Saturday, January 31, 2009

Reality TV??

First things first. Someone please poke me in the eye with a fork to divert the pain. Although done lovingly, I must have read 'Max Drives Away' 30 times today.

And now on to the post:
Mrs. LIAYF and I rented the first couple of Battlestar Galactica Season 4 Dvd's a few nights ago and have been enjoying catching up on this series, which we left off on a couple of years ago before we canceled our cable subscription.

Now I do realize that this is a Science Fiction series and you are supposed to suspend disbelief to a certain extent when watching, but what happened on last night's episode 'Escape Velocity' took things so far away from reality that I almost had to turn it off.

The scene in question took place after a funeral for Cally, who was uncerimoniously dispensed of through an air lock in the previous episode. Grizzled old Colonel Saul Tigh, and Tory come to visit "Chief," Cally's husband and also a Cylon (machine/human hybrid for those who are unfamiliar with the show).

Anyway, when they arrive, the Chief's now motherless toddler Nicolas, perhaps 15 or so months old, is crying inconsolably while the Chief sits at a table distraught and doing nothing about it. Saul looks at him and says "You gonna do anything about the kid?" Chief responds "Probably needs changed." To which Saul says "I'll get it". He goes to another room and the crying immediately stops.

As Tory starts talking with Chief, not 15 seconds later Saul returns obviously having magically calmed and changed the previously inconsolable toddler who remains unseen in another room.

(Would you trust this guy to change your toddlers messy diaper?)

-
Now, I can suspend disbelief for most of this show because the possibility of a fleet of Humans searching through the galaxy for Earth, while being chased by the Cylons who are intent on wiping out all of humanity.......hey, it could happen.

But a grizzled old one eyed Colonel, calming and changing an inconsolable little boy in 15 seconds flat? How naive do they think the viewers really are? I guess we are not the target audience anymore.

Just to think . . . a couple of years ago I would have blissfully missed that sticky little detail.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Invest in this GM Right Away

Hey there all. Want a sure fire stock tip in these turbulent economic times? Well, turn your attention away from the sage advice of Warren Buffet for just a few moments, and I will let you in on a little golden secret.

General Mills.

While everyone else is out there trying to salvage what is left of their Golden years by dabbling in energy, tech, and coffee shares, I plan on making a killing in cereal. Why cereal? Because friends, the smart investor will buy what he sees flying off the shelves. And personally, I see cereal.

Specifically, Corn Chex and Cheerios. They are a hot, hot commodity in my sphere and thus I predict the stock prices will soon soar.

These days we are feeding Lukas volumes of these little circles and squares. So much so, that other parents in our Seattle neighborhood could find the shelves bare on their next trip to the local market. Ok, so he is not eating all of this cereal. But he does like to take a snack cup with him wherever he goes filled with his favorite breakfast gorp (we also add raisins and cranberries).
-
What makes it go so much faster is that when dad or mom are not looking, he enjoys ripping off the lid and tossing all that cereal around said location (usually the back seat of the car) like crispy confetti. Yet, we keep filling the cup back up like the suckers that we are. Naturally, this leads to a back seat full of sticky cereal, and an obvious conundrum
-
(Why do these cursed birds keep following me?)
-
With no time to keep up on the important things, much less cleaning this otherwise hidden mess up, how do we reconcile looking at this crunchy mess during each trip to the car seat?
-
Let's just say that a quick swipe or two leaves me with a clean conscience and a satisfying knowledge that our feathered friends scattered all over the city are nestling down to sleep that night with a full tummy. At times I amaze myself with my benevolence.

Now get online and by some General Mills stock, pronto!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Music Can't Soothe the Savage Beast

(Lukas at the instrument petting zoo before the show)
-
Lukas demonstrated this weekend that he is a boy with broad and diverse musical interests. Be they ever so enthusiastic! From punk, to metal, to country, to the blues and almost everything in between, Lukas has been exposed, through our music collection, local record store, and farmer's market musicians, to a broad range of interesting musical genres and has completely enjoyed all of them.

