Christmas fun!

I can't believe it is less than a week until Christmas! It has come around very quickly and I am totally disorganised. Well we have the food side of things pretty much sorted but I have done hardly any shopping for presents. I don't have that many people too buy for but still I had better get my butt into gear. We planned to buy a bike for Liam but now it appears jiichan is going to buy it for him but still pretend it's from Santa. I have a few other things for him but as he is going to get totally spoilt by other people I might just leave it at that. We are off to Toys R Us tomorrow though so something could jump at me. Ryuji is convinced that he needs something Kamen Rider or Shinkenja related but I think he could live without them!

My mum arrived on the 11th and has been a huge help. Liam is so much happier as I think with both Ryuji and I being pretty busy with work he was feeling a little attention deprived. He is getting heaps now from mum though and I also have more time to spend with him as I don't have to worry about doing everything around the house too. He has taken the month of daycare and seems to be perfectly happy about that too. He will be 5 in April and as he will start school in two years we had been thinking about doing the "normal" thing and sending him to the local daycare full time. As we live in the sticks the nearest kindy is a 30 minute bus ride away so most people around here do the daycare thing for at least 2 years. There is a daycare just down the road from us and I went and checked it out with a friend a couple of weeks and was almost ready to hand in the application papers when I had a sudden change of heart. New baby is due in April and my mum will be coming over again a week or so before my due date and staying for about 3 months and then I plan to go back to Australia with her for about 6 weeks with Liam and bub. We would have to pay about 30,000 yen a month for daycare and if we didn't want to pay while we were in Australia we would have to officially take him out and then re enrol him when we got back. As I won't be working at all our finances won't be very healthy so I have been wondering if it's really worth it. I talked to both Ryuji and mum about it and they both seem to think it's okay if he doesn't go so I think that's what is going to happen. I'm sure people around the place will think we are terrible parents but I don't really care. I will make an effort to do lots of educational stuff with him at home and make more of an effort to work on his English reading and writing.

In baby news, I had my 22 week appointment yesterday. I was worried about getting in trouble for my weight gain as I seemed to put on about 2kg in the week after my previous visit but with some sensible (or maybe not so sensible?) eating over the couple of days before my appointment all was okay! I have to go back again after the New Year though which might not be pretty at all lol. No luck again in finding out the sex either! This time, baby was lying horizontally across my belly with his/her legs jammed together! Rather disappointing but funny in a way too! I knew with Liam by the time he was 20 weeks so this baby is certainly making us wait and giving me way too much time to think about what it is.

My brother and his wife flew into Osaka tonight and hopefully will be at their hotel or making their way there. They are probably freezing as they are coming from the Australian summer where temperatures have been in the mid 30s. I hope they managed to find some warm clothes to bring with them. They are spending the day tomorrow in Kyoto with our Japanese friend Nami who did a homestay with us when I was at high school. They are then making their way down to Yamaguchi on Tuesday afternoon. We are all really looking forward to seeing them and Liam is counting down the days on the calendar. Mum and I spent the day getting ready for their arrival. We are going to give them our bedroom and Ryuji and I will bunk in with Liam. A friend has lent us a double futon so I think I will make Ryuji and Liam sleep on it and I will get the bed.

Mum and I did the usual pre-Christmas visit to Costco last Sunday. We left Liam at home with Ryuji which was a very good idea as it was manic. We arrived around 9:40 and at that stage there wasn't a line so we decided to wait in the car a bit. When we went back around 9:50 though there was quite a long line. We got our shopping done by about 11:30 but the lines at the registers were horrendous - probably 30m long. I had never seen it like that! We finally got out and after dumping all our purchases in the car had a walk around the rest of the complex. I was happy to find the Gap that I heard had opened there recently and was even happier to see they had sales on. Mum and I got a red cardigan which we are going to share and I got a pair of cords for Liam. We also had a look at the newborn stuff which was very cute.

I am off to Fukuoka again on Tuesday with my Aussie friend as she has go to the consulate to get her new baby's passport. She is leaving her two older kids and I am leaving Liam and we are going to enjoy a day of shopping, Starbucks and other fun. I so have to get my Christmas shopping done too.

Mum brought me over two blocks of cadbury choc which seem to be calling my name now. All I seem to have done today is eat but I have at least 2 weeks until my next doctor's appointment :-)


Long time no blog

I have no idea where the last half of November went and am in shock it's December already! I got my first Christmas card yesterday from a friend in the UK so I guess that means I better get my butt into gear and start organising mine. I used to be super slack about Christmas cards but after living here for so long realised it's actually nice to get them and for that to happen it's really a reciprocal deal :-)

I am having a lovely week as the school has tests on so I don't have to go in at all! I still have my private classes but having 8 classes less than usual is definitely nice. Liam and I headed to a shopping centre about 40 minutes away from here to meet up with another foreign wife and bub for the first time. We "met" on Facebook on a Yamaguchi teacher's page and organised to meet up. We are the same age with one kid and another on the way so it was really nice to hang out. Hopefully we can do it again soon and get some play groups happening in the future. Anyway, today we had pizza and pasta for lunch, did some shopping and then had cake and coffee at Starbucks. Yum yum! Felt the need to do the exercise bike when I got home but after that and vegie soup for dinner I am feeling slightly less piggish.

I have an unusually social week as tomorrow Aussie friend and her two girls are coming over for lunch and a play. I am making pasta sauce at the moment to have with yummy Costco ravioli. I am so not a morning person but my friend is and will probably be here early so at least if the sauce is done just throwing everything together will be easy. I need time to give the house a quick do over as well.

Then Thursday Liam and I are off to lunch with my lovely obachan student after class. I have been teaching two 60ish Japanese ladies for the last 7 year or so and they are like my Japanese mums. Unfortunately only one can come to class this week as the other's great nephew has the flu and as she was around him she doesn't want to risk giving it to me.

After working crazy hours for the last two months, Ryuji is finally getting home at a decent hour. For basically all of October and November he was leaving home at 6:20 and not getting home until 11 which meant Liam and I hardly ever saw him during the week. Before getting pregnant I still would have been up when he got home but lately if I am not asleep by then I am definitely snug in bed getting ready to be that way. But as of yesterday, he has been getting home at 7 so we have been doing the family dinner thing and then he showers with Liam and goes up to bed with him. It means Liam's bedtime is a bit later than if I was doing it but it also means that I get some me time which is definitely lovely.

My mum arrives next Friday which has come about quite quickly. She only left at the start of October but the time seemed to drag by until recently. She is here for a month this time and then will come back in April hopefully before the baby is born. Liam's birthday is on the 19th so she will come a week or so before that. Baby's due date is the 21st and as Liam was 8 days late she should be here. If she's not I guess baachan will have to step up and help out with Liam.

My last ob/gyn appointment was quite uneventful so I didn't post about it. I was hoping to both find out the baby's sex and get the new flu shot but neither happened. Baby was upside down and had its back towards us so we couldn't see anything. Major disappointment but next time I go I will be 22 weeks so if baby co-operates we should have a good chance of finding out. Re: the flu shot, there are at least 250 women at my clinic who want to get it but the clinic apparently only received 50 vaccines in November so gave them to the women who are furthest along in their pregnancy. My doctor seemed to think I would be able to get it at my next appointment at the middle of this month but who knows what will happen. Everyone around me seems to be getting it so I guess I just hope to be lucky enough not to. Liam got his shot last week too so hopefully that will mean he is less likely to bring it home from daycare.

Okay this is turning into a novel and a hot shower is calling me so I will be off :-)