Tuesday, April 25, 2017

IT ALL DEPENDS .....

Today I made the tough decision to postpone my trip to Maui.


First of all, I don't really miss my island too much (in just four months).  My friends haven't had time to miss me either (well, except maybe Lisa!).  The summer weather is already starting which means warmer temperatures.  Lisa is very active, hates air conditioning and goes to the beach many times a week.  I would not be able to keep up with her, for sure.

My bad knee prevents me from doing more than 15 minutes of walking at a time.  I did rent my own car so I wouldn't be a nuisance to Lisa, but that's about all I could be doing is driving around seeing the sights.  It is jacaranda season and I love the drive to Kula any time of the year.  I love whale season too but it is over.  So I think I'll save my $$$ til February next year.


But most important, and most embarrassing, is bladder trouble.  It's just getting worse.  Now I'm in diapers all day not just at night.  We've upped the medicine to 2x a day and I am doing scheduled ladies room times.  Pavlov training of sorts!  Lots of Kegel exercises, cut back on wine, losing weight, etc.  It's definitely a first world problem but when it is YOUR problem, it's just gross.  

Obviously it's not just me (based on the types of incontinence products out there) but it does keep me home more.  I feel bad for my UNson-in-law who empties the trash every day.   Mr. 3 was pleased to discover Gramma wears diapers too!  No secrets at this house ....


Good physical health is really Number One in life.  Can't wait to get back!







Tuesday, April 18, 2017

APRIL SHOWERS

We have had a splendid April.  Lots of rain but with plenty of sun breaks.  


Mr. 6.5 is now playing t-ball and has not been rained out yet.  The Easter egg hunt was sunny and bright, although the grass was pretty wet.  Easter Sunday with the cousins was also outside.  Two great days in a row!

GG's plants are so beyond ready to be placed in the ground!  He/we had no idea when to "start" these seeds but apparently it was too early!  Tomatoes already have blossoms, we are using basil and spinach right out of their pots.  He still has not been allocated a plot yet  Next year will be so much easier as he has kept meticulous notes of when he planted, when he fertilized and when he upgraded to larger pots.  Also, if he wants to, he can keep his same plot so many seeds can be started in the ground.


I mailed my tax extension today so April is finished for me.  Now I am looking forward to May!  I'm spending a week in Maui to celebrate the big 65.  Upon my return I have my Medicare wellness exam and I'm looking forward to healthy news.  Then I am taking my May offspring to a resort in Oregon wine country where we will be pampered and relax for two nights.  Massage.  Facial.  Pedicure.  And delightful farm to table food.  Indoor pool and spa so we will probably not even leave the resort.

  

April showers!

Friday, April 14, 2017

OH, THE EGGCITEMENT!

My daughter loves Easter.  I mean she LOVES decorating, coloring eggs, hiding eggs, making cute baskets.

Last year she took off Easter from work ... forgetting all the egg hunts are the day (or week) before!  She was more disappointed than the boys.  This year she is taking tomorrow (Saturday) off and they have two egg hunts on the list.  The favorite one is at the Lake Oswego Hunt Club where she began her equestrian journey.

Wednesday she took just Mr. 3 to a hunt on the other side of town (where she works) that was only for ages 5 and under.  Deacon was SO excited when he got a lamb sticker inside a plastic egg ... because Lamby is his special comfort toy!  Lamby proudly wore that sticker all day.
(He also won the little blue bear)

I am going to make a special ham dinner for Saturday night so we can all sit down together.  Today I'm scrounging around looking for one of my tablecloths hoping they were not put into storage with my Mom's china and my Mother-in-Law's silver.  Not sure I can talk Jesse into trying to find all of these just to use for one meal ....

Kate has always especially loved the Easter candy.  Lately she has changed her whole eating style to fresh, organic (when affordable enough), and unprocessed food.  She's given up her nightly bowl of ice cream and all candy.  I had to call several grocers to find an organic free range nitrite/nitrate free ham and it better be delicious.  Little does she know, I made a tiny easter basket for her and Jesse ... Skittles for him (his favorite) and organic free trade 70% cocoa dark chocolate with sea salt bar for her.  And each a gift certificate to their favorite grocery.

I have never had a sweet tooth.  Born without one, I guess.  I remember my Easter basket having little bags of potato chips or a can of ripe olives or a stick of REAL butter, with just a bit of chocolate.  My idea of heaven.

