A lot has happened since I last was in the mood for blogging. Life at our new house has been wonderful but super hectic. So, let me get a bit up to date with things.
JOB-WISE, I’ve stepped in as an Okami, or small hotel owner, which comes with no little dose of trouble but it keeps me busy and gives me a sense of purpose (on top of paying the bulk of our bills). We currently have four to six tenants in the rooms up front in any given moment (there’s an iron gate to separate their side of the property from ours) and I’ve already learned the basics like don’t believe lies like “my dad is in his death bed” unless the other person is crying their heart out, and tell them everything important in advance, especially that while deposits are refundable, reserves aren’t.
At the beginning of the year I became one of the head parents for Hotaru’s year, so I go to delegate meetings and then tell the other parents what was said and then inform the school of what 1B parents thought of it. My co-worker is Kurokawa-san. She’s extremely competitive but her heart is in the right place and she’s very supportive of me and my family in general. There’s other two head parents (Aranda-san and this other woman whose name I can never remember).
I’ve also volunteered to help 母の会 with the school events, so I’ve been running all over Mugen Gakuen like crazy helping Mariera-san and the other 母の会 members with the preparations for Karaoke, Bazaa and NM, the three main yearly events at Hotaru’s school. I love feeling useful without the pressure of responsibility over my shoulders. Still, it’s been rather taxing physically. I’ll try to take it easier next year.
Writing has been slow, then uber fast, then slow again… like always, but I think it’s been more constant and consistent than before. I’m hoping to make the most of this summer to finish my first book once and for all. I’ve been focusing mostly on the sequels lately.
Mugen Gakuen is opening a brand new Japanese Studies career in 2019 and I’d like to give it a try, since it’s the dream career I’ve been wanting to study since I was like 14. I mean… besides genetic engineering. The thing is, by 2019 we’re gonna have a brand new baby in the house, so I don’t think those two goals are really compatible if you’re hoping for a stress free life like I am.
HEALTH WISE, (and let’s start with my mental health), I’ve dumped my therapist the second the judge said it wasn’t mandatory anymore, and it’s made me feel MARVELOUS. I felt I weighted a ton less the second I decided not to see her anymore.
Also, on mental health: I came out as a trans man to my friends and family. My mom has had a bit of a hard time accepting this in the beginning and still struggles a bit and my dad doesn’t acknowledge the fact that I’m a man (but he doesn’t contradict or correct me either and we even celebrated father’s day together), but it looks like we’ll get there. Aunt Grace wasn’t on board until I explained to her that it hurt me when she misgendered me and now she’s the one who never does and who constantly comes to me with the latest bit of trans news or gossip in our city.
Mom was difficult, but then again she was struggling with Leo’s death and her own retirement (she retired on July the 1st) and her move into a new apartment (they demolished the house I grew up in after all…). But we’ve talked and talked and then talked some more and even though she didn’t want me to transition in the beginning, mostly because my lawyer told me to wait for a while before doing that, mom has finally come on board with it and offered to come with me to the state office when I decide to get a legal name/gender change.
Luckily for me, last time we went to see my lawyer I asked him a million questions and he had to admit that me transitioning won’t affect the trial we’re about to face for the next few years, so yay!
My doc said I’m physically wonderful, but that I should go to the gym and start lifting weight to avoid constantly pulling my muscles, but mainly because it’ll help me fight gender dysphoria while I wait for the chance to begin my HRT treatment. I did join a gym about a month ago and it’s been magical. My trainer came up with a routine specially for me, so it meets my needs. Proof of that is the fact that my body is starting to look more androgynous, even without hormones.
I’m looking forward to starting HRT soon. I still need to finish my treatment at the fertility clinic and then get some tests done before that, so it’ll probably be around February, but it’ll most definitely help me pass. My only fear is that I might be unable to sing once my voice is done settling in its new pitch, as some other trans men have declared, but I’ve already sung in a (quite famous!) band, so if I can never sing again it won’t be super terrible. Well, there’s also the health safety concern, of course, but that’s more like a general fear of the unknown rather than a specific thing. In the end, I’m gonna go with whatever turns out to be the safest option (probably gel), as my desire to pass isn’t big enough for me to want to risk my well being in the process.
Speaking of passing, I started using Minoxidil for the past six months and got quite a decent beard and mustache (again, considering I’m not taking hormones yet). It helps me pass 90% of the time, but I only pass as a thirteen year old… but I still love it. Sometimes they think I’m Hotaru’s older brother and take Michiru for our mother. It’s been hilarious =P
The kid has been blooming nonstop since the move. =D Even with Lana’s passing, she’s been doing great. She’s the best student in her Spanish, Japanese and English classes (#proudad). Her last report card had 24 “A+” in it… out of 28 school subjects. The other four were “only” A’s, and it’s not like we’re driving her up the walls so she will study. The kid comes back home hooting in delight whenever they give her homework and has worked hard of her own volition to improve her grades in the subjects where she doesn’t have top marks (she had only 20 “A+”s in her first report card). Let me clarify that her lower grades are in less important subjects like PE, music, technology, etc).
