E is for Empathy

img_9565Years ago, I did a strengths-finder test and Empathy was one of my top 5 strengths. I never really thought much about it but I’ve come to realised that perhaps my role in the Company was a good fit being Ms Empathetic and all.

Fast forward to now with Bubba in our lives, we’ve come to realised that Bubba is also quite the Little Miss Empathy. Perhaps coupled with some activities that they teach in school (can empathy really be taught) or perhaps she has taken the cues from me as her mom,  she is quite the caring little child.

For instance, on her recent Tokyo trip with her dad, when she sees him carrying her on the stroller up those long flight of stairs in the tube, she would ask her Daddy, “Are you ok? Daddy is so poor thing.” When she sees me coughing, she would often pat my chest gently and ask “Mummy, are you ok?

And according to her teachers in school, when Bubba sees her friends crying, she would usually go up to them to ask them not to cry. If the wailing doesn’t stop, she would end up joining them as if feeling their pain.

Interestingly, while googling I found this article:

One of the most important skills we can teach our kids is empathy. Empathy is the ability to see and value what another person is feeling or experiencing. When we see someone in pain and feel that response in our own gut, that’s empathy. When we see someone crying tears of joy at an important reunion and notice ourselves choking up, that’s empathy. When we see someone struggling with a problem and feel an emotional pull to help, that’s empathy. It’s a core skill for what psychologists call “pro-social” behavior – the actions that are involved in building close relationships, maintaining friendships, and developing strong communities. It appears to be the central reality necessary for developing a conscience, as well.

Raising empathetic kids might seem like a challenging task, but kids are empathetic by nature and I hope you, my little Bub would never lose sight of this.

Bubba spells

img_7496On our ride home yesterday, aside from singing 5 Little Monkeys for the umpteenth time, our convo went like this:

Me: Sophie, can you spell your name for Mummy?
S: Okay! <I laughed because I thought she wouldn’t be able to do it!>
Me: Let’s go! S
S: O <pause> P <pause> H <pause> I <pause> E <pause>14

My jaw nearly dropped as the letters OMG flashed by and I thought to myself, “Did my child really do that? Spelled her name?”

Well, I guess she did! I tried asking her again and she would repeat it (if she’s in a good mood). Also, sometimes she may miss out the I and E but you know what, I think at 27.5 months to be able to do this, it’s pretty amazing!


Taking on Kyoto

We are missing our travels to Japan terribly! So decided to kick the blues by putting together our quick guide with highlights on what we did in Kyoto with a 2 year old toddler over 3 days and 2 nights

We’ve visited Kyoto almost 10 years ago when the Man was living in Japan. It also was a day trip made to visit the famed Kinaku-ji (Golden Pagoda) Temple. My memories of Kyoto were rather faint as it felt like we zipped in and out rather quickly given that the train ride from Tokyo to Kyoto took us nearly 3 hours alone. So this time round, we decided to spend a couple of days there instead of just a touch-and-go experience.

A half-day trip to Arashiyama

It takes about 50 minutes via train from Kyoto to Arashiyama. From the train station, it’s easy to navigate around Arashiyama as there are walking guides with directional signs peppered around the quaint town. Continue reading

Taking on Tokyo DisneySea

Man, feels like a long time since I last blogged. Sorry for the silence but it’s been a little crazy here trying to manage home and work. But blogging has always been an outlet for me to share my thoughts so it’s nice to head back here putting my thoughts into words.

img_9648Tokyo Disneysea! We did it and following this post where I shared the list of potential rides that we wanted to take, how did we fare?

img_0692Our trip to Tokyo was late September and although it was supposed to be Autumn season, it was strangely hot and very wet. Weather forecast for the 3 days that I was in Tokyo was supposed to be raining so you can imagine my happiness when I saw a clear sky with a hint of grey clouds at the background on the day that we headed for Tokyo DisneySea.

Journey took us about 1 hour from our apartment to Maihama station and we dressed Bubba up in Rapunzel from Tangled. She doesn’t quite know the name of Rapunzel yet but I was surprised when she could identify the different characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and Chip and Dale.

img_0693Upon arrival into DisneySea at about 10am, I spotted the different characters from afar and told the Man that we should definitely try to stand in line to grab a picture with them. The Bub was really excited when she saw the life-sized cartoon characters and ran towards them to give them a big hug. The crowd surrounding Minnie Mouse was obviously the largest and even though there wasn’t  a formal queue (yup, the Japanese are orderly in that manner), the Bub squeezed her way through the crowds and posed with Minnie for a photo opp.

