Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Time for Lunch! Video Blog

Maiya's new lunch seat!

I'm hoping this works. I think you need to have Quick Time Player or something similar to view Maiya's most recent video. Give it about 30 seconds to load if you have DSL, more or less if you don't. Click here to download or activate the video: Lunch Time Video Blog

The post script however, is that I didn't really like the seat for this stage of her eating. For the last month, Maiya has been sitting on our lap to eat her organic brown rice cereal and things like mashed bananas, prunes and apples--all organic. In the seat, she is too low, and has both hands free, so she made quite the mess. Later, when she's eating with her hands, and with a spoon, I think the seat will make more sense. But for now, while she's on the pureed foods, I think it's best to keep her on our lap. It's much more intimate, and we're able to sit in a way that is closer to nursing.

Please let me know if you were able to view the video. And if you want more video blogs.

Manzanar Dedication 9/17

Guard Tower under construction at Manzanar NHS
(NPS photo)

Manzanar National Historic Site News Release
Contact: Alisa Lynch or Gretel Enck
Phone: (760) 878-2194 or (760) 878-2932


In summer 1942, shortly after ten thousand Japanese Americans arrived at Manzanar War Relocation Center, the U.S. Army constructed eight 37-foot-high guard towers around the perimeter of the mile-square camp. Each tower was equipped with a search light and machine gun and staffed by Military Police. Today, National Park Service employees are reconstructing one of the towers in its historic location on the east boundary of the site.

On Saturday, September 17, 2005, the National Park Service and Friends of Manzanar will host a dedication event at 11:00 a.m, near the guard tower. Following the ceremony, Manzanar History Association (MHA) will provide light refreshments and members of the Grateful Crane Ensemble will perform 1940s songs from their recent Camp Dance CD.

At 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., MHA will host a talk, reading and booksigning by critically acclaimed poet Lawson Fusao Inada. A third generation (Sansei) Japanese American who was interned with his family during World War II, Inada is currently a professor of English at Southern Oregon University. Considered by some to be the father of Asian-American literature, Inada's recent works include Legends From Camp, Drawing The Line, and Only What We Could Carry: The Japanese American Internment Experience. Mr. Inada will be available to sign books between his readings.

From 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Jennifer Anderson, a studio artist employed by Hiromi Paper International in Santa Monica, will demonstrate traditional Japanese bookbinding techniques. The bindings known as yotsume toji and daifuku cho use only four and two holes respectively, are simple and elegant and have been used for a variety of purposes from novels to ledgers. These books can be made from a variety of papers with simple tools. Ms. Anderson has a Masters of Fine Arts in printmaking and bookarts from the University of Georgia and has taught art at Indiana State University and Clemson University.

Funding to reconstruct the guard tower was provided by the National Park Service, with a generous grant from Friends of Manzanar, a non-profit organization established in 2004 to support projects at Manzanar through financial and in-kind donations. In addition to assisting with the guard tower reconstruction, Friends of Manzanar is raising funds to rehabilitate a World War II era mess hall at Manzanar and to preserve and restore other site features.

The events are free and open to the public. Manzanar National Historic Site is located along U.S. Highway 395, six miles south of Independence, California and nine miles north of Lone Pine. For more information on the guard tower reconstruction and programs and projects at Manzanar, please visit our website at www.nps.gov/manz/ or call (760) 878-2194 or (760) 878-2932.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Yesterday's pix

Maiya and I started Wet Tots two mornings a week at the Y a few months ago. Yesterday, Tony took Maiya to the class instead of me, and I took pictures and thoroughly enjoyed watching them have fun together. Then, after swim class, we picked up sandwiches at Roll N' Rye and went to the park where we had our Feast of Celebration wedding picnic 7 years ago. It was a great way to celebrate our anniversary with our girl.

Maiya's first time in swim class with Daddy

Maiya enjoying the beautiful summer day

Maiya's first time swinging at the park

Monday, August 22, 2005

Seven Years of Bliss

It's hard to believe that Tony & I got married seven years ago. I love you Tony. Here we are on our wedding day in 1998.

