Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Out of the Mouths (and Noses) of Babes

There is one thing you should always expect from the mouths of toddlers - besides whining when they don't get their way.  You should always expect the unexpected.  They make for the best stories - as long as you can remember them - ergo the blog.

Case in point - I took Aidan and Josiah to the park on an AMAZING February day in any part of the country, but especially in Illinois.  Sunny and 60.  There is a God and He loves me very much...  Now back to the blog...

The boys, recently recovered from colds, had a wonderful time running around at the park - their noses were doing the same, so don't zoom in on the picture too much.  You have been warned!

"Granma, take a picture of me going down the slide."

"Me, too," says Josiah.

"Granma, take a picture of me climbing up the slide."

"Me, too," says Josiah.

Have cell phone, will travel.  Aren't you glad I'm not torturing you will all 34 pictures and 2 videos of the outing?  You're welcome.

Later that evening as we reminisced, Aidan flipped through the pictures commenting on each with the same words, varying only the inflection, "Oh, how precious!" or "Ohhhhh, how Precious!"   Now, remember, I have three sons and five grandboys.  There are, indeed, precious pictures of each of them.  None of them were taken with leaking noses while at the playground.  "Cute" maybe.  "Hilarious" probably.  "Oh, boy!" definitely.  NOT precious!

But, oh, Adian, how I do love you!  Your words are as precious as are you!  But I have to disagree with you on your assessment of the photographic evidence.  Not even this Granma can give your brother's and your faces, coated with snot, that assessment.  I think I'll kiss your foreheads...

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Paint me a Picture

Last Friday, my bestie, Merry, invited me to come to my son and daughter-in-laws house to help her paint stripes on their walls.  I'm honored that she will let me near a paint brush with her, but that's another story. I think she probably likes me better than she likes my actual painting, but it was an invitation none the less.  Merry is very artistic and smart and she loves me.  Of course, I said yes!  My biggest concern was if I would end up painting a grandboy or two.  I am easily distracted those love bugs.  And they, for their part, like to watch - and help - and whirlwind around the room, wet paint not withstanding.
5 Noses in a Row

When we arrived, clad in our best pre-painted clothes, I started by spilling coffee.  I hadn't taken my coat off yet, and I don't even drink coffee.  Humble beginnings.  As Merry calculated the stripe proportions, I played with three grandboys.  The girlies were sleeping.  And to make things all the better, Court was kind of working from home and Christine was painting an adjoining room.  This means the number of midgets outnumbered adults by only one.  Piece of cake!

I shepherded three munchkins down to the toys in the basement, keeping their voices (alternately giggling and crying) two stories away from sleeping grandgirlies.  Of course, there were tales of this one hit that one - accidentally, I'm sure - and the blue toy was more coveted than the green one.  Discussions ensued until the voice of reason (that would be me) arrived at an equitable arrangement.  I'm still half a step ahead of them - except where paint may be found - or coffee.

When I went up to check if I was needed for painting purposes, I was told I was in charge of crowd control instead.  About that time, the rest of the crowd woke up.  Upstairs I went along with my entourage.  For anyone keeping score, that leaves no bodies in the basement, 3 adults on the main floor, one Granma, 3 grandboys and 2 grandgirlies upstairs.  Daunting, yes, but help was literally a scream away.  And there was - a scream - when in a fit of all-boy-bravado, Aidan got his head smashed under the crib.  Aidan headed downstairs for Mama kisses with Josiah following for good measure.

In a purely numbers game, my odds improved - 1 on 3, though the three left were the youngest.  I kept losing track of the only mobile one while changing diapers on the younger two.  Now, if you are confused as to who is where and why and wondering if the paint is confined only to the walls, then I have succeeded in my endeavor to explain the morning to you.  That's pretty much how I felt, too.

Stripes finished - I never got near paint, but neither did the boys - Merry and I took our leave, - well, after several rounds of kisses and "I love yous" and "come back again next Wednesday."

