June 2006 Archives

And now the waiting begins

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I need to update Kokochi so I don't keep giving folks heart attacks with the last title. I got a lot of "oh my god" messages/voicemails. Sorry, but it was fun! ; )

I'm on maternity leave now. I honestly felt like I could continue working, but now that I'm off, I'm realizing I really do need this downtime. I think that working as normal was a distraction for me that was good for my mental stability, but not so good for "welcoming" her (see how I'm avoiding 'Gargle' to give her a chance to shake that?).

I've still got lots to do - steam clean our carpets, wash her baby clothes, dress the crib, get a dresser to put her clothes in, etc. And I will now walk everywhere, do my yoga exercises, have Dav massage my upper ankles (some secret labor inducing spot, apparently) in an effort to coax her out soon. My mom has been here almost a week, and now we're worried she'll be late, thus leaving me with less time during which my mom can help once baby is here.

On a deeper level, I realize I need this downtime to acknowledge this transition. To be honest, I've got some mourning to do about changing my life with Dav that I love - as is -. What is going to happen to our relationship, to my identity, to life as we know it? I know we're not pioneering anything new, but to us, this is huge. So I'm glad to feel this now and sit with it, instead of such feelings hitting me when I haven't slept for days and we've got a new human life on our hands.

Overall, I'm confident we'll do fine. We're pretty go-with-the-flow, and my gosh, we have an incredible group of friends and family all waiting to welcome her and support us! I'm grateful to know we won't be lonely :) It's just so mind-boggling about what is about to happen. And the fact that we can't know/control when she'll come is a good reminder that "she" will be her own individual being doing what she needs to do. I am excited to finally meet her, and peer into her face to see what features are whose. A little Dav and Mie...wow!!

She's here!

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Not the baby...but my mom! Which for me is another concrete step towards 'her' arrival.

My mom brought a bunch of Japanese food (yay!!), and an old-school baby wobbly doll that I totally recognized from the sound it makes even before unwrapping it. It's a remake of a toy that must be from the 60s. We then went to Nijiya and bought fish, and she made a lovely dinner of cold somen noodles, miso-ni saba, and gomae veges. Mom's food can't be beat no matter where ; )

Elida came over too, and my mom gave our whole family history to her. It was kinda funny where my mom got tearful, and I got tearful too. What a scene! Now she's here to share this grand moment, and I'm very grateful. Elida had a backache, so post-dinner my mom massaged her and got her doing yoga. It was pretty funny to see them together twisted on the floor...


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Last Tuesday, Dav and I went to see Adam Greenfield speak about his book Everyware. I first met Adam in Tokyo, and he's the one who explained to me back then that I was "moblogging," putting it into a context I had not been aware of.

He put together the First International Moblogging Conference, where I met a lot people I continue to bump into at conferences. And he participated in Dav and my side-show; the First International Love Hotel Moblogging Conference. That was fun!

But what I remember most is Adam's closing remarks in which he questioned what happens to serendipity when we start having technology at our fingertips at all times giving us information instantaneously. His example of how he discovered a whole new genre of music as a teenager by accidentally finding a dusty old box in the back of his favorite record shop haunts me. With so much digital information to guide ourselves around our world, we lose random events, meetings, and new discoveries. At the time of the IMC, I was enthralled by all the technology and fun I was being introduced to. And I deeply appreciated Adam's words that made me take a step back.

I wasn't disappointed with his talk about his book either. Dav already knew about the technology that Adam spoke of, but for me, Adam posed questions about what it means to have technology embedded all around us in an increasingly invisible way, recording all sorts of information about us. I suspect his words will provide food for thought for a while.

But also, it was just good to see Adam!! I loved hanging out in Tokyo, and even got to see him and his wife Nurri at Burning Man, yet haven't been able to see them for quite some time. Thanks, Adam!

I'm going to miss Six Apart

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I definitely plan to return to work, but will be taking time off to properly welcome you-know-who. It'll be very weird since I've been here so long (well, in Six Apart's company history, 2.5 years is very long!), and feel so much a part of the company that I'm having a hard time letting go. In recent meetings, upon hearing of new projects, my desire is to say, "I'll do it!" I don't want to be left out of the excitement...Plus, it's just fun to work here and I'll miss my group.

That's probably why I'm still working, and actually plan to work a bit into next week too, granted Gargle stays put in my belly. But I am preparing to cut out. And today, my colleagues kindly gathered for lunch together, and presented me with the fanciest stroller ever! I'll be very happy to use it knowing it's from my Six Apart group. A cute mobile thingy, and a bear hat (that I squeezed my head into to try on) was included too. Thank you, thank you! It means a lot to me.

It was very strange to have the stroller by my desk for Dav to pick up later...

Props to my bro

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Congrats to my brother Ian: sounds like he and his team made a nice splash at Yahoo's Hack Day.

Joie de Vivre

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Met up with Joy, an old Tokyo high school friend. She lived in SF when I first arrived here, then went to Tokyo via her law firm for a few years, then came back reluctantly when her firm asked her to. I knew how much she enjoyed living in Tokyo as an adult, and how she felt she fit there more than here. But she came back for her career...even though it didn't feel quite right.

