Monday, April 30, 2007

Who is this?

Does this sound like someone you know?

- likes to be the class "peace reporter" (basically, the class rat, letting the teacher know if someone is doing something they're not supposed to be doing)
- challenges himself
- likes to sit close to his teacher
- participates in songs, calendar, classroom tasks
- shows interest in new material
- enjoys working in small group activities
- focuses on individual work
- keeps busy, so he doesn't need to be reminded about classroom limits
- likes to work with math, language, and sensorial materials

If you haven't guessed yet, it's Lucas. These are excerpts from his teacher's report on him (it was time for parent-teacher conferences for the school).

Although much of what his teacher wrote are things we see in him at home, it's still so cool to see the other things he enjoys at school, like small group activities, who knew?

I told him on the way home from school that Kevin and I met with his teacher. I told him how happy we were to hear how much fun he was having at school and that he was enjoying learning new things.

His response? He didn't say anything.

Boys will be boys

At Milan's birthday party, while all the adults chatted politely and the little girls played quietly, drawing and hugging Milan, trouble was brewing in Boy Land.

There were a few boys there, including Lucas, between the ages of 3-15. Christopher, the unlucky one in the tunnel, is in highschool. Once the game was underway, there was no backing out of it. The younger boys staged a no-holds barred assault on Christopher - pelting him with balls, hitting him with their little fists, tackling him to the ground, then sitting on him and further pounding on him. He tried to hide in the tunnel, but those scary little boys pulled him out.

I wonder what parents who have only daughters thought of this.

Happy Birthday Milan!

It was my niece's first birthday on Saturday. Here she is in her Korean dress (she's the shorter one in the middle) with her happy parents.

Milan had her first taste of a real dessert at her party. My sister seated her on the table with my mom and all her friends. Whenever she took a bite of the cupcake, everyone at the table cheered and some even clapped. Soon enough, Milan joined in. After each bite, she would clap her hands and look around to see what our reactions were.

Isn't she adorable??

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Update on Lucas'...condition

About a month ago Lucas announced to us that he was expecting two babies.

I hadn't really mentioned it since then. But this morning I asked him about it. I think I said, "How are your babies doing in your tummy? Remember a while ago, you said you had two babies in your tummy."

He looked at me as if I had three heads.

Getting hitched

Over the weekend at my mom’s house we watched our wedding video. Lucas watched it too. During the ceremony, I cried while reading my vows. Lucas asked me, “Mommy, why were you crying?” I said, “I cried because I was so happy to get married to Daddy.”

In the car ride home, Lucas kept asking me about why I cried in “the wedding movie”. I explained to him that sometimes people cry when they’re really really happy.

Lucas: Will you cry when we get married?
Me: Lucas, we aren’t getting married. Mommies can’t marry their kids. I’m married to Daddy. One day you’ll find someone really nice and special to marry. And when you do, I’ll be so happy I’ll cry.
Lucas: But why can’t I marry you? You can be married to two people.
Me: No, you can only be married to one person. Don’t worry, you’ll find someone special when you’re older and you’ll be very very happy.
Lucas: But who’s going to marry me? (a note of desperation in his voice)
Me: Someone really special. Whoever marries you will be the luckiest person in the world.
Lucas: Okay, I guess I’ll just marry Ella.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

I bought tulips for the dining room table for Easter. Last week, they were looking tired and sad to say the least.

Lucas had other ideas.

Me: Lucas, look at those tulips.
Lucas: What about them?
Me: It's time for some new flowers.
Lucas: I think they look beautiful. Look at the design that the praying mantis made on them. (The night before Kevin let his praying mantis roam around on them)
Me: Which design?
Lucas: See, how all the leaves are going all over the place. It looks beautiful.
Me: Yes, it does look kind of neat.

I waited till the next day when he was at school to toss the flowers. I replaced them with some from our yard.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Watch your back Martha...

Here I come!

Today Lucas and I made banana nut bread from a recipe my mom has used from her Betty Crocker New Cookbook (copyright date 1961). As the bread was baking, I was flipping through the book and struck a gold mine of useful information. The page was labeled: Kitchen Know-How – Hints for the Homemaker. The page included some pretty common-sense suggestions: Plan Ahead (make a list of things you need at the beginning of the week), Combine Jobs (while you’re waiting for the bread to bake, mop the floor – what fun!), Organize Work, and Be Comfortable (wear comfortable loose-fitting clothes when you’re working in the kitchen – like a house dress probably).

But I didn't have my full come-to-Jesus moment until I read the last one.

Refresh your spirits.
Every morning before breakfast, comb hair, apply makeup and add a dash of cologne. Does wonders for your morale and your family’s too!

Think pleasant thoughts while working and a chore will become a “labor of love”.

