Monday, August 29, 2011

what is this?

the oaks


garden path

garden of bamboo

(pentax k1000, kodak ektar 100, set to ISO 400)

how i am in love with this "blue hue" bamboo, no doubt a fluke of my mishap at setting my ISO too high.

we have decided, at last (!) after a 2 year engagement (that took place in China, no less) to set a date and marry beneath this plant we love so much, in a place that has become almost sacred to us, come winter. this time of year will be mild, green, beautiful, and cool, as is the case in our region. an intimate gathering of immediate family and close friends, something simple with little fuss.

i am terrible at planning such things, so the challenge begins. one that i welcome with a small measure of angst. i can't wait to say "i do".

Saturday, August 27, 2011

all smiles, 1st day of kindergarten (end of the day)

i should have known it would take less than the first week for Ellis to come out of school beaming like this. here she is on her first day at pick up, and she informed me she only cried for "10 minutes" at the start of her first day.

i am so inspired by her spirit and her bravery! she is such an amazing person- and already proving to be the natural born (boss)- ahem- leader that she is. i ran into her teacher when i was out today who informed me that she had all the kids in class in front of her during recess and was asking who was 6, 7, and 8 years old respectively and requesting each age group "raise your hand" after each inquiry. when she was finished, she informed certain members of the gathering that they "may have to leave". i was laughing so hard but quickly followed with "please nip this in the bud for me!"... Mrs. S said, "we'll trim a little but it will serve her well in life". i agree but since this is a behavior we never see at home (cuz girl knows the parents are boss i guess), i worry about her intelligence and her keen ability to manipulate like a pro!

watch out people. she has a smile that will melt hearts and a mind that will rule the world. she did tell me tonight, out of the blue, that 9+9 makes 18 after all.

Monday, August 22, 2011


what is found there
(pentax k1000, kodak ektar 100, film)

today i sent her off to kindergarten, backpack and lunch pail in tow, tears streaming down her face, a ball full of nerves, her hand gripping mine tightly, not wanting to let go. how i wish i had the power to show her the future, one that will arrive in days- her exuberant smile and story telling, calling on her classmates by first and last name (oh to have her memory!)- and sharing their particular habits and favorite things. the warmth of her teacher's hugs. trips to the library. numbers and letters and homework! all the things she most loves about her new (big girl) school.

but for now i sit home a first time mom worried for her fear and sadness, clock watching and wondering if she ate enough lunch and played on the jungle gym. wondering if she found her smile today and trusting in it for tomorrow :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

oh the places she'll go. like. eventually off to college! but tomorrow, we start with the BIG K!

and Friday, we met her teacher. and she got into the program we were hoping for! it's called "Project Friends" and it's the multi-age program i spoke of here- so she will be in the same class from kindergarten through second grade and have homework starting in K! i am so very excited for her, and got choked up standing outside the school doors as they posted the class listings.

i had no idea i would feel anything at all and up until that moment honestly felt this day was a bit of a hassle. cuz i'm one of those moms that didn't want to spend her friday with a lot of strangers making small talk. but then, there her name was, first on that list, under Mrs. S... and damn if mom didn't shed a tear and my heart didn't grow 3 times its normal size! (AND i met some really awesome parents and moms!)

baby is off to big girl school. holy sh*t people. yes, i believe this calls for some language.

E was less excited. this was a really, really tough day for her. and tomorrow hasn't even arrived yet.

(disclaimer: i promise we aren't crazy cruel parents that snapped photo after photo of their distraught child- believe it or not, it means something to her to look at these). that 3rd photo in the cafeteria was an hour into our stay. by then, it was less about her being upset, and more about control, which we have been working on with her. our stipulation (after our initial 30-45 minutes of holding and consoling) was that she had to calm herself before we would start heading home. she pushed through her fear (and her tears, and her anger! god i love when this kid gets mad, it's just not something we see enough! she needs to express this, and i was so thankful to see her unleash a little of it!)- yes, screaming and whipping that chair away from me in the photo below. sometimes picture taking will bring a little smirk through her tears (as you see in that first photo). this time, it brought the temper- so after this pic, i put the camera down and got down on the floor with my girl. no pics again until we were outside smiling :)

and she DID leave smiling BIG. (heh. mabye because of that glowing sign that promised an exit in red, but hey, she was smiling after all, and back to her natural giggly self- and came into that pretty much on her own with only our gentle but firm guidance and support).

