Thursday, August 31, 2006

Stay-at-home dad for a day and a poop breakthrough

Kevin stayed home today with Lucas. In the morning, Lucas trashed one of our lampshades and it just got more exciting from there.

Here's the IM exchange between me and Kevin this afternoon.

kevin: beans jus took a piss all over our bathroom floor
sunny_mckay: why?
sunny_mckay: was he trying to make it into the toilet?
kevin: no idea
sunny_mckay: did he do it on purpose?
kevin: he said he was sorry
sunny_mckay: oh, so probably not on purpose
kevin: but not sure how it could have been an accident
sunny_mckay: can you clean him and it up
kevin: yeah already did
sunny_mckay: did he not make it in time?
sunny_mckay: someimtes if he's peeing and talking to me at the same time, he turns his little monkey body and the pee goes outside of the toilet.
kevin: I asked him how it happened and he said "it just came out the end of my penis"
kevin: I gave him the benefit of the doubt
sunny_mckay: good
sunny_mckay: are you guys having fun?
kevin: yeah
sunny_mckay: do you want to be a stay at home dad?
kevin: fuck that
kevin: I wanted to strangle him 2 times already today
kevin: but now he is joyfully dancing around naked to the african music with the new butterfly net I got him
kevin: o and I got him 2 poopie toys
kevin: a helicopter and a jet

kevin: I told him he can play with them after he takes a dump in the toilet
kevin: we went to mr mops
sunny_mckay: cool
sunny_mckay: what are you guys doing?
kevin: beanie just shit on the floor and in his hand
kevin: we are having a very eventfull day
kevin: I told him is was ok as long as he is trying
kevin: so then he squeezed one more out in the toilet so he is now playing with his poopie reward helicopter
sunny_mckay: what do you mean? he shit on the floor, with pants on or off?
sunny_mckay: which floor?
kevin: in the living room
kevin: nude dude
sunny_mckay: shit!
kevin: shat right in the center of the room
sunny_mckay: what was he doing?
kevin: and in his hand
sunny_mckay: did he ask for a diaper?
sunny_mckay: what the fuck?
kevin: yeah
sunny_mckay: and you didn't give him the diaper?
kevin: no
sunny_mckay: what did he think about going in the toilet?
sunny_mckay: jesus, are you sure it's totally cleaned up?
kevin: he he just did another one all by himself
kevin: so proud
kevin: youd think he just got a nobel
kevin: man he shits allot
sunny_mckay: in teh toilet or on my pillow?
sunny_mckay: are you wiping his butt?
sunny_mckay: did he poop in the toilet the 2nd time?
kevin: yes
kevin: all by himself
sunny_mckay: did you wipe him?
sunny_mckay: he needs help with that
kevin: I think we had a major break through
kevin: so the deal with the poo toys is he gets them all day after he dumps in the toilet
kevin: then the next day he needs to earn them again
sunny_mckay: cool
sunny_mckay: did you wipe him?
kevin: yes with your pillow
sunny_mckay: seriously, you need to wipe him
kevin: actually I did the first 3 wipes then let him do the last after he was basically clean
kevin: but he gets the habit and the satisfaction of a job well done
sunny_mckay: good, nice job!
kevin: thx

Bottom line: Lucas pooped several times in the toilet over the course of the day. Even at his new school, where we went tonight for an orientation.

Lucas' last words on poop: While getting ready for bed, I told Lucas how proud we are of him that he went poop in the toilet. He said, "I sure am good at pooping in the toilet now!"

Lesson learned: Bribery works.

Big question: Will it last??

Family getaway

We rented a house at Stinson Beach for a few days. Lucas loved the ocean. The house was about 5 houses away from the sand. When we got there, Lucas ran toward the water saying, "Let's go in the water. Let's go in the water." about 20 times before his feet got wet. He was giddy with excitement as he ran to and from the waves.

