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Trip to Albuquerque and 2nd Birthday

The potty training thing is actually starting to happen. Simone has been interested in her potty for a little while, but in the past two days she has been sitting on it and trying to use it, which is pretty exciting for us. No big results yet, but I think she'll get it down pretty soon ...

Going back in time a little bit, I wanted to post some pictures from our recent trip to Albuquerque. We had a great time! The flight out was good, and although I was nervous to fly alone with Simone, and we had to go to Albuquerque by way of Chicago and St. Louis, we made it in one piece and she actually made it fun to travel and there weren't any mishaps. On the way back, not so good ... but we'll get to that later.

I stayed with my sister Elena for two nights on the west side of town, and her three boys Jojo, Christian, and Gaby were very good to Simone and she had fun playing with all of them. Every morning she would ask for "monkey munch" (her words for cereal, which I taught her and do not regret), and here she is having some with her cousins, along with a photo of her with her great grandma and my dad, her grandpa:

Her birthday party day arrived (a few days before her actual birthday), and we thought it would be fun to try curling her hair. She didn't mind the curlers being in her hair, but she did mind taking them out. They should have stayed in longer, but she still got a bit of a curl from the process (the picture below right has her great aunt Patsy, grandma and grandpa in it):

Then, it was time for cake! Several family members and some of my friends and my parents friends were able to attend the party. The other picture below is my aunt Patsy holding Simone while Patsy tries to figure out her digital camera and Simone practices smiling.

We ate at Sadie's restaurant the next day, and I finally got to eat a bunch of chips and salsa. They really do have the best salsa, and I bought two jars of it to bring home. I had a long list of New Mexican restaurants to eat at, and although I did not make it to as many as I would have liked, I was glad I went here (and The Frontier and Blake's and the Indian Cultural Center's restaurant). The kids got bored and headed over to the Ms. Pac-Man machine. If you know me at all, you know I love this video game and it warmed my heart to see her take an interest in the very best video game of all time (hands down). Although we hope she does not take an interest in other technical gadgets, TV, and games yet, but we know that's a pipe dream. I think if you replace the milk bottle on the tabletop console with a pint of beer, you could sum up a good chunk of my 20's:

Finally, there is this ad I saw on the side of the road for Blake's (who make the very best green chile cheese burgers), and it made me laugh since they just flipped over their usual mascot:

As most everyone knows by now, Simone threw up all over the Duke student who sat next to me half an hour into a four hour flight from Phoenix to Raleigh. Rather than give you all the gory details, suffice it to say it was an unpleasant experience but everybody on the plane was very nice about it all and we somehow survived. I used to have a fear of flying, but after that experience I fear nothing - the worst has already happened.

We had a great time and miss everybody back in Albuquerque! Happy 2nd birthday Simone! I will post all of these and other pictures to our online album soon, along with some videos, and then our next entry will show the other birthday party we had for her in Durham.

Big Girl Bed

I'll let Sergio update about his trip to Albuquerque but with Simone's second birthday came great power: her first big girl bed. It was procured on a trip to the closest Ikea - 3 hours away - a day best not spoken of, as it involved 6 hours of driving, toddler tantrums, about 20 Swedish meatballs and too many Allen wrenches. But let's not dwell on it, let's view the happy result:

We thought the transition might be tough, but starting with the quilt that covers it - she saw it, snatched it up and WOULD NOT let it go - she is in love with this bed. She came home from school today and ran straight to her room and said, "BBBBBEEEEEEEEEDDDDD", so excited. There is one thing certain about Simone - she loves to be cozy and she adores blankets and pillows.
Want proof? Here's a picture of her first nap in her new Big Girl Bed, out like a light:

Now to work on that whole potty training angle....


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Christmas was low key and relaxing around the Sweet-Chavez household this year. Simone was excited about and also scared of Santa Claus. Every time a phone rang she thought it was Santa checking up on her. She got some very nice presents, one of which is this sweater/dress from grandma Sweet:

The day after Chrismas, we went to Ashevile in the western part of the state for the first time. It was nice to see snow and mountains again. Our original plan was to stay in a house for two days in the mountains, but there was too much snow to make it there so we stayed at a hotel near West Asheville instead. We ate at a few good restaurants and bought a nice print of a painting/collage made by a local artist at Early Girl, a very good breakfast restaurant. Here's Simone at two different locations in downtown Asheville:

On Christmas Eve, I put out luminarias, which are very typical of New Mexico. I don't think many people in Durham have seen them before, so hopefully the neighbors enjoyed seeing these:

Simone is wearing her Santa hat in that one.

Papa and Simone are off to Albuquerque together early next month, so we'll have a bunch of new photos after that trip to post. I can't wait to have more green chile and see the family!

Happy New Year!!!
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