In the extracurricular category, Hotaru has been taking roller skating lessons and even though she came home crying the first few classes because she fell a lot and the other (much older) girls didn’t, now she has gotten the hang of it and enjoys the activity thoroughly. She’s also taking swimming lessons at school (so, technically it’s curricular), but she already knows how to swim, so this is no news. The kid wanted to take acting lessons as well, but the school recommended for 一年生 to avoid having more than one extracurricular activities, so we’ve put that on hold until next year. She’s a bit impatient on this regard.
Socially, Hotaru broke up with her boyfriend and had a fleeting crush on her friend Lulu-chan but I think she’s now over it, though she still admires Lulu-chan a lot. Rami-kun is her other close friend since she was three years old and the three of them have adapted to the new school wonderfully. They spend a lot of time together, but have also made new friends like Mercedes-chan, Matsu-chan, Emma-chan and Phillip-kun. She’s particularly close with a girl named Megumi-chan whose mother used to work with my mom and who regularly comes over for after school play dates.
Megumi-chan is very well mannered although a bit tantrum prone. She eats a lot and loves my hotcakes so I often make them for the girls whenever she comes over. Now that the weather is getting warmer, we just buy a ton of strawberries and eat them with fruit juices and shakes. Hotaru likes a fruit mix, while Megumi-chan favours apple juice. Call me old school, but I usually go with orange juice… or pear/peach smoothie, depending on what’s available at home. The girls love the smoothies as well.
Emma-chan is the shy Japanese girl Hotaru threw her birthday party with. She’s beautiful like a delicate porcelain doll and Hotaru loves her like a little sister, although we’ve explained to her that she shouldn’t be condescending.
Michiru and I suspect that Rami-kun might be gay because of the way he moves and the things he says and how he always prefers to play with the girls rather than the boys. He’s super sweet and keeps giving everyone hugs and writes things like Love ❤ on his hands all the time. Also, we fear Phillip might be a trans girl, because he keeps saying “Oh, mom, look! I’m Rapunzel!” or some other Disney princess and keeps consistently picking princess costumes and masks whenever we (or somebody else) organizes a themed birthday or costume party. He even cried when he wasn’t allowed to wear a skirt and dance with the girls at a recent birthday party and refused to play soccer with the other boys.
This worries us a bit because his mother is… well. She isn’t particularly open minded and keeps insulting him and degrading him in public in very humiliating ways every time he does something “gay” or girly. She would tell anyone who’d listen that her son is a huge faggot and that he’s a crybaby because he cries all the time if something upset him and such. The kid is very sensitive, he and Rami-kun draw all the time and are great at it. Rami-kun even won the first prize at the school drawing competition this year!
Michiru and I fear for the future of Hotaru’s friends because they have these not quite understanding parents supposedly looking after their needs, only they couldn’t see their real needs if they slapped them in the face. Lulu-chan is the same. Her parents got divorced a year and a half ago. She’s Hotaru’s BFF and her mother can’t stand us. She’d greet everyone but us and if we do greet her she’d mumble something under her breath and move on. I’ve tried talking to her in the past, asking for a play date for Hotaru and she not only told me to ask her ex, she also was rude to me (well, she almost always is), which is unsurprising, considering she was in good terms with Dr. Tomoe.
Michiru can’t stand her for it and neither can I, although for a different reason: she’s denying Hotaru the chance to have fun with her friend outside school. Lulu-chan has told her “my mom won’t let me go to your house” in the past, so we know it’s not just our imagination. Still, the rest of the parents are nice and respectful to us, so yeah.
There’s been a school camp and Hotaru enjoyed every second of it with her friends. It was everything she had expected and more. We’re happy that she could attend, because of what her old school pulled on us at the last minute last year.
Hotaru is still very allergic to chocolate, but she has ceased to have asthma attacks… at least for now, but the weather has been mild in spite of the sudden temperature drops, so it might be seasonal. We’ll have to wait and see.
The kid has adapted brilliantly to her new routines and responsibilities. Her therapist, Helga-san, is happy with her development and adores her… though not quite as much as her English teacher, who is fighting fiercely for the #1 fan spot. LOL. The woman worships Hotaru and her ability with languages. She can efficiently communicate in Spanish, Japanese and English if she needs to, though most of the talking at home is done in either Japanese or Spanish.
