It has been a year since Baby M

Hello all, welcome to my almost dead blog. Yeah, it is really mission impossible to keep up a blog (though I love to) when you are a full time working mother. After the baby sleeps in the night, the only thing I want to do is just chill out instead of facing in front of my computer. Now that I have some free time due to a small medical reason that would keep me home bound for a few weeks. I take the time to clean up my photos and go back to writing in this blog while I can.

Being a half baby with Japanese and Singapore heritage, Baby M gets to celebrate events of both races. We try to keep up to most of the main Japanese events even though we are now living in Singapore.

Omiyamairi (初宮参り) typically done 1 month after the birth of a baby for their first visit to the shrine. We only did it 4 months after her birth. We didn’t dressed up the tradition way when we visited the shrine but we did a photoshoot to commemorate the event.

Omimari

We took family photos with us dressed in Kimono, Baby M with the traditional bib loaned from the studio but she donned the baby kimono hand sewed by great grandma and wore by her grandfather, granduncles, father, uncle and aunt. Typically, a girl would don the red/pink kimono wore by her mother but we decided that it would be more special to wear this boyish kimono instead.

Okuizume

Typically celebrated 100 – 120 days after the birth of a baby, Okuizume (お食い初め)is a ritual held at home and involves the infant being fed for the first time so that they never go without food during their life. We celebrated it for her only when she was 4 months since we were back in Japan for the New Year. The basic menu is one soup, three sides, and a whole sea bream. This combination is called an iwai-zen (“celebration meal”). The menu consists of

  • Sekihan (rice steamed with red beans) A popular dish for auspicious occasions.
  • A whole sea bream with head and tail which is also a symbol of wealth and prosperity.
  • A simmered dish
  • A pickled dish
  • A clear soup
  • A hagatame-ishi (“tooth-hardening stone”), “Biting” a smooth pebble is an act to ensure the growth of strong healthy teeth.

Okuizume
Usually fed by the oldest member in the family, so grandpa did the honors.

Repeated three times, the general order goes like this

Rice > Soup Rice > Fish Rice > Soup
Rice > Simmered dish Rice > Soup Rice > Pickled dish
Rice > Soup Rice > Hagatame-ishi Rice > Soup

However, Baby M started to fuss and hence we had to do this really quickly. The stone is usually picked up from the shrine but Sushi Papa says we would just make do with the stone from home (which was actually a piece of jade!)

Japan New Year

Receiving her first red packet in Japan. Then another month later, she received her red packets in Singapore for Chinese New Year too.

Girl Festival
March 3rd is Girl’s Day in Japan. The day is called Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival) and on this day they wish and pray for the future happiness of all girls. Families who have girls would display their special Hina Dolls but they must keep these dolls before the end of March 3 if not it would result in a late marriage for the girls. Typically, a traditional placement of dolls is about 5 platforms ranging from the Emperor and Empress etc. In our case, we just celebrated simply by buying a card that represented the 5 platforms and bought some ready made sakura mochi. (a card is easy to keep right?)

Akachan Honppon 1st Year event

We went back to Japan in early August to celebrate her 1st birthday with our Japanese family. We were lucky that during the week that we were there to grab a slot for their popular free 1st year tradition celebration in Akachan Honppo.

Akachan Honppon 1st Year event
First would be carrying the Issho Mochi (一升餅) which is about 1.8kg on the back of the baby. Issho (一升) shares the same homonym with 一生 (lifetime)so this ceremony is to wish for the child through their life to be blessed with health, food and Enman (円満).

円満 represents perfection, harmony, peace, smoothness, completeness, satisfaction as well as integrity. It is ok for the baby to fall when carrying this mochi as this is to let the child know that life is full of ups and down.

Akachan Honppon 1st Year event

However, our dear baby M did not make any attempt to stand or crawl with the load. She just moved a little with her tiny butt and just sat there looking at me. Well, at least she didn’t cry like the rest of the babies. haha

Akachan Honppon 1st Year event
The baby that successfully stood up with the mochi but she was crying hard for her mummy.

Akachan Honppon 1st Year event

Next would be choosing their own career.

  • calculator – engineering or science field of career
  • pen – writer, artist, lawyer
  • money – rich
  • ball – sportsmen
  • mixer – pastry chef or chef
  • microphone – singer or actress

Akachan Honppon 1st Year event
No surprises that she choose something food related. But she choose money during her Singapore session so I am hoping that this means she would be a rich chef? haha

We has a simple stay home birthday celebration in Singapore on her actual day and I requested for a “1” cake that I had when I was 1 too. Sometimes, really retro back in our days.

Baby wearing
Life is no longer being able to go out with just a small bag, this photo is to remind me of the time I have to carry a full backpack with a baby in front of me and another carrier filled with ice panels and expressed breastmilk

Pumping in Ueno Park
Sipping coffee at Ueno Park’s starbucks was not the same in the cold winter day with me pumping breastmilk. But at least the weather was nice and lots of cute kids in the park.

Happy FIRST birthday, thanks to you we have such a wonderful year filled with tears and laughter.

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