Once Upon a Tanbo

Archive for June 2009

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We got the keys to the new apartment today! Of course moving in is not happening until the end of the month… or even later. We might spend one more week here at the in-laws since we won’t have the net connected until about July 7th… and it gives us one more weekend to move stuff in especially since Ryohei has to work next Sunday. Not 100% thrilled about the prospect of one more week and the in-laws, but I guess I am that dependent on the internet… (haha please don’t laugh) So we’ll probably end up moving in July 4th… but we really have NOTHING besides boxes so that gives us a bit more time to shop for stuff.

Anyways I took some pictures of the new apartment but they aren’t so great… sorry I’m not really a good photographer. But a few people asked for a brief look so I will display our three very very empty rooms.


The somewhat tiny living/dining room… our plans at this point are to just put a dining table down here and get a sofa and TV etc when we have a bit more money…


This is a room that is about the same size as the dining/living room. We will be putting our matress and BG’s bed in this room as well as keeping our clothes in here.


This is the guestroom for now we’ll both put our computers and eventually a desk for Ryohei in here. Once BG gets a bit bigger this room might have a change of function… but for now it’s sort of the multi-purpose room.

We have a lot to work on for the apartment… a lot of the windows don’t have screens and none have curtains plus we have to install another A/C (maybe two), washing machine, fridge… etc etc… hopefully we’ll be able to get basic living stuff in place before BG comes. We will be sitting down sometime this week to make a list of EXACTLY what we need to buy to start with… like I said we both are ok with just keeping the downstairs as a place to eat so we won’t be getting a sofa or tv or anything fun for down there yet… hopefully any guests that come after BG is born won’t mind…

I might make another post later about how the weekend has been in general but wanted to keep apartment stuff in its own post first!

I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night… I think I was up tossing and turning until at least 3:30. BG really is a “night baby” and its not because the only time I’m lying down is at night. Sure I try to still get in a walk or two a day but besides that I’m usually in beached whale position and she is perfectly content to sleep along until… oh 9pm or so… and then the “day” begins for her. Usually I must be able to sleep through some of it but last night was really bad and I remember it starting to get light outside before I actually fell asleep. However… we did have a really cute moment last night.

Since Monday the local shrine (located across the road from Ryohei’s bedroom window) has been having taiko drum practice everynight from 8- 10 + pm. This practice will be taking place until mid-July… talk about a neighborhood disturbance. Usually I close the windows to block them out but last night I was in a decent mood after our “date” so I kept them open and was amused beyond all belief when BG started “dancing” to them… it was pretty hilarious she was tapping her feet and sort of swerving around in my tummy… even Ryohei was watching in amazement. It was really adorable.. I would video it to show you guys but my tummy looks like its spent a few minutes in a blender and not something I really want to show the whole interwebs. But take my word for it, it was really cute! Maybe I’ll leave the windows open for taiko practice more often now 🙂

Tomorrow is the first moving day plus another clinic visit. I think we’ll also go to the big electronic store to check out ovens. I will probably end up ordering the one I want online since you can get them for 1-2 man cheaper that way, but I still want to take a test look at the two different types I am interested in. If anyone else has an oven recommendation let me know… I am currently considering one by Hitachi or Panasonic… the Hitachi ones seem to be the most popular though. Anything in the 3-5 man price range would be fine. This is coming out of my savings as a present to myself… although I’m hoping Ryohei’s Winter Bonus brings me a bread maker as well… I figure that for pushing a giant watermelon out of a keyhole I get a decent Christmas present this year 😛

As usual on Friday I am feeling a bit blue today. I guess its always like this… even though we had a nice time yesterday and the food was yummy and the play – which turned out to be more of a one man comedy show – was also pretty interesting. At least the parts I understood… but after almost an hour and a half of sitting in the hard and cramped seats and dealing with heartburn ( which was worth it because of the yummy italian food) I had to leave for the last 20 minutes of the show.

I have about a month until my due date left… which means in all likelyhood BG could be here a month from now. And I am sort of starting to feel that “wish to seperate myself” vibe that I’ve heard happens. I don’t mind when Ryohei is around but I don’t really want to see anyone else… not MIL, not FIL, not SIL… I just would rather be alone at this point. So I think I will be thankful that this coming week is the last week of my “confinement” here in the inaka and that after that I will be able to come and go as I please without worrying about ruffling feathers if I don’t say “tadaima” when I get back home or give Ryohei food that I can’t/won’t eat at the dinner table.

