January 2009

Monthly Archive

mlk & obama days

Posted by lynn on 21 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: community, kai, melina

Ready to Paint!

Like most Americans, we found ourselves in a two-day-long celebration of MLK Day and the Obama inauguration. Kai was especially excited about both events, and talked me into helping him make a mini cake for Martin Luther King, Jr. using a mini pan and crazy cake recipe my parents gave him for Christmas. The cake turned out a little funky, but was full of good intentions.

Art on MLK Day

Earlier in the day, we celebrated summer-like January weather at an outdoor toddler painting party. Melina painted paper, a plate, a muffin, and my hair – and somehow ended up with a red and blue mouth as if to honor the national historical significance of the Obama inauguration the next morn.

MLK Day: New Friends at the Park

We all watched the ceremony from Kai’s school’s cafeteria, where parents were invited to join a school-wide assembly. My favorite moment of the day came just before the big event, when Kai’s teacher explained to 20 kindergartners the reasons for this inauguration’s special significance.

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King, Jr!“Barack Obama is our first president of color. He’s also a very young president. And, he’s a president for everyone.” Leave it to a kindergarten teacher to have such clarity and diplomacy!

In the spirit of the great men we celebrated, we ended both days with an appropriate nod to community. On MLK Day Kai and Meli played with two newfound neighbor kids at a nearby park, and on Obama Day we had celebratory drinks at a newly opened cafe & wine bar down the street, with our newly formed, newly organized South Berkeley neighborhood association.

19 months: all about communication (and teeth!)

Posted by lynn on 09 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: melina

Raycer & Meli, Aquatic Park on New Year's DayMelina turned 19 months on new year’s day and is full of fun new ways to communicate. Of course, she has the age-appropriate exponential vocabulary growth, learning multiple new words each day and specifically asking what things are called. Her current favorite is “tree!” for both trees and anything looking like a holiday decoration.

All Dressed Up for Bro Bro's Winter ConcertShe’s not a big talker, though. Auntie Stacie recently called her “stealth” because she’s really good at sneaking around entire rooms and into drawers without anyone noticing she’s underfoot. At a new year’s day party she managed to get into a baby-proofed cupboard within five minutes of our arrival.

Hair HornBeneath her quiet nature lies a strong will. At Uncle Wayne’s house on Xmas day Melina found a closet she wanted to explore but shouldn’t. I redirected her down the hall, where she decided to hurl a toy a good three feet. Of course I went to pick it up, at which time she made a bee-line in the opposite direction, back to the closet. My little girl’s first act of conscious manipulation.

Two Kids in a TubA week later I attempted to redirect her away from a toy stroller she was trying to climb into. She screamed for five seconds, then suddenly turned to me, looked me straight in the eye, and said “buh bye” with a wave. As in “Leave me ALONE, Mom. I’m busy here.” This happened at least three times – not exactly good for reinforcing the redirect but it was so funny I couldn’t help myself. She did the same thing to Joey that night when he was trying to coax her away from a toy for bedtime stories.

Under Uncle Wayne's Table, Christmas DayOn the physical development front, Melina has all four molars and her two top eye teeth coming in, pretty much at once. The bottom molars appeared just after Christmas, the top ones are now starting to poke through, and we can see the large white of both eye teeth heading down. She hasn’t been exceptionally fussy, so either our girl has a very high pain threshold or got lucky in how little it hurts… or the worst is yet to come.

Christmas CoatFinally, Meli made her first (accidental) call to 911 while playing with the house phone the other day. It was especially notable because last month Kai walked into the kitchen just before dinner to announce proudly, “I just called 911!” He got a friendly lesson on 911 protocol from both of us, plus the cops when they arrived.

hawaii & holiday photos

Posted by lynn on 05 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: family, friends, kai, melina, travel

We posted an album of our favorite Hawaii and holiday photos on flickr. Enjoy!

christmas in hawaii: part 2

Posted by lynn on 01 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: family, kai, melina, travel

We’ve been back on the mainland for several days now, adjusting to colder weather and real-world commitments. More trip photos coming soon (we took well over 500), but in the meantime, I’ll share a few of my favorites plus some highlights of the second half of our trip.

Meli & Mama, North Shore

Pupukea Beach, North Shore

Thanks to Joey’s Auntie Yvonne we all got to attend a Christmas luau at the Mormon community center in Waimanalo. Melina even tried poi, and made a face so funny that Grandma told the story to everyone she talked to on Christmas day. Since Meli was on my lap I didn’t see the face, but I did hear the hacking, just like a cat with a furball stuck in its throat. Poor thing.

Maya & Kai, Lighthouse Hike

Makapu'u Lighthouse

We spent one morning hiking up to Makapu’u lighthouse with Nancy, Maya, and Zeke. The walk up the hill usually takes about 30 minutes, but with four little kids took almost an hour. We all enjoyed a windy view and snacks at the top before a much quicker trek back down. A few days later we celebrated Christmas day with Joey’s brother Wayne (aka Nancy’s dad) and his extended family. Kai got to play Wii and Meli got to explore a new house while trying to escape Zeke’s incessant kisses.

Rabbit Island, View From Lighthouse

Lighthouse Hike

Ever since my first trip with Joey to O’ahu, I’ve never felt like our vacation is complete without a drive to the North Shore. It’s a nice drive, if we’re lucky we see 13+ foot waves once we’re there, and we top off the day with renowned Matsumoto shave ice in Haleiwa. This year the waves were so small that the kids and I dipped in our toes, then full feet, and within 15 minutes Meli’s shirt was soaked (she’s so short, those “small” waves were high!) and Kai was covered in wet sand from jumping and rolling around. Note to self that I vaguely remember making last time we visited with Kai: Always bring spare clothes to the North shore, even if we swear we won’t play in the waves.

Jelly Bean, Christmas Day

Christmas Eve

We ran into pounding rain on our drive home from Haleiwa, which didn’t seem like a big deal until we sat down to dinner in Kailua that night and the lights went out… which also didn’t seem like a huge deal until we turned on the radio and heard people from all over the island calling in to say they had no power. Yup, an island-wide power outage on O’ahu, all due to four downed power lines on the island’s center. In Kailua it lasted from 7pm until around 5:30am, but we heard stories of residents in other towns not having power for close to 24 hours.

With Grandma on Christmas

Family, Christmas

On our last day, Joey and I had an almost-Obama sighting. We were walking to the end of Kalama beach, near his mom’s house and in the direction of the Obama vacation compound, when we hit a small crowd blocked from going further by two Aloha-shirt and sunglass-clad men. Several paparazzi had cameras – with lenses over a foot long – staked in the sand. In the distance we saw two little girls walk from a house down to the sand and sea. Perhaps the Obama daughters?

On a final, non-island note: Melina’s first molar (lower right) appeared the night before we left. Her second lower molar started to show a couple days later, and today we saw a top molar poking through, plus two top eye teeth heading down. All very good news for our little meat-eating fiend, who so far is handling all that teething pain like a champ.