Archive for lucas

What kids learn

Lucas has shown some interesting things lately. For one, he’s learned to lie. 6 months or a year ago, he didn’t know what it was. You could ask him if he did something bad, and he’d tell you. Now when he does something bad, and we call him out on it, he is able to lie to try and get out of it. He doesn’t do it all the time, but I am pretty sure he understands that he’s lying.

Also there’s been a change in how he solves problems. We are doing the same simple jigsaw puzzle we did a year ago, it’s got about 50 big pieces or so. We’ve done the puzzle dozens of times. When we did it a year ago, he’d memorize the picture on a piece and be able to put it exactly where it went. It was impressive, he’d do a better job than I would much of the time. Now he solves the puzzle algorithmically the way I do. He analyzes a piece and searches for neighbors, unfortunately it’s quite a bit slower than his old methodology, but at least it doesn’t require repetition to get better.

Lucas is starting to learn to read, but hasn’t gotten too far yet. He’s probably average or a bit ahead for his age, but I would like him to overachieve a little more.

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Yes He Can

There’s a change coming, a change we can believe in. Lucas went pee in the toilet for the first time at home yesterday.

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Baby Fishy

Lucas has trouble pronouncing Baby Sister, so instead it’s Baby Fishy. We’re still undecided on names, so I think this is the winner.

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Kids are fun

Lucas is really fun these days and I’m really excited about having another baby. Being a parent is busier and better than I expected. Every day Lucas does something unexpected. He learns really quickly and his vocabulary is growing rapidly. His cognitive skills are even more impressive. I think babies just learn a lot faster than I thought. I heard another parent say their child was reading by age 4, and that seemed unreasonable to me 12 months ago, but now I’m pretty sure Lucas will do that.

Tracy’s pregnancy is going well. She’s a great mom too. I think overall we do everything pretty well, with the exception of giving Lucas a bit too much TV. But I grew up with too much TV and I don’t think it hurt me.

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Holiday Recap

For the holidays, we went to my brother’s house on Long Island. We hung out with all of my family, including my parents, 2 brothers + wives, and 5 other kids. The kids were pretty excited to be all together(though they don’t really know each other that well). There was lots of eating and playing with kids. It was a good time, but we were only there 5 days. We also got to go to Peter Lugers Steakhouse and took the kids to the Long Island Children’s Museum.

For New Years, we didn’t do much. We went to my cousin’s house for a potluck. Tracy brought a very good tortilla soup and some very good lemon cookies. They had a Wii set up and Lucas had fun watching me try out Super Mario Galaxy. We left well before midnight because Lucas and Tracy were tired. I of course stayed up and played online poker and Team Fortress 2 to bring in the new year.

Also I got my new graphics card. It’s an EVGA 8800GT and it is excellent. TF2 draws much faster and its improved my gameplay quite a bit. I got pretty annoyed with Dell because even though they had a good deal on a similar card, they delayed my order 4 times(1 week per delay). After a while, I got fed up and just canceled it and went to Central Computer and bought it. Interestingly, Dell sent me an email after the 2nd delay which said that the FTC requires me to confirm an order after the 2nd delay in order for them to continue processing it otherwise it gets automatically canceled. There must’ve been some people who got screwed by consistently delayed orders for this rule to be instituted by the FTC.

I’m watching the equity markets pretty closely right now. I have some money I am going to put into some index LEAPS to get some leverage, but the way the markets keeps sinking has kept me on the sidelines. I will definitely get it in within a few weeks unless the situation worsens. I’m also trying to figure out some estate planning stuff for my parents and that’ll help me get educated on how to do it for myself and Lucas as well.

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Turkey Day and baby update

For Thanksgiving, Tracy’s family came into town and hung out. Tracy cooked a pretty traditional Thanksgiving meal. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, etc. Her brother and sister went to Napa for a day. We watched a lot of football. It was a good time.

Lucas is pretty fun now. He’s got a reasonable vocabulary, but sometimes his pronounciation isn’t quite right, his aunt Mary is May-May. He understands even more, so you can ask him to do things and he’ll follow basic instructions. He’ll ask for Baby Einstein by name. He’s still really cute. Tracy gave him his first hair cut.