His partner in crime was his trusty stick. He said it was for pushing the water back.
Monday and Tuesday morning, Lucas wanted to go to the beach right when he woke up. Here we are taking a nap on the deck after a big day of splashing around. There was a nice hot tub on the deck too, which Lucas liked splasing around in. The house itself was a little grimy, but being 5 houses away from the sand, we couldn't complain.

The best thing was just spending time with each other. No computer and no other distractions.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Oedipus Rex strikes again!

The other day I was pretending to be a monster. And I came up to Lucas and said, “I’m going to eat you!” He said, “Monster, come here, I want to tell you a secret.”

So I leaned in closer and he said, “You can eat my daddy instead.”

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sidenote on potty training

Lucas went diaper-free on our big excursion to SF. Still no pooping in the toilet, but I feel that it was still a big win for potty training.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

SAHM - 2 day stint

Lucas is off school for these next two weeks and my mom is sick with the flu. So I was able to reprise my role as stay-at-home mom, for two days. Since it's impossible to try and work from home with Lucas around, we made the most of our two days. We went out and did things that are too crowded and hectic for normal weekends.

Monday we went to the zoo. We saw the cool, but somewhat spooky fruit bats, saw some other animals and rode the rides.
Then on Tuesday, we braved a BART ride into SF to ride cable cars to Fisherman's Wharf with Lori and Owen.

We waited 1/2 hour for the cable car. Owen and Lucas entertained themselves, and others, with a little kung-fu fighting. They enjoyed listening to the man singing and playing the harmonica, "You can have my woman, but don't take my wine." We gave him a couple bucks for the child-friendly lyrics.

The man liked his captive audience. When he was done, he said to the boys, "You guys are great! FANTASTIC!"

Lucas loved the cable car ride. That was when he was most quiet the entire day. He also got to experience one of those public self-cleaning public restrooms. Lucas pointed to something in the toilet and said, "Look mommy, somebody left their pooh there." However, my standards are not so high - the restroom totally exceeded my expectations in terms of cleanliness.

We walked into the Rainforest Cafe for a late lunch (past 1pm). Luckily there was enough eye candy in the themed store to keep the boys entertained for the 1/2 hour wait for lunch. To me it was like a subset of Disneyland - the kid-friendliness, freaky characters, and blatant attempt to get people to buy, supersize and buy some more. Luckily Lori and I escaped just having to pay for over-priced meals and little Rainforest Cafe cups (which were supersized to us for $1.99 when we ordered the food).

At the outset of our trip, I commented to Lori how these two never get into fights. Of course, once I said it, they got into a couple minor skirmishes over things like sharing a window on the cable car, being able to sit next to the gorilla in the restaurant, you know, normal kid things. But they would fight for less than 20 seconds and then go back to being good friends again.

We were out with the boys for a good six hours! It was somewhat trying, ultimately exhausting, but really really fun (but don't ask me why I'm blogging at 1:20 in the morning)!

More adventures in eating

Lucas' appetite for trying new things has really increased, just in the last couple of days.

1. Melchi - Not sure of the spelling, but these little dried fish are a Korean garnishing, I think (I've never been a big fan). I think some people put it on rice and in soups. Lucas, on the other hand, went all out and ate them straight from the container with a spoon.2. Lemon juice - I'm not talking about lemonade, or even lemon water. But the other day Lucas picked some lemons from our tree. I showed him how to juice the lemons, and he drank them straight from "the source". He said it was "lemon water lemonade", no sugar or water added!!

3. Spinach and lox omelette - I love my eggs this way and have been eating spinach and lox omelette almost every morning for the past couple weeks. Lucas has asked for a bite now and again, but politely declines one of his own in favor of oatmeal. But this morning, he ate about 1/2 of mine then asked for his own. He ate the whole thing!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Milan speaks

Not even four months old, my beautiful and insightful niece Milan expresses deep thoughts on happiness. (Turn on your speakers.)

Monday, August 21, 2006

At the playground

Aside from the cousin party, we had a relaxing weekend of just laying low.

We went to the school across the street to ride his tricycle. The sprinklers were on, so when his friend Owen joined us, the boys had the most fun jumping in the puddles and kicking water at yours truly.

