December was a busy month for Emi! She had her school performance that was super fun and cute. Tannya and Isela made Tigger tutus and bows for all the girls to wear and they sang The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers. I was glad I didn’t miss it, even though I completely forgot my camera battery! Luckily we all have phones and were able to take pictures and record Emi. Emi’s second Christmas performance was at her Japanese school. Luckily she didn’t cry like at practice (Although with that, I am pretty sure she was afraid I was leaving her at school.) and she enjoyed singing and playing instruments with her class. Afterwards Santa came – Asian Santa, which made me think about the Fresh Off the Boat episode – and delivered presents to all the kids. It was a nice performance and show before Emi went on her break from Japanese school.

emi.december2015_020emi.december2015_030emi.december2015_033emi.december2015_036emi.december2015_038

This Christmas Emi was very aware of the holiday and the presence of Hat the Elf. Emi would look for him every morning and enjoyed seeing what kind of trouble he would get himself into. This Christmas Emi asked for an American Girl Doll, the Frozen cake, and Shopkins. Emi got her doll early since we met up with Julie and Laney for a surprise lunch at The American Girl Cafe. The four of us had fun – the adults chatting and catching up while the girls played with their new dolls! It was great to see Emi getting along with Laney and I hope they will be friends in the future, regardless of the distance. Emi was really excited for Christmas Day and was super excited to open her presents. She loved all the accessories for her AG doll and the Shopkins toys. It was a great Christmas with our traditions – Christmas Eve dinner at Morton’s and then Christmas dinner at my parents’ house. This was the second year Emi picked out gifts from Daiso for everyone and there were some funny ones: paper cups for Grandmama, a strawberry shaped back massager for Fufu, tape for Auntie Viv, a green pot for Uncle Daisuke, and pot holders for Jichan and Bachan. The only person not to get a Daiso gift was Grandpapa. The story behind Grandpapa’s gift stemmed from Emi’s confusion on why Grandpapa wears clothes (as in regular clothes) to sleep rather than pajamas. So Emi insisted Grandpapa needed pajamas and she even asked if he wanted Spiderman pajamas! I’m pretty sure it was a mix of not paying attention and not understanding Emi, but my dad said, “Okay!” I tried my best to find Spiderman pajamas, but only found an adult onesie, and I knew my dad would not wear that. Emi and I eventually settled on Minions pajamas and now, whenever she sees him, Emi checks to see if he wears them…or questions why he is wearing half clothes (jeans or pants) and half pajamas (the shirt portion of the set)! Emi seriously makes me laugh hard.

emi.december2015_044emi.december2015_046emi.december2015_052emi.december2015_054emi.december2015_056emi.december2015_057emi.december2015_058emi.december2015_060emi.december2015_061emi.december2015_066emi.december2015_068emi.december2015_070emi.december2015_071emi.december2015_069emi.december2015_072

Emi is still continuing her swimming lessons and she has made a lot of progress! She can roll over on her back and float, and then roll on to her stomach and kick and try to use her arms. Emi can get across the pool using this method so all the (gentle) yelling, hardcore attitude from Emi’s instructor has worked. Does Emi still cry at lessons? Sometimes, but her instructor gives her tough love, which I think she needs sometimes. He definitely doesn’t mess around and keeps track of the time during her lesson so I guess he is at least maximizing the time spent with her. It seriously is an expensive 20 minute semi-private lesson. (On the days when she is by herself, I feel like a winner getting a private lesson!) Emi is looking forward to when these lessons end, though, and when she can have Scott back as her teacher.

Emi definitely copies a lot more so we really have to be aware of what we say, how we act, and just what we do. I try to not react when other drivers try to run me off the road, but even me honking at another car prompted Emi to say, “What the…you dumbo!” My mom was in the car with me and we both laughed really hard and I tried to casually say that she shouldn’t say those things. It could be worse, though, so I will settle for “What the…”

Emi continues to grow and change and just become…her own person and I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings. I look forward to Disneyland trips (hopefully), the first time we go on the log ride at Knotts, more dinners at Monzo (Emi’s favorite udon place) and Luggage Room (Emi’s favorite restaurant), and watching her bond grow with Abby.

