March 2017

March 2017

Friday, September 30, 2011

New Neighborhood?

Yesterday I learned a woman from my childhood neighborhood moved into the room next to mom's.  Growing up, Marietta and Dave, plus their sons, lived three houses up the street from us.  I remember Marietta being a prolific reader with a messy house.  And, at one time, she was also a talented cake decorator with a thriving home business.  As gifts, Marietta did my high school graduation and wedding cakes.

Another thing I remember about Marietta was that she was always extremely overweight.  I can't remember ever seeing her in anything but a muumuu because that's all that would cover her.  Apparently, she never won the "battle of the bulge" because obesity finally landed her in Bethesda.

From my view point, the best way to be in a nursing home is as a dementia patient.  Mom has no idea where she is or how awful the situation.  But Marietta's mind is sharp, even at 82 years of age, so she is painfully aware of the nightmare she's now living.

For me, Marietta's move has made mom's situation even more bizarre.  As my sister-in-law said, "let's just hope the spouses don't move into the 'new' neighborhood, too!"

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Emily!

My baby is 33 years old today.  It's truly hard for me to believe.  I still have trouble wrapping my brain around the fact that my daughter has children of her own.  And one's in Kindergarten!

Because Emily and I are both enjoying the current popularity of owls, I made owl cupcakes for her birthday.  I'm pretty proud of how they turned out.  I think Emily and the boys will enjoy them.

Happy birthday Emily!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Reveal

The hall bathroom is finally finished!

After.

New water-saver toilet.

Construction ended in August, but it's taken this long for me to find the accessories.  A lot of hours were spent searching for the right shower curtain, artwork, and towels.  And there were many trips to several stores, buying and returning items.  But the end result is beautiful and just what I wanted, clean lines and low maintenance.

Before.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Another Great-Granddaughter

Yesterday we found out my nephew and his wife are having a girl.  That means, by the end of February 2012, my parents will have three great-grandsons and two great-granddaughters.   In an age when more people marry later in life, or not at all, or decide not to have children, it's rare to be alive with so many great-grandchildren.

It makes my mom's condition even sadder.  She's alive but has no idea of her many blessings.  She can't remember she has three children much less nine grandchildren and so many great-grandchildren.

Watching mom fade is torture for dad, but the great-grandchildren bring him a lot of joy.  Dad turned 81 earlier this month and is in better-than-average shape.  He swims an hour a day, six days a week, and still lives alone, managing a house and yard.  I pray dad stays healthy many more years, but at least long enough to hold his fifth great-grandchild, Abigail Joy.

Monday, September 26, 2011

If There's a Will. . .

When school started, I planned to do my 30-minute Jillian Michaels's workout on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.  I can't believe how challenging it's been to keep that schedule.  It's always something.  I have an appointment or event; I'm sick; or I'm meeting a repairman.  Today I'm waiting for the cable technician's second visit of the day.

As this rate, it's a good thing I'm at least taking a 30-40 minute walk, three mornings a week, pushing a 28-pound toddler.  By the time I get back to the house, I'm perspiring, so it's definitely not a leisure stroll.

If the weather stays sunny and in the 60s, I may start walking Jonah in the afternoons, too.  I hate working out after noon, but I may have to accept this as my best bet.  If the will is strong enough, a way will be found.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Functional Closet, Again

Yesterday I met my friend at the St. Louis Galleria.  We have a shopping date every 3-5 months.  This time I had a list of items needed to make my closet functional again.  For example, I needed a pair of khaki slacks, a basic dress, and a black jacket or blazer.

I found the slacks and dress on sale at Macy's.  And, by using my Macy's card, they were reduced an additional twenty percent.  I already wore the dress today to a family Christening.

The jacket I found at New York and Company.  It's not the basic black blazer the professionals recommend for a functional closet, but I know I'll wear it often.  The style is a feminine take on a motorcycle jacket, which is currently in fashion.  But what impressed me the most was that it's an unbelievable faux leather.  I'd read and heard about the popularity of manmade leather, but never believed it would be anything but crunchy plastic.  I am now a believer and certainly appreciate the savings of faux over real.

