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Welcome to my blog!

If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years in Malaysia before settling down in Kyoto, Japan. Exploring Japan full time has been a long time dream of mine, so let's explore it together!
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Lil Penguin | 6th Month

How many penguins are there in this picture?

Real Talk.

Milestones aren't all about rainbows and laughter.

It's literally blood, sweat and tears everyday.

You have no idea how time flies with a baby, with all the chaos going on and catching up with lil penguin's growth all i want to do right now is dig a hole and bury myself inside it because i feel that i'm unable to handle my own baby. Now i understand why moms feel that they are a failure majority of the time because you feel as if everything you are doing is wrong with the baby wailing every waking moment.   
Her character is definitely one of a kind, how to put it out there nicely?
Probably under the list of super duper fussy baby and parents of babies like this can probably relate and feel my pain. As much as we love our babies, it's really mentally exhausting just trying to keep up with their never ending needs. Worst part is that since her vision is almost properly developed she can tell who's mama & papa, and who isn't. So passing her to someone just so that i can take a leak is no longer an option. HELP!!

No joke, she'll coyly smile at you asking you to come closer the minute you pick her up, she'll scream bloody murder until me or the danna hugs her. So a word of caution, don't fall for her smiles.

She definitely have a beautiful smile but memang udang sebalik batu punya budak. Cheeky!

Mischievious girl! Look at her claiming my poor collectible Oddish *heart pain*

I really feel super duper defeated..like a failure though i know i should be embracing her milestones, is there a book anyone can suggest for me to read so that i won't feel so overwhelmed with all these new changes? I'm honestly struggling every single day and it isn't getting any easier not is it showing signs of getting used to, baby carrier is not really an option especially when i'm sitting down infront of the PC doing my work because she doesn't like being in stationary position too long and walking around trying to do artwork on my laptop sounds only something a circus clown could do. 
Everyday i pray and ask God to grant me patience and strength to go through the day in one piece, i often wish my mom was around to help me out. 

Lil penguin is super playful but she only insists on having HER PARENTS play with her, anyone else who goes close to her will trigger her wailing system (aka fake tears). I really don't know how did this happen..from a baby super friendly with everyone (just last month back in KL everyone was holding and playing with her) into a monstrous fussy baby with trust issues. I know at some point of their milestones a baby will go through a moment of identity crisis knowing that they are now a separate individual and no longer part of their mom but it can't be this soon right?? 

Oh and self playing isn't in lil penguin's dictionary, also we can see she has quite a short fuse because every time when she doesn't get a toy she wants she'll throw a horrid tantrums. And i thought those tantrums only start at 2 (that's why it's called Terrible Twos) but seems that she is displaying all of these much earlier than anticipated.
Really makes my mom eyes roll so far back till i can see the far corner of my skull and the danna says her temper is like mine? Really? You want to make jokes like that now? 😤

We did apply for her to be enrolled to the nearest nursery school, they told us the fastest available slot is only in May so that's good news for us, just gotta hang in another month. 
Let's hope she makes new friends and play nice at the nursery, i'm praying really hard that the nursery teacher doesn't call us halfway to take her back because she's too difficult to handle. Lol!

So far she's okay with her friend mana-chan, and i just found out that some restaurants have baby seats that can be attached to the tables like this instead of the usual high chairs. Pretty cool!

Aside from her usual crankiness there are just some days you want to hug and glomp her whole, have to resist myself from biting her cheeks and other chubby parts of her tubby body because we don't want her to think biting humans is normal like how we read of those cases where kids bite other kids in nursery school. So many things we have to be mindful of since she is slowly trying to mimic us, that includes me cutting down on snacking because since i'm the primary caretaker she sees me putting all sorts of food in my mouth throughout the day so she thinks she can put everything in her mouth too *facepalm*

Really monkey see, monkey do lol. 

More reasons for me to go on a strict diet now haha!

Monthly Check Up

We just realized that the danna caught the same colored rilakkuma bear as lil penguin's suit lol

In Japan the local goverment office has a support system for children and it starts since birth so every certain stage we need to report back their progress and during the first 3 months these social workers will do home visits with a baby weigh scale. The earlier visits were monthly, then it slowly stretches over the months, our recent one was just before she turned 6 months.

These check up & support system is something country needs because back in Malaysia they basically just leave you to do everything on your own, explains why majority moms turn to Facebook whenever something happens *roll eyes again*, in state of emergency always go to the hospital not FB ladies.

lol so ngam 666

They will call back every registered baby that was born around the same period to attend these check ups which usually takes half a day. We found out lil penguin's weight hasn't changed much since 3rd month, still lesser than 7kg but her height is already 74cm. Can see that she's a slender baby with chipmunk cheeks but somehow whenever we carry her it feels like we are carrying our usual 10kg bag of rice lol.

Had to pack away most of her clothes because she outgrew them in height, some of them were so cute :'( Thank you so much for your service, you have brought us so much joy & happiness.

They gave us some short classes on a baby's growth progress, signs to take note of and when can we start introducing rinyushoku (baby's first solid meals) and types of foods suitable for each stage. Super useful classes especially for new parents!