P.S. If anyone is interested and available to babysit for us a few hours one night this week so we can have an anniversary dinner, lemme know! I think it would be our first time alone together since Tony's birthday in April! :)

Friday, August 19, 2005

Standing with Cindy

Baby Activist for Peace

I've been out of town and a little consumed with a newly mobile (grabbing, rolling, lunging and scooting) and teething (working on tooth #3) baby this week and I haven't been too up on the whole Cindy Sheehan thing. I mean, I knew that her son died in Iraq, and I knew she was camped out in Crawford Texas and wanted to talk to Gdub.

But it wasn't until this morning at 6am while I was up with Maiya, that I saw some Republican politician from Florida commenting on TV on how the President should not meet with Cindy Sheehan, because then he would have to meet with all of the other mothers, etc., and they he would have to meet with anyone who had a gripe. He said he thought it would set a precedent. You mean for the President to be accountable for his actions??? Hello!!

That really struck me, because it sounded just like them saying how they don't meet or negotiate with terrorists. Then this morning, I heard Cindy do an interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now on KPFK. She was awesome. I totally respect her for saying, enough is enough. She said that her son died, not for democracy, or freedom, but for lies about WMD and SH which been proven lies as early as 2002 in the DowningStreet Memo.

When asked to comment about the attacks on Cindy by the extreme right that she is a traitor, she said that anyone who said she didn't have a right to speak out against the war, then they were un-American, and that she was doing what she felt was a patriotic duty to ask questions and to get answers about why her son and all the other sons were murdered in Iraq.

Then what really impressed me was that she said that Camp Casey and the anti-war movement are bigger than her. Even though she had to leave to see her mother who had a stroke yesterday, but that there were still many mothers with children who died in Iraq and more mothers whose children are still in Iraq, along with 100 people camping out in front of Bush's ranch, and that there were 100,000 people attending 1600 vigils held across the country on Wednesday.

While I can't go camp out in Crawford right now, I think it's time for me, Tony & Maiya to go together as a family to a local candlelight vigil or peace rally to stand with Cindy and to support bringing the troops home ASAP.

Peace. Out.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Sayonara George

George at the Senshin Obon - 7/2/05

The J.A. community has lost a dear friend. George Kiriyama passed away yesterday after a difficult struggle with liver cancer. I met George during the 50th year remembrance of E.O. 9066 and working on the Future of the Nikkei Community Conference in 1992, and got to be friends with George during my 8 years serving on the Board of the J.A. Historical Society. My love and deepest sympathies to Iku, Traci and George Jr.

People used to ask me if I was your daughter and I told them you were my "J.A. community Dad." I will miss you Dad.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Kuida-Osumi's Family Vacation

For our vacation, we went to visit Tony's relatives in Idaho and Washington this past week. Tony drove up on a road trip with his dad Larry and Uncle Bill, while Maiya and I flew up. Here are 5 photos from the trip. Please stay tuned as I sort through the best of the 150 photos that we took on the trip.

Maiya with Bubbe and Zeyde at Coeur d'Alene Lake

Maiya with Liz and her daughter Rebecca

Maiya and I arrived two days before Tony, so we spent the first two nights at Tony's mom Fran and Don's house in Northern Idaho. Maiya met grandpa Don, great grandma Marie, Great Aunt Liz and her family, Eddie, Rebecca, Jacob, and Great Aunt Jenner and her family, Steve, Shane and Hannah, all of whom have moved to Idaho in the last year. I had such a great time visiting with Fran and Don, who are awesome hosts. I felt so at home with everyone there. Fran set up an Internet Cafe and nursing station for us in her guest room. It was fun to hang out with Liz and Rebecca.

Maiya with Great Great Aunty Aiko

From left: Larry, Midori, Maiya, Tony and Uncle Bill

Me and Maiya drove over 250 miles round trip to Central Washington to meet Tony, Uncle Bill and Larry visit Maiya's great grandpa Yoshio's extended family (actually twice). We visited with Aunty Aiko (Yoshio's only living sibling), Uncle Chi and their family, Cousin Tammy, Nathan, Jynni, Johnny. We also spent time with Aunty Midori and Cousin Gloria. We had dinner at Aunty Kiyo's, and saw cousins Lynn and Irene. We got caught in a weird dust storm when winds whipped through Central Washington. We also discovered that Maiya loves wind socks and kites, which were flapping wildly in the wind.

