Art-teacher Grandma

Finger workout

Finished products

Sleeping Like a Baby

Last night Joel ate at 8:30 pm, then 1:30 am, and finally this morning at 6:00. Making progress! I had a good rest in between each feeding so I'm feeling like a new woman this morning. I'm hoping it's not a fluke and will continue in this vein.

Food for Thought

With the upcoming G8 summit in Hokkaido, Japan (July 7-9), you've got to watch The Girl in the Cafe. Very interesting facts (without being didactic) about poverty and a thought-provoking look at the politics behind the conference.

What's New

Builder Bean

The Joel in the Mirror


No, not my current junky love.

I'm talkin' 'bout JOEL!

My breast-feeding savior, Tsuru san (midwife), was busy yesterday, and I needed some emergency help, so she recommended a friend of hers who was available (and really great, I might add). While there, she weighed Joel for me (who promptly, in his naked-as-a-jaybird state, soaked the towel on top of the scales).

He's up to 3.988 kg (8.8 pounds), an average gain of 37.9 g a day (she did the math for me).

Makes me darn proud to be a mammal-mama.

UK Grands in the House!

Recent Matthew-isms

  • tea = dee (Loved looking in Pop's cup of tea to make sure everything was in order.)
  • latest "sahdah" = top of potty-training toilet (Pushes it around and does a truck noise. Don't worry, though--it's clean! Matthew won't go near it for its intended purpose.)
  • sea turtle = shee durdle
  • so da yo (Japanese for "that's right".)
  • oishii (Japanese for "yummy".)
  • ear = ee-yah (As he yanks on your ear.)
  • eye = i-yah (Close your i-yah because he'll poke it.)


No professional photos for our little Beansprout for a few weeks--the poor laddie has baby acne (nikibi)! I took him to the dermatologist last night because I wasn't sure what it was (Matthew never had it) and she prescribed a gentle cream that will hopefully help clear it up soon. Apparently 20% of newborns get this condition starting at about three weeks (Joel is three weeks old today), and it affects mostly boys. I thought maybe it was something I had eaten and am SO relieved I can still indulge in green-tea Oreo McFlurries (my current junk food of choice) from Mickey D's. Phew.

Mama and Beansprout

Long Time No See!

Going, Going...

Mimi and Pop are en route to Dairy Land as I write; these past two weeks have flown and now the American grandparents are flying! While they were here Matthew learned to say "Mimi" and "Bop" and really enjoyed hanging out with them (the last time he saw them was in Florida when he was ten months old). Joel relished the cuddles and Stephen and I really cherished the hugs and help. Come back soon! We miss you already!

True Story

Stephen asked me tonight if I'd ever seen Awakenings, and I replied that yes, I started watching it one time in college, but I fell asleep (no lie).

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

The parentals are heading home tomorrow and we're sure gonna miss them and their fun antics (though they left a bit of hair behind for us to remember them by).

Dance Fever



Kissy kissy

Lenny's is proud of their 90's revival meals and "historic menu"

Mimi and Beansprout

Here, have a raisin

Talk to the hand

Pond People

Thank You!

We've had loads of kind blog comments, e-mails, cards, visits, and gifts and haven't had a chance to properly thank anyone, but know that you are in our hearts (I'm just having to get used to sleep deprivation again and for the moment don't have the energy to do very much, but hopefully Joel will get into a good schedule soon--keep fingers crossed--his Aunt Sharon slept through the night starting at two weeks so we're hoping he's got that same gene somewhere in his little bod).

Thanks for all the love!

Joel Beansprout

Boys and Grandparentals

Eating Out

Eskimo kiss

Chowing down on tonkatsu

Two Weeks

The past couple of weeks have flown by, with Joel's birth, our release from the hospital, and Mimi and Pop coming to visit and helping in numerous ways. Matthew and Joel are eating up the grandparental attention and I'm glad we've got England Grandma and Grandpa coming a few days after the American ones return to Wisconsin.

