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Family

Family

Yes I have one. I have old folks and babies and everyone in between. They can be challenging and wonderful – all in the same moment. Together they have made me who I am. They have influenced and bewildered and exasperated and blessed me. They are probably just like your family; they just have different names and faces. I have found, just like body types, there are a limited number of “types” of people. You will likely recognize some of your family members in mine… but hands off, they are mine – for better or worse!

Oh, and then there are our four legged kids, George and Gracie. There will likely be a lot written about them including a running list of what they (primarily George) have destroyed, mutilated and half eaten. George is the chewer and Gracie is the digger and they are almost 1 year old – each! Let the adventure begin…Power to the Puppies!


Living with Grace

  • Living with Grace and Little Girls and Bunnies and Desserts! Yippee!

    A belated Happy Easter to all of my readers.  The true meaning of Easter and the bunny part of Easter are both a blessing and fun.  A time of renewal and celebration. 

    I gave up desserts for Lent, so on Sunday I over did it a bit.  I only took small bites, but as it turned out, of about 40 different desserts - give or take a few - now I am suffering.  My body is saying, "What were you thinkin' lady?!?"

     

    This was my Sunday Brunch partner,(the one on the left) along with her parents and baby brother in her mommy's tummy.  What a blessing.  Dr. Long's sermon was a celebration and the choir sang The Halleluiah Chorus as its final selection!  It doesn't get much better than that!  Yippee!

    Thank you to those who followed the That's life. Lent series from St. Luke's United Methodist Church.  I hope they helped add meaning to your holiday season.  

    Living with Grace...and i'm grace

  • Letter from Cece

    Dear Miss E and The C,

    I am back in Oklahoma!  I survived another weekend with you two!  What fun!  I love spending time with both of you especially when your mommy and daddy are away and I’m in charge!  It is so much easier to spoil you when they aren’t around! 

    Now that you both are older – 5 and 6 years old – I love the conversations that we have.  You are big kids now and understand so much more than you did when you were younger – like last year.  I enjoyed the conversation we had Saturday about all of our family members.  You seemed quite surprised when I told you that your mommy had been in my tummy just like you were in your mommy’s tummy.  And then you asked whose tummy I was in and I told you Nana.  You just laughed and said that I was too big to be in anybody’s tummy! 

    You then asked me whose tummy Nana had been in and that part made me sad.  Nana did not have a mommy like I had and like your mommy had and like you had.  Nana was born a long time ago and her life was hard.  She had a lot of things in her life that made her sad, but she didn’t let that bother her too much and as she grew up, she became a very loving and wonderful mother to me.  She is sick now, as we talked about, and she can’t remember how much fun we had when I was growing up, so I have to remember for her.  And I want to tell you about her so that you can know how much she loves you and your mommy and me and how good she was to us. 

    Nana wanted to have lots of babies, but could only have one, me, so she gave me all of her love and she had a mountain of it!  We lived on the farm when I was your age and we had so much fun.  We planted a vegetable garden and flowers and I rode my bicycle and played on the tractors and she often played with me.  Even though it was a long time ago I remember many things.  I remember how she cooked delicious meals and baked lots of pies and how clean she kept our little house.  She told me to play outside when she mopped the floor so I wouldn’t track dirt in while the floor was drying.  One day when she did that my cousin and I decided to get in Papa’s red paint that he had for the cotton picker and put it on our arms and legs and then we ran to the door pretending to cry; we played like we were hurt.  When she saw us she quickly opened the door to see why we were bleeding and when she discovered it was red paint instead of blood, she hit the ceiling!  We didn’t understand, but we had scared her and we soon found out mommies don’t like to be frightened by their children! 

    I remember that Nana baked biscuits for breakfast every morning and that she would pull the soft middles out for me, because I liked them that way.  I ate the middles and then the crusty tops and bottoms.  Mommies like to do nice things like that for us. 

    I also remember when your mommy was my little girl.  She was my first baby and I loved her so much.  She didn’t have any hair for the longest time and the little bit she had was so blonde that we couldn’t see it very well.  She had round cheeks and sweet blue eyes and I remember that I kissed her a lot.  She was my only baby for almost four years and we had a great time together. 

    Mommies and babies and little kids are special.  And now I know that grandmothers are special too.  You were my first grandchildren and you taught me how to be a grandmother.  First, C, you named me!  I will never forget when you were tiny and toddling around in your diaper – before you could talk.  You made funny sounds for the things you wanted.  Most of the time there were gaga, or baba or uhuh.  One day you started saying cece.  You were at my house and waddling around following me into the kitchen and I stopped and got down on my knees and said, “Cece, what is that?”  Do you want a drink or a snack, what are you trying to say?”

