July 2008 Archives

Kurara chose me!

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kurara.jpg

The other day, I visited Eddie's blog and found this post. I decided to leave a comment even though I never win anything and felt silly.

But then...I woke up one morning to a delightful email from Eddie that I won! Or, more accurately, Kurara, Eddie's cutie bunny, chose me! I'm really quite surprised! And I just love the way he carried out the drawing : )

p.s. notice how the font & color in my post looks exactly like that of Eddie's post? Um...I told Dav, when he was updating my template, that I wanted the font Eddie used ; )

home dinner

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Last Sunday, we finally had a dinner for David M., along with our neighbors since we hadn't seen them for a while`. Good to be back to our frequent dinner sharing and hanging out, and very nice to have time with David M. too. It felt good to be cooking again.

Michelle brought over the most giant bottle of wine that she got via work. We actually made a very decent dent into the wine!

For Elida

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Elida is super special to me...yes, having Ms. T has taken up my time and energy so that I miss having gobs of time with Elida. We manage, thanks to Elida's flexibility and understanding, but still. Friendships need time. So we made a date, and I took her out to dinner. I had a strong desire for a French Bistro and pretty much pushed us to here, and it was a wonderful dinner. Elida later took me too the Orbit Room where we got original drinks based on goodies they got fresh for the farmer's market that day. Not just yummy...but very neat to see the bartender and bar very much into appreciating a good drink...organic and fresh too!

Reunion lunch

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As I said, apart from the super relaxing time at the Outer Banks, travel was rather crazy. Me being me, during my short stop back in Raleigh before heading to SF, I scheduled to meet up with Jen from my Tokyo high school. Dav picked me up at the airport with all our bags ready to go, then we met with Jen for lunch, then stopped briefly chez Ele & Will to say bye and repack our bags so I had T's stuff as carry-on, then zoomed to the airport thanks to Will's driving.

It was worth it to get to see an old girl-friend who is now a mama too!

Very meaningful wedding

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Part of this trip was to attend my cousin Sherry's wedding up in Erie. This meant making Dav leave with me a day early so he could wait in Raleigh as I "hopped up" to Erie for a 24 hour trip to attend my dear cousin's wedding. It would have been hellish with Tesla, especially since the return on Sunday was Erie-Cincinnati-Raleigh...then our normal trip home which was Raleigh-Atlanta-SF. Not something Tesla would enjoy even if she's a well-traveled good sport.

I was on the fence forever because the trip was so squeezed, but I realized I truly wanted to be there. Once I bought the ticket, I was immediately very happy.

And it was more than worth it. Family really is family. Even if I didn't know this side of my family when I was growing up in Tokyo, I don't feel any distance. Plus, I met up with my cousin I hadn't seen since I was...um, a toddler. We greatly hit it off. And I also met a cousin I didn't know existed...and neither did she!

I can't begin to express in words how special this was for me. I am so happy I was able to be there...to slow dance with my uncle, do funny photo-booth pics with Sherry and Peter, to meet Sherry's awesome husband who is totally in love with her, to get to hang out with my cousin Peter...on and on. A very special family moment for me. Here is a link to a few pics.

The Beach House decor

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A small catch-up from our week at the Outer Banks - The house we stayed in was quite unique. It was historic, and beautiful in a simple way, with old wooden shingles outside, and lovely porches all around the house.
I took pics of the house decor because it was such a funny mix of kitsch (not this traditional map that I really liked in the first picture that was of the Outer Banks). I've never seen such a collection of stuff that I always joked when seeing in a store, "who would buy that??" Actually, we all sort of enjoyed discovering things because there was so much. It is interesting to spend a week in someone else's house.
The Marilyn Monroe portrait really threw us off. Most of the stuff was beachy or pastel so her picture was just so odd. And it was in the dining room of all places. Next is a giant lump of shells that was the dining table center piece. We quickly moved it to the buffet table, next to the squatting flamingo.
Anyhow, here is my flickr set, and here is Dav's.

great great news!

