Halloween, Disneyland, Academic Probation and G-ta!

Dear Future Stella,

I have a very good reason for skipping last week’s letter and that was because we were at Disneyland. If you ever for one minute doubt that I am the best mom in the world then please refresh your memory on our first attempt to take Current Stella to Disneyland and then note that I agreed to go again. More on that later, but first something else happened since the last time I wrote to you and that thing was Halloween.

Current Stella dressed up as Gail the Puppy for Halloween so its not an exaggeration to say that it was the best day of my life. No question, no comparison, it was just dreamy.

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At a last minute attempt to come up with a costume, your Tia gave me the idea to be a dog handler from one of those creepy dog shows. One trip to the second hand store and, voilà.

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Current Stella let me walk her on a leash while we went trick-or-treating so that was kind of strange. She also only collected 16 pieces of candy (2 of which were boxes of raisins so therefore don’t count) so we need to work on her treat game for next year. Very disappointing.

Two Gails in one night- what a fantasy come true! Although I did such a great job of making Current Stella look like Gail the Puppy, there was one tiny detail I left out but you wouldn’t have been able to tell in pictures and that is her very distinct smell. Gail the Puppy smells like Fritos so I really wish I would have smeared some all over Current Stella to really make the whole costume complete. I thought this was something that was unique to Gail the Puppy, but according to Google, it must be more common than I thought because look what came up when I started typing….

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Apparently, its the 4th most common thing a dog can smell like. Here is what google says about dogs smelling like Fritos.

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Who knew?

Now, on to Disneyland. Current Stella didnt get sick this time so that was nice. In fact, nothing crazy or out of the ordinary really happened so all I have to show for it are some pictures of Current Stella enjoying herself. BORING!!!

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Highlights for Current Stella include Ariel’s ride, the Buzz Lightyear ride, Autotopia, hanging out with her cousins, cotton candy and finally, our hotel room. Our hotel room was at the very swanky Marriott Inn and Suites. This unbelievable room came stocked with 1 serving a coffee, a phonebook, and a thermostat that was permanently set to Bikram Yoga temperatures so I can see how this made it to her favorites list. She didn’t like the Matterhorn or Thunder Mountain. Probably my favorite quote of the trip was made by her little cousin, Katherine (age 3). She said that her favorite ride was the shuttle from the hotel to Disneyland. Even cuter, was that she says shovel instead of shuttle.

Thanks to your Gma and Grandpa for making your dreams come true at the Happiest Place on Earth. They really know how to spoil a kid, and I mean that seriously. They went above and beyond to make this redo trip a success.

When we got back we had our first Parent Teacher Conference at Current Stella’s new school. I have included a copy of her progress report which clearly shows her mediocre (at best) performance thus far. Just about as average as it gets. Its official, you can kiss Stanford goodbye. There is no way they will accept you with this kind of performance. Get your head out of your ass and learn how to count to 30 in Swahili like they want. Also, according to this report, Current Stella’s teachers think she needs to speak more clearly. I dare them to come hang out at our house for even just one hour. That girl probably covers every word in the dictionary at least once, if not twice and what a miracle it would be (for us) if it was any less clear.

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Cant just one week go by without someone who loves you having a birthday? Its getting a bit ridiculous! Thankfully, this week’s birthday is someone I heart so much that it makes writing yet another birthday tribute a little less painful. In fact, I heart her so much that I would trust her with Gail the Puppy if anything should ever happen to me. This person is your G-ta, who is my Tante, and your G-ma’s sister. Your name for her is perfect because according to the Urban Dictionary, calling someone a G is a title of endearment and its no secret that we adore her to absolute pieces. Your G-ta and I are very very close. She is someone that I strongly connect with and have always looked up to. One of my favorite things about her is that she remembers everything. Every. Single. Detail. Its kind of amazing. Anytime I need advice about Current Stella she can just pull up a memory of her own kids (who are grown adults now) and from that she can either recommend a solution, or at least commiserate with me. Its super handy. She also gives really thoughtful and unique gifts, often filling a void you didn’t even know you had. Waking up in her house and drinking coffee while she devours the newspaper is probably my personal definition of comfort. She is the one I attribute to your good sleep. She told me all her tricks when you were just a few days old and they worked like a charm! When you were 5 weeks old, we went on our first annual trip as a family to Oregon when I was still on maternity leave. It was on this trip that she helped me conquer the nightmare that was the 45 minute nap and successfully stretched them to 1.5 hours. It was also on this trip that one of my all-time favorite memories with G-ta was made. I will do my best to share my version, although I am certain mine will lack the details that she would no doubt remember with unbelievable clarity.

Your G-ta had saved the buggy that she used with her kids and it was in mint condition. It was a navy blue bassinet on top of a silver metal frame. The lining was blue and white striped and it had an oversized hood that created lots of protection. It looked like some vintage thing you would have found in London circa 1906. It was gorgeous and I was convinced that something within its fibers contained the secret to good sleep because as soon as we laid your big bald head in it, you would go right to sleep. As I am sure you remember, it gets really warm where your G-ta lives in the summertime and stays that way long into the night. This allowed for many evenings spent pushing you into their quaint little downtown area. Their town is considered historic and therefore all of the buildings fit perfectly with the era this buggy was intended to exist in. One night we pushed Newborn Stella into town to eat dinner at one of the nicer establishments. We were seated outside in a dreamy courtyard patio. There were lights strung above our head and the distant sound of a lazy fountain could be heard. We talked and laughed and ate and I remember feeling the best I had felt in weeks. I didn’t bounce right back physically after you were born and so it was a relief to finally sit through a meal without being in some sort of pain. Newborn Stella held up her part of the deal by sleeping all the way through dinner in that magical buggy. On the way home, your Dad was pushing Newborn Stella and the rest of us were following close behind. As we approached the street where G-ta and Guncle live, a skunk appeared from the fields that lined this particular street. It soon became quite clear that this skunk was not at all threatened by the presence of 4 adults and a buggy. We started to pick up the pace, as we had no choice but to pass it in order to get home. Then the craziest thing happened, this skunk began to chase the buggy. Your dad started sprinting down the road, pushing this vintage baby carriage at full speed with tiny, little Newborn Stella sound asleep inside it. As soon as we were safely in G-ta’s garage, we all just burst out laughing. Your G-ta has the most infectious, boisterous laugh. It starts out silent and she often has to double over and grab some nearby structure for support. I dare anyone to not just crack up when she does this. Its hilarious and it can last quite awhile. Her sense of humor is really random and silly and clean, yet she can find humor in the crudest of jokes. Its a very fun balance for me. She also goes to the grocery store no less than twice per day, makes her husband split a beer with her, and runs about an hour behind the rest of the people in her time zone. She always seems to check-in with me at just the right times and we are so super lucky to have her in our lives.

Here are some photos from that first memorable trip Newborn Stella took to visit G-ta (and family)

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And the one time she didn’t want to split a beer, she decided to shotgun it with her son.

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Here are just some standard G-ta memories

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Lastly, to prove that we both have the same random sense of humor, I have included the following photos. These were taken this past week in a Photo Booth here in San Francisco. I can almost guarantee nobody else will find these as funny as we do.

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Happy Birthday G-ta!!

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, you got in big trouble this past week for being a shit stain. You couldn’t even follow the most basic of instructions (don’t put rice in your water at a restaurant) and you even blatantly lied about brushing your teeth even though your dad’s forensic testing of the crime scene clearly showed that you did not. As a result we had to take your Cow Cow away for one night. You lost your shit but guess what? You have been a dream ever sense. Thank you.

Love,

Mom

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