Thursday, January 31, 2013

Soon to be FOUR!

We are thrilled to announce that we are expecting to add a new family member to our household in upcoming May/June!

We are little over 22 weeks in... little more than half way in or four months to go... however we look at it... my belly is expanding. We held back from announcing the news earlier... partially because I was so sick from morning sickness for good part of the first three months... partially we liked holding onto the special news to ourselves with few family/friends for a little while:)

When a lady from our local post office (which I frequent since that's where I ship all our Baum-Kuchen packages) asked me if we are expecting, I figured it's time to spread the happy news.

Just like any other life-changing experience, it has been a quite journey. Since this is my second pregnancy and I had such an easy pregnancy with Roo, I thought it would be somewhat familiar and maybe even easier... but this little baby in my belly keeps reminding me that she (yes it's girl:) is VERY different from her older sister. Long phase of constant nausea especially in late afternoons and evenings was surprising and difficult to deal with. My mom suggested that I simply needed to rest and do less when nausea hit me... so I literally stopped doing most of everything I could call it a quit (expect shop operation) and spent lots of time on a couch and bed resting. It lasted throughout the last part of 2012 including holidays. I am so used to working, being productive and bouncing back by pushing through (in this case... I thought I would have felt better if I worked out when I felt being down)... it was emotionally challenging to accept the new reality with my body.

Since I could only eat like a Japanese monk during my first trimester, I gained very little weight; although, my belly seemed to be showing a lot more than it did with our Roo. My family was quite concerned when I saw them during holidays because I had a belly... but the rest of my body (according to their words) looked unhealthily too skinny like I was not eating enough.

Just when we hit the new year mark, all the exhaustion and constant nausea lifted away from my system like it never existed. It was seriously crazy to go through the transition. Last few weeks I have been cooking and eating (always hungry now...) and picked up my portion of household duties as well as shop related tasks. I also got an approving nod from my doctor for a recent weight gain and am starting to hit my yoga mat and walking shoes to regain some strength and stamina to get through the next four months.

It hasn't been easy... but it gave me a great insight to approach this phase of our life as a whole new experience instead of re-living as it went with the first pregnancy. I think I needed the lesson to go through. I am a huge advocate and a believer of a natural birth without medical assistance... and I have a feeling that being in synch with my body with my heart instead of my head... is going to help me embrace the whole process so much better.

As for Roo... we shared the news very early on with her. So she is very aware of her sister and her growth in my belly. We have shown her all the ultrasound pictures and pointed some of the body parts on those images. She sometimes goes up to those photos and starts to talk about her sister in a way it makes sense to her (though it's even hard for us to recognize what is what on those abstract images). When she talks about her family, she always includes her baby sister now and it is very sweet to watch.  I am sure that a real dynamic shift within our family will happen when we actually have the baby in our arm... but for now all is good. I know Roo will go through the transition to adopt her entire universe to welcome her sister... at the same time, I want her to know that she can take her time to grow up on her own pace...

Well... that's it for our big news for now:)



Through time and space...

For last several years it has become our mission to slowly say good-byes to our IKEA furniture that feels like left overs from our roommate days. It has been a slow but very thought provoking transition to craft home and space that feels like "us".

At the end... we want every single item we pick up in our hand... either from our living room, Roo's room or kitchen to be something special with unique stories we can share.

So the arrival of the 50 year old vintage piano marked a huge high for us.

Story goes...

Once it belonged to my grandmother in Japan who gave it to my aunt (my father's younger sister) who passed it on to my parents when I was around five or six. This is the piano I learned how to play music all through my childhood and teenage years. 

It's hard to believe that my parents decided to bring this along when we relocated from Japan to the States... eighteen years ago and I am really thankful for that. For last few years my dad had been asking me if we wanted to take it home but I just wasn't sure since we didn't have a lot of space in our house... so it sat in a warehouse for a good half decade. 

Now our Roo can sing one whole song by herself (Totoro song in Japanese is her absolute favorite), we reconsidered our space and life... and thought "what if"?? and we were so lucky that my dad still had it even with little dust and scratches here and there. After a bit of figuring out the moving logistics and relocating our furniture, it has arrived to our house last week!

I originally thought it would feel massive and overwhelming in our small space...; on the contrary, it grounds our house. Roo has been playing some form of musical (or not so much musical) tunes just about everyday. It's lovely to witness her discover sounds of her own. Maybe someday she will take this piano with her to her own home. Maybe someday... but for now we will have years of playing piano together ahead of us:)

It's so amazing to witness an artifact travel time and space like it has its own life. Everything happens for a reason...

p.s. as a process, we consolidated and cleaned up two more IKEA furniture..., win-win for everyone:) 

Monday, January 28, 2013

LIFE's Journey in motion... with Roo!

I have wanted to make a short clip about LIFE's Journey measuring stick for a while since so much of it comes to life when it is in use...

I am happy that I have finally finished making this clip showing how Roo and Frido interact with the product! My favorite part is when she tried to measure her little friend. Totally makes me smile every time when I see the scene. But of course... I am totally biased because she is one and only for me:)

I hope you enjoy!

You can find LIFE's Journey measuring stick at our shop here!

LIFE's Journey measuring stick from Baum-Kuchen on Vimeo.

Last seven days...

