Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

October 31, 2009

October 2009 – Lilah and Luke

Filed under: Lilah and Luke — dave9169 @ 9:51 pm

Here are the October highlights:


October featured a trip to Montecito to compete in another YMCA swim meet. Lilah’s favorite event right now is the breast stroke. She has come in second place in this event for two consecutive meets. The competition is low key though, but I can tell Lilah likes to be in the lead especially when I catch her looking off to the side like in this picture. Cathy also had parent-teacher conferences and Lilah’s teacher didn’t have much to say other than Lilah is a good student.

Lilah is excited as her braces will be coming off on November 5th, right on mommy and daddy’s 15th wedding anniversary. This means she won’t have to wear braces for another year and a half or so — just a retainer — something she is really looking forward to. Something she is not so happy about is the impending departure of her best friend (Tory) from school. I guess Tory’s parents have decided to move and the move means that Tory will be going to a different school. The bright side is that Tory will be living a little closer to us. Fortunately, Lilah has not made too big a deal about it, but I know that when the time comes — after Christmas break — she will have to adjust. In many ways, even though tough at first, we think the experience will be good for Lilah because it will force her to expand her circle of friends.

Speaking of Tory, we typically go trick-or-treating with her, but this year we left our neighborhood and spent Halloween with Lilah’s cousins in La Canada. She wasn’t very happy about the change of plans because her cousins are boys and spending one of her favorite nights with “the boys” was not her idea of a good time — Luke of course had no issues with this. In any case, she got over her griping, but it reared its ugly head again once trick-or-treating began. Apparently, Lilah’s cousins go to a “special” neighborhood to collect candy. The neighborhood is one long street that is closed off to car traffic. On this street, all the houses are creatively decorated with typical Halloween themes and hundreds of people line the street. Cathy and I had never experienced anything like this — picture the main street of a county fair and you’ll get a sense for how many people were on the street.

This did not sit too well with Lilah because even though the houses were cool, she felt it took too long to get to the front doorstep (like a theme park line), and once you got there you only received one piece of candy (I felt for the homeowners as they must give out 1000s of pieces of candy before the night is over but Lilah wasn’t too sympathetic to their plight). In addition, there were too many teenagers full of teenage antics like lighting firecrackers and popping the “beautiful” balloons. At one point, shortly after some really nice balloons were popped by a firecracker, Lilah screamed that she hated teenagers and wanted to leave (tears were starting to come down her face). Fortunately, we were able to calm her down. On the way back to her cousins’ house we said that she would at least have a great story to tell at school. Grumpily, Lilah said “Yeah, I saw cool houses and got a little bit of candy…the end.” Woah, talk about sarcasm.

In the end, we managed to turn things around a bit by sending Lilah and Luke to the two houses adjacent to her cousins’ house. What a save this turned out to be as both neighbors gave the kids a handful of candy since they were trying to get rid of it all before the night was over. This unexpected surprise, made Lilah very happy and brought the smile back to her face. What a relief!


In contrast to Lilah, Luke had a great time on Halloween — his crying came afterwards, when he realized we were going to leave him there to spend the night. During the trick-or-treat festivities, he had a great time. He was dressed up as a storm trooper and so was one of the older kids. So those two just hung out all night and ran from door to door enjoying themselves. We told Luke that he was going to spend the night with his sister well before we went trick-or-treating, but this doesn’t really become real for Luke until you put him in bed and get ready to go. Thankfully, his aunt Marie hung out with him until he eventually fell asleep. By the time we picked him up the next morning he was back to his playful and smiling self. His cousin Aram even taught Luke how to play Monopoly. How much of the game he still remembers, I’m not sure of, but at least he got to hang out with the boys and do all kinds of boy things like play with guns, play basketball and swing from trees.

Luke, Lilah and I also went on another camping trip this month to Lake Piru. It’s the first time in my life I’ve ever been to this lake even though I’ve driven by the turnoff dozens of times in my life. We had a good time at the lake although it would have been even better had we been able to swim in it since it was so hot (90+ degrees). Unfortunately, the swimming area is shut down after summer and the rangers are pretty strict about enforcing the no swimming policy. We did get to do cool things again though like hiking, playing badminton, Uno, Sorry and other games. We also got to hang out by the campfire and make s’mores. I think Luke’s favorite fireside activity however, was burning leaves. Luckily there was an abundance of dry crunchy leaves at the campground. Luke made a game of gathering the leaves and then dropping each leaf into the fire, one at a time, to see it burst into flames. He was absolutely fascinated by this.

One thing that wasn’t too cool about the camping was our noisy neighbors. This camping stuff is all luck of the draw. Meaning the Adventure Guides reserve the spot, but not everyone in the Adventure Guides is a considerate neighbor. The guys and kids next to me were loud X 100. Lilah and Luke were ready to go to bed by 9:30, which I extended to just before 10:00, but that was already a stretch (they were beat). So there we are in the tent trying to get to sleep, but the kids next to us are screaming and cackling and talking really loudly as they continue playing one game after another. This went on until about 12:30 or almost 1:00 AM. And the dads were no help. In fact, I could hear them saying stuff like “If our wives only knew how late we let the kids stay up, they’d kill us.” And somewhere along the line, two of the guys began singing. They sang, The Gambler, by Kenny Rogers, and My Angel is a Centerfold, by the J Geils Band. What was funny was how proud they were of recollecting all the verses to these songs and the sense of contentment they seemed to get from it all. Luckily, the kids fell asleep before the singing began, but daddy was left there to endure the serenading from the drunken cowboys. I chuckled about it because that’s all you can really do, but I’m not sure if I want to camp that way again.

This month was also our month to host the monthly Adventure Guide meeting so all the kids came to our house. Luke was eager to talk about what he did that month, which included making a cool spaceship out of Legos, and planting some bushes. This was significant because the kids are awarded beads and badges for doing special things with their dads. Amongst the special things are planting flower, shrubs, trees, etc., and building things. We were also responsible for coming up with a craft for the kids to do. Well, I was entrusted with that duty, which meant I asked Cathy to see what we could do. She came up with a nice activity for us — coloring canvas Halloween bags, which she purchased through Oriental Trading, a great place to purchase inexpensive crafts for kids to do.

Anyway, that’s all for now. More next month, including the recap of Muddy Buddy, a race Cathy and I did together after her friend Alicea was not able to make it due to a broken arm.

Powered by WordPress