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Growth Spurt Time Again: 08/31/05
When I went to pick Sean up from day care he didn't come to greet me. I normally can hear him playing from the curb before I even go around back. I knew he was there because the other kids were whispering, "Sean, your mama's here." Turns out he had spent most of the day napping. He was still asleep in the back room. He looked so surprised to see me when I woke him up. But very quickly he was back to his usual enthusiastic self and we were on our way.
Anyone who has seen My Neighbor Totoro will recall that acorns are an important motif in the film. Now that it's almost fall, the acorns are starting to fall around where we live and Sean is absolutely enchanted by the hunt for acorns. I'm thinking of getting him his own bag to keep his finds.
Looking forward to Next Monday: 08/29/05
I'm looking forward to Labor Day, to have a day off. Today is a bank holiday in Britain so the BBC is constantly reminding me that I could be having a day off today if I worked over there. Oh well, next week will be my turn.
Meanwhile, today is Ian's first day back to school. As he's now a proper PhD candidate, he has to spend more time in the culture of the department which means I'll be solo picking up Sean from day care but he can still take Sean into day care in the morning when I need to get to work early.
A Day Around Home: 08/28/05
Sean really wanted to his old pre-BART weekend plans so we spent an hour at the "Castle Swing-Slide" and then visiting the owls, eagles and snakes at Sulphur Creek. The new hospital is finished so we were finally able to see the chickens, ducks, bunny and turkey again. Sean found the duck who was taking a bath / swim in the wading pool very amusing.
Today is my birthday. I spent it at home with my family. Ian and Sean gave me the first season of Remington Steele on DVD, my parents gave me the Amelia Peabody Compendium and a Dr. Demento CD, and my friend in Wales gave me Four Seasons in Five Senses, a book I've been wanting to read since I heard the author interviewed on NPR back in 2003. Ian and Sean baked a delicious and very decadent yellow cake with chocolate frosting but Sean was no keener about singing Happy Birthday to me than he was last week to having us sing it to him.
Early to Bed: 08/26/05
Last night I conked out at nine, just after putting Sean to bed. I had only planned to take a little rest but before I knew it, Ian was coming to bed and it was eleven o'clock at night. I do feel better for all the sleep and did help with getting up early this morning (my car needed gas).
Purple Udon:Ian has been making udon for dinner. Last night he used red cabbage because Sean wanted it instead of regular cabbage. So the udon was purple but still very delicious! We're having more of it tonight. Yummy!
Back to School: 08/25/05
Sean reluctantly went back to school today. I think he really enjoyed all the extra time with Ian and me and the chance to watch all his favorite movies. This morning he had a little bit of a breakdown when he got to school but he certainly seemed happy when we picked him up.
Back to Work Redux: 08/24/05
I'm back to work today while both Ian and Sean rest at home. Sean can go to school tomorrow after he's had a day for his antibiotics to kick in.
Sean and Ian both went to the doctor today which meant I had to go home from work early to watch Sean while Ian was at the doctor. Both have bacterial skin infections and both are now on antibiotics. Ian is also on antihistamines for his hives. Sean wanted to spend most of his time sitting on my lap. That meant that the cat, not wanting be left out, also wanted to spend time sitting on my lap. I hope everyone gets well soon.
Back to Work: 08/22/05
It's another Monday and I back to work. Ian is still itchy and Sean and I are still coldy but we are all on the mend.
Home Again: 08/21/05
After another long drive, we're home again. We had a lovely trip!
Happy Birthday Sean: 08/20/05
It's hard to believe, but today is Sean's third birthday. He was very thrilled to have his birthday finally arrive though for a while he was pretending to be four, rather than three. Mom arrived early which gave us lots of time to chat and for her to watch Sean play and be his usual delightful and goofy self. Charlie barbecued hot dogs and hamburgers. After lunch Sean opened his presents, though he did ask me to help for most of them. His immediate favorites were the Batman action figure from Judy and Charlie, the watercolor paint set from Eddie and the penguin shirt from us. After our traditional birthday cake (which I had baked the night before and frosted in the morning) Sean painted pictures of the totoros growing the camphor tree for an hour.
Ancient Egypt:After Sean's party, Ian and I spent a long and wonderful afternoon at LACMA, seeing the Tutankhamen exhibit. Realistically it should be called the 18th Dynasty exhibit as only a few items from his tomb bookmark the rest of the exhibit. I had not expected to see the balustrade from Armana (the one with the rays of Aten holding the ankhs) or the bust of Akhenaten or so many of the other items. They were an added treat.
