November 2006 Archives

Spofford or Ross?

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Back in June of 2005, I posted a picture to the Guess Where SF pool on flickr. It was of a tiny alley in Chinatown. Folks guessed its location, but I somehow completely missed confirming the answer. Then recently, I got a new comment that said, "Kokochi will never answer this one anyway."

Oops! But by then I realized I no longer remembered...so this morning Dav and I went to Chinatown for Dim Sum, and checked out both Spofford (1st pic) and Ross (2nd pic). So Ross is the correct answer. : )

Calling for Tokyo Santas

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If you're in Tokyo, and are so inclined, I highly urge you to participate in this.

Last year I was pregnant so had a sober Santarchy. It was still quite the event and totally fun. Let go and celebrate!

Tokyo really needs this, so participate: "No spectator, YOU ARE GOD!!!!"

early evening cuteness

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Click to see video
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[the video is on night mode so when Tes moves, she gets a big blurry...]

Turkey

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We went to our neighbors Michelle and Jeremy's for Thanksgiving. It's so nice to hang out close to home. I made appetizers, and we just had to carry those a few houses uphill with Tes, and we were ready!

Tes didn't want to sleep for quite some time. When she finally dozed off, I put her in Sophia's playroom to sleep. What I didn't know was that the room gets quite chilly. I checked in on Tes, but didn't touch her. When she woke up around midnight and started crying, and I finally picked her up, she was chilled cold!! I felt SO bad, and immediately bundled her in my arms and brought her into the living room where we all were. Poor thing...

Other than that, dinner was excellent. I'm kinda getting used to this Thanksgiving thing. I wouldn't mind if I didn't sit down to such a meal since I didn't really grow up with it, but the warmth of sharing a traditional meal like that is rubbing off on me. For every holiday that goes by, I wonder what kind of traditions Dav and I will celebrate with Tesla. We aren't into holidays just because they are holidays, although we always appreicate the day off.

We don't care much for Christmas for example. But with Tesla, she won't want to be left out. So what will we do for her? I couldn't help myself and already bought cheesy ornaments to make one of our indoor plants festive this year. I found a chubby snowman that reminded me of Tesla, so he's dangling for the upcoming season. I really wanted some decor for her.

Birthdays are nice. But what about say the whole tooth fairy tradition? I didn't have that since kids throw lost teeth over the roof in Japan, and there's no gift from the fairy. I'm sure we'll figure it out, but maybe we'll mix some regular holidays/traditions with our own made up ones.

p.s. that isn't a fire on the dining table. It's just some candles but taken with my camphone's night mode : )

OK, back to babies

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I just had to upload all these photos of Tes lined up with her second cousins. There have been 4 babies in the Callaghan family this past year. The oldest had a flu and couldn't come to this past Sunday's gathering. So Tesla was the oldest and BIGest. She could easily roll over Aidan who is just 1 month old.

She got held by all her great-aunties and uncles. Of course, we HAD to line them all up and get pictures even though the babies couldn't care less. It was quite a hilarious scene.

Laughing Squid Decade 2 party

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So, as you can see from the previous 2 posts, we successfully went out on Saturday and had a blast. I finally have a few pictures that aren't about Tesla and are taken past midnight! I unfortunately caught a slight cold thereafter so am uploading late (perhaps I had too much fun?). More pics of the party are here.

I am so proud of Tesla. Apparently, she didn't cry a bit. The babysitter was a very experienced lady who works at the day care place where our neighbor's daughter goes to. So we shard the babysitter and went on a fun double date. I fully expected to be called back before midnight, but gradually I was convinced Tesla must be snoozing away, so I thoroughly enjoyed myself. T'was fun to finally dust off our old party clothes. Nice to have friends see us and say, "hey, Dav and Mie are back!"

Tesla, thank you so much. You are the best baby ever!! And thank you to Michelle and Jeremy for setting it all up!

One of the shows

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Click to see video
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Yay, we're still out! The babysitter still hasn't called me back so she must be asleep. : )

We're out.

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First time out together without Tes. She's snoozing under the care of a babysitter. At Squid List's 2 decade party at Mighty.

why I have zero memory

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Click to see video
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Click to see video
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People often ask me, "so how are you? how is it with a baby?" to which I often say, "I'm fine, it's fun!" That is entirely true. Except that my memory is noticeably diminished. It's subtle to the extent that I don't feel any different. But I simply don't remember things, as in social appointments I make or the words of things. And I'm conscious enough to know that I should know...so I am aware of this memory issue. It's constant enough that now I tell everyone, "call me if you don't hear from me" or "email me that cuz I'll forget."

