Tokyo Station & Shinkansen

This post is about Tokyo Station. Yes there’s a railway station called “Tokyo Station” in Tokyo, and it is the busiest train station (with most trains – the one with the most people is Shinjuku Station) in Japan with over 3,000 trains operating everyday! How crazy does that sound!

Well, Tokyo Station is more than just a station. It is a small city on its own. Even if you are not using it to move to another city/prefecture, it is worth traveling all the way to Tokyo Station just to spend an afternoon eating and shopping.

And that was what we did with extra 2 hours before boarding our Shinkansen to Niigata.

The most exciting part of Tokyo Station for people who love cute character has to be the Tokyo Character Street. It is located at the basement of “Yaesu North Exit”. Tokyo Station is huuuge so if you are not sure just ask the information counter.

Tomica Shop

We headed straight to Tomica Shop because that’s Junya’s favorite!

Wa wa wa I was probably more excited than him!

All the Tomicas you ever need!!!

JAL and ANA sets too!

A whole diorama cityscape right under your feet!

Junya didn’t want to leave that place 😛

Tomica ramen!!!

Star wars special

Death Star special

Even TsumTsum Star Cars!

And lots of other cute TsumTsum

Dream Tomica series is my fav!! It is a series of dream collaboration with other brands including Sanrio, Nissin, Disney, etc…

Got this for Junya!

Plarail Shop

If your kids (or you :P) love trains, there’s also Plarail shop for endless track systems!

Shinkansen sneakers!!

Super cute!

 

Ekiben Ya Matsuri

Do check out this bento specialty shop for your lunch-to-go for the train ride!

Ekiben Ya has more than 150 types of bento from all over the country for your selection.

You can refer to the food sample at the entrance. All of them looks soooo good!

Shinkansen bento

Snowman bento, Uni gohan… *drool*

Hello Kitty Daruma bento!

Rilakkuma bento ^^

In the end I picked the Hayabusa Shinkansen bento for Junya!

That matches our train.

For me I had the Kinmedai Aji Kurabe (3 types of Kinmedai) bento.

Super yummy!

Itadakimasu!

Junya reached for the dessert right away XD

 

Here’s a short video on our adventure in Tokyo station!

Update again soon! ^^

32 Months VS 9 Months

February 11, 2017 in Baby 26 Cheesed

Junya turns 2 years 8 months today, and Sakura is 9 months old now.

I think they are looking more and more alike in pictures!

Here’s the regular monthly update!

For Junya

(Also read Junya’s  1st month , 2nd month , 3rd month , 4th month , 5th month , 6th month , 7th month 8th month, 9th month , 10th month , 11th month , 12th month , 13th month , 14th month 15th month , 16th month , 17th month , 18th months , 19th month , 20th month ,21st month , 22nd month , 23rd month 24th month , 25th month , 26th month , 27th month , 28th month , 29th month , 30th month and 31st month here.)

This month I felt like Junya has grown a few years older @.@. Suddenly he talks like an adult (well, at least a childish adult haha). Maybe he picked up all sorts of “funny pattern” from school haha. But every kid behaves very differently once they start schooling so I guess it is inevitable.

He is a lot more challenging emotionally now, but I think that is because he started to understand human behaviors more and more now. He can read someone’s mood and personality, and will react accordingly for things to be in his favor.

School

School has been going very well. He got completely used to it and I think he is ok with it. Not sure if he enjoys it but he is definitely not against it, because every day I ask if he wants to go to school tomorrow, he says yes.

Bottle Graduation

This was the last day Junya held his bottle (or so I hope haha).

I weaned him a few times off the bottle for a short period of time before but eventually gave up because to him, no bottle = no milk. I couldn’t remember how many cups of milk I wasted because he found drinking milk from a cup taste less… milky?  I dunno. He would take a few small sips and then gave me this disgusted face -_-.

Anyway he was accidentally weaned when we lost his bottle in Australia (we eventually found it, but I decided to just trash it). No bottle ma, no choice lo. Too bad. Haha. Now he is addicted to drinking is Breaka Strawberry Milk from a cup.

So yeap, mommies, the winning move is to just simply throw away your child’s pacifier/binky/milk bottles.

Yay.

 

Tomica Incident

This is a long story (written for my own reference!). If you are likely to TL;DR, feel free to skip to next point.

