Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sea, Kites and Bugs

My daughter loved the ocean. Or, maybe she didn't notice it and was just draw to the waves. I don't know, but she sure seemed to love it and she certainly was drawn to the waves because every time we weren't holding her back she was running for them and she didn't mind the cold Pacific water on her feet. She just kept on going towards the deep end. I want to say that my daughter has an affinity for the sea as I love the sea so much and I hope she will too but I try not to read too much into it. None the less, I think she loved it that day and she definitely enjoyed herself.

It was so fun to watch her just keep on running back in. Tami got the one video clip above. Then she teased me for dropping my daughter in to the ocean face first and I told her it's her dramatic ending to the video clip that makes it look worse than it is. I assure you, Ana was fine after that. Yes, she was a lot sandier. Ana didn't mind. She just wanted to be in there.

Ana playing in the ocean stole quite a bit of the show, so to speak.  But that was not the only adventure. My son flew his airplane kite that grandma and grandpa gave him for Easter. He and I had a good time playing with that.

It's always fun to see where my ego kicks in. I made one weak attempt to get the kite up just to test the wind. Where we were on the beach were a lot of people and it would be very hard not to hit several people if it went down there in the process of getting it high. Then Enzo got into it so I considered it like playing. We would try to get it into the sky but not with too much concern and Enzo liked picking it up and trying to launch it as I pulled the string. A couple next to us we're watching and as I always seem to assume, were enjoying the beauty of life by watching one of my children enjoy him or herself. But I guess they thought I was trying hard and hadn't already made a plan to move to a clearer spot down the way soon so Enzo could see the kite go way up. And in an encouraging and friendly way they said, "keep going, run with it, run you can do it." I smiled and didn't even realize my ego was now aware that they were not solely enjoying the beauty of life but also rooting on some stranger who didn't know how to get a kite to fly. In my matured state this is similar to how I would have felt in the days of yore if I were surrounding by girls and was having trouble getting a fire to start. By the way, I have trouble getting fires to start all the time but my ego is far more concerned these days with getting the kite up high for my kids.

Anyway, after Enzo and I played for a bit more I took him down the beach a bit and we launched the kite with no issues. That's when The Kid finally got to hold and fly his kite.

I love doing such things with my children. I was reminded of being at my Nina's house as a small child, maybe three or four. I had a white kite with red fireball like eyes. At least that's how I remember it. It may have been a turtle as I have learned how fallible even the clearest memories can be. I remember it flying at my Nina's house from her little back yard. I remember my cousin Liz helping me and holding it. I remember, after the line broke and the kite drifted off and crashed somewhere that Liz said "I'm sorry mi'jo it's gone."

I think my son is too young to remember this first kite experience. But like my daughter, I think he enjoyed that day and I hope he loves to be by the grand Pacific as I do.

And my ego? Right. So after we fly for a while but before we reel it in I tell Enzo let's walk it back to our stuff. As if it would be fun. Which it is. But I realize my true goal was to make sure those people saw that we could get a kite up. They did. And that all makes me chuckle. I know so much intellectually that my body and brain couldn't care less about.

But we flew a kite and that was one of my goals for the day. That, and my daughter played with the ocean. A fine day.

(Driving home with our new bug.)

In other super cool news, I bought my first bug! Which my wife thinks is her bug that I get to work on because she likes it, too. So, we got a new bug! We bought it from Matt. He is always buying and making super cool cars. Some of my favorite cars are cars he has owned and now we have a Matt original. Awesome. I already have added some of my own custom flavor to the bug to make it ours. As Matt says, you're never "done" with a car. That would explain the list in my head and a couple of more boxes in my garage arrived from the nation of Internetlandia. I am very much enjoying this '65 as are my kiddos.

