Posts Tagged ‘daughters’

For some reason, my daughter always has  me take Anderson for his haircuts, except the very first time when we both took him. The last couple of times I am convinced it was because she wanted me to pay. Today she had me take both boys. I hadn’t agreed to it, in fact, I didn’t even know until I went to get Spencer to go to the Dollar Tree. She had both boys ready and had told them they were going for haircuts. So off we went. 

Spencer was not behaving, you know that kid that can’t sit still and is running all over and ends up knocking down all the shampoos they sell, yeah that was him. I should have just said let’s go home but we stayed and they called both boys at the same time so I told one lady what we wanted for Anderson and showed her a picture. Then I say with 4 year old Spencer as they cut his hair. Spencer got a cool haircut and Anderson’s is nice too but it’s short. Short. As in too short. Not sure he likes it. His mom hasn’t seen it because he refused to go home so he’s here with me. He went straight to bed when we got home and it was really early, like four. 

Of course, it will be all my fault. So I will have paid thirty dollars for haircuts that they don’t like and I didn’t offer to pay for. I think next time, she needs to take them and pay or not say a word about it. 

Now if she would pay me back, I could get my hair cut because it has been two years. I won’t hold my breath.  

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…my time goes:


Just as I think I am going to start something or take a short nap, it never fails, I get a text from my daughter to go rock the baby to sleep or hold her so she can get word done. And off I go because I never learned to pronounce the most difficult word in many languages — “no.”  Sometimes I don’t eat because I am over there. Like tonight. She asked me over just after five. I was supposed to eat between six and seven. (Because my insulin lasts about four and a half hours and I have to eat shortly after that so I can take the insulin again before my blood sugar sky rockets.) I thought I would just need to rock her to sleep and then come home. When I got there, she told me that Anderson tried to do a somersault and landed on the pack ‘n play with all his weight and broke it. They use the pack ‘n play as the baby’s bed because a crib doesn’t fit in her bedroom. So she was asking in all of her free groups on Facebook if anyone had an extra one she could have or even borrow. And that also meant that when Maya fell asleep in my arms, she had to stay in my arms because her bed was broken.

She was lucky enough to find one to keep in one of the groups so off she went to pick it up and to the grocery store to get the rent money order because she’s going to be out of town until late Sunday and she can’t trust her husband to get the money order and follow through with turning it in. And all that while I was sitting on the couch with a sleeping baby in my arms.


The baby woke up and cried and fussed because she’s working on cutting another tooth and I think she missed her mama, too. When they got back, Spencer didn’t want me to leave. He does this thing where he wraps his arms around my legs so I won’t leave and looks up at me and says “pease Nana pease, don’t go, pease.” How can I say no to that? By then it was nine and I still had not eaten or taken my insulin so I told Spencer I could stay a little longer if his mommy had food for me because I was three hours late eating and taking my medicine. Spencer got a chair and pulled it to the freezer to look for food for me! So I stayed just about another hour. I ate there then played with Spencer (no school on Fridays at Head Start so he got to stay up late) for a little bit then came home.

And I am exhausted. I am supposed to do some writing so I don’t fall behind on my NaNoWriMo project (and I will most likely fall behind this weekend because I am helping Chris out with kids while Tina is out of town) and I was supposed to write this blog post. I got that done but I don’t think I will have the energy to do any writing on my NaNoWriMo project. Maybe if I go to sleep now I will wake up early tomorrow?

Anyway, if Maya was such a cutie pie, awake or asleep, it wouldn’t be so difficult to say that unpronouncable word! Darn, just my luck to have the cutest little granddaughter!



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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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My daughter,  Susie,  had her birthday yesterday. She and her boyfriend went to Bend for  a couple of days. I went over to feed her cats did her a few times. After the first time,  I texted her to let her know everything was okay with the cats. 

This stopped  my heart.  Did I accidentally left one of when I went in the door? I jumped up reflexively, perhaps to jump in the car to go look for Gato #8, then this came through:

And although I should have scolded her for  scaring  me,  I laughed. Every time I think of it I smile. 

The #weeklysmile is a blog linkup hosted by Trent.  Come  on  over and share a smile with us! 

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Well, she’s not a baby anymore but she’s my baby.  Susie, my youngest turns 25 today.  It doesn’t seem possible.

