some clarification

in my post about surviving JR's absence i should've specified that i was managing quite well in large part due to my parents' help. not only did they feed us (hence my not having to cook all week) and comfort maya during her teething pain spells, but my mom picked up ian at school, my dad read to him, and in general they were just a huge help to me. so, thanks mommy and dad! (yes, i still call my mom "mommy" -- do you have a problem with that?!)

also, a special thanks to my in-laws who fed us on tuesday night at lawry's for my father-in-law's birthday.

week 21.

maya @ 21 weeks :: march 31, 2006
  • on tuesday morning (3.28) i discovered that her second tooth is coming in. and i made sure this time by actually feeling it. she's sticking everything into her mouth to soothe the teething pains (her thumb, tags from her blanket, people's clothes, the plastic piece on her carseat strap, etc.). needless to say, she's been crabby these last few days.
  • JR is out of town all week on business. i wonder if maya will recognize him when he gets home.
  • she's still working on rolling over; her lower half is definitely well on its way but she doesn't have enough push yet to get her upper half over. but she can do this when she's on her tummy and when she's on her back. she did roll over this morning when she was on the couch (i was watching her, of course); but i think she was able to do this because the cushions are soft and sloping.
  • she loves the taggy blanket i made for her. she sticks her fingers through the tags, puts them in her mouth, or just feels them.
  • she sort of stopped talking for awhile but she's starting up again.
  • her grip on things is much stronger (and it's always been strong). she can hold onto things longer too.
  • she loves playing with my hair.
  • she doesn't automatically start crying after waking up in her crib. but she somehow manages to wiggle over to the edge and then get her hand stuck between the slats of the crib, which then makes her cry for help.
  • food is starting to spark her interest. she watches us intently while we eat and sometimes moves her little lips as if she's practicing eating. she'll sit in someone's lap at the table and reach for our food or stare at us. she'll even bang her hands on the table sometimes like she's demanding her own plate.
  • she grabs at everything. whatever is in reach she tries to grab and yank and throw on the floor. if paper gets in her hands she rips it apart and tries to eat the scraps.
  • she is easily distracted while breastfeeding.
  • when i firmly tell her not to bite during breastfeeding (or that she's hurting me), she'll stop biting.
  • she's a thumbsucker.


ian art week 5.

i sorta see a horse and i sorta don't. but if ian says it's a horse, then i guess it's a horse!

i'm surviving

just checking in to let y'all know that our week is actually progressing quite smoothly. turns out i don't need JR after all!

i'm acting more like a proper housewife in his absence. i've kept the kitchen clean (granted, i haven't actually been cooking, but i've diligently cleaned), i'm sorting and organizing the house, ian and i went through his toys to set aside stuff for a garage sale, i've laundered and folded clothes, and i even flipped and rotated our mattress. i'm not exactly sure what i'm trying to prove by being more housewife-y in JR's absence, but in some twisted sort of way maybe i'm just trying to show him that i can function quite well without a husband, and when he's at home he enables me to be a crappy housewife. i dunno. it feels pretty darn good being productive, though. now, can i keep it up after JR gets home on friday night? i'm really not sure.

in any case, i'm taking this opportunity to try to get maya to sleep better on her own. she actually goes down to sleep quite easily at night even though she's been teething (no walking around with her in my arms for more than 3 minutes!). of course, the pain is keeping her from napping during the day so she's exhausted by the time 9:30 rolls around, but at least she can get herself to sleep without throwing a fit. the other night she even slept for close to 6 hours straight! no luck the next night, but at least i got a good night's sleep for once (and i do sleep much better in bed alone).

today i'm off to have lunch with my friend A in west la. so looking forward to getting into "the city" and having a decent meal. then i'm making ian "breakfast for dinner" because it's fun and easy and i'm really not concerned with nutrition this week!



no daddy this week

JR is at a workshop in evanston this week. um, what the heck am i supposed to do with two kids?? honestly, i don't know what i'm going to do without JR.

here's ian chatting with dad who called to say good night. the magazine he's reading, despite the roses on the back cover, is actually a kid's magazine (martha stewart good things for kids). i bought it to do some projects this week in the evenings.

despite the magazine, we managed to watch a lot of television tonight. oops!

looky what i made

i heard about these taggy blankies while i was pregnant with maya, and i found a tutorial for it at craftster. unfortunately, i wasn't able to make one for her before she was born.