Yes, yesterday's shopping trip was a success, but not just because I found several items on my list.  I also ended up with a pair of flats for our Ireland trip.

A day of walking the mall seemed like a good opportunity to test more shoes.  So I started the day wearing a new pair of flats with backups packed in my trunk if they failed.  I ended up wearing the new shoes all day and well into the evening.  I had a little bunion pain by lunch time, but a couple of Tylenol pills completely relieved the discomfort.

My closet is functional, again.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Movie Review

I just love being able to access new releases through Amazon, using Moxi.  Last night we watched Bridesmaids.  I had wanted to see it because I'm a fan of Melissa McCarthy from the old television series, Gilmore Girls.  But then the movie got rave reviews and I became even more interested.

McCarthy and
husband, Ben Falcone
For sure, many more people know McCarthy now. Bridesmaids is a classic example of a supporting character stealing the show.  McCarthy was absolutely hilarious.  (FYI, her hookup in the film is her real-life husband.)

Check out Bridesmaids if you want a laugh.  And who doesn't need one every now and then.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Long Week

I'm so glad it's Friday.  This week has seemed so long because I was sick last weekend.  It's like two work weeks merged into one.  It also didn't help that I watched Elliott late Wednesday, and both boys late yesterday.  I'm definitely ready for a break.

Unfortunately, this weekend is full with not much time for catching up on chores. Tomorrow I'm meeting my shopping friend, and Sunday we have a family Christening.  Thank goodness I don't have Jonah on Monday because that will have to be my work day.

How can next weekend be October already?  It might have been a long week, but time, in general, is flying.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Packing Challenge

For years, Jim and I have been traveling with just two carry-ons each.  My set is red; Jim's is black.  The larger cases have wheels with telescoping handles.  The smaller cases have back straps for stacking.  We simply slip the smaller cases's back straps over the larger cases's telescoping handles and off we go.

Even for winter trips, we've managed to pack all we need in our carry-ons.  And by streamlining our luggage, we've eliminated a lot of travel stress.  We've only had two small bags each to keep track of, and to haul in and out of shuttles and planes as well as through terminals.  We've also never had to worry about checked bags getting lost or damaged.  But, best of all, we haven't wasted time waiting in baggage claim.

For our upcoming trip to Ireland, however, we won't be able to use our well honed system.  Aer Lingus only allows one carry-on, plus a smaller item such as a coat or "small" purse, per person.  I'm a good packer, but I'm no Rick Steves.  So we'll be checking a bag this trip.

My biggest problem is fitting a change of clothes in each of our carry-ons in case the checked bag gets lost.  Since it's an oversea's trip, our carry-ons will already be stuffed with noise-reduction headphones, travel blankets, and neck pillows. Yep, I'm definitely facing a packing challenge.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our 18-Month-Old

Jonah had his 18-month check-up today.  His height is in the 90 percentile, which explains why he's taller than all of his classmates.  We've always thought Elliott would be tall like his dad, but he's currently in the 50 percentile.  At this rate, the little brother will end up being the bigger brother.

Jonah in charge.
Unfortunately, bigger toddlers and preschoolers are often mistaken to be much older.  And then when they act their age, people think they're slow.  It'll be even more confusing with Jonah.  We learned today that he has a two-year-old's vocabulary.  His enunciation, however, is still that of an 18 month old.  So most people don't catch what Jonah's saying, or they simply can't believe it.

But even when we don't understand Jonah, we're not seeing the fits of frustration we did with Elliott.  So far, Jonah is much more easy going.  It may not last, but we'll appreciate it as long as it does.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Level of Maturity

Today was the best day I've had to date with Jonah.  It started with a hand shake.

When Jonah arrived, he walked straight to me with a big smile and his right hand extended.  I thought he had something for me, but now believe he was trying to shake my hand.  Because when papa showed up, he got the same smile and right hand.  It does make sense.  Jonah is not a hugger or kisser, so maybe he's going to be a hand shaker.

