Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Kids: my Treasures

Ana is so adorably kissable.  Her cheeks just get more kissable each day.  She crawls.  Watching her crawl is exciting.  And after only a few days of crawling experience, she is now holding on to legs and surfaces and then rising up on her knees. Or, she will stand on her feet causing her butt to go in the air.  I realized it's only a matter of time before she is standing with support and then walking along the walls of the room while holding on.  I think about how she is almost 6 months old and I think about Enzo.  At 6 months and one day he ate his first solid food, avocado, and then 4 months later he was walking.  It all just happens.  This is not an incredibly wide window in time to enjoy this stage of my Ana's life.  My little girl, like my little boy, will only be in this stage for a limited time.  It's not a happy or sad causer but it is a wake up reminder for me to stay aware and appreciate these moments.

Ana smiles when I come home and she sees me.  My heart gets gooey.  I can't kiss her enough. 

Enzo just keeps growing up.  He picks up words fast.  We read every night now.  I know I could have started that earlier but I just started this month.  It was time.  He loves it.  He picked up on the routine after just two days.  He picks a book, we put it on the upper edge of his bed, we both lie on our bellies at which point Enzo tends to let out a laugh of excitement,  and we read together.    I read most of the words and Enzo reads most of the pictures pointing and naming "caballo", "rana."  Then we finish, Enzo says "more?", I say "tiempo para mi-mis" and I turn out the lights.  Then we do our version of chatting about Enzo's day where I ask questions and make assumptions until he gets tired.  Sometimes we say good night or bye bye to everyone and every thing we can think of in the dark.  Eventually, Enzo drifts off to sleep.

A couple of nights ago Enzo was particularly playful and kept cuddling me or grabbing my fingers and playing with them and the contact was so sweet.  I can still feel his fingers and palms wrapped around my fingers.  His were silky soft, freshly showered.  Being cuddled by my son is one of my favorite events.  And we talked.  I talked standard English.  My son painted more creative audible images punctuated with known words, English and Spanish.  Eventually he did go to sleep.  And I loved the entire process.  Taking Enzo to bed, reading and laying with him until he falls asleep; these are some of the priceless moments we share.

Sometimes, in the morning before I go to work, Enzo will want me to pick him up and then he holds on tightly to me and snuggles in.  It makes it so hard to leave but I love the feeling of being close to him and knowing that he wants to be close to me.

Last night, Enzo was in bed with his Mama.  Ana was wide awake and we were playing.  And I was falling in love with her even more.  And I thought, wow, if Enzo didn't exist then this little girl would be the only most beautiful child in my world, my most special treasure. I just sat with this thought. I allowed myself to feel as if Ana was our only child.  She is awesome, enriching, fulfilling.  And then I thought, that is just how I felt about Enzo before Ana joined us.  They are each individually so great at causing me to love more and appreciate more. I love Ana.  She is a beautiful gorgeous human.  She is a special and rare creature even if there are nearly 7 billion of us humans on Earth now.  I love Enzo.  He is a beautiful gorgeous human; special and rare even in the masses.  I would not want a life in which I did not know these kids.  I would not want even a perfectly happy life that did not include both of these jewels. Each of these children is that completely and wholly beautiful.  Each is that beautiful individually, that I would consider them each my greatest treasures, my greatest loves.  Wow.  And I have two so specially magnificent and perfect gems to love and adore.

Last Saturday

Flash Back to Saturday:

I just rode down hwy 9 on a red Ducati 900ss! Wow! I know that may not sound obviously deserving of exclamation points to some but I assure you that it is. The 16 year old Randy was in heaven. In fact, all of the Randy's from 16 to 35 were doing a little happy dance inside my mind. It was a super ride. It was a super day. Let's start with the ride.

Don drove me to the shop to pick up my Ducati in the morning.  Why?  Well, because after buying the bike, loving the bike, riding to work only a couple of times, but before getting to the ocean or the mountains, the starter burnt out.  Stuck. Sad.  And it sat in my garage for many weeks.  But now we are back.

