Thursday, July 31, 2008

Where did that come from?

I'm embarrassed to even write about this, but Lucas has picked up some odd vocabulary lately:

"That's wicked y'all!"
"Chicka chicka boom boom...yea baby yea!"

He said he heard the chicka boom boom thing from his friend at school, who he calls Alex C. Riley, one of the calmer boys in Lucas' class. Whenever I see Alex C. Riley at school, I try to imagine him chanting this, but I can't. It's just wrong.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Spelling bee for the new generation

As we were in the car the other day, Lucas said, "I know how to spell 'dot com'. D-O-T-C-O-M. Or you can just spell it with a dot, then C-O-M."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Lucas' birthday fest

Seems like we spent this week celebrating Lucas' birthday. Here are pics from today's party with his cronies.

Lucas kept flip-flopping on whether he wanted a soccer or baseball party, so we just brought a bunch of sports equipment for whatever they wanted to do. I think baseball won out.There was also some tree climbing and other non-sport activities going on.
Per Lucas' request, he got a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. I had asked if he wanted any decorations, like soccer balls or baseballs, oddly, he said, "No, just strawberries."

Lucas didn't want a pinata, and we decided against doing any gift bags. But we didn't want the little tykes to leave empty-handed, so Kevin came up with this idea of just getting a couple bags of candy and throwing handfuls across the field.

The kids had a great time. For some reason, Lucas wasn't into this candy free-for-all, but I saved him a couple pieces anyway.

Art excursion

About a month ago, we were on BART and Lucas pointed to a poster and said, "That's Frida Kahlo! She's a great artist. She was married to Diego Rivera." His class studied art for more than a month and he was really into it. He has a special notebook of all his "still life sketches" and would tell me about paintings he saw in class from famous artists like Monet and Picasso.When my friend Jeanne had her baby boy, Jackson, Lucas said, "I know two boys named Jackson. And there's also Jackson Pollock, the artist."

So I planned a trip to SFMOMA, especially to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit. We took BART into SF and dined on peanut butter sandwiches outside of the museum. As Lucas said to me, "We're going art-ing."

On BART, Lucas asked me all sorts of questions about the actual museum - what it looks like from the outside, how tall it would be, and what it looks like on the inside. Lucas was not very impressed by the outside of the museum. He thought it would be tall and colorful and have artwork on it. When I asked what he thought, he said, "It's just brown."

Once we entered the museum, Lucas was very impressed with the lobby. According to him, "It's so colorful. It's crazy!"Lucas wanted to see paintings by artists he knew. We had about an hour and a half to kill before our reservation to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit, so we meandered through each floor looking at art, especially by artists he recognized.

It was fun to see what Lucas was drawn to, mostly really beautiful, colorful pieces, like these.He especially wanted to know the names of different pieces that he saw. Sometimes I would ask him why the artist named it what he did. I pointed out this one by Jackson Pollock, "Guardians of the Secret". According to Lucas, "Jackson Pollock had a really big secret. He painted it on this, then covered it up with all these colors and things, so no one would know his secret." I asked him if he had any ideas what the big secret is. Lucas' responded with, "Jackson Pollock was so good at painting and he put so many colors on this. No one will ever know his secret, but it's probably a really good secret."We looked at this painting by Diego Rivera. Lucas said, "That girl is kind of creepy looking."
Finally it was our turn to go to the Kahlo exhibit. Even with the timed-ticket system, it was super crowded in there. It was a little overwhelming - the crowds, combined with the fact that we had already been there for an hour and a half. So we cruised in and out of rooms (they wouldn't allow pictures to be taken in there) fairly quickly.

I asked him what he thought about Frida, and he said, "She liked to paint a lot of pictures of herself. And she liked to paint animals too."

We went in to see this surreal mixed media and video installation by Alexander Hahn and Yves Netzhammer, which is where we were just prior to going in to see Frida. The video was some computer animation, showing drops of water, primates, and faceless people. It was a little creepy to me, but I think Lucas liked being able to sit finally, on the floor, in that dark and quiet room for a change of pace.

