Thursday 24 December 2009

Following on...

from last post, decided to suck it up and not get all Christmas crazy, but to make a Christmas dinner and try and bring a bit of spirit to our little part of Japan.

Ryota suggested I cook Christmas dinner tonight and I agreed, however he acted like this would cure my homesickness and make everything better, but he still didn't get the fact that I really don't like cooking that much! It never tastes as good when you do it yourself... Plus, MIL has made 'back-up' sushi, like she's already writing off my effort. To make matters worse, it's now 7:30 and Ryota still isn't home and everything is going to taste like shite anyway. So much for making an effort...
Probably doesn't help also that Ryota and Ash's stockings are all full and waiting for them and Mummy gets zip. Ryota and I had a big discussion about presents last night which ended with a big "mendokusai" from him, but we'll leave that for another present related rant I'm brewing...

OK, better go do the bath thing by myself. Merry fucking Christmas Japan, should have ordered Kentucky after all!!!

Monday 21 December 2009

Damn snow has sucked me in

It snowed yesterday! And apart from being bastard bloody cold, it was very pretty and seeing as though I was brought up with Chrissy stinking hot but always had fake snow and christmas cards with snowy scenes, I started getting a bit Christmas sick.

Don't get me wrong, I like Christmas, but since being in Japan I've never really got into it, it's just not the same here. I thought seeing as though it was Ash's first Chrissy I might have got more Christmassey but I find it pretty depressing when it's just me and a gibberish talking chubby boy doing it. I haven't even put up a tree because Ash will just pull it down/ use it to spear someone/ choke on a decoration.
Ryota will be working all week so we really won't be having Christmas, I had a big cry the other night about it and Ryota was all like "OK, we'll definitely go home for Christmas next year or we can just go back to Australia permanently!!!" which was sweet, but he just doesn't get it, I want to live in Japan, I just sometimes want a teleporter to take me for Christmas dinner at Mum's!

I was thinking of attempting to do a Chrissy dinner but there are oven size issues, the fact that I only have two burners on the stove and that my Christmas dinner won't contain Hondashi, Soy sauce or mirn so Ryota would eat it but it would be wasted on the in-laws. Plus i just can'tbe arsed...

I just hate the atmosphere Japan has at Christmas, ie. none.
Saying that, I like the atmosphere of new Year better here than home, so I guess you can't have your overpriced crappily decorated Christmas cake and eat your Oseichi too...

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Is it really just me!?

So thanks for all the comments on my last post, it is good to get other perspectives on the whole babysitting issue. However...

I have to say I disagree with most of them. If my sister had a part-time job and I wasn't working and she asked me to look after her baby, (my niece/nephew) I would never take money. I would think she would offer and I would refuse. I think she would also be very grateful and do me little favours in return, or return the favour when I needed it. Am I seriously the only one who thinks it's weird taking money when it's family??

Now if it was 9-5, and everyday then that's different, but I teach private English lessons so I usually leave the house at 9:30 and am back by 11:30. 2 hours, maybe 2 or 3 days a week. I also feel weird now because I would usually go to the bank or the supermarket on my way home and use my bicycle to save petrol money, but now I'm on the babysitting clock I ride back as fast I can to avoid another hour. Cheap?? Really?

If I was going out drinknig or with friends I'm more than happy to pay, but I'm doing a job, 1 hour lesson for 3000 yen, but with babysitting costs it's down to 2000 yen. I'm inclined to leave Ash with the toothfairy as she's offered to take him any time for free but that would rock many family boats and I'm not up for that kind of drama just yet.
I should also mention I usually give Ash brekky before I leave so there's usually no feeding involved and unless he shits himself no nappy changes even. Really, I should pay???
I also leave her at my house where I would expect a paid babysitter to stay (with cable TV, full fridge and kotatsu) but like most Japanese kids she still relies on her mummy and grandmummy and I come back to find grandma playing with Ash most of the time. Really????

