Archive | September, 2014
22 Sep

And here we are! A bloody week has passed. Only one more week of term 3 and that is pretty much kind of officially our half way point. How. did. that. happen?

I know that a week after getting back to Japan I will be kicking myself for not doing things, or following through with that, or spending more time doing things with the kids like English games and phonics worksheets and muffin making and yaddah yaddah, making hedgehog pictures out of Autumn leaves…

But then I think they are, for the most part, enjoying school. Their Monday and Wednesday phonics tutor today said they had great letter retention and were progressing well. Obviously if I had been any kind of decent mother in Japan they would have completed Reading Eggs by the time they were two and asking for books instead of their 3DS.

Swimming is going well so I definitely can tick the winning box for that.

I have had quite a bit of work in and it seems quite a few big projects come in on Thursdays or Fridays with a Monday or Tuesday deadline. I obviously say yes and then struggle over the weekend and what gets hit the most is kiddy time. They end up with too much screen time, in one form or another, and I end up trying to fit 50 page power point translations in. The weather has not been very conducive to bloody much either which is a complete let down as this area is renown for its lovely climate. Bloody bollocksy wind and rain can just about fuck off I think.

Ya know and if it started off raining in the morning and continued all day I could forgive it, almost. But its when it starts out sunny, you do the morning thing with promises of trip to the scooter park in the lovely balmy Spring weather, and then you get a monsoon slash torrential downpour slash where the fuck did that come from and bam, outings to scooter park and normal park,  obliterated.

I could take them to ‘Inflatable World’ but I can’t handle that shit on my own with three kids when I’m still traumatized after falling off a bouncy castle holding Ryu and smashing his head on the concrete, only five minutes after (or five minutes before, I forget) Marina got a hole in the back of her mouth from jumping and sucking a party blower thing at the same time.

Meh, in exciting and fun, fluffy, positive, half glass full news…

Box number two of Japan arrived from hub today – with approximately 48 picked plums for Shou, some dried squid, enough Japanese lollies for a really cool pass the parcel for Marina’s 7th birthday, furikake rice sprinkles for rice (read as easy breakfast or dinner), touch pens for the DSs, ramen, etc etc.

I am grateful for the work that has been coming in. It has been steady the past couple of weeks and I know that when this current stint ends I’ll have a few weeks of nada and freak out but must remind self is just freelance translation cycle of feast or famine.

The boys and I are heading to Oz in a few days for a week of catching up with friend I don’t think have seen for 7 years. Tis very exciting, only dampened slightly by the terrorist state telling their followers to grab and kill anyone in anyway and at anytime – especially people from France and Australia. Awesome. Crazy fuckers. It would almost be comical if it wasn’t so real. It seems like a no-filter following of crazy fuckers.

Have also sorted a trip for me and all three kids down South to catch up with more friends, see mum and dad and well, just have a mini vacay and have a few days off school. Want them to have good memories of down where mum and dad are. Marina and Ryu don’t remember anything, and all Shou remembers is getting twenty bucks for going to bring back the rocket we sent my Granny’s ashes up over Central Otago in (was in sheep paddock three hundred meters away) and then  the last trip down there – shoveling dirt into and out of the grave for NZ granny and granddad’s ashes.

Kinda need to get better memories – although he did LOVE the rocket and the grave digger (or ash box digger slash graveyard maintenance man) said he’d make a fine grave digger one day so he has a happy boy.

Right, think it might be quiet on the kids in bed front.

Time for a glass of wine, a page of work, and perhaps an episode of the Good Wife, which I see has started another series.

Night all






















Teeth.. tooth? tooths? untootho?

16 Sep

So I took Marina back to the dentist yesterday. The antibiotics had done most of their job and the tooth could be pulled – but a bit of swelling left in the gum meant she needed two syringes full of anesthetic and not one and ANY mother will know that in such a situation it is the syringe that is almost more traumatic than the pliers-meets-brute strength-meets-screaming …. ….

