Wednesday, November 18, 2009

California and Airplanes

First Stop: Martina, Hannah and Matthew's house (aka, Uncle Chris and Aunt Debbie's house). Matthew and Uncle Chris were out at the UCLA football game, but that was ok. More time for the girls to play. From trampoline to dress up to much more fun can you have?

Then it was off to Aunt Loretta and Uncle Bruce's house for all the rest of the family. Despite being dead tired, she was raring to go. She just HAD to wear her new "pretty dress" that we'd bought that day. And seeing Opa? That was the highlight. She wouldn't get too close, and she wouldn't sit on his lap, but she kept walking around telling everyone "There's Opa!"

Next Day was the Annual Tamale Making Party. Nanny starts bright and early, which was no problem since we were on Texas time. Fortunately, cousin Hannah spent the night so Angelina was happily occupied while we helped Mom set up. While we made tamales, all Angelina cared about was her cousins.

You've never seen a kid so happy! (see videos below) 3 girls and 3 boys to entertain her and abide her every wish.....there are advantages to being 5 years younger than the youngest cousin. She was the STAR!

She's now a football player. Particularly funny as she had no clue that she was significantly smaller than the other kids, she jumped in to tackle (more like a rugby scrum) with the biggest of them.

And tease? Yes, she can beat Matthew at his own game. He teased her by holding the ball just out of reach. So when she got the ball, she did the same to him.

All day playing with cousins, what could be better?

Having a new grandma! She has Nanny, but she doesn't realize that Nanny = Grandma, while her friends have two grandmas. She calls them Grandma, but Felice often reminds her "that's MY Grandma." So, apparently Angelina decided to adopt her own - Cousin Gloria. Gloria walked in and immediately Angelina said "There's Grandma." I said "No, that's Gloria." No. Grandma. We went back and forth and I gave up. So all day she called Gloria Grandma. As Gloria has no grandkids, she was quite happy to adopt one. But it wasn't just that day. She's been talking about "grandma Gloria" since we got back. I even her heard telling Wiley and Felice all about HER Grandma Gloria.

Alas, the time came to say goodbye. Angelina does not do well with goodbyes. While we'd see some of them the next day, Hannah, Martina, and Matthew all had school/practice so this was our last time with them. She didn't want to say goodbye, got rather grouchy and stomped away. Same when Gloria left :(

On Monday she saw a picture from her baptism with a bunch of cousins and said with wonder and excitement "Look mommy! All my cousins!" She is sooooooo excited to have cousins!!! She wouldn't let go of that picture all morning.

Since everyone was in school Monday, and since Angelina had been asking to go to the beach, we headed off to Little Corona Del Mar for the tide pools with Nanny. There wasn't much sea life in them this time, but it was a gorgeous (tho not super warm) day and playing in the sand and sea was more than worth it.

Then off to Aunt Denise and Uncle Kurt's for another dinner. This time a little more subdued (I think she knew more goodbyes were inevitable). Still, she had fun playing with Kyle and Camille while we checked out the old toys Denise had saved from our collective childhood....many were passed down from Tim, so at least 50 years old!

We had a final breakfast with Opa, just Frédéric, Angelina, and I, which was wonderful. The whole point of the trip, afterall, was to see and spend time with Dad. All the parties are fun, but it's also nice to have some one-on-one time too. She enjoyed entertaining Opa who clearly enjoyed entertaining her. Of course, Angelina went into her now familiar grouchy not talking mode when it was time to say goodbye. Though frustrating, in a way it's sweet. It's her way of coping with being sad to leave.

Then it was another airplane trip and back home! Followed the next morning with "Mommy, I want to go to California." And daily since with "Mommy, I want to see Hannah/Martina/Matthew/Kyle/Camille/Nanny/Opa" Even Uncle Chris got a mention (sorry Ryan and Justin, you have to play football with her to get a notice).

For the whole collection of photos, including a few from Halloween, see California Nov 2009

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