Tuesday, 30 June 2009

A few Pics

Warning - if you scroll down a bit there is a pic of hub. If you don't won't to see this then don't scroll down. After reading about him and his superchinchin, pachinko, childish antics you probably have an image already and seeing a pic will proabably squelch that. It's not a bad pic though but I agree, as said in the comments, that he does look very much indeed like a Japanese komuin - civil servent!!

Ryu and I have just got back from the supermarket and the post office. He got admired in the vege section and again beside the fish tank and the bread section. I left him in the car at the post office cause it was lashing rain and I didn't think I would be very long - and he was asleep. Got the bloody pleb woman who doesn't know where New Zealand is though and took ages. I wrote on the senders slip what was in the parcel - plastic fruit and chocolate. She called someone else over to enquire as to what I had written - despite fact I am standing less than 1m away and she has just finished having conversation with me in Japanese. They confer over my handwriting. They have deciphered fruit when I just tell them. Put them out of their misery.

They enquired into the plastic fruit and had to explain it was the stuff with the Velcro in the middle that kids cut open with a plastic knife and then stick back together - repeat continuously until it loses stick. They seemed a bit bewildered at a box of plastic fruit and chocolate but I finally got it sent off.

It has been pissing rain all day which made for a fun trip to take the kids to kindy. Hub was taking Granny K to the hospital (for nothing too serious) on his way to work so I had Ryu with me too. Marina fell over between the car and the gate so her teacher was taking her straight to get changed. What is it with little kids and gumboots - both her and Shou want to wear them every day and would probably wear them to bed if I let them.

I think Granny K has declared peace after yesterday's run in. Well, I am presuming that the half a pumpkin, pickled cucumber and boiled fish in soya sauce she left on my bench yesterday was meant as a peace offering? Me and the kids didn't have any just in case though. Hub scoffed the lot :)

He is still acting funny and all moody and pissed off after our argument. I got met with silence after saying good night to him last night. One of the things about not sharing a bed for this first month or two until Ryu gets into a routine - making up takes longer. No finding each others feet at the end of the bed. Ah well, he'll grow up sometime.

On that note, here is hub having his first hold of Ryu after his bath.
The first bath... Ryu's face purple after cord tried to strangle him on way out. Only took an hour or two for the color to catch up to the nice baby pink of the rest of his body though.
The weigh in - 3834 grams

Getting measured - 51.2cm
Elmo keeping an eye on Ryu...
Do you think he looks like Shou did... And for those of you interested, the labor and delivery room at my clinic...

I had a photo of 'the chair' too but it has gotten lost in transition from one computer to the next. Am sure anybody having a baby in Japan has been in one of these already though. Will be interesting for people back home to see though so might try and post it next time.
I best try and be a bit more productive for the rest of the afternoon. Hub late tonight so need to decide how many of the kids and grannies I can fit under the stairs at any one given time. I reckon all of them if I try hard enough.
SDGH&QL

Monday, 29 June 2009

Stupid B****

Honestly, two rants in the space of twenty four hours. Could well mean the start of the end :)

At least today's rant is about Granny K and not hub. The kids had a relatively good night and even I woke up not feeling too like I had been run over by a bus. I smelt of milk though - which in the middle of soon to be summer is never a nice smell. That's the downer about feeding and sleeping at the same time. The baby starts with some furious sucking and just when the boobs are in full milk production swing the baby falls asleep and you wake up in a wet spot. Awesome.

The morning routine was going fine. I had a load of washing hung out and another just finishing when Granny K came in to do a load herself - which absolutely fine even though she said she was going to be using the old machine that she got the electrician to hook up outside - because putting in a plug yourself is just too difficult. I have two washing baskets - one was outside because I had half an hour before hung out a load and left it out there. The other was half full of clean washing on the couch. It was just a small comment she made - about why I couldn't go and get one of the baskets first. But why?? I have such big strapping foreign arms that carrying a load of towels really isn't that much of struggle.

Anyway, not ranting about a bloody washing basket. The good stuff came later when Shou, after repeating moves with the dragonfly net got it taken off him (by me). I put it up high and he had a meltdown - a lot better effort than yesterday's. I imagine half the neighbourhood heard him - or they would have if we actually had neighbours.

Hub left for work in the middle of the chaos - which was fine because it was 'my battle' anyway ;-)

Marina in the car and Granny K came in to keep an eye on Ryu while I got Shou in the car - he of course just wanted the net and wasn't interested in getting up off the dirty deck floor, let alone getting his shoes on and into the car. I asked Granny K to make herself scarce and said that if no one was at home then he would be more likely to want to get in the car. I put Ryu in his car seat and Granny K went into her room and locked the door.

Shou claimed he was going to spend the day with Granny - I said she had gone to the paddy and no-one was home. He nutted out a bit more outside her locked door and then she turned up at the front door - luckily I saw her first and whispered to her to please not make her presence known as it wouldn't help matters at all. She nodded and then ten seconds later yelled out to Shou that she was there but that she was going to be working outside all day so he had to go to kindy - but that she would get the net for him when he got back.

Shou runs to the front door and into Granny's waiting arms. She carries him to the car with me muttering under my breath that I didn't think it was going to work. What do you know and Shou would much rather spend the day with Granny outside than at kindy. She tries to put him in his carseat - not happening. Just then both Marina and Ryu start crying. I put Shou in the backseat and close the car door. I YELL (I know, very uncool to yell at old women) to Granny something along the lines of 'what the hell were your thinking - I specifically asked you not to step in and you did and now we are worse off than before'. She walks away.

Back away from the gaijinwife who is just about on fire.

Very wise.

Shou is not in his carseat and half way down the road I stop and we wait for five or ten minutes until finally I have persuaded him to get into his car seat - it isn't the kind of car seat I can just strap him into and be done with. He can undo the belt himself so he really needs to 'want' to be in it.

We get to kindy - via the juice machine. He NUTS out again and I leave him with the teachers telling me that it will be fine. Shou has puffy eyes from crying so much and I feel absolutely terrible - but not enough to not think that the situation wouldn't have been so bad had Granny K not 'tried to help'.

Think I will go and do some retail therapy and then perhaps set something on fire - unfortunate really that Granny K's room is attached to the rest of the house. I doubt she would stand still while I try and tie her to one of her tomato stakes either. Think I will have to settle for burning the stack of boxes waiting to be burnt instead. The shopping will be at the two dollar shop - I can go crazy and still not feel guilty!! Need to get some goodies for Shou for when he gets to the end of a row of stickers on his incentive chart - which has been printed out but still hasn't found its way on to the fridge yet.

Apologies for the rant. I feel a lot better. I imagine my poor long suffering husband will be working late today - don't blame him. Seems the better option lately!

SDGH&QL

Sunday, 28 June 2009

The 4th Child

And no, no shagging, big spiders, getting a leg over, international relations meetings or the like happening and therefore no 4th child in that sense.

But, before the reason for the title must start by saying we had lovely play date with Rachel and her brood of beautiful girls, Amy, Lena and Erica. We got some yummy treats - fab bread and chippies and dip (the real stuff with reduced cream and onion packet). The kids ran round playing outside and blowing bubbles. They were off to the beach on their way home and Shou and Marina and Ryu and I all had a nap.

The first half of the day was great - and I thought we were on a roll for a nice family afternoon but it would appear that you can suddenly find yourself living with an extra child - one that you didn't have to keep warm and nurture for ten months before pushing out small hole. The thing about husbands acting so god damn childish is that it makes you even more annoyed because they should know better.

I am pretty sure we have had an argument similar to this on a number of occasions and I am sure we will be fine but I end up extremely frustrated and a tad what bewildered and upset.

There were a couple of things that started it off - and both deal with our differing opinions about how to react, /treat a child (usually Shou) when he has been naughty or is packing a tanty.

