Sunday, September 30, 2012

Back From Hawai'i

(Going swimming at a water fall.)

A couple of days ago we returned from a fantastic trip to Hawai'i. We went to see our friend Nicole get married to to her fiance Patrick. They live in Hawai'i so it was not technically a destination wedding. I was only able to get 5 days in a row off so Tami, Enzo, Ana, and Tami's mom Phyllis went out eight days before me.That was the longest I had been without them. Interesting, some good points to the experience, but still stressful. My comfort seems to include seeing my kids regularly. Eventually I did join them and it was a great trip. Here are some highlights including Tami's pictures from before I got to Hawai'i and some notable memories.

(Playing at the Dole plantation.)

Tami discovered that Ana has four teeth, molars, coming in at the same time!

Ana started singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars without using any of the lyrics. Enzo sings the song a lot and loudly. Ana has some words but none from the song. While she calls Tami Mami, she calls me Papa instead of Papi, and she calls Enzo Daddy instead of Enzo. But not having Twinkle or Little or Star, she just makes up her own words and sounds and belts it out like her brother does with the actual lyrics.

Enzo just throwing every toy off of a table in the condo...
R: What are you doing Enzo????
E: (calmly..) Making a mess.

(Riding a train at the Dole plantation.)

I invented a new iPhone app! Not really going to make it but I thought of it. At the wedding everyone was holding up their iPhones to take pictures. Who caries a camera anymore? And the the big moment was about to happen, the end of the wedding, official couple, and everyone had their iPhones in the air like lighters at a rock concert. And then it hits me, with my own iPhone high in the air... How am I going to clap at the big moment AND take a photo of the big moment??!! And then it came to me... a wedding "Big Moment App." An extra photo button for the big moment that claps for you AND takes the picture of the big moment at the same time! Yes- I thought of that! 

(Nicole and Patrick ger married!)

I had the kids to myself in a little swimming pool made for kids at the hotel where the wedding was held. There are no pictures because it took all of my energy to take care of the kids. Enzo was barely comfortably above the water line and if her did slip I wasn't sure how well he would be able to stand up so I needed to be ready to help if needed. This pool was really for slightly bigger kids. There were other kids almost as young as Enzo but they were all secured in one type or another of floating device with their parents. Ana, even younger, would just walk right in and jump around, water up to her chin when standing at the deepest points at the bottom of the stairs, running around in the water until she would eventually fall under the water and I would need to swoop my hand under and pull her back up while she laughed. But she didn't stay in one spot. She walked all over that pool and climbed out and got back in and jumped around and hopped off the stairs and tried to slip by me so she could jump in from the side. She went under water countless times and it never phased her. I walked 1,000 miles in that hotel pool made for kids making sure I was always within arm's reach of her without having to limit her exploring. And at some point I heard the term. "She is fearless." I have used that term to describe her many times. But this time it came from a heavily Eastern European accented woman talking to her friend in the shade  while watching, I assume, their grand kids. I overheard them. Pointing out, and obviously talking about Ana, one woman says to her friend (I am paraphrasing from memory here):
 "Look at her, she goes in, falls under, and does it again over and over. She goes back. She smiles, she laughs. She is fearless!"

(Throwing rocks into the Pacific.)

(Having so much fun burying and pulling out his feet again and again.)

When we got back Tami asked what my favorite memory was of the trip. I don't remember all of my long answer now but I do remember that it was a long answer and that I mentioned many stories. The first thing that I mentioned was coffee on the beach. Before I got out there Tami asked what I wanted to do while there. I told her that all I NEEDED to do was to have a morning coffee on the beach. After that, anything could happen. This is because, five years ago, before the kids when Tami and I were in Hawaii, coincidentally on our two year anniversary, for another friends wedding, I had coffee on the beach and it was one of those moments when all of the world felt in perfect harmony with me. The first morning I was there, we went to the beach and had coffee. Excellent! 

(Morning coffee on the beach.)

(Watching a parade we chanced upon. The kids got excited most by all of the horses involved. I enjoyed all the VW's.)

(Besos! Ana got a kis at breakfast in matching tops with Mami.)

