Posts filed under ‘kids’

Greetings from Louisiana!

Today my third oldest daughter graduated with her masters degree from the University of Phoenix.  Because the college has branches all over the place, she chose to walk in Baton Rouge, just one hour from my sister’s house. How sweet is that, to have her big day far from her classmates so that I could spend time with my sister?  I have great kids.  It was a crazy day, 850 graduates each of which had about 5 family members in attendance.  It took forever to get through everyone, but Pap and I sure are proud of her.

Since my last post Baby Preslie has begun to eat, but still weighs only 12 pounds at 6 months old.  She’s the cutest little Tinker Belle baby, big blue eyes, a pair of dimples.  The doctor is not worried about her lack of progress in the outward development stage.  She can roll from her back to her stomach and that is it.  Apparently, all her energy is dedicated to developing that digest system, lungs and other internal organs.  I don’t wish premature babies on anyone.  But as regards Pres…all is well.  She’s growing and thriving, just slowly.

Pap had a minor heart attack on Easter Sunday brought about because of a blocked artery.  He had new stints put in and is back in physical therapy.  That caused some havoc around the old homestead, so I still don’t have my business plan finished so I can go to the bank.  Grrr…I’m not mad at him, but sheesh, I’d just like to catch a break once in a while. I’m sure he would too.

Rehearsals for the “spring” play are now rehearsals for the “summer” play, because in addition to Pap’s set back (he plays Grover in this production) we lost our director, Alice.  Alice is one of those people that make the world a better place.  She is lovely, kind and has the greatest sense of humor.  Right now she has both a tumor and a lesion on her liver.  We’re so worried about her.  While she waits for test results and some kind of news on what the doctors are planning to do about this illness, she gets weaker and weaker.  Pray for her please.

June 3, 2012 at 9:07 am 5 comments

Spinning so fast it seems to stand still

Holy cow it has been crazy busy around here!

I’ve been working feverishly on the business.  Daughter and I met with an advisor from the small business administration to review our business plan, loan options, what ever other help the SBDA will send our way.  That was interesting.  She’s very nice, and she has a ton of experience with everything except kids.  Kids have quite a lot to do with our new business so we spent tons of time trying not to roll our eyes at her outdated and inappropriate ideas.  We meet again next week so I have been feverishly drawing, painting and writing up the details of no fail business and why we’re fabulously qualified to run it.  Trademark stuff is still not back, and it’s just killing me not to post the pictures and details.

Baby Preslie has gurd.  Apparently that is a intestinal problem she will eventually outgrow.  In the mean time, she cries after every bottle and that is only when one of us can get her to drink a bottle.  Poor little thing.   But here she is, looking so much healthier than she looked at birth. She’s up to a whopping 8 pounds, most of it to her sweet little cheeks.

February 11, 2012 at 11:12 am 5 comments

Preslie Grace Just Couldn’t Wait for New Year’s

This should be an interesting day.  Preslie made her entrance into the world last night before midnight, at 4:30 my phone is ringing.  Hysterical daughter “can you or Dad come”.  Apparently my son-in-law collapsed from exhaustion and is now in the emergency room.  Katie is recovering from the c-section and Preslie, since she arrived a month early, is hooked up to a variety of machines, gadgets and other hospitally things.  Pap is most experienced with hospitals and I’m most experienced with toddlers, so he’s dashed off to boss all the nurses around and I am home with Makenna, Katie’s almost 2 year old.  Ugh.

December 20, 2011 at 4:40 pm 6 comments

H is for…

While I was away, two of my grandgirls, Juliette, who is five and her little sister, Brendolynn, who is two, spent the weekend with me.  Normally, that’s a ticket for 48 hours of non-stop fun.  But that weekend not only did I have a cold that interfered with hearing their chipmunk-like voices,  but the muffler fell off my car as I was picking them up. 

Pap works every weekend, so handing this problem off to him (and taking his car) was not an option.  Being grounded to the house all weekend with two small kids, was also not an option.  Armed with a box of kleenex and a bag full of toys for the kids, I started calling around to our available car repair shops Saturday morning to see if I could get an appointment to have the muffler repaired.  

