Happy New Year 2017!!

Posted January 1st, 2017 in Ume's Thought | No Comments »

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Another year passed and here is 2017!

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Wish everyone a wonderful year ahead 🙂


My weird personality – Blood type AB & Pisces

Posted July 28th, 2015 in Ume's Thought | No Comments »

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I’ve lived over 30 years and I sure know it is my personality, but it’s really tiring to keep asking myself – “am I doing enough??!”

Ever since I was a teenager, I couldn’t have more than 2 hours of sitting down relaxing doing nothing.  I tend to think I’m wasting time if I’m not doing / achieving anything, and if I think I wasn’t really productive that day I feel upset at the end of the day and that makes me feel bad.  I do want to relax and have at least one day thinking nothing at all, but I can’t!  Is anyone like me? :-I

Now, I’m a full-time mum and spend most of my time with kids everyday around the house.  If you are a parent, you know being with kids uses lots of energy and at the end of the day I’m exhausted.  I do home business (Bagelier) on occasional bases, and I think I do housework pretty well… I try to keep house as tidy as possible, and cook breakfast, lunch & dinner almost everyday.

But, I still feel that I need to do something.  😮

After kids sleep, I often recall what happened on the day.  I “know” I should just forget about everything and relax on the couch watching some movie, but I just “can’t”.

Hmm I’m losing the point why I’m writing this…  I guess I just wanted to write down what I’m feeling.  I want to be with kids as much as possible and I know after my little one starts going to school I will have plenty of time doing “something”, so I will have to wait that for another few years.  I should be enjoying this moment and should think I’m doing things that I should be doing.  If I can really think so, I will be all relaxed and just enjoy my alone time  🙂

 


Bug Eaters?

Posted March 27th, 2015 in Ume's Thought | 2 Comments »

It was about 2 weeks after my son started going to kindy that I found out there is a backpack filled with books and toys to borrow from local library (part of Better Beginnings service) to encourage kids to participate in reading books.  I went to local library and borrowed this Discovery Backpack, and found some books & toys inside.  The theme was “insects”, and one of the books was The Very Hungry Caterpillar and a toy was a caterpillar which can be turned into a butterfly.  I thought it’s a very good service for kids.  My son Hiro started talking about these small creatures a lot and clearly he became a bug lover, thanks to these books.

Ask A Bug

Then, I was stunned… I was reading one of the books “Ask A Bug”, and spotted a page saying “In Japan, sushi is topped with insects”!!!!

OMG, this is not true….!!!!

My reaction was bit too eccentric, it’s just because I hate insects….

Sushi we eat in Japan is mostly seafood. Some are meat, egg and vegetables, but never insect.  Besides, I do not want to imagine sushi with insect on top.  It’s disgusting…!! I’m not against people in the world who eat insects, just that we do not eat insect sushi in Japan!

Anyway, I was shocked and talked to my friends who are also Japanese.  They were surprised, laughed, and some were furious.  These books should be educational, especially it was part of Better Beginnings program.  I don’t want children to think Japanese people eat insect sushi and my son to get buried.  So I contacted the publisher of the book to let them know my concern.

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As soon as I emailed them the story, they replied to me with apologies and told me that they’d investigate where the sources came from. The publisher was very nice and responded promptly, and it seemed that my story spread to their head office in UK very quickly.

I received an email from an editor in UK last night.  It also began with an apology, and said they’ve been consulting with the senior editor on the book.  They were informed  that actually there has been a relatively recent (since 2000) revival of the insect-eating traditions that actually stem from mountainous areas of Japan, and some restaurants in Tokyo serve insect-based dishes as a special offering….  OMG, and there were some links that show articles and photos of sushi with insects!  So Japanese people do eat insects!!!
(Here is the link if you want to see these images of insect sushi… but I warn you they looks gross!!!)

I was shocked, to be honest.  I’ve never seen such sushi (gross…) in Japan and can’t imagine eating them.  Well, I guess some people get appetite when they see insects..  I now know my own country better, haha.

I still think the wording on the book Ask A Bug was inappropriate.  The editor also said that it should have been something like
“In Japan, insect eating once happened in mountainous areas.”
I agree!!

I’m still going to talk to the library to eliminate this book from the library though, till reprints are issued with different wording.

 


Hello 2015

Posted January 1st, 2015 in Ume's Thought | No Comments »

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HAPPY NEW YEAR~~~~!!!!

As always, it didn’t feel like New Year’s Eve yesterday to me as my “New Year” always (used to) involves snow and Japanese New Year’s songs playing across the city.  I wanted to do something “New Year” so I made kagami-mochi (a traditional Japanese New Year decoration) using my son’s Playdoh.  …. it’s too small! And it doesn’t look as nice!!  So my son helped me making real mochi instead.