Hotaru still has some trouble with particles, but can hold a normal talk in Japanese as long as you stick to the subjects she already knows (which is around 3rd grade level). I teach her a lot at home and she understands even more than she can speak, which never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes I throw a very long, complex sentence her way and she gets it all. We found a lovely app by PIBO named えほん, which we use to listen to illustrated stories in Japanese every night. We also go to the 図書室 weekly to interact with real books in Japanese, so her current level is rather high. She still recognizes about a hundred kanji and enough words to play shiritori for hours with Michiru and me. Michiru fears her English might be getting a little stale because she’s shy about it, but Hotaru can still watch full age appropriate movies in English with no subs and understand all of it, so yeah… there’s also that.
Also, on a social note, Hotaru has met Michiru’s grandparents and they absolutely love each other. She adores going over there for dinner and Michiru’s Ojiisan absolutely worships her. They play games and tease one another over dinner and Hotaru has said she’s happy to have great-grandparents once again. I do get along with them beautifully myself, but that’s besides the point. Michiru’s mother and sister also adore Hotaru and she sometimes spends the day (or the night) at their place, where the lot of them organizes Disney movie marathons, indulge in karaoke, or paint mandalas for hours at a time.
The crisis she underwent upon moving in with us seems to have calmed down somehow. She now helps around the house and doesn’t get anxiety for not having as much me-time as she did living with her mother and sister. I still do most of the cooking and shopping, but she does most of the cleaning, so it’s rather fair, I think. Things at her workplace were horrible, but there’s been a change in hierarchy recently that evened things out quite a bit between Michiru and her co-workers. Now she’s happier and less stressed out. She never comes home in a crying outrage anymore, which is a relief, because it was having a deep negative impact in her health, which I didn’t know how to counter on my own.
Her relationship with her mother went through a rough patch as well, but it now seems to be improving slightly. I think that, if she keeps setting healthy boundaries, things between her and Kaioh-san will continue to go down a much healthier path.
Our relationship has improved quite a bit as well, particularly since Lana’s passing. Michiru’s support became undeniably evident at that point and I felt I could truly trust her to get my back whenever I can’t handle something and I stopped feeling like I had to be able to deal with everything on my own for everyone’s sake. Now I feel this is more of a partnership and loving every second of it.
Oh, and, since we’re on the subject… We’re getting married next November ^^ and plan on start trying for a baby since September (2018). Hotaru is even more excited than Michiru and I which is saying something. She just can’t wait to be an older sister and keeps pushing Michiru and I to hurry up. LOL. Patience has never been anyone’s strongest suit in this family. Michiru still has to get a bunch of tests done, but at least on my end, things are ready to go. All I need to do is get my Health Insurance Company to approve the budget and freeze the eggs. Easy enough, right? Well, getting there took forever, even if it now seems simple.
Michiru hasn’t celebrated her birthday in ages but, as we were organizing Hotaru’s party, she asked me if she could have a Frozen piñata for hers, so I agreed under the condition that she had to let me throw her a party. I’ve recruited her sister Miki-chan to help with the prepping. Hotaru has several ideas for the party and we’re all super excited about this (except for Michiru herself, but that can’t be helped =P).
This semester has been particularly calm for Michiru at college. She’s only two or three courses shy of graduation and then she’ll have an art teacher degree. Her idea is to continue working as a sales rep for robotic companies, but who knows… perhaps she’ll change her mind someday. The important thing is that she will have an option to fall back on if something unexpected happens. She’s been toying with the idea of changing companies or perhaps getting a job as a teacher at Mugen Gakuen, but she needs her degree first… and the next semester promises to be a tough one. The few courses she needs to take are very demanding and she gets insanely upset and suffers from anxiety attacks whenever she has to sit a final or present an essay… but we’ll cross that bridge when it comes. In the meanwhile, life has been kind with us.
There’s been lots of things to repair, buy, upgrade, organize, tidy up, replace and other verbs I can’t even remember right now. But it’s starting to look more and more like a home. We’re planning on setting a pool in the upstairs terrace this summer and put lots of plants all around its border to give it a more outdoorsy feeling. The tomatoes my mom planted last year have come out in our downstairs pots recently and are in full bloom. We’re hoping for bees 😉
Hotaru’s room is the best looking one. The three of us are slowly painting a sakura tree on one of the walls and she has her own pink mirror (it used to be mine, not that I’d miss it! =P) and last weekend we’ve installed a canopy over her bed so the mosquitoes won’t bother her this summer. It was a project where the three of us worked together and the final result was amazing. She loves it and Michiru and I are super proud of how it turned out.
