Grandparenting
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We were supposed to leave for Egg Harbor on Thursday, but we had high winds.  There was a news report about a camper flipping over on the freeway, so we weren’t going to take a chance.  Early Friday morning, we headed north for Door County.

 

Glider Doing Tricks 

There was a glider swooping down over the freeway near OshKosh.  At first we thought he was in trouble, but quickly realized he was just a daredevil!

 

This year we stayed at Egg Harbor Campground, a lovely place to camp!  We used to stay at Door County Camping Retreat, but they hassled us so much about the dogs. Only 2 Sandoval dogs go camping with us, the other two usually stay with a friend which is “camping” to them.  

 

But our daughter brings her dogs too, so that equals 4 shih tzu’s on one campsite and that was strictly forbidden at DCCR.  One day the guy came by in his police golf cart and got up in my face about having 4 dogs on one site and the dogs went ballistic.  He hollered and said “SEE THIS IS WHY WE ONLY ALLOW 2 DOGS PER SITE” and I yelled right back and told him he was threatening me and that’s why the dogs were barking like crazy.  That was our last time there.

 

No, Duh

Egg Harbor Campground is located in beautiful Egg Harbor, which is half way up the Door County pennisula.  It’s quaint and woodsy and quiet and there is a nice playground for the kiddies.  They also have a heated pool, but it was far to cold to even think about swimming.  AND, when hubby asked if they had a dog limit, they said they didn’t care how many dogs we had.  We are highly unlikely to bring all 4 of our pups ever because it is just to hard to keep them from spilling out the RV door at once.  

 

Looking Up!

 

Nikki and her little family arrived in early evening.  Quinn came running to us yelling “CAMPING, HAPPY!!”.  Yes, he just loved camping.  I think eating ice out of the coolers was his favorite part of camping.  But he also loved going for walks, and singing.  Sleep was definitely not his favorite part, but we did manage to get both boys to nap, and they slept quite well in the camper.

 

Puddle Pit

Saturday night was very stormy and rainy, and an early to bed night for all of us.  Sunday was perfect weather, and we stayed up late, hanging around the campfire.  Actually I should say they stayed up late because son-in-law’s parents brought their 2 big dogs to the fire and that set off vicious barking from our little Ted E Bear who hates big dogs with all his might.  

 

So my job was keeping Ted E quiet while Gavin was sleeping and that involved staying in the RV with the bedroom door shut.  I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get a pudgie pie, but after son in law’s parents went back to their camper, Nikki and I feasted on cheeseboards that she had bought for us earlier in the day.  Yumm.

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Of course you can't take babies camping without the obligatory sink baths, and we had dirty boys!  

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Sink Bath

 

Monday morning we packed up, put everything away and headed for home.  In high winds.  I suggested pulling over until the front passed but hubby had his homing instincts on and was hearing none of it.  He white knuckled it the whole way home and I was nervous with the wind trying blow us all over the road.  We were really glad we didn’t drive up north on Thursday night!  


It was a great weekend  AND, my first time camping in 2 years.  We've been "grounded" for a while because of all my stupid surgeries and it felt so good to be on the open road again!


What Picnic Tables Are For!

 

 And finally, a photo to show you what picnic tables are really for.  

 

 

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 10 (Last: Lori · 6/4/12 10:44 AM)

The birds didn’t even land on the ground yesterday, that’s how windy it was in Big Bend.  I just noticed that the Robins are in the back yard, welcome back!  Where do you hide when the wind is blowing little birds?  

 

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We have many mature trees on our property and when the wind blows like it did yesterday, I am amazed that they don't snap and break.  How they bend and sway, doing the hula dance, how far they can bend without snapping.  We aren’t always this lucky, we’ve had a few big trees and limbs come down in the past during wind storms.   

 

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We tried to golf on Sunday, but after 5 holes, I just gave up.  I was tired of fighting the wind for the door on the golf cart, and the windshield blew off numerous times.  We’re pretty lucky we didn’t break it, because every time it blew off we ran over it.  Saturday we had better luck.  Hubby played 18 but I quit after nine, just happy that I could break 60 after a 2 year hiatus.  

 

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It felt good to be out there again.  I forgot how much I love being outside, and the surprises that nature brings us when we golf.  I can still swing and hit the ball, and play double bogey golf, and that’s not so shabby for a gal who’s 55 and has had her spine fused.  I don’t ever expect to be a good golfer, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I may never break 100 consistently.  Some people have the golf gene, but not me.

 

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Speaking of being 55, the other night when we were out at dinner, I caught a glimpse of my upper arm.  When did these old lady arms replace my arms?  Right there and then,  I decided to start working out.  Arms legs and my core, just being careful to avoid any weight lifting that would affect my spine.  We have a weight lifting system in the basement.  I’m thinking about venturing down there to check it out.  I asked hubby if he’d show me how to work it and he said it was a piece of cake.  I really don’t like having old lady arms!  