The other different thing about Jonah's arrival today was that he wasn't clinging to Mike.  For weeks, Emily or Mike have had to peal off a crying Jonah before they can leave.  Of course, before they're more than two steps out the door, all's well. But today there was no clinging or crying.

We also had our best morning walk.  Typically Jonah starts eating crackers the second he's strapped into the stroller.  I have to stop every five to ten minutes to load up his tray with more food, and hope we don't run out before we're finished. But today Jonah didn't ask for crackers until we were a quarter into our walk.  He just had fun telling me about the passing cars, trucks, and buses.

The rest of the morning was also delightful.  Jonah played nicely and with a big smile.  But the most amazing thing was that he actually sat on the couch with me for fifteen minutes watching Sesame Street.  Never before had I seen Jonah sit still for that long unless he was strapped into a stroller, high chair, or car seat. And then it happened again in the afternoon when we watched part of an episode of The Backyardigans.

Jonah also didn't fight diaper changes today.  But the "icing on the cake" was a three hour nap.  He typically sleeps barely two hours.

Yes, it was a good day.  It also could have been a rare day, but I'm hoping we've reached a new level of maturity.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Testing Shoes

Today was my first opportunity to really test some of my winter flats.  It was damp and in the upper 60s, so sandals were inappropriate.  I hit two stores, the post office, and ate out, and ended up coming home twice to change my shoes.

I started with brand new shoes I thought would be fine for minimal walking.  I had already tested them around the house with no problems.  After walking through Kohl's, however, I was ready to toss them in the charity pile.  But because they're new, I'll try them again someday, with different socks, before giving up completely.

I then put on a pair of Propet loafers I've had for several years.  By the time I got through Gordman's, the toes on both of my feet felt like they were being squeezed and hitting the front of the shoe.  Those flats are definitely going to charity.

My last test of the day was an old pair of SoftSpots loafers.  I didn't do as much walking with them as the other two pair, but they felt the best by far.  I'm not surprised because, in general, I have fair luck with SoftSpots.  It's just too bad they don't make double wides in all their styles.

I still have several pairs of flats to test before deciding what to wear in Ireland.  I'm sure I'll find one or two pairs that are bearable, but we're still planning to minimize walking.  On other trips to Europe, we walked several miles every day.  And, if it weren't for my bad feet, I know I could do it again.  My legs are still strong and my energy is better than average.  But I'm not complaining because my situation could be a lot worse.  I'll just continue doing all I can and keep testing shoes.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Welcome Back!

I'm a big fan of television.  As a multi-tasker, I appreciate that it entertains and educates while I'm doing one or more other things such as crafting, cooking, researching, exercising, cross stitching, or watching Jonah.  Television is an amazing invention that just keeps getting better.  (Although I'm still not sold on 3D.)

A new television season starts this week.  To wet our appetites, Parenthood returned last week, which made me realize how much I've missed several series. In addition to Parenthood, I'm especially looking forward to new episodes of The Mentalist, GleeThe Good Wife, and In the Middle.

Of all the new shows being promoted, however, I'm only curious about Pan Am, and that's just because of Entertainment Weekly's description.  The video promos led me to believe it would be a silly show about cute stewardesses.  In fact, it's about the experiences of a former Pan Am flight attendant.  I'm hoping it will be as historically accurate as Mad Men.

With Roku, Netflix, Charter's On Demand, and DVDs, there's never a need to watch reruns.  But sometimes I do simply because I miss the characters.  I'm happy, therefore, to be welcoming back old friends.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Digital Magic

A couple of weeks ago, I rented the movie, Last Night, through iTunes, using my iPad.  The iTunes rental policy states the movie will be on my device for 30 days, and 24 (in the US) or 48 (elsewhere) hours after viewing is started.  Once the rental period expires, the movie disappears.

