Green Turtle

Posted June 28th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | 2 Comments »

This green turtle is his current favourite.

A cozy afternoon…

He was crying and crying, trying to catch the turtle….

Then, dozing off…

After this, he woke up few times, crying again, and finally caught the turtle in his hand and went back to sleep while holding it.

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Back Pain

Posted June 27th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | 2 Comments »

I don’t know if it’s because of my posture, or the result from having epidual, but I’ve been having this pain around my lower spine since around the time I had Hiro. It may be because of the way I sit – when he wakes up at night and doesn’t want to go back to sleep, I hold him and sit on a chair, then I kind of lean my body towards the side cushion on my left side every time. Or, it could be from carrying heavy Hiro too often? Or maybe all of them are causing me this back pain.

I used to have bad posture when I was in elementary school. I didn’t notice it, until my mum saw me walking to the stage to make a speech at a school event and told me “Ume, you walk like the Neanderthal!”. I was so shocked, and started to watch my posture since then. After awhile, I started to be said “wow Ume, you have such beautiful posture” from many people. But now, I think I stopped thinking about my posture while I walk or stand, and it’s bad again.

A masseuse who I had pregnancy massage from (post) is now my friend, and she also gave birth to a boy on March this year. Her son was supposed to be born on May, so he was (and still is) very small when he was born. He has no problem with his health now (just under weight) and we meet up sometimes to have a cup of coffee or to walk around the park with bubs.

The other day we sat at Pumpkin Cafe in Garden City to have a chat .  We both ordered a scone with clotted cream and jam.  Ummm, a combination of warm scone and these accompaniments tastes so good once in a while.  I had it with a glass of decaf latte.

I asked her about my back pain, and she said she’d check it for me at her house next time.  Unfortunately she won’t be able to give me a full massage anymore, but anything to ease this uncomfortable spine would help.

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Chicken Karaage

Posted June 26th, 2011 in Food | 2 Comments »

Japanese fried-chicken, karaage 🙂 The best choice of meat for karaage is chicken thigh with skin and bones attached. Skin and bones do the important part to give flavour and juiciness to the meat. Other foods which are good for karaage are octopus, white fish (e.g. whiting, snapper, cod) and blue fish (e.g. sardine, mackerel). At my house in Japan, we used to eat karaage with a dipping sauce consisting 50% mayonnaise and 50% worcestershire sauce. Some people prefers eating karaage with soy sauce, salt, chili powder or ponzu. D loves eating karaage with mayonnaise and chili sauce. He loved the chili sauce at Mr Samurai on Barrack street, but we don’t know where we can get the same chili sauce from… Does anyone know?? Currently he uses Srirachang chili sauce.


Japanese Coupon Sites

Posted June 24th, 2011 in Japan | 6 Comments »

There are few coupon sites in Japan now, and I’m subscribed to their daily deal emails.  It’s just that Japanese coupon sites offer much better deals than those in Australia.  Australian coupon sites, such as Scoopon, DealMe, LivingSocial etc, offer quite same deals over and over and I’m little bored with them.

I check deals at Groupon and Ponpare at the moment, but I prefer Ponpare.  Their deals are more interesting than those at Groupon.  So far I’ve purchased 4 coupons from Ponpare:  ¥500 worth MacDonald’s voucher for ¥100, 86% off hotel stay at hotel in Osaka Umeda for ¥10000 for two, 80% off skin whitening masks for ¥1050 etc.  These things are what we may actually use!  Groupon’s offers are always discounted hotels, discounted restaurants, and discounted activities.  I like Ponpare because they have lots of free-shipping items on deals and they are pretty cheap, such as more than 50% off on organic shampoo set, electric items, photo print services and fashion items.

Sigh… after checking these interesting offers for hair salon, I wish I were there right now!  Cut, colour, perm, etc etc are so cheap and these salons are pretty well-known.  I’d pay ¥2000 hair colour package without hesitation.