The first thing I learned was that car repair shops in Southeastern, Ohio  do not make “appointments”.  They can either get you “in” or they can’t…or won’t.  Shop one didn’t feel like doing a muffler on Saturday morning.  What kind of business person turns away a job?  Undaunted by this first rejection, I took a break to hack up a lung, make a note to black ball that business and pull Brendolynn out of my palm tree. 

Shop two said they could get me “in” but not until Thursday.  Silly of me, but isn’t that the same as making an “appointment”?  I told them I’d call back, took the sippy cup Brendolynn was using to sprinkle my leather couch away from her, rescued Juliette’s play-doh from the dog, blew my nose and then called my next option. 

“Bring her in” Shop three said.  I was encouraged.  Not only were they going to help me out, they knew my car was a “she”.  Once I’d changed Brendolyn’s diaper, retrieved Juliette’s shoe from under the couch, found something for me to wear that at least kinda matched and herded both girls into the car, I was sneezing so much my eyes were watering.  I roared my way to the repair shop and pulled up to the garage doors which were right under a sign that said “No appointment necessary, we’ll hear you coming”.  Apparently they had a standing policy about getting people “in”.

 The windows were so covered with dirt and cobwebs you couldn’t see inside.  Once we found the door, I understood why they didn’t worry about no view of the interior.   It was furnished with a bedraggled collection of old barber chairs, each occupied by large men dressed in camoflage. A bulletin board covered in business cards so faded you couldn’t read most of them occupied one wall, the others were covered with clocks, hunting calendars and a pepsi machine that held nothing but Coke and Mt. Dew.  Dirt made up the balance of the waiting room furnishings.  Once I’d convinced the mechanic and his cohorts that my Sebring was a 98 not a 96, they left me in that pit and disappeared under an employees only sign that led to what I’m sure was a state of the art, spotlessly clean garage.  Minutes later, I was wishing you could muzzle children without being arrested.

Juliette began to sing her A,B, C’s.  The first time it was cute.  The second time, when she sang her new version (A’s for the apple so shiny and sweet, B is for birds all going tweet, tweet….I think her teacher must be about 90) with Bren chiming in on the last word at the top of her lungs it was still kinda cute.  Once they’d repeated this song about 20 times, getting louder each time, I was fairly certain that my head was going to explode.  And then Juliette began a new version, this one accompanied by both of them jumping on the barber chairs. 

“A is for Apple, B is for Bread, C is for Candy, D is for Donuts, E is for Eggs, F is for Fish Sticks, G is for Grapes, H is for….  H is for…  Nana what is H for?”

“Hush, Juliette.  H is definately for HUSH.”

She stopped jumping.  She looked a me with one hand on her hip.  “You can’t eat HUSH, Nana, where did you go to school?”

October 11, 2008 at 6:31 am 15 comments

How To Build a Patio

Because I feel that knowledge unshared is wasted…I’ve decided to share with all my blog friends the best way to build a patio. 

Step 1:  Invite over several children to help you remove the grass.  Grandkids are cheapest, but any old kids will do.







Smallish children and the family dog are best used as sand spreaders.







Step 2:  Immediately after hosing off the borrowed children, sweet talk your local Home Depot delivery man and he’ll drop your brick tiles right on the edge of your hole instead of on the curb.  This is a very good thing because you then won’t  have to gather any teenaged children to assist with the rest of the installation.

Step three:  Once the oldest of the borrowed children has been rinsed and dried, bet her a banana split that she can’t carry any of these heavy brick tiles.  It will be necessary to remind her how very small, and frail her twig-like arms are and how delicate her little legs.  An occasional sigh and mumbled regret that one has only grand girls rather than grand boys is also quite effective in inspiring the child to bring the bricks directly to you in a timely manner. 

Step Last:  In the event you haven’t injured any of the borrowed children, lay out the bricks in the sand, add a grill, a table, some chairs, a chiminea, some tiki lights and realize you really need a bigger patio.  Repeat steps one through three.

Tomorrow…pictures of the completed patio.



