Illuminating Stella

The rest of 2016 and a resolution to post more in 2017

Well 2016 ended on a high-note and we are into 2017 at this point, but I wanted to log in a few photos to document the end of the year. I decided today (the final day of winter break) was my deadline. HA! This Fall Stella started a new preschool, right nearby our home and we are very happy with the change and all love her new school. I especially enjoy being able to walk her to school. She also started Jamboree Soccer which was pretty adorable and took a Hip Hop Class at her dance studio. We had a wonderful Halloween where she was Princess Sofia the First, a beautiful Thanksgiving and a lovely little Christmas/New Year’s break with family and friends. Over the break we were able to take a few fun trips to Temecula Wine Country, the Getty Villa and Disneyland. Promising to blog more in 2017 and stay more up to date.

First Day of School, she said she wants to be a Dance Teacher, love it.

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We had beach weather till the end of November.

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Jamboree Soccer, such a great time and met some really nice families!

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Aquarium visits.

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John’s Garden and a nice big pumpkin he grew for Stella. I’ve been so proud of my Urban Farmer Husband and all his hard work with our plot at the Community Gardens. It’s been incredible what he’s been able to grow, it’s so exciting to be eating fruits and vegetables from the garden. I’m including a picture from the end of summer here too. Here it is replanted for late Fall.

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Halloween, as you can see we are still way into princesses around here.

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Election Day……..big sigh. Don’t get me started on this nightmare. One day I can tell Stella that she helped me cast my vote for the first female presidential candidate.

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First Haircut……..sigh. Our stylist cut like two more inches than we discussed, but Stella loved it, so I guess there you go. All the baby blond ringlets gone in a flash.

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Park Days and birthday parties are our favorite.

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Somebody still loves a good dress-up play date.

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Thanksgiving was delicious as per usual. It was a great evening and holiday weekend. We also took the girls to see Moana which everyone loved! My cousin and I got in a quick visit with our friend Joe and picked up some pies from Cake Monkey Bakery in LA (also an old friend) that were delectable.

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Welcome to our newest family member…..Benjamin the rescue cat.

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School days, miss her so much when I am at work, but she is so happy to go. Stella is still such a gregarious, active girl with a lot of passion for the world and being with other kids.

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Hip Hop Dance Class Holiday Show. She had a blast.

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Christmas Season. I could really do a whole blog post about Christmas, we did so much. Highlights were the Holiday Lights Tour on the double-decker bus, annual lighting of the floating Christmas Trees in the Lagoon, Belmont Shore Christmas Parade, the Marionette Show in Lakewood, a handmade Pocahontas Costume (thanks Grandma!) and lots of family time. This year one of my favorite memories was having Stella do some chores to earn money to buy Christmas Presents for the family. We went to Daiso (the Japanese $1.50 per item store) and she picked out gifts for everyone. It was very heart-warming to discuss each person and then she would pick out something really thoughtful based on each person’s interests. I want her to be a giver and I think she has the spirit.

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For New Year’s Fun, we went to two parties, first a Hanukkah/NYE Party and then a New Year’s Party where Stella actually stayed up till midnight and even got to enjoy fireworks from a treehouse. She passed out literally the minute we strapped her into her car seat. On New Year’s Day we met up with My Sister and family for a hike/scooter ride at the park. Beautiful California New Years Day!

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Wine Tasting in Temecula. It was mid 70’s and just gorgeous.

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Getty Villa followed by lunch at Malibu Seafood. Stella shocked us with some very grown-up behavior and pretty much followed the entire garden tour wearing headphones. The tour guide called her his little mascot and she really was.

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We are ready for a new year!

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The Rest of the Summer

The summer season has ended and we have moved on to our Fall Routine now; a new preschool, new hip hop dance class and the beginnings of a soccer career. But before we move on, I thought I’d document some of the fun we had in August, the bookend to a really nice summer in So Cal.

Birthday parties, the best ones have bounce house waterslides according to little Miss. Her fierce pose here makes me LOL.

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The pool is always a blast when you are with your cousins and a few water play Barbie Dolls at Gigi and Grandpa’s house. We have graduated to Barbies by the way. No turning back now.

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Afternoon playdates with Jane.

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The OC Fair, most fun was the pig races. Unicorn and rainbow face paint is so her.

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Bay Days and first rides in the kayak. Hard to believe my baby girl is big enough for such things, but there she was, no fear at all.

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Fun trip to the Bay Area to visit Cousin CC. We hit Fairyland with friends, had a great day in the city and ended up visiting more family in San Rafael and catching the Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead Songs and Storytime at Terrapin Crossroads. Stella loves her CC very much!

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End of summer playdate with our LB Playgroup. It was so hot, look at their sweaty brows.

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Trial day at her new preschool. She was a good sport and was very excited to be there.

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Knockerball and Taco Truck Birthday Party for Sofie’s Dad who turned the big 4-0!

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Dress-up playdates with Grace.

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Grady’s Birthday at Chuck E. Cheese. These two were super cheesy cute together!

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Fun staycation at a little resort in Anaheim. Great “Pirates Cove” waterpark and a separate pool too. Just Ally, me and the girls and they were in heaven. Such a fun overnight getaway. The Barbies loved it too.

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Adventure City, which ended up being such an awesome little amusement park, affordable, no crowds and the kids had a blast.

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Brave little jumper at the Lakewood Mall. She had a blast!

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Still loves to paint and begs to paint all the time! See her happy face.

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First soccer practice. This is gonna be cute!

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Fun afternoon at the aquarium.

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Goodbye summer, you were very good to us!

Dance Recital 2016

Stella participated in her second big recital in July with her dance studio. She absolutely loved her “creative movement” class and the opportunity to perform on a big stage in a pink and white tutu getup was pure icing on the cake for her. The recital is a pretty big time commitment, beyond the once a week classes we had a few Saturday rehearsals, picture day and then a solid four day marathon the week of the show with a tech rehearsal, dress rehearsal and two nights of performances. For the second year John and I volunteered to watch kids backstage which is pure chaos when it’s going smoothly. Being cooped up in a room with about 30 preschoolers is wink wink….just awesome.

This year the ballet was Storybook Land and Stella’s class was Little Boy Blue’s Sheep in the Meadow. Since the recital Stella has switched to an Acro class which she is loving and then in September she will start in the Hip Hop Class, which I am pretty excited for. We are also starting Jamboree Soccer and a new preschool, so lots of change and new adventures for Stella!

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