the nikujaga story

I was excited to cook nikujaga for our dinner last night. We have carrots to go with the meat and for green beans I can put in string beans (finally, there’s one available in our area!). We have merin as well and of course Japanese soy sauce, and there’s sesame oil for added taste.

When I served the dish, I announced “we have nikujaga for dinner!” with relish and pride because I thought the dish turned out really good. And Hubs replied with an excited “whoa”. Then prayer. Then we dug into our bowls. When even after Hubs already had mouthfuls, and he was spooning the dish with a thoughtful expression on his face, I got concerned that he didn’t like it. So I asked.

Then he said, “it’s good. But where is the jaga?”.

And so I learned jaga doesn’t mean “mix”. It’s short for jagaimo which means potatoes. @_@ Niku, I know is for meat.

One thing that made me happy though. Hubs said that finally, my cooking tasted Japanese and not Filipino. I’ve always been baffled before because even when I’ve used Japanese ingredients, it still tasted Filipino. So now, I think I finally learned the trade. ^_^

a messy bath

Ever since Yui turned 2 months, when she was already too heavy for me to singlehandedly hold her in her baby tub yet still too small for those bath chairs, we had her have a bath with her Dad. We have a system going. Daddy takes a shower, goes into the tub and holds Yui while Mommy soaps and rinses the baby. Because of the cold months, we dress Yui’s first layer in the bathroom before I whisk her off to the bedroom to continue dressing Yui up. We had this system going smoothly since then.

Now, one thing I’m really happy and proud of is that Yui poops almost like clockwork. And because I know the very day she will poop, I just watch out for her soon-to-poop facial expression. The moment I see it, I put her down, ease her out from her diaper, raise her legs and then she does her thing. Not messy at all. She sometimes even “sing” while she does her thing. The only time before that she had a messy episode was when we were about to go out to see her paediatrician. Suffice it to say we were late for that appointment.

Today was supposedly Yui’s poop day but we were out for most of the day so she didn’t have her moment. Bath time came and we were happily cooing to Yui about the day’s happenings.

And then she stretched her lips; that about-to-poop expression.

Our eyes got big as we thought of the possibility. And in that split second that we hesitated and was about to coax Yui to wait, she let out what she had been holding on for the whole day.

Hubs gave me Yui and got out the tub like he has been scalded. Problem was that we were in the midst of soaping Yui. Oh the chaos and panic that ensued thereafter. And the cleaning up that had to be done after. Thankfully Yui slept right after we dressed her up so we had the time to clean.

The excitement and cleaning after certainly made us very tired later on. But we also had a good laugh after everything got settled and got cleaned.

Life with a growing baby. It gets exciting by the day! ๐Ÿ˜€

Look alike

Hubs and I were admiring Yui as she was also beaming at us.
M: I love her lower lip.
A: I love her upper lip.
M: honto? But she got it from me. It’s similar to mine.
A: I know. I’ve known that the first time I saw her. That’s why I love it.

Happy. Thankful.

30 March – things to be thankful for today

1. Thankful for a very kind Area lead who understands when and why I get angry at work. He totally gets me.

2. We had a project party to welcome the new comers. But it was also some sort of milestone party. In it, our team’s top boss announced and gave prizes to the team who performed best during last month’s HAZOP. And yep, it was our team! I keep on saying though that it’s mostly due to my other teammates’ units, which diluted the recommendations on my unit. Haha. Nevertheless, I’m happy we got the award!
My prize.


3. Somebody gave up her seat for me in the train this evening. Yey! ๐Ÿ™‚ it’s getting more frequent.

recovering appetite

Hubs’ family sent us a package which includes a box of tofu which are packed akin to milk.


The tofu is so silky and smooth and soft!


I tried to cook adobo but of course the moment I’ve put the tofu in after the pork was cooked, it’s an altogether different dish already because of the texture that the tofu gave. The dish’s soup though, before simmering all out seeped its way into the tofu, lending the tofu a very delicious adobo taste. It brought a smile to my face every time I had a mouthful of the tofu. It’s so silky and creamy and smooth and literally melts in the mouth. Knowing the health benefits of tofu makes that smile even bigger.