    You smiled and said, “Cece.” And put your arms around my neck and gave me a hug.  That was the first moment that I knew that I was Cece!  You had named me Cece!  We were trying to teach you to say Gram, but you didn’t want any part of that!  You had your own name for me and it has lasted now for 6 years and your sister calls me that and Pumpkin Baby calls me that!  You did a very important thing!  You named me and I love the name that you picked for me.  I will forever be your Cece even when you are tall and have hairy legs!  Always!

    When Ellie came along, you had to share your world, and for the most part, you have done that well.  I know that little sisters can get in your way sometimes, but you are a good big brother.  You do need to work on that picking her up and squeezing part.  She really doesn’t like that! 

    Miss E, you are a great little sister too.  When you popped into this world with those sweet, sweet cheeks, I fell in love with you immediately – and so did C.  I have a picture of him trying to change your diaper when you were a tiny baby.  It was funny because your mommy did the same thing with her little sister.

    One day when I was on the phone in the kitchen and your aunt was in her crib, your mommy walked from that part of the house into the kitchen holding a dirty diaper.  I panicked, hung up the phone and ran to the nursery.  There was your aunt, about 6 months, wearing a clean, dry diaper and a big smile on her face.  I asked your mommy what she had done and she said, “She had a stinky diaper and I changed it!”  She had gotten a clean diaper and crawled into the crib and changed a poo-poo diaper.  I checked her baby sister and her bottom was all clean!  Your mommy had done a great job.  It was only then that I breathed out, I was so scared. 

    See, little ones often scare their mommies.  I scared Nana with the red paint when I was a little girl, and your mommy scared me by changing her baby sister’s diaper.  Little ones will always be little ones and mommies will always be mommies!  Some day your little ones will scare you and I want to be around to see that! 

    Babies, (I know you are not babies anymore, but you will always be babies to me) I love you very much.   I didn’t have a grandmother, so I want to be the best grandmother in the world to you.  You can always count on me to be there if you need me and feed you pizza when I arrive!  I agree with you – we can never eat too much pizza – even if Mommy and Daddy don’t agree!  We will be the Pizza People – and they can eat vegetables!  How does that sound?

    I look forward to the next time I see you.  I can’t wait to sleep on the top bunk again or have you visit my house.  George and Gracie said bow wow wow bow – then h o w l!  That means they want to see you too – SOON!

    Love you babies,

    Cece

  • It's Like Riding a Bike...

    Yesterday I received a text video from my daughter in Texas.  She is Miss E and The C’s mom and bless her heart, she has her hands full with those two.  The video was of Miss E riding her bicycle for the first time – no training wheels!  Yippee!

    When my daughter shared the story, it made me chuckle. 

    It seems that Miss E has had her bike for several months and not ridden it.  I’m not sure why, but would guess it has something to do with a painful fall and skinned knees or hands at the get go and she’s likely been a bit reluctant to try it again.  Makes sense to me…

    It seems that the other morning Miss E woke up and shared that she’d had a dream that she could ride her bike with no training wheels and now she wanted to try.  So Mom took the bike down from the rack and checked the tires – grabbed the helmet and said, “Suit up sister.”  Miss E straddled the bike, put her foot on the pedal and set off on her first ride – bobbing and weaving down the sidewalk!  Success!  She did it! 

    That story brought back a fun memory and sort of made me shiver…it was 54 years ago this summer that I did almost the same thing.  I’d gotten a bicycle for my 4th birthday and from the beginning my dad said, “No training wheels!”  He was a bit of a task master and always believed in only one way of doing things – the right way.  He had the same attitude about bowling and driving and anything else I tried. 

    Since the concept of riding something with only two wheels frightened me a bit, I was reluctant.  Finally after a few weeks my dad said that he was going to give my bike to the children down the road and let them ride it.  My mom told me years later that I got so mad at him that I went out, got the bike and said, “Come on mom, let’s go.”  I was only 4 years old, but had the same determined streak that I have now.  So my mom and I pushed my bike to the dirt road that separated our farm from the neighbor’s farm and I hopped on.  I looked at the long road ahead and felt very small.  My mom held the back of the seat and off I went – pedaling as she ran along beside me.  After a few yards I yelled, “Let go,” and she did and I did just as Miss E did, I bobbed and weaved down the road.

