week 25.

[no picture with chicky this week because we were in japan]
maya @ 25 weeks :: april 28, 2006
  • can mimic people. when rupert was playing with her and doing a pretend cough, she would do a pretend cough and start laughing.
  • her big brother continues to be her favorite person. she can be totally cranky and fussy but when he starts playing with her (briefly) she'll change her mood 180 degrees. not even rupert or i can accomplish this feat.
  • she bites and bites and bites. perhaps she's teething? i'm almost contemplating stopping the breastfeeding because it hurts so much. but it just may be that she's latched on incorrectly.
  • first plane ride to JAPAN!
  • does the cutest little head cock and smiles. kinda coquettish but still sweet and innocent.
  • finally rolling over, mostly from her stomach to her back.


see you in a week

i'm off to japan this afternoon. i don't think i'll have internet access while i'm away so this will be the longest i've gone without blogging!

i'll have a recap and pictures when i return.


"what i learned during my spring vacation" by yucaree

why aren't there more playgrounds like "aidan's place"?

the state capitals.

that pictionary can be hard.

ian read 243 pages for his spring readathon! obviously he takes after me. hee!

2-week expedited service for your passport can be done at the post office. doh!


this just isn't my year

sigh. how else can i put it? first, my baa-chan passes away. and then i make plans to go see my dear, dear ojii-chan (grandpa) in japan so he can meet his great-granddaughter. but while i was off at the federal building applying for maya's passport this morning, he quietly passed away.

just because i knew he was dying doesn't make this any easier. he wasn't in good shape these last few weeks. the doctors had told my aunt and uncle he wouldn't make it until summer. yesterday my mom got a call from my aunt saying the cancer had spread to his liver and it wasn't looking good. he maybe had a week. my mom changed her flight to leave on monday instead of may 2. but even that wasn't soon enough.

after getting home this afternoon there was a message on the answering machine from my mom saying to call her back. i've been dreading the messages from my mom where she doesn't tell me what the call is about, but just to call her back. i was always afraid that it was "the" call about my grandpa. when i finally got a hold of her she said she would drop by. but just from her voice i knew she was coming over to tell me he had died. i didn't know how to prepare myself for the news i know was coming.

i didn't cry at first when she told me he didn't make it. but when i asked her if he went peacefully it really hit me that i would truly never ever see him again. not only did i feel sad, but i was full of regret. why hadn't i sent him more pictures of the kids? why hadn't i written him more letters? why hadn't i asked him to write out his life story? why hadn't i made my plans to see him sooner?

i really understand why some people say they would give anything to see a deceased loved one just one more time. it's not a cliche. just one more time to hug that person, to remember every laugh wrinkle around their eyes, to say all the things you needed to say but always thought there would be another day to say them. for whatever reason, each person does need "one last time" to say good bye. i know i needed it and i didn't get it.

i've changed my flight to japan for a week earlier than planned. i'm not going to make it to the funeral and getting to japan earlier isn't going to change anything, but i feel a certain urgency to be close to my ojii-chan, even if he's no longer physically with us.

week 24.

maya @ 24 weeks :: april 21, 2006

  • she rolls over in her crib (from front to back) when no one is looking. we have yet to see her accomplish this feat. 04.19.2006 edit: i finally got to see her roll over at her mommy and me class! i guess she wanted to show off to all of the other kids and moms. she rolled from her back to her tummy to get a toy, but her bottom arm got stuck, which made her mad and cry.
  • she is practicing the "ooooh" and "ooww" sounds. especially with the "ooooh" sounds she sticks out her lips to make a funny face.
  • getting her first passport.
  • she continutes to scooch herself around (esepcially in her crib) when she's on her tummy and really mad or when she's determined to get herself closer to her toys.
  • loved having her brother home for spring break.
  • went to the zoo, but mommy forgot the stroller (!) so she got to carry the diaper bag and maya in the carrier for three and a half hours while following ian around. we got pictures of ian but no pictures of maya.


week 23.