Shou had done something (so trivial I can't even remember now) and I had asked him on a number of occasions to please stop as someone (probably Marina) would end up getting hurt. He continued with the behavior and I took whatever it was he was doing it with off him - I have a feeling it could have been the dragonfly net (on long pole) that he was using like a kendo stick inside. Anyway this resulted in prime nutout from him. Hub hadn't witnessed any of the lead up and came in when Shou was nutting out. So without knowing any of the beforehand he said 'right, shou I'm putting you outside (his equivalent to me putting Shou in his room)'

I was in the middle of trying to sort things out and told Hub I didn't appreciate him coming in and trying to win my battle. It was between me and Shou. He got all shitty at me for telling him off in front of the kids - apparently I do this a lot. And if so I will need to apologise because I don't think thats fair really either. End of round one.

Round two - Shou and Marina were head butting each other (as you do when you have a deliciously big head) and Marina accidentally got a sore part of Shou's head and he started to cry. I was in the midst of calming him down when Hub came in and Shou went running to him for a cuddle. Hub said that 'it was my battle and Shou should go running to mummy cause daddy wasn't having anything to do with it'.

ARRRGGGHHHHH

I tried to calmly explain that this wasn't a battle this was an accident and he had a sore head and was asking his daddy for a cuddle. Hub could not see the difference in this and round one. I felt like banging MY HEAD against a friggin brick wall.

This discussion got out of hand and hub's two one liners were

'shiran' (don't know / don't care)
and
'wakareo - nyujiranndo ni kaere' (let's break up - piss off back to NZ)

The 'shiran' annoys more than the other. I asked to sit down and talk about this - as how we raise our children is the most important thing to me - I don't give that much of a rats ass if he hates me for the moment but I refuse to let it filter down to the kids.

So, as per usual he said that I thought it was all just about me me me. I have had to use the fifth amendment until I can figure out exactly what I need to say in Japanese - and know for absolute fricken sure that he isn't going to misread it, turn it around. Important arguments like this are perhaps the one time when I think intercultural marriages are really really difficult.

It amazes me that couples can have small kids and get out the other side still talking to each other. It also frustrates me that the things that start us off are usually very trivial things that are escalated because a child is nutting out at full tilt or because it happens when I happen to be breastfeeding for the tenth time that day in sweaty nearly 30 degree heat. It can be very hard to keep a cool head - as much as I would like at the time.

End of rant.

On other note - Ryu still exceptionally cute and seeming quite a bit more alert these days. He is three weeks old today - on July 8th we have our one month check up. Joy Joy. Good for him as want to know how much weight he has gained etc but not looking forward to it for me. Is crazy that couldn't have cared less who was all standing at the end of the birthing bed concentrating on my saloon doors during labor but give it a month and I am getting all damn prudish again.

Hope everyone had a good weekend and haven't had to end it the same way I have - although I guess there is still time to talk and make up tonight but I'm feeling very high school-ish 'I don't want to be the one to say sorry first' - ish.

Nighty night and may the start of a new week whisk away my 4th child and give me back my husband.

SDGH&QL

Saturday, 27 June 2009

What's in a cm?

After taking the kids to kindy hub, Ryu and I went shopping. We had a list of very very exciting items such as

1.spray to kill the bees hive
2.powder to sprinkle round the house for the centipedes
3.gumboots for hub
4.gumboots for Marina (preferably pink - per hub's request)
5.Nightlight for Shou
6.Hair clips for Marina (preferably pink - per hub's request)
7.Some of those velcro plastic fruit that you can pretend to cut in half - kids toys. Friend in New Zealand wants some to give to people as prezzies.
8.Nappies - all three sizes.
9.Table - for Granny K. She has a low table in her room but her knees are getting a bit bad and she prefers to sit in a higher chair and not on the floor so she needs a bigger table. The requirements we got were height 50cm, width 42cm and length 73cm.
10. twelve million boxes of sav blanc and some sanity for mum

We managed to tick most of the list off. Obviously my wine and sanity weren't top of the list so they will have to wait. Marina ended up with bright yellow gumboots and an array of multicolored clips. We went to a huge home centre with a furniture store attached. We searched high and low for a suitable table and couldn't find one. We then looked in the DIY section and found a perfect one. Of course we had to buy the four legs, top and bolts separately for it but it only took hub three minutes and twenty seven seconds to put together when we got home. It would appear that the height (which was spot on at 50cm) is in fact too high and Granny K is going to saw three cm off and ten cm off the length - even though the one we got was only 75cm. Honestly, did she think we would find one with exactly those measurements.

Hub got in a bit of a huff and said the least she could say was bloody thankyou - which she did in her two year old kind of way - I guess if I have to say thankyou (or sorry) then I will kind of thankyou. She changed her tune about hacking the legs to bits though when hub told her she owed us 6000 yen. He then told her it would fit perfectly if she cleaned up her bloody room - and while she was at it could she clean outside her door to outside cause there was so much shite out there that he had trouble trying to find the perimeter of the house to sprinkle the centerpede powder around!!

At half 4 hub got a call from the foreign big boob loving man down the road asking him to cut grass right then. Hub laughed and after a bit of banter said he would be there in five minutes. He then got off the phone and said

hub: can I go?
Me: do we have a choice?
hub: not really.
Me: then just go and tell foreign big boob loving man to ring you sooner next time. Or, if it means you get out of whatever grass cutting it is then your big boobed (albeit leaky) foreign wife will flash her tits for him.

So, I had to pack Ryu in the car to go get the kids from kindy to then come home and feed and bath them before hub got home. He is just putting Shou to bed but I am half expecting him to come down to say 'shou wants to sleep with mummy'. I can hear them now in fact - shou wanting to go pee - but making a huuuuuuuuge production out of it.

We had fried noodles for dinner - we went to pick them up from the shop in Kunimi. The husband of the nearly vestling lady that does all the cooking got himself in a right tit over me bringing Ryu out before the one month home detention period was up. He got so worked up in fact that he had to leave the room!! The wife of course was happy to get a cuddle and ask me a multitude of questions about how much milk I had etc. He said something interesting though - and old wives tale I hadn't heard yet after ten years living here and three children.

'Don't get rain water in your baby's eyes before they turn three months (100 days) old'

He told me this just in case I was planning on leaving Ryu in the pissing rain. If they do get water in their eyes they will get some sort of eye-related illness or something. I wonder if the same goes for the other bodily parts?? Anybody heard this tale before? Hub hadn't.

I think we are having some friends over tomorrow morning - and if that doesn't pan out then hub will be taking Shou and Marina to the beach for the WHOLE DAY to look for crabs. Hope friends come to play though. Marina hasn't played with Erica for ages!

SDGH&QL

Friday, 26 June 2009

I'm Bad

Who didn't play their secret Jackson CD today and moonwalk around the house?? Come on come on, I know you did it too! I think after all the news clips on TV today I could probably do all the moves to I'm bad and Thriller. Must say it didn't move me as much as when Princess Di died. I think I cried on the spot - But Jacko, as much as he was undeniably the King of Pop, just didn't do it the same way. Maybe it's the nose or something.

Ryu and I had a bad night last night and I think I got all of about an hours sleep. I hope this will not repeat itself tonight. Needless to say I was not a happy chappy this morning and in this light I think I managed quite well to stay within the realms of sanity and happy mummy - give me a Prozac and I may well have been a tad bit happier but.

Hub just about lost it though and at twenty past seven said he (and his superchinichin) were off to work - ten minutes earlier than usual. I don't bloody think so. Stay and help with that last ten minutes of chaos and getting them in the car. Yip, we usually leave the house for kindy at half seven. The kindy takes them from then though and even when I get there at seven forty they are not the first kids there. I don't feel too bad about farming the kids off that early when they have been up and creating chaos since five. Lucky I'm an early bird.

Hehe

Really, what person like getting up at five. I CAN'T WAIT till they can get up without me getting worried they will fall down the stairs or burn the house down cause Granny K has left a very tempting lighter in reachable distance at the alter.

I thought Ryu and I could spend the day catching up on sleep but it wasn't to be. The morning was spent with Ryu sucking the boobs dry - but not in one go, so now I look like boobs belong to African tribal woman. Just need a big silver ring in my lip.

