Posts Tagged With: family

Baby K is three!

Tuesday last Baby K completed her third go around the sun!
The Saturday before was a gloriously warm and sunny day and we celebrated by playing in the yard.
Baby K’s friend Liam came to play.
(in reality Thing 1 and Liam’s mom are friends and the kids are still figuring it out but they’re adorable together)

Chalk and a small bubble blowing machine in the driveway.

A dinosaur dig site set up in the sensory table.

Climbing structures and a bounce house in the side yard.
(a hand-me-down from our friends Nora and Dale who’s kids have outgrown it)

Birthday hats and mini dino piñatas.
Two (almost) three year olds.
Three grandparents (Nana was here from Georgia) and four parents.
Pizza and pressies and cupcakes.
A whole lotta love.
It was a mighty fine shindig!

On her actual birthday we got together for pressies, cheeseburgers and ice cream.
It was chilly and rainy but that didn’t stop us from being outside.
Especially because Baby K discovered something extraordinary in the ornamental grass planted around the front porch.

YBW remarked no matter how excited she was about gifts, the time we spent on the porch was her favorite part of her birthday.

There were dozens and dozens of snails.
She was so excited she could hardly stand herself!
She was quite clear about how they we going to be her pets.

I love that this little girl loves dinosaurs and dollies and books.
I love that this little girl loves nature.
I love that this little girl provides us the opportunity to see the world through her eyes.

Our grandgirl is precious and beloved.
I’m grateful she was born into our family.
I’m grateful to celebrate her birthday with her.
I’m grateful to be her Birdie.

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Baby K weekend – April 2022

The weekend with our grandgirl started with her napping in the car on the way home to our house after a morning errand running with her mom and me.
She woke as we were turning onto the road to our house.
“We almost home Birdie!”

Not long after we arrived did her Papa come home from work.
She leapt into his arms from the landing of the stairs and in that moment, all was right in both their worlds.

We walked down to the playground where there were some older girls playing.
Baby K watched keenly but never attempted to engage them. She did however take a play from their book and began swinging herself onto slides faster than she’s ever done before.
She’s becoming such a big girl, y’all!

Saturday morning after checking out the new closet (awed whispers of “Wow” and a quick spin in the middle before saying, “I love this closet!”) she decided she needed to wear a pair of her Papa’s shoes.
She’s pulling that face because she was “working so hard” to tie the shoes.

When she tired of wearing Papa’s shoes, she told me “I rock Baby Simon! Birdie, you need fix the chair. I go get him”
I moved my great grandmother’s rocking chair to a place where there’s no rug and Baby K held the little Cabbage Patch Kid I found in my basket one Easter morning a million and seven years ago. (his name is Simon because I was a big ol’ Duranie and named him after Simon LeBon)
I just recently moved “Baby Simon” out of my cedar chest into Baby K’s basket of dolls and she’s all about him.

Finally it was time to go to the thing!
Right now she’s all about dinosaurs so we took her to the Natural History Museum to see the “dinosaur bones”.
She saw dino bones, sea creatures, other animals, and a load of gems and rocks. (the girl was not terribly impressed by the Hope Diamond, but she’s not quite three yet, so we’ll give it time)
I didn’t take any photos while we were at the museum. We were all present in the moment.

A curious thing happened in the geology gems and minerals exhibit.
There was a kid expressing their feelings of being finished going through the museum. They were screaming and crying. This kid was over life, y’all. And her parents weren’t exactly ready to accept defeat.
I had Baby K on my hip so she could see the colorful gems, but she couldn’t pay attention to anything but the miserable kid.
She kept saying to me, “Birdie! The baby is crying!”
I reassured her the baby was safe with their mommy and daddy.
But the more the kid cried, the more ridged my granddaughter’s body became. She repeated herself again and again, “The baby is crying!” and then she began to shake.
That’s when I knew we needed to GTFO.
When I held her close and told her we were going to find Papa, her body melted into mine and she took a big cleansing breath.
We found her Papa, waiting patiently with the buggy.
She said, “Papa the baby is crying so much!”
He held out his arms and she snuggled right into them.

It wasn’t much longer that we bid the museum goodbye.
Literally.
“Bye dinosaur bones!” (yes, she waved)

As we crossed the mall I wondered aloud if we should take a photo of her ‘in front of’ the Washington Monument. YBW suggested we move from the path to the grass, his DC specific pet-peeve is people stopping in the middle of walkways to take photos. (all those years of commuting via train and walking to his building via the mall being interrupted by tourists got to him)
Baby K saw a small flock of pigeons and proclaimed, “I pet them!”
All I could think was, ‘will you though?’

