Category Archives: discovery

Shower

Me, earlier during my epic Monday shower....

Me, earlier during my epic Monday shower....

Its been a while since I posted about poop.

Happily , our household has been free of poop-related incidences. For a while there they were happening a little too frequently for my taste.

Don’t fret my dears…. I am here with a brand-new one for your reading pleasure!!

Mondays can be long days. This Monday felt extra long. Hectic work, plus M’s teacher ‘back-to-school’ week, plus a sudden disappearance of our regular daycare resulting in Pop-Pop and V spending a lot of time together. PLUS an earlier rising time, minus my glorious 8 weeks of sleeping in until 6:30 (practically unheard of!). Plus the fact that it is Monday.

This resulted in me feeling like I forgot to have a shower by the end of the day. Isn’t that just the worst feeling ever? The humidity doesn’t help either. So as I am driving the Expressway home I am contemplating a dilemma…shower or Gym, shower or Gym, steamy long hot shower with coconut body wash and clean hair or Gym.

The shower won. It was delicious…. out I came, clean hair, body delicately scented like coconut and so so so very clean.

That shower put me in the best mood. M and V came home from picking up dinner stuff and Little Man was scooped up into my arms, snuggled within an inch of his life and then fed some yummy dinner. Tonight’s meal: Oven Gold Boars Head turkey, Organic cheddar cheese, sauteed zucchini and mushrooms and sweet potato french fries. Fresh watermelon for dessert.

Post dinner, off we headed to the bedroom for a strip-down and a plunk in the tub. Who knew that my leisurely evening was about to come to an end!

I played games with V as I stripped him down to his diaper on the changing table. An aroma arose from the groinal region that immediately exited the room and headed for the kitchen to assault M’s nostrils. “Jame!! What’s that smell?!?! It’s awful!!” he shouted from the other room.

“M! V’s got a present for you!! But you have to come in here to get it!” I shouted back…. he did not fall for that old trick… neither would I.

I opened that diaper and encountered the foulest thing ever seen in a  diaper in the history of Mankind. Also the foulest smelling thing. Foul.

Not to V though!! He shrieked with delight and happily stuffed both hands down that diaper and went straight for the bits. Which were covered. That’s how awful this diaper was. It was a full-on “Strap your child to the changing table and use both hands” kind of clean up.

Oh. My. God. His hands were covered in poo and he was laughing hysterically. He was having the best time ever!! I, on the other hand, was freaking out. And screaming things like “NANANANANANANA! V!!!!!! Nonononono! Oh my god, oh god…. oh holy god….etc etc”.

M, was happily (pretend) oblivious in the kitchen. He states he heard nothing. Bastard.

Anyways, off we went at arms length to the tub. The one time I didn’t want to cradle that little bum while I walk him naked as a jaybird (him, not me) over to the tub and dunk him in. I did not want to touch that part of his body.

What follows was fastest bath in the history of the human race. It might have even been faster than the previous fastest bath (that one that followed the infamous ‘poop in tub’ incident).

Bedtime followed at an even faster pace!

xoxo a.m.

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Glorious

The crazy Summer of 2002 and its Brazilian beach parties gradually ushered in one heck of a cold fall. Hamamatsu gets pretty windy.

Housing insulation…well…lets just say that it is not a priority. Thin walls, lack of central heat equals a very cold apartment.

With the cold fall, M’s Dad arrived and his visit was a highly anticipated one, both by M and by the school that we worked for. There were no end of eager students practically lining up to entertain him when he arrived. B, on the other hand, had his own ideas about what he would be doing… One day, I believe M woke up to find a note informing him that he (Dad) was heading to the train station (possibly on foot) to take the train up to Tokyo. And that he would call him later…

I peppered M with questions “Where’s he going? What’s he doing?” etc etc…. M replied “…not sure…” and that was the end of that conversation. A few days later he was back, it was the weekend and we all took a drive to see Momiji (or Japanese Maple trees in their gorgeous autumn splendor).

