Once Upon a Tanbo

Archive for March 2010

Ryohei is booked somewhere in a semi-decent hotel in Tokyo and I’m here on night watch bringing you yet another post. (Sorry if its boring)

He met with his new colleagues today and learned a bit about the job. From what he said it seems very very easy. In at around 9, out usually by 5:30 with little overtime (unpayed when they have it though), and a lot of overnight business trips. (at least one a month)

So seems pretty nice for Ryohei… glad that he won’t be in zangyo hell like his first time working in Tokyo but he’ll be doing a lot of cold calling companies which can be stressful. Def. happy that he will still continue to be home around 6 at night most nights and we can enjoy our family time… its like the best of both worlds. Inaka schedule while living in Tokyo. Too bad its only for a (relatively) short period.

Anyways here is a video of Sakura crawling.. it was taken last week and she has improved since this was taken but I haven’t gotten a newer one so enjoy this one for now and don’t mind my messy apartment.


Gah its been a busy busy day and its not even noon yet. Ok.. wait it just turned 12 about five minutes ago.

Had my Hello Work money day in the morning instead of the afternoon and ended up missing my bus because Ryohei had used my hanko (stamp seal) and hadn’t put it back in the right place so I had to walk 30 minute to the area and just made it on time. Anyways got out about 15 minutes later… but what turned out to be my “last” payment day is apparently not. I have 17 more days of getting Hello Work money SO I have to come back to Nagaoka late next month and get my next paycheck. So… thats going to be some yen down the tube to come to Niigata and back to Tokyo for just 15 minutes of sitting in a room but considering that 17 days work of Hello Work is about 8 times the price of a ticket I guess its worth the inconvenience.

Sakura is now  fully crawling. She can’t speed across a room yet but she can go at least 4 or 5 paces in particular if she is being enticed by food or a toy that she likes. She also… brace yourselfs people… slept through the night last night. I don’t know why. Maybe because she finally got the whole crawling thing down she was exhausted. We put her to bed around 8:30 and then she woke up and Ryohei put her back to bed around 10:00 and then not a peep until around 5ish when she woke up and I took her into bed with me for a feed and then we both fell back asleep until 7:30. Will be interesting if tonight is a repeat performance!

Ryohei is in Tokyo today meeting how new co-workers. He won’t be home tonight so it will just be Sakura and I and then he’ll be late tomorrow because he has a nomikai… so won’t be seeing him for a while I guess. Taking care of Sakura with no help and no one to talk to can get so tiring… I am glad that at least in a couple of weeks should the same thing occur I can hope that at least one of my friends will be free to meet up and break the monotomy of staying home with a young baby all day.

Anyways here is my one for tuesday recipe. I love banana bread but wanted to try a different take on it and use up some honey we had before our move. This turned it really well and the ingredient are very Japan friend (aka can get them all at the local super as opposed to having to make it out to an import shop)

Honey Banana Bread

1/2 c. butter (115 grams)
1/2 c. honey (115 grams)
3 eggs
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. chopped nuts – i use walnuts (50 grams)
4 mashed bananas
2 c. flour (250 grams)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt

1st Mixture: Cream butter and honey together. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.2nd Mixture: Add the salt and put the soda in the mashed bananas and add to the 1st mixture. Add the vanilla mix the nuts in and add the flour; beat well. Bake in a loaf pan, in 180 C degree oven for 1 hour.

Well our move is finally getting on the way. We had our “assessment” yesterday when the moving company came and told us how much we would be spending on our move. It was just about what I had thought so no scary surprises there. We also got a lot of boxes and special tape that we need to use to designate breakables, things that will be used right away, etc etc… So now we need to start packing but I have a feeling that its not going to happen much this week.

Ryohei’s parents came up yesterday and took a bunch of baby stuff that we may or may not use again in the future and a few other things we want to keep but don’t want to store at the new place. They’ll get stored in Ryohei’s room since we won’t be staying there as often as we do now. (Although Ryohei will have to go back to Niigata about once a month to  report progress.) Anyways we went out to lunch with them and it was nice. This was the first time my FIL and MIL have come up to Nagaoka to watch Sakura so it was nice to have someone watch her since I really have felt like I needed a break lately. Of course running around packing stuff wasn’t exactly relaxing but still a nice change from always having to watch her and worrying if I’ve just turned my back on her for a second.

