here, there, and everywhere ... in a few short days

last week we headed off to new york/connecticut to attend a friend's wedding. this was rupert's and my first trip back to new york since graduating from college nine years ago (and my first trip back east in as many years). i honestly didn't think i would be away so long from my first real home-away-from-home. new york city is the first place i lived on my own, away from my family. i have memories of and longings for that city (and my youth) that will never leave me. but after settling down back home in los angeles and starting a family it became appallingly clear that i could really never go back to that place as the same person. a decade is a long time. things change. but i managed to find essences of both the person and the city from nine years ago on our trip.

S+D wedding mosaic

our friend's wedding was beautiful, although, admittedly, we missed the ceremony. we ran up to the church just as they were coming out. the 2.5 hour drive to connecticut took twice as long because of an accident and we just barely made it to the reception. my college friend (who lives in nyc) graciously came up with us to babysit the kids while rupert and i were at the reception. he and i were able to enjoy some grown-up time with friends we hardly ever get to see. and it was really worth the trip (and, frankly, the hassle) to see our friend D looking so incredibly happy and enamored with his bride.
manhattan mosaic 1
the day after the wedding we headed back to the city and an afternoon at coney island at the insistence of our friend B. there was a concert going on so it was extra-packed and loud and really not very stroller-friendly, but i guess it's something you should experience if you're in new york. i rode the cyclone, which is more thrilling than you would expect from a rickety old wooden coaster. i screamed and laughed and it was totally worth the six bucks. rupert, maya and ian ate a nathan's famous hot dog, but you'll have to ask them how it tasted because i didn't eat any of it.
the next day was a super-gorgeous summer day with low humidity. it was, literally, a perfect day for going to central park, which is what we did after a dim sum brunch in chinatown with my best friend from barnard (the aforementioned friend who came to CT with us). we were joined by friends B+L and their lovely, talkative daughter juju at the park. the kids had a blast at the heckscher playground water feature, as did i. i love that so many of the city's parks have some kind of water feature; what a welcome reprieve from the heat. after saying good-bye to our friends we hopped on the train again and got off at rockefeller center to walk down fifth ave for a bit, with a pit stop in front of the public library, before getting on the D train at bryant park to go back to brooklyn, where we were staying.
for some reason the next day was raining. we went ahead with our plans to go to the american museum of natural history, but everyone else seemed to have the same plan and it took forever to get inside. what a fantastic natural history museum, though! i hate to say it, but the la one is pretty darn dinky in comparison. maya threw a tantrum (surprise! surprise!) as we were going through the mythic creatures exhibit, so i had to zip through it, which was a bummer since that's what i really wanted to see. regardless of maya's mood and the rain and the crowds, it was a scientifically magical (or magically scientific?) place to be for a few hours.
despite the rain we walked a few blocks to hop on the 1/9 train uptown to visit my old haunting grounds :: morningside heights where columbia and barnard are. rupert has fond memories of the fried crab wontons at ollie's so that's where we had dinner. it was almost surreal to be sitting in the same restaurant (albeit cleaner and more modern) we frequented as youngsters, but now with our own youngsters, ordering the same food. i was bummed about the rain because that meant we couldn't stop long enough to take pictures of the places i took for granted 13 years ago but are now slowly fading from my memory.
because maya couldn't possibly be a happy camper for over an hour on the subway, we made another pit stop en route to brooklyn, this time in times square. i really did not want to stop here because it's pretty darn cheesy and always crowded with tourists, but i gotta say, there's something about times square in the rain that gives it a very cool ambience. rupert took some great shots of the neon and puddles and fog. and guess where we got back on the train? bryant park, of course!
sadly, that was our last day in new york. we headed back home on tuesday morning, which was another beautiful day. the only excitement was maya breaking stuff at the gift shop in the airport. it took a full week for me to recover from this trip, probably because, like my trips to japan, i always dredge up memories and my heart strings are tugged. memories, wishful thinking, some regret, and lots of planning for the next time we travel.
some observations :: no more tokens but the subway smell is the same. is it possible the city is cleaner (or are my expectations lower)? lots of harry potter reading going on. were there always so many chinese people? hee hee!


a girl's gotta get her priorities straight

i know i've been mia again ... lots going on here with work and travel. but first, i have to finish deathly hallows. nothing is more important. be back soon ...


a little scrapping

i've managed to find some time here and there to scrapbook. i completed the following layouts (click on the image for details about materials) and i'm in the process of completing a few more, which i hope i can share soon. (sorry about the crappy scans.)

do babies get brain freeze?
journaling :: maya inhaled her first taste of jamba juice ... it was hard to get her to stop! you have to share, maya!

hinamatsuri 07
journaling :: did you know the longer it takes to put away the hinaningyou the longer it'll take the girl to get married? at least, that's what they say. but if that's true maya may never get married 'cause we never got around to putting away the dolls last year! thankfully, mom put them back in the garage right away this year!


amazing fruit

did you know i love stone fruits? well, i do. and i really lucked out yesterday because my parents brought back some amazing peaches, nectarines, and plums from my dad's friend's orchard up in central cali.

unbelieveably yummy!

if you picked them up you'd initially think they weren't ripe. but they're bred to be firm even when ripe to prevent damage to the flesh during transport. when you bite into the fruit there's almost a crunch and then a wonderful sweetness that's not overpowering. i like my fruit to be firm so this is perfect for me; no juice dribbling down my hand, no mush in my mouth, just sweetness bite after bite.

i've gotta make some peach ice cream before they go bad. as for the nectarines, i think i'll eat them as is, just like an apple. that's summer eating bliss in my book.


