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!

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!

27 April 2017

Relief Society Purposes Bookmark

With the announcement of the updated purposes in March, I decided to make a bookmark to handout to the sisters so they were all aware of the changes and handed it out during our RS Birthday Celebration that month!
It's just a simple bookmark that I hope can be used in your scriptures or journal, or even just stuck on the fridge somewhere.

I hope it helps you somehow in your calling or just in your personal study :)

I also have it in Japanese! I live in Japan and serve in the Relief Society Presidency in a Japanese Ward so I always make a Japanese copy of everything I make :)


05 April 2017

Taiki is 11 Months

He is walking and crawling around everywhere now. Crawling is his more preferred mode of transportation, but he likes to walk if it's not too far or urgent.

We have been sick, so him and I have been camping out in the spare room to get a decent sleep without any interruptions. He is slowly getting better but still has a really runny nose.

He babbles a lot! He likes to say a-da-da-da, ba-ba-ba, a-ga, a glottal n-gah sound which he makes with his mouth closed, and my favourite, a hi-lo pitched sound that goes up and down. He loves when I repeat after him or talk to him. He is always trying to stick his hand in my mouth or hook my lip or nostril.

He is still on the bottle and drinks about 150ml at a time. I don't know when I'll be weaning him. I was going to do it next month when he turns one, but I feel like he still needs it. He doesn't have that many teeth yet (just 4) so he can't get into many different textures of food.

He likes to eat rice, bread, and noodles. He does not like bananas, apples or carrots. I wish he liked bananas because they're so easy to prepare! Aila was the same. I dread the baby food stage, it's so much work compared to breastfeeding or making bottles of milk!

He takes one or if I'm lucky, two naps a day. He feels for me while he's asleep to check if I'm still with him, and if I'm not, he wakes up and searches for me!

He likes to take the books off the shelves, eat tissues or other little bits of whatever he finds on the ground. He likes to reach up to the piano and tinker around. He likes pulling on tv cords. He LOVES playing with the cans of tinned food on the shelves and always makes his way over to them.

He responds to his own name, he cries if I say "ow!" which is usually because he has bitten me, he sometimes let's go of whatever he's holding if I say no, uh uh, or dame! Other times he just looks at me and smiles his cheeky grin.

He's a mamas boy and wants to be around me all the time. He cries if I leave or he can't find me.

He still thinks Aila is hilarious and laughs histerically when she engages with him.

Reia is always toting him around and getting him out of places he shouldn't be in. The other day, she rocked him to sleep for the first time!

He's my skinniest baby so far! Very lean and not too heavy. His hair is awesome and I don't think I'll cut it until he is two, maybe. I love his locks!

Love this boy!

24 February 2017

Taiki is 10 Months

He is a fast little crawler now and darts from here to there, grabbing everything he can get his chubby hands on. He has learnt how to slowly walk around the table by holding on and doing a lean-and-slide kind of motion.

He used to stand and cry because he wouldn't know how to sit back down, but he mastered that in about a week. He now fearlessly lets go of the table, bends his knees and drops to the floor.

He is becoming a handful now! We are constantly trying to keep things away from him or him away from things like shelves etc.

When I prop him up by my shoulder to burp him, he never lies on my shoulder or snuggles or completely leans on me anymore when he falls asleep because he is busy sucking his thumb. Reia and Aila both did it and it was one of my favourite moments of raising a baby! I was reminded how much I missed it because this morning, he leant on my shoulder! It's been a long time so it was a precious moment for me :)

He can stand for long periods at a time now! He gets so proud of himself and starts making noises for me to notice him. He will stand, but when I stick my arms out for him to come to me, he just leans and fall in my direction lol. He's getting there. Aunty Ericca said when she comes over in a couple of weeks, she wants to train him to walk. Like intense training hahaha.

Him and Aila probably spend the most time together so Taiki always gets excited when he sees her. He usually flaps his arms and kicks his legs when ever he gets really excited. 

He is learning when to not do something when I say "uh-uh!" When I say it, he will pause and look at me with a smile on his face and kind of feel out the situation. If I crack a smile then he thinks everything is fine. But if I keep a straight face, he gets a bit worried and his smile soon fades. While I am trying to train him, Aila always blurts out in laughter and changes the situation in to a funny one which undoes everything! 

