Sunday, March 11, 2012


I left work late on Wednesday, came home, took a short nap, and we all packed for a trip. I had taken two days off so that we could go to a CABE conference for bilingual education in Sacramento. Tami was presenting and that meant I got a lot more kiddo time. And, one thing Tami and I are great at is traveling together. Every overnight trip, even if educational and work related, is vacation. Here is the trip in pictures.

This always makes me laugh. This picture was taken at 3:32 am on Thursday morning when we arrived at our hotel in Sacramento, California. That's not what makes me laugh. What does? All of this for two adults, one toddler, and one baby for three days and three nights. In the upper right area of the mass of "necessities" is a blue bag. If I were alone, that's all I would have had.

The number of birds in the trees on one of our walks was truly remarkable. Thus my remark. It would have taken more pictures to show all of the trees so heavily "bird-ed" and audio to hear the cool sounding commotion.

Kids playing in the park of the California State Capital. You can see the Capitol building through the trees.

The cutest walker. I know, no favorites. Enzo is currently the most adorable runner, though.

When the kids were asleep I downloaded an app that lets me play with filters and borders, etc. on my phone. The next three photos I experimented with it on.

Eating lunch on the steps of the Capitol. Those are our bags, not litter. We picked them up.

On the bench at the giant Capitol Park surrounding the Capitol.

Ana gets her first restaurant meal! Until this one, we had only ordered sides of avocado, or fruit, or given her food from our meals. She, as you can see, enjoyed it very much. Tata asked who got more, Ana or the floor and table. My honest answer was that it appeared to be a close call and probably a tie. Look how cute my Ana Uku is.

Exploring downtown Sacramento. This was the best part of each day. As much as I enjoyed all of the time, it was fun when Tami joined us and we all explored together. Look how happy Enzo is with his Mama.

"I like it," Enzo said, pointing to the "big truck" inside the building. This was in the Pizza Rock where we enjoyed a delicious late breakfast for me, lunch for Enzo, and nap for Ana while Tami learned new good stuff. Which reminds me, Tami's session where she presented went awesome. I heard the pre-version as she practiced in the car on the drive late at night. She was complimented on her delivery and content. No surprise to me. I had thought she was good looking when I met her but I fell for her after every time I saw her speak to a crowd of adults or students when I met her as a teacher. She is an impressive woman and knows her stuff, and how to address a crowd.

Also of special note, Tami told me that the time when she took Ana to a session on our vacation and Enzo and I had just Papi and Enzo time, she saw Jose-Luis Orozco between sessions, a famous bilingual children's musician who also presented at the conference and who's music Tami and the kids are very familiar with. Actually, she heard his guitar before she saw him. And he asked for Ana's name and sang to her a song for Ana! Awesome.

Ana walking the halls of the Sacramento convention center. It was a long hall and the longest walk-crawl-walk-crawl-walk I have ever seen her do. You can tell she enjoyed the stretch after sleeping in the stroller for over an hour.

I missed the photo by the time I got my phone out of Enzo talking to Oso, holding him standing at the window, and pointing out the world outside. It was awesome. What you see here is Enzo still talking to Oso and making him comfortable for a nap; "Mimis Oso." Enzo has never been one to carry around an animal, and does not sleep with any, but before this photo, Enzo had carried, snuggled, and talked to this Oso for a long time in the stroller while I pushed the kids and we walked through the city.

On the way home, the kids slept. Then, close to home, maybe 45 minutes away, they awoke. We pulled over as Ana was making the noise that she needed to pee. Enzo said he's hungry so I gave him a squeezy and we drove on, hoping to get home before Ana decided she was in the car too long. A squeezy is our non-environmentalist-guilty-pleasure. They are pre-packaged little packets of organic vegetables, fruits and grains in a disposable squeezable package that comes up to a built in straw with a twist-off cap. Thirty-five minutes away from home, Ana decided that she has had enough of this whole sitting in a seat belt experience. We were forced to stop listening to The Help as an audio book and now have to wait for the next trip to hear the last 30 minutes. So, we pulled over at the Newpark Mall to walk around and that's when I discovered a mess in Enzo's side of the car and he told me, in the shortest "Spanglish" sentence possible of explanation:

"He come." Pronounced like He Comb-Eh, meaning, "He eats." Ha! and Arghhhhh!!!!

Can't even think of being frustrated with a kid this cute. Even if his Mama did just wash 20 gallons of food out of his car seat covers the day before this trip. I'm in trouble as a parent with authority, for sure. The things I have noticed that make me non responsive or frustrated with my children are, respectively, falling without hitting the head area in any way and aggression towards a person or animal.  If they avoid that, they can probably control me to get whatever they want in life. Wow. I just typed that. Didn't mean to, but I just saw a major revelation take form that I shall have to consider later. In the mean time, so adorable.

Back to the non-philosophical. It was a very good trip. Home on Saturday, and that means Sunday breakfast day soon after. Both my parents and Tami's parents went out of town. We wondered if this would be the first Sunday with no guests for breakfast. Not so. Nicole, Kelley and Tiffany joined us for food and friendship. Nicole also stayed late and played with us in the back yard.

My kids playing in the designated digging-in-the-dirt pot. Peter Gabriel lyrics come to mind; a good song. Better yet though, a favorite poem by Rumi comes to mind and makes me happy and smile. (I'll add it to the end of this post.)

Hockey in the back yard with Nicole. Oh yeah; last Sunday we sang happy birthday to Shea, Nicole's adorable daughter who joins us every other Sunday. Every single day since, without fail, Enzo has sang happy birthday to Shea though we haven't seen her in that time. Of his own volition. Every day. My favorite was in Sacramento, the day Ana ate her first kids meal ordered just for her, when a nearby table had a birthday and the employees started to sing happy birthday. Enzo sang out "HAPPY birthday to SHEA!" Ha!

Because we missed Kelley's birthday, Tami and I both thought Enzo would be happy that he would get to sing to Kelley today after breakfast. But as Kelley and Tiffany were leaving on their new motorcycle and I tried to sing happy birthday to Kelley, Enzo sang "Happy Birthday to Shea....." Clearly, he adores that child, but how can one not?

My thoughts for Ana in this picture: "Fine, if no one is going to explain this game to me, then I'll teach myself while you all are chasing a soccer ball."

More of my thoughts for Ana: "Look Papi, I'm a SPIDER!"

It's a good life, indeed.

I am a fortunate one.

Lucky mud.

And now, to close, as promised, with the above referenced Rumi poem. A favorite Rumi poem of mine.

An eye is meant to see things.
The soul is here for its own joy.
A head has one use: for loving a true love.
Legs: to run after.

Love is for vanishing into the sky. The mind,
for learning what men have done and tried to do.
Mysteries are not to be solved. The eye goes blind
when it only wants to see why.

A lover is always accused of something.
But when he finds his love, whatever was lost
in the looking comes back completely changed.

On the way to Mecca, many dangers: thieves,
the blowing sand, only camel's milk to drink.

Still, each pilgrim kisses the black stone there
with pure longing, feeling in the surface
the taste of the lips he wants.

This talk is like stamping new coins. They pile up,
while the real work is being done outside
by someone digging in the ground.


  1. A wonderful post! Congrats on the talk to Lady T. :x

  2. I love how casual Enzo looks eating on the steps of the Capitol. Like it is a simple every day thing for him.