Our bedroom still needs tons of work, as in truly separating it from our creative studio and decorating the wall behind our headboard, but we’re in no hurry there, as it’s a place where we only go to sleep, when we’re too tired to notice the decor. LOL.
The kitchen is perfect and the living room was looking great (mom gave us the long table Leo and her had bought together so we could remember him… it was his death’s anniversary last week and I miss him a lot!). The only problem there is the past two storms there were severe leaks all over the living room ceiling and now we need to put some membrane in place in order to keep it from further acting as a sieve… which Santi-san has promised to do soon. That’d be our handyman.
Speaking of the devil, he’s divided one of the two shared dorms up front into two singles and we’re not talking about doing the same with the remaining one, because the girls stopping there keep laughing in the middle of the night and being loud in general. Better to divide and conquer, I guess. =P It’s gonna be a bit taxing on our economy during the summer, but it will also mean a better income and more stability in the long run, so I know it’s the right call.
Our tiny japanese garden is still a work in progress. No koi fish pond or fountain yet, but we’ve gotten a nice Furin for it at the last event at Hotaru’s school and mom brought us a bamboo plant (together with some palms and dozens other cute things) so it’s starting to look up and quite eye-catching as it is.
The back patio between the kitchen and the bathroom still hasn’t been enclosed in glass, which turned out to be a real problem during winter. However, milder weather has arrived and now we’re in no hurry to fix it. There were a few bumps in this particular road and we had to take off a roof that threatened to fall down on us, and ask for the glass guy to redo the budget to include those extra meters… but it will happen at some point, we just don’t know exactly when… especially because this summer we’re going on vacation for the first time in like five years. I’m actually excited about it, though a little apprehensive where my mental health is concerned. We’ll see…
My dearest friend had a big argument with her boyfriend over whether to have a baby soon or not. They lived separately for a while and decided to stay together in the end, but wait for a bit before trying for a baby. They got a cute gray cat instead and named it after a LOL character, though we all keep giving it funny nicknames because the name is odd and honestly not nice. So, yeah. Mini-cat is the newest thing in town, he’s uber cute, but bit me viciously last time we went over for a visit.
This is a particularly touchy subject. Things with Usagi have been complicated… meaning that she asked me to introduce her to a friend of mine she fancied, and she acted like a crazy person with him by treating the guy like a lifelong boyfriend a week into their tentative relationship, then called him a stalker. About a month later, she desperately needed a job, so Michiru pulled a few strings and got her one as an assistant to one of her high school friends. Thing is Odango Atama messed it up, lost the job and then called the guy who hired her a stalker… when she clearly has a crazy psychopath soon to be ex-husband who PERSISTENTLY stalks her. I mean, any sane person would have blamed the usual stalker, not people who really didn’t have access to her home landline to begin with, as I’m pretty sure neither my friend nor Michiru’s is capable of that much digging to get to a phone number.
Well, Usagi kept calling me to complain about the people we introduced to her and generally acting like a maniac (I mean, she’s always been eccentric, but this goes WAY beyond that and into the land of wacko). And I got tired of it so I told her that I hated to get caught in the middle when I’ve been trying to help, that she should solve these issues by talking to the right people…
I saw her a couple of times after these incidents (which happened about a month ago) and then she appeared in our front steps one morning unannounced and rang the bell persistently until I went down (initially thought one of the tenants had called for delivery) and then told me she was worried about my safety because I failed to immediately answer a text she had sent me the previous night. I was on my way out and told her so… she then invited herself to escort me to a tattoo parlor and made me late for my appointment (won’t be getting a tattoo after all, but not because of her).
So I sort of ghosted her for a while and now got a new text from her last night that I haven’t checked yet. To be honest, she’s ben acting strange ever since starting Zumba lessons at a nearby gym, although I fail to see the connection there. My guess is she got a new group of friends and that somehow destabilized her on some level… or perhaps she’s always like this and that’s why her mom keeps checking up on her at all times when she’s alone as if she were an irresponsible 14 year old… which she sometimes resembles.
My only regret is that this might hurt Hotaru’s relationship with Chibi-Usa-Chan, but what can I do if this woman keeps bringing us problems whenever we try to help her out? I mean, I don’t feel inclined to see her and spending time together has become extremely awkward. I won’t cut her out of our lives altogether, though. Thought that perhaps if I gave her some space she might chill out a bit.
Last time I saw her, she mentioned that Chibi-Usa-Chan was getting an eye operation on December. I wonder if it was true at all… she’s been lying to me a lot lately, especially when it comes to her kid’s health. Oh, and she has also had a fallout with our lawyer to the point where he had to ask her to leave his office, so yeah… she’s on a streak.
Anyway… we’re all alive and relatively OK, so that’s what I wanted to convey.