Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Party Time!


I love October! I love Halloween! You can only imagine how exciting it was for me to be due at the end of October! For the whole pregnancy, I kept telling my OB that the baby could not come more than a week late! The baby had to be born in October!!! And as you know, Hudson was born the day before my due date or exactly a week from Halloween!

I have been sewing costumes for years (theatre, cosplay, Halloween....)! Off course, Hudson's birthday was going to be a costume party! Now I have to admit, it was hard to get everyone excited about it! I guess most people are not into wearing costume... (That truly makes me sad!) Anyway, I was going to make sure Hudson had an awesome costume, so I started working on it back in April! I crochet a whole Naruto outfit (including the hair). I used wool because I wanted to make sure it was going to be warm enough to go trick-or-treating! I was going to make the outfit of the 4th for my husband (since you know he is Naruto's dad) and Tsunade-sama for me, but I ran out of time. So instead we wore our old Bleach costume from 4 years ago.

My sister came down for the weekend and was kind enough to make a cake that would go with Hudson's outfit. We googled Naruto Cake for some inspiration and were surprised at the amount of cakes! (So much for being original). At first we wanted to make the Nine tails, but we ran out of time and decided on something a lot more simple!

I also had a special candle holder, cake topper made for her birthday! This great local artist made it for us! It's a paper crane (off course ;-) She is also the one who made my mom's wedding cake topper and the clay-photographe of Hudson I received at my baby shower! Here is her website, if you want to check it out!

So here are some pictures!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

We did it! Hudson is 1 year old!

We did it! We made it through! Because that is exactly how it feels... yes! We made it through the ups and downs of the first year! A year that at time flew by, while some other times felt like an eternity.

A marvelous, scary, fun and exhausting first year. There was not a day I was not amazed at the sight of this little miracle. Not a day I did not wonder, as a parent, "what the hell am I doing?". No text book, no manual to follow. Well meant advices left and right,  common sense and circumstances. Very different from my literary academic life to date.

My little Tuna went from a healthy 7lbs 18 inches to a respectable 19.8 lbs, 27 inches. Little Tuna, month after month discovered the wonders of her environment and beyond. She traveled to Ottawa, Québec city but also Manila, Bohol, Cebu and Japan! She took part in her first Terry Fox walk and is now being amazed by the flying colorful leaves at the park. She loves looking at birds, cats and dogs. She fed dears in Nara and goats in Barrie. When you ask her "Where Mini-fox is?" She goes and find it! She knows cheese from a cookies and milk from water. She just knows so much. I said it before and I will say it again.... I wished I could learn so much in so little time. I wished I could soak up the world like her, one sight, one sound, one taste at a time. 

So a year has gone by! And really, looking back, it wasn't that bad! I had a quick and very easy recovery from my c-section. I was up and walking the same day I give birth, I was off medication on day 5 and back at the gym on the dot at 6 weeks. We made it through the first year without any colds, we did have some harsh teething episode but still not much to show for (the very first tooth is still in the process of cutting through, it is currently 1/3 out and slowly making it's way up). We battle an UTI all the way across the planet and an antibiotic reaction but still managed to pull through. In the last few months, Hudson is slowly getting accustom to being babysat and does better every time. Hudson has been walking for over 2 months and is starting to run. She can go up and down the staircase and she can terrorize the cat like no other baby has done before! So with all this being said, I am ready for a new year! I guess here starts toddler-hood (or is it later? Sorry I am new at this). To another great year! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A fish at the Chiro

So I caved in. I brought Hudson to a pediatric chiro. Actually, by now, she's already been in twice. And, not only that... I also went. I actually let a chiropractor touch my back! Because, you see, after some horrible experienceS 15 years ago, I don't let chiro anywhere me. I do however LOVE acupuncture. And well, this chiro also does acupuncture, so that was the real reason I willingly went in. But let's go back to Hudson first.

I, as everyone must be aware by now, am desperate to get my daughter to sleep better (or some days sleep at all). I had heard that some people, on the very same day they leave the hospital with their new bundle of joy, stop by the chiro to make sure their baby is well align. (You know birthing is after all very traumatic). So at this point I though, well... maybe she's hurting. Maybe that is why she hates being on her back (and always has), maybe that is why she is not sleeping well. So as I said before, I caved in. We went last Friday for our first time. The lady chiro was great, and made us feel very comfortable. I was very much hoping she would look at Hudson and say : "OMG! This poor child is so misaligned, no wonder she can't sleep! Let me fix it for you!" but unfortunately for us the discussion went more along these lines : "Wow! Look at this perfect little one! What great motricity! Her pelvis is slightly off and we can fix it, but I don't think its affects her sleeping at all...." And so she fixed that slight pelvis misalignment. We were back again yesterday and now she's all good. I mean physically. She did however sleep really well last night, but I doubt it had anything to do with the chiro, So now I am back to square one... Tomorrow we are starting message therapy with her to see if at least we can maybe get her to calm down...  We will continue to see the chiro once in a while but as the Dr said it herself... there is very little work for her with Hudson.