Have a hobby. Garden, paint pictures, look through magazines for home planning ideas, read a good book or attend club meetings. Be interested – and you’ll always be interesting!

If you have a spare moment, sit down, close your eyes and just relax.

This is the advice that I’ve been searching for all these years. I can’t believe no one told me this before. Thank god for Betty Crocker!

I also found a poem in the book, about planning meals. I’m going to stitch this onto a doily and frame it for my kitchen, just as soon as I fluff the pillows and fix Kevin a cocktail. Enjoy!

Planning foods that go together
Something soft and something crisp
Should always go together,
And something hot with something cold
No matter what the weather;
Serve bland foods with tangy sauce
And garnish them with green
If you will use these simple rules
You’ll be your family’s queen!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

After-school lessons

Lucas: Mom, what is the name of the apple that’s in my body? You know, right here? (pointing to his throat)
Me: Your Adam’s apple.

Comparative Art and Literature
Lucas: Mom, you know the person who wrote “There’s a Wocket In My Pocket”, what’s his name again?
Me: Dr. Seuss.
Lucas: Did he write “If I Ran the Zoo”?
Me: Yes, he did. Why do you think it’s the same person?
Lucas: Because the pictures look the same.
Me: He wrote those stories and drew the pictures. He also wrote “The Cat in the Hat”, “Horton Hears a Who”, and a bunch of the other books we read.
Lucas: Oh yeah, he writes all those funny books. I love those books.
Me: Me too.

Lucas: For my birthday, I’m going to get presents for my friends from South America.
Me: That’s nice of you to want to get stuff for your friends. South America is pretty far away. How about somewhere closer?
Lucas: How far is South America? Is it farther than Berkeley?
Me: No, Berkeley is right next to where we live. We go there all the time.
Lucas: Okay that’s fine. I guess we’ll just go to Berkeley.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Coming to a living room near you

Get ready for the hottest new boy band this side of El Cerrito! Turn on your speakers.

The band is currently looking for a new member to play the jaw harp. Let me know if you're interested.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Letting go

Kevin's brother Brady came to town with his girlfriend Michelle. We had a great time. We went to dinner with them Friday night. Lucas had so much fun with them, and of course, roughhousing with his Uncle Brady.

On Sunday we all spent some time at the Marina flying kites. It was a gorgeous day, with just enough wind for kite-flying, but mild enough where we weren't freezing our butts off.
(If you look closely, Kevin and Lucas have the exact same expression on their faces. Also, you'll notice that Lucas has his hoodie on backwards. He put it on that way in the morning and left it that way all day.)
Lucas was concerned that his kite was too far away. "Bring it back," he would say, "It's going to fly away. I want to put it back in the package." I explained that the fun thing about kites is to see how high it can fly in the sky. I assured him that there was no way the kite would fly off with someone holding onto it. After a few times, Lucas got it and could enjoy watching it.

Then of course, I was holding it and accidentally let it go. The spool quickly rolled across the grass away from me. Kevin caught it in time, but Lucas saw the whole thing (of course) and reprimanded me, "See Mommy, you almost lost my kite."

I wonder how long it will take him to trust me with his kite again.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

When the shit hits the floor

I knew I was in for a rough late afternoon when I picked Lucas up from school today. As I was gathering his things, I saw another kid take the LEGO toy out of Lucas' hand. Lucas pushed him, the boy started to cry. I went over and said, "Lucas, you need to use your words. You hurt your friend. Tell him you're sorry." I said this several times, then Lucas had a full-blown tantrum, crying and screaming and flailing of the limbs.

Then Lucas clocked ME in the chin with his toy. I abruptly got up and said, "Time to go Lucas," and started walking toward the door. He screamed and came after me, then sat down right outside the gate, screaming at me, but not budging. I picked him up and dragged him, kicking and screaming, about a half a block and finally wrestled him into the car seat.

For some reason, the drive home cheered him up. He seemed to forget that he had just done his best public imitation of Regan's evil side from the Exorcist.

I was willing to let bygones be bygones too. As we were nearing our house I asked him, "Do you want to go out for Mexican food or do you want hamburgers at home?" He answered, "Hamburgers at home and maybe some strawberries sound good to me." He even offered to carry in some of the bottled water I had in the car. I said, "Thanks for being such a good helper," to which he replied, "I'm not just a helper, I'm a helping machine!"

However, once we got inside, Lucas decided he had a couple more tricks up his sleeve. All of a sudden, he didn't want a hamburger. He said he wanted "something else" in an excruciatingly hard-to-listen-to whiny voice. When I told him we were having hamburgers and he could eat it or not, he had some other kind of fit, which I've since blocked out of my mind.

