Thursday, August 30, 2007

Too cute for words.

Taking teddy on the trike...
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Think he still likes his blueberries?

Yeah, me too...
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Even if they did spend most time about 3 feet apart.

Was funny when the both reached for the hammer....
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Our old neighbours Don and Liz came to visit

with their lovely daughter S. Owen and S had a lot of fun playing together.
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Who wants to guess what this color is called?

Enter your guesses at the color in the comments. Whoever is closest will win a fabulous prize of my choosing. That's if you consider construction debris a fabulous prize.
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The inside wall after drywalling...

and primer...
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Isn't it purty?

That's "pretty" with a Southern accent, dontcha know...
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The floor finally goes in...

we picked a laminate tile - that's called Italian Patio (or something else fluffy like that)
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Eric and Gene came for a visit

(well, and to play D&D!)
Eric: "Owen, you've got a Gene on your butt!"
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Owen got a booboo at school

Apparantly took a header off the playset and landed cheek first on a woodchip! OUCH! Luckily, he's a super-fast healer.
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Lisa's parents take a time out from helping us...

to buy a 1910 Overlander! Last of the brass-era cars. Very neat looking!
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And now it's a blueish purple.

very calming color. We likey!
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Painting the baby room

It used to be two shades of green...
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In place of the slider...

goes a bit of wall (with 2 outlets) and a 36" door!
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Construction update again...

This is where the slider door used to be - looking into Pete's office (note the PC covered with a sheet) - the dust was amazing!
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Not surprisingly...

we get more paint on us than we do on the wood!
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Then we help Dad paint some trim

We repainted the baby room - and of course, had to do the baseboards...
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Wow, it's been forever since an Owen-y update!

So here's a slew of photo's to keep you busy.

Dad and Owen get a haircut!
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Monday, August 20, 2007

Construction myths.

The following are all myths that we've uncovered in our recent construction ... "episode"... In order to best read these, put a loud "NOT!" at the end of each one...

1. The salesman is NOT on crack and the completion dates he promises will totally be delivered.
2. The construction foreman talks to the salesman on an hourly basis and is utterly up-to-speed on what we want/need.
3. The salesman - who promises several times throughout the process that "he will be there for you" - will NOT turn into vapor the second after the deal is signed.
4. Since you were promised that there would be no sub-contractors assigned to this deal, no subcontractors will show up to do the work.
5. The cleanup done at the end of the day will prevent your 20 month old son from finding all sorts of sharp stabbity things in the yard EVEN 30 yards away from the freaking construction site!
6. The drywall guy that shows up will not look like the guy from ZZ Top IF he'd been strung out on drugs and hadn't slept since 1982.
7. All of the electrical wires that are put in will work perfectly and the GFI outlet will NOT emit a large fireball when the test button is pushed.
8. The homeowner will NOT crap his pants when a large fireball is emitted from a GFI outlet.
9. All ceiling fans have a low-profile installation option. Otherwise, a 6'3" homeowner might brain himself walking through the room. Learned this one the hard way.
10. Since you tell the construction that the drop dead date is 8/22/07 at 10:29am, they will get all their work done well ahead of schedule and NOT be working until 10:28am on the 22nd.

Can you guess that this has been a barrel of monkeys so far?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Now all the walls are in...

and Pete's office is missing a wall...
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Several days later, the front wall is up...

So far so good.
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Which actually comes out ok.

Even if they did short us a few inches here and there.
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The great construction debacle begins..

with the forming of the concrete.
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Friday, August 10, 2007

Ok - here's my trauma story.

Since Jeff asked so nicely, I'll impart my horror story of the first day of school. Technically speaking, it wasn't my first day of school - as I'd gone to school in Wales - however, it WAS my first day of school in a foreign country, without my siblings being there.

As several of you know (and fewer of you care) - I spent several of my formative years (from 6-11) in Malaysia. As you may also know, I was a VERY blonde kid - white blond, almost. In the Far East, it is considered extremely lucky for you to meet someone with "gold" hair - and people would invariably want to take their picture with me, touch my hair or (usually) do both. Sometimes they actually pulled OUT a hair or two. As you could imagine, this drove me BUGNUTS and I really hated the attention. I'm in thousands of Asian families' photo albums - weird, huh?

Anyway - as it turned out, the school that my brother and sister were going into either did not have any room for my age, or they didn't start at my age (I forget which) - so I had to go to an alternate school for a year. I was enrolled in something called Garden School.

