10 months and almost a milestone

Today is Tomoe’s 10 month birthday.  Just 2 more months until she’s a year old!  I can’t believe how fast the time has gone.  Soon, she won’t be a baby anymore, she’ll be a toddler.

I don’t have any pictures this time, but I do have some news.  Tomoe took 2 steps while standing up without any support.  While it’s not quite walking, it’s a step in the right direction!

More than ever, she’s reaching up whenever we walk past her, and we definitely know what she wants.  She wants to be picked up.  She’s also laughing a lot these days.  Very happy baby!  One thing that I taught her is “high 5.”  I’ve been working on it for the past week, and tonight, she finally raised her hand when I said it, and she hit my hand.  She’s learning.  This is a very important time to make sure that she hears as much language as possible, and not baby talk.  She’s been forming “words” with 2 or so different syllables, but hasn’t knowingly said anything yet.  She has accidentally said “Japan” and “yellow,” though.

Tomoe is loving books.  We try to read to her every night with one of her books, and she really enjoys it.  She also has plenty of toys to keep her occupied, and she will play on her own quite often.

Hopefully, I’ll have plenty of pictures later this week.

A day at the Rice Festival

Before I get into the festival, I’d like to mention a few other things.  Tomoe has been crazy.  Well, she’s been going to sleep at night much better now, but she is still very active and very noisy.

One thing she’s done is give herself some bruises.  I’m pretty sure I know how she got one of them, but the other is a mystery.  In fact, that mystery bruise is nearly a black eye!

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A dark bruise on the right and a red mark on the left.

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What’s with her tongue?

Tomoe’s been showing some pretty good dexterity lately.  She holds things and manipulates them well with her fingers.  She’s been able to amuse herself for up to an hour with her toys, which is great for us to be able to relax.

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She seems very interested in this toy. Unfortunately, she always drops them over the side of her bed.

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Eating a book. She’s supposed to be reading it, not eating it!

She’s been able to stand on her own for more than a minute now.  Her balance is getting much better, but she has limited coordination between her feet.  No walking yet.

The Rice Festival

On Friday (yesterday), we went to Yokohama to attend the Okome Matsuri (Rice Festival) at Aka Renga Soko (Red Brick Warehouse).  We met my wife’s sister at Sakuragicho, then started walking to the festival.

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Tomoe with the Cosmo Clock ferris wheel and sail-shaped Intercontinental Hotel behind her.

The food was good.  I ate plenty of rice, karaage (fried chicken), grilled chicken, tuna gyoza (Chinese style dumplings), and shrimp tempura skewer.  The weather was beautifully clear, although a bit chilly.

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One of the red brick warehouses behind a sign that says “Okome Matsuri.”

The warehouses are now a shopping centre.  There are two buildings, and the site is often used for events.  Every winter, an outdoor skating rink is set up, although it almost never goes below freezing due to Yokohama’s mild subtropical climate.

We then left the festival and went out to the park where Tomoe could try some walking.

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The first time Tomoe touched grass.

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She’s not very happy. In fact, she started crying because she didn’t like how the grass felt.

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Tomoe is being helped to her feet by her Mommy.

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She’d smile, but the sun was a bit too bright.

On our way home, Tomoe sat with us on the seat, sort of.  Most of the time, she stood up looking out the window, but she kept hitting the window and squealing.  She was a bit noisy and very crazy.  She was very restless on the train.  Usually, she’s pretty calm on the train.

I’m so happy she’s sleeping right now.

Now she makes Japanese curry

Before I get to the title of this post, I’ll make a couple of updates on Tomoe.

First of all, I mentioned that she’s been mimicking me when I shake my head and say “no” to her.  Well, it’s not quite mimicking.  She also shakes her head when I merely say “no.”  I don’t have to shake my head.  She seems to understand that this gesture and word go together.  She’s learning language!

Another new thing is that she immediately figured out how to use a straw when drinking.  So, she has a new way to drink!  Of course, she still uses the bottle, and will until she’s finished with formula.

