Nope! Our long-standing interest in Fyo's motherland has finally served a purpose: Matt was put in charge of painting the set of Fiddler on the Roof! It turned out amazingly (as you can see on the left, right?) Those nicely weathered floorboards, the walls, the windows, the roofs (oh the roofs!) -- all that was done by my clever Matthew. He made elaborate stencils of wood-grain which he used to spray paint panels of shingles (in different wood-tones), which were then cut out and layered. Though he is a goy, he had a lot of chutzpah and made a lovely haimish shtetl of which there was nothing to kvetch about! Thank you to our mispocha for attending!
The day has finally come, a long-awaited day. Lucas has learned to say "I love you." And "Te quiero." And at night he puts his arms around my neck and gives me a tight little hug and kiss and says "I love you" which melts me. When he calls his grandparents on the phone, he tells them too. When he visited his sweet abuelita Lolita at the hospital, he walked down the hallway saying "Lola Lola Lola Lola" and then burst into her room saying "I love you Lola" - his very longest sentence ever. (When I explained that she wasn't feeling good and told him we were going to pray for her, he even said his very first prayer: "Lola. Amen.") He even says "I love you" to my belly and gives it a kiss. Do they get any cuter than him? Do they??
this babygirl went from tiny to very large in the blink of an eye. or maybe just i did? . wrapping up the sixth month, on to month number seven... if anyone is interested in getting to know this girly i'll tell you what i know: she loves chocolate ring doughnuts and danishes and banana cream pie. she seems to have a neverending desire for empanadas de queso and yuca frita. she wakes up at 1:30 and 3:30 am to dance and to ask for grape juice. perhaps i am overly indulgent to her whims and that's why this belly of mine has gotten so very round, but there is a very important saying in ecuador: if you don't feed the baby what she wants, she'll be born with an open mouth (as in, always hungry.) God bless the ecuadorians for their dichos, God bless 'em.
I grew up, more or less. Right in this creek, at this very same spot. This is where Kelly and I would play Boxcar Children (I was either Benny or Violet, depending on who Kelly said I could be, wink wink) and we would find tin cans in the quarry and make soup. This is where we would send off our messages-in-a-bottle intended for faraway lands. This is where we skated in the winter. This is where we caught frogs and tadpoles and crawdads and water spiders. This is where we were chased by the snake and where Kelly got her leech (technically a little further back.) This is where our pony drank (and where he would get covered in burrs.) This is where I would take my chickens on walks. This is where I laid covered in mud in October for Kelly's "Origins of Mankind" movie. This is where we sailed our Barbies on yachts (our flip flops) and when they made it to the river, my dad would rescue them for us. This is where my dad taught us to how to walk through nettles, bending them back before stepping down (works also for poison parsnip, poison ivy, and poison oak of course!) This is where I would come to pick my mom her summer bouquets (which she was allergic to, but she never let on, she just got sick and let them sit out on the table.) This is where we picked blackberries and gooseberries and ate them until we threw up (at least on a few notable occasions.) This is around the bend from where we floated on inner tubes, where Kelly's toes got bit by hungry fish. This is where we have seen beavers and otters and bats and possums and foxes and of course we're fairly certain a few hobos and panthers live nearby too. This is the best place in the world, and I'm so glad that now it's Lucas's too*.
*That probably sounds incredibly sappy, but it's true. It just is. :)
a sick little babyboy. (in this picture i'm not cuddling him so that you can see how i wasn't even holding him up, he was just kind of crumpled against me like a... i don't know. what does that? like a wet leaf maybe. maybe more like a wet noodle.) today, however, he only wants to be held by his grandpa and walked around the house looking for him, crying, saying "abu, abu, abu..." my poor dad had to come in from the shop and hold him for a few hours, nothing else would do. fortunately, i excel at automechanics, so i was able to go out and fix a number of cars (that my dad wasn't even able to get going) and turn an incredible profit, so in the end we all won. i mean, it went something like that. or maybe i just took a nap. gee whiz, now i can't remember.
Perhaps you are wondering "Just how good of a husband is that Matthew Goodfella?" Let me give you a partial answer. He makes us tiny sherbert floats at night and he always cooks supper so that I can watch The Insider (I know, it's a terrible show) and when he takes the Cake out (the Cake is our cat Lorraine of course) he always waves her paw at me goodbye because he knows that I love it. And we've been married for 5 1/2 years now which means that he's rubbed my head about 1,970 times (so that I can have a nice sleep) and even if I get grumpy he never reciprocates and sometimes when he shaves his scruff he leaves a mustache as a joke* and he speaks Spanish to our son and works hard to make sure it's good Spanish and he makes the best hummus in the world and I love him. I mean, I love him. Happy birthday, birthday prince! :) *Not that mustaches are jokes. Goodness knows they are to be taken seriously. Would a Van Dyke be a Van Dyke if not for the upper lip? Would John Brinkley have reached such great heights if not for his facial hair? Would Charles Bronson?**
**In case you are still not convinced of my good intentions regarding jokes and mustaches, let me further clarify by stating that I just think that Matt is funny in a mustache. He just is. You know it's true.
My dad's got this friend named Schultzie who is a professional pianist/organist based out of Chicago. He's so good he's played with Les Paul! And he used to play for Emeril's private parties when he lived in New Orleans! He came up to play a concert for some of our friends and family, and when he heard Matt played guitar, he invited him to play along. And let me tell you, did Matt ever play! Schultz kept stopping and looking at Matt and saying "Listen to him play. I hate him!" Best guitar-compliment I've ever heard. :) (Also Matt made some ridiculously good food. Go ahead and click on that top picture to enlarge it! You'll see what a catch I have, such a catch!)
Flaco was very hungry when he woke up (hambre hambre jugo hambre, please!) and so I sat him in his high chair and set up his cereal. I went about cleaning the kitchen, and when I looked several minutes later, he was just sitting there. I said "Lucas, come, come!" (eat, eat) but he wouldn't. Then i realized what he had realized long before...we hadn't prayed yet. (Oh, the verguenza!) So i said "Okay, vamos a orar" (in what I felt was a very pious voice) and we held hands and prayed. Then he picked up his spoon and ate his breakfast. I think I saw the little angel above his right shoulder flash a smile.