Illuminating Stella

February 2016 archive

Recently Enjoyed

I’ve really lost my blogging mojo since going back to work. It makes me feel a little bad from time to time, especially when some of the other blogs I read update so frequently. Stella is growing leaps and bounds all the time and I feel guilty that I’m not documenting it better. She is such a handful these days, our days are filled with a range of adorable musings from her, entertaining performances, infuriating battles of will, quiet cuddly moments and lows of total exhaustion. We are better off exploring out in the world most of the time, yet on my days off from work it seems so very hard to get out of the house. Anyway, here are some recently enjoyed moments, as I choose to focus on those!

First time ice skating to celebrate cousin Maddie’s Sixth Birthday. Hard to believe my sweet niece has that many years under her belt. The kids ice skating was adorable and Stella did very well.

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Free mini cupcakes on the first of the month at Frosted with Sofie. We haven’t made it to this event in eons and guess who loved her Chocolate Cherry Cupcake!

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Okay, full disclosure, this was not her first pedicure. But a friend told us about these special chairs for “Little Fairies” at Rossmoor Nails and we had to check it out. $15 for a full pedicure. Stella LOVED it, especially the dainty flowers they put on her big toes.

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The weather has been so wonky lately. Two weekends ago I insisted on buying Stella a few more wintery dresses (which in California just means long sleeve) but we got this adorable sweater dress on clearance at Target. Flash forward one week and the weather jumped back up to the 80’s again. So annoying. Not just because of the dresses, but because we really need a longer winter. I’m still emotionally scarred from our intense Indian Summer that lasted way way way into Fall. Hopefully, she’ll get to wear it a few more times this year, but I got a size up, hoping we might be able to stretch this one for next year.

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So here she is this week in a sundress. My friend Jill’s Mom, Marilyn made Stella this adorable pillowcase dress (plus another one) and I never thought she’d be wearing it in February. But there we are! So cute!

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Sleepovers at Gigi and Grandpa’s house. These are starting to get easier. Thanks to my parents who watched her overnight during the holidays so we could get some stuff done around the house and then again for our Anniversary. We had a great hotel date night in Laguna Beach, dinner, jacuzzi and thai massages in the morning. It was heaven! We’ve been married five years- oh my!

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Leaving on a jet plane. Knott’s Berry Farm.

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Casual pizza nights with friends. The girls run roughshod on the joint, but it’s manageable-ish.  We buy a roll of quarters and let them go crazy on the toy vending machines.

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Me and my shadow.

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Family brunch at my parents house.

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I love picking her up from school. It’s the highlight of my Tuesdays and Thursdays after a long day at the office and when she has messy hair, is tired and even grouchy, she’s still pretty cute. When she see’s me come in she yells, “Mama” and runs to give me a big hug. Usually they are reading a story or something and she tells me she wants to finish the story before we can go home.  Lately on the ride home she tells me no questions and asks me to just play music. But not sing. I guess I ask for too many details about her day, but as anyone with a three year old knows the information is jumbled, illogical and fleeting so I try to pump her for the 411 right away. She’s on to me.

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Escondido Vacation

We spent the last week of January in Escondido at the Lawrence Welk Resort. Ultimately to celebrate John’s 40th Birthday and my Sister’s Birthday and spend some time with family and friends. We were delightfully surprised by how nice the resort was, lots of amenities and activities and one of the largest 2 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom Condo’s we’ve ever stayed in. We have overlooked staying here a number of times and I am sorry we did. Our condo had a pretty view of the hillside and surrounding golf course. We had a great pool and recreation/arts and crafts center a short walk away. Not to mention there is a huge pool with a waterslide, splash pad and playground and recreation center in the middle of the resort.

We were a little unpleasantly surprised with a high fever in Stella about 2 hours after arriving Sunday. We treated her with some Motrin and she would really bounce back, until it wore off. We still got to spend some time with our friends, Mike and Michelle and their kids who stayed the first night, the guys made dinner and they hit the pool and jacuzzi.  We all went “fishing” the next day. No fish were harmed, but possibly some ducks got way to much hot dog “bait”…Ha! That afternoon my parents came. We all walked down to a really nice Farmer’s Market, which was very fun. My Mom bought Stella a cute crocheted owl hat she fell in love with. Stella still had a fever on day three, but seemed to be better so we went to the San Diego Safari Park as planned. As the day went on she was pretty low-energy and a bit cranky,  so I was a tad worried all day. Still we had a really great time with my parents and loved showing them what a great place the Safari Park is. The tigers were exquisite, we had a great slow walk thru the whole park and enjoyed a pleasant lunch at a beautiful overlook while Stella napped. The highlight of the day was a Cheetah Meet and Greet, where we were literally feet from the sweetest Cheetah and her Labrador buddy. Very interesting how the Cheetahs are all paired with a dog roommate who is very calming for them. Cheetahs are high-anxiety. I can relate.

That evening my parents left and I thought Stella had turned a corner and the fever had passed, but by ten pm she was blazing hot and panting a bit with her breathing. I called the Nurse Hotline to find out if I should wake her up to give her medicine and they said we should bring her in to be evaluated. So began a huge, dramatic scramble trying to figure out the closest ER and get us all in the car. By the time we got there and saw an admitting nurse, her fever was 104.4. They seemed pretty concerned and got us in right away to a bed. There we tried to get Stella to take some Tylenol orally. At this point she was really anti-medicine and basically, quite dramatically refused over and over, bringing out the best in her parents I may add. Eventually, she got the Tylenol, via another avenue shall we say. So that was fun. They ran tests, x-rays to make sure she did not have pneumonia and basically in the end, decided it was just a very bad cold. Phew!

The next day, Wednesday she pretty much stopped being feverish and seemed pretty back to normal by Friday. Of course by then, we both felt like crud, with a cold. We laid pretty low those days watched lots of movies, I worked a little every day and we did a few short trips to the Carlsbad Outlets and a great little winery called Cordiano in the hills. This place serves pizza, salads and tiramisu with your wine tastings. We just chilled on the patio for awhile and enjoyed a pretty view. Late that night my Sister and family arrived. We celebrated birthdays the next day with a little party and cupcakes and then took the kids to the pool and waterslide. It was chilly and they guys earned a few stripes for bravery swimming in the cold, cold air with the girls. That night we got a sitter and all four of us went out to dinner in Carlsbad. We had a really nice time and the girls were very good for the sitter. It was all great until we were trying to relax and get in some more adult time after dinner and Stella woke up crying that her ear hurt really bad. We could not decide if it was an earache or possibly swimmers ear, but decided to give her some Motrin and assess in the morning. That turned into the most epic meltdown to date. It took about 45 minutes to get her to take the medicine and another hour to go to sleep. In the morning she woke up and never mentioned her ear again. We deliberated all morning, but in the end decided to take the risk and go to Legoland with all the kids. We had been planning this for months.

Legoland was a very impressive amusement park and I would love to take Stella back again. I can’t do it justice with the few pictures we took. Honestly, I just was so tired taking great pictures was the farthest thing from my mind all week. So what we have is sort of random of the trip. We made it till about 4:30pm at Legoland when Stella started to lose her grace (another huge meltdown) and we headed back home to Long Beach. It was kind of a fitting bookend to a roller coaster of a vacation. All in all, we still felt it was a great getaway and really enjoyed pockets of the trip. We would happily go back again, ideally in warm weather so we could enjoy the pools. Ok, here is the photographic evidence of this long-winded travel journal entry.

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