Once Upon a Tanbo

Archive for March 2009

I had planned to write when we got back last night but was too tired and ended up crashing early. So here is my slightly belated account of our long weekend trip to Shizuoka. Let me preface this post by saying that 3-day weeks absolutely rule for visiting. It is long enough to do stuff but not too long that you are sitting there scratching your head in silence for the last day. (lol)

This time Ryohei came with me and he and Naoki got along so well! Nay and I were both talking about how they probably wouldn’t have picked each other as friends in real life and that all they really have in common is us crazy gaijin gals but all the same they were able to talk, play helicopters (long story), and get along together just as well as we did.

The only thing about this trip that I would change is our method of transportation. Some of you may know of the Seishin 18 Tickets… basically 5 days worth of riding on the JR lines for the great price of about 13,000 yen. We decided to use 4 of the 5 days (since you can split them) to take the close to 6 hour train ride between Kobe and Shizuoka… hmm not such a smart idea. My butt was KILLING me by the end both times, my currently ~1 lb baby on bladder and bum did not equal happiness with the hard train seats. However we saved a killing as we spent about as much on the whole pass (which still has one day left for Ryohei to take to Niigata next week – hello 11 hour train ride) as a round trip on local trains for one or us or a one way shinkansen ticket.

Anyways – we arrived Friday afternoon to a bright and beautiful Shizuoka. The temp. on the whole was much warmer than Kansai. We had a nice lunch (grilled cheese/ham/tomato) sandwiches prepared using Nay’s homemade bread which Ryohei loved so much he (to my embarrassment) asked to have them again for Saturday breakfast. I hate both tomato and mayonnaise and rarely cook with either so I think this accessibility to “forbidden foods” was very exciting to him.

After our lunch we went to visit Nay’s friend (also a westerner married to Japanese) and her 3 children. Ryohei had a ball playing with the two eldest and I enjoyed holding the baby for a bit. Still hasn’t really hit me that in LESS THAN 4 MONTHS there will be one in my own home.

After our lovely tea, complete with a homemade orange cake and whipped cream – we returned to the house and had a delicious dinner of Nay’s cream pasta (See the recipe on her blog from a month or so back) It was delicious. She is such a wonderful hostess… and while I am incredibly undomestic, I like to think I’m good company 😛

After dinner we had what was to be the first of many long, heated Scrabble games. I’ve been a Scrabble fan for a long time and it seems my husband is a new convert. After getting the ropes down he went on to have several excellent showings including scoring a whopping 96 points in one go with the word “QUIZ” placed in a triple word score. Naoki and I… especially me… are quite competitive and there was some minor trash talking… and I have to admit that I did utter a few words I would not be proud of BG hearing at various points. Ahem…

Saturday was another beautiful day if not a bit cooler than the day before. We went strawberry picking which was delicious, but those places must make so much money. We had “all you can eat” for 30 minutes but we must have been done in 10… there are only so many strawberries you can eat in one go AND the condensed milk is so sweet it fills you up quickly. I ended up eating an over ripe strawberry at one point and got a mouthful of sticky condensed milk and juicy strawberry goodness on my new black shirt (Sigh) I hate getting my clothes dirty so I had to ask Nay to stick it in with her wash to clean it…

Anyways, with a fresh change of clothes we were on our way to the beach. I love the beach near N&N’s house. It has lots of fine sand and many little clams. The husbands were soon enthralled with the “hunt.” They were like little boys – and within about 30-45 minutes we had so many clams that we decided to throw back all the small ones.

After the beach we went out for a delicious tonkatsu dinner and then returned for a couple more heated scrabble matches, electric helicoptor battles, and sleep.

On Sunday we had planned to see Kakegawa Castle but between the rain and maybe just a little laziness, we decide to stay around the apartment for a bit before going out for lunch and then catching the train back.

It was a busy and fun weekend and so GOOD to see N&N again. It had been over 3 months since they came to visit us in Kobe. Nay is hopefully planning to come visit one more time at the end of April to keep me company. Nay mentioned it, but we did speak with Lulu and Shumpei a few times on Skype and made plans for the 6 of us to meet up in Niigata (Sleep over at Ryoheis parents…. Yay!? ^^;;) in mid-June. It will in all likeliness be our only meet up as a group of 6 since BG will be on her way the month after.

Just have to say that I’m so happy that through blogging I was able to meet such wonderful girls… or should I say families! I only hope that as I have a bit more free time over the next couple years as a SAHM, I will be able to meet up with quite a few more of the wonderful ladies whose blogs I enjoy reading everyday!


Ok if you know me, you know that I am pretty much laidback and rational about most things. But lately I have been so paranoid that there is something wrong with BG. Is this something that all first time moms… or even pregnant woman go through? I think this fear is pretty much unfounded. The doctor hasn’t mentioned anything to us but then again I found myself sort of untrusting of the Japanese medical system as I heard sometimes they preform tests on you with out your knowledge and don’t tell you the results.

I sort of wish that Japan offered things like nuchual scanning and the triple and quad tests that the US did. I know people say those things can be misleading anyways but after looking at BGs dvd again it doesn’t look like she a very defined nose and I read online that babies with chromonal disorders like downs have underdeveloped noses… of course it could just be since she is half asian since my husband has a small nose with very little bridge but since I have quite the honker I guess I’m worried. 😦

I am just hoping that this is me being paranoid since all I want is a healthy baby.

Since finding out BG’s gender we’ve been calling her by her name and I’ve started writing in her baby book, and organizing her clothes and stuff. Its just got so much more real and if something was to happen at this point…

Help ;_;

Well… kind of. Bullets today.

