Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Moving home, off to a slow start

So, Friday was our day to move into our "new" house. Lucas was off with Kevin's parents for the day, so we could busy ourselves with the task of moving in.

But move-in day got off to a slow start. Kevin took the day off, so we could "move in".

8:30-10 - I went for a long walk in the morning with Kimberley, stopped at Semifreddis for my hot chocolate and came back to the apartment.
10-11:30 - I puttered around the apartment for a little bit, then went to the house to let in the cleaning crew.
11:30-12:30 - Cleaned up a little and waited for Dana's Housecleaning service, who was supposed to show up at noon.
12:30-3 - Hurray, the cleaning crew finally showed up. I went back to the apartment to get ready to move-in.
3-3:15 - The crew was only going to be there till 3, but they were still working on the first floor. I called "Dana" and told her that they needed to stay longer. She gave them until 4pm. I was pissed.
3:15-4:15 - To while away the time, I went down to 4th Street for some dessert therapy. Dark chocolate and coffee ice cream at Sketch. But when I went to Bette's for their usual Friday cookie, oatmeal and chocolate chip, they didn't have any.
4:15 - The house was far from clean. Among other oversights the stairs were not vacuumed, the windows, walls and baseboards still had dust on them, and the bathrooms were not touched. I was livid!
4:20 - I left a message for "Dana" that they clearly needed more time. In my message, I told her that if I wanted a crappy housecleaning job, I would have done it myself and pocketed the $200 for something worthwhile.

Lucky for me and those close to me, the day took a turn for the better.

4:30-5:50 - Kevin and I watched an episode of Lost, our new favorite TV show.
5:55-7:30 - We hurried over to O Chame, our favorite restaurant, for dinner with Kimberley and Dan.
7:30-8 - We made a beeline for Sketch Ice Cream. Since I already had ice cream at Sketch earlier in the day (remember the dessert therapy?), I opted for the delicious mini Meyer lemon bundt cake.
8-10:30 - We decided to really get crazy so we rented a movie and went back to Dan and Kimberley's where 3/4 of us fell asleep at some point during Thumbsucker, which was actually a pretty good movie. (Lucas spent the night at the hotel with Kevin's parents).

Saturday is when we started to actually pack things up and bring them over to the house. Well, no, since I was at my sister's babyshower from 10-3.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Trading naptime for acrobatics

Yesterday Lucas did not nap. He spent the whole time dancing, jumping up and down on his mattress, and performing acrobatic feats. When I told him he had to nap, he laid down and squeezed his eyes closed and said, "Look mommy, I'm napping." Then he would just bounce back up again.

Initially I was pretty pissed off that he didn't nap. But when I saw how much fun he was having, I had to let it go and grab my camera.

Lucas is perfecting the 80s classic dance, "White Man's Overbite" also known as the "Cabbage Patch".

After about 30 shots, I finally caught him mid-somersault. I think it's time to upgrade my digital camera.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Making shapes

This is one of the latest interesting things Lucas has been doing. One morning he caught my attention by saying, "Look, I made a triangle." He can't draw a triangle, but he can make one out of cars pretty quickly and easily.

Then, he started making circles out of these little glittery soft balls that he has.

One word about these soft alls - We were at Mr. Mopps Toy Shop one day. I said he could pick out one toy to buy. He chose a bag of these soft balls. It cost a couple bucks for about 30 of these. And I must say, they have given us hours and hours of play time. Especially if I set them out with a muffin tin, he will spend endless amount of time sorting them and moving them around.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Rocking out, monster style

We spent some time in the afternoon pretending to be monsters. Specifically, monsters dancing to inaudible music. Please note that Lucas created his own wardrobe concept for this concert.

Lucas was the lead singer and Maggie is the reluctant go-go girl in the background. This one is called "Saggy Diaper Won't Get Me Down".

Lucas did a solo here, "Whatcha Got Mama?"

Here he is in some kind of Jim Morrison hand-trance during a spoken word performance.

And finally, after the concert Lucas graciously posed with one of his backstage groupies.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Best of luck, Brother Claus

This morning Brother Claus (aka Miko) paid us a visit in our apartment. I thought that Lucas' early morning jumping routing finally broke his patience, but I was wrong again.

