Alphabet Cards

Brrrrrm, Brrrrm!
This is how I play with my
ABC flash cards

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There is at least one set of alphabet flash cards at home if you have kids. I have one, too. However, I could never use it as it’s supposed to be used. Cards are everywhere on the floor because it’s fun for him to toss them in the air. Then he rolls on them playing with his favorite mini car. That’s how he plays with alphabet flash cards.

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Not that shirts

I don’t want to wear that shirts
Not that shirts!

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Morning is the busiest time and little one can make it even busier by not listening to mother. My son takes a long time to get dressed. He simply comes up with different reason to stay in pajamas. One of reason is not liking certain shirts.

Great Horned Owl

Tu-whit Tu-woo
Great horned owls are calling
Tu-whit Tu-woo
it’s story time

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We live right next to the woods, and sometimes we hear owls. They seem to be great horned owls which are native to California.  Outside is completely dark and quiet, and they sound inviting us to join some late night story time.

Bathroom

I am hungry
I want to show you something
I want to go outside

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Mothers have no privacy when you have little ones at home. Also, we are always being asked something. Do I get annoyed sometimes? – Yes.  Should I be grateful to be needed? – Yes. It’s a very complex feeling in the bathroom in the morning.

I can help!

I can help,
I can do this,
I can help

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Kids are happy to help their parents on anything. My son is no exception, and so proud to bring dishes to the kitchen counter when I ask him to do. For a second, I have a small concern if he can bring all dishes without dropping it. But importantly, I trust him and let him do. Breaking a few dishes isn’t important especially when he is trying to help me!

Chow Chow

He seems to be friendly
but he is also so big
I want to touch, but does he get angry?

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At a cafe, there was a Chow Chow dog. She was big but very gentle and patient. My son reached his hand carefully and stroked her with his fingers. This Chow Chow was bigger than my son, but she was so gentle and my son loved to sit next to her.

Moving

Look, it’s my bear and race car!

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I couldn’t update my blog for a while due to moving to new house.
Anyway, Moving is a lot of work! I packed everything for moving, and my son opened a box to find his toys. It seems to be no ending of packing with a little rascal around.

Anyway, my move is complete now, and I am ready to work on more illustration. I am so happy to resume my art work. And my son is very happy to be surrounded by his toys again.

 

 

Super onion

Onion is super medicine

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I found that Onion is like super medicine. When I have a cold, I hang diced onion by the bed when I go to sleep. Magically, my congestion gets better by next morning.  When I have coughing, I make onion-lemon-honey juice. I take that instead of cough syrup.  Surprisingly, my cough goes away.  I am amazed the power of onion, and also how human bodies are capable to use natural remedy to heal.

No pretty girl

No Pretty girl, here

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When I woke up, my son looked at me and said “No pretty girl, here!”. In his language, it means “you look horrible” That was pretty shocking even though I know I look terrible, but I didn’t think that bad even to a little boy.  I put clothes, brush my hair to look “normal”. Then I got an approval form my son saying “pretty girl”.   – yay.

Help button

Don’t press that button!

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There is an “assistant”/”emergency” button in every bathroom in the airplane.  I take him to the bathroom to let him do his thing, then I do my thing. My son is curious to press “Call assistant” button while he is waiting for me.  When I went to Japan with my son, several times flight attendance knocked the bathroom door asking “Is everything OK?” because my son pressed the button. /sign

Mother’s brain

Inside of mothers brain
Computer can never keep up with

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Mothers are always multi-tasking. I think variety of things through out a day to manage my life with family and work.  I think about how a new project should be setup at work, and then also think about my son’s lunch box for Wednesday field trip.  The different topics go through my mind, then prioritize the list, and execute one after another.  If you see inside of mothers brain, you will find amazing amount of topics/things to do!

Nature walk

No music and no screens
Instead, sky, trees and birds siging
are my entertainment today

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I love just walking through the nature. I feel content just surrounded by deep green and blue sky with fresh air. With barefoot, I feel the dirt or grass comfortably tickle my toes.  My son doesn’t ask for new toys or TV when he is surrounded by trees.  We are so busy doing things and tend to forget what we really need. Perhaps, we should look around carefully to understand what makes us calm and content.  I am practicing “Stop doing things, and more time being in the nature” lately.

Vaseline

Hand paint, hand paint!

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When children are quite, they are doing what they aren’t supposed to do or requires cleaning later. It was one of those things. My son was really quiet and I found out that he was doing hand paint on the mirror with Vaseline. He was really focusing Vaseline painting without a word and covered the entire mirror with Vaseline hand prints.

I was speechless when I saw the mirror covered by Vaseline, but he said “Mommy, look hand paint!” proudly.  I ended up praising how well his hand paint is done.  After all it’s just another cleaning, and his small hand paints all over the mirror is priceless.

Birthday Prep

invitations,  a cake, balloons, a location, food….
what else? what else?
for the birthday

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Children’s birthday is something parents love to give as much as they can. It happens only once a year, and every birthday is so precious since children grow & change every day.  But I must admit that planning a birthday party is a work.  The worst part is, I completely get trapped in the emotional illogicality to have an amazing birthday for my son.  It came to the point of “Should I have 50 balloons to make it special?  Wait, 50 balloons seems to be too many and they won’t fit in my Honda civic.” However, when I saw excitement and joy of my son and his friends at the birthday party, I felt my effort is so worth to do.  Also, it makes me think that Children don’t need ponies to celebrate their birthday parties, but they just need the place to get together and share the joy.

