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Draelen is 9 Months Old

13 Apr


I blinked and now Drae is almost a year old!  So much has happened.  The biggest milestones include a new home, Kuya Cedro’s acceptance into the nearby Japanese immersion program for kindergarten (which means that Draelen has a guaranteed spot when she’s old enough), Drae eating solid foods, crawling and pulling herself up.

It’s hard for me to be away from her all day long so I try to make the most of the mornings and evenings and weekends.  I find myself constantly smothering her in kisses and wanting to eat her up.  

One thing’s for sure — she has quite an appetite!  Drae is still breastfeeding but has also been enjoying homemade baby food by Grandma, Obaachama and yours truly.  I’m sure that the next time Lola visits, she’ll enjoy her Filipino cooking, too!

She is a very curious and social baby.  She gleefully waves good-bye at night and is always entertained by her Kuya Cedro.  Lately she is making attempts at speaking.  We often hear, “bah-bah-bah-bah-bah” or “Pffffffffffffff.”  (Maybe she’s a Francophile like her mama.) 

Before I know it, she’ll be walking, so I’m just trying to savor each moment. (sigh)

Drae is 6 Months Old Today!

13 Jan
Draelen's 1st solid food — avocado!

Draelen’s 1st solid food — avocado! (13 January 2015 // Los Angeles, CA )

These past 6 months have flown by!  I admit I’ve done a terrible job of keeping this blog up-to-date, but I have been enjoying living in the moment of Draelen’s infancy instead.  I’m addicted to her!  If I could snuggle with her all day I would.  I’ll do anything to make her laugh or smile.  It’s not hard to do!  She is definitely a happy baby who loves eye contact and conversation.

People often ask us how Cedro is doing with a new baby sister.  He is the most loving and attentive big brother we could hope for Drae!  From Day 1, he has been very territorial and protective of her.  Even now, he refers to her as “my baby.”  It warms my heart to spy on the kids laughing and giggling together.  Every morning, Cedro crawls into bed with Drae and pulls her towards him so they can cuddle face to face.  Drae is only a baby, but you can tell that she adores her Kuya Cedro.  She has a signature happy sound which comes from the back of her mouth and sounds very much like radio static.  Part of me feels like she’s actually trying to say, “Kuya.”

Everything they say about having a second child is true.  Our lives are pure and utter chaos right now.  But in the midst of the circus is a profound sense of contentment and completeness.

Fun Facts:

  • Height = 2′ 2.8″ (86th percentile)
  • Weight = 18 lbs., 2 oz. (84th percentile)
  • Head Circumference = 17.99″ (99.66th percentile! Almost off the chart!)
  • Rolled over for the 1st time (06 December 2014)
  • Favorite Word = “Poo Poo”
  • Interested in: disco ball in our living room, TV remote control, bath time and standing


ABCD’s 1st Road Trip & Vacation

7 Sep


We had an amazing 2 weeks in NorCal and caught up on some much needed sleep and QT w/ family and friends. Lola & Lolo, Jacintos, Wongs, deGuzmans, (El Dorado) Millers, (Alameda) Millers, Freemondes, Toms (Gardner & Songin), Beahns and Beys!
We miss you already!

We’re driving back to LA right now and so far Drae is handling the ride perfectly. Left Alameda around 12:30pm and stopped once to feed her and she seems to be snoozing soundly. On our way up, we left at 10pm and stopped once for a long (almost 2-hr) feed and arrived in Folsom by 6am… May this be only the beginning of many more family road trips and travel adventures!

Happy 4th Birthday, Cedro!

5 Aug


Cedro's 4th Birthday


Dear Cedro,

Today you are 4 years old!  Just in the past 4 weeks, our lives have changed dramatically.  You have grown so much.  Feels like yesterday when you were just as small as Draelen.  I feel like I blinked and all of a sudden you’re a little boy.

Right now, you are at your school having a little party.  I wish I could be there with you to watch you celebrate with your friends.  I’m home feeding Baby D since she’s too young to be in large crowds.  Thank you for being my sous pastry chef this morning for my grand experiment to make sugar-free, nut-free, apple-free, banana-free vegan cookies for your classmates.  I love baking with you.  You probably won’t remember this time in your life, but my hope is that you’ll have a sense for how loved you are and that when you look back, you’ll remember your childhood as a happy one.

I still struggle with perfectionism and juggling all my different roles.  It’s definitely overwhelming to have 2 young kids while managing work and other projects.  But once in a while, I am able to take a short breath and see through the chaos.  Somehow, simple things that you do or say make the stress and mayhem melt away for a moment.  It could be your gleeful laugh, goofy antics or your loving gestures towards Drae or Quincy.  And those little moments make it all worthwhile.  At the end of the day, we live a lucky life.

