Friday, 30 April 2010

Getting down to the wire.

Our trip is nearly over. Sad :(

We had a great night last night. A bit of a blub but a good last night with the fam dam and my brother, sister, brother in law and neice. Some yummy lamb chops that got inhaled by everyone and a couple of glasses of wine.

I have had much needed and good talks with mum and dad. My sister is taking me to the airport - per my request to say goodbye to mum and dad at home and not the airport. Still have most of today though. Don't need to be checking in until 5 this evening. Will try and give Ryu good sleeps today and of course plug him with shitloads of food so that we have nice happy baby tonight before boarding - which is late. Something like 10pm. Followed by sleeeeeeeeeeeeeepy baby on the plane. Please please please Ryu. You have been super sleeping baby everynight except one since we got here. Last night he went down just after six and stayed there until just after six this morning. Amazing. I have been loving it. Had it been different circumstances and had I not drunk too much New Zealand sav I would say that all this sleep has left me refreshed.
Brother and dad are off to the lawyers to sign their bit of my lawyery stuff and then I can send that off. Check. Meeting sister for lunch for Turkish kebab - yummy. Hmmmm, am thinking mild chilli sauce and garlic yoghurt perhaps.

Quiet afternoon at home before loading the car. I had to send a box home yesterday - Japanese porcelin tea set. Made in Japan but is more like an English tea set. My grandfather bought it for my grandmother when he came to Japan during the war. My grandmother didn't like it and never used it and passed it on to my mother. If I didn't claim it my sister was going to sell it on Trade Me - so packed away it got. In between pillows and clothes and lots of bubble wrap. As I live so damn far away I will never be up for any of the old family furniture so I have to take these things when I can. I like the idea of having something of my grandparents - even if my grandmother thought it was hideous! I also got a stone viking - can't remember his name. It has sat on our mantlepiece for ever and I can see it finding a new home above our fireplace in Kunimi. Little bits of home. I think it's nice.

Right, I better get into the shower while the going is good. Is hard to get used to - this everyone having showers in the morning!!

A few pics before I go though...

Me (right) and a good friend from primary school. See!! I was blonde. Have no idea why we are dressed up as a cat and a mouse?
Going through all the old photos - this photo just cracked me up. My brother (right) and his friend.

Good kiwi baby - face full of vegemite!

From last night. Sister, me, mum, bro and neice.

From road trip with Ryu. We all went to varsity together and met back in our varsity town - but this time all pushing pushchairs. A bit scary. Friend on left - hmmmm, notice how close in age her two are!! I think I mentioned ages back about friend who got pregnant when baby was just three months old. That would be her. Aren't our hoard of kids beautiful. Should be another two in there for course :)
Right, seriously better get in that shower - it is amazing how dirty your feet get! Probably not that amazing really considering how everyone just walks around in barefeet outside.
Oooh, did I mention that all this stuff with redoing my will and stuff. Well, the lawyer is FREE - he said 'don't worry about it, it's just ten minutes work' - and it was but still I just presumed he would lawyer fleece me and my bank account. Well impressed Nigel, thank you so much.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Barak Obama and the Jomon Period

Just in case you thought you could never connect Obama and ancient Japan. Think Again.

Have just missed the last half of New Zealand Master Chef Finals cause Dad somehow caught me in a whiskey induced conversation - not on my part, although mine might have been slightly sav induced.

Started because I commented on my remarkable ten month old and his perfect sleepness what with all the hammering of the David Gilmour DVD - guitarist from Pink Floyd perhaps - in the next room. It was seriously loud. As in, come home from the pub pissed at uni and turn up the TV loud.

David Gilmour lead on to Eric Clapton lead on to someone whatsit from Dire Straights (hmmm, Mark Knofler???), lead on to someone whatsit from something or rather - the world's best guitarists anyway.

This somehow lead on to John Keys - the Prime Minister of New Zealand. Not entirely sure how but I think via my David Gilmour loving cousin in Scotland, my high cholesteral joke telling once in the band uncle in Hong Kong, and perhaps the partridge and the pukheko in a punga tree.

We visited the New Zealand is green, nuclear free path which then lead to Obama and free trade and even perhaps something along the lines of Fonterra Dairy becoming the largest producer of milk products ever in the history of man and that the big fuck up with China and Formula and babies dieing actually worked in their favor as they outed the Chinese and now all China wants is Fonterra baby formula - not supervised and run by the Chinese, obviously.

This run on from China led on to Japan - and how they would never bow down to Fonterra, leading right along to 'did you know that the sea level used to be 100m lower than it is now and that the islands right up along the top of Hokkaido were in fact joined and that that is how the Jomon made their way to Japan' , which was at the time inhibited by loads of rice eating South Koreans, hence Japan 16000 years ago was rice eaters and potters living in harmonious harmony.

And there you have it. A typical conversation with my 'evening' dad, quite a lot different from conversations with my 'morning just got out of bed' dad. But those will need to be password protected!

Had a great few days away with Ryu. Last night perhaps wasn't so successful on the sleep front with Ryu waking at two for a good hour of pain in the arse-ness.

Have done just a wee bit of shopping that will need to be artfully squashed into my suitcase!

Was a bit hard saying goodbye to friends today. They have all been so fabulous and there have been lots of hugs for mum and see you next times - but who knows when and under what circumstances that will be. Had wee sob in car as leaving friends house this afternoon. Only so much crying and driving along State Highway 50 you can do though. Tad dangerous.

Mum and I had great talks this evening. My sister has gone back to Auckland and tonight it was just me, mum, dad and Ryu. I am a bit apprehensive (scared) about Friday when I will have to say goodbye before heading back to Japan. Life's a bit of a bitch and it throws a wicked curve ball. You see it being thrown to other people and I had just presumed that I would be more prepared for when it came this way. And here it is, and here I am...

Not that prepared.

But going through the motions just the same.

And wondering why nobody commented on my cute new background yesterday???

Hence why it got axed today.


Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Greed, Gluttony and Sloth.

Ryu and I are down in Palmerston Norty -which is where the oncology unit is and where mum was I thought going to be starting her treatment yesterday. That didn't transpire however but Ryu and I came down for a wee road trip anyway seeing as all organized and more fabulous friends to catch up with.

We left yesterday morning and Ryu decided not to sleep the WHOLE way down despite being prime nap time. He has been riding in the car illegally in a foreward facing carseat. He is sturdy enough for it and most of the time likes being able to see whats going on. Not good for napping though. I have it implanted in my brain that the trip is only one and a half hours. I am now thinking, after spending nearly two and a half hours coming down yesterday, that perhaps I did the trip once in 90 minutes when I was a speed racing bogan at uni and at a very odd time of day when no traffic and no roadworks. Not quite sure how my 1972 vauxhil viva would have managed without various parts, doors and bumpers flying off but it must have happened once.

We arrived around lunch time, Ryu ate and then him and friend's (Granny K Rocks T-Shirt Boy's Mum for those of you who have been reading since then) beautiful boy went down for their naps. Loooooooong nap which equals good time catching up. After kidlets woke up we visited the new shops in town, did some supermarket shopping and then home for Hell's Pizza. It was my first visit to this particular Hell and yum yum yum yum yum. Just to taunt you, we got...

Pizza (called Greed - as opposed to the other pizza titles of Lust, Envy, Wrath, Pride, Sloth and Gluttony). Double Ham, Double Pineapple and Double Cheese - with tomato base, herbs and spices. I'm a bit boring when it comes to pizzas!

Crumbed Camembert - Yum (need I say more)

Lemon Pepper Wedges - Ditto

Spicy BBQ Pork Spare Ribs (not spare rib fan but they seemed to go down a treat)

GHOUL Pasta - Butter chicken and cream sauce (had a taste and helloooooo - who would have thought butter chicken from a pizza place but yum yum yum.)

All of this and I think I could have been labeled Greed, Gluttony and Sloth all in one go.

I was very anti-social, hitting the hay at just after nine. Ryu did another full nighter. I heard friend's kids up and looked at my phone - 3am. Holy shit. Went into lounge, where couldn't see hub around the corner preparing their breakfast, and asked what they were doing watching cartoons in the middle of the night? And perhaps we could turn the TV down a bit aye?

So yeah, hadn't changed time on phone so was in fact 6am. Thank God, thought Ryu had gone off the sleep-all-night rails.

It is now nearly 9am and I am home alone with Ryu asleep in their boy's bed. Had packed everything up and was going to leave for town when they left but Ryu was not a happy camper so decided to put him down for an hour or so while I trash their house. Am meeting friend up at her work - or old uni - at lunchtime. Always a bit strange going back up there. Suddenly get transported back to 20 again. And her office is in the building I spent most of my time studying Japanese. Arrrrggghhhh - wonder if any of my old lecturer's are there.

Ooops - just re-read that. Am not in Palmerston Norty - tis Palmerston North, although was quite Norty in my mis-spent university days.

wink wink


Oh, and about that phone - the one I thought I had fucked and was therefore in need of flash iPhone on return to land of rising sun... yeah, that phone......

the one I tried to re-charge in the shaving socket at home in Napier....

yeah, that phone.....

the one that upon failing to re-charge in above said socket, went out and bought a socket adapter so could plug into normal socket depiste NZ voltage being twice as much as Japan's....

yeah, that phone.....

um, well.....

absolute blonde moment where

um, well.....

didn't have shaving socket switch on.

So all good now - phone works and can be re-charged.

Anybody need a $17 socket adapter for Aust and NZ?

And promise will post childhood snap of me with blondest hair on the block. Seriously - only started getting really dark when came to Japan and self obviously thought needed to turn Japanese. Granny K has infact specified my hair color as one reason she momentarily forgets I am a gaijin. Only momentarily of course - before I do something extremely gaijin-like and she is rudely reminded that gaijins are useless and Japanese are most superior race in whole wide world.

PS - above mentioned blond moment happened many days ago!!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Whales in the Bay!

Dejavu on the fabulous weather and fabulous sleeping baby front :) LOVING IT! We think it's the constant stimulation, new places, new faces, lots of food and not having to try and get mummy's attention away from devil of spawn brother and sister. Will have to think of new tricks when we get home. God I hope it lasts.

Friend arrived with her hub and two beautiful daughters. They have been a bit crook this past week so no slobbery baby kisses or kiddy cuddles. Keeping our distance but still able to catch up. We went out for dinner - or rather - they took me out to dinner. We went to an old haunt for some bubbles and reminiscing and of course the usual baby talk banter, sleep schedules, crawling, kindy and work. We then moved on to place for dinner where had lovely prawn, scallop tomato base pasta. Yum yum. Home not too late for another full night sleep.

We are having an 'afternoon tea' this arvo - for family friends who all seem to want to catch up with all of us while we are all here. Not that you need an excuse mind you, for gin and cucumber sandwiches. Not quite sure if that is ideal combination. Everybody bringing a plate and I was on beverage (coffee / juice) duties so decided to take Ryu for an early supermarket run this morning - to put off putting him down for nap.

Decided to drive down past the waterfront as such a lovely day - people walking, jogging, biking - generally just having a lazy Sunday morning. I really miss this. Along the waterfront people were staring out at the water...

A pod of orca whales!! How very random but how utterly fantastic. They weren't being too photo friendly but. They were so close. I rang my sister and she got her kids and came down - but two minutes too late as whales had started leaving the shoreline and, according to her eldest who is three, sleeping underwater.

Ventured on to supermarket and found out that ALL supermarkets and non-eateries closed until 1pm due to ANZAC day. Pain in the arse really but only a few days a year when this kind of thing still happens. Will still have time to go down before cucumber sammies at half two.

All the cafes are still open though so friend and I going for brunch in an hour or so - with Ryu, and while her hub takes their two to the fantastic totally enclosed park down along the parade. Brunch - always on the list. I could make Eggs Benedict and a nice coffee at home in Kunimi but really not the same as sitting out in that 'cafe atmosphere' eating brunch with a friend.

And a few random pics...

Ryu has to enjoy this kind of thing while he can - yummmmmmmmmy. He loves spaghetti.

Latte and Panini - when sister and I went down for early morning coffee yesterday. She was a bit embarrassed that I sat there and took photo of food!

Sister and Ryu. This cafe is on the corner of quite a busy intersection. Not the ideal go and chat location but nice all the same. Hub and I took the kids there last time we were home. Shou was in heaven, a train went past, an ambulance, fire engine, tanker... you name it, it went past. Perfect two year old vehicle watching location.
Right, granny has just taking nieces up to park and Ryu is asleep so best take advantage of quite time and hop in shower.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Pants, pizza and pics

Yet another beautiful sunny day and yet another full night sleep from Ryu!

Mum and I did the shopping thing yesterday morning and thankfully for the first hour I was in good shopping mood and managed to find two pairs of pants and a top. My downfall the previous time was going into trendy clothes shop with skinny 19-year old shop girls telling me things would 'look flattering'. I could possibly get into the biggest size in these shops. My sister suggested I try the bigger size shop, where I would be the smallest size. Well, my god what a much better shopping experience. Bigger sales assistance women who tell you the truth - but in a nice 'I-still-want-to-make-a-sale' way. Success. Great.

Then I went bra shopping. The absolute joy. Racks and racks of bras with two and three clasps on the back. And paddless bras - bras that in fact minimalize your 'rack'. I got three bras, and in fact I have one on now - my first bra in a long time that doesn't have the easy access feeding flaps. My puppies feel so different. I keep having to poke them :)

It was a lovely morning - just me, Ryu and mum. Shopping and drinking coffee. Very nice.

I caught up with friend in the evening where we reminisced - one story from our 90210 days living in Beppu in the same apartment building and working at the university. There were four, sometimes five of us girls - all single and all quite partial to the odd drop of vino, can of chuuhai, packet of chedder schnidders. If, on any given day of the week, we were having a few drinkies and ran out before we were ready to haul our foreign arses back to our own apartments, I would offer to RUN to the local supermarket - I would put on my sneakers and they would hang out over the balcony with the stopwatch. It happened on numerous occassions so there was always a time to beat. 12 minutes I think was my fastest, there and back. Am suprised I never vomitted previously drunk chuuhais after my late night sprints.

She came up here for a few drinks while I sorted Ryu out and while we waited for neices to go to bed and other sister to arrive to pick us up and drop her hub off to keep an eye on the kids. Dropped friend off home and then the sisters, mum and I headed out for Antonios Pizza. My dad hates cheese (seriously, how is that even possible?) so mum has to get her cheese fixes in while he is away. There is a rumor that these particular pizzas are the best in town. Unfortunately the location leaves a little to be desired so not much people watching to be done. Not that we needed too - loads to talk about, yummy pizza and yummy garlic bread to be had.

Oh, and I managed to scan some of the old pics yesterday - so here are a couple of mum and dad from their young, reckless youth...

Dad was very bloody hairy. The missing link almost. Mum was and still is just beautfiul.
At an outdoor concert when my sister was about three weeks old. Christ, I wouldn't have minded looking like mum did after popping sproglet out. Check out those sunnies - everything all back in fashion now of course. Still laughing at dad's hair.
Apparantly dad's mum made him cut it for his sister's wedding. A lot more tamed in this photo. He wasn't the lead singer in their band so not sure what he's doing with the mic here. Think he was just the guitarist and perhaps lead doobie stockist.

At my auntie's 21st and looking a lot less hairy - scub up well nice.

Think I can hear that baby of mine - almost time for lunch too. Some of mum's yummy pumpkin soup - cooked in the slow cooker. I want me one of those!


Friday, 23 April 2010

The Girls.

As you know I brought lots of omiyage with me - all for kids and none for adults mind you. My nieces all got the pretty Japanese envelope with some cash inside. Highly excited my youngest niece wanted to go to the horse shop over in Hastings. The saddlery warehouse I do believe. I haven't driven much in Hastings since my high school days and frequenting the boys school there or the diving pool where my sister and I practiced (springboard) diving.

Niece, Ryu and I ventured off and at one stage she commented how her dad could take one look at a map and be sorted. I educated her on the difference in map reading skills between those hairy men and us lovely fair women. I of course, I mean why would you not, was driving along with the map 'up the right way'. We found our destination though. As a women I immediately noted all the physical landmarks it was near - as opposed to being south down Omahu road and turning East at Harding road. A whole lot of tractor shops and a CJ Pasks Winery - which I am sure I will never forget.

Niece was in horsey heaven and I was surprised she didn't start bloody neighing and cantering around the shop. She managed to get some jodpers, a whip (might like me one of those), gloves and a grooming set all for just over fifty bucks. I paid the few dollars extra on the promise that she kept it to herself - especially from her sisters.

We got back here where she proceeded to spell out to Granny A exactly how much each item was. Ahhhh, nevermind. My sister and her two arrived after their long drive down from Auckland. I haven't seen my two other nieces (yes, I have the only boys), for a year and a half which is heaps when you are that little. They have grown up so much - three and two.