When he fell asleep I would do something productive for forty minutes like sort out the washing, finish Shou's sticker chart (yes, you read that right). I would then try and sneak in a bit of a nap but he knew, he just bloody knew and so very little sleep was had. I went to print out Shou's chart and printer packed spaz cause no black ink. I contemplated leaving it until tomorrow but decided to bite the bullet and sort it today. Ryu and I went for a drive. Is only a few km away to the ONLY shop in Kunimi but we went the long way round the coast with 'Billy Jean' up full bore and the windows down.

Hub said he was coming home at nine tonight. After the bath bollocks I packed the kids into the car and we went for a drive to see the ferry. We passed the Kunimi town office - where hub used to work but he now works in the city office in the next town over. Saw a car similar to his so swung by and what do you know... He had been doing can collection (valid - alibi works out and I have had to do this too so all legit) and had cleaned the car (his car got used for storing all the rubbish in) and was 'on his way home' apparently. It was only seven fifteen so my immediate thought was that had he not been caught he would have been visiting the neon lights and silver balls for an hour and a half.

Now that I have the secret debt fund cash card though he would have to be selling his body on the street corner to fund another secret pachinko habit. But you never know, if he has the superchinchin he thinks he does then maybe he is earning some cash from it!!

He has no work tomorrow and as far as I know Granny K hasn't told him to plow the fields, pull the weeds, rah rah. So we can take it easy - although this will include going shopping for beehive spray (have hive right outside we need to get rid of), mukade powder - powder you put round edge of house to stop the poisonous centipedes from getting in - unless they are McGyver mukade in which case they could dive roll over the powder.

Well, as much as hub would like me to befriend his superchinchin tonight I can't see it a happening.

SDGH&QL

Ps - for those people not in the know, chinchin means willy, penis, donger, ...

Thursday, 25 June 2009

4 bloody litres

Had a very productive start to the day, cleaning, washing and making Zucchini and chocolate cake! I obviously did something wrong though and the cake did not a rise like it did in the photo Jo took of hers. It still tasted OK and Shou in particular thought it was a bit of yum yum alright.

Friend came round for playdate and coffee before lunch - well as much as a four month old and a two week old can 'play'. We still had a good gossip and talking with her I am always reminded of how little a role a lot of Japanese men play in the upbringing of their kids - and how little a lot of Japanese wives protest. Thank you hub for doing as much as you do - and thank you superchinchin for providing us with three beautiful children.

We were talking about various things. I told her about the birth stories site I googled and she spoke of a Korean woman on a program last night who had 4 litres of breastmilk A DAY. She had so damn much that she would bath her newborn in a booby bath - aka cleopatra. Apparently the baby had beautiful skin. But then, what baby doesn't.

I made a pact withself tonight to not lose it during the witching hours. Did an honorable job me thinks and only really lost the plot in the last fifteen minutes before Shou went to bed. We got through all of dinner and the bath and Marina going to bed fine. Of course it helped that hub got home at six. On a few occasions I found myself giving self a 'nope, not important, just let it slide lecture in head'. Hub took Shou up to bed a couple of hours ago and hasn't resurfaced. Me thinks he is probably snoring on the futon beside Shou's bed.

Shou's incentive sticker chart got started - I typed in 'Shou's incentive sticker chart' and I think I even put it in bold and played with the font for a few minutes. Who knows, maybe the chart will be finished by the time he leaves home in 18 years. God, I take that back. He's three already, that means surely I only have 15 years until I can get him out the door - sooner probably as all high schools in immediate area crap. Unless of course you want to learn how to ride a tractor.In an effort to use more of the big bag of zucchinis I have I made a zucchini slice/pie/quiche thing for dinner. It turned out quite well and Shou even asked for seconds. Hub declared it was 'mama oishii jya' after he had topped it with tonkatsu sauce and said it tasted like okonomiyaki. Off the top of my head it had

cup of flour
tsp baking powder
two Tbl spoons apple sauce
1/4 cup of oil
three big eggs (thanks Jo)
Two big grated zucchinis (ditto)
Hmmm, what else
Onion and some garlic (sauted in bit of oil with zucchinis first)
Some powder cheese in the main mixture and some grated cheese on top.

I'm not one for following recipes to the letter (hence why cake probably didn't work properly) and the original got changed a lot. I think some bacon would have been a good extra so next time that will be the goer I think.

Think might be an early night night.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Multitasking

Granny K came in this evening and asked if I needed a hand - the kids weren't nutting out but she had heard Ryu start crying and knew the kids had just gotten home from kindy.

I declined graciously as think am fully capable of breastfeeding baby standing up while using other arm to sort Shou and Marina's dinner out, as well as using my superior powers of persuasion to get the Tasmanian devil and the princess to stop tearing through the house. Dinner on the table and Ryu kept sucking on left boob while I fed Marina with right hand and while Shou sat at his little table sucking on his fork which he kept dipping in the T-sauce. He called this 'eating' his dinner. What a joke. That's like me saying three bits of cake and a pkt of crisps is just part of the diet!

I had to pretend to ring daddy twice to get him to eat all (make that 70 percent) of his tea. What was for afters .... melon. As predicted there were four in the box. I gave one to Granny K and she made some comment about it not fitting in her fridge but not to worry as was good for another week before eating. She made this assumption after performing age-old vestling melon test involving sniff test and a few knocks. The melon I cut open tonight was at that 'almost but not quite - really not going to last more than a couple of days' stage. It was yummy yum yum but I doubt a week on Granny K's floor would be a good idea. Almost feel sorry for the melon I gave to her. Will have to spend a week on floor beside half empty bottle of twenty year old pickled plums, ten big long radish and a bucket of cucumbers picked five days ago.

Hub got home as soon as possible since the move to the next town. Will never be in time for the dinner thing but the bath thing - yes. I had put Ryu in early though so it was just Shou and Marina. Shou was a complete ratbag at bedtime - forty minutes with daddy before pulling the 'I want to sleep with mummy' crap. After this kind of carry on mummy usually turns into mean mummy and even more so when as soon as I get up to his room and start the nighty night routine he pulls the 'I want daddy' shite. Unlike daddy though mummy doesn't come running down the stairs in defeat. No no, she says daddy has gone to work and it's mummy or no-one. Fast forward half an hour and all the kids are finally asleep. Fast forward another half an hour and so is hub. Fast forward another half an hour and mum has a glass of red wine and ten minutes to wait until Desperate Housewives comes on. I have just discovered this - as in about twenty minutes ago. I plan on watching it, giving Ryu some milk when he wakes next and then hitting the futon.

We actually got a couple of good sleeps today - one this morning upstairs and one this arvo downstairs on couch - one of those, I LOVE HAVING A BABY AGAIN kind of sleeps where bubs is on tummy snuggled in between his favorite food sources, left boob and right boob. He is feeling so safe with mummy's arms around him and the sound of her heart beneath him. Gotta love those sleeps. All good until you fall into deep slumber too and you both nearly fall off the couch. Fortunately that didn't happen - I woke up with the 'falling down stairs' syndrome just in time.

Well, on my list for tomorrow is to finally make Shou's sticker incentive chart - my god, I have been putting this off for so long. Silly really as am sure will be great when we have it up and running. Also only take about twelve and half minutes to make. Am thinking chocolate and zucchini cake on list too and perhaps a nap or two, a few cups of tea, a walk round the paddies ... need to enjoy my last Thursday before all hell breaks loose with the start of English classes again next week. I saw one of the mothers today and suggested maybe joining my two Thursday classes together so I only have an hour - which would mean eight girls together aged seven to ten. They all know each other though and for the most part we do similar stuff but the older kids do a bit more writing and get away with less pissing round. I 'think' it would work. Hmmm...

SDGH&QL

Hub left for bed saying him and the superchinchin were off to bed. Sorry buddy, but you and the superchinchin are going to have to go it alone for a bit longer.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Physical Challenge

Before going to bed last night I made the once in a life time mistake of googling 'birth stories'. If anyone out there thought mine was a bit too much then I dare you to google birth stories - no, I double dare you. Take that back. Physical challenge...

