Sunday, December 25, 2011

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other…

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

Friday, December 16, 2011

To succeed in your mission, you must have a single-minded devotion to your goal…

Mission: Grandbabies

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 While she might not need (or want) my outdated expertise, Sunshine could certainly use an extra pair of hands, Nana hands, to help while daddy is away.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.

A tradition.

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:

IMG_1426  IMG_1427
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!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I try to take one day at a time–but sometimes several days attack me at once…

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?

Friday, December 9, 2011

A scatterbrain is one who never has an unspoken thought….

  • CGMan and I finally found a doctor in our new town. It’s one of the things I hate most about moving. That and finding a hairdresser, which I have not. Anyway, the two of us went together for our first visit. We really liked her, even when she told us we had to lose weight. A lot of weight. No one wants to hear that during the holidays.
  • CGMan has bribed me into taking down all the Christmas decorations before I leave for my Nana mission. How’s that for a twist of fate? The lady who likes to put up Christmas before Thanksgiving now has to take it all down before the 18th of December. It’s kind of ironic that the man who doesn’t believe in the magic of Christmas quite as much as I (but then, who does?) believes all the decorations are put up magically. He leaves for work, comes home and it’s Christmas in his house. The thought of him trying to “magically” put everything away gives me hives. Besides, the bribe was a pretty good one, so we’re square.
  • I haven’t been much in a cookie baking mood this year. I know! What’s Christmas without Christmas cookies? The Marine has already sent a hint or two, so I’m sure I will have a burst of cookie making mojo once I get out there. I’ll take my cookie recipe box. Yes, they have their own box.
  • I got my very first ever flu shot while at the new doctor’s office. I’ve never had the flu so didn’t see why I needed one. Then I remembered my Nana mission and thought it would be wise not to take a chance of getting the flu and then not being able to smooch and nibble hold my grandboy. I don’t know if I’m being a baby or what, but my arm hurts! Three days later! Not as bad as a tetanus shot, but it hurts plenty bad. Maybe if I didn’t have so much fat on my arm? Hunh.
  • Last night CGMan and I attended his new company’s Christmas party. I was pretty excited about it, as I like parties and Christmas parties are my favorite. I even bought a new dress. Then I found out it was being held in a bar & grill, so I took the beautiful dress back and went with business casual, red sweater and black slacks. Good thing I did too, because for some, business casual means your best jeans and Uggs. Ugh.

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?

IMG_2546   IMG_2547 

But I did take a picture of the little Zamboni.

What are those? Jet packs?

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.
  • CGMan and I had such a great time last night, not going to his company Christmas party. We had great fun and good food, so it was a win for us. And all those people we shook hands with? Well, you guys just missed out on some FUN people.
  • Tomorrow night is yet another Christmas party. But this one is guaranteed to be a winner. Want to know why I am so sure? Because it’s the block party from the block that taught us all about block parties! There was the one year all the men dressed in plaid flannel and suspenders like our neighbor, Bob. They each other Bob all night long. Another year, there was a full moon on someone’s lawn (I’d have to check the annals, but I think the moon might have belonged to my spouse). I don’t know what’s it’s been like in the 10 years we’ve been gone, but it doesn’t matter. When you get together with people who know you, it’s bound to be a good time. I can’t wait.

What are your plans for the weekend?
Boring company Christmas parties? Cookie baking? Santa shopping?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Words have meaning, names have power…

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 Crunch).

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?

Wordless Wednesday…with some words…

I like wordless Wednesdays. It gives me a chance to show off some pictures that I have cramming up my phone. Let’s see, since you’ve alread...