Friday, November 30, 2012

Parade on the Web

Teeth update first:  My Ana now has all four of her vampire teeth (cuspids) out. I haven't seen them but Tami has. So basically, my little girl has almost all of her first set of teeth out now, top and bottom. The only ones left to come in of her baby teeth are the 'second molars.' She already has her 'first molars.' Anyway, she is adorable.

Parade News:
It turns out that I do get to see a brief glimpse of my bug in the parade! Someone made a video montage of the parade. The bug and the dancers are in it starting at 7:30 into the video. Here are screen shots.

The link to the video is:

Also, I found a couple of pictures on the net that someone posted of the parade at Here are the photos of the bug and dancers from that link.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Genius or Coincidence?... and other musings

My daughter. Genius already at 1 and a half years old, or coincidence?

A couple of days ago I was watching a video on my ipad of a Lamborghini doing Lamborghini type things. My daughter gets off of my lap and returns a minute later with a hotwheel of her brother's. Which one? The only Lamborghini hotwheel he has! It wasn't even the same color as the one in the video so it wasn't a match the color type of situation. Genius? Or coincidence? I just don't know. But wait, there is another similar situation.

A day later, Enzo and I were reading "A Fish out of Water by Hellen Palmer." That's how Enzo always refers to his favorite book. What do you want to read tonight Enzo? "A Fish out of Water by Hellen Palmer" he invariably answers each and every time. Not just 'the fish book' or 'the one we always read now.' No; he gives credit to Hellen Palmer each time. Well, we were reading and Ana was sitting near us. She hasn't gotten into reading 'with' us when we read in bed but she sits around us and sometimes plays with a different book. So, after I read the book aloud Enzo decides it's his turn to read the book and he starts from the last page and "reads" aloud the words as best he remembers for the various pages he flips to. He also makes up, in a pretend reading kind of way, words as though he were reading, when he does not remember the words for a page. Ana, watching this, says something that sounds almost like she was trying to say "I want to read too." The new word here is that she was trying to say 'read.'  So I said, "Ana, do you want to practice reading like your brother?" And she said, "Yeah!" And in my mind I thought how cool that was that my daughter who does not know her ABC's yet, and can't read, wants to play at reading. She got off of the bed, looked for a book, and returned with the book titled "I can read with my eyes shut" by Dr. Seuss. Coincidence or genius? She wanted to 'read', said 'read' for the first time, and picked a book with the word 'read' on the title.

Genius or coincidence... we may never know... But two good anecdotes none the less.

Two technicalities to wrap up.

Chances are nobody noticed or remembers, but I have left two open ended situations on this blog and that bothers me. Probably only me. Still, it's time to wrap those up and put them to rest in my mind. Consider this paragraph like the required legal announcements in a newspaper; no one is expected to read them but they satisfy some technicality some where. In this case, the technicality is in my mind. The first is that I had previously mentioned my thinking of going back to grad school. I left that open ended for the near term. Now, it is clear to me that for now, the answer is no. I do not want to go to grad school right now. Who knows what will be desired in a decade but for now, I choose no. Number two open ended situation, I mentioned a while back that I wrote a kids book and that I was excited to draw up the art work and make a book for my kids. I have since gone back to my notes more than once. And the truth is... it's simply not a good book at all. I even tried to rewrite the whole thing a couple of days ago. No, it's time to let that one go. Open ended situations- Closed. Well now, I feel a little cleaner and less burdened in my mind.

Story Time

These are pictures of my son telling Tata a story on our patio a few nights ago. It was nicely animated and passionately told.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Year of Sunday Breakfasts

Yesterday marked a year of us having Sunday breakfasts with an open invitation to family and friends. It's been a good year. I have no idea how long this will carry on but it has been one of the best things we have initiated. I look forward to it every week.

This Sunday, Tata, Hun, Melanie and Santiago all came over for breakfast. Then, we made tamales from left over turkey and talked and hung out all day. I don't know if you can exactly call it left overs though, when Tami purposely made two turkeys so she would have plenty to make tamales with. Whatever the classification, eating the turkey at each stage in it's transformation to tamales was tasty and fun. Once all the chili sauce was made and the turkey mixed in, we were all pretty glad to find leftover tortilla chips from Thanksgiving #2. That "dip" became a meal in itself. The company was good as it's always good to see Tata and Hun and it was a special treat to catch up with friends we haven't seen in a long while. The finished tamales, also, were and are superb! Before the kids went to bed, Cousin and Aunti Jojo came over to sample the deliciousness as well. I think everyone was pretty satisfied. In fact, I think I am not the only one who has commented that this Thanksgiving's various meals and courses rank at the top of our recent memories. Also, it has been four days of great family and friend together time. There were so many people to visit with and play with including 16 people and 18 people at the two Thanksgivings. Thanksgiving #1 even had the newly weds and cousins that, besides the recent wedding, I had not visited with in a long while. There is a lot to be thankful for this year. Family, friends, and health being the most important and plentiful gifts in our lives. Happy Thanksgiving Season!

A couple more pics:

 (Mom and Dad at the Parade.)

(Mom and Ana looking at Enzo through the bug.) 

(Eating Thanksgiving #2.) 

