04 May 2018

Taiki is 2

My baby is a toddler now! T_T

Taiki's birthday was on a weekday and it was a busy time for us. Megumi and the kids plus her parents were staying with us that week and Reia and Aila went back to school. Reia leaves earlier than before,  so doing a birthday breakfast wasn't as doable this time. Instead, we did a dinner and had a More Moles/Stompy the Bear party! Takik LOVES those two songs on YouTube by Caspar babypants. He is obsessed, so I drew up some More Moles and printed off some Stompy the Bears, stuck them around the place, did up a banner and some balloons and the decorations were done! 

His reaction when he saw all his favourite characters was pricless, he had such a good time. He couldn't believe how many moles were in the room! Despite the many glasses of juice spilt on the carpet that night, it was one to remember. I rushed to decorate his cake that I had baked that morning and it looked a  bit shoddy, but tasted amazing! So glad I kept that recipe!

Here are his developments in the last 6 months:

He has gotten so emotional lately and will cry for ages! He just gets so frustrated and wants something but wants nothing. I will offer him everything and he still says no. If he has what he wants but one little thing is off, like he has to wear a bib or I cut something in half, he will lose it!

He has started hitting. He hits me or the ground or anyone when he doesn't get his way or is just angry or frustrated.

He can say some new words!! I have been worried about this because he was a little slow but lately his lexicon has been expanding. He can say apple, Baba, Jiji, Opa, Dada, Mama, ai chi (ice cream), go go and shoes.

I had planned to write down all the words he can say starting a couple months ago, but recently, he has just started being able to say a whole new bunch of things! He has started to try and copy what people say which is awesome to see.
He is pretty confident with certain words though, so I will list those:
Nine, nana (seven in Japanese), up, down, potato, juice, shoes, go, uh-uh, no, yes, push, splash, amen, wanwan (dog), paper, more, Baba (Grandma), JiJi (Grandpa), aka (red), Mama, Dada, Ai-ai (Aila), he can't say Reia's name yet so it comes out as Ee-ee or Ei-Ei sometimes or he just points at her. He can understand a lot more than he can say so I can now give him instructions to follow.

He loves to sing! He is always singing or humming something. None of the lyrics are audible except for a couple of words. He likes How Far I'll go, I am a Child of God (in both Eng and Jp), and The Greatest Showman.

He is a whiz on the iPad. Not sure if that is good or not at his age, but he knows how to navigate around better than his Grandparents do! lol 

He can say some letters of the alphabet and sings only those ones when I sing then song with him. At the moment he can say C, E, Y and in between he will say the vowel sounds of other letters. The same is with numbers. He anticipates when the ones he can say are coming up and proudly sings those ones. At the moment, it is only 3, 5, 9. In Japanese, に、し、なな.

Whenever he is getting told off (usually by me), he sits there and nods along with what I say with a huge grin on his face. Suuuch a cheeky kid!

He likes to play catch and is a lot better than the girls were at his age. He has got that overhand throw down! 

He is so skinny to me, I can't get over it. I know that he isn't underweight, but when I pick him up, I feel like I am going to dislocate his shoulders or break his little arms. I am used to chunky babies and he hardly had any rolls at all. Jun doesn't think he is too skinny, so I guess he is regular size in Japan. 

He likes to run around everywhere. He will run around in a tight circle and thinks it is so much fun. I get tired just watching him lol

He loves to be chased, blow bubbles, hugs, stories, bath time, playing catch, singing, and bike rides.

If he gets told off he will run to one of his sisters for comfort. I tell them that they have to count to 30 before they can touch him so that he can feel that he was wrong. The girls hate it when I tell him off and always protect him from me. I remember having similar feelings when I was young too so I understand how they feel.

He doesn't sleep until I go to bed which is like midnight. He will always wait for me or fall asleep touching me. In one instance, I was sitting on a high stool and he couldn't touch me because I was too high up, so he fell asleep underneath the stool.

He is starting to string words together now. He has only gotten up to a string of two words at a time but is figuring out different combinations.

He touches EVERYTHING!! Even though I have told him off so many times, he still touches things like sunscreen, wipes, spices, spoons, clothes, shoes, toothpaste. And the liquid ones almost always end up all over the floor. He loves playing with water, so he likes to push the levers on the water cooler and has emptied out the barrel a couple of times. That means a big pool of 3-4 L of water in the middle of the floor -_-

When he is in trouble, he uses his charm and cheeky grin to try and get out of it.

When he is trying to show me something, he will always start with my name and then the word or show, or person etc. He says the two repeatedly non-stop. "Mama! Ball! Mama Ball! Mama Ball!"

