Monday, 31 August 2009

TMI

Poor Shou, my little wannabe musician. He was home AGAIN from kindy. I thought Marina probably should be too but she was considerably genkier than Shou and her cough a lot better so hub took her - because I was chicken shit. Granny K looked after Ryu while Shou and I braved the small child snotty nosed, sneezing, coughing, infectiously diseased hospital. Honestly, how inconsiderate to bring your sick child in to have them coughing all over the place. Ahem. Ahem.

It was chocker full and we arrived at ten to nine. Had to wait for ages but Shou was remarkably well behaved and only heli-coughed once and jumped off the couch twice. In hindsight I should have worn my t-shirt with the pig on it (if I had one) as it was obvious that a few people thought that if anyone in the room had oinky swine flu it would be me, the gaijin and her gaijin son - far more susceptible to being a flu carrier than the rest of you Japanese lot. Bugger right off.

The doctor wrote a prescription for more of the same old same old and we headed off to the chemist to pick it up - another twenty minute wait. Picked European Stylist up on way home (she had stayed at friends house in next town over) and got back to Granny K and Ryu just before lunch.

Shu was not entirely his usual terror self but still managed to give us a full repertoire on the anpanman piano with mic and hip hop BGM. Was very entertaining. His latest song is one about traffic lights and having to stop for red ones, wait at yellow ones and go at green ones.

Hub is late tonight so friend and I did the dinner and bath thing. All kids asleep by half seven - yay. Marina just had a wee grizzle but hopefully nothing too serious. She is probably bloody starving after eating jack shit of her dinner. Apple, yogurt and jelly got down but the noodles were a no go. Ah well, gave her more milk than usual at bedtime.

Hub has offered to take the day off work tomorrow should Shou need another day at home. I mentioned this morning that Granny K wont look after him for the day and if he has to stay home tomorrow I can't go to Beppu for girls night out that I have been looking forward to for last six months rah rah. He said would stay home if we got back early on Wednesday (as in leaving Beppu before seven). It's a compromise though. I can't expect him to take two days off work really.

Me thinks the only reason he has offered to take the day off tomorrow if need be is because of 'the action' he got last night - when friend was away. And yes, ahem, barf, choke, hairless shinken chinchin...

I think my biggest worry isn't the hairy nature so much as not sure what fuck am doing. It has been so long though that when I asked him to tell me what was yay and what was nay he just mumbled anything was just fabulous.

Soooo, anyhooooo, enough about me.

How are you lot?

SDGH&QL

Sunday, 30 August 2009

God Damn 24 Hour TV

Japan is having it's annual 24 hour charity TV at the moment. And my god could there be any more heart wrenching programs on in the space of 24 hours! I have shed a tear three times today - and let me remind you today is Sunday.

That's right.

Sunday.

The day Shou and Marina are on bad child rampage. Today is extra special as one, or both of them have been home over the last five days - with me and Ryu and with me teaching in the mornings and with friend coming. Of course having high heel wearing friend to stay is absolutely fab (and by the way she wears those heels to work in admin at a nursing university) and being able to speak English in between dealing with the kids is good for both me and the kids. Well, its only good for them in that mummy is nicer mummy than usual Sunday mummy.

So, I have managed to watch enough of three of the life dramas on the 24 hours TV today to bring a tear to my eye. Usually it is someone who has an illness or who has died. The last boy had an older brother who died of something or rather and he has the same illness and we saw the WHOLE conversation where his mother told him for the first time - you know how your brother was so brave dealing with his illness rah rah, well you are going to have to be brave too.

Christ.

Wrench wrench pull pull tug tug bloody rip those heartstrings out.

The 24 hour programme also has someone running a marathon. It used to be 100km but now it is 126km. The girl running it this year has 6km to go and ONE HOUR. WILL SHE MAKE IT?? The WHOLE of Japan is on the edge of their zabuton in anticipation.

I would love her to make it but damn if she doesn't, my god, she has run 126km in JUST OVER 24 hours. I ran 50km in 6 hours and I lost three toenails and couldn't walk for three days - bar to the fridge to get that well deserved beer.

Anyway, about our day...

Shou woke at 5.


I so love being a mum.


LOL, ROTFL, :) :) :)



No, I really do.


But so not at 5 in the bloody morning. Marina wasn't far behind, followed closely by Ryu. Hub was last to venture down - which I must admit is unusual. He is usually dealing with those two before Ryu and I come onto the scene.

Friend was up at half five - let the jet lag kick in. Only a small nap during the day today though and hopefully she will sleep better tonight. At eight thirty we were in the car with Shou going to buy milk. She said she now realised how I felt when I wrote in a post a while back about it feeling like about two in the afternoon when in fact it was only nine in the morning!!

The kids were all very cute at separate intervals during the day. NEITHER Shou or Marina napped which meant Marina was put into bed at six (zonked by two minutes past) and Shou at seven (zonked by three minutes past). Ryu was put to sleep in between and I should have at least another three hours before a feed - which will be a bottle because bad mummy of the year has had a drink at the end of her hard day.

Kids aye, who'd have em.

Shit, I did.

Why didn't someone stop me at one?

Or perhaps two?

Because then I wouldn't have my cute bumble rumble jumble of rolly hay joy RYU. And HE ROCKS - as all my kids did before they got to the age of talking, hitting and rebellion.

God love em.

SDGH&QL

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Champers Darling

Marina was home again today but Shou got packed off to kindy. The rest of us (minus Granny K) left about half nine to go and take Marina to the doctors again, do some shopping and have sushi for lunch. Before we left Marina spotted my new boots and tried them on...

This pic is very deceiving. The boots almost look OK on her feet but they do infact fit me and I by no means have petite feet. 24.5cm Japanese sizing in fact.

Sushi was great - ate far too much. Ryu slept the whole time and Marina was pretty good considering. Went past the shops and got some meat for dinner and headed home. Just as we were heading into Kunimi the kindy rang to say Shou had a 38.5 temp and could we come and get him. Dropped everything off at home and then hub went to get him. He didn't look too under the weather when he got home and hopefully, fingers crossed, horse shoes and four leaf clovers, both the kids are at kindy by Tuesday so friend and I can go to Beppu for our shopping and girls night out!! (with Ryu)

Marina and Shou were their usual selves this arvo and started getting scratchy about four so that was when they were given their prezzies from the European Stylist. We were going to try and hold out until breaking point tomorrow but well, we caved...


Yakiniku (BBQ) this evening has yum yum. It was Shou's yakiniku debut and he held it together for about three and a half minutes before losing interest and playing up - and all over friend...

Friend I might add who buys fab shoes like this...

I tried them on and due to three and half year lapse in high heel wearing self I just about died. Not much movement going on there at all I'm afraid. Friend says she will be wearing these to work. Holy damn mother of god and all other obscenities. I could never walk as far as the driveway.

Shou is now in bed and we are all sitting companionably in here sipping...
Half an eye on the movie, me typing, friend mailing and hub falling into champers induced fuzziness. And just so that you don't feel short changed on photos of cute babies...


SDGH&QL

Friday, 28 August 2009

Yay for visitors!

Would you believe the house is quiet! All the kids are asleep and even the European Stylist has given in to the jet lag and hit the hay. Half of that may be that I have warned her the nights are shorter in our house due to kids waking up so bloody early.

Marina was home from kindy today - her summer cold is all gone but she still has a cough and I kept her home because I thought that is what the teachers would want me to do. Bloody peer pressure. (I had to spell pair and pear before I got it right - shit, who admits to that?)

Somehow I managed quite a commendable job on the house. Guest's room was all go and even the floors got a going over. Also managed some serious playdo time and crab drawing extraveganza time with Marina. Granny K was nowhere to be found this morning - probably ran away to temple next door to have tea with the vestling there after hard week of looking after grandkids. She did do a great job and despite the fact that she tried to force me to have some of her drugs for my cough (I said no cause breast feeding to which she said double bonus as Ryu would get rid of his cough too then) she has been very good.

Left Marina with Granny K this arvo though and Ryu and I went to pick friend up from the airport. Is SOOOOO GOOOOOOD to see her again. It really doesn't feel like it has been two years since she left. She hasn't changed at all and we slipped straight back into 'the talk'. Is great.

Hub loves it when have guests coming as even though might be mean bitchy naggy hell wife for few days prior to visit (as trying to get everything sorted) during their stay I am niiiiiiiiiiice, looooooooooovely mummy. There must be a bit of not wanting to be mean mummy in front of guests but I think main thing is the ENGLISH and the being able to talk about anything. Now, I have been living here for ten years and stuyding Japanese since age 15 so I can get out most of what I want to say. But the heat of the moment, or something that I know would come across differently and I just have to grin and bear it. Still, the not being able to say it all at the drop of a hat must takes its toll. Also, English great, bestest most superior language in whole universe.

That said, I need to be able to talk at standard NZ pace - bloody fast. Having a guest from 'the south' of the 'you es of aye' probably wouldn't give me my fill of English words. Don't they all talk really slowly down there? Actually have no idea. Just know I talk fast and is always much more fun having someone who can keep up the pace - said friend has no problem and in fact I even know some of her silly Irish words like 'press', which means cupboard for those plebs out there who have never had the good fortune of befriending an Irish Gal. I think I need to teach her some kiwi English like 'yeah man choice bro'.

