September 2009 Archives

pre-school cold

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Tesla woke up coughing today, but energetic so I took her to preschool. Later, just as I left to get lunch, the preschool called me to say T was tired, had a runny nose, and seemed out of it enough that I should come get her. So I did.

We came home and watched Totoro together on the sofa, and soon she was asleep. Then I carried her to bed. I forgot, however, that I had her drink orange juice for some vitamin C...and, she woke up wailing because she had peed. I quickly changed her to discover that I needed to wash all the layers and coverings of our bed, and her precious blankie too. Despite her protests, I threw blankie in the wash, negotiating with her to use 2 alternative blankies (all pillow cases) while we waited. She wasn't happy, but it worked.

Later, when she woke up, she seemed better, mainly because I gave her a bit of Tylenol for her fever. Very quickly, she asked, "is blankie clean now?" Luckily it was, so we went up to retrieve it from the dryer. Blankie is so important!

Get well, pookie. We're flying to Tokyo in 4 days!

[update] She threw-up while on the sofa. The bed layers just finished drying, so I put our bed together (with towels in case she throws up again), and now she's fast asleep. And I'm washing our sofa cases...the 3rd load of laundry today...Poor girl. She's a good sport though. I read her a book, and she smiled.

l'accent grave

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My sweet dad, who is a writer, and as I was growing up, always wrote by pen on paper (using a record cover as a hard back while he sat on the sofa, then typed up each edited draft completely anew), now uses the computer daily. He's come a long way, but still it's difficult at times.His transition to the computer started with my brother Ian, when they stared Tokyo Q online together. Now, I can't imagine living here without email and iSight connectivity with both my mom and dad.

My mom moved to NY from Japan back in the day when it cost $3 ~4K to fly home, packages via sea mail took forever and were expensive, and talking on a phone required you to spit out quickly the most necessary information as soon as you could. It must have been incredibly hard for my mom to be so apart from her home country...

Back to the l'accent grave. I got this email from my dad recently:


Yes, I have a nickname: Widge or Widget. More importantly, he has instructions in English, but he uses a Japanese keyboard, which is different. Letters and such are placed elsewhere. For me, I much prefer using an English language keyboard with the option to switch over to Japanese since I learned how to type on that keyboard but his keyboard is with the English and Japanese letters combined, thus making the English letters in weird locations, and any help I can provide nul.

I googled, and sent him standard Mac instructions, but it didn't work. So he called the local Mac helpline, and after an hour (who knows why it took that long), was able to get it. Thus he replied about the success:


Yay for my dad! I thought it was a rather cute incident.

Pictures from Symbiosis

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Pictures explain it best, I think. It was absolutely beautiful because of the location, and how they created space and art within it. We've been there before for Strawberry and just love Camp Mather with its trees, open meadows, and kid-friendly pond.

For this event, however, entering was frankly a disaster. This was the first time Symbiosis was at this location, so they surely miscalculated traffic, and we waited 5 hours to get in!!! Luckily we had the RV so Tesla could sleep, and I could cook dinner. I'm sure they learned a lesson, but overall, we found the volunteer staff working the entrance to be unprofessional and not very alarmed at the chaos they caused.

Other than that, we loved the event. There were less kids than Strawberry, but still, Tesla loved hanging by the pond where everyone lounged during the day. There was a perfect balance between music, quiet tea places or areas to rest, and also informational talks about sustainability and such.

Anyway, back to the pictures: My pics. Dav's pics.

And she said...

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Tonight, after having a bit of a birthday cake with Fia (thus being on a sugar-high), Tesla said in the car as we rode home, "oh man, I can't believe it." I can't believe she said that!

A new baby boy!

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We have a new baby boy joining our circle of friends! Congratulations to Rachel and Cesar!! Can't wait to meet this lucky little guy!


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something special is happening for 2 wonderful friends. Just noting the occasion here : )


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Been busy unpacking and getting the house back in order. Pics from Symbiosis to come. It was an aesthetically beautiful event, and lovely in many ways.

Picture from Vicki.

Music, art, and outdoors for 5 days!

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Off to Symbiosis! This will be my Burning Man replacement : )

It's at the same place the Strawberry Festival happens near Yosemite. Big trees, sweet air, a lake, meadows. I'm really looking forward to this!

The Marshmellow Test

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Oh, The Temptation from Steve V on Vimeo.

I bet Dav is going to try this on T...

iSight Baby Shower

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I hosted a baby shower for sweet Rachel today. Thing is, she lives in MA now, while a bunch of us wanting to celebrate her impending motherhood are in CA. I proposed using iSight to beam her in for a shower in our living room since I'm so used to iSight on our large screen TV with my parents in Tokyo. Once Rachel agreed it would be worth trying out, I then actually started wondering how it would go. Would it be too strange for people to interact with a TV screen for several hours? Would we all gather around at once, or would people take turns having one on one conversations?

I'm happy to say, the experience worked brilliantly for everyone. Rachel had her friend Sarah join her on her side so she wouldn't be alone, and they stayed online for over 3 hours! At first, we all stared at the TV/Rachel as she talked, but gradually people went to get food, or broke into small groups. It seemed entirely natural as different people found themselves chatting with Rachel at different times. No one felt obliged to sit still in front of the TV.

Kerry kindly lead a beautiful ritual, and we all felt so connected even via the internet. We had just as much messages of love and tears of happiness as any other baby shower...although we certainly wished we could give her giant hugs.

