Abby is going to be my feisty one. She’s going to be the protector, defender, but have this loving, funny quality to her. She loves to laugh and play around with Emi, but at any moment, she could pull your hair or poke your eyes out. She will do pats of love…and then a good slap upside the face. I have experienced them first hand and they are not fun nor pretty, yet Abby thinks it is hilarious. But she knows that it isn’t okay, yet needs reminders. Hence, my defender and one day, she’ll probably stand up or be side by side with Emi if anybody tries to mess with them.

Abby continues to be the more independent one, roaming the house with her swaddle blankets, which she absolutely loves. She likes to mimic Emi, playing with her babies/dolls or with the toy kitchen. She makes me laugh when Abby walks around with the oven mitt on her hand. She does it pretty well. But with her independence comes her rascal like behavior – turning on the bathroom faucet or the bath tub, grabbing things from tables and running away with them in her hands, or stopping the washer because she likes pushing the buttons. The positive way to look at it is that Abby is very curious, but she definitely keeps me on my toes! I constantly have to ask Emi to keep an eye on her when I am cooking or even using the bathroom! Luckily Abby doesn’t do anything dangerous or get hurt. She just likes to do as she pleases, even if that is just walking from room to room! Plus she has Emi to model after and Emi is far more careful than wild and adventurous!

Abby loves animals and goes a bit wild when she sees a dog or cat. She points and says dog or meow…and really wants to touch it. The other thing Abby enjoys doing is coloring on paper. She definitely is copying Emi, but she has a good grip on the crayon and has learned that they don’t taste good. Emi and Abby do fight over the crayons at restaurants so I really need to start bringing a box.

It’s just a little more time before I am off for the summer. Hopefully the next update will be a bit longer so until then…

The big 18 months. It’s the milestone of sorts and I can definitely see Abby developing and growing into this…tiny person. She is on the more independent side, happily walking around the house, playing on her own, and climbing and sitting on her little chair or couch just to hang out and relax. Abby is strong-willed and will give you (or maybe just me?) trouble if she doesn’t want to change her diaper, brush her teeth herself, or not want to sit in the high chair. She will actually either lay on the floor and kick her feet or just press down against the floor, cheek on the floor with her arms and legs spread out. I just stand there and say, “Where did you learn this from?” because Emi never did that…nor does that now. No seriously, where do kids learn it from?!? Even though she is stubborn beyond words, Abby is also very sweet. She cries out, “Momma!” Or “Maaa-ma!” and gives out kisses like “mmmmah!” Abby LOVES my dad and runs to him and hugs him every single time she sees him. It’s sweet how much love she gives him. Yesterday Abby literally danced when she saw him. (Sometimes I even think Abby prefers my dad over me! Okay, probably not, but that’s how happy she gets.) Despite being quite independent, Abby is needy in ways and decides when she wants to be carried and held tightly and she still nurses, which is still a very intimate bond that we have. She totes her blanket, ball, baby, bear, and whatever toy is around, making it a whole show and production! It’s going to be a challenge to wean her, though, because she is far more needy about it. Fingers crossed for a successful summer!
At Abby’s 18 month appointment, the pediatrician noted that Abby is far more physically active, hence a “slower” development with language (Emi was the opposite). Abby is also #2, so that could be the reason as well. Abby does like all things that begin with the letter b – ball, balloon, bear, baby, and blanket. She can say the first three, but then she resorts to calling everything else ball and I have to figure out what she wants. She does try to say duck, which comes pretty close, but sometimes it just sounds like daaaaa. Abby tries to say cheers and especially loves lifting her cup to cheers with another person. Yesterday I didn’t know that she wanted to do it so she starting banging her cup on her high chair out of frustration! I eventually figured it out and she was happy and relieved. This girl!
Abby loves to walk and doesn’t last too long in the stroller. Unless she has a snack, Abby prefers to be on her feet. She’s pretty good about holding hands, and Emi doesn’t mind because then she can sit in the stroller. Emi is my I don’t feel like walking, you can carry me girl while Abby is the let me outta here girl. There’s definitely balance with these two!
Abby continues to play with her baby doll, tote around her bear and blanket, sleep with her favorite ball, and copy Emi and steal her toys. Abby loves Mickey Mouse right now and dances and tries to sing to the songs. She is really good at throwing balls and can even throw them over her head and behind her. Abby is full of funny expressions and loves being silly. When Abby and Emi start laughing together they don’t stop, which puts a huge smile on my face.
Summer is almost within reach and I look forward to spending some quality time with my loves. Until next month…

The past few months have been exciting ones for Emi. Each one had a holiday to celebrate and this year, Emi was very much aware of it. She enjoyed giving Valentine’s Day treats to both her school friends and Japanese school classmates. I found these donut erasers and Emi was super excited. Emi still has ado it obsession so she wanted to make sure she got an eraser, too. I found a donut keychain from Sanrio and gave that to Emi as a Valentine’s Day treat. On St. Patrick’s Day Emi was decked out in green with a green Minnie Mouse and headband, which made Emi look like a little flapper. Then Easter. Easter was definitely a big one. We went to Jen and Herman’s annual Easter party and Emi has a great time eating pizza, playing in the play house, jumping in the jumper, and looking for eggs. This year there were quarters in the eggs and whoever got the most got to choose a prize. Each kid ended up choosing prizes and Emi got a stuffed dinosaur who goes into an egg from the movie Good Dinosaur. On Easter, Emi and Abby had an Easter egg hunt at my parents’ house. Emi loved it and was thrilled to get My Little Pony surprises, a watch, hair accessories, bracelets, and quarters. I love seeing the excitement on Emi’s face and it is so much fun watching her have fun.

Emi is fun, loving, and just a mirror of me and Taro. She is stubborn, feisty…and I say a Takeoka! Emi can be hard headed and wants things her way. She is continuing to test things, but she is sensitive, does not want to disappoint, wants things to be fair (but wants it to be more towards her favor), and has an abundance of energy. Sometimes I feel like I am dealing with a teenager in a four year old’s body and some days it is just easy. These are the challenges you don’t know about before having kids and I admit that I am learning along the way. One day Emi will ask me if four year olds are crazy nuts and I will say yes with confidence!

Emi has come a long way with swimming, which she does every week. She can go the length of the pool, a mix of doing arm strokes and floating in her back. She is currently at level 5 and is starting to learn how to tap each hand after doing a stroke. The next step is to bend her elbows. Emi is also going to learn backstroke so it is pretty exciting to see how far she has come! Emi is water safe and I am glad that she can manage if she falls into the pool. Emi’s hard core, no nonsense, time watching,strict teacher has paid off, although now he laughs more and actually smiles…and talks to Emi and entertains her conversations.

Emi has started getting homework in her four year old class and it was initially a challenge getting it all done. Since Emi only goes twice a week, she actually gets less time to work on it compared to her classmates who go to school five days a week. However, we now have a system down and it has been easier getting it all done. Emi practices writing her letters and numbers, completing mazes (which is a bit challenging to explain), cutting and gluing, and coloring. We work on homework after Abby goes to sleep so it is a nightly routine. We are looking at TK come this August so I want Emi to be ready!

It has been a busy few months, but I look forward to more things to come! Until then…