Categories
Home

Star Horse

Tyler’s getting into the Star War movie series. Julia, who’s had enough of Luke Sykywalker and the gang and tells Tyler she’s sick & tired of his "star horse" movies. Izumi and I almost lost our morning coffee.

Categories
Home

Tyler hacks the pebble system

Tyler’s onto us. Izumi set up a little system with the kids to reward them for good behavior. The way it worked is that we had a jar of glass beads. Whenever they did something that we wanted to encourage, like make their bed without our asking them, clean up their room, or otherwise help out around the house, we’d reward them a pebble or two. Wnen we started, we made a little ceremony of it each night and would hand them the pebbles explaining what each one was for and clearly linking the deed to the payout which they would keep in their own little plastic cup. At the end of the week, we would exchange a pebble for 10 cents and they could then use the money to buy something for themselves.

Over time, there was less and less to reward them because they were regularly making their beds and clearning the table. Sometimes we would take pebbles away if they did something bad but usually nothing especially good happend so days went by without any pebbles.

This morning, Tyler told me he’s figured out a way to get the pebble supply flowing again. He spelled it out to me in plain logic as a grifter would explain his latest scam.

If I’m good all the time, you don’t really notice when I’m good. If I make my bed everyday, you stop giving me pebbles for making my bed. What I should do is stop making my bed for a few days, then make my bed again. Then you notice and you’ll give me pebbles!

Nuts.

Categories
Home

Hana-kuso

Sometimes are kids come blurt out the strangest things. Just tonight, out of the blue, Julia let us know that, "When I’m picking my nose. . .  I’m looking for diamonds."

Izumi and I looked each other just to make sure we heard the same thing then, busted out laughing.

Categories
Home

Our Italian Daughter

I think she’s been watching that character Kramer on Seinfeld too much.

Categories
Home

Deleted

Tyler told me yesterday that he learned a few new songs at school but couldn’t remember some of them because his brain "deleted" them.

I’m not sure if I should be more worried that he used a technical word out of it’s normal context or that he referred to his brain as something beyond his control.

Categories
Current Events

End of the Season

Today was Tyler’s last day of soccer. This was his third season and he’s come a long way. They still don’t keep score so I’m not sure of their record but I’m pretty sure the Alameda Lions were more interested in the snacks at the end of each game than the actual play. There’s still occasional confusion on which way they’re going and the players tend to “clump” together around the ball but they seem to have fun anyway.

End of Season party

Afterwards, we all met up at a local pizza joint to hand out the “participant” trophies where the kids all got up on stage and screamed out “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” for some reason.

Categories
Home

500 pieces of candy in 90 minutes

All the kids in Alameda have the day off from school on Halloween which just makes the waiting worse. Tyler woke up early, moaning that evening was hours away. It was 5:30am – I told him sleep makes time go by faster and convinced him to get back in his bed.

I got back from work a little early, just in time to see things in full tilt. The kids were wild with anticipation and had already taken a few walks up and down the street to check out the various displays that our neighbors had put up. Our street is really popular with the trick-or-treaters so everyone was busy getting ready and by dusk we had all put on our costumes, filled our candy bowls, and were ready for the onslaught like soldiers peering over the battlements – the calm before the storm.

By 6:15pm the street was heaving with all manner of goblins and ghouls. Lots of Spidermen and Things this year but my favorite was the one kid dressed up like Willy Wonka. After making her rounds, Julia came to help me hand out candy to the visitors which was a big help because sometimes we had 10 or 15 people holding out their bags at once. She got into it though and took time with each one (“Here you go Mr. Spiderman.”). Whenever someone with a particularly scary costume walked up, she would pull her princess hat down over her eyes and ask me to handle it.

We were “sold out” by 7:30 and I turned the lights out and put a sign on the door. Another year done.

Categories
Home

Burning Man Puppet Show

So Tyler & Julia are getting excited about Halloween – costumes are a big part of it. My sister also sent along some information about the Burning Man decompression party this weekend and while Izumi and I need to root around to find something interesting to wear, the kids already have their get up picked out.

Today, Izumi helped Julia make some puppets out of Popsicle sticks and empty yogurt drink bottles. Julia showed me her handiwork when I got home and made a point of saying the red hair needs to stay down on this one as it tends to get frizzed up. I guess it’s excited.

Categories
Home

The Walk to School

Over on the work blog I’ve posted about switching jobs to work at Yahoo. I’ll be starting next week so I’m spending this week clearing the decks and getting ready. Tyler’s bummed because I will not be able to walk him to school anymore and it’s been the time of day when we get to talk about things mano-a-mano. Today, I took some pictures of what we see each day during our 10 minute walk.

Categories
Home

Sack Artist

Julia has taken to wearing an eyeshade when she goes to sleep at night. We have a couple of them from trips taken on Virgin Air. This one says “cat nap”