December 2006 Archives

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2006 was an amazing year of transformation. Both Dav and I, Kats and Waka, and Tesla have all settled comfortably into our new family. I'm sure 2007 will be full of growth and many more changes. May you all have a great 2007 year of the boar!!

Videos of Tesla

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I'm not able to upload videos to Kokochi via my new phone yet, so I've posted them to YouTube.

First is Tesla staring at butterflies for the first time at the Museum of Natural History.
Second is Daddy dancing with Tesla in the apartment we were staying at in NYC.
Third is Tesla in her stroller being entertained by Dav with a bug toy while we waited for dinner in a restaurant.

Blankie

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My dear friend Raven - and Tesla's auntie : ) - made and sent this cutie blankie for my baby. Isn't it the sweetest? I love the gentle colors. The white side has cute hippos stitched in as well as the beautiful Telsa letterings, and the back has a cute hello kitty motif. I love it. Tesla is just beginning to notice things, and liking colorful fluffy stuff. This is perfect.

Kats likes it too, but I won't let him sleep on it.

Thank you, darling Raven!!

SF -> NY -> SF

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Back home! Here are a few "city" scenes that I delayed uploading. I kept trying to capture the excitement I felt for the urban hustle and bustle of NYC, but these pics aren't adequate. I suppose I'm a city girl through and through. I loved the noises, the smells, the endless buildings, masses of people. I know that sounds horrible to some, but to me, imagining all that was going on at any given point was like a fantasy.

I was born in NYC, but don't know it at all. And coming from Japan, my understanding of USA is only the west coast culture. I think it would be rather important that I spend some time getting to know this completely other side. Maybe one day we'll have a chance. I'd like that for Tesla too.

For now we're back home in SF. Tesla seems relieved to be home too. Back with her toys, back with the cats, back in our family bed.

It was a fun vacation! Lots of simple strolling around, eating, and just enjoying the city. It was a bit difficult, especially near the end, with Tesla getting so fidgety. We didn't feel comfortable just going anywhere. I suspect this is our route for the next year or so as she increasingly will show her tastes and opinion about what we do. Not being able to hop around the city, visit bars at night, or spend long leisurely dinners didn't bother me too much, however. In exchange, I had moments of, "wow, we're a family unit" when walking about which warmed me immensely.

Last stroll before flying home

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Hot apple cider from the farmer's market at Union Square. Delicious.

Kathy from ASIJ

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I wasn't sure we'd have the time to actually meet, but last minute, Kathy and I got in touch! We went to ASIJ, and ran cross-country together. She basically grew up in Japan, has been living in NY for quite some time, and is getting ready to move to Kenya soon! Last time I saw her was in Tokyo before I moved to SF to be with Dav.

Luckily, Kathy was able to come over where are staying so our screaming banshee could settle down for some sleep. We ordered in Indian food and caught up. She's one of those friends whom I don't get to see often, but when we do it's all good. She remembered my love for chocolate and brought a delicious box for dessert. Thanks!

We are so gonna visit her in Kenya!

MOMA

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For our last full day in NYC, we headed to MOMA. New building...but frankly, it was a bit too crowded to appreciate. The art was fantastic though. I really enjoyed getting to see famous works and items that inspired me. Dav has some pics here.

However, Tesla has been rather fussy in public these past few days. Especially in restaurants, she would start screaming about even though she was fed and clean. Could be teething, constipation, or just over-stimulation from being so darn curious and looking at everything. Whatever it is, she put on a few nice screaming shows in MOMA, echoing throughout the hallways. If she was in the stroller, we'd put her in the ergo and I'd try and hide in a corner, singing a lullaby in vain hopes that she would conk out. Oh well. Still totally worth it.

Du pain, de l'eau et du vin

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A solid start to Christmas dinner in the neighborhood.

A stroll

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In Central Park. It was quite a nice walk. Great trees, lots of other strollers, beautiful scenery with the building scape peeking through. I'd love to go back in spring or fall. I can tell that the park is key to balancing out the urban bustle.

Chez David's

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For dinner, we headed over to David and Adriana's. David and I have bumped into each other from time to time, but it's been a long time since really hanging out, and the very first in NY! I was honored to see them in their sweet new pad.

Since it was drizzling, and Tesla was snoozing, we opted to have our dinner delivered. I'm liking this aspect of NY. Just ring up and voila...yummy dinner. We had Thai. Alaina kindly joined us too.

