Logan's Halloween

Here are a few shots from Logan's Halloween adventures.  Logan and I dropped Mom off at the HSU library to study, and then went to Arcata, and "trick or treated" the plaza merchants.  We had a very nice time.  It rained the hour before we went, and the hour after we left, but no rain the entire time we walked around!  After an hour or so of extorting candy under the threat of "tricks" from local businesses, we stopped at Mazzottis and each had a frosty beverage.  Logan had milk, I had Eye of the Hawk.  

In the first picture, below, you see my favorite Marxist dressed as a Marx brother (too too funny), holding Logan.  The second pic is Groucho's wife (in mask), with our friend Dot behind her.  The third and fourth pics are pretty self-explanatory, just us circling the Plaza looking for new businesses to extort.   Logan is stuffing his face with a Brio sugar cookie in the last pic.

Logan ended up with quite the Elmo bucket full of candy.  After well over a half dozen pieces of candy consumed, then birthday cake and cookies at my party later, Logan was on a sugar high the likes of which we had not seen in quite a while.  At one point, he repeated an old family joke, by looking at me and saying "Daddy, I'm vibrating" (and he was too!).

HSU Alumni Association Brick Program

My daughter, Lauria, graduated this year from HSU, and one of her graduation presents was an engraved brick, installed on campus with whatever she wanted on it. Although my son, Logan, is only 3yrs old, he has already finished a semester at the HSU Music Academy for Children, and is enrolled in the Discovery Classroom at the HSU Child Care Center, so his sister thought it would be a kick in the pants to have a brick that had both her name and her little brothers name on it, along with the year that they both went to HSU. Cool!

When my Daughter's Grandmother, Elizabeth Stuart, heard about the bricks she ordered one in her family name too. Lauria's mom, (who is also my "Ex" and good friend) Mary, also graduated from HSU with both a BA and an MBA, and currently is engaged by Xian International University in China as Dean of Humboldt College, a transfer program that connects HSU with Xian and facilitates exchange students between the two entities. You can see the Lawrence and Elizabeth Stuart Family Brick, adjacent to the Gehr brick.

During Homecoming this month, the Humboldt State University Alumni Association, and the HSU Athletics Program installed their first round of these bricks. The bricks are given to those that donate $250 (or more) to either the Alumni Association or the Athletics Program scholarship endowments. Donations are 100% tax deductible. You can have up to three lines of text on your brick, with up to 24 characters per line.

I took this photo (above) and video (below) of the bricks with my iPhone. Yup, that is right, I took them with my cell phone. It was just something my son and I shot on the spur of the moment while we were up checking out the brick with his and his sister's names on it. There is nothing professional about the video at all, but it is fun, and does give you an idea of what the bricks look like.

Learn more about the scholarship fund, and the Alumni Association, and consider getting a brick for yourself or a loved one. It is for a good cause!

Video of first Brick Installation by HSU Alumni Association and HSU Athletics:  http://gallery.me.com/kachakaach#100036

Disclaimer:  This is my personal blog, and these are my personal photos and videos.  They are not intended to be, and in fact ARE NOT an official representation or statement by anybody at HSU other than me as an Alum. and community member.  Park and lock it.  Not responsible. (complete disclaimer can be found here)

Today is a good day...

Today is a good day. At least it is starting that way. Lately (as all my family, as well as Twitter, Facebook, and meatspace friends can tell you, with tears streaming down their face, and sincere requests for someone to please make me stop talking about it), we have been involved with potty-training our 3yr old son, Logan. It has been a rocky road, (and I ain't talkin' ice-cream either)!
 
He has got the going "number one" part pretty well figured out. The "number two" part, well, that has been tougher, a lot tougher. We have been trying to be patient, and use positive reinforcements. We were considering purchasing stock in the Mars Corp, makers of the "potty-training success reward of choice" among parents everywhere - M&M's! Then, I researched Mars, Inc, and found out some less than appetizing information about the corporation, including information suggesting that it is a privately held, family owned company that I should be boycotting, not patronizing or investing in. Oh well, I am going to pretend I did not read any of that till after the potty training is over... (yes I have principles, and yes I am compromising them, unless YOU are gonna come potty train this kid, shut up and let me continue). :)
 
Ok, back to the "good day" part of this post.
 
Last night my wife and I both stayed up after Logan went to sleep (a rare occurrence by itself), and played video games. I was playing an old copy of Dungeon Siege on my Macbook Pro (and dreaming of the future release of the new Diablo 3), while my wife played Katamari on my daughter's iPhone which we borrowed for the day. (more on why we had Lauria's iPhone in my next post). We both finally remembered our age, and collapsed into bed around 2am.
 
The next morning, around 7am, our son bounces out of his bed, and into ours, happily trying to wake us up, it is time to "play". We both wave blearily at his room and tell him to go play by himself for a few minutes (I only thought "on the freeway", I did NOT say it), and fall back into a half-awake, half-comatose state of exhaustion caused by trying to pretend we had the video game playing stamina of WoW-addicted teenagers the night before.
 
I hear cars and trains and lots of friendly "play" sounds as I drift in and out of sleep, then, all of a sudden, I am wide awake. It is silent. Quite as a church. No cars crashing, no "Thomas the Train" chugging on the track, nothing. My heart leaps in my throat. It is NEVER good when the 3 yr old is totally silent, total lack of sound is a harbinger of doom.
 
I go in Logan's bedroom, nothing, he is not there! I go in the kitchen, not there either. Not in the front room, not in the hall. Then I look in the bathroom. There is Logan. Sitting on the custom handcrafted redwood "bear" potty chair made by his godfather. He has pulled down his PJ's, removed his nighttime pull-up, put it in the diaper pail, sat down on the potty, and made a "number two" that appears, frankly, too big to have actually come from his little body. Totally unprompted. No help. No encouragement. No adults at all. I am beginning to think that we are a barrier to the training process. I am hereby putting Logan in charge of his own potty training from now on. I am just in charge of dispensing the guilt-ridden rewards for performance.
 
Today is a good day.

North Coast Music Together

Recently, my son, Logan (age 3) and I went to a demo class for “North Coast Music Together” (NCMT), a “community of families sharing songs, instrument play, rhythm chants, and movement in a relaxed, playful and non-performance-based setting”.  It is for infants through toddlers, along with active parent participation.

This is the second attempt at a formal “music appreciation” class for my musically interested son.  Our first attempt was at the HSU Music Academy.  That was a nice class, but it was very “girl” oriented. More “ballet”, while the NCMT class was a little less ballet and a little more “John Philip Sousa.”

I also know one of the instructors, I assisted Jose on some of the technical design and installation aspects of the Digital Pathways video project for youth in Humboldt County.  He exudes the same boundless energy teaching 3yr olds that he does creating innovative Workforce Investment Act projects.

We start classes in the upcoming fall session.