we're so supportive of each other

you can say that i'm a bad mother, but sometimes i honestly think, "if maya weren't around i could get so much more done." i was thinking this the other day when i was trying to get an order filled and maya kept distracting me. then i realized, i never would've started making my tagE*blankEs if i didn't make one for maya in the first place, and i never would've met my friend K who orders tons of my stuff because i met her at rie class, which i take maya to. so without maya's existence i wouldn't be so busy.

and then you know what rupert said? "that's the kind of positive thinking i don't appreciate around here."


family week

blogging consistency hasn't been my strong suit as of late. but i have an excuse :: i was actually enjoying life!

busy week :: 06.17.07~06.24.07

a busy week for our family, what with father's day, ian's last day of first grade, a graduation, and family visiting.

i wasn't a particularly doting wife on father's day. poor rupert. he took the kids to the park in the morning (i think i might've been taking a nap), went to the beach with ian in the afternoon, and spent the evening with his family. meanwhile, i was in a totally bitchy mood so i wasn't my usual super-sweet self (ha! i make me laugh!).

thursday was a busy day for us because it was ian's last day of first grade. it was also his last day at this particular campus. they're tearing down the school over the summer to rebuild it ('cause it's close to 60 years old). construction will take at least a year, which means ian will never get to attend the new school because it's only a K-2 school. but maya will enjoy the new campus in a few years.

after school we went to chuck e cheese (not my choice, of course) with ian's best friend and his mom. thankfully it wasn't too crowded and maya was on her best behavior. regardless of the "good" experience, i refuse to go back there.

that evening was rupert's sister's high school graduation ... at the same school we graduated from 13 years ago. can you believe that?! 13 years ago! not to sound jaded or anything, but listening to the graduates' speeches made me feel old because they sounded so naive and untarnished. i'm sure they are very accomplished students but they are still so inexperienced. but inexperience can also be interpreted as "potential," and i hope that my young sister-in-law takes advantage of the many opportunities awaiting her as a college student. congrats, L!

we also got to spend the weekend with rupert's younger brother, who visited with his girlfriend. they currently live in the midwest and we only get to see them once or twice a year. because he is the kids' only uncle i really want them to spend quality time with him. and it was a bonus that his girlfriend came along because she is so good with the kids. i just wish we got to see them more often.


surviving the worst week ever

maya's worst week ever

maya -- and consequently the rest of us -- had a really rough week. she started off the week with a fever in the evenings. which led to fussy clinginess. then her constipation made everything 1000% times worse. and boy was she mad about it!

the above pictures are of her on the worst day but she was basically screaming for about 75% of the week (or so it seemed). i got to that point where i was about to tear my hair out because of the constant, inexplicable, hysterical crying fits. i almost started laughing at the absurdity and insanity of dealing with the devil baby all day long.

thankfully, saturday brought lots of unchi (poop) and she seemed to get better. now she's back to her usual tantrums and hissy fits.


in case you were wondering ...

most of you may know that my husband's actual name is not rupert. i started calling him that on my blog after he returned from a conference last year where the professor kept calling him that. my husband doesn't look like a rupert to me (or to most people) so i found it to be hi-lar-i-ous that i was married to a rupert. at the time, i thought the professor meant a human rupert, but it turns out i was wrong ...

rupert's co-worker attended the same conference this year and came back with this story (as told by rupert in an email to me) ::

A [his co-worker] was at the Northwestern workshop that I went to last year and inquired about why Prof. Cook called me Rupert. Apparently when he said I looked like Rupert he was refering to this Rupert:


I don't find that to be a complement.

[because i'm a mean wife who likes to (further) humiliate her husband, i didn't bother fixing his spelling errors ...]

this story, of course, made me laugh even harder. i've actually watched a bit of the animated, early-'90s rupert show and i just don't see the resemblence.


happy birthday R!

richie's birthday mosaic
1. self-portrait + observatory, 2. my sign, 3. the observatory opens up, 4. she's running on air, 5. not worth the price of admission ..., 6. ian + hollywood sign (waaaaay in the back), 7. group shot, 8. the orbits of the planets, 9. the birthday boy + oregon friends

saturday was my friend R's birthday. to celebrate we went to griffith observatory. i hadn't been to the observatory since high school so it was pretty neat to go back, even though it was during the day and we didn't see stars. but it was a gorgeous day so we spent a good deal of time outdoors. it was an ideal way to spend a spring day in los angeles.