A while back, we started (well, the kids started not me) to see who could be the first to wish the other a happy birthday and they tried to do it right at midnight.  If they were physically nearby, it was a hug and a “happy birthday”.  If they weren’t nearby, it was a phone call, and later a text.  With me, it was easy because everyone was always up at midnight on my birthday, but with the others, not so much.  One year, when it was just the two of us left at home, I was watching the clock and waiting for midnight.  She was in her room.  I went in about ten minutes before midnight and asked her if she was excited for her birthday.  I think it was the year she turned 17.  She said “It’s not my birthday yet. Not until midnight so don’t talk about it yet.” I left her room and went to my computer room right next door.  I figured I would check email.  Well, that was a mistake.  There was email and a friend was online and popped in with an instant message. Before I knew it, it was 12:06.  I ran into her room and knocked on the door.  “Go away.” I opened it just a tad and the lights were off and she was in bed.  Unusual for my night owl.  I went in and said “Happy birthday!” She turned her head to the wall and muttered, through tears, “You forgot!  I’m not important.  You forgot my birthday and now you’re late!”

Nothing I said would get her to turn to face me.  I left her room.  I was upset because she was upset and she’s my baby and it hurts to have her hurt, especially when I had “caused it”.  So I went to my room and called Tina, my other daughter, who lived about fifteen minutes away.  She was asleep but woke with the phone.  I told her what had happened and asked her to come make a big fuss.  I suggested balloons from the 24 hour grocery store and maybe a cake or ice cream.  So, she got up and got dressed and in less than twenty minutes she was at the door with flowers, balloons, cake, and ice cream.  She went to Susie’s room and pretended she didn’t know what had happened.  Susie was excited to have her sister there and to have all the special attention so she got up and came to the kitchen where we all had cake and ice cream and all was right with the world again.

She’s too far for me to give her a hug to this year.  She lives in California.  Last night I knew she had to be at work early this morning so I didn’t call her or text her but I did post on her Facebook page with birthday wishes.  I’ll have to call her later, when she’s off work, and remind her that I haven’t forgotten her or her birthday.  With luck, she won’t be upset because I didn’t call earlier.  But then again, she’s grown up now so she’s not as sensitive.  And, I did see her last week when I was on my trip and I took her to dinner (twice and breakfast, too) for her birthday so actually, I was the first to wish her a happy birthday, a week early!

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One of the things I enjoy about blogging is that I can read a blog and it will trigger a memory that I can write about and share with my own readers. Such a thing happened last night as I read Joanne’s post at My Life Lived Full.

When I lived in Los Angeles, we (my kids and I) spent a lot of time in the car, on one of the many freeways we had to take to navigate from one part of the county to another. One of these times, my daughters and I were coming back from visiting friends. They were about 19 and 13 years old. It was dark out and we were traveling west on the 134, which is the Ventura Freeway. That night, as happens most nights, the traffic was buzzing along at about 70 miles per hour. No one was going slower or faster. That’s not an ideal situation because it pretty much forces drivers to drive just as fast as everyone else and it makes it very difficult to move over from one lane to another. I was driving along with the flow of traffic but because we had to drive the same freeway for about twenty or more miles, I had gotten into the far left lane of a four lane freeway. I was sort of stuck there.

Suddenly, Tina (the older of the two girls) starts screaming. “Something is crawling on me! Something is crawling on me!” And she starts swatting at the something and wiggling around to get away from the Something. Of course, she was riding shotgun so as she screamed and swatted, she was distracting me from the driving. I tried to keep my eyes and mind on the road and I did, but I had to really concentrate. The screaming continued. “It’s a spider! Mom, get it off of me! Mom! I hate spiders, get it off of me!” More shrieking and swatting. As I drove, I tried to find a spot to move over four lanes so I could pull off the freeway before she swatted the steering wheel out of my hands, blew out my ear drums, or had a heart attack, whichever came first. As I glanced over toward the right to check traffic, I spotted the spider as it was briefly lit by the headlights of the cars behind me.

It was a tiny spider. Tiny. As in eensy weensy spider! I cracked up. That made Tina more upset because she thought (okay, she knew) I was laughing at her. And the screaming at me continued. “Don’t laugh at me! It’s not funny. I hate spiders! Get it off of me!” Susie, in the back seat, had been pretty quiet the whole time, just watching the entertainment Tina was providing. Then I blew it. I told Tina it was a tiny spider and started singing, “the eensy weensy spider climbed up the Tina girl. Down came Tina’s arm and slapped the eensy weensy spider down.” As I sang, Susie and I cracked up. By then I had managed to move over a couple of lanes, almost in time to get off on an actual exit but I missed the exit. More screaming and swatting, then finally, as I reached the next exit and began to get off of the freeway, Tina laughed too. There were tears in her eyes but I think she finally realized the humor in the situation and she laughed. Either that or she was laughing in relief that I was going to get the spider off of her.

