How Soon Before You Ditch The Plan?

Entry #3 of Grandma In Charge. It is now Monday (Memorial Day), the beginning of our third All Home All Day stint. As I have shared in the first two posts regarding this visit with my 7 and 5 year old grandchildren, I have moved through anxiety…on to organization…and now I’m ready to submit. Let me share the adventures of the last two days.

Planning is Great Until…

I’m a planner. I like to know what we’re going to do with our time. That way I can organize and step through the day with a sense of focus. So we started by working together, the kids and I, to develop a list of all things fun to do while Grandma was here. The list included places to go (restaurants mostly) and activities that sounded like fun.

We’ve made it to three of the five restaurants in two days. That speaks to how much I don’t like to cook and how much we really needed to get out of the house! Two of the restaurants were free meals for the kids from places that had a great marketing technique: Give the kids a free meal. Make the deal good for only three days. Believe that the adult(s) who bring them will feel obligated to buy a meal and a drink (probably alcohol). This is one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits – Win Win.

So, first place was a pizza place and second place a pasta place. Both times the kids ordered pizza. I scrapped some vegetables off my salad so I could say they had vegetables with their meal and at one place they got a little teeny tiny cup of cut up melon and pineapple which they put on their pizza for that tropical effect. So I can say they also had fruit with a vacation theme.

Who Says Screen Time Is Bad?

We shot through the first day’s activities in less than an hour so that meant I needed to improvise or steal activities from day two. At a certain point, I just gave up and said, “Please just get your IPAD!

Still, feeling a bit like I’d lost the Limit Screen Time battle, I decided we just needed more supplies. We marched through Michael’s on a mission to find just the right paints, paint brushes, and paper. We even added some STEM activity kits that were on sale. This ought to inspire creativity and get their minds buzzing!

When we got home, I located a giant drop cloth and got everything ready for the next day. I was impressing myself with my renewed planning and organization. The kids finished their baths and came down to see the “art table” and wanted to get started right away…that night. I thought I had hit a homerun. Look at this! This is amazing! They are going to love this tomorrow.

Well, the next day, the “art table” sat unused…like a “been there, done that” station. It sat abandoned most of the day. I had to think quick. Oh, wait! Those cardboard boxes! We need to make a clubhouse or something out of those!

I’m sure mom and dad will be super impressed with how we took over the front entrance.

This lasted a solid 30 minutes, I think! We didn’t make it to lunch time with good quality creativity. I was defeated…but then…

“If You Build It, They Will Come”

Remember that line from the movie Field of Dreams? I just needed to believe. I just needed to step back and let boredom set in. It was then that they rediscovered the “Art Table”. And tah-dah!

The Chef Hat was a nice extra!
Detail started to pour out from the 7 year old.
And the comic book emerged
Turns out that Toot is Grandma!!!!

All Well Laid Plans Need To Flex!

I have learned or relearned a simple thing. I can put a ton of time and effort into coming up with great plans. I have to learn to not be disappointed when the plans don’t go as I’d thought. Instead, I need step back, relax, and let things just happen. I’ve laid out the options. Now I need to just watch as they exercise their brains.

So, this morning, the 7 year old says, “Grandma, what should we do today?” And now I say, “I don’t know. You tell me.”

Making A Plan

This is the second in a series of Grandma In Charge Posts. For ten days I will be taking care of a 7 and 5 year old in their home while mom and dad take a break. It’s been a long COVID year. I have missed them so much and am excited to have this opportunity to get reacquainted again. They live states away so the pandemic made anything other that FaceTime visits impossible. But here I am now, for 10 days. I made it through the first three days pretty well but they were both in school. So my job was just to get them up, ready, and dropped off on time. Then picked up, fed, played with, and to bed on time. Now, what will happen with the next stretch of days? Schools out for summer!

I’m Going To Need A Plan!

This is the first full day with the kids home with me and by 9:00 I knew we needed to hash out a plan. So first we listed everything that they wanted to do while Grandma’s here. It included 5 restaurants! Two because the oldest came home with gift certificates for a free meal because he “Rocked It Through The Year Of Covid”. We have to visit these two places by the end of this weekend. The other three are because they know that Grandma would rather not cook.