Maiya with Mommy and Daddy at Pont D'Oreille Lake

Overall, it was a great vacation. Although it was a little hectic, it was so great that Maiya got to meet so many of her daddy's relatives. She is the first baby in the family in many years on both sides of Tony's family, so Maiya was a big hit. To our amazement, we discovered that Maiya LOVES dogs as she threw back her head and laughed hysterically whenever she saw Bobby, Anthony (the dog), Avy, Sadie and Dusty. Ok, I'm working on puting up more photos from the trip on to the Kuida-Osumi website in the next few days.

Maiya's Packing List

I spent days stressing about how and what to pack for Maiya for the trip to Idaho and Washington. I was concerned about flying by myself with an infant, and my ability to carry Maiya, both of our luggage, and get us through security, on the plane, off the plane, getting the rental car, etc. I went online and couldn't find any decent infant (6 month) packing lists for vacations, and I researched airplane travel tips for babies, in anticipation of a crying baby en route, traveling across state lines on the road, and currently nursing, and beginning to eat rice cereal.

It took me 3 days to pack, partly because Maiya is so active and wants to be held so often... the first day, I created the following list, the 2nd day, I packed Maiya's clothes and started assembling all her toiletries and pumping paraphernelia and the 3rd day, I packed my own stuff. I tell you, having the list for Maiya's stuff made packing so much easier. Lianne came over and spent 5 hours entertaining Maiya so that I could finish up packing, which was totally awesome because I wouldn't have finished without her.

I managed to get ALL her stuff into 2 small bags, one backpack carry on diaper bag and one shoulder bag. Preboarding didn't really help, because by the time I got the stroller and infant seat folded up with one hand, regular passengers were passing me up. I was extremely lucky that she slept in the New Native Carrier (my brest friend!) the entire flight and we didn't need any of the toys on the flights, but we did use them in the airport since our flight was delayed 2 hours. I carried her in the sling in the airport, and pushed the stroller with the 2 bags after checking my own luggage.

Here's the packing list for Maiya for our first vacation 5 nights, 6 days.

Stroller (gate check in)
Infant seat carrier (gate check in)
Backpack diaper bag (carry-on)
Shoulder bag (check in)

4 cotton sunsuit/dresses (carry-on 1, pack 3)
4 onesies (carry-on 1, pack 3)
1 feety PJs (carry-on)
1 longsleeve shirt w/matching sweats (carry-on) *DIDN'T USE
1 sweater (carry-on) *DIDN'T USE
1 t-shirt with matching pants (pack) *DIDN'T USE
1 denim shorts (pack)
2 socks (pack) *DIDN'T USE
2 hats (pack)
swim diaper/3 liners (pack) *DIDN'T USE

Patemm changing pad (pack)
Diapers (48) (24 pack, 30 tony bring)
2 Desitin (carry-on/pack)
Changing pad (carry-on)
Wipes (carry-on 2 travel/1/4 pack)
Hydrocortisone (carry-on)
Baby Lotion - California Båby (pack)
Baby shampoo - California Baby (pack)
Aquafor ointment (sample size) (carry-on)
Sunscreen - organic (pack)
Nipple cream - Lansinoh (pack)
Hyland's eething tablets (carry-on)
Baby Tylenol just in case (carry-on) *DIDN'T USE
Nail clippers (carry-on)
Nose aspirator just in case (pack) *DIDN'T USE
1 washcloth (pack)
2 burpee cloths (carry-on 2, pack 1)
3 bibs (pack)

Feeding stuff
Avent manual pump (carry-on)
Avent nipple (carry-on)
2 frozen milk bottles (carry-on)
2 fresh milk bottles (carry-on)
2 freezer ice w/bottle pouch (carry-on)
Sippy cup w/water (carry-on)
nipple shields (carry-on)
pacifier (carry-on)
Baggie rice cereal (5 TBS) (pack)
Spoon (pack)
Extra plastic daisy for pump (pack)*DIDN'T USE
Emergency formula samples just in case (pack 5) *DIDN'T USE

New Native Carrier pouch sling (carry-on)
3 receiving blankets (carry-on/pack)
2 floor blankets (pack)
1 bath towel (pack)
lady bird turtle/teether rings (carry-on)
worm/caterpillar (carry-on)
dragon (carry-on)
rattle (pack)
soft bath book (pack)
1 disposable changing pad (pack)
extra plastic bags & ziplocks

