Sunday, February 28, 2010

Maiya's 5th Bday Party

We had Maiya's 5th birthday party at the same park where Tony & I got married 12 years ago.  
Tony & Maiya on the play structure.  Note that Tony was able to relax and have fun since we ordered the food instead of BBQing.  Maiya spent most of the day with her friends in the playground area.  I barely saw her until cake time.

Speaking of food, we ordered Ono's BBQ Chicken, Mac Salad and Rice, Chinese Chicken Salad from Feast from the East Salad.  Uncle Bill brought chashu, and my mom brought a fruit salad.  Tony put together the appetizers, and I made azuki jello.
Maiya had a full plate of course.  Peanuts were surprisingly a pretty big hit.
Hawaiian Paradise cake from King's Hawaiian in Torrance.
It's all about Maiya, and she loves it.

Craft time!  I had bought foam door hangers and foam sticker stuff at Michael's Crafts the night before.  The kids were really engaged in the making of the door hangers. 

The other crafts were beads.  Not as easy, but some of the kids really enjoyed it.
Katie, Madi and Eddie, our neighbors.
Lily, Lisa, Kai & Miya.  The older kids played catch and other sporty games
while the littler kids played on the playground structures.
Lauren and Lindsey with Maiya.  Lauren and Maiya friends since they were 9 months old.
Grandma, Grandpa and Auntie Lily
Saying goodbye to Devin from preschool.  Devin with his Japanese carp kite, pencil and DJ Maiya's music mix CD.  I'll post the playlist someday.

In all, over 40 people came, 19 children including Maiya.  And the nice thing is that we didn't have to really stress out about anything.  It was a lot of work the day before getting the CDs made and picking up the party supplies and crafty stuff, but I think everyone had a nice time.  Well, we did stress out over the possible weather disaster.  There was a big storm the entire week before the party, and even the day before.  But, luck was with us, we had a nice dry, sunny day.  A little chili and a cold breeze in the shade, but couldn't have asked for a sunnier day to celebrate Maiya's 5th bday.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Grandpa Walt's Bday

Dad turned 79 on Valentine's Day.  Here we are celebrating lunch with family and some Panda Express.  Everyone except me seems to go there quite often, I actually had never had it before.  It wasn't bad.  I made an organic sweet potato mochiko dessert that turned out pretty yucky.  Don't know what happened, it came from the Senshin cookbook.  Anyways, I must have done something wrong, or my stove runs too hot  Anyways, we had a nice time.  The kids are growing up so fast.  They made foam photo frames.  

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Making Valentine's

Maiya designed Valentine's cards for her friends at school.  Unfortunately, we waited until 9pm the night before we needed them, so we were up late addressing envelopes and cutting out hearts with origami paper.  Despite the late start, we had fun making them together.  After Maiya went to sleep, I attached the cards to little flower pots with strawberry seed pods, rather than give candy.

Here is me & Maiya actually on Valentine's Day.  I had bought matching t-shirts for me, Tony & Maiya.  They have a phrase that says "Many Hands Help Lighten the Load," the proceeds of which went to Haiti earthquake relief.  Unfortunately, Tony's didn't fit, but we took some self-pictures wearing the shirt.  
That afternoon, we took Maiya to Uncle Bill's for the afternoon, then went to Toshi Sushi in Jtown for a delicious and healthy lunch date, then to see the "Making of Stand Up for Justice" the film NCRR and VC made about Ralph Lazo in 2004 for high school students, now available with Special Features.  Some of the interviews that Tony and I shot, back in 2002, made it into the DVD, including an interview clip of me dressed as  a 1940s Nisei reminding me of my grandma.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pump it Up for Kevin

Kevin's 5th Bday at Pump, Pump, Pump it Up!

Ok, well actually the party was a month ago, back in January.  Wouldn't  you know that I really jammed my hand when I landed on it on the obstacle course and heard a cracking sound--it still hurts a month later.  No more pump it up for me.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Bruin, at 5

Maiya started playing basketball for 3-5 year olds with the Bruins in January.  After taking a basketball clinic in November, Maiya decided she wanted to join Jr. Lakers with the Y.  Actually, she was kind of hot and cold. We'd ask her if she wanted to play, and she'd say yes one day, and no the next.  We thought she was going to be a no, but then she changed her mind and decided to try it out.