but i had the opportunity to make it for a friend's baby shower a couple of weeks back, so i made a matching one for maya too.

they are super easy to make as long as you know how to sew straight lines on your sewing machine (that's all i know how to do!). i made this one in one sitting this afternoon. it does, however, take longer if you're going to cut and pre-wash your fabrics, which is highly advisable.

this one uses solid pink chenille on two squares, patterned flannel for the other two squares, and then a solid piece of polar fleece for the back. i used quite a few different kind of ribbons for the tags, like satin, grosgrain, velvety, and even elastic. the size is about 18"x18".

when i showed it to maya she went straight for the tags!


the pregnancy up to 26 weeks

cardstock: bazzill basics
patterned paper: ki memories
number rubons: doodlebug
letter stamps: image tree (ek success)
flower brads: the happy hammer
letter stickers: joann craft essentials
flower stickers: stickopotamus
gel pens: pentel


week 20.

maya @ 20 weeks :: march 24, 2006
  • last friday i thought i nocticed a little whiteness on her top gums. so i started telling some people that she was growing her second tooth. turns out i was wrong; the glare of the light off her gums made it look like there was something protruding out of them.
  • on thursday night (3.23) she managed to turn over for the first time in her crib. when jordan put her down for the night, she was on her tummy. but when i got her a few hours later she was face up! we have no idea how she managed this but now we know she can do it.
  • she is a total squirmy-bug in her crib. she kicks and kicks and squirms all over the crib, propelling herself with just her legs to all four corners. her arms are not so helpful.
  • she really likes fabric-y things because they are easier to grasp and get into her mouth.
  • she totally loves me! when jordan carries her around, she's all smiles when she can see me, but when he turns so she can't see me, she starts to cry. when he turns again and she sees me, she starts to laugh. jordan and i make a game out of it, sort of tormenting her when she wants to see me. we're kinda mean, aren't we? but it's so funny.
  • number 2 diapers don't keep in her explosive poops either.
  • you may notice in this week's picture that her hand is on her diaper. she discovered the velcro closure and was pulling it off.
  • she's napping better -- hooray! if i sense she's tired, i can leave her in her crib and after some crying and squirming around she usually gets herself to sleep.
  • she sat directly on grass for the first time today while i weeded in the yard. unlike her brother who didn't like sitting on grass the first time, she seemed to enjoy it. she kicked her bare feet on the grass and grabbed at it with great vigor.
  • she loves it when her daddy does his monkey impersonation.


i am so annoyed at myself. it is really not a big deal at all, but i'm making a big deal out of it. i'm just venting so feel free not to read this post, because it is totally pointless.

in one of my scrapbooking magazines i found an ad for an online store with a coupon -- spend $10 and get $10 off. good deal, right? so i went over there looking for something to buy. well, i found a stamp set that i thought was pretty cool and it was $14. that would be a great thing to get, i thought to myself.

but since we were trying to get ready to leave for the funeral, i figured i could place the order after we came back in the afternoon. and, wouldn't you know, when i went back this evening it was sold out!

this may be paranoia (well, 'paranoia' is probably not the right word, but it's something like that) but i had a feeling something like this would happen. the reason? i saw on ali edwards's blog after i found this particular stamp set that she had made a layout with this exact same set. she is so popular that i was afraid her readers would run right out after seeing it to buy that stamp set. i mean, doesn't it seem like too much of a coincidence that this particular stamp set would sell out after ali posted the layout?

... okay, now that i read back on what i wrote, i sound like a total crazy person! but still ...

i'm just incredibly annoyed at myself for not placing the order this morning! bad me! bad bad!

now i gotta go back and look for something else to order. it's so tough being me. hee!



today was baa-chan's funeral. it wasn't anything fancy or elaborate; close relatives and friends came and we bid farewell to her. it was a buddhist funeral (a shortened one) so a few buddhist traditions were followed.

baa-chan received her posthumous buddhist name, shakuni kashin, from the monk. shakuni means "one who follows the buddhist way" and kashin basically means "the truth of the flower." baa-chan had been a kadou (japanese flower arranging) teacher so the monk chose that name for her.

then, as prayers were said for her, everyone paid their last respects one-by-one by coming to the alter, offering incense and praying to the body (we had an open-casket funeral). the family -- beginning with my oldest uncle and his wife, my other uncle and my dad and mom, and then the grandkids -- goes first, and then the other relatives and friends.