– Work went so-so yesterday. Nothing out of the norm, but I would have thought after a two week break that there would have been stuff pilling up to keep me occupied for at least the rest of the 4 day week… however I finished every thing that had been left for me within 1.5 hours… I have less than 2 months left so I guess pretty much they have given up on me. Oh well. I tried to talk to my supervisor about what day I would be leaving (May 7th – aka the day after golden week ends which pretty much means my last “real” day will be May 1st) but she just kept saying we’ll talk later, so there was no progression on that front at all.

– BG has gotten a lot more active since we got back from California, either that or stronger. I can’t feel the “karate kicks” yet but I def. feel small spots of pressure. Its pretty cool but sort of weird at the same time. I’m 22 weeks today… hard to imagine that I’m more than halfway there. By the time I move up to Niigata I will already be in my third trimester.

– This weekend Ryohei and I are taking the train out to Shizuoka to visit Nay and Naoki for the three day weekend. We have a trip to her friends, a trip to an all you can eat strawberry picking patch, and a visit to an old castle planned. It should be a lot of fun 😀 I haven’t seen Nay since she came to visit me in December so its been over 3 months.

Anyways thats all for now.

R+S = ??

Posted on: March 14, 2009

Tadaima! Woo hoo… its 6am and we are both UP for the day. (Coming back is always easier)

This is my fave pic of baby girl… since you can see the “similarities” to R and me in it. She def. has my mouth and chin and his eye placement cheekbones. I think she is so cute… I’m already an oyabaka for sure.


In less than 12 hours we will be off to the airport for our flight back to Japan. The week and a half here was too too short. I absolutely do NOT want to be going back to Japan right now. The only thing that makes it bearable is knowing that I will be seeing my very very good friend next weekend. But we have been having temps in the high teens and of course sunny so the thought of going back to cold and rainy weather already has me experiencing sad.

Also… I feel like a house. I truly, honestly, feel so disgusted with how I look right now. Yes I’m sure much of it is related to my present condition, but its still very disheartening to see pictures of yourself and feel absolutely shocked at what is reflected back there. I’m sure the “fat gaijin” stares will be in full effect as soon as we get out of Kansai Airport. Ryohei of course had horrible digestive issues and lost weight while here. Go figure…

We did manage to get all our shopping done so that is good but mentally I am not ready to go back to the land of “constrictions.” I’ve gotten used to the friendly and casual manner of Americans and now I have to go back to being an outsider who is to be feared for my “lack” of Japanese. I think that this visit has confirmed that one day we will have to leave Japan even if it means I have to pull Ryohei kicking and screaming from Niigata. (Actually he likes it here esp. the huge Japanese food market and the constant sunshine)

So anyways… I should be happy and refreshed… and I am. But I know that I still have 7 weeks of work left – 5 of those with Ryohei in Niigata, as well as a move and total apartment cleanout to orchestrate…

I think Ryohei is happy to be returning but I will probably start the countdown until my Christmas visit as soon as we get back.

Wow! Has it already been 5 days since we got here? Time is going by so fast. We’ve been extremely busy. This has been the first day since we arrived that we’ve actually had time to relax AND our jetlag (in particular mine) is gone!! Yay!! The past 4 nights I was waking up between 2-3 am STARVING and not able to fall asleep afterwards. It was awful. Last night I was finally able to get about 8 or 9 hours of sleep and it was wonderful. I no longer feel like a zombie.

Like I said, its been a VERY busy trip so far, and starting tonight it will continue on in the same direction. So far we’ve done a 5 hour mall shopping excursion.. with both of us pretty much dying at the end, visited a museum at Balboa Park, and yesterday we went to Sea World with my Dad which was actually really fun. I think Ryohei really enjoyed it. We have of course taken plenty of pics but haven’t had time to upload so unfortunately that probably won’t happen until after we get home although at this point I don’t want to think about leaving. It is warm and sunny and beautiful here right now and the thought of going back to cold and windy Japan makes me want to cry. lol

We’ve both bought some clothes while here, I think Ryohei is pretty much complete but I’m not really sure how much and what to buy in regards to maternity wear. Its pretty much impossible for me to wear regular clothes now but its hard since it will still be pretty cold when we get back and most of the clothes I have bought are short sleeved. I did buy a warm cardigan jacket, maybe I will just have to buy one more and layer those over the other shirts until its warm enough to go without. (And I can see why people try and plan to have their babies in the same season since maternity clothes aren’t THAT cheap)

Tonight my mom is throwing a baby shower for “me” I say that in quotes since none of my friends will be there, just hers. Shes already gone crazy buying things and GRRRR telling people the name we have picked out including writing it on Ryoheis facebook, which we deleted. I knowwww she is enthusiastic but well… *sigh* lets just say I’m going to be getting the stereotypical corny shower but whatever. I’m trying to be diplomatic and very happy I have Ryohei to vent my frustrations when I have them, although there haven’t been too many so far.

Speaking of BG (baby girl) shes pretty mellow. I guess its still pretty early but she doesn’t move a whole lot. I do feel her at least once a day but its very very light? I can sort of feel where she is now as certain parts of my belly will be firm and others will be more squishy. (I would imagine she is the harder parts lol) I look at her 4D pictures a lot and think she is sooo beautiful. I need to post a better one of her face on here, it look like she has a really cute delicate mouth and wide set eyes. “Finding out” that shes you know, my daughter, as opposed to just being pregnant before has really made this seem more “real.” Now I really can’t wait to meet her.

Anyways I probably won’t get another chance to write until Monday night America time, so until then, have a good weekend all!


Yay my instinct was right!! I can’t believe it!! She’s so cute and looks (from what we can see) quite a bit like Ryohei – to his chagrin… lol

Anyways I’m jet lagged like crazy and Ryoheis cd drive isn’t loading the pics so I will upload some later!!!

Wow – I can’t believe I’m having a daughter!! Bring on the pink 🙂