September 14, 2008 at 7:50 am 8 comments

Rebellion by Kid and Other Stuff

You’ve surely heard the story about the six year old suspended from school for his mohawk?  This is disturbing on many levels.  First the mother, who can read the school dress code and has been warned twice before.  Second the school – come on, I can’t believe a bunch of six year olds spend more than one second noticing anybodies hair style.  To me the real issue is the mother using her little boy to rebel against “the man” and the school determined to “get her in line”.  At six, my son didn’t even notice he had hair, much less prefer one style to another.  I feel so sorry for this little boy a human pawn in an adult game.
Julianne’s Wheels of Fire, the book I’m currently writing, is zooming right along.  15,000 words since Monday.  Granted, they aren’t all great words….but that will come later.  While the time spent just writing instead of blogging was productive.  I miss hearing what everyone’s up to.  I missed the humor, contemplation, and sometimes even righteous anger I get from reading through my blogroll.  Apparently I need to learn how to strike a balance, so I can have both things.  Just as soon as that pesky day job is out of the way.

February 29, 2008 at 7:54 pm 12 comments

Jaded Beyond Redemption – Not

Just when I think I’m totally beat down and jaded by life, something sneaks up to renew my faith in men and the power of love. 

 A fella, we’ll call him Charming, was desperate to express his devotion to the new love of his life, we’ll call her Princess (’cause that’s what I’ve always called her).  Valentine’s Day was looming and Charming had not given Princess any indication of whether he knew the tradition of gift giving for this Hallmark holiday or not.  She was growing frantic worrying that she’d be the only one of her gaggle of friends whose boyfriend failed to deliver the requisite flowers, candy and/or dinner. 

Charming is a quiet guy by nature, protective of his thoughts and feelings most of the time.  With a past cloaked in tragedy and loneliness, real happiness is a new frontier for him and expressing himself is a challenge at all times.  Cliche or not, still waters run deep. 

His gift  was a bouquet of multi-colored roses because he remembered she really prefers wildflowers and they’re out of season.  A copy of the movie they saw on their first date (Halloween), with the ticket stubs taped to the front.  A poem he wrote himself that was phenomenal and makes everyone who reads it cry.  I don’t have permission to share the whole thing, but the last line was “its been Valentines for me since Halloween.”

Lucky girl. 

February 16, 2008 at 9:31 am 10 comments

What We Learn From Play

When I was growing up we played outside.  If we weren’t charging around on our bikes, we were hurtling down busy streets on our roller skates or doing shooting stars off the monkey bars at the playground.  From sun up until the street lights came on, we were expected to be outside acting like law abiding hooligans.  It took no more than an interesting branch and a discarded bucket to jump start any number of games.  We climbed trees (and fell out), we took daring risks on our skateboards and bicycles (and broke things), and yet most of us survived childhood.  If you were born any time before 1990, you probably experienced most of these same things. 

What was important about this kind of play was that we were fit, imaginative, and we learned to conquer fear.  Skills we carried into our adult lives.  We built self-esteem by being the best double-dutcher or the guy who could knock all the bottles off the stump with his BB gun. 

When we went to war with Iraq, my first thought was “our kids aren’t prepared for war.”  I know the young men going to Iraq from my community.  They’ve spent their youth on video games and MTv.  This is a small community that keeps their kids in organized sports or dance lessons from pre-school until they graduate.  I understand their need to keep their kids safe, the world is not the innocent place it was when I was a kid.  There’s more traffic, more vice, more people lacking a foundation of morality and fair play.  I have nothing against video games and MTv.  But I fear the lessons learned on a sandlot, that provide a firm foundation for strong adults and soldiers,  are being forgotten just when we need them.  I think we need to balance the benefits of new technology with time tested, hands on play for our kids. 

Just as I was thinking about these kinds of things, I came across this book:  daring-book-for-boys.jpgThe Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden.  It’s not the kind of book you hand to your son or grandson at first  and say “here ya go, have a blast!”  It’s densely written, packed with diagrams and charts for everything from How to Build a Go Cart to Spies, Codes and Ciphers.  Five knots every man needs to know how to make.  How to make secret ink, how to build a tree house, a sampling of Shakespeare, what to do with a needle and thread, how to make the perfect paper airplane…. life’s little essentials.  You’ll have to do the projects with them at first, but I bet they’ll catch on quick. 

