Pregnant in the Pandemic

Was a very unexpected but pleasant surprise! πŸ’– This is for you our dear baby #2.

At the beginning of 2020, I remember praying in our bible study group that we wanted to get pregnant again. Back in Feb 2020 the pandemic was not so serious so hoping to expand our family was but natural – Grey was turning 2. Considering it takes us a while, it may take us some time again. That was how it operated in our limited minds. But God does not work that way.

March lockdown happened. With months in… and hope of getting the normal life back couldn’t even be seen anymore, it seemed that it would just be us three. Adding another to our family seemed too ambitious and too impractical with the economy slipping. That’s how I rationalized back then.

In the 2nd half of 2020, with the stress of a problematic tenant and so much uncertainties, Jason got shingles, his immune system crashed.

Eventually he got healed and by God’s grace the tenant situation got resolved. In the midst of pivoting and reviving the business, with Jason busier than ever at home packing for the online store, running back home to and from the store, doing quick errands outside and all, a month after and 3 missed days, we received the best news in these dark times. 2 Straight lines.

I cried! How unexpected, how surreal. After 4 years, several operations and alternative treatments to have Grey, what a miracle to be blessed by another one so naturally… so spontaneously despite this pandemic.

Really God’s plan is different from ours, His thoughts and ways so much higher so much wiser, so perfect!

To be honest our dear baby #2… I was flooded with feelings of fear and joy when we learned we were having you. But at the end of the day we surrender to God’s will and remember His goodness, grace and sustenance ever since! How He was so much present then and so much present now.

Though there were some bouts of hesitation and feelings of inadequacy, in God we are confident.

Being pregnant in the pandemic… Is it so different? Is it so difficult during these times?

Yes it is different, 24 weeks in I had only 2 tele-consults with my OB and I haven’t even had physical check ups yet at the clinic. OB gave the option for tele-consult until 7 months in. But strictly by 7 months, I had to go to the clinic to monitor the baby.

I had my Congenital Anomaly Scan on week 24 the earliest (when it used to be week 20).

First ultrasound was scheduled on week 7 and wasn’t that needed weekly except that I had Sub chorionic Hemorrhage again (bleeding) so I had to have ultrasound on weeks 8 and 9. I am very grateful for my ob during these times, my ate’s friend. She was always available despite the busy-ness of medical life.

Mask and Face Shield were basic and essential whenever I went in for ultrasound in a nearby clinic. Before, I remember going to St. Luke’s qc for the scan but now the nearer, the less exposure to a hospital, the better!

In some ways, everything was more efficient. People moved faster in clinics, it was more sanitized. It was all getting down to business. Companions were not allowed in clinics here so it was just pregnant women and you felt relatively safe.

Was it more difficult? Not really!

Riskier? Maybe. But when you’re staying home most of the time what are the chances of contracting the virus? I really don’t know. But I don’t dwell on the virus, its potency or the death it brings, but I focus on God’s sovereignty.

Baby #2 you are part of God’s plan and another answered prayer to us. You are surely a gift of God in these uncertain times. Wanted even before the pandemic, and loved even before we get to hold you. We are excited to meet you when you come out in May! And Greyson who’s been asking for a playmate is so happy to know we’re having you:)

Weaning Grey at 27 months

So… we got pregnant 😹 Thank you Lord for an unexpected blessing in this pandemic. After all the treatments to have Grey… Makes me think could we just have waited?

Leading to finding out we were pregnant, Grey was hesitating to drink breastmilk. He was asking for Cowhead. He said Mommy’s milk tastes bad! But then at night when he wakes he would still comfort feed. He would also tell me that my milk is few.

I would continue to nurse him even if it was getting painful for me and even if he found it few. It was our way to connect. Our shared comfort, a bonding only we would ever have and share. When he would get upset or feel hurt, nursing would make him feel better. When he would get dizzy during our quick joyrides, latching would distract and calm him down.

Then my first ultrasound happened and I had some bleeding called Subchorionic Hemorrhage, I also had some contractions. It was advised that I stop breastfeeding. I was crying for days. I think I had it harder than Grey to be honest.

