baby

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this drawing is for a group show titled ’100 stories’ at hosfelt gallery in NYC, april 11th to may 31st. you can sneak a peek at the show on the gallery’s website and read about it on todd hosfelt’s blog.

it was also mentioned on the juxtapoz blog last saturday. exciting!

hosfelt gallery
531 w 36th street,
new york

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this drawing is called “mighty righty”. i drew it for a group show called “100 stories” at hosfelt gallery in NYC (april 11th to may 31st).

i’ve been breastfeeding elijah ever since he was born. i chose to feed one breast at a time. that means i would feed from the right breast at let’s say 2 am and the next feeding would be from the left one. nurses told me to feed from both sides about 10 mins per breast, and to always start with the breast that i finished with last time because better milk would come out from it. but it seemed to me that i might as well keep feeding him from one single breast from start to finish. that way, he’d get from thin milk to thick milk for sure. plus i wouldn’t have to interrupt him.

so that’s been my breastfeeding style. it was really interesting to see my breasts’ size change before and after feeding. before a feeding, both breasts would swell like a melon and get really hard. after the feeding, the one i used for feeding would turn soft and rather sad looking. and the other one would start shooting milk to release the pressure, so i had to press a towel over it.

i sometimes forgot which breast i used for the last feeding, especially in the middle of night when i was half asleep. my left breast coped fine with that, but my right one, oh boy. she would get really swollen and bumpy and her veins would stick out. if it went on too long my breast would look like biologically engineered cantaloupe with tumors.

and it would be very very painful — too full and too hard. i could pump some milk out, but i couldn’t empty as much milk with a breast pump or using my hands as elijah could with his powerful drinking.

so i must confess i had to poke elijah’s arm in the middle of night a couple of times, so he’d wake up and want to suck milk from my overfull right breast. luckily he won’t remember…

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(8wks and 3days)


(20 wks ultrasound)
he used to look like this inside me floating around for nine months.


(june 8th, 2008)
this is how he looked when he came out of me. this is literally two minutes after his birth.

and now another nine months later, this is how he looks. it’s hard to believe that he used to be one little cell. he turns out to be a very happy boy who smiles a lot, laughs a lot, cries hard and plays hard.

he’s been…

crawling,

cruising, standing and walking with support,

opening drawers and grabbing mama’s bra, and running around, baby-talking, pointing at things,

feeding himself solid food,

chewing on the cord…

of papa’s headphones,

…and making a mess wherever he goes.

i have been talking to him ever since he was born explaining what i was doing and asking him what he would want to do. when he was very little, i used to get so excited to hear random sounds he made. even when he just made an ‘ah~’ sound, it made me jump. it sounded like he was responding to me.

he started to vocalize more when he was three months old. there was one point where he kept saying, ”blah blah blah” all the time. nowadays, he has started to babble more and more, trying to imitate what i say. when i sing to him and make silly gestures with my arms, he tries to imitate what i sing and do. when paul and i talk in front of him, he waves his arms up and down and say ‘uh~ gguah~ bha~’ etc. i think he wants to join the conversation.

he has started saying ‘da~da’ and ‘mama’ a lot. paul and i have been telling him who is ‘papa’ and ‘mama’. today he kept saying ‘mamma, pappa’ continuously. i almost cried.

i know babies cry when they are hungry. elijah was like that too. nowadays, he’s more direct. he grabs my face and pulls it toward him, opens his mouth and bites down on my lips, then starts sucking them…hard. he’s also saying ‘mamma, mamma’. ‘mamma’ is a japanese baby word for ‘food’. it’s no coincidence that ‘mama’ (mother) and ‘mamma’ (food) sound similar.

elijah has been a very smiley boy, but nowadays his smiles are more deliberate and when he smiles looking into your eyes, he’ll melt your heart. he used to crack up whenever i made some exaggerated gasping sound. nowadays, he laughs so hard at so many things. paul is so good at making him laugh. he’s such a good papa.

paul and i have been crawling with elijah. elijah likes to play a crawling game with us. he starts crawling then stops and looks back to see if any of us are following him. if we starts to chase him he’d laugh and crawl away really fast, or stop and crawl back toward us.

elijah and i play a bear game. we pretend that we are bears. we crawl around the house, exploring, then i stop and pretend i’m sleeping. he’d comes over to me and climbs up on me and starts slapping my body. i “wake up” and we start crawling around again.

the first nine months with elijah were full of happiness, tears, laughter and lots of “holy mackerel!” moments. as a person who had never taken care of any living creatures (no pets, no plants even), taking care of a baby is like becoming a self-taught artist – i have no idea what to do. i had no clue what-so-ever about babies. paul and i did all our best to figure out as things came up. and elijah have taught us what to do.

there were times when it was very hard. but it was worth it, because i can see this smiley face every single day.

