Tag Archives: exhaustion

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I am blessed to be the grandma of four young grandchildren:

Jack who is seven,  is kind, helpful, tender, has a memory like a sticky trap (those of you who have vermin will know what this is) and is the most energetic child I know!

Lola is five and is very independent, speaks her mind, artistic, imaginative, stubborn, smart as a whip (those of you who have been “whipped” know how it smarts!) and witty.  (She once spoke to her grandpa with an “attitude” and her mother said she was not to speak like that and to only speak nicely to her Grandpa and to apologize.  After three minutes of total silence from her, she looks up and smiles and says to her gramps, “I am so lucky to have such a handsome grandpa”!  No apology, but she did speak nicely to him.  I swear I don’t know where she gets that from! LOL)

Avril is three and is model material.  She is so beautiful, long blondish hair, with gentle curls at the end, blueish-green eyes, two big dimples and smiles all the time.  She is coy, and will do anything her older siblings do, has a tremendous sense of balance (did not get that from my side of family!), has a giggle that makes you laugh whenever you hear it, physically tough, and can give you the “stink eye” if she wants something and you say, “No”.  (That does come from my side of the family!)

Lastly, (though I hope not!) is Zane who just turned one this spring.  He is all smiles, loud, loves to throw things, bites, (We call him Sunny Baudelaire from the Lemony Snickets movie) may grow up to be a drummer and like all my grands, prefers Grumpa over Babushka!

Yesterday the Wild Ones (as I lovingly call them) came to celebrate Father’s Day.  I made a big pot of cheesy broccoli soup (I even roasted the broccoli first) and a banana cream pie and a butterscotch cream pie and did up all the dishes and vacuumed up the rug in the great room (where I try to keep Zane corralled since Heaven only knows what is on my bare floors) and so by the time they came, old grandma was pretty worn out.

Since getting my “old age” money, I have been buying the kids stuff every month to keep here and this month it was a pop-up house with a screen porch and it comes with a pop-up refrigerator and stove and little storage box.  The sucker is ten feet long.  And four or more feet wide.  I got it so they could play in it out on our back deck.  I had actually forgotten about it but Lola spied it behind the couch and pulled it out in the box and then began to take it out and try to set it up in my great room.  The weather was nice outside so after it was up, Grandpa decided to take it out to the porch and set it up.  Sounds great, yes?  We brought out rugs, blankets pillows, chairs, dishes, etc. to get them all set up…..

And then the weather changes and the wind starts to blow and it starts to rain, so everyone is running in and out of the house bringing all the stuff back in including the house.  I was attempting to move the stuff they were pitching in so we could get that house in and I stepped on a wooden block and it threw me off balance and I started careening toward my curio cabinet with the large glass doors

IMG_1852 making weird noises along the way while my daughter looked on in what I can only describe as “humorous horror”.  I always find it so amazing that I have the time to imagine what the pain is going to feel like when I finally hit the ground when I fall or in this case, what the damage will be to my body as I crash through the glass doors.  Well, my guardian angel must have been on it’s toes because I was able to veer to the right and only just miss the cabinet.  My daughter was laughing her fool head off and  I am waving my arms like a robot (“Danger, Will Robinson, Danger”) and making sounds like I am in labor, trying to rid myself of the adrenaline rush from my near-death experience.

So we get the house in and back up right and the kids decide it would be so fun to “wear” the stove and refrigerator and to rip the Velcroed door off and then scream in mock terror at the person hiding in the appliances.  Now, I am extremely laid-back in my parenting/grandparenting thinking about my possessions.  I have only one or two things that have great sentimental value and those are out of harms way, the rest I could not care less about.  So normally, the grands can pretty much do what they want and Babushka ain’t gonna care.  But for some reason, I got semi-upset over the misuse of the pop-up appliances and the rough treatment they were getting so I was trying to gently tell the kids to please not wreck the stuff (cause I would hate to hurt their feelings) but my message wasn’t being clearly heard.  And grandpa is just as bad at listening!

