I am on vacation now so Emi and I spend practically every single moment and day together. There have been some random lunches here and there, but for the most part, it is me and her throughout the day. Our summer is filled with swimming lessons – we are taking Parent and Me classes and she absolutely loves the water, just not in her face – and a Saturday music class. The first day of her music class Emi refused to look at anyone and was a bit afraid; however, she clapped and cheered at the end of each song, which made the music teacher laugh and exclaim, “You should put this on Youtube!” Later on in the summer we are going to take a Parent and Me tumbling class – and hopefully I won’t be required to do any gymnastic moves since I wasn’t quite stellar as a kid. Besides that, I look forward to going to Amy’s Playground more, take a couple trips to the zoo, and hopefully go to the aquarium since Emi loves fish. Did I mention how she enthusiastically shouts, “Fissssshhhhh!” every time we go to the pool? Emi assumes if there is a body of water, regardless of how big or small, there must be fish in it.

Emi’s personality is really starting to grow and develop more. She has discovered the word no and uses it when I try to feed her or when I try to tell her not to do things – like turn the washer and dryer on and off, even though she makes me laugh when she mimics the sound of the washer. At times it seems like she cannot communicate what she wants and she can throw a tantrum – is this what people call the terrible twos or pre-two? – but I get it (sometimes). The words are not there yet to clearly communicate what she wants. At times it can be frustrating, but I just have to remember that she is trying to figure out how to make me understand. Despite that, Emi’s vocabulary is growing and there are some paired words. So what can Emi say now? Here are just some of the words I jotted down: castle, turtle, lunch time (Emi only says this at my parents’ house since this is what my mom says before she feeds her.), banana, bubble (which is sometimes followed by pop, pop, pop), balloon, woodpecker and butterfly (which is not always entirely clear), monster, panda bear, elephant, alligator, bird, ghost, noodle, car, happy, horse, bath, pajamas, bottle (when she sees a water bottle), Hello Kitty, open and close, and shoes – specifically “Baba shoes,” “Emi shoes,” and “Meme shoes.” That is all I can recall now, but she also learned the names of the following Sesame Street characters: Grover, Oscar, Rosita, Count, Telly, Ernie, Zoe, Elmo’s mom, and Elmo’s dad. Emi can now say the alphabet on her own and count from 1-10 on her own as well. She continues to love learning new animal sounds – tweet tweet for a bird, oo-ooo-oo for a monkey, and grrrr for a bear. And of course, Emi continues to love her music. One of her favorite songs to sing to is “Just Give Me a Reason” by Pink. Isn’t that completely strange yet hilarious? I have her on video singing to it which is awesome.

I am definitely enjoying the time off from work and I am glad that I get the time to spend with Emi. I already started planning her second birthday because I know it will sneak up on me. I cannot believe she will be two in 2 1/2 months! That felt fast, but luckily, she is still – and will always be – my little girl with her chubby cheeks and super big smile with her “Cheeeeese.” Oh! I completely forgot to mention the many faces of Emi. One of the expressions we call “Intense face” because she clenches her fists and teeth. The other is a very intense scowl. We always laugh and then Emi laughs, too. She definitely gets all of these facial expressions from me.

I think that is it…for now. Until July’s update!

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The days are winding down and I will soon be on vacation! I am anticipating all the things that we can do this summer – visits to the zoo, Amy’s Playground, Disneyland, library story time readings, classes at the recreation department, and of course Mommy and Me swimming lessons! It is going to be absolutely awesome because Emi is older and has a better grasp on the things around her. It will be nothing short of fun and I cannot wait to spend the next two months with her. I now understand why people say it only gets better as the older they get because last summer did not include all of these activities. Can you tell how excited I am???

Besides the anticipation for summer vacation to begin, Emi is just a ball of fun contained in this little body. She constantly makes me laugh and smile with her dancing – she still does the intensely fast river dance – and singing. Emi tries to sing to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and does the hand motions for “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” She still loves music so Emi will try to sing to everything, including “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys! Isn’t that just too funny??? I think it is the cutest thing and love that she beats the floor when we do “Patty Cake” and touches her nose when she hears the line in “Elmo Slide.” Emi surprises me every single time and I love that there are unexpected new twists when she sings and dances.

