Sunday, January 30, 2011

One Last Visit

One more visit to the beach before we head to the mountains tomorrow. I'm taking a few days off (it's just State Testing anyway!), and Thursday and Friday are off for the Chinese New Year, so we have a week at the cabin ahead of us. Nice!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Another Zoo Afternoon

Membership is nice -- we can drop in anytime we want!

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Sequoia Boys

It's easy to see, already, that once little Ko learns to keep up, then him and Rai will be quite the team. Everyone around will know the Sequoia Boys. They're sure to leave a mark wherever they go. For now, we'll enjoy watching their budding brotherhood knowing that, soon, we may have to keep closer tabs on the antics that are sure to come!
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

We Want New Wheels Too!

The protest came quicker and louder than we anticipated. Having bought the new car, we knew that it wouldn't be long before Rai raised the point that his stroller was getting old, too. Sure, it wasn't a '97 Bob Revolution stroller like our Nissan had been, but it was 80% of Rai's age, something we couldn't say about the old car!
And now, Rai's voice is no longer a solo, it's a duet, as Kotaru joins in to harmonize his feelings (which usually match Rai's exactly). "Get us a new stroller! Get us a new stroller!" Ashe couldn't say no. She found a double stroller for the two boys and not just any double-stroller, she picked out the one cited as "the most luxurious" double stroller on the market. You know us: luxury first, always! Enjoy your new ride, Rai and Ko!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Glam Rock Revival

Rai's hair keeps getting longer and longer. We've mentioned that he often gets mistaken for a girl. That stage may be passing. He seems to have moved beyond "oh, it's a cute little girl with shoulder length hair" to "why haven't his parents trimmed his hair yet?"
That's fine with us. We were inspired last summer by a 5 year old boy we saw at the playground who had flowing, blond hair all the way down to his waist. Rai has only 3 more years and a lot more hair to go. We'll get there!
The ultimate goal, of course, is a full-on glam rock era revival, circa 1981. Glitter rock, of course, surfaced in the '70s, but the bands I tend to remember all enjoyed their greatest songs (and greatest hair) in the '80s. Twisted Sister, Motley Crue, Poison, Whitesnake, Quiet Riot, and so many others were household names for our generation. We'll make a hair band revivalist of Rai yet. I thought I heard somewhere that parents' dreams are supposed to be lived out through their kids...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Squirmy Kotaru

Rai didn't crawl. He skipped that stage and went straight to walking. Kotaru, on the other hand, may turn out to be a good crawler. He's already a very squirmy little guy, almost throwing himself out of our arms every time we pick him up. On his tummy, he can spin around in circles without a problem. We don't remember Rai doing that at three months. Now, we'll just keep putting him on his stomach and hoping to see those knees bend and arms raise...

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gift Exchange

Way back when Rai was just a wee little one, we received a care package from our friend Taka and his family in Japan. After that, the gifts did not stop coming. Over these past few years, we've received three packages stuffed to capacity with great Japanese baby clothing, and lots of special games and activities for kids, not to mention items for Ashe and myself.
As the years went by, and the pile of gifts from Japan grew, so did our guilt. We had to reciprocate and, this New Year, we finally did. We gathered a bunch of great San Francisco items and clothing and shipped them off to Yokohama but something tells me that this gift exchange is just beginning...
And, don't Rai and Ko look great in their latest Japanese items?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Today, Rai is 21 Months Old!

Today, our precious little girl turned 21 months old. Biologically and emotionally, he may be a boy, but out in the great big world, 4 out of 5 people assume that he's a girl. So, by the power of that overwhelming democratic majority, he's a girl. Could it have something to do with his long, golden hair? Probably.
A few funny episodes come to mind. First, there was the time at the toy store when Rai pushed a toddler after having a train car taken forcefully from him. To our surprise, the toddler's Mom applauded Rai for his push, "That is so great that she stands up for herself!" The smile that accompanied that comment turned to a scowl when I corrected her, "he's a boy." Another time, at a playground, some kids ran around, playing with Rai, shouting, "he's coming this way, he's coming this way!" A Mom that watched pulled her child to the side, reprimanding him, "Do NOT call little girls boys... that's rude!" Finally, at another playground, an assertive girl announced to some little boys, "That's not a boy. It's a girl. She just wants to be a boy. She's a tomboy." Their response, looking at Rai, "Ooohhh..."
At 21 months, we may hear Rai using the "I have to wash my hair" excuse pretty soon when all those little boys come calling.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ko is 100 Days Old!