IMG_1848 So the kids decide to change into their super hero costumes (my great room has a section that is full of kids stuff) and attack Grandpa.  Now, mind you, this is in the room that is 24×20 and has a large table and chairs, a huge hutch, a large curio cabinet with glass doors, a piano, a couch, two big chairs, an ottoman, a library table filled with plants, two tables with lamps on them and all the kids toys PLUS now a 10×4 tent house smack dab in the middle.  Doesn’t leave a whole lotta room for wrestling.

IMG_1853(Photo was taken on a different day….notice there is no GIANT tent in the middle of the room)

So in the course of the super heroes trying to take down the bad guy, someone knocks over my large outdoor/indoor umbrella and it just misses my head by an inch.

IMG_1855And my daughter says, “Maybe we should leave before you guys kill Gramma.”IMG_1845I always figured either my stupid dog would kill me (now it is even worse, since I have to have throw rugs down so he can walk better but he still walks like his back legs are on ice and has to follow me everywhere so he is more dangerous than before and he tried to bite me last week but he is a post for another day) or housework (as I did have the canister vacuum fall on my head as I was vacuuming the stairs awhile ago) but now me thinks maybe a grand will take me out!IMG_1851And today my house looks like it has been “GRANDALIZED” (the new term I just made up for how your house looks after your grandkids have been there!)IMG_1844The dishes are piled up on the sink, the furniture is still moved, the house-tent is still up in the middle of the room, and all grandma wants to do is lay on the couch in the lower living room and watch a movie.  I hate to admit it but it takes me days to recover…..and to put the house back to it’s normal level of disarray, dirt and clutter!IMG_1847But in a couple of days, I will be texting my daughter to see if they need a date night and that old Grandma is up for a stay-over-night that will include Zane for the first time and I will gladly suffer the mess and the stress (I find as I get older and more recluse, I don’t tolerate noise and commotion the way I used to and too much talking or listening wears me out emotionally) and miss them when they are gone.

Yes, I am one blessed grandma and I count every visit as a gift (plus it gives me stuff to write about afterward!).

IMG_1846May you all be so blessed,

Your Babushka Queen

Grandparenting is not for the weak!

TIME TO TURN IN MY APRON….

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imageI may have come to the end of my entertaining days.  I just cannot keep my house up enough to not feel bad about the dog-hair-tumbleweeds that seem to accumulate in hidden spots until they hear I am having company and then they scurry out like little mice to take up residence under my furniture and along my walls.  I have no carpet anywhere so they can roam freely and sometimes they hook up with spiders and leave dog-hair-tumbleweed-webs (which from an artist’s stand point they are pretty cool!).

Because I am a chronic procrastinator, I leave everything to the last minute and then I exhaust myself trying to get it all done in a matter of hours while having to take multiple naps.

Today I have taken five naps, cleaned the bathroom (in the most broad terms), made a huge chicken salad, washed three loads of dishes by hand and dried two of them, made myself somewhat presentable (no make-up, no fancy clothing, no jewelry), and now I am waiting for my three or four friends to arrive (one friend is bringing a friend who has never been here before so I will hope she doesn’t have on black pants and socks or she is in for a rude awakening as Madd Maxx’s hair is white with little barbs on the tips so it cannot be removed (Have I mentioned I hate that dog?).

I am one hormone away from crying….I love having people over.  But each time I do, it gets harder and harder on me physically and emotionally (because, damn it, everybody else can keep their house up, why in the hell can’t I?).

I don’t know if I would cut myself some slack no matter what illness I had.  If I was chronically ill with cancer would I hate myself this bad for not keeping my house company clean?  Probably.   This kind of life is getting old.  I am getting old.

I go in Monday for a test to see if perhaps I have endometrial cancer cells.  Half of me hopes so….to just get it over with.  To be done.  To have run my race and to look forward to the finish line.  To finally be at peace with myself.

And if it turns out that it isn’t, then I will start badgering my husband to move to a tiny house with a big garage!  I do not need much space to entertain and that is what makes me happiest…to have friends, family and an ocassional stranger over for conversation and laughter.  If we have to be squished, so be it. At least I could still entertain and not have much to clean except the tiny bathroom!

