Baby’s First Fever

Sorry for the lack of updates! I’ve been pretty hooked on Persona 5, so all of my free time has been spent playing it. Plus I was working on a stressful project for a couple of weeks there, and now I’ve got a cold so I haven’t had too much inspiration to write. I’m under the effect of some medicine that makes me pretty sleepy as I type this, so hopefully it’s not too incoherent!


There’s so many exciting and happy firsts with your baby. Unfortunately, there’s sad ones too, like baby’s first fever and ear infection. I guess we should count ourselves lucky that it didn’t happen until now though. It happened at a pretty bad time too, with hubby getting really sick, and then I got really sick too. I’m not sure when the ear infection happened either. It seems likely that she may have had a small one and it got worse when she had a fever since she started a nursing strike 1-2 weeks before her fever.

When her fever first started it was on a Wednesday, which is the day her usual pediatrician is closed. There was another clinic open near the daycare though, so I took her there. I wasn’t too impressed with this clinic. The receptionists weren’t as friendly as the people who work at our regular pediatrician, although the doctor himself was quite kind and spoke slowly to make sure I understood all of the medical terms (as opposed to her regular pediatrician who always speaks quite fast to me). The waiting room also wasn’t as big, so Baby J wasn’t quite as entertained there while we waited to see the doctor. Even though it’s kinda closer than her usual clinic, I doubt we’ll be going back there again unless we have to.

The next day her fever broke but came back again and lasted all weekend. I wish I had realized that that Saturday was a national holiday though, or else I would’ve taken her to her regular pediatrician on Friday to get checked out. She had a loss of appetite, but thankfully was starting to get it back by Monday. However, the fever was continuing so I wound up taking her to get checked by her regular pediatrician. The doctor checked her over, and then told us we should go see an ENT. I asked for a recommendation and then headed over to the doctor’s recommended clinic.

Going with the recommended ENT was not necessarily the right choice though. It was the next station over from where the pediatrician is and the worst part is that it was on the second floor with no elevator! So here I was, a mom by herself with her toddler in a stroller. Luckily some kind old man helped me carry the stroller up the stairs. Phew. However, Baby J was still eating her lunch at the time and I wound up having a hectic time following her around and cleaning up peanut butter everywhere she went as I tried to fill out the clinic’s forms. Talk about hectic!

We finally saw the doctor, and he told me she has an ear infection. I have to wonder if it developed over the weekend when she was lethargic or if the first pediatrician had missed it completely? Anyway, we got a prescription for antibiotics and such. Unfortunately, it all came in powder form. So we wound up having to employ the following:

Medicine jelly

You squirt the jelly out onto a spoon and then mix the powder into it. Apparently it’s apple flavored. According to hubby it tastes gross but Baby J didn’t seem to mind. I had to make sure to give it to her before or during each meal though because she’d be too full for it after. Though eventually I just started mixing the powder into yogurt and giving her yogurt every meal instead. The jelly was useful though!

So, this was the Monday before Golden Week, which is when most people in the country has vacation time. Except hubby, unfortunately. He had his spring break a month earlier (which I meant to post about but was busy with my return to work and haven’t had a chance to write about…). Also unfortunately, this meant that daycare was closed and my body decided it was the perfect time to come down with a cold. It was not an easy week for us at all! She started waking up at night again and I wasn’t getting the much needed rest I needed for my cold at all. I was super burnt out by the time the weekend came.

Thankfully though, her fever went away and she started feeling much better. Through the course of all of this, she’s also regained her interest in nursing, so that’s a relief, especially since it helped to make sure she stayed hydrated during the worst parts of her fever. I really have to wonder if she had an ear infection for a few weeks prior though, which caused the nursing strike, and the first doctor missed that she had an ear infection.

She’s back to her normal happy self now though and had a good week at daycare. And although she keeps waking up an hour or two after she goes to bed to nurse, she’s been sleeping until 7:30-8 am without any extra wake ups. Also, for a little while she had gone back to two naps, but I think she’s back to one nap again now that she’s feeling better.

When we went back for a followup appointment last Saturday with the ENT, he said that the ear infection was half-gone. We have another appointment today, so with any luck it’s all gone now. I’m a bit afraid it’s not though because she’s had a terrible runny nose the past couple of days. But maybe that’s just something new she picked up back at daycare.

On a lighter note, I found out that she gained a whole pound the month since she started daycare! She loves to eat there with all the other kids. I think that makes her 17.4 pounds now, which means that she’s finally hit the 10th percentile exactly for weight! It’ll be funny to see if they keep “fattening” her up in the coming months.