We are still holidaying in Australia now, and last week there was an incident that made me reflect a lot on my own parenting style. Have I been letting my own emotions get the better of me? Am I setting a bad example for my own children? Will they grow up to hate me?

It all started with Junya throwing a tantrum in our hotel living room. Literally. He flung his Tomica hard on the floor in anger. It wasn’t the first time happening, and I thought it was time he really needs to learn his lesson, so I picked the toy ambulance up, and placed it away on the top shelf where he cannot reach. And I told him no more Tomica for today because he was not kind to his toys. And then he exploded and cried. Which was normal. He said “I dowan mama.” Which was also normal. (In fact it is so normal that he even made up a song about it. It goes, “I dowan mama, I dowan mama. ♪Dowan dowan! ♫“)

So I said okay, and I went away.

He burst into tears and did not stop for the next 5 minutes. When I went back to him, his tantrum only got more escalated. Wailing at full blast, he said, “I dowan mama. Mama go away.” while signalling me to leave.

I replied “Okay, I go away, then you cry alone, okay?” and stomped straight out of the room. As expected, he cried even louder.

After 5 minutes I went back to him again thinking I could talk to him more calmly, only to see him all teary yelling “mama go away!” So I did, again.

And this cycle repeated about 5 times. Him asking me to go away and me going away to his madder screams. I kept waiting for him to calm down (which he usually does after a while), so we both could talk nicely, but he did not. It was a bad day for the both of us.

It went on for like half an hour, both of us physically tired and mentally drained. I went back to him and this time he roared, “mama go outside with Sakura!!!“, pointing at the balcony.

And then?” I asked.

“And then Junya cry… ALONE!!!”

He said that. I mean shrieked.

And it felt like someone just stabbed my heart with a fork. I can’t express the real tones in words. But the way he said it, along with gestures and a gravely saddened expression, it felt like his heart was broken. By me.

And then I burst into tears omg. It sounds very lame but I did, because I was overwhelmed with so much emotions. I don’t know why but suddenly I could relate to him. And suddenly I saw him an adult. Suddenly I saw myself in him.

Seeing me in tears he got a shock and he yelled “Stop. STOP! mama stop!!” in panic. Because that’s what I always say when he cries lol.

For the first time I felt that he was truly upset. I hurt my 2 year old son with my words. What have I done? Reflecting back, indeed sometimes I say stuff with a threatening tone, but I thought it’s pretty normal every parents say things like “If you don’t (do this or that) then we cannot go/you stay alone. Bye bye.”

It hurt me so much and all I wanted was to give him a hug. But he pushed me away and said “mama wait outside! (the balcony)”. I did, thinking to give him time to calm down but he did not. He kept sobbing while saying “I am tired already…” (it was 3 hours past his nap time!!) and yet did not allow me to go in so he kept blabbering in a stifled voice and I really had no idea what he was saying.

In the end I made out what he was saying. He said, “mama say sorry first“. (Honestly where did he learn that from?! We have never used that phrase omg.)

I told him sorry that I made him feel upset, and his face immediately softened and he said “Nakanaori.” (In Japanese means making up/reconciling). I stretched my hand out, he shook mine and I hugged him.

He said, “sorry mama.

My son. Just like me. Stubborn as hell. And then I realized how both of us had too much pride to apologize when we hurt each other. And all we needed was a sorry and a hug. In the end I got him to apologize and “nakanaori” with his Tomica too.

After that incident, he still say things like “I dowan mama. Mama go away. I dowan papa. Papa go to work.” on a daily basis.

Yesterday he was lying on the bed almost asleep, and he pushed Sakura who was next to him out of annoyance. Before I could even say anything he yelled (with his eyes still closed) “I dowan mama. I rough. I go outside. I dowan to be good boy. I rough and I go outside. I cry alone.” before he promptly fell asleep.

And all these while I thought I was relatively loose with disciplining compared to parents who give time-out or other punishments. But now I really learn that most of the things our kids say come from their own parents. And some things that I say stuck with him. Nice things. Not to nice things. Things that hurt which we did not realize. Things like, “I don’t like this. If you are rough, you go outside.” It was maybe harmless to me, but to him, it was hurtful. And it stay with them.

