Walking One Mil for Little Picnic

Musa had his first picnic with his kindergarten friends and teachers today. This picnic was called engai (園外) which is literally out of garden (園 refers to ‘kindergarten’). It’s a simpler version of ensoku (遠足), another common term in Japanese kindergarten life, which means “excursion”, a more serious and farther trip that usually needs guardian to accompany the kid.

For this little picnic, the kids have been prepared since a week before by doing simulation. One day, they were brought to walk around the kindergarten. In another day, the teachers asked the parents to bring the kids lunch without box and necessary equipment such as waterproof mat, plastic bags, plus wipes. At that time, the rain was falling, so they moved simulation location from school yard to the classrooms, Musa and friends were practiced to:

  • unfold and fold the mat
  • open their bento (in onigiri wrap or sandwich wrap, whatever foods without box) and eat without table
  • cleaning their hands without water
  • put everything, including the water bottle, to be fit into their school rucksack (usually they put more stuffs in a tote bag)

How was the Day-D? The result was awesome! Continue reading


Hajimete no Undokai

Despite the wheezing and terrible cough since the night before day D, Musa fought his weakness to join his first undokai, which was happened to coincide with “Health and Sports Day” holiday in Japan. He almost gave up to go and kept saying “I’m feeling not good”, but his motivation came out as we arrived at the venue and he was able to join all the programs for nenshou group (年少組) until finished. What a beautiful moment to remember the whole life 💙

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Despite the wheezing and terrible cough since last night, today #musaromas fighted his weakness to join his first #undokai in the “Health and Sports Day” holiday. His motivation came out as we arrived at the venue. What a beautiful moment to remember the whole life 💙 … Undokai adalah salah satu event yg paling ditunggu ortu anak sekolahan di Jepang, aplg yg newbie cem kami 😂 Ini semacam pesta olahraga gitu, di mana sekolah2 ngadain sendiri2 utk muridnya. Umumnya emg sekitar Oktober dekat Hari Kesehatan dan Olah Raga yg jadi libur nasional, tapi tingkat SD ke atas ada jg yg ngadain bulan 5, jadi TK-TK yg nggak punya lapangan gede kaya punya Musa bisa pakai gedung SD. … Undokai Musa harusnya Sabtu kemarin, tapi ramalan cuaca weekend kurang bagus, jadilah hari ini, sayangnya kondisi Musa yg masih fluktuatif sakit beraneka ragam sebulanan ini, malah ngedrop krn alerginya kumat (asma: batuk, bengek). Karena event ini sgt penting dan ditunggu bgt, Musa ttp ikut wlpn mogok lari dan nari 😅. Papa brgkt duluan buat take tempat, tak disangka ternyata 30mnt sblm gerbang buka masih sepi.. ga kaya laporan para netizen yg pada antri dr Subuh. Wkwk. … Alhamdulillah, you did a good job, Musa!

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[The full story will be written in Bahasa Indonesia with picture captions in English]

Sekilas Tentang Undokai

Undokai adalah salah satu event yang paling ditunggu ortu anak sekolahan di Jepang, apalagi yang newbie macam kami 😂. Acara ini semacam pesta olahraga di mana tiap sekolah mengadakan sendiri-sendiri untuk muridnya. Cuma sehari aja, tapi di situ jadi ajang anak-anak untuk unjuk kebolehan di depan keluarganya. Bukan hanya orang tua, para native biasanya rombongan nontonnya sama kakek, nenek, paman, bibi, atau saudara si anak. Di Ota-ku, area kota yang kami tinggali di Tokyo), untuk anak-anak berkebutuhan khusus, mereka disatukan dalam satu ajang undokai tersendiri yand diselenggarakan oleh pemerintah kota. Keren, ya, udah kaya Asian Games atau Olympic aja ada versi “Para”-nya juga.

Umumnya undokai diadakan sekitar Oktober sebelum, saat, atau setelah Hari Kesehatan dan Olah Raga yang jadi libur nasional. Namun, sebagian sekolah tingkat SD ke atas ada juga yang lebih dulu mengadakannya di bulan Mei. Menurut saya strategi ini bagus, sih.. jadi kehebohan persiapannya nggak terpusat di satu periode yang sama seperti di Indonesia ketika peringatan Hari Kemerdekaan. Belanja di toko banyak saingan, nyewa baju harus rebutan, semua sibuk beresin tugas masing-masing nggak bisa saling gantiin.. dan sebagainya. Hehe. Efek baiknya juga, TK-TK yang umumnya tidak punya lapangan jadi bisa pinjam gedung SD yang sedang kosong (tidak ada undokai di bulan Oktober). Gedung SD di Jepang memang standarnya harus punya lapangan yang cukup luas untuk kegiatan olah tubuh. Kalo TK palingan halaman buat playground aja punyanya.

The elementary school yard which was used for undokai by Musa’s kindergarten

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Boy or Girl?

I posted this reflection while announcing “our heartbeat” gender on Instagram in two parts. Read till the end to know the answer 😉


In my perspective, images of raising a son is like preparing a responsible leader, while taking care a daughter is more focusing on how to nurture an educator for the next generation after her. Even though I often hear that girl is easier to manage rather than a boy, IMHO… NEITHER OF BOTH is better. Double standard or virtue in having boy VS girl are no longer existing nowadays. I personally will let my son to cry if he needs and please my daughter to go out at night with clear boundaries. The most important thing, in which I still keep learning too, is parenting them with unlimited love no matter what. Because Allah always does the same to us 😭 Continue reading

Heartbeat Detected

One day in Ramadan this year, we experienced to see and hear the most relieving heartbeat ever when an empty sac in my belly turned into a sac with tiny creature inside. SubhanAllah wal hamdulillah! I went through uneasy time before that day. Physically, I had the nausea, back pain, stiff legs, and migraine alternately during the day. Mentally, I had less appetite to do anything and often questioned: am I suffering all these aches for ‘something’? with the baby wasn’t showing up yet, it was hard time to bear the pregnancy symptoms patiently. I spent the days to read many articles about empty sac and got prepared to receive any bad fate such as blighted ovum (涸死卵) or miscarried (流産)! Here I’d like to tell you that…

Facing all the possibilities in pregnancy may be not always easy to accept, but keep believe in The Creator who never makes anything reason-less. Be thankful to be trusted to get pregnant instead.

