Posts Tagged With: family

(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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finding the right balance

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know Thanksgiving is absolutely not my thing. But, Thanksgiving is Thing 1’s most favorite holiday. When the our dining table arrived, Thing 1 said, “You know, Momma, our house is really small. And yours is big. And you have that big island and new table. So, if I cooked and cleaned, would you host Thanksgiving?”
Without hesitation I told her yes, I also told her I had to talk with YBW.
I only got as far as “and yours is big” in relaying her question before he said “Yes!”

YBW then reached out to each of our other three kids and invited them for Thanksgiving. And when I say invited, what I mean is he didn’t actually give them a choice as much as he was like, I want you here, please and thank you.
And if you actually knew my husband, you’d know that’s not his typical M.O.
The boys and Girlfriend L are confirmed.
Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K are confirmed.
YBW’s brother, his wife, and our nephew are also confirmed.
Thing 2 and Boyfriend M cannot be here.

YBW and Thing 1 are planning to do all the work. I’m planning to watch the parade and drink apple cider mimosas and play with Baby K.
Though I’ll make the cranberries and probably the stuffing. And maybe the gravy, because it’s Thing G’s fave. Though Thing 1 could absolutely make him some gravy he’ll love.

I’m excited about three of our four kids being in the same place at the same time.
I’m excited about two of our kids’ partners being here with us.
I’m excited to welcome my brother in law’s fam to our home.
I’m disappointed Thing 2 won’t be here, but what she’s doing instead is actually much more important.

I have real, and deeply rooted anxious feels surrounding Thanksgiving and I’m working hard to reconcile those feelings with my excitement of us all being together.
These opposing feels create unbalance in me, and I want the joy to outweigh those feelings of discomfort.
I don’t like Thanksgiving, but I love being surrounded by my family.
I’m hopeful to find the right balance.
But even if I don’t, I’ll always have the parade.
And that’s fine by me.

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Baby K weekend – November 2021

Last weekend was our Baby K weekend!
This kid, y’all!
At two and a half, she’s at that peculiar developmental place where she’s about seventy percent sweet like candy, and thirty percent rotten to the core. (she’s not really rotten…she’s appropriately moving between two and three)

She was already with her Papa when I got home from school Friday. She came running (the long way) around the island screeching, “BEEEEEE!”
All! The! Hugs!

It poured with rain so we didn’t make a trip to the playground.
Instead, we built with blocks.

Lately she’s all about playing veterinarian. Even though she left her doctor kit at home she still made sure Big Bird had a check up.

Mike and Josie came to visit Sunday morning.
Baby K was excited to have new grown-ups to play with.
Mike brought her one of his favorite books, Caps For Sale.
She loves this story, and does an enthusiastic “Tsz tsz tsz”!
Josie took this picture of us enjoying it together.

We took her home Sunday after her nap.
She was mad and sad about going home.
I told her that her mommy and daddy missed her and were ready for her to come home. She wanted to stay at “B-Papa house”.
She was content when Papa carried her down to the car and when I asked who she was going to hug first, she told me, “Cats!”
Thing 1 came out the front door when we arrived and Baby K went running across the yard shouting, “Momma!” But did not hug her mother.
I’m not sure she actually hugged the cats, but she was excited to see the dogs.

One weekend a month in which we get to play with, and be responsible for our granddaughter is absolutely one of our most favorite things!

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“B-Papa house”

We had our first Baby K weekend.
Well, it was more of a trial run. She spent one night instead of two.

Saturday morning she spent her time waffling between eating her breakfast and rushing to the window to see if I was there to get her yet.
When I came down the hill to their house, she and her mommy were on the front porch waiting. I beeped the horn and she threw her hands in the air and said, “BEEEE!”

On the way home she talked excitedly about seeing her Papa. When we pulled into the garage, I sent her inside to find Papa while I got her bag and mine from the car.
Of course Baby K was immediately distracted by all the pumpkins I placed around the house. The search for Papa was temporarily postponed while she went everywhere she could reach them and brought them to a central location in the living room.