When I first read the policy, I assumed I could only view a rental if I was online. How else would iTunes know when I started watching?  But after doing some research, I learned I didn't need to be online, which would be great for travel.  I could then watch rentals in a car or on a plane.  However, I still found it hard to believe, so I tested it with Last Night.

While I was suffering with nausea, body ache, fever, and headache, I crawled into bed last night with my iPad.  I turned off Wi-Fi and clicked the Last Night video.  I immediately got a pop-up that said the movie would disappear after 24 hours. How did they know I was watching?  I viewed the entire movie with no problems.

I had come to the conclusion a long time ago that nothing is private in this day and age.  Yet I'm beyond mystified as to how iTunes can know I'm watching a rental when I'm not online.  It's just more digital magic beyond my comprehension.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Diarrhea!

Jim and I both woke up with diarrhea today.  I don't think it's anything we ate.  It's more likely we picked up a "bug" from one of our grandsons, especially since Emily's also experiencing abdominal discomfort.

Fortunately, Jim isn't as ill as I am.  He was able to wait for the bus with the boys and took Jonah to the office for an hour.  That left me with less than two hours in the morning to entertain Jonah before nap time.  Amazingly, he never asked to go "bye bye," which we always do right before lunch.

After a two-hour nap, Emily arrived to whisk Jonah away.  I now plan to be a couch potato for the rest of the day.  Hopefully, all will be well tomorrow.  I just hate being sick. . .such a frustrating waste of time.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Invasion of the Owls

Cute, but not wise.
I have no idea how it happened or why, but owls are everywhere.  They're in home decor, jewelry, crafts, accessories, and toys, and even on bakery cakes and cookies.

I've embraced the trend with an owl jewelry collection. It started with a gold tone pin I got on clearance over a year ago before the trend took off.  But now I also have the matching ring, a silver tone pin and necklace, and gold tone earrings.

Growing up, I remember my mom collected owls.  This morning dad gave me one of her figurines and three pins.  All together they're probably worth less than five bucks, but Emily and I will enjoy them for awhile.  The best thing about the current owl trend is it's one I'm sharing with my daughter.

Yes, it's an owl invasion.  As a Harry Potter fan whose favorite holiday is Halloween, I'm loving it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lesson Learned

Because of the frozen joint in my right big toe, I rarely wear heels.  If I do, it's usual only for 2-4 hours.  Last Saturday, however, I took a chance and wore two-inch heels for 10 hours during a wedding and reception.  Big mistake.  Until today, since Saturday night I've been in a lot of pain.  Thankfully, this morning the pain was gone, but it scared me.

Since the diagnosis three years ago, I've been doing all I can to avoid surgery.  I never wear cheap shoes, making sure to only buy extra-wide widths to give my feet plenty of room.  (Thank goodness for footsmart. com and zappos.com!)  I primarily go barefoot (in the house) or wear flats. I've also gotten good at walking without bending my right big toe.  As long as I'm not in chronic pain, I won't need surgery.  But if it ever gets to a point where I can't sleep or need daily pain killers, I won't have much of a choice.

Therefore, it'll now be an extremely rare occasion to see me in heels.  And it definitely will only be for a couple of hours of which I will mostly be sitting.  I have learned my lesson the hard way.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Crabby Grandma

Today was Professional Development Day (PDD) at Elliott's school.  That means classes ended at 12:08 P.M.   Of course it landed on a Jonah day, so all afternoon I had both boys.

Can I watch both boys by myself?  Sure.  Do I want to?  No.  I always become crabby grandma when I watch both boys together.  First of all, they're wild together.  Then there's the four-year age difference, which makes it tough to find a safe activity both boys will enjoy.  And, of course, Jonah's attention span is much shorter than his big brother's.  Whatever the reason, without fail, within 30-60 minutes I'm yelling at one or both of them.  I hate it.