And gloriously so.  100 miles ridden on a Saturday, the vast majority of which were through the windy redwood tree lined roads between the valley and the ocean.  Yes, finally I introduced the Ducati to the great Pacific.  Finally I was able to feel a steady back and forth weight shift uninterrupted around the rises and falls of the land.  The bike handles beautifully, the sound is excellent, the constant rhythm in the v-twin motor is comforting.  And the bike itself is comfortable.  And it's beautiful.  And it's quick.  And it sounds great in motion (a bit loud at a stand still but even then, mechanically fascinating).  And when the throttle is pulled considerably open there comes a point where a fantastic three dimensional roar becomes audible.  Not the one from the exhaust but a new and special sound-satisfaction from under the tank, through the air box and carburetors.  It is a whir of gulping air and the sound of magnificent controlled combustion reaching out and escaping straight up through the air channels to the rider.  It was awesome.  Twist the wrist, feel the thrust, and hear this machine/explosion/air sound rushing up through the tank and to the rider.  The big point here is that the bike has soul.  It's an amazing machine.  It's an amazing beautiful Italian machine, and it even got me 43 miles to the gallon.  As a tool it is impressive.  And sure, many bikes are, some more so.  Besides being impressive as tool however, is the excitement from the soul of this bike.  it has created an intangible essence, an aesthetic, a soul.  It feels good to interact with.  Even when it sat in my garage along side the Norton, unrideable, I still found pleasure walking by and noticing the bike.  On the move and alive it is only that much more magic, ethereal, intoxicating, stimulating, delight-full, sensual.

Ocean, mountains, twisty roads, changes in temperature and smell, wafts of humidity that vary by proximity to soil or stream or ocean, and this work of art that I am wrapped around, sliding through the atmosphere.  Every point of contact for each of my senses; I was aware of them and pleasantly so at various times of the day.  I even remember the point when I became aware of how my butt felt as I shifted my weight between curves in the road, and I was pleased.

And then, I came riding down HWY9 on a red Ducati, wearing a one peace leather suit, and I felt like a puzzle peace in a perfect fit of my reality solidly snapping into an ongoing fantasy.

When I got home and parked the bike next to it's Norton buddy my family was already loading up the car and getting ready to go.  Our family drove off to Rancho San Antonio park where we walked a mile each way to the farm. There we explored and gave Enzo his first non-book exposure to several animals whose names he knew like the vaca, pato, oveja, and more.  It was awesome.  Really, a perfect next event for the day.  Walking, or strolling, must be one of the greatest activities in the world available to humans.  Sharing that time with Tami and the kids was exactly what I needed to make my day fully ideal.  I'm pretty sure a perfect happiness and peace would be the result from daily walks with one's family sprinkled regularly with one's personal method of choice in communing with the universe.

How does October do it?  It's almost over but there is no slowing down in it's giving.  It was a perfect Saturday.  Maybe this feeling of October is too big for the month itself.  Maybe the spirit of the orange will have to flow a little longer.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ana the Crawler

This morning I watched my beautiful baby girl crawl for the first time!  Awesome!  And she makes it look like the coolest and cutest thing to do ever. She took her first crawl on Friday as seen by Tami's coworker. Then Tami saw Ana crawl that same day. I had missed every crawling preview..... until this morning, when she made three to four "crawl units" in a row and she did that several separate times while I was getting ready for work. Awesome. My beautiful Ana crawls!  She really is so adorable. I liked when she was crawling in the hall and then noticed me looking at her and gave me a bigger smile. I also like that some of her crawling looked like it was to get closer to her Papa. It was a very sweet morning.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sitting Pretty

On Friday I started to write a blog post that I never got around to finishing.  In it I mentioned that Ana can almost sort of sit now.  She gets one of her legs a little in front of her, pushes up with her arms and then sort of sits up in a sideways kind of way by holding herself up with her arms.  On Saturday I knew I would have to revise that because she got both legs in front of her, sat up, picked her hands up off of the floor, and sat all by herself!..... for about two seconds before rolling over!  So cool.  But then came Sunday when it became quite clear I would have to further revise my plan and write that my daughter could sit up any time she wanted, and she appeared to want to sit herself up a lot, as she would sit up for seconds at a time, fall over, scoot herself to another toy, and sit herself up again for another several seconds.  Amazing!  I told myself I would definitely write about this when I got home today.  And now I must report that Ana can sit up when she likes, support herself through her own balance for at least a minute, and eat a knitted peace of cloth all at the same time.  Wow.  How quickly development occurs!  A couple of days ago Tami and I were excited that she was getting one leg under her butt and then around and thinking it looks kind of like she is going to sit up in the near future.  And now she is a pro at sitting herself up and balancing there.  This process is amazing to watch.