First Solids

We started introducing her minimal solids like porridge and banana, turns out she prefers to self feed whenever she gets the chance. Don't think i'll ever take our my blender again because there's just so many parts to wash after blending the porridge, since she could sit up well without support (longer than 1 min) and have decent motoring skills of putting things in her mouth so we tried baby led weaning approach (BLW) and gave her abit of banana to test, she definitely created a huge mushy mess and didn't like the taste of bananas so we need to try other vegetables/ fruits lol. But for porridge she has no problems finishing her portion, just need a little guidance while she self feeds with her spoon. So glad we bough these cute Hello Kitty baby cutlery last summer when we rode the Hello Kitty shinkansen, it the perfect size & weight for her! 

Also the banana gave us all a scare because her poop for the next few days contains undigested black specks (from the banana) which turns out to be totally normal lol. So mommies, if you start introducing banana in your baby's diet expect to see those black specks for awhile until their gut gets used to it, don't panic like me. But make sure to look out for signs of constipation as well, after every meal she nurses like normal and i somehow feel abit sad to say goodbye to her not so stinky BM poop haha.

Not bad she actually finishes her meal 90% of the time

Rolling Pro

We put her down in one position and since she mastered the art of rolling around she can cover the entire living room by just rolling. I told the danna if she has a rock band it would probably be named" "Rolling Penguins" instead of "Rolling Star" lol, there's no stopping her now. Constantly have to keep a watch on her because she tends to roll out of her restricted area (baby mat which is 200x 200 cm), once i left her to play with her toys on the mat while i went to toilet and was shocked with her sudden loud cry, turns out she rolled out of her mat and unto the cold wooden floor -_-
Where you going sia??

Nursery school 

Part of me can't wait to enroll her to one because she's at the stage where she's super hyper and playful so being with other kids her age would be a good thing and she won't get such a shock (separation anxiety) when the time comes for her to be enrolled full time- 5 days a week. In Japan nursery schools usually take in babies as young as 3 months old, this is because parents have to go back to work and sending to babysitter isn't an option here. It's not even part of their culture unlike back in Malaysia where we have like a "2nd mom" the babysitter aunty that took care of us as a baby till we go off to primary school, we only see our real parents in the evening when they pick us up after work.

There are many pros and cons with the babysitting culture, because first of all we can't trust any random person to watch after our children after the recent cases of child abuse and murder, in Malaysia daycare usually starts from 6 months and above if i'm not mistaken so parents are left with little to no option to either search for a babysitter or ask for family members to care for their kids while they work. That's why some moms end up quitting their full time job to take care until their kids are ready for daycare/ kindergarten.

In Japan you can definitely find babysitters but they charge by the hour, the local goverment office has a list of registered trained babysitters both private & goverment ones that you can call up to use. Rates and terms varies, like they don't take care of babies below 3 months old (though some allow). Private babysitters charge about 1500-2500yen per hour, so movie couple night is definitely out of the question lol.

We went to survey around for a suitable nursery school, so happen there was one nearby our workplace (like opposite lol), the headmaster was so nice to give us a tour of the place and it's huge!
Babies from 6 months onwards will be fed solids + Formula milk according to schedule, they even have potty training classes for babies! Hallelujah, got someone to do the potty training for us haha.
The only sad thing is that they do not handle frozen/ fresh breastmilk because scared of wrong method of handling so it's only strictly FM :(
Looks like i'm gonna DL in the morning and night only.

They even serve halal food here as there are muslim children attending the nursery, the headmaster told us there are quite a number of foreign students enrolled here as well, i find it a good thing because lil penguin can mix with other people like her and won't feel so left out when the time comes. Best part about nursery schools in Japan is that their schedule is flexible, i can start off with sending her half day, 2-3 times a week before stretching it longer. That way she can adjust better!

Will definitely share more about their nursery school system on another entry when i have time. 

As much as i'm happy to finally go back to work full time without constantly struggling with a wriggly baby daily, at the same time i feel abit sad to leave her in a place full of strangers. My boss has been so nice for letting me bring lil penguin to work and do remote work for the past 5 months but my progress has been slow so better to put her in nursery school so that i can focus on work as well. The conflict and sacrifice all working mothers have to go through, finally understand how my own mother felt leaving us at the babysitter's door every morning before she went to work.

Current follow mama everywhere kind of situation, tried putting all sorts of toys on her stroller to keep her distracted while i get work done before she explodes.

The Dream

The danna and i had dreams of penguin suddenly just getting up and walking away. it felt really sad for us because we knew our helpless lil penguin will one day stand on her own and no longer need us to carry her around. Seeing how she progressed so quickly on her own, it's only a matter of time when she becomes an independent grown woman. Time flies with a baby, some days are dark and long while some are bright and short; all of them will soon turn to faded memories at the back of our minds.

She's already sitting up unassisted like a pro especially during TV time, it's only a matter of time when she figure out how to stand up. Gonna miss her gravity defying hair as it gets longer too.

That's all for lil penguin's 6 months update, in a couple more weeks she's turning 7 months old yay!

Yours Truly,

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