January 2007 Archives

I post from time to time on my Vox blog, Kokochiino. I've had it for a while, but didn't really use it that much. As with any new service, I can't just jump in. I take my time until I have a real feeling or understanding about why I'd want to use it. Until recently, it took all my energy/time to just post to Kokochi. Now that I'm back at Six Apart, I like feeling a part of the community and Vox offers that. We'll see how my use of it evolves, but as Tesla grows older and I have to consider her privacy, I may dedicate more private posts on Vox.

Anyway, if you go to Kokochiino, you'll see the pics from the photo booth that was at Six Apart's annual company party. Bigger than last year yet again. Just amazing. And I'm very happy to be a part of it all.

Other things that make me happy being back at work:
* Fridays actually feel like Friday.
* I get to show-off Tesla pictures.
* When a meeting went over schedule, I said I needed 15 minutes "to do my thing" [pumping], and instead of having to miss 15 minutes, the group decided to take a break. That's pretty understanding.
* I ride my bicycle to work, finally really putting to use a nice road bike I've had for years. The exercise can't hurt either.
* It feels good to have some $ coming into my bank account.
* And....I'm going to Tokyo for work in mid-February!! Tesla too. Now that's pretty awesome.

Capture that baby

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This afternoon, Patrick came over. As you may remember he's an awesome photographer, and we began our acquaintance about a week before Tesla was born. He's taken pictures of my giant belly, Tesla's very first day in the world, at 2 weeks, at Burning Man, and today. By now he's a good friend and I totally enjoy his company.

He came over this afternoon to hang out and capture Tesla. I captured him capturing Tesla. Then he captured me capturing Tesla. I will link once his photos are up as I have a hunch he got some adorable ones of Tesla.

Tesla is a handful now...wants to play, be held, eat a lot... so while Patrick was here, I was busy with her and doing housework stuff. I'm so happy he takes pictures of her, but I need to get him over here for dinner (ie. when Tesla is asleep and when Dav is around to help) so we can actually have longer conversations.

p.s. look at that thick arm in the 2nd to last photo!

Tesla cooking

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You have to see this. She is developing leaps and bounds...really wanting to play in more complex ways, able to amuse herself, and sitting up stable enough to have a new play experience. I am really looking forward to playing with her as she becomes this little person!

Edible Hats at MadHat Eight

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Last night was Jeffrey's annual MadHat party. This year is year #8, so the theme was edible hats. Dav made a hat of mushrooms, walnuts, and radishes (see him drilling holes in the walnuts?). I made one of nori, senbei, ebi, and kurage. Well, actually, our dear neighbor Michelle came over and made most of it for me. She is so good with design and detail that it came out much better than what I even imagined in my head. Yay!!

The best part was that there were many babies. A lot of the guests are from the burning man crowd...and I guess we're all growing up and having families. We keep having/going to parties, but they are kid friendly. I truly appreciated getting to bring Tesla and not feeling weird about it. There was even a 6 week old. I *so* believe in integrating children into our lifestyle (albeit a somewhat modified one) instead of rearranging everything we do and changing our identity just because we have children.

Testing the playground

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Telsa is still way too young, but I wanted to have a little fun with her at our neighborhood playground. She was obviously swimming in the swing bucket seat, but I think she enjoyed it. She spent most of her time staring at other children playing.

I then took her down the slide a few times and tried to get a picture of what her expression was like. She seems mildly amused in the first one. The second is distorted, but I still like it.

The video is bad quality. I'm still getting used to my phone...and geez. I should remember to keep my mouth shut when recording. Not only is it loud, it's embarassing baby babblese.

Telsa joins the table

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Usually I feed Tesla separate from when we eat. And recently I even let her feed herself which resulted in the messiest face ever. But she is so eager, and it's pretty funny to watch.

Tonight, however, we sat her at the table during our dinner time. She technically was already fed, but indicated she wanted to eat while we ate too. It was so cute...to have Tesla join us. We had chopsticks, she had her silver spoon. We marveled how we're like such family now, all sitting at the table together for dinner. Was it only 6 months ago that she was curled up in her swingy thing while we "took a break" and ate?

p.s. when she was feeding herself/playing with food, she kept also sucking her thumb like she couldn't decide if she wanted food or comfort. I guess both. Busy baby indeed.

we are parents???

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We got our 2007 BM tickets. I first must say BIG kudos to the BM HQ for making the purchasing experience much better and completely logical. No one should complain about how it carried out (there were complaints last year, but geez...with I'm sure 15,000+ trying to buy tickets at one time, I'm fine with some delays...). BM continues to please me in how they organize this gigantic event. Very professional. I'd work for them if I weren't a Six Aparter. I've been to the BM HQ and seen their awesome child care/playroom. That says a lot.