 

Last Thursday, when I got to Nikki’s, she asked if I wanted to go to the park with them. Quinn could play with Jordy and Cooper, his friends from daycare.  They had a blast, even little Gavin had fun.  I brought my camera along and got some photos of pure glee from both boys!  This kind of photography is when the zoom lens comes in handy.  There are no poses, no fake smiles for the camera.  

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Gavin on the Swing

I finished reading 50 Shades of Grey last week.  I don’t want to spoil it for you if you hadn’t read it yet, but let me say this.  If you ever read the stories in Penthouse Forum (do they still have that magazine?), this was similar but long and drawn out.  I really don’t need to read the other two books in the trilogy, I’ve had enough of Christian and Anastasia.

 

I still haven’t made a meal plan for the week, but this is soup week.  My freezer is empty and it’s time to get cooking!  I plan to make chicken and rice with spinach, and beef and bean soup.  

 

Nikki is picking me up this morning to take the babies to their well baby check up.  She’ll be here at 8:30.  I don’t think she is comfortable going out alone yet with both kids.  It will get a little easier for her as time passes, the boys are growing so quickly.  

 

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When I get home, I’m headed to the garden with the D300 to access tulip damage from the windstorm.  I’m glad I got some photographs earlier in the week, I’m pretty suer the petals still on the stalks will be ragged from the wind.

 

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Speaking of cameras, over the weekend, hubby told me to go ahead and put the Nikon d800 on order.  It is backordered, but I’m not sure for how long.  I check my email more frequently than usual... I’m just waiting for that email that says “we’ve shipped your d800”.  To say I’m excited is just an understatement.  He told me that I should have it because photography is my hobby.  And because he loves me. 

 

His birthday is on Sunday.  I invited all the kids over for birthday dinner and celebration.  I haven’t heard back from any of them, but I am sure they will be here.  Michael turns 55!  I got him all kinds of cool gifts and I’m so excited to give them to him.  He has no idea what is in the gift bags and I haven’t dropped any hints.  

 

photo

What he does know is that Fed Ex had to redeliver one of his presents because we missed the signature on Friday.  I bet he has a good guess at that one.  Oh well.  He’ll still be surprised at the other gifts.  

 

I finally got one of my April to dos done yesterday.  It was a big project and I knew it would be met with resistance, so I’d been putting it off.  Yesterday he asked me to order him some new scrubs as his scrubs were all way too big.  So I figured it would be a good time to get rid of all his big clothes that were mashed into his armoire.  I so should have taken a before photo, you just wouldn’t believe how many pairs of shorts and jeans were crammed in there.

 

There are 3 bags for Goodwill.  He was so grateful.  50 pounds down honey!  Great job!  Next I need to tackle those drawers... Do you keep after your significant others wardrobe?  I think I’d be kind of upset if he cleaned out my clothes, but honestly, he’s not going to do it.  And now there’s room for new clothes.  

 

Alright, I’m off to get ready for my date!  

 

 

 

 

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 4 (Last: Karen Lynn · 4/17/12 3:31 PM)

Every year on Easter, we go out as a family for brunch.  We try to pick a different place each year, but the buffets are usually similar no matter where we go.  However, the views are not always this amazing!  

Milwaukee Cityscape

This year we went to the Polaris, which sits (and rotates) high atop the Hyatt in Milwaukee. 

Quinn

Here is cuteness personified, shortly after arriving at the Polaris.  

Quinn

He spent a good amount of time checking out the moving floor before we were seated, to the moving cityscape (and window ledge) after we got our table. 

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I told him to put one foot on the moving part of the floor and one foot on the part of the floor that didn't move and watch to see what happens.

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Nikki and Gavin.  Gavin Just turned 6 months old (already) on the 7th.  

 

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My Epiphanie camera bag, looking out over Milwaukee.  

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The Polaris is supposed to make one complete cirle every 60 minutes, but they can turn the speed up or down.  Hubs and son were feeling the movement and it definitely seemed to be turning faster than the last time we were there.

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It was a crystal clear day, and just perfect to see Milwaukee from up high.

If you are ever in Milwaukee for Easter or Mothers Day, I highly recommend brunch at the Polaris.  As long as it's not raining!  

 

How was your weekend? 

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 3 (Last: Lori · 4/11/12 11:14 AM)

                                                 Goofing around with Meemaw

Dear Quinn and Gavin,

 

Today I came to visit and you both had a big cough! But sweet babies that you are, you didn't seem to mind.  It was hard for Meemaw to hear you cough like that.  I'm glad mommy called the doctor even though you had no fever.  Meemaw is a worry wart.

 

We read a few books and watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and snuggled on the couch. Gavin was fine till Mommy left and then he cried and cried.  He's such a momma boy.  I did get one photo of him with a smile  

  

                                                 Gavin on the Move

You both had the same pajama's on today, navy blue with yellow and blue guitars!  I wanted to take your picture together, but that didn't happen.  

 

Mr. Quinn, we had booberry ice tea, your favorite, and crackers for a snack. And we had meat malls and mac and cheese for lunch.  There were crispies for dessert but we weren't that hungry enough to finish lunch.  Tomorrow we can have leftovers!

