Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas at home

There are things I remember about Christmas as a kid: Bing Crosby singing about his dreams of a White Christmas, my mom's pride about her Jell-O salad, playing games and playing with our new toys, a fire blazing in the fireplace, frost outside in the morning, and my mom busy in the kitchen churning out yummy things for us to eat.

We spent Christmas in Moraga this year and it was fantastic. And it was just as it has always been. This year it was just the three of us, my mom and brother.

Yes, my mom made a wonderful Jell-O salad, Rocky and I played at least 10 games of Scrabble and Rocky and Kevin played Go, Lucas played busily with all his new toys, we saw the frost outside on the lawn and on the rooftops, and we all ate more than our share of good food and sweets. We even threw our environmental standards out the door and Kevin rustled up a great fire in my mom's fireplace.

Lucas was so excited about all his gifts, especially all his toys. And he remembered what he wrote on his list to Santa and mentally checked off that Santa gave him everything he asked for (and much much more). At night and during self-imposed breaks during the day, he took some time off from his toys and picked up his books for a change of pace.

It was a really nice Christmas. More than anything, it really reinforced the great memories of what Christmas is like at my mom's house.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Little mountain bikers

Lucas' good friend from school, Jack, is also an advanced cyclist. So we took the boys up to Tilden Park for an off-road adventure. We were armed with fruit, water, string cheese and peppermint chocolate bark. We don't yet have a bike rack for our car, so I hoofed it along side Lucas, Jack and Jack's mom.

The weather was crisp and gorgeous. I would have taken a photo, but I still don't have a camera.

It was a wide dirt path, I guess it's what you call a fire road. There were some long gentle hills, which the boys had a blast riding down. Again, I would have taken a photo, but I still don't have a camera. We stopped probably six times during the 1 hour bike ride for water and snacks.

We biked down to Jewel Lake, then pretty much turned around and came back. Going back up the hill was not quite so fun as the downhill ride. There was some whining going on, but overall, the boys did great.

Next stop, Mount Tam. Hopefully, I'll have received a replacement camera by then.

Friday, December 21, 2007

What I learned this Christmas shopping season

Thankfully, I didn't have to go to a mall, but I did go to actual stores for my Xmas shopping this year. Here are some things to remember for next year's Christmas shopping spree:

1. Be safe, wear a helmet - The first two stores I went to did not have the parking garage that Lucas requested from Santa. So I went to another store where I saw the damn thing on Saturday. As I entered the doorway, I saw just one on the highest shelf. I sprinted over, past two people who were looking at the display, jumped up and pulled it down off the shelf. It hit me in the head. The two more patient people looked at me like I was a freak (which I was), and the salesperson rushed over and said, "Are you okay? Next time, just ask and I'll get it for you." After I bought it and got to my car, I noticed a slight red abrasion on my forehead in the mirror.

2. Go "sans enfant" - I started out with my friend and her baby in the stroller. The store aisles are so crowded this time of year, but a stroller really slows you down. Once we went our separate ways, I got a lot more shopping done in less time (sorry!).

3. Don't drive around - People drive like imbeciles on the 2nd to last weekend before Christmas. There was a lot of road raging going on. Probably another good reason why it's good to wear a helmet.

I have one more thing to buy, but luckily I can buy it online. Happy shopping!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The moments you want to remember

Lucas woke up at 3am Wednesday morning. I went in and snuggled with him in his bed. I told him how much I love him, and he said, "I love you all the way from the moon to your nose."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Lower than low

We just realized this morning that the a******* who stole our stuff also stole Lucas' coin bank.

He was really into that coin bank, which he got last Christmas. He has been putting all his coins for a year. Around Halloween, he hit $100! It was a big moment for him.

I can't believe those jerks who stole our stuff would steal what was clearly a child's coin bank. That's the worst thing they could have done.

Luckily, I found an identical bank on Amazon. I ordered it express delivery and we'll fill it back up with coins for him.

Maybe I'm being too protective, but it was jarring enough for Lucas to know that someone broke into our house, and he seems to be over it. I don't want to re-open that can of worms and tell him that they also stole his coin bank.

Robbers really really suck.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Walk much?

Why walk? When you can skip, run, hop or some weird combination of those three to get you from here to there?

I can count on one hand the number of times Lucas has walked calmly down the street. He's always throwing in some little jumps or kicks to liven things up.