Thank god I didn't think about looking up things before Shou. I just read the stories in my 'pregnancy and you' type books and listened to what people I knew had been through. The site I ended up reading had a 'graphic' rating - rating stories (or rather photos) on a moderate to oh my fuckin god scale. Being only human I of course had to look at some of the more graphic ones - albeit with my hand over my mouth thinking no no no, I can't believe I did that three times. I never have been one of those woman who want to really experience the birth and be a part of it - (not that you can't not be of course) by catching their own babies or watching the whole thing in a mirror being held by the midwife or someone. I got hub to video Marina coming out but must admit I only watched vid once and even then I didn't slow freeze the frames to pause on head crowning or anything.

One of the stories was of a baby that was facing the wrong way - can't remember proper name for it, perhaps the upwards facing - that looks really freaky position. ALL you can see of the baby in the photo is the face - everything else is still on the inside. It came out face first, not head first. It is very freaky - in a totally naturally and enlightening and at one with the world kind of way. Another woman wanted an outside natural birth - on a mat under a pine tree singing kumbayah my lord. Well, not quite but it was very 'at one with nature'. My god, in comparison, I am so tame that I boarder on being a boring and extremely modest prat. Each to their own I guess.

Ryu and I went to the supermarket this arvo where I had great conversation with two vestlings I have never met before.

Vestling: what a lovely baby. How old is he?
Me: three weeks (really just over two but I felt I had to make him older or they would retaliate)
Vestling: three weeks!!! (they retaliated anyway) Oh, you poor wee baby. In my day we stayed inside for the first month.
Me: (polite laugh) If I did that my family wouldn't be able to eat.
Vestling: (raucous laugh) but you're quite big anyway. Looks like there's another one in there. Are you sure there isn't.
Me: not funny you silly cow (OK, so I said that in my head)
Me: (polite laugh) Oh no, just the one.

Ryu and I then made our way to the checkout where I got accosted by one of the ladies that makes the packed lunches. She 'took' Ryu off me and instructed me to finish my shopping while she held bubs. I was only slightly paranoid that she was actually a closet pig farmer and Ryu was getting swine flu while I paid for my groceries. I think with Shou I was a lot more paranoid about people 'taking' bubs off me for a hold.

Not sure if I mentioned that the 'work for food' thing for FBC worked out - although I have feeling they probably take anyone who applies. My first project was to write a short blurb about my favorite product and send it off with a photo - for the summer product catalog. Obviously I don't want pic of me gracing any magazine so Marina and Shou got the honors - holding natural apple sauce, something I use a bit of, especially for the baby food stage.

I got another request this afternoon too - to test out some English teaching books. My English classes start again next week so it will be nice to have some new material!

Ooooh, and that crap translation did a month or so back - getting double what I thought I would be getting so yippy yay, my mind is already clicking over as to what I can get with the 'extra' money I didn't think I would have.

Hub has just come in. The kids and I had a few minor meltdowns during the dinner and bath time, mainly because Ryu was awake the whole time also and even though I had to deal with the older kids first it still stresses me out being able to hear Ryu crying - even though I know it wont kill him and if he hangs out for another five minutes he will get a mouth and a half full of boob (melon!!) He (hub) is just having seconds of potato bake and Martha Stewart's meatballs (slight variation of as no Parmesan cheese so had to use normal melty cheese - still good though) When he has seconds of 100 percent western food it usually means he is doing it a bit out of kind. I think he has learnt that not being seen to appreciate a home cooked meal after wife has had to prepare it in between changing three lots of nappies, feeding and bathing, is really not in his best interests. Good man.

He also bought home a cold beverage, and some cheese so can't complain really. God, just had horrible thought maybe his leg is getting a twitch. Crap. Hope not. I don't think I'm quite ready for an international relations meeting yet.

Arrrgh.

In other news - got lovely parcel from Sister and brother today with goodies for Ryu, gossip mags, chocolate bikkies, maggie meal packet sachets and the likes. Yay yay. Gotta love care parcels.

SDGH&QL

Monday, 22 June 2009

Melons

Melons... literally :)

Five of them. I think. A huge watermelon and then a box of normal melons which I am guessing holds four. They are sitting in front of the alter at the moment but Granny K will have to give them up first thing tomorrow morning because damned if we are getting expensive nice fruit like that and having it rot in front of the gods. Solar panel man's mum brought them round as a 'congratulations' on the baby gift. They arrived right in the thick of dinner and evening routine and solar panel man's wife looked sorry at calling at such an inconvenient time. But hey, if you have watermelon and boxes of yummy melon then I don't care what time you come.

On the produce front I also left Jo's house this morning with a dozen farm fresh eggs and a big bag of zucchini.

Just got text from solar panel man's wife saying sorry for 'coming at such an inconvenient time' !!

Hub was home early tonight - in time for Marina and Shou's bath which was nice. The late late nights are over for the meantime I think. Will mean next months pay check looks a bit anorexic compared to this months and last months but never mind. I should be back into the English by then. I am meant to be starting again next week but shite - that doesn't seem like much of a break to me. Maybe I will do a ring around and see if parents plan on bringing kids during the summer break, and if so then having July off too wouldn't be so bad. The bitch translation money should be coming in soon too. Other than that we will be waiting for all that money to fall off those there trees.

Hub bought some tickets in the 100 man (twenty thousand dollar) lottery a while back and seeing as I was heading over that way I offered to get them checked and he hesitated for a second and actually said he wanted to do it. Had to laugh. He knows that if I took them (which I did end up doing and we won zilch) and we won then things would get split five ways - what with being a family of five and all. If he took them and we won then they would get split one way (hub's way) and I would probably be non the wiser.

Got lots of errands done today - bank, dry cleaners, buying cotton for Granny K, new shoes for Marina (not the pink gumboots hub wanted me to get though), laminator - and what do you know I found it stashed in a half price bin. Minus the box and instructions but shite, you feed a laminator sheet through it and thats it - presuming the sheet is around the right way of course. Ahem.

Granny K has decided that we wont be growing our own rice next year - too much of pain in the ass for her. We don't do much of the 'growing' as it is. Our inbred builder from down the road plants it with his tractor and then harvests it again in October. Granny K is in charge of chucking a few bags of stuff over it and making sure the water levels are OK - which can be hard when we are the last one in the tiered rice paddy system and someone is pilfering water from the river. My god. The scandal. This is apparently serious business though and the vestling pilferer is not in anyones good books.

So, next year Granny K will stop paying for rice fertiliser and to get the rice planted and harvested and we will start paying for ten bags of rice a year - big bumper inaka bags. She will continue to be the richest member of the family. Perhaps I should offer her some investment advice - see that there old people's home Granny K. Invest your pension in it, you'll be living there in seven years. More likely she will just start buying more shite through catalog shopping. Probably lucky she can't use the internet really!!

Well, just need to email the fam dam before bed. I got invoiced for a thousand dollars of lawyers expenses that are apparently separate from lawyer shite council that I was given to do with the business and lending the family money. Considering that was the only reason I used the lawyer I am wondering why I was billed when I was under the impression all lawyer bills would be being paid by the company. Hmmm, am I missing something? Is this common practice?

SDGH&QL

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Sundays

Sundays - always a trial when you have two hurricanes and a small tornado on the rampage.

Started the morning off by giving Shou the last of his birthday presents. He got remote control fork lift from Granny K on his actual birthday on Wednesday so I saved a few other ones that had arrived so I could use them to bribe him in times of world emergency, and so that things would get broken one at a time instead of everything getting trashed in space of one hour.

This morning's prezzie was a 'hyper rescue' fire engine type vehicle. Solar Panal man's wife bought it over on Wednesday. It comes with batteries - which means.... hours and hours of family entertainment in form of screeching fricken fire engine siren. We have had about a hundred fires out on the deck today - all that needed Shou's immediate attention and the siren on for at least ten minutes each time. After today I have decided that when Tyson (solar panal man's son) has his next birthday I am going to find him the biggest most noisest most loudest most annoying toy I can find - and then give it to him with a year's supply of batteries. What are friends for after all.

