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!

21 July 2017

Aila is Four

She is FOUR!

I know I say this all the time, but Aila is such a character! 

Her birthday is during the summer holidays when Jun is still working so I took the kids to the zoo by myself! It was so hot. The zoo is quite small and its focus is on native animals to Japan so there weren't any lions or tigers etc. but the girls still had fun :) 

She loves creepy crawlies and will want to pick them up and take them home to care for them. She found a tiny green caterpillar in the squirrel enclosure and cradled it gently in her palm until she moved around a bit and dropped it somewhere. She was very upset that she couldn't find it and wanted me to replace it with another lol 

We had planned to cut her long hair on her birthday, which is now down to her bottom, and I took her to Zusso Kids for her first experience because you get to sit in a car and watch movies while they cut your hair, but at the last minute she changed her mind and said, "I don't want to cut my long hair 'cause then I won't be beautiful." Needless to say, we didn't cut her hair lol. She loves her long hair and will sometimes ask me to take out her hair tie so she can swish it around everywhere. Anyway, she didn't want to cut it anymore so her hair appointment went to Reia who was eager to cut her hair into a really short bob. We also cut Taiki's hair for the first time too. Aila spent most of her time waiting for her siblings by looking in the toy shop next door and playing with toys in the salon. She fell in love with a Very Hungry Caterpillar plush toy and really wanted it. Luckily, her Ojiichan was staying with us the night before so he was able to celebrate together with us in the morning and gave her some spending money which was exactly the amount we needed for her toy! She was a very happy girl. She loves long wormy looking things!

We went home and I started dinner. It was still really hot so Aila wanted to play in the splash pool outside which she gladly did all by herself. Her dinner request for her birthday was Spaghetti Bolognese and some veges so that is what we had. She is very easily pleased :) And also very easily put off sometimes lol 

She also wanted an ice cream cake so I asked Jun before he went to work that day, I looked online and Aila and I picked a cake that she liked. She chose the Tsumu Tsumu cake. I asked Jun if he could call and order the cake and then pick it up after work. Being the wonderful husband that he is, he brought it home with no questions. The first thing I noticed about it was that it was HUGE! Haha it could have easily fed 16 people! And being a family of 4 plus one baby, it was a lot of ice cream lol. After Jun saw my surprise, he said "Didn't you know it was this big?? It was over 3 zen yen!" Lol..... my bad :) The prices weren't written on the website so I had no idea that I had ordered the largest and most expensive cake on the menu!! Trust me to pick it lol. We each had our slice of cake and put the rest in the freezer which took up about 1/4 of the space in there (we have a small freezer). It took us about a week of eating ice cream cake everyday to finish that cake! Next time I am just getting the smallest cake there is. Why do they not put the prices on the websiiiiite〜

And that was her day! She spent the rest of the day playing with her new toys :)

Here are some of her other developments:

She always attributes things with emotions and feelings. For example, her toys. She cares and feels so deeply for her toys. If a toy is in the dark, she worries for it. She reminds me of me in this case because I loved my soft toys too. I would keep them on the end of my bed and if one fell off in the middle of the night, I would get out of bed and go pick it up. And I slept on a bunk bed up the top! 

Sometimes I can get her to do things really quickly and easily by using her kindness against her lol. If she doesn't clean up the toys, I will say something like, "Aw, now this toy is sad because he can't be with his friends in the toy box!" And she will quickly put the toy in with the rest. Parenting win!

She has started youchien now and has picked up Japanese really quickly thanks to her older sister and going to church on Sundays. She knows some words that I don't even use!

She gets discouraged really quickly. If she does something wrong, even by accident, she will get really upset and run out of the room to cry by herself. This is usually when she will start talking to herself and say things like "I will never play with anyone again! Ever!" It is kind of funny to hear all this extreme emotion so sometimes I can't help but giggle, but these are her real and raw emotions and I have to try console her and calm her down. The thing I don't get is, when I am trying to make her feel better, I will be explaining things and giving examples etc., and she will ask me something completely off topic like "Can I get a drink now?" as if she doesn't care anymore about the extreme kicking and screaming she was just doing 5 minutes ago. And then she will be the polar opposite of her crying and will be the happiest kid alive. It is hard to juggle her mood swings.

