Our Wedding Day

Wedding at Beverly Hills Court House
Wedding at Beverly Hills Court House

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Photography by: Love Janet Photography

Luca: 2 years and 5 months

On October 20th, your Papa and Mama finally tied the knot together.
My family (your Basha, cousin Yu, and aunt Shino) came to see us as well. They only stayed less than a week but you had a lot of fun together.

Much Love,
Mama

 

Bye Bye and Thank you Ba-Ba!

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Luca: 26 months old

From Day 1 at his birth, a pacifier or pacifiers were his best friend. The hospital where we had Luca gave us a lot of pacifiers.  He used to suck it all the time and eventually, we made him use it only for his bed time or nap time. But for a long time until now, he couldn’t leave his pacifier alone. If he cries, or hurt himself, he always relied on it. He loved to suck on it so then he felt secure, comfortable, and relax. When he had it in his mouth, he could fall to sleep right away.

I think not only Luca, his papa also relied on it as well because he didn’t want to deal with a cry baby. Once Luca has the pacifier in his mouth, he immediately stops crying.
At one point, we had 8 pacifiers so than anywhere you go, you have one pacifier for sure. When he cried, we could always give it to him “right away”. It was very convenient for us, and for him too. He loved it so much that he started to call it “Baba”. That was one of his first words.

But I started to notice like a month ago, when he smiles, I couldn’t see his front teeth at all. Comparing to other kids around his age, I thought it’s weird not to see his teeth because those front teeth are there but short. When I opened his upper lips, I could see where he sucks the pacifier at because those 2-3 teeth are the only ones shorter than the other ones. So I realized we need to stop using it.

In last mid-July, we planned to go up to Central California, Monterey, and Pacific Grove.
A few days before we left for the trip, I cut the tip of the pacifier by thinking he needs to know it is about to say bye-bye to the pacifier. Luca started to cry and kept saying “Baba broke!, baba broke!”. I still remember how painful it was to hear for me. I felt really bad for him. Maybe I did something wrong. His papa also told me I shouldn’t have done that. However, I told myself to hold it strong just for a few days then he will stop asking me about Baba.

In the Monterey trip, I hide one pacifier in my bag for just in case but I pretended I forgot to bring one. Luca kept asking me about Baba but I told him “Baba said bye bye because you are a big boy now. Baba had another baby to take care of now. His job with you are done and he is very happy with you that you are grown up.” I am not sure he understood that but he eventually stopped asking me or his papa for a baba. While we stayed in Monterey, he did ask us for it for a few times but when we say “remember, you don’t need one anymore” then he stopped asking without crying. I was very proud of him for not crying.

Now it’s been almost 2 months since we stopped using the baba. He does ask for it time to time but he is ok without Baba now.

I’m so glad I cut the tip of the pacifier now. 😀

Much Love,
Mama

 

The first family trip: Monterey

Luca: 26 months old
The latest milestone: Said goodbye to his pacifiers!

On July 14th – 16th, I finally took a day off on Friday and we had the FIRST family trip to Monterey/San Jose/Pacific Grove. The weather was super nice, and the air was crisp. We were worried that it might be too hot but it was not that bad. After 6 hours drive, it was a little foggy already.

I was so excited to take this trip since it was our Anniversary weekend. I don’t know if you want to know, Luca, but we started to date on July 22nd, 2012. We are together for 5 years now! It has been a quite journey to be with your Papa and I am very thankful that I’ve met your Papa. He was the most definitely different person than the usual guys that I met in past. Very funny, very thoughtful, very honest (in good and bad ways), a straight forward person that I don’t ever have to wander around what he thinks in his head. He will tell you what’s going on in his head, no grey zone in the sense. I have so much grey zone in my head that I made him confused so much at the beginning. I think it’s ok to have grey zone but definitely, he trained me to communicate to deliver my thoughts to him.

This trip was to celebrate our togetherness with you and it was such a fun and beautiful trip. And it was so nice to get away from Los Angeles and my work.

