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  My wacky world that I love
Posted by Mie at 2006 Jun 13 02:49 PM PST


Elida invited a group of us to a movie that is part of the Frameline Festival. She described the movie as:

!El Presidente!
Friday, June 16 10:30pm, The Roxie (Valencia & 16th)
It's about a Mexican wrestler in Cabo San Lucas, El Homo Loco, who runs for election. It sounds like a wonderful campy film, and it is hosted by "Peaches Christ" who does the Midnight Mass cult movies here in SF. Anyway, she'll be doing some sort of live thing including mexican wrestling, and her short film parodying Truth or Dare will be previewed first.

Dav responded: "wow, sounds like fun! but i've got a baby CPR class at 9am, so i'll pass. that's right, i'm skipping mexican wrestling and peaches christ for baby cpr. sigh."

To which Sean responded: "Dav you're being pretty stubborn and inflexible here. Why not move your
baby cpr class to the peaches christ/mexican wrestling venue?"

Where else would such a conversation occur?? I love it!

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  Marin Street Art
Posted by Mie at 2006 Jun 12 10:41 PM PST

Still working full-time (I do enjoy my work!), and also running against the biggest "deadline" ever with tasks to do and people to meet as if we're about to depart to the moon, so I'm slack at updating kokochi. Here's a fun snippet though from Sunday when Dav and I headed to Marin to meet up with his bio-sis Colleen at the annual Street Painting Festival. It was quite impressive, and I'd recommend it once. Apparently, after Sunday evening, they wash it all away...sorta like Burning Man where just have to let go of beautiful art.

The last pic is of Dav peering into Colleen's magificent sporty chariot for her 9 month old Maria-Rose. We're studying all this baby paraphernalia with more intent nowadays...

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  oh my...a real baby shower!
Posted by Mie at 2006 Jun 4 08:34 PM PST

My my. Dav and I actually had a baby shower, albeit sans the goofy games! Dav's bio-fam invited the whole clan over for a celebration of our "art project." I had mentioned that we've been receiving a lot of hand-me-downs already, and that Dav and I really aren't the type for traditional shower-fare. But Colleen, Dav's bio-sister who hosted the event, said she couldnít help it. However, it was lovely and I was very touched with all the details and tons of food.

We did have one game, which was actually fun. Everyone got a small paper to place on top of their heads, and had to draw a baby on it without looking (I snapped Dav and Marcus attempting). The results were hilarious (you can see 3 examples; I chose the 1st example as the winner - drawn by Dav's bio-mom Marie for its abstract dancing-with-glee quality).

The whole afternoon was beautiful, all decorated and festive. I couldn't believe I found myself in that central position, surrounded by everyone as I opened each gift, everyone admiring how cute everything was. We got some very nice gifts indeed - a beautiful diaper bag, practical baby-care items, many gorgeous outfits, and the most adoring fluffy jacket and matching hat. Of course Marcus gave us a punk rock skull and bones baby shirt which pleased Dav greatly. Colleen - whose baby Maria-Rose is now 8 months - also handed us her swing, tons of clothes, and a doorway hanging thingy. I was a little bashful to receive so much - especially such nice stuff - but it made me so happy to know that everyone eagerly awaits our baby's arrival. She will be surrounded with so much love!

Dav's bio-grandmother, Maria, had 8 children. They moved from Scotland to Canada to San Francisco. Maria told me stories of having to take care of the children during WWII bombing, how she gave birth in Canada and was carried into the hospital since there were no wheelchairs available, how she traveled on boat pregnant with all these kids running around...I can't imagine how hard it must have been back then with 8 children! She's cool as a cucumber and always cheerful. What a role model. She advised me that when I have contractions, just imagine the comes in, but always goes back out, so focus on the going out part. I will keep that in mind.

The Callaghan Clan is hilarious and wild. The stories that I hear are outrageous - compared to the tame Japanese side of my family. These kids stopped the boat when traveling to Canada when 2 of them hid, and the boat crew thought they fell overboard! And when traveling by train, Dav's bio-mom and her brother wandered off at a pit-stop causing all the passengers to get off yelling and looking for them. With 8 children, they sure have some fine memories indeed. In our super cautious society now, such crazy memories are difficult to make, but I hope Gargle will have some. Itís quite an experience to witness all the laughter the Callaghan's share every time there is a gathering :)

The last 2 pics show just how much Gargle stuff we have now. A whole closet-full, and a crib piled high in the living room until we have space in the bedroom!

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  Countries I've visited
Posted by Mie at 2006 Jun 2 09:14 PM PST
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  It's getting tight!
Posted by Mie at 2006 Jun 1 03:53 PM PST

Since a few days ago, my level of discomfort has increased. My pregnancy thus far has been alternating growth spurts and plateaus versus a steady slow growth. During the spurts, my body aches and hurts. Then a balance is achieved and I'm happy again.

