Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Winding Down November

Can't believe it's been 2 weeks since I've blogged. November has been a blur in some ways, and we've had lots of changes this month. I started working part-time, as the Admin Director of the childcare programs for Little Tokyo Service Center CDC. I am in charge of the fiscal operations of an infant/toddler center, a preschool in Angelina Heights (near Echo Park), a family literacy program, and a network of home family childcare providers. The preschool and childcare programs serve almost 200 children a day, the majority of which are eligible for free or very affordable childcare, and includes free ESL classes, computer classes and parenting education classes. I am still volunteering once a week at Great Leap.

Maiya started child care when I started my new job. She got the croup after the first week, and with 3 holidays in November, she hasn't been there a whole lot. Lately, she cries when I leave, but the great part is that I am able to nurse her 4 times throughout the day, before and after work, mid-morning and afternoon. Maiya's primary caregiver feeds her lunch, which I bring for her. She is "learning" how to sleep in a crib, which I really had my doubts about. And, when I went to pick her up yesterday, she was playing the tambourine and having a great time.

Maiya with cousin Tina on Turkey Day

For Thanksgiving, we went to Tony's aunt and uncle's house. Tony made 5 dozen deviled eggs, and they were delicious. Afterwards we went to Juana & Francisco's house at played Lotteria and had dessert (although I think Tony might have had another plate of turkey).

Wilbur and Mary, the happy couple

Also this weekend, we went to our friend Wilbur and Mary' s wedding reception. It was so touching--Mitsuye Yamada, known for camp poetry, wrote a poem for them about how they bring hope for us that love can come again, even when you're in your 70s! They had a great slide show. My favorite part was that they went to the same high school and same graduating class at Dorsey High (Class of 47), and they both were at UCLA at the same time, but didn't get married until almost 60 years later. I found myself a bit emotional and so happy for the newlyweds!

Finally, congrats to my cousin's daughter Jen, who also got married this weekend!!! (Jackie, send me a picture and I'll put it up!)

When next you hear from me, it'll be December!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


We're all sick. Maiya's adjusting to childcare and came down with a case of the croup... Jenni & Tony are fighting the same cold. Here are some cute pictures from the last 2 weeks to tide you over until we're feeling better and can blog agin.

Playdate with neighbor Jessica (8 mos.)

Playing with her food

Playing in the saucer while mama does dishes

Playing with rotating Lego toy at Grandma's house

Playing with cousins Kaylee (18 mos) and Kevin (10 1/2 mos)

Celebrating Kyle (3), Darin (37) & Jenni's (41) Birthdays

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Wasting time

I have a jillion things to do today, my day off from my new job. I also have lots of work to do on a grant for Great Leap that is due next week. But, in honor of procrastination, because of Peg, and since Maiya is asleep on my lap, here goes.

