July 2008

Monthly Archive

start-up life 2.0

Posted by lynn on 27 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: work

Big Tent HomepageAbout a month ago my sister’s best childhood friend tracked me down to pick my brain about the company she co-founded, bigtent.com. By the end of our first conversation she had piqued my interest, enough for me to head to SF for an informational interview, Melina in tow. (Side note: Taking my 13-month-old to an office interview was both crazy and cool. She did great for the first hour, then started “bubbling over,” as one co-worker recently put it. I’m sure she was bored to tears.)

Needless to say, after another round of more formal interviews (sans toddler), I got the job. I now consult part-time for Big Tent in addition to my part time work as a copy writer in the East Bay. In addition to working on my own writing and being part of an active writing group. In addition to raising a toddler and helping raise a five-year-old boy. In addition to being incredibly social and having plans every spare moment of the week. In addition to trying to find time for just Joey and me. Phew! I don’t really have time for this. But start-up life is so invigorating it spills new energy into every aspect of the rest of my life. And that’s a very good thing.

I’ve worked in the SF office three days now over the past two weeks. Some notes:

  • Unlike my first round of startup work (from around age 23-30), this time, I am the expert! They hired me specifically to consult on various aspects a big content project. Just the other day one colleague introduced me as “our writer and mentor.” Sweet.
  • They have snacks in the break room. And lots of them, all from Costco. Chocolate, nuts, granola bars, even cheese. I’m going to gain 10 pounds.
  • The commute to the City is kindofa drag. It takes about 50 minutes and includes a long walk on both sides or a transfer from BART to Muni. My commute to my other, East Bay job is less than one mile. Ironically, the EB commute often takes 50 minutes as well, since we have to drop off one or two kids at daycare across a medium-sized town. Put in this perspective, the City commute ain’t half bad.
  • They have regular happy hours, and group outings to events like Giants’ games. Five years ago I would have joined in for every single event. Now I have to say “with enough advance notice…” and check in with Joey about watching the Jelly Bean and my own sanity about not taking on too much. For real.


Posted by lynn on 26 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: melina

Melina's ShoesLast time my folks babysat, my mom said we had a little Carrie Bradshaw (“Sex in the City”) in the making with all the shoes Melina has. I just laughed, until Joey recently moved all of Meli’s shoes to the top of our entry table and we could see them en mass. Grandma Weiss had it right: Our little girl has a lot of shoes! She now loves to pick out her own pair for the morning – sometimes after I’ve already put some on her feet.


Posted by lynn on 15 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: friends, melina

Even though the BHS warm pool offers its infant/tot swim and sing class year-round, I’ve been much more into taking Meli in the full throws of summer. Her friend Lily’s mom took some fun video last Friday. Take a look at Meli giggling before “jumping” off the pool wall, and her and some of her friends during the class welcome song.

hop on pop

Posted by lynn on 14 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: kai, melina, writing

One side benefit of having kids is getting to revisit all my favorite childhood books. For the last five or six months, our house has been full of the wonderful, wacky world of Dr. Suess. We read classic favorites (Green Eggs and Ham, Mr. Brown Can Moo, The Cat in the Hat) but have expanded our repertoire – so far for Kai – to include the moral lessons of Yertle the Turtle and politically potent stories like The Lorax. (I can’t help but think of An Inconvenient Truth each time we read it.) I don’t remember reading these as a kid, and am continually amazed at how brilliantly these simple rhymes convey some complex life lessons.

The other day Meli started asking for her favorite storybook by name: “Hop hop!” (Or maybe it’s “Hop pop” – that’s the beauty of the tongue twister.) She first said it while holding Hop on Pop but the next morning called a different book “Hop hop” as well. And as soon as she opened a page continued with the first lines of the Suess story: “Up pup…” It’s so fun to see her making connections between words and things – even if sometimes they aren’t yet fully formed, so to speak. Needless to say, I’m thrilled that she’s such a fan of Suess.

summer traditions

Posted by lynn on 08 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: family, friends, kai, melina

Train Gang

Mam & Meli on the Train

We celebrated the Fourth of July with a train ride in Tilden along with Suli and his parents, and then a trip with them to Jupiter for pizza and beer on the patio. Both these spots would have been packed any other summer weekend, but on the Fourth were were exactly where the crowds weren’t. It made for a calm, pleasant celebration, but didn’t feel much like the Fourth. At least not until Kai made good on taking a nap and was rarin’ to go see fireworks right around the time he usually goes to bed.