Anyway, friend has brought loads of goodies which must have taken up at least half her suitcase. Huge mini car steering wheel toy thing for Shou that HE WILL LOVE and want to take to bed with him every night for the next sixteen years. Marina got a little pony and doll set that I LOVE but that she may well think isn't quite as cool as brothers steering wheel. She also brought us the 'cars' dvd. Praise the fuckin lord. I hadn't asked for it but she read on my blog a while back that I had rented it and that Shou loves Lightening McQueen.

After seeing all these goodies (that also included some faaaaaaabulous shirts (darling) and some ugh boots and books and hair products for me) I was quietly confident that we would get through this Sunday with hub being away at the election shite all day just fine. Hub then pulled out of the blue that he didn't have to be at the election stuff until half one on Sunday afternoon!! Apparantly, because he is now of a more senior position (old bugger), he doesn't have to be there at the crack of dawn. He has done his dues in early morning stuff though so this is a nice turn around for the books.

I told hub the teachers didn't want Marina back at kindy until she has NO cough and therefore she would be at home tomorrow. He said he would take them in the morning.

Fine then.

If they both get OKed by kindy security then Hub, fabulous friend and Ryu and I will be off for sushi and some beef shopping for yakiniku (BBQ) tomorrow night.

So, all is good in the land of having visitors to stay. Love it.

Nighty night - although not off to bed quite yet as feel would be cheating the night if the whole house plus guest were asleep by half nine.

But soon.

SDGH&QL

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Iranian Lads

A busy day and the house is no futher ahead in visitor preparations. I could be doing some now but I figure whats the point, the kids will just run riot in the morning and I will have to do it all again.

Shou went to kindy this morning and Marina hasn't got a temperature but still has a cough. If she gets a good sleep tonight and the coughing is getting better by the morning then I will take them both tomorrow. Ryu still has a little cough too but nothing too serious methinks.

Took the Iranian lads to the ex-mayor's house for Koto lesson. The ex-mayor's wife had gone above and beyond the call of duty. Two of her students came and played for us and then the lads got free reign to pluck away to their hearts content. They took a million photos - even one of the lights. Some ice coffee and snacks had been put out and all in all it was a great 'lesson'. The lads were a lot of fun and over the three days I spent with them I learnt random bits of Persian and today I actually understood when someone said 'sit down chicken' - we won't even get into the whys of that though. I feel fully equipped should I ever have the opprotuntiy to travel to Iran!
One of the lads the other day at okonomiyakiThe ex-mayor's wife showing one of the lads how to play the ShamisenThe group

Got home and hub left for work and I did a 'tiny tiny tiny' bit of housework before getting the boobs out for Ryu's lunch and then taking him off to get the car fixed. Marina was napping and her and Granny K no doubt spent the afternoon drawing crabs - or rather Marina instructing Granny K to draw crab after crab after crab. Granny K getting quite good.

Trip to car shop takes about an hour ten. After the last couple of days of being with sick kids twenty four seven it was actually nice to blast some sounds and drink some coffee in peace!! Ryu, bless him, slept the whole way. They were able to fix the door and while they were doing so Ryu and I went for a wander to the car shop next door where the only thing I ended up buying was a car survival hammer!!

I know!

What the fuck.

But very useful should ever find myself in car sinking in river and need to break window or cut seatbelt off.

Actually I lie, I also bought a new key ring - bright pink with bling and a mag light on the end. Can now take random free with coffee funny animal thing that has been on there until now.

Car fixed, drive home and pick Shou up on way. Got home and him and Marina reunited after a day of not playing together and proceeded to fight for the next hour until dinner. The ex-mayor (who was out fishing when I took lads round for koto lesson) brought round a big fish that Granny K cut up into sashimi and boiled for us. Shou LOVES sashimi so he was a happy chappy. Marina spat hers out but hey, come dinner time I didn't really care. She ate all her rice though, and fruit and yoghurt.

Bath time - non eventful. They picked up the tazmanian devil toddler-ness after that though and mummy had to retreat upstairs to put Ryu to bed. The kids are all asleep and I have sorted out the bedding for friend but the house is a complete writeoff. Ah well, nevermind. She wont care she will be so tired from flights she probably wont even notice!

Well,here's hoping.

And, a pic of Granny K holding Ryu - the first one I believe. With Shou I have one of her and Granny K on day two after birth!!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Parenting Sick Children

Last night has probably been the worst night as a family with three small children since well, we became a family with three small children ten weeks ago.

There was no vomitting or runs (not last night at least) but between the two of us hub and I must have only gotten about two hours sleep - and I would say that that was mostly hub, the man species who can sleep on a bed of nails in a damn blizard. ALL the kids were sick. Well, Ryu just has a cough but this stopped him from sleeping for more than a thirty minute stretch all night - and all day today. Marina has the worst cough and even Shou, whose temperature had gone down was still unsettled enough to wake up about three times.

Needless to say mummy was a sleep deprived mad woman mess this morning, not helped by fact that hub had to go to work until lunch time. Shou and Marina both seemed to be full of genki today and it was hard to restrain them from running away to catch crabs - Marina still had a 38 degree temp. How on earth do you try and get a toddler to play quiet when their older brother is running riot and opening the doors and waiting, it seems, until you have just sat down to feed the baby, to open the gate so both him and Marina can run out?? !! Bloody hell.

Hub came home and we took both Shou and Marina to the doctors - or rather Marina while I took Shou to the supermarket. Marina has a 'summer cold' but the cough is really bad and if it persists it could lead to asthma. We have been down this road before so I hope it lets up soon. Tonight was a no goer though and she coughed herself into a vomit all over hub. He was trying to get Shou to sleep while I was in getting Ryu down. Marina starts a big coughing fit, hub goes in and picks her up and craddles her. I come in and the first thing I say is can you back away from the bed.

Deaf ears.

The whole bed, and all of hub get a complete pelting. Hub has a go at me for not caring about Marina being sick. I said of course I'm bloody worried about her, but I would be a more effective mother not being worried about her in a bucket of vomit and five loads of washing. He went on to say that the washing machine does the actual washing so ...

Anhooooo, the washing machine is whirling, Marina is changed and back to bed and appears to be sleeping well. As are Shou and Ryu. Long may it last.

Hub has tomorrow off work so I can do the last day of the English Program - to the ex-mayors house to learn about the koto and the shamisen. They have a big taiko drum too so maybe a good bash on that and I will feel less like bashing hub. Who, I should probably add has actually been doing a stellar Japanese man job, as has Granny K.

I am pleased to report that my friend will have nice fresh towels and all I need to do is put the new cover on the new bed stuff tomorrow and all will be OK. I just wish I could lock the sliding doors so she doesn't get woken up at the crack of dawn!!

This week has not panned out as expected. I'm not one for winging it very well. I could never go on holiday and just fly by the seat of my pants. I have a friend for that. We get hilarious emails of her antics - being randomly asked to be an extra in a bollywood film, getting invited to join a wedding ceremony in outer somewhere or other - lasting three days rah rah. I need a bit more structure though. And this week's structure has gone out the window.

So my European Stylist friend, the house WILL be a mess on friday and I WILL STILL be spending half the day blowing my nose and rubbing my eyes - does anyone else get sensitive eyes when they get a cold? Hub may or may be with me when I come to the airport, but rest assured wild pigs couldn't stop me from coming. Do you want a banner?? I could put 'Welcome to the foreigner who most probably has swine flu?' on it??

Best be off. Marina just woken up. Hub has gone up but I have to sort out a handout for tomorrow.

SDGH&QL

Edit - Marina changed and back to bed and I think asleep. I have hung out two loads of washing and the last is nearly finished. Have also finished going over the English stuff - I got them to write about their 'okonomiyaki' experience.
Nighty night.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

A No Post

Hub needs the puter to do some work for tomorrow. He was going to stay late but both Marina and Shou came home during the day today with temperatures so I got him to come home as soon as he could. He had already taken the morning off to take Shou to the doctors because I was in the middle of my English Program.

The doctor reckons probably isn't Swine Flu as Shou running round jumping off walls and not looking oinked out all. Marina also very genki with a runny nose and wee cough. Even the litte man Ryu has a cute baby cough and I must admit my head is feeling stuffy. I am going to be completely foreign about the whole thing and have a big bath, some icecream cause feels nice sliding down throat, and go to bed.

I have had to cancel English tomorrow - both the program in the morning and my private one in the afternoon. Hub not able to take morning off but hopefully can on Thursday if need be.

I guess in a way it is good we are all feeling shite now. Should be over by Friday.

At least my throat is sore so I don't need to make up an excuse not to ... ahem.

SGDH&QL

Monday, 24 August 2009

Oink Oink

The swine flu has hit our fair city. There was an annoucement over the loud speaker in our backyard and we got a letter home from the kindy - saying that the whole kindy will close down for at least a week when two kids get it. I would say that unless these two kids are polite enough to get it over the weekend it will spread like wildfire at kindy - land of snotty nosed kids and putting anything and everything in your mouth.

