in case you're interested ...

i have this total paranoia that someday something's going to happen to our house or garage and i'm going to lose all of our photos. the thought frightens me. so i diligently back-up our digital photos and keep the negatives to our film photos in one location so i can haul them out of the house in case of a fire.

but i'm also scared of losing my scrapbooks. what few layouts i've done i'd like to keep for the future. but i wasn't sure how to keep them safe. i finally made a flickr account just for my layouts and i'm now scanning them in.

if you'd like to see them, you can go to my scrapbook flickr account: paper is my friend.

dancing machine


look what i got today

i first saw this adorable patchwork postcard set by wee wonderfuls at the small object and i've been debating for months whether to get them. whenever i get cute stationery i have a really hard time using it, which means my collection of cards and paper just gets larger and larger. but last week i bought the set impulsively (the dangers of online shopping) and it arrived today. all i can say is: love!

the good thing is that the set comes with a few copies each of four designs. so i'm going to frame a set to put up in maya's room, keep a set for myself, and actually use the last four. so, if you're nice to me, you just might get real snail mail written on one of them.


rolling ... quiet please

the other day ian wanted to go for a walk before school. as we rounded the corner behind his school there were 'no parking' signs put up for thursday and friday (today). and at the back gate to the school, there was a sign saying they would be filming csi: miami, so first graders need to be picked up elsewhere.

since i had nothing better to do this morning after dropping ian off at school, i wandered down the street towards all the trucks and hububub. turns out they are filming at a house i've always looked at because it looks like my house but is just a tad bit funkier in a cool way. they also have a great play gym in the background that i've always admired.

i started chatting with some people who were also milling around, and later i found out the nice couple with the kids i was talking to were the owners of the house. apparently, a location scout just knocked on their door one day and asked if they could use their house. they were compensated (but can't disclose the amount) and put up in a hotel for the night (and they get all the ice cream they want from the catering fridge). their living room furniture was moved into the garage and the set crew brought in their own stuff and replaced the front door.

luckily, maya fell asleep soon after i got down the street, so i spent almost 2 hours watching the goings-on, taking some pictures (although tiny, that's david caruso in the second picture along with jonathan togo), and meeting neighbors. it was pretty exciting considering how normal and pretty quiet our little neighborhood usually is.

some observations: there are a lot of people who work on the set of filming; after all the equipment is set up, there's a lot of sitting and waiting around (and eating) going on; it takes a long time to film just a few minutes of footage; the actors get driven to the location, even though their trailers are less than a block away; some of the crew members ride bicycles to get around the set.

so, if you watch csi: miami in late february or early march and see a green one-story house, that's one block from where i live!

(i may drop by again with ian if he's interested. emily procter was supposed to show up at some point ...)

12 weeks.

maya @ 12 weeks :: january 27, 2006

  • the hair at the back of her head is getting all dreadlock-y because she rubs her head back and forth vigorously right before dropping off to sleep.
  • she will sit propped up by her boppy on the couch for awhile. she either watches us eat dinner or she "plays" with a toy.
  • she hasn't had to sleep on top of my chest at night since the beginning of the month.
  • she can stay occupied under the "thunder-dome" for 30 minutes or so.
  • her mohawk is laying flat this week.
  • so much smiling when she's in a good mood.
  • night sleep schedule is getting more defined: 10 or 11pm ~ 1:15 (in her crib); optional wake-up around 3am; sleep until 5:30 or 6am (next to me in the futon)


only in socal

yesterday i went to a scrapbook store i recently found. it was so-so, but i found what i was looking for, so that alone was worth it. (you'll see it in a future layout.)

anyway, right in front of the store was the weekly neighborhood farmers market. why is it that i always forget how much i like farmers markets? the produce looks and tastes great, most of the stuff is organic, and it's cheap. besides that, i like knowing you're supporting smaller farms.

i bought asaparagus, strawberries, and an avocado (that cost 50 cents!). the strawberries taste quite sweet, considering it's january. isn't the strawberry season months away? the rest of the country is buried in snow and i'm snacking on ripe strawberries. only in southern california!



