Browsing Date

March 2016

I Love Easter but Hate the Grass

Grandkids, Toddlers By March 24, 2016 Tags: , 19 Comments

I admit it…I hate Easter grass.  You know, the pink, blue, green and yellow shredded plastic piles added to Easter baskets for filler and cushion.  I have refused to buy it for decades.   The thought of it wrapped around the inside my vacuum cleaner, causing it to grind to a stop, makes me cringe. When I start one of these rants, most people just nod and smile like I am a little crazy or their eyes start darting around looking for a means to escape.  Actually, I have the same feeling regarding the silver icicles that hang on Christmas trees.  Trimming the Christmas tree sounds so romantic, until you are still finding pieces of tinsel in March……just in time for Easter grass to take over!  It is like a conspiracy.

Still, I wanted to do something Easter basket like for my granddaughters.  They are not allowed to eat a lot of candy, unlike my childhood where we gorged on Easter basket candy for days.  Hmmm.  After giving it some thought, I came up with a simple and acceptable solution. easter2

I found some Easter themed gift bags and decided to fill them with cute socks (always needed), small cans of Play Dough (they love it), and plastic Easter eggs filled with colorful gold fish (yummy).  Not a chocolate egg or bunny in sight.  They turned out nice and I am sure they will be well received.easter3easter4

Have a Happy Easter sans the grass!

 

 

 

This post is linked to GRAND Social, Over the Moon Link Party
Nanahood Blog Hop
Wordless Wednesday
Let’s Be Friends Blog Hop
Creative Muster Party
Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop
Welcome Home Wednesdays Link Party
Sincerely, Paula Blog Party

 

Share:

First Birthdays

Grandkids, Toddlers By March 20, 2016 Tags: , 16 Comments

First birthdays are interesting.  The birthday child has no idea what’s going on.  They are dressed up, hauled around and positioned with props, as LOTS of pictures are taken.  My youngest granddaughter just had her First birthday party.  Yes, I did take a ton of pictures.  But, one of the perks of a digital camera is that you can take a hundred and then delete all but five.Birthday-monnie

The party brought back the memory of my oldest son (her dad) and his First birthday party.  The guests were mostly adults, like most First birthdays are.  I was young and not comfortable with entertaining A LOT of extended family in my living room.  I wanted everything to be perfect because obviously that would prove I was a really good wife and mom. No insecurity issues there.  I baked a sheet cake, not the day before but the morning of the party.  I am not sure what I was thinking. Someone should have intervened!

My mom was helping me with the party food.  She was happily prepping something at the kitchen counter. The oven buzzer went off, the cake was done.  I asked her to move an empty pot that was sitting on a burner, so I could sit the cake on the stove top to cool.  I didn’t give it any more thought.  I left the cake innocently sitting there while I worked on the other party preparations.

Then I smelled it.  Something was burning…but what?  I checked the oven, it was off.  Nothing was cooking on the stove. Well, except…my cake!  Yes, my mom was getting ready to make something in the empty pan sitting on the stove and had turned the electric burner on.  I didn’t notice it because I had a big cake in my face and she was in a rush to help me and I guess she just forgot it was on.  Anyway, I pulled the very hot cake pan off the top of the stove, let it cool (someplace else) and then flipped it over to survey the damage.  In the bottom of my cake (now the top) was the black, crispy outline of the electric burner!  I could have cried.  Remember, I said that I DID NOT make it the day before but right before the party?  So, making it again is not an option.

I did the only thing I could do at the time.  I carefully cut out the burner marks and filled the large hole with icing.  Then I iced the rest of the cake and decorated it.  When it was time, I started serving it from the non-burnt side.  I was nervous and a little embarrassed but I didn’t hear any complaints.  I fessed up later, after the party was over.

I couldn’t laugh about it then (I was horrified) and I probably gave my mom a hard time, but now it is one of my favorite stories.

