May 2009 Archives

can we share?

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Today, Gran Marie took Tesla to Granny Maria's (Tesla's great-grandmother). They all hang out a lot, and Tesla loves seeing Granny.

For whatever reason, Tesla said to Gran Marie, pointing to Granny, "This is my mom." Gran Marie corrected her, "No, this is my mom. I'm her baby." Tesla retorted, and Gran Marie corrected. After a few back-and-forths, Tesla then asked, "Can we share?"

Is that cute or what?

Tokyo Green Space

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I like this blog. Tokyo is a big city. I grew up there and found lots of spaces to play freely in. Once I left and lived in the U.S. for many years, coming back to Tokyo to live anew was a bit overwhelming. But if you know where and how to look, Tokyo is indeed a livable, warm city. There are growing things everywhere.


Strawberry 09

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Yipee! We just got back from the lovely Strawberry Music Festival. We obviously love Burning Man, and Strawberry is a very different vibe, but I guess that's why I enjoy it so much. It's smaller, about acoustic music, much of it pretty awesome bluegrass, and is THE most kid-friendly festival you could imagine in the most green beautiful nature. Because of it's smallness and focus on music & family, everyone is super friendly, low-key, and happy. Everyone smiles, comments on Tesla, shares what they have, etc.

Our first year, we parked our RV next to Jim & Joyce. Since then, we've always gone back to the same spot to hang out with them. It's like a reunion when we park in our spot. This year, their son and girlfriend came along too, and we had a lovely pasta dinner with them.

What is super fun for Tesla, and for us to watch and participate in, are all the fun kid & adult activities. Art galore, splashing in the lake (there is a large lake for teens and adults to swim and float around on boats, and smaller enclave for little ones with lots of sand for building castles and getting dirty), workshops, yoga, music lessons, ad hoc music by people jamming in their camps, and on and on.

Tesla blew her first dandelion, and did some glue art with green stuff.
Mommy loving the sun, and daddy-o's art work inspired by the relaxing sun and scenery.
And Tesla being so free and open in the outdoors. I think that part was the best.

Here are all the pics.

Santa Cruz mountains picnic

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Big catch up:

This is from 2 weeks ago when we went to the ITIF's picnic at Mike Liebold's house in the Santa Cruz mountains. We look forward to it as it's absolutely gorgeous, with horses and llamas to feed and pet. Overall, a very relaxing, beautifully outdoorsy afternoon. Last time we went was 2 years ago. You can see Tesla still crawling in the early pictures fromDav's flickr stream with the ITIF tag. This year, Tesla was pretty fearless in riding the horse as well as feeding such giant llamas.

our secret language

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For a while, speaking Japanese felt like a long uphill lonely road. At times, I felt sympathy for Tesla while mommy babbled away in weird sounds since there was zero context to reinforce what I was speaking. I had quite a few blank stares, not of simple boredom, but of bewilderment ... of her seemingly saying, "what are you trying to communicate, dear poor mama. you are a strange being indeed."

A little after her 2nd birthday, when I sensed that trying to explain my disciplining to her in Japanese, such as "you can't do this because of that," was utter frustration for both of us, I relented and started mixing in English. There was a shift. We could communicate better, and this worked for us. I worried that I was being too lax, and letting in that she could get away speaking English with me. English grew so naturally for her. I had to consciously target certain words I wanted her to learn.

I remember when learning French, there were spikes and plateaus. There were moments I felt all of a sudden words flowed, like pieces of a puzzle settling into place. Then I'd stall, for weeks or months, where I couldn't retain new words and made the same mistakes over and over.

I'm understanding that this is similar for T. And after a long plateau, these last few weeks have been a growth spurt in Japanese. English too, but I'm noticing and celebrating the Japanese because it's more work. She easily repeats what I'm saying, not because I ask her to, but because she just does so. And I can rattle off sentences and she seems to get it. I'm not hearing sentences from her yet, but she gets so much more than before.

I bought a Ponkiki video (the characters have a blog) when in Japan. She loves loves loves dancing to it (making us crazy). She can repeat the dance movements, but also is starting to repeat the song parts in Japanese.

Then tonight, as I carried her to bed, we sort of chatted in Japanese. I could be wrong, but I think she now feels we have our own secret language that is special. As we lay in bed together, I said, "mama Tesla daisuiki yo." She grinned and said it back. So worth it.

