Well thanks everyone who dropped in yesterday to join the party! I loved reading your comments. If you missed it, it isn't too late to go and have a look at yesterday's post and make a comment.
Today was a pretty fun day, with a few humps. To start with I didn't get up until 10am. WOW! Yes, there is life after you have kids, even before they leave home. I've been feeling very tired this week and was very glad I could put in an almost 12 hour night! By sleeping so late I managed to avoid the mob breakfast and have a quiet one all on my lonesome while reading Australian Women's Weekly. My husband happened upon me and remarked on the peacefulness of the scene!
Then we decided we had to embark on an E-F outing on our bikes. But our 9 y.o. had a great amount of inertia and, "Didn't want to go anywhere, thank you very much." He is soooooo stuborn. Have you ever seen a dog refuse to move forward: they practically lie down and dare you to pull them. This is the kind of behaviour we frequently encounter with our middle son when we choose to go out for some exercise. He delays in every kind of way, he starts arguments, he fakes problems, you name it! Once you have him out there you have to stay on his back too. We've taken off on our bikes before and found that he's remained at home circling the block! So, I stuck on his tail until he cooled off and started to enjoy the outing. That's the main reason we push so hard, because we know that once he's out there he'll love it. This happens so often that it's boringly predictable hopefully one day he'll wake up to the fact that he enjoys these outings.
We went back to that small-soon-to-be-large park that we discovered two weeks ago. And they had a lot of fun. They found a stubborn pile of snow that didn't melt in yesterday's rain and they threw it at each other and willing passers-by. They climbed trees, tried out the "old-people" exercise stations, and chased a rabbit. Yes, a couple of girls had their rabbit out for "a walk" on a leash. (For non-Aussies, rabbits are pests in Australia and are not allowed as pets, so we always find it a little novel when we encounter them here.).
On the way home we stopped for a Convenience Store lunch and ate it on a bench near a pond on the way home. Our first picnic of 2012. I was wearing a thick jacket, scarf, and ear muffs, but it wasn't really too cold (no gloves) and the sun was shining. The boys had post-lunch races on the path around the pond: and despite a 2 1/2 year difference in age there wasn't much difference in their times (I timed them on my phone)!
I've totally forgotten to tell you that we are a four-person family this weekend, for the first time since our nearly 7 y.o. was born. Our eldest has gone to a youth group camp in the snow (in cabins). It's weird having him not here. Our observation is that the oldest child in a family has a lot to do with how the family forms. And I'd have to say our eldest is a little idiosyncratic, and to not have him here is a definite change in atmosphere.
Once we got home I jumped into a favourite Saturday pastime: baking. The younger boys had been asking for a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake and this weekend was the perfect time because their brother hates pineapple in all forms except dried, so in his absence, we've indulged in a Banana-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake! Unfortunately I didn't put baking paper in to line the bottom, so the cake doesn't look very attractive, but it is very yummy. I also baked some lunch-box biscuits and some Lemon cookies I found in Pinterest. They are tasty too!
Towards the end of my baking we had some visitors. Friends from school and church (as well as co-workers). Yes, all wrapped up in two people and their baby — there are a lot of overlapping relationships in this community. I'd offered them our old vacuum cleaner, which still works okay, but it really the wrong height for me and it isn't adjustable. It is much more suited to their higher altitudes. I'm so happy to pass off things that we no longer need to help someone else! They stayed for a while to chat. They were a bit amazed to be offered drinks and home baked goodies, but they'd stumbled upon our Aussie "afternoon tea"! Not a formal affair, but a drinks and snacks break!
After they left I had a few quiet moments before I had to shoot off to the dentist. Last night a chunk of one of my molars fell out. Hardly unexpected, it's been a cavity waiting to happen (gap between molars where food keeps getting stuck). Strangely I have almost no pain. The dentist was quite surprised, because it really is quite a large hole.
What he was more concerned about, however, was my poor Japanese. After such a happy day, it was a bit of a discouragement to end on. He asked me at the end, if I could please bring my Japanese husband with me next time (common assumption). Well I quickly told him my husband was also Australian. However he did leave me with the impression that he'd rather I brought someone with me next time who had better Japanese (or at least better dental Japanese) than I do. He's put a temporary filling in there and I have to go back in nine days for a permanent one. Nine days, because I have a hectic schedule next week that doesn't fit his hours (Mondays and Fridays from 5pm!)
So now I have to figure out how to get to the dentist at 6pm on a Monday evening with a translator. First option: bring my husband, who does have better Japanese than me, and kids. Second option: to get someone to look after the kids while we do this thing. Third option: find someone else to come with me. Any volunteers? It's times like these I hate being so stupid on the Japanese language front. Arrggghhh. So inconvenient.
Now this has turned into a long post, I hope you don't mind. I've got more I could tell you, but I'll save that for another day.