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Winter Break 2019 Happy-Blog!

It took a couple months to internetify this…

Our Winter Break in December 2019 was just wonderful. Here’s our happy-winter-break-blog!

What a wonderful and relaxing winter break it has been!

December 20th: Megan and Abigail made it to Little Farm to play with the animals. Later we all made it to the Tilden Merry-Go-Round with Vivi, Silvi, and Margot

21st: We made it to another wonderful performance of A Year With Frog and Toad, a fantastic kids musical!

22nd: Abigail and Megan went to make cookies with Caitlin and Ameilia. They had a wonderful time making sugar roll out cookies and chocolate roll out cookies. Made many shapes and decorated them. Abigail went to a 3-hour crafting class at our good friend SarahJane’s store, Bay-Made in Oakland.

24th: we had Christmas lunch at Penelope’s nursing home. Caitlin, Jeff, Amelia, Megan, Abigail, and Lee were there. Chaparral House had a fine buffet with turkey and fixings. After, Amelia and Abigail played in the nearby playground for a good while.

25th: We spent almost all of Christmas day opening presents! It was a leisurely affair. Most of the presents (rightfully so) were for Abigail. Megan cooked the famous Flom Cheesy Souffle that she had started the night before. After receiving the unexpected “gift” of lice from Abigail’s school, we spent much of the day cleaning house and shampooing; in many ways, it was pleasantly cleaning.

On the 26th, we went up to Gail and Walt’s in Santa Rosa. Presents, homemade tamales, cake, cookies, fun on the big backyard tree-swing!

27th: Megan went to the Kabuki Spa in San Francisco while Lee and Abigail stayed home and played with our neighbor Ana at the park.

28th (oop, we forgot to write it down!)

29th Megan and Abigail visited Grandma at Chaparral House. While there, Megan discovered Abigail had more lice! so we went home and deloused our hair and house again! Delousing made us miss Nathaniel’s birthday party. We also had plans to see Charlotte at Picante but she had food poisoning! So the day ended up being house cleaning and head cleaning instead of going out for fun :-) / :-(

30th We went to Ikea on a hint and Lee was ecstatic to finally find food storage containers that all fit together, then off to Costco, then for Vietnamese Sandwiches, the library. Then Megan and Abail were off to the Berkeley Marina for some fun while Lee chillaxed at home. Nice!

31st We went to the Lawrence Hall of Science for the New year’s noon confetti drop. We went with Abigail’s good friend Leia and her mom, Rachel. We ended up spending 4 hrs at LHS, exploring, creating, meeting a Ball Python snake, playing in the water outside, and eating a nice lunch with popsicles! Megan made salmon and asparagus for dinner. After Abigail fell asleep, Megan and Lee watched the ball drop in NYC (at 9pm). After some struggling, they were able to open a tiny bottle of Proseco to celebrate, which they drank from Penelope’s Waterford crystal glasses.

Jan 1st – Hung out at home until Nataliah (babysitter) came over. Megan visited her mom and then Lee met Megan at a games party being hosted by Peter and Mary in Oakland. There, they played games and chatted with folks for a few hours. Upon arriving home. It was discovered that Abigail and Nataliah had made a giant cardboard foosball table!

Jan 2nd – Hung out in the morning, playing at home. Then, Ruth, Megan’s psych intern from Mill Valley came by for a signature and stayed to chat for a while. Then, we all went out to run errands. We first went to Past Time Hardware for stuff to hang pictures/art and a new lightbulb for the kitchen. Then, we went to Solano Ave where we had ice cream first and then chose new calendars at Pegasus Books. Last stop was swinging by Fern’s Garden so Abigail could tell Fern (the owner) that her wish had come true. (Just prior to Christmas, Abigail had made a wish in the store — by throwing a small stone into a sandy tub. She had wished for more stuffies for X-mas and she had gotten 3 new stuffies! Fern let Abigail make a new wish :-) As we were on our way to another errand, Charlotte called to say she was at our old apartment and was available to hang out. Since we were close by, we drove over to meet Charlotte and Rick. We all drove over to King Park, where Abigail played and the adults chatted.