We made it off of the freeway, where she got out of the car and shook off anything and everything that could possibly have been on her then she swatted at the seat and the windows before getting in the car. All the while, Susie and I cracked up. When she got back in the car, she asked me not to get back on the freeway. She wanted me to take surface streets so if there were anymore spiders, we could pull over quickly. I complied and we proceeded home. After about five minutes, there came a little voice from the back seat as Susie sang the words to the eensy weensy spider song. And we all cracked up. Even Tina.

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When I turned 40 in December of 1995, my oldest daughter started telling me that I should cut my hair because I was too old for long hair.  I didn’t like the idea of short hair.  I’ve always had long hair.  Almost always, that is.   For a short while, during my second year in college, I cut my hair short and had it in an Afro.  That was about as daring as I got.  I let it grow out for a long time then cut it short again, although not as short, when I was a very young mother of two.  Short hair was so much easier and quicker to handle so I did it for convenience, but I haven’t ever liked short hair (except the Afro was kinda cool and it was the 70’s).

Now, all these years later, my hair has been on my mind.  I feel it’s time for a change but what change should that be?  I’ve thought of letting it go gray.  I have to dye it about every four to five weeks or it’s way, way, gray.  However, because my hair is naturally so dark (just this side of black) that letting it go gray will put it in a very awkward condition until it goes completely gray…I’m guessing months and months to let it go sufficiently gray.  That’s too long to have it in limbo.

Recently, I wondered if maybe cutting it short and letting it go gray would be easier because the short hair will turn gray much quicker than the long hair.  Or at least that’s what I was thinking.  I decided to go down to the salon where I have gone for hair cuts (really just a trim) since I moved here four years ago.  They have a senior discount day on Tuesdays so it’s much cheaper.  I’ve had my hair colored there before, too.   This time, the girl that has done it previously was not in but the manager was there and I showed her the picture I had found with short but not too short hair and told her the color I wanted.  She seemed to understand and I knew she was the person that everyone there called with questions about hair color when they couldn’t figure it out so I figured it would be okay.

Then she started cutting my hair.  She was fast.  Very fast.  Before I knew it (like in less than a minute) my hair was about three inches shorter than I had asked her to leave it and it was wet which meant that when it dried, it would be shorter.  Ouch.  I told her it was short enough.  Don’t take any more off.  Then came the coloring.  She turned my chair away from the mirror so I never saw what she was doing.  When she had finished and combed it out and dried it and styled it, the color was not right.  The lighting was bad in there too so it was hard to tell.  She told me she would re-do it for me at no charge if I didn’t like it after a few days.  I walked out of there and to my car and on the way home, the sun came out and I could tell in the rear view mirror that the color was awful.  Awful.  A.W.F.U.L.  It was a very light brown with a kind of pink tint to it.  Horrible.  Hideous.  Barf-inspiring.

Not only did my daughter look at me funny but my grandson wouldn’t go anywhere near me that afternoon.  Even when I talked to him it didn’t seem to register that it was me.  He stayed away from me that day.  I was so upset I didn’t want to be seen in public with my hair that color.

I was the first one at the salon when they opened the next day and within minutes she was working on my hair again.  She dyed it again and got it the right color and she fixed the hairdo so that it wasn’t all one short length.  I had her layer it so it had some kind of shape and style to it.  I left there much happier. 

I know it will grow out; maybe not as soon as I would like but it will grow out.  As far as the color, I think I’ll keep dying it.  I’m not ready to go through the drama and stress of all this hair business yet.  Not yet.  Not quite yet.

So much for listening to my daughter, who by the way, now says I should keep my hair long even if I’m too old for long hair.


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Yesterday’s post about Tina’s birthday reminded me of one of the really sweet, at least in my opinion, things she has said.

Awhile back, while Tina was a junior college student, she went to England on a study abroad program with a large group from the school.  They took classes at Oxford University.  They had only three days of classes each week.  Friday’s were for field trips and on Mondays, most Mondays anyway, there were no classes.  That left a lot  of time for traveling around Europe.

In the three months she was there, she visited Ireland twice, Scotland, twice, Rome, Venice, Florence, Naples, Paris, Amsterdam, and I don’t know how many other places.  In fact when she was there was when Pope John Paul II died and her visit to Rome and Vatican City coincided with the period when there was no Pope.  If I remember correctly, the Papal Conclave reached consensus the day after Tina was in Vatican City.