Alright more photo spam on the different characters that Bubba managed to snap a picture with.🙂

img_9649With Goofy

img_9615With Chip

img_9656With Dale (or is it Chip again?)

img_9599Not sure what’s the name of this little cat so if anyone knows, please share!

img_9654With Goofy

I guess it’s also obvious in the pictures that I am having a better time than the Bub hunting the characters down and carrying her (perhaps as an excuse) for the photos.

img_4388What’s worth knowing is that the characters actually do make an appearance at designated spots at Disney Sea during the day so instead of running all over the park to look for them. It’s possible to hunt them down all in one place namely the MIckey & Friends’ Greeting Trails.

You won’t get your usual run-of-the-mill popcorn at Tokyo Disney Sea as they do have really interesting flavoured popcorn.

Like I said previously, we or rather I could not resist the Duffy Popcorn Bucket so I grabbed that in front of the popcorn stand in front of Cape Cook-off. The Milk Chocolate popcorn tasted surprisingly yummy – a tinge of sweetness from the milk chocolate coupled together with slight salty popcorn was a good combi of sweet and savory. Needless to say, the Bub loved it and could not stop stuffing her face with the Milk Chocolate popcorn. I guess it did make for a good way to distract her while waiting in line for rides.

img_0694How did we fare on rides and attractions? Well, we did the theatre experience for Turtle Theatre which on hindsight, best to skip as the voice-over is Japanese so unless you understand the language, it might not be that fun for your active toddler. The Aquatopia ride was pretty cool and the wait was less than 30 minutes so it was manageable. Like I said, stuff your kiddo with snacks if he/she gets bored of waiting. By the time we got the front, the Bub was all pysched up for the ride and we had a great time twirling around the simple water-ride.

I’ve always been a fan of Ariel from The Little Mermaid so my fave place at Tokyo Disney Sea is actually the Mermaid Lagoon where I had hoped that Bubba would spend most of her time at. But unfortunately, it was way past her nap-time, she was buzzed from the excitement, exhausted and the darkness kinda scared her, so we didn’t really spend a lot of time in there. We ended up putting her in our Tula where she promptly fell asleep not long after.

img_4384Which in return gave us some time to explore the park. Since we didn’t have the Fast Pass, we pretty much just walked around and took pics at random spots. The weather was cool with a sight drizzle at some point but we didn’t quite minded. We had intended to try our luck at the bazaar where the odds to win a stuffed Stitch toy was pretty high but we figured that it probably might give us a headache as to how we should bring the toy back to Singapore, so we decided to cop out.

img_4384 img_9638We had plans to head back to the apartment at about 4pm so as to avoid the after-office crowd so with about 2 hours left in Tokyo Disneysea and with the Bub nicely strapped inside the Tula fast asleep, we decided to try queueing at one of the more popular rides, namely the Toy Story Ride. The estimated wait was 90 minutes and we figured it couldn’t be that bad except we didn’t expect the ride to break down when we were nearing the front of the ride.  I simply could not believe our luck! Sheesh! But thankfully, the staff were pretty cool about it and everyone who waited in line before the ride broke down scored a complimentary Fast Pass each. That’s like scoring a Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s Factory which I’m certainly not complaining! Hehe.. However, if this same situation happened in Singapore, I’m almost sure that people will be throwing stuff at the staff and demanding for compensation.

img_9646And we decided to call it a day at close to  5pm with more photo-taking around the Park. We were half-deciding if we should stay on for the water parade that’s to take place at about 5.30pm and then rush back to the city, but felt that it might be too rushed in terms of timing so with the magical memories that we have created for the day as a family, we went home with a hop and skip in our step belting out Disney tunes on the ride home.

