January 2008 Archives


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With Sofia and Michelle. Tesla's first time. She was much more interested in dipping the brushes in the water than anything else. I can't wait to start art projects with her...Beware: soon any card or gift from us will be made by Tesla!

Drinking from a real glass

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She certainly wants to try everything we do. Note the napkin I stuck down her shirt because she actually complained about it being all wet. And note the tent in the background I got at Ikea for her. She knows it's "her" fort, and loves it.

Photo booth fun

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Six Apart had its annual "holiday" party last Friday. Since a few years ago, it's a tradition to have this party in January when things are more relaxed. We were all pleased to see the photo booth again. Honestly, that thing brings out the funniest in all of us. Dav and I got a rather normal one together.

photobooth us.jpg

Then as I was socializing elsewhere, Dav got in there and took LOTS of sessions. This one below is only the beginning. Mind you, all the photo booth pics get posted on the company internal Vox blog. My goodness!!
I may be embarrassed about it, but I still think my bad-ass husband rocks precisely because he does this stuff.

Sweet email

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This is more or less another post about why I leave my blog completely open to the public. The main reason is that I've had nothing but good experiences from being open.

As a side note though, I've definitely had moments where I wonder about having Tesla so much on my blog. I know that a time will come when I decide to put posts about her in a private domain. A while ago I freaked out on myself, imagining that all these baby pictures of Tesla, forever indexed on the internet, would somehow cause Tesla grief later on. What if she ran for president and folks went through her baby pictures to hassle her? Or worse, if she were in middle school and was made fun of? Dav pointed out that she isn't the first internet generation, and most everyone she will know will have something on the internet. I argued that yes, most of her friends will have an online identity for sure...but one that they make and control. Comparatively speaking, I don't think the majority of babies are being documented by their parents openly yet. Most have pictures online, but in some private photo-sharing capacity. (I am already putting some flickr photos as family/friends only.) Dooce is my guideline to a certain extent so as long as she's open, I feel OK.

Anyway, back to the public thing. I recently had another wonderful experience to add to the list. I received an email from A. who has been reading kokochi for a while. She introduced herself to "de-lurk" and asked about my bi-cultural background and how that applies to work. First, I was simply touched to get such an email. Made me feel that all the silliness I put out there does make sense to a few ; ) But more importantly, she reached out because of the bi-cultural experience. She was thinking about how to use her background that is similar to mine, and she wondered how my background applied to my jobs.

So I replied. And I realized although kokochi (and my former blog Tokyo Tidbits) is about my daily life, I'm rather reticent when it comes to work. Blogging about work crosses a certain line for me. Yet, work is a significant part of what I do and to a certain extent who I am, especially since my recent jobs tie in so well with my cultural background. My work has given me more confidence that my background is special and useful in certain areas. I think I will start sharing more of that here.

For now though, I want to thank A. for reaching out. Here is a snippet from her email that totally clicks for me:

There are so many ways in which your email has helped me: First, that someone else on the planet understands what it means to be jumping between two worlds/worldviews. I have plenty of American and Western friends and plenty of Japanese friends but very few friends that are bi-cultural. How refreshing to hear someone else mention many of the things that I too feel ~ i.e. not always "getting" the joke because it refers to some American pop culture thing from the 80's that I didn't experience. ~ never feeling totally secure with my level of Japanese and my level of aptitude, culturally, in some situations. Second, that I got to hear more about the career and vocation path that you found satisfying and that utilized your bilingual/-cultural skills. I like how you described your particular professional skills on the YahooLink professional profile. Your story gave me some clues and some ideas about how to proceed professionally.

Thanks, A. It's a pleasure to meet you virtually too!

Scott Kennedy

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My cousin Scott was in town. He's a professor at Indiana University, specializing in contemporary Chinese politics and business. Since I didn't really grow up in the U.S., it's pretty recent as an adult that I finally got to know my American relatives. My grandmother Laura is a blast. And getting to know my cousins has been fun but also very meaningful for me.

Scott comes to the Bay Area once a year now for a conference. Last year, I got horribly sick the day we were to meet up and completely bailed (makes me sick just to remember how sick I was). So to redeem myself, we had Scott stay with us and had the other Kennedy clan come over. Time with family is sweet for me. Tesla clearly admires her cousins, and Tyler and Julia diligently play with her even though she's still a baby. While we digested our food at the dinner table, Tesla squealed in delight, out of breath, as she ran from Tyler who chased her around the table. I love that stuff.

Of course, Julia and Tyler totally got into the Wii. Tesla ran around them as they played, dangerously getting close to being hit a few times.

My cousin Sherry is engaged! Sounds like the wedding will be in June. I am very happy for her. Can't wait!

p.s. I was going to do a stuffed sardines dish that is super easy and yummy only to find that Whole Foods sold out because they don't order a lot since Sardines go bad quickly. So I tried the same recipe on trout. It was OK. Next time I am going to call in and order sardines ahead of time.

big kid swinging

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Another first: Tesla insisted on swinging on the big kid swing instead of the bucket seats I usually put her in. I would never have thought of testing her on those, but she wanted out of the bucket, walked over to the normal swings and tried getting on herself. I was hesitant to push her too hard & high, but she did well!

Another wow for mama. I have a feeling this will be our rhythm; I continue treating her how I know until she tells me she's bigger than that and wants the next step. It's mama who thinks, "really? do you know what you are doing?....ok, I'll help but so soon??"

first day at Day Care!

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Last Friday, Tesla went to day care! As you know, up until now, she was with granny at home, or for one day a week went to another house for a nanny-share. But that's with just 1 other baby, and Tesla is definitely interested in playmates now. After some hunting around, miraculously we found the perfect family-run place that is right on my way to work. I can get off at my normal bus stop and drop her off at a house as I walk to work.

