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Fast Talk with Cedro and Draelen

6 Mar

Draelen + Cedro (06 March 2017 // Santa Monica, CA)

Lately, I have been asking Cedro and Draelen rapid fire questions in a similar style as “Fast Talk with Boy Abunda” — a segment in a popular Filipino talk show on ABS-CBN.

Mama: Beach or mountain?
Cedro: Mountain!

Mama: Ketchup or Kewpie?
Cedro: Kewpie!
Drae: Ketchup!

Mama: Legos or N Gauge?
Cedro: N Gauge!

Mama: Ikura or uni?
Cedro: Ikura!

Mama: Ikura or Mama?
Cedro: Mama!
Drae: Ikura!

It’s very clear who is the Japanese kid and who is the Filipino kid; the mini Brian vs. the mini Ardith.  Regardless, they both crack me up every day.



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



1st Time Using Training Chopsticks!

15 Jan


23 Months Old Today!

5 Jul
© Photos by Ardith Ibañez Nishii and Arlene Ibañez Yoo

I’m almost 2 years old! I’m always on the move!

    • I peed in a grown-up toilet for the first time!
    • I met Henry Thomas!  We were at a wine tasting/family picnic at the Barnsdall Art Park.
    • I saw my first fireworks last night for 4th of July!  We were with Tita Ging and Uncle Danny and we drove around and saw so many shows!  From Santa Monica to Marina del Rey to Culver City!  We had great seats in Uncle Danny’s truck!
    • I finally starting calling Papa “Papa” instead of “Nya-Nya”!  I can also say “Tita”, “Uncle”, “Lola”, “Lolo”, “Ate” and “Kuya”.
  • INTERESTING HABITS: I like to peel my lips and pull on my eyelashes.

A lot of change and transition is happening right now.  My great grandmother, Papa’s Obaachama, passed away last week.  She lived to be almost 101 with no life support or food for 4 weeks!  Wow!  I hope I inherit that kind of strength!

Tita Lisa and Funkle Ray are packing up so that Funkle can drive their car and their things back to Ithaca on Sunday.  After that, I’ll have 10 more days with Tita Lisa, Ate and Kuya until they fly back.  This is the beginning of the end of a special era where our families got to live together in California.  Everyone thinks I’m too young to know what’s going on, but I definitely sense that they’re leaving and I’m going to miss them so much!  Can’t they see that’s why I’m super clingy right now?!

22 Months Old Today!

5 Jun

© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

    • I got my first haircut!
    • I know how to walk up stairs without holding on to the railing.
    • I’ve been going to daycare on a regular basis now.  I usually go Tuesday and Thursday.  Papa unexpectedly had to go to Japan last night with Tita Lisa to be with their 100-year-old grandma.  Luckily a Monday-Wednesday-Friday slot opened up this week at my school.  This will be my first full week of daycare.
    • My mom has been working at a full-time freelance job for about a month now and I’m handling it really well!  This is the first time in my almost-2-year-old life that we have been apart this much!
    • I attended my first funeral last week.  It was for Tita Cyn and Tita Liz’s 92-year-old lolo, Daddy Nick.  Even though I am barely 2 years old, I knew that something intense was going on.  Even though it was sad, it was also a joyous celebration of Daddy Nick’s life.  Luckily, we were able to visit him before he passed away.
    • I am starting to say things other than “Mama”.  I have been interested in mimicking other people  Every so often, I will say, “Uh oh!” which is something Uncle Kevin taught me.
    • drawing
    • playing with trains and cars
    • lining up things to make tracks for my toy trains
    • pointing out cement trucks and construction equipment while we’re out and about
    • playing on any iPhone or iPad
    • jumping off of ledges into someone’s arms
    • chasing birds
    • apples
    • banana milk
    • lollipops
  • NEW ANNOYING HABIT: screaming one long note at the top of my lungs if I don’t get my way.  When Funkle Ray catches me, he trains me to smile instead.
  • NEW CUTE HABIT: When people order me to smile, I do this extreme underbite smile and stick out my tongue slightly.
  • FAVORITE SONG: “Say What?” by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

I miss Papa.  Today, I was whimpering while hugging one of his dress shirts.  At the same time, I’m glad he and Tita Lisa are spending time with their Obaachama.  They landed today and had a great visit with her.  She recognized them and was very happy to see them.  For a split second, Papa had actually considered taking me with him, but I don’t have a passport yet.  (Maybe that’ll be a milestone for next month!)

21 Months Old Today!

5 May
© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

LACMA // 05 May 2012

    • stacking cans of Spam
    • playing with trains and cars
    • playing on Mama’s iPhone
    • activating Netflix on any iPhone or iPad
    • reading and playing my Japanese song book
    • sticking my hands in puddles (Mama hates that!)
    • balancing and walking along the edge of curbs
    • chasing birds
    • watching this Korean cartoon series about talking vehicles (I think it’s called 꼬마버스타요.)
    • fried garbanzo beans
    • balsamic vinaigrette
    • Japanese fried chicken
    • giant strawberry Pocky
    • Goldfish crackers (multi-color, pretzels & cheddar)
    • green smoothies (I used to love these, but then I rejected them for a long time.  I’m back to enjoying them!)

This feels like a nice long weekend.  Kicked it off with my first trip to Disneyland yesterday.  We had a blast with Uncle Wahley, Auntie Joanne and Jacob who were visiting from NYC.   It was so good to see them again.  Seemed like no time had passed since our play dates in New York.  I was very comfortable with Uncle Wahley and would grab his hand or ask him to carry me.

Today, we had a fun visit to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) to check out the Metropolis II exhibit.  The last time I went with Mama and Kuya Issei, it wasn’t running because it was a weekday.  This time, I could see all the cars in trains in action!  Had a great time sharing the experience with the whole family, including Kuya, Ate, Tita Lisa, Funkle Ray, Uncle Wahley, Auntie Joanne and Jacob.

Tomorrow, I imagine we’ll have a nice lazy family day so Mama can maximize her time with us.  On Monday, she starts a new job – her first full-time freelance gig since I was born!  It will be an adjustment for all of us, but we know that it’s important.  She’ll be working on the Belkin website.  I’ll look forward to visiting her at work and I know she’ll be excited to show me off!