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I *just* got a call from a dear friend letting me know she's 8 weeks pregnant!! This is a very special moment, so I had to share. I pretty much burst into tears when she called me. She's in the very tired mode now...I remember! Ganbatte!!!

Home update

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We got back Sunday at midnight, and we went to work Monday morning, so getting settled back is taking time. I have more to share but for now:

  • Lovely beach life was relaxing. Stepping off the plane to a cold SF summer night was a shock.
  • Since I went to a wedding in Erie, my travels on Sunday were Erie-Cincinnati-Raleigh-lunch in Raleigh & join Dav and Tesla who didn't come to the wedding-Atlanta-SF. I've traveled a lot, but 4 flights in 1 day was a first for me. Thank goodness there were no delays.
  • Met long lost cousins and new cousins at the wedding. Family is family no matter how distant. I'm 200% happy I went to the wedding, and super touched at how important family is.
  • A week on the beach gave me time to think, and clarity about what I want/need from work hit me. I've communicated this with work, and look forward to changes. I've been coasting for a while, just happy with the flexibility that 6A provides. Now I need to make the content of my work meaningful to me.
  • Got flowers from Michelle. Good to be back at our house, spoiled by our neighbors.
  • Went to the library today and got Tesla her own card. We borrowed books, and with her card, there is no late fee. Plus, there are many fun story-telling times or performances at the library. I appreciated once again how awesome our neighborhood is for kids.
  • When Tesla sat down to eat dinner tonight, she wanted a cracker, but I said she had to have 3 bites of a vege burger first. She normally loves vege burgers, but tonight, she chewed, then spit out the vege burger and left the table. No crackers for her. I laughed, and appreciated how no matter where we are, vacation or not, Tesla carries on being herself. Love it.

almost full

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videos

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Porch of the house, facing the ocean - Dav rocking, Tesla playing with door, Will blowing bubbles. Next is Tesla climbing a sand dune in front of the porch, trying to reach daddy.

Nags Head

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Snippets of our very relaxing vacation: lots of play, reading, and hanging.

Tesla playing in the sand with Chloe. We can let her get covered in sand; we just have to hose her down on the patio. So nice to let Tesla run around as she pleases.
View from our patio off the house. The beach is practically private!
T and Daddy playing together. Chloe served us all "sand cake" the other day. Next day, Tesla did the same, even saying, "cake."
Chloe and Lisa stayed for dinner. They babysat the other night too - that meant Lisa alone with Finn (baby), Tesla (toddler), Emma (dog), and Chloe (helpful 4 year old). All were awake when we left, so we wondered if Lisa would be OK, but we came home and the babies were asleep. Whew! Tesla apparently gathered up her blankie and animals and pretty much marched up to her room when she got tired.
Hanging out in the evening. Warm nights are so nice. And we hear the waves all the time. Luscious is the word that comes to mind.
Suika time! Notice the drizzle all down her shirt!

sneakers and boots

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We just arrived at Nags Head, NC for a week beach vacation. Last night we went to see Southern Culture on the Skids at a small pretty nice venue. We were right up front! Here are two short videos.
KKY.jpg

So while Tesla was enjoying her birthday with her gifts, checking out new neighborhood parks, and hiking with daddy-o and the Regenbogens, I went on a 3 day 2 night spa getaway with Yuka, Kimi, and Kari, my friends from junior-high/high school in Tokyo (ASIJ). We ALL were very much looking forward to this "us only" time. We get to meet occasionally (Kari and Yuka live in L.A.; Kimi in Concord), but we have not been all together since high school. We've had some of us together, but husband and kids too.

Within minutes, we were back to our high school selves, relating, catching up, joking, sharing, etc. I ...and all of us...forget how important it is to have girl time. No offense to guy friends and husbands, but there is something so special to be just girls. We laughed, got silly, talked about stuff that men in general yawn about or don't even know about. So free and relaxing. Best part was with these friends, we can be ourselves who understand the in-between cultural space we're in that is easy to ignore in daily lives. But together, it felt like, "ahhhhh." We speak the same mashed-up language, we understand our food preferences, we get what a hot spring is...and other things too hard to describe.