Went down to pick up fish 'n chips which I admit would have been nicer if it wasn't just me that really wanted them!! Still yummy though. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo to taunt you with so I will try and be better on that front and then later will post screeds and screeds of food photos and random family shots like niece pretending to be 'pebbles' or 'marmite' and jumping over a few jumps or trotting around the front lawn 'arena'.

Dad vacated the premises but will be back on Sunday which was when I though sister and her two were leaving but turns out they will be here till Tuesday. Sunday night will be interesting but then I am leaving first thing Monday morning so will hopefully get away unscathed - and by no stretch of the imagination do I mean that in a physical sense. All verbal bollocks.

Last night my sisters and mum and I went through huge pile of old pics - and I will have to try and sort out mum's scanner cause there are some awesome ones of mum and dad when they were young and hairy (dad) and playing in the band - with a band van and taking my oldest sister to concerts and the like - and beautiful (mum) in an array of exceedingly short tunics, long legs and leather headbands. We have another pile to attack tonight or tomorrow. Just the girls though and it was quite a laugh. Old photos are just great aren't they? So many memories.

Mum and I are off this morning to do a clothes shop as she is really pushing to buy me at least one nice new piece of clothing. I obviously am not too chipper about having to go out and try things in my present state which resembles fat pregnant sea lion. No, I'm not pregnant but were it not for my insistence to everyone I see that three children is definitely enough I think a few people may have had the balls to congratulate me on my 'obvious' 4th child good news. Gasp. Between that and the lady at the omiyage shop asking if I was in Japan teaching rugby and I am going to start that air diet - just the minute I get home.

I am meeting up with a friend this evening for some drinkies. We went on high school exchange together, we both went to the same university, we both went on JET as CIRs, and we both ended up in Beppu working at the university. She just happens to live about ten minutes away. Lots of times to catch up on and gossiping about her scandalous adventures around the world, Spanish doctors and South African coffee bean pickers, hammocks on boats floating down the Nile, large doobies, strange local beverages, being an extra in a bollywood film, getting taken off taking part in a small town wedding that involved perhaps a couple of bulls, a goat and some chickens!! Can't wait. May be cut short by tonight perhaps being the only night us girls and mum can go out for dinner. There is that small problem of um, a babysitter. My sister will try and convince her hub and he can come round after the kids are in bed.

Oooooh, and guess what. I (capitalised more if possible) put Ryu to bed last night and he is STILL ASLEEP - 7:16am. That's officially 12 hours. I am only up this early because my niece came into my room thinking she would find mummy. May as well get up though so have just had cuppa and vegemite on toast.

Looks like today will be yet again another beautiful Hawkes Bay day.


Thursday, 22 April 2010

The Horse

While her mum may well be the horse whipserer my neice herself is a horse - well she was last night. Fuckin hillarious. She is 10 and into horses, goes horse riding once a week and dreams of being a jocky - or a professional skiier, and failing that perhaps a vet.

Last night, after the family roast (beautiful) said neice decided to show us how well she could canter, and trot, and gallop, and jump, and halt. Must say the sound effects were very impressive. I wish I had gotten my video camera out. Absolutely priceless.

As my sister and family were leaving last night she very stupidly, and no doubt wine induced, offered to take Ryu back to theirs for the night! I woke up this morning a bit out of sorts and wondering who the fuck had stollen my baby. Apparantly Ryu slept right through AGAIN. As I was walking round the road to their house with an empty pram to collect him, they passed me driving here to drop him off. By the time I had turned round and got home (seriously, all of about five minutes), he was back in bed asleep. My sister assures me she isn't using any drugs of any description. Quite remarkable.

Dad was in a bit of a grump this morning - feeling a bit unloved for being asked to bugger off for four days while the house turns into 24/7 kindergarten. It is in the best interests of everyone, including my dad, and in fact perhaps even aiding world peace and harmony to mankind. While he likes the thought of his whole family being around he does find it very hard to cope with small children and the inevitable chaos, mess and noise that follows them. Brother is off too though so it will just be us three girls and mum.

Well, best go sort out my will before neice arrives in an hour. Family attorney (mum's sister) has suggested I sort my will out and change the power of attorney from my mum to my dad and failing that my brother. So, will do whatever she thinks is best. Is hard to grasp all the law talk so easier just to sign on dotted line. My only wish really is that any money I have when I die goes to my children. God forbid it go to hub. Imagine that. No wife to bitch at you and suddenly all this money to force into the pachinko machines. God, the thought. Not much money really anyway and hopefully it will have been spent on children's education before then!!

Hope Japan isn't too cold and that spring has well and truely sprung. We continue to have glorious weather.

Hey, guess what we're having for tea.


Fish and Chips - yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii


Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Baby Whisperer

That's what my sister is - like the horse whisperer but for babies. Amazing. Grandad reckons it's because she rocks the baby so fast and talks to him so much before putting him down to bed that by the time his head hits the pillow he just wants some peace and quiet!! Hey, but who cares. I'll take what I can get.

Dinner with my neices last night was nice. They were telling me all about life at boarding school. I was a day girl at a private girls boarding school so know the jist of it but a lot goes on after school. It seems a lot has changed in the 16 years since I graduated - holy fuck. Did I really just write 16 years. Unbelieveable.

I came back home just after seven and Ryu was already in bed. I had stopped on the way home to see if big department store happened to have toy drills with batteries. Success. My sister and I had several wines, good chats and then I went to bed where I stayed AGAIN until just before seven. And this time Ryu didn't even wake up for a dream feed at eleven. Wow. That's like nearly 12 hours. I admit I did go in twice to make sure he was still breathing :)

A friend and her two boys came round this morning, followed by lunch. Was great catching up - it always is - the once every one and a half or two years or so. She left and I went down for another supermarket shop. The supermarket is always a fun trip when I come home. I went down to get cream for pumpkin soup tomorrow - cousin (whose wedding they all went to last weekend) and her new hub are coming for lunch. Anyhoo, very expensive cream run it was. Ahem. Ummmm, deoderant, vegemite, honey, chicken korma and butter chicken packets, toothpaste, neurofen drugs, golden syrup, food coloring, ekusetera ekusetera...

Have just sorted veges for big family lamb roast. Brother should be back from his day trip and sister, brother in law coming round too. Other sister arrives tomorrow with her two and dad is off up to the boat to escape the mayhem that comes with having a three year old, a two year old and a baby in the house. He is needing it. We've only been here two days and I think he needs it!! He will arrive back the day my sister leaves.

Well, off to chill some vino. No wine consumption allowed while sister is here so tonight last night to hit tiles with other sister and brother in law - who I haven't seen yet and they only live round the road. Will do us all some good!!

Off to it.


Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Flight Story & Finally Seeing the Famdam

Feel like am about to go off into birth story... Not that the flight was THAT painful - wasn't dream flight but I guess it could have been a lot worse.

Car trip to Fukuoka - uneventful really except Shou needed to stop about ten times so lucky we left with plenty of time. Checked in, bags gone and Shou and hub head off to find an airplane toy of some description. Shou, engrossed in toys, says bye to me and continues on his mission to convince daddy he needs every toy on the rack, including the Hello Kitty something or rather - as it was very cute and Marina just had to have it.

The flight to Kansai was good and Ryu charmed the air hostie and smiled at her almost the entire flight - looking over the back of my seat to where she was sitting at the back of the plane.

I had rung the international Air New Zealand line, which was the only one open late on Saturday night) just to say that we arrived into Kansai 100 minutes before connecting flight left and getting off plane, collecting bags and checking in would be impossibility before the said 90 minutes before departure. The girl I got said reality was we could miss our flight. Really now?? Bit panicky night before leaving so as soon as could rang the Air NZ counter at Kansai - lovely, probably extremely sexy, lad who answered said 'Sweet as Hone', 'No worries mate', as long as checked in by three - plane leaving at half past. Obviously he didn't use kiwi slang but instead very polite honorific to me and my ten month old baby Japanese.

Got to check in counter - still loads of people checking in. Nice bloke there shuffled us along the business class line. All sorted - bassinet seat - check. Spare seat beside mine - check.

The flight was quite empty with entire rows just waiting for people to take and sleep with feet over edge so mother could not walk up and down already narrow isles trying to get baby to sleep. Was only a 2-3-2 seating plan on so not much room anyway - none of those big spaces near the toilet or the doors half way down the plane.

