Sunday, February 27, 2005

First Month Fotos!

Finally, finally I updated the kuidaosumi website. I still haven't written the birth story, or some of the entries I had planned to write, but I put up some of the cuter photos from the first month. We have over 200 photos on our digital camera, and here are a select few for now at

I have to say, we are lucky parents so far. Except for a few rough nights, she sleeps a lot, and often sleeping from 4-6 hours at night. I have been able to take naps in the evening, and that helps with getting up at night, and then getting up in the morning. This morning I actually woke up at 5:30 am and had to wait half an hour for Maiya to wake up. We have a co-sleeper, but often she ends up sleeping with us.

We have had a lot of support. Friends have been visiting, Tony's mom was here the first few nights (and at the birth), and my mom has been coming over about 2 days a week, cooking for us, doing laundry, helping me run errands, and taking pictures of Maiya. We've ventured out a little more... we went to the park where Tony & I got married, and went to the doctor's office and the Japanese market by ourselves. Did I mention that she was 9 lbs, 13 oz. at her 3 week appointment? She's moving around much more, able to wiggle herself around in bed, and her alert moments are increasing. During her last two baths, she hasn't cried at all.

As for me, I've already lost 28 pounds, yet my wrists, hands and fingers are experiencing a lot of pain from overuse. I'm exhausted, but happy. I'm appreciating every moment because I know that the first month will never come again!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Baby Activist

First let me start by sharing a picture of this lovely gift for Maiya which arrived in the mail from Peg (, one of my first online friends, and someone whom I haven't met in person yet. I was so touched when I opened it, I had to share it. People who are not bloggers don't always understand how online friendships can be very meaningful. Peg and I have shared our lives, good and bad, over the past few years. I love her dedication to her daughters Ashlyn & Summer and her generous nature and love towards her family and friends. So Peg, thank you so much for your gift of friendship.

Baby Maiya has had a series of firsts this week. First trip in the Baby Bjorn, first stroller ride, first La Leche League meeting, first shopping trip to Target, first community event in Little Tokyo, all of which she slept soundly through. Yesterday, we went to the annual Day of Remembrance event called "A Question of Loyalty From Tule Lake to Guantanamo Bay," which commemorated the 63rd anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 which sent Japanese Americans to concentration camps during WW2. The program included speakers Salam Al-Marayati from the Muslim Public Affairs Council and Hamid Khan from South Asian Network.

As we arrived, it started to rain, so we had to maneuver the stroller thru the streets of J-town. We were over an hour late and had to sit upstairs in the overflow room and watch the program via big screen TV. Then, just as the program was ending, Maiya woke up and needed to be nursed. Afterwards, we went downstairs and introduced sleeping Maiya to her community of friends, aunties and uncles, who seemed to enjoy staring at her, just like her daddy and I do.

Patty, Steve and Kelsey brought Maiya a red t-shirt that says "ACTIVIST" across the front of it, which they bought in San Francisco at a museum with an exhibit of the same title. So at less than 3 weeks, that was Maiya's first introduction to the political and community life that her parents hope she absorbs and embraces as she grows up.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Maiya's Two Week Milestones

It's hard to believe that Baby Maiya is already 2 weeks old as of yesterday. I know people are waiting to hear the details about Maiya's birth story and Jenni's labor, but that will have to wait for now.

It's hard to believe that she's finally here and in our lives. Our lives will never be the same. You would be shocked to see me and Tony as parents. For two people who had collectively changed literally 3 diapers in the last 20 years, we are now old pros and can change a diaper, while singing, and in our sleep! We obviously have much to learn and Baby Maiya is teaching us what it's like to be parents.

She is an angel, so beautiful. When she's hungry, she's ferocious and girlfriend uses her powerful lungs to let us know what she wants. Right now, she's propped up on a blanket on the couch, sleeping in the crook of Tony's arm. Hard to say who will sleep longer--Daddy's girl loves to sleep!

2 Week Milestones:
* Maiya is starting to lift her head more.
* Maiya can manuever from burp position on my neck to the feeding position with 3 strong head bobs.
* Maiya can turn her head from side-to-side during tummy time.
* Maiya smiles often in her sleep.
* Maiya can focus on our voices and turn her head when we call to her
* Maiya can grab my glasses and fling them off my face (grabs necklace and hair as well)
* Maiya's umbilical cord fell off on day 12.
* Maiya used 73 cloth diapers in the first 6 days at home (73 diapers saved from landfill!)
* Jenni lost over 20 pounds in the first 2 weeks.
* At 15 days old, Maiya is 9 lbs, 2 oz and growing!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Maiya Grace & Ossie Davis

Our 13 day old daughter Maiya Grace was named after me and Tony's dear friend and mentor, Grace Lee Boggs, an 89 year old Detroit-based movement activist from the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership. Grace is author of the highly recommended book, "Living for Change." Maiya Grace is connected to the esteemed Ossie Davis, because one of Grace Lee Boggs' dearest friends was Ossie, who we met at briefly at Grace's 88th birthday party in Detroit (photo below). Here is an article that Grace wrote upon Ossie's passing.

