Friday, August 31, 2007

One year ago today

Here's a little blast from the past. Exactly one year ago today, Lucas finally pooped in the toilet. There was quite a bit of drama and even some poop on our floor, but after that auspicious day, he never again wore diapers during the day.

And today, he denies that he ever, ever went poop or pee in his diaper.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

You know you're old when...

you're on the committee for the 20 year high school reunion, and the reunion is more than a year away.
you realize you're closer to your 50s than your 20s.
you fear jumping off the swing or jungle gym while at the park with your kid because you're afraid you might break a hip.
you do jump off the jungle gym and your body feels out of whack for a week.
you realize you're not immortal.
you relish the mid-afternoon cat nap.
you can't recall if you knew someone from high school or college.
you can't tell the difference between high school and college kids.
you were so excited to buy a Volvo because of safety.
you are considering getting rid of your vacuum and buying the sleeker Dyson, mostly because it's easy to clean.
you stay up late at night finishing a good book instead of hitting the bars.
you don't call anyone and no one calls you after 8 so as not to wake up the kids.
you have to explain to your kid what a tape cassette or record is.
you tell your kid to "eat his vegetables".
you save money for your retirement instead of a car or "stereo".
you look at teenagers and say, "What the hell are they wearing?" Then you realize that 80s styles are back in style, or was that 90s?
you hear a familiar song on the radio and realize that it's part of "flashback" weekend.
you and all your friends constantly talk about the pros and cons of public vs. private schools.
you hear yourself arguing with your kid, "No, this IS cool. Mommy knows what's cool." [cringe!!]
you crave a nice quiet evening at home, curled up with a book and hot cocoa or tea.
you spend more money on dinner than drinks.
you think, "How easy will this be to clean?" when weighing whether or not to buy something.
you pick up something kind of racy while out shopping, but put it down because you think, "When would I actually wear this?"
your Scrabble opponent on Facebook (who's a college senior) lets you know "you sure don't look 37".
you get your butt whooped by that same Scrabble opponent and you imagine him telling his roommates, "I just kicked some old lady's ass in Scrabble!"

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Scenic trip to Monterey

We took a lovely drive down to Monterey on Saturday. On the way down, we stopped at a picturesque location for an outdoor picnic. We had a beautiful spread of some regional favorites. Here's a photo of Kevin noshing delicately on his animal style 4x4 burger.And Lucas, followed in his dad's footsteps.
After enjoying a nice time at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we wandered through the wilds known as the Monterey Fisherman's Wharf. We saw some unusual sights.

Apparently, this is some sort of national treasure. It even has an American flag on the packaging. Not sure of the scientific classification, but the common name is the Marshmallow Burger.
I thought these were extinct, but apparently, candy and gum cigarettes are alive and well in some parts of the world.
And we took in some more of what the wharf had to offer.
If you want copies of any of these photos or want them for Christmas cards, let me know. (Who wouldn't want the above photo adorning their mantle during the holidays??)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A matter of minutes

I know that Lucas, like most kids his age, suffers from some universal-kid form of ADD. One minute he's so excited about playing with his cars, then he ditches it when he sees the rubber stamps at the art table, and so it goes. But I never really knew how each of those short phases last, until now.

Last year Lucas got a little digital watch for his birthday. He wears it occasionally, mostly in the bathtub because he likes to tell me over and over that it's okay if it gets wet because "it's a waterproof watch."

This morning as I was making breakfast he put on his watch. He sat down in the kitchen nook and looked at his watch and announced that it said, "Seven three six". I said, "That means the time is 7:36."

Then less than a minute later, he called out, "Mommy! It's 7:37 now! See!" I went over, trying to mirror his excitement without sounding too sarcastic, with a lot of phrases like, "oh my gosh" and "that's pretty cool".

I went back to minding Lucas' oatmeal, while also emptying the dishwasher and getting my online celeb gossip fix, when all of a sudden Lucas called out again, "Now it's 7:38, this is so cool, I can see the numbers changing."For the first time ever, I got a minute by minute update on the time. He couldn't take his eyes off his watch. I've never seen someone so excited about each minute passing by.

Then at approximately 7:42, the magic wore off. Lucas said, "Mommy can you take off my watch? I'm getting tired of looking at it all the time." I started to explain that you don't have to look at it all the time, that you wear it so if you need to know the time, you can just look at your watch. But then decided to skip it. Instead I said, "Thanks for telling me the time. Now I know it takes me seven minutes to make your oatmeal." He said, "You're welcome."

Seven minutes, that's how long the watch phase lasted. But it was just enough time for me to get breakfast on the table.

Monday, August 20, 2007

What do you get when two zucchinis fall in love?

I found these two this morning in my zucchini plant. I put them together and they looked so cute, just cuddling with each other.
Then I sliced, sauteed and gobbled them up. Yum!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Battles away!!!

This is apparently the new war-cry for the preschool set. Maybe the teachers thought it was more politically correct than the traditional "Bombs away!". Or maybe Lucas actually meant something else and I just didn't really understand what he was saying.

Regardless, Lucas was in full "battles away" mode the other night.

He was doing this for the better part of an hour. Kevin and I got exhausted just watching his unlimited amount of energy.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Enter "Megator"

Lucas introduced me to the latest and greatest of superheroes this morning. His name is (drum roll)...Megator!

