marines layer fog on new walker near hand-holding diapers

Although intellectually, we remain trapped in March, here in Santa Barbara, astronomically we have moved on from typical Spring and early summer weather that is dominated by..

“… the ‘marine layer’, Nazy.” I explained.

“Marine layer?” Nazy asked.

“It’s a fancy Santa Barbara word that means morning ‘fog’.”
Auriane first steps

“And afternoon sun?”

“Yes, it’s usually sunny in the afternoon. But now we’ve moved from the fog season into the fire season which is…”

“Let me guess:

“Yes. It will be very hot this week. Except near the ocean.”

“I’m glad that’s where we moved.”

“Me too.”

There have been lots of exciting developments this week. Auriane, one year old, has learned to walk.

“And not just walk, Dad,” Darius explained. “She lifts herself into a standing position directly. She doesn’t have to hold onto anything to get up.”

“Really?” I replied. “
I’m not sure that I can do that.” I thought.
Darius and the girls July 9 2020

Auriane is also extremely dexterous with her hands. She insists on feeding herself using her own utensils (a trait she shares with her cousin Azelle). And she likes to color with crayons. She’s mastered sleeping in her high chair…

“ …. with some room to improve about sleeping through the entire night, Dad.” Darius informed us.

I’m also reading books to (the lovely) Leandra via Zoom. Leandra has a wonderful attention span — especially since she’s only three years old. However, reading her a book is tricky because she has memorized most of the books I’ve selected. On Friday, I read
Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss.

I handled the tongue twisters very well,” I thought.

“I noticed a few miscues,” Leandra thought.
“Did you like having Grandpa read ‘Fox in Socks’?” Darius asked Leandra.

“I want
you to read it to me.” Leandra answered.

“Can you recommend a book you haven’t read to her, Darius?” I asked.
azelle climbing July 9 2020

Here in Santa Barbara, Azelle, who is almost 2, continues to amaze. In the rare time that she’s not climbing up something, she learned to take off her diaper — and have some thoughts on the subject.

“Why did you take your diaper off?” Melika asked.

“Poop,” Azelle replied.

“There is no poop.” Melika corrected.

“Wash butt.”

“I need to get a diaper for you,” Melika said. Then she turned her back (a risky move with Azelle) to find a diaper. She found the diaper. Butt (pun intended) while Melika had been looking for a diaper, Azelle had climbed on to the bathroom vanity, squirted liquid soap on her butt, turned on the water in the sink and was betting ready to sit in the sink.

“What are you doing?” Melika asked.

“Wash butt.” Azelle replied. “
How many times do I have to tell you,” Azelle thought.
Tiger and Arrow holding hands at beach July 9 2020

Nationally, the corona virus has proven to be immune to the ‘president’s’ preferred ‘solution’..

“What are you talking about Dan?” Nazy interrupts. “
The words ‘president’ and ‘solution’ don’t belong in the same sentence,” Nazy thought.

“His ‘solution’ is to
ignore the virus so that it will get bored and ‘go away’.”

“Ignore?” Nazy replied.

“An appropriate response from and
ignoramus filled with ignorance, my dear.”

We are lucky to be close to the
Pacific Ocean. Health experts (thankfully uncontaminated by association with the administration) says that it is generally safe to be outside if you can avoid being close to other people. As a result Melika and Tom have been taking the children to nearby, but also somewhat remote, beaches. Arrow has been cautious about the waves. By ‘cautious’, I mean that he has been reluctant to get close to the actual water. But recently …
Tom, Arrow, Azelle, Tiger Beach July 11 2020

“Tiger has been helping Arrow.” Melika explained. “They hold hands and dash into the water.”

When Tiger was Arrow’s age (almost 4), he didn’t want to step into the ocean. (A year later, he took surfing lessons and got over that fear.) We were very happy that he was so helpful with Arrow.

While The Adams Family was at the beach, Nazy and I continued our search for a new car. The Volvo has been great, but the dealership moved even further away; it’s too much of a hassle. Car shopping in a pandemic..

“ … is not easy, Dan.” Nazy commented.

“Car shopping is
always an unpleasant experience,” I replied as we pulled into a Lexus dealership.

“Don’t be negative.” Nazy replied.

“You can’t park there!” A (maskless) Lexus salesman shouted as I pulled into one of several empty spaces clearly marked ‘Customer Parking’.

I wanted to drive away…

“…. you wanted to drive over him,” Nazy noted. Correctly.

From a distance, I explained what we were looking for.

“We don’t have any of those,” the ‘salesman’ retorted. “I can show you a used one — I think it may be two or three years old. It’s in the back lot and it’s dusty.”

“I don’t think so.”

“If you make a deposit of $10,000, I can look for a newer one.”

“We are leaving, Nazy,” I said, getting back into the car.

Tiger and Arrow joined us for a sleepover this weekend. This time, Arrow wore his matching pajamas. We got take out seafood, we built magnetic trains, we watched the movie “Annie”, we read books and we raced scooters,

For last week's letter, please click here

At the pajama party

PJ photo July 10 2020

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