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…


As I am writing this, I am sitting on the futon, watching Abby play with her princess toy horses. She has figured out how to position them so they go down the ramp and finds it pretty amusing. I remember when Emi first started playing with the exact same toy, but there was more frustration on trying to put the horses in the right direction. It clearly shows that the second one picks up on things faster, especially since Abby can model after Emi. However, I do have to say that Abby tries to figure out things on her own, definitely showing more of an independent side. I mean, she likes to just wander the house and walk from room to room without any supervision. Luckily she doesn’t get herself into trouble. If anything, she has her mind set on what she wants – go get her baby, go get her blanket, or even sit in her room and play by herself.

I am home with Abby today because we both have the stomach flu….and it has not been pretty. Emi definitely got it first and she was over it within four days, but we initially thought maybe she ate something bad. And then it hit Abby yesterday. The poor thing threw up twice in her crib (the first time she’s ever thrown up), yet she didn’t cry or wake us up! And then it hit me later in the day and I felt absolutely miserable at work, only drinking a Sprite to get me through the day. So here we are at home, tackling it together. Luckily Abby is strong and in good spirits and hopefully we will knock this out within the next day or two!

Abby is trying to “talk” more and there is variation in her sounds. Her favorite word is still ball, but she says Mama and Baba pretty frequently. She can’t say Emi’s name, but she likes to point at a picture of Emi and I will say, “Where’s Emi?” and Abby turns and points at Emi herself. This is our nightly routine after bath time when I am dressing Abby. And when I tell Abby we are picking up Emi, she sits down so I can put her shoes on. I am adamant Abby said, “My sister,” but it was only once and she didn’t say it again. Emi was there to witness it. Abby’s other favorite word is no, which she says all the time and is her go-to reply to questions.

Abby loves shoes and tries putting them on herself. She especially loves getting new ones and will want to wear them right away. In the car her goal is to always try to get her shoes and socks off and it is always a game to find the missing shoe and then put it back on.  Abby finds it funny to run around the house topless or bottomless whenever I change her. The second I get her pajama top off, Abby darts away and laughs wildly. She thinks it is hilarious and does this quite often, especially if she gets her hands on to something she shouldn’t have. She grabbed my mom’s pretzel the other day and when I point editor to my mom, Abby ran. I’m being serious. This girl runs. I think she takes after me because my mom said I didn’t walk; I just got up and started running.

Abby is now at the stage where she is weary of strangers and unfamiliar people. When she doesn’t want to go to someone, she clings on tight and will look the opposite way of the person. At the same time, she waves hi to people at restaurants and will engage in a game of peek-a-boo if the person seems friendly.

This little one is growing up fast and a milestone is coming up soon- 18 months! I look forward to sharing more!