It was not the first super-anxious-two-weeks for me. Back to the past I had:

  • [2014] Two weeks waiting for the next check up at OBGYN while expecting the bleeding to stop in my first pregnancy –> ended up in miscarriage at 6-7 weeks T_T
  • [2015] Two weeks waiting from week 24 to week 26 for additional ultrasound to make sure whether the fetus in my womb normal or having problem since the ultrasound showed the bright color in the bowel area which could be chance for down syndrome (can you imagine how I felt?), cystic fibrosis, or nothing –> ended up healthy baby Musa 🙂

And still, we never know what’s going to happen later… so, for my self reminder and to the fellow expecting mothers out there, please be positive thinking. Our body is ourselves.

Prophet Muhammad PBUH said

يَقُولُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى أَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِي بِي وَأَنَا مَعَهُ إِذَا ذَكَرَنِي

Allah the Exalted says: I am as my servant expects me and I am with him as he remembers me. (Source: Sahih al-Bukhari 6970)

empty sac ultrasound

Ultrasound pictures which show the transformation of gestational sac inside my womb: [BEFORE] empty + no fetal pole + no yolk [AFTER] fetus + heartbeat.As this post was written down, the baby aged 14 weeks and had another ultrasound check at 11 weeks.

Based on resources I read and a little explanation from the doctor, invisible fetus in my case was probably caused by late ovulation (I have 40-days-cycle period) or the embryo was too small to be visible. Sometimes they do the ultrasound check too earlyright?

In Japan, we require an ultrasound in every check-up from the first prenatal visit (even though you’re just four weeks pregnant!!!) to officially claim the pregnancy until the last visit before delivery. It’s much different compared to US standard which only requires at least ONE compulsory ultrasound to check gender (around 15-20 weeks). I’m going to write the next passages in Bahasa, so please check these references if you need some guides about being pregnant in Japan:

      1. Savvy Tokyo – 10 Must-Read Articles If You Are Pregnant in Japan (this covers many aspects you need to know from first prenatal visit, administration procedures, cost, to birth
      2. Pregnant In Japan: 15 Things They Do Differently (successfully made me giggled a lot! :D)
      3. Pregnant in Japan: Resources (tells you where to ask helps and buy baby/mom essentials)
      4. Last but not least, don’t forget to check your city’s homepage first before going to the clinic or hospital. There should be a lot of important information to read by newbie.

And if possible, choose the medical institution whose English-speaking staff to support your visit. A number of hospitals in Tokyo even have provided reading materials in English.

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Kindergarten First Week

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After seven first-days of school Mama accompanied him at class and gradually took steps to be away, today #musaromas hit the new milestone: attending class without Mama. 👏 Even though it’s short #summerschool (2.5 hours), but hearing news from sensei that he only cried when Papa left him as he dropped in the morning AND didn’t cry during the class while struggling the language barrier, I considered it as his big achievement. おめでとう、ムサくん!また頑張りましょう🙂 🎥 Click highlight “Youchien Life” on my profile to see Musa’s journey in #kindegarten . . 📷 Pic taken after school: Blessed to have fellow Indonesian as a classmate by chance 😉 これからもよろしくね、ナちゃん 🙏🏻 . . Di hari terakhir semester, sensei2 di kelas Musa ngajakin Mama ketemuan secara personal setelah sekolah usai. Sebagai anak baru yg gabung belakangan, tentu mereka butuh mengenal sosok siswa termuda kedua di TK ini (yg lebih muda dr Musa —> anak Jepang kelahiran Juli, masuknya jg bareng Musa), aplg Musa agak spesial: orang asing + nggak ngerti bhs Jepang pula. PR banget kan buat sensei-nya? Wkwk. • Obrolan dlm “interview” itu berkisar mulai dr teknis sekolah sampai kehidupan pribadi. Mereka cukup kepo dgn profil keluarga kami, kegemaran Musa (mainan, makanan, kegiatan, dsb.), siklus hidup Musa (tidurnya jam brp + brp lama, pagi2 ngapain, dsb., hingga rencana kedepannya di Jepang gmn. Berhubung daku orangnya terbuka, ya malah curcol macem2 dan makin banyak ditanya smp tiba pertanyaan terepik: “Kenapa milih sekolah di sini, padahal kan challenge-nya besar sekali?” eaaa bilang aja mau nyebut kami nekat 🤣 • Jawabannya jujur aja sih, kira2 kaya gini: (1) Jauh —> satu2nya pilihan sekolah Jpg terbaik di Ota-ku yg nggak terafiliasi ke agama yg nerima murid periode setelah April (2) Bhs Jepang —> international school pengajarnya banyak orang asing, beda kultur beda jg pembawannya meski udah lama di Jpg, kami ingin Musa belajar langsung dr natives Jpg yg serba tertib & teratur (3) Umur muda —> krn ngerasain pendidikan dini di Jpg adalah salah satu goal kami tinggal di sini, dan nggak tahu brp lama lagi akan tinggal di Jpg (atau Tokyo), scr visa bahkan sebelum Musa lulus TK udah harus cabut. GITU, Bu!!! 😄

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