January 2009

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pat in my hair


pat in my hair

“no, pat no!  don’t get stuck in my hair.”

when you feed a toddler, you find all sort of food stuck in your hair. elijah insists to give me a big hug with his sticky hands while he’s eating. i can’t say no…

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grape in my hairgrape in my hair

elijah’s books come in handy…

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this is elijah’s favorite video at the moment. he asks ‘motto! (more)’ even before it ends. we end up watching again and again. when i finally stop the video, he sheds actual tears and says ‘mata miru~! (watch again!)’. tough luck. ‘mata’ comes tomorrow.

elijah likes this video so much but i don’t want to show it too often. so i sing the short version of the melody to him and say ‘bus stop’ in a dark and low voice. he asks me to sing it again and again so i sing it to him again and again.

elijah loves watching the buses go past our window every day. i take him on bus rides from time to time, mostly just for fun. he is so happy and enthusiastic waiting for the bus even when it’s minus 25. he goes ‘basu, mada kana? (bus, not yet)… ah~!!! kita kita kita kita! (here it comes! comes comes comes!).”  if a school bus drives by he says ‘icchatta… (it’s gone…).’  when a tow truck drives past he says ‘oh~!!! TOW TRUCK!’.

minus 25 feels like plus 25.

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bad hair daya pig in my hair

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my work in the flatlanders group show at mendel art gallery this fall was mentioned in the review of the show in galleries west magazine.   they compare my work to salvador dali and frida kahlo, two artists who i look at all the time, because i have their magnetic finger puppets on my fridge door.  elijah used to carry around salvador dali and chew on his head when he was teething.

dali in his mouth

dali in his mouth 2

dali in his mouth 3
(10 months old, april 2008)

The show veers from the enigmatic to the comic with the addition of the amusing works of Yuka Yamaguchi. “Art is like being a farmer,” she says in her artist’s statement. “I’m farming my brain and my heart to grow something. After that, it’s up to other people to cook it in different recipes and digest it for themselves.” Yamaguchi’s brain is one whimsical playhouse, and she shares more in common with painter Salvador Dali than a local grain grower…

(read more on their website)

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happy 2009 kanpai

happy new year to all of you!  i hope your first 18 days were glorious and that the glory continues for the next 347 days.

elijah wants to say to you all, ‘KANPA~I!’  i should write it in all capital letters for accuracy.  elijah has been really into saying ‘kanpai (cheers)’ whenever he gets the chance.  he says ‘kanpai’ to clink glasses (he’s drinking barley tea or milk in a cup), but also says it when he’s eating food from a plate.  he wants us to grab our plates and clink them against his, many times every meal (whenever he wants attention).  i’ve tried to correct him, but his adorable face always wins.  there are so many things to say kanpai to in elijah’s world.

happy 2009, kanpai

elijah turned 19 months old last week.  i thought he was pretty adorable his first year, but his 19-month-old cuteness just keeps accelerating.  his communication skills have been improving like a storm.  he can make two- and three-word sentences now.  he can say ‘kore nani (what’s this)?’, ‘mama suru no (mama do it)’, ‘milk hoshii (I want milk)’, etc…  he can also say prepositions like ‘mama mo (mama, too)’ or ‘elijah no (elijah’s)’.  he seems to understand that i speak japanese and paul speaks english to him.  so when he speaks to paul, he says ‘papa, too’ or ‘papa’s’.  

he can say names other than papa and mama.  he says his playmates’ names, grandma and gido to paul’s parents and ba-ba and ji-ji to mine.  today he said to me, ‘ba-ba, nihon (grandma, japan)’.  

my family is still living in japan so we communicate on videochat.  when elijah and i videochat with my parents, elijah does his best to show them how much he’s learned.  he holds up shapes in front of the camera and says ‘sankaku! (triangle)’ or ‘shikaku’ (square) and sings the ‘ABC’ song or ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’.  my parents applaud and cheer every time.  

so close and so far away.  it makes me feel a little homesick.

kanpai, nihon!

happy 2009, kanpai

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