Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

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I can’t believe how quickly January flew by. Time is just going so fast, and Baby J keeps getting bigger and bigger. It’s so hard to believe that she’s 10 months and we’re already thinking about what to get her for her first birthday. It feels like any day now she’ll start walking too. She practices taking steps multiple times a day now. Also, she’s remembered how to say “mama” again. She seems to go through cycles of what words she likes to frequently say. Sleep is still all over the place, but it’s gotten worse thanks to teething. Maybe one day we’ll be able to experience this magical “sleeping through the night” that everyone talks about, but maybe we have a better chance at meeting a kappa.

Her favorite games are peek-a-boo and she likes it when we play with an elephant O-ball that we have, and when I make vroom and beep beep noises with it. She still enjoys playing in the Jumperoo on occasion, but I think she likes using it to cruise and play with its toys while standing more. She’s gotten very good at pulling things like her bunny lovey from between the slats of her crib.

I got tired of making her completely separate meals, and she’s gotten into feeding herself, so now she eats what we eat 90% of the time. Her favorites are mikan (mandarin oranges), bananas, pasta, and fish. She’s started having a snack before dinner now too, and luckily they have a lot of options for snack foods for babies. She especially likes the kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) cookies. I feel like most of our days revolve around her eating now.

I really wish spring would come. I’ve started a personal quest to make sure Baby J and I get out and take a walk at least a couple times a week now, whether it be just a leisurely walk or a trip to the store, but the weather makes it so hard. Despite the weather though, so far I haven’t had a week where I haven’t met my goal! I need to get a new battery for my Fitbit to help encourage me some more.

As much as I want spring to come for health reasons though, I’m afraid of its coming for different reasons. I’m ready to go back working, and yet at the same time I’m a bit anxious about it all. I mean, I could always try to build up my freelance business again instead of going back. But I miss working in an office and speaking with other adults. I have options, but it’s hard to choose. I’m hoping to get the daycare application process started this week, so we’ll see what happens. I guess it’ll depend on how much of a chance I have to get her into daycare as someone who’s self-employed. The daycare process here is such a long and confusing one, I’m not looking forward to trying to figure out this mess!

Leap 7

Wonder Weeks is an app I haven’t opened in a long time. I haven’t thought about leaps in a long time either. I don’t remember the last couple of leaps, so I don’t think they were too bad. Leap 3 or 4 was the worst for us.

But suddenly Baby J has been acting strangely. For example I popped into the living room for a second after I take a shower. Baby J sees me and then gets very upset when I go back into the powder room to dry my hair. She’s definitely been much more clingy, constantly saying “nai nai” (which it seems what she’s calling me nowadays since she stopped saying “mama”) when I go out of sight. This past week in particular, it looks like a tornado blew through any rooms she’s been in more than usual.

I thought she was just getting over the jet lag, but I checked the app and it looks like we’re in the middle of a leap. No wonder!  Ever since we’ve gotten back, she’s had to fuss herself to sleep at bedtime. She gets so mad when I put her down even though she’s never been one for being held in the first place. She’s even been making trying to go out for walks very difficult by clinging to me when I’m trying to get us ready, even though she really wants to go.

And on top of all of this, I have a cold again! Hopefully I can hold on until this storm passes.

Spinach and Cheese Meat Roll-Ups Recipe

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Here’s a recipe I think I need to make more often. Unfortunately I was sick when I made it last week so I couldn’t really taste it, but hubby assures me that even when I accidentally use too much vegetable oil it still tastes great. This is a pretty yummy and easy to make recipe though. This can also be a tasty part of a bento, but for dinner I added a side of a moyashi (beansprouts) mixed with cabbage, carrot, etc. as well as rice.

Original recipe on Cookpad

Ingredients: (Serves 2, or 4 for bento)
200 g of pork loin strips
1/2 bag of spinach
As much sliced cheese as you need

Ingredients for flavoring:
1 tablespoon of cooking sake
1 tablespoon of mirin (sweet cooking sake)
1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce
nikumaki-direction

Directions:
1. Boil the spinach and leave it in a strainer or collander.
2. Cut the sliced cheese into appropriate sizes and for as many strips as you have.
3. Lay out each strip of pork on a board and add salt and pepper. Put a slice of cheese and some spinach at the end of each strip (as pictured on the right), and then roll each strip up.
4. Heat up vegetable oil in a frying pan and then add the meat roll-ups end-down into the frying pan.
5. Once the outside of all sides starts changing color, put the lid on and let it cook on low heat for 3 minutes.
6. Mix the flavoring together, and once your timer is up, mix the roll-ups with the flavoring, and then it’s finished!

I recommend cutting each roll-up in half for easy bite-sized eating. Also it’s best to cook it on low heat so that the cheese doesn’t all melt out right away.

Happy New Year!

A very late happy new year to everyone! And what a crazy couple of weeks it’s been.

We spent a week in the US and had a great time seeing our families. But boy is dealing with a baby’s jet lag hard! Since we were there such a short time, I didn’t try to adjust her schedule too much, but coming back was a bit difficult since Baby J would be up in the middle of the night, and even was up from midnight to 4 am one night! I think we’ve almost gotten her to finish adjusting back to Japan time? I keep having to wake her up from her naps since I’m afraid she’ll keep taking 3 hour naps. I know she’s not very happy about being woken up though.

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We’ve recently started introducing finger foods to her and we’ve started buying Japanese stage 3 solids (called 後期 kouki) for her. She was all about mikan (mandarin oranges) for a couple of days and it was so cute how she was eating them. She’s also been trying really hard to master eating the Plum Organics puffs I brought back from the States. She didn’t like the taste of the Japanese puffs I got her before, but she seems to like the Plum Organics ones.

Since I haven’t had to cook in so long, it’s  feeling a bit hard to get back into the swing of things. Since we’re introducing more finger foods to her, I’m having to research new meals for her too! I found some good ideas to start with, so hopefully she’ll like them.