She was disappointed.
But she wore it well.
She was already planning to go to the playground when we got home.

By the time we got home, it was raining.
She was cool with it because she discovered some battery powered votive candles.
She took them to the darkest spot she knew…our closet.
She entertained herself for about twenty minutes before asking for Papa to join her game.
Not long after, she said, “Birdie Birdie! Come quick!”
I told her I was finishing folding some laundry and then I’d be there.
That was satisfactory.

Y’all we spent damn near an hour in the closet playing with those candles!
At first she held them behind clothes and put them in shoes.
Then we realized they could roll on the floor.
Rolling turned into sliding and we had a kind of candle as hockey puck situation.
At one point she took off her socks and put a candle in one. That lead to spinning and figure eights.
We had the best fun!
She spoke for each of us when she said, “I love this game!” followed by squeals and giggles.

Sunday morning she woke and said, “We see dinosaur bones today!” This was followed by a quick explanation of how we weren’t.
We played and read books and watched part of The Emperor’s New Groove before her nap.
When she woke, her mom and dad were here and we had a late lunch.
The grown ups hung out and played a game while she flitted from parent to grandparent before finally deciding she wanted to finish her movie.
We played while she watched.
Finally it was time for them to go home.
She wasn’t ready to leave, but when reminded that her dogs and kitties were waiting at home for her, she agreed.

This Baby K weekend was slam-jammed with fun!
I cannot express my joy and gratitude that we get to have her with us as often as we do.

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bubbly and blocks and old photos – a visit from Thing 2

Thing 2 arrived on a morning flight Thursday last.
She let me know she landed safely and was waiting for her gate checked bag.
Then I got this message:

This is a perfect example of how I communicate with my daughters. I knew what and why she was actually asking. I answered the underlying question. It’s a silly thing, but I love that about my relationship with my grown girls.

After we brunched at First Watch we hung out at here at home drinking bubbly.

Friday Thing 1 and Baby K came over to play.
YBW came home from work just after they arrived.
Of course he and Baby K brought out the blocks.
Aunt Gaga built too!

Saturday we went out to Naked Mountain to pick up YBW’s wine and hang out in the barrel room.
Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K met us there.
Baby K shared her snack with Aunt Gaga before falling asleep in my lap.

Thing 2 and I went through two boxes of photos from the great and arduous process. She asked questions, I told stories. We saw her grandparents and mine when they were children. We saw our own faces reflected in these photos. We sent quick snaps to Thing 1 asking if she saw Baby K’s face in certain photos of their Grandmommy.
Thing 2 told her own stories, shared her memories, and expressed her genuine joy and gratitude hold these photos in her hands. She created a pile of photos we wrapped up carefully, tucked into her journal, and packed in her suitcase.

We binge watched Our Flag Means Death holding hands and snuggling up on the sofa. Thing 2 was all about that “boy love”. I was all about the beautiful humanity of it.

We also went to see The Haunting of Night Vale. This was the reason for her visit. Tickets she received as a gift Christmas of 2019 for a show April 2020. (we all know how that turned out)
But, two years later there we were in the theater holding hands and being as SQUEE as only we can.

She flew home Monday afternoon.
I miss her.
But I’m not sad. There’s no room in my heart for sadness right now.
My heart is overflowing with love.
Overflowing with gratitude.
I’m grateful to have this time with my girls together. Grateful for this time with YBW and Thing 2. Grateful for time with my second daughter.
I’m grateful we went to see Night Vale together, something she’s absolutely adored for ten solid years. Something she introduced to me and I also now love. Aren’t we lucky we got to experience this together?
I’m grateful we went through two boxes of photos. I got to see my parents through my daughter’s eyes. She never her her great grandfather, but she knows she’s named for him. She knows he was my first true love. She sees his image and feels the strength of that connection.
I’m grateful for our silliness. Our seriousness.
I’m grateful to have a strong and healthy relationship with my adult daughters.
I love that girl more than the moon and the stars and I know how fortunate I am.

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Baby K weekend – February 2022

It’s important (for me) to note that we’re no longer “B-Papa House”. We are now “Birdie-Papa House”.
I’ll admit a teeny bit of sadness. For even when she began to call me Birdie we were still B-Papa House. Those days are no longer, and our grandgirl isn’t really a baby at all anymore.