And it got me thinking, was it really necessary to say things like that? What is the alternative? Was there a better way to say it? How does one always remain calm and loving?

Junjun Says

Other things that he says:

Junya: Mama tell Sakuchan don’t take take my things.

***

Junya: Mama! Mama tell Junjun secret.
Mama: *whispers a secret*
Junya: Louder!!!
Mama: Huh but if papa and Sakura can hear then it is not a secret anymore.
Junya: Hehe.

 

For Sakura

Sakura turns 9 months old today!!

This month’s theme is summer beach in Australia! This picture is taken here in Gold Coast and I have used up everything we could find in our luggage haha.

Read Sakura’s 1st month, 2nd month , 3rd month , 4th month , 5th month 6th month , 7th month and 8th month here.

 

Bye bye

The happiest thing is month is that Sakura now can understand bye bye!!! Say bye bye to her and she would wave like those plastic traffic police dummy you see at roadworks lolol.

Oh oh she also can stand steadily (holding on to something)!! But cannot pull to standing yet although she is trying very hard to 😛

Table Food

Solid food wasn’t going very well 🙁

Especially now that we are on holiday I was feeding her instant baby food almost all the time, I guess eh got bored of it. She won’t even open her mouth the moment she sees the spoon with gooey food.

Buuuuuut she loves table food. Every time we adults (and oniichan) eats, she would stare at us in a way that says “how come I don’t get any?!?” hahaha. So yea I end up giving her our roast chicken, bread, sips of juices, our fav Queensland yogurt, etc… She loves it. I guess she just refuse to be a baby anymore. She wants to join the dining table fun.

My Koala

We carried a real koala the other day at Currumbin Santuary and I was like, why bother, I already have one lolol.

Seriously my back is hurting like mad even with regular Chiropractic visits and now my arms are also sore like dunno what. T_T

有像吗?

Ok… fine. Hahaha.

3 Teeth

Sakura has 3 teeth now!!! Well, 2.5 haha. Her top front teeth are sprouting!

And training her to brush now, because we had such a painful time getting Junya to not hate brush time.

And erm, the terrible teeth grinding is happening -_-. Her brother did it at 11 months since his teeth grew slower. Just… omg stop.

 

 

For Mama

Everybody was asking me like, what’s your secret to lose weight?!什么产后瘦身秘诀?How you did it? What do you eat? What work out you do? etc etc etc.

This is my work out lo.

Really one, not I selfish don’t want to share, but it is really… nothing. Well it is not nothing, the secret is simply… to have two very young kids. Haha.

“But I also have two kids!!!!!!!!” 

Okokok. Maybe your husband and in-laws treat you too well liao lolol. Ask them to leave you alone with ALL house work and errands and cooking and parenting.

Then you will become like this.

But really one, I am losing weight to the point it is a little gross. I am trying very hard to gain back some weight to look borderline healthy now ok.

 

Level 28

Ya ya ya. I levelled up again. I never thought I would ever want to do this in my life, but I did. Reluctantly.

Cuz I always show off how I #pokeMOMgo leveling up right? So the universe is like, ok as you wish. Nah, give you brand new level to clear. So I was given a task to fly with two kids alone. HAHAHAH I love it.

Not really. I completely freaked out but it was a very very very important flight to settle some urgent matters.

I apologize to the Malaysian sitting next to us. And also probably the rest of the passenger on the same flight that day. It was your unlucky day.

Erm, level cleared. Next!!!

Stored in Baby | 26 Cheesed

Nexcare – gentlest woundcare for your kids

February 9, 2017 in Commercial Break 0 Cheesed

All parents with toddlers will know the pain. The pain when your toddlers fall down, knock into things, get scratched… the headache when you see them hurt… and we can’t help it because it is a natural process as they grow.

Maybe it is really a boy thing, but Junya gets minor scratches almost on a daily basis. He falls down so often while running that his knees are forever scratched. A new wound happens before the previous one is healed. T__T

This happens so often that I’m stocking up bandages in our home.

And we all know the dreadful moments when you have to peel a plaster off your child’s wound. Ouchie. You will have to either do it very very slowly and gently while your child protests in pain or just peel it off with force at the split of a second to a big ouch. Haha. Which one are you? I am definitely the slow, paranoid one 😛

Don’t you wish there’s a plaster that won’t hurt at all when you peel it off?