Anyway, I was reminiscing, looking at old pictures. Boy having a blog is so great for that. It really is my family album. I was reliving the year at BM when Dav and I got married, and found this. Seriously, are we parents? I feel confident and happy taking care of Tesla, loving her, not fazed by anything she brings about, and feeling quite strong that between Dav and me, we'll have a pretty balanced way of bringing her up. Yet, we really don't look the look, do we?

That's what we want, I know. Throw people off. But I've been pretty narrowly focused on caring for Tesla, our family, my cats, our home...and it's rather traditional actually. I clean, make meals, wipe her mouth/butt, make sure everyone is happy. Don't get me wrong. That makes me happy. And Dav supports me in a bazillion ways. Taking over when I'm tired. Playing, talking, and reading to Tesla in ways I don't. (I've overheard words like "collapse of civilization” or "Eudoxus found a way to path up the theory...” when he's reading to her.) I think we've found our groove as a family.

Yet, I wonder when Tesla can understand...that daddy has a dalmatian bunny costume, and mommy has her outfits too. I'm dying to know what she thinks!! I'm sure I'll report it here in due time. Til then, we all have to wait...

Suckiest Sunday ever

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Yesterday was horrible. I woke up early very nauseous and threw up dark green goo, even though my stomach was empty. Dav has been fighting an on-going cold for days and was not feeling great either. Tesla was the only one ready to rock-n-roll at 7am.

Previously, my plans for Sunday had been to hang out with my brother and family, and our visiting cousin. But I had called Saturday night to say that I HAD to steam clean our carpets, and that I'd be late to join them because on Friday night, while we were out at friends' for dinner, I had left a boiling pot of water with the plastic part of my breast pump that I have to sanitize. I left it on the stove for hours. Our housemates discovered the black molten-like long-melted plastic in the pot, and a layer of black smoke throughout our floor of the house. I was and am horrified at what I did. I am very aware of how freaking lucky we are that we didn't come home to a burned down house, and that my cats didn't suffocate from the smoke. When Dav and I came home Friday at 1am, the house was freezing cold because ALL the windows were wide open. And it stank soooooooooooooooooooo bad.

All Saturday too we kept the windows open and I set about to wash every curtain and anything else that could smell. Then we went out to visit Thelonious, and stayed out for dinner too in order to stay away from the house as much as we could. It still smelled A LOT that night, and I was determined to clean the carpets Sunday morning.

Even though I woke up puking green muck on Sunday, I figured it would subside in a couple of hours. So I ignored how I was feeling and went to rent a carpet steamer from Safeway. Once home though, the stupid machine didn't work! I practically cried as I didn't have the energy to go back and get another. Luckily, my super-hero husband got his tools out and fixed the thing. Man, Safeway should pay us, and not charge me. By the time it was fixed, however, I was full-blown sick. I huddled in bed, while Dav saved the day by doing all the work. He also took care of Tesla as most times I could barely do so. Needless to say, I couldn't meet up with my cousin.

Today, Monday, I'm still recovering but am a lot better. However, Tesla's nanny grandmother is sick, so I'm at home today. And now Dav is feeling worse, so I want to take care of him. Throughout all this, Tesla is perky as ever. Caring for a baby when you feel sick SUCKS. Got to get my flu shot asap.


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Congratulations to Jason and Karen in welcoming their baby boy! Dav, Tesla, and I had the honors of seeing Thelonious when he was just 14 hours old. When I was notified of his arrival, I texted Jason a congrats, but imagined they'd want private family time. When Jason replied that we could visit, I was so excited. Of course I wanted to see them, but I've also been dying to hold a newborn in my arms : )

Returning to the exact same hospital and floor where Tesla was born was visiting memory lane for sure. The last time I walked down the long hallway to the elevator from the entrance was with my mom as a contraction came. Dav was parking the car, and a woman passed by and gently said, "breathe..."

When we arrived at Jason and Karen's room, and I saw tiny Thelonious bundled up, I got totally teary. New babies are so precious [yes, it's a cliche but so true!], and knowing the huge transformation Jason and Karen were going through, and that they were going to experience all the amazing things Dav and I have shared with Tesla made me so happy for them and for us. It's such a special "art project" to share with someone you love.

Thelonious is the best boy name ever. Both Dav and I dig it. He was born 4 oz. more than Tesla, but when I saw him, I was in utter disbelief. He was so tiny, and I just can't imagine Tesla being that small! How weird. I'm looking forward to hearing their stories, and sharing parenthood together. Yay! Now Dav and I have more friends who will wanna hang out on a Friday night talking about diapers and sleep.

p.s. When we were there, they were just being transported to the postpartum department. I got to push little Theo in his rolling bed to their new bedroom. How cool!