At this point pretty much 75% of all thinking and thought time has turned to the baby… the other 24% is making sure that moving goes smoothly. I guess its only natural to think about it… and try to grasp just how different life is going to be by the end of next month. I was trying to think about it last night – but I guess since I’ve never dealt with a baby esp. not my own, I have no idea how its going to be. I’ve heard so many different opinions and experiences and I don’t know how mine is going to match up. Even with pregnancy you hear “oh I had this…” or “expect this” but many of the things others warned me about never happened, and some that no one did – did happen. So I can imagine that life with a new baby would be the same…

Ryohei told me last night he thinks that she will be early… but I think that is just wishful thinking on his part since he has a wedding party to go to on the 19th (2 days before due date) and if I have already given birth/am in the clinic by then he can go and party his little heart out without worrying if he can have a beer incase his ready to pop wife pops that night leaving him unable to come and pick me up. Speaking of the BG Guessing Game will be closing in about a week (aka the day before we move to Nagaoka) so if you haven’t “made your prediction” nows your second and last chance! The closest person – besides proving their super cool psychic powers – will get something from BG and me after I have dealt with newborn craziness.

So I guess thats it really… I’m sure that I’ll have more interesting stuff to say after the weekend and I plan to bring the camera tomorrow and take a few pics of the new apartment in “stage empty” so that you guys can see where we will be living. I sort of wish that BIL and SIL weren’t coming to spend the night tonight as it means I have to “ki wo tsukatte” and talk with them when I really don’t want to. I’m still a bit miffed at SIL from last time when I had to be on the verge of tears before she quit harassing me about which brother was going to take over the house and take care of our PIL in their old age…

Oh well… in just a week or so I will be in Nagaoka and away from all the rice fields, relatives, and taiko drumming.. however to be honest – this month has been much much better than the last. Probably because we are moving… but still I don’t think I’ve had more than 1 or maybe 2 (I’m not making notches in my belt) crying spells this whole month. Last month I could have filled a rice paddie with all my salty tears 😛

Probably will be another boring post today, but I always end up losing my lists so you the blogging public also get to be privy to our moving info… woo hoo – don’t you feel special?

Utilities (I spent about 3 minutes trying to remember what this word was…. yikes)

Gas – turned on 6/21
Electricity – turned on 6/27
Water – turned on 6/27
Internet – should be up and running by weekend of July 4th baring no complications

Moving Stuff

6/20 – One trip of boxes when we go to pick up our keys and my Drs. Appt.
6/21 – One trip of boxes when we go to wait for the gas to be turned on… maybe two if FIL gets his car back in time plus we are taking him out for ramen for Father’s Day
6/27 – The “big stuff” gets moved aka our mattress, our chest of drawers… plus (see below)
6/28 – Ryohei has to work all day… which means no moving can really be done 😦

Buying Stuff

6/27 – Apparently we are going to get most of our stuff from the second hand shop. In between moving and the owner (who we talked to 2 weekends ago) said he will deliver and install all the big stuff – washing machine, fridge, maybe aircon for 1000 yen total (WOW!)
6/28 – While Ryohei is at work second hand shop man should come and install the stuff… when Ryohei gets home that night HOPEFULLY we will go and buy the “holy oven”
7/??- not exactly sure when we will go about getting dining table/sofa/etc… hopefully before the baby is here… we will probably go the second hand shop route for them but the one we went to for the electrics didn’t have a very good selection so we will probably go second hand shop looking the July 4th weekend

Anyways… if all goes well… the first night at the apartment should be the 27th? Thats less than 10 days from now!! And a good thing since my weekly appointments should be starting from this week on and I can take the bus by myself to them on a weekday and hopefully avoid most of the crowds.

Last night Ryohei asked if I wanted to go and see a “play” with him… now I like theater and LOVE musical theater… but was very very skeptical of what sort of “play” this would be. Apparently its being put on by the local business union about the Japanese Constitution?! Umm… ok. If anything it may provide foder for another amusing blog post… on the upside we are going to have dinner (pay day dinner) at this really yummy Italian place that is run by a guy who actually studied in Italy! We have a half off coupon for the most expensive pizza on the menu covered in imported buffalo milk cheese… so that should be fun!! We haven’t had a “date” for a while.. so I guess I’ll take what I can get.

And… on the upside – I found out that they will be raising Ryohei’s “gas allowence” when we move. I thought it was just set to a certain number a month but they will actually give him more “gas money” since he is driving a longer distance to work now!! Yay – that was one of my secret fears – that the extra gas money would be sort of an issue – but looks like that is in the clear as well!

