Monday, December 27, 2010

One week to go!

Delicious Taco Rice

Ross & Tallulah relaxing

Tea & cake at Cafe Wendy

Woweeee we only have 7 days left in Tokyo! It's gone fast yet slow at the same time; I feel like we've been away from home for ages yet it's been a blur and Baby Tallulah is growing up! My cousin emailed me some pics of Tallulah from when he first met her at 4 days old, boy she looks so different! I guess we don't see it as we hang out with her everyday!

This week we are taking it easy as we have pretty much done everything we really wanted to see or do! We might go to an art gallery or go to another super cute cafe but we have no concrete plans which is nice!

Today we went went to Koenji and had a look around and had a bite to eat at a lovely cafe where I ate delicious avocado taco rice- yum! Then came back to our neighborhood and had tea and cake- an amazing chocolate fondant!

Now we are about to have a catnap...ahhh I love holidays!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

We are F-A-M-I-L-Y!

Our Christmas was super! Last night my cousin Luke and his lovely wife Nobuko came round to ours for supper! It capped off a great day. We nibbled on homemade guacamole, Japanese rice crackers and these amazingly super cute sweet treats that Ross & I queued up for 20 minutes to purchase! And yes, it was worth the wait they were delish!

Luke & Nobuko have been amazing during our Japanese baby adventure! They were our first visitors at the hospital and have been so helpful with deciphering some of the language barriers we have been faced with. They have become great friends and we look forward to having them visit us in Perth! Thanks guys- your visits, phonecalls and emails are much appreciated!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

Yummo! Though overcooked the roast haha!

Christmas Feast!

Tallulah with her presents!

We are having a delightful Christmas- hip hooray! Who would have thought we would have been Tokyo with our first baby celebrating Christmas-not us!!!

We spent the morning Skyping the family back home then cooked a feast! Oh we have food comas now! Tallulahs first Christmas is perfect!

I hope everyone is having a super day!!! Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010


Tallulah LOVING the bullet train!

Ross also LOVING the bullet train!

Our futons in our tradition Ryokan- sooo comfy!

About to start our walk to see the snow monkeys!

Cheeky monkeys!

Earlier this week we decided to chase the snow and head out to the mountains to Yamanouchi. When Ross' folks came to visit us they went to Hakone and saw snow- we were super jealous as one of reasons we were going to Europe & the US was for me to see falling snow! This was going to be Tallulahs first over night stay at a hotel (well, we decided to stay in a traditional Ryokan). I was a little nervous as it was about a 3 hour trip but she was perfect and loved every moment, she seems to love the motion of the trains!

Yamanouchi is a strange little town it almost felt like a ghost town. When we arrived all the restaurants and shops were closed- perhaps they were all having their siesta? However, our hotel was great it also had a traditional onsen which is a hot spring bath....heaven! Our room was really cute ad had a delightful sun room where we sat and drank green tea.

We decided to eat at one of the nearby restaurants for dinner and it was  hilarious! We just gambled and ordered a bunch of things by pointing whilst Tallulah rocked out to bad 80's ballads. Hmmm I will be bummed if this ends up being her choice of music haha!

After a pretty good nights sleep with a special shout out to baby who was a dream except for the power scream at 11pm which I'm sure woke up the whole neighbourhood we set off to see the Snow Monkeys! Our hilarious hotel owner drove us to the mountain and insisted on taking a photo of us then all these random tourists decided they also wanted pictures of strange to think we will be featuring in their holiday albums haha!

So unfortunately there was no snow but only clumps of white ice which looked like a washing machine had overflowed...awwww :( however the walk through pine forrest was great and seeing the monkeys was so cute! They were super funny jumping on each other and what not!

So I am pleased to say our first little family getaway was a super success! Bring on more!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Magic Times

teeny tiny cubbyhouse door at Hattifnat Cafe

My wobbly video of the inside!

Ross & Tallulah at Ghibli Museum

Family portrait on the roof top garden!

