Saturday, March 30, 2013

Quick Ride

This, I think, is my only chance for a ride this weekend so took the Norton out for a quick ride hoping to beat any of the rain that is forecast. This Norton Atlas is riding so excellent! After the tips from Diane and adjustments and carb adjustments by Ken Armann the bike kick starts easier, idles excellent, and runs just perfectly. I am loving this bike. Which I did before visiting Armann's shop but now I'm loving it and smoothly purring along too. It sounds so good.

Didn't quite escape the water in the clouds. But it's beautiful out here. The rain as well as the flower smells along the way are excellent. I stopped in downtown
Sunnyvale with the first drops thinking perhaps the first sprinkle would clear. Now that I'm sitting at a cafe eating a rabbit cookie I'm expecting I may just be getting a little wet on the way home because it is picking up a bit as I type this. But it's a British bike so I'm sure it's thanking me for its first wet ride in years.

Ana Peddles, Enzo Dances, and other updates

Ana peddles like a pro now! All of a sudden, she went from scooting on her tricycle to peddling like she had done it for months. This has made the time in the back yard a lot more fun now as the two kids ride around and around the table at speed and no one is causing a traffic jam. Well, not by accident anymore.

I don't know if I have mentioned yet but Enzo is in tap dance class now. I hear he is doing pretty well. He has class during the week when I am at work. While it wasn't for tap dance class, or any class that the kids are in, they were on stage dancing again recently. Why? Because Aunti Tia likes to take them on stage at every opportunity even if it's not their recital. Which I just think is funny. In this video Enzo is dancing along to a dance he had never danced to before and doing a great job. He has become fairly confident with dancing. There is also a photo of both kids after a dance on the stage. It was a 50's theme.

While Ana is not in tap dance class yet, they both have tap shoes already. Here is a video of them on a day they were wearing their tap shoes and that turned into drumming on the trash and recycle cans.

Easter is tomorrow but the kids have already had a practice at the Newark Easter egg hunt last week.

Enzo got a haircut from Grandma. Nothing, apparently, makes a haircut more fun than being able to play with the water spray bottle and wetting your own hair as needed.... and everything else not needed.

And to finish up, some cute photos of the kids together. This particular genre of cuteness tends to happen if Enzo is engrossed in a movie and Ana decides to cuddle up with him.

But this time she was just too tired to keep watching.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Thoughtful Son

This morning my son was driving his big wooden bus all over the house while I got ready for work. He started counting all of the cars he had in his big wooden bus and was well into the teens. Accuracy? I don't know. He is very accurate through five but sometimes we both laugh when reading counting books because for any big number of objects above five, like six, for example, he'll start double counting fast and end up at twelve plus in no time. We end up laughing and jokingly fighting for our turns to count the nine red balloons in Good Night 123. Me accurately and Enzo creatively. We go back and forth and laugh. I don't know why we have so much fun with that but we do.

At some point this morning he paused his counting and bus driving and started talking and, looking at the cars in the bus, began saying "There is one for Grandma and one for Grandpa and one for Mami...... " and goes through naming most of his immediate family. Then he pauses, leans over and picks up this truck.
E: And one for Papi.
Me: Thank you Mijito!
E: Yeah, you can take it to school and play with it.
Me: Thank you but if I play with it at school you won't have it to play with.
E: That's ok, I have lots of cars! And you can take the flat bed truck to school to play with it...... You should put it in your pocket.
R: Well as soon as I finish getting ready and have pockets on I'll do that.

But I didn't have to because Enzo put the truck in my pocket while I was still putting them on.

Soon I was in a meeting an hour before school started at work and that was followed by two assemblies that I was in charge of and running for the first two hours of the kid's school day and then clean up and supervision and then I was actually sweating.... and hungry.... and thirsty... and a little tired because I was in rush mode since I left the house hours earlier.

Then I put my hand in my pocket and the whole morning came back to me. With smiles.

I love you Enzo! Thanks for letting me take your flat bed truck to school today. Some time to play is exactly what I needed right now.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Park, the Favorite Word

Her favorite word is park. It sounds like "Pok, pok Papi? Paaauuuk?" As in, can we go to the park Papi? Ana asks to go to the park every day, multiple times. I don't know how many times Tami hears it in a day but as I mostly see Ana in the morning and in the evening 5 days per week I can say that I hear her ask for the park morning and night regularly. Tami and I don't say park aloud without having a plan. We spell it if we have to. It's a lot like the word train for Enzo. It is a little easier now with Enzo though as he has so many train toys that if we are heard saying train with out a plan to go ride or see trains that day, we can at least divert his direction by pretending we were talking about his toy trains. We dare not say "ride the train" without a rideable train in sight, however.

