Monday, July 31, 2006

Third Day in Saugatuck

After we cleaned the house, we went to lunch at Crane's Pie Pantry, where the kids got to practice being in school. Since we had to wait so long for our food to come, we had time to take pictures of just the girls, and Grant doing a striking Izumi imitation. When our food finally came, including Koji's apple butter French toast, it was decent, but I don't think I need to go there again.

However, I'll go to Saugatuck again anyday!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Second Day in Saugatuck

Peach picking was fun, but the beach was more fun. In fact, Micah was knocked out by all the fun.

He recovered for some TV timewith the boys. It was a shocking experience for Izumi. Or you might argue that she always looks astonished in pictures.

You might also wonder why I'm linking all photos to Flickr. Sorry to put your clicking finger to work; it's just that Blogger isn't putting my photos up properly and I'm sick of it!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

First Day in Saugatuck

Thanks to the generosity of the Cains (Cheryl Lynn's aunt & uncle, to be exact), we had a wonderful weekend at their second home in Saugatuck, Michigan. Running out to upgrade to a king size bed is not in our budget right now, but I'm certainly more tempted after experiencing this one!
The house included this dream kitchen. It's pretty hard to find something not to like here. I tried, just to make myself feel better. The best I could do was, "uh, they don't have any under cabinet lighting". Nice try. As if the stainless freezer on the bottom fridge and industro gas stove don't TOTALLY make up for the lack of some little lights that I could stick on in an instant. If I had this kitchen, that is. Which I don't. But I do have a dishwasher now, and I like it alot!
Here are our hosts, showing their smarts. You see, they have their double stroller. We weren't quite as prepared. Try persuading a three-year-old to walk when his friends are riding. What? Did you just say, "Not gonna happen!"? You're right!
Fortunately, Noah was kind enough to let Koji ride in his place. It was at the peril of his clothing though. Look at the damage!

Also, I'm not known for nature photography but I couldn't help trying to capture this. After all, these are stargazer lilies, famous for their participation in our wedding. This may be my best shot. I was enthralled; this was my first time seeing these lilies "in the wild" (if you can call a garden on a corner in Saugatuck wild) rather than as cut flowers. Too bad my photography attempts used up most of the free time Cheryl Lynn and I had...

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Lately we've been pretty mobile, which I consider something of a feat as I'm still getting used to my life as mother of two. Some days, I wonder if we are too mobile? What I mean is, if I want to see someone, I'm almost too eager with volunteering to go to them. Koji knows this, and so every day--literally!--when he wakes up he asks, "tabete kara doko iku no?" which means, "after we eat, where are we going?"

I'd like to have more people come here more often. Some friends hearing me make such a statement might laugh, since I do have a reputation for hosting events. But I don't mean that I want to have more events here (though I'm not actually opposed to that either). What I mean is, I want people to feel really welcome, like they can come here freely and stay for awhile, without an appointment even.

However, in order to make my home one that says, "come by anytime," I suppose I would actually have to be here, for starters. And I'll have to be more pro-active about inviting people over. Which means that I'll have to make phone calls. I don't like to make phone calls.

But there's usually something bitter mixed with the sweet, right? For example, the weekend before last, we finally realized our four year old dream of having a dishwasher put into our kitchen (thanks, Ivan, you did a great job!). I've since realized that now I don't have to wash the dishes, but I do have to wipe some of them before I put them away. The process is not as hands-off as I had hoped...but it really is fabulous to push a button and walk away instead of hours of scrubbing grimly at grime.

In any case, what I'm trying to say is, if you are in our neighborhood, or even if you're not, please come by for a visit. If this invitation isn't enough, please leave a comment and let me know how I can magnetize you!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tuesday in the Summer

You should see Izumi at the pool in these pictures. But in order to go to the pool, the pool has to be open. That means I have to know the pool hours and visit the pool accordingly. Easier said than done. So here we are at the park!

"This thing attached to the top of my neck is so heavy, I can barely lift it!"

Izumi's friend Mari imitating a starfish. Well done, don't you think?

Hard to tell because it's black, but this is Izumi's first time "sitting" on a couch; Shanel's couch, to be precise.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ladies in a Line

Izumi and Mari out on a picnic. Perhaps they are thinking, "What shall I eat next--right side or left?"

Hand Tickling is the Trick

Our lovely friend Kristen had the talent to get Izumi to give us her first laugh!

"Kristen is the funniest person I've met. In fact, I can't take my eyes off her!"

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Reward for Mama

Izumi has started smiling and it's a sweet sight! Here is her first on-camera grin.

This one's even better, with her double chin in its full glory, the sight of which makes me smile.

Here we see Izumi and Miffy getting along better than they did yesterday. What concentration!

Friday, July 21, 2006


Izumi has learned to bat at the Miffy mobile that Yasuko-san gave us for Koji. She usually loves it for at least a little while, but this is how she looks when she's done with Miffy and ready to move on to another activity (because she has so many to choose from?!).

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sayonara Party

Yuki-san and her family are moving to Kyoto, so the ladies from the Glenview Bible Study came bearing dishes to share.

And what delicious dishes they were! We couldn't help but note that whenever we have a potluck, we never designate who will bring what but we somehow manage to have lot of variety. Take offense if you want, but I haven't observed this kind of success at most American potlucks...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Productive Party Girl

For the second Friday in a row, I went out with no kids! This time, my destination was a much-anticipated Indigo Girls concert at
Being at Ravinia with my lovely friends Nadia, Jessica, Katie and Jennifer (so sorry they aren't pictured here; I failed to get good shots of them)was awesome! A couple of downers did mar the evening slightly, though. One was, I forgot my water and Diet Coke at home and nothing to drink. So here I am making the best of it with a glow-in-the-dark cup that used to contain a virgin margarita.Jess and Nadia didn't go thirsty, what with the gin and tonic in their Nalgene bottle. And I decided it would be OK if I quaffed a bit of wine with the ladies; see below.
All this obsession with being well-hydrated was misplaced when I realized a few hours into the outing that I needed to either feed Izumi or have a tryst with my breast pump. Yeah. It was not a good scene. I even seriously considered leaving the concert midway through, that's how uncomfortable I was. Alas, Metra can't be bothered to send any trains by Ravinia station mid-concert. So I HAD to stay to the end...and I'm glad it worked out because though I was in pain, it wasn't anything permanent. Now I have those great memories of squishing into the home-bound train with many concert-goers who took their mid-concert hydration WAY more seriously than we had. Seriously, it was very cool to be in the middle of a whole park full of people all singing along to "Galileo". Let's do that again next year, ladies, all except the part where I don't have my lactating self under control. Good idea.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Two Months Old

Happy Two Month Birthday to Izumi!

She had her first check-up today; we skipped the one month check-up because she weighed in so many times her first two weeks of life.

It was a relief to find that:
she weighs 10 pounds 11 ounces (4.9 kilos),
is 23 1/2 inches (60 cm) long,
and has a 39 cm (15 inch) head.
That's the 50th percentile for head size and weight, but 90th percentile for length. Ha! Her days of scoring in the height department should be short-lived (get it, "short"...) in this family!

Just for amusement's sake, let's compare these stats to Koji at 4 weeks:
11 pounds 3 ounces (5.07 kilos)
22 inches (56 cm)
15 1/2 inch head circumference (40 cm)

We thought that Izumi would come out as a female Koji but it's not turning out that way at all! And good thing, this way is much more interesting (not to mention easier on the arms).

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Post Bath Izumi

Finally, a good use for Koji's hand-me-down baby bathrobe!

It didn't do Koji much good because he got too big for it by the time I remembered to put it on him. But it looks like Izumi can use it, at least to relax in after her next few baths.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

First Trip to the Lake

Once a month we have a housegroup potluck, and this time we met at the lake for a barbeque.
Burnham Shores Park was the perfect location, with its view of the lake, playground, and tennis court for Aogu!
Izumi went for her first swing with Papa. She liked it a lot, really. I think.
Nothing like a good after dinner chat!
There's no need to explain what's going on here. Pure fun needs no explanation.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Celebrating Jenny's Birthday

Jenny wanted to go to the concert at Millennium Park for her birthday, so we got on the train at 7:30 pm, without kids and without cares. Jess, Kristen, Jenny and I planned to get something to eat at the Taste of Chicago. After arriving at Grant Park at 8:35, we went to buy some tickets, only to be told that ticket sales stop at 8:30. Huh? We were helpfully informed that we could return the next day. No thanks!
So we took our business to Cosi instead, grabbing some sandwiches and salads for an al fresco dinner at the Pritzker Pavilion. That turned out to be a good decision; the food was delicious and much cheaper than the fare from the Taste.
Our entertainment, not that we necessarily needed any with such excellent company, was a screening of the Battleship Potemkin. Ignorant and uncultured as I am, I didn't know that this silent movie is "one of the most renowned films in the history of cinema." OK. It was further enhanced by the Grant Park Orchestra's musical accompaniment.
Actually, the highlight for me was when one of the main characters, in a moment of dismay, tore his shirt in half from top to bottom. The sermon at church the week before referred to clothing being torn as a show of grief, and though I've heard that many times in my life, suddenly it struck me funny.
What if we did that now? I don't think I could tear my clothes in half, no matter how upset I was. Not to mention that it would be embarrassing. But I digress.
The real point of this story is, Jenny is a wonderful friend and I hope this coming year is fabulous for her. As far as I'm concerned, this celebration was an excellent way for her --st year to start!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Turns Out I'm MOLIB

So I was saying ages ago when I last posted that I'm "MOIB," that is, Mother of Insomniac Baby. Poor baby! Turns out she is probably Lactose Intolerant Baby instead. To think of all the cheese and ice cream I was pumping into her little system! The "we all" in "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream" apparently doesn't include Izumi. She might put "because of" in place of "for" there...if she could speak English.

Anyway, this is by no means a medically verifiable diagnosis, but it's been a little more than a week now since I went truly dairy-free (before that I went off milk but that was half-hearted as I don't drink much milk anyway) and little Miss Izumi seems to be crying a lot less and sleeping a bit better.

The magical swaddle blanket you see her modeling here is helping too, I think. She can really get her arms and legs going (remember, this is the baby that had her umbilical cord knotted and three times around her neck!) and I think her flailing limbs prevent her from settling down when she's not wrapped up in this blanket. It's still not always easy to get her to sleep, particularly in the evening, but once she is asleep, she's doing well at staying asleep for at least three or so hours at a time. Praise God! Hallelujah! Other exclamations of Joy and Relief!

P.S. BOTH of my children are sleeping at the same time right now. It's a marvel.