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Holiday Woohoo: 6/30/04
With working for a small company now, I don't expect much time off. There just isn't the man power to cover things when one is off. I was delighted to hear that we're taking Monday off to "observe" Independence Day. If I were still at Oracle, I would of course have expected the day off. Now, though, I feel like I've gotten an unexpected present. Woohoo!
I know that sounds like my new job is a sweat shop. It isn't. It's actually a relaxed and friendly place.
Ian picked up the keys and Sean and I met him in our new home after work. The commute over the bridge isn't that bad as long as the bridge's arm pits are avoided (the points where the bridge connects to the 101 and 880). On both sides of the bay it's best to travel by surface streets until just before the bridge.
On the way over I told Sean the good news. I'm not sure how much he understands but I do know that I often under estimate his comprehension. His response was "Yay!" and "Wow!"
Ian had been productive, stripping most of the wall paper. When we arrived he greeted us with POG and once refreshed we went downstairs to see his work. Then we compared paint chips by holding them up to the wall and Sean helped.
Sean also had a lot of fun going up and down the stairs. We can hear him coming down the stairs as he bounces on his bottom. Slide, thump, slide, thumb... Sean has also learned an important phrase: "My room."
Adventures in East Bay: 6/27/04
We had another full and fun day with my mother. In the morning we visited the Surphur Creek Nature Center, a wild animal hospital, nature center and trail head just down the hill from our new home. Sean likes the magpie best. There are also rats (with adorable babies), coyotes, a fox, guinea pigs, various song birds, various chickens, a turkey and other birds.
Sean also had fun trying to jump off a ledge. He still hasn't figured out how to tuck his feet under himself so that they actually leave the ground at the same time. It's really cute watching him attempt to hop.
Later we picnicked out front of the Chabot Science Center but by the time we got there and were done wiht lunch Sean was very hot and cranky so we decided not to drag him through the center. Turns out he was dehydrated. Later before going for the final walk through we stopped to get him an apple juice which he guzzled. Then he was back to his normal self.
As our realtor was nice enough to show Mom the house, we were able to drop off the toy box and chairs for Sean's room. I think she liked the inside of the place. The big screen TV is finally gone, so the sale is looking all the more final!
Hi Mom! 6/26/04
My mother came to visit, driving up from the southern end of the state. We had a nice afternoon together showing her the new place (the outside), the local park and then having dinner with her. We'll be showing her the inside tomorrow.
Before meeting with her this afternoon, Sean and I had a morning adventure to give Ian time to work on his research. Sean and I went to one of the local county parks where he had fun climbing and sliding. Then we ran some errands and got him some new pajamas. He's nearly outgrown his current set. Sean picked out two pairs of "safari" decorated pajamas that sport giraffes, elephants and lions.
Come Back in a Year: 6/25/04
We took our son to his last official "well baby" appointment. He's now graduated to only needing yearly check-ups. He wasn't too keen on being weighed. He let the nurse know by turning off the digital scale! In terms of weight and height he's right in the middle. For head size, he's near the top of the chart. It'll be weird not having to take him in every couple of months for a check-up; they had become such an ordinary part of our routine.
Nearly Done: 6/24/04
This morning we got up at dawn. Rather the cat and Sean conspired to get us up at dawn. She had snuck into his room last night only to realize that she was locked in there this morning, separated from her cat pan. She howled and woke Sean up. He howled and woke us up.
Anyway, we had planned to get up early (but not that early). We had to be in Castro Valley by eight in the morning to sign the loan documents and the title transfer paperwork. If all goes well (and it looks like it is going well) we should close on Tuesday!
Unfortunately for Sean, day care doesn't open until 8:20 so he had to come with us. Fortunately though, the title company is used to young kids coming with their parents. They had lots of toys in the room for Sean to play with during the hour it took for us to read and sign paperwork.
Lunch With Sean: 6/22/04
As Day Care was closed today, I got to have lunch with Sean and Ian after they had spent the morning exploring the Hayward hills and the Hayward library. They had seen a golden eagle and magpie. Then they discovered that our soon to be local library has an entire floor devoted to childrens' books. Sean had a ball looking at all the books. One of his current favorites are the Frog and Toad stories.
Then they came back across the bridge to have lunch with me. Sean had fallen asleep in the car so he was very grumpy when we first woke him up. He threw a temper tantrum while Ian ordered lunch. Meanwhile I hugged him on my lap.
Eventually Sean discovered the pepper shaker. Since it took his mind off the tantrum, I let him shake it. He ended up shaking pepper in his hair. Later when Ian saw the black flecks in his hair, he thought Sean might have lice!
Nap Time for Daddy: 6/21/04
Day Care is closed for a two day mini holiday for the start of summer so Sean is home with Ian. They went to the zoo in the morning and Sean was fascinated by the parrots in the Childrens' Zoo.
Later they came home and Ian had a little lie down in our bedroom because he hadn't slept well last night. Sean decided that Ian must need a nap so he left he bedroom, closing the door behind him. On the way out he said, "Okay. Bye-bye. Goodnight Daddy!"