Bottomless Pit

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That's what Tesla's awesome nanny said about her today when I got home. She drank ALL the milk I left (even the "extra" just-in-case bottle) and ate ALL the mashed veges left from the other day (even though she distinctly showed her opinion about that), and started a new "Summer Vegetable Dinner" mash. My goodness, she's growing!

Also to note: she slept from 6:30pm til 4am last night. For those who've yet to experience night owls, [this is good]! She cried out briefly several times, but nothing to even get me to open my eyes. (It's funny how you adapt. I can sleep at all levels now - full sleep, asleep but with a vague awareness of baby-about-to-wake-up, sorta awake but trying to sleep for every last second I can get, and awake yet looking asleep because it makes me feel like I'm sleeping). When she cried at 4am, I was more than happy to give her a little boob and snuggling.

To be honest, the past week she's been crying loudly during the night several times which was new behavior. I initially fed her to appease her until I realized it was a habit - I was actually encouraging her to wake and feed by feeding her. So one night I let her cry more. And that extra 10 seconds to minutes of crying put her back to sleep. That night was hard for sure, but I learned a lot about how she can actually "deal." I just need to give her time before I jump up and soothe her. And wow. She sleeps SO much better now. I'm inspired to work towards a complete 12 hour sleep without feeding. That would be the luxury of the year!!

[ok, I'm exaggerating. It's not that bad to feed her. Like I said, I can be half asleep, feed her at 3am, and be back snoozing before it takes toll]

Another note while I'm at it: I never really knew how much Tesla drank milk since it was directly from the boob. Now I know because she drinks from a bottle while I'm at work. I pump during the day. And I just want to give a thanks to my boobs cuz I'm not only keeping up with what she needs even though she's a bottomless pit; I'm still managing to freeze a bit for a rainy day. Yay!

My five

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As others who have participated in this noted, it's hard coming up with things people don't know about me. Old friends and Dav know pretty much everything...but for the amusement to others, here are my 5 things that you probably don't know about me. They are all pretty embarrassing.

  • I worked for a night club in Tokyo one summer during college. I was placed in the V.I.P. section, meaning I served the yakuza gang who allowed the club to exist. I had to wear a red beret with a tight top and baggy plaid pants. Not sure what they were going for but it wasn't too revealing at least. I was told to be careful not to serve in a way that would require anyone with cut off fingers to be troubled. Never saw any hands without fingers (see the wikipedia yakuza link). Best night was when I was tipped about $200 (tipping isn't normal in Japan). The club flopped by the time I left to get back to college. I remember that Grace Jones was a guest performer one night.
  • When I was living in San Diego, I woke up one night smelling what I thought was a very strong chemical. Fearing something was leaking or that whatever it was in the air was bad for everyone's health, I called the non-emergency line. I made it clear that there was no emergency...just that someone should check out the smell. It was midnight, and I imagined a car with some technician would show up. Instead, 2 fire engines with their lights full on (thankfully not the sirens) pulled up in front of my house. The leader came up to me, asked to check out our house, walked around like a minute, then came back and said, "ma'am, it's a skunk." I was too embarrassed to even get the newspaper the next morning.
  • My dear friend Amy - whom I met in nursery school!! - came to visit me in Japan when I was in junior high. We decided to climb Mt. Fuji together. All went well for the ascent. We saw a gorgeous sunrise. We ate PBJ sandwiches at the top. When descending however, we somehow came down the wrong side of the mountain. This was my fault as Amy was following my lead. We didn't notice that NO ONE else was walking down with us until it was too late. Thing is, on the right side of the mountain was the bus we were supposed to take down from the half-way point to the train station. Instead, we had to walk ALL the way down to a tiny bus stop and waited hours for the bus. I cried when I finally got home and saw my mom. Most people know I'm horrible with directions. Only a few know I'm this bad.
  • When I was small, I had tantrums apparently. I blissfully don't remember this, but my brother wrote on certain board games, "Do Not Let Mie Play" as I had a history of throwing the game pieces out the window if I lost. Hey, I was competing with someone 4 years older than me ; ) I'm sure he has more to say about my tantrums.
  • Even Dav may not know this one...but if windows in my house are shut, I like to ensure they are locked, or shut snugly if they are lame windows that don't lock well. Especially when it's cold or stormy outside. I think it's less a security thing (although I'm sure there's an element of that) than a coziness and/or properly closed thing. When it's a sunny day, I love opening the windows to air out the room. But when it's time to close windows, I like it done well. And I'll even double check at different times to appease my desire for all to be snug. [I think that's my weirdest habit by far]
  • On to: MJ, Tracey, Helen, Katia, and Ezra.

    Vege delight - not

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    Whoa. Tried mashed up veges for Tesla today. She was very expressive about the taste. But she ate 5 spoonfuls. Both Dav and I couldn't stop laughing at her...