 

Robert. aka Meeeowwww 

Robert the cat is your favorite pet Quinn, and you follow him behind the couches and hide from me!  He's a good cat and puts up with squishy hugs.  

 

I can't wait to see you tomorrow boys!  And your Mommy too!

 

Love, Meemaw

 

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 0

Quinn in PA 365/2011 day 13

Quinn, January 2011

Mr. Quinn 365/2011 day 7

I couldn't resist putting 2 for January, how cute?

 

Quinn iphone 365/2011 day 25

Feb. 1st and the last photo for a while uploaded.

tropical beautiful flower bud

In February, we spent a few days in Puerto Rico.  The weather was perfect, the hotel was perfect, I had a broken back.  haha... but it got fixed as soon as we got home. 

here I am, 1 week spinal fusion 1 week post op

here i am one week post op in early march.  i thought i'd never lose that brace!

 

mr. quinn

Quinn

Mr. Quinn April 13th.  One month from one year old.

pussy willows

april in wisconsin.  first signs of life in the garden.

 

Nikki and Quinn

last day of April, Nikki Quinn and I went to a horse farm.

Curves

May 8th for the first tulip photos of the year.

 

 

Quinn's 1st Birthday

Quinn's first birthday

 

 

Forrest and I

In early June, we took a cruise with my parents up the east coast to take their boat to the Chesapeake Bay from Miami.  We ran into Forrest in Charleston SC.

 

sweet pink columbine

meanwhile, back home the colombines started blooming!

Quinn loves his horsey

Late June photo of Quinn on his horsey.

 

the view from our back porch at our home in New Mexico. We went there the end of June.

spoon flower

spoon flower in my garden

giant beach ball on the loose!

and a giant beach ball in my back yard!

I took the pledge

Ahh August.  We were in San Diego for Blogher11-birthday gift for my daughter who introduced me to the Blogher world.

 

blogher soap carving by Ivory Soap

Ivory soap carving  

Marriott Marquis North Tower View

Our view at the Mariott

 

Dadeee!

Quinn kissing his daddy

 

I got a new car in September.

Mr. Quinn

Mr. Quinn in september.

 

we saw the beatles love by cirque for our anniversary, and left las vegas cured of gambling...

Mr Quinn at Cozy Nook Farm

it was so cold the day we went to cozy nook farm and being pennsylvanians, we had no idea it would be so cold up at the farm.  lesson learned!  winter coats next year!

Gavin Thomas

Mr. Gavin made his entry into the world on October 7, 2011.  

 

 

lots of things were still blooming in October this year!

 

Quinn in early November

 

Sweet Quinn at 18 months

my little buddy at 18 months old

 

Gavin at one month

 

Quinn, Nikki and Gavin

Nikki Quinn and Gavin

the day we tried a christmas card shoot of the babies in early December

 

as close as I got to the 2 of them together for the shoot!

 

Quinn and I goofing around for the camera 

And finally gavin, just the other day.  Can he be almost three months old already? 

My year flew by.  Cheers to 2012!

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 4 (Last: HangakuGozen · 1/1/12 6:00 PM)

All Tied up in Knots 

 

I wield a stick with a hook at the end, and use fine soft beautiful yarn and tie knots with my hook, transforming the yarn into beautiful blankets.  Lately I’ve been doing more crocheting than I had in the past, because my hands hurt.  But having daughter ask for blankets for the babies spurred me into action and I’m now working on afghan number three.  This one is for Mr. Quinn for his big boy bed.   

 

I started it today when Michael went to the gym, and quickly went through a skein and a half.  The pattern is from Michaels, and it’s called Baby Clouds Heaven’s Stripes Blanket.  I was a little nervous about it because for some reason I am a dunce when it comes to following a pattern.  This one is fairly easy, I’m using a size N hook.   

 

So that’s been my day, busily working on the blanket and oh yeah, I made a killer pot of white chili with chicken for dinner, served up with whole foods flour tortillas.  Yum.  I followed Paula Dean’s recipe, and trimmed the fat by using olive oil to cook the onions and chicken and garlic before adding the broth and beans and green chili.  Oh it was good.  Here’s the recipe if you want to try it.  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/white-bean-chili-recipe/index.html


I thought of taking pictures, and then was busy opening cans (I love pantry meals) and stirring spices and just forgot.   

 

Ok, I’m off, to work on Quinn’s big boy blanket!  