In the future, I will bring more burp cloths, but less bibs and blankets. It was good having the extra diaper stuff, since I was able to keep a changing station at Fran's house, and then have one for the car and one for the diaper bag. I didn't use all the clothes, but that was mostly because she never needed longsleeves or socks because of the heat. Next time, I think it won't take me as long to pack, and I'll keep a copy of this list handy.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Mural DNA

Maiya puts on the final touch

MURAL LOG: Tuesday, August 9, 2005, 12:22 a.m. and the mural is finished. I’m so relieved. It’s been a love-hate relationship. I love doing a mural in J-Town. It’s been a dream from years back. But it’s taken so much of my time and energy. I just wanted it to be over. I started the process two years ago and after several delays and postponements missed the August 1 finish date by a week. We hope to get the mural hung by September 17 for the Ties That Bind Conference in Little Tokyo. Stay tuned for details.

Some quick thanks:

To everyone who helped with the mural. Almost 500 people painted or contributed in some way.

Nancy Kikuchi, the mural coordinator, spent endless hours at community meetings, City hearings, filling out paperwork, fundraising, phone calling, and taking care of all the mural logistics and volunteer coordination for the last three years. And that’s on top of all her regular hectic work and life schedule. And she’s still not done. Look for Nancy and others in the mural playing drums with Bombu Taiko.

Sergio Diaz and Jorge Diaz were the other two mural artists whose hard beautiful work made the mural happen. You probably met Jorge if you helped paint in September/October. He was the funny, tall guy who flung around the 4’x 8’ mural panels like they were screen doors. After Little Tokyo, the mural was stored and the majority of the details were painted at Sergio’s home in Van Nuys. Thankfully, many of his artist friends helped paint. I want to thank his wife Stephanie and their 17-month daughter Olivia (who was 5 months old when we started) for being so patient. Keep an eye out for Olivia in the mural.

Thank you to the members of the Little Tokyo community group, J-Town Voice and staff at Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC). J-Town Voice helped organize the community painting days, shared the mural’s Little Tokyo history with volunteers, and gave great feedback on the mural’s design. Priming the 20 mural boards and tracing the design with an overhead projector all started in the Casa Heiwa underground parking lot in the hottest week last summer. Thank you LTSC peoples for working through all that hot muggy weather.

Let me not forget Jenni for carrying the load with Maiya and the house for the last few weeks while I painted. Thank you for supporting me. Maiya, thank you for painting the very last details to the mural: three tiny fingerprints with white paint on the three Day of Remembrance candle flames. I wanted you to begin your life serving the community and feeling connected to J-Town history. Thank you also for creatively spitting up on the mural and sharing some of your unique DNA.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

J-town mural update

For Tony, this summer has been all about the J-town mural. He's been working on finalizing the panels in the backyard and in the garage day and night--I can't count how many "all-nighters" he has pulled in the last month and a half. Many times, he is coming to bed as I am waking up. But the end is in sight. I think the mural will be finished in the next day or so. The Kuida-Osumi household will be so happy when it's finished!!

Tony working way past midnight on Nisei Week image

J-town's "Bronzeville" resident, jazz musician Charlie Parker

Maiya helping Daddy finish the mural

Friday, August 05, 2005

Amazing Nephews at Play

I'm a proud auntie... amazed by the talent of my young nephews. Check it out.

First is Kieth, who is 4 years old. He started water skiing at 3. Apparently, when you start at this age, the rope is attached to the ski, and they use a boat with a smaller engine. Well, this summer I got to watch him from the board. He has graduated to skiing with a bigger boat (the same one his mom and Aunt Heidi use), and the rope is attached to the boat, which is much harder. Here he is a few weeks ago with my sister in the water behind him.

Water skiing toddler

Next is Kyle, a junior taiko master at age 2 1/2 years old. He recently went to Taiko Jam and knew a few of the pieces from watching the TAIKOPROJECT (re)generation DVD over and over and over. Why oh why don't they have taiko for tots? I think at the Taiko Conference, the minimum age for the kids workshop was 4. Here he is, legs bent, bachi's flying, and everything!

Dogo dogo dogo dogo don...