For the record, we only drive like this in the driveway and cul-de-sac. It's because they enjoy it so much, I say. But, Tami chimed in when I said that in front of others with "It's because YOU enjoy it so much." So, let's just say that we all like it. Check out the rear window blinds and Mexican blanket in the back seat that I added. Nice. There are more touches here and there and more to come.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Garden Fresh Strawberry

I don't remember when Enzo and I started playing blocks or how old he was when he started building rather than knocking them down. He continues to play blocks but mostly focuses on Legos now. Ana, by default, has mostly played Legos too. But today I thought it would be fun for her and I to play blocks. And that provided an amazing contrast to my many memories of playing blocks with Enzo in the early days. I am still not sure if it is a function of personality or age but with today being a relatively early memory of playing with Ana and blocks, in that I have few memories of us doing so, she has already crossed a major threshold. She builds! Very well too. Maybe Enzo was the same age when he began to build but I know we had played much more by then.

Ana, all by herself was building 5 blocks high on carpet. With my help especially on creating a wider base of blocks on the carpet, she was repeatedly going to 10 blocks high which is the highest she can reach when sitting. And when she built her own I made a tower of about 20+ blocks. Am I bragging? Well maybe, but my point is that she let me build that high without knocking it down. When she did knock towers over it was generally on accident. And, this is very different from Enzo at any age so far, more than once she deconstructed a tower. Rather than knock it down, she took it apart from top to bottom, dismantling the tower. Interesting. It was fun and I am amazed at the attention span of small children.

In garden news, our first strawberry was discovered today. Here is the text message Tami sent to a couple of people to celebrate. Also, check out the super cool A's dress in the picture that Tami's mom "Tata" made for Ana.

"I saw it when we 1st went outside. It wasn't quite ready so I was hoping no1 would c it. Abt 5 min l8r Enzo says, "awww strawberry"... I told him to leave there until 2morow. He had to open & close his hands a cpl times b4 he was convinced. Then he walked away. A cpl min l8r it's n Ana's hand. Enzo says "maƱana Ana" & then he says "Ana have it" & I c her holding with a smile. & then 2 her mouth. We only let her eat half & then gave the rest 2 E. "

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lovely Weekends

Ana is a happy baby. She smiles brightly, claps, and says "yay!" a lot. She does it when she gets up on the couch and again when she gets down. It's adorable. Yay! It wasn't that long ago that I wrote that Ana is mostly pretty quiet. That has changed quite dramatically. Now she "talks" lots and lots in her proto-words. Just happy talking away in rolling sounds. She also has some standard language words including: Tata (her grandma), Mama, yay, mas. But some of my favorite words are non-standard like tucka-tucka tucka-tucka. As she adds these new sounds she has graduated from others. I haven't heard in weeks the Wookiee-like yodel-cry she would sometimes make. It was cute and funny except that it happened when she wasn't quite satisfied so it only lasted long enough for a chuckle and then to pick her up.

She is maturing. I can see her changing almost before my eyes. I love to kiss her and immerse myself in a hug. I recognize these gates of experiences that we move through, familiar from our loving Enzo as he went through the same gates approximately 16 months before. A cute example is that Ana, when she wants to be picked up, will wedge herself between me and the kitchen island I am preparing food on and she will be sooo persistent; squeeze, stretch, wedge, repeat until I am a step back from the island and she is looking right up at me with her arms up ready to be held. Awesome.

With Enzo too, I see the maturing changes of his growing existence. This morning I told him I wanted and needed some hugging snuggle time and he totally accepted it. He clenched into me and I carried him around the house loving and holding him tight. I enjoy watching him teach his sister. And now he is well beyond a few words here and there; he goes into conversations. Not all that I can understand but he is clearly thinking and working to communicate ideas far more complicated than wanting a specific toy to play with that is out of reach. Now, he talks about his day and some of what happened at school or about how he played with Tata and that he will "go to a baseball game in two weeks." Yes, baseball games are always in two weeks since he heard Tata say that they would go see the A's in two weeks a while back. "Yeah, yeah, two weeks, baseball A's in two weeks, with Tata and Hun and Aunti Tia, Yeah go to baseball game- two weeks!" all said with a happy excited two year old Enzo voice.

