Happy 2! Day 3

Luca: 24 months old

Now, it’s Family Time! On May 13th Saturday, yourย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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… ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ย 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!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Now it’s a pancake time with berries! I know you LOVE pancakes! ๐Ÿ™‚

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.ย appt so I took you to the beach. You LOVE sands, and beach got aย lot of sands everywhere!! So I thought it would be a dream land to play there for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 exerciseย 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 2pmย (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!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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. โค๏ธ


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! ๐Ÿ˜ญ


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!! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป


Much love,
Your Mama

Happy Father’s Day!ย 

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 @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

May and June Baby Birthday part

Where are you going? It ‘s time to take a picture!
Every parents try to put their babies in the area so then we can take a picture or two… but you just don’t care and just smiling at some adults…
Ellis and Luca. Ellis was one of the few babies who already knows how to walk.

Luca: 12 months old and 1 week

Parents I know from mommy and me class at Pump Station Santa Monica invited us for May and June Baby Birthday party at Douglas Park on Memorial Day. I was looking forward to seeing every moms and their babies how they are now. I expected to see those babies are already walking but they were still at crawling stage although every babies are different. I still thought if Luca meets other babies, he would get excited and play with them. 

When I put Luca in the babies’ circle, it was completely different from my expectations. Luca took a glance at babies and just walked away. 1 year old babies don’t really play each other? Or it’s just Luca that he thought it wasn’t his crowd? I am not sure but he didn’t seem to be interested. As you can see at the 1st pic, he didn’t want to be in a circle. Lol Oh well, he got some free spirits, I guess. That’s ok too. 

I was just happy that I got to see other moms and catch up a little. Some of the moms who has a boy goes through same thing as I do: boy throwing a tantrum, being aggressive when he is upset… When I see his anger, I tend to think, is it my fault? Did I or Papa show our anger at some point and he learned from us? The moms think same way as I do and I was glad to share that thought. I wasn’t alone I thought. 

I hope Luca and I can see them more often… 

Happy Birthday Luca! Part 2

Happy Birthday, Luca! I made banana pancake for your birthday! (it is a lot on plate but you and I shared)
As always… you want to grab my phone!
This sunglasses was a part of birthday gifts you received at the party. You don’t like anything on your face or head right now but hopefully you will get used to it.
Papa and I wanted to take you to the aquarium in Long Beach so here we are but we had to put something in our stomach! We were hungry and so were you! lol
With Papa
This is when the servers were singing a happy birthday song for you. You love people and you love to smile at them! That’s my boy! ๐Ÿ˜„ This world needs a lot of smiles and love, not hate!
I love this photo that you are looking up to your Papaโค๏ธ
This is my pork chop. Their stuffed pork chopped is the best!! At At Last Cafe in Long Beach
with loveโค๏ธ

Bread pudding bite! We gave you such a small bite… Sorry but we didn’t want to give you too much sugar…
How was it??
Finally, we are at the aquarium! This is so pretty!
What do you see, Luca?
One of my favorites, jelly fish. So mesmerizing…

Luca: 12 months old

Solid food: almost anything! And cow milk!

I thought it was a long journey to reach this point for both of us, Mama and Papa. However, time goes really fast and the “tough” time that we didn’t know what we were doing at the beginning and thought it was tough seems to be such a long time ago and I almost forgot how tough it was. It was just a few seconds that it lasted. That’s how I feel like now. Because your smile, your hug, everything that you do with me or us is so rewarding and I love what I do for you so it doesn’t matter what it used to be now. 

I am so happy and so lucky to have you as our child. I am thanking God that he sent you to us and you are a gift and “miracle” for us. 

I love you always.
Your Mama

1st birthday party! Part 1

Happy Birthday, big boy! You looooove Thomas and Friends so the party theme is Thomas and Friends! ๐Ÿ˜„
This is my best friends, Luca! Vic, Oyie and Tim!
And Melaina! She and I work together and she is a good friend of mine also! ๐Ÿ˜„
Uhh look at the yummy cake! With Papa!
I wanted to put a birthday hat on you but apparently you didn’t like it… lol
With Mamiko and Ferdi. Ferdi and your birthdays are only 3 days apart!
You were helping me to put the bag away! You are always helpful for me, my love! ๐Ÿ˜˜
Yum yum fruit cake from Angel Maid Bakery!
Your aunt and cousins were with you too.
Biiiiiiig baloons! I love these balloons. It is always to have fun, colorful balloons. And again, red, blue and navy… Thomas’s theme…