Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day and Japanese Car Inspection

This week has been pretty sedate over all. Our major excitement has been getting my car ready for the Japanese Compulsory Insurance or JCI. The JCI is where you have to get your car fixed up to guidelines and then you pay some taxes and have it inspected. The problem being that Ian and I always end up with 20 year old vehicles that are on their last legs anyways so we usually have to decide between junking it for $60 or spending a couple grand to keep it for another year. I like my little station wagon so I'm glad we got to keep it. My drivers side door handle broke off while Ian and I were in the states so at least that got repaired. The only unfortunate thing is that my car is navy blue and the replacement handle is white. At least I could pick my car out of a line up.

On the Ikebana front, I've started using my impressive new compendium on "plants used in ikebana". The only problem being that it is all in Japanese in hiragana I can't really read it. Except that there are scientific names in romanji and sometimes a common name in English sprinkled throughout. I've realized that I only have a year of ikebana left and I need to document all the materials we use and the seasons we used them in. So much work to catch up on! This week was yellow roses, Japanese witch hazel and a filler that really has no common name in English. It doesn't look nearly as impressive at my house because I don't have one of these beautiful round dish like vases.
The rain has actually stopped falling, for the most part, and the weather has been nice enough that Bea and I have been able to do a little outdoor adventure. Bea really likes picking things up off the ground and putting them in her mouth. Which I guess is just the way of things as long as she doesn't swallow rocks or seed pods. She really enjoys walking Ginger. Bea'll do her gimpy crawl while holding on to the leash and leading Ginger in the direction she has chosen. It's very cute.

Bea can now pull herself up to standing almost everywhere. She also likes to experiment with no hands. She'll probably be walking soon after her first birthday. In Japan it's bad to walk before your first birthday. They call those kids "Oni ko" or demon children. So mom's try not to let their kids walk till soon after their first birthday. I'm getting pretty excited about Bea's birthday party and I've been doing my research on fund Japanese things to do. I'll write more about that later though. Bea has also learned how to feed Ginger from her high chair. Ginger licks her toes and she tosses a big chunk of whatever she's eating over the side and then giggles when Ginger goes to scoop it up. I don't even know where to begin correcting that.

Bea is talking in more fluent gibberish so she might even be talking soon too. I've been working on her being interested in toys so she's beginning to play with them. As nice as it is to have a kid that enjoys flipping through the pages of a book it makes me a little nervous that she wouldn't relate to toys all that well. She loves musical instruments at least because I found a maraca in a bag of toys from a friend that moved and that was a whole afternoon of play. I'm thinking cars might be one of her favorites in the future.

The cherry blossoms are losing their petals here. It's beautiful because they flutter in the breeze and look like snow. However, they stick to everything and get tracked all over my house. I'm vacuuming everyday between the dog shedding buckets of hair and the cherry blossoms everywhere.

I got my studio shifted to the dining room and now the dining room table is working as eating space and studio space. So far it has worked. Is it ideal, no, I really need an entire room so Bea's room is still storage for most of my stuff. Ian and I have been learning to paint warhammer miniatures at night after Bea goes to sleep. It takes a lot of skill and patience to paint on such a small scale.

Mother's day was more relaxing than anything. Ian took us all out to the Mother's Day brunch at the club. Which though it had an excellent selection the quality wasn't near where I expected it. They did have a cooked whole salmon out that you could pick meat off the sides that was very good. Then we came home and put Bea down for a nap and took a nap ourselves. We took a little bit of a walk in the afternoon but didn't make it down to the beach because it was a little late and it probably would have been too chilly for Bea. Next year. Later our friend came over and we all when onsening. Us girls watched Bea and drank while Ian was in the water and then we traded with him after he came back. Onsen's are so relaxing. This was the first time I was able to onsen with my contacts in. It's so bizarre to be able to see things in detail instead blurry shapes floating by. After onsening we came home, put the Bea to sleep and had a late spaghetti dinner with Ian's hot-from-the-oven weekend baguette. A perfect day all the way around.

Just wanted to share a picture of what I looked like a year ago. What a difference a year has made. Bea is a constant source of amazement and wonder.

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