Maybe it's not true but it seems like everyone I know (in my real world and in the blog world, nevermind Hollywood) is pregnant. Or thinking about getting pregnant. Or wishing they were pregnant. And it's weird for me to think that I'll never do that again. Being pregnant and having babies has been so much a part of my life for the last 9 years that it's hard to know what to think about without it. 9 years ago this month we started trying to get pregnant with Emi. It took us a whole year. In fact if we hadn't gotten pregnant in March 2000 we were going to go to a doctor and get tested. Fortunately we did get pregnant so we didn't have to get on that emotional rollercoaster. Instead we got on another one! For the last 8 years I've been pregnant for over 3 and a half of them and then taken care of an infant for the other 4 years. Basically this is what my whole being has been wrapped up in and as others around me continue to contemplate and experience this stage of life, it's odd to me that I don't have to do it anymore. I can think about the next stage, whatever that is. I guess "it" will just happen and I'll morph into that person just like I've turned into a mother without even realizing it.
It seems like Natsuki is going to be a strong-willed child. There, I said it, I feel better. Maybe she won't but man, she knows how to voice her opinion. Maybe she thinks she has to be loud and ornery just to keep up with her sisters. For such a little one, she has a very commanding presence. We're teaching her about "no" and that we really did mean "no" when we said it. Really. You've already seen the face she put on when I said she couldn't play in the garbage but she's realized that trying to garner our sympathy doesn't get her what she wants so now she's onto rolling her eyes or furrowing her eyebrows or falling to the ground in tears, etc. And she's only 1-1/2. She's not even 2 yet. Does this mean she'll be more difficult at 2 or are we going through it now and she'll be easier at 2 and then more difficult at 3. Sigh...
It seems like Misaki may have a weird illness. My little Misaki has had more odd injuries than the rest of the girls. She bent her collarbone when she was 1-1/2 falling off the couch even though I was sitting right in front of the couch waiting to catch her. She missed. She had her first X-ray that day. None of my other girls have had to have X-rays. Also, Misaki got chickenpox first. She also got mumps, warts and lice first. But she doesn't get colds very much. I'd say she's a healthy child with odd ailments. And her latest ailment is very odd indeed. In December, she fell at school (a common occurence) and bonked her ankle. Her teacher called to tell us about it and by the time she got home she was fine and walking around with no problem. A few weeks later, I noticed that the area was swollen but when I touched it, the area was kind of hard and more like a bump than just swollen. Weird. A few weeks later I realized that the bump was still there so in the beginning of February I took her to the doctor. There she had her second X-ray. Woo-hoo! The X-ray didn't show anything and the doctor thought that maybe if I padded the area so it wasn't getting rubbed by her shoes, etc., that it might go away on it's own. But please come back if it hasn't. Well, not only has it not gone away but now she's got a bump on her elbow and another bump forming on her knee. They don't hurt or itch and it doesn't seem to be effecting her movement. In fact, she learned how to jump rope in the last three months so obviously her joints are still working. Anyways, we're going to take her to the doctor during Spring Break when both Chikara and I can go together. I hope it's nothing serious. I'm not ready for one of the girls to be seriously, life-threateningly sick. Has anybody seen anything like that before?
It seems like the house will never be clean. I have been organizing closets and clothes and piles for weeks now and there still seems to be more of them. The girls brought back massive amounts of paper when school was finished and I can't decide what I should keep and what should be thrown away. I can't imagine what I'll do when all four of the girls are in school! I've been doing laundry faithfully but there's still a pile of dirty clothes. I've been washing dishes faithfully but there's still a pile of dirty dishes. I know, I know, that's a part of running a household but I was hoping that once Natsuki was a bit older and less dependant on me that I would be able to get back into a rythmn with all of this stuff.
On the good side, I am enjoying more great friendships now than I have since before I moved to Japan. This last Sunday at church as we were sitting around the table having lunch with our friends and all of our kids, I realized that I was relaxed, happy, enjoying the conversation (in Japanese!) and I felt normal, a part of this world (cue Little Mermaid music) and I liked it. And it only took seven years!
It seems like Emi's first year of school was a complete success. We got her report card and in every area she received a "dekiru" comment instead of the "gambarou" comment. Dekiru means she can do it and gambarou means she needs to try harder. The teacher wrote a nice note to us about how well she did. After all the nervousness of last April, I am very relieved. Now, how will Misaki do this year? Probably just as well as her sister.
Well, there you go, a look into the corners of my mind. I think this is typical of most moms. The worries and the triumphs all mixed up together.