May bits and bobs

It’s been yonks.  My Mum came to visit at the beginning of May.  Despite us not reallly doing aaaall that much on a daily basis, both of us were worn out.  I remember her visiting once when I was pregnant with L and us deciding that our energy levels were in sync, her being in her late 60s at the time, she said, “Being old is like being pregnant.  Except you never get your energy back.”  I found that quite depressing, but I suppose comforting as I was the latter and not the former.  Something to look forward to..erm..yeah.

Anyway, we managed to get in a trip to Kyoto, where my Mum has always wanted to go.  My generous MIL funded the two day trip, and that was exhausting too, although of course I’m grateful!  Just that I hate to complain and make a fuss, but I seem to only be able to stay on my feet for about half an hour these days before desperately needing to sit down.  If I weren’t pregnant and I were walking around with me, I think I would go mad.  So the two days were really pretty tiring for me.  We saw Kinkakuji (the golden pavilion) which I have never seen before.  It’s very pretty, although I still prefer Ginkakuji (the silver one) in terms of beauty.  Never really been one for flashy things.  We also went up to Ikaho to the stone steps, to the flower parks to see the roses (my Mum loves flowers), to the kokeshi shop/factory nearby, the moss phlox gardens, azalea mountains, wisteria park, Disneyland.  It was my Mum’s first trip to see us where it was just the two of us for most of the day.  Last time she came was when I had L at home full-time and the time before when I was pregnant with L and had H at home full-time.  So I suppose we probably did more while we were on our own.  So yesterday was a lazy day for me after dropping my Mum off at the bus stop at 5a.m.

Today I had plans, but woke up feeling a little coldy.  Subsequently, I decided this morning that I am going to stop going to the free Japanese lessons at the community centre.  This was a tough decision, but one that had kind of been coming for a while.  These lessons are free, well apart from the 500 yen enrollment fee at the beginning of the three month term, and I have been forcing myself to go since January, since my Japanese is relatively crap, and since I can’t afford to take paid lessons.  I have one classmate, who is great.  He’s from the Ukraine, has been in Japan for just over a year with his wife, and works for Harada (you know, the rusk people?) in the factory.  He’s actually an interior designer, but hasn’t been able to find work in this area because of the language barrier.  He was even turned down for a “European design specialist” simply because of the language, which I found was a real shame.  Anyway, he’s really funny and makes the lesson worthwhile in a way, because I’m all about pairwork and less pressure on me.  The level is a little easy for me as his level is lower, but I’m ok with that.  It still gives me practice, and is easier to cope with than if it were the other way around.  Plus there are still things that I didn’t know.  I’m terrible at sentence structure and my Japanese tends to be pretty casual.  These lessons are two hours long.  But he’s not often there, so I end up a lot of the time on my own, which isn’t so great.  My teacher is a 50 something lady, and although her lessons involve props and more useful Japanese, these days, the content is getting a bit annoying.  She never answers my questions about WHY something is so, so often I don’t get a good grasp, and she came out last week with a whole lot of “clever” grammatical rules that actually confused me about some verb conjugations that I really already knew.  I had learned these as a native would, so I didn’t know why they were correct, just that they were and that I knew them.   Her teaching doesn’t match the way I learn best (and lessons like that seem to confuse my classmate too).  I’m not really a logical learner, more kinesthetic and aural, but she seems quite set in her ways.  I WILL go away from the lessons with better writing skills though.  We were just getting started on kanji (chinese characters), when she went back to the hiragana, but I have to say that I rarely have to check hiragana before I write it now, so that’s a good thing, as although I could read it, I often had to refer to a chart when writing.  I’m terrible at self-study, but I really will set aside 30 minutes once a week to Japanese study, during the time when I would have had my lesson.  I think 30 minutes is a much more realistic goal than 2 hours, so we’ll see how it goes.  Another reason I decided to quit was because I often have to attend the nursery on Tuesday mornings for class observations and meetings every so often, so I have already missed a few for those reasons.

My little boy will be 4 this month.  It’s really hard to believe.  He was one when we moved into this house and it really doesn’t seem like that long ago.  Time flies eh?  He’s getting on a bit better at nursery, although he would still say that he hates it.  He has a couple of friends apparently, but he still finds the Japanese hard.  He gets frustrated that he can’t always express what he wants to in Japanese.  I’m hoping it’ll get easier for him.

I have my next hospital appointment on Thursday, and after that, I’ll be upping the visits to once a fortnight.  I already had the midwife fat talk last time, so this time will just be a doctor’s check up.  The midwife chat wasn’t so bad this time around.  She didn’t call me fat.  Said my pre-preggy BMI was 23 which was normal.  Although I already knew that, but I let her think I was clueless to make the whole exchange easier.  I had already decided that I would just nod and let her abuse me and not stress out about it, and for the main part, I did.  Although she said my weight gain in a month (2 kgs) was slightly excessive and asked me if I ate fruit or pasta.  Heaven forbid..fruit or pasta?!?!  Who on earth would eat such terribly unhealthy foods!?!  What planet is she on?  I started to seethe at that point, but for the main part kept my cool.  I was even quite calm when she got my boobs out and started twisting my nipple…She told me to gain no more than 350g I think per week.  This made me giggle, fortunately internally.  If I could control the amount I gained to such an extent, I could make millions!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for sensible weight gain while expecting, but I’m healthy and weight gain IS part of pregnancy.  I think many midwives should broach the subject more sensibly and sensitively.  Fortunately I’m used to it and know that what I’m doing is ok, but I do feel angry at the thought of new mothers dieting and skipping meals to do what the midwives tell them to do.

Ok, this post is all over the place, but I just wanted to share my news.  Will leave with a few photos from the past month and wish everyone a Happy June!:

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