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I am always grateful when my clients recommend me to their friends. That is the greatest compliment and it lets me know that they are more than happy with their photos! So I definitely feel really lucky to have been introduced to the W family through the Mar family. Not only are they really good friends – E and Wenyee grew up together – but their kids are playmates and friends as well! It’s great to see that potential lifelong friendships are starting at such an early age and perhaps both mommies and the girls will be the best of friends.

It was an adventurous and fun morning with the W family as we took photos around South Pasadena. C and L were a bunch of laughs as they mixed in both smiley faces and silly faces. They are such a cute brother and sister duo and it was sweet to see how they gave each other hugs and C wanted to lift up L. You can see the love that they share with one another and also, the love they have for their parents. Whether it was sitting in their laps, giving kisses on the face, or laughing at their dad’s funny expressions, the Ws showed what it means to be a family. This love extended to the grandparents as well and the kids were definitely excited when they showed up for some of the photos. Not only were L and C excited about taking the pictures, they were looking forward to movie night at their grandparents’ house which included the promise of popcorn! How fun is that to gather up in pajamas, blankets, and a large bowl of popcorn? I can definitely see why E said in our email exchanges that the grandparents play an important and significant role in the kids’ lives.

It was a pleasure capturing fun moments with the W family and I feel like prior to our session, I was excited to meet E because we not only talked about the photos, but the challenges of potty training, nap schedules and unexpected changes in them, what happens when you go from having one kid to having two kids, and just other parent things that made it go beyond photography. I definitely appreciated the advice and support and it was great to put a face to the name.

Thank you again for spending the morning with me and I look forward to seeing you again, W family!

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I have to admit, I was a bit worried that Emi would be a bit jealous of Abby. However, Emi is absolutely great with Abby. She is such a helper with things – getting Abby’s blanket and pillow, watching over Abby while I run to get her medicine, and keeping her company as I cook or wash dishes – and Emi loves Abby. Emi even tells Abby, “I love you” and gives her hugs and kisses. It is such a relief that Emi doesn’t act the opposite of this (I didn’t expect her to since she shares things, but there was a little bit of me that thought it could happen.) and I cannot wait to see the two of them grow up together.

Emi finished up soccer and her ballet/tap classes. Since it gets dark earlier, I figured soccer could resume in the spring. That way, I can start to take her again. With ballet/tap, Emi didn’t seem to have interest anymore. She didn’t do the exercises and my mom said Emi seemed a bit bored by things. However, Emi is still taking tennis, which she looks forward to every week. She loves doing the warm-up run around the tennis court and even though she wants my mom by her side, she likes doing the exercises and drills. Even though Emi is quiet and doesn’t speak up to the coach, Emi actually really likes her coach (and secretly I think she is his favorite student, too).

Since I am not able to get out and do things with Emi, Taro has been taking her out more. Whether it is going to pick up breakfast or hanging out at Huntington Library, Emi and Taro are definitely building a stronger relationship with one another. It is definitely nice since Emi has relied heavily on me, but now she lets Taro give her a bath and even put her to sleep, although she is now back in our bed. We have decided to just go with the flow with this and since Emi is able to sleep through Abby’s cries and late night/early morning feedings, it is fine. The only thing is Emi has resorted back to peeing in her pull-ups…right when I was able to get her to use the potty. It was bound to happen, but hopefully I can get her to use the toilet once again. There is the promise of going to Disneyland if she uses the potty both at home and at school so we will see if that works!

So for Halloween this year, Emi dressed up as Sofia. What was surprising was that she actually enjoyed going trick-or-treating! Last year we only went to a handful of houses and she didn’t want to walk nor trick-or-treat. It scared her, but this year, Emi enjoyed walking up and down our street and holding out her pumpkin basket. She didn’t want to say, “Trick-or-treat,” but she wasn’t hesitant to walk on her own! The only time she didn’t want to walk was when she saw a scary costume…which was mainly worn by older kids or adults. We passed by an adult in a scary skeleton costume and he growled at Emi (Not cool, by the way) and it terrified her. The guy’s girlfriend/wife/companion hit him when he did it so at the next house, he tried to give a friendly wave, but it didn’t work. Emi was not convinced. She has a good memory and I am sure she has now stored it within her that if she crosses a sketchy skeleton to run far, far away.