My memories of Easter are great.  Hard boiling at least 5 dozen eggs (when there were just 5 of us). And then coloring them ... with coffee cups filled with warm water, food coloring and a spoonful of vinegar.  One year my Mom made sugar eggs with a little scene inside.  


She made Jello eggs to have after dinner.  I always got a new (to me, probably from a cousin!) dress and patent leather shoes.  We grew up Catholic and everyone wore their Sunday finest on Easter.

Mostly Mom (and older kids eventually) hid the eggs in our tiny house.  We were SO GOOD that some years it was a week later when we could smell an egg that never was discovered.






Saturday, April 8, 2017

THE YEAR OF HYGGE


There are many words in my repertoire for love and comfort.   In Danish, hygge (pronounced “HUE-gah”) is one such word. Though there are many ways to describe hygge, the New York Times sees it simply as the Danish ritual of enjoying life's simple pleasures. Friends. Family. Graciousness.


This family practiced hygge a lot during our snowy cold winter.  It was easy as we were inside and at home a lot.  Nice roaring fires.  Comfort food.  Family games.  Cookie decorating.  Organizing rooms.  Yet Kate is already organizing family time this Spring.

If the day is sunny and nice when Mr. 6 gets off the school bus, he rushes home and changes into camouflage and best shoes for the occasion (rubber boots if is had been raining).  The boys each find a backpack and a hat, with all the necessary "weapons" that Mom will allow.  She packs a picnic, grabs the dog and off they go for an hour or two. 


I think the next thing to add will be a scavenger hunt.  Photo clues for Mr. 3, word clues for Mr. 6.

Life gets so busy sometimes that you really need to "plan" a special moment to stop and smell the flowers.  These dudes will only be little for such a short time.


My prize at the end of their hike.  Friends. Family. Graciousness.




Sunday, April 2, 2017

$1.40

2017 is bringing me great reductions in spending.  It's so exciting ... like getting a raise and a bonus.


May 1 begins Medicare coverage.  Part B from the Government is $134 or thereabouts.  My supplemental will be $88 (including prescriptions).  Last year I paid $628 PER MONTH for Kaiser so I will be spending about $400 less each month.  And my new right knee won't be thousands of dollars out of pocket (although yesterday I was will to pay the whole thing just to stop the pain)

Yesterday's mail also brought me unexpected good news.  My car payments have ended!  I thought I had a four year (don't worry, ZERO interest) loan but turns out it was just three!  Yippee skippee that's a nice chunk of change as well.

My "income" is so low that I do not owe any taxes.  While I'm not sure that is such good news, I'm taking it as such.

And let me not forget to mention my check from Honda Financial Services.  Yep.  $1.40 overpayment on the car loan.  Heading to the bank first thing on Monday!




Monday, March 27, 2017

PEACEFUL. PARTICIPATORY. PREDICTABLE.

Those three P's are what I want for my life.  Peaceful.  Participatory.  Predictable.

The best part of growing older is being able to choose my lifestyle.  Sure, when we were younger we thought we were choosing and we were, up to a point.  Yet careers, mates and children contributed a lot to the "drama" of how we lived.


Now my life is peaceful.  Almost boring perhaps.  I never schedule more than one thing per day...which leaves me open for doing something equally fun with a friend or grandson should it arise.  These days I move in slow motion it seems.  I love it.

I feel so much better participating in this small extended family life.  Jesse is FINALLY allowing me to give him a hand.  He is so particular about everything, it's taken him a while to decide clean, dry and folded is a good thing ... not necessarily HIS way of hanging all shirts up to finish drying after 5-10 minutes in the dryer.  I'm great at jammies, towels, socks and undies.  Now I can do little boy jeans and t-shirts as well.

Yesterday I made dinner.  This is my most difficult entry into t/his life.  About once a month I ask if I can cook.  And I get the groceries ... the GOOD stuff.  Last night we had homemade scalloped potatoes, corn on the cob, asparagus and your choice of steak, halibut or salmon.  The boys like the beef and we two girls love the fish.  Kate and I are trying to eat more healthy, so the grilled fish can be put atop a salad and the final day we will make fish salad for crackers or sandwiches or patties.

Best of all, predictable.  No turmoil.  Few crises.  Happy and hopeful.  My teenage drama queen has matured into a busy Mom.  The financial strains of climbing the corporate ladder and growing a company is over (and paid off pretty well).


