October 2009 Archives

Tesla's first Halloween Parade

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Tesla's preschool, Nihonmachi Little Friends, had a cute Halloween parade through Japantown on Friday. Dav and I took time off from work, which I'm so glad we did as it really was the cutest thing ever. What I particularly loved was that the kids made their costumes. The teacher of each group (Tesla is in the crab group with 5 other little ones) came up with the concept (sun, pumpkin, bear, kitty), but the kids glued the pieces together,etc. They even made their own candy baskets.

Tesla didn't know we were going to come to see, so the first video I took (shown below) of them as they crossed a street shows her at the end, sucking her thumb, looking rather sad. As soon as she saw us, she actually started crying, as if letting out her relief to see us, but soon after really got into the parade...and was very pleased we watched her. It was actually kind of crazy the amount of picture and video-taking that was going on around these super star kids! Here is the line of them. Keeping the group together was like herding cats. And here is Tesla happy parading around.

Tesla's first Halloween parade from Kokochi on Vimeo.

Halloween preparation

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This was on Thursday, preparing for Halloween. The Regenbogens decided to create a haunted house for Friday night, and for me, the prep/setting up was half the fun. It was also really good to get Tesla into the spirit since she really doesn't quite get what it's all about.

I'll post a link to pics once they are up, but the haunted house was awesome. First, there was a "dead" princess (Fia) lying on the dining table who would wake up and scare guests, then they went into the living room where Jeremy the Dracula did some tech tv tricks, then folks went out to the patio where crazy Dav and Elida were mad scientists with a beating heart, lots of gooey things to touch, stuffed animals getting experimented on, then down to the garage area where they found me as a witch preparing blood witch brew, then finally to the garage where there was a disco ball for dancing. Tesla was my assistant witch and loved being part of the haunted house. She didn't really stay with me to help, but followed the guests around. When Gran Marie and Maria-Rose (cousin) arrived, she was so excited and proud, and made sure they stopped to see me, which I thought was cute.

The 2nd to last pic is my pumpkin...a scary spider with inside gunk hanging.

2 videos

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One is what Dav took with our HD camera during BM 2007, when T was 14 months, her 2nd burn. Shows a certain snippet of our lives. We saw this painter at Symbiosis. Wish we knew his name to let him know we captured him here and also via pictures at Symbiosis.

Burning Man 2007 from Dav Yaginuma on Vimeo.

The other is from Symbiosis 2009. Michelle interviewing our daughters. Thank you M for capturing this!

Tokyo this and that

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As usual, always good to go back to where I feel it's home. But also nice to come back to SF/Dav that is indeed my home. SF is a beautiful city, and Dav is where I feel snuggly. My trip was rather a blur between work and Tesla. Here are snippets:

Yay: Back in my beloved Tokyo, hearing Japanese around me.T was great on the way over, no fits, and had a good time on the plane.

Boo: Maneuvering with a stroller is hard, hearing a giant typhoon is about to hit. T slept only 1 hour on the plane so I had to play with her for 9 hours. Lots of drawing and playdough!

Yay: My dear colleague Garth was on the same plane to visit the Tokyo office too. He TOTALLY helped push stroller, get bags, etc. No idea what I would have done without him. I was proud to have survived the flight, and on the Narita Express right as T finally zonked out, I asked him to take a pic to send to Dav. He promptly put the no-make-up/tired pic on his blog : )

Yay: Obaachan bought T a new umbrella. Big hit. She puts on her boots, coat, and takes her umbrella everywhere.

Boo: Typhoon caused major delays. I had a 10am meeting at NTT (while on the train, it was rescheduled to 11am, then back to 10am). Totally squished between a seat bar and people. Could barely breathe. In between stops (where one could negotiate breathing room), there were red lights due to backed up trains so the train had to stop. Despite leaving very early, I made it barely in time.

Yay:Despite my worries, T was Ok that I went off to work (9am to 10pm with after work dinners). iSight and knowing my mom and dad helped, but still, big kudos to Tesla for being flexible.

Boo: Knowing that deep down, she actually missed me a lot. In the mornings, she 甘えた、amaeta (wanted me to indulge her; dictionary meaning is "behaved like a spoiled child" but that excludes the context why one would be that way). To make her sit 10 hours in a plane, then drop her off with my parents despite her jetlag, then mama went off to work, well, she deserved a bit of spoiling...

Yay: Since I was gone, T really bonded with both my mom and dad. Just hearing Tesla call my dad and mom, "ojiichan, obaachan" was super. Tesla started repeating Japanese much more than before. Who knows what will stick, but she was fine with Japanese while there.

Boo: T's jetlag totally changed my experience of SFO-NRT jetlag. Tesla woke up at 2am ready to rock and roll the first night. Seriously. I had to play with her. Usually, I would naturally wake up at maybe 5am or so, and start an early day. 2am threw me off.

Yay: I ate lovely food at business dinners:

Yay: Because T was so good, I got to go to Enoki, my home/fav place in Tokyo with Garth one night. Enoki is having her 25th anniversary soon, so I got to write my message to mama-san since I won't be there.

Boo: Once work finished, I wanted to spend time with T and make things up to her. But that made meeting friends hard. Tokyo is hard to get around with a stroller, and since getting out and back took so long, I'd hope T would nap in her stroller during that time but she wouldn't. So anytime I went to meet friends during the day was tiring for T.

Yay: My friends totally accommodated as best they could. I went to friends' house since they had new babies, met at parks, and even 3 of my best buddies came all the way down to a zoo in Yokohama so T could have some fun. They all came down to just hang with us - Mieko, Izumi, Kenji are awesome for that. They totally researched where was most kid-friendly.

Boo: 88 yen to the dollar?? Unheard of. No shopping for mama!

Yay: I did buy super cute sneakers for T.

Boo: Leaving Tokyo was sad indeed. Not sure when I'll bring T with me again.

Boo: T threw up and got sick the morning we left, but I pushed through to make the plane. Yay: I got 3 seats for T and I. She slept the whole time.

Boo: I got no sleep being worried for T and checking on her.

Yay: She woke up when the plane arrived all good and over her bug.

Yay: Overall, it was a great trip. T and my parents got time, I loved being back in Tokyo, I got to visit Enoki, and see my wonderful friends.

heading back to SF

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Been a busy but wonderful trip back home, having Tesla here to experience Japan. Will try to update more later, but for now, here are a few pics from flickr.
Entrance garden area at my parents' house, and T and my mom in a ferris wheel.
T at a department store kid play area, and her new umbrella that she loves loves loves. Here she's ready for the typhoon that came through Tokyo.
T riding the train, and a sandwich stand.


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Tesla is healthy and back to herself. We head to Tokyo tomorrow morning. For quite some time, I've been talking to her about 飛行機・hikoki (airplane) and how we'll go see Obaachan and Ojiichan in 日本・Nihon (Japan). She talks back about it, but I'm not sure she fully understands.

She is, however, undeniably excited. When I brought out the suitcases, she was thrilled, insisting on helping to pack. I brought out the stuff we're bringing (including gifts for work-related clients), and she piled them into the suitcases.

After she went to bed, I took everything out to really pack. I found, in addition to what I originally brought out, our car keys, tons of Tesla's hairbands, various pencils and items from around the living room, and several toys T brought from her room. So kind...but I had to exclude those.

Since it's such a long journey from Narita to my parents' home, I have 1 suitcase delivered home from Narita. This service is popular and I love it. The suitcase arrives the next day by 10am is so much better than lugging it across Tokyo. But I have to pack carefully, making sure my carry-on has all I need until the big one arrives. I also have tons of activities, toys, snacks, etc. for Tesla so need to make sure they are accessible. Packing is more than stuffing things wherever. I plan when I'll need things and pack according to that.

Anyhow, I found it cute how eager Tesla was to help. She's been waiting for this day. This will be her 5th trip, but the last one was a bit over a year ago, and she's so much more aware now. I bet it will be memorable to get on the plane, sit in her very own seat, get served, then get off in Nihon!