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We have a toy mochi maker we bought from Japan couple years ago.  The machine is kept at the very back of kitchen cabinet and we haven’t used it for a long long time.  Yeah I think it’s about time for this toy to be out of the cabinet.

We made white mochi and green mochi.  My son helped me shaping mochi into balls and coating in kinako (soybean powder).  Very sticky!!

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We didn’t forget to make kagami-mochi to put near the entrance door.  It looks flat, but as long as they are real mochi (and hand-made!)

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Made some food to munch on New Year’s Day.

* * * * *

Today, New Year’s Day was a fine day in Perth.  Not too hot, not too cold.  I was going to just relax by eating  mochi today, but ended up going shopping.  Shops open on New Year’s Day… even Perth zoo was open!

My 2014 was a big year for me.  Wish 2015 to be a great one too.


Saving, saving, saving…

Posted September 9th, 2014 in Ume's Thought | No Comments »

Ume in Perth

Life has been hectic for the last few months around me, but now things seem to be settling ok and I’m now little excited about what to come next…

My husband and I had the biggest shopping in our life recently, and we are now trying to stay on top of our budget each month.  We’ve created an excel sheet to record our spendings so we can keep an eye on what we spend and what we save on each month.  I actually like saving money – I’d say it’s a kind of my hobby.  When I started working in Japan, I was 15 years old who had several jobs and worked almost 7 days a week & went to a correspondence high school.  All I did in my last teens was saving money.  I didn’t really spend money on fashion and beauty.  I was quite different from my friends and other high school girls in Japan at that time who’s major interests were putting cute make-ups and buying trendy clothes.  My early childhood environment (family issue) was the biggest reason why I kept saving money, but also I had a dream to live overseas, especially in Australia in future, so I kept saving, saving, saving… till I graduated college in Osaka and flew to Perth.

After arriving Perth, I was more a spender than a saver as I was a student and only worked few hours a week at a Japanese restaurant.  There’s not particular reason to save money any more at that time as my goal had been achieved, but I also didn’t go nuts buying clothes and trendy stuff (well, it was rather difficult to do so in Perth anyway…)  Old habit of saving stayed in my vein!

So now, I’m trying to save each month again.  It’s bit hard now as I’m not the only person who is involved in this “saving”.  There are 3 other people (my family) and 2 of them are under 4 years old!   Any tips?  There are things I can’t save any further (e.g. council rate etc) so I’m focusing on food expenses, petrol, gas and electricity bills…  I wish I could get a day job to boost an income, but at the same time I also want to be there for my kids especially while they’re young.  Getting a part-time job will probably happen when they start going to pre-primary, and until then my job is to stay on top of our budget and also do a bit of baking for Bagelier… :p (bagels, anyone?)

 


Bringing Japan into our life in Perth

Posted August 9th, 2014 in Ume's Thought | No Comments »

Bagels

Gosh, time flies ….!!!  It’s August already?  It’s been, what, 4 months since I last wrote a post on Umeboss!

Things have been hectic in my life for the last few months – I had another baby boy, restarted my small business Bagelier  (only occasionally), some of my friends decided to move out of Perth so we had several farewell gatherings, and just keeping up everyday with a 3-year-old boy and a newborn is busy enough. :-[

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I missed how a newborn baby smells, moves, smiles and wiggles.

I can’t believe my elder son is attending kindy from next year. He currently goes to a Japanese kindy (not a proper kindergarten though), daycare, Japanese book club and Japanese playgroup every week, so I’m sure he’ll be ok going to school 3 days a week, but it’s just that I can’t believe he is grown up to be a school kid soon.

Looking after 2 children is hard work (especially they are boys!) but I’m not quite sure why I started doing the baking business now! I guess it’s part of my personality (my blood) that I can’t just sit around the house – I feel I need to be doing something… I push myself.  It’s a very tiring personality I have!

So, other than baking, most of the time I’m in Japanese environment where people and I speak Japanese only.  I decided to do this way because I wanted my children to be able to speak Japanese in future.  Japanese is my first language and it feels weird if I had to speak English (second language) to my own children. So I made lots of Japanese mum friends and I spend most of weekdays with them, letting kids play together.  Thanks to that, my elder son (3 years old) speaks more Japanese than English.  So my plan is working in spite of the fact that I’m the only Japanese speaker in the house and all my family are overseas.  I know his English will be stronger once he starts to go to local school, but at least he has the base then I believe he won’t forget it.