Peaceful, participatory and predictable.  The right life for this Awkward Widow.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

GARDEN GNOME


Getting Jesse a plot at the community gardens is one of my best ideas ever.  He has always loved putzing around in the tiny bit of dirt in front of their apartment and then in front of our condo.  Mr. 6 LOVES tomatoes so it's exciting for him as well.

Jesse spent a good month or so researching what to grow ... things that are expensive to buy ... and how to get a good amount of produce from a small spot.  You would not believe how many free software programs are available to help you plan.  He watches YouTube videos from other NW farmers.  One guy makes his living by selling to restaurants and Farmer's Market from just one acre of land.  Now he plants exactly what the local chefs want.

At first he thought he could never use all the space in a 10' x 10' so was going to plant flowers in half.  Now he has upgraded to a 20' x 20' garden!  He researches seeds like they were nuggets of gold.  He's started a small compost bin (ssshhhh ... don't let the mean crabby lady know) and has been reclaiming used pallets to make panels for his raised beds (yes, she complains about that a lot!)  (The Board told her as long as he was actively working, this is not an issue.  So then she complained about the noise.  Board asked ALL of our neighbors if the pallets bothered them or if the noise bothered them ... Nope!)


(the red squares are being cleared for new "farmers")

We have seedlings sprouting in all window sills.  He planted the seeds 10-14 days apart so not everything will be ready at the same time.  Now he has turned our second bathroom into a gro-light environment.  (Yes, five of us sharing one bathroom ...).  If the sun comes out, he carefully loads his little pots onto trays to take them outside.  Every night, he brings them back in.

And it's not just HIS/our garden he's working on.  He had to take two 3 hour classes on gardening.  He has to contribute 5 hours a month to the Luscher Farm park ... cleaning out old beds, putting down cardboard paths, working with kids at all the camps they hold for them.  They still have not told him which plot is his!  He's chomping at the bit to transplant.

Every year there is an "auction" for open plots.  IF you already have a plot and want to keep it, you can putter year round.  If you don't like the location of your plot, you get first dibs on any plots that are open.  There is a small barn where they keep community tools and wheelbarrows and wood chips for spreading on pathways.  You can keep all produce or you can donate to the Adult Community Center for their daily lunches.

We may not have as much fresh food this year since he is building his infrastructure, including amending the soil and adding more soil.  He has compost tea bubbling outdoors.  He bought worm castings and next year he will have experience!

Let me know if you'd like a $30 tomato!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WHERE GOOD INTENTIONS GO

Believe it or not, I enjoy Oregon weather.  



In Maui, it is 95% sunny and warm so I couldn't blame a blah mood on the weather.  I couldn't use the excuse that the weather was so nasty I changed my mind about going out to lunch with you.  Oooops!  Can't do that yard work because of the weather.



Living in the land of 8 months of rain, occasional snow and black ice makes for a whole different scenario!  Remember that Weight Watcher meeting last week around noon?  SUNSHINE and 60, so I went with Kate and Deacon to fun (and beautiful) park on the other side of town.  Cheese, grapes, crackers and juice for Mr. 3, iced coffees for the ladies.  Because in Oregon, sunny days with schedules in alignment means head outdoors!

Are you busy working on taxes to get them in by April instead of October?  Oh wait!  Temps in the low 60's and no rain!  Take the Dad to his community garden plot and play with the boys outside all day.

I have so many good intentions!  Finish organizing the kitchen cabinets.  Organize my bedroom baskets.  Do the ironing.  Go to Walmart to get the best buy on non-perishables.

I think my good intentions meet up with the socks in the washing machine ...






Monday, March 20, 2017

GRANDPARENTING WITH PURPOSE


Being a grandparent is fun.  I feel like I have a magic wand as well as a tiara.  They love to listen to me read books.  Being boys, they especially like books that include mud, burping, gas and bad babies getting into mischief.

Living here also has given me some responsibility.  I'm not just the Disneyland Grandma anymore.  I have to help the parents teach them to do as much for themselves as they can.  Clean up time is hardest.  I was always making a game of it and racing to see who could pick up the most toys.  With me mostly picking up the toys.  Now I'm merely a cheerleader ... often physically helping Mr. 3 pick up a toy and put it in the box.  