Long distance to Europe is very expensive.  She had limited internet access because she had to go to cafés for that and that too was expensive.  I did get occasional emails either from her or from friends traveling with her that would relay the messages.  I spoke to her on the phone three times when she was there.  In fact, I called her within minutes of the announcement of the Pope’s death.  That’s how she heard it.  She was in Scotland visiting family friends and the word had not yet reached them, yet it had reached me in California!

When she returned, she said she had taken over 2500 pictures and she would go through them with me and we could talk about the trip because she had so much to tell me about.  She knew that I’ve always wanted to go to Europe but haven’t made it there.  (Now not so much.  I am somewhat resigned to the fact that I will probably not ever see Europe.)  That day, of sitting down to look at her pictures and have that talk, has never arrived.  I’ve caught little bits and pieces here and there but never have we sat down to look at the pictures and let her tell me about them.

One day, shortly after she returned, she said to me that one day she is going to take me to Venice which, to her, is the most beautiful city of all the places she visited.  Then she went on to say that while there, she had seen a palace that she wanted to take me to but, because there are so many steps to get up to the palace and she knows that my knee cannot handle steps, she had told her friends that were with her that she was going to take her mother there and hire men to carry me up and down the steps so that I can see the palace and do all of my sightseeing with hired men to carry me where I could not go on my own!  One of her friends was with us and she said, “That’s what I told you guys, remember?” And he nodded.

THAT’S what I think is special about Tina.  How many twenty year olds go off to explore the world with their friends and think of their mother while they are off with their friends?  How many of these twenty year olds would even admit to their friends that they were thinking about their mom and planning on taking their mom to see those places that they were seeing?  I don’t know but I don’t think the number is too big.

I am blessed to have each of my three children.  Each one of them is their own person and I have a special relationship with each one.  But this is about Tina.  I am blessed to have Tina as my daughter, for many reasons but I do remember, often, the feeling I had when she told me about the palace in Italy that she wanted to take me too and how she had put enough thought into it to tell her friends that she would need to hire someone to carry me up and down the many steps.  I remember the lump in my throat that I felt then and the tears that threatened to spill when I realized that all those miles away from me, my Tina was thinking about me.

I feel both that lump and the tears now and it’s not just about Italy; it’s about my Tina.

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Yesterday was a really stressful and emotional day.  I ended up having to take my daughter to the Emergency Room and sitting there with her for a little over three hours.  In the end, she’s okay and the baby is okay.  She’s just under too much stress.  I think it has been building up over the past four months and the last week has been particularly bad.  I guess I’m glad she ended up in there because maybe now this will serve as the warning she needed to slow down, think about her options, herself and her baby.  Of course this is easier said than done and it is her life so I won’t add to her stress by trying to influence her.  I just have to be there to support her and stand by her.  If I had my choice, I’d rather go strangle a particular neck but that’s not going to happen.

When I finally got home about 9 in the evening, I read the news about Patrick Swayze’s death.  It came over a friend’s post on Face Book.  I knew it was coming.  I just didn’t know when or how it would hit me when it did.

Dirty Dancing is one of my all time favorite movies.  It is probably around number five on my list.  Why?  I think, for me, there were lots of reasons.  It was released in 1987.  I was 31 years old.  It was a time when I was a housewife with two kids under 5 and feeling neglected, ignored, unappreciated, well you get my drift.  Then there was the music.   Wow!  I still want to get up and dance every time I hear the soundtrack, especially I’ve Had the Time Of My Life.  The story was another attention grabber for me.  I was always Miss Goody Two Shoes.  Not doing anything wrong, wild, or fun!  I always wanted to just hit that dance floor and never sit down but that would bring attention to me and my parents raised me to not ever bring attention to myself, either positive or negative attention.  Then there was the story of the love story between Baby and Johnny.   The dancing.  I have always loved dancing.  In college, once I was away from my parents, I learned to dance to all sorts of music that never played on the stereo in my parents’ house.  I wanted to move.  My body wanted to follow the beat of the music.  My spirit craved to be allowed to show who I was inside.

There were lots of reasons.  I think that the movie  is somewhat symbolic to me.  I know it’s the film that makes me smile and sway and want to get up and dance.  It reminds me that just because someone acts in a way that is against the accepted norm it does not make them a bad person.  The accepted norm is not the only  right or good way.

Then there was Johnny Castle…Patrick Swayze.  No one can deny the man could move.  No one can deny that he could act (although many do, okay mostly guys).  He had solid good looks.  He had a wonderful singing voice.  He was, in my eyes, a nearly perfect package.

