Friday, February 28, 2014

二千〇八:Tokyo Marathon 2014

I completed the marathon!

After 6hr30min of torture, I completed the marathon! 
It actually felt great at first, the weather was freezing cold while we waiting at the start line, and it actually started snowing slightly, but once the race got to a start, it was quite a wonderful feeling to be going through all the lanes of Shinjuku with just the sea of runners. I didn't perspire for maybe the first 5km, and after that , maybe because I didn't train much, and also I did run slightly too fast at first, the back of my left knee started hurting and I think it was even a miracle I managed to keep running for 21km. "Mind over matter, mind over matter" was the only thing I tried to keep thinking, and it kinda worked for most of it, but when the pain worsened, and my perseverance kinda broke after 21km, I could only try to walk as quickly as I could and look forward to seeing my supporters along the way. I almost missed the cutoff for 35km, didn't realise I was walking too slowly and that the 30-35km cutoff times were so near, almost died after crossing it a minute before it closed. Felt so tired and in pain that I just stretched out there and sobbed uncontrollably while waiting for Ryo & bb to come by. Luckily it was 40 minutes to the next 38km point and I took a short rest to compose myself and walked on with another girl who was also caught in the same situation behind me. We became the last 2 pple in the race at that point.. until we caught up with more people walking at around 40km. phew. & finally made it to the end with about 5 minutes to spare. What a relief to finally reach the finish point and sit down after getting the medal and the bag. 
I couldn't walk properly that night, and was glad that Shuping came to the hotel and had a good catch up over my celebratory yakiniku dinner. I actually dozed off at about 9.30pm, and woke up at 11.30pm, didn't realise I was so tired. But still can't walk properly and I fell asleep at about past midnight again. The next day was much better, I could at least walk awkwardly slowly. 
I'm going to just take a rest from full marathons for a while, 2 in 4 months is just abit many for me and my next run will be a half marathon near my place in April. Go me! 

I've completed 3 marathons! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

二千〇七:CNY 2014

Lion dance performance in the office

I've been in sg for a month. & I don't want to leave!!

Mum has been babysitting bb for the whole month when I go to work and it's really so much better here than being alone at home, pulling my hair out trying to work and look after bb at the same time. This morning I even caught myself thinking if I have a 2nd child (like get pregnant now) the baby would be out by the end of the year. OMG! noooooooooo!! that would be totally the end of my freedom though.

We went to the zoo, bb loves the water park / playground.

We went to sentosa, bb enjoyed herself at the water playground and the beach, a little scared of waves in the sea.

We went on some playdates, discovered bb is a tyrant when it comes to toys. Even other people's toys.

& it's valentine's day today! I made 2 very simple cards, with chocolates for my team mates , and then sent a box of cupcakes to my sister in UK since she's alone w/o her hubby, (of cos she has to pay for it first, i'll just IOU her the cash for future use i guess) I hope she can actually finish the cupcakes though, they seem like alot for 1 person.

Tokyo marathon in a week. argh!!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

二千〇六:2014 Resolutions

bb helping me to think on new year's day. 

I was thinking what I wanted to achieve in 2014 and here's a list -
  1. Yoga everyday in 2014 - it doesn't have to be a full set daily, no pressure, but definitely want to try to put in time daily because I feel so inspired looking at photos of other people doing yoga and basically have become so unflexible that I almost am starting to feel angry at my body. This should help in my running as well?? Anyway, I'm logging my thoughts at http://yoga3652014.blogspot.jp/ if anyone is curious! 
  2. Running - Tokyo marathon is the first event (had such high hopes and its really hard to go running with bb and the festive season, and going to sg soon) so all I'm aiming for is to run more during the marathon and end with a slightly better time?? (><) Perhaps I'll try to join the smaller races in the year. I'm slightly interested in the Nagoya women's marathon, but that's just a maybe. I can maybe run more when bb starts school in April. 
  3. Travel - I want to go either France or Hawaii?? Or maybe just Taiwan or Hong Kong to pig out.. 
  4. Photography - Nowadays most of my shots are of bb. Which is actually quite difficult, since she moves about at the speed of lighting. I'll aim to improve my toddler photography with my cheapo camera! & perhaps do a 365day photobook at the end of the year! 
  5. Baking - Learn to bake something new every 3 weeks? (excluding travel months)
  6. Knitting/Crocheting/sewing - A pair of house socks for Ryo in time for the next winter at least, and to complete bb's little dress for this year's winter! ahahaha! and also... her baby stroller blanket in time for this winter as well.. 
  7. Parenting- try my best as an idle parent to help bb grow well! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

二千〇四:Happy Achievements

Ok... I'm going to have to skip the October post first because I want to put down all November happenings before I forget.

