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Reflecting on 2018

15 Dec

Tokyo Disneyland // 17 July 2018

A dear friend and fellow mommy, Rachel, once wisely commented, “The days are long, but the years are short.”  Just yesterday, Cedro posed for a photo with Tita Ging and I noticed that he’s almost the same height as her!  (OK. She’s 4’10” but still…). Time really flies.

Sendai, Japan // 24 June 2018


Cedro (8 years old):

  • He continues to be sweet and sensitive.  He cries pretty easily (just like Mama), but is also able to articulate his thoughts and feelings very clearly.  Whenever he sees me upset or stressed out, he knows that a hug or a reminder to “just breathe” will take care of it.
  • It’s pretty common for strangers to come up to me to comment on his politeness.  He is quick to hold open the doors for people while we’re out and about.
  • He is still obsessed with Minecraft and Legos.  He also has become very good at his Nintendo Switch games, but he has also become a pro at Perler bead creations and rubber band loom bracelets.
  • We have a nightly ritual of reading Harry Potter together.  We are almost done with Book 3.
  • Cedro has picked up piano and proven that he is a natural.  He is learning music theory on top of just learning how to play and has already surpassed my music knowledge.



Sendai, Japan // 24 June 2018

Draelen (4 years old):

  • Drae is the Boss of the family.
  • She is quite vocal and chatty. Some signature expressions:
    • “Samamat po” (instead of “Salamat po” or “Thank you, Sir/Ma’am” in Tagalog)
    • “Temepono” (instead of “Telepono”)
    • “Boku” (She refers to herself with the male pronoun in Japanese.  She only hears her brother and Papa speak Japanese at home so…)
    • “So long, SUCKAS!” (Yes, it’s true. Something I think she picked up listening to Cedro and his friends playing video games, but it’s also a line I’ve heard in animated movies.)
  • She loves to dance and will spontaneously break out in her own choreography.
  • Her favorite song right now is “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. She raps and sings along at every moment.  In fact, she loves to sing in general.  Maybe she can be a guest on “Carpool Karaoke” one day.
  • She is obsessed with horses and can actually simulate horse sounds quite convincingly.  The surefire way I can get her to brush her teeth or do anything around the house is pretend that I’m a horse and let her ride my back to the bathroom or other intended destination.  I’m a sucker.  #momlife #whateverittakes

Every day still feels like a fire drill and we are in constant survival mode is we struggle to get the kids out the door and to bed on time.  But when I think about the problems, they’re First World problems.  We are all healthy and happy.  Phew!

Fundraiser for My Amazing Public School

17 Sep

It’s that time of year again!  Please help me raise money for my amazing public school — El Marino Language School.  I am now in 2nd grade in the Japanese Immersion Program.

No purchase is too small. Get your holiday shopping done early! Proceeds from your order go towards funding field trips, school assemblies and other resources for the school.

To order, please click on this unique link below:

Thanks in advance for your support!

xoxo Cedro

Kendo – Bogu Test

28 Jan

I have been taking Kendo (Japanese sword fighting) for a year now thanks to a great after-school program at El Marino.  Tito Danny got me my first two shinai (bamboo sword) and carrying case even before he knew they offered classes at my school.  He told me that the light sabers in Star Wars were inspired by Kendo.  It’s true!

I recently passed a test to advance to a level where I could start training with bogu (protective gear).


11 Jan

I love it when Drae agrees to hug me.  I’m always BEGGING for hugs and she usually pushes me away or runs away.  It really hurts my feelings.  Doesn’t she know that I’ve been hugging her ever since she was in Mama’s belly?

First Broken Bones

20 Feb


I knew this day was bound to come. Cedro’s first major accident.

At approximately 3:55 today, while running around the school yard, Cedro tripped and as he went to brace himself against the fence, the force was too much and he broke both his radius and ulna bones in his left arm.

After quickly being admitted into the ER and getting Xrays, we waited for about an hour for the orthopedic doctor to be called in, and it was determined to put him under sedation to go through the bone setting process, which took all but 5 minutes.

Cedro woke up from sedation safely albeit a bit groggly. As he slowly was getting used to the cast, we negotiated his bursts of annoyance and fear with vanilla pudding and M&Ms. (He was convinced that the staff person was trying to cut him instead of the mole skin strips used to soften the sharp edges of the cast.)

He’s actually being quite the trooper and, of course, YouTube is helping as a much needed distraction.

The next 6-8 weeks are going to be rough. No running. No jumping. No swimming. No sports. No sandbox. No beach. But he will no doubt have a successful recovery.

On the drive home, I told Cedro how proud I was of how strong he was. He seemed confused, “But Mama, my arm is broken.” One day, I’ll show him the picture of him smiling despite his deformed arm while waiting in the ER.  (Will spare you, his fan club, the site of that specific photo.)


Thank You, Lola + Lolo!

22 Jul

Early celebration for both Lola and Lolo's birthdays with all the grandkids — Cedro (3 yrs), Quincy (1 yr) and Draelen (1 wk)

Sunday, 20 July 2014 // Early celebration for both Lola and Lolo’s birthdays with all the grandkids — Cedro (3 yrs), Quincy (1 yr) and Draelen (1 wk) [Photo by Arlene Yoo]

Dear Lola + Lolo,

Thanks for flying down to help us with the daily cooking, cleaning, dish washing, laundry, sewing, mending, diaper changes, lullabies, burping and baths for the past 2 weeks! I know it was a HUGE help to Mama and Papa to have such deluxe 24-7 child care service. And thanks for being patient with me even though I was acting up and being so territorial with Baby Drae. You know I love you very much and that you’ll always be on my best friend list!

Love Always,

I Am Officially a Kuya (aka Big Brother)

13 Jul

Cedro with Draelen

ABCD Nishii is complete! Here I am with Draelen-Harue Ibañez Nishii — born Sunday, 7/13/14 at 12:24pm (8lbs 2oz, 20.5in long).

Mama and Papa wanted my little sister’s name to be inspired by their own little sisters’ names:

Draelen = [DRAY-len] = the letter D + letters of “Arlene” = Tita Ging’s name
Harue = [HA-roo-eh] = smart + sensitive, derived from Tita Lisa’s Japanese name

I wonder if Mama and Papa will start a new blog about Baby D?  There are already a lot of interesting stories about her and her birth.  I love her so much!  Stay tuned!…