Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Not lazy!

It's been sooooo long since my last post, but this time, it's not out of laziness. I often thing about things that I want to write about here. Mostly when I'm hanging out laundry for some reason..but alas, I never get around to it. The reason for this is my new found motivation. I KNEW I hadn't lost it. It was just chilling out for a while, but is now back with a vengence (is that the right spelling..?). Anyway, for the month of December, I have been to the gym for a total of 10 out of 11 possible days, i.e. days when Y is working/practicing for dancing at weddings (don't ask..)/out for bonenkai and Fridays and Sundays, when I am not allowed to go to the gym because of my membership type. So I am embracing this new motivation, which also seems to have led to eating less and better. Plus being out of the house for the gym from 9:30 until about 11:45 means no chance to get bored and start mindlessly snacking. I get home, have an orange/carrot/some pepper and then go to bed.

This month has also seen the, and I say this tentatively, end of the breastfeeding. Since December 15th, Luka has had only one feed, and that was a desperation one in the middle of the day. He is not having a feed at bedtime, just a cup of warm milk. This is a challenge in itself because he doesn't really seem to like cow's milk, but will take it if he is thirsty, and seems to enjoy drinking something warm. So to keep up his calcium intake, he is eating lots of cheese, nothing new there, little fish and yoghurt. Ok, so back to the getting fit and losing weight thing. Before I stopped bfing, I had lost a grand total of FIVE kilos - yippee!!! Then after the nursing stopped, I went up 400 grammes literally overnight. So far, this has not come off and I have hit a plateau. I refuse to let this put me off, however, and am still religiously exercising and eating well. It may not be anything to do with nursing, and could just be that my body has gained more muscle, because oh joy of joys, I noticed that my stomach is starting to show signs of a "4-pack"!!! Now I must clarify, I still have a tum, lower down, but I'm talking midriff here, and small steps and all that. I have NEVER had anything more than a 2 pack, and that was just fat...yuk...so I am determined to lose another 10kgs (or less if I'm happy with my figure) by mid 2010 I am still not back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but only another kilo to go, so that will be great! I have already been able to extend my wardrobe with clothes from before, but sadly other clothes have become too big. Not that I really mind in the long run!

So here I sit, writing this at one a.m., and thinking that I REALLY need to go to bed if I'm going to avoid oversleeping again tomorrow. Can you believe that I need to start using an alarm clock again?!?! Heaven! Night night!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rainy days and periods

This morning was so cold, and I swear the air smelt of snow. When I got to the nursery, it started to rain. Typical that I had already started the washing. I missed a day yesterday, and H had to go to nursery wearing a long sleeved top under a summer blouse because I only have two winter blouses. I begrudge buying more, because they are almost 3000 yen each...

So I have just got the children off to bed, and have the evening to myself as Y has gone out to practice his next show for another friend's wedding. This is good, because it gives me chance to firegaze and I am not great company today due to dreaded period making it's appearance for this month. I made a salad for dinner as I am so bloated, no desire to eat/cook/do anything. I have a living room full of dust bunnies, fluff and laundry. And oh yes, forgot to mention that I did a load of laundry today with H's nappy...it was a dry one, thankfully, but for those who have experienced the joy of washing a nappy (or a panty liner for those without children) will know that they contain a lot of jelly like stuff that gets over EVERYTHING! Fortunately, today, I rinsed and spun again and it seemed to get a lot out, although I'm sure it can't be good for the washing machine!

Today is my sister's birthday, Happy Birthday J! But I am a rubbish sister because I didn't even get a card sent, let alone a present :(

On a POSITIVE note, because I certainly need one of those today, apart from a few hacks in the night, my cough is on the way out! My windpipe seems to be getting back to it's normal size, and I can actually talk without sounding like a female-impersonator too! There is my silver lining for today :) Let's hope it stops raining tomorrow.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Still got it?

Ok, today was a bit of a nightmare. It's day 3 with L AND H at home and I have remembered why I was so desperate waiting for the start of kindergarten. I love my children, I really do. But COME ON!! We are all fighting colds, L has a definite man cold, but H is running close behind. I don't blame them. Now I have a cold too, I know how they feel, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I have had L draw on the wall with red crayon today (it came off really easily thank goodness), things hurled around, physical fights (the children, not me), screaming, being shunted by the ride along, having my chest smacked in demand for milk, etc. etc., I am boring myself with this rant.

Anyways, I was waiting for a parcel from FBC (Foreign Buyers Club), and as it's been a week, and I requested a morning delivery, I assumed it wasn't coming anytime soon. But the doorbell rang at around 6p.m., right when I was cooking dinner, and trying to tame the monsters. And sure enough, it was the parcel. I opened the door, and the parcel man looked really stunned. He asked if this was the right address, I said yes, and he got all flustered, and wouldn't stop staring at me. He stuttered for me to sign for it, all the while staring at me O_o and then I took the parcel from him, him checking that it wasn't too heavy for me...yeah, ok, it was only a few boxes of cereal, I often walk around carrying a 10kg baby on one arm and a 14kg baby on the other, oh and sometimes a basket of laundry at the same time ;). Then he literally, stumbled backwards down the stone steps while STILL staring at me.

Now I am not an arrogant person, in fact I have quite a few self-esteem issues. But..I swear... these were the actions of a man who has just seen a pretty girl *blush*. I asked him if he was ok, and he smiled and muttered something, then almost tripped down them again on his way to the van. So even though I found this quite odd (did not look my best apart from nice clothes, but still full of cold, untamed brows and greasy locks), it kind of made my day. Sad? Maybe, but I don't care :P

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Time Management

Not sure what happened this week. I find myself pondering, usually while I'm hanging out laundry, or cleaning the bathroom, and think, I'll put that on my blog. But alas, I never seem to get around to it. I wonder why I don't get time that others seem to. I have to assume that my organisational skills suck. That makes me a bit sad, because my time management skills used to be one of my strengths. I rarely go out during the day, other than to take and pick up H from kindergarten. I feel bad for L, but I usually get minimal daily housework done while he is napping, or if he doesn't nap, I do it with him crying and clinging to my leg (boys...), after that, preparing and eating lunch and then off to pick H up before you know it. Then she gets home and it's snack time, preparing dinner, bath time and bed. Then I go out to the gym, get home and then I suppose theoretically I have time for blogging, but I usually spend time cleaning up and preparing for the morning. If I do go out in the day, all the work gets backed up and the following day is a bit of a nightmare. So something has got to give here.

