07 December 2016

Shichigosan 2016 for Aila!

This year, Aila turned 3 which means SHICHIGOSAN PICS! 

We went back to Laquan in Kichijoji because the quality of their pics, costumes, hair and makeup, and studio is just amazing. On the way to the studio, Aila said she wanted to wear a purple kimono, but once we got there, all she could think about was playing with the toys in the play area. She shouted out "Blue!" and then ran away to the toys lol. So blue it was! Reia chose a blue kimono to match, and the only kimono they had in my size happened to be blue too! So that naturally became the theme.

Aila was a bit shy at first and didn't want to be by herself in front of the camera, but she soon forgot about that once the cameraman started pulling out toys to make her laugh! She got right into it and we got some GORGEOUS shots! I'm so happy with the way they turned out! 

Taiki fell asleep right before we went upstairs to shoot, so we were a bit worried, but we let him sleep for about 15 minutes and after that, he had enough energy and smiles to get a few good shots.

The girls looked so stunning. Aila was the cutest kid ever and Reia looked so grown up! I walked in while she was getting dressed into her yellow gown and putting her jewellery on and it immediately conjured up images of her getting ready for her wedding, standing in front of a mirror and looking oh so gorgeous! Aila's cheeky grins and quirkiness can really be felt in the pictures. They absolutely capture exactly what my girls are like! Fun, silly, playful, shy, CHEEKY and happy. 

The next pics we take will be when Reia turns 7!
Until then ;)

26 November 2016

Taiki at 7 Months

Our little boy is past the 6 month mark and is making his way towards 1 year. Time is going by so fast, I can't believe it! 

Developments so far:

He can sit by himself now. He still topples over to the sides of the front, but for the most part, can sit up straight.

He is slowly learning how to grasp onto things. He still smacks and thumps things when he is excited or is trying to explore things.

He is a lot hungrier now so I need to supplement with formula and also give him his solids.

I can't give him a lot of solid food though because he gets constipated really easily, so I usually feed him solids, then wait a couple days for that to come out before giving him more so that he doesn't get blocked up.

His first tooth has cut through! Finally, all the drooling amounts to something! lol He had a fever one night and was screaming at about 2am. We tried everything to calm him down but nothing was working and he didn't go back down until about 5am. It wasn't until we were at church that day that I felt his gums and sure enough, the tip of a tiny tooth had popped through. Must have been painful because the poor thing was crying so much!

He can't crawl yet, but he can lift himself off the floor with his arms in a poised position. He can also pivot and swirl and roll around on the floor to where he wants to go.

He stares at people when they eat. Without blinking O_O

He developed a little rash on his cheek when his tooth popped out so his left cheek is a bit scaly.

It snowed today! His first snow! He wasn't quite sure what he was looking at, but he liked it. It snowed for about 12 hours straight, but we didn't get to take pics because most of it melted. Hope to take pics when it snows next!

He has gotten a bit more clingy. Usually when I put him to bed, I'll roll him over and he'll suck his thumb and fall asleep. But now he'll roll over, suck his thumb, then roll back towards me and grab my arm, eyes wide open, just to make sure I'm still there lol. I remember Aila used to do that a lot too.

He chews on everything he can get his hands on! He loves standing up by the coffee table and smacking it wildly. Basically, if he can't grab something, he'll smack.

His favourite game is the classic peekaboo. He loves playing underneath the blankets and uncovering his face to see me :D

I love him!

24 October 2016

Taiki is 6 Months!

Half way to ONE!
This month seemed to go on forever for some reason! Taiki has gotten really active lately and is starting to become a little bit of a handful!

Here are some of his developments for this month:

He can roll both ways now which means he will roll all around the room until he finds something interesting to naw on. Last week while I was cooking dinner, he became fascinated with the internet and tv cords and had a good naw and slobber all over them! Gotta keep my eye on this little guy now.

He can't quite sit upright yet, but is getting used to sitting. He will always lunge over and grab something in front of him and then gets stuck because he can't pull his body back up lol.

He loves to stand and hold on to the coffee table. He will slip over to the side, so I still need to support him but he LOVES to stand.

For some strange reason, he doesn't love to stand in the Jolly Jumper. I think maybe he gets lonely or because the doorway is a bit out of the way and he can't see or do much. He hasn't really gotten into the jumping aspect. He just kinds stands and kicks and slips around.

He can pick me out of a crowd and once our eyes lock, he will wail until he can get back to me.

He can put himself to sleep with the help of his little thumbs. He has gotten way better at taking the dummy and bottle now which should make bottle feeding easier if we ever need a babysitter.