maya @ 23 weeks :: april 14, 2006
  • she caught a cold from her dad.
  • eating my hair is a favorite pasttime.
  • can go longer between feedings in the morning (four hours +) and wakes up two times at night.
  • her sleeping is getting better; she'll actually nap in the morning and afternoon without much fuss!
  • delights in being near her brother; it brings a giant smile to her face.
  • being licked by rupert's parents' dog (lucy) totally cracks her up.
  • we may be imagining things but it seems like she tries to wave when her great-grandma waves to her.
  • if you sit her up between your legs she can sit on her own for a tiny bit without leaning on you.
  • will actually fall asleep in the car.
  • thinks she's hysterical when she makes screechy, high-pitched squeals.
  • knows what she wants and isn't afraid to let you know. for example, we were at a chinese restaurant and she wanted to chew on the chopstick wrapper. when we gave her a toy instead, she looked longingly at the wrapper on the table and, after awhile, screamed until she got it.
  • when she's in your arms or sitting in your lap she likes to flop over on purpose.


nothing like some zen to put things in perspective

i just bought zen shorts for ian, but i totally got something from it. it's exactly what i needed after my down-in-the-dumps feeling the other day.

it helped to get me back on track and focus on the bigger picture. i totally recommend it.

and don't you just dig the panda wearing shorts? hee!

she's a beaut, ain't she?

rupert generously shared his sickly germs with the children so we are currently a household going through kleenex like crazy. since maya can't blow her nose, she good-naturedly allows me to suck snot out of her nose with the bulb syringe. she does this funny little thing where she closes her lips and sticks out her jaw a little while snot is being suctioned away. but it must make her feel better because afterwards she usually gives me a smile.

anyway, i thought i would share a story a friend told me to explain why i am perfectly healthy while the other three are dripping all over the place. according to this news story he heard, mothers retain some of their children's cells after giving birth. these cells stay in the mother's body for years and years and years. the prevailing theory about why the children's cells stay behind is to protect the mother from illness. a study gave the example of a mother of five children with cancer; the cancer cells in her body were being attacked by five different kinds of cells -- those of her children. isn't that crazy? while it's amazing that we're protected in this way, how cruel is nature not to allow us a break even to get sick every once in awhile so other people can take care of us?


i'm in a total funk

ugh. that's basically how i feel. can't explain it totally but i am not at 100% right now. far from it, in fact.

i know that part of the anxiety is coming from my ill grandfather. he's 91 and on his last leg. the last time i saw him was two years ago (he lives in japan) and he was fairly healthy then. i loved seeing him interact with ian and i want that for maya too. she may not remember him but, at the very least, i want them to meet.

my parents have offered to send me and maya to japan in early may. normally, going to japan is my favorite thing to do. however, i am having extreme anxiety about travelling with maya. there is no way a 12 hour flight is going to be pleasant with her. ian is a great traveller, but i don't see that with maya. she can't stand a 10-minute drive to her grandparents' house!

i'm trying to plan this trip but every time she fusses, insists on walking around, doesn't sleep, or screams in my ear, the only thing i can imagine is her doing that on the plane. and it makes my heart beat faster and my breathing shallower. i told rupert how i dreaded this trip, almost to the point of not wanting to go. his response was that he would be terrified if he were in my shoes. gee, thanks for the support and reassurance.

the other night was particularly bad. during her midnight feedings my mind was bombarded with all the negative feelings about this trip. as dawn approached and i was able to get in my last two hours of sleep i dreamt that i arrived in japan to visit my grandfather. but before we could head to the hospital my mom received a call that he had died. i was grief-stricken and extremely upset. why hadn't i come sooner? i was full of regret. when i woke up, i realized that it was a sign that no matter how horrible the flight may be to japan with maya, there is no way i cannot go. i have to do this.

but that doesn't diminish the amount of anxiety i have. not only does being on a plane with a difficult child give me the heebie-jeebies, but i can't find a reasonably priced flight, i don't know who's going to take ian to school and pick him up while i'm gone, i have to plan the school book fair before i leave, etc. etc.

but besides the trip, maya's lack of sleep is annoying me to no end. babies her age should get between 12 and 15 hours of sleep. on an especially good day she'll get a little more than 12 hours. normally, she gets about 10 or 11. my pediatrician didn't seem particularly concerned about this, but i can tell that maya could probably use a wee bit more sleep. she's not a particularly content child when she's awake (contrary to popular belief), and i think it's because she's overtired a lot of the time. when she's well-rested she's actually a very fun, adorable baby.