Now I have shared some of my iPhone photos regularly here, I am getting groove of things. I have been looking forward to Mondays to upload all the photos from iPhone to reflect on our week. It's a nice ritual:)

This past seven days...
I finally got over the cold and started moving again. Lots of time on my yoga mat... (equal sore back and early bedtime). The second half of the week has been very wet. Roo loves to walk with her umbrella... so even though it adds extra process to get out of the house together, it has been fun to have some rainy days! Those rainy days brought lots of cooking and baking to our weekend. I practically spent all Sunday in the kitchen which resulted with plenty of muffins for the week and three course meals on Sunday evening:)

Oh a major highlight!! We have adopted my grandmother's piano this weekend. More to come about this special piano... but so far it has been super pleasant to hear Roo singing along with her pretend piano play with funky tunes! 

Overall... I am so happy to have normal days here. Creating, imagining and nurturing.

Happy Monday and have a great week!

Friday, January 25, 2013


"Now is infinite..."

It's a phrase I've been thinking when worrisome thoughts about what happened in the past or what might happen in the future cruise through my mind.

I hope you have a lovely weekend filled with moments of presence:)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Last seven days...

This week went fast... then slow.

I am so glad that little cold that was slowing me down last week has been taken care of. I am sleeping so much better without crazy sore throat:) Roo and I then spent the second half of the week at my parents' house taking an advantage of our extended weekend = full of adventures.

The week's highlight were:
baking a birthday cake for my little sister with Roo, riding carousals for the first time, being on a boat with my dad when LA finally warmed up, taking a walk to see horses (there was a major tantrum after 10 minutes of walking... but we somehow found peace)... and finally coming home.

Tomorrow we are back in business! I will be packing and shipping all orders taken during the weekend. Please stay tuned:)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Taking it easy...

I've been little bit under the weather lately. Roo brought cold from her school... and entire family got sore throat and terrible sinus congestion.

Everyone is getting better but me... so I am doing just minimum to get through the day...; although, being a parent is a full-time job that really never ends. I suppose we have to simply push through the day and hope for the best.

On one of those low-key day, we went to explore a local garden...

I hope I bounce out of this cold soon...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A lot of growing going on...

We are always amazed how much our Roo is growing both emotionally and physically... but we are seeing a HUGE evidence of growth in past week or so.

Probably one of the biggest changes we are seeing is her gradual transition from diapers to toilet. It looks like it is still going to take a while to get to the complete transition but I am kind of surprised how much she figured it out by herself. FB and I have been rather laid back about this whole topic. We talked to her about it and encouraged to use her potty but never really did a hard-core potty training... and all the sudden... she is using a potty on one day. We were like..., what just happened???

Also we are encouraging her to sleep in her own bed and stay in her room until sun comes up. It has been an interesting experience. There are few days that she slept through the night in her room (and it was really nice to get solid sleep through the night for us too)... and other nights it ended with a "Mama!! Mama!!" call in the middle of night and me ending up in her tiny bed. I can totally see that it's her way of solving the problem. "Well... I am awake and it's still dark. Mama told me to stay in my room until sun comes up... so I should call her instead of going into their bedroom".

With anything about her, we see all these things as a part of transition. So we try not to make a too big of deal when we step forward (or backward). Just a part of growing up process. This concept helped me get through the rough morning after long night...

Lastly... we noticed that these growth sprouts always seem to come with an extra big-girl attitude. Here is my hypothesis... when she gets through a challenging hurdle (like learning how to use a potty), her confidence level goes up so as her willingness to show her independence which results with more "no" when I ask her something. When she says, "I want to put my shoes on ALL BY MYSELF", she really means it and if I even attempt tiny bit to try to help her, it ends with a huge melt down.

I need to continue to remind myself... as she grows up (which is so awesome to witness), I need to give even more respect to her personal opinions and spaces.

There are so much to learn as parents... everyday.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Last seven days...

Okay... I sometimes take more photos with my iPhone (and Instagram... of course) than my regular camera these days. So I thought it might be good to do a quick review of the week by picking my favorite 10 (or eleven...) photos from the past seven days on Monday (or Tuesday) and share a glimpse of our life here in LA.

So last seven days...

  • We started our week with Frido's birthday.
  • Finally started our new craft night tradition. We don't know how frequent these nights are going to happen but we are surely excited to have the first one kicked off;)
  • It has been hot... then super cold!!! With this changing weather... comes cold and flu. All of us got little sick throughout the week and we are finally getting better.
  • My friend Penelope gave me this book, "Bringing Up Bebe" It was nice to have a cozy reading time on Sunday... I love that there is no really a right or wrong way of parenting.

Let's see what next seven days might bring to our life:)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 to EXPAND...

At the beginning of each year... Frido and I brainstorm on one word that becomes our inspirational symbol for the year. I suppose it's our version of making resolutions.

In 2012 we picked "LEAP" as our word. We knew our three months adventure was coming up... so it felt totally appropriate. Looking back the year...we had no idea how much leap of faith we would end up taking throughout the year. The year was definitely a big leap for us.

This year... we are thinking of the word "EXPAND".  I inspire to expand my heart for more love, patience and forgiveness. To let go some things that are not necessary to make space for more good energy to come in.

Cheers to the mid-January:) 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Snow day!

I can't believe how cold it was few weeks ago... here are some photos we took when we drove up the mountain for 30 minutes!

Winter wonderland:)

This was Roo's first real snow experience and it was full of surprises for her. We have a snow weekend planned in February and this mini trip was a perfect prelude to our big adventure... soon to come!


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