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.

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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.

A quarter year old!

Tomoe is 3 months old!  She just had her 3 month “birthday” and she’s still going strong.  It’s been incredible to watch her change over the past 3 months.  She went from a newborn baby who couldn’t see very far, showed very little in the way of awareness, and couldn’t hold her head up to a baby who is very vocal, smiles a lot, and has a very strong neck.  She’s showing a lot of personality now.  I have plenty of conversations with her these days.  She makes a sound with her voice, and I just answer her.  Then she responds.  She’s responding to our voices a lot, and is often searching the room for us.  When I come home from work, she has a big smile as soon as she looks at me.  She’s also been trying to turn herself over.  She gets about 40% of the way, but can’t quite roll.  She’s also starting to push herself up with her arms while she’s on her stomach.

We often play with her.  She seems to really enjoy being held up above our heads, like she’s flying.  She absolutely loves that.  She loves bouncing, too.  I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of activities and toys she likes.

3 month old babies are at a very important point in their lives.  Their brains are developing quickly, and language is beginning to get its foundation.  She may not be able to understand any words, but she’s learning conversational sounds.  She constantly watches while we talk.  This is the time we should be talking to her a lot, saying as many different things as possible to aid her in learning new words.  We should be pointing things out and saying what they are.  As she’ll be raised bilingually, she has to learn words for 2 languages, which means her first 4 or 5 years will show somewhat slow language development.  However, that’s normal and nothing to worry about.

Golden Week is coming up, and she’s going to have a busy week.  On Sunday, we’re going to a beach barbecue, where she’ll meet a lot of people.  Then on Monday, she’s going to her grandparents’ house and finally meeting her grandpa.  It’ll be an exciting week for her!

Even while sleeping, she's showing she's strong.

12 week old Tomoe and a baby smile overload

Tomoe is 12 weeks old.  Almost 3 months now.  A lot has been happening in her life lately.  One of the biggest things is that she’s been drooling a lot and hasn’t been drinking as much as usual.  She’s teething!  She’s now 60 cm from head to foot. Also, she’s been getting stronger, and seems to love sitting up, as well as trying to stand up.  She gets a big smile if she’s held up in a standing position.  Lots of smiles.  So, for those of you who love smiling baby pictures, here you go!

Uh-oh. That's not a smile.

I guess she doesn't smile all the time.

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.

Moody baby discovers her hands!

Lately, Tomoe hasn’t been taking naps well at all during the day.  She’s been spending her day awake and crying.  She’s full, but keeps crying.  Her diaper’s been changed, but keeps crying.  She drools a lot, but she doesn’t seem to be teething.  Still a little early for that.  She just doesn’t settle down.  She only seems to settle down if she’s being held or if she’s outside.  I’ve been finding it difficult to do any blogging or writing.

Tomoe’s definitely developing at a fast pace mentally.  She’s extremely aware of her surroundings now.  She watches everything.  She focuses on us when we speak, and she’s very attentive about how we speak.  If I talk to her, she’ll stare at me and follow my mouth movements.  She often smiles when I talk to her.  She’s beginning to make sounds that are almost laughs.  Can’t to wait to hear her laugh.

She’s also found out that those hands that are waving around in front of her are actually hers.  She’s gaining control of them, and now directs them to her mouth to suck on.  Whenever I hear a kissing sound from her, I know she’s sucking on her hand.  She’s also grasping at things, usually a finger, her blanket or my wife’s lip or hair.

She sleeps quite well at night these days, probably because she’s awake all day.  I think the longest was more than 8 hours in one stretch.

Now that she’s looking around a lot and she’s probably restless while laying down alone, we need to consider getting her a toy that hangs above her so she can be occupied and stimulated.  We saw something at Akachan Honpo that looks good.

In other news, a couple other Japan bloggers have just had babies of their own, David of Ogijima and Salaryman of Foreign Salaryman in Tokyo. Congrats!

And now, a picture.

Oh no! What did I just do??? (Actually, she's asleep and her mom put her hands like this)

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.