Ryu was asleep before take-off and for an hour and a half or so I was being very smug and oohhh, look at my nicely behaved baby who is going to sleep entire flight and not be pain in ass to any of you. Air hostie took a shine to us and, obviously upon seeing me looking so run down and ragged, filled my glass up to the brim wth sav at dinner time. Just about had to lap it like a cat. not for long though, bit of turbulance meant much safer to infact skull whole glass as opposed to spilling it all.

After dinner Ryu woke up and would not sleep for more than ten minutes for the rest of the ENTIRE nine hours. He would sleep, I'd put him in the cot, ten minutes later he'd start crying, I'd take him out, rock him back to sleep ... ... repeat repeat for about three hours. The others hours in between he was wide awake.

Cutoms in NZ was very fast with us getting taken down all the fast lanes. Nothing to declare, except one very tired baby.

My sister was waiting for us out through the gates and it was good to see her after all the shit of the past year. I spoke to her just before and she said the doctor said she might have osteoarthritis - which is what we all get on one joint or another when we get old and almost 100 percent of people over the age of eighty have it. Usually in people this young it stems from an injury of some kind. Any bloody way, if it's not one thing it really is a bloody nother and could life really throw the family any more shit? I shouldn't say that really. Better find some wood. touch touch, rub rub, pat pat.

The trip down with my friend was a good road trip. Long as it was - and of which the last 60 km or so we coasted along on empty with the light on, shitting ourselves a bit that would need to ring bro to come rescue us from up the Napier-Taupo road. Made it to a servo though. Phew. We stopped in Taupo for lunch and I spied the big all blacks and rugger gear outlet store. Got Chiemi's hub his outfit, as per request, and a wee 'future all black' shirt for Ryu and one for Chiemi's youngest. Let the omiyagi buying begin!!

Got in to home just after five and mum and dad were already back from their day getting mum's helmet fitted. It was sooooooooooooooooooooooo good to finally see mum. She looks exactly the same but with short hair - not too much of a shock though as she has had it short before. Ryu was in champion smiling form and had won Granny over before even getting out of his carseat. We had a nice morning this morning, wandering around in the beautiful Napier sun down town, followed by nice salads for lunch and a good supermarket shop - she hadn't been for a proper big shop without dad for the past month. Hard to buy a big shop with a man, cause they flip out at prices and find it hard to believe that a normal weekly shop can cost as much as it does.

Uncle Sam, my little brother, had made his famous chicken pie for dinner and my other sister arrived and we all had lovely dinner followed shortly by Ryu getting down to sleep, followed shortly by Ryu waking for milk, followed shortly by Ryu proceeding to sleep the whole night - until ten to seven. Wow. Mum reckons maybe he's turned over a new good sleeping leaf. I had to remind her that he had't slept for nearly 48 hours so tis no bloody wonder really.

It has come to light that perhaps a bit of the information regarding mum was sugarcoated - the cancer is an agressive blastoma. The 10% that the doctor couldn't get out during surgery is all bastardy stuff that has gotten it's tenticles down into the bits of the brain. Looks like not much probability of chasing mum round the neighborhood in her nightie when she's eighty afterall :(

Shite - I better go rescue my boy. He is meant to be napping (like mum is) but continues to yell blue murder. Me thinks he needs some cuddles. My sister is looking after him this evening while I go over and take my two neices who are weekly boarding at a girls school over in Havelock North, for dinner! They will back over the weekend too.

No pics yet as digital camera (and phone) batteries died just about the second after I stept on NZ soil. Both recharging as I type.


Edit - My keitai (mobile) has just completely fucked it. Recharging with NZ voltage (which worked last time in shaver plug in bathroom) has this time fried internal phone organs. For any friends trying to txt or ring I am not ignoring you, I just can't get past the black screen to see that you have rung! Oooooh, means will have to buy new blingy phone upon return to land of rising sun - not entirely pissed off about that. Hmmmm, iphone.....

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Lieing Naked on the Floor

So, I got most of yesterday's list finished - minus the toilets. I mean who really gives a fuck, really. They can stay scody until Golden Week - when I will scrub them golden so help me god. Actually they aren't that bad at all, I just got it into my head that I HAD to clean them before tomorrow.

I got some other shite done yesterday though - cleaned out the fridge. De-grossed it of yuckies so that Granny K wouldn't use anything non-useable over the next two weeks.

Went and had coffee with friend (high tiger boy's mum) - hadn't seen her for ages and she txted and asked if wanted to come for coffee so went - after trip to post office where I got bloody head post office man who doesn't know Ireland from the back of his bloody ass. Sorry European Stylist - mag, baby car signs and SMAP and ARASHI newsletters may well end up in fuckin Iceland.

If they make it through the damn volcanic cloud that is.

All I have to say about that is THANK GOD I'm going to Aotearoa (Maori for NZ - land of the long white cloud) and not Aotea bloody Europe and the land of the long black cloud. That would suck. I mean random volcanic erruption in Iceland stopping all air traffic in and out of Europe - crap. Almost as random as pathologists that commit suicide. And very bad for friend who is 39 weeks pregnant and whose hub is stuck unable to get back from his business trip to France. Fuck!!!!!

But, on to packing. Did that this morning - after hub took the kids to kindy and himself to work. I am allowed the same baggage allowance for Ryu as for self. I had thought one suitcase would be fine.... but then I started packing random omiyage and art and craft supplies and realised I would need to call on Ryu and his baby baggage allowance.

In no particular order (obviously, as money envelopes take up like oh, half a cm...)

These are for my three older neices - 14, 12 and 10. Have no idea what to get them so they will get dosh in cute Japanese envelopes.

For other neices who are Shou and Marina's age. My other omiyage for girlfirends' kids are similar - minus bommer jacket - and perhaps including cute undies and bandaids.

I thought I had a boys omiyage pic uploaded but obviously not. Hmmm, shinkenja puzzles, undies, toothbrushes, bandaids, socks etc. But this pic is where things started getting just a tad out of control. Bloody crafty friend - now has me addicted to buying craft suppies. All I can say is, I hope that if any of my friends suddenly decide to get a mother of small child hobby that it is stamp collecting!!
After packing this morning - and putting suitcases in car to minimize the whole 'mum is leaving' thing tomorrow morning - I went to meet hub for lunch. He was meant to be home in time for us to go to sushi but he fucked up something at the office and had to fix it - hence Ryu and I went to meet him.
The gas light in the car went on so after picking him up went to petrol station - where hub tried to put in 10,000 yen note and it kept getting spat out, so I gave him 4,000 yen. Had a looksie at the 10,000 yen note and thought something is odd here. So odd that I went to bank and withdrew another 10,000 yen. Whadda ya know and the new one has the metallic circle in the bottom left hand corner. The one that got rejected doesn't. I haven't seen a 10,000 like that before so got paranoid.
Police station was two doors down so went there - hub suggested I go in (he is too embarrased - but I would rather police say is all fine as opposed to trying to use 10,000 note at family restaurant and getting rejected) so I do - waving my two different notes around.
After seeing me, a boob weilding gaijin weilding two dollar bills one policeman says to me...
We don't change money.
Fuck right off.
I just tried to put this money in at the servo and it got rejected and I was wondering if it was a bit out of sorts...
Ohhh, and then all six policemen proceed to open their own wallets.
Claiming that fuck, all their 10,000 notes have the mettalic thing.
Which of course leads to stares at me thinking am head of foreign counterfitter ring. (??)
Then one lovely scrumpshish young policeman looks up his iPhone and declares that notes printed before 1984 (hello, I was like 8) had nothing by way of metallic marking. Or did he say 1994 or 2004. Perhaps I only heard the 4 but anyway, there are notes circulating.
Upon returning to the car hub asks if I felt stupid asking... ???
And, did I tell them my name.
Um, yeah. I said 'hi, I am Aramaki - the one that lives in the yellowish house with the adventure playground in the front yard - along the road by the river after the eighth tunel in Kunimi, the next town over. '
God man.
And for the record, NO - I didn't feel stupid asking.
We then went to lunch. We saw a girl from Kunimi with her two young boys - she was on her own. Hub commented 'yappa mama ga tsuyoi jyanai to' (mothers have to be strong aye - sorry, strong not very good word. hmmm, capable??) - which me, being menstural and foreign and stressed sounds like 'you aren't' Hellooooooooooooooo, six weeks with two small children by self....
Anway, while we are discussing this Ryu grabs water glass and proceeds to spill all over me, table and chair. Fortunately he missed himself. Me...... I ended up looking like bum had leaked down to back of knee. Awesome. Had another Japanese husbands a twat moment when I asked hub to ring the bell to ask for a cloth - um.... no.
He pulled his man-cloth out of his pocket.
Not going to cut the mustard though, so I go to push the waitress button. Hub caves in and looks very embarrassed when asks waitress for cloth to wipe up water spilt by ten month old son.
Hmmm, another 'event for today' - I was on a mission to get a new plastic bottle for Ryu. The shop in the next town over only had the glass ones so I ventured further a field. Thought would get coffee on way. Just about threw up on dashboard.
I bought the Royal Milk Tea one by mistake. Not nice. I love tea, don't get me wrong. I'm from NZ afterall - wanna cuppa is akin to nice day, isn't it?
I zoned in straight to the coffee section at the store - and without really even looking picked out what I thought was the coffee on the right. Same company. DON'T stick milk tea in between two coffees. Not fair. Sleep deprived, menstrual, gaijinwife isn't quite onto it enough to pick up on it. Humph. What a waste. Got my coffe in the end but.

