To anyone who still cares..

I am still happily blogging over at typepad. This is the link to my new blog. Since all the hoo-ha in the summer I have found my groove as it were and everything is going well. If you are interested in seeing how Joey and I are getting on, I would love to see you over at typepad. I am going to delete this blog in the next few weeks as all the posts have been moved to typepad and it seems unnecessary to take up two lots of cyber-space. Hope you are all well. Midori


Joey and I on our last night

Joey, Mum and I just got back from a 5 day trip to lanzarote. It was awesome. I am posting on this blog for the last time and just wanted to end with a pic. The new blog is going well and I am still happy to send the URL to anyone who e-mails me/ comments here! I am pretty sure that most of my regular readers have the new URL though. Hope you are all well.



12,006 visitors

I am not going to close this blog down/ delete it for a while as I want people to be able to find me if they want to. I know the person making anonymous comments has been back several times since I announced that I was moving and they have, as yet, not e-mailed me to ask for my new blog address so I am assuming that while they like making anonymous comments, they are not interested enough in my life to continue reading. As I said, anyone wanting the new address is welcome to e-mail me: kags0203@yahoo.co.uk Just let me know how you found my blog and I will be more than happy to give you the new URL. If you don`t want to continue reading over on typepad then I would just like to say thank you all for sticking with me over my blogging journey and especially over the emotional rollercoaster of the past couple of years. I can`t believe I have been blogging for as long as I have but I will definitely continue to do so.


Ringing in the changes...

After alot of thought I have decided to change my blog over to Typepad because much as I never wanted to pay to blog, I don`t want to give it up either and for various reasons, the privacy options offered by blogger aren`t enough at the moment. I am going to keep my new blog private so will be e-mailing those of you whose e-mail addresses I have with the new link but if anyone else wants it, please e-mail me: kags0203@yahoo.co.uk I am quite happy to give the address out to people I don`t know IRL but would at least like to have a rough idea of who you are/ how you found my blog before I give out the new address. I am sorry to police/ out so many of you in this way but I feel it is a necessary measure. Thanks Midori ETA that I will also send you the address if you leave a comment with your e-mail address in it.


Question/ discussion point...

Today I got the following question in the comments section from a lady called Nay and I thought I would throw it all out to my readers whose spouses are Japanese:(As I know there are a few of you out there..) "My fiance is Japanese, and I have just been readng about the Japanese Custody laws in Gaijin Mama's blog (http://gaijinmama.wordpress.com./). Before you married Daisuki, did this ever cross your mind? If one day, we seperate, I may lose all custody rights to my own children. This thought fills me with so much fear...I would really appreciate any advice or thoughts from you, or other foreigners in Japan married to a Japanese national, regarding this problem." I will add my own thoughts later as I just arrived at work and although I don`t have much on today, I should at least pretend to be doing some work! I will publish all comments as I think this is a subject close to all of our hearts.

ETA that obviously anyone is welcome to comment but I figured the topic is most relevant to those of us with Japanese spouses but if anyone else has an opinion/ thoughts then please jump in.

Extra ETA- I would really appreciate it if people would put their names on comments, I have published the anonymous one this time for the sake of discussion but I really do prefer it when people own what they write.



Over the past couple of months Joey has amazed me with his ability to adjust to change with style and I have also been in awe of how much he has grown and changed over the past couple of months. When I originally planned my move back here, I always said that I would give it six months (well, until after Xmas at any rate) and then we would re-assess the situation and if things didn't look like they would work out in the long term, Joey and I would go back to Kagoshima. Thankfully, it doesn't look like that is going to happen but I was thinking the other day that if I had to choose six months of growth and change to share my son with my parents, this would be the six months to do it. It has also been completely amazing to see him make the switch between Japanese and English. When he first started nursery, I was a little bit concerned that the huge shift might be too much for him and for the first couple of weeks I did second guess myself alot but the past week has been much easier and he has now settled completely, so much so that he runs into nursery in the morning and is obviously very happy to see his teachers and his buddies. Although I am very happy that he is settled and that my job is going well, there is a teeny part of me that is a bit sad that I miss out on being the one to teach him stuff. However, there is a bigger part of me that is enjoying watching him become more and more independant and seeing how much he is learning. I know alot of it is stuff that I could teach him myself but I firmly believe that spending time with other kids and learning how to relate to other people is good for him. I also like the fact that his Nursery have certain guidelines for behaviour and if kids don't toe the line then they get time-outs etc.., something that I never saw/ heard of at his daycare in Japan. Next week they are going to start potty training him and I am hoping they will do the job for me! I do feel like a terrible mother to be so content to let other people help my son reach certain milestones but he is perfectly happy at nursery now so I am not going to stress out about it! Linguistically, Joey is coming on in leaps and bounds. When we arrived here he was only communicating in babbles and the odd word here and there but now I can no longer count the number of words he can say (in both English and Japanese) and he is able to communicate alot more eloquently and copies everything we say. I can tell that he is going to be a real chatterbox in the future and I will wonder why I ever worried about his speech development. Joey's new BFF is our dog Scamp. Scamp is a long-haired chihuahua who has lived with us for the past 14 years (since I was 15) and he has not been very well recently. I am quite allergic to him but Joey LOVES him so I am now dreading what will happen when he passes away. (which might not be in the very near future but it will happen sooner rather than later as he is really quite sick at the moment and has to have meds twice a day) How do you explain to a 2 year old that his best friend is no longer with us?! My Mum has a book called "dog heaven" which I think I will be reading to him quite alot. However, I guess I shouldn't worry too much and cross that bridge when I come to it. Anyway, enough babbling for now, I was just feeling a little bit gooey about Joey today because I recently became a pro on flickr so all the photos I uploaded two years ago are now visible again and it amazes me how much he has changed and grown since then. My little boy is so completely not a baby anymore!


General ramblings on a Friday afternoon train ride...