Solar panal man and his wife and son came over without warning today to see bubs. Shou and Tyson had great play and Marina, my little girlie sweetheart, acted all shy and well, rather not like herself at all. Almost what I imagine other little girls that aren't related to the tasmanian devil act like. It gave me hope. We got given some sweet corn and some pineapple. Yum, yum, yum. Marina chomped back both and think will have to get some more corn tomorrow, if not just for me because she only let me get a mouthful.

Not much else to report. Might try and get an early night.

SDGH&QL

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Suck me in

Suck me in... literally. Today was the first day in my suck-my-three-children-tummy in pants. Admittedly I did buy a fantastic velcro bonanza contraption that was meant to get my pelvic bone (??) back to normal. The packet tells you to put it on almost as soon as you have popped the baby out. Rightio then. I had zilch energy left that day and trying to figure out the various velcro bits and criss-crossing over self would have been beyond me. I did try it on on perhaps day three but had to keep taking it off to pee and was complete pain in ass so I gave up.

A friend had told me that after her third child she lost all her preggy weight but could never fit back into her jeans because of her newly expanded, wouldn't shrink back, bones. Not too keen on having bones that won't shrink back and while I don't consider self vain I don't wont to have to buy a complete new wardrobe to accommodate vast expansive bones - and if the truth be known ass, thighs and tummy.

So, today I wore some standard tummy sucker pants - bought in NZ. For the first hour or so it actually felt nice to be so 'tucked in' to myself. Later in the day I was so engrossed in the NZ chippies, cadburies choccy and 'Outrageous Fortune'(love it) DVD my friend in NZ had sent that I forgot about having them on. By the end of the day though the kids were wearing me thin (actually that would be great being worn thin - if only it was that easy) and I realised that in fact magic undies had rolled down tummy and I was now just about cutting self in half and having a bit of trouble breathing. Getting them off was a relief as was putting on hugely baggy PJs that allow tummy ample roomage for breathing and other daily activities - like expanding for the likes of chips and chocolate.

Hub had work today but came back at about two saying that he had been asked by about five people how to pronounce Ryu's name. I am wondering if perhaps we shouldn't have stuck with the 'dragon' kanji. Personally I like that better but not enough to put up a fight with hub who was all for the more exotic, nobody can read, kanji. He looked it up and said it meant

a cool breeze....

a fresh wind.

Granny K thinks it may also mean a small tornado!

So holy bloody shit, it seems that Ryu may be starting out his life on the wrong foot but never mind, by the time he is Shou's age he will most probably be acting like this anyway, taking after his brother and sister. Actually, Shou more like raging fuckin hurricane most days but what can you do? When does the terrible twos go away? He is officially three already. I have a terrible feeling the terrible twos lasts until males are about 18 - and that the selective hearing that Shou seems to have already mastered stays with them for ever.

Ryu and I went on our first outing yesterday - to the supermarket for cheese, bread and milk... the staples. I was actually 'nervous' at what crap would be thrown my way for taking a 12 day old baby out of the confines of the house. I even put socks on the wee man for fear of some silly woman telling me his feet would be too cold, no doubt leading to serious problems later in life, perhaps the reason behind bad grades at school, drinking too much or getting divorced.

It would happen that we hit the supermarket at the slowest time of day and only the meat counter lady and the cashier made comments - the first asked me whether Ryu looked like Shou or Marina. When I said I didn't think he looked like either of them really she looked at me as if was skanky hoe who had then obviously shagged someone else - what other reason would you have for having a third child that didn't look like either of his siblings?? The cash register lady just made comment that must be nice to finally have him out and my body back to myself.
At the post office on the way home the sixty year old postman asked me if the milk had come in. All righty then.

Yes it has Mr. postman, thank you for taking such an avid interest in my breasts and their milk supply. In Japan it seems that booby supply questions are very common and second only to questions about names or birth weight.


After hub arrived home this arvo I took a break from my arduous Saturday schedule to go and get some juice from down the road. This is the conversation we had as I was leaving...

Me: just taking your car to go get some juice (he was washing my car at time :) )
Hub: OK, what about beer (biiru - or at least that's what I heard)
Me: There's a couple in the fridge, do you want more?
Hub: The fridge?

Realised that he had asked after Ryu and not Biiru (ree-you and not beer-ru)

Poor wee mite - not even two weeks old and he is getting mistaken for beer.

After came back from juice outing I got hub to fire up the weedeater so I could slash and burn the front lawn - first cut this summer!! Hub thought we should wait a few more weeks until it was long all over. As it was though half of it was nearly 10 cm already. Very good and satisfying height to weed eat away at. Hub made some comment about it being good exercise for my waist line.

Nearly had to slash and burn him. What man in their right mind makes a comment like that to his lovely wife who less than two weeks earlier spent eleven hours pushing a big head out a small hole after 40 weeks of nurturing the new life in her womb - which of course means substituting any muscle for fat storage so bunster has nice wobbly warm home?? Do they not think at all?

Well, am rambling shite now. Best get to bed.

SDGH&QL

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Naked Ryu

So, what is nearly as bad as spending your birthday in labour?

...

I know, I know, not bloody fair but what can you do.

Feeding booby to a new born while sitting on the toilet with a bowl beside you to chuck up in. Well, I didn't actually feed him on the toilet but I did spend close to four hours in there with the both-ends-bug. Hub reckons it was what Marina and Shou had but it only lasted four hours. It was pretty violent while it lasted but then it was over. I was in no state to get the boobs out so hub gave Ryu his first ever proper bottle - 120 ml. He sucked it back, leading to complete slamming of nipple confusion theory. What bollocks. If you have a hungry baby who sucks like a vacuum cleaner then nipple, teat, hose, ...



Hub did ring the clinic though and they said breastfeeding was fine even though mummy was doubled over the toilet. So, during the night he got boob. And, during the night he chucked up. And, during the night his tummy was a rumbling and rolling. So, if in doubt feed the baby bottle. We got NO (zilch, zip, nada) sleep last night. Mummy was not a pretty sight this morning and we had our first post new baby meltdown - why??? because Shou, at five in the morning, was insisting that daddy open the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs the whole way instead of just leaving it slightly open. Oooooh, the tears, the shouts of unfairness. Mummy lost the plot and sleep deprived-still got a sore fanny-been throwing up all night mummy had to mummy-handle Shou down the stairs and through the half open gate.

Somehow we managed to feed them and get them ready to kindy. I think I even got a kiss in the car - from Shou that is.

Ryu and I spent almost the entire day horizontal - after the minimal of cleaning just in case some random want to see your baby-and give you money in envelope person arrived. Nothing all day though which was good. I think I am almost back to normal. Well, as much as ever will be possible.

So, Yakiniku didn't happen last night and judging by the smell of the kitchen Hub spent last night pretending he was tencho (owner) at ramen shop. The table is set now for our dinner - hub just upstairs putting the devil child to sleep.

Hub couldn't make it home in time for bath time tonight so I had ALL THREE KIDS in the bath at the same time. Tis one of the seven wonders of the world how you can manage to bath a three year old a one year old and a new born at the same time. Well, probably not. Seven wonder would be being able to accomplish this feat AND take photo at same time. Unfortunately every spare hand and foot I had was being used and I have yet to become so good at multitasking that I can take photo by placing phone between scrunched up nose and mouth. I will practice though.

But for the mean time, a naked Ryu from yesterday's bath when it was just him.




Shou is very intrigued by the gross cord bit waiting to drop off and is insistent that it is just bit of poo that mummy needs to wipe off. The cord bit bled a bit yesterday - I remember with Shou that when this happened we rang the clinic, thinking that he was perhaps bleeding internally and all blood seeping out through belly button as Shou was slowly dieing. Nurse reassured us that bit of bleeding all OK and that cord probably about to fall off.

Well, best I get dinner sorted and started.

SDGH&QL

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Back on-line

Our inbred electrician came round this morning and after much pissing around things got sorted out and I am back in the world of crap technology again. Not complaining though as being out of the link for two weeks was a bit of a bummer - although not having the choice meant I didn't spend hours logged on reading blogs, ordering Australian cheddar from FBC and manuka honey flavored vodka off rakuten. Best I make up for lost time then!!