And this would be popo - lieing cold and naked on the floor. I'm all out of faith.... lah di da di daaaaaaah - Natallie Imbruglie - as if I spelt that right.
Popo-chan - obviously not flavor of the month in the land of devil spawn Shou anymore.
Oh, and guess what....
This time tomorrow I will be on the plane.
Oh, and guess what...
This time next week I'll be out dining with friends.
Oh, and guess what...
This time in two weeks I'll be exactly where I am now :(

Friday, 16 April 2010

Time to get packing

I have shitloads to do today - hence why I am sitting here having my second cup of hairs-on-your-chest coffee. Need it to boost start my day. Not too sleepy which is surprising after being squashed in between Shou, who feels the need to have one or both of his feet under limb, any limb, of person beside him, and face and boob kicker Marina. Hub wisely vacated and slept in Marina's room - getting the best night sleep yet again out of everyone. Come Sunday though and he will have two weeks of being piggy in the middle.

Ryu's Polio vaccine went without fuss - although they did make me take his temperature three fuckin times!!! When we first got there it was 37.2. Ooooh. Ring the paramedics. These things are always at 1pm which is prime baby and small child nap time. Five minutes later the lady asks me to check it again before she writes it on the sheet. 37.3. Ooooh. He's really starting to burn up. And then, then she brings out the super duper takes about two bloody minutes (a loooooooooooong time to try and hold under squirmy baby armpit) one. 37.1. She seemed very pleased with herself.

Ryu was fine otherwise - an occassional cough but nothing hacking or phlemmy or heinous. The cut off temperature is usually 37.5 so not quite sure what all the fuss was about. Anyhoo, doctor declared him fit, healthy and extremely cute and gave him his dose of Polio. No thumbsucking, no dummy, no fluids, no nothing for half an hour. Oh, and Polio will be leaking from his wees and poos for the next month so please make sure you wash your hands and don't stick your fingers directly into his nappy before eating a piece of toast or something. Rightio then.

English went well - four girls is sooooooo damn easy. I really feel like they are learning something, bar the five minutes where they all fight over stickers. They are obsessed with stickers. That is what they want as their omiyage from New Zealand - which sucks cause from memory I don't think NZ has half as many cool stickers as Japan.

Other omiyage I have been commissioned to get - Manuka honey - as much as I can fit into my suitcase at the end. Heavy stuff it is. Chiemi's husband wants an all blacks-y t-shirt and trackies. There used to be a rugby shop in Napier so will have a looksie but not spending valuable time scouting high and low for it. Shou wants a toy drill with batteries and a tap measure that he can play with without getting told off. Marina would like something pretty - perhaps a dress, a party outfit... I guess Granny K and hub will need to be rewarded for their efforts too. And that's before I even start on myself... hmmmmm.

I don't mind though. Buying omiyage is quite fun. Very satisfying when you find something perfect. I have half a suitcase going over, with the prime suspects being shinkenja action hero, purikura cutsie and anpanman goods. Isn't it great when your friends all have kids - feel like can get away with guying the kids stuff which is so much easier. Now, while they are little at least.

I have one friend who has recently gotten into crafting. She has a fabulously cute blog and does loads of cool crafty things, bags, pillow cases, felties, or are they softies?, cards, ... Very talented she is. Japan is apparantly the mecca of craft goods at the moment so I got asked for one simple thing - which I have yet to find. During the search however I found loads of other stuff and may well infact get stopped at customs and questioned about suitcase full of random arts and craft supplies, including big flying fish - not sure how easy they are to sew but it probably only weighs about 50g!

Right, I better start my list of things to do today...

1. Get flying fish out from storage

2. Print out e-tickets

3. Check about taking car seat on plane so Ryu can sit in it to eat and sleep (??) - any thoughts on this? Is it easier on a long haul flight to have one or if you have taken one did you just end up holding the baby anyway?

4. Tidy up English stuff so Shou and Marina don't have field day while am away and I come back to all my English kids books glued and stappled together or cut to bits.

5. Get out a few more clothes for Shou and Marina and weed out some of their current stock. Still quite cold so in kind of limbo - can't put winter stuff away quite yet. I have quite a good system of washing and clothes for kindy and spare clothes to take for when they ass over in mud puddle or piss pants. I don't think hub and Granny K have any kind of system at all so they will need a few more sets of outfits at their disposal.

6. Take DVDs back - pain in ass. Will take me an hour and a half.

7. Buy nappies and milk to put in suitcase.

8. Stock up on necessities for the two weeks am away - for hub and GK.

9. Clean the toilets.

10. Charge camera and video camera batteries and phone.

Probably more but that will do for now. I have tomorrow too but need to sort out as much today or will stress.

Best get to it while the going is good and Ryu is asleep.


Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Caution. Drop!

Kindy Entrance Ceremony
Took the kids to kindy and had to come home to make self presentable for 10am start. This is my third one. I tried on every suit jacket I own but no go - haven't worn one since 15 kilos lighter than now. So terribly sad as I was, I was THE ONLY person not decked out entirely in funeral or wedding type suit!! I had on formal black pants and a nice top and some bling. Every other mother was in pastel attire and hubs in dark suits. Pearls everywhere of course. Last year there were at least three other women in non-suit formal attire like self. What happened?

Even the kids were in suits! Bar my two. A collar for Shou and skirt for Marina was 'dressing up'. Except for the girl in Shou's group who arrived in ball gown for three year old type thing she had for a recent wedding, my two were the only kids with any colour.

So after the ceremony, during which Shou and Marina are very well behaved, there is a meeting for the parents. I volunteered my services and am now head of the monkey club or road traffic safety - awesome. Then move on to parent, child outing. The result..

Date - May 22nd.
Destination - Aquariam
Time - 10:00am

Home briefly before heading out to lunch with my friend the blender (Belinda - for those who haven't read far enough back. Spent whole conversation talking to hub about Belinda with him thinking I was talking about the blender - dickhead. Who goes out to lunch with a bloody blender. Just goes to show how much men listen to us (me anyway)), where run into Chiemi and her family. After my car has had a complete spaz - alarm goes off about twenty times in a row. I was inside the car when it started and NOTHING I could do would stop it - until I stood outside and locked and relocked the car again.

Wednesday afternoon English Class.
New boy started today. His mum stayed for the first class but will just drop him off like the others from next time - which isn't till after Golden Week. He did quite well considering though. With a bit of savy hand work and card manouvering on my part he managed to get three cards during 'karuta' (English please??). I could hear his mum giggling behind me. Other than that she didn't say much which was good - always get a bit funny when mums want to sit in - which I totally understand though. I would do the same. One girl's mum sat in every class for months and then as soon as the girl turned five she just dropped her off at the door.

My Thursday class today is a lot more manageable now my 8 girls have been split in two - with an old girl (used to come but her mum made her stop when I joined the classes together) coming back from last week. Just four girls today - and five on Tuesday. Means I don't need to get out the other table. Lots easier.

On the topic of English.....

Another sign translated by the person who wrote 'Baby on Board. Please Pass it' ...

Caution, drop : where? Fuck, am I suddenly on a cliff?
Never leave: why would you? can't really go very far in a toilet cubicle.
Keep Watch: strap your baby in and then sit down on the toilet seat and 'keep watch'. If you are using the change table at night you can call it a 'night watch'. Perhaps invite your husband in to the cubicle too so you can take turns 'keeping watch'
Of course all completely understandable and easily forgotten when baby looks this cute strapped in...