Apparently though, as I later realized, my appetite is finally back. With fewer pregnancy sickness (morning sickness is clearly a misnomer since it sometimes lasts up to midnight so I’d rather call it pregnancy sickness) bouts now, and with the bitter taste less frequent now, I find myself having the appetite.

And so that was why right after having dinner, I requested a very surprised hubs that we cook pancakes. He couldn’t believe that I’d have the stomach still for pancake right after our dinner; he’s worried that I’d vomit again. But the yearning is just so strong and after a couple of minutes of lambing, he finally relented.

Thing is, I am not very confident with cooking pancakes. All my tries before we’re total sloppy failures. And hubs hasn’t had the experience ever to cook pancake. But I was really bent on having pancakes so we tried to experiment.

We ended having a very good bonding time. Thankfully we had all ingredients in the cupboard and fridge – pancake mix, eggs, butter – and all we just need to do is follow the instructions. Hubs even followed the step on cooling the pan a bit by putting it on a wet cloth after heating it up – if it were only me, I would have had omitted that step. The effect is a perfect pancake, the first decent looking pancake I’ve EVER made.


The taste was really good!!! We bought a good pancake mix. Although I still long for the day that I could make a pancake mix from scratch and not instant just like how mama and papa used to do it for our snacks when we were young. Those pancakes were just so good!!!

Above all though, because of the unexpected pancake craving, we had a fun and memorable time in the process. Happy.

he gave it just because

I have been feeling the fatigue this week much hence I’ve been going home earlier than usual and so earlier than hubby. Since today was a Friday and I can afford to stay late because I can wake up late, I thought of waiting up for hubby so we can enjoy the walk home together.

To wait for him, I decided to have dinner somewhere. But it took me an hour to select which place to eat in thanks to my morning sickness (or more technically all-day sickness). I wasn’t in a particular hurry anyway since I know hubby is working late. By 9:00pm however, dinner almost done, hubs sent me a message that he’d still be working late so I’d better go back home ahead. I can understand how busy he is as we are working in the same company and I know how demanding the job is so I didn’t complain and just agreed with his suggestion. A few minutes after though, I was already feeling lonely because it’s a Friday and yet i was dining alone.

Not really relishing the fact of being home alone on a late Friday night, I dillydallied in finishing my meal and in walking home so much so that when I was just waiting for the train an hour after, hubby sent me a message that he was already about to leave the office. I then decided to wait some more for hubby.

A quarter of an hour later, Atsushi was a sight to behold. He was hurrying down the escalator, a huge pink bouquet of flowers in one hand and his laptop bag in the other hand, ever hurrying to meet me. Reminiscing how he looked back then brought tears to my eyes just now just as it did earlier when I was meeting up with him, overwhelmed and surprised of his thoughtfulness.

I instantly assumed the flowers were his advance birthday gift for my birthday this Tuesday and posted so in Facebook. He knows how flowers really makes me happier on my birthdays although I’m happy already with the birthday per se. But upon asking him why he decided to give the flowers five days in advance, I learned the flowers were really not for my birthday in itself.

But just because. Because recently, every morning, I chirp on how the branches of the sakura/cherry blossoms are getting thicker with the growing buds and how soon there’d be flowers abloom. Because recently, even when it’s raining, I always happily point out how the flowers are blooming on our magic umbrella as it gets wet. All the chirping had him convinced how flowers make me happy.

Was so surprised, happy and touched with hubby’s thoughtfulness in that I wasn’t able to keep myself from crying – in the subway platform. Haha.

Atsushi, thank you for making me happy, always. God really blesses me a lot. Thankful.

And so, for the flowers’ photos! Trust me, the bouquet was as big as my arm. ๐Ÿ˜€





We’re staying over with Hubs’ family for the new year holidays. The past three days had been really interesting and fun that it’s just but right to have this post for them, which I know is not enough to express how thankful I am to them.

As we go drive around for a road trip, my chest swells with thankfulness. We have received a lot of blessings this 2011. But one of the biggest blessings is that Atsushi’s family warmly welcomed me as a new member of the family that leaves me with a feeling of wanting to be a better daughter-in-law because of all the good things they’ve done to me.