I seem to be in a growth spurt now...but the awkwardness is more than usual. I'm huge! And I realized, sitting at my desk at work, that my preggy pants are tight...even completely unbuttoned. And I just took off my beloved BellaBand as that started feeling too tight too. So now my raw belly sticks out from under my shirt (I'm tying a cardigan around my waist to hide it...ha ha, yeah, I'm really hiding it aren't I?).

Part of me wants to lie down, but I also know lying down is no longer comfortable. Oi...I need to be floating in a pool under the warm sun with a virgin cocktail in my hand. If someone were massaging my feet, that'd be perfect ; )

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  A new deck, a pink rocking chair, and the number 40
Posted by Mie at 2006 May 29 10:39 PM PST

Click to see video

We went over to Ian's for dinner today. They just finished a new deck off of their spanking new kitchen, so we got to enjoy a beautiful evening outdoor dinner. Lots of playing in the yard beforehand. We hadn't seen them for a while, and I was quite surprised at how grown Julia looks. Maybe it was her new haircut, but she's no longer a toddler for sure! The video is of Tyler showing a new Aikido move with Ian as his opponent.

Ian and Izumi have a rocking chair they used for baby rocking/feeding that they handed over to us. They freshly painted it a spunky pink. The chair has quite a history: Ian and Izumi bought it in Tokyo from a chief executive of Disney Japan. They most likely shipped it from the USA to Tokyo. Ian and Izumi then shipped it to New Jersey when they first moved there...and now it comes to us. Thanks!

The other reason we visited today was it's Ian's birthday soon...and I may as well point out the "40" baseball cap he got from a celebration yesterday. A nice big 4-0. Dav and I got him Hungry Planet, a book I heard about on NPR. It's quite fascinating. Happy Birthday bro!

The last picture is really hard to see, but it's of a humming bird sitting on a nest just outside of Ian and Izumi's dining room. I've never seen a humming bird sit still for so long. How cute...diligently sitting there on the eggs.

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  Scenes from the drive up
Posted by Mie at 2006 May 29 08:59 PM PST

It was so nice to be out of the city in the hills with trees and open sky. Saw lots of cows.

Even though it was just one night, I feel much refreshed from camping. With our blow-up mattress and tons of pillows, I slept OK (not deeply, but can't complain). 6 of our other friends, who are also Goa Gil fans, came too. So it was a little reunion for good 'ol times. I absolutely love camping with friends, sharing food and laughter, and just hanging out among the trees.

Dav's pics are here. Includes some belly pics :)

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  Goa Gil camping
Posted by Mie at 2006 May 27 01:08 PM PST

For 1 night only, but I'm excited since it's been a while and I love camping. We had to pack so much with extra pillows so I can be relatively comfortable. I noted that next time we'll have even more stuff since 'Gargle' will be with us.

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  What it's been like
Posted by Mie at 2006 May 26 10:03 PM PST

Many people ask me how I'm feeling and how the pregnancy is going. This doesn't bother me at all, as I enjoy talking about this experience. But I realized I haven't shared a lot of details on Kokochi...and since this is where I essentially keep a diary, I decided I should take notes for my future reading & reminiscing.

Now that I'm nearing the end, I'm aware that this incredible experience will soon be in the past, and memories may even fade. I've almost gotten used to being pregnant, taking some of it for granted, even though there are constant changes in my body. Inside, however, I am thrilled every minute; just don't want to gush all the time. I observe my body and am amazed at how it works. I know it's my body, but as Dav has noted before, I sometimes talk about my body as if I'm detached from it. I don't think I am; it's just that my body does all sorts of things on its own, not from my conscious effort or decisions. And that's neat in a connected-to-biology way. I mean, excuse me for being blunt, but Dav and I have sex one time, and voila! A baby is on her way. I'm personally not cell-dividing and deciding what is an eyeball or finger. I am in awe. Especially since it's inside me.

About the pregnancy, I must say that I've had it easy. I've heard and read enough to know that I've had zero complications, and even an ideal pregnancy. No morning sickness, and I'm pretty much moving around as normal (up until lately, at least).

I had that pinched nerve in the butt for a while, but besides the split second pain when it was triggered, it was OK to feel an effect from Gargle. If she was sitting on my nerve, well, I knew she was there!

I remember the faint fluttering of movement at first. Now, I'm much more used to constantly feeling her, and I can feel very real body parts poking through. I have fun gently poking back, or rubbing her foot/knee/butt??, saying something out loud, imagining she can feel me and connect it to a voice. The first few times feeling the body parts (distinct hard bumps sticking through my skin), I actually felt woozy. Wow, there really IS an alien being inside me! But I got used to it, and feel comforted when there is an avalanche of movement rumbling inside.