Final Walk-through: 6/20/04
Today we did our final walk-through the town house. The television and car are still there but will supposedly be gone tomorrow. Frankly I don't believe that they will be. We keep getting promissed that these things will be removed but they haven't been yet.
Sean had fun running around upstairs and exploring downstairs. On the way back to the car he took a little tumble down the stairs. He got a couple small lumps on the side of his head but it was his pride that was the most injured.
Also, since today is Father's Day, Sean gave Ian a lovely two part gift: a pair of BBQ tongs and an apron printed with a photograph of himself and decorated with a handprint. Lorie, his day care provider, sure thinks of cute ideas for gifts!
Goodbye Don Tatro: 6/19/04
I read today at the 3D Commune that my long time Bryce mentor and friend, Don Tatro died of a massive heart attack. I never met him in person but he was one of the first people to take me under his wing to teach me the joys of Bryce. We met via alt.binaries.3d.bryce and later kept in touch via the 3D Commune.
He's probably best known for his Creepy the Clown gallery that featured not only his pieces but pieces done by other Creepy lovers and haters alike.
He also maintained a personal website at bryce-alive.net.
Among the things that Don taught me, was the importance of the little accomplishments. Rather than becoming overwhelmed with a giant project, one should take the time to enjoy the creation of a single object. One shouldn't feel ashamed to reuse an object -- over and over again! In fact if you look at his pieces, you'll see a steady progression of themes through his repetition of objects.
His last series or theme was that of the bridge. A couple months back he started a series of renders all of which featured a rickedy looking rope bridge. Some have wondered if secretely he knew that he'd be crossing over soon.
Cubicle Farm: 6/17/04
Over night a cubicle farm sprouted in the front room at work. It doesn't belong to our company. It's part of our co-tenant's area. If all those cubes are filled our population will tripple. The front room just doesn't seem large enough for this rat maze in miniture.
On the plus side, our co-tenants have started stocking the refrigerator with free sodas. They're mostly for the cubicle people but we get to drink them too.
But where will everyone park their cars?
Playing himself a lullaby: 6/16/04
Sean went to bed last night with his keyboard again and played himself a little lullaby until he fell asleep. When I checked on him later he was still holding onto the keyboard and was singing in his sleep.
When he gets a little older I should get him a simple music book and see if I can teach him to read sheet music as he's learning his letters.
Playing Piano in his Sleep: 6/15/04
Since moving my son to a toddler bed, I'm not always sure where I'll find him when he goes to sleep. Most nights he does actually end up in his bed but sometimes he falls asleep in his chair by the window. Last night was one of those nights. He hadn't felt tired at his bed time and had sat in his chair playing his the little keyboard his grandmother gave him for Christmas. Just before I went to bed at 11:30 I heard music coming from his room. Expecting to find him up, I went into this room to put him back to bed. He wasn't awake at all! He was curled up in his chair, sound asleep, and playing his keyboard very slowly in his sleep. So I picked him up (still holding onto the keyboard) and put him in his bed. When I left, he was safely tucked into bed and was still playing music in his sleep!
Monkey Business: 6/14/04
I woke up this morning with a very sore left shoulder. In that early morning haze of not being quite awake yet, I couldn't think of a reason why my shoulder should be sore. Then it came back to me--I had been playing on a jungle gym yesterday. I haven't climbed around on a jungle gym for a good decade and a half but my son was having so much fun that I joined in, climbing on the bits that were too tall for him to reach. I'm not the spring monkey I once was but I'll get back in the swing of things I'm sure. In the meantime, ow!
Paperwork Before Closing: 6/12/04
After spending the morning looking at home improvement stuff (new kitchen cabinets, sinks, toilets, mailboxes and such) we took Sean to the Junipero Serra regional park to see if they were done putting in the new playground. They were! Sean had a delightful hour of climbing up the structure and then riding the slide down. Then he'd hop off, throw his arms up in the air, scream "weeeeee" and run back to the structure and start the process all over again.
With the upcoming title transfer, when I'll need to take a day off work, I had to spend all of today writing up the instructions for while I'm out. We have the original Procedures documented but the process has changed so dramatically in the five months I've done this new job that they really aren't worth much beyond historical interest. It took me eight mind numbing hours to put the thing together. Any questions or comments I get back on Monday I'll have to edit into the document. Hopefully there won't be many comments.
Road Trip: 6/10/04
The last bunch of nights I've been going to bed late because I was completely sucked in to reading On the Road. The last book that captivated my attention this much was Einstein's Dreams but that one was thankfully shorter. On the Road isn't that long in terms of recent novels but the paragraphs are densely packed with words and ornate descriptions. I couldn't always speed read it and honestly I didn't want to!
More than One Thousand Books: 6/9/04
At the end of 8th grade I realized I couldn't remember the titles of some books I had enjoyed not two years prior. I wished I had written them down so I could remember them in case I wanted to either share the book with someone else or if I wanted to reread the book.