I can't imagine any parent looking forward to PDDs.  Most families have two working parents, so it has to be a pain to find childcare for one afternoon every couple of months.  Emily and Mike are lucky to have a set of parents with somewhat flexible schedules.  But next time I'm going to insist papa help me or Mike take a half day off.  No body likes crabby grandma, especially me.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Making My Wardrobe Functional

A functional wardrobe easily satisfies any normal occasion or activity in a person's life.  It eliminates the need for emergency shopping when an invitation arrives in the mail.  Over the weekend, while trying to decide what to wear to the wedding, I realized I currently have a "dysfunctional closet."

I'm set for everyday wear.  I have a good supply of active pieces for working around the house and yard as well as watching my grandsons.  I also have several nice knit pants, good-fitting jeans, and essential tops for weekend activities.  What I don't have any more are dressier pieces due to all the purging I've done in the last six months.  I got rid of all ill-fitting and worn garments, pieces I no longer liked, and anything extremely out of fashion.  It's now apparent a lot of those items were for special events.

Fortunately, I've got a shopping trip scheduled with a friend in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I'm doing research to determine what pieces I need.  I no longer have the time or patience for emergency shopping!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Better Side of the Family

Yesterday was a wedding day.  One of my first cousins, once removed, got married.  It was my dad's side of the family.  So dad arrived at my house at 12:15 P.M. and we were together until 10:00 P.M.  It was a long day.

For a Catholic wedding, the usual options are a Friday night ceremony immediately followed by the reception, or a Saturday afternoon ceremony with an evening reception.  A Friday night affair (which is what Jim and I had) can be tough for guests who typically are rushed after a day of work.  Saturday weddings are less hectic, but kill an entire weekend day.

If it weren't for my dad, I probably would have skipped the ceremony.  But, as it was, by the time I got to the reception, I was tired of being in dressy clothes and ready to be by myself.

It was, however, nice to catch up with relatives I only seem to see at weddings and funerals.  I also enjoyed watching dad having fun and dancing with his three-year-old great-granddaughter.  Seeing my 81-year-old dad and his 76-year-old sister still mentally alert, without any physical handicaps, gives me hope.  I continue to pray I pulled more from dad's gene pool than mom's.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wanted: Rain, Rain, Rain

I can't remember the last time we got a good downpour.  The yard is so dry it hurts to walk around barefoot.  Jim started watering so we can aerate.  We don't water during the high heat of summer, feeling it's a losing battle.  But now there's no way the aerator blades will penetrate if we don't soften up the ground a bit.

I'm hearing alot about the rains and floods on the east coast.  And I remember thinking the rain here would never stop last spring.  There just never seems to be a nice balance in the weather.  We clearly are not in control.

Thunderstorms are predicted everyday this weekend.  What we need, however, is a nice steady rain.  A quick downpour will only roll off the yard, which is more like concrete right now.  But steady rain or downpour, we welcome all hydration right now until it, inevitably, gets out of control.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Unnecessary Fretting

There were two things I needed to do by the end of October that I've been fretting about for weeks.  I needed to get a flu shot and renew my drivers license.

Last year's flu shot was a nightmare.  My arm was extremely sore for two months and I couldn't lift it above my head.  After several weeks, I consulted my doctor who sent me to a physical therapist.  The PT suspected I was shot in a tendon. Needless to say, I was apprehensive about getting another flu shot.  But yesterday I decided to "bite the bullet."  Instead of going to a pharmacist, however, this year I went to my doctor's office.  The nurse gave me the shot and I knew, immediately, that it would be alright.  Last year my arm hurt during the injection and got progressively worse throughout the day.  This year, by the time I got home, I could barely tell I had gotten a shot.

I was also anxious about renewing my drivers license.  I remembered there being a road sign recognition test and, for some reason, I was worried about passing it this time.  But yesterday I decided to get that chore done, also.  The whole process took less than 10 minutes and I didn't have to identify a single road sign. Best of all, after 44 years, I finally have a drivers license with a good picture.  It's probably because I was happy and relieved about not having to take a road sign recognition test!