When I arrived home I told Grey he couldn’t drink my milk anymore which he fondly calls Milkamama, or else mommy’s tummy would be owie and mommy may have lots of blood. He knew we were going to have a baby. And he understood the condition.

Day 1:

That afternoon instead of nursing to sleep, surprisingly he was able to sleep on his own after we read a book. That night he was able to sleep on his own as well after drinking Cowhead and our usual routine, telling stories of his day and then praying. He didn’t look for my milk and I thank God he was able to transition smoothly.

When he woke up to cry in the middle of the night, I couldn’t resist I offered my milk and he latched though very quickly. I was so emotional I was crying and couldn’t sleep!

Day 2:

It was over just like that. My breastfeeding days. I didn’t offer my milk nor did he ask for it. He would sleep independently for his nap and at night.

Day 3 onwards:

Sleeping would sometimes be a struggle. Sometimes he didn’t sleep on schedule 12nn and 8pm. He would get exhausted close to 2pm and close to 9:30pm. He would talk until he falls asleep. He would crawl to his dad since I would fall asleep earlier.

So this isn’t an entry on how to wean. Because it just happened. And I miss Grey and that bonding every moment, every day. This would have dragged on until he was 3 but God knows best and it fell on schedule at 2 years old.

Weaning? one day they will be ready for it. And you will just miss it.

Even sleep training, he just slept on his own sometimes staring into space. And I’m missing those snuggles.

I am thankful for the benefits of our weaning though. He could sleep straight through the night without latching or asking for milk. But we make sure in the morning we offer milk or water. I also got better sleeps and I could move in any position except when he’s lying sideways or taking up our space. 😹

Lately Grey has been having meltdowns! And one night he was dreaming, he hugged my neck and said carry mommy! Since I couldn’t carry him lately. So much adjustments for this little boy but proud of him for being able to cope quickly. I think the meltdowns could be the suppressed feelings of quitting cold turkey. He didn’t throw a tantrum when I told him he couldn’t drink milk anymore.

Oh Grey. I feel sad having to share myself eventually to a new baby. Share my time, my feelings. This bonding will always be so special to me. How I wish I could nurse you longer but this is what’s best for us now. You will always be my first baby and I won’t forget this bonding, I hope you won’t too. πŸ™‚

Potty Training time at 27 months

Writing this so I won’t forget! It has been almost 2 weeks of hits and misses and a whole lot of exhaustion!

Some say wait until they’re ready / show signs of readiness. Some say it will come. Some say when the parent is ready, they will be ready. Montessori studies show sensitivity to potty training at 15-18 months.

I was all for getting ready at 2 years old but also waiting it out until Greyson probably reaches 3. But by the time he reaches that age, we may be busier by then so I was committed to train him ASAP.

By the time he reached 2, I started buying undies and we started wearing them over diapers though not consistently. I also bought a book on using the potty which we read a lot until he didn’t want to read it anymore. 😹

Last week I asked Grey if he wanted diapers/briefs, he said briefs! Yay was this a sign? πŸ˜‚

Then came a lot of “accidents!” After a week of experimenting πŸ˜† I sought the help of mommy friends for tips and encouragement from my sister and read up.

Why do I always troubleshoot and learn through experience πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

Based on articles, you can potty train in 3 days. You just have to be diligent in observing your child and look for cues. Also call it a “miss” when they pee / do the other on the floor as they just missed the potty. It’s not their responsibility but ours as parents.

Some tips that worked for us are

1. Offer liquids often.

2. After 20 minutes, invite them to the potty and wait for them to pee. (I do ssh shh sounds to initiate πŸ˜‚)

3. When todder looks like he’s about to poop (mine is being quiet and still / hiding) invite calmly to the toilet. (We use a toddler toilet seat to place on top of the regular one)

4. I usually urge him πŸ˜‚ and do some sounds. Grey didn’t like sitting on the toilet and whenever I go out he would call me. I thought that he preferred pooping on his own but he wanted someone to be in the bathroom with him. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ I waited around 10-12 minutes and got him off the toilet. When he starts again, I put him on again and wait.