As for me, it is a whole different story. I am a major work case. That is not a surprise, between my circus injury, my competitive swimming wear and tear, the car accident and the pregnancy, my whole body feels more like I am 60 years old. So I started chiro/acupuncture/message therapy session. Hopefully everything can improve sooner than later!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

European Mad-dash part II : Mini-fox in Paris

October has been incredibly busy... First my trip to France, then my mom's wedding, and soon Hudson's birthday followed by halloween... all this while being in grad school fulltime and taking care of my little Tuna. Ouf........... absolutly exhausting......... so you will forgive me for being a bit behind in posting. I will try to finish the Japan trip posts by the end of november, and here is the last part for my France trip!

I presented in Nancy as part of a conference on "Passeurs de culture et transferts culturels". It was very interesting and a great chance to meet other people working in a similar field. Now just in case you wonder... what exactly is my field of study. Well... I will do my best to offer here a proper translation but it goes along the line of... "East-asian representations (China, Korea and Japan) in french-canadian litterature : cultural and formal hybridity." I am currently doing my PHD in Francophone studies.

One of the bigest disapointment of the trip was the fact that Hudson was suppose tp come with me... unfortunalty I lost my babysitter over there because of conflicting work schedule and had to leave Hudson behind. To make up for it, I brought Hudson's favorite stuff animal with me (well actually I brought his twin) and took picture of Mini-Fox at all the interesting sight.

So Mini-fox visited the Eiffel tower, l'Arc de Triomphe and more...


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pumpkin for my little Pumpkin

Hudson loves everything "squash". Off course she does! She's an October baby!! So in my quest to stray away from the good old fashion "let's have cheerios for a snack" way... I decided to play around with a few pumpkin muffin recipe I found online and finally came up with my own version which I find fit for my little 11 months old girl. (I am not a nutritionist... I simple try to use common sense).

- 2 cup of flour (white, whole wheat, gluten free... they all worked fine)
-1 1/4 cup of mashed pumpkin
-2 eggs (I have yet to try the recipe with applesauce instead, so if you do let me know how it turned out)
-Vanilla (Sorry I never measure)
-Cinnamon (Sorry I never measure)
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 cup olive oil
hold your breath....
SUGAR! (I tried without and honestly it just tasted horrible. I tried with 4 teaspoons... it wasn't so bad. With 1/3 cup it actually taste really good without tasting sweet at all. So I would recommend you try different amount, depending what you feel comfortable with.)

If you put 1/3 cup of sugar, that comes down to 1.7 gram of sugar per muffin (does not take in consideration the natural sugar from the pumpkin)

I just put everything all at once in my kitchenaid mixer... Yes you know me... no fancy step. Give it a good mix. Then poor evenly in mini-muffin. Bake 20 min at 350C The recipe gives about 24 mini-muffins or 12 fullsize muffins.

Now let's come up with a fun name for this recipe just because I can ;-)

 Let's call it... Huddy-Sue's Kabocha-pan

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

European Mad-dash


Let's leave Japan to the side for a while, and let's head over to France! Where I am now! 

As a matter of fact, I am currently sitting on the floor of my hotel room. A wonderful little hotel, right in the middle of old Nancy. Walking distance from the train station. Hotel de Guise. Clean, friendly and historical! I love it!


So what has my days looked like since leaving... well... without Tuna around, I feel a bit like I've traveled in time and  went back to my old, full of unplanned, last minute adventurous life...

I slept for the whole flight. I got to Paris, jumped on a train after buying a baguette on the go and left for Nancy. On the train, I mostly hid in the toilet since I very very badly needed to pump!!!! Oh... I was in so much pain!  I got to Nancy and walked from the station to my hotel and took in most of the historical sites... I got to the hotel room, and pumped again! Then I went back out and went on a millefeuilles hunt! And millefeuilles I found! OMG! So good! I scored the last millefeuilles at the Boulangerie next door! It was delicious! I also bought a Pâté de la Loraine. It was also very tasty. I then went around town buying more local products. I came back with a beer, a freshmilk goat cheese, a baguette, two pâté (boar and goose) and carambars!

