March 2009 Archives

L.A.~ Freeway~

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I had the lovely opportunity to visit L.A. to be with my girl friends. I don't mind L.A. per se - I lived in San Diego for a few years, and learned to appreciate the culture and vibrancy that L.A. offers, but visiting - without wheels - is a big hamper. Sekusu Roba's song always comes to mind.

No mind. I got picked up at the airport by Yuka. I ate a solid breakfast before boarding, but flying in the early a.m. just got to me. I got queasy, and actually had to get a baggie, and rush to the bathroom to, you know, get rid of what was in my tummy. So Yuka actually picked up a pretty green-faced queasy friend. Perfectly Yuka, she asked, "wanna go to a bath?" Perfectly me, albeit off kilter, I said, "sure!" even though I had little idea what she had in mind.

Wish I had pictures to show the loveliness we had for a mere 15 bucks. Leave it to awesome KoreaTown. Other than the rather odd roman/greek statues they randomly had around to I suppose make the place to feel fancy, it was down to earth, about feeling good and focusing on the body. Reminded me so much of the bath culture I grew up with in Japan. No zen-wannabe music or individual rooms for privacy. The main room had several large baths both hot and cold (must-have), a corner right in the bathing area where people got massages or あかすり treatments (no wikipedia page), meaning you could move from of a steam room directly onto a treatment bed. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get such treatments, but no matter; there was a room where you lay on mineral rock balls, a room where you could lie on mineral salt blobs, a steam room, a salt room, and a general yoga slash fall asleep room. All for a mere amazing $15 and so good for you!

And, since I arrived queasy, we sat at the food bar in our robes first so I could have spicy noodles and kimchi. It was perfectly what I needed, and such nourishment seems to be there so you can spend a full day there melting from room to room if you want.

BEST part was sitting in the tub/salt room/mineral bed/salt bed with Yuka, chit chatting and catching up. I texted Dav immediately upon leaving: "I'm having the BEST gal day ever!!" I keep getting distracted, but having time 100% with girlfriends is so lovely. Must keep it a tradition to gather.

Thereafter, the day just got better. I mentioned to Yuka that I rarely shop for clothes as it's just too much hassle, so wouldn't mind window-shopping if there was a close place. She took me to a lovely cute boutiquey place in Long Beach close to her home. Loved it and found 2 tops (50% off) and an amazing dress for less than $40 that fit me (which is a huge feat). Sorta sad to note that pretty much every store had huge sales just because of the times. But to get new clothes, I am quite pleased!

Went home to Yuka's to change for our fancy dinner at Koi that Ele arranged. Before leaving Yuka's, she gave me the most beautiful necklace. Loooooooovvvvvvveeeeee it!! Can you imagine being pampered like this? I got the bestest of friends. I LOVE Yuka. My only regret is that we haven't lived together since I sense we'd have a blast. That kind a friend : )

Big kudos to Yuka because Ele and I would not have been able to easily go to Koi without Yuka's driving. Frankly, although it was a trendy and an interesting scene, the food wasn't amazing. Nice all around, and fun to have gone, but I don't think much about stars and all that so I was more pleased about my Yuka & Ele company.

Oh yes, Ele! She's in L.A. because ...tadaaaaa!!...She is opening Love in Bloom, a beautiful boutique in Raleigh, NC. She's doing ALL - concept, designing store, buying clothes, everything. I want to be pregnant just to shop at her store. The more I talk to her, the more I am excited for her as this is her thing. Hard work, for sure, but she's in her element doing all the fashionable stuff that she's amazing at. I see peeks at what she's doing, and I have to say, it's one of those moments where I see someone doing what they love and are good at it. If we lived closer, I'd be asking her for fashion advice as she knows how to incorporate the individual's style in addition to her sense.

Sunday, I felt fashionable. Wasn't wearing anything special, but Ele took me to places that made me feel fashionable. We had fun!

p.s. I have to note that I missed Kari...but we have our 20th H.S. reunion coming up in S.F. so I know I'll see her soon. L.A. is just too big for quick visits!

from the Regenbogen collection

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Tahoe videos the Regenbogens made: Tesla in the snow - love how Michelle brings in 'wanwan' (they are learning T's words!), and "who else did you play with?" to which T answered, "snow."

The general atmosphere in the evenings as folks wound down and ate (kids already asleep) - Loved how all folks appreciated our kids!! They played with them in the morning, and even over dinner, checked out their art.

Daddys putting our girls to sleep - notice how Tesla is stepping up to the sister rivalry behavior now and pushing Fia's arm off for no reason? We really got sisters on our hands now.

Michelle's brilliant idea to entertain the kids for hours with snow! - this video is a snippet, but hours of snow/water play right in the kitchen. Yay! I had a relaxing morning thanks to Michelle's efforts!

Right in front of the house - Lovely safe sledding.

And the simple beauty of Tahoe - our 3rd year, and I want to keep going with 20+ friends every year!

