It’s all in the details

The world is a small place. Tokyo is modern and doesn’t feel that foreign. It reminds me a little bit of Seoul and New York. Yesterday we visited the center city – Shibuya crossing which is like the Times Square of Tokyo, and Ginza, which is like New York’s 5th Avenue.

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So far, Japan feels kind of like the US but dare I say better and more convenient in little ways. It’s all in the details. For example the public restroom stalls here are equipped with a baby seat so that mommies can go to the bathroom too. It’s the little conveniences like this that really get me.

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Plus, everything is clean. The subways are orderly. People actually line up to get on the trains and I haven’t seen any pushing. Everyone is so polite and civilized. And it seems like there is a culture of consciousness about the environment and conservation which I am impressed by. Japan, you are looking good.

14 hour flight with a toddler

We arrived in Japan yesterday after a very long flight. Sienna did pretty well overall, although it was exhausting for all of us. Especially me.

This girl loves to be free to roam and she is at the age where she wants to walk without holding my hand. She will throw her body weight down or stop and sit on the floor in protest. I tried to shepard her up and down the aisles as best I could, and stop her from picking up trash off the floor. (One of her favorite things to do right now is put trash on the trash can.)

She did sleep for a good portion of the flight in my arms. So I was actually able to watch a few movies – the Wolf of Wall Street, the Book Thief, and part of the Great Gatsby.

Some tips for flying with a toddler:

1. On international flights, ask for the seat with the bassinet. We got upgraded to more legroom gratis thanks to this baby.

2. Carry a backpack instead of a shoulder bag and travel as lightly as possible.

I usually carry a backpack only. I gate check the stroller and infant car seat. My husband carries a backpack and the travel crib. We have the one by Guava Family and love it.

Since S has now graduated to a much heavier big girl car seat, we gate checked the car seat this time.

3. Wear slip on shoes and use a baby carrier when going through security.

4. Bring non-messy snacks like puffs.

5. For international travel, when you face long lines at customs or immigration, see if there is an expedited line for families with babies. At customs we got to bypass the winding entry line and go to the line for diplomats and families with babies.

6. Before the flight, let your kiddo run around and burn off as much energy as possible. By the time we boarded, S was zonked out and it bought me time to watch a movie.

7. Nurse or bottle feed during take off and landing.

8. Cups, wrappers, and napkins are just as much if not more entertaining than toys. I didn’t carry on many toys for S. Just a small board book (good choice) and a small stuffed bear (waste of space). At this age S is happy playing with things like wrappers and plastic cups.

Eating some snacks on the plane.

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Sienna loves playing with these plastic cards.

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Sienna’s First Birthday

A couple weeks ago we flew back to LA to celebrate Sienna’s first birthday with our family and friends! What started out as a small celebration turned into a much bigger party. Since we are moving to Japan and we are not going to be making our usual frequent trips to LA, we just decided to expand the guest list.

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Wish I had a copy of this pic where the candle was not blocking Sienna’s face…

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Friends since kindergarten, elementary and high school! Now with babies.

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My cousin and her baby, about a month older than Sienna

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Not a typo! The theme was Sienna and the monsters nonsters! Nonsters are non scary monsters.

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Matching

Round 2 of matching mommy and baby outfits!

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Reverse matching!

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Black and white!

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My lil dancing partner!

It’s times like this that I’m so glad I had a girl. Well actually, at all times I’m soooo thankful that I had a girl! Get ready for more embarrassingly similar outfits, Miss Sienna!!

Purple unicorn

I gave Sienna some of her birthday gifts early and one of them was this purple unicorn. It was a hit! She kept giggling and bouncing around. When I brought it near her she would act all shy and hide her face in my shirt. She likes touching the ribbons and horn.

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The Last Snow Day

We had an unexpected snowstorm last week. Probably our last snow day of the year! It was a nice surprise. That’s one good thing about living on the East coast. Random days off when it snows!

Miss Sienna had a busy day.

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Started out folding laundry with mommy.

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Took out her ponytail.

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Touched the snow outside our door.

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Waited for a bite of papaaa’s peanut butter cup.

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Went for a ride on his shoulders.

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Went for a walk in the snow. It was cold. Sienna doesn’t like the cold.

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Took a nap.

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Woke up from her nap a little too early.

A busy day for my Sienna!!

Dr. Mario happy virus

It’s mid day and I’m missing my lil S. I sometimes want to call her day care to ask how she’s doing just because I miss her. But she’s been there for 4 mos and I no longer have the excuse of “she’s new and still adjusting.” And it’s never satisfying anyway. So I’ll just have to wait till k picks her up to get a Sienna update!

Sienna was soooo happy when I took this pic smiling at her Papa!

My SIL said she looks like a “happy virus” which she says is a Korean phrase. But with her 2 front teeth she does look a little like the viruses in the Dr. Mario video game!

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