And you know what happened at the end of the trip? Your Papa proposed me to marry him! 😀 I understand this is kind of backward (having you first and get married next…) but I am glad we finally can complete the perfect circle!

I was super happy that he asked me to marry him. As you may see in the photo, I cried because I was so happy!

The way he proposed me went like this…

You know I always love to take photos, with you or without you. Because I want to capture the fun or beautiful moment and want to look back anytime I want to.
But Papa is totally opposite. He likes to capture the moment in his head as a memory. So he ALWAYS reminds me to “enjoy the moment”. So he reminded me again at the small beach in Pacific Grove while I was taking some photos. “Mama, take your eyes off from your camera and capture this beautiful scenery in your mind. That is more memorable than looking back to the pictures”. I said to him “I know, I know but I would forget so that’s why I’m taking… (I have such a bad memory… I know it’s sad…)” and looked at Papa on my right side. All of the sudden, I found him bending on his knee on sands and asking me: “Mama, would you marry me?” I was soo panicked because of the sudden event, and my eyes tried to look for you because you were running around right in front of the ocean. My mind was like “what’s going on?”, “where is Luca?”, “wait, I thought he wanted to wait for getting married!” so I forgot to say “Yes”. But Papa didn’t give me a chance to say anything and said “Put it on your finger!” and I said “ok ok! Wow!! So pretty!” hahaha

Then I cried… and called Luca and finally, you came back to us.

We took some photos right after you came back and looked at the ocean without my camera, capture the special moment.

After while we spent some time on the beach, we walked back to our car. Then Papa said “Wait, did you say ‘Yes’ to me yet?”. Oops, I think I forgot because I was panicked! lol So now, finally I said “Yes” to Papa.

This trip became a perfect trip for Papa and Mama. ❤

I am not sure if you would remember this moment so when you read this, you can enjoy with us too.

Much Love,
Your Mama

 

 

Happy 2! Day 3

Luca: 24 months old

Now, it’s Family Time! On May 13th Saturday, your grandma, cousins, uncle, and aunt came over to celebrate your birthday. You received more birthday presents again from them and you were so excited! You got Thomas the Train blocks, Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore stuffed animals and trucks!

Your cousins: Ben, Sam and Joe are about 15 years older than you are but hopefully you will play with them more and they can be your big brothers. 🙂

Much Love,
Your Mama

Happy 2! Day 2

Luca: 24 months old

We finally got to take you out to Los Angeles Zoo! We always talk about a BIIIIIIG giraffe or an elephant or a funny monkey or a scary wolf but you have never seen them before and we didn’t have a chance to take you there so Papa and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to go to the Zoo.

I am not sure how much you understood what was going on or what they were or if they overwhelmed you or made you excited but you seemed like you were mesmerized when you finally saw huge elephants and some tall giraffes.

It was actually my first time to walk around the Zoo as well and it was so much fun! … And hot… 🙂 We didn’t realize the Zoo was a big place to walk around. Mentally, Papa and I weren’t prepared for the big walk, we just focused on the major animals that we think you know and we skipped the other minor animals… Sorry Luca. Let’s go next time and stay longer! (And your Papa’s heart condition wasn’t that good on this week so we had to take it easy…)

I hope you had a fun time!!

Much Love,
Your Mama

Happy 2!! Day 1

Luca: 24 months old!
Words: Mama, Papa, boat, goat, orange, juice, yellow, aka (red), ao (blue), My (always putting his hand on his chest), NO (of course), bus, map, map (for snack), backpack (but sounds like baka… it means stupid in Japanese. I’m not happy about that but I know he is trying to say it so I’m not stopping him or should I?), Mao (his stuffed animal – cat friend), dirt.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Luca! I’m so happy that we came this far (we’d better! lol)! It has been a journey with a lot of laughs, cryings, upsetting and again more laughs.  I’m so lucky that I am your mom and it seems like you are growing big with healthy body and mind.