This month is going decidely better than the last one – but SIL and BIL are coming to spend the night here tomorrow and we all remember what happened last time I met up with SIL. Stay tuned for a weekend post!?!

Well… Ryohei is now a citizen of Nagaoka thanks to FIL and my trip to the city and back yesterday. It was pretty tiring actually. Ryohei’s parents live a good hour away from the city now (this will obviously be a benefit when we move as an hour is a bit far for in-laws to just “drop in”) and the drive sort of wears you out – esp. if theres only 20 minutes or so in between coming and going. We got back about 2 minutes after Ryohei got back from work, I caught a glimpse of him walking up the steps in his suit.

Now its Wednesday and there are still two days left until the weekend. It gets so boring here… and without anything to look forward to this weekend – I have another clinic appointment and then starting to move stuff coming up – theres really no genki energy left for me. Of course after the fun of last weekend, nothing will really match up for a while.

Until BG makes her appearence I don’t really have any big or fun plans – I’m hoping (expecting) to be so busy after she’s here that I don’t notice that fact. So now its just sort of taking it easy and waiting and getting moved in… Although Ryohei found out he has to work all day Sunday the 28th which really throws a wrench into our moving plans since it means that pretty much MOST of our moving needs to get done on the 27th. Of course we could just wait to finish moving until the NEXT weekend… but that would mean another week of me staying here in boring inaka-ville… its like the cosmic rice gods find my life here an amusement. Oh well… I do know that once we are out of here for good – that we will most likely never have to live with the inlaws for this long a period of time again! (yay!) I think that the both of us are on a firm consensus that any sort of living arrangement will be independent of them… at least for the next 2 years – maybe more – we will be living in the more convenient area of where our new apartment is located.

I am still feeling really homesick for America. I think once BG gets to the point where she starts going to kindy I am going to seriously look into getting a Masters Degree. I would love to have the kind of lifestyle where we could live a few years in Japan and then a few years back home… but that seems a bit impossible at this point. I think Ryohei and I have already determined that in either country its almost more practical for me to be the “moneymaker” while he is the “homemaker/job on the side” one. Ineterestingly enough… we were told the same thing by this lady who read both our palms earlier last month.

Anyways – my blog is boring today! Wow… and now in conclusion another Meme! This one is brought to you thanks from a tag from


Pick 6 unimportant things you love

Mention & link to the person who tagged you
1. “the perfect moment” – this is (for me) when it is nice weather, the sky is blue with a few clouds and there is a blreeze blowing and lightly russling my hair and the leaves in the trees and for just a couple seconds I feel completely at peace with the world and with life and everything (haven’t had one of these for a while… but used to get them on my lunch break at Kobe when I would go to the local park)
2. brownies – esp. warm out of the oven with a glass of ice cold milk
3. karaoke – I love singing and being able to do it at the top of my lungs without worrying about what other passers by think… it is a total stress release… and I haven’t been able to do it since before I moved here… hmm maybe that says something
4. trinkets – I’m sort of a sucker for little things that important friends have given me, i’m such a packrat I can’t throw anything away but on the upside when i come across something that reminds me of a good memory or something in the past I get all nostalgic and happy
5. baby clothes – so so so so cute… they don’t have anyone to wear them yet, but they will!
6. the smell of fabric softner/laundry detergent – so clean and fresh!!

There are lots of fun reasons why tomorrow is going to suck – in particular – suck for me. I can imagine it would be minorly sucky and annoying for other people but with all the things that I have “going” for me it is going to be a world of suck, suck, suck, and crap. And yes – there is going to be inaka bitching in this post so if you want out here is your chance.

So Ryohei and I are in the process of getting all our “utilities” set up. Gas, water, electric etc,etc. Water and electric were easy – fill in a form send it in – watch and wait. Gas we have to call them, Ryohei gets the pleasure of doing that on his lunch break, I don’t care how fluent I am in Japanese talking on the phone to the “keigo freaks” as I like to call anyone in the “business sector” who speak to you in massive keigo despite the fact that you make it clear that you are foreign and that perhaps a little more “rude” language would get the message across. But no – rudeness is saved for when an 8 month woman is standing in front of you on the train and you pretend to fall asleep as to not have to give up your specially procured seat especially in the “handicapped” section. Silly pregnant woman – if she wanted to sit on the train she should have gotten on before you did right? (opps sorry already ranting and I haven’t gotten to the meat of the post yet)

Anyways – the last “important” utility is the internet. Now if you live in Japan you know the fun of waiting the 10 days – 2 weeks waiting for them to hook the damn thing up. In America, you call the company and they have a guy in your house within 2-3 days at the latest. But whatever… thats just how its done here I guess. (sigh sigh) Anyways considering I have no “attachment” to the real world besides the ‘net at this point we were hoping to sign up ASAP and then have it good to by the end of the month.