she's tough. she is surrounded by so much love. not just from us. countless kids came up and spoke to her or (tried) to hug her, telling her how much fun she would have in kindergarten. one little boy in her class promised to be her friend. he remembered how scared he was last year.

i give her a week, maybe 2, before she's rattling off everyone's name, raving about her teacher and no doubt attempting to direct traffic in that room.

that's my girl. she bursts through shining when the rain clears.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

little Hiro

hiro-san, 3 months


hiro nakamura

hiro, 3 months

our little hiro

the laughter of puppies
(pentax k1000, kodak ektar 100, film)

only a matter of weeks, and the baby of the family has grown so much... these photos just came back a couple of days ago, i was shocked at how small he was, like yesterday it seems! he has gained 4 and 1/2 pounds in only 3 weeks. and off to the surgery theater today to lose his manhood. the indignity of it all! i haven't had the heart to even tell him. sigh.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

thoughts toward heaven

cloud happiness

storm happiness

cloud happiness
(yashi, fuji pro 400, film)

listening to this and thinking of my mother, who would have celebrated her 75th year this monday, August 15th. how my heart aches missing her and swirls still in unbelief at her passing. how my heart soars in the knowledge that she is present here with me, in this same heart. my eyes look toward the clouds and a place called heaven, that resides much closer to me than the skies. but somehow, i am comforted looking up.

Monday, August 8, 2011

us lately

put the toy down. slowly. no sudden moves, okay? just puuuut the toy down and no one gets hurt.

put the toy down. slowly. no sudden moves, okay? just puuuut the toy down and no one gets hurt.


trips for treats.

one happy family! all love!

one happy family! all love!

i can't see! oh. my eyes are closed.

crazy playtime with hiro-san and favorite (growing up so fast) little girl!

ellis: "get me out of here"!

E: "get me out of here!"

fingers!!! mine.... they are all mine....

ah! fingers! mine, all mine!

belly CPR

we call this "belly CPR"


which leads to "oooof".

the best medicine: laughing with family

and lots of laughter.

hee heeee! (let me eat your shoe).

there's been some flight time.

sure i'd love a secon cup

and a little tea time.
"sure, i'd love a second cup. 2 sugars if you please".

upside down smiles

there have been upside down giggles.

tug of war


love love love




and lots of this...

mama, mei mei and hiro nakamura

family :)


cutie pie

life is never all smiles and fun and rolling around on the floor, soaking in the infectious joy a new puppy brings or celebrating the milestones of your beautiful and growing daughter. it is filled with countless challenges and the mundane routines, that are so easy to get bogged down in that you easily lose sight of what these photos represent: the essence of who we truly are as a family. at our core, this is our foundation. but on our individual and collective paths there are numerous and sometimes what appear to be insurmountable "bumps" in what can appear to be a seamless and smooth road. life is not meant to be this way- handed to us on a silver platter, something to be taken for granted- and we are not foolish or naive enough to believe that. yesterday i stopped dead in my tracks as i said to E, 'well we were teaching Ransom to "touch" at puppy class, remember, as a way to come to us when he is called?"... and the tears came. the knot in my throat and chest stayed with me most of the afternoon. yesterday E was told it was time she moved to her big girl room (again)- with all kinds of encouragement and support, picking out a new toy and canopy for her bed, a chart of her choice printed with smiley face stickers for each night she does sleep there and bigger rewards at the end of each week she is successful. she slept there for the first time in months, after what seemed a smooth and easy transition in January (she has been back in our room since the end of February). and though it went well, all things considered, it certainly was not easy for her. and in this space, on this site, i don't speak to her physical challenges which are private because they are hers. but they are still there, our reality. it has been 2 years and g and i have yet to have a date save one night (thank you aunt "kayen" and uncle jay) over a year ago when we drove to another city to see Ellis Paul.

and kindergarten is exactly 2 weeks away, from this day.

so many milestones as a family. so many milestones for her and her small and fragile heart. lots of stressors. lots of pressure and strain. so much light and love and happiness. we are incredibly blessed.