From tomorrow, H's kindergarten is closed for the rest of the week. That means H and L need entertaining. H has got into the habit of saying, "I'm bored.." pretty much all the time. So I am trying to plan one activity a day. Tomorrow, I thought I'd get her to help me make the lunch and kill two birds with one stone. In theory, this sounds good, because she loves making food, but then L always wants in on it too, then they get to squabbling, and I find myself wanting to reach for the bottle...(of course, I would never ;)) But I have tried to get around this by stationing H on one step, and then L on another step by the sink, filling a bowl full of water, and letting him play with it. He is a water freak.

Thursday and Friday? Well, no idea yet. Will let you know when tomorrow is done with..

Monday, November 16, 2009

Where did all my energy go?!

These days, I can't seem to get out of bed very easily in the mornings. The children rarely wake up during the night, and I sleep with the light off, a very sound sleep I think. But still, when the alarm goes off in the morning (yes, we even need an alarm now!!), I have to prise myself out of bed. Something tells me it's the weather. It seems to have suddenly turned cold. People talk about the "winter weather", hang on, isn't it still autumn?!?! I think I blinked and missed the leaves changing colour and there they all are, on the ground. Have I been so tied up in things that I missed a whole season?! And the children seem a bit the same. H didn't wake up until 8a.m. today, and only then because I was in her room getting L's clothes. She can't get moving either, and it takes her approximately 20 minutes to eat a bowl of cereal o_O As for getting dressed by herself..forget it! L seems to be happy enough, although he did fall asleep on my lap at the computer at 10a.m. this morning. Of course, once I got up, he started to cry, and I had to rock him for about an hour before he finally dropped off again. Found a bit of motivation and energy in my coffee (thanks Khea) and managed to get the laundry done, finally put away my summer clothes and sort out some extra drawer space for L, so I should be proud to have acheived something!
Had a great weekend with Sarah and the Gunma Mummies on Saturday! It was so nice to have so many cute little children around, and to have a natter, but was also a little like a madhouse! I think we all at one point said that there would be no more children for any of us...
I have just returned from the gym, woo hoo! So that is another thing to feel proud of today. This energy slump must be widespread, because the gym was almost empty today. Very unusual on a Monday. So I have decided to try not to be so hard on myself, and concentrate on the positives instead of focusing on the things I DON'T do. Seems possible! Gym (for myself) and at least a little housework every day (for all of us) are both good starters. So it's a good start to the week. I am hoping that the sun will come out tomorrow? I have a model lesson with a prospective student, so fingers crossed! Hope everyone else isn't letting the cold and lack of sunshine get them down.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Went to the gym for the first time since we moved last night. I REALLY didn't want to go. Was tired and cold, and even after I'd been, I didn't really feel great, but after stepping on the scales this morning to find 400 grammes gone, I felt much happier. And the whole day went well after that. Lots of energy and motivation! Had a fairly decent sleep last night too. One of the children cried out once in the night, but I suspect it was H having a dream, because there was no other sound after that. I decided to draw up a weekly cleaning list, so that instead of feeling overwhelmed and ending up cleaning the same place over and over and missing others, that I will be able to do a little each day. So today was the spare room and children's room, and as usual, the kitchen, which I do as I am cooking/washing up anyway. L fell asleep in my arms at around 10:30 this morning, so I put him down in the playroom, did the laundry and then set about cleaning. I was done by noon, so an hour and a half a day is pretty good! That leaves me enough time for cooking and playing with L before it's time to pick up H. I was feeling quite motivated, so we even went out for a walk after we got home, just to explore the area. Got lots of exercise pushing the double buggy uphill too :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

New Week, New Plans

Right, now I'm coming out of the hole I like to call period HELL, I am ready for a new week. I have one full load washed in the washing machine, a basket full ready to be put away, and another lot on the balcony just waiting to be folded and put away. Yes, yesterday I skipped a load..but I DID dust and hoover the whole place, so it is just one of those things.

Yesterday, we got the outside shed, so got to pack our "outside" stuff in there: tent, beach canopy, sport equipment, parasol, soil, plant pots, etc. etc., which means our entrance hall is much clearer. We put the coat hooks on the wall low for the children, but didn't get ours up yet because of hollow wall problems, so for the meanwhile, we are still stuck with the coatstand, which I will have to stand. The curtains are up, except for the children's room ones, which really need to go up to stop these 5a.m. starts.. There are still mountains of things to do though, which is good to keep the boredom at bay, but sometimes I wish that it would all be done. Usually when L is grizzly and won't let go of my leg.

We took the keys back to the estate agent, so we said goodbye to the old place. We were only there for a year, but it was still a bit sad for me. I suppose everywhere has memories and leaving there just feels a bit like you might forget things. H stayed in the car with me and L because she said she didn't want to say goodbye because she liked our old apartment. Before I knew it, Y had called his sister and got her to pick the bike up in her car to bring it here! Chicken.

Y also went to meet the leader of the resident's union in our area. I am not really one for this whole resident's union biz. To me, it just means we have to pay money and get up early once a month in summer to clean the road. It's not really of any direct benefit, other than to have a few less leaves on the street...Every area has it's own rules, and in ours, we pay 2000 yen a month until we have paid 70,000 yen in total. To me this seems quite ridiculous. On top of that, we have to pay 5000 yen annually. The leader of the union told Y that a lot of people complain about it, but because there are a lot of old folk north of here, it is an old rule that is "impossible" to change. I asked Y what would happen if we refused to pay it. It's not a law, after all. He seemed to think that people might dump their rubbish on our garden and generally terrorise us. Shocking! Makes you wonder where the real laws are.

We met our neighbour who moved in at the end of last week. She had a little dog, which is seriously one of the ugliest pooches I have ever seen. But it did make me think that having a pet would be nice. I love dogs, but I don't think we are ready for a dog just yet. Especially if I will be going out to work so doggy would be alone and with the children still so little. Plus, dogs are a bit too dependent and I don't think I can handle another dependent quite yet. So I was considering a cat. This is odd, because I have never been a cat person. I think they look nice and everything, but the fact that they don't REALLY care about you always put me off. Now, however, I like the idea of low-maintenance and wonder if I'm not a bit "cat-like". I certainly like my own company, and would love to just wander off at will ;)

Y is not really up for it though. Says it would make the house stink, and he wouldn't want to clear up the poo..which to me would be relatively inoffensive compared to picking up dog poo with a plastic bag over your hand and carrying it around with you. DO cats make the house stink?!?! And do they moult? And maybe the vets bills would be a bit scary. Anybody with cats out there?