Until next time…

emi.december2015_013emi.december2015_014emi.december2015_015

 

It was nice to have three weeks off and spend it with Emi and Abby, although both ended having the stomach flu and passed it to me as well. It definitely wasn’t fun getting up in the middle of the night/early morning and giving Abby a bath because the poop exploded and shot up her back. It was definitely gross, but I felt terrible for Abby, especially because she couldn’t tell me she wasn’t feeling good. Luckily it passed after a week, but it was hard seeing the munchkin not have an appetite, especially since Abby is my eater!

Abby is fully mobile, even to the point of running. She likes to climb up on the couch, climb and stand up on the step stool, and even sit in her little chair. Luckily Abby also knows how to get down, but she is so quick that if I step away, all of a sudden she is up on the couch!

Some of the things Abby enjoys doing are pushing the blue button on the DirecTV box to turn it on and off, playing in the toy kitchen, stacking things like one Lego on top of another or smaller shapes on larger ones (like the toy number cake), wearing her shoes and taking them off, walking with her arms behind her like she is going to fly, pushing every single button on the remote control, going on the swing, pushing toys that move like the toy vacuum, shopping cart, or stroller, and playing with Emi.

Abby is far more possessive now. If Emi is sitting in my lap, Abby will walk over and push Emi off, grab my necklace, and sometimes even pull Emi’s hair or poke her eyes. So the best thing to do is just hold both of them!

Abby enjoyed Christmas this year and even ripped off some of the wrapping paper. In the end she still wasn’t too interested in the gifts themselves, but she liked trying to take ornaments off the tree and trying to get Peanut who liked to hide under the tree.

Abby went to Mammoth for the first time in December. The drive up and back went surprisingly well (Thank goodness!) and Abby enjoyed walking in the snow. She looked like a giant marshmallow in her snow outfit and she was super cute. Since Abby is my daring one, I am sure she will be up on the slopes the minute she can navigate herself on skis!

2015 was a great year with my lil one and I look forward to all our adventures in 2016! Until the next update…

abby.december2015_014abby.december2015_016

Some photos from my iPhone…

IMG_4007IMG_4006IMG_4001IMG_4019IMG_3958IMG_3965IMG_3971IMG_4030IMG_4032IMG_4087IMG_4099

It has been a while since I posted about Emi. With the planning of Emi and Abby’s joint party, the holidays, photo sessions, and teaching, I have been incredibly busy. Although I taught freshmen years and years ago – seriously, like my first year teaching – and the curriculum is familiar, in ways it is new, especially with the change to Common Core. So it feels like starting over, but I am sure I will get into the swing of things for next year when I probably will have freshmen again. Sigh.

October’s focus was definitely on the joint party and this year, Emi spent most of her time outside on the jumper water slide. She had so much fun going up and down, back and forth. At one point Taro’s mom dragged her in saying she was on it too long. Emi ran straight for Grandmama and was back on that slide in no time. It was the perfect, warm day so I wasn’t concerned, although the next day it did rain! That’s California weather for you. Emi enjoyed eating cake, cupcakes, and as usual we had our taco guy come out and our grilled cheese sandwiches station. In addition we had Porto’s and some Indian food. It’s always an eclectic mix so we can cater to all our friends which really requires guests to eat in multiple rounds.

This Halloween Emi dressed up as Elsa. Right when I thought Frozen was out, it came back out of nowhere. Emi actually got a Frozen karaoke radio for her birthday and she belts out Let It Go. Super cute and the fun part is that it actually connects to my phone so she can sing whatever song she wants. But back to Halloween…Emi wore the Frozen Fever dress and loved going from house to house trick-or-treating. The thing she enjoyed most in her candy collection? The bags of pretzels! Emi is actually not a big candy eater, minus gummy bears, but who doesn’t like gummy bears? Overall, Emi had a great time walking around the neighborhood and she also enjoyed passing out candy. However, it was a bit strange when Emi would give adults candy…as in adults with no little kids. At least Emi had a good time wishing everyone a happy Halloween!

