December 2008 Archives

Happy New 2009

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2009 New Year Card(2).jpgIt's been an interesting year to say the least. Who knows what 2009 will bring, but we expect changes both good and difficult.

I never imagined we'd create a card using the American flag as background. A bit too patriotic for me, but it's apt considering how much we cared about this year's elections.

Continuing our card-making tradition from 2007 & 2006.


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Christmas chez nous is not that big of a deal, but it's still fun to decorate just a bit (a regular house plant that gets to shine once a year), and enjoy the festive moment of opening the gifts that are sent to us. Honestly, we did not get anything for each other or Tesla. It's just not our thing, although we imagine that in a few years, we'll have to do more so she doesn't feel left out. It's very nice, nonetheless, to receive gifts, and Tesla enjoyed opening them for sure. Here is Tesla opening some anpanman crackers and loving that! Thank you all, for the wonderful gifts!
Christmas eve, we went to my brothers. I forgot my phone so used Ian's camera so pics will be later. For Christmas Day, we went up north to one of Tesla's aunties where the family gathered. Great-granny, gran Marie, cousins, aunties, and uncles. I just love that Tesla is growing up with them...Here is Tesla with cousin Maria-Rose, joined by Ava later, and jumping on the bed with cousin Ava. You gotta love this last picture of Granny Maria and Markus!

Dr. Yap

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Tesla had a check-up at Kaiser the other week, and I wanted to capture a moment with Dr. Yap. Obviously, Dr. Yap was Tesla's first regular doctor, but the neat thing was that Tesla was one of Dr. Yap's first babies. Dr. Yap is finishing her position at Kaiser soon, to graduate and move on to her next position, so this visit was Tesla's last with Dr. Yap. It's been fun for both Dr. Yap and myself to enjoy watching Tesla grow, and it's been super nice to have Dr. Yap's extra attention thoughout these years. She even called me on her day off after we saw a different doctor during the pneumonia.

We wish Dr. Yap a super new chapter in her life, and thank her for caring so well for Tesla : )

Red Cap Cards

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The founders of Red Cap Cards, Hal & Carrie, camped with us at Burning Man this past year. They gave out some of their cards, and ever since, I've been in love with Carrie's illustrations. They now include other illustrators, but I love Carrie's the most, and have purchased several gifts from them.

For holiday gifts, I wanted to frame a few, but they only sell card sizes. So I emailed Hal, and he very kindly printed just for me, a larger version of Carrie's prints. Now that I've given them as gifts, I can show them here : ) Aren't they adorably lovely?

Here is a more detailed version from their store. I also ordered this.

Katia's Jujus

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juju.jpg We are a proud owner of a specially made juju by Katia for us! (Click to see details which are amazing..she cut out each piece.) I knew Katia made jujus, but it wasn't until I followed her blog that I felt her sensitivity to colors and aesthetics, and liked the naturalness of what she perceived. For T's 1st B-day, she made the cutest "T" card...and I loved the details. Finally, I got around to commissioning her to do one of us living in San Francisco. I gave her very little direction, trusting she'd figure out what was best. Sure enough...I am thrilled. Dav is too, especially because of the grand Sutro Tower that Dav loves, and we see everyday over the hill from our living room. I also love the 3 little birds (one of my favorite Bob Marley songs is "Three Little Birds"), and the swirly background. I have a stamp like that I often use on letters. That's Katia's Juju power...I have never told her that but they are in the juju!!

Last weekend, we went back up to Willits with the Regenbogens to ride the Skunk Train which offers a cute Christmas-y version during the season with elves, cookies and milk (spiked hot chocolate for parents- smart!), songs, decor, and last but not least, a special guest appearance by Santa!

We all built this up quite high for both Fia and Tesla, but T had little clue about what was going on. However, the timing was perfect because her auntie Katherine sent her a DVD game thing of The Little Train That Could, and Fia just happened to have the book version too, so Tesla has been quite into trains lately. So to ride a real one made a huge impression.

Regarding Santa...well, he was just weird and scary for her, although Mr. Santa tried hard. The only shot we could get was of her turning away to hide in daddy's arms. I can see her point. Who else wears all red with an obnoxious white beard? Could be the devil for all she knows. I got a few pictures of her in utter wonder about all the singing and hype as Santa boarded the train.

However, she loves to sing Jingle Bells, and both Fia and Tesla practically flipped out when they discovered we were staying in hotel rooms that had a connected door, and jumping on the bed was allowed!

Of course this was the special breakfast with dear Rachel just before she flew away across the country to live in MA. She honored me with having her last friend gathering chez nous, and snoozing on our sofa. Breakfast was the extra treat.

But I maintained (and still maintain) super denial, and enjoyed the time as if it was regular time. And the only pictures I took from breakfast was of Fia and T. Sure, they dominated the scene, and I mentioned to Rachel how it can be quite hard to eat out with kids because everyone spends all their time keeping the kids occupied...munching the meal in between when there is time. It's not exactly relaxing. But still, I can't quite fathom how I failed to take a commemorative picture of darling Rachel. Denial to the core indeed.

Here's a video of busy Tesla (Flickr is finicky so it might not load now)

camping in Oakland

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Since Tesla got better, we've been keen on taking her out on all sorts of fun activities, like the Tilden Park steam train rides, and the Yerba Buena Gardens carousel.

Then last night, we went camping at the Anthony Chabot Park in Oakland so it was super close, yet a great way to totally be out of the city. We took the RV since Tesla loves it, and pretty much had the camping area all to ourselves, surrounded by eucalyptus trees. We definitely want to visit there more often since it's so easy to get there.

Happy and active!

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By far, I've been enjoying the most seeing and appreciating Tesla being happy, active, and interested in doing things. Of course I loved seeing that before, but the sickness really brought a new perspective to me.

Here Tesla is with her best friend Fia. They missed each other during the sickness!


Below here, Tesla masters a new puzzle she got.

And here is Tesla absolutely loving her new stroller she got from cousin Maria-Rose.

a bit from Thanksgiving...

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Just in time for Thanksgiving, Tesla finally got all better, and her personality was back to herself. Having friends over for a casual non-traditional pot-luck dinner was the best way to celebrate T's health. I'm still so thankful that we have our spunky baby back. The almost 2 weeks of sickness, and lots of hanging on the sofa, was not a fun experience for all of us.
Nik brought over an amazing giant fruit pie. Because it was a pot-luck, it was so easy to host. Later at night, we got the fireplace going, and lounged in the living room.

I hung up my mom's beautiful calligraphy, and made a small flower arrangement from the remnants of the flower bouquet from Rachel.