Sunday, February 25, 2007

When I Was Seven

Can you remember what you were doing at seven years old? My brother was helping my parents to clean up the basement of my childhood home. He discovered some 50 or so pictures that I drew when I was seven. He organized them in a notebook, and mailed them to me the other week as a "surprise". It was quite funny to "remember". I suppose, "blogging" isn't such a new activity.

Labels: ,

Friday, February 23, 2007

Hikaru's Blog Stardate 5854.05

After waking up in the morning, Hikaru often points to the door and wants to go outside. This is often around sunrise. He gets excited, points to the sun on the horizon, and exclaims "star!" (pronounced "tah"). In this case, I suppose, there's no reason to actually "correct" him, since that's probably more accurate.

To me, it's interesting that Hikaru doesn't quite distinguish (word-wise) between the nighttime and daytime "lights in the sky". Perhaps it's because we're often out during twilight hours that he sees the transition. Maybe Hikaru, on the planet where he comes from, goes by a totally different time system.

Hikaru is happy to be outside. The last few days, we've seen some green parrots in the neighborhood, so we've been keeping an eye open for them. He has pretty sharp eyes, and often notices and points out the birds before I see them. He also notices far away planes in the sky even before I'm aware of them...

Labels: ,

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Visit to Banning

We went to visit my aunt Kathy and uncle Hitoshi who live in Banning located in Riverside County, California. Hikaru probably didn't remember the last time he visited them, but he discovered his favorite fruits growing on their trees. In the photo below, he sorts out a variety of Japanese grapefruit, that according to my uncle, you can't find in the ordinary supermarket.

Hikaru also contemplates an orange that he enjoyed eating a few minutes after this photo was taken.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The World Ocean

Hikaru's first word upon seeing the Pacific Ocean was "wa-wa" (water). He clutched a sea gull feather in one hand, and was digging into the sand with the other. He carefully examined bits of seaweed.

Our baby is gradually learning that the world is a much bigger place than the inside of our home. The ocean, though, in respect to life's origins is "home" is certain aspects, so maybe that's why we're drawn to it. We took a break today from work, packed a lunch, and relaxed at the beach.

With the approach of the new moon (Chinese New Year), the tides were exceptionally variable. The low tide revealed a diversity of sea stars and other creatures. We explored the numerous tidal pools that are normally covered by water.

Hikaru still hasn't outgrown the pack, and he had fun observing from his back seat. He points to birds, stares at other people, and squeals when he sees dogs.

This egret in the photo below is maybe looking for an afternoon meal, or perhaps taking a brief pause to watch us as we walk by. It's wonderful to take in the beauty of the moment.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hikaru's Vocabulary

We sometimes catch ourselves saying, "Wow, I didn't know Hikaru could say that!" Today we tried to estimate how many words our 17-month-old baby can express.

Hikaru presently operates in a primarily English and Cantonese world of words. Of course, he "knows" more words than what he can pronounce. But from our list, we came up with around fifty words that he can actually say...

Food Words - bao-bao (bread), nana (banana), apple, ahng (orange), aga (avocado), naai-naai (milk in baby Cantonese), guo-guo (any kind of fruit), wa-wa (water), gnau-gnau (meat), cheese

Animals - lion, duck, quack (duck), dog, woo-wah (also dog in Hikaru-ese), cat, meow (cat), neigh (horse), bah (sheep), rabbit, yu-yu (fish), bird, jek-jek (bird), chicken (gai)

People - Mama (mother), Baba (father), Baby, Gogo (big brother or all kids), Paw-Paw (grandmother), Gung-Gung (grandfather), Yi-Yi (aunt), Mui-Mui (little sister), Giang-Giang (uncle), Mimi (Mickey Mouse)

Things - bee-vee (television), ha-mee (hammer), book, gnag-gnag (bracelet), car, picture

Astronomical Objects - mmm (moon), tah (star)

Body Parts - ear, nose, head, eye

Other Misc Words - uppa-uppa (up), dong-dong (light), hi, bye-bye, no, bad, "Go Dog Go" (name of a favorite book), fa-fa (flower), col (cold), heh (hot), pooh-pooh

Mystery Words - buka-buka, pika-pika, mega-mega

Hikaru's vocabulary grows daily, so by the time you read this message, there's a few more to add to this list. Sometimes people over-emphasize "spoken" language as a sign of knowing, but he "knows" a lot more than he can express verbally.

There are many ways that Hikaru communicates with us, including grunts, cries, signs and gestures, pointing, body language, and facial expressions. Eventually, we can figure him out.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Seventeen Months

Time is flying by, and Hikaru is now 17 months old. As you can see in the photos below, he gets around pretty well on his two feet now...

These are some concrete balls that Hikaru discovered. He was having such a "ball" -- and having so much fun running and touching each ball that he didn't want to leave.

Sometimes Hikaru prefers to walk than to ride in the stroller.

Labels: ,

Monday, February 05, 2007

Turtle World

Yesterday was a very warm day in LA. The turtles were taking it easy, since it was Super Bowl Sunday. I captured this photo below...

I pledge allegiance to the soil
of Turtle Island
and to the beings who thereon dwell
one ecosystem
in diversity
under the sun
With joyful interpenetration for all.

-- Gary Snyder, California Poet

Labels: ,