We had a lovely morning walk today at Golden Acre Park but bloody hell it was cold!!! 2°C!!
Anyway ,just trying this out as might use this to document baby’s arrival in January!
Don’t think I’ll have much time to use the laptop then!
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What’s Kickin’?

The past few weeks has been lovely for me as I can feel baby aka Spud kicking inside me! Yeah! And they are getting stronger too!

I first felt it when I was at work a month ago. It felt very strange at first.. like bubbles..

I felt two kicks! I was so excited I had to text my husband, Ali, to tell him!

Ali has been wanting to feel it too but Spud always stops kicking whenever he puts his hands on my bump!

This morning, he finally felt it! We were both lying in bed (it was about 6.30am!) and I could feel Spud kicking me. So I just took his hand and placed it on my bump. We waited for a min and Spud was soon kicking happily! He was so happy when he felt it! I was happy too!

We also found out that Spud is a girl! Ali was most pleased as he was hoping to have a daughter!! I am not too bothered about the sex of the baby.

So now that we know that it is a girl, we can finally start planning! The room that will be the nursery is already pink in colour so that will save us a job from re-painting it. Ali is going to paint some murals on the wall and we will also have some pictures on it too.

We also went to an Almost New baby sale today and got a few good bargains!

Baby play mat/gym – £4!

A baby bouncer – £2!

A baby bath support – £2!

An electric bottle steriliser and bottle warmer – £5 (It’s from Tommee Tippee!! We wanted to get the set that comes with milk bottles too and it cost £65!!).

Some baby clothes – £6! They all seem fairly new. Most of the clothes we bought are white in colour as the seller had a boy but that’s ok! I will get a brand new outfit for Spud for when she comes home from the hospital 🙂

In the meantime, I will be crossing off checklist, getting the essentials and the odd ‘treat’ for Spud. We are going to be those parents who will not buy EVERYTHING brand new for the baby as I think it is such a waste of money for things that will only last for a few months! It will be eBay or Almost New sales for us. Sorry Spud, but we are doing this so you can have more £££ when you grow up!!! 😀

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Kiso Valley: Tsumago & Magome

Hi, I thought I better write more about my trip to Japan before baby arrives! I don’t think I will have time to do it then!

So anyway… After Kyoto, we moved on to Tsumago and Magome in the Kiso Valley. We took a train from Kyoto to Nagiso and took a taxi to Tsumago. Tsumago is really nice. It was a post town on the Nakesendo route during the Edo period. You can read more about it here.

There are many ryokan and minshuku in Tsumago but the one we have booked is in Otsumago which is in between Tsumago and Magome. We spent the day walking in Tsumago. We had a nice soba lunch and had a few snacks at a tea house. It was really nice and peaceful. I also remembered seeing notices about bears being spotted along the hiking trail and we could hire a bell if we want to. The bell is to warn the bears that we are in the area. My husband refused to rent it….. argh. Here are some photos of our day at Tsumago.


Anyway, the walk to our minshuku, Kohshinzuka was quite tiring as we had to go uphill and downhill! We made it and we are so glad to be staying there because the host was really nice, the room was great, the bathroom was clean. It has a hot bath in there which we really enjoyed! Best of all, the food was amazing!!!! I highly recommend this place if you do visit Tsumago and Magome! The host even sang a folk song for us! There was audience participation too! We met a very nice family from the USA too. We all enjoyed ourselves!

Waiting to check in

Snack time

View from our room!

This kept us warm while we had dinner next to it

Starter: Raw horse meat (basashi) and some glutinous rice ball with peanut sauce. The horse meat was delicious!!!

Grilled fish with salt

We also had chawan mushi and some other dishes. I forgot what they were! But they were good!!!

Our host.

Breakfast! The soup was soooo good!!!