We had a magical day in Tokyo yesterday! We set out to the super cool district Kichijoji and thanks once again to Hello Sandwich we found this amazing cafe called Hattifnat (check their site its so cute: Its pretty great as the cafe has been inspired by a cubbyhouse so think super low roof, exposed wood, hidey holes and floor and ceiling murals of child-like animals. We took a seat (on the floor!) in the back room with a bunch of other people with kidlets! Tallulah absolutely loved it- I think she was mesmerised by all the colours and sounds!

After lunch we took a stroll through the park to the Ghibli Museum-hooray! We were suppose to do this on our last day of Tokyo but um..Tallulah was born haha! It was brilliant but really busy...! We explored the tri-level building which is a kids paradise featuring a giant Catbus playground which we both wanted to play on but alas you had to be under 5-years-old! I fell in love with the intricate stain-glass windows featuring all of Hayao Miyazaki characters. We also watched the short film Mr Dough & the Princess Egg and it was delightful!

We also bought Tallulah this amazing Nekobasu or Catbus soft toy! I think Ross would like to steal it haha! It was a great family outing! I hope Baby T loves Studio Ghibli films and characters as much as we do!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Same Same but Different

Selection of baby wipes

Lotions and potions



Very confusing directions.....

I usually love shopping at the chemist it's a bit like Office Works or Ikea you never come home empty handed! But when you actually need something and it's not in your language it's mind boggling....

When Tallulah was first born the nurses told Ross he had to buy nappies- this was almost a mission impossible! He had visit 3 drug stores before he found the right size! It's always a bit of a lucky dip like "I wonder if these baby wipes are unscented, guess we'll figure that out when we open them...."

Mostly its fun because it doesn't really matter if we buy scented baby wipes as it won't harm her however when it came to formula its a different story...

We bought the formula as we hadn't decided if we were doing bottle or breastfeeding. After one horrible night of breast feeding I decided to try a bottle but then I took one look at the instructions and laughed! Nope no comprendo!

At our checkup at the hospital I got the pediatrician to decipher it for me-hooray! However I've kinda got use to the whole breastfeeding thing but it's a great option just to have incase!

It's really funny looking at our stash of baby products because they all look pretty normal then on closer inspection you see it's all in Japanese it's actually super cool unless you want to know the exact ingredients or something haha!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Turning Japanese-y

Today was simply delightful in Tokyo! We walked through Yoyogi Park visited the Meiji Temple which was beautiful! Inside the temple they had this cool tree thing where you can write wishes and thoughts so we wrote one thanking Tokyo for giving us a super cute daughter which was nice. We also did a spot of shopping (well I did haha) I've always had pretty kitsch taste but I think the 'kawaii' Japanese style is rubbing off! Today I purchased these hilariously awesome bags in Harajuku. I think the black kitty one will become my 'nappy bag'! I can imagine it on my 3-wheeler pram-actually lets not talk about prams I think I am obsessed...kinda weird! Ross loves the super soft lamb (I think its a lamb?) so I bought that too!

Everyone here is fully into hats and capes- seriously everywhere! I have also become a little obsessed with hats so after a delicious lunch at Himalayan Curry we set off to Shimokita where I purchased not one but two hats! I bought this super cheesy black bear hat which you wear reversible if you don't want the ears! I also bought a more sensible knitted grey one which will be perfect for Perth's winter. We are off to Yamanouchi on Monday to see the snow monkeys, play in the snow and bathe in the hot springs and I plan on wearing my new hat the whole time- hoorah!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


This week has been a week of progression! We found out on Tuesday we had got Australian citizenship for Tallulah which is super as it only took 2 weeks instead of 4-hooray! This meant we could get cracking on the next step which is applying for a passport! We set off on another journey to the Embassy and were served by a delightful lady at the passport counter who we suspect may have been expecting us! She confirmed we will get Baby T's passport next week! So this meant we could book our flights home to Perth- hoorah! We are booked to get on the jet plane on the 3rd of January and we are super super super excited...!

We also had our one month check up at the hospital today. The hospital is just SO confusing and different to Australia. Everyone is issued with this ID card and instead of going to reception you insert card into a machine which then checks you in and gives you your appointment slip and tells you what counter to wait at. Oh, and this is all in Japanese- haha! We finally managed to work out where to go with some help from the kind staff! Tallulah got measured and weighed and all that and she is doing superb! She has hit 3 kilos which is ace! I caught up with all the lovely staff who helped me out when I was in hospital including my favourite Nurse Gaga! As much as I have grown fond of these people I am glad we don't have to go back...!

