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…


Some photos from my iPhone…


MY LIFE , Peanut



It is with a heavy heart that I write with about Peanut. On Sunday, January 3, 2015, we had to put him down. Upon returning from our Mammoth trip, we noticed Peanut was limping and having difficulty walking. Before we left, he was still dashing across the dining room, escaping the laughter and footsteps of Abby. So it came as a surprise, and I felt bad that he might have felt abandoned and alone, succumbing to the tumor and sickness that has been slowly growing within him. Did we get a long time with him after his diagnosis? Yes, but my time and attention was elsewhere and Peanut became so secondary that I took his presence for granted. I now wish I had spent more time with him…and Taro said with me taking care of Emi and Abby a majority of the time, it wasn’t like I wanted to ignore him; I just had new and more important priorities. But still…Peanut was the first pet Taro and I shared, the first (and only) cat I ever owned, a kitten who we adopted , a lover of these purple fuzzy cat toys, a ninja who jumped off the columns in our house, a cat who actually played fetch, a mean one to strangers and even friends but affectionate to me and Taro, a cat who respected my girls and knew never to harm them, a cricket killer and guardian of the house, a Christmas tree lover who snuggled on the tree skirt for the month of December, and just plain the best cat I could ever have had.

I came home today without Peanut’s greeting by the door and there was a stillness within the house. The lack of his presence was clear and in ways, it made the house feel lonely. I have been so used to seeing Peanut’s face and preventing him from dashing outside the door. It makes me sad that I won’t hear his meow anymore, even though it was bothersome early in the morning, or hear him try to swipe under the door, even though that oftentimes frightened the crap out of me in the middle of the night. Emi stated it best: “My heart is sad because Peanut isn’t coming home.”

Peanut was the best cat…and like I said, the only cat I will ever have. There was just something about him – his guarded self, his distance before warming up, his weariness of outsiders, and his love for those that were close within. Perhaps I saw a bit of myself, a connection, and something I could break…and that was the reason why we loved Peanut and he loved us.

I will miss his nutface dearly, but I know he is no longer suffering and feeling like a burden. I will always remember Peanut and cherish all the fond memories and pictures. Thank you for all the good times, Nutty, and I will miss and love you always.


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…