I think that every girl melted when Johnny Castle walked over to Baby’s parents’ table and said, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.”  Who doesn’t want someone to stand up for them?!  There’s a lot more to this reason but I’ll save that for another post.  But when he delivers that line, we all melt (okay, except for the guys).  We all want someone to fight for us.  We all want someone to speak up and out for us.  At least I always did.  I’ve not had that.  I’ve not ever felt that someone was sticking up for me; that someone was willing to fight for me.  Not since my brother David beat up the kids that threw a baseball at my head when I was in first grade.

That’s what this movie did for me.  That’s why it’s more special than Ghost or The Outsiders or anything else he did.

Tonight, when ABC airs Barbara Walters’ repeat of the interview with Patrick Swayze, I’ll be turning ABC off and putting in my Dirty Dancing DVD.

And it reminds me that the next time a certain person messes with my daughter, I will fight for her and I will stick up for her and if necessary, this fat little old lady will knock his lights out.  Nobody messes with my baby!

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Note: For part one, click here.

…My escape route emerged like an early Christmas present.

I was always getting called to the office for Student Body business or some club function.  At times, when the office staff was short-handed, I would be called in to help run the switchboard, which I had done since my sophomore year.  One day, about two weeks after the Junior Miss Pageant,   I was called in to see Mr. Cordova in the office.  It didn’t seem like a big deal to me so I went to the front office to see the Assistant Principal in charge of Student Affairs, which in my case meant my Student Body job.   I liked Manny Cordova.  He was one of my “pals” at school, although I didn’t know him as well as I knew some of the other administrators and teachers with whom I had positive relationships.  Manny Cordova’s  office door was always open and he always said the kindest and most appropriate things to me.  He was the only Latino administrator at the school and as such, he was often the only one who understood me and my family and the cultural aspects surrounding us.

I walked into the outer office and Mr. Cordova stood there with five or six other students, all Juniors.  I was the last one there and they were waiting for me.  He told us all, “I know this is short notice but I have a couple of recruiters from Stanford University in my office.  They want to talk to our best students and you’re it.  They’ll talk to you all together then to each of you separately.  I’ve already given them your transcripts so just go in and listen and ask questions.”

The others started to walk into his office but I hung back waiting to talk to Mr. Cordova.  “Mr. C, I’m a Senior.  This is a waste of time.  It’s too late for me to apply.  Besides, they only want really smart people there and it’s too expensive.  My family doesn’t have the money for Stanford.  I don’t want to talk to them.”

“Go listen to them.  Please.  As a favor to me.  It’s not too late.  The deadline is January 5.  That gives you the Christmas break to fill out the application.  Your counselor and I will help you, even over the break.  And as for money, haven’t you ever heard of scholarships?”

I shook my head.  I didn’t want to waste my time.  Mr. Cordova persisted. I couldn’t believe it.  He was usually so easy going but now he was actually kind of strong arming me!  “Come on.  I’ll make a deal with you.  I know you don’t like P.E.  If you go in and talk to the recruiters, I’ll give you a pass so you can get out of P.E. for the rest of the week.  Deal?  That’s three days of no P.E.  Okay?”

“Okay.  You’ve got a deal!  I’ll go in but I’m telling you, it’s a waste of time.”

Within half an hour, the recruiters, who were both current Stanford students, had called the Admissions Office at Stanford and the January 5th deadline to turn in the admissions application had been extended to February 15th and the fifty dollar application fee had been waived.  I still wasn’t sure it was worth my time and effort but I did take the application packet home.  I did not really intend to apply but I had promised Mr. Cordova that I would take it home and look it over. That evening my mother saw the application materials on my bed with all of my books and homework.  She asked me what I had to do to apply and if it cost any money to apply.  I answered her questions.  She said she wanted me to apply.  In fact, she said, I had to apply.  She wanted me to have the opportunity to go to Stanford.  We lived in San Jose, a half hour away from Stanford and we had often driven on to the campus in the past, admiring the buildings and the beauty of the school site.  My mother said she had always dreamed of one of her children going to Stanford.  If I got in, we would somehow find a way for me to go.  Even if she had to sell the house, she would find a way for me to go.  She made me promise to fill it out.

My escape path pursued me and in April of 1974, I got the two most important pieces of mail.  One, the welcome to the Stanford Class of 1978 and the second telling me I had been awarded a full scholarship that would cover 100% of the tuition for my four years.

And escape I did.

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