I must admit to being thrilled to see my absolute favorite item of Tutankhamen'sthe mannequin bust which is often shown being carried out of the tomb by an Egyptian worker giving the appearance in the black and white photograph that Tutankhamen is walking out of the tomb himself. This bust was the first item we got to see. It stands in a room by itself right after a quick movie is shown to give the different crowds of people time to disperse.
Later in the exhibit, there is one wonderful photograph of Howard Carter with an "Oh shit; what have we found?" look on his face. I wish more information had been given about the various Egyptologists who through the years have found and preserved these amazing pieces of history but I suppose they don't have the celebrity status of the pharaohs and queens they find and research.
As expected the biggest and most famous pieces of Tutankhamen's tomb were not included in the exhibit. They would have been too awkward to ship and I sincerely doubt Egypt is letting any of them out of the country any time soon (nor do I blame them!). I will just have to get myself to Egypt some day.
A Rash and a Cold: 08/19/05
I'm still suffering from my cold, as is Sean. Ian meanwhile has broken out in a rash. We don't know if it's an allergic reaction or something else. We are leaning towards it being an allergic reaction.
We are taking it easy around the house. I've finished reading two books: Tucker by Louis L'Amour and The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. I'm now reading Zorro by Isabelle Allende.
We had a lovely dinner with Ian's aunt and uncle. Judy made orange chicken. Sean ended up foregoing dinner for an early bed time, something he often does when under the weather.
The Long Drive South: 08/18/05
Today we drove to South Pasadena to begin our birthday trip. As the contractors would be working on our porch by eight o'clock sharp, we had to be out the door and on the road before then. It's the earliest start we've ever gotten. We ended out stopping at a coffee house just outside of Santa Nella to get gas and breakfast.
Somewhere around Harris Ranch Sean accidentally opened his window. He had been resting his foot on the door handle and kicked the button. We normally keep his controls locked but the lock wasn't set for some reason. His curtain flew out onto the highway but fortunately didn't cause any accidents. We had a momentary panic that floopy owl may have fallen out as well but he was safely stowed under my purse. I have a duplicate curtain at home so we can easily get Sean's window set back up the way he likes it.
New Porch: 08/17/05
The carriage, risers and treads went up on Friday and the railings went up on Monday. Yesterday they laid they they did the planks of the porch and had to take off our screen door to accommodate the greater thickness of the boards. Today they should be working on the balusters.
To Berkeley: 08/16/05
On their way to day care, Sean had an attack of the runny nose that would not stop. Ian would have preferred to take him home but the construction on the front entrance prevented that. Once we're out in the morning we have to stay out until four in the afternoon. So they stopped by day care long enough to say that Sean would be staying with Ian and then they went to Berkeley for breakfast at the Bear's Lair, to see the dinosaur skeletons and the "Big Clock" tower.
Back to Work: 08/15/05
Despite my fever last night (101.2° F) when I went to bed, I slept very well. I had made a huge bolster for myself out of pillows and it worked to keep me elevated enough to avoid the tickle throat of post nasal drip. I woke up with a normal temperature and feeling well rested. I know I'm still not well but I am certainly on the mend. Sean was well enough to go to school.
Sean's nearly well and I've got a fever. I've been hovering all day around 99.5° F and 101.2° F. Ian has kept us well fed with home made chicken noodle soup and then udon served in the broth of his chicken soup. He also made his wonderful corn bread. He is such a good cook!
Got Rid of the Boxes and Caught a Cold: 08/13/05
Finally after two months of trying, I've managed to find a home for our moving boxes. Someone finally arrived, picked them up and took them home. It's nice to have most of our outside storage available again.
I am also coming down with a cold. I guess I must have brought it home from work but managed to give it to Sean before falling ill myself. Today I have a sore throat and I'm exhausted. I hope I am well enough for work on Monday.
Sean's home today with Ian because of a summer cold. He doesn't seem too sick but his nose is running to distraction. Ian made oatmeal for breakfast which Sean hasn't had in ages. He apparently have Ian high marks for the yummy "oatmilk."
The contractors have put in the new rise and steps to our front door and have put down a few odd boards to stand in for our landing and railings for the night. The new steps while they appear deceptively temporary are actually sturdier under the foot than the old ones. The temporary bits and bobs though make the entry way look like the backstage of a theater.
The Avengers: 08/10/05
Last night Sean had a nightmare so Ian brought him upstairs to watch TV with us. We were watching an old episode of the Avengers ( "Death at Bargain Prices") and Sean was sucked in. It had a secret door, people getting tied up, lots of silly fighting and an elevator that's also a bomb. I think we have a new Avengers fan in the family.