lucky number seven ... lucky me

lucky number 7

best friends. partners. cuddle buddies. me + rupert.

we've been together for a long time and married for more than half that time. i almost can't remember a time without him in my life ... all the things worth remembering happened after we got together.

i'm lucky that he understands me almost better than i understand myself. otherwise we wouldn't have lasted this long. we always joke that the number one reason we're still together is because we're too lazy to find someone else. but the real number one reason we're still together is because we genuinely love, care for, and respect each other. (right, rupert? right?!)

in the grand scheme of things seven years isn't that long. i anticipate we'll stick together for at least another 40 years despite all of the ups and downs that are sure to come our way. we've weathered enough to know how to make this relationship of ours last :: i'm the boss and he does what i say! ;)

love ya, sweetie! happy anniversary!


another year older ...

happy birthday to me!

happy birthday to me! i'm 31 but i don't feel any different than i did a year ago or even five years ago ... i'm still the same tired, cranky, lazy person i was then!

my birthday is my favorite day of the year :: it's all about me, baby! (although i'm sure some people are wondering, "are there any days she doesn't act like it's all about her?!") although i would've liked to have slept in, rupert didn't get up when maya did so i spent some time feeding the kids and watching tv with them. after rupert woke up we headed to the pool and splashed around for awhile. i got an oreo smoothie poolside (a real luxury for me since they cost $5 each) and i took a nap in the afternoon. while rupert took the kids to the putting green i headed out to the scrapbooking store and bought some new paper to add to my collection. what a joy it is to shop by myself, calmly and unhurriedly. because i could take my time i didn't overspend, which is what i usually end up doing because i'm just throwing stuff into my basket left and right without really contemplating whether i need it.

in the evening rupert and i went out to dinner at johannes in palm springs while my parents watched the kids back at the hotel. we had a delicious, quiet, leisurely meal, followed by a walk through the street fair. when we got back the kids were asleep and i spent some time scrapbooking.

i got to do so much just for myself ... what a great way to start off a new year in my life!


20 months.

patriotic girl

maya @ 20 months :: 07.04.2007
  • i'm trying to teach her to apologize :: "gomennasai" (i'm sorry) and kisses. but she can't actually say "gomennasai" so when she knows she's done something bad she comes at me vigorously nodding her head and trying to give me kisses.
  • at the wading pool in rancho mirage she fell into the water face first a couple of times but both times she managed not to drink the water. i think it makes her angry that she falls down but she doesn't panic (like her brother does) so she doesn't inhale any water.
  • her vocabulary is growing but almost everything she says is still in english. being in the desert for a week definitely made her learn how to use and repeat "hot" a lot! for a couple of months now she's been saying "aw" for strawberries. she will command you to "eat!" or demand that she "eat!" something.
  • ian's name was only one syllable last month; this month she's tacked on the "a" sound = "ia" --> will next month bring on his entire name?
  • she enjoys reading japanese folktales, especially "saru kani gassen".
  • likes to twirl around and make herself dizzy.
  • "tonari no totoro" continues to be her favorite movie. when the opening song starts she 0pens her mouth really wide like the little totoros on the screen. but there are definitely signs that i let her watch too much tv; she asks for, "tee-dee?"
  • she is entering her terrible twos a bit early. she's a screaming, hitting, tantrum-throwing little terror.
  • we're working hard on relieving her constipation. if she's had a bowel movement she can be a very pleasant person, but those days when she hasn't gone in awhile can be horrible.
  • she likes to bite directly into food. she'd rather eat corn off the cob than cut corn, she'd rather chew on a rib than eat chunks of meat, she'd rather bite into a piece of fruit than eat a fruit salad, etc.
  • if you don't put pants on her she'll take her diaper off. while we were in rancho mirage she definitely got used to being undressed.
  • she tries to be helpful by throwing things away (not always trash) and if we ask her to take things to the dining table she will (with some help from her big brother).
  • she has a goofy smile where she scrunches up her nose.
  • she tries to unlock the cabinet with the video games in it. she can't quite get the key into the lock ... at least, not yet!
  • eats weird stuff like japanese fish bone crackers.
  • tells jordan the process of getting cereal in the morning :: bowl, spoon, cereal, milk
  • when we change her diaper she says,"bleh!" and makes a stinky face ... even if it's just shi-shi (pee).


is hell this hot?

rancho mirage vacation mosaic

we're vacationing in rancho mirage (near palm springs) with my folks for the week. dang, it's hot! yesterday was 113 for most of the day; today was cooler at 112. just to give you an idea of the heat, the water in the wading pool goes from pleasant in the morning to lukewarm in the early afternoon to downright warm-as-bathwater in the late-afternoon. and maya came back from a short walk around noon with a clear tan line across her thigh where her shorts end.

i'm encouraging ian + maya to stay indoors between 10am and 2pm but they get a little stir crazy. i'm not particularly fond of the heat (although i'll take the dry heat of the desert over humid heat any day) so i would rather hang out in the air conditioned room and do nothing. the kids don't allow me to do that. boo! thankfully, my in-laws joined us yesterday for a short visit (they just left a couple of hours ago); they are doting grandparents so ian got some much-needed attention on the golf course and maya went on walks with grandma. my parents are also quite accommodating and they've already played quite a few games of yahtzee with ian.

rupert doesn't join us until tomorrow night (we've been here for three days already), just in time for fourth of july and my birthday. can't wait to have a few days of "fun in the sun" with my family. (i wanted to post pics from the last couple of days but i forgot my camera cable.)