Our stay at Jo's house was indeed a luxury and had it not been for the fact that I hadn't seen Shou and Marina for a week I might have stayed a bit longer!!

Home on Sunday night after the kids were asleep and back to life as we know it plus one from Monday morning. Marina still wasn't one hundred percent but the teachers were very good about it and let her stay the day - despite a bit of a cough and a slight case of the runs. They were both a bit clingy and quite badly behaved (putting it mildly) for Monday and Tuesday but this morning they seem to have come right again. A week without mummy rules and Shou and Marina ruling the house!! All of a sudden mummy comes home and they can't get away with as much - meaning a lot of running to daddy, which I might add he is thoroughly enjoying!

Ryu is a gem during the day and a semi-gem during the nights. Not to worry though he still sleeps better than both Shou and Marina so I am still optimistic that I will have a baby that sleeps seven to seven at three weeks old.



Yeah right.

At the moment I am sleeping downstairs but from tonight I am relocating upstairs to our room where the baby bed is. Hub is going to put a futon on the floor in Shou's room. I need to get into the routine of sleeping, getting up and feeding properly and then sleeping again. The last few nights have been me sleeping with boobs out so that can get sucked on demand. Bit of a suck, back for a sleep, bit more booby, bit more sleep, repeat, repeat, repeat.

Last night hub and I reflected on the last three years. On June 16 three years ago we had been living in our new house for half a year and it was still just the two of us. I had also just made some plum liqueur and it was the night before the full moon ;) Now, I have to turn a blind eye to the bright green crayon decorating the tatami room (happened last week :( ) and we have two toddlers and a newborn. A lot can change in three years...

Today is Shou's third birthday. It's also my birthday and this time three years ago I was in my hospital room with a newly bathed,nicely kimono wrapped first baby beside me - no doubt I was feeling extremely chuffed with self for doing part in populating the world, if not at least my little corner of the rice paddie.


Ryu and I have had a lazy, are in the process of having a lazy, day. Some flowers got delivered from hub this morning.


And the postman arrived with some goodies from our UK stylist and her mother. Once again we have been spoilt and the kids will continue to be the best dressed kids in Kunimi! After the sproglets are in bed hub and I are having yakiniku - albeit inside but never mind. Hell, the festivities might really get going if I have a glass of wine. Ooooh, don't tell the booby police. That will be all the 'festivities' happening though. Woe is hub, he is still going to have to wait oh, about another three years, to get any really 'festive' action.

We had the first of the freakishly big roaches out and about last night. It was downstairs so had to be dealt with - for fear of it crawling (flying) into room with me and Ryu and crawling into mouth - deep fear of roaches festering inside self aka species or alien. Therefore is of extreme importance to exterminate any roach upon sight. The tissue box did the trick and hub did the after kill clean up.

All I can say is thank bloody god it wasn't a spider. Hub has made at least a couple of comments over the last ten days since Ryu was born - relating to cuteness of offspring and if they were all that cute then what would be the harm in just one more...

The harm she says, while sharpening her scissors...

Well, the little chap is trying to suck milk out of his knuckles. Best sort him out.

SDGH&QL

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Warning...

This post comes with an 'at your own risk, don't say I didn't warn you' gaijinwife warning. There are no graphic pics though so feel free to skive off work without getting caught by boss at huge pic of crowning baby head on screen.

I am at my lovely friend Jo's house. She runs a shelter for pregnant women and mothers of small babies. She has just taken her kids off to gymnastics while Ryu and I hang out here. Why am I here... the kids weren't on the mend it seems and on Thursday hub rang and said they were both going at it at both ends and we jointly decided that probably best if Ryu and I don't come home on Friday as planned. I think would be almost impossible to keep everyone out of everyone elses way in a house where the majority of doors are sliding - in fact the only one with a lock is Granny K's, and not too keen on me and Ryu spending our first few days camping out in there. Why anyway when I can have a guest cottage, home-made brownies, and multitudes of tea and good banter with Jo?

So, I have been thinking about how to go about the whole birth story. I was going to put it into good, bad and ugly sections but then whole thing would end up all up the shite and really needs to be in chronological order to be of any sense at all. So that it will be.

It all started...
at 1 am on Saturday night. I lay in bed trying to gauge whether or not these pains were any different than the ones of a week earlier. Forty minutes later and at very precise 8 minute intervals I tell hub perhaps we should get up and get moving. I aren't in any kind of excruciating pain and think am actually doing stellar job of holding it all together in the face of what is to come. Hub on the other hand, being a man and all, is having difficulty multitasking and takes far too long getting his shit together - despite our warnings by the doctor that we should get a move on or we might be looking at having bunster in the back seat of the family wagon. He even, and it is with huge embarrassment that I actually admit this, spends ten minutes 'doing his hair' - his hair that he got cut very short on Saturday morning so not even in need of any product whatsoever. Oblivious to his wife clutching the kitchen bench oh, every eight minutes or so, he wets, dries (with hairdryer on lowest setting so wont wake kids up), brushes and then puts some product in his hair. Nice to know that one of us will look half decent during the whole thing!

We get into the car and ring the clinic on the way - got a nurse who was on the previous Sunday when I spent day dossing around clinic in false labour. She says that perhaps we should give it another half an hour or so before leaving. Silly to go back to house as might wake kids so park car on side of rice paddie for half an hour - during which time hub dozes in front seat while gaijin wife just about eats padding off back seat oh, every six minutes or so.

We ring back and get a moving - albeit very slowly. I am wondering what part of 'possibility you might have baby in car' hub didn't understand - he is driving at 47km at 3am. Not a policeman, k-truck, stooped over granny pushing a wheelbarrow in sight. I tell him as nicely as can muster that there will be no-one to appreciate his nice hair if we have to stop in the middle of rice paddie to deliver this baby. Speed increases.

At the clinic...
I get my first penicillin drip and strapped to the baby monitor. Thankfully contractions are still regular and is obvious that I wasn't lieing on the phone and the bunster is in fact perhaps maybe sorting his shit out ready to come out. An hour later we get sent to one of the rooms and I get told to call for the nurse when contractions are about three minutes apart. All of a sudden they are ten minutes apart but wooooooa baby, not acting like ten minute apart contractions at all. Long and strong and within about an hour they are only five minutes and I get stupid damn sensation to go for big crap, which impossible as nurse gave me an enema when I got to the clinic. Sometimes a full bowel can prevent the baby from getting down properly. Enema not the nicest thing in the world but in the scheme of things only a slight inconvenience.

Nurse comes and I get wheeled back to the delivery room and hooked up again - another round of penicillin and another baby monitor check. If you test positive for Group B Strep you get penicillin during labor so that it isn't passed on to the baby as it comes down the birth canal. Again, another slight inconvenience that really just means you can't bend your arm for the thirty minutes it takes to administer. Need to have every four hours so my next one was to be at exactly 12 midday.

Things starting to get serious...
An internal check reveals I am still only about 5cm but everything getting very soft and saloon doors ready to spring open. I must have spent three hours in extreme discomfort and the last hour wishing to hell I had never seen that big spider. I think at one stage I even voiced a shocking 'I .. DO ... NOT ... WANT... THIS ... BABY' The midwife was very good and would massage my lower back during contractions. When she left the room for various things hub would try her technique. Due to lack of midwifery classes he couldn't get it quite right though and got a round of 'NO, DAME, CHIGAU' and other terms of endearment from me. Back away and retreat to the other side of the bed and continue wiping brow of poor wife with cold facecloth. She would also apply upward pressure on my bum which was to prevent piles or hemorrhoids or whatever those little grape like / bubble wrap type blood balls that can pop out your bum during child birth are.

The doctor came in at about 10am and declared that I was 9.5 cm dilated. Friggin fantastic, the home stretch. My waters hadn't broken though so I thought they would get the crochet hook out and break them for me - I appealed in a big way for this but the midwife told me to 'gaman' a bit longer so everything could happen naturally. Fuck naturally. I want this baby out right now and if that can be boosted by sticking a crochet hook up my fanny then so be it.