(not) Baby K’s mom brought her over to our house Friday morning. We were planning to watch the guy install the automated (light-blocking) shades then run to Costco before Thing 1 returned home and Baby K had a nap.
Oh, the best laid plans…
Turns out some of the equipment for the shades was too long and what was meant to take about an hour took several. So we didn’t go over Costco, but we did have lunch together.

Friday evening YBW and I took Baby K to Target.
We went because I needed new markers (for the girl to use) but while we were there we decided to piddledick around and see what was interesting. I mean, it is Target after all.
Did you know if you ask very politely you will be handed all manner of toy/art supply/decor item/ to examine? (follow up question) Did you know if you ask equally politely, each item will be replaced upon the shelf before the next one comes to you in the buggy?
Did you know you can hear an Elsa doll sing ‘Show Yourself’ countless times before you’re ready to put it back on the shelf? Even after Birdie assures you Elsa needs her rest and Papa is ready to be in the Lego aisle.
Did you know that Target has foaming hand sanitizer at the check out and that is VERY exciting?
Did you know that Birdie and Papa will stop on the sidewalk outside of Target for a really really really long time while you look at/point to/have a conversation with (and about) the moon?

A Target run never disappoints.

When we woke on Saturday it was sunny and warm so we decided to go to the playground after breakfast.
Only in the time it took us to have breakfast and get dressed it got cloudy and cooler.
We weren’t dressed quite warmly enough for how windy it became, but we persevered. There were five slides to try, and a rock wall to climb, a ‘dog house’ to howl from and a car to drive.

While Baby K was driving she told us it was time to “Get in you seats. Right here.” while pointing at the steps behind where she stood. YBW and I climbed to structure and sat dutifully on the steps behind her while she drove us around.

Is it just me or does she look like a mom that’s had about enough of our backseat shenanigans?

Sunday morning we woke to snow!
We got all loaded up and buckled in the car and as I began to back out of the garage, the saddest voice you ever heard came from the back seat. “Oh, wanted to go for a walk.”
Well, what could we do but bundle her up as best we could and go for a walk?

Her walk ended with her jumping and splashing in the biggest mud puddle she could find.
All! The! Joy!
Of course then she was wet from her socks to her butt and we had to change her clothes again before getting back in the car.

She ate an entire apple and three cold sausage links in the car on the way home and miraculously stayed awake the whole time, though the last ten minutes was touch and go.

I’m always tired when she goes back home, but I’m always grateful she was here.
Our grandgirl is something else, y’all!

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again and anew

I journaled about Thing 2 visiting before she arrived.
I wrote about my excitement and joy.
I wrote about my desire to learn this newest version of Thing 2.
Who is she? How is she the same as she’s always been? How is she different?
What does she love? What is she passionate about?
To learn as much about this version of her as possible filled me with enthusiasm.
Who has she evolved into as she approaches her twenty-fifth year?

How can I show her I truly see the her she is even though I’ve known her all her life?
How can I honor who she’s grown into while still holding close the memories?
How can I take all the love I have for her and wrap it around the woman she is now?

When I considered these questions I was not feeling at all anxious.
I was feeling curious.
I was feeling excitement.

I had every intention to show my daughter I have evolved.
That I have no preconceived notions of who she is.
That I expect her to grow and evolve.
That I embrace who she’s becoming.

I am not stuck.
I am evolving each day.
I learn new things about myself and my place in the world and figure how to incorporate them into my life.
I learn and grow.
I wanted to give her the chance to experience and learn to love the me I am now.

There were many long years in which we weren’t open with each other. Not being open makes it easier to assume. Not being open impedes growth and understanding.
Not being open kept us stuck in old relationship patterns.

This time I was open.
Both in giving and in receiving.
I was present and paid attention.
It feels to me that she was also.

After our time together I feel as though I truly know her.
Again and anew.
A beautiful feeling with powerful impact and I’m grateful.

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

sometimes a full house is even better than an empty nest

Thing 2 was here!
My Momma joy was SO BIG!
We haven’t seen each other in over a year. It feels so much longer than it sounds.
And what changes that intervening year brought us.

I don’t actually have words to describe the feeling of wrapping my arms around my second daughter.
She was so snuggly! She sat in my lap several times, and we snuggled on the sofa a great deal. I loved that precious and sacred time together.

We had serious talks, deep and wide with emotions, and silly moments of playfulness. We drank bubbly, and beer, and tons of water.
We shopped and laid low. We shared music and shows. We discussed books and gave reading recommendations.
We had a dance party to the Encanto soundtrack with Thing 1 and Baby K.
She, YBW, and I spent good quality time together too.

Being with my girls together.
Being with Baby K and her Auntie.
Having the brothers and sisters all together in one place.
My heart grew three sizes!

Baby K was all about her Aunt Gaga.
She quickly found where she fit ‘just so’ in her lap. She was even patient and still getting her hair did.

When she was here, I realized I’d been waiting for her to come so it would feel like my home. Now that all four of our kids have been here together, I know it is really and truly our home.
I know I’m not explaining that bit properly, but I do know that once she was here, I felt even more so at home here. As though she was the last piece of the puzzle and now the picture is complete.

I absolutely adore having an empty nest when it comes to day to day life, but having my baby here in this house with her siblings and her niece, well, my cup runneth over.

She left Tuesday morning, and I changed beds and did laundry. I was alone in the house, and it was quiet.
I missed her but was not sad.
There was no room in my heart for sadness, it’s still chock full of love and joy and gratitude!

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(an unusual) Baby K weekend – January 2022

Thing 1 called me Wednesday afternoon.
I was checking out after getting my hair did.
Me answering: Let me call you right back.
Her: Uh, OK. But we have a gas leak, can Baby K and I come to your house?
Me: Yes! Why are you even asking. I’ll call you right back.

I called her back asking about Husband N, the dogs and cats. Thing 1 told me she turned off the gas at the tank (their furnace runs on propane) so they could no longer smell gas in the house. Husband N had to stay there for the guy from the propane company to come.
They were more worried about the cold than anything at that point, but we did come up with a plan just in case.

Turns out they simply ran out of gas. Which in itself is a somewhat convoluted story that shouldn’t actually have happened, but not actually relevant to my point.

Thing 1 and Baby K arrived within half an hour of me getting home.
My daughter was frazzled. Her daughter was excited to be at “B-Papa house”.

This weekend was our Baby K weekend.
But our grandgirl arrived Wednesday afternoon and the weekend weather was looking bleak, so I suggested to Thing 1 she go home whenever and we’d bring Baby K home later in the day Saturday to avoid traveling Sunday.
This plan worked for everyone.
Of course Thing 1 wasn’t getting any toddler-free time because she was here too.
Though it was nice to have some time together in our two mommies-two daughters sort of way.

Gas tanks were filled Friday morning.
Closet design appointment was scheduled for eleven Friday. (more on that later)
Thing 1 stayed long enough to get Baby K in bed for her nap before she left.

Baby K was grumpy and sad Friday night and asked to go home several times. (so unlike her) I explained it was too late to go home Friday night, but reassured her we would take her home Saturday morning when she was ready.
Kid woke up all chipper and ready to play!
We ended up taking her home after her nap Saturday afternoon.
She was nearly exploding with joy when we got her home. Not just because she was home with her mom and dad, but because we were all there together with her.
She was super huggy and giggly. She kept saying, “Come here quick, please!” just so we could all see some silly thing she wanted to show or tell us. She told us, “Both of you” or “All of you” a few times too.
Her joy is contagious!

It was a tricky week to be in my daughter’s family.
It was a tricky week for YBW and me, though I think we got the better end of the deal.
Extra Baby K time for both YBW and me.
Unexpected time with my girl for me.

Things will come up.
Plans will change.
It won’t always be the way we hope or expect.
However, we’re lucky enough to be in a situation in which we can make it work together.
That’s the bit I love most!

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Encanto: does being magical = unconditional love?

We watched Encanto Tuesday night.
On Disney+ from the comfort of our own sofa.

photo cred: walt disney animation studios

I had no real interest in seeing it. I hadn’t even seen the trailer.
But Thing 1 has been expressing her interest and excitement for a couple of months now. She’s even been listening to the soundtrack for a few weeks. So her hype kind of tipped me from the edge of ‘maybe I’ll watch it’ to choosing to watch it.

Y’all!
I laughed.
I cried.
I was mesmerized.
I cannot recommend this movie enough!

First of all, the music!
So many great songs! In English, and in Spanish.
I’m ready to watch it again just to hear the soundtrack.

I’m fascinated by Colombian history and culture. (you may recall it was the place I was most excited about going on our 2019 Panama Canal trip)
This film did not disappoint when it came to Colombian culture.
Not to mention the animation itself was unbelievably stunning.