Another of my favorite experiences was going on a train ride from the train museum. Both kids enjoyed the event and then had so much fun playing at the train exhibits afterwards. The ride itself was 90 minutes on an old narrow gauge railroad through a town, a resort, and along the coast. Then we had a picnic lunch, that Tami had prepared for us, next to the the exhibit train that had been prepared for kids to play in. The main motivation was that this would be fun for Enzo, and it was. The cool thing was that I had so much fun too as did Ana. I'm pretty sure Tami and Phyllis did, too.

(Riding a historic train route.)

(Playing on the first train, now a museum piece, on Oahu.)

The night before we left we enjoyed something great. Tami volunteered to make a home made dinner at Nicole and Patrick's house. The five of us were there, as were Nicole's immediate family, and that made it a house of about 12 people. Tami made cheese and chicken enchiladas, Spanish rice, and beans. Everyone was having a great time. My kids were running around playing, people were laughing and telling stories, it was great fun. It was  a perfect family event and I thoroughly enjoyed that evening.

(Ana playing toy trains in front of the first train.)

(Our last stroll to the ocean before driving to the airport.)

(Enzo watching the world go bye on our way home.)

(Ana pointing out the world on our way home.)

(The sunset over the Pacific on our way home.)

(San Jose Airport! How are they so awake at this hour?)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Some Recent Pics

Cuddling on the couch.

This is how we dress to play soccer at our house.

Ana picked out the boots to wear.

Enzo playing trains with his buddy Micah.

Driving around the yard.

Having fun at dinner on the town.

Ana trying to eat, Enzo trying to play.

Driving at Gilroy Gardens.

More driving.

Eating on their new table and bench.

Tami made them their own baby carriers for their teddy bears! They are so cute.

Playing at the park.

Enzo likes to be the one to push Ana on the swings and she likes it too.

My beautiful girl.

Ana will climb anything even if it is for older kids.

And swing from it....

And then do it again.

There she goes climbing again.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

He Can Do Math


Last week.....
I was on the phone with my mom as my beautiful kiddos were playing around me in the family room. Then, my daughter decides she is going to climb onto the table. This is something she tries to often but usually stops after the third time I tell her to get off the table "no en la mesa, Ana." but this time, the kids must have sensed my weakness in trying to multitask because Enzo and Ana laughed a bit and smiled and then, working together they both continued to get half way up on the table while smiling, maintaining full eye contact with me, and only pausing during my protestations in Spanish. Numerous times I had to actually get up and help them off the coffee table. At one point, they literally each put up their left leg on the table in a slow motion synchronized maneuver without taking their eyes off of me. Huge smiles on their faces. Then, ever so slowly, and simultaneously, they leaned forward and got up onto the table at the same time. Little punks! Adorable, but still punks.

Tami decided to come to the rescue, as she told me later, to make sure I wasn't frustrated. I don't think I was getting frustrated though I was certainly beginning to doubt my ability to stay stern despite their cuteness while distracted. And it was abundantly obvious that my authority was completely compromised. My mom and I ended our conversation just as Tami asks who wants chocolate. This is her planned diversion to rescue me.

Because I was feeling goofy, and because I love chocolate, I raise my hand and say I Do! Then, with the kids I went and sat down at their little table as Tami counted out for each of us three little organic dark chocolate chips. Tami had commented before on how, unlike uvas (grapes) of which Enzo will eat an entire bowl of washed and halved fruit in no time, Enzo takes his time and savors each little chocolate chip when she gives him three as some special snack. So, I was doing the same and enjoying the chocolate with Ana and Enzo when Enzo held up his last chip and says "Papi, I have one chocolate." I smile and say "I do too." at which point my son casually leans over, picks up my last chip with his other hand and says "Papi, I have two chocolates!" That's great" I smile, "now, give it back to Papi." but he smiles and refuses to hand it over! Little punk! It took me at least a minute to convince The Kid that he needed to give Papi back his chocolate chip.

I look to Tami for a little sympathy and instead she says "He can do math."

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Enzo Said

One afternoon, Getting onto his red tricycle, Enzo said:
"Bye bye Papi. I'm going for a ride. I'm going to the beach. I love you bye bye."

This morning, talking to his dog Monte when playing in the living room early in the morning while I tried so hard to feel, as close as possible, as though I was still asleep, my eyes squeezed shut on the couch and wrapped in a blanket, Enzo said:
"Throw the circle Monte!"
[pause of three seconds]
[then in a defeated voice...]
"Ahhh, you don't have hands Monte....."