(Ana hanging with Matt and Don.)

My Big Orange Month

(At Java Junction Coffee shop in Santa Cruz)

It's a favorite time of year for me. It's my month. I look forward to October. It started years ago with a motorcycle ride on my birthday to Santa Cruz. Over the years more and more parts were added to the tradition and then eventually some parts were turned into optional parts. The core part of the event is that I take a work day off, go to Santa Cruz and contemplate. I reflect on where I have been, where I am, and where I want to go. This takes hours. And it has turned into a special holiday for me. This in addition to the big day where my grandma makes, or my sister makes with my grandma's help, spaghetti and meatballs for me to celebrate my birthday. Yum! So delicious that I crave the meal for days in advance to where I can almost taste the sauce and meatballs. Well, the more and more I looked forward to my birthday and celebrating it with friends and family and reflection and spaghetti over the years... Well, it just seemed like too big an event not to spread out to become a birthmonth event. So here I am, the month of October as my officially sanctioned time to consciously view the world from a Randy-centric perspective; to enjoy myself completely and to think about what that means to me. These are my personal holy days.

Well, one and a half weeks into this orange month and it is clear that exactly every single day has been special. And to my wife whom I know reads this, a special thank you. Thank you for somehow buying into the importance of this big month and helping me to make the most of it each year. And thank you for the delicious dinner and then breakfast last week when I was able to sit back and enjoy food and family in luxury.  Sunday, yesterday, I was in a little bit of a funk but that happens.  Every other day has been quite especially blissful and even on Sunday I got to see my daughter sit up often and my son play.  Even in a bit of a funk I can be a part of myself.  The other October days thus far have included friends and family and grandma's spaghetti and meatballs and my favorite of grandma's salsas and Santa Cruz and reflection and me just being and thinking and being grateful and feeling quite fortunate.  I am lucky mud.

My Santa Cruz reflection day this October was several days ago. It was a beautiful day. I took some time to read my birthmonth reflections of the last three years, let them settle, and started writing my reflections for this new year of my life. My personal new year. It was fun to read about how I was going to have a baby and how excited I was. And then about how I was going to have another baby and how excited I was again and how much I loved my son and how I was looking forward to meeting my daughter.  Only I didn't know yet that she was a daughter. It was interesting to see how some things have changed with my thoughts and hopes and how some things are exactly the same over these three years.

This year I wrote about several events when looking back over the year and especially about my two beautiful children. I was able to take note of where I am in the world now and what I think about being here. And in looking at where I want to go next it is clear to see the continuation of a trend from last year in which I am becoming increasingly content and grateful with where I am and who I am in relation to where I would like to be and who I would like to be. They are lining up more and more. This means several things. On the plus side I am increasingly satisfied with life. On the interesting change side, I am decreasingly interested in regular dramatic change in my life. For several years my identity, as viewed by me, was partially based on dramatic and regular change and the questing for change. It's not as though I now quest for stability but I certainly appear to be increasingly wanting exactly what it is that I have.

And so I wrote my reflections for October 2011. I, for some reason, don't feel appropriate writing those reflections on the web though I imagine they will last longer on the web then in the various journals I happen to pick up each year to write in. And I admit that I hope my children will read those journals as well as this blog when they are older.  Still, I enjoy writing with a pen onto paper when in Santa Cruz and that's where most of those words will remain for now.  There is one interesting revelation from the day's writing that I would like to write here about my children, however.