Miko came up to show off his outfit "to the one person who would appreciate it", meaning Lucas. Lucas was fairly nonchalant about the whole thing, as if he sees guys dressed like Uncle Sam all the time.

Armed with his funny pants and a "Make Love Not War Sign", Miko was off to the peace march in Walnut Creek. His prediction was that the peace marches around the country would put an end to the war in Iraq by the end of the weekend.

We hope you're right Brother Claus.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Two peas in a pod

Lately, Lucas has been really interested in things that are the same, particularly similarities between me and him.

"We have the same color white," and he'll point to his white socks and the white stripes on my slippers.
"We have the same color pants," his navy sweats and my black pants.
"We have the same plate"
"We are both drinking water"
"We have the same color cheeks"
"We have the same color eyes"
"We have the same color hair"
"We have the same color neck"

And on and on, you get the picture.

Once he's exhausted the list of similarities, he'll say "We must be best friends."

Our house, a photo history

Okay, so it's only two photos, but here is what we started with, and here is where we are today.

This picture was taken in May, so most things were in full-bloom.

Taken on a cold March day, wisteria and maple are still in their winter threads.

Moving day is the 25th, so if you have a truck or mini-van, we may call you!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Lucas' sleep revelation

As some of you know, we've all been challenged in the sleep department since Lucas first escaped from his crib and has in a regular bed, which was July 2005. It's been a long long time since we all got a good night's sleep. And it was especially bad in the past month.

But I think we turned a corner two weekends ago. When I was tucking him in, we had a meeting of the minds and came to a happy meeting place, which I'm probably jinxing as we speak:

Lucas: Mommy, please don't close the door.
Me: Okay, if I keep it open, will you stay in your room?
Lucas: Yes, I will.

And that's pretty much been it. Even for his naps, which have always been a challenge, he stays in his room and falls asleep fairly quickly. He still gets up in the middle of the night and comes into our room. We'll see how that changes when we move back into our house and we're upstairs and he's downstairs :(

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Yay for Lucas!

I was humbly reminded by Lucas, who's 2.5, of some of the basic things in life.

1) Be happy
2) Don't give up without trying

Yesterday, as we were walking back to the apartment, he suddenly started skipping and jumping, yelling, "Yay for Lucas! Yay for me!" When I asked what he was doing he said, "I'm happy, look!" and continued to skip around.

Then, we were in the kitchen and he convinced me to get his dump truck out of exile (It had been on top of the kitchen cabinets for months since we saw him chasing Maggie around with it). I got a chair to get it down and this discussion followed:

Lucas: Let me try to get it down.
Me: No, it's too high for you.
Lucas: Maybe it's too high, but at least I can try, okay?

What could I do or say? So I let him try, even though it was still about 3 feet out of his reach.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The other Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Two people who will be missed from the apartment, not Santa and his missus, but the other Mr. and Mrs. Claus, also known as Milo and Jennifer. It's hard to believe, but the Berkeley Claus' really do live in the apartment directly below ours.

How do we know? First of all, they bear a striking resemblance to their relatives up North. I'm sure they're at least first cousins. See what some tie-dye, sunshine, and illegal substances can do to people. (These aren't really them, but close enough.)

But the resemblance is more than skin deep, and this is how we truly know that they are related.

Lucas loves to jump - off chairs, on his bed, or just on the floor. Up and down, all day long. Sometimes he starts his jump-a-thon right when he wakes up. If I'm in the kitchen getting his breakfast ready, he says "Wanna see something cool?" Then he'll jump and twist in the air and fall down on all fours, just to get up and do it again. For all our neighbors' sake, we were trying to limit his jumping, only in the afternoon, or at least to his bed.

One morning, we were downstairs and we run into Miko and Jennifer. Kevin had met them before, but it was a first encounter for me and Lucas.

I was nervous as I saw them approach. I thought they would rant and rave about how we should be more sensitive to our neighbors, control our kid from making so much noise in the morning, or at least give me one of those nasty glares you get sometime when your kid has done something awful to another kid. But at the time, I didn't know who we were dealing with.