Have you ever noticed that sometimes, no matter how hard you try there are things that people have said to you that stay with you and eat away at your soul and create a huge complex? D has a huge complex about his eyes because he thinks they are too small and the fact that he only has single eyelids is a bad thing. The reason he thinks this is because over the years various people have said stuff like that and it has stayed with him. (My MIL is the prime suspect as the main cause of his complex, but that is a story for another day.) Since I started working I have been struggling with a complex I have about not being able to translate well from English to Japanese. I have very recently come to accept that I speak/ read/write Japanese pretty well (rather than putting myself down and saying that I should/could be better) but no matter how hard I try, I can’t get over the block I have about translating into Japanese. Obviously I am aware that at the end of the day, translating into English will always be much easier for me but I don’t understand why I find it so impossible to translate/ interpret things into Japanese when at the end of the day I am perfectly capable to saying whatever I want to in Japanese, so surely it should be the same thing. It is going to sound tragic but I genuinely believe that my complex stems from a comment that Morimoto-sensei (who was my Japanese language teacher in my final year at Durham) made once about how I was never going to be very good at Japanese and that I would never be able to translate things into Japanese as I didn’t have the grammatical knowledge to do so. Yes, it is more than 6 years since that comment was made and since then my Japanese has improved a lot and I have passed the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) Level One but I still remain convinced that I am incapable of producing a reasonable translation into Japanese on paper. This is a problem because a lot of my current work consists of explaining to my boss what is written in e-mails that people write to him in English. I can do this pretty well if I am speaking to him but if I try and put a translation down on paper, it all goes horribly wrong and I struggle with it endlessly. My boss isn’t remotely bothered about the grammatical correctness of the translation, he just wants the gist of the e-mail but I still end up having to give myself a pep talk every day to try and convince myself that I CAN do it and that I should stop stressing so much about it. I often think that teachers/ other education professionals remain blissfully unaware of how much they shape/change the lives of their protégé. Obviously they realize that they play a very important role in educating the adults of the future but I wonder if some of my teachers realize how much of an influence (positive or negative) they have had over my self-esteem/ self-belief. But enough about complexes/ unhelpful teachers, I am currently typing this on a train on the way back from Bristol. I have taken to writing my blog posts in Word lately and then posting them when I get internet access/ a break at work. I don’t have much time/ scope for skiving but when I do, it makes sense for me to write stuff for my blog. If I didn’t do it this way, then I would never get around to posting at all. Lately I have been musing about the place in my life for blogging. When I was in Japan, it was very important as an English outlet/ place to talk about the trials and tribulations of life as a foreign wife. I originally starting blogging with the plan of sharing my blog with my family/friends back in the UK but for various reasons, which never happened. There are very few people I know IRL who know this blog exists. Recently I added it to my facebook profile so more people from the UK have been reading but until that, most of my readership was online friends all over the world. My life at the moment is definitely more exciting/fulfilling than the rut I was stuck in Japan but I find myself at a loss as to what to talk about these days. I doubt I will give up bogging any time soon and will no doubt find other topics to talk about as time goes on but I sometimes wonder why I get so much pleasure from writing on my blog. The little community of foreign wives/ fellow Mums that I find myself a part of has been a huge support/ source of sanity to me over the past couple of years and I think that is what keeps me talking. I also love reading what everyone gets up to and seeing all of us progress through our lives. What started out as a medium to maintain contact with friends/family has turned into something much bigger for me and I sometimes wonder what I did with my time/ pent-up emotions before I found blogging? As I participated in a couple of internet forums (and still do to a certain extent) that were similarly important to my sanity, I kind of know the answer to that one but I wonder how I survived before I discovered the internet and all the wonders it offers. Anyway, we have nearly arrived in London now so I guess I will stop my ramblings (to be continued.. as it were) and put my computer back in the bag. Hope you all have a great weekend!!


Happy on GRandma's lap

Happy on GRandma's lap
Originally uploaded by MurasakiMidori

All dressed up in his uniform!

Joey got his uniform for nursery. I think the colour really suits him! He is getting so big and strong, it is scary!

Reading a book with my boss and his sons.

This weekend my new boss invited Joey and I tohis place for a BBQ. The weather wasn't great but J really enjoyed playing with myboss and his sons. This is all of them reading.


Sad news.

I was going to write about the new Harry Potter book and my quest to get a copy this morning but I got back to a phone call from Daisuke telling me that his Grandmother passed away this morning at 10.25 am (Japanese time) She was a great woman and I was very sad to hear the news and even sadder that I can't be there for my MIL at a time like this. All the family was there with her when she passed.


Can`t think of a title...

This morning while I was in the shower I was thinking about everything that has been going on over the past couple of months and whether or not I am suffering from reverse culture shock yet. When I moved back to London for a few months after I finished my JET contract and before D and I got married, I was completely miserable, missed Japan terribly and hated every second of being in the UK. There were obviously many factors involved in those emotions but I have been surprised at how different I feel this time around. The fact that I haven’t started to feel “homesick” for Japan at all is a big indication to me that maybe I really was “done” with living there. Don’t get me wrong, Japan isn’t a bad place and I didn’t hate living there, in fact I still think that there are many great things about life in Japan but I guess there comes a certain time when you have had enough of being somewhere and I think I was on the verge of that time. Again, there were many factors in that and I am sure I will analyze them endlessly and talk about them more over the coming months but for now, I am happy that I have yet to be hit with any great yearning to go back. I think working with Japanese people and using my Japanese makes a big difference and it helps that on my way home from work; I can take a detour to the Japan centre and hit the supermarket there to buy bits and pieces that I might be craving. There is even a little shop down the road from my office that has yummy take-away sushi so a couple of times a week, my colleague and I pick up lunch there. Last night I went to the Japan Centre and stocked up on instant miso soup and bought the ingredients to make some from scratch as my Mum loves it. My next mission is going to be attempting to make some sushi at home. I bought the packets that you can use to make chirashizushi and my parents loved that so at some point in the next few weeks I might try and make temaki sushi at home as most of the ingredients are easy enough to come by. It is weird having to learn how to “cook” all over again though because most of the things I have been cooking over the years are Japanese ingredient based and the supermarkets here don’t sell the same cuts of meat as the ones in Japan. Obviously, if I had any kind of natural flair for cooking I could adapt all the things I can cook to English cuts of meat but I am sad to say that unless I can follow recipes exactly, I am a hopeless cook!!! I have noticed that I haven’t taken many pictures lately, and I guess that is something I am going to have to remedy. People keep asking to see pictures of what we have been up to so I shall have to start taking my camera everywhere with me again. We have a fun weekend planned as my boss has invited us over to his place for a BBQ on Saturday (although the weather is going to be nasty apparently, which means the kids won’t be able to play in the Garden.) Then, on Sunday I am going to meet a friend of mine who lives in Kumamoto normally but is back in the UK visiting for the summer. We were supposed to be meeting up last Sunday but as I had the killer sore throat from hell and Joey wasn’t very well either, we postponed it to this weekend. I am hoping the weather is nice but lately the weather has been completely atrocious so I won’t get my hopes up too much. Joey seems to be settling better at daycare. Every day he brings home the coolest pictures that he has been drawing and they are slowly starting to take shape into real objects rather than scribbles. I am hopeless at drawing so I am hoping that he has inherited his namesake’s talent because my Granddad was amazing and could draw anything beautifully. I know Mums tend to have a lot of dreams for their kids and suffice to say, I have stacks for Joey but if he ends up being able to draw things properly, then I will be a happy Mummy. But I digress, back to daycare. Yesterday morning we had a breakthrough as I didn’t have to physically carry him into his room. He walked in holding my hand and then went over to one of the teachers. He then started to blow me a kiss and THAT was when he burst into tears!!! I am sure it didn’t last long though. This morning he was fake-crying as we went into the nursery but once he was in his room with the other kids, he seemed to settle and was fine. I am sure that in another week or so, he will quite happily run in to see everyone. I am really hoping that day comes sooner rather than later as it kills me when he cries for me as I leave. I guess working Mums everywhere feel the same way though. Having said all that, I do feel that the current arrangement is making me a better mother. When I was staying at home with Joey, I found the whole experience very testing and a lot of hard work. I have always loved children and wanted to be a Mum but found the reality of being 100% responsible for another human being who was 100% reliant on me to be a huge challenge and most days I found myself being so overwhelmed with getting through the day entertaining him and doing all the cooking cleaning etc.. I know this is going to sound terrible but doing the same thing day in and day out took the joy out of the whole experience for me and much as I adored being with him and appreciated being able to watch him grown and change, I was slowly starting to resent the fact that I was “stuck” in the same place all the time. I hated myself for feeling that way but once I started working part-time and saw Joey flourish at daycare, I kind of knew that while I have a lot of respect and admiration for SAHMs, it wasn’t the path for me. In just the past couple of weeks since I started working that has been confirmed to me. People ask me if I am tired but the reality is that a day at work seems to wear me a lot less than being with Joey full-time. I come home from work full of energy and ready to play with him and the time that we have together is full of fun rather than me feeling like our time together is endless and something I “have” to do. I have always felt bad for feeling that way and I was surprised that I did but I am very glad that I live in a time when women have choices and are able to live the life they want to live without being judged as bad mothers/ selfish. When I was at school, I used to take part in a lot of Public Speaking/ Debating competitions and one of my pet topics was Women`s Rights. At the time I always concluded that the most important thing about equal rights was that women could have the choice to lead the life they wanted and although at the time, it was the opinion of a 16 year old with little knowledge of the real world, I still genuinely believe what I used to say all those years ago. I feel blessed that the options are available to me and that I am able to explore both my career path and my life as a mother at the same time. In Japan I often found that the general way of thinking was that once you became a mother, that was basically all you could do for the rest of your life. Companies make it very difficult for mothers to go back to work and it is almost impossible to start a career after you have kids. There is a lot of pressure from “above” (the grandparents for example) to stay at home with your kids because that is “better” for them. I remember my MIL frowning a lot and saying “how sad” Joey would be when I started putting him in daycare but she soon changed her tune when she saw how much his Japanese progressed after time in daycare. I have a friend who would love to go back to work but is worried about “inconveniencing” the company if she then decides to take a break to have her second child. That pretty much sums up the way of thinking in Japan. When I first thought about coming back to London, I was fresh out of a bad interview experience with a Japanese school where they asked me a lot of personal questions about my potential childcare arrangements, what I would do if my son got sick etc.. I was concerned that the same questions would present themselves at an interview here and that the answers would stand against me when they were considering my as a candidate. After talking to a friend of mine who works in HR, I discovered that while these questions are the norm in Japan, in the UK they are actually against the law these days as HR people are not allowed to ask a woman any questions they wouldn`t ask a man and therefore children/ family planning/ childcare arrangements seem to be taboo subjects, which is completely different to Japan. Equal opportunities laws, coupled with anti-age discrimination legislation have meant that looking for a job here was a much more comfortable experience than I was expecting, and I am very happy about that. But enough babbling, I managed to go off on a serious tangent there didn`t I?!? Having Joey settled in a bit better has enabled me to throw myself into my job. I am really enjoying it and I am learning so much every day. Every day is different as well which has always been a very important job requirement for me as I have a very short attention span!! We have been out and about at meetings and there are times when I feel like I am seriously in over my head and in need of a crash course in mobile phone related Japanese but there are other times when I hit my stride and feel at home with what I am doing. It is a steep learning curve but I am sure I will get there in the end! On a sad note, Daisuke`s grandmother isn`t doing very well at the moment and last weekend he was called over to Kanoya to go and see her as she was on her "last legs". This has happened quite a few times over the past few months but she is still hanging in there, despite being quite weak. She really is a fabulous woman of great character and thinking of her wasting away in a hospital bed makes me very sad. Joey doesn`t talk about D or my MIL very much but he often chats about "Baa-chan" and her dogs to my Mum so despite only spending a little bit of time with her, D`s gran seems to have had a very lasting impression on him and I hope that stays with him even if he doesn`t get to see her again.