On my first day of school, we dropped my brother and sister off first, then drove to the Garden School. We pulled up -and I vividly remember this as if it were yesterday - I opened the back door of the car and looked out onto a veritable sea of Chinese and Malay faces. Every single one of them with jet black hair, brown or yellow skin - not another white kid in sight (or, as it turned out, in the entire school!) I was literally going to stand out like a sore thumb. It seemed like they were all staring at the new freaky kid.

Well, I lost it. Tears, screaming, death grip on the driver's seat supports as I was huddled in the foot-well of the back seat. Mum and Dad had to pry me out of there. To add insult to injury, the school also didn't know where to put me - so the first couple of days, I was in the kindergarden class. At least there, I could sit in the back (because otherwise I would have blocked the other kids view of the teacher!)

Even though I ended up liking the school - the first day freak-out has stayed with me to this day. Every first day I've had since then - middle school, high school, college, work - has been easy in comparison.

What sticks out the most for me is the memory of the sheer, stark terror in my mind - that I was going to be LEFT there, with all these foreign kids - ALL ALONE, with no-one like me, etc etc. Panic does not even begin to describe it, hence the word terror. I vowed to never put my kids into that same situation - to avoid them having that same level of panic associated with their first day of school. I feel that I failed Owen in this - even though it may not have been as traumatic for him - it refreshed memories for me that are now 31 years old!

There - now you all know. Don't you feel bad for me? :-D

New school update

We ask if he is ready to go to school and he starts making the "drive" sign language sign. He may even say "da" and nod his head. He will go pick out which bear to bring and tries to open the car door to get in.

Once we get there, every day starts a little different - some days he won't walk into the room other days he is fine until I say I am going to leave. Each one ends with the same thing - tears. Yesterday he added a new twist. He must be getting more comfortable there because he doesn't talk much when he isn't comfortable. Starting yesterday he added "Mom" to his cries. The only reason I can walk away is that if I watch through the windows, he has already been distracted before I get to the last window.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The reason the last picture was labelled Trauma...

is for several reasons:
1. Lisa and our nanny had been taking Owen to the school for almost a week now - to meet the teachers, the other kids and get used to the school room and routine.
2. So far, everything went swimmingly. I couldn't go due to conflicting work calls, but he cheerfully went off every time and played - didn't even mind when Lisa said goodbye and gave him a hug. He was pretty comfortable there.
3. In later days, our nanny would leave after a while, go hang out at Starbucks, etc - giving him more and more time alone there - and he was never really fussed when she came back - just kept playing, etc.
4. So we thought we were all set. Today, we went for a walk, fed him some breakfast, packed him a lunch and the bear, set off for school at 7am.
5. What we neglected to learn was - all the previous days we'd taken him at 8:30-9am. The teachers were all in, kids were mostly in, etc - BUT - that only starts at 8:30am. From 6:30am to 8:30am, all kids are together in one (different) main room with ALL DIFFERENT TEACHERS!
6. So we wandered around - realized that his room was empty - then we found everyone in the main room. Kids from his age (20 months, sniff) all the way up to 5-6 year olds were all playing in the same room under the watchful eye of a couple of teachers (not his.)
7. We got one of the teachers to engage him in play - and there was one girl from his class in there too - and then we gave him hugs, said goodbye and went to leave (as Lisa had done before.) The giant cracking sound you all heard at 7:15am PST was our hearts breaking as he immediately broke into tears, wanted me to pick him up and screaming his guts out.
8. This was exactly the scene that we wanted to avoid. The heart-wrenching feeling as we walked briskly to the car, turned and waved cheerily to him in the window (still red-faced and screaming) was almost enough to have me running back in there to comfort him.
9. The whole drive home, I was a breath away from pulling a U-turn and going back there. All day, I've been consoling myself that he's fine and has had a good day. Lisa called at 9am to give the office an earful about this new information - and the person that she talked to was shocked that they hadn't told us this - and was very apologetic. Made a small difference, but I still feel like the world's worst dad.
10. We're going to pick him up a little earlier than usual - and tomorrow we might stay with him a little longer - but maybe not - I think that he may adjust sooner if we don't linger. Not sure. All I know is I've got to unknot this stomach before I'll keep anything down. Can't even think about it without tearing up some. One of these days I'll post about my traumatic first day of school to let you all know why this is such a nightmare for me.


Owen had his first full day of school today. Isn't he adorable?
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Two of Lisa's cousins' came to visit

all the way from Indiana - just to read Owen a book. Wasn't that nice of them?
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Lisa got a new camera...

and she's been playing around with it while the boys are on the slide!
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