First Hair Cut!

Luca: 21 months old

I wanted to keep his baby hair at least until 2 years old. Just because I am very nostalgic about him being a little baby. He is just growing bigger and bigger so fast but the hair is only thing that left from his baby time. But the time has come. He needs some serious grooming before his birthday come.

We had to drive down to the Snip-Its in El Segundo since we didn’t have any salon for kids that had great reviews in Yelp. Also, my friend at my work recommeded to go to Snip-It so we decided to go there. When we got there, Luca was already sleeping so I had to wake him up but luckly we were early enough that we didn’t have to wait at all.
I put him in the chair while he was still zoning out. And slowly, he started to wake up and realized what was going on around him. Of course he’s never been to a salon before so his face is showing a little nervousness and his face was like “where am I…? But Mama is here and I have Youtube in front of me so I think I’m ok…”

It took about 15 min for his haircut. Very quick. The hairstylist didn’t talk much but she was very fast and Luca didn’t cry or move so everything went great. I was a little nervous as well that I thought I had to take him out from the chair if he made a fuss and go home without finishing his haircut. But that didn’t happen. Phew! I liked this place and I would like to take him there again because they were quick, they had a seat belt on the chair and also they had a TV at each station (although only one thing… It didn’t make sense to have a fixed TV in front of you but the stylist ask you to look down almost the whole time… The TV should be flexible so then you can change the angle of TV. I didn’t have to pull my phone out to show him Youtube…).

IMG_3810
This was how he looked like before the haircut…Β 

Your first word of the year

Nash is trying to steal your snack! Watch out! πŸ˜†

Luca: 19 months old

You know your first word of 2017?

UP!!

You know “down” already and when you were going upstairs, and I said “up!”, you repeated after me “Up!”. I was so proud of you that you know what that means and can repeat when we teach you. 😊❀

Much Love,

Yuko

Happy Halloween! 2016


Luca: 17 months old

We finally went to “Pumpkin Patch” for the first time! I’ve never been there before and it was exciting to be there for me too! 

First time to feed a goat!


Your dad tried to show you where your grandpa sleeps.

You didn’t like the costume at all…

We just came across your dad’s picture when he was about 5 years old. You just like your dad.

Stairs


Luca: 16 months old

As usual, I take you out for a walk after dinner and recently I realize how you climb or going down on stairs are more advance now. You don’t really sit down on stairs and try to reach it. You use handrails to go up and down. This is very new to me and you but I can see you want to try new thing and try to discover by yourself. I love what I see in front of me! 

Today, you went down stairs with no hands!! Wow, it was impressive! I was little afraid that you might miss a step and fall down so I was carefully watching you. But you did it!! You didn’t have to use the handrails at all (or my hands!)!! 

Day by day, you learn new things and you grow. And you become a big boy. I really enjoy watching your growth. (Well that means I have to really watch out where you are going! )

I’m glad I witnessed your new milestone  today. 😘

Much love,
Your mama

Being a bilingual


Luca: 15 months old

You are born under a star of having two cultures: American and Japanese cultures even though you are born in United States. I think it’s lucky to have multicultural background because not everyone can get to have this. Because you have more opportunities in any direction than the other people who doesn’t have this type of thing. 

Your mom is trying to speak Japanese to you every single day as well as teaching the culture what it is about. Japanese culture is very different from American culture that sometimes I am even having a hard time to explain even to your Papa. And speaking English is not that easy even though I live here more than 20 years now ESPECIALLY when I speak to your Papa. He is very strict about English grammar. No mercy on me being a foreigner. He always says “I can’t believe you live here more than 20 years. You should speak like a native!!” Lol I guess he doesn’t have many foreign friends in his life… He thinks I should speak English perfectly because of the length of living AND having an US passport. Hahahaha I think it’s funny. There are soooo many people out there who don’t speak “perfect” English or speak broken English but they live fine. But his point is I should speak good enough English so then you won’t be affected. I get his point but you will learn good English from school and the environment no matter how bad I speak. You live in America! Of course you will. 

Anyway, I know you will get benefit someday by knowing two languages possibly more if you are interested. However, I can teach you Japanese so far that once you reach puberty, I’m pretty sure you will decide either to continue or discontinue of learning Japanese. I hope you will continue. And I will always “try” to understand for your wishes as much as I can. Although PLEASE know and remember that you have your relatives living in Japan. Your grandmother, your aunt, cousins (Yu, Fumiya and Yota. They are about 12-14 years older than you are. Fumiya and Yota play baseball!),my  aunt and uncle and the other extended family members and my friends! They are all nice, and thoughtful people that you will be happy to get to know about. But most of them don’t speak English so that’s why you should be able to speak Japanese. It doesn’t have to be perfect. As long as you can communicate, that is all I wish for. If you can write or read, that’s fabulous!! 