My mom went with me for my two-week checkup at the doc's yesterday. She helped a lot with keeping Joel happy while we were ushered from station to station (Joel and I both got inspected) and while I sat in a long "class" where a nurse fed us gems of wisdom such as

  • If the baby gets diaper rash, use diaper rash cream.
  • When the baby cries, check to see if he needs a diaper change, a feed, or a cuddle.
  • Don't buy toys the baby could choke on.
The "one-hour" checkup ended up lasting almost 2.5 (there were about 15 or so other moms and babies there as well going through the same rigmarole), and I'm wondering just how long the one-month checkup on the 27th that is supposed to be "two to three" hours will last.

Anyway, Joel and I both passed muster and I'm happy to announce the Little Beansprout is now a whopping 3532 g (7.8 pounds), "in spite" of my completely inane whacked-out desire to only give him breast milk (no sugar water or formula, thank you anyway).

The Writing on the T-Shirt

Click the image to get a load of Matthew's new attire (door-to-door direct delivery from Wisconsin).

VIP Visitors

We had some visitors for our special VIP over the last couple of days:

The Castros...

... and the Imashioyas.

Thanks for coming to visit us and play with our boys.

Meeting the Grandparents

Abigail's parents arrived yesterday and met Joel for the first time (Matthew won't stay still for a photo, though!). (For a flashback of when they came to meet Matthew two years ago, click here.)

Domo Arigato!

Lately Matthew's been saying attoh for arigato and bowing a bit sometimes, too. (Doesn't say "thank you" in English yet, but he is a third-culture kid, so we'll get there.)

I just want to say a big attoh (and send a bow) to all our friends who helped out with Matthew this past week: Jef and Aya, Nobue and Masayuki, Eugene and Inna, and Kaori san. Thanks, guys! You were splendid!

Welcome to the World, Little Angels

The happy, fluffy theme song at the clinic - for your delectation.


Who's Been Sitting in My Baby Bouncer?

Matthew was not able to join us when we went to bring Joel home, so there was a little surprise waiting for him in the living room when I brought him back from Jef and Aya's.

Little did he know who was waiting when he came in the front door (although he must have wondered why mommy was memorializing the moment in pixels):

Watch his reaction when he sees who has come home to play:


Bringing Joel Home

Abigail and Joel were judged fit to be released back into society yesterday. Here are the photos of the momentous event. If you have a moment, compare them with the photos of us bringing Maffa home just over 2 years ago now.

Posing with the greeter teddy bears in the entrance way.

In front of the clinic.

Borrowing big brother's car seat for the ride home.

Posing outside with front door with daddy....

... and mommy.

Gourmet Night

Unlike the Fawlty Towers episode of the same name, the night prior to release from the Yoshida Clinic really is a Gourmet Night - a feast for both the eyes and taste buds alike. Although Maffa and I had already eaten, we had no choice but to accede to Abigail's requests for help with the food. If the food at the clinic was the only factor in having children, I think we would have a very large family.

(Check out the "guilty pleasure" look on the last photo in particular!)

Eskimo Kisses

Matthew is good at giving us Eskimo kisses, and always does so before bed - often insisting that we give Polar Puppy Eskimo kisses too. Well, it looks like he has accepted Joel as one of the clan, as he not only gave him a (very gentle) Eskimo kiss when prompted, but he also came back several times while I was holding Joel to give him some more gratuitous ones.

Food Play

Since a couple of days ago, I have been noticing that Matthew has been doing some imaginative play: It usually happens when he has some squares of bread or cereal flakes (deedah in Matthew parlance) to hand. When the mood strikes him, he gets one, tells me it is a sadah (the Matthew word for large vehicles, like trucks or buses), and then he drives it around his plate or high chair tray table, just as he does with his little wheeled toys. It's very interesting as it is the first time I have seen him engage in this kind of imaginative play, so I suppose this means he has reached a new stage of development. Very cool.

A Hand, a Foot and a Face


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