July 2007 Archives


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Boy, does Tesla love peek-a-boo. She'll do it when on our bed, reaching for a sheet while I try to change her diaper. She'll do it around our sofa as soon as she knows I'm playing the game. And with the curtains, she tries all the time. Dav and I have cheated and raised the curtain while she was "waiting," to find her sitting still, head down, as if she was counting time to make her grand entrance. It's hilarious. She doesn't quite get that her feet sticking out give her away. She's even giggled, while still "in hiding" when I've tickled one of her feet.

These are the moments that make you laugh and see your baby reaching out to you. She wants to entertain us. So darn cool!

Pictures via Papa Dav.

Uncle Ian visits

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Izumi and the kids are in Tokyo now, enjoying the hot muggy weather. I think it's important and wonderful for the kids to get to hang out in Tokyo. This is their 3rd time (I think) so Tokyo is not too strange to them. Perfect.

Ian is at home though. So I invited him over for dinner along with our neighbor Jeremy whose wife and child are away too. Before Jeremy arrived and Dav got home, Ian played with Tesla while I prepared dinner. Someone gave her a telephone. I had no idea it could be programmed. Ian, of course, immediately caught this and made some nice recordings with Tesla.

Thanks, Uncle Ian!

This is Japan for me...

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Japanese neighborhood.jpg

This image of a 平凡(heibon) / ordinary neighborhood road pulls at my heart. This is the kind of road I grew up with, walked to school in. The architecture (like 雨戸, amado)、the walls, the hot weather (shown by the parasol), are so familiar. I played with friends in these streets without caring about the danger of cars. I didn't know the people in many houses of my neighborhood, but it was still, a neighborhood. It was safe and home.

I miss the small roads that were organically made over history vs. a car-culture constructed city. It's a feeling that is *so* different from here. And now that I have a child, I appreciate these streets in my memory that were full of kids playing with no adults supervising because it was a true neighborhood. I'm not sure this exists in any U.S. place I've lived. Perhaps the rural areas? I know it must exist here somewhere. I mean, my childhood street was in Tokyo.

Credit goes to Akira Kawamura. Thank you for taking this perfect picture.

I must get this phone strap

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Doesn't this Bruce Lee Kewpie look like someone?

From Wired

tough night

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I was going to title this "worst night ever" to contrast with the previous post, but it wasn't that bad. I'm surprisingly OK now (I'm sure I'll drag in the afternoon).

Tesla has a minor cold. Runny nose, sneezes, a few coughs. But it's making her needy, and she can't sleep well. At times, she woke up what seemed every 10 minutes. And she wanted to be on the boob ALL the time. When I got fed up and turned my back (yes, I do that when I get sore lying on one side for her for too long, and physically need a break from her pawing at me) she'd protest. Every time I tried putting her back in the crib, she wanted out. If I brought her to bed, she'd roll around trying to sleep, and since I'd be worried of her rolling off the bed, I couldn't sleep.

Finally, at 7am, I brought her out to Dav so I could get some sleep before work. I heard toys and then TV. Apparently, she got to see Barney!

Of course now that I'm awake, preparing for work, she's pretty chirpy. Her cuteness all back. :)

best "welcome home" ever

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I came home early today so Gaby (nanny on Tuesdays) could leave for an appointment she had. Tesla had been napping for an hour or so. I came in, saw that Tesla wasn't with Gaby making a mess in the living room, so asked, "she napping?" to which Gaby said yes, and explained that Tesla resisted her crib today so Gaby put her in our bed. Some days, when Tesla is needy, she sleeps better in our bed. I smiled.

Just then, we heard a squeal down the hall, and saw little Miss T almost running towards me with her hands waving above her head. She practically fell into my arms. Tesla knows how to get off the bed safely so she must have heard me come home, and quickly got out of bed.

I can't really describe how special it was to see her hurry towards me. Then to hug her in my arms. It's the most, "ahhhhh" feeling I know.

she is a walker

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Hard to keep her put now. We've become those parents that you see assisting their eager walking toddler in restaurants, coffee shops, stores, everywhere! Now I'd hesitate to take a long international flight since Tesla will insist on walking around (vs. staying put nice and easy)....well, I'd hesitate for like 10 minutes, but of course I'd still hop on a plane for an adventure with Ms. T!

Sent from a friend of a friend of a friend who captured this scene with a cell phone in Tokyo. Pretty neat that I get to see it here in San Francisco. I'm happy that we can't see his face, poor sleepy guy. Makes me miss the safeness of Tokyo where it's OK to conk out like that in public (although bad for his neck & back). And even with his bag so open for mischief, most likely nothing will happen. On the other hand, it also reminds me how tired people get. Kids and adults...working and commuting in a big busy city. It can be hard for sure if you don't know how to slow down.

bunny.jpg Pat the Pol cover.jpg

When Tesla was born, Ian gave her a Pat the Bunny book. It's such a classic.

Ian later gave us a political version. It's quite hilarious.

Being our daughter, Tesla has taken a liking to the political version. In fact, she is quite mesmerized by a bunch of fluffy cotton glued to one page to represent Barbara Bush's white hair. Tesla likes to tease it out, leaving bits around the house. I sometimes walk down the hallway following a trail of white tufts stuck on the carpet, and I know where that's from. In our house, Barbara Bush will soon be bald...
bush hair.jpghair2.jpg


According to Discover Magazine. Thanks, Anil.

Tesla Yaginuma is cuter though.



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Someone found my old phone that I lost almost a month ago. It was in front of the store where I had shopped. I had gone back to the store to look for it, but they didn't know anything. The person who found my phone took it home after putting up a notice on a telephone pole that he had it. It lost battery juice so he couldn't try to find a number to call. Weeks later, his daughter found out about the phone, and having the same one, charged it up and found my home phone number.