By Grace Lee Boggs
Michigan Citizen, Feb. 13-19, 2005

It is hard to accept that Ossie Davis has made his transition. He was scheduled to come to Detroit in May to receive an award from the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies and to be guest of honor at the premiere of Professional Revolutionary: The Life of Saul Wellman, a documentary about the legendary political activist and survivor of the Spanish Civil War, World War II and McCarthyism.

We were also going to celebrate my 90th birthday with a conversation at the Boggs Center.

I was so looking forward to that conversation.

Like millions of others, I honor Ossie Davis for his gifts and achievements: his majestic voice and imposing presence, his plays and performances, his (and Ruby∂s) blazing the trail for generations of black artists and actors, his (and Ruby∂s) courage and skill in integrating their citizenship/political/Movement lives with their
professional lives.

But I especially cherished Ossie as a black man who, like my late husband Jimmy Boggs, had been born and raised in the Jim Crow South in the early 20th Century, had been part of the Progressive movement after World War II, had refused to be intimidated by the McCarthyism and anti-Communism of the 950s, had marched with Martin and also described Malcolm as "our black shining Prince" in the 1960s, and was helping to build the new movement we now need as we enter the 21st century.

Despite the demands on him as an actor and speaker, Ossie always made time to do benefit performances for Detroit Summer and to sit down with young people who wanted to know how he and Ruby had been able to stay married for so long and/or how they had been able to make their livings as artists and actors without selling out.

Among the questions I wanted to explore with him:

* What have blacks and the country lost because of the integration that was achieved by the civil rights struggles? How does one deal with the new contradictions that arise from successful struggles?

* Why was it so important for blacks and the country that blacks refused to be intimidated by McCarthyism?

* What did he learn from growing up in the rural South that might help young blacks raised in urban ghettoes?

* Why did Jimmy think that "being locked in racism was the most devastating thing that had ever happened to us"?

At Jimmy's Memorial celebration in 1993 Ossie described how he had often been "born again" through encounters with Jimmy. This is how he summed up their last meeting.

Jimmy was ill and couldn∂t come to the program. But when I got to the house, he immediately embraced me with one hand and with the other gave me three pages on which. were the questions which had to be
resolved to make this an intelligent and decent society. So Jimmy gave me my assignment, and reading the questions and his thoughts and propositions about them, once again I was born again. Because I came across the concept that Racism as we had used it in our struggle was no longer valid. Racism was indeed a very small designation of what the problems were. What we needed to do was enlarge our frame of reference. Our struggle indeed could only be meaningful if it was a struggle in which everybody was fought for instead of fought over; nobody was any greater or any less than anyone else. The struggle in its purest sense had to be focused on elevating the lives of all the people.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

NEWSFLASH: Tony Blogs for First Time!

I love to write, but I've never blogged. Not sure why. Jenni's voice has been the one to document her/our life over the last few years on-line. But with her nursing Maiya and me feeling like I don't want the moment to pass, here I am.

After Maiya's birth, I called my dad and said, "Hi Grandpa!" He shot back, "Hi Dad!" It caught me off guard. Teacher, muralist, hapa, lover of food and justice--those things I've heard and felt, but "Dad," that was a new one. 40 weeks of secondary role-pregnancy kind of got me thinking about it, but holding Maiya, tallking motherese, changing diapers, swaddling, washing pumps and bottles, and feeling proud, nervous and more has brought me into parenthood.

Let me first say, Jenni did some hard beautiful work for 24 hours (not counting 13 hours before when the water began leaking). Several years ago when she contemplated having children, she worried a lot about the pain. Well, for a person who says she has a low threshold of pain, she was super solid. Men, that's some work to be admired.

My mom, Nobuko and Laura and Mike were right there when it got nitty gritty and Jenni got guttural. Like dueling doulas, mom and Nobuko were dynamic. Singing, chanting massaging, comforting and guiding. At delivery, my mom and I supported Jenni's legs as she pushed. I saw Maiya make her way out and got to cut the cord.

Today is Maiya's 7 day birthday. But let me thank all those that have helped out over the last 41 weeks and even before. To all of Jenni's blogger friends who've been e-normously supportive. All the family and folks that organized and came to the baby showers and were so generous. Every cloth diaper comes from the community. Also thanks to family and friends that came over to help get the house ready with packing up, moving furniture, prepping and rolling paint, setting up baby furniture, cooking meals, bringing food and just being great family and friends with advice, encouragement and congradulations. Righteously collective and cooperative. Thank you thank you.

Gotta go. Maiya needs to be cuddled.

Tony--Jenni's husband

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Welcome Baby Maiya!

We are so unbelievably happy to announce the long-awaited arrival of our new baby! I only have a minute to post, so here are the quick stats:

Maiya Grace Kuida-Osumi
Born Tuesday, February 1st.
8 lbs., 11 oz.
20 1/2" long.

My water broke on Monday morning at 4:10 am, and she was born the following night at 5:41 pm, so if you do the math it was a 37 1/2 hour process, that had many ups and downs, but the end result is just the most amazing thing, We are enamored with our new beautiful little girl, and are adjusting to parenthood, and already she is teaching us many new things about being parents. Stay tuned for the delivery story and updates on parenthood from me and Tony.

Come into the circle, circle of life
Welcome to the dream of a paradise
What was once a ruin can be reborn
Just like sun appearing after a storm

Sun above, earth below,
seeds of love, let the children grow,
I... Dream a Garden!