So we will see what the future brings….I am ready for anything but this life I have now.

With much love and dog-hair-tumbleweed-cobwebs,

The Queen

LITTLE BIT UGLY (PART 2)

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LOLA FINDS PIN

LOLA FINDS PIN

LOLA THINKS OF FUN THINGS TO DO WITH PIN

LOLA THINKS OF FUN THINGS TO DO WITH PIN

BABY SINGS THE BLUES

BABY SINGS THE BLUES

HAPPY JACK

HAPPY JACK

Now where did I leave off???

Oh yes, THE RECEPTION

Get to the reception and of course there is the perfunctory wait for the bridal party to get to the joint and so the grands do what all children do….they play with whatever is available.  In this case, it was the table decorations…those little glass stones that are the size and shape of Junior Mints.

The 2yr old has a fixation with putting things in her mouth and even tho I told her that the stones DO NOT go into our mouth, she had to assert her independence.  She took a stone and slowly rubbed it against her cheeks and then down to her chin and back up to her cheek, all the while looking at me with a bemused expression.  I was not born yesterday and have played this “game” with her before and it always ends the same.  POP….into her mouth goes the stone.

I had warned her that if she put a stone into her mouth, the mean Grandma was going to take all the stones away, which I did.  Not a happy child.

Spies fake silverware and decides that the serrated knife might be nice to stick down her throat and promptly grabs her knife and mine and like a circus side show performer, attempts to swallow the knife.  Bad Grandma whisks both knives away and then she brings out her favorite tactic…..THE FACE.

THE FACE is where the mouth turns down and the bottom lip comes out and the eyes are downcast…..THE FACE works on Grumpa but not on the meanest Grandma in the world.  Plus, she had an audience of older folks who melt like butter for THE FACE.

Knowing that explosive tears and great wounded sobs will follow next, I quickly offer her my spoon to gag herself on.  In an instant, THE FACE turns into SUNSHINE SMILE and the other folks at the table burst into amazed laughter.  I am immune as I once worked with hundreds of preschoolers during my 10 years with the county in their daycare centers.  Okay, that’s a lie…..after all I am a Grandma!

Maybe some punch will help pass the time….what was I thinking?  I got each child a glass of the  pink punch being careful to only fill each cup a third full.  How much of a mess can a tiny bit of punch make?

I had forgotten the Law of Toddlers….whereby the amount of mess made by a toddler is determined not by the materials given but by the degree of embarrassment said mess will cause parent.   I turned to look at Baba and when my head swung back, there was a pink pool all over the end of the table, dripping down onto the creamy white and pink tulle dress and onto the floor (which was right next to the serving tables….of course..it’s part of the Law of Toddlers).  My already frazzled nerves shorted out and I made a mad dash to the kitchen to see if I could procure a towel to sop up the pink flood.

Now I must add that during this whole time, Baba had wanted me to go and take a photo of the wedding cake on her cell phone.  She was insistent that she get a photo of the cake before it was cut (the wedding party had not even gotten there yet, so I think I had time…..) so as I am sopping up the spilled punch, she is shoving her cell phone at me telling me which buttons to push…Oh she pushed some buttons, all right!  I can think of only one other time in my life that I snapped at her but every nerve in my body was twitching and sparking and her pushing that phone at me made me SNAP.

After I had gotten the mess all cleaned up, I apologized.  I do not know how she got photos of the cake, but she did!  Talk about strong-willed…I see where my granddaughter gets it from!

Finally the wedding party arrives!  Glory be!  Let’s eat…..

But no….we are to play a trivia game….the emcee will ask each table to guess the answer to a question about the bride and groom….table after table goes by….I am now beyond all help.  I snap a selfie…it frightens me…I send it to FB.

Emcee comes by our table and calls out a question.  I yell out the answer (the questions had been asked at one of the bride’s showers so I knew the answer).  Emcee debates if I have given  a detailed enough answer.  Takes one look at my face and says, “OK folks, you can go and eat”.  Smart, smart man.