And therefore it is only a matter of time before it gets closer. Da da da da, da da da da da da da da arrrrrrgggghhhhh (jaws). I just hope we can survive without it for until at least September the 5th please. Don't wont European Stylist to have to go home to Ireland and spend a week in quarantine after all.

So today....

The morning - house shite like washing, shining the bench, looking after the boy, putting toys away, cleaning out all my English class cards and games and cleaning behind the TV in the spare room - OK, so that isn't usual housey shite but I was in prime procrastination mode. Why? Because I was meant to be sorting out English stuff for afternoon program with Iranian lads.

Got the English stuff done though and the program went fine. They were all very lovely, although their English was A LOT better than I was expecting so we got through everything faster than I had planned. Luckily I had a sheet from my Passport Plus textbook all copied and ready to go. At the end we discussed what they wanted to do for the next three days. The program will be an hour and a half studying and then going on a Let's Use English outing. First day Okonomiyaki - where they will do everything themselves. Second day - Granny K's family temple, and third day - the ex-mayor's wife will show them the Koto - Japanese harp.

All sorted. Spoke to the okonomiyaki lady and the Mayor's wife today. Action stations are go.

When I was talking to the Mayor's wife I told her friend was coming. Friend used to learn flower arrangement at their house once a week or so while she was living in the next town over so she knows them well. The ex mayor came home while we were talking and upon learning that friend was arriving at half three on Friday afternoon declared that we would feast on Japanese BBQ at his house that night. I had to turn him down though as friend travelled long way and I wasn't ready to share her the first night in two years that I have seen her!! Gomen friend. We'll do yakinkiku at our house another night.

So, I have a wee ditty, about jack and diane.

Well not really but i haven't laughed this hard for a long time. It is a ditty about the shinken chinchin though so if you feel that reading that would be too much information then be warned, you should stop now and come back tomorrow.

...

...

...

Last night hub and I got talking about the shinken chinchin (power ranger willy) and how little 'lip service' it got - ever since the early days really. Not my favorite past-time to be honest. He asked why and I said it was all just far too hairy. Do you know what he did - first he looked relived. My god, a problem that can be fixed he thought. He then went running to the basin with the nail scissors and proceeded to cut all offending hair from around the shinken chinchin. His three beer excited state got even more excited and he got a bit scissor happy and ended up ouchy ouchy ouch silly fucker snipping his shinken tama (ball). Not badly at all, but enough, in his three beer excited state to feel the need to put cream on and a band aid.

...

...

...

The ONLY band-aid we had in the house was

...

...

...

a shinken ranger one.

...

...

...

So the shinken chinchin got shinken covering.

And I laughed so hard I'm surprised the kids didn't wake up.

Why or why didn't my husband do this kind of shit before we got married - so I could have realised he was a complete twat - albeit one that makes me laugh so hard my boobs just about started leaking on their own.

Right you lot, bugger off to bed already.

SDGH&QL

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Not busy AT ALL.

God what a day. Woke up at six to hub reminding me about the kindy clean up. Bugger bugger fuck. I was still in bed with Ryu, who had had an unsettled night. I wasn't feeling like getting up quite yet - or rather getting up and having all three of the sproglets to feed, change and get ready for the day ahead on my own. But unless I planned on putting on my gardening gear and gummies and heading to the kindy instead of hub then that was the only option.

Some how we all managed to eat something, get changed, and Shou and Marina watched Bob the builder in Japanese (that's how not with the program I was this morning - couldn't even be faffed changing the language button) while I got stuff ready. Marina was spending the day with Granny K so I got her drawing stuff and playdo out and had a word with Granny K about things. Shou and Ryu were coming with us to the labour union bollocks thing a couple of hours away so I had to get what you would expect for a three year old and baby to need during a day out.

We left home about half eight and about forty minutes in to our jouney, as we were driving along a straight big prefectural road, a man drove out from a side road - a road I might add that had perfect vision of all right of way traffic speeding along at 60km an hour. Hub hit the brakes and we swerved almost up onto the footpath. Seriously we were this close (imagine me doing 'this close' gesture)to being smashed in the drivers side of the car - the side Ryu was on (and hub, but for some reason he was secondary in my thoughts to Ryu).

The man in the other car had the cheek to look pissed off at US?? He didn't even reverse, he just stopped in the middle of the road, looked pissed and drove off?? Hub was the maddest I have seem him for a LONG TIME. Had it not been for my pleas he would have been driving right up the guys bumper. As it was, when the guy pulled over to his apartment building hub bloody well followed. I'm not that good with confrontations - well, fair enough, I'll confront my own lieing silver ball fondling husband, but not a random man stranger - especially with kids in the car. But hub got all ruff up your feathers and stick out your chest man species like and wanted a go at him. I was scared that said man would turn it against us and smack hub one in the face and if was complete lunitic come and have a go at me just for being in the same car. I tend to read too much into things though. Aye. What do ya reckon.

Insert - hub just tried to open bottle of Heineken with one of those pasta measures - that has three round holes on it. hehe.

So anyway, hub gets out of the car and confronts guy - my family was in car and you nearly sided us. korrrra. Man just said sumimasen (sorry) and went on his way.

Was all a bit scary really.

Anyway, I dropped hub and Shou off at the labour union rant in the park and Ryu and I went to the department store for some coffee and booby time. Picked hub and Shou up, had lunch and drove home. Marina and Granny K survived the day it seems.

The kids got some pool time while Ryu was being a fussy bugger - probably because he had slept all day until about two due to being in his car seat and stroller - which he relates to sleeping - or perhaps because Shou mistakingly WWF bodyslammed him while he was in his bouncer this morning. I managed to take a couple of pics though...

Marina (aka the rabbit with a mullet)
Shou (aka the skinny runt - mummy wants some of those genes please) trying to clean his 'bus'A cute pic of Ryu in his sun hat
So, that you forgive him for doing the fingers at you!
Both Shou and Marina were terrors this evening and I know it's all just sent to test us and all but holy fuck could someone send me a well behaved three year old for a week. Hell, I'd settle for a day. Half an hour, half an hour, that's all I ask.

Ordered and went to pick up fried noodles for dinner. Told the owner about the whole dinner party that is now SET IN STONE after I mentioned that just the two of us, the European stylist and I, were coming for dinner on the 31st. Apparantly the woman who saw me walking that day (and who has organized the whole thing) has also invited the doctor's wife!!! Now, the doctor's wife is a lovely woman, no doubt about it, but to the best of my knowledge her and the European Stylist have only been out drinking together once or twice??

So anyway, to try and straighten things out and not let things get out of hand I rang the said woman - to no avail. Not answering. She rang last night and spoke to hub (they were Junior High School classmates) and asked him how many people were coming to this big dinner and what time it started!! She said that the new date I had suggested wasn't too good and do you think I would mind if they just did it without me!!

Don't even go there.

No comment from the angry gaijin in the corner. But when I get to the bottom of this bottle of wine I am going to take it round to her place and bash her over the head with it. What as seeing now I don't feel the need to hit Granny K over the head. God forbid, I need her to look after Ryu this week while I have that English program.

Speaking of which, I guess I just turn up tomorrow. I think at 1pm. I thought I might get a finalise things call tonight but doesn't look like it. Ah well, tomorrow we will just do shite and then the next three days I was thinking of chosing a topic per day (say food, religion, language etc) and learning about that thing for each country (students will be from Iran and Japan) and then spending other half of time doing on hands stuff - like coming here and getting Granny K to show them how to write a couple of kanji. She has been doing caligraphy for years and will no doubt be far too embarrassed but I will just find a way to persuade her. Her family home is a temple - with awesome awesome gold plated temple stuff so thought we could go there one day too. And the okonomiyaki lady said could go there and she would get ingredients and they could chop, mix, cook and eat that - minus the pork and perhaps facing east?? God, could even probably persuade the ex-mayor's wife who lives fifty meters up the road to give them a koto lesson!!

Anyway, all completely depends on whether I am allowed to drive them round or not. All of the excursions will of course be in English.

So, thats the plan stan. Around the English I will have my own private classes and trying to get the house in a semi state of readiness for friend's arrival (don't get your hopes up though friend. You could well be sleeping on a musty futon with a scody towel and face cloth) Also meant to take car to get fixed tomorrow arvo but forgot tomorrow's English program is in the afternoon and not the morning like the other days. Will have to reschedule car trip for Tuesday arvo.

Arrrgh.

I say that now, but I tend to work best and get more done when am busy.

SDGH&QL

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Goodies

After taking the sproglets to kindy hub, Ryu and I went to take the car to get fixed. The handle is faaa-hucked and they have to order a new one in. I have to take the car back on Monday. Joy joy.

After the car shop we went to stock up on food as I doubt I will get the chance next week to go to a decent supermarket. We had sushi for lunch and came home for a siesta - well hub anyway. Mum rang so I had a chat to her for an hour. The unbloggables are still, well unbloggable and while I don't entirely agree with the way things are working out I really don't get a say because a) I am so far away and therefore lack of physical presence means I may not have any of the information correct at all, and b) shite, we're talking about a loved one here and if the situation was reversed I would be highly pissed that other people were trying to tell me what to do and how to live my life. Oh well, being this far removed and I can almost get through a day without thinking about it. Almost, but not quite.

I tried the baremineral dusty powder foundation stuff today. It was pretty good but I will spend more time next week as today I really only had a couple of minutes. It comes with a dvd so may watch that. There are four powders and I only used the concealer, foundation and warmth cover one today. I think the last one is the magic powder that will miraculously turn me into Gizelle - is that her name?

My order from Cherish Child in NZ arrived this arvo and some of the things were...
I initially ordered the I love Boobies bib for our niece who is expecting in a couple of months. I am now thinking that the goodness of this will be lost on a Japanese person and I will just put it on Ryu at every opportunity. The T-shirt will probably be for Ryu this winter. But if he gets too rolly in the next couple of months then the niece will get it.
These are some board shorts for Shou. They have this written down the side of them. He will have to wait a year or two to wear them though!
And lastly, an adorable pink onsie with lovely patchwork flower on it - for lady up the road who is having a girl in November. They actually came by this evening and gave us some fish. Hub had been out ALL DAY fishing on his own - while his eight month pregnant wife was at home with their two year old!! Wouldn't happen in this household. Was nice to get the fish though. Three 'aji' - not sure what that is in English. Shou and hub polished one off as sashimi, one got grilled (yum) and Granny K got the other.

At the moment everyone is in their rooms asleep I think. It is me, the big ass beetle and a cicada in here - the cicada and the big ass beetle are in the same insect box which I think may be inhumane and cause to ring insect social welfare but damned if I'm touching either of them. The cicada is BIG - as in I think it's cicada mummy was raped by an fuckin albatross. Anyway, hub can let them go when he comes down.

Off to the labour union bollocks in the park meeting tomorrow. Granny K has agreed to look after Marina so I will have to leave her with drawing and playdo activities, some snacks, lunch and milk instructions.

Nighty night

SDGH&QL

PS - what is your take on blogs with lots of pics, or rather my blog with pics? More pics less writing? pics ocassionaly when exciting and not of makeup and clothes? I doubt these types of pics will make it up here often though - I'm just happy to have my camera working again and seeing as I somehow managed to miss getting cute kid pics again....

Friday, 21 August 2009

Fastest Man in the World

Hub has just got home from beating the taiko drums for the last time this obon season. It was the big way past end of obon type festival at the local fukushi (social welfare) centre. It pissed down at the end and he walked in the door soaked -with no goodies again!! It is custom to hand out bags of crisps at all the local obon dance festivals but the boys that drum and sing are always last in line. Saaaa, is just sabotage to try and slim me up me thinks. Am having beer at the moment though so not much sabotaging going on.

Ryu and I had an ultra cruisy day today which was nice - in the face of the busy times to come. Went and picked Granny K up from the hospital at about half ten. Came home and booby cuddle snoozed until after lunch!! Not with Granny K. God, the thought.

Ryu is sooooooooo at that cuuuuuuuute stage. Unfortunately the battery charger I ordered two days ago only arrived this afternoon just before the evening chaos began so I couldn't take any cute baby pics. God damn it because he is so cute. This weekend I promise. In the meantime, things I did get a chance to snap (so sorry)




Hub and I are watching replays of the athletics in Berlin. Usaine Bolt from Jamaica (??) just ran the 200m final - and got another world record. This is the conversation we just had...

Me: what a legend
Hub: is that Bolt?
Me: Yip, the fastest man in the world.
Hub: I'm the fastest man in the world...
Me: Maybe, but you don't get a meddle for that.

SIGH.

Well, off to bed and some fastest man in the world action. Taking the car to get fixed tomorrow and then to Beppu on Sunday.

Nighty night campers.

SDGH&QL

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Hmmmm Title-less

God damn it. Hub has just had a go at me about a 'return prezzie' for some clothes we got from a group of three people he works with - or used to work with. Apparantly we got the gift about two days after Ryu and I got home from the clinic and we all opened it in here. I have no recollection of this but don't think he is making it up - especially as have found two t-shirts and a pair of shorts in Ryu's drawer that I can't explain. Must be them. No way did they cost 9000 for the three items - although that is how much hub is saying they will be. 3000 per person.

He says it is may fault for not remembering. I said that OK, fair enough, I have a shit memory anyway but eight days after giving birth and surviving on hardly any sleep and it is a small wonder I remember the names of my children at all. Anyway, I have just been on line and ordered MORE of those waffle things. He said they didn't cost quite enough and I told him to fuck off, if he wanted something else he could look for it himself. He also tried to tell me that my 'label' with picture of Ryu and his name, birth date, weight, and thankyou message, wasn't a 'noshi' - a noshi is a Japanese label put on gifts. The shop usually does this for you but the waffle place doesn't do it for single pkts, only the three set gift set and above. So I made them, printed them out and stuck them on - individually. A Japanese noshi is very boring. It usually says what the gift is for, so in this case thank you return gift for birth (literally) and the name. That is all.

Anyhooow, I packed a sad and told him to fuck off, he laughed, I laughed, and we both appologised - him for the way he brought it up and me for being present at the opening of the gift and promptly forgetting. I also added that should we be blessed enough with another baby then he is doing all the bloody Japanese bollocks crap that goes with it.

So, today took the car in to local mechanics who said better to take to Honda shop - so booked in to do that on Saturday. Awesome. Can't wait.

Went for shopping and Sundae with Coffee Chiemi and son. Yum yum. Haven't had sundae in years. A few weeks or so back I posted about how her and her hub hardly ever shagged - and if I didn't post about it then I was definatley thinking about posting about it. Anyway, she reported that they had big talk about it and now, after hub puts the kids to bed and if he wakes up before morning he goes back into her bed and they get it on. As a return 'you tell me about your shag life and I'll tell you about mine' kind of trade off I told her about hub and his shinken chinchin. Aren't you pleased I have friends I feel relaxed enough around to discuss the state and thereafter attentativeness ness ness of my husband's member.

God I hate that word. Member. She stroked his bulging member... How very Mills and Boon.

Make you blush??

I get all red just typing it.

The town office lady came round to check Ryu out this afternoon. He is all OK size and weight wise. She asked various questions about how close I am to gagging all kids, the husband and the mother in law and shutting them in the cupboard under the stairs. I said I entertain the idea but hadn't gotten round to actually buying the rope and tape yet.

Had English this evening. All good but they are a bunch of noisy buggers and I am forever saying Ssshhhhh - which they then usually just mimic and say right back at me.

One of the Oita high schools Meiho - has made it to the best eight in the all Japan High School Baseball. Now, this competition basically takes over the country every year and they even put some of the games over the scheduled kiddy programs. Anyway, the pitcher of the Meiho team is a boy I used to teach when he was in Junior High. His line was to ask me if hub and I had 'enjoy shita?' the night before. The first time he said it - in front of the whole class - I had to leave the room I was so embarrassed. I got used to it after that and had various answers for it - and for the many other random sexual questions. How long is hub's donga?? How long can he last for??

Anyway, good luck Meiho. Do Oita proud.

My Basemineral foundation came today!! I haven't opened it yet though. Maybe on Sunday when we have to go to Beppu because hub has a Union meeting in the park - seriously. One of us has to go to help weed the kindy garden on Sunday morning - as in starts at half six, and then we are all going to Beppu. Well, we might leave Marina with Granny K as she is the hater of all car trips over five minutes at the moment. Either way is better than me staying home with three kids on my own.

Also - post office man came round today to try and get us to sign up for Ryu's insurance savings plan with them - AGAIN. He is the third person to come round. He is my favorite though. Not sexy at all but definitely falls in the good looking older nice man category. He has persuaded me and I have to ring hub's friend who works in the other place we were thinking of for insurance, and say sorry but no go buddy. Post office is a thousand yen cheaper per month anyway.

Well, might hit the hay. Yawning away.

SDGH&QL

PS - nothing more on the unbloggables. To friends and family back home - I am unable to text message at the moment, for some reason unknown to me. I can receive them but they fail to send back. I'm being a complete phone phobe too and trying my best now to avoid having to talk about it at all. Gomen.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Kawaigatte kureru?

Hub and the chinchin ended up getting lucky last night. Have you ever been in the 'middle of things' and getting a neck nibble and, while I usually enjoy the neck nibble quite a lot, gotten very very ticklish and had to so try and focus on something else so you wouldn't ruin the moment - for hub that is. I'd lost the moment when the tickle came on. Let's just say it was one of the one times I was very grateful for hub being an over enthusiastic 44 year old with not that much stamina. Ahem.

I made a comment this morning about wasn't it good for the shinken chinchin that it had only been about a week and half since the last leg over. Hub said he still thought I should 'motto kawaigatte kureru'. Kawaigaru - a word used in reference to a puppy or a baby or a grandmother talking about her grandchild - not a word I have heard used to refer to how a wife should 'be more attentive to' her hub's donga, willy, chinchin, wing wang, wahooo, oopsy whatsit, just getting silly now.

Today was a good day in many ways and a not so good day in others.

The good first - some friends couldn't come but we met up with some others and had a cuppa and a good catch up which was good. The house got cleaned, the washing done, the lawn clippings raked (only to be messed up by Shou later because I hadn't got round to disposing of them), dinner cooked, English taught etc.