General update

Everything is going well. I LOVE my job so far. The office is small but right slap bang in the middle of everything so I get all excited when I go out during my lunch break. I love my boss as much as I thought I would (especially as he gave me a day off on friday, despite it being my first week because I had a friend visiting from Japan!) and the other people in the office look like they are going to be fun to work with as well.Despite interviewing and being told I was accepting a PA job, I was actually given the job title "Marketing Executive" and was told by the Chairman that most of my work won't actually be PA support stuff at all (apart from translation/interpreting) and that they are planning on moulding me so that I can head up the Marketing department when they are fully up and running. It is all very exciting because it is exactly the kind of work I have always wanted to get into but never had the confidence to try. It is also cool that whatever I do and don't do can have an effect on the company's success/ growth even at this early stage because it has really given me the inspiration to work hard because I know it will make a difference! There will be a very steep learning curve on the job because there is so much I don't know about the business/ what they are trying to do but after spending two days reading a pile of papers my boss left for me while he was away last week, I am feeling more confident and like I am really going to be able to make a success of this whole thing. As I keep saying, it is either going to be a huge success or a terrible failure but either way, the experience I will gain will be invaluable and I really feel like I have fallen on my feet this time. Joey isn't adjusting to daycare as smoothly as I would like in that he cries every morning as we are leaving the house and when I drop him off. However, his teachers say that he is usually fine once I have gone and plays happily/ participates in the activities. He has been a bit funny in the evenings though, I thought he would cling to me but he has taken to rejecting me and clinging to my Mum. That makes me kind of sad but at the same time, at least he feels safe and secure here so I am not going to worry too much as he seems to be handling all the changes pretty well in his own little way. His english is coming at an amazing rate and I am going to have to start thinking of ways to maintain his Japanese, however, my boss wants us to come and hang out with his wife and kids at some point so if that goes well, he will have Japanese friends and he won't lose it completely. I am suffering alot of "Mummy guilt" because I feel like I am doing something completely selfish by going out and working but at the same time, I feel he gets more quality time with me because I get another outlet wherea in Japan I felt like I was in a total miserable rut and I think that transferred into how I related to him. I might feel guilty about all this but I do feel like I am a better mother now that I am doing what I have always wanted to do and once he settles, I am sure Joey will love daycare as much as he loved it in Japan. It will just take time. I have been having fun catching up with all my friends and have touched base with alot of people from a long time ago. I am loving being back in London and having everyone so close, although I am missing my friends in Japan. I felt that particularly acutely this week when my friend Hazuki came to visit and reminded me that while I do have friends here, it isn't quite the same yet. (Thankfully e-mail etc.. enables me to keep up with everybody so the end result will be twice as many friends if things go according to plan!!! ;-))Again, that is another thing that will take time. I have also spent WAAAY too much money on new clothes! I am loving getting dressed up to go into the city for work every day though. My office is kind of informal when we don't have meetings but as I have been in jeans/ slobby clothes for the past three years, I am enjoying wearing skirts and heels, safe in the knowledge that I won't have to run after Joey in them! Living at home is still challenging but I am appreciating the support and help my parents are offering me at the moment and I guess it balances out the problems! Having my Mum on hand to help with Joey is truly invaluable and it has given me a degree of freedom I haven't had for a long time. Also, this weekend Joey has had a fever and I haven't had to worry about whether I am going to be able to go to work tomorrow because my Mum has the day off. Fingers crossed that he will be better by tuesday though or I will be a bit stuck.


If in doubt, start with photos...

I was going to upload a heap of photos onto the blog directly but as I just gave in (finally) and became a pro on flickr, you guys should go and check out My flickr album because I have a whole stack of photos there now. (I even organised some of them) I am going to write properly but it probably won't be until Joey is napping/ in bed as I figure he needs some Mummy time now that we aren't together every day during the week.

Not sure where to begin..

I have ALOT to blog about from the past week and I don't even know where to start. Will have a think overnight and sit down at the computer at some point tomorrow. Just wanted to let you all know that I am alive and well! ;-) Joey has a little bit of a fever which I am praying won't develop into anything serious, I think he has just had a big week what with starting nursery and my friend visiting from Japan. I am really enjoying work and am actually far less tired at the end of the day than after a whole day looking after Joey, which says alot about how much harder being a SAHM really is! Anyway, that kind of stuff and more to follow tomorrow when I have some time. Hope you are all having a good weekend!


It's been a long time since anyone tagged me..