Looking over the food, I see nothing that 2yr old will eat.  Pile plate with food for me and 4yr old.  Whip out PB&J sandwich and chips for 2yr old.  Try to put some lasagna on 4yr old’s plate….they did not let the lasagna “set” so it is one long cheese blob that refuses to be cut.  PB&J for 4 yr. old.

Baby decides it’s time to  sing the blues and Grumpa takes baby outside.

Grandma’s face has started to twitch…Grandma forgot to take meds before leaving house.  Blood pressure must be sky high….can hear blood pumping in ears….

Stroke, Grandma, Stroke

Helpers start to clear food from serving tables.  Grumpa has not eaten so Grandma limps out to find him and sad baby.

Grandma sits outside with baby who is only happy if Grandma is standing.  Now Grandma is singing the blues.

Hear the wedding speeches starting….when did weddings start having whole bridal party tell stories of bride and groom?  What happened to a toast from the best man and that was it?  Grandma longs for the “good old days”.

Grandma can hold baby no longer so she hobbles back in holding baby which now needs a diaper change.

Grandma takes baby and a diaper and wet wipes and tries to find somewhere to change stinky baby.  Spies an empty room. Where to change baby?   Debates if it is wrong to put stinky baby on table since she neglected to bring something to lie stinky baby on.  The welfare of others wins out and Grandma sees a couple of stacked chairs and plops baby on seat of chair.  Baby barely fits and bumps head each time Grandma wipes stinky bottom goo.  Baby good to go.  Grandma sets baby on carpeted floor and runs out of room to men’s room next door to pitch stinky diaper.  Baby is happy on floor so Grandma sits down and takes off boots…ahhhhh.

Happy Grandma.

What is that face baby is making?  OH NO!  Baby is making stinky goo again.  No, baby, no….not again.

Grandma wishes the Rapture would happen so she would not have to put back on her boots, struggle to get off floor, (Hear Grandma grunt), lift baby, stumble back to table, grab another diaper,  carry baby back to room and repeat the above process.  It is just too much for Grandma to handle.

Hear stranger with young child waiting for bathroom.  Lean way over and call out to stranger, “Hey, can you help me?”   Woman gingerly comes to doorway, sees poor Grandma sitting on floor with boots off and is willing to go find Grumpa to come and bring diaper and rescue Grandma.  Inexplicably she leaves young daughter with Grandma….must figure Grandma would never get boots on before she got back and so child will not be abducted.  Returns with diaper bag but no Grumpa.

See Grandma cry.

Change, once again, stinky diaper.  Grandma contemplates just laying on floor until someone finds her but baby is not happy anymore.

By now Grandma has decided that she is calling it a day, and if daughter wants children to stay for dance, she will have to just keep them there herself.  Grandma is not even sure she has the strength to drive home.  May just die in car.

Back at the table, while waiting for Grumpa to return from where ever he went, the 2 yr. old has discovered a very long, very sharp, corsage pin in the bottom of her bouquet. Her face lights up like a lamp was shone on it!

Grandma reacts quickly and a trip to the ER is avoided. But one of Grandma’s mammary appendages has been injured in the process.

Ouch, Grandma, Ouch

Grumpa returns and Grandma tells him that she has had it and is leaving with or without him.  Grumpa says he will take 4yr old and find daughter to find out what she wants to do.  Good idea, Grumpa!

5 minutes go by

Baby fussy

10 minutes go by

Baby really fussy

15 minutes go by

Grandma is in a state of shock as she sees Grumpa playing his accordion and the Emcee announces it’s time for some live music.

Last time anyone will see Grumpa alive…

Grandma decides to leave with children.  Grumpa can hitch a ride home with daughter.

Grumpa makes it to vehicle just as it is being loaded up.

Run, Grumpa, Run

And this is where we are going to end for now!  Grandma is wiped out from working all night and must take a nap!

Please join me later this weekend for Part 3 of JUST A LITTLE BIT UGLY

But I will leave you with photos from the wedding and reception……

 

 

JUST A LITTLE BIT UGLY

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Well we are into day two of this holiday weekend and by some cruel twist of fate, I have aged 20 years and with two days still to go, by Monday night at 11:59pm I should be ancient.