List of Activities – Grandma Style

  1. Rearrange the playroom while we play and decide which toys can be donated.
  2. Make a structure out of several cardboard boxes (saved by mama because she thought it looked like a good Grandma activity). I think it’s going to be a clubhouse…or a secret place to hide and eat snacks!
  3. The youngest wants to try to write her own comicbook but she can’t write words and thinks she’ll need help with drawing the characters. She does know that the 1st one is going to be named “Toot”! This ought to be good!
  4. We also need to hang a bulletin board in her bedroom because she came home from Pre-School with one of those “Person of the Week” posters and she really wants to hang it up along with her graduation achievement award for “Best Class Participation”. Two things to admire while she tries to fall asleep each night.
  5. We bought some water balloons because even though Grandma is not a fan of the pool, I don’t mind getting wet on a hot day and this state sure has plenty of hot days!
  6. Last, and I hope I can get this to happen, I want the oldest to teach me how he draws birds. He decorated my bedroom door with his drawings and they are incredible. I have to find out if he really did draw them “from memory” like he claims or if he has a secret tracing mechanism. At any rate, my door is very special.

Ok, We’ve Got A Plan

So now, our plan is in place. We’ve already accomplished two or three big items plus they did their chores (folding and putting away their clothes and putting away their dishes from the dishwasher).

It’s now 12:30 and quiet time…we’ll see how long that lasts.

I just have to say, even though it’s been awhile since I’ve been with them, some things never change. They’ve gotten bigger, yes and their interests have changed but…They still want me to play with them. They love to create new things with my help. AND they still let me give them hugs and I’ve even gotten one or two back in return.

Art That Decorated My Bedroom Door

Will I Be Enough?

I’m an actively participating Grandma, taking care of a 4 and 3 year old three days a week. We have a routine. I know them so well that I can anticipate when the 3 year old is tired, when the 4 year old is hungry. I know what they like to eat and what they won’t touch and I rest when they watch Paw Patrol.

But, this week, I headed to the home of my two older grandchildren who are 7 and 5. They moved to a new home during the pandemic so I haven’t traveled to them very often. Now, though, I am fully vaccinated and so are their parents. Plus, it’s their 10 year wedding anniversary and they really want a vacation!

So, this is the first of, maybe, a few blogs where I chronicle my week of Grandma In Charge

Day One

The parents left before sunrise, headed to the airport for a much deserved vacation. Grandma (that’s me) is in charge of their two kids for the next 10 days. I was given a folder of important information: hospitals, urgent care, neighbor’s phone numbers, addresses to the kids schools, and the really important places – Target and Red Robin! Then there was a page of all the things that were to occur along with when and where I needed to be to make sure it all happened.

I woke up at 5:30. The folder had erupted with more post-it notes on the top; several more things that had been forgotten. I was a little anxious before but now I woke up thinking “Can I do this?” I’d taken care of them before but this time…well they are older and this is now a new city, a new house, new everything!

I headed downstairs, unearthed my coffee pot, filters, and ground beans. No matter what I would have coffee!

The five year old was downstairs at 6:00, looking around a little sad to see just me but then there came that smile! “Grandma, can I do my IPAD now?”

Well, so that was easy!

The seven year old joined her around 6:30. He just simply headed to his sister with his own IPAD. But then…

“Grandma, I’m hungry!”

“What do you want?”


You know even I can open a packet of instant oatmeal and have it ready in 1.5 microwave minutes. But then he said,

“It’s too hot!”

Well no kidding! “It will cool”.

“But we put an ice cube in it and swish it around.”

Well, that’s a novel idea. So I followed his direction. One ice cube coming up. But then, he thought that one wasn’t enough and he said that he usually had two packets of oatmeal not just one. So off I went for a couple more ice cubes and another packet of delicious ready in no time breakfast in a bowl. I put both together in one bowl, added more ice cubes to cool it off quickly and then went to refill my coffee cup.


It’s nearly time to test my second challenge; getting them dressed and out the door in 15 minutes.

“Are you done with your oatmeal?”

“It’s too wet!”

“Well, it’s time to get your sister to school.”

“But my oatmeal is too wet!”

It was too late to fix that so I handed him a cheese stick and said,

“Here, eat this, then go brush your teeth.”

On to the third challenge: Get the 5 year old to school. So, manned with my sheets of paper with addresses and my phone, we headed to the door.

