Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Long Week

It has been a long week. Kan has been gone for work since Sunday. He gets home tomorrow (YAY) but I know he is exhausted and he will crash as soon as he gets home. We have missed him a lot. Miyako is old enough now to know when he is gone. She asks for him all the time, and I explain he is working in a hotel. He was at the same conference in Bali that we went to last year on our journey across the world, so we had pictures from the same hotel he was at. She wanted to look at the pictures every day. She would fix him tea and cake every day with her play food and leave it on a plate for him in his office. She also left him her doggie that needs new batteries put in it - doggie is sitting on daddy's desk waiting for daddy to come home and "fix" him.

Not only has Kan's absence made it a long week, but Miyako had a small fever and the slightest touch of a stomach bug earlier in the week which kept us inside a lot of the week. I am very grateful the stomach bug was just a minor incident and did not turn into that horrible bug that is going around both with my friends in Tokyo and my friends at home. And let's be realistic - at 31 weeks preggers my body feels the effects of taking care of a spunky 2 year old by myself a bit more than it did say 30 weeks ago!

Thankfully we are ending the week on the upswing. Yesterday I had the sitter come while I ran some errands. I enjoyed a fabulous fruit crepe with a dear friend while out and about, and my sitter was able to clean a bit for me while Miyako napped. Mopping the floors on my hands and knees is a bit more difficult these days. Last night our community group graciously offered to meet at my house while Kan was away so I did not have to miss out. We celebrated a new job for one of our members with the fabulous cupcakes pictured here on the blog. Then today we woke up to a beautiful sunny spring like day - I took a jacket out but did not need it once I was outside because it was so so warm! We went to a great park with our Friday play group and had such a fun time. It was so great being outside in the fresh air and having some adult conversation. Although based on how large some of the slides were at this park, I hope next time Daddy is with us to help Mama! You should have seen me climbing up these small little tubes to go down really large slides with Miyako. We had fun though! We end our fun day tonight with dinner at the mall with Minnie and Mr. N. Then the countdown begins to noon tomorrow when Daddy should walk through that door!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

30 Weeks

Tomorrow I will be 30 weeks along, which means Baby K will make his or her way into this world very very soon. Today I went to the doctor and everything looked great. Baby K is a bit on the "chubby" side and is measuring a week bigger, but the doctor said this is nothing to worry about and the measurements were compared to Japanese babies so it really is no big deal. I always heard the bigger the baby the better the sleeper so...

It was a fun ultrasound today as the baby was really active. As I waited on the doctor to finish up with the previous patient, the mid-wife went ahead and started the ultrasound so it was extra long. Baby K was scratching his or her head and then started to pump his or her fist. I guess he or she is preparing to battle big sister. The mid-wife asked me if I wanted to know the sex of the baby. I was oh so tempted but declined! I go back and forth - some days I think it is a boy and other days I think it is a girl. Time will tell very soon. I had a horrible leg cramp last night, around 5AM. It started in my hip and went clear down my leg. I jumped out of bed and it brought me to tears. I have had more leg cramps this time around. The doctor gave me some calcium supplements today so hopefully that will help. I think Kan is a bit tired of his middle of the night wake up calls every other day. However, I told him it is good preparation for when the baby comes and at least it is not HIS leg in pain. Other than the leg cramps, no major complaints.

I have posted a baby bump picture and a few cute pics of Miyako we took yesterday. Her babysitter gave her a backpack for her baby doll for Christmas and she loves carrying her baby around the apartment. She also took the baby on a ride on the Sit and Spin from Uncle Tom, Aunt Kim, and all of her Arkansas cousins.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hokkaido February 2011

On Saturday we ventured our way north to the island of Hokkaido for some fun in the snow and indoor swimming pool. This was our trial ski trip in Japan so we only went for a long weekend to test the waters. Overall it was a very good experience for our family. We stayed at a Club Med resort, which was very kid friendly, and preggers friendly. In my late state of pregnancy, only 10 weeks or so left, I needed a place that had indoor activities for Miyako and I (my ski pants are not maternity pants) and that had food included so we did not have to go out in the cold for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As many of you know, Kan is a big ski bunny. He typically goes out west once a year but due to baby Miyako in November of 2008 and a move to Japan in January of 2010, he had not been out west to Colorado in several years. He "HAD" to go skiing this year.