After a time-out in his room, Lucas came out and started eating his hamburger. Something else must have happened, because I gave Kevin the SOS signal for him to take over. I retreated upstairs for a bit, then came down once I heard things had settled down.

Kevin was in the bathroom with Lucas, as he was appointed the royal butt-wiper for the evening, and was helping his royal majesty get ready for bed. So I snuggled onto the couch with some blankets. I was starting to think we would have a peaceful ending to this day after all.

Then I heard Kevin yell, "Fuck! Shit!" My first thought was, "Watch your language." But I got up, and sure enough, water and shit were flowing out of the toilet, onto our bathroom floor and out into the hallway.

Kevin asked me, "Do you want to put Lucas to bed or clean up?"

After an afternoon like the one I had, I chose to mop up Lucas' shitty toilet water, and gag while doing it, than risk having to endure another one of his crazy tantrums.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

The true meaning of Easter

Family and friends
We had a small Easter party this morning with some family and friends. About 15 of us in all, it was a good small number. Especially since Lucas was concerned that we not have too many people over, since he thought that everyone else would be taking his Easter eggs.


We had a small Easter party this morning with some family and friends. Our friend, who is Jewish, said to his wife before they came over, "Wouldn't it be funny if Sunny served bagels and lox for Easter brunch?" I guess I was in a funny mood, because that's exactly what we had. Plus sausages, mini quiches and strawberries and cream and chocolate-dipped strawberries (Yummy! Thanks Lori!).

Oh yeah, candy!
Lucas has been looking forward to the Easter candy for a while now. Word sure must get around fast at preschool. He quizzed me all week on this:
Lucas: When is the Easter bunny coming?
Me: Soon, on Easter Sunday.
Lucas: What type of candy will the Easter bunny bring?
Me: Something good I'm sure.
Lucas: Does he know I like chocolate?
Me: Of course he does. The Easter bunny knows those kinds of things.
Lucas: What if he forgets to bring candy to my house?
Me: He'll only forget if you keep asking me about it. (I didn't really say this, but after the nth round of questioning, I felt like it.)

The spirit of competition
Ella, Owen and Lucas were geared up and ready for the Easter egg hunt. When Lucas was getting his shoes on, I asked him, "Are you going to wear your rain boots?" (He's been rather fond of them lately) "No, I need my running shoes because I have to run fast to get the Easter eggs."(If you haven't been to our house recently, note the newly landscaped backyard, below.)

And what would Easter be without some one-up-manship in the candy department.
- I got 2 chocolate eggs.
- But I got FOUR chocolate eggs.
- I found the most eggs, more than both of you!

Because after all, isn't that what Easter's all about??

Friday, April 06, 2007

Family day

Kevin's company is headquartered in Texas so he gets his fair share of "Go US of A" emails around 4th of July. But one of the perks is that he gets Good Friday off. Yee-haw!!!

To celebrate us all being home, we went on an outing to Tilden Park. We walked around Jewel Lake and then hit the merry-go-round. Lucas was feeling in a festive and photo-friendly mood. So of course, I took advantage of that.

Here is Lucas performing as a hand model, so you can get the scale of the banana slug. They were everywhere around Jewel Lake. We had a great outing and topped it off with a sushi lunch.

Pushing 40

You know you're almost 40 when the spinny thing on the merry-go-round makes you so dizzy you go pale and want to vomit.

I had to shut my eyes while on it, I felt so ill. After my ride was over, Kevin wanted to try it.
I think Kevin felt worse off than I did. Of course, Lucas had a great time!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Extra income

I've joked before about Lucas' future career options. But if we needed extra cash, there are some things he could do right now to earn some money for the family:

- Car crash choreographer - Lucas takes time and thought into directing any high-speed chases that we have in the house. "First Lightning jumps over the pillow, flips in the air, lands on his back, but then he bounces back onto the racetrack."

- Sound effects - Inspired by Lightning McQueen's signature, "Ka-Chow!" Lucas is now really into making his own sound effects. "Pa-Chow" and "Pa-Ching" are his current favorites.

- Party planner - When Lucas proposes a new activity for us to do, he describes the activity in great detail, "I have an idea. We could play cars, you're Fillmore and I'm Lightning. Then we could have lunch. And then, we can go to the playground and ride my scooter!" He always ends it with the phrase, "How fun is that??!!"

- Criminal interrogator
Lucas: Remember when you picked me up from school, you said I could have a juicebox for dinner.
Me: No, I didn't say that.
Lucas: I remember that mommy. You said that, you did!
Me: No, I wouldn't have said that Lucas.
Lucas: You said that mommy! I heard you.
Me: No, I know I didn't say that Lucas.
Lucas: Now you're telling lies. [shakes head] You need to tell the truth!