BookCrossing Night: 08/09/05
Tonight is the monthly BookCrossing get together in Dublin. I've got a huge bag of books ready to go in my car to either trade or wild release. One of group just had a baby girl over the weekend so I'm hoping her mother (who is also an active member of the group) will come with photographs of her new grand-daughter.
Inspiration that Woke Me Up:Last night I had a fantastic dream about helping a book seller hunt for books at a charity sale. The last book I read at the end was a picture book which in my dream I remembered having read (though now awake I know it was a figment of my imagination). The book appeared to be illustrated in the style of Arnold Lobel though the use of color was bolder than his more typical earth tones. It was a children's picture book about a woodsman or lumberjack who creates a magical dragon headed wheeled calliope by blowing kisses at tree he has felled. Each kiss is on the left page and each resulting detail added to the calliope is on the right.
Back to Work: 08/08/05
It's Monday again and I'm back at work. Work is keeping me very busy due to a redesign. It's been quite a while since I've worked on one. It's hot today but not as hot. Tomorrow should be cooler.
Stuck at Home: 08/07/05
Since Sean tossed his shoes out the window yesterday and we're not letting him have them until school tomorrow, we are stuck at home. Sean's still rather grumpy. I don't know if it's lack of sleep, the heat, if he's fighting off a cold, or a delayed "terrible twos."
Fremont Art Festival: 08/06/05
We spent a couple hours at the Fremont Art Festival but didn't stay as long as we would have
liked. It was too hot and Sean was tired and grumpy. We did see many fantastic paintings
and other crafty things being sold and displayed but we didn't purchase anything. We will
probably go again next year.
Bad Ideas:Rather than just taking his nap, Sean decided it would be fun to dump much of his stuff out his window. His window only opens up a crack because we don't want him falling out or the cat jumping out as there is no screen, but it was enough of a crack for him to fit: most of the books in his room, one shoe, some socks, some clothes, some stuffed animals, some of his owl posters and a slinky. It was the sound of the slinky that sounded strange enough to attract Ian's attention.
In response to Sean's very bad idea (and lack of remorse) we've taken away his bookshelf, hidden the stuff he had thrown out his window and reorganized his room so he can't look out the window. He also can no longer open his window.
Geography Lesson: 08/05/05
This story comes via Sean's day care provider. Sean started talking enthusiastically about the Eiffel Tower at school. Something must have reminded him of it as he's seen it in two of his favorite films: Gay Purr-ee and Monster's Inc. His teacher asked him if he knew where the tower is. Sean nodded and replied, "It's in Berkeley!"
Good Morning Hug: 08/04/05
I had a wonderful wake up call this morning (though Ian might disagree as he looked very tired). Sean must have heard the alarm go off and he came running into our room and bounced on top of me, giving me a huge bear hug. What a delightful way to wake up on an otherwise dreary morning when I would have only had a migraine to complain about.
We sent Sean back to bed for "ten more minutes" (our code for we want to sleep in a little more) and I got dressed. I heard him playing with his garage toy and decided to repay the kindness by giving him a hug before I left. I gave him a big hug and put my shoes on in his room while he sat next to me on his bed and commented on how I was wearing my black cat socks and then went on to tell me all his plans for the day.
Construction Update:It looks like the repairs to our townhouse are nearly complete. They completely resided the front of our home yesterday, save for a wee little bit here and there. They have the scaffolding set up in the back so I expect they will be working there today. All that will be left will be the entry stairs. Even though we won't be painted until October at the earliest, the place already looks much improved.
It's not kiddo! It's Sean! 08/03/05
Ian tends to call Sean "kiddo" when trying to get him motivated to do something just as I tend to call him "dude." Sean this morning was having nothing of it and scolded Ian with: "It's not kiddo! It's Sean!"
I Need a Corner for My Pocket: 08/02/05
Sean has taken an interest in the different kinds of coins and the names of them. He's especially interested in quarters because they are the biggest of the coins. He can't currently pronounce quarter. He calls them "corners." Last night he was wearing his compass shirt which has a breast pocket. He wanted to carry a quarter in his pocket. By the end of the day he had amassed 72¢ in the form of two quarters, two nickels, a dime and two pennies.
Foggy Monday: 08/01/05
This morning's commute was through a thick and wonderfully cold fog. I hope the fog signals a turn towards cooler weather. Although as it's only the start of August, it's probably too early for a turn in the weather.