Physically, I don't notice that I'm tired. Tesla has been a good sleeper and since she sleeps in our bed, feeding her at night is as simple as rolling over. However as Dav pointed out, I have not had a solid 8 hours since Tesla was born. It doesn't bother me, but he has a point.

For example, I usually get out of bed at a decent 7 or 8am hour (so I can make Dav's lunch which I love doing). But I forget that in reality, I'm awake from 5am..or 6 if I'm lucky. Click on the videos. One is Tes more or less cooing with a sprinkle of screaming. The other is of her delight in howling/screaming. And that's just when the sun is coming up (the videos are taken from me in bed with the curtain showing some light, but it's still
dark!) She'll do that...and I'll stay put in bed, patting her if she's cool with that, or otherwise put her on my tummy pretending I'm playing with her when I'm still "trying" to sleep.

She'll take her "morning" nap around 7 or 8, when I get up to shower and start my day.

I love those morning times though. She's fresh and smiley. Not a hint of crying (the screaming is clearly a fun activity for her).

Some may ask, "well, why not put her to bed later so she wakes up later?" Well, she just conks out around 7 or so. Can't do much about that for the moment.

Honestly, since I'm not working yet, I don't mind a bit. It's just my memory.

But what's ironically REALLY hard is that I'm meeting a ton of new people now. I've always been horrible at remembering names. But now, I'm meeting new moms AND their cute babies. They all have names!! It's getting real embarrassing as some of the mommy groups overlap so I meet the same people over and over. They remember my name and even Tesla's. But I'm always stumbling...Quel horreur!!

I'm looking into getting a new phone. I've talked to several moms and there are certain "mommy friendly" phones in the sense they make it easy to note shopping lists, update calendars, etc. When I get my next phone, it will have to be moblog friendly AND mommy friendly.

Christie

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Christie has been back in town...in the middle of quite an incredible transition. I love that she started this on her own (vs. being pushed into it by circumstances), and is fully aware and appreciative of all that she is experiencing. I was eager to hear more and just get some XT vibe, so we had breakfast together this morning.

We talked about how the Campalicious group is in transition too. From a bunch of young men and women experimenting with careers, lifestyles and choices, we all seem to be reaching for change. Whether that's marriage, parenthood, new careers, new paths, new habitats...we're all in transition.

I started blogging after I met Dav, which was after a huge transition in my life and a lot of internal digging/struggling. It was difficult and personal, so I wouldn't have thought of blogging about it anyway, but it just so happens that I started blogging when my life took a wonderful turn. So it may seem that my life is only the good, but I have had struggles to get here. That experience made me appreciate what others go through, and I value watching/supporting others make necessary changes when needed. It's super cool to see our group grow in various ways.

And I am grateful for where I am now and what I have. Christie is the kind of person who inspires you to take stock of your life and "check in." Hugs to Christie and your new adventures!

5 babies!!

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Yesterday 5 mamas and babies gathered here. We're trying to do this biweekly to hang. We have tea/cookies, and wine : )

The energy shifts considerably with a group of babies. Tesla isn't quite used to the commotion, and was doing a lot of staring. She was the youngest by far so didn't really interact with the others. I can't wait for her to get to that stage where she will want to reach out to the other babies. I think she's finally getting a little bored of being just with me though so being in a group is good. I take her to activities (like the lapsit library), but then it's way too big for intimate playing. Soon...

Tesla was so tired near the end that she screamed for a few minutes as I held her, then conked out (I didn't want to disappear in order to put her down so I just held her). But all the babies basically got tired and cranky within a few hours. So after us mommies laughed at our various experiences so far and shared tidbits, each baby got a diaper change then off they went back home.

I loved when we lined all 5 babies up. I loved seeing Tesla with them, looking at the others. I love feeling so much pride and love for her, picking her out of the group, knowing she's mine. It was a lot of fun to see the other babies, each so unique and all so darn cute!! p.s. It was pretty hilarious when the babies lined up. They were tired of it all but us mamas kept trying to get the perfect picture, making them stay put!

Green Festival

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Went to the SF Green Festival today. Kinda neat to see all the vendors and learn about the new stuff out there, but sheesh, it was crowded! Either they didn't expect so many people or they just planned the space badly, but it wasn't exactly fun getting around seeing the stuff. I thought of buying Christmas gifts, but gave up. Clearly, being green is gaining popularity. However, tthe festival catered to the choir. The scene reminded me of Oregon, and most already were into being environmentally conscious. The challenge is to reach out to others, and the $15 entrance fee certainly didn't address that.

I got lots of coupons, free samples, and catalogs. I'm looking forward to discovering some cool new products. I couldn't help it and bought Tesla some cute organic cotton stuff by Speesees (hey, she needs long-sleeves for our upcoming trip to chilly NY!). Elida, who was with me, bought me shea butter with peppermint essential oil in it. Apparently peppermint is good for memory and eases mental fatigue - perfect! One product I thought was a bit much was the Fauna Sauna...I mean, really.

Elida and I ended our visit by sharing a lunch plate from Cafe Gratitude. Yum. Bumped into a few folks I hadn't seen in a while. Walked all the way up the hill home pushing Tesla which was good exercise for moi.

THE massage I needed

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I had a major knot in my shoulder, and it was increasingly painful to the point of me demanding help from Dav, and even rubbing up against corners to apply pressure to it. Holding chunky Tesla doesn't help, and neither did the accident.

Elida had told me about Jeffrey MacMullen. I love deep tissue, and when I'm hurting, I want intense work, not tra-la-la rubbing. He sounded like the guy I needed, so I made an appointment at 8:30pm one night for a next morning session. I had to bring Tesla along, but assuming her past behavior, I thought she'd be chill and perhaps nap. I brought many toys and even her gymini just in case. Unfortunately, pretty much from the minute I lay down, she had a fit. Could have been Jeffrrey's mustache (he tried comforting her several times), could have been the herby smell of the office. Who knows. Basically, we tried for over an hour massaging parts of me while I held her, rocked her with one hand, and even fed her lying sideways as he worked on the other. In the end, I had to give up. I had just a taste of what Jeffrey could do, so leaving was difficult. Of course, as soon as I drove away, she snoozed.

Jeffrey kindly kept the next morning free in case I could have Dav watch Tesla, and come back. Dav made the time, so off I went to be away from Tesla for about 3 hours. I've been apart from her only twice before, to run quick errands that took about 30 minutes, and recently for quick morning jogs that are about 15 minutes. So this was THE first time to be away from her for so long. She's just beginning to take the bottle with pumped milk so it was an experiment.

I wanted to blog about the massage because Jeffrey's massage was pretty much the best massage I've ever had...and I've had quite a lot of body work done (even used to work in a massage therapy office/school and got tons of sessions then...). It's quite intense, so it definitely isn't for everyone. I mean, it was hard work. He'd focus on an area, asking me to breathe deeply, pulling, kneading, and bending me in ways that were in the pleasure/pain zone. And this went on for 2 hours +. It felt like a workout, had me groaning and moaning. But...at the end, I could not believe how different I felt. It was like a ton of bricks that I didn't know I carried had been lifted. I was in a daze and floated. It's taken a full day to recover with lots of H2O and deep long naps. But I feel so much better. He clearly knows his stuff. As I breathed and he worked on my body, he'd say, "ah, right there...breathe into it...beautiful...there we go..." As he admitted himself, he's a geek.

So this is to thank Jeffrey. I'm delighted to have found a body worker who is my type (haven't done much deep work for quite some time) . I highly recommend him.

And cheers to daddy Dav who successfully took care of Tesla for 3 hours. She didn't cry : )
We are scheduled to share a babysitter with our cool neighbors, leaving Tesla and their 2 year old so we 4 can go out at night. We'll stay close to home in case I need to rush back, but if all goes well, that means Dav and I can start going out as a couple again!! And we want that!

dinner chez Manisha

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We got to enjoy Manisha cooking last night. She lives over in Russian Hill - it's an area I'm not very familiar with, but rather like. It has such a quintessential traditional SF feel with the hills, cable cars, and cute corner restaurants.

Usually when we go to Manisha's, there is a large group all eager for her amazing cooking. Last night was more intimate with us, Sean, and Lani. Dinner was fish with a coconut/peanut sauce, walnut-stuffed zucchinis, couscous, and a salad. Delicious.

We talked about our new hope in politics, and how we all used to have much more time to hang out together doing nothing really. Now we all have busy jobs, and we have Tesla. Gathering for dinner takes planning, and it takes half the evening for us to just unwind.

Tesla was an angel and slept on Manisha's bed. She got a bit fussy as we dressed her in her furry coat when we left around midnight, but as soon as we were outside in the fresh air, she perked up and enjoyed it.


Babies arrive in their sweet rides to see the singing librarian

Girl time

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Fabulous Toni had a great idea to gather us gals from Campalicious and friends. We've had several engagements, marriages, and mommy hood in the group. And we wanted to touch base (and have girl fun!)

I forget how important it is to gather with JUST women. We all love hanging with our guy friends too, but it is different and somehow more inspirational when us gals hang together. We make the effort to honor each other...and boy do we all have different experiences. And that's basically what we affirmed this dinner party time - that as we get older and walk varying paths, we are still together and need to stick together - not just for support, but to also make sure we have fun together.

Everyone had their own speech to make, when Toni passed a vodka filled "horn" around and had us all say something. For me, I really wanted to express that it means a lot that I have such strong amazing women friends who completely accept that I'm a mommy now. It doesn't matter...we are still together. I keep hearing about stressed out new moms...and seriously, because of this amazing group (and husband) that helps me feel completely normal, I'm having a ball.

I took so many pictures to document how everyone had their share of holding Tesla. I barely had to care for her!

Next girl meeting is chez De Haro!!



Last Sunday, I joined my bro and his family + Tyler's friend Liam to visit the Oakland Museum. They had an excellent exhibition honoring the Day of the Dead. I had to zoom through it and feed Tesla as she wasn't too impressed and was more into the boob that day. But I found the artists' work quite striking even in my short visit.

My main goal, however, was just to see the Kennedy clan, and have Tesla see her family faces. I love how Tyler and Julia fawn over her. Hopefully she'll soon begin to respond. I particularly loved a moment when I had Tesla feeding under the Hooter Hider, and Tyler came up wondering what I was doing. He opened the Hider and said, "oh, oppai ka" and walked away. "Oppai" is breast milk, and he knew it in Japanese, and was obviously used to seeing what that's all about. I'm so happy to have family to share it with! Heh.

The pictures where you see us (Ian, me, the kids) is from the regular area of the museum. Pretty neat CA history stuff. See Mickey Mouse? It was cool seeing how excited Tyler, Julia, and Liam were to see stuff. They were so into everything that Ian patiently explained.

Good day...

only in dreams...

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I dreamt that I was talking to somebody who told me Katsuo had a credit card. In our weird conversation, somehow the fact that he had a credit card didn't appear strange at all to me. What did make me go "whaaaa??" was that the person told me Kats had a Nordstrom credit card. Only then I thought, "wait, Kats is *so* not a Nordstrom sorta cat. That doesn't make sense."

I've been thinking about that. If my cats had credit cards, what kind would they have?

Me thinks that Kats would have one from a random mailing that offered 1 year of free credit. He'd be sorta dumb about it and think, "cool, I got credit!" and go buy a nice sleeping pad. Then he'd forget he had to pay up, and he'd come to me for help.

Wakame, on the other hand, would have credit with Nordstrom's. She'd buy high-end fashion, but wouldn't show me. Only when Dav and I went away, she'd prance around in her outfits. She'd pay off her bill by making Kats collect coins outside.

teaching civic responsibility

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Starting early with Tesla. I will make sure she knows it's a privilege and responsibility to be able to vote. We are lucky.

I couldn't choose which picture to use as every time I said, "hai, po-zu" (ok, pose time), she dutifully smiled perfectly. I think she liked the vote thing. She's so cute!

like daddy, like daughter

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Bouncy Tesla

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Click to see video
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Click to see video
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It's worth clicking (well, in my oyabaka opinion)

Visiting

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Today was a day of visiting. After having a lunch date with daddy, Tesla and I headed to her very new cousin Adrian. He was born not quite a month ago, and I wanted to bring the magical swing to her. When I saw Adrian, I had the response that everyone had when I first held Tesla: "omg, sooooooooooo tiny!!" But Adrian weighed a tad more then Tesla did when she was born. Adrian's mommy, Shauna, assured me that Tesla was just as small when she first met her. Really?? So scrawning and delicate? I mean, look at chucky chubby Tesla now. She could roll over Adrian! Am I already experiencing what I keep hearing from older moms - "I forgot how it is... [sigh]" Indeed, I wanted to sit there for hours staring/holding Adrian. Luckily, both Adrian and Tesla got a bit fussy, so I left before Shauna had to deal with my obsession.

I have to say that this whole baby-raising experience is wonderfully new. So many dimensions...

Then I visited Six Apart. I've been meaning to drop by forever, and it felt super good to wander around the office. Don't get me wrong, I treasure every moment I have hanging with Tesla. But I also know when the time comes, I will be pretty excited to get back in the groove with work. It's a nice vibe that I miss. I made sure Tesla napped and was fed. When I walked in, she was all smiles and the perfect baby I wanted her to be. Then...um, she decided she was going to be cranky, and I spent most of my visit in an office trying to muffle her wails or whipping out my boob to console her (sorry Mena!). It was VERY nice to see everyone, and I loved the time & attention Mena doted on Tesla. Byrne, who has a handsome 6 month old Harper, dropped by and showed some strong Daddy skills with perfect holding and shushing. But in the end, I had to leave as she just wanted to conk out (which she did immediately upon arriving at home).

Visitors

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We had visitors from Germany this past week. Just before, we had Dav's sister and boyfriend visiting, so we warned them that we wouldn't be able to "host," but they would have a bed and keys to enjoy SF as they wished. They came to us via an old housemate, Thoralf, who stayed with us in the early "Potrero Hill household" days while he did his internship at the Oakland Tribune. We hauled his adventurous ass to Burning Man - boy, did he find the right SF house to experience!

Anyhow, there is a story to tell. Our German visitors, Anke and Eran, were to arrive at 10:30 or so at our place one night. We - being parents with a baby thus having zero memory lately - TOTALLY forgot, and promptly went to our neighbors for some evening socializing. We had a blast and stayed until 1am. We got home to find several voicemails to our horror.... we pictured our poor guests wandering around Potrero Hill with their suitcases looking for a hotel. Luckily, they managed to bump into a German neighbor who very kindly invited them to his house. They ordered pizza and sat around waiting for us lame-butts to get home. Once we got a hold of them, all was fine. It turned out to be the perfect SF experience where they had an adventure, but was OK thanks to the kindness of a stranger.

Thing is, they had a similar experience in Hawaii just before arriving in SF where the place they planned to crash didn't pan out. They bought a tent and camped for a few days, then got a hotel when they discovered only very sketchy characters camp in HI. Thankfully, we found our guests and tried to make it up with a brunch the next morning.

They were busy during the day discovering SF. I must say German guests are the best - and we have lots of guests - because they are very independent. They enjoy where they are, but are happy doing their own thing.

I was busy with Tesla. In fact, she woke them up several mornings with her newly discovered joy of screaming for fun in the mornings. But when Anke and Eran took us out to dinner, I made sure to get pictures to blog with as I suspect Thoralf is wondering what the scoop is since he reads Kokochi. So this post is for Thoralf. Thoralf, you have great friends. Your friends are welcome any time! But you must come visit us too!!

p.s. we still have the frame you gifted the house :)

Tired Mommy

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I'm not sure how many hours of sleep I got last night. All I know is that I'm pretty tired right now...as Tesla snoozes deeply for her morning nap. Poor girl, she's had a cold. I woke up at some weird hour due to her noisy breathing. I ended up turning the lights on to discover the most gigantic snot coming out of her nose, so I spent some time dragging that out. I also did more than usual diaper changes.

Then at 4am, she was ready to get up. Not the kind where I could pat her side while she cooed and played with the blanket. She was wide awake and ready for some entertaining. She just learned how fun it is to scream and squeal, so she started that up quite loudly despite my shushes since we have guests from Germany sleeping in the next room. I finally turned the light on and had to play with her. I kept lying down and closing my eyes, but every time I peeked open, she was looking at me with a big grin. I didn't want her to think mommy didn't like her by ignoring her so I tried my best to occupy her. But boy, now I'm so tired! Plus, I fed her a lot to coax her back to sleep several times. By 6am, she went back to bed.

Usually, Dav helps me out, but today he had to go to the office and function like an intelligent human, so he slept in his office to get a good night's rest. When he came in to shower, I was glued to the bed. After he left for work, I took a shower, gave Tesla a bath, then she conked out again.

I think it's partially her cold that is making her sleep wonky. But the past week +, she's been waking several times at night. In the past, she would fidget a bit and suck her thumb. Before she awoke, I'd feed her, and all was fine. Not sure what's going on now. It's OK though...as long as I don't have to be in an office in the morning. I'm just, you know, a little tired. : )