They ran around like this with their helmets still on for quite a while, till one of us suggested that they can take them off if they weren't on their bikes.
With saggy wet sweat pants, Lucas treated us to a glimpse at a possible future occupation - plumber.

Jumping Jacks - Lucas-style

I love the way Lucas can throw himself into any kind of activity and have a great time.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The "cousin" party

All week Lucas has been so excited about the "cousin" party, which took place last night.

My cousins Cathy and Carolyn were in town along with their kids: At left, Hana (8), Cassidy (10), Connor (7), and Jake (7). They were staying with their cousin, Benny, his wife Bonnie and their son Jared (7), not pictured. My mom had them all over for dinner last night.

Aside from the general ruckus that comes with having 6 kids in one place between the ages of 3-10, here are some highlights from the evening.

Soccer - Lucas was not intimidated in the least. He loved running around and falling on the ground trying to get the ball.

Yummy Korean dinner, cupcakes, cookies, and more cookies.

Jumping on the Bed Contest - Kevin had this great idea to tire out the kids by initiating a contest to see who could jump on the bed the longest. Connor was the winner, that's him on the left. It kind of looks like he was pasted up there.
Elf Relations - Hana and Cassidy started putting lamb's ears on their ears. Pretty soon, everyone was doing it. Here you see Joe and Milan sporting their elf ears. Milan is sending messages to the alien spaceship in the sky.

Throughout the evening, the cousins would yell, "DOGPILE", and they'd all pile on top of each other. Even Lucas got in on this cousin bonding ritual.After 5 hours of playing with his cousins, one cupcake, two cookies, Lucas finally went to bed at 10:30. We were all exhausted, but happy.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Dream recall

About 4am, Lucas called me into his room. He was still in a half-sleep state. Before he drifted off to sleep, he said, "Mommy, when I wake up from my nap, let's go to the merry-go-round."

Then this morning at breakfast, I asked Lucas if he had any dreams last night. He said, "I dreamed about the animals at the merry-go-round. It was a fun dream."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Explaining the unexplained

I was trying to pull Lucas' shirt off to get ready for bed and it got stuck around his head. He said, "Wait, let me show Daddy my new hat!".

Then he came back downstairs with his "sunglasses". When I started taking photos of him, he fired right back with his "camera".

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

New diaper invention

It's been about two weeks since my last poop scoop, and we are still at the same spot. There's been no visible progress on going #2.

Last night after his bath I was about to put a diaper on him and get ready for bed. He said, "My poop's coming!" I said, "Do you want to sit on the toilet?" He politely declined.

Then I had a thought and said, "How about if I cut a hole in your diaper, I'll put it on you and then you can sit on the toilet to poop?" I must have made it sound like it was going to be super fun, like going to a new ice cream place, because Lucas seemed very excited to try it.

So I cut a huge hole in a diaper and put it on him. At this point, he was still very excited about the new invention. (A photos would have made this post complete, but I didn't want Lucas to feel uncomfortable.)

Unfortunately, once he got on the toilet, he decided it wasn't so fun and said he wanted a regular diaper on, not one with the hole in it.

Lucas got off the toilet and I put a regular diaper on him and then he went to bed.

First thing he did this morning, was do a big poop.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Girls getaway!

I went to the Tomales Bay/Inverness area for a bachelorette overnight for Kimberley, with Kimberley and Ann.

We settled into the Golden Hinde Inn, which is the only place along Tomales Bay that takes one-night stays. The interior is equivalent to a Motel 6, with plastic cups, bad d├ęcor, and lumpy beds. But we were armed with lots of snacks and trashy magazines.

We set out in the afternoon for a quick little walk. We found the original Blair Witch house. It was kind of cool-looking from far-away, but very spooky on the inside.