Emi’s words continue to develop and she has seriously said her first sentence. Whenever I give Emi a bath, I always say, “Naked baby on the looooooose!” That was literally her first sentence. I couldn’t believe it and thought perhaps I misheard. And then she said it in Taro’s presence as well. I’m sure no other child has said this as their first complete sentence. And perhaps this is what makes Emi so special in my eyes. In addition to the words naked baby, Emi has learned how to say some more Sesame Street characters’ names like Big Bird, Elmo, and Ernie. She also knows how to say leopard and can make the appropriate animal sounds for an elephant, lion, rooster, sheep, dog, cat, duck, mouse, horse… Can you tell she loves animals? My favorite is definitely when she roars.

In addition to learning more words, Emi knows her numbers. She tries to count from 1-10 and can actually identify them pretty well. She especially likes the number 8. When we went out to dinner on Sunday, she identified numbers in the parking structure. At first I didn’t know what she was doing, but then I realized she saw the large numbers on the concrete walls. Emi can also identify the colors in her fish puzzle and can match them up accordingly. There are ten colors. We only went over them a couple of times and all of a sudden, she just knew them! Sometimes I just don’t understand and I just feel constantly amazed at how quickly a child can pick up and learn something.

I say it practically every month, but I feel so lucky to have this girl in my life. She is growing up so fast – I mean, her feet just grew overnight! – and I just want to hold tight to every single moment, funny facial expression, laugh and giggle, and smile. She is 20 months now and the minute vacation starts, I know I will start thinking and planning her 2nd birthday.

And one day I will truly wonder how it went by so fast.

This past month was definitely an adventurous one! First off, Emi visited Japan for the first time. Prior to the trip, I was filled with anxiety over the LONG flight and didn’t know what to expect. I hoped (and prayed) that Emi would stay with her nighttime routine and fall asleep. Whatever scenario went through my mind, it was nothing compared to what actually happened. Emi had a complete meltdown and threw up four times before we even took off. When Taro returned from the restroom he had vomit all over his shirt, Emi’s shirt was covered in vomit, and she had on no pants. Of course she went straight for me which resulted in vomit all over my clothes! We were definitely not the most pleasant smelling during the flight and all three of us had to change (and pretty much throw away all of our clothes). It started off rocky, but eventually it did get better.

Once in Japan, there were still some challenges – small hotel space, traveling in tight spaces, and the time change for Emi especially – but eventually we got into the swing of things. Emi was a ramen-udon-cracker-milk machine in Japan! She enjoyed the food and I can only imagine as she gets older, she will enjoy all the Japanese food even more. Eventually she, too, will be able to eat some of the things Taro and I had at the fish market!

Luckily the flight back wasn’t a problem. Like I said, Emi had to get used to tight, small spaces so the airplane wasn’t a surprise coming back. Thankfully she did not throw up and slept most of the flight back. It was definitely hard getting her adjusted back to California time, but overall, it was still a good trip.

Besides our trip to Japan, Emi continues to develop her vocabulary. She knew how to say up before, but now she stands up when she says it and she squats down when she says down. Emi also says block, ta-da (after she stacks a toy on top of her block), ba-ba when she sees Taro (sometimes she shouts out his name and runs toward Taro), grandpapa, eye, and foot in Cantonese. Emi can identify different parts of the body, mainly eyes, mouth, nose, ear, and her feet. She doesn’t know how to say all the animals, but she will go baaaa when I say sheep, moo when I say cow, and say quack quack when I say duck.  When Emi sees an elephant, she will also make a sound, which is pretty hilarious.

Emi has grown taller, but continues to remain roughly the same weight. She is still a small eater, but definitely continues to grow! She’s able to reach more and more things and another noticeable thing is her feet. She now wears a size 5!

Summer is just around the corner so I look forward to the activities that we can do this summer. Until then…