Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mobiles, thank yous and a vid

What?
Just a quiet day today. We went by Entetsu department store, we had received a few gift certificates to use there- we were able to find a cute mobile for hanging on his crib or maybe bouncer. Did I mention how incredibly generous have been since Ken's arrival?

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for coming to my blog in 2007! I really wanted to use this as a way to extend a branch of communication to my family and friends back home, but it has grown into something more with many students and just coincidental visitors (like Marc who happened across my blog topic about his buddy Warwick) and it has been greatly successful. I am a little disappointed that my writing dropped off in the last quarter of the year- but in the end I have about 131 posts so I don't think I did too bad. Well, thanks so much for reading- I hope to keep it interesting for 2008!

Here is a little video of Santa lying like the fool he is and Ken swinging his head around a bit.

video

Saturday, December 29, 2007

cell phone pics

The focus around the household has definitely shifted to Ken. Through the first 2 weeks at home, I was still working a fair bit, so I would just have little snatches of time to spend with him- but now that my holidays kind of started on Saturday- and started full tilt on Thursday- I have had a great chance to just hang out with him.
He does spend a lot of time sleeping. And crying. And eating. And dirtying his diapers. But there are some times when he is just lying there and looking around. I read that this is the time to interact with him- and I think he is starting to love the interactions. By listening to him while he tries to practice his sounds, it helps him to get some much needed practice- after all, the poor bugger has two whole languages to learn.
I really have made an effort not to turn my blog into a "hey look at all the cute pictures of my cat" blog- because I realize that isn't an interesting read. I hope the new baby-centered focus you will see is not a bad turn. I will try to keep some other topics coming. This really is a great venue to document those changes that come along that, at the time, are somewhat minor, but you pause to reflect on later in life.
So far- he has already started lifting his neck- especially when we burp him. He is great for swinging his neck around and headbutting us right in the mouth. Cute but dangerous. Also he has started to make tears, though his cries are mostly dry, and he has also starting focusing more and he watches us as we walk around the house. Oh ya, also a couple of real smiles and a little bit of agoo's and lela's. Pretty fun stuff.

An Aside
Both pictures didn't turn out very well but, I still thought this was amusing.
A lot of places around here have the classic- squat and use toilets here, like this...
Well one place that I was working at had handy instructions posted for a foreigner on how to use these porcelain beauties. Unfortunately I had to be discreet as someone else was in the washroom, so the pictures came out blurry. He must have thought that I was taking some perverse pictures with the door closed, oh well - I wasn't....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Things settling....?!?!?!?

Yes, time is starting to move on and my schedule is lightening up and things seem to be starting to fall into place. Ritsy and Ken had spent the first few days at home in the living room where Santa was always trying to get in on the warm action. No problem as long as he doesn't try to lie down on Ken.
Ritsy was starting to feel better, and was moved into the baby's room by Monday. But going back a couple of days- Peter and Chris managed to convince me to come out to Hamamatsu city to celebrate the beginning of fatherhood. While I am weary of overdoing it , it had been a pretty stressful 2 weeks for me and it was really nice they wanted me to come out, so I headed into town for a couple of hours to a place called Liquid Kitchen- run by a guy we knew, Marty.
Even our other friend Peter came out and we saw one of Chris' students- in this picture is her friend. If I didn't know better I would say these two look like a nice couple...
We were good though and got home at a decent hour on the train.(hmm that poster looks oddly placed in the background)
This week was pretty busy too, but definitely starting to lighten up. I am also starting to understand why my students keep telling me to take lots of pictures. He has already changed in looks a lot in just 3 weeks. I actually see a little bit of me in this little face now! His hair is brown, though much darker than mine- but his eyes are dark-- well that light-coloured gene is a recessive one isn't it...?
He is a hungry bugger and seems to get really fussy at night- but we are learning and starting to minimize the fuss a little better little by little. Poor Ritsy was getting pretty tired though- yesterday I caught her having a nap with the little guy when I came home from work.
I know time is moving fast- I can't believe the little guy is already 3 weeks old! There will be lots of great times- but I am so interested to watch as he develops mentally and physically, I can't get enough- I am starting to get oya baka (Baby crazy)-- this is going to be a very interesting journey!

Friday, December 7, 2007

A positive turn

I just survived a crazy busy couple of weeks! I guess my week isn't really over, but I know my schedule lightens up a bit from this point, so I'll enjoy it.
I continued with a tough week of commuting to my classes, the hospital and the Midwife clinic and last week reached an end with me having to travel out to Shizuoka city early in the morning last Sunday to take my Japanese proficiency test (level 3). With the hectic pace of the previous week and the buildup in the week before that, my studying dropped off pretty steeply. I am not confident that I did well in the test, but I guess I earned valuable experience for when I have to retake the test next year! On the bright side, the color of the leaves on the ginkgo trees were quite beautiful in their autumnal richness!
Of course, following the the test I was able to make it back to town in time to visit both Ritsy and Ken.
Ritsy was feeling much better as she had opted for a transfusion the day before. I understand her original skepticism to do so with the controversy about people contracting Hepatitis C recently, but the doctor assured her the risk is small, and in the end it was definitely just what she needed. On Monday she was able to leave the hospital and join him at the midwife clinic for a couple of days. She was pretty happy!
Finally last night the family was united at home. Though Ritsy slept downstairs with Ken, and I upstairs with the cats, it sure feels nice to all be back together again!