Tag Archives: Jonah Bear

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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Apron Strings & Crafty Things

I love aprons. Old, new, retro, campy or classic…it doesn’t matter. I love them all and I actually use them; especially when I’m cooking splattery things like bacon. Aprons stir up memories of my grandmothers, my husband’s sweet granny, my mom when I was little, and Betty Crocker. They’re like a portal to my past. I have very fond kitchen memories from my youth. In 2008, my mother and I decided to make aprons as gifts for our annual Hoegarden weekend. For those new to the blog, that’s our annual “ladies only” family event held each spring. Yes, it’s named after a beer (you can read more about it in my Hoegarden blog tab). Mom and I like to collaborate on homemade gifts each year, and we wanted to make something fun but practical to share. We started this project by selecting a variety of unique fabric prints and patterns.

Hoegarden Aprons - A Fabric Sampler

Once everyone picked a fabric and a style, we went to work. For the record, my mother can sew anything. She made our clothes when we were little. She once made cheerleader uniforms for our high school (at least 10 girls, 2-3 uniforms each). She even made adult-size chicken costumes for a school play (one of which I was wearing when I had my car towed during a hail storm/tornado while I was in high school, but that’s a story for another day). She’s made curtains, shopping bags, baby gifts, pillows, etc. She can make anything, and probably has at one time or another. She has also created some amazing quilts. She’s very talented, but I’ve mentioned that before. Anyway, Mom really enjoyed this project. As she finished each apron, she would pose for a photo. She’s too cute.

Mom hams it up by modeling a few aprons

I should also clarify that I don’t usually ask my mom do all the work on these projects. It’s just that my old sewing machine died a violent death while making my first apron, so mom stepped up to help with the rest. She’s helpful like that. In the end, we (and I mean she) made ten aprons including a little pirate version for Jonah Bear, who had a “man pass” for the weekend (he was 15 months old). I made most of mine before my machine died and my daughter made her own apron (you go, girl!). Hey, I contributed the fabric and trim, along with lots of moral support, so I helped…a little bit. And now we each have a keepsake from our weekend together. One we can use and enjoy for years to come. Thanks, Mom. You saved the day again. Here’s a tribute to her lovely handiwork:

Aprons on a Fence - A Tribute to Petticoat Junction


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Hi. My name is NanaBread and I’m a Peppermint Bath Product Junkie.

Is there a 12-step program for bath product addiction? There should be. I have a serious problem when it comes to peppermint scented bath products – I spend too much money on them. It’s a love that apparently knows no boundary. I’ve tried to control it, but I can’t. I’m weak and I know it, but I smell good.

A Peek Into My Minty Addiction - Peppermint Bath Products

Let’s literally start at the top with Nioxin’s Scalp Therapy. I picked this up at my hair salon on a whim and never regretted anything but the cost. I’ll be honest. I don’t use it every day because I just can’t wrap my head around using a $40 shampoo and conditioner twin-pack on a daily basis, but I do use it once a week or so (as a special treat). It’s especially refreshing in the summer after a hot sweaty morning pulling weeds in the flower beds. I don’t buy it often, but I love and appreciate it when I do. It’s lovely, and I hope you win the lottery some day so you can afford to make it part of your daily routine.

I was in San Francisco when I stumbled into an Origins store with bloody swollen feet crying for help or for someone to put me out of my misery. That’s what happens when you wear the wrong shoes to sightsee in San Francisco. (Travel hint: don’t wear brand new leather wedges if you’re walking the streets of San Francisco. Wear running shoes and put a pair of bunny slippers in your purse. Wear the running shoes when you’re in motion and the bunny slippers when you give up and stop for a margarita.) Origins saved my feet and my trip. I bought the 4-piece leg & foot rejuvenation package. I love their clever product names: Foot Rest, Sole Searcher, Leg Lifts and Reinventing the Heel. Don’t let their humor fool you. These beauties are seriously fabulous and effective. Thank you, Origins. Because of you, I was able to leave my heart in San Francisco instead of pieces of my wrecked feet.

