Sunday, April 30, 2006

The great outdoors

Aside from getting a new member to the family, we all enjoyed the beautiful spring weather.

Lucas is fascinated by snails. He likes to find them in our front yard and put them on the outside of the window, so he can watch them from the inside. He is surprisingly gentle with these snails. See the snails on the window?

Today, I went on the Secret Garden Tour. This is my sixth straight year. Every year I think it's going to motivate me to do something with our yard, and it would, if it wasn't for the other 1/2 of the McKay household who squashes the proposed expense. This year, maybe I'll be motivated enough to do some of the work myself to minimize costs (ha ha).

Here are some photos from the tour.

While I was touring the gardens with Ann and Kimberley, Kevin took Lucas on a bug hunt at the Albany waterfront. Aside from bugs, they also found a snake and lizard. Lucas was reluctant to let the lizard go. So Kevin offered goldfish in exchange for the lizard's freedom. It worked. Lucas let go of the lizard.

They went to the fish store and bought 3 little fish. Lucas said he wanted to eat his fish. Kevin explained that these fish are not for eating, which he then explained thoroughly to me when I got home.

Lucas' thoughts on his new cousin

I was at the hospital till about 11:30 Friday night, so I didn't get to see Lucas until Saturday morning.

We sat on the stairs, our new favorite place to chat, and I gave him the happy news.

Me: Auntie had her baby last night. A little girl, her name is Sarah.
Lucas: No, it's a little boy.
Me: No, really, she's a little girl, Sarah.
(thoughtful pause)
Lucas: You mean the baby popped out already?
Me: She sure did.

When we went to the hospital Sat. afternoon, Lucas was the proud older cousin, carrying the gift for the baby. I held him up to where he could see Sarah in bed with my sister. He waved a couple of times to his new cousin.

I'm an aunt!

I was at Alta Bates hospital on Friday to witness the birth of my niece, Sarah Milan Mullen. It was an amazing experience, to be on the observer side of the fence. It was mind-blowing, to say the least.

My sister Wonny and her husband Joe were great throughout the whole labor and delivery process.

And now, I have a beautiful niece. I can't wait to start spoiling her with all the cute little girls clothes that are out there.

My first purchase was a box of Trumpettes, which are so adorable. Since a written description won't do them justice, here they are.

Pictures of the new little princess to come!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Our sweet little contrarian

According to a contrarian is "one who takes a contrary view or action, especially an investor who makes decisions that contradict prevailing wisdom, as in buying securities that are unpopular at the time." This pretty much sums up Lucas in his current phase, except the part about buying securities.

These days, Lucas is very adamant that he is right. Whether we're playing with his letter magnets or naming different objects, the boy is always right.

Lucas has the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics, which is a nifty little toy. It keeps him pretty entertained, while I'm making dinner. All the letters fit into this little gadget that not only names the letter, but gives its letter sounds, and will also sings the ABC song. Sometimes the letter sounds sound similar, like the sounds for P and B. So he put the P in and said, "See mommy, this is B". I said, "Put the letter in and listen again." After we went back and forth on this a couple of times, and he put it in the gadget to confirm that it was the P, it said "B". He said to the toy, "NO...IT'S...NOT!". I guess these toys can only be deemed educational if the user actually listens and believes them. But really, why would the toys lie?

Then this evening we were eating strawberries after dinner. He put the strawberry top, with the leaves, in his mouth, then promptly spit it out. I said, "You shouldn't eat the leaves." His reply, "They're not leaves, they're salad." I said, "No, salad is made of leaves you can eat." He looked at me and seemed to shake his head and said, "Silly mommy."

Lucas' tshirt says, "Trust me, I'm a doctor". I thought it was funny at the time of purchase, but I think he's taken it a little far, don't you?

Maggie always gets her ball

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Anyone who knows Maggie knows that she is a slave to the tennis ball. At my mom's house, we wedged one into the crook of a persimmon tree. Maggie, the genius that she is, figured out that she had a better chance of getting it by jumping onto the table.