These kids are wonderful. I really wish that I could record the full sensations of holding, hugging, and snuggling these kids. I know it would completely change the human experience if we could record in full sensory definition our experiences, but I so wish that I could.

This last weekend had my favorite elements in it. A little extra rest, a motorcycle ride, and extra time with family and my kids.

Special parts of the weekend included a visit to the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco, using a pinhole to watch the Solar Eclipse in our back yard, many glorious hours with my kids, some special time to be present with my wife (it's rare we are both awake when both kids are asleep just to share moments together), the longest ride I have made on the Norton including a visit to the Ocean, brunch with family, peace after stress, and a good mood.

Tami used cardboard we were going to recycle, punched a pinhole through one, and used the other as a screen so that we could safely watch the solar eclipse.

If you look close you can see the the eclipse on the cardboard. "Look, the moon, the moon," Enzo said.  I sent a picture of this to several people during the eclipse.

My friend Katrina sent back this awesome picture she captured from her phone. Look at the red part of the glare in the photo. I tried to replicate the photo with my phone but couldn't get the same angle and effect.

Matt replied back regarding the pinhole viewer with this picture of him using his welding mask to watch the eclipse.

Pretty much a perfect example of a weekend.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Laughing and a Whole Bunch of Pictures

Here are a whole bunch of pictures of my recent days. Looking them over I am reminded of these recent days and the fact that I have been laughing a lot more often lately. Not that I wasn't laughing before but I am noticeably more laugh-y and even finding myself funnier lately. Good times. I am enjoying it. As I think about it, this is very true for the day time hours, and there are thankfully many hours of day this time of year. However, at night, I am wayyyy more tired and sleepy so I have no idea if I am laughing. Maybe laughing and smiling makes one sleepy. So, without further ado, my recent days in pictures.

That's Enzo and his new friend at school. I am told they held hands most of the day.

We all went to dinner with Grandma, Grandpa, and Tia K. Here they are looking at animals. The funny moments were when my mom and Enzo growled like lions together with their hands at their mouth like Enzo often does. Tami and I are not sure if the hands represent teeth or whiskers but it's amusing.

Here is The Kid when we went to a favorite place of mine, Santa Teressa Park. We went there for a baptism party.

This is my son. He sat and watched an adult play catch with an older girl. He watched and watched. The cool part was that whenever she caught the ball he would smile big. 
 Tami caught a bug and showed Enzo.

 Ana snacked and enjoyed the world.

There are the ladies sitting on the picnic blanket.

 Ana started playing with sunglasses and being cool. Enzo helped her to put them on.

These kids love playing in their digging pot. Every now and again Tami has to add more dirt to it.

Brushing their teeth before bed. They are so adorable.

 Time to play outside! Then we went to play at Ponderosa Park. Wow! So much to see and do. We saw people playing tennis, volleyball- a new word Enzo now knows from watching them hit what appeared to him to be a "soccer ball" over a "goal," three little league soccer games, a little league baseball game which we sat and watched for a bit as Enzo rooted on both the Indians and the Cardinals teams with "Go Oakland!," an adult cricket game!, a dad teaching two daughters how to play cricket, a man doing Tai Chi, a man playing kick the ball with his kid, a birthday party, a bunch of people playing in the multiple playground areas... and all of this in one park going on at the same time!

 We played kick the ball too.
 And we played kick the ball and run really fast laughing to see if Papi will get to it first or if Enzo would be able to dive on top of it giggling first and the call out "again, again!"

 Beautiful girl, one day before she turns 1.

The kids were totally watching the older girl go down the really big slide for minutes. And then, Enzo went up the relatively giant structure all by himself and then got on and slid down the relatively gargantuan slide all by himself!