(Final touches for Thanksgiving #2.)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Parade, Friday and Thanksgiving #2, Saturday

We are enjoying Thanksgiving # 2 right now. Delicious food and a house full of family and friends. I really love seeing everyone together and watching my kids have so much fun with everyone. The food was delicious, too. Tami even made two pumpkin pies from actual pumpkins that I saw this morning with my own eyes. So good. I'll try and get some pictures up from tonight a little later.

I do have pictures from yesterday, though. We were in a parade! The Niles Festival of Lights Parade. So so so so fun. I don't have a bucket list but if I did I would now know that it should have "be in a parade" on the list. Enzo and I drove the decorated bug with a Christmas tree on top and a giant speaker on the back, Tami and Ana cruised along with portable lights and Traci's dance group danced in costume and lights to the music from the giant speaker. It was so very fun and exciting to be part of the parade. The bug got a lot of attention too; a lot. After the parade the bug was parked in a parking lot and plenty of people came over to take pictures of it and with it and to talk about it. I decided to drive all the way home with the lights on. Down the freeway, every few minutes I would see the flash from some one's cell phone camera taking a picture of the bug in lights as they drove along side of me.

 (In the staging area getting ready.)

  (Lights on in the staging area.)

 (Stomper in the staging area.) 

(Storm troopers, too!) 

(Those are the dancers that we will go down the parade with..behind them is a light saber fight in progress.) 

 (Almost our turn to enter the parade.)

(And we are off!)

Unfortunately I have no pictures of us being in the parade or the dancers behind us. But after the parade the vehicles and floats and horses went into a parking lot where people could enjoy them. That's when I got a few pics of the bug all lit up.

(The dancers with Miss Traci.) 

(Ana walked the parade in her adorable winter dress and light up present box.) 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving #1, Thursday

I went on a ride this morning but first I watched my kids play with my gold metal flake helmet.

After the ride I added a few more lights to the bug in preparation for the Niles Festival of Lights Parade. Now it has 660 LED lights.

Then there was a delicious Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's house. Yumm. Unfortunately I ended up with blurry pictures but we had a great time.

Milestones and Sleep Talking

(Ana playing with a food cover.)

Yesterday I got a text message from Tami letting me know that Ana just told her "I love you" for the first time. I am jealous! Happy, and jealous. As Ana is getting a little older she has been cuddling me more and more and occasionally asking for me which feels super good. She still wants her Mami above all others and needs her Mami to be the one to make it all better when she is hurt. But she likes Papi to pick her up and show her around. And she is so sweet and funny saying "Yeah!" in her super positive and optimistic way to answer questions and laughing and running around.

A couple of days ago Tami told me that Ana just said her first complete sentence of several words, too. "I want wa-was now, Mami." Wa-was means milk to her. She also still says Daddy to mean Enzo weather talking about him or pointing him out in pictures. Where did she get that? She will yell out "Daddy!" when she wants Enzo and she will talk about him and if you answer her with "Enzo is right over there," she will say "Yeah!" and run over to him.

Enzo, who is almost three now, started pretend writing. I looked it up because I remember this being a developmental stage and it is. It shows up on all the lists for 3 to 5 year olds, so it's happening at the right time. It's so neat and surprising to me even if it's normal, though. My kid is making small wriggly circle-like shapes that are the right size for written letters and they arc across the paper one after the other in rows. We saw this for the first time earlier this week when Enzo brought the paper, which had originally been a list Tami was making, and a pen he found and showed us the writing he had been working on for several minutes scrolled all over the paper. Then he said "P is for Papi" and wrote one of his proto-letters and continued with other letters and words. Super cool!

(Enzo with Aunti JoJo after his haircut.)

Also to note, just for the record so that when my kids read this they have a more complete picture of themselves as children, Enzo has become the worlds most picky eater. Unlimited fruit and bread; that's what he wants. Tortillas are ok too as a form of bread. Cheese is the third food group he loves but we have emptied the house of it in an attempt to bring him around to a better balanced diet. So far, that pretty much means that everything we serve him is ignored except the bread/tortilla and the fruit on his plate. The one addition is that lately he has begun eating eggs again. All this leads to limited eating, the need to buy a lot of apples because he can eat those one after the other, and a nightly routine of Enzo saying that he is hungry and me reminding him that we just had dinner and then assuring him he can eat again in the morning when the sun comes up.

Ana continues to happily eat anything. She eats whatever Enzo eats and whatever he does not. She likes salsa, yes, salsa. When there are chips and salsa out she grabs a chip and goes straight in for the salsa with it. When Enzo decided he would eat the corn bread but not the bean soup, we were having for dinner he invited his sister to sit next to him to "share," as he explained to me, and they happily ate off of his plate together until all was gone. Cute. I like how Enzo has learned to use "Sharing" to get what he wants out of life. He is becoming strategic, my little brat is. So then I add more bean soup for Ana but I accidentally gave her more from the adult chili batch instead of the kids batch. She takes a spoon full, makes a face, and then apparently adjusted, goes right on finishing the rest of her spicy bean soup.

In funny family news.... apparently we talk in our sleep. A few days ago Tami was awake in bed while our two kids sleeping next to her started calling out "Mami...Mami.....Mami!!" over and over and back and forth. After a while of this, she tells me, I, who had fallen asleep in another room down the hall yell out to them in my sleep "Mami has to go to work!" Ha! What dreams were we all having and how did we reconcile all of this in each of our dream worlds? At least Tami got a good laugh out of it.

(Getting the bug ready for the Niles Festival of Lights Parade on Friday.)