Same deal with getting dressed.  When Mr. 3 wants to change his outfit, it's unbelievable that he can do it all, almost by himself!  Now that I have witnessed that, he can start dressing himself every day.  He usually says things like "I too tired, Gramma.  You have to dress Deekie".  It's hard to know how much to help and how much is enabling him to be a lazy little fellow.

Mr. 6 does everything for himself on school mornings except pack his lunch and make his breakfast.  But it is his job to brush teeth, use potty, comb hair and put everything in his backpack.  It's hard on my heart but I have had to send him back to the house to get his lunch or library book...in the rain.  But he does much better remembering now!


Both boys take their used dishes to the kitchen after a meal, usually without a reminder.  They put dirty clothes in the hamper.

Sometimes making them do things themselves is hard on my heart.  They are only little for such a short time.  But I know it is better for them in the long run!





Wednesday, March 15, 2017

LEPRECHAUN TRAP

Besides being a test site for the Center for Disease Control, Kindergarten is sure interesting ... from a Grandma's point of view.


Mrs. Cole, Mr. 6's teacher,  during the first week of school announced NO HOMEWORK for Kindergarten.  (Well, of course there should be no homework for the first three grades ... in my humble OLD opinion). 

Mrs. Cole is a big fat liar.


I am overwhelmed at what these kids are learning and doing in Kindergarten! Reminds me of second grade!  He has worksheets every single night (notice the "s" at the end of worksheet). Math. Penmanship.  Short vowel sounds.  Consonant sounds.  Silent letters.  Long vowel sounds.

He is supposed to "Drill and Kill" at home ... practice writing capital and lowercase letters.  He has a family project at least once a month. He is supposed to read for 15 minutes every night. Number and "sight" word flash cards. Writing in a journal every day. 


It's way too much!

Tonight's project is to build a leprechaun trap ....




Monday, March 13, 2017

IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH

Sunday, March 5 was the "official" third birthday for Deacon, Mr. 3.

Mom awoke Saturday morning with a severe headache, upset stomach and general malaise.  She actually was too sick to go to work!  These kidults do not plan very far ahead but had invited six people over for a little party at the Clubhouse.  Late Saturday afternoon, I told Jesse we had better go buy a cake.  He said oh no, we can make one, don't worry.

At 8pm I was baking a strawberry fire engine cake (I bought a shaped pan earlier in the week ... just in case)(and food coloring, accessories to top the cake, etc)(just in case).  Then I made 24 vanilla cupcakes.  Sunday morning I made bright red buttercream frosting and began to do my best.


I tried to talk them into postponing the party but that thought was quickly cast aside.  Kate finished decorating the fire engine and the cupcakes.  Jesse put together a fruit platter and a veggie platter with fire related toys mixed in.  They actually pulled it off!  Jesse's Mom and her fiance, plus a young couple with a 5 yr old and a 3 yr old made just the right size party.

The next day, while giving the boys a bath, Mr. 3 decided to play restaurant and drink bath water.  Mr. 6 laughed and encouraged him, so he drank a LOT of bath water.  With lavender epsom salt.  Five minutes later, the water geyser began.  Finally at midnight, after calling the Poison Center, they took him to the ER.  Thankfully he expelled the salt water quickly so it did no harm to his little body, and they returned home with a prescription for some vomit stopper meds.


He is still not eating and barely sipping Pedialyte.  And still barfing but just 2-3 times a day.  Usually after midnight.  So Kate has relapsed.  No, the prescription does not seem to help.  She still has tomorrow off work so Dadda will take over the little guy.

I'm really looking forward to the "in health" portion.  It seems like Mr. 6 brings home something new every other week.

P.S.  Monday March 13 Update
Turns out it was the FLU!  I have never had the flu but it is wicked.  Today was the first day I have had the strength to sit up and eventually take a shower.  Everyone has had it except Mr Mom.  Who is complaining of the initial headache.

Kate finally went back to work on Sunday.

I will be super busy if he is down and out for a week (or more).  Getting out my apron, chef hat, tool belt, Early Childhood Development degree, laundry uniform, head dishwasher outfit and rubber gloves, and a maid costume....


Monday, February 27, 2017

MALICIOUS, MALEVOLENT, and MEAN

I never knew people could be so hostile.


We have a condo neighbor (upstairs in the building next to us) who has been nasty since the day she moved in.  I've written about her before and when I moved back here, the kidults filled me in with even more inconsequential complaints and conversations she forces upon them (they are outside more than I am ... because they smoke on the front patio).

