Tomoe and a big Pooh

Last Friday, we went out for a walk after lunch, being a beautiful day.  We visited Akibadai Cultural and Athletics Centre and checked out some sports related activities (I’m interested in the walking courses).  We then visited somewhere I haven’t been since January, the clinic where Tomoe was born.  There’s a little play area for children, and Tomoe got to finally play there.  She seemed to really like the big Winnie the Pooh.

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Hello, big Pooh!

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Can I poke you in the eye?

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What a big head you have.

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What’s this? A little Pooh!

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It’s time to wrestle!!

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Hello again, big Pooh.

We noticed how much fun Tomoe was having with the stuffed toys, we had to get one for her.  We found a pretty cheap one that she seemed to like right away.  It’s a soft, fluffy stuffed dog.

On our way home, we stopped at the playground near our apartment.  She’d played on the swing earlier in the week, but I never got the chance to see her playing on it.

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She’s moving so fast, she’s blurred!

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This is fun!

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It was close to sunset, so my iPhone’s camera kept taking longer exposures. So, we get blurry baby!

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After this, we had a guest.

At this point, a young girl, maybe about 7 years old, came up to us and started playing with Tomoe.  She seemed to really enjoy playing with her.  She pushed her on the swing while I stayed in front of her.  Tomoe laughed a lot.  The girl actually asked me most of the questions, instead of my wife.  I answered as best as I could in Japanese.  She basically wanted to know how old Tomoe was and when her birthday is.  The neighbourhood kids seem to be really nice.

On the baby development side of things, Tomoe continues to practice balancing while standing in her bed.  She can manage 3 seconds without holding onto anything.  She’s also walking from one end of her bed to the other while holding onto the side with one hand.  She’s doing a lot of practicing.

Unfortunately, she’s been awake until around 2 am a lot recently.  But I’ve heard that babies between 6 and 10 months old tend to have difficulties sleeping through the night.

She’s been throwing things a lot recently, too.  She likes to grab everything, bang it on something, then throw it.  She also has a fascination with the bedroom door.  She’ll hold it and move it back and forth.  She’s getting very good with her hands.  Apparently, babies this age sometimes start waving and pointing at things.  Tomoe hasn’t done either.  However, she does reach up when she’s about to be picked up.  And another thing, she seems to like holding my nose sometimes, and laughs when I rub her feet or hands on my chin.

Tonight, she found something rather amusing.  As I was changing her, her clean diaper was sitting nearby, and it was slowly folding up after I’d opened it.  She laughed as it folded up.  I tried it a few more times and she laughed every time.  Her sense of humour is developing.

What’s new at 5 months? Plenty!

Tomorrow, Tomoe will be 5 months old.  Just one month to go until she’s half a year old!

This has been a busy week for her.  She should be getting to the stage where she can sit up on her own.  We’ve been trying to get her to do it, but she’s not completely successful.  She leans forward too much, as her back and legs aren’t strong enough yet.  But she should be able to do it soon.

Trying to sit up.

Oh, you’re taking my picture!

This is hard!

She’s also been continuing her exploration with her hands.  She grabs everything now.  This past week, she’s finally started grabbing her feet.  She does it a lot now!

See? These are my feet!

She continues to enjoy rolling over onto her stomach.  However, it’s pretty boring just laying there on her stomach, so she needs something to play with.  So, we got her a play mat.  She seems to enjoy the butterfly a lot.

Hey, what’s that tiger doing there?

Tomoe’s often trying to hold her bottle while she’s being fed, but she’s not very good at it.  The larger glass bottles are too heavy for her.  But she has a bottle with handles, and we’ve given it a try.  It seems to be a success!

Look! I can use my hands!

I’m a master!

Tomoe really enjoys being talked to, and she’s been laughing so much.  Just saying “hi” to her makes her smile.  She may actually be recognising her own name now, as she does respond by looking at us when we say her name…sometimes.

I wonder what this month will hold for us.

The master of rolling over

The past few days have been quite amazing, although slightly frustrating, for Tomoe.

She’s become a master of rolling over from her back to her front.  She does it so quickly now, it’s amazing that only a week ago, she struggled for several minutes trying to do it without success.  Now, whenever she’s on her back, she always wants to flip over.  Unfortunately, this means that when her diaper is being changed, she tries to do it then, too.  She’s incredibly squirmy when being changed.

Her dexterity with her hands has improved drastically recently, as well.  She reaches for things now.  Before, she would only hold things if we put them in her hand.  She also manipulates anything she’s holding, examining it closely.  Just a few minutes ago, she was holding onto my hand and studying it carefully.  She then kept moving my hand away, then close again, then away again, then closer once more, and kept repeating this for about 2 or 3 minutes.  She’s testing what she can do and how everything reacts to what she’s doing.  She’s studying very actively these days.

For the past few days, she’s also been extremely active at night.  She’s constantly moving, kicking and talking.  We want to sleep, but she won’t settle down.  Hopefully, this is just a little phase.  But she’s in a good mood through all of this.

Tomoe’s discovered a game that she loves.  Peek-a-boo!  I often cover her face with her bib, and she gets very excited.  When I lift it from her face, her eyes are big and her mouth is wide open.  She gasps like she’s surprised and very excited.  After several times, I lift her bib only halfway up, and she can anticipate what’ll happen next.  She gasps excitedly and gives a big smile.  She loves it!

From BabyCenter’s website, I can see that her development is on target.  She’s definitely developing a sense of humour.  She laughs a lot these days.  She’s a very happy smiling and laughing baby.  As I’ve said above, she manipulates objects that she holds, and she focuses a lot on objects around her.  She’s very interested in many things.

And now for some pictures!

Sleeping peacefully.

She’s rolling over!

It was a hot, sunny day last Friday, and she got some new sunglasses. But they’re still a bit too big for her.

Here’s a cute picture taken by my wife.

Reaching more milestones

Tomoe is a very happy baby these days.  She’s had so many exciting things happen.  Look at how happy she is!

So happy, she’s blurry!

It was a very exciting supermarket.

Earlier this week, Tomoe visited a child centre in Terrace Mall at Tsujido.  She was able to enjoy meeting other babies and my wife could meet other mothers, including one that lives near us, and another mixed baby’s mother.  It’s great that they can both meet new people around here.

Tomoe’s also tried her first solid food.  While it’s recommended for babies to start eating solid food around 5 months old, we checked to see if she could do it.  And what a success it was!  At first, she had a little difficulty, as she was very unfamiliar with the feeling of eating with a spoon and having non-liquid food in her mouth, but she was soon attacking the spoon voraciously.  She loved it!  She ate some baby food made of rice.

Yummy food!

I want more!

Another big milestone is that she’s finally rolled over.  At first, she rolled over from her stomach to her back earlier this week, but today she rolled over from her back to her front for the first time.  She seems to like laying on the floor now, and she rolls over onto her side quite often.

Trying to run? She’s doing it wrong.

As always, Tomoe is smiling and laughing a lot.  Her laughing has become quite infectious.  She likes laughing at me imitating her laugh, as well as strange noises.

Coming soon are immunizations and her 4 month checkup.

Happy 4 month birthday!

Today, Tomoe is 4 months old.  It’s hard to believe it’s been 4 months since she was born.  So much has happened since then.  She’s gone from a sleeping, pooping, peeing and eating machine with no personality to a little girl with a lot of personality.

Lately, she’s been getting quite good at pushing up with her arms, so she can hold her head up much more easily while on her stomach.  This is very important for when she learns to crawl.  She’s also almost rolling over.  She gets about half way before flopping back down on her back.

She’s getting really good at tummy time.

She’s getting more and more interactive these days, as well.  She looks at and follows everything.  She’s tracking left, right, up and down with her eyes, so that’s great.  She’s been manipulating things with her hands, though quite clumsily.  She reaches for toys and holds them while looking at them.  She has one toy that plays music that she especially loves.  She smiles quite a bit for it.

On the topic of smiles, her laugh has finally become more like a laugh.  When she laughed before, it wasn’t really a laughing sound, but now she has a much more natural laugh.  One thing that makes her laugh is if I copy her laugh.  She loves it.

Her eye colour has changed a lot now.  2 weeks ago, it was mostly blue with some hazel mixed in.  Now, it’s mostly hazel, though some blue still shows through.

Lately, Tomoe’s been sleeping a lot.  So, here are some sleeping pictures.

Close up. You can see her hair’s been thinning.

Great pose in her bed.

Sleeping in the bouncer with a new toy by her head.

She fell asleep with her new pacifier in her mouth.

The Bouncer

Last time, I mentioned how Tomoe would always find a way to fall off the sofa.  Also, the bed she sleeps in, which is on our bed, is getting too small for her.  Or rather, she’s getting too big for it.  It’s only designed for up to 4 months old.  Take a look below.

Sleeping in her bed.

I don’t fit anymore!!

Well, our solution to falling off the sofa doesn’t solve our bed problem, but that’s another matter.  Our solution to the bed problem is a baby bouncer.  And boy does it ever work well!  Tomoe sleeps well in it during the day, she can’t fall out of it, and we can hang toys from a bar above her to play with.  It’s become a very valuable daytime bed/chair.  When she gets older, we can attach a table to it, and she’ll be able to eat and play on it.

Tomoe’s in her comfy new bouncer.

Sleeping peacefully in the bouncer with some toys hanging above.

I love this thing!  Now we don’t have to worry about her falling off the sofa while we’re busy.

There are some other things going on in Tomoe’s life.  For one thing, my wife has started a part-time job.  I get to take care of the baby while she’s at work.  So far, things are going well.

Tomoe’s started losing some of her hair.  This is normal, as many babies lose a lot of the hair they’re born with.  It grows back.  She’s getting a strange ring-shaped baldness pattern.

Playing is becoming much more active.  Not only is she paying more attention to toys, she’s reaching out to grab them.  This is a very important part of her development.  Her hand-eye coordination is improving now.  She’s also laughing quite a bit more now.  The greatest discovery was today.  She thinks my sneeze is funny.  So, I did a few fake sneezes, and she laughed a lot.  She’s a very happy baby.

4 months is coming up quickly!  We should soon see her able to do pushups, roll over and more.

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.