“Got your face mask? Got your sunscreen on? Seat belts fastened?” We were ready to fire up the engine. GPS, take me to our first stop of the day. Anybody nervous? The kids didn’t give my shaking hands one second worth of notice. They trusted me! That was all I needed. Let’s do this!

School Protocols

It used to be that you could drive up to a school, walk to the door, and be buzzed in. Now, someone meets us outside, takes our temperature, then opens the door. “You can take her to her classroom but do not go inside.” Okay. Got it.

This was the 5 year olds graduation day from preschool so her brother and I were in charge of helping her celebrate her big day. So, GPS, take us home. We have a banner to make and balloons to blow up. By 10:00 the Congratulations Banner was complete, we located some tape and we headed back to decorate a Parking Stall. The ceremony would take place outside.

I saw some cars come with balloon bouquets and bubble machines. We were going to have to blow up a lot of balloons!

After a very quick, six child pomp and circumstance and ceremony (because of the heat), I had taken pictures of the graduate; alone, with her friends, her teacher, her brother, and me. We delivered her back to her classroom with congratulations, hugs and kisses and then returned to the car.

GPS, take us to brother’s school. He was hoping to make it back in time for morning recess. We made it in time for lunch. Protocol at his school involved scanning a barcode onto my phone, putting in his ID number, answering four Covid questions and being ready to show the “Approved” checkmark on my phone so he could proceed through the door but… not until someone took our temperatures again. Then he was escorted from there. Sorry Grandma, you can’t come in.

It’s Not Noon Yet!

And because I was so overwhelmed with how well I had navigated all of this first morning’s itinerary, I thought I’d wonder around the parking lot looking for the car. Now what kind of car does my daughter have? Where did I park it?

It wasn’t even noon yet on my first day of Grandma in Charge.

“Can I take this hat off? My head itches.”

What To Do…Week Two

We are entering week two of the Coronavirus Isolation. Many moms and dads are trying to work from home and take care of their children. For older children, the schools have identified ways to stay connected on-line to help keep the kids learning. However, daycares also closed. These little ones are home now with parents who are stressed. Some are out of work, some are trying to maintain a paycheck by working from home. No one has the time to figure out how to make each day happy for all concerned. That’s where I maybe can help.

Retired Teacher – Grandma

My previous working life was spent with children. I know a few tricks for playing with little ones but this has even tested me. I am dusting off my previous learning and trying to pull together balanced activities for two grandchildren that I watch three days a week. I have the good fortune of living right next door.

So, first I started with a plan to connect some like activities (see previous post). It was pretty simple and involved lots of painting, a little play dough, one book, and a walk outside. As I am sitting here, in my quiet, though I thought I can do better than that. I know some things about learning.

  • I tend to go to what I enjoy…art projects. And that does not always satisfy a child’s needs.
  • I know there there are multiple ways for children to learn and a good/balanced day will include these multiple approaches.
  • I also know that it’s fun to plan everything around a theme. It helps to control my short attention span…and their’s.
  • And, above all else, I know that the best laid plans won’t always work.

S-imple is better

M-ake it fun

I-llustrate but…

L-et them lead

E-njoy this time with them

First I Dusted Off My Memory of Multiple Intelligences

There are several great sites online to simply google but this one from Scholastic actually gave a list of ideas. My grandchildren are young so I have to improvise but I always had to do that in my career, so this is just a good creative activity for me. From the list I think the following with work well with my 2 and 3 year old.

Verbal-Linguistic (Word Smart)

  • Words, Words, Words, Words, Words!
  • Talk to them about everything.
  • Label everything.
  • Read book after book after book and talk about the pictures.
  • Repeat rhymes over and over again.
  • Let them make up stories.

Logical-Mathematical (Number Smart)

  • Count everything (How many steps it takes to get upstairs, how many books did we read)
  • Show patterns
  • Make repeating patterns
  • Ask questions like “What will happen if we put this color with this color?” “What might happen if we drop oil into the water?” “What will come next?”

Spacial-Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Little ones learn so much about the world from story books: the pictures represent some form of reality. Then, if a child can replicate pictures, characters, settings with common objects is thrilling.

  • Break out the puzzle ideas. Make some related to the theme. Cut up pictures into the number of pieces that your child can successfully put back together
  • Break out the play dough and the cookie cutters. Make samples of the things that you’ve been talking about
  • Draw pictures of the characters, the weather…anything that links to your theme
  • Build structures with legos to keep the stories going.