So yesterday turned out to be an exceptionally good day.  Not only did I check two things off my fall to-do list, I also eliminated additional weeks of unnecessary fretting.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Letting Go of a Wish

Daddy brought Elliott to grandma's this morning.  Usually mommy does the drop off, so Elliott didn't have his jacket.  It was 50 degrees this morning and Elliott was wearing a short sleeved t-shirt.  So we jumped in grandma's car and headed back to Elliott's house for his jacket.  I didn't want to start the day with an Elliott meltdown.  Plus I didn't want Elliott to look like the poor little kid with no coat.

Today's episode made me wish, again, that my grandsons would soon be moving next door.  Two houses will be built on the lot to our left.  One is probably 70 percent complete.  It's 4000 square feet and the facade is arts and crafts.  It will be a very nice home with a bigger than average backyard.  Mike and Emily were interested until they found out the price would be $400,000 plus.

But it sure would make life easier for everyone concerned if Elliott and Jonah lived next to grandma.  For sure, the morning shuffle would be less stressful and hectic.  The only way I see it happening, however, is if one of us suddenly comes into a lot of money.  It's a wish, therefore, I need to let go.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Little Did I Know

Over the last couple of years, it seems I keep finding things I've held onto for far too long.  For example, for years I had a large plastic bin full of Christmas lights taking up a lot of space in the storage room.  Yet I can barely remember having a tree that wasn't pre-lit.  So, last year, I finally donated all of the lights to charity. But sometimes there turns out to be a reason for holding onto something for years.

Indian Smurf created in 1983.
Yesterday, just as every year since 1983, I uncovered the Indian Smurf doll in my fall decorations.  I believe I found him at a Hallmark store on clearance and only paid a few dollars.  Although I never put him on display, for some reason I never wanted to get rid of him.  And now I finally know why I held onto Indian Smurf.

This morning, Elliott was extremely happy to find a "lovey" Smurf at grandma's house and will be taking him home this afternoon.  Little did I know, 28 years ago, that Indian Smurf was meant for one of my grandchildren.  I'm now so glad I held onto him all those years.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fall Decorating

Today I started decorating the house and yard for fall, my favorite time of year.  I hung the autumn wreaths on the front and basement doors and in the dining room.  I also got out my Halloween cookie jars and Jim set up the big pumpkin in the front yard.  But mostly today was about putting away the summer decorations.

Decorating for Halloween and fall usually takes me a week, grabbing an hour here and there.  Because I love the autumn holidays, I don't mind at all.  Plus the fall decorations will be up three full months, unlike Christmas decorations that only last 3-4 weeks and seem to take the same amount of work.

Last year, at this time, we were preparing for the foundation fix by moving everything in the basement 10 feet from the front wall.  That included everything in the storage room.  It was a good opportunity to get rid of old holiday decorations that hadn't seen the light of day in years.  And when we installed new shelves in the storage room, I was able to super organize what was left.

All that work has made seasonal decorating so much easier.  I now can clearly see where everything is and no longer have to sift through stuff I no longer use.  I just love being organized!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pennies Per Wear

The temperature never got above 78 degrees today.  What a welcome change! But it also got me thinking that soon I will not be able to wear shorts everyday.

When watching my grandsons, I wear either leisure shorts or pants.  But I like the option of jeans on weekends.  It's not because they're so comfortable.  Far from it.  It's because they're youthful and stylish.

Up until four or five years ago, however, I never had a pair of jeans I absolutely loved.  Then one day while shopping at Kmart, I decided to try on a pair of Jaclyn Smith's Angel Fit Bootcut Jeans.  Not only did they fit, but they actually made me look smaller.  Plus they weren't uncomfortable.  But, best of all, they were less than $18!

Since that day, Jaclyn Smith's Angel Fit Bootcut Jeans are the only ones I wear except for a pair of trouser style jeans I found somewhere else.  Because our local Kmart never has a large inventory, several times I've had to order them online.  But I've never paid more than $18.  Their regular price is $24.95, but they always seem to be on sale.  Just like today when I got two pair on sale for $17.49 each.