Some moms suggest reading a book / posting animal pictures / fun pictures on the walls to keep them entertained inside while waiting.

5. Repeat #1-4 until they get it. πŸ˜‚

We are 2 days in and so far successful with Grey overcoming his “ilang” while sitting on the toilet and doing #2 there.

For peeing there are times of “missing” but I know he is getting the concept and the feeling of wet-ness. During nap times though and at night we still use diapers – this is going to be a different training or next level which I’m not ready for my sanity yet of cleaning a wet bed. 😹

In the first week I experienced lots of misses and had to wash soiled undies πŸ₯΄πŸ₯΅ Sometimes I got upset while cleaning and was muttering under my breath. When I calmed down I apologized to Grey and told him it’s normal to have misses. It’s my fault I wasn’t watching. Took a lot of reframing and praying to be patient as we went through the day but here we are. Not quite there yet πŸ˜‚ But moving forward with small wins!

In the 2nd week, fueled by encouragement and tips, cues were spotted and anticipated and also with Daddy J on board. This really takes dedication πŸ˜† It seems so easy but training takes time and a lot of effort. How I wish I could say I’m enjoying this stage – this is probably my least favorite.

But whenever there’s a moment I can hear myself think, I search within how this season will pass so quickly. I remember how he looks down at the floor saying “weewee”. How he gets a mat and helps wipe his miss / the mess. His calling me when I slip out of the bathroom. His needing me to sit down with him by the potty. It will soon be past. Our baby who’s no longer a baby but will soon be a little boy.

Learning to unlearn

27 months in and I thought our routine would stay as is. But it seems as if Grey also got bored with it. MWF – Alphabets, shapes, numbers. T-THs – Mandarin numbers, colors and conversational phrases. Seemed promising… NOT. When you’re dealing with a toddler who’s so eager and absorbent you can’t confine them to just those!

There was a week wherein I would teach some numbers and he threw them all on the floor. Not just bored but upset as well! He saw through all of it and that I was feeding him some things he’s not really into yet.

After a few days of numbers, he was able to identify them but it was a struggle. I guess this is how it looks like if you’re not “following the child’s pace and learning” and trying to give him info he’s disinterested in!

So I was led to ease up and watch him play again and in his natural state.

You know how it’s so hard to unlearn things you grew up knowing? How most of us are wired to have the goal of doing good in academics as if that were the most important thing!

As a mom and with an only child whom we’ve waited for a while, I felt like I had a responsibility and duty to teach him and I can’t do it just watching him. I can’t stay still! I had to be super pro active and teach teach teach.

But Reading The Whole Brained Child and also desiring to be obedient to Christ, it is slowly sinking in that intellect is just one aspect. There is also emotional, spiritual. Character building. Learning to love learning.

Instead of getting praises for knowing his abc’s or numbers. We search and look beyond.

Values such as hardwork, resilience, thoughtfulness, patience, love, kindness, gratefulness. It’s hard to unlearn what we’ve learned but anything is possible with God.

And there is proactiveness too in being still, observing your child, and trusting in God that He will give us the wisdom on how to raise Grey.

After easing up a bit on his 27th month and focusing on his interests like playing with rice (for sensory), pouring water over and over, I saw how this was satisfying for him at this moment and how he can play for an hour or so.

Then after which he got a paper and crayon. He started drawing and naming what he’s drawing – A triangle, Circle ⭕️, letter G (for Greyson), P, H. t. Somewhere during playing, his mind was probably processing lots of information and he wanted to write it. I have to admit I was so proud! But I have to remind myself to also acknowledge and emphasize other character developments in him. Like how he’s generous, offering snacks and fruits he likes and even feeding us (thinking about others). How he apologizes when he loses his temper and gets gigil and hurts. How he rejoices with others and sees them having fun. His honesty! He would tell us, Greyson feel angry again.

Oh how do we unlearn what we’ve learned?

Jason taught me.. It’s not study time it’s what are we going to learn today?

