Tag Archives: Jonahpalooza

“You’re the BEST PAPI EVER!”

This summer, The Complete Package participated in the Republic of Texas motorcycle rally in Austin, Texas. One of the best events during the rally is a motorcycle parade that runs from the fairgrounds to Congress Avenue in downtown Austin. For this event, Congress Avenue from the state capital building to the river is closed. Motorcycles leave the fairground in the early evening and create an 11 mile-long motorcycle parade into downtown, past the capital, and onto Congress Avenue. That’s 11 solid miles of motorcycles, riding 2 across, involving thousands of bikes. It’s an incredible sight to behold.

This year, My Baby and I took the kids to Congress Avenue to see the bikes and watch their Papi ride in. We cheered, we bought big sparkly light-up wands for the kids, and we waved at all the riders. As the bikes filled Congress Avenue, the riders parked, got off their bikes and walked around. Bikers swapped stories, families visited friends, and grown-ups and kids alike walked around looking at motorcycles, ooo-ing and ahhh-ing over their favorites. This year, Jonah’s favorite bike involved custom LED lights that flashed and changed colors. He thought it was the coolest bike, and the gentleman that owned it was kind enough to let him sit on it and have his picture taken. He loved that.

Fast forward to this August when TCP decided to install LED lights on his new motorcycle. Lights that flash and change colors and do all kinds of cool things. So when Jonah Bear came for his week-long summer visit (Jonahpalooza), TCP waited until nightfall to take him out to the garage for a little surprise. As Jonah and I watched, TCP turned off the overhead light and with the push of a few buttons on a hand-held remote, he blew Jonah Bear’s mind. It started with “Whoa!” and morphed into “Cool!” and ended with a giant bear hug and a booming “You’re the BEST PAPI EVER!” For me, it was ‘cue the waterworks’ but for Jonah Bear it was ‘cue the rock-n-roll music’ as he launched into a spontaneous air guitar performance the likes of which I have never seen.

Have I mentioned lately that I love this kid to pieces?

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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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Meet House Guest #2 – Jonah Bear!


I don’t know what you’re doing this week, but we’re smack dab in the middle of Jonahpalooza. That’s right – 8 1/2 glorious days of the Jonah Channel. All Jonah; all the time. Last week was LillyFair. We got our girl time on in a big way. Our little Lilly Bug is a firecracker. At almost two, she kept us on our toes and laughing all week. What a hoot! On Sunday, we met Our Baby and Bama Boy to swap kiddos. I meant to post something then to let you know that Jonahpalooza had officially kicked off, but we’ve been busy around here. Real busy.


We’ve been going to swim lessons. A certain 4 1/2 year-old is learning to swim like a sailfish. Why a sailfish? Because his Papi told him that a sailfish can swim faster than just about any other fish and if there’s anything Jonah is determined to be at this tender age, it’s fast. That’s our friend Kaki with Jonah Bear. This is their second summer together. She’s a good swim teacher; she knows sailfish.

We had a fried chicken picnic at the park and played hide-and-seek with Papi.

We’ve watched Rango “sixty-eleven times” (and it’s playing again as I type this). Jonah Bear likes to watch a movie over and over until he’s memorized the entire script and all the songs. Our boy’s got a mind like a steel trap.


And we’ve ridden bikes (or photographed a certain boy riding bikes) at least once or twice a day since Sunday. Jonah Bear is learning to ride his Mommy’s old bike. It’s still just a tiny bit too big for him, but he’s determined to master it. And since Papi outfitted him to look like Tony Hawk (he’s a ‘safety first’ kind of guy), Jonah Bear has found his courage and is slowly gaining in confidence and speed. He’s enjoying it so much, he sometimes rides to the very brink of exhaustion. Sometimes a boy just needs to stop and take a break.

Yep. Jonahpalooza is on like Donkey Kong, and The Complete Package and I are in for the full ride. I’ll be back to my regular blogging schedule next week, and I’ll share more Lilly photos. Until then, I’m committed to my favorite endeavor – being a Nana. Have a great week and an even better weekend.

And now…. we ride!

Uh… I mean, “We ride!”

Wait… that’s not right either. Let’s try this again. “We ride!”

There… that’s more like it.

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