So we have 2 1/2 weeks left in our little apartment and hanging out in Tokyo! We have a small list of things we want to do and see before we go home including shopping for super kitsch hats and gloves in our favourite district Shimokita, eat curry at Himalayan Curry and visiting the Ghibli Museum and few other things like seeing snow!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

All you need is Love

Uncle Martyn

Gram Claire

Grandma Chris

Grandpa Garry

Tallulah's birth has really bought all our families together not only our immediate family but all our extended family across the globe and Australia. My mum and brother came over when Tallulah was 2 weeks and Ross' parents visited last week - it was brilliant for them all to meet her and we loved having them in Tokyo!

My lovely cousin Luke and his wife Nobuko live in Tokyo and were Tallulahs very first visitors. They have been absolutely wonderful from helping us rent baby items like baby baths to giving us our "baby manual" book which has become our bible!

Lukes brother Roderick lives in China and wrote this amazing poem about Tallulah and yesterday his clever sister Toni who is a musician put it to music! How lucky is Tallulah to have such lovely creative people in her life! Have a listen below!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Its a Keeper

This morning we woke up to several emails from home excitedly telling us that we were in The West on page 3! We thought it would be something cute to show Tallulah when she is grown! Oh and no I won't be cooking a teriyaki turkey we don't have an oven in our apartment! haha

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lay Lady Lay

I love watching Tallulah and Ross peaceful!


Did you know the Japanese word for Mum is Haha and for Dad its Chichi? Super cute, right?!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Oh, Baby!

Baby Tallulah is one month today- hooray we have survived the first 4 weeks! We are definitely getting into the swing of things and we must say we are having a whole bunch of fun! Some stuff I have observed along the way....

  1. Tallulah is REALLY loud when she is brewing a present in her pants and it makes Ross & I crack up every time. Its so immature of us but its hilarious and seriously how does such a small person make such loud sounds?
  2. Tallulah has the strongest finger grip it blows me away! I read somewhere its actually strong enough to hold their own weight but they obviously can't! Interesting!
  3. If you stroke Tallulah's cheek she will turn in that direction and try and find her food (read: milk jugs!) 
Its so cute and clever that babies are pre-wired with all these skills to help their super green parents figure out all the signs! 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hocus Pocus

As I mentioned in a previous post I didn't really get any weird craving except for the whole of June I would get a small serve of Athena yoghurt with mixed nuts every morning from the same shop near my office. The cute little asian lady who ran the shop gave me a loyalty card and everything as I became a regular! Now one day I was waiting for my yoghurt and she said to me pointing at my tummy "When are you due?" I felt my cheeks go completely red and I went silent and didn't reply and left with my yoghurt!!! I went home and was furious- I remember ranting to Ross telling him I was never going to wear this dress ever again and seriously how rude people can be! I didn't wear the dress again (even though its way cute with ruffles so maybe I'll find it again when I get home!)  and I never went back to the yoghurt shop..poor lady probably lost her best customer! 

So its actually spooky that she actually sensed I was pregnant...I must go back and introduce her to Tallulah! I wonder if she is a fortune teller?

Totoro LOVE

So we decided to watch the classic 1988 film My Neighbor Totoro the other day (yes there has been lots of movie watching!) its a famous Japanese cartoon by the talented Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. We fell in love with it and I'm sure Tallulah will when she is older! We are off to the Ghibli Museum next week and I'll be sure to stock up on Totoro paraphernalia! Next on our movie list is Ponyo!

P.S I love the character Nekobasu (Cat Bus!)

For relaxing times, make it Suntory time.

We rented Lost in Translation last week and curled up on our Tokyo bed as a little family and watched it as the rain fell- it was so delightful! We saw this film at the movies when it first came out and thought it was tops as we are fans of Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray but seeing it whilst in Tokyo made it so much more relatable we just kept looking at each other  and saying "So true!!!"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Just like a local

Once we told our parents and friends we had become three it started to feel really REAL and we got a little excited about returning home. I was discharged mid week and we naively thought we all be flying home to Perth on the very wrong!