We had dinner Saturday night at Manka’s ( It was a seven-course meal, and took 4 ½ hours. It was amazing. The portions were small, but the food was very rich. In keeping with the history of Manka's as an old hunting lodge, there was a lot of meat, no salad and barely even any veggies to speak of. The highlights of the meal for me were the 2-inch thick bacon that was very tender (not at all like the conventional bacon that's crispy) and the mussel soup with a big dollop of cream. The menu was a piece of work too: “California Quail perched alongside housemade bacon atop a toast fashioned from foccacia” or “The ribs of Bill’s pig with the potatoes of Peter’s field.”

I was still in a semi food coma this morning, till about noon when we were starting our hike along the Dipsea trail at Stinson. We hiked for three hours, which probably meant that I worked off only the first course of Saturday night's meal.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Creative wardrobe choices

Lucas usually doesn't care what he wears. But on Saturday, he pulled together this ensemble. Actually Kevin deserves some of the credit for putting together the helicopter pj top with the car pj bottom, but Lucas insisted on pulling the basketball shorts over his pants. Fetching, eh?

Survival of the fittest

Last week, Kevin and Lucas caught several spiders and a fly and put them all in one bug jug. I think we started out with four spiders in there. Slowly, one kept eating the others and then there was just one spider which wrapped up the fly. The spider hasn't eaten the fly yet, he's probably still digesting the other spiders. It's disgusting, but kind of fascinating too.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Good morning Mr. Sunshine

I got some insight into what Lucas thinks about me when I'm not there.

I came home this morning from working out. For about 10 minutes Lucas sat on the stairs screaming, "Go away mommy, I don't like you!" I ignored him and went straight to the kitchen to make breakfast and pack his lunch.

There was silence for about two minutes.

Then he came into the kitchen, gave me a big hug and said, "Where were you when I woke up?"

Things I like to do (sans Lucas)

I am deviating from my usual favorite topic: Lucas. Instead, this one's about me.

A while ago, Whitney challenged me to make a list of at least 50 things I like to do just for myself. I chose to put things in the list that were really just for me, not Lucas or Kevin. I just re-found the list and was going over it.

It's 2:30 in the morning and I can't sleep, so instead of actually doing any of them, I'm just going to post the list here. They're alphabetized, because that's one of the things I like to do, is put order to some things in my life. (I need to add that to my list)

Aside from drinking hot chocolate which I do just about every day, there are a number of things I haven't done in a long long time. I'm going to start knocking some of these things off my list, with the goal of checking off everything in this list by end of the year, or maybe end of next year.

Baking cookies
Doing the Berkeley Eco-Challenge (Walking from North Berkeley up to Tilden, the Tilden loop, and back again - haven't done it in years)
Drinking hot chocolate with extra chocolate
Drinking Jack Daniels with Coke
Drinking mojitos
Drinking water
Eating dark chocolate
Eating ginger cookies
Eating ice cream or gelato (Sketch, Naia, or other little places)
Eating oatmeal chocolate chip cookes
Eating semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies
Eating snickerdoodles
Eating sushi
Explore new areas of the east bay
Explore new parks of the east bay
Going out to restaurants
Going to book readings
Going to or hosting dinner parties
Going to the dog park
Going to the movies
Listening to music
Looking through photo albums
Meeting friends out for dinner
Playing blackjack with low stakes
Playing Boggle
Playing chess
Playing regular charades
Playing Running Charades
Playing Scrabble
Playing Taboo
Playing tennis
Putting things in order (not everything, just things like photos and recipes)
Read trashy Hollywood magazines (People, InStyle, Vanity Fair)
Reading friends' blogs
Reading good biographies
Reading good books
Shopping for cards (any cute little card store)
Shopping for groceries (Berkeley Natural Grocery, Berkeley Bowl, Trader Joe's, Andronicos)
Shopping for tennis shoes and warm and comfy workout clothes with hoods
Shopping for toys for Lucas (The Ark, Five Little Monkeys, Mr. Mopps, Rockridge Kids)
Shopping in bookstores (Cody's, Pegasus, Diesel)
Shopping in clothes stores (Anthropologie, Banana Republic - hooded sweaters, coats, jackets, blue jeans)
Shopping online
Surfing the internet
Talking with friends
Trading gossip about famous people
Walking by myself
Walking in the rain
Walking with friends
Watching Mafia movies (Godfathers 1, 2, Goodfellas, Once Upon a Time in America, On the Waterfront)
Watching movies with my favorite actors (young Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro, Ed Norton, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt)
Watching really good sports movies (Hoosiers, Friday Night Lights, The Natural, and others)
Watching really sad movies that make me cry (The Champ, Beaches, and others)
Writing in my blog