I'm happy and proud to say that she landed the most awesome job that will now take her back to Tokyo, as a Partner in her new law firm no less. Joy kicks ASS! She will be one of the very few woman litigation lawyers in Tokyo!! And she's getting a mighty sweet ex-pat deal to boot. She deserves this, and I'm so excited for her.

Dav and I plan to go back to Tokyo in September. I'm already planning on leaving Gargle with my parents for a night so we can enjoy Tokyo night life and hang out in what I'm sure will be a swanky central Tokyo apartment where Joy will live. Wohooo.

Beautiful objects

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I've had the pleasure to get to know mlle a., first via her comments on Kokochi, then through a shared love for our furry family members, then by following her flickr stream that showcases her many beautiful handmade hair pins and sashes that are gorgeous, and oftentimes very Japanese. I love her style sense.

A while ago, I assisted her in ordering some special kanzashi pins from Japan. I was more than happy to help with her artwork that I so admire. She used the kanzashi in this nice bridal piece. In return, I received the cutest matching pin and hairpin. I've been using them with delight, and have been meaning to showcase her here. She has an Etsy shop too so you can order her work. Her presentation/wrapping of the items is beautiful too, so I highly recommend for gifts. Thank you, mlle a.!

A non-baby-shower shower

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Rachel and Toni organized a lovely non-baby-shower shower, meaning it was a grand gathering of friends and family, but with minimum traditional shower activities. It basically was a gourmet-food-filled afternoon of fun and laughter, with a supportive speech from Rachel and my dear brother Ian. Our Burning Man Campalicious crowd, old friends from when I worked at another company in SF years ago, and even a Tokyo high school friend I hadn't seen in ages joined. With 4 kids mixed in, it was full of running around and lots of catching up.

I really appreciated all the effort made to put on the production (big hugs to Rachel and Cesar for hosting us all), and loved seeing everyone before we enter the "parent club." I do feel very supported, and know that we'll still have our community of fun-loving friends even though we'll be in diaperland with sleepless nights. It's encouraging to know this transition is welcomed by all.

I loved having my brother and his family there too. After spending so much time apart (he in the US while I was in Japan or vice versa), I'm still surprised that he actually can show up and share such moments. He has some pics too.

As the evening approached, we got a yard fire going, snuggled up and continued to chit chat 'til quite late. I can't believe that so soon it won't be just Dav and I chilling with friends, and we'll have to consider a Miss Somebody's schedule...

Slanted Door with Kimi

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Kimi's birthday is around the corner, and knowing I'm gonna be mighty busy soon, I coaxed her into having an early b-day dinner with me at the Slanted Door. I love their food, and was excited to get to go with Kimi to catch up and savor the food together.

Sure enough, it took us forever to decide what to get, but we finally settled on a scallop/caviar appetizer, baby pork rib appetizer, 5-spice duck legs, and a whole fish plate (yes, we love to eat!). Our waiter took it upon himself to give us string beans as we forgot to balance our choices with a vege dish. Frankly, I dug the string bean dish the most...although all was absolutely fantastic. We had a rice pudding dessert with a ginger sauce. Yum indeed!

Then we went home, lounged on the sofa with Dav, and rubbed my belly all together as Gargle swam around digesting the food.


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Here's a snippet from that Saturday baby cpr class we took, instead of enjoying a late night peaches christ/mexican wrestling match.

My awesome handyman husband

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That's Gargle's crib...

My awesome handyman husband

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Mikhail Baryshnikov

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Wohoo! Went to see Mikhail Baryshnikov with Rachel. I had seen the ad for the performance, and had wanted to go, but promptly forgot about it. Luckily, Rachel had the same idea and called me, although by then we had to scramble for tickets. Rachel came through with tickets though! Our seats were initially seperated, but a seat was open next to her so we got to be together. Yay!

I've seen Baryshnikov once before in San Diego. That time, and this time, the venue was intimate and totally worth it. I didn't dare take pictures during the dances, but still got snippets of him bowing...Granted Baryshnikov is not in his prime, he still gracefully and beautifully danced. His solo piece was with videos of his old self dancing in the background. He danced with himself, playfully acknowledging that he was getting old and couldn't keep up. Giving up on his old crazy steps, or patting his aching back as he sauntered off stage brought laughter.

I really enjoy getting out to see dance. It's such a different art form, and I've always loved modern dance (did a tiny bit myself when living in France and got to go to Prague as part of a student troop). It was nice to also have a little one-on-one time with Rachel...been a while. I picked her up downtown, and she shared some Japanese snacks she bought for us. Once we got to the venue, she brought out amaziing chocolates (see the giant chocolate I devoured?). She's so good to me - thanks Kitten!

My wacky world that I love

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Elida invited a group of us to a movie that is part of the Frameline Festival. She described the movie as:

!El Presidente!

Friday, June 16 10:30pm, The Roxie (Valencia & 16th)

It's about a Mexican wrestler in Cabo San Lucas, El Homo Loco, who runs for election. It sounds like a wonderful campy film, and it is hosted by "Peaches Christ" who does the Midnight Mass cult movies here in SF. Anyway, she'll be doing some sort of live thing including mexican wrestling, and her short film parodying Truth or Dare will be previewed first.

Dav responded: "wow, sounds like fun! but i've got a baby CPR class at 9am, so i'll pass. that's right, i'm skipping mexican wrestling and peaches christ for baby cpr. sigh."

To which Sean responded: "Dav you're being pretty stubborn and inflexible here. Why not move your

baby cpr class to the peaches christ/mexican wrestling venue?"

Where else would such a conversation occur?? I love it!

Marin Street Art

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Still working full-time (I do enjoy my work!), and also running against the biggest "deadline" ever with tasks to do and people to meet as if we're about to depart to the moon, so I'm slack at updating kokochi. Here's a fun snippet though from Sunday when Dav and I headed to Marin to meet up with his bio-sis Colleen at the annual Street Painting Festival. It was quite impressive, and I'd recommend it once. Apparently, after Sunday evening, they wash it all away...sorta like Burning Man where just have to let go of beautiful art.

The last pic is of Dav peering into Colleen's magificent sporty chariot for her 9 month old Maria-Rose. We're studying all this baby paraphernalia with more intent nowadays...

oh my...a real baby shower!

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My my. Dav and I actually had a baby shower, albeit sans the goofy games! Dav's bio-fam invited the whole clan over for a celebration of our "art project." I had mentioned that we've been receiving a lot of hand-me-downs already, and that Dav and I really aren't the type for traditional shower-fare. But Colleen, Dav's bio-sister who hosted the event, said she couldnít help it. However, it was lovely and I was very touched with all the details and tons of food.

We did have one game, which was actually fun. Everyone got a small paper to place on top of their heads, and had to draw a baby on it without looking (I snapped Dav and Marcus attempting). The results were hilarious (you can see 3 examples; I chose the 1st example as the winner - drawn by Dav's bio-mom Marie for its abstract dancing-with-glee quality).

The whole afternoon was beautiful, all decorated and festive. I couldn't believe I found myself in that central position, surrounded by everyone as I opened each gift, everyone admiring how cute everything was. We got some very nice gifts indeed - a beautiful diaper bag, practical baby-care items, many gorgeous outfits, and the most adoring fluffy jacket and matching hat. Of course Marcus gave us a punk rock skull and bones baby shirt which pleased Dav greatly. Colleen - whose baby Maria-Rose is now 8 months - also handed us her swing, tons of clothes, and a doorway hanging thingy. I was a little bashful to receive so much - especially such nice stuff - but it made me so happy to know that everyone eagerly awaits our baby's arrival. She will be surrounded with so much love!

Dav's bio-grandmother, Maria, had 8 children. They moved from Scotland to Canada to San Francisco. Maria told me stories of having to take care of the children during WWII bombing, how she gave birth in Canada and was carried into the hospital since there were no wheelchairs available, how she traveled on boat pregnant with all these kids running around...I can't imagine how hard it must have been back then with 8 children! She's cool as a cucumber and always cheerful. What a role model. She advised me that when I have contractions, just imagine the ocean...it comes in, but always goes back out, so focus on the going out part. I will keep that in mind.

The Callaghan Clan is hilarious and wild. The stories that I hear are outrageous - compared to the tame Japanese side of my family. These kids stopped the boat when traveling to Canada when 2 of them hid, and the boat crew thought they fell overboard! And when traveling by train, Dav's bio-mom and her brother wandered off at a pit-stop causing all the passengers to get off yelling and looking for them. With 8 children, they sure have some fine memories indeed. In our super cautious society now, such crazy memories are difficult to make, but I hope Gargle will have some. Itís quite an experience to witness all the laughter the Callaghan's share every time there is a gathering :)

The last 2 pics show just how much Gargle stuff we have now. A whole closet-full, and a crib piled high in the living room until we have space in the bedroom!

Countries I've visited

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17 countries. Many more to go!

create your own visited countries map

It's getting tight!

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Since a few days ago, my level of discomfort has increased. My pregnancy thus far has been alternating growth spurts and plateaus versus a steady slow growth. During the spurts, my body aches and hurts. Then a balance is achieved and I'm happy again.

I seem to be in a growth spurt now...but the awkwardness is more than usual. I'm huge! And I realized, sitting at my desk at work, that my preggy pants are tight...even completely unbuttoned. And I just took off my beloved BellaBand as that started feeling too tight too. So now my raw belly sticks out from under my shirt (I'm tying a cardigan around my waist to hide it...ha ha, yeah, I'm really hiding it aren't I?).

Part of me wants to lie down, but I also know lying down is no longer comfortable. Oi...I need to be floating in a pool under the warm sun with a virgin cocktail in my hand. If someone were massaging my feet, that'd be perfect ; )