Yeap now our wishes have come true.

The 3M Nexcare Sensitive Skin wound care series gives you pain-free removal!

The 12 assorted pack is especially useful because it comes in many different sizes so you don’t have to buy many boxes.

How is Nexcare different from traditional bandages? For regular plasters or bandages adhesive, the force of removing the tape is experienced in the skin. 

3M Sensitive skin silicone adhesive allows the force of removal to be experienced in the adhesive, which also means pain-free removal!

I saw one of their demo video on how gentle the removal was, but I wanted to find out myself.

So I prepared 3 different types of plasters. Beige one is a regular plaster from another brand, the white one is a sensitive skin plaster of the same brand, and the blue one is Nexcare Sensitive Skin plaster.

Now I am going to stick all of them on a piece of paper and then peel them off one by one.

 

Here’s the demo video!

 

Saw that?? I was very shocked that the so-called sensitive skin plaster (white color) did the most damage on the paper. I literally had to use force to pull it off! Imagine how much your skin will hurt!

Part of the paper was torn with the pull of the regular plaster.

Same for the sensitive plaster. Also, I hate it that plasters will leave a sticky feel on your skin. This one left some of its adhesive residue on the paper.

Absolutely smooth and perfect like before.

I must say that I was very impressed.

3M Nexcare wound care series is definitely recommended for people with sensitive skin, young children and elderly with fragile skin and also hmmm… people who are hairy haha. (Absolutely! You won’t want to wax yourself with plasters :P)

 

There are 1,000 samples to be given away! First 1,000 people who LIKE 3M Nexcare page, share Nexcare’s post and successfully fill up a simple form will get the samples for free! 

 

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Nexcare.Singapore/

You may also purchase Nexcare sensitive skin range of products with the promo code “NEXCARE5” to get additional 5% discount on top of what is offered on LAZADA

Limited time only! From 31 Jan – 31 Mar.

You may also find them in selected Guardian, Watsons and Unity outlets.

 

Our Niigata Journey

December last year, our family took a short trip to Niigata Prefecture from Tokyo.

Born and raised in a tropical country, I was always fascinated with winter and cold climate, because that was what sounded exotic to me. I think a lot of my Malaysian peers feel the same. A lot of my friends preferred to visit Japan during winter to have an entire different travel experience from our usual hot climate.

And Niigata is the perfect destination because, well, Niigata is also lovingly called the “Snow Country” across Japan. Other than the famed skii resorts with powdery snow, Niigata has many other attractive charms, surrounded with splendid nature, clean coasts with beautiful sunsets, hot springs, friendly folks and the best thing for us – absolutely delicious rice.

Check out those shiny pearls!!

Rice produced in Niigata is well-known all over Japan for their finest quality. People who have visited Niigata told me that all they needed was a bowl of steaming hot rice served with miso soup.

For me it is the simplest TKG = Tamago Kake Gohan (rice with raw egg topping). It may sound a little too adventurous for Western or South East Asian tummies, but do give it a try!

Uonuma Koshihikari is the most popular rice brand in Japan. I felt extremely lucky that we were staying in Yuzawa, a little town located in Minamiuonuma District where Uonuma Koshihikari rice is available everywhere so we had it every single meal. It was indeed the best rice we’ve ever had.

I bought lots of these mini rice packs as souvenirs!

Of course, good rice also means extra yummy sushi! <3

I’m going to share more in the following blog posts but before that, you can get a taste of the wonders of Niigata by watching a travel program, “Kembara Niigata Kami” produced by TeNY, a broadcoasting station in Niigata available on Astro Ria.

The hosts of the program, Eleena, Shenthy will show you the wondrous Niigata in winter and share their experience enjoying rice cakes, snow shoe walking, hot spring and so on!

Don’t miss it!

Title: “Kembara Niigata Kami”

English title: ‘Our Niigata Journey’

On air date: 14, 21 February 2017 

Slot: 23:00-23:30

Channel: Astro Ria 104ch

 

I hope that you guys can visit Niigata one day too! In the next travel blog post I will share more about my personal experience!^^

CREGO the silent swirl juicifier

February 6, 2017 in Commercial Break 3 Cheesed

Yeap yeap yeap, we have all heard of the hipster cold pressed juice that are selling everywhere which are also often ridiculously priced. Just how different these juices are compared to all the traditional juices we order from hawker center?

