6 Weeks Past

Posted April 20th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | 4 Comments »

We were wearing summer clothes just few weeks ago, but…

now, thick long sleeves and a blanket is a must at night. (He looks grumpy, I know!  He just woke up… )

Someone says that the baby will start to settle down after 6 weeks.  Hiro has been ok, he wakes up every 3~4 hours now, and drinks more milk.  At 6th week check-up, he weighed 4.4 kg.  He smiles sometimes, and he knows it’s a feeding time when we put a bib on his neck.  (he changes his mouth/lips into a sucking-shape)

Since he was born, we tried to make a routine – we wanted him to know that the night time is a sleeping time.  We bath him around 7pm every night, then dress him in pj, feed, and put him to sleep in the cot in a dark room.  During the day, we let him sleep in the living room.

But, he doesn’t want to go to sleep at night sometimes – and when we’re tired we just want to take him to the living room and let him sit on a rocking chair.  That’s what D did the other day, and that caused an argument between us.

After 7pm feed, Hiro didn’t want to sleep and kept crying in the cot.  D took him from the cot and brought him to the noisy living room, trying to settle him down.  Hiro wasn’t sleepy, his eyes were wide open, so D left him in the living room.  I thought “ok, just until his next feed”.  At 10pm Hiro was hungry again, and D fed him in the living room.  Then, without trying, D left Hiro in the chair in front of the tv.  I know D was just tired and wanted to go back watching tv and doing some work on the computer in the living room, but I didn’t want Hiro to be surrounded by the noise from tv and the blight light at night.

We argued, but then I started to wonder if it’s really necessary to make a routine – and make him stay in the dark and quiet room at night.  I sought for the answer, and yes, it’s actually important to let him know the difference between night and day.  So what we have been doing was right, after all.

It’s sometimes hard – he cries, and just doesn’t want to sleep sometimes.  And, I’m a tv person, but I haven’t been in front of tv enjoying the drama/movies at night for weeks.  I need to be impatient, I know, and now I think I’m starting to get the hang of it.  Hiro started to sleep by himself  if I leave him in the cot after settling down.  I think he is learning…!  and so am I.

Sakura Blossom

Posted April 19th, 2011 in Japan | No Comments »

A photo from my friend.  She said that sakura is at its peak in Shiga now.  This is taken around Hikone castle (near my house).  I remember going there every spring to enjoy hanami (sakura viewing)

Sakura blossom is one of the most beautiful things in the world!  I really like watching sakura in Hikone castle – the view is amazing.  (my another post about Hikore is here)

Did you know that there’re about 340 species of sakura trees in the world?  In Japan, the major one is “somei yoshino“, but there are many many other kinds of sakura.  And, cherry trees display various growing habits and come in different shapes and forms.  Some of them are called “shidare-zakura” (weeping cherry trees) – they have drooping branches because of the soft branches.

“Shidare-zakura” is my favourite one.  So beautiful…  Especially, in the light-up at night.

Autumn Talk…

Posted April 18th, 2011 in Ume's Thought | 6 Comments »

I know this must be the hormone that affects many women after having a baby, or just because of the daunting weather we had yesterday, but I just couldn’t help but think negative about everything yesterday. I was just tired of doing same things over and over everyday… I know it won’t be forever and I should be more concentrating on Hiro’s growth and be happy about having such a beautiful baby. But when I look at the calendar and clock I realize time passes so quickly and I feel like I’m missing something outside the world!

Before I was pregnant with Hiro, I was under lots of stress.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do in my life and should have been doing for the future.  I wasn’t really happy with my situation that time.  But then, I changed the view of thinking and realized that the worry I had was nothing but just my ego.  I realized what the most important thing in my life is, and since then I’ve been pretty happy with my life and more easygoing.  But yesterday, the feeling came back to me.  Not all of them, but some.

Why yesterday, but not today? Yeah it must be either my hormone or the weather.  I didn’t want to talk to anybody, not even with D (especially because we had a fight over a little thing the day before), so I went out for a drive by myself for a while.  Right after I left home, I started to feel much better.  Staying at home all the time is NOT good!  Then I went back home and emailed my mum and friends (still I wasn’t in the mood for talking). After chatting with them over the emails I felt much much better.  I wish my family and close friends were near I live.

Then I thought about my family and Japan.  The happy memories.  You know, actually the real life is tough.  We dream things, but the reality is not exactly the same as what we dreamed.  I keep saying that “I miss Japan” “I can’t wait to go back to my home”, but the things are not the same as it used to be.  My family use to be 6 people, but now there’re only 3.  My mum doesn’t live there anymore.  My dog and cat are dead.  And everyone is getting old…  Writing this makes me feel depressed, but it’s the reality.  Yet I still live in my memory and want to go back there – the place where reminds me of the life I had before.

Anyway, I’m sure it’s just an Autumn talk… We’ve gotta live!

Quick Beef Bowl

Posted April 17th, 2011 in Food | 3 Comments »

Beef donburi, gyu-don, is one of Japanese popular donburi dish.  I’m sure you sometimes order this  at Japanese restaurants (if you like beef).

Normally, gyu-don is simmered beef and onion dish in sweet soy sauce flavoured dashi broth. This recipe, however, doesn’t require dashi broth and simmering process. It’s more like a stir-fried dish (with plenty of sauce/broth/juice from the beef and onions).  It’s a quick meal, and taste great :)

<Quick Beef Bowl>  serves 4~8

  • 500g beef, thinly sliced
  • 2 onions (medium size)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs sake (cooking wine)
  • 2 tbs mirin
  • 2 tbs soy sauce


  1. Slice the onions and garlic thinly.
  2. Heat the sesame oil in a sauce pan.  Add garlic and onion, and stir-fry until the onions are almost transparent.
  3. Add beef, and cook for 2~3 minutes.  Add sugar, sake, mirin and soy sauce.
  4. Turn down the heat to low, and cook further 5 minutes.


Enjoy with steamed rice and some vegetables!

White Nests for Easter Eggs

Posted April 15th, 2011 in Food | 2 Comments »

Easter is just around the corner!  … Well, there is nothing particular to do for me on this holiday, but I do get influenced by all the marketings from the shops – Easter eggs, chocolate, bunnies…

This “white nest” is nothing special, but everyone does love them, especially with white chocolate.  Does anyone hate white chocolate?  Maybe?  Personally I love white chocolate.  It’s sweeter than milk chocolate, and looks so cute when used in cooking.  D loves white chocolate (he doesn’t like milk/dark chocolate) and has been eating this nest everyday since I made!

<White Nests for Easter Eggs> makes around 15

  • 200g white chocolate
  • 50g Kellogg rice bubbles
  • 30g desiccated coconut
  1. Melt chocolate in a bowl, over a pan of hot water.  Be careful that the bottom of the bowl holding the chocolate does not touch the hot water.
  2. Stir in rice bubbles and coconuts, and mix through.
  3. Using two spoons, drop the mixture on baking sheet – shaping into circle and make a dent in the centre.  Repeat with remaining.
  4. When it’s set, place an Easter egg on each nest.