We can see why the Club Med was so full of families. Transportation was completely taken care of. As soon as we landed, we boarded the bus to Club Med. Every meal is included and is right inside the hotel. They have an indoor pool, childcare facilities, free ski schools for kids ages four and up, and it is ski in/ski out. The food, to be honest, was so so - but it was very functional with lots of variety and high chairs at every table. :) Several families we met go there every year. It would be perfect for kids who are old enough to ski as the ski classes are included in your resort price so parents could ski while kids are skiing with instructors. Kan said the snow was okay - we heard Niseko has better powder, but in terms of family friendly places to stay, we really could not have gone wrong with where we went.

Miyako and I spent our mornings either swimming in the indoor pool or watching a cartoon in the movie room. She sat through about 40 minutes of Happy Feet for her first movie adventure. Thankfully we were the only two watching it, so she enjoyed running around the room with the penguins on the big screen for the rest of the movie. Kan got some skiing in, but wishes he had had a ski buddy. We were missing our friends from home who we went to Colorado with before kids! Kan took Miyako sledding one day, but I did not get any pictures as I opted to stay in the room and read a book with some hot cocoa. We did build a small snowman before we left. We did not see much of Hokkaido outside the resort except for the bus ride from the airport and back. However, what I did see reminded me of Indiana or Oklahoma - flat flat flat. It was so nice to see land stretched out before you. I did not see one sky scraper while we were there, but this is also partly due to the fact that we did not fly into Sapporo. Our room was spacious and comfortable and Miyako slept comfortably in her tent. I can foresee us going back in the future.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Well, it is the monthly scrapbook day! It is late and we have to get up and go tomorrow on our big trip to Hokkaido, but I knew I had to do this post before I left or I may forget everything. Today was a national holiday in Japan. It is National Foundation Day. On this day in 660 BC the first Japanese emperor was crowned. We enjoyed the day off, but to be honest we had no idea what we were supposed to be celebrating. :) I just googled it to find out and put it on the blog for your info. It seems like they have lots of national holidays in Japan - I guess they need it for those 14 hour work days that are the norm for a lot of people.

We have been under the weather all week, and are just now starting to feel better - in time for our trip to the tundra of Hokkaido. Thankfully we are staying at an all-inclusive spot with an indoor pool so I do not have to leave the hotel if I do not want to! I plan to only leave to take some photos of Miyako and Kan sledding. It snowed in Tokyo today. It did not accumulate. Once it hit the ground it turned to water, but it was still pretty to watch outside our window. Miyako tried looking for Mt. Fuji but he was nowhere to be seen in the midst of the thick clouds.

I got my hair done today. Big excitement huh? It actually is - in the US, I got a cut and color every 6 weeks. It was my therapy. However, with our cost of living adjustments, I get my hair cut and colored here every three months. My beautician at home would probably die if she read this, but it is the truth. I love getting my hair done here, mainly because of the head massage I get every time they wash my hair. I seriously spend about 25 minutes getting my hair washed and my head massaged. She also gives me a neck and shoulder massage. It is well worth the expense.

We went to a Valentine party for church. Miyako was sporting her cute little panda outfit with hearts on her tights and her fake black ugg boots. I must admit, she looked cute. It was fun to see friends from church and enjoy some fellowship on our day off. After getting Miyako to bed and packed, for the most part, Kan and I sat down with our favorite three judges - Randy, J Lo and Steven - you know, American Idol. Halfway through I said to Kan, "If we were in the US, you would not watch this with me would you?" His response, "!" But here in Japan, it is our usual Sunday night entertainment, however, this week we watched it early since we leave for Hokkaido tomorrow.

We will only be gone for a long weekend, but we are definitely excited to get out of Tokyo for a few days. Miyako is excited about the train ride, airplane ride, and bus ride we will take tomorrow. She thinks she is going to the "bubble water in Malaysia" since I packed her Minnie Mouse swimsuit. She will have a rude awakening when the weather is not quite "bubble water" weather, but there will be an indoor pool so she should enjoy that. On a fun Miyako note, this week we were reading a book teaching letters. The letter B was associated with baby Mickey sleeping in his "bed." I said to her, "B is the letter that is used in the word bed." Her response was, "Like B1 when we take the elevator to the train station at Kachidoki." I guess all of those times of pointing out B1, B2, or even B5 on the elevator have made an impression on her. It is amazing to me that part of her vocabulary includes the train stations between where we live clear to Roppongi, which is about 6 stations away. I told a dear friend on the phone today when our girls play together in the US, her little girl will have no idea what Miyako is talking about. :)

Well, it is after midnight. I must shut down for now. Stay tuned - we will be back post Hokkaido with some fun pics. Happy 2-11-2011.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day to Day Life