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 2 (Last: Karen Lynn · 12/10/11 8:51 AM)

Friday Highlights:

1. Babysat from 8 am till 2

2. Hung out with daughter all afternoon and early evening

3. Went to Fork in the Road for dinner

Saturday Stuff:

1. Met the Nix (Nick and Nikki) and grandkids for breakfast

2. Went to Walmart for groceries for white chili

3. Started Quinn's toddler bed afghan

4. Ed came over for the Badger Game (go Badgers!)

5. Worked on afghan every spare minute

6. Prepared white chili with chicken (eww to handling raw chicken)

5. Work on afghan every chance I got until bedtime

Sunday 

1. Woke up, fed dogs, let 'em out, let them back in again

2. Crochet, crochet, crochet

3. Shower

4. Start regular chile for dinner

5. The Nix and kids came over for the Packer game (GO PACK 12 + 0!!)

6.  Put Quinn down for a nap with the almost done blanket

7. Watched Packer Game, GO PACK!

8. Hung out with daughter

9. Baby duties, snuggling, kissing, sniffing, touching

10. Finished Blanket, it just needed a border

11. Watched Dexter

12.  Watching Homeland and trying to bang out a daily post

Monday to dos:

1. go to office, pay bills, do payroll, close month

2. come home do laundry, sheets and towels

3. figure out what to make for dinner

4. take some time to read blogs 

5. start looking at flower photos from summer

black eyed susans

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 0

Little kids don't cooperate so much for photos do they?  Gavin picked today to start rolling over and he just about rolled off the stool.  Both Nikki and I each caught him mid-roll.  But today of all days?  Oh well, he is 2 months old today!  Happy Birthday Baby Gavin

 

Quinn was just enamored with the light board Nikki made from a blank canvas and a lot of little white lights.  I don't think he had seen it turned on before, and when he did see it he wanted to push all the lights out the backside of the board.  Haha!   

The idea of the photo-shoot was for Nikki to get Christmas card photographs.  Of both boys together.  She wanted to shoot Gavin first, and I was to keep Quinn occupied away from the shoot, and catch Gavin if he started rolling.  And get photographs.  All at the same time.  YIKES!  Impossible I tell you!  

So here are my pictures of Quinn and Gavin.  ok the top one is Quinn's legs and Gavin.

And you can clearly see in this photo above, that he was more interested in the lights!  

He's an imp, can you tell?  

When nikki pulled out the big lollipop, I got so excited for Quinn that I totally forgot to set up the shot with the lights in the background.  By this time, he was pretty rammy, but we I did get a few good shots.  She's over critical of her own photography, (and she doesn't need to be because she is Good).  I'm just happy when they are properly exposed and clear.

 

I wonder if we will try again tomorrow.   

 

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 5 (Last: Lori · 12/12/11 9:57 AM)

Thanksgiving antipasta

Our thanksgiving lunch is always antipasta that we make in the morning, along with turkey pastina soup that I made in advance with the practice turkey.  This year, we ate lunch during the halftime Packers/Lions game.  Dinner was served at 5:00, which just barely gave the turkey enough time to cook even though I started it at 9am.

 

This is my beautiful mom snuggling with Gavin.  Nikki gave her quite a bit of baby holding time to make up for the last 7 weeks  Mom wasn't feeling so good this trip.  Right before she left the house to fly here from Baltimore, she twisted her back.  I didn't let her do any of the work in the kitchen, she was on baby holding duty.

 

We had an impromptu photo shoot with the babies.  This is my Nikki doing her thing.

 

Grandpa and Quinn eating lunch.

 

 

This is Nick, my daughters hubby.  He is such a sweet man, and a great father and husband to my daughter.

 

This is Ed.  We found him a few years ago, and made him part of our family.

 

This is my dad, he had no choice, he married my mom with a ready-made family.  I love him very much

 

And here is one of the stars of our photoshoot.  Aww

 

And then of course there is this guy.  My little man.

 

 

 

Marcelo's masterpiece.  He is our official turkey cutter now that he's in the family.  He does great!

My handsome son Jeremy.  He.actually.allowed.me.to.take.photos.of.him.!!

 

Teaching my mom how to take a self portrait.  haha!  

Just push the button momma! 

 

hi jeremy!

Jeremy photobombing.  I've never heard this term before, you?

It was such a great Thanksgiving.  We were all here, everyone got along, the food was fantastic, the babies were perfect.  

Family is Everything

NaBloPoMo Day 25

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 5 (Last: Lori · 11/28/11 10:33 AM)

NaBloPoMo Day 19

 

I can’t believe I’ve made it this far, and I’ve only really had one day where I was at the point of “just write something, anything” right now at 10:00 pm.  

 

Today I’m going to make a Bucket List.

 

  1. Hit a hole in one.  I’ve had an eagle before, from 135 yards out, which is shorter than most of the par 3’s that I shoot from.  When I saw that ball disappear into the hole, I dismissed it.  There is no way that just happened.  My eyes are playing tricks on me.  They are wrong, Eagles don’t happen to hackers like me.  But when we got to the hole, there was my Maxfli Revolution, in the cup.  So while an Eagle is like a Hole In One, it really isn’t labeled as a Hole in One.  And that’s what I want.!!

 

  1. Go somewhere other than the zoo to take pictures of wild animals.  Maybe this one will happen.  I would love to go on a safari in Africa with my d300.  Someday.  Do you think there are casino’s in Africa?  haha, just kidding.  I am cured of slot machines after our anniversary trip to Vegas. 

