Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was Tomoe’s second birthday.  She had a strawberry and blueberry tart for a birthday cake, and she loved it.

Photo was created by my wife.

Photo was created by my wife.

Now that she’s 2 years old, she’s entering the terrible twos.  She says “no” a lot.  She fights against going to bed a lot lately, too.  Communication is getting better.  She can ask for things by saying the word or pointing at it.  She speaks mostly Japanese and gibberish with some English words, but she understand English directions pretty well.

I’m making a bit of an announcement with this post, too.  This is the last post I will write about Tomoe.  At this age, she is an increasingly individual person, and deserves her privacy.  I’d like to thank all of you who have followed her from being a tiny bean to a 2 year old toddler.  However, that doesn’t mean this blog is finished.  While it’ll be going into a kind of hibernation, I’ll keep it online, and occasionally write posts about raising children in Japan.  But nothing specific about Tomoe.  If we have a second child here in Japan, this blog will be resurrected.  But since we plan to move to Canada by the end of 2016, we may have our second kid in Canada.  But we’ll see about the future of this blog.



Happy 18 Month Birthday!

Today Tomoe is 18 months old! That’s 1 and a half years old now.

I’ve read a bit about what an 18 month old can do, and one thing is that they can usually say around 12 words by now.  Tomoe can say a few words, and has surprised with some random attempts to repeat, although not successfully.  She told me a few days ago to “be quiet” after I told her to be quiet.  She did it with a big grin, of course.  Her vocabulary is pretty mixed between English and Japanese.  In English, she can say the following:

  • Hello
  • Bye-bye
  • Daddy
  • Mama
  • Thank you (she said this today!)

In Japanese, she can say:

  • Hai (it means yes, but the way she uses it, it means “here you are” when giving something)
  • Douzo (here you are)
  • Choudai (can I have it, please?)
  • Mama
  • Bye-bye

She isn’t naming things yet, but she understand what some things are, such as clock, bellybutton, and ball.  She knows banana and yoghurt, as well.  Her repetition of sounds has increased along with her accuracy.

A really silly thing she said a week ago was this: Nice to meet you totsuzen.  Totsuzen is “sudden” in English.  I don’t think she meant to actually say these words, but they came out clearly while riding an elevator with strangers.

Tomoe’s learning some practical skills, too.  The two big ones are brushing her teeth, which she does quite well, and wiping her nose with a tissue.


I can brush my teeth!

She can also put together one of her toys now.  It’s like a puzzle, but you attach gears to it.  She really enjoys that.

She’s constantly surprising us with what she can do.  I’m looking forward to being able to have a conversation with her soon.

Tomoe’s birthday fun

Tomoe was so excited for her birthday, she fell asleep yesterday morning.


She took off her pants.

Well, I’m pretty sure Tomoe has no idea what a birthday is.  But today, we had some fun with her.  We went to Terrace Mall Shonan at Tsujido to visit our favourite kids’ play areas, Kid-o-Kid.  This was her first time there since she started walking.  I’ve got a few pictures to share.


Playing with her favourite gears. We actually bought her a set of this for her birthday. Maybe she’ll be an engineer.


Playing with her eyes closed? I just caught her blinking.


She loves the ball pit.


She can actually hold the balls.


Looking from way up.


And another from above.


She discovered some baby birds behind this panel.

She had fun, but was pretty sleepy.  So, we went to get lunch, and she fell asleep.  However, she did wake up before we finished eating, so she had a snack.


Eating some bread.

Well, that was her birthday!  On other topics, she’s become quite the copycat.  She has yet to repeat what we say, but she mimics what we do.  She’s learning by copying.  What she’s been saying has become more and more complex.  She doesn’t just repeat the same syllable over and over, but she combines many different sounds to make baby talk.  I think we’ll hear her first word soon.

That’s it for today.  Happy birthday, Tommy!

Happy birthday, Tomoe!

Just a quick little post.  No pictures.  It’s just after midnight here, so it’s time to say this:  Happy birthday, Tomoe!

She’s 1 year old today.  I can’t believe how fast the year went.  What a year it’s been.  She’s no longer a baby.  She’s a toddler!

It’ll be a busy day for us.  We’re celebrating her birthday with a visit to Kid-o-Kid.  It’s her first time there since beginning to walk, so she’s going to be able to go wherever she chooses.  It’ll be exciting!  I’ll have plenty of pictures later in the day.

Tomoe’s half birthday celebration

Tomoe’s 6 month “birthday” was last week, and a couple days later, we had a big day of fun for her.  We went to Shonan Terrace Mall last Friday and gave her a fun day.

What? I have a birthday already?

At the mall, we had her 6 month picture taken.  She got to wear two dresses, a yellow one and a green one.  They were basically like a princess kind of dress.  At the time, she was a bit sleepy and hungry, so wasn’t in much of a mood to smile.  We did get a smile, but most of the time, she just didn’t show much happiness during the photo shoot.  After that, we had lunch.  She’s been eating plenty of baby food lately, and she’s getting very good at it.

We’re going where?? I can’t believe it!!

We went to a place called Kid Kid, which is a big play area for kids from 6 months to 12 years old.  There are many areas for kids to play in, but we spent most of the time in the baby area.

Look at all the toys!!

Wow! There are so many balls!

I’m Queen of the ball pit!

Is this a buckyball? Why is mommy touching my ear?

Oh no! The balls are winning!!!

Get me out of here!

I’m a big girl! I can stand!

I love this toy! It’s so much fun!

Oh, I’m back in here again? I’ll try to be brave this time!

This colourful ball is so interesting!

I really like it in here!

This is my favourite ball!

Hey, is that me?

I can see myself!

Hello! Who are you?

You look like me!

This ball pit is so big!!!

Help me! I’m sinking!!!

We did a lot of things in Kid Kid.  We spent 1 1/2 hours there, and she really had a good time.  But it was time to get going.  Time to go home.

I’m so exhausted!

After we arrived home, we went to the park near our apartment to play with bubbles.

Oops! Caught her blinking.

Oh wow! What are those?

There were a lot of children in the park at this time, and I think they had more fun with the bubbles than Tomoe did.  She seemed to ignore them most of the time.  The kids, all girls, kept playing with the bubbles.

So many bubbles, but I couldn’t capture them well with the camera.

They were moving too fast.

This is a bit better.

So many big bubbles!

The bubbles were very colourful, but a bit sticky.

The bubbles got smaller and smaller, so it was harder to see them.

Most of the time, they were just a blur.

Tomoe was very popular that day.  A young girl, about 7 or 8 years old, came up to me and said to me in English, “Hello.”  So I said “Hello” back to her.  Then she asked me, “What is her name?” I answered, “Her name is Tomoe.” I was so surprised that this girl came to talk to me in English.  There were also some housewives walking there dogs who came over to us and made a huge fuss over how cute Tomoe is and how white her skin is. One of them saw the bubbles from the street below the park and was surprised.  The park is on a hill, and the bubbles went down the side of the hill.

It was a busy day for us, but it was a lot of fun.