Then I pumped again! Do you know how sad it makes me having to throw away all this wonderful milk... Overall it was a success... I will pump one more time before going to bed!

Senbazuru for Hudson : Part III

Going to Hiroshima was a very important part of the trip. If you have been fallowing this blog for a while, you will without any doubts be familiar with the senbazuru  and Sadako’s story. Well, it was finally time for us to put a happy ending to our story. On the afternoon of August 10, we made our way to Hiroshima memorial park with not 1000 paper cranes but a suitcase full with 2500 paper cranes! With us, we had the paper crane for the baby I miscarried, but we also had 500 papercranes from the Tsunami relief fund’s fundraiser my sister organise, and another 1000 papercranes made by Ayumi’s kouhei for a Kyudou tournament. 
As it was time to say goodbye to our birds, I found myself overwhelmed by the whole situation. In a way, I was overcome with happiness, as I watched Hudson ring the bell of the monuments. But part of me was also devastated by what we had been through. We took many, many pictures. As it was finally time to hang the birds, I was having a hard time not crying. Leaving the birds behind was like saying goodbye. It was the end of a nightmare.  It was the last step I needed to come to term with the loss. 


There are still 2000 papercranes remaining in Hudson’s room. They are HER cranes. I hope one day, when she is older, she will make that same trip and go hang her birds. Until then, we do intend on making 1000 more for each of our kids.
I also hope, that in the future, we can, as a family, make a 1000 birds a year for the monuments, starting on October 24th of each year. 


Afterall, Hudson was born at 12:53pm on October 24th or 12:53 am on October 25th Japanese time. October 25th… the same day Sadako died in a Hiroshima hospital.

Please take a minute and watch this video.

A sunny morning in Miyajima!

We got up early on the morning of August 10 and took the shinkansen for Hiroshima. Upon arriving, we made our way to Miyajima first and for the first time ever, I was able to enjoy the sight, under a bright blue sky. No torrential rain, no mudslide… beautiful sunshine! We walked around for a bit and took lots of pictures. In front of the giant floating Tori, as we were taking pictures, we ran into a bunch of deer. (Yes deer just run amongst the tourists there).  What we were not expecting, was that Tristan was going to get attack by one of them… so let’s back track…
Early that morning, we got up and had breakfast (salmon, rice, miso soup)… but we were running a bit late and feared we might end up missing our train (and we did), so since Hudson was not done eating, I quickly wrapped a piece of the fish and threw it in Tristan’s pocket (without him even noticing).
Coincidentally, Tristan but both of our Japan rail pass in that same pocket and we made our way to the train station.
Fast forward back to Miyajima… The deer must have smelled the fish and dove into that pocket. I watched in horror, as the deer took a strong hold of our japan rail pass. Carrying Hudson in my Boba, I pounced on the deer and started pulling on the pass trying to get it out of its mouth. At the same time, a Chinese family from Minnesota (who were kind enough to take family pictures of us earlier) started trying to distract the deer away from the pass while two Japanese young man hold on to the back of the deer so it couldn’t take us in the mountain. A very awkward sight! Let me tell you! Tristan was just frozen there in complete surprise! He was still holding his camera and just could not even understand what had just happened! Then it struck him, if the deer suddenly let go of the pass, it could easily be flung by mistake in the ocean…  but before the deer could do anything, I finally got the pass back! What a relief!

After that incident, it was discovered that the fish was still in his pocket. We quickly got rid of it and went on visiting. We finished our morning, sitting around an okonomiyaki grill as we enjoyed a Hiroshima-fu oyster okonomiyaki!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Time to go again!

I am not done yet posting about our trip to Japan! And here I am, getting ready to take off again! This time, I am going on my own. To France. For 2 days! Yes... that's right... Back and forth! Last plane going, first plane back! I am going to Nancy, to participate in a conference in french literature. The last time I went to Nancy, I was 8 years old. It was July 14th and I had my first glass of champagne to celebrate "la prise de la bastille". It's funny. This is one of the rare day I actually remember from that trip... years ago! I remember, it was late at night and we stayed up to watch the fireworks! 

This time, there will be no time to visit or enjoy the sights! I will, however, make sure to wine and dine well ;-) After all, there will be no baby for me to breastfed!

Talking about baby.... this will be the hardest part of all! It will be my first time away from her! Even when I was sick in the hospital, back in the Philippines, I got to see her every day. This time, I will have to go 3 days without my little Tuna. Poor thing..... but I know daddy will take good care of her ;-)

So! France! Here I come! Tomorrow at this time, I will be on a plane... now I better get packing!