    I went so far that my mother got worried that I would not know what to do when I got to the section line road that crossed ahead of me.  After all, we really hadn’t covered how to stop the thing – we hadn’t gotten that far!  So, even though I was far ahead of her, she started to run as fast as she could to catch up with me before I reached the crossroad. 

    For many reasons that memory warms my soul; first because of Miss E and history seemingly repeating itself, but also because of my mom.  She was always in my corner.  She encouraged me and helped me and always seemed to be running along behind me so I wouldn’t fall, both literally and figuratively.  It’s nice to know that the strong will of the women in our family lives on through my daughters and Miss E and Pumpkin Baby! 

    **Miss E quote regarding her brother:  "He said he didn't take my doll, but there was a smile on his face. When he smiles, that means he really did it and is just trying to bother me."

    Living with Grace...and i'm grace

     

  • Grace's Big Adventures

    First, I believe I’ve told you that I’m going to be a grandmother AGAIN!  I’m thrilled!  I’m THRILLED!  Do I hear an echo?????

    Last Friday evening my daughter and her husband hosted a reveal party.  Such a cute idea…

     

    Pumpkin Baby and I are waiting for the party to begin.  For some reason her world seems better when she's in my arms!  I love it.   And no, she doesn't look like me, but I can handle that.  One time when I see her she looks like her mommy and the next time she looks like her daddy - two of my favorite people. 

    My daughter and her husband went for an ultrasound on Thursday – actually my daughter did that part, her husband just watched – and they found out the sex of the baby.  They planned a party for the next evening and invited family and friends for the big reveal!

    Side note:  I notice that nowadays couples say “we” are pregnant.  As one who has been – pregnant that is - how do they manage the “we” part?  If memory serves, I remember my ankles swelling, not his.  I remember I was the one that gained the weight and had to lose it – not him.  I remember my belly looking like a watermelon – not his.  I remember my 36 hours of labor and how he SAT and watched!  Please tell me what does “we” mean????

    Focus Grace…

    Back to the party…they ordered a cake.  They told the baker the sex of the baby and she baked the cake with the appropriate blue or pink food coloring.  She then iced the cake so when we arrived we only say a beautiful cake with white icing. 

    My daughter had lots of pink and blue items on the table including cotton candy, dipped pretzel sticks, b & p Peeps (marshmallow chicks), as well as napkins, plates and forks.  We even had blue and pink drinks!  Pink lemonade and blue PowerAde.  She put Pumpkin Baby’s art easel in the entry and asked each guest to vote whether they thought the baby was a boy or girl!  She even had pink and blue chalk.   

    We all enjoyed Hideaway Pizza and then, drum roll please, we gathered around the table for the cake to be cut. 

     

    This is what we saw! 

    The baby is a boy!

    Now both daughters will have a boy and a girl!  How did they do that?  I have friends that have 5 boys and one or two that have 5 girls and they would like to know!

    As you can tell, I’m pretty excited.

     

    Oh, and big sister is excited too.  I took a little gift for the baby (actually 2 – one in a pink bag and one in a blue bag) and one for Pumpkin Baby!  A Minnie Mouse dress and she put it on right over her clothes!  She loves Minnie and Mickey – in that order. 

    My second adventure involved my vintner friend Gabrielle Leonhard of Gabrielle's Collection and O'Connell Family Cellar, Napa Valley, CA.


    She was in town recently and was my house guest as she has been for several years when she comes my way.  Gabrielle was featured at a fabulous wine tasting luncheon at The Metro with the owner and our host Laveryl Lower and after G's work day we got to play...

    We enjoy catching up and did so at Cafe 501 at the Classen Curve, where they are featuring her table wines this month.  Fish, Chicken and Steak!  Yes, that's their labels.  Less expensive and really, really good.  She is having a glass of Fish!  I had Chicken - a nice Pinot Noir.  We both had the chopped salad and both wines paired well.  We tasted each others wine and agreed.  For those who don't get the nose and legs and body of wine Gabrielle has made it simple by creating labels that speak for themselves. 

    There is a story behind the labels.  Gabrielle's son attended Cornell University.  While there he took a class about wines.  As he discussed the subject matter with him mother he said, "Why can't they just name a wine Fish if it would be good with fish and Chicken and on down the line?"  She liked the idea and the simple labels were born...

    Gabrielle is a talented, interesting woman.  She attended Berkeley in the 1960's and had a very interesting career before she and her husband Wayne went back to his family business in the 1980's.  One of Wayne's labels is Pietro.  Pietro was his Italian grandfather - and as you can tell by their last name, his other paternal grandfather was Irish.  Wayne is 50/50 making him fun loving and quite interesting!  I love them both like family. 