They should sell household versions of these - that fold back up against the wall. Bolt it into the wall in your babies room and wa la. Would have been great, and I imagine very useful in small Japanese apartment.
Right, am off to do spot of nappy shopping and picking up random farm equipment at local JA for Granny K. Ryu has his Polio Oral Vaccine this afternoon.
Shit, nearly forgot...
1. Got period. Yay.
2. Shou slept through the night without a nappy. Wahoo.
3. Marina did biggest wee in history of wees in potty this morning and now is in pants during the day at kindy. She went off to kindy this morning for the first time without a nappy. Growing up.
4. Shou ate all his breakfast on his own - even the crusts. Bloody miracle.
5. Hub thinks I should put Ryu in kindy seeing as it is free. He said would make me in a better mood and I could spend more time cleaning!
6. Fuckwit.
7. Dickhead.
8. Twat.
9. Ordered very cute hat for mum online - more of an inhouse one :)
and number ten...
3 more sleeps!!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Dramas Avoided

Last night after bloging - yes, a lot of shit always seems to happen after blogging - hub arrived home and I was at my witts end. Marina was asleep of course and had hub arrived home at 9pm like his txt said things wouldn't have gotten out of control. Roll on 9pm and I start clock watching. Shou and Ryu are both still in stages of awakeness and another set of daddy arms would be very well received. It is amazing how much of a tiz you can work yourself up into. Honestly. I would rather he say half nine and get home ten minutes early instead of saying nine and arrive twenty minutes late.

I was about to leave the kids, steal the bankcards and run off with the pool boy by the time hub walked in the door. Sadly this really isn't a viable option so I went to 'regroup' with myself outside on the deck. Hub asked what I was doing. I said that I was in danger of lacing Ryu's bottle with horse tranquilizers if I had to go in there and listen to 'that sound' one more time tonight. Hub closes the door and...

Proceeds to lock me out!

He later said that it was just a natural reaction - close the door and turn the nob. Almost understandable considering number of small people in house and need to keep doors closed. Of course, being the pre-menstural, sleep-deprived woman that I am I took great offense. While hub was settling Ryu I snuck back inside with the spare key Granny K hides under the mat, de-stocked the fridge of beer and snuck back outside again. Bugger him. If he wants me outside, outside I will be god damn it.

An hour later when I come back inside he is genuinely perplexed! Poor man. Must suck being a man sometimes. I myself would hate to live with and put up with me. Christ, I think I would have put a pillow over my own head in my sleep by now.

I let hub sleep the whole night - till half five at least which was when Marina wanted up. I got up a total of four times during the night - with brief stints in both Marina and Shou's beds.

The weather forecast today finally said it wasn't going to rain so, after a call to mum (see below) and a few calls to other friends, I painted the deck. The color we got was 'teak' - me thinks the lable man was stonned as more appropriate definition would be 'shit brown'. What can you do though, the stuff isn't cheap. Lash it on I say. An hour later and the bottom and the railings are done. I had a severe blond moment and forgot to put on gloves and therefore spent almost same amount of time scrubbing hands afterwards. Will need to deal to my fingernails tonight.

I had a scary two hours where I convinced self was up the duff - mainly due to wanting to hurl sensation that got when eating salad sammy for lunch. I didn't really get morning sickness with the others but did get the 'wanting to hurl but never actually getting the satisfaction of actually doing it' sensation a few times. Not that hurling should be satisfying but would rather hurl once and be done with it than feel like need to but can't for half a day.

Anyway, that made me try and recall when I last got my period - and I can't. It's been a crazy month though and periods haven't been regular since Ryu so we'll just put it down to stress. Don't worry, I drove the forty minutes to the closest chemist where nobody knows my name to buy some clearblue. Was busting so popped into loo at home centre. NOTHING - not even the 'the test is over and you've just wasted ten bucks on a pregnancy test' line came up. The drive home was hell. It should only take a minute and I kept looking every ten seconds for half an hour. Nothing at all, and yes I even checked, as gross as that may sound. Pee-ed buckets on the damn stick. Almost convinced self lack of any blue lines meant am infact turning into man.

Got home and pee-ed all over first stick and second stick and first stick still registered nothing but the second one, after five bloody minutes, finally gave me a blue finished line - and no up the duff line.

I was just about hyperventilating into a paper bag in fear. I had the next few days sorted out. Who to ring, what to do - and yet the decision, which hub and I have talked about many times before, still made me sick.

But anyway, dramas avoided. The yes we used a condom pachinko flowers funded shag has not led to anything more. Phew. Can stop shaking now.

So, had great phone call with mum. What I thought was one week of just radiation treatment is infact a six week course of radio and chemo. Week on / weekend off kind of thing with perhaps a whole week break in the middle somewhere. The actual treatment is only about twenty minutes a day. The chemo is just pills. She will go between the clinic and the hospice where her and dad will stay in like a motel type unit.

Her hair needs to be relatively short for the radiation helmet so she was going through old photos to find a short-haired one of herself to show hairdresser today. The chemo may or may not make her hair fall out - but if it does short hair falling out wont be as 'something' as handfulls of long hair. She said it was fortunate it was coming into winter as lots of beanie type hats with flowers and bling and the like in fashion :(

Right, I have an English class starting on Tuesdays so better get sorted. The kids have their entrance ceremony at kindy tomorrow so definately some pics of that.


Monday, 12 April 2010

Pretty Divorcee Girl

Yesterday morning - after posting I txted Coffee Chimei - did her and her three sproglets want to come and play? - and her husband of course, if he could possibly manage it. I thought that if she txted back with yes then I would ring hub and tell him to come back from the park with Shou and Marina sooner rather than later. She didn't txt back though so I figured a no go and jumped in the shower.

Was dripping wet and half naked after getting out when saw her car arriving in the fricken driveway. Christ, fuck it and shag me sideways. LOTS to do in the 45 seconds it will take to get her three boys out and arrive in genkan, number one being dress self, brush hair and pick granny undies (own) up off floor and hide washing away. Flummy a flying I manage to do all this and greet them in a huff and a puff of sweat and ohayos.

Ring hub who arrives back twenty minutes later and then all boys plus Marina proceed to run riot, chalk the whole concrete wall in the garden and eat collectively about six bag of crisps. Her hub sadly couldn't be assed to go out with his family on a Sunday. Chiemi was not happy. They had been to vote in the morning and pretty divorcee girl from the town office was working. Her hub and pretty divorcee girl (PDG hereinafter) get along veeeeeeeery well. Pisses Chiemi off something chronic. She arrived here with a full face of makeup on and I don't think that was for our benefit. More for PDG's me thinks. The really fuckin annoying thing is that PDG is actually extremely nice and I would be very surprised if she every pulled anything with one of our married men. But hey, we can still hate her for being pretty, capable, nice and available cant we?

Hub took the kids to the other park in the afternoon and I faffed round cleaning, washing and sorting dinner. My sister rang which was actually very good as hadn't spoken to her since falling out last Friday when she called me a selfish bitch. She has offered to come pick me up from the airport at 6am next Monday and drive me to friends house. She will also be coming down to Napier the one weekend I am there - with her two lovely girls.

Speaking of trip home... Mum had her meeting with the oncologist today. Scan booked for next Monday and the following Monday is the start of a week of radiation treatment. I will be able to be with her from the Monday through Thursday before flying back to Japan on the Friday.

I can't belive it really.

a) that she even has cancer and is having radiation treatment in a couple of weeks and,

b) that I am going home and will be able to see her and talk to her and give her a huge hug. This time next week...


Sunday, 11 April 2010

Risk of Heart Problems Lowered :)


I took a photo of the yummy meat had bought for dinner and sent it to hub saying lots of nikuniku waiting for dinner. Ganbatte for the rest of the day and see you at half eight kind of thing.

He was home at half six! Which of course leads me to wonder what he was going to do for the extra two hours until the original time intended to come home but hey, who gives a shit. He was home early. I even got a pumping heart mark in txt he sent back. Ooooooh. rabu rabu :)

The kids took a while to get to bed but probably cause of all excitment of local election candidate doing his final home turf run - the convoy of cars went up after seven and then the candidate and all his groupies walked back saying thankyou to everyone, shaking hands rah rah. No point trying to settle the kids down before that kind of carry on.

But, asleep at last and we crank up the hot plate, feast on beef, pork AND chicken BBQ with veges and kimuchi - and beer.

Feast finished. Hmmmmm. What to do, what to do.

