Monday, November 28


I am still recovering from the flu so the week known as Thanksgiving Week for you American readers and known as Birthday Week to those living in this small apartment went by without much pomp and circumstance. We did celebrate, in a modest way. There were presents, though since the photographer was sleeping when they were opened, there is no paper ripping photos to share. You'll have to wait until Christmas. Nico's school had a bazar and that was a lot of fun, evidence of which you can see on Flickr. And Jason took the boys to the city zoo today (again, Flickr). So it wasn't a complete loss. And regardless of my position or consciousness, Nico is now FIVE...

And this girl is now TWO.

How they got themselves into this state is beyond me but they seem happy to keep doing it. And because both of them are so headstrong, I don't think even if I protested their rapid progress that they would heed my words. They'd be nice about it but once they become determined to do something, they care for nothing else.

Happy Birthday, my sweet Sagittarius babes.

Monday, November 21

And the winner is....

We've been a rather fortunate family. No major calamities, no broken bones, no long hospital stays, no stitches. Lucky, right? I would say so. Eventually the odds are that there will be an incident that breaks that winning streak. Nico is a competitive kid, despite what his sports day photos might suggest. Since suffered the bad luck of being born second, he has done all he can do to catch up and surpass his older brother.


Today he managed what none of the rest of us have managed to do. He fell off a bicycle at school and wound up with five stitches under his chin. I know, gasp, right? I'll give you a moment to recover.

Well, five stitches may seem puny to you but for this mama, it was a rough day. Yet not so rough, in some ways. Like when Nico, the massive 5 year-old that he is, had to be held down by four nurses and one of his teachers. He was screaming his head off (and if you had seen the needle, you would have done the same) and thrashing with all his might. But those ladies did not break into a sweat or a temper. They just gently encouraged him to keep trying, that it was almost over. I remember the doctor visits in the States and the nurses there would have not been so kind. I probably would have been reprimanded for having such a violent child. So that was a blessing.

And while I didn't relish having to witness this (needles and stitches make me queasy and they were very matter of a fact about the procedure) I did feel a surge of pride as Nico battled those sweet caregivers in complete Japanese. Nauseous but proud. Blessing.

Or like how I didn't have his insurance card on me (since it happened right before preschool pick-up time and I didn't know until I arrived and the principal and teacher were waiting with bloody Nico in the car for me and Colette so we could go together...) and the doctor's office said, no problem, just bring it next time. Is that even possible in the States? Could my son receive care immediately upon entering the building and be set to go home within ten minutes, without showing proof of insurance? So, another blessing.

Looking at it from this perspective, I see that Nico didn't break our lucky streak. His minor injury just helped me to understand how strong it really is. And for that, I am truly grateful. Now, if I could just rid myself of the images of that needle, I would be near bliss.

Saturday, November 19

Falling into Fall

kaki = persimmon
favorite park activity
the boys

I just spent the last week in bed, thanks to influenza. Now I feel a desire to catch up with my life, to organize and clean, though I am still a little weak from the virus. None of the kids or Jason have succumbed to the illness, thankfully. Now just to tackle that tower of dishes in the sink and the dirty laundry that seems to be seeping from the walls. Rainy day and we are all a little cranky and feeling the boundaries of our walls. Tomorrow should be sunny and will my first day outside in almost a week. I must go find some fall colors before they are lost to the winter winds. Hope you all are well (better than me, at least ;) ). Take care.

Leaf Moth

Saturday, November 5

We're still here...


We are just swamped with daily life plus side projects that we are attempting to inflate to the center. That may be cryptic but don't worry, all will be revealed soon. Good things, I think, very good things. Sweet lemonade from lemons.

We are fine though. In case you were wondering. Besides for a few skint knees and the cabin-fevered fighting that happens when it rains, no complaints.

Autumn is slowly creeping into Nagoya and I am actually looking forward to winter this year. It is the sounds that change, the quiet even in a city, how drips echo through the silent streets. This will be our sixth winter in Japan so for us Floridians, our sixth real winter. Appreciation for the season has grown in pace with my understanding of how to live well in the season. Luckily we are in Japan, the land of every available creature comfort known to humans.

Okay, off to work on my somewhat mysterious side projects. Over and out.