When we were growing up my Dad always said "God helps those who help themselves!!" Man I can just hear his voice.... And by God he meant Mum and Dad, for example, when I turned 15 and was old enough to get a job he said for every interview I did he'd give me $20 and if I got a job he'd give me $100. It wasn't a fortune but it was definitely inscentive enough to get off my arse and get a job, which incidentally I kept for 6 years through school and university. I really want to follow through with this with Ash, I think it's good for kids to learn that if they're doing their best andgiving it a go then they'll be helped out. My family is also about looking after your own, so maybe that's why I'm weird about paying a family member when I'm ganbatte-ing it, not just bludging.

Maybe I am just being cheap, but SIL is in Hong Kong this week and I have offered to take over dog walking duties for her. Should I charge her for it?? It's the same shit right?? Of course I would never think of asking but if it's going to be petty then I don't know...

Anyway.... In other news. Ash took his first steps the other night and I had a cry while all the in-laws looked at me like I was an alien and then took the piss out of me for crying. He looked so damn proud of himself bless him.
I saw an awesome fight on the train yesterday, Obachan got pissed at two young para-para girls who were talking too loudly on the train and started bitching at them, was very loud and un-Japanese to have a full-on screaming match on the train instead of ignoring, loved it!!!
I mentioned a while ago we were looking to rent a space so I could teach private lessons there, well, we may have found the perfect and not too expensive space and I think we're going to go for it! May crash and burn but it's not that big of an investment to start so I figure even if we fail at least we tried and didn't just pussyfoot around.

Think that's it... Going to my old company's Bonenkai tonight, love that I don't work there anymore but still got an invite, if we don't start a school I definitely want to work there again, if only for the drinking parties...

Thursday 10 December 2009

The things I miss...

Oops, been a bit between blogginess lately, I've been busy with work is my excuse and I'm sticking to it!
Although I do have 4 students now, and getting out of the house is so good, if I've learnt one thing from this whole having baby experience, it's that a good stay at home housey wifey type, I am not.
We're paying SIL 500 yen an hour to look after Ash while I'm working which pisses me off because I'm incredibly cheap. Is 500 yen average?? High?? Low??? Not up with usual babysitting rates but fuck me she's got nothing better to do, but I won't get into that little caper...

I miss a lot of things about pre-baby life. I miss being on my own, I miss not having to worry about anyone else unless I wanted to, I miss going out on a whim, I miss having the energy to dance and drink all night, I miss going to work after one of those nights and stumbling through the day and then falling into bed, I miss working for that matter, I miss dressing up, I miss being totally selfish... I miss lots of things but fuck me the thing I miss the most, is sleep.

And you know something, I never appreciated bastard sleep when I was single, I used to bitch and moan that I was an "insomniac"!!!! God I was a fucking dick. But now I can't sleep properly, I daydream about having a full 10 hours, even 4 would be good at the moment.
I can safely say that Ash has never slept through the night. Ever. EVER! he's almost 1 people!
I know some babies are better sleepers than others but it just seems ridiculous. Now the western approach leans towards independent sleeping and in a routine, if this helps him sleep I'm all for it but of course the 'Kawaisous' could be heard all over the place when i mentioned trying to let Ash cry it out for a short amount at a time to get him used to getting to sleep by himself. I researched it, I got some great advice from Sassymoo, and i even convinced Ryota that we needed to at least try something different. He got partially on board, but after the first night trying, Ryota went to get Ash after a crying spell and Ryota just couldn't hack it.
I must admit, I blamed Ryota for quitting, but secretly I was dying inside too, Ash was shaking and just looked sooooo scared, I don't think I could have lasted much longer.

We've had some horror nights lately, with him waking up every hour and going right off and there was one night where I just sobbed and howled right along with him, I couldn't help it. He's still sleeping with us and he's still waking up a lot, but the only thing he's done the last few nights has gone to sleep (laying on top of me!) by himself, fairly quietly. It's got to be a step in the right direction!