    Gabrielle and I are both only children and we both have dealt with our mothers' dementia - the kind of issues that bring women together. 

    A new grand baby  on the way - a visit from a wonderful friend - life is good! 

    Living with Grace...and i'm grace

  • Daughters...God Love 'Em

    Recently I spent time in Texas with my daughter and her family.  Pumpkin Baby and I drove down together on Friday.  Our second road trip together and it was fabulous!  I enjoy telling her parents how perfectly she acts with me.  I usually mention it about the time she is having a meltdown with them!  Timing is everything! 

    On Saturday Pumpkin Baby’s parents joined us and once again all of my little chicks were under one room.  I was in heaven.  My daughters, their husbands, their children and one happy Cece!

    Often when we are together I find myself tying the old days and the current joy into one package.  Both of my daughters’ daughters (did I do the apostrophes and plurals correctly?) look just like they did when they were little.  It’s like they were cloned.  Even their personalities are similar.  So with very little effort I see my little girls reincarnated. 

    As I watch my daughters with their children I remember how it was to be the parent of little ones.  The physical demands, the patience and all of the answers to all of the questions!  Oh my.

    As I’ve thought many times, I don’t believe that my daughters understand that my feelings about them are the same as their feelings about their children.  I think that they believe that because they are grown up, I no longer feel the same about them.  They don’t yet understand that a mother’s love doesn’t change just because the children grow up and are sometimes taller than they are.  In fact, the love seems to grow along with them.

    I had a brief discussion with my younger daughter about communication.  I said that I hate it when time goes by and I don’t have a nice, heart to heart conversation with my girls.  She flippantly said, “Oh Mom, those days are over, we now have little ones and we don’t even have conversations with our husbands anymore.” 

    Ouch!  I replied, “Well what if you couldn’t talk to Pumpkin Baby and you couldn’t see her as often as you liked, etc.”

    She rolled her eyes and said, “Mom, that isn’t the same.”

    I agree it isn’t exactly the same, but she hasn’t figured out yet that she will feel the same about Pumpkin Baby when she is 32 as she does now.  The love and devotion and affection and connection will still be there.  She will no longer feed her child, but she will enjoy having dinner with her.  She will no longer read to her child, but she will enjoy reading the same books and talking about them.  She will no longer take her child wherever she goes, but she will enjoy going places with her.  She will no longer spend every day with her, but she will treasure the days she does share with her. 

    Many times we can’t be TOLD something we have to LEARN it for ourselves. I should make a note and have this conversation with her in 30 years…yikes, will I even be here in 30 years?  Well, if I am, I am certain that by then she will agree with me and after we talk she will pick up the phone, or twitch her nose, or whatever we will do in 30 years to call someone and she will tell Pumpkin Baby how much she loves her and invite her to lunch! 

     

  • Happy Birthday Miss E!

    I am writing this on February 15, Miss E’s birthday!  That sweet bundle of joy weighed in at 10 pounds, 8 ounces and was amazingly beautiful from the first moment I saw her.  Just look at those cheeks!  Just in case you are wondering, she was not a C Section baby and no, her mother didn’t have gestational diabetes.  She was just a big, healthy baby!  Now she is skinny Minnie, agile, wiry and has the most beautiful blues eyes on the planet! 

    Happy birthday Miss E! 

    On this day one year ago the notice of our divorce appeared in the newspaper.  At the time I thought it was unusually cruel for it to be posted on her birthday.  I thought I would forever link the two and I was devastated.  Even as recent as a few weeks ago, I felt the same way…but I am pleased to say, I am better about that now.  Can’t explain why - don’t fully understand it myself, but I am excited about Miss E’s birthday today and that’s it! 

    As luck would have it, our divorce was final on The C’s birthday!  Imagine that!  The two dates were not selected for any reason, it just happened. 

    I’ve worked hard to heal, but also God has blessed my efforts and in my heart and I know it is important to give him credit.  In fact, all of my efforts would’ve been futile if not for his love and constant assurance.  As I wrote in an earlier post, anniversaries are highly overrated.  Simply stated, there is no reason for me to relive past situations every year as if they just occurred.  That is cruel and serves no purpose. 

    Do I know the facts?  Yes. 

    Did I go simply nuts when I read it in the newspaper that morning?  Yes! 

    Did I think my heart was broken beyond repair?  Yes! 