In case you haven’t ever witnessed their absolute glory, here is a picture from that afternoon hike that illustrates it…

Momiji 2002

Momiji 2002

It was pretty amazing. Can you see me on the side there? So we hiked all around this little mountain, up spider infested slopes and down them… under those fiery leaves and through their lightly less colourful brethren that were scattered on the ground…. We wound around and around the mini-mountainside until we came to the most interesting of bridges. Some type of suspension bridge, one of those that sways when you walk on them. I think they are awesome. M….. not so much. And B well, not at all. In fact he posed all cool and debonair and firmly on the ground, while I confidently strode out there and M followed behind… just slightly less excited than I was…

Jaime on the bridge, 2002

Jaime on the bridge, 2002

M on the bridge 2002... slightly less excited...

M on the bridge 2002... slightly less excited...

B not on the bridge and pretty happy about that....

B not on the bridge and pretty happy about that....

It was a pretty full afternoon. Momiji. Glorious. Spider infested temple. Not so much. But that was evened out by amazing bridge experience (for me anyways).

That evening M joined me in my apartment (next to his) for an epic evening of boot-leg Simpsons episodes. We stayed up far too late. There might have been longing glances cast (in a behind the back sort of way…..we weren’t dating yet).

Glorious.

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Bonding

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I washed my hands at this temple…..

I think it was in Kakegawa (correct me if I am wrong, please…it was 7 years ago)

I took this trip in January of 2002. M and I had known each other…. perhaps about 3 days? In the 8 weeks that I had taught at Alpha Language School, I bonded with one particular class. They turned into my parents…. and I think of them so fondly even now.

They invited me (us) on a bus trip to a castle and a temple. Since I had done nothing in Japan at that point (except drink), this was pretty exciting. We were picked up at about 7 am. Shoved into a teeny car. Driven to some random parking lot, we exited and then lined up for a bus. And met the rest of the class who were coming with us.

It was a pretty luxurious bus. And to my surprise, all of the old ladies on it (pretty much it was M and 50 older women) simutaneously cracked open a beer. I kid you not. We were then offered one…. too early for us both.

So while the bus drank its face off, M and I giggled away and cemented our friendship in the ridiculousness of this journey. The only other man on the bus adventure cast glances back at him longingly… he was trapped in beer and morning pastry hell. Poor guy…

The day was spent on and off that bus.

Interlude: The most ridiculously gourmet meal I had ever had in my life (at that point) as just a random lunch time thing for the whole bus. On a private golf course that was used primarily by sumo wrestlers for a vacation hot spot or something like that. It was fancy. Maybe it was soccer pros that vacationed there…. regardless, it was fancy, delicious and well, super fancy. Oh, and awkward. Really really awkward.

Please, try to imagine 2 fluent english speakers plus 7 non-english speakers. PLUS alcohol. Plus overwhelming Japanese culture. Plus hand gestures.

I was 25. M was 26. They were the same age as our parents. And had been drinking. Awkward!

Regardless of the whole awkwardness thing, it still was the most amazing thing I had ever done.  We were all so unsure of each other it made it ok. I remember walking onto the grounds of the temple and just being astounded. I literally didn’t know how to react to what I was seeing. It was the complete opposite of the Canadian West Coast. Or of any coast at all.

It was the best weekend of my early twenties….

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Change(ing)

koala-blog

I did not look like this (and neither did V) as we wrestled..... tres misleading...

Oh tonight you are in for a treat! It’s a double feature!

Part one to commence momentarily and part two to follow later…

The scene opens at Barnes and Noble with wee V scooting all over the children’s book section like some kind of speed racer and M and I frantically trying to keep him from destroying the room like he does his bedroom. One corner of the section had a raised platform, which I am assuming is for story time. V found it incredibly amusing to climb up the steps and then climb down them face-first.

In the middle of all of this action, there was a pause for some serious grunting. You know what that entails…. and if M and I had any doubts, those were quickly chased away on his next lap passed us.

Foul ball in play!

I grabbed the diaper bag and Little Man and headed off to the washroom, hoping that they had a baby changing station.

And oh thank god they did. One of those Koala ones which, I think, are considered the norm in terms of changing stations. What followed was not. Or not at least any norm that I have encountered. Which might mean that it has now become the norm. Which scared me. And still does.

That strap that you tie your child down with was broken. And I say ‘tie down’ as that is what I wished I could do.

Or maybe super glue him to the table. My changing pad and the changing table combined together created the slipperiest surface man has ever known. It was like I had oiled the whole thing (and him) down. I couldn’t keep him on his back. Or in one fixed place. He moved, the pad moved with him and he almost slid off the table about a dozen times and almost landed in the garbage can a few times too.

