Tag Archives: grandkids

It’s a girl & a cornbread!

Today I’m guest posting over at Mommy Notes for my friend & fellow Texan, Sarah. We’re celebrating her beautiful new baby girl, grandmotherhood, Mother’s Day and our mutual love of Texas comfort foods. Please drop in to say hello and congratulations, and while you’re at it you can get my mother’s recipe for Mexican Cornbread. Stuffed with ground beef, cheese and green chilies, it’s rib stickin’ and delicious! To see it, click here. Congratulations & hugs, Sarah!

Mexican Cornbread for Sarah

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Howdy, partners!

Pardon my absence, but our wagon was hijacked by these rowdy cowpokes.

The Complete Package & I had an absolutely fabulous week with the greatest grandkids on earth. As we say in Texas, “it ain’t bragging if it’s true!”

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LillyFair & Jonahpalooza: The End

The Complete Package and I just wrapped up two glorious weeks with our grandkids. For the first time, we decided to give them each their own special week at our house. Together, they are a whirlwind of constant motion and commotion. But separately, we are able to focus all of our attention entirely on each of them and give them one-on-one time they don’t normally get.

We started on Sunday, July 17th with our first annual LillyFair. After spending a long weekend in Austin visiting family, I brought Lilly home for a week of Yo Gabba Gabba, dress-up, baths in the kitchen sink and lots of snuggles. After 8 days, we feel like we’ve gotten to know our little Lilly Bug much better. She’s a pistol. She’s funny and lively. She loves music as much as she loves food (and girlfriend LOVES to eat). She has a small collection of favorite words. Her two favorites are Papi and snack, and sometimes she uses them in the same sentence. She’s a sweet little elf.

At 22 months, she plays hard to the very brink of exhaustion and loves to sing, especially in the car. She can’t get enough Yo Gabba Gabba, which she calls Baba, and she has a crush on DJ Lance Rock. When he walks onto the TV screen in that orange jumpsuit carrying his boom box, she giggles and lights up like a firefly. Her favorite part of the show is the silly faces segment.

Every time the kids visit, I make them something. It might be a costume for their dress-up box or sword holders for pirate swords or spy glasses made from paper towel rolls. It’s something I love to do, and the kids love it, too. For Lilly Bug, I recycled some of Jonah Bear’s old t-shirts to create Yo Gabba Gabba character shirts. First, I created Muno’s trademark lumpy orange body using felt and French knots. I love Muno. He’s cool. Lilly loved the color and the textures.

Next, I reworked Plex the robot on a red t-shirt using felt & embroidery thread.

If I’d had another week, I might have crafted a Lilly-sized DJ Lance Rock, but time ran out, so we’ll never know if I could have pulled it off. I’m thinking Papi should rent the costume and surprise her some time. She would lose her mind. As if her Papi isn’t already her hero. Papi would rock as DJ Lance Rock!

Last Sunday, we met My Baby and Bama Boy for lunch to trade Lilly Bug for Jonah Bear. Jonah loves coming to visit, and has since he was a little tyke. Now that he’s 4 1/2, he’s an old pro at coming to visit. He had his little suitcase packed and was ready for adventure.

We kicked off Jonahpalooza with a movie night. We made popcorn, broke out a bag of gummy worms and watched his new favorite movie, Rango. He spent the week playing dress up, watching his favorite cartoons and taking private swim lessons. We had picnics and rode bikes and visited the science museum to see the dinosaurs. Jonah is all boy, and is the total polar opposite of his little sister. While Lilly’s switch is always set to “high-energy”, Jonah is active but also sweet & tender and has his quiet moments. He’s thoughtful and polite and big-hearted. He loves to read and tell stories, and his imagination is astounding. He’s exceptionally smart and very creative. This week, Jonah asked for a new Bolt costume. It’s one of his favorite movies. And of course, I never say “no.” This time, Jonah was big enough to help cut the fabric and sew on the machine. Here’s the result, complete with a carrot dog toy.

Here’s our sweet boy learning to float like an ice cube. Hi, Kaki!

And here’s Jonah at the science museum with the T-Rex. Run, Jonah!

In all, we spent 16 days with our grandbabies. Our house is a mess, our refrigerator is empty, and our energy is completely sapped. But you know what? It was a fabulous 16 days. I know everyone thinks their grandkids are the cutest, the smartest and the greatest. But in our case, it’s true. {wink}

And we already miss them.

