Tomoe at a beach barbecue

On Sunday, my family went to a beach barbecue with a friend of mine in Kamakura.  It was at Yuigahama Beach, which I’ve posted about before.  This was Tomoe’s first chance to meet a large number of people, and she was quite popular.  Several of my coworkers were there, and they were quite interested in meeting Tomoe.  It was a good chance for her to be the centre of attention, and she seemed to have little trouble with it.  But she seemed to have a hard time with one person in particular who kept looking at her with his face very close to her.  I think she was uncomfortable.  But she seemed to have no trouble with all of the women, as well as plenty of the men.  One thing that she did that surprised me was that she started crying when she was close to the water.  She was so excited before.

Tomoe’s introduction to my world was pretty successful.  She’s known mostly just home and some shops and the neighbourhood, but this time, she got to experience the people I meet every week.  It was a very tiring experience for her, though.  She slept a lot Sunday night.  But Monday was another big day, which I’ll post about soon.

Another big thing was that my wife’s homemade karaage (Japanese style fried chicken) was very successful.

Tomoe was in the red baby carriage. Notice the hawk near the centre? There were so many hawks that day!

She was very happy!

Double happy!

Sunday night at home, having dinner.

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Tomoe went to Kamakura

For the second week in a row, Tomoe went to the beach.  It was a bit different this time, as we walked from Kamakura to Enoshima, all of the time along the coast.  Before we got to the beach, we stopped at Kua’aina, a Hawaiian hamburger restaurant that serves the best burgers in Japan, most likely.

Tomoe wants a hamburger, not her formula.

On the beach, she wasn’t very interested in the waves this time.  She just wanted to sleep.  She did get to touch the water this time, though there was no reaction from her at all.  Just sleep.

Looking out at the ocean? No, she's actually asleep.

We walked along the coastline, mostly on a sidewalk, but on occasion, we stopped at a park or convenience store.  At Inamuragasaki Park, Tomoe was a bit hungry.

She was so hungry, she tried to eat the baby carriage.

One thing we noticed is that her eyes are starting to change colour.  It looks like they may become hazel.  They’re still mostly blue-grey, but hazel is becoming visible.  I didn’t think she’d keep her blue eyes.

Tomoe’s also become quite the talker.  Of course, she doesn’t say any words, but she makes plenty of sounds while we talk to her.  It’s pretty cute.  But when it’s late at night, she sometimes likes to make lots of noise.  She’s not hungry, she just wants to talk.  Right now, my wife is trying to sleep, I’m trying to blog, and Tomoe just won’t stop talking.

Tomoe’s day at the beach

Last Friday, my wife and I walked down to the beach from our apartment with Tomoe.  It was nearly 10 km.  It was also Tomoe’s first time at the beach.  Our walk to the beach was filled with cherry blossoms and brief rain showers.  But when we arrived at the beach, there was no more rain.  It was cloudy, though.  Thankfully, the clouds cleared near the western horizon and Mt Fuji.  You can see the pictures on my Japan blog.

Tomoe’s first visit to the beach was quite the experience.  At first, she didn’t seem very excited.

Tomoe's at the beach!

We stopped a while to take some pictures of the sunset and Enoshima and an elderly man started talking to us.  I have no idea what he was saying, though.  After a bit, we went down to the beach, took Tomoe out of her baby carriage and I carried her to the water.  That’s where the magic began.  I crouched down and put Tomoe on my knee so she could be close to the water.  She was mesmerized by the waves coming in.  She couldn’t take her eyes off of them.  She started breathing quickly and her body would not keep still.  She was shaking with excitement.  She wasn’t afraid at all.  She was incredibly excited by these waves coming in.  It’s something she’s never seen before.  I have a feeling she’s going to love he beach.

My wife was holding Tomoe for this picture. She was pretty excited, so she wouldn't stay still.

I'm holding her on the beach with the sun setting behind us.

After the sun set behind Mt Fuji, we made our way back to Kugenuma Kaigan Station and back home.  It was an exciting day for Tomoe, and we’ll be seeing the beach again this Friday.

Later at home, she gave me a big smile.

That night, Tomoe seemed very happy.  She smiled a lot.  She’s been doing that a lot lately.  Today, she was even laughing.  She’s finally started laughing.

A new car for her 2 month birthday!

On January 25th, Tomoe turned 2 months old.  A couple days before, her new baby carriage arrived.  Not a car, but in Japan, they call it a baby car.  The one we got is good for babies and toddlers up to 3 years old, so she’s going to be able to use it a long time.

She's sleeping in her new baby carriage in the supermarket.

She’s been spoiled quite a bit lately.  She’s received some new toys from friends of my wife’s, some of which she’s able to suck on.  While she isn’t teething, the toys are great for when she will start teething, but also great for her to suck on when she’s hungry.

On Monday, we went out for the day together as a family at Minato Mirai in Yokohama.  We had lunch together in Sizzler, where Tomoe behaved quite well.  Only a little crying, but a little feeding satisfied her.  We then went out to walk around Minato Mirai.  First, we went over a bridge outside Landmark Plaza that goes over Dockyard Garden.

Chewing on a plastic cookie in her baby carriage in Minato Mirai.

We decided we were going to walk over to Aka Renga Soko, or the Red Brick Warehouses.  On our way, we passed the Nipponmaru naval training ship, and also a popular spot to take pictures, with the Cosmo Clock ferris wheel and the sail-shaped Intercontinental Hotel in the background.

Nipponmaru and the big Cosmo Clock ferris wheel in Minato Mirai.

There’s a causeway and bridge across the harbour that usually has cherry trees blooming at this time of year, but due to the cold winter and early spring, they haven’t begun blooming yet.  At this point, we gave Tomoe her first look at the ocean.  After a bit, we arrived at Aka Renga Soko, which is now a shopping centre.

Aka Renga Soko, or the Red Brick Warehouse, near Minato Mirai.

Not wanting to be stuck in the rush hour train, we decided to walk back to Yokohama station.  At the station, we found that Tomoe had taken a poop, and it was leaking.  What a smell it was making!  We had to ride the 40 minute train ride back to Shonandai with a smelly and hungry baby, then a bus ride to our home.  Finally, we made it back.

Other than that, Tomoe’s been making progress.  She’s been vocalizing a lot more lately, as well as continuing to smile a lot.  No laughing yet, though.  Also, she’s now up to 5300 grams, having gained more than 2 kg in the past 2 months.  She’s definitely looking bigger.  Her personality has been showing quite a bit lately, too.  She really enjoys hearing me speak, and watches me so intently while smiling when I talk in my normal voice.  As well, she seems to like looking at hanging laundry and the colour green.  She focuses on that colour a lot more than others it seems.

Shopping for the baby

On Monday, after visiting the clinic, my wife and I, along with her mother, went to Terrace Mall Shonan by Tsujido Station in Fujisawa.  The mall is brand new, just opened on November 11th.  It’s pretty big, and it includes a baby goods store called Akachan Honpo.  There are many clothes, toys, baby carriages, beds, and more, for babies and children.  My mother-in-law seemed to enjoy choosing clothes for our baby.  Lots of pink and yellow.  Looking around in that store, I suddenly felt that it was even more real than before.  The birth will be next month.  The next few weeks will go by very quickly, I think.

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.