However, one of the musical genres which doesn’t get a lot of air time at our house is classical music. With the note-able exception of a recent holiday party where we had a good friend who is a cellist in a local symphony (and a cello instructor) graciously give an impromptu ‘concert’ for the little ones in attendance, Lukas has not been exposed to music which could be classified as classical or ‘chamber’.

Until this past Saturday.

Mrs. LIAYF and I took Lukas, accompanied by 3 other boys his age and their parents, to the Seattle Chamber Music Society’s Winter Festival at Seattle’s swanky Benaroya Hall. The specific concert we attended, which was geared towards families with young children and thus only 45 minutes long, was held in a moderately packed auditorium which seated 500 guests. It seemed like the perfect introduction to a new kind of music in a concert setting. But, since this was Luke’s first public event of this sort, and given that he normally doesn’t sit still for more than a ten minutes at a time, we had no idea what to expect from him.

I smartly secured us seats by the aisle nearest the exit door.

Lukas loved the music! Perhaps a bit too much. It started with a short narration after the lights were dimmed. We became nervous as Lukas began to fidget. However, once the music began he became rapt and was obviously enjoying himself as he stood tiptoes to look over the unoccupied seat in front of him. We settled back to enjoy the performance ourselves, more than a bit relieved that things were going well.

Then the first musical number ended in a dramatic crescendo and with the crowd still silent Lukas, at the top of his lungs, yelled out “YEEEAHHH!” and began to clap wildly! This, of course, immediately caused bursts of laughter from the crowd and several rows of head quickly turned in our direction, trying to make out the source of the enthusiasm. Even the Flutist on stage snorted out a stifled laugh visible to all in attendance, which only lead to more chuckles amongst the crowd. At least his timing was dead on.

Oh, but the fun did not end there friends. Not by a long shot. Lukas, very aware that he had garnered such attention, belted out yet another high decibel “YEEEAHHH!” which brought additional laughter as well as sympathetic looks from those close by. Mrs. LIAYF and I oscilated between being mortified and laughing outloud ourselves.

Thankfully the music began again and diverted the attention away from us. Mrs. LIAYF, thinking quickly, motioned for me to pull out the lunch we had packed for after the concert. This diversionary tactic worked perfectly...that is if you consider a toddler dipping a hardboiled egg into dried vegetables and stuffing his face while fidgeting on his mom’s lap to actually be diversionary! At least it was only those around us who witnessed this show.

Then with Lukas done eating and loudly calling out “All done!” “All done!”, the music stopped a second time. A boisterous “YEEEAHHH!” and clapping ensued, but this time accompanied by audience applause for the performers which, thankfully, slightly drowned it out. Mrs. LIAYF, then tried to muffle Luke and we both tried to shhhsh him, but he is a boy that is not accustomed to being shhhsed, so didn’t quite grasp the concept. A second and third half muffled “YEEEAHHH!” proved just too distracting to the crowd. Glad at being next to the aisle, I quickly got up and let Lukas go for the run he had also wanted, which I directed towards the back of the auditorium and out the exit doors.

We did make it back in to the show a couple of more times, but had to exit each time to keep our little guy occupied, and quiet, for the rest of the performance. We did let him "YEEEAHHH" and applause at the end, standing in mom's lap and excited that everyone was joining in. We were then able to go on stage and meet the musicians and narrator. We fessed up to being the perpetrators of all the commotion, to which the performers all chuckled and lauded his impeccable comedic timing.

Perhaps we need to take him out more, so we can work on the quiet voice!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

3' Tall and He's Got it All

Seattle, we have a problem. I don't want to sound the alarm bells too early here, seeing how certain media outlets derided guys like 'Peter Schiff'. But hey, I feel that someone needs to step up and let the folks in Seattle know about the problem I envision, so that some strategic plans can be forged to deal with the issue that this city will have to face in, say 20 years or so.