    Am I healing?  Yes! 

    Does going back in time and reliving those moments help me in any way? No! 

    I am pleased that I can think of that time and not experience that little flip-flop feeling in my soul. 

    It is. 

         It happened. 

              It was then and this is now. 

    Onward and upward!  Yippee!!!

    *PS  Miss E's uncle calls her Cheeks.  Last weekend when he called her that she looked up so innocently and said, "Why do you call me that?"  He just smiled.  I know his mind went back to when she was born and how simply adorable she was - and her sweet, kissable cheeks!

    Living with Grace...and i'm grace

     

  • Cece and Pumpkin Baby's Big Adventure

    As reported on Friday, Pumpkin Baby and I had a slumber party on Friday evening...here are a few pics I took with my cell phone...

    As you will see from my pictures, we ate our way through the evening and into the next day...

    We first went to Papa Dio's for dinner...yummy!

    Then to Whole Foods to grocery shop.  She said she wanted to go shopping but didn't think grocery shopping qualified as shopping, but...


    at least from the look on her face, she enjoyed it.  As we were checking out, she spotted this cute little table so we sat and at the cookies we'd bought...

      

    ...it seems the cookies were a hit - snicker-doodle in case you wanted to know.

     

    Next came her breakfast snack...before we went to the bagel shop!  All healthy except possibly the gold fish that she found in the pantry while I was looking for the cranberries! She is looking down at Gracie who insisted on a bite! 

     

    Quite frankly, G and G didn't see what all of the fuss was about.  They argued that they are just as cute as she is...

     

    Before we left the house, we packed her little bag so we would be ready for her parents when they came.  I was gathering her dirty clothes and turned around to find this...she is sitting in her bag with her backpack on!!

     

    After the bagel shop we took a nice walk and then we went to Ingrid's German Restaurant.  I told you we ate our way through the day!  We wanted to dance!  And yes, we ordered more food.  In case you didn't know, a live band plays at Ingrid's on Saturdays at noon.  It is made up of members that look to be 70 years old and older.  They are fabulous and PB and I love to dance together! We were the youngest on the dance floor, but the others danced far, far better than we did. 

     

    At Ingrid's it's SRO so everyone shares big tables and our table mate was kind enough to take our picture.  The big smiles are dead giveaways that we were having a great time. 

    We are doing it again in mid-February...I'm going to go on a diet until then so we can eat our way through another weekend! Woo hoo!

    Living and eating with Cece and PB...

  • Living with Cece and i'm cece

    Today is going to be action packed.  I am going to take all of my vitamins, do 30 minutes on my stationary bike and a few pushups (exercise – not my bra) to prepare.  This afternoon I am going to pickup Pumpkin Baby and we are going to have our first bunking party.  (That is what my mother calls a slumber party.)  We are having Girls Night!  A sleep over!  A pajama party!  Whatever you call it, we are going to have fun!!!  I have kept her many times over night at her house, but this is the first time we will be at my house. 

    Woohoo let the party begin…

    Being a Cece is the best part of growing older.  After I thought about it, I realized that many of the side effects of aging are actually preparing us to be good grandmothers. 

    For example, as I’ve grown older, I’ve become a bit softer, all over – from my brain to my ankles – but especially around my middle.  So when the Grands cuddle up to me, I feel comfortable and squishy and none of my ribs stick out for them to bump into.  Ouch!  When they put their heads on my chest and I drape my arm around them, the angel wings that now hang from my slightly older arms, cover them softly with my love and warmth.  When we are sitting my ever expanding thighs provide them a nice comfy place to put their elbows and knees. 

    As I learned recently, the growing number of dark spots that are appearing on my face also give them reason to play connect the dots.  Sweet Miss E cuddled up to me and took her tiny little finger (clean of course) and put it on one of my age spots and then traced it over to another and then another.  I had enough of them to entertain her for several minutes.  One of them was probably the spot that Pumpkin Baby pointed to one time and said, “Ouchie.”  She then wanted to put a Band-Aid on it…Ugh! 

    The lines on the back of my hands have also served and a distraction when we were trying to be quiet.  They traced the lines like tracing in one of their workbooks. 

    Pumpkin Baby has also learned to accommodate my fading eyesight.  The other day when I offered to read a book to her she said, “Where you glasses” and tootled off to find them. 

    Another benefit of aging – I have learned what is important.  If my floors are dirty or my trash cans full, I don’t let that bother me while I am the custody of the Grands.  I know that will all be there waiting for me when the kids go home. 

