Number 3

Today was Haruka’s 3rd birthday.  Since we went to Disneyland last Wednesday, we didn’t do anything too spectacular today.  I did buy her an ice cream cake from Baskin Robins, which she only mildly liked it.  I have feeling that maybe she was too full to eat all of the piece we cut for her, so maybe she’ll eat more tomorrow.

Haru’s been asking for a little doll called “Popo-chan” for the longest time.  Everytime we go to the department store or if she sees it on TV, that’ll be the only thing she’d talk about about for the rest of the day.  So the other day, while we were shopping for close that she’s be wearing to Disneyland, I sneaked away and bought he the doll she wanted.  It had been in the car the whole time just in case she started poking around in the closets and other hiding spots. Needless to say, she was happy about getting Popo-chan.  We originally planned to get it for her for Christmas, but she really wanted this one, so we decided to make it her birthday present instead.

Every year, I look back on old pictures to see how much she’s grown, and it never ceases to amaze me to see the change.  Last year, she was only able to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in English, and now, although she does not speak too much English she does understand a lot.  She’s got a pretty sizable vocabulary, but I think she is too embarrassed to speak it.

Three year’s with Haruka:

Haruka opening her birthday present:

Fast Tube by Casper

The Magic Kingdom

This year, we decided to celebrate Haruka’s birthday a few days early. She had been looking forward to going to Disneyland for several months months now, so rather than taking her on her birthday (which falls on a Saturday this year) we decided to take her on Wednesday, which Disneyland’s website claims to be the least crowded day.

The weather was good all day. It was slightly chilly but not as cold as it was last year. And again, they had the xmas theme up, which I really like a lot. Last year, on Haru’s 2nd birthday, she was going through her “I’m afraid of everything” phase, and really didn’t want to ride on anything aside from the Merry-go-Round and It’s A Small World.  The Winnie the Poo ride was too scary, so was the Haunted Mansion and the Pirates of the Caribbeans, and Splash Mountain was simply out of the question.  However this year, Haru was a bit more adventurous.  She actually enjoyed most of the rides (including the Pirates of the Caribbeans and Winnie the Poo), but this year Haru’s new favorite attraction is of course Michael Jackson’s Caption EO. She actually made us watch it twice, and wanted to watch it a third time, but I had to put a stop to it.  As much as I like Michael Jackson, twice in one day is more than enough.

Haru’s least favorite ride was Splash Mountain.  I think that the waterfall drops were a bit too much for her, but unlike another child who looked to me about the same age, Haru didn’t cry at all.  She just gave us a stale look afterward and told us that she didn’t like the ride.  As for my favorite ride which is of course Pirates of the Caribbeans, Haru didn’t seem to like at it first, but she has this strange obsession with skeletons, which she fondly refers to as “bones”.  Since POC has a lot of skeletons, she seemed to express an interest in it later on.

Overall it was a good, but exhausting day.  Haru  fell asleep literally two minutes after we buckled her into her car seat.  Since Disneyland starts charging children’s admission after the age of 4, I think I will take Haru to Disneyland a few more times next year.

7-5-3 “Shichi-Go-San”

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Today was Haru’s Shichi-go-san, so we went to our local department store to have Haru’s hair made up and put on the kimono  that we order several weeks ago.  I must admit she looked rally cute once everything was done.  I was a bit concerned at first that she would not photograph well, or be unruly throughout the photo shoot, but she was very well behaved, and photographed fairly well.  Ultimately, we would up ordering a few sets of photos, which we will be getting back sometime next month.

Afterwards, we went to the nearby shrine and had Haruka blessed by the Buddhist priest.  We even managed to get a few more photos taken there as well.  After the visit to the shrine, we thought it’d be such a waste to take her hair down and her kimono off, so we decided to take a ride to Tokyo to my grandmother’s house just to show off the kimono.   All in all, it was a pretty good day.

Below are all of the photos I took.  We were told that were not allowed to photograph when Haruka was standing against the backdrop, for fear that the flash would ruin the pictures that the photographer was taking, but I am pretty good with taking photos without a  flash, so I managed to sneak a few shots as a preview to what the professionally taken photos will be like.


Here’s a video of yesterday’s events:

Fast Tube by Casper

November Again

It’s been a complicated month full of good and bad events…mostly good as I always try to rationalized a bad event as a prelude to something good about to happen.

Bad: Haru has been struggling with a cold for the last week and as a side effect missed her toilet opportunities a few times.

Good: She is starting to recover quite nicely from her cold, and returned to being more cautious about when to go to the restroom.

Bad: After being in an vegetative for nearly 15 years, my wife’s grandmother passed away last week.

Good: It’s always been my strong contention that a vegetative state is not “living”, its just staying alive.  I think she has finally found peace in death, and that’s good thing.  And I am sure that both my wife and her mother and father are finally relieved after a decade and a half of caring for her grandmother.

As far as everything else is concerned, we pretty much good. Haruka went to her pre-school today for her interview.  I can’t believe little kids are subjected to interviews to go to pre-school, but Haruka did well none-the-less.  She was able to answer all of the teacher’s questions and passed the interview.  Apparently, you’d pretty much have to be autistic to fail the interview, so there were no real concerns there.

My wife and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary last week, so I bought a strawberry shortcake in Shibuya to celebrate.  These cakes are so tiny and yet they cost like $25, but they are really good. For the same price, I could have bought a cake, three or four times the size at Costco, but it would be no where close to being as good as this cake.  It would have probably just sat in the refrigerator forever too.

Finally, I’ve decided that I will probably go back to school next spring or maybe later (financial situation and overall economy permitting) to get a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).  Basically my decision was based on two things:

1. To improve and expand my skill set so that I can advance higher on the management ladder, and perhaps a complete change in careers, and of course..a higher pay is always a good thing too.

2. To set a high objective for Haruka, as a BA probably won’t get her too far by the time she’s in her twenties.   I want to show her that if her father can do it, then she can too.

PhD after that?  Most likely not, because I don’t think my brain can take more than two more years of institutionalized education.

Right  now, my eyes are set on enrolling in an online self-paced program offered by California State University at Monterey Bay.  Since I graduated from San Francisco State, it should be somewhat of a seamless enrollment process (hopefully).  The only hard part is working out tuition cost, but I’ll figure something out.