I. Could. Not. Keep. Him. Still.

And then he started screaming. It was one of those long tiled bathrooms, changing table at the end in the handicapped stall. It echoed.

M swore he didn’t hear a thing outside, but I caught a few looks on my way out. I saw you looking at me. Go ahead! You try it! See if you do a better job than I did!!

Approximately 15 minutes later I emerged sweating like a mother (oh, how this expression makes sense), with angelic-like V in my arms, poop-free and content now that he wasn’t on that awful table. I needed a shower. And a drink. It was 11 am.

Koala changing tables, I curse thee!! Please provide multiple straps so all of us mothers with our practical changing pads that your surface repels can strap our children down so they don’t end up in the garbage can with the dirty diapers (holy run-on sentence).

How I long for the practicality of the Vancouver Airport marble slab changing counter outside of customs, with that deep indentation, your child ain’t going anywhere……

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Lip-balm

blistex-blog

August is officially the month of Japan.

For those who aren’t ‘in the know’, M and I lived in Japan for about 3 years.

We met. We saw. We loved. We conquered.

M and I kept our relationship a secret for quite a while… once we started dating, that is…

We were outed in the randomest of ways. Mostly due to Sohee. Thanks Sohee!!

Every night in Hamamatsu in the early 2000’s meant hitting up Amigo’s Bar. Amigos was the Gaijin Hotspot in the city. Even if you didn’t want to go there, wanted to maybe try out something different…. you still ended up there at the end of the night. Drunk.

Or you started out the night there, got lured in by Paul (the owner) and then never ever left. Suddenly it was 8 am. You have been there 12 hours, are starving and your boss drives past as you are leaving and waves (future conversation regarding how you are such an early risier).

So, early in our courtship M and I start out the night there. Meeting a bunch of friends.

I remember riding our bikes there… pausing for a make-out session….applying some lip balm, and then heading in. Who would know that lip-balm would play such a huge part in our life.

Did you know that some lipbalm glows in the dark? Well, Sohee thought she would be a sweet girl and point that out. We denied it as firmly as we could.

“I lent him some”…. I think that was my big statement. And I thought that we both were rather convincing. When you’ve been riding a bike with a beer in one hand (as you do, in your twenties in a foreign country), it is easy to imagine that everyone will believe you. And if they don’t, then clearly they must be crazy.

So there we were, in Amigos, with glowing lips. And Sohee asking us both “Um, why are your lips glowing?”

Damn her and her intuitive eyes… And damn me and my crap excuses. My extemely unconvincing excuses, poor eye contact (which probably ruined any credibility that I might have had… excuse wise I mean…) and damning body language. Leaning into someone that you are currently romancing is a very obvious sign that you are… you know…

Well, anyways…. this is just a wee intro to a lovely month of Japan reminiscence…

Please stay tuned for all things romantic and Japanese.

xoxo a.m.

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Japan

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I had the oddest dream last night.

I dreamt M and I were back in Japan, teaching at the new NEW school our boss had opened up…. and let me explain why this was strange…

When I moved to Japan in 2001, the school that I taught at for 2 months was the smallest building you have ever seen. Approximately 2 one-car garages stacked on top of each other, with an exterior stair-case to reach the second level. The walls of the building were so thin they bent when you pressed them. It might have been a temporary structure, I can’t remember all of the details…

The new structure was about 100 feet away, a gorgeous 2 story building that was officially to open in January of 2002. Think 2 2-car garages stacked upon each other. With running water, flush toilets and proper airconditoning. So what was weird about my dream was that the new NEW school was 3 stories high, huge and was well, a school. And not a garage.

When I came back from winter holiday in Canada, entering that new building was structural bliss from my teaching point of view. Especially compared to what I had experienced the 2 months before. That same day, I met my future husband.

The morning after I flew back in from Christmas holiday in Canada, I banged on my only neighbour’s (on the 2nd floor… the 2nd floor of our apartment that was basically 2 2-car garages stacked on top… wonder where they got the inspiration for the school!) door… M answered looking rather disheveled…. Untucked plaid shirt (that he might still have somewhere), wife-beater, glasses….I invited him out for coffee. I like to be friendly and am hard pressed to take no for an answer. Unless it’s my answer, then I say it all the time.

Anyways, the door was slammed in my face.

And there might have been some mumbling. ‘Wait…’ might have been one of the words I could have made out. I waited. The door opened again, M looked less-disheveled and off we went. We rode our awesome bicycles with baskets to the only Starbucks in town. We met up with some other Gaijins, drank some coffee, smoked our faces off and then rode our awesome bikes back to teach some English.

Who would know that approximately 6 months later we would be attached at the hip….but not ‘dating’. Just ‘good friends’. ‘Good friends’ whose other good friends wondered what on earth was going on between us. Nothing was. Nothing at all.

Not until M’s Dad visited, and that visit seemed to cement things. I was the only person that he introduced him to. And invited to join the 2 of them. And once his Dad headed back to the USA (plus one steamy night on that awful twin-bed…. steamy in an innocent way. Really!) that was it.

So sometimes when I think about the path my life has taken, wonder if I have made the best decisions, did I take the best direction I could have… I look at what I have right now:

Gorgeous son.

Handsome and utterly adoring husband that worships me.

Lovely new home we are about to move into.

Comfortable and happy life full of love, laughter, laughter and the best of memories that we have made together.

So even though I sometimes wish I had chosen a different direction education-wise, I am so glad that I went in the direction that I did. Everything I have done in my past…. especially including the unpleasant things, has led to where I am now.

Thank you fate. And destiny.

Thank you both.

xoxo a.m.

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Sunday

toobusy-blog

Another Sunday night poop story….. I know that you are very excited. I can feel it.

Poop is a ‘regular’ event over here. A fantastical event at least once a week that usually leads to extra cleaning on my part……

Today started with M offering to change a dirty diaper. What you say?? What kind of crazy thing is this?? What kind of parallel world are we living in? Men offering to change diapers without being provoked? Lord only knows what this is about, but I happily accept any and all offers…

So offer accepted, off they went to the changing table to sort things out.

We have to give V something to occupy himself while he is getting changed. Otherwise, he will flip himself over onto his tummy and smear poo everywhere. This we know from lots of experience… LOTS of experience.

Daddy handed V a book to look at while he unstrapped that nasty diaper.

Oh, that poor poor book….

That book was grabbed with such enthusiasm, waved all around and then suddenly (and without any warning) was abruptly shoved down the front of his diaper (suddenly and abruptly, in case you didn’t get that) A diaper that was quite well filled.

A surprised loud laugh is what brought me into the room. M turned to me, laughing, and handed me a book.

The book.

The book that was covered in poop.

‘Oh, thank you! My favorite thing!”

A book that I chose to not clean and, instead, deposit in the garbage.

The West Coast in me screaming out that I could have salvaged it instead of throwing it out. But, lets face it, it was not salvageable. There is no way that I would have been able to clean that book up and look at it other than the book that V poop-smeared.

I am sure that the smell would have clung. Or I would have imagined the smell clinging to it. And my fingers as I was holding it. And to V’s hands and face, as that’s where books usually go. I do not want to be the poop family. Really.

And so, it was hand-carried (finger-tips only) to the garbage and dutifully deposited into our trash.

Sorry book. I can no-longer accept you in our household once you have been smeared. Your memory as one of V’s first books will live on in our minds…..

You will forever be remembered as “The book covered in poop”. We will never forget you…. and neither will V’s future girlfriends…

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Dream

dream-blog

Tonight is the last night of my ‘1 month of posting’….a month of posting that I haven’t fulfilled. I know there were 2 dates that I missed.

One by sheer lack of imagination… another by a comeplete lack of actual power. So it was 50% my fault. AND 50% not at all. Thank god (and also blame god for that last one. It really was his fault)

Things that happened this month:

I read the whole Twilight series (and then mentally married Jacob in my mind)….(and then divorced him and married Edward)…

V learned how to say ‘Bye bye’ and clap, and say ‘Uh-oh!!!’

I pretended for a whole month that I was an actual ‘I get paid for it writer’ writer…. *dream*… it was a good dream….

I got a pedicure.

I turned 33.

V became 13 months… (almost 14 now)

I ate some crab legs.

I picked numerous paint samples…

I fell in love with M all over again.

And then, I took a nap.

Looking back at it all.. it seemed that it was a good night (all in all… and by  ‘night’ I mean month…)

Looking forward to breaking in August…

xoxo a.m.

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