Friday, September 6, 2013

Family Updates

Ana is counting a lot more. It's not because of anything I have been doing. I have been saying the alphabet a lot more and she is saying letters more, too. But lately I have noticed her counting items in the world way more often, usually counting items that exist up to five like flowers or cars or chairs. The most common count she likes to point out is when she sees two of something. "Look Papi, two..two!!….two umbrellas!" She points out two items in the world often. It's cool to see that this abstract concept of two is making sense to her and that she can apply it so easily to concrete objects. This amazes me in adults, the comprehension of abstract numeric representation, so it's extra neat to get to watch the ability develop in my children. While talking about Ana, it's worth mentioning that she is just talking more and more in general. She expresses thoughts and has conversations with her brother. She is adorable.

I have been referring to Tami as my hot college girlfriend. Why? Because she is. Tami is still the primary provider for our children, full time business owner, and now a grad school student, too. And my hot girlfriend. She has a lot of important rolls. I like to tease her that at least after we spend a bunch of money on her education she will get a big raise and promotion at her company. You know, since she owns the company so she doesn't need any more qualifications. But I know this is a family that likes to learn for the fun of learning.


Enzo wrote his own name. Yes, he wrote his name! Tami showed this to me (see picture above) and told me how Enzo wrote his name saying "E...Z....O" as he wrote out the characters. Purposeful writing! Since then I have seen him write an E (it looked kind of like an F) as he declared "E" and say "look Papi, an X" as he crossed a fork and knife on the table. Awesome.

Also regarding Enzo, that stutter went away. I guess it was disfluenncy after all. Human development is fascinating. It's like it never happened and stopped pretty soon after I wrote about it. What hasn't stopped is the accumulation of new phrases. Today I heard for the first time, after I asked him if he was hungry, "Papi, I'm starrrrrving!." What? I don't think so Kid.

One of my minor missions in life is to assure kids that, despite the standard iconography of a moon for night and a sun for day, the moon has nothing to do with night other than that it appears bright at night and so it stands out. It's up in the day just as often as it's up in the night. But kid's books seems to be against me as well as some otherwise great educational children's cartoons. So, I was quite happy a few days back when Enzo started telling me "the moon is up in the day or night but the sun is not Papi it can't be up at night, only in the day." Yeah!.


When I was in high school, this was my dream motorcycle. And part of the daydream was to ride it to school. And now I do. So cool.
Tami and I have been married 8 years! She was in Puerto Rico on the big day and so we have postponed the celebration. When she got back I was working a lot and it just made sense to wait and get the kids and us back into routine. But now, It is time to celebrate. Tomorrow is the day; 8 years and 1 month of marriage! We have a special day planned.

More Tami:
Speaking of anniversary, Tami is pretty creative. When she left for Puerto Rico she gave me an envelope to open when I got back home. In it was a sweet note and a clue to find a hidden envelope in the house. It turned out to be quite a scavenger hunt with envelopes taped behind framed photos and under counters and in cabinets. The discovery of each required the decoding of a clue which seemed to become progressively more challenging. They had instructions on the outside for when to open after found. Inside each was a sweet message and the next clue right up to our actual anniversary. Tami can be pretty sweet and mushy and creative. The last envelope, the one found on our anniversary, was hidden behind the framed picture of a Dahlia that I had given her as an anniversary present years ago. Dahlias were our wedding flower. Sometimes Tami almost sounds like a romantic, even  if it did take her several years before she finally memorized that we were married in '05.

Ok, here are some more pics from lately:

The Vega family was visiting from Oregon and we got to spend some time with them which is always a treat.

Me and the kids went for a walk at the park.

And I even went to an A's game with the family. Here is Ana playing with Tata.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Catching Up on July and August

This weekend I finally had a weekend. And a good one, a three day weekend. I have been working 7 days a week for a while. Crazy, but there was so much to get up to speed on with my new job. I doubt I will need to work that often any time soon. It's not like I was working 10 hours per day on weekends, and it's not that it wasn't fun in its challenging way even if it was quite stressful these last several weeks, but I was working a lot and now I am grateful to have weekends back. And while I have done so personally, I'll do so publicly; Thank you Tami for being the Super-Wife-Partner of my dreams.

And so, now that a bit more of my day's hours are again becoming luxury after work and children and wife and the absolute necessities are tended to, I find that there was a whole bunch I was planning to post about since way back in July that just got postponed as priorities shuffled. So, without so much writing as I likely was thinking when I set the following pics aside for a post, here is some of what happened in our lives leading up to my family's Puerto Rico trip in the summer.

My mom celebrated her birthday at Vasona Park. Which is great fun anyway and extra fun for the kids because they have the train. And we got to ride the steam train.

And we rode the carousel, too. Which was cool because the kids don't ask to ride that as much but they did that day.

Here are a couple of pics from the Newark Summerfest.

That is Enzo and fellow dancers getting ready to perform.

Checking out the police car.

And riding a pony!

They even had a little train car to cruise around in.

Some days it's nice to go out for breakfast.

This was funny. Ana was having difficulties talking on a regular phone because we always let the kids talk on our cell phones on speaker phone. She kept thinking it wasn't on until she figured out that she had to hold it to her ear to hear Tata.

My beautiful wife.

This was Tami's birthday party & All Stars Baseball party hosted at Traci's house. Ana asked to grade the cheese. She and Enzo are such helpers in the kitchen.

Happy Birthday Tami!

Knowing my family would be leaving on vacation soon while I stayed back to work, I tried to go outside and play with them every chance I could.

Enzo set up shop at the park and made all manner of pancakes in an assortment of flavors.

And Ana swung as she loves to do when ever she is not climbing on something.

Soon after those photos, my family went on vacation. While I did spend a lot of that time working, I did manage some relaxing fun time. One particularly satisfying day was when Nathan and I went for a ride. He had recently received a new Ducati as a gift from his wife Laurie and this was our first ride together with his new bike. Nearly all rides a good, but this ride was simply rejuvenating.  It felt as peaceful and perfect and harmonious as so many rides did 15 years ago when Nathan and I use to ride the same roads on our first motorcycles. I love that day. It felt great. We also spent a lot of time chatting with the bikes parked which is another great aspect of many an excellent ride. We enjoyed breakfast at Alice's Restaurant, a long relaxing sit at Pescadero Beach, a superb and peacefully excellent one-with-nature ride, good conversation, and turns on two Ducatis built 21 years apart.

Best thing about writing this blog is the smiles I get recognizing how fortunate I am.
Lucky mud, I am.