Tomoe’s first snow

The Kanto area of Japan (around Tokyo) had its first snow of the winter.  And it was a lot.  Actually, it was the biggest snowfall I’ve ever seen in this area since I came to Japan almost 8 years ago.  Tomoe got to enjoy her first look at snow.  To be honest, she did see snow when she was a newborn, but she didn’t really get to experience it.

Look! It's snowing!

Look! It’s snowing!

This snow is neat stuff.

This snow is neat stuff.

I was stuck at work yesterday, but I could see the snow from where I work.  By the late afternoon, there was 20-30 cm of snow on the ground.  However, this snow was very wet.  It was like slush.  On my way home, I had the displeasure of stepping in a 10 cm deep puddle of water covered by slush and snow.  My foot and shoe were soaked.

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This morning, Tomoe got to see the snow that was left.

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Standing in the snow for the first time!

Tomoe’s birthday is rapidly approaching, and she’s already got some birthday presents.  Her current baby carriage is good, but it’s appropriate for a toddler that’s walking.  She can’t get in or out of it by herself.  So, she has a new one made by Jeep!

Is this a 4WD?

Is this a 4WD?

In other news, Tomoe’s walking ability has been getting pretty strong.  She no longer sits down after only 5 or 6 steps.  She stays up as long as she wants!  She’s getting quite good at it, and I can see she’s getting ready to start running soon.

In addition to kissing, she also likes touching noses together.  She has a very playful personality, although she still wants to throw things out of her bed.  She’s also been sticking her tongue out while eating, causing all the food to get all over her clothes.  Of course, if we speak sternly with her about that, she starts crying.  She knows when we’re not happy, though I don’t think she really understands yet.

Well, next week, we’ll have a fun birthday for her!

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Too young to be rebellious?

Tomoe’s going through a new phase now.  She’s become a rebel.

One of her favourite things to do is to throw everything.  She usually throws all of her toys, pillow, and blankets from her bed when she’s playing in it.  She’ll throw it on purpose, just to see what we’ll do.  She’ll keep doing it over and over, never stopping.  If she’s playing with a toy on the floor, she’ll often try throwing it.

She often resists doing many things.  Lately, getting her diaper changed has been difficult.  She complains loudly when she can’t roll over while I’m doing up her diaper.  She’ll start crying most of the time.

Most of the time, she’s actually happy.  She smiles a lot and loves to laugh.  Actually, when I came home last night, she was still awake and as soon as she saw me, she reached toward me from her bed.  She was obviously happy to see me.

Another situation is her bath time.  When she’s waiting to go into the bath, she resists.  Recently, she’s begun crying when it’s time for a bath.  She doesn’t like the water being sprayed on her.  Getting into the bathtub, she used to really enjoy it, but she has been a bit fussy lately.

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Ready for her bath!

This is the age when most babies have separation anxiety, as well.  She’s shown signs of it.  Hopefully, this will be a short phase.

Happy baby, moody baby

Tomoe is having good days and bad days.  Yesterday was a good day.  She was happy.  She was silly.  She was joking around.  I’m pretty sure she was joking around.

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Happy Tomoe!

She’s been doing a lot of walking lately, though she still only takes about 5 or 6 steps on her own before sitting down.  She has been walking outside a lot while holding our hands, though.  She is getting better all the time.    She’s even started walking backwards!  When I got home last night, she walked up to me in her bed and smiled, then walked backwards making a growling sound.  Then she walked up to me again and smiled.  Then she backed up again, growling.  She was playing around with me.  It reminded me of this:

But here are some real pictures of Tomoe standing in the park, taken by my wife while I was on my way to work.

Standing at a park bench.

Standing at a park bench.

 

Happy Tomoe at the bench.

Happy Tomoe at the bench.

And one more standing Tomoe.

And one more standing Tomoe.

One more happy thing.  She’s been repeating a lot of things we say.  She’s been mimicking so much.  She’ll repeat sounds when we copy her.  But she’s also been kissing a lot.  We kiss her, she kisses back.  She’s learned to wave, too.

On the moody side of things, she has been terrible today.  Crying about everything.  She cries when we feed her, cries when we play with her, and she’s been throwing food down on the floor.  She gets quite upset when we’re not happy.  If we scold her a bit, she cries.  It takes just a look sometimes.  She knows we’re unhappy just by looking at our faces.  But in general, she’s just been in a bad mood today.  Hard to feed, hard to play with, hard to please.