Bu Sokuten: The Empress of China From the Perspective of a Learner of Japanese

Bu Sokuten

One of the surprising things you’ll find yourself able to do when you study a new language is be able to watch movies and TV shows of a third language through that language. On Japanese TV, you’ll frequently find Chinese and Korean dramas in addition to popular American TV shows airing with Japanese subtitles. I’ve only watched a couple of Korean dramas in my life, but I’ve never watched any Chinese ones. I think it was June of last year that I first stumbled upon 武則天-The Empress- (read as Bu Sokuten), also known as The Empress of China, airing on TV. I love stories with historical settings, so I was immediately hooked by the story of a young concubine named Wu Ru Yi/Wu Mei Niang (known as Bu Nyo I, and later as Bu Bi Jou in Japanese) who eventually becomes the female emperor of China and even establishes her own dynasty. I was looking forward to tuning in every week.

Much to my dismay, it turned out that they were only airing the first two episodes as an incentive to get you to sign up for their premium channel that airs Korean and Chinese dramas. I wasn’t about to do that, so I wound up waiting until it was available for rent from Tsutaya in September. I realize that you can easily find The Empress of China on Youtube in English subtitles (and quality that’s better than DVD quality), but I wanted to use the show as reading practice for Japanese. Also, I read that there’s a censored version and I was hoping the Japanese version was uncut. I believe though that they used the Hong Kong version since cleavage was covered up but you could still see all of the beautiful costumes and hairstyles. So, I stuck with renting the DVDs. Unfortunately the cheapest way to rent the DVDs was to rent 5 for 1,000 yen a week. Each disc had only two episodes, so I was very near to burning out most weeks, though I also rented movies to space out the show a bit more.

Anyway, compared to Japanese, Chinese speakers are very fast, and as a result there isn’t as much time as there is in, say, a Korean drama to read the Japanese subtitles. As a result, this show wound up being very good speed reading practice for me. However, near the end I did stop the show more frequently to save words that I didn’t know into a Japanese dictionary app on my phone. I wound up with a list of over 150 words from the last 20 episodes or so. I would not recommend watching this kind drama full of vocabulary related to Chinese court politics and life unless you’re at an fairly high level of Japanese.

To tell the truth though, I’m not sure I can really recommend this drama to someone unless they’re someone I think potentially could wade through 82 episodes of what feels like one long movie that gets paused every hour. It’s much different from other TV shows with hour long episodes that I’ve watched, where there’s a beginning, middle, and an end to each episode. You never really get a sense that an episode is almost about to be over when watching The Empress of China because every episode ends in a cliffhanger instead of neatly wrapping up a subplot and then ending. I found myself frequently checking at some points in the story how many minutes were left in an episode while watching.

Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy watching the show. I doubt I would’ve made it through all 82 episodes otherwise. I really enjoyed Fan Bing Bing’s performance as the titular character and the details of the costumes and sets were gorgeous. It has a memorable soundtrack and the story was interesting enough to keep me going despite being afraid that I would burn out because I had to watch so many episodes every week to be able to watch it as cheaply as possible.

Caution: Spoilers beyond this point!

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Pork Shogayaki Recipe


I feel like I’ve been in a bit of slump when it comes to trying new recipes, but recently I’ve been inspired to try out new ones. For the meat roll-ups recipe, I frequently buy thinly sliced pork loin strips that are meant for pork shogayaki. So recently I decided to use them for their original purpose, and we were not disappointed! This is pork fried in ginger, and it goes great with rice and vegetables, though I think shredded cabbage is a pretty common side. This recipe is very simple and easy to make. I think this would go great in bento too.

This recipe is simple, easy to make, and most importantly, delicious! It’s the number one recipe for shogayaki on Cookpad, and it quickly became a staple in my meal planning.

Original recipe on Cookpad

Ingredients: (Makes 2-3 servings)

  • 300 g of pork loin strips
  • 4 cm of ginger from a ginger paste tube
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking sake
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of mirin (sweet cooking sake)


  1. Mix the ginger paste, sugar, cooking sake, soy sauce, and mirin together in a bowl.
  2. Lightly cook the meat on medium heat.
  3. Pour in the sauce and continue cooking the meat until most of the sauce has boiled away.

Spring is Here!


There’s still a few chilly and rainy days here and there, but in general the warmer weather is finally here and the cherry blossoms have finally bloomed. April marks the beginning of the new school year as well as the time when new hires start at their new jobs. Last week marked Baby J’s first full week at daycare, and this week is my official return to work. I’ve been working on small projects here and there the past six months, but from this month forward I’ll be available again for taking on big translation projects again.

Happily, I’m starting out strong. I’ve already doubled the minimum amount of money I was hoping to make this month while I build up my freelance clients again, and I’ve already got some more work lined up for the month. I’m grateful that I’ve been getting a steady amount of flexible work from this one agency over the past six months, so I hope this trend will continue in the following months as well.