I have girls, and while building a go cart is just as much fun for girls as boys, I was happy to see that on October 30th, The Daring Book for Girlsdaring-book-for-girls.jpg by Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz will be released.  According to pre-release promotion it has instructions for secret note–passing skills, science projects, friendship bracelets, double dutch, cats cradle, the perfect cartwheel and the eternal mystery of what boys are thinking.

Because I used pictures from Amazon, I feel I need to add here that I don’t get paid to promote books.  I don’t get paid to promote Amazon.  I won’t ever share with you a book I wouldn’t own.  But I do sometimes buy books at Amazon and these two will definately be on my bookshelf. 

October 17, 2007 at 7:32 pm 29 comments

The Mother’s Curse

There really should be a law prohibiting mothers from saying things like:  “I hope you have kids just LIKE YOU!” Those are powerful magic words.  You utter them (or screech them depending on just how bad your kids are being) and all the energy from all the mothers alive or dead races in and makes sure your wish comes true.  Yes, I used the mother’s curse frequently while raising my kids.   I didn’t know it really worked.  I thought it was just a rumour, an urban myth.

But then came grandgirl #1, my jewel, my treasure, my Jazzmin, who acts JUST LIKE HER MOTHER.  I once believed that I would never again have to say things like “you roll those eyes one more time and I’m popping them out and feeding them to the cat.”  But a confrontation with Jazz is like stepping back to 1989 and confronting her mother.  They look alike, they talk alike and they are both stubborn as mules.  Jazz accepted the penalty of early bedtime last night rather than admit that all dimes are the same size. 

Now comes grandgirl #5, my princess, my privileged one, my Ayla.  Her mother, my daughter, and her husband are both teachers. They’ve planned, prepared and saved for a baby.  They are diligent and attentive parents without being ridiculous.  Ayla screams from dusk to dawn with colic…just like her mother.  I remember the night I laid the mother’s curse on poor, unsuspecting 2nd daughter.  It was 1981, I was exhausted and weepy, I hadn’t had more than four hours of sleep a day for weeks…we’d tried bottles, rocking, baths, car rides…and still she screamed.  That’s when I did it, uttered the mother’s curse that she’d have five…just like her. 

I didn’t know the curse was real, honest.  In light of these recent events proving the effectiveness of The Mother’s Curse, I’ve sent urgent messages to my son to stay celebate, kids are not an option for him.

April 10, 2007 at 2:58 pm 21 comments

Wasted Days and Wasted…well days

Where did my Saturday go?  One minute I was just gonna take a little nap, the next it’s dark and silent and I’m all alone.  That’s a lie, I wasn’t alone.  Princess was here but asleep on the couch.  In case anybody is interested:  Never wait up for your children out on a date once they turn 26.   They are aware that they don’t have curfews any more, and they will take advantage of that fact. 

The children’s book I’m ghost writing is half way done.  We had a team meeting yesterday and the artist handed me copies of the first three chapter’s illustrations.  What a rush, what an eye opener!  She’s working only from what I write with no other input so when I haven’t been clear enough or descriptive enough, it shows up in the illustrations.  Out of the six scenes she chose to draw, only one didn’t match the vision in my head.  It gave me chills.  And clearly pointed out a flaw in Chapter three that must be corrected in edit. 

Worrisome news from my son.  Since he’s a senior in college and will lose his health insurance after graduation in May, Pap made him go get a complete physical in case there was a lag between graduation and then finding a job with insurance.  Most of the results came back great, his cholesterol is low, no diabetes, healthy heart …exactly what you’d expect from a physical on a 21 year old.  But the blood tests did reveal some irregularities with his liver.  He’s been reassured that no matter how much beer he’s drank since he started college the brew could not be the culprit, but the doctor is concerned about hepatitus or a fatty liver. 

The good news about having a bad medical report is that suddenly your parents and sisters don’t look like such evil, inconsiderate creatures after all.  I’ve heard more about what he does and who he hangs out with at school in the last three weeks than I have in all four years he’s been away.  Kids!

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m down to 421 days to freedom.  You should probably begin planning the party to celebrate my withdrawal from the accounting rat race now.  Just a suggestion. 

February 4, 2007 at 4:35 pm 26 comments

The free-lance writer is the person who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps. (Robert Benchley)

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