My longest lasting peppermint crush (by far) has been the Oatmeal Peppermint bath bar from Garden Botanika. Oh, my…I have loved it for so long. If I had a dollar for every six dollar bar I’ve bought, I’d still be in the hole, but I’d be a happy camper. I love this soap more than life itself. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but I do love it fiercely. The oatmeal chunks set in a creamy peppermint bar will cleanse and exfoliate you like Helga the Baltic spa technician. I’ll warn you – you will look like you lost a cat fight when you first step out of the shower, but your skin will feel as soft as a baby’s backside.

J.R. Watkins Apothecary Peppermint Rejuvenating Foot Cream is my new lotion obsession. It’s labeled as a foot cream but it’s much, much more than that. Because it’s gentle and absorbs very quickly, I use it everywhere – even on my face. That’s saying a lot, because I have sensitive skin and mild rosacea. I can use this product without any fear of breakouts or that greasy feeling you get from some lotions. I put it on and a minute later, my skin feels smooth and dry. I am in love with this lotion. I will even go so far as to say that it has helped reduce the wrinkles on my face and neck over the past year. I put it on every morning before I apply my make-up and every evening before I go to bed. About the only place I don’t use it is on my feet. Go figure.

You’re probably thinking right now “geez…how many peppermint products can one woman use?” But wait! There’s more! My daughter introduced me to the most amazing liquid soap on a shopping trip to Austin’s SoCo district. We were snooping around the Farm to Market Organic Grocery on South Congress when she handed me a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap (certified organic and fair trade). She said it would blow my mind, and it did. For serious peppermint junkies, this is the hard stuff. It is a peppermint explosion in a bottle. Combined with a nice bath scrubbing poof, this will make your heart sing and your body parts tingle. I like to use it first thing in the morning when I need a shower to wake me up, or after an hour in the garage wrestling with my jiggly parts on the elliptical machine. Imagine jumping into a frozen pond. That’s how refreshing I find this soap. And it makes my entire bathroom and bedroom smell pepperminty fresh for half an hour after I shower. Here’s another secret: I use their almond scented soap at night when I want to unwind and smell good. And believe me, it smells really, really good.

Last but not least, I love the Savannah Bee Company’s Mint Julep Beeswax Lip Balm. You can buy it in a tube or in a little metal tin. While I usually favor lip balm tubes, my daughter found a great deal on E-Bay and we split the cost of a 12-pack of the cute little metal tins. I’ll be honest. She had me at beeswax. When they added Mint Julep, I was sunk. This all-natural lip balm is everything you want in a lip balm. It’s creamy, it’s long-lasting, and its peppermint oil content leaves your lips feeling quenched and refreshed. The Complete Package will testify that I am a lip balm addict. I carry 3-4 brands (a quick nod to Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm here – watermelon is my color). I carry it at all times. I use it every 15 minutes. I can’t stop. On the up side, my lips are always lush and kissable at a moment’s notice (the better to kiss you with, my dear!). I know my excessive use of peppermint lip balm is a problem because my 3 ½ year old grandson, Jonah, will now turn to me in the car and say, “can I get some of that?” I’m sorry, Jonah Bear. Nana didn’t mean to start you down the road to peppermint product addiction at such an early age. She should know better. But now that I have your attention, have you seen this peppermint lotion I got? AARRGHHH! Somebody stop me!


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Lilly Bug is Turning One!