His skin has gotten SO dry and scaly this winter. It was so bad on his right arm, scabs had developed. He doesn't have the coordination to scratch yet so I can only imagine how itchy he must feel. I took his to the doctor and he said that it wasn't eczema (which is what I was afraid of) but just dry dermatitis. So now I have some creams to put on him and I can already see the difference.

He likes pulling out books, tissues, clothes from draws and toys from boxes. Taking all the toys out of the toy box seems to be more fun than actually playing with the toys.

He still sucks his thumb and I am nervous about how to wean him. 

He is mostly on formula and I supplement with breastmilk. It is handy to still have breastmilk for when he wakes up at night and I can put him back to bed quickly without having to get up out of bed to make formula.

He is so quiet sometimes, I forget that he is there! lol It is always weird to suddenly remember that I have another child in the picture.

His hair has gotten so long and is always getting in his eyes. People say all the time that he looks like a girl. Even though he is wearing really boyish clothes, strangers always have a hard time telling is he is a boy or a girl. He looks exactly like Reia when she was a baby. I think he will look so handsome with short hair! I love his long hair too though <3

I love my boy! 

25 January 2017

Aila is 3 and a Half

Aila is the funniest little character! She is quirky and imaginative, she loves role playing, she loves cuddles and kisses, her soft toys are her favs, and most of all, she loves to sing!

She can do up her own buttons! One day she just came to me after getting dressed into her pyjamas and showed me how she did up her buttons all by herself! No instruction needed.

She is sooo up and down all day, everyday. The tiniest things can set her off. She isn't that good at learning from her mistakes either. She will spill her cup by holding is clumsily, and do it again, and again throughout the day. Drives me nuts!

She will always linger in the bathroom after washing her hands and just play with the water and soap. That drives me nuts too lol! Wastes all the soap! But now, I just fill up he sink a little and let her play with the cups. She stays in there for ages!

She loves making Taiki laugh by making silly faces or playing with toys.

She is a ball of emotions, imagination, and playfulness.

She has a great singing voice and will sing all day! Lately she has been into the Moana soundtrack and knows all the words and quips in between. She will often tell me that I am singing it wrong and it sing it like this.

She does not like to wear pants, even when it is freezing outside. She still likes to squeeze into the fairy costume that's made for a one year old.  She has accepted now though that she cannot go outside in the cold if she is wearing that with her undies half hanging out lol. She will promptly go put on some pants to go pick up Reia from the bus stop.

She is very creative and loves to make Aqua Beads creations for hours. She also likes to give her creations names! Some are Squibbly, Snibbly, and Creamy. We have run out of most of the beads so she has figured out to make them in the same shapes and just change the colours. It is very good for her to learn how to concentrate on one thing and also for her fine motor skills and she is still a bit clumsy.

It takes her so long to go to bed. Sometimes she zonks out early at around 6pm, but most times, whether she takes a nap or not, she is up until 11pm or later just chatting and rolling around on the beds. I have to send Reia to bed first and by herself so that Aila doesn't keep her up! Once Reia and Taiki are both asleep, then  can send Aila to bed and she gets bored and falls asleep about 15 minutes later. 

If she starts running, you can guarantee that she will fall over and hurt herself. She does it all.the.time. She has inherited my skyscraper-of-a-big-toe and will sometimes just be walking normally and will just all of a sudden trip over herself!

She can make any toy look exciting! She plays with anything she can get her hands on and comes up with names and stories and always entices other kids to her play. If she has no toys, she will simply play with her fingers! She has dubbed her pointer finger, Mr. Finger. He's quite the gent.

She can now walk to the big park near our house and back! Great practice for when she starts going to kindy! I hope that she doesn't cry and make a big scene once she starts going... but that may be wishful thinking. She is very vocal about her feelings and will tell me if she feels a certain way!

When she knows she has done something wrong, she will usually lie and tell me that it wasn't her or she hasn't done anything. But recently, I have started telling her that she needs to tell me and that I won't be mad if she tells me the truth. So now when she has done something she will exclaim with a squeaky voice, "It was meeeee!"

Her skin keeps flaring up in different places. We got some medicine for her to drink which seemed to be quite effective, but it doesn't cure the problem. She is always breaking out in rashes and spots and itches constantly. The doctors say it isn't eczema which makes it harder to treat. It's nameless at the moment and is really affecting her body and makes her irritable, especially in the middle of the night.