It is eerily strange but boys are everywhere around here. In our birthclasss: 10 out of 12 babies were boys! Our block: 20 out of 24 kids under the age of 10 are boys! Our daycare: 9 out of the 12 toddlers in Luke's room are boys! Just walking down the sidewalks of our neighborhood, it is hard not to run into new parents who are not toting around, or following behind at least one little boy. Mrs. LIAYF heard a story a while back which suggested that more boys are born in times of war. It seems to be over the top in our neighborhood.

Boys, boys, boys. Fun, yes. But 20 years from now there are going to be a lot of very restless men occupying Seattle streets. And they will be lonely! Clearly, this is not a good combination and someone needs to come up with a plan. I even began to worry about Luke's future dating prospects.

(Lukas, dashing with his 8:00 shadow - who could resist?)

Therefore, I was extremely relieved at what has transpired over the past couple of days at daycare. It seems that my boy has caught discerning eye of one of those 3 little girls in his room. This fetching little blond, whom I will call Venus for purposes of anonymity, seems to be genuinely smitten with Lukas. She is a month older - he must like the more mature women. Here is what I have witnessed firsthand at drop off and pickup (who knows what happens for those hours on end while I am at work!):

Event #1 - Three days ago, as we leaving to go home, Venus ran across the play room to give a full body, lingering embrace to Lukas when it was apparent he was going home, which he returned in kind. The other boys in the room all just stood (or sat) there, their mouths agape, watching these events unfold.

Event #2 - As I picked up Lukas the next day the daycare staff relayed that he had fallen and hurt himself and was a little upset. However, he was much recovered when Venus came over to hug and kiss his "owies." He felt better right away. Again, the other little boys sat and stared, amazed at his magnetic attraction to members of the fairer gender.
-
Event #3 - Yesterday morning when we arrived, Venus once again ran to meet Lukas, grabbing him by the arm and leading him to the center of the room. She then proceeded to unzip his coat and underlying fleece hoodie and pull them off for him, before leading him over to an awaiting pile of inviting toys. Lukas, demonstrating that he is indeed his father's son, took his cue and allowed Venus to dote over him while he amicably agreed to her instructions.
-
It certainly helps that Lukas has learned to agree verbally recently.
-
I can hear it now... "Lu-Lu, play?"
-
"Yeth, Dear!"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

1/20/09

It just seemed right...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"Yes" Man

In a refreshing turn of events around Casa de hurricane Luke, our son has recently developed the ability to answer questions in the affirmative. It seemed that for ages around here, every question posed was answered with a definitive no. Or, often enough, "No, no, noo...Noooo!"

But now it seems my boy can understand many of our posed questions sufficiently enough to ascertain when we are asking him about something that he may actually want. Like "Lukas, would you like to go outside?" Or "Lukas, do you want to read a book?" To which, he will now answer with an enthusiastic "Yeaaahh!" or sometimes "Yeth!".

(Lukas, are you excited about Tuesday? "Yeaaahhh!")

Ahhh, the sweet sounds of agreement. Who would have thought it would be so profoundly satisfying to hear?

Not me. I knew that verbal agreement from a toddler would be a good thing, but to me right at this very moment, it sounds similar to what I would envision a chorus of Angels would sound like on Christmas morning.

Or, perhaps even a certain impending 'Oath of Office', heralding a new beginning. Happy MLK Day and Inaguration Eve!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Regarding Versaries

Today is an exciting day for me. Partly because it's Friday preceding a three day weekend, but primarily because it's my Blogaversary! It was one year ago today that I got intrigued enough at home during my paternity leave, poking aimlessly around cyberspace reading other blogs, that I decided to find the easiest and least expensive blogging platform available (You can't beat $Free.99) to start my own blog. Thus Luke, I am Your Father was born.