I'm not so into games, but when I saw their Wii, I had to try...it was indeed fun. Now I finally have a sense of what all the fuss is about, but I won't be running out to get it as I just don't have time! Then, David brought out his Dance Dance Revolution game, and a Japanese drumming game. Their idea was to somehow hook up both DDR and Wii, so one would play that at the same time. Crazy talk! Unfortunately, it couldn't be done easily.

I'm so horrible at such, but it was good fun, and pretty funny to watch each other. I can see how it would be very addicting to get together with friends and play, and play, and play, and play...

Karina

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After the museum, we walked 35 blocks to Stephan and Karina's. We got to see cute Jett who is 3, with the most adorable curly hair ever. Her younger (younger than Tesla!) brother Syrus was feeling a little under the weather today, but he seemed content for quite some time in Dav's lap.

There were 2 other girls there, playing with Jet. The pictures don't express at all how playfully chaotic it was since the rainy weather forced Jet and her friends to play indoors in the relatively small living room. Before we knew it, there was playdoh everywhere! I can't imagine what life is gonna be like when Tesla starts running around, having playgroups, using toys, etc. It will be a different world for my dear kitties for sure.

It was super nice to talk (in between caring for the kids) about babies, kids, marriage, etc. Good to have cool friends going through similar life stages. We look forward to seeing this family on the playa all together soon : )

Museum of Natural History

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In the afternoon, we headed to the Museum of Natural History. I loved the dino bones, and the room with the gigantic true-sized whale. However, although seeing the beauty of what our natural world has to offer brings awe, most exhibits mentioned how global warming and destruction of nature is destroying what we were seeing in the museum. It was pretty depressing.

What I loved most by far was watching Tesla stare at everything with such curious eyes. She is too young to comprehend anything we saw there, but she was looking at all the new shapes, colors and sizes. She promptly conked out in the dino bone exhibit though.

The last picture is actually a video that I'll get up later (video uploading isn't working yet). It's of her in the butterfly room, looking all over at the moving butterflies. It was like wonderland for her.

Stephan

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We had a big day today...started out by first visiting Stephan's office in Chelsea. We met Stephan and Karina via Campalicious. They now live in NY with their daughter Jet and son Syrus.

Stephan's company, Thinking Pictures, makes very cool interactive video screens gaining popularity in Europe and Asia, used at cinemas to promote upcoming films. The screens adapt to whether there is zero, one, or a group in front of it, and can do a variety of "smart" video streaming. The company is also working on streaming screens on clothing. For now it's for promoting products, but Dav and Stephan got excited about other more creative uses for such digital clothing. Tesla observed all this, and I kept thinking how digital clothing might be completely normal for her, while here we were looking at bulky prototypes.

The office was huge and located in a old biscuit factory. Very beautifully renovated. The building had great soup and bread shops downstairs too.

Booth Theatre

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Omg! We are in the 1st row. I will not be able to take pics (I think...)

Chez great grandmother Laura

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We flew to DC to visit my grandmother, and introduce Tesla. My grandmother usually lives in TN, but for 3 months, she's been in DC close to where she used to live so she can hang with her writer friends. Unfortunately, she got sick and was out of it for 2 months... and she's going back to TN next week. So she really only got a couple of weeks to enjoy being here. Super bummer.

We were all excited to have Tesla meet her great grandmother though. Tesla took a quick liking to her, and I think my grandmother was smitten too.

What I forgot to calculate when reserving tickets was that an early flight meant REALLY early for us since we're still on pacific time. So in reality, we woke up at 2am to get ready. And on the way back, our flight back was delayed several times (after we boarded so we just sat there FOREVER), and once near NYC, we had to wait for 45 minutes or so to even land. Next time we're taking the train for sure. All was worth it though!

Lullaby for Tesla

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Thomas is an actor and musician. In addition to fawning over her, her sang for Tes. Lucky girl!

Out and about

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Walking with Danzig. Then going to visit Thomas in Harlem.

Off to NY

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Here is some recent Telsa cuteness for the time being: Tesla finally enjoying her stuffed hippo that grandma sent to her last year for Christmas when she was in my belly. Only now is she noticing toys; Tesla eating a book about sushi gifted by her neighbor friend Sofia. Yummy, she says; and Tesla using her new stroller fuzzy cover in prep for the east coast cold.

Christmas dinner

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Went to my brother Ian's for an early Christmas dinner as we are leaving for NYC tomorrow. He lives on a famous street in Alameda that is full of Christmas lights so after dinner, we took a stroll. It was fun to hang out with my brother and family, and friends- and eat Izumi's amazing dinner - but now that we have Tesla, it was also super sweet to see the kids adore and fawn over Tesla. Like this...so darn cute, no? If you look closely at one of the pics, you'll see all the kids lined up watching me feed Tesla (click on pic to make bigger).

