Once Upon a Tanbo

Archive for the ‘daily life’ Category

Well two days into being back at home on my own.. ok with Sakura.. and I’m already going out of my mind. The contrast from being home – warm, sunny, people around, not sticking out like a sore thumb… the list goes on is pretty much the complete opposite here.

The weather forecast for the next week… 5/7 days snow, 2/7 days rain.
Woo hoo… sure makes getting out of the house a pain in the butt – but Sakura hates being cooped up inside all day too… I do as well… but even the 20 minute walk to the station/starbucks etc is painful and scary since there is so much snow accumulation.

Ryohei actually took a half day off today since he was having a painful neck issue and took me to the hello work so I could start collecting on my unemployment insurance.

Nagaoka’s rules seem a lot more mendokusai than other people I’ve talked to… I have to attend a 3 hours seminar next week for explanation before I can receive my first pay. And since I have no one here to watch Sakura I have to put her into daycare for a half day which makes me really sad. The guy pretty much said – don’t bring your baby to the seminar or here again. So now every time I go to hello work I will have to put her in daycare ๐Ÿ˜ฆ We live to far from PIL for her to go down there without staying the whole day. Makes me sad because I know if I was in a place where I had friends nearby I could have someone I was comforable with watch her instead of having to send her with some strangers in a daycare at the young age of 5 months ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

But the money will be nice… so I guess we have to do what we have to do although I really need to start bottle feeding her once a day so she will get used to it.

Sakura is changing every single day. Here are some of the things she can do SINCE coming home from America only a week ago.

-Roll from back to tummy ALL THE TIME
-Sit with assistance and sit for a couple seconds without assistance
-Reach out to Ryohei or I to hold her (this is especially cute)
-I think she’s starting to understand her name
-Pass toys from one hand to another
-Use both hands to hold a sippy cup but can’t always find her mouth with

She’s got a lot more skills down pat too… its amazing how much she changes everyday and shes got a really lovely personality to boot. Very smiley and social.. she smiles and babbles at pretty much every one and will stare at someone until they make eyecontact with her. We’ve definetly become oyabaka (silly parents).

Hoping that we will hear on Tokyo by the end of the month but probably not likely… I have this huge feeling of dread its not going to happen and it will be back to the drawing board on how to get the hell out of here asap. With this chance of Tokyo looming in the air even Ryohei has admitted he’d like to move on to bigger and better things. He wants desperately to transfer into a different type of civil officer (hopefully located at the central govt in Tokyo)

I’m on day 2 of my healthier eating/exercise. I thought I would gain like 2-3kg over the holidays but actually lost 400 grams from before left. I’ve been sticking to a fairly relaxed diet of a half cup of granola and a cup of low fat milk for breakfast and a salad with a bit of ceaser dressing and some cut up olive oil panfried chicken breast and then having dinner as normal. Also cutting out sweets until the weekend. Weigh in is every Monday…

My goal is 15kg initially which will get rid of all the baby weight I have left plus some naughty eating in 2008 weight. Then my plan is to try and lose another 15kg which would put me at a weight I haven’t been since high school… haha… oh well shoot for the moon and you’ll end up in the stars or something like that.

Anyways thats it for now I guess.

We have plans to visit Japanmama in Gunma this weekend!! Yay… I already need a fix of English conversation and today at Hello Work showed me how much my written and spoken formal Japanese has gone to crap.

Sigh…. I need to start looking for translation work but am a little worried about getting paid while receiving unemployment.



Posted on: December 30, 2009

Currently typing from my inlaws from ryoheis computer while sakura was napping. Had a fairly hectic trip back… my flight was an afternoon one so it was not the easy breezy trip we had during the night flight on the way to america.

After 11 hours in the air we got to the airport and we made our way to the hotel room i had reserved…. i made a stupid mistake and ended up taking a taxi there when i could have taken a free shuttle bus or the train which would have been about 300 yen. instead i paid 4000 for the stupid taxi… i thought it would be closer but no.. no it wasnt. 10km in the taxi and i learned my lesson

the hotel itself was fine.. 3800 for a smallish room with a bed and shower pretty much all that i needed. we were going to stay with lulu that night but since her mum is visiting and i knew sakura would have jetlag and be up all night i think the hotel was the right choice. anyways.. we made it to see lulu and baby noah the next morning. he was sooo cute. he was very very alert just like sakura was when she was a baby and you can tell he is going to be very handsome when he is older.. but with lulu and shumpei for parents that was a given i think.

after visiting for a few hours we made our way from chiba to tokyo and got in line for the shinkansen. it was the busiest day of the year for going to niigata… just my luck but sakura and i managed to get the last seat in the free seating carriage. she was pretty good on the train and we finally made it to niigata around 2pm

since then weve sort of been relaxing. we went out for some yakiniku today which was nice. it was 3000 for the two of us and the quality was fairly good. it had been months since id had yakiniku!

seeing ryohei again was nice i think he was more excited to see sakura than me but no surprise there. i am sorely missing all the help i had with her when i was at my moms. ryohei and his parents dont do a lot in the way of taking her and entertaining her so once again it falls on me… ive been up since 4am when she woke up and ryohei went back to sleep from 6 – 8…

its fairly cold here and there is a lot of snow. it should start snowing again from tonight although its clear right now. sil and co are coming from tomorrow so we will see baby iroha again. that should be nice to have them to talk to. altho sil can be a bit… different from me… parenting wise… its still nice to have someone with a baby to talk to.

we still havent had any word officially on the tokyo transfer but apparently ryohei was told at his new years party that they hope he will go to tokyo. the vice-mayor told him that and the mayor is the one who will decide if he gets it so fingers crossed.

ALSO there was apparently a guy a couple years ago who was sent to tokyo and then transfered into another branch of the govt while there so ryohei is really interested in seeing if he can do that. to be honest i think he finds the level of his work a bit low and since finding out he may have a chance to transfer into a department of the national gvt as opposed to the central govt it seems to have given him some motivation.

so who knows there is a slight possibility now if we were transfered to tokyo that ryohei could find a way for us to stay there permanently… but before that we needed to be transfered in the first place.. so please keep your fingers crossed we will and we will find out within the next 6 weeks or so.

we are thinking of moving to funabashi or ichikawa as it is a bit less expensive than tokyo but still only a 35 minute commute or so from where ryohei would be working!

Sakura had a BAD night… for her last night.

Put her to bed at 6:45ish per normal routine… normally she stays asleep until a feed around 11:30/12 but not last night. She was up and screaming when I was getting out of my shower around 9:30… Ryohei was late so I went up to try and get her back to sleep and it kind of worked. Ryohei came home just as I got out of the room at 10:45… cue 15 minutes later. Screams!!!

I figure if I go up again she’s just gonna want more boobies.. so I ask Ryohei to go up and gently rock her to sleep… well.. I knew that wasn’t going to happen as soon as I heard him proclaiming “Hi Sakura!” loudly as he went in our bedroom…

Cue 45 minutes later… STILL awake… smiling at Daddy…

Its now almost midnight and I’m exhausted… I want to sleep but now she gets cranky and wants boobies. So boobies it is but she WONT fall asleep… so Ryohei.. who while I’ve been doing this has been snoozing in bed begs me “Can’t you just do something – why isn’t she sleeping?!” Hmm.. I think 11pm Daddy time had something to do with that… but I go back and lie down with Sakura again and FINALLY… she drifts off.

I roll into bed exhausted.. but 3 hours later… *grizzle grizzle, cry whinnnnne*

So… From 4am to 5:55 when Ryohei got up and took her downstairs I was up with Miss S.

So so so so tired… doesn’t help I’ve been going at it on the wii so I’m achy and tired from exercise tired PLUS need sleep tired. Yawnn… almost a kilo down since Sunday though! Woo hoooooo. The Wii only lets you set a limit of 10kg to lose.. I am going for triple that but I guess 10kg at a time is a good goal.

I’m glad I started exercising before America as I will probably go less “for broke” than I would have if I started after the New Year. I’ll still probably gain a little though but I don’t get to go for another year so its sort of worth it.. esp. Christmas dinner – yum!

We have a busy rest of the week…

Tomorrow I am going with Sakura to PIL during the afternoon and we will stay the night since Ryohei has a business trip in Tokyo on Friday. Friday night we are celebrating Sakura and Iroha’s 100 days thingy… MIL is making red rice and Tai fish and SIL and I are making a sponge cake. Also staying there Friday night..

Saturday afternoon we will head back here and then I have that time and Sunday to pack – do general cleaning (Ryohei plans on staying with his parents during weekdays and staying at out apartment on the weekend), and if we can fit in an hour of Karaoke.

Sakura LOVES when Ryohei or I sing now so we are going to try an hour of karaoke.. which we haven’t done FORVER and see how that goes.

Anyways soon it’ll be time for princess to wake up and then its off to the store to buy some ingredients for tonights Basil Chicken and roast veggies.

We made the trek (about 7 hours driving with stops/traffic) to visit Nay and Naoki in Shizuoka last weekend and the great time MORE than made up for the long drive.

We left at 3:30am (!!) Saturday morning and got there around 10am! We didn’t have an incredibly busy time but had fun playing with Milo the puppy and of course admiring Sakura. She was a bit out of sorts from the early wake up and long drive and had a bit of a bad first night there but the second night was better.

It was SO great seeing Nay again – we always have so much to talk about and it was so exciting to see her belly full of baby N! I wish I looked that great at 5 months pregnant.