    Tonight we will dine at our favorite Italian restaurant.  Ravioli for me, pasta with red sauce for her.  Note to Cece:  neither of us should wear white shirts to dinner.  That’s another thing we have in common – old folks and babies often dribble on themselves. 

    Then movie night with popcorn.  All four of us (G and G, Pumpkin Baby and I) will cuddle up on the couch under or on my warm afghan and munch away as we watch. 

    In the morning we will probably go to the bagel shop – one of our favorite places and if time allows, we may go to our favorite little German restaurant to dance and have lunch – in that order, dancing first!   

    I wear many hats, but my Cece hat is by far my favorite. 

    I am excited to tell you that I am going to be a Cece again! 


    We have a little Juna on the way.  That is the name that Pumpkin Baby has given the baby that is in her Mommy’s tummy.  Some days she says the baby is a boy and some days that it is a girl, but every day she says it is named Juna! 

    Living with Grace…and I’m grace

     

  • Mom and Bellies Creating New Memories - for me not her

    Recently, several of my readers have asked about my mother.  Thank you for caring.  Honestly, it is hard to talk about my mother and I find myself avoiding calling her.  It seems to reopen my wounded heart each time I speak to her.  I am sad that I am so selfish and I want to call her more often and be a better daughter.  As I’ve said before, being a grown up is difficult sometimes.

    I did call her this morning during my quiet time.  As I came to her name on my prayer list, I stopped and picked up the phone and dialed her number.  She acts as though she remembers me when I tell her who I am, but other things she says during our conversation makes me think that she is covering the fact that she enjoys talking to me but does not realize that I am her daughter.

    I enjoy making her laugh and since it isn’t possible to discuss her activities or family or even what she had for breakfast, I often take the lead in the conversation and try to make her giggle. 

    This morning I first told her about G and G and how they couldn’t decide if they wanted to be outside or inside.  I went into great detail about the expressions of their cute little faces and how I was considering hiring a dog therapist that could possibly help them learn to make up their minds.  I giggled when I realized that she thought I was talking about children.  She said, “Well kids can be like that.”  I quickly told her that they were my puppies and she just died laughing and said, “Well, they can be like that too.” 

    We then began talking about age.  I reminded me that her birthday is coming up in February.  She said, “Really.”  I said yes, and that she should tell dad that she wanted a birthday present.  He was nearby so she turned to him and said, “She said I want a present.” 

    I said, “Wait, tell him your birthday is coming up and that is why you want a present.”

    She relayed my message and he said, “I know it.  Maybe I’ll get you a cake.”

    I said, “Tell him he can get you a cake, but that you want a present too.”  By this time she is laughing so hard she can hardly speak. 

    She said, “Keep the cake, I want a present!”  I nearly died.  She was improvising and it was really funny. 

    I then said that my birthday was after hers and that I was going to be 59 years old!

    She replied, “Oh, my, I’m not even that old!” 

    I quickly responded, “Yes you are, you are my mother!  You have to be older.”

    She said, “I don’t have any children…never had children.” 

    In the midst of our laughter and crazy talk my heart twinged with pain.  I was right, she enjoyed talking to me, but she didn’t know that I was her daughter. 

    I quickly corrected her and said, “Yes you did and I have two daughters and they have three children…you have a big family!”

    She said, “I do?”

    I said, “Yes and they love you very much.”  I then told her about my daughters and their children and husbands.  She seemed to enjoy hearing about them.

    After that, I told her that getting older wasn’t fun.  She agreed and then I told her that one of the worst parts is what has happened to my stomach.   She laughed and agreed.  I said that I look down sometimes and wonder whose belly that is?  She laughed even harder.  I then told her that when I sit down some of it hangs over my belt.  She laughed even more. 

    She then said, “Mine does too.”

    I said, “Well I’ve decided not to look at it or touch it and then I don’t have to admit that it is there.”  She laughed and I advised her to do the same.  She agreed to follow my lead.  Then she said, “I’m laughing so hard my stomach is shaking.” 

    I said, “Oh, don’t look at it, remember…if you don’t look at it, it really isn’t there.”  She laughed even harder. 

    I then said, “Another thing I hate about getting older is that sometimes when I laugh really hard, I pee my pants.”  Well I thought she was going to explode!  She laughed so hard she couldn’t talk!

    I said, “Don’t you hate it when that happens.” 

    She replied, “Well I’m glad I’m not as old as you are, I never do that!”  So much for her buying that she is my mother…

    By then I was exhausted and secretly thinking of taking my show