Monday, February 27, 2006

Update on the house

So, the countdown is on. I've given our 30-day notice for this apartment. We'll be back in our house in less than a month.

The latest developments:
The exterior has been painted. We love the main color, but not the trim color. We already repainted it once, and I think we will repaint it again. Maybe a burgundy, against our contractor's advice.

The tile has been set in the 2nd floor bathroom and kitchen. There are small glass accent tiles in the shower and on the floor. Plus, we have radiant heat under the tile in the bathroom. As Lucas would say, "Ooh la la!"

The backsplash for the kitchen is made of white subway tiles with glass accent tiles.

The newest news is that we are redoing the 1st floor bathroom (thank god!). We will do plain white subway tiles with black accent tiles. And finally we will get rid of the horrid brass shower/tub fixtures.

Also, most of the lights are in. And so is the front door, but it still needs to be painted and installed. More to come.

Master storyteller

Lucas is really into hearing stories these days. In these stories, Lucas is the hero, with his faithful sidekick Maggie. He loves them. He used to say, "Tell me the story about me and Maggie in the forest."

But now he says, "Tell me the story about me and Maggie in the forest and we're running around like a couple of monkeys, and Maggie gets lost, and then I look for her, and then I tell her we're playing hide and seek and she comes to look for me and I give her a carrot and we run around and go home. Tell me that one mommy."

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

No two are alike

Today we went over to Jennifer and Ella's house for a late afternoon play date, which turned into a dinner party (Thanks Jennifer!).

Ella and Lucas had a lot of energy to burn, so I said, "It's jumping jack time". So they both faced me and we all started to do jumping jacks.

Jumping jacks is a loose term with little kids. Lucas was doing some kind of weird side step, with random hand-clapping. And Ella was jumping frantically, clapping her hands as she went. They were so excited and uninhibited, just having a great time. I watched until they ran out of energy and realized that no two jumping jacks were ever alike.

I thought I was going to pee in my pants, they were so funny. No words of pictures can capture what I saw, but I will try to capture one on film and post it here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, this morning I stayed at Lucas' school for a little bit to read a couple books to him and his friend.

There was a cute little book with bees called, "Being a Friend". I thought this was an appropriate choice, being Valentine's Day and all. Basically, the message is that to have good friends, you need to BEE a good friend.

I asked Lucas and Ian to talk about what it means to be a friend. They started off innocently enough.

"Share toys with your friend"
"Be nice to your friend"
"Play with your friend"
"Draw with your friend"
"Play trains with your friend"

It was really cute to have these two little kids talk about all the things friends should do. But I should have stopped there, because the mood suddenly turned:

"Don't kick your friend"
"Don't push your friend"
"Don't grab things from your friend"
"Don't hit your friend"
"Don't call your friend a baby"
"Don't call your friend a blockhead"
"Don't call your friend a poopyhead"
"Or caca"
"Don't call your friend stupid"
"Don't call your friend diaperhead"
"Don't call your friend..."

Monday, February 13, 2006

Something I wish I could do

Aside from sing in tune, this is something else I hope I can do at some point in my life.

I sometimes poke fun at the odd things that go down in the Bay Area, but there is so much to love about this place and the people in it. People here are trying to make changes to help improve things for future generations, and I truly respect that.

I read today on about one such group of people called the Compact.

These brave souls have vowed not to buy anything new in 2006. They can buy things used as much as they want, but new purchases are limited to food, health and safety items, and underwear. They have a blog, Yahoo group, and monthly meetings. Members help other members search for things they need, like shower curtains or maps.

This story really resonated with me. If it wasn't for our new addition, I think we could almost swing this. We have purchased a couple of used items for our remodel (sink and bathtub), but I don't know if we could have found enough used paint in the colors we wanted.

I try to do my part in not buying things new all the time. It started in high school when I would frequent the used clothing stores on Telegraph. And Lucas has had lots of hand-me-downs from friends and Hannah's on Solano. When we buy books, we always check the used books first. Berkeley Parents Network has been a great resource, we got a double stroller from there when we needed one for our nanny share.

