Archive for April, 2009

Teaching independence

Letter to Nikisha (Six years nine months):

Dearest Nik,

This morning I watched you walk out the front door to head to your bus. Alone. The scared feeling I get every time you do that has gotten smaller with each passing day. I know now that you’ll be just fine without me attached to your schoolbag until you’ve stepped up that first step onto the bus. I know that when I hear the bus round the corner at just before 4PM every weekday, you’ll be walking through that door in just a few minutes.

Each and every time you do, I feel relief. And pride.

But do you remember at the beginning of the school year? That day when we both got scared and the only thing we wanted to do was cry?

I remember that day so clearly. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget it. It was the first time I ever felt so terrified that I’d lost you and I didn’t know what to do. I waited at the bus stop until every last kid got off the bus. When you didn’t, I panicked. It was only the second day you’ve ridden the bus, so the bus driver had no idea who you or I was. I ran home and hopped in the car to look for you. Heart pounding and tears running down my face.

I can only imagine how freaked out you were when you realized you got off at the wrong stop. You tried to find your way home, didn’t you? But when you thought all hope was lost, you sat on the curbside and cried.

That was when the nice lady walking her dogs noticed you. She helped calm you down and gave you the confidence to find your way home. You did. I wish I had your confidence so I could look for her and thank her for helping you. Maybe even give her the biggest bear hug ever.

Except I fear that she will tell me how awful I was for not waiting at home for you. What a terrible mother I was because I hadn’t thought to walk around the neighborhood with you to show you different ways to get home. I’d probably cry so hard in agreement that I wouldn’t be able to explain that I had gone looking for you. That the thought of you having to go through this never crossed my mind until it happened. That I’m sorry I’m so pathetic.

I vowed from that day to do whatever it took to prevent this situation from happening again. But I couldn’t go about it the wrong way. I’m sure that other parents in my situation would choose to not let their kids out of their sight, but your mama? No. I was going to teach you what needed to be done if the situation arises again. Not that I want it to, but I’d much rather prepare you for these situations now instead of waiting until you’re “old enough”.

I believe you’re old enough now.

We started off slowly. We took a stroll around the neighborhood to familiarize ourselves. Now you know where the other bus stop is and how to get home from there. You carry an emergency contact card just incase you need to tell an adult.

In the beginning I continued to walk you to and from the bus. I wanted to make sure you got off at the right stop from now on. When you and I were both confident enough for you to make your way home alone, I started waiting for you on the porch instead.

Over time it got to the point where you’d walk to and from the bus while I watched from a distance. I wanted us both to feel like you could do it on your own. Eventually I started waiting inside for you when you got home.

And now? Now you leave the house when you’re ready.

It makes me beam with pride to know that you are becoming more and more independent. I can’t believe that you wake up on your own in the morning, get your cereal and milk (if you’re hungry), get yourself dressed, and feed the cats all with some time to spare.

Then you look at me and say in a very confident voice, “I’m going now, mommy. I love you. Bye!” I just want to cry.

Love, mama


Dearest Guy I Sleep Next To,

Today marks three years we’ve been legally joined at the hip. Three years where I’ve been legally bound to pick up the dirty socks you leave wherever you want and have taught Niki to do as well. I’ve had to listen to you talk about all-things-nerdy and usually having no clue what you’re talking about. Cooking the food you enjoy and then listening to you complain about how you need to lose weight. Make up your mind. Yummy food for your tummy or an all veggie diet! And what about the two insane cats that you insisted on bring home? The same ones that do a number on my anxiety ON A REGULAR BASIS!

I can go on, but why? You already know about all the things I put up with just to be with you. I especially enjoy when I finally get the chance to talk to you and after just ten minutes you’d fall asleep. I feel so special.

Not that I’m all that innocent myself. You’ve had to put up with my bitching and nagging. My almost-monthly breakdowns. Always listening to me say things like “Spend time with me…” and “I’m so pathetic. I need more friends!” without telling me to SHUT THE FUCK UP, WOMAN! YOU ANNOY ME! And I’m sure your list of my craziness is super long even though you refuse to admit to it.

I love that about you. How you are capable of making me believe, even if only for a moment, that I can do nothing wrong in your eyes.

