Saturday, January 21, 2012

Swinging Along

I caught a cold and am doing my best to be pathetic at home and still be somewhat useful to the family. I get concerned when I am sick so I stop kissing my family and limit contact and sleep in the other room. I can only guess that I caught something at work as no one at home is sick. And, I don't kiss or touch or sleep with anyone at work so I should assume that this 'bug' can get across to others regardless. Still, since Enzo was born, I feel cautious around the little ones when down with something. Maybe I'll be less concerned when they are older. Maybe when I am less anxious.

The best thing about being sick however, is the permission I sometimes give myself to not be productive. It is a relief. I am cultivating that relief for my every day life so that I can enjoy it when healthy.

So, while I was moping around on the couch, Tami and the kids went for a walk and played at the park. I'm a little jealous. But at least I get to see a picture of my daughter on a swing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ana Walking with a Cart


(Playing at the Children's Discovery Museum.)

She walks while holding on!  She claps! She makes up her own word-like sounds!  She rolls around, smiles and laughs!  She feeds herself with her spoon!  She is the great Ana!

(Playing with the camera; being a photographer.)

He laughs!  He gives his sister food!  He understands English and Spanish! He says new words every day!  And...... he told his mom "I love you" for the first time!!!!!!!!!  He is the wonderful Enzo!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ana and Sleep

Today was a day of settling debts. Not financial, those I hope I deal with next week as Tami brought home some checks. Thanks love. But the sleep accountant was next to literally holding our debts over our heads. The day started with me waking up with Enzo at some very early morning time. Tami recently realized she too is under rested when she decided that a pot ON THE FIRE OF THE STOVE did not LOOK HOT so she placed the palm of her hand on it. More then the burn she was contemplating how she could possibly think that was a rational idea. So, I decided to play with Enzo and let Tami sleep. Then Ana awoke and Tami asked me if I could watch her so she could sleep more. I said yes but she didn't know my plan was already to give her as much sleep as possible. Sometime while playing I realized I was actually struggling to stay awake and was grateful for every second When Enzo played with his sister. I must have been doing something right because later Tami mentioned that as she drifted off to sleep again she was thinking about how nice it was that I played with my kids in the morning with so much attention. What she actually said was that she wished she did that more instead of doing things like dishes and wash diapers when she was watching the kids but really I don't know how we would get along if she didn't love our children, work, and manage the house. I take the compliment though as a sign that I am doing something right.

I gave Tami a little extra sleep but I was hurting. And then Tami got up and let me go back to sleep.... For hours! I woke up around noon and all three of them were showered, diapers were washed, and the world was more orderly. We walked to lunch for them and breakfast for me. Then we came home to put the kids to sleep for a nap. We owe the sleep accountant several dollars yet but thanks to Tami I only owe change and the kids have clean clothes.

Which brings me back to Ana. My beautiful girl. An update. I haven't heard her speak a word since the day after her first word. But I did, for the first time during our play this morning, see what Tami saw already. Ana is walking along while holding on to surfaces! Beautiful.  Exciting. Thankfully I still get to see her crawl which I love. Actually, I get to see all of us crawl because sometimes we all do. Yesterday I was part of a crawl chain with Enzo, me, Ana and Tami. Crawling is way more fun then I remembered.

But also, I saw Ana do two other neat developmental achievements. She let go and stood on her own...... for about a second. And, she let go of the couch and lunged at my belly.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Enzo's First Day of School

(Going to his first day of school with his lunch bag that he decorated.)

Enzo is now officially a student. He is now enrolled at Tami's bilingual preschool and had his first day last Friday. We all went to drop him off, wish him a good day, and say good bye. It was not at all a traumatic experience for The Kid; he's been there many times before with his mom. But this time he had his own cubby for his stuff and learned to put his things there and to put his lunch with the other lunches. That was new for him. Then, he just walked away from us that morning and sat down to a play dough station. We had already said bye but keep taking pictures and watching. Then we had to go say bye one more time. Tami and I both left out the front door.

(Off to the play dough after we said good bye in the morning.)