On the way home, we stopped at Specialty's for one of their fabulous chocolate chip cookies. I split the cookie in half and offered him to choose which half he wanted. He started arguing with me that I always get to split the cookies. I told him I was letting him choose which half he wanted and tried to explain to him that it was a better deal this way, since whoever doesn't split it always has the first choice. But he was being overly stubborn about it, and forfeited his right to any of the cookie (lucky me!).

But once we got outside and started walking back to the BART station, he was all smiles again. I asked him what his favorite part of the day was. He said, "Looking at all the beautiful artwork and going in the elevator."

Friday, July 18, 2008

Obsessed with Legos

Lucas has really been into his Legos lately. I think going to Legoland spurred a new kind of creativity in his Lego-making.

I love this one that he made. I like the way he angled some of the pieces. It's cool in a bug-meets-alien spaceship way.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A new game in town

Driving Lucas home from school today, he asked me if I knew how to play Greasy Baby.

Me: No, I've never heard of that game before, how do you play?
Lucas: Well, I play on the big yard with Jack and Olivia, and Trace, he's in the toddler room. When Trace runs after us, we run away and yell, ""Greasy baby! Greasy baby!".
Me: Why do you yell "Greasy baby"?
Lucas: Because Trace's face is all greasy, and he's a baby.
Me: What do you mean, greasy?
Lucas: He has so much spit on his face that it's greasy.
Me: Well, you know little kids drool a lot, and it probably just gets on his face.
Lucas: It's so gross.
Me: How do you think he feels when you call him Greasy Baby?
Lucas: I think he feels good about it. He just runs after us and laughs.
Me: Do you think it hurts his feelings at all?
Lucas: He doesn't have feelings, he's just a baby.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lucas hits the big 5.0

Lucas had been eagerly anticipating his 5th birthday for months now. There was much more significance attached to this birthday than any previous birthdays, from his standpoint.

For his birthday breakfast, per his request, he had bacon and a bowl of syrup to dip the bacon in. And then we were off to school.

sun. Lucas walked around the sun carrying a globe, while the kids sang a little song, that starts something like, "The earth goes around the sun, the sun, the earth goes around the sun...". Each time he walked around, the teacher asked him questions, "What did you like to eat when you were one?", "What did you like to play with when you were two?", etc. I also put together a poster with photos of him from every year. The teacher would point to the photo corresponding to the year she was talking about. Then when Lucas walked around 5 times, he gets to blow out the candle. At his school they have a pagan-like ritual they do for kids' birthdays. The teacher lights a candle that represents theAfter the ceremony, we snacked on the blueberry muffins with vanilla frosting that Lucas and I made.

For dinner, we went to Fenton's for his birthday dinner with my family. We told Lucas all about ice cream sundaes and told him he could have one for his birthday. I guess we've been used to getting smaller servings at our local ice cream places like Sketch and Ciao Bella, because even the petite servings at Fenton's were HUGE! Kevin told them it was Lucas' birthday so when they brought out his sundae, the wait staff led the entire restaurant in a round of "Happy Birthday". Surprisingly, Lucas seemed to like the attention, or maybe he was just so happy with the size of his sundae. He ate all the whipped cream, and just barely dug into the actual ice cream.

We let him stay up past nine o'clock so he could play with his new toys. When I asked him what his favorite part of the day was he said, "I liked it all the best," then he added, "But going out for ice cream was really really fun."

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Cleaning out the closet

In our guest room/office, we have a closet. This would be the perfect closet for parties, where guests can hang their coats and bags. Or a closet for any overnight guests we may have, so they can hang up a couple things during their stay.

But, thanks to me, this closet has not been used for any of the above. Since we moved back into the house in spring of 2005, this closet has been crammed with stuff...mostly photos, Christmas decorations, Lucas' old baby stuff, and any other miscellany that needed some kind of half-way home before getting organized and shuttled off to its forever home.