Emi started Japanese school on Fridays, which is a huge change for her. First, the teachers only speak Japanese, which immediately prompted Emi to say she only wanted to go to English school. When I told her she is half Japanese, Emi said she wanted to be French like her friend, Lily. Overall, it is an adjustment not just for Emi, but me, too. I am out of my element, very much feeling like an outsider because everything – notices, bulletins, sign-in sheets – are written in Japanese. All the moms speak Japanese to one another (and even text in Japanese). It also is demanding of time. I spent three plus hours making two ornaments for Emi. While I don’t mind making things for her, I like that Emi’s teachers at her regular school create crafted projects for us for holidays and occasions. I treasure all of her creations and although I am sure Emi will appreciate the ornaments when she gets older, I want to have all the things she made filed and stored away so she can look back on them one day. Another thing I struggle with is that Emi can’t tell me what she is learning. She mainly says she plays all day, versus at her regular school, Emi writes, does creative work, role plays in the theater room, and also plays outside in the yard. I’m trying hard to give it a fair shot, but I think the standoffish disconnect between parent and teacher, which I feel is very Asian, turns me off. I mean, I text Emi’s teachers and we share funny things with each other on Instagram! I am spoiled with her teachers. Speaking of which, I am not looking forward to Emi moving up and leaving Ms. Tannya and Ms. Isela.

It feels like the holidays came so fast this year. Thanksgiving just came and went and now Christmas is just around the corner! For Thanksgiving Emi enjoyed eating chicken that Taro made. She tried some of the other things we had (We ordered from Bristol Farms again.), but Emi, since Thanksgiving, has had only on focus in mind – Christmas and getting that American Girl doll. That is Emi’s big wish on her list. Ever since she discovered the catalogue from the mail, she has asked for an American Girl doll. We even went to the store to see which doll she liked, since they now have different skin tones, hairstyles, and even eye shape, and I am surprised we made it out alive since the three times we went, every single girl at the store had at least one doll and many of them were wearing coordinating outfits! To encourage Emi that part of getting the doll for Christmas was earning it, we started using Chore Pad for the iPhone, which gives her check marks when she completes things for the day. Some of the categories include drinking milk, eating vegetables, no whining, no screaming/yelling, no talking back, and a handful more. Some days Emi earns very few check marks (especially on Fridays when she doesn’t nap and she goes bonkers) while other days she is super awesome. The no whining/screaming/talking back are big ones since I have a 4-ager, as I like to call her. Along with the American Girl doll, Emi has selected accessories that she would like to ask from Santa and also, she is really into Shopkins. She likes to tell Hat (our elf on the shelf) things when she completes them and also enjoys finding out what kind of shenanigans Hat gets into. Overall, it should be a fun Christmas, especially since I am taking her to the American Girl cafe with Julie and Laney!

December has been eventful so far with Emi’s Holiday Extravaganza show at school where she sang and dressed up in a Tigger inspired tutu. I am so glad I was able to get someone to cover my class so I didn’t have to miss it. Emi also had a performance at Japanese school and she did really well. She played an instrument and seemed to know the words to the songs.

Emi is still taking swimming lessons and can roll over on her back and float for ten seconds. She also is learning how to use her arms and with Wyatt as her teacher, I anticipate that she will get it. Emi can actually get across the length of the pool alternating between kicking on her stomach and floating on her back. That is a huge improvement since she began and I am pretty sure she could save herself if she fell into a pool as long as she doesn’t panic. We definitely need to practice that so she knows what to do. Swimming is the only activity Emi is doing right now and she doesn’t have an interest in joining other activities, but I feel like it is because she gets upset that I go to work. Hopefully I can convince her to join soccer again. However, she is going to try skiing when we go to Mammoth and I look forward to her flying down the mountain! I really hope she likes it because one day, I want to take Emi and Abby up to the top of the mountain and go down the run with them, even if it is the green one on the backside.

Emi is growing up fast. She is my chatterbox, my goofball, my girl who tests the limits and can drive me nuts nuts coconuts (but at the end of the day…20 minutes later I love her immensely and forget), my booty shaking partner, my sensitive little girl, and my daughter who loves and takes great care of her baby sister. I cannot wait to see what 2016 brings and what adventures we will go on.

Until the next update…

emi.and.abby.october2015_007emi.and.abby.october2015_004emi.and.abby.october2015_006emi.and.abby.october2015_012emi.and.abby.october2015_008emi.and.abby.october2015_013abby.november2015_001GRLDZQ_004emi.and.abby.december2015_003emi.and.abby.december2015_005emi.and.abby.december2015_007emi.and.abby.december2015_008