 

  1. Speaking of Vegas, another thing on my bucket list is to win a progressive slot jackpot.  One of the jackpots that is 482,643.58.  Now I don’t really care where I hit this jackpot, as long as it happens.  Although it isn’t likely to happen now that I am cured of slot machines.  

 

  1. Visit Italy and Denmark.  My grandparents came from Italy to the United States through Ellis Island as children.  I want to find out exactly where we are from, and visit that city.  My paternal grandfather came to the US from Copenhagen when he was a young widowed man with his 5 year old son.  He met and married my paternal grandmother shortly after he settled in Lancaster, PA.  So visiting Denmark is definitely on the bucket list.  Amsterdam is another place I want to go before I die...

 

  1. Take a ride in a hot air ballon in Albuquerque.  This is something that I am scared shitless to do, but if the doc told me I had only 6 months to live, or some other nonsense where you get to do what you want to when you know you have limited time left, that’s when I would do this.  Not likely to happen though.  I kicked cancers ass.  Another photo op wish!  

 

  1. Attend my grandchildren’s weddings.  I sure hope I can live long enough to meet my great grandkids like my mom.  She started having kids younger than I was though.  But still, who knows what anti-aging things are going to come along in the next few years.

 

  1. This should actually be number one, because it is my number one desire in life right now.  I want to be discovered for my artistic photography.  And maybe earn just one enough to cover all the money I’ve sunk into my photography!  

 

Thats it!  do you have a bucket list?  I’m surely going to be updating this list regularly!  

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 0

by KarenLynnn, on Flickr">Quinn <img src=" height="425" src="http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6037/6350870293_37fd71316c_z.jpg" width="640" />

 

Today I was going to blog about the gift Ella's Kitchen sent, but daughter wanted to do a giveaway for them to thank them for the gift box, so she is doing that, and I can blog about Quinn and our 18 month photoshoot.  

 

He's at the age where he's always got a bump on his head or food on his face, but black and white fixes a world of mishaps.  He is also parroting just about everything we say, and he makes me laugh so much.  We can't get him to stay still for a second, so it's a bit difficult to get a clear shot of him!   

Quinn B&W

I gave it a try though. first with daughters new 85mm f1.4 nikkor lens, and then with the 60mm 2.8 micro (which is my current favorite lens).  Nikk's husband gave her the lens as a suprise "push present" for having the baby.  How sweet is that?  We both laughed about how geeky we are, we'd rather have camera lenses than jewelry for a suprise gift.  

 

Nikki brought the heater down, set up the room, fed Gavin, had me change him and then we started shooting.  I just sort of watched her photographing Gavin for a while, I wanted to be available if Quinn needed me and also because 2 adults with dslr's shooting one baby causes shadows.  So we took turns.  

sweet little belly button

I can't wait to see her photographs, she caught the cutest expressions from both Quinn and Gavin. Today was the first time in a long time that I picked up the "real" camera.  I don't know why. I've just been blah since the surgery.  And the iPhone takes very nice photos.  But my resolution for this new year is going to be to start carrying the D300 with me every day.  Just like I used to.  

Nikki doesn't have self confidence sometimes, and I'm not sure why.  She's an amazing photographer, and she is wonderful with children.  Nikki just got her PPA (not sure what that is exactly) and is very excited to officially start her photography business. I reminded her today that there is nothing that can stand in her way when she wants something! 

 

I just want to be discovered for my artwork with my photography.  Making money at it would be cool, but that's not really what I am looking for.  I just want to be the best artistic photographer I can be, and capture what I see for the world.  

So here is a little bit of what I saw today, celebrating Quinn's 18 month old birthday, and finally getting the chance to shoot little Gavin.  

I'm so blessed.  Love you @onemomtwoboys

 

ps:   this is yesterday's post, can i back date it?

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 2 (Last: Karen Lynn · 11/19/11 8:27 AM)

we can't get him to sit still for long when he holds the baby, but we each got three snapshots of them together today!  

that would be me who has them in matching outfits.  seriously, i did ask daughters permission first because i just didn't know how she'd feel about dressing them alike.  but she loved the outfits and here they are all ready to head on out to trader joes.   

Quinn and Gavin

I have to admit that i did think that maybe if Gavin wore the same clothes as Quinn, maybe Quinn would identify with Gavin.  Quinn loves his brother, and often lays down beside him and touchs him and says "ah ah baby".  it's the most precious heart-melting beautiful sound. but he does get mad when i leave him to tend the baby.  he gets over it pretty fast though.  i'm proud of him

 

toddler talk has me entranced lately.  Quinn hollers "HI" from the family room as soon as he hears me coming, but then he quiets down for a bit.  he points to what he wants and says "mmm" and that is pretty clear to grandma!  he pats the floor and says "play".  and i do whatever he says, or pantamimes for me. Grandma and Quinn 

on the way home from TJ's today, we decided to try and count his vocabulary.  Nikki started with Momma, Daddy and baby, and we stopped counting when he hit 40 words and kept on going.  the funniest thing he says is "boozshe", and he knows booze is yucky.  (we can't help it, we live in the drunkest city in the drunkest state of the USA).  Nikki and i laugh when he pipes in with something cute from the back seat, and he mimics our laugh now, with a hearty "hahaha" all of his own.  