Thankfully, she’s playing on her own right now and not crying.

 

Tomoe learns new skills

It’s always amazing to see Tomoe learn new things.  Lately, she’s been learning something new almost every day.  She’s starting to figure things out.

She has a big 6 sided toy that’s also her toy box.  On one side, there’s a door, which she has learned to open and close.  She always tries to find that side of the cube and open it up so she can get the toys out.  Not only that, she’s also perfected the skill of emptying out her toy box and throwing everything on the floor from her bed.

As for playing with toys, I’ve taught her how to bounce a ball.  Now when she has a ball, she’ll throw it down and bounce it.  Unfortunately, she sometimes does that with other toys, too.

A really big thing she’s learned is kissing.  If I give her a kiss on the cheek, she’ll lean in and kiss me on the cheek, too.  She hasn’t done it with her mom, though.

Recently, when she’s been hungry, she’ll get our attention a way other than crying.  When we were coming home from the in-laws’ house last night, she was hungry on the train.  She grabbed my wife’s hand and pulled.  Her hand was over her bottle and senbei (rice crackers).  She wanted some!  She’s learning quite a bit these days.

Not really a skill, but she’s really loving riding on my shoulders.  She always seems to be really happy up there.

Yesterday, as I said, we were at the in-laws for New Year’s Day.  We ate a lot.  Tomoe really enjoyed seeing the family, and there were family members that loved seeing her.  The ones who especially wanted to spend time with her were her great-grandfather (he’s the kind of elderly man who is always smiling and friendly) and her second cousin (a 12 year old girl).  But we found that although she enjoyed the company of the family, she usually wanted to be with my wife or I.

2012 Year in Review

What a year it’s been.  11 months ago, Tomoe was born.  Now she’s walking.  How time flies.

So, this post is all about how the blog did this year.  Who wants to see what was popular this year?  Well, here are the top 10 most popular posts this year:

  1. Tomoe, born January 25th – Of course, this was the most popular.
  2. Tomoe, 1 day old – She was popular in the beginning!
  3. Take a guess! – Before she was born, I asked you to guess about her weight and birth time.
  4. Tomoe’s day with a friend – A more recent day, only a month ago.
  5. The quest for the perfect diaper – This was a difficult decision!
  6. Week 35 – Still pregnant. This was posted on New Year’s Day.
  7. How do I feel about fatherhood? – I made this post shortly before Tomoe’s birth.
  8. The past 8 weeks in ultrasound – This is from early in the pregnancy. People are interested in ultrasound pictures.
  9. Moody baby discovers her hands! – A milestone.
  10. A new car for her 2 month birthday! – She got a baby carriage!

So, those were the most popular posts in the past year.  Not all of them were from this year, though.

In this year, Tomoe went from this:

Less than 10 minutes after she was born.

To this:

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Amazing year!  We’ve seen her lift her head for the first time, learn to smile and laugh, roll over, sit up on her own, start crawling, stand up with support, eat solid food, drink from a straw, react to her name, stand up on her own, get her first teeth, hi-5, raise her hand when her name is called, and more.  What will she learn next?  Oh yeah, she learned to wave tonight!

I hope 2013 is even more exciting!

Family plans for the holidays

Now that I’m on holiday, I have plenty of time to do many things that I enjoy.  Blogging is one thing, playing Sims 2 is another, as well as reading books.  But I’ll have plenty of time with my family and some bonding time with Tomoe.

The next couple of days are going to be rainy, but I’ll play with Tomoe and get her to walk as much as I can.  When it’s sunny, I’ll be taking her to the park to play, as well as practice walking.  She’s doing great with that.

But the big thing is January 1st.  We’ll be going to Saitama for Oshogatsu, which is New Year’s in Japanese.  We’ll spend the day at my in-laws’ home, probably eating sushi and drinking sake, as well as a possibility of going bowling.  But I think the big thing is for Tomoe to see everyone, and for everyone to see how she’s grown.  She’ll have a lot of people taking care of her.  It’ll be a fun day for her, I think.

After the New Year, we’ll be going to Zeniarai Benten in Kamakura.  It’s a famous shrine where you can wash your money to wish for good fortune in terms of finances.  It’s a fascinating place.

As far as the blog goes, I’ll be doing a year in review post before New Year’s Day.  Also, I received an award nomination, which I’ll have to considering making a post about.

What are your plans for the New Year?