Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"My Left Foot" - 2006

Anyone remember the movie "My Left Foot"? The true story of Christy Brown, played by Daniel Day Lewis, who had cerebal palsy, but could write and paint with his left foot? I loved that movie!

I'm not sure what sparked this in Lucas, but when we were coloring last night, he took off his sock and put the pen between his toes and started drawing with his left foot. Lucas was truly channelling Christy Brown, without the thick Irish accent.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Prolific artist

Lucas never really showed much interest in coloring/drawing. We would get art projects from school, whichI attributed it to peer pressure, it was probably what all the kids were doing at the time. But that all changed last week.

Lucas has been coloring, drawing, and making his art projects non-stop. Literally. He doesn't want to stop, not even for meals.

Lucas' art has gone beyond coloring and drawing into what I call multi-media art forms. The most popular form being stickers and tape - scotch and packing tapes specifically. I'm sure he would love masking tape and duct tape if we had some around. He's really into taping pieces of paper together, like this.

Then we were cutting things out of catalogs and magazines and Lucas taped them on a piece of paper, into what I thought would be a single-layer collage. But he just kept taping things on top of other things, adding stickers and more and more layers. (You can't even really see all the layers in this picture.)He took his paper to my mom's house for Thanksgiving to show her. I thought it would end there and we could start on a new piece of paper, but I was wrong.

I spent probably a good hour cutting out paper letters and shapes and he would just tape them over the other ones. I would ask if he wanted a new piece of paper, but he politely declined and said he already had a piece of paper.
This paper currently weighs probably half a pound. There's so much paper and tape on this thing.

In a creative writing class at USC, my professor said that real artists have a difficult time calling something final. He said that once he edited one of his short stories more than 300 times!

I'm eager to see what this paper looks like when Lucas finally calls it final. But at this rate, I'm not sure when that will happen.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Positive reinforcement

Yesterday I went to exchange some towel bars at Restoration Hardware. I told Kevin and Lucas I would be home soon.

I was back sooner than I thought I would be, considering 4th Street was teeming with people on Saturday. When I walked in the door, I got the usual groupie welcome from Lucas, "Ahhhhhh, mommy!" Then he said, "Come with me."

I followed him into his playroom. He started rummaging through his doo-dads. He said, "Mommy, since you came home early I'll give you a penny!"

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Design ideas

Once again, Lucas is dabbling in design. He has lots of ideas on how to design for the holidays, and general ideas for incorporating more design elements into our home.

- We were eating at the counter at TootSweets, Lucas' favorite local cafe, when we saw one of those pimped out trucks drive by. It was white red flames painted on the side. Lucas said, "Mommy, we should paint our Volvo like that car. Wouldn't that be cool?" I replied, "Yes, that would be exciting for our Volvo."

- Lucas was looking at his Bones of Fred McFee Halloween costume. Lucas said, "Next time it's Halloween, we should hang it on the door so everyone knows it's Halloween."

- While driving in the car, "We should hang cameras from the inside of our car. Then people will know that we have cameras." Yes, just the thing to get our car broken into.

- When I showed Lucas some of the holiday decorations I bought he said, "Mommy, let's put them all on our window so people will know Christmas is coming."

Decorating for the holidays will definitely be fun this year.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Lucas goes off-road

My mom was very eager to see Lucas ride his bike. He rode really fast around the church parking lot by her house. Not being a bike-rider herself, she was so proud watching him ride so easily and confidently. He assumed his relatively new "speed demon" position, where he kind of crouches down and pedals as fast as he can.

Then we hit the bike trail. Aside from the short sidewalk ride from our house to the Marin school, this was the first time Lucas rode somewhere other than the playground. Rocky got a good workout as he ran alongside Lucas as he zipped expertly on the flat parts of the trail. Kevin, my mom and I were content to keep a more leisurely pace.

I had been talking up the bike trail to Lucas, letting him know that it takes more than sheer speed to ride on the bike trail - he needed to apply fine-tune steering and braking. Though Lucas is quite the speed demon he is also pretty cautious. He did a great job with the steering, but still needs some work using the brakes. There are some pretty steep hills on the trail, which Lucas chose to walk up and down.

Part of the bike trail has a little off-roading path. Kevin and Rocky took Lucas on this section. He was a natural!

Weekend at grammy's

This weekend we went to grammy's house. My mom was in Korea for two months, which seemed like a long time.

After the initial welcome, everyone settled into their regular patterns at my mom's. My mom cooked a much-awaited Korean meal and played with Lucas and Milan, Wonny and Joe watched the USC-Cal football game, Lucas played with his toys and his baby cousin, Milan sat in her little Bumbo seat and enjoyed looking at everyone, Kevin went off "the program" and ate a ton of yummy Korean food (and brie and ice cream) and I just kind of puttered around the house. And Rocky came late, as he usually does.

