Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Letty & Paul--Play Ball!

Before the month is over, I wanted to post pictures of Letty & Paul's wedding earlier this month. They had a beautiful wedding and reception at Dodger Stadium Club. It was very cool to see the baseball field from the windows high above Dodger Stadium. I loved the Tortilla Warmer with Letty & Paul's names and wedding date in Dodger Blue. Kind of looked like a baseball glove, ha ha! Here are some pictures of the day.

Letty & Paul with Mrs. A just after the wedding

Letty's nieces Alicia & Karena all grown up!

Jenni, Maiya and Hector at the Dodger Club making C's (?)

Letty & Paul making their entrance to the reception

Tony, Letty, Jenni & Maiya

In the Dodger Stadium parking lot heading home

From KuidaOsumi to Letty & Paul, we wish you a wonderful life together. It's always so great to see two fun-loving people stepping up to the plate and hitting a home run. Play ball!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Happy Anniversary Love!

Just wanted to share some images from our wedding and feast of celebration picnic 8 years ago this week. I love you honey bun.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Maiya's first month video

Here's a little video I made of Maiya's birth and first few weeks at home. Tony and Maiya just watched it. Tony said, How come there's so many of me sleeping?" I said that's cause that's what we did. Maiya was transfixed on the computer, and when I asked if she wanted to watch it again, she nodded her head up and down. So we did.

Please let me know if you can see it. It's a bit wonky. I had to restart my computer after playing it a few times. Also, worked better in Firefox than Explorer and Safari. Ok, that's enough playing for today. Back to your regularly scheduled kitchen remodeling.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Pardon our dust

Packing up the kitchen

Demolition day

On Wednesday night, Tony and I stayed up all night (till 4:30 am) packing up the kitchen and moving out all the appliances. Then, I went to work a few hours later, exhausted. On Thursday, the contractors came and demo'd everything. Stay tuned for more on the progress of the KuidaOsumi Kitchen Kampaign...

Friday, August 18, 2006

Flying Taco Girl

Maiya loves playing "Flying Taco" with daddy! Mama's not crazy about it, but it's fun to watch and hear the zealous squealing. It's almost 2 am, so no update. Stay tuned for pictures of Letty & Paul's wedding... Tofu Festival... kitchen remodel in process, and more.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

mama, I want it! (18 mo. update)

Maiya is now 18 months old. At her 18 month appointment last week, she weighed in at 22 pounds, 15 ounces, and 32 1/2 inches tall. Yay! It has been 5 months since she was weighed, when she was just barely 18 pounds.

Maiya is also now on the Toddler side at childcare. She loves it! They have a lot of toys (much more than we have at home) and they go outside to play twice a day. She loves the slide and the water table and always comes home with wood chips in her shoes. Some of the kids (under 3) are (in my eyes) gigantic compared to her, and some are a little rough, but she holds her own. One day, I saw her and another girl who is a head taller than her holding hands and walking around together. It was so cute.

She loves bags, putting stuff in and taking it out. She is into buckles and likes to open and close them. She can snap herself into the top buckle in the car seat (and we are careful not to let her see how unbuckle works). She likes to take off our shoes, and give us new ones, or put them on herself. She likes to feed us pretend food, although she often offers real food too. She still eats mostly all organic foods, lots of veggies and grains and pastas. She likes crackers a lot. She's starting to be more open to different things lately, which is good, cause she went through a phase where she wasn't eating much, and had abandoned many of the (mostly soft) foods she previously loved.

Maiya is still nursing and co-sleeping, about 5-6 times a day (and through the night), although we are starting to phase out the mid-day nursings when she is in childcare. I am happy that Maiya is still very interested in her mama's milk, and the antibodies and immunities that it still provides her with, and we are going to let her decide when she is finished, which may or may not be any time soon. When Grandma Fran, breastfeeding policy expert, first suggested that it was best to nurse for the first 2 years, I was unsure, especially given all of the challenges we had in the beginning months. But for now, I'm happy to be a poster mother for extended nursing.

She enjoys books a lot. Some books I have memorized and I can recite or sing them to her (while gettng my last few moments of shuteye in the morning). She has a few hand and feet movements that go along with the books. When we read or sing "Wheels on the Bus," the line that goes "babies on the bus go wah wah wah," she puts her fists to her eyes, wiggles them and says "wah wah wah" and giggles. Another favorite Gyo Fujikawa book, there's a line, "Roll up your trousers and kick off your shoes" where the kids are playing in the mud. She will kick her legs and point to her feet. She might be the only kid on the block who knows what trousers are.

Maiya amazes us with her ability to remember things. She can identify birds, ducks and the standard barnyard farm animals, and knows the major body parts. Tony wonders what she's talking about and says, "That doesn't sound like English." Maybe not, but she knows what she's talking about.

Maiya has found her voice, and she doesn't hesitate to use it. Another term for this is called temper tantrums. The childcare director said to me yesterday, "Jenni, don't worry. By the time she is 3, she will be over this phase." Three! That's her whole lifetime! Anyways, we know that she is developmentally on target, and have to not worry too much about what other people think. Patience I think is going to be the key in the next few months.

Speaking of voice, Maiya has said maybe 10 words (mostly repeating back to me, or pointing out the (h)orse in the book), but I can only get her to say "apple" regularly. And she's not even eating apples these days. She understands everything, and she is able to communicate what she wants a lot of the time without words (lots of pointing and grunting). We talk to her a lot, label everything when we talk to her, and ask her lots of questions. I mouth words slowly so she can see my lips. And she watches my lips and copies the way I move them. No sound comes out, but I'm not worried about it yet. If I know the baby sign for it, I'll sign it for her as well. Sometimes she does the sign, and sometimes she'll give a syllable of the word.

