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July 2002

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WOW! This was a busy, busy, month.

I woke up on the first day of July in a new place—my home in the Washington State woods that my parents were eager to show me.

My parents had a lot of work to do to get the house ready to rent so I just hung out all day and played with my Abuelita Tina. Here I am enjoying a book with her

My Abuelito would come over after closing up the tailor shop at the end of the day and we would all catch an afternoon nap together.

There are a lot of trees behind the house and a LOT of space for me to run around in the future. We took some picture in the backyard, a place my mommy and daddy really love.

They were completely thrilled that we managed a trip up here so soon—they hadn't imagined that I'd be in this house when I was still a baby. The chance to rent the house out was the reason we traveled up here. I'm so happy that someone wants to live in our house for a while—it's why this trip happened. I'm happy I didn't have to wait until I was older to visit this special home. I'm such a lucky baby!

The 4th of July celebration was interesting. Instead of driving into town for fireworks, we only had to go outside and stand in our driveway. In our neighborhood, many, many people buy big fireworks to shoot off so the entertainment is just outside the house. Mommy, Daddy and I enjoyed the light show and a relaxing night void of crowds.

Mommy took me to my grandparents' tailor shop in Spokane one day while taking a break from the grueling work at the house. We had heard that my grandparents had a wall of articles and photos dedicated to me so I wanted to take a picture there with my special wall. There were photo albums of my preemie story that they share with the clients there that care so much about me. I also took a tour of the work areas of the tailor shop . I'm sure I'll be back there through the years to play with all the neat things they have there.

Back at the house, some good friends from my mommy's Air Force days came to visit for a nice dinner. Jeannie and Clehto, who are also our neighbors, brought delicious homemade lasagna and brownies—what a treat! We enjoyed catching up on Jeannie's career as an airline pilot. They also wanted to know about our adventures in California. It was great for me to meet new friends.

Daddy finally took a break from repairing the fence and other projects to enjoy his hammock. I decided it looked like fun so Mommy put me in the hammock with my daddy. It was very comfortable swaying back and forth cuddled next to Daddy. I'm looking forward to more hammock time in my back yard in the near future. This was a very special afternoon for my family. Mommy and Daddy were just so amazed that they were back in their first home, with their little baby that they had never even imagined having. I felt so happy because they were so happy to be here with me.

Later that day, my Tio Ben's best friend Sean came over with his wife Ruth. These newlyweds had been married the day before and although so busy with family in town and preparing to move to Oregon, they made a point to come and meet me. Then my Tio Ben came over with a bunch of his friends, all eager to meet me.

The last guests that I hosted were more friends from my mommy's Air Force days: Jim, Dylan and Becky had just returned from England after living in Europe for six years. They came over to meet me and catch up with my parents. They just bought a house in our neighborhood so we'll be neighbors whenever we visit our home again.

I had no idea so many people wanted to meet me. I had a great time being a social baby and getting to know my home up north.

Mommy was silly and wanted to take pictures of me in different places in the front yard before leaving. Here I am on the porch and with the flowers Before leaving we snapped our official family portrait on the porch Don't my parents look happy?

Then, just like that, we were back on the road for another 1000 mile trip back to California. I sang songs, played with my straws again, ate at rest stops and just enjoyed my parents' company.

The ride back was longer due to heavy holiday traffic. We didn't get home until one in the morning and I was wide-awake. I looked around once back in my familiar home and smiled, kicked with joy, and squealed with happiness. We were safe and we were home!

I've been quite busy in the developmental department. I am getting great control over my little hands and fingers. I have mastered grabbing my feet and toes.

I have also figured out how to do "raspberries" with my mouth and do them for many minutes continuously, sending spit flying all over the place.

I'm maxxing out the space in the bassinet so I've started sleeping more in my crib. I like it there—I have much more room to move around.

Most importantly this month, I learned how to do a push-up and roll myself over from my tummy to my back. I enjoy this very, very much and smile just about every time I do it.

Laughing has become a new favorite activity as well. I don't know who enjoys laughing more, me or my parents!

It's summertime so my parents wanted to introduce me to the beach. I am a California girl after all! Of course, being northern California (vs. southern), it's cold in the summer at the beach. So my parents bundled me up and Daddy carried me in my "Snugli". We enjoyed an afternoon of kite flying and smelling the sea salt flavor. I kept licking at the air and enjoyed the flavor.

I also am learning how to sit up more by myself.

This is my wonderful, loving nanny, Kenda. She's awesome and I adore her. She gives me wonderful massages, plays with me and feeds me all the time.

Mommy's friend Joy and her son Taylor visited me this month.

My auntie Ikuko also came over to feed me a big bottle of food. I'm very relaxed around her, can you tell?

Late July was a very, very hot time, like 100 degrees hot. One day, I just hung out wearing my new little swimsuit from my Grandma Noriko. See how happy I was in my swimsuit in my own swimsuit video! Another day, just wearing a diaper and hanging out outside with Mommy was enough.

The highlight of the month was when my mommy's brother, my Tio Marco, came to visit me from Maryland. He was the last family member to make the journey to California to meet me. He is a daddy too and has a great chest to sleep on. He has two little girls, my cousins, Mariana and Sophia, but I'll meet them later on.

We took the BART train/subway to San Francisco on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We went to catch a San Francisco Giants baseball game in lovely Pacific Bell Park. The Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, I drank from my bottle, and enjoyed being held as my uncle and parent enjoyed the game. I was a great stadium baby, just hanging out, laughing, eating sleeping and never fussing. . It was a beautiful day at a gorgeous stadium by the bay.

We took the train to Berkeley, the city where I spent so much time in the hospital a long time ago. This time, I went to a restaurant in Berkeley and became an attraction in the window as the grown-ups ate their dinner. . I was just laughing, playing, and kicking to the music, but all these people kept looking at me as if they had never seen a baby kicking in the window before! It was a wonderful memory for my mommy and daddy.



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