After exchanging names, I launched into the Apologetic Mom routine, "Gosh, we're really sorry about all the noise in the morning. Lucas just loves to jump. We're trying to get him to jump on his bed or at least on the carpet...".

Jennifer stopped me, "Oh, no. We love to hear the sound of him jumping! I have 3 nephews and I just love the sound of boys running around having a good time. Asking a little boy not to jump is like asking a bird not to fly. We love to hear him in the morning!"

Miko just stood there, beaming. I think I heard a little laugh, like a "ho ho ho" escape from his bearded face. And ever since then, when I run into him when we're checking our mail, he always asks how "the little guy" is doing.

We will never find neighbors like that again. Only in Berkeley.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Apartment vs. house

As our move-in date is right around the corner, I'm getting a little sentimental about this apartment. Here are the things I'll miss about this place:

1) Passing the maintenance buck - When the water heater overflowed onto our kitchen floor during the Thanksgiving weekend, we didn't have to ask around to find a good plumber. We just filled out the maintenance request form and someone was there that day to fix it.

2) Community living - Although there are some odd characters in the complex, most of the people are very friendly. I know Lucas will miss being so close to lots of older kids who play in the courtyard. Someone plays the saxophone in the late afternoon sometimes and it is very relaxing. It's reminiscent of living in SF, pre dot-com when people took time to do things like play music.

3) Multiple loads of laundry - Mostly I just do one load at a time in our laundry room here. But on several occasions, I've loaded up 2-3 washers at the same time.

4) Nearby tennis courts - Lucas, Maggie, and I have had a lot of fun, just walking across the way to play on the city tennis courts. Especially on rainy days, it's a fun, semi-clean way to tire out all of us.On the other hand, I'm so excited to move back to our house. It will be bigger with the addition, and with refinished floors and new paint on the old parts of the house, it will seem totally new.

Here are the top reasons why I'm looking forward to moving back in:

1) Sleeping in a bed - When we rented this place, we thought we could just sleep on the floor, on blankets of course. I'm really looking forward to sleeping on our ultra-comfy mattress again. Although, I don't know what 10 months of storage will do to our latex mattress. We shall see.

2) More privacy - Not that I don't LOVE to be around Lucas and Kevin, but sometimes it's nice to escape for a few moments all to myself within the walls of my own home.

3) Lounging - So we don't have a bed, we also don't have our couches here either. I think lack of other seating has contributed to my reader's block. I used to read two books a month and I haven't been able to finish a book since we moved to the apartment.

4) Easy outdoor access for Maggie - Maggie has been such a trooper in this apartment. But she's spent a lot of time at my mom's. She misses being outside on sunny days. Because frankly, that's all she does during the day, lounges around outside, and pees and poops at her leisure.

5) A normal kitchen - The kitchen here is really suited to a single person, or a couple who doesn't do much cooking. There is just enough working space to dry our dishes and house our toaster oven, leaving no room for cooking or baking. We never brought over our dishes or flatware, so we have Lucas' plastic bowls and plates, a couple pieces of kid's flatware from IKEA and very limited cooking and bakeware. Plus, we will be moving back to a brand-new kitchen with a dishwasher!!!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Jumping jacks - photos

Lucas and his jumping jacks. I give him a 10 for creativity and enthusiasm.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

How does he come up with this stuff?

Lucas says the most random stuff. I'm not sure where it all comes from. We know he has an active imagination, but since his preschool teachers have mentioned it several times, I'm assuming his imagination is more active than most.

The other day, "Puff the Magic Dragon" was playing on the radio. Lucas said, "When I was a baby, my friends used to sing me this song when I was sleeping in my crib." Luckily, I was not around when his so-called friends serenaded him with Peter, Paul and Mary.

Today, I had to pick up Lucas while he was still napping and put him in the car. Naturally, once he woke up, he was pretty grumpy. After about 20 mintues of non-stop grumbling, he suddenly stopped and said in a normal, non-whiny voice, "I like apple peels. They're my favorite because they have vitamins. Did you know apple peels have vitamins?"

This morning, we were at the tennis courts. Lucas got distracted by some dried up worms on the ground. He stopped to examine them. After I told him what they were, he said, "They're kind of like dog pooh. Or maybe noodles. They're kind of freaky." Yes, they sure are.