She systematically gathered them all around her.


Then cracked up with laughter!

Papa had to wait patiently for her to be ready to greet him. It was worth the wait though, she flung herself at him and squeezed him tightly.

Sunday we went to the little playground in our neighborhood.

This girl climbed and slid and climbed and slid and went in and under and over as much of the entire structure as possible!

She went into the little house and announced it was hers then began to say, “Arf arf!”
I asked her if she was a dog and she said, “Mm-HMM!”

She even barked out the window to her Papa.

We were able to play nearly half an hour before it began to sprinkle and we had to head home.

She’s really into creating family groups. Pulling together three things and calling it the baby, mommy and daddy. Whenever she groups these things, she says, “Awww” and kind of hugs herself.
She was doing it here with us too. “B-Papa, Awww”
When we were both near enough to each other and her, she would put her arms out and say, B-Papa. We would lean into her and she would make the sweetest mmmm sound and whisper the word home.
The fact that we are her home as much as her parents are overwhelms my heart. That we’re a place she feels comfortable and safe is powerful stuff, y’all.
The fact that I have seasonal decor she can play with doesn’t hurt either…

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the break we needed

YBW and I went to visit friends last week.
I’ve known this fam for nearly twenty five years, our kids grew up together, the mom and I taught together at the old preschool. They were here for our wedding in 2015, and YBW was enthusiastic about spending good time getting to know them. Y’all, he fit right into their family, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about that!

We needed a break.
We needed to get out of this house we no longer own before we move to our new house.
We needed to disconnect from everything here.
We needed to breathe new air.

Um…the air in Tucson is fucking hot! One hundred eight degrees is no joke!
Of course it is the desert.

But funky 4th Ave provided relief in one form or another.

We got to see all four of the (adult) kids, ranging in age from twenty-seven to about to be nineteen. Even my Goddaughter, the second eldest who lives just outside of Phoenix, was able to come down and ‘work’ from her mom and dad’s for a few days!
Joy is not a big enough word, y’all!

After a few days in Tucson, we (only the parent-y adults) drove six hours to spend a few days in their house in Carlsbad.
The perfect little Pacific coast beach town!

We’re back in Virginia where we belong.
Laundry, grocery shopping and tidying the house were on my list this week.
East coast time is our enemy…but we’re hoping to become friends again sooner than later.
After sleeping from only 10:15 to 11:30pm Wednesday night, I crashed about 8:15 Thursday night and woke at 9:40 this morning. Let us hope I broke the cycle.
As we head into the weekend, I’m disappointed we won’t be at the beach with our friends, but I’ve already hugged Meredith and Beau and their mommy this week, and this weekend we’re going to see Baby K for the first time since Sunday two weeks ago!

I came home feeling refreshed (apart from the wack-a-doo sleep schedule) and ready to organize and pack for our move the end of this month.
I knew I needed a break. I knew my husband would benefit from a break. Traveling is stressful, but visiting people we love is not.
We needed this break, this trip, this time with our family of friends.
I’m ready for what’s next.

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Birdie water is best water, or pros and cons of Baby K living at her own house

Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K came to have dinner with us yesterday.
After hugs and kisses, the first thing that kid did was grab my water and chug it.
Apparently Birdie water is best water.

This lead to a bit of a joke that I’d make a pro and con list about Baby K living at her own house. Throughout the evening, each of the adults would randomly say “Pro” or “Con” and what began as an off the cuff remark became a reality.
Yep, I made a list.

