Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

July 31, 2009

July 2009 – Lilah and Luke

Filed under: Lilah and Luke — dave9169 @ 3:41 am

Here are the July highlights:

Luke

This month Luke got his long anticipated new bedroom set. It arrived (via truck) in several boxes. He was so eager to see the set that he insisted on helping open the boxes or on hurrying mom to pry them open so he could see what’s inside. He’s definitely happy with his new set which includes a bed, desk, end table and dresser. All that remains now is to paint his room.

We are currently delaying the painting, until Luke begins sleeping in his bed again (painting will be the reward). Unfortunately, Luke has reverted to being scared of sleeping in his room on his own — even though he has the dog at his bedside. He explained that he has these dreams where things turn into monsters and that this is making him scared and preventing him from sleeping. But where his fear really started again was when Luke saw the Michael Jackson thriller video on Youtube. Cathy was showing it to Lilah so that she could learn the dance moves for her dance camp performance, but in the process Luke watched it too and got spooked. From that point forward, we have not been able to get him to sleep on his own. We’ll have to figure out something soon because the reward of getting his room pointed is definitely not doing the trick.

Other than his sleep issues, Luke is doing well. He learned to tie his shoes this month and was proud to show me his new accomplishment. He enrolled in splash camp for the summer at the YMCA and had a blast. Another source of pride for him was passing the swimming test they give the kids at camp. Apparently, the kids who don’t pass the test — which consists of swimming from once side of the pool to the other (25 yards) — have to wear life jackets, and those that do pass smile like Luke and brag about not having to wear jackets ;-).

Luke has also been pretty insistent this month about not getting his hair cut or at least waiting some more time before getting it buzzed. I think we’ll humor him until the end of the month then we’ll chop it. After that, maybe we’ll give him a little more independence by allowing him to choose the style of hair he wants. He said he definitely does not want to have his hair cut during the school year because other boys poke fun at him when he does — typical boy teasing stuff, but I’m glad Luke is opening up more about these type of experiences and trusts me enough to share the good and the bad (even though it’s not really so bad).

Lilah

While Luke was at splash camp. Lilah attended dance camp — also at the YMCA. Since her participation in dance camp happened to coincide with Michael Jackson’s death, the dance instructor decided that having the girls perform the “Thriller” dance routine would be a nice way to honor the singer and also allow the girls to have some fun. Lilah had a blast and enjoyed getting into her zombie makeup.

Lilah is also doing well in her swimming. On several occasions, her swim instructor has told us that he is amazed at Lilah’s butterfly stroke technique and her swimming in general. The initial goal was to get Lilah on the YMCA Barracuda swim team, but before we do that Lilah needs to get a little more fit and, more importantly, we need to find ear plugs that stay in her ears so that she can keep too much water from entering her ear canal. She seems to have inherited Cathy’s propensity for getting ear infections so before she goes all gung ho in the water to become the female Michael Phelps, as she says, we need to find a solution.

Lilah’s other preoccupation these days is getting a pet mouse. Cathy promised her one as long as she takes care of it, and we’re able to find a vet in the area that will perform routine checkups. Lilah has been doing a lot of research on the internet as to what kind of cages to get, what to give mice to chew so their teeth don’t get too long, how many mice you should have (according to Lilah, the right number is 3), and all sorts of miscellaneous mouse factoids that she spouts off from time to time.

I can’t be certain, but I think what precipitated the mouse discussion was Lilah’s participation in Critter Camp with Luke. This is also a YMCA-sponsored event where kids get to learn, see and touch all kinds of animals. It’s nice because the kids also go on field trips to the farm, zoo,  and other animal-friendly places. At the same time, however, the kids also learn about what types of animals make good pets and then they use the information to coerce their parents to buy them their very own rodents ;-).

Oxnard Triathlon

I participated in my second triathlon of the season and did very well despite not having been able to train properly the week leading up to the race because of a cold. I placed 4th in my age group (out of 24 participants) and was very pleased with the results.

