Another Day of Endurance

This past weekend, we all spent a day up a Tsukuba Circuit up in Ibaraki prefecture, where my cousins and I competed in a four hour endurance in our team owned Mini Cooper. I thought be a good idea to make it a family event and so I took Haruka and my wife. Since it is a relatively long race and an all day event, I wasn’t too sure as to how Haruka would handle the event. The last time she went to a race was last July, when she was still only 7 months old. Back then she did pretty well despite throwing a small hunger tantrum on the up there. But, now that she’s a bit older, able to walk and run, and sleeps much less than before, we were a bit concerned about whether or not she could handle it.

In addtion to duration of the actual event, we  also  had to leave much earlier in the morning since I was actually competing this time.  That meant that everyone needed to be wide awake and ready to go by 3AM in order to make the 6AM race entry time.  So this time, instead of Haruka waking us up in the middle  of the night, we were the ones doing the waking.  But of course, she just went right back to sleep once she was in the car.

We met my cousin and his family at their house at 4AM, and from there, we proceeded to head up to a service area on the expressway on the way up to the race course  to meet my other cousin (co-team owner) and his family.  We met everyone at around 5:30AM and then proceeded to the race course which was about 40 minutes away.

When we arrived, we were greeted by a long row of Mini Coopers of all eras.  Haru woke up just shortly before we arrived.  She stayed awake  for most of the morning while we all pitched in to set up the pit area and our race car.   By the time were done, it was already 8:30, and as the first driver, I had to prepare for the race.  By then, Haruka had fallen asleep and missed the start of the race.

Although I spent most of the race either driving or working the pit operations,  I had some time to carry Haruka around.  She seemed to be taking the whole thing in stride.  For the most part, she was very well behaved which made her mother happy.  This means that there’s a good chance that she’ll come to watch more of my races without worries by me or her mother.

Overall, we all did well.  Since this was our first actual race ever as a team and with the Mini, our goal was just to be able to finish the race.  We had minor mechanical issues with the Mini which made it slower than it could actually go, but it still ran a lot faster than many cars on the field.  And we did accomplish what we set out to do, and that is to just complete the race until the end and of course have fun.  And Haru looked like she had fun too.  Even though sh might not have understood what all those cars were doing, she  did seem to enjoy looking at the cars, and being around her second cousins.

Our little red Mini preparing for the parade lap

Changing all of the tires

Haru reading her favorite book

Trying on my hat

Obviously too big for her

Haruka in the pit area with her second cousins

Haruka in the pit area with her second cousins

Haruka in the pit area with her second cousins

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A couple of  Sundays ago, two of my cousins came over to the house to help prepare our race car for the upcoming 4 hour endurance race this weekend.  One of my cousins brought his little boy, who was recovering from a cold.  Since it was still quite cold outside, I showed him into the house.

This was the beginning to a very long and difficult week for all of us.  By the following Tuesday, Haruka had caught a cold as well, and thus begun complete misery for all of us.  We learned that Haruka doesn’t react very well to colds, because she tends to wake up intermittently throughout the night.  Her sleep habits are bad enough without the cold, but with it, she is absolutely impossible to care for.

Because she wasn’t able to sleep well at nights, she was irritable throughout most of the day.  Haruka’s irritability means constant crying and a need for attention (being picked up held).  Wednesday was a national holiday so I was home, which meant that I was constantly exposed to Haruka’s cold, and by late Thursday evening, I had a cold too.

Being sick, and caring for a sick child is very difficult thing to do.   By Friday, every ounce of my energy was drained and so I spent half of the day in bed trying to recover.  By the evening, I felt a bit better, but Haruka continued to be miserable.  I think what she really needed was to get a lot of sleep, but Haruka being stubborn and adamant about trying to stay awake as long as she can, refused to sleep.  She’d rather stay awake and cry and be as difficult as she could, until she eventually fell asleep due to exhaustion.