(My inaugural post spoke to the difficulties
of talking about a good nights sleep)
-

Blogging about my experience as a new father has been amazingly rewarding. It certainly helps to have such a terrific subject. Lukas is an endless source happiness, joy, pride, fun, and blog fodder as well. At the time, I had no concept that I would actually still be doing this a year later, but as they say "When the ride is good, why get off?". Yes, I did just make that up. But that is the great thing about having your own blog (That you have control, not that you can make stuff up - Everything I publish is 100% true, of course).

Special thanks goes out to Mrs. LIAYF, who has been my editor, my compass, and my strongest supporter during the past year. I couldn't have kept this up without her. Thanks also to all of you who have stopped by to introduce yourself, leave an encouraging comment during tough times, or to provide regular feedback. You are all terrific!

Another reason today is special is because it is also the 44th Anniversary of my two most strident Lurkers. You could even say they are the King and Queen of the LIAYF Lurkers. They love every aspect of this simple little blog. Ok, truthfully, they always want more content that is specifically about Lukas but still, they loyally read every word, no matter what I post.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad. Your example over the years has taught me so much about how to be a good husband and parent. And, I am still taking notes.

By the way, a comment every now and then wouldn't kill ya, would it??

Thursday, January 15, 2009

You Know Who You Are

Happy Thursday everyone. I wasn't aware of it at the time, but this past Monday was National Delurking Day. The idea is that if you are a Lurker (Stop by and read posts, but never comment), Delurking day would be the day where you would finally be motivated (read: guilted) to take the time to leave a comment. I'm sure that, like me, most of you didn't get the day off work which made it a real bummer of a holiday.
-
It's amazing how people can just make up a special day. Just like that!
-
In the spirit of it all, I am going to make up my own special holiday on the spot. Put it on your calendars. Since I am a procrastinator by nature, I hereby proclaim today, January 15th, as National Procrastinators DeLurking Day.
-
If you are a procrastinator just like me, and also a Lurker, and you didn't get around to delurking yourself this past Monday, now is your perfect opportunity. Celebrate with me right here, right now. "You know you want to".
-
I will probably be sorry that I ever brought this up. I don't have high expectations, but would be happy with at least one bite. Are you that person?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

When Museums are Fun

(Lukas at the Hands On Children's Museum at 14 months old.)
-
This past weekend was soggy and cool here in Seattle, and with the holiday's past us, we were searching for a fun indoor activity to occupy, interest, and properly wear out our little energizer boy. Luckily, through a group Mrs. LIAYF is associated with, we were invited to an event at a local Children's museum.
-
Lukas had such a good time at the KidsQuest Children's Museum that I decided to post about Seattle area children's museums over at the Uptake.com Vacations blog.
-
Check it out and let me know what you think. Cheers!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ring...Ring...Ring

Elmo: (Gravely voice) Huuuh-Ro.

Me: Is this Elmo?

Elmo: Who's askin'?

Me: This is James

Elmo: James who?

Me: James from 'Luke, I am Your Father'.

Elmo: How'd you get this number??

Me: You'd be amazed at what you can find on the internet these days.

Elmo: Hmm, word. Anyway, what do you want?

Me: I was wondering, well....if you could come over and entertain my boy Lukas for a while. He has been calling for you all morning. Yes, he was a bit weirded out by that one time you stopped by and got all wiggy. Not sure what you were on that night, but we had a man to man about giving you a second chance. You know in the spirit of the holiday season and all.

Elmo: (silence)..............Dude, It's Sunday Morning and I kinda had a late night. Painting the town Elmo red...if ya know what I mean. Plus I am seriously low on Helium. So, I'm think'n Nada.

Me: Come on man, show some of that love you are always preachin'. My boy has some serious idol worship goin for you and it would really make his day. All I need is 20 minutes, tops!

Elmo: You say he idolizes me?

Me: Hell yah! Big time.

Elmo: ....Alright, alright. Just give me a half an hour to gather myself and grab a few ibuprophen.

Me: Sorry to ask for more, buuuut...while you're at it can you bring over some of your friends too?