Things I would have a hard time buying used: shoes, socks, bedding, and towels.

See the above picture of the father and son buying fabric at a 2nd hand store? In the past week, I sent an email to friends to give away that same shirt (see picture at right). I bought it for Kevin many months ago, and he never wore it and said I should give it away. I think that's a little creepy. (The shirt has already been claimed by my brother.)

Here are some excerpts from this story that I find inspiring: From John Perry, who works in marketing at a high-tech company. "We're trying to get off the first-market consumerism grid, because consumer culture is destroying the world."

Says Peter Sealey, adjunct professor of marketing at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and former chief of marketing at Coca-Cola and Columbia Pictures. "It's a crystal-clear statement about what can be done to get us away from being a disposable society."

For more information:

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Future careers, in pictures

A doctor or dentist - Lucas had his first trip to the dentist last week. After some stalling he sat in the chair and Dr. Bob counted and brushed his teeth! Lucas got a little goodie bag with cool dentist gear, shown above. He also walked away with two toothbrushes. Since then, when we brush his teeth, he wants them brushed twice, once with the red brush and once with the blue brush.

Olympic shotputter - This is Lucas throwing stones into the Truckee River. He liked to hear them splash in the water.

Track star - This is outside the Lawrence Hall of Science, where he loves to run around in the big space before you go inside. Who knows if this is a career he will pursue, but I wanted to include this picture because it really captures his spirit and zest for life.

Architect - I built the first couple layers of the foundation for this stack of sticks at the Lawrence Hall of Science. Then Lucas pretty much took over and was so focused on building this until there weren't any more sticks in the box. I kid you not, it was 20 minutes of silent concentration.

Master ship builder - I'm not sure what the job market is these days for ship builders, but Lucas built this ship completely on his own today. He was quite proud of it, then proceeded to knock it down.

Lucas' sensitive side

Through all the wrestling, staged car crashes, and general rowdy behavior, Lucas' sensitive side has started to emerge.

Earlier this week I said to Lucas, "Lucas you're a good friend to me" and he said. "You're a good friend to me too." Later that day he said, out of the blue, Mommy, you're my favorite friend."

And then yesterday, I was out for a walk and had to just run back in to get my wallet and keys. I only popped in for a second and said a quick "hi" and "bye". When I came back a 1/2 hour later, he said, "Mommy, you left and you didn't give me a hug or an eskimo kiss. And not even a regular kiss and I was so sad." You can imagine my guilt, thank god I was only gone a 1/2 hour.

So today I said to Lucas, "Lucas, I have a good time with you. You're my best friend." He was eating his snack at the time. After a long pregnant pause, he opened his mouth to say something. But instead, like a typical guy, he changed the subject and said, "Mommy look at this. I found a big raisin."

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Lucas goes to Reno

This past weekend we visited my cousin, Cathy, and her family in Reno. Lucas has been looking forward to this trip since he found out, via their Christmas card, that he has two older cousins (Connor age 6 and Cassidy age 9). Also, I thought it would be a good opportunity to introduce him to snow, finally!

We went sledding one afternoon. Lucas had mixed feelings about snow. He enjoyed the sledding, but he didn't want to wear the gloves and then said his hands were freezing. He found a good way to keep them warm, by wrapping them around my neck!

Kevin was a big hit with Connor and Cassidy. There was a lot of wrestling going on. Basically, it was Kevin vs. Connor and Cassidy. And Lucas was in the mix too, letting out little screams and war cries and running around like a whirling dervish.

At first it was unclear whose side Lucas was on, but then I figured out what was going on: Kevin would pin down one or the other cousin, then Lucas would come in with the old headlock. He was surprisingly tough and tenacious during the wrestling.

Lucas most enjoyed playing with his cousins, which usually meant following them around and doing whatever they did. The first thing he said when he woke up in the mornings was, "Where are my cousins? I want to go play with my cousins." Then he would go out and say, "Hi cousin!", though he would also call them by name. They were great with him too. Our first night there, I heard Connor say to his mom, "This is the first time a little person has ever stayed here with me." It was a great weekend.