there's something not right about this picture

here's ian stuffing bills into the bellydancer's pants ... it's funny and kinda wrong at the same time, no?

at papadakis taverna in san pedro for great-grandpa M's birthday.

week 38.

[no picture with chicky this week because we were out of town. instead, we present you with ian trying to smash maya's head in at andersen's.]

maya @ 38 weeks :: july 28, 2006
  • the heat is really bothering her: she doesn't sleep well and she's developed a heat rash around her neck area.
  • loves to try to stand up. she can pull herself up and stand for a little bit if she's holding onto something/someone.
  • if she sees you eating something she likes to lick your mouth.
  • intently watched her first bellydancer, and then proceeded to move her hands as if she were clanging the finger bells.
  • she has been taking a bottle a day (of non-soy formula), which i think is making her bite me more when she breastfeeds. ouch.
  • she's not sleeping through the night again. the bliss was short-lived.
  • we must remember to keep the gate up. rupert left her in the living room to get dressed for work (i was still sleeping), and decided to check on her. when he came back maya was not where he left her. she had crawled across the room to our office area (which is where we gate off), found a push pin under a bookcase, and was rolling it around in her hand, probably contemplating how it would taste.
  • holds both her arms up over her head and looks up and smiles and talks as if she sees something we don't. kinda spooky.


shoe shopping always makes me feel better

as with everywhere else in this country, global warming is wreaking havoc on the temperatures here and i am dying. seriously, i. am. dying.

i complained last summer but this year's heatwave is worse. and our house traps heat, we have no ac, and i can't open the windows because of the construction going on right across the street. our fan manages to only move around warm air, and i've made the mistake of making hot dinners, which makes our kitchen as hot as a sauna.

so, to escape the heat, what better place to go than the mall? free air conditioning! shopping! bliss!

ian needed a new pair of shoes and i had a nordstrom gift certificate to use, so we splurged and got some shoes. ian picked out an adorable pair of octopi vans, which rupert found to be too cute ("this is why i need to go shoe shopping with you," is what he said).

do i need shoes? of course not. didn't stop me from getting two pairs. and it certainly didn't stop me from totally enjoying purchasing them ... especially since i used the gift card.

after we came home the unbearable heat of the house forced us back out again to take an air conditioned car ride to the supermarket. ian and i thought it would be a great idea to just hang out at the market all day long in the air conditioning eating popsicles. indeed, it's not a bad idea.

mama (and brother)-chaperoned date

after our wwam lunch on friday a bunch of mamas with babies in tow headed over to clover park in santa monica to have a playdate. in the end it turned out to be just baby D and maya, along with me, ian and baby D's mama, A.

it was nothing short of cute to watch maya and baby D interact with each other. okay, not so much interacting as taking each others' stuff. but it was cute nonetheless. (that's baby D with maya's sippy cup, and maya with baby D's toy.)

and, for me, it was doubly cute because baby D was wearing some of ian's hand-me-downs, and it reminded me of when ian was that small.


birthday bbq

it was my dad's 59th birthday today. (sorry, dad, for divulging your age!) it's crazy to me that he's amazingly close to 60. i guess it's no surprise since i turned 30, but still ...

i'm not sure what it is with age. i totally believe in the "it's just a number" idea; i don't consider myself to be old by any means. in fact, i don't feel 30 and, because i'm so delusional, i don't think i look 30. (a note to people who know me: please keep your mouth shut and allow me to continue being delusional.) isn't it all in the mind? i could get down on myself and think, "gee, i'm 30 and besides popping out two kids i haven't done much with my life." or i can think, "there's still so much time to do so many things in my life." i'm usually a pessimist, but most of the time the latter is how i think.

perhaps it's because i know these people so intimately, but i don't think rupert looks 30 and i don't think my mom and dad look like they're almost 60. i guess i see them through rose-colored glasses.

we had a great little bbq for my dad with some really yummy carne asada. it's totally something my dad would not choose for himself (he's not much into mexican food), but he liked it anyway. and then we had cake, fruit and flan to end the meal. since i was busy taking pictures, my dad had to start singing "happy birthday" to himself before everyone else joined in, which i thought was kinda funny.

anyway, happy birthday dad!


week 37.

