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I met the Law family last Thanksgiving for an impromptu family session. It was set up within a couple days after Jennifer saw her friends’ holiday photos. After our session together, Jennifer already told me that they would return back to Southern California in the Spring and she wanted to have another session. So when Jennifer contacted me, it made me look forward to seeing her family again, especially her cute and fun kids. They trekked down during their Spring break to visit family, but unfortunately the original date we arranged to take photos was not only going to be overcast,  but there was a chance of rain! The sunny, 70ish degree weather was nowhere in sight! Luckily we were able to align our schedules together and take the photos a couple of days later and that Southern California weather was present. If anything, it was actually on the warmer side! (And yes, it did rain on that original date! Weather here can be unpredictable at times.)

We had our family photo session at the L.A. Arboretum. The kids loved checking out the art pieces and especially loved seeing the peacocks that roam around the arboretum and the city of Arcadia. They also enjoyed checking out the turtles and the geese that frequent the water. Similar to last time, the two older ones enjoyed climbing the trees and exploring everything that surrounded them. The lil’ one pretended the tree stump was a drum and loved smelling the colorful flowers around her. Overall, the kids had a great time and what I enjoyed most was seeing the three of them interact with one another. You can see the love they have for one another.

It was great seeing all of you again, Law family! I look forward to photographing you again on your next visit!

{Know someone interested in a family session? Feel free to share my new phone app: Andrea Takeoka Photography App}

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On Tuesday (April 14th), Emi’s teacher told me a handful of things that made me laugh.

One: Emi wants to have a dance party with her teacher. Yes, we dance all silly when we are at home. Emi has just discovered Daft Punk and likes their music. Taro blasted it on his speaker and the three of us danced in the living room. Surprisingly Abby did not wake up to our madness. So the dance party comment was in ways a surprise (since she wants to do it at school) and not at the same time. Currently, this is Emi’s playlist: “Love Shack” by The B-52s (Long story about how she discovered this song, but it was to do with me identifying the wrong song during a Jamberry party game!), “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, “Cool Kids” by Echosmith, “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry, “Tokyo” by Owl City, “Cool” by Gwen Stefani (Loving that Emi likes Gwen Stefani and No Doubt!), “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, and “Lose Yourself to Dance” by Daft Punk. As you can see, Emi has an eclectic choice in music, similar to her indecisive mom here.

Two: Emi has done Facetime with her previous teacher. And occasionally we send pictures and video. So when she showed Emi’s current teacher the video we sent, her teacher asked why Emi didn’t send her a video. Emi’s response? Emi told her teacher she needs her phone number! It totally makes sense, but I was so surprised Emi asked for it! So now we have Emi’s teacher’s phone number.

Three: Apparently Emi does shoulder shimmies and flips her hair and says, “I’m pretty.” Ummm…whhhhhat? Where did she get that from? Seriously…that is all Taro right there. Haha!

Emi is a complete goofball at school and her teacher said Emi is super funny and she can see why her previous teacher enjoyed having her. I’m glad she is opening up in her class and with her (not so new anymore) teachers even though Emi insists every Tuesday and Thursday she doesn’t like school and doesn’t want to go. I know it is hard leaving home and knowing I am home, but once she is there, Emi really does have a great time. Emi is getting better at writing and coloring and her paper cutting skills is improving! Emi loves showing me her work that is displayed in the classroom and I enjoy hearing the songs she learns at school (the days of the week and also a Spanish song she learned).

Emi is really becoming her own person. She is very stubborn (definitely a combination of me and Taro) and likes to have things her way (everything has to have its place). I call her a hoarder because she likes to keep things, like receipts (In my opinion, all Taro right here!), and can remember if things came in a specific bag or box. Emi stuffs her purse with the most random things! She hates band-aids and nail polish. Emi wanted her nails painted like mine and after painting just one nail, she screamed, “Take it off!” She enjoys playing in her toy kitchen and if you are over, she will make some kind of meal. She especially loves cooking it up for Grandmama and her Auntie Viv. Her new thing is making pie and she tried her first real pie just recently – a bite size blueberry pie from 85 Degrees. Emi still continues to enjoy eating cake and just had her first ice cream sandwich which she thoroughly enjoyed. Emi is eating more, as in she is willing to try new things. It’s probably a mixture of being on the lunch program at school and knowing she will get a quarter if she eats veggies, although she still wants to just eat chicken and rice for dinner almost every night. She loves going to Tasty Garden and having the hot pot rice, “brown chicken” (which is really beef in the chow fun), and Hong Kong egg waffle. And did I mention at times I have a 3-year-old going on 15? Emi calls me “Mom” and tells me, “Don’t worry about it.” I want to say, “Whoa there, girl.” I guess this is just a preview into the teenage years. On top of all this, shopping with Emi is an adventure now. She loves Gap and the minute we step in, she starts looking for things that are 3T and tries to throw them into my bag. She is definitely my lil’ shopping buddy.

During the past couple of months we were able to go to Knott’s Berry Farm again. Now that I’m not pregnant I go on practically all the rides with Emi unless I have to nurse Abby. The rollercoaster at Camp Snoopy is so bumpy and I have to hold on to Emi so tight, but she absolutely loves it! She still doesn’t want to go on the rides where she would have to ride by herself, but she definitely still enjoys the camp bus, boat, trucks, and all the other good stuff at Camp Snoopy.