i thought up this layout design pretty quickly but the execution took forever for some reason.

i had ian write his own name, but i smudged out the last name for privacy reasons.

patterned paper: heidi grace designs
cardstock: bazzill basics, paper source (i think)
foam letter stamp ("k"): making memories
scallop oval rubber stamp: rubber stampede
word stamp: cosco
letter stamps: image tree (ek success)
ribbon: source unknown
square brads: making memories
foam tape: scotch 3m


there has been something terribly wrong with our desktop computer for the last week or so. we don't know what's going on with it, but it just seems to be getting worse and worse. it's pretty obvious that it's on its last leg. i'm concerned because i have work to do (orders to fill) and, most importantly, i have my oh-so-precious fonts on that computer (like over 1,000 of them).

so, if we are to get a new computer, i'd like to get a mac. sure, they cost a pretty penny, but they're so good looking. and no self-respecting graphic designer would be caught without one. of course, i'm not a graphic designer, but that doesn't mean i don't like to pretend i am one. the power mac g5 or the new imac with the intel chip would be cool. probably more power than i need, but it just sounds kinda cool, doesn't it?

however, with penny-pinching JR dictating our major purchases, that's just not gonna happen. boo! boo~oo!

but seriously, i'm worried about what's happening with our dear little dell computer. it's a good thing we have also have a laptop so i can get my blogging done, but the desktop is off-limits until JR figures out how to get stuff off our hardrive. i'm not any help because i am clueless about hardware. can anyone advise us on what to do?


more addiction to come?

i found a link to a new-ish game called kakuro (thanks life magazine!). it's sort of like sudoku in that it's a logic number-placement game, but it helps to have some adding skills. i tried it for the first time on friday and it was harder than i thought. but this might be another game that ian and i could get in to.


11 weeks.

maya @ 11 weeks :: january 20, 2006

  • grabs on to things -- our shirt, her blanket, her toys.
  • puts stuff in her mouth.
  • makes very loud suck-y noises with just her lips. it's so cute to watch her lip go in and out of her mouth.
  • she's trying to have "conversations" with us by making more sounds than last week.
  • is sleeping on her stomach, even at night. [please, don't judge me! i know it's not recommended to do this, but at this point we're just doing whatever it takes to get her to sleep.] it helped her sleep for 5 hours on saturday night.
  • it appears she likes to listen to music, especially when she goes to sleep. JR made her a great mix cd that i turn on whenever she goes in her crib.
  • got her first batch of immunizations -- she slept for six hours that night. JR thinks we should give her shots everyday to make her sleep. he's joking of course ... at least, i think he is!
  • she fusses and cries when i carry her near the laptop. the girl knows, i tell ya! she knows that her mama is obsessed with reading blogs.
  • she was really fussy on monday night so JR decided to take her for a drive. he didn't come back for two hours! he drove somewhere between 130 and 150 miles to get her to sleep. all she would do was doze off long enough to store up energy to scream some more and drive her father crazy.
  • she has gotten into the bad habit of biting me when she eats.
  • it appears maya's "witching hour" starts around 6:30pm and lasts two to four hours, until i knock her out with some breastmilk.

  • bonus photo


    check it out, grudge girl!

    it was chilly enough this morning that i thought maya should go out with some kind of head covering. what better way than to test out the new hat grudge girl gave us as a gift. maya really seemed to like it and wore it without a fuss.