He has gotten so much hungrier in the last couple weeks so I started him on solids. First food was apple sauce which he LOVED and tried grabbing the spoon out my hand to shove more into his mouth. I have tried other baby foods, but the ones he likes the most are the soft jelly kinds that are easy to swallow without much mouth action. I tried a pumpkin one once and he kept gagging because it was a lot thicker than the apple and fruit kinds. So for now we are just giving him soft fruit and soups. He really loves his food! 

Still such a smiley boy! I still haven't heard him have a really good laughing fit yet. He laughs for a while but he isn't in hysterics. Can't wait for that!

He loves playing peekaboo under a blanket and will rip it off his face to search for me. He thinks it's hilarious.

He got his BCG immunization last month which was sad :( It's the 9x9 stamp one. The Doctor did it on the underside of his arm though so hopefully it won't be an eyesore in the future.

It is getting colder now so we have pulled out all his hand-me-down clothes, some of which I have been saving since I received them from Jun's sister for Reia to use! It's nice to finally be able to use them because I have always envisioned using them once I had a son, and now I can!

His hair is getting really long now at the front and on top, but is still kind of thin at the back. Don't know when I'll cut it. Maybe when he's one. We'll see how long it gets!

He loves to hold on to my face and look me in the eyes.

He doesn't poo that often. It's as if he saves it all up for that one big release! lol 

He wakes up at night a lot now. Sometimes he rolls out of bed (futon) and gets stuck on the side or is cold because he kicked his blankets off. Most of the time he is just hungry, but he gets SO impatient now when he sucks and the milk hasn't come down yet. He hates waiting and gets frustrated and pulls on me :( So so tender right now tmi.

Well, here's to another month! I can already tell that he is going to be an active one! He is curious and cuddly, and handsome and hangry!

Love you my boy <3

26 September 2016

Taiki is 5 Months

This month just flew by! Only 5 months down and already he is looking pretty chunky!

Here are his developments for this month:

He flails his arms around a lot now and has started trying to grasp on to things (which is what I think the arm flails stem from). He smacks my face with his little fists until he is able to cling on to my eye or a nostril lol.

He rolls over on to his tummy and can prop himself up with his arms now, but only to the right! He can only roll to the right. He's going through a Zoolander phase.

He loves standing up (with help) and looking at people. He gets all excited and waves his arms around wildly and smiles uncontrollably.

Aila has gotten really interested in him lately and will always ask me to show her his face. She loves kissing his cheeks and showing him her toys.

He is really good at sucking his thumb, I'm already dreading the weaning process.

He had his baby photoshoot today and got dressed in a kimono and a tuxedo! He was a little sleepy so it was harder than normal to get him to smile, but we got there. His sister's had the best time dressing up in princess gowns and having their hair and makeup done!

He got his BCG immunisation shot today, the BIG one! The 9x9 stamp one :( He didn't cry as much as the girls did, but he was still very very sad.

He can stand and support himself on the coffee table. His knees buckle sometimes and he slides off every now and then so I have to watch that he doesn't dong his head, but he is getting better!

He cries and stares at me when he wants to be picked up. Even if he can't see me, he knows my voice and will cry if he hears me.

He looks at us when we eat and seems really interested in food. Just another few weeks or so and I will see how he likes solids.

I had to take his passport photos this month and attempted to do it by myself this time. These are some that didn't make the cut, but are still cute :)

Still the smiliest baby ever! He loves faces and will try grab onto them. His motor skills aren't there yet but he is getting better at slowly opening his fingers and wrapping them around the things he wants.

Love him to bits and love watching him grow :)

17 September 2016


I like to make lists, especially lists of things that need to get done that day. I also like to prioritize my list and put the more important things at the top and the things that can wait a bit, at the bottom. I hardly ever get to finish everything on my list for the day because things will come up and disrupt my pace. For example, Aila might spill a cup of juice all over here and will need to get cleaned up, Taiki will need to be fed and put to sleep, or Reia might want to read 2 extra stories at bedtime. The things on my list usually get pushed back and added to the next day's list. I hardly get to finish everything on my list and feel like there are never enough hours in the day! 

