Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Tiny Tot Comes for a Sleepover!

Our much anticipated sleepover visit with Catie our 3 year old granddaughter has finally happened and was it ever great.

Yesterday afternoon my beloved and I picked up our Catie-Girl for her first overnight visit at Nanny and Pappa's house. Because at almost the age of 4 she is still too tiny for our booster seat, Pappa tethered her car seat into the Honda and away we went.

On our way home we had a few stops to make and each time we did, Catie wanted to be reassured that she too would be coming along, not just being dropped off home again.

First stop, a "junk food" restaurant, hint: guy has huge big feet! And don't worry Momma, we ordered milk too for the "healthy portion of her meal!" After lunch, Catie spent a short time playing in the indoor playground. It was really interesting seeing her all alone, without her siblings to either follow or relate to in a new envirnoment. At first Catie tentatively interacted with children, then bravely. A funny we observed--when she saw some kids heading towards the slide entrance, she speeded up her tiny steps and ditched in there well before they got there. Pappa and I laughed at that. We don't call her Mighty-Mouse for nothing! There was a big blue slide, which her Pappa and I were sure she couldn't climb up because she was wearing a sweater and trousers that we were convinced would make it impossible because her clothing would make it too slippery-were we wrong--she did it and several times at that!

See how steep the slide is!

Next stop, the grocery store. She sat in this cart with 2 steering wheels and of course, we had to take a picture! Catie already looks like a pro in the driving department, madly turning the steering wheel when we turned corners. It has been years since we took such a little one grocery shopping and we had forgotten how much fun it can be. Do you know, she pretty well likes everything, because she told us so. "I Like That", she'd say! When we got home she helped put things away. I Liked That!

We never had neat things like this when our kids were little!

After drinks and yogurt, Catie got to play outside. Fortunately for us, yesterday turned out to be the better day, weather wise so she tried out her pink princess bike. But really, she was the princess, the bike, just a vehicle to carry her.

Go Catie, Go Catie!

For some reason, maybe just because she's 3, each time she went outside she took her barettes out of her hair!
Look at the look on her face--priceless!

With Aunty Amy's Puff-a-Lump

In for a bite of supper and out they went again, finally dragging them both in so that she could have a bath. While they were outside, I chose some books to read to her before bed, McDuff Finds a Home, Yoko, A Bunny Hears, and How Do you Make a Rainbow. They were all hits, but her favourite by far was the ribbon book, How Do you Make a Rainbow, which I had bought when her one and only brother, Cameron was only about a year old. After kisses, a cross on her head, and assurances that we would be right here if she needed us, she fell right to sleep.

The day started about 6:30, with Nanny pretending she was sleeping (nice Nanny aye?), so Catie grabbed the books beside her and she started reading How Do you Make a rainbow. How did I know it was that one? Well, last night as I was reading it to her, I tapped my finger on the different colours on the page, red, blue, orange, yellow, green and purple, and little Catie as she was reading the book to herself, each time she turned the page, she copied me by doing the exact same thing. It was all I could do to keep from laughing. See, children do learn by example! If that isn't a scary thought to all adults around little kids, I don't know what is!

After breakfast I pulled down some age-appropriate toys-puzzles, blocks to string, stacking items and words/picture matches and she and her Pappa played with them over and over again. Tiring of those activities we moved onto stickers, then snacks and a trip to the local pool.

A close-up of the masterpiece now hanging on our fridge.

At first, Catie was a little hesitant at the pool. It is such a big place, so many people, and quite loud, and I think perhaps her first time to a big pool, so she found it overwhelming. After about an hour of walking around the edges, and allowing her Pappa to hold her in the water (but not really that enthusiastically) Nanny decided that we should go home. As we were walking back to the change rooms I asked her if she wanted to wade in the water before we left-she did-and then she got playful and daring and ultimately just loving it-it was an amazing turnaround to watch her go from a little gal who really didn't want to be there to kneeling in the water, trying to float, kicking her feet, and "saving herself" as she proudly claimed when she fell down.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. She, Pappa and I had a wonderful time together, just the three of us. It was wonderful to have some precious two-on-one time. Playing, watching, learning from each other. What a little blessing she is.