Her favourite animal is the garden eel (チンアナゴ). She loves all things long and wiggly like worms, caterpillars, snakes, etc. She loves the black and white one the best but all things wiggly, she loves. She has on attached to her school bag!

She is a ball of carefree fun. She loves to sing but gets so shy if anyone pays close attention to her. She loves the spotlight, but will the shy away sometimes if it is too much. 

She still likes to cuddle with Mummy at night time and will try to find me in the middle of the night sometimes and will crawl under the covers with me.

Her skin still has flareups now and then. Sometimes she has good days and other days, she is red and itchy. I still don't know what is causing it, if it is her diet or genetics... but I hope it doesn't get worse with age.

She is such a good big sister to Taiki and will always play with him to entertain him. It helps this household run more smoothly :)

We love our Aila girl!

30 April 2017

Taiki is One!

Taiki turned ONE!

His birthday fell on a Monday which meant everyone was away at school and work and I got to spend the whole day with him!

In the morning, we did our usual thing with birthday breakfast and presents and he got a lot of stuff from his Aunties and Oma in NZ. We barely had to buy him anything because of how many gifts he had lol A couple days before hand, I took the girls to Daiso and gave them 500 yen each for them to buy something for Taiki. Reia took it very seriously and searched all through the store and came up with some pretty cool things! She got a hand towel that I use a lot, a chair cushion that we use for the piano seat and a couple other things that I can't remember. Aila couldn't quite understand that the presents were for Taiki and not for her. She got him some pretty cool bath toys, a blue bucket and a squishy snake that she claims as hers now. They liked being involved in the gift giving.

We were supposed to go to the Anpanman Museum in Yokohama the weekend before, but Aila had just started youchien and had broken out in an allergic reaction all over her cheeks. They were bright red, puffy and warm. I was pretty worried about her so I took her to a dermatologist to check her out and we got some medicine for her. In all of Taiki's birthday pics, you can see that her skin is very agitated and inflamed. So because we couldn't do it the previous weekend, we went the following weekend and it was a lot of fun! It was really crowded and the girls seemed to skim through the main attractions and play areas and gravitated towards the outdoor ball play area. They stayed there for the majority of the day lol. Taiki still doesn't know who Anpanman is, but he was happy to play outside with big bouncy balls. On the way to the Museum, Jun got pulled over by the cops because he changed lanes where he wasn't supposed to lol.

Here are some of his developments for the past month:

He likes to take things out of their place and then put them somewhere else. For example, the cans. He takes all the cans out of the can dispenser and puts them all on the chair. Or all the toys out of the toy box and into the hallway.

He moves a lot in his sleep. He has been waking up less lately but I don't think I'll be able to have a full nights rest for a while.

He has itchy skin but doesn't quite know how to itch it.

He is a speedy little walker now. When he has to turn around to go the other way, he has to slowly pivot going from one foot to the other to completely turn around.

Whenever Reia is practicing the piano with the CD player, he will plop down in front of it and just listen. When the songs stop, he hits it to get it to play more.

When he is hungry, he will waddle over to me, take a bit of food and the walk away for a bit, pivot around once he has swallowed and walk back for me. He always eats this way! I am trying to teach him how to sit down and eat but even when he is in his chair, he stands up and tries to get out of there.

He chews on everything! He has 2 more teeth coming down and so he chews on anything he gets his hands on. Cardboard is his favourite.

He especially loves playing cards and paper. He will always try to play with the cards on the shelf and always succeeds in taking them out of the box and strewing them all over the floor.

He is such a chill and happy baby and makes me think that parenting is a breeze! From now on, his updates will be every 6 months until he is 5. I plan on doing this for all my children and compiling the posts into a little book for them to have. I havent decided until what age I am going to this for though. Maybe until they are 8 or 10.

We love you Taiki!