A Day in My Life: Thursday 14th January 2016

Last time I did one of these, a week before Mr. K was born, I inadvertantly chose an especially dull day to write about. This time, I inadvertantly chose a slightly more stressful day than usual.

A quick note on the layout of the house: it’s what gets called a 3K here, which means three decent-sized “bedrooms”, a bathroom/laundry, a toilet, and a kitchen. We use one of the “bedrooms” as the bedroom, and the other two rooms are living areas. The bedroom and one of the living areas have reverse cycle air conditioning, and we can warm up the other with a kotatsu and a room heater well enough. The rest of the house, and any of those rooms without the heating on, are icy cold. Factor in how much electricity costs, and the end result is we all tend to gather in one room.

Also, a warning: there are references to baby poop and vomit. No pictures, though!

Finally,  please try not to judge my parenting? R and I are doing our best. Thanks.

Weather: 11 degrees Celsius, sunny
Daylight hours: 6:50am – 4:49pm
Mr. K: about 2.5 months old

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Our “house”, looking suitably small and cold

12:52am Wake up. Mr. K is squirming on his futon and making noise, but it hasn’t been especially long since he fed. R and I blearily conclude it is gas.

2:50am Wake up again. This time, Mr. K is definitely hungry. I haul him onto my futon and onto his feeding cushion, and begin to feed him. He is still squirming.

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No, we don’t sleep with the lights on full, this is just to illustrate the whole arrangement. R and I have our futons pushed together and Mr. K sleeps between/on them on his own island-like baby futon.

3:20am Mr. K finishes on one side, spits up, and then we switch sides. His ultimate goal for feeding aggressively at this time becomes clear when an explosive sound and telltale smell emerge. This done, he falls abruptly into a deep sleep and I consider, briefly, just leaving his nappy even though we will all come to regret it. Then he wakes and poops again.

3:30am Change horrifyingly full nappy. Luckily, he hasn’t leaked. It’s cold. It’s 3:30am. Why oh why have I decided to write about this day, of all days?

3:40am Put Mr. K back into his futon, head out to kitchen and put the nipple shield in the sterilising liquid. Go back to bed. Sleep and have a weird dream featuring the midwife who delivered Mr. K and, in the dream, can now speak stunningly good English, an unfamiliar clinic, and driving our out-of-control to R’s parents’ house.

5:50am Mr. K is awake again for another feed. Sigh. Tired.

6:30am Wrapping up feeding of Mr. K  when my alarm goes off to wake R.

6:45am Mr. K and I are trying to get back to sleep now, but R is deeply resistant to alarms and stays asleep even when his own keeps going off.

7:15am Sleepily prod R and tell him the time. He has a minor freakout and rushes off. Minutes later, I hear his motorbike roaring off, bound for another day at the post office.

7:20am I believe I sleep.

8:30am Begin to wake up again, this time for the day, but doze for a bit. It’s hard to wake up. Recently, Mr. K has typically only been waking once in the night, so last night was unusually rough.

8:50am Make self get up, albeit slowly. Mr. K is still dozing so I plunge into shower – there’s so much saliva, vomit and poop lately that I feel like I need a couple of showers a day. Get dressed.

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The outfit

9:30am Took longer than expected in shower, so breakfast is rushed – a banana, toast and, yes, coffee. Noises from the bedroom indicate my baby is not planning on sleeping much longer…

9:45am Mr. K is definitely awake, and reasonably happy about it this time. We “chat” and then a nappy and outfit change ensue.

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Getting kind of big for the original change mat now.

10:05am We commence another feeding. Mr. K has been smiling at me while feeding a bit lately, but this time, for the first time, he tries “talking” while feeding too and it’s adorable. He settles down, though, and that leaves me with too much time to think. Work, and returning to it. Life. It’s my cousin’s birthday and I can’t decide whether to bother e-mailing his father (cousin himself either doesn’t have an e-mail address, or won’t divulge it) to pass on happy birthday.

10:55am Feeding is finally done and Mr. K is asleep. Dart out, do hair, and brush teeth.

11:05am I have decided that we are going out today and we will do so ASAP.  Ha. Anyway, there’s a home centre I like that I’ve been meaning to visit for awhile so I can look for some plastic shelves/drawers for the bathroom. They also sell good cat food, which I will almost certainly buy if nothing else. I rush around measuring space in preparation for the search for the former.