1. The horrible work project that took my days from 17-Oct to 2-Nov is over! (Yes everyday - 15 hours/day)
2. 2 groups of friends visited me!
3. I completed the Kobe Marathon 2013!

after the race with Yuh Soon & Julius 

First - the marathon.
I was super nervous leading up to it, because I caught a cold the week before that while sightseeing and it was the kind of flu that had green mucus and headaches and almost coughs, and was still showing symptoms up to the day before. The hb caught it right before the marathon when he was supposed to help take care of the bb during the run and I was feeling quite stressed wondering if he would be able to look after bb during my run and if not what was I going to do!! Anyway.. I enjoyed a bbfree morning the day b4 that, we went to the expo to get our race packs and after that came back for lunch and dinner with the bb. I was feeling quite tired actually, since I was sick and I didn't get enough sleep the night before as well. I tried to go to bed at 11pm the night before the marathon but ended up bb didn't want to sleep until 2-3am and Ryo was finally awake to entertain her.

The morning of the marathon, I woke up quietly, got ready with the guys and sneaked out at around 7.30am. The best thing is that the marathon was pretty much just at my doorstep, and we had to go down early only for bad deposits and just stretch and wait around. I merged myself among the guys who were in group D (i'm group G) and started off with them. The first loo at the motomachi starbucks saved me, and after that it was just running until 18km and walking the rest of the way with a bit of up slope running here and there.

I'm slightly disappointed that I was slower than at the Osaka marathon - but then I thought - I barely trained for 2 months - and I still can walk after that - so .. at least I completed it! I'm really happy the guys came (I was all prepped to join myself because they said they weren't interested to join but signed up after, during the gold coast marathon season). PHEW! it was loads more fun because they were here, even if just for the moral support. & very happy to see bb & the supporters, with like 8km to go. it was probably the longest 8km ever!!! next up.. Tokyo Marathon in feb.. but this time i will be alone (T.T)

Next - all the sightseeing.
Umera & her family came before the marathon and Julius & Yuh Soon came after. Basically it was just eat eat eat all the way. BB was quite a terror, kept throwing tantrums and i got so tired handling her. But.. managed to find the onsen area in Kyoto, visited Arashiyama twice, stayed in Kyoto at 烏丸 for the first time in my life (now i can almost tell u the layout of the shops along 四条) and visited the 清水寺 at night for their autumn nights special openings. Legs are soooo tired, but the onsen was good for the marathon recovery just that all the sightseeing made me tired again ahahaha!

Finally - Work .
The horrible project made us work continuously 18 days straight, over the weekends as well, for Europe hours. Felt like I was going mad, having to manage bb and work over such stressful conditions with the problematic project. Of cos we survived it , is there anyway not to? Just that the work conditions were hellish... I foresee January to be similar again :( But at least this time i'll be in Sg..

It's been a happy november so far, with all the babysitters around and the Kobe marathon completed. and Xmas will be here soon! & I can also look forward to going to SG again in Jan and seeing all my friends soon!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

二千〇三:Work work work

DSC_9986 bb with a tiny rubberducky on her head! 

 In October - I worked from 16-Oct to Nov 3 without a break. It was hell, especially on days when bb was whiny. I'm just glad I finally managed to see the giant rubberducky in Osaka the weekend before the hell period. The duck was situated in a really inconvenient location, at a port area in Nakanoshima, luckily we pushed bb there in the stroller. It gave me a chance to do a long run home as well, around ... 21km? which actually come to think of it isn't that far haha. The duck is so cute ! unfortunately we didn't realise that they were selling the small version of that rubber ducky limitedly every few hours and missed it ... so I guess we have to try to see it next year again!

Also managed to bring bb to the indoor Playground at Kidokid with Peishan & her bb. The place is fun and we discover something new to do everytime! DSC_9936

 I think nothing much else happened in Oct.. besides work. but at least that's over.

Monday, September 30, 2013

二千〇二:This is my September

bb picking up rocks under a tree

September! My favourite month of the year! is over..

& this post is quite late, apologies for the lack of updates. I blame work for this.

This year, I almost forgot about my own birthday, until Ryo asked me what I wanted for my present.  I had no idea, since I haven't been thinking about it, and the first thing that came to my mind was sleep. oops..

In the end, we went for a long long lunch at a French restaurant in the Kitano area, with the bb in the childcare room in the salon (paid 1050yen for 3 hours?) The MIL before that had offered something for my birthday, but ended up she scheduled a health check for that morning, so we just said never mind, and paid for the babysitting near our place instead. Didn't really understand why she would call in the evening at like 8pm to ask if the bb was going to her place still. 8pm.. we didn't even said we needed her help anymore, and calling at 8pm was kinda too late for anything to be done anyway.

