Luca: 16 months old
On last Saturday, when I was cleaning Nash (our cat)’s litter box in our office, Luca was playing around behind me. I wasn’t sure what he was doing but I heard some cracking sound that it wasn’t pleasant to hear. Immediately when I heard it and saw what he did, I said “ohhh noooo!” and Papa rushed and came in the office and said “what happened??” And he saw broken pieces from the Classic Car Collection case which he kept for 40 years (he wanted to hand them over to him when he appreciates it).
He yelled at me and Luca why this happened. He immediately took Luca away from me and he put him in the play-pen. Luca knows what he did. That’s why he cried so much and tried to hide behind me. I tried to tell him not to touch those Papa’s toys but I guess how I said was soft, not strong enough.
I know I don’t scold Luca strong enough because I know Papa scolds him enough everyday. I don’t want to give too much stress on Luca’s early life. He is only 16 months. However I see in Luca’s eyes that I’m the soft one, Papa is the scary one. I don’t need to be the another scary one but I still need to discipline him. He needs to respect me and listen what I have to teach him.
So I decide myself to be consistent and tell what is right and what is not right with deeper voice (apparently some studies show that a child won’t listen to someone who teach him in high pitch voice.) and serious eyes. I have to look into his eyes and tell him “no”, simple instruction. It has been for a few days since I started doing this and it looks like it working on him. Sometimes he does something that is not supposed to be happening but it’s too funny to me. I just can’t help myself but laugh. I debate myself should I laugh or not but I’m a human being too. I have to laugh when I want to laugh. Discipline can come next… I have to be easy on myself otherwise I will get stressed out. That’s not good. Be easy to make my life easy! 😀
Anyway, it’s not easy to discipline Luca since he is a human being too and I want to respect that. Hopefully I don’t overthink what the discipline about and we can corporate each other.
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. 😘
Last weekend, Labor Day weekend was pretty much fun for Luca. I tried to take him out to different park 3 days in a row. Douglas Park, Colorado Park and Will Rogers Historical Park. It was his first time to visit Will Rogers and he had different experience compared to the other park. It had some horses and big polo field where he could run as much as he wanted to. They didn’t have any recreation part like swings or slides so that was bummer but they had sand field where he can play with his shovel.
I like to take him out to any park because I can get to participate to discover new things with him or try new things. He tried a slide few times per visit and he wasn’t able to sit down and slide at the beginning but now he knows how to sit and slides (he still needs to hold my heads though). I am so happy to witness his growth like this. ❤️😘😍
By the way, I used to not like Douglas Park because there are too many adults and kids everyday in the weekend. But I see why it’s so popular now. It’s gated, they got a lot of sand fields and also have various slides. For toddlers who barely start walking to big kids. I like it a lot now that I take Luca there almost every weekend.
It was nice and relaxing weekend for Papa and it was busy for mama but it was fun weekend. 😄
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).
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
This just happened last Saturday. He was complaining he has been having a headache over a month now. So his PCP gave him Flonase to take care of the headache. He had the first take on last Saturday followed by 2 cups of coffee. This combination gave him a similar to a stroke. His heart rate went up to 200 for a moment and went down to 140-160. Once he sat down and rest, his heart rate became normal but as soon as he got up and started to walk just to go to a bathroom, his heart rate went back to 180 or so. We went to ER three times over the weekend and finally he was accepted to admit at the Keiser on Sunset Blvd. I thought he would be better to be admitted and be monitored. We were scared, Luca.
Your Papa takes care of you so well and I don’t know what to do without him. He is a strict person but very warm, thoughtful and fun person as well. He might be tough on you but he won’t forget to make you laugh after you cry.
After this what happened to your Papa, I thought you and I should NOT take your Papa for granted. We should always show our love to him (or anyone you care!) and our appreciation. You never know when God needs him (or any of us) and bring him back to heaven. I hope it’s not anytime soon.
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!! 👍🏻😄😄😄👍🏻
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.
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.
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…