1. flying 14 hrs was a breeze. the kid slept 8-9 w/no drugs, no crying, the only problem was over-eager-to-help-and-hold-her neighbors and total randoms.
2. oh, except she goes berserk as soon as the plane pushes back from the gate. this has happened 4/4 times now. A flight attendant with three kids says it's because they start pressurizing the cabin as soon as the door shuts. so start your ear-popping strategies earlier than takeoff. Any independent confirmation of this?
3. there's a Kids Paradise superstore next door to our hotel. I'll be doing research while avoiding the monsoon rains and/or 100 degree heatwave.
4. The Bugaboo feels like a monster truck compared to the teeny Japanese strollers. Aprica and Combi, mostly. And the town we're in--Niihama, no one's ever heard of it-- is freakin' with kids. Free strollers for use in the mall are very popular.
5. The kid's a hit, gets lots of attention, but with blond hair, blue eyes, and 25% size advantage, she might as well be Alf driving around in a space pod.
6. Asian-themed reader recs: Muji, the agressively minimalistic Japanese lifestyle store has cool kids stuff. Unfortunately for us, there's no Muji for miles; we're in the total sticks. Also, from Sohee, a heads up on a cool-looking 'antique' 19th c. cradle from China with a secret compartment (for discipline? for hiding the second kid from the one-child-only police? who knows?) that's for sale on ebay. Reminds me of this crib with a cage underneath it for sale at Babies R Us Japan.