Saturday, November 24, 2007


Cooking For Mom

This past Thansgiving, Amaguri was working, so my sister and I took on the task of preparing Thanksgiuving dinner for the family. As per our custom, we prepared a whole turkey, stuffing, cranberries, mashed sweet potatos and pumpikin pie. naturally, chibiguri wanted to help. But, his help was less than optimal.

However, we learned from last year and spent the morning wearing him out. As a result, when we prepared the turkey for roasting, he was peacefully sleeping on the couch. And was not in our way. However, that would be the only time in the afternoon when he was not underfoot. As dinner progressed, chibiguri rediscovered the joys of playing with pots and pans, and proceeded to remove them all from their cupboard and distributed them around the kitchen, much to our annoyance (and discomfort). However, this was minro compared to chibiguri's later activities. He decided that sitting immediately below Auntie's feet as she was engaged in making the cranberries was a Good Thing. Auntie disagreed, since she needed to be able to move freely around the kitchen!

However, despite chibiguri's presence in our way throughout most of the afternoon, we did manage to complete the dinner and Amaguri complimented us on our cooking 'skills'. We refrained from sharing the credit with chibiguri, though after spending the day cooking around chibiguri's presence, we did have a much better appreciation for Amaguri's home-making skills on those days she is home with chibiguri.

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Holiday 'Helping'

This weekend, I took advantage of the Thanksgiving break to completely clean and reorganize my garage. Naturally, chibiguri wanted to help. However, while the quantity of his help was undoubted, the quality of same was slightly more problematic.

First, I cleaned all the remnants from last summer's re-roofing project from the attic and the tops of the cabinets and other storage within the garage. this was a very dirty job and entailed a lot of ladder-climbing and sweeping with broom and dustpan. chibiguri, however, discovered that he was able to push around the msaller broom, and as I swsept the detritus into a heap, he enthusiastically assisted- resulting in said pile being once again scattered to the far ends of the garage! However, at least he understood the concept and did his best to help. He was not so helpful when I was occupied with other things, allowing chibiguri to indulge his curiosity.

As I was busy reorganizing the garage and discarding varous boxes, chibiguri discovered that the drawers in the garage actually opens, and began removing their contents. This would have been harmless, save that he found s heavy stamp constructed by my father and proceeded tio use it as a hammer on everything in sight- including his mother's car. This led to a time-out and a scolding Poor little chibiguri. However, the next task was much more successful for him.

After i had completed the garage cleanup (aided by Amaguri and chibiguri going to the park while I finished the hardest part) it was time to rake up the leaves. chibiguri was happy to take up a rake and help me dispose of the leaves on the gound. he did well at his task. However, Amagiuri wisely took chibiguri for a ねねドライブ (drive to put him to sleep) so he was taking a nap while I put up the Christmas lights, thus removing temptation.

All in all, chibiguri's Thanksgiving was quite good for him. He got to help his aunt and me make thanksgiving dinner while Amaguri was at work (which i shall blog on next), then he helped me clean out the garage and put up Chirstmas decorations. And tomorrow he will go with us to get a Christmas tree. I will report in that once it occurs.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Coffee & Jazz

chibiguri and I went to a local coffee-house tonight. A friend's modern jazz band was playing, and as his usual bassist was not in attendance, he invited me over to play a little tuba. Unbeknownst to me, there were also two electric bass players in attendance, so there was a surfeit of bassists in thee house. Nevertheless, chibiguri and I went over to hear some good music and maybne play a little jazz.

When we entered, I asked chibiguri if he would like a drink. He responded 'Yes', so I purchased a hot chocolate for myself and got chibiguri a cup of water. He was very pleased to have his very own drink. He even managed to avoid spilling it, which is relatively unusual at this point in time. However, once the music started, chibiguri was a little nervous, as he was unacquainted with any of the members of the band, so he exhibited extreme clinginess, to the point of insisting that he be held the entire time. Since I was playing tuba, this made things less than optimal for a playing experience. However, I was able to play, and chibiguri was quite comfortable as long as he was being held on my lap.