Ojichan, Obachan, Otosan, Okasan, Mayumi, ใ‚ใ‚ŠใŒใจใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ—ใŸ. I’ll do my best to make your son even happier.

Will feature later on the places we’ve been to the last couple of days once I’ve downloaded the photos. Here are some teasers for now.

Free milk from Shionoe (ใ—ใŠใฎใˆ), the dairy farm we went to yesterday. Their milk jam is just so delicious!!


A stopover at Osaki no Hana (ใŠใ•ใใฎใฏใช) in our road trip earlier for this beautiful view.


By the loooong Seto Bridge (ใ›ใจใŠใฏใ—).


For most part of this evening, we watched videos of when Atsushi and his sister were still kids, with Atsushi as young as four years old (gee that’s almost 28 years ago!). One thing I learned: like how he is as a grown up, hubs was definitely NOT a boring kid as we had tons of laugh with Atsushi’s antics. As Otosan has said, he sure was a comedian. ๐Ÿ˜€

Dec 2 – something to be thankful for

Thank you Patchi. I guess I was really touched because what you just did is one of my “language of love” for receiving.

Yet even with my language of love being different, your gift was just so pretty in that Atsushi and I were simply speechless and can only exclaim “WOW” as we turn every page. Definitely this is one of the most amazing cards we’ve ever received.

And of course, it will not end this Christmas. And yes, indeed we are thankful for the friendship. ๐Ÿ™‚



Let’s count our blessings shall we?

Hubs and I sort of count our blessings everyday as we talk about how our day went as we walk our way home.

But Jeckoy’s idea was a really good one; posting a blog a day for this special month to count the blessings.

This is indeed a very good idea! And one that we should do everyday of our lives. Back when I was doing the wedding preps, I specially count my blessings when something disappointing happened. By doing that, I forget about the bad thing but just focus on the good one.

Today, I guess I should be counting my blessings because there are a couple of things that were a bit of a let down – one of which was i was late on our project meeting because I forgot it was today. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I didn’t turn on the reminder function.

But I shouldn’t dwell on it. Let’s focus on the blessings:
– thankful for Atsushi
– thankful for the great conversations we are having
– thankful that the client approved my proposed design change within a much shorter time than my boss expected
– found a way to solve my recent headache with a deliverable

I should remember those. And not the misses.

And oh, one of today’s verses:
Psalm 118:1 Give thanks to the Lord who is good.

Indeed! ๐Ÿ™‚

rainy days and love

The hunt for the perfect chocolate-colored, high-heeled boots had gone on for so long that today, hubby and I separated ways after dropping by the church so that I can go to any mall I want to, as long as I want to. This has gone on for a month and I somehow feel guilty to hubby already when I get out from shop after shop without a paper bag at hand; I can almost hear his sigh of frustration when I get out the shop and still empty-handed although he would assure me he is ok and aren’t really frustrated. But of course, I really couldn’t allow myself to buy boots which cost more than $400 and yet I’m only halfhearted with it or that it will cause my feet some torture (my feet are really quite…..special, to avoid being derogatory to oneself).

Thankfully, it was a productive afternoon. Albeit by the time I was finished it was already 5 o’clock and it was already dark as I got out the station. There was a soft drizzle but I didn’t have an umbrella with me. Worried with my whereabouts, Hubs called me up where I was and offered to pick me up in the station.

He had colds yesterday and I have a big paper bag with me which I can use as a shield from the soft drizzle but still he offered to pick me up. And even when I was a bit guilty, I still felt warm inside when he came to the station, hair disheveled obviously from sleep, carrying our big pink umbrella.

Times like this, you just love rainy days.

As we walked, I was suddenly reminded of my university/college days. I remember nights when it was raining like cats and dogs and one of us was stuck in the university gate or the corner from our dormitory without an umbrella. Even when it was a torrential rain, a friend from our dormitory would think about the one who got stuck, and without hesitation would pick up her friend. Even when it meant getting wet with rain. I did my share, I also picked up a friend. But it was because somebody else did it before me.

I guess selfless acts like that would probably be remembered for as long as you live, even when you haven’t already seen such friends for a long time.

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