Her Japanese is getting better little by little. She sometimes stutters in English and it takes her a while to form certain words or a sentence, so speaking in Japanese is even more challenging sometimes. She surprises me though sometimes, and will say pretty good Japanese to kids her age while they are playing! It's usually something like, "Watashi oni janai yo!" lol She doesn't like to chase other people and get's even more scared if others are chasing her.

She is very into puzzles now and does her Frozen one over and over again. Once she is done, she likes to take a big bow! lol

She is an amazing little girl who teaches me about patience and living in the moment. I am trying to enjoy these last couple months of being at home with her before she shoots off to school!

Love you, Aila x 

Taiki is 9 Months

I didn't even notice that another month had gone by until I checked my email and got my monthly updates from babycenter.com! But he is another month older and another step closer to tearing this house apart! 

Here is what he got up to this month:

He started crawling!!! He saw a new packet of wipes one day and all of a sudden started going for it. He was slow but determined to get it even if I was slowly pulling it further away from him lol.

He can pull himself up to stand using the coffee table. Up until now, he has only been able to pull himself up on to his knees. He struggles getting up, but once he is on his feet, he is all smiles :)

He eats so much nowww. He just keeps going and going and once he is full, it only takes him like an hour to want something again.

He naps twice a day at 11am and 2pm.

He loves going out side and will thrash his little legs around in excitement. He also gives a good leg kicking when he knows it's bath time. He loves the water and whimpers when it's time to get out.

His front teeth are coming down and one is almost completely out. He doesn't drool as much as he used to but now bites on everything. Because he sucks his thumb, his little thumb gets a bit red from rubbing on his bottom teeth.

His hair is pretty long on top now that it gets in his eyes. I don't want to cut it yet. I guess I have a thing about a baby's first hair cut and am saving that moment for when he turns one. So for now, I am just tying it up in a little top knot to keep it out of the way.

He isn't that constipated anymore. He still needs some help every now and then, but he can push by himself now which is good. I think it must be all the crawling and moving around.

He loooooves playing under the blankets still and playing peekaboo! His timing is pretty good that as soon as it lands on his face, he can flick it off him so I hardly have any time to say 
いないいない (inai inai)。。。 I go straight to バー!(bah!) lol

He wakes up about 3-6 times during the night but is good at soothing himself which is helpful. I am dreading the day when I need to wean him off the boob AND his thumb!

Aila doesn't help much with the cleaning, but she does help out with Taiki! She likes to make him laugh and give him toys which is very helpful when he is fussy and I need a moment to do something.

Reia is always toting him around and likes to zhoosh him up and down to keep him calm.

He is little cutie and more of his personality is starting to shine through. 
Love you, Taiki boy x 

01 January 2017

Taiki at 8 Months

Another tooth has popped through!

He has so much hair, I don't know what to do. It's looking a bit wild and wispy at the moment, but I am curious to see what it looks like grown out a little bit more. I'll try to last until he's one before I get it cut.

He can sit up all by himself now without much need to worry. He does occasionally still topple over... but he has gotten quite good now at keeping upright. All he needs to do now is go from lying down to sitting up all by himself.

He has started trying to reach things on the coffee table and will get vertical to get it! He can use the table to prop himself up on to his knees to grab things. He loves to stand while holding on to the table as well but cannot stand without support yet. He can crawl BACKWARDS by pushing with his hands but will often get stuck behind or under things.

He experienced his first Christmas! We spent the Christmas and New Years down in Osaka this time and Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus were very behind at getting the presents ready lol. We bought our presents the day before and Jun wanted them to wake up to presents by their beds so we got that ready. The girls woke up and their eyes lit up after they saw one present sitting by their head rest. The tore it open (it was Aqua Beads) and ran upstairs to look for the rest! lol We were planning on opening the rest after church, but after they got started, there was no stopping them! lol They tore them all open, even Taiki's and seemed satisfied after they were all open. Taiki slept through the whole thing. He was a little bit sick so we just let him sleep. He did wake up to get ready for church though and I was able to take a few snaps.

His appetite has grown and he loves to eat mashed sweet potatoes and fruit. He has got a thing for sweet stuff already! Gotta supplement with formula now as my supply has dwindled after getting really sick for a few weeks.

He was the only one that stayed up until midnight to welcome in the New Year! His sisters crashed a couple hours beforehand, but I got to steal a kiss from him when the clock struck 12.

I need to watch out that he doesn't put small things into his mouth now. He can get around and pick up small things off the floor or paper and naw away at it.

He is still so smiley and loves to be held by almost anyone!