Little Ko has reached an important milestone: his 100th day!
Below is a comparison of our boys at 100 days of age! To me, they don't even look like brothers!
Genetics work their mystery once again.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

King of the House

Who is the master of our home? An easy enough question, yet one we cannot answer. We would like to say that it's one of us, Ashe or I, but if this is our kingdom, then where are our subjects? Rai and Ko certainly aren't. Considering who serves who around here, it's more likely that Rai and Ko are the kings in this home. Actually, they prefer to be called sheiks or at least they dress the part. We found Rai rummaging through the snack drawer like some stray dog the other day, wearing Mom's hoodie which hung all the way down to his feet. Clearly he's claimed the entire apartment as his own personal domain. Kotaru, so young, yet so bold has decided to challenge Rai, though. With his own sheik headdress, he is starting to assert himself around here as well. Who will earn dominion? Only time will tell.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Evolution

Maybe the raccoon is below the dog on the evolutionary totem pole, but Rai's animal of choice maybe evolving from dog to raccoon and it all began with a deck.
The deck in question is the deck in Grandma and Grandpa's backyard. This particular deck is new, but the labyrinthine recesses under several generations of deck have served as home for a family or two of raccoons. Currently, a family of four resides under the deck, showing their glowing eyes almost every evening. Rai has been lucky enough to spot this family on several occasions. Now, it's almost impossible for Rai not to call out for his beloved "raccoons!" whenever he finds himself at Grandma and Grandpa's place as the evening sets in. To give Rai his daytime raccoon fix, Grandma and Grandpa bought for him a great raccoon stuffed animal which quickly made it's way into Rai's bedtime entourage, joining duck and penguin. Soon, there'll be no room left in the crib!
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2011 !

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Train to Central Park

Every child needs a taste of reality now and then. Imagination and fantasy are great but sometimes a window into the world as it really is is a necessary part of growing up. It was time for Rai to have one of these moments. It wasn't anything grand, not a 'Santa Claus' or 'Easter Bunny' revelation, but still something that may actually change Rai's life.
In a team effort like no other, Mom, Grandma and Grandpa revealed to Rai that trains are not just toys that can be held in your hand, not just 2 foot trains that are ridden around zoos and parks. No, trains are great machines, hundreds of feet long. All the the trains Rai has seen so far are just miniature models of the real thing.
On this very real train, they all took a trip down to San Mateo's Central Park where a picnic and miniature train helped to ease the shock of this perspective-shattering day for Rai. In the end, Rai loved his first trip on a real train and, at just a few dollars, it's something we may do quite often. And, let's not forget about little Ko -- he loved it too! Next destination: San Jose? Sacramento perhaps?

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Kotaru - 3 Months Old Today!

Our littlest one turned 3 months old today and we're left as stunned as we were when Rai made it to this milestone. Where did these last 3 months go? What was life like before Ko? Who knows?! And, to all those that say "all babies look the same," we give you a comparison of our two boys at 3 months of age. Not only do they look different, but Ko's personality at 3 months is almost nothing like Rai's was at that age! What a difference but how wonderful they both are! Finally, with the number 3 on our minds, we contemplate the idea of a third child. Our health insurance premiums are fixed after 2 so the sky's the limit!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Missing our Walks on the Beach

With the incredible cold spell we've been having here in S.F., we've had to cancel our regular visits to the beach because the frigid late afternoons resemble tundra walks more than beach walks. Those few times we have made it to the beach recently, we've had to bundle up in winter wear as if preparing for snowy weather. Sunday was a respite from the cold weather so we made it to the beach with our friends. Since then, we're back to waiting for some warmer weather, enjoying sunsets from our deck instead of the beach.
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fueling the Flames of Passion

It's hard to be in your life, Rai, and not yet know that trains are your flavor of the month. Even Grandma and Grandpa are aware of your addiction and do all they can to give you your daily fix. That can mean some time at the train table at their place or, if you're really lucky, a visit to the Zoo so that you can take a ride on the Little Puffer.
Meanwhile, back at home, Kotaru has nothing but a big smile on his face for every moment that you're preoccupied with some other toy, game or activity means a moment of peace and quiet for him. While you're with your trains, Ko is happy to know that your fingers are somewhere other than inside his eye sockets and that's a good thing.
Considering that, Ko may be the biggest advocate of having you, Rai, getting over-scheduled into all kinds of activities. Soccer, ballet, art clases, swimming, you name it -- Ko's your biggest fan!