He likes to take off his clothes and nappy and run around naked now. I don't know if it is because it is warming up or if it's just for fun, but I am constantly trying to stop him from peeing around the house haha

He. Does. Not. Eat. He just refuses to eat what I give him so I gave up for a while and let him have his high carb, no fruit or vege diet. But lately I have changed and have started feeding him more often, like every two hours, and he has started to eat more! Mind you, it is still mostly carbs and protein, but at least he is eating more of it! He will only eat fruit if it is in smoothie form. Veges are hard... He still won't try those.

He is such a cute, active, cheeky little rat-bag and we all love him to bits! It is so fun to have the boy-dynamic in the house and see his approach to life. 

Love you, Taiki! x

29 January 2018

Aila is 4.5

Aila is such a fun loving little girl!

We went to Hawaii last Christmas and she was great on the plane and great while traveling around Oahu. She Loved her time over there and going to the beach and playing in the sand. She also liked to collect shells with Reia and would be so excited to show me their haul.

She was so excited to go over and see you Aunties, Uncles, and Grandparents. She was also excited about getting lots of presents at Christmas haha.

Last year she started school and at first she was a bit shy and didn't understand a whole lot of Japanese, but now her Japanese has just sky rocketed and she is doing awesome! She can understand so much more than when Reia was her age and I think it is thanks to having an older sister to play with. She has made some really good friends at school too. I went to her Parent Teacher interview last week and her teacher said that Aila is super good friends with Mirei chan. They are so close that they do everything together. They go to the toilet together, play together, and are always in their own little world. Her teacher said that because they are glued to the hip all the time, they are so slow to do things. They're bathroom break is so long because they just play all the time. She went on to say that while it is good to have friends, and it might be a little early to say this but she wants Aila to be a bit more independent and to learn to do things by herself, and I agree. 

When I try to give Aila responsibilities like cleaning up the toys, she will come up with so many excuses but her favs are "My tummy hurts" or "Uggghhh, I'm so sleepy." She will then watch Reia do all the cleaning lol.

She can be very clingy sometimes and just wants to hug all the time and she is very touchy feely and will kiss or lick you.

When I tell Taiki off, he will run to Aila because he knows that she will cuddle and comfort him.

She has come out her skirt phase and is ok with pants now. She still prefers skirts though.

She can eat her veges, no problem. She has more trouble with proteins like meat and beans.

We cut her hair! Her hair was down to her bum and was getting knotty all the time and it was such a hassle to untangle. I struggled with cutting it for ages just because her hair was so thick and pretty! But after when got back from Hawaii and i got lots of pics with her with her long hair, we cut it off up to her shoulders and it is sooo much easier to manage!

She whines and complains and tries to beat Reia at everything. She is always competing and trying to win at everything.

She LOVES Lego and can spend hours playing with it. I avoided letting her play with Lego for ages because the small pieces were dangerous around Taiki. But now that he is old enough, I have brought out the Lego and have let them go to town. Aila and Reia also got some new Moana Lego sets for  Christmas from Opa and Aunty Laura and Uncle Diego.

She has really grown and can fit the same clothes as Reia and is almost the same shoe size. Keeping up with her growth spurts it hard work!

She gets so much enthusiasm to do something if you are praising her and making her feel special. I hope she learns how to do things for her own self gratification!

She gets embarrassed really easily and will get angry if she sees me looking at her dancing around like I have intruded in her personal space. After a while though, she will gain a bit of confidence and will tell me "You can look now!"

She (and Reia and Taiki) gives her Daddy an energy squeeze every morning before he leaves for work. She is always the most enthusiastic to give him some energy for the day.

When she was performing at her Sports Day event with her class, one of her friends had said something negative like, "that's not right" or something and it completely through her off and she lost all desire to dance. So she just sulked there half dancing for the entire song. Once somebody says anything negative about her, she will fall into a deep depression that can only be shook by time, something funny, or lollies.

She always tucks her toys in at night and is very adamant that they get their own pillow and blankets. 

She is a hard one to navigate emotionally sometimes, but for the most part, she is always happy. Her laugh is so cute and infectious. She has a big heart and loves to give hugs and receive hugs.

She is growing up and will soon be 5!

Love you, Aila x

24 October 2017

Taiki's 1.5 Year Mark

Taiki is one and a half now!

He has started nursery at church and he cries and cries for me until he falls asleep. He really doesn't give up so Jun has started going with him to get him used to his new routine. It feels so weird to not have a child on me for 2 hours. I feel naked!

Lots of little things have happened in the past 6 months!

