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today, elijah is one year, one month, one week, one day, one hour, and one minute old.

june 8th, 2008.  a minute after he was born…

1 month

2 months

3 months

4 months

5 months

6 months

7 months

8 months

9 months

10 months

11 months

12 months

i’ve been having an awesome time playing with elijah.  we play all day from dawn til nightfall.  he’s running around all the time.  and he’s started saying a few words that i can understand.

elijah loves spending time outside.  he’s always running up to the screen door and trying to push it open.  i have to keep it locked so he doesn’t get out on his own.   if i ask him ‘out?’, he bangs on the door and say ‘ahhtoh~, ahhtoh~’.  if i say ‘shoes’ he goes to the entranceway and grabs his sandals, even if i don’t gesture or point.  once we get ready to go, he is so proud to step out of the doorway on his own.

we go to a park a few blocks up the street from our house almost every day.  he runs around on the grass pulling out the dandelions, saying, ‘ahwuh~, ahwuh~’ (‘flower’).  he likes to break open the seeds of the dandelions after they go white.  he points at dogs we meet, saying ‘dahh~, dahh~!!’ very loudly.  he’s always noticing birds flying in the sky or sitting on the grass in the park.  whenever he spots a bird, he points at it and says, ‘burrrrr! burrrr!’ and looks to make sure i notice it too.

at home,  he tries to dig around in everything possible.  he takes a bunch of stuff out of a dresser drawer, then puts it back in, he repeats the process many times, non-stop.  he goes into the food pantry and brings me a box of something (usually the box of brita water filters).  he climbs up on the low buffet table and presses all the buttons on the phone and answering machine.  he’s always erasing all the messages and recording his own chatty voice as the answering machine message.   he always wants to play with the non-baby items in the house: the phone (he likes the real phone more than his toy phone), the computer, the stereo, any remote control.  a couple of times he’s been playing with the stereo buttons when there’s music playing and suddenly turned the volume knob all the way to maximum. that made him cry with surprise.

he wants to feed himself all the time.  he pushes away the spoon if anyone tries to give him a bite.  he’s not that interested in most finger foods like cheerios anymore.  he wants to eat with a fork or spoon, even though he makes a big mess.  his favorite food right now is apple pieces.  he knows the word ‘apple’ and can say it clearly when he sees a photo of an apple, or a drawing of an apple, or a pile of apples in the grocery store.  after the meal he brushes his teeth.  of course, he wants to do it himself.

he is climbing up and down from things.  he knows the word ‘up’ and asks us to pick him up or take him somewhere.   he’ll ask other people to pick him up sometimes, like the cashier at the grocery store.  when he says ‘up’ he holds his arms straight up towards us and twists his hands back and forth as fast as he can.  now that he can get up on so many things (the low coffee table, the small armchair, the bench near the window, not to mention the stairs), we’ve been teaching him how to get down safely.  he knows to turn on his stomach and gradually go backwards so his feet touch the floor first.  he does this getting down from our bed (it’s a tall bed), even though he has to fall a bit before his feet hit the floor.  he says ‘dahh’ (‘down’) when he’s doing this technique.

when he wants to hear a story, he takes all his books out of the cupboard and brings them to me one by one.  when i tap on my thigh, he crawls onto my lap and i read him stories. his favorite books right now are: ‘don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!‘, ‘don’t let the pigeon stay up late‘, ‘DOG‘, ‘bossy bear‘, ‘tamahiyo doubutsu‘, ‘tamahiyo misete‘, ‘dr. seuss’s abc‘ and mama’s japanese novels.  he likes it when we say lines from his favorite books at other times during the day, like when i’ll do the pigeon’s voice saying “first of all, i’m not even tired… in fact, i’m in the mood for a hot dog party!!”

i read ‘dr. seuss’s abc’ to him before he goes to bed.  his favorite character is ‘itchy itchy ichabod’.  sometimes i can only manage to read till the letter B before he starts saying  ‘oppa~, oppa~’ (‘oppai’, the japanese word for breast/breast milk)’ and putting his arm inside my shirt to grab onto my oppai.  he does that in public sometimes, so i have to be careful i’m not on parade.

after breastfeeding, it’s time for bed.  he starts sleeping in his crib every night now.  he usually wakes up a couple of times before coming to bed with us early in the morning.   he likes to start the day early, like at 6:30 or even 5:15, so i have to get some sleep to get ready for the next big day.

