Showing posts from July, 2011

16 weeks

Aiden is now 16 weeks and 2 days old. In the last week I have noticed even more changes in him! Time is flying by and he is growing up right before my eyes.
Since Friday (very suddenly) he has started sleeping from 11pm until 5am! This is the longest he has ever slept and he has now done it 3 nights in a row! I don`t want to jinx it, but this might be the start of something VERY wonderful :)
He is also `talking` all day long. Of course there are no words, just a jumble of noises and sounds and giggles... but is is the most hilarious thing.
Aiden`s favorite thing to do (still) is jump in the Jolly Jumper, and also to stand up on people`s laps (holding onto their hands of course). He is a great smiler, and charms everyone he meets with a big grin.
A few pics from this week...

and one in his Jolly Jumper `talking` to his big cousin Koto;

Amber teething necklace review

After reading lots of reviews on amber teething necklaces, I bought one, from this storeAmber for Sale, on
It is super cute, and now Aiden looks like a little hippy surfer dude!
Am not sure if MIL approves (is it the necklace itself? because Aiden is a boy? because amber is really just glorified tree sap?), and most other people are not really sure what to think, but I don`t care.
I am also not sure if Aiden is really teething; Yoshi`s big brother is a dentist and said it was too early for a baby to start teething... all I know is that Aiden seems uncomfortable, really fussy in the evenings, dribbling everywhere, chewing on everything that he comes into contact with (humans too!), and generally not himself.
What is the necklace supposed to do? Amber is a natural analgesic and is a traditional European remedy for teething discomfort. When amber is worn on the skin, the warmth of the skin releases trace amounts of healing oils on the skin, helping babies and young children stay cal…

Okuizome Part II

Last night we celebrated Aiden`s okuizome (first meal). It is a real meal, made with celebratory Japanese food, but the baby doesn`t actually eat it. Instead, it is presented to the baby (usually by a grandparent) in small pieces held by chopsticks.
The food has some special meaning (which I mentioned in the previous post). Interestingly, instead of using pebbles from the shrine, we used タコ (octopus). Octopus is a famous food here in Osaka (you might know たこ焼き = takoyaki?) and it is very chewy. It is a good food to help the baby grow strong and healthy teeth.
Mone (Aiden`s cousin who is 10 days younger) celebrated the okuizome with him. They were so cute, sitting in their matching Bebepod chairs... they looked like an old Japanese couple!

Here are some pictures from the okuizome (we did everything in the living room at Yoshi`s brother`s house);

It is a pretty simple ceremony, and easy to do at home, so I think most families do it when their kids are young. You may hear it referred to as `…

Okuizome = the baby`s 100 day ceremony

In Japan, parents celebrate the お食い初め Okuizome (which means first meal) when a child is 100 days old (or 110-120 days old in some regions). The child is presented with a beautiful selection of meaningful food/dishes and will in turn be granted with an abundance of food during his/her life.
Aiden will celebrate the Okuizome tomorrow (on his 111th day of life), not because 111 days is special, but because it is Thursday tomorrow (Yoshi`s only day off). I think Aiden`s little cousin Mone will do hers too. She will be 102 days old. I will try to get some cute pictures of the two of them.

Let`s have a look at some of the food that will be served.
An umeboshi (pickled plum) and/or a pebble/rock. Some people bring a pebble or small, smooth rock from the local Shinto shrine. The act of `biting` the rock will help the baby develop strong healthy teeth. The wrinkled pickled plum represents a wrinkled old person in the hope that the baby will live a long life.
Konomono (Pickled vegetables)
Nimono (boi…

Some days...

