Here we are in California.
We moved from Connecticut almost a month ago, and are eagerly awaiting news about a job offer. Any news at all. It’s taking a loooonnng time…
Stella loves California. The day we arrived she ran around Granny and Grandpa’s yard naked. The feel of spongy, lush grass was a revelation (nobody has nice grass in New Haven). Being sprayed with the garden hose was like Christmas morning. The garden could occupy her all day, as she likes to eat strawberries, boysenberries, and grapes from the vine/bush, and point out the tomatoes, corn, and squash. She retrieved a pet squash from the garden and we named it, wrapped it a blanket, and drew a face on it, a la Pat Zietlow Miller. Stella named her squash Sophie.
She likes to dig in the sandbox and carry buckets of sand on her arm (like a purse) all over the yard. She also really loves rocks, for some reason. She’ll fill a bucket with rocks and carry it from one end of the yard to another. Her love of rocks might have been inspired when Granny taught her how to throw pebbles into the wading pool. But now that she can throw things on purpose, she sneaks lots of things into the pool: our shoes, Popsicle sticks, toys, dishes, items retrieved from the recycling box…the other day, she found a pair of Granny’s glasses on the picnic table and threw them in the pool when nobody was looking. Apparently, everyone in this house is allowed to wear glasses, except Granny. Every time Granny puts on her glasses to play Scrabble or work on crossword puzzles, Stella revolts and won’t rest until the glasses have been removed.
Red Hill Park is down the street and we visit often. The first week we were here, Stella discovered pine cones. Since then we’ve carried buckets of pine cones home in the stroller. I don’t think there are any left at the park…there are also lots of ducks at the park, which Stella finds amusing. She really likes when the ducks wake up from their naps in the shade and waddle over to the edge of the water and jump in.
Other recent discoveries include: Popsicles; the moon; group hugs; hair curlers; monkeys and peacocks; the ocean; Elsa and Ana from Frozen; lizards that hang out near the bamboo and the trashcans in the back yard; BEEG sharks at the Aquarium of the Pacific; how to get in and out of the pack n’ play by herself (and lift up the mattress and sheets instead of taking her nap); Mozart and Debussy; and relatives. Aunt Carly, Bella, and Audra might be her favorites, although she knows all the Fifes. She repeatedly asks for Rich, but hides when he acknowledges her. Maybe she’s overwhelmed by his height. Although she let him hold her for two minutes at church on Father’s Day. She also knows Abby and Kevin, “Jeebop” (Jacob) and Lexi and “Megak” (Megan), and Paul and Katy Ellsworth. She can identify Jackson and Daniel in pictures, but we need to work on Jake and Joey and Katie. And it will take a while to figure out all the Ellsworth cousins.
Her secret favorite might be Grandpa. She asks for him every morning when she wakes up and runs to hug and kiss him when he comes home from work. She calls him “Poppa” and has no problem calling to him (loud enough so the whole congregation can hear) from the pews when he’s conducting at church or stake conference. Her other secret favorite might be Granny, who makes her chocolate chip pancakes and gives her juice and pedicures and warm foot baths to stimulate the urge to pee on the potty.