Monday, June 29, 2009

supporting the (bento) art(s)

Here's a little look at the tri-level bento dinner from the JACCC fundraiser on Sunday night. The portions were delicate and minimalist, but delicious. And they gave us a reusable stretchy furoshiki to take home the clear bento box to use again. All around, it was a nice evening out.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Birds and the umm, seeds

In the car this morning:

MG: Mommy, how does a baby get in the mommy's belly?
JK: Uh, how does a baby get in the mommy's belly... Umm. (Restating the question to stall for time)
MG: Yes, how does the baby get in the mommy's belly?
JK: Um, the daddy puts a seed inside the mommy and then it starts to grow.
MG: Then how come it doesn't fall out?
JK: Um, it stays there until it's ready to be born.
MG: Oh! I thought you take the belly off and put the baby and then put the belly back on.
JK: No, not exactly. The baby grows inside the mommy's belly, or actually her uterus.
MG: Oh, ok. (Continues looking out the car window.)

(Photo by: Cherie Larice)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Play time: FBRB

I took Maiya to see a play on Saturday. It was "Frog Belly Rat Bone" produced by Rogue Artists Ensemble at the Ivy Substation, home of The Actor's Gang in Culver City. It was a last minute decision--I had mentioned the possibility to Maiya earlier that morning, but before making a promise, wanted to see whether she'd be awake/not so cranky (etc.) after shoe shopping (again) and a lunch date. As we were heading home, she said, "Hey are we going to see a play?" The timing was right, we were about a mile away and it was due to start in 15 minutes. The story, puppetry, set and costume design was terrific. The play was based on a book with the same name, about friendship, treasure hunting, and planting seeds in "Cementland." Maiya enjoyed it, and it was a nice way to spend the afternoon... here are some photos off my cell phone.
Before the showStar struck: Meeting "Pirate Boy"--one of the puppets in the cast after the show.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shopping & other milestones

So, it seems, that Maiya loves shopping. Tonight, after Maiya's swim class we went to find some badly needed tennis shoes for her. But instead, we found other summer things on sale, like a new bathing suit $10, flip flops $2.50, and a new kicky little hot pink hat $4.99 (below). Everything was like, "Oh I want this." "Oh, I need that." It was the first time I ever took her into a dressing room to try on new clothes. Also, when we went to the Children's Place, we went straight to the back where I used to buy clothes for her when she was a baby/toddler (yes it's been that long since we've been in the mall). Who knew that we are out of the toddler clothes section and into the regular girl's section. Ay, it's all too fast.

And last night, Maiya announced that she would be spending the night in her bed, in her room, with the hall light on and door open, without mommy.

Anyways, we couldn't find any shoes, but Maiya was quite excited about meeting some new friends and big kids at Old Navy.
Since the move, haven't been able to find my card reader. So you have to settle for what I can pull off my cell phone. Sigh.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Letter to Granny Franny

Dictated by Maiya:

Dear Granny Franny,

I need to tell you some stuff. I have a lot of dogs like you. I hope you like that. And, um, umm, um, umm um, let me think what i'm going to tell her. Let's see here. I have a Baby Gaga doggy, i have a baby dog and her name is Baby Gaga. and I always go to school and do you know what my school name is? You don't? Oh. It's called Nishi Center. Nishhii Ccccenntteeerrr (sounds out the words). And I have a big dragon. And I have big bear too. And I even have a big big Elmo. Is that really funny? Yes, it is really funny. And I have a lot of toys. And dresses. And, daddy has a big wrench.

How are you? You're good? Great! And, um, I wanted to tell you shuplasch, schoot, scoop she gosh (etc.) Oh! I know what I should tell. You have a lot of shupp gashy gash. So how are you my scoopysy Granny Franny? You granny granny ganny fanny? And I used to have a sticker on my nose, an Obama sticker and I used to go to Legoland with my cousins and Grandma Machi and Grandpa Walt and everybody and my cousins, and my cousin came, Kaylee, Kiethy, and Kyle, and Kevin. They came and Auntie Gayle, and Auntie Lee, and Uncle Darin and Uncle Sao, and and um, and and um, and um, and Grandma Machi, and Grandpa Walt, I already said them, and and I like YouTube. I like Mommy the best. and then I say, and one more thing to tell you, and I'm saying "catch me if you can."

