Thursday, June 30, 2011

Look How Grownup

Yes, she's nine months old now and just a couple more months
she'll be celebrating her first birthday and
two weeks later Henry will be celebrating his.

I have the cutest grandchildren
in the whole wide world.
They are priceless treasures, every one.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Who could resist?

When my daughter, Ashley left for Spain she
left spending money to pay for things for Daniela
should we need something.

She strictly said, she does not need any clothes or toys.
Okay, I know she doesn't need clothes, she
has "hand me downs" from her cousins and friends.
But I knew I could have a problem in the toy department.

Gramie caved when she found this Radio Flyer Push Trike.
It was 1/2 off Kids clothing, furniture & toys all day yesterday
at the Salvation Army store.
It was marked $29.99, but I only had to pay $14.99.
This trike sells for $96.00 on Amazon.

She absolutely loves it.
I pushed her up and down the driveway at least
five times.....great exercise for Gramie.
She kept signing....more! more!

Excuse the pacifier.
I let her have it more than usual yesterday,
because she had a sore throat and ear infection.

My hubby yelled at me for bringing more stuff home.
Can you believe it?
A steal like that, which brings his granddaughter such joy
and helps his wife lose weight.
The man is certifiably nuts, we have plenty of room.
I told him if he said one more word I was going back
to the sale to buy five more things I wanted.
He didn't say another word.
Maybe, there's hope for him yet.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Parker School Playground for Tots

The High School has a teeny tiny playground in the back,
where they have a day care and teach classes on child development.

I wish it had a swing, that's all it really lacks to be
a great playground for us.
It has several slides, a tube to climb through
and a rock wall to climb up.

Daniela sees the owls they put on the school roof to
scare away the barn swallows from nesting.
It doesn't work, they don't care about the fake owls.

You can see where they removed a continuous line of nests
and still several rebuilt and hatched some nestlings
despite their destruction efforts and owls.

She'd be content to play here all day if I'd let her.
Danan, our dog can come with us, because it's all
fenced in and I can shut the gate and let her off her leash.

This is just one of the many different playgrounds we visit.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Lil Houdini - Acts II & III

      It's 9:30 at night and as quiet as a mouse a little jammy-clad munchkin
silently creeps into the living room. 
She emerges from the dark hall, head down and
makes a b-line for the blocks lying scattered on the floor. 
She sits down and quietly assembles & disassembles block creations
 and the minutes tick by.  
No looking around, no eye contact with the two adults in the room,
 not a single sound is uttered. 
She seems to be trying a new strategy, 
if I don't see them maybe they won't see me. 
The adults in the room are speechless. 
They let her sit and play for they are truly in shock........this is for real this time. 
The crib is at the lowest level, there's no quick fix,
there's no easy way to keep her from escaping.  
We have tried to catch her, but every time we sneak a peek she's lying down. 
 She's quiet, we don't hear the crib rail rattle or a thump 
as she lands on the floor, we don't hear a thing. 
 We need a surveillance camera.

The next evening I am ready for Houdini Act III.
I check on her, but she looks innocent and very sleepy.
I listen and hear nothing.
I wait near the hall and meet her as she runs out.
She knows she's been had or maybe I've scared her,
because she didn't expect me to be there. 
She shrieks and I scoop her up and return her to her bed.
I calmly explain that it's bed time and that she must stay in her bed.
Daniela chooses not to listen,
but flails wildly and shrieks about the injustice of it all. 
She stays in bed and continues to cry.
Gramie returns to console her and finds her Paci on the floor.
She scoops up Lil Houdini and her fishy blanket and takes her to the
rocking/glider in the living room, where they rock until
Lil Ella enters dreamland and forgets her endeavors of climbing Mt. Everest.       

Sunday, June 26, 2011

24 Hours Later -- Snake Dancing

Little did I know that less than 24 hour after her Houdini Act, Daniela would begin practicing the ancient art of snake dancing.  I'm almost afraid to see what she tops this last act with tomorrow, maybe we should stay in bed.