our friends B+S were in town after finishing the aids/life cycle so they joined us for dinner at lares. B+S's arrival was supposed to be a surprise but A (R's wife) managed to spill the beans. tsk, tsk A! ;) it was nice of them to join us, especially since they were exhausted after a week of helping out as crew members for the ride.

maya was super cranky at dinner so that part wasn't particularly enjoyable but i'm so glad we were able to spend some quality time with R+A. they're moving away to atlanta in august and we are going to miss them so much. but it's a good excuse to visit atlanta for some de-lish southern grub!


even funnier than U6 soccer

we signed ian up for basketball at the local county park. rupert took him to practice on thursday and came home excited. he wanted to be out there on the court with the kids. as for ian, my impression was that he wanted to play but baseball is his first love.

at least he actually dribbles

bright and early this morning we headed out for ian's first game. the kids aren't on separate teams; they're all on the lakers. before warm-ups begin the coaches just have them flip their jerseys so there are yellow lakers and white lakers. ian played in a couple of quarters and did really well. during the first quarter i think he made the majority of baskets for his team.

take it down the court, ian!

and while i can commend ian on his basketball playing skills -- he's running hard, being aggressive with defense, passing to his teammates, and making good shots -- some of the other kids are hilarious! i couldn't stop laughing for most of the first quarter. the kids are just running with the ball (dribbling is clearly an aquired skill), some of them need reminders about which way to run, etc. of course, there are some very skilled players even at this young age, so it's exciting to watch too.

i just need to figure out how not to take crappy sports pictures before the end of the season ...


i actually finished it

cover of _eat your age in meat party_ mini-album

didn't think i would finish a mini-album in such a short time (relatively speaking). it only took me a few hours to complete ... although i've had the pictures developed and waiting since the end of february.

this mini-album is based on one taught by shimelle laine at fiskars tv (march 15, 2007 episode). the size is 4x12 and it's held together with a 1-inch binder ring (i love these things!). i also used the mcgill mini file tab punch.

inside of _eat your age in meat party_ mini-album

the patterned paper is from a huge stack of my mind's eye paper i found at costco. i can't remember which line it's from though. i used various stickers from k&co, ek success, (old) making memories, american crafts and my dymo label maker. i also used the sans serif letter stamps from marth stewart's new craft line. the cover has chipboard letters by heidi swapp and rub-on letters from american crafts. and, of course, the bottom edges are cut with fiskars decorative edged scalloped and pinking scissors.

inside of _eat your age in meat party_ mini-album
the album is about rupert's 31st birthday party, dubbed :: eat your age in meat party. there are only eight pages in it 'cause i didn't want to overwhelm myself with my first attempt at a mini-album. i totally loved the process and i can see why so many people are into mini-books these days. i can definitely see myself making more of these, especially for vacation/trip pictures and events with lots of photos. my next task will be making a mini-album of my sister's graduation pictures and our photos from hawaii.
the bonus with this album is that i actually got rupert to journal in it too. i made it for him, and it's about him, so i figured he better put in his two cents' worth as well. that's his handwriting on the left. it's nice to be able to share your crazy hobby with your spouse. :)


19 months.