i'm currently reading healthy sleep habits, happy child by dr. marc weissbluth because it was recommended to me by a few people. i haven't yet formed a concrete opinion about this book. so far, some of what he's said makes sense. if what he says is true maya is overtired most of the time because we don't put her to bed early enough, and now she's in the bad habit of wanting to stay up late even though she's tired. the book stresses the importance of regular naps two or three times a day. even before the book we were getting to a somewhat normal napping schedule, but weissbluth doesn't count anything less than 30 minutes as a real nap. in that case, there are days when maya doesn't technically nap at all.

the book says to never wake a sleeping baby. but how realistic is that if you have a real life?! this is virtually impossible for me because maya is often in the middle of a nap when i have to either take ian to school or pick him up. i can't leave her at home so i end up having to wake her up, which often puts her in a not-so-pleasant mood. i can't change when ian goes to school and i'm finding it very hard to change when maya is ready for a nap.

i have to finish the book and see what i can do to establish healthy sleep habits. i have to do this soon because i'm not sure i'm going to last much longer. part of this funk i'm in is due to being tired all the time. and i know rupert is getting tired too. i don't know how other moms do it; i know a mom with three kids (the two youngest are like a year apart) and the 8-month old still doesn't sleep through the night. i have no idea how she continues to function!

and to make matters worse, i find myself starting to lay blame on rupert for a lot of things, which is unfair. i don't know if he gets the vibe, but i feel hostile towards him sometimes. i'm trying really hard not to let it come out, but there are times when i can't suppress a nasty comment. rupert has learned to ignore these, but i don't know if it makes him mad. in many ways we're both passive aggressive and although i'm more apt to verbalize my discontent, rupert often keeps mum. my feelings are all a-jumble so, frankly, i'm really frustrated with everything and on the verge of tears today.

i'm just afraid that since we're both tired we're more irritable and therefore more prone to taking it out on each other when we should be working together. so, rupert, if you're reading this, we need to talk.


week 22.

maya @ 22 weeks :: april 7, 2006
  • when she's in a sitting position she'll play with her toes.
  • at her belated 4-month check-up (she was one day short of five months) she weighed 13 pounds 13 ounces and measured 24.5 inches. we also got the go-ahead to start feeding her cereal.
  • her second batch of immunizations made her sleep almost the whole next day and be cranky the day after.
  • she ate rice cereal for the first time on thursday (4.6.06).
  • she can roll completely over on to her side, but she still can't manage that last push all the way over.
  • she seemed really interested in rain falling on my umbrella.
  • she will lunge out of anyone's arms to get to booby.
  • she's really attuned to noises lately; if she hears anything she whips her head around in that direction.
  • she is nowhere near crawling, but she can inchworm around her crib. she gets up on her forearms and knees, raising up her torso and somehow scooches herself foreward.
  • enjoys tearing up paper and eating it.


a new friend

rupert's and my friend from high school, MH and his wife S, just celebrated the birth of their first child yesterday. daughter L was born at the same hospital ian was born at. i am so excited about this. not only am i happy for MH and S, but this means maya will have a little girl friend close by. can't wait for those playdates!

congrats to MH, S and baby L!

food food gimme food

maya had her first taste of solid food today: liquidy rice cereal with some formula. she took to it pretty quick. we did, however, have to hold down her hands since she's so into grabbing things. i'm hoping that some solids and continued breastfeeding will help her sleep better at night and go a little longer between feedings.

[edited 4.10.06: no such luck with the sleeping better at night!]


eats, shoots & leaves

i have this book. i totally laughed at the title's joke. but i didn't finish it. and so, of course, i still have questions about punctuation. i know a few in my readership are wizes at the english language so i am going to post my questions here. if anyone can answer them i will be most appreciative.

  1. i have problems sometimes about placement of the end mark when there are quotation marks involved. example: How do you spell "constitution"? in this case, where the quotation marks are used around a term rather than an actual sentence, does the end mark go outside of the quotation marks? example 2: He said, "She told me, 'There are holes in your underwear.'!". is that correct??
  2. when there's an "s" at the end of a last name how do you correctly write something like "Love, from the _____s"? example: the Perris's or the Perris' --> which is correct?
  3. actually, let's backtrack for a moment. is it even correct to use an apostraphe in the last name in the case of question 2? if it is correct, why do you use an apostraphe? it never made much sense to me because if it's about an entire family, wouldn't it make more sense to use a plural version of the last name rather than a possessive?
  4. when making a list, is it more correct to use a comma before the "and"? (there's that blasted end mark after the quotation mark again!) example: apples, bananas, and oranges or apples, bananas and oranges --> which is it?