We found out to get citizenship & a passport for Tallulah it was going to take up to 6 weeks! So it looked like we sticking around for a while. Ross found an apartment in Motohasunuma which is pretty central and easy to get everywhere! Its close to Ikebukuro which is a funny place! Its definitely not the hippest apartment or area- I think it must an older district as there are so many old folk around and they all LOVE Tallulah...I think seeing such a small 'gaijin' (white) baby is a real novelty! They are so sweet and always try and have a conversation as they think we must live in Japan!

We've explored our little neighbourhood and found that its quite delightful from the cute flowershops to the tiny yakitori bar downstairs to the 100 yen shop we've made it our home (well, for next 6 weeks or so!) At first I was really disappointed about having to stay in Tokyo as I wanted all the comforts of home but then realised this is an AMAZING opportunity and start to our new little life as a family of three! Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would become a Mum in Tokyo!

This being said, there have been some emotional moments adjusting to this new life. Ross and I were living a single life with no major responsibilities. We could pack up and just leave if we wanted to (which we did haha!) and now we have this amazing little life but it completely consumes everything and every moment you have. Sometimes I catch myself thinking "I'd be in Morocco right about now but I'm changing nappies and smell like spew" and would get a little sad. I, however have decided that we can still see Morocco and all the other places we want to go to but we'll also be taking our little girl with us- how amazing will that be!

So we had a baby in Tokyo, no we're not joking!

We had been away for just over a week when this all happened and I don't think anyone was expecting our news! It took us a couple of days to organise a phone and looking back I think this was a good thing it gave us time to collect our thoughts! There really isn't really any subtle way of telling someone oh by the way our trip is going amazing and yeah we had a baby in Tokyo...haha!

I felt kind of nervous but excited about announcing our new addition to family & friends. I was also a little scared as I thought people might doubt our capabilities as we had no time to prepare and we were in a foreign country on the other hand I felt completely blessed that I was able to have a baby as one of the symptoms of PCOS is having trouble conceiving! Obviously our families were completely over the moon, my Mum is a grandma for the first time and Ross' sister only had her second baby 2 months before Tallulah was born so everyone was super excited! Mum and my brother have just visited and Ross' parents are due in a couple of days so that is also really exciting as I don't think either of them would have ever dreamt of visiting Tokyo!

Telling our friends was fun! So supportive and lovely we can't wait to get home to introduce her to them all! We told all our close friends and work colleagues first then announced it on Facebook (seriously what did we do before Facebook?) some of the comments were hilarious! Some people were like "did you adopt?" Um...if we were going to adopt a baby in Tokyo I'm pretty sure we would have adopted a Japanese baby....haha! Funny stuff :)

Doc, Doc, Nurse

Super cute baby kimonos all the bubs are put in I so wanted to steal one! haha

Pretty hilarious,  if you look closely you can see koalas on the identification stickers on the cribs- coincidence?

Congratulations Dinner!

I admit I hate going to the doctors, the dentist and definitely hospital! So you can imagine what I would have felt like being in a hospital in a foreign country. I'm not sure why but I thought most of the staff would have spoken English but no there was two doctors who spoke fluent english so whenever I saw them I would grab them and ask them a billion questions! Oh and later in my stay I met this crazy midwife who spoke a little english- she kept telling me to "Roll down the diaper so your baby can be cool like Lady Gaga"- um OK! I ended up totally loving her she taught me some mad 'mum' skills eg: bathing, breastfeeding and how to roll up a used diaper "properly"!

My allocated nurse spoke no english and we communicated with sign language and a little translation computer. It was H.A.R.D! Obviously in different countries and cultures things are done differently and sometimes this was completely frustrating...

These included:

  1. Pretty much an hour after having Tallulah was born a doctor came in and asked us how we were going to pay...our travel insurance didn't cover pregnancy. It was really weird, I possibly asked if they take Mastercard...haha yep I thought I'd be buying travel souvenirs not buying a baby!
  2. You must bring your own cutlery as they do not provide ANY...they felt sorry for me and gave me some disposable chopsticks
  3. They eat fish ALL the time. I like fish but for breakfast...hmmm
  4. I found out on my last day that nurses had been feeding Tallulah 'sugar water' which I had read (my lovely cousin who lives in Japan visited me and gave me a 'baby bible book' pretty much a parenting for dummies manual!) was completely old school! No wonder when ever I can back from my shower she was asleep and slept for 3 hours!!!
  5. Because we aren't married Ross can't be on the birth certificate, I know strange right? In Australia we are basically married under Australian law; its called de facto....
  6. Have you seen Lost inTranslation? Remember the hospital scene it is actually like that. Seriously. 
I missed Ross majorly while I was in hospital. He could only come by between 3-8pm and alot of the time he was super busy organising things like birth certificates, citizenship's and passports which is SO SO SO hard and complicated. I think Ross filled out more forms to sink a ship. He is a superdad and completely amazing he managed to organise us a phone, all of those things I mentioned plus locate a baby shop (thankyou Baby Gap- Japan doesn't really do the baby shops? Puzzling I know!) and buy a bunch of things you need to raise a baby!!!

I felt pretty isolated in the hospital I wanted to be out helping Ross and researching stuff but obviously had to stay put...I missed hearing English conversations and being able to 100% understand what was being said to me or about me. One night I remember overhearing a conversation and pretending it was in English and what they would be saying. Hmmm yes I was getting complete cabin fever! To keep myself sane I listened to alot of music on my ipod and read my "baby bible".

I pretty much got a crash course in caring for a baby which was great but overwhelming. I guess when a baby is planned you can attend classes with your partner and read up and research, we just didn't have this luxury so it was dive in head first. It was completely nuts!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Meet our Kinder Surprise

So the gynaecologist came into the room and all I remember is that she giggled every time she said something to me which made me nervous. She told Ross he had to wait outside while she took a look at my lady bits. Everything was becoming a little too much for me and bursted into tears and then she dropped the you're having a baby and I can see the head and we have to take you to the delivery room now. All I remember is shouting at them to get Ross NOW! Awww poor hospital staff would have thought I was loco.

Everything is pretty much blurry from this point...a million things were going through my head such as; we are going to China tomorrow what are we going to do, OMG I ate all the wrong things and drank alcohol I wonder if my baby is going to be okay, um I'm about to become a parent I don't know anything about kids, what names do I like, OMG what am I going to tell my Mum....I told you LOCO!

Here are some things I do remember about the birth:
  1. Asking for drugs/epidural and being told Japanese women have natural births....OMG
  2. Shouting FUCK really loud when being told to push and hearing everyone giggle
  3. Hearing Ross who was holding my hand the whole time shout out Holy Shit (in a good way) when she was born
We were told "Its a girl" then she was whisked off for a check up. We were told she was small but looked healthy and normal but they needed to do some tests to see if she needed to go to the ICU. I was then prodded and poked some more (OMG I knew nothing about giving birth only what Ross' sister had told me but she had c-sections...different!) then we were left alone. The whole thing took less than an hour.

We looked at each other cried a little but it still didn't feel real. Um...what just happened? The doctors came back with our baby girl and told us she was super small but AOK- what a relief! She looked super perfect, tiny but perfect. She weighed in at 2490 grams.

You know how before I said I like making lists? I told Ross to grab my iphone as I had made lists of names I liked...why I had made a name list- no idea! Ross immediately was sold on Tallulah and I completely agreed it was a favourite of mine not to mention the name of one our favourite musicians Tallulah Rendall! So I'd like to introduce our tiny tot Tallulah Rose.

24 Hours before Kinder Surprise!

So I woke up on Thursday 11 November (exactly a week from leaving Perth!) and the 'cramps' were still there but we had planned to spend the day in Hakone and I was determined not to let something like period pains stop me from going on a cable car and a pirate ship!!!

I remember saying to Ross as we bought supplies for the hour train ride to Hakone if the pains are still there by the time we get to London I'll go to a doctor (that was in 4 days time!). Hakone is beautiful and probably is still one of my favourite things we have done so far in Tokyo! We visited the open-air sculpture park which was a definite highlight for me! The onsen footspa was bliss and the cute school girl who tried her english skills out on us was super 'kawaii'! My pains got pretty bad as I would physically have to stop and wait till they pass- Ross was pretty worried but I assured him everything was AOK and lets keep exploring!