Hi everyone,
It is Tuesday again, so linking up with Lulu for a `Some days...` post;
Some days people tell me that Aiden looks like my dad; but most days people tell me that Aiden looks exactly like Yoshi.
Some days I get angry at random people who stop walking in the middle of the pavement, who block the aisles in the supermarket while they chat to friends and who never notice the people around them (even the tall blond foreigner with a crying baby in a stroller trying to walk past!!); but most days I am not in too much of a rush, so just grumble to myself and find another way to go around them.
Some days I crave English television and end up watching reality TV shows while Aiden naps; other days I am quite happy to watch Japanese quiz shows and variety shows and only half understand what is going on.
Some days I think about how nice for me it would be to live near my high school friends who are having babies this year too; most days I think it is nice for Aiden to grow up surrounded by …


Since crying can be very cathartic, but it isn`t always nice to cry over sad things... here is something that made me cry yesterday in a good way! This little boy is just a few months older than Aiden, and I remember when he (Aiden) smiled for the first time. Gorgeous! Thanks Z-chan for the link!

Who wears short shorts?

I found a pair of ugly ugly denim shorts that I bought ages ago and was about to throw them out when I came upon this article on

They just look cuter don`t you think? I`m not quite ready to wear such short shorts, but will definitely not be throwing them away today.
Here is a picture of a model from the fabsugar website... oh to look that great in denim shorts... sigh!


So apparently `stollercise` (it is supposed to be spelt with a `z` but I am not American so...) is a real thing and there are real moves and poses and stuff!
I have been trying to walk with Aiden as much as possible since he was born (and since I felt comfortable taking him outside amongst the judgemental glares of the elder population here in Japan). I usually manage an hour a day, maybe 4 or 5 days a week. The weather has been really up and down (boiling sun, pouring rain, a typhoon even), so it isn`t always consistent. I think it has been really instrumental in helping me lose a bit of baby weight AND remain sane whilst living with MIL (getting out of the house is super important to me because fresh air is very very healing!)
I just push the stroller (baby car, push chair, pram - whatever you like to call it), and walk pretty fast from my home, to Higashi Hanazono Rugby park and do a couple of circuits of the park and gardens there. Sometimes I get motivated and wear my sports clothe…

15 weeks

15 weeks old! Can you believe how fast time is flying by?
Anyway, here are some recent pics of my little one... although he isn`t so little these days!

Teething already?

I`ve been reading... again... and discovered that `teething` and `getting teeth` are a little different.
Recently Aiden has some of the symptoms of teething; he drools a lot, he is fussy, he is trying to put his hand in his mouth during feeding, he is chewing/sucking on his hands a lot, and he is sleeping more during the day and waking up more often at night. Interestingly he is liking hugs a lot more too (that`s a bonus for me because usually he wants to sit independently or try to stand up, and doesn`t like being held or hugged too much).

According to numerous websites, teething can begin between 3-6 months, although usually teeth don`t start growing until the age of 4-5 months.
Do any of you mums out there have similar experiences? I have read of lots of ways to ease the pain of teething, (frozen washcloths, chew toys etc), but Aiden doesn`t seem to be in pain just yet. Maybe I will wait and see how it plays out.
Have any of you tried amber teething necklaces? They seem like a nice nat…

Too many cooks?

I have been watching Masterchef and other competitive cooking shows for a while - actually my mum got me hooked on them when I went back to NZ to visit in May this year - but my absolute favorite is Masterchef Australia.
I am not a huge fan of the really harsh/crazy judges on other cooking shows, so the judges of the Australian version really appeal to me; Gary Mehigan is like everyone`s dad and gives them big hugs when they cry, and George Calombaris is just a big teddy bear!
My favorite contestants and my picks for the winner of this season are Hayden...

...and Billy.

Yeah Hayden is a hot hot 24-year-old professional surf lifesaver, but he also seems like a nice guy and a really good cook too. Billy is funny and cute, and he makes desserts, so he is definitely a winner in my book!
In the last few weeks the competition has gotten really exciting and the contestants were flown to NYC to take part in some exciting challenges. Yesterday`s show however was the coolest so far... The remainin…

Some days...

It is Tuesday again which means it is time for the `Some days..` post. Remember to check out Lulu`s blog today too (she got me started on all this).
Some days I look at pictures of celebrities like Miranda Kerr who`ve given birth recently and get super depressed...

... but most days I realise Miranda is a freak of nature (albeit a very nice one I`m sure), then I look at people around me, and the rare celebrity like Pink who`ve given birth recently, and decide there is hope.