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The tape measure, because his body is actually the end of the tape and it’s fun

11:10am Tidy up bedroom for a bit, as Mr. K has dozed off again. I change him into his Cookie Monster suit ahead of going out, yet he still wants to sleep.

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Very, very sleepy

11:30am Things continue to go a bit askew when I get a text message from Mum on Viber and the cats arrive wanting food. We don’t have much (hence me wanting to go out and get it as soon as I can) and they only get dry food.

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Nom nom nom

11:35am While waiting for the cats to finish their early lunch and shoo, I hear the postman – R’s friend and coworker – arrive. I go out and the check the mail to discover he has born goodies for us in the form of a gift from an old friend in Australia and some mail order catalogues I especially like.

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11:40am Ignore cats now and begin organizing the pram, bag, etc. Mark Two leaves, but Neko Neko waits, unimpressed.

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Keeping an eye on things

11:45am Pick up the drowsy Mr. K to go to car and get vomitted on. Feel dismay. Clean self and him up.

11:50am Evict Neko Neko, continue with carrying things to the cars, including Mr. K.

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12:05pm We finally depart. Driving is relatively easy and happy gurgling comes from the back seat. The latter is interrupted by a vomiting sound. I sigh.

12:25pm We arrive at Day 2. The sign reads D2 but the Japanese katakana says day 2, for reasons I can’t even begin to figure out.

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The car – you get used to things and kind of forget that Japanese cars are actually a bit different

12:30pm After unloading the car, cleaning up Mr. K and getting him settled in the pram, I realise I’m actually hungry. Very hungry. I head over to the takeaway van and get a cream taiyaki, sweet batter shaped like a fish and filled with custard.

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12:40pm We head in to the shop. I browse the plastic tubs, but worry about Mr. K getting them open and resolve to check out baby-proof clasps before making any purchases on a later date. Find cat food and, surprisingly enough, hair conditioner. I browse the plants on the way out, unsure what will survive the extremes of Japan’s seasons and my neglect, and decide to focus my energies on saving my dying jacaranda before investing in more.

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Tubs!

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The very important cat food

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I don’t even know what I’d do with this, but the Tetris lover in me adores it.

1pm I pack Mr. K, who has fallen asleep again, and his stuff back into the car and we depart.

1:25pm We arrive back at our local supermarket and I buy my lunch, things for dinner, etc.

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Many, many bentos

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The contents of my shopping basket, plus my boots and the green tea aisle

1:45pm Return to car via elevator.

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US!

1:50pm Depart.

1:55pm Arrive home. Except for when I was very pregnant and when I buy particularly big things, we seldom drive only to the supermarket; like today, it’s usually a stop on the way home. I unload. It’s quite a procedure. I set Mr. K up in one of the other rooms, the one that’s “mine”.

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The room. God, my table’s a mess.

2:05pm Eat my lunch while Mr. K continues his latest nap and worry about his endless vomiting for what feels like the millionth time.

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My lunch

2:25pm Mr. K wakes up from his nap and changes his nappy and his suit.

2:35pm It’s another feeding time. We start watching “Life at 7” on my laptop at the same time.

3:20pm Mr. K is done with his milk and so, nearly, is “Life”. I put Mr. K in his futon, which I have also brought into my room, and go and do laundry.

3:30pm A messy hour follows. Mr. K cries, we watch TV again, Mr. K cheers up and I set him up on his play mat. He is happy there for awhile but then he becomes grumpy. The cats return again, I try to hang up laundry and get a snack, and Mr. K eventually sleeps at 4:30pm after I hold him for a bit.

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During one of his cheerful moments

4:30pm Yesterday, my mother-in-law came over and brought a sweet potato that neither R nor I ate for dinner last night. I decide to consume it now with some peppermint tea in it. I find a suspicious hair in the potato and wonder if she’s plotting to kill me.

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Okaasan’s sweet potato

5pm Mr. K wakes with a loud fart and then another messy hour follows in which I manage to juggle a crying baby, e-mailing a thank you to my friend who sent us the parcel, and replying to an e-mail from one of my English students regarding a lesson maybe tomorrow. I like her a lot and she’s very generous with my pay. If she agrees, it will be the first lesson I’ve done since having Mr. K, but I’m not expecting her to say yes. I check on the cats and discover Neko Neko is still hanging around, wanting more food. A battle of wills ensues. He wins. I feed him.