okay, i think those are all my questions for now. why the sudden interest in punctutation? besides my constant need to be as correct as possible about most things, now that i'm writing this blog i come up against these writing questions more often and i end up sitting there for awhile contemplating how to write something correctly. so i need help, please!


and we have a winner!

have i mentioned that ian and rupert (JR) are sports fans? with his penchant for numbers, ian is a natural when it comes to remembering scores from any number of games, even some from months prior. i'm sure in the future he will be rattling off stats like a pro.

anyway, rupert was invited to join a yahoo group pool with some college friends when march madness started. ian wanted in too so he chose his winning teams in each bracket. we're a ucla family, so he chose ucla to go all the way (he also chose any north carolina team to win for awhile because, for some reason, he likes the state of north carolina).

guess who won? yup, it was ian. in a group with his dad (a lifelong sports fan), a former sports writer who works on the sports page of a newspaper, and guys with a phd and an mba, a kindergartener won the pool. go figure. too bad there was no money involved! hee!

i'm scared

maya has been sleeping a lot in the last 36 hours or so. i'm seriously frightened because she has never slept this much in such a short amount of time in her entire 5 months of being. she's already had like four naps today. four! and she only woke up once last night for a feeding. there were a few times we heard her cry but she managed to get herself back to sleep again.

i'm afraid to get excited about this just yet. could it be an effect of her immunization shots yesterday? or maybe now that she's hit the 5-month mark she's settling down? whatever it is, i am holding my breath and pleading to the powers above (all of them) that this will continue.

please plead along with me!


mini celebrity sighting

last night we went out to eat (again) for rupert's dad's birthday. and who should be sitting at the table next to ours but andrae from season 2 of 'project runway'! i knew he was from la and went to art school near my house, but i didn't expect to see him in my neighborhood.

rupert wanted me to introduce myself and say how i was a fan (and how i pulled out my sewing machine after watching the show), but i didn't want to bother him during his meal. (in la, it's kind of a given that you don't bother celebrities, no matter how minor a celebrity they are.) it seemed like he was there with a client because after their meal he pulled out a portfolio, some designs and fabric swatches.

according to rupert, who was hovering in their general direction, they shared a chocolate lava cake (after the client finished off a lobster) and andrae takes his coffee regular.

rupert also could not stop doing his tim impersonation of "where's andrae?" a la santino.

they hook 'em in young

our next door neighbors invited us to go see some military stuff at a jrotc drill competition. they had helicopters and tanks and trucks the kids (and adults) could get in.

now, i'm not a particular fan of the military but i could definitely see how all of this stuff is attractive to little (and big) kids. i was pretty interested in it all too.

ian enjoyed playing around in the tanks and pretending to drive a real humvee. at the end of the afternoon we watched the helicopters take off, which is quite loud but pretty amazing.


welcome home rupert!

JR returned home last night. i was quite pleased to see him because i was getting a tad bit worn out. i was just getting used to him taking the morning shift when he left for his trip so i wasn't especially pleased about having to get up early again.

he was pleased to see us, and although the kids were asleep when he got home, i'm sure they were happy to see him too. maya remembered him and was all smiles for him in the morning (i think -- i'm not totally sure since i was asleep). apparently ian got a little teary-eyed when he saw JR because he was glad he was home.

however, the thing i'm not pleased about is that the house is a mess already. JR's awake for only a few hours and already the living room and kitchen are all cluttered! having just one extra body around creates more mess than i like. so it doesn't look like i'll be able to maintain my "good housewife" ways now that he's home. and, guess what? it's not my fault: JR @ home = mess -- JR not @ home = clean. so there.

oh, and JR will now be known as rupert. why? well, at the workshop he was at, the professor who was running it called him rupert because, to him, JR looks like a rupert. so JR had to endure rupert jokes for the rest of the week.

and look what JR ... i mean, rupert, got me as a present: they're pj pants from northwestern in a purple plaid! i'm totally into slightly tacky-ish pants so these are perfect for me. and purple should be my signature color because you write my name as "purple" in japanese kanji characters. the one downfall of these pants is that they are made for young college coeds who have never borne children. you know, they're supposed to sit low on the hips. yeah, that ain't happenin' for me.