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.

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!

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.

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.

All is worth it

Work, Home and baby
So much work and so little sleep
I am exhausted…. Sigh
But I know all is worth to do when I see my baby

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Working mother with new born is unimaginably busy and always tired because of lack of sleep. Sometimes, it’s so overwhelming to do all and I was both physical and psychologically exhausted. But when I see my baby, I realize that all the hard work is so worth it!

Working Mother Image

Beautiful Child, impeccably dressed mother
Everything is in control
That’s what you see as “Working Mother” image on the Internet
Reality is far from that, at least for me

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Most of “Working Mother” images on the internet project a smiling baby resting in mother’s arms, and impeccably beautiful mother with perfect clean clothes checking computer screens. That’s nothing like in my life. Maybe there are mothers like that somewhere but my working mother life is far from what internet image projects. Once I had to go to work with clothes with my son’s vomit stain. Simply, I didn’t have a time to change my clothes in order to be in the office on time.

Breastfeeding and coffee

So sleepy without proper sleep during the night
Coffee please!
Oh, but I am breast feeding…… sigh
Every day the battle against sleepiness without caffeine
This is working mother’s life

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Every day, I slept only a few hours when my son was infant. It’s feeding, changing a diaper or soothing him.

Then, next morning, I went to work and spend more than eight hours at work.

It’s just so hard to keep my eyes open during work without proper sleep, without caffeine. I can’t take a nap during work either. So I walked around the building to brush off unbearable sleepiness. I felt that I would turn into a zombie one day. Probably I did look like a zombie walking around the office building.

I miss you so much

My baby is so little, but Mother has to go back to work
Mama bear goes fishing with her baby
Mama Kangaroo keeps her baby in her poach
Mama Koara bear keeps her baby in her arms
I am jealous to those mothers who can be with their babies
I miss my baby so much when I am in office

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Many working mothers in America go back to work when babies are very little. If there is no help from your family/the States, some mothers go back to work a few weeks after giving a birth. That’s really unnatural and It’s difficult for mothers & babies in both psychologically and physically

It was very difficult/stressful to be away from my baby even he was three months old. He was still an infant, and I felt tremendous guilt and stress not being able to be with him for majority of the day due to my work.

I think, that the stress on working mother comes from not only juggling tasks for work, family and kids. I am certain that there is invisible psychological stress from being separated from her baby.

You are my miracle

You are my miracle
You are my treasure
I love you more than my life

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Welcoming a new baby is an extraordinary experience. I embraced the birth of my baby, at the same time I thought about life cycle and connections between nature and human life. Strong feeling bloomed in me to be kind and helpful to others to make this world better place not just for my child but for all of us. A new life also gave me brand new perspective to the life.

One of my best friend Laurence told me, “I love my daughter more than my life.” I thought that is totally overstate. Now I understand well what she meant.

By the way, “the probability of your being born at about one in 400 trillion! (TEDx San Francisco, Mel Robbins, a riotously funny self-help author, mentioned) – Your child is miracle and actually we are all miracles to be in this world.