What do you know and about thirty seconds after being told to hold off on the hook and my waters break - absolutely bloody amazing. It was like in the movies - and no I don't mean happened while standing outside fab restaurant leading to ride in limo with Mr Big to hospital. I mean as in the hugest gush of water ever. I had the 'trickle' with Shou and with Marina they broke them so I was ready for it. The midwife was quite surprised, as was her apron and the surrounding floor. She even left to get a mop. Amazing! These foreign women walking round for months with humongous sacs of amniotic fluid.

Here we go...
Things got very serious after the waters broke - all of a sudden the saloon doors are wide open and waiting for the bunster to come out. I don't have the pushing sensation anymore but the midwife tells me that on the next contraction I have to push. I wonder if I even have the energy left and when the next contraction comes I can only muster enough strength for one push - it was enough to suck the head down a bit though. The doctor is in the room now - the labor bed has been elevated and transformed into a birthing chair with legs over leg hold things on the side. There is the doctor, a midwife and a nurse all standing waiting and instructing. Not too embarrassed though and at time wouldn't have mattered if Ace of Base was in there belting out 'all that she wants, is another baby'.

Once the head started coming I got told to push through a few more contractions. The head out and all of a sudden the doctor is joining in and I have to just push push push until he is out. A flurry of hands (doctors) as they pull the bunster out. 11:59 - one minute before I would have had to have another drip in my arm. Have you ever seen those programs where they tell you the top ten things a mother first says to her baby after giving birth? Well, my comment would have to be edited out.

'He's nearly black??'

Well, was more a purplish color but still - not the white, reddy goey shite you expect. He had the cord around his neck - from moving too much right before birth. This was reason behind flurry of hands and need to get him out fast.

His cord got cut, shite sucked out of his nose and mouth and then put onto my chest for his first mummy outside the womb encounter. Pleased to say I managed a 'hello beautiful, it's your mummy!' that time round. Hub was all teary - but I think all my extra bodily fluids had been mopped up so I was just extremely exhausted and relieved it was all over and that the bunster had ten fingers and ten toes and eyes not on the side of his head etc.

The after birth...
Bubs got taken away for his first bath while the placenta got delivered and my bits attended to. The placenta came out quite quickly and all intact. I asked to see it, which I am pleased I did as amazing gooey red sac that provided nice squishy home for bunster for ten months. The midwife was very thorough in her explanation, so much so that I forgot entirely about previously wanting to take it home to plant in garden.

The doctor didn't do any choki choki with the scissors during the birth but in hindsight I wish he had, as healing after an epistiotimy (sp?) would have been better than the three separate war wounds I have now. It took half an hour to stitch them up - using a local anaesthetic but still, is most sensitive area in whole body and someone is going at it with an injection and a needle and thread. Not pleasant but have just gone through process of pushing big head out small hole so feel like twat if start complaining about any of the after birth ouchy ouch. I did have a few small-ish bum grapes pop out during birth and the doctor took it upon himself to push these back up - without warning. Thanks for that. They popped back out later, hence the bum bullets and cream I got given.

After the cleaning up the nurse puts my pants and PJ bottoms on (yes, I left house in PJ bottoms (but very cool Victoria Secret ones) - figured hub looked good enough for the both of us) along with a pad the size of a small yoga mat. I get a blanket and strict orders that I had to stay put for two hours - birthing chair has transformed back into bed and I can lie there watching TV. After his bath bunster gets brought in looking all cute and babyish and gets a token five minute suck on boobs. This is the clinic's idea of 'kangaroo care'.

Hub leaves and a few minutes later, while I am still in the delivery room, I get my first visitors!! The family who were going to be driving me to the hospital if I had gone into labor during the day when hub was at work. I think it odd that
a) people who are not related would want to see you while you are still in delivery room and
b) that nurse would show them in.

Spoke to my friend later and she said they were in the area when got a text from hub saying baby was born. They had intended to just come in and see bubs through the glass in the baby room but the nurse said strapping foreign mummy was in fine form and wouldn't mind if we just went on in to the delivery room
.

So, that's the nuts and bolts of my birth story. Eleven hours start to finish - definitely the hardest yakka out of the three births but still not too bad in comparison to some other stories I have heard.

I think it best to stop there and I will fill you in later of my weeks clinic stay - or not. Really just bollocks about sore shrinking uterus, cracked nipples, bum bullets and donut cushions.

Ryu is asleep attached to boob as I type but I think has just done huge crap in nappy so better go and change it.



Oooh, I think he just smiled at me.

As if.

But still, what parent doesn't think their six day old baby is so advanced he can smile already.

SDGH&QL


Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Oiwai Dinner.

This is the dinner you get the second to last night of your stay. The menu hasnt changed and I have had this EXACT meal three times. As nice as it was I do not plan on having it again! The food here is very good but have fridge in room too so can stash emergency choccie and the likes.

Looks like the kids are on the mend. As much as I have missed them I still they are both ok for kindy on Saturday so I can get the bunster settled in.

Must go. Boobs being demanded.

SDGH&QL

LOL Ouch

Oh those comments made me laugh. Which in turn was ouchy ouch so me thinking laughing just as good as breastfeeding at shrinking uterus!

The amount of times I have changed S and M in a post.. think was main reason started writing full names!

The milk has started coming and thanks to the pre and post feed weighing system I can accurately say that Ryu had 80ml for breaky. Hub was taking Shou to kindy and GK was missing her pottery to look after Marina.

Nearly mummy breakfast time. HUNGRY.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Ten little toes.

Aren't baby fingers and toes just so kissable.

A good day for the bunster and I but not so good on the home front. Hub took both kids to the doctors. Separately because he couldnt take them both at the same time and Granny K had to stay home to instruct the washing machine men. He brought them both past here so I could have a quick cuddle and hello in the carpark. I cant decide if their timing for getting sick is extremely unlucky or actually rather good.
Rather good for me and unlucky for hub I imagine. He said he might have to work saturday and sunday to make up for it. Me thinks might be letting air out of some tyres after get home on Friday!

Time for feed and bed.

SDGH&QL

Monday, 8 June 2009

First Kimono

This is what my clinic puts all the babies in. They are great. Would much rather have this as clinic going home prezzie. As it happens I will probably be getting our third lot of snoopy kiddie plastic plates.

Hub mailed asking how Ryu (Ree you) was. It would appear then that baby Aramaki now has a name!
He is well and so is his mummy, despite slightly sore boobage and more than sligtly sore tummy. Case of the shrinking uterus, made worse by baby trying to vacuum suck nipples off.

We had some visitors today, including my sister in law and her daughter. They drove an hour and a half and stayed ten minutes! Fair enough I couldnt get up and entertain them or get bubs because nurse had just administered bum bullet (refer to ugly section of next weeks birth story-the good the bad and the ugly) and I had to remain horizontal for half an hour.
Hub had to pick kids up bit early from kindy today because Marina had temp of 38. I think Granny K is looking after her tomorrow. I will probably get home on Friday to find she has been given Army style crew cut. Hopefully Shou stays ok or else hub will have to take time off work. God help a father who had to take time off work to look after his own children!

Well, nearly time for my beautiful little vacuum cleaner to have feed.

SDGH&QL

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Pic

I'm not very good with photos so this will have to suffice for the moment. The nameless one has just had some boob and is contemplating a nap in my room until ten.

The nurse suggested they look after him tonigt.OK! If I dont get the post birth shivers then I may well enjoy a whole night sleep!

Thankyou for all the comments :)

SDGH&QL

... Hello there baby boy...

After my last post I got sent to my room to 'wait' but instead things took a step backwards. Back to ten minute intervals. Not for long though and when things got serious it was all I could do to not scream for drugs or at least some scissors to choki choki hubs smug bits off.

I dont think I even said fuck. So, a bit belatedly..

FUUUUUUUCK

ouchy bloody ouch.

The bunster made his arrival just before lunch. 3864 grams. After daddy video-ed his first bath he got a token go at my boobs. Straight on. Very proud gaijin boob moment.

As is the norm at this clinic he is in his little crib at the nurses station while I sleep and try and forget that some parts of post birth really actually very bloody sore. I have made it known that I intend on whipping the boobs out from today. The bunster is getting another session shortly.

