The Kuraoka Family Year-In-Review 2001

December 31, 2001. Time for our annual year-in review! As always, we enjoy the German traditions on New Year’s Eve followed by a traditional Japanese feast on New Year’s Day. John’s mom, Frances, joined us this week making it extra-special.

At the beginning of 2001, Ondine was involved with the Bright Families project at UCSD, mentoring a teen mother named Heather and her daughter, Destiny. Ondine’s business, Memory Quilt Memoirs won and completed its first paying project, a lifestory for a woman named Anita.

John launched his online copywriting mentorship program and completed his second and final term as president of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors, Chapter 59. His business slowed significantly after the terrorist attacks on September 11, and he has been working to get more clients.

Roy went from a 30-week-old baby to an almost-19-month-old little boy (82 weeks old today). A year ago, he was crawling and cruising; now he is running and climbing. A year ago, he could say a few words – "bird" was among the first; now he speaks in complete sentences with an ever-expanding vocabulary. A year ago, he was breastfeeding and eating mashed foods mixed with formula and rice cereal; now he eats pizza, salsa, peanut-butter sandwiches. He had his first bee-sting; he had surgery to pull a wayward testicle into place; he went on four airplane trips. He went from waking up several times a night to sleeping through; from 2-3 daytime naps to 1-2. He started playing with the kids in the cul-de-sac. His car seats now face forward. He knows the entire alphabet, numbers up to about 20, and can reliably count up to twelve objects. He received his first pet for Christmas, a blue Betta fish.

Roy got four new relatives in 2001: Nicholas Spinetta (to Peter & Valerie, March 8), Holly Verzani (to Diane & Kevin, July 23), Ellie Brooks (to Jeff & Michelle, November 18), and Lexi Spinetta (to Larry & Nancy, December 17).

It was a fun-filled year, with more trips than we’d have thought possible. In April, we joined Barbara and Bill for a birthday jaunt to Mexico for lobster. In May, we went to Massachusetts for 18 days, spending a week in Boston at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge, and a week at the Bentley Brook Mountain Club on Jiminy Peak near Hancock. Ondine saw The Vagina Monologues, John walked the Freedom Trail to the U.S.S. Constitution, and Roy broke out in a fever and spots. We visited with some of Ondine’s old school friends: Maureen (B.U.), and Liz and Sue (Smith). In September, we spent a weekend with Barbara and Bill at their cabin in Big Bear. At the end of September, we went to Las Vegas, where we stayed with Athena and Jeff and Nick and Alyssa, and Alyssa came back to San Diego with us. In November, we spent a delightful weekend sans Roy in Solvang – a romantic, restful getaway! In other travel news, Frances went to Santa Maria on an elder hostel trip, Bill skiied Montana, and Barbara and Bill went to Ireland and Germany.

Two other significant events for us: we sold our rental property (John’s old house) in July – John owned it for ten years to the month – and we had an early miscarriage in August.

Acquisitions in 2001 included our high-efficiency Frigidaire washing machine, E-film for the living room windows, a sandbox and awning for Roy, Sea World memberships, our "Fall" wall hanging, and a water heater.

In skill acquisitions, we’ve been cooking more. We’ve been trying to reduce clutter, with mixed results. We got a ¾-size guitar for Roy that John has been learning to play. Ondine has been writing more.

What will 2002 bring? Well, we need to get started on our room addition. We want to entertain more. And … Ondine is pregnant! Our due date is July 12, 2002. Ondine has had morning sickness off and on for the past two months, and has been sick as often as three times a day. She enjoyed a respite over the holidays, but it returned with a vengeance on our way home. That means the new little person is a strong little person.

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!

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