to appreciate them a lot more.

And to my blog friend - I had a lot of comments and words of sympathy from family and friends. A few people said things like 'It just wasn't meant to be' and 'God will bless you with a child soon' and absolute shite like that. Absolutely bullshite. It was meant to be god damn it and it isn't fair. I felt guilt at the thought that I had done something. It is hard not to feel guilt and I know you will feel it too and I can say until the cows come home that it wasn't anything you did - but it doesn't stop the feeling and perhaps that is just a part of the grieving process.

You are in my thoughts.

Man About the House

Whenever we have visitors - or more specifically whenever we have female visitors of our generation (if you can put hub and I in the same generation for a minute) Hub tends to go overboard on the house work.

I admit that he does do a lot more than the average Japanese man. He washes up dinner dishes without being asked, he does all the wood bringing in for the fire, he helps feed, bath and put children to bed and he gives me pregnant ankle rubs and shoulder rubs with little resistance. If I instigated more international relations meetings I could probably get a few more chores out of him - but some days I would rather scrub the roof with a toothbrush over trying to get the energy up for a 'meeting'. But I digress,

Yesterday, my friend... let's call her 'ex vice mayor's daughter' - because well that's who she is and besides, I think 'running dog' and 'white wolf with fluffy tail' were taken. Not that she resembles either a dog or a wolf.

Anyway, she came round and we went out for lunch. Granny K OFFERED to look after Marina and me being not in a mood to find fault with her at that very second said yes and thankyou very much that would be just fab. So, for what seems like the longest time I got to go out for a meal childless - not including you bunster. sorry. You were definately present you moving, wriggling, kicking maniac - give your poor mother a break.

We then came back here for a coffee and she seemed quite reluctant to leave so one thing turned into another and she stayed for the chaos that is dinner and bathtime. Hub got home relatively early and after getting changed and having dinner went straight into 'I am new age man' clean-up robot mode and washed, dried and put away all the dishes, wiped the table and bundled up the kids for a bath - all the time singing praises to himself out loud!! It was quite comical and said friend was acting accordingly by dishing out the praises about how good he was and how if the whole world blew up tomorrow he would be left standing for his good cleaning duties. I listened in interest but had to pipe up when hub pulled the 'I always do the dishes, Katy never does them' line. Where did that come from?

The usual routine is that whoever isn't in the bath with the kids does the dishes. (and that on an average of two or three nights a week I do everything on my own because sometimes the taxes really are just more important) It just happens last night that he was on show off overload and did both. When he went to get in the bath he said 'go yukkuri' to us, which means relax for a bit. Hehe snort snort giggle giggle. Relax for a bit - during the hours of five and seven thirty? Not likely. Sometimes when he is in the bath I think he thinks I am kicking back with my feet up and that the bed turning down, pajama getterer, meddy and milk makerer and cleaning up under Marina's highchair fairies come to town.

So that was yesterday. I also got an email from the mother of one of the boys in Shou's giraffe or whatever it is group at kindy. Both him and his brother had influenza and apparently it was going around the kindy. Excellent. Is only a matter of time then before I get the call from the kindy saying Shou has a temperature. He will get taken to the doctor who will pronounce him to have influenza before prescribing a dozen types of meddy. No sleep for two or three days and then Marina will get it and finally, when the two kids are just coming right at the weekend Hub will get it and be knocked out for the whole weekend but will become miraculously fine by Monday morning for work. God help the civil servent who actually uses a sick day.

I might get a light dose of it but because there are too many other sick people to look after the feelings of tiredness and sore throat and headness will be pushed to the back of the mind while super-mum takes over. This will in turn mean that nobody suspects I have got it and therefore there will be no offers of taking over for half an hour while mum gets a lie down. The bunster will ensure that mum can't take any of the serious drugs so she just has to guts it out - but hey, that's what we do best isn't it?

An optimist would say that all influenza bugs will bypass my strong, big headed half foreign son and that we will remain an influenza free household again this year.

Sorry, but the optimist has left the building.

