April 2007 Archives

There she goes!

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She climbed all the way up the stairs.Wow.

Baby outfit my mom made for me

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These pictures are for my mother who sewed the cute blue Raggedy Ann outfit for me when I was a baby. Julia wore it, and now Tesla is wearing it. It's so cute, fits perfectly and is beautifully made. I can't believe how my mom found the time and patience to make it when she has 2 kids! More and more, as I run around caring for Tesla, I admire my mom.

Cousin time

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Yesterday Tesla and I went to see cousin Julia play T-ball, and cousin Tyler play soccer. Ian and Izumi's weekends are quite busy with all the sport events, but the kids clearly love it. The weather was so beautiful, and I was happy to get to see them run around. Julia had the cutest soccer shoes with white lace sox.

What was really fun to see was how Julia and Tyler interact and care for Tesla. Julia can't wait to babysit, and Tyler played with her in the car when he sat next to her, noting which toys she liked. Both cousins loved pushing her stroller. Tyler in particular really seemed to dig talking to Tesla. I loved it!

The Long Now Foundation

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I had a really great evening tonight. Went to see Frans Lanting present his "Life: A Journey Through Time" for the Long Now Foundation. Truly beautiful, amazing, and inspiring. Frans went around the globe photographing landscapes, animals, marine life, patterns, colors, etc. that represent life from the beginning until now. There is a type of lizard that survived the dinosaurs, there are landscapes that look like what earth looked like thousands of years ago, and there are animals that represent a jump in evolutionary progress. Through his photographs and the technology to share them (along with music from Philip Glass), Frans is able to show us that we really are all interconnected.

Very timely. I'm inspired to be hearing pretty much on a daily basis now about the environment whether about new studies, political change, or mainstream consumer awareness. I have a distinct feeling that we will experience a huge shift in the next 10 or even 5 years. Dav and I will one day tell Tesla about the gross over-consumption we grew up with, and hopefully by then living more responsibly will be a norm for her.

I was also inspired that, although a donation is appreciated, the Long Now seminars are free to the public. How lucky and generous is that? This city rocks (although it's true that the people who go are from a rather narrow sector of the population).

What also made my evening was

  • I submitted a question for the Q & A, and it was the first to be read! It was my first time to submit a question. Too bad they couldn't figure out how to say my name and said, "me...who is me? raise your hand" but the lights were down so even though I was waving my hand, they didn't notice. (Another reason I love the name "Tesla." It's unique but so easy to pronounce!)

  • Tesla was an angel. She was in the ergo and I had to sway her to sleep for about 20 minutes at the beginning, and she groaned a bit until she dozed off, but she slept beautifully.

  • As I left, another mommy with a 4 month old gave me her contact info saying, "I'd love to meet up with other adventurous mommies." I told her about 2 month old Tesla at Burning Man; hope I didn't scare her away.

  • At the end, I bought Frans' book and got it signed to "Dav, Mie, and Tesla." It was huge so I had a hard time carrying it back to the car. And when I couldn't figure out where to pay for parking, the foundation's founding board member, Stuart, and his friend assisted me.
  • The last 2 bullets are special as they wouldn't have happened had I been with Dav. He's off prancing around at Cochella. Of course I miss him, but getting cute text messages from him, and having encounters I wouldn't have had if we were together make it fun.

    Cuteness galore!

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    I don't care. I should restrain myself, I think, but today was CUTE! So this post is total gushing about how darn cute Tesla and her cousin are!

    I drove to north bay where granny Marie was watching Tesla's cousin Maria-Rose. For a short time - until we discovered it was too hard to nanny 2 active babies at the same time - Maria-Rose came to our house to be watched with Tesla once a week. Now we've separated them so granny can keep her sanity. Instead, Gaby (family too; Dav's cousin's wife from Brazil) comes over to watch Tesla on Tuesday. But since I worked 5 days a week last week because it was busy, I am taking Tuesday and my normal Thursday off from work this week.

    I do have mixed emotions about this. I am dedicated to my work and there is a ton of stuff to do. But I am fiercely protective of my "off" time for my sanity and quality of life.

