Merry Christmas from my family…
…to your family.
We wish you all the very best in the new year!
I hope your new year will be as fun as mine.
Dawn in DC, currently on assignment in AZ
Merry Christmas from my family…
…to your family.
We wish you all the very best in the new year!
I hope your new year will be as fun as mine.
Dawn in DC, currently on assignment in AZ
I might have mentioned a time or two
million that I loved being a mom and raising my kids. It was the best job ever. The next logical step was to become a grandma, for which I waited ever so patiently. Okay, maybe not so patiently, but at least my hints were subtle. Sort of.
Anyway, I am now going to embark on my newest position in life, that of NANA. I have been called forth to bring my brand new, unused Nana skills to help with the grandboy while his daddy, the Marine, heads to the next duty station to do Marine stuff. I’m needed for a whole month!! While she might not need (or want) my outdated expertise, Sunshine could certainly use an extra pair of hands, Nana hands, to help while daddy is away.
There is another mission on the horizon for me, as is the case with most
super heroes Nanas, and I plan to be at the ready. That mission? Helping bring the grandgirl into this world! How convenient for this Nana that everyone lives in the same city. Not the same city, state, or even the same half of the country that Nana is in, but I’m trying to let that go.
Oh, already the Nana job is way cooler than the mommy job!
This weekend, I’ll be loading up my little red wagon, which totally reminds me of a sleigh this time of year, and heading out on my missions. I’ll be bringing presents for the babies (lots of presents! - it’s what Nanas do) along with presents for everyone else, because it is Christmas after all.
But first, my checklist:
A First Christmas Teddy Bear – Check!
Sock Monkey – Check!
Finger puppets – Check!
A book to read to the Lil Prince – Check!
A book to read to the Princess as soon as she gets here --
4Gigs for my camera – Check!
Think that will be enough? Maybe I should hit Costco before I leave.
I’m not sure I would take on this mission if it weren’t for this:
Don’t laugh! There is some good stuff in here! Refreshers, like how to swaddle, how to change a diaper and burp a baby. Also good tips like following the lead of the parents and not telling them what to do.
Then, when the babies are big enough to play with, there are all kinds of fun games to make, car trips to go on and treasure hunts to have.
Oh! One more thing I must load up into the little red wagon before I go.
Every family has them and one of ours has always been to read aloud The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. The task usually fell to the one just learning to read, but after so many years, we all kind of know it by heart.
I need to make sure the Lil Prince keeps the tradition alive:
I picked this one because it has bulldogs in it. And yes, that is a Band-Aid on my finger. I stabbed myself with the wine tool I keep in my makeup bag. What? While we’re on the subject, I have a question, what happened to the little red string that helped you get the band-aid open while you’re bleeding everywhere? That would have come in handy this morning.
I think that about covers everything I’ll need for my mission. I’ll check in from the road and of course, once I get there. And no, I did not forget the cookies:
This is Nana, over and out!
People, I have been busy. Busy, busy, busy. I didn’t want you to worry, or gather a search party because you hadn’t seen me around in a while. I’m still here!
See, it’s like this. I was in a rush to get Christmas decorations UP before the company came and now I’m in a rush to get the Christmas decorations DOWN so
they won’t be shoved willy nilly into boxes CGMan won’t have to bother with it when I’m gone.
Then there is the Christmas shopping, which I am pleased to announce, that I have FINISHED (as of 5 minutes ago). Thank you, Lord, for the World Wide Web. I’m not sure how this evolved, but CGMan only has one person on his list to shop for and I have everyone else. Hunh. Apparently, he was done a month ago. It actually works out well, because if he doesn’t help me shop, he has no say in
how much it costs who gets what.
Now it’s time to see to the rest of the house before my departure. Things like stocking toilet paper and Lean Cuisines. Actually, CGMan does pretty well when he’s on his own. First of all, he hires the cleaning lady our neighbor uses and has her come once a month to clean up, then he either eats over the sink or uses paper plates (note to self: stock paper plates). I have no fear that he will starve, either. You have heard of our friends CHEF Sue and CHEF Craig? Yah.
Oh, I mustn’t forget the cookies. I know I said I wasn’t going to make any cookies this year, but I cannot show up on my grandboy’s doorstep cookieless. What kind of Nana does that? So tomorrow, whilst I am having my little red wagon washed (that’s my new car, for those not in the know), I will whip up some special Santa cookies to take on my journey.
