merry chanumas!

[knott's berry farm :: december 16, 2006]
happy holidays to my friends and family!
the month since thanksgiving just flew by and before i could get my lazy butt off the couch it's now the last day of chanukah and we're four days away from christmas. where indeed did the days go? our holiday card will be going out in the mail this afternoon -- god willing -- but no end-of-the-year-recap-letter will be included. that's what this blog post is for.
looking back on 2006, single days seemed uneventful and slow. but the year as a whole passed more quickly than any year in recent memory. i blame it on chasing after two kids, hitting 30, and poor time management. i have many a new year's resolution to prevent 2007 from being a repeat of '06 ... but we all know what happens with new year's resolutions.
i am happy to report that ian is doing quite well in first grade despite some initial emotional adjustments that had to be made (tweaking still in progress). he reads like a maniac (chapter books and non-fiction reference books), obsessed over geography the first half of the year, and is now quite enamored with lego star wars. he continues to make dad proud with his espn-watching, sports stats reciting, and ball playing. he had a great soccer season and i'm sure he'll enjoy his second year of t-ball in the spring.
maya continues to terrorize us daily with her tantrums, demands, and mood swings. however, being with her 24 hours a day has desensitized me and i've gotten used to it; most days she seems fine to me. not quite so with rupert. being the smart, manipulative type, maya quickly figured out that daddy has "sucker" tattooed across his forehead and she can get him to do almost anything. poor rupert is exhausted and a slave to maya's whims while mama is off in her own world ignoring her children and husband. so far maya has only taken a few steps; she doesn't seem ready or willing to walk yet. i'm in no hurry to have to chase her around so i don't care about her progress in that front. the one thing i'm making an effort with is speaking japanese to her. as a result, she doesn't talk as much as other babies (it takes longer for babies to process two languages in their head before actually speaking), but she clearly understands what we say in both languages. and a positive side effect has been that ian is showing more interest in japanese.
rupert, when he's not being the devoted father that he is, goes to work diligently everyday. he works longer hours than he did at ucla and we all wish he would come home earlier. i secretly think he goes to work earlier and stays longer so he doesn't have to deal with us! i would like to tell you what he does as a career, but i'm not quite sure. his title is educational research analyst for los angeles unified school district, but beyond that you'll have to ask him directly for more details. while he seems to be content (for the most part) at work, he applied to the phd program at ucla's school of education for next fall; we'll find out in the spring if he'll be a student again. at night, after the kids have gone to bed, rupert watches an inordinate amount of television thanks to the cable his mom signed us up for as part of his birthday present this year. other than that he constantly (and unsuccessfully) battles the weeds in our yard, refereed some games for ian's soccer team, escaped for five days in the spring to a conference/training at northwestern university, and deals with the biggest pains in the butt (me and maya) on a daily basis. for that i am grateful.
as for me, i'm at home with the kids. i don't seem to accomplish much on a daily basis but i'm as content as i'm gonna be. after all, i get to watch every minute of my kids growing up and changing. to this day i can't believe they are my children, my flesh and blood, that they came out of my body. it continues to be surreal. when i'm not being a "good enough" mother and wife i'm usually sitting at the computer checking out the blogosphere, scrapbooking, reading or trying to get some much needed sleep. i've also been a bit more adventurous in the kitchen, trying out new (super simple) recipes so i can expand my culinary repertoire. i've become totally established in my stay-at-home mom capacity that i'm not sure i could ever go back to work. but if rupert is accepted into the phd program i'll have to start working to help pay the mortgage. but what could i do? if you have any ideas, please let me know. (seriously.) right now my interests lean towards books; i've considered getting a retail job at a bookstore, becoming a librarian, or getting my masters in children's literature. sadly, all of these things require a level of commitment and work i'm just not accustomed to.
for awhile there i thought family life was pretty static. turns out i was wrong. while it seems like things never change, families are constantly evolving (albeit at a snail's pace). i hope that 2007 brings some changes that i'm capable of dealing with. there are so many things i am looking forward to: ian's continued development and progress socially and academically, maya walking and talking, rupert fulfilling his professional and academic goals, and my vacation to argentina!
and, of course, i wish for peace, health and happiness to my family and yours. eat, drink & be merry, hug the ones you love, do something a bit daring and crazy, and drop me a line when you get a chance. here's to a fantastic 2007 -- cheers!
in memoriam :: tomiko kawamoto & tadamasa fujita

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