Elmo: Gad! You have some serious nerve. Talk about givin' a guy an inch. Let me see...well, Kelly Rippa is in town...so I guess I could bring her over.

Me: Perfect! Elmo, you are one seriously cool dude. No wonder all the kids worship you. Thanks so much!

Elmo: You just need to do me a favor too.

Me: Sure. Shoot.

Elmo: I need you to double your promo of me with the kid. Maybe turn that tv back on for an episode of The Street every once in a while. The producers have been houndin' me all week about advertising and promotion. Can you do that?

Me: Aren't you on PBS?

Elmo: Do you want me to come over? Cause I could still be sleeping right now.
-
Me: Yeah, sure. We'll try to watch more often. What the heck. But I'll have to wait 'til February when everything is switched to digital signals. No cable here.

Elmo: Wow, that sucks. But you're still hedgin'. I need a positive answer. Deal or no deal? Hmmph. God, now that's a lame show.

Me: Yes, we have a deal. See ya soon, and thanks again.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Come Again?

I stood there for a few seconds in silence while my otherwise slow brain cells processed what I had just heard. Ticking slowly, my brain evaluated with great care which neural pathway it would shoot the bewildering information my ears had received.
-
Would the input be processed in such a way that it would strike me as funny? Or maybe it would it be interpreted altogether differently and sent down the "ignore and move on" pathway. Alternatively, it could be sent down a pathway which would subsequently raise my ire and ultimately result in anger (anyone who knows me knows how unlikely that scenario truly is).
-
Lukas is in the Pre-toddler program at his daycare. The 12-20 months old group. Many of the little ones at this age are just beginning to exercise their vocal chords to form words. As would be expected, the end result often ends up an adorable variation on the intended word. It is one of the sweeter aspects of having a child this age. And, certain names can be especially vexing for the tots. So it has not been surprising to me to overhear a child or caregiver being given a nickname which the little ones can form more readily.
-
In fact, I have heard several cute names used recently, including 'Bah-Bah' (Brandon), 'Lo-Lo' (Solomon), 'Roh-Roh' (Rosana), but was certainly not prepared for what I heard when Lukas and I arrived at daycare yesterday morning.
-
"Look everyone, 'Lu-Lu' is here!!"
-
Say what? LU-LU?. Are you kidding me?? My brain cells finally processed that thought, and it went straight down the indignation pathway. So, out of all the Nicknames we have for Lukas you would think that they have chosen one a bit less...how do I say it....FEMININE?
-
I mean really, does this look like a Lu-Lu to you?

(Lukie Longshanks in the Visitors Clubhouse at Safeco Field)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm It

I've been tagged by DC Urban Dad and Zoe's Dad to participate in yet another Meme.

This one is easy. Oh, how I like easy. The rules are:

Go to your documents
Go to your 6th file. (I just went to 'My Pictures', cause I'm a cheater)
Go to your 6th picture.
Blog about it.
Tag 6 friends to do the same.





Surprise!! It's a picture of Lukas. Who'd of guessed that?? Anyway, this is a picture that I actually used in one of my earlier posts "A Real Stand-Up Guy". Lukas hadn't been standing on his own for very long when this picture was taken, however, the post is actually about his budding sense of humor.

A nice way for those newcomers to LIAYF to dip into the archives, which is timely since I am rapidly nearing a major milestone for the blog. Betcha can't guess what that is. Anyway, check out the old post, and let me know what you think.

Oh yeah, and here are my 6 victims. You are by no means obligated to do this.

Clare's Dad
Idaho Dad
NukeDad
Scary Mommy
Being Jake
Dad Stuff

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

On the (Up)Take

Vacations


From the "Been meaning to write this for a couple of weeks now but there was the holiday's and the snow, and..." file, comes today's post finally announcing that I have joined the Uptake.com Vacations blog team.