Actually, it was quite a long time since Tigermama tagged me with this one but I haven't felt like doing a meme but I have a teeny bit of time on my hands so here we go.... 1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts. 2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves. 3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. 4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. 5. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog. ok, 8 random facts about me: 1) I always tell people that I am 5ft 11 but in reality I am closer to 6 ft tall. 2) I love purple and hate green because my primary school uniform was green and I got sick of if after 7 years! 3) My middle name is Joanne, my confirmation name is Josephine. As my son is called Joey, you can tell I have a thing about JO- names! ;-) (My brother is actually called Jonathan but that is another thing completely) 4) The reason my middle name is Joanne is because my mum was nursing a terminally ill woman when she was pregnant with me and that woman had never been able to have kids but said that if she loved the name Joanne and would have named a daughter that. My Mum promised to name me Joanne if I was a girl and although she called me Midori instead, she honoured her promised by giving me Joanne as my middle name. 5) Despite being quite outgoing and generally confident, I do have alot of self-doubt and self-esteem issues. 6)Like Tigermama, I used to be a waitress and it has made me a sympathetic customer but it also makes me hate bad service and moody staff because I know that even when you are panicking and rushed off your feet, it is still possible to provide good service and a smile. 7) I used to have a belly button piercing but took it out because I bought a belt with a big buckle that kept bumping it. I had to choose between the piercing and the belt and went with the belt.. probably for the best as that is the only area I have pregnancy- induced stretch marks so it probably would have been very uncomfortable when pregnant. 8) I am never late. I invariably turn up at least 5 minutes early for stuff ( even after Joey was born, much to everyone's amazement!) and I really hate people being late. (Although that is something I am slowly getting more accustomed to.) One of the things I loved about Japan is that when people said they would turn up at a certain time, failing a national emergency, they were there when they said they would be. Almost everyone I know who blogs has already been tagged so I am not going to tag anyone. Have a good weekend everyone! On sunday I am taking Joey to an annual reunion type event at my old school. I am looking forward to seeing how my school has changed and hanging out with some of my mates. I am kind of freaking out about starting work on Monday (especially as my offer letter has yet to arrive thanks to postal strikes!) but I am sure I will be fine. Joey is loving daycare, I am just hoping that he continues to love it as much when he realises that it is an all-day every day affair!


Very tired after a long day!

We had a busy day as we started out early and went to register at the nursery before heading into London. We are off to the nursery this morning for the first of Joey's "settling in" sessions so I am hoping they go well.


Originally uploaded by MurasakiMidori
You can see that the weather was horrible but I have always loved the view over this part of London.

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

Yesterday I met a friend from university at the Tate Gallery. The weather wasn't great but we bundled our boys up and put their rain covers on and wandered around Westminster. It was a fun day (although I should have worn more comfortable shoes in hindsight!) I am looking forward to being able to explore London with Joey at my own pace, there are so many cool things to see.


All sorted and good to go!!

I am happy to announce that I went with my gut and accepted the PA job. I am hoping it will be as exciting and busy as I am hoping it will be, but if not, I can always look for another job. The past couple of weeks have given me alot of confidence in myself and I know now that I shouldn't under-sell my abilities and that I should believe in myself a bit more. I was in a bit of a panic after I accepted the job though because they want me to start on Friday (29th June) and I hadn't found a daycare place for Joey yet. However, on friday morning I went to check out one of the places that has space and I was very impressed with the place. I loved the fact that the children were energetic and seemed to be enjoying themselves because at the other place I checked out, all the kids looked spaced out and bored. I also liked the vibe of the whole place so I am hoping he will settle in quickly and be happy there. I found myself thinking about things like ethnic diversity, things that would never have been an issue in Japan because there is no diversity. It will be good for Joey to be in a class with kids from all sorts of backgrounds. My other concern was that although he has always understood English, his Japanese was much stronger. This has changed in the past couple of weeks and his English is getting stronger but there are still some things that he continues to express in Japanese. I was worried that the teachers might not understand him but they said that they often deal with kids who don't have English as their first language and they ask parents to leave keywords with them to help them understand the kids better. This put my mind at rest. The daycare has a huge garden with a climbing frame and slide and they also have special sensory and soft playrooms so he will have lots of variety. AND the best thing is that it is one of the cheapest ones that I have found in my search so that makes me very happy!! It is close to the station so my Dad can drop Joey and I off there on his way to work and I can settle Joey and go and get my train without any problems. Everything is falling into place. I am going to pay the deposit/ register Joey tomorrow and then I am going to meet a friend from University at the Tate Gallery. She has an 11 month old son so I am looking forward to hearing her perspective on being a parent in London. Tuesday/Wednesday/ Thursday will be settling in days for Joey at daycare but I am hoping we will also get to do some fun stuff together. I didn't expect to find a job and to have everything in motion this quickly so it is all a bit of a shock to my system. However, it has proven to me once again that I definitely made the right decision when I decided to come back! Last Thursday I went on a mission to find some new work clothes and found some really pretty summer things. I am now pretty much set for smart things so I am hoping the weather will improve and I will actually get to wear them! I bought a really pretty dress, now all I need is the right occasion to wear it to! Joey is doing fine in general and is so much in love with my parents that I am feeling a bit redundant!! He has also stopped napping every day, but I figure that daycare will wear him out so completely that he will either go back to napping or he will be in bed very early every night! I am really hoping he likes it as much as I think he will, otherwise I will be a bit stuck! He is a sociable kid though so I am sure he will love having lots of buddies to play with every day. I am looking forward to seeing him grow and change in the same way he did when he started part-time daycare last year. Fingers crossed he will be ok, but he seems to have adapted to the big move very quickly so I am pretty sure he will be just fine.


Two weeks.

Two weeks ago today I left Japan. I have been all caught up in the excitement of being back in London and the whirlwind on interviews that I haven't really taken time to think about what that means yet. I am sure I will have time to reflect on it at some point and there are certainly already things that I miss but for now, I am going to stay positive and look on the bright side! Living with my parents has been "challenging" and I have realised that it probably won't be a long term arrangement as living in someone else's house after so many years of having my own space is harder than I thought it would be. However, for the moment, it is something I will have to deal with. I was offered another job on Monday morning. I now have to decide between the two by lunchtime today. The second position is for a PA job to the MD of the European branch of a Japanese internet media company. They are just setting up the branch so it is quite an exciting opportunity as I will learn alot about the business and how things work. The MD doesn't speak much English so he will need me to go to meetings with him and interpret, translate e-mails for him and offer him general support. He also said that he would need me to take the occasional business trip with him to various places in Europe. I am somewhat torn between the two jobs because they are both great opportunities but my gut feeling is to go for the PA job. Obviously it is a risk, because the company is just starting out in Europe but if things go well, it could be a huge opportunity for me. I am a little bit worried that my Japanese might not be up to scratch but as I was interviewed in Japanese, he seems to think I will be fine so hopefully once I review some business-related vocab I will be good to go!!! Ok, time to make some lists of pros and cons for each job as I only have a couple of hours to decide. Looks like either way I will be starting work in the next couple of weeks so that is going to be exciting! I am going to have to get myself some more suitable clothes though as I don't think I will be get by with just one suit!! ;-)


Feeling a bit proud of myself.

I was offered a job this morning. It isn't what I was originally planning to go into but it seems like a good opportunity and I love the people at the office I would be working at. I also have a second interview on Friday for a company that I have been wanting to work for for a long time. Hopefully I will get that as well and then be in the position of being able to choose. Either way it looks like I will be starting work by the end of this month, which is a good thing. I have to seriously look into daycare places for Joey tomorrow. I never dreamed that I would find a job this fast so now I need to sort something out for him. I am sure I will be blogging about my "finding a good daycare place" woes at some point in the next week or so! Anyway, just wanted to let you guys know that things are going well.