My granddaughter had store bought cupcakes. That would have been birthday3-monniemuch easier!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This post shared at GRAND Social, Over the Moon Link Party,
Wordless Wednesday
Nanahood
Creative Muster
Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop
Welcome Home Wednesday
Glimmer of Hope Link Party
Sincerely Paula’s Weekend Blog Party
Share:

The Things We Do For Love

Family By March 18, 2016 Tags: , , , , , 7 Comments

It is March 17th…otherwise known as St. Patrick’s Day.  This is the day the color green is a fashion statement and everyone wants to be Irish or at least Celtic.  When my son was a teen, he pestered my mother until she located an Irish branch of our family tree.  I don’t know how she did it, but she did… you know grandmas. So, the joke around our house is that my son has 16 drops of Irish blood.  In fact, he even gave his oldest daughter a Celtic name. Coincidence?  I don’t think so.

This is also the one day we partake in drinking traditional Irish Stout beer.  My husband is very excited about this and looks forward to it every year. The beer has to be from the tap. Meaning I can’t just pick it up at the store.  That is not an option, I tried.  As you can see, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  So now we have to locate the restaurants that actually have Guinness Stout on tap and try to get in for dinner.  Not an easy undertaking on the seventeenth of March.beer

I don’t usually drink beer, mostly because I don’t like it.   I do have enough experience to say, there is beer and then there is Guinness.  It is in a class by itself.   Not to step on any beer connoisseurs toes, but it tastes awful. Last fall we were in a trendy little bar that offered fruity beers, now that’s more my speed. Guinness is not for the faint of heart.

So, once a year, I don my greenest clothing, search out the Irish pubs in the area, make arrangements to meet the family there and order myself a delicious glass of Guinness Irish Stout. Yes, I am a good sport and I actually drink it. Ahhh…the things we do for love!

 

This post linked to Over the Moon Link Party, GRAND Social
Wordless Wednesday
Nanahood
Creative Muster
Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop
Welcome Home Wednesday
Sincerely Paula’s Weekend Blog Party
Share:

If the Phone Book Could Talk

Family By March 13, 2016 Tags: , 12 Comments

If the phone book could talk – 3 things it might say.

I opened up the mailbox today and pulled out a 7 x 8 inch book, about an inch thick, with the words ‘phone book’ printed across it.  I brought it back into the house with me.  My husband glanced over and inquired, “What is that?”  I shrugged and said, “I think it’s a phone book”.  I headed to the recycling bin to toss it, along with some other junk mail and wondered if anyone used phone books anymore.

When I was growing up, many decades ago in Kansas City, the phone book was substantial.  It was big, bulky and weighted a ton.  It was used as a door jam, step stool and always, a makeshift booster seat.  My grandmother crocheted a cover for it.  It was prominently displayed on the side table, along with the rotary dial telephone.

Recently, I watched a movie called The Intern with Robert De Niro.  Interesting enough, his character was a retired VP of a phone book company.  The business he worked for is now gone, the building that once housed it is inhabited by a successful startup, where he is now an intern.  When he mentions to his twenty something coworkers that he used to work for the phone book company, they give him a look of confusion.  Like…”What’s a phone book?”  or maybe, “You are really old!”  Actually, I can understand the youngster’s bewilderment because the majority of us don’t use phone books anymore.  Most information is accessible on your phone, tablet or computer.   Why would you go looking though a book?

That got me to thinking….if the phone book could give some sage advice what would it be?

  1. Keep up! Technology is here to stay.  Choosing not to learn how to use a cell phone, computer or even social media is going to put you further behind and out of touch with your children and grandchildren. We don’t want to be thought of as antiquated.  If you don’t understand technology then ask for their help, take a class or watch a YouTube video. There are many ways to learn.  I found this fun quote on Pinterest by Sue Fitzmaurice, “To my children:  never make fun of having to help me with the computer. I had to teach you how to use a spoon”!  Enough said.
  2. Don’t get stuck in the past.  Billy Joel musically stated, “the good ole days weren’t always good…” .  You may remember the past being a simpler, easier time but that might be because you were a kid and didn’t have the responsibilities of an adult.  With today’s technology you can Skype or Facetime your grandkids from thousands of miles away and watch their face as they tell you a story.  A restaurant phone number can be looked up in a matter of seconds.  Along with the number, you are provided with directions and the menu.  Pictures can be shared in real time. Who doesn’t like that?
  3. Don’t be afraid to move forward. Several years ago we got rid of our house phone. The decision was a little hard. We had the same phone number for  almost two decades.  You almost felt like it was part of your identity.  I think my grandma had the same phone number for almost 40 years.  But the reality was we didn’t use it. The voice mail was filled with solicitors and political surveys, not personal messages.  Anyone who knew us called our cell phones. We were paying for something we simply didn’t use anymore.  So we got rid of it and haven’t even noticed.