Our 12day Japan itinerary include:

Day 1: Travel to Tokyo – Haneda (PM Flight)
Day 2: Tokyo DisneySea > Dinner at Sushizanmai
Day 3: Shopping at Isetan Shinjuku > Dinner at Ropponggi Hills Club
Day 4: Shinkansen to Kyoto > Dinner at Kichi Kichi > Downtown Kyoto
Day 5: Day trip to Arashiyama > Nishiki Market > Downtown Kyoto (again)
Day 6: Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine > Shinkansen to Osaka > Kuruomon Market > Tombori River Cruise > Lucky Owl Cafe > Kushiage Dinner
Day 7: Nara Park > Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan > Shopping along Dontobori > Dinner at Matsuzakagyu Yakiniku M
Day 8: Universal Studios Japan > Dinner at Izakaya
Day 9: Shinkansen to Gero > Sightseeing around the Town > Onsenji Temple > Kaiseki Dinner
Day 10: Gero Onsen Gasshumura > Foot bath at Yuamiya > Kaiseki Dinner
Day 11: Shinkansen to Nagoya > Downtown Nagoya > Dinner at the Strings Hotel
Day 12: Home Sweet Home

We used pocket wifi from eConnect from Kyoto for the duration of our trip. Complimentary pocket wifi was provided by our host as part of the Air B&B service.

Taking on Tokyo > Kyoto > Osaka > Gero > Nagoya in 12 days


Hello everyone!! We are back from our travels from Japan! The Bub and the Man did a super long vacay of nearly 1 month in Japan while I travelled up and joined them for about 12 days where we took on 5 different cities with a toddler. Man, didn’t quite imagine us cramping so many places in one trip but we did with the many luggages that we lugged across the platforms of trains.

Some have asked about our itinerary which the Man took liberty of planning so thought I’d share it in this post with a more in-depth post on the different cities after I’ve sorted out the photos!

img_9564Day 1: Travel to Tokyo – Haneda (PM Flight)

By the time I got into Tokyo and to our Air BNB apartment, it was nearly 11pm. Nothing much to do but to shower and then head to bed. My choice of bags for this trip is the Minibe as well as the Celine Trio which I discovered was a fab Mom sling bag that not only housed my wallet but also 2 lippies, 2 mobile phones, a power bank and tissue. Not bad in terms of size!

img_9646Day 2: Tokyo DisneySEA > Dinner at Sushizanmai

We started the day at DisneySea about 9am odd and it took us about 1 hour to get to Disney Sea. The Bub was all psyched up of course. We stayed there till about 4pm before heading back to the apartment as the Man had a dinner appointment leaving me to spend quality time with Bubba over dinner at Sushizanmai which was a 3 minute walk from our apartment.

img_9757Day 3: Shopping at Isetan Shinjuku > Dinner at Ropponggi Hills Club

Travelling in between seasons can be challenging and judging by the calendar, late September should ideally be Fall season which meant light knits, cardigans and a bomber jacket to say the very least. But no way, when we were there, the temperatures were actually pretty pleasant when it was not pouring. It actually felt like summer! I only wished I had packed in some lightweight dresses or shorts. That said, the change of the seasons meant one thing! Torrential rain! Tokyo was hit by a typhoon when we were there, thankfully, it changed its course and only rained overnight but the day that we were supposed to head to Disneyland, it was raining cats and dogs with no signs of stopping at mid-day.

So we decided to cancel our plans to Disney for it would be pretty miserable attempting to take any of the rides in the heavy rain. What more with a squirming toddler? Even harder! The Man purchased open tickets for Disney from JTB Singapore previously so thankfully they are valid till Feb next year and transferable. Managed to sell this to a friend.

Since we had the rest of the day free, we decided to take it light and easy with some shopping at Isetan Shinjuku and a Teppanyaki dinner after drinks at the Ropponggi Hills Club to admire the rain from atop.

Even though we promised her Mickey Mouse, guess who didn’t quite minded the change in programme since she already had her ice-cream?

Day 4: Shinkansen to Kyoto > Dinner at Kichi Kichi > DOWNTOwn kyoto

We took a 12 odd pm train from Tokyo and arrived into Kyoto at about 3 odd pm. We managed to send some of our bulky luggages via Takkyubin to Kyoto and pushed our mid-sized luggage to Almont Hotel Kyoto (a 5- 10 minute walk from Kyoto Train Station).

 I’ve made dinner reservations at Kichi Kichi restaurant after seeing the posts from Missus Chewy and Mama Libby. Boy, were we glad to have scored seats (despite it being early). Actually with a toddler, it’s best to eat early and thereafter, we spent the rest of the evening exploring downtown Kyoto which I realised changed alot since I last visited 10 years ago. More on our dining experience to come.