For those who hadn’t heard: Tracy is pregnant again. She is due in mid-May and we don’t yet know the sex, but we will find out. We wanted a sibling for Lucas and we didn’t want to be raising kids when we’re 60 so it seemed like the right time.

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Baby Yoda

Here’s pictures of Baby Yoda from this weekend. There will probably be more tonight.

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We got back from a week in British Columbia. We spent 2 days in Whistler and 5 days Vancouver with Tracy’s family. It was a good time, Tracy’s family really enjoyed spending time with Lucas.

The weather was beautiful. Sunny and 75-85 every day. It was a bit strange to have 18 hours of sunlight from 4:30 AM to 10:30 PM.

I’ve been skiing in Whistler once before and it is the finest ski area I’ve ever been to(I haven’t been skiing that much). The trails are nice mixes, the mountain is huge and the Village is really nice.

Whistler is going through some heavy construction to prep for the 2010 Olympics. The access road is just two-lanes, but they are widening it to four so the traffic was heavy.

There was a BMX bike competition the weekend we were in Whistler, so I watched a bit of it while we were there. I’m not really a fan of the sport, but they did do some pretty cool tricks.

I also got a couple good workouts in Whistler. Running hills is pretty challenging as you’d expect. The elevation didn’t affect me as much as I thought it would, I didn’t realize the base is only 2100 ft above sea level.

Whistler Village is a happening singles market. There were a lot of bachelor and bachelorette parties going on, the restaurants were very upscale and trendy. The crowd was young or very young(though that might have been due to the BMX crowd).

Unfortunately the exchange rate sucks pretty badly, so everything was just a bit more expensive than it is here in America.

After Whistler, we came back down to Vancouver for the rest of the week. It’s a very diverse community. Here in the bay area we think of ourselves as diverse, but whether you’re asians, whites, latinos and indians, you’re still American. In British Columbia, even the whites are a pretty diverse, there’s a lot of Candians, American British accents, a lot of native French speakers, and a number of other European tourists as well. It feels like more real diversity than we have here.

Stanley Park is a great tourist spot. We stayed at the Westin right near Stanley Park, so for my morning runs I got to see quite a bit of it. It’s just a bit bigger than Central Park, so there’s a lot to cover. There’s a petting zoo, an aquarium, a few restaurants, and several monuments. We also spent a half day at Granville Public Market which was a somewhat typical open market.

We spent a half day hiking up and touring Grouse Mountain. It’s a very tough 1.5 hour hike, but at the top, you’re treated to a mountaintop cafe and some beautiful views of Vancouver. For the lazy, there’s a gondola that can take you up as well. At the top, there’s a grizzly bear habitat where you can get 20 feet from the bears if they are feeling co-operative or hungry.

We had good luck with our food selection. Restaurants visited include: Monk McQueen’s, Milestones, Whitespot, Norboo, The Sequoia Grill, the Stanley Park Grill, The Watershed Grill.

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Family day

Tracy and I took today off and we took Lucas to the SF Zoo. I’ve never been there before so it was fun. It’s right on the coast so it’s a bit windy and chilly and we were hoping for better weather, but it wasn’t too bad. Lucas is a bit young to appreciate anything except the petting zoo, but he saw some giraffes and gorillas and other interesting wildlife. There are pictures.

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Generic baby update

At 15 months, Lucas is doing well. He’s a happy, active baby. He’s not very picky about food and he sleeps 11 hours most nights so we’re pretty lucky. He’s been walking around pretty well for quite a while, though he doesn’t get much practice with stairs. He went to the doctor and we learned that he’s in the 95th percentile for height but only the 20th percentile for weight. I’m pretty sure that this means he’ll be at least 6’4″ and only about 160 pounds when he grows up. We’re trying to encourage him to talk more and be a bit more communicative. He understands plenty I think, he just doesn’t verbalize that much. He’s also very cute still though obviously my opinion is biased.

I’m pretty happy with our decision to use day care instead of a nanny. Everyone I know who has used a nanny seems to have some sort of issue with theirs, and has had to fire one or two of them. There seem to be frequent problems with unreliable nannies. Last minute cancelling, moving out of the area/country, language issues(most of the nannies are immigrants). Those problems are in addition to the need to feel comfortable with the person taking care of your child.

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