Archive for June, 2011

Saturday with Owen and Jaxon, Part 2

// June 16th, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Lunch time…
Feeding the grandkids used to be a challenge for me. I usually avoid wheat, (except when we make sour dough bread) dairy, and packaged foods. I have found I feel a lot better when I keep my diet more “natural”. I used to try to feed the kids “My Way” but that resulted in hungry kids. And a hungry kid is often a cranky kid. Not a good thing to associate a visit to Grandma’s with. So I have made a few compromises. I buy chicken nuggets, softer bread, white tortillas, and even some sweets {horrors!} but I draw the line at Kraft Mac and Cheese and Trix. Lunch on Saturday was chicken nuggets, sliced apples, and almond milk [they even drink that at home]. As I carried his lunch to the living room, Jax looked up at me and began to cry, “Mommy…Mommy….”
I kneeled next to him, wrapping my free arm around his shoulder. “Remember, Mommy’s bye-bye. She’ll be back for you at ni-night time.”
Sniffle, sniffle…
“Do you want to eat first or take a nap first?”
Instead of answering with a word, he wiggled out of my loose hug and walked to meet Owen on the blanket.
We watched Despicable Me while the boys had a carpet picnic. Jax ate slowly, sometimes sliding the catsup-dipped nugget into his mouth by way of his cheek. After a full morning this little fellow was tired. After lunch, and a swipe across his face with a damp cloth, he snuggled next to me on the sofa and within minutes was fast asleep. He stayed that way for three hours!

While Jaxon napped, it was time for Owen and Grandma Time. Like all good employees, he deserved a break from his labors. Owen chose to play WiiFit. {I really need to find a few more Wii games suitable for the younger set.} Owen’s favorites are the balance games. He particularly likes the Tilt City game and delights in dropping the balls into the wrong cups! [If you want to hear a most infectious laugh, team up with him on that one!] He also likes the Obstacle Course and Bird’s-eye Bull’s-eye, where you flap your arms to make your Mii fly over an ocean with scattered targets to land on.

Jax woke from his nap, surprisingly pleasant {not asking for Mom as I expected}, and hungry again. Snack time was smoothie time! A great snack for the kids to help make. I pulled out the frozen fruits {buy bunches of ripe bananas, peel, cut into chunks, lay out in a single layer in a Ziploc & pop into the freezer} and started filling the blender canister. In went strawberries, blueberries and bananas. Then I covered it all with orange juice. “Well, I think I don’t want a smoothie” from Owen. I learned he didn’t like the bananas and orange juice in his smoothies. We poured off the oj, dug out the bananas, and poured in some “soy-o milk”. That’s how Owen likes his smoothies so that’s how Jax wanted his, too. Yummy!

More playing outdoors, dinner, a change into jammies, and another movie {Tangled, Jax’s current favorite} and it was time for the boys to go home. When Jax saw his mom, you could see his body relax with a “Grandma was right!” and a {BIG} SMILE!

Yep, I’d do it again, with or without Owen’s help….but I’d rather do it with!

Saturday with Owen & Jaxon Part 1

// June 15th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Uncategorized

On Saturday Amy and her family went to Hollywood to see the new Pirates movie. It would have been an exhausting day for Jax so we planned for him to spend the day at Grandma Debbie’s. Having a toddler here by himself all day was a daunting idea. I can only be interesting for so long to someone so short. My grandma’s words rang in my ears “Kids always do better in even numbers.”

I invited Owen to spend the day here to “Babysit” Jax with me. By the time Amy returned, I knew that I could not have done this as easily without Owen. Owen took his job very seriously. He played with Jax and guided him from room to room or to the patio where they played some more. When Jax tried to pick a tomato, Owen gently told him no.
We had a mighty full day, beginning with sweeping the patio…a never ending job because of the pepper trees surrounding our yard. I’ve always felt that when the grandkids come over its fine for them to help around the Haasienda with some of the maintenance. Most of the time they enjoy the helping as much as the playing!

Next, we painted. Owen is quite an artist and I think the pre printed pictures in the water color painting book held him back a little. When he starts on a plain piece of paper magical things happen….ducks in ponds, rainbows, and pleasure in his work.

After the boys and I cleaned up their paintings and set them to dry in the sun (Owen’s idea)we headed to the front hallway.
My house was built in 1953 {we’re the same age!} and has a few really cool features not found in modern homes. Instead of a linen closet in the front hall we have a built in bureau chest of drawers. Since there have always been kids in the house, one drawer has always been dedicated to kids’ games. Now that there aren’t as many of us living here {only four, compared to a high of ten} we don’t need as many sheets and blankets. That freed up a drawer so I {again} copied my own grandma and dedicated one to toys.

Owen and Jax found several balls to take outside for more play time, till lunch was ready.

To Be Continued


// June 15th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Uncategorized

On Saturday my Uncle Carl passed away. Carl was one of my favorite Uncles, right up there with Uncle Marv.

Carl was the eighth of my Grandma Toll’s eight children, and he was only a few years older than her first few grandchildren. He was 11 years older than me so Mom always had a well trusted babysitter for me and my brother Dave. Some of my early memories are inhabited by him. Two in particular stand out…

I am three, maybe four; sitting at my grandparent’s dining room table, Uncle Carl is sitting to my left and we are sharing the remains of a large box of donuts. As I began to devour my donut, Uncle Carl warned me “Be careful not to eat the middle.” Nearing the middle I took tiny bites trying to get the most out of my treat. I laid my middle on the plate. “Go ahead and eat some more. You still have donut left” he told me. I nibbled my way around the middle again, and again, each time I looked to him for approval he told me I had a little more donut left. Finally I ate everything. Uncle Carl looked at my plate, then at my empty hands. “Hey! I told you not to eat the middle and you did anyway!”

In the second memory, I’m about six and Uncle Carl is babysitting. It’s a beautiful day and we’re outside playing with the neighborhood kids. Carl is chasing us and when he catches us he turns into a tickling machine. I’m on the ground laughing till my sides ache. “Stop!” I try to demand. “Are you sure you want me to stop? You must want me to tickle you more cuz you’re still laughing! I’ll stop tickling when you stop laughing.” As hard as I tried there was no way to stifle my laughter. When he finally stopped I was still laughing. However, to this day I have a strong rule about tickling. As soon as the one being tickled says stop, you must stop.

Carl grew and married Sharon, who became one of my favorite Aunts. She was someone I could talk to and never felt judged by. She and Carl were a perfect match. They were kind and generous and fun. They raised three sons who grew to be the men their parents could be proud of.

Carl, Sharon, and Family at a family reunion in 1999

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Sharon passed away a few years ago and somehow I think Carl missed her so much that life this side of Sharon just wasn’t as easy to hold on to.
Carl will be missed by all who knew him but we are richer for having experienced his life with him.

Rest in Peace Uncle Carl.

Owen, WiiFit

// June 12th, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Toy Drawer

// June 12th, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

The Game Drawer

// June 12th, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Nap Time for Jax

// June 12th, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized