Tomoe, 100 days old

Today, Tomoe is 100 days old.  This is an important day in Japan, and a big meal is prepared for 100 day old babies to ensure that they will never have to go hungry in their entire lives.  We had our big meal on Monday with the family, as I’d already posted about.

At this stage of a baby’s development, a lot is happening.  Babies are very actively moving their arms and legs around.  Tomoe does that a lot.  She also kicks pretty hard now.  Another thing she really enjoys is being held upright with her feet on the floor or on my wife or I.  She pushes down so that she’s kind of standing.  It makes her give a big smile.  Babies are also supposed to start getting interested in toys, especially holding or hitting them.  Tomoe will hold a toy and stare at it, but that’s about it.

Babies also like to touch things and feel them.  Tomoe is always trying to grab onto something.  It doesn’t matter what, she holds on tight.  It gets slightly painful when she digs her fingernails into my hand or arm, too.  When she does hold something, she always tries to move it to her mouth.  This is also quite normal.  She usually tries sucking on her bib or clothes.  Another thing she loves to feel is being blown on.  We just blow at her hair, and she makes a gasping sound and a very happy looking face.

Tomoe is incredibly alert.  She’s always looking around at things, and when we’re walking around the apartment, she’ll follow us with her eyes.  She’s also unbelievably vocal.  She makes a lot of sounds.  Although she doesn’t have a big laugh yet, which normally happens within the next couple of weeks, she does make a quick laugh sometimes.

We’ve been giving her a lot of tummy time, as well.  This is helping her strengthen her neck, shoulders, back and arms.  By the time she’s 4 months old, she should be able to hold herself up with her arms and also roll herself over.  She’s almost done that once, only making it halfway.

As far as language development goes, we’ve been talking to her, showing her things and telling her what they are.  She may not understand, but she’s learning how we speak, and will eventually try to mimic the sounds.

Finally, here are some pictures.  Being her 100th day, we did find a couple of very lucky things.  Scroll down to the last 2 pictures, and you’ll see.

There’s me holding Tomoe while she sucks on her thumb. She fell asleep shortly after that.

Sleeping on the sofa. She’s done a lot of that this week.

She tried to feed herself, but no control.

It was raining a bit today, and we managed to see this rainbow on Tomoe’s 100th day.

For even more luck, we found a four leaf clover!

Busy weekend! Hina Matsuri and a photo studio visit

March 3rd was Hina Matsuri, or the Doll Festival (also known as Girls’ Day).  I made a blog post about it on my Japan blog.  Normally, a Hina Doll set is set up in late February, then taken down right after the festival.

Our Hina Doll set.

We kept our display up until the 5th, though.  There’s a superstition that says if you keep the display up beyond the 4th, the daughter will marry late.  Well, we kept it up until the 5th so we could celebrate it with my wife’s parents and sister.

Unfortunately, my wife’s dad couldn’t come today.  Only her mom and sister came.  We were all supposed to have a family photo done with Tomoe, but since he couldn’t come, we changed our plans.  We still went to get our photos done, though.  So, my wife, Tomoe and I took a taxi to Tsujido’s Terrace Mall Shonan in the rain, where we went to Studio Alice.  On the way there, Tomoe stared out the window, fascinated by everything moving past.  When we went through a tunnel, her eyes opened widely.  We finally arrived at the mall, and she’d fallen asleep.  We found the studio, which specializes in children’s photos, and got prepared.

Tomoe slept before her picture was taken. I took this picture before realising that I wasn't supposed to take pictures in the studio. I could take video, though.

We picked out a couple of outfits for Tomoe to wear.  One is a white dress with light pink flowers, and the other is a pink kimono.  Many photos were taken of Tomoe by herself, but my wife and I joined her for one set of photos.  It was quite funny watching her show very little interest in the photographer or camera, and she looked away a lot.  I won’t be posting any of the photos on here, as they’re professionally done, and they own the copyright.  Besides, they’re personal.

Once we were done, we went shopping, and all 5 of us returned to our apartment.  We had a great meal of sushi, roast beef, and several other foods.  After that, my mother-in-law dismantled the Hina Doll set.  My wife has since drunk the bottle of peach juice, which she said is a lot like Calpis.  We ate some of the snacks that we had displayed with the Hina Doll set.  Pretty sweet.

It was a pretty busy day for us.  Tomoe has been sleeping most of the time since.  It was her first visit to a shopping mall, and the farthest she’s been from home.  Just wait until we go to Saitama later this month.  It’ll probably be her first train ride.

Tomoe, 3 weeks old

Tomoe’s 3 weeks old!  The past 3 days have shown some ups and downs, though.

Last night, she slept well, and I could actually sleep the full night.  The night before, she would not sleep until 5 am.  She would only sleep if she was sleeping with us.  So, she finally went to sleep on our bed with us.  Last night, she slept in her own bed perfectly fine.  Tonight, she’s a bit fussy again.  She’s been really hungry, and wouldn’t stop demanding food.  Finally, we filled her up just a few minutes ago.  She’s now in her new bed on a bed.  That’s right, she has a new bed, but it’s a small mattress that she can use on our bed.  It’s designed to keep her in one place, so she doesn’t move around, and also to keep us from rolling onto her.

Tomoe's new bed on a bed.

Now, my question is, do you or did you let your baby sleep in your bed with you?  It’s quite common in Japan, but in Canada, I believe it’s not so common.  If you allow your baby to sleep with you regularly, they won’t get out of this habit until they’re 3 years old.  Hopefully, we don’t make this too regular.

Tomoe, 3 days old

Today is my last day off from work.  I return to work tomorrow, so I can’t see her tomorrow.  I had to enjoy being with Tomoe as much as possible today.  I did a lot of watching.  She didn’t really do much most of the time, just slept peacefully.

Tomoe was sleeping in this position almost the entire time I was there.

I wasn’t sure I was going to get many pictures that didn’t look the same.  I did get a chance later for some interesting pictures, though.

Before I get to that, my wife’s grandmother, aunt and uncle visited her and Tomoe at the clinic today.  This was only the second time I’ve met her aunt and uncle, but her grandmother lives next door to her parents.  Her grandmother kept watching Tomoe very intently and would repeat “kawaii ne” often.  She was saying “Cute, isn’t she?”  She seemed to really enjoy watching Tomoe.  They didn’t stay long and soon left after some chatting.  So, I got back to taking pictures.

Not quite a smile.

Making faces at me.

Is she trying to hide?

Just continuing to look cute.

Just before I went home, she made this face.

Tomoe was moving quite a bit near the end of my visit.  She was making a lot of involuntary jerky movements with her arms.  This is normal, and is a sign that her nervous system is still developing.  Her brain is still being wired.

My wife is walking pretty close to normal now.  She’s been feeling back pain due to using her muscles differently, as her posture has returned to her pre-pregnancy state.  I got to see the cut that the doctor made for the Caesarean section.  It was much shorter than I expected.

One last thing before I finish.  In Japan, it is traditional for family members to give new parents gift money in envelopes.  Unlike in Canada, where a gift is a gift and return gifts are not expected, we are required to find a gift to give to each person who has given us gift money.  It’s a kind of thank you.  Japan is known for its gift giving traditions.

Tomorrow, I won’t have any pictures, unless my wife is able to send me one or two.  Back to work!

A visit to Daigyoji Temple

In Japan, there are many temples that are dedicated to different things.  Daigyoji Temple in Kamakura is dedicated to childbirth.  Yesterday, my fiancee went there with her mom and sister to get an omamori (charm) for a safe birth.  Unfortunately, I was unable to go with them because I had to work, but my fiancee was able to send me a picture of the temple.