Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Daily Boo

Almost a year ago, I developed a substance abuse problem. No, it wasn't booze, pills, or anything like that. I became a Crack(berry) addict - one of those insufferably tech-frenzied morons incapable of going more than five minutes without frantically pecking away at her smartphone device. In order to offset the irritation that my new addiction may have caused to those around me, I began using my Blackberry to snap and send pictures of a certain chubby someone to my closest friends and family.

The very first "Daily Boo."
In the beginning, there were only a few regular recipients of what came to be called the "Daily Boo" email. They included a few close girlfriends, Vince, and my parents. Now, the regular mailing list has grown to include about twice the original number of recipients, but they all have something in common: they're obsessed with The Boo. Ok, I'm exaggerating... They're not all obsessed with Benjamin - though a few of them are (you know who you are, Auntie Yvonne and Auntie Debbie!) - but they do enjoy getting a regular dose of adorable chubbiness in their email inboxes.
There's no rhyme or reason to what kind of picture gets sent out as the Daily Boo. It can be any picture of Benjamin taken with my Blackberry. Over the past year, however, I've several recurring themes have emerged. For example, there are many Daily Boo pictures that feature Benjamin and Daddy:
On rare occasions, Mommy will make appearance in the Daily Boo, too.
The Backseat Pug is a frequent guest star in the Daily Boo... is Benjamin's partner-in-crime, Nolan.
Since I believe in keeping it real, sometimes I'll send out pictures of Benjamin in his not-so-charming moments. These pictures are referred to as the "Daily Boo-Hoo":

And these pictures I call the "Daily Poo":

Like I said, I keep it real.
There are certain Daily Boo picture that crack me up every single time I see them:
And then there are the Daily Boo's that just make me scratch my head and go "Huh??"

Sometimes the Daily Boo isn't really a Daily Boo, but a Nightly Boo:

But one type of Daily Boo is my absolute favorite. No matter how tired or cranky I am, every time I see one of these Daily Boo's, a smile spreads across my face, my spirits lift, and my heart swells up.
Seeing that precious smile makes all the Daily Boo-Hoo's, sleepless Nightly Boo's, Daily Poo's, and Daily What-Have-You's just melt away. It fills me with indescribable joy and makes me unbelievably grateful just to be with my Boo. Daily.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I really enjoy being a homemaker. Two of things that really float my boat are cooking and cleaning. Before my life was taken over by the tiny dictat-- I mean, before I gave birth to my beautiful son, I used to prepare fresh dinners almost every night that Vince and me enjoyed in the comfort of neat and tidy surroundings. I also used to comb my hair daily, but that's another story.
.Nowadays, cooking and cleaning are more of an "either/or" thing. On any given day, I either clean or I cook. But once in a while, the stars will align and I will get the chance to both cook AND clean in the same day. I know what you're thinking: "Gosh, Lily, that sounds AWESOME!! WHAT FUN!" Before you get jealous of my exciting existence, let me assure you that this happens only once in a blue moon.

One day last week, the blue moon was out. Benjamin was busy scribbling with crayons, so I tidied up around the house. I swept the floors, I took out the trash, I put away the toys, I cleaned the bathroom, and I even lined up our shoes. When I was done, Benjamin was still sitting quietly by himself with his crayons and paper, so I decided to take the opportunity to cook dinner before Vince got home. While I was in the kitchen, I even got the chance to wash all the pots in the sink and clear off the counters. "Wow," I thought to myself. "A clean house AND dinner! I ROCK!" Just as I was about to rest on my hausfrau laurels, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye:
Behind the gate, a blur. A chubby, mohawked blur that told me somebody was hard at work running back and forth. But why? Oh, this could not be good. With a sinking feeling, I ventured outside the confines of my nice, neat kitchen to assess the damage.

Ok, so a few things were out of place. A few little cars had been taken out, Oliver's chew toys were scattered about, and somehow our volleyball had escaped from its rightful place in the closet. But not to worry, because this would take but a few minutes to clean up.

And then I turned the corner.

Oh, good Lord. In the span of twenty minutes, Benjamin had managed to undo an hour of my housewife ministrations. I don't know how he did it, but it looked as though his playroom had somehow vomited on itself. With a sigh, I realized that one of out two ain't bad; at least we'd get to enjoy a nice, freshly-prepared dinner tonight. The clean house would have to wait for another day.

And Benjamin... Let me just say that you're very, very lucky you're so cute.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Through the Eyes of a Child

As I've mentioned in previous posts, the world around us looks much different when viewed through the eyes of a child. A cardboard box isn't just a throwaway container; it's a clubhouse. A bathtub is a lake. And a firehouse? Well, it's just about the coolest place in the world to a curious toddler.