General update

Things in London are going well. Joey has settled in quickly so far. I think the unlimited attention from Grandma and Grandad is helping. He loves the garden and helping my Mum pot plants and water things. He loves running up and down and squealing joyfully and he has blossomed so much in the past few days. He has always understood English but most of his vocabulary was Japanese but since we got here, his English vocabulary is taking off. When things get a bit more settled, I need to think about how we are going to keep his Japanese level up until he next sees Daddy. My job search seems to be going well. I have had two registration interviews at recruitment agencies that were very positive and then I had an actual job interview yesterday that went very well. Not sure how it is going to turn out but I should know in the next day or so. I have an interview for a recruitment consultant job this morning as well, but I am not sure if that is what I want to go into. The office does seem like a very nice place to work though. Having said that, much as I want to find a job sooner rather than later, it is all moving kind of quickly and I haven't even found a daycare place for Joey yet. There are so many things to consider. Living back at home is weird. I feel like a teenager again in that my parents are still having the same fights and moaning about the same things. Can't complain too much though because if they weren't willing to take us in then I wouldn't have been able to start this adventure so soon and so easily so for now I will just be grateful for what I have!


Giggling Joey

Giggling Joey
Originally uploaded by MurasakiMidori
Somebody is in his element in London!


London calling...

I just wanted to post very quickly to let you guys know that Joey and I have arrived in London safely. It is going to be a busy few days settling in/ sorting things out and going for interviews but Joey seems happy enough to be with my parents again so that is a load off my mind. He pretty much ignored me from the moment we arrived and followed my Mum around all evening!! He has a bit of diarrhea which is worrying me but he is genki enough so I think he will be ok once his stomach settles. I will post again soon, I also need to get my photos on the computer. My I-pod was a major lifesaver for whiling away the hours although it did make me cry because my friend's husband had put all my favourite songs and songs that have alot of memories for me on it so I spent a little bit of time reflecting on all the cool times I have had in Kagoshima with all my fab friends. Ok, time to go, Joey has been watching Thomas on the computer while sitting on my lap all morning and he is getting heavy!!!


My new toy...

As the exchange rate for pounds is really high at the moment, I decided that I wanted to get an Ipod here in Japan before I left. My parents had said they would give me some money for a Mother`s Day present from them and Joey (when I mentioned that D had done bugger all to celebrate the day for me because "I am not his mother") and although it obviously wasn`t enough to buy the Ipod, I figured that I could double it and then I could just about afford one. I am not sure why I suddenly got a bee in my bonnet about Ipods as I have never been interested before but they seem alot easier to use than I thought they would be. My friend`s husband is going to load up a stack of songs for me over the weekend so I should be good to go for my various travels next week. This morning I had a bit of a play around with it but then I had to put it away in the box because it is just one more thing to distract me from the packing I should be doing. However, it is the first time in a long time that I have bought anything for myself that was entirely selfish and indulgent so it did brighten up my day!!! I have one box packed and alot of stuff de-cluttered/in piles ready to pass onto other people but I still have a LONG way to go. There is no way everything is going to fit so I guess I will be packing boxes for D to send on later as well! (although originally I was planning on trying to avoid this at first) I have to go to Sakurajima today to drop off a box of stuff and then I have class this evening. Tomorrow is going to be a busy packing day!!! (I am hoping that D will take Joey and get him out from under my feet but this may end up being wishful thinking!!)


Four sleeps to go..

Despite being in total denial earlier in the week, the reality that I am leaving has finally hit me over the past couple of days. I am on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, one minute I am fine and the next minute I want to curl up in a ball and cry. I think these kinds of mood swings are to be expected though as much I as know I am doing the right thing, I have spent more than half of my adult life in Kagoshima and that will be hard to leave behind. I am preparing myself for what will probably be horrendous reverse culture shock. I have been de-cluttering with relish over the past few days but have yet to start putting things in a suitcase yet. I know I am under-prepared and I am starting to panic a teeny-weeny bit but at the end of the day, I am sure it will be fine. (Although not sure the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach is agree-ing with me!!!) Anyway, time to get on, just wanted to let everyone know how I was doing!


Too many parties...

A combination of not being able to sleep and staying out late with friends has lead to me being a bit of a basket case at the moment!!! It is partly my own fault for pushing myself while I am having fun and not giving into the tired signs (not unlike my son actually!) but I guess I am going through a phase of overwhelming sadness at having to say goodbye to my friends here in Kagoshima, so I find myself not wanting the party to finish! On Monday night I went to my friend Hazuki`s house for dinner and Joey had a great time playing with her kids. He had a long playtime in the bath with her oldest daughter and we had to physically drag the two of them out of the bath because they were having so fun. Hazuki has four children aged between 2-5 and while things get a bit crazy at times, it is great to see all of them playing and having fun together. Joey seems to be the kind of kid who would love to have an older brother or sister so it is kind of shame he is the oldest (well, only for now but that is another discussion) After their bath, all the kids crashed out so we stayed talking until after midnight when I finally figured I should go home before Daisuke reported me missing!! ;-) I have been concentrating more on seeing everyone as much as possible than I have been on packing/ clearing things out. Not such a good plan because I know it will result in me being in a HUGE panic over the weekend but at the same time, I can`t help but think that at the end of the day, memories of precious times spent with people are more important than stuff and as long as I have the essentials then we will be OK, especially as D will still be here. Anyway, enough bumbling and rambling. Today I have a busy day ahead as I have to pick up my tickets (figured it was about time I did that!) and then this afternoon Joey has his final DPT booster shot and I have class this evening as well.


One of life`s great mysteries...

How is it that my son was perfectly healthy on saturday morning when my husband took him to Kanoya with him but now he has a rotten cold and horribly runny nose?! I wouldn`t worry too much but this happens EVERY SINGLE time we go. Also, my husband has instructed me that I MUST take him to an ENT specialist (not sure why it would be an ENT thing but there you go) because he was coughing at night while at MIL`s place. Last week he didn`t cough at night once. He goes to Kanoya and he is coughing, does my husband not consider that it might be a result of the room we sleep in at MIL`s house being full of dust-covered ornaments!?!? Obviously not, it MUST be something that can be cured by a doctor. I won`t be taking J to the doctor until tomorrow at the earliest because he still has meds from last week and I know they will just give him the same ones but more than that, I didn`t hear him coughing last night and I want to see if he coughs tonight before I take him anywhere. I figure that if it is an allergy to my MIL`s house, it is going to clear up when we move home anyway and if it doesn`t, we can see a doctor there. Apart from having to deal with my husband being in a foul mood this morning, I have had a lovely couple of days. On saturday morning I hung out with my friend Jenn and then I had my hair cut and dyed. It doesn`t look that different but I like the colour as I had some red-ish streaks put in it as well as the blonde highlights. I crashed out early on saturday night but then I woke up and couldn`t go back to sleep so I went to hang out at my friend`s bar for a few hours. I got home at about 4am and crashed out until 9ish.. ooh, which reminds me, another sucky thing about the weekend is that I got caught using my mobile phone while driving. It is ironic/ sod`s law because I never pick up while driving normally but I wanted to ask Jenn what exit to get off the expressway on! A few seconds on the phone cost me 6000yen (about 60 US dollars) and 1 point off my license. I am planning to pay it but there is also a part of me that is thinking that as I am leaving the country, maybe I shouldn`t bother! ;-) However, as Daisuke will still be here, I guess I have to make sure that I don`t make trouble for him!! Yesterday was a really good day. I had lunch and went for karaoke with my friend Hazuki and a couple of other friends. I LOVE Karaoke but don`t get to go very often so it was so much fun! We even went and took print club pictures which I haven`t done in a LONG time.. we are definitely getting old though as none of us could work out how to use the machines so our pictures are quite hilarious and there isn`t a single one that we are all in at the same time! We also had coffee and chilled out for a while and then Hazuki and I met Jenn and we took her to Beatnik for her first trip out since Julian was born!! It was alot of fun, especially as we haven`t been out together in so long but there was a weird guy there who kept trying to talk to us/ join our conversation so the dynamic was a little bit ruined by that. Jenn`s husband brought Julian to pick her up and then Hazuki and I left them so they could have some time by themselves and we headed to another bar. I ended up coming home about 1am so I am a little bit tired as I was awake at 6.30am this morning (for some reason I rarely sleep past 6ish at the moment, I guess because I have so much going on in my head!) I have a crazy week ahead with work and packing and also seeing as much of the people I love as I can. Leaving is so hard but I have to keep reminding myself that this is the best thing...