maya @ 37 weeks :: july 21, 2006
  • another tooth (#8) is coming in on the bottom left. she's been awfully cranky this week, which i'm attributing to the teething.
  • she had her first taste of watermelon. i couldn't tell if she liked it or disliked it.
  • she seemed to enjoy the sound of music, which we watched at a friend's house (a sing-along party). her eyes were glued to the screen during the songs.
  • her taste buds are getting finicky -- she now makes icky faces at peas and winter squash.


overindulging on ...

project runway (season 1 dvd and season 3)
caffeine free pepsi with a wedge of lemon
the fan
ramen cabbage salad

doing nothing


two down, 18 to go.

ian's second tooth fell out while eating steak tonight. it's the one right next to the gap from his first lost tooth, so he has no bottom front teeth at the moment. his speech is slightly slurred and i don't know how he bites off his food, but oh well, such is life.


this is why cable is dangerous ... but sooooo good

season 3 of project runway started on wednesday -- yay! there's no other show i'd rather watch ... unless it's this one ... or this one (which doesn't get watched anymore because the previous show airs at the same time).

i usually don't like reality tv very much. it's not scripted but it is in a way. it's all in the production and editing, right? i know reality is often stranger than fiction, but some of these shows are so over the top and, because there's oftentimes a lot of money at stake, you end up seeing the ugly side of people, which is disheartening to me.

don't get me wrong, there has been some mean spiritedness and ugliness on prior seasons of project runway. but there's just something about the show and the contestants i attached myself to. i'm definitely drawn to the creative aspect of the show, and i have to admit i pulled out my sewing machine after getting hooked on season 2. (not that i know how to sew clothes; as i've proudly declared before, i can only sew straight lines and there's only so much you can create with straight lines.)

i haven't found the one person i love on the show (on season 2 that would've been daniel v.) but it's only been one episode. however, there are a few who may make it on my list of season 3 villains. you know who they are; they want to be perceived as badass because they're out to win, not make friends. the usual blah blah blah of reality television. on a show like this, though, it almost doesn't matter how mean (or nice) you are. if you can't come up with a good design and execute it, there's no way you can win. and compared to other reality shows it's harder to play psychological games and sabotage the other contestants. all in all it makes for good tv watching, and i won't miss a single episode!


week 36.

maya @ 36 weeks :: july 14, 2006
  • knows her own name; she'll look up at you when you call her.
  • she started clapping on her own on saturday. at first it was two or three claps, but now she can clap for longer stretches. the first time rupert saw her clap she actually said something akin to, "ya~y!" as she clapped.
  • waves "hi" and "bye" on her own (most of the time). she's even made "bluh-bluh" sounds as she waved.
  • she's mobile! on sunday she started to really get around on her hands and knee (the other knee sticks up). she's not whizzing around just yet, but she can get around the floor in the living room, exploring the dust bunnies and trying to pull things down (her current favorite is pulling out the dvds from the dvd stand).
  • now that she can move, one of her favorite places is under the coffee table. and she's much more content sitting on the floor and occasionally wandering off than being confined in her pack-and-play.
  • because she can stand in her crib using the railing, we had to lower her mattress so she wouldn't topple out. putting her down for her naps when she doesn't want to is more difficult now since she sits right up and oftentimes tries to stand up.
  • besides spitting up (which i still blame on the soy formula), she's also gotten gassy and a bit constipated since she's started taking the bottle daily. i gave her some prunes the other day and she had a bowel movement right away -- ahh, the miracles of prunes!
  • i am noticing more and more that she tries to imitate us. besides vocalization, i can tell she's trying to move her body in certain ways to copy us. for example, during swimming, i spend a good deal of time blowing bubbles. i exaggerate my breathing and blow large, loud bubbles. after she watches me for awhile, maya will also try to dunk her mouth in the water, but she hasn't yet mastered exhaling underwater.
  • she makes these funny "fffffff" sounds as she often dribbles drool (on purpose).


our lives will never be the same again

it's official -- maya's crawling. she went through the combat crawl and the bum scoot phases already, which didn't get her very far. but now she's doing what i think of as the skateboarder crawl: she gets up on her hands and one knee while pushing around with the opposite foot. she doesn't go all over the place just yet, but she's able to get at least 10 feet away, and into things she shouldn't be getting into. it's only been a few days since she's become mobile, but already i'm not sure what to do with her when i need to go to the bathroom, clean the kitchen, leave the room, tend to ian, etc. i can imagine there will be a lot of chasing her around going on ...