Anyway, I digress..L is sitting watching The Very Quiet Cricket, and I'm hoping that he will soon become the very quiet baby, so I can get on with the housework. Oh, and net surfing to find a nice name plate for our front wall. There are no numbers for houses, so most people here put their name on the outside to help the postie, etc. Didn't know they could be so expensive, but unfortunately, the cheaper ones are a bit naff. Not sure whether to go for a great one, or just a mediocre one. Decisions, decisions...

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Well we are finally reconnected to the net, which is a big relief for me. I refuse to be perturbed by Y's comments that I am "a bit sad", because without internet, I have no contact with my family and far away friends. I can't abide chatting on the phone, and would much rather talk with my hands anyway. Plus it's amazing how many things you do on the internet, isn't it?!?! Finding out where places are, checking exchange rates, the weather, news, converting weights and measures, finding recipes, checking medical symptoms, finding phone numbers, shopping for just about everything - these are just a few of mine. So I am happy happy happy to get our internet working again.

Well we are technically all moved, apart from my bike, which Y and I have to janken to decide who gets to cycle all the way up here on it. I tried the reverse psychology bit and told Y that I should do it because I am fitter than him. Didn't seem to work though. He just laughed. Have to think of a new technique if I want to get out of it then.

We have lived here since October 26th, which is a grand total of 13 days. Wow, that's a bit of a shock. It took two to three days to unpack. That is something of a record for us, because we often have boxes hanging around for weeks. I'd like to think it has a lot to do with me being more organised this time, and the fact that I must have got rid of a skipload of things we were hanging on to that we didn't really need. Having the storage room is great. We have the bookcases in there, so it leaves the rooms really clear. I always had a problem with the bookcase in the bedroom. Don't know why, but bookshelves always look really cluttered to me. Ideally, it would be nice to have a little desk in the storage room so I could sit in there and do the accounts, etc., but in reality, there may just not be enough space. The children are both sleeping in one bedroom, and it's looking really nice. When L is out of his cot, we are thinking of buying a high bed that we saw in Ikea where you can put a mattress at the bottom, which would be ideal for L to sleep on. It turns upside down and can be used as a kind of four poster bed for when they need their own rooms, which can be decorated with "girly swags". Anyway, THEIR room is sorted apart from the curtains, which I am hoping to make when my fabulous sis buys me a sewing machine ;) It has been years and years since we had our own bedroom to ourselves, and it's great not to have a nightlight on and sleep in pitch darkness. And to be able to actually talk!

As for our room, the double wardrobes are already full, how the hell did that happen!?!? I am trying to hang my clothes and maybe search for some nice drawers for jumpers and heavy things that will fit inside. At the moment we have those awful long plastic ones that I can't stand, but I prefer to have clothes hanging so I can flick through and see what I've got. Y has way too many clothes. I definitely think he needs to downsize. He wears about 4 different outfits when he's not wearing his suit, and yet he has drawfulls of clothes, some of which I have never even seen him wear. We got some drawers to use as bedside tables. They match the bed, but we went for the drawers as opposed to the bedside tables in the series, because they are more useful and I think look better anyway.

The curtains are up at the windows. We compromised on the "net" curtains, which I didn't want, and now we have some thin curtains up instead, which are far prettier and still let the sunlight pour in. And I have to hem the curtains for the other window at the back of the bed. The shame about having so many windows, is that there is not so much wall space to decorate. I am definitely thinking of making curtains for all of the little windows though, or blinds or something, because at night, it's cold. And the wind coming from the mountains hits the back of the house and it's just miserable. So hopefully curtains will help the north side at least feel a little better. So glad that all the rooms are south facing though.

The bathroom is one of my favourite rooms. Lots of space in the washing area, and we ended up using the kitchen trolley in the bathroom to store towels and p.j.s Only problem is there is a lot of floor and not enough bathmat and both children have run off it and slipped on the floor after taking a bath, so I'm on the lookout for a bigger bathmat.

Anyway, enough about the rooms, because I could go on about it all day. When I have things a bit more organised, I'll go round and take some photos to post.

We went to the neighbours to introduce ourselves, and got rather a frosty reception from one of them. Y apparently saw some comment on the internet about someone who lives around here. They were complaining that when they bought their property, there were assured that the prices would not be any further discounted, and that the remaining properties on the street are now being sold at a much lower price. Erm, yeah, ok, is that OUR fault?! What do they expect the housing company to do when they can't sell houses for a year?! There is still one house left, but I know I won't be crying if that gets discounted too. That's the gamble after all. Anyway, I am not really bothered about the neighbours as long as they don't get in our business, but it's good that there are plenty of younger children for L and H to play with in the future.

So in brief, things that are different about the new place and area:

  • It's quiet. Far from the main road and no real through-roads.

  • It STINKS. There is a pig farm and a cow farm just north of here and at night time the air is positively humming

  • We don't really have much of a view compared to the old place because of the houses across from us.

  • We DO have an AMAZING view of the mountains from the back of the house though!

  • It's a bit chilly here at night, but the airconditioner is filling the 18 mat quota as promised!

  • It's nice to not have to fold our dining table up anymore.

  • Our t.v. is humungous, but it's not as overbearing as I had imagined it was going to be.

  • Our rubbish men come way too early in the morning here, so no more chance to take out the rubbish if Y forgets.

  • The postie also comes in the morning (as opposed to 4p.m. at the old place!) which is great!

  • There are not as many pointless salesmen ringing the doorbell at all hours.

  • Cleaning didn't get harder, just takes longer :)

Unfortunately, we will have to wait until the new year to get our new sofa, t.v. stand and dining table, which kind of sucks, but is just one of those things. I'm hoping that next week I'll be able to organise everything a bit more and that we'll get the blinds for the living room delivered. Without them it all seems a bit cold. Then it might start feeling a bit more like home.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tomorrow! Tomorrow!

Ok, countdown is now suddenly at one day. How did that happen?!?! Here's me thinking I had loads of time, and suddenly, it's 1:30p.m. and half of the last day is gone! Ok, must think positive. I packed 17 boxes during the week. Turns out that that is really the maximum I could do, what with time, two children, cooking (blow the cleaning other than essentials, I'm moving), and trying to avoid packing "necessary" items that I would only have had to go back into packed boxes to retrieve. Ah, that's better..breathing is calmer now.