Ooooh, on a good note though I did not have to go into either of the kids rooms last night. Shou woke us up at six - which is very much doable if you have had the whole night in your own bed beforehand. I am thinking that come about May I am going to put the bunks together in Shou's room and he can sleep on top and Marina on the bottom. Any thoughts on this - a nearly three year old on the top and a one and a half year old on the bottom. Are they going to keep each other awake? Am I starting the two siblings sharing the same room without any parental intervention too early? Also, how much damage can you really do falling off the top bunk? I have vague recollections of it happening to me but a quick check of my arms and legs reveals no scars or war-wounds left that tell the tale.

Marina has just gone down for a nap and the bunster thinks he needs one too.

SDGH&QL

Monday, 9 March 2009

Forever single.

The hina dolls are on the floor waiting to be dusted and put in their box properly. Today is the 9th - so six days past the 'girl's day' festival. If Marina gets a string of fuckwit boyfriends and can't find one to commit when she is feeling at the right age then she can always blame it all on mummy and those bloody hina dolls that didn't get put away for six whole days the year before she turned two. I take full responsibility.

The truth be known daddy would probbably bash any fuckwit boyfriends that gave her the run round - or rather any boy that tried so much as look at her in the 'awwww cricky, wouldn't mind me a bit of that' way anytime before she is about thirty. Poor girl. We are going to have to rally together to work out stories to fool daddy.

'No darling no darling, she is not out with that hoodlam bogan studying to be a lawyer bloke, she is at the library stuyding for her caregivers exam so she can look after us in our old age'

'No darling no darling, the only reason she isn't at home celebrating her twenty fifth birthday with her parents is because she is out buying some new wool to knit you a cardie' (ten minutes later on phone to Marina - for god sake make sure your buttons are done up and your knickers are on the right way round when you get home)

Yesterday was quite unexpected. No, the kids didn't sit down and draw and do puzzles quietly all day or anything insanly stupid like that, Granny K was noticebly absent ALL day. I got a quick glance of a vest flying behind her as she dashed out the door at about half eight and that was it.

Shou and Marina were actually very good, even though Shou still managed to take out every toy we own and spread them quite successfully over three rooms. Marina was content with playing with a sum total of three toys quietly in the corner of the lounge. I made piklets for morning tea - while Shou took out all the pots and pans, BBQ tongs and spatula and made mummy some coffee (??). Thank god all it usually takes me is a cup and a spoon.

After lunch I managed again somehow to get all three and a half of us down for a nap. We got up at three just in time for the FBC (foreign buyers club) delivery of timtams (on special they were), cheesecake mix (ditto), chicken korma, taco spice mix and a bag of googly stick on eyes. What the ... ?? I always get at least one surprise when I open an order - especially if I have been pregnant at time order was placed.

We then piled into the car and went to see daddy at work. We arrived at the town office approximately three and a half minutes later at the exact same time that all town office employees (bar the tax men who were upstairs doing tax returns) and education related person and random other people, were exiting the town hall after a speech on 'jinken' - human relations?? No, that doesn't sound right.

(three minutes later)

Human Rights - of course. God, if it had been on human relations I could have done a wee segment on international relations. I'm probably not quite as much a specialist in the area as I was back in the days of singledom and drunken nights out, but I think I could hold my own for a good five minutes or so.

Hub was just finishing up when we arrived so after he packed his papers away he took Shou for a look at the town office fire engine - the same one Shou gets a look at every time he goes there but which still holds the same excitement for him as it did the first time a year ago. Sometimes I wish I could look at hub and say the same thing.

The kids were good over the dinner and bath time and by half seven they were both asleep and i was getting an ankle rub. The day could have been a lot more chaotic and stressful but it turned out just fine.

On the hayfever front - thanks for all the advice. Yesterday day was absolutely fine as was nap time where Shou and I slept in our bed - our bed that had the same futons they had had on the night before. I got a pretty good sleep last night - well, nothing bar Shou waking up once. I didn't go through a box of tissues or need to scald hayfever bastards from my throat this morning. I can only think it was a particularly bad pollen day the day before and that the blame can be put onto the t-shirt that I had worn to bed.

Lets hope the hayfever gods are smiling and have decided the throat and nostrils of this gaijinwife aren't that much of a fun place to hang out it.

SDGH&QL