Thursday, 30 April 2009

5th Anniversary

30th of April - the day five years ago I signed, or rather stamped, my life away. It's been good though and I am pretty sure that given the same choice I would have done the same thing - albeit with a clause that stated the old woman couldn't live with us :) Hub will be home in ten so as much as I like spending my evenings ranting to you lot I'm not silly and so the candles have been lit, the beverages are cooling, the nibbles made and the flowers that arrived at lunch time on prominant display! The beverages are very boring and I think for my 'kampai' I have a chuhai with the grand total of 3 percent alcohol - what with there not being a direct line from the inside for the bunster to contact AA I had to forgo the champers. Nevermind, put it in a nice champers glass and will hardly know the difference.

The translation never arrived today. Not impressed. At ten last night it was supposedly arriving in ten hours or less. I'm not good with bad time management - from other people that is. Would be far better off being told will be here within forty eight hours. Instead, the house was clean and dinner made by eight fricken am this morning, in anticipation for spending the hours between nine and three translating stimulating business documents. As it happened I slept for two hours and finished one of my hospital books!!. Hopefully it comes in tomorrow or I can see my dreams of having a Granny K size washing machine slipping away.

Best be off.

Put on a bit of lippy and rouge - although then hub might think he's in for some action and as much as I would like to comply on our anniversary the bunster isn't in an altogether good position for such relations this evening :p


Edit - I wrote this last night and computer spazzed before I could publish the post. Another night has passed and the translation still isn't here. I think I might have to have another nap!!

Is it true that if you find a dead sparrow it is bad luck? But, that if one craps on your head it is good luck? What happens if one flies in your bedroom window and craps all over your pillows and marital bed on your wedding anniversary?? Is this a good sign or a bad sign? Have we got another thirty plus years of married bliss or will the old woman live till she's a hundred and ten while hub continues to get worse and worse at pachinko outing excuses and hiding secret slush funds? I'll take it as a good sign I think - even if it has meant an extra load of washing this morning :p

On the slush fund front - hub brought home proof yesterday that the bling and family holiday account has been stripped of all it's dosh and we are well on the way to paying off the bad-hub debt accounts. I now have pocession of an ATM card I have never seen before. Retail therapy anyone??

Hub has to work all day tomorrow - which would be fine if I absolutely knew I was going to be here translating all day but at this rate... am going to have to get back on to amazon to order some more hospital books!

Solar panel man's wife is coming around this afternoon after she finishes work. We haven't had a goss for over three weeks so it will be good to catch up. It is getting harder for me to venture out and about what with my big belly almost sitting on my legs now. The next six weeks are going to be tough. I wish my kids could at least dress themselves. Bending over is really getting to be a pain in the ass. Not literally, well not yet anyway.

Next month, next month, next month, and we will be a family of five. Well, is actually quite possible could be this month but officially we are looking at next month. Hub is leaning towards 'Ryu' as a name. My mum, who I think has maybe possibly been actually reading my blog a few times lately, out of the blue said that a name with Ry in it was fine and she would practice saying whatever. My little brother's best friend is called Rufus and we all call him Ru so 'Ryu' may well turn into that. Which would be strange as Rufus has just married a girl called Marin !!

Well, might just have one more check to see if translation has arrived and then will have we nap in newly made sparraw-crap free bed.


Bloody Howlie Bird

The Howlie Bird - that's what the smurfs are trying to run away from at the moment. It had some of the potion that papa smurf used when he mistakenly turned the lazy daisy into a crazy daisy.

The washing machine is a whirling and I have my first packet latte but am anticipating this day may bring with it the need for a few more :p

The JE translation is going ahead. I spent TWO hours last night trying to figure out my damn scanner because the company 'preferred' a scanned copy of the non disclosure agreement we had to sign - which basically just says I wont go around writing on my blog that I am translating documents for drug lords and prostitutes, which actually sounds a lot more exciting than what is coming in! The only other option was to send the NDA by fax - which actually wouldn't have happened anyway as fax machine going through mid-life crisis where it has decided it would only like to receive information and not send any out.

So, agreement signed, scanned and sent and documents should start arriving this morning. Therefore I am going to try and supermum it and get everything I need to done around the house before I drive the kids to kindy at eight. Hmmmmm, me thinks starting by turning on the computer probably wasn't a good idea! English classes this afternoon and this evening mean I need to get dinner sorted early too - hence the cut carrots and spuds on the bench waiting for me to get up the energy to go outside and get an onion out of the wheelbarrow. Cream Stew for dinner. Preparation time - oh, approximately five minutes. Am going to make double batch so we have one easy meal at least during the four days of mayhem that will be Golden Week.

Yesterday hub was home all day and we spent most of the day at the park and outside in the yard - with the three kids from across the paddies turning up at random intervals to attack Shou and Marina's outside toys. Half the time we were outside too and the other half they just turned up and played on their own! Maki made a 'too many kids' comment at one stage when everyone was outside - five kids. But darling, I thought you 'wanted' five kids. (snip, snip, snip, snip choki choki choki choki)

Marina had a few scrapes and falls and Shou was in a shite mood for about an hour in the evening but other than that it was a nice family day, during which my books from amazon and the new camera USB cable for the computer arrived. I ordered a baby book for the bunster. The one I got for Shou I liked so much I got the same one for Marina and now feel it only fair that the bunster have the same one!! Admittedly it has some crap pages in it but with Shou I just pasted photos and cards over the pages I didn't want to use. I also got three books for me to read in hospital - you know, during those moments when the baby is at the nurses station, there are no visitors and I am in my PJs for the third day in a row and don't have to worry about looking nice (which I seldomly worry about anyway these days), cleaning, washing or making meals. Bliss. Of course the doctor will still be coming in daily to check on war wounds, and taking a shower the first few days is always a bit more time consuming that usual - as are toilet stops and getting changed.

What's a bet the books are still in my hospital bag unread when I get home!!

I best go run outside and get an onion and start dinner before Marina wakes up and I have to turn into mummy mode - as she is at a less plonkable in front of a DVD age.


Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Cow Shit Transporter

Cow shit transporter - literally.

That's what I was this morning. As I was herding the kiddies out the door for kindy Granny K came out of her room and handed me an envelope with some money and a request to please go and pick up the 'ryuhi' from the 'nogyo' place. Jolly Good Granny K. What is 'ryuhi' and exactly which 'nogyo' (agriculture) place were you referring. Remember we do live in middle of nowhere with every man, woman and dog involved in agriculture some how and about ten 'nogyo' offices scattered around the place...

It was the nogyo place near the kindy, which according to the world of granny K would have someone there from half seven and they would know exactly what I meant just by saying her name. I arrived there at ten to eight. There are two offices - the one attached to the spring onion factory and the one standing on it's own. I had to ring Granny K - who assured me there was only one office and that I just had to look for 'Tanabe-san' - you know Tanabe-san. Surely. And if you can't find Tanabe-san look for Ogawa-san because I rang him yesterday at his house to order the three lots of 'ryuhi'.

Rightio-then. The plot thickens.

Now, I actually know Ogawa-san and he works in the Spring Onion Office so I drive the car over there, because for half an hour this morning it was pissing rain. Ogawa-san informs me that yes, he spoke to Granny K but that I needed to go to the other office. Drive over there. Go inside and hear noises coming from the kitchenette. Knock on there and out comes Tanabe-san. Ooohhhhhh, that bloody Tanabe-san. The mother of one of the girls in my English class.

I ask her about an order for Granny K. Luckily she knows all about it. Three bags of cow shit fertiliser.


They put newspaper down in the boot of my car because the bags are a bit precarious.


I get home with shit and unload the three fifteen kilo bags. Granny K comes out and I make comments along the lines of

'telling me Tanabe-san, the mother of the girl I teach English to, and that what I was actually going to pick up was cow shit would have been a lot easier to understand because while I momentarily forgot the word for fertiliser I definately know the words for cow and shit.'

'But it's not cow shit' says Granny K.

Well, that's how Tanabe-san explained it and obviously the company that makes it thinks that's the main ingredient, hence the big crapping bull on the front of the bag.

As it was, Granny K's request to me was equivalent of me asking her to pop into Starbucks to pick me up a soy, decaf latte.

So anyway, cow shit aside, today was pretty standard. I got home and cleaned and caught up on loads of washing. Ran a few errands in town and got home to long phone call from mum. I then had lovely nap in afternoon sun for a couple of hours before getting up, getting dinner ready, folding the washing and going to pick Shou and Marina up.

During my errands out I had to go past the kindy to give Marina her meddy. The other girls in the little kids class were still away and it was just her and Shou. Of course they both wanted to come home with me but sadly they lost out to the bunster's insistent need for an afternoon nap.

They both had all their dinner, and Shou ate all of his on his own which earned him some pudding. A bath and half an hour later two clean children were in bed. Hub is going to be late - very late I think. Tomorrow is a public holiday and I 'requested' that he try not to have to go to work - his compromise, work until all hours tonight.

Poor man. Will have to let him have sleep in to recover.


Monday, 27 April 2009

Marina All Good

Marina's tests today were all good. She had to have a very invasive, tube up the fanny, test during which they inject liquid stuff so they can see which way the pee is flowing - which means they have to wait until she pees. Obviously babies who can pee under pressure finish the whole procedure in about fifteen minutes. Unfortunately Marina is not one of those and forty five minutes later we were still pacing outside the door listening to her nut out. Poor wee thing.

All over with though and the doc said her post-op progress is as he would expect and we don't need to go back until just after her second birthday, when all she will need is an ultrasound - so nothing compared to what she had to have today. Near her third birthday she will have a big day of tests to make sure her kidney's are functioning OK.

Bunster, if you can hear me, I don't care if you grow up to be a transvestite, but please just come out healthy - and without putting your mum through too much grief on your way out.