I wonder how many other iSight baby showers have occurred. I imagine that even though for us this is quite a "first," by Tesla's adult age, these sort of tech interactions will be completely the norm. Anyhow, most important was we accomplished what we wanted - gather together, send our love to Rachel, and appreciate all our friendships. Check out the pics.

Elida + Mie = photo booth fun

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This was from Elida's birthday, and where we were had a photo booth. I love that we have this strip to share as memory. Came out pretty good, if I may say so.

Photo booths are just perfectly fun - easy, forces you to do split second posing, has limited space so brings you close. Elida and I have a history of photo booths : )

These are from the Treasure Island Music Festival a few years back. Click to enlarge. These strips are my treasure.

I did miss Burning Man

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Realizing over time, as friends' pictures roll in, and especially those with toddlers, I realize I really wished I had gone. It was my goal to confirm how I really felt about BM - which, um, is crystal clear now - but I also am beginning to see the things I get wrapped in that pushed me not to got this year: my sense of what running a household needs to be, the tons of details I need to manage for Tesla, the this and the that. Those are choices I make. When I stated in that interview a few years back why I return to BM was to remind myself what is important, I'm now realizing that if any year, maybe this was the year I did need to go "home." The other 11 months got the best of me this year; the prep, the stress, the clean-up, made me imagine it was best to skip.

But you know what? Those thoughts are the thoughts I go to BM to free myself of. To remember it's important to let go, enjoy seeing and doing art, being free and experiencing family and friends as they truly are without the stuff that burdens us in the daily world. It's my lesson that I need to ask for help and support if it feels too huge to go, because in my heart, I always want to be at the playa.

It's been harder than I thought. I'm an emotional gal, but still thought this was just a break. Not.

Here are pics that bring a snippet that is lovely to me. As you can see, it's really just the natural beauty of the playa and the art that I'm smitten with. First 3 pics are from Fumi, who went for her first time and will be staying with us soon.





Last pic is thanks to:

The Longest Way

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I bet Dav would love to do this, and could.

Via Superhero Journal

pre-school update

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Today, T went to pre-school for a full day. She took a nap there too which was a first. It made my day when I dropped her off; we put Wanwan (doggy) and her blankie in her cubby, she sat down to draw with a group, and when I said I was leaving, she said, "Ok, bye" vs. the full-on crying I got when I dropped her off for a half-day last Friday. Yay! She loves pre-school.

We're still adjusting to the rhythm. I don't head over there as early as I hoped as I adamantly want T to wake up naturally instead of pushing her to wake up early. And I'm the type that must eat a full breakfast at home to get going. So we take time in the mornings before getting out the door. I get to work around 9:30 after all the driving. Then I must leave at 4:45 to pick her I have to ask work to be flexible for me.

For T too, she's used to time based on her needs, and eating and sleeping when she wants to. Now, there is play time, snack time, outdoor time, book time, nap time, etc. So far it's not that bad. But it's still a transition. First day, she got sleepy early and the teachers entertained her to keep her from lying on the floor in the middle of group activities. Next day she was fine. Today was her first nap time there, and because T announced mommy stayed with her when she slept, the teacher did so too...only to realize that T continued to talk and play. When the teacher left a bit, she crashed. So now the teacher knows it's best to let her chill on her own. Apparently one kid was crying at nap time, and T told the teacher, "I'm a big girl. I don't do that" or something to that effect. She's trying, my sweetie. It's still gotta be a big change in her life now. I'm quite proud that she's enjoying what she can even though she is aware mommy leaves all day.

The several teachers are getting to know her individually too, and let me know how now they know what works for her after a few days. Like today, T had a toilet accident. I think T is a bit self-conscious about the bathrooms since there are no doors. Even with me, T likes her privacy. So during bathroom time, T announced she didn't have to go, only later to have an accident. The teacher later told me, next time I'll give her more space and time. : ) All kids have spare clothing in their cubbies, but today, T ended up having to wear clothes clearly marked "NLF" on her butt since she also got her extra dress wet on another potty run! Oh my. Luckily, the teachers are so understanding and prepared. I really love these teachers, and am so so happy with this school!

Cousin Ava's b-day

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Snippets from Cousin Ava's 3rd birthday up in Rohnert Park. I had forgotten to r.s.v.p., so when Tesla walked in, it was super cute that her cousins yelled, "Telsa is here!!" I just love that Tesla is growing up with her cousins. My fav pic is the 3rd here, where Tesla and the birthday girl are laughing together. Even though it's infrequent, the fact that we see them when we can does make a difference. Somehow, Tesla knows they are family.

They had an ice cream cake - and boy were the kids excited!!

Last day Gran Marie came to nanny

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Of course Gran Marie will still come to play, but last Wed. was the last official day Gran Marie came in the morning to care for Tesla as Dav and I left for work. I got T to make a card for her.

The days she came were the best - T loved them so much that when asking "is Gran Marie coming today?", if we answered yes, T would run down the hallway yelling "Horray!" Plus, since I didn't have to pack up T to take to Karla's, the mornings were more relaxed. T got to play in her room, sleep in her bed, and have Gran Marie all to herself.

As much as T is ready for preschool and seems to enjoy it a lot, these special days with Gran Marie will always be a treasure. Thank you, Gran Marie!!