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Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Spencer and Anderson have been with since their mommy went to the hospital on Tuesday. They’ve never stayed with me that long in one shot. It’s now Monday. Almost a whole week. The big one, Anderson, is the most perfect little boy. He’s six. He can be here for days and no one would know it. He takes care of himself and if he sees I’m not busy, he comes to see if we can I can sit with him to do something…read, watch TV, play a game…all good stuff.

However, Spencer is in constant motion. He never stops unless he’s asleep. He’s gotten into the habit of say “No. I said no!” to me when I ask him to do something or stop doing something. Then he laughs and runs away. When I catch him there is lots of laughing and kicking on his part and a lot of frustration on my part. Sometimes tears because his kicks connect. When we went to visit at the hospital on Friday night, his dad told me to put him in time out in his room. So I figured that was a good idea only we’re at my house, not his. When he was acting up, I told him that if he didn’t behave he was going to have a time out. He looked around and said “time out where?” I took him to the guest bedroom which I had actually cleaned out and made up with fresh linens and soft blankets. I guess he liked it. So a couple of hours later,  when he wouldn’t stop jumping on my bed where he was supposed to be sleeping, I said “Stop or you get a time out.” He got that light bulb look in his eyes and got right off of the bed, grabbed my hand and said, “Come on, ollow me. Ollow me.” He walked be to the spare bedroom,  and got into the bed and had me cover him. As I walked out of the room, he was whispering, “nice fresh bed; nice fresh bed.” And he stayed. Within five minutes he was zonked out.

So now I am wondering if on this last day that they will be with me, the time out will still work. I’m hoping to have a good day. One where I don’t have to stick my whole are in the toilet bowl to pull out all of the Play Doh; one where I don’t walk in the kitchen to find him “cooking” a concoction of cookies, chocolate syrup, Sweet N Low, an entire salt shaker of salt, a cork from a wine bottle that I wish I still had to settle my nerves after dealing with him; a day when I don’t go to put on my shoes to find that he has filled them with my pricey body lotion which was a gift that I never use because I want to save it; a day when he has not gone through my jewelry box and tangled all of my necklaces; a day when he has not scattered Anderson’s flashcards all over; a day when I don’t have to scold or raise my voice. A fun day. A happy day.

And I know that as soon as they have been gone a few hours, I will be missing them. However, this time I think it will take me quite some time to recuperate and even longer to put the house back how it’s supposed to be.

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Today’s the day that the BIG STORM is supposed to come in. So far we’ve seen a lot of rain, thunder, lightning, hail, and strong wind gusts. But nothing like what has been predicted. That may change. It’s 1:30 in the morning and the storm is not scheduled to come in yet, not until later today. So we shall see what we shall see.

Today’s the day that we find out if Grand Baby Number 4 is a girl or a boy. We are doing a gender reveal this afternoon so I’ve been busy helping my daughter run around and find things for the party…cheap things because neither of us has money. She was able to get some things for free from the local Buy Nothing group. And just about everything else was found at the Dollar Tree. I am making some signs and decorations. She bartered with a woman who works at a bakery so the cake cost her nothing! The food is being prepared from items given them by the Gleaners group they belong to (surplus food from grocery stores donated to low income families). I should actually try to sleep because, although the party is not until 3 this afternoon, I have a poster to prepare for the morning so hand lettering and gluing and decorating it. I also agreed to make up little slips of paper for name suggestions. Luckily, I found a flamingo rubber stamp and they are going with flamingos for baby decorations, I think. So index cards will be stamped with flamingos for name suggestions. And I am doing the prep for that.

Then I will find my hands and sit on them so I do volunteer to do anything else!

In any case, I will be back tomorrow with a coffee share and the baby’s gender! I have all but lost hope of having a grand daughter, after three grandsons. But who knows?! Maybe they’ll surprise me. 🙂

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When my kids were in their teens, they became followers of The Princess Bride cult! They discovered the movie and watched it over and over and over again. We bought the VHS tape then the DVD. My daughter now owns it on Blu Ray. It got to the point where they could recite the dialog as the movie played. When they had friends over, they watched the movie. In the hundreds of times they watched it, I never sat down to watch it with them. I would me in ear shot and most of the time I could see them, especially when it was a mixed gender group of friends watching it, but I always gave them room and never sat down to watch it. Every time they watched it, I would remind myself to sit down and watch it some day when they were out of the house but it never happened.

Then this weekend linkup was announced and I figured it was my chance to watch, at least I would have an excuse, and it is on Netflix so no money involved. Yay. So I watched it last week. Did I like it? Well, I kept meaning to watch it again so I could write a good post about it but I guess I didn’t like it enough to watch it a second time. Why? Well, something you don’t know about me is that I don’t find a lot of “humor” funny. I don’t like slapstick. I don’t like the ridiculous being passed as humor. I don’t like “jokes” about bodily functions. Yeah, I’m kind of a dud that way. So I didn’t find a lot of humor in it. Yes, there was some humor that I thought was truly funny. And even though I grew up in the times of the women’s liberation movement and hated it, having been brought up in a very traditional hispanic family and believing that the woman’s place is indeed in the home and all that. Somehow along the way, from the 1970’s to now, I grew up and realized that I was wrong. So it kind of bothered me that it was all men made out to be the heroes and it also bothered me that Buttercup expected everything to be done for her as if she were a fragile flower. I didn’t like the “As you wish” attitude.

What did I like? I loved that it was a grandparent reading to a grandson. The family aspect of it was wonderful. The reading being passed on from one generation to another was very authentic to me. It showed the value of generations of a family interacting with one another and it showed how storytelling and reading are valuable. And even though the grandson was at the age where he did not at first value the reading or the grandfather, by then end, he valued both and looked forward to more visits from the grandfather and, presumably, more storytelling. I love storytelling and I have a lot of stories that I’ve told my kids and students. I love how at first they aren’t too interested but as soon as the story gets going, they are hooked! That part was very real to me. I’ve had it happen.

If I were rewriting it (and I will admit that I have not read the book) I would write it as the grandfather telling/reading the story to both a grandson and a granddaughter. I would write in some kind of dialog about the gender roles and maybe, by the end of the story, each of the grandchildren might see some valid points in the other one’s views. Oh, and I would clean up the language so it would be more understandable, a little more modern. I think that would add to the story.

Will I watch it again? Yeah. I will. Not sure when but maybe the next time we have a cold, rainy weekend and I don’t have grandchild duty, I’ll put it on and give it another look. Then maybe I will write about it once again.

Do I recommend it? Yup! I hear the book is absolutely wonderful, too. Maybe I’ll pick up the book one day.

If you’d like to read more blog posts about The Princess Bride (book and movie), check out the linkup!

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This started out as a good week. Then Tuesday came along.

First, my writing class went well even though the grades 5 to 7 turned out to be 4 to 8 which is a much tougher group. Some of the kids have trouble writing a sentence, let alone a paragraph. And then there are the kids that can write three or four coherent pages in ten minutes. I’ll find a way.

Anderson was to be at a P.E. class in the gym while I had my writing class but on Monday night, my daughter read the requirements which include closed toe shoes which he doesn’t have. He’s been in sandals or flip flops all summer and doesn’t have closed shoes yet. So he stayed home while I went to the writing class. When I got home, I picked him up and we went to the Library to look for some books on clouds, rain, and why the leaves change color on trees (all questions he has been asking about). When we arrived at the library, it was closed until noon because it was the day they open late and close late, which we didn’t know. There is a park across the street from the Library so I asked Anderson if he wanted to make up for missing P.E. by playing at the park. It’s a park he has been going to since he was four (he’s now six) and we call it the Climbing Park because they have a variety of climbing structures. He was happy to have a half hour of play time so we went across the street. He played for about ten minutes then I noticed that he wasn’t playing but sitting and it looked like he was trying to spit something out and then he’d look at his hand. I started walking over to him and called out to see if he was okay. He started walking toward me and said he was okay but I could see blood all over his face. I asked if he hit his mouth and he said yes. I asked if he knocked his tooth out and he said no, it was still there. I looked. Nope. It wasn’t there. He had knocked out the top front tooth on his right side and the one on the left was dangling. Ouch. Blood ALL OVER. I didn’t want to upset him so I tried to keep my cool and tried to remember if these were his baby teeth or the permanent ones. I couldn’t remember so I took a picture of the missing tooth and the one that was dangling and texted it to my daughter who was dropping Spencer off for his first day of preschool. She said they were both baby teeth. That was good. Anderson wanted to come home. He didn’t want to play any more or wait for the library to open. He didn’t want to come to my house. I could hear him almost hyperventilating as we walked to my car. I brought him to his house to wait for my daughter to arrive. Poor Anderson was really upset but he didn’t cry or complain.

We took him for a special lunch at Olive Garden where he has the soup and bread sticks but he couldn’t eat either. He didn’t even drink the water. We took him for a special treat (a Lego set) which he picked out but then wanted to leave right away. He turned down ice cream. We went to collect Spencer after school and Anderson played a little bit but then when we got home, he just sat. No talking. No eating. No drinking. He doesn’t want to open his mouth because he doesn’t want anyone to see what it looks like. He still has not eaten and it has been almost 48 hours since his last meal. He won’t drink anything either. We got him to sip a tiny bit of water so he doesn’t get dehydrated. Then today we spent the day at the dental clinic (county services) and because it was a walk in, we ended up waiting over six hours for the dentist who took some x-rays and showed us how the permanent teeth are right under the gums, ready to pop through. My daughter wanted them to pull the tooth so he will eat and drink but the dentist said it would be traumatic for him and didn’t do it. So now we wait for the loose tooth to drop off so he can start eating. He’s afraid to swallow the tooth, that’s why he doesn’t want to eat or drink.

I’m crossing my fingers that he’ll lose that one soon but if he’s not eating or drinking, he won’t be helping the tooth to fall out. Not to mention that he has to eat something and start drinking so he doesn’t get weak and dehydrated.