We got home from Fukuoka about half three, so time for hub to have a lie down after all his driving, and Marina to have a play with Granny K and mummy to get dinner sorted. Shou was way excited to see me when I went to pick him up, more so than usual. No bloody wonder really as the teacher told me he was the only one in the little kids group today. Usually it's him, Marina and three other little girls but today it just happened that all the girls were away!! He did of course get a lot of play time with his old mates in the next group up but lunch and nap time were just him and the teacher :(

Marina has been given some drugs for the next two days - just as a precaution against any bacteria because she spent forty minutes with foreign objects and water being squirted up her bits. She has to have it morning, noon and night until Wednesday afternoon. The kindy will no longer administer meddy so I have to go there at lunch time tomorrow. Not far though - just a bit strange as up until March they were fine about giving meddy.

Shou was being very cute with my tummy tonight - he even thought his little brother needed some of the gold stars off his ultra cool kindy-made police belt. For a while there I had quite a few stickers and gold paper sellotaped to my belly!

Big JE translation that was hopefully being sorted today hasn't eventuated. Well, it may still eventuate, just not today. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

Hub made a very crazy comment yesterday - let's have five kids. If I had been eating or drinking at the time I would have choked. Instead I laughed and said you just think that by having five kids I will be less of a flight risk. Spot on. A lot harder to pack your bags and jump on a plane because your hub is being a secret bank account money stashing / pachinko playing dickhead if you have five kids.

I am going to have to be careful or he might try and ply me with vino and oversized spiders before getting a leg over.

My god, my mother was a bundle of enthusiasm when I said I was pregnant with this one, imagine what she would be like after five. Disinherit me perhaps for wanting to have as many kids as she did???

Hub has the baby name book open at the moment - and not with his face planted in between the pages asleep like last time. He has a pen and is making a list of names HE thinks are 'kakkoii' (cool). Hmmmmm. Neither Shou or Marina's names went down well at first with my parents - of course they grew on them and they couldn't imagine them being called anything else now but for a while there.... Grrrrrrr....

I keep hearing a name that hub calls out and wondering what they will think. Shoot self in head for being such a fool me thinks. Who gives a shit if my parents like the name or not. Considering they probably won't even see the bunster for about three years who cares if they can't pronounce his name because it has an Ry in it.

I might get onto one of the name sites too I think.


PS - thank you for all the lovely comments about my beautiful children. Of course I only posted them so I would get 'your kids are georgous' comments from people other than skanky middle aged men :p

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Hair Dryer...

This evening I put the kids in the bath and got hub to get them out and dressed - seeing as that is the harder bit. Another day of crap weather and Shou's real PJs were still not 100% wearable. As I was getting out of the bath I heard the hair dryer going and thought hub must have been drying the kids hair - although this really isn't necessary as both of them have so little of it! When I got into the lounge Shou was in his newly hair dryered PJs!! I was obviously spot on with my 'thoughts' last night ;p

The crap weather meant a day spent mostly inside which meant a few more meltdowns than usual. We did all still manage to get an afternoon nap though, even if it did take Shou an hour to sort his shit out and stop playing hide and seek under the covers. He also felt the need to take the newspaper sword daddy had made him to bed too.

We had a major meltdown outside the supermarket when mummy wouldn't let Shou get a toy he had taken off the shelf when daddy took him down the toy and sweet isle!! Two year olds should be made to stay within the refines of the vege, egg and tofu department. Or rather, daddy's should know better.

The good thing to come out of today was that both kids had all their dinner - this wasn't too surprising for Shou but for Marina it meant having all her rice and sprinkles, pickled cucumber, fish, and meat and vege croquette things.

Also got package from sister this arvo with documents to sign for becoming offshore investor in family business. Has taken long time for them to come through and it will definately be a load off once they are signed and the money is sent. She also sent through the pics of the profesional photographs we got taken when we were back in New Zealand. I only ordered three...

You get a CD with the pics you ordered - which is a bit of a shame because I wanted all the pics that were taken and while I didn't want to pay an extra two hundred dollars for the one of the three of us I wouldn't have minded it on disc.

I have given the one of the two kids to Granny K - in a moment of rare mother in law weakness. Hub looked at me as if I had gone mad. Perhaps I have. I can always get another one printed out anyway.

Off to the children's hospital in Fukuoka tomorrow for Marina's post-op six month check up. Leaving at half five to get there by nine. Granny K is feeding and dressing Shou and piling him into a taxi and taking him to kindy. Hopefully we get home in time to pick him up at the other end. Wont be a very pleasant day for Marina. A few nasty tests for her to go through. Tomorrow over and we will only have one more day of tests in another six months.

So, things to do to get ready for the early start tomorrow.


But maybe a bit of cheese on toast first :p

Saturday, 25 April 2009

One Comment...

One comment, it's all it takes sometimes for a good day to get twisted. I have been thinking a bit lately about how much emotionally harder it is to be a woman - a pregnant woman is obviously ranking higher up the emotional ladder than a non pregnant one but still.

Hub had work today - which was fine as the kids were at kindy. I got a big sleep, a chat to my 19 week pregnant friend, and time to potter doing not much. Picked the kids up early as on Saturday picking them up at the normal time means they are usually the last ones left :( Shou was in a great mood when we got home but, despite mummy warnings, he continued to chase Marina around and eventually sit on her. He then tipped all his blocks out and proceeded to race round the room after her with his 'dumptruck' which was the empty block box. Needless to say the toys got promtply cleaned up and put away. Shou nutted out which made Marina nut out which led to a group hug.

Hub came home at quarter to six, we had dinner, he put them in the bath, I twisted myself in knots trying to get them into their pjs - because while my doing the bath thing on my own every nights means just that - bathing them and changing them, hub puts them in the bath and then passes them out to me.

Anyway, this is the trivial conversation that followed ( italics in brackets are 'thoughts')

Hub: Shou hasn't got any PJs
Wife: they got washed this morning
Hub: (after looking outside) they aren't on the line.
Wife: They are hanging in the wash house but they aren't dry (I realise you were at work today but you weren't in a bomb shelter, surely you could tell it's been raining all day. What did you expect, me to get the hair dryer out? I'd prefer a nice new washing machine with dryer but seeing as you think secret bank accounts and stashing up debt is more important...)
Hub: What can he wear instead? (wonder if I'll get lucky tonight)
Wife: anything that isn't the spandex body suit or the jeans or the summer singlet (christ, how hard can it be to find a pair of trackies and a long sleeved t-

Following this exchange, and after Shou was dressed, the OC credit card man arrived at the door. I'm not particularly fond of this guy anyway so when he tried to convince hub to upgrade his OC card and then started harping on about how cute the kids were and picking them up and shit, hub could see I was visibly starting to lose it. I don't mind people telling me how cute my kids are - tell away, but middle aged skanky men who appear on my doorstep during the witching hour can bugger off.

After the man left I spoke to Shou about letting middle aged skanky men pick him up. He's still a bit young to follow this but better to start earlier than later I guess.

Hub made a couple more man comments.... before pulling the biggy 'why are you in such a bad mood' comment.


I got Marina into her sleeping bad thingy and took her and her milk upstairs for bed. We had a cuddle on our bed - or rather I tried to have a cuddle while she sucked her milk back with one hand and tried to take my eye out with the other. I got a bit teary - as pregnant women do - about only having seven weeks left of 'my little girl'. Shou was younger when Marina came along but I guess that with all the shite she went through last year I wanted a bit longer to enjoy her as being the youngest.

Sorry bunster, not your fault. Blame that bastard spider and your father getting a leg over. At the same time though, I am looking forward to having a child I can cuddle for the sake of cuddling. I am looking forward to having a baby suckling at my bosom and snugling up in my arms. I am looking forward to having a child I can whisper sweet nothings to and talk about my day to and not have them answer back or say 'iya' or 'papa ga ii'.

Having such a rainbow of emotions every day is hard going. Having a tummy that gets in the way just makes it harder. It would be nice to have a husband who just let me be with my emotionally fragile state and just got on with things - thought for himself - didn't need to ask me or make silly man statements like...

hub: there's no nappies left (wonder if she'll want a shag tonight)
wife: in the cupboard under the stairs where the extra packets always are (and I know what you're thinking and there is no fricken way we're romping tonight.)

Hub went upstairs to put Shou to bed and I would say, judging by the time and the fact that he isn't back downstairs, that he fell asleep too.

Take that back - the stairs are creaking.

This complaing gaijin wife may get an ankle rub yet :)


Friday, 24 April 2009

Will work for food.

My favorite online foreign food store 'FBC' is currently looking for paid volunteers to help from remote areas with bits of work that pop up - translating, product testing rah rah. Instead of hard cash you get paid in FBC money off your next order. Seems like a good incentive to me so have applied and hope it leads to more excuses to order Australian Cheddar. I have also applied today for a large-ish JE translation job that would cover the next month and possibly replenish my proper engagement ring bling account - or if the truth be known help pay for new washing machine and shite loads of cheddar.

I got news from a friend yesterday - she is 19 weeks pregnant again.

She only found out yesterday...

Her daughter turns one on September 8...

The baby is due on September 18...

Holy shite, and I thought having three in three years was good going. It would now appear that I have been lazy bitch with huuuuuge gap in between kids. Of course she wasn't planning it - she was fully breast feeding and it must have been her first cycle back after giving birth. Unbelievable really as bubs was only about eight fricken weeks old.

I know, I know...

She was back on the shag wagon at eight weeks - I was still walking gingerly around, using a donut cushion, and trying very pathetically to get back into things for the sake of a hub who was in desperate need of hub maintenance. Kudos to her.

English classes yesterday went without hitch. I met the new teacher at the primary school and we had a talk for about five minutes and then I got half an hour in the Principal's office on my own twiddling my thumbs and drinking hairy chest cofee. The new guy was definitely the 'leader' of the lesson and I went over pronunciation as required. I stepped in a few times and did things directly with the kids which he didn't seem to mind. Our next lesson will be much of the same but the one after that I get the whole lesson to myself.

I haven't been a Japanese teaching lesson environment for a while and it re-amazed me that the kids don't actually mind constant repetition and boring activities. I do think that sometimes I try to pack too much into a lesson and can probably take this down a notch for my lessons at home.

I spent forty minutes trying to get Shou to sleep before my eight o'clock English class. He was so close that another ten minutes and he would have been off. As it happened he ended up watching the smurfs and occasionally poking his head in the door while I taught my four junior high kids.

Hub arrived home just before nine (early these days) and was surprised to be greeted by Shou at the door. I hope this doesn't become a habit but it didn't stress me out as much as I thought it would - but I think I have papa smurf and the lazy daisy that turned into a crazy daisy to thank for that.

Last night was one of those where at midnight you think it might actually be more worthwhile to get out of bed and do something productive, seeing as the whole sleep and dreaming in peaceful slumber bollocks is clearly a long long way away. The bunster, my bladder, a snoring hub, and a brain working overload for no reason, were all keeping me awake. It isn't fair that men can go to/get back to sleep so damn quickly. It must be nice to be so simple and not have a brain that continues to function at night.

I am about to head off to the bank and supermarket. I had a huge sleep this morning after getting all necessary personnel out of the house by eight and an hour spent sorting Marina's room, which once again has resulted in my losing sight of the floor and a need to excavate a tunnel through the pile of clothes, delongi heaters, humidifiers and Christmas decorations to her bed. Might need to spend another hour on it before picking the kids up.


Thursday, 23 April 2009

One Fishie Left

The other night I went to pick hub up and could probably have left twenty minutes earlier as he had started walking home!! He wasn't too intoxicated and was thankful yesterday for the early night. The rest of his office stayed out till half one drinking and belting out morning musume and southern allstars tunes at karaoke.

The principle of the local primary school came round after lunch yesterday. She spotted me as I was dropping the kiddly winks off at kindy and wanted to talk about today's English lesson. I told her she didn't need to come all the way to our house, that I would drop in before I picked the kids up that afternoon. But she insisted. I presumed that if she was that insistent on coming to the house then she would come in - hence I shined the bench for an extra thirty seconds and got some nice coffee ready in the maker. As it happened we spoke in the genkan!! I said 'douzo douzo' but obviously my not saying 'oagari kudasai' meant she felt she had to crouch on step in genkan.

From this year it has become compulsory in this prefecture (and the whole of Japan I think) to incorporate at least 20 hours (yes thats for the whole year) of English into the curriculum for the fifth and six years. There is a text book, a teachers manual and a listening CD. The assistant Language Teacher (bloke from America) for this city comes once a month - and so will cover half of these hours. I will be doing the rest. There is no rule to say you need a native English speaker but obviously this school wants one. There is is also no kind of testing at the end of the year to see if anything has actually sunk in.

Up until now I have had free reign and been able to teach what I want, how I want. I was teaching to the third and forth years at the same time and it was only once a month so really it was more of an 'eigo do asobo' type lesson.

Not anymore. Gone are my days of flashcards, fun games and enjoyment. The other native speaker apparently was made to just stand there and pronounce words and phrases. When I heard this I told the principal that if possible I didn't want to do that. What's the friggin point. They have a CD for that. She said yesterday though that the two Japanese teachers in charge of the 5th and 6th years will be 'holding' the lesson and I will be being asked to step in and pronounce words, assist, as necessary. SIGH. She also asked if I could please arrive forty minutes early today to talk to the teachers. About.... ??? How I should stand not looking bored??

I plan on preparing nada, zip, nothing. I have looked over the book but the principle was unsure as to exactly what the teachers had in mind for today. Never mind though, I know all the kids and there are only twenty of them anyway and is only for fifty minutes.

The principal doesn't think or communicate very well. I am in the middle of getting dinner sorted as come half one I will be non stop until after nine when my evening English class finishes. Half one to half five is primary school meeting with teachers, followed by English lesson, followed by own private English lessons times two, followed by pick the sproglets up, followed by dinner, followed by perhaps a nut out, followed by bath, followed by perhaps another nut out and some stories, followed by bed, followed by about fifteen minutes to get ready for eight pm class.

Just the thought of this afternoon tires me out. Needless to say all the house stuff had to be done this morning, a few errands taken care of, and now I am about to put my puffy feet up for an hour to save hub from having to massage them off my legs when he gets home late tonight.

Not really complaining though. Well, not too much. Thursdays are always the crap busy day and for that reason I usually expect the worst and am pleasantly surprised when it all goes smoothly and the kids are having a 'we love mummy' day.

So anyway, the reason for the title... It would appear that the 'smurfing wind' that swept over us a couple of nights back has left us with one fish standing, so to speak. I put the four that had made it to the bottom of the pole away yesterday but couldn't do anything about the other two as they were right at the top of twenty metre pole and wind had broken the rope meaning they were left flying at the top and no serious amount of pulling the other rope was going to help. I looked out this morning and one of the two has made emergency landing on the plum tree, leaving the 7 metre whopper flying alone. We have two poles to fly them on but decided to only fly one pole this year. Next year we wanted to fly two in honor of the bunster. However, a broken rope means no more fish on that pole, as i can't see my 80kg hub shimmying (sp??) up the flimsy twenty metre trunk to attach the rope again! Perhaps if he was pigmy from some forest tree shimmying tribe in Africa.

Well, off to get horizontal for an hour or so. Must... recharge... energy... supplies... for ... afternoon.


Tuesday, 21 April 2009

300 and 33

This will be my 300th post. A lot of bloggers do exciting and interesting things to mark these milestones. I'm not one of those bloggers.

I am awaiting hub's call for his wife taxi home. He said he would mail at nine, I'd say it will be about twenty to ten - which is my deadline for driving the twenty minutes to pick him up. Mainly because much after that and Granny K will fall asleep, hence taking the 'keep an ear out' of 'can you keep an ear out for the kids while I'm gone'. Very rarely do they wake up during that time so should be fine though.

I didn't make much of a dent in the clothes pile today. All good intentions for tomorrow though.

After dropping the rug rats off at kindy I continued on to the clinic for my checkup. I am in my 33rd week now and the ultrasound showed that the bunster is about 2000 grams. They decided it was time to do my third trimester bloods which tested HIV (again - I thought they tested for this at the start, and if so do they think am scanky hoe parading on street corners with skirt up round ass while am pregnant?), ATL (whatever that is), chlamydia (sp??), Toxoplasma, and a few other random things I can't decipher. It appears I am negative for all of them although the tests did come back saying was iron deficient.

Doctor gave me prescription for hellish iron tablets that I think I still have a load left over from both times before with Shou and Marina. Bung me up something chronic and believe me, straining on the toilet is not something you want to be doing in your last trimester. Damn well enough of that to push the head out.

I had a few questions to ask the doctor this time but my relief at not being told off about just about breaking the scales made me forget to ask them. For future reference they are...

1) can you show me the placenta. Pretty please.
2) will you let me take it home if I want. Gross but am wondering if should put round base of tree we planted when Shou was born. Even if the doctor said yes though I wonder if hub would agree to be the placenta transporter.
3) How do I go about convincing my husband to have the snip - as opposed to me getting the chop and tie. Where can this be done and can you please tell me husband that having the snip won't suddenly mean he loses all his manhood, grows breasts (although would probably like that), and starts getting all bitchy and hormonal - which is so not allowed to happen as only need one bitchy hormonal person in the house and I do believe that role is reserved for me.

I had to hand in my birth questionnaire and write my name on the calender on my expected due date. They also had to make sure I was giving birth there - as opposed to all my other options.... which would be having granny K sorting out hot water, a big plastic sheet and towels while I pushed the bun out in the middle of a friggen rice paddie. Bring on the nice ladies clinic with private rooms, yummy meals and nurses who will take your baby when you are so bloody knackered that you can't cope, or who will massage your sore and milk loaded boobs (hope nobody googles that). Having someone else massage your boobs must be an odd concept for some women and I admit that with Shou, when they were ouchy ouchy and the nurse just told me to whip them out so she could massage the duct into a warm flowing river of milk, I was a bit nervous but not anymore. Japan is an odd place, but the longer you are here and the more children you have here, the more acceptable and 'normal' it becomes.

Anyhoo, that was my morning checkup. My blood pressure was good, no protein in my pee, but a bit of puffy ankle syndrome - despite hub's best efforts last night at massaging them better. I got home after some tea drinking with a friend and spot of shopping, at lunch time. Had afternoon nap in the sun upstairs before doing minimal amount of house duties and getting dinner sorted for me and the kids. We had 'boro'. Am not sure what name is in English but it is a yummy fish that I imagine would be very nice done as fish and chips fish. As it happened I lightly floured it and fried it. Shou had it with ponzu (yummy Japanese put on anything dressing) and Marina threw it all over the floor.


Edit - twenty past nine. Hub has just mailed to ask if I can please pick him up at 10. SIGH. Why is it that we know our men better than they know themselves!!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Smurfing Wind

I think the smurfs on constant replay is taking it's toll. They 'smurf' everything. Smurfing good dvd that. Shou smurfs his whole dinner when he's watching papa smurf - or is it smurfette playing her stuff that gets him?

There is a gail of a wind blowing at the moment and I have just been outside to batten down the hatches. The kiddies are asleep and are better at sleeping through bad weather than I am. I get all 'the windows are going to break'y and can't sleep.

Sunday was a great day - we took the kids to Himeshima, which is an island with about three thousand people that is a twenty minute ferry ride away. I used to go there every second weekend way back when I was on JET to get on the lash with the British girl who was there at the time. Has been a while since I have ridden that ferry without a hangover. Considering Shou's obsession with all things that have engines and move it is a small miracle we haven't made the crossing before.

Hub was not really into it when I mentioned it - as I doubt many people from Kunimi go over to have morning tea and come back. Cheap at the price though, and we don't have to drive for hours. We also saw a seal on the way over. I sometimes have trouble remembering Japanese words when it is a situation I wouldn't expect to have to use the word.

me: shit, there's a... a ..... a
hub: nani (what)
me: aahhhhhhh, dettekonai (can't remember), eeeehhhhhh, kujira jyanakute (not a whale), sakana jyanakute (not a fish), are are are (that thing, that thing)
hub: azarashi da (it's a seal!

He was very excited. We talked briefly about giving it a name just in case other people saw it and it started showing itself at all the ferry crossings and became famous - like tama-chan. But considering we are having trouble finding a name we both like for our second born son, deciding on a name for a random seal was a bit of a non event.

We got home, had lunch and then ALL had a nap for two and a half hours. Marina was the first to wake up and then, after some munchies, we took a trip to the park where Marina has learned to climb the stairs and slide down the rolly slide all by herself. With parental hands not far behind if she lost it.

In the morning Granny K came in and told me to remember to go and get the rice de-husked before we ran out. The usual place down the road has stopped it's dehusker and so now we have to take the rice to the ATM dehusker. I have never been before so said I would try and go with hub so he could show me what to do. Later that day she asked hub if we had been yet. I said that we still had enough rice to last about a week. Turns out SHE was out of rice . Why she couldn't just come right out and say it like that I don't know. I often go back over my conversations with Granny K and wonder if I missed something in the Japanese. Most of the time I don't, she just has an odd way of saying things some times.

So, today I went to the ATM dehusker on my own. You put the raw rice in one side, put two hundred yen (three dollars for 15 kilos) in and push whether you want really white rice, normal rice, or the more natural rice, and then put your bag on the other side and wait a couple of minutes as your rice gets sucked down, up, along, through, and down again. Must say I felt very proud of self for getting it all sorted. There was a vege stand with an honesty box next door so I popped in there and got some lemons and some clothes pegs - as you do. Odd thing to sell in between lemons and peas but I noticed this morning that I needed some more.

I spent an hour and a half sorting out kids clothes this arvo - no where close to finishing and in fact it seems I have hardly even made a dent in the pile. Will give it another bash tomorrow - and the next day and the day after that too I suppose!!

I am off to the clinic tomorrow for my 32 week and a bit check up. My ankles had been really good for a few days but seem to have puffed up again today. I hope hub gets home in time to give them a quick rub. I have been avoiding the scales of late - no doubt the doctor will give me a bit of grief tomorrow - or the nurse.

Hub has his welcome dinner for the new office tomorrow night. He has made the adult decision to come home at ten. Well actually I have to go and pick him up as is too far for a taxi and the other girl from Kunimi is excellent karaoke singer so will no doubt go to the after party - along with everyone else. Hub decided that drinking on a Tuesday night until midnight will put him over the edge what with having to work late every other night of the week. I agree. He also has to take next Monday off and the following Wednesday is a public holiday, so that's two days off before the tax deadline. SIGH. And here I was thinking we might get to have a nice dinner for our 5 year anniversary on the 30th.

I know, I know.

Who would have thought.

IT IS POSSIBLE to stay married for five years while you live with your mother in law.

I sincerely hope I am not writing similar sentence in another five years - well, actually I probably will be as I do intend to stay married and my age limit for the old woman is 80 - and she is still only 72.


Saturday, 18 April 2009

Not Quite Nothing

I can't believe I thought I would do nothing today. The idea in itself let me get a good night sleep though!

It was a beautiful morning so hub took Shou to kindy on the bike and I pushed Marina in the pushchair. Took me about half an hour and hub, who had already gotten home by the time I arrived at kindy, came and picked me up!! So all together it took a bike a pushchair and a car to get the kids to kindy :) I think I was being too optimistic in thinking a 4km walk was doable. It was when I was pregnant with Shou but it seems the 2km was enough this morning.

Hub and I got home and decided to put Shou's bunk beds together. Marina's cot has been sitting in the frame of the top bunk with bits of shite and luggage and blankets and crap slowly accumulating around it. I wanted it cleared out. However, what should have only been a ten minute job took an hour because the gimp from the shop put the ends on the wrong way and we had to swap two of them around first. It also meant a lot of vacuuming and dusting. That finished and hub went to sleep for a couple of hours - trying to cajole me into a wee (wink wink nudge nudge) nap. I was in prime 'nesting' mode though so Shania and I 'that don't impress me much'ed our way about sorting out Marina's room. Somehow her room is now in utter chaos, although I do feel I have made some progress.

In the process of sorting I came across both Marina and Shou's umbilical cord cast off gross black really should be thrown out bits of yuck. They are of course preserved in cotton wool in their nice little boxes with gold embossing on them. Gross. In Japan you get a nice little box at the hospital and I guess most people keep the cord once it falls off after about ten days. Is there an protocol in what you supposed to do with it in the future?

Hub and I took a drive and had some lunch. Haven't had lunch just the two of us for a while so it was nice to be able to enjoy lunch and not have to scoff it down while trying to protect customers at neighbouring tables from flying pieces of food.

After we got home we moved the huge set of drawers that were in Marina's room down stairs. We have Marina and Shou's clothes in a small set in the hall at the moment, and it is a pain in the ass. I want all three kids daily clothes in a readily accessible place - ie: not upstairs. The set of drawers fits nicely and the contents have, for the time being, being dumped on Marina's floor. I plan on spending next week sorting out all the clothes. We have SOOOOOOO many. I re-discovered the suitcase with the clothes I bought in New Zealand. Must say, Marina has some well cute summer clothes. The bunster has, well, some cool digger and other heavy construction vehicle t-shirts and the likes from Shou.

We got an afternoon (wink wink nudge nudge) nap and feeling quite 'refreshed' went and picked the kids up early from kindy so daddy could have some outside play time with them while I sorted dinner. I made fastest dinner ever and joined them - was commercial family moment. Kids and daddy rolling round on the grass while mummy watches from the house with a warm smile on her face. Marina was also feeling very 'I want mummy' after a week at kindy and I got some super cuddles.

Bath time with daddy and Shou coaxed into his new bottom bunk with the promise of concrete mixer stickers that he could stick on the underside of the top bunk. Fortunately he thinks his new sleeping abode is way cool. I always loved sleeping on the bottom bunk. So cozy. Like your own little hut.

SO, all in all a very productive day and a hell of a lot better than yesterday! Hub is at the moment looking up names in the baby book. He calls one out every so often and I maybe it or 'on your mother's grave' it. Actually I take that back - hub is now asleep on top of the baby name book. Excellent progress.


Oooh, before I forget. The company that my two sisters and brother have started - that was launched a few months ago, is going well. I still have paperwork to sign before the loan is finalised but full steam ahead I think. If you feel like looking at what all the huuha was about then check out
Right at the bottom is an 'about us' section that has very glam picture of my sister (14 months older). Actually, she usually looks pretty glam. This pic was taken the same day I got the pics taken of the me and the kids in New Zealand.

The whole family has a finger in the real estate pie - apart from me, they all either work in the industry and/or own investment real estate. I am now a shareholder so fingers crossed the business takes off!

Friday, 17 April 2009


Despite the weekends usually just being an extension of the week when you have kids - or rather I should say more hectic because they are at home and not at day care - I am bloody thankful it's Friday. I tend to feel I can get away with doing extremely minimal amounts of house stuff over the weekend as the house will inevitably just end up getting completely trashed on Sunday anyway so may a well just do big clean on Mondays. I plan on doing nothing tomorrow - nothing nothing nothing and also plan on getting hub to put the kids in the bath, help with the dinner and put Shou to bed.

Mummy had a meltdown at dinnertime today. One of those ones that, after your children are asleep, you stay with them a bit longer stroking their hair and wiping your eyes and whispering how sorry you are that you're such a crap mother sometimes. It just got on top of me. Probably a mixture of hub being at work late every night for the last two weeks and having to do the witching hours on my own - which I know I did in New Zealand for two months, but my tummy wasn't in the way of everything then. I also spent the afternoon rearranging furniture in our bedroom, trying to get the best set up for the baby bed and feeding chair. I also had prepared the kids homecoming from kindy to perfection and hence the expectations for them to be pleased at the anpan man piano toy they hadn't seen for months, noodles (which they both love) and umeboshi gohan (ditto) followed by strawberries (ditto ditto) was just to much for them to live up to.

All I wanted was to be able to do the dinner thing in relative peace so that I could watch project runway. As it turned out Marina spat all her noodles out and Shou packed a sad because I couldn't take the mic stand off the piano - probably because is bloody bolted on there and not meant to be taken off. The plastic anpan stool got thrown across the room - by Shou, not me. I reserve my throwing antics to plastic cups remember :p He proceeded to pack a superior hissy fit for twenty minutes. Marina lost the plot somewhere in there and mummy wasn't far behind. As soon as mummy starts melting down though the kids stop and Shou does the 'don't cry mummy, Shou's here and he's strong'. Rightio. I would rather Shou's here and he's being a good boy, but hey, you have to take what you can get. Lots of hugs all round.

Managed to get them both clean in the bath tonight and both to sleep without anymore acting up.

I had another nap this morning - but that was after a crazy night. Shou waking up at half one and wanting to be in with daddy. He then woke up properly just before five at which point I sent daddy into Shou's bed so he could get some more sleep and Shou and I and Marina, who had also woken up (thanks Shou), went downstairs. I don't know how they made it through the morning but their teacher said they did.

Our room looks a hell of a lot better after rearranging it. I did the move everything and then move it back trick and then finally settled on moving the wardrobe and baby bed so that the baby bed wasn't directly under the window and in the direct sunlight. Not enough room meant I had to choose between the feeding chair and the baby set of drawers for baby stuff. The chair won out as feeding two, three or four times a night sitting on the edge of the bed would get old in about one night. I imagine if Shou is still into middle of the night wake-ups then hub may well end up putting a futon down in his room and the baby and I will do a bit of co-sleeping I presume. My ideas on co-sleeping and having kids sleep in their own rooms etc have gotten a lot more relaxed the more kids I have. Maybe after a few more (god help me) I'll be OK to just put five futons in a row and have the whole family sleep there.

Well, very boring post tonight. Hope hub isn't too late tonight. I hope Granny K hasn't got intentions to get him to cut the grass in the vege patch, or hoe the fields tomorrow because he desperately needs a whole day of doing nothing but catch up up sleep and cuddles with his wifey.


Thursday, 16 April 2009

Just another Thursday

I did something I haven't done for a long time - I had a huge nap this morning. My legs and ankles were sore so, after doing a minimal amount of washing and cleaning, I slept for two hours - and probably would have slept for longer if the man from the chemist hadn't shown up and knocked the door down. Granny K had asked him over - to bring her drugs I would presume. Bet she's out the back snorting up rows every afternoon. That or her meddy for her bung knee.

I got half a tick on my list today - I cleaned Marina's old cot and put it in our room. That was all I got time for before making dinner, folding washing, two hours of English, followed by getting Shou and Marina, making them scoff down dinner and then bath and bed. Actually Marina was the only clean child in bed tonight. Shou packed an absolute mental when I turned the smurfs off and said he could watch the rest after the bath. Wahooo, what a performance. I gave up and just put Marina in as thought better to have one clean child than two dirty ones.

Shou continued to pack a sad as I got Marina dry and dressed in her jim jams. Marina started too - just for the fun of it I think and it took all my skills at making farting noises out of a half filled balloon to get them to come round. Worked wonders though so if you are ever at a loss as to how to get two screaming kids to stop then...

No longer had they stopped nutting out for one minute and Granny K comes in to ask if the electrician had come while she was out. Yes he had. She then came right in, shut the door and tried to ask Shou why he was crying. It was a touch and go situation as Shou had only just stopped nutting. I told her was not prime time to be coming in as Shou would want to go to her room when she left. She left. Shou tried to follow her and proceeded to nut out again outside her door - at which stage I said very loudly how I couldn't comprehend how she could not get it into her thick head that the dinner, bath and pre-bed time was the worst time to try and come in and play granny unannounced. I said a few more obscenities under my breath.

It was obvious the electrician had been as her TV was now watchable. She could have asked me after the kids were in bed - or better yet figured it out herself and not asked me at all. My guess is she heard the carry on over the bath and wanted an excuse to come in and make sure the kids were OK and not being tied down with duck tape and sent under the stairs for time out. Absolute bollocks - would only ever think about tieing her down and shoving her under the stairs.

Shou went to sleep relatively quickly - no doubt exhausted from all his nutting out. I do wonder what will happen when the bunster comes though - will it be worse and will I just have to laugh myself into a nut house or will it get better because Shou will realise that sometimes, when the bunster is sucking on boob, he just has to wait and what is the point in nutting out??

Hub just walked in the door - earliest in two weeks. Half nine. He is having his dinner and then it's bath and bed. We got a postcard thing in the mail today saying that our economic incentive money will be being paid into the bank next Tuesday - 82000 altogether. Half a washing machine. That's better than a slap in the face.

I can see my ankles tonight. I wonder what made them come back. Hub didn't get home till eleven last night though so I do have an ankle rub to catch up on.


Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Gods Not Happy

It would appear, according to Granny K, that the gods were not happy with my placement of the small, authentic Japanese looking, very cool piece of furniture that I put in the alter room. Even my dusting of everything and placing Granny K's pottery pieces on prominent display didn't warm their hearts. Bugger off I say. What do they know about interior decorating anyway!

To her credit, Granny K didn't actually say anything to me up front - I asked her if it was OK to have it in there and if not then I would move it. That's when she said it shouldn't be there. I went straight in (stubborn woman that I am) and put everything back exactly as it was, minus the dust and two dead spiders, and put the cupboard into the other tatami room where I teach English.

She got back from her overnight excursion at about three. I had arrived home from a day out about ten minutes before and was busy putting groceries away (predominantly bags of sprouts), getting dinner started and thinking about my English class that was starting at four. One of my English kids was arriving early with his mum so we could have a coffee first. They arrived about five minutes later at which point Granny K came in and immediately said we should all haul ourselves off to the 'osettai' up the road. Osettai is a small event down every spring. last year out house had to hold it - remember... our house got taken over by vestlings cooking mountain root vegetables and seasoned rice!!

Granny K herself wasn't going to go the 50 metres up the road but someone from the house should be represented - so I should go and pick Marina and Shou up early from kindy and take them, along with my friend, her five year old son and her newborn, up the road for a plate of root vegetables and to show off the grand kids.

The old me, or more hormonal me, would have said bugger off you stupid tart, am not going to rearrange schedule to please you and scoff down plate of root vegetables and at the same time make my visitors do it too. Luckily she got me on a good day and I just laughed and said, sorry but had things to do, places to go and people to see. I then proceeded to ignore her and make my visitor a coffee. Granny K made a hasty retreat.

In all fairness, I don't actually mind osettai - when it's not at our place that is. As it happened someone brought round a plate of seasoned rice and mountain root vegetables to all the houses in the immediate area that didn't make it. Hub has half a plate waiting for him to go with his chicken for dinner. I have stopped worrying about the bizarre combinations of food groups and Japanese / western dishes that get left for hub.

So this morning, after dropping the sproglets off, I came home and did the standard wifey house cleaning lark before heading off to see a friend for a cuppa. Hadn't seen her for a while so was good to catch up as usual. After an hour there I went to the station to pick up another friend - well, a girl who graduated from the university I used to work at. Hadn't seen her for about three years so it was good to catch up on her world and what some of the other grads were up to. Got home just in time to get Granny K on my case and then it was English where I had to be on my toes to try and keep the two five year old boys from killing each other over some Mr. Men stickers. I tell you, 750 yen an hour per child for five year olds is not enough. Should be charging twice as much as the older kids who can actually sit still and 'study' for an hour.

Marina and Shou were 'pretty' good over the mayhem hours and now I am awaiting the master of the house...

Oh shit, that's me. And I'm already home.

Hub should be home shortly and then its bed. Very sleepy tonight.


Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Kindy Entrance Ceremony Rah Rah

Got to the kindy at ten to ten for the ten o'clock entrance ceremony. Looked like had come to a funeral what with everyone in their black suits. Last year it didn't appear to be so formal. Not that I had much choice seeing as all formal wear only stretches half way round tummy and probably couldn't get trousers up over my cankles. Thankfully I am a seasoned entrance ceremony goer so no longer feel put out by being unsuitably dressed. As it was I had to hide at the back so I could sit down with my legs stretched out, and more importantly so I could hide from Marina who was turning into that girl off the exorcist in an attempt to look around the whole room for mummy.

There were a lot of unnecessary speeches and at one point the head of the kindy was doing a spiel about how we all have eyes and ears and a heart and we need to use these to think about our actions etc etc, load of bollocks said to one and two year olds. But anyway, she was pointing to her body.

Head of kindy: What are these (points to eyes)
Kids: meme (eyes)
Head of kindy: What are these (points to ears)
Kids: mimi (ears)
Head of kindy: Whats this (points to heart)
Kids: oppai (boobs)

God, you had to laugh. Thirty kids all in unison.

There was the local policeman there too and when he got introduced Shou said in a loud voice 'omawarisan kakkoiiiiiii' (the policeman's cool)

Marina packed a sad in the 33rd minute and I had to pick her up and escort her screaming, wriggling body out of the room. She had done her bit though - which was putting her hand up and saying 'hai' (yes) when the teacher called her name. Was extremely cute and very proud moment as the other two girls her age in that class didn't manage to say anything. There was lots of clapping and ohhhh, isn't she cutes going on. Gush of pride for big headed toddler that can raise hand and say one syllable.

As the kids were eating their lunch in a separate room the parents sat round deciding who would be head of the parents group, who would do the road safety stuff for the year and where we should go on the kindy excursion rah rah. Decision making processes in Japan can be a painful experience. Despit being exempt from all duties due to pregnant state I was fully in on the discussion. The excursion is being held two weeks before my due date but I was leading the show in getting it to be at the African Safari park that is an hour and a half away. Hub will take Shou and Shou will looooove it, as will hub. They can be boys feeding the elephants, tigers and giraffes oranges held on tongs and stuck out through the wire on the side of the bus shaped like a rhino ;pWhat time shall we meet there? Silence. Gaijin pipes up with half ten sounds good to me. Half ten it is then. Come on people. Where is your sense of let's get on with this so we can bugger off and not sit round on winnie the pooh mats for another two hours.

Discussion over, things sorted and I pop to the supermarket and then via a friend's for a quick catch up. They got their new washing machine delivered this morning so I was all over it ooohing and ahhhing - as only a mother with a washing machine that only holds 4kg can do. On the way home I stopped by the very rural electronics store to pick up their washing machine pamphlets. Had good gas to the owner lady - who happens to be mother of lady I used to teach with at junior high in Beppu. Umming and arrhhing over a Sharp or National drum type machine. Both are over our budget but I am guessing I will end up bashing my big foreign head against a brick wall if I have to use our current 4kg machine to wash clothes for a family of five. Am going to have to start buying twenty packets of moyashi (sprouts) every week instead of meat and chiken, spuds and pasta, to get us through these tough economic times!