Taiki's baby photoshoot at 4 months in a kimono
Near the beginning of this month when I was running errands and doing chores, I noticed how Reia or Aila would desperately try to get my attention while I am cooking or cleaning to show me how well they can act like a wiggily worm or will want me to look at something funny on tv. After a couple years of this, these kinds of things have become background noise and I am now slow to react or answer. I can't hear it very much anymore because I am so used to it. Well one day, I was folding the laundry and along comes Aila doing her wiggily worm, and after squirming around me for a while I stopped and asked myself, where on my list does is say to spend time with Aila today? Where does it say to spend time with Taiki? Or Reia? Or Jun? Where on my list are they? Near the top with the top priority tasks, or near the bottom with the tasks that get pushed over to the next day? I stopped what I was doing and gave my full attention to Aila. It felt different to when I play with Aila normally. This time she was a priority and I noticed and appreciated more things about her. I did the same with my other kids and husband too and knew that they need to be put on my list and at the top!

The girls loved getting dressed up and felt so pretty! Taiki looking sharp in his blue tux.

Spending time with each other on purpose should be on all of our daily lists! 

14 September 2016

Relief Society Declaration & Purposes

I have recently been called in my ward as the 2nd Counselor in Relief Society! I didn't think I was ready to take on such a big responsibility (and in another language!) yet here I am.

I have just been putting my Relief Society binder together and was looking around online for a cute and free printable of the RS declaration and the 3 purposes, but couldn't find what I was after. So, I gave in and decided to just make one using free images and things online and be done with it!
Feel free to use in your binders too!
-Download file here-


Thanks to a friendly suggestion, I have updated the purposes!

-Download new file here-

Flower border credit: www.freepik.com

24 August 2016

Taiki is 4 Months!

Four months today!

Taiki is a little sir now! He isn't a little boy anymore and is always mistaken for a 6 month old :)

Here are his developments for this month:

He can roll onto his side! He hasn't quite gotten onto his tummy yet, but he is getting there!

He giggles now, but every time he starts laughing, he gets the hiccups which abruptly stops his laughs.

He can roll over on to his tummy now and hold up his head! He hasn't quite gotten the hang of rolling over and supporting himself with his arms. One of his arms always gets stuck underneath him and he can't quite get there sometimes!

He is still very drooly and always needs to wear a bib. My other girls hardly dribbled at all and it seems that he is dribbling enough for the three of them!

His hair has gotten longer, he has chunky legs, and a round tummy! He is 7.2kgs and 62cm!

He can see quite far now and will stare at me from his bouncer while I am making dinner.

He is still very very smiley and will smile at everyone he sees! I love his toothless grin :)

He has started noticing his hands and has started looking at them in wonder.

I've started putting him in the Jolly Jumper and he doesn't quite know what to do yet, but he likes being able to stand up.

Whenever we go out, he just sleeps the whole time in the carrier and doesn't make a peep.

He is definitely a Mama's boy at the moment! He settles down really quickly when I hold him. It's nice... but I can't get much done with him on my hip all day ^.^

Sometimes he is so quiet that I forget that he is around. It is hard to keep more than 2 kids in mind!

He met his new cousin who is 2 months apart. I'm sure they'll be good pals when they grow up :)

He has started getting his immunizations now. He has to get a shot like every two weeks, so the poor thing has to relive the same nightmare over and over again :( 

He is still sleeping through the night which is so helpful. Such a big difference compared to the girls!

Taiki is such a chill baby and we love him to bits! x

03 August 2016

Reia Turns 5!

Reia has turned that magical number 5! In New Zealand, it is kind of a big deal because that is when you start Primary School, but in Japan, you don't start until you're 6 so we have another year to have that celebration.

All Reia wanted for her birthday was something Purikyua (Japanese idol cartoon), a picnic in the park (because that's what Aila had for hers) and a melon cake (even though she doesn't even like cake). Well we one-upped that and had a picnic at the zoo instead! 

We started the morning with presents, as per Huysmans tradition. We didn't have any nibbles because none of us are hungry at 7:30am. Reia loved her decorations! She had that I'm-so-happy-I-don't-want-to-show-it face on but she couldn't mask it very well! She always opens her mouth when she's excited and doesn't say much. Well that was her all morning! She loved all her Purikyua things, shoes, clothes, and AquaBeads! She has been making beads ever since, she loves it!

The weather for the day was thunderstorms so we planned accordingly and hoped for the best. The girls were in gumboots and pants just incase it poured, but thankfully, it was the best weather ever! It was hot and humid, but not overbearingly hot that we didn't want to be outside. We went to the Inokashira Zoo which is awesome because adults are only 400 yen and children under 12 are free! It is only a small zoo, but perfect for our purposes as I don't want be towing 3 kids around for hours. They also have a water play area, a playground, and some carnival rides.