I had a traditional juicer at home, but admittedly I have used it maybe like, twice. 5 years ago. It is soooooo much work to prepare and such a chore to clean and the amount of wastage of fruits is quite a pain. In the end I decided that buying boxed juice is much more cost-effective and convenient.

But recently I started thinking about juicing again. I cook mostly at home now and I’m constantly concerned about fruit and vegetable intake for the family. Junya eats quite a fair bit of vegetables but strangely he is not a big fan of fruits (other than strawberries and raspberries haha. Such a girl! :P). Also, of course he won’t be a fan of raw vegetables, but he would gladly gulp down a glass of vege smoothie in no time!

So CREGO comes just in time as the perfect addition to my kitchen.

CREGO – the ultimate way of juicing

Mind you, this little machine is pretty heavy, that’s because Juicifier’s motor weighs 30% more than some models from other company, and it comes with a 10 year warranty. 10 years!!

I have started using it regularly now and I must say that I am very impressed and very pleased with the experience.

Here are some of the recipes I have tried!

Green Juice

Recipe: 4 apples, half a pack of celery, 2 cucumbers, 1 lemon (peeled).

I am making for the whole family so feel free to adjust the amount!

One of the best things about CREGO Juicifier is the wide inlet!! (This picture is to show you how whole green apples can fit in the inlet, you should insert your fruit one by one ^^)

This means no more cutting up the fruits!! You can simply put your fruits as a whole (yes, without even peeling the apples. Citrus fruits should be skin-off) and it saves so much more time!

A whole stalk of celery too with no problem!

Look at the amount of juice!!!! It got me almost 1 litre of green juice, which is not very possible compared to if you use a traditional juicer.

The pulp also feels much drier, which means that more juice has been extracted and the wastage is significant lesser.

The next question is, can you finish so much juice at once?!

Now, that is the beauty of this Juicifier.

Think about the apple juice you order at mamak or hawker center. I’m sure you notice how when it is brought to your table, half of it has already turned “clear”, leaving a layer of green sediment below and brownish foam on top.

That is because the juice is already oxidized almost immediately and nutrients have been destroyed. (Gasp! So what’s the point of drinking juice!! T_T)

This is how my green juice looks. Absolutely as beautiful as those cold-pressed juice posters. And it is all home made!! 😀

CREGO says that its juices’ shelf life is 72 hours. Which sounds superb to me because that means I can juice more at once and keep it for a couple of days!

Let’s see. I juiced it at 12 noon, and store it in the fridge.

At 6pm, it still looks as fresh as ever!! No sign of oxidation whatsoever!

What sorcery is this?!

Apparently Juicifier’s multistage auger and strainer extract juices just like how we masticate fruits, preserving the enzyme and phytonutrients, whereas high speed ordinary juicer’s blade will generate heat and destroy some of the nutrients.

Red Juice

Recipe: 3 red apples, 1 carrot, 1 lemon

Another thing I like about juicing is that you get to consume the fruits/vegetables you wanna get rid of quickly! I bought a large packets of carrots and I got bored with cooking them and it was sitting in the fridge for a long time, so I juiced it as a perfect solution!

Yum!

 

Pink Smoothie

Recipe: Half pack of strawberries, some raspberries, 1 banana and half cup of milk

CREGO also comes with two types of strainer: fine and coarse. With the coarse strainer, you can make smoothies!

Just put everything in and pour in milk little by little.

And enjoy your delicious home made smoothie!

 

Almond Milk

Did you know?? You can even juice almonds and soybeans!

All you need is a bowl of almond soaked overnight.

And just put it in together with water.

Amazing and easy peasy!

You get a glass of milky, nutritious almond milk!

 

Adding home made slow juices to our table everyday! I am really happy that now our family can have healthier options right in our own home!

Find out more from

CREGO Juicifier website

CREGO Facebook Page

 

 

Cup Noodles Museum, Yokohama

I have always wanted to go to Cupnoodles Museum by Nissin, because once the danna told me about the story of Ando Momofuku, the person who invented the very instant noodle that is now eaten around the world, and also the founder of Nissin, and I was very touched by it and became a fan of Ando Momofuku (and Nissin).