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

I can’t speak for all children but I know that my grandchildren love rhythm and music. There is something about music that soothes the soul.

  • Listen to all kinds of music. Whether there in car seats or running around the house, music sets a tone. So if you want things to quiet down, play quiet music. If you want them to get up and get moving, play quick music. ETC.
  • Children’s music, nursery rhymes, and simple songs are so great to encourage little ones to sing along. Playing the same music over and over again helps them succeed.
  • Make up songs. I have been known to turn most everything into some kind of song. It doesn’t fail to put a smile on their faces. In time, I’ll ask them to make up a song.

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

It’s a no brainer that little kids need to move but letting little kids just race around and jump off furniture is not safe. And, Grandma has more anxiety about bumps and bruises than when I was younger so…I encourage control.

  • Role playing is fantastic. Crawling like a caterpillar, flying like a butterfly, leaping like a frog, jumping like a kangeroo are all controlled movements.
  • Find fun movement videos that get kids moving. Here is one called Super Simple Songs
  • Take the cushions off the couch and let them climb and jump from a safe height.

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

Little ones move through developmental stages. In the beginning they play alone, then slowly move into a side by side and then cooperative. Being able to negotiate the changes as they happen is so important. Right now my 2 and 3 year old struggle with sharing. That makes it more important than ever to give them opportunities to practice.

  • Almost all activities we do have a component of taking a turn. Talk them through it. Don’t expect it to be learned easily or quickly. Praise them for their patience and willingness to share.
  • Encourage play that helps each child play their part. The 3 year old, right now is into playing a Disney character. She usually dictates what role her sister plays but for right now it’s working and they play successfully this way.
  • This is a good time, also, to practice good manners – Saying “Please” and “Thank-you” and “Can I take a turn?”

Intra-personal Intelligence (Self-Smart)

Little ones are developmentally self absorbed so this one is easy.

  • Identify body parts – simple point and name games
  • Touch your head…touch your toes
  • Find things that are their favorites…favorite book, favorite song, favorite toy and name it as such. This is C’s favorite toy, This is N’s favorite song.
  • This is a good time to have them answer question like “which one do you like?” This gives them the power of a choice.

Naturalistic-Intelligence (Nature Smarts)

Whenever the weather is nice, we go for a walk. Even during this time of isolation, we can still be outside. So, weather permitting we…

  • Go in search of…one day it was finding all the RED cars, one day it was listening for birds, the latest was looking for signs of spring (flowers popping up out of the ground, squirrels running around, birds singing),
  • Find nature objects to collect and bring back to use as a paint brush, nearly everything works. Don’t forget to bring along a bag. They will find a lot.
  • Plant seeds, start your own garden.
  • Walk in a woods to find a greater variety of leaves, plants, animals.
Now It’s Time To Plan

Going through this activity alone has refreshed me on how important it is to vary a child’s play. I am going to print this list off and keep it next to me as I plan this next week. I have been guilty of falling back on what is comfortable for me. I need to push myself out of my comfort zone to make sure that I let my littles practice every way of learning. I am going to develop next weeks theme and I will share it here.

Stay tuned.

Going To The Zoo, Zoo, Zoo


It’s Auntie Friday and she wants to take you to the zoo.  Luckily, I got to tag along. Now, this is how a 20 month old takes on the zoo.

IMG_8264  First of all, you wanted out of your stroller. So, it was time to zip up the jacket.  It was a little chilly.  And then…

IMG_8265 IMG_8266 IMG_8268  You were off!  Like an uncaged animal.  🙂

So you had to be corralled.

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Ahh…that’s better.

Man, you look so big!  When did that happen?

Now, the zoo is full of animals but, truthfully, you were more interested in walking and climbing and taking on that big steering wheel.

IMG_8275 IMG_8276 IMG_8277  Who needs animals?

But, then there was a bird show and Auntie E knew that the show included an owl (hoo-hoo).  You would like that, right?


You did, indeed, like the owl but there were sooooo many other birds…I mean, the show lasted a whole 15 minutes!  Really?  That was way too long to sit. So, luckily, Auntie E had brought along a snack.  With a few small outbursts and consuming most of your lunch, you made it through the show.

Now, it was time to actually check out the big animals, but you were already getting tired.  Still, we tried.