We also went to Carlsbad Flower Fields with my mom. Emi loved seeing all the colorful flowers and sniffing them to see how they smell. Way back when, before kids and even before we got married, Taro and I went to Carlsbad and we have these pictures where we were jumping. So what I had Emi do was also jump with the flowers in the background and take photos of her. Even though she was just inches from the ground, I took them so it looks like she is a bit higher than that. Emi loved doing it and it was hilarious. We had a really great time out in Carlsbad and I look forward to going back again.

For Easter we took pictures at the mall. I was really proud of Emi because she didn’t freak out with the Easter bunny, even though she was really tense and weary about the bunny. We also went to her school for the Easter party and egg hunt. Emi enjoyed it and found five eggs in a row (the max number they could have). Jen and Herman had their annual Easter party and Emi didn’t run off crying in the picture this year. (Last year’s picture was memorable and super funny.) She LOVED looking for eggs and seeing what was inside. An extra treat was that on Easter day itself, my mom hid eggs in the backyard and Emi was able to find even more eggs! It was really a lot of fun and I cannot wait until next year when Emi and Abby can do it together.

May is going to be filled with fun, especially because we are going to take a two day trip to Disneyland! Emi is really looking forward to it, especially because she is obsessed with Minnie Mouse right now. She has already planned her 4th birthday which will include a Mickey Mouse cake. This girl knows what she wants. I look forward to sharing the next update on Emi. Until then…

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Abby is officially 18 pounds (and 2 ounces)! She continues to grow and I am happy to say she is a healthy, growing girl. To compare, Emi was 18 pounds, 10 ounces at her one year check-up so you can definitely see a significant difference! The funny thing is I am not doing anything different. I am strictly nursing Abby so I don’t know what it is. I have been told the second child usually is bigger or that the milk is richer because the body is used to producing it. Regardless of the reason, I am just glad she is a growing girl! Abby is currently 26 inches long (half an inch longer than Emi at this point) and her head size is 42 cm (same as Emi). We will see where Abby is at for her 9 month check-up!

So I was a bit worried that Abby wouldn’t roll over and technically, she has…but only once. She went from her tummy to her back on April 13th and I was SO disappointed because I missed seeing it! I had to type in the tracking number for a package and all of a sudden, she was on her back! However, Abby has yet to roll from her back to her tummy. She likes to go on her side to reach for toys or things hanging from her playmat, but has yet to make the complete motion all the way to her tummy. In this way Abby is very similar to Emi. Emi didn’t roll around; she did it a few times just to show me that she knew how to do it. Perhaps Abby is falling in big sis’ footsteps? Even though Abby isn’t rolling, Abby is much more steady at sitting up. She can’t sit up on her own, but she is doing a good job sitting in between my legs or on my lap.

Abby got her second tooth on March 27th. It’s another bottom tooth and silly as it may sound, it’s really cute. She had a low grade fever last week and I thought she was teething, but it doesn’t look like her top teeth are breaking anytime soon. The pediatrician can see them, but it seems like the fever might have been caused by her growing – that 6 month growth spurt! It was really rough because she woke up every 45-60 minutes screaming and I felt terrible for Abby. It was very tiring for me, but I knew it would pass. However, because she is so much more aware now, every little sound – a cough, sneeze, Emi making noise – wakes her and she had a hard time sleeping. So yes, it was time to move Abby to her crib. I loved having her in my room; it brought comfort and less stress, but Abby not sleeping well made it harder for her by throwing off nap times. I really dreaded the whole cry it out thing. Not only dreaded it, but feared it. Just as a reminder, Emi cried…and didn’t stop…as in 2 hours of crying and I didn’t get to sleep and had to get ready for work at 5:30 a.m. So the plus side with Abby is I am not working right now, but still…the heartache of crying it out. So Taro and I did it together. She woke up and I told him I would let her cry for 15 minutes. We had to catch up on The Walking Dead anyways so we figured we could watch that. Abby cried for 15 minutes and then stopped. The next 15 minutes she just chilled out in her crib and then fell asleep. Success! 30 minutes and she was back to sleeping. Abby woke up early in the morning (2:30ish) and it was the same thing. She cried for less than 15 minutes and then chilled out before falling back asleep. That was on Tuesday. Last night she cried for less than 10 minutes and just fell back asleep. Even though she woke up two times later, Abby seriously cried for less than 5 minutes and just went back to sleep. I cannot even explain how much of a relief it is that I don’t have to go through the heartache of hearing Abby cry for hours! So now she has more room in her crib and less distractions from us. If you heard Emi and Taro read the book 1, 2, 3 Peas you wouldn’t be able to sleep through it either. Those two have so much fun reading together.

Abby went on her first trip to the Carlsbad Flower Fields. It was beautiful seeing all the flowers in bloom and Abby enjoyed being in the Baby Bjorn. She loves being able to see things and kick her feet freely. We will definitely be using that when we go to Disneyland in May! It was not only Abby’s first trip there, but also my mom’s first visit. She decided to come along with us and I am glad that Emi and Abby will be able to look back on these pictures they have with their Grandmama.

It was Abby’s first Easter. Although she didn’t participate in the activities, Abby was in the kids’ picture at Jen and Herman’s annual Easter party. Each year there is a new addition so it is really cool to see how our families have grown and changed. I look forward to next year when Abby can look for eggs with Emi!
I honestly cannot believe Abby is half a year old. Part of me feels like I should start planning her one year birthday. Is it too soon? Not really, if you know me. I just want things to be perfect. Cheesy as it might sound, I really feel like things are perfect and that I have it all – two wonderful, special, and loving girls. Until next month for the big 7…

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