Yesterday, she came by to return it. I'm grateful, but it's a bit late. I've already switched phone companies, and even switched from the free phone that came with it as I luckily got hold of a nice Nokia N73 to use instead (yay for sim cards!)

Anyhow, after talking to the woman, I realized it would be very useful to have a phone charm with my name and number on it. Most people, if they find a phone, probably just want to return it. My dead phone was no help. Does that exist? A small nice-looking name tag for phones?

She also told me about I.C.E. I did not know about this, but it makes sense. She tried to see if I had a listing for I.C.E. in my phone. I didn't but did have "home."

Anyway, good to know my phone didn't just disappear into thin air. I'll see if anyone else can use it.

Providing Comfort...

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From Patrick. I can't help but point out my mini bangs. That's the hair I lost from pregnancy finally growing back. Speaking of hair...Tesla got cute hair pins for her birthday. Just by pinning a tiny bit of hair, she looks so much older.

Tokyo Plastic

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Again, kudos to Eddie.

Check this out. (click where seems appropriate to get things started and continuing. Enjoy it all...when you get to the drumming kokeshi dolls, it's worth it.)

p.s. more party pics

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This won't go on forever, I swear. But here are more pics of Tesla's grand party, thanks to backseatbettie.

tesla in chair.jpg

Whew! Had a huge party on Saturday for little Ms. T. I had envisioned a few babies and a few kids with us adults enjoying cocktails and finger food. A gathering for music, the sunset, and mingling. Goodness, was I wrong! First, the weather sucked so everyone was gathered in the living room instead of spilling out onto the patio. Luckily, people felt comfortable to escape to our bedrooms when they needed a break. Yes, a break from a room full of 35+ adults and I think maybe 15 kids and babies. It was mayhem. 15 kids isn't just like 15 Teslas. Their energy bounces off of each other so it's exponential.

Here is the progression of the party:

A few arrived and settled in. There was still space to enjoy the Wii. Then lots more arrived. Kids were everywhere! After the climax with the cake, things calmed down. The 2nd wave of late folks settled in. Finally, after ordering pizza around 10pm, our boys & friends started the Wii while finishing a few beers.

A long day indeed, but I absolutely loved it. I couldn't have imagined the chaos, yet it was somehow perfect for Tesla. Toddler/Kid Playhouse. I'm still finding random toy parts in weird places.

It was all worth it when everyone sang Happy Birthday for our baby. Initially, we both thought we wouldn't have a party cuz Tesla wouldn't remember it. She may not, but she sure loved being such the center of attention as the linked video proves. She was glowing. And I'm most proud to have pictures as evidence for her later to show how much we all celebrated this great moment.

As is always the case being the hostess, I regret not having more time with each guest. Thank you to all of you for making Tesla's birthday so incredibly memorable!

t best.jpg
BIG thank you to Elida who helped from the morning to set up and decorate. And made awesome cocktails (thanks Ele for the rum recipe!). It wouldn't have been nearly as nice and fun without you!!!

p.s. Check out this handmade knit hat Toni made for Tesla!

Happy First Birthday Tesla!

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Last year, July 5, 2006, 9:20am, Tesla was born.

A first year anniversary is indeed special. The first of many more to come, and a moment to look back and remember the start with Tesla. She was still furry!

Dav and I could never have imagined how amazing it would all be. Lots of work, a huge adjustment, and many unknowns. On the other hand, it's felt like the most natural thing ever, and having Tesla as a part of us makes so much sense. I can't help but enjoy reminiscing.

p.s. I had to look in our files the exact time she was born, and realized I have a "baby" folder, then a "Tesla" folder. So weird to think that at one point Tesla was just "baby" to us...
p.p.s. we're doing a celebration this Saturday.


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A few days before birth.

12 months ago, around this time, Tesla was snuggle inside me, and I was sitting in the living room with Kats hovering around. My mother, who was with us from Japan to help with Tesla's birth, just woke up. After days of waiting, I was proud to tell my mom, "it's started!" I was excited and in a good mood.

In the early afternoon, the upstairs boys came down to watch some sports event on our big T.V. By then, I was constantly walking in circles through the kitchen, dining room, living room...over and over again. I couldn't sit still. By late afternoon, I was using the birthing ball.

Today, I woke up and Dav patted my belly. "She was still in there last year," he said. Life before Tesla; such an odd concept and state of life that I can't really imagine now.

We watched her from bed as she moved around our bedroom, taking stuff out of drawers, playing with whatever thing she found. Every so often, she would look back at us with a big grin, making sure we were watching. 12 months, and she's here more and more. I say that because it's really been like a flower blooming. Her personality, her quirky habits (her love of having a soft pillow case as a blankie, her groans when she is just about to fall asleep), her physical growth. There was no way to predict who she would be 12 months ago.

Ha! Just as I was writing this, I realized Tesla was awfully quiet, and looked over. She had found her snack cracker bag from the diaper bag, opened it, and was eating mouthfuls of crackers! A mess now. I love it. Makes me laugh.

She's made us a family now.

Tesla at breakfast today.


So NOT. That picture, if I remember correctly, was from an afternoon sail with Dav at the helm while I spent my time looking green, letting go of my lunch overboard.

As Dav explained on AkuAku, the photo was taken from his flickr stream by his sailing school for a poster and this online site. Other than the blatant disregard of his CC license that was non-commercial and attribution-required, it's sorta funny. And really funny that people would think that in fact Elida and I were sailing students. Elida could...but me? I'd get lost out in the ocean for sure.

I particularly like how our photo was chosen to be next to the phrase, "Using guidelines established by the ASA (American Sailing Association), Spinnaker Sailing offers courses to students from all walks of life." We represent!

p.s. pictures from Raindance coming...they are on Dav's mac at the moment.