Grandpa went to run some errands, so Daniela, Danan the Dog & I went outside to play.  I threw the Frisbee and Danan chased it and Daniela chased Danan.  We walked up the hill to the neighbors and used their kiddie swing for awhile.  Daniela loves to be outside and almost always cries and throws a fit when she has to come back in.  I thought we'd pick strawberries out of my garden and then we'd have to wash them off before we could eat them and then we'd be inside with little or no fussing, so we headed to the garden.  I was in the lead and as I approached the garden I saw that someone had been there before us, a hoofed someone and they ate the leaves off my cucumbers and completely destroyed my eggplant.  As I'm surveying the damage, Daniela who is now right beside me starts screaming and jumping around.  I look down and she's hopping around on a snake.  The large brown & black striped snake was not a happy fellow I can tell you than with great certainty.  He was thrashing around wildly trying to get away between stomps.  I grabbed her up and off he went under one of the railroad ties.  Lordy, Lordy!  We picked our berries and went inside to wash them off.  I took off her sandals and surveyed her feet for snake bite marks, but didn't find any.  What on earth is going on?  Why oh why?  Snake dancing?  Dancing on snakes!  I don't have pictures, but I do have stories to tell.

This is what the snake looked like.  My husband said he's seen it several times when he's been out there hand watering our plants.  Now that I'm aware of his existence, I'll keep an eye out for it.  I've strictly forbidden Daniela to practice anymore snake dancing until her Mama gets back in the country.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

OMG - What have I gotten myself into?

Yesterday, I put Daniela down for a nap and hopped on the computer to check my email, because we'd been at a friend's house playing all day.  About 15 minutes later I hear someone running the loop around the house...from my room, through the bathroom, the Man Cave and into the kitchen and then I hear my hubby say " T thought she was suppose to take a nap? ",  I see Daniela run across the living room and down the hall and into her bedroom and I hear the door slam shut.  " She was!", I proclaim, "So why did you get her out?"  We stare each other down and then he says in a very quiet voice.  "I didn't".  Oh no, I must have left the crib rail down, I rationalized and go to her room to check.  I open the door and lo and behold the crib rail is up and Daniela is looking very guilty. 

Yes, everybody; her Mama is in Spain and this little Houdini has figured out how to get out of her bed all by herself.  Near panic sets in as I envision  her attempting to escape at every nap and bedtime for the next 4 weeks.  I proceed to eat a bag of pop chips while I take some time to think of all my options.  At bedtime I keep checking on her to make sure she's still lying down.  I worry that she'll get out at night and I won't hear her, so I give the house a safety inspection and make sure there's nothing left out she can get in to.  I didn't sleep particularly well and then mid-morning my hubby informs me that he lowered the crib mattress another three inches.  Good Grief!  I thought it was already at the lowest level.  Whew!  I believe we will be okay after all.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Weight Watchers - 13 weeks Down

I've completed my 1st session of 13 weeks of Weight Watchers.
I'm very happy to announce that I've lost a total of 15.4 pounds.
Since that's not all I want to lose, I've signed up for a second session.

Wish me Luck!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Photo Session with Henry

I'm usually the one behind the camera and I prefer it that way!
I love taking pictures, trying to capture the perfect
portrayal of each person and their personalities.
But I do like to have pictures of me and my Grand babies.
On the way to the airport to return home to Michigan I realized
I didn't have a single picture of me and Henry from our long
weekend together.
So... Amanda snapped these at a restaurant where we stopped
to grab a bite before my long ride home.

Henry's wearing Griffin Old Navy 4th of July shirt from last year.

I'm smiling, but inside I'm very sad, because I don't know when I
will see this branch of our family tree next. 
It's always easier to leave when there's a date set for another visit.
Such is the life of a long distance Grandma.
(Henry was still recovery from his illness.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We are Keeping our Cool

While Mommy is gone, we are trying to keep our cool.
Where else? In the Kiddie Pool.
An airplane just happened to fly over
and Daniela's pointing at it.

Swimming in the nude is fine at home in the back yard,
but not when you want to take pictures.

Two of her best friends joined her in the pool.
That would be Elmo and Abby Cadabby, which
she pronounces "Aggy Aggy".

She'll laugh at this one later.

Red Robin Balloon also joined her in the pool.
Why not, it has been trailing around after her everywhere else,
why not the pool too.
Gramie is flexible these kinds of things.
Mommy gave her the balloon right before she left for Spain.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Yoga for the Kiddos

I've been waiting to receive this for months and months!
Today,'s here.
includes: Yogakids ABC's DVD
and Yogakids Silly to Calm DVD

I ordered this from DVD Swap with Sydney in mind. 
Last year she was doing a little 5 minute yoga session
on a TV Program
and was really getting into it., so
I ordered this 2 DVD set for her.
It's for ages 3-6, so she hasn't outgrown it yet.

