Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bat Family

Where's Mom's Batwoman costume?

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Beach, Beach, Beach"

One of Rai's favorite new places (and words) is: beach. Any look outside, a glimpse of the sky through the curtains, the street below, will send little Rai into a cascade of speech, usually something like this: "Be, be, bee-cha, bee-cha. Beach. Beach. Beach." If a visit to the beach is not in the plans, derailing this train isn't too bad but, if Rai gets even the slightest look at the beach itself, no matter how far away in the distance, then all attempts at distraction will fail. It's off to the beach we go.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Cat Says: "No, no, no, no!"

Rai, for a couple months now, we've been bragging about your skill at making animal noises. You're getting better, so good, in fact, that you now know that a cat says: "no, no, no, no!" Watch the video below; it's great! (Note to readers: This was taken several weeks ago when Ashe was still pregnant -- Rai has improved even more since then!)
video

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sterling's Here Again?

With several daily flights direct from Hong Kong to San Francisco, it's pretty easy for your Uncle Sterling to pay you a visit, Rai and Ko. Actually, the trip must be so easy that Sterling has made it here many times over this past year or year and a half. In fact, Rai, you've seen him more times than many of our friends who live in San Francisco! Ko, isn't it great to meet your uncle? Don't be surprised if you see him again very soon. And, RaiKo, let's not forget Julie (Sterling's sister... no, she's not Mom) who made it out, too!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oh, the Sacrifices!

This is the story about the sacrifices that parents make for their children. Okay, you're thinking, I'd better settle in for a long one. Not at all. I'm not here to write about the sleepless nights or loss of social life. I'll keep this short. Let's talk about one sacrifice only. Let's talk about hair.
Ko, your Mom has been growing her hair for a long, long time now. This could be a 4 year project. And, guess what Mom had to do with her hair, for you, Ko? She had to cut it off. Well, not all of it, but a giant clump on the back of her head had to go. Why? We're not too sure, but it had something to do with the first night at the hospital, sleeping little, feeding you a lot, and in the operating room twice wearing those little, shower cap-like hair covers. The next morning, she looked like a twenty year old who had just returned from 6 months in India. In other words, she looked like she had dreads in her hair.
We tried everything, but those dreads just wouldn't untangle. A few days later, the scissors came out. We had no other choice. What a sacrifice, little Ko! Is it worth it? Doubtless!! Ko, Mom would shave her entire head for you! Dad, too!

Music Together

Rai, you have an incredible aptitude for music. You are already in the Level 3 course at your music school. Wow, level 3! Now, instead of sitting and randomly shaking hand instruments, you stand and randomly shake hand instruments. Instead of listening, unmoving while the music teacher sings, you now stand unmoving half the time and dance some of the time. Finally, the last big step is that instead of chewing on every instrument that you hold, you now chew on just some of them.
It's wonderful to see you progress so much, level to level. I heard that you begin Music Theory in Level 4 and that you'll be playing the violin by Level 5. Sarcasm aside, these classes are a wonderful experience for you! Grandma and Grandpa have given you a fantastic gift. At home, you need your "shay shay" (music) on all the time so that we can all sing along with the cd from your class!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Halcyon Days

Now that you've accepted brother Kotaru into your domain, your mind has begun to wander a bit, hasn't it, Rai? Back into a routine, a new routine, but a routine nevertheless, you've started to think back on those wonderful 4 days that you spent with Grandma and Grandpa while your Mom and I were in the hospital welcoming little Ko. What wonderful, carefree days those were, weren't they? Oh, where have those halcyon days of childhood gone?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Acceptance

Good news: Rai has entered the fifth and final stage in the Kubler-Ross model of grief. It looks like Rai's grieving over the loss of his role as sole heir to the Flisak fortune has come to an end.
Denial? Yes, there was denial. In the hospital, Rai, you said "baby, baby" the same way you would say it to a baby on the street, as if to someone who will leave your presence as quick as they have entered it. Anger? Of course! Those first few days at home with Ko were wild ones. For the first time in your life, you were on perpetual temper tantrum mode. Then, when you came to terms with the fact that this baby was here to stay, the bargaining began. "Mom, if I give you a nice smile and wave, you'll abandon the baby and come hang out with me, right?" Soon after, depression sank in. For a couple of days you sulked around, ignoring all our attempts to cheer you up.
Now, acceptance is here. You've had a wonderful few days. Ko is here to stay. You know it and you accept it. Why not make the best of it, right?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Kotaru is 10 Days Old!