In this article (see you need to know how to read in Japanese! Hehe 😝), it’s difficult to raise a child as a bilingual because once you figure out who you are you might come to the conclusion that you no longer need to pursue  the 2nd language you were learning because you think there is no purpose in your life to use it. 

That shouldn’t be the case, my son. Japanese language and culture are so beautiful and its history is so deep, long and magnificent. American history is very interesting itself however it is not that long as Japanese history. But like I said earlier, I respect your wish as much as I can (I will try to persuade you anyway though! Haha). 

Much Love,
Your Mama

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Brush Your Teeth song

When I take his pacifier, he demands and cries more and more these days... Sigh...
When I take his pacifier, he demands and cries more and more these days… Sigh…

Luca: 15 months old

As you can see, Luca is having more teeth. 4 teeth on the bottom and 4 teeth on the top.
I am trying to brush his teeth every night but as he gets older, he hates me brushing teeth. He just refuses it. I know forcing is not a good idea but I get frustrated more and more each day and started to research if there is any trick out there to help me or him to brush his teeth. There were several but this song I found seems to work.

Brush Your Teeth Song by Tokyo Heidi

This song is so catchy and easy to remember the lyrics. I am a big fan of mid-tones in a song. I just love how they sound and this song has it as well. I have such a bad memory but this song is really easy to remember. I sing this song even though I am alone in an elevator or a shower room. haha

So I started to show this Youtube to him after I hand the tooth brush (I know he won’t brush his teeth correctly but I’m telling myself “no forcing, no forcing”… I just want him to like brushing his teeth and I’m hoping eventually he will learn how important that is). From the first night, he was so interested to the song although I am not sure if he understands the lyrics yet but I think the illustration itself maybe catchy to him too. So he did started to brush his teeth. No more fighting, no more crying, no more punching my face. He was actually smiling and watching the video and brushing his teeth! Success!

Now, after a few nights, everything was going well but another question was raised… Should I let him watch a video before he goes to bed…? Urgh.. obvious question, obvious answer… Nope!.. lol So… I started to sing for him with this tone-deaf voice without the video. Tonight was the first night to try and sing it for him. The effect wasn’t same, of course. He again fought against me. 😦 I usually don’t put the yummy tooth paste but tonight I had to. So after I put some on the brush, it started working again. I think I need to get some Toms’ tooth paste or something which should be much safer to his body.

Anyway, I don’t know how long my tone-deaf singing with a tooth paste will last and be effective but hopefully he will start liking it…

Aw, I found an English version of this song.

Luca, I hope you won’t get cavities much! If you struggle with cavities later on your future, I have to show this blog to you and show how difficult it is to make you brush your teeth!! lol

Much Love,
Your Mama

 

Breastfeeding is coming to the end! πŸ˜­


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!! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ‘πŸ»


Much love,
Your Mama

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! πŸ˜„ 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! πŸ˜„
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! πŸ˜„
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…

Great weather, great walk!

  
Luca: 11 months old

It has been a couple of weeks since you started to walk. Papa told me we need to get a pair of shoes because you walk around in our house so much now. So we did! We went to Gap and get a pair of shoes!

I’ve been thinking about taking you to a park for whole week and the weather is so gorgeous that I thought it’s a perfect day on last Saturday.  And you need more exercise because you wake up at least a couple times at night every single night. You need to learn how to sleep throughout a night. Seriously. πŸ˜’

So I found a nice big field/park right next to a place I’ve had a lunch with my colleagues which is called Stewart Park. The parking isn’t free but I thought it is a perfect place to let you walk anywhere you want to walk. There is not that many people use this place either. 

At first, when I put you on the ground, you hesitated to touch the grass and walk. You didn’t know what to do but after I guided you to walk, you were non-stop!!! You didn’t want to stop walking! It was pretty hot yesterday and wanted you to take a break under the shade but you refused! Lol Your face turned red, and sweaty. I gave you a sip of water and I was little worried that you would get sun burnt (I put tons of sun screen!). But you just kept going that it was difficult for me to make you rest. After 45 min we spent our time there, finally you wanted to sit and play with grass and leaf on the ground. I thought that’s it, you are done. But… After 5 min of rest, you started to walk again! I bet you are having so much fun to discover how to walk, the view that it’s higher than before and the nature other than being in the house. I’m so glad that I am helping you to discover a lot of things! And many many more to come!

  
 

I hope you like being on the swing! I think it’s a lot of fun!
  

Finally, you started to get used to be on grass! Now you walk non-stop!!
  
This park has one basket ball court. And behind it, they have slides.
    
It is such a BIG field. I saw people were playing volleyball and also you can play sofball here.
    
Two big kids swings and two little baby swings.

Stewart Street Park
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Love you very much,
Your mama