IMG_8304 IMG_8308 IMG_8307 Partly, you were trying to see and partly you were more interested in sleeping. Still, we made it to the giraffes.

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And that was that.  You were done.  It had been an hour after all!  Time to call it a day.

IMG_8311Maybe next time, we’ll actually make it into a building.  Oh little man, don’t grow up too fast.  We can take our time.

To Spoon Or Not To Spoon, That Is The Question

When I was a new mom, everything had to be perfect. Now, as a Grandma, I think the mess is more fun.

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To spoon or not to spoon?  That is the question.

Whether tis nobler, in the mind, to suffer the pain of learning this mysterious convention or to oppose it and end this hunger.

To eat:  To finally eat!

IMG_7463 IMG_7472

Ah, this thing; a spoon?  While full of intrigue, as a vessel, it fails;  Incapable of delivering even the smallest morsel to its destination.  Precious cargo lost all along the way.  Determined, I journey on.  Yet, try and try again, this tool seems unworthy of carrying even the smallest of loads.

There must be an easier way!

IMG_7464Now this tool -this thing they’ve named a hand – seems far more capable.  One trip and…

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Successful delivery to the targeted destination.

IMG_7473So why this silly obsession with this thing they call a spoon?

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Seems but a battle; a waste of precious time.

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The warrior spirit, in me, has waned.  I’ve grown tired and weak with hunger.

IMG_7484Perchance, this battle will surface another day.

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For today, the hand has won!

IMG_7487 Now, pray tell, could someone clean me up?

The Great Easter Egg Adventure

IMG_7429 Ok, Grandma, I’m ready!  Today is the day.  The eggs are ready.  The colors are ready.  And you put this giant shirt on me so I can really make a mess.  So let’s do this thing!

Wait, what are we doing?


We are going to make some pretty eggs, little man.  We have to make them look like Easter eggs.


First, we are going to put one in this whisk.  That way we won’t drop it.


Them we dip it into this little tub of blue water.  Oops, it splashed out a little.  That’s ok.  We can clean it up.

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You are getting the idea.  Hold it in the water while I count to 10.

IMG_7438 IMG_7440 IMG_7441 IMG_7442

But Grandma, I don’t want to hold it that long.  Oops, some more splashed out.  Oops, a lot splashed out!

IMG_7439Let Grandma get that out of your way, quickly.

IMG_7443  Actually, Grandma, it’s more fun to play in this yellow water, ok?  You do the eggs!


IMG_7437 I’ll clean up. 🙂

IMG_7448Ok, I’m all done.  Can I be all done?




We did pretty good, don’t you think?

We got 4 colored, right?

Oh, right, I only did 2 of them.


But I’m cute, right?

Can I play with the egg carton now?

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Happy Easter, everybody.

Oh What Will We Do When The Parents Are Away?

First Things First – Let’s Make A Mess

Your mama and daddy are going away for a little vacation.  Oh what, oh what will we do?

I let you taste test along the way.

It’s just you and me for the whole first day. You and I are used to be together on Thursdays but mama is home by 5:30 and daddy follows shortly after.  You love it when they come home.  Hmmm, what will we do to  cause a diversion from that routine?  Were you up for an experiment?  I knew that you have gotten a little fussy about eating vegetables so I had a plan to make you a different kind of dinner.  I hide vegetables in turkey meatballs and in the spaghetti sauce.  You sat on the floor, getting kind of fussy until I let you taste test the sauce as it was getting ready.  Now, that was fun.  Then, when it was ready to eat,  I let you mess around with the whole thing on your tray. You scarfed down all the noodles, sauce, and two meatballs; vegetables and all.  It was a glorious mess but mission accomplished.  You ate the vegetables and didn’t even know it. And, you hadn’t noticed that mama and daddy hadn’t come home.

Smeared from one end of the tray to another but you ate it all.

In fact, you were enjoying the whole thing so much that you thought a little sauce in your hair would be even more fun. While, you were patient while I cleaned up the mess, your patience was gone when I tried to change your diaper afterward.  You got away from me and thought that was really funny.

When trying to put your pants on yourself didn’t work,

imageyou opted for just foregoing pants altogether.


Go with the flow Grandma.  It’s just easier that way.

