09 January 2012

New Years Hiatus Over!

Happy New Year everyone!

I finally have enough time to sit down and write on my blog!! It's been 2 weeks since my last post and so much has happened since! I have been meaning to write updates but there was never a moments peace to do so. It's funny. I have really only just started blogging again recently, and now I constantly find myself taking pictures of everything and saying "Oohh, this will look good on my blog!" Hahaha :) Isn't it funny how having a child changes everything about you? I remember thinking to myself that I would never be that woman who loves crafty things and oohs and aahs over different kinds of ribbons and other knick knacks. That woman sounds very much like my Mum. And yet, here I am, in Japan, oohing and aahing over ribbons and other knick knacks. Those of you that know my Mother would know that she has a whole room dedicated to stamps, inks, ribbons, papers etc, etc.. The very unexpected is happening people! I am becoming my Mother! Ha! Or perhaps this is something inevitable that happens once you have children? Either way, it's exciting stuff! I'm curious to know if any Mums out there have been bitten by the "craft bug" too! Let me know if you have or not and what kind of things your into!

I guess I should share how my New Years went :)
It all started with my Mum visiting for a week. We did heaps in while she was here. I'm sure most of you have read her posts on Facebook and already know what we did. But to recap, we went to the Sky Tree, Tokyo Tower, ate heaps of food which she couldn't get enough of, shopping, met up with heaps of friends and went to Osaka for the New Year.
Tokyo Tower during the day
Sushi train!
Tokyo Sky Tree
Ever since I stepped onto the Bullet Train to go down to Osaka, I had had the worst migraine evaaaar! It was so bad I couldn't do anything! Just sleep. So I slept the whole night away and missed out on all my favourite tv shows :( During New Years in Japan, all the comedians come out with all these crack up tv shows, that I missed!!! There's also a J-Pop concert and a battle of the sexes singing contest. Meanwhile, I'm asleep in La-La-Land trying to shake the pain in my head. So my New Years Eve wasn't so eventful. But I did get to eat soba noodles :) That is the tradition in Japan. They have different kinds of special foods that are served during New Years called "osechi." It's interesting because all the food that you eat has a special meaning. For example, the soba noodles that are eaten are long. This represents longevity. They also eat other things like fish roe to symbolize posterity (but I give that a miss). Another cool tradition is that the women cook and prepare all of these osechi foods in advance so that they don't have to cook and stress out during the first few days of the new year. I like the thought of that :D

After just waking up to eat my soba noodles!
Very tasty ^_^ 
Extended family came over and everyone just ate and hung out, it was cool. It was nice hanging out with Jun's fam, especially this time around, because I can understand more of what everyone is saying. Not eeeeverything... proabably like 70%. But it's a lot more than I understood last year! The problem now is not the understanding, but the replying. That is the hardest. I just don't know enough vocabulary to keep up with everyone. But I think that with time I will get it! During this time with family, everyone gives money to the kids. It's called "otoshidama." Usually the amount you get depends on how old you are and they're given in cute little envelopes. I wasn't expecting Reia to get anything because she's so young, but she got A LOT! I think it was so much because it also counted as a congratulatory gift for having a new baby. Reia is one lucky little girl!

and she doesn't even know it :) 
The next day we went to visit the local shrine. All the roads were blocked off and so what was supposed to be a 15 minute drive turned into 40 lol. Anyway, we made it! I threw my coins into the designated box at the foot of the the temple and made my wishes. Then came my favourite part. The FOOD! There are always different food stalls set up around the temple grounds. Yakisoba and the candied strawberries are my fav :) It is also tradition to visit the grandparents graves and pay your respects. I personally think that Japanese graveyards are so cool-looking compared to some of the ones back home. Mum really enjoyed doing this too.

Yakisoba! Which literally means, fried noodles.
Speaking of Mum, it was so nice to have her here. She loved and noticed everything about Japan! I'm talking about from the lamp shades in my house to the bean bag pillows we use, to the cleanliness of the people to the way they wash their dishes hahaha. And it made me feel so ungrateful that I don't notice and appreciate all the little things about Japan too. So thanks to her, I have come to and appreciate them more :) I think I might do a "10 Things I Love about Japan" post very soon ;)

Well, this year is going to be pretty busy. I hope I can keep up and continue blogging! I am also trying to start my own little hula class and maybe teach some English on the side. It's Reia's first birthday in August and my brother comes home off his mission in September. This year is going to be crazy busy! So much to do, so little time! And you will all know how it goes right here on my blog in my little corner of the web :) 

I hope you all have a happy new year this year!

Dani

6 comments:

  1. Love reading your blog cuz :) Lol at becoming like mum!! hahaha.. I guess you just have a way different perspective once you become a mum :) Different things become more appealing and other things not! hehe..Happy New Year to you and Reia and Jun!! xx

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  2. Thanks! :D I know right, it's sooo funny to me that I have changed so much in 5 months and am OK with it lol!! Happy New Year to you too!

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  3. Dani you are hilarious! You had soo much fun! that is soo great that you had your mom over :) I too find myself taking pictures here and there and ahhing or oohing about little things! and yet, I dont have any children! hahah I think that the bug bites anyone! ahah and I might be doing a list of "10 things I like" but not about Japan, but about Spain! that will be such a great idea!! and then we could compare our lists by labeling the #1 category...I bet it will be food haha lol well, your little girl is soo cute, and she is very blessed to have you! take care and give her a big hug from auntie Val in Spain!! :)

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  4. Val!!! I didn't know you guys were in SPAIN! OMG!! FUN!! How did I not know this?? lol I can't wait to read that post! Hahahah yeah... it'll probably be food aye hehe ^_^ Are you there for basketball?? AAAHHHH so jealous!!! I'm gonna go stalk your Facebook now for some pics hehe <3

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  5. OMGosh????...how did I miss this yesterday??? aaaawwww thanx daughter!!! It did me proud to watch you look after your little family. I felt very blessed to know that Jun's family are looking after you and Reia so well. Yeah, the language barrier sucked didnt it...all my best lines wud've been lost in translation...but I luved the grand uncles...they just made me smile, smile, smile;)...there's just something abt old foks that adds a sense of belonging/permanence in these sorts of gathering. That's why I enjoyed visiting the ancestors - it made me realize that, hey, these are Reia's peeps...for real:)Much aroha and hugs and lets visit more huh...

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  6. ^____^ it was nice having you! and i think that because u there i was able to see things from a different perspective too :D come visit us again sooooooon! xoxo

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