I had a great time - for a few hours - with roadside assistance just a few steps away!  I have known for years that Christine is an amazing Mom, but I just have to brag on my daughter-in-law.  RESPECT, Christine!  Total RESPECT - times FIVE!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

When Fast (Thankfully) Isn't

Once, while eating a can of spinach, I thought I could do anything!  So I got my Popeye on and took three munchkins to a fast food restaurant all by myself.  First you have to get three midgets across a parking lot, something akin to playing Frogger, but with much higher stakes!  Then you have to decipher who wants what and then how to carry and corral at the same time.  After picking out the green stuff from between my teeth, I decided I rather like the role of Olive Oil instead.  I tell you this just to prove that you can teach an old Granma new tricks...

Last weekend there was a similar opportunity involving three munchkins and fast food.  I grabbed ONE grandboy (and the eldest, at that) and the food desires of the others and off we went in search of Portillos.  For those not from Chicagoland, too bad for you.  If you ever get the chance, try it!  But I digress.

Bryce was a little less than smiling when he got into the car.  His favorite game system, DS, had been denied entry into the vehicle, an unpopular and decidedly unGranma-ly dictate.  Thus the following conversation:

  • How's school?    Fine.
  • Still practicing violin?  Yeah
  • Bet I can get an answer out of you longer than 4 letters - what day is it?  Sat (Game on!)
  • What month is it?  Feb
  • Bet I can get you to answer with less than 4 letters - how old are you?  Diez

Ok, I lost the bet, but it got us giggling and conversing, so I won the war.

More giggling and goofing around, a couple of bags of food and a root beer for the munchkin and we were off again.  Speaking of goofing around - what happens when you set a Styrofoam cup of root beer on a heated seat?  Nothing.  What happens when a certain smart boy tips the cup just to be sure no hole has melted into the bottom?  Root beer pours out the straw.  Oh (grand)boy.

Our return was greatly anticipated.  And by "our" I mean the french fries.  Greasy goodness divvied up, we moved on to eating.  There were stories to tell, including the one about the root beer.  There were chicken tenders to nibble into guns.  And being ever so versatile, more chicken to become a beard.  My favorite is when you ask Tyler a question he doesn't want to answer, so he doesn't.  And when you point out to him that someone asked him a question, he replies with, "I can't talk with my mouth full," or something like that.  It was hard to tell since his mouth was full...

All in all, our fast food took about an hour and a half to gather and consume.  The nutritional value that fed our bodies would turn the stomach of a dietitian.  But my soul left filled and refreshed.  And no green between my teeth.  Just call me Olive "Granma" Oil!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Stuck on You!

It started out innocently enough - some spare stickers left over from making Christmas ornaments.  One more winter creation - you know, something to do in the post holiday malaise.   The carols have ended, the ornaments are recharging for next year's season of glitter and glitz, the wrapping paper is decorating the land fill and the cookies have settled in for a long winter's nap around my mid-section.  The house has returned to its former state of normal, whatever that might entail.  But the stickers were not quite finished with their holiday cheer.  Being quite contrary, they were calling in the evening hours, and a certain grandgirlie named Bella heeded their plight.

At first the stickers and I and the one dressed in pink were content decorating paper in the grand pit (otherwise known as the basement).  There were dancing snowmen aplenty - who are, incidentally, still doing their pirouettes for the benefit of the rest of the toys.  Alas, top hats outnumbered snow heads by a factor of 10 to one, and apparently there was a blizzard of snowflakes as well.

A cold wind buffeted our stickers up the stairs were the balance of the adults had retired to warmth and comfort - and a beer and football.  We did what any responsible Granma and grandgirlie would - we followed that fair breeze to witness its effects.

Remember the story of Frosty the Snowman and how when his hat flew off he turned back into an ordinary frozen sculpture?  Well, apparently, his hat(s) have the opposite affect of huMANS, though they seem to grace huWOMANS with their most winning smiles. Colin slept through the first blizzard of 2016, like a bear in a cave or, rather, a teddy bear in a dream tunnel.

Dream sweetly, Colin, of the women in your life!  And much love to you all!