One of the Devil's Triangle of grumpies who live here must have befriended her upon move-in as they have fed her so much misinformation since the beginning.  Ms. Assholiness first confronted my kidults to tell them to stop smoking as it was all inside her condo (around a bend, 100 yards away and up a flight of stairs).  That this complex was a non-smoking complex.  (It is not).

Then she returned the next day to tell them they have no rights here as they are not owners or renters.  (How would she know WHAT they are?  And they ARE renters).

Almost every day last summer (while I was in Maui) she complained to them about something.  Children playing on the sidewalk.  Toys on the patio.  Baby bikes on patio overnight.  The window blinds were not even.  She also emailed these complaints to the Board.  She complains about so many things that now the Board merely responds "we are in receipt of your email" and nothing else.


She complains about what he plants in our pots on our own patio.  He needs to rake our area (he does ... monthly).  This pot has a chip on it and needs to be thrown away.    Why is that bag of recycling sitting on your patio (because I'm bringing out the other two bags then taking to the bin)?  Clean off your windowsills it looks like trailer trash (books they have read to the kids the night before)

The little boys call her Crabby Lady.  In all innocence Mr 6 asked why she never smiles or waves hello?

She complains about the car parked in our own carport.  Why don't they use it?  It needs to be washed!!  And yesterday, she approached Jesse to tell him something fishy is going on with "that" car ... just look at this picture ... (Kate mistakenly put the bi-annual stickers in the wrong place covering up the monthly sticker on the back with the year sticker) and she was going to send the picture to the POLICE.  Poor Jesse.  So nice.  He said oops, guess we made a mistake.  But go ahead and report it wherever makes you feel better.  

We park too close to the white stripe.  We shouldn't let Mr. 6 fetch the mail (he is SO proud to bring in the mail!).  We shouldn't take to the boys to play in the clubhouse (if no one is using it, so I don't know why).  The boys splash too much at the pool.  They also giggle and laugh too loud when outside.

And, it's not just us although the Board told her she doesn't need to go around looking for things to complain about ... only things that she notices on and about her daily business.


This woman was a Special Ed teacher.

Friday, February 24, 2017

GRANDMA TIME

It is amazing how infrequently I blog since I've moved in with the family.  And I am missing it.

Now that we have worked out our morning and evening routines, I need to plan some ME time.  I'm home by 9:15 after dropping Mr. 6 off at school (and grabbing a coffee as a reward on the way home).  I skim the NYT and WSJ online editions, email, Facebook and a few of my favorite blogs.  Then to play Words with Friends, Word Streak and Letterpress (I keep forgetting this one).

It is time to focus on me.  I'm rejoining Weight Watchers because weighing in is the only thing that keeps me accountable.  This will need to be a lifelong crusade ... with no finish line.  I got my blood work results yesterday and there are 3-4 that need my attention.  Losing weight and moving around more will help them all.  My friend (who is a life coach and a blogger AND reversed her diabetes) is going to assist me via email and phone calls.  I want to be another of her success stories.  The pressure is ON!

I have a first goal of lowering my bad numbers by mid-May when I do my Medicare Wellness check.  Wish me luck!


Monday, February 13, 2017

A WIDOW'S VALENTINE'S DAY


Mr. Ralph was very romantic.  He didn't need Valentine's Day to buy flowers or treats or to light candles.  So I'm not sure why I feel a bit sad this year.

I volunteered to babysit so the kidults could go out but so far they have not made reservations so who knows.  My plan is to let each boy make their own heart shaped pizza.  If I get motivated, I might make snickerdoodle dough and let them make heart shaped cookies.

Yesterday I bought small red bags, Valentine tissue paper, a small amount of candy and I'll put in a $5 bill for their banks (saving for Legos).

It sure would be nice to be sharing all this with Mr. Ralph.  Bet he will be on my shoulder!


Saturday, February 4, 2017

NO LONGER AN AWKWARD WIDOW

After three and a half years, I can usually talk about Mr. Ralph without crying.  Not always, but most of the time.  It's a joy to be back with Kate and her family.  She misses her Dad almost as much as I miss him.

His birthday was January 31 and we wanted to celebrate.  Usually they go to his favorite restaurant but it is no longer Italian ... now very spicy nouveau Mexican.  It's hard to take a three year old out to a restaurant, so we brought in Mr. Ralph's second favorite food .... Chinese!  I made a cherry cobbler for a special dessert.