We took the funicular up the mountain then took cable cars over Hakone which was spectacular we even caught a glimpse of Mount Fuji and saw the sun set over the mountains it was simply stunning! We had to run to catch the last pirate ship of the day but made it with seconds to spare so we were pleased as punch!

On the way back to our hotel Ross suggested we stop off at our favourite district Shimokitazawa and have dinner. We found this super cool place which was up this narrow staircase and filled with super cool hip kids and we were like YES! The whole menu was in Japanese (yes we know we are in Japan...haha) so we decided to order what our neighbouring table was ordering which was pretty embarrassing but funny. We would point to their dishes and nod- our waiter and our next door neighbours thought we were hilarious...we felt like dorks and wished we could read Japanese :)

We dined on sashimi, tofu and some type of steamboat and washed it down with beer and g&t's! Geez I know right...raw fish and alcohol biggest no-no's but hey I was still in the dark! Lots of my friends and family are like "How did you not know you were pregnant?' and I have asked myself this question everyday and worked out I had an excuse for everything that could have been a pregnancy sign. Gained a little extra weight- late nights at the office and pizza, baby kicking- thought it was bad digestion, cravings- thought I was lacking dairy (the only craving was yoghurt with nuts)- crazy right?

Exhausted from a great day of sight-seeing we trekked back to the hotel and fell into bed...! Ross went straight  to sleep and I had one of the worst sleep of my life....

My 'cramps' became more constant and I started to think there was something seriously wrong with me but never did 'pregnant' come into my mind. Everything from a twisted cyst in my ovaries to severe constipation went through my brain. At about 5am after taking a long bath I emerged from the bathroom and tearfully told Ross I needed to go to hospital because I feel like I'm going to dramatic I know!

We rushed down to reception where the lovely staff tried to find us a hospital which would see me. Luckily we found one around the corner so we jumped into taxi. By this stage I was in so much pain I had my eyes closed trying to forget the bizarre stabbing pains which were completely foreign.

I was escorted into a room after filling out some forms of-course! The doctor looked at my tummy and told me I needed to pee into a cup (this was all in pigeon english) and for whatever reason I couldn't do it so they decided to do an ultrasound and I remember peeking at the doctor who had this shocked look on his face and him pointing to something on the screen. Next he told us he needed to call the gynaecologist  and this is where I started to freak out...I still thought I had a twisted cyst!

48 Hours Before Kinder Surprise

A friend of ours had recommended this super great Tokyo guide called Hello Sandwich which we completely fell in love with and ended up seeing lots of things we wouldn't have seen if we had only relied on our Lonely Planet book! 48 hours before our little Kinder Surprise we spent the morning drinking amazing coffee and eating homemade bakery goods (think Parisian quality!) in Ekoda at this teeny tiny six-seater cafe- thanks Hello Sandwich!

I had started to get cramps which I put down to 'period pains'! They were worse than I had ever had before but I didn't really think too much about it. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome a while back and hadn't had my period for a while (it was always irregular....!) so I just put it down to that and soldiered on!

We decided to go the Yebisu Beer Museum which was whole lot of cheesy fun and yes I know...I pretty much did ALL the wrong things whilst with child as I didn't know she was in there! We drank delicious beers and read hilarious and very cool pop-up books and joked when we have babies we would buy them quality books like these...hmmm!!!

The cramps definitely got worse during the night but I hugged a pillow, took some painkillers (which p.s are SO hard to get in Tokyo, you pretty much need to go to a doctor to get a prescription to get anything stronger than Disprin...) and laid in the foetal position...haha

Konnichiwa Tokyo!

We landed in Tokyo and we were both completely smitten we couldn't wait to spend the next 6 days in this city! We stayed in Shinjuku which is amazing and we spent the first three days exploring Tokyo's kawaii districts-eating Ramen in Shimokitazawa, drinking sake and eating yakitori with funny retired Japanese businessmen in the hidden laneways of Shinjuku and exploring Harajuku. We walked lots and I got real tired in the evenings but I put it down to being unfit and reassured myself the more stair climbing and walking I do the hotter I was going to look at the end of our trip- haha pretty funny now I look back.....