A Breath of Life

The Soy Bean is dying on the vine here. I remember proclaiming when Ray was born that this would not devolve into a blog about my child. It may not have completely done that, but there was definitely a heavy Ray slant. And then came Leo, and I am confident in blaming him for the lack of activity blog-wise. One kid is easy. Two kids? A different game, especially since kid number two is now moving around and getting into everyone’s business. People with two children know what I’m talking about; people with three+ kids are laughing at me for being stressed about dealing with two kids. This is all the stress I never wanted, so we’re doing our best not to have another kid.

I was led astray a bit by the ease of having just Ray. Simpler times. Two parents, one kid, lots of free time, shit not everywhere. And when Leo was born the status quo held for a bit. But it’s long gone now. Winter didn’t help, being trapped inside for three months watching loop of Curious George and hoping it would snow a little so I could go shovel something.

But there’s a light. The days are longer, warmer, spring is in the air. We still can’t seem to clean worth a damn, but at least we can go outside! Which brings me to the irony of this blog post. Chieko’s mom was so deprived by the lack of action and pictures of her adorable grandchildren that she hopped on a three-hour train to see them in person. And here I am, as she sleeps in the tatami room downstairs, preparing to post some pics of said adorable grandchildren.

I’ve been doing bad job of taking pictures lately. I really need to take more of these two kids, and I need to retap into the creative photography part of my brain and start taking more pictures in general, even though I can’t get out for the long drives and bike rides that I used to take (thanks Leo/winter!). In my mind, pictures were the backbone of this blog before these damn kids screwed everything up, and I’d like to find a way to continue that.

So anyways, here some pictures of my kids, since I didn’t want this to turn into a blog about my kids! They’re friggin cute though.

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Here’s a quick roundup of the rest of our lives:

Leo can sort of walk.

Ray can speak English and Japanese so far.

They’re both going to a new daycare from April 1st.

Chieko got a job but I’m not going to talk about it here.

Leo’s cute as shit and I can’t remember what Ray was like at his age.

Ray’s cute as shit but has a way of driving me nuts too.

The main thing going on aside from being driven to the brink of insanity by our children is trying to build a house, which I’ve been talking all about on my other blog. That’s not progressing as quickly as I’d hoped, but maybe I had unrealistic expectations.

I’m re-learning how take things in stride. Or maybe I never knew how to in the first place.

Spring is in the air (love that phrase!), and I have notions of getting out to take some pictures. Hopefully not another two months until I do so! Take care.

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12 thoughts on “A Breath of Life

  1. Your honesty is refreshing. I read a lot of blogs…most by moms who think parenting is the best thing ever. I find it challenging…all the time. It has gotten easier. I remember nothing of their babyhoods. I was in pure survival mode. Hang in there…and post pictures of your beautiful boys. 🙂

    1. thanks laura…i was well into a bottle of wine when i made that post so the emotions were flowing freely…the positive moments of parenting far and away outnumber the negative ones, but the negative ones hit with a lot of force when they do come…

  2. Hey Casey! Congrats to Chieko on the job… curious to hear more about that in some other place/time. Perhaps over a beer at BigPink. haha – i wish.
    Also curious if you are doing the one parent, one language with the boys – is English your house language? Do you and Chieko mostly speak to each other in English? Please send big warm hellos to chieko on my part.

    1. hi sheryl! i’ve been to big pink maybe twice in the past year, and for lunch both times…we’re both speaking english to ray, so the house is pretty much a completely english environment…chieko and i also speak english to each other all the time…ray uses japanese all day at daycare, and so far this system is working out…i’m a little worried once he gets older he might resist speaking english but hopefully by then it will be so ingrained in his brain that it won’t be a problem…otherwise we’ll just ship him to america to live with his grandparents!

      1. Hey, Casey! Oh, the memories, Big Pink! I’ve been wondering where Sheryl went…still in Spain I suppose? Just thought I would drop a line. I come to your blog every once in a while, just to live vicariously back in Nihon. It seems like such a long time ago that I was singing a rousing rendition of some ancient Enka tune after a night of unparalleled drinking in Katamachi. Anyways, always love the blog! And those kids are WAY cute. Evan’s really big now. He’ll be starting kindergarten, so I’ve got to say good luck with TWO of them…one’s definitely enough for us now. You’re a braver man than I am! We should skype one of these days if we get the chance. A great big hug for Chieko and the kids, and the rest of the KIT-Jin…if you should ever find yourselves in the Pacific Northwest, give us a call…oh yes, and BEWARE those unrealistic expectations! They’re a killer. Ciao for now.

      2. hey ernesto! i was thinking of you guys recently and wondering how you were doing, so it’s great to hear from you…let’s definitely do a skype chat soon, though if i recall he time difference between here and the west coast is tricky…i’ll mail you but let’s do it! say hi to emeline and evan!

  3. Hello there. I just read your blog on building a home. Sounds fantastic and your home and land is HUGE. I am located in the Kanto Plain area and we just bought I home here measuring about 160 m2. This is big by Japn. standards. My question I was hoping you might be able to help me with is about house electricity. I currently have a 60 A service and want to install an American 220 v dryer, possibly a electric stove as well as have all the AC run without triping the circuit. Have you run across anyone who has done this in your research that I might be able to get some tips on. I am willing to hire an electrician to do the upgrades. Thanks. My email is skipsan@hotmail.com

  4. Great to see you are posting, for what ever reason. [you are doing better than me an don’t have 2 little ones] Great shots of the kids. Is there as story to the green in Leo’s hair or is that just the light?
    Learning to take it all in stride is the key. You may have taken things in stride before but your reality has changed and probably won’t ever be the same again. .But it will be even more wonderful in many different ways. This phase will pass quickly as will the craziness, though it may not seem so as you are in the middle of it. And there will be multiple different craziness in the future. I recall how different having a second child was after the relative calm of one and the second kid often gets fewer solo pictures. You’ll get back to the long rides and perhaps the kids will ride with you at some point. Then at some point they’ll want to be doing things with friends and you have time to carve out for you as well.

    Really enjoy the house blog as well though I’m usually reading in on the iPod and can’t reply.

    Congrats to Chieko on the job.

    1. thanks for the thoughtful comment jeff…it’s reassuring, and i think you are right about taking things in stride…and being patient…the light on leo’s face is just a reflection from a prism hanging in the window

  5. Watching Curios George in a loop…that’s….that’s…..illegal against the Geneva Convention….right?

    Meanwhile…I hope the Celts beat the crap out of the Heat!!

    1. it’s some form of torture, for sure…i haven’t been too into the celts this season but am planning to watch that game…been more focused on the bruins who are also kicking butt (but lost today)…sorry i’ve dropped off the face of the earth…will swing by your blog soon

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