Thursday, April 8, 2010


More updates from my trip back home!

Okay so here are more beach pictures and a fun story to go with them. :D

To begin, I must confess, I am known by my family as the aunt who spoils my niece, Vanessa, rotten. I do. Ever since she was a baby she had me wrapped around her little fingers. I bought her so much stuff and every time I babysat her, we went shopping together. We've made about 4 Build-A-Bear bears together. She says, "I want that." and I say, "Here, have TWO!" I am the bad aunt. I always give her fun toys and sweet treats . . . when you're 'love language' is gifts . . . it can be a scary battlefield to trot. I am slowly learning to draw lines in right places. I kind of picked up on my treacherous training when I was last at home. I went to go see her and she says, "Are you going to take me shopping and get me a lot of cool new toys? Are we going to get new clothes? Let's go!!"

Oy Vey—the monster I've created. So now I'm moving toward teaching her limits and choices when it comes to gifts. After she said that, I took her shopping, but I told her she could only get 2 things. She kept begging for like 8 different things, but I only let her have 2 and I told her she had to choose, that way when all was said and done, it was her choice. I, too, am learning.

So one of my favorite things is that she now knows that when I come home, I'm going to bring her books . . . and she LOVES to read! And that makes me way happy! In fact, I was on the phone the other day with my mom and she was telling me how much like me Vanessa is. She told me how Vanessa likes to read and draw and will just spend lots of time sitting by herself with a nose in a book, consumed. She loves stories and she loves being adventurous. And that also makes me happy :D Last time I visited, I bought her Where The Wild Things Are, which was one of my favorite books as a kid. My mom says that she requests to read that book the most! So this time I brought her home another one of my favorites, Knots On A Counting Rope. She was really excited to get new books :D

On Saturday night at the hotel, I had one of the best conversations with Vanessa. I talked with her about giving to others and about loving people no matter what they look/sound/act like. I also told her an important secret: "You don't always have to do what adults tell you to do." I explained to her that one day there will be something she will really love to do and there will be people who tell her she shouldn't do it, and I reiterated—"You don't always have to do what adults tell you to do." Most would think this is a terrible thing to tell a kid. But she's got a good head on her shoulders. She has a good heart and I am trusting and believing that as she grows, she will learn to test and set limits based on her own judgement and not define her life solely based on what others say or do. I never want her to lose sight of her dreams that she will want to chase as she grows into an amazing little lady.

Shortly after that, she and I had a FUN pillow fight and we were both jumping on the hotel beds and hitting each other with pillows and tackling one another. It was the BEST EVER!! :D I love spending time with her and I know that the things I teach her, she will pass on to her baby sister, who she and I absolutely adore! :D

With that, here are more fun pictures from the beach:

Vanessa was trying to wash the dirt off of the jellyfish
(dont' worry, we made sure she didn't touch the jellyfish)

The family all gathered around chillaxin' at the beach

A cute pic of my sister and my niece, Annabelle

My sister doing a jello shot . . . i don't think she has decided whether she likes it or not. This is going in my weird family face collection . . . the fact that I even have such a collection says something about my family ;) PS: most of the pics in that collection are of me. :O

Vanessa's cousin Sable after Vanessa & Major buried her in the sand

Vanessa & her cousin Major playing in the sand

Vanessa was so intrigued by the fish. She loves their bright colors and she kept pointing to the clownfish, automatically naming him Nemo. ;)

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