I love you, Cedro. You are my angel.  I am constantly amazed and proud that you are my son.  You’ll always be my first baby.

Love always,

Here are some new things and fun facts about you:


  • HEIGHT: 3 ft. 5 in. (67th percentile)
  • WEIGHT: 41 lbs (85th percentile)


  • BIG BROTHER:  You have come a long way since you resisted the idea of a sibling.  We used to ask you if you wanted a brother or sister and your response was “Quincy!” your cousin.  Now that Baby D is here, you are very enthusiastic about her and protective of her.  I’ll never forget your reaction to seeing me the day before Draelen was born.  I had told you that Baby D would be with me the next time you were going to see me.  I was obviously wrong (as I had been all week long).   The first thing you asked was, “Where’s Baby D?”  When you realized that she hadn’t arrived yet, you completely fell apart!  You were so sad and disappointed!…  The next day, when you finally met your sister was such a tender and special moment.  You completely lit up when you saw her and were very gentle with her.  You have continued to be very affectionate with Drae and are very proud of the fact that you are allowed to kiss her on the cheek or hold her hands.  I have a habit of calling you “Baby” as a term of endearment but you always correct me and say, “I’m not Baby.”  You are also very helpful and quick to lend a hand in any baby-related task from changing diapers to rocking Drae in her rocker.
  • DAYCARE: You are approaching the end of your 2nd year at SMAP Childcare.  We are already looking into kindergarten for you for the fall of 2015!  We can’t believe it!
  • SLEEPING: Fortunately, your night terrors are pretty much gone but every night you end up in our bed.  Whenever I ask you what you need to get to sleep, you typically answer, “Baby D.”  (While I was pregnant, you would snuggle with me and put your hand on my belly as if being close to your sis was like having a security blanket.)  But after you fall asleep, your body rotates and you end up perpendicular to us.  You love sleeping on pillows as if a pillow were a mini bed.
  • LANGUAGES: Your strongest language is still Japanese followed by English and then Tagalog.  I need to use my maternity leave to improve my own Tagalog skills in order to teach you better.  Lately, you have also been communicating in your own version of the Kalahari Bushmen language.  You like to gesture and make clicking sounds.  Somehow, we can have entire conversations speaking your special language!
  • POTTY TRAINING: You are technically potty trained, as in you don’t wear diapers anymore, but you’re not yet accident-free.  During the day, you tend to wait until the absolute last minute to go to the bathroom.  At home, you race around the apartment announcing to everyone to “HURRY! HURRY!” even though you know how to go by yourself. You have a tell-tale “pee pee dance” that signals to us to remind you to go.   One big milestone is that you no longer need a stool to use our toilet at home!
  • PERSONALITY: While you’re very good at testing boundaries and breaking the rules both at school and at home, when push comes to shove. you also want to resolve conflicts.  When you see that I’m upset, you quickly stick your hand out for a handshake and plead, “Friends?” or “I want to be friends, Mama.”  You also make Papa apologize to me when you see that he is the one frustrating me.  “Papa, say sorry to Mama.”  You also have a knack for saving yourself when you know that you’re in trouble. You ask, “You happy, Mama?” even though you know that I’m pretty pissed off.  You’re obviously very clever.
  • OBSESSIONS: You are still a die-hard train addict.  Your favorite song is “Train” by Japanese pop band, Ketsumeishi, for a JR promo video that you found on YouTube yourself!  You and Papa sing this song every day in the car on your way to school.  You still live the Pixar Cars and Planes movies but you have been especially obsessed with the movie Frozen.  You can “sing”/hum the songs both in English and Japanese.  Rumor has it, you also like to dress in drag as Elsa at school while you’re singing.


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!…


Why Mama Hasn’t Blogged in a While

10 Jul
Me and Mama — Pregnant with Baby D

12 June 2014 — Me posing with Mama, preggers with Baby D

Mama feels bad that she hasn’t really documented her pregnancy with Baby D and now we are only one day away from Baby D’s due date! I’m not going to complain. I’ve had a lot of quality time with Mama all to myself! But I’m ready to be a kuya (big brother).

Mama was sure that my new sis was coming on Sunday, so she had Lola fly down early. In the end, Baby D was giving us all time to be ready FOR REAL. Mama was able to finish a project at work and Papa finally ordered our new fridge today. (The freezer died.) And Lolo just arrived this afternoon.

We’ll see if she comes a little early today on Lola and Lolo’s 43rd wedding anniversary (and Tita Cori’s bday!) or if she comes on time tomorrow or if she arrives late as the rest of us Ibanez-Nishiis are prone to do! Stay tuned!