This afternoon I set up Marina's new cot - which was the cot we got handed down from the above friend and which Shou slept in until he went into his big boy's bed. I then gave it to a different friend and had to ask for it back a couple of weeks ago!! That set up I then had to make space for the Marina's old cot in our room - which meant taking the cool old looking Japanese steps type cupboard down and putting it in the only room it would fit and suited - the alter room. Rearranged some of Granny K's pottery on display, moved the rice offering to the gods thing to the other side and dusted about ten months of dust. The first time I cleaned that area Granny K came in and told me that she would be in charge of dusting the god's, so to speak. Since then I have secretly cleaned it about four times in two years, hence the pile up of dust seeing as Granny K isn't exactly that fussed in presenting nice dust free pottery and the likes to the gods.

She is away tonight so I am expecting a small confrontation tomorrow - as am presuming my moving of the special small cabinet with old bits of wood and paper for the gods was wrong - probably needed to be in the northern most corner of the room or something. According to hub it didn't but what does he know?? He thought it had to be dead centre!

Shite, is nearly midnight. Better my belly and cankles off to bed. Hub got home an hour ago and I have had my ankle rub!

Nighty night campers.


Monday, 13 April 2009

31 Weeks

31 weeks and counting and wondering why I have to go through a whole nother forty weeks on the third go round. Surely the body speeds the process up the more used to being pregnant it gets!! 36 weeks sounds plenty long enough.

Tummy is getting very in the way and having two very active periods during the day when I am constantly in odd positions trying to dress or undress the kids, towel them dry, clean them, feed them, chase them rah rah, means the bunster also has two very active periods - at least. I think it is his way of wanting to be part of the brotherly and sisterly action. He loves it when I tell Shou his bedtime stories. A bath on my own is about the only time he seems to really really calm down. Probably because that is about the only time I really really calm down.

They say babies start getting into routines from when they are in the womb - if so I am in for a hell of 'routine' when the bunster gets out. Thank god we had the 'discussion' yesterday because I would have forgotten all about it once the bunster arrived.

Granny K has just walked in the door after a vestling night on the lash - which equals dinner at the local onsen place with her pottery crowd. Wild lot that they are. Tomorrow she is off to the city for a night with her brother and sisters. She has three sisters and one brother and they try and get together once every couple of years while they still can :p I guess that means I have all of nearly two whole days to run round naked - inbetween of course trying to find some decent clothes to cover my belly for Shou and Marina's entrance ceremony at day care tomorrow, and going to the city myself on Wednesday to meet a graduate from the university I used to work at.

Hub is home late again - and if my ankles were actually even marginally thinner than the rest of my legs I would go to bed early - but they aren't so I am going to stay up and get an ankle rub.

I got something crossed off 'the list' today - I put away our new years postcards finally. This took close to two hours because we get about a hunderd a year and I had to put away last years too. The folder is in location order - out of prefecture, Within Oita but not Kunimi, and the Kunimi broken down into the different local regions. Alphabetical order would seem the easiest - if I was Japanese and could read all the damn surnames. As I was putting them away I also checked each one against the list of winning numbers that come out every year. I think out of the hundred we got one packet of stamps. Awesome.

Still, another tick off my list. Tomorrow afternoon is booked in for doing Marina's bed. The cot is upstairs and I just need to bob the builder it together and then move her current one into our room and give it a good clean - maybe air it outside for a day or twenty. I got the bottle sterilizer out of the cupboard and now have to organize a bit of shelf space so it doesn't have to live permanantly on my nice bench for the next year.

I know it's a bit early but I had a panic attack last night thinking what if he does arrive early and I am unprepared. God what a disaster that would be. Not, but still. will feel better when the bed is set up and the hospital bag is a packed.

Oh, hub in the door. Will make him scoff down his dinner so can get an ankle rub!!


Sunday, 12 April 2009


Mairimashita - not quite sure how to translate this properly. I'm out! You've caught me! ?? You've Got me! ??

That was what he said after our 'conversation' this evening :p

I had been festering all night and all day. Not enough for it to show I don't think, although at one point I did take Marina and go for a drive so I could have a wee cry in frustration - basically because my overactive imagination had been giving me all sorts of scenarios for the extra bank accounts and their balances. A serious gambling problem, a bit on the side rah rah. For that reason I thought I had to have the talk today or I would fester and fester until the bunster burst out at 32 weeks instead of 40. My overactive imagination again!

So, I had thought I would wait until the kids were in bed so we could sit down and talk like adults. I thought that would be the best time for me to stay calm. I rang my brother this morning to get a male perspective - what should I 'not' say for things to get out of hand. His advice was to concentrate on the money side and the fact that there was a debt and it needed to be paid off and then made sure that it didn't happen again - as opposed to concentrating on the more female emotional 'I trusted you' bit.

At seven o'clock hub said he was going to put Shou to bed and probably stay that way himself. Shite!! There goes my after the kids are in bed plan, so I pulled out the two receipts and put them on the bench and said that before he went could he just explain these to me. I told him straight off that I found him in his car so that he couldn't start things off by accusing me of being untrusting by snooping round his car. This is how things followed...

Me: could you explain these two receipts I found in your car bin yesterday.
Hub: What are these?
Me: two receipts darling, for two bank accounts I don't know anything about.
Hub: hmmm
Me: That's a total of almost XXXXXX. How long have you had the accounts and how exactly were you thinking we could pay them back?
Hub: (looking very sheepish) I've had them for over ten years.
Me: Really and truly you've had them for that long?
Hub: yes
Me: How were you thinking of paying them back?
Hub: I'll pay them back. They're interest free anyway.
Me: That's beside the point. It's still XXXXXX yen that we have to find out of our daily living. The daily living for the soon to be five of us. I would like to think that Shou, Marina, the bunster and I are more important that raking up debt.
Hub: Of course you are.
Me: How much is in the ten year diamond and big family holiday account? (big family holiday as in big holiday not big family. NOT getting any bigger than what will be come June!)
Hub: Nearly XXXXXX yen (about 4/5 of his debt)
Me: Can you take almost all that out and pay off this here account and put the rest on this one. Close this here account. Can you do it tomorrow?
Hub: Not sure.
Me: Can you do it this week and bring home the account closure thingy?
Hub: What a waste of the diamond account.
Me: I don't care about the diamond (lying through teeth here for sake of family) and the holiday. I won't be able to sleep at night until I know these debts are cleared.
Hub: You sure?
Me: Yes, do it. And bring me home the cash card so I can ceremoniously cut it up.
Hub: Sigh - mairimashita ne. I'm really sorry.
Me: We'll use your summer bonus to pay the rest off.
Hub: What about the bunster's birth fees?
Me: We are raiding Shou's account remember? We just won't be able to replenish it for a while.
Hub: Sigh - mairimashita ne. I'm really sorry.
Me: so am I but I'm glad it's going to get sorted. Do you swear on your mother's premature grave that you haven't been using it for pachinko. (didn't actually say like that)
Hub: Absolutely haven't been. Promise.
Me: OK, have to take your word on that.
Hub: Can't believe you found receipts in my car and tapped them back together.
Me: I know, am going to be on next season of CSI
Hub: haha, kansha suru wa (Literally - I admire you).

So, there was a bit of other stuff in between but basically the conversation was extremely calm - what with the kids being in the room watching a smurfs dvd and all. He appeared to be genuinely apologetic and 'caught out' so I think the best thing I can do now is give him the benefit of the doubt for the 'how long he has had the accounts' and 'what he used them for'. There is no way I can check this out anyway so no point festering more over it.

I also told him that I realised that he wanted more money - and not just the lunch money and occasional coffee money. I know it has been a tight leash and that, as my brother confirmed, you can't keep a man boxed in, pushed into the corner, on such a tight leash or they will just lash out in another way. My brother said that if I took away all his financial freedom than we would be having a similar conversation about a different problem a year down the track. I had all afternoon to think about this so gave hub an olive branch - so to speak. He had to completely close down one of the accounts. The other he could keep open and we would work out a suitable amount of cash that would be deposited from his pay into this account every month - as pocket money in addition to lunch money and the likes that he would get from me from housekeeping. This has been agreed upon and we will make ends meet somehow.

When I was talking to my brother he was saying how I had to remember the cultural differences. I do agree on this. I think there are a much larger proportion of husbands who have 'secret' accounts, the reason being that it is standard practice to hand over their pay to their wives to be divided as necessary - and then asking for money from the wives when they needed it. In New Zealand most couples would have a joint account and a separate account each.

I am not saying this in defense of hub. He realises his wrong doing and I think is suitably apologetic. He is also somewhat amazed that we were able to have the conversation without a fight - or rather without me going off the handle. He was even more surprised when he found out I had discovered his hidden bank in the sunviser in his car and had decided to 'watch' it for a while before bringing it up.

So, for the moment, we have sorted out a solution to the problem. I hope I aren't reading this in five years thinking you stupid woman, you should have seen the clues when they were staring you in the face. But, while I'm not blinded by love anymore there is still definitely enough there for us to get over this. Before taking Shou to bed he sat there with Shou sitting in his lap, stroking his hair and giving him a fiercely big hub - I think knowing that he had gotten away very lightly from something that could have been made into a lot more of a major argument.

So that's where we are at tonight. Hopefully hub is in bed now counting his lucky stars that he is in a nice warm bed and not thrown out to the inoshishi of the night. (wild pigs)

I hope I can be adult enough now to not bring this up at every turn. It has been discussed, and it has been sorted, and I have made the decision to believe him on what he has said - but that may be for lack of technological equipment and knowledge that would let me hack into bank mainframes like Chloe off twenty four.