Megator is relatively new on the superhero scene, but here is the limited information we have on him:

Megator's origins - He hails from a planet called Xenna.
Megator's super powers - He gets rid of keratin debris like no other superhero can. Lucas also says that he can shoot fire and lava out of his body.
Megator's aliases - NonyX
Megator's "kryptonite" - Unconfirmed, but it could be toe jam

You probably haven't heard of him yet, but I'm sure he will be a household name soon. How did Lucas find out about Megator? He found him in one of our magazines and was so in awe of this superhero that he asked Kevin to cut him out for him.

Rules on crust (or "How I'm becoming my mother")

I don't make Lucas finish everything on his plate. Our general rule is take at least one bite of everything and that's good enough. Though if he wants anything else to eat, he'll have to make more of a dent than just one bite here and there.

But this (see photo at left) is something I feel strongly about.

When I was little, I requested that my mom cut the crusts off my bread for sandwiches and whatnot. It wasn't that I didn't like crust, but a lot of my friends were eating sandwiches this way and I probably thought I was missing out on something.

For those of you who know my mom, you know that wasting food goes against every fiber of her being. A standoff ensued: I told her I didn't want any more bread (which was my favorite food at the time) unless she cut the crust off and she said okay, she wasn't going to make anything else with bread unless I ate the whole thing. I think I stood my ground for a week before I folded and started to eat bread again.

Lucas and I have had our own standoffs on this, just this past week. Like my mom, I tell him if he doesn't finish his crust, I won't make him anything else with bread. Like me, he grumbled, then caved, but in a much shorter time.

I guess there aren't that many things that sound worse to a 4-year old than the thought of no more cheese toast or peanut butter sandwiches.

Friday, August 10, 2007

What the f***???

So if you are one of those who feel that parents shouldn't judge other parents, then stop reading now.

Let me say up front that there are things we (Kevin and I) do that other parents would judge us for. But I saw/read two things today that made me think, "What the f***?"

I was in SF today, walking through a store and I saw a little girl sitting in a stroller, probably about 2 year old. She was clutching and eating from a bag of Cheetos and drinking from one of those individual bottles of Sprite. And we wonder why childhood obesity is such a problem in this country.

Then tonight I read this article about how educational DVDs for babies are doing more harm than good for the younger set. This doesn't surprise me, but what I found truly frightening were the statistics within the article:

- by three months, 40% of babies are regular viewers of DVDs, videos or television
- by the time they are two years old, almost 90% are spending two to three hours EACH DAY in front of a screen

I know we are on one end of the spectrum on the TV front. When Lucas was a baby and we had a TV, someone gave me a Baby Einstein DVD. I stuck it in a drawer and never took it out. People said, "What's the big deal, it's educational." But I knew Lucas was getting more out of playing with some empty bowls then watching colors and hand puppets while listening to classical music on a DVD.

That's not to say he doesn't watch something once in a while, like when he's sick or I'm sick, or I'm just super tired. He's seen the Curious George movie, Cars, and the Letter Factory several times each, seen several YouTube video sensations (did you see the frog who got swallowed by the Venus fly trap?) and assorted other shows at other people's homes. I especially don't like what he sees at other people's houses, but that's the way it is. But honestly, 2-3 HOURS A DAY???

Next time he watches something on DVD, I'll load him up with a bag of chips and some soda and he' ll be in sync with the rest of his peers.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A day in the life of a 4-year old

Here are some things that happened today with Lucas. I'm sure there were other notable things, but these are the ones I remember.

As we were driving today, Lucas said, "Oh, that's funny. I thought I saw a crab walking down the street, but it was really just a man." I tried to look back in my rear view mirror, but crab-man was nowhere to be seen.

During the entire 20 minute drive to Lucas' swim lesson, he asked, "When are we going to go over the speed bumps?" There are two or three big speed bumps along a two-block stretch of road. I guess he really looks forward to driving over those.

After dinner tonight, it was his idea to pretend that the cantaloupe melon we were eating was really melon cake. We put toothpicks in the melon pieces for candles. After we sang "happy birthday" he blew out the "candles". He asked what I wished for. I said, "world peace, and a couple other things". He said his birthday wish was that we were in Radiator Springs (the little town in the movie Cars). With his second piece of melon cake, he wished we were in a rocket ship on the way to Africa.

Lucas just came out of his room. He told me that he was the black Spiderman and could make things disappear and, very quickly, re-appear. And something else about the stars and the darkness. Lucas did his little "trick" on the lamp. Then he told me he was going to make me disappear into the dirt and pop out on the other side of the world, in China. When I expressed some anxiety about this, he assured me I would come back really really fast. I guess it was pretty fast, since I don't remember even being there.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Born yesterday!

I planted a zucchini plant a couple months ago. And I swear, I just checked it a couple days ago for any sign of an actual zucchini and didn't find anything.

But look what I found this morning!

And a little zucchini too!

We'll have zucchini tonight. How exciting!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Robbing the cradle

Remember how credit card companies would try to lure you to apply for their cards on college campus? Dangling "free" gifts, like water bottles, Sony Walkman cassette players (yeah, remember those??) and the like.

I thought I heard that they put a halt to marketing to college kids. So many naive college students, like me, took the bait and ended up in debt.

But it looks like they have a new plan. The other day, Lucas came up to me and showed me his hand.
Kevin had opened up the mail and there was a credit card application from Disney. They included these little stickers "for the kids". For those of you who can't see, these stickers are little credit cards with the cherished Disney characters. How thoughtful of them!

Can they stoop much lower than this?