Tuesday, Lola had a meeting with a talent agency in L.A. I've been blowing it off and rescheduling several times because I really have conflicting feelings about it. When we called to cancel last time, I was feeling pretty much like that was it, better left alone. But Dan was the one to make the actual cancellation call and wouldn't you know it, he ended up rescheduling it to last Tuesday. I decided I would just get it over with and go. I really despise driving to L.A. and this is a major factor to me. How will I be able to commit to drive her there if she gets called to audition for something? This meeting was just to see whether or not she will be a client so maybe nothing will come of it, which I will be so fine with. Anyway, it was about 7 hours round trip for a meeting that lasted all of 10 minutes (max!). The highlight of the day was a much-needed, relaxing dinner at a great restaurant at Stone Brewery, that I wouldn't have even known existed, if it had not been for my friend Sabrina. The food is fresh, local and organic. The ales are pretty darned good too. After our dinner, we took a walk in the yard, crossing over ponds and creeks on a little bridge and there was a big clearing, lined with picnic tables and benches, bamboo trees and other abundant vegetation. Lola was tickled pink at this discovery. We will definitely be going again soon!
Lola is going to day camp every afternoon this week. It's a great little camp called "Earth Detectives: A solution to Pollution". It's at the natural history museum, which the kids adore. The class focuses on different wildlife everyday. Today, it's gray wolves and sea otters. Then the kids are given "assignments" to reinforce what they learned that day. Lola loves it! Elise loves that we spend the 3 hours strolling around the park and playing by the big koi pool.
Here are a couple of pictures of when we picked her up on the first day. They had studied polar bears that day, hence the polar bear mask she is wearing!
Just a few short days after Lola lost her first tooth, she just lost another! So, the tooth fairy had to pony up another bill right after. It's pretty cute, though, she spent the first bit of money she got on buying frozen yogurt for her and her sister. How thoughtful!
I wanted to share some pictures from yesterday, which was my only full day in San Jose. These were taken in the morning...Pierre and Nathalie came over to my hotel, where Pierre set up his webcam and we were able to chat with his kids (who are with Nathalie's parents). Lola was so excited all morning to see her cousins online, but then got super shy as soon as we could see them on the camera! Afterwards, we took a walk across the street. There is a great park there, with fountains that spurt water up from the ground. All around the park are restaurants and stores, etc...it was really quaint, I loved it. We had some lunch and then walked over to the park. The girls were really anxious to play and stretch their legs for a while. After some play time, we drove on over to Pierre's brother Ted's house. They have a really nice communal pool and we spent the rest of the afternoon there swimming, talking and laughing. We had one last dinner together and the girls were so pooped, Lola fell asleep at the restaurant. Too bad I forgot my camera at the hotel though...I have no pictures from the afternoon and evening. It was tough saying goodbye to Pierre and Nathalie. I feel as though I've known them forever. We are planning a huge reunion for August of next year, in Lac St. Jean, where all our family is from (and most still lives).
I haven't been able to get that tune out of my head for several days now.
So, here's an interesting little family factoid about me. I have a whole side of my family that I've never met. At least, before tonight anyway. I had never met a single person from my dad's side of the family ever. Oh no wait, there are pictures of me with my paternal grandmother when I was an infant, but that's it. When my mother was alive, there was some kind of something that must have happened long ago....don't know what it was but all I know is that she strongly discouraged communication between my father and his 9 other siblings (and their offspring...of which there are many). This bothered me a lot my whole life. My mother's side of the family was small...I had not even a handful of cousins and we barely saw them. I knew that somewhere out there was this huge family that I belonged to, but I didn't even know if they knew I existed or vice versa. Most of my paternal cousins are a bit older than me....my father is 8th in line of 10 kids and he is in his 70's....plus he didn't even start having kids until he was in his 40's. So most of my cousins are easily in their 40's and 50's. But not long after my mom passed away, my father reconnected with his siblings and we are finally becoming a family again. A few years ago, I started corresponding (via email) with one of my cousins and he is actually close to my age. His mother (my aunt) had her children later in life, as did my dad. She actually passed away before I ever met her, but my dad speaks fondly of her and tells me that she was a great woman who was very loved. So, my cousin, Pierre, and I started to chat. We are so happy to be connected now. When he told me he would be San Jose, I knew I had to come out and meet him and his wife Nathalie. They live in Alma, the same town where my father was born, in Quebec. The reason they are out here is because Pierre has also recently reconnected with brothers and sisters from his father's previous marriage. Pierre didn't know, until recently, that he even had brothers and sisters and they didn't know either. Pierre has developed a particularly strong bond with Ted, his brother, and is here in San Jose to visit with him for a couple of weeks. So after a long car ride with girls, I arrived in San Jose today and got to meet not only my cousin, but his wife and his brother. It was an emotional night for all.
To round up our day of travel: Everything went actually pretty well. We left the house at 6 am, hit horrific traffic in L.A. (as was expected), made one potty break, then had lunch in San Luis Obispo, at Big Sky Cafe. The food & service were really excellent. Lola fell asleep in the car soon after lunch and when we stopped in Salinas for a potty break, we noticed that her tooth fell out. We can't find it anywhere and she was rather upset by this. I calmed her down by telling her that all she has to do is draw a picture of the tooth and write a note to the tooth fairy that her tooth is lost and that will be good enough. But the she thinks she may have swallowed the tooth and, secretly, that is what she's really afraid of.
Some photos of our trip....the restaurant, the Salinas gas station potty when we discovered Lola's tooth was first missing, Pierre and his brother, me and Pierre.
I was originally going to title this post, "so my little girl is growing up" or something of that nature, but then I realized that a lot of posts are titled very similarly. But yes, this post is about yet another rite of passage...Lola losing her two bottom baby teeth. She is very excited about the whole prospect of the tooth fairy visiting her at night. I think it's really funny that here is this 5 year old girl who does not believe in Santa Claus or the Easter bunny or anything like that, but the tooth fairy??? Holy cow, the tooth fairy is alive and kicking in her mind and bless her soul for that.
(Although, we did have to have a talk about the economy and how the tooth fairy is frugal during such tough financial circumstances and can't possibly afford to hand out $20's for every tooth anymore, as she was told was the 'going rate' by her little friend.)
Poor thing, though, she is experiencing some discomfort and finds hard to chew a lot of foods. She's eating avocados, miso soup, tofu, fruit, etc...In addition to losing her two bottom teeth, the new ones have already cut the gums right behind the old ones, plus she is just breaking her 6 year molars in. 4 new teeth at once. As much as she's excited about losing her baby teeth, I can feel she's a teeny weeny bit overwhelmed with all this growing up business that she's been doing a lot of lately. She's a little extra sensitive and has been crying a bit more than usual. I'm trying to be a bit more patient with her and give her a little extra love. Oh and yah, we need to find/make a tooth pillow (or pouch) pretty darned fast. I think it's going to be another day or two max!
Lola is starting 1st grade this fall! She attends a great school that allows us to homeschool 2 days a week. She is loving school and learning, especially reading.
I can't believe she is already 2. She is growing up fast and loves to chase after her big sister.
My Husband, Dan
Or, as he prefers to call himself, "the reason our kids are so cute". If I hear one more person gush about how the girls have his 'beautiful eyes', I will throw up. I'm pretty sure all the work involved with pregnancy and labor was all me.