No, the cops didn't find any of our stuff. But without a camera I'm going to have to resort to older photos or my own sophisticated illustrations. (This is my drawing, not Lucas'.)

Scenes from a more successful photo shoot

After our visit with Santa and numerous rides on the merry-go-round, we went to Saul's for a family dinner.

My mom was able to wrangle the kids for some photos.

Photo 1: Kid wrangling
Photo 2: Getting their attention. Someone put Milan's stuffed animal over my head as I took this one. Lucas feels good about getting his photo taken.Photo 3: Someone took Milan's stuffed animal away. Lucas is getting cozy with Grammy.

A visit with Santa

Last weekend we visited Santa at the Christmas merry-go-round at Tilden Park. Of course, we wanted to get a nice photo of Lucas and Milan gleefully posing with Santa.

This is what we got instead:
Suggested thought bubbles:

Joe: Milan, just one photo, please.
Milan: AHHHHHHH! WTF! Who is this freaky guy??
Lucas: What's happening here? Why is Milan crying? Is Santa a bad guy?
Santa: Okay, this isn't going to work. NEXT!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Robbers suck!

I worked from home most of Monday, but left the house at 1:30 to go to the office. Between then and when I got home with Lucas at about 5pm, someone kicked down our door, ransacked our place, and stole some of our stuff.

Luckily we don't have much to take and this guy was dumber than your average robber because he only took things (iPod and iPod player, 2 digital cameras, one laptop), and it doesn't seem like he stole anything that had our identity on it (social security cards, checkbooks, etc.) We're still taking precautions by changing our account numbers. The inside of the door jamb is pretty much ruined, but Kevin fixed it so at least it locks securely now. I would take a photo, but the jerk stole my camera too.

The cops said that six other houses in the neighborhood were also hit that same day. They said it was probably the same guy since they found the same bootprint on the doors.

Now we're going to have to deal with insurance and all of that baloney. The worst is that they took my camera, which I used frequently, especially for my blog postings.

Hopefully, Santa will remember how good I've been this year.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

"Now YOU read the book."

On Sunday Lucas picked up "Pat the Bunny" and read it to me. I definitely got teary-eyed as he went through every page, trying to sound out all the words.

He's been sounding out words for a while now, but this was the first time he got through a whole book. Pretty darn awesome!

We kept some of Lucas' board books around for when Milan comes to our house. Frankly, I never really cared for Pat the Bunny. I know it's an old book, but the weird little kids and references to "Mummy" always seemed a little off to me, kind of Stepford-ish. But now, I'll always remember this funny little book.

I have to find some small books he can read himself. And I have to find a book for me that can teach me how to help him. Anyone have suggestions?

Monday, December 03, 2007

What happens when a compulsive shopper marries someone with borderline OCD?

You might come home one day and find something like this in your closet.

On Sunday while I was out getting pampered at the Claremont, Kevin was multi-tasking: playing with Lucas and getting us organized.

Why do we have so many toiletries? I tend to buy extras, especially when I'm at Elephant Pharmacy. I'm not intentionally stocking up. It's either I think we may be running out of something or I'm not sure where it is (who wants to be without deodorant or shampoo? not me!) Then I get home and find that indeed, we have lots of sunscreen or lip balm (two of my favorite purchases).

Here's a quick inventory:
- sunscreen - 8 (this doesn't include the three that are in our car)
- dental floss - 8
- lip balm - 5 (this doesn't include the 4 or 5 others that are stashed in my various backpacks and purses)
- shampoo and conditioner - 7
- travel size lotions and shampoos - 20 I think

I applaud Kevin for getting me organized, and in a way that truly speaks to me. Now, if I feel the need to shop, I can just go to my very local little pharmacy.

Thanks Kev!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The mute slave baby

Lucas is really into role playing. Usually it goes something like this, "I'll be the brave knight, mommy's the princess, and daddy's the evil troll," or this, "I'll be Lightning McQueen, you be The King..." etc.

But the other morning while he was eating breakfast, he asked me to play the baby and he would be the daddy. He said I could be 2 so I could talk. I told him I had to make his lunch for school, so I would be using a knife. He said that would be okay.

So as he sat there eating his oatmeal, I started to engage in some toddler-inspired discussion with him.

"No, you can't talk. You can just work and make my lunch."