Early September, we went to the Capcom Villa with Ryo's team, & had a bbq and bb enjoyed her time in the pool. Although the tankini she had received was still too big, she was quite good natured with almost everyone, & it was quite a tiring experience, with having to make sure she was ok instead of just relaxing.

Didn't do much else in Sept I think, there were 2 long wkends but we spent most of it resting, or avoiding the typhoons, so just did normal stuff like unpacking stuff, and I finally started training for the marathon. the first 2 runs almost killed me, even though it was only 6km... didn't realise how unfit i had become, but at least it got easier progressively.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

二千〇一: Summer

at Kumamoto Castle on a 37 degrees celsius day

I wasn't in Japan last year for summer (as I was having the bb in SG), so this year it's really a whole new world with the bb joining us for all the summer events!

Summer in Japan = Fireworks! 

My favourite event of the year. We were able to see the Kobe fireworks from our balcony this year, & Ryo invited his friend with his family over to come have dinner and watch the fireworks. The weekend after that, we went to Yodogawa in Osaka to view the fireworks event there. BB was quite scared at first (because we were in the good seats and right in the middle of all the action and noise) and she started crying after the fireworks started. Luckily we had the tripod all set up, all I needed to do was to hold her & press the trigger while watching the fireworks. We bought earplugs for her, but it wasn't of much help. She'll probably enjoy the fireworks more next year. Pictures:
Kobe Fireworks: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexxis/sets/72157635360220850/
Yodogawa Fireworks: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexxis/sets/72157635343201425/

We also went to watch the high school baseball matches, on a super hot summer day. Ryo's parents took care of the baby for that day and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves w/o her that day. I was slightly worried if she would be ok as that was her first time with them alone, but everything turned out fine in the end.

There's a Obon event in August every year, and this is the first one we were able to attend since it was near our house. There is the Bon-odori (some sort of mass dance) but a little hard to dance with the bb on me, so we went to the pasar malam, ate alot of food, and just basically soaked up the atmosphere.

Mid August, we went to Kyushu (九州) for a short family trip, partly to visit Ryo's relatives as well. Some of them haven't met me or the baby before, because they were too old to travel (most of the people I met looked wrinkly and probably almost 90 years old). We drove through Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Ureshino and ended the trip at Fukuoka. The highlight of the trip was visiting Ippudo at its HQ restaurant! It tasted great, but I must say.. it's getting harder to go out or have a meal with bb. She keeps on grabbing at stuff, not eating when we feed, so keeping her entertained just takes up the whole meal time and I barely have any appetite left. Hopefully this is only a passing phase..  Pictures are here:

It was a very very eventful month!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

二千: 1 year!

bb is one year old! 

Didn't realise it's the 2000th post *pops champagne*

Let me recall July highlights quickly -
1. SEA aquarium at resorts world
2. Tim Ho Wan char siew bao
3. Playdates at hokey pokey
4. Hotel staycation in Osaka Bay


5. BB's 1 year old birthday!!

Quick thoughts on the events.

1. SEA Aquarium
The big tank in the aquarium was quite impressive, but is it really the World's largest aquarium?? BB slept throughout the aquarium walk but she woke up later and quite enjoyed herself splashing a little water with Uncle J at the fountain area.

2.  Tim Ho Wan char siew bao
The charsiewbao was really good I must admit. The rest of the food was quite.. normal? Everything was freshly cooked /made which was a plus point, but that's about it I guess.

3. Playdates at Hokey Pokey
BB joined bb Geoffrey and Natanael at hokey pokey at Millenia walk for playdates. It was really more of the kids checking out all the toys themselves rather than playing with each other, but I guess it's not really all that conducive a place for kids to play with one another unless they were already friends. Quite a good place to play with toys that are too big to buy for the house, like pretend kitchens etc

4. Staycation in Osaka Bay
It was a highlight until we reached the hotel and realised that the room was quite old & small and the view was only ... meh? Never trust free hotel stays again. But anyway, we got a chance to sleep in an aircon room (the house has no aircon yet) and just relax together for the weekend on a comfortable bed, it was not a bad experience overall.

5. BB's first birthday!
Finally! it's been a year.. and i think it's just getting difficult. BB is now starting to walk & grabbing stuff off tables and everywhere she can reach. We celebrated her birthday in SG, at home and also with her Japanese grandparents after I came back. I hope bb stays healthy this year and grow up to be a good girl!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

千九百九十九: The Weddings

bb was trying to flip through the hymn book. 