maya @ 19 months :: june 4, 2007
  • first trip to hawaii to attend her nene's graduation. the dimetapp we gave her on the plane did nothing; she was wide awake and crawling all over us for five and a half hours. she did, of course, fall asleep the exact moment the plane touched down.
  • snoopy is her favorite stuffed animal right now (this past week). for some reason i love that she hugs her snoopy so tightly. maybe because i had a favorite snoopy growing up?
  • says "cheese" when you point the camera at her.
  • "eeeeeeeeee!" is what she calls ian. she often worries about him and looks for him or peers over at him saying, "ee?" she's always looking for his smiling face when she wakes up and she is absolutely delighted when we pick him from school. and he looks after her so well; the other day at the park when maya started running off ian was the only one chasing after her. they are beginning to be real pals.
  • when we read spots visits his grandparents all she wants to do is point out the dogs :: "wan wan wan wan wan wan wan wan wan wan"
  • seems to be more attached to me, especially after our trip to oahu.
  • she needs less and less sleep, especially after our trip to oahu. [as much as we loved our trip, it totally screwed her up, which we don't love.] during the five days we were away she didn't take a single nap longer than 15 minutes, if she napped at all. she brought this "habit" home with her and has not been napping or sleeping as well (or as long) as she used to.
  • wants to eat everything ian eats. if he wants to eat a snack she can't have i send him to his room to eat by himself.
  • calls books, "book-uh."
  • totally ready to go to kindergarten :: after dropping ian off at school we hang out with my mom friend who has to wait another few minutes to drop off her kindergartener. during that time maya chases the big kids around and tries to line up with them in front of their classroom.
  • if you're a dog owner she will love you. but she will glare and point at you accusingly if you dare show up without your dog. her love of dogs extends to every aspect of her life. she loved the dog segments on creature comforts but freaked out when other animals appeared. most small, furry four-legged animals (except cats) in her books are dogs to her.
  • she doesn't like cheese and yogurt as much as she used to. but she's becoming a cereal lover just like her dad.
  • favorite saying :: uh-oh!
  • will "bing bong" any exposed part of your belly.
  • i don't know how she does it because she's a very short person, but if the big tray is not on her high chair she can actually climb into the seat herself.
  • she is getting better and better at playing by herself, especially in the morning when i have lots of work to do.
  • her (spoken) vocabulary is definitely limited compared to monolingual kids her age. but she understands everything we say to her in english and japanese. unfortunately, she hears more english than japanese, so i'm considering enrolling her in a japanese preschool at least part-time to compensate for the difference.
  • she's like a tornado going through our house, leaving a trail of destruction behind her.
  • is it bad that she brings me the remote when she wants to watch tv?
  • she is perfecting her furrowed brow/disgruntled look she inherited from rupert.
  • she likes to pour liquids from one cup to another ... usually her milk from a sippy cup into a toy cup (and all over the floor while she's at it).
  • when she can't sleep she finds comfort in cuddling with hard objects like boardbooks and her sippy cup.
  • when she sees dinner being served she says "num/yum!" and races toward the dining table.

another dangerous hobby to get into?

many of the crafters whose blogs i read are great thrifters (i.e., people who shop at thrift stores and flea markets) and they post their beautiful finds. much of it is vintage fabrics (linens, clothes, etc.), kitchenware, toys and books. i've always admired how they're able to find such cool stuff at great prices.

vintage tablecloth

well, yesterday, i did a good job on my first purchase of vintage linens. i was at the manhattan beach farmers market picking up some tomatoes when i spotted a booth with fabrics hanging on all sides. i peeked in, saw a "20%-50% off" table and had to stop. the lady there, edythe, informed me that everything was vintage. i don't know a thing about vintage linens, so i went with my gut and found two things i had to get :: a pat prichard hankie and a tablecloth from the '50s. edythe said i was getting a good deal but i'll just have to take her word for it. regardless of price, i really like what i found and i'm having a hard time deciding whether to actually use the tablecloth on our dining table. messy family + vintage fabric = not a good idea.


the few thrift stores i've been to lately (salvation army) haven't had any fabrics, much less cool vintage ones. i gave up on the idea that i would find (cheap) unique and kitchy linens for our house, but now that i've made my first purchase i may redouble my efforts in this area.


jolly good show

brilliant ... that's what it is :: creature comforts.

the tofu of typeface

i'm what many people call a font whore. i'm constantly looking at different kinds of type, drooling over fonts i could buy if i had the money, trying to identify typefaces in various ads, wishing i could take a type design class, and scouring the internet for free downloads. i would die -- absolutely die -- if something happened to my computer and i lost all of my fonts.

anyway, my friend R knows this and referred me to this cool slide show about the ubiquitous helvetica font. there's even a moma exhibit about it, which i'm tempted to go to during our trip to nyc ... if i can convince rupert it would be exciting to go!

keeping busy

still trying to finish up those orders i've been working on since a month ago. i sort of feel like i can see the light at the end of the tunnel but i'm probably just being a bit delusional from the lack of sleep.

i'm currently working on some red egg + ginger party invitations for my friend K's daughter (who is adorable, by the way). we're invited to the party too, but i hope they didn't feel obligated to invite us because i made the invitations! this will be my first red egg + ginger party so i'm pretty excited about attending. (you can see a sample of the completed invitation here.)

75 down, 75 more to go

tools of the trade

and i probably shouldn't be doing this, but i decided to work on rupert's birthday party mini-album during my little breaks. it's based on this project by shimelle laine (you can watch the video at fiskars tv :: epsiode 44, march 15, 2007). i'll post pictures of it once i'm done.


how to mess with your kid's mind :: lesson 1

step 1 :: buy him this book.
step 2 :: take him here.
step 3 :: talk a little too honestly about this.
step 4 :: define this word.
step 5 :: watch this show in front of him.