Day 5: Day Trip to Arashiyama > Nishiki Market > DOWNtown kyoto (Again)

I’ve really wanted to go visit the Bamboo Forest and the Kimono Forest so we decided to take a train to Arashiyama for a day trip. Spent a good part of the day there before heading back to Kyoto at about 3pm and zipped into Nishiki Market for a quite bite while the Bub was still sleeping. Didn’t quite make plans for dinner so just headed back into town, walked a little and settled dinner at a restaurant in Takashimaya which served a decent Tonkatsu kid’s meal.

Day 6: Fushimi inari-taisha shrine > shinkansen to Osaka > Kuromon Market > tombori river cruise > lucky Owl Cafe > Kushiage Dinner

Braved the weekend crowds and headed to check out Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine (which was pretty close to our hotel) before zipping off to the train station to catch our mid-morning Shinkansen train to Osaka.

Arrived into Osaka at about 1pm odd and after leaving our luggages at ANA Hotel where we stayed for about 3 nights, we decided to check out Kuromon Market which came highly recommended for some grilled seafood. Perhaps the timing that we were there was not the optimum time to purchase the food for most of the seafood on display and for ordering didn’t quite look that appetizing. So we just walked around for a little and roamed the streets before arriving into the famed Dontobori street where we took a leisure river cruise to rest our feet.

Enroute to our dinner at the one Michelin starred Rokukakutei which serves Kushiage (deep-fried meat and vegetables skewers), we passed by Lucky Owl Cafe and since we were early, we decided to let the Bub get up-close-and-personal with these feathery creatures.

img_0052Day 7: Nara Park > Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan > shopping along dontobori > Dinner at Matsuzakagyu Yakiniku M

Took a day trip to Nara Park to catch a glimpse of the famed deers and to feed them. Figured that the Bub would enjoy running around the park and attempting to feed them. She did have a blast and she was actually pretty picky about which deer she wanted to feed. Had a quick Udon lunch and decided to squeeze in a short visit to the famed Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. According to the Man who have visited about 4 aquariums during his stay in Japan, he felt that this one in Osaka was by far the best one that he has visited with Bubba.

The Bub decided to take a late afternoon nap at about 4.30pm leaving us some time to roam around the streets of Dontobori before stumbling into Matszakagyu Yakiniku M for some melt-in-your-mouth Wagyu beef.

img_8097Day 8: Universal Studios japan > dinner at Izakaya

We had plans to stay at Universal Studios Japan the entire day and revel in the park’s night-time entertainment which was a spooky affair given that Halloween was just round the corner. But the Bub looked physically scared after seeing dinosaurs run loose at Jurassic Park (a show to mark the park’s 15th anniversary) so we decided to head back to the hotel, pack our luggage and then a simple dinner around the hotel.

img_0512Day 9: Shinkansen to Gero > Hiking around the town > Onsenji Temple >kaiseki dinner

We decided to take it a little slow and easy and checked ourselves into Gero – an onsen town located between Nagoya and Takayama. It was drizzling slightly when we arrived but cleared up shortly, so we took a walk around the town, strapped the Bub in her Tula and hiked up 100+ flight of stairs to check out Onsenji Temple. The surroundings were all very quaint and it felt very zen being there.

Dinner was an outstanding over 10-course Kaiseki affair at Gero Onsen Yukyunohana. If you are looking for a ryokan experience, we would highly recommend staying at Yukyunohana. The service was great and I really appreciated the little touches put in by the staff there for Bubba to make our stay a little more memorable.

Day 10 : Gero Onsen Gasshomura > Foot bath at Yuamiya > Dinner

Weather forecast was heavy rain throughout the day and we were initially crest-fallen but we decided to head out still and check out the beautiful traditional village (a 15 minute walk from our onsen hotel). Thankfully, the skies cleared up and the sun came out. After spending a couple of hours there, we headed back to town for a light lunch and soaked our feet into the complimentary foot-bath at Yuamiya before heading back to our hotel to rest and have our sumptuous dinner.

img_7886Day 11 : Shinkansen to Nagoya > Downtown Nagoya > Dinner at The Strings

This was the final stretch of our trip and a little challenging as we had to bring along our 2 bulky luggages, Bubba’s trunki and stroller along with us. The Man had initially planned on sending all our stuff to Nagoya Airport using the courier service but we were afraid that it may not reach the airport in time for our trip back home, so we decided to bring everything along with us. With Bubba strapped inside the Tula, it left our hands free to take on the luggages. Kudos to the Man who did most of the heavy lifting.