A few weeks ago, a bunch of us took a field trip to our neighborhood firehouse. In exchange for baked goods, we were given a tour of the building. Also, the kids got to explore the fire trucks. You can image how exciting that was for them! The visit wasn't all fun and games, though. In an effort to familiarize the kids with what their rescuers would look like in the unfortunate event of a fire, one of the firemen donned his full gear - boots, pants, jacket, gloves, hat, air tank, mask, and all. The kids' reaction was... Well, I think it's safe to say that they were a little freaked out.

And in case you can't tell from the crowd reaction shot above, here are close-ups of some of the stunned little faces:

I suppose that to a child, the sight of a giant masked creature with tubes running out of his head would be strange, maybe even a bit frightening. They'd have no idea what this creature could be. A comic book character? A guy in a funny raincoat? A spaceman? Or what about a...

Illustration c/o Stjepan Sejic.
Ok, maybe that's taking it a bit far. But you get the point.

Luckily, kids have the memories of goldfish, and it was no time before they were happily running around, inspecting the fire hoses, playing with empty boots, and climbing on trucks. Benjamin even got a lift from one of the firemen, Leon. And when I say "lift," I mean, "LIFT." Look at how tall this guy is!

Maybe I'll give Fireman Leon a call when it comes time for me to dust my chandeliers- Or clean the outside of my fourth-story windows!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Daredevils, or Creature of Habit 6

For the second Independence Day in a row, we celebrated by having a mini-Liu family reunion. My brother Leon and his wife Claire flew in from their new home in Kansas City to join me, Vince, Benjamin, and my mom, who was already in town from China.

Benjamin kicked off the holiday by asserting his own independence - on the playground. Until recently, he would go down the slide only while sitting on Mommy or Daddy's lap. In the spirit of the holiday, though, he decided that it was time for him to brave the slide on his own. He was, however, still willing to sit with Daddy on another, more dangerous ride - a downhill slalom on his new Plasma Car.

His new daredevil antics all but gave poor Hao Po a near heart attack! The irony was that she was the one who had bought him his new red car. I think she was kicking herself over that!

Thankfully, Benjamin balanced out his outdoor stunts with quieter, less life-threatening activities. Whenever we were indoors, he enjoyed sitting and reading with Hao Po.

On the evening of July 4th, Vince, Leon, Claire, and I tapped into our own inner daredevils by climbing up onto our rooftop to watch fireworks. From our precarious vantage point, we were able to see sparks in Culver City, Manhattan Beach, and Malibu.
And though my father was the only Liu family member who wasn't able to make it to our reunion, he made sure that he wasn't forgotten. In fact, his might have been the most daring act of all: he asked my very cranky, very crowd-averse mother to go to the circus that is Costco to him his precious Charmin. The look on my Mom's face while she was schlepping the Charmin was enough to send me cowering behind my shopping cart and thanking the heavens that I wasn't my dad at that moment. Talk about risky behavior!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Classic Asian Dad

During the concert in the park that we attended a week ago, I'd used my Blackberry to snap this adorable pic of Benjamin chilling in a lawn chair:

I'd then sent the picture to my Daily Boo mailing list (I'll explain what that is in another post), writing in the body of the email, "Enjoying a concert in the park."

The next day, I got this reply from my father:

Hi Lily,
I think you need to bring him to Suzuki Music or other talent school soon. No rock music, let him listen more of classic concert will be better.

Gotta love that Asian Dad Wisdom!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tiny Dancer Tosses His Cookies... Literally!

Last Saturday was the first open-air concert of the summer in the park, and the entire neighborhood turned out in force to soak in the music and the sun. We were no exception, and we turned the concert into a chance to do a few of our favorite things - hang out with friends, gorge ourselves on fine food, and drink alcohol out of sippy cups.

We enjoy every outdoor concert the neighborhood organizes, but this one was especially nice because my mom was in town to enjoy it with us. She'd flown in from China a few days prior, and even though she was still jetlagged, she joined us in the park, where Benjamin did his best to keep her energy levels up.

Did you notice how he started rocking out at precisely the moment the vocals kicked in? I smell a Tony in his future!

Anjali, Berry, and Benjamin pow-wow; Anya shows her her most charming smile; and Benjamin and Nolan play ball with Vince.

While the grown-ups were busy chatting, the kids were partying it up on their own. I actually think that Benjamin may have had too much (milk) to drink.

I could hardly believe my eyes! First I catch him dancing maniacally - all by himself. Then, he (literally) tosses his cookies. And finally, he stops dancing only to blatantly ogle a pretty girl!

Hmmm... Maybe there's no Tony in his future, after all.

By Popular Demand...

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