The girls had a great time running around and finding stamps for their stamp book. They also got to hold some guinea pigs and discover new animals. We spent a couple hours there and then went to the aquatic zoo which was down in the park. We enjoyed the AC in the aquarium room and had fun looking at all the fish and frogs. We couldn't help but play Pokemon Go a little while we were in the park. There were so many Pokestops and lures!

Soon after, Aila fell asleep. Taiki was awesome and slept pretty much the whole time except for some awake time while the girls were playing on the playground. Reia and I got some drinks too cool down, and then we went to get her hair cut for the very first time! She had asked me a while ago if she could cut her hair really short because all the girls at her school have short hair, and I think she was feeling left out. Well, I told her that she would have to wait until she turned 5 to cut her hair and that day finally caught up with us. I had mixed emotions about it. I wanted to keep her hair long for as long as possible but also wanted her to feel comfortable in her own skin. We went to the coolest place for kids to cut there hair! It's called Zusso and it in the Coppice building in Kichijoji. Instead of chairs, there are little cars you can sit in. You watch a DVD while your hair is being cut and they give you a drink when you are done! Such a cool first time experience. Reia was thrilled with her new short hair and loved the way the lady styled her hair. I think it looks a lot neater, like that is how it should always look, and the length is good too. I'm sad though that her ringlets are gone :( I'm interested too see if they will come back or if her hair will remain straight from now on.

We went home after that and I started on her favourite dinner, spaghetti and meatballs! She also requested a lettuce and tomato salad, kanpyo sushi, and juice. That went down a treat and then it was on to the cake. She wanted a melon cake but no one was selling them at the station. Jun managed to find one slice of a melon cake but thought that was a bit sad to have one slice of cake as her birthday cake so he bought the same cake he got for Aila's birthday, the white peach cake. Reia didn't mind. She thought it was cool that she got two cakes. I have learnt that kids seem to be picky when it comes to presents and stuff before the big day, but when they get given things, they are pretty excited about it all and don't complain! I am hoping it stays like this for a long time hahaha

She blew out her candles and only ate the thinly sliced melon that was on that slice of cake and the white peaches and jelly that was on the other. Jun and I said that next year for her cake, we are just going to buy a melon, slice it down the middle and stick a candle in it! At least that way, she would eat more!

And that was her special day :)

Now on to developments!

She gave her first Sunday talk in Primary on the 3rd of April. She wasn't nervous at all. When we sat down to write it, she knew exactly what she wanted to say and would protest when we tried to add or change anything at all. She had me write exactly what she wanted to say and was comfortable with that. I was so amazed. I cannot remember me ever writing my own talks when I was in Primary!

She has been very helpful lately. She likes to help me with the cooking, the laundry and the folding. She has gotten very good at folding too! When she takes like laundry off the line, she takes the stools outside to reach everything and uses them as stepping stones to take everything off the hangers.

She is very into picking out her own clothes and choosing her style for the day. At the moment, she is into skirts, but because it is still a bit cold, she wears pants underneath. She is always layering up just to get that skirt in the OOTD.

She has started her second year of school and she is in Bara 3 Gumi or Rose Group 3. Her new teacher is Yui Sensei who is very sweet, and she has some old friends from last year in the same class.

She wants to learn ice skating, ballet, soccer, hula, and the recorder. I am thinking that she will do especially well in ballet as she loves to dance. She is always making up dances and dancing along to any sort of music. She still likes to watch her old youchien dance recitals and dance along.

She is very inquisitive and asks a lot of questions. She remembers everything too so I figure, instead of sugar coating stuff like about how babies are born, I just tell her the truth and she totally accepts and believes everything I say. I seem to be "all-knowing" to her which can be funny when she doesn't agree with something Jun will say and will run to me to clarify what the "real" answer is lol.

She is a law enforcer. Whenever Aila or someone steps out of line, she will promptly tell them that they shouldn't do that and what they should be doing. Or if the situation is a bit more dire, she will come to me and reveal all. While she is not necessarily saying anything wrong when she is correcting people, she is turning into a bit of a tattletale :/ I have to remind her that she is not the Mum so that she stops taking matters into her own hands. She reminds me of me when I was young. I used me be the third parent that my siblings would all come to to resolve their issues. And like Reia, I would get told off for simply laying down the law lol.

She is so into Pokemon Go right now! It's the summer holidays and she wants to go out everyday to catch them. It's a fun way to get out and exercise and explore!

She thinks very rationally and must make sense of things before she does it. She also always asks me why after everything so she knows what's going on.

She is kind, silly, fun, caring, helpful, a bit shy, a bit confident, and amazing in every way. It is fun watching her personality develop and grow over the years. She is the best big sister and oldest daughter!