 

my day started early, and the sun rising was beautiful!Sunrise in Big Bend  

and i thought i really need to get up in the morning and go out for some good sunrise photographs.  i'm always too sleepy, cold, or unmotivated, but the sunrises around here take my breath away.  we live up on a little hill overlooking the Fox River out back, and a farmers field and cemetary to our south.  in the mornings when i let the dogs out, i always wish i had my d300, but i rarely go back for it.  maybe someday i'll be a better morning person.

 

i got home about 2:00 and quickly cleaned up the kitchen and made the bed and straightened up around the house before hubs got home from the gym.   a little while later, the doorbell rang.  it was Fed Ex.

look what came!  a swag box from Ellas.com full of these little packets of goodness that Mr. Quinn loves to eat.  thank you so much ellas, for the surpise box today.  my little 18 month old buddie is going to be so happy when he sees this  

 

 
 
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The hubs doesn't work on Fridays, so last night, I asked him if he would come to Nik's house with me to help with the babies, to give Nikki a little break.  

 

As soon as I knew for sure that he was coming along, I sent Nikki a text and asked her if she wanted to go out for some "me" time, and she was happy.  The plan was for us arriving at 9-9:30, but we didn't get ourselves together that early and in order to get hubs to come along, I promised him breakfast at Rainbow, our favorite little restaurant.  We always get excellent and fast service there, unless Nikki is along.  

 

I think she was getting anxious for us and at almost 10am she sent me a text saying we probably won't get there for another hour because we picked the. slowest. restaurant. We were just finishing up breakfast when her message arrived and I let her know we were leaving in moments. 

 

On the days I go to Nikki's I can barely contain my excitement to hang out with her and the boys, but I don't have to hide it from anyone because usually I'm alone.  Since Gavin has been born though, Grandpa has been coming along on Fridays and he knows how excited I am.

 

It works out so great that he is there because he focuses on Quinn and does everything Quinn does, patting the tables here once and over there twice, marching and playing choo choos.  Whatever Quinn wants to do, he leads his "Poppa" around by his little finger.

 

Today hubs took Quinn to the park in his red wagon.  Lately my little buddy has been on a shoe and sock strike, preferring to run around barefoot.  But he only complained once and didn't give me a rough time putting on his shoes and socks.  He knew he was going for a wagon ride to the park!

 

While Michael was gone, I got quality snuggle time with Gavin.  The baby likes to be held when he sleeps, and I had that job today.  It was rough, but someone has to do it.  I was forced into this infant torture with Quinn too!  How dare she make me cuddle and kiss and sniff and love this precious little angel?    

of course I snapped his picture today.  It was 11/11/11!  Did you all remember to take a photo today?  It's not too late in the USA, there are still a few hours left in the day!  Mine are already uploaded on #onedayonearth  

 

My 11:11 photo is right here, I told him he'd be my subject and I got a big smile and "cheese".  

11/11/11 One Day on EarthI should have given you a cuteness warning.  Perhaps I still can in the title of this blog post.  This little light of mine

 

We  came home around 3, which gave me a chance to hurry and upload my 11:11 photo and get it up here on Blogher before I forgot.  Then I changed the sheets and looked lovingly at the freshly made bed and did my best to drag myself away from it without laying down and testing it out.  The laundry won out over a nap.  Both hubs and I are running out of underwear... time to do wash!  

 

I wasn't really sure what I was going to blog about today and Michael suggested Family night and our fantastic day with the boys.   We had dinner at Outback.  All of our kids together (except Jeremy but he's in Philly) once a week is just amazing time for me.  And them too, I know they like getting a dinner out as much as we do!  Dinne was good as usual and the company was awesome.  

 

I got baby holding responsibilty just before our dinners came out.  Gavin was hungry so I gave him a bottle as the meals were handed out.  The waitress asked if she could get us anything else or do we need anything and I said "yes, can you please cut my steak" she said sure she would.  I was only joking with her though, I knew Nikki would be eating fast knowing I'd hand Gavin back soon.  But then Grandpa cut my steak.  Awww, he melted my heart.  He is such a keeper.

So I ate with the baby on my shoulder.  Dang.  Torture.   

Grandma and Quinn

Grandpa snapped this picture of Quinn and I, so here I am on this this "one day on earth".  What an awesome day.  

 
 
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011 for November 2, 2011

 

1406 people registered for NaBloPoMo so far, holy cow!  I hope I can compete.  Nah, I just hope I can learn to write more fluidly and get inspired by my friends. 

 

Yesterday I spent a few hours with Mr. Q and Mr. G.  Dearest daughter needed to run a few errands in the morning and I was happy to provide her some Nikki time.  As she was leaving, Quinn started crying, and the baby was already crying, I was trying to calm him down so I could focus on Quinn.  Daughter must have felt awful when Mr. Q burst out in tears as she was leaving.  I know that is perfectly normal for a 17 month old. I just need advice for this 55 year old who’s heart breaks for Mr. Quinn.  