The danna grew up eating a lot a lot of Chicken Ramen (the first ever instant ramen created), so instant noodle holds a very special place in his heart. He remembers that in one interview, Ando Momofuku was asked how he feels about being the founder of a company that creates something that is not very nutritious or beneficial to health (obviously everyone has the impression that instant noodle = unhealthy), and he answered that it was not healthy food he aimed to create. It was to make a change in people’s lifestyle and save people during a time of emergency. Be it a hungry student on a super tight budget studying for exam in the middle of the night, a employee rushing for a project who doesn’t have time for lunch, a mother too tired to cook herself proper food after settling her kids and the house (or too lazy to even go downstairs to tapao food)… yeap the last one is me.

Also, not to mention how cup noodles have saved many hungry victims when a natural disaster strikes.

So yes, my first visit to Cup Noodles Museum, Yokohama!

With Sayaka who lives in Yokohama!

2 mothers, 5 kids. Wow.

 

One of the most popular activity to do in Cup Noodles Museum is of course making your very own cup noodle! Personalized to be the one and only cup noodle in the world!

My Cup Noodles Factory

Over here you can purchase empty cups for 300 yen each. You go to the design station and decorate your own noodle cups with messages or drawing.

Messiest noodle cup ever XD

While Sakura chew on my necklace.

Junya made one for his godmom.

My designs haha. Obviously gave back art skills to teacher already.

After that you go to the noodle station to fill your cup with noodle and choose your soup base and toppings!

I think ours were quite balanced!! There were eggs, shrimp, negi and Hiyoko naruto (the chicken thingie!). Sayaka told me Anna chose Hiyoko naruto 4 times for her cup noodle lol.

Sealed and ready to eat!! 😀

 

Noodles Bazaar

The kids were hungry so we headed over to the in-house eatery, showcasing noodle choices from 8 different countries! Each bowl for 300 yen.

Look, Malaysian Laksa is one of it!

Junya had Napolitan

And I ordered Thai Tomyam.

You also get to try the one and only Cup Noodle soft cream in the world. Yeap you heard it right.

@.@

Hmmmm. That was weird. lol.

The second floor is the museum’s gallery!

Instant Ramen History Cube

It is a walk down the memory lane of Nissin’s exhibition from its very first Chicken Ramen to the ones available in the market.

I didn’t know my favorite Donbei has been around for so long!!!

Check out Junya’s peace sign haha.

Sayaka’s sister who worked part time in the museum came to meet us.

 

Ando Momofuku History

It all started in a hungry country, when Japan was suffering a food shortage post-war. Ando believed that “peace will come to the world when all its people have enough to eat.”, and his dream was to help Japan feed its entire population.

Ando spent a lot of time trying preserve ramen noodles without any success, but one day he discovered the secret that comes from an inspiration after seeing his wife cook tempura, and the secret was to flash-fry the cooked noodles in oil.

Ando’s wife was a very important wife who was frying very important tempura that changed the history of ramen in this world. You know what? That sounds familiar. Remember I wrote a post about Umami and Ajinomoto? Kikunae Ikeda discovered umami in 1908 while he was drinking a bowl of soup prepared by his wife using Konbu. She was a very important wife who was using a very important piece of seaweed that changed the destiny of food.

The lesson learnt from these two stories is that wives are very important. Especially in the kitchen. My life mission is to be the danna’s 背后的女人 and one day cook something so inspiring that makes him a great inventor who changes the world HAHAHAH.

Ando Momofuku’s motto. Never Give Up!

The gallery has many fun corners that focuses on the importance of creative thinking. It’s like a mini science museum!

Replica of Ando’s kitchen and the pot his wife used to fry tempura. That was a life-changing pot.

Soup stock.

There’s also a souvenir shop on the ground floor. If you are a Tomica fan, don’t miss out the Nissin special edition Tomica!!

Got Junya his Hiyoko Bus.

Sousuke got a same one!!

The kids with their Tomica <3

Haha. Sayaka took this picture when we parted and I took the train back to Tokyo.

 

By the way, Ando Momofuku lived a long and happy life and he passed away in 2007 at the age of 96. His secret to longevity was golf and eating Chicken Ramen everyday. I have to stock up on some more Nissin cups right now.

More info on:

http://www.cupnoodles-museum.jp/english/