Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Hallowe'en!

Our two chicks had another night out tonight. If Rai had had his way, he'd have worn his chick costume all week long but we made sure to save those cute, furry, yellow outfits just for tonight, Hallowe'en night. With Ko sick this past weekend, we missed on 3 of our standard Hallowe'en events -- the Scaregrove at Stern Grove, the Golden Gate Mother's party, and Ashe couldn't get the boys to Galileo High School for the annual costume contest this afternoon. With that string of disappointments, this evening was our very last chance to get out there and celebrate.
After about thirty photos on our deck, we drove over to El Polin Springs on the other side of the Presidio. We had seen an advertisement for what sounded like a great community event. The ad read: "Scary storytime for toddlers read to them by the queen of witches, apples to bob for, a haunted tunnel, bat cave and our ever-popular flying ghost. After dark, a really scary trail through the woods to Quarry Street will open for the older kids, featuring frightful figures, a size-your-own-coffin, skeletons and other surprises." Wow -- this was an event not to be missed!
We made it to El Polin Springs only to find it quiet, deserted. Not a trick or treater in sight. Down the street, a group of families sat on a lawn eating pizza. We wandered over to them to enquire about the big Hallowe'en party. "This is it!" What?! Three or four families eating pizza on two blankets on a lawn? This is it? Where was the storytime, the apples, the bat cave, the creepy trail, the ever-popular flying ghost... Oh, wait, the ghost was there; a white sheet moved across the street along a line connecting houses on opposite sides of the street. "The lady who organized the event is sick. She likes to think 'big'", they said.
We did what we could to mask our disappointment, got in the car and pointed it towards Seacliff, a neighborhood that is a guaranteed good time on Hallowe'en night. Hundreds of kids were out. After getting some glow sticks from Robin Williams' place, Rai had his first trick or treating experience as we visited about a dozen homes. Rai is not one to let food sit, so we ended up with a handful of open wrappers, each treat missing one bite. During the drive home, the rest of that quarter eaten candy mysteriously disappeared.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Survival Training

A few days ago we shared Ko's new nickname. Yes, the Kobra still strikes, though not quite as often as in that first week or two. Rai learns quickly and he has learned that pushing Ko around now leads to a bite from the Kobra. Needless to say, Rai is a bit more gentle with Ko, or does his best to avoid him now. To help Rai with the "avoid the Kobra" technique, we have him training daily. One drill has Rai jumping from coffee table to couch. To add to the realism of this exercise, we have Ko sit underneath, ready to strike! It's like jumping over a pit of vipers.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Get Well Soon, Ko

Poor little Kotaru has caught a cold and now, each time he coughs our hearts break. Each time we hear him wheezing as he sleeps, our hearts break a little more. Each time he reaches for us, needing to be held, with tiny tears streaming down his face, our hearts break some more. There's no greater pain than seeing your little one sick. Our normally predictably happy Ko has turned into an unpredictable baby. As he battles this cold, his mood and disposition change from moment to moment. Get well soon, Koey. We love you too much.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fridays with Jose

Most Friday evenings we manage to leave the comfort of our National Park home (yes, our heads are still a bit big about this) and make our way back into the Avenues, heading through the Park, to that far end of Judah Street, right before it meets the Pacific where a few "locals only" cafes, restaurants, and markets have made this strip one of the more unique in the city. We always make a few standard stops: Other Avenues for some groceries, Judahlicious for some delicious food and Beach Burrito for, well, burritos and rice and beans for Rai and Ko. Dozens of visits to Beach Burrito have put us on a first name basis with one of the employees there. Jose has become the latest of Rai's fans and Rai can't go a week without seeing his friend Jose, either. Today, Jose let us know that he has a surprise for Rai. "Come back next week for your surprise," he told us today.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What Happened?

