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! ðŸ˜­


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.

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! 😄 This world needs a lot of smiles and love, not hate!
I love this photo that you are looking up to your Papa❤️
This is my pork chop. Their stuffed pork chopped is the best!! At At Last Cafe in Long Beach
with love❤️

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! 😄
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! 😄
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! 😘
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…

Standing is a serious business

 

You look like a cowboy! “Howdy, partner!”
 
  Luca: 7 months 2 weeks

I’ve been wanting to write when you finally started to stand up for a while but I was distracted by busy work, Christmas preparation and Christmas itself! I’m sorry! 
My work finally reached to final touch up and I feel like finally caught up. I had crazy busy 2 months and 2 weeks. And I have 2 more days to go. And I can’t wait to finish this project and move on to something different project. It was too much things to do in short period of time. 
Anyway, the day you finally stood up is December 8th (lol it’s been 22 days!). 
You started to grab a knot on drawers and pulled yourself up and that was it. You wanted to keep trying over and over. When you see higher target, you want to grab that and pull yourself up again. If you fall on your butt, you get up and try again. I think you are a challenger and I love what I see in front of me. I love a challenger who doesn’t give up until you reach to the goal (in the good way of course). That’s my boy!! I’m so proud of you! 
   
  

Go Go Go! Reach higher!
 
  

  

   

First ritual on Christmas Day 

 

First time on swing!
  
He is not sure what to think yet.
 Luca: 7 months and 2 weeks old

Merry Christmas Luca! Today is your first day to spend Christmas! Since we don’t have a big family, we stayed in town and exchanged gifts with Papa and Mama. You received a lot of gifts from Small Gmama from Japan! You got a lot of toys, stuffed animals, books (this is from your god mother), and table wares! How nice is that!

After opening gifts and walked Happy, we came back home for lunch and you had to take a nap. But I didn’t want to finish a day with only opening gifts. That is not Christmas all about! I thought about doing something different for you and thought trying swing would be a fun experience (Going to church for Christmas would be for later when you understand little more why we celebrate Christmas).

Since your Papa was sick, I took you out by myself to Barrington Park. Because I know there isn’t that many kids go there and since this would be your first time, I wanted you to enjoy as long as you enjoy! 

Oh boy oh boy, you had a lot of fun on the swing! At the beginning, your face was telling me you weren’t sure this is fun or scary thing. But later on, I think you got used to it and you started to enjoy more and more!

It was a little windy day that froze my body and you didn’t have enough clothes to be warm so we stayed only about 15 min. 

When I put you back in my car, you had such a satisfied, happy face. That’s when I knew I did a right thing for you today. 😊 Your smile made me so happy and declared myself that I will do something new especially on every Christmas. Let’s make this ritual!! 😄😄😄 

Look at his face. I can tell he had a good time on swing.

I love you, Luca!

Let’s explore more things!!

Much Love, Your mama

Nice to meet you, Santa!

  
Luca: 7 months and 2 weeks old

Christmas is coming in a day and I thought I should introduce you to Santa Claus. I know you won’t know who he is until … Maybe 3, 4 years old? But I was kind of excited to do a “parent” thing so I decided to take you to… I won’t tell you where. Just in case you still believe in Santa when you read this. 

As soon as we arrived to this place, there was a loooooong line to meet Santa. I thought ok, we should have enough time to go a rest room before we meet Santa. And you were sleeping in the car seat and didn’t want to wake you and be grumpy. So I waited till you wake up. And waited, waited… And waited… Hmm should I wake you up..? I just sat at a bench right in front of the line for a while and started to notice the line was getting shorter. “Oh cool maybe if we start to line up now, he might wake up in perfect timing” so I pushed the stroller and was about to reach to the line BUT the security told me to come back at 2pm. Santa needs to take a break and eat lunch… Oh nooo! What are we going to do?? 

  
Hmm I wasn’t sure what my plan B was but I walked around and see what was going on in Santa’s house. 

  
Aww there he is!! I was like come on Luca! Wake up! We couldn’t get to meet Santa but at least you can see him from here! You were still sleeping…

Oh well should I just take you home…? Walking around, and walking around his house. And I was reading Santa’s schedule and found out his lunch time was from 1pm. I looked at my watch and it showed that it was 12:45pm. Hmm the line gets shorter and seems like one photo shoot takes about 3 min at the most. So I decided to ask if they can take one more baby. 

The Santa’s assistant asked her boss and he said ok! Good thing I asked and Luca woke up in literally perfect timing! Yayyyy! 

We took 4 photos with Santa (you usually smile at a camera but somehow you didn’t this time. Were you scared? Confused where you were?) and his assistant told me to pick only one photo. Man, it was hard to choose from. All of them were good! Haha This assistant was really serious lady and she said “nope, you can pick only one!” 

So there it was. It was more for me than for you apparently. Probably you won’t remember but that’s ok. You have a photo to look at. And also, I hope little experiences including this type of things make your world bigger. That is my ultimate goal. Love you, Luca. 

Much Love,
your mama