Before your legs got too cold, we headed to the bathtub.  After about thirty minutes of water play, I was maybe just as wet as you but you were all shiny clean again.  We both slept really well that night.  How do parents do this every day?

Day Two: Sunshine and Bubbles

Auntie E came to spend the day and you two found the upstairs balcony…and bubbles!

IMG_7299  IMG_7303  IMG_7302

You loved both the balcony and the bubbles so much in the morning that you wanted to show me again at night.  Bubbles are magic.  You sign “More, More” over and over again.  Easy, good, CLEAN fun.

It was a beautiful day, maybe because I took some time off and went to get a manicure and pedicure! And then, after you showed me the bubbles, we took you out to eat.

You had pita bread and tomatoes.  We had wine.  Ok, well we had a little more than that but we had to eat really fast because you were tired.  We left a really nice tip because you left your mark…all over the floor. Sorry, nice waitress.

Day Three: Why is Food So Messy?

image Nobody told me that I needed have you practice eating, on your own, from a spoon this weekend. Call me crazy, but I just thought that it was time. Why do I do things like that?

Yogurt stays on the spoon, right? Well, sort of.  And you patiently worked to get some in your mouth, bit by bit.  In the beginning, you were amazing, trying so hard, seeming to enjoy this new independence.  Some went down your bib but a good share made it into your mouth.  But then you got tired of the “fun” and started shaking the yogurt off the spoon and into the air.  Now you thought that was really fun!  I grabbed the spoon as fast as I could but then your hands went into the yogurt bowl and into your hair, again before I could stop you.  What is it with that food in your hair thing? Your just smiled at me and I melted into laughter.  Life isn’t that serious, Grandma. Floors clean up and hair does too.

You sat, patiently again, and watched as I cleaned up the floor, your tray, your face and your hands, and your hair.  Then up went your arms, your sign for “all done”.  And, yes, you were all done and so was I. Whew!

When does Auntie E come back?

Off To The Children’s Musuem

The day was beautiful, a perfect day for a walk.  Auntie E came and we packed you in the stroller and took off for the children’s museum.  Lately, you are all about buttons:  on the stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer, anywhere and everywhere you see a button, it just has to be pushed.  So, stop number one, at the museum was the buttons. These had a purpose.  They were supposed to light up a dancing floor.  You didn’t notice the lights on the floor.  You didn’t care about anything but the buttons.  Best part was that no one cared that you didn’t care.  Do what you want little one. Push those buttons to your hearts content.


image  Then there were more buttons on a make believe bus.  You never noticed the bus driver seat, steering wheel, or other passengers.  Once again, you just pushed the buttons.  Over and over and over again, until another little someone came along and actually wanted to play bus driver. So we had to leave to find other buttons.

Instead, we found the slide.  Oh my goodness!  You had been pointing to slides in a book lately like you actually knew what they were.  So when, you saw this slide, it was a done deal.  You had to try it out.  With no fear, you climbed the steps to the top along with Auntie E.  We both think that if she hadn’t been up there to tell you to sit down, first, you would have walked right off the edge.  But, with her guidance, you sat down and made the rest look like you had done it your whole life.  Exactly when did you learn how to go down a slide?

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Up and down you went, until Auntie and Grandma were tired and wanted to sit down.  Luckily you let us.  Mostly, I think you were getting tired as well.  It was time to eat something and start the walk home.

What a great day.  Your mama sent a message and asked if I wanted to stay longer tomorrow and get a massage.  My response:  “That sounds lovely but I will be very happy just going home to my couch. And the weekend isn’t over yet.

I mean what’s more entertaining than folding clothes?  Best part was, the first thing you did was take some socks and throw them in the trash.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera.  But I think I laughed out loud!  Then, I got my camera.  You tried, you really tried to help fold the clothes…and then unfold them and put them on.  What you didn’t do was push the buttons on the washer and the dryer so…score one for Grandma.  I found something that diverted your attention from buttons!

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We ended the day with more bubbles and a push toy on the balcony.  I think I need to get a chair out here!

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Mama and Daddy Come Home Today

We have settled into a routine.  You with me – Me with you.  Still the minute the phone rings, you say “Mama” and every man we look at, in a magazine, is “Dada”.  I think you are ready for them to be home.  Still we have to fill the time with something.