The not so good - I had an upsetting phone call home. There are some things going on - unbloggable things would you believe. I bet you thought gaijinwife didn't have any unbloggable things! It affects me indirectly I guess - what with me being so far away. Me being here and not being able to get home because Ryu doesn't have a passport yet, is both frustrating and well, sad I guess. I doubt I have a good enough reason to get an emergency passport for him and I'm not actually sure I would be any help at all even if I was home.

Ah well, I will have to wait it out here and rely on hopefully being included in the link back home. And also having friends coming to stay will be great. Having something to look forward to is always 'light at the end of the tunnel'. Coffee Chiemi noticed that I wasn't myself today and sent me a very sweet mail before - we are off to eat sundaes tomorrow - a request from her son seeing as he only has a week left of the summer holidays, a request I might add we are both quite happy to go along with!!

Also today - the door handle on the drivers side of the car is fucked. Somehow between the time I left home and the time I went to open the door from the outside after dropping the kids off at kindy. Wouldn't budge, so I gave it a bit of a tug - as you do and now I think I have completely fucked it. I had to Mcgyver /Dukes of Hazard into the front seat of the car all day today. How completely annoying and slightly embarrassing when has to be done in car park at supermarket! Will take it in to the shop tomorrow and if they can't fix it will have to spend Saturday taking it to the Honda place.

Hub would usually semi flip - or at least blame me - but after the shite call home and things of late he was very nice about it all - albeit with a slightly smug face at it being yet another thing to do with the car that I have 'been involved with'.

Ah well, having to dukes of hazard through the window may well make me lose weight.

SDGH&QL

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The Masked Rider

The Masked Rider....

And no, that has no connotations to hub donning a swine flu mask and trying to get a leg over.

As any mother of a boy in Japan will know, most boys get to an age where they are obsessed with one of the masked heroes. Ultraman, Camen Rider, Shinkenger. Shou's latest obsession is Shinkenger. There are five colors. Shinken Pink (mummy), Shinken Yellow (Marina), Shinken Red (Granny K), Shinken Green (Ryu), Shinken Blue (Shou). After telling us what everyone was he then realised that he'd missed out daddy so he asked him what he wanted to be - as I think it might have been OK in Shou-land, to double up. Hub's answer was..

Shinken Chinchin (willy) while at the same time doing a gesture that turned his chinchin into a sword. They both had a good laugh about it and I felt that it just proved my point that I don't need a fourth child when I already have hub.

I was laughing on the inside though - but had my serious, don't be such a dickhead, face on to hub.

Today was pretty cruisy. Went walking with Coffee Chiemi in the morning. Came home and did house stuff and then got online while watching the shopping channel - which I don't usually do but which sucked me in with some baremineral foundation. I am weak, weak weak. I ordered it. Why? because I get this um, like, really cool little pouch with it.

I am not a makeup person really. A bit of mascara and lip gloss if your lucky. I cant be faffed with all the hassle. I used to have 'Natural Glow' by Susan Paul when I was a teenager and it was seriously really good despite the shit Susan Paul got because of her twatty accent. She then came out with some amazing scarf ring that let you tie your scarf in a hundred and seventeen different ways. Even I draw the line somewhere though.

Anyway, this baremineral stuff is powder that you put on with big ass brush - and I ALWAYS wanted one of those. 9000 yen worth of big ass brush.

I'll let you know how I get on. May well be absolute shite and next post will be about me being the overly tanned bronzed masked rider.

Mowed the lawns, did some washing, met a friend for lunch and a catch up and then came back her for a cuppa and cake, followed by two sessions of core rhythms. Yeah right. But we did have cake. Made yummy pasta for tea - which the kids ate all of. Hub home early again which was nice and he even had a big serving of dinner.

Friends coming to play tomorrow morning and English in the afternoon. The English program lady rang again this evening and they are going to try and get the participants staying in the youth hostel in Kunimi to make it easier for me!! Thanks very much. That will mean I won't have to go for mornings in a row with bursting boobs, as youth hostel only five minutes away!

Shou was very funny this morning with Marina. I overheard him telling her in a very nice voice : Marina-chan - mukou no heya ni itte kenka shiyou! (Hey Marina, let's go into the other room and fight) !!!

Anyhoo, I think there was something else I was going to post about but me canny not remember it.

SDGH&QL

Oooh, I reached 50,000 hits since I put the stat counter up near the end of last year :)

Monday, 17 August 2009

Back on

The English teaching job might be back on - but it still means driving the extra distance and leaving Ryu with Granny K between 8am and 1pm for four days in a row starting next Monday. Hub got a bit of a shock because the travel agents rang at about seven this evening. They run not only a travel agency but also an outdoor education and learning centre from the same premises. I used this travel agency last time we went home so hub knows the name.

He presumed that the only reason they were ringing was to tell me something about tickets - no doubt for me and the kids - because no doubt we were booking flights to runnaway!! This was fuelled by a conversation we had yesterday. Argument rather, about some crap but that ended with silence followed be me saying 'oh, by the way can you bring a passport application for Ryu home tomorrow?'. Ouch.

Anyway, everyone was actually in very good spirits this evening. Hub got home just about as fast as humanly possibly considering logistics and dinner and bath time followed with little fuss. One of the kindy teachers bought a far too big 'big ass beetle' to kindy today and apparently Shou kept it in a container and around his neck ALL DAY. When I went to pick them up she said he could bring it home. Shit.

Got home and the first thing Shou did was look for the other big ass beetle that they got the other day. Is a slightly different type and his big 'hasami' clipper things. I thought it must have run away but what do you know it crawled out of one of Shou's toy fire engines when he brought it inside. Wasn't very genki though so Shou decided he would risk having a hold - bad move brother. Got the big chomp and started waving his hand round with beetle chomped on for dear life. I get up and like a good mother run to the other side of the room! Hub had to come and rescue Shou and his finger. I doubt he'll be doing that again for a while.

Granny K came in this arvo to give me the grapes that had been at the alter. She said that Shou and Marina must have opened the box and had a couple. I said that must have been it. Thank god she didn't come in last night when they were practicing for the grape hurling and squashing festival.

Took the family wagon in for an oil change this morning, earning me several hundred good wifey points which could have been reason for hub's record setting home time. While the car was getting sorted I took Ryu for a walk round to my old boss's house. His daughter and her baby were visiting for obon and I ended up staying for a coffee, chat and leaving with a new handbag. They had had it sitting wrapped up in their lounge and were meaning to give it to me as congratulations for birth of Ryu prezzie. Is a mummy bag - with waterproof lining and different compartments for bottles and nappies but is relatively small and quite hideous infact. It will have to grow on me a bit before it becomes my daily bag I think.

Finally got around to ordering a camera battery pack on-line today. Might actually get some more regularity in posting photos.

Well, hub is twitching like he wants/needs some maintenance.

What's a girl to do.

SDGH&QL

Sunday, 16 August 2009

The in laws

The in-laws came to visit today. My brother in law - hub's brother who is the oldest brother out of the three. He is a policeman in the city (working for the man every night and day... rollin rollin on a river...). He came with my sister in law - who I get on very well with and who sympathises with me for having to live with the mother in law. She always brings me goodies as realises that really, living with Granny K is her husbands responsibility.

Their eight month pregnant daughter also came with her policeman husband and 17 month old son. I could see them looking at Shou (who was in prime three year old I'm the man, look at me, not listening to you behaviour) and thinking that their son would never ever turn into one of those. I know they thought this because I have thought the exact same thing. And then bam, six months later and someone has abducted your cute little son and replaced him with the tazmanian devil.

They stayed for about three hours. The house was tidy when they arrived and well, um not tidy when they left. I had ice coffee and melon ready to serve but Granny K got in first with tempura, mugicha, watermelon and some sashimi. Mugicha in tiny wee glasses when all you really want to do when it's 32 degrees outside is to skull back a huge glassfull.

Shou was on his usual rampage and even felt the need to jump out the doors on the side of the house and pee in full view of anyone driving down the road at the time. He actually wanted to take a crap out there too but I put my foot down and thankfully (or luckily for his bare bum) he didn't resist and came inside to the loo.

Marina was asleep when they first arrived but I woke her up an hour later so she could come and play. She was the picture of girlnesspan> - compared to Shou and his boyness - in that she sat with daddy and sipped her juice and munched quietly on some watermelon before switing to Granny K and reading a book in her lap!!

How can DNA be so different? Or is it just that three year old boys start making testosterone in industrial sized quantities??

Anyway, all in all the visit was fun and we scored a bag of yummy bread and some melon and grapes - that Granny K had in front of the alter but which Shou and Marina discovered, opened the box and proceeded to squish about ten into the tatami mats.



And now they are all asleep.




I love my children.


SDGH&QL

Oh - and hub is at the drumming thing at the local hospital. Didn't know he had to go until someone rung him an hour ago. Luckily Shou was alseep by twenty to seven. Talk about knackered.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

My Day

5am
Downstairs with a very wide awake Ryu. Coffee. Give me coffee. (that's me by the way - not Ryu)

6am
Barf Been and eggy rice for Shou - who wants to crack the egg. The second attempt is a goer.