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FEED ME.

6:02pm R calls and tells me he is on his way home. This is surprisingly early. I haven’t started dinner and I have to feed Mr. K. Shit.

6:10pm Change Mr. K’s nappy, start R’s bath (it’s a Japanese thing, the must-have bath). Neko Neko has finally left the building. Commence feeding Mr. K.

6:25pm We are halfway through and, between breasts, I pause to go and stop R’s bath. Mr. K is enraged by this, but settles down when we resume feeding.

6:40pm R returns, bearing a donut for me. Mr. K is still feeding and dinner is still definitely not yet happening. R is surprisingly fine with this, admits he got very hungry a little while ago and ate on the way home. He suggests I take a break and go out for dinner.

7pm After dithering about how best to get to a restaurant, I decide to go by car because it’s very cold.

7:10pm I arrive at Coco’s. An adorable young waiter serves me and he is a bit gaijinstruck (i.e. stunned by the fact I’m not Japanese). It’s cute.

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Coco’s

7:20pm Eat dinner, feel relieved. Coco’s is another thing I haven’t done since pre-Mr. K.

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Dinner – more than I’d usually order but hey, who knows when this outing is going to happen again?

7:52pm After eating, I sit and make notes about today (and I’ve needed them, believe me, to remember what happened) until I notice the time. Damn, I told R I would return by 8. I rush off, pay the adorable waiter, and drive home.

8:02pm R isn’t fussed about me being two minutes late – and yes, he does get that obsessed with time sometimes – but I am promptly handed an unhappy Mr. K. I don’t get much accomplished over the following hour beyond juggling Mr. K and, with my spare hand, playing with my phone.

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My view of the evening

9:15pm It’s R’s job to give Mr. K a bath and he has decided that he is going to do so tonight, even though it’s getting later now. Because my room is one of the ones with heating and it really is cold tonight, things are cleared and the bath is dragged in. Mr. K is not terribly impressed by any of this, though he does enjoy his time actually in the water.

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The baby bath, post-use

9:45pm We give Mr. K formula in the evenings, both so I can take a break from the feeding and so R can feed him as well. Tonight, however, it’s up to me to feed Mr. K and given I got to go out earlier, I don’t comment. Mr. K is happy enough with his bottle while he is feeding but not happy when he discovers he has finished. Burping and vomiting happens.

10:10pm R takes Mr. K off to settle him for the night. I am going to take another shower, what with being covered in baby vomit and all, but before I do, I check my e-mail… and discover my student actually does want a lesson tomorrow. I am a bit freaked out by this, given the afternoon/evening we’ve just had. Can Mr. K really handle sitting in a cafe that long…?

10:30pm I exit the shower, brush my teeth, and head into the bedroom. The lights are off and Mr. K is asleep. R is playing quietly with his phone. Everyone is tired. I’m fairly sure sleep happens very quickly.

A Day in My Life: Thursday 22nd October 2015

The whole point of this is to detail something of a typical day for me. I’ve included some photos, but that isn’t going to make up for the unfortunate fact that, without meaning to, I actually chose quite a boring day to document. Sorry. There’s a lot of cleaning stuff up at home, resting, and fretting about one of “our” cats while discussing the other without a whole lot of resolution available to wrap up the issue.

On the plus side, I guess I can open up this page post-baby when I have no time whatsoever and realise that actually, I wasn’t doing a whole lot when I did have oodles of time?

Weather: 22 degrees Celsius, cloudy
Daylight hours: 5:52am – 4:55pm
Pregnancy: 39 weeks, 2 days

Something autumnal to kick us off!

Something autumnal to kick us off!

1:10am – Wake up, bathroom, return to futon.

3:30am – Wake up, bathroom, return to futon. Brain registers dull, PMS pain happening. Wearily remind self not to get excited as this happened last night too. My traipsing back from the bathroom woke R and he is a bit concerned.