[sorry you have to follow so many links.]

as most of you know, ian is a very sensitive boy. he can be incredibly introspective and he thinks too much (he gets that from me). and that thinking often leads to bad stuff. lately, he's been talking about the holocaust a lot and asking tons of questions. it's also sparked more fear in him, and in his weak moments (i.e., when he's tired) the tears come pouring out.

it's really hard for me to know where to draw the line with disseminating information. and i know i've messed up (yet again) with this. i have always believed that if my child asks me something i will answer him as honestly as i can, especially if it's an important topic. my motto :: knowledge is power. but the holocaust is such a difficult, cruel, and important topic; you can't deal with it carelessly. how much is too much information, especially for a 6-year old? i didn't do enough research beforehand to prepare myself to deal with the sensitivity of the subject and the pupil.

ian's intellectually curious, so i can't answer his questions vaguely. at the same time i know i can't tell him everything about the inhumanity and insanity of the holocaust. it's even too much for an adult to take. what he learned at the museum of tolerance, what he's read in his children's encyclopedia, and what he's learned from us has been enough to make him worry about another holocaust in his lifetime. he came home early from a sleepover at my parents' house with a stomachache because he was scared that he would be taken away to a camp someday. it took a lot of coaxing and gentle discussion about how we learn from history, and how his dad and i are going to do everything we can to protect him. it brought tears to my eyes to think that i brought this fear to my child's life.

i can't erase what's already been implanted in his brain. i think all i can do now is educate myself on how to appropriately teach my kids about sensitive issues, and make this a true teachable moment about human rights. what can we do to prevent another holocaust from ever happening? what can we do to make our planet a better place? what can we do to prepare ian's generation to work towards peace? what can we do to instill compassion in all of mankind? it is a ginormous task, one i'm not sure i'm prepared for. but to make ian's life (and maya's) a better one, i know it's something i have to do.

coming soon :: lesson 2 :: how to unmess your kid's mind. i think i'll talk about this to help ian understand that not everyone has learned from history, but we can do something about it. maybe if we get involved it will help him feel like he has power to make positive changes, to have control over the future. i truly hope so.


after all these years ...

i've been friends with J since high school. but we knew each other when we were younger :: we were kindergarten classmates until i moved away. to think that we've been celebrating each other's birthdays for close to half our lives blows me away. have we really been friends for over 15 years? are we really that old??

two cakes for the birthday girl

yesterday we celebrated J's 31st birthday at the park i played at as a kid. it's weird to now bring my own children to this park and celebrate with friends who i've known for so long. in some ways it makes me feel old but at the same time it takes me back to my younger years.

happy birthday, J! i'm so glad we get to celebrate the happy times (and boo the not-so-happy times) together! BFF ;)


the age of innocence

as i was driving to the airport post office last night (which, by the way, is the place to be on a friday night) i passed by the strip club near lax. it reminded me of the last time i drove by, on our way home from hawaii. ian says, "look, that store is a 'nude and alcohol shop'. i wonder what that means." the sign in front of the club actually says "nude and xxx shop" but ian thought the triple-x meant alcohol, the way old time cartoons mark jugs of beer/moonshine. i couldn't help but laugh and give ian some lame reason for the name. and it got me thinking that he's getting to that age when he'll start asking me what's up with the nude shop and why people talk about having sex. oy, yet another hurdle in parenthood. for now, i'll relish the fact that he's more concerned with the "alcohol" portion of the sign rather than the "nude" part.

[btw, some of you la people may be familiar with this strip club -- not because you've gone to it ... or maybe you have -- but because it's the place where they were missing letters from their billboard for awhile and in big orange and yellow letters it said "nud nudes." that always made me crack up. why, i don't know. but i was bummed when they got new letters.]


did you watch it?

the scripps national spelling bee, of course. how could you not?! ian and i watched it until the end, and while i'm not surprised the homeschooled genius boy won, i was hoping nate gartke, the canadian boy, would outspell them all.

i was so pleased to see ian trying to spell each of the words, and even though he's not particularly interested in competing in a spelling bee, at least he wanted to watch the whole show. it was a great way for me to show him how helpful language lessons are in figuring out the spelling of words. many of the words were french in etymology, which made it easier for ian to understand how those words were spelled. i don't think i'll forget the spelling of fauchard for a long time to come. (or the meaning of vituline.)