Yes, here in the city, they come to you, to wash your car! And if you get a Groupon/Deal Chicken/Living Social deal, it is so worth it. I bought eight as a Christmas present to myself. Sorry CGMan, maybe next year you’ll help me shop! So that is one less thing I have to take care of before I leave. For the record, I always, ALWAYS, get my car washed before a road trip. It is a known fact that a clean car gets better gas mileage. It also helps to get the dog stink out before heading on a three day trip.
There you have it, people. This is why you have not seen me on the playground all week.
What’s been up with you?
We made our rounds as we do, meeting people and shaking hands. CGMan is the newest team member, having only been with the company for a couple of months, so a lot of people didn’t know him. No matter, we still worked the room. What we noticed was, we were the only ones mingling. No one else was working the room. Once we were done, we found a place to sit down. It was there we realized this party was B.O.R.I.N.G.
So we ditched it.
I can’t believe we did that! We ate some of the free appetizers, paid for our glasses of wine from the cash bar and left right before they started the buffet line for dinner. I haven’t looked it up in the etiquette book, but I’m pretty sure that’s frowned upon. Or would have been if anyone had noticed.We headed over to a nice Italian restaurant that I had been wanting to try (sorry new doctor, diet starts after the new year!) and there was an outdoor skating rink, right there on the sidewalk! I had never seen one before. Of course, it’s a little hard to keep one of those things frozen in Texas. The kids all looked like they were having such fun. And NO, we did not skate, whaddaya crazy?
But I did take a picture of the little Zamboni.
I’ve been to one hockey game and that’s the only thing I can remember about it, the Zamboni song. When I took the picture, the song got stuck in my head.
Now it can be stuck in yours.
What are your plans for the weekend?
Boring company Christmas parties? Cookie baking? Santa shopping?
There has been much going on here at the Heifer house. As you know, it is officially the Christmas season. It became official when the Macy’s Santa said so (not when I put up my Christmas decorations, but whatever).
We have already hosted one Christmas party, been to another and have two more to attend this week. Whew! It’s a good thing I love Christmas and all the parties that go with it.
That’s not all that has been keeping us busy. We have been trying to figure out what my Grandma name should be. And by we, I mean me. CGMan has his name picked out already. As soon as we found out we were going to be grandparents he declared he would be called Cappy or Cap (as in Cap’n
Honestly, I hadn’t given it much thought. I just wanted grandbabies. I never thought about what they would call me. The more I did, though, the more I wanted a special name just for me. There is a bit of an extended family, with three sets of great-grandparents, who are Papa, Honey, PaPaw, Granny, Grandma and Grandpa, respectively.
You know, it’s not as easy as you would think, to choose a name that you will hear from the lips of your grandchild. After reading several articles about it and also learning the 25 reasons grandkids love us, I still wasn’t any closer to hearing that special name.
We even did a grandparent name quiz, which for some reason I can only access from my iPhone, so I have no link. It was 20 questions and don’t you know, CGMan was perfect to be called Cap. I am traditional in pretty much all respects, right down to the cookie baking, according to the quiz, so would do well with Grandma, Grammy or Granny, among other traditional type names.
While it is true that I am, and will continue to be, a cookie baking grandma, I have been trying on a few different, more trendy, names. However, I tend to come back around to the more traditional ones. So much for being a hipster grandma.
Every time the Marine calls to give me a Lil Prince update, I answer the phone with “Lil Prince? Is that you? It’s Grammy/Grandma/G-Ma, etc.” Just to try them out. You know what else? It’s never the Prince on the other end. What’s up with that?
Anyway, I got a text message last night:
Rather than have my grandboy call me “that-cookie-baking-lady” I have finally decided on Nana. It’s still on the traditional side, but different from all the other grands. It has a nice ring to it and goes well with Cap. Mommy, I want to go see Nana & Cap. Or Yay!! Cap and Nana are coming for a visit in the RV!! And my personal favorite, I love you, Nana.
Of course, it will be my luck that when the little guy finally learns to speak he’ll call me Pompom or Tootie or some such thing. As long as he says “I love you” with it, I will be just fine.
What are the special names for the grands in your family?
Any thoughts on what you would like to be called in the event of a grandchild?
You came here to see a picture of the Lil Prince?
Well, gosh, let me see if I have one…
What a week it’s been!
Hooooeeeee! I am worn out.