the monk recited a zen poem about a flower in honor of my grandma. and then he talked about the significance of a wordless sermon the buddha had given. in this sermon, the buddha showed his followers a single flower and said nothing. many of his followers were confused but one monk understood that the buddha was trying to show them the magnificence of a flower's life. it spends its energy living and blooming into a beautiful flower, and then its petals wilt and drop. it not only signifies the beauty of life, but the impermanence of it as well.

my cousin eric said a few words for the family. he talked about how kind and gentle baa-chan was. how beautiful her skin always was (in all seriousness, she had amazing skin until the day she died at the age of 87; it was smooth and soft, without wrinkles or blemishes. when i touched her hand in the casket, it was cold but still so soft and smooth). how delicious her chawan-mushi (a savory japanese egg custard dish) was. the kind of things we want to remember about baa-chan.

and that was it.

after the service some of us stayed and put flowers from the various arrangements into her casket so she could go on surrounded by the beautiful flowers she loved.

good-bye, baa-chan, thank you for treating me like a real granddaughter and being kind to me and my children. i'll miss you, but i hope that you and jii-chan will protect us just like you did in life.

ian art week 4.

due to the funeral ian wasn't able to attend art class, so no funky picture this week. bummer.


shootin' hoops

cardstock: bazzill basics, paper accents
patterned paper: sassafras lass
stickers: sonnets (creative imaginations)
rubons: scrapworks
letter stamps: provo craft
stamping ink: colorbox
pen: pentel

you may notice that this layout looks awfully familiar. i based it on a recent layout i did ("biker boys"). since the two layouts will be in two different albums, i figured i could get use out of the same layout design. saves me from having to think too hard about a layout! (it scanned a tad crooked.)


sad news

i just got news that my grandmother passed away. it wasn't totally unexpected because she'd been ill since the beginning of the year. but we had been hoping that she was getting a bit better, so the news is still surprising.

i'm sad that i hadn't gone to see her when my parents went to the hospital this afternoon (i didn't want to go with my germs). i'm sad that i didn't get to talk to her more. i'm sad that my kids have lost a great-grandparent. i'm sad that my dad doesn't have either of his parents anymore.

cough, cough, achy, achy

i have fallen ill again. my immune system used to be so much stronger but i've been getting sick pretty often. my body must be too tired to fight off a cold. my voice comes and goes and today my body is achy all over.

it's unfortunate i can't get in a good nap or a decent night's sleep. it also isn't going to help that ian is early bird all this week. so i will probably not be able to blog much until i get better. hopefully that won't be too long.


week 19.

maya @ 19 weeks :: march 17, 2006
  • her squealy voice has turned into screechy/screamy voice. it can be super-high-pitched and almost primal. it hurts our ears. i guess girls are born to be hysterical.
  • thankfully, her sleep schedule is returning to what it was a couple of weeks ago. i'm assuming her teething pains are subsiding and she's sleeping better.
  • she bites a lot. i don't like it!
  • during her bad sleeping days i was so exhausted i nearly lost my sanity. i just couldn't deal anymore on monday and i truly felt that i had to leave her in her crib or else i might scream at her or, god forbid, actually hurt her in some way out of sheer frustration and exhaustion. so i put her in her crib to see if she would sleep but she actually cried non-stop for over an hour. in the end, i gave up and got her. she always wins in the end.
  • we tried to give her formula one night so JR could do a feeding and i could get some rest. she took a sip of the formula and she basically spit it out. when we tried again she refused to even put the nipple in her mouth. picky eater already!
  • my mom put a barrette in her hair because her bangs are getting so long and reach down to her eyes. the barette must be close to 30 years old but it's so cute because it's so retro.
  • i feel like i'm doing much better these last few days (last week was pretty hellish). i got to take a couple of 15-minute power naps, which really rejuvenated me. we also took a long walk (to the craft store) to get some exercise and fresh air, i gave her a calming (i.e., no crying) bath, and we've been talking and playing a bit more than usual.
  • she's having explosive poopies again, which probably means she's about to grow out of her size 1 diapers.
  • she absolutely adores her brother. whenever she sees him she's totally entranced by him and is all smiles. it's too bad ian still, for the most part, runs away!
  • she's making very slight progress in the rolling over department. when she's on her back she does use her foot to push up a bit but she's nowhere close to turning over all the way. i guess it doesn't help that she's not on her back very often ...
  • when she wants to be taken out of her carseat or bouncy chair she arches her back and lifts up her torso.