7am
Hub: are we taking the kids to kindy today?
Me: I was planning to.
Hub: Shouldn't we at least keep them home today? (because of obon)
Me: I thought you had to get into your suit and go on a prayer crawl (like pub crawl without booze) this morning to various houses.
Hub: I do, and Granny K is coming with me.
Me: Can Shou come too?
Hub: No
Me: ....
Hub: Oh
Me: Can you take them to kindy or should I?
Hub: on it.
Me: Good man you are.

10am
Sleeping with Ryu and ignoring all household duties - mainly because have grown up thinking Saturday was a holiday and Sunday a holy day of rest (ahem). Seeing as Sunday is toddler tornado day that gives me Saturday.

12am
Granny K and hub get home.

12:22
Hub and Gaijin wife (and their adorable off spring (singular)) head to kids shop to get Marina some undies. The teacher at kindy requested them - and not the training pant kind, the proper ones so she gets pee all down her leg when she goes wee and therefore 'learns' that going on potty better plan. I'm not protesting as they were great potty training Shou so if they think Marina is a goer for it at three months shy of her second birthday then so be it.

14:00
In supermarket getting stuff for dinner
Me: (beckons hub over the Japanese way - the upside down hand jiggle wave thing)
Hub: nani (what - very rudely)
Me: (in best 'I'm standing in line at checkout surrounded by people' voice)Those fireworks you were just looking at - are they half price?
Hub: anna iran (don't need them - rudely)
Me: Haven't done any this year, maybe we could do some with European Stylist or that family of four that are coming to stay for a week at the end of September? (more on that later another time)
Hub: Buy them later then
Me: Rightio then (but thinking, just fuckin tell me if they are half price or not cause if they are chuck us a packet this way as they aren't on sale for ever and lighting bits of dynamite is fun god damn it)

15:00
In car on way back to Kunimi.
Am thinking that would have liked to broach subject about correct word usage to wife in public place but on way out of supermarket heard at least two men being as equally rude to their wives and put it down to a crap cultural difference. One of course that I wont put up with for ever but which I am willing to pass over on this occasion. Am still feeling a bit like a dog who has been told off by his master though (when really we all know it should be the other way around)

16:00
Arrive home and Ryu and I get out and unpack groceries (well, Ryu not too clued in on how to unpack groceries but quite happy to watch) while hub goes to pick the sproglets up from kindy. They arrive back home and hub keeps them very well entertained on the deck while I get dinner sorted.

17:30
The fires of Helleth start to riseth

Shou wont eat dinner and after a lot of coaxing ends up purposely by mistake tipping whole kiddy table upside down with plate of veges and noodles and orange juice. On a normal day I would have just thought fuck it, now I have to wash the shaggy rug again - damn shaggy rug. Trying to spot wash shit off never works as too damn shaggy so whole thing has to go in washing machine and needs a whole day of sunshine to dry properly - this is harder than it sounds. Also, hub's brother and sister in law, daughter and her baby are coming tomorrow to pray at family grave and I was kind of hoping the house wouldn't look like two toddlers and a baby lived in it.

17:45
Marina is having a yoghurt

17:46
The floor beneath Marina is having a yoghurt

17:48
Mummy stupidly gets on her hands and knees to wipe up yoghurt

17:49
Mummy's head is having a yoghurt

Thanks for that darling. Can't really get angry as you are afterall only one and a half and despite having quite good hand spoon mouth coordination skills were just being a bit over-enthusiastic. Must be DNA from your father. He gets a bit over enthusiastic sometimes - and now we have you lot.

18:00
Have to leave house or will yell at kids - and that is sooooo against the whole scream-free parenting regime. Take Ryu and we go on ten minute excursion to store to buy garbage bags - something we do actually need.

Get home and the bath thing happens with little sweet (fuck all - just to ad lib a bit there) help from hub.

19:00
Marina asleep

19:05
Hub upstairs looking for t-shirt to wear to the obon festival he has to drum at tonight.
Hub: have you seen my yellow t-shirt?
Me: the drumming group one?
Hub: Yes
Me: In that bottom drawer maybe - you haven't worn it since last year so not sure.
Hub: I've looked in there twice. I wonder where it can be.
Me: (opens drawer and pulls out t-shirt) ...
Hub: Oh.
Me: Dopey bastard

OK so I didn't actually say that but God - talk about man eyes and lack of them.

19:20
Hub: Have you told Granny K you aren't taking all the kids to the festival?
Me: Shit, no I forgot. Can you (as am in middle of feeding Ryu)
Hub: (goes and tells her)
Me: Is she still going to go?
Hub: Yip, Shou should go too?
Me: No, it's OK. Granny K isn't fast enough to catch him if he tries to escape (99 percent probability of this happening)
Hub: I guess
Me: If you will keep an eye on him and then come home after the drumming with him to put him to bed then I guess would be OK
Hub: (thinking - but that means I can't get on the lash with the drumming boys)
Me: And I know that means you can't get on the lash with the drumming boys but you got pished with them two nights ago and will be doing so again on Monday
Hub: ....

five minutes later

Hub: I'm not going. Come on Shou let's go to bed.
Me: hold on. You can go. I want you to go. I'm fine with putting the kids to bed.
Hub: Nope, not going. (phone rings - he doesn't answer)
Me: Shouldn't you at least tell them you aren't turning up them? Seeing as you are one of the expected drummers?
Hub: Nah
Me: OK, well next time you see them please don't tell them it was your bitchy naggy gaijin wife that wouldn't let you go.
Hub: ....

In the end it takes us a combined hour to get the devil child to sleep - ending with me feeding Ryu on the floor beside his bed.

Everyone is asleep and what I really want to do is go

Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh


Muffled into a pillow of course.

Scream-free parenting and all that.

SDGH&QL

Friday, 14 August 2009

Scream Free

Well, I didn't manage to clock up enough hours of sleep today to be in any state to keep Marina home from Kindy this morning.

At half four this morning Shou gets up and says he wants water. We go quietly downstairs and he has a quick skull of the wheat tea daddy brought home after the drumming the other night. We go back upstairs and get back into bed.

Approximately three and a half minutes later Shou says he feels like throwing up. The old me would have tried to fob him off by saying he didn't really need to throw up it was just because he was too tired - or something equally of crap mummy response consistency. We have had the 'I need to throw up' thing before and it has always seemed to be just a way to get out of bed. But this morning I shone through. My inner poise and resolve to actually listen to my kids in case god forbid they actually had something important to share, took over. In response - Shou threw up just as we were getting to his bedroom door. And again four times in the space of thirty minutes after we got downstairs. Poor wee man was shaking and I hope I never have to see him get so violently sick again. And I hope he never has to go through that again - until he is sixteen and stupid and it is self induced due to first encounter with Southern Comfort and L&P or Rum and Coke.

He wore himself out and ended up asleep on the couch for an hour. I had no such luck though and ended up spending the time doing the washing and getting the kids kindy stuff ready. I was pretty sure that it must have been the tea he drank - sounds a bit unlikely I know but when I tipped it into a glass some wheaty gunk crap came out and I know for a fact that this brand isn't one that has nice wheaty bits for your consumption pleasure.

I decided to see if his breaky stayed down and if it did he would be off to kindy - and that he was. Needless to say I was knackered by half eight and Ryu and I had a nap until nearly eleven. I surprise myself sometimes. Intentions of a short half hour power nap and then I go and wake up over two hours later. Body telling me something me thinks.

Had a big talk to my sister after we got up, cleaned the house and then Ryu and I went on our 'how not to get cabin fever drive' - after which we went for catch up at friends house - they live in next town over and I haven't seen them since just after Ryu was born so we had lots to catch up on - including fact that they know have three dogs,including a deaf Boarder Collie they got from a dog shelter in Fukuoka.

A cup of tea and a coffee later and we get back in the car and head over to the bread shop in Kunimi. We ran into Solar Panal Man and his son who invited us to there house ten metres away for a coffee. Well, really we shouldn't but hey why not. Way to procrastinate from doing anything else - even though me and his wife had only just had coffee the day before.

We got talking about obon and I mentioned the sticking chopsticks into vegetables in shape of horses that someone commented about on yesterday's post. What do you know and this also happens in Kuimi. Granny K doesn't do it but some people do apparently - is to help the spirits on their swift journey to and from the grave. I checked, and apparantly it isn't necessary to stick raisin eyes on or neigh like a horse and race eggplant or cucumber horse around alter room.

The obon talk lead to funeral talk. I have been to a Japanese funeral once but it was the first bit where the priest does his bit and you put flowers in the coffin of the deceased. In Japan everyone gets cremated and at the cremetorium (??), where only the immediate family go, the head mourner pushes the button that starts the conveyor belt that takes the coffin into the flames. When it comes back out there is just a skeleton and each person takes a turn to put a bone in a box using chopsticks. Solar Panal Man remembers it as that the head mourner (which was his father when his grandmother died five years ago) then crushes the bones so that they will all fit and the head and the adams apple goes in last.