Rai attended music class at Music Together on Sacramento for two wonderful years. Attending class with Rai every week was the highlight of Grandma or Grandpa's week. Now, it's Ko's turn. His music classes began about a month or two ago and, until the last two sessions, he enjoyed it immensely. The last two times, however, he's been resistant and crying a lot. What happened to the little boy who once attended with an ear to ear grin? That's the question on Grandma and Grandpa's minds. What will Grandpa do if you don't grow up loving music, Ko? As always, I have a movie clip on hand that may give us a glimpse of Ko in the distant future if this resistance to music does not soon come to an end. Incidentally, the song being sung in the movie is one of the songs featured on the first cd that Rai ever brought home from music class. On the bright side, if music class doesn't work out, there's always the playground.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Now that Kotaru is able to stand and move around with ease, he is no longer the immobile, easy to hit and run away from target that he once was. Rai used to get a lot of cheap shots in on our little Ko and all Ko could do was take the abuse, keep smiling and keep idolizing his big brother. In the past week or so, however, Ko has begun to fight back.
More accurately, he has begun to strike back. If Rai gives him anything other than a loving hug or kiss, Ko is liable to get to his feet (quickly!) and then jettison himself towards his abuser, mouth open, teeth bared, ready to latch onto any pants, shirt or flesh that ends up in his jaws. And so, we present to you, Ko's latest nickname: Ko-bra for Ko is Rai's little 'bra' who strikes like a cobra.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Nothing beats getting the little ones dressed up for Hallowe'en. It seems like no matter what costume you throw on them, they just look so cute in it that your heart just melts. This year was no exception. Last year, Ko was just a few weeks old so he couldn't really get into the spirit of Hallowe'en, but this year, he was ready to join the festivities! Rai, too, although bigger, managed to hold onto the to hold on to the 'cute factor'. In fact, when we hit the pumpkin patch for our second year, our two little 'chicks' were a big hit and how could two little boys in chick outfits not be?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rai is 30 Months Old!

Today, Rai turned 30 months old! Sorry? What's that? Oh, alright, make that: yesterday Rai turned 30 months old! Caught up in the selfishness that was our first date night in 2.5 years, we forgot all about Rai's 30 month birthday. Don't worry, Rai, we remembered about our first born son's big 2.5 year birthday today. Happy birthday, Rai! You are definitely the big fish in our pond but, watch out, Ko is catching up!

Date Night

Following Ko's first birthday, we finally decided to take the advice of dozens of friends: do your best to have a night for the two of you, a "date night" at least once a month. Our evening out wasn't quite like the adventure in the film of the same name, but our first date night in 2.5 years was definitely a great time. While thousands made their way west across the Bay Bridge for a Saturday night in San Francisco, we drove east for we knew that there's no place quite like... Castro Valley. We drove down Castro Valley's main drag, searching for a restaurant that would still be open at 9p.m. Most restaurants had long since been closed. For a while, it looked like our only options were: Burger King, Taco Bell, and McDonalds whose golden arches glowed brightly, invitingly. Just as we were about to give up on the idea of dining out, we saw it, a small building covered in Korean characters. "Tofu House: Korean BBQ". Minutes later, a steaming bowl of tofu and veggie soup and a stone pot bibimbap sat in front of us. Unwittingly, we had discovered the best Korean restaurant that we've yet found in the Bay Area and, how appropriate for our date night as we first met in Korea almost 10 years ago. From there, we just had to cross the street to get to Golfland where 36 holes of mini-golf awaited us. The perfect date night? Doubtless.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

B.C., the Next Generation

Until now, Rai and I have spent some time before dinner riding the scooter and akateboard but, today, Ko joined us on the tricycle. All I can say is that B.C. is back. The Sequoia boys have received the torch and will carry it forward until the B.C. mantle is ready to passed onto their kids who will probably be riding hoverboards.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One from the Archives

I had to dig back a few months to find some content for the blog today. This video is of Rai reciting "Baa, Baa Black Sheep" in the car. That one and some other classic nursery rhymes are some of his favorites these days. I guess I finally see the appeal and timelessness of nursery rhymes. Kids dig 'em!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Afternoon Hike

Choosing to live in the Presidio, we had to come to terms with the fact that as long as we stay here, we will be renters, not owners. That's not to say that there is even a remote chance that we have the capital or income to own a home in San Francisco. There are lords in this world and there are the common folk. We are the common folk and will forever remain under the rule of the wealthy land owners. On the bright side, the lands in the Presidio are public lands, giving us endless space to wander and explore freely, forever.