He is running around now and loves when I chase him.

He recently was walking down a ramp and fell forward and scratched his nose. He has a big scab over his left nostril.

He has gone down a nappy size from L to M and I think it is because he doesn't eat a lot but is also more active now and growing taller. But I am still worried that he is getting so skinny so I have kept him on formula. I will probably keep him on it for another 6 months.

He is very quiet when there are a lot of people around, but when it is just me and him, he is a box of birds and so talkative.

He has another 4 teeth coming through up top which will give him 8 in total! He likes chomping on my arms and legs.

His hair is still growing and I am still thinking about cutting it but just can't bring myself to do it. It is such a big deal for me to cut my babies' hair for the first time!

He signed to me at about 14 months!! He asked for milk by opening and closing his hand into a fist really fast, and I know it might seem like something he might do on a day to day basis, but he doesn't. It was legit, guys lol. The first time I saw it I was teaching a class and I thought, it must just be a coincidence... but he looked grumpy and tired and him wanting milk at that time actually made sense, but I wrote it off as coincidence. Then again today, he came by the fence by the kitchen where I was, put his hands in the air and made the sign and when I did the sign back and said milk, he gave me a smile that said YES! Finally she understands me! haha So I made him a bottle and he was happy as Larry.

If the front door opens a crack or if the door bell goes off, he runs down the hallway as fast as his little legs can carry him and tries to make a break for it. He has succeeded many many times and the girls and I are always chasing after him!

He got his first hair cut! I only got the sides done and kept his top knot because it is too cute to cut off. We actually went to the salon to get Aila's hair cut for her birthday, but she changed her mind and said she didn't want to anymore so Reia and Taiki cut theirs instead. She was pretty content with just checking out the toy shop next door.

He has 7 teeth now and no longer nurses in the night! He still wakes up about once a night, but can fall back asleep by sucking his thumb.

His thumb sucking habit is really getting my attention. He sucks on it all the time, especially when he is hungry, thirsty or sleepy. He sucks during these times which means he eats less as he suppresses that urge with thumb sucking. When I do try to feed him, he turns away and doesn't eat anything. Other times, he eats so much!

He has learnt after 2 lessons how to climb up and down the stairs at church. The only problem is getting him to turn around by himself to climb back down backwards. If I am not there to turn him, he will try and walk down going forwards... which will not end well.

He does this glottal throat sound without opening his mouth sometimes when he is trying to communicate something. It is basically just the back of the tongue pushing against the back of the throat continuously. It's actually quite hard to do!

He stamps his feet when he is excited about something like getting a treat or reading a book.

I think his first words, apart from mama, were "all done!" I don't really count mama because I couldn't tell if he meant me or if he wanted food so, we are going with all done lol. He says it after he finishes his drink bottle, his food, or a story. He can also say uh-uh, and will understand things that I say like, bath time, shoes (put your shoes on), milk, hungry, drink, nappy, sit down, ta (give it to me), kiss! (he will lean his forehead towards me to receive a kiss) and bye bye (he waves his arms). He also knows who everyone in his family is by name.

He still can't say much though so he will come up to me, point to me (I want you to...) and then will point to something else like the fridge (...get me some food!). Sometimes he will bring me things like his bib to me for food or a cushion for his bottle as he lies down on a cushion to drink. He can't speak much yet but he can sure get the job done!

He LOVES to draw and will, again, point at me and then point at where the crayons are to get started. He knows he isn't allowed to draw on the table or anything else but the paper but that doesn't stop his from getting curious sometimes! He will draw on the table and will say afterwards, pointing to his scribbles, "Uh-uh!" As if it tell me, that's naughty ay Mum! Cheeky kid.

He caught the chicken pox randomly one Monday. In the afternoon, all of these blisters popped up all over his thighs but we were in such a rush to take Reia to her swimming that we couldn't get him checked out. Looking back, I hope nobody caught it from him at the pools! He didn't go in the water, but he was still around other kids :( We took him to the doctor and was ushered into quarantine as to not infect anyone else and then received a lot of medicine. He is doing much better now. There was a point where it was hard to hold him or apply the medicine because of the pain of the blisters, but after they popped or shrank, he started doing better. The worst parts were his thighs and his thumb as he sucks it. His thighs were really dry and his thumb was almost raw which is why I think the chickenpox were concentrated there. I've had to put a huge plaster on his thumb everyday to keep him from sucking it which is good because I can finally wean him off his thumb!! I have been trying to do it for a while now but haven't been consistent, but with the pox I am hoping he will finally give it up. He cried a lot and it took him a long time to fall asleep without it, but every day he got better. Here's hoping!