In a seminar, it’s not reading it’s comprehending what you read.

It’s not being the best, it’s doing your best.

What are things that you want to unlearn and how can we reframe it?

*For routine, our mealtime, nap and sleep time stays as is. but activities… whatever Greyson seems interested in at the moment!

The golden opportunity with the golden calf

Last night, Greyson wanted me to read the Bible to him. We’ve read it to him a few times but it was just last night we lingered in the story of Moses. He pointed to the golden calf and said “What’s that?” I said “it’s a golden calf”. Then silence… his pointer finger tapping on the image of the golden calf… (Ganito talaga siya parang professor nag-aantay ng sagot habang pinapawisan ka ng malupit!)

I was thinking… how do I explain it to him? Is it an animal? Thing? What does it stand for? What’s the context of the story?

I was groping for words.. Pano ba i-explain sa 26 month old?? He just turned 2.

Me: ah…..it’s an idol. (but Greyson does not know an idol)

Try again: Ummm it’s an object that you worship (but Grey does not know what “worship” means yet)!!

I felt it was a golden opportunity to share what it was because he was so curious! I praise God because an idea popped in my mind. I praise God that He made it simple and clear to me that moment that Greyson can understand and relate to.

Calmly I said, the golden calf is like your toy… It does not have feelings, it cannot do anything. It is something that you love more than God.

In that story, Moses went up the mountain to talk to God (this is the story of the 10 commandments) but when he came down the people forgot about God. They made an object, a thing, a golden calf! After all that God did for them.. (we backtracked to the previous page)

God rescued them from the bad guys. God gave them food. God gave them water.

Greyson added: God give mountain

Me: Yes

Greyson: God give leaf

Me: Uh yes..

Greyson: God give trees

Me: Yes! And they forgot about God and loved the golden calf. That is called sin. When you love something like your toy more than God.

Do you understand?

Greyson said Yes.

I wonder if he really did but I believe that he did! Before he slept during our cuddle time I asked him who does Greyson love? He said Greyson love Mommy.

And then in between nursing, what he said next jolted me awake…

Greyson love golden calf.

Me: the golden calf??

Greyson shook his head while nursing and then he unlatched and said “Greyson love Jesus”.

Ahh baka “don’t love”. Greyson still does not know how to use “don’t.”

I tried again, “Greyson does not love the golden calf.” He nodded yes and he said again “Greyson love Jesus”.

Whew.. mabuti nang malinaw πŸ˜‚ looks like he got the story.. Praise God. But I am not worried, I am confident God will give another opportunity in case he did not get it. God is reaching out to everyone every single moment, even as young as Grey.

While teaching this to him, pati ako nacoconvict. I also remember how God has been good, and is good. How he provided, loves and cares for us. He does not forget us or our needs but how easy it is for us to forget Him and His goodness to us.

How we love other things more than Him. How we prioritize other things – our work, our family, even ourselves, over Him who deserves all our love, attention and praise.

Thank you Lord for giving us Greyson to remind us of of our sinfulness and how we need Jesus. Thank you Jesus for nailing our past, present and future sins on the cross so that we can talk to God. How powerful you are Lord and how awesome you are that you can walk on the water, speak to the sea and stand in the fire beside us.

Praying that Greyson would learn to love God and follow Jesus when he grows up.

Quarantine FavorEats

Since ECQ last March, home bakers and new cooks were born! Filipinos are very resilient and however hard life can be, we cry a bit and then a little bit more and then stand back up again. It’s okay not to be okay! 😬 Anyway this is a different topic altogether but sharing with you the top quarantine eats we were able to have a bite of during the lockdown. While some came from well-loved restaurants, some have just discovered their passion in cooking or baking and a possible lifelong career!