When I notice that she hasn't moved for a while, I can't help but get worried. I jiggle my belly to see if she'll respond. Although everything has been fine, there is always that worry that something at any time could go wrong. So I do pay attention.

That reminds me...I haven't mentioned this, but in mid-February, I had scary cramps. I know it's mid-Feb. because I started getting them when Dav and I went to Pete and Katia's to help them move (and I checked her blog for the date; yay for blogs!). We weren't of much help, but whatever I did, I got cramps, and they felt different. I sat for a while and they didn't go away and were quite strong. I got worried, so Dav and I went home, and I called our hospital. They had me wait 30 minutes, and when I still had them, they advised me to come in. During the drive there, I started crying. It was my first time to really be worried, and realize that as chill and easy going as I had been, it would be very hard if this cramping led to a miscarriage. I kept thinking how sorry I'd be for Gargle-to-be. I realized I really cared about her with her own chance at life. After 3 hours, the cramps finally subsided. Could have been dehydration or something inside me doing extra stretching. I am very grateful that it was just a part of pregnancy that startled me.

I'm still not entirely connected to her, and she is still an independent foreign being inside me. I go about my business of trying to sleep, cook, walk, work, etc., and she's doing her own swimming/napping/kicking, growing, etc. But I do enjoy feeling her move...ah, she's still in there, hopefully happy with what I just ate.

I'm glad that both Dav and I have been rather chill...not worrying too much or drastically changing anything yet, although as I've mentioned before, there's the mental adjustment that's surreal. I love sharing this with Dav. I'm so proud of him, and am so excited to see him as a dad. I think he'll be super cool!

I've had to accept that I'm this awkward-looking pregnant lady with him now...who makes noises when moving, snores, eats all his food, absent-mindedly lifts her shirt to scratch her belly-button right in front of him, and unabashedly asks for massages and help with chores. I used to enjoy dressing up for him, going out on town, adding a little sexy something at night. Now, I don't fit into anything enticingly sexy, and there's no hiding this big belly. I feel like a toddler who bumps into things and doesn't move elegantly. For a while, having bigger boobs was fun, but they are, well, definitely looking like mommy-boobs already...

Other than that, what I'm physically noticing now:

  • Heartburn - not constant, but enough that I've bought Tums, for the very first time in my life.

  • Tightening around the belly - not contractions, but if I walk a lot or at night time, my belly gets hard as a rock and I can feel an overall tightening. This can last for a while and is rather uncomfortable

  • Calf cramps - must be related to blood circulation. Happens most when I wake up and move my legs. My calf muscles just freeze and it hurts like hell. I've also noticed if I get up after sitting for a while that my calves feel tingly or numb

  • Bigger belly - as expected, but it's really getting in the way. Dav will soon have to tie my shoes. Getting in/out of the car is hard, and I have to roll out of bed

  • Internal summersaults - her head is down now so I don't think she's really doing summersaults, but there are certain movements that feel very internal, like her stepping right on my bladder, or a kick to some organ that hits my ribs. Very strange

  • Sleeping - I'm definitely sleeping lightly now, tossing and turning a lot. I can't lie on my back for more than 15 minutes or so...sometimes longer if I put a support under my back. I guess the weight of my belly crushes my back. Lying on my sides are my only options, with a pillow between my legs and a small support right under my ribs. My ribs get pushed when on my side so even then, I can't stay long in one position. And flipping over isn't easy either since I really have no stomach muscles to use. I feel like a seal sometimes, rolling as best I can to and fro.

At times I've felt that this pregnancy stage is awkward indeed. Why didn't we follow the kangaroos to have belly pouches instead? Or why not a gigantic egg on which men could sit and incubate? For all this debate about Intelligent Design, I'm finding some flaws - and I've got it easy! If evolution is still perfecting the process, I'll help along. I just don't think some Being sat down and really thought this through. Especially when I still have BIRTH to go through.

I can't imagine what it used to be like, getting pregnant frequently, knowing that you might just die during child birth, with no hope of a nice epidural to calm your nerves. That women continue to populate this planet, I'm in awe of women's power and strength. I hope I can tap into that a bit please ;)

Wow. This is the longest blog entry I've ever written. But it's to my future self. Thanks for reading.

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  A tasty blogger evening
Posted by Mie at 2006 May 26 12:17 PM PST

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Last night we went to a dinner that included donated wine from Stormhoek and organic chocolate from Charles Chocolates. The event was part of Stormhoek's 100 Geek Dinners in 100 Days. I had no idea what to expect, but why not go? Plus, Gen's friend Peter was organizing it, and I hadn't seen him for a while.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Min Jung, so we got to catch up. She knew all about Gargle, and when she won the raffle for a box of Charles Chocolates, she graciously gave them to me in celebration. Thanks, and great to see you!!