It was the single most horrible thing I have had to witness as a mother. Coming a close second are Marina getting tubes poked up her bits at five days old – although technically I didn’t witness this as Japanese doctors adhere to a theory of “get the parents out in the waiting room”. I could hear her scream for 20 minutes though and to a hormonal mother who was still in pain herself from having the doctor reconstruct her vagina with however many stitches only five days prior and well yes, it was a horrible day. Then there was Marina waking up from her general anesthetic at one year old. That shit is hard to watch. I imagine it is also hard to go through but watching your kids go through that shit is so hard!

Nearly making the top contenders was the gimp slash inbred fucktard of a nurse who put Shou’s drip in wrong and all the fluid leaked in under his skin until he had elephantitis of the forearm – at 6 months old.

But back to yesterday – my god, the poor girl. It was like I was watching a scene from a movie that involved someone torturing someone by pulling their teeth. It was horrendous. It was a tooth nearer the back – i.e., not one of those tiny little baby teeth near the front that you could almost just wish out by squeezing your eyes shut really tight. No, this bastard needed a whole lot of force. Marina was shaking and screaming and it was all together so traumatic that it needed a lot of pain killers, a strawberry milkshake, a plate of chips, 475 loom bands and $5 from the tooth fairy to make better.

I had the necessary kiddy pain killers at home but the chemist was closer to the dentist so I went in and got more (to give Marina right there and then) and because I am on their cards they know I have just bought the same stuff so they question it and I explained that I had a bloody, dribbly 6 year old in the car who was going to start gaining feeling to her left side of the face again very soon and JUST. GIVE. ME. THE. FUCKIN. DRUGS. WOMAN.

She did, and we had a wee laugh when she suggested I might need to pop into the supermarket next door for wine. LOL – good try. I’d have needed me ten shots of tequila after that day (but I didn’t – my sister came round and we did in fact have wine)

So, about an hour later Marina is feeling a little better. We go to pick the the other two up from school only to find that Shou has, just that second, gone over the handlebars of his friend’s bike and taken a section of skin off his elbow. It isn’t substantial enough to require a doctor’s visit but my first aid kit really only has pain and fever medication, hello kitty bandaids and wine.

So I make my second trip of the day to the pharmacy. The same woman is on the register and I ask her for a spray-on detol-type sterilizer-type kind of shit to spray on wounds. I was hoping for the cool white foam spray you can get in Japan but spray antiseptic Betadine had to suffice. Got home and had more tears as I fixed Shou’s arm up trying to channel my inner Florence Nightingale.

I spent $4 on the McDaddy of all bandaids – it was just one and is quite possibly used for surgical procedures but damn, the boy was running in the regional cross-country today and I didn’t want any dirt migrating into his open wound ya know!

Ryu would like everyone to know that he didn’t require a trip to the pharmacy yesterday. Praise the lord.

Today, in comparison, was a much much better day. Of the 101 top 3rd and 4th year boys in the region Shou came 57 at the cross country. I tried to tell him that considering all the kids were the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place getters in their respective schools, and the fact that he was a 3rd year running against 4th years and well hey, gallant effort my son. He also overtook the two boys who bet him at the school run so wahoo, win win.

And I was ‘that’ mum this time. Standing on the course about 300m from the finish line I had a tear in my eye as I surveyed the group of boys in the distance, waiting to start and no doubt getting instructions, in English. He is doing so well at school here, they all are, and it brings a tear to my eye because I am predominately not winning at this solo parenting thing.

Tis hard yakka being the one and only decision maker. Seriously, I think one of my nicest moments during the week is when their English teacher is here and I have about 40 minutes where I can pop out. I can pop out during the day of course, while they are at school, but for some reason it is the being able to pop out and leave the house while they are all still there. Makes me feel free it does (for some reason you need to say that in an Irish accent)

But of course I love the times my children are winning. Winning at the English thing, winning at the making friends so well they let you use their prized bike and go flying over the handle bars, winning at braving the dentist chair a lot better than I do, and winning at dealing with a mother who is a complete nuthouse sometimes.



Another Rainy Weekend

12 Sep

We have had beautiful weather all week. Why does it have to pack in on the weekend when I then have to think of inventive ways to get the necessary amount of exercise and mad running around in for the kids? Gaah, might just set them onto the cross trainer one at a time. Lord knows I’ll need to get on it a bit too today – what with that big curry I had for lunch yesterday.

The sister and brother and I had been talking about going out for curry for Dad’s birthday a week or so back. It never happened but yesterday we could all do lunch. Unfortunately I couldn’t partake in the late afternoon drinks that followed as I had children to collect from school, scooter parks to take them to, swimming lessons to go to yaddah yaddah.

I would like to think that as far as Friday’s go yesterday was at the top of their kiddy list. They got to order their lunch from school and while they did all want to order a pie and donut they had the choice of ordering that and forgoing the happy meal after swimming, or ordering sushi for lunch and still being allowed the burger and fries for tea.

Yip, the kids can order sushi for lunch. Love that. There was a selection of sandwiches but they all chose the chicken te-maki sushi.

Picked them up from school and we went straight to the scooter slash BMX slash roller blade slash skater park. They are both getting loads better and we managed an hour before having to head to swimming, were they all got certificates for term 3 and Shou got told he moves up a class next term.

Picked up Maccas on the way up to my sister’s, who was already half way through a bootle of wine with my brother. Fortunately it was red so I had nothing to tempt me into squiffing wine with them and getting me and the kids home in a taxi! Also had more translation work awaiting me.

Talking about wine – I had a bottle in my shopping at the supermarket. I was chatting to the lady at the register and she was telling me about her daughter who rocked home at half one in the morning (I had a big shop – she had a lot of time whilst scanning my shit). We were talking about how tiring it all is and I mentioned that I need to get me some energy before picking the kids up in an hour – as in a strong coffee would do kind of energy. She suggested I had a glass of wine as soon as I got home… such is life in NZ I guess. I laughed and the women behind me in the que laughed and said that would be nice.

Needless to say I did not come home and start on the wines before picking the kids up! No, didn’t have a glass until the kids were in bed and I could sit down with some good Friday night comedy on the box.

Marina’s tooth…. went back on Thursday and the antibiotics are working and hopefully it will be coming out on Monday. Marina now has a national health insurance too which was a relief and if the other two need a doctor or dentist then the fact that one of them has a number will mean the other two can get one no problem.  Also means we are in the system for next time too.

On the translation front, work is steady. I have a large, very ambiguous power point due on Monday and have just sent off invoices for August – which had those good few weeks where I had nothing – but for which I was so mental busy at the very start of the month that I invoiced the same as for all of July! Translation is craziness.

The kids have started their Japanese schoolwork for term 2. Very slowly and not very enthusiastically. I still haven’t got their summer homework shite sent off and today we might just have to make bubbles inside, paint a rock, and do some skipping just so we can get the damn thing finished and sent next week.

Right, I need to do some ambiguous power point and think of a plan of attack for the rainy weekend.


If it doesn’t rain…

8 Sep

it bloody pours doesn’t it!

7:03 am and I am in here on my second coffee doing some of a translation that I got at 7pm last night and which is due today. I knew it was coming and actually it isn’t so bad that I feel the need to devote a whole post to whining about it. I have done two out of the three files and will drop the kids at school, gym, and then go have nice Latte while I do the third file. Perhaps I’ll then do the supermarket shopping, fold some washing and clean up before doing a final read and sending it off. Another one waits in line but that isn’t due until Friday.

We had a full night sleep last night – everyone. That would be four out of four whole persons in the house. Quite the feat after the last week. Marina was awake at 5 wanting pain relief for her cystic something or rather swollen gum. I know some people who would classify 5am as the middle of the night but really tis start of new day. Isn’t it? Am pretty sure half of the vestlings in Japan are up planting daikon at that hour.

So, Marina’s tooth… started hurting the night before so she spent an hour sucking on ice cubes before falling asleep. I got her a lunch time appointment yesterday at the area school dental nurse. She took one look and referred us to the dentist in town. She has one small filling in a baby tooth that has become infected or the nerve has reacted or something. Her body was probably coping until she got sick and her immune system got a dealing to and now she has a puss-filled gum and bloody hell, when you know you can actually tell from just looking her. I feel terrible for not picking up on it. Poor thing. We got some antibiotics and child pain relief. It should go down a bit and then they will pull the tooth completely.

Really, its quite bloody traumatic – well, the thought is for me. Marina got half the day off school and some stickers and is non the wiser that next week her tooth is getting pulled.

To top it off they couldn’t find her national health insurance number – because I don’t think she has one. It will be interesting to see how that pans out. Dental care is free for kids here (although the word resident got thrown around a bit) but I’m not sure if it covers all of this. We have insurance and their Japanese insurance should cover it too but not immediately of course.

Anyhoo, keeping an eye on it for the next 48 hours because if it actually gets worse she will need a general anesthetic and have to get it drained before the weekend.

Right, time to feed and dress the kids.



Fast & Furious

5 Sep

So it was Thursday when I posted that last post I think. Have good reason for not getting around to posting since then…

I got Shou’s vomitty slash shitty bug and was pretty much holed up in the toilet between 1:37am and 4:56am Friday morning. Miraculously a) I didn’t vomit in my bed, b) the kids didn’t wake up despite the toilet flush going about ten times  and c) I only shat farted in my PJs once. Once is enough. I was back in bed by that stage and an almost Olympic effort leap out of the bed meant everything was contained and I didn’t have to wash the entire bedding for a second day in a row.

The god’s were obviously smiling though and the worst was over by breakfast time and I was able to sort the kids and get them all off to school without having to stop to spew or shit my pants in the school grounds.

Still felt like had been run over by bus though so spent the whole day curled up either in a fetal position shivering on the side of the bed with the electric blanket or starfished on the other side trying to cool down.

The kids came home and they were all fine so we went off to swimming which was good – Marina moved up to Shou’s class and Ryu had a teacher all to himself and did a stellar job. Not wanting to be ‘that mum’ sitting by the side of the pool with tears in her eye I had to concentrate on Shou and Marina and trying to catch their eye to then ‘give them the eye’ to stop them being silly buggers and getting told off by Alan, the gestapo, who is actually superb teacher.

Friday night Happy Meals for the kids and we get home for an early night for all. Well, they played with some of the goods from the box hub sent over while I had a bath, watched some of ‘The Block’ and had a third of a G&T. Tummy still too delicate to be doing silly things like consuming alcohol. Could only manage two pieces of vegemite on toast all day – why do some of these things hit adults worse? Quite possibly because my internal organs are in a lot worse state to try and expel any nasties I imagine.

Anyhoo, fast forward to what I thought was the middle of last night and I hear the unmistakable sound of a half cough slash spew coming from the kids room. Ryu, who was still pretty much asleep, had spewed all over his pillow, sheets, dragon, self, and then, because he went to immediately lie straight back down again, his face and hair..

It was quite magical – in a spewing doesn’t get any worse than this – kind of way. Obviously as a parent, my primary concern isn’t how sore his tummy is, it is what I need to do to prevent the situation from getting any worse and secondly, how fast I can get shit into the washing machine.

I reckon from time of spew to the time the lad was back in bed the whole operation took less than 11 minutes. I had to carry him to the bathroom – in such a way as to prevent anything from dropping to the floor because fucked if I’m  scrubbing spew off the carpet for the second time this week – third if you count the fact that Shou managed to douse the carpet twice. I had to strip his bed – which fortunately had a mattress protector on it (the only bed in the house that does) and take everything into the bath to rinse off before taking to washing machine. I had to then refill the bath for Ryu, strip him out of his PJs  getting as little of the spew on his t-shirt (that he had on under his button up PJs that happened to be completely open when he spewed because hey, why make this shit easy) on his head as possible – which is pretty much not doable and the poor boy was in tears cause he had McDonald’s gherkin on his face and oh shit, I can laugh – now.

Got him clean, washed his hair and got him snuggled into the ‘Spew Nest’ that I had had the good fortune of making up beside my bed before everyone went to bed (just in case). There is a black leather couch here so I got the two big swabs off that for a mattress, covered with a ten dollar waterproof sheet and towels over a washable cushion yaddah yaddah – with a spew bucket handy, tissues and water. Shou spent a night there the other night too and really, in all honesty, it did look a lot cozier than it sounds.

As I snuggle into own bed I silently apologize to the woman next door for having our washing machine on in the middle of the night. Our garages are joined and I can hear her washing machine so I just presume she can hear mine. I then look at the clock and realize its only frickin half past ten at night.

Ryu was fine after that and things were going well until I heard Marina crying at 5am. I run in and ‘fortunately’ she just had a sore tummy. I smartly get her out of her bed because she is on the top bunk and imagine if she projectiled from that height! I transfer Ryu onto a couple of towels beside me in my bed and get Marina into the Spew Nest.

She has a bad hour with a really sore tummy but no vomitting. We all get up about six and I make a similar nest for Marina on the couch. Ryu is hungry as after losing his Happy Meal down the plug hole so I give him a piece of toast which has stayed down and it has now been 11 hours since he spewed so I think he is in the clear, as the whole thing seems rather furious at at the time but fast in duration.

Marina wanted a piece of toast too and I naively thought that perhaps she wasn’t going to spew seeing as her tummy seemed OK again. Haha. FOOOL.

Thank god for the Spew Nest on the couch though. Obviously the spew bucket right beside her didn’t get used but on the plus side, I had tied her hair back when she first woke up so at least she didn’t get spew in that.

So with the whole family getting this and pretty much me cleaning up vomit or shitting my pants since Wednesday, plus the fact it hasn’t stopped raining and well, there are two plus loads of dry washing on the couch, a load in the dryer, a  wet load beside the dryer waiting, and a load in the actual washing machine.

Fortunately it is raining again so I won’t feel guilty having the dryer on for the next four hours.

So, who wants to come and visit?

Bring coffee and a custard square if you do.


4 Sep

Gaaah, posting every singly day is going to be hard!

The other day, as the kids were bickering full force in the car, I reversed into a concrete pillar and ripped half the back bumper off the car – as in, there is a rip line in the middle of the bumper and it is a shear miracle the whole thing didn’t just pull straight off.

After yelling at the kids, cause clearly it was their fault, I did my best to McGyver the bumper back into place. This involved a lot of swearing and no duct tape, dive rolls or singlets.

I somehow managed to get it to a state where, if you were driving 10km behind me, in thick fog, in the middle of the night, you wouldn’t know my bumper was completely  fucked up.

Today I drove up to my sister’s place to pick up some mail and get a new book. My brother in law, slash real McGyver, was home and told me to make myself a cuppa while he just ‘took a look’ at my bumper.

Well, fuck. You’d never know I ripped the thing off in the first place.

I actually think THIS is one of the things I miss the most about NZ. Kiwi blokes who can actually do shit. DIY, fix a car, paint a deck… they just seem to be able to do more shit. AND THEN my brother in law carried all my shit out to the car for me.. before I even had a chance to do it myself.

Which I don’t mind – cause it was a big box and it was just a given kind of thing. As opposed to a ‘hey, weak woman, let me show that I am he-man by taking this box for you huuuuha’….


KIWI blokes Winning.

On that note though, my particular Japanese bloke is also winning as he sent a huge box of home goodies for us. It is all hidden away as the kids DS games are still ‘up at Aunty Nor’s’ and a lot of the stuff is related to the games. We are waiting for good behavior first – and then I will start drip feeding them the ramen and sweets from Japan… 🙂















Sick Kid

3 Sep

Do want to try and post every day.

Today though I had Shou at home with it going at both ends and after four days of rain this was really just me chasing my tail with the washing and making sure he was close enough to a bowl or toilet. Poor lad.

The hardest bit is not having Granny K – to just say hey, need to drop the other two off at school so just keep an eye on Shou will ya and make sure he doesn’t drown in his own vomit.


Fortunately no new work came in – which might be the universities calm before the storm after asking me last night if they could give me 5 pages to do on Monday evening to be done by Tuesday lunch time.

Unless it’s a toddler reciting the colors of the rainbow I envision a long long night on Monday.

Right, need to get the boy to bed. He has slept all day and I think might be on the mend after nearly two hours since his vegemite on dry toast. I have made him a waterproof towel bed slash nest next to my bed – after he threw up all through my bed this morning. If it was my own actual house I’d be a bit different but the bed linen and everything is included in the rental so I’d rather not have kids vomiting over all of it. Went and bought a twenty dollar duvet they can chuck up on to their hearts content :p