On Day 1, you woke up and saw a bunch of balloons and the banner that said “Happy Birthday”! And you said “Wow!!”. I was so happy that now you know something special is going on. Yeah it’s YOUR birthday!! You opened the first birthday present which was in the yellow bag and it was from your grandma (my mom)! You were a little shy to open the bag but you were excited to get something! haha And you know what you received? A BACKPACK!! It’s still a little big on you but now you can pack your toys, and snacks and go!! 😀

Now it’s a pancake time with berries! I know you LOVE pancakes! 🙂

After the breakfast, Papa, and I wanted to take you to the LA Zoo for the first time but Papa had to go to his dr. appt so I took you to the beach. You LOVE sands, and beach got a lot of sands everywhere!! So I thought it would be a dream land to play there for you. 🙂

After we played on beach, I thought a bike ride would be fun too. I found a spot where it’s close to the rental place and it’s right next to a restaurant so it was perfect for lunch.
You were so excited and asked me to pedal faster and longer. You said “more! more! more!” It was really fun and it was a good exercise for me. I was sweating! hahaha But… you weren’t a fan of the helmet (you have to wear it though!). After while, you were getting annoyed with the helmet and cried for a bit and asked me to take it off. I couldn’t do that until I return the bicycle. We stayed at the Santa Monica Beach until 2pm (I think). You were so tired because we missed your nap time (usually it’s from 1230pm or 1pm)…

Since your Papa didn’t get to join our party, Papa took you and me to a vegan place for dinner (we are not Vegans but I have recommended to him before because it’s such a yummy place!) which is called Sage in Culver City (I’m sorry there are no photos of food!).

https://www.yelp.com/biz/sage-culver-city-2

I hope you had a great 2nd year birthday! More fun stuffs to follow for your birthday weekend!! It’s not done yet!! 😀

Much Love,
Your Mama

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

Luca: 19months old

Happy Thanksgiving! One of Papa’s friends invited us over to their dinner so we took an hour drive to get there and joined their dinner party. 🙂 His friend’s wife, Rachel cooks such great food so I was very looking forward to it.

Too bad I didn’t take enough photos of food (and Rachel) but they were super yummy.
I wanted to steal learn her recipe and cook them at home! Especially, her sweet potato ball!! I just can’t forget the flavor. It was soooo good.

I was also thankful that she cooked such huge meal. I have tried to cook a turkey before but oh boy, first of all, I didn’t know how to cook Turkey. Second of all, it took forever (4-5 hours) to cook. I love to cook and all but it was tiresome.

But I am glad you got to taste delicious food for the first time! 🙂

Much Love,
Your mama

Happy Birthday Mama! 2016

Your dad took me to a nice restaurant in Beverly Hills for my birthday. It was soo good!

Luca: 18 months old

I finally was able to celebrate my birthday this year. Last year was a little chaos and we couldn’t celebrate so I was super happy to do this with my beloved family. Your papa took me a date at the nice French restaurant in Beverly Hills on the Saturday night, and you guys took me to the restaurant in Venice where I wanted to go for a long time on my actual birthday. Their food was super awesome and that made me so happy. I don’t need to receive any gift. Just taking me to a yummy place, that’s all I need. Haha

And after the lunch, we stopped by a park in Santa Monica and it was such a perfect day to get wet (even though it was in November!). When I see your excited smile, that makes me happy so I was happy that we were able to do that with your papa. 

Thank you you two to make me feel so special and made my day. ❤️


At Gjusta in Venice. This cafe was so good. Bread, carvery, cake anything is so good!! This is Bahn-me btw.

After the lunch we stopped bt a park in Santa Monica. There was nobody there and we monopolized the park!! It was awesome!

You were soaking wet!