The first game was pretty scary.  Lots of kids falling down and crying, the kind of heart-tugging that goes to parents when their little ones are freaked out by the speed and craziness of the game.  Actually, a good word to describe 3-5 year olds playing basketball is "pell-mell," a little chaotic, a little crazy, just a little too fast.

Some of the kids are really good, they know what they are doing, they know how to run and dribble and pass and others are learning where and how, but not really why they are in the game.  Maiya's first game was a little deer-in-headlights-ish, but in her 2nd game, she actually made a basket.  And, even though they don't keep score, Maiya's into early math and she is keeping score and mouthing us the number of baskets each time one is made.

I like that the team has boys and girls, and that the teams are very diverse ethnically.  I like that I also like that the snacks are healthy fruits and water.  I like that she's a hustler and not afraid to run back and forth, and that she really wants to get the ball.  But mostly, I like that Tony, Maiya and I are getting out early on Saturday mornings and going to the games as a family.  Go Bruins!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Maiya's Manjuu party

Hard to believe that Maiya is 5 already.  She had a Manjuu party at preschool again this year.  Chocolate and Rainbow Mochi from Fugetsu-do, plus a special Strawberry Mochi with a "5" candle on it.  We took Maiya out from school a few hours early, took some pictures out front (her 2 year anniversary of starting preschool) and we walked to J-town and had an early noodle dinner at Daikokuya, although she really wanted Mr. Ramen, which is where we usually go when the line at Daikokuya is too long of a wait.  

Our little girl is growing up.  *Sniff*

Friday, February 12, 2010

Grandma Machi's Bday

Last month, was Grandma Machi's Birthday.  We celebrated with a Make Your Own Taco night at my sister Gayle's house.  The kids are growing up so fast.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

File Under Bdays Over 90

Sherman Grancell was one of the founders of the law firm that I worked at for 12 years, beginning as a legal secretary in college back in 1985.  Sherman and his wife Sylvia, were among the nicest people I have ever met.  His son Norin was my boss for many years.  He was already retired when I started working in the Inglewood office in 1987, but he still had an office and came in every few weeks.  I never knew how active he was, and still is, at UCLA.  He celebrated his 100th birthday party at UCLA on Sunday. I say file under Bdays over 90, but actually, 2 people I know are now 100 years old.

Here's the article from the UCLA Daily Bruin: Sherman Grancell's love for UCLA still strong at 100 years (Photo Credit: Daily Bruin)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

DJ Maiya's Music Mix: Volume 5

DJ Maiya’s second music mix is being released in time for Maiya Grace Kuida-Osumi’s 5th birthday.  This CD is a gathering of some of Maiya’s favorite songs and stories.  As you will see, her interests are an eclectic mix of reggae, kids’ dance music, Japanese stories, really, really rock ‘n roll (a little louder Mommy), songs about animals, and the environment.  Now that she has a little used boom box in her room, she loves selecting and listening to music, an audiophile in the making.  Thanks to Auntie Nobuko for allowing us to include B.Y.O. Chopstix, a new project to be debuted on Earth Day, April 22, 2010.

Free to Be… You and Me                   The New Seekers “Free to Be… You and Me”
Messy World                                     Rachel Bean “Princess Bean’s Messy World”
You Are A Lot Like Me                   Phyllis Chang “Sing and Dance Along”
Story:  Boy Meets Girl                  by Mel Brooks & Marlo Thomas “Free to Be…”
Ziggy Says                                     Ziggy Marley “Family Time”
Family Time                                     Ziggy & Judah Marley “Family Time”
P-L-A-Y                                                       Kids’ Dance Party - Kids’ Party Favorites
Story:  Swimmy                                     by Leo Lionni
Plastico                                                      Willie Colon & Ruben Blades “Siembra”
Banana Pancakes                                     Jack Johnson “In Between Dreams”
Human Nature                                     Joe Reilly “Children of the Earth”
What Makes a Bird a Bird                   Joe Reilly “Children of the Earth”
Story: Tongue-Cut Sparrow                  Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories
Ooki Na Taiko from                                     Let’s Sing!  Japanese Songs for Kids
Musunde, Hiraite                                    Let’s Sing!  Japanese Songs for Kids
Mr. Roboto                                     Styx from Classics Vol. 15
Back in Black                                    AC/DC
B.Y.O. Chopstix                                     Nobuko Miyamoto with Luke Aidge Patterson
Children of the Earth                   Joe Reilly “Children of the Earth”

Jenni, Tony & Maiya                                                                                        
February 2010

(These are just samples.  If you are interested, please google the artists and buy their CDs!