    { A } wesome stuff for a thursday!

    guess what? ali edwards replied to my email i sent yesterday about that japanese scrapper's blog posting about her. very cool. apparently she will be going to japan later this year for cku-japan. i'm really tempted to go to japan for this event! unfortunately, i haven't yet been able to find any information on it. anyone? [edited: i found an article about ck entering the japanese market on the ck site, but no specific information on cku-japan.]

    also, more good news (at least, for me): i fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans. no more wearing maternity jeans that keep falling off of my (non-existent) ass. i'm in bliss back in my old jeans again. and 10 more pounds to shed before getting back to my ol' self ... although i could stand to lose a few more pounds after that. ha! like that's actually going to happen.

    lastly, i got something i've been waiting for for over a year. my friend MZ went to peru during winter break of 2004. i asked him to get me one of those knit hats that look like a beanie with ear flaps. he finally found it after stuffing it away somewhere for a year, and his mom brought it over when she came to meet maya. it's been a little chilly today so i'm already wearing it (inside the house). (that's a self-portrait.) on top of that, MZ got me an inca kola t-shirt. love it. thanks MZ, and happy 30th birthday (one day late)!

    it goes both ways

    i've noticed lately that a lot of american crafters are really into japanese craft books. even if they can't read the instructions and the books are pricey they seem to flock to these books, and they're quite successful in creating wonderful items. i don't sew but i must admit i own a few japanese craft books because the projects are so cute. and, more importantly, the aesthetic is different so it helps get the creative juices flowing.

    well, today, i found some links to japanese scrapbooking sites and i got totally obsessed with looking around. (i followed so many links today i forgot where it all started from, but i think i was originally looking at the ki memories site's international store finder page and saw the link to memorabiliart, a division of sakura craypas, a japanese art supply company.)

    scrapbooking was just getting popular in japan when i left tokyo back in 1999. the japanese love their paper products, and stamping and stickers were always big there. so, naturally, scrapbooking has become quite popular. the last time i was in japan (two years ago) they had a few american scrapbooking supplies for sale, but it's really taken off since then.

    i found some great scrapbookers and their blogs ... and lo and behold, a few of them actually live in southern california and they're married to whities ... just like me! no wonder their scrapbooking styles are so similar to the stuff i see in american sbing magazines! (and speaking of magazines, who knew there was a japanese edition of creating keepsakes and simple scrapbooks? it was news to me!)

    as i was reading some of the blogs, there were a couple of people who documented their experiences going to scrapbooking expos/conventions and cku (creating keepsake university). it was really interesting reading a japanese scrapper's perspective on these american events. they appreciated american hospitality and the energy surrounding this hobby. and i think they're in awe with how artistic sbing is and how far american scrappers are pushing it. (one particular post talked about how much she and her husband liked ali edwards's class. apparently her husband was there to translate for her and he became more of a fan of ali's than she did!)

    it's been really cool to see how different cultures embrace each other's arts and crafts.


    hanukkah 2005

    i managed to make an even simpler layout than the star wars one!

    cardstock: bazzill basics (the blue is my all-time favorite cardstock color, glacier)
    letter rubons: making memories

    the bottom-right photo was altered in picasa (there's an effect you can use that colors just part of a photo, leaving the rest black & white).

    i threw the layout together in about 10 minutes so it's a little crooked. but it's a miracle i got anything done, and i'm at the point where every layout cannot be a piece of art (not that my more elaborate layouts are "art").


    mid-week update

    i took maya to her 2-month check-up today. people kept asking me how much she weighed and all i could do was shrug because i had no idea. but now i do: she weighs 11 pounds 4 ounces, which is a 4 pound 3 ounce gain since her last appointment two months ago. now, this probably isn't heavy to some people, but JR and i were impressed. ian was always a small baby (never was over the 25th percentile in weight until he was *much* older) so we've been marveling at how maya has been quickly outgrowing her clothes. she's also gotten a tad bit longer at 22 inches. if she keeps this up she will be bigger than her brother ... soon!


    happy mlk jr day

    i have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.

    martin luther king, jr.

    i've been tagged!

    grudge girl tagged me -- i've never been tagged before! but i've seen this tag all over the place and, i must admit, i've secretly been thinking up answers for it just in case. so here goes ...