(I'm checking out this new service on publishing videos to my blog. Turn up your volume for this one. If you have problems viewing this, let me know. By the way, this video is from last year, in case you think it looks familiar.)

Friday, April 21, 2006

First week of work, sans Lucas

My first week on the job at Kodak Gallery,, went well. My co-workers are really great and I think my projects will be fun to work on.

The one hiccough, though probably a blessing in disguise, is that Lucas woke up around 2:00 Tuesday morning with croup. So, I rushed him out to my mom's house around 7am and rushed back for work. Because of the viral nature of croup, he's been out in Moraga this whole week(he's doing much better now and I will pick him up tomorrow morning).

I went to see him Thursday morning. Only being away from home for a couple of days and he picked up a new habit...TV.

Lucas: Wanna watch TV?
Me: Not particularly.
Lucas: Let's watch Animal Planet. (How does he know Animal Planet??)
Me: That doesn't sound fun to me. Let's read a book instead.
Lucas: That sounds fun.

I wonder how long that will work for.

Lucas' absence from home gave me some time to adjust to working a full-time gig again. It also gave me some time to get caught up on the new season of Sopranos, have a night out in SF with Kimberley and Ann, go for walks before and after work, upload about 50% of my 2000+ photos from Shutterfly to "the Gallery", and get solid, uninterrupted sleep.

Next week will be very telling on how our family really adjusts to two full-time working parents.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Photos from BART trip to Berkeley

I guess I exceeded my quota for photos in the last posting. Here are some cute pictures of Lucas with his pals on our BART trip to Berkeley on Thursday.

Here comes trouble: Will, Lucas, and Samuel.

Hear no evil, see no evil...the third monkey wisely opted to sit with his mom.

Here's Lucas getting sassy...again!

Last week of freedom (or, "How I spent my last week before becoming a cube monkey")

Tomorrow I start a full-time job at Kodak Gallery (aka Ofoto). This will be the first time I've had a full-time job in about two years.

So, how did I spend my last week of freedom? Climbing mountains, bungee jumping, and river rafting? Those would be the obvious things to do, I tried to be different. How about cleaning, moving in, and more cleaning?

Aside from the cleaning and moving stuff in and junk out, I managed to have some fun.

Lucas and I spent some time with Julian while his dad was on a conference call. Surprisingly, Lucas put away his alpha male tendencies and was very cordial to Julian. He even tried engaging in a conversation with Julian. "Julian, I have that same train at my school." Julian looked at Lucas and that was about the extent of their discussion.

We made a trip to the Berkeley library via BART with some friends: Celeste and Will and Eowyn and Samuel. Of course, no books were even touched. Lucas was more interested in the super-sized hot dog car and made sure it was filled up with gas. Wrangling three almost-3 year olds in downtown Berkeley was a great way to spend one of our rare sunny days in the Bay Area.

On Saturday we went to an Easter egg decorating party at Owen's house. Being typical Berkeley folks, we brought brown eggs, which we then realized don't take too well to the PAAS dye. I think Lucas is really sensitive to sugar because he was pretty much up from 3-6am, and if he's up, so am I.

This morning, in honor of the resurrection of Christ, we had a minimalist Easter egg hunt for Lucas (and I mean small, like two chocolate eggs total). Then I went to the Claremont for an Easter massage, enjoyed the whirlpool, and fell asleep in the sauna. I never would have thought that it would be so easy to fall asleep naked in the company of a bunch of naked strangers, but it was no problem for me. I then proceeded to College Avenue to pick up some new clothes for my first day on the job.

Now off to a nice Easter dinner at my mom's house and hopefully a good night's sleep for my first full day of work. Hopefully Lucas will cooperate with that plan.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Girls gone wild - Palm Desert

I just returned from a girls' weekend in Palm Desert. In the initial planning, this was going to be a weekend with three good friends from USC. However, Jill couldn't make it so Sunday brought her 5-month old, Delaney, instead.

I had been to the desert and other road trips with Sunday on several other occasions during and after college. This was by far the most relaxing and low-key.