Lilly Bug as a Baby Longhorn

Lilly Bug is the baby in our family. She’s our second grandchild; the little sister of Jonah Bear. Her first birthday is in two weeks, and I’m in shock. Where did the past year go, and how did it pass so quickly? It seems like she was just born a few months ago, and now she’s one. That can’t be right. The world must be spinning faster now that she’s here. She’s no longer a baby. In the past few months she has blossomed into a sweet, happy little girl. She wakes up every morning with a smile on her face, singing to herself as if the only option in life is to be content. I wish we all shared her enthusiasm. She loves to laugh and will giggle at just about everything her big brother does. She’s just on the verge of standing without any help, and wants so badly to do everything Jonah Bear does. She jabbers non-stop when she has something to say and the fact that very few clear words have yet to form doesn’t slow her down. She can snuggle and give sweet baby kisses like nobody’s business. She is mommy’s baby and daddy’s little girl. She has him wrapped so tightly around her little finger it’s hard to imagine he can breathe. God help him when she gets older. He’s already threatening not to let her date…ever.

Our Little Lilly Bug is Turning One

Lilly Bug looks a lot like My Baby when she was little. She has the same cute face, the same elvish ears, and the same hair swirly on the back of her head that looks like a hurricane forecast on the Weather Channel. She also has My Baby’s sweet but ornery streak. It appears she will be feisty and strong-willed like her mother. But that’s okay. We like strong feisty women in our family. It’s in the bloodline. She’s named for two dearly departed aunts (Lillie & Lily) who are remembered for their sweet and salty personalities. My Baby was a fiercely independent, adorably funny child. I was also an affectionate, funny joker and all-around good kid. My mother was a loyal, hard-working, sarcastic renaissance woman who could tackle anything and come out a winner. My mother-in-law is nicknamed “Toughie” for a reason. She’s not the type to back down from anything. There’s definitely some good mojo in the gene pool. That’s how we grown them around here. Our ninja is strong, as we like to say. Lilly Bug is no exception. She is well on her way to being a scrappy, loveable little cutie patootie, and that makes us very proud. Happy first birthday, Lilly Bug. Papi and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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Swimmin’ Like a Barracuna

Jonah Bear and His Moustache

This is Jonah Bear. He spent a week with us this summer. For those new to the NanaBread Blog, Jonah Bear is my angelic little pirate (grandson). He’s 3 1/2, and he rocks our world. Anyway, while we had him this summer, my friend Kaki taught him to swim. Kaki is a fifth grade teacher who also teaches summer swim lessons to little fish like Jonah Bear. We weren’t sure what to expect, this being his first experience and all, but he took to it like a duck to….well, water! He was a little anxious the first day, especially when he learned Kaki planned to make him put his face under water, but by the end of the second day he proudly proclaimed that he could “swim like a barracuna.” And he was right! We were invited into the pool area at the end of lesson #2 (after a total of one hour of swim instruction), and there he was – swimming under water to Kaki.

Jonah Swimmin' Like a Barracuna

I had to pick my jaw up off the ground! I couldn’t believe she could take a toddler and turn him into a fish in an hour, but by golly she did it! He was jumping off the side of the pool, going almost to the bottom, then swimming under water to Kaki who was at least 5-6 feet away. As each day progressed, he was swimming farther and farther across the pool. And by Friday, after five half-hour lessons, he was leaping into the deep end, swimming out to Kaki in the middle, catching a breath and then swimming to the other side and getting out of the pool. Then he’d run back around and do it all over again. His “show off” time on Friday lasted 45 minutes because we couldn’t get him out of the pool.

Jonah Bear Jumps In for More

The rate of speed from which he went from scared water weary toddler to mind-blowing aggressive barracuna (his term) was nothing short of remarkable. My baby’s baby is a swimmer! A cutie-patootie holding his breath and crossing the pool underwater swimmer. I’m telling you, either my sweet Jonah Bear is the smartest kid in the world, or Kaki is the best swim teacher in the world, or both. I’m voting for both.

PS – Special thanks to my friend Sheriee and her husband Vern for allowing us to use their pool all week. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Hope you enjoy the mile-high apple pie! And a warm thanks to my other friend, Pat, who came out for show-off day to watch Jonah swim just because she’s nice like that.

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