But what got me the most was the story.
Mirabel is a girl who grows up in a family where everyone is magical but her.
To be told you’re not special you’re entire life is a feeling I understand down deep in me.
This girl knows she’s not magical like literally every other person in her family, yet she shows up every day and does what she can to contribute. To make life better for everyone around her. However, no matter what she does, or how hard she works, it’s never enough.

I know what it feels like to be told you’re not special.
I know what it feels like to grow up in a family where no matter what you do, nothing is enough. But you keep trying every day because it’s the only way to feel loved.
Like me, Mirabel is a classic over-functioner.
Her sisters kind of are too…

Mirabel’s story is infinitely more complicated but also a bit simpler than that, but it hit a trigger point in me.
It was beautiful and sad, and hopeful all in one.
And hope is a truly wonderful thing.

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present and engaged this Christmas

For the first time I can remember, I didn’t take any photos at Christmas! ​
A tiny part of me is sad there are no photos, but I love that I was completely present and engaged on Christmas Eve when our family was here.
Three of our four kids, their two partners, one mother in law, and our grandgirl came to our new home to celebrate together.
We popped bubbly.
We laughed.
We opened gifts.
I was disappointed Thing 2 and Boyfriend M weren’t with us, but I talked to her for nearly three hours earlier that day, and I know she spoke with her sister too.

I put out the cookies Thing 1, Baby K, and I made.

We ate three different varieties of soup.
We nibbled and talked and told stories. We were content to celebrate together.

Baby K helped me pass out pressies to her parents, uncles, and other grandmother. She enlisted her Papa’s help as she was feeling a bit shy about taking gifts to her uncles and Thing C’s girlfriend.

We all had Christmas Eve gifts of jammies and books.
Our adult kids get gift cards for Christmas, which may seem boring, or even like a cop-out, but it works for our family.
Of course, not being an adult, Baby K gets gifts.
And I can assure you she was all about opening them!
Even though we went to see her Christmas morning, she opened gifts from us while she was here on Christmas Eve.

It was the loveliest Christmas I’ve had in a while and my love and joy were spilling out all over.
I hope all y’all and your families had a wonderful Christmastime.
I wish you all comfort and joy.

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Baby K weekend December 2021

Our grandgirl was busy this weekend, y’all!

Saturday we played in the creek behind our house. That girl loves water! So much so that she dragged me into the middle of the creek before she realized the water was up over her boots!
After dumping out the chilly water and squeezing her wet sock feet, she decided she was better off standing on the shore throwing rocks.

After dinner we watched one of Birdie’s favorite holiday shows!

What you can’t see is her dancing every time they sing about how the Grinch is so mean.

Sunday morning we were up, breakfasted, and ready to roll before nine o’clock. We wanted to take Baby K to see the National Christmas tree. The night before YBW checked on the interwebs that the trees opened at 8:30.
We were like, how perfect! We’ll go first thing before it gets too crowded and be out of the city before lunchtime.
Alas, the universe was all, haha NOPE to us.
When we got to the Ellipse, everything was closed!
I immediately got on google…and this is what I saw.

Y’all, I’ve lived here my entire life (minus eight years) and never ever have the fucking trees been closed on the weekends.
Or in the evenings.
Is this a covid thing?
I don’t even know, but I gotta tell you I was pretty damn salty about it.

It was quite pretty though.
This is the first time in my memory that there are pressies under the tree.
But no trains!
I was disappointed, but Baby K had a blast being in DC!
She was in her buggy at first, but then she decided to walk. Across 17th Street. The kid is a natural at navigating crosswalk signals. (while holding hands with Birdie and Papa, natch)

We went next to Old Town Alexandria.
Our plan to let her walk to her little heart’s content.
Her Papa and I got coffee, she got a great big chocolate chip cookie and off we went down King Street towards the river.
Of course we had to stop at the huge Christmas tree in Market Square at City Hall!
Baby K nommed her cookie, ran through the square, and climbed up and down each set of steps and the ramp on the stage right in front of City Hall.
Sadly, our outing was cut short when she had an accident.
We got her all dried up and put on clean clothes, but her shoes were wet, so it was time to go home.

Where she built with blocks then had pizza and salad for dinner.

Oh! NEWS FLASH!
She doesn’t call me B anymore.
She says Birdie now. Only it sounds like Boo-wie.
So, Baby K’s weekend at ‘Boowie’ and Papa’s house had it’s ups and downs, but being together is what it’s all about.
All the JOY!

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