There were some similarities to our wild college days. We ate lots of bad road-trip food (Coco's, Panda Express, and Mario's) and of ice cream. We even played tennis, albeit a bit slower than in our younger years. And just like one time in college, we wheeled someone into a restaurant in a grocery cart, but it was Delaney, not some drunk friend. We stayed up past 2am Saturday night, just talking.

It was such a nice getaway for all of us. And Delaney was so excited for her first girls weekend that she sat up by herself for the first time!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Size DOES matter

This happened a while ago, I hesitated posting it to the blog because of the subject matter. But what the heck! Names have been changed to protect the small and innocent.

A few weeks back I was changing Lucas' diaper, when he revealed the following information about one of his classmates.

Lucas: Why does Charlie have a little penis?
Me: Who said that?
Lucas: Marlon told me that.
Me: Hmmm, well, some people have little ones.
Lucas: Not me, I have a big one!

Monday, April 03, 2006

A trip to The Container Store

I took a trip today to the Container Store with my sister. I was kind of excited to go, with shopping cart in hands, I was ready to drop some cash and get myself organized. But my trip there turned into more of a wake-up call of how out-of-control we are as consumers.

First of all, there really is a container for everything! Ties, dishes, wrapping paper, and more. After walking around there for a little bit, I was morbidly fascinated by the whole thing.

Here are a couple of the items that stood out in my mind:

- Bag holder - There is a gizmo to hold your plastic bags, you know, the type from the grocery store. We have a lot of these plastic store bags. We use them for garbage bags and dog poop bags. But do we really need to buy a holder to keep all their bags, which they get from buying other things? My sister felt like she needed it, so she bought one . I was tempted, but I held back. - Remote control caddy - Okay, so we don't watch TV. But my feeling is that if you have so many remote controls that you need a special caddy to keep them all organized, then maybe you should think about cutting back on how much TV you watch.

Maybe I was resentful because I will never be this organized. No matter how hard I try, I will never ever have a space that looks like this.

Or maybe it's because I can't fathom having enough space to store all of these containers.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't walk out empty-handed. I bought a wire basket with suction cups to keep Lucas' bath toys in, hangers, and a nifty spice organizer, so the spices are in more of a terraced seating arrangement.

But when I was walking around with that bag with their tagline, "Contain Yourself", I felt as if I'd crossed over the line into the dark side.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Does Saturn have a door?

Today we were reading one of Lucas' favorite books, Moo Cow Kaboom. On one page, there’s a picture of Moo Cow flying through space past Saturn.

Lucas: What is that? (pointing to Saturn) Is that a hat?
Me: No, it’s a planet.
Lucas: But it doesn’t have a door.
Me: You’re right. Then it must be a hat. Believe it or not, we have had this exact conversation before. I need to get to the bottom of this one.

Lucas on beauty

We went to a birthday party for one of Lucas' classmates at Habitot yesterday. They have a face-painting station. Lucas didn't want to have his face painted, but wanted to paint mine instead. He was very focused and gentle while doing this. He used all the colors available and painted strange hieroglyphics and dots all over my face and neck.

Later that day at home, Lucas and I were talking:
Lucas: Mommy, you still have paint on your face.
Me: Where?
Lucas: Right there, on your chin.
Me: Thanks Lucas. By the way, you did a really good job painting my face today.
Lucas: Thanks Mommy! I painted your face to make you look beautiful.
Me: Oh. Well, do I look beautiful without the paint on my face?
- very, very long, long pause -
Lucas: Yes you do.
Me: Thanks Lucas. I think you're beautiful too.

This was an interesting conversation for several reasons.

First, I was really caught off guard that he knows what 'beautiful' means.

Since I don't wear make-up, except the occasional lip gloss, how does he make the connection with putting paint on your face and being beautiful? I would have been less surprised if he had said, "I painted your face to make you look like a brontosaurus." Or even a mountain lion.

Finally, I was on the edge of my seat to see if he thought I was beautiful. I think I would have felt bad if he said no. Isn't that odd?