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nowadays, my mr. man can play on his own for awhile.

especially when he gets a kick out of something, he can go on and on…

we bought him a lot of toys, but he’s more interested in ordinary objects like string. that’s okay — in a way, paul and i ended up buying those toys for ourselves.

what a magical toy the string is! he’s digging into it.

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on our way to see our friends in kyoto, we made a brief stop at kyoto station. paul and i used to go there to take pictures of the new kyoto station.

in the station, there was a small gallery promoting a new drama situated in kyoto. they didn’t forget to make this photo board. i love these thing — so stupid and so good. of course, elijah was the first victim.

we think elijah would make a pretty mr. geisha-san.

sorry, elijah. your papa and mama love these stupid things…

we love you, elijah! don’t forget.

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elijah has been eating solid food for awhile and he’s getting used to some of the food. i bought some commercial baby food in a jar, but so far elijah doesn’t like them at all. i tasted some and i know why – it’s surprisingly disgusting. flavor is way too strong… i might be wrong, but commercial pureed sweet potato is actually yam.

(homemade broccoli rice and vivid colour baby food sweet potato)

anyhow, i’ve been making homemade baby food. it turns out that it’s not that hard. i microwave pretty much everything and mash them or finely chop them. to store the food, i use ice tray to make individual servings for rice and soup stock. anything else, i put them in a freezer bag and use a chop stick to score so that when you use it, you just need to break a piece.

elijah didn’t like my sweet potato puree, either. he made a face like world is over.

and he didn’t like broccoli, either. that’s okay. if he doesn’t like it, he doesn’t have to eat it. when he’s ready, he’ll eat it anyway. right now, i’m enjoying looking at his priceless faces.

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elijah is big in japan.  i mean it literally.  when we went back to japan over the holidays, we stayed in wakayama, kyoto and tokyo. everywhere we went, people said to us, ‘he’s so big! Soooo big!’.

elijah’s also big in canada. he’s now almost 8 months old and weighs almost 10kg.  he’s on the 90th percentile growth curve.  i can feel it in my arms — more and more muscle.

it’s been a crazy couple of weeks since we got back from japan. finally i have some time to organize photos from our trip.

here are some photos from a subway ride in kyoto.  a bunch of high school girls came up to us saying ‘kawaii, kawaii!’ to elijah. they surrounded us in the subway train and took a lot of photos of elijah with their cell phones.

one of the girls gave him a chiroru choco (a popular bite-size chocolate).  her friends teased her saying it’s too soon for a baby to eat chocolate.  she was very sweet.  she put the chocolate back in her pocket, but then she snuck it under elijah’s leg as we were getting ready to get off the train.

of course, paul and i ate the chocolate. it was the sweetest chocolate.

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happy new year!  big love and a big smile to all of you :)

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never

forget

your helmet.

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last friday was paul’s birthday.

elijah asked me to help him make a birthday card for papa.

it clearly says “happy birthday, papa”.

and it’s…

…delicious!

paul and i have been very busy working and doing stuff around the house. last weekend was actually our first time not to think about anything related to work for a long, long time. we played with elijah a lot, threw a birthday party for paul AND we watched movies together!! elijah seems happy just having us around. he can play on his own now. he stopped crying cold turkey.

one of the movies we got to watch on DVD was the documentary, KNOCKED UP. when i saw this in the theatre, i wasn’t able to concentrate, because i started having contractions. elijah recently confessed that he decided not to break my water until after the movie because he didn’t want to fall out on the sticky floor and get covered in popcorn. even so, he made it hard for me to watch the end of the movie, including the birth scene. so i was really watching some of it for the first time…

it’s nice to be an adult again!

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