It was so sad to go home on Monday but work and life awaited us back in Niigata so we drove back… we ended up taking a local road through Shizuoka and Yamanashi and it was beautiful because of the mountain scenery in all its maple leaf glory. It was a great drive!! Not one we could do every month but maybe every 6 months ๐Ÿ™‚ I think Nay and her Mum may be coming up to see us in the New Year but after that I probably won’t see her until Baby N is here!!

Yesterday was Sakura’s 4 month appointment. She is now 6.1 kg and 63 cm long!! She is very long and skinny and on the “slender” side of the average baby her age. But the doctor said everything looks good, so that was a relief. She doesn’t have another appointment until she is 10 months which should be around May or so. She also got her first shot and didn’t seem to like it much – she cried and cried and they made us wait for 30 minutes to make sure she didn’t have a reaction to it and she just had an absolute fit. Poor baby… she slept great last night though! The first time in a while actually… I think there is still a whole lot going on in her brain and she has a difficult time going to sleep and staying that way. Not incredibly fun for me but what can you do?

I met up with A-san today at the nearby station and we had lunch and then came over to my place for a bit. It was def. nice to have someone to talk to and it was interesting watching her little boy play. He is about 1 year older than Sakura so its like getting a preview of what things may be like… seems very very high energy – I’m just used to Sakura lying there its hard to believe in just a year from now she may be running around screaming and throwing things like he was!!

Also at the station today picked up my discount ticket for Tokyo the day before I leave for the US. Found a website that lets you buy tickets from Tokyo to Nagaoka for up to 30% discount the one I got was 20% discount! Pretty sweet – I def. recommend it to anyone who ever plans to visit from Tokyo. Can’t believe in just 2 weeks I will be in America again!! Wooooohoooooooooo

We had a fun weekend! Actually weekends are usually pretty fun here since Ryohei is around and its not just Sakura and me all day long… (that gets old pretty quick since its not like she can really do much on her own and i think she gets bored of just seeing me and the occasional old lady at the nearby grocery store.)

Friday we went to spend the night at the PIL since they live closer to Gunma and Sakura and I took the local train 50 minutes from Nagaoka Station to the one about 7 minutes from Ryohei parents. I had (in hindsight poorly) planned for Sakura to get her afternoon nap on the train ride but she woke up after only 15 minutes due to loud high school students and the door opening and closing.. usually she sleeps.. well… like a baby on trains..

Anyways we got to PIL around 4pm and she cried from 4:15pm to 5:30pm when I finally put her to bed. I think MIL thinks shes is broken or something since she is NEVER in a good mood when we are there. And of course the Iroha comparisons were thrown like rice at a wedding… they were surprised Sakura is so skinny and long. I guess Iroha is short and round…

Anyways after nearly an hour and a half of screaming which reminded me eerily of her first 6 weeks of life – she went off to sleep in regular Sakura fashion.

Saturday she was so tired that she didn’t want to wake up at 6:30 like she usually does but Ryohei’s parents “insisted” on seeing her before they left for work so we had to wake her up at 7:45… I’m not a fan of waking sleeping babies esp. for my parents in law but we did it anyways and she was in a fairly good mood so she let them fawn over her a bit. She’s pretty look but don’t touch with them.. but then again they still try and hold her in a cradling position and now that her head is fully functional she – HATES it.

Anyways after that we headed down to Gunma! We got there pretty quickย  only about an hour and fifteen minutes! Woo hoo! It was a lot of fun and Ryohei is his usual fashion was the entertainment for the bigger kids while the rest of the ladies chatted and admired the two smaller babies. It was good food and fun. Thank you so much Laura A. for hosting us and also it was great to finally meet Sophie and Sakurako. Sakurako in particular seemed to enjoy baby Sakura she was petting her head and gave her a hug as well.. very cute!

It is only an hour and a bit from Ryohei’s parents so if we use the ETC to get there its only 2000 yen round trip ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully we will be able to meet up every few months…

Anyways the way back we went back to Nagaoka and it took quite a bit longer… Sakura was pretty cranky and then it started raining so we took a rest and a parking area and had dinner there. It took us about 2.5 hours with the stop included and we were all pretty exhausted by the time we got back.

Today was supposed to be rainy but ended up being sunny so we caught up on some house chores and then drove out to a park but it was super windy and cold so we headed back after a brief stop at Akachan Honpo for Sakura and Starbucks for us!

Sakura was being SO cute this weekend.. she is SO chatty now. I wonder if she’ll continue to be a chatty baby/toddler. It makes me crack up when she tooks to us, herself, her toys, etc etc..

Hard to believe she’ll be 4 months soon. At Akachan Honpo we saw another baby crying that was about a month old.. it was a big shock to realize just how much Sakura has matured.. she doesn’t sound or look like a newborn at all. She’s trying so hard to roll over and smiles and occasionally laughs, and has head control.. it really is true time goes quickly.

I just hope this week goes quickly so we can head out to Shizuoka to see Nay and Naoki again!! I can’t wait. We haven’t seen them for over 2.5 months now. This month has really gone by fast… just another 3 weeks until we leave for America?! And then it’ll almost be 2010… I really can NOT believe it!



Posted on: October 8, 2009

Oohhh its getting cold. I think the start of winter is upon us.. wtf its only October.

Today was the typhoon that wasn’t. Niigata was right on the typhoon’s path but I think the most “typhoon-ish” thing that happened was a few plants in the field behind our house being uprooted. Highly anti-climactic but heard that a couple of people were killed (not around here) so my thoughts go out to their families.

Typhoon was annoying becuase it meant I was trapped inside with Sakura the whole day. Bored 2 month old stuck inside all day does not equal good times for Mommy. Although that being said she was pretty good and maybe the one who missed our walk more was me. She can “play” independently for up to 10-15 minutes or so now. Its amazing to see how much she’s developed. I’m hoping she’ll start laughing soon – maybe another couple weeks?

She took a good long nap in the afternoon so I caught up on some TV (loving a lot of the new series this fall – Glee, Modern Family, FlashForward to name a few along with my long time series) I love the internet and the good people who make it possible to watch a show thats just been aired in America within only an hour or two of its broadcast.

I learned that Ryohei doesn’t have work Saturday and has work FROM 6:30PM on Sunday. So not as bad as I intially expected. We are spending the night at his parents on Sunday though. We have seen at least his mom every Saturday for the last 3 weeks now… So after this trip I feel that I should have at least a couple weeks of not having to see them. The reason we are going is because my SIL is staying there with Iroha and asked for me to come and spend some time with them – and I’m a pushover and I thought Ryohei would be working(!!) so I said yes. So I’m sure all day Sunday Ryohei will be thrilled to have the day with his manga again.

Next week he’s going to still be busy… and next week is my birthday. Number 26. So I will be closer to 30 than 20… Twenty-five was a nice number – not sure I am liking it as I move into my LATE twenties. (ok thats not for a couple years yet)

Almost bedtime for Ryohei and I. Sakura has been out since 6:30pm per usual. At least she’s fairly consistant and I know that for the most part from 7pm on I’m free of baby duty until somewhere in the middle of the night. Oh sleep deprivation when will you not be with me?

I’ve been slowly losing my bloggy mojo lately. It seems like all my (very limited) free time seems to be directed towards other pursuits. I feel sort of bad about it – I feel like I should be recording more of what is going on so that in the future I can look back and see how I made it through. And should I be foolish enough to want another baby somewhat soon this could provide as excellent birth control.

Haha I’m kidding. Sakura has gotten significantly better although she’s having a very ANTI-NAP phase at the moment. I would be more than happy to let he stay awake but if she’s up for more than about 3 hours she turns in super angry Sakura which is like hell on wheels. She’s also decided that when she does decide to nap its usually going to be only 40min – hour. Which cuts down a lot of my afternoon relax time – which means only the bare minimum gets done.

We went to see Ryohei’s parents last weekend and we are going to his Grandmothers this weekend. I wish there was a bit more spacing between the Japanese female relatives who think they know whats best for my baby. I really really hate unsolicited advice and Japanese women over the age of 50 or so seem to be bountiful in it.

Ryohei has to work every day of the upcoming 3 day weekend which is going to suck. He’s been home 2-3 hours late every night this week and this should continue on for the next 2 or so as well… Sometimes when I wake up in the morning I just am filled with a slight sense of dread for the day to come. I love spending time with Sakura – don’t get me wrong – its just really really tiring to have no one else around to “split” the work with. So when I do see any friends (rarely) I am moooore than happy to have them play with her except she’s been going through a mommy mode lately (at 2 months wtf?!) where she seems to prefer being held by me and in a distant 2nd place Ryohei. He seems sad that he doesnt get the million watt smiles I do – but he’s been busy so much and she’s in bed by the time he gets home so they maybe have 30 minutes or so in the morning and weekends.. which aren’t really happening this month.

So same old story really…

Now that I’ve gotten Ryohei’s word on moving back to America in the nestant (near+distant) future I’m feeling a bit more inaka tolerent. Just a bit though – but since its not a forever thing anymore and someday I will actually be able to have a real career again etc I feel better. I would have died if we spend 30+ years here like Ryohei had originally planned.

I can’t wait for my trip back in December with Sakura although I’m nervous as heck about bringing a 4 month old on the plane!!

Anyways not really anything exciting to update with… its about 26 degrees now and seems this will be the last hot day of the year here… looking of daytime lows of about 14 and 15 the upcoming week. Yikes – still nervous about my first niigata winter.