Hub agrees that there is something significant about the adams apple but that the bones aren't crushed only kind of pushed down - I was picturing something similar to grounding seaseme seeds. Does anyone know more about this? It was a very interesting conversation that was folowed by talk about the i-phone. Not sure how we got from one topic to the other really but I have decided that a) I am planning on never attending that part of a funeral ever and b) I want an i-phone.

Hub was working late tonight and the dinner and bath thing with the kids went quite well but I did find myself having to stop and take a deep breath (just about sucked all the air out of the room kind of deep breath) a couple of times in order to stop self from the inevtiable yell. I have decided that the only way 'scream-free parenting' is going to eventuate in this house is if both me and the kids are gagged. I managed tonight though - just. I really did try to listen to the kids properly instead of fobbing them off with this and that explanation or excuse.

Now that the kids are in bed though I feel I need or deserve a big glass of something - and the only stuff in the house is manuka honey flavored vodka and as much as the evening took all my good parenting skills and effort I don't feel the need to hit vodka. If there was beer, wine or umeshu in the house it would be a different story though :)

In good news - I lost a kilo this week. It could be that Ryu is drinking more or that the walking is paying off or that not having any alcohol bar the vodka means I don't finish the day with a late night drink and snack. I imagine it's probably a mix of everything. It is nice to see a change on the scales though. Only five more kilos to get back to pre-Ryu weight and then ten after that to get to happy mummy weight - but unless they invent a do it yourself home-lypo kit this may never become a reality!

Right, off for a bath and perhaps another chapter of one of those books. I need a chapter on cocktail mixes for the end of a baby and toddler induced chaotic day. A cocktail that will increase inner poise and reduce need to yell at two year olds. And if this is not possible at least send me off into a nice deep sleep instead of the light flittery baby alert snatches of sleep I am getting now.

Cheers to scream free parenting and a world of calm mummies.

SDGH&QL

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Parental Passion

"One of the built-in frustrations of parenthood is the daily struggle to get our chidren to behave in ways that are acceptable to us and to society. This can be maddening, uphill work. Part of the problem lies in the conflict of needs. The adult need is for some semblance of cleanliness, order, courtesy, and routine. The children couldn't care less. How many of them would, of their own volition, take a bath, say "please" or "thank you," or ever change their underwear? How many of them would even wear underwear? A lot of parental passion goes into helping children adjust to societal norms. And somehow the more intense we become, the more actively they resist."

From 'How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk' - Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish

Another one of my self-help books on being a good parent and trying to keep the peace. In my case it isn't so much 'uphill work' as trying to rock climb up everest without a bloody harness.

As per all the other books I am reading, I am currently 'in the middle' of reading this one too. In fact I may well be 'in the middle' of reading all of them for the next 18 years, after which time I think I can perhaps ditch the parenting ones in favor of ones on how to get sexy again, how to get back on the horse, how to keep those skanky hoes at bay.

One of the sections in this book suggests physical activity for kids who are extremely upset - one of the best of which is drawing. Give them some paper and ask them to draw the way they feel. I can't see it working too well with Shou but I am prepared to give it a go for the sake of research.

Ryu and I didn't really do much today - went and visited solar panal man's wife and son as had to give them 'thankyou gift' - which was a three pack of the mini waffles. They came in very cool pack so will take pic tomorrow. Miki Prune woman came round this arvo. She is actually Maki's counsin's wife - and a year or two back she tried to convince me that miki prune would give me a healthy baby / make me produce more milk, in addition to curing anyone I know of cancer etc. She came round with a gift for Ryu - AND some Miki Prune DO which are like prune extract gumdrops. Wow, talk about explosion of prune - and not altogether in a good way. Think I may be up for a few extra trips to the toilet tonight.

Hub got home from work and him, Granny K and Shou went to the family grave to 'bring back' the ancestors. Got it wrong in my post yesterday, it is the 13th they get brought home. When they got home with the lit joss-sticks or incense or whatever (still has to be a flame) we ALL had to go in and kneel and pray. Marina and Shou were very good at this but Ryu - well he was more intent on sucking back boob - so yes, ancestors got flash of gaijin booby.

Had English this evening. Was a good lesson as the boy actually said 'oh, I get it' on a couple of occassions - major breakthrough. His mother drove her car into a drain ditch thing when she came to pick him up and hub and I had to help get it out. Poor woman, the car doesn't look too old and now she is going to have to replace whole front bumper bit. During the class there was also a few ambulances and sirens blearing down the road where some obon dancing was going on. I had visions of Granny K, who had walked down to it with group of vestling friends along the road with no torch, no lights, and no guard-rail stopping them falling into river or paddie, toppled over in a rice paddie or something. It was someone else's granny though and Granny K wasn't a hundred percent certain what had happened.

If I get more than three and a half hours sleep tonight - which was all I clocked up last night - then I am going to keep Marina home from Kindy tomorrow. I will be able to use the double buggy I got back in NZ and have only used once!!

Oh, my one week English program job may be cancelled as location has changed to a place an hours drive each way from here - and for a 9am to midday program that would mean five hours of leaving Ryu with Granny K - for five days in a row. The original location was only ten minutes away but the new place would mean leaving house at half seven to drop kids off at kindy to drive straight to the job - I have trouble getting everything organized by then and I usually only have to put on trackies. Having to look actually presentable with my hair done properly and a bit of lippy on would just be too much. Shame really as I have almost pre-spent the money I thought I would be getting. Never mind though, I'm still optimistic about the summer lottery.

I didn't get thank you cards ticked off list again today - slack bitch I know. One day before Ryu leaves home they will find themselves in the mail.

Anyhoo, very boring post as not currently fighting with either hub or Granny K. Does make for dull blogging. But is only matter of time before gaijinwife gets an itch to rock the boat.

SDGH&QL

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Comparing Sprogs

It was bloody disgustingly hot today - 31 degrees I think which isn't so bad but the humidity.

How Japanese I have become - starting something with a comment about the weather.

Went walking with Coffee Chiemi and her boy and the babies first thing this morning. It lashed rain for about forty seconds half way through our course. The babies were dry though and it was quite refreshing in a muggy, sweaty, gross kind of way. What with white not being the most flattering color it didn't turn into a wet t-shirt competition - although I was wearing a white and black stripped tunic thing over my capri yoga pants - and therefore must have looked like a half drowned pregnant zebra to anyone driving by. How flattering.

Came home and phoned NZ home while doing random things like giving Ryu some booby, having a cuppa, and starting to clear out the Tupperware drawers. I have a general list of things I need to get done before the end of August - or really by next Friday which is when I have a weeks work starting. Only the mornings but enough to mean nothing 'extra' around the house will get done. Of course having a list means I usually procrastinate by doing every thing that isn't on the list first. So today it was kitchen drawers.

Dad was the only one at home when I rang, bar the builders on the roof. Sister and Granny A were out walking with the girls. Dad is a great conversationalist though and I got all the news from home which was good - although it made me feel even further away. Hate those times when you just really want to be able to get in a car and drive an hour or so to see your parents or a sister or a brother. Or at least only be spending five dollars on a talk to Japan for all you want weekend. Why hasn't Japan picked up on this?

I went upstairs and put Ryu down for his nap and what do you know, I wake up and it's nearly bloody lunch time. Tag team Ryu over to Granny K while I have a shower and then we head off to the next town to try and pick a re-charger up for my camera battery. No luck though bugger it. Was a nice drive though. Sleeping baby, loud music, coffee, singing songs to self, and anyone else that happened to be stopping beside us at the lights.

Home for lunch and to finish the kitchen drawers. Make a shit ass half attempt on dinner while watching episode of Gray's anatomy for about the fifth time - that one after the one where George and Lizzie have a mutantly pissed shag. Man comes around to unblock the upstairs toilet. Did I mention I flushed my big hair clip down it? As in one of those clips you can put your whole hair up in. The man thought a plunger would do the trick but ended up having to go back to his truck for secret toilet unblocking tools. I left him to it with a pile of towels. Half an hour later and he comes down dripping in sweat (upstairs is like a damn sauna). Said hair clip is no longer blocking up the pipes. Said hair clip will no longer be needed for hair put uppering duties.

Coffee Chiemi and son come over for coffee and chat before English class. Only two boys today so we just dossed round doing flashcards and ABC puzzles and watching a bit of what I thought was going to be Baby Einstein Shapes but was in fact Baby Bach - so no words whatsoever. Nevermind though we just went through and said everything in English. Such a random collection of vocab on those things. The little girl that comes on randomly throughout it looks 'just like Marina' according to the boys - but me thinks that was mainly the blond hair and the big forehead and the whole 'foreign' thing.

Hub got home in time to help with the dinner thing but had to go back out at half seven to drum at one of the 'obon' (festival of the dead/ancestors) dances. In our area if someone dies there is a dance at their house during the following year's obon season - obon officially starts today and lasts until the end of the weekend I think. Today was the day you are meant to go to the family grave and 'bring home' your ancestors. They stay at the house (kind of like an ancestral sleepover without the chic flicks and popcorn) and then you take them back to the grave on the 17th - I think. Hub has to drum at two dances that honor the dead from the previous year and another three dances that are held every year.