    4 jobs i've had
    1) human resources analyst at morgan stanley's tokyo branch
    2) graduate student researcher at ucla
    3) computer lab instructor in little tokyo (los angeles)
    4) elementary school substitute teacher

    4 places i've lived
    1) manhattan beach, california
    2) ithaca, new york
    3) washington, d.c.
    4) tokyo, japan

    4 movies i'd watch again
    1) anything by hayao miyazaki
    2) lord of the rings trilogy
    3) anything by wes anderson
    4) crouching tiger hidden dragon

    4 tv shows i like
    1) jeopardy
    2) the simpsons
    3) sesame street
    4) docchi no ryouri shou

    4 places i've been on vacation
    1) hawaii
    2) hong kong
    3) key west
    4) japan

    4 websites i visit daily
    1) ali edwards blog
    2) gmail
    3) amazon.com
    4) blogger

    4 of my favorite foods
    1) asian soup noodle dishes (especially with wontons)
    2) fried chicken
    3) bacon
    4) sushi

    4 places i'd rather be
    1) japan
    2) hawaii
    3) in what used to be my office, scrapbooking
    4) sleeping in my bed

    unfortunately, i don't know who to tag ... there aren't many people who read this blog. so, i tag anyone who reads this!


    star wars fan

    i finally finished one layout! here it is -- super simple but it gets the job done.

    journaling: ian, like his dad, is a huge fan of star wars. our house is full of stuff from the movies. his current fav: ps2 star wars lego game. even i'm playing it!
    patterned paper: ki memories
    square brads: making memories
    rubon letters: making memories and doodlebug
    letter and number stamps: image tree (ek success)

    oh no! here she comes!!

    ian is warming up to maya little by little, but hanging out with his sister is not his favorite activity. he didn't want her to sit on his lap during tonight's bedtime story, but reluctantly agreed. he wasn't pleased, though: he told me to hurry up with the picture, he actually did say, "oh no! here she comes!!" and he called her a "devil baby." how's that for brotherly love? (where did he learn "devil baby"? from his father, of course.)

    but it's still sweet to see them together ... even if it is for the 10 seconds before maya starts throwing a fit. (she is, after all, a devil baby!)


    10 weeks.

    maya @ 10 weeks :: january 13, 2006

  • on saturday night she slept in her crib for about 3 or 4 hours -- a miracle!

  • really trying to vocalize: i've been saying the japanese alphabet to her, really accentuating each sound by exaggerating the movement of my mouth, and she opens her mouth as if trying to emulate me. it also makes her laugh.

  • her poopy has been shooting out of the diaper a lot. JR thinks it's because she has no butt to hold the diaper close to her body.

  • the time she's alert during the day is getting longer. and, while she still LOVES to be held, she'll also stay quiet by herself in the swing or under the play gym (aka the thunder-dome).

  • cradle cap on part of her eyebrows.

  • her hair is getting longer in the back.

  • i let her nap on her stomach in her crib during the day. i get an extra 3o minutes (at least) per nap that way.

  • she continues to suck on the thumb side of her fist. it helps to soothe her between feedings.
  • she likes "the name game" song (i.e., "banana-fana fo-fana") sung to her by her daddy.

  • missing and presumed dead

    we have a small 6-gallon fish tank that JR got for ian's 4th birthday. we've had a variety of fish in there, but as you can imagine, they don't last too long. our latest casualty has been one of our neon tetras. it hadn't been looking good for awhile; it lost all of its neon coloring and some of its scales looked like they were standing up (always a bad sign).

    the odd thing is, we have no idea where it went. like i said, it's not a big tank. there's only so much space in there for a (dead) fish to hide. yet, we can't find it anywhere. it's been missing for days. JR hasn't had the chance to clean out the tank and really look for it; it might be buried under some of the rocks or in a crevice of the petrified wood. i have the heebie-jeebies just thinking about a dead fish rotting away in the tank with our 3 living fish ... who may not live much longer if they have to share the tainted water.


    tv is part of our family

    i haven't been posting very often lately because i haven't had a lot of time and i haven't had a lot to say. but today, i thought i would dedicate a post to a member of our household -- the tv.