2 Events marking 60 years

(1) HIROKEN: The anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima is coming up and on behalf of Hiroken, we'd like to extend an invitation to you to this regard. The JACCC (Japanese American Cultural and Community Center) and the Nikkei Interfaith Fellowship of Little Tokyo is sponsoring a free 45 minute documentary entitled "The Mushroom Club," followed by a memorial service to remember the victims of the atomic bomb on Saturday, August 6. "The Mushroom Club" is a new film by Steven Okazaki, which reflects on the legacy of the Hiroshima bombing 60 years later. This event will take place at the JACCC building in Little Tokyo. Hiroken is planning to attend the 10am showing of "The Mushroom Club." Also, we are thinking of having a group lunch in Little Tokyo after the event, compliments of the Hiroshima Kenjinkai. The event is free and if you will be joining us for lunch, please RSVP to Linda at 818-807-2103 or Joanie at 626-840-2965 so we can have a head count for lunch. Also, should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

(2) This Saturday, August 6, the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, an interview with author Naomi Hirahara and her parents will be broadcast on Weekend America, an American Public Media radio program aired on many NPR stations. In Los Angeles, the program will be broadcast on KPCC FM (89.3 FM) sometime from 1 to 3 p.m. The program will also be accessible through the program's website, www.weekendamerica.org, from this weekend for a week.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Happy 6 Months Maiya!

Wow. Trip out. Maiya, our little girl is 6 months old today. Actually, she's not that little. For her age, she's a big girl, tall and strong. She is 16 pounds, 2 ounces and 27 1/2 inches tall. So unbelievable to me that 6 months have passed since her delivery day, and also that in 6 months, I will have a one year old child. A toddler. Maybe walking. Saying a few words. I get a few glimpses of her personality, which is still forming.

Doing pushups

With mobility, has come a mischievousness that I find charming and disarming at the same time. She is turning over, rolling around, and flipping over with lightening quick speed. Turn your head for literally 3 seconds and she has moved several feet away. Today, she lodged her leg underneath the couch and I had to lift the couch to get her out. She just grinned at me. She will chow down on anything that comes in her path. Cell phone? Tasty. PotteryBarn catalog? Moist and chewy. The other day, I found some paper in her diaper (if you know what I mean). My pen on the couch? From her mouth to her hands and headed for her eyes. Ack! I am struggling to keep up with her. And it is only the beginning. The girl is 6 months and she scares me daily. I might be a nervous wreck for the next two years. Or my older friends will tell me the next 18 years.

Are you watching me now?

Today, was a big day at the Kuida-Osumi homestead. We started solid foods. If you can call it that. More like soupy, gooey rice gruel. I bought the organic brown rice from WholeFoods yesterday as well as a couple of organic green bananas for later this week. I had the typical plastic bowl, but Tony said she's J.A., let's use a chawan (rice bowl). Mixed it in with a few frozen breastmilk cubes that I made a few weeks ago. I took a little taste, and it was sweet. Tony explained to her how this was her first step towards eating burritos and all of his favorite foods.

Tony modeling good eating habits for Maiya

She took a few spoonfuls. Tugged at the plastic food bib, trying to take it off. She made some faces and then started getting a little fussy. Ok, enough for today.

Are we having fun yet?

Then I put her down, gave her the spoon and she repeatedly put it in her mouth and started licking it. So, I dipped the spoon in the rice cereal and gave it to her. What do you know, she seemed to really like it. We'll see how it goes tomorrow.

To: Giovanni and Colin

I've been so sad the last few days, thinking a lot about two babies who passed away last week. Neither of whom I had ever met. One was Emily, whose 6 month old boy Giovanni died of SIDS. Giovanni was just learning how to turn over. Born 6 days before Maiya, he had turned from his stomach to back twice, but never from his back to stomach. When his dad went to get him up on Wednesday morning, he had turned over to his stomach in his sleep. And he was gone. Just like that.

The other one was my brother's friends, Susie & Greg who lost their son, Colin, who was a micro-preemie and a twin. He underwent two surgeries and countless blood transfusions in his struggle to live. He lived for almost 3 months, but he was born too early at 25 weeks, and his organs just weren't developed enough to work properly. The only positive is that Colin's twin sister Caroline is gaining steadily and after 3 months is now almost 7 pounds and will hopefully be able to go home soon.

These have shocked me and rocked me to the core. I cannot imagine the pain and anguish that these families are going through, and I mourn with them as they must now pick up and continue their lives. When I read about Colin and Giovanni, both times I had to run to Maiya, take her in my arms, cover her with hugs and kisses, and hold on tight to my little baby.

My deepest condolences. En memoriam.