Love, Maiya

I hope you feel happy and glad for me.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Jenni's Journey on the Bike Marathon 2009

We did it! I can't believe I was able to complete the LA Bike Tour/Marathon on Monday, Memorial Day. The last two years I participated in the 5K Walk/Run with Maiya. Last year she was happily riding in the stroller for the first mile, but then got hungry, bored, cranky and vascillating between wanting to push the stroller, but not being able to push it straight, but being too tired to walk. On top of that, I had the flu, and turned out to have a high fever later that day.

This year I wanted to try the Bike Marathon. Having spent much of my 20s mountain biking, I wondered if I could do it, considering I hadn't been on my bike in over 15 years. My mountain bike was in too poor a condition to ride, but my husband Tony offered to give me his dad Larry's comfort bike--Larry passed away in February, so wouldn't be needing his bike anymore. Only problem is that it was up at his house in Crestline near Lake Arrowhead, and we hadn't had time to pick it up.

In the meantime, Nobuko began calling me urging me to begin training. My "training" consisted of inconsistent stretching, and 3 trips to to the gym to ride the stationary bike for 15 minutes each. During those gym practice rides, my knees and hip would hurt and I would never even break a sweat. My friend Lily joked that I would do anything to help raise money for Great Leap. She's right.

Then, on Saturday, 2 days before the ride, we woke up early and drove up to the mountains to pick up Larry's bike. On Sunday, the day before the ride, Tony pumped up the tires and set the bike out for me to take a test run. I took off down the street, going 3 long blocks, and back home... maybe 15 minutes. When I came back, I was wheezing and tired. I wondered out loud how many miles it was to the end of the block and back. Tony groaned. He had promised to ride with me, but I could see him dreading the ride.

Anyways, come Monday morning, Memorial Day, Tony and I woke up at 3:30 am, a mere 3 1/2 hours after going to sleep. As I got dressed in the middle of the night, I was a little bit excited, but pretty nervous. We left the house about 4:15 am, Tony had a tunafish sandwich, but I couldn't even think about food.

We arrived at Senshin Buddhist Temple, meeting 8 others from Great Leap who would be riding with us. We rode quietly and slowly in the dark from Senshin over to Exposition Park. When we arrived, I couldn't believe it. With bright lights blaring, we watched as 10,000 riders were lining up to start. We started about 5:10 am.
The first 2 miles down Exposition Park were crowded, with bike traffic causing us to ride slowly, although it seemed like it was downhill. Not expending much energy, I felt pretty good. As we weaved through Leimert Park, it started getting light out. We went through several residential areas, and I said a silent good morning to Ayako, Reverend Mas and Victor, who live in the neighborhood.

Heading North on Crenshaw, the bikers were thinning out. We hit our first big hill at the freeway overpass. As many times as I've been on Crenshaw, I never realized what a big hill it was. We actually went as far as Fairfax and La Cienega, and passed the Kidney Dialysis Center and one of the many hospitals that Larry was at last year. I got a little emotional thinking about how I was riding on his bike and dedicated the ride in his memory.

We did stop once, I think it was Olympic or Third, about halfway through the ride. Shortly after, we headed back, up through Hancock Park and then Koreatown. We rode past Tony's old school where he taught 3rd and 4th grade for several years, and then rode through the area where I lived until I was 3 months old.

Unfortunately, we got misrouted for a few blocks when a man was painting the LA Marathon logo on the street and was sending everyone down an unpaved street and into traffic. After a few blocks, we got back on the right path. Finally, as we headed south on Vermont Avenue and back to USC, I felt the cool air rushing through my shoes, and I realized we were almost there.

22 miles, in about 2 1/2 hours and we finished just after 7:30 am. Aside from a pretty sore butt, I felt pretty good. Tony had been joking that we would be on a date... but it was really nice to spend time with my hubby on the ride. Afterwards we went to breakfast near our house, and then went home to take a bubble bath and a nap.

Thank you to all who generously sponsored us, made pledges and gave moral support. I hope to do it again next year!


P.S. It's not too late to sponsor us with a check payable to Great Leap. Email me or leave a comment and I'll give you details.