Thank you for the advice. It gave me a lot of food for thought over the day and definitely helped in achieving a peaceful outcome that can be resolved.


PS - FTR he said he used the money for normal stuff - coffees, beer here and there, being able to pay his way on drinking nights out (when he had been telling me the social fund was paying) etc. He said was embarrassing to always only have ten or twenty dollars in his wallet. Understandable. He's a forty two year old man - he needs to be seen to have a bit more control. Beat beat of tummy. I guess I never really worry because I always have the cash cards to both mine and his pay account. Hub, on the other hand, would be put in a bit of an embarassing position if someone asked him to get something and they would pay him back!! Sorry mate, but my wife only gives me enough for a rice ball and can of coffee....

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Advice Please...

We both took the kids to kindy this morning and then I walked the 2 km home because the bunster is in desparate need of some exercise. We spent an hour pottering on various things and then we put up Shou's koinobori (flying material fish on big pole in Granny K's vege patch)

Before hub left for his pachinko bonanza outing I put my cash card in his wallet and at the same time saw he had a bit of cash in there. I joked that he didn't need my 10,000 yen when he already had 10,000 of his own. He tried, very hard, to look genuinely perplexed at how the money got in there! If you didn't put it in there wifey then how did it get there type of thing. I am all in for paying it forward a bit but I draw the line at slipping random amounts of money into hub's wallet and then pretending like it wasn't me. He said something along the lines of the god's must be smiling.

Indeed they must.

I told him to stick to that story and to be off with him to pachinko and to have a good time.

When he got back in the afternoon he then went out in my car to get a haircut - we joked about him getting a punch perma (very very tight curl perm like traditional yakuza types) so that the city Mayor would find him too scary too have round the city office and would hence send him home to me in Kunimi :)

After he left I checked out his sunvisor bank balance. Zilcho. I figured as much though seeing as he had sudden 'gods must be smiling' deposit of money in his wallet. While I was in his car I did a quick glance round. There on the back seat was a pair of black panties and a lipstick.

OK, just joking there. Would never use word 'panties' anyway.

What I did find were what appeared to be two ATM receipts that had been purposely torn up into little pieces. I have always loved jogsaw puzzles - which is good because it took me half an hour to tape them back together!!

They are for two separate accounts - both in overdraft and both of which obviously have a cash card that is obviously kept under a rock in the garden or in his desk at work. I had always thought as much though so this didn't come as a huge surprise. I am a tad shocked at the amount. All together about one fourth of his take home pay for the year.

We have accounts at both of the banks - one has hardly any money and the other is for the car loan for his car. I decided to check the numbers just to see if he was drawing down money on accounts we all ready had or if he did indeed have two extra accounts.

Indeed he does.

I am fully aware that as a man he needs to feel like he has some control over some of the money. Fair enough. But there is a right way and a wrong way. I have two of my own accounts in Japan - a bank account and a post office savings account. The bank account pays for my JCB credit card - which is in charge of our satelite TV, ETC highway card, and random foreign food orders. It also pays for my individual insurance and international phone bill. Nothing 'ayashi' (suspicious) about anything there. The other account is a 'savings account' and at present that has less than the amount he spent at pachinko today! My English class money usually goes half and half into both these accounts but more recently has also needed to be divided into grocceries and the likes.

I also have a much larger sum of money in NZ - most of which is being used to loan towards the family business and the rest is about the amount I would need to get home in an emergancy if need be. Over half of the money I originally had went into our new garden and the car so I feel abosulutely fine in the knowledge that the rest is being invested for the future - and while I didn't get hub's approval as such he knows where it all is. There are no slush funds in the carribean or under the matress upstaris.

So, what I am asking here is, how do I go about approaching the ATM receipts I found in his car? In other money related conversations I have always come out worse off regardless of who is in the wrong. These things tend to get to me a lot more and I come away feeling pissed off and upset while he seems to get over it relatively quickly.

What I don't get is how he is just getting into debt without paying it off?? I thought about this and realised he hasn't given me his pay slip summary for many months now. This has a break down of where his pay automatically goes and what his take home, deposited into the bank, amount is.

Earlier I asked him if he could bring the next one home. He asked why and I said I was going to start doing the house budget again seeing as things were getting tighter.

Do I wait to see this months breakdown of his pay? or do I approach the subject sooner rather than later? And if there is only the obvious explanation, that he does have two accounts in substantial debt, how do we go about paying them off when we are stretching things as it is? Can't exactly ask the bunster to stay inside for an extra ten months. Yes I could take the kids out of kindy, but then I couldn't teach in the afternoons and one cancels the other out moneywise anyway.


Do I approach it tomorrow - after a crazy day of kids, or do I wait until he gets home really late one night next week? Or do I wait until this time next week when hopefully we have had a relaxing day and there is more chance of having an adult conversation about it. And, can I actually wait that long?

Anyway, money issues aside, he came back from the hairdressers with a very manly haircut. We then went and picked the sproglets up from kindy and went to the park before dinner. He is now ironing his shirts after putting the kids in the bath and getting Shou to sleep - just trying to pump him up a bit to cover for foolish foolish foolishness of trying to have debts the wife doesn't know about.

I need a serious ankle rub tonight - elephant ankles are turning into piggy toes.


Friday, 10 April 2009

List Shmist

I got nothing crossed off my list today. Through pure choice I might add :) It was a beautiful spring day. The kids off to kindy, the washing out, the dishes done, the house tidy, the supermarket visited, and time for a cuppa on the deck to admire my tulips and think very vague thoughts about raking the leaves. Thoughts thought and tossed aside and friend comes round for play date.

Can it be a play date if both my kids are out of the house and her older kids are out and she just has the baby - who is content to roll round on the rug? Not much playing going on but a lot of 'my husband the koumuin (civil servent)' talk and 'third time babies'. She seems to be such a calm person so I worry about what I will be like with three kids. Her oldest is two years older than Shou, the second is a few months younger and then the five month old baby. With three under three I wonder if I will not just self destruct - perhaps installing fire alarm on self is advisable!

I did something a bit out of character yesterday. I gave hub the option of going to pachinko for an hour tomorrow while the kids are at kindy!! Why you ask? Silly woman. I got my tax return back on Thursday, and while it was only half what I got last year it was still 30,000 yen (about five hundred dollars). Had I had to fill in the return of my own accord I would have gotten nothing back. Such are the perks of marrying a tax man I guess. Last year I gave hub half of what I got back - seeing as completely his doing that got any back at all. This year I said he could have 10,000 yen and did he want to go to pachinko on saturday - providing he didn't go to one hours away!

He answered in the affirmative - as you would - and is going to the one in the next town over, with his gaijin wife's blessing. Well maybe not blessing, but knowledge at least. He in turn said he would give me half of whatever he won - if anything. That would be silly though. May as well just stick his winnings in the sunvisor bank in his car and tell me he lost!! He is late again tonight - surprise surprise. But it was overtime or coming back for a drinking thing - which he had to turn down.

I had some sad news from a friend this afternoon. She had to have a D&C this morning, which for those who don't know is the operation you have if you have miscarried and your body hasn't 'dispelled' (is that a word?) the 'contents' naturally. I'm not sure if that is what the D and C stand for. My dad told me many moons ago when I had to have the same operation but I have forgotten. I had mine in Japan and it was all together a heinous experience that I wouldn't wish on anyone.

It's hard to find the words at a time like this. When I first miscarried I seemed to be the first in my circle of friends. I didn't know many people who had. You start researching and the statistics are quite high - not that that helps you get through it really. Now, after nearly three (nine weeks to go) normal pregnancies in a row and it seems there are a lot more people I know going through what I went through four and five years ago. I guess more of the people I know are getting hitched now and trying to start families.

Hearing this news makes my heart go out for my friend. Being so far away sucks - especially as she was close to me when I had my D&C and was there to pour me more wine and wipe my tears. Stay strong and rest yourself for a while. I am only a phone call away...

So, after the news there was no way I was going to get the duster and dust the tops of the lights or air cons. I spent an afternoon napping and reflecting on life in the sun. Must enjoy what we have when we can. Not sure if that will stick as my new motto as am such a pessimist but will try. Doesn't help when I walk in on Granny K in the toilet though - very hard to enjoy that one.

Sweet dreams, good health and quiet living.


Thursday, 9 April 2009

Fire Alarms

Finally put the last fire alarm up today - in the alter room, which seems to be a popular place for fires to start. A bit obvious when is where vestlings go to light candles and incense. Granny K left the lighter out again so I put it in the alter drawer - isn't a secret drawer but is hard to tell it's there so good for hiding things from Shou. Obviously Granny K has also forgotten about it as today when I went to put in the alarm there was another, different lighter in exactly the same spot as the one she left there yesterday. Needless to say that has been put in the secret box. I wonder how many she has stashed away to use before she tries looking or asking for the others!!

It is ironic that on the same day as putting up the last fire alarm I also clean out the fireplace. With four alarms, three extinguishers and a volunteer fireman as a husband it would be very embarrasing if our house ever did go down in flames.

As today was Thursday, it was hectic as usual. Marina and Shou got off to kindy OK, I cleaned the fireplace, did the washing and tidying, put up the alarm and went to the supermarket. Got some salad sammies for lunch - which had cold pasta salad in them secretly hidden in between some egg and lettuce. Japan is good at putting things that don't belong there in sandwhiches and on pizzas.

Had a nap in the afternoon which was much needed as hub home after midnight last night so couldn't get to sleep until he got to bed, and Shou was up at half four - he went back to sleep until seven but I couldn't find the right position again so lay there thinking what I could tick off the list today!