    we watch a lot of tv around these here parts. i mean, a lot. waaaaaaaaaay over the recommended daily dosage for kids. we can't seem to keep the tv off for very long, even though we don't have cable and sometimes it's slim pickings. but it hasn't all been bad: ian learned his letters and numbers pretty early because of sesame street, and he's also learned how to tell time on an analog clock so he knows when his favorite shows are on (and it's not every kid who just turned 5 who can correctly figure out the time on an analog clock that's five minutes fast).

    lately, however, because of the onslaught of reality tv, i've cut back on my tv watching. not so for JR and ian. each season they pick at least 1 reality show they watch pretty religiously, like america's next top model and so you think you can dance?. for awhile there ian was also into american idol but JR and i just couldn't stand that ryan seacrest!

    and don't get me started on all the sports the two of them watch. blech! that is a total turn-off for me, which was good before maya arrived because then i had alone time to read or scrapbook. and the two of them also hog the tv to play ps2. we only have one tv (unlike at JR's parents' house where they have 5 or 6 tvs for three people) so it's not often that i watch something that the other two don't want to watch.

    regardless of the things i don't watch, there are quite a few shows i do watch: jeopardy, the simpsons, globe trekker, martha (i like the new live format; martha seems more fun and spontaneous), ellen, postcards from buster and cyberchase (with ian, of course), reruns of m*a*s*h and the cosby show, and quite a bit of pbs if i can.

    around the holidays we subscribe to netflix. we don't get it year-round because we just don't have enough time to watch so many movies. besides, i'm not a huge movie fan, and JR ends up watching the movies by himself because i wander off to bed or decide to do something else.

    anyway, we started netflix up again and i've actually been good about watching almost everything we get. here are some of my picks: batman begins; fiddler on the roof (which i had never seen before, and it was a little slow for ian, but he did start singing "matchmaker matchmaker, make me a match"); me and you and everyone we know (quite good but i probably didn't get it totally); the new charlie and the chocolate factory (i like this charlie [played by freddie highmore] better than the charlie in the gene wilder version, and i really like that they used the original lyrics written by roald dahl for the oompa-loompa songs); the first disc of firefly; a christmas story (JR has said for 10 years + that i was weird because i'd never seen it before); and mr. and mrs. smith (which isn't a great movie but i enjoyed it immensely because 1) i like seeing girls beat up boys, 2) who wouldn't enjoy a movie with a husband and wife trying to kill each other??, and 3) brad pitt is looking better as he gets older). we also rented elf again this year; apparently it's going to be a holiday tradition to watch this movie in our agnostic-jewish household. (my favorite part? when the claymation narwhal says, "bye buddy, hope you find your dad." cuteness!)

    the next movie we're going to watch is finding neverland, also starring johnny depp and freddie highmore. i just checked our queue and it looks like we'll be getting some more good dvd's in the next few weeks. in particular i'm looking forward to born into brothels, which is supposed to be fantastic.

    other than that, we've really been likin' the muppet show season 1 dvd, which my sister got for ian's birthday. he totally cracks up even when he doesn't get the jokes. but he really cracks up when we watch "manamana" (click link for video; i would've imbedded the video into this post, but then we all would've had to watch/listen to "manamana" over and over again!) and the swedish chef. so far, the episode with rita moreno has been the funniest. totally looking forward to the subsequent seasons coming out on dvd.


    craftiness, here i come!

    some of you may know that i am a scrapbooker. i've always loved paper products, but i got into scrapbooking about the time ian was born (5 years ago). considering how long i've been scrapbooking and the amount of supplies i've accumulated over the years, you'd think i'd have more to show for it. but i don't. i would *love* to spend more time scrapbooking, but it's just not gonna happen, especially with maya. when ian was a baby he'd contentedly sit around while i crafted, but maya won't allow that. at least, not yet. i'm keeping my fingers crossed that she too will develop a love for paper (and being nice to paper, not destroying it!).

    since i can't actually scrapbook, i've been reading a lot of scrapbook magazines (especially while i breastfeed), getting inspired and sketching out layout ideas ... just in case i get some free time to assemble a page or two. i'm almost done with a layout of ian's kindergarten picture, which i hope to post here once it's completed. i've also been buying a lot of supplies (yea, new patterned paper!) and adding to my already gigantic stash of supplies. i can't wait for my orders to get here!