1. Ube Cheese Pandesal

Who hasn’t heard of the famous Ube Cheese Pan de Sal?? From Philippines to USA, the recipe has been going around and been shared so many times! We were able to taste this thanks to my sister who sponsored us this treat πŸ˜‚ All the way from USA she ordered this from In the Mood for Baking . Mas updated pa siya sa amin! πŸ˜‚ Our foodie baby, Greyson was able to try this and he was so excited to pinch and pull out the cheese. He loves cheese and though there was a generous amount inside, he wanted another pan de sal. Save some for us! πŸ˜‚

Another treat we were able to try from In the Mood for Baking was their Queso de Bola Ensaymada. I enjoyed this the most! It was almost covered in Queso de Bola cheese and it was really soft.

Prices:

Ube Cheese Pan de Sal – P320 / 16pcs

Queso de Bola Ensaymada – P510 / 6pcs, P950 1 dozen

*photos grabbed from In the Mood for Baking

2. Make your own kits! Paella Making Kit from Barcino

For our anniversary since we couldn’t have paella outside, we brought it inside! It was even better since we were in the comfort of our homes. We had their Paella Chorizo Y Pollo.

I felt like an expert! πŸ˜‚ Secret of moms who want to serve the best restaurant-like dishes – get a make your own kit! This was good for 4 so it pretty much lasted us until dinner. Tipid! Also, it was very flavorful a little on the salty side but yummy nonetheless. Grey learned the word “paella” and his palate got exposed to how paella tastes like. Just a note that when you order this via Grab, it falls under GrabMart and it has to be transported via car.

3. Basque Burnt Cheesecake

In fairness ang updated ni hubby for someone who doesn’t open his social media unless it’s for work! He got to this before I did. Basque Burnt Cheesecake with a twist since it has brownies for the bottom layer. Masarap siya! It’s not too sweet and the cheese in the cheesecake was not overpowering! The brownie cake added texture to the cheesecake and the burnt top added flavor. It was the perfect balance.

Bea’s Cookies PH in Marikina

4. Belgian Cookies and Oatmeal cookies

From Bea’s Cookies Ph too! Thank you to my sister-in-law Ate Christie for introducing this to us. Suki na kami! This is baked / managed by a homeschooler. Galing diba? That’s what I like about homeschool even if we haven’t started yet! A twist to this is it had caramel bits too. In this pandemic sometimes we just need that classic choco chip cookie to feel a little better!

A new player in the sweets business is Cain’s! We had the chance to taste these healthy oatmeal cookies thanks to my MIL. It was chewy, not too sweet so there was no guilt when I reached in for another cookie. πŸ˜‚ Oh this is best paired with coffee! Thank you Camille!

5. Baked Sushi

From Phbakedgoodies! By now it has evolved to having scallops, unagi, salmon, taco bake and then came caviar pie! It was our first time to try this top quarantine craze and it did not disappoint. Oh how sushi has evolved! This was so good and worth trying out!

Phbakedgoodies in IG

8×8 = 800

9×12 = 1375

6. Milky Cheese Donuts

Just look at that cheese oozing out! This is a winner! I couldn’t get my hands off this. Sweet, salty and powdery! Another one from Bea’s cookies ph.

7. Vikings for celebrations

*Photo grabbed from Vikings Luxury Buffet

This is pretty much how it looked like! Their 600/head was worth it because it didn’t lose its celebratory appeal plus it lasted us for 3 meals. Minimum order is 3,000 good for 5 pax! The next best thing if you miss celebrating your birthdays in Vikings, you still get to enjoy them at home and this time pwede na leftovers and takeout! For reheating later πŸ™‚

What quarantine eats are your favorites? πŸ™‚

Toddler Schedule

Routines give the child a sense of security and help them develop self-discipline. Heard of this sometime ago and since then I was convicted to develop a routine for Grey. But it seems as if his schedule is changing weekly and I needed to cope quickly!

I couldn’t imagine how moms could do night baths so calmly – pouring lukewarm water over their baby’s body and the babies showing how much they enjoy it, cooing and everything. I remember when Grey was an infant and at around 5pm he would get so fussy! Overtired? Hungry? Growth spurt? I would be close to tears so exhausted from lack of sleep and with a ravenous baby boy feeding almost every hour. Scrap the night bath!

But then I was also comforted with how friends encouraged that every child is different!

Jason and I would religiously track Grey’s schedule and write on our mirror to have some semblance of order in our lives. But by next month it would throw us off again. Ganito ata talaga!

Just this year, 2020. The schedule was a little bit more predictable. At around 18 months, he was transitioning from 2 naps to 1 nap. When he would have his daytime nap, I could still cook in peace for an hour. But when he was starting to have 1 nap, he had MORE waking hours!

What to do?? I don’t want him to watch that much TV – that’s just me. But also I needed him to be safe and preoccupied while I do some chores.

Since ECQ 2 months ago, we started developing a schedule as a guide on how we could fill our days. Usually in the afternoon we would go out and go to the mall or parks. But since we had to stay home, how can we still be intentional amidst all this chaos outside (and at times, inside)?

Are we going to homeschool? Probably! But even before any curriculum, I feel it would help for a transition period.

Every morning of MWF, this is where we would sing/dance/play. We have 3 playlists

1. Worship songs (3 songs) – Monday

2. Dance songs (4 songs) – Wednesday

3. Nursery Rhymes – Friday, and some piano lessons.

We also try to teach an alphabet per week and a memory verse.

These are not rigid! if he doesn’t feel up to it then we just play what he wants. If he likes animals then we go for that. letter C for Cat and Cow. Trying to link animals with the letter of the week.

Every Tues-Thurs, Jason teaches Art and some Mandarin.

Sample of our schedule

7am – breakfast

8am – sing / dance / art / mandarin / play

9am – tv and books , snack time

10am – chores / play with daddy

11am – lunch (yes our lunch got moved to 11 since he would be too fussy by 12)

11:30 – bath and a book after

12:00 – nap

2:00pm – free play, garden, blocks etc, snack

he does what we’re doing – work, exercise, clean, turn our house upside down 🏑

5:30pm – dinner

6:00pm – brush teeth, wash legs and feet

bedtime routine

diaper

pajamas

book

cuddling / bed play

recap of the day

pray

singing

7-7:30pm sleep

8pm – FREEDOM! πŸ˜‚

I also learned from a mommy group about SIGHT WORDS.. Not really strict about it since I don’t want to force Grey to study particularly if he still doesn’t want to. I would just try and if he doesn’t show readiness i’ll try again next time as advised.

For every schedule I need to put the word and a drawing of what it is so he’ll get acquainted with the word. Not yet done with this project!

Whenever I wonder if I need to do something more? I go back to the Best advise I heard: Enjoy your child!

Not sure if we’re doing it right. Really a trial and error but just praying that spending time and being intentional with him would make an impact on his life.

Hoping this would help Greyson learn and enjoy learning! Again reminding myself we have 3 years for his absorbent mind.

Teaching Grey to identify letters

Jason and I love reading and we hope that Greyson would develop a love for reading too! Not just for any academic reasons but for fun and also to develop his imagination.

We are thankful that family and friends gifted us with these books.

Little did we know that it would lead him to learn to identify letters. We would find the animals and objects big and small. I feel

that from identifying objects to the smallest object in the book, he has learned to spot a letter. We started finding letter I from this book, since he started showing he can draw a line. I think that it would create a better connection from line to I to letter I,

Then from reading books over and over he started to identify letter O along with the circle shape, and just recently letter B at 22 months old.

I prefer a more structured approach like A,b,c. But he wasn’t responsive to this but with letter I and O he was. It really takes a lot of knowing your child and intentionality.

Some things that are working for us are

1. Reading the same simple board books with few words.

2. Pointing the words as I read

3. Having a poster of the alphabet (not sure if this is working though right now) but just exposing him to the letters often.

If this is what homeschool is all about I am enjoying this and I hope Greyson is too!

Traveling with a toddler to Osaka, Japan

Last year I wouldn’t dare think of traveling since I was too spent! But as Grey turned 1 year old, we do recover from the aches, lack of sleep and tiredness. Thank God for renewing our energy everyday to do the things we are tasked to do! Our adventurous side is starting to resurface and we decided to make the most of Grey’s first 3 years of life. Reading The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori, it was mentioned that the first 3 years are crucial to the development of the child and so are the succeeding 3 years. They absorb everything – language, syntax, science, math and how we relate to one another. Grey loves animals so much and we decided to take him to Osaka Japan where he can see deers in their natural state running free, as well as the Zoo and Aquarium.