Yes, I have joined Uptake Vacations blog lead editor Whit (who may soon be crowned King of the blogging world) and his band of merry men and women in their quest to bring cool vacation knowledge to the wired world, one simple blog post at a time.

My mission, now that I have chosen to accept it, is to blog about family vacation destinations, places of interest, and fun things to do in the Seattle area over at the Uptake.com vacations blog.

What exactly is Uptake.com? Here is how they describe themselves:

UpTake.com is a travel search and discovery site - the first step for travelers to decide where to go, where to stay or what to do. Founded in 2006 by Yen Lee, former general manager of Yahoo! Travel, UpTake was developed to be complementary to existing travel sites by providing relevant summaries to travelers and offering direct links to travel sites for complete results. In this way, UpTake is complementary to its partners—their products get discovered, while travelers can find vacation information more easily.

Using UpTake, travelers are able to make better decisions because it delivers personalized results relevant to their desired trip.UpTake helps users make informed decisions about what best fits their travel preferences. UpTake has indexed more than 5,000 sources and 20 million travelers’ opinions from across the web to help travelers make better decisions about where to go, where to stay and what to do. UpTake uses a travel ontology and natural language analysis to extract meta-tags from the collective intelligence of the Web and returns unbiased, personalized recommendations based on travelers’ facts and feelings about hotels, motels, camping, beaches, spas, golf courses, attractions and restaurants. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto. More information can be found at www.uptake.com.

Uptake has been so successful that in just a few short months after it went public it became the largest travel search engine on the web. Impressive. It certainly warrants a bookmark in your 'Travel' folder as the place to go, before you go.

I am familiar with most of the bloggers who are now writing for the Uptake Vacations Blog and I can honestly say that I am in awe that I could actually be included in such an impressive group of entertaining writers. Subscribe to the vacations blog feed and you will be introduced to numerous places of interest that you may have never known existed.

My latest post is about the heart and soul of Seattle, the Seattle Center. Check it out. I look forward to seeing you there.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Extra Crispy

The year is new, the weekend is ending, and the decorations are finally packed away (thus, thankfully spared anymore indignant abuse at the hands of our extremely "touchy-feely" toddler). Although the ornament casualty count was higher than I expected, I do consider our decorating experience a success as we survived without anything burning down, or any blood being shed.

There were plenty of tears however. Most notably after a run in with the jolly red guy with the fake white beard, but also a couple of times after certain glass items shattered, leaving Mrs. LIAYF and I running to protect our startled little guy.

Today also marks the end of a nearly two week hiatus from all things (ok, mostly) work related. And that is a very sad thought as this has been one of those rare occasions where I could spend extended quality time at home with my wife and son. Spending the time with them has been a blast. We laughed, we cried, we partied, we ate too much. I really don't want to go back. Not yet at least.
-
I practiced this with Lukas before the decorations came down and it worked great, so if anyone else out there needs a bit of help letting go, repeat after me:

Bye Bye lights!

Bye Bye ornaments!

Bye Bye tree!

Bye Bye vacation!

On a final subject, I feel about like our tree looks right now. A bit wilted, dried out, and having seen my better days. However, with the new year comes renewed hope, right? And with Lukas becoming increasingly active every day, it is becoming painfully obvious that if I don't get myself into better shape soon, I will never be able to keep up with him. This is not a resolution, but I do plan on beginning a new workout schedule. Starting tomorrow of course.
-
I will let you know how it goes.
-
P.S. - I did, in fact, get up early Monday and put in a 20 minute jog on my treadmill. It felt great!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Right Back at Cha!

I'm back in business after a week of dealing with my !#%$#$@ wireless router, which basically shut me down completely and rose my frustration level to heights not seen around here in quite some time. Now that I am back up, I'm feeling a bit more Zen once again.

Amid the rising frustration, I had to remember to keep my perspective. This certainly helped.

video

(I definitely heard the love, did you?)

Hope you all had a terrific New Year's Day and are looking forward to a fantastic new year. Peace.