Sunday, October 25, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
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
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
- 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
- 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
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 :)