happy wedding anniversary!

rupert and i had our wedding six years ago on july 8. a lot has happened since then: we've had kids, we bought a home, rupert changed jobs, etc. all the things you'd expect would happen to an average-y couple. and, yet, i don't feel our marriage is average-y. sure, we have rough days and forgettable blah days, and the really great days are rare (and, therefore, all the more magical). but through it all our bond has grown stronger. we continue to grow and learn about ourselves and each other. we embrace change (however minute and mundane the changes are in our lives) and go with the flow.

while child-rearing takes up a lot of our time and energy, i so treasure my marriage and partnership with rupert. i give him a hard time almost every minute that he's awake, but i do it because i love him. if i didn't care so deeply for him, if i didn't feel so free and open with him, i wouldn't even bother paying him any attention. i know that, out of necessity and responsibility, our marriage sometimes takes second fiddle to raising the kids. but i truly believe that in order to raise emotionally healthy children they need to see how much their parents love and respect each other. although we can't afford to go out on weekly dates for "us time," and we take our kids almost everywhere we go, i think they see each and every day the kind of reliable, sturdy, constant love we have for one another; that, no matter what, our love for each other is just as strong as our love for them. and, just as importantly, how much fun we continue to have after 12 years together.

that said, we forgot that it was our anniversary and didn't plan anything for just the two of us since we went to the belle and sebastian show a couple of days ago. instead, we had a mini-reunion of sorts with a couple of rupert's grad school friends at our house. my mom marinated some yummy asian-style ribs, which rupert grilled, and we hung out in our yard all afternoon. it was the best way to spend a weekend afternoon in the summer.

after our friends left we took a walk to the park to play some ball and enjoy the cool evening. i can't deny that it would've been nice to enjoy a romantic evening alone with my husband, but being together with the kids yesterday was one of those rare, magical moments that make me forget every other blah day.

and we ended the evening watching "50 first dates," a cute, silly romantic comedy that seemed like just the thing to watch on our wedding anniversary.


it fell out!

as i reported last week, ian had his first loose tooth. despite the new sensation bothering him immensely the first night, he's been enjoying wiggling it and showing it off for the last week.

the funniest thing happened on monday: we were having a bbq at my parents' house and they had corn on the cob. ian wanted some, but because the loose tooth was in the front we weren't sure he could eat it off the cob. so my sister suggested we cut it off and reached for a steak knife. ian started frantically saying, "no! no! don't cut it off!!" everyone looked at him like "why not?" i, of course, being his mother, understood right away that he was afraid we were going to cut his tooth out of his mouth so he could eat the corn! i reassured him we were talking about cutting the corn, and not his tooth, and we all had a good laugh (sort of at the expense of ian's fear).

anyway, the tooth fell out last night while my mother-in-law was babysitting. ian said he was gently wiggling it and it came right out. lucky him, the tooth fairy left a dollar for that tiny, first tooth.

date night

rupert planned a concert-outing for my birthday and our wedding anniversary ... without the kids. it was our first date in close to 9 months. we needed it!

we saw belle and sebastian at the hollywood bowl play with the los angeles philharmonic. it was an awesome show!

the shins were the opening act, and it was fun to catch up with friends while listening to live music in the background. we went with two other couples, our dear friends D+P and R+A. i love spending time with all four of them and i totally talked their ear off between the sets (because, you know, i don't get a lot of adult interaction lately!). [R+A were kind enough to pay for my ticket, and D+P paid for dinner and got me "the princess bride" dvd; can't wait to watch that with ian. :) thanks guys!]

then the sun set, a cool summer breeze picked up and belle and sebastian came on. i only know some of their songs, so i'm not like a huge fan or anything. but it was truly a fun, dynamic show. the lead singer, stuart murdoch, chatted up the audience between songs and his antics made the huge venue seem much more intimate (it's the largest natural outdoor amphitheater in the country). there was audience participation, stuart came out into the stands and the catwalk set up behind the super-deluxe box seats, and towards the end many fans jumped on to the stage to dance (and get chased by security).

i could've totally enjoyed the show just for that, but with the orchestra backing the band up it added another dimension to the music. at certain parts of the songs you could hear the extra depth the orchestral instruments added; it was both subtle and sweeping. at times i would just stare up into the night sky, lean on rupert and just take in the music. it was one of the best concerts i've been to -- relaxed, fun, great music and company, and not hot!

i hope rupert and i can get away sometimes to enjoy an evening with friends or alone. as much as i love the kids, i love my rupert! thanks for a wonderful evening, sweetie!