I relished carrying Tesla in the ergo on my way to work. The ergo is such a cuddly way to hold her, and we looked into each others eyes as we sat on the bus. When I dropped her off, there were 3 other little ones just her age. I could tell Tesla was thrilled as she immediately got on a rocking horse, and never bothered to say good-bye to me, let alone cry.

When I picked her up, Karla the caregiver said she did surprisingly fine since she's used to first-timers being a bit needy at first. I think Tesla is so ready for this...and in due time I guess we'll increase day care from 1 day to 2. For now though, granny will still care of Tesla for the other days of the week - their time together is too precious to cut short.

Garbage day is fun day!

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Our garbage man comes by Thursday mornings. We are 3 stories up from the street, but can still hear when the loud truck & lifting machinery come by. Tesla is completely mesmerized by the noise and big truck she can see when peering out of our bedroom window. Now, as soon as she hears the noise, she goes running to the window and stays put for a good 3 minutes watching the whole process.

I wonder what she thinks it's all about. I'm tempted to print out the pictures here and give it to our garbage man to let him know he has a big fan.

p.s. click on the 1st picture to see her left foot. So cute!

What Tesla is up to these days...

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She's a banana sucking vampire baby geek.

My team : )

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work team.jpg
These are the fab women I work with. It was Ginger's b-day so we celebrated by taking her out to lunch. We also took out Garth as it was his b-day too.

It's a nice moment to say how much I enjoy working with them. We've always had a good rapport, but we really work together well AND have fun. We sit in one corner of the office and often joke that we have the best corner - we have windows & plants, Jo and Jane have a basket of healthy snacks (and various super healthy vitamins), we bond over talking about food or alcohol pretty much ALL the time (I guess that's more Jo and I...), we've hosted Foo Bar for the company at our corner, we either go get lunch together or buy for each other if they are busy, and on and on. Today when I left the office, Jane was helping Jo choose which wedding pictures to get printed.

I really love my team, and just wanted to say so.

Japanese words!

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When Tesla started saying English words clearly, I put effort not just to talk to her in Japanese like I normally do, but to also point things out repeatedly with the intention of teaching her words. I started with 鼻 hana, 目 me, and 口 kuchi. That's nose, eye, and mouth.

She picked up hana pretty quickly, saying "nana," and now points to the noses of various animals she sees in her books. She seems to relish pointing at my nose saying nana, then shoving her finger in my nose. Today, for the first time, out of the blue as we played silly on the sofa together, she said "me" (pronounced meh) while touching her eye!

It's really amazing and thrilling to hear a new word come out of Tesla for the very first time. She got it!!

Dav and I hear vocabulary dancing around the tip of her tongue combined in with fun babble. We sense that very soon an avalanche of speaking will come pouring out. It was one thing getting used to my baby walking vs. sitting there waiting for me to pick her up. It will be something else to hear her say her thoughts out loud. Wow.

SF Moma

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Random pics from SFMoma (taken discreetly).
Thanks Rachel and Cesar for getting us in...and thanks for being patient as we ran after our toddler ; )

p.s. more crib talk and some advanced swinging

Tesla ( I ) am flattered

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Finn got the same PJs as Tesla.

I can't get over that I haven't met Finn yet! Waiting for this summer...


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Tesla got one! We bought one and gave one.

p.s. Notice the rain on the windows. This was from the gigantic storm that just passed through SF. Our windows are clean now!

The joys of a bubble bath

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We just recently started doing bubble baths as opposed to washing with a soapy cloth. We got a bottle from California Baby (I love their stuff), and it comes with a bubble blower which makes bath time tons of fun...until Tesla tries to eat the bubbles ;)

Boxed Tesla

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Tesla got quite a few fun new toys for Christmas from family which she is beginning to play with. But for the first few days after Christmas, she was into one of the boxes that a toy came in. Granted Dav pushed her around so she learned that the box was magic and fun, but it's so typical isn't it? Kids have fun with the most regular things around.

Note that the horsey animal in the box is a new gift...and he's been making it into the crib which is a special inner circle for a stuffed animal to be in : )

Snippets from New Years

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This year we wanted a mellow yet fun NYE. We did not want to party it out at some club, and wanted to stay home with Tesla, but we did want to see our friends. So we had a pre-party gathering, and offered cocktails and appetizers to those who could stop by before each headed to other big parties.

First, the night before NYE on Sunday, we got a babysitter and went on a date. We didn't have specific plans and just walked around downtown, had a cocktail at Cityscape, then had dinner in North Beach. It was definitely sweet to have our own couple time :)
For NYE dinner, I ordered special osechi and made ozoni. I haven't been in Japan for New Years for quite some time, and we usually travel during this time, so I had never ordered osechi before. It was delicious and 懐かしい for me. Michelle and Jeremy joined in for dinner.
The cocktails I prepared for the gathering were champagne-based and a vodka recipe I found online that called for Calvados. The vodka drink was a bit strong, but yummy. Michelle brought cheese, champagne, and chamborge. Rachel brought a rice dish as well as a bundle of amazing pastries she made. Score for us! In addition to our friends, our housemates (my boys) joined with their friends too. I am getting quite attached to our housemates, and when we discovered that it was close to Kunal's 4th anniversary with us, we made a toast.
Most folks left around 11:30 to their parties. At midnight, there were 6 of us. Perfect for the 6 animal noses that we received as a gift from my aunt & uncle, so we goofed around taking NYE pictures. I have to say the night was just perfect for us; got to see friends and have fun, but stayed snug right at home!