June was a hectic month, because of my sister's weddings. Not that we really managed to help a lot, but mainly running around with her amidst work to settle last minute stuff and also to be able to catch up since she was jetting off 2 days after the wedding.

It was the first church wedding that I'm part of as behind the scenes, with bb being the ringbearer and Julius asked to help take photos, so it was quite cool to be able to see everything from up close. The days before that was quite crazy though, we had to source for stuff to help with church decorations, my sister ordered pastries from Carpenter & Cook (the lavender madeleines were heavenly), printed out all the programs & signs for them (luckily I went to the office on a strategic day), mum sewed the hairbands and ties using all the elephant clothes for them, etc etc. I think the church wedding was too hectic to be really enjoyable, with it being in the middle of a weekday (& mum kept saying she was late for her makeup and hair when we were actually only slightly late and there was still plenty of time), and with the baby being the official wailer of the wedding (she kept doing the ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh screaming in the middle of the service which was super embarrassing and I had to try to silence her), I had to be the ring bearer instead. After that, my sister had a wardrobe mishap, I think one of her strings on her dress broke and the front of the dress kept slipping downwards after that.. well at least no one would say that it was an uneventful wedding haha! So I was too busy with the baby throughout to feel teary-eyed when my dad gave my sister away. But I did feel a bit of an emptiness when she wasn't around to squeeze on the bed with me & bb and to chat with till late night that night when she decided she could go over to her new hubby's place to sleep. sighz.

Took abit of a breather for the next few days until the Saturday traditional wedding, day after Jay Chou concert. yes i went to the Jay Chou concert! woohoo! IT WAS FANTASTIC! of course I was comparing it to the last concert I went to 10 years ago (how time flies) and back then, there was less bright computer effects and more proper performance. I was kind of hoping for more singing from him but there was more showcasing of other performers this time round. Maybe now big star le, can afford to sing less at his own concerts. Thanks to Umera, the seats were like centre front, super good! but of course, best part is because mum looked after bb and I could enjoy the concert undisturbed. Nowadays she is able to not take milk when i'm not around, and my mum just feeds her normal food and she doesn't even remember me unless it's time to sleep (so I still can't stay out too late, latest maybe 2am?) when she will whine and whine until my mum calls me to come back asap. But, all in all, it was fantastic to see Jay in concert again (think this concert can keep me happy for the next few years at least until I manage to come back to sg at the right time again hahah!) .

I digress. About the wedding - Saturday was the real wedding day. It was not as hectic, but of course, having to wake the baby up at 6am, she wasn't too happy about it, given that she slept not so early the night before. This time, her role was to open the groom's car door with Ryo. I think she did it quite well from the looks of the photos. After that, the usual haggling at the door and making Calvin dance around before coming into the room for my sister, but my tear glands finally gave up when Calvin hit on the correct song for the final obstacle. "Yum Yum.. something something the baker goes " song. You have to know my sister to know this, and I guess that just felt so correct that i was like (T.T) and a whole whoosh of emotions just overwhelmed me (感動?) and of course my sis let him in with this song. They left for his place after this, and we thought we could get a nap in, but it turns out that we have to go to the hotel at 2pm (because dad's car broke down so we had to catch a ride with Calvin's uncle) and we ended up having to leave just a short while after lunch.

Reached the hotel, we tried to nap or watch tv or something, but since Ryo was around, I wanted to actually head to town (since we were already in Newton) to just get some caffeine in my system to survive the rest of the day (only slept 3 hours after all the Jay excitement).. We ended up at Paragon after Ryo finally managed to tear himself away from the hotel TV which was showing the Day after tomorrow (>.<), and finally replaced his 8 years old sandals with a new teva pair at a world of sports sale (my mum had bought that pair for him in his first trip to sg with me in 2005 and it is disintegrating to grossness by now and can you believe it, he has no other slippers or sandals at home?!) and we finally settled down at starbucks for a 2 hour nuaing session. BB of cos was fast asleep by then. It actually felt kinda like we were back home, where all the shops, dept stores and malls were within walking / 1 train ride distance away.

Finally made it back to the hotel at around 6, took a quick shower, surveyed my face and decided I look too crappy from the lack of sleep to do anything about myself, and decided to just pay the makeup artist to help make me look good. (she did a great job!). The night went by quite smoothly, with everything ending about 11pm++ . BB had a good time meeting everyone, chance to play with her godpa too, and end of the story is - my sis is married and gone. *sobzz*

Other highlights of the month -
1. Legoland - went in spite of the haze, even though EVERYONE cancelled on me. HOW WIMPY! i was mad of course, stuck with 5 tickets (No one has paid me for them yet btw, which is really uncool of them) and I had to call pple up on friday night at 2am to ask if they were free on Saturday. Luckily my cousin agreed to go with me, and miraculously, the skies cleared up at around noon??! and the rest of the day was amazingly clear (and hot). so .. good things happen to good people after all.