Around the same time a commercial started to run promoting early eyesight health. It showed an infant sitting around a pile of newspaper and books. The voice over said, "In his life time, he'll read one thousand books." Although I wasn't as avid a reader then as I am now, I thought that number sounded low.
Those two events prompted me to start a list. The first book on the list was To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip José Farmer. About 10 years ago I passed the one thousand mark. By Christmas of 2005 I should be crossing the three thousand mark.
Recently I had a slump in reading. I was busy at work and sleep deprived because of our new son. Then in 2003 I joined BookCrossing and was reinspired to read. My goal for 2004 (from January to December) is to read 156 books but I'm well on track to read more like 330.
Goodbye Green Man: 6/8/04
Over the weekend we stopped at a Burger King for lunch. We had just been to our new home to explore the complex and then to the park and had completely forgotten about lunch. Sean got a BK Kids Meal and of course it came with a toy -- a grimacing Shrek in a box. I guess it's supposed to be Shrek in jail but it's basically a strange plastic man in a plastic box.
Sean was captivated with it and held on to it for most of the way home. At one point he dropped it and what he said afterwards was just marvelous "Bye-bye green man, have a nice day."
Then to me: "Mama, green man is hiding down there" and he pointed to the space between his seat and the door.
Basement Bargain: 6/7/04
Today we had the termite inspection. It went well although it did reveal some damage in the kitchen (under the sink) from water and a couple other places. What it also revealed is a half basement. It's more of a crawl space than a basement in that it's not dug into the ground. The townhouse structure is built up from the hillside and the space under the downstairs is tall enough to use as storage. There's access via a ladder under the stairs. Any storage questions we had have now been answered. It does though mean that we'll want a key lock for the downstairs under the stairs closet.
Before Sean, Ian and I would get our weekend exercise by hiking. Sean though is too much like a bumble bee, going in circles to get anywhere that we haven't been able to take many long walks. We've found a "new" way to get that exercise. We play tag. The best part is, Sean loves to see us running around in circles and joins in the chase.
We played tag today at San Pedro Park at the horseshoe pit since it's a little out of the way and wasn't being used. We only played for half an hour because we had gotten a late start and needed to get home for lunch and Sean's nap. (Of course now, Sean, though a zombie man, refuses to acknowledge that a nap might refresh him).
Sale Pending: 6/5/04
We stopped by our soon to be new home and took a photograph of the sale pending sign. Silly but true! We also took some time to walk around the complex and found the pool down at the bottom of the complex. A deer stopped to look at us and I took a photograph of her. I haven't had a chance yet to see if the photograph turned out. Will post it if it did.
House of Rice and Beans: 6/4/04
We'll be moving out of Fog City soon but not so far away that we'll never visit. Today I found a wonderful blog of a person who moved to Pacifica from Nashville last summer. The photographs on the blog are beautiful but my favorite has to be the required "Taco Bell by the Sea" photograph. How many other cities can boast of such a beautiful Taco Bell?
Don't Take My Coffee Cup! 6/3/04
My new job doesn't provide coffee cups like my old job. We all have to bring in our own cups. I brought in an old one that my parents gave me. It's branded with the General Electric logo and their trademark "Quartz" so I'm guessing the cup dates back to the "Peak Shift Purple" days. But I digress...
I left my cup in the kitchen on the drying rack last night as I usually do so that it would be ready to go this morning. But it wasn't there when I went for my cup of coffee! Argh! I looked through the kitchen cabinets, the dishwasher (don't think its been run in ages--yikes!) and didn't see it anywhere. It's not that I'm particularly fond of the cup for its aesthetic properties (it's rather ugly) but it holds my coffee.
I finally found it on one of the rarely used desks on the other end of the office. I'm guessing that either someone from BBC (no, not that BBC) or one of our summer interns used it for coffee.
I'm now finally drinking my morning cup of coffee (at 2 in the afternoon) and feeling oddly territorial.
Three's the Charm 6/2/04
After work last night Ian, Sean and I rushed to east bay, grabbed a quick bite to eat and then toured a lovely townhouse in the Hayward hills. It's a split level with the living room, kitchen and laundry room upstairs and the bedrooms downstairs. It has lots of out of sight storage space and a large kitchen. We knew we had to make an offer.
This morning we heard that the owners were overjoyed at our offer so now we're in the next step of the process to becoming first time home owners. No more rent!
Photographs of the new place to come as I get the time.
Have You Seen My...? 6/1/04
Clothes? I got up early this morning to take a shower but in the process of setting out Sean's clothes, misplaced the clothes I had set out for myself!
Shoes? We had taken Sean's shoes off yesterday before his nap but hadn't put them out of his reach. So sometime yesterday after his nap he put them somewhere else. Argh!
House? Our offer (one of two) was ultimately rejected today because the other offer could counter with more money. That's okay. I wasn't completely enraptured with the place. A better place will come our way.