After nap time I sorted English, made curry for dinner and ran a very hot bath so it would be just right when the kids went in after dinner. Picked them up straight after English at half five. They were the last ones there. Marina had another good-ish nap today but was still zombie tired and passed out when I put her to bed at seven. Shou required a bit of coaxing and bed time stories - the made up type. His latest is the 'Shou's house story' where really I get away with just describing the house and garden and what Shou likes to do. The fire engine is again parked beside his bed with a new accessory of a cardboard money box thing taped to the inside so he can keep inserting the same five yen coin every time he wants to start it up!!

My evening English class went well. Hub arrived home at ten and has had his dinner and is now in the bath. Hopefully with the door open admiring my shelf!! Which isn't code name for rack or jugs or anything. Actually means 'shelf'. I can tell you, after the amount of screws I have screwed in lately I can confirm that this house is infact made out of cardboard. Now, Shou doesn't call me Bob the Builder for nothing (high praise I tell you). I have been screwing the damn things into the beams and not just the wall panels but still - not a blister in sight. Screws going in with little effort. Just hope the big bad wolf doesn't come to huff and puff and blow our house in because am afraid would be very easy task.

I wonder if hub is up for an ankle rub - giver not receiver that is. I haven't had one for a few days and ankles have once again just become attractive extension of calves.


Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Marina's First Day

She went happily to the teacher this morning with instructions for milk at nap time and to ring me if it looked like she wouldn't sleep - which I didn't think she would as she is used to sleeping in her room in her cot on her own and not on a strawberry motif futon in a room with five other children. She slept for TWO WHOLE hours. Had a bit of a panic 'where the fuck am I?' nut out when she woke up but other than that her first full day at kindy was a roaring success.

I spent an hour this morning on the phone and email trying to sort out the money I am lending to the business my sisters and brother have started. Still not sorted and it seems like there is a mountain of bloody paperwork that needs dating and signing before any money can be transferred. Seems a bit ridiculous, especially as the lawyer shite goes completely over my head. Just tell me where to sign and when I can send the cash. Which better be within the next week. What is the friggin point of lending family money if you can't lend it when they actually need it. The business seems to be taking off but there are some immediate bills that need paying. What a huuha.

I then spent two hours putting up a shelf above the washing machine. The piece of shelf board I bought yesterday for it was 180cm long and seeing as nothing in this god forsaken house is normal, thanks to inbred spaz builder, I had to saw off (with pruning saw) three cm so it would fit. I then attached three brackets and screwed the damn thing into the wall - what a mission. I found a wine glass rack holder thing that I had bought years ago to put up in our 'new' house but it wouldn't fit in our cupboard. I have screwed it to the underside of the shelf and used it for hanging spare coat hangers and hubs shirts before they get ironed. I guess I can always add a wine glass or two later on for those nights when I actually get candle lit, wine sipping, nora johns, quality luxury bathtime!

I also fixed in the second to last of the fire alarms. One more to go and I can tick that off too.

Don't fear though I did find a good hour or two after lunch to nap in the sun upstairs. Felt strange though. Every sound sounded like Marina crying!!

Hub is having a late night tonight - and I mean later than the other nights. As in, maybe midnight!! Definately no pachinko open that late so will give him the benefit of the doubt and presume he is actually working like a dog, if not a Japanese one. Poor thing. Told him to get dinner delivered as there is no way I am staying up that late. Not having his dinner to prepare meant I could get the kids left overs - more reimen (cold salad noodles), rice and fruit and yoghurt. Marina loves noodles but wasn't too sure about them cold at first. Spat them out and then put them back in - because regurgitated noodles must taste really nice!!

After Marina went to bed, Shou and I spent half an hour making my latest foreign buyers club food and random items (like kid vitamins, strawberry cream conditioner and mouth wash???) box into a fire engine. Had a ladder (cut from cardboard) on each side and a steering wheel, and even a place for his police walkie talkie. Was very cool and highly disappointed big belly wouldn't fit it - even though I did try after much insistance from Shou. He is now asleep with the box parked perfectly beside his bed. I have taken the walkie talkie off or else we will all be woken by that at half four tomorrow morning.

weee waw weee waw
keisatsu desuka (is that the police)
hayaku kite kudasai (please come quickly)
Shou no mama ga warui koto shita (Shou's mummy has been bad)

Anyway, time for bath. Might have to leave bathroom door open so can admire new shelf!


Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Heart Wrenching

I'm not sure if it is more heart wrenching when your child does cry when you take them to kindy or when they don't cry!! Marina didn't cry yesterday morning or this morning :( She was absolutely fine and this morning the teacher that took her wasn't even one of the regulars. Weep weep, sob sob. My little girl. She'll be sneaking out at night, hanging out the window of her room for a secret fag and rolling the top of her uniform skirt up before I know it. Cry, cry, wail, wail.

That aside, she starts full day kindy from tomorrow. Fingers crossed she gets at least an hour and a half nap or she will be worse than the devil child when she gets home at five.

After I dropped her off this morning I went to the city (if you can call it that) and met a friend for breakfast at cheap family restaurant. I had a capuccino with my breaky that has probably left hairs on the bunster's chest. Better yet a few on his head might be good, but with my track record of big headed bald babies I would bet they bypass his head and end up on his chest. At least you're a boy. I can dress you in all of your sister's hand-me-downs and everyone in Japan will still think you're a boy.

After breaky I went to home centre and ended up coming out with five packets of nappies. I wasn't even going to buy them but hey, they were half price so I got a packet for Shou, two for Marina, one for the bunster and one for the bunster from about three months. The vestling nappiers were on sale too but fortunately Granny K hasn't reached that far down the track yet. Touch wood. Also got wood for shelf for wash house and some shelf brackets - plus a pull out drawer thingy to tidy things up on the silver shelf beside the fridge. I have just finished sorting that out so tick that off the list. I also finally got Marina's name plates up above her door. Tick.

Got back to Kunimi and had to pick Marina up and take her for her MR (measles and Rubella?) jab at the social welfare centre. Got there numero uno and signed up. Marina was in danger of getting into tired mode so was better to get there early so she could run round and explore the place as opposed to getting tired at home. About twenty high school kids turned up for jabs too - when they were little the government only recommended one MR jab but it turns out they should have had two so they are all getting booster shots now. Found out that they planned on doing all the high school kids before the only six babies and toddlers. Rightio, that makes sense. leave the getting tired and grizzly babies to wait an extra forty minutes. I did best impression of an eight month pregnant woman as I could and was secretly hoping Marina would start nutting out - but she was playing super cute kid and trying to flirt with the older boys. Nonetheless we caught the eye of the lady on registration and she changed the order round and we got to go first.

Yay. Out of there by two, home by three minutes past and Marina asleep by ten past.

Hub is home late again - as will be the story of my life for the next two months. I don't mind so much at the moment. If he can't get home in time for the bunfight of dinner, bath and bed then coming home at eight or ten doesn't really bother me. His dinner is sorted and he just has to heat it up and I get to potter around all night whereas if he is here the whole time I feel inclined to sit and chat or have bath together rah rah - can save that for Saturdays and Sundays! Wink wink. Or perhaps just a nudge nudge.

The bunster is moving round a lot - I just hope he isn't in there doing weights and trying to beef up. A big head is bad enough, I don't need an olympic swimmer's set of shoulders on him as well. Ouchy bloody ouch.

Time for a quick surf and bed.


Monday, 6 April 2009

Definately Spring

A beautiful day. My 'bloody' tulips are all in bloom and the grass is finally starting to get green. The sky is blue, the birds are chirping, the pie in the oven is making the house smell like a bakery (yeah right) and granny K has been absent all day. She made a small entrance this morning as I was herding the kids out the door to kindy. Can you herd if there are only two? The kids were real troopers and didn't try and stay with Granny. Shou gave her a high five and was off out the door and Marina only did a slight stretch for a cuddle.

Granny K got home at half six yesterday evening - she got the bus and hub went down the road and picked her up from the bus stop. Yeah for small miracles. She came home and went straight to her room - no 'tadaima' or anything. When the kids were in the bath with daddy she came in and put some omiyage (muffin things and some real bread) on our bench and left. I am itching to find out if and what older brother said to her. Might need to email the sister in law later.

Hub was so 'hima' (nothing to do) at work yesterday that he emailed and said I could bring the kids for a play. There were seven men at the local centre to deal with the supposed hoards of people coming to apply for their economic incentive money. They had 30 people all day - from between eight thirty and five. So, instead of the head bloke saying what a waste it was that they were all there, everyone just stayed and drank coffee. What a friggen waste of time. But anyway, took the kids there and fed them lunch. Took them back again after nap time!!

Solar panal man and his wife and son came round in the morning and the lounge got absolutely trashed. Could hardle see the floor through the toys. Nothing that wouldn't take five minutes to tidy up though. Their son will be the same school year as Shou but is actually closer in age to Marina. They were a bit shocked at 'Shou on full speed ahead'. Must admit he was a bit excited about having someone to come play. He played and ran round so much he napped for three hours after lunch.

Didn't get anything crossed off my list yesterday and today is looking a bit unlikely too. Unless I get my shit together and put up the other two smoke alarms. Would probably only take about twenty minutes. Maybe after some pie... have made family size bacon and egg pie that will do us for dinner and some for me for a late lunch now.

Had the first of the big spider episodes this morning. It was only the size of Marina's hand but with another month it would have grown to the size of my hand and we can't have that happening. We all know what happens when I get a really big spider scare. Sorry bunster, but the truth is you weren't a planned at that exact time baby. Mummy had a big spider expisode and wasn't concentrating enough to stop daddy getting a leg over. After we've had you mummy is going to have to go round with a blindfold on for fear of an ever expanding family.

OK, the oven has beeped. Time for some pie.