Update on the chickenpox, turns out it was actually hand foot and mouth which made a lot more sense as there were blisters in his mouth and on his soles. He has a lot of scarring on his thighs from the blisters. They were everywhere :( I was able to wean him off his thumb! He cries a lot now. He isn't my quiet, content boy anymore. He vocalizes his frustrations very much! He has gone from being my favourite quiet/easy baby to the biggest handful ever. He doesn't beat Aila, but still. I need to step up my Mum game!

I am going to stop his bottle feeding too, so the tin of formula that I have will be the last! Because he knows how to sign for milk, he asks for it all the time! *Update* we have successfully weaned him off formula!

He has gone back up a nappy size from M to L so no need to worry anymore! I think after I weaned him off his thumb he started eating more.

He absolutely loves lids. Bottle lids, pottle lids, caps, pot lids, you name it. He is fascinated with putting lids on things. Keeps him occupied for a while!

He can say Na-na (no), he can raise his hand when we call out his name (Makise Taiki. Hai!), he can kind of say Aila but it sounds like Ah-yah.

He is so picky. He just does not eat anything and then all of a sudden will eat everything. So far, I know he likes bread, noodles, taro (里芋), rice, soup, and any kind of sweets or crackers etc. I don't have many options! He doesn't touch fruit or any other veges. And the hard thing is within the food he will eat, he has days when he won't feel like eating it so he is always wasting sooo much food.

He sleeps through the night completely now. I can't even remember when that happened but it is so good. He wakes up at about 7am and will get into my face and say NAH-NAH!! And then will sign for "I'm hungry."

He loves walking around outside and will bring me his shoes when he wants to go for a walk.

His canines are coming in now so that gives him a total of 12 teeth!

He is soooo funny when he gets embarrassed. He does this cheesy little face and just stays that way until he isn't so embarrassed anymore.

He can pose for the camera! I think he copied his sister's with their peace signs near his face so now he sticks one finger into one or each cheek and looks straight into the camera. Perfect.

His favourite games might be peekaboo and tiggy. He also just loves stacking things, destroying things, taking things apart, stuffing things into places they don't belong, balls, pens, the iPad! He has gotten so good at navigating his way around the iPad lol. Maybe that is not a good thing. Or maybe it is? Future Bill Gates? lol

He can bow when he needs to say sorry. I used to push his head down gently to teach him how to do it but now he knows that if we say "Say sorry" or "gomen nasai ha?", he will use his own hand to push his own head down to bow lol. I have tried to get him to stop using his hand and to just bow, but I think it will be there for a while haha. 

Anyway, he is the best and we love him to bits! :)

03 September 2017

Trust in the Lord

One Saturday, my family and I went to Showa Kinen Park. We had been here many times but still hadn't explored most of if because it is so big. When we go, we usually only go to the Wanpaku Yuugu park. Right before we went this time, we heard from a friend that there were actually more exciting things in the back area of the park. Bouncy clouds, dragons, mist, and long slides etc. We hadn't seen any of these before but they sounded like fun! So we went to the park and as usual went to the Wanpaku Yuuga. My daughters were having a lot of fun running around and going down the small slides. It was quite crowded at this park too. After spending about half an hour at the park, my husband and I wanted to go check out the back end of the park and see all these new and exciting play areas. We asked our daughters if they wanted to go, but they said no. We tried to tell them all the cool things that would be over there but they still said no. They were having way too much fun and were just comfortable in this area. They said things like "It's too far! I don't want to walk!" and "I like it here!" It was very hard to convince them to walk to the far end of the big park. Finally, after bribing them with some ice cream, we were able to get them to walk another 10 minutes to the next big playground. We had never been in this part of the park before and when the girls saw it, their eyes went big and they couldn't believe how much more fun this part of the park was! There were so many new things to play on and less people too. They had a LOT more fun in this playground than the one we always went to.

I learnt from this experience that sometimes we are the same as my daughters. We are always told that if we only do a little bit more, if we walk an extra 10 minutes, if we improve ourselves, if we work just a little bit harder, the rewards are much greater than we ever could imagine! We are sometimes so comfortable where we are in life, where we live, our friends, our ward, that we don't want things to change. Heavenly Father knows what is just around the corner waiting for us to find. He knows that if we only do a little more, we can receive those great blessings! We can't see what he sees. We don't know what in store for us, but he does. He knows that we are capable of doing more and being better and that if we listen to our leaders and seek the Holy Ghost, choose the right and endure to the end, we will reach that amazing new place that we never knew existed and will experience things that we never knew we could. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and has a plan for us and we are capable of more!

