Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A New Norton... and Other Great Events


“This is your 5 minute warning” Tami said over the phone. That meant I had to wrap up the work I was doing in preparation for a meeting on Monday morning and I needed to go to the pet store to pick up some water conditioner for the fish tank and then get back home. Five minutes later, Tami called to see if I was in fact wrapped up and moving towards the pet store. I told her I was wrapped up in a game of pool with strangers that I met and couldn't leave just yet because I joined the team. This of course meant that I was done, packed up, and getting into the car to head over to the pet store. Tami just said, “You have 20 minutes to get there and get home.” “What, I don't drive that fast!” I said. Tami responded with, “you have 15 minutes to get home!” Words on a page don't catch the smiles in voices.

Well, that's how it started. I walked around looking for the fish tank water conditioner and thought; may as well get a couple of fish for the giant 30 gallon tank we have with only one little fish in it. And while the woman packed up the little fish for me I saw the two cages with a sign that read “Free Hamsters.” “Tell me about the Hamsters,” I said.

Next thing I know I have a shopping cart and a full load. Turns out the store had received a hamster from its supplier that was already pregnant and she gave birth on December 2nd. These babies they were giving away for free, no cage, etc., but free hamster.

As I packed the free hamster and the $150 of supplies that were not free into my car 30 minutes since I spoke to Tami, I wondered. What have I done? I didn't even talk to my wife or think about anything! I'm bringing home a new living creature. I called Tami and told her that I did something that I'm not sure how she would feel about but I was on my way home, remember to love me, and think about a name... I suggest Norton. I think I had Tami's curiosity peaked.

(Ana looking at Norton.)

And now we have a new member of the family. Norton the hamster. And a few new friends in the fish tank, too.

That was Sunday.

On Saturday we went on our recently developed tradition to find a tree with my parents in the Santa Cruz mountains. This is my Dad’s holiday; the tree hunt. Ever since we had Enzo, Dad has been excited for us to find and cut a tree together each Christmas season.

This year we added something different. We decided to take a picnic lunch up as well. We had seen others do that but this was our first time doing so. Also different this time is that we invited others and they joined us. Besides us four, my parents, and sister, we had with us my sister’s boyfriend Jonathan, Melanie, Santiago, Nathan, Laurie, and their youngest two kids. Fourteen people on a beautiful day sharing lunch and cutting down two perfect trees. Only two, everyone else had other plans for selecting a tree.

First we played and ate. Eventually we looked for trees. But before we got to tree hunting, Enzo declared that the tree literally next to our picnic table was his tree and the one we needed to cut. Right there, next to us in the middle of a big property with many trees. What? Without hunting? The one right next to us, our table, and our parked car? We went for a walk to be sure. In the end, Enzo had chosen a fine tree for us and we came back to retrieve it. “My tree!,” Enzo said. And now it is decorated in our home.
(Do you see Enzo guarding his tree?)

(Enzo and his tree.)

(Everyone thinks they know how to get the tree down.)

(Mama actually starts the process.)

(Enzo does it! Ok, in all fairness, Jonathan did most of the work.)

(Do you see the problem with the tree my family selected? My Dad never does. Hint: It is twice as high in the air as Dad.)

(Look, Jonathan appears to have done most of the cutting for both trees.)

(And the gigantic tree is down.)

And that was Saturday.

On Friday, Enzo and Ana had a dance recital for their peewee mariachi class. It was Enzo's second and Ana's first ever recital. That was a good time. They purposely made a short intermission so that the folks with the young dancers could exit and get kids to bed at reasonable time. If I though it wouldn't be a problem for the kids, I think we all would have enjoyed watching the older kids dance later into the night.

(Maestro Rudy with a class of dancers. Maestro Rudy is one of Enzo and Ana's teachers.)

(Eno, Ana, and Tami are in there.)

(In this one, too.)

(Enzo watching other dancers during their turn to perform.)

(Ana and Tami doing the same.)

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