The moving company man came at 10:30 today to uninstall the upstairs air conditioners. They will bring them to our new house on Thursday. This might seem a bit strange, but here is what happened. The man from the housing company agreed to us moving in on October 26th. We met with the moving company, set the date (which of course is a "lucky day" in Japan), and agreed a price. I have a potential new student who I am meeting on the Tuesday, day after we move. We have H's drawers arriving on the Wednesday, and a t.v. arriving on the Monday. The housing company guy, who I shall now name as I (for idiot), called us to say that maybe it would be better if we moved a little later on in the week, because he wasn't sure if the ownership papers (or some such other boring matter) would go through as being in our name by the 26th. I asked (told) Y to tell him no..after all, we had arranged so much stuff, and this is technically I's fault for not considering this possibility sooner, and suddenly wanting to change the date at such short notice. So "I" relucantly agreed that we could move in on 26th, and that he would have to keep it a secret from his company. For some reason, this makes me feel slightly edgy to be moving in, even though it's not our fault and we are not the ones who would get into trouble. But "I", despite being an "I" is quite nice, and I wouldn't want to see him lose his job over it.

Anyway, when I thought the last minute packing was the easiest part, seems I have forgotten what moving house is like. Last minute things suck. They are all so random. Why is there no home for the last minute items? What happened in my organising the house plan with these odd little things?! But then they are all independently used things, that's all I can think of. Clocks, calendars (what? These are last minute things for me :P), dishes, cutlery, clingfilm, saucepans, loo roll, shampoos, etc. etc. So I am currently sitting in a living room filled with boxes, duplo (in the steamer pan), a bored daughter, who sick of playing with bricks in pots, is playing with potatoes and a shopping bag in the kitchen, a husband asleep on the sofa, and a son who has crashed out on the floor after having had a 40 minute tantrum because I wouldn't let him eat his rice with his fingers. To say that moving is stressful would be an understatement. But I am trying to remain calm and to be excited that tomorrow is moving day! And even more excited that it's hopefully our LAST moving day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Organising independence

Well it is almost just 5 days until M-day. I had thought that I could get lots of packing done, but then I remembered how hard it is to pack when you are still needing stuff to live. I always end up packing the wrong things, and then having to rip into boxes to find whatever useless item I think I desperately need. Today I sat down and wrote a logical list of things that I could pack. I had been holding off on clothes because I didn't want them to be sitting in a box/case for days and get all scrunched up. For those of you who don't know, I am an ironophobe. But today I realised that most of the clothes I have hanging up would pack no problem, coats, dresses (all except the fanciest ones), shirts, etc. So I packed them all in one of those big plastic boxes that I used to keep my maternity clothes in (all sold, so now hubby knows I am serious about stopping here) and sat down on it to fasten the lid :P Hmm, that's better. Is starting to look a lot less lived in so motivates me to keep at it.

Next H's clothes and paraphenalia (swimming bag, beach towel, baby playmat that she refuses to get rid of, etc.). I have told her that on Friday, she can help me to pack the rest of her stuff. Last time, it took her a long time to realise that all of her things had been brought with us, and there was nothing left at "home", so this time I decided that packing together might make her feel a little less stressed about the whole moving thing. I think she will be much better this time, because we have talked about all the space that she will have to play in, and that we will try to have her and L together in her bedroom, not to mention the huge bath that we can splash around in! So it looks as if she is excited about it, but still a little bit apprehensive-looking whenever she sees there are more boxes packed up. She came to me tonight when we were getting ready for stories in bed, carrying her Winnie the Pooh light music wind-up toy and said, "Mummy, I think I can leave this here for the next little boy who lives here to play with." Sweet.

So this morning, MIL was off work and said that she could help me to change my gaikokujin card address and take a photocopy of it to the hoikuen because we had forgotten to include it in our application. I appreciate the offer, I really do, but I thought, hang on a minute, these are things that I can do myself. I am a slight control freak (heh heh), and don't really like to depend on people, or to HAVE to depend on people, so the more I can do, the better. I let people help me too much when I was first here, but I know enough Japanese to get by and should try on my own. After all, I am not a child, although I often feel like one! So after handing the copy to the hoikuen (daycare) I went off to the town office and the woman let me change my address even though I stupidly forgot to take my passport - gah! Then picked up a form from the post office for them to forward mail to the new address. This was also written in English and Japanese, but decided to let Y fill that out just for ease of understanding for the postie. Then spent way too much in the supermarket because there was a huge delivery of veggies from the farmers. Saw them all putting their produce on the shelves. Got a HUGE head of broccoli for 170 yen (almost, but not quite the size of my own head). Absolutely delicious.

After picking H up from kindy, we went to Toys R Us to get H's costume for a Hallowe'en party that S is hosting for us and her little girl. It's usually quite a battle to get round there, what with all of the toys and toys and TOYS around, but H was really good, so I bought her and L (he was not so good, so I buckled him in the trolley) a little "shake and go" car from the clearance section. L is scared of it though. Just the revving noises that it makes. He has suddenly become afraid of that kind of thing. Even the animal sound book that he used to love. Not really sure why. Any ideas?

Anyway, I digress..at the till, there was a mother and her (about 5 year old) son buying a rubber dinosaur. I stood at the cash desk and this boy, otherwise known as naughty little s**t, came up to L shouting and saying stuff like, "No, NO, it's not yours, get away, GET AWAY!" and then proceeded to vigourously shake the trolley that L was sitting in. I almost whacked him one. And his mother meekly pulled him away and said nothing to me. After this, he continued to verbally attack H and I just told her that he was naughty and just to ignore him. Times like this, I wish I could have said it more loudly and in Japanese. I think the boy was just high on sugar like most sweety filled hyperactive children around here. I saw another mother with a toddler probably the same age as L throwing a tantrum because he couldn't get a bag of crisps from the vending machine. And so his mother BOUGHT HIM ONE. The mind boggles...

Ok, I have to rant about this now, because I feel a bit like Michael Douglas in Falling Down. Every day when I pick H up/drop her off, I see parents in the car park, mostly mothers but some fathers/grandparents too. They drive in with their cars all equipped with child seats, as the law dictates. But hang on, a lot of these seats are in the front. I saw this and thought, "ooh, that would be quite nice for Hannah to be able to sit in the front", as I knew the rear-facing seats have to go in the back, so I checked to see if this was legal/safe, and found that airbag or not, the safest place for children to be is in the back. Now as a mother, I'm sure other mothers will agree that safety is at the forefront of other mothers' minds, right? WRONG! But that is not the worst of it...I very rarely see the children actually IN their car seats. Now surely this is just laziness?!? Or is it the children saying, "I don't want to sit in my seat", and the mothers saying, "oh, ok then." Am I unusual in being strict about seatbelts? I would like to think not, but there is too much evidence to the contrary, at least from what I have seen here in Gunma. And horror of horrors, today, I saw a mother with her kindergarten child floating around in the backseat, and her SEVEN month old baby in a rear-facing car seat, in the passenger seat, and the baby was actually lying on her tummy peering out of the windscreen. I mean, I'm all for freedom of choice, but this is simply bad parenting, surely?!?! I thought afterwards, as I followed her car out of the car park, I should have beeped the horn furiously and told her that she had forgotten to strap her tiny baby in.

Seems that a lot of parents do things not only because other people do them (the sheep mentality), but because children want to do them. It's nice that children have choices, but when it comes to safety, and erm, that thing called the law, surely it's kinder to choose for them.

Phew, ok, well today was a pretty good day all in all, apart from that niggle, that seems to get worse every day...Am very excited about moving, especially as our downstairs curtains are now ordered and lights and furniture too :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Back to slump

I have been so busy/tired that I haven't been to the gym for over a week :( And although I am still gradually losing weight, it's pretty much down to running around all over the place and not eating properly. This is something I didn't want to do. I wanted to get fit and have more energy. And I DID have more energy. So, it's official, gym really did help me to feel better. Damn it! Now I have to find time and inclination to go. Well, really I think I will start feeling better soon. The sports day and H's ensuing FIVE day weekend, really wore me out. She was bored, I was fed up, and ended up falling asleep at 8p.m. on more than two occasions. You would think that this would be beneficial, but actually, I felt annoyed that I had lost my evenings, where I like to do what I want to do and to keep on top of paperwork/housework.

So last night was the first night in a while that I came back downstairs after putting the children to bed. I looked at curtains and t.v. stands, ha ha ha! Tres exciting! No, really it was. I could look at interior stuff forever. I think that's why I'm refusing to get stressed about packing. I am so excited to be able to do our house how WE want it..oh, correction, how I want it..I am not trusting Y at all after he showed me a picture of a fan/light fitting that I would expect to find in some old biddy's house. But to be fair, he has been really busy sorting out bank and administration stuff. I feel so useless, but these are things that I just can't do, language-wise, so I am concentrating on managing the organising moving-wise, and feeding the masses.

L went for his MR yesterday and he has been like a bear with a sore head for what seems like forever. He was awake at 1:30 this morning screaming. Usually I would put it down to tiredness and being annoyed that I won't give him a night feed and just sit with him. But there was the added worry that he was poorly from the vaccine, so it was quite stressful. He is always having tantrums. I mean like full-blown throwing things, kicking and smacking ones. It's a whole new experience for me, and although I ignore him, it is so stressful. I just want to yell at him, "shut up!" :( I am hoping that tonight will be better for everyone, as even H woke up with the noise last night. Made me wonder about my plan to put them in the same room in the new house. He fell over outside yesterday. We were playing with the tennis ball and were just going back into the house, hence me not holding his hand, and he tripped over the little kerb on the flower bed, slapped his hands on the floor, and then his head toppled over them and he scraped all up his nose :( It is a real battle wound today. Of course couldn't get him to stand still enough for the photos :P

We got a piece of paper in the letterbox yesterday to say that the bathroom wall cabinet "might fall down", so they want in at some point to sort it out. Wow, that thing is pretty big! Could have already fallen down and hurt mine and Y's heads badly enough, let alone the children! Y has already told them to do it after we have moved out, but I think that's not really the best idea. There aren't really all that many precautions we can take to stop it falling down. I have taken everything out of it, but the actual cupboard is heavy enough to be able to do enough damage. I think I will ask Y to contact them again and ask them to sort it out. After all, we have basically refused maintenance, so if anything were to happen, that might be classed as our fault :(

Bought a pizza for dinner, inspired by April Marie's 600 calorie pizza, found one in my supermarket that's about 700cals, although I loaded it with more cheese, peppers, corn and ham, so I'm sure I can't rely on that calorie count anymore! Better go and check on it!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


The man from the moving company came yesterday morning. We chose 'Duck' again, as we have moved with them the last two times, and thought they did a good service. First time we got them to bring everything for us, but this was before we had children and all the "stuff" that comes with! Second time, we just got them to take the big items, and we took the rest. I say we, but actually, I packed about half of it, but didn't really have the energy/motivation to pack the rest. It was a bit of a nightmare, because we didn't have time to de-clutter, so ended up taking all of our junk with us. Well this is the last time we will move, so no junk is going to hang around this time. This time, because of all the downsizing, I'm feeling much more motivated about getting it all packed up by myself. Maybe also due to the fact that we are moving to a lovely house that is OURS! Yay!!!

So they will take four bookcases, the fridge, oven, washing machine, kitchen shelf (to see if we can use it in the bathroom for a while), beds (including cot) and a chair. We are getting rid of...the computer desk, sofa (to Sophie), t.v. stand, t.v. and matching chest of drawers, and the dining table (to Kyoko). In fact, it's just as much of a pain and costly to throw things away, so great that we have a home for at least two of our things. After all, the sofa just needs a new cover, and we only bought the table last year. So all that is left to do is to start packing the rest of the stuff! H is off nursery for the next two days as compensation for the two sports days (even though she only went to one of them), so I am going to wait to do the serious packing when she is back at school. It's hard enough writing this during the day time!

As for the rest of the sorting out, we have already told KDDI we are moving, so hopefully we won't be without internet for a month and a half again like last time. I was so lost without being able to contact my family and friends, and it's amazing how useful it is! I often found myself thinking, 'ooh, I'll just check that on the net..' We have arranged a quote for the t.v. aerial, bought an air conditioner/heater for the living area, and are pricing ginormous t.v.s... The a/c was a bit of a shock to both of us, because we had thought it would be about 150,000 yen for such a large area. Even THAT I thought was pricey, but neither of us were prepared for 340,000yen :O Oh.My.God. Thankfully, there was a big sale on, so it was reduced to 248,000, but still expensive. So Y shamelessly bartered the man down to 220,000 and a free outside pipe cover thrown in. Still expensive, but a necessary purchase, and a good one at that. Let's hope it lasts. Y has persuaded me that a big t.v. will not fill the room with screen, and we have decided on a 42 inch one... People are going for 50" ones here at the moment, so the prices have gone down quite a bit. We are hoping that Y's uncle's family is going to give it to us as a housewarming present :P Even better!

The children and I went out to B-Kids today, a second-hand toy/children's shop to try to get a safety gate. We already have one for upstairs, but now that L has figured out how to open doors and zip up the stairs as fast as lightning, we need one for the bottom too. There were quite a few in there, but the condition was a bit crap and they were asking a minimum of 3000 yen, which I thought was a bit crap, so am going to see if I can't get a new one for the same price or a little more. Otherwise, I could just wait and see if they get any better ones in. But ended up coming out with a cute little two-piece outfit for L for 1,200 yen (bargain, still had the labels on) and a huge box of Duplo. My children ADORE Duplo. It's one of the only toys that makes a regular daily appearance. And so versatile. They were using the green bases as "painting boards" today...The Duplo was 3000 yen for a huge bus box. Only thing that we have to work out is what all the pieces are for. Can't believe we are buying more toys ready for the new house already. But that was a big downer for me living in such a small place. That the children hardly had any toys or space to play with them.

