News and Views from the Oshika Gang

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December 2008 Embarassing Moment #2: Aili Calls the Cops December 19, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 5:33 pm

Yesterday morning Aili was playing upstairs in the loft. I was there too, tidying some of the toys and checking Facebook. She’s pretty good at entertaining herself, especially if she has an electronic device, such as a remote control, the computer mouse… or the phone.
She likes the phone because it has lots of buttons and makes noises, and is just the right size for those little hands. Once she hit redial and accidentally called Alexa, but she’s never actually dialled and number and then ‘talk’ and called someone. Until yesterday. When she decided to inaugurate her dialling career by starting with ‘911’.

I had no idea this had happened, because after actually reaching an operator, apparently, she hung up on them. Oblivious, I gave her a snack and put her down for her nap at the appropriate time… and then the police showed up.
It turns out that they investigate every 911 call from a residential address, in case of domestic abuse. I suppose this is a good thing, but in this case anyway, more than a little bit of a waste of time. Also, I am incredibly intimidated by police officers at any time, especially in my house! (And if I’d had any warning I would have picked up some of that dog hair with the dustbuster…)

I looked out the window to see two police cruisers parked in front of my house, lights on. Two police officers, a man and a woman, came to the door. I let them in, and they had to look around to make sure that everything was ok and that no one was being abused. They asked if anyone else was in the house, and when I told them my one-year-old daughter, he said that there probably wouldn’t be any point in talking to her then. “Not unless you want to know what sound a puppy-dog makes,” I said.

Of course the dog is beside himself with excitement that we have guests in the middle of the day. How nice to be a dog, and have no sense of embarassment. Leo comes running up, stuffed cat in mouth, to the big, tall uniformed officer, with his bulletproof vest and no doubt his taser at the ready.
“What’s his name?” asked the officer.
“Leo” – I am completely intimidated by the police.
“That’s MY name,” says the officer, not impressed.
Oh crap.

After a few minutes of note-taking, looking through the house, and actually admiring my Christmas decor (thank you, nice police lady!) they figured out that both Aili and I are happy, healthy, and not being abused by anybody. I apologized for wasting their time, they said it happens more often than you’d think, and off they went.

And then they stood at the end of my driveway, cruiser lights still all aglow, and had a 25-minute conversation in full view of the neighbours, no doubt about the squadron Christmas party last night or something else. I’m sure all the other stay-at-home moms on our street – and there are a number of them – – were watching out the window and DYING to know what was going on!

Moral of the story: Don’t let your kid play with the phone.


December 2008 Embarassing Moment #1: Santa Picture

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 5:14 pm

Well, we did the obligatory Santa Claus photo. I dressed Aili all cute, drove her to the mall, and we got lucky – there was no lineup! But as I was talking to the photographer lady, Aili got a bead on Santa over my shoulder, got a good grip on my clothes with her little fingers and started to tremble.
WHY is Santa Claus scary? I think most parents experience this challenge, but I have no idea why. I mean, he’s a stranger, but are the outfit and the beard THAT much out of the ordinary?

Anyway, by the time we got anywhere near Santa there were tears, screeching, people turning around in the mall to see what all the racket was about, and a white-knuckled grip on my arm. There was NO WAY she was going anywhere near that man.
So….. as is often the story, I got to be in the picture too.

What’s so embarassing, you ask? I look BIGGER THAN SANTA CLAUS. And no woman ever wants to look bigger than Santa Claus. I chalk it up to some combination of (1) a short, skinny Santa; (2) my rapidly expanding waistline; and (3) a funny camera angle.

So just to remind you, here is our Santa photo 2007:

And here, with some reluctance on my part, is our Santa photo 2008:
(Note the face of extreme distress on the part of the kid.)

I think I preferred the 2007 reaction better.


Getting Ready for Christmas! December 18, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 6:43 pm

I’m so excited that Christmas is right around the corner. I think Aili knows something is up, too. Maybe it was the giant tree in the middle of the house that gave it away. Interestingly, she was quite engaged with the decorating process. Obaachan Ayako showed her how to put the ornaments on branches, and she got very excited about helping out! Of course I had to go along afterwards and actually put the little loops and hooks on the branches; Aili just rested the ornament on the branch surface. After a bit of trial and error, I also figured out that the el-cheapo plastic Ikea ornaments all go on the bottom half of the tree, and all glass and glitter-decorated ornaments belong on the top half.

My dad and sister will be coming into town early next week, and I can’t wait!

Oshika tree 2008.

Here’s the fireplace, all ready to go. It’s been wonderful during these recent cold and snowy days!

My mom handmade this amazing Christmas tree skirt for me when she spent an entire summer living in Houston for treatment. The details are remarkable. I have the patterns to make matching stockings, but I don’t know if I’ll ever have the skill or patience for it.
Mom was always such a central part of our Christmas celebration, and I’m glad a small part of her can still be here to decorate our hearts and home.


Long Overdue Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 5:10 pm

Hello everyone. I’m sorry I’ve been so negligent about blogging recently. My New Year’s Resolution is to be a more frequent – and eloquent – blogger. I promise to try to offer more words, and not just photos-only postings.

First of all, thank you for all your concern about how I’ve been feeling. I’ve received a number of calls and emails from people who were worried, which sure makes a girl feel loved. I’m really grateful for all your concern, and for your many offers of help. Fortunately, I’ve moved past the awful first trimester, and am now feeling great! I have lots of energy and the nausea has completely passed. When you’re feeling good it is so much easier to look towards the future with enthusiasm. This pregnancy seems to be flying by so much more quickly than the first one did – and anyone who has seen me recently can verify that my belly is growing more quickly too!

Johnny’s doing well, working hard and looking forward to a Christmas break. He’s still struggling with his wrist injury, but that doesn’t stop him from being totally wrapped around Aili’s little finger. Despite that, Aili is a mama’s girl, and seems happiest when perched on my hip. Sometimes I have a vision of her like a spider monkey baby, holding on with all her arms and legs and a metaphorical prehensile tail.

I guess she’s now 13 months, and officially a ‘toddler’, but I can’t help still seeing her as just a baby. I am starting to have a sneaking suspicion that she will always be a baby to me. I am, however, learning a lot from her. My wonder in waking up to a snowy world is renewed; I am seeing details of flowers and puppydogs and fish in my travels that I would have previously looked over without a second thought; we stop to admire the birds flying overhead; I am relearning how physics shapes my life (read: gravity). This is yet another gift of parenting; first we learn lessons about the world ourselves, and then just when we think we know them, we get to re-acquire them with a new appreciation.

I feel like I’ve been privileged to watch the evolution of homo sapiens condensed into one short year: she started out as an amoebic blob, unable to move. Once she could roll, she began dragging herself along on her belly, like the first fish to creep out of the sea. Next it was moving on all fours, allowing for greater visibility and covering even more ground. And slowly, the change to homo erectus – up on two tremulous feet and facing the world with free hands to explore and discover. And the exploration and discovery is ongoing; every moment she’s awake.

Hey, it’s Daddy!

(I don’t think she’d ever seen the shower in operation before; she was quite intrigued.)

The trouble with ramen…. it never quite fits in your mouth.

Future reader? Here’s hoping!

Absolutely without any doubt, Aili’s favourite food is strawberries. I would never guess that someone so small could pack so many of them in there!

Ayako gave us these singing snowmen. Push the button, and they sing ‘Jingle Bells’, dance, and their little noses light up. Aili LOVES them, and I am more tired of hearing that song that I would have ever believed possible.