Friday, July 28, 2006

Dance, Baby Dance

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Maiya dancing at home while listening to the radio.

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Maiya enjoys taiko at the Venice Japanese Carnival

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hot Weekend Pix

Whew! It was a hot weekend. On Saturday, I took Maiya to the Nisei Week Baby Pageant. I know, I know. If you know me as a feminist/activist, you are probably surprised that I did this. Believe me, I agonized over it for days, and justified it in my mind, over and over. Tony left it up to me, but in the end I took her. It was what I thought it would be. I went as part social experiment just to see what it was like, and partly because in my mama's eyes, I know I have an adorable beautiful girl. Instead of a girly dress and hair ribbons (they said they werent judging on clothes), I put Maiya in her Nikkei onesie to represent as a Japanese American. I figured this is one of the ways as a 1 year old that she can participate in the Nisei Week activities. When it came time to the judging, I saw other parents urging their daughters to "perform" to wave, blow kisses, and smile at the judges, and I just couldn't do it. So we stood up there, with the other girls and I didn't ask her to do anything. But, I saw some old friends from college and community, so that was nice, and Maiya enjoyed her shaved ice and playing in the air of the fans.

On Sunday, we went with my dear friend Monica, who I used to work with at Great Leap, and her 3 1/2 year old son Dyami, and we went to the Urth Cafe, which is a healthy, organic cafe near the Santa Monica Farmer's Market. Lunch was good, but a little hectic. Afterwards, we walked down to the beach, and Dyami pushed Maiya in the stroller. We found a great play area at the beach with swings and slides. It was great to catch up with Monica, since we hadn't seen each other since Maiya was about 3 months old. Afterwards, we went to Ben & Jerry's and beautiful Dyami was wanting to wake up Maiya so she wouldn't miss out on the ice cream.

Also this weekend, we went to a playdate with 6, yes 6, 17-18 month old toddlers at our neighbor's house. There were 5 girls and 1 boy, and they all live within 2 blocks from our house. It's funny because we've lived in our neighborhood for over 9 years, and all of a sudden, we're meeting neighbors and the toddlers are taking over! So, that was about it for the weekend. Next weekend is the West LA and Higashi Obons.

P.S. How do you like the hot pink? It matches my phone!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Maiya & Amani bus it to the beach

Amani enjoying playing in the sand

Maiya running towards the water while Laura and Amani look on

Maiya looking like a buff little ballerina sporting her tutu swimsuit

After spending a lot of time in the water, Amani has a snack

If Amani's having a snack, then Maiya wants some too!

After working 9 days straight (including the weekend, and till 12:30 am on Tuesday) working to finish my yearend reports for the state due Wednesday, I took off Thursday & Friday. On Friday morning, Laura, Amani, Maiya and I took the bus to Venice Beach. For 75 cents each way, it is a great deal. No need to take separate cars (with car seats) and pay for parking. We all sang "Wheels on the Bus" on the ride to the beach.

The kids had SOOOO much fun! At first, Maiya wasn't too crazy about having sand on her feet, but then we went in the water and she was loving every wave. She fell into the water a few times (while squeezing my hand tightly), but came up sputtering and squealing. Amani kept wanting to go deeper into the water. We stayed in the water a long time. Then, the kids were loving the sand toys and playing in the sand. I showed them how to make little sand castles with cups, and then make silly sand on the castles. It brought back fun memories of when I used to go to the beach with my family when I was a child. Maiya enjoyed stomping on my castles, while Amani preferred to grab them and throw the sand in the air. Ahh, toddler fun at the beach. What a blast. Can't think of a better way to spend my day off and beat the summer heat.

Tony was helping his friend Hector a few blocks away, so we met Tony where they were having lunch on our way back to the bus stop. Maiya fell asleep nursing on the bus, and I carried her home where she slept a good time before going back out in the backyard pool to rinse off all the beach sand. I think we'll go again before the summer is up.

Anyone want to join us?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Maiya & Amani on the 4th

Maiya testing out the waters with Mama at the water park

Amani enjoys the day

Maiya decides she likes it

Maiya and Amani having watermelon for dessert after delicious BBQ turkey, bean salad and green salad on Mike and Laura's patio deck as the fireworks begin. This was probably the first time that Maiya and Amani actually acknowledged each other and communicated together. The "water park" is like fancy sprinklers in a controlled setting. We had so much fun! The food and the company was way good. Let's all do it again!

Monday, July 10, 2006

When Daddy Babysits on the Weekend

Last Sunday, 7/2, I went to Letty's Bridal Shower and came home about 5pm. This is what I saw when I came home:

This weekend, 7/8, I went out to run a bunch of errands and came home about 5:30 pm. This is what I saw when I came home:

I am afraid to wonder who fell asleep first in both of these scenarios. Tony says there are 2 reasons he knows Maiya is his daughter. One, she eats like him (a lot and with gusto), and two, she has stinky feet... I can think of 3 things! I wonder if I can get a 3-peat next weekend!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Gearing up for the Tofu Festival

"It's Hip to Be Square!"
11th Annual 2006 LA Tofu Festival

Saturday, August 12th 2 pm -10 pm
Sunday, August 13th 12 pm - 6 pm

237 S San Pedro St (at 2nd and S San Pedro)
Little Tokyo, Downtown LA

Tommy Tang, PBS Chef and Cookbook Author
IRON CHEF MORIMOTO of "Iron Chef America"
Troy N. Thompson of "Iron Chef America"
Scott Liebfried of "Hell's Kitchen"
Reggie Sutherland, finalist on "Next Food Network Star"
Candice Kumai of "Top Chef"
Ann Gentry, Real Food Daily
and more!

For Anime Fans, first time in the U.S.

for a chance to WIN A 13-DAY TRIP to Hong Kong, Vietnam & Thailand with the
New Asian Cuisine Chefs Tour!

Live Entertainment including
SickStep, all male hip hop and bboy dance crew, recently appeared on FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance"
TAIKOPROJECT, first American Group to compete and win top honors at the Tokyo International Taiko Contest
Saturday evening concert (TBA soon!)
and much more!

PreSale Package Available Online
$42 Value for $30

General Admission $8
Seniors (60+) $5
Children (5-12) $5
Children (Under 5) Free


For complete event info, visit

Hope to see you there!

All proceeds benefit the Little Tokyo Service Center
"Helping People, Building Community" for over 26 years

Monday, July 03, 2006

Visiting with Tula's Family

Maiya visiting with Auntie Emily

Emily, Scott & Baby Tula

Tony, Maiya, Emily & Tula at Venice Carnival

Maiya checking out the tomatillos and cilantro

Maiya and Tula hanging out at the South Central Farmer's Market

Kuida-Osumi at the South Central Farm

Our friends Scott and Emily from Detroit were in town last week with their baby Tula! We went to the Venice Japanese Community Center Carnival. The following morning, we met them at the South Central Farm for a farmer's market. Scott interviewed some folks for a video he was making for our friends in Detroit. Part of why I've been so interested in the South Central Farm, is from my experiences with the urban gardening movement in Detroit where we spent several summers with Detroit Summer and the Boggs Center.