20 February 2014

Aila is 7 Months

She's 7 months!

A few days after Aila turned 6 months, she started sitting up! She will topple over sometimes but she is slowly getting the hang of it. It all started at church when she was plonked in front of another baby about the same age as her. She usually just doubles over and grabs at her toes, but this time she wanted to get a good look at this other girl and she sat straight up! She wobbled around but would catch her balance so she could stay focused on her new friend lol. Since then, she has been doing pretty good!

She loves to poke her little pointy tongue out. She does it all the time now! She also likes it when I play peekaboo with my tongue. And by that I mean I just poke it out and stick it back in again. Flash backs of Kung Pow just came to mind. Aila will focus on the disappearing act and will try to imitate me.

She ROLLS all over the place. I'll look away for one second and she'll be almost out the door!

Her favourite "word" is atta! That word is on repeat right now.

Aila has been through her first snow and what a snow it was!! The most snow that Tokyo has seen in about 40 years or something. It was up to about 30 cm deep and the most snow I have ever seen! We had to shovel our way to church because the roads weren't cleared yet. Quite an experience to say the least! 

Everyday I'm shovelin'
Waiting patiently
We didn't go outside to play too much during the snow because it would snow all day and then it would rain. But during the fine periods we did go out and make a snowman! It turned out more like a penguin though. Can you tell I wasn't raised around snow?

Aila caught her first cold this month. It wasn't too bad, thankfully, just a cough and a runny nose. She will cough sometimes during the night but for her first time, she has been handling it very well. I keep her wrapped up and before she sleeps I give her a few drops of KiwiHerb's De-Stuff, apply baby Vicks to her feet and chest, and then for extra help during the night, and put a drop of DoTerra's Breath on her pillow! 

Aila is such a smiley little girl and I love how her face will light up when our eyes meet! Reia used to be like that but is now in that sassy stage :(

I love her chubbiness! Makes for cuddly cuddles and soft pillowy kisses xoxo

03 February 2014

Setsubun 2014

Love this setsubun pic
Setsubun marks the beginning of Spring here in Japan! It was quite warm today, but the forecast for tomorrow is snow... so we'll see what happens! Maybe Aila can see snow for the first time!

During setsubun, The Japanese eat eho maki, which is a big fat uncut roll of sushi! I like the sushi place at our station so we got ours from there this year. The most expensive one I got was 990 yen (about $12 NZD) and the cheapest was 490 yen (about $6 NZD). The more expensive ones had the good stuff in it like fish eggs, raw tuna and salmon! Yum! The tradition is to eat a WHOLE sushi roll by your self with out talking and facing in the lucky direction. It's not as easy as it seems! These things are big! The direction changes every year and I think this years was East North-East... But because Reia is still young and because I wanted to try all the flavours of sushi, we cut up the rolls instead and just ate them all together instead. It was sooo filling! We ate it with some miso soup :)

L-R: Special seafood, seafood, tuna mayo, crab and egg salad. Even though it was the cheapest, the tuna mayo roll was probably my fav.
Posing with an Oni outside 7-Eleven
L-R: Special seafood, mixed salad, seafood. The only main difference between the special seafood and seafood sushi rolls were the orangey fish eggs or ikura. I actually didn't know which ones I was buying at the time as I can't read kanji and was in a rush to get home and feed Aila! So I didn't take the time to check what was inside lol. But these ended up being the lucky 3!
The other thing to do besides eating sushi is mamemaki This is basically where the Dad dresses up as an Oni (kind of like a Japanese ogre) and scares the little kids lol. The kids then throw soy beans at him and tell him to get out! Or "Oni wa soto!" Followed by a "Fuku wa uchi!" which means blessings come in! It is a ritual to cleanse away the evil of last year and start fresh type thing. Jun called me to say that he was at the station and to leave the Oni mask outside the front door so he could come in as the oni. The following photos tell the story better than I can...

Reia screamed for me and ran behind me! She tried throwing the soy beans, but this Oni was particularly strong! He kept on advancing which made Reia even more frightened hehehe. I can't help but giggle at some of the moments we have as parents and the things we put our kids through. Reia's screams set Aila off and pretty soon they were both wailing away with soy beans scattered all over the place and a raging Oni still lurking in the house. After Jun took off his mask, he gave Reia a big hug to calm her down which worked. He put the mask back on and she had a bit more courage to kick him out of the house this time.

And that was this year's setsubun! A first for Aila who did not enjoy it at all! She went straight to bed after that lol. Maybe next year she might be more interested :)

02 February 2014

Reia's 2.5 year Mark

My first born is such an intelligent, fun loving, sweet spirit. She has grown in leaps and bounds since learning how to communicate! 

She has surprised me lately with her manners. Don't get me wrong, she can be a defiant little miss thing sometimes, but lately she will respond to my requests promptly with a "Yes, Mama," "OK Mama," "Thank you, Mama" when I give her something, and "Sorry, Mama" when she does something wrong. When she first started doing that I initially thought I must be cracking that whip too hard! Haha, but then again, she will make sure all the formalities are played out before she is satisfied with the conversation. Which means that I must also respond with "Good girl", " You're welcome, Reia", and "That's OK". She also has a keen eye and will watch for my reaction for everything. If my reaction is a good one, she will reciprocate the feeling. If she senses that I am angry, she will sometimes try to change the mood and try get me to smile. It's a clever tactic to get herself out of trouble, but doesn't always work! :P She will also sometimes say "Oh PLEASE" or "Oh bother" (Whinnie the Pooh!) if she sees she isn't going to get her way. An A for effort, that's for sure.