The Man snagged a decent deal via Booking.com for a night’s stay at The Strings Hotel. I loved how different the hotel stood out from normal Japanese hotels for it had a boutique hotel vibe to it. Location-wise, it may not be very central but downtown Nagoya is actually pretty compact so we didn’t mind the location since we were passing through for the day.

We didn’t plan on doing much in Nagoya so we did a spot of window-shopping before a simple dinner back at the hotel.

img_0579Day 12: Home sweet home

Well, guess that basically summed our holiday in a nutshell. Will follow-up with other blog-posts on specific parts of the trip with more photos to share. I still can’t quite believe that we managed to cover quite a lot of places with a young toddler but we did it! Would we do it again? Perhaps? This time round, I will make sure I pack more efficiently. I have to say, I was thrown a little off-guard with the weather situation! Hmph!

Here are some survival/ useful tips that we have learned during our trip that I thought would be nice to share:


We’ve started baby-wearing Bubba since she was about 4 months small and have loved the Tula. But as she started to become mobile, she didn’t quite like to be put inside a Tula. For this trip, I did insist on bringing it along as I thought it may come in handy for times where we really need our hands to carry other stuff. Turned out, the Tula was such a handy tool to have (even surpassed the stroller). It rekindled our love for baby-wearing. Bubba enjoyed being inside for it meant that she could be close to us and also managed to take epic naps in it.

img_9279meal times (eating on the go)

The Bub took to Japanese food really well. We usually feed her with Udon, Soba, Edamame, Chawamushi, Ikura or Tempura when we have our meals outside. She has also grown a lot more independent during the course of the trip, preferring to self-feed. Oh boy, why do these babies grow up so quickly?!

Portable Wifi

Of course, wifi is now a need when we travel. When we stayed at our Air BNB, our host provided us with a complimentary portable wifi which we relied heavily on to surf, what’s app, play Pokemon Go as well as to check on our social media. For the second leg of our trip, I simply booked the portable wifi device on eConnect Japan.  I’ve used them several times now and found that their pricing is rather reasonable. I’m sure that there are other service providers out there so if you do know of others that we should check out, do let us know.

Ikea Hack – Children Kitchen Set

Pinterest Mom – I’m not, but I do love using Pinterest for creative ideas. So when Mama Libby showed this DIY Ikea Kitchen Hack idea, I was slightly swayed to join in the fun madness in doing one for the Bub too.

Okay, you may be wondering why let go of our awesome Kid Kraft Vintage Red Kitchen set for an Ikea one? Well, it did have sentimental value  because it was the Bub’s first birthday present and the Man and I spent a good 3 hours putting this together. But the kitchen stuck out in Bubba’s playroom (which came before the kid) and we thought this compact children’s kitchen set (with no frills) will fit in quite nicely in the designated area for her kitchen space.

So with a suitable amount of encouragement and egging on by the supportive Mama Libby, I did my very first Ikea Kitchen Hack.🙂 Sharing what you will need to put together your very own customised kitchen if you wish to take on this creative project. Special thanks goes out to Mama Libby who also shared the tips on where to get the items too! Thank you!🙂

Ikea Children’s Kitchen Hack

Here’s what you will need for this project:

Time spent : Estimated 1 full day or about 2-3 hours set aside each day for about 3 days

1471995521614There are several ways that you can do up the kitchen set. So according to Mama Libby, decide on the theme that you would want – is it contemporary, country, pastel, modern, etc? The colour combi would vary for each theme. For us, we wanted what we saw on the first picture – white and robin blue cupboards with copper ware for the kitchen. Something that’s kinda vintage but definitely in trend now. I probably wanted this theme for a kitchen now but that’s probably not possible given that I don’t foresee moving anytime soon. This play kitchen also blended in with the current furniture that’s in our guest-room that has since turned into Bubba’s play-room with a lovely shade of blue that adds a nice pop to the room where a light pine-wood is featured strongly.

img_7930Prep work! First, set aside time to rearrange the pieces of the Duktig furniture after you open the box. This is somewhat a 2 persons job so enlist your loved ones and friends to help if necessary. The Man was out sick so thankfully, my helper was game enough to help me! Credit duly given to her when we presented the kitchen both to Bubba.

We spent some time deciding on what needs to be painted with the different colours and then we put those pieces aside marking clearly on a masking tape stuck on the pieces with the colour so as not to confuse ourselves.

img_7929For the hob, sink, faucet and the hooks, we wanted a copper look but I think the colour tone achieved after the paint job was a rose-gold look which thankfully worked too.

Tip: let the items air-dry about 1 to 2 hours if you can before turning to the other side to spray. I have to admit I was too hasty in wanting to spray the other side that some parts of the paint stuck on the newspaper and it resulted in a blotchy paint job. Also, try to evenly spray the pieces by going left to right in one direction instead of going in various directions. We obviously learned the hard way.

img_7935Next, after all the pieces of furniture that you have painted are completely dry (takes about a couple of hours), you can start assembling the kitchen set together. Together with our helper, this took us about 1.5 hours to put together. Wasn’t too difficult and pretty manageable if I may add if you follow closely the instructions laid out by the manual.

img_8184My proud Mama moment was unveiling the kitchen set to Bubba in the evening when she came home from school. The Bub’s eyes lit up when she saw her new kitchen set (didn’t even asked about the old one – sheesh) and then exclaimed ‘I like it! Mummy and Jie Jie do for you! It’s so glittery!’ 

I guess that’s all the validation this Mama needs that’s definitely music to my ears. Well, It may not be the best paint job that I’ve done. Trust me, it was kind of hard and I kept second-guessing whether I did it correctly. There were incidents where the spray paint splattered and my poor helper suggested scraping the paint and starting all over, but lazy me decided that it was just too much work for us both and figured that the Bub probably won’t tell be able to spot the difference with her little eyes.

We dressed her slightly grown-up kitchen set with the existing toys that she had previously. Coffee machine and juicer are from Kid Kraft and the toaster was from Mother Garden Toys. The Ikea Kitchen set is smaller than her previous set so in terms of storage, it’s not as spacious. But I guess that also helped us to decide what are some of the toys that we really wanted her to play with and what are those we should store aside.

img_9003OPTIONAL – Marble top & wall

Well, there were a couple of touch-ups left to do for this kitchen set even though it wasn’t very necessary but I wanted a marble top as well as a faux wall for the set so I enhanced the set further when Bubba was away.

Mama Libby very kindly passed me some marble contact paper/ decal which I was supposed to install the marble counter-top before assembling the kitchen. But now that I’ve assembled the kitchen, installing the marble contact paper might prove to be somewhat challenging. But with my helper’s help, we eventually managed to stick the decal on the counter top. It doesn’t look perfect for the lines don’t join but I guess it mirrors most marble tiles in real life.

Also, because this kitchen set is next to a book-shelf in her playroom, I thought of installing a faux wall so that the cooking utensils will not be hitting the glass portion of the shelf. The faux wall would also serve as a backdrop for the set. Using the same concept for what we did for the marble counter top, I wanted a faux brick white wall this time round. So I managed to find the design online and purchased enough for 2 faux walls.

Now, what kind of material should the faux wall be? I initially thought of sticking a kapaline board on the back of the kitchen set. After enlisting the professional help of a dear friend, we decided to use a forex board which was light enough to be stuck on the kitchen set.

img_8173I couldn’t be more proud of my very first Ikea Hack!! Not sure if I will attempt another hack but perhaps with sufficient ‘convincing and spurring‘ I just might.

And if you are thinking about attempting this hack, well, do it! I was sitting on the fence and got promptly pushed over by my dear Mama friend. Like they say, the rest is history. Also, if you need some tips, feel free to comment  below and if I’m able to help, I will do so.

Things my daughter says to me now

img_97052 weeks apart from this little face seemed like an eternity to me and it felt like I missed out on her development during this time. Pleased to see her thriving so well under Daddy’s exclusive care during the trip. He did share that she really tested his patience at times (especially when she threw her tantrums) but beyond that, the time spent was indeed very precious.

I’ve noticed her speech has also developed further. Here’s what she recently told me on the trip:

Mummy, no, no, no! I don’t want you to tie my hair.

Mummy, walk faster.. the rest are waiting for you!

I need help, Mummy! Can you help?

I don’t want to sleep. I’m not tired. I slept in the morning already! 

You did it, Mummy! Amazing!

We are off to Kyoto today! Wish us luck on the 3.5 hour train ride!