Tesla's awesome girl night

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Dav was at SXSW in Austin, TX (coming home tonight=yay!). He wasn't attending SXSW, actually, but rather went to meet up with friends of ours. I sent Dav off with gifts for a few. So it was T and me. She really missed daddy, and expressed that everyday. But we also got into our own groove which I loved, and I think was refreshing for both of us.

When Dav is away, although I miss him, I enjoy my own time and get stuff done, or hang out with friends in a more girly manner. One night, Eva and Elida came over. No real plans, but it perfectly turned into a dinner and lots of good conversation. I had just discovered this, and ended up crying while showing it to them. That sort of night...it's just different when guys are around.

Best part was that Tesla got SO much play time. Eva came over early, and was great with Tesla. Once Elida arrived and I started cooking, they both played house with Tesla, and I could sense she was over the moon. Dav plays with that house, but it involves beer, rough-housing, and fake car collisions, while Elida and Eva made mini bottles and adorable things out of play-doh. Both versions are good in my mind, but so nice to have their version! When we sat to dinner, T joined. See how happy she is?? (Click on pic to enlarge.) At the table with the big gals!

T and I will be so happy to have daddy-o home, but we had some good times!

I took pictures of a view of the living room and of the kitchen over time while in Tahoe. With a very large group staying at this house, albeit giant house, I knew it'd be fun to see how the space morphed into chaos. At night, when we cooked, then socialized, indeed the area was packed, and I wanted to contrast that to the beginning and morning scenes. I forgot to take pictures as frequently as I hoped, and some are out of order, but you get the gist.

They all capture the fun we had : )


Snow scenes

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Even a weekend away seems to turn my routine out of whack. Normally, I'm busy but feel I have a balance. If we go out of town, however, there's packing, making sure the kitties will be ok (in this case a friend kitty-sat), making sure we have books, toys, crayons, food for the car, etc. We left on Friday, so that also meant making sure I got urgent work stuff done. Then once back, there's unpacking, a ton of laundry, cleaning the house, getting food back in the fridge, etc. I'm the kind of person who needs to get all straightened out before relaxing. Finally, on Thursday, I feel the house is back in order (well, our awesome cleaning lady came too!)

Anyhow, here are my favorite pics from our weekend in snow. More here.

T has been to Tahoe twice before. This was the first time where she seemed to get that snow was pretty interesting and could be fun. Especially with Fia, we got to play some. Friendly sledding on the road was to T's liking, but one day, Michelle and I took the girls inner tube sledding where you pay to use a carved out prepared course. Even for me, especially with the responsibility of holding onto Tesla so she wouldn't fly off, I was a bit scared. But I knew the course was calculated. There were bumps and small jumps though. I did it twice, and both times Tesla didn't really say much. I asked, "did you like it?" and she mumbled, "yeah..." So we got back into line. At the 3rd try, when I climbed back to the top with her and was being helped to set the tire up for another ride, she suddenly said, "Scaaaaryyyyyy! No! No! No!" Michelle and Fia were already flying down, so T and I made our way off the launch pad area.

I think T was rather terrified both times, but first didn't know what to make of it. 2nd time, she probably didn't realize getting in line meant another trip down the hill so the 2nd time happened without her understanding it was intentional (from her perspective, why on earth would one do that...and twice, no less??) 3rd time, she finally understood that getting onto mama's lap would mean zooooom. No go!

Thereafter, even the plastic sleds we used on the street were a no-no for her. I spooked her, poor thing :(

It's so interesting as T gets older to have her wishes, wants, and dislikes be expressed. Ah, this is what is good or not so good to her!

Off to Tahoe!

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We're heading to Tahoe this weekend with Lumosity. We rented a house with 5 bedrooms, a sauna, steam room, and indoor heated pool! Tesla knows most of the Lumosity team, and the Regenbogens are joining, so this is going to be a super friendly fun trip. I won't go skiing but may try snow shoeing. And sledding with the kids for sure. Other than that, relaxing, relaxing, relaxing as Tesla runs around getting attention from everyone. I'm looking forward to group cooking too.

I took Tesla to the San Francisco Children's Art Center yesterday to test a class. Within seconds, I knew I wanted to sign Tesla up. 6 children, 2 very caring adults, a small cozy room with 3 activity areas, and art! Initially, Tesla seemed shy as she isn't used to such a class, but she soon enjoyed getting to paint, even demanding for a 2nd new sheet of paper. Usually parents go off and have coffee, leaving the kids to explore on their own. For this first time, I got to sit in and watch. I was grinning pretty much the whole time.

Their approach is awesome. They let the kids do what they want, and value movement - as within the classroom, movement with the art tools (feeling & experimenting), and expression. The teachers gave each kid just the right amount of attention and letting them go on their own.

They had clean-up time, then story time with crackers. I just melted watching Tesla participating along with the other ones, every once in a while looking over to me saying, "mama, look!" Loooooove it! They keep the artwork since the paint is wet, and at the end of the 10 week session, they give a portfolio to take home. My treasure!!

Here's a short video.