Little Walkers: Meli & Suli

Since Joey has zero fascination with fireworks, I drove Kai up to the Rose Garden to view them from afar. We joined a good 50 other folks right at 9:30, and waited patiently for five… ten… twenty minutes. We heard pops and bangs and saw SF city lights in the distance but not a single firework. At last I asked Kai if he wanted to drive higher up the hill to a better clearing. We did, and arrived to see a thin haze coating the Golden Gate and hear from one of the remaining onlookers that this sliver-like fog had hidden the fireworks completely from our Berkeley view. Ah well. Luckily the little man wasn’t too disappointed, and at least we tried!

Walking by the Train Tracks: Crazy Kai & the Gang

On the drive I tried to explain to Kai how when I was a kid my dad bought a family pack of fireworks from a roadside stand, and as soon as the sun set we sat on the front curb – along with the rest of the families on our block – and watched these mini displays of fire shoot up into the air. I told him how we can’t do this anymore because it’s too dangerous. The story went mostly over his head. He fixated on how old my dad was at the time, and how old are the people who now set off the big fireworks in the City? I’m sure I’ll have fun re-telling him this “When I was a kid…” story in a few years.

Beach Smiles

Speaking of when I was a kid: I had another trip down memory lane the very next day, when we packed the kids and a cooler into the car and drove out for a day at Stinson Beach. Berkeley had been wonderfully sunny, but as soon as we hit the coastal hills of Marin we hit a huge, gray-brown blanket of fog. It brought back countless memories of heading to Santa Cruz from San Jose as a kid. We’d spend the afternoon huddled in our sweatshirts on a picnic blanket, munching PB&J sandwiches crunchy with sand.

Sand Kids

Lucky for us, Saturday’s fog burned off right as we hit Stinson. The water was chilly, but Kai and Melina both had a blast flirting with the waves. Meli also had fun munching on a few large mouthfuls of wet sand – sans PB&J. She did it with such vigor that I can’t help but wonder if she’s iron (or something) deficient. Coincidentally, she was recently tested so we’ll know soon. And if we need to supplement we’ll do our best to find something as tasty as that salty sand!

13 months: our little explorer

Posted by lynn on 03 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: melina

Walking at Yerba Buena Gardens, SF

I now find it funny when parents say “My kid got up and started walking at x months” and seem to pinpoint it to an exact day. I can say that Melina took her first steps the day after her first birthday but she then flirted with the whole walking thing for a good couple weeks. First it was a game (she would only walk to someone) and then it was only when the mood struck her and sleepiness didn’t get in the way. By 12 1/2 months she seemed to be walking as often as crawling, and within a week preferred moving upright pretty much all the time. Yay, Jelly Bean!

This Fountain Is Really Cool! Yerba Buena Gardens, SF

This video from a week ago shows off her new walking skills – though she’s much less wobbly now.

Other newfound skills: I discovered by chance at a friend’s house that she climbs up stairs – full flights in about 30 seconds flat. But now that she has mastered crawling stairs she only wants to walk them. She lifts her foot high and holds up a hand to ask for help as soon as the edge is within reach.

Party Tub o' Drinks: Auntie Jenny's Baby Shower

She also likes to climb or ask to be put into one of the little toddler chairs in our dining room, then pulls out Kai’s crayons and attempts to color, sometimes with success. Other times she just pulls the crayons in and out of the box, and eventually one usually ends up in her mouth. It’s adorable until her mouth turns waxy green.

Pizza Girl

She’s into everything, in every corner of our house. Like most fledgling toddlers, she leaves a trail wherever she goes. She’s also incredibly interested in figuring out how things work. Light switches, the buckles on her stroller strap, the lid of her water bottle, even the zipper on her lunch bag. She’s also curious about anything I put in her hair, which meant we finally had to give in and cut her bangs. She wouldn’t stop pulling out hair clips or pony tails and without them her hair fell directly into her mouth.


She’s started asking to hold her own spoon to feed herself things like yogurt. This afternoon I caught her try to stab a small piece of chicken with the rounded edge. She soon figured out it was easier just to pick it up. Speaking of food: She refuses to drink cow’s milk. And soy milk, for that matter. We’ve tried everything (bottles, sippy cups, big kid cups, even spooning it to her), but all to no avail.

Daddy Likes This Pic (And It's Before He Cut My Bangs)

Finally, a few days ago she turned into Linus, deciding it would be really cool to take her little blankey everywhere. On a recent trip to SF we got to the elevator in the parking garage when I realized it was missing. We found it next to a small puddle of oil by our car but she begged me to let her have it. You can see in the photos above that I gave in – she’s walking along the fountain at Yerba Buena Gardens with it tightly in hand.