5:50am – Wake up to Mark Two embarking on her usual collision course with the fly screen on the window. This is her morning routine – she wants breakfast, and she is prepared to try to yank open the screen herself to better promote her cause. Sometimes, she succeeds. This morning, she has crashed hard enough into it that she’s actually opened it a few centimetres. Instead of squirming inside, though, she waits patiently while I open it for her and fetch the dry
cat food. It’s cold enough at night now that we should have the window closed, but we don’t have the heart for it with the cats, especially since the baby’s arrival is going to put an end to that soon anyhow.

Mark Two: This was actually taken during her later lunch visit, but she makes frequent appearances today so you might as well get the main idea now.

Mark Two: This was actually taken during her later lunch visit, but she makes frequent appearances today so you might as well get the main idea now.

6:00am – Mark Two is done with breakfast and departs. There is no sign of Neko Neko, the other cat who has taken up lodging here and is arguably actually the star of the cat show. R and I are both worried since he was absent yesterday too. We are hoping he’s just wandering rather than in trouble or holed up sick somewhere.

6:30am – The alarm goes off for the first time on my phone, I hit snooze. This pattern usually continues every nine minutes until around 7:10am, but R is sleepy and cold today and doesn’t venture out until nearly 7:20am.

7:20am – R rolls out of his futon, gets dressed, goes off for a smoke and fetches his things. He asks, half-worried and half-hopeful, if I’m still in pain. I say no and tell him, again wearily, that I’ll call him if anything exciting happens.

7:30am – R departs for work on his motorbike. I spend the next hour drifting between dozing, figuring out what I’ll do with my day, worrying about Neko Neko and pondering when the baby will arrive.

8:30am – Finally drag self out of bed and take blood pressure. Being anxious at my prenatal appointments makes it spike, and Dr. I. decided that, to rule out high blood pressure medicine early on and make sure I wasn’t developing pre-eclampsia, that I should start taking it at home. That was back in May. Beyond showing what I understand is an expected average increase throughout the third trimester, my blood pressure has done very little of interest since, but I guess taking it at least feels productive.

8:45am – Stumble to the shower and then get dressed in the outfit below. Most of my maternity outfits are similar to this, a deliberate choice – I wanted dresses where it was a simple matter of modifying the layers because I knew I’d have to get through the horrors of the Japanese summer and then adapt for the autumn.

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Yarr, pregnant

9:00am – Am hungry after a light dinner last night and craving something sweet already, so I make pancakes for myself. Notice I am cramping again, feel grumpy, and try to ignore it.

9:15am – Eat. My thoughts feel scattered this morning but the food soon makes me focus again.

9:30am – Head for the laptop with a coffee in hand. Begin making notes about today and checking e-mail etc. One of my Kiva loans has a repayment. I’m getting reminders about NaNoWriMo and, momentarily, I feel a little sad that
there is no way in hell that is a good idea for this year. Noting that I am checking e-mails here guilts me into actually replying to a few. Eat a banana.

10:20am – Decide that’s probably enough internet-ing and head off to change the sheets. This was on today’s agenda anyhow, but R randomly declared late last night that he believed his bedding had absorbed the stench of his feet. Since I feared this was true, this lent the whole thing some urgency. Stripping the futons takes longer than expected when am thwarted by a caught zipper. Eventually get load of washing started.

10:40am – Do hair, brush teeth

10:50am – A host of chores ensues – washing dishes, putting away dishes, folding and putting away laundry, hanging out the new laundry and starting a new load, tidying up, and hanging out the futons to air and beating them. Make some time in the middle to pose for outfit photo. Find myself thinking morbid thoughts until I start feeling sleepy again instead.

12:10pm – Discover that R’s futon itself smells like his feet. Those things are powerful. Febreeze it and leave it to dry. Eye the baby’s cot and realise there’s a discrepancy between the width of the cot and the width of the futon/mattress R bought for it – the latter is noticeably narrower. Get up and fiddle with it, not sure if it’s a problem that can fixed by including a crib guard or if we need to get another damn mattress. Urgh. Decide it’s time for a break.

The main output of my morning.

The main output of my morning.

12:15pm – Small amount of interneting followed by something approximating a nap. Baby is kicking around.

12:45pm – Am disturbed by the washing machine alerting me to it being finished with its latest load. Hang out the last of it. Feel mildly accomplished. Changing the sheets etc. is such a pain in the arse and so very time-consuming. No sign of either of the cats. Note the morning’s antics down, discover blog comments (yay) and approve them.

