Thursday, November 29, 2007


I have never been so happy to be living here.

This morning, due to a scheduling snafoo, I had a half an hour to kill. So I decided to swing by the beach and park by the water to refresh while Ari napped in his car seat. And what do I see in the water as I pull up?

Fins. I saw fins.

"Whatthehellisthat?" asked the ocean-newbie (with sharks on her mind).


Those fins were attached to dolphins.

Oh. My. God.

I have never seen dolphins in the wild, let alone on a beach 3 miles away from my house, completely void of any commercialism. So this was an amazing experience for me. There were about 8 of them, just lolling in the surf; as if enjoying the morning. A couple of surfers were out there with them; like it was a completely normal thing. I sat on the sand in front of my car and watched for about 15 minutes while the dolphins lazily swam back and forth, bobbing up and down. And then three of them decided it was time to play so they broke from the pack and caught a wave coming in towards shore, bucking and circling.

It was absolutely amazing and life-affirming. Thank you God, for that gift.

(and no, I did not have my camera with me) (darn it)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I'm waiting for my second pot of coffee this morning to finish brewing. Don't ask what happened to the first. Somehow it ended up tasting like swill - should've known something was amiss when I poured it into my mug and it didn't land in chunks. I like my coffee strong. So, after Ari went down for his nap, I had to give it another go. As I was aiming my little coffee scoop back into the bag for a 5th time I had to stop myself..."Wendy, 12 oz of caffeine is healthy, any more is bordering on obsession." And so, as I wait for my happy elixer to finish creating itself, I thought I'd wish you all a Happy Belated Thanksgiving. And try to update the blog a little.

We returned home yesterday (i.e. San Diego home) from our trip-home-for-the-holiday. Ten days in Michigan starting with two nights with Mom and Dad in Saginaw, then six nights (over Thanksgiving) with Sascha's family in Holland, then two more nights in Saginaw. It was a successful two-legged flight in and out for Ari...the kid totally digs airports and planes...loves everything about'em. Airports (i.e. very busy, happening places), animals and music...those are in his Top 5.

Ari in one of his gifts from Grandma Nana...a kick-ass duck bath. Loved it.

On the animal front...Grandpa Arnie has a very large Rottweiler. He and Ari became quite good friends over the week we spent there. Hell, they became good friends the first night when Ari picked up Rigo's tennis ball and threw it to him. Rigo must have decided that playing "ball" with a one-year-old may be a good time so, after catching the ball, he would roll it back to Ari (I'm not kidding) and Ari would throw it again. This happened over and over and over (repetition seems to be the order of the day lately). By the time we left, Ari had graduated to gently pulling the ball out of Rigo's very large-toothed mouth, holding out his hands to be licked and practically sucked on, and cupping Rigo's muzzle in his hands as if to say "here's a hug you beautiful thing". Below is a video of Ari and Rigo playing's kid of hard to see Ari sometimes with the sun glare, but you get the idea.

When we returned to our home here, we had a breakthrough with the cats....well, one of the cats (Mo) - the other one won't come out from under the bed until Ari's asleep. Ari's been dying to play with Mo since he could crawl. Mo's not too interested. Yesterday, trying to fill a 10-day depletion in attention, Mo tolerated Ari's presence and almost allowed a pet. Then, Mom had an epiphany. Ah, cat treats! I pulled out the treat bag and put one mushy treat into Ari's outstretched, damp little hand. He promptly tried to put it into his mouth. "No, Ari. These are kitty treats." After a quick demonstration, he caught on like gangbusters and started feeding Mo treats. A treat for you, a pet for me. Over and over again. Until I decided Mo had had enough garbage for one day. So, I signaled "Done"...and Ari signaled "More". Damn that sign language. Again, I signaled that we're "Done"...and Ari signaled "More". Crap. Okay ONE more time (you have to hold up the one finger to indicate just ONE). That worked. We had a repeat feeding this morning, which ended abruptly when Ari sneaked a treat into his own mouth. It was a really small one, though. And he hadn't had breakfast yet.

Music was the theme for Grandpa and Grandma Schwarz's house. My mom had the forthought to get some kid music CDs and she and Ari spent a great deal of time "dancing" together. By the time we left, Ari was running to Grandma and holding up his arms so she would dance with him. Very cute.

Helping Mom and Grandma Schwarz make bread.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The wishful napper

Phew. I can't believe we're half-way through November already.


What a prosaic, clicheed comment. I have all of these worthwhile sentences and descriptions of what's going on in our lives built up in my head while I'm driving or walking. I even say them under my breath to hear how they'd sound out loud. So, when it comes time to record them in a blog, what comes out? Nada. None of the little darlings that I etched out while huffing uphill.

However, my own little darling is chatting his heart out in his crib...guess the napping thing just ain't gonna happen today. The Little Crazy...he spends the better part of 15 minutes rubbing his eyes and dramatizing his fatigue...only to perk up and find several topics to discuss when I finally put him down for a snooze. "Oh wait, Mom, did you hear the one about yadda-yadda-yadda? Haahahaaha!" Seriously, he tells jokes like that. Only, it's more like, " Diddidibabyadoyadoyado - ah? Haahahaaha!"

Now he's crying.

Pleaseohpleaseohplease go to sleep. Mom needs a Ari-absent moment. And I need to unload the cat litter from the car. Go. To. Sleep, Oh Fatigued One. There was an Elmo & Oscar the Grouch feature on Sesame Street this morning. I wonder if he took that one to heart.

......a half an hour, one cuddle and a wrestling session later....

I guess Ari's not taking a nap today. Will have to update ya'll later.

Thursday, November 1, 2007