I’m checking these up everyday so that I can use the coupons when we go there 🙂  I’ve ordered several ¥500 worth MacDonald’s vouchers already, so we may be probably spending lots of time at MacDonald’s this time :p

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Lunch at Sizzler

Posted June 23rd, 2011 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

It was a beautiful day yesterday – blue sky and gentle wind. After doing laundry and going walking to the park with Hiro, I took D’s parents for lunch at Sizzler.

As I only had one Rotiboy (a sweet bun from Indonesia) at 5am, I was super hungry.  I could eat a horse… I ordered a Sizzler complete lunch which came with salad bar, drink bar, and today’s grill (Wednesday was small rump steak and chips). D had the same, and parents had basa grill and standard rump steak.

D’s dad always bring his own sambal (Indonesian chili sauce : the red bottle next to cheesy toast)) to any restaurant :p

My appetite is really huge… My bro used to say my stomach is a black hole. I had several trips to the salad bar with plateful of salads, plus 2 cups of pumpkin soup and some drinks.

And I finished my small rump steak too.

I concluded my lunch with a cup of hot camomile tea, and we all headed home with full stomach.

Hiro was sleeping through the day out. He always keep sleeping when we take him out on the travel capsule and stroller. ::)

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Day Dreaming and Photo Albam

Posted June 22nd, 2011 in Ume and Baby | 4 Comments »

Hire wakes up every 4 – 5 hours at night for a feed. It was quite disturbing when someone woke me up while I was comfortably snuggling in a warm bed and having a deep sleep, but now I’m starting to like the mid-night feeding time. One of the reason might be that I’m used to be woken up by the noise Hiro makes, but I also like sitting on a chair in a dark quiet room while I’m still half asleep. While I feed him, I think (dream?) about the things that I want to do in near future, like, how I want Hiro’s first birthday to be, what to make for the party, what furniture I should buy for our new house (if we buy), the floor plan of the house, what to buy in Japan, what to make for Hiro’s first solid, etc. I can’t think about these things with busy head during the day, so the night time feeding is the perfect time for me to just day-dream about my future plan.

Before, quite a long time ago, one of my friends went back to Japan for good and she gave me some interior magazines that she collected while she was in Australia. I didn’t open these magazines to read until recently, but now they are great reading materials during Hiro’s nap time and pumping milk. Thinking about designing the house with furniture and interior is quite fun.

Recently I ordered a campus print of Hiro’s photo online and am waiting for it to be delivered. I also have a big flame of Hiro’s hands and feet sculpture. They are going to be on the wall when we buy a house 🙂

Hiro smiles and laugh a lot, and seems to have discovered his hands.  He tries to touch the turtle plush toy and also put his whole hand into him mouth and suck.   Since I take lots of photos of him, I’m been sorting out his photos to make an album online. D and I made our wedding photo album online at Blurb, and this time I’m making one for Hiro. I hope I can finish it and get delivered before we go to Japan so that we can show it to my families too 🙂

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Pizza Making

Posted June 19th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | No Comments »

The other day Hiro and I visited our friends’ house.  My friend’s son is almost 1.5 years old, and I’ve known him since he was 0 day old.  They’ve also known Hiro since he was 0 day old too.  We sometimes catch up at her house, cafe or park.  Her son and Hiro can’t really play together yet as he can walk around but what Hiro does is sleeping…  I hope to see them running around together sometime next year 😀

While we were at their house, she started making pizza for lunch. (from scratch, of course)  Her husband works at a famous Italian restaurant in Perth, and he helped cutting the ingredients and making the dough (well, she ordered him to .. :p )  It’s so fun watching them talking (arguing?)

Hiro took nap shortly after we arrived their house (sleepy head…), but woke up just before the pizza is done in the oven (though he can’t yet taste the delicious food).

He is so relaxed as if it’s his own house.

Pizza is ready…

Three of us (and Hiro on the side) enjoyed the pizza and home-made pumpkin soup ♪

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Japanese Grocery Shops

Posted June 17th, 2011 in Japanese Stores in Perth, Perth WA | 4 Comments »

 

(*** This is an old post.   Read my newer post***)

I’ve posted grocery shops that I go to in Perth here, but they need to be updated!