A couple of things I had never realized were:
one, how much this little doll giggles, and
two, how quiet our house is after a great visit!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

This is the Week That Was

The last few weeks have been a little hectic, flu for a few days (all better), then two weeks ago, 3 dental appointments on one day (can I hear the awwwwwww!) and unbeknownst to me, while I was dreading the dental appointments, my good friend Dr. Doug decided that perhaps 2 extractions (not, for the price of one, I might add), might be in order! It was the 2nd, unexpected one that was the more difficult of the two. Thankfully my beloved shepherded me through the long, difficult day and got me home safe and sound. What a doll he is, and I am happy to report that they are healing up well, but now I have a tooth that is turning BLUE!!!! and I don't mean, BlueTooth Tehnology!, so I fear another appointment is in my future, grrrrrr!

Killing time on Richmond Flatlands, our old stomping grounds.

D-Day before the day's trauma began!

On the Saturday following the dental work, my talented niece by marriage, held a baby shower for her sister-in-law, who also happens to be my sister's daughter-in-law! It was a very hot Saturday, but with wonderful fans, lots of water, and great food and family in attendance it was such a lovely time. I can't wait for my Great-Niece or Great Nephew to put in their appearance and neither can my sister Maddie! Quite honestly I'm not sure who is more excited, my nephew and niece, or my sister! We are all so delighted for them. This will make number Ten Great -Grandchild for my mom and I think the stork is wending its' way to our family yet again so an even dozen is coming up! Now since my Daddy was a baker, of course my lovely mom is hoping for a Baker's Dozen-time and tides will tell! And we can all only dream of hope that too will come to pass. We keep our fingers and toes crossed that that day won't be too far off!

Our beautiful Angela with Babes on Board!

Last Sunday afternoon my beloved dropped me off at our daughter April's and Number Two son, Nick's, for a stint at looking after our adorable little Abby! Nanny and Abby had a blast of a week. Neither sun (which made nary an appearance until it was time to return home), nor rain (of which we had a fair share) dampened our spirits. Abby and I really got to know each other, which included waking her up in the morning (momma insisted that we get her back to her Childcare hours), and having the most delightful cuddles with her as she woke up, were highlights of my stay there. Playing This Little Piggy, singing Old MacDonald (she loves hearing my singing-no critic she!!), playing, and giggling were the order of the day, plus our daily morning walks between the August rains, made for a perfect visit. And of course being the new little walker that she is, we all saw lots of progress in her speeding around the house on her new found little pins! There is nothing cuter than a little one when they are learning to walk-arms extended, like tiny robots! Too sweet.

Abby's beauty regime: First, you smear your hair with peanut butter then, you go to a birthday party Nanny!

Abby's handiwork. I don't know about you, but I was impressed!

Abby's 1st Birthday Invite (not cousins!)

No Photos Please Nanny! Abby in walking mode.

Playing in a makeshift cage!

On Tuesday it was my beautiful Carly's 6th Birthday! Sorry I didn't get to do you a Blog my darling, but I can tell you all, that this little 6 year old is a joy and a delight. Her smiles light up a room, she gives the best hugs in the world and has learned so much that I sit in awe of her abilities! It has been so much fun watching her grow into up to be a six year old!

Our 6 Year Old! Isn't she adorable?

Two highlights of our time together also included a visit from Abby's cousins on Wednesday morning. Prior to their visit I kept repeating all of her cousin's names hoping that when Wednesday came, she would know who was visiting. The only name she spoke was "Coco". (But at dinner that night she made a stab at saying all of them!) All of the children loved being around each other, lots of smiles and carrying and playing. It was fun to watch. I don't think Cathy and I spoke more than a dozen words to each other during the short visit, but we most certainly did share a lot of laughter.

Hello mum? Where are you? There are alot of cousins here!