There was a neat capella music performance by the Stanford Harmonics. I had never seen such. Unfortunately, my video attempt is horribly meager. I was a bit distracted at how perky they all were. It was part of the show, I'm sure, but I kept noting their college-youth energy. It was almost inspirational!

The dinner was delicious, but I think the guests really enjoyed the flowing wine. I know Dav did ; )

By far, what I enjoyed the most was an underwater photography show by Eric Cheng. He's got some really cool shots that blew us all away. Some shots made me think of a Dr. Seuss sort of weird and wacky world. He has pictures from swimming with whales and sharks too. At the end, he opened a silent auction for some of his pictures. I was immediately drawn to an extraordinary picture of a turtle and made a bid. After getting outbid, and making sure I bid again, Dav and I were happy winners (actually, the out-bidder understood how much I wanted the picture and graciously didn't re-out-bid us).

Anyway, Dav and I absolutely LOVE the picture. Eric explained that it's of a baby turtle that had been found distressed. It had been taken in by some organization for care, and the photo was taken when it was first released back into the wild. Can't you feel the turtle's excitement and thrill in that expression? We named the turtle "Charles" and have him taped on our closet in front of our bed to enjoy - and we do. He makes us very happy. We'll get a very nice frame for Charles soon.

Then, just as we were leaving for the night, we bumped into a couple who had a 7 month old cutie baby. We discussed the ins and outs of pregnancy and parenthood, and discovered they are planning on going to Burning Man for the first time this year. Very good to hear that they have a baby and are planning this; gives us hope that not all ends when you have a baby!

We told them that we're veteran Burners, but we'll be new at the parenting thing. So we're definitely going to follow-up and share information, and hopefully get to know each other more. Totally cool couple (the woman is an avid Live Journal user), and we are quite pleased to have met them!

So it was one of those evenings that started so-so...not sure what we were getting into, not expecting much. But then we got to laugh with Min Jung, Dav enjoyed lots of wine, we found Charles the turtle, and we met new friends. Not bad, eh?

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  Rick and Mikie
Posted by Mie at 2006 May 26 11:48 AM PST

Been reflecting more and more about my parents as Dav and I inch towards parenthood. I know this is a process every parent goes through, but it's quite fascinating how Dav and I attempt to process this imminent life-changing event. We can't really. It's beyond our realm of comprehension. At times I'm excited, at others I'm sad about letting go of this perfect "Dav & Mie Bubble" we've created. Who is this person who will soon be demanding all our attention?

I have 2 pictures of my parents that I love [sorry for the bad picture of a picture quality; I will scan later]. One is of my mom on the beach with my brother and I. She is playing with us. I love how beautiful she is, and I know she's wearing a bikini. This makes me think about her, as a young woman with 2 children...being our mom, but also an individual (a transplant from Japan to New England) who is well into the parenthood phase that Dav and I are about to enter. What was it like for her? Did she miss being the glamorous woman I see in her other pictures? Was she overwhelmed by us? It doesn't look like it...and her smile comforts me because I feel she's genuinely having fun.

The other picture is of my dad, surrounded by kids at my brother's birthday party. I wish he were more central, not tucked away behind the scenes. But I love this picture because he's so into being at the party, with that funny red birthday hat on. Ian is at the center, enjoying his special day. I'm a little lost, not knowing what all the commotion is about, looking up to my dad for comfort. It seems such a natural yet intimate moment.

Like I said, I'm thinking lots about my parents, appreciating what they went through, and thankful for what they did to enable me be the person I am.

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  Bay to Breakers - salmon run
Posted by Mie at 2006 May 21 09:50 PM PST

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Today was amazing weather: it poured in the early morning, cleared up for the race to an almost tropical temperature, then rained once the event was all over. Perfect!

We got to Alamo Square at 7:30am, and were ready to watch the professional runners, first the women, then the men. I almost burst into tears at how inspiring it was to see these amazingly fit people run by so elegantly.

This year, Dav did the salmon run. By far, this is the coolest and most original play on the event. All the salmon gathered at Alamo Square, and when the passing crowd became less about the serious runners and slowly more about a celebratory bacchanalia, and the crowd thickened to a river of joggers, the salmon entered single-file in the opposite direction. Their fins and heads bobbed up and down just above the crowd, and was the best sight ever! I'm so proud of my salmon husband!!

The video thumbnails aren't working now - sorry about that. But these videos are worth it.

  • 1st one is of the salmon gathering, Dav flapping his gills.
  • 2nd is the first two woman zooming by.
  • 3rd shows the winning man.
  • 4th is the salmon running upstream.

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