I know jeans can cost several hundred dollars.  And, honestly, I'd be willing to pay close to $100 if I found a comfortable pair of stylish jeans that looked good on me. I know that sounds extravagant, but when you consider the per wear cost of something you reach for often, it's not that bad.  But I much prefer a pennies per wear cost and hope Kmart continues carrying my favorite jeans for a long time.



Saturday, September 3, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Today I spent half the day giving the master bedroom a good "spring cleaning." Between having the two spare rooms trimmed and painted, and getting a whole new hall bathroom, there was too much going on in that part of the house to tackle the job last spring.  So today was the day to finally get the job done.

As we redo and update the house, room by room, my primary goal is low maintenance.  For weekly cleanings, I want to get in and out of a room in 15 minutes or less.  Today I discovered that also means thorough cleanings take less time.  The redo of the master bath and bedroom was finished last summer. So today is the first time I've given the "new" master bedroom a "spring cleaning." I was amazed at how quickly I got the job done.  Less clutter and simpler window treatments did the trick.  I even had time to purge some items from my closet.

Why do I hold onto clothes and accessories I knew were bad purchases almost immediately and ended up rarely, if ever, wearing them?  It's as if I have to let them clutter my space for a year or two as penance for making a bad decision. Well, that simply doesn't fit with my new low maintenance plan.  In the future, as soon as I realize I've made a bad purchase, and can't return it for whatever reason, off it goes to charity.

Happy Labor Day!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The First Time

One of the best things about being a grandparent has to be having a sweet face call you grandma or papa.  The first time Elliott said grandma, it seemed like my heart actually stopped.  It was as if it was capturing the moment much like a shutter on a camera closing.

So today is a special day for me.  This morning, while Jonah was helping papa feed the birds, he brought me a handful of seed and said, "here grandma."  It was a heart stopping moment and I'm glad papa heard it too.

For a couple of months, Jonah has been able to say dada, momma, and papa, but no grandma.  It was the same way with Elliott.  I guess grandma is just harder to say.  Yesterday I know he was trying to say grandma but it sounded more like his talking Korean doll.  Today it was clear.  Jonah can now say grandma and I look forward to hearing it often.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cabin Fever, An Inherited Trait

I never thought "cabin fever" was inherited, but now I know better.  Looking back, I can remember my sister as a teenager always wanting to go somewhere.  I now believe she inherited that trait from dad.  Even at 80 years of age, dad finds an excuse to drive somewhere everyday.  It doesn't matter if it's raining, snowing, sleeting, or 107 degrees.

I now realize the trait was passed to my daughter also.  Of my two children, Emily always seemed to feel the need to get out of the house.  While Daniel was happy reading all day, Emily just had to go somewhere.  She's the same way today in her 30s with two children.

And now I'm convinced Emily's youngest, Jonah, is just like his mom.  At the same age, 17 months, Jonah's big brother, Elliott, was content to play with grandma all day and watch videos.  In fact, I remember telling Elliott, when he was two, that I had to go to the bank.  His response, "OK, grandma, I'll just stay here."  But Jonah has no interest in videos and can't seem to sit still unless he's in a stroller, car seat, or highchair.  Shortly after our morning walks, he starts begging to go "bye bye" again.  He grabs his shoes and blue bear, and heads for the door.

So now I'm always thinking of things to do in the car on Grandma Daycare days. I only have so much energy for lifting a 28-pound toddler in and out of a car seat. We typically drive through the bank and post office.  And we often drive through Taco Bell where I get a diet-safe Fresco taco for me and a cheese roll-up for Jonah.  (I was really bummed this week when Taco Bell closed for renovation!) Today we had a big adventure.  We got the car washed.

For a person who didn't inherit the "cabin fever" trait, I find the need to go somewhere everyday extremely annoying.  I would absolutely love to stay home for several days in a row.  I know I would never run out of things to do.  And, if I ever got a little lonely, I'm sure one of my relatives suffering with "cabin fever" would love to come over!