Playing around at Aunty's!

Cousin Claire making sure her cousin gets in on the action!

Make a wish darling Girl!

Eating the Birthday Cupcakes, Picnic Style!

Sorry Coco, no cake for you!

On Thursday my last day at Abby's, her baby cousin Ella dropped by with her momma, Aunty Jolene. What a perfect little doll she is. It was so nice to watch Abby with all of her cousins and two of her aunties. Thank you April and Nick for blessing me with this wonderful opportunity, to be privy to her world.

Can you say cute?
With Aunty Jolene and Cousin Ella!

Pappa's little charmer!

The beautiful flowers from April! Thank you honey.

I rarely mention our third daughter Amy in my blogs, I don't know why that is, but I can tell you life is good for our "little girl". She's our travelling girl, and in October she's going to Maui for her friend's wedding which happens to be on Amy's birthday. I can feel Amy's excitement building already! What's the saying in Hawaii? "Just Hang Loose!"

A beautiful floral bouquet from a "secret" admirer! I'll never tell.
This week, won't be quite as busy, but Catie Girl, who keeps on telling us, that "I am a big girl", will finally be sleeping over at our house! And Pappa and I can't wait.

It is so hard to believe that summer vacay is almost over. I remember when our girls were smaller this was my least favourite time of year knowing they were returning to school and our New Year was beginning again. I am relieved now that I don't need to go out and buy each of them new outfits, new gym shoes, new school shoes, coats and umbrellas and school bags. If you are one of those parent's in the midst of doing this, you have my condolences! I am so very happy I am retired! The torch has been passed.
I hope this last week of "summer" will be a good one for each and everyone of you!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

While They Were Waterparking

My beloved and I got up early, that is, early for this retired set and headed over to the 8 C's so that Cameron could go on his surprise Birthday trip.

This is some of what we did while they were slipping and sliding...

Not shown here, Pappa out on the cul-de-sac with 4 little girls-2 riding their bikes, 2 trying to ride a two wheeler with one little pumpkin putting on the brakes as Pappa was running with them-what fun!

Also not shown, the many coloured glasses washed and rewashed as we drank our way through the hot day! Juice and water people! Nanny and Pappa reserved the scotch and 7 until we got home!
Also not shown, the delicious big, red, bing cherries that Pappa picked up at the local market. Picture red cherry juice dripping down the little one's chins-and not one, may I add-drip on the clothing! Gold Star Everyone!!!
It was a wonderful day. And we are so glad Cameron and his Mom and Dad had such a great time too!

A tired, but happy camper!

Happy Birthday Cameron!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Cameron is 9 Today!!!!!

Today as I sit down and write this blog I have a huge smile on my face. Today is our Grandson Cameron's 9th Birthday. His last year as a single digit.

Cameron is such a joy to be around. He likes to joke. He loves riding his bike. He loves playing games on his computer, his Nona's computer and on ours too. He doesn't like playing soccer much, but he can do the splits and do cartwheels like no one I've ever seen. And he can bustamove I'll tell you! He is crafty and uber-creative. He is lively. He can be shy at times. And when he wants to, can scream at such a high pitch it almost breaks your eardrum! His little sisters adore him and when I watch him with the baby he is so gentle and playful with her. It is a sight to behold. He knows his planets and can tell the difference between owl species I didn't even know existed. He loves to read and I think like his Grandpa and his Pappa, the facts and figures stick! Now that's a gift. When he was born, we decided that he was going to be our Renaissance Man, and you know, that is really who he is. Can you tell, we are all totally and madly in love with him.

Cameron, we wish you a VERY HAPPY 9TH BIRTHDAY! Have a wonderful day and a super new year.

We love you very, very much,

Nanny and Pappa

Friday, August 01, 2008

1 Month Later ...

I'm a bad blogger! It has been a month since my last entry and although much has happened in the interval, the motivation to blog about it hasn't been first and foremost on my mind.

A little catch-up.

Now that it is summer holidays for the grandchildren, my beloved and I decided that once a week we would take one of the children over for an overnight with us. That way we would get to spend some 2 on 1, and hopefully, spend a little time spoiling them too. Fav. foods, fav. activities, that kind of thing.

We were going to take Catiegirl first, but mom and dad decided it might be best to go in birth order, so first up-Cameron. Pappa and Cameron went to see "Wall-E", we ate hot dogs for dinner and then they went on an hour long bike ride, ate ice cream drumsticks outside, and read to the wee small hours-well at least until 10:00! That was a fun visit.

Next up a lovely visit from April, Nick and Abby. It was our 41st Anniversary and they spent the afternoon with us. We all ate lunch outside under the apple tree, shared stories, talked about the future, our hopes and our dreams. Played drums with Abby, and acted out Head, and Shoulders, Knees and Toes, and got the biggest belly laughs out of her. She loves playing with the little Fisher Price people, and she put the cowboy in the rocking horse, Nanny said "hee haw" and Abby said it too. We kept repeating it, and laughing. What great fun she is! It just made our Anniversary.

Our next overnight visitor was Claire-we painted fingers and toes, played click-its and built Richard Scary Puzzletown to our heart's content. She too rode her bike way down the street and over to the next block with her Pappa. She and I went to see Kung Fu Panda while Pappa went to the pool and ate Chocolate Drumsticks in the backyard!

On the following Saturday we went to our good friends' Marilyn and Shiro and Matthew's for a Luau! What great fun that was. Tractor rides, pinatas for children and adults, water balloon toss game-which Carly and I won!!!!, egg and spoon races, Hula Hoops, a pig roasted on a spit thanks to Chef Matthew's expertise, and food, food, food. It was a lovely Saturday.

Then The Murrayville Puke Fest 2008 started that very night of the Luau. So overnight visits were postponed for a week.

Last Sunday we went into Richmond to worship at our former church. It was so wonderful to see, and be greeted by, so many friends. Then we popped in to visit our dear friend Ken who is recovering from hip surgery. He is looking mighty good and his recovery is going so well. Then we drove back homeward and had a late and leisurely lunch with my beautiful mom.

This past week my beloved and I travelled to Osoyoos to help surprise some dear friends for their 40th Anniversary. We hadn't seen their children for ages and ages, never mind met their husbands and their children! We are getting old! What a great event it was. As Kathy and Tom's anniversary isn't really until September 7th, they were very much surprised. The food, the company and the specialty of the house,slushies, were exquisite! We got up early the next morning and did a cool morning walk along the Lakeshore road, showered, checked out of our room and joined 10 or 12 others from the party the night before for breakfast at the restaurant at our hotel. It was so nice. Back on the road home heading back for home by 11:00 a.m. It was a short but very sweet visit to a favourite place. (A small piece of trivia learned while visiting: At this gathering of close family and friends there were 4 couples there, including ourselves, who had 3 daughters, cool!)

Yesterday Carly finally slept over! We took her to the pool and she went down the 3 storey slide all by herself. Pappa went first and was at the bottom to greet her. I don't know whose smile was bigger, Pappa's or Carly's. We are so impressed with how well she is doing in the water, face in, kicking, jumping in-no fear! Wow! We came home, ate supper which included pork and beans-one of Carly's favourite things, and headed out to Fort Langley for the evening story time. Because of the rain, we were the only 3 there. We sat in the Forge with this beautiful fire, heard all about the sturgeons and baked bannock on tines in the fire, mmmmm good.

Next week-Catiegirl! Pappa has a little pink princess bike all fixed up with her name written all over it. Can't wait!

In between all of these events, during the hot weather my beloved and I have been getting up early and going for cool morning walks, going out for coffee and sometimes breakfast, moving hoses and sprinklers around our yard, napping when we are tired out, reading lots of books and just plain loafing and totally enjoying being retired.

I hope that your summer too is being kind to you and that you are getting some well deserved R&R. It is slipping by so quickly.

Summertime and the living is easy!