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.