(and, of course, wouldn't you know, ian's tooth fell out while we were gone.)

week 35.

maya @ 35 weeks :: july 7, 2006
  • her 7th tooth is coming in on the bottom.
  • started swimming lessons and seems to enjoy it. although she doesn't particularly like to dunk her face under the water, she'll do it. and her little legs kick in the water and she likes to splash her hands. she's also developed a taste for pool water!
  • talking a lot more now, using various sounds.
  • likes to touch the sand at the beach with her fingers and toes.
  • slept through the night for the first time on my birthday (wednesday)! what a great birthday present. it only lasted two nights.
  • because she's been taking the bottle, we were able to leave her with the grandparents while rupert and i went out on our first date in over 8 months.
  • upgraded to size 3 diapers.
  • she says "mama" when she wants me ... okay, not all the time, but sometimes.


what says "summer" more than ...


ian and maya are taking swimming lessons at the community pool. this is ian's second year taking lessons, but he's still in the level I class. it's not that he doesn't enjoy being in the water; it's more about the sensation of water on his face. he hates it, he fears it, he worries about it. he's one of the only kids in the pool who doesn't throw himself into the water, who shies away from the splashing, and is super careful about how much water gets on his face when he blows bubbles or tries to get something from the bottom of the pool.

but he's getting better. and i think that's what's important: to allow him to get over his fear on his own, at his own pace. i already see that his comfort level in the water is much higher than last summer. and unlike last year he's not counting down the days until the end of lessons!

now, maya, on the other hand, seems to be acclimating to the water without any problems. since rupert was around for the holiday weekend he got into the water with her for the first two lessons. although she didn't like it at first, she's been okay with being dunked under the water too. she likes to splash the water with her hands and taste the pool water. it's so cute to watch her little legs kick in the water, or her body stiffen when she's on her back. i love seeing her in this new environment and how she's exploring it.

happy fourth of july!

happy birthday, america! fourth of july is a fun holiday, isn't it? the barbeques, the beach, the fireworks ... not only is it super festive, but it makes me happy because it's like a pre-birthday bash for me (my birthday is the 5th). lately i can always count on having friends and/or family around for my birthday because we're always together for the fourth of july.

my birthday has always been my favorite holiday (even though it's not a real holiday!) and i try to stretch out the festivities as much as possible. today we went to the beach for the fourth and had dinner with rupert's parents. my mother-in-law baked an adorable july fourth/summer/birthday cake shaped like a sand castle.

and then it was back to our house for hanabi (fireworks). sparklers are my favorite because they bring back memories of my childhood summers in japan. ian also likes sparklers and between the two of us we must've lit at least 25 of them! (notice the three sparklers? one for each decade i've lived so far!)


let me clarify that

when ian gets upset about something he often goes into his room for some alone time. we've never had to give him timeout because he always gives himself timeout! lately he's added making signs for his door to his routine of self isolation.

anyway, for some reason something made him upset this morning and he made the above sign for his door. when he came to show me and rupert we took the opportunity to warn him: well, if we can't go into your room you'll just have to put your clean laundry away, turn on your nightlight and open your drapes [both of which are up high so he can't reach], get your toys by yourself, and tuck yourself into bed at night.

after a moment of thought, off he went and came back with some changes ...

lucky us, we're now allowed to go in at night to do his bidding! and why does he always draw me larger than rupert?!


first loose tooth

last night ian bit his fork and looked at us with an almost horrified look. he complained that his tooth felt weird and when we looked at it it was wiggling. his first loose tooth! it was already quite wiggly, so i don't know if it had been slightly loose and the impact of the fork loosened it more, or if (god forbid) biting down on the fork jostled it loose. in any case, ian spent the rest of dinner moving food around in his mouth, avoiding his loose tooth.

he had a perpetually furrowed brow for the rest of the evening. instead of being excited about his loose tooth, he seemed really concerned. he didn't like the way it felt -- understandable -- and he was either gingerly touching it or leaving his mouth half open. he was even afraid to brush his teeth.

honestly, i got teary-eyed. another milestone that drills into me the reality of my baby growing up.

and ian doesn't seem to be so worried anymore ... he spent today showing off his loose tooth!