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She can drink with a straw!

Now, as for the title of this post, my wife affectionately refers to Tomoe’s poop as curry.  Up until recently, her poop was greenish (Thai curry) or yellowish and chunky (tuna curry).  Well, her poop has finally become a more normal brown colour, or Japanese curry.  You see, Japanese curry is brown.  Got it?  I hope I haven’t spoiled your appetite for curry.  I actually ate curry for dinner tonight.

Baby communication

Babies start off without any communication skills other than crying.  That’s the only way you know they need something.  However, as time goes on, they develop the skills required to communicate.  Before verbal communication begins, babies communicate through gestures.  They also like to mimic movements and sounds.

Tomoe’s been developing her skills quite a bit recently.  As I mentioned before, she’s recently started reaching up when she wants to be picked up.  It’s very easy to understand what she wants in that case.  She’s become really good at it.  While she’s in her bed at night, sometimes she’ll stand up and look around the corner at us.  But if I give her a smile, she smiles back.  She loves to smile, and she loves to see us smiling at her.

Mimicry hasn’t been one her her strong points, until now.  Not only is she copying movements, she’s starting to copy sounds.  One thing we’ve been trying to get her to do is wave at us when we wave at her.  Unfortunately, she doesn’t really do it.  She does move her hand a bit, though.  She’s also copied me when I opened and closed my hand.  But the biggest thing is “no.”  Just this week, she’s started copying me when I shake my head and say “no.”  She shakes her head whenever I do it.

Mimicking sounds is also very new.  She’ll blow raspberry sounds whenever I do the same.  But recently, if we say “dada,” she says “dadadadadada.”  She also copies “mama” as “mamamamamamama,” but usually when she’s tired.

Earlier this week, she surprised my wife by saying “yatta!” twice.  “Yatta” is Japanese for “yay.”

We’re not quite sure if she’s said her first word or if she’s just been mimicking sounds.  What’s your baby’s first word?

Will she ever sleep?

Tomoe’s going through a new phase.  A phase in which she refuses to sleep until 1 or 2 am and constantly cries if she’s put in her bed.  If we go to pick her up, she becomes very active and it just makes it worse.  She cannot be held, as she just constantly moves around.  We can’t put her on the floor without her grabbing everything and trying to eat it.  We can’t put her in her bouncer, because she gets herself out of the harness and bounces like crazy while standing up, which in turn puts her in danger of falling out and hurting herself.  So then it’s back to bed and more crying.

At least the crying doesn’t last more than 15 or 20 minutes when she finally settles down.  But what does she do?  She plays with something in her bed.  Then she starts crying again a few minutes later.  She’s easy to get to sleep an hour or two after waking up in the morning, though.  But late at night, when she’s very sleepy, she fights her fatigue and complains about it.

Any ideas?

You can’t handle the tooth!

A couple weeks ago, Tomoe’s lower front teeth finally came in.  However, getting a picture of them is very difficult! It took many tries to get a good picture, and we had to resort to drastic measures.  You’ll see.  Below are some of our efforts.

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I tried using the baby toothbrush to open her mouth, but it was very difficult to do that while trying to take a picture.

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It was also a bit dark, so I needed to use the flash on my phone. Her mouth isn’t even open! But you can see her eye colour quite clearly.

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That’s right, we had to hold her still and pull down her lip. She cried.

These days, we can see that she’s thinking and her personality is developing. She seems fascinated with doors.  She’ll hold the door while she’s in her bed and open and close it over and over again.  She plays by herself a lot now.  Give her some toys and she’ll occupy herself for quite a while.

Last night, I got a big surprise.  When I came home from work, she was in her bed and looked at me.  She smiled as soon as she saw it was me, then reached her arms up to me.  She wanted me to hold her.  That’s a great feeling!

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I have no idea what she’s doing here.

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Sleeping with her strawberry butt in the air.