What has caused this rapid aging?  Oh, I am so glad you asked…

Our bestest friends had a daughter get married yesterday and our daughter was in the wedding….sounds good, right?  No stress. Nothing to age about….except…..

Our daughter has three wonderful, darling, smart, gorgeous, above exceptional children (like all grandbabies, right?) and a husband who just started a new position so his time off that he had requested was null and void….this is where it gets interesting…

On Friday, our daughter wanted to go and do “bridesmaid” stuff and my husband and I were beyond thrilled to watch all three little ones.  Did I mention how little?  A very inquisitive 4 year old, a “independent” 2 year old, and a very chubby 8 month old who is just starting to be weaned.  Momma drops off the babes even before this granny got home from work….oh, ya…did I forget to add that I had worked all night?

We had a wonderful day…grandpa put the two older ones in the garden cart and like a man working for tips, ran them all over the property.  Took them to visit the cows and play in the water trough and then they played games outside.  Grandma was in charge of the Michelin man baby.  Who knew that a baby gets heavier and heavier as the day goes by and that fat, old grandma’s arms get weaker and weaker?  A small reprieve by laying with said baby when baby naps surrounded by pillows and giant teddy bears so just in case Grandma nods off, baby won’t roll off bed and bounce around room.  I don’t know about any other grandparents but when our grands are here we are slaves to their various whims, make twenty-seven different things to try to get them to eat something, become human toys and carnival rides but by the time momma came to pick them up, Grandma was drooling and running into things and Grumpa was nursing an aching back.  But our hearts were happy and full.

Saturday:  Daughter has to be at wedding home at 10am and so three, energetic cherubs bound in at 8:30 am.  Now Grandma had to be up by 6am to get ready for the wedding day as she knew that once the troops came there would be no time.   So grandma is all coiffed and make up is spackled on when babes arrive.  At breakfast table grandma mentions to Grumpa that the 4 yr. old and the 2 yr. old keep looking at her as they don’t often see grandma in “full glamour” mode.  So dear Grumpa says to 4yr. old, “Doesn’t Grandma look pretty?” and sweet child says to me, “Grandma, you are very pretty”.  But instead of just saying Thank You, I have to push the envelope and ask, “Are you saying that just to be nice or do you really think Grandma is pretty?”   Sweetness pours out of that rosebud mouth, “I’m just saying that to be nice”.   So I add salt to my wound by asking, “Do you think Grandma is ugly???”    That little pie hole opens up and “Yes, Grandma, I think you are a little bit ugly” comes tumbling out of it.

NEVER as a child for the truth if you don’t have the cojonies to hear it!

I see I failed to mention that we were in charge of the three babes for the whole day which meant we had to make sure they were all fed and cleaned up and brought to the wedding place early because the older two were in the wedding.  I have now learned that trying to contain and control three young children is like trying to contain water in a colander.  I swear each one had at least three Doppelgangers….

Having been a mother and knowing that children cannot go for long periods of time without eating, I packed up a thermal bag with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit snacks, chips, baby food, baby puffs (like good-for-you Cherrios), Goldfish crackers, anything I could think of that a little one might eat, sippy cups full of water and a couple of toys for them to play with on the hour and a half drive to wedding.

I must interject here that our daughter as a child was very soft-spoken and eventho she liked to talk, it was easy to listen with just “half an ear”.  Her children have not inherited her vocal cords.  We were regaled with stories and songs and questions (which the 4yr old demanded that Grumpa look at him when he was talking, quite a feat since Grumpa was driving and Grandma has always yelled at Grumpa to watch the road instead of rubbernecking while he was driving!)  And the 2 yr old was attempting to put her fingers up into her brain via her nasal cavities most of the trip and politely declined offers of a hankie.