Eventually, I was able to get Haru to take an unscheduled two hour nap, which seemed to do a lot of good.  Saturday was a bit better, but she did a lot better on Sunday.  We actually took her out to go do some shopping in preparation for this coming Sunday.  I guess getting outside and the change of scenery helped get to sleep a bit better.  But unfortunately, by late evening the cold claimed its last victim.  Now my wife is not feeling too well.  But since I seemed to recover a lot quicker that Haru did, maybe adults recover quicker?

trying to climb into a kitchen drawer

a close up

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It’s Peanut butter and Jelly Time

Haru’s appetite has been growing exponentially. The amount she’s been eating is incredible; sometimes to the point warranting some concern. I was a bit worried that this may be a developing eating disorder, but then I would have to remind myself that she still a growing 1 year old,and her appetite is perfectly healthy. But here is a run down as to how much she eats in any given day:

  • breakfast (usually between 9 and 10 am)
  • lunch (time varies depending on when she has her lunch)
  • oyatsu afternoon snack (usually mid-afternoon)
  • dinner (she usually has dinner before I come from work)
  • second dinner (she insists on having some of what I’m having too)
  • desert (usually a banana or maybe some ice cream)
  • milk (final meal is a cup of warm milk before she sleeps)

So if I’m counting correctly, this adds up seven meals a day, of which four are full meals. And if we didn’t govern it, she would probably eat more.

All of this reminds me of Jessica the 400 pound seven year old, whose mother grossly overfed her until the child welfare people stepped in and cited abuse. Of course, Haru’s appetite is no where near that level, and we try to give her healthy snacks whenever possible, but like any child, she likes junk food too.

Since she has moved over to solid foods, Haru has developed a lot of likes and some dislikes.   For the most part, she likes most fruits and vegetables, but prefers fish over meat.   She particularly likes spinach, broccoli, and bananas.  She’s even learned to say banana, which sounds more like anana when she says it.  And to my surprise, she really likes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which I usually have for lunch on weekends.  Last Saturday, she ate half of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and wanted more.  So next time, I think I have to make Haruka her own sandwich.

Standing on the sofa with Jenna chewing on something

Giving a big hug to Anri, who was born on the same day and in the same hospital

admiring her sticker collection

lounging on the living room floor

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Haruka’s sleep habits have improved slightly in the last few days. She’s been intermittanï½”ly sleeping through the night, but she does still wake up occassionly, and the cause still remains a mystery. The one thing that hasn’t improved, is trying to get her to sleep. As a matter of fact, it seems to be getting progressively more difficult. She seems to have so much pent up energy that it keeps her awake, and it seems that the later it gets, the more energetic she become until she finally throws a tantrum  until she exhausts herself and crashes.

At first I suspected this to be symptoms of hyperactivity, so I did some research on the web. But apparently, hyperactivity can properly diagnosed only in children over the age of three, and Haruka’s behavior is pretty typical for a one year old. After reading several websites, it seems that a lot of people with children Haruka’s age and older are experiencing similar problems. Some sites say that is a symptom of the terrible twos (a period when children become difficult and unruly). As the name suggests, this typically happens at the age of two or older, but symptoms can surface earlier. And since Haruka is doing everything walker than most babies her age, this may be just another milestone reached earlier. At least, I can only hope that this her terrible two’s because I can’t imagine it getting any worse.

Today I babysitted Haru for a few hours, while my wife took a much need time off.  For the most part, Haru was well-behaved (or at least as well-behaved as one year can be.)  However, I did notice a vast change in her behavior.  As article in the link suggests, Haruka has become very repetitive in her actions.  She would beg to be picked up and after a short while she would want to get down.  But then she would want to be picked up again….and the whole process repeats itself over and over again.  And if I stopped, she would throw a huge tantrum and cry uncontrollably.  Another thing that I noticed is that she would try desperately to stay awake even though she obviously sleepy and needs a nap.  She threw a tantrum at around noon today, so I picked her up and held her for a while.  She looked to be nodding off to sleep, so I took her up to the bedroom to put her to sleep.  As soon as I got up to the bedroom and prepared her bed for her nap, she was wide awake and giggling at me.  So I took her back downstairs and fed her lunch instead.

After lunch, she played with the piano, jumped on and off of the sofa, and ran around the room for about an hour or so.  Then all of a sudden, she ran up to me and gestered for me to pick her up.  I figured it would be another round of having to repetitively pick her up and put her down again (which I wasn’t in the mood for) so I ignored for awhile, but then became progessively more irritable and upset, so I picked her up.  I guess she had exhaustes herself because she fell asleep with two minutes of picking her up, and slept for two and a half hours.

I suppose this all perfectly normal and nothing to be too worried about, but it sure is exhausting.  If this is a another phase she’s going through, then I hope it ends quickly.

playing outside

getting into trouble again

climbing on the furniture

climbing on the furniture

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