Look at Mom!

Look, look, look at it, mom!

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My son was saying “Look, look, look at it, Mom!” with excitement. I ran to him not to miss his enthusiasm and get close to what he wanted to show me. Then, I found out that he wanted to show his booger. I am so proud of his eagerness to show me what he found with a slight feeling of “eeeks”.

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Grocery shopping

Ah! Monkey box
What’s in it?

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Grocery shopping takes twice longer if you are accompanied by your little one (especially toddler/preschooler).  My son wants to examine products he sees, and touch them. I have to watch what he does and warn him constantly “Don’t touch anything, Please” while I am shopping.  A potential disaster can happen at the store, if I don’t pay enough attention to my busy little shopper.

Library

Shhhhhhhhhh!

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Children throw their tantrum whenever and wherever they feel like. It can happen in the place parents want to avoid their children’s tantrum the most – Library.   When that happened to me, I felt that everyone was looking at me even though that wasn’t the case and I wanted to just hide somewhere.  Dealing with children’s tantrum is one of challenges parents have to deal with, and it makes them more patient and matured after all.  I think, I am more matured than last year, for example.

Sand castles

Mom, can you make sand castles, again?

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I made sand castles on the beach. My son was really happy, then he stepped on them saying “crash! crash?”.  Then with big smile he asked me, “Mom! Can you make sand castles again?”  –  We repeated this at least three times.  I should be grateful to make sand castles so many times!

Japanese bath

Splash, Splash!
in the Japanese bathtub

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Japanese bath is different from ones from other countries. There is a bathtub, tiled floor with water drain, and a shower. You don’t have to worry about hot water over flooding from the bathtub. You soak your body in the bathtub, then you wash your body outside the bathtub and rinse with shower.  My son loves playing in the bathtub since he can splash as much as he wants and make a big water mess.

Japanese toilet

Japanese toilet is fabulous
only when you know which button to push
for right purpose.

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Some Japanese toilets are sophisticated and have high technology features. They come with a panel of multi functions buttons. However these sophisticated Japanese toilets can go very wrong if a wrong button is pressed in a wrong time.

Those buttons are target of children’s curiosity. My son pressed the button “Rear Cleanse” while he was sitting on the Japanese toilet.  He screamed and jumped off from the toilet seat as the warm water was splashing. I dashed into the bathroom worrying about what happened to him, ended up “Rear Cleanse” button cleansed my face.  At that time I got really upset at Japanese high-tech toilet. Now it’s a funny story. LOL

Time to go to bed

“It’s time to go to bed”

But I need to paint
I need to drink water,
oh, I need to see my boo-boo

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Children come up with different things not to go to bed when it’s time to go to bed. My son is no exception. He suddenly wants to paint, then he is thirsty, needs to go to bathroom again and so on.  Even after he is in the bed, he says “I need my race car (toy) to sleep. Where is it?” /sigh.

Lost truck

Toilet got flooded
Father had to clean it
found out, a toy truck was clogging the toilet
Be aware of a toddler in the bathroom

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One of most unpleasant things you have to deal with is clogged toilet.  It happened one day and it was a big mess. This kind of work usually falls on to an adult man, “Father”, in the house (Thank you, Daddy!). He had to take out the toilet to unclog the toilet. What he found was a toy truck clogging it.

Be aware of a toddler with a toy, especially in the bathroom.

Airplane seats

my son is asleep
it’s time to enjoy a cup of coffee
on my half seat

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Flying a long distance trip with a toddler is nothing but constant battle to make him stay in his seat. We took a flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo which is eleven hours, and he wanted explore everywhere in the airplane. I was a peak of exhaustion by taking care of him, and finally he fell asleep. Good thing is that the person next to him wasn’t complaining (Thank you!) and I had a time to sip a cup of coffee in peace. A quiet moment during the flight with a toddler.

Time to wake up!

2:00am
It’s wake up time!