Not much has been going on in the Kawashima household lately...just living the day to day life. Like most of you, our family is coming down with colds and illnesses. Thankfully, so far, I have stayed away from it, but I do have a touch of a sore throat tonight. I hope it is nothing to be concerned about. Kan has been fighting a cough and cold, and had a touch of the flu this week with a fever on Wednesday. However, due to the work load here, he could not really take off so he just pressed on. I noticed last weekend Miyako had a slight cold but her spirits were up so I was not too concerned. I gave her some children's cold medicine, but it did not seem to get any better. Today, since Kan was home, we took her to a local pediatrician as her cough was getting worse and deeper in her chest. I felt like I was in the 1970's when I walked in the office. It brought back memories from my time in Belarus and going to the doctor - only then I felt like I took a time warp to the 1940's. I know people here go to the doctor all the time and I am sure it is fine, but it just was not the same as my pediatrician back home and I was really missing that office today! The doctor said Miyako had a slight temperature and the cough was deep in her chest so he told us to keep her inside for three days, to pick up an antibiotic, and to not give her a bath for three days. We are not sure why we are not supposed to give her a bath. I have never heard of that and plan to give her a bath tomorrow. If any of you are medical professionals and have a clue as to why he would have told us this, I would really appreciate it.

After seeing the doctor, we went to the pharmacist, or "medicine man" as Miyako called it. I was expecting to get a bottle of the pink stuff that taste like bubble gum and go home. Instead we got a powder substance you mix with water and spoon feed to your child. Miyako took it well from the "medicine man" and enjoyed her Hello Kitty stickers after wards. However, at home we had a harder time getting her to take it. With the promise of more strawberries and some apple juice (a treat at our house as I typically only give her water or milk) we finally got her to take it.

The whole experience was interesting for me. I had contemplated waiting until Monday and taking her to our regular more Western like doctor (he speaks fluent English and went to undergrad and medical school in the US), but the office is far from
us and in my belly state I did not want to fight trains and lack of elevators when I could walk five minutes to a doctor today with Kan and have him translate for me. I wonder though if Dr. Joe would have given us the pink stuff. :) The office we went to today was very very tiny. The waiting room felt like a sauna as the heat was on full blast and y'all, it is not that cold here. It is cold, but not cold enough to turn your heat on to sauna like temperatures. Rather than having a nurse take your child's temperature when you are called back, you take the temperature upon checking in while you sit in the waiting room. Well, anyone sitting in this room would have run a fever, so I was not surprised when Miyako had a slight temperature. However, she still had a small one at home so I guess it was not all from the sauna like waiting room. There was only one room in the back, for the doctor and patient. We saw him for about ten minutes and left. He wants to see us again on Tuesday to make sure the antibiotics are working. I am glad I went today with Kan to get her something, and I hope it works soon. Thankfully she is in very good spirits. If it were not for her deep cough you would not really know she is sick.

Baby K is moving a lot and getting BIG! We are 12 weeks away from D-day so your prayers are appreciated. Lots to do in a little bit of time and not a whole lot of energy from mama to get it done. Miyako is growing up so much. She is like a little girl. She talks all of the time and has learned how to drink out of a regular cup thanks to snack time at BSF. I guess she got tired of being the only child with a sippie cup and last week they told me she is using the regular paper cups they use at snack time. We tried it tonight at home and I posted a few pictures of it for you. I still have her use a sippie cup most of the time, especially with milk, but she enjoys getting to drink out of a regular cup too. You can also check out her new booster seat. We are debating when to watch the Super Bowl. Kan is considering taking off a half day so we can watch it live or wait until Monday night. I am not a huge fan of Green Bay but would rather see them over the Steelers any day. So, go PACKERS. And, I am thrilled the Black Eyed Peas are the half-time entertainment!

Kan and I enjoyed a rare evening out last night. Our friends are moving to London and had a farewell dinner party. We were blessed with other friends willing to sit at our house and watch a movie while Miyako slept so we did not have to hire a sitter. We went to a French restaurant called Epices Kaneko in Nishi-Azabu near Roppongi Hills. It was fabulous. It was a small restaurant and looked like someone's house from the outside. Inside you walked up these steep stairs to the one room of the restaurant that was designed like a warehouse type atmosphere. We were the only people in the restaurant, and Kan said he felt like he was in the mafia. :) The food was excellent as was the company. We both ordered a wagyu beef steak that was delicious. The restaurant is owned by a Japanese couple and they were the only people working as well. It was a fun night and we really enjoyed ourselves.

Like I said, not a lot going on here...just the day to day life with a dinner and doctor adventure along the way. I hope everyone is doing well and staying warm!