...As if one were not perfectly beautiful to be in the presence of, both together are magnificent.  It is different though.  Alone they are these fantastic creatures.  Together they are this new thing- they are this relationship that they have.  It's not exactly mine.  It's not mine to admire what "I" have.  It's mine in the moment to appreciate what they have.  It's their treasure.  My treasure is being able to see it and love it and be there.  Theirs to be in the moment.  They are lucky mud.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

5 Month Birthday!

My beautiful girl is 5 months old!  She scoots around everywhere and is now almost sitting herself up. She sort of moves a leg under her bottom and kind of pushes back so that she is almost sitting, a little sideways and forward.  Here is a picture of her reading with her brother under the coffee table.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Entertaining Each Other

My little girl is captivating.  She smiles when she sees me often now and I love that.  It is great to be recognized by Ana and greater to cause a smile.  She is at that point where she is not crawling but sort of swims on the floor and scootches herself to wherever she wants to be.  Generally she wants to be somewhere with a toy on the floor that she can gnaw on and she is very good about getting there fairly quickly.  When she stops and does not feel like playing with a toy, Ana will often be on her belly and hold both of her arms out like a parachute jumper before pulling the cord.  She will lie like that for a long time and just look around, head up, arms out and raised above the ground.  That's what she does most, look around.  And when she is amused she will smile and laugh and I love it.

Enzo loves it too.  He will come up to her and just start laughing until she laughs too.  It's awesome.  Enzo asks about "baby Ana" more than for either of his parents.  The first words when he woke up from a nap today were "baby Ana?"  He is concerned about her if she fusses, brings her toys and plays with her often, and is fairly cautious of her when he plays around her.  It is amazing to me to watch them together.  Ana adores her brother and stops to watch him play and smiles for him whenever he stops  by to amuse her.  This morning she was moving around under the coffee table looking for things to chew on with her gums.  Enzo came into the room, saw her and got under there with her smiling and laughing, just to hang out with her.  Then he got out and started laughing and performing for her and she was a completely wrapped audience; yelling out and laughing when he smiled at her. When he started playing soccer, she watched for minutes from under there as he went back and forth in the living room.  They are adorable together.

As for kicking the soccer ball, Enzo has become pretty impressive.  We were playing back and forth in the kitchen yesterday.  I treasure these times we have.  He enjoys to kick and run, dribbling the ball through the house or in the grass.  And he can throw, too.  He has a toy football and a toy baseball that he throws pretty far and with great accuracy.  He does not catch yet but we played catch today anyway as he threw the baseball straight to me to catch.  Then, he watches the ball come back to him and then runs as needed to pick it up.  He loves to play ball above all other playing.  He also enjoys airplanes; to see them, to have me make the shape with my hand and then to make the noise as my hand flys over him, and now to play with his own super cool wooden one that his mother bought for him at the thrift store.He caries it and makes his own airplane noises.

I have heard that people relive their day when they sleep.  Sometimes Enzo will go through his day before sleep.  A lot of the times that sounds like him repeating names "y Mama y Papa y Mama y WaWa (Maggie) y Gaga (Dog- Monte), y Ana y Mama y Papa..." while he rolls around in bed getting closer to sleep.  I find it adorable to listen too.  The day Tami bought him his new airplane he and I also watched an episode of Top Gear together.  That night he said "Coche" "Airplan'" over and over.  This happens when he is winding down and so the mood we are going for is quiet and sleep inducing but sometimes he is just funny or catches us off guard and we have to stifle the laughter.  After he went to the last A's home game of the season with Tami and her family, that night lying in bed, quieting down, The Kid yells out "OkLnd!" and claps his hands in the dark!  Then he does it again and again, "OkLnd!" Clap Clap, and he just laughed in between.  Fantastic.  There is enough light in our room for me to look over and see Tami, like me, enjoying the moments and also trying hard to not laugh aloud.

Enzo is growing up.  He was taller today.  I admitted to myself that he is not a baby but a little boy.  And he has all this character.  One of the new things, besides his ability to learn words instantly when we don't expect it, is that he will laugh super loud and place his hands on his knees and sort of squat a little bit and throw his head back laughing.  Where does he get this?

These are beautiful kids.  They grab my attention, smile and laugh, love each other, Ana smiles at me, and Enzo will hold on to me to snuggle in when I carry him.  They make me smile and laugh, and make being on the floor the best place to be.