On Thursday I remembered how much puking sucks.

Because this cute monster hasn’t taken a solid dump in two weeks. But last weekend the doctor assured us he had no intestine-shredding viruses.


But Thursday morning it was ordained that I would prove the doctor wrong.


As Ray stood behind me in the bathroom doorway, laughing ever-so-cutely with each heave from his old man. I’ll remember that, boy.


So I was off of work Thursday and Friday, and have resumed a mostly-normal human form; enough to have a glass of wine as I write this. Chieko was in danger yesterday, feeling nauseous and exhausted at work yesterday, but never crossed the vomit threshold. Ray, naturally, has been bouncing off the wall as his parents limp through life.

We got out a bit today, even if only expose ourself to tens of disease-riddled children at the doctor to get Ray a flu shot, and then another doctor to once again get his bowels analyzed (hehe). The doctor’s take is that one of a million stomach viruses could be causing Ray problems, for none of which there is a hard and fast cure, so best to just treat the symptoms and let it work itself out. I’m fine with that course of action as long as it doesn’t involve me puking anymore.


I’ve learned a lesson in parenting the few days though. It’s stressful when your child is sick; it’s infinitely more stressful when the parents are sick. Those few hours on Thursday morning when I was home alone with Ray and systematically draining my body off all fluids, as he needed diapers changed and food fed, were bad. And of course, I was reminded how easy it is to take health for granted when you have it.

So life is in a bit of jumble right now, but will be back in order soon, I hope. And if I never puke again, that would be really great.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, the holiday I miss most living in Japan. Good night.



Chieko’s parents arrived while I was out gallivanting on my bicycle and capturing autumn splendor Saturday afternoon. They could have cared less about my presence, and Chieko’s too for that matter. They were here for Ray.


The first order of business was to wrap up the 4 pound mochi cake that Chieko’s mom had brought.


Then strap it onto Ray’s back and let him teeter around for a few minutes before getting upset at his sudden tendency to tip over backwards.



This is a traditional Japanese thing, celebrating a child’s first birthday and symbolizing (hopefully) future health and abundance of food. (Any other interpretations from others in the know are welcome).

The other big event was a trip to the toy store to get Ray a birthday present. There’s a slide at school that he is always eager to climb up, so I was thinking something like that would be good. We ended up with a jungle-gym type of apparatus that has all sorts of things he can climb up and fall off of, plus a slide, and a tunnel.


Day off tomorrow, yay. Supposed to rain and be otherwise crappy. Good for sleeping in I suppose, if someone cooperates.

Good night.

Tedori Canyon Road

I was sequestered in the house until about 2 this afternoon. Chieko’s parents were coming to town to celebrate Ray’s birthday, and we had a boatload of cleaning to do before they arrived. It was going well until Chieko had to make an emergency trip to the dentist. I finished up cleaning by myself, fed Ray lunch and had a bite myself, and when Chieko got home I hopped on my bike for a few hours.

Perhaps I was a bit premature in my post last weekend claiming that autumn was maxing out on us here in Kanazawa. It was another spectacular fall day, and I found a wonderful place to spend it. The big river around here is the Tedori, and I’ve vaguely known that there is a bike path the runs along the river and way out into the countryside. I stumbled upon it today and road a small portion of it. It’s hard to get consistent exercise considering how many times I was moved to jump off my bike and take pictures. I really wish winter wasn’t baring down on us because I want to ride more of this path. It weaves between rice paddies and small villages, alternating between hugging the tree line and following roads more closely. There are ample opportunities to leave the path and explore whatever catches your attention. A lot of things caught my attention.

In no particular order:











Where does the time go? Ray is one today.

I’ve thought a lot about this day a year ago; what a day it was. Ending with this:


And now we have this. Good morning birthday boy.


And dinner.


Birthday burgers?


There’s the cake. Chieko toiled over it after work. Since Ray can’t eat eggs or wheat, this is made from rice powder and I don’t know what else. The ‘frosting’ is made from yoghurt. I’ll take credit for the steady-hand name writing.


But Ray had been in his chair for a long time, and wasn’t much interested in cake.


Its presence at least preoccupied him for a few minutes, though he mostly jabbed at it and threw chunks of cake onto the floor.


He’ll get his birthday present this weekend, when his grandparents are in town (and we actually have time to go buy it!). I’ll save the details for another blog post.

Happy birthday Ray Ray.

Oh My!

Two days are just not enough.

This morning I took Ray to a park close to here. It’s at the foot of the mountians, has lots of walking trails (paved and dirt), various gardens and ponds, several buildings that showcase the local flora and fauna, and a nice big grass field. We last went here in the spring.

Ray is looking very well-fed in this picture.


The big difference between then and now is that the trails are plastered with signs warning of bears. At the entrance there’s a sign warning visitors not to enter after dark. The number of signs gives the impression that the park is crawling with bears, but we didn’t see any.


Inevitably, Ray tried to eat some leaves. That meant the photo session was over.


Tomorrow is forecast to be 40’s and raining — a lovely way to kick off the week. Perhaps the mountaintops around here will see their first snow of the year. Hope everyone is having/already had a good weekend.