12 August 2015

good to be back home

We received the long awaited phone call two days before her op. She then had to be swapped again due to another emergency, waited and waited, but finally the operation took place. Thankfully all went well and she was out of the hospital in a week. Currently she is in the midst of ‘home care’ period, but is bouncing around like “what operation?”, in spite of rather large scar that is almost as big as my C-section. She is a tough lucky cookie. x m

22 July 2015

waiting game

Last month we finally met the surgeon who is going to proceed Sabrina’s open heart surgery. Since then she is on his waiting list and the operation was expected to be by mid July. Time is slowly passing with no phone call. Still waiting. In order to avoid catching any infection from others, she has to be pulled out from the nursery earlier than the op date. So I had to take time off work (pre op + hospitalisation + post op care at home = 9 weeks), of course with no salary yet the nursery fees still needed to be paid to some extent to keep her place. It’s already been three weeks. After all this was an “estimated” time. It could’ve been easier if we just take time off after the notification, but they could even ring us with 24 hour notice, so we had to go with guessing. It is rather frustrating and difficult time for me.

Keeping an active two year old as busy as possible during the day (so that she can (we can) have a good night sleep!), I have been taking her out to play outdoor. Unfortunately almost everywhere she can play and run around safely are full of children, even more so now with summer holiday. So early morning play at the park before anyone arrives has become my daily routine. Our garden is a savour if the weather is nice. If not, bad luck mummy, needs an early night! I take my hat off to full-time mothers.

At the end of the day, I guess this is the ultimate “mother and daughter time” for us that won’t happen once she’s grown up, so I’ll make the most of it and continue waiting. x m 

6 July 2015

guess who's two?

Finally lovely summer is here. Sabrina has just turned two. I know this is cliche to say this but tooooooo fast! Thanks to her big sister and big brother for baking the wonderful ‘anpanman’ birthday cake. I guess it’s time for me to start learning a bit of baking before she says “how come you never bake anything for me?” Her current favourite word is “No!”. Welcome terrible twos. Happy birthday my darling babe. x m

10 June 2015

focusing on ability than disability

I don’t usually blog about my employed workplace mainly due to my students privacy (we call them art makers), but thought I’d share with you since this has already been online. It’s about a story of one of my students work and how I support him, who has learning difficulty. You can view here. Hope you like it. xm

16 May 2015

a tiny handful of spring

Blog once a month - the resolution has failed quickly. Apology for being quiet again.

We had the builders in for the extension work of our dining room / kitchen for the last 8 weeks or so. Passed the chaos of dust being everywhere (hell), we are in the midst of decorating the new rooms now. With a toddler hanging around, it is almost impossible to get anything done, so having her big brother and sister to look after her last weekend, plus taking another three days off work when she was at the nursery, we’ve cracked on a whole lot of painting, tiling and all sort of jobs. Finally it’s getting close to the end. 

Looks like that being busy at home and work has become a typical excuse for me not to take my daughter to somewhere fancy. I met mummies at the library the other day, chatted where they have taken their little ones lately. Which theme park is recommended, which garden has full of kid friendly areas etc etc. Then I’ve realised that I haven’t taken her to anywhere, not even seaside or farm yet. We go to the park near by or walking around the town. That’s about it. The only place we went sooooooooo many times is hospitals. And that sounds really bad. Oh dear, have I neglected her? Well, I shall make a bit more effort to go and visit somewhere from now on. Is this going to be another resolution?? 

So we went out for a walk (round the corner again!) and enjoyed picking some flowers. Our little one loves flowers. Coming up to nearly 2 year old. My goodness, super fast. xm

22 March 2015

smile maker of the week #11

Utterly beautiful wooden cutlery set for children called “co-zen” has arrived from Japan. They are all hand crafted one by one and treated with lacquer in a traditional way by a master of NUSHISA. I was drawn to the design at the first sight, but felt a little hesitant to let my daughter use such prestigious ware. Nevertheless, when she started to use a spoon well enough to eat by herself, I thought she might enjoy meal time more with them, so I revisited NUSHISA’s site. 

What I then realised was that it was not just a design that co-zen was all about, there were so much more than that. The quality of wood and tradition were pursued precisely because for children, being able to learn to appreciate good things in this ‘throw away’ society. I agreed with the motto and I thought by familiarising the quality of material on a daily basis, she might be able to understand the importance (and joy of course!) of family meal time, too. 

I am 100% happy that I bought them now. Sabrina herself, too, seems to be pleased with her new spoon. It’s so light, that may sound obvious as it’s made out of wood, but so much lighter than any children’s stainless steel spoon with a plastic handle, yet it is durable. She’s got better at scooping food and bringing into her mouth. Well, it would be nice if she quits being a fussy eater, as well!? 

Why not visit NUSHISA for finding more beautiful work? xm

28 February 2015

Feb… no it’s March!