    [as a side note, i have to say that i'm really into ali edwards's designs; i love her book, a designer's eye for scrapbooking. there isn't a layout that she has created that i haven't gotten inspiration from. ali's designs are clean but extremely artistic, which i aspire to. i've also been a fan of becky higgins's for a long time. her designs are clean, too, almost sparse, even. but when you're looking for something that's timeless and simple to do, you can always look to designs by becky.]

    then, i got an email from my best friend who works for a company that sells art supplies and high-end papers. she's off to the cha (craft and hobby association) trade show in vegas and she asked me to make some layouts using products they sell. if all goes well people will see my layouts as samples of what you can do with these products.

    besides scrapbooking, i make cards/stationery. i just got an order to do some wedding shower invitations, and i will be doing a larger order for a friend's wedding (invitations and thank you cards). this is how i earn just a tad bit of extra cash to make up for all the money i spend buying supplies i don't use!

    now, i'm not sure how i'm going to find the time to do all this, but i'm excited nonetheless to be able to get back into creative mode. i've missed being able to just sit down and make stuff.


    link round-up 01.2006

    you may have noticed that i've changed the look of the blog a bit. i've also decided to clean up some of the links on the sidebar. but i didn't want to lose the links so i've "rounded them up" here for reference:

    s c r a p b o o k e r b l o g s
    lisa brown cavaney
    stacy julian
    tara whitney
    tenika morrison

    c r a f t y b l o g s
    crafting japanese
    le duvet doux
    little yuzu
    my paper crane
    paper forest
    the sampler

    o t h e r b l o g s
    eat, drink & be merry
    ah yes, medical school

    c r a f t i n g s i t e s
    get crafty
    close to my heart my friend, lanissa, is a consultant for ctmh

    r e c e n t k a w a i i s i t e f i n d s
    sewing stars animal patterns
    threadless shirts i especially like "milk loves cookie"
    crowded teeth
    weeber world
    modern seed
    craftsbury kids
    all sorts fun, CUTE illustrations and stuff
    aranzi aronzo or the japanese site if you can read it
    chocoA cute toys and zakka
    spicy brown's kokeshi shirts
    copacetique i dig the accessories and stuff more than the clothes ... but that's just me

    l i s t e n i n g t o
    podcast :: scrapcast


    9 weeks.

    maya @ 9 weeks :: january 6, 2006

  • loves, loves, LOVES her ducky toy from her nene (my sister). if you hang it above her she'll stare at it and her arms move toward it. if you leave it in her lap she'll pick it up by the rings, squeeze the wings to make the crinkly sound and smile with amusement.
  • we noticed this quite a few weeks back, but she seems most content on her back on her changing table. maybe because she knows she's going to get cleaned up? or maybe because she can see the swinging legs of her ducky clock? who knows. but i've been tempted to strap her in and leave her there to sleep sometimes.
  • something else she's been doing for awhile is recognizing me. she smiles when she sees me (like when someone else is holding her) or when i talk to her. the other night i left her in her crib and when i went in to check on her, she looked up and smiled her sweet "mama" smile, which made it very difficult to leave her.
  • she finally slept for a whole darn hour in her crib the other night. yes, i can actually get excited about one hour she slept by herself away from me!
  • starting to nap at about the same time every afternoon.
  • her vocalizing is starting to vary.
  • drooly, drooly, drooly.
  • 1.01.2006

    happy new year!

    wishing everyone a wonderful 2006, full of love, happiness & prosperity!

    @ our neighbors' new year's party ... partying on new york time (i.e., 3 hours early)

    lots of fun and food with the neighborhood families. and giving a few moms a "baby fix" by letting them hold maya (and so i could have a break).