    Anyway, I spent most of the day with Marie and Maria-Rose. Sooooooooooooo cute to see the cousins together. There was a little of, "this is mine" but also "want this? here..." I am really looking forward to them growing up together. Maria-Rose is somewhat quiet and gentle. Tesla talks and laughs her head off. I have a feeling that soon, Tesla will be bossing Maria-Rose around.

    We met up at a great kid park in Corte Madera. Maria-Rose loved walking around and trying stuff. Tesla doesn't walk yet. So apart from the swings and a few slide rides, she didn't get to explore much. I think it'll be fun once she walks. I know it'll be more work to keep an eye on her, but it'll be neat to see her go where she wants to go vs. me plopping her down where I think she might have fun.

    Hand me down PJs

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    Michelle gave Fia's old PJ's to Tesla. But they are still way too big. I had put them in Tesla's "PJ" drawer so I wouldn't forget about them. I knew they were too big; Dav didn't. So one night when he gave her a bath, she came out decked out in these gigantic PJs. Cute, but she had a hard time crawling!

    Seasonal Fruit Dessert Class

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    Rachel and I took Shuna Lydon's Seasonal Fruit Dessert Class this past Sunday. My very first "cooking" class, and I was really inspired. I am interested (and hope I can do this for myself) to take a variety of cooking classes, say once a quarter. I love food (duh!), and I love cooking for others. But I hack together menus from my cookbooks without an in-depth understanding and appreciation of all that there is.

    Shuna is a "fruit inspired" pastry chef who has worked at many Bay Area restaurants including Chez Panisse and French Laundry. I didn't have much expectations as I was just happy to get to my first cooking class - something I've been interested in doing for years. But Shuna was a great teacher. We didn't just sit there with a recipe watching step 1, 2, 3. She clearly loves to teach and shared stories, tidbits of information about the chemistry of cooking, and anecdotes about her experiences at restaurants. She also understands her fruit. I loved how she talked about needing to appreciate the nature (spirit) of the fruit you are working with, and in general respecting any food you are preparing. She talked about how the desserts we were working on essentially required a minipulation of the ingredients to do things they normally don't. Like with making egg white proteins be strong enough to make a pavlova, it's key that the egg whites start at room temperature so the proteins are in as a relaxed state as they ever will be before you start your manipulation."Excited" proteins will behave differently. Makes sense, yet still fascinating.

    I actually don't know her work that well. I do sense she definitely has that extra special insight about how food and fruits "behave."

    Case in point: we worked with rhubarb...which is hard to cook, can look ugly, and is tart. She discovered ways to cook it deliciously without cooking it to death (deep frying it in a sugar syrup at just the right temperature so you cook a protective exterior that allows the rhubarb to cook without dissovling into mush and maintains the beautiful red color). This was after much much hard work, and she was the only one on her team to figure it out. That's dedication.

    At the end, we got to eat all the desserts. Pavlova which you could add macerated strawberries and whip cream. Or the sugar fried rhubarb. There was cornmeal fruit cake, delicious rhubarb crisp with rosemary (rosemary was a nice touch that shined through), goat yoghurt pannacotta, and ice cream.

    Tesla's tooth is coming!

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    As you know, every time Tesla had inexplicable fits of crying, I thought it was teething...but the reality was a tooth never came. Maybe the process takes that long...a little discomfort then it subsides over and over. It's been months though, and younger babies already have multiple teeth. Tesla was sure taking her time, but we knew it would be any day.

    Sure enough, I came home yesterday and Telsa's granny said, "guess what! There's a tooth!" I never imagined I would be as excited and proud, and even a tad sad about one tooth. Excited and proud that I'll be seeing my girl with teeth, imaging how that leads to eating different foods and talking. Wow, she did it! Sad because my baby is growing up. No more gummy smiles, and our bond with breast-feeding slowly changing. A mixture of emotions indeed, but I was so happy to hug and hold her as I tried unsuccessfully to open her mouth and get her tongue out of the way so I could see. You actually can't see the tooth yet, but there is a distinct breakage in her lower front left gum. And you can feel it.

    I continue to be amazed at watching her grow, and the deep feelings of love I feel for her. A tooth! How am I going to contain myself when she starts walking and talking?

