I Know What Boys Like

I’m talking about my magical ability to pick out great birthday gifts, haha, not anything else!

Do you remember that song from the 80s by the Waitresses? Once it gets into your head, it’s there FOREVER, trust me.

Here’s the question: what do you get a five-year-old that really and truly has EVERYTHING in the world?

Angel Boy 2.0 has a surfboard, a paddleboard, skateboard, bicycle, skiis, his own swing set and climbing frame, so many toys he could open a store, and his very own bouncy castle.

I’ve been noticing for quite a while that when we FaceTime, he takes photos and loves to look at pictures he calls “memories”.

For his special birthday present, I found a child’s camera by Rikum that takes pictures and video with fun filters and frames. Best of all, it’s rechargeable and not reliant on batteries.

I’m hoping to nurture a real interest in photography because I love it, too.

And it was a hit! He got so many MORE presents for his birthday, but I’m told the top three most favorite was a remote control intelligent robot, a remote control truck with huge foam wheels, and my camera.

I absolutely recommend this product if you’re looking for a cool gift that isn’t a video game and will encourage lots positive self esteem, interaction and creative skills, while learning to observe the world through the lens of a camera. (This is an unsolicited product review; I received no compensation of any kind.)

Yay for knowing what boys like!

Here’s a FUN Writing Prompt!

What’s going on here? I dunno, you tell ME!

This is one of my favorite photos. It’s actually a sort of mistake but if you’d like to play along, tell me what it’s all about.

I like image-driven inspiration, don’t you?

Splash!

P.S. I’ll reveal in response to comments.

Photo property of Enchanted Seashells.

DIY: Sewing a Chelsea Collar

I found these three adorable dresses for Angel Girl at our local resale shop. I brought them home to wash, disinfect, and iron.

May be an image of outdoors

But something was missing. They needed an embellishment to become perfection. The kitty cat dress didn’t seem to need it, but the other two did.

They needed a collar! While Peter Pan collars add a modern yet retro vintage touch, in order to be called a Peter Pan type, it would need rounded edges. What I created is more of a “Chelsea” collar with pointed edges.

This was a fun and easy project. I downloaded a free template and then I had a brilliant thought. To make this project even easier, I could simply cut out and attach different types of lace. This would keep the actual sewing to a minimum; no fabric, no turning of the collar. EASY!

I went to Jo-Anns and found the right material to complement both dresses. Thrifty girl that I am, each piece cost about two dollars.

The next step: Cut out and pin the collars to the dress. Make sure to allow enough room to turn/sew the raw ends under.

Finally, sew the collar to the dress at the neck. It can be done by machine or by hand. This time I used my sewing machine. I have a very old machine and it needs a tune up as it’s acting up a bit, but since it weighs about fifty pounds, I haven’t wanted to fight with it to bring to the repair shop.

This is the finished product. I added the contrast of narrow blue satin ribbon and a bow.

I love this one too. The eyelet lace perfectly enhances this bright and beautiful party dress. With Char’s titian hair, it will look AMAZING.

Now I’m searching in my own closet for a dress that needs an embellishment because I’m obsessed with collars!

Happy Birthday, Mommy

If only she could see her namesake or the one that’s a curly haired clone of the other one, that would be truly awesome; however, today we’d be celebrating her 106 years on this earth and that wasn’t meant to be.

She died in 1987 from pancreatic cancer, still one of the most horrible and painful diseases. We took care of her here at home with the help of hospice. Since she was a head nurse, she taught me things like how to do her IV and heparin locks, and she’s the reason why I’m a great caregiver and caretaker. I’m forever grateful that I was able to care for her until the end.

Angel Boy 1.0 was –without a doubt– the love of her life. Here she is with AB at 18 months, the same age as Angel Girl 2.0 is right now. They were best buddies. She would be so very proud that he grew up to be a great dad AND a tenured professor before he was forty years old. (Notice the clever way I slipped that in?) We knew he was VERY smart.

Always fashion forward, I found some old pics of me and mommy. It’s true what they say. You never stop missing your mom, no matter how old you are.

I wonder what I’m reaching for…

Here I am the same age as AB 2.0, just about five years old. Funny thing to share is that I still braid my hair like this in pigtails (like right now) and I still don’t know how to throw a ball, but I DO know for certain that my ribbons perfectly matched my outfit. Always. Check out the saddle shoes that were never dirty.

Happy birthday to the original CharChar; you are missed.

Remembering Sandy Hook

I know things are crazy now with the holidays and this neverending pandemic, but we can’t forget. We need to remember; today and always, the lives that were lost eight years ago at Sandy Hook.

I’ll never forget where I was when I heard the news–I was happily driving around town shopping for Christmas presents and had to pull in a parking lot because my eyes were too full of tears to see the road. I immediately called my son because he’s my North Star. As soon as I know he’s OK, I can breathe again.

We can’t forget.