Oh ya, let’s just add that Grandma should have tried on her wedding outfit BEFORE it was time to go.  Somehow said outfit shrunk in the closet and Grandma panicked and wore a polyester top and it was 100 degrees outside and Grandma was sweating like Jabba the Hut in a sauna.  And the wedding was outside…..in the sun……

I swear to you I am exhausted right now just writing about the day and I am not even half done!  So I am going to condense this story into verbs and adjectives and short phrases…I’m sure it will suffice…

Babes to get dressed in wedding attire but first need snack

Goldfish trampled into wedding house carpets

Sandwich crusts on wedding house couch

Sticky fingers on wedding house coffee table

Baby needs diaper change….pee ewww baby

Stinky diaper in wedding house garbage

2yr old needs financial incentive to get dressed up

Baba shows up with insignificant other (my mom and her long-suffering life companion)

Hand 19# baby over to Baba to hold

Go to seat in blazing sun

Wedding starts, aisle seat, great photo spot, daughter is first down

Start phone video

Video stops….no more storage space.

Panic

Grab Grumpa’s phone, don’t know how to get video going, throw it at Grumpa

Help, Grumpa, HELP

Grumpa has no cheaters handy, can’t see

100 degrees….blazing sun….polyester top (black of course) rivers of living water pouring from Grandma

Daughter coming down isle

NO PICTURE

Major panic mode as it is getting closer to the time the grands start down!

Get Grumpa’s phone to picture mode.

Sweat pouring into Grandma’s eyes, can’t see to take photos, snap, Grandma, snap

Granddaughter walks down aisle looking like a little funky princess in creamy white and pink tulle dress and cowboy boots….

Blindly snapping photos as now eye make-up has run into eyes and burning out irises.

Here comes grandson, with his cowboy hat and white shirt and gray vest and jeans pulling a red wagon with baby in it with sign on the back saying , HERE SHE COME

Hitting buttons on phone hoping to hit right one for photos, can no longer open eyes

Bride and her proud papa come down aisle, see black and white blurs, think it must be bride and dad

Wedding starts

Time to run up and get grands to sit with us

Hobble over (did I mention I had on my cowboy boots which were killing my feet and wool socks on?) and grab grands

Someone has given them suckers, look around to see who to punch, as their photos with the wedding party are AFTER the wedding and both kids are already drooling Tootsie Pop on clothes.

100 degrees, black polyester top, Grandma is slowly dying of heat stroke, can feel feet swelling inside cowboy boots, wool socks on.

Baby not happy.  Cry, baby, cry

Baba gives bracelet to baby to chew on..baby wants phone…Baba gives baby phone, chew, baby, chew

Grandma freaks, germs, baby, germs!

Grandma has to take 2yr old in house to get sucker out of hair and to wash sticky hands and face and to try to get out orange stains on creamy white and pink tulle dress from ^%$& sucker.

Grumpa comes in….4yr old needs potty…needs newspaper….

Wedding over…..Grandma and Grumpa miss most of it…hope to see video

Two hour wait until reception

100 degrees, wool socks, hot, sticky, crabby, hungry and the kids aren’t too comfortable either!

Find chairs in shade, drink countless glasses of ice-cold water, try to keep grands happy and clean and hydrated….

Cry, baby, cry

Pick off woodticks

Finally time for photos….find Grumpa and 4yr. old….

2yr old needs more financial backing to put headband back one (how can a 2yr old have such a concept of money? )

Grumpa escapes somewhere.

Cry, baby, cry

7 time dad takes baby, magically baby falls asleep on his shoulder

Love, Chris, Love

Time to get over to reception.

Grumpa takes all babes in daughter’s SUV

Grandma gathers all diaper bags, clothing, food

Spies baby car seat

Oh-oh

Give car seat to teenager to run it to Grumpa before Grumpa has to walk back with all three babes

Whew

Oh-Oh

Grandma has locked the SUV and still has keys

Grandma is going to be in BIG trouble

Run, Grandma, Run

I have to stop here and get ready to go to a birthday party and then go on to work so I will leave you with the photo I took of myself while we were waiting to eat at reception.

It pretty much sums up the day so far.

I will continue this story later and there is plenty more to tell!image