 

Once I got the baby calmed down, I put him in his swing and sat down on the floor and told Q that I was “all his” now.  And we played cars, built towers, ran choo choos around the track, built a blanket fort and then the baby started crying again.  I told him that “grandma has to get the baby” and Quinn cried “no no no” and wrapped his arms around my leg and burst into tears again.  Aye carumba.

 

Gavin and I sat down and I swaddled him and held him close for comfort (he’s 4 weeks old friday already!!) and I told Quinn to “come here and cuddle, I have plenty of room for both him and his brother.”  I asked him to bring a book and we would read while meemaw tries to settle Mr. G, and we snuggled and read.  

 

The swaddling did the trick, Gavin slept for about an hour, and Quinn and I did our usual stuff, which includes making movies, looking at pictures on my iphone.  He tells me who each person is.  The cutest thing is that he does the sign for “more”.  We were watching a fly trapped between the screen and window and he was telling me “up up up” as the fly climbed, and “down down” when it fell down.  An airplane flew overhead, low enough for us to be able to see it pretty good, and then Q did the sign for more.  haha, how do I make another airplane appear?  

 

Today was much better.  I only got tears once, and also he rubbed the baby’s head a few times and said “ah ah baby”.  He’s at such a fun age now.  He totally lets me know with yes’s and a nod, or no no no and a head shake.  I made him a fort from a crochet blanket that weighs a ton, hanging over the back of the rocker on one side and the rocker stool on the other.  He’s pleased when I get in the tent with him, feeding me goldfish crackers and then thinking of the next thing he wants to do.  Usually a good deal of choo choo time is included at each visit.  

 

Finding Karen time is a challenge, and the mythical house cleaning fairies seriously do not show up here when I’m gone.  Although it exhausted me, I did go to the golf course yesterday and played a few holes.  I took a bunch of pictures too.  The sun was low in the sky and casting magical golden light just as we were finished 9 holes.  Hubby went to the 19th hole for a drink, and I headed back to the course to look for beauty.  I found it. 

  

Edgewood 9 on the Oaks

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 1 (Last: Lori · 11/2/11 4:03 PM)

Grandson number one is 17 months old.  His baby brother was born Friday a week ago.  He's having some issues becoming the big brother, for the most part, he is wonderful, but I can see the confusion and the toll that adjusting is taking on him.

 

 He's lashing out by being cruel to the animals (they have 2 shih tzu and a kitty).  He pulls paws and tails and clumps of fur/skin grabbing and they don't understand any better than he does why he's bullying them. As an outsider looking in I can see that he's frustrated with becoming number 2, that he doesn't have mommy's full attention anymore. We tell him "nice hands"  "be nice" etc, but as soon as he gets a chance he does it again and they are starting to bite him.  

His momma doesn't know what to do, she is so frustrated.  When I am with him, he tries to pull the same crap, but I guess since Grandma never gets mad at him, he knows I mean it when I yell at him for pulling tails.  When Quinn is at my house, he shows jealousy over the dogs, my dogs are lap dogs and when we sit down together, the dogs like to sit with us.  He gets angry and I tell him, "grandma can hold you and the puppies" and he seems to understand and let it go.  He has never hurt one of my shih tzus.  Probably because they lick him and obviously love him.  I've seen the look he gets before grabbing and I stop it before it happens.  

 

But when we are together, he's got my undivided attention.  His momma can't give him that anymore, she's got a week old baby she's taking care of also.  She is at her wits end, she hates that the dogs have to be sequestered from Quinn, and she hurts for them when he yanks a tail and she gets mad at them when they bite.  She loves her creatures, but kids are number one.  It would break her heart to rehome her animals, but she feels they aren't having a good life right now.  I told her yesterday that once Quinn goes to bed, to give the pups some extra attention.  The dogs seem to have adjusted to being locked out of the playroom when Quinn is awake, but she feels like a bad dogmom for doing that.  The pups have the run of the house, just gated out of the playroom.  

 

I understand Quinn's need for reassurance that he is loved and that it's only been a week since the baby is home.  But I don't know how to guide her.  This has been going on for a few months, and she could really use some advice on how to teach him to be "nice" to the animals.  

Help?   

we wore him outsee his boo boo on his nose?  that was dog retaliation  or maybe the cat did it.  

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 4 (Last: Lori · 10/17/11 11:24 AM)

 

Yeah, it's my favorite month.  My birthday falls at the end of the month so it shouldn't be.  But it is, because it is beautiful outside.  I've been busy helping my sweet daughter during the last few weeks, she is at the end of her pregnancy and just in need of momma's help.  (Thank goodness, I love to help her)

Autumn 2011

A little while ago, I alluded to a blogpost coming up about home birth, but never followed through with it because frankly, I wasn't sure how I felt about it.  Scared for her of course, but her confidence rubbed off on me and yesterday when the midwife dismissed her because of her blood pressure, my heart broke for her knowing she was so counting on having a safe home birth.  She got this news yesterday, and by tomorrow at this time her membranes will be broken and hopefully induce a VBAC for her.  She so wanted to have this baby natural and now it's turned completely around.  I'm so glad her OB is giving her the chance to try to have a vaginal birth.  But if he doesn't come out on his own by Friday, he's being evicted via C-section.  She's handling everything like a champ.  I'm so proud to be her mom.    

