Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mojave Road weekend, Jan 09

We did our fifth annual winter desert run this past weekend. The Mojave Road is an old wagon route predating 1850 that crosses the California desert. Not really a road, but more a trail, the route connects water holes where travelers could get necessary hydration in the desert. We try to do the route every year. Instead of posting all the pix here (and eating up blogspot memory) I have pix and story on a host site and posted the link here. Enjoy!!! http://www.manxgallery.org/gallery/Mojave-Road-%2C-January-09

A few other pix were posted by someone else. I don't tend to get in my own pix so thought I would post her site too. http://s16.photobucket.com/albums/b27/twolongsdc/Mojave%20Road%2009/?albumview=slideshow

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mexican Wrestling

John is gone so we invited Jo and the kids over Friday for dinner. I got to wrestle all three grandkids at once. I can still manage all three, but age and time are on their side. Especially if they team up against me.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Little buggers

I skyped Jamie late today to fill her in on some details, and Norah was within view of the screen. One of the benefits of a week with grandkids is they know for sure who we are. Norah, who seems limited conversing with a cell phone, saw me on screen and blurted out, "HI PAPA!" It was enough to melt my heart. Next Paulette heard the comment and came into the room. Norah then exclaimed," Hi Gammie!" Very soon Gracie was half visible behind Norah trying to spy out the situation. Mom and I sang a ditty to Grace and got her to smile. J wasn't quite as communicative tonight but I did get him to grin a few times over spaghetti jokes. This is "crown of old age" stuff a grandparent lives for. Who would have thought a 1.9 year old would be the catalyst in a high-tec encounter.

Engaging news

I suspect the ones who read our blog are mostly family, and the family grapevine has perhaps told everyone the latest news even before it reached us. Just in case you missed it, April is officially engaged. The lucky guy is Bela. I've only met him on Skype, and look forward to spending time with him in the future. I find myself wishing my folks were alive to share this moment. Check out April's Blog

P.S. We are back in Calif.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

They're Back

Hurray. We can go back to be grandparents again. We will probably leave for home early tomorrow AM, in an effort to be home Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest. We will have been gone almost three weeks. Where did the time go?

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Cousin Sandy and her husband Dave came over for dinner and Friday evening. We let the kids stay up past their normal bedtime (grandparent prerogative). Norah got sleepy about normal time and went down easily, but Grace did her best to defy her body and keep her peepers open until 9PM. Me,"Are you sleepy Grace?" Grace, heavy eyelids popping open, "No!" A few minutes later she fell asleep almost on her feet. The kids were perfect for company. It was the type of encounter where company left thinking our grandkids are all fabulous polite little angels. Don't tell but there was a bribe involved. Paulette told the kids that if they were good they could have ice cream for breakfast. Talk about incentive. Click on the picture to enlarge it and you will see that is not cereal in their bowls. (We did give them a regular breakfast later.)

We figured they would all sleep in come morning. Jay hates to get up for school at 6:30 each morning. For a kid who likes school you would think he was going to the dentist to have a root canal when we tried to roust him from morning slumber. You can guess what time he was up on a non-school day. At 6:30 our door squeaked, and he and Gracie tromped into our dark room with light sabers blazing asking the Force for breakfast ice cream. Note in the picture it is still almost dark outside. In retrospect we should have offered him ice cream for breakfast on school days.

Norah cut a few teeth in the last couple days. She is feeling a lot better.

Only one more day to go. We have short-timer syndrome and I am particularly antsy to get home.

After ice cream, Norah leaning back in her lounge chair.

All in all a good week.

Gulf weather is strange for a desert dweller. The pleasant breeze was from the Gulf of Mexico last night. When we went to bed it was 74 degrees. When we got up it was still 74. Three hours later a stiff wind blusters from the north, the temp has dropped perhaps twenty degrees, wind chill probably adds a feel like an additional ten degree drop, and the sky is intermittently spitting a wintery rain.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday AM

No news is good news.
Oh, Norah is doing a lot better.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Norah's Nocturn

Norah isn't feeling up to par since last afternoon. She awakened us during the night with her crying, and seems somewhat better but not yet herself this morning. Nothing to worry about. We consider whatever is affecting her normal kid stuff. None of the other kids are affected. Paulette suspects she is teething.
Grace announced this morning that she doesn't like me. A few minutes later she climbed up on my back wanting a piggy back ride. I guess she changed her mind about me. She just informed us with glee that during her morning bath she went pee in the bathtub. Thanks for sharing that Grace. Earlier this morning when I approached her she said, "Shoo." I laughed. Most 3 year olds would would say "Go Away."
Jayden: Jay has a tough life. Between getting up, ready, catching the bus @ 7:15AM, school, bus ride home arriving at 3:30PM, and homework, TEN hours of J's day is eaten up!!! Factor in dinner and a shower and it's almost time for him to go to bed again. I seem to recall I had way more free time as a kid. Who can blame him for not wanting to go to bed at night. Paulette tries to have a special treat for him when he comes home from school.
Paulette just informed me of an OJT lesson: Don't dress the kids til after they have eaten breakfast. Norah is a chunk for her to lift. Norah just walked by her and Paulette said, Bye Sweetie. Norah repeated the phrase but it sounded more like Bye Seaweed.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Day 3.2

Everyone has fallen into routine and the kids are doing fantastic. In fact, I don't think they remember their parents at all! (just kidding). Norah smiles her little twinkle-eyed smile so easily, and does a little jig-skip with one foot in front of the other. She repeats almost every phrase she hears and mimes action done by others, and of recent is speaking three word sentences with relish. Jay does his homework without complaint and expresses his love for his sisters. Grace has the portable DVD player mastered and loves to tease and play hide-n-seek. She has quite a vocabulary for her age. Yesterday she showed up wearing her cowboy hat like it was part of her head. She is learning to do the Hokey Pokey (just part of the corruption going on while the parents are gone). Grace just walked by and I said I need my hug this morning. She replied, "Uh Un" and stayed out of reach. What she really wanted was for me to chase her to steal a hug, but I have the computer on my lap. The two girls are most adorable about 8:30 AM with their hair just done and fresh to take on the day. Morning routine is to follow Gamma into the powder room and beg for a little makeup themselves.

35 degrees here this morning with frost but not a cloud in the sky.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

24 (hours that is).

I recently heard a joke. What's the difference between a three year old and a terrorist? Ans: You can negotiate with a terrorist.

Other than an occasional strong declaration of will by Grace yesterday which made me think of the joke above, life was mostly normal.... at least until it came time to pick up toys. Everyone went to bed on schedule and Grace only asked for mommy a few times. In close succession Nora followed Grace's lead by asking for Gammie (much to Paulette's delight). Bedtime was nothing like the emotional upheaval of the previous night. Jay wanted to know how many days until Sunday? He already had it figured out and just wanted some confirmation. He's a great help and very compassionate towards his sisters. We all got a good night's rest. Today looks rainy and cold.

I was a bit tired yesterday so put my feet up and soon was looking at the back of my eyelids. To Grace that meant open season on a vulnerable Papa. She would try to sneak up (I'd feel her coming) and jump on me with great delight. Then retreat until she thought she had the element of surprise again. Great fun.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Houston.... Do we have a problem???

We have liftoff. Translation: Adam and Jamie are "cruising" and the kids are in our care. Grace figured she could buffalo us at first (typical kid) and wasn't happy with her Mommy for leaving. Jamie called early last evening and all the kids talked to her and there were no tears. I thought... GREAT. A & J gave us a few lists of schedule and stuff to watch for and everything "seemed" under control. Then came bedtime. Bedtime was rough. One would get settled, then the other would cry, then the first would cry. Even Jay was misty eyed in the chain reaction and was unable to sleep. We got through night one coddling little ones until they collapsed, and a little short on sleep ourselves. I'd have been surprised if they didn't miss their folks. This morning they are smiling and fine. We are optimistic each night will be easier for them.

S.S. Minnow...
A & J's bon voyage had a little problem once they got to the port embarcation site. I tried to call them a few minutes ago and ask if it was ok to post the story, but they are either out of range or their phones are turned off. I'll wait and see if they post anything about it since they will have email ability from the ship and I don't want to step on their story.