21 March 2014

Aila is 8 Months

8 months down already. I feel like I only just wrote her 7 month update... 

Something that I have noticed and LOVED lately is that Aila will lean on my shoulder or chest now when she is sleepy! Believe it or not, she hasn't really done that in the past, with ME anyway, as she is used to falling asleep lying down and not being upright. I love it! Reia used to always lean on me and fall asleep but Aila doesn't so much. Only when we are at church and there is no other way to sleep. But sometimes, she will lie on my chest ^_____^ I didn't realize how much I had missed it until she fell asleep on my chest a few weeks ago!

Before she falls a sleeps she talks a lot. I think it is the cutest a thing, ESPECIALLY when she is half asleep and her eyes are closed. 

She is very aware. Especially of FOOD! She enjoys sipping on water out of a cup. She likes to feed herself and can pick up pieces with her pincer grip which I was surprised at! Or, if she's really hungis, she will just shove the food I'm holding into her mouth lol. Plunket suggests to work towards 3 meals a day, but we are still on one or two. So far, pumpkin and apple is the winner!

She developed a gunky eye this month which I think is due to a blocked tear duct. She rubs her eyes a lot and her eyelids are a bit puffy. But despite all, she is still a very happy girl.

Her hair is getting curlier at the ends and people always ask me if her ringlets are natural. Of course they are! Who brings a hot curling iron near their baby's face? She can put her hair up in a pony now :) I didn't realize how much hair she actually had because it's kind of curly. My friend said that she has the same hairstyle as a Japanese character called "Wakame Chan" because of her crew cut with curls on the side. 

I might have mentioned this in a previous post, but she is generally a happy, smiley baby EXCEPT for when she is tired, wants to be held, or has done poos. Then she will cry cry cryyy.

She can't crawl yet but she can roll and swivel to get where she wants to go! She can get herself from A to B no problem. It's more of the returning from B to A that she has to work on. She will often get stuck in a corner somewhere.

No teeth yet but I see tooth buds coming up! Bonjella has been my best friend during this period of teething. She also likes to make big bubbles with her saliva while saying ma-ma-ma, 
if that makes sense. 

We went to the doctors for a check up last week and Aila is 10.2 kgs! The Doctor was shocked to say the least! She is in the 98th percentile for her weight in NZ and in Japan, she is literally off the chart! She is welllll above the growth curve for her age. My little chunky monkey is growing fast (╯︵╰,) I was reminded yesterday after reading this blog post, that these are the best years of my life. So I am trying to be more patient/kinder to Reia, "enjoy" those wake ups with Aila in the middle of the night, and treasure all those small things about my two girls. I was looking at Reia this morning and I couldn't remember what she was like as a baby. I mean of course I know, but all those smaller details are fading away. I really wish I could've captured them all. Without the aid of photos and videos (and my blogging!), I would be at a loss!

She has developed a wee cold unfortunately which we are working through. We are also MOVING tomorrow into our brand new apartment!! Yaaaay! So our place is a mess at the moment. Hope to get everything sorted out quickly so we can get settled in.

That's all from us for now! More next month :)

07 March 2014

Girls Day 2014 (ひな祭り)

It was Girls Day, or Hina Matsuri, in Japan last Monday. It is celebrated each year on the 3rd of March. Around this time you will usually see big Japanese doll sets on display everywhere and also a lot of pink snacks for sale at the supermarkets. We don't have a huge apartment, so our doll display is a small one, but it at least we have space to put it somewhere! On top of the printer lol. Some displays are HUGE and so grand-looking! Mind you, they are quite pricey!

Above you can see, the Emperor and Empress are on the highest level, 3 court ladies holding sake equipment are in the middle, and on the lowest level are 5 musicians. Other doll sets have more levels that also display hishi-mochi. Other traditional foods are hina-arare and chirashi-zushi. 

This year was Aila's first Hina Matsuri and so I wanted to make it special for her somehow. On youtube, I watched a vid by Ochikeron on how to make a sushi cake! It looked sooo cool and so easy that I had to give it a go. I loved how it took the hishi-mochi AND the chirashi-zushi and turned it into something awesome. 

I went to the shops to buy the toppings and they had the coolest little bunch of flowers especially for Hina Matsuri. I just had to have them! They also came with the snow peas, so at 179 yen, why not! I also picked up some raw fish and other things and got started.

The process is pretty easy. Cook rice, add sushi vinegar, divide into 3 portions, mix seaweed powder into one, crab meat into another, and leave the third one plain. Layer in a loaf pan, flip upside down, and all that is left is the decorating! In the video, she uses smoked salmon to make roses which are adorable, but I didn't have that so I ended up just using what I had and arranged it a bit differently. 

I was actually rushing because Aila was crying to be put to bed. I knew that at any minute she would nod off on her own and I really wanted to get a pic of her with the food and dolls so she could have her first Hina Matsuri pics under her belt! Anyways, I finally finished the "sushi cake" and this was it!

My friend said it looks like a haku lei of sushi lol
You can kind of see the 3 layers here. The top layer should be redder, but the crab meat I had was mostly white and didn't show through much. I added dried baby shrimp to try make it look redder but it ended up just looking like that. But the top looks so cool! The toppings are fried egg strips, shrimp, tuna, salmon, salmon roe, fresh flowers, and snow peas. I must say that the fish eggs really made all the difference! They are so shiny and look cool dolloped around everywhere. The flowers give awesome colour and the snow peas give that nice green that you kinda need to make you feel like your getting your veges in lol. *I would advice to watch that your rice doesn't become too wet/sticky when mixing in the vinegar and things as it makes spreading it into the loaf pan a bit of a pain and also kind of dense to eat!* 

Reia thought it was so cool and kept on saying "Wow! Sugoi Mama! Matsuri~!" Well if that doesn't make you feel chuffed, I don't know what does ^_^

A very hungry Reia and a very sleep Aila. Oh, and our little doll set ^_^
We also had karaage (Japanese fried chicken) and miso soup to go with. And to finish it off we had an Anpanman strawberry shortcake! As you can imagine, we were pretty full after that!

And that was Girl's Day for us :)