Monday, January 23, 2012

Every vice has its excuse ready…

You may be thinking I have forsaken you and this little blog for the sweet face of the Lil Prince. Well, you are correct. I mean, geez, look at this face! You know for a fact that if you had access to this much adorableness, you’d be all “Dawn who?”

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But it isn’t just him. It is also the imminent arrival of the grandgirl that has me distracted from all things blogosphere. It’s been too hard to concentrate on witty stories and clever dialog when stuff like this is going on all around me:

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Who doesn’t love a baby shower? And cake? I tell you, that little girl is going to be on the best dressed list for the next six months. I then had the pleasure of helping the Girl unpack, wash, and store all the loot from not one, but three baby showers.

One of the showers was a diaper shower, which I think is a very clever idea. They were smart and had it on a playoff weekend and invited all MJ’s dude friends and their girlfriends. The ladies thought they were going to a baby shower and they guys thought they were coming to a football party with a box of diapers as a cover charge. Win-win. They scored over 2,000 diapers in various sizes.

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We are now on the final countdown to the grandgirl’s arrival. Every time the phone rings, I wonder if this will be it. When I talk to the Girl on the phone and she says she feels funny, I’m all “Funny ha-ha or funny like it’s time to have a baby funny”. I don’t even have to see her face to know she has just rolled her eyes. I can hear the sigh in her voice, “Oh Mom, you silly, I’ll let you know the second it’s the kind of funny that means we’re going to have a baby today.”

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I’m due to move in with her at the end of next week. At that point, I won’t have to ask her what kind of funny she is feeling, I can just stare at her. I’m sure that won’t bother her at all. I mean, she knows she’s having a baby, she knows I’m probably more goofy excited than the average parent (you have met me, right?) so she should expect a little extra scrutinizing attention. Did I tell you I get to be a coach?! Hopefully, I won’t pester myself right out of that honor.

While I like to think I’m not making excuses for neglecting my blog and my ever faithful readers, I am totally making excuses. And here’s another one:

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Stay tuned for the arrival of the girl grandbaby!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Before God (and grandchildren) we are all equally wise–and equally foolish…

When the Marine and Sunshine asked me to come out here to help with the lil Prince, I was sure it was because they could see how my experience and wisdom would come in handy. I mean, I had already brought three humans into this world. This wasn’t my first rodeo. I have knowledge and maturity, man.

Yeah, about that.

I am now going to admit in front of God and the blogosphere that this kid has made me realize 
I. Know. Nothing. NOTHING.

When did they start making babies different? He looks like a regular baby, and for the most part he acts like a regular baby, except for the part where he is a genius. What?! But he knows stuff. He knows that the sleep sheep is the best way to fall asleep, not the soothing seascapes CD. He knows if the swing is set to make him sleep or make him laugh, and then he promptly chooses the other. He knows that no one’s chest feels as good as Daddy’s, so don’t bother trying to fool him. He knows the the minute Mommy and Nana are going to attempt to eat dinner, even if he is asleep.

He also knows the exact moment you look away to grab a wipe when you’re changing a diaper. He then uses that split second to pee on you.

Oh, but I anticipated that! Remember the three other babies I have raised? Need I remind you that two of them are boys? (I promised the Girl I would not tell you that she peed on me the most) Hence, I was prepared for this baby. I’ve read up on a few things. Okay, I really didn’t, but I do get 34861126350 mail order catalogs. During my research, I discovered this handy little invention:

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It’s a Peepee Teepee!

I brought a whole set of them. I was going to show these kids a thing or two. I was going to let them know what a hip and resourceful Nana I could be. See, you just place the teepee on the peepee and everything is good. No more sneaky, underhanded, peepee attacks showers.

The lil Prince had other ideas.

I put it on him, with just a touch of swagger for my competency in the diapular department, when all of sudden I saw the teepee thing floating in the air on a stream of pee!

WTF??

Nana didn’t actually say that because there was a baby in the room, but I’m pretty sure she said something that sounds like Hoe Spit!

There is nothing wrong with that boy’s jet stream, that’s for sure. He managed to pee on me, the wall, the window blinds, as well as the top of his head. And if you think holding the teepee down will make it work any better, you would be mistaken. And wet.

Nana did much better in the giving-the-baby-a-bath exercise. Because apparently the rule is, if you get him dirty, you have to clean him.

