Thursday, September 25, 2008

Shinpara Matsuri 2008

Same as last year, Ritsy and I thought we might cap our Saturday night by heading over to the community's annual festival (matsuri). And, also same as last year, we saw Ritsy childhood friend Manami and her family including Eiho, pictured above.
And there is Manami and Ritsy chatting.
Eiho took over my camera and took about a million and a half pictures. But a lot of them were really good actually.
This one is a bit blurry but I thought a good capture of mother and baby.
And a nice family picture.Finally after a quick visit one of the yatai, or floats were moving out, so we did as well. Fun as always to blend into the culture a bit.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Some other hot trends in the Ken watch!

On top of lying on the cats he has also taken an interest in balloons. This one not only made a great toy to throw around, but also a soft pillow when taking a break. Sadly, yesterday, we learned what happens when you bite balloons.
After attacking cats and balloons, he will often be found reclining on the couch.
and going through his cycle of yoga exercises..
There is also some interest in hiding under this counter space. Though I often feel the need to check on him, it is safe enough.
And he is having fun, so who wants to be a wet blanket?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Looking European

With Aunt Setsuko's wedding coming up in November, we had to get some nice clothes for him to wear to the event.
Ritsy found it online. I would guess from some European designer as it looks a lot like the clothes Micheal Corleone wore when he was exiled to Italy in the Godfather.
But, all said, despite the sleepy face he was looking quite sharp by time he was all decked out.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ken vs. Lanma

The last little while, Ken has taken an interest in Lanma.
First he stares at her for a bit. Then he makes his move.
He tries to trap her. Which she quickly tries to resist and run away from....
And finally he tries to make her a nice soft pillow. He must really like her softness. Very funny.
Naturally, Lanny wants nothing to do with this practice and will run away. Though, she only runs a short distance and sits down very close by again- to be attacked once more. Of course, he also has tried this with Santa, but our big Scottish Fold usually keeps his distance and won't hesitate to bite or scratch Ken(only when someone is picking on him though, he is a pretty docile cat), so we have to keep an eye on that...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Video: The dismount

As I mentioned before, I would try to get on video his couch dismount. This 28 second clip captures it all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

About a Ball

At the Dollar store (100 yen store) Ritsy had bought a big blue ball that Ken is quite interested in. Recently it has been his mission to pick up and throw the ball. Quite funny to watch.
And quickly with another attempt..He's getting close...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Suzuki's New Baby

A couple of months ago, one of our local neighbours gave birth to their second son. For the first month, the mother and baby spent time with her parents as is customary here in Japan. Then recently he was pretty ill and had to go to the hospital for a little while (nothing life threatening, but bad enough to need some extra care). Finally she was back and ready to show him off. Much like happened for us back in March, the local ladies all went to her home to see.
Dang, I can't remember his name. He is a little cutey all the same...
And his big sister (Yui-- I think) seems to get along well with him and isn't too jealous over the loss of attention she is experiencing...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hey man.... Got Milk?

As it was Monday morning, and I am faced with the prospect of having to buckle down and work on my class materials and study Japanese, naturally I thought it best to avoid all that responsibility and update the blog. Looking through my recent pictures- I had one evening where I took a whole batch of great pictures of Ken including this top one where he looks little bit under the mark...
Now that he is a great adventurer, the corner table is one of his favorite haunts.
It please him immensely.
Him and his mother have started a game where she chases him around barking like a dog and he he crawls away. He loves it.

It also fills him with pleasure. That's all, turn out the lights...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Merry Race

The other day, we headed over to Sun Street, the local mall, to grab some provisions and maybe shop for windows a bit. We came across the Merries rabbit, they were having a bit of a promotional day. Merries is one of the diaper brands in Japan- the one that we usually use (we found it to be most leak proof and reasonably priced).
They were having a baby race at the time we happened by, so we decided to enter him...
At first he just sat and looked around, what is happening? It is kind of his current phase (or personality?)-- very curious. But he saw mom calling him and decided to go to her.
After a couple of stop/starts he won the race. He was lucky, some of the other races the babies just crawled like crazy. But it was fun all the same.
There was much rejoicing.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

September and everything after....

September already! The sad thing is in Japan, I end up just trying to 'get through' August, it being the hottest month of the year. And most humid. Yuck!

It's tough to believe that so much of the year has gone by! It's been a pretty relaxed year as far as work is concerned. That's not necessarily a good thing. At this point last year I was busting my butt working on one-to-one lessons on top of a full night and day schedule. But for some reason this year the work just hasn't come in like previous years. It could be because of the state of the U.S. economy effecting the global companies, or it could just be an off season. I should have an upgrade in my status with my company soon which will make life a little better for me, but I can't really relax until my name is on that contract.

Anyway the real kicker is this time of year the fat bills are stacking. Here's Hamamatsu Life for you... I have three fat bills that need to get paid at this time- my Citizen's tax (around 180,000 yen), my Home owners tax (around 70 K) and my Medical insurance ( a whopping 220,000-- though it includes Ken's coverage). Luckily enough these bills are split up into payments so that we don't get hit all at once- Citizens Tax is about 35K in 4 payments (2 made so far)-- these are due every 2nd month, Home tax also over 4 payments (about 17K each) every second month (alternate month to the citizens tax- so that isn't too bad), and the Medical insurance tab every month for 8 months(28K a pop). Coupling that with low work yield makes it a bit stressful. That said, I am only feeling a small drain on the account each month and will catch up quickly with just a little more work.

On a lighter note... Ken is 9 months old now. That's crazy- just three hops to his 1 year birthday. He has slowed down on the progress. He still doesn't seem too interested in walking on his own, though the other day he was using this stool we have with wheels to walk around. A little dangerous, but cute (and What to Expect suggests that using walking devices for babies may slow down their independent walking development). He has sprouted some more teeth, 2 top incisors to match the bottom ones, and we could see another top tooth poking out now. Just yesterday he
figured out how to dismount the couch on his own. Before that he could do it using us as a climbing tool, but just yesterday he turned around and just backed off the couch just like that. I am going to try to document it in video soon!

Okay a bit of a ramble- just felt it was time for a Hama Life update...