ian art week 3.

this week's piece is a sharpie illustration of african figures. there's a lot going on here, but i like that it has different shapes, line thickness, and detail. i wonder if it would look even better with some color ...



cardstock: bazzill basics
patterned paper: chatterbox (floral patterns), sonnets by creative imaginations (words)
letter brads: joann scrap essentials
flower brads: the happy hammer

the bottom darker purple rectangle on the left page flips open to reveal journaling.


the downside of ...

having your washer/dryer in the kitchen: on sunday morning the clothes you left in the dryer smell like bacon.

well, maybe that's actually not a downside ... mmm, bacon!


batter up!

the t-ball season started this weekend; ian is on the cardinals. what can i say? i'm not particularly excited about baseball in general, but little kid t-ball is pretty cute. however, like real baseball, t-ball games are s-l-o-w and take longer (and seem longer) than soccer games ... and i felt that way even though i wasn't at the entire game!


belated girls' day and 100th day celebration

it's no lie that the second child doesn't get the same kind of attention that the first child does. i almost forgot to do maya's 100th day celebration and we're doing her girls' day dinner a week late. poor thing. but at least we did it ...

the 100th day marks baby's first consumption of food (kuizome). i looked it up online and got different reasons for doing this: to ensure the child grows up healthy and strong; to encourage eating at the right age (and something about growing healthy, hard teeth so a child can eat whatever he/she wants); to ensure the child never goes without food (to prevent famine in his/her lifetime); to get them accustomed to all kinds of flavors and to enjoy food. it's traditionally done on the 100th day after the birth, but depending on the region it can be the 120th day. of course, the baby doesn't actually eat the food. the parents pretend to feed them food that is considered lucky, like red snapper (tai)and red sticky rice (osekihan), using the baby's first set of plates and chopsticks (ohashi).

girls' day (hina-matsuri) is celebrated every march 3. families with daughters display special dolls called hina-ningyou or ohina-sama. a complete set of dolls is quite large so it's not feasible for many households in japan to own an entire set. instead, they usually own just the lord and lady (emperor and empress) dolls. my grandparents purchased an entire 7-tiered set for my first girls' day. when we moved to the u.s. the set was shipped over. when my sister and i were young my parents set it up every year. but it's been about 10 years since the dolls last saw the light of day.

for maya's first girls' day my mom set out the dolls and invited my in-laws for dinner to see the dolls and "feed" maya. we didn't have a chance to get maya a set of her own dishes, so she used plates from when i was a little girl. she seemed rather befuddled with the food near her mouth. (ian was my helper and held the plates of food.) then we took some family photos with the dolls. maya also received various new dolls from her grandparents and her great-grandparents. (ian got a hand-held sudoku game, which my dad promptly tested out.)


week 18.

maya @ 18 weeks :: march 10, 2006
  • on sunday she had the worst sleeping day ever. in total she only slept for about 10 hours. i think at her age she's supposed to sleep 15 hours. and, yet, she seemed fine and alert. i, on the other hand, was exhausted and took a nap for most of the afternoon. why does she not sleep?!
  • her first tooth! i discovered a little protrusion on wednesday night on her bottom gums. let the biting (and pain) commence! you'd think i would have realized she was teething what with all the chewing and gnawing and drooling she's been doing. duh!
  • she's totally discovering her voice. she can vary the pitch and use different expression. in fact, she seems to like her squealy voice sometimes -- and she likes it loud!


ian art week 2.

this week ian worked with a sharpie and watercolor pencils to create an octopus. apparently, the octopus has a mustache.

is it horrible that i think it's not nearly as good as last week's picture? on the positive side, even though the illustration is still rather crude, at least he's coloring in the lines better.


link round-up 03.2006

cleaning up the sidebar again, so i'm moving some of the links to my round-up:

s c r a p b o o k e r b l o g s
  • heidi swapp

  • weis days

  • j a p a n e s e s c r a p b o o k e r b l o g s
  • hokuto

  • making time to scrapbook

  • scrapbooking air

  • c r a f t y b l o g s
  • bella dia

  • keri smith

  • lily's rooster

  • rock paper scissors

  • s t u f f t h a t i n t r i g u e s m e
  • japanese dymo label maker

  • death cab for cutie onesie

  • blabla kids

  • muji's new york in a bag

  • blabla kids

  • 100drine in french

  • gale kaseguma prints @ oopsy daisy

  • lumplings

  • new parent apology cards

  • jam cover

  • heather ross goldfish fabric

  • bright october

  • oneye

  • l i s t e n i n g t o
  • mirah

  • r e c e n t r e a d s
  • the death of vishnu by manil suri

  • septimus heap book 1: magyk by angie sage

  • memories of my melancholy whores by gabriel garcia marquez

  • the know-it-all by a.j. jacobs

  • the kite runner by khaled hosseini

  • conrad's fate by diana wynn jones

  • kira kira by cynthia kadohata

  • neither here nor there: travels in europe by bill bryson

  • deconstructing penguins by lawrence & nancy goldstone

  • the star of kazan by eva ibbotson

  • creating keepsakes's the scrapbook idea book volume 9 + other sbing mags

  • nana (japanese comic)

  • g i m m e g i m m e
  • quickutz diecut squeeze w/stiletto alphabet, paige alphabet
  • mummy
  • 3.06.2006

    biker boys

    cardstock: bazzill basics
    patterned paper: SEI
    letter stickers: SEI (kaboom series)
    letter & number stamp: provo craft
    other: july index card divider, paper clip

    this layout was inspired by the "all fours" layout on page 99 in the march/april 2006 simple scrapbooks magazine.


    week 17.

    maya @ 17 weeks :: march 3, 2006
    • laughs out loud when i tickle her. it's not really the tickling that makes her laugh, though. i think it's my nose nuzzling her rib cage and my frenzied "koochie koochie koo!" that she finds funny.
    • is still not sleeping particularly well. she's up every 2 hours or so at night. by 5:30 in the morning i can't function or get out of bed, so JR is now responsible for her until he leaves for work.
    • she's a pro at tummy time, holding her head up really high. she's now starting to use her feet a bit more to propel herself forward just a bit.
    • her new favorite toy is a red doggy from her great-grandparents. it has crinkly ears she likes to crumple, a bone she can chew on, and a nose that barks when it's pressed.
    • she can reach up when she's lying on her back to accurately grab and pull at her toys hanging from the thunder-dome.
    • learning to soothe herself by sucking on her hand/fingers. this helps to get her to nap on her own.
    • this is nothing new, but the sheer excitement she shows when she sees me is absolutely delightful. when i pick her up from her chair/swing/thunder-dome she gives me this huge smile and kicks her feet crazily. it totally makes me swoon with happiness!
    • she seems to be losing interest in the swing.


    happy girls' day!

    it's a tradition in japan to celebrate girls' day (march 3) with dolls and dainty japanese snacks. i have a huge set of ohina-sama dolls that my grandparents bought for me when i was born. i am thrilled that my mom is setting them up for maya's first girls' day.

    i don't know when we'll celebrate it but i'll be sure to post pictures of my amazing dolls. until then, read up on the celebration here.


    who's responsible?!

    forgot to post that for JR's birthday he got a gigantic tv and cable from his parents. until then we had a decent-sized regular tv with bunny ears. nothing fancy for us. but we couldn't possibly have continued to use bunny ear antennas for a beautiful 40-inch lcd flat panel television with high def. so his mom ordered us cable. i've never had cable before (JR, of course, had it when he lived with his parents), which means ian has never had cable before. imagine our excitement as we scrolled through all of the channels that first day. sigh. needless to say, we are going to waste soooo much time in front of this thing.

    but i need to know who is responsible for me sitting in front of the tv for 5 hours on sunday afternoon watching reruns of project runway?? grudge girl, i think it's you! if you hadn't mentioned on your four things meme that it was one of your favorite shows i might never have sought it out. now i'm hooked! and i have to find reruns of the first 5 or so shows so i can see every episode. and, um, how cute is daniel vosovic? too cute!

    ian art week 1.

    ian started art class after school today. he's never been much of a drawer or a colorer so i thought this would be a good opportunity for him to learn some techniques. his drawings are quite crude and sloppy, and lacking in details. it's not that he doesn't like to draw, it's more that he doesn't care too much about being a good drawer.

    on his kindergarten first trimester writing assessment he did a really great job on the writing part, but his accompanying drawing was deemed at grade-level, if not a bit lower. it's unfortunate that his assessment score was graded lower because of his drawing, but i also understand that being able to imagine and draw details in illustrations leads to writing with details.

    so, here's his first piece of art. it's a sharpie and charcoal illustration of an african-american lady. i actually really like it; it's cute and funky.