One of the points of the blog is to remember Selam’s childhood, so, while I know these details probably don’t interest anyone beyond me, I want to get them down before I forget them.
The trip to California. We called for a cab early and were surprised when he arrived early. We ended up waiting at the train station for about an hour that way, but I guess that’s better than waiting at the apartment for him to arrive. The Amtrak trip was easy as pie. I love traveling by train with Selam. You can see everything and can get up and move around. It’s a good time. Once we got to the airport, the process of getting from train to counter was less than ideal. First, Selam–who had sworn up and down right and left that she would be willing to carry her rolling backpack on her back refused to do so. So she’s pulling the thing behind her, and I have one large suitcase on my back (it converts that way), and one wheeling behind me. Our small roll-aboard is in my other hand, and a small briefcase is dangling from my shoulder. Yup. We should have mailed some stuff ahead. We brought only 2 outfits plus dress clothes each, but the presents plus the snowboots, snowpants, etc. really added up. Anyway, Selam scraped her hand on a rough stone trash can, and cried–loudly. This attracted lots of attention, and then everyone wanted to help me and her, and I’m just really not super excited about having strangers want to carry my bag or grab my daughter’s hand. We made it, though, through 2 or 3 escalators and a handful of elevators. Checking in our bags was bliss. We got lunch and spent 2 hours waiting for our flight. Yes, we were at the airport 3 hours early. I was worried that the train would be late so I booked the earlier one. Lesson #2 learned. Our flights were great, but at the end of the second one, Selam fell asleep–hard. She is such a fantastic traveler. Her only downfall is that she falls so hard asleep that it is really hard to wake her up. Finally, I carried her off the plane and let the 2 flight attendants follow with our coats and carryons. Once she was off the flight, she woke up and once she saw her aunt and cousins at the other side of security, she broke into a big run. She sat between her doting cousins for the car ride back to sisters’ place. Once we were at her place, Selam roared back to life, and played with everyone for quite a while. Once we went to the bedroom, though, she crashed out.
Christmas Eve: Selam got up early and her sweet uncle made pancakes with her. She was in heaven (Selam LOVES pancakes). After everyone was up, she went shopping with her aunt. They hit up the dollar store, where Selam found many amazing gifts. I stayed home and wrapped up all my gifts. The afternoon was spent getting ready for Christmas eve, playing with the cats, talking her cousins into reading to her, and whatnot. Christmas Eve brought her uncle’s famous Spaghetti and Meatballs. (These must be capitalized due to their awesomeness.) After getting all dressed up, we went to Christmas Eve services. My nieces sang a duet–Jesu Bambino–which I actually sang in church when I was about their age. They were amazing. Unfortunately, Selam crashed out asleep, and missed them, the sermon, and the lighting of candles (which she loves). She woke up in the car ride home and rallied for ice cream and cookies and to leave some cookies for Santa.
Christmas Day: Selam let us sleep until 6:45. I thought that was very nice of her. Once we got everyone up (by calling the house phone from the cell phone), everyone came out to the living room. In our family, Santa’s gifts are unwrapped, so it was super exciting to see her new Gabby doll (an American Girl doll dressed in a leotard—she got a note from Santa saying that he made her a special Gabby doll). We then opened gifts from/to those present. We had a yummy breakfast with a frittata and coffee cake, and then played and played and played. There was a mandatory nap time, where Selam slept for approximately 3 seconds, but most everyone else got some shut eye in!
We had a delicious traditional turkey dinner, and afterward, Selam’s cousins got out their old AG dolls and they all played together. Her cousins are SO sweet to her. Not many 15 year olds would get out their dolls and engage a six year old in this way. Their friends are even nice to her. One of their friends gave Selam a passed down AG leotard for Christmas (and an awesome handmedown coat, too!)
My parents’ flight got in around 7:30, and after they ate and finished wrapping, we all rallied for round 2 of Christmas! Though she fought bedtime, once in bed, Selam was out like a light! What a great day!
Wednesday: Zoo day! We had a great time visiting the zoo in my sister’s town. It’s a bigger zoo than ours, but not huge. We enjoyed looking for baby monkeys (we looked, but they weren’t there), feeding the giraffes, petting goats and sheep, and watching the sea lions. The rest of the day was spent playing with new toys, reading new books, and packing for part two: Yosemite.