We managed to do this for the better part of an hour, when chibiguri let me know that it was time to go home. He informed me by telling me 'ne-ne', which means 'sleep' in Japanese. So I thanked the band for letting us sti in, and took my leave. However, once we reached the house, chibiguri proceeded to exhibit signss of awwakeness, which lead me to suspect he simply wanted to go home and be in a more familiar environment. We watched part of the Lakers-Pistons game on ESPN, until Amaguri returned home, and shortly thereafter chibiguri finally did go to sleep- after demanding that both of us accompany him in bed while he dropped off to sleep! I regret that this is a nightly occurrence, as chibiguri finds it difficult to sleep without the presence of both myself and Amaguri.

However, overall, it was a very successful trip, and chibiguri behaved extremely well, considering that the environment was completely alien and other than myself, all the other adults present were complete strangers. I applaud chibiguri on his very successful negotiation of the entire situation, and it gives me hope that chibiguri will become easier to take out as he becomes older.

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chibiguri In Class

chibiguri is attending a little class with Amaguri on Wednesdays where he does various artwork. Apparently chibiguri is a unique student, as Amaguri tells me that he is the sole member of the class who actually does hiss own painting. The other students' mothers do their work for them. As a result, his artistic efforts are not the most outstanding, but they are genuinely his own work. And as a result the teacher usually gives little chibiguri two stickers- one for each hand- as opposed to the other students' one sticker. She told Amaguri that this is because little chibiguri actgually is doing his own work.

When it is time to clean up, little chibiguri also has a unique way of cleaning up. When he draws with crayons, he brings all crayons to their storage box from his table. However, he seems to have inherited his mother's instincts for cleanliness, so to clean up more, he picks up any crayons that might be abandoned on the floor and also places them into the storage box.

So far, little chibiguri has created a number of 'artistic' paintings, a Thanksgiving Indian hairband, a handprint turkey farm, and a pumpkin. None of these are likely to land in the Smithsonian, but they are genuinely chibiguri'ss work and they do seem to show that he has some aptness for artistry.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007



chibiguri seems to have a thing for waking up early these days. Today, I woke up around 6:30, and chibiguri promptly decided that this was a Good Time for him to awake as well. SO by the time I had showered and was ready to leave for the office, chibiguri was already up and busy. I don't know if this is a trend, but I hope that he at least goes to bed early tonight. Going late to bed and early to rise tends to have a detrimental effect on my sleeping habits, not to mention those of Amaguri.

On the bright side, it is easier to get him into his clothes when he is awake and alert than when he just wants to go back to sleep- he can be placed in front of the TV as we maneuver him into his clothes, whereas if he is still sleepy, he does his best to wriggle back under the covers- our covers, naturally.


Monday, November 05, 2007



This year was the first year that chibiguri was old enough to appreciate Hallowe'en. We would be able to introduce him to an old and wonderful American tradition, take pictures of his cute little costume, and go get bags and bags of candy (that he can't eat due to his food allergies). Or so we thought.

Phase One went according to plan. We took chibiguri shopping some weeks ago and he picked out a cute little costume of a cowboy. The costume is a stuffed horse, into the back legs of which the child inserts his/her own legs. The front two feet and the horse's head are then controlled by the child, while two false legs mask the real lower body. My borther-in-law, a cowboy, was kind enough to donate a small Western hat, which little chibiguri also liked very much. He even permitted us to photograph him in the costume prior to the Big Day.

However, he was much less amenable once Hallowe'en itself arrived. There was an event at a local shopping mall, where the merchants all gave away treats to any children in costume. As the mall in question is a short drive from our residence, we packed chibiguri and his costume into the car, and proceeded to the mall. However, once there, chibiguri displayed a distinct disinclination to getting into his costume. We showed him the other children, but he was apparently scared, and refused to put on his costume. We let him walk a bit, but he did not overcome his aversion and so we regretfully returned home, thinking that perhaps he would be more amenable to wearing costume. No.

As we dispensed candy through the evening, we allowed chibiguri to see the many other children in costume, and though eh was terrified by one particularly hariy werewolf, most of the visitors interested him. We hope that next year, he will have aged enough to aprticipate, but this year, we had to admit defeat in our attempt to introduce him to the wonderful world of trick-or-treating. better luck next year.

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