Miserable weather= feeling miserable

This morning I woke up to find it dark and dreary and pouring with rain. It is hot and humid though and I was reminded how much I HATE raining season. We haven`t officially entered that time of year yet (but it will come soon) but this morning`s weather is enough to put me in a bad mood!!


Anonymous comments...

After alot of thought, I have disabled anonymous comments on my blog. I realised that I like to know who is making the comments and although I realise that some of my readers don`t have blogger accounts, I figured it would be better this way. I have alot on my plate right now with stuff going on around me and getting ready to leave. I probably won`t be blogging much until I get back to London.


Joey and I at Kagoshima airport

We went to see off my SIL and Aoi. Joey was very excited about the planes!!! He is such a boy!

All the kids waiting for fireworks!

The weekend before last we went to a BBQ and they had fireworks. All the kids were very excited but as you can see, Joey was the happiest of all!!!


Moving on...

Sorry for my little rant yesterday and thanks for the nice comments. This is all very difficult for me and that is why I think I reacted the way I did to the comment. I don`t like doing things that make people unhappy and although I have faith that our plan to move to London will be a good thing, I am also making alot of people (my friends, Daisuke`s family etc..) sad by going. Making people sad makes me guilty but as a wise friend said to me recently, I can`t be all things to all people and the only thing I need to worry about is what is best for my family, nobody else. Despite this I still feel bad and that is why I am kind of sensitive about the whole thing and why I haven`t been blogging about it all very much. Anyway, as the title says, moving swiftly on, D`s grandmother is not very well. She is in hospital with pneumonia and the treatment doesn`t seem to be working. I am praying she will get better but my MIL seems to be quite negative about it. We will go to Kanoya this weekend to take Joey to see GMIL and MIL as MIL has been so busy looking after her Mum that she hasn`t had time to make her usual trips over here to see Joey and I think she is really missing him, especially as we are going soon.


Feeling somewhat perturbed...

I was a little bit upset to read the following anonymous comment on a recent post about going home: "Great - you're taking a child away from his father so you can be happy? Not to sound rude, but unless you're husband is abusive or has cheated on you, I think that you are being a little selfish. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have goals, but don't rush to get married and pop out kids if you plan on up and leaving. If this post sounds rude, I apologize. Just don't post stuff for the world to see, and not expect friendly comments. Hopefully your son will have a lot of contact with his father in the future (unless you are leaving for a reason other than simply wanting to be in London)." I have to admit that despite writing a public blog I have never had anyone post something so critical and judgemental randomly. Obviously I don`t expect everyone to agree with me/ like me/ tell me I am wonderful all the time but I was kind of shocked that someone could make a drive-by comment like that without actually reading my blog/ knowing what I am about. I know I haven`t made my plans clear with regards to going home but that is because it is a delicate subject and I guess there is a part of me that feels if I blog too much about it, something will go wrong. I know there is alot to think about but it isn`t a decision I made likely and in the long term, it will be the best for our family, even if Joey has to spend a few months away from his father. My husband agrees with me on this and is 100% supportive of the plan. I think the thing that annoyed me most about the comment is the assumptions about me and my character. I DID NOT rush into getting married, it was something I had to fight against family disapproval to do and not a decision I entered into lightly. I take offence to that idea that I "popped out" my son without thinking. He might have been unplanned but he is very loved and every decision I make is made with his welfare in mind. I am not going to London "just so I can be happy." I am going to London because I believe that my whole family (that being the 3 of us) will be able to have better quality of life and be happier there in the long term. The problem is that I might fail. I might not be able to find a job, the dream might not work out and then we would be completely stuck as it would be impossible for my husband to get back into the Japanese school system once he has resigned. That is why we will be apart until we can be sure of our financial security in London. It isn`t the best situation but it is one that many Japanese people face all the time because of the system of people being transferred all over the country with their jobs. The other thing that got to me (apart from the fact that the comment was anonymous, which maybe bugs me most of all!!) is the complete judgement without knowing anything about my family life. I am also assuming that the person who made the comment has never been a foreign wife and had to deal with the things we have to deal with. Yes, it can be good but I am pretty sure that every foreign wife who reads my blog would jump at the chance to do what I am doing if they thought it might work out in the long run. (Although maybe more of you guys would try and take your husbands with you from the beginning.. however, I figure you all understand where I am coming from.) I am not sure why the comment threw me into such emotional turmoil but it did. Before I finish this post, I would like to clarify that the long-term plan is for D to join us once we are settled. In the mean time he will make a trip over at some point. It isn`t the best situation but it is the only way we can see it working for us as a family. I am sorry if that can be perceived as odd/ selfish.


Friends in need of prayers/ positive thoughts

I have three friends who are in need of everyone`s prayers at the moment. I can`t really talk about two of them (because it is not my place)but Medea has written about her husband being sick on her blog. I would be grateful if those of you who pray could remember my friends when you talk to God today.


One month to go...

This time next month I will be at Kansai airport checking in for my flight home. It is something I have been looking forward to for a long time but inevitably, as the move grows closer, I am starting to remember the good in Kagoshima! ;-) I guess that is what happens when you have two places that you call home, you are always sad to leave one of them! I have been slowly giving my students notice and have had very mixed reactions. I guess a part of me thought that everyone would be really devastated and react with the "OMG! how are we going to live without your wonderful english teaching skills!?!?" type reaction. However, alot of people seem to be taking it really well and although part of me is relieved that I am not creating havoc in their lives, part of me is a tiny bit disappointed that I am not indispensable! ;-) There were some tears when I told two of my classes though and that made me feel bad so maybe the other reaction is preferable!!! As time goes on I am becoming more scared about the whole thing. Can I really make things work in London? Will I really be able to find the kind of job I have always wanted and make a successful career of it? The thing that scares me more than anything is that by realising the dream of moving home and trying out life there, I will be taking the dream away and if it doesn`t work, I will have nothing left that could possibly make my life better! Does that make sense? I am also overwhelmingly sad about leaving my great friends here in Kagoshima because for all the problems and dissatisfaction I have with my life at the moment, the one thing I am 100% blessed with is my friends (oh, and Joey being such a happy healthy little boy, so I guess that is two things!!!) I know I will be back to visit and that we will stay friends through e-mail etc.. but it isn`t quite the same. If I could take my friends with me, then this whole plan would be perfect!!! I also feel bad about taking Joey away from everyone here, especially D and my PIL. Sometimes I wonder if I am being spectacularly selfish but then I remember how much peace I felt after I made my decision, and deep down I know that even if it is hard/ sad, I am doing the right thing. So the next month will no doubt be very busy, especially as I plan to keep my usual work schedule and to work right up until I leave and there are lots of plans for fun stuff in the works as well. Wish me luck with getting all my packing/ junk purging done!


