Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

April 30, 2011

April 2011 – Family Update

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 6:33 am

The month of April was almost too exhausting too catalog into blog posts, videos, and pictures but here my best attempt:

A Month of Many “Firsts”

As I was putting this blog post together, I couldn’t help notice how many “firsts” happened this month:

  • First out of state triathlon
  • First mud run for the kids
  • First Dodger game for Luke
  • First time Luke got hit by a pitch (not necessarily a milestone to celebrate, but a first nonetheless)
  • And the obvious Luke turning 8

Nautica South Beach Triathlon
Almost forever ago, my cousin put up a Facebook post asking if anybody was interested in joining him to compete in a triathlon in South Beach, Miami. Thus began my quest to join him in Miami so that I could do the race and also get a chance to catch up with him, as well as my aunt and uncle (also my godparents) who still live in the area. I did some calculating with Cathy and it turns out that the last time I had seen them all was when Cathy and I stopped in Miami for a night on our way to Europe 15 years ago. Just another one of those realizations that serve to remind you of just how quickly the years can pass.

Mario picked me up at the airport and from then on it seemed like we had a nonstop gab and fun fest, which included a visit to my aunt’s art gallery, a midnight meal at PF Chang’s, and some sight seeing within just a few hours of my arrival. The next day, I remember Mario asking me if I had a pre-race meal or dietary ritual that I followed before racing. I told him I had a few guidelines, but they kind of went out the window when we decided to go out for lunch with my uncle and then follow that up with some coffee and cake at the Ice Box Cafe, proclaimed to have the best cake in America by the Oprah Winfrey show. As my cousin noted, if anybody knows cake, it’s Oprah so we ended up having a few slices — good stuff!

The race went well for both of us. Other than the 88-degree heat on the run, I think the toughest part for me about this event were the added logistics. Not only did I have to get myself to the race, I also had to ship my bike to a Miami bike shop and trust that those guys would put it together properly and have it ready for me when it came time to race (not to mention trust that they would send it back with no missing pieces). For the most part, it went pretty smoothly but it definitely wasn’t cheap as the cost of assembling/disassembling my bike (multiple times) and shipping it to and from the event well exceeded the price of my plane ticket. But I expected as much. This is not the type of trip I do all the time, but when you have the opportunity to go somewhere special and spend some quality time with family and friends, then it really is worth the effort — thanks again Mario junior and senior, Marcia and Pablo. I had a wonderful time!

Getting Muddy
Last year, Cathy and her friend Alicea ran the Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run together. They continued the tradition this year, but also added the kids to the mix. In addtion to the running, the race also consists of negotiating various obstacles, such as a soapy and slippery wall climb, cargo nets, balance beams, etc., before you get to the grand finale of slithering through the mud pit. It was interesting to see the difference in techniques used to get through the pit — Cathy and Alicea smiled and laughed as they made their way through the mud, Lilah and her friend Maddy did their best to get through the pit without getting their faces or shits too dirty, while Luke went in whole hog and got himself caked in the brown goo from the top to bottom. Nice!

Luke Sees His First Dodger Game
As a birthday present, I took Luke to see his first Dodger game. He enjoyed it a lot more than I thought he would. Maybe the fact that the game was tight for the first 7 innings made a difference. It was 2-1 in the bottom of the 7th when the Dodgers tied up the game. Unfortunately, that’s as close as they would come to beating the Padres that night with San Diego taking the game 5-2. Still, I think Luke was impressed by the entire experience. It’s one thing to see the game on TV or play it on a Little League field, but quite another to see it in person at a stadium that can fit 50,000+ people. Now that he plays baseball, it’s also easier for Luke to follow the game and recognize the important moments.

I was actually slightly bummed by our seating. I thought I had purchased really great seats in section 24 just behind the box seats (very close to the field on the first base side). Well, it turns out that there are actually two sections 24s and the second section, the one we ended up being in, is two levels higher than what I had thought. That was my fault for not really knowing the stadium that well and doing the research a little too fast. The seats weren’t bad, they just weren’t the seats I thought I had purchased. Luke didn’t mind at all however and was happy just to be out at the game with his dad, staying up late in the process. Luke was right, of course. That’s what the night was really all about and through this experience I now know which section 24 to reserve tickets for next time.

Here are some more images from the game.

Lilah Presents her Ask the Expert Project
As part of the GATE program, Lilah participated in her second “Ask the Expert” project held at our local community center. With a flair for the dramatic, Lilah titled her project “3 Ways a Star Can Die.” She put it in book format and stood behind a table while onlookers walked by and occasionally asked her questions about her work. The title sure caught the attention of the principal (also my former high school classmate) who ended up talking to her for about 5 minutes or so regarding her book. Once they were done with their discussion, I snapped a quick picture of them. She seemed so grown up and full of confidence. I love to see her like that.

I don’t like to see her in the funk that she’s been in for more than month. On and off she’s been obsessing on how she can’t fall sleep and will get out of her bed to announce the fact that she can’t sleep — this could be when Cathy and I are watching a show on TV or when we’re in bed already asleep. And she continues to get up at 9:30, 10:00 and even after 11:00 sometimes. It has not been fun. A typical conversation with Lilah will go something like this when she’s in this state of mind:

Lilah: I can’t fall asleep
Mom & Dad: Try reading
: I tried that, it doesn’t work, what else can I do?
Mom & Dad: Try to relax, focus on your breathing…

Lilah: I tried that…it doesn’t work, what else can I do?
Mom & Dad: You can put on some music quietly.
: I did that, but that doesn’t work either. What else can I do?
Mom & Dad: Lilah, you just need to go to bed and not stress out

Lilah: But I need to get some sleep. Can you take me to a doctor. I need to fall asleep. What else can I do?
Mom & Dad: Lilah we are going to look for someone but you just need to go to bed…
: But I can’t fall asleep…Can you take me to a doctor tomorrow?
Mom & Dad: ugh!

I added the ugh for dramatic effect, but this conversation can go on forever with Lilah insisting she can’t fall asleep and that we need to take her to a doctor.

We think that this has something to do with STAR testing at school because the teachers tell the kids that they need to get a good night’s sleep so that they will be fresh in the morning for testing. Lilah might be taking these recommendations too much to heart and stressing herself out over not being able to fall asleep fast enough. Lilah, of course, does not agree with our assessment so we will be taking her to a doctor very soon to see if we can come up with a plan that gets her to sleep at a normal time. If any of you have been through anything similar, we’d appreciate any helpful advice. The other thought that occurred to us is that this could be hormonal. If so, oh no…. 😉

The Master Bathroom Gets Remodeled
For years, we’ve been wanting to redo our bathroom. Up until this month, we had a bathroom shower combo that was functional, but antiquated and really not all that safe due to the fact the builders of this house installed the tub too high. Over the years, we had gotten used to the set up and the occasional stubbing of a toe when bringing the rear foot over the tub to get into the shower, but that experience is history now. We opted to tear out the tub/bathroom combo and put in a walk in shower with no glass doors to clean. We couldn’t be happier. We used natural stone for the shower and a great sealer that pretty much makes the shower a maintenance free zone.

The results: everyone is now showering in the master bath (not at the same time, mind you). Some of the shower highlights include a tiled ceiling, a 10-inch, immersive shower head which makes the water coming down on you feel like rain, canned lighting, and a soap dish that is built into the wall (really, it’s more like a shelf for all your shampoos, conditioners, soaps, etc.). If you’re curious about the shower, I’ve documented the remodel project (before, after and all steps in between) on this page.

That’s all for now. More next month…

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