our flight was supposed to leave at 6am this morning. we got to the airport at 5 but apparently that was not early enough. when we tried to check in the computer said we were too late to check baggage and, therefore, too late to get on the darn plane (which is where my father- and brother-in-law were waiting for us).
we got the typical run around from the airline, tried to find an alternate route to montana, and were not successful. when i broke the news to ian that we missed our flight and it looked like the next available flight wasn't until friday (the day we were supposed to come back) he started to cry. he was so disappointed and it crushed our hearts that because we didn't get to the airport early enough we had ruined christmas for our son.
my mom picked us up from the airport and drove us home. we lugged our heavy baggage back into the house and sat down on the couch completely deflated. rupert and i only got 2 hours of sleep because we spent hours packing and preparing for the trip after celebrating an early christmas with my folks. the family vacation we had planned for months was not going to happen; no skiing for ian, no first snow for maya, no walk in the snowy woods for me and rupert. rupert's aunt had also supplied us with wonderful ski jackets and pants, gloves, etc. and they were all for naught.
but rupert was determined to go somewhere cold and snowy. in the end we decided that he and ian would make the trip by flying into missoula (where rupert grew up) and then driving (in the snow) for four hours to big sky. not to be a party-pooper or anything, but i was just not willing to go through all of that with maya. so she and i will stay home.
frankly, it sucks that we won't be together for five days of this winter vacation, but there was no way we could disappoint ian by not delivering on what we had promised him: snow.
hopefully rupert will take some wonderful photos and video of them in montana. and hopefully maya won't drive me crazy for five days. it'll be quite the winter vacation, no?
[the one good thing that came out of this: the man who took one of our seats from the lax --> denver leg of our flight had been on stand-by since the 21st. at least he was able to get home for christmas.]
but we finally broke with our tradition and joined them for the seventh annual poop deck christmas eve. a couple of hours of child-free socializing was definitely something i could've used. needless to say, it was great to hang with friends -- merry christmas!
p.s. the three people on the left are our closest friends and they were super generous with their gifts for maya and ian: check out my flickr pics of the kids opening their presents. thanks guys!
now, i know this is his initial gut reaction to most things he perceives as negative. in fact, it's an area we're working on at school because he has the occasional teary breakdown in class. given time he usually gets over it and it'll cease to bother him. so i went on and on about his excellent report card, effort is what matters, there's always room for improvement, blah, blah, blah.
but what he said after my spiel made me cringe because it was like listening to my inner self 20+ years ago:
me: so why are you sad?
ian: because it wasn't perfect ...
i've gotten to the point where i really don't care what his grades are; i'm much more concerned about his emotional state. when he's 30 years old it won't matter one iota what his grades were in first grade. but you can't convince my 6-year old that grades aren't the most important thing in the world (much less that it's hardly that important at all), and that i want him to have other things in his life that bring him happiness.
needless to say, i was happy for all of the restaurants chris featured. how wonderful to be recognized and acknowledged in such a vast area like los angeles. i hadn't been to any of them, but all of them except for san pedro fish market are near stores i frequent so i'm excited to try them. and, in case you're wondering, here are my recommendations for similar fare: el gaucho market (corner of inglewood and manhattan beach boulevard) for carne asada (no taco stand, though); beach hut (just north of the corner of rosecrans and highland in manhattan beach) for hawaiian; valentino's pizza in manhattan beach and el segundo (you can order a heart-shaped pizza for your amore!).
- some of the many new foods she's had this month: broccoli, freeze dried fruit (apples, strawberries), osekihan (red sticky rice), persimmon, rice crispies, bean sprouts
- dislikes jarred baby food? she won't finish her pureed food anymore. loves loves loves yogurt (yobaby) and cheese (and the ice cream bar my mom let her lick), fish, rice. she's kinda picky about the texture of her food.
- will wear her booty shoes (i.e., soft-soled moccasin-like shoes).
- can almost take a few steps by herself. also, when she feels like it she'll grab on to our hands and take a few steps. took three steps at my parents' house (where they have carpet) on november 12.
- instead of calling everything "mama" she started saying "bebe?" (yes, with the questioning inflection), but that only lasted a few days. she's still not saying much but she somehow gets her point across very well. she definitely likes to communicate with rupert and ian ("bye da-ee" and "hi een").
- most days she only has one nap in the morning and then we try to put her down early in the evening. unfortunately, she gets hungry (or is conditioned to get hungry) and wakes up pretty darn early in the morning.
- finally starting to show some interest in books but will hardly sit still for a whole story. we're still at the point at pictures stage before she closes the book on your finger.
- learned to pillow fight watching her dad and brother.
- does a fake wail when she's not happy about something. it's not her usual ear-splitting cry and there are no tears so she's just expressing her discontent.
- she likes to identify and point at birds ("bir") and dogs ("run run" -- a hybrid of "wan wan," the japanese way dogs bark, and "ruff ruff").