Sleep deprivation can do things to your head, I've felt like a walking zombie lately and am seriously considering not having any more kids, don't think I could go through another sleepless year!

Friday 4 December 2009

The in-law shit has hit the fan...

And it's spraying allllllllllllll over the place....

Well, not literally, that would be messy, there's loads of them...

But there has been so much going on in with the neighbours and in-laws in our lil' hood I may just have to go ahead and bullet point my arse...

  • Hmmmm, let's start with the garden blow-out. So my green thumb is more like a brown, dead, festering thumb in that I really don't like gardening. Which is funny because it should be in my genes, my parents house in aussie has this massive beautiful garden, and while I like looking at it I'll be fucked if I can be bothered looking after anything, hell I have enough trouble looking after my son and I have motherly instincts and shit to help me along there! I think I even killed a cactus once, which is almost impossible I don't think those spiky bastards even need water! So when we moved to our house and Ryota broke the news to me that it had no garden, on the outside I was all "Ohhhh what a shame, I'd love a garden!" But on the inside I was actually doing a little, woohoo, no-garden!!!! dance. So when a few plants started mysteriously appearing outside our house (and i should point out that every other bastard house is covered with bastard pot plants) I was a bit suspicious but I wasn't looking after them either so I let it be. A few turned into a house lining and it wasn't really a problem until recently when Ryota has been bringing the truck home from work. We have a parking space that we pay for but we obviously don't want to pay for another one for the truck so we park it on the street, ok shitty bit of gravel, outside our house. So the other night when I was guiding him in so he could get close enough to the house so bikes and stuff can get past, the plants were really in the way and Ryota chucked a wobbly, moving them out of the way grumbling that we didn't want the fucking plants in the first place. Grandma came out to see what all the noise was and they basically had a huge argument about the plants. Grandma's argument was that we had to have plants. Why? Because everyone else does. Fucking hate that. Pleased to report our house is now plant free.

  • The last post about Grandma's annoying tactics, well I bitched to Ryota about it and the silly bugger went straight over and told Grandma off, WITHOUT TELLING ME FIRST! I was really pissed yet glad he wanted to stick up for me. But more pissed!!! I was like , "Thanks sweetie, but next time just tell me first and I'll stop you." I wanted to bitch about it, not have a huge argument. All this led to an apology mail from MIL and Grandma saying what I think was sorry the next time I saw her but can't be too sure because it was in mumbly old people speak.

  • The crazy cat-loving neighbour stuck her big fucking nose in the other day but she is really fucking crazy and is seeing things so I can't be too pissed at her. Ash was asleep, and I was in the house doing something upstairs when he woke up. Of course he roared when he woke up and nobody was there and I went straight downstairs to get him. While this everyday event was going on, the crazy woman next door had run to the in-laws house in a huge panic saying "The baby's crying and she (as in me) isn't there!!! I just saw her walking out!!!" Ummmmm, unless there's another slightly giant like gaijun struttin around my hood, no you didn't love. Was soooo fucked off, for a start it's none of her fucking business and even if she was just being a good neighbour, she'd had to have been 100% sure that she did actually see me, and I'd been in the house all fucking morning!!!

  • I've had a lot more private students lately and am working an average of about 3 days a week but lately I've been feeling that whenever I drop Ash over at the in-laws, if MIL isn't there I get this feeling that they don't really want to look after him. I don't know whether it's just me being paranoid because I feel guilty leaving him there all the time but I'm sure there is definite weird feelings. Now if it's just Grandma, I won't leave him there, she's 80 something and shouldn't be running after an over sized baby at her age, but SIL and BIL are both pretty much free all the time. BIL has no job and spends the rest of his time sleeping or wanking in his room, and SIL works maybe once a week tops and spends the rest of the time sleeping or playing with/grooming/patting/making out with her dog. No, seriously, the dog has her panties in her mouth when she goes for a shower. Weird dog busines going on there. We're solving this problem by giving SIL money for babysitting Ash when I'm working from now on which is still BS to me but whatever.

Oh living so close is always fun...