Baby J has been doing great at daycare. She’s now very impatient to go in the mornings, although she still cries when I leave and when she sees me there to pick her up. Or at least, she has been. This morning was the first time she hasn’t cried! I wonder how she will be at pickup, or if she cried after I left. In addition to getting used to drop off and pickup, she eats all of her food and snacks; in fact, I feel like her appetite and how much she eats has only increased since she started going. Also, her naps at daycare have been gradually lengthening from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. They even said that she doesn’t need her pacifier and bear for her naps anymore! Hopefully she’ll be able to take 2-2.5 hour naps there soon. Speaking of naps, she’s definitely dropped her morning nap and is now down to one nap a day. It’s been a bit of an adjustment though, since she’s needed some quiet downtime in her crib even though she doesn’t sleep. It’s been a bit of an adjustment for us as well since we’re used to her only being up for 2 hours in the morning, and now suddenly she’s up for 4 hours or so! Good thing I’ve rediscovered my love for milk tea.

In addition to this nap transition, she’s been gaining a lot of new skills recently. I don’t know if it’s something she’s just started doing on her own, or if she’s learning by watching the other kids at daycare. Now she pushes cars, is close to figuring out how her puzzle toys work, and according to hubby she can now stack the stacking rings toy (whereas up until now she was more interested in eating the rings). She’s also started to drag things with her. This morning she even helped put her shoes on by pressing down the velcro part for me.

In general, I’ve found that following her daycare schedule has been working out for us: Lunch at 11/11:30 depending on how late breakfast was, nap at noon, snack at 3, dinner at 6, bedtime around 8. She’s been consistently waking up at 7:30-8:30 now, though I’ve noticed that she sleeps in until 9 on the occasional night when she wakes up in the middle of the night. Like I mentioned before, it’s been a bit of an adjustment having her up for more hours in the day, but it offers more flexibility on what we can do in the afternoon. Before we never had much time to do much because as soon as she was fed, dressed, and ready to go we’d only have an hour or so until her second nap.

While I don’t quite know what’s up with the one year checkup (I think it might be the “cattle call” kind where they all have to go to the ward office to get checked?), she did have to have an individual checkup for our application to daycare. Baby J is now 28.1 inches and weighs 16 pounds and 7 ounces. She’s still our little peanut, but it’s been amazing being her guide and watching her grow and learn every day.

The Sailor Moon meets GU Collaboration

Sailor Moon GU

The Sailor Moon x GU merchandise went on sale on March 24th, which was a Friday. Considering how Sailor Moon teams up with luxury department store brand Isetan every year, I was pretty surprised when they originally announced this collaboration. Finally, some cheap Sailor Moon merchandise! I didn’t realize just how many other people would be thinking the same thing though.

GU is kind of similar to Old Navy in terms of prices and in that it has a sister brand that’s a bit more pricier (Uniqlo). I’ve never actually shopped at GU since I never actually saw one to go shopping at anyway until one was built in the Ebina Lalaport, but the image I’ve had of it as a brand over the years has not been very good due to how I’ve heard people talk about it. As a result, I mistakenly thought that not many people would go for the Sailor Moon products when they came out. Boy was I wrong!

I was originally planning to go to GU on Saturday so that I could go shopping without the baby. During lunch though, I was browsing Twitter and I saw how crazy the lines were for getting into GU in Ginza and I found out that the items were already selling out online. Since I didn’t get anything from the Isetan collaboration for my birthday this year, I definitely didn’t want to miss out on the GU one since it was so cheap. So, I wound up taking the baby with me to go shopping. She did fine, thankfully. I gave her one of the bag charms to hold and that amused her for a bit, and so did a couple of books I brought with us.


Wish I had realized that I had taken such a blurry photo… 

Since the GU store in Ebina is considered one of their big stores I was hoping they would have the large cardboard displays like I’ve seen in pictures of the Ginza store. I was a bit disappointed in their display though, as seen above.

When I got there, I was also disappointed to find that they were already sold out of the dresses, blouses, and bottoms. They were sold out of most sizes for T-shirts as well, but I managed to snag quite a few for myself.

Their inventory for two right-most shirts on the bottom row were completely gone by the time I had checked out. This was the first time I actually felt like I’ve ever witnessed the phrase “flying off the shelves” in action. It’s a good thing I had gone shopping the day they went on sale because when I went shopping in Ebina on Saturday they had already taken down the Sailor Moon displays and only had a few Artemis bags and some bag accessories left. I think I got all 11 things for around 10,000 yen? Not bad!

It turns out though that they somehow found more stock for the jeans by the time I came back from Akachan Honpo. I had asked a store clerk about them when I was originally shopping, and she flagged me down when she saw me walking by again to tell me they got the jeans back in. I really appreciated that she took the time to call out to me. I guess standing out helps sometimes in cases where it makes shop staff remember you easier. Unfortunately the few sizes they found of the jeans didn’t fit, so I didn’t buy them.