 And he loved it.

 And did it over and over again.

And it was a huge slide! Look at that. And when I say all by himself I mean it- I didn't go up on the structure, I played with Ana at the bottom the whole time. Somehow I even managed to not yell out "be careful" or to hold my breath or anything. I am as proud of myself as I am impressed with how this kiddo confidently climbs and slides these days. At my first concern I calmed my self with two thoughts. One, it looks fairly safe and like it would require a bit of purposeful effort to fall from and then I made my mind shut up as the question popped in of what if he tries and I'm way far down.. but no, he will be fine. Two, this is a busy park at a school campus in California, USA where people are happy to sue and if this thing is still standing, well then it must be pretty safe to let my son play on without me guiding him even if he does appear hundreds of feet up in the air without a safety wire or net. And he was perfectly fine and safe and loving it and smiling and going up again and again. Excellent.

 Ana and I played closer to the ground.

Big brother helped fill up the giant custom pinata Grandma and Grandpa got for his sister's birthday. My mom even added her own custom features to it with hand cut out letters and attached butterflies. It came out great.

Tami: Babe! Come look at this! You are not going to like it but you need to see it.
Randy: [Sees daughter on ladder with Enzo behind her talking her through the process.]
            What are you doing letting her on the ladder!?
Tami: She is OK. And Enzo is watching her and telling her to "Be careful Ana."
Randy: Oh good, so I don't have to warn her to be careful then if Enzo is taking care of it.

Then I snapped this photo and promptly removed my daughter from the ladder while quietly thanking my son for looking out for his sister and mentally shaking my fist at the air because my wonderful wife watches this whole thing and then calls me over to look. I guess it is like a free therapy session for a possibly over concerned parent and that somehow makes me laugh.

My beautiful 1 year old with her Papi.

 Tami baked and I decorated. Tami did a couple of the purple flowers that came out the best though. Bottom row, third from the left, and the other two that are similar are Tami's work. We left this all on the island far away from the edge so Monte wouldn't eat them as he did Enzo's 2nd birthday cake. We left him alone for all of 5 minutes... he managed to lick the frosting perfectly clean off of the right inch and a half of the square cake. Luckily the rest of the sweets were far enough out of reach. I think Monte is trying to start a new birthday tradition for himself.

Now for some pictures of Ana's birthday party.

 Most were excited, but at least one grandparent took a nap in the middle of the festivities.

Thankfully, this time, the pinata actually worked!

Getting ready to blow out the candle.

This is supposed to be her first taste of chocolate but she never got past enjoying the frosting.

These next two photos make laugh a lot. Here you see Ana enjoying the reenactment of what she was doing 1 year ago.....

....and that's how we got you Ana.

 My son wanted to play in the car more then he wanted to go anywhere after we enjoyed some time, just the two of us, eating, walking, and looking around in downtown Sunnyvale.

This cracks me up to. I got some packages I had ordered and decided to open them up while hanging out with The Kid who was taking a long time on the potty. He liked my new toy Ducatis too. He was having fun just playing with the bikes inside the boxes. I wouldn't let him open them yet so he made the best with what he had. I figure he and Ana will get to have them eventually but I'm going to keep them for myself for now. One is already at work for my amusement. Not sure where the other will go yet.

And then there is this picture. If you look close in the reflection of the door you will see my face. I did, but I didn't know it was mine. I smiled at the guy because he looked friendly and he smiled back and then I looked closer and it was me. The illusion made more sense in person then in the photo I took after to try and explain this to someone, anyone. Analyzing the event afterwards I realized that in that brief moment, perhaps two seconds long, while believing the illusion that a) I had thought how nice it was to see a smiling face, b) I realized that the guy had a beard too, c) I liked how he was dressed and looked closer to verify the smiley guy behind the window in the hall was actually wearing a nice purple shirt.. and tie?.. just like... OH! That is me! And then it all made sense. Good times.