13 months

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time is passing

(via videosift)

this is a beautiful timelapse movie made in edinburgh by ewen meldrum. the filming and editing style is a tribute to ron fricke, who directed koyaanisqatsi.

the music is by philip glass, the first movement of his violin concerto. his music was also used in koyaanisqatsi.

the year is almost over, and my blog is almost one year old. it’s been a great year! but it’s hard to believe how much time has passed. thank you for visiting and looking at my random thoughts, and thanks for your comments and messages. i hope the next year is even more fun around here…

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“puzzle” by rinpa eshidan.

no wonder i couldn’t find anything about rinpa eshidan. their name “rinpa” uses the kanji “輪派” in japanese, not “琳派”. both combinations of kanji sound the same, “rinpa”. it’s a common problem in japanese that it’s hard to know which kanji are used to write someone’s name, since there are usually several possibilities. most japanese names are chosen as sounds first (in kana, the japanese syllables) — then you find kanji to make up those sounds.

i figured rinpa eshidan’s name would be written with the same kanji as the historical art style called rinpa (琳派). especially because “eshi” is the old-fashioned japanese word for a (traditional) painter. but instead, they chose the kanji “輪派” to spell “rinpa”. i guess they did it on purpose, to show a connection to japanese art tradition and to show their own philosophy at the same time. “輪” means circle in japanese. according to their blog,

rinpa is “circle” style. it’s a group that values the connections between people. the members are big fans of hip-hop and art. they get together once every two months to perform at clubs.

how did i find out about them? through the magical mystery of the internet. the director of the rinpa eshidan videos, daisuke yamamoto, contacted me through MIXI, the biggest japanese social network site (5,700.000 members).

i joined MIXI a few weeks ago after being invited by a japanese girl who used to live in saskatoon (i found her blog online, but she moved away just before i got here). MIXI is sort of like MySpace in japanese, but the pages are not so ugly. all MIXI members have to be invited by another member. anyway, i’d been wanting to find out about rinpa eshidan, so i wrote about them on my MIXI page.

a couple days ago, i posted their video, “1 week of art works” on my blog. just the next day, that video got promoted to the front page of YOUTUBE. the video now has almost 600,000 views and people really like it. since there isn’t any information about “rinpa eshidan” in english online, my blog post shows up when people search for them. but unfortunately i didn’t have any information about them either…

…until now. after he contacted me, i visited daisuke’s MIXI page and read a little bit about him. he’s a grad student at a fine arts university in tokyo. the video, “1 week of art works” was done for his graduation project (i’m sure he did very well!). he’s obviously very talented. at the same time he sounds like a very humble person as an artist, which i like.

he said that he’s working on setting up a new website and is also working on another new video! he’ll let me know about them when they are finished. so i’ll post about them then. also, it sounds like ABC will be showing a rinpa eshidan video on TV soon (or maybe it’s already aired. i don’t know. i don’t watch ABC).

Go rinpa eshidan, go!

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this is a timelapse video by japanese street painters called rinpa eshidan. i don’t know anything about them, but i found their video on youtube (following a link to a different painting from tv in japan) and posted it to videosift. the video is called “1 week of art works”. they painted and repainted a wall for 7 days and took photos of it all the time. i really enjoy watching their work build on what they did before. their use of lines is very stylish, and the music is perfect!

“rinpa eshidan” means “rin school painters group”. “eshi” is an old-fashioned japanese word for “painter” and “dan” means group. rinpa was a style of japanese painting from the edo period (18th century). the style was to decorate everyday items to color life itself. i like that point of view so much. it’s cool that this new group of painters has named itself after the rinpa tradition, especially since they do such new work in decorating our modern urban lives.

you can see more rinpa eshidan videos on youtube.

update: more on rinpa eshidan.

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