    The milestones are arriving. At times with a sense of relief, at times with nostalgia. You see, Tesla is also reaching another new phase. We think she's ready to sleep in her own room. I didn't want to do this too early and expected to have her with us for a full year, but we've discovered she actually sleeps better on her own. We co-slept until after 6 months when she started sleeping in her crib that was right next to our bed. Then she came to bed only when I fed her during the night. Otherwise, she pretty much slept in her crib. However, she's aware that I'm right by her, which makes her wake up more to demand for me. It appears she sleeps better when I'm not that close, and it's a natural time to put her in her own room - for the first time. Boy, I'm gonna miss her!

    With cousin Ava

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    Ava is just 2 months younger than Tesla. So cute see them together. But they move around so much that it was real hard to capture them both!

    Happy in daddy's arms

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    double duty

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    I am babysitting Charlotte tonight. These pics are from early in the evening. Now both Charlotte and Tes are sleeping, thank god. I have no idea how Ruth was a nanny for both babies all day. I'm wiped out! At first the babies played together and it was adorable to watch. However, bed time was tough. One baby's crying would lead to the other's. Tes dozed off, but I ended up carrying Charlotte on my back for over 2 hours. She just wasn't ready to sleep, and wanted to be held.

    I can't imagine having twins and caring for 2 babies 24/7

    Luckily, Elida came over for dinner. I envisioned we could share dinner and catch up after the babies went to sleep. She ended up helping me by looking after Tesla while I comforted Charlotte. Thank you, Elida!

    Tesla goes to a birthday party

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    Tesla attended her first birthday party. Lucia turned 1! Amazing. Katia and Pete got pregnant about 3 months ahead of us, so it's been helpful to see what's ahead in terms of baby development. But I don't think I'm ready for baby Tesla to be 1 quite yet...

    Lucia's party was beautiful. Cute Asian theme, tons of yummy food, and amazing wine. Once a few babies arrived, it was all mayhem. Babies everywhere! Tesla enjoyed all the excitement and new toys. I noticed for the first time Tesla not wanting to share a toy. And I noticed her constantly wanting to be in where the action was. Hmmm, her personality is emerging....

    Trying some art

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    For Luci's birthday.

    Clown fun

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    At the neighborhood library lapsit.

    Tesla's grandma Marie takes care of her while I'm at work 3x/week. 1 day a week, we have a nanny share. Ruth (a truly great nanny) - look how chubby Tesla is!!) just moved, however, so Dav's cousin's wife Gaby started. Today was her first day. We've had several "test" days, and I knew Gaby and Tesla bonded. I knew Gaby was playful and loving...but still. She does not yet have a lot of experience, so I was a tad worried until I heard that today went super well. Tesla was a happy baby. ahhhhhh.

    But what I really wanted to write about was the beautiful note that Marie wrote for Gaby. Gaby had already spent a full day "shadowing" Marie to see how Tesla is cared for, but Marie wrote it all down in detail the other day to ensure Gaby knew the details. I was deeply touched by this.

    I have to say that Marie taking care of Tesla, her grand daugher, is what enables me to comfortably go to work. I swear, Tesla is thrilled when Marie walks in the door.Tesla is beginning to protest when I leave, but as I put my shoes on at the entrance [we are a no-shoe household], I hear Marie distract her with playful singing...and I then hear Tesla giggle.

    Anyhow, I simply loved this note that Marie wrote. I will treasure it and show it to Tesla when she is older.

    Tesla enjoying cousin time!

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    We went to my bro's place this Sunday since they live in the cutest family-friendly neighborhood EVER, and there was a street-wide traditional egg hunt going on. Oh boy, did the kids love it! It was quite the egg-hunt scene! I kinda forgot about Easter as an adult. I do have fond memories of painting eggs, hunting eggs, and treasuring my basket of chocolate as a kid in Connecticut. Then we moved to Japan and Easter never happened again. Last year I got a tiny bit excited and bought cute bunny chocolates for the dining table and paint to paint eggs. I never got around to that.

    But I think having babies/kids inspires you to want to give similar fun memories to your kid too. Note: I'm not religious and have memories of just the fun part; never really learned about the religious meaning. In all honesty, I just want the fun part for Tesla...and seriously, of all the holidays, Easter seems the cutest. Not too obligatory or stressful, it's outdoors and celebrates spring, and geez, how can you beat bunnies??

