Ok, It's been a few weeks since Val was in Michigan with Xander, and I finally was able to get the pictures off our old camera so I can tell you about my time with CJ & Mia.
I took most of the days off work while Val was gone, but the first day, I took Mia to work with me for the whole day. Boy did she have fun! For those who don't know, people at Pixar move around the building on their scooters. Mia brought her scooter so she would fit in. She even put her lunch in the basket on the front. I don't have a scooter, so I walked, but Moo went EVERYWHERE on her scooter - even just across the hallway.
My office is actually a cubicle, but it's a big cube (big enough that I could fit a couch in there with my desk if I want). I set up Mia's little table and chair and she brought a backpack filled with fun activities. Despite all the amazing fun in her backpack, her 2 favorite things to do were to draw all over the whiteboard panels that make up part of my wall, and painting in Photoshop on one of my computers. I have a tablet hooked up so she could draw with a stylus and the marks would show up on the computer screen. She would fill the screen with yellow leaves, then have me change the color and the shape of the brush and she would fill the screen with purple butterflies, and on and on.
At Pixar, I put hair on characters. At one point, I had a character on one screen that I was putting eyebrows on, and on another screen I had a nice rendered image of a character that already had eyebrows. Mia said "Whacha dooooin?" (Phineus & Ferb style for any of you who have the Disney Channel on all day). I told her I was putting eyebrows on the character. She turned to all the people she had drawn on my whiteboards and noticed that none of them had eyebrows. She promptly rectified that. A couple of minutes later she said pointing to my screen "I don't see eyebrows on her yet" I explained that I couldn't put them on that particular screen. to which she replied with a look of quiet exasperation "Dad, I will do it."
My boss and all my co-workers referred to her as "the new intern". She had a great time!
The next day was CJ's Birthday. Val made me promise to make a big deal about it and blow up lots of balloons and stuff. I did. Though I actually bought a bag of 100 balloons, blew up about 10 and gave the rest to CJ to do with as she pleased. I think she appreciated that more than 100 blown up balloons.
For her Birthday, she got a cute Aly and AJ dress, a "That's so Raven" game, a Hannah Montana tote box, a High School Musical locker box, and High School Musical 2 on DVD. Woah! As I typed that I just saw the overwhelming Disney Tween Theme. Her favorite gift was her very own ipod! (not really an ipod, but our old 2gb mp3 player). It was filled with - you guessed it - all the Disney Tween stars; High School Musical 1 & 2 soundtracks, Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus, Raven, Corbin Bleu, Cheeta Girls, Aly & AJ, Hillary Duff, etc. The first chance she had, she sat in front of the TV watching High School Musical 2, and she would queue up the songs on her ipod and listen to them simultaneously with the movie.
One thing I was instructed to do by Val, was get CJ a birthday cake. Whatever. I went to the store and looked at all the delicious cakes and realized that there was no way that CJ, Mia, and I were going to be able to eat a whole cake. Then I saw this cute mini cake, so I bought it.
Amazingly we cut this into 9 pieces and it lasted us 3 days. It was a lemon cake and CJ thought it was soooo delicious!
Val has talked before about how Mia carries these inflatable aliens everywhere with her. Here she is at lunch time.
Kids always surprise you with their kindness. One day, CJ constructed a nice fort in the living room. Mia was so excited and for awhile they played well together in the fort. Eventually CJ wanted to just hang out in there alone and listen to her ipod.
Mia was a little sad at being kicked out, but rather than make a fuss, she decided to to make her own fort. This whole time, I was reading a book. Eventually, I heard Mia sadly saying "dangit" and "ohhhh". I asked her what was wrong, she told me that her house "keeps burning down". She wasn't screaming in frustration which is her normal reaction, and I could see that she was really struggling to build her own fort. She really didn't even know where to begin. I told her I would help her build "the best" house. Together we built a pretty cute little house just her size.
After she saw how much fun Mia was having in her own cool fort, CJ started getting a little jelous and wanted to play in Mia's house. As she was getting out of her fort so she could get a better look, it started to fall apart. She said "Ah! My house is burning down!". Mia poked her head out her own window and said "CJ? Your house is burning down? You can come in mine!" What an unexpected response! She didn't care that CJ had been kind of mean to her, only that CJ was sad because her fort was falling down.
So, I know that's a lot to read, but - believe me - there was way more I could have written about my super fun week with my awesome daughters.