Some days I don`t spend a single cent (or yen) all day! Most days I buy at least a drink from the vending machine on my walk with Aiden (and maybe an ice-cream from the conbini).
Some days I use my cell-phone to send texts to Eve or 1 or 2 other friends in Japan. Most days my cell-phone is a cute pink paperweight on my desk.
Some days I drink 2-3 litres of water. Most days I manage 1.5 litres of water and several glasses of cold oolong tea.
Some days Aiden gets wind in his tummy and is fussy and miserable in the evening…

July 18th = Happy Marine Day

Today is Marine Day (海の日-Umi no Hi) in Japan.
It is celebrated on the third Monday of July and is a good chance for people to go to the beach with their families, it often results in scenes like these all over Japan.

Except, has anyone seen the weather forecast this week...?
Weather for Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan27°C | °FMonTueWedThuHeavy Showers RainWind: E at 19 km/hHumidity: 89%29°27°30°

July 14th = Happy Birthday Eve

July 14th (yesterday) was Eve`s birthday! She was on a plane back to Japan from a holiday in Vietnam, so we couldn`t spend time together, but have some plans for tomorrow instead.
Some cute memories from the past...

To Eve,
It is so nice having you here in Japan with me and I wish it could be forever. Let`s make the most of all the chances we have until you move on.
Love you from Fran xx

Date day

It has been waaaaaay too long since I wrote about date day. In theory every Thursday is date day because it is Yoshi`s only day off each week, but we haven`t been doing anything exciting recently because of the heat, and a general lack of good ideas.
Yesterday we left home about 2:00pm and headed to Shinsaibashi for a bit of shopping. A few weeks ago Yoshi made some Nike ID (original design) shoes, and I decided that because I needed new sports (walking) shoes, I would like some too. I didn`t really like the base designs of the Nike shoes, so decided on some Mi Adidas instead. Here is what I came up with, and they were ready for pick up yesterday!

While we were in the store, I found some baby Adidas sandals on sale, and bought some for Aiden. His first Adidas! So cute.

We bought Yoshi a new pair of glasses (for driving and watching movies with subtitles), and a new pair of shorts from G-Star, his favorite clothing brand. We were getting a bit hot, so stopped at Tully`s coffee shop for th…

Arashi for Japan

In case you missed it, Arashi (嵐) loves Japan. They made a short video/movie to help increase tourism after the devastating earthquake and tsunami here in March (according to an estimate by the Japan National Tourism Organization in May, the number of foreign visitors in April dropped 62.5 percent from a year earlier, marking the sharpest ever fall for a month due to the impact of the March 11 catastrophe). The video (entitled `Message from Japan`) will be played in over 100 countries and has been recorded in several languages too!
Arashi (which translates as `Storm`) are a 5 member pop group who are really famous in Japan and have fans all over the world. They appear on TV shows, in drama series, in commercials, they host variety events, and one of them even reads the news! Although they formed in 1999, they didn`t really achieve full-blown fame in Japan until 2008, from which time they started endorsing products like Nintendo 3DS and Wii Party. If you want to know more, you can look …

Some days...

Wow is it really Tuesday again already? I guess it has been a busy week, with our 1 year wedding anniversary yesterday, thinking about upcoming birthdays (my sister`s on Thursday and MIL`s on Friday), as well as re-starting English lessons with Yoshi`s oldest niece and nephew on Fridays.
Our anniversary went pretty well yesterday. I always have high expectations of Yoshi (and stupidly think of other couples I know, and stories I have heard, and read...) which often leads me to be disappointed, but yesterday I told myself that he had probably forgotten the important date, and would work late as usual.
Well luckily for me, Yoshi`s mother reminded him about our anniversary in the morning and he came home a little earlier than usual! Great start! I cooked lasagna for dinner (his favorite), as well as garlic bread, and fruit and chocolate cake for dessert (I bought the cake actually). I made a card, and bought him a pair of Sanuk beach sandals (he usually wears sneakers all summer long) and …