After breakfast, we checked out and started our walk to Magome. It was a long hike… mostly UPHILL! We were so tired by the end of it! My husband was so tired.. he got grumpy within 10 minutes of the hike! HAHA! It was so tiring!! See pic below! That’s how high we had to climb!

View from the top.

Beware of bears!!!

There are also big bells along the hiking trail that you can ring to warn the bears. I did ring it because I was so scared! However, I did wonder.. if the bears heard the bell, wouldn’t they think that dinner is here?!!!!

Anyway, we made it to Magome.. and we were so tired by then, we didn’t take many photos. Magome seems a bit more modern than Tsumago to me. From Magome, we took a bus to Nagiso and took a train to Tokyo.

For this trip, the highlight for me is staying at Kohshinzuka. I’ve never stayed at a minshuku before. It is miles better than the ryokan we stayed at Miyajima. The food was so good. I wish we had another day there just to have some nice home cooked food prepared for us! I would go back there again!

Categories: Culture, Japan, Photography, Travel | Tags: , | 3 Comments

20 weeks and counting!

It has been awhile.

I’ve been so busy…

We’re going to have a new kitchen, a new bathroom, a new toilet downstairs and a porch built. We have decided to can the double storey extension as it is too expensive! It’s ridiculous!

Baby wise,  I have a little bump now and sometimes I can feel the baby kicking! It is a nice feeling. I can’t wait when the kicks are stronger so my husband could feel it too!

We have also bought a travel system (pram/pushchair) and a cot from eBay! We think we got it at a good bargain.

We have also decided to find out the sex of our baby. Husband prefers a girl. I prefer a boy…I think! Ah well, at least one of us will be happy but I’m sure we’ll be fine either way! We will know in a few weeks time!

We have also started training our dogs by buying a crying/laughing baby doll! They seem really excited at first and wanted to jump up to see what’s going on. Peanut is fine now. Once she had a sniff, she was fine. Buddy was more excited. I think he actually knows that it is a toy. He doesn’t want to rip it apart but he just wants to sniff it and find out why it’s crying. He knows not to go into the nursery too. When I carried the doll into the nursery, he wanted to follow me. I am very proud of him! It took only 2 ‘NO!!’ for him to understand that the nursery is out of bounds. He would wait outside for me while I pretend to walk round the nursery with the ‘baby’ in my arms! What a good boy!

Peanut wasn’t bothered. She would just leave us alone.

Well I hope when the baby is here they will be alright with it. I’m sure they will be. They are good dogs!

In the meantime, we have this renovation at home to look forward too and I’m also going to start looking at herbs and recipes for confinement!

Confinement refers to the 3 months after childbirth. It is for the mother to restore her health after childbirth. She must have adequate rest and consume nutritious food. Yes FOOD. Yum. I always enjoyed the confinement food my mum cooks for my sisters. It has lots of ginger and wine in it!

I won’t be going back to SIngapore to give birth and my mum can’t come so I’ll have to teach my husband how to cook them for me. Luckily one of my sisters bought me a book full of confinement food recipes so I think it will be ok. I just need to find the herbs required. I have also decided to make my own glutinous rice wine too! It is required for lots of the recipe and I can’t seem to find any here. It’s quite simple to make. I just need to get all the tools and ingredients!

Categories: Baby, Dogs, Family, Life, Me | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Good News

One Spring in Japan

A single ramen noodle

Bun in the oven

And that is why I haven’t been blogging.

I have been so tired the last few weeks. I didn’t have much appetite and just didn’t want to do anything.

I’m 14 weeks now and this weekend is the first time where I’ve stayed up past 10pm!! I’ve been going to bed at 8.30pm! I feel I’m back to normal now.

We’re obviously very excited and very nervous too! So many things to do and plan before the little one arrives! We’re not sure if we want to know the sex of the baby yet. We have until September to make up our mind!

I’m feeling hungry (again!) now so I’m off to have something to eat!

See ya!

Categories: Baby, Family, Haiku, Japan, Language | 2 Comments

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