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I love going back to Japan with my son and spend some time with my parents. However, I never like jet-lag. Adults can understand the time concept, and we try to adjust time difference. On the other hand, children don’t have the concept of time nor effort to adjust to local time. As a result it’s time to have a breakfast and play when they wake up, which can be 2:00am. Dealing with Jet-lag is just harder with children.

Traveling with a toddler

A Luggage is to carry a kid
A stroller is to carry a backpack and his favorite piggy
And a kid’s hat is on my head

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Traveling is fun, but traveling with “kids” could be challenging in many ways. One of things parents have to deal with is languages. My son loves to ride on a large luggage instead of on a stroller. He loves to wear a hat but for two minutes. Ending up, I wear his small hat, carry my son on the top of the luggage, then put a backpack and a piggy on the stroller. Traveling is so much fun!!

Blue eyed Baby crow

A Little baby crow
Where is your mother?

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We found an injured baby crow on the ground. He got blue eyes, and one of his legs seemed to be broken.  Other crows were making noise around him and they were probably worrying about this little one. But they weren’t able to do anything to help him. Finally, we brought him to a veterinarian and they took the little baby crow for necessary care. We all hoped he get better and fly back to where he belongs.

Merry Go Round

Round, round and Merry Go round
Go round with your smile and dream

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Merry Go Round is the things to do for toddlers. My son is on a merry go round at least once a week and does at least two rides at a time.  Merry Go Round (Carousel) has been around one hundred fifty years, and it gives dreamy moment to kids – and moments of rest to parents.

Love Noodles

Long, thin, tasty
and I can play with it, too?

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Watching a little one eating noodle dish is just so much fun. (regardless of the mess you have to clean up later).  They grab noodles, put them in their mouth, and strings of  noodles are hanging from their mouth. By the end of the meal, it looked like a duck did an investigation in the bowl of noodle – The mess is beyond imagination.

Harness

Please slow down
mommy can’t keep up with you!

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As soon as my son started walking, it was game over. He was very active and I had to have a harness when we walked outside side walk or go to stores. It was just too much of risk to let him walk freely and it wasn’t possible to follow a little boy who ran like a squirrel. I felt slightly awkward, but using a harness was the option to let him walk outside with safety. And it was a relief to receive some positive comments about using the harness from people at nice shops or galleries where kids are surrounded by things they are not supposed to touch.

Cuddle with Firetruck

“night night, My red, big firetruck”
sweet dreams

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My baby insisted to bring his favorite firetruck to his bed when he was going to sleep. It’s a big plastic firetruck, and I thought, “Isn’t it a bit hard and uncomfortable to cuddle with?”.  Well, everyone has their preference, and I decided to respect his choice. He may be riding on his favorite firetruck in his dream.

My Car!

It’s my car
no one touches
no one take it away from me!

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We went to play area in the shopping mall in Japan where my son fell in love with small car he can ride on. He was playing with the car at least 30 minutes and even later on he made sure that no one takes “his car” away. And of course, the meltdown was followed by when we had to leave the car behind.

Water, grow big!

Water water, grow big, plants!
Water water, grow big, BBQ grill!
Water water, grow big, Cat!

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Water is one of children’s favorite “Toy”. My son was helping me to water plants, but then he decided a BBQ grill also needs to be watered, then he continued to watering on our cat. By the end, he watered everything in the backyard as well as plants. Good job ^^;

Popcorn Popper

Pop-pop is an adorable sound made by a baby
at 1:00 PM
but pop-pop became unbearable noise
at 5:00 AM

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A popcorn popper seems to be a must to have toy  for a baby. We received it as a present to my son. It’s so adorable to see him pushing it and making “pop sound”. But the “pop sound” became incredible “pop noise” when he pushed it 5:00am in the morning.  For the baby, any time is good time to push the Popcorn Popper – Pop! Pop!

Walking Walking

walking is incredible
I can use my hands and push my car
then, go faster!

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It must be such an incredible experience for babies to walk. They have different view point, be able to reach something higher, be able to use their hands freely, and faster mobility to point A to point B. And of course, it’s such a joy for the parents to see their babies walking.