After many fits and starts for taking on this project, I finally did it this past weekend. I threw away so many photos, mostly pre-digital photos with a cameo of my thumb, or people with their eyes blinking. It took me a long time, but it was definitely worth it because there were some keepers in there. I found photos that I had taken with my 110 Kodak camera back in elementary school, and my Kodak Disc camera in middle school. Once I get them organized, I'll post some here.

In the mean time, I'll have to have a party since I now have a place where people can hang up their coats.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Patriotism -- Berkeley style

Our little town had a 4th of July celebration. It felt very small town, which was nice. There were old men in red-white-blue hats handing out little American flags to everyone. To show our patriotism, Kevin and I sported our Obama shirts. Typical Berkeley, I got tons of positive comments about my shirt.Kevin participated in the watermelon eating contest. Surprisingly, he did not win.

Lucas spent most of the time at the dunk tank. He was on a roll. Everyone standing around was impressed by his ability to hit the target again and again.
We had a great time. And topped it off with watching Finding Nemo till the wee hours (okay, just till 10pm, but that's late for Lucas).

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Save the date!

As we drove to a birthday party over the weekend, Lucas said to me, "I love Ahbi (the birthday girl)."

Me: That's great, she's such a nice girl.
Lucas: Yeah, and she says she loves me too. We're going to get married!

Tonight he gave me a verbal invitation to the wedding.

Lucas: Mommy, you can come to my wedding, when Ahbi and I get married.
Me: Where will the wedding be?
Lucas: Where did you get married?
Me: Outside, kind of like at a park.
Lucas: Oh, I guess we'll get married at the soccer field. And the wedding will be April 9th, 2009.
Me: Great, I'll make sure to write it on the calendar. What will you wear?
Lucas: What did you wear to your wedding?
Me: A long white dress.
Lucas: What did daddy wear?
Me: A tuxedo - black pants, black jacket and a white shirt.
Lucas: I'll just wear the black pants and white shirt. I don't think I'll need a jacket.
Me: What will Ahbi wear?
Lucas: Just her clothes.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Excuses, excuses

By now, I'd thought I heard all the excuses from Lucas for coming out of his room at night, when he's supposed to be sleeping:
  • I'm scared.
  • I heard something.
  • I'm not tired.
  • I can't go to sleep.
  • I don't know how to go to sleep.
  • I want to see what you're doing.
But Lucas just came out and informed me that he's turning into a shark. He pointed to his calf and said it feels like he's growing gills. I inspected his leg and told him I didn't see any sign of gills. He said they're the kind that only he can feel.

I told him to go back to sleep and that if he wakes up as a shark-boy, I'll find a big container that he can go to school in.

This seemed to appease him and he went back to bed. And I haven't heard a splash out of him since (about 10 minutes).

Field trips to San Francisco

We commuted into SF last Friday for Lucas' final preschool field trip. During the field trip, I realized that Lucas' first trip into SF was also with Ella.

Here is Lucas with Ella, on the street car, en route to the Aquarium of the Bay.
Here are the two of them on Lucas' first BART trip into SF, when Lucas was a mere 20 months old.
We had a great time at the's the perfect size for this age, not too big and overwhelming. We ditched our peanut butter sandwiches after the field trip and stopped for lunch at the Ferry Building .And again, here we were in almost the same spot, 40 months later.
Lucas and Ella have known each other since Lucas was born (and Ella was about 6 months old). They have also been in the same class since they started school at age 2. Now here they are, wrapping up their last year in preschool, with kindergarten coming up in a couple months.

Even though they didn't always play together, they both were comforted knowing that the other one was in the same class. I'm sure Lucas will ask me if Ella will be in his kindergarten class. And sadly, I'll have to say no.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


This conversation occurred as we exited the freeway today.

Lucas: What's that big building?
Me: That's the place where people sit to watch the horses on the racetrack.
[He gave me a puzzled look, so I elaborated.]
Me: There's a track shaped like an oval and horses race around and around the track.
Lucas: Oh, I've been to a racetrack before.
Me: You have? [completely surprised] When?
Lucas: A long time ago. I was on one of the horses.
Me: You were?
Lucas: Yeah, don't you remember? And the horses went around and around.

Then I realized what he was talking about.