2. Meeting other babies - had a baby picnic with some of my classmates from sec sch and their babies at Botanic gardens, lots of baby birthday parties and some cafe/playdates! At the picnic, bb was the oldest bb, so it was quite funny to see her trying to interact with the younger bb-ies. She seemed like such a giant among them. Brought her to playdates at bb gyms or playgrounds, but that's really too much for a bb who can't walk, so i think Hokey Pokey is probably her best option. Also met up with my pri sch fren whose bb is 3 weeks younger than bb, their development was probably most similar, and actually they got on quite well.  Maybe next time I can try to meet everyone again.

3. Old friends - hmm.. This trip, I've actually made an effort to meet up with quite a few people whom I've not seen for the past 5 years at least? We've all moved on to different stages in our lives now, and it feels "safer" to meet them now. There are some people I don't dare to meet up with, because they are always so demanding, and I'm sure they haven't changed. Some of these old friends were accidental meetings, bumped into them, and made promises to catch up. I had been quite nervous in fact, and was glad that everything turned out fine. In fact, I had quite a good time catching up with them even though I was really worried we would have nothing to talk about. But surprisingly, the vibes/(sparks?) were still there, it was easy to fall back into our previous friendliness. of course, everyone is hands off now.

anyway. July - time to go home to Japan soon..

Friday, May 31, 2013

千九百九十八: Hello Singapore!

the almost 10 months old bb thinking about her future as a breadtaster..

It's been a month plus and BB is growing well! (Or as well as I think it should be) She can crawl super fast, chasing me from the living room to the bedroom or the washroom the moment she detects that I have "escaped" from the room and she can stand up by herself. She can also cruise, and clap her hands and have 2 lower front teeth growing out. Also blabbered some sounds here and there. her facebook page is: http://www.facebook.com/bbmirei

We're in Singapore right now, after settling  big hooha regarding my spouse visa expiring. At least I've learnt a lesson, next time i'll set a calendar reminder to renew the visa!

It's been quite a busy few weeks in SG, with work and settling bb in, and also meeting up with friends, helping out with my sister's wedding stuff. (maybe we have been very little of a help since now the bride seems to be in a very bad mood) The past week has been great with my sis (& future BIL) around though, being very nice in dropping us off at places and picking us up. There were the very interesting nightly chats about dumb stuff that kept us up late at night (besides bb waking up at night for her milk) that I did miss being away from my sisters. At least bb seems to be adapting to life here, and has been going to her grandparents for cuddles instead of just me. Even her aunts have been approved by her as allowed to carry her. One of the changes for this age is her shyness to strangers. She starts crying when she meets new adults (my friends) unless I'm carrying her, although she is kpo about what they are doing, she doesn't want to let them touch her, or she pretends to be just playing with her toy and takes secret glances to see if anyone is watching her. & she has the play hard to get character, such that even after she allows people to carry her, she refuses to look at them straight in the face, and just keeps turning her head to avoid eye contact. (>.<)

I managed to read quite a few books the past weeks: the Happiness Project, 1Q84, and some Stephen Clarke books. (His books on France and parisiens and their lifestyles are hilarious). 1Q84 left a very deep impression on me; it's the kind of book where you end up thinking "What??? I don't understand!" but yet the plot was simple enough to follow to the end despite the large number of characters introduced here and there. I wonder if I would be able to actually follow through it if it had been the Japanese version. But I haven't felt like that in a long time, that I needed to finish a book before I slept (not successful since the book was too long and took me a week's nights to finish)

Taking a break from all the craftwork as well, but have to finish crocheting a pouch for my cousin as already promised. Doing something new this time, added a strand of shiny yarn to the original woolly yarn to give the pouch a touch of elegance. I hope the end result is pretty!

I am very much looking forward to Jay's concert at the end of the week. It's been years since I've gone to his concert, I think it was when I was still in university. 2002??? 11 yearS!? wow.. it was alot easier to get tickets for him then, and only half the price for the cheapest tickets. I haven't even heard his latest album yet though, so I guess I've to be ready to hear some new songs in the concert. Slightly worried about how bb will cope that evening, but I think she should be ok?? since Ryo should be here by then :D

More on the wedding next! (next as in the next time i find time to post.. :P)

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