Going To The Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

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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?

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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.

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A Mother’s Thank You Note – To God

Begin Again

Dear God,

Thank you for allowing me to become a mom.

Thank you for trusting me.

I have finally learned how to listen to your messages; to be gentle with myself.

But being a mom wasn’t easy.  I made so many mistakes. I worried all the time.  I questioned myself and my decisions daily.

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Now, I believe that, all along, you were guiding me down the right paths.

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Although the paths were uneven and I lost my balance often,

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It was you who believed that I was strong enough to handle it,

You taught me to be patient; to just keep going.

You helped me to breathe.

Thank you for focusing my attention on the beauty of this gift.

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You were always there, whispering softly, “Appreciate the little things.”

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“It’s your job to build a home.  It doesn’t have to be fancy.

It just has to be safe and full of love.”

Thank you, God, for filling my world with such joy.

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Through hard…

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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!

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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?

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

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

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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.

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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!

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IMG_7437 I’ll clean up. 🙂

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

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We did pretty good, don’t you think?

We got 4 colored, right?

Oh, right, I only did 2 of them.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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                              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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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          Edible Play Dough
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              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.

One Fish, Two Fish -Red Fish, Blue Fish, Blue Water,Blue Face!

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 One fish, two fish.

One red, one blue fish.

But first…

we had to paint

the little fish dish.

We mixed some corn syrup with a drop of blue.

Then the fish dish got painted with this sticky blue goo.

That made is easy to stick the fish to.

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But, what do you do when the goo

sticks to you?

You tried to shake the fish off

but it wouldn’t let go.

You pulled, and tugged, and tried to peel it off.

Still it stuck to you so.

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With a little help from Grandma,

we got the fish

back into the fish dish.

Now, you had another wish…

Grandma, more fish!

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So we filled that fish dish

with more red and blue fish

Until we were done with that

sticky

fish

wish!

IMG_7258Then wouldn’t you know,         IMG_7259

you put your sticky fingers

all over your little face…

on your nose…in your hair,

Sticky fingers everywhere!

So…

Grandma did

what Grandma’s do

She let you play in water too!

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We got sticky but it was fun, I have to say.

Hmmm, what else can we do to get ready

 for Dr. Seuss’ big day?

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