If I could have, I would have been tempted to stay much longer.  Tami says on the long side there are parents who have stayed an hour on the first day before. I went to work, and so did Tami. Tami's work was in the office next door to Enzo's class but she kept herself hidden the whole day until pick up time.  When she wanted to, she could peek through an office door that opened directly into Enzo's class. Enzo did great. He is officially a student with a day of school behind him. Now, I expect to have to work even harder to keep up with his Spanish. Tami speaks to the kids in Spanish and I get to hear some of it but now he'll be a couple of days each week picking up on more words that haven't come up around me yet. As it is, English or Spanish, he continues to add words every day. On several occasions Tami and I have asked each other where he learned a word from and found out that neither of us knows.

(Showing off the ball he made with dough when we went back to say good bye a second time.)

Enzo has good manners. He says gracias often when he is given something and this weekend he said "thank you Papi" when I got him the water he was asking for. I remember wondering how he would learn when Tami would say "gracias Papi" for him after I gave him something. I thought there was no way he would understand that these words are for him to say. But it worked. I thought he would have to be taught everything explicitly but it turns out everything is learned from our modeling. So now it is simultaneously the easiest thing and a challenge to teach him anything in the near future; I just need to be a good example.

We play catch often now. We play up close and with a larger 8 inch or so diameter ball. I had been wondered how long it would take for him to catch as kicking accurately became so easy for him. Catching is such a complex activity. Everything we do is, really. We humans are simply amazing.  Well, he has figured out how to catch a ball thrown close up.  I'm not sure how long the progression takes but he did get a baseball glove for Christmas so I imagine we'll be playing catch with a regular baseball outside before too long.

Enzo also likes for me to sing the ABCs to him. We started doing that every night recently as pat of our reading before bed. He really likes it. But I never told him it was called the ABCs, I just sang the song. So I think it is interesting that he started asking at night "ABC?" when he wants me to sing.  Again, I just can't account for where he learns all of the words or phrases he picks up. I finally have him convinced that the letter A is the letter A. I was wondering if he was going to start first grade some day thinking the alphabet was "Oakland-B-C-D, E-F-G.." He would see an A somewhere and point and say "Oakland!" Now, with an ABC book I've been able to show him E for Enzo and A for Ana. Thankfully someone he cares about has an A for a first initial or I'm not sure how I would have gotten him this far.

He is smart and beautiful. He is a genius. Not at the exclusion of your kid or anyone else's, dear reader. It is just that it is simply amazing what small children can do. It's amazing what we can do, for that matter. They smile, snuggle, laugh, crawl around you and every obstacle when you try to block them then forget their frustration and laugh with you when you are amused with their creativity, learn to get pieces of toys to fit together, rest gently up against you when they are sleepy, learn to walk and push a chair to get what is on a higher shelf.  We sit and appreciate the ocean, drive a car without thinking about it, and contemplate the abstract concept of numbers and the shape of space in our universe.  At some point they become us.

It's pretty neat being a human.

Ana the 8 Month Old

Tami: I love how she always sticks her tongue out. She is so cute. She is like a turtle. No, she looks like Spike from Land Before Time! She looks just like Spike. Look, her tongue is even pointy.


Our beautiful girl is 8 months old now. She crawls super fast. She laughs delightfully with her whole mouth. She does stick her tongue out a lot; I'm surprised it's not in more pictures. A couple of days ago she placed her hand on my shoulder for the first time while I carried her.  It's something I always love when Enzo does it and if feels just as great when Ana does it.  I enjoy just holding them but it is somehow even better when they actively place an arm or a hand on my shoulder.

Randy: (Looking at Ana in Tami's arms) Enzo is never going to be a little baby again.
Tami: Neither is Ana. She's not a little baby anymore.
Randy: She's the closest we've got! (Implied: YES SHE IS!) I need to cuddle her more.

The other day Tami started dancing with Ana and she was definitely enjoying herself. Enzo asked me, or told me, to dance so I picked him up and we all danced around the living room together. These are the great moments in my life.