In oppose to his Japanese, my English is getting worse these days.  Because I spend everyday with my babies I don’t get lots of time talking English now.  I don’t want to be someone who stays in non-English community while in Australia, but I guess I need to stay like this until boys go to school and then I can start spending more time with English-speaking friends and working in English-speaking environment.  Until then…

I sometimes miss myself few years ago when I was speaking only English and forgot how to speak Japanese properly. It was a funny experience – I know all Japanese in my head but words didn’t come out from my mouth.  I was 23, and spent only 2 years in Australia (21 years in Japan) and already forgot how to speak my own language! So I know my kids will lose some Japanese while living in Australia… I’ll just have to keep up talking to them in Japanese as much as I can and it’ll keep our (both me and my kids’) Japanese skill, I hope..


Off to Bali!!

Posted October 31st, 2012 in Ume's Thought | 2 Comments »

Time flies….!!  I haven’t updated Umeboss blog much lately.  And now I’m off to Bali!

It’s our first Bali trip, and my dad is joining us from Osaka, so I’m very excited.  We are staying in a villa in Seminyak for 4 nights. We’ll be basically relaxing, getting massage and walking on the beach!  I can’t wait to try local foods and drinks 🙂  We also go to Tegalalang, Goa Gajah, (typical tourist attractions, aren’t they?) and do little shopping in Ubud!  I still haven’t decided whether we go to monkey forrest or not – bit scared, if monkeys try to kidnap Hiro? :p

Anyway we are flying tomorrow and I think I will go to bed soon.  Hope to update my Bali trip on Umeboss soon xxx


The Thing I Love About Perth

Posted October 20th, 2012 in Perth WA, Ume's Thought | No Comments »

Nature – this is one of the things I love about Perth!!

Although going to the park is one of our daily routine, we had quite a time in the park we went to this morning.  It’s just normal park, nothing special, but with what we did we felt so close to nature.  We played with trees, leaves, sticks, stones, and bugs 🙂

  

I was amazed how much both of us enjoyed doing these simple things – watching lady bugs moving, collecting pinecones, and making letters with sticks – without toys and bouncing balls.

There are so many parks across Perth and it’s amazing.  I really think Australia is a very nice place for families with kids.
Today’s experience recalled my childhood memory.  I used to climb up trees to catch cicadas and beetles, soaked my body in the small river to catch crayfish, and watched killifish swimming around in the water.  Now I can’t do these things around my house anymore.  Things have changed a lot, and I barely see wild creatures over there.  Lots of buildings, trucks and noises.

Today I felt that we belong to nature and are part of it.  I wish kids benefit from these amazing things out there in Australia.


It’s Only Now

Posted September 3rd, 2012 in Ume and Baby, Ume's Thought | 2 Comments »

When D told me that he doesn’t want any more child, I started to imagine my life of being with just D and Hiro.  Eventually Hiro will grow up to an adult, and have his own family.  So it will be just me and D in future then.  What will we be doing?  Two of us, at home.  We’ll probably be working, but for what purpose?  For a holiday we may be planning, or for a car we may be thinking to buy.  Most of the money we yarn will be used for everyday expenses, and then the rest will be for something…  something what?

We’ll all grow old.  What will we be doing when we are grandpa and grandma?  Hopefully we enjoy occasional visit of our grandchildren, and other than that we’ll probably spend our time doing gardening or some hobbies.  I bet time will go slow around us…

So it’s only now that we can enjoy being busy looking after this boy 🙂

I think his age is the cutest age for children.  We started to be able to communicate (he doesn’t speak properly yet though), and I actually feel so happy to have him around me everyday.

So I enjoy this life now.  Soon it will change, and it will be different.  I will have plenty of time on my own later.  I don’t mind to have one more child, to be honest, but I’m also happy with just him.

It’s only now that I can enjoy being with this Hiro. 🙂


That Time of the Year

Posted September 2nd, 2012 in Ume's Thought | No Comments »

My friends were saying that they got invitation for their husbands’ companies’ Christmas party, and I thought “Christmas? Already?!”  To think about it, it’s already September.  3/4 of 2012 has been gone and only 1/4 remains.  Wow, how quickly can time pass around us?

Soon there will be “Christmas tree section” in department stores and shopping centres, and people will be talking about what to buy for Christmas presents (although many might already have done lay-buy).  Sigh, I wanted to move out from this house by the end of this year, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen.

Oh, today is Father’s Day.  Father’s Day in Japan was in June, so I feel like “again?”.

I baked cookies for D.  And making nachos tonight.  It’ll be enough…

Today, because it’s Father’s Day, entrance to Perth Zoo is FREE for fathers.  I have 1 year pass, so three of us can go there for free (basically).  🙂  I’m waiting for them coming back from Sunday mass.