So we only have about a week and a half left in Niigata and its fairly busy especially the last week or so. We are going to Tokyo for the hanami party Saturday morning and will try to be back Sunday afternoon to start major packing and then Ryohei has to take a half day of work on the 6th for medical reasons so depending on how that goes we will do more packing. We actually move on the 8th and we will be staying the night at Ryohei’s parents and heading off on the shinkansen the next morning at 8:30am! The we have until mid-afternoon to do all our boring “registration” activities (yawn) but the movers will bring the stuff around 3pm Friday afternoon which will give us all of Saturday and Sunday to unpack… and then… well… we are in Tokyo!

Sakura turned 8(!!) months yesterday. Time is going by so quickly… she clapped today for the first time. I clapped at her and she repeated it back to me… either that or she was signing “more” since the way she does it they both look similar. She’s pretty damn smart and is already a huge handful as anything dangerous cords, computers, trash, books/magazines are the first thing she goes for. We def. need to have a baby proofed room in the next apartment.

So yah! Lots of stuff to do but I have a feeling most of it won’t get done until next week. All things considered we don’t have a lot of stuff and most of the stuff we have is used every day… so I think that packing shouldn’t take too long once we bear down and do it.

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That would be the sound of me being a little piggy. The ever present rain and cold has lead me down a dangerous road of clearing out my snack supply in “the name of moving.” Which.. turns out will be delayed another week.

Thanks dear for telling me you were 99% sure we were moving in a week and half. Instead Ryohei jaunts in today telling me “Guess what I start on the 12th.” However looks like he will take the 8th and 9th off and we will move on a weekday instead of the weekend so we can get living registrations and other menial only do-able on weekdays annoying stuff done.

The one silver lining is that I can get Sakura’s second polio vaccination here in Nagaoka before we leave so I don’t have to go through the trouble of doing it after our move since it is scheduled for the 7th. After that she won’t need any more shots until she past a year old so that will be nice not to have to get it over with.

So once again my time in Niigata has been extended… not  sure how much more of the cold and rain and SNOW (I’m looking at you tomorrow and Saturday) I can take without becoming a newsbrief on the 5pm news.

Sakura started crawling although she can only get 2 or 3 paces before collapsing back on to her belly and creeping the rest of the way. She also started signing back to me. I’ve been doing baby signs for a while now and today was the first day she started to pick up on it. She’s been doing “all done” a couple times today… one time when I was holding her. She signed “all done” to me and I put her down and she moved on to her toys…. my heart of glass…. ;_; Anyways she seems to understand “more” but can’t do it yet so maybe that will be next.

Shes super active and I’d love to be able to take her out but the damn weather is preventing that.. according to my forecast schedule we should finally be getting sunny and warm (15 C) plus weather from mid-next week. PRAYING that its true…

So yah.. not much tonight. I’m guessing the lack of comments recently is because of the boringness of my posts. Hopefully I’ll have more riveting life stuff going on mid-April on!

I’ve been feeling a bit weird lately. Just sort of blah and tired. Could be lack of sleep… even though I think I am getting more now due to our new sleeping arrangement it still doesn’t feel like enough.

I’ve only been “having to get up” once to feed Sakura though. She had a feed at 1am last night and then Ryohei brought her into me at 5:30am so we are getting closer to the magical mid-night – 6am space I am hoping for. I don’t know if she is waking up inbetween those times I would have asked Ryohei but he left before we got up this morning.

He has 3 events the next 3 days so… that means he won’t be around tonight, will be super late tomorrow, and one again won’t be around Friday and most of Saturday morning.