The co-ordinator from the furniture shop called today to say that the 3D plan is ready for us to look at, so we will go and do that this weekend. Can't wait to see how it all looks so that we can make a final decision on the furniture! Unfortunately or fortunately, furniture is custom made, so it's going to take THREE months until we get our new sofa...but have decided that we can cope with our easy chair and floor cushions with kotatsu in the tatami room until then :) It will definitely be something to look forward to getting in the new year!

We are moving on 26th October, so really really soon! So excited! Am a bit nervous that we will not only not get our deposit back, but have to pay extra. Y is worried because of all the dents on the floor, but I am being positive and thinking that we might even get some of it back! And I am definitely definitely looking forward to not having to move again after this too :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Our home

It's been a while since my last real post. I've been a little busy. Mostly because,

we bought a house!

I didn't think I was going to say that for at least another 3 years! We had been looking at old properties, see previous blogs, because buying land, and then building a bespoke house is a pricey business. We had first thought of going this route because we had the land, but with that looking as if it is never going to happen, we went out to look at a house about a ten minute drive from here. We had driven past the houses before, but as we weren't looking at pre-built houses, had just dismissed them. The house was actually built in May last year. They have been trying to sell the last four on the cul-de-sac ever since. Now I'm not sure what the prices were like when they were new, but they are right down now. We looked at three houses. First (the one we bought), was really bright and airy, which is very hard to find around here. Most houses tend to be smaller, but this is 35 tsubos, which is the size that we had decided was "just right" for us, co-incidence? Ok, so the boxes it ticked:

  • lots of natural light

  • good size

  • open plan LDK (living, dining, kitchen)

  • sociable kitchen, i.e. not facing the wall/window, but into the house

  • four bedrooms, one downstairs that can be used as a playroom/guestroom/classroom

  • all south facing rooms

  • parking space

  • garden

  • big bath

  • balcony with a roof

  • lots of storage space (including a storage room)

Now these are the boxes it DIDN'T tick, but that we decided were outweighed by everything else:

  • BIG garden at the rear

  • underfloor storage

  • balcony running the length of the house

  • living room with at least 3 solid walls (no doors)

  • car port

Hmm, thought there were more than that! Nice surprise :) Another GREAT plus is that it is only a five minute walk to the primary school. This had been a big worry to me, as children often walk to and from school alone here, but from the land we were going to build on, it was a 1.5km walk, including a really busy big road :( I tell Y that I am going to take the children to school until they are ten anyway, but we will see. I definitely won't let them go alone at 6 years old, no matter how "safe" it is here. This is also a big plus if I eventually decide to teach primary school children.

So we looked at the house, considered the great location, quiet, and yet not isolated, other children around for ours to play with, and the price, and realised that we could buy it ourselves. MIL was reluctant to help out if we bought a used house. But Y called MIL to come and look at it herself. It was all a bit of a scramble, so we had little time to decide if we really wanted it, and to weigh up the pros and cons. There was another family interested, which didn't help, pressure wise. ARghhhh, so there I was trying to convince myself that if we didn't get it, it wouldn't be the end of the world, ha ha! MIL came, looked around, but the children were getting grizzly for their dinner, and it was getting late. So I decided to leave it in their hands and told Y that if he was sure, then I was sure.

Hours later, they managed to get a further discount of 800,000 yen (down to the MIL ;) ) and as they were desperate to sell, there was also 1,000,000 yen to spend on furniture at a designer store. So exciting! But so nervewracking too! They were sorting it all out all night and Y didn't get back until midnight, by which time, I'd gone to bed! Before this, I was sitting all alone at home excited, arghhhh! So frustrating!

One of their conditions was for a quick move, so we are moving in at the end of this month, and we have this apartment until 8th November. Plenty of time to move, but I want to get as much packed as possible. I'm soooooo glad that I de-cluttered. Must have been fate :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Books for sale + chakubarai

Want to sell the following books. Individual prices listed o.b.o.:

Underworld - Don DeLillo - never read - 700 yen

The Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 - never read - 700 yen

The Fabulous Mum’s Handbook – Grace Saunders (hardback) – 300yen

What to Expect When You’re Expecting – Murkoff, Eisenberg & Hathaway (paperback2002 edition) – 300 yen

The Dorling Kindersley Pregnancy Question and Answer Book – Lees, Reynolds & McCartan (paperback) – 500 yen

The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera - 200 yen

Norwegian Wood - Haruki Murakami - 200 yen


Crayon Shinchan -1, 2, 3 - 400 yen for three

Yuyu Hakusho - 1 - 100 yen

Monster - Naoki Urasawa - 1, 2, 3 - 600 yen for three

Flowers & Bees - Moyoko Anno - 1, 2 - 400 yen for two

And a Pilates for Pregnancy (during and post) DVD Region 2 PAL - 700 yen

Please contact me here first. Thanks :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Out and About

Ah, last night's sleep was a little more interrupted..ah well. I went to the gym from 9p.m. for just over an hour. My motivation was really high yesterday. So much so, that for my first cardio on the, hmmm...not sure what it's called, but the thing that you stand on where you move your arms and legs backwards and forwards?!?!? Anyway, I felt a little sick after it. It's still my fave cardio machine though, because I can burn off about 80kcals in 10 minutes. Of course it would be good if I could actually DO more than 10 minutes, but little by little...I LOVE the abs. stuff that they have there too. Loads of machines and benches. Got 150 crunches in. I am getting to that stage where I am waiting to feel the muscles working, and loving it. And did my usual circuit of the weights machines, then 20 minutes on the bike (treadmills were all full, grr..), which is so boring, so perfect for phone mailing ;)

This morning, Y called and told me he'd forgotten his sticks and folder for his drum lesson tonight. He asked me to drop them off, and I had nothing else planned, so off L and I went after dropping off H. The weather today is awful. I skipped laundry because yesterday's was still damp so not even anywhere to hang it. It's weeks like this one where I really miss having a dryer. L and I hung around kencho for a while after we'd dropped the stuff off and went up in the glass lift to the 32nd floor. Not much to see today though because of the clouds. L had fun running around though.
While we were in Maebashi, I decided to nip off to Keyaki Walk (shopping centre) to get some vanilla macadamia coffee cream. I am addicted to that stuff. Sucks that it's so expensive for such a small amount though, but never mind. Had a little play in the soft play area and bumped into one of the other mothers from H's kindergarten. ARghhh, what are the odds?!? In the next city from Takasaki too. We exchanged a few pleasantries, but they really were a few thanks to a. my limited Japanese and b. my not really caring all that much :P L enjoyed playing, but I rather suspect that he enjoyed posing for photos a lot more. Coffee and a sausage roll later, returned home, ate lunch and watched some Masterchef. Mmmmmmmm, more yummy food...not good for my diet :( Despite that, cooked some pasta with brocolli, courgette and mini-tomatoes in tomato and cheese sauce - SOOOOOO yummy! But of course I made way too much, so lots more in the freezer for one of those days when I can't be bothered.