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Musings on Austin, Motorcycles, Grandkids & Sleep Deprivation

Well, it’s Tuesday and I’ve just wrapped up 10 action-packed days with the grandbabies, Jonah Bear and Lilly Bug. I thought I would feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after a recuperative night’s sleep, but that didn’t happen. Instead, I was up until 3:00am, and I’m feeling totally wiped out. So instead of crafting a dazzling literary recap, I’m opting for a random run-down of what transpired. I apologize in advance for taking the lazy way out. Forgive me. I beg of you.

1. Our adventure started June 10th when The Complete Package saddled up the motorcycle and Ziggy and I manned the “support vehicle” for our trip to Austin. It was our annual pilgrimage for the Republic of Texas motorcycle rally. TCP attends the bike rally; Ziggy and I spend the weekend with the kids. The ROT Rally is said to be the largest in Texas and one of the biggest in the US. Approximately 200,000 participants were expected. This year, TCP entered his new motorcycle in an open division contest and took second place in the Metric Custom category. Got a trophy and everything. My Baby and I took the kids downtown to watch the motorcycles parade past the state capitol and down Congress Avenue on Friday evening. Have you ever seen a motorcycle parade that runs for 11 uninterrupted miles and takes more than 30 minutes to pass? It’s pretty awesome, even if you’re not that into motorcycles. The kids were enthralled, and seeing their Papi ride by in the parade was a highlight. In their minds, Papi (TCP) is now a rock star. You go with your bad self, Papi. Here’s a shot of his bike, or as I like to refer to it – “the other woman”.

2. Bama Boy, our son-in-law, introduced us to his favorite meat market. It’s called Johnny G’s and it’s located in Manchaca, just south of Austin. It is best described as a small, family run meat palace. We bought two hand-cut ribeye steaks for Bama Boy and TCP (about 1.5″ thick) and two smaller steaks for My Baby and I. Then we snagged some smoked jalapeno cheese sausage and some spices. It’s a great little Mom & Pop shop, and those ribeyes were Uh-May-Zing.

3. Turns out Peter Pan is alive and well and recruiting Lost Boys in the Austin area. Who knew? If I could bottle Jonah Bear’s energy, I’d be a guhzillionaire.

4. If you take two kids and two adult women, put them in a car in the dark of night with a multi-colored flashing disco ball light stick and a cool blue light saber, add vintage rock music and park them at a Sonic Drive-In, you’re bound to draw attention. It may or may not have been a coincidence that a police cruiser pulled in just as we were leaving. Look, kids! It’s the Fuzz!

5. There’s no such thing as “too many pancakes” or “enough donuts.”

6. Behold the power of cheese! (Remember those commercials?) Hi, Lilly Bug.

7. After spending 6 days in Austin, I brought the kids back to Houston to spend the weekend at our place. My Baby and Bama Boy were celebrating their sixth wedding anniversary, so a kid-free weekend seemed like an appropriate gift. It was a total win-win for all of us. We wore those kids out. Wore ’em out good!

8. This weekend, Jonah Bear and TCP made homemade cherry pecan ice cream and lasagna. There’s nothing better than men who cook, except for men who cook and then do their own dishes. At 4 years old, Jonah is really getting into the cooking part. We’ll work on washing dishes another time. As for TCP, the man can scour a pan. And no, you can’t have him. And no, he doesn’t have a brother.

9. If I’ve seen Disney’s Tangled once, I’ve seen it a millions times. Jonah Bear usually pretends to be the hero. Lilly is the leading lady. I’m usually the villain (totally against type, I know) and Ziggy is the sidekick. This time, Jonah decided the bad guys were cooler, so he played the roll of the Stabbington brothers (twins). That’s right. Just when you think one bad guy’s enough, Disney produces twins. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a really cute movie. My favorite character – the little old cupid dude at the very end. Makes me laugh every single time.

10. Jonah Bear cried when it was time to head home. I cried when he started crying. Then TCP started crying. I’m telling you, we were one hot mess. Everything you’ve heard about being a grandparent is true. There is such joy in watching your babies grow up and have babies of their own. There is such freedom in enjoying your grandbabies without the stress and anxiety you felt with your own children. You really do learn a lot with age, and there’s a great sense of peace that comes with knowing you didn’t screw it up. Our daughter is amazing. Our son-in-law is a blessing. Their children are the greatest gift ever, and in all seriousness, we couldn’t love them more. Life is good. Really good.

Now if you’ll excuse us, Ziggy and I could really use a nap. A really long nap.

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My Super Duper Superhero Weekend

I’m not the type of person to drop names and brag about the famous people I know, but I will share a few photos. Let’s just say we had a SUPER weekend.

Our friend IRON MAN stopped by this weekend.

Of course he brought his better half, Pepper Potts. No self-respecting superhero would be complete without a good woman to run things. Can I get an “amen“?

Behind every Iron Man is a good Pepper Potts.

I never realized it until this weekend, but Iron Man is a bit of an egomaniac. He made us watch Iron Man cartoons for 48 hours. It was “I want to watch me, me, me” all weekend. He was all Iron Man this, and Iron Man that. For a superhero, he’s a little self-absorbed. Kind of like an almost 4 year-old trapped in a man’s body. It’s a good thing Pepper Potts is so charming and down to earth. She’s the quiet strength behind his super self. Too bad our grandson, Jonah, wasn’t here to meet him. He would have gone crazy for Iron Man. Obsessed, crazy nut-job stalker fan crazy. Maybe next time, when we’re visited by our close friend:

It's a bird...it's a plane...it's SUPERMAN!

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I know everyone thinks their grandkids are exceptional, but mine really are.

It’s not bragging if it’s true, right? I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say that my grandchildren are beautiful, affectionate, brilliant little geniuses. And I’m totally in love with being their Nana. I wouldn’t trade it for a buhzillion dollars.

This is Jonah Bear. He's my sweet, funny boy.

It all started with Jonah Bear. My Baby and Bama Boy had not even been married a full year when they called with the news. I wasn’t sure I was ready to be a grandmother at 43. It just seemed way too young. Then he arrived, and all that went right out the window. NanaBread was born the same day Jonah was, and I’ve never looked back. I love that boy more than words could describe.

This is Lilly Bug. She's our sweet, flirty, drooly girl.

Then last fall, we celebrated the arrival of Lilly Bug. She is a revelation. It’s like watching a rerun of her mother when she was little. She has My Baby’s spirit, her quick smile, her easy good-natured personality, and her infectious laugh. She is strong-willed but affectionate, and she has a serious case of hero worship for her big brother and her daddy. It’s amazing how early they learn to read people. She wields her ability to flirt like a weapon, and Jonah Bear, Bama Boy and Papi (The Complete Package) are all wrapped around her little finger. She’s unstoppable.

Oh, Jonah Bear...just when I thought my heart couldn't melt any more.

Most of all, I love that I always seem to be laughing when I’m with them. They bring a whole new level of joy to my life. I am totally smitten, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. They rock my world and I am one lucky, grateful Nana.

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Jonah Bear and Lilly Bug

Jonah Bear

This is my little Jonah Bear. He is our first-born grandchild and a source of overwhelming joy. He is the funniest, smartest, cuddliest grandson on the face of the planet, bar none. He’ll be four in December, but he’s already a genius. He can do no wrong, is immensly entertaining, supremely affectionate, and all boy. As one of five sisters and the mother of a daughter, I had no prior experience with little boys. But I have a bad case of the boy bug now, and I can’t get enough. Jonah is a constant revelation. Boys are interesting creatures. They like to get dirty and do groadie things. They think a burping contest is the most hysterical thing ever, and burping the alphabet is a college application level skill set. They love bugs and pirates and matchbox cars and dinosaurs and pirates (lots of pirates). Little boys are awesome. They totally rock.

Lilly Bug

This is Lilly Bug. The baby. Our second grandchild, and a little girl who will take a back seat to no one. She will be one next month, and I find that impossible to believe. We were just in the hospital celebrating her birth a few weeks ago. I swear. I don’t know how the past year could have gone by so quickly. She’ll be in dance class and driving before we know it. Time seems to fly by faster now that she’s here. Lilly Bug is the world’s happiest baby. She wakes up with a smile and spends the entire day laughing and playing. She has her daddy wrapped around her little finger, and has since day one. She’s sweet, curious, laid back, and totally in love with her big brother. Jonah Bear is her idol, and she is his biggest fan. Together they are a force of nature, and I hope this never changes regardless of how fast they grow or how far they go.

Our daughter was an only child. A smart, sweet, funny, independant only child. We can’t thank her and her husband enough for not repeating that pattern. One is fun, but two…oh so much better. Thanks for bringing these beautiful sweet babies into our lives. You complete me.

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