You woke up early.  Your crib is up against the wall and you had already turned on the lights.  Guess you were ready to get up!  I made one of those frozen toaster waffles.  You were not a fan but you did like the strawberries that I gave to you.  It was too cold to be on the balcony but you wanted to try anyway and you have taught me this weekend to go with the flow so I opened the door and let you venture out.  This is definitely your space.  You love watching the birds and squirrels, shouting out to anyone who will listen and pointing to the sky when a plane flies over.  Still it was cold out there, so I forced you in, against your will.


You went to the closet door.  In there, I store our “arts and crafts”.  When you go to that door, you want the colored markers.  I get out the markers and paper but truthfully you basically like to just play with the markers.  In and out of the bag, rolling around on the floor, carrying them around and throwing them off in different directions.  Sometimes, you attempt to take the top off of the marker and we get a little mark on a piece of paper.  It turns into “art” by a 15 month old.


We filled the rest of the time by taking a walk to the store for a few groceries, and then having an early lunch.  Then finally, the time had finally come.  We heard the door open.  “Who’s there?”, I asked you.  Your answer, “Dada”.  And you were right!  And there was your mama as well.  She picked you up.  You snuggled into her and just stayed there.  You were so happy to have them home.  She snuggled so close to you and you said “Mama” so sweet and loving,  and it was time for me to go home.

So much love for one little man.  What a great weekend.  What a special little man.  I am one lucky Grandma.

Pushing Buttons…And So Much More!

                              Don’t touch!

Today’s world is so much different than when this grandma was a little child.  Still some day, you might remember things that your grandma taught you.  I hope that your clearest memory isn’t “No”.

This word is so familiar to you that, when it’s said, you shake your head back and forth, pause for a couple of seconds and then  proceed with your quest. When I was little, the word “No” was said with a loud voice and followed by a hand slap. Lucky for you, I’m not that kind of grandma.

Nothing can stop you anymore!

Right now, you love to push buttons!  I didn’t know there were so many buttons in our lives these days.  Buttons on the DVR have been guarded by your Pack and Play for so long but, now, you just push that out of your way!  The remote control has so many buttons that you’d think it would be impossible to turn the tv on but you do that successfully any time you get your hands on that button toy.

Then there are the buttons on the washer and dryer, the stove front, and the doorbell speaker system, the refrigerator ice machine, and every computer, phone and ipad in the house.  Today, I could only take photos from a distance because you wanted to play with the buttons on that as well.  This might mean that you may be seeing an over abundance of crying baby photos in the near future.  It was when you pushed the ottoman out of the way so you could get to the buttons on the plugged in timer for the lamp that I had to get serious!

Well, what’s a grandma to do?

Divert, divert, divert!

There are plenty of other things in your home that are great to touch, and safe.  So we went exploring.  Here’s what we found…

IMG_7270You love the feeling of cold windows and you are now tall enough to see out the front windows.  There’s a bonus here.  You also love to watch the cars go by.  “Car” is now counted as one of your regular words.


The carpet is so nice to touch that you actually like just laying on it.  Climbing the stairs is the bonus that comes along with that tactile adventure.

IMG_7282 IMG_7283

The ball pit is a super fun place for you to push things around. Today, though, you realized that you can tip the whole thing over which scared you a little until you saw all the balls spill out and then you just thought that was supremely funny.  AND, you loving watching grandma pick them all up and put them back.  Apparently, that meant that it was time to tip the house over again.

Time to divert your attention to something else again. Grandma didn’t think it was aa funny as you did.

Ok, so if you love to touch things, push on things, and make a mess, grandma had another plan:  controlled tactile stimulation.

          Edible Play Dough

              Kinetic Sand

As usual, your grandma thought she had two winners here.  The play dough even smells wonderful as it is made with Kool-aide (check out Pinterest for the recipe).

Well, you didn’t like either one.  In fact, you only barely touched each one with one finger and then wanted to be done with that.

In fact, our whole touching adventure lasted for a grand total of about twenty minutes.   There were no buttons, no sound, no vibrating mechanisms on the windows but you had the bonus of cars driving by.  The feel of the carpet came with a great climbing adventure.  And the ball pit, well, that actually was funny.  The play dough and sand, however, came with no real bonuses.  It just is whatever you make it out to be.  You may be too young yet to see that creativity can be fun.  I think we are going to have to practice pushing play dough and sand around a little more each day.

Who knows, some day you might like it as much as pushing buttons.