The sage phone book would tell us to remember the past but enjoy and participate in the now. The only downside being, we have to actually purchase a booster seat!

 

This post shared at:  Over the Moon, GRAND Social 
Wordless Wednesday
Lets Be Friends Blog Hop
Creative Muster Party
Welcome Home Wednesdays
Bloggers Spotlight Link
That Friday Blog Hop
No Rules Weekend Blog Party
Share:

The Dora Doll Debacle

Grandkids, Toddlers By March 6, 2016 Tags: , 13 Comments

What is a grandma to do?

The gift. My youngest granddaughter was about to have her first birthday and I was wondering what to get her. I decided to ask my daughter-in-law if getting her a doll was a good idea. Her older sister has a special doll named “baby” that has been hers for several years, thus “baby” isn’t shareable. I was given a green light to buy her doll.

One month before the birthday party. I raised two boys, buying a baby doll is not part of my skill set but I was up for the challenge. I spent some time scouring Amazon for the perfect doll. I looked at bald babies, talking babies, princess dolls, dolls that eat and pee.  I didn’t want a doll too small. I was looking for one that was soft-ish and hopefully washable. Along with “baby”, I knew my oldest granddaughter likes Elmo and Mini Mouse, so I stayed away from those. I settled on a Dora the Explorer doll. I studied the description, it matched what I was looking for and the reviews were good, I was sold. It arrived quickly (Amazon Prime), it was a little big but that shouldn’t be a problem, she can drag it around or lay on it. I was happy.  However, my husband did ask me to put it back in the box. I guess having the Dora doll sit in a chair in the living room was “creeping him out”…horror movie flashbacks.resized-Dora2-chair

One week before the birthday party. The older sister proudly shows me her new lunch box…Dora the Explorer. Huh….I didn’t know she even knew who Dora was. I am rationalizing that the selection of lunch boxes at the store must have been small or she liked the monkey on the front (evidently Dora’s sidekick). Honestly, it just didn’t click. Looking back, I should have known something was up when she knew the name of the monkey!

The day of the birthday party. I am pretty excited about the gift. I think it is going to be a big hit. The birthday girl is sitting on mommies lap opening presents. Dora is pulled from the gift bag. My son exclaims, “Oh! This could be a problem”. “What do you mean?” I ask surprised. Well…the answer was that Dora is now the new favorite character of my oldest granddaughter (aka older sister). This timely information is given to me along with a concerned look. Not a problem I thought, my oldest granddaughter is a rational, almost three year old, I will just explain the situation. She wasn’t in the room at the unveiling so I went to get her. I carefully tried to explain that I had purchased a Dora doll for her little sister.   This resulted in her jumping up and making a bee-line for the party, scooping up the doll, hugging it and tucking it under her arm. Meanwhile her parents are explaining to her that this is her sister’s doll, not hers. Without releasing the death grip on the doll, she replies, as confident three year olds do, ‘I am just going to hold it for her’. Oh my! The one year old doesn’t understand what is going on and is having more fun playing with the screaming elephant that her other grandmother got her. Never the less, I told my son that I would fix it.

The fix. So, what is a grandma to do? The peace in the family and my sons confidence in me as a grandmother may depend it. I don’t see another option and my husband is behind me 100% (although he is laughing at the situation I got myself into), I get on-line to order another Dora the Explorer doll! I decide to attach a cute little butterfly patch to her shirt so they can tell them apart. Big sigh.

Lessons learned. Next time get a complete list of each granddaughter’s current, favorite characters, in writing from the parents, before purchasing anything!

 

This post shared at Over The Moon Link Party
Grandma’s Briefs,
Wordless Wednesdays
Nanahood.com
Lets Be Friends Blog Hop
Creative Muster
Welcome Home Wednesdays Link Party
Blogger Spotlight Link Party

 

Share: