Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Things that should be noted

Kizuku beki ten

1. Considering it's the home of a 3 year old and (at the time) a 3 week-old, the living room, I think, looks pretty good.

2. We're still working on getting the Pumpkin Princess to put away her Legos after she's done playing with them. We think she'll get the hang of it sometime after she leaves for college.

Of course, if the Pumpkin Daddy has his way, she'll be leaving for college shortly before her 35th birthday.

3. The classic airplane pattern blanket on the Pumpkin Prince was made by my rocket scientist net friend. It's just the right weight for this time of year, and the Pumpkin Prince has been using this blanket pretty much exclusively. I love telling people who comment on it that it was made by a rocket scientist.

I admire people who can do physics. Me, university physics is where I discovered I was stupid.

4. You can see I've found a better place for the Pumpkin Princess's tsurushibina. And that it's still out, in spite of the fact that Doll's Festival has been over for over a month. The old superstition says that having Doll's Festival items out long past Doll's Festival dooms the girl to a late marriage.

I say the tsurushibina are too nice to put away and should be out for people to see, and that getting married late, like in your mid 30s, is a good thing. Plus, where they are now, they're like a mobile that the Pumpkin Prince can look at.

5. The Pumpkin Daddy falls asleep in this chair in this position on a fairly regular basis. Do you think that this may have caused, at least in part, the problems he's been having with his back the past couple of weeks?

On a more depressing note, I ended up not going to my cousin's funeral. The logistics issues of what to do with a month-old Pumpkin Prince were a bit much. Since she was a 30 something previously healthy woman who died quite suddenly, the police got involved to make sure the death was indeed of natural causes. The brain hemorrhage statement came from the police. She'd died in her bed, with her head slightly lower than her heart. They brought her home and had her funeral in her hometown. Her brother hacked into her cell phone for contact info of people to contact about what had happened, and over 100 people showed up for her funeral. Her parents are being strong, but I can't even begin to imagine what they must be going through.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Unexpected good luck"

Tana kara botamochi

(literally, it means "a sweet cake from the shelf (fell into my mouth)".)

Thank you everyone who sent helpful anti-jealousy suggestions. We found one solution (yes, we realize we need many) quite by accident. I was so exhausted from all the newborn childcare and toddler childcare and toddler jealousy that I sent my mom to pick up the Pumpkin Princess from day care and asked her and my dad to bathe her and feed her dinner while they were at it. I caught up on a bit of sleep and brought her home. When she came home, and also the next day, she was happy and not the least bit clingy, and when I told her she must put her wood blocks away before she brought out her Legos, she promptly began tossing the blocks into the bucket. She also cheerfully opened the closet and pulled out a newborn size diaper when asked (she refused and cried and asked to be held the last few times she was asked). Seems the exclusive grandparent attention took the edge off.

It's a work-in-progress, never-ending battle, I know, but at least we have one tool to deal with it.

And I was going to post some upbeat stuff about how much weight the Pumpkin Prince has gained and how much pregnancy weight I have lost and how the Pumpkin Daddy does the dishes when I fall asleep while putting the Pumpkin Princess to sleep, but I found out that my cousin was found dead in her apartment. She was 35. I have been told she died of a brain hemorrhage, but since she was apparently dead when they found her, I am not sure how they know this. She was beautiful and had so many friends. Puts stuff into perspective. A healthy Pumpkin Prince and a helpful Pumpkin Daddy are wonderful blessings. How nicely (or not) I fit in my pre-pregnancy jeans is trivial.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How long will it last?

Itsumade tsuduku?

So it's been 2 1/2 weeks since the arrival of the new Pumpkin Prince. He's a pretty good sleeper for his age group averaging only 2 feedings/ diaper changes a night and not very fussy. Yet. I remember the Pumpkin Princess was like that just up until I went back to work, so...

The problem is not with the Pumpkin Prince but the Princess. She is very jealous, kind of like the wife whose husband has brought home a younger mistress. She will ask to sit on my lap while I am trying to nurse, demand food when I am changing a newborn size diaper, start screaming and yelling because I will not put a crying newborn down to play Legos with her... I could go on, but I am sure you get the idea.

An informal survey conducted by the Pumpkin Daddy at the workplace shows that par for the length of such sibling rivalry behavior is six months. An informal survey conducted by the Pumpkin Mommy and Daddy shows that neither were very jealous of their younger siblings (the Pumpkin Mommy was Mommy's little helper, bringing diapers and towels for diaper changes and such, and the Pumpkin Daddy was not very interested in his younger brother at all, in a positive or negative way).

I'm not quite sure how I am going to handle six months of this. Any suggestions as to cut down the length and/ or intensity would be immensely appreciated (other than, of course, space out kids to like five years apart, because it's kind of late for that, don't you think?)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hospital food again

Mata byouinsyoku

The maternity hospital offers a "celebration dinner" (I suspect sheri's "couples dinner" is something like this) for the new parents. We decided to schedule ours for the day the Pumpkin Prince and I were discharged, since I wouldn't have to worry about what to cook for dinner that night.

New big brothers and sisters are also welcome, and we took the Pumpkin Princess along.

She was pleased at first to get sausages and hamburger steak, but it didn't last for long, and she got bored pretty quickly.

The grownups got a multi-course meal on nice china while trying to keep the Pumpkin Princess in her seat, which kept us from savoring the meal fully.

Scallop pate, garnished with ikura.

Bonus points if you can guess who ate all of the ikura on both the Pumpkin Mommy's and Daddy's pate.

Onion and mushroom soup.

The soup is under the pastry crust.

A fish mueniere with herb butter.

I think one of the drawbacks was that this being hospital food, we couldn't get any wine.

Filet mignion.

The Pumpkin Princess did settle down to enjoy her dessert.

Which is a good thing, because if the Pumpkin Mommy and Daddy had been kept from their dessert, she would have heard about it at her engagement party.

I miss not having to wonder what's for dinner.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hospital food


Lunch, PPD (post partum day) 0

Pasta salad, fried pork cutlet sandwiches, seafood au gratin, swiss roll with fruit.

Dinner PPD 0

Pork cutlets, soup, sushi, chawan-mushi (a kind of savory custard), udo (edible root crop) with a miso sauce

Breakfast, PPD 1

Ham, cheese, tomato and lettuce sandwiches, soup, fresh fruit, salad

Lunch, PPD 1

Curry with cheese, chilled cream of corn soup, panna cotta with fruit, salad with miso dressing

Dinner, PPD 1

Sashimi, soup, spinach with a tofu dressing, rice with mushrooms and bamboo shoots, tempura, fresh strawberries

Lunch, PPD 2

Fresh fruit, futomaki sushi, soba, daikon salad

Dinner, PPD2

Blancmange with strawberry sauce, cream croquettes with tuna, rice, proscuitto and ruccola pizza, chicken salad

(I keep forgetting to bring my camera to breakfast!)

Lunch PPD3

Sashimi with yamaimo, egg drop soup, rice, pork cutlets, pumpkin with bamboo shoots

(And I forgot to bring it to dinner this day as well)

Breakfast PPD 4

Salad, miso soup, pickles, rice, grilled fish (I think it was sea bream), taro with octopus

What is it they usually say about hospital food? But it gets better...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Next time, bring them along.

Tsugi ha tsurete kite kudasai.

Taking a clue from my net friend Jilly, I cooked mapo dofu for dinner Friday night, hoping spicy food would induce birth before my trousers really burst. I'd thought I'd made the spicy batch (I always cook two batches, a mild one for the Pumpkin Princess and a spicy one for the grownups) the same as usual, but it was extra spicy.

At around ten, I started feeling some slight tightness. It wasn't even what you'd call cramping. Still, it felt somewhat regular, so at around eleven, I started timing the tightness. At around midnight, I decided they were coming at fairly regular 10 minute intervals, even though you would seriously hesitate to call them cramping, much less contractions.

At around one in the morning, they started to fit the description "regular cramping". At half past one, I woke the Pumpkin Daddy and asked him to take me to the clinic. I called the OB clinic and they said to come in. I called my mom to tell her we were bringing the Pumpkin Princess to her place.

When we left the house, I was having contractions. We dropped off the Pumpkin Princess, and got to the OB clinic at exactly two in the morning.

The Pumpkin Prince was born at 2:22 am.

The midwife said "if you're thinking of having number three, next time, it might be better if you bring the older kids along. You might not have time to drop them off anywhere next time."