This kid is going to give me a run for the money.

The good news is, this is all a learning curve for when the Princess gets here in a few weeks. I will be ready for her! Please don’t pee on me.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Customs may not be wise as laws, but they are always more popular…

Every family has its traditions. Have you ever noticed you see more of that around the holidays? Nothing special for you know, April, but bring on Christmas and you have customs up the wazoo. In that regard, we are no different than any other family.

Well, we may not have a wazoo-ful of customs, but I know we have at least two.

The first started when Skater was just learning to read. He sat before us on Christmas Eve and read to us The Night Before Christmas. He did such a great job, he did it again the next year and the next until it became a tradition. Personally, I think it was a stalling technique when we has 12 so he wouldn’t have to go to bed. In any event, even though he doesn’t actually read it anymore, we certainly spend Christmas Eve talking about all the years that he did.

Our other tradition was born out of benevolence.

When we moved to Maryland all those years ago, our various parents wanted to spend the holidays with us. Thanksgiving seemed the best for everyone. That first year, my Dad and ORMom flew out the week before Thanksgiving (thank you frequent flyer miles and blackout dates!). We didn’t let a little thing like a date get in the way. We had a traditional Thanksgiving feast over the weekend. The only thing missing was the Macy’s Day parade. The kids thought it was cool to cook a turkey and stuffing when it wasn’t even Thanksgiving yet.

They left on Monday and our next set of visitors arrived on Tuesday. Granny and Papaw came all the way from Ohio to celebrate the “traditional” Thanksgiving with us. Having just eaten our weight in turkey (and yes, even way back then I had to get a 20lb bird because the Marine may have been young, but he still loved him some turkey) the weekend before, we chose to do a ham on this Thanksgiving go-round. With all the trimmings, of course, as well as 3 more pies. Oy.

Back in those days, I was far from a stay-at-home mom. I was a work-all-day-then-drive-kids-to-practices-and-scouts-and-crap kind of mom.  (I can see why it was easier to stay thin back then) CGMan worked in DC and had a horrendous commute, but we managed to make it work. With all of that going on, we actually survived TWO Thanksgivings in two weeks. We were awesome back then.

Anyway, the I’m getting to the benevolent part.

Three weeks later, when Christmas rolled around, CGMan and I began to talk about what to have for dinner. This was our first Christmas since we moved from Memphis, where we always had Christmas dinner with my mom, stepdad and the Bro. This year, it would just be the five of us. The thought of turkey or ham made me want to hurl just didn’t hold any appeal to me. And I was tired. Dog tired. Pooped out. Done in. Kaput. So CGMan suggested going out to dinner.

Out to Christmas dinner?! Who does that??

I really didn’t think the kids would go for it, as they are pretty set in their ways sometimes. Boy, was I ever surprised when they jumped right on the bandwagon, the chuck wagon, if you will. So reservations were made at the only restaurant that was open on Christmas Day, Benihana. 

We had a great time and a family tradition was born.

We had several more years of Dueling Thanksgivings, but it didn’t matter because I didn’t have to cook on Christmas! In the 15 years CGMan and I have been married, I can think of only one Christmas dinner that we did not go out for Japanese food. Even in Trinidad, we managed to find The Laughing Buddha, with their table sized boat filled with sushi.

This year, CGMan and I shared our private Christmas before I left on my journey and yes, we did indeed have Japanese food, followed by a trip to the White House to see the National Christmas Tree (also part of the original Christmas dinner plans).

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And on the real Christmas? We did it again!

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The Lil Prince knows a good custom when he sees dreams one.

What is your favorite family tradition and how did it start?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Where is the good in goodbye?…

My heart broke just a little bit yesterday.

I watched as my son, the Marine, had to say goodbye to his little family and head out to his next duty station. He will be traveling and training for the next month, so we won’t see him for some time. For the Marine and Sunshine, this is nothing new. They have been soulmates during all of the Marine’s 10 years in service, and his share of deployments. But this time he had to leave his little man.

The Marine and Sunshine fought for stiff upper lips as they said goodbye, knowing this must be done. They know, and I know, that Marines, sailors and soldiers do this every day. They say goodbye to their families so they can be ready to protect our country at any given time. Of course, that knowledge doesn’t make it any easier.