Things we needed to prepare for:

  1. Itinerary – Some people would say make the most out of the trip and go to as much places and squeeze in as much into our planned itinerary. We played it by ear instead and planned a very flexible one considering priorities and our energy. We stayed for 5 days. Here’s our itinerary sample

The Plan                                            Actual Itinerary

Day 1 – Travel                                     Day 1 – Travel

Day 2 – Tennoji Zoo, Kuromon Market   Day 2 – Tennoji Zoo was closed, so we                                                                                  went to Namba walk (because my soles                                                                              got busted (parati nalang:)) ) and then                                                                                  Osaka Aquarium

Day 3 – Nara Deer Park, Todaiji, Kofukuji    Day 3 – Nara Deer Park, Yoshikien                                                                                       Garden,  Kofukuji Temple, Dotonbori

Day 4 – Osaka Aquarium, Kuromon Market       Day 4 – Tennoji Zoo, Shinsekai,                                                                                                  Dotonbori

Day 5 – Owl Cafe, Dotonbori, Travel to Manila   Day 5 – Nambanaka Park,                                                                                                      Kuromon Market, Travel to Manila

Review of the places in another entry. πŸ™‚

2. List things to bring – I had an initial list and then added to it as the days went along :))

Sample of things we brought – For 5 days. We brought around 8 pants. 8 long sleeves. 2 jackets, mittens, and bonnet (which we rarely used since it wasn’t that cold), several socks. 2 shoes! What are the things you brought for your toddler?

We wanted to pack light as much as possible! We’re still getting a hang of it.

3. Pack medicines – We brought the following: Vitamin C, Allergy drops (Alnix), Calpol for fever, Koolfever, Relestal for possible stomachaches.

4. Brought carrier and a stroller – We used the carrier all throughout since Greyson didn’t want to sit in the stroller! He wanted to be close by since he was in an unfamiliar place.

5. Book train tickets in advance for hassle-free travel. We booked using Klook for our round trip train tickets from the airport to Namba.  Our ETA in Osaka is around 8:30PM and I presume we would be dead tired arriving in Japan so we spent a little bit more to book Nankai Express tickets to Namba. It would be around 30-35 minutes compared to just getting tickets there and would travel for 45 minutes but it would be cheaper though.

6. Bring a few lightweight toys – We brought a fidget board, Elmo (maybe 1/3 his size) and 2 books. All were a mistake :)) We should have brought some small animal toys and a small stuffed toy for the plane ride. We are conscious about Greyson and screen time so we had to bring some toys to distract him. Greyson kept removing and returning the magazines on the shelf in the plane instead so we didn’t have a need for the toys.

7. Snacks and Milk! – We are still breastfeeding so I brought myself. :)) I couldn’t stress more how this has been so convenient for us and saved us a lot (financially, physically!) We latched during takeoff and when we landed he didn’t want to latch so I guess he could take the ear pressure. We brought some snacks like biscuits and jello.

8. Extra clothes, tissue and wipes in his baby bag and diapers – For emergency! We also brought his bowl and a silicone bib just in case the restaurants didn’t provide. But some restaurants in Osaka do provide kiddie plates and spoon and fork.

9. Have fun and take lots of pictures! – Seeing Osaka again thru his eyes was amazing. The lights in Dotonbori, the big 3D displays. The huge Aquarium! His appetite was also so huge and he wasn’t scared to try new dishes. He wanted a bite of everything we put into our mouths! We took lots of pictures that captivated him and made sure to print them so he can keep them in his memory. 1 month has passed and he still remembers them and the gestures associated with the sights that hooked him.

It was really fun to bring Grey along and having him was like reliving your childhood and seeing it now in full color – more conscious and aware of the things around you.