I expected a fabulous week, having my in-laws here, and CGBro, Ella’s Mom and of course, Ella. My pies turned out awesome, even with the dog debacle in the kitchen that day. The house was clean. My grandboy was due. The decorations were up and ever so festive. Oh, there was joy, joy, joy down in my heart!
Okay, Ella doesn’t look all that happy in this picture, but trust me, she was. She had a grand time! How could she not have a good time at my house? I have dogs that lick up
all the evidence every mess, I bake cookies and always offer two and I have a Christmas tree. She wasn’t allowed to touch it, but she sure did spend some time looking at it.
And then, THEN, my grandboy was born! Oh my goodness! He came just in time for us to be thankful for him and talk about him all day on Thanksgiving day. We also spent a considerable amount of time looking at pictures that were being sent hourly. Technology, I am thankful for you!
The Girl sent me pictures, too. She’s such a
brat nice girl to go hold her nephew within hours of him being born and then sending the pictures to me, not at all bragging about how good he smelled and how soft is hair is. Even though she was busy running from turkey to turkey and to my grandboy on Thanksgiving day, she did send me a picture of her and her beloved, with baby, too! Oh, how I miss my kids on the holidays.
While the cooking was going on and the stories being shared, I had CGMan and his dad put in a dimmer switch for me. CGMan is very helpful when it comes to things like that. Sometimes he’s a bit comical, too. I remember one time, early in our marriage, I asked him to change a light bulb in the ceiling fan above the kitchen table. I thought maybe it would be a good idea for him to turn off the fan first, but he didn’t. It’s a good thing the Girl had a Hello Kitty bandaid for him to wear right in the middle of his forehead, to cover the slightly less than ghastly gash.
Anyway, it turned out fine, with only one small zap and one tripped breaker, probably caused by the maybe not so small zap.
I had talked to Skater on the phone the day before Thanksgiving, after his nephew was born. We have all been awaiting the grandboy’s arrival and can’t wait to see him at Christmas. Skater is meeting us in Arizona, where there will be absolutely a 0% chance of snow. On Thanksgiving day, he called again to talk turkey, because he’s just silly like that. We spent a while on the phone, then I had to go. I had people to feed, you know.
And then he walked through my front door…
It’s a damn good thing I like surprises and have a strong heart, and enough turkey! That 25 pound bird didn’t stand a chance. However, I was fresh out of sleeping quarters, so the kid had to sleep on the couch. Zoe and Phoebe didn’t mind that, at all. I am thankful my hubby did not let our boy be alone on Thanksgiving.
I would say this weekend was a complete success.
So? What was the best, worst or surprise of your holiday?
Today I am thankful for so many things. Way too many to list here. Do you really want to hear how I am thankful that the rat I thought was a mouse did not move into my basement to raise a family? I didn’t think so.
I’ll keep it simple.
I’m thankful for my family. What would I ever be able to do, without them? I am very thankful the Lil Prince was born yesterday, so I can be thankful for him today. Otherwise, I would have had to wait a whole year and by then he wouldn’t smell new anymore.
While I am so very sad that my mom is not here this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful that when she got to heaven, she picked a couple of beautiful angels to be my grandbabies. Knowing her, and her motto of, “If you want it done right, do it yourself” she wasn’t even going to let the Big Guy make that decision. Thanks Mom! If the first one is any indication, the grandgirl is going to be awesome, too. Miss you.
I am also extremely thankful for you, my blog friends. Isn’t amazing how close we feel to one another, and yet have never met. I don’t know what I would do without you. I certainly don’t know how I would have made it through this year without you. It’s been a toughy, but at least it has a happy ending. Thanks for sticking around.
Today is already a great day, with my in-laws here and my brother and family on their way. It has occurred to me that he has not had to peel one potato nor snap a single bean. He will be here just in time to eat. Well. I’m thankful I have someone to do the dishes! Ha!
I wish for all of you a beautiful day filled with laughter, family and love.
For those of you wonderful readers who have been checking in daily to see if the grandboy has come, no, he is not here yet. However! He is in the process of making his entrance just this very moment. The Marine and Sunshine have been at the hospital all night, so hopefully it won’t be too much longer.
While we are waiting for the arrival of the little prince, let me tell you how awful my dogs were yesterday. Oh, they were just so bad. I shouldn’t say they, because in all honesty, it was just one. This one…
Don’t let that innocent look fool you. She was full of mayhem yesterday.