More pics will come from the others, but for now here's my set.

Tesla is two years old!

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Yes, my baby cakes is two! I spend a fair amount of time these days just staring at Tesla, surprised at how big and kid-like she is. Her legs are getting skinny, she's very coordinated, and she'll communicate with gusto (although with words we still don't comprehend). There are hints of baby that I treasure...like when she runs, there's still a waddle and she waves her hands as if she's flapping wings. When she sleeps, she can be on her tummy with her butt in the air. She loves to suck her thumb. And since she still doesn't care how we dress her, sometimes she runs around in pretty funny outfits that look dorky but baby cute.

Anyhow, it happened to be that the weekend of her Juy 5th birthday was the perfect weekend when 3 other of my close high school girlfriends could all make it to a spa together...so after maybe a minute (or 10 seconds) of contemplating, I said, "hell yeah!" Last year Dav and I threw a party for her #1 anniversary that was a pretty huge gathering. It was fun, but I knew that if I was going to do a party this year, it'd be with max 2 other babies, not 15 kids. : )

I figured this year is my only year to keep it mellow. So Dav and I didn't fret. I was very touched, however, that friends and family sent cards and gifts. My mission this year is to take pictures of all the goodies so Tesla can later know that many did celebrate her #2. Thank you, everyone!

Tesla's first tricycle. Granny and great-granny actually got this way early, saying it was for her birthday, but I suspect they simply came across it and couldn't resist. For now, it's indoors as Tesla still doesn't get the concept. She likes being pushed around on it though.
Since I knew we weren't throwing a party, I had fun picking and buying her a toy doll house. I had it delivered and was going to wait until her birthday to give it to her, but she found the box and immediately wanted to play. She doesn't quite play house, but rather likes to put things in and out of the various rooms as if it's a fascinating box. I've even caught her backing her butt into the tiny living room, trying to get in, I think.
M and Sofia came over and gave a glittery ball and puzzle. Fia helped Tesla open her presents...Fia is T's first best friend! T was more interested in the puzzle box and liked standing on it. Now she just likes throwing all the puzzle pieces around the floor. When she discovers they link to make a picture? The years of fun she will have with this; brilliant gift. I also loved the homemade personalized card.
Granny not only gave Tesla half an eclair on her birthday (I don't give Tesla any sweets so she must have been in heaven when tasting that thing), but granny also gave Tesla a new bathing suit and socks. She totally needs both of these, especially with our upcoming beach week in NC. Granny knows!
Elida brought over a Hello Kitty marshmellow on a stick. T won't get to eat it, but she sure admired it. Since the Hello Kitty potty DVD I got in Tokyo, Tesla has been very into Hello Kitty. My mom bought her this stuffed version, and Kitty is now as important as doggy "wan wan" and horsey. I'm rather pleased that Hello Kitty is T's first "character" she's into.
Then there were all the cards she got. Plus Kimi's bag full of a Hello Kitty towel, shirt and sponge. Folks read my blog, I guess : ) Telsa really liked Uncle Frank's Elmo card...even though the only place she's seen Elmo is a tiny face on one of her sippey cups. She's never seen a moving cartoon of him. Such a good eye!

And Tesla's first doll set complete with clothes, shoes and combs. From Ian, Izumi, Tyler, and Julia. Tesla still doesn't quite get it, but she stuffs the doll in the doll house I gave her.

Again, thank you, everyone!!


Back!

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I'm not only back from Tokyo, but just back from a 3 day weekend with my high school girlfriends. Sans kids and partners. It was fabulous...being back with my gals who have the same bi-cultural background. We were at a spa, and took advantage of the yoga, hiking, and spa facilities, but we also just loved being in our room catching up. It's good for me and all of us to hang out with old friends as girls...and women (our ages still surprise us). It was like as always. We're in older bodies, but we relate the same as in high school. So COMFORTABLE and so much FUN.

I have lots to catch up on, but enjoyed not blogging : )