Today started off with the most hilarious of requests from Nina. As I scurried around getting things ready for Teddy, Nina crawled out of bed and claimed her thrown on the living room mattress. She then proclaimed that she wanted donuts and a Slurpee for breakfast!! I kid you not!! The Queen requested donuts and a Slurpee. I just laughed! I explained that I could get her a donut but that the Slurpee would have to wait for after school. Thankfully, she didn't scream Off with your head!
Since Todd was sleeping in, I quickly raced to Vons after dropping off Teddy. I snatched up a donut for Nina and a peppermint mocha for mama!! I love coffee!!! It is my warm friend in the mornings, mid-day, and evenings! When I got home, the Queen approved of my donut selection but was sure to remind me that she still awaited her Slurpee, "I want a red Slurpee Mama." I confirmed with her Highness that the request was duly noted and would be followed up on once brother was picked up from his academic training. She smiled at me facetiously :)
The rest of our day was an extremely busy and happy one! We had a flood of friends come by for visits, bringing gifts for the kids, which they loved of course. My dear friend Jenny and her family came for a lovely visit. Jenny, along with Mendy, had been my mentor when I first started graduate school. She now lives in LA with her husband Brian and two children, Fiona (3 years old) and Merrick (4 months old). Nina especially adored holding and playing with Merrick, given her baby obsession. She just fell over with delight when she saw his knee fat rolls!!! "Awww....he's so cute!" she kept exclaiming! I loved watching her so happy and I could tell that Jenny and Brian did too! Jenny's nanny, Clara, smiled quietly. Her son had passed away from a brain stem tumor when he was 5 years old, 20 years ago. Jenny had warned me. I watched Clara watch Nina. At one point, she caught me watching her and smiled a most loving smile. Her eyes said it all....they told me I understand! After that, I didn't watch her anymore. We had said all that needed to be said to each other.
|Baby joy with Merrick!|
|The Queen and her harem|
|Loving the baby rolls!|
Shortly after Jenny and her family arrived, Mario surprised us with a quick visit. He looked like Santa Claus with all the gifts he carried in, which brought the hugest smile to Nina's face. Again, she declined opening her gift, preferring to open it with Teddy. However, she did not hesitate giving Mario his. For Mario, Nina had picked out a penguin pillow pet and a skunk ornament. She was particularly pleased with her skunk ornament gift and proceeded to mock Mario's fear of skunks. Jenny busted up and declared that only my child would chose a gift for someone based on their fear. We all laughed because Jenny was right!! Nina is sadistic like her Mama :) Mario laughed, especially as Nina recounted for Jenny the reason why he was afraid of skunks! I love her sense of humor!! It is incredible!!! She is incredible!!!
When lunch time arrived, Nina summoned me over, "Mama, come hear!"She whispered that she wanted Jenny and her family to leave so she and I could have lunch. Jenny totally understood and agreed to come back by after lunch. Nina was happy. I had listened. I had kept my end of the deal! I was so thankful that Nina had told me what she had on Monday. Since that original conversation, Nina had been much more social with visitors. It was as if a huge burden had been lifted off her shoulders. She now knew she could count on me to ask people to leave. The simple security in me supporting her had changed her confidence, it had increased her comfort in knowing she did have some control in her life. I am so very, very thankful!!!
After lunch, my friend Josh came by with a dozen amazing cupcakes from Crush Cakes....yummy! Josh accompanied us to Kellogg to pick up Teddy. We had agreed to pick up Teddy and walk him over to the Good News Club Christmas Party. Before heading over to meet his buddy Thomas at the club, Teddy opened Mario's gifts with Nina. Nina had insisted that I bring the gifts to open with Teddy :) Teddy was ecstatic with the Xbox games and almost (almost) wanted to skip the club so he could go play them! Nina beamed with delight when she opened her gift and found a beautiful locket with a cross on the front. What was more, inside were two photos, one of Nina and Teddy and another of Nina and her cousins. She actually blushed. It was so precious. Josh was so moved himself that he actually said, "Awww". Nina immediately asked me to put the necklace on. I did as she commanded and we walked Teddy over to the club.
We returned home with Josh to find Jenny back with the gang. We all had cupcakes and Josh gave me my gift....a bottle of Peppermint Schnapps with a hysterical drawing a la Josh Kiser!!! I hugged him goodbye and we wished each other a wonderful holiday! Good byes are never fun! I understand why Teddy gets sad. I do too!
Soon after Josh left, Jenny and her family left. Nina hugged Merrick one last time. I squeezed precious Fiona for as long as she allowed :) and then hugged Jenny even tighter!! Before getting into the car, Clara hugged me goodbye and reminded me to never lose faith! Her words rolled out beautifully in Spanish like a poem, sprinkled with an exotic accent, written precisely for me! As they drove away, I found myself awe struck by Clara. Here she was, still filled with faith 20 years later. My mind started to race but I commanded it to stop. I could not go there right now, I reminded myself. There was too much to do, like go get Slurpees!
Once we picked up Teddy from his club Christmas celebration, we went to 7-Eleven for a Slurpee run. Nina was happy. As he buckled up, Teddy commented, "Only Nina would want to have a Slurpee in December!" Nina smiled at him. She was proud of herself :)
|Nothing better than Slurpees and brother!|
After dinner, Teddy proclaimed that he wanted to buy Mario and his teacher gifts. Todd and Nina were busy making cookies so off we went. Eventually, he found the perfect gifts. A green beanie for Mario; Santa Barbara snow globe-esque thingie-ma-bobbers for both Mario and Miss Checchio :) He was so elated with the snow-globe-eque discovery, "Mom, mom, mom....I found the perfect gift!" This is where my controlling side wants to kick in and suggest something else, but I quietly reminded myself that this is about Teddy lovingly choosing gifts for important people in his life. He lovingly chose that snow-globe thing and so I approved! Sweet boy!!!