We often think of our service members during the holidays, knowing many are away from their families while they’re overseas, often in areas of danger. For many diverse reasons, (economic, schools, elder family care) there are service members who are here, stateside, stationed away from their families. It’s called being a geographical bachelor. And it is not easy. In fact, from what I witnessed yesterday, it sucks. Being in the next state is just as hard as being on the other side of the world.

These are the sacrifices our service members make on a daily basis. The sacrifices their families make are just as important. Children, like the lil Prince, grow up knowing Mom and/or Dad is doing something important for our country and can’t always be here for football games and such, even though they would want that more than anything.

It was hard to watch, but I am proud of Sunshine for being strong for her little man. And for her big man. The Marine wouldn’t be able to do what he has to do, if it weren’t for her stability. Marine wives are a special bunch and their training can be just as hard. The Marine and Sunshine are a good team, always supportive of the other. Their family will always benefit from that, no matter what.

I will be here, helping Sunshine and doing my best for his little family for the next month or so, but it won’t be the same as having Daddy around. Thank goodness for technology! Skype and FaceTime are going to be big hits this year.

The next time you see a service member, don’t assume because you see him at the grocery store, he is home with his family, he could very well be missing them terribly and waiting for his nightly phone call.

If you do  happen to see a Marine, sailor or soldier when you’re out and about, don’t forget to say Hello and thank him for volunteering to always be at the ready to defend our country. Even when it means being a million miles away in the next state.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Babies are such a nice way to start people…

As you know, I finally made it out west to see my new grandbaby. Let me tell you, it was worth every single mile. I know you’re all anxious to see pictures of the Lil Prince, so I won’t keep you in suspense.

Here are my babies, holding the newest branch of our family tree:

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I find it very hard to believe that I have children old enough to be having children. I mean, for crying out loud, I’m only 28 years old! Or maybe I’m 38. It’s been so many years, I can’t remember. There must something wrong with the universe. However, grandbabies are pretty cool, so I’m not going to complain. For now.

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Even Cappy has been in on all the baby holding. This has been special for him, as he has never been around babies. He also had the surprisingly pleasant sensation of feeling the grandgirl kick. He had never touched a pregnant tummy before, so the Girl grabbed his hand and prodded until the Princess gave Cappy a nice roundhouse kick.

Here is the only one I have of me holding the lil Prince. It isn’t very good as it is a self portrait, with my iPhone and a cat on my lap. Now that the girl has made me beautiful again, I’ll have more in the future.

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Just because there is only one picture of me, don’t think for a minute I’m not all about holding the little bundle of joy.

 

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And what a joy he is…

Monday, January 2, 2012

Over the river and through the woods to grandboy’s house I go…

I know it’s been over a week since you’ve last seen me around the blogosphere. Wouldn’t it be great if cars were smart enough to take your blog dictation and just post it to the world wide web? Although, with my husband driving, it may lead to some seriously inappropriate blogs. If I did have a car like that, it might have been able to show you this, my trip across the country, as it was happening, instead of me finally getting off my duff to do it over a week later.

First I had to get through most of the state of Virginia before coming to Tennessee. After driving allll the way across that state as well, I crossed over into Arkansas where I spent the night. The next morning I continued my trip west into Oklahoma.

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When I stopped for the night in Little Rock, CGMan called to tell me I would have to make a detour around a really bad storm that was in the panhandle of Texas and New Mexico. Like, a snow storm. At first I was all Oh no, snow! and then I was like “Oh no she di’int!” Clearly Mother Nature was trying to keep me to keep me from my grandboy. Why else would there be record breaking snowfall in Albuquerque? Bitch. Oops, did I say that out loud?

 

I didn’t let a little snow stop me. However, it did stop two other cars who ended up in the center divide, causing the rest of us to have to traverse a treacherous 4 miles on an ice-covered access road, before getting to the next freeway onramp. The snow may not have stopped me, but it sure slowed me down to a crawl for a while. At least I was able to get a picture of the deceptively fluffy looking stuff without having to actually get out and touch it.

 

I stopped on the west side of Albuquerque in a tiny, tiny town. Apparently tiny towns don’t get the snow plows first, or in their case, at all.

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This is just EEW!

It only took about 6 more hours of driving to get out of that mess and into a dream.

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Dear Mother Nature,

All is forgiven.

Dawn

Wordless Wednesday…with some words…

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