Busy weekend..

This week is known as "Golden Week" in Japan because there are 4 national holidays in the space of a week so alot of people use the oppoprtunity to travel etc.. Flight tickets are impossibly expensive and all tourist areas are packed during this time. We usually spend GW in Kanoya and this year it is going to be the same because I figure Joey needs to spend as much time with Daisuke`s family as possible. Monday was my FIL`s 60th birthday so we threw him a party at our place. FIL and MIL stayed the night and then as I had alot of classes yesterday and plans for today, MIL offered to take Joey back with them for the night. As Mr Joey Joey is now weaned, I didn`t hesitate as I thought it would give Daisuke and I some much needed time alone. I was sad saying goodbye to Joey yesterday morning but I just spoke to him and he seems to be doing fine. Daisuke and I will head to Kanoya tonight and stay until Friday. I am glad Joey`s first sleepover seems to have been a success but I have to admit to feeling like my left arm is missing! I guess that for the past two years, Joey has been here constantly and although he has been to Kanoya with Daisuke before, it is a different dynamic to have him there entirely on his own with my PILs!!! That said, I am making the most of it and D and I went out for dinner and a few drinks last night. It wasn`t as romantic as I had hoped but it was nice to get out and chill out. We were very sad to see that Capriciosa has closed down! I was really surprised as I hadn`t heard that they were closing and we got engaged there so it makes me sad that we won`t be able to show the place to Joey when he gets bigger! Am also distressed as my source of Sicilian rice balls has been taken away!!! This post is very disjointed isn`t it. My thoughts are all over the place at the moment because I have so many things to think about/ work out before we leave next month. Am off to the cinema today though, which should be fun! I finally get to take advantage of wednesday being ladies` day!


Facebook.. my latest addiction..

A while ago I posted that I was going to get back in touch with real life and re-establish e-mail relationships with all the people I have been neglecting over the past couple of years. I have really been enjoying my re-discovered passion for writing to people and it has been nice to catch up. In the middle of all this, someone introduced me to facebook and I can`t stop looking at it now!!! It is really intriguing to catch up with loads of people I went to university/ school with but I have been pondering lately why I love it quite as much as I do. I think one reason is that I would have stayed in touch with more people had the internet been as advanced in 1996 when I left school as it is now. In those days you really had to work hard to keep in touch with people through letters and phone calls, these days is it much easier as all you have to do is send e-mails. There is also a big part of me that loves seeing what everyone is up to/ what kind of people they became. It is reassuring to see that the guy I was totally obsessed with when I was 15 isn`t someone I would look at twice these days. It makes me feel better to see that the sex-god I couldn`t stop thinking about when I was 13 is still pretty sexy but balding just a little bit and therefore completely human. It is nice to see the geeky people who were my saviour at school doing really well for themselves. Does any of that make sense? It is also fabulous to touch base with people who know me as me, rather than Joey`s Mum or Daisuke`s wife. The people who remember me in my less sensible days before everyday stuff started to drag me down and I worried less and drank more wine and had stuff to talk about other than weaning and nappies!! (although I am not sure which conversations were more worthwhile! LOL!) Either way, I am enjoying checking it out and I know it is super-geeky but I don`t care.. PS= Despite later crushes going down hill as they got older, the first boy I ever had a crush on is JUST as hot as he was when I was 11.... if not more so!!! LOL!


Joey`s birthday party

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Today was Joey`s birthday party. Have posted lots of pictures on his blog and am too tired to double post so if you are interested, then please go and check them out!!! It was a good day and alot of fun for all the kids. The video has alot of shots of my humungous bum so please ignore those!!! ;-) Ok, time for this sleepy Mummy to get some rest, will write more in the morning, I just wanted to post pics for the folks back home before I went to bed so thought I would link here as well!!


Friday morning feelings...

I started a post yesteray evening but then remembered that I was supposed to send a statement to my brother and his fiancee for their immigration application (for my bro to live in Australia) so I stopped writing and concentrated on that and by the time I had finished that I wasn`t in the mood for blogging. We have a busy few days ahead of us. Joey`s birthday extravaganza is on Sunday and I have yet to do anything to prepare for it! I figure I will hit the 100 yen shop this morning for decorations/ pass the parcel presents etc.. and then spend the afternoon cleaning up the apartment (with class in between) I also need to clean out the fridge/ freezer in preparation for everything arriving from the flying pig. Tomorrow my MIL is coming in the afternoon so I figure I can concentrate on decorating/ food shopping/ cooking when she is here. I wasn`t going to invite her at first (as I figured all the Japanese people coming to the party would "ki wo tsukau" because she was there) but then figured that this might be her last chance to attend one of Joey`s parties and also I wanted her to see how "we" celebrate birthdays!! As a result, there is extra pressure on me to do things properly!!! With perfect (not!) timing, my period arrived yesterday so I am a mess of stomach aches and headaches but the beauty is that for the first time in a LONG time I was able to take something stronger than paracetamol (tylenol) for the pain and felt better almost instantly!! I guess if you don`t put that kind of thing in your system for a long time, they work quicker when you do!!!! I totally thought Joey would fight the weaning thing alot more than he has and after my last post had decided that maybe now wasn`t the best time to be weaning him with all the changes on the horizon but he hasn`t put up a fight at all so that has made it very easy. He has taken to copping a feel of my boobs from time to time but has not actively tried to BF since last Friday. I am a little bit sad that he has transitioned so quickly but we are having lots of cuddles to make up for it!!! I am now worried about how much extra weight I am going to gain now that I have completely stopped BF-ing! I guess I will have to try and start doing more at the gym again, I haven`t been for ages as I lost my groove and just haven`t been in the mood! ok, mr Joey Joey has woken up so it is time to get on with my day!!


Already got the lurgy!

Joey managed to catch my cold from last week so over the weekend he was a bit of a snot bucket but on monday it got really bad and he had a nad cough as well. As I always worry about colds going to his chest and him wheezing alot, I took him to the doctor yesterday morning and the good news is that his chest was clear (touch wood) but he had a serious amount of snot! They used some kind of snot-sucking contraption and took out about half a cup of gunge and he seems to be alot better since!! He still has a bit of a runny nose but nothing like yesterday morning!!! I have never seen one of these machines at home. Do they only have them in Japan?? I never thought I would appreciate something like that but as Joey`s cold now seems to be on the mend, I guess I am glad I took him to the doctor!! We have to go back this afternoon because he needs to get a shot for Measles and Rubella. I should have had it done sooner but I was debating whether to have him vaccinated or not. My husband leaves all the decisions about that kind of stuff up to me and it is my responsibility to get it done. It has to be done before Joey`s 2nd birthday or I have to pay for it myself so we are heading in this afternoon. I am concerned that he has a cold so his immune system is down a bit but I guess the doctor knows best and they said that as long as he doesn`t have a fever, it is ok! I was also worried that if I had him vaccinated in Japan, he wouldn`t be able to get the booster in the UK but the doctor said that the booster isn`t necessary until he is about 6 years old so I don`t have to worry too much about that for the moment. We also have to get his DTP booster done before we leave so it is going to be a busy 7 weeks for Joey vaccination-wise!!!


Weaning and potty training...