Well, I knew I could not blog that often anymore, I thought I’d try at least once a month… yet nothing has been done in February and it’s going to be March tomorrow! Oh dear, so here is a quick catch up. 

For Sabrina and I, February started with another cold (fourth round this winter!). Having felt really fed up with being so poorly so often, weeks have passed. Thanks to lovely snowdrops, finally it’s nearly the end of winter, we were encouraged and got better. Two months passed since Sabrina started to walk. She seems to be active as ever, exploring everywhere and everything. We are in the midst of preparing the extension work of our dining and kitchen areas, so the house is a bit of state right now. As Sabrina walks around everywhere in this situation, I am feeling great that she can walk but at the same time, missing those days that she was sat where I put her! Now we see more signs of spring on its way, I often take her out for walks outdoor. She likes this routine, and now she indicates she wants to go out by putting her hat on and trying to put her shoes on. She really enjoyed walking with her own shadow in front of her the other day! 

Miss chatter box, that is what she is now. Thanks to all goodness of the nursery, she is no longer a crying shy girl. She seems to understand both Japanese and English, but she says more English words than Japanese, which is what I expected, because our household language is English too. I am trying to use Japanese when I am with her, and for instance she understands animals names in both languages but she only says in English at the moment. Nevertheless, she is speaking some words in Japanese, like “grandma” “granddad” “hat” “eye” “ear” “flower” “leaf” “home” and “glasses”! She is far better than her dad, so well done babe! Also I recently bought a Japanese word & picture book, which she loves and seems to be sinking in quickly. Her favourite page is an owl. She calls it “hoot hoot”.
Moving from baby food, now she can eat family meals with us at the same time. (obviously it still has to be softer and simpler favour though) It would be nice if she can feel the importance of family meal time (and this is a biggie for my culture). She eats anything that was offered mostly, which is great, and loves onigiri (rice ball) and miso soup! How she “slurps” miso soup is just magnificent! (shouldn’t be encouraged really! lol!)
Right, now my pottery work situation? Unfortunately I am not in the studio AT ALL. That doesn’t mean that I am off from the pottery, in fact, I run the pottery workshop three days a week whilst Sabrina is at the nursery. So my hands are still covered with clay regularly, but not doing my own work and passing the studio door is very sad indeed. I used to joke about “putting my daughter in a bag and hang on the studio wall” when I was pregnant, but the thing is my thought at the time was far naive. Honestly I find it very hard to juggle with doing my own work and looking after a little one. So I am currently aiming to get back into the studio in the evening once summer hits and Saturdays, when my hub can be around. Hope this will work! 

Well, that’s about it. Good bye February. Builders coming in next month and no access to the kitchen for a while. Already stressing me out. I guess more walking outdoor will follow. xm 

21 January 2015


It was around Christmas time when Sabrina finally started walking and now nothing stops her. Since we knew she had some development delays from the start, we did not really worry too much, but my goodness what a lovely feeling we get when she hit this milestone! Thank you my darling babe. Thank you my husband. I am a very happy mum and wife. xm 

4 January 2015

new year

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2015! 
(sending a big kiss from Sabrina too!)
x m 

14 December 2014

missing japan

It’s been quite a battle at home whilst my blog was quiet. Sabrina and I have been poorly, having had cold after cold since late autumn. This is the third round and we are trying to fight off this nasty flue-like symptoms before Christmas. It is not nice to watch my baby suffer so much, but also very very tiring to look after one when you are poorly too. Doctor said this year is particularly bad and there are four types of cold viruses around. Does that mean we are getting another one?? I hope not! 

From the recent appointment with Sabrina’s cardiac doctor, now we know she will be having an open heart surgery next spring or summer. This is going to be another major operation since her eyes, so it is worrying. Nevertheless, we are hopeful that the surgery will make her health and life better in the future, and also means that if it’s done successfully, we can fly to visit Japan finally. Until then we are anticipating that day to come with fingers (and toes) crossed. xm

1 November 2014

It’s the time of the year… result

auntie maki’s annual task now complete. 
ready to pack and post. 
ding dong ding dong. 

19 October 2014

my favourite season

it's been so mild this autumn. lovely being able to walk in warm wind and sunshine without a winter coat. xm 

13 October 2014

It’s the time of the year...

It’s the time of the year again for auntie maki to get on with her annual task. Numbers have increased as you know, so I'd better crack on! xm

2 October 2014

my first solo exhibition!

From this Saturday 4th October to 2nd November, my ‘mazekoze’ range tableware and original screenprints will be showcased at Ropewalk Gallery (at a space called Box Gallery within the gallery). This is a small but first solo exhibition for me, so I am very exited! If you are near by, please do visit. xm

22 September 2014

new face

New addition to ‘mazekoze’ range, which will be showcased at The Ropewalk next month. More in their magazine here. xm