Am going to look at a couple of houses tomorrow. One about a 10 minute drive from here. Newly built with a nice decent sized back garden, and not all that expensive. Then another 15 year old one a 5 minute drive away with decent land and pretty big, so we'll have to see how that goes. It's quite exciting looking at houses that are actually already there. I have realised, much to my chagrin, that I am rubbish at imagining layouts in reality. So designing our house is quite tough. Nice to be able to look at lots of different places, then I can just say, "right, build me one like that!!"

Have a cleaning blitz planned for tomorrow too. Am going to ask Y to take the children out for a couple of hours (he doesn't know this yet), which I'm sure will mean him going to MIL's as the thought of looking after both children at the same time fills him with absolute dread. Then on Sunday I have promised H that we will make some biscuits with her new little baking set :) Fun fun!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Energy Fest!

I wish I could attach some kind of fanfare to this post, but I can't, so you will have to make do with a written one. Last night, I slept from 12a.m. until 6:30a.m. (insert fanfare here)! That's right, no night waking - woohoo! I even managed to get in another 40 minutes from 6:30 while I gave L his morning feed. So today is a good day. I almost feel like my normal self, not that I can remember what that feels like :P

So after breakfast, we go to take H to nursery and just before we get there, I remember that it's October 1st, and that H's hat changes from the straw version to the warmer winter version from October, hmm, start of October, mid-October? Sure enough, as I drive up, all the children are wearing their winter hats, some of them are wearing the long-sleeved blouses, jackets, and their own thick heavyweight trousers. Not sure it's that cold just yet, but you know what it's like when it's decided that the season has changed...no going back! So I keep on driving, which is slightly embarassing, as I have to stop at the zebra crossing to let the mummies cross and they look at me as if I am stupid enough to have forgotten to drop off my child...

Ten minutes later, seasonally attired, I drop H off and set the navigation system for the docs. for L's jab. I realise that I am going to be a little late, which I really don't like to be :( I arrive at the docs., or I arrive where Betty (my satnav...don't ask) tells me the docs is, only to find there is no surgery there, just a car park - oops, wrong entry. Frantically try to find the real one, and then breathe a sigh of relief when I find out it's only another 8 minutes drive. When we get there, L is asleep - of COURSE!! and we are only 10 minutes late, so that's not really bad. I take L's temperature, and then we wait in the inside waiting room. This is quite fun because there are lots of toys, books and a sofa. L is quite happy being somewhere new. Obviously completely oblivious to the fact that a man is about to stick a dirty great needle in his arm.

Once in with the doc., he asks me something which I think is, "how heavy is he?" so I answer, "9kg", only to find that he was asking about his mood today..ah well, easy mistake to make (please tell me it is!). I like this doctor and I dislike him all at the same time. The reason being, is he is on the Takasaki English-speaking doctor list. I have been to several doctors on this list, and whether they know how to or not, NONE of them speak English! Maybe it's down to the fact that I speak to them in Japanese, but there are times when we have communication difficulties and not once to they resort to English. Today I look at him blankly when he jabbers away in medical Japanese and he tries to make me understand, again all in Japanese. Maybe I should just start talking in English, but I always feel a bit arrogant doing that. Anyway, the good thing about him is that he is vaccination crazy. That's good for me. Y tried to schedule all the vaccinations with all the rules about how long you are supposed to leave in between certain ones, and which ones you have at the docs and which at the hoken centre, etc. So today the doc. writes down in L's health book when to have the rest of the jabs. Next in just one week, MR (just measles and rubella, no mumps included here), then another in November and one more in December. There is a meningitis one as well, but forgot to ask about that one. I have a feeling it's 8000 yen for that one, but relatively speaking, well worth it.

I try to distract L by showing him the pretty pictures on his healthbook, but he is no fool. He swivels his head round to watch the needle being plunged into his arm and immediately cries, but it is very short-lived. Nurse then tells us to wait in the car for 30 minutes to see that he is ok. I find this a bit odd, so instead, we "wait" in the little play area outside while L makes friends with a big gorilla.

Then off to the post office to return some underwear and p.j.s that I ordered from Figleaves. Am a bit annoyed with myself, because although the delivery from the U.K. was only 5 pounds, the return delivery for me is 3,250 yen :( Let's hope that the exchange rate suddenly shoots back up and gives me lots of yen for my refund instead! While out I spot a bakery that I have not been to. Will definitely have to give that one a try. I realise that these days I rarely just go out exploring like I used to do with H. I think the children get a bit bored in the house all the time, even H after she has been at nursery all day. Put it down to tiredness and vow to make time for it instead of being a cleaning demon.

So today ends up being a pretty good day. And Y is home and I am wearing my gym gear waiting for 9 o'clock so I can go and burn off some more calories (make room for all that bread ;)).

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cramps, pom poms and bottle dancing

Yesterday my monthly friend decided to pay a visit. Grr...after having a couple of months between the last ones, didn't think I'd be seeing her for another month. But it explains the exhaustion and eating like a hog.

Wake up at 3.a.m. to a screaming L. Go downstairs to the loo, I must take my time, because when I get back, Y is moved over to my side of the bed and is trying to calm down screaming child. Instead of saying, "ok, thanks, I'll take over." I decide to crawl into his side of the bed and see if I can snatch another few minutes of much-needed sleep. This new night waking (not that there hasn't ALWAYS been night waking, just different) is accompanied by new levels of screaming. It is a step higher, and seems to sound much more like a pterodactyl than before. It is the sound that you imagine torturers could get confessions with.

After 5 minutes of inconsolable screeching, I give in as I realise that I am not going to get any sleep with this racket going on anyway. About 10 minutes later, L is asleep...in his cot...for now.

