Sunday, November 30, 2014

Playroom Christmas Tree

Like the rest of America, I decorated my house for Christmas as soon as all the leftover turkey was eaten on the Day After Thanksgiving.  It basically consisted of a garland and some Santa/reindeer figurines and took me all of about seven minutes.

So this year I went a step further and put up my grandmother's tree in Claire's playroom.  While she was napping.  So she woke up to a wonderful Christmas surprise!

The first thing she wanted to do was read by it.  How precious is that?!

And all weekend long she played in that room.  I'd often hear the door shut which made me nervous, but any time I peek in she's either reading books, playing horses, or having a picnic, so I loosened up a bit.  Plus it's a playroom, it's not like there's anything dangerous in there.  Besides a giant (to her) tree wrapped loosely in strings of lights and decorated with glass ornaments, I mean.

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but one of the reasons I hang on to this tree (and fight DP to put it up every year) is because it belonged to my grandparents.  Mama gave it to me after Papa passed on and she down-sized, and just having it up in my own home reminds me of him, and of the many Christmases that we all spent together when I was a child.  Especially in recent years when I haven't been able to go "home" for Christmas.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


These two crack me up.  The weren't allowed outside so they played "summer" indoors.

Claire has been mostly naked the four days we were at home for the Thanksgiving break.  She's been REALLY good about using the potty/toilet since we started casually training her a couple months ago, but only bare-bottomed.  She has no problems then.  When she's in underwear or just shorts, she starts but then catches herself and runs to the bathroom.  In a diaper though?  Forget about it, she just goes in it as normal. 

I'm so proud of her because we never pushed potty training.  In fact, it's easier for me if she just stays in diapers.  But like sleeping in her crib and eating regular food, she kind of dictated this all on her own.  I love when parenting can just be organic, and I know I'm lucky.  That my baby has basically raised herself!

But since we have been nonchalant about this, I forget.  Sometimes we forget she's wearing a diaper, like when we come home from school, and sometimes I forget she's not, like when I go to put her to bed and she's naked under her nighty.  But she always just rolled with it.  Then yesterday, I was upstairs and I heard the trash can lid slam in the kitchen.  So I went down to check (because toddlers love to throw away important things, like car keys) and saw a diaper laying on top.  So I called out, "Poopoo..." and she answered me from the bathroom.  Claire had to pee, so she took off her diaper, threw it away, then sat on her potty!  She's NEVER taken off her diaper to use the bathroom, why would she when she's wearing a portable potty?  But she did this time.  I gave her the 'thumbs up' and she did something with her thumb that wasn't that, but it was cute.  And when I told her I was so proud of her and that I loved her, she said, "Mummy farted!  Haha, ewww stinky p.u." and there went our moment.  (For the record, I didn't fart.)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful in Leopard

What's the use of having a daughter if we can't wear matching dresses for Thanksgiving?


Thanks for the stellar photography, DP.

We went to my in-laws for dinner and an afternoon of football.  They had champagne so we were drinking at noon.  But Americans do holiday meals early so it may as well have been dinnertime.  I made Claire a plate of mashed potatoes with corn and gravy, and she gobbled it right up.  Followed by pie, of course.


We went to my dad's for more dinner and the evening game.  So I had two meals and then 2 turkey sandwiches (What? They were small!) before leaving my dad's.  I don't do the "moistener" because I like rolls.  One side slathered in cranberry sauce, one side slathered in gravy, stuffed with turkey.  Yum!  I love Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Self Realization Garden

My mom really wanted to take us to this Ashram she heard of, so we agreed, but really had no idea what we were in for.  We parked and walked up a modest set of steps, and arrived at the most beautiful view of the ocean overlooking a cliff.

It was a really cool place, and I kept thinking I couldn't wait to bring DP here.  He would love it. Claire had a neat time too, running around in all the nooks and crannies, stopping to smell the flowers, and hanging out with at the koi pond.

Before we headed home to Las Vegas that night, we watched the sunset over a small beach park near my mom's hotel, and Claire made some friends.  No wonder my mom loves it here so much!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mission Beach/Belmont Park

I took the week of Thanksgiving off work, since it's only 3 days, and Claire and I stayed in San Diego with my mom while she went to work.  Well that was supposed to be the plan, but then my dad found out and couldn't help himself but join us as well.  It totally made things better because he took us to the beach!  The day we picked for Mission Beach ended up being hot, so we were unprepared, but Claire didn't seem to mind.

Belmont  Park has a small boardwalk with carnival games and rides.  We brought her here last summer but this year she is older and was able to ride the cars.  She's been getting really expressive lately, and had been using the word 'love' in the proper context.  She sings to me that she loves me, and she gave a snowman a hug and told me, "I love him."  It melts my heart.  Anyway, so she went on this car ride and after the turn, she told my dad excitedly, "I love this!"  It was genuine and so sweet.

I told her to put up her hands so she did that on the turns too.  She had a blast.  I also took her swimming at the hotel and she practiced her big jumps for like an hour.  When I held her in the pool (with her floaties) she would yell at me, "Don't let go mummy!  DON'T LET GO."  Then I'd slowly feel her start to let go.  She's so brave. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Vacation Continues

Claire and I went to San Diego with family.  I could definitely get used to this life!

We flew up on Saturday morning and she was a dream on our flight.  It was only 45 minutes so I guess she didn't have time to get irritated.  I had loaded up a bunch of new (Christmas) games on her iPad and she enjoyed playing with it.  But it was mostly about the snacks.  She found a love for peanuts.

I brought her to tail-gate at Qualcomm Stadium and my mom and Aunty Carol would take her home when we went into the game.  She was tired but I think it was fun enough.

Of course, the entire time I was at the game, I wished I had brought her.  But where we sat had a set of bars right in front and I knew she'd be climbing them all the livelong day, and I wouldn't have enjoyed myself as much as I did without her.  The sun was shining directly on us and it was HOT.  Who knew that football at then end of November could be this enjoyable?  From now on, it's sunny locales for late-in-the-season games!

My cousins' team lost in a fight to the end, but all in all we spent some quality time together and ate a lot, which was the perfect vacation for me.  Family, food, and football.