Monday, December 31, 2012

It's a Birthday Boy!

Tami made and decorated a train cake for Enzo that he was very excited about. 

My Dad got the train piñata. It came out great. It continued the tradition of not exactly working as planned. In other words, it opened after I helped Enzo, the first person to to get a chance, to pull the strings that he chose. They felt very secured to the train, which explains how forcing them free forced the train to spill its goods. Pretty much the shortest piñata experience possible for its intended function. Luckily Dad has purchased rather large piñatas and so cutting the top open means my kids continue to play with and sit in the train all of these days later.

Enzo putting his own candles in. 

He is quite professional at blowing out candles. No one had to remind him or explain the process to him. We finished singing and he went straight to three clear bursts of air, one for each candle. When did he finally figure this out? I only remember us trying to convince him to blow out candles and then helping him. All of a sudden, three years old, and he knows it all. 

As you can see by now, Enzo got a LOT of train track and trains. Turns out, trains make an excellent toy for sharing. 

Cruising in the train.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Out for a Ride

It's cold, damp, and beautiful.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Train of Lights Day

Today had lots of fun parts. It included legos, baby dolls, hot wheels, Papi cooking breakfast and lunch,  Charlie Brown Christmas, trains, a good nap, and a long stretch of time where legos and trains came together. But the one part of today that had been anticipated for weeks, was the train ride. Today was our day to meet in Niles for a ride through Niles Canyon, to Sunol and back, on a train covered in lights as the sun set. Just in the nick of time, and far after we had planned, Ana and Enzo and Tami and I arrived to meet with Tata, Hun, Aunti Tia and Fran. The good thing about just barely arriving in time is the super short line. To sum up the ride simply, this was an excellent train ride through the canyon. The main person we have been trying to impress with all of these train events lately is Enzo and I would say we have been successful. His 3 year old birthday party, train themed, is this Sunday and he is very in to trains right now. I think everyone was impressed with the ride, though. And, there were a few bridges over river and road so that was extra fun for me.

(Leaving Niles.) 

(Bundled up as we get going.) 

(Heading towards the Canyon.)  


(Watching the cows go by.) 

(You can almost taste the nature in the canyon.) 

(Warming up inside one of the closed cars, but we will get outside and cold again soon.) 

(Happy under the darkening sky again.) 

(Tata and Enzo looking out into the canyon.) 

(Ana watching the world.) 

 (Enzo and Fran leaning out to see the lights.)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Day(s)

A Christmas eve morning story:

Both kids woke up in the morning, not necessarily early, but earlier then either Tami or I wished to get up. Tami and I remained quiet, eyes squeezed tight, understanding each other without words or obvious movement... thinking, if we just fake this sleep a little longer maybe our bodies will make us feel like we really did sleep in. The kids ran off to play and enjoy the morning. At one point they both came back into the room to give us things. I don't remember what my son had but I do remember that my daughter was trying to hand me a package of tofu. This is when I made a vague realization that the tofu yesterday was a) in the fridge, and b) on higher shelf. Before I had to think too much about this, both kids went back out of the room.

Tami says it's better when the kids are quiet because then you know they are not hurt. On this point we disagree. I prefer to regularly hear from both of them to know they are not really hurt or causing too much mischief. At some point in our denial of the morning and our attempt to fool our bodies that we were truly and deeply resting, it occurred to me that the kids had been very quiet for a very long time. Ahh. I had better get up and check on them. Maybe I'll be able to run back to bed after a quick peek and my body won't notice the brief moment of full consciousness and vertical movement.

Quietly I followed the quietness, peeking through the house until.... "Noo...ahh....a..ah.noooo...ah-ohhh, babies!" Two beautiful and innocent faced children paused, turned to me, and just looked with their cherubby gorgeousness, hands paused mid air, and each slightly holding towards me the raw and open eggs that each were opening as I interrupted them.

I managed to take a mental image of how sweet they looked  before taking in the situation. I almost believed their innocence when reflecting on that mental picture of the two when I discovered them but then I remembered that they are never that quiet for any where near that long unless they are sleeping. Yeah, they knew what they were doing. Cutie brats! What were they doing? Let me describe the rest of the image. Two kids standing with broken open eggs in their hands. In front of them is the open dozen eggs sitting on a chair pushed up to the open refrigerator. Clearly the chair had been a stool to reach the eggs after the tofu wasn't interesting enough. Then the chair had become a table for the eggs. The open fridge served as additional lighting, inspiration, and a cool breeze, I suppose. The open dozen eggs, by the way, all broken open! Some were expertly opened with the raw eggs redeposited into the the little cups of the egg cartons. Others didn't open so well and that would explain the five or six eggs that were all over the floor and coating my kids' feet and hands. There was also an open milk container on the floor that had already been emptied. I'm not sure if they were making waffles, french toast, or some new creation in their minds. But clearly, they are far more efficient cooks when their Mami is guiding them compared to when they go off on their own.

Clean up was not fun. But that picture in my mind is still pretty cute. While cleaning up Tami asked how long I thought it would be before we would find this funny. I wasn't sure. Turns out the answer is at least 36 hours because it wasn't until Christmas night that we finally even told the story and I think it is a little more that 2 days later as I write this that I find myself really chuckling at the memory. Phyllis added a good point to the story. She said it was a good thing I went out there when I did before the kids brought their creation back to the bedroom to show us. I love those kids.


Christmas eve dinner:
Presents, and visiting was with Grandma, Grandpa, Tia K, Jonathan, Uncle and Nana at the kids' Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Ana and Nana chatting.

Poor Enzo. The picture above is art, capturing a human emotion.... forced patience unhappily accepted. This is what it feels like when kids think they will open presents, get presents in their hands, start to turn the paper, and are then told to wait until grandma gets in the room to watch and then the kid has to put down the present because it's just too hard to hold the present without opening it. Yep, this is what that feeling looks like.

 Luckily talking to Nana is distracting and makes Enzo happy again as he continues to wait for everyone to get back and settled into a seat.

The kids watching Nana open the angel present that they got for her. 

Wow, look at that happy face. So many cars. 

Ana got new socks. So, naturally she needed to take off the ones that she was wearing and put on her new pink socks. She is pretty impressive. Every day she dresses and undresses herself, multiple times more than one would think is necessary. 

Recycling present decorations as doggy decorations.

Christmas morning:
The four of us plus Monte opened presents first thing in the morning. Hamster's are nocturnal so we didn't make Norton get up with us.

Santa brought the kids bicycle helmets. 

A while back I wrote about how Enzo broke a mug that was sentimental to Tami. Tom had given Tami that mug way back in high school. Well, with great luck, Enzo found a used mug, exactly as the one Tami was given years ago. Merry Christmas Mami! Tami was very happy with that gift and it was the particular gift I had been most looking forward to see given.


Christmas dinner:
Presents, and visiting was with Tami's side of the family and this year we got together at our house instead of Traci's house. I think there were about 17 or so family and friends who shared the day with us. I really enjoy when the house is full of people. I was the first to fall asleep though, even before the kids, even before bed time. Tami thankfully woke me up after a little bit. I didn't even plan on falling all the way asleep.

Pause for Traci's 10 minutes of birthday celebration! 

Yeah! And now back to Christmas... 

Ana received a cool A's dress... and so she put it on right then and there. 

Merry Christmas!