Lucas was very sweet and gentle with Milan. I was reading books to her and if the book fell down (which frequently happens when trying to read to a 6-month-old) Lucas would pick it up and give it back to me. Lucas cleaned out his big wagon so he and Milan could ride around in it. And even though she was about to go to sleep, Milan got to enjoy the wagon as I pulled them around the house a little. Both kids had a great time! See Milan's smile?

Is there a doctor in the house?

Yesterday, Lucas said, "Let's play doctor. I'm the doctor and you're the patient."

First he put on his dentist mask and told me exactly where to sit.

Lucas: Do you have any bad feelings?
Me: What do you mean "bad feelings"?
Lucas: Where does it hurt?
Me: Oh. On my knee.
Lucas: First, let me wipe off the blood on your elbow.
Me: Okay doctor, but my knee is what really hurts.
Me: Okay. Thanks for wiping the blood off my elbow.
Lucas: Now, here's a bandaid. It's all better now, isn't it?
Me: Yes, my elbow is all better. Thanks. But what about my knee?
Lucas: Let's play tennis now.

I guess I didn't have the right health plan.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mystery of Happy Yoyo

A couple months back Lucas began asking me to tell him stories about Happy Yoyo. The only thing I knew was that he was a giant.

I scoured the Internet to find out more about Happy Yoyo. I found some board books on about a dog named Yoyo. I thought this was it for sure. But when I asked Lucas about this, he was very adamant that Happy Yoyo was a giant, not a dog. And that sometimes Happy Yoyo was a little scary. So I was pretty sure that I could eliminate this Yoyo.

On one of my mom's group dinners, I talked about my search for Happy Yoyo and Eowyn said, "Oh, he means Abiyoyo! I love that book. It's based on a South African folk story."

So this weekend we went to the bookstore and we bought Abiyoyo. It came with an audio CD which I played on the way home. Lucas was entranced and laughed out loud listening to the CD. When the giant, Abiyoyo, is introduced as having smelly feet, Lucas says, "Mommy I can smell his feet from here." When I ask what they smell like, he says "Rotten bananas".

So since we got the book he wants to hear it in the car, he wants to read it at night before bed, and he wants me to sing the Abiyoyo lullaby while he goes to sleep. At first he told me that I wasn't singing it right, but I think he's figured out that I'm just not a good singer and hasn't corrected me much since then.

But I'm still searching for Cuddle Mavel, one of the train friends of Thomas. If anyone has a clue, let me know.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Little white lies

The other day Lucas and I were in his playroom. I made a funny little clicking noise with my tongue.

Lucas: What was that noise?
Me: I don’t know. [I continued to click away]
Lucas: Mommy are you making that noise?
Me: No, it’s not me. [Continuing to click]
Lucas: Mommy, you’re lying to me. You shouldn’t lie, that’s terrible.
Me: I was just playing a joke.
Lucas: You didn’t tell me the truth, so that’s a lie and that’s bad.

He was very serious and although I was just joking I felt like I was sending him mixed messages. I need to watch myself. Then I thought of other little white lies I tell him on a somewhat regular basis.

When we’re out running errands and Lucas asks me to buy him a cookie.
The lie: Lucas, I don’t have money for a cookie.
The truths: Lucas, You’re being a butt-head and I’m not in the mood to do something nice for you right now; You’ve already had a [fill-in the sugary food] today; I don’t want to take you in and out of the car because that will take a lot of time.

When we’re in the car and Lucas asks for a bar (I keep a stash of Z bars in the car for emergencies)
The lie: I can’t open it, see it’s locked. (If we’re parked, I take my key and lock it in case he wants to try it for himself.) See, I can’t even open it with my key.
The truth: You can’t eat a bar every time you’re in the car, these are for emergencies only. (When I’ve used this excuse, his usual reply is “This is an emergency, I’m hungry.”)

When I catch Lucas picking his nose.
The lie: Lucas, don’t pick your nose. Remember the sharp-toothed snail. [Referencing a poem in “Where the Sidewalk Ends”, warning kids not to pick their nose or else the sharp-toothed snail will eat their finger.] Sometimes I may even recount an episode when the snail bit my nail off, for added effect.
The truth: It’s gross. (When I tell him this, he just continues to do it. He thinks gross things are funny.)

When Lucas asks to watch the Incredible Machine video on YouTube.
The lie: The computer is closed for the night; The computer battery is charging.
The truth: I don’t want to sit there for the full 9 minutes to watch the darn video.

When Lucas asks for the nth story of the day about the Island of Sodor.
The lie: The Island is closed for the day. How about a different story?
The truth: If I have to make up one more story about Sir Topham Hatt and the enigmatic Cuddle Mavel, I may throw up.