Tonight Daniela & I tried out the first one, which
is entitled Silly to Calm.
Daniela was only really interested in three parts of it.
She liked the bunny breathing,
The wild tongue exercises, (her tongue can really go around)
and also the monkey/ape noises and actions.

I can't wait to take the set to North Carolina next month
and do some serious Yoga with Sydney...
well maybe just some yoga, serious may not be
in the picture.  Too funny.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My New Normality

Many changes have taken place in just a couple days.
Friday was my last day at work.
The anniversary of starting to work at the Nature Center
was the day after Labor Day and this year
would have made 14 years.

My reason for leaving is because I need more time
off than was feasible working in the finance department.
With six of my seven grandchildren living many states away,
I need to be able to take more than two weeks vacation a year.
I need to be there for my girls when they need me and
I need time with my Grandkids to be happy.

When Amanda called and said "Ava needs an MRI they are suspecting a
pituitary tumor.  Can you come?"  The answer was yes.
(Thankfully that was ruled out)

When Meghan called and said "Sydney needs her tonsils out and her Day Care
won't let her come back for two weeks.  Can you come?"
I did.

When Audra was giving birth with her husband in Afghanistan
she didn't even need to ask.
I was there.

Now it's Ashley's turn.
Yesterday after a bit of excitement .....
(Cancelled Continental flight, re-booking on Delta,
sitting on the freeway in a traffic jam, etc)
Ashley left for Spain for five weeks.
This is not a fancy vacation, it's a
requirement for her Masters degree.

My new Normality.....
staying home and caring for this munchkin 24/7.

This is not a sacrifice that I'm making.
Indeed this is something I was made for.
God gave me a passion for children...all children
and I'm happiest when I'm using my God given gift.

My new normality....
up at 5:30 a.m. to lift a sleepy eyed darling with
hair in her eyes, and a Binky in her mouth
from her crib.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Clam bake anyone?

My son-in-law Derek went all out on Memorial Day and put
on a whole Clambake.
I sampled everything....but the clams;
Michael & Derek ate those.

Michael had to check out the lobster and make
sure it was good quality.

They all passed the test and since
they were banded, Michael did too.

Lobster, clams & salmon (for Ava), sausage, corn on the cob & potatoes.
It was a real feast.

I had to help Michael with cracking his and removing all the meat,
while Mama was contending with a feverish Henry and trying to eat herself.

When Michael finished his lobster, he wanted to eat mine too.
Being the nice Gramie that I am, I did share, but.....
I didn't let him have my whole lobster & yes he would
have eaten all of mine too.

The shell on my lobster was much harder than Michael's to crack.
The first claw flew almost into the living room and the meat landed under
the table....I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman with her Escargot.

It took me a dozen tries to get into the second claw and that
was just a hole to dig the meat out.
Ugh! Hard work doesn't begin to defne it.
Do you think maybe I'm getting to old for lobster?
When I'm 80 maybe Michael will crack mine for me.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dos Amigo's Cantina

We looked forward to our dinner all day long. 
 We couldn't wait to go through Northport on the
way home and stop and eat at this restaurant,
well ..... maybe that was just me.
Mexican Restaurant & Cantina    Dos Amigos
Open for business on the way back.

I loved the murals and the props.
  The outdoor dining area from the parking lot.

I told the kids they had to mow the grass before they could eat dinner

The waitress warned us that it could get buggy as the evening went on.

We moved indoors, because we'd had enough bugs
Ava dancing her way to her seat, Mexican music was playing.
Ashley said the flags are very authentic.
Henry watched the kids play Wikki Sticks
Food was scrumptious & the Margarita's were delicioso
They had this cool van the kids could drive

Ava's expression along with the sign is tooooo funny
Much better Ava
Ava at the Wheel - Watch out hombres here she comes

No trip to Mexico is perfect without a Chihuahua

This was our last stop of the family day outing.
It was late when we left and it had been a long day.
We'll have to go back again when Henry is big enough to drive.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Stop at the Beach

The kids were promised a stop at the beach and since they were well-behaved that's what we did. Location? Somewhere on the way back towards home. Hey! I was just the passenger in the car, not the driver.

Sand feels good on the feet after our long walk in hiking boots

We watched some Kayakers

Yes, Michael planned ahead and brought his dump truck.

He was beyond thrilled and it showed.

A little chilly

Ava agrees

Henry did not put his feet in, but enjoyed watching

Ava enjoyed collecting shells & so did Gramie
We were starved by this time, so we stopped at a cool resturaunt on the way home....
Location? Wait and see if I remember, stay tuned....