Then I guess Saturday and Sunday we need to start getting things in order because it looks like Ryohei will be starting April 5th so he’ll take April 2nd (Friday) off and we’ll get the stuff moved that day and then Saturday it will be delivered to our new place in Tokyo. I have plans that will not be missed Saturday afternoon so I’ll go straight to our house after that and we will spend Saturday evening and Sunday unpacking (so I don’t think I need to the night Khea – I will be going “home!” afterwards)

Anyways we have a lot to do next week. I have my final Hello Work paycheck as well. I’ve only had one translation assignment this month so I’m greatful to have the Hello Work come in although I still need to do one more “job searching activity” to complete my resume.

So I guess maybe the root of my blah-ness is all the boring/tedious stuff that needs to be done before we move in oh… 10 days?! Wow.

Hopefully the weather report is correct and it will be sunny for a bit this afternoon so Sakura and I can take a walk. It was rainy yesterday and being inside all day was not good for both of us… she crawled for the first time yesterday and sat up from a crawling position on her own… my baby is getting so big. She’ll be 8 months later this week. Is walking a couple months down the line??? Can’t believe it…


Hope everyone (in Japan) enjoyed the 3 day weekend. Ours was fairly busy… and I think both Ryohei and I are pretty exhausted now. We spent Friday night through Sunday afternoon with the in-laws which was so tiring. One night I am ok but after the 2nd I just start to get a headache from all the Japanese and all the “manner minding” especially when it comes to having Sakura around. It was nice since my BIL and SIL were staying as well but at the same time the differences we have in child raising is so different. But really its not my place to say anything so I don’t even though SIL is always trying to get me to layer Sakura is like 4 or 5 layers and even told me she thought she had a cold just because she sneezed. SIL is so like MIL even though they aren’t related.. just very behind the times old school Japanese. But oh well… they are both nice enough. MIL even made pizza dough and gave me some to take home so we had pizza last night.

Today we had some shopping to do so we were up super early and out for most of the day. I finally got my 2010 Starbucks sakura mug. Since they came out with the next series of drinks I thought I lost my chance but turns out no one in Niigata bought the cups so there were still like 8 left when I went to the nearest one to buy them this morning. I was afraid i would have to get them off yahoo auctions which would cost another 500 or so on the (already expensive-ish) mug. Anyways I’m pleased with it!

I guess we are just super tired out from Sakura. She has grown up a lot and has a lot of awareness. I’m pretty sure she’s starting to understand some words. She reacts to “more” by opening her mouth when I’m feeding her and “boobies” by screaming if I don’t give them to her immediately, and to “look” if I point at something while saying it.

Very cool! She also knows her name and will turn when called about 2/3rds of the time. She still gets distracted though.

She’s just super active and unfortunately there isn’t a lot of room for her to roam about here. We are planning on making our new 6 tatami mat room a completely baby safe room so she can just be gated in there and have free reign instead of having to pull her away from stuff all the time.

We’ve decided that I will sleep in the other room for now instead of Ryohei as we are trying to semi-night wean Sakura as the 5 times up a night is NOT working for me. Last night Ryohei slept in the same room as her since he doesn’t wake up unless shes really crying where is I wake up at every little hiccup. I got a good amount of sleep and only woke up to feed her at 5am. Yay.. trying it again tonight and hoping that by the time we move to Tokyo she might be waking up less since she’s not going to get boobies every time now. I’m more than happy to feed her before midnight and after 5am but I just want that 5 hour period in between to sleep and I don’t think her going without boobs for 5 hours is going to kill her.

Anyways like I said we are both fairly tired and sort of passed out. Ryohei said he understands how tiring it is to be alone with the baby all the time and is encouraging me to go back to work (part-time) after she’s weaned and our summer visitors come. My dad is coming for a week in late June and my mom and step-dad are coming for about 3 weeks in august for Sakura’s 1st birthday and obon.

After that I’ll start looking for a part-time job that will get me out of the house for a couple days a week.

Anyways Ryohei has two nomikai this week and he’s working Saturday so Sakura and I are going to have more “futari no jikan.” We’ve had 2 nice days lately so hoping the weather will be nice so we can get out of the house and not be stuck inside.