First pony ride

Her name is Ginger
my first pony ride

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Children love animals especially ponies. My little boy had first pony ride on a sunny day. Pony’s name was Ginger, a slightly stubborn girl. Both my little boy and Ginger enjoyed the ride, and I was the only anxious one after all.  Perhaps children and animals can communicate better than we communicate with animals.

Grocery shopping

Ah! Monkey box
What’s in it?

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Grocery shopping takes twice longer if you are accompanied by your little one (especially toddler/preschooler).  My son wants to examine products he sees, and touch them. I have to watch what he does and warn him constantly “Don’t touch anything, Please” while I am shopping.  A potential disaster can happen at the store, if I don’t pay enough attention to my busy little shopper.

Library

Shhhhhhhhhh!

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Children throw their tantrum whenever and wherever they feel like. It can happen in the place parents want to avoid their children’s tantrum the most – Library.   When that happened to me, I felt that everyone was looking at me even though that wasn’t the case and I wanted to just hide somewhere.  Dealing with children’s tantrum is one of challenges parents have to deal with, and it makes them more patient and matured after all.  I think, I am more matured than last year, for example.

Sand castles

Mom, can you make sand castles, again?

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I made sand castles on the beach. My son was really happy, then he stepped on them saying “crash! crash?”.  Then with big smile he asked me, “Mom! Can you make sand castles again?”  –  We repeated this at least three times.  I should be grateful to make sand castles so many times!

Japanese bath

Splash, Splash!
in the Japanese bathtub

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Japanese bath is different from ones from other countries. There is a bathtub, tiled floor with water drain, and a shower. You don’t have to worry about hot water over flooding from the bathtub. You soak your body in the bathtub, then you wash your body outside the bathtub and rinse with shower.  My son loves playing in the bathtub since he can splash as much as he wants and make a big water mess.

Japanese toilet

Japanese toilet is fabulous
only when you know which button to push
for right purpose.

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Some Japanese toilets are sophisticated and have high technology features. They come with a panel of multi functions buttons. However these sophisticated Japanese toilets can go very wrong if a wrong button is pressed in a wrong time.

Those buttons are target of children’s curiosity. My son pressed the button “Rear Cleanse” while he was sitting on the Japanese toilet.  He screamed and jumped off from the toilet seat as the warm water was splashing. I dashed into the bathroom worrying about what happened to him, ended up “Rear Cleanse” button cleansed my face.  At that time I got really upset at Japanese high-tech toilet. Now it’s a funny story. LOL

Time to go to bed

“It’s time to go to bed”

But I need to paint
I need to drink water,
oh, I need to see my boo-boo

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Children come up with different things not to go to bed when it’s time to go to bed. My son is no exception. He suddenly wants to paint, then he is thirsty, needs to go to bathroom again and so on.  Even after he is in the bed, he says “I need my race car (toy) to sleep. Where is it?” /sigh.

Lost truck

Toilet got flooded
Father had to clean it
found out, a toy truck was clogging the toilet
Be aware of a toddler in the bathroom

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One of most unpleasant things you have to deal with is clogged toilet.  It happened one day and it was a big mess. This kind of work usually falls on to an adult man, “Father”, in the house (Thank you, Daddy!). He had to take out the toilet to unclog the toilet. What he found was a toy truck clogging it.

Be aware of a toddler with a toy, especially in the bathroom.

Airplane seats

my son is asleep
it’s time to enjoy a cup of coffee
on my half seat

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Flying a long distance trip with a toddler is nothing but constant battle to make him stay in his seat. We took a flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo which is eleven hours, and he wanted explore everywhere in the airplane. I was a peak of exhaustion by taking care of him, and finally he fell asleep. Good thing is that the person next to him wasn’t complaining (Thank you!) and I had a time to sip a cup of coffee in peace. A quiet moment during the flight with a toddler.

Time to wake up!

2:00am
It’s wake up time!

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I love going back to Japan with my son and spend some time with my parents. However, I never like jet-lag. Adults can understand the time concept, and we try to adjust time difference. On the other hand, children don’t have the concept of time nor effort to adjust to local time. As a result it’s time to have a breakfast and play when they wake up, which can be 2:00am. Dealing with Jet-lag is just harder with children.

Traveling with a toddler

A Luggage is to carry a kid
A stroller is to carry a backpack and his favorite piggy
And a kid’s hat is on my head

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Traveling is fun, but traveling with “kids” could be challenging in many ways. One of things parents have to deal with is languages. My son loves to ride on a large luggage instead of on a stroller. He loves to wear a hat but for two minutes. Ending up, I wear his small hat, carry my son on the top of the luggage, then put a backpack and a piggy on the stroller. Traveling is so much fun!!

Blue eyed Baby crow

A Little baby crow
Where is your mother?

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We found an injured baby crow on the ground. He got blue eyes, and one of his legs seemed to be broken.  Other crows were making noise around him and they were probably worrying about this little one. But they weren’t able to do anything to help him. Finally, we brought him to a veterinarian and they took the little baby crow for necessary care. We all hoped he get better and fly back to where he belongs.

Merry Go Round

Round, round and Merry Go round
Go round with your smile and dream

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Merry Go Round is the things to do for toddlers. My son is on a merry go round at least once a week and does at least two rides at a time.  Merry Go Round (Carousel) has been around one hundred fifty years, and it gives dreamy moment to kids – and moments of rest to parents.