Hmmmm. Bath.

What to do next.

Hmmmm. Bed

And if shagging twice a week lowers a man's risk of heart problems then hub has successfully had his risk lowered for this week!

Wink wink, nudge nudge.


- And thats the last you'll hear about shagging from me for a while. Far to much talk the last few days.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Crank it up to twice a week.

I have just read an article on MSN New Zealand that men who shag twice a week are less likely to get sick with heart problems! What do you think shagging twice a week does for women? If it was two shags like the other night I think I'd be a nut case with worry. So, in order to get hub back into fun meetings where we start with some snogging and end spoon sleeping I am going for a 'shag-zukuri' kind of thing

In Japanese there is a word 'machizukuri' (tsukuri). Machi is town and tsukuri is to make. It is never translated that literally in English though and usually 'machizukuri' groups like the one hub is part of (voluntarily obligatory - hmmmm, obluntarily or volungatory - specifically for all those shite Japanese things that you do from the goodness of your heart but if you didn't you'd be outed by the local community) is translated as somthing like 'town revitalization'.

So under the same concept I am starting a shag-zukuri group of two to 'revitalize' our shagging. No time like the present so tonight's initial shag-zukuri meeting will be preluded by yakiniku and asahi. Hub is working at the local election (finally, all the loud speaker convoys can stop harrassing the masses of deaf vestlings, can't vote anyway foreigners and sleeping babies) today and will be home about half eight - If I'm on to it I might even have all three kids in bed.

Hub's town revitalization group really spends most of their time weedeating random bits of hill side, mainly so they then have an excuse to have .... yakiniku and beer.

Yakiniku and beer.... Check.
Weedeating.... probably need to have a long shower and do some slash and burn. So perhaps check in an hour or so.

Away from shagging for a minute.

The kids were very good last night - Marina was well stoked with her new Hello Kitty pillowcase and went to sleep without fuss. I took Shou and Ryu off to go get 'hyper guardian' tomycar DVD that Shou has been raving about for weeks. Ryu slept the whole way and went down very easily when we got home, followed closely by Shou who was all 'mama daisuki' (love you mummy) which was a welcome change from I'm going to cut you in half with my plastic saw and burn the house down.

Can't believe I am finally going home next week. It has only been a month since we found out about mum but it seems like longer. She's off for her first meeting with the oncologist (?) guy on Monday, followed perhaps by more scans later in the week and start of treatment the following week. I leave Japan on the 18th, arriving in Auckland on the 19th. Ryu seems to finally be getting over his cough so should be in prime cute charm all the service industry people mode - which will hopefully make the travel a bit more fun. Three hour car trip, one hour flight, two hour wait, eleven hour flight, taxi, cups of coffee, breakfast and catching up with friend, five hour road trip home.

I have a lot to do this week. The deck is still not painted due to shit half rainy weather but should be doable on Monday and Tuesday. Marina and Shou have their kindy entrance ceremony - which even though neither of them are actually new to the kindy all parents are encouraged to go anyway. There is a meeting after it where the PTA head and sub and traffic safety rep are chosen. I got out of these last year as pregnant - but got told unless I was up the duff again this year I would have to do my part, as really Shou and Marina make up a fifth of the kindy population. Not much to do though so will just go with it.

Also decide this years kindy excursion which is a big deal - a whole day thing where both parents usually go and a grandparent here and there too. Last year was the African Safari place but Shou couldn't go cause I was 37 weeks pregnant and it is two hours away and on the off chance that I went into early labour the second hub and Shou got on the safari bus that takes forty minutes to go round feeding the animals, and considering doctor said Ryu would probably come quickly and may have him in car, and they didn't make it and I ended up having Ryu with Granny K, aka not the midwife I'd want at a home birth. Arrrrgh. You can breathe now. That was a long sentence.

There aren't a huge number of choices for kindy trips so I am thinking it will probably be the aquarium. Lets just hope it gets decided fast. Not much chance in that though. Fill a room with thirty adults and tell them to choose a day, time and location suitable for 1-6 year olds (pre-school goes to) and nobody says a word. I knew I wasn't going to be able to go last year but that didn't stop me trying to organize everyone else into some sort of decision making process.

Hopefully this year I'll have Kindy PTA head or traffic safety rep authority on my side and will be able to whip a decision out of them all in thirty seconds. Let's see if it works. My bet is for...

Place - Oita Aquarium.
Date - May 12.
Time - 10am meeting at Aquarium carpark.

Right, I better hang some washing out, do some dishes, vacuum, put some washing away, slash and burn in the shower (god that sounds terrible. Should really just say shave), and then drive to supermarket for yaikiniku supplies.

Off to it.


Friday, 9 April 2010

Thats no bloody shagging... (Long)

Warning - references to sex, obscenities and possibly quite a few blasphemous outbursts... Family members should probably just scroll down to previous post with cute baby photos.

This could be a bit all over the place as positively tanked on my third cup of real coffee. Lucky the weather isn't too good or I would have painted the deck too and then I'd by high on paint thinner as well and god knows what kind of post that would lead to!

In Japan it is not common practice to live together before you get married. I think living together in sin before committing is possibly the best investment a person can make in their future. Hub and I had a weekend date and shag thing going on for about six months before we decided to get married. We lived in separate towns and didn't see each other much outside of the weekends.

People say that people change when they get married / have children. I think the fundamentals of that person probably don't but that we bend towards trying to fit into another person's life. We need to adapt. We should be good at it you would think - we manged to find our grounding and start walking, lost all the body hair, figured out how to talk and realised that if we went round showing our bits all the time the only thing we would be good for was reproducing.

Hub has had to bend quite a lot - as have I - and as I imagine a lot of international couples do. He has had to start doing more around the house, with the kids, with me, his lovely gaijinwife. He thinks he is hard done by and compared to a lot of my Japanese friend's husbands I guess he is, in that I wont let him come home and plonk down in front of the TV demanding beer and dinner while I feed, bath and put to bed three small children. I recognize that he is trying and I try to acknowledge this to him, thanking him for the things I would otherwise take for granted.

OK, so that last sentence may have been a bit over the top. Half the time hub can be such a complete fuckwit that thanking him for anything is the furthest thing from my mind.

Before you have children you think that a baby will make you into a 'family'. As much as you can learn from friends, family, books etc, it is impossible to really know how much a baby can throw a spanner into the works. Sure, there are fabric softener add moments where you and hub sit together on the couch (quite possibly in blue jeans and a white t-shirt) and coo at the bundle of joy, the miracle, the perfect baby that you have been blessed with.

OK, stooooooooooop the bus. Back up the truck. Hold on there.
We had a few of these moments, but then sleep deprivation kicked in and has stayed since (bar of course that one beautiful night at the haven).

One child is easy. You don't realise this until you have another. You wonder why you ever complained about how hard it was with one child.

Two children isn't easy but it's easier than three. I can't believe I ever complained about just Shou and Marina. Obviously I never had much time to complain about the just one or the just two children as shooting three out in three years didn't leave me with much time before things got busier. Aren't I good? I didn's say 'worse', because it's not. It's harder, more difficult and could well be the start of the end but I would never want to take a child back.

So anyway, should probably get to the part with references to sex, obscenties and blasphemous outbursts.

Last night we had an international relations meeting - has been a while. I think the last time was the night hub came home with the pachinko funded flowers. Hub went to bed at 10 but I had English till 9 so wasn't wound down enough to sleep that early. Got up to bed later though and hub was all for it.

Now, hub and I have enjoyed quite a good sex life. Christ, the man has even learned that forplay will get him everywhere. But not last night. No kissing, no cuddling. Sometimes if either one of us is tired we will do the standard shag and be done with it - but last night hub was insistant that he pleathure me first. I couldn't really be assed to tell you the truth. If I'm not in the mood it can take ages and loads of different pool boy fantasies.

But, I rode with it anyway. Destination reached with NO whispered words of endearment from hub, no boob groping, no nothing - just getting on with the task at hand so to speak.
This was followed by the main event. Hub wanted some 'nama' (no condom action fist) which is unusual now that we no longer want to increase our offspring. I did a quick calculation and as period is due in about two days I agreed. Hub finishes with his chinchin encased in green rubber though. I tried to go in for the pash half way through but I would have had more success trying to suck face with the wall. Fuck Japan and its nation of stone wall kissers. Hub is actually quite good and usually it is fine but yesterday was Japanese drama pecking and lip pressing togetherage.