 Quinn at the pumpkin farmWe took a trip to Cozy Nook pumpkin farm a few days ago, and I tried and tried to post about it without luck both here and on blogher and i'm not sure why so I'm not going to talk so much about that trip other than a great photo op and brrr cold.

 

 I'm going to be busy for the next few weeks, I'm going to try to update while on the run.  Luckily her husbands mom also lives close by so we will be sharing Quinn sitting while Nikki is in the hospital.  Not that either one of us needs to share, we both simple adore spending time with him.  Hey, i got up and out of the house by 9am this morning to see Nikki and Quinn and lend a grandmom hand to give her time to shower.  Remember how hard it is to shower with a 17 month old?    

 

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 2 (Last: Lori · 10/4/11 3:45 PM)

Michael and I are headed out tomorrow, bright and early.  We got married in Las Vegas 11 years ago, and we are going back to celebrate  

 

I invited myself to Nikki's house for breakfast this morning, and got to hang out with Quinn and her.  We talked about my fear of losing her during her home birth and she reassured me with links from other VBAC moms who delivered safely.  I think the only thing she doesn't understand but is starting to grasp is my love for her, and my fear that something could go wrong.  She is very confident in her midwife and more importantly, she is confident in herself that she can do this and everything will be ok so I am just as confident in her decision to have a home birth.  Please stay put Baby Two, until grandma and grandpa get back from Vegas.  

Grandma wants to be there when you come into the world

 

Mr. Quinn said "grandma" today!  It was "ma maw" and close enough to be music to my ears.  

 

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 4 (Last: Karen Lynn · 9/13/11 4:47 PM)

New family tradition We started a newe family tradition this week.  Dinner out with all the kids.  The plan is to have each person in the family pick which resturant we eat at on Thursday night.  This week was Nikki's pick and we ate at Red Robin.  Michael and I had never been there before.  We had excellent service and the food was ok.  I thought their appetizer portions were kind of skimpy.  It just wasn't my favorite place for a burger.  Not that I have one yet, except home.  My hubby hands down makes the best burger around.  So good that all I need is cheese and a bun and I'm good.

So yeah, I don't think I'll race back to Red Robin anytime soon.  The service was five star, we had seriously great waitress!  And the company was great  

 I just asked DH what he thought of Red Robin, he said he won't go back.  That's pretty much how I feel too.  

 

The point of the eveing is for us all toget together for an hour or two each week, and that's the important thing.  

Hopefully we'll discover some dining treasures!  

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 3 (Last: Lori · 8/28/11 6:51 AM)

Self portrait

 

Nikki sent me a text and asked if I wanted to have a Quinn day, and my reply was SURE! So I packed up the paychecks, ran to the office to get them there before lunch, stopped at Subway to get us lunch and headed home.

 

The visit didn't start out so good.  My over zealous shih tzu crew overwhelmed him.  He fell down on his butt, soaked his pants with the cup he was carrying and almost hit his head.  Somehow he held his head up while he was falling and no real harm done.  He had big alligator tears though, that broke my heart.  The dog that jumped on him is Choey, the dog who loves him the most out of our tzu crew.  She didn't mean to harm him, but they ALL got scolded nonetheless as they made my grandbaby fall.  

 

After momma wiped his tears and calmed him down, he was ok and let grandma put him in the high chair for lunch.  He didn't eat much but black olives and blueberries!  He really likes things that he can put his fingers into.  And blueberries.  Quinn pretty much left the ham and "cheeee" alone.  Once we were done with lunch, Nikki took off for Trader Joe's and I got some quality grandbaby time.

 

busy little boy 

We got right down to the business of exploring and play.  It's very hard to catch him still, or get him to look at you long enough to take a photo.  I usually shoot him with my iphone with the flash off, because he anticipates the flash and squints his eyes.  I guess that would be a cute photo to catch though!

you mean i can chew this?

He laughed every time he took a bite.  I told him it was ok to bite this, but he thought it was hilarious.  

 

he spent some time IN the toybox

Then we headed outside to check out grandma's gardens.  He was fascinated with the butterflies (if you want butterflies plant beebalm they LOVE it) until one swooped a little to close for comfort and startled him.  Precious love bug, I got to cuddle him for comfort!  I know, poor me.  

 

coloring

 

The big crayon thing he's holding in his right hand was a gift from Sprout.  All I had was a my little pony coloring book.  Grandma's going hunting for a choochoo coloring book!

 

It was a great day, and there was no Jack Daniels in tonights dinner.  

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 7 (Last: Karen Lynn · 8/18/11 6:03 PM)
 
 
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