But perhaps even cooler than that was meeting one of the legends of the sport, Dave Scott. Usually, when you mention triathlons, most people think of the grueling Hawaii Ironman race, which consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. Over the years, the Ironman has grown into a prestigious event that you need to qualify for just to race (unless you get one of the lottery slots). One of the biggest reasons people know about the Ironman or triathlons in general is because of Dave Scott, who won the Hawaii Ironman 6 times and won it way back in the early days when not many had heard about the sport. To put it in perspective, Dave Scott was the Lance Armstrong of triathlons back in his day and is still very active in promoting the sport.

What was cool, at least for me, is that nobody really seemed to recognize Dave at the event so that allowed me to chat with him in a pretty relaxed way. I just walked up to him and started talking to him. To be honest, I may not have totally trusted that it was him if I hadn’t seen the soft cast he was wearing on his wrist — as I had recently read an article about Dave Scott and how he had been involved in a cycling accident with a motorist. So I began my chat with him by asking him how his wrist was doing. He gave me the scoop about how he had crashed into a car making a u-turn and then we chatted some more about a variety of other topics, including the fact that he was simply there to support his son who was racing in the Junior Elite class. His son is very fast by the way so it looks like the family genes have definitely been passed on. While I was talking to him, my dad snapped a picture of the two of us (see how interested he is in what I have to say…lol) so now I have a visual artifact of the moment. Very nice.

This was definitely a busy, but good month with some great surprise visits. I enjoyed catching up with Randy, one of my roommates during my semester abroad in England, as well as my cousin and her husband, and Johan. It just all happened so fast, but that is life, right? More next month!

July 28, 2009

Tahoe 2009

Filed under: 2009 Lake Tahoe — dave9169 @ 11:18 pm

The Old

For the third year in a row we had a great vacation in Lake Tahoe. We stayed at the Franciscan Lodge again and upgraded by choosing a one bedroom cabin, allowing Cathy and I to have our own room while the kids slept out in the living room area. Like last year, we rafted on the Truckee river, paddled kayaks on the lake, played miniature golf, and road our bikes on the trail.

The New

However, we did add a new activity this year by riding the gondolas at the Heavenly Village, and then taking the chair lifts to the hiking trails that lead all the way to the top of the mountain. This was just over a mile hike up and got us to the 10,040 feet of elevation — the kids nearly gave up but I coaxed, cajoled, and harrassed them into persevering and making it to the top.  The trip to Heavenly is definitely a worthwhile experience. And, if you’re into it, you can take the longest zip line in the United States down the mountain — a 3,300-foot journey that zips you along at up to a 50 mph.  Luke is definitely into doing this, but he is a along way aways from the weight minimum of 75 lbs.. Lilah has no such interest in zipping down the mountain yet, but she did get over her fear of heights, managing to enjoy both the gondola ride and chair lift.

It’s wonderful taking the kids up each year and blending the familiar with the new. After all, even when things are familiar, your relationship with those things can change dramatically. For instance, last year I showed the kids crayfish by picking them up with my own hands while the kids watched. This year, the kids actually picked up the crayfish themselves and relished doing it (after more coaxing from dad, of course). Luke said picking up the crayfish feels like lifting up a squirmy rock — not a bad description.

The Weather

Our relationship with the weather was also a nice surprise. Similar to last year we experienced 80-degree weather for most of the trip, but this year mother nature mixed it up on us by sending a few isolated thunderstorms our way. During the first one, we were actually swimming around and having fun in the pool. It started to rain a bit, but we didn’t get out of the pool because it wasn’t raining really hard. But then the rain turned to hail, which had the kids screaming with fright and delight. We laughed as we ran to the cabin, but withing 40 minutes or so it was all over and the nice warm weather returned.

Next year, the kids want to get into some of the motorized activities, which may mean renting a boat for a half a day or a jet ski or two for an hour. Can’t wait. Enjoy the pictures!

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