She started by pulling a fried chicken leg off the counter and dragging it around a little bit before eating most of it. After that, both dogs kept getting under my feet in the kitchen as I was making pies, trying to get any miniscule bit of chicken coating, so I put them on their pillows at the edge of the kitchen, before one of them killed me.
Then, the chicken stealing dog continued to run outside in the rain to keep the birds off the birdfeeders, tracking mud all though my white floored kitchen on the way back to her pillow. it wasn’t until I was finished with the pies, that I noticed it. Of course, with muddy paw prints goes a muddy dog. Guess who had to give both dogs a bath in the sparkly clean bathroom? Whilst giving them a bath, the sprayer fell out of my hand and attacked the whole bathroom, myself included.
Do I need to remind you I have a houseful of guests arriving in 3 hours?
You may think she was finished with all her naughtiness, but you would be wrong. After getting everything cleaned up (again), I set about making some appetizers for the in-laws, since I knew they would be hungry from being on the train for so long.
I made my now famous stuffed jalapenos, chex mix and a cheese and sausage platter. I even shared a
smidge hunk of my good Italian dried sausage.
Guess who else likes good Italian dried sausage? And guess who, when she was done with all the Italian sausage on that side of the plate, then started pulling slices of cheese off onto the floor?
All this within half an hour of when company is to walk through the door. I’m thinking she has a lot to be thankful for tomorrow. No, Zoe, you cannot be thankful for how tall you are when you’re on your hind legs, nor for how long your tongue is! She should be thankful she’s not homeless, that’s what. All it’s takes is a cardboard box with the word FREE on it!
Check back later today when I make the big announcement of my grandboy’s arrival! Until then, good thoughts for Marine and Sunshine, as their life begins to change, forever.
…the most popular day for babies to make their arrival is Tuesday. Listen up, little man!
…more newborns arrive in September, the second most popular month is August. Cold winters and holidays parties, whooda thunk?.
…about 200,000 people in the U.S. were born on February 29th?
…when it comes time to give birth, a female shark loses her appetite so she won’t be tempted to eat her own pup? She’ll rethink that when he’s a teenager.
…we are born with 350 bones, but die with only 206? That’s probably what causes us to shrink when we get older.
…elephants are pregnant for 2 years? WHAT?!
…about 200 babies are born worldwide every minute? Well, except for my grandboy.
…if my grandboy decided to be born today, he would share a birthday with Billie Jean King?
…the platypus is one of five mammals that lay eggs?
…only 5% of babies are born on their due date? Which is today, little guy, in case you’ve forgotten!
…female giraffes give birth standing up? Um, no thank you!
…humans are the only mammals that raise their offspring for up to 20 years? The sooner you charge them rent, the sooner they leave.
Maybe if the little guy knew what kind of personality traits he would have, were he to be born today, it would help in his decision making process. Here you go, lil buddy, I think you should go for it!
If You Were Born Today, November 22: You are headstrong yet warm and playful. Very active, you don't like to feel caged in by anyone or anything! You carve your own unique path in life, playing by the rules when necessary, but refusing to give up your individuality in the process. Although ambitious in many ways, you don't feel the need to play games in order to win approval. Straightforwardness is important to you, but you are not an open book either. Your opinions are as strong as your will and determination.
P.S. Based on that description, you sound a lot like your Daddy.
I’ll be waiting!
I know you all stampeded over here for baby news and possibly a picture of said baby. There would have been both, if baby had actually decided to make an entrance over the weekend. He did not. You’ll just have to wait…like me…waiting… and waiting…
Chefs Sue and Craig called us for a last minute invite to dinner last night. I’ll tell you right now, last minute or not, we never turn down an invite to dinner! We are talking seriously good food. Always.
When we got there, Sue apologized for it being last minute. Apparently they had invited another couple (you mean we’re not their only friends??) with plenty of notice, mind you, but they canceled at the last minute.
What do you do with all this wonderful food? You call your RELIABLE friends. This is a direct quote from Chef Sue. We may not be flashy, but we are nothing if not reliable.
Most people would feel slighted to be the second string friends, but not us, because did I mention the food? And how it is always so good at their house? Yeah, they could call down the to the Z list to get to us and I would still go! Once there, we felt anything but second string…
Photos courtesy of Craig Corl Photography
We had homemade clam chowder, lobster stuffed with shrimp & scallops, corn pudding, real Boston baked beans, Boston brown bread and cockles! I never knew there was such a thing as cockles, but they were delicious.