Ana's second favorite word is more. Because she thinks more means food. Before she could talk she used baby sign language that Tami taught her. Food and more were used together a lot so that now more means food. A morning greeting with Ana sounds something like:

Me: Good morning love.
A: Hi Papi. Pok? Pok Papi? Paauk?
Then there are kisses and hugs and going potty. Immediately followed by Ana again.
A: More? Mooooore!

The yard has no playground but it serves as a good holdover when Ana needs her park fix and I'm not quite ready to get everyone properly dressed on a Saturday morning. Like today. A nice mellow morning, kids playing in the yard alternating between a focus on bikes, dirt, balls, toy cars, and various combinations of them. Tami is out at dance practice and I get to sip coffee, write about the kids, and enjoy the weather.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Refreshed Norton

The Northern California Norton Owners Club had an event yesterday called "Bring out your almost dead." It was held at Ken Armann's British Motorcycle shop in Campbell. The idea was that you could bring in your Norton or British bike, get advice, work on your bike, and get help to work on issues with expert mechanic guidance and experienced Norton owners. Also, there was food and socializing. This is a totally free event they hold each year. I am so glad I went. I haven't even officially joined the club but I met very nice people and my bike got some sorely needed adjustments while I got some sorely needed knowledge on owning and caring for my bike. The ride leaving was noticeably smoother. A nice ride.

Diane, who works with Ken at the shop, spent a lot of time with me. She was friendly and answered the big questions I have had for a while. What do I need to know to properly care for this bike? How do I check and level the various oils on this bike? How close to normal are these brakes that don't seem to care much about stopping? (Normal for these stock brakes.) And more such as how I should modify my starting routine on the bike. In the process of showing me all of this on my bike, Diane said "f#*£!" when she felt the slack in my primary chain through the check cover. She showed Ken who said exactly the same word. Then my bike found itself on the lift once it was empty and I watched Ken adjust the primary, then adjust the newly created slack in the final drive chain, add gear oil to the transmission, and eventually adjust my carbs before I left with his pocket knife. My bike was quieter, waaaay smoother riding, easier and smoother shifting, and overall felt refreshed. The engine, which has always felt healthy, really got to shine with proper adjustments and lube for the carbs and drive line. All this and socializing, neat bikes, friendly people, home made food from Ken's wife AND pie for desert, a Vincent (yeah, a Vincent - only the second I have ever seen in real life out in the world and quite a peace of art), and I even ran into a teacher I had from college.

I was really looking forward to this event as the opportunity to finally ask someone knowledgeable so many questions while I was simultaneously nervous about what kind of crowd it would be and weather it would be comfortable. I considered not going just to avoid an event with a bunch of people I didn't know but thankfully the sales pitch to bring your Norton to get help and advice was just too much to pass up. I am so glad I attended. I am so much more prepared to own and care for my Norton now and it rides so well. Thanks Diane and Ken for all the help. And to Ken's wife for delicious food and to everyone else for easy conversation and bikes to look at.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Beautiful Baby Ana

Ana is at this special angelic perfect baby stage. She is not really a baby, she is a toddler, I know. But there is something of the Baby Ana yet about her. Her cheeks are sweet and perfect. She tilts her head when she asks in a sweet questioning tone "youdunpapi?" when I finish eating. And then she sort of nods her head encouragingly as if to help reassure me that my answer is yes, I am done. Her vocabulary seems to grow each day. Her annunciation is blurred and creatively enforced with her expressive physical intonations. She likes for me to hold her and love her with little kisses. She likes to do just about everything for herself. She walks and climbs confidently. She smiles a lot and laughs. These are mostly toddler qualities just barely tinged with the last light of true babyness. It's a magical time. I know and expect there to be more magical times ahead but this is definitely one of those special magical times. Enzo is a little boy now; it is a phase of its own type of beauty. I think what makes this stage of Ana's beauty so special right now is that it is among the last phases where there is still identifiable babyness as part of it. There is this last bit of baby mixed in with this confident toddler that is Ana. That mix is gorgeous. Before long she will be that new kind of gorgeous that is completely a little girl. For now, just barely, she is still part baby.