Leo @ 1

Well, it’s apparent that despite my previous proclamations I’m never going to post a non-child centered entry here again. So be it. Leo turned 1 on the 4th, but we held off on the celebration until Chieko’s parents came to visit over the weekend. Ray had a blast opening all of Leo’s presents and eating most of his cake.

Here are some lovely glamor shots of Leo before he got into the cake himself.



And an action shot.


After cake it was time for the test of strength! This involves lashing a 4 pound rice cake onto Leo’s back and watching him stumble around until he falls, wondering what the f*ck is going on. We then chopped the rice cake into a thousand pieces and gave it all away to our neighbors.


And the bros.


Little did we realize that at the very moment these photos were taken my entire family was incubating the flu. Now Chieko, Ray, and Leo are fighting off fevers and other flu-born joys, while I have somehow managed to avoid it so far. As such, I have spent the past two days by myself on the first floor of the house, while the upstairs acts as the infirmary. I sit in the tatami room watching movies and delivering meals to everyone upstairs, simultaneously wishing I could hug them all but also somewhat guiltily enjoying the peace and quiet. Hopefully everyone will be back to form soon and I won’t get sick! Impeccable timing though, a week into Chieko’s new job and the day my classes started…

So the sickness is pretty much the all-encompassing theme at the moment. We had a good long run of nobody getting sick over the winter, so we were due I suppose.

In lighter news, I’ll convey a work related story. The first day of classes always involves lots of explanation about school and class policy, the ins and outs of how grades are determined, and other fine points of my class that are as tedious for me as they are for the students. Usually it takes about twenty or thirty minutes, and I do it probably 80% in Japanese. To reiterate — I’m talking straight for half an hour, mostly in Japanese. After that, since I don’t know the majority, if any, of the students, I ask them to ask me questions. Anything…my hobbies, my family, my life in Japan, whatever they want. They are into this, and they ask some good questions (Do you like adult videos?). But inevitably, bless their souls, someone asks me ‘Do you speak Japanese?’ Sigh.

Time for bed here. Stay healthy everyone!