Ko, isn't it incredible how time flies? Today, you turned 10!
It feels like just yesterday that you were one, two, or three even. Right before our eyes, you passed through those single digits and into the double digits. Ten. I can't believe you're this old already.
Ten. I'm reminded to enjoy every single moment, to enjoy every day with you to its fullest. Kotaru, you are 10 days old and already days 9, 8, 7 and 6 feel like so long ago. Slow down, little one, you have plenty of time to grow up. Just enjoy these carefree days!

Hallowe'en #2

Hallowe'en is so much fun, we're celebrating it 3 weekends in a row. Last weekend was the party with your buddies at the Pumpkin Patch. This weekend's Hallowe'en activity was visiting Stern Grove or, should I say, the Scare Grove!
Every year, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department organizes this pre-Hallowe'en event in the beautiful Stern Grove. Thousands come in costume. The clubhouse is a haunted house. The stage welcomes performer after performer -- jugglers, magicians, comedians, acrobats, contortionists and more. The meadow is filled with crafts and activities. And, further on, by the pond, small carnival rides attract the older kids.
Rai, you loved it. There's no doubt that we'll be back next year.... if they let us back in, that is. We may have been blacklisted. You ran around grabbing all the small pumpkins that decorated the amphitheater. That, in itself, wasn't so bad. It was easy enough to clean up after you. The problem arose when you decided to sneak up on kids and throw the pumpkins at their heads. Hilarious as it may have been (I could barely contain my laughter) this kind of behavior is generally considered socially unacceptable. I guess the other kids learn these lessons at daycare so the parents were more than shocked that you were up to these antics. Maybe having Ko in the house will give you a chance to learn more about playing gently and sharing.
When it came time for the epic 'good guys' versus 'bad guys' costume contest, you were one of five Batmans on stage. Wolverine and Spider-man were there, too. Unfortunately, the good guys lost. The bad guys just had much better dance moves.

Friday, October 22, 2010

One and a Half Today! (You're Legal in Canada)

Today, Rai, you are one and a half years old! What a milestone! Bigger than that news, though, is that at 1.5 years old you are now legal. Yes, you are now legally allowed to use the toddler play structure at the playground. Well, that isn't entirely true. You're now legal in Canada to use the play structure but not in the U.S.A. Here in the U.S. you can't get on those play structures until you're 2!
It's common knowledge that Canadians enjoy a better standard of living than Americans but little known that the reason for this is that Canadian kids are allowed on play on play structures half a year before their American cousins. That extra half year of play structure time gives Canadians a big head start on the road to joy and happiness. Have you met a Canadian lately? Did you notice that s(he) is generally more laid back and easy-going than most Americans? Now you know why.
I don't mean to stress you out on your big one and a half year birthday, Rai. Don't worry, you'll grow up happy like Canadian kids! The truth is that you've been playing on these play structures since you've been 8 or 9 months old so you're beating even those Canadian kids. That also means that you've been breaking the law and so, we have another causal link discovered. The higher incidence of crime in America must be due to the fact that people can't help but break so many needless rules. Keep enjoying life on your terms, Rai! We already noticed you eyeing the 'big kid' play structure. If that one has a sign on it, too, then I'd guess it's for 4 years or older but you're ready now, aren't you?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Polish Festival

Once a year in Golden Gate Park, there is a Polish Festival. All 357 of San Francisco's Poles get together in the community center, drink some Zywiec, and dance to the folk bank on stage. We dropped in about 5 years ago and again this year. The same 357 folks were there. It's a tight community. In our home, we keep the Polish Festival going all year long. About once a week, we pick up a few bags of Polish pierogi from the Polish deli on Geary. When we ask you if you want some pierogi, Rai, you answer with a "Da, da!" I guess with all the Russians around, you have trouble distinguishing us 357 Poles from the rest of those Slavs.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010