He didn't say anything. He got up, put his PJs on and went downstairs and by the sounds of it (glass, ice, pop of bottle) had a swig of sake.

This is a first. The kissing thing was down right insulting. The first thing I thought was holy fuck. What if he is getting it somewhere else? I haven't thought that before. OK, so probably I have because I'm a pessimist and currently have loads of flabby weighty insecurities about my body.
When he came back upstairs I asked if everything was OK and he said eh, um, un and went to sleep.

This isn't good. I want my husband and his shinkenja chinchin back please. I want cuddles and kisses and to be told I'm beautiful even if it's a lie and I don't feel it.

I couldn't get to sleep after that - thinking about...

If he is, who is it and does she have small tits?

How does he find the time in between work and silver balls?

Is it down to me 'letting myself go' after shooting three kids out the saloon doors in as many years?

What would I actually do anyway?

Decided I would just write it down, chalk it up as a bit of an odd meeting and fuelled by all the stress of late, hope it isn't going to be a regular thing and that we kind find our groove again.

We are reaching our 6th year anniversary and therefore will officially be in our seventh year - the seven year itch perhaps?

There, that wasn't too bad now was it. Hardly any obscenities and blasphemous outbursts at all.


Thursday, 8 April 2010


Some pics... in no particular order.

Mullet haired popo-chan. Scary. Very scary. Shou came into our bed in the middle of the night the other night so I vacated and came into his room. Got into his bed, rolled over and just about had a fuckin heart attack. Popo all perfectly squashed in container and lit up by hall light. This photo doesn't do scary popo justice at all. Because anked and sitting like this at 2in the morning and she beats chucky hands down.

Jolly Jumping on the deck - the lazy baby sway. Can see corner of very heavy yakiniku (BBQ) / construction site (filled with rocks) table. It is heavy minus the rocks and with the rocks - well yesterday's fridge man didn't look like he'd be much help in the heave heave ho department (or any department for that matter - there goes my desparate house wife meets hot utility guy scenario - am so going to have to put in a pool just so I can advertise for a spunky pool boy) so I got hub to shift it with me this morning. The deck is also now scrubbed free of crap and dust and now awaits a coat of paint or whatever. Not that you'd know from this photo but Ryu really does have two bottom teeth. I promise.

Bongo Ryu - we got this truely fabulous toy from Jo and the haven for pregnant woman, mothers of small babies, lieing husbands and women with mad bitch vestling mother in laws. It was in their pile of toys to find a new home. The kids spied it and were having a great time dancing to the African, Indian, Japanese .... songs on it. Jo warned me about taking it. The warning fell on deaf ears. Two months later and I am now certain this toy has had not so small a role in my recent visit to above said haven. If you see this toy - DO NOT BUY IT. If someone gives it to one of your kids as a present stop sending that person Christmas cards and for godsake don't invite them to any more birthday parties.

I'm not entirely sure but I think this car magnet is for people who want to offload their babies.

Don't think the teachers will let you play outside in these Marina. And yes, Shou's Lightening McQueen shoes ARE watching you.

Flying Fish - six out of the intended seven on the one pole and threads of the one that got all tangled up last year in storm and has been there ever since as only way of recovering would be to chop pole down - or turn self into African pigme pole climber, which I can't see happening until either I am a slither of my current self or that pole magically sprouts rungs.

And there was supposed to be one of nice Sakura tree in full bloom that pass on way to kindy. Computer obviously trashed it and decided was too boring to bother spending ten minutes uploaded.
Will try again next time.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Woman Cleans!

I got such a fright last night when I found Granny K in her room with something that resembled a broom that I had to actually ask her what she was doing. Cleaning! Would you believe it? I haven't seen her actually move things before - like her little table or cushions. Quite the scene.

Is I think because the fridge man is coming round to look at her fridge. And that's not code name for anything. Her fridge has crapped out - and it took her until all the meat in the freezer section was completely and utterly defrosted with no ice or water left at all to figure out. I borrowed some milk for my coffee two mornings ago and thought it tasted a bit funny but after looking at the date and then putting it back into her fridge which had all its lights working I didn't think anything other than just not used to taste of different brand of milk.

Wouldn't surprise me if she came down with something horrendous after trying to eat the gone off contents of her fridge.

I am meant to be here to field the call that will come to say when fridge man will get here - and then be here if it is before she gets back from pottery. I was instructed, not asked. Lucky for her I'm not in the strop I was in last night or I may well have gone shopping and left the house unattened just to spite her.

Quite grown up I can be sometimes.

We had another semi meltdown last night.

Ryu and I had a good day. I didn't end up scrubbing the deck as heavy yakiniku slash/contruction play site filled with gravel table that impossible to move by self. Took everything else off though in preparation for getting hub to help me move it - which I forgot to do so it will have to wait another day! (could perhaps ask fridge man when he comes though)

Ryu had some jolly jumper time...

(insert pic of cute baby not quite jumping but more of a lazy baby sway - camera ran out of juice half way through upload)

And I put up the koinobori - flying carp that you fly on big bamboo poles in your backyard to celebrate children's day - and the birth of a boy. We had loads up the first year and then last year one got stuck and the rope on one of the poles broke. Inability to find local African pigmy pole climber has meant we now only have one pole left to fly carp from. I put up seven but one had already come off by the time finished - and it is quite a mission, especially when a bit of a breeze blowing. The rope gets extremely heavy. Note big space between top two carp - was a beautiful red and gold momotaro carp in between them. For all of thirty seconds before it flew off and landed in the ume (plum) tree.

(insert pic - of six flying carp)

Following housely chores we went to the town office so I could get my new passport number officially written and stamped on the back of my gaijin card. Not a huge mission - you would think anyway. Plebs at the town office took TWENTY minutes trying to find the form for me to fill in. Old passport number was this, new passport number is this, date and sign. I may have forgiven them if they were newbies who got transferred to that office in April and therefore hadn't memorized the filing system yet but these two have been there for more than two years!! The same two I had big barney over about not having a family register - even though not their fault. Luckily Ryu was in fine form and laughing at all the ladies.

Got that sorted, paid mamoth bill at the petrol station - almost makes me think they have secret pachinko machine out the back that hub has a go at everytime he goes to fill up his car. Went to the supermarket for stuff for hamburgers for dinner - Shou's request. Buns, patties and salad stuff.

Shou wanted to help - as three year olds do. He burnt himself on the frypan - at the time I thought it was a spat of oil flying from the pan (not deep frying - only about a tablespoon in to brown the chips) . Must have been side of pan though as despite cold water and ice he still got a small burn blister and was all beside himself in pain and wanting his daddy. That set the other two off and for a second I was standing in the kitchen surrounded by three screaming children - wondering why the fuck I had that extra beer the night I hooked up with hub.

Rang hub, told him what was going on, and would it be possible for him to come home a bit earlier tonight. Nope. This is after I rang twice to only get his answer phone for him to ring back five minutes later - after he's finished that set of silver balls and gone outside where it is quiet?? !!

I am suspicious by nature. I can't help it. And he hasn't leant himself to good behaviour that would make me any other way. So even if he is actually working, I don't know for sure and just work self up into over the top tizz that he could be out at pachinko while I am dealing with minor burns and screaming children.

So was in foul mood. While dinner went fine after that - Marina ate all her burger by herself and Shou with a bit of coaxing as couldn't use hand - same hand was perfectly fine for playing hyper rescue two minutes later but.

Shou pulled the I want to sleep in Granny K's room routine again and I could see myself starting to wind up - I think I was able to dampen the gaijin wife fire a little but she still pisses me off. However, unlike times of old after blowups like this we now just get on with things the next day - usually. She takes advantage of me by telling me to be home for the fridge man and I don't say anything along the lines of 'thanks for considering my routine/schedule/plans/life' and just suck it up as have been out of line and really the only card I have to play at the moment is that hey - the wife, mother in law relationship is hard at the best of times so through in a gaijin, three small children, some family illness, some failing diets, and a lieing pachinko-ing husband and really.... what chance do we have at all? Look at it that way in fact and Granny K and I have a raging success of a daughter-mother in law relationship.

Speaking of diets - the procrastinator in me has decided that I can't possibly start a diet properly until I can put a ticker up the top of my blog to record weight loss progress. And can't do that until I have cable internet and a better computer - seriously. Have tried to put ticker in before and not possible on current flinstones computer.

The fridge man has just rung and asked me twenty questions about her fridge. Must say he has a very nice phone voice. Wonder if he could come fix my 'fridge' too. Hasn't had any fixing lately.