So tonight we looked at providers, chose one that seemed decent and not too expensive, and tried to sign up. Then we hit a road block… they want proof of address aka one of Ryohei’s items needs to be officially registered to our new address. Funny… I had mentioned that maybe we do that when we were in Nagaoka for the birth class but, no no… there was no need to do it then. (insert some cussing here) Anyways – lucky for us (me) since Ryohei and I are married I can change his address for him… or something. But that means I get to go to both the local city hall here AND the Nagaoka City Hall tomorrow to do it. This is not some walk in the park like it would be in oh… a non-rural area.

Ryohei’s mom has tomorrow off so she will drive me to the local city hall but then she has “plans” so I get to take the 1 hour and about 1000 yen (one way) train to Nagaoka and then take a bus to the local city hall, wait while they do both my gaikokujin torokusho AND Ryohei’s jyuminhyo (different departments of course) and then another bus back to the station and then waiting for train back to inaka then another 1000 yen hour long train ride home.

Now.. add the fact that I am 9 months pregnant and being in a non-prone position for long periods of time puts me in a world of pain and you see my issues here.

If I wasn’t pregnant this would be a nuisance but at least I could just chalk it up to going into the city – walking around and having fun.

If I had a drivers licence I could cut out all the train waiting time and bus waiting time and the 2000+ yen it is going to cost me could be put to something nice like cheese and starbucks as a reward.

But nope – nothing fun like that for me. Then again… 2 weeks without the internet isn’t fun either. So yup… this rant combines pregnancy, inaka, and Japan fun. I am trying to be positive – I am TRYING TRYING TRYING to not go crazy. But I really think tomorrow is going to be physically hard on me and so wishing that there was something, anything I could do to get out of it

Well looks like the rice gods were smiling on Princess Sara today and my FIL has agreed to drive me up to Nagaoka this afternoon instead of all the train and bus catching goodness! Yay!! Sort of happy to catch a break every now and then. I think Ryohei sort of pleaded my case this morning. We already did the local city hall and that went as smoothly as getting paperwork done in a Japanese office can. I got the same lady who messed up my gaijin card when I went to get my address changed… she smeared the ink on my changes and took up about 2/3rds of the card with her “edits”- all the while talking to me like I was an idiot… but sorry thats branching off again. Anyways I’m getting some major crampies today – but don’t think they will be sending me to the clinic to deliver a pre-term baby anytime soon. BG had another dance competition like thing in my tummy this morning and she’s still way high up… so I think we are good to go for at least a few more weeks.

Anyways just wanted to update you all. I lucked out this time – thanks to all of you who commented and esp. to Lily who offered to come down to Nagaoka to help out (HUGS!)

About 6 hours ago I said “bye bye” to Nay and Lulu and their husbands after a short but very fun weekend! Well mostly fun… this entry will two parts – one regarding the weekend and one regarding how crap my 35 week pregnant body has become in the last couple days. Read one or both – your pick!

The Weekend

Lulu came up Friday afternoon from Chiba on the shinkansen. I picked her up at the local station and we came back to my in-laws and just pretty much vegged for the whole day. I think the highlight was probably looking at all my baby stuff – its always fun to go through all my clothes and cute little socks, hats, and other accessories!! We also had a ton of gyoza for dinner – it was funny because my in laws served all the foods “I” liked. So apparently all foreigners must like them (lol) unfortunately this included tofu which Lulu does not like… funny enough the same thing happened at Shumpei’s PIL. My big HATE food is raw tomato (I can eat pasta sauce and most cooked tomato) but they had put raw tomato in the salad so I had to pick it out. So embarrassing… 😦

Anyways we ended up going to bed and waking up a little before Nay and Naoki arrived from Shizuoka. They managed the drive in about 5 hours (wow!) I was expecting it to take a lot longer. After that we chatted a bit – both boys read manga the whole time – this was continuous theme throughout the weekend though. And then we went to go pick up Shumpei from the bus stop. After that we went to eat ramen at Ryohei’s favorite ramen shop conveniently located in Nagaoka! Afterwards we took them by to look at the (outside of the) new apartment and then to Nagaoka Station for import food shop – we all bought cheese of some kind (lol) – and Starbucks! Yum 😀 I am a big fan of Nagaoka station and that will probably be where all my “fun allowance” goes. The import shop had some pretty good sales so I am looking forward to getting some hard to find ingrediants and special treats there.