Breastfeeding is coming to the end! 😭


Luca: 14 months old

It has been over 14 months that I have been breastfeeding you. Day and night. Starting from every 2 hours since you were born which means even though it was 2 or 3 in the morning when you cried, I breastfed you. I pumped at work twice so then your Papa could feed you during my work hours. And now it dropped down to every 8-9 hours to feed. I still pump at work once at lunch time. Pumping is not easy thing to do especially when my work is busy. But at the same time, I can take a rest in the private Nursing room that my company provides us. I can hide for 30 min and spend a time for reading, watching videos or chit chatting with other moms in the room. It’s relaxing time for mama. 

I always thought breastfeeding was such a special activity to create a bond between mom and her child. And I’m super happy that I was able (still am!) to do for this long. Most of moms either couldn’t do or just quit because it’s not easy thing to do but I made this far! I just love looking at your face when you drink from me with your serious face. And I love the reaction when I say “it’s oppai (breastfeed in Japanese. Literally it means breast though) time!!” You express your joy and give me a big smile with the “milk” sign language (and jump on me)! You give ME a joy by looking at your smile!! Sometimes you bite, chew and pull me with your teeth (and it really hurts!!) and I wish you are able to learn not to do it but I guess you are having fun from my reaction (this is not right!). So when I see that, I stop feeding you. I hope you will learn one day very soon. 

But slowly but surely, my amount of milk is getting low at pumping time. I’m giving a try on the herbal tea which can produce more milk for this week but in terms of pumping, it may be a time to stop. I have a bittersweet feeling about this. I’m happy to quit so then I have more time for myself at lunch time but I’m super sad to quit because this is one of the signs that the breastfeeding session will be over soon. I know I can create more bonding time with you in different ways but I feel so melancholy. But I have to accept the fact that you are growing!! You are not a baby anymore. Time always goes really fast and takes away of fun stuff sometimes like this. But I guess we all need to grow and so are you, Luca! 

I’m very happy that you haven’t gotten any sickness so far. I believe this is because of my breastfeeding. Cheers to that!! 👍🏻😄😄😄👍🏻


Much love,
Your Mama

Happy Father’s Day! 

After playing tennis, we stopped by Souplantation for late lunch. Your Papa wanted to have a kiss from you and you refused!! What a great gift, buddy! lol
Finally, we got to play tennis after a year!!
I feel great even though I lost to your Papa!

Luca: 1 year old and a month
This is your Papa’s 2nd Father’s Day. He has been taking care of you by himself because I have to go to my work full time since July 2015. I know it is not easy job to do by himself but he is doing it! He is a smart and very organized Papa so it didn’t take too long to figure out what works for both of you guys even though he had a dr appointment here and there. 

My Dad and I in Sedona, Arizona in October 2012.

A post shared by Yuko Shiozaki (@yukoliesh) on

Celebrating Father’s Day, I can not forget to show my appreciation to my dad even though he is no longer with us. He was a smart, funny, motivated and talented person. He was a very strict person too. But what I remember about him was how very active, multi talented person he was. He played golf, fishing, soccer, played a guitar, and a base and sing. Until he got sick at the end of his life, he kept playing and singing in his country western band “Drifting Daddies” with his friends that he hang out with since his high school era. He retired from his company when he was 63 (I think…) and since then he lived with his hobbies. He worked hard, he played hard. That was his life style and I admire that so much.

My dad used to tell me I was his avatar. I am doing something he wanted to do when he was younger. To live in foreign country and be independent. But instead he chose his career and his family. When I proposed to join the exchange student program, he (and my mom) was hesitated to let me go but he saw how serious I was about my dream, he let me go. The first plan to stay in US was just a year. And later on I wanted to go back and become makeup artist or hair stylist. The plan was just for a couple years. And now I am still here after 20+ years. My dad used to say “come back now. You spent plenty of time to make your dream come true. Now it’s time to spend with your family. ” I refused him and started to live my own financially after graduating my college. I don’t regret my decision but I regret that I didn’t get to spend enough time with him when I could have. 

I love my dad who inspired and changed my life. Even though we were so far apart between Japand and US, he still supported me as a mentor. I wish he was here and was able to meet you. I’m pretty sure he would give you different spectrum of life. 

Much love,
Your mama