We thank God for allowing us to experience this trip, sustaining us and allowing us to enjoy this trip. That all of us didn’t get sick and that it was relatively smooth. Hoping for more GreyT adventures with our little one and looking forward to discovering the world again thru his eyes one day at a time! <3

What to eat in Osaka and Kuromon Market

So here’s a rundown of what we ate in Osaka!

1. 551 Horai – Butaman

Upon arriving in Osaka particularly in Namba station we were famished! Good thing because 551 Horai was just nearby. It was Butaman or similar to siopao here in the Philippines. But the filling was really yum! The filling was so generous and it was so meaty and flavorful. We stuffed ourselves with 2 of each. :)) Greyson loved it so much too because the dough was soft and chewy.

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2. Morozoff Custard – This was located along Namba walk. For those who have a sweet tooth, indulge in this! It had sugary syrup at the bottom to compliment the custard on top.Β 

3. Gyu Katsu – in Nara and Namba. We had Gyu-Katsu in Nara after interacting with the deers! :)) It was beef cutlets that was deep-fried. There was a certain way how to eat this and you may watch this in the You Tube version of our food finds.

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4. Ice Cream – There are lots at the grocery and convenience stores! Be sure to try one! It was kind of a hit or miss though since I can’t read the labels. I had matcha with red beans. Haha not exactly I flavor I enjoyed. I honestly thought it was matcha and chocolate. :))Β 

5. Kobe Beef – Dotonbori. We had kobe beef at Dotonbori and it was pretty expensive for this piece! I think around 800 YEN or roughly 350 pesos. Grabe diba? Hahah. We told ourselves the next time we go here we wouldn’t scrimp on our food trip. But really this was one of the expensive things to eat here and to be honest I enjoyed our last time better. We had Kobe beef in Kobe. If you really want to try Kobe, please go to Kobe instead! Much more worth it. πŸ™‚

6. Kushi Katsu – in Shinsekai! Β If you plan to go to Tennoji Zoo, have lunch in Shinsekai! They are famous for their Kushi-Katsu. We enjoyed the Shrimp here best. Β 

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7. Shake Shack in Shinsaibashi – Not really Japanese food but worth a try especially with the long lines here in the Philippines! Grab a bite of these juicy burgers and crisp fries. As you can see, Greyson enjoyed the fries so much! No wonder people are lining up for this in Manila! In Osaka, there were no lines though and the customers were mostly Filipinos :)) Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β Β 

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KUROMON ICHIBA MARKET

We were about to miss going here since we didn’t know if Greyson would permit :)) On our last day, he fell asleep while we were at Namba walk so we decided to go to Kuromon Market. Good thing because it was the highlight of our food trip! Also there was a passage in Namba walk so it was easy to get there by foot.

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1. Fresh Oyster and Uni at Nishikawa Fish Store – Around 600 YEN. Super worth it!! We shared this. The Uni was super creamy and it was really fresh! We enjoyed the Oyster with a bit of hot sauce. We would want to have more but we didn’t want to stuff ourselves with this as we wanted to taste as much as we can in Kuromon Market.2. Fruits in Season – We had persimmon, strawberries and green melon. The persimmon here was really sweet and it wasn’t hard. It was crunchy to the bite. Green melon is also a favorite here so be sure to try one when you drop by! We saved a lot for Greyson since he loves fruits so much. We wanted him to taste as much fruits as we can offer him to enrich his palate.3. Tuna and Salmon Sashimi Donburi. This stall had the longest line in Kuromon Market and we don’t wonder why! It has the freshest tuna and salmon sashimi. It wasn’t that unique though as we had lots of this in Manila but no doubt here you’ll have the freshest.4. Torched and Grilled Grab meat and fat. It was so indulgent! But as long as you’re sharing it with someone it lessens the guilt. I couldn’t bear to it one whole shell of this. :))

5. Broiled Crab. Last but not the least! Shred it as if it were noodles and dip it in Crab Fat. Yum!!

Going back here to Osaka was so worth it. There was still so much to do and so much to eat and try. It really is a foodie’s paradise.

Check out our Food trip in Osaka video here. πŸ™‚