Ah-Oh! The first word

“Ah-oh, you dropped your spoon. don’t worry”
Here it is, your spoon.
“Ah-Oh” (Drop the spoon)
“Ah-Oh!” (Drop the spoon, again)

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I think one of my baby’s first word was “Ah-Oh”. He learned it by dropping his spoon. Then he repeatedly dropped his spoon to say “Ah-Oh”. I picked up his spoon more than ten times per meal. Hearing the first word from your baby is such a wonderful moment, but any happiness seems to come with some work.

Love Shopping

Shopping is still fun
Red, blue, yellow and so many different style
Only things though, now I browse baby clothes instead of my shoes
They are just so cute

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I love browsing clothes time to time. I can be lost in the Amazon online store for hours… you know what I mean. Before I became a mom, I was checking my clothes and shoes. Now I am still browsing online shopping site, but on baby clothes. I never imagined I will have fun looking for other human being’s clothes.

Bassinet

In the airplane to Japan
In the bassinet in the airplane
Peeking with small eyes with a big curiosity

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We were traveling to Japan when my baby was ten months old. ANA (All Nippon Airways) provides a bassinet to a baby who weighs less than 22lb (10kg). I was expecting a difficult travel since it’s ten hours’ flight, but luckily my baby slept and stayed in the bassinet all the way to Japan from US. Perhaps, it was cozy little bed in the airplane for him.

Bassinet was 33.5 x 17.7 x 13 inches (85 x 45 x 33 cm) and he fit in that!

Sweet Dream

Goodnight my love
Mother is here and nothing to worry about
Have a sweet dream

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There are different opinions about co-sleeping with your baby. In western culture, most of babies are sleeping in their own crib, but this is different in Japanese culture, at least in my family culture. And co-sleeping with your baby is very common in Japan. I grew up co-sleeping with my parents, so naturally, I chose to do the same with my baby.

Also, I don’t spend enough time with my baby during the day because of my work. At night in the bed I finally have time to be next to my baby for the longest hours. For me, co-sleeping compensates the time I can’t spend time with my baby during the day. However, sweet dream sometimes come with a kick by a tiny foot – ouch.

Breast Pump in the bathroom

It stinks
There is no place to put things
But no other private place is available
I wish there is more comfortable private place for mothers
And those who needs private place for their health necessity

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Working mothers who are breastfeeding often pump breast milk during work /outside of home. This is because most of them have to go back to work before infants graduate breastfeeding. And many mothers want to give breast milk if they can.

The reality is that there is not enough private room/space for mothers to pump breast milk in the public place/work. Breastfeeding is encouraged as much as mothers can do, but there is not much support from public/company infrastructure. So they end up using the bathroom….It’s quite uncomfortable.

 

Keep Driving, Keep Driving

Baby is sleeping
Let’s park here for a little break
“waaahh”
Let’s keep driving and keep driving

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We embraced some quite moments while our baby was sleeping in the car. One day, we stopped our car to rest since the baby was asleep. A minute after we parked the car, he woke up and started to be fussy. So we went back to the road and kept driving and driving. Driving car is like a cradle for some babies.

I want to go home

I am thirsty and hungry
I am cold and scared,
And I want my mama and papa
I want to go home……

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I do everything I can to make sure my child is safe, have a full belly and warm place to sleep. All children need these and all parents do their best to provide for their children.

As a mother, it is heartbreaking to know that there are so many children can’t get the care and love they need because they lost their family and home by wars.

I am too small to provide the help to these children. Least thing I can do is to make people aware of these children in devastating situation by my art, and not to forget about them.

Mother wants to cry, too

Waaaah!
Waaaaaaaaaaah!
Wa…mommy wants to cry too.

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Baby’s crying could be very exhausting to deal with especially when the mother is really tired. She will do anything to calm the baby and bring back his/her smile. But in the process, sometimes mother feels like crying, too. Mother is also just a human before being a caring mother. As a working mother and juggling so many things, there was a lot of moment, I just wanted to cry like a baby with my crying baby.