Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

January 31, 2015

January 2015 – Family Updates

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 11:00 pm

January Highlights:

As you can see, I sort of slacked in the picture-taking department this month. Time and time again I found myself leaving the camera behind. What can I say, it happens. Hopefully, I will return to my shutterbug ways next month. Just keep in mind that as the kids get older, taking photographs of them does become more difficult so I’ll manage the best I can. Maybe future blog posts will be more stories than pictures. Anyway, it’s TBD for sure.

Uncle Mario & Cousin Andrea Come to Town

Last year, my uncle Mario’s daughter, Andrea, came to visit us during the first month of the new year. This year, we had the added bonus of Andrea and her dad visit us together. I hope this trend continues and that next year the trifecta of uncle Mario, Andrea, and Mario (junior) come to town. That would be sweet.

It had been a long time since Mario had been to our neck of the woods. We figured out it had been roughly 28 years as the last time we saw him in town was for my high school graduation. Through the years, however, we have kept in touch as I’ve visited him during stopovers in Miami. Uncle Mario was in great spirits and so was my dad. During dinner one night, we all enjoyed listening to them share stories of when they arrived in Los Angeles as young, 20-something Chileans looking to pursue their dreams in a new land. We learned of their cramped living quarters where once they unfolded the Murphy bed (they both shared) you could not open the door to the apartment. We learned how uncle Mario got his start at Bank of America working the night shift opening payment envelopes and adding up the checks to make sure accounts were balanced. We learned about some of the men and women who helped Mario and my dad along the way and the gratitude they still felt toward them. In essence, we learned some new things about our dads while also realizing that there are still so many things about them we don’t know. But that’s a good thing as it gives us more to talk about for the next reunion. Now that he’s retired, my uncle Mario has Ventura County on his “short list” of places where he would like reside permanently so there is a chance that these encounters could increase in frequency (that would be nice).

Andrea was in town because she had some business to take care of in San Francisco and then she was spending a few days in LA before heading off to Sundance to support another one of the films she’s helped produce. Last year, she was one of the producers of a movie called Drinking Buddies, which featured a few well known actors, including Anna Kendrick, Olivia Wild, Ron Livingston, and Jason Sudeikis. This year’s effort is a movie called Unexpected. Of course, we are all very proud of her accomplishments (she’s a good egg).

Lilah is Through With Braces

After many postponements, Lilah had her braces removed at last. I figured she would be overjoyed at having them removed, but that did not happen because her orthodontist informed us that Lilah would need to have her wisdom teeth removed soon and that she might also require some corrective surgery later for a molar that’s coming in at an angle and could potentially threaten the teeth we’ve just spent years straightening with braces and retainers. In addition, she has three baby teeth that may require removal at some point. So instead of being happy with the positive news, Lilah focused on the negative — pain from the surgery, the possibility of needing to get implants for missing baby teeth or, worse yet, wearing braces again. Luckily, as with most things in life, the passage of time helped her forget about these things (at least for the moment). Her other initial reactions on on having her braces removed centered around how big and white she felt her teeth looked now and how slimy they felt. Happy to say, she’s finally adjusted to it all and, most importantly, she looks great.

Trips to the Mountain Are Becoming a Father/Son Only Venture

During our last trip to Mammoth, Lilah expressed her displeasure at having “to waste” five days of her Christmas break on an activity she’s really not all that into anymore. She added that in the future, she may give snowboarding a try again, but when it comes to the mountains, she’s no longer interested in taking part in trips that are longer than one or two days in duration. And she’s definitely not interested in going back to the snow any time soon. Obviously, as a dad, you get a little bummed out about this kind of stuff because it’s fun to find activities that connect us to our kids. I thought the snow thing would be something we could always share, but for now, when it comes to Lilah this will not be the case. However, I do take comfort in the fact that Lilah and I will be going on a trip to Denmark together this summer where she’ll have no choice but to hang out with her “annoying” dad ;-).

On the other hand, Lilah’s loss is Luke’s gain. Since Lilah won’t really be partaking in many snow-related activities in the near future, I returned her ski gear to REI, figuring the next time she wants to go we can just rent the equipment. This meant I was able to purchase a new snowboard for Luke, something he was absolutely overjoyed about, especially since I purchased the matching green bindings he wanted. Because his new Burton Custom board is lighter, fits him better, and handles like a dream, Luke’s snowboarding skills have improved dramatically. So much so that he now leaves me behind no matter how hard I try to keep up with him. The good news there is that his advancement pushes me to also get better so that I can follow him down harder, steeper runs. Reminds me very much of my surfing days when my buddy Derek and I would push each other to ride bigger waves than we would have normally ridden on our own. But in that instance it was easier to keep up as we were both the same age. I know that since Luke is only 11, he is eventually going to leave me in his wake (more than he does now) when it comes to snowboarding (assuming he sticks with it). Either that or I’ll end up breaking something trying to keep up with him.

This month, I was also able to join Luke for his school’s snowboard/ski club outing. This was the first time I had ever gone. One of the highlights of the trip was just getting to sit on the chartered bus and listen to the kids’ conversations on the way to the mountains. It was cool to hear them joke with each other and play games. One of the games they played was saying somebody’s name and then asking others in the group to say the first thing that popped into their mind — I heard answers like fluffy, fuzzy, beautiful, etc.. I couldn’t help think how nice it was to witness the innocence of his sixth grade class, which was on full display for the entire trip. Hopefully I will get a chance to join the fun again.

That’s all for now…More next month!

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