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you.
Liane U.
2. Where was your first kiss?
Leo Carrillo Beach, John H. I was camping with my cousins and my family for a week. It was the summer before 9th grade. I remember the way he tilted his head at me. We kissed for several days. He asked me how far I was willing to go. I remember saying, "well, I don't want to get pregnant." So, it never went beyond kissing. My second kiss was not until college.
3. Have you ever seriously vandalized someone else’s property?
No. Not even close.
4. Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex?
My brother? when I was a big sister bully?
5. Have you ever sang in front of a large number of people?
Yes. I used to be in chorus in elementary school. Oh, also, I was in a cheesy church musical in college. I'm sure there's more, but I can't think of it.
6. What’s the first thing you notice about the preferred sex?
Smile. Wait, what does that mean, "preferred?"
7. What really turns you on?
Activist poetry.
8. What do you order at Starbucks?.
Nothing. Who wants to pay $3 for a cup of coffee? Plus I don't do caffeine the last few years. Oh wait, I've gotten a few ice blendeds... more than one, less than five times.
9. What is your biggest mistake?
Hmm. can't think of any big mistakes. I make little ones all the time.
10. Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose?
Well, when I intentionally got pregnant, I knew there would be pain, but the result was so sweet--Maiya Grace.
11. Say something totally random about yourself.
When I was 12, I saved up enough babysitting money in a Snoopy banana bank to buy a 10-speed bike at Toys R' Us with $1 bills. At the time, I charged $1 an hour, so it was like 75 hours of babysitting. Can't imagine leaving Maiya with a 12 year old.
12. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?
Yes. Kristi Yamaguchi. Although no one Asian ever said I look like her.
13. Do you still watch kiddy movies or tv shows?
I watch a Korean kiddy show occasionally and recently Sesame Street cause Maiya seems transfixed when Elmo's World comes on.
14. Did you have braces?
Yes. The whole experience was painful for me. Luckily it was only a year and a half.
15. Are you comfortable with your height?
16. What is the most romantic thing someone of the opposite sex has done for you?
Tony published a love poem for me in the Rafu... then a few years later, he read the poem suggestively at a reading for International Women's Day while my community friends hooted and hollered.
17. When do you know it’s love?
You know. I actually fell in love with Tony in a dream, 4 months before our first date. I confirmed it on the first date.
18. Do you speak any other languages?
Sukoshi. Un peu. Poquito. (Not really... but I understand and can speak smatterings of Japanese, French and Spanish).
19. Have you ever been to a tanning salon?
Hell, no. But I used to slater baby oil on my skinny bikinied self and lay out between 10am and 2pm when I was a teenager.
20. What magazines do you read?
Mothering, Natural Family Living, Parenting, Parents, Vegetarian Times, People, Yes! Magazine. There's more, I'm sure.
21. Have you ever ridden in a limo?
Yes--when i was on the management team at the law firm I used to work at, we took the limo to get to monthly lunch meetings.
22. Has anyone you were really close to passed away?
My grandmothers. Recently more community friends have passed away.
23. Do you watch MTV?
I did in the days when Michael Jackson was black. Haven't had cable the last 8 1/2 years, so no.
24. What’s something that really annoys you?
Dumb comments.
25. What’s something you really like?
Taiko. Learning about alternative parenting. Blogging. Talking about Maiya. Taking pictures of Maiya. Maiya.
26. Do you like Michael Jackson?
Ha ha (see #23 above). I used to have Thriller and a few other albums, but you know he did it.
27. Can you dance?
Two left feet. But I love to dance around the living room with Maiya and turn her frown upside down.
28. What’s the latest you have ever stayed up?
I have had way too many all nighters in my life. Too many times for work or school or on the computer. The most recent time was giving birth to Maiya.
29. Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room?
30. Do you actually read these when other people fill them out?
Yes, i do. But I never fill them out myself. Oh. Except for this time. Took me 30 minutes. Maiya's up. Enough time wasted. Ciao.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

No! Yes!

No. No. No. No. No to the Propositions. No to Arnold. Yes!!!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Weekend Update

SATURDAY: On Saturday morning, we had to go take care of the van. The battery died and wouldn't hold a charge (we jumped it 4 times), so Tony went to get a new one and installed it himself. Then, I went to get gas, and like a woman with too many things on her mind, I left the gas cap on the trunk (where I have put it for the last 25 years without incident) and drove away with the door to the gas tank wide open. I went back to search for it, but no dice. Tony went and bought me a replacement for $12. So, even though Costco gas was cheap ($2.54 would be relatively cheap), I ended up spending $20 for gas and $12 for a gas cap.

Saturday afternoon, Maiya and I went to my cousin Rev. Marlon's church's 70th anniversary. We were late, but did get to enjoy a delicious bento lunch, and an awesome taiko performance. They also were celebrating the expansion of their sanctuary in his home church.

Finally, The Triangle Project is over! I've been "working" with Great Leap for the last few months trying to help get this performance together, mostly working on publicity and ticket sales. For a "stay-at-home-mom," I have been going into the office about twice a week, and actually with email and cell phones, I have been "working" just about 7 days a week. So, I'm pleased to report that the show went very well on Saturday night. It was great to finally see the result of the work of these 3 phenomenal women, Nobuko, PJ & Yoko. We brought Maiya to the show. She wasn't noisy per se, but she was especially squirmy, twisting in my arms and going in circles, as she has been doing more and more lately. She lasted the first two songs, and then Tony spent the rest of the show out in the lobby, watching from the monitors with 2 other dads (including Rich & Joyce's baby Sam) and their kiddies. I came out halfway through the second act and nursed her to sleep, and then turned her back over to Tony and went in to see the closing piece/peace.