Life is tough when you’re 6.

And life is tough when you’re the grandma that is hurting for her little one and worried about him.

 

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Today is my cousin Lydia’s birthday. She’s the daughter of my mom’s brother. She has always lived in Texas and I have seen her in person less than twenty times in my entire life yet she is family and I try to keep in touch with her, at least by reading her Face Book posts. I feel both close and distant from her (and my other Texas cousins). I think, from things she has said, she feels the same way.

Why the distant feelings? My mom is the oldest of the three siblings so my brothers and sisters and I were all born before my uncle’s kids. In fact, my youngest sister is the same age as Lydia. We always lived in California (I’m the only one of my siblings to live outside of California and that happened in 2008). My grandmother also lived in Texas all of her life. She used to take the Greyhound bus from Corpus Christi to San Jose every summer to stay with my family. She loved us and bragged about us all the time, which as a grandmother myself I understand. This bragging continued after my uncle’s kids were born. My grandmother raised two of my three cousins after my uncle’s divorce so she was very close to them, yet when the subject of my family came up, she showed her love for us by talking about us in glowing terms. When she came to see us in California she would tell us all about our cousins in Texas. She bragged about them and had a lot of pictures of them that she showed us constantly.

What did this cause? I think that my grandmother inadvertently created a spirit of competition and jealousy. My Texas cousins were jealous of us because she talked about us constantly when she wasn’t with us. She had our pictures all over her walls. Every time one of us did something she was proud of, from school work to a new tooth or winning a contest or a race, she bragged about it. So they were jealous of us. When she came to stay with us, she constantly spoke of our cousins and the day to day things they did together. They got to grow up with her and spend so much more time with her than we did. They got to hear the family stories and learn from her. I won’t speak for my siblings but I will say that I felt cheated. Not my cousins’ fault and not quite jealousy but I did feel like they were so lucky to spend so much more time with her than we did. In a way, my grandmother created a feeling within each of us that made us feel as if we were “less than” the Texas cousins and also made them feel that they were “less than” me and my sibings. Yet, I know I love my cousins and I am pretty sure there are some strong feelings on their side.

I think this has caused us to be even more distant than the physical miles between us. l wish I could fix it. I wish I could spend time with Lydia and my other cousins. I wish I could get to know her better. This has bothered me for so long. I guess it’s upon me to do something about it. Aside from wishing her a happy birthday on her FB wall, I think I’ll make it a point to check in on her at least once a week and start some sort of dialog. The miles are great but I am hoping that the family ties are much stronger than the miles.

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If we were having coffee, we would be indoors. It’s raining here in Seattle. It’s not cold, just wet. You would have to help yourself to a drink before settling in as I have a baby in my arms! I drove up here on Tuesday morning and was handed a baby as soon as I got in the door. The rest of the time has been filled with holding him, feeding him, and lots of burping! Mati is four weeks old. He’s quite alert for four weeks. I think I’m spoiling him. He’s been attached to me almost all day, every day. I got to be his first babysitter, too. His mommy and daddy had tickets to two soccer games this week so they got a couple of nights out and I got this precious little boy to myself.

This past week has been filled with shock and sadness in the world. Being here with this tiny, innocent little boy has helped me both empathize with that grief and sadness and also get through it without totally falling apart.

As Mati sleeps in my arms, I’m reminded of holding his daddy in my arms when he was this age. I’m reminded of how much simpler the world was; how much less hate, fear, and danger we faced. I am also filled with hope and dreams that Mati’s world will be a better place; that he won’t have to know the hate and intolerance; that he will be in less danger when he grows; that he will live in a world that embraces all mankind.

I’ll be driving home to Portland tomorrow. I’m already missing this little one and wondering when I’ll be back to see him. I’m lucky that he’s only a three hour drive away from me. Hopefully that will translate into frequent visits.

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 #WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly blog linkup hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster Blog. Come join us!

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Wacky Wednesday

Anderson spent the night on Tuesday. He woke up at 1:30 in the morning upset because he didn’t have his blankie so Tina brought it over. By then he was in my bed. We got the blanket and turned everything low and I cuddled with him but he still had a lot of trouble getting back to bed. I think it was 4 when I fell asleep and and he was still awake. Needless to say, he slept til after eleven on Wednesday morning.

He didn’t want to go home so we hung out at my house. In the late afternoon we went on some errands with his mom and little  brother. When we got back, they both wanted to stay with me so they did. For a couple of hours. Then Spencer asked for “hum” and got his blankie and walked to the door. Tina came and got him. Anderson stayed.

So it looks like of the past twenty-four hours, I have had one or two little boys for the whole twenty-four hours. Anderson will stay at least til noon tomorrow. Crazy boys! They must be making up for last week when I didn’t see them from Thursday til Tuesday! Of course they picked the days that I need to go get a few things for their Easter baskets! I think I will have to insist on Anderson going home tomorrow so I can go do that before everything is gone.

Hopefully I will get a chance to blog a bit.

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