Tag Archives: Lilly Bug

Pineapple Update: Day….Heck, I forget.

Our first pineapple, along with the sprouts she spawned.


Honestly, I’ve lost track of what week this is in our “sprout to fruit” home-grown pineapple saga. All I know is that it has been a while since I’ve posted an update, and we’ve had significant changes this week. That’s right. Our baby pineapple is about to fully mature. She’s just starting to take on a yellow hue that indicates she’ll be ripening in the next few weeks. We’re so excited!

We called the kids and we’re tentatively planning a get together in mid-September to harvest our first pineapple – just in time for Lilly Bug’s second birthday. If you remember, Jonah called “dibs” on the first pineapple. He has his heart set on a pineapple upside-down cake, and he hasn’t let me forget it. That boy has the memory of an elephant.

So stay tuned, kids. In a few weeks, we may be harvesting and dissecting and baking with the grandbabies. When we do, I promise to snap photos so you can see us celebrating the life and sacrifice of our first ever pineapple. It took us six and a half years to get here, but I have a feeling it’s going to be worth the wait.

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Crafty Recycling: A DIY Toddler Dress

Our beautiful firecracker of a granddaughter turns two next month. Can you believe it? I can’t. She’s changed so much over the past few months. Her language skills have improved. Her dancing skills have improved. Her patience at meal time has not improved, but nobody’s perfect. She’s just the sweetest, funniest, spunkiest little cutie-patootie ever. Yes, I am biased.

One of my favorite hobbies is making stuff for the grandkids. I usually have one project or another going for them, which brings me great joy. This week, I was cleaning out some old clothes when I found an old men’s underwear tank. You know the kind… your grandfather probably wore them under his dress shirts. I threw it into the trash can, even though it was barely used, then pulled it right back out and thought “What a waste. There’s got to be a way to recycle that.” It was so soft, it just begged to be turned into something useful. I chose to covert it into a lightweight summer dress for little Lilly Bug. All it needed was some “taking in” and some embellishment to girly it up a little.

Here’s what I did:
1. I cut the shirt in half, horizontally, about 6″ below the front neckline.
2. I folded the back side of the top over and stitched it down (see below).
3. I pinned the shoulders and cut off 1 1/2″ to shorten, then re-stitched them.
4. I folded the top of the “skirt” down 3/4″ and stitched it to finish the edge.
5. I pinned the top back onto the bottom, with the “skirt” overlapping the top.
6. I stitched the two pieces back together with a zigzag stitch so it would stretch.
7. I pleated the sides to take them in & stitched them along the top of the skirt.
8. I ironed a cute print onto 2-sided fusing and cut out 3 flowers (freehand).
9. I did the same thing with a green print and cut out stems and leaves.
10. I peeled off the fusing paper and ironed the flowers & stems into place.
11. I used a zigzag stitch to stitch/embellish the flowers, stems & leaves.
12. I stitched a red bow to the back, just to jazz it up a little.

The details - front, back and hem. All it takes is a cute print, fusing & buttons. Click anywhere on the photo to enlarge, then hit your back arrow to return.

Cost: Zero dollars
The shirt was recycled, and the fabrics, ribbon and buttons came from my scrap piles. And now Lilly Bug as a super soft, lightweight little dress. Or a nightgown. I’ll let Lilly Bug decide if this is day or evening wear. It’s a girl thing.

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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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Meet our house guest – Lilly Bug!

Lilly Bug - our sweet little pixie. Photo courtesy of her mommy.

Our little Lilly Bug is here for a week of Nana & Papi time. This is her special week. She gets us all to herself. No sharing with her older brother. No fighting for attention or toys. It’s just us and Lilly for 7 days of quality grandparent spoilage. Well, our Boston Terrier Ziggy is here, too. He’s having to adjust to having a 2 year-old in the house. It has cut into his napping time, for sure. On the up side, his snack quotient has skyrocketed since he discovered that ‘under the highchair’ is the place to be. He’s digging that part. If I fail to post much this week, forgive me. We’re lost in Lillyland, and we plan to make the most of it. Now if you’ll excuse me, Dinosaur Train is on and we don’t want to miss it!

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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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Hot Fun in the Summer Time

I’ve been holding on to these photos since Mother’s Day. Every time I look at them, I start giggling again. You have to understand, most days it’s just me, TCP and the dog around here. It’s quiet in our home. Very quiet. But when My Baby and Bama Boy visit with our two grandkids, all heck breaks loose. Fun, fabulous heck. Hilarious, giggly, exhausting fun. Mother’s Day weekend was no exception. Especially when The Complete Package, aka “Papi”, erected a DIY water park in the back yard. Since daily temperatures in Houston are hovering in the 90’s, it was an oasis. It started with the kids playing in the inflatable pools.

Then it moved to the new Slip-N-Slide. I don’t think I’ve seen one of those things since I was in high school. They’ve been greatly improved since the early ’80s. Gone are the days of a simple piece of plastic and a garden hose. Now they have a blue bumper down the side that shoots water to keep the slide slippery, and a “cushion” at the end so you get good and soaked as a reward for your courage.

We had a great time getting soaked with Jonah Bear and Lilly Bug. But the most amusing part of the day had to be the to-the-death, no-holds-barred Slip-N-Slide grudge match between our daughter and her husband. It was amazing. And cut-throat. And hysterical. Thank you, God, for high-speed digital cameras.

Oh, to be young and enthusiastic! I’m not saying who won because we were all winners in my book. I will tell you that the grandkids were not the only ones to take a nap that afternoon. So, how are you planning to keep cool this summer?

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Nothing is better than family time.

The kids came to visit this weekend. Nothing is better than time with our kids. Lilly Bug is now 17 months old. She’s such a bubbly, sweet little pixie. She wakes up happy and the rest of the day just gets better from there. She’s a little chatter box, and is just starting to put together a few full sentences. Her vocabulary is expanding at an alarming rate. She laughs at everything, sings at the drop of the hat, and thanks to Jonah Bear’s toy harmonica, she learned to play hobo songs about life riding the rails with her Papi (The Complete Package). I love those curls.

Jonah bear turned four just before Christmas. That blows my mind. Where does the time go? He’s not a baby or a toddler anymore. Our first grand baby is a boy now, and his ability to think at such a strategic level amazes us. He’s a deep thinker and problem solver, and yet he’s also a sweet, compassionate soul. He is a boy who knows what he wants, and this weekend he wanted blueberry pancakes and fruity push-up popsicles. I love his sweet boy hugs & his big, beautiful brain.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a family weekend without My Baby and Bama Boy. We ate too much, we played Scrabble, we shared popcorn & ice cream while we watched Megamind. It was awesome. But my favorite thing was watching Jonah Bear’s face light up when he mastered the pedals on My Baby’s old bike with all of us out there cheering him on. It was one of those priceless family moments. Speaking of priceless family moments… Sorry, honey. Mommy loves you.

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Another “I Heart Faces” Photo Contest: The Faces of January & Our Lilly Bug

This is Lilly Bug, my precious grandbaby, daughter of My Baby, and sister of my buddy, Jonah Bear. She’s the baby in our family, and she’s destined to rule us all. She’s our sweet, happy, giggly girl and she’s my entry for the I Heart Faces People’s Choice “Best Face Photo of January” contest. You go, baby girl!

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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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