Even though Deacon never got to meet him, he talks about him as if he did (and does!)

Some blogger friends change the name of their blog, maybe starting out as widow friends, but change to suit their now lives.  I think I am just going to keep the same name.  Just know that life is not as awkward.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

WORDS. DEFINITIONS. CONNOTATIONS.

Words are amazing.


Maybe that is why my blogging is such an enjoyable hobby.  The Thesaurus is my best friend, especially when driving home an idea.

I can usually get my point across to others by using words.  Of course, I have to be careful when sending something short and quick so that I don't seem abrupt.  And I add emoticons to help soften a request or complaint.
So imagine my surprise when I posted on a young lady's FB page only to be barraged by accusatory comments regarding the word "thug."


She posted an opinion page from a small city newspaper disparaging protesters who cause so much destruction and trouble.




I commented "One stupid person's stupid opinion. I do wish there was something we could do to STOP the paid thugs that go to the protests... especially those who were arrested TWICE for bringing violence to protests. Give everyone some peace of mind ..."

One of her friends posted 

"thug" is a word that has deeply racist implications, hth! to which I replied 


No, no, not what I meant at all!   I'm using this definition for THUG: 

noun

1.  a violent person, especially a criminal.
          synonyms: ruffian, hooligan, vandal, hoodlum, gangster, villain, criminal


A different friend chimed in with "The word "thug" has racial undertones that have been reinforced through media and socialization. Rarely (it has at times) has the word been used to depict whites whereas it has been normalized or often equated with inner-city Black males who may or may not be part of any organized crime. It has also become synonymous with impoverished people of color. Reference The New Jim Crow, Unsteady March, Responsibility for Justice, and other texts that lend a critical race lens to communication and depictions. 

I accept that you do not mean it in a racialized way, but the truth is that your intentions have little to do with the history of the word."

Me:  I will try not to use any more words until you approve them! 🤓

Him:  I am sorry that you believe you are being censored simply by being educated.

Me:  I don't quite feel "educated". Which dictionary is OK to use? Webster-Merriam?  Wikipedia?  

Him:  I respect your decision to only utilize a single type of information to attempt to make your point. As a former English Teacher, I would find it problematic to teach students the basic definition of words absent context. It is amazing how language develops and takes upon deeper meanings-- sometimes positive and other times negative. Maybe you should look into some linguistic books?

Me:  Once someone brought up the idea that thug WAS a racist word, I did check several sources. I pointed out (and posted, twice) the definition I was using in this case. No need to suggest linguistic books. I'm respectful enough to define my words should someone not understand them they way I meant.

Him:  why continue using the word knowing the context then, if you did the research? Why not choose an alternate word knowing the racial undertones?

Me:   My sources do not mention the racial undertones .... but I did change my original statement to "criminals" instead of "thugs". That work OK?

Him:  I appreciate you being willing to alter your word usage as it can be damaging to some populations. 

Whippersnapper!  It was my own fault for not simply taking down my first statement.  I must have been argumentative yesterday.  There's no last word with a liberal millennial these days ....








Wednesday, January 18, 2017

COMPETITION

Really, I am in competition with no one.

I just try to be better than I was yesterday, or last week.

Maybe I am just a nurturer at heart (started babysitting at age 11) and I enjoy giving hugs and compliments.  Now that I am an active part in this small family, I am finding so many ways to help.

(beating cabin fever with new costumes)

Last week I bought some granola.  The next day it was gone!  It turns out that Jesse LOVES granola yet rarely buys it because it is expensive.  So I looked up a recipe and went to Costco.  I've made two batches in five days!  I like mine on top of plain Greek yogurt.  Jesse even likes it for dessert!  I made one recipe with honey and one with maple syrup.  Both are excellent.

Braeden usually brings his lunch to school.  Dad usually would pack PBJ, carrots and a bottle of water.  Mom would pack 8,315 little containers of tidbits but they only get about 25 minutes for lunch.  I asked him what he would like for lunch ... and he ate it all.  So each night I tell him what we have.  He is mostly vegetarian so I make sure he picks a protein ... hard boiled egg, protein bar, string cheese, yogurt ... then as many fruits and veggies as he thinks he will eat.  Of course, he's only had 5 days of school since Dec 14 ....
(this is what he does on his days off .... )

I may as well confess.  I even give Bosko (the 65 lb dog) a bite of my toast or sandwich as a treat.  Not from the table (although he still begs)(fun to sit under Mr. 2.5)  Each night I get the coffee pot ready to turn itself on.  Once a week I've been making cookies.  We watch a family movie once a week.  

I'm competing with myself to be a better woman and grandmother.  Mr. 2.5 is a strong willed child and Kate turned me onto 20 minute podcasts by an author who has learned from Magda Gerber.  I have learned SO much about how to better deal with him.  Respectful parenting and how best to cope with a high needs toddler.  Today Mr. 6 went to school and Dadda went on a cleaning spree.  I had Mr. 2.5 to myself six hours and all Janet Lansbury's advice worked!
(Chillin out in the laundry basket)

For now, the competition is not too stiff.  Just me, myself and I!




Sunday, January 15, 2017

FOR THE LOVE OF .....

Braeden sleeps at the foot of my bed so that we can get to bed early on school days.  Also, we we get up we don't wake up the others!  One parent sleeps with Deacon in the king bed and the other parent sleeps in the boys room on a bunk bed.  Odd, I know, but on the days Kate works, she uses the boys room.  Then they switch.

One of our first snow nights, Kate and Jesse decided to go for a moonlight walk.  We three were down for the night.  Soon we heard knocking on my bedroom door and fearful shouting of Gramma, Gramma ... Braeden jumped to open the door and little guy ran right into my arms.  

"No Momma, no Dadda and I scared."  

Braeden said "go get your lambie and your bobba!"

"No, I too scared."  

Don't worry, I'll get them ... and bravely went into the dark bedroom.

Both boys climbed into my twin bed and we snuggled (as I texted Mom) and Deacon asked me to sing songs.  I made up some silly songs and sang quietly (both giggling appropriately).  The parents were home in 10 minutes.

The best ten minutes of my life so far.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

WHAT AM I THINKING?


I entered a random drawing for a community garden plot ... and I won!  There are two sizes, 10x20 and 20x20.  Oh my gosh!  Even 10x20 is huge!!  But that is what we got.

6 year old has loved growing a cherry tomato plant in a pot by the front door.  He and I are the only ones who love tomatoes so we would just pop them in our mouths.  Jesse also loves tending gardens and recently started a compost bin in front of the condo (a terrible big no no so hopefully we can move it to the new garden).

Luscher Farm is part of the Lake Oswego Parks and Rec department.  It was donated many, many, many years ago by Rudy Luscher.  He sold it to the City in return for them caring for the place and allowing him to live there until the very end.  I used to drive the Adult Center van and back then, at 95, he was sharp as a tack and hysterically funny.  He ran it as a dairy farm, with chickens as a side note.  It totals just over 100 acres with 180 organic garden plots.  It also houses a soccer field, two dog parks and a walking/ biking path along the perimeter.  The original home and barn now house classes and camps.  Our city does an amazing job with parks and offering classes for young and old.

Jesse and Mr. 6 are excitedly making plans about what to grow!  If it is too much for us to eat, we can donate to the City and they will give to the Adult Center lunch program or for Center members.

Stay tuned! 






Tuesday, January 3, 2017

PIPSQUEAK CONVERSATIONS

I wish that TV show was still on the air.  Art Linkletter and "Kids Say the Darndest Things."  The things that come from these little tykes often makes me laugh out loud!

2.5 year old:  (Apologizing to a toy soldier)  Sowwy liddle man.  You da bad guy. 

6 year old:  What's the difference between a hurricane and a tornado?  (we looked that up online)

2.5:  After Mom sternly put him back on the restaurant booth bench "Ow! Mom you BWOKE my awrm"  Whereupon everyone in the place turned and looked at us.

6:  I can't sleep in a dinosaur nest by your bed any more.  I'm a big boy now so let's just call it a regular bed.

2.5  Pwivacy pweese (when using bathroom)  Then he locks us out and gets into anything available to him.  Whenever he is QUIET, we go check!  (we now have a key by each door that locks, up on the door jamb)

6:  Are Grammas allowed to give boys a bath because, you know, down there?

2.5:  Can I come in your room and chill out?

6:  I don't like beef stroganoff.  I like beef, I like noodles, I like mushrooms and I like sauce to dip in.  But not all crazy mixed up together.  Yukky.

2.5:  (when it is time to pick up toys)  I too tired.  I better take a nap.

6:  Gramma, will you hold me like a baby?