The Sounds of Summer

This small clock in our kitchen shows it to be a cozy 36.5˚C.
 Pretty sure I turned on the AC after this. 
This is the first time that our family has been in Japan from mid-July to mid-August. The first year we arrived in August and the next we were visiting family in Canada. So now I can say that summer in Japan is hot. Sweaty, grimy, take a cold shower multiple times a day kind of hot. Truthfully, when I lived in Houston, the daily temperatures were much hotter than Fukuyama but everyone had central air conditioning. It boggles my mind to remember that houses back home are cool everywhere inside. Even the bathrooms and closets. Weird!

Last year we purchased two AC units and put one in our dining/kitchen area and one in our bedroom. For the most part I try and tough out the heat and only switch on the air conditioning when the heat is making us so cranky that a brawl could erupt at any moment. I have found that 35˚C or above inside our house is when the kids turn into maniacs and I want to strangle anyone who even looks at me funny.
Cicada emerging on our
bike shelter
Why do we bother suffering through the heat and not just have the air con on at all times you ask? Since we only have units in two rooms of the house, when the AC gets turned on that room must get shut off; all doors and windows closed or else it is ineffectual. If you have ever tried quarantining five people to a small room for any length of time, especially when two of those people have the energy level and climbing skills of frenzied baboons, you will realize that dealing with the heat is almost more enjoyable. Also, our old house is full of cracks and drafts and the AC has to be running full bore to cool the room down. Electricity is very expensive, especially compared to what we were used to in Canada, so running our air conditioning 24 hours a day is not a luxury we can afford. We like to think of it as living in tune with nature.

Sometime in early July, all of our squeaky, buzzy cicada friends emerged. Listening to their morning droning has a way of making summer feel official. The boys had a fun time collecting all of their empty exuvia (yes, I discovered that is what their little empty casings are called) and putting them on their fingers or hooking them on their clothes. 

From July 22nd to the end of August, Theo is on summer break from yochien. We haven't had the time, energy, or money to go anywhere during his summer break and I am not delusional enough to think that traveling with a newborn, a toddler, and a kindergartener would be in any way fun. Needless to say, we decided to stay in Fukuyama and find ways for the boys to enjoy themselves around the house and neighbourhood.

Theo loves holding Rosie and is never separated from his teddy bear for too
long, even when he is playing Wii
Since it is usually the same temperature inside our house as outside, the boys have been enjoying running around in our yard and I have been loving them burning off energy and giving me a bit of space from time to time. On the side of our house was a walkway and small garden where we were growing some herbs and tomatoes. William decided that his favourite pastime was to sit in the herb bed under the dining room window and dig in the soil. So, we decided to turn it into an actual sandbox. Dustin transplanted the herbs, dug out a foot and a half of soil, laid a tarp down, and filled it in with bags of sand. The boys have spent countless hours in the shade beneath the window playing in their new sandbox. Good idea William! 

We also bought a kiddie pool for the boys to splash around in and cool down. Even Rosie and I have sat in it a few times.

The neighbours brought over a number of balloons after some birthday party that they had gone to. The balloons helped entertain the boys for a few days until they all managed to meet an explosive end.

Here are the faces of the funny, crazy, exasperating, demanding, but always loving humans I share this life with: 

We can make it though the summer and into the coolness of autumn!


audible said...

I love the sandbox.

Laura said...

The boys spend at least two hours in it every day so needless to say, I love it too! It is on the side of our house next to the street and usually the obaasan biking past will stop and have a chat with them before continuing on. What's not to love about playing in the sand and being paid attention to?