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Dining out with Lucas

Tonight we met up with Noel and Sidney and Fat Apple's. I don't know why I forget these things every time we go out to eat, but maybe this will serve as my reminder:

1) Always order the same thing that the other kid is having. Sidney had spaghetti, and after #2 below, that's what I ordered for him.

2) Even if it's something Lucas loves, he won't want to share a plate. Case in point, I ordered the turkey with mashed potatoes, which he normally loves. But he didn't want to have anything to do with splitting the plate with me. (See #1 above on next step)

3) Always bring wipes. His hands and face were covered with food. And I hate stickiness.

4) Order something small for myself. Inevitably, there will be something he has on his plate that he doesn't finish. And of course, he always wants dessert. For some reason, it's hard for me to let the food just sit there, especially if it's spaghetti and chocolate pudding.

That's it for now.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Excuses, excuses

Lucas has mastered a new skill, giving the perfect excuse.

Me: Lucas, please pick up that napkin you threw on the ground.
Lucas: I can't mommy because my back really hurts!

Me: Okay, it's time to get out of the bath.
Lucas: But mommy, this is my boat. If I get out, the alligators in the water will get me.

Me: Time to clean up your Legos! Let's put them all back in the box.
Lucas: You need to help me. It's too much work for me to do by myself.

Me: Lucas, time to get ready for bed.
Lucas: It's not night time yet, it's not dark outside. I can't even see the moon.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A few peaceful moments, amid a not so peaceful weekend

On Friday, a couple canker sores cropped up in Lucas' mouth. And boy, is he CRANKY! His main modes of communication have been whining, yelling, and now we've added a new word to his vocabulary, "snivelling".

I can't blame him, all the things he really loves eating are off-limits now - pistachios, tangerines, peanut butter, ketchup, and the like. So not only does his mouth hurt, but I think he's just hungry. Though we now have him on a diet of oatmeal and ice cream, so how much can he really complain?

We had him swish around salt water in his mouth and even put the awful-tasting stuff on the sores. Those remedies work, but only for a little bit.

These canker sores even keep him from getting a good night sleep. Last night I was in his room with him because he wasn't falling asleep. For about 5 hours, I stayed there, getting kicked, yelled at, pushed, and head-butted, for no apparent reason, except that I was there. At about 3am, Kevin took over and had the same experience.

As one of my friends once said about living with a toddler, "It's kind of like living with a mean drunk."

We've had a few peaceful moments. We went to Sketch Ice Cream and Cody's on Saturday, that kept him happy and he forgot about his mouth for a while.

Then this morning, after a lousy night sleep, Lucas fell asleep as I was holding him in the glider chair. I haven't held him like that since he was a little guy. It was nice.But he is heavy. It was much easier when he was 15 or even 20 pounds. But cradling a 35+ pound kid is hard work. After an hour, I reluctantly transitioned him to our bed, where he slept for another hour.

Now that I see the picture, it looks kind of ridiculous and totally out of proportion.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What the heck?

Here are some funny things Lucas has been saying lately.

- What the heck? (When something comes as a surprise to him)
- Goddammit! (Okay, this is bad on our part, and we need to watch our language around him, but it gets slightly redeemed in the next one)
- Let's say a prayer. (Lucas will say this before we eat sometimes. He'll hold our hands and scrunch his eyes shut while he says, "Thank you for mommy, daddy, Lucas, Maggie...")
- The carrot opener (A riff for a character in a story I told him, originally named the carrot ogre)
- The compartment ("Mommy, remember when we used to live in that little compartment by the tennis courts")