Illuminating Stella

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Super Big Catch-up Post

It’s been some real time since I have posted here and my husband keeps threatening to stop the domain/hosting payments if I am done blogging. I always say no, I plan to post this week, but then I never do. So because I love having this little journal, to one day share with Stella and share with those of you that care (i.e. my Mom and her poor friends that she forces my blog on). Anyway, just gonna pick some moments over the last year to catch up.  Ok I am going to attempt to run January-July 2017 here.

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John’s Birthday last January. 41!

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Valentine’s Day 2017. She picked out the Ms. Potato Head Lips for this photo.

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This night we introduced her to the music from CATS. She had to dig out an old dance costume to sing Memory. Benjamin was a fan.

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2017 was a year with more open-minded food exploration. Here she discovered ramen and teriyaki chicken.

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Rapunzel takes Disneyland.

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Knock Knock Knocking on Tinkerbell’s door. Oh to be four and believe in magic.

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St. Patricks Day 2017. Happy Go Lucky!

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Om! A little yoga/meditation at the Nature Center. She enjoys doing Cosmic Kids Yoga and it’s a good influence on her.

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Santa Ana Zoo carousel. Please never out grow this.

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Kindergarten Festival. Starting big kid school still seemed so far away back then. Would you believe these three girls met in Gymboree Class when they were not even a year old? Sofie, Stella and Grace. So sweet to see them grow up together.

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Play dates with Genna.

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Grandparents visit, Legoland and Balboa Park.

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Unikitty!

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Showing off her Grandpa’s recipe for White Spaggy in the Prechool Cookbook.

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Easter 2017.

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Lily’s Wonder Woman Birthday Party.

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Spring Break Camping in El Capitan. Her first official camping trip and she LOVED it. Learned how to climb a tree too!

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Love this picture from the Aquarium.

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Renaissance Faire

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Mother’s Day means matching dresses supplied by Gigi.

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Long Beach Pride

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Preschool Graduation. This was a bittersweet day.

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Palm Springs Getaway. Mostly spent poolside.

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Love! She calls him her brother. She is pretty adamant that he really is.

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Sisters Night Out at the IMOMSOHARD comedy tour! Laughed so hard.

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Uncle Tim, Grandpa and Stella’s Birthday Party for family.

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Playdate with Jane and Miles.

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2017 Dance Recital. Mary Poppins and her class danced to Supercalifragilisticespialidocious! Adorable show!

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5th Birthday! We spent the day at a hotel in San Diego since John had to work overnight down there on her birthday. She loved eating room service grilled cheese, lava cake and swimming that night and the next day. Then we stopped at Gigi and Grandpa’s for dinner and more dessert on the way home.

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5th Birthday Party, a Fairy and Gnome House Building Extravaganza. Perfect day in the park with friends and family.

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Fourth of July! Johns’ garden was prolific all summer, especially the tomatoes!

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The Sawdust Festival. Ok that’s it for now.

Grandma Virginia

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Haven’t been much in the mood to post lately. We have some sad news to share. On Tuesday evening my sweet Grandmother Virginia passed away after a few weeks of being in and out of the hospital. She lived a beautiful life and made it to an impressive 90 years. She always seemed so spry and happy, even in the throes of her last few weeks with us and facing what was ultimately congestive heart failure. I guess that’s part of why I’m still in shock. She seemed so young and in such great shape. No one would ever guess her age.

I am very grateful for all the years we had with her and that she was able to be there for so many of my big moments in life. She was there for my high school and college graduations, my birthdays, my wedding and most importantly she was able to meet Stella. In fact, she had a big part in the naming of Stella. We were debating between two family names Grace and Stella. Grandma knew both women very well and told me that Stella was one of the smartest women she had ever known while Grace was the nicest. Smart seemed to be the right direction and so that tipped the scales for Stella. I do think Grandma was always pleased we chose that name. She adored her three great grand-daughters and seeing her laugh and enjoy them was wonderful to take in.

The last night we saw her, Stella, my Mom and I stopped by her house with some flowers and a few breakfast foods and juices and got to have a sweet short visit with her. I will cherish the memory always. Stella picked out a bouquet of pink flowers and she handed them to her “Grandma D” as she opened the door. Stella sang a few songs for her including her ABC’s and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. As we left I gave her a kiss and a hug and said I wanted to thank her, because of her we all were here and I had my Stella. I said it was a good thing she thought Grandpa Bruce was cute all those years ago. She laughed. That is how I want to remember her, laughing and calling me sweetie. I will miss her so much. Here are a few of my favorite, mostly recent pictures.

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While waiting in line…

A new speaker was needed for my Iphone from the Apple Store. It just went out in the middle of a call. We arrived to the store at 1pm and I was told the first available appointment was at 3:35pm. Kind of obnoxious, but I guess this is what you get for being an Apple lemming. So Stella, John and I got to spend a little unplanned time at the mall. At least John got some new swim trunks out of the deal. When my appointment time came, the timing was miraculously good as Stella had just fallen asleep in her stroller. As directed, we bellied up to “The Genius Bar” and waited about 20-30 minutes before a “genius” even made eye contact with us. Most of them seemed arrogant and crabby, but we managed to get a really nice guy who fixed my phone. No charge thanks to Apple Care. Stella slept through the humming of a packed store and one very belligerent twenty-minute argument right next to us. Dropped cell phones get no love from the “geniuses”.  Did you know that if you text the words genius bar in your Iphone it auto corrects to Genius Bar? Also kind of obnoxious. She woke up about five minutes before we were all set. Smart girl.

Stella’s first trip to the Genius Bar.

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Then Stella and I got cut in front of at the register at Trader Joe’s. This has happened a few times to me since I’ve had a baby in tow while shopping. It’s been all men and they just basically step in front of me and turn back and say something like, ” is it okay if I go first?”. It really catches me off guard and in the past I have not said anything, except “OK”. This time I really opened my eyes wide and said “Sure, I guess so” in a fairly sarcastic voice. He then scoffed at me, “If it’s not okay, let me know” and the cashier piped in and said, “Are you sure it’s okay?”.  She was grossed out by him too and apologized once he was gone. This guy was wearing shorts (i.e.. probably not rushing back to the office) He also had more in his basket than I did. I just said “Well you are already there so go for it”. I’m pretty shocked by the audacity. But the shock is wearing off and I think the next person that tries to play “cutsies” will be told to suck it or at least provide a reason why they have less patience than a 9 month old.

Finally, I had to deal with the DMV Tuesday. I won’t even go into it beyond this…had an appointment, was still there an hour and a half, absolutely start raving mad DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA woman in line behind me the whole time.

With all this good luck, I’m really looking forward to a little airline travel next week. That’s usually pretty painless, I’m sure a baby will make it even smoother.