So in the world of words and sentences, here are the new ones: tennis, tennis ball, racket (also identifying the parts of the racket – head, face, grip), stethoscope, thermometer, otoscope, band aid, tweezers (doctor stuff she learned from her book and also from her toy doctor kit), blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, peach, fruit gummies, humongous, and ginormous. Emi said, “It’s an X. When you turn it, it’s a cross.” She also tells me, “That you for making breakfast, mommy” or “Good job, mommy.” It’s really sweet. I especially love it when Emi says, “I love you, mommy” and asks for a hug or kiss.

Emi has discovered the Ipad (Oy vey!), but still likes to use her imagination and do things like play doctor – check your heart, take your blood pressure, check your mouth, pretend to give and take medicine, and pretend to cut her nails – or play with her stuffed animals and talk to them. She repeats phrases she hears at school or repeats things I tell her. I encourage her as much as possible to play and read her books, but like I said, she has discovered the Ipad and the countless videos about numbers, shapes, and the alphabet. On the plus side, at least she likes educational material!

Last, but not least, Emi participated in Shichi-go-san in Little Tokyo where she was blessed. Emi was absolutely terrified and did not want to put on her kimono or take any pictures. There were a lot of kids there so I am sure that was just part of the reason why she was afraid. I am sure when Emi does it again at the age of 7 she will be much better.

That is all for now on Emi. I definitely look forward to the upcoming holidays – Abby’s first Thanksgiving and Christmas – and hopefully we can do Elf on the Shelf with Emi this year (and hopefully she won’t be scared of it). Once Abby gets her shots, I really look forward to going out with Emi and Abby together. I have plans for us already, starting with Christmas at the zoo! Until next month…

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I cannot believe it has been a month already! In some ways time went by so fast; in some ways it went by slowly, especially those harder nights when Abby had trouble sleeping. But all in all, it has been an adventure, but a good one and this time around, one that isn’t quite a blur! I remember when I wrote about the first month with Emi, it felt like a blur of days and nights with intermittent sleeping. I felt like a zombie and although I have had some zombie nights and days with Abby, I feel like there is no time or room for that since I also have to take care of Emi. So overall, I am pretty sure I will remember this first month.

It hasn’t been the most exciting month since Abby mainly sleeps, eats, and needs diaper changes. She takes good naps during the day…but that was because she probably had day and night mixed up, hence some of those harder nights/zombie feeling. However, it has gotten better, thankfully, and I am able to sleep in 1-1 ½ hour chunks rather than being up from midnight to five a.m.! You somehow forget that newborn stage until it hits you in the face again, but unlike the first time around, I know that with time, it will pass. Luckily, I also have friends to remind me that even though it is a hard stage, I can get through it!

Some of the things that I have learned so far about Abby is that she loves being swaddled tightly and loves being nice and warm. The minute she is swaddled, she falls asleep – sometimes without having to be rocked! Perhaps she will be a better sleeper than Emi? Abby does love her naps and when she can, she loves sleeping on one of us. (Taro especially loves having Abby sleep on his chest since he has work and doesn’t get home until later.) The other thing is Abby loves taking a bath. The warmer the water, the better. I definitely look forward to seeing how Abby develops and I think she already cooed twice!

I feel very lucky to have a healthy baby and even luckier to have Emi who has adjusted well. Emi loves being a helper with Abby – watching her quickly while I run to the kitchen to get Emi cereal –  and loves giving Abby kisses. Emi wants to hold Abby and it is really sweet. I look forward to watching the two of them grow up together and hopefully be the best of friends.

A month has passed and I know that time goes by so quickly. Look at Emi – she is already 3! So I will definitely enjoy these baby moments and the time I get to stay at home with these two silly girls.

Abby Kianu Takeoka

7 pounds, 6 ounces

20 ½ inches

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