Super Fuji in Victoria Park closes at the end of this month, but the shop isn’t open everyday already.  And, Sushi Station Fuji no longer opens either.  It’s shame that I really wanted to eat sushi over there after I gave birth to Hiro.  🙁  These two shops were owned by same owner (Japanese couple), but they suddenly decided to close both of them for a while…

Nippon Food Supplies in Fremantle is also closing at the end of June (this month!).  From July, only Subiaco shop will operate.

There seems to be new shops selling Japanese items in Perth city, but I haven’t been there yet.

Hi Mart, Seoul Mart, and Hanaro Mart (Korean grocery shops) sell very similar items to Japanese food, and they are much cheaper.

Hi Mart :

133 Barrack Street, Perth WA 6000 – (08) 9417 7776

113 Collins Road, Willetton WA 6155 – (08) 9354 1433

346 Albany hwy, Victoria Park WA

Winthrop Shopping Centre, 131 Somerville Blvd, Winthrop WA 6150

Hanaro Mart :

Shop7, North Lake shopping Centre, 67 North Lake Rd, Myaree WA

Seoul Mart :

Shop 4-5, 544 Hay St (on Pier St) (08) 9221 0322

Shop 76 Southland Shopping Centre, Pinetree Gully Rd, Willetton, WA

And, if you want to buy some Japanese grocery directly from importer, you can call up Japan Food Corp. (JFC).  You can browse their product list on their  website. If you want to go there, I recommend to call them first and tell them when you are coming, so that staff can prepare things for you.

There are Tokyo Mart and Fuji Mart in NSW, QLD and VIC, and there will be new Tokyo Mart shop opening in WA around the end of this year!  They say the shop will be in Karawara, but exact location is unknown at the moment.

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We got our tickets!

Posted June 15th, 2011 in Japan | 4 Comments »

We got out tickets… finally.

First, we were thinking to fly with Malaysian Air as I found a very good price at H.I.S. Travel.  It was $210~ + tax ($780) return!  Less than $1000 from Perth to Osaka is very very cheap.  Besides, Nov ~ Jan is high season.  I called them up to ask the details such as transit hours.  The flight time is good too – leave Perth afternoon, and arrive Osaka in the morning.  Transit hour was just 1~3 hours, so it’s good too.  But, the thing is that the ticket was open for only 35 days, which means we have to come back to Perth within 35 days.  I wanted to stay in Japan longer, so I didn’t take it.

Next, I again found a good deal at H.I.S Travel.  It’s JAL (Japan AirLine) flight, and is $235~ + tax ($804) return.  It’s just above $1000 so it’s not bad at all.  And, it’s JAL so I thought it flies direct to Osaka.  I called them up to check what the deal is.  Then, I found out that it wasn’t a direct flight – there’re actually 2 transits and we need to catch 4 planes…  Fly domestic from Perth to Sydney, then move to international terminal, fly from Sydney to Narita, then take domestic flight from Narita to Osaka.  Hmmm, even though Australia and Japan are familiar places for us and we won’t worry about what to do at the airport, but again, we have Hiro and I don’t think transiting 2 times is going to be a comfortable flight. So, I didn’t take it either.

And, as I said on earlier post, my sister-in-law offered her mileage at Garuda to us.  Why she doesn’t use the mileage is because she can’t use it for the flight from/to Australia (for some reason).  So, we can’t use the mileage for the flight from/to Australia either.  We could buy 2 tickets separately – a flight from Perth to Bali, and from Bali to Osaka, using the mileage on the flight between Bali and Osaka.  But, there’re some concerns…  Firstly, we don’t trust Garuda because it delays often.  Secondly, we didn’t really like Bali airport from our terrible experience (post), and I thought there’s no space to relax with Hiro.  Toilet was dirty too…  Thirdly, we will have to fly with Garuda between Perth and Bali too, otherwise our luggages won’t directly go to Osaka/Perth.  I checked Garuda flight details between Perth and Bali, and found out that the connection to the flight to and from Osaka is really bad.  We could pay and use the lounge at the airport, but we’re not sure if it’s really a good plan.  Sister-in-law asked us to fly from Perth to Jakarta, then stay at either airport hotel or her house, and on the next day we fly from Jakarta to Bali, then Bali to Osaka.  I didn’t like it because there’re so many flights, and we will need to buy 3 tickets!  And, I wasn’t 100% comfortable with using her mileage too. So, although it was a very generous offer, we didn’t take it.

Then, we thought why not buy that Malaysian Air cheap 35days open ticket from H.I.S for D (as he can only stay in Japan for 1 month anyway), and buy a standard fare tickets for me and Hiro. The standard ticket wasn’t so expensive considering it’s high season.  We called up H.I.S to reserve our seats first. Then we were really going to go with it.  But, D wasn’t actually 100% happy with the flight schedule… The cheap ticket only applies for the flight departing Perth before Nov 23 (or around there), which means D will have to head back here before his birthday (as this ticket is only open for 35 days). And, he will also miss spending Hiro’s first Christmas and New Year’s Day together.  Hmm… now what?

Then, D found that Cathay is not that expensive either. He checked the fare on the dates he wanted to fly, and it turned out that total for three of us is actually about same as the one with Malaysian Air. Most of all, with Cathay he gets to stay his birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s Day in Japan with us 🙂 . The flight time and transit are good too, arriving Osaka in early afternoon. Flight between Perth and HK is around 7.5 hours, and between HK and KIX is around 4 hours.  So, in the end, we decided to fly with Cathay and reserved our seats. 🙂

Now, thinking that we will be in Japan in 4 months, my head is busy planning our homecoming trip!

It’s winter, so seafood is its season!

And, I’m definitely eating one of my favorite food – Japanese omu-rice with demi glace sauce!

And, we will probably take break a lot at Misdo, McDonald’s, Mos Burger, and other fast food chains between shopping….  Can’t wait!


Japan Trip

Posted June 12th, 2011 in Japan | 4 Comments »

Hmmm… my head has been so busy thinking about the flight to Japan.  I was originally thinking to fly with Hiro and D, three of us all together and come back to Perth all together, but now I’m kind of thinking to stay in Japan little longer with Hiro.  D has to come back to Perth after 4 weeks or so due to his work.  D and I always flew together all the time when we went to Japan, or anywhere, but I think just 1 month is bit too short for me this time.  Besides, I’m not working now so I can basically go anywhere outside Australia for as much as I want!

The biggest concern is, this time we have Hiro.  I have no idea how it’s going to be…  If he stays quiet or sleeps on the plane all through the flight, it’d be great.  But, what if he keeps crying…?! 🙁  And, if I stay in Japan longer, I have to fly with Hiro by myself on the way back…!  ….. I already feel tired by just thinking about it.

It might be much easier if there’re direct flights from Perth to Osaka, but there is not, so we have to transit somewhere:  we fly to another state in Australia and fly directly to Osaka, fly from Perth and transit at another country, or fly from Perth and transit at Narita then take shinkansen (bullet train) to my hometown.  Thinking about a transit with Hiro is already a big headache to me, but I have to think which method is the easiest for us.  Oh, and, the cost also matters.

Then, D’s sister offered us to use her mileage at Garuda.  I wouldn’t think about flying with Garuda with Hiro because of our terrible experience (post), but she told us to fly with business class.  We still have to pay the difference, but after getting the quotation from her travel agent it’s actually cheaper than paying economy flights.  I’ve never flew with business class before!

We are still thinking about it though…

There’re more concerns and things I keep thinking about, like, what if Hiro gets sick in Japan, etc etc…   but who knows?  Maybe nothing bad will happen and everything may go smoothly. 🙂  Now I will just think about good stuff, like , what we do in Japan,  what to buy in Japan, what to eat in Japan, etc etc!   The damage from the earthquake (post & post) is not fully recovered yet, but I hear things are getting well, so I hope I can enjoy delicious seafoods there too.

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