Let me say this before I share it with y’all, my heart has disappointment that I don’t get to see my grandbaby every single day. But, there is a completely new kind of joy in seeing her.
A perfect example: last night, she and I played a game in which she ‘put me to bed’. She placed a pillow on the floor and gently pushed me and said, “Go to sleep.” When I laid my head on the pillow she squatted down and kissed me. Then I pretended to snore. My signal to wake was her tickling my foot. I giggled dramatically and sat up, saying “You tickled my foot to wake me up!”
She laughed and the game started all over again.
At one point her gentle pushes to get me to lie on the pillow became rough and then she was pushing my on my face. I told her, “I don’t like when you push so hard on my face. I will play with you, but please stop pushing me.”
She stopped and looked at me then went around me to point at the pillow and said, “Go to sleep!”
We had an accord.
A bit later I shifted the way my body was ‘sleeping’. I rolled onto my belly and bent my knees, touching my feet together then I fake snored my ass off.
Apparently me moving my body changed the game because she began walking around me going, “Hmm.”
Then she pulled my feet apart and began to climb up my back starting at my bottom. She did this several times, ‘falling’ off me at different places and in different ways.
Her giggles were off the charts, and she was mad as hell when her mommy told her it was time to go home.

Because I didn’t spend the entire day with her I had so much more energy to really play with her!
That is worth every single minute of us living in two different houses. Well, that and the fact that the drive is now forty-five minutes instead of eleven hours.

Here’s my pro and con list.
PROS
things that can be left out and remain safe:
drinks
remotes
reading glasses
pens
notebooks
bookmarks remain in books
(for the most part) everything remains tidy
reading more
doing less laundry
lack of flying food and dishes
folded laundry remains folded
more energy for play

CONS
not hearing toddler feet running down the hall
lack of random hugs and kisses
not having legit excuse for watching a shit-ton of Disney
hearing her say, “Papa”
watching YBW’s face when she says, “Papa”
not playing
not reading to her
not rocking with her before bed
not snuggling
not hearing new words as they come
not watching new skills as they develop
she has to leave to go home
I have to leave to go home

Truth be told, there is more good, more joy, and more opportunity for a new and different sort of closeness because my daughter and her family live in their own house, but I sure do miss receiving random kisses throughout my days.

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adapting here and adapting there

Thing 1, Husband N, Baby K, and their two dogs officially began living in their new house April first. (no foolin’)
YBW took the day off work. We loaded up four vehicles with the last of their things, and off we went.

Baby K has a big girl bed with the most amazing (to her) Moana duvet cover! She’s so tiny in that full size bed, but it’s the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.
In the few days they’ve been there, Thing 1 and Husband N are getting settled in their room, and setting up work space for Husband N who only goes into the office two days a week.
Thing 1 built a kitchen table and chairs and a small storage island too.

After being at the house, YBW and I went out Easter Sunday for a visit.
Baby K came out of her house squealing and shouting, PAPA! BEEEE! (for Birdie) and running to hug us. That did YBW’s heart good, he’s missed his little granddaughter.

That girl had such fun hunting for eggs for the first time out in her brand new yard.

Her mommy found eggs big enough to hold Bluey characters, Moana and Frozen stickers, and even toddler-safe nail polish

color: Berry Sweet

It was so beautiful outside, we just had to sit on the porch and check out her loot! She’s holding her Bluey and singing to her.

After her egg hunt, she sat snuggled in her Papa’s lap before letting him take her to bed for her nap.
They’re coming to our house Wednesday afternoon and staying for dinner. If y’all could have seen the grin on my husband’s face!

My Momma heart is chock full of joy for my girl setting up her home.
I honestly think unpacking and getting settled is harder and more stressful than actually moving all your things. They’re making it work. Husband N goes through a space and cleans it well before Thing 1 begins to unpack. They’re working together to create their home in that precious little house.
My Birdie heart is chock full of joy that my grandbaby is so excited to see me that she runs into my arms when I arrive at her new house.

I thought I would feel so sad when they moved. I don’t really.
I mean, I miss seeing them every day, but I know they’re just a forty-five minute drive away. And when I see them in their new space, creating a home that works for them, I feel pride and joy.
When I’m home and I don’t hear a little voice saying, “Papa!” as she runs down the hall, I’m not sad like I expected, I’m grateful we had that time. Of course, when I’ve got a drink on the table and she doesn’t come over and snag it and chug it down as fast as she can then run away, I’m super happy she’s at her house.

We’re adapting here.
They’re adapting there.
It is as it is.
It is as is should be.
And I am content in my grateful life.

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