The haircut of the decade!

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Dav cut his hair...like for real! Every so often, he used to chop off his long hair, enough to get 10 inches to send to Locks of Love. However, he's kept his overall straight long hair for like over a decade. Not sure what the inspiration was this time, but he decided for a change. This 'do' is actually a little longer than first envisioned (we'll ease into this). It's got jagged angles and cool style. I love it, and it really matches him!!

Santarchy

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Compared to last year's Santarchy that was freezing, this year's started out in glorious weather. Dav left home early to catch the start, and Tes and I joined a little later. I really wanted to make an outfit, but there was no chance, so I bought a green elf costume package at a random party store. It was either the elf or Mrs. Claus which was more or less a gigantic red sack with a belt. I was afraid I'd meet 100 other exactly dressed elves, but luckily only met one (and she was a zombie elf....meaning looked rather dead and gory than merry and perky). Next year, I'll think about modifying this costume.

By and large, Tesla got ALL the attention. Everyone took pictures of her...and I have to admit, she was adorable. I'm sure she'll appear on flickr. She was even in a good mood, smiling and looking around at all the Santas. We joked that we've ruined the Santa concept for her since she will have memories of hundreds of naughty silly Santas running around (this year apparently there were about 400 Santas)

Unfortunately, it started to rain at 4pm. We joined friends in a bar to stay dry, but after about 30 minutes, I was booted out for having Tesla with me. No worries...Tes was tired and I was ready to get her home snug in bed anyway. Dav is still out there representing the Yaginumas : )

Miss Santa

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For Santarchy

Simple dinner

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Iwashi with mentaiko grilled. And brown rice with natto.

Our nanny Ruth

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As you may have noticed in the recent posts, I'm using a new camphone. I'm so busy that I haven't had time to get to know its functions, and even take many practice pictures. I'm really not used to the camera, and it has quite a few fancy functions that I've yet to try. Dav did a whole day's worth of work to make its emails send to kokochi [thanks super husband!]

*click to enlarge pictures.


























Anyway, these pictures are of Ruth (last 2 pics), Tesla's nanny for one day a week. Tesla's grandma Marie will be taking care of Tesla on the other needed 3 days a week when I return to work in January. I met Ruth through Kiki & Charlotte. Charlotte is 8 months, and will be sharing a nanny with Tesla, meaning Ruth will care for both of them at the same time. Ruth, Kiki, and us (obviously) are all Burning Man follk. Yay!

We have quite the plan to help ease the transition. Today was our first hang out time. Next time, Ruth will come and be with Tesla one-on-one. Next, Charlotte will come over to be with Ruth one-on-one, but at our place (where the care will be regularly) to get used to our home. Kiki will not come that day. Tes will have one more one-on-one with Ruth while I'm out. Thereafter, I'll be at work where the first week I'll work as much as I can, but will leave if I'm called back (ie. Tes is freaking out). From the 2nd week of work, it's the real deal.

In all honesty, I think Tes will be fine. She's a chill happy baby and is rather easy to care for. I think the challenge will be for me! I'll miss nibbling her, smelling her, hearing her rustle from her sleep, taking her out on walks...etc. At least I'll have ALL Thursday to be at home with her plus the weekends with daddy.

Doesn't she look nice and snug carried by Ruth? That made me so happy and relieved.

Yum

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At Chaya

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Out on a dinner date! Sweet Elida is babysitting.

my cupie doll

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I was reading Cherry Blossom Adventures the other day, and found a perfect picture of Cupie Doll. See the resemblance of the faux-hawk and thunder thighs (as Katia aptly coined them)?


Speaking of Tesla's faux-hawk, we decided to take advantage of her fabulous asset and create a fun punk Holiday "family picture." I won't post the final photoshopped version to keep it a surprise, but you can see Tes here with her true mohawk. See our punkshirts too?

a few Tesla tidbits

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Yes, Tesla is still growing like a weed. Even for us, we really can see her change everyday...more interaction, more babbling, better coordination. I can almost imagine her as a little girl.

Here she is up against Katsuo. She's just beginning to beat him in size, and remember how small she used to be? She's gonna be a terror to them soon!

The other pictures show her in a sweater I brought back from Japan. I went through some old boxes of mine containing favorite stuffed animals, etc. One of my bears was wearing this grey sweater. Ian and I used to wear it when we were babies. It's so weird to remember dressing my bear in it, and now my daughter has it on!

p.s. Tesla can now roll from tummy to back, and back to tummy. I just watched her roll over and over and over, about 3 feet across the living room!

First skirt

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She's a big girl now!