She has always loved putting her face into my palm so her whole face is buried in my hand. Not quite sure why she likes that, but she does. Also, if you are holding her and she is sleepy, she will lie on your shoulder and tuck her arms in under her chest so they're I between you and her.

She is potty trained! I started training her when she was 2 with the goal of having her in knickers before we got on the plane back to Japan. And we did just that! I was struggling for a while with potty training as I wasn't quite sure which approach to take and would end up being inconsistent, then Mum found a 3 Day program which I POUNCED on and we did it! In 3 days she got the hang of recognizing when she needed to go and would use the potty! I was so amazed that it worked so quickly! We have an accident every once in a while, but that hardly happens. She wakes up in the middle of the night by herself to tell me she needs to go to the toilet. Im so glad I made it my goal to do that because I would hate to be changing to lots of nappies a day! 

She hates brushing her teeth and will try to stall us whenever it's that time. She is very good at that. If there is something she doesn't want to do, she will try to change the topic! She loves having a bath. Jun will bath the kids at night which is nice. Reia will get bored very quickly if she takes a bath by herself.

A strawbuppy is a strawberry. She loves trains, cars, planes, tigers, and dinosaurs! A bit of a tom boy emerging maybe? She also likes soft toys and her cooking set so who knows.

Reia likes to call me Mummy, Mama, Mum, and Dan. She picked up Dan from when we were in NZ. Jun only has one name and that is Daddy. She started asking "Can you" questions. The middle is a blur, but the beginning and ending are good! Lol. So she sounds something like, "Mum? Can you pitapitapita drink?" She actually does say pitapitapita as her fill in the blank word haha love it. She likes to talk a lot and can tell you what she did that day.

She is still weary of people which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Once she senses that the person is OK, she will warm up to them but slowly. She warms up a lot faster if they are children. In NZ, she absolutely LOVED going to nursery at church and would be fine all by herself. I was so happy to see her finally socializing and interacting with other kids!

Her favorite food is spaghetti. How do I know that? Because she told me so. And not the pasta noodle kind, but the soggy canned Watties kind in tomato sauce! Yum! Not Jun's favorite kiwi food to say the least. It's a shame we can't buy it in Japan :(

She LOVES to SING! She will often take a tune from one song and put her own lyrics to it. A lot of the time it's just one word and other times, it's about what she is doing at that moment.

Reia has discovered her nostrils and will stick her fingers up them just because. My disapproval only encourages her. She also thinks that farts, bums, and burps are the funniest things ever haha. She will often sing "Shake you bootay" and shake it all around and in your face if she can hahaha! I don't know where she got that from... promise :)

She is still not quite sure how to share yet. She will often see someone else playing with a toy that she had played with and will snatch it off that kid. But when I to share, she will go get another toy to trade with and say "Here! You have it!" And once that child has taken the bait, she will take her toy back lol. Quite a good solution to avoid a fight. She is very cautious of the food I feed her and will seal her lips shut if she sees anything unfamiliar or green. So to avoid this, I tell her to close her eyes and then shove in as much goodness as I can haha. And it works! If she is eating something, she will make sure that you have the same thing too. I try to refuse sometimes but she insists that I eat with her!

I have been very impressed with her problem solving skills lately! She was unsure of how to share when she first started going to nursey, but now when she plays with other kids and someone has taken her toy, she will go and get another toy, say "Here, you have it!" and once they have taken the bait she will take her toy back! Clever cookie. Good way to avoid a fight. Another example was from the other day. We were shopping and she found the lolly section. She grabbed 3 bags of lollies and looked pretty pleased with herself. I told her she could only pick one thing to have. She went quiet, obviously deep in thought. She put the lesser of the items back and looked hard at the two remaining bags. Then she perked up and said "Aila!" and gave one bag to her sister. One for Aila and one for Reia. How could I not buy both just for that lol. 

I have been interested to see how her Japanese would develop after moving back to Tokyo. She surprises me sometimes and will say things here and there in Japanese like mite, oishii and chotto matte. But she surprised me the most when she asked one morning, "Daddy doko itta? Inai..." Which means, "Where did Daddy go? He's gone..." My jaw dropped! After a solid 8 months of English only, you could imagine my reaction. I wish my brain could pick up Japanese as quickly as she can! Speaking of English, she can bless her food in English. When she is super hungry and can't wait any longer, she will say her prayer quickly so she can dig in.

There are so many developments that I can hardly keep up but these are most of them. Half a year and my little girl will be 3! Crazy looking back at her baby photos and how small she once was. She looks a lot like Aila in some of them! She was so small and time has gone by so quickly. Makes me remember that my babies are only with Jun and I for a little while before they become adults and start doing there own thing.

Love you Reia <3