04 August 2017

Reia is 6!

Six already! She is so grown up now! 

She got her hair cut in Aila's stead and she wanted it really short like one of the girls in the group, Perfume. She wanted to go with the bob and it really suited her! She looked so grown up and mature.

Reia's birthday is always in the summer over here so it is very hot! This year we were invited by our friends to hang out with them at Ubara Beach in Chiba! We drove out to meet them and it was really nice out there. It's funny to think that it is only a couple hours out of the crowded Tokyo that we are used to. Lots of green in Chiba! The waves were a little too strong for the kids as we were on the outskirts of a typhoon lol but we still had a good time! A couple wipeouts, but no biggie. We ate some shaved ice and yakisoba too. The girls loved hanging out with their friends who are the same ages as them. We hang out with them a few times a year during the holidays and it is always cool to catch up!

Reia had been talking about what she wanted for her birthday cake for months and months. She doesn't like any kind of baked goods and so she decided on her own that all she wanted was a mango with a candle in it. DONE! Easiest cake I have ever made! lol Oh and she also did specify that she wanted it cut into cubes so it is easy to eat. You got it! 

We woke up that morning, went downstairs to have breakfast and then we set up a little bit in the room and she was happy! We had some presents of course. I got a purikyua doll house at an outlet store for like $6! Everything was all good until we realised that the dolls weren't included hahaha fail. 

The typhoon had picked up on her birthday and so we couldn't go to the beach so we went to Sea World instead and it was way better than I expected! Awesome shows, lots to see, nice big and clean enclosures. She loved the seal lion show and got to pet sting rays and baby sharks. The orca show was pretty cool too. The trainers rode them. It was the real life Whale Rider!! lol Everyone that sat on the bleachers got soaked! We stayed high and dry up in the back.

We drove home after that and she wanted to eat Kura Sushi for dinner. DONE! 

Reia is very responsible and neat (for the most part). She is learning piano now and is getting better with every practice. She cries when she learns something new and it's hard for her. She doesn't like that feeling of failing or losing at something. But I try to help her see that when she pushes through that, she will get it eventually and will be better! She is also taking swimming lessons now and loves going to that because of the social aspect, I think. She is the oldest in her class and so is a bit more advanced. She is learning how to do freestyle now. She will try really hard during her lessons if I promise her she can have an ice cream from the vending machine if her teacher says she did well. She gets so pumped up and determined to get that ice cream! lol

She has good rhythm and is pretty into dancing. I can't wait to put her in a dance class. Whenever she is dancing or is concentrating, she will always bite her lip or her nails. It's her first bad habit. Sometimes it gets bad and her lip gets red and sore.

She is a good helper when it comes to taking care of the kids. She gets very protective if I am telling Aila or Taiki off. She will always try to protect them or reason with me. If Taiki is crying in the room, she will go in and analyse the situation and then try to solve the problem. She started off with toys, then food, then water, and then lastly said to me that he wants mummy's hug. She was right and she looked so happy with herself that she had solved the problem.

She is very into fashion and is so picky about what to wear and what her friends might think is cute. If she doesn't think it is cute, it doesn't get worn. Fair enough.

She loves playing board games and really gets into them. She is quite good at Blokus! She is an excellent blocker, but not so good at her own strategy yet. She loves to play games with people. 

He reading level is pretty good for her age. I haven't done much to further it, but she is reading at at Grade 2 level at the moment but still struggles with some diphthongs and other blended sounds. I need to get on that. Soon she will be focusing on kanji and her English with be pushed back so I want to get her English in a strong position before kanji becomes the main focus for her at school.

She loves having our weekly slumber party on Friday's! It is her day to lounge around, watch movies until late at night and eat snacks. I am not sure how long we can continue these nights, but it is nice that they have something fun to looking forward to every week. Reia is usually the last man standing at 11pm. She tries so hard to watch the movie until the very end.

Her Japanese has gotten a lot better and is using some grammar points that I never use! She knows words that I don't know too. I really need to hustle if I am to keep up with her! 

She is pretty proud of her artwork. One of her drawings got chosen to be on a newsletter that got sent out to all the parents. When she told me, I didn't believe her until she pointed out that she had drawn each of her family members and we were all there! Since that experience, she has a lot more confidence in her drawing capabilities. She tells me that she is really good at drawing and I agree!

She is a wonderful daughter and I have to remind myself that even though she is so big now, she is still my little girl on the inside and needs cuddles as much as Taiki and Aila do. 

She is so funny and is such a good girl. I love her so much!