Sick, but so full of energy

Tomoe may have a cold, but she sure doesn’t act like it.  She’s like the Energizer bunny.  She keeps going and going and going.  She hasn’t even had a nap yet today.  Just constant playing ever since she woke up around 9 hours ago.  It’ll be nice when she finally takes a nap.  Here are some of her playtime pictures.

20121207-164857.jpg

Getting a gear out of her toy box.

20121207-164912.jpg

She’s concentrating so much on her toys.

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.

Big strides at almost 6 months

Tomoe has shown some amazing things recently.  I’m actually utterly enthralled at what she’s been able to do.  She’s so far ahead in some skills.  Right now, she’s sleeping, but earlier, she did everything that’s been amazing me lately.  I’ll get to that soon.

I’m sleepy.

Tomoe has shown the ability to sit upright while using her hands to hold on to things to balance.  But she usually just puts her hands on the floor and leans forward.  She can’t balance yet.  But she’s been able to do something else.  Her first step towards crawling!  She’s shown us that she can get on her hands and knees, and she does it with so much ease now.  She frequently rocks forward and backward, like she’s trying to figure out how to crawl.  She can’t do that yet, but she can turn herself around with her hands.

Look! I can almost crawl!

Not only that, she’s been arching her whole body with her hands and feet only on the floor.  She did that for the first time in the past week.  She’s getting strong arms, legs and back.

Look! No hands!

In the above picture, she’s actually fallen asleep while drinking.  However, she can now hold the bottle herself, and she will take it out of her mouth, and when she wants it again, accurately put the nipple back in her mouth.  Her coordination isn’t perfect, but she’s doing incredibly well!

On that topic, she’s able to reach for and grasp many objects.  She’s been playing with toys a lot these days, including shaking them to make noise.  She’s extremely curious, and she wants to touch everything.  She’ll hold things with two hands or just one hand, and she enjoys feeling things and seeing what kind of sounds they make if she scratches them.

I’m so sleepy.

On Friday, she got her DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis) vaccination done, and she was so good!  No crying at all.  Not one complaint.  I don’t think she even noticed!

Her social skills are quite good now.  She interacts with us a lot, and now that she understands her name, she looks when she’s called.  She’ll also interact with other babies.  Her vocalizations are becoming more varied with lots of single syllable sounds and some rather sudden bark-like sounds, like “HAH!”

She’s been trying more and more kinds of solid food lately, too.  She’s enjoyed spinach, pumpkin, sweet potato, and more.  She tried apple for the first time and gave us a hilarious look on her face.  Too sour! She gave the same response for yoghurt.

But I think the biggest thing is that her legs are becoming so strong, and her refusal to sit down have resulted in her always wanting to stand up, with support, of course.  But she’s getting so good at it, she can push herself up from a sitting position to stand up!

Look everyone! I can stand!

She not even 6 months old, and she can stand.  She’s always surprising us!

The good and the bad

The past two weeks have been incredibly eventful.  Tomoe’s been becoming increasingly mobile.  While she isn’t crawling yet, and probably won’t be for at least 2 or 3 months, she is slowly moving herself around on the floor, including making a full 360 over about 5 minutes.  Not only is she doing pushups very well, but she’s been raising her bum in the air while on her knees.

What a fascinating red thing.

Let’s do a pushup!

And now bum up!

Tomoe’s been reaching for toys and other objects a lot these days.  When she sees something she wants, she’ll try to reach for it.  She’s also been manipulating things with both of her hands, and is getting better at controlling them with her hands.  She’s now able to hold her bottle with her hands, but she doesn’t have a great amount of control.  She has certain toys that she really enjoys playing with, including a Shimajiro toy (it’s a tiger) and a musical Winnie the Pooh.  She really likes reflective surfaces, and she enjoys making lots of noise with her play mat.  There’s a butterfly with a noisy plastic inside that she’ll play with for a long time.

She’s also started eating solid food daily.  Mainly, she’s been eating okayu, which is made of rice.  She seems to love it!

She’s still unable to sit unsupported, but she does use her hands to hold herself up.  She’s becoming more upright while sitting, as well.  However, she hasn’t been able to put herself in the sitting position yet.

She’s been very vocal as usual, and her sounds are becoming more varied.  She can pronounce all the main vowel sounds, as well as the letters m, b, n, w, and ng.

One really big milestone is that she’s recognising her name now.  When we say her name, she’ll look at us.  It’s nice to know she understands it!

This post is called the good and the bad for a reason.  Now for the bad part.  Last week, Tomoe developed a fever.  However, this is completely normal, and it has to do with teething.  But due to this, she had 3 somewhat sleepless nights.  It was pretty sleepless for my wife and I.  She cried most of the time and had a temperature of 38 degrees.  It wasn’t a bad fever, but enough to make her uncomfortable.

Even though she had a fever, she still played.

After her fever, she developed a bit of a rash, with lots of red spots on her skin.  This is also quite normal, caused by the fever.  Last Friday, she slept a lot!  She could finally sleep without feeling sick.

What a great position to sleep in.

But on Friday night, she started getting itchy.  She had a bright red rash on the back of her neck and behind her ears.  She kept trying to scratch it furiously.  That night, she had a hard time sleeping yet again.  She thrashed about in bed, because she couldn’t scratch the back of her neck.  It was driving her crazy.  We didn’t get a good night’s sleep again.  The next day, her rash almost completely cleared up.  We figure it was from sweat.

Since then, she’s been pretty normal.  Her usual cheerful self!

She can’t seem to hold still for a good picture. There’s the butterfly she likes to the left.

Hello!

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 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.