I love how we would be talking then suddenly you have to tell me about something nerdy totally unrelated. I love and hate how you work so much and refuse to allow me any time so I could work. The way you get excited about a new project or idea you’ve got going. How absolutely gorgeous you are in all your geeky glory.

Three years ago we vowed “…’til death do us part or something equally as tragic…” like one of us gaining a few hundred extra pounds. Or sex becomes non-existent. Because you and I both know we can’t live with stuff like that. Events like those call for only two options: death or divorce. We’ve made it three years without having to make that choice.

Can you believe it?

And I know you just love how I air our dirty laundry on the internet for the whole world to see. Don’t worry, I won’t stop.

I want you to know something and it’s very VERY important: I love you more than heart-shaped pb&j.

Happy Anniversary, Love!


Maeby you can watch Charlie

watch charlie!

Since the day you discovered that you could watch stuff on Niki’s iPod, you’ve been asking me to watch “Charlie! Pweeese?” over and over again. Except we’d both get frustrated because the earbuds keep falling out of your ears and I have to keep putting them back in. If I don’t make it in time, you scream at the top of your lungs until I get there. I had to think of something. Quickly.

Then I remembered the headphones I bought a while ago. Now we’re both happy again.


Maeby: You’re growing too fast

My little Beezy,

Today Meemoo and I decided to go on a photography excursion. Since it was beautiful outside, we took you to Coulon Beach Park so you could play. While we were there I realized just how big you’ve gotten.

We didn’t need a stroller.

You ran around like a big girl and didn’t need to be carried or pushed around. You picked a flower and held onto it for a long time while taking in the scene around us. When we saw some duckies, you went as close as you could without running after them.

You played at the playground and didn’t need anyone to help you most of the time. You swung on the big kids’ swing all by yourself!

There were turtles. Lots of them. Four in a row on a log. A few scattered on some of the other logs. And even more swimming around. You liked seeing them and now we can’t wait to bring you and your sister to the zoo.

After you got tired of the playground we went to the “beach” area where you walked in the sand and played in the water. When I tried to stand in the water with you, I felt like my feet were going to freeze off. It was so cold! I don’t know how you could stand in that water so long, but you did. And you played. You splashed. And got your little dress all wet.

But it didn’t bother me one bit because you were having fun.

You were sad when we had to go and so was I. Except it was getting late and mama forgot to bring water. If you knew what I had done you’d tell me, “You’re creezy, mama!”

To make up for leaving early, I bought you some ice cream. Which you ate all by yourself. You big girl, you. Of course, mama and Meemoo had to get some for ourselves too. We’re big girls, it’s okay. Even though I sometimes say I want you to hurry and grow up, today I wished you wouldn’t.

In a week you’ll be 2.5 years old. I can’t believe it.

Love, mama

More photos.



nom nom

Niki found this ladybug out back today. I had to take pictures of her holding it. This is probably the best one.


It’s a beauty bug!


The girls and I spent hours in the backyard today. While I was clearing out the flower beds of weeds and grass, they played. They came across this precious little thing. While Niki held it, Maeby tried touching it. Except she kept jumping back just before she would.

She calls it a beautybug. You might be able to hear it in this video and she’s so cute in this one.


CrazyFace Maeby

Last night I gave the camera to Niki and let her go. This is a part of one of the videos she took.
She’s definitely Dave’s and my daughter.


Bringing out the asian in her

I bought Niki a pair of chopsticks on Wednesday at Uwajimaya in Seattle. Both Ams and I tried to teach her how to use them, but failed miserably. Then today I look toward the table. She’s using them correctly while eating GRAPES with them!

I asked her who taught her how to use them. She said in a very confident voice, “I learned on my own”.

I’m so proud.




I chased her around the playground with the camera at my waist.
Wanted to see if I’d get some fancy photos that way.

Believe it or not, this photo was one of them.


Spring fever


Ams & I took the girls to the community playground for the first time. It was a great way to start off the Spring season, especially since Niki is on break. Nine straight days of the never-ending energy that radiates from her. I needed to find an outlet for her to expel as much of it as possible so as not to drive me insane.

For over an hour we chased the girls around with our cameras, as well as played with them on the swings and play area. Normally I couldn’t last that long, but I’m guessing all their energy and excitement rubbed off on me.. a little.

I loved it. So did she.