And the list goes on...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A good joke

Like all good Korean households, we try to go shoeless inside. We make it a habit of stashing our shoes under the sideboard that’s just inside the front door.

The other day, Lucas found these shoes for the Mr. Potato Head pumpkin decorating kit. We didn’t use them because they were too hard to get on.

Lucas said, “Mommy, I know a good joke. I’ll put these shoes by the other shoes. Then someone will try to put them on.”
So Lucas set up the shoes with the other shoes. He might have forgotten about them by now. But if you come over, pretend to put on the Mr. Potato Head shoes. You may get a big laugh out of him.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sleep on an empty stomach

Last week, Heather told me how guilty she felt because one night her son fell asleep without eating dinner. I told her not to feel bad, especially since he survived till the next morning.

Last night, the same thing happened. I felt a little more guilty than Heather probably did, given the following circumstances.

We were out at the playground and Lucas was running and slipped in some dirt. He cried and cried about his boo-boo. It was a mild scrape, there wasn’t any blood oozing out of his knee. I held him in my lap for a little bit and tried to comfort him, then we headed home anyway, him crying the whole way.

I cleaned his wound and put some Neosporin on it. He cried and whimpered throughout the treatment. He kept crying, “I don’t want to take a bath tonight, I don’t want to get my knee wet.” I told him to sit in his room until he stopped crying. He cried for about 10 minutes, then silence. It was only a little after 5pm. The last thing Lucas ate was a big bowl of oatmeal around 3:30 in the afternoon.

I asked Kevin to go into his room. Lucas was asleep so Kevin deftly slipped a diaper on him and covered him up.

Kevin and I ate our dinner, just the two of us. We watched a full episode of “Lost”. Then halfway through the subsequent episode, around 8pm, Lucas woke up. He wasn’t upset at all, he was just awake. He had soaked through his diaper and there was a big wet spot on the bed. The first thing he said was, “I don’t want to take a bath.” I assured him he would not get a bath tonight. Then he asked for a band-aid. I gave it to him and he put it on by himself while I changed his sheets and got some clean pajamas for him.

Lucas didn't ask for dinner and I didn't offer it tohim. I read him some books and told him a couple stories, and after a while he fell asleep again.

Lucas woke up this morning around 7:30am. He, like Heather’s son, survived just fine on an empty stomach.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Coincidence or karma?

Maggie and I went for a walk this morning. As we were walking under a huge tree something fell from the tree and hit Maggie on the head. She let out a little scream. Believe it or not, she has kind of a high-pitched scream, like a little girl. (I would have paid good money to have captured this moment on video).

It was an apple. I looked up to see if we were walking under an apple tree, but no. What I saw was a squirrel looking down at us. Maggie didn’t see the squirrel, or she would have freaked, she loves to chase squirrels.

Was it just a coincidence that this squirrel happened to drop an apple on Maggie’s head, or was it karma? Payback for all the squirrels Maggie has chased in her life, and the time when Kevin caught her gnawing on a squirrel.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Geography lesson

The other day I thought I picked up Lucas from school. But after he got into the car, I realized I picked up the geography teacher instead.

Teacher: What country do you live in?
Me: The United States. What country do you live in?
Teacher: California.
Me: Actually, that's a state! It's inside the United States.
Teacher: Oh. Let's play a game. Clap if you've been to this place. Japan!
[I clapped]
Teacher: California!
[I clapped]
He continued to list other places. Then he tried to trick me.
Teacher: August! September!
Me: Wait, those are months, not places.
Teacher: I'm just pretending! Okay, October, November...

Trick or treat!

Our Halloween festivities began on Sunday night when Kevin and Lucas carved pumpkins. Lucas didn't actually carve, but he directed and approved the designs. His main job was to get the pumpkin seeds and stuff out of the pumpkins.

To get a photo where they're both looking at the camera, I quickly said, "Look at that ghost behind me!" Lucas looked, as did Kevin, and I got the same look from both of them.

Kevin caught onto my trick, but Lucas was still looking for the ghost.

Here we are, a couple of trick or treaters, ready to take to the streets in hopes of hitting it big! Lucas was so excited at the prospect of the candy he would collect, he didn't even protest when I put on his hat. Of course, it helped that I positioned it as a "skull cap", which of course, all scary skeletons wear.

We met up with the Hendricksons. Lucas and Owen had a great time running from house to house and checking out their goods.

We saw lots of kids (and adults) in some pretty cool costumes. But this kid was my favorite, you can see him on the left, Captain Underpants!! And check out that big eye in the window, that was one of my favorite Halloween decorations.

After more than an hour and circling the block we were done. He must have been pretty exhausted because he readily agreed to go home. Lucas had a good time handing out candy to the kids who came by. When there were lulls in the trick or treaters, he would stand at the window and look for them.

Lucas woke up the next morning and asked if we could go trick or treating again.