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:

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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!

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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!

Simple Mozzarella and Spinach Pasta Recipe

Tax season is upon us in Japan and I’ve been really busy getting my things in order so I can make the March 15th deadline. Unfortunately that leaves me with not much time to write even though there’s plenty I’d like to write about. However, I thought I’d take the time to share this quick, nutritious, and tasty pasta lunch I’ve come up with. Most afternoons I’ve got a hungry baby demanding food when I’m trying to put something together, so I usually have to whip up something quick. Baby J loves when we have this for lunch. I usually serve it with cow’s milk and buttered bread; I also give her some fruit if she’s still hungry.

I was in a hurry to feed her when I took this photo, so next time I make it hopefully I’ll get a better picture.

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Ingredients: (Makes 2 servings)

  • 250 g (about 9 oz) of a type of pasta that’s easy for a baby to pick up (I like penne)
  • 330 g (12 oz) of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 3 cups of baby leaf spinach
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Bring water to a boil in a pot and boil the pasta for however long it says to boil them for on the package (for penne it’s 11 minutes).
  2. Pour the tomato sauce into a frying pan and add in the spinach.
  3. Pour the cooked penne through a colander and then put the penne on plates.
  4. Heat up the tomato sauce and spinach. Stir until the spinach becomes wilted.
  5. Add the sauce to the penne. Sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese and mix it into the sauce so that it melts.

The Quest for Daycare Part 4: The Saga Continues

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If she fits, she sits.

Last week allergies were really getting me down and I’ve been busy with work, so I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write very much recently.

It’s been over a week now since Baby J had her half-day at daycare. It did not go very well, but that’s no surprise. My neighbor has watched her a couple of times, but that’s about the extent that she’s been away from her daddy and me. She cried the whole time and didn’t eat very much. No wonder they charge the same amount as a full day!

Since we got that half-day out of the way, that made us qualified to make reservations for they refer to as emergency daycare (kinkyuu hoikuen). They take reservations for daycare spots for the following month on the fourth Monday of every month. There’s a lot of competition for it and I wasn’t sure if I had a chance at getting through the line. In fact, it took me calling over 150 times to get through! Thank goodness the redial button is just a tap away now, but I really wish I had an app or something that would auto-redial.

I was actually really surprised when I heard the phone ringing. When they picked up I asked how many days they had open still and it turns out that they only had 5 days with a spot available left for the whole month of March! Wow! Even though they were on days I wasn’t really I wonder if we got the very last spots for the month. They’re not the most ideal days, but some days throughout the whole month are better than none.

I was glad we got those days for March. Honestly I didn’t think we had much of a chance to get in for part time daycare since there were ten people waiting in front of us. So, I thought that would be the end of the saga for now.

Imagine my surprise though when I got a call from the daycare on March 1st telling me that they have space for us three times a week! Maybe it’s because I said my days were flexible? Starting in April, Baby J will be attending daycare on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays! Since she wasn’t too happy her first time at daycare, they want to make her second time there a half day too. I’m kind of afraid they’re going to make all five days this month a half day so she can get used to it slowly. It’s a good idea, but I had been looking forward to having whole days to focus on work stuff. Hopefully Baby J will adjust quickly and learn to have fun with her new friends though.

Her second half-day at daycare will be tomorrow. Good luck to us!