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!

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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.

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Spring is Here!

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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.

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.)

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!

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!

The Quest For Daycare Part 3: The Shopping List

The daycare gave me a list of things that Baby J will need every time she attends. I was missing some of them, so it was time to go shopping!

The list consisted of…

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Shoes since she can walk. Boots and sandals aren’t allowed, so I had to get her some real sneakers! I also got her some new pairs of socks because most of hers have gotten too small. She has pretty tiny feet though, so I imagine these will last her awhile. Even the shoes were 1.5 cm bigger than her feet even though I got her the smallest size, though I know it’s good to give her room to grow!

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A nice fluffy towel-like blanket for naps.

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Two towels for wiping her face with, and another towel with a string for wiping her hands with. They had a variety of characters to choose from. I almost got her some pretty Hello Kitty ones, but in the end I went with her favorite characters, Wan Wan and U-tan from the kids TV show Inai Inai Baa!.

 

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Two bibs and a cup. I got her a couple of new ones because we can’t have too many bibs! I was hoping they would have Inai Inai Baa! ones, but my only options were Hello Kitty and Anpanman, unfortunately.

In addition to the above, I’m also going to have to prepare 3 pairs of clothes and plastic bags for bringing dirty laundry home. The list also mentions formula and bottles, but after being away from her for a long period of time for the first time since October over the weekend, I think she’ll be OK without it (which definitely saves us some money!).

The Quest for Daycare Part 2: The Interview

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I had been anxiously awaiting this interview part of the process for the past few weeks. Although they called it an interview, it was more like an info session. Before the interview, I had to make sure to fill out a form and I had to make a copy of Baby J’s latest checkup. The form wasn’t too difficult, though I was embarrassed about my terrible handwriting. I think she was relieved to see that my language skills are high enough to be able to read and write in addition to speaking, since she spoke to me at her natural pace.

When we first went in I could see the people in the office gathering around the window and probably commenting about how cute Baby J is. I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit about one woman who covered her mouth with both hands in awe.

I was greeted at the door and then brought into their office, which was pretty hot. I had to keep Baby J on my lap the whole interview, which became a bit of a challenge as time went on. The lady brought some toys though, which was entertaining for J for a little while. However, for the most part J was more interested in the clear file that I brought to hold the documents I prepared. The lady went over the details on the paper I was given explaining the daycare and then showed the specifics of what types of things I need to pack for her each time she attends. She then asked about J’s daily schedule and eating. It turns out that she’s considered stage 4 (kanshoku) for solids, which is the last stage. Yay!

Unfortunately, there’s ten people on the waiting list. Not sure if that includes us or not, so a spot for us might not open up until the end of March if at all. In the meantime I can try my luck each month at securing a spot in their “emergency daycare” program. But first we have to have a trial run at the daycare. The lady scheduled us for the required half-day trial run next Thursday.

I was a bit surprised to hear that this daycare doesn’t accept breastmilk though since they don’t have a refrigerator. I gave up on pumping months ago so it’s not such a big deal, but this might mean that I’m going to have to buy some formula. I’ve started introducing her to cow’s milk, but so far she’s not impressed. I hope I can get her more interested in cow’s milk soon so we can avoid the cost of formula.

In the meantime though, I’m going to have to go shopping for all of the things Baby J will need! Hopefully it own’t be too expensive. I think I need to buy labels that I can stick onto her belongings too.