SUNDAY: Sunday was my last day as a "stay-at-home-mom," and I did anything but stay at home. I went out shopping at AnnTaylor for clothes and a smaller bra (I have lost all my pregnancy weight, plus an additional 20 pounds below that), since none of my clothes fit me anymore. In the meantime, Tony and Maiya went to TJoe's and WholeFoods to do some grocery shopping. I also ran a bunch of errands at Costco and the neighborhood health food store to pick up supplies. Then last night, Tony wanted to do some furniture re-arranging again. We change our furniture around about every 3-4 weeks. I kid you not. People who are frequent visitors to our home know to expect that nothing will be as it was the last time they came.

Well that's it for the weekend. Next post I will talk about my new job, my earlier than expected return to work... and Maiya's first experiences with childcare.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Checking in @ 9 Mos.

Who's the pretty girl in the mirror, now?

Things Maiya does at 9 months:
* babbles all the time
* squeals and screams with delight
* claps her hands
* crawls very fast
* cruises on the furniture
* pulls herself to standing
* stands on tippy toes and does pull ups on the dresser, changing table, etc.
* can sit down or get down from standing position
* can stand upright (one hand holding onto something)
* climbs up our body when being held (legs on belly, then chest)
* still nurses about every 60-90 minutes during the day
* is eating two meals a day (organic baby food, or homemade foods)
* eats everything we offer her (fruits, veggies, grains)
* started eating some table foods (no crackers, cookies, dairy, meat or juices)
* drinks water from a sippy cup
* grabs for regular cups and bites down on the cup
* feeds herself
* sleeps about 9-11 hours at night, waking 1-3 times a night
* takes 1-3 naps a day (lasting 15-30 minutes, with the occasional 1-2 hour nap)
* just started taking baths with mama and enjoying bath toys
* turns the pages of her board books
* puts her hands all over the TV screen
* waves and twists her hand in the air
* eats the edges of her board books

Things Maiya loves:
* dogs (they make her soooo happy!)
* when we say, "what does a dog say," or cat or most any animal
* looking at herself in the mirror
* kisses on her belly, neck and face
* being in the sling going anywhere
* dancing, especially to Captain & Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together"
* climbing on the couch (to get to the mirror)
* sleeping in our arms
* going out into the front or backyard

Things Maiya does not like:
* diaper changes
* when i put my finger in her mouth to retrieve all the "no-no" items ***
* getting her face wiped
* snot removal
* being put down in the crib (not a big fan of the pack n/play, saucer or stroller)
* being put on her back when she's playing or focusing on anything
* disposable diapers (she knows they're bad for the environment)
* having her nails cut
* when we hold her legs (to keep her from crawling into danger)

Ways Maiya melts my heart:
* when we lie down and stare in each other's faces
* if i leave the room, she comes looking for me
* when she reaches for me
* when she's laughing and playing with daddy
* when I say, "Give mama a hug" and she clambers over to me

***i have found a thumbtack, tape, leaves, dust, hair and other small objects in her mouth & hands

Baby's First Halloween

Got sushi?

Mama and her sushi chef

I have to admit, I've never been much for costumes. They're usually kind of last-minute, and lame. This year, Maiya's first Halloween was no exception. I got home from some meetings downtown after 7pm, and while Tony made dinner and passed out candy, I threw together a pretty quick sushi chef costume with a hapi coat, shamoji (rice paddle) and yes, those are my childbirth delivery hospital panties on her head as a hachimaki. A few people asked if HE was a samurai, and only one person figured out SHE was supposed to be a sushi chef. I would probably have guessed wrong myself. We went to about 10 houses on our block, and on the block behind us. It was more about introducing ourselves to the neighbors. Next year, I promise to start thinking about costumes a little earlier.

Grandma teaching Maiya how to clap