Babysitting Sofia and Tesla

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I babysat the 2 girls the other night, and we had some dancing fun! They were the ones who wanted to dress up, and when I put on music, they demanded I put on "ballet music" which I did via YouTube videos. Here are 2 videos too.

It was great to tire them out for bedtime!

Click on the first one; I love this portrait of them with their expressions.

Ice cream!

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I'm still pretty strict about sweets, but do let Tesla enjoy some. And boy, does she love it. Jeremy gave Fia and T some Ben & Jerry's ice cream the other night. I love how serious Tesla looks as Jeremy prepared the dish. I can tell this was serious business for her. Here is a video of her eating a huge spoonful...until she dropped it

: )

door hide

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"The vacuum goes in the...in the...door hide [closet]!"

And later, "can I open it to drink like a big girl?", referring to her cup with top and straw.

~Tesla

Seminar and cuteness

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Dav, who is out of town for a conference, emailed me today that he forgot about a special Long Now Foundation talk tonight that was sold out. As a member, he had one precious ticket; did I want to go? It was:

"Deep Agriculture: Resolarizing the Food System to Fight Climate Change and the Health Care Crisis" Michael Pollan at the Herbst Theater

I emailed our lovely neighbors - can you babysit even though totally last minute? M had plans to go out with friends, but J kindly said, "no prob," so off I went after a hurried after-work-dinner-pajama changing-run over to the Regenbogens-hour. This event was in such demand, that if I didn't show up for Dav's ticket by 7pm, they'd give to someone else.

I'm glad I made it. Lots of good information about just how crazy, illogical, unhealthy, and unsustainable our current agricultural system is. He explained how fundamental reform of the current food production and culture is essential to deal with our dependency on fossil fuel, soaring health care costs, and greenhouse emissions. He read a quote from Obama who understands the link between these 3 major issues and food production - but there needs to be a bigger movement for Obama to take action for changes and fight huge corporations who benefit by the current system. 2 quotes I liked:

Food is the original solar technology.

We are currently eating oil, and spewing carbon gas.

Podcasts are here, and they had a few folks twittering live.

Best part though was coming back to get Tesla, and hearing how Tesla was. The girls got along well, J read books to them in bed, when J asked if T was sleepy and ready for bed, she replied yes and went to "her" room, and sang to herself while J finished reading to Fia. And...T went peepee on the potty for J!!

Then J showed me the cutest picture ever of Fia and T together, lined up with the beer : )

We are SO LUCKY to have such amazing friends as neighbors...[original picture from J here]

NRGFarming.com

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Know what this plastic bag hanging from a ceiling is? If you don't, well, go on over to Niki's new blog!

Niki and Caleb have visited a few times, so you may recall, but I used to work with her mama in Tokyo when at the I.M.F. Niki is super awesome, smart, and forward-thinking. Dav and I have lots to learn from her; she's educated and been involved in farming and sustainable living. She and Caleb just moved up north, and I'm excited to have her blog to follow so Dav and I can vicariously live a life we don't quite yet have the guts or knowledge to pull off.

I love her intro bio:

"In 2004 I declared that I would try to grow all my own food. I'm still working on that one. I concede it may be impossible as I love both coffee and chocolate. But still, I strive for a self-sufficient way of life, one satisfactory to mind, body and soul. I want to be a farmer.

I am currently residing in an old farmhouse in Arcata, CA with one awesome partner, one dog, one cat, two beehives, six laying hens, and a one eyed cock. "

2 new developments

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Tesla started incorporating hopping around on one leg when she dances.

She did #2 in the potty! Huge step as she's been doing peepee, but not the more significant #2. We are close to PottyPower!


The weekend I came back from Tokyo, I slept most of Saturday, but to keep myself up, we all took a ferry ride. It was beautiful, and a standard tourist ride around the bay, around Alcatraz, and under Golden Gate bride. It was perfect for just being together as a family, appreciating the beauty of San Francisco, and keeping me awake.

I had more thoughts about the Tokyo-SF thing...and how it was important to be back in Japan, feeling more Japanese, yet also it being not that big of a deal as years before where I'd feel my identity shift, and it'd take days or weeks to settle back into my life here as a San Franciscan. It was so less of a deal that I didn't blog, and now it's past : )

Too much other stuff to do!