Friday, June 10, 2011

Cancelled Flights and Southern California

It's been a slow week recuperating from the cold Lola so kindly shared with Pieter then selflessly handed over to me. Our suitcases are still packed, unzipped nonetheless, allowing me to sneak in and out to grab what I need without putting a real dent on it. Maybe I'm lazy. Maybe I have better things to invest my time in. Maybe those packed suitcases hold the little sentiment of the wonderful time spent with my family last week. After all these years of living on my own, it's still so good to go home. 

Pieter dropped Lola and me off at the airport early Tuesday morning where we expected to leave for Ontario at noon. After Lola's first public temper tantrum left me with a sudden panic attack, where if you saw the look on my face it would read, she's never done this before, we received the unfortunate news that our flight was cancelled and we'd be bumped to a 3:15 flight. Great. I can handle extra hours in an airport, alone, but after that very public episode where Lola lost her marbles in the security line because she didn't want her pink Converse x-rayed, I knew I needed to keep her busy. So we high-tailed it to the slower end of the airport to watch the airplanes.
We spent a couple hours perched up against a window watching lustfully as groups A, B, and C lined up and piled onto plane after plane. So to pass the time we read Goodnight, Moon countless times, munched on snacks, and watched as the weather changed from sunny to dark and gloomy.
The Paper Mama
 Thank goodness Pieter let us take the iPad. Five hours in an airport is a really long time with a two year old. Yep, she's still hooked on that horse song from a couple weeks ago!

 I was a little apprehensive about having an iPad for Lola, but it is a wonderful tool for learning and was really utilized on our trip. Lola is blowing me away with how much she's learned. She can navigate though her apps, can identify most of the uppercase letters and some lowercase, and knows her colors. Amazing, right! Thanks Grandma Jane and Grandpa Tom!!!! She's going to be the smartest kid on the block!

 Being at my Mom's house is always surreal. Comforting. Rejuvenating. I'm always taken back by the feeling I get when I'm there, as if nothing has changed. I still expect to see my siblings as little kids, my brothers fighting with each other and my little sister asking if she can tag along. That's not the case though. The house is calm and quiet but still smells the way I remember.

My mom has a small chihuahua named Mini, who rightfully earned this name because he resembles a smaller version of the Red-Tri Australian Shepherd we had growing up. Lola absolutely adores him. The feeling, however, isn't mutual judging by the way he'll run in the opposite direction when he sees her coming. Lola tried really hard to win him over, going the extra mile to find some common ground, something they could both relate to. Turns out she likes dog biscuits too. Oh the things we do to impress family members.

I was able to visit with Justine, the eldest daughter of one of my Mom's closest friends. I've known her for twelve years, since our sister's were in kindergarten. She's about four years younger than me and is like a sister. I've watched her grow up, gave her a place to crash while she was taking summer classes in Riverside, and now we both have the joy of mothering little girls. Her daughter is the sweetest, most kind, and beautiful little thing. She really took a liking to Lola, even in her current state of terrible-twoism. She tried to console Lola after she woke up from her nap in a foul mood. Sure enough, her charm won Lola over...
...or maybe it was her fascination with Lola's sandals. Nevertheless, the evolution of our lives is a little more fun when we're joined by old friends on the same journey.

I was able to help Annalisa decorate her cap. My brother was kind enough to keep Lo busy while we tapped into our inner Martha Stewarts. We all know a toddler plus hot glue and glitter is a disaster waiting to happen. To be completely honest with you, I really didn't think my far-fetched idea would turn out and if it did, I didn't think it would hold. We got lucky. It turned out better than expected.
Family shot, minus Rene :(
I still get a little choked up at the thought of my little sister graduating high school. Where has the time gone? Anna kept teasing that I would be thirty when she would be twenty-one. I'm getting old!

The graduation ceremony was filled with an energy. An energy backed by love and support from the friends, family, and loved ones that filled the bleachers to cheer on the graduates of 2011.
 Yep, iPad to the rescue!
 It was so exciting hearing my sister's name be announced.
And even more exciting meeting her after the ceremony!
Let's try that again....
 ...much better!
 Congratulations, Anna!!!! We are so proud of you!

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