Tuesday, December 12, 2006

going home for Christmas

I have been listening to Christmas music for the last month and I am so excited about going home that I have to keep myself from bursting into happy tears all the time. I'm not usually an emotional person but I'll be folding laundry or washing the dishes and a song will come on and I'll have to start deep-breathing to keep the tears back. I really don't want to freak out my kids. I can just imagine them all grown up and recounting how hard it must have been for mom to take care of us all or something like that.

Anyways, one song imparticular always gets to me. It's "Going Home For Christmas" from Steven Curtis Chapman's Christmas CD. Sometimes there'll be a lot going on and I won't really hear it when it comes on (safe!) and sometimes at that exact moment it'll be quiet and I'll resort to above-mentioned breathing techniques. This happened the other day and I decided that I would just listen intently and let my emotions well up and have a good cry. I thought I might feel better and be able to prevent future breakdowns. As I listened to the words of the songs I realized (and those of you who have this CD may already know this) that the song is really about the matriarch of the family who passes away and she's going home (read heaven) for Christmas. I was shocked and I felt a little betrayed that the song that gets my throat all knotted up is not really about returning to my family home for Christmas but about my grandma dying. It's actually sadder than I thought. I couldn't cry after that, it was just too much.

Needless to say I've taken that CD out of the CD player.

Friday, December 08, 2006


I haven't written a blog about Sakura yet. It's hard to capture her in words because she's changing so much everyday. But everyday does turn out interesting conversations so I decided to write those and once Sakura grows up a bit more then I'll do a Sakura blog.

Me trying to teach Sakura how to say her age in English.

Me: How old are you?
Sakura: nisai desu. (Japanese for 2 years old)
Me: No, in English, how old are you?
Sakura: ...
Me: You say, two years old.
Sakura: Two years old.
Me: Yeah, How old are you?
Sakura: How old are you?
Me: No, you say, two years old.
Sakura: Oh, OK.
Me: How old are you?
Sakura: How old are you?

This isn't a big deal except that I don't want people to think she doesn't speak English when we go back to Canada/US so I keep trying. Did you know the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? I'm going insane.

Sakura requesting a snack.

Sakura: MOM!
Me: What?
Sakura: chee... (voice trailing off)
Me: What?
Sakura: chee...
Me: Cheese?
Sakura: Yeah, cheese.
Me: How do you ask nicely?
Sakura: May I have some cheese, please?
Me: Sure!
Sakura: And chocolate.

Sakura playing house with Misaki.

Misaki: Mommy (referring to Sakura)
Sakura: ...
Misaki: Mommy
Sakura: ...
Misaki: Mommy
Sakura: JUST A MINUTE!!!

Where does she get this from?

Sakura and I going shopping.

Me: Do you want to go shopping with mommy?
Sakura: Yeah.
Me: OK, let's go.
Sakura: Yeah, walk.
Me: No, we're going in the car.
Sakura: Um, how 'bout bicycle.
Me: No, we're going by car.
Sakura: NO, BICYCLE!
Me: NO, CAR!
Sakura: Oh, OK.

She's 2 so everything is a war of wills.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

tricks up my sleeve

I haven't written for a few days because all the interesting things that have been happening to me lately involve Christmas gift shopping for my family and if I write about them then they will know (obviously) what they are getting for Christmas so I've had writer's block of sorts.

But I also have four children and I have to add here that any blogger who has kids is never at a loss for material. Children can produce interesting anecdotes almost on demand and today is no exception. My older three girls go out every Thursday with my husband's parents whom they call ojii-chan (grandpa) and obaa-chan (grandma). I cannot say how much I appreciate that my in-laws faithfully come every week and give me a break but at the same time those precious few hours that I get to spend alone doing what I want come with a price. That price is three girls hepped up on chocolate returned to me right before bedtime. The three of them are so hyper that they are yelling "Thank You" through the closed front door at their ojii-chan and obaa-chan even after they are in their car and have driven away. While I appreciate their politeness I am also sure that it irritates our neighbours who are literally only a stone's throw away.

Then begins my task of getting them ready for bed, calming them down and tucking them into bed. I find that it helps just to keep moving calmly from one task to the next. None of their bad behavior gets a rise out of me because if I decide to stop and dispute a point then all hell breaks lose and their normal rule of only one of them crying at a time is broken and I have chaos on my hands. Tonight we had minor skirmishes about who gets to go potty first, in what order they could play with the toy car (this came up when I wasn't looking), and why they could only kiss Daddy on the cheek (because he's sick).

I realized after they were all ready for bed that they were still at about an 8 on the hyper meter (due to the toy car skirmish) so even though it was way past their bedtime I decided to read a book to them. I did this because if they stop wiggling because they are focusing on the story then their little bodies will realize what time it actually is and switch to go-to-sleep mode. But when they are hyper it is hard to get them to sit still and listen to a story they've already heard so this is where I pull out one of my mommy tricks. At random intervals throughout the story I will divert from what is actually written on the page. I used to think up really interesting new storylines but since my last pregnancy I have lost this ability so now I just say "Michael Buble" whenever I seem to be losing their attention. They think that "Michael Buble" is the funniest thing they've ever heard. Anytime I say it, they all crack up laughing and then quietly listen as I go on with the story so they can catch me when I say it again. Warning: They are extremely disappointed if I read books now and do not say "Michael Buble" so there are drawbacks to this trick.

Anyways, they were down to about a 3 on the hyper meter by the time the story was done so we prayed, kissed and I took them up to bed. Misaki was especially cute when she prayed for Daddy and asked Jesus that "he get good". As I've been writing this both Emi & Misaki came downstairs to go potty again and Sakura got up once to open and close the bedroom door (she's 2 - most of what she does makes no sense).

I'm not really sure if my three hours of "peace" were worth this effort especially since I had to share them today with my sick, bed-ridden husband and my unusually cranky 3-month-old. Maybe next week will be better.