Lately, she uses "mama" to mean "I want it." She'll say to Tony, "mama" (pointing at cereal box and will not stop until we bring it down off the shelf). It was confusing at first until we figured out that she had redefined mama.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It's Tofu Time!

What are you doing this weekend? Come to the Tofu Festival! Saturday, August 12 from 2pm-10pm and Sunday, August 13 from 12pm-6pm. The Tofu Festival is a fundraiser for Little Tokyo Service Center, where I work, and I will be there all weekend, along with maybe 20,000 others who will attend the Tofu Festival and Nisei Week.

If you've never been to the Tofu Festival, you should come on down to Little Tokyo. There are over 40 food booths from local restaurants and dishes like tofu tacos, tofu pizzas, tofu pate, tofu ice cream, tofu chili, tofu pancakes, and so much more!

There will be a Tofu Eating Contest, Anime-D marathon, over 65 health and fitness vendors and arts and crafts marketplace, a tofu boutique, Iron Chef Cooking demos, a Wi-Fi Scavenger Hunt and an entertainment stage with taiko groups, hip hop dance groups, etc. On Saturday night, there will be a concert with Ill Again and Blackalicious.

Little Tokyo, 237 S. San Pedro Street (between 2nd and 3rd Streets). Free parking at City Hall (might not be accessible on Sat. afternoon), and plenty of pay parking nearby. Admission Price is $8 for adults.

If you have questions, call 213/473-3030. If I'm not outside helping out with the Marketplace, I might be answering the phones!


It's hip to be square! So see you there!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Obon Season

Obon season runs usually from the beginning of July to the beginning of August. They are held at many of the local Buddhist temples and are a celebration to honor the ancestors. We only made it to two Obons this year, Senshin held on July 1st and the West LA Obon on July 30th.

Here we are at the Senshin obon with Nobuko. It was a little hectic as Maiya did not want to be held. She wanted to be out wandering amongst the circle of dancers-crossing into the dancing traffic. She really liked all the dancing lights. We danced the Tanko Bushi and One Plus One, the two dances that Tony & I know.

It was my first time to the West LA obon, it is the one that Tony grew up going to, and it was a lot of fun. It was much bigger than I thought it would be. My parents were visiting, so they went with us. Maiya is wearing her taiko and fan hapi coat sent from Yuko from Okinawa last summer! We didn't see the dancing at this one as it was out on the street, and we were inside eating food. Maiya and Tony enjoyed the Teriyaki chicken and Chili Rice very much as you can see from the photo above. I liked that they had Bi Bim Bap, my favorite Korean rice dish. The shaved ice was awesome, but Maiya had a bit of a meltdown, so we had to leave rather quickly. Such is life with an active toddler!

APA Parent - Survey

Peg tagged me, so here's my APA Parent survey. I changed the last question.

1. I am: Sansei, 3rd generation Japanese American

2. My child is: Hapa Hapa Yonsei Gosei (3/4 J.A, 1/4 European American Jew), which means that because her dad is Hapa, she is a Hapa Hapa, which is half a Hapa, and Gosei (5th generation Japanese American) which makes her 5th generation J.A. (and 7th generation Jewish European American (via Pittsburgh) on her dad's side, and then 4th generation Yonsei on my side. Confusing? You could just call her Hapa.

3. I first realized I was APA when: I went to college and my boyfriend was Vietnamese and my good friends were Quynh Anh, Lan Anh & Sonny (Vietnamese), Lea (Pilipina), Monica (Korean, raised in Paraguay and the Valley), Takae (Chinese, raised in Japan), Ladan (born in Iran), Amelia (Mexican American), Alyce (Chinese), Minna (Taiwanese). Before college, my group of friends were all White, except for Cynthia who was African American. When I got active in the commemoration of the 50th Remembrance of Japanese American internment in 1992, I reconnected with my JA roots and identity, which also kicked off my interest in community work and political activism.

4. People think my name is: Jenni or Emiko. I also go by Jen or Jennifer.

5. The family tradition I most want to pass on is: Oshogatsu, the Japanese New Year's celebration

6. The family tradition I least want to pass on is: I can't think of any.

7. My child’s first word in English was: MaMa. Then apple.

8. My child’s first non-English word was: Well, apple was just last week, so none. Although she does understand "siente te," sit down in Spanish, and I regularly say "agua" instead of water. I don't speak Japanese, but I have used "oishi desuyo?" which means "does it taste good?" since she started eating. Her first baby signs were "milk" and "more."

9. The non-English word/phrase most used in my home is:
and "chotto matte yo" which means, just a minute, "abunai" which means be careful, or dangerous, and sometimes "atsui" which means hot!

10. One thing I love about being an APA parent is: exposing my daughter to different cultures, not just her own.

11. One thing I hate about being an APA parent is: nothing I can think of.

12. The best thing about being part of an APA family is: Tony says, "not too sure what it is to not be an APA family."

13. The worst thing about being part of an APA family is: Racism is bad, any way you slice it.

14. To me, being an Asian Pacific American parent means: that I have a responsibility to my child to raise her to embrace other cultures and nationalities, and to allow her to learn about being Japanese American. If she wants to play in the JA basketball leagues, or join a Japanese taiko drum group, that will be fine with us. Although if she wants to do African drumming and dance or Mexican folkorico (I have friends who teach both), then that will be cool too!