The Kuraoka Family Year-In-Review 2000

December 31, 2000, and the brink of the real new millennium, for the fussily precise. This is our fourth update in less than two weeks, which shows that things happen fast around here and you have to keep up.

Last week we celebrated two Christmas mornings, one with each set of grandparents. It was Roy’s first time in the Ishida clan group picture on Christmas Eve. For Christmas, he received (in addition to lots of toys and outfits) a Browser Box from his grandparents Barbara and Bill, a special cassette tape with songs sung to Roy by his grandpa Bill, and an amazing hand-made Christmas stocking from his grandma Frances.

This evening, we will go next door to Barbara and Bill’s to observe some German traditions. The customs have been modified this year out of necessity: turkey and chicken sausage ("mad cow" disease in Germany) and no melting of lead (Roy’s youth). But, we’ll still have herring potato salad and carp, we’ll fling mulch at the garden while saying silly things, and we’ll toss apple peels in the house to forecast significant events or people in 2001. Then, New Year’s Day, we’ll have a modified traditional Japanese feast, with sushi rice, ozoni, chicken teriyaki, and other tasty little dishes.

This has been quite a year. Roy, has gone from a 20-week-old embryo to a quite competent, 30-week-old infant. He has outgrown a bassinet, a crib setting, a car seat, a diaper size, and several sizes of clothes. He now actively explores the world, crawling, cruising, mouthing, and (just today) opening cabinet doors and peering inside. He experienced, at some level, his first presidential election, and what an election! He ate solid food. He had a cold, an ear infection, and Roseola. He cut his first tooth (it came through over Christmas). He rode a hydrofoil to Catalina, our trial run traveling with Roy which showed us that we can do it!

In the Year 2000, we became parents, and it has been gratifying to discover that we are pretty capable of handling things. We bought a new Mazda Protege, Ondine’s first family sedan. We got new renters at Meade. We have even discussed, in a strictly hypothetical way, how we would (hypothetically) handle having two children (don’t expect anything for a while, though).

Ondine completed two Wedding Day Storybooks, took on an ESL student, and had her business written up in the Union-Tribune. She looked into becoming a school psychologist. As for John, he continued pretty much as-usual, running his business out of the house. New clients this year include Rhino Linings, IOF, WebAssured, Copy Club, Brehm Communities, and Giant Bicycles. Fun projects included a radio campaign for First Northern Credit Union.

We have a new, comprehensive website up: This site is a handy compilation of all our various websites and web pages. If you’re ever wondering how to find our weekly journal, or how to get to one page or another, just go to kuraoka-dot-org.

What lies ahead for us in 2001? Well, a big trip perhaps – back East maybe, to visit our friend Robin and stroll around Ondine’s college stomping grounds in Boston and Northampton. Also, a shorter trip to Las Vegas, to visit Athena and Jeff and their family. These will be Roy’s first airplane trips. We want to take Roy camping, probably to Silent Valley. We’ll have a new digital camcorder with which to record events (we’d have had one sooner, but we really didn’t expect Roy to move so quickly – or so fast). Roy will start his outdoor crawler/toddler class. John will complete his term as president of the local chapter of watch & clock collectors.

Be sure to join us here every week, for events practically as they happen. See you next year, with our best wishes for a good one! Bookmark our website and visit often - it has been updated at least once a week since 1998!

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