    Messy mouth

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    We've been giving Tesla bits of rice cereal lately. She's been interested in what we've been eating, she's around the age to start, and she really loves it. In fact, she's eating /drinking milk a lot overall (more than usual night time feedings, ehem). I think she's in a growth spurt.

    I had to buy her a new car seat today as she's growing out of the current one. At the store, I picked up this nifty baby seat so Tesla can sit with us at the table. So far it seems great. We can fold it up and take it to restuarants too.

    p.s. if you look closely, you can see 2 scratch marks on Tesla's face. I can't keep up with cutting her nails...and filing them so they are nice and smooth. Poor girl...she must have scratched herself in sleep. Also, yes, we are using the silver spoon from Ele and Will : )

    Soooooo sweet

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    Indeed, coming home to see and hold my baby again was as sweet as predicted. It was sorta funny that she smiled at me, then went right back to playing with her toy as if she didn't notice I had been gone. I'm actually happy for that. The less anxiety for her the better! For me though, I couldn't help taking these pictures to capture our first "reunion." She would not stay still though!

    And although I had a hunch that I'd like being back at work, you never know til the real deal. If I found myself miserable, constantly pining for Tesla, work would be pretty excrutiating. I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed myself. I missed being involved in projects and teamwork. I've got lots to learn as Six Apart has changed in the last 6 months and I'm totally rusty on what's going on in the blogging industry. But there is a lot to do and I want to get back into it all.

    It was weird when I stepped out to get lunch or walked around the office, and didn't have Tesla in my arms. It was like a pleasant flashback to the days before Tesla. I had forgotten how that felt - not to have a heavy baby, not to worry if she'd explode in a scream, not to have a diaper bag. I'm open to things still getting difficult as I'll have less time for everything. But if I have a lot of days like today, then I'm getting the best of both worlds; a bit of the old me along with the new me.

    Mommy goes to work

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    Yep, today is the day, the first day back at work. People asked me how I felt as the day approached. I had both excitement and sorrow. I love working at Six Apart, but I also love being with Tesla. I think the most difficult is feeling the passing of time that I felt so acutely just after Tesla was born. She's growing up and I can't stop it. She's ready for new caretakers and new experiences. If I ever go back to work, now is the right time.

    But I did cry a bit last night. Just mourning the end of this blissful maternity leave, mourning the complete babyness of Tesla.

    I am very grateful that Tesla's grandmother Marie will be taking care of her. I'm sure Tesla is fine today, happy being cared by such a loving grandmother who sings and plays with her. I miss Tes for sure, but now that I'm in the office, already being updated about various issues, I think I'll be fine too. And the pleasure of running home to hold Tesla will be soooooo sweet!

    NYE taxi

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    Dav and I strive to bring back Burning Man ethos to our SF life, and as part of that, Dav had a brilliant idea to use our RV as a free (party) taxi. We were planning on decorating the RV and doing this service on a weekend sometime, picking up folks who needed a ride, and have a moving party going on at the same time. Then some friends of ours decided to use their SUV on NYE to offer free taxi rides (well, there was a fee: each customer had to make a confession). Our friends inspired us to try our stab at the taxi service idea this NYE too. It's a perfect idea as we couldn't go to any parties with Tesla, so driving around in our RV brought the party to us, we got to see almost all of our friends, and we totally brought happiness to numerous strangers who got free rides.

    I have to say it really was a grand success. And mad hats off to Dav since he really did all the decorating, shopping for beer/bar drinks/snacks, and drove for 8+ hours on NYE. I sat by Tesla making sure she was OK, and socialized : ) And a big hug/kiss to Tesla who again was the most well-behaved chill baby ever. She stayed up looking at all the lights in the RV until 11:30, being totally happy playing with her toys. Once conked out, she stayed put the entire time til we got home at 4am!

    At first, we picked up our friends and housemates. But soon we had our first customer who was waiting for a bus in Potrero Hill. He couldn't believe his luck and was so delighted he rode around with us for over an hour. At one point we had about 20 people stuffed in the RV. It was packed like a Tokyo subway, but with music blaring, drinks going around, and lots of laughter.

    Some people were from out of town, and were in awe that SF was so such fun. We met fellow burners too. One group of youngsters boarded and when they realized what we were doing, they shouted, "Dav Dav Dav" as if he was the hero of the night (he was!!). It was such a joy to see everyone happy. And I loved surprising people that this whole free party taxi was just that. Free.

    The highlight was at midnight, when we had dropped off all strangers and picked up close friends. Dav drove to Treasure Island so we could catch the fireworks. Instead of at some party, we were all together in our own intimate space, and welcomed the new year as we drove over the bridge.

    My pictures TOTALLY don't do justice. Elida got a ton of great shots here.