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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


2013 Luau Celebrating End of School Year at SMAP

16 Aug

I can’t believe that the school year is coming to an end!  I started in January as a very shy and cautious boy, barely speaking.  And now, almost 9 months later, I am talking, communicating and exploring.  I have made some very close friends at SMAP and I am looking forward to the next couple of years.

I want to share this great video by Ibuki’s papa.  He captured the fun from the luau. Thank you, Konishi-san!


As you can see, Michi-san has created a great family atmosphere. I can’t imagine being at a better school than SMAP!

19 Months Old Today!

5 Mar
© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

05 March 2012 // Folsom, CA

  • SLEEPING: This whole month while at Lola and Lolo’s big house, I’ve had a whole room to myself! So, I’ve been sleeping for 11 to 12 hours! During the day, I’m down to one 1-2 hr. nap. Hooray!
  • TOYS: Yes, it’s true. I am very spoiled by my Lola and Lolo, but I’m getting great use out of all of my toys – both old and new.
    • Cedro-size train ride
    • Drum set
    • Backyardigan guitar
    • Indoor swing: I never get tired of swinging. I even boss Lola and Lolo to push me harder and higher. (It doesn’t look like it in the picture because I’m jet-lagged.)
    • My Personal Park: I still go through all the things in the playground that Lolo built for me. Of course, I’m still loving my sandbox.
    • Vintage Toys: Lola saves everything! I have been enjoying using Mama and Tita Ging’s Tupperware set and pretend that I’m drinking from the mini mugs.
  • MANNERISMS: I’m still not talking, but I have a knack for communicating without words.
    • I love to give kisses and hugs (especially when I’m in trouble).
    • When someone comes to get me from my room in the morning, I am usually standing up in the crib and emphatically pointing to my diaper.
    • I’m a very affectionate boy and I’m very sad when Lola leaves to go to work in the mornings. After she changes my diaper, I pat the couch next to me to make her stay a little while longer before she goes. I also like to watch her leave and wait for her to come back at the front window.
    • I know I’m a cute kid.  One day, Mama asked me, “Nasaan si Pogi?” (translation: “Where’s Handsome?)  I immediately pointed to myself.  I guess she didn’t realize that I associate “Pogi” with myself.  Doesn’t she know that she calls me that all the time?  Duh!
    • Today, after my nap, I noticed that my snack container was empty. I looked down and then up at Mama and turned my palms up as if to say, “What’s up? Where’s my food?”
    • Speaking of food, I LOVE to feed myself! I’m really good at using a spoon and fork. I’ve got the shoveling down pat. I don’t think these adults feed me fast enough!
    • The best way to get me to hydrate is to shout, “Kanpai!” (translation: “Cheers!”) I love clinking my sippy cup with the grown-ups. I’m so dramatic when I drink. I knock my head back and take big swigs!
    • I am a very appreciative little boy and I’ve substituted the sign language sign for “Thank You” with a very deep and respectful Japanese bow instead. On a good day, I will do this without any coaching from anyone.  I also bow at the beginning and at the end of meals (although it cracks me up when my family says grace).
    • I love to shrug my shoulders.
    • I love to hide! Mama will usually cover us up with a big throw pillow on our heads or make a tent with a blanket and her arms. I can stay very still for a pretty long time for a toddler and then I scream like crazy when someone shows up!
    • I still love to be chased.
    • I think it’s hysterical when Mama sneezes. It’s allergy season so she’s sneezing a lot which means I’m laughing a lot!
    • Lately, I’ve been squeezing my eyes shut and making noises when I don’t get my way. Today, Lolo trained me to turn this into “Magandang Mata” (translation: “Beautiful Eyes”) where it looks like I’m sort of batting my eyelashes. All anyone has to do is say “Magandang Mata” and I’ll do it… if I feel like it.
  • TEETH: I have 12 teeth!
  • BREASTFEEDING: Down to 1 session a day especially when someone else puts me down for a nap or bedtime. I’m not happy about Mama’s dwindling milk supply but I know I can deal without it. While breastfeeding, she tells me that I’m a big boy and that I don’t need to breastfeed anymore and I squeeze my eyes shut, shake my head and giggle, trying to ignore her.