(On her 8 month birthday.)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hello 2012


(My beautiful baby girl bringing in the New Year on a gorgeous January 1.)

Here is something fun for comparison.  The first picture of my 2012 photo album and the first of my 2011 photo album.  Big changes?  Indeed. 

The Birthday

 (Enzo playing in Santa Cruz.)

It's fascinating that Enzo is two years old now.  How did that happen?  It's amazing to me that I have two children.  Nicole spent New Year's Eve with us.  She was telling me something interesting some time after midnight.  She said something like "People say you should enjoy the time you have with your kids because it will just go... but I have enjoyed all of the time with Shea and still here I am and the time has gone and she is growing up."  Oh, time.  Enzo and Ana are such an important part of my happiness and the source of so much that makes me grateful, as are my family, friends, and opportunities.  It was a good end to a year.  And a good start to 2012.

(Ready to go to breakfast on his birthday.)

And Enzo is two.  It really is amazing to me.  I love him.  I like so many things about him.  I like how he asks for a mandarino and how he peels it himself, takes each part of the little orange apart and eats each piece.  Simple, I know, but I love the fact that he does this.  My little baby has grown so much.  I love how thoughtful he can be.  When his Mama has been hurt in some way, he has gone up to her and touched her and said "sana sana."  Why?  Because he cares about his Mama and when Enzo gets hurt she will rub circles around the elbow, or leg, or what ever was hurt and say "Sana, sana, colita de rana, si no sanas hoy, sanaras manana."  Heal, heal, little frog tail, if you don't heal today, you will heal tomorrow.

The day before his birthday I took him to Santa Cruz and we ordered breakfast for lunch at Aldo's and sat outside to watch the goings on of the harbor.  Then we went and played on the beach.  He was so happy and completely absorbed in playing.  It wasn't on purpose but after the fact I realized I may have been subconsciously showing him how to celebrate a birthday the way I like to.  And my philosophy on celebrating birthdays continued as he celebrated in a way for four days.  Our Santa Cruz day first.  Then, on his actual birthday, the four of us went out for a breakfast so he could get restaurant pancakes, which he loves, and then had dinner at our house with some of our family.  The next day, we had a birthday party for The Kid.  That was New Year's Eve.  The fourth day was Sunday which means Sunday breakfast day at our house and so it was a fourth special event day and another day to see friends and family and play.  Not bad for making the most of a birthday, especially for a two year old.

(The paper airplane distance contest.)

His birthday party theme was things that fly.  Tami made a cake from scratch and I was going to decorate it as we did for his first birthday.  Monte, however, ate half the cake while I was in the shower and Tami was putting the kids to sleep.  Enzo got a store bought cake this time.  It's kind of funny.  Our guests seemed to enjoy themselves.  We had airplane crafts to paint and we even had a paper airplane distance contest which I believe was a huge success.  The winner got to have their picture taken with the winning plane and the Birthday Boy to be recognized here on my blog.  And the winner was...... my dad, Grandpa Tom!

 (The winner! Grandpa Tom!)

 (Enzo playing with his friend.)

And then there was the pinata.  My dad bought the pinata again.  Last year he got the kind that you pull strings on so that the kids don't have to use a bat.  It makes sense for little kids.  The idea is that eventually someone pulls the right string that causes the pinata to open up and spill its goods.  The funny thing about last year's pinata is the maker forgot to make any of the stings the effective string that opened up the pinata.  That was funny.  I ended up ripping it open.  This year, dad bought a regular pinata and my mom and I rigged it to pull open with a string.  We gave it a whole bunch of false strings, too.  To my amazement, the real string made it until almost the end, there were perhaps three strings left, perfect for suspense.  Last year the suspense went all the way to the last string because nothing happened.  But finally, this year, the rigged string was selected!  Pull, pull, pull....SNAP!  The string broke!  Ohhhh, pinata.... you win again.  I see I will have to be extra vigilant next year. I ripped open the pinata again.

(The moment the realization hit....)

Funny, eventful, creative, family and friends... I do believe Enzo had a great birthday.

 (The beautiful birthday boy.)