Alarm goes off at 6:30, oh, and by alarm, I mean L with more screeching. I wonder if I should be worrying that he has some kind of sickness. His teeth have just come through, so don't think it should be that, but give him some Bonjela just in case. Crawl out of bed, reluctantly bringing my stomach cramps, and two children downstairs with me. Step on scales, have lost half a kilo. Yay! It's a small victory, but I will take it!

I grab a quick shower while I can, and then set to work making my husband's bento. No home made stuff today. Just a selection of wonderful frozen bento goods from China. Most of them even in their own packets so I don't even have to get the chopsticks out. Five minutes later, H starts tantruming that she can't fasten her blouse buttons. I tell her it is because she can't shift her gaze from The Wiggles. She tells me that is not the reason (all while not taking her eyes off The Wiggles) and starts crying for no reason. The t.v. goes off until she can fasten two buttons. Y leaves for work, 20 minutes late. Don't get fired, don't get fired.

Breakfast is lovely. Rice Crispies and minimal conversation. Heavenly :) We actually manage to arrive at nursery on time today and don't face the shame of the "late gate", but instead get to walk to the lovely big gate where the older children wait for H so they can hold her hand across the playground.

Get home and go through an hour of L grizzling because he is tired but can't go to sleep. I resist BFing and remember that I shouldn't anyway, because have taken a paracetamol for my cramps and have given him some baby paracetamol for his gums. He ends up writhing and screeching and then suddenly falling asleep on my chest, where he gets to stay for the next 20 minutes. Then it's back to the nursery for the Sport's Day practice where I have to dance with pom-poms while H does some very complicated moves while shaking her rice-filled bottles in the hall with all the other Mums and children. Oh, while L is having the time of his life dancing and shaking his hands in the air with the kids. I lose sight of him about 5 times. Can't really give H my full attention. She does well, but doesn't really look as if she is enjoying herself much. Not sure that I want to subject her to the real thing in a couple of weeks. Kindergarten wants to teach how to be competitive. Not sure that competing is all that necessary at her age anyway.

Go home to lunch and more of the grizzles. My son doesn't want to sleep unless I give up the goods.

Later - it is now 8p.m., Y came home at around 7, just as we were all out of the bath and ready for bed. He took H for her storytime in her bedroom, meaning I could lie and feed Luka while reading my book and having some firegazing time. Nice. Now more time for me :) Am thinking about getting my hot water bottle out to try and ease some of these cramps. The estate agents from the house we saw in Annaka have sent some land information, so Y is looking through it now. Might have a peek too, even though the living room is still absolute tip :(

Have to go to take L for his second DPT shot tomorrow - he is seriously behind on his jabs, so no doubt the doc will give me a piece of his mind. Good though, because he is very serious about vaccinations, so he can sort it all out. All these rules about the duration of time that must elapse between certain jabs, etc. Plus we couldn't get any last month because it is too hot in August so they usually don't do them..interesting. Let's hope he doesn't take it too badly!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Blog, new start

So after having moved my original Yahoo blog to W, I have decided to give Blogger a try. W seems to be a bit too complicated for me. It always takes me an age to get everything right, and time is not really what I have a lot of. Problem is, would love to bring my whole blog with me, but can't for the life of me work out how to export it. Any advice would be very appreciated!

Today weather isn't the best. After a night of rain, this morning is dull and cloudy. After I drop H off at kindergarten, it starts raining again. Sorry L..another day in the house.

Weaning is going ok. Some days are better than others. L was awake for pretty much all of the night last night. Woke up with his feet donking my head as he was sleeping lengthways between mine and Y's heads...So when Y's alarm goes off at 6:40a.m. I nearly cry. Fortunately, Y makes his own bento today - bless. I give the children cheese on toast for breakfast, despite H requesting rice crispies. Cheese on toast = finger food = more time for me to get everything sorted ready to leave.

Not really sure where the time goes today. I do the usual, laundry (now hanging inside the living room window - yuk!), vacuuming, oh yes, I clean the floors, although that is kind of undone when L finds it feels quite nice to walk around in the dampness. Lots of pretty little light coloured footprints on the floor. I had always thought that laminate flooring would be easier to maintain than carpet, but it's not really. The only real advantage is spills are easier to clean up. Laminate flooring hides NOTHING. I am always down on my hands and needs scrubbing up dirty spots. What do I use, what do I use? I heard vinegar and water, I heard a damp mop, window cleaner. What?! I am from a carpet nation. How should I know? I resort to my Perfect Housewife bible, but that only tells me that I don't know whether my floor is sealed or not..hmm...back to square one.

Eat lunch - last night's pork curry leftovers, egg and rice - yummy! L gets potato and fish bake from the freezer, eating and eyelids drooping. I resist the feeding temptation and am glad that I am back in a non-nursing bra today, because the temptation to feed him to sleep is great, but not so great that I can be bothered to take my whole bra off :) He eventually goes to sleep on my lap while I am cutting his fingernails. Ahhhh, quite sweet really.

After that, I have about an hour and a half to really get something done! I sort out the shelves in the living room, which were an absolute mess. No point having shelves to organise things when they are just full of disorganised junk. I start on the "home office" stuff, but there are too many random indecipherable Japanese documents, so unfortunately, that is one that I will have to do with Y. Realise that I only really like cleaning when it is connected to changing something. I rearrange the computer desk, and it is a lot more spacious and clean now. Although it is still just another high surface which Y will probably fill with more junk :( MUST prevent that from happening somehow.

Arghhh, thank goodness for auto-draft saving...just almost lost the whole thing!

Tomorrow is the practice day for H's sport's day. She has been practicing a dance with rice filled PET bottles at kindergarten for the past month. Tomorrow is a practice with "Mums". Yes...we have to participate in this dance too...I had thought that it was going to be impossible. After all, I have L to take care of. So I had thought that I would let H take the day off and go to the indoor play centre. But H is so excited when I picked her up. She says the teacher has been telling them that the Mums will be coming to watch them dance tomorrow. Hmmm, maybe Y had got it wrong and that it will just be an observing thing. Well, I can do that, I think. Wrong...it is still a Mum/child dance, and have now got myself roped into going with L on my back and prancing about with a bottle of rice covered with stickers...ahhhh, parenthood...

This is one thing I don't like about kindergarten vs daycare...parent (more like mother) participation is expected whenever and wherever they like. No consideration for mothers having jobs, other children, lives. Roll on April!

Manage to get the children fed, bathed and in bed asleep by 7:30 tonight, so have lots of time to sit here and do this. I haven't been to the gym since last Monday because of my sore throat and general lethargy. Now, when I am sitting dressed in my sweats and feeling motivated, Y is not home :( Must keep motivation up! Or maybe I should just dig out the Billy's Bootcamp DVD and work up a sweat chez moi...