It looks like they still have some items in stock online still, but it sounds like they were sold out of most things nationwide by the end of the day. I’m glad I managed to get what I got!

A Late Happy Birthday to Me!

Close behind Baby J’s, my birthday was last Thursday.  That time last year I was still in the hospital, desperately trying to learn how to breastfeed my newborn baby. It was the toughest week of my life. No wonder I don’t actually remember having turned 27, and went this whole past year thinking I was still 26! And now suddenly I’m 28. It’s still kind of hard to believe. Not that I feel all too different.

Hubby took the day off, and thanks to him I had a great day! One of things I’ve always wanted to do was get my nails done in a Japanese salon. It’s pretty pricey though, so I never did it. As a result this is not usually the first things to pop into my mind when I think about treating myself. But as I was reading Tokyo Tarareba Girls I was reminded of how it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do (one of the characters owns her own nail salon). As it was my first time going to a salon by myself (maybe the second or third time in my whole life that I’ve actually gone to one?), I wasn’t sure which option I should get and I decided to get the package that let me choose from one of their predesigned nails.

I hate going to new places, so I was actually pretty nervous to go. Of course there wasn’t much of a need for me to be nervous. The atmosphere of the salon was relaxing, and the lady who did my nails was quite nice. I found myself torn between two different designs, but I wanted something with flowers, so I decided to go with these:


These are quite simple compared to the other kinds of nails that I’ve lusted over in the past, but they’ve grown on me quite a bit this past week. I’m afraid that now that I’ve gotten my nails done once though, I’m going to want to keep going back to get them done!


After I got them done, hubby brought Baby J and we went out for steak for dinner. Baby J had her first real kids meal! We even got to choose out a toy for her too. We wound up picking out a little wind-up car for her. She ate quite a bit and I think she had fun with the experience.


We picked up an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins for dessert. It was late and I didn’t particularly want Baby J having sugar at night, so she unfortunately missed out on this festivity. It was Oreo and chocolate flavored. Yum! After that, we concluded the evening by watching Doctor Strange, and we really enjoyed it.

In addition to all this, I did some shopping over the weekend. Last summer I did my best to avoid buying clothes in hope that I would somehow shrink down to my pre-baby size by now. Unfortunately, I’ve been stuck at the same weight for the past three months and I’m not sure when we’ll wean, so I’ve accepted that I need to buy some larger clothes. That’ll be for a different post though!

However, I suppose that Baby J gave us the greatest gift of all: SLEEP!!! (Of course, I’m sure she’ll start waking up again at night now that I’ve written this in my blog.)

Happy Birthday to Baby J!

What a busy month it’s been! On top of getting my taxes done, work picked up for me so I’ve been keeping pretty busy with not much free time to write.

On March 20th, Baby J turned 1! I’ve been meaning to post an update on her new abilities and such, so maybe I’ll take the time now to mention them. Her preferred method of getting around has been walking for almost a couple of months now. She likes to clap her hands, point, and actively participate in playing peekaboo. She loves, loves, loves to read. She’s maturing in so many ways. Ever since she officially started walking, I feel like her personality has really started to shine. She won’t let me look too closely, but she has at least three teeth now. We even had a glorious couple of weeks where we finally slept through the night last month, but unfortunately we’re back to one wakeup a night. I’ll probably try night weaning her soon.

I think her birthday was probably the best day of her life.

Hubby worked hard on organizing how things looked, but I helped with the paper chains to get everything ready the night before.

On the day of, we Skyped with her grandparents and had a party with cake. I got the cake from a bakery called Flo Prestigate Paris. I’ve frequently gotten delicious fruit tarts from them before, so I knew it had to be good.

I think she really liked the cake. Though she was pretty interested in the green leaves on the strawberry we gave her. For some reason she likes green colored food (which is completely opposite from me!).

After her party, she took a nice long nap. After she got up, we had some lunch and then we went to a place called Fantasy Kids Resort. Someone in a mom group I’m part of recommended it to me, and I’m so thankful she did! Baby J had the time of her life there. First she had fun going down a slide with her daddy, followed by fun in a ball pit. Since it was our first time there, we mistakenly went into the big kids’ ball pit first. Later we found a corner for toddlers and they had a much calmer ball pit for her to play in. She also had a blast playing in the Fisher Price playhouses they had lined up in one corner.


I was really impressed with how well Baby J did with all of the noise. I personally found it a bit overstimulating at times, but she seemed to handle all the noise just fine.


After a couple of fun filled hours, she was totally ready to go home and hit the hay. Since she had so much fun, we’re considering going there a couple of times a month.

I’d like to add and give a special thanks to my hubby for being such a huge help for her birthday!