Joey is having a big week, not only is he turning two on sunday but last week I slowly started suggesting he say "bai bai" to "pai pai" (as we call boob) and on friday he waved goodbye and hasn`t come asking since. I am a bit traumatised by the sudden change and his complete acceptance (so far) of the new adjustment. I thought I was going to have to fight him tooth and nail (and was even thinking of Plan B in that I was going to stick plasters over my boobs so that he would think I was in pain) but I guess what they say is true, when kids are ready, they just stop without too much hassle. Obviously it has only been 3 days and although he was a big clingy yesterday, there has been no digging under my shirt for gold or tantrum throwing because I won`t give up the good! He sometimes comes for a snuggle and will feel me up a bit but then stops and waves happily saying "bai bai to pai pai". It is all quite cute really. I am worried that he is going to pick up all sorts of bugs without the extra immunity that breast milk offers and I am also worried about what I will do when he is sick and I can`t comfort him that way but I guess that it is another milestone that we have to go through!!! I guess my main worry is that we have a flight booked and we can`t cancel it, even if he does get sick. Everyone has to send "keep Joey healthy" vibes our way!!! Another milestone that he has been making big progress with is potty training. He has been pee-ing in the potty at daycare quite regularly and has started coming to me to tell me what is going on "down there". I am happy because until recently, he has shown little awareness of the whole thing and would quite happily sit in horribly wet pants without complaint. (As I discovered when I put him in cloth training pants and had to wash ALL his clothes afterwards because he just soaked through and didn`t notice!!) Yesterday he told me "poo poo" and then proceeded to do one before I could take him to the toilet but I figure that is progress!! He also brings me nappies and says "pee-pee" when his nappy is wet so I figure I have a good base to work with! I figure that when it warms up, I will put him in cloth training pants as then there will be less places to dirty (I will put the rugs away) and it won`t matter if he gets wet. For the time being though I will continue taking him to the toilet lots in the hope that he gets the hint! ;-) On a separate note, planning is progressing for his birthday party. I ordered some stuff from Costco (chocolates, Guacamole, Pizza) and now all I have to worry about is his cake and the logistics of the whole thing!! I figure I will make a pass the parcel and I was also thinking of making chocolates and letting the kids decorate them. But that could get messy so we shall just see how it goes!! Any ideas for party activities for kdis aged between 2 and 10 that don`t need much space and won`t create too much mess?


Feeling sorry for myself!

I have a cold and it is making me miserable because a) I am still BF-ing Joey at night so can`t take any serious medicine and b) I have a toddler who is going to be 2 in less than 2 weeks and he is keeping me on my toes and not letting me get much rest and c) I still have to make it to class or I will be stuck doing lots of make-up classes and I hate that more than going to class while feeling crappy. I decided to take a risk and took some cold meds (thanks Jenn!) this morning as I figure I have more than 8 hours before Joey is going to be interested.. I am working on weaning him as I plan to be done as soon after his second birthday as possible. He is fighting it but I am hoping that the process won`t be too painful.


What do you want to be when you grow up?

Lately the future has been on my mind alot. There are some elements of my current life that I am happy with and others that leave me deeply dissatisfied. My job is one of those areas that I am not overly happy with. When I first started teaching, it was all new to me so the whole thing was quite challenging as I didn`t have much experience and had to learn how to teach. I enjoyed it for that reason and slowly found my groove. Now my groove is beginning to lose me and I find myself praying for the end of class more and more regularly and that is not such a good thing. Lately I have been thinking about all the things I dreamed about and wanted to do career-wise and I figure it isn`t too late to embark on my next challenge, I will just have the added wisdom and responsibility of being a mother and wife. When I was younger I wanted to be Prime Minister and I genuinely believed that I possessed the intelligence and skills that would be necesssary for that kind of career. I am not so set on a politician`s life these days but I often wonder what happened to the girl who thought she could do anything that she wanted, all she had to do was try. I am not so confident these days but occasionally I see little flashes of the childhood me. So that leads me to my question today, when you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Have you realised that dream?


Allergy testing the Midori way...

Step one: buy jar of nutella because you see it in the shop and although you know it is too expensive it looks yummy and you figure that have chocolate spread on toast for breakfast is probably better for you than just having chocolate for breakfast. (not that I do this, honest...)
Step two: Open precious jar of nutella and enjoy on toast with your husband before your son wakes up.
Step three: Forget to put jar of nutella away after breakfast and leave Joey in room with said jar while you check your e-mail etc...
Step four: Forget that your son is perfectly to open jars by himself
Step five: Check on son because you think "it is awfully quiet in there..."
Step six: Discover that your son has eaten half the jar of nutella a

nd that it is smeared all over the table


Conclusion: I don`t think Joey is allergic to hazelnuts!!

In all seriousness though, I have been keeping him away from nuts just in case so i was a bit worried. However, he seems fine and there are no funny rashes so far. Any idea what I should be keeping an eye out for? The good news is that we are going over to a friends` house this morning so Joey can work through the impending sugar rush with her son!!!

We are going to stay with MIL this weekend. Happy Easter everybody!


Happy Joey!

Happy Joey!
Originally uploaded by MurasakiMidori.
It is smiles like this that get me through the bad days.


Our new toilet set

Our new toilet set
Originally uploaded by MurasakiMidori.
I know this is a weird thing to blog about but I have been searching for a seat cover/mat set that I liked for the longest time and hadn`t been able to find one! I finally found one last week in the Co-op catalogue so I am now a happy bunny! I suddenly realised that I should have bought two though so that my toilet isn`t bare when I wash one!!!


"Interview with a blogger..."

Chelle posted an interview on her blog and asked if other people wanted to participate and I figured that as I only have two e-mails I have to reply to in my inbox (which I will get around to today, I promise!!) it would be the perfect opportunity to get back into my blogging groove. I have no idea if it will work or not, but here goes: 1. What is the hardest part of living far from home? I think that the hardest part is not being able to be with my family/friends on special occasions. I hate missing Christmas and people`s birthdays, especially because those things aren`t really celebrated here in the same way that they are at home. It is also really hard being a Mum with so little support. I am blessed with the friends I have here and that is probably the reason I have yet to run screaming and crying home but it is tough knowing how much easier the whole motherhood thing would be if my parents were closer. 2. What is your favourite Japanese tradition? Hmmm... this is a tough one because there are so many! I don`t know if it counts but I think that Cherry Blossom viewing (hanami) is probably my favourite tradition and as it is Hanami season at the moment, I am looking forward to taking Joey to the park and checking out the pretty flowers!!! 3. What is the hardest thing you have had to do as a parent? I think we have had things pretty easy so far (touch wood) but I would say the hardest thing for me has been getting through the first couple of months of breastfeeding. It is hard to believe that almost two years down the line, Joey and I still have a successful BF-ing relationship (which I am going to bring to a close soon.. maybe that will become my new hardest thing?!?!) because the first couple of months were phenomenally tough and painful for me (I have semi-inverted nipples.. who knows what I was thinking??!) However, now that time is over and a somewhat distant memory, I don`t regret it for a moment! 4. What is your favourite tv show at the moment? Veronica Mars! I am most unimpressed that there is such a long break in the middle of the series and can`t wait for it to start up again! 5. If you could have tea with anyone, who would it be? There are a whole heap of bloggers who I have never met IRL (Chelle, Tanyetta, Gina and DD to name a few) I would like to have tea/ a playdate with but if we are including people who aren`t alive anymore, I would like the have tea with my Grandad and show him what a super cool little boy his namesake is turning out to be! If anyone wants to take part in the interview game, leave a comment and I will come up with some personalised questions and get back to you with them.