Granny K and I were talking (as we seem to be doing quite a lot lately would you believe) and we are going to try and take ALL THREE KIDS to the dance on Friday night - it is just up the road at the temple owned by the ex-mayor of Kunimi. It is a relatively enclosed space and lots of people just go to catchup and don't actually dance, which means there might be a pair of vestling hands to hold Ryu if he wakes up and I am too busy making sure Marina and Shou don't make a dash for the road. Hub will be drumming again so I imagine Shou will stay close by and Granny K reckons Marina will groove with the locals.

So to the title of the post - here are my three sproglets all at about two or three months.



In order that is Ryu, Marina and Shou.
Hmmmm...

Oooh, hub just walked in - drumming finished two hours ago but he went on his bike so methinks there was some sake consumption going on.

SDGH&QL

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Relatively Human

Well I am feeling relatively human today. Not as down and out as yesterday that's for sure. Thanks for all the comments. It is reassuring to know that women in similar situations feel the same way from time to time too. It's probably a blessing Kunimi is such a shithole and there is no good booze shop, pharmacy or therapist or I would find myself squiffing back sav, popping handfuls of pills and spending a good portion of each day on someone's couch. The closest I will ever get to that is a grapefruit chuhai, a vitamin tablet and a whole lot of talking to myself.

Ryu and I drove Granny K to her appointment today to find out the results of the polyp check. There were all fine and she is healthy as and on the road to living until she is a hundred and twenty.

While she was at the hospital we went to big home centre and bought loads of random stuff, including two very cool espresso cups that were only 200 yen each. Wahoo what a bargin. Wasn't till I got home that realised I can't actually handle espresso and therefore had to finally clean on top of our rangehood so I could display the cups up there.

Also bought a couple of cushion covers and came home and cut them up so I could re-cover the dining room chair cushion pad things. Five hundred staples and some masking tape later and you would never know that wasn't how we bought them. God help anyone who turns a chair upside down. My crappy DIY skills will be revealed. Tis like with cross stitch. What's with having the back of it looking like the front?? If it's the back then surely loose bits of thread and shite will just go unnoticed. There must be some kind of satisfaction gained from having both sides perfect.

After cleaning the rangehood and doing the cushions I got dinner sorted - curry. But, this time I mulched all the veges together in the blender and whadda ya know ... Shou and Marina ate it all. No spitting out the eggplant or carrots. hub was home quite early and I gave him an extra humungous serving - just try and not eat all that you ungrateful prick.

To his credit he just about licked the bowl.

That was about as exciting as our day got.

Oh except for the flurry of emails from people saying they can come to the dinner on Monday the 31st August???

When I went in to the local okonomiyaki place a week or so back I told the owner lady that I would bring my friend (European stylist) in on perhaps maybe but not totally sure the 31st of this month. Said friend used to be on JET in next town over and knows the woman, and a crowd of the adult English class people from Kunimi.

Owner lady then told one of the English class women - who happened to drive pass me yesterday morning while I was out walking. Oh, she had heard about the dinner and did I want her to get in contact with the others. I said I wasn't a hundred percent sure. Less than 24 hours later and it is SET IN STONE. Except that have actually realised that hub has to work late that night and therefore wont be at home to watch the kids. Hmmmmmm. I could probably just go outside now and whisper to the wind that 'sshhh don't tell anyone but dinner has been changed to the Wednesday' and I reckon everyone would be in the know by about five o'clock tomorrow morning.

Friend and I are going on girls night to Beppu on the Tuesday after she arrives and I booked a hotel last night. Opposite Starbucks - which is really more for my benefit as she is probably not as deprived as I am. Is also opposite fab rab yummy yum yakitori (BBQ chicken skewers, beef, jacket spuds...) place that we are planning on going for dinner.

Well, need to tick 'thankyou cards' off list so better get on to it.

SDGH&QL

Monday, 10 August 2009

400th Post

This will be my 400th Post - so what is that? Paper? Tin? Aluminium? Bamboo perhaps?

After my big walk with Ryu this morning I got some long awaited errands finished - went to the post office, where I seem to be spending a lot of my time lately. Posted box of plastic fruit finally and some Japanese obon sweets to Granny A (my mum) - you know those colorful ones that look too good to eat and are extremely sweet. Not the traditional flurescent obon ones but more the ones you would expect to see at a tea ceremony. Mum goes to a Japanese class once a week and quite often they get sidetracked with tales of Japan and things. I thought the sweets could provide another distraction from studying.

We have nearly finished all the 'thank you' gifts for the prezzies we got for Ryu. The ones I sent out today where to the big spenders who gave us hard cash. They get a catalog gift book in return - where they can choose one item. Is fab idea and I love getting them cause you can choose what you want and don't need to spend three months trying to finish off cans of vegetable juice or cherry flavored jelly. I just need to finish off the thankyou postcards - that are getting to sent to all the foreigners - those nice people who give you a gift for the sake of giving a gift.

Hub had to attend a funeral today so took the arvo off work. He got home just before two and after we went out and delivered a few of the gifts he came back and promptly went to sleep while I looked after Ryu and made dinner. It wasn't a biggie because I was watching Re-Genesis as I was doing it but do men even ever think that maybe their wives would like some time out?

Hub does do it when I ask him - he is quite happy to take Ryu while I do something else but he has never offered off the bat.

"Hey there lovely sexy wife, would you like to pop out for some you time while I look after Ryu?"

Doesn't he realise that if he said this I would probably be inclined to answer with

"Hey there sexy hunk of man, what a generous offer, one which I do believe I will take you up on. Why don't you and Ryu take I nap so that when I get back and am feeling all refreshed we can get down to some serious loving. Grrrrrrr, nash, nash"

Shou and Marina came home from Kindy - Shou packed a sad because the big beetle had been released back to the wild. Thank god it still had enough big ass beetle genki left to run far enough away. In retaliation Shou then went and caught a frog which he didn't really play with but left in the insect box until just before he went to bed when he let it go - telling it to go home to mummy and see you again sometime.

I am in a semi huff with hub mainly because of dinner - I had made pasta. A creamy alfredo I do believe. So I had some help from Di Roma Classico but I still had to put the extras (chicken, ham and a few secret ingredients) in, cook the pasta, put the rice on (because what is dinner without at least the choice of being able to have white rice. arrrggh), and salad.

Shou ate most of his but Marina was in a foul mood and didn't eat much of anything. She was nutting out and hub was trying to stop her crying by giving her everything in her sight. She didn't want any of it but he still gave her the pile of thrity unused inkjet postcards I had sitting on the bench. She ignored them and he threw them back on the bench, very very nearly missing the sink. I picked them up and slammed (and I don't use that word lightly. I slammed the shit out of those postcards) them on the table.

I started washing the dishes - very energetically, knowing that I didn't trust myself to talk. Hub put Marina's plate on the bench for me - fine. She isn't even two yet. If she isn't going to eat a plate of creamy pasta then I'm not going to make her go hungry or sit there until she does. But hub...

He put his plate on the bench too - about a third eaten. Now this pisses me off. The rubbish bin just about ended up in ICU with the way I threw his plate of pasta out. I would have so much rather flung the whole plate, pasta included out the kitchen door but I restrained myself. I haven't spoken to him since - and he hasn't said anything to me, which generally means he knows why I am angry. If it's me being a naggy bitch about something he will usually just come right out and ask what my problem is. When he has been a twat he gets all silent on me. The next step is him starting to be nice - which might happen before bed tonight or tomorrow morning.

There are some underlying things in my mood tonight though. All very petty and childish. The short version is...

My sister and her two children are back visiting Granny A and Granddad for a week or two. Getting out of the rat race in Auckland and generally just trying to get their groove back I think. Her girls are the same age that Shou and Marina were when I went back at Christmas.

My sister needs a break. I totally agree and in a way it is just petty jealousy that Granny A has been going on about how much she will look after the girls so that mummy can have a break rah rah. I flew thousands of miles to go home and I got NO time alone to get my groove back - and I was three months pregnant to boot. Actually I take that back - I went out for dinner one night with a friend without the kids. Granny A would take one of them for a walk occasionally or come walking with me and the kids but never was there the offer of...

"hey Kate, you must be shattered, christ and I almost forgot your pregnant with that third baby I didn't think you should have, would you like me to look after Shou my first grandson who I have only met twice before, and Marina who I haven't spent any time with up until now? Why don't you go out for a coffee on your own"

And seeing as I am on a roll...

I sometimes get a bit overwhelmed with things - the having small children, the sleepless nights, the twat husband. And when I get like this thinking that I have no immediate support network that I can run to is really scary and very depressing. Yes it was my choice to live here but that doesn't stop the fact that motherhood in a different country with a different language and culture isn't something you sign up for knowing what it will be like.

It's a learning process - every damn step of the way and sometimes I feel like I am taking one step forwards only to be thrown ten steps back.

I hope my sister gets her groove back. And well us... we just have to put up with living far too far away to be a part of the picture some times.

Christ, what a shite 400th post. I hate being depressing Gaijinwife almost as much as I hate being mean mummy. I do have vodka in the house but the only thing I could mix it with is super high vitamin C kiddy orange juice. At least it would be healthy. Hell, might be so healthy it deserves a couple of gaijin wife points.

SDGH&QL