After Nagaoka we were all pretty tired so we headed back to the “jikka” for a rest followed by a nice dinner out. We finished the night by playing “Jinsei Game” aka “The Game of Life” in English. Naoki ended up “betting his life” and getting the 10% chance on the roulette wheel to win the game. Very very shocking… it was a fun game though! We stayed up playing for at least 2 hours or so and then all crashed into bed.

This morning Ryohei, Shumpei, Naoki/Benay, and Laura got out Ryohei’s mah-jong set and played (some) of a game in the morning. I’ve never seen it before but it looked like fun and I got to “sub” for Shumpei, Laura, and Ryohei during various breaks they took. It would be fun to learn how to play but with just the two of us it seems like it would be boring. After that we went to Ryohei’s city hall festival which had a very “urusai” Anpanman show playing and lots of fun little food stalls. We had yummy sausages among other things but then it started raining so we headed back and after a bit more chatting it was time for everyone to head home mid-afternoon. Now it feels so quite again… I miss my friends it was so easy to just “be here” when I had people to talk to and laugh with and with the six of us there was always someone around or something going on. Samishii… I won’t see Lulu or Nay until after BG is here… I can hardly believe it. Anyways – if you girls are reading – thank you so much for coming all the way out here, I really appreciated it. I ❤ you guys so much and its so lonely without you guys around to laugh and talk with.

Pregnancy Stuff

So… while this whole fun weekend was going on my body pretty much decided it wanted to rebel agaisnt me. I suppose that the fact I will be 35 weeks from tomorrow is part of that fun. This will be the beginning of the last month of pregnancy and now I am realizing why most people don’t wish to be overdue. Anyways Friday I woke up with horrible rib pain again. I couldn’t sleep and this time rolling on to my side still didn’t fully take the pain away not to mention that whenever I was on my back for more than a second I had shooting waves of pain all up and down my back. BG was the highest she has ever been and completely encompassing my rib cage. I honestly wanted to just curl up and die… not possible since Lulu was here and of course I wanted to spend time with her as well. The pain continued through Friday night – despite getting an early night I was waking up at intervals of 1-2 hours just from the pain. It was so much worse than just bathroom breaks because at least after those sleeping is ok… but the pain would not let me sleep and I was just moaning and groaning so much and begging BG to move down and trying to push her down. I think at some point I was almost insane but I guess lack of sleep and pain does that – oh so much to look forward to. Anyways the pain persisted through the next morning and finally stopped when we drove up to Nagaoka. BG seems to like the rythem of the car and I think she either was sleeping or some how compressed herself so that she was lower down. You can actually feel the difference. The day before the top of my tummy was rock hard the whole day and night and after the hour long drive Saturday she had moved down a few inches. Thank god…

Anyways my relief was short lived since this afternoon at the festival just walking around and standing for an hour and a half did a number on my back and at one point my hip or some other lower body part popped giving me horrible sharp pains on my back in any position but lying down. Didn’t make me the best of company sadly… anyways I’m still feeling pain there depsite Ryohei’s best attempts and massaging it out… its just under too much fat (sigh) to make much of a difference. Having a bath helped but I can’t stay in the bath all night! Anyways hoping that after sleeping tonight I will feel better. It worries me that there may be up to 6 weeks of this crap left… (my clinic induces at 41 weeks so I know that will be the latest I have to go) Late pregnancy is not fun… I can’t imagine actually having another little kid and doing it… how the heck do people make do on their 2nd or 3rd + child!?

I think if this continues I will welcome labor with open arms if just to get some sort of function of my body back after. It feels like its been forever since I could do anything like bend down, get up without sounding like some sort of dying cow, or walk at a pace faster than turtle crawl…

Anyways – hopefully most of you are nodding in comiseration and not thinking I’m being a wuss. I have an OK pain threshold… but thinking that there is more than a month left of this would suck the genki out of anyone I think.

PS – The title of this post OBVIOUSLY refers to the first half… I was thinking I wanted to give birth due date or later.. but as long as we are moved in to the new place BG can feel free to debut anytime and I won’t have any complaints.