This has been such a fun month at Lola and Lolo’s place. What a great transition from NYC to LA. They’ve done so much for us and we appreciate it all!

I know Lola and Lolo are going to miss me, but I’m going to miss them more.

© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

04 March 2012 // Orangevale, CA

18 Months Old Today!

5 Feb
© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

New York City, NY // 31 January 2012

  • HEIGHT: 33.25 inches (I grew 1.5 inches in 2 months!)
  • WEIGHT: 25 lbs. 12 oz. (I only gained 1 lb. 4 oz. since my last check-up… probably because of the nasty stomach bug and the fact that I’m a pickier eater these days.)
  • HEAD CIRCUMFERENCE: 19.75 inches (My Megamind head only grew 0.25 inches since my last check-up.)
  • TEETH:  I have 10 teeth with 2 more coming in!
  • PLAY TIME: I love to play with my usual toys but needless to say I have been preoccupied with my first train track set!  I enjoy breaking apart the pieces and throwing them just as much as I love pushing my trains on the tracks.  My parents call this my Godzilla act.  (Also known as the next bullet point.)
  • EARLY TERRIBLE 2’s:  Good thing I have charming good looks because I have been exhibiting very un-charming behavior lately.  Toddler tantrums — high-pitched screaming, throwing things and melting on the ground.  Mama and Papa are trying to be patient while teaching me what’s appropriate behavior.  They assume that this phase will pass or hopefully diminish as soon as I can speak.
  • COMMUNICATING: I shake my head a lot even though I might mean “Yes” instead of “No” and instead of the regular sign for “Thank You,” I tend to bow Japanese-style.
  • BABBLING:  I also love to babble and make a noise that sounds like, “GjuhGjuhGjuh.”  It’s a cross between babbling and gurgling.  Check out my video below.
  • EATING:  I have become very picky lately.  I seem to want to eat only eggs and cheese, oatmeal, prunes, waffles, yogurt and grapes.  My papa is so thrilled when I eat something different like one of his kale dishes.
  • HUGGING:  I like to walk up behind Mama when she’s sitting or crouched on the ground and give her a full-body hug from behind.  If I hug her from the front, I like to give little pats on her back.
  • HOLDING HANDS: When I get up in the morning, I walk up to the bedroom door with Mama and wait for her to open it.  Then, I take her hand and walk out with her.  I also like to lead people by the hand when I want to show them something or play together.
  • WASHING HANDS: I get a kick out of using bar soap when I wash my hands.  I think it’s hysterical when it slips out of my hands!
  • SLEEPING: Mama has been sleeping in the living room and I sleep anywhere from 9-11 hours at night.  I also nap twice for about an hour at a time.  Not bad considering we’re going through another major transition!
  • BREASTFEEDING: Still down to 2 breastfeeding sessions a day — first thing in the morning and right before bedtime — with the occasional pre-nap fix.  Mama and Papa decided not to stress about weaning since (a) too much is going on right now with our move and (b) Mama is planning on going back to work when we move back to California and I’ll probably naturally wean myself. (…. they hope!)

Can’t believe we’re headed back to California tomorrow.  My family and friends won’t believe how much I’ve grown!

Cedro’s First Snow

21 Jan

© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

Cedro saw a few snowflakes a couple weeks ago but this morning he woke up to a true NYC winter wonderland!

(Here’s a quick video taken with my new iPhone.  Sorry for the vertical orientation!  For some reason I didn’t think I could take a horizontal video without rotating it in Final Cut Pro.  Blah blah blah…)


Holidays + Being in NYC

28 Dec

I never thought I would find myself back in New York so soon and with a toddler to boot!  Cedro and I have been here since early November and immediately felt at home.  Beyond the fact that we brought 17 boxes of our stuff from Los Angeles precisely for that purpose, being reunited with B is has been the main reason why this feels so right!  To quote Peaches and Herb, “Reunited and it feeeeeels so goooood!”

It’s clear that Cedro is a city boy.  Our apartment is steps away from the heart of Times Square where he is constantly mesmerized by the bright lights, taxis, fire trucks, police cars, masses of tourists and all the sights and sounds that are so uniquely NYC.  He loves it and that makes me so happy.  It makes this journey all the more worthwhile.