I will post a pic then.
There will be a no holds bar birthing story when i am back home. I will give warning so you can choose to not read if you want.

SDGH&QL

Hello again LDR

Back and hooked up to all my favorite machines again. Will the bunster call my bluff again. Hope not or will feel like a right twat!

Cruising at five minute intervals but still only 4 cm, despite some serious unpluggage before we left the house.

Come on buddy. I'm not getting sent home again.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Silly Doctor

Doctor's shouldn't say things to freak you out. I have just had my 39 week check up. I didn't get round to posting yesterday because a friend came to visit and I was waiting to see if 6 hours of ten minute contractions was going to actually start getting exciting for you all. It didn't.

According to the Granny K tidal report 'oshio' wasn't yesterday, it is tomorrow. I don't actually know if this is correct though as nobody else I seem to talk to agrees!! She appologized for getting me in tidal frenzy.

So, the checkup...

40 minute baby monitor with some good niggles coming every three minutes according to the monitor but nothing to alarm the nurses.

Ultrasound - where babies face is still visible. ie, not facing in shoot out the saloon doors position yet - although according to doctor with subsequent pregnancies this doesn't mean anything as can turn head downwards literally moments before making descent. Got good 4D pic of profile.

Internal exam. It appears the saloon doors are still just swaying slightly in the breeze. 4cm. No progress.

When had last consultation with doctor - after I finally went pee. It took me another half an hour of waiting and half a bottle of water - he laughed as he said...

My only concern is that when he comes he comes fast

hehe (first time have seen my doctor laugh)

possibility he might come out in the car you live so far away

hehe

NOT FUNNY - luckily hub wasn't in the room. Usually it is the lady doctor that worries you but today I had the man so it has had more of an impact.

After the laughter had died down I asked if he was actually serious. He said yes. So, have popped in at friends house on way home to look up 'child birth car' in google. Hub was sure he had seen on TV that you should cut the cord but I was sure you didn't. A bit of research shows you shouldn't. This is why hub is a civil servant and not a doctor.

Anyway, dramas aside we are off home to wait for either waters to break or 'any type of pain that is more painful than any of the contractions of late' The pressure to actually KNOW that things are starting... bloody crazy.

Well, hub looking over shoulder, no doubt understanding nothing.

Keep you posted.

SDGH&QL

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Crap Technology

Computer still on the blink, bunster still on the inside, gaijinwife still going insane despite fact due date still actually ten whole bloody days away!

I am over at a friend's house borrowing their computer but obviously not wanting to take up the whole afternoon. Will type very fast so please excuse massive typos and whole sentences of complete crap.

I have been keeping a notebook (you would be proud of me Jo) to time contractions. They have come in bouts but nothing seems to last for more than two hours so there have been no more midnight calls to the clinic. I thought we might be getting lucky last night but they didn't seem to be getting any stronger so I decided to go to bed and see. They obviously died out because next thing I know it's five am and Marina's talking to herself woke me up. I have got a horrendously sore 'kotsuban' though - pelvic bone?? All these words I know in Japanese but have never had to use in English before - due to lack of multitudes of off spring running round in New Zealand. I only have my friends' experiences back home to go on.

Granny K was wondering before if I will be making home-made ume (plum) liqueur again this year. I hadn't been planning on it but decided why not - Shou was born ten hours after making that years batch so maybe there is something in it. Granny K has offered to get the plums for me, now at their prime plum liqueur making stage, and I will make it tomorrow. Tomorrow is also 'oshio' which is what? High Tides? Low Tides? Full Moon? whatever that time of month is when men start howling at the moon and the natural gravitational forces of the universe come together and babies all over the country start sliding out those saloon doors.

I would usually laugh at this type of nonsense - but Shou was ten days early and was born exactly in alignment with the natural gravitational forces. It was that or the plum liqueur. No harm in going through the same processes this time! The nurses tell me that they do actually get a surge in babies around this time too - which may well mean that if the bunster does use the natural forces of the tides and the moon to make his last descent, that it is done on the corridor floor at the clinic due to their only two labor and delivery rooms already being in use. We shall see.

Hub, who has done a stellar effort of being home straight after work the past two days, HAS to be late tonight. He did ask me if it was OK - which really didn't get much of a 'sure honey' from me. More of a 'No, I would prefer you were home just in case so why even ask?' response.

The teachers at the kindy are just as anxious about the bunster as I am - although I am sure they aren't losing sleep over it like me. When I went to pick the kids up on Monday afternoon they were visibly surprised to see me. Hub had taken them in the morning as I was still at friends house and at clinic having check up after 'the bunster that cried wolf' episode. Seems everyone thought the bunster was out. Hard luck.

Well, better get off friend's computer and head to the supermarket. Was wondering what to make for dinner but when reading crap chic lit book this morning someone mentioned lasange and that has me on the go - despite impossibility of finding pasta sheets at local supermarket. Will have to improvise.

Thank you for comments - I have been reading them from my phone.

Please send natural forces vibes our way tomorrow. Something anyway. Face the moon and howl or go and stand waist deep in high (low??) tide and pray facing north easterly. That or drink a good glass of plum liqueur on our behalf.

SDGH&QL

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

From phone...

but not because in car nn route to clinic. Have lost internet access at home so will have to call provider tomorrow. Is very frustrating as blogging from phone requires a lot more patience than a nearly bursting pregnant woman can muster! Also no spell check. I also cant check other blogs or reply to comments, but can read them.
I gave the bunster a stern talking to today. Any more false starts and there would be no pocket money until he was ten. I then dragged his sorry ass on lap of rice paddies.
Very quiet day though. Big nap, few errands, bit of housework. And few calls to NZ because got email from family business lawyer claiming money ransferred last week five hundred short. Turned out to be typo by their accounts person. Didnt even get an appology. Not impressed.

Since bunster is now just about hanging half way down legs circulation is better and I no longer have puffy ankles. Might push for back rub instead.

SDGH&QL

Monday, 1 June 2009

The Baby that Cried Wolf

I am at home...

Alone...

and the bunster remains inside.

I had some serious movement in the night and must have only gotten about two hours sleep. Contractions got down to six minute intervals and a couple of times I was about to wake Jo and get her to hold my hand at the hospital. This morning however, when I got up at half six they had almost stopped. I have definitely been 'unplugged' though and so thought a trip to the clinic just to make sure everything had stopped was a good idea before coming all the way back here.

The nurses where having their morning meeting when we got there and there was obviously a bit of banter going on about the over-paranoid foreigner. Although they were all still very nice. The doctor came up and did another internal, during which we discovered that in fact the saloon doors are closing back up. The 4cm has gone down to 3cm - although she tells me this is the difference between doing the exam while tummy is relaxed or tight. Give it another couple of days and the doors will be completely shut and possibly padlocked until June 14th - in which case I plan on crossing legs until the 17th. If the bunster can play games with me and keep me up for 48 hours with his silly man antics then I sure as hell can play dirty back.

I got told to come back if I have contractions less than ten minutes apart that continue for more than two hours. This is not very comforting though as this has been whats been going on for the past two days and I am now starting to doubt myself. That could happen another couple of times before the real thing hits and every time it does we have to drive an hour to the clinic, sort out the kids and pay an extra 150 dollars for being hospitalised for the day and put on penicillin drips rah rah.

Anyway, for the time being I am at home where even if the bunster keeps me up all night I have nothing during the days - no translations and no English - so I can sleep away the afternoons.

Got back to a very tidy house considering the supposed mayhem the kids caused yesterday. I spoke to hub last night and he actually apologised for the last two months of late nights - after him having to do one night last night of the kids dinner and bath routine on his own, and he had Granny K helping with the bath. It is nice to know he realises and more importantly acknowledges my part in his working overtime.

This whole false labor thing is very unnerving and feel like bit of a wally going through all the huuha just to be sent home again. Just goes to show that just because you have two 'easy' normal births that number three can throw you absolutely sideways and leave you guessing if every contraction is the start of the real thing of just a bit of 'fooling you mummy'

I best have sleep - am on sleep deprivation high but.

SDGH&QL