Image may contain: text that says 'JESSICA REKOS, 6 OLIVIA ENGEL, 6 ALLISON WYATT, AVIELLE RICHMAN, 6 DY YLAN HOCKLEY, 6 JESSE LEWIS, 6 MADELEINE HSU, 6 GRACE MCDONNELL, CHASE KOWALSKI, 7 NOAH POZNER, 6 JACK PINTO, ANA MARQUEZ-GREENE, 6 EMILIE PARKER, 6 BENJAMIN WHEELER, 6 VICTORIA SOTO, LAUREN ROUSSEAU, 30 CHARLOTTE BACON 6 CATHERINE HUBBARD, 6 JOSEPHINE GAY,7 DAWN LAFFERTY HOCHSPRUNG, MARY SHERLACH, 56 DANIEL BARDEN, RACHEL D'AVINO, 29 JAMES MATTIOLI, 6 CAROLINE PREVIDI, ANNE MARIE MURPHY, 52 NANCY LANZA, 52'

Hannukah 2020 Sucks

FaceTime doesn’t take the place of hugs and kisses and giggles and holding hands to cross a street; or reading a book with the full weight of not one, but TWO little humans taking up every inch of my lap and my arms, but since it’s all we have right now, I will attempt to be grateful.

A bit of light in the darkness, and isn’t that what the original Hannukah was all about?

Happy Hannukah!

Convo #926 With the Brilliant One

“Grandma, you should have seen this. Daddy catapulted himself from the cushion onto the sofa.”

“T, what was that big word?”

“Daddy CATAPULTED. You would not believe it.”

“I hope Daddy is OK! T, that is such a wonderful word, very descriptive, and I’m so proud of you for knowing it and for using it correctly in your sentence!”

“Now. Look. Feast your eyes on this, Grandma. It’s a new bench for the kitchen table. It’s nice, huh, Grandma?”

“Oh wait right here. I’m going to put you down and you can watch Mommy make dinner for a minute. I’m going into the Grandma room. I want to show you the present I have for you in our special drawer. It’s a surprise. It’s sparkly just like you like and it’s shiny.”

“Well, hold on. Let’s think about this. If it’s a surprise, do you want to wait until I’m there before you show me?”

“No, ‘cos you’ll forget by then.”

“But what if I don’t forget? What if I remember?”

“Oh, don’t worry little Grandma, you’ll forget.”

SEE?”

“Wow, it IS sparkly and shiny, you’re right about that!”

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

(It’s a Christmas tree decoration from last year, a shiny little silvery disco ball.)

“Don’t forget to put it back in the drawer so you can show me again.”

“And Grandma, don’t forget to bring me a surprise for the drawer too, OK? I’ll be at the airport to pick you up.”

“Do I EVER forget?”

(The answer is obvious. I never forget.)

As a side note, when he was out of the kitchen getting my present, I asked, “He seems to think my visit is imminent. What have you told him?”

“Don’t worry, imminent means something different to T. He doesn’t really have a good grasp of time.”

This is the sad plight of grandparent’s new reality…not to be able to hug and play with our angel boys and girls, and to miss the excitement of Daddy catapulting himself around the house.

Still, there’s always always something to be grateful for, right?

To Pee or Not to Pee

That’s the question (with apologies to William Shakespeare).

Quick post:

There’s a lively discussion on NextDoor about a woman who was walking on a local trail with her nine-year-old son when he needed to relieve himself and did so a few feet off the trail in the bushes.

This is not a remote trail, it’s pretty much in the city, paved and well-traveled.

Apparently a woman stopped to stare and made the boy feel uncomfortable. There were quite a few negative comments directed toward the woman who (allegedly) was looking, comments like “mind your own business”…

Mine seems to be the ONLY comment that talked about the possibility that it might be inappropriate for a boy that age to urinate in public.

In my opinion, I think this would be a different story if it was a toddler in the middle of toilet training, but a nine-year-old is too old for that behavior.

Normally I don’t respond to NextDoor because it’s a dark hole like Facebook, but I felt compelled to share my thoughts.

What if it was a nine-year-old girl? Does that change anything?

Obviously, they were in plain sight. I wouldn’t want my son or my grandkids to see someone else’s body parts or something that should be private.

What if there was a predator around?

I’ve hiked a lot in many different wild places and had to find a secret spot myself, but this location isn’t a forest or a remote mountain trail. It’s a mile-long walkway paralleling the railroad tracks with houses and windows all around.

Your opinion?

Love and Kindness

Love for a teddy grows a kind heart.

My original Angel Boy, age 4.5, the same exact age as AB 2.0, now the proud owner of this very same teddy bear.

Black and white cos it was one of his modeling pics and you can’t see his jade green eyes.

Kindness
Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profundity.
Kindness in giving creates love
.—-Lao Tzu

(And a reminder: There’s always something to be grateful for. Always. No matter what.)

Dragons and Pearls

I love jewelry boxes. I love them so much that I wanted to pass on the sweet tradition and sent baby Char a ballerina musical jewelry box fit for a princess that plays a tune from Swan Lake. Char wore a rainbow colored tutu for Halloween, so it’s definitely this Grandma’s job to nurture an early appreciation for dance.

It turned out that she loved it so much (and so did Theo) that I had to send him one too, only his featured characters that twirl around from Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince and plays Mozart’s Eine Klene Nachtmusik. It’s about the right time for him to read that book, too.

I also found a new one for me (of course), and it’s better in real life than the photos portrayed on Amazon. The green is truly a beautiful background for the gold dragon. This one doesn’t play music but I have another one that does, so I’m content.

Now we’re all happily playing with our new boxes…a thousand miles away from each other.