Mr. & Mrs. NoShow all I have to say is, Sucks to be you. Because I’m classy like that.
I want to thank Craig for sending me such lovely photos to use on my blog this morning. Had it been left up to me, all you would have seen was this iPhone photo that I used to tease all my other friends (the ones who are not only not second string, they’re not even on the team- Ha!)
Chef Sue, you rock. You can call on me to pick up the slack any time you please. Just put me in, Coach, I’m ready to eat.
By today’s title, I’m sure you are thinking that I am going to announce the arrival of my grandboy. You would be mistaken. He is not here yet. I am reminded daily that he is not due to arrive until next Tuesday. To which I always answer, He doesn’t know what day it is!! (He totally gets that from his Grammy, who also never knows what day it is)
Rather than sit around and watch a ticking clock or a pot that won’t boil, I have been looking for something to start off the holiday season on my blog here. I remembered Scottish Woman showing me a video of some silent monks, singing, or signing I should say, to the Messiah chorus.
It’s very cute and not too Christmasy, so it should satisfy even the most ardent Christmas is in DECEMBER type people.
I have a project for you over the weekend, my dear readers. It is this…send happy, welcoming, baby birthing thoughts to the Marine and Sunshine. If baby feels the love from all of my readers, maybe he’ll make an appearance! Or scare him off forever, I don’t know, but it’s worth a try.
Let’s get this show on the road!!
While the above statement sounds good, let me tell you, when you’re driving 23 miles of construction for a box of cereal, it kinda feels like a thousand miles. BUT! If the cereal is for these cookies, well then, the drive is totally worth it.
A bunch of you, okay fine, ONE of you (Hi Sonja!) asked if I would post the recipe for the cookies I mentioned earlier this week. The ones I had to drive so far to get the key ingredient, Grape Nut Flakes. Well, here you go! You are not going to be disappointed, I promise!
Let’s gather some ingredients. If you have to travel to another state to find all of them, we’ll wait.
1 cup shortening (butter flavor is good)
1 ½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1 cup butterscotch chips
2 cups Grape Nut Flakes
You are not going to believe how easy these are. I know I say that every time I show you a new recipe, but I think I have been correct, yes?
Begin by preheating your oven to 350°. I speak from experience when I say, it really sucks to have the cookies all sheeted up and the oven hasn’t been turned on. Doh! As you’re turning on the oven, notice what time it is and think to yourself that you are an awesome human being on so many levels. Because 1) the things you do for your readership (that means you, Sonja) and 2) your Dad-in-law is going to love these cookies with his morning coffee next week and 3) you have already forgiven your husband his faults that make you want to poke his eye out with a pen, you miss him and these cookies are one of his favorites. Who are we kidding here? CGMan has never met a cookie he didn’t like.
After you turn the oven on and pat yourself on the back a few times, put the first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl and cream together. It doesn’t take long. Then stir in the chips with a wooden spoon, followed by the flakes.
I should take this time to mention that the recipe originally called for corn flakes. Listen to me, Grape Nut Flakes are so much better. And I don’t really think I even need to mention this, but…they are so good for you, too! I mean look!
It has 45% of your daily value of Iron, it has fiber (not that Dad C and CGMan have fiber issues) and, AND! it’s good for your heart! Now tell me, how can you say no to a cookie that is good for your heart? They also taste ever so much better than corn flakes, which have the texture and flavor of puzzle pieces. That is why I drive 23 miles for this cereal.
Anyway, back to the cookies. So you mix in the chips and the flakes with a spoon, then place (tablespoon size) on a greased cookie sheet (to be even more healthy, use parchment paper – no grease!) and bake for 12- 15 minutes.
They should be golden brown around the edges. Let cool for a couple minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire rack.
There you have it! Cookies worth traveling for! Of course, CGMan believes ALL cookies are worth traveling for, but that’s a story for another day.
Snack Time Butterscotch Cookies
1 cup shortening (I use butter flavored Crisco)
1 ½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1 cup butterscotch chips
2 cups Grape Nut Flakes (or corn flakes, whatev)
Preheat oven to 350°. Cream together first 5 ingredients. Blend in flour, then chips and flakes. Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown on the edges.
I’m going back to bed.