    Anyway, we went over to Alemada to enjoy the festivities. Obviously Tesla didn't care for the egg part. But she sure enjoyed the attention she got from cousin Tyler (who kept checking in with her and mocking how she sucked her thumb all the time), cousin Julia (who played with her and made sure she wore a hat in the sun), and the neighborhood kids. There really is something about kids loving babies, and babies loving kids. Several times when Dav held Tesla, he would soon be surrounded by the boy kids (I swear, the boys were more interested in Tesla than the girls - except Julia).

    p.s. that Mickey Mouse hat? Julia brought that out because Tesla kept taking off her regular sun hat. That is toooo sweet!!

    p.p.s. Ian has cute pics too!

    Tesla loving the attention

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    Marie (Tesla's grandma who takes care of her while I work) brought Tesla in to work. I couldn't believe how excited I felt to get to see my baby in the office! It was like anticipating a new boyfriend coming to pick me up from work. And I couldn't help myself but be so happy to get to share Tesla chubby cuteness with my colleagues. Tesla indeed seemed thrilled by all the attention, staring at everyone, smiling away...of course we all couldn't believe how big she is now.

    Ahhhh.

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    Best view for mommy.

    Mieko does it again...

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    I've been meaning to post this forever but have to do things incrementally in baby steps.

    Anyway, I received a package from my friend Mieko. We've been here in SF together, back in Tokyo together, then back in SF...now, however, she's living in Tokyo without me...my goodness, we've known each other for quite some time. I have to say I'm the lucky one - in addition to being a very loyal great friend, she has excellent taste. In fashion and also truly in music. So when I was in Tokyo, I got to piggyback on her taste and discover new stuff. In SF as well, whenever she called about some music thing, I'd definitely go as it was always spot on.

    Anyhow this package...was full of the most amazing exquisite baby stuff, very fashionable, unique and just amazing...straight from Tokyo. I mean, look at those baby pants showing off a story on Tesla's butt. And the poncho is full of delicate details that the pictures don't show well.

    The coolest were her shades. Tesla's first shades! I immediately thought of Wave Twisters...the girl in it wears cool purple shades, and DJTrip has orange ones, JUST like these. Tesla has no idea how hip she's going to be. For now, she just wanted to take them off...


    ありがとう。ほんとうに嬉しかった。大事に使います。

    since the 2004 days...

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    Last time I met Mike Popovic was at SXSW in 2004. That was back in the day when moblogging was still new enough that I got to speak at conferences about this hobby of mine! Dav and I knew Mike from even before that when Dav bought his first HipTop so that he and I could maintain a private moblog together to keep in touch while I lived in Tokyo and he in SF. Mike was brilliant and set up hiptop Nation which Dav used too. That was the beginning of such social sharing...Yay for Mike!!

    Back then, the moblogging technology definitely helped us bear our year apart, and even playfully get to know each other over that year.

    Anyway, Mike was in town for some work he's doing with Danger. He's been following our Tesla tales so it was great to meet up, show off Tesla, and talk baby talk (he has a cutie 6 year old so talking kid stuff was ok (I hope!)). We went to see the St. Stupid's Parade (why I'm wearing ears ... to be in spirit a bit)

    Mike, thanks for pinging us. It was short, but I totally enjoyed seeing you. Next time, a meal at our house for sure!

    our favorite Doctor Yap

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    Tesla had her 9 month check-up today. We look forward to seeing Dr. Yap, whom we met when Tesla was just days old. Dr. Yap came in on her rounds for all the newborn check-ups, and Dav and I decided we wanted her for Tesla's regular doctor. Dr. Yap just started her career, so I think Telsa is one of her first regular babies she is in charge of. We get to marvel over Tesla's growth each time, and I get a sense that Dr. Yap looks forward to Tesla visits. She even checks Kokochi!

    Tesla was born more or less average, then zoomed up to the 90 percentile in weight. Now I'm rather happy to say she's averaged out in all aspects. This sort of growth is typical for breastfed babies. At this point in Tesla's life, average sounds great to me.

    I do have to say the personal touch from people like Dr. Yap make the gigantic Kaiser machine seem rather normal. Without such personal care, I would not enjoy and trust Kaiser.

    Next appointment will be after Tesla' first birthday...wow, already?