Jan 3rd — Abigail came into our bedroom around 6am and said that she had wet her bed. After getting her cleaned up, she crawled into bed with us and snuggled until about 7am. Meg and Abigail got up together and hung out on the couch. Lee took Abigail to Dr Takao for a flu shot and then played at a nearby park (in Orinda) and then went out to sushi lunch together. While they were away, Megan organized several rooms in the house. For the afternoon, Megan spent much of the time in the kitchen. She made tuna casserole, molasses cookies with brown butter icing, and Chex Mix. Abigail and Lee had a craft competition, and every few minutes Abigail would stand up and yell “Makers, you have 9 hours left!” to count down the time until the judging. Dinner was amazing! And so were the cookies!

Jan 4th – Abigail woke us up around 7:45am — we all slept in! Then, Megan and Abigail made a Christmas tree out of pipe cleaners, from a kit received from Zeke. Mom did one last lice treatment while Lee and Abigail had bfast together. Then Abigail got a treatment. Haircut for Abigail, then lunch at Saul’s with Caitlin & Amelia. Play at a park.

Jan 5th – Lee and Abigail went to a birthday day party for Carter (from school) at bowling alley, then Megan and Abigail went over to Juniper’s house for a playdate. Lee stayed home and worked on Abigail’s legal name change (it’s way easier to decide on your daughter’s name before you leave the hospital!)

Wow, what a Winter Break!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all! All the presents under our tree! Abigail will wake to a wondrous sight!

Some tidbits worth remembering about this photo…
See the ice cubes in the base of the tree? That’s how we water it! We’ve been fostering a tree from Mount Shasta for the last 3 years. This is sadly the last year for our beloved Fiona. She’ll be planted in the spring to run and play with her friends.
Megan made the stockings! They are beautiful. There will be three but one is still just pinned together. The finished ones are just gorgeous!
The boxes behind the sliding glass door are part of our move! We’ll be moving to a new house at the beginning of January! Berkeley has been wonderful, hello El Cerrito!
There’s lots of wonderful presents for and from family under the tree. The bike is from Noni (my mom)! Thank you Noni!

30 Year Update?

A friend from middle school just Friended me on Facebook and asked “Catch me up on the last 30 years”
My response:

Went to Tufts University, stayed in Boston working tech until a breakup made we want to move away. NYC for a few years with a few relationships til the dot-com bust. Moved home to connect with family and regroup. Two of my friends from that time have since passed. Moved to San Francisco after attending Burning Man in 2004. Loved building really big art, traveled the world a bit with art and work: India is a place of insane contrasts, Americans don’t comprehend the cultural rift we have with Saudi Arabia. I sometimes teach building robots and flame effects. Not loving working in tech, I started toward medicine in 2011, finished my master’s and started work as a pediatric occupational therapist in 2017. Got married in 2014, became a dad to an amazing daughter in 2015. Living in Berkeley and life remains imperfect.

Job Offer!

Today, I was offered a position as an occupational therapist in a nearby public school district!


I Passed the Occupational Therapy Board Exam!!!

I passed the occupational therapy board exam!!! I am now a registered occupational therapist!
My business card now reads Lee Sonko, MS, OTR

I expect to be licensed within a month so I can start working as an OT in California!

See my NBCOT certification below:

Life Update

August 2014-May 2016: four semesters of a very intense master’s program with a 5 hr/day, 4 days/week commute (see commuting footnote).

June 2016-May 2017: Two completed internships, got only half way through another one due to a medical problem.

Married June 2014, two months before school started, just two years after we met.

New baby born a week before second semester started.

Two ongoing family conflicts that I won’t discuss here. Both began around 2014. Well, the roots of each conflict probably go back way further but that’s how conflicts go.

Megan told me, almost demanded that I take some time off! So I’ve spend the last couple weeks NOT studying for the boards exam in occupational therapy. Thanks honey!

At the end of May, my master’s degree posted. It’s now “Lee Sonko, M.S.”.

Looking forward, I just started studying for my board certification, hoping to be done in early August.

Footnote about my school commute:

Yes it was a 5 hour/day commute, Kensington to San Jose State.  Driving would have cut an hour a day but was far more stressful. When I drove, it usually took an hour for me to recover. And I couldn’t study while driving. Here was my commute: 15 minute drive down the hill, 55 minute BART from El Cerrito Plaza to Fremont Station, 45 minute bus ride to downtown San Jose, 15 minute walk to school. 2 1/2 hrs door to door. On a good day, I could study for about 45 minutes on the train and 25 on the bus. I got car sick on the bus every time I tried to study, and I needed/chose to study most of the time. It completely sucked.