It’s also a huge blessing to have so many dear friends in NYC, many of whom have their own kids.  Cedro has already had a bunch of play dates with his Kuya Kai, Keila and Kuya Mateo.

Kai, Mateo, Cedro + Keila // 11 November 2011 (© Photo by Goldie Gareza)

As a side note, we have also had some star sightings in our few weeks here (apart from the “Chinglish” cast, of course).  Alex Wong of Season 7 So You Think You Can Dance, Heather Graham and Dan Finnerty of The Dan Band have all been within a few feet of us!  I wonder if Cedro will be as starstruck as I am when he grows up?  I ask myself this because he is obviously bound for super-stardom!

But I digress…

We certainly miss our family and friends back in California.  We thank our lucky stars every day that we live in an age where video chatting is possible!  This year, to decorate our rosemary Christmas tree, I made ornaments with family photos… wanted to remind Cedro who the VIPs are in his life despite the fact that he doesn’t seem to need any reminding.

© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

Family Christmas Tree 2011

Our Christmas Eve was still spent with family — our “Chinglish” family!  Jennifer Lim, the lead in the play, hosted a fantastic Cedro-friendly holiday party at her apartment.  Cedro got a chance to play on a real drum set for the first time!  (Stay tuned for pictures/video soon!)

Our Christmas day was very relaxed.  Brian’s Uncle Richard lives within walking distance of our place and he was able to spend the day with us.  After a leisurely afternoon at home unwrapping presents, Skyping with family in California and Japan, receiving a visit from Stephen Pucci, one of the other actors in the show, we braved the crowds to watch the ice skaters in Bryant Park, see the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, witness the lights and projections on Fifth Avenue, and catch some peaceful moments in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  We were pleasantly surprised to find several restaurants open and concluded the day with a cozy, fireside dinner just south of Central Park.

We had a very good weekend.

Cedro Laughing at Pablo

21 Dec

© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

Cedro has been sick and coughing for a week, but that didn’t stop him from laughing out loud at The Backyardigans “Cops and Robots” episode today. I overheard him laughing hysterically while I was cooking breakfast.  I rewound his favorite clip over and over and he would crack up over and over. Made me so happy!  This made my day!


Cedro Walking!

28 Sep
© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

Cedro walking around Stoner Park // Los Angeles, CA // 28 September 2011

Cedro has been walking for a month now, but in the past week he has made the switch from a crawling to a walking preference.  He really enjoys it, especially when he has something in his hand(s) like food!  We like to take him to the park where he is inspired by the other kids walking and running around.

We have lots of other videos of Cedro walking which are earlier and higher quality but this one captures best how far he can go and perhaps has him in the cutest outfit of all!  Thanks to Lola for the transistor radio muscle tshirt and to Kuya Issei for the Molo sweatshirt, Kea + Joby pants and AWESOME surfer shoes!!!


(Yes.  The nearby park is REALLY called Stoner Park.  It’s on Stoner Avenue.)

So I Think I Can Dance!

22 Aug
© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

Lunchtime cruise on the "Spirit of Chicago" // 11 July 2011 // Chicago, IL

I am very proud of the fact that I can dance before I can walk!  I’ve caught the Ibañez-Nishii Dancing Bug!  Whenever I hear music that I like, I shake my head from side to side and bounce up and down or raise my hand up and wave it around.  I have many musical toys and I know exactly which buttons to press to get the music going.  But in general, all it takes is for someone to say, “Music!” and I can get my groove on without any music at all.

Happy Birthday, Lola Nitz!

11 May
Photos by © Arlene Ibañez Yoo

hanging out with Lola Nitz in Folsom (photos courtesy of my Tita Ging © Arlene Ibañez Yoo)

Today is my Lola Nitz’s birthday!  (Lola Nitz is my Lola’s big sister.)  I am so glad we got a chance to hang out with her this past weekend in Sacramento.  We surprised her with a red velvet birthday cake that had a personalized white chocolate covered Oreo cookie with my picture printed in edible ink!  It also said, “I love you, Lola!”  (We found out about Lady Fortunes cookie company from when Lolo and Lola scored a big gift basket during the taping of The Talk during their last visit to LA.)

I love Lola Nitz.  She spent so much time playing with me and talking to me in Tagalog.  Can’t wait to see her again in a couple of weeks!  Happy Birthday!!!!