1:15pm – Not feeling that hungry yet so carry on with tidying stuff up. Turn on the Listening function on my Japanese app to practice/study/distract self from self while doing so.

1:25pm – Get interrupted by Mark Two, who has decided it is lunch time, and feed her. Call out to see if Neko Neko appears, but no.

1:35pm – Mark Two finishes eating and departs. Resume tidying.

2:05pm – Decide I am so very done for now. My lunch is a salad with leftovers from last night, corn soup and toast. I’ll be hungry later, but it’s enough for now. Prepare, eat, play with phone.

2:35pm – Wash up, bring the futons in, decide am heading out for a long walk but am not yet sure where. Make shopping list. Rest a bit to ensure back doesn’t give me too many problems and end up dozing off again.

3:35pm – Finally head out and find myself walking towards the train stations and thus hub of town.

A random house from the walk with a persimmon tree outside.

A random house from the walk with a persimmon tree outside.

It ends up being a longer walk than anticipated and my stomach muscles are complaining by the time I finally find myself near some cafes. I need a break now – late pregnancy generally has been exacerbated by the seven weeks I had to spend resting and not much else, and the 2 miles I’ve walked today feels major. There’s nowhere else to sit down so a cafe it is.

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4:20pm – Choose a cafe, head in and hang out for awhile.

4:50pm – Time to head home, decide to take the bus. Get the first one heading in the general direction of our house that comes along, get a normal seat and thus do not have to deal with not getting a priority seat, and ride it around to the supermarket to save making an extra trip out later.

5:10pm – Head into the supermarket and shop. Since I have to walk now and carry it all home, I stick to things I’ll need strictly tonight and tomorrow morning. Buy food and get informed that my pregnant stomach really stands out by the lady at the register. R grew up in this area and I’ve lived here for six years, plus I stand out at the best of times, so all of the supermarket ladies know us. Many of them who are otherwise lovely feel comfortable patting the belly too, which is NOT cool.

5:35pm – Head out, walk home.

5:50pm – Finally arrive home again. Put away the groceries, play with my phone and hear plaintive meowing at the door. Mark Two wants her dinner now, still no sign of Neko Neko. Feed her.

6:00pm – R calls and I miss it. I try calling back a minute later and no response. Rest a bit, try again a couple of times, no luck.

7:00pm – Give up and go watch TV – I’m not hungry yet and I’m not going to bother cooking until I know roughly when R will return home. He finally calls again a couple of minutes later and reveals that he’ll be back “before 8” – this means “a bit after 8” – and that he got hungry and had a bento. We decide he’ll pick me up a bento too and I’ll cook tonight’s dinner tomorrow instead.

8:00pm – This week’s Criminal Minds has been substantially better than last week’s. R’s usual poor definition of “before 8” holds up and he doesn’t arrive home until…

8:20pm – R cruises up on his motorbike bearing a bento for me and a side salad. Mark Two hears him arrive and, in what is characteristic for Neko Neko but less so for her, shows up at the door for more food and lots of meowing. I have a theory that she is actually looking for Neko Neko as much as she is looking for food and R is inclined to agree with me. She adores Neko Neko. Have mixed feelings about the fact she does not appear to know where he is either.

8:25pm – Eat dinner.

8:40pm – R and I lay out the futons and chat briefly. He plays an old version of Final Fantasy, and I play an online game.

9:45pm – Get a bit fed up with the game – I mostly only play in the evenings in spite of my currently open schedule because it’s usually quiet and I get left alone (there’s a lot of water under the bridge with me and this game). There’s also usually a lot of stuff available, yet there isn’t tonight for some reason. Work on an entry for the blog instead – it’s a shorter one so it doesn’t take long, and schedule it to be published for tomorrow morning. I do the majority of my writing in the evening, but I prefer to actually post during the day when I can get notifications about the posts without having them interrupt my already fractured sleep. Fiddle with the draft of this one. Mark Two visits again.

10:50pm – R is sleepy and I’m always up for more sleep myself lately. I leave him dozing on his futon and go get ready for bed.
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11:30pm – Mess around with the phone for a bit because R has snapped out of his daze and is now watching something on YouTube. I’m actually internet-ed out, though, and am soon dozing off. R realises and turns off the lights. SLEEP!