Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Well Loved!

You know what I love most about grandboys and grandgirlies?  They are just love machines.  I am absolutely attracted to them like a piece of metal to their high-power electromagnetism!

Regardless of who does the walking in the door, the first order of business is hugs and kisses - and if your original grandboy has hit double digits, there may be other shenanigans as well: ducking to miss a kiss that he knows he can't ultimately avoid (nor does he really want to), or jumping up and wrapping his legs around me for a full contact hug.  I brace myself when Bryce walks in the door.  I love that, too.

Occasionally one of the mid-sized midgets thinks he can do without the requisite loving, focused as he might be on a certain toy.  Not to worry.  Eventually he will want a Granma favor, and that always comes with a price.  I won't be denied!

The youngest recipients of  Granma loving aren't big enough to run away, and way too smart to avoid it!.  They also dress in pink, which makes them something of an anomaly in this household!  Faith and Naomi are getting so big - 10 pounds!  Almost a ten fold increase in six months!

I could fill this blog with pictures of more people kissing these little sweethearts that would make a politician envious - and we all know there are way too many politicians in the spotlight right now!  But there will never be too many kisses for these miracle bundles!  They are sweet and beautiful girlies, obviously well loved: by Mama and Daddy, by brothers and cousins, by aunts and uncles, by family and friends, by people who have never seen them in person but have been praying for them all this time!  And, well, by this heavily metaled Granma, taken in by their magnetic beings.

God has blessed you, Faith and Naomi - and He has blessed us, too, with you!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Music to my Heart

 There are some things that are much better as a Granma than they were as a Mom.  For all you Moms out there, fear not, it's good the first time around.  It's just better the second.  This list includes things like potty training, playing with blocks, reading a book for the 100th time, going to the park, picking out the day's outfit, and orchestra concerts.  As you can see, there are varying degrees of "like it/love it/please, no" the first time around.  Maybe the "grand" part of Gran(d)ma is how much more special all things become a generation later.  It might have something to do with not having total responsibility for the munchkins.  Or it might be that hind sight gives you 20/20 vision, even without corrective lenses.

Back to the orchestra thing.  Bryce had his very first concert last week.  It was a family affair, meaning Bryce had quite the entourage.  Our two cars full did not arrive half an hour early as the majority of the parents did.  After all, we were not supplying chauffeur service to a performer.  Therefore, we ended up sitting the the balcony - first row, which only proves we weren't the last ones there.

As you can see, it was a stage full of mini-maestros, all with half a dozen months of experience with their wooden musical vessels.  I think that translates into maybe three months of group practice.  Everything was played in unison, more or less, with the "less" bringing almost more smiles in the audience than the "more." Probably some red faces among the performers, too, but there appeared to be many players practicing un-scored syncopation.

There are a couple of things that made this orchestra concert better than when my son played in a similar group so many years ago.  First, I didn't have to listen to the initial six months of practice.  All of the songs were recognizable, even without reading the program.  And secondly, there is nothing like the smile on that kid's face.  He's so proud of himself.  We have that in common, Bryce and I.

I love you, Bryce!  Keep practicing!  And keep smiling!  You are music to my heart!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

L'eggo my Legos

 I hope whoever first invented Legos made millions!  What a great toy!  They keep mid-sized ones entertained for hours making a million things!  Actually, at least half of that time is spent trying to find the piece you want next for whatever you are building.  It is always at the bottom or the pile, no matter how many times you paw through the pile.  Or it is camouflaged by the carpet, not coming out of hiding until you step on it with bare feet - generally when least expected.

Legos haven't really changed a lot in the 2 or 3 decades since my boys played with them.  That is, the blocks themselves are still pretty much the same - some new forms to make the previously impossible commonplace, but otherwise the same. The little flat ones are still hard to separate from each other, though I just learned there is a new tool that makes that job all the easier, and might save a tooth or two.  I can't wait to see how it works once Amazon delivers.

The instruction book for each item hasn't changed either.  See how flimsy it is?  If they really meant for you to keep it for a lifetime, wouldn't they make it slightly less destructible?  Legos last FOREVER.  I'll give the booklet 3 weeks tops.

The Legos below were made by this Granma at the request of Tyler and Bella.  "Granma, make me a digger...a helicopter...a car...a house."  See how none of the colors are coordinated?  Instructions are long gone, as is the memory of what those blocks originally made.  What is left must be put together with imagination and a little luck to find pieces with potential.  My boys never cared what the original pack formed once it had been constructed once.  After that, every Lego became part of a gun or a grenade - that's what little boys do.

Now though, it seems once assembled, the kits stay together in their originally designated design.  Mind you, the thrill of finding the right piece is still there, maybe more so since the directions tell you the must-have block.  My bestie had a whole Christmas tree decorated with Legos, including an R2D2 angel on top!  She pulled it from a box fully assembled.  I was so impressed!  Though I think she might have cheated and used Kragle.

So, here's the bottom line.  It really doesn't matter if you have a box with mass of blocks or textbook perfect sculptures.  But if you just Googled "Kragle" to get it's meaning, you lost your Lego license.

Honey, where are my paaaaaants?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Not Quite Picasso - Yet!

Remember when you were a kid and some things just struck fear into you heart?  Things like:  dentists, chores, school and, in my case, Lima beans.  (The latter still doesn't cross my lips.)  Then I became a Mom and there were other fears like red Kool-Aid in the living room and winter baseball games and toys with tiny sharp pieces that attack in the middle of the night.

Granmas have fears, too.  The biggest one is please-God-don't-let-him-get-hurt-on-my-watch, but it's not the only one.  Like how much supervision does a 10-year-old need on the computer (answer: more than you might think, though you might have to ask what he is doing to determine the appropriate amount of fear.  This Granma is a techno-flop. Sigh.).  But even with the younger ones, who I believe I still outrank in the bigger and stronger and smarter categories there are things that make my blood run cold.

Want to see Granma quake?  Just say - PlayDoh.  I loved it as a kid.  I loved it as a Mom (did I mention the table they played at was surrounded by a sea of linoleum).  I have recently resigned myself to the doh-side as a Granma. Please permit me to pass on words of mold-able wisdom. We Granmas have to "stick" together.

First, keep it far, far away from carpet - or resign yourself to spotted carpet.  Yes, it dries, and yes, you can pick it out once it does.  But if your grandbabies love it as much as mine do, the colorful additions will quickly overwhelm your desire to de-spot the carpet.

Secondly, and this is key, do NOT buy the regular sized tubs of the goo - and NEVER supersize it! First of all, whatever color you pull out, they will want another.  And when they con you into it, you will end up putting away a muddy shade of brown or gray - AND they will ask you what happen to the green or red or yellow, as if you magically made the colors disappear.  If you have pets (or ignored the carpet warning) that newly formed neutral shade will also be hairy.  No one really wants to play with hairy grey slime the next week.  So - buy the tiny tubs that they make to go in birthday gift bags.  You will get 20 colors, all in small quantities.  They can be used twice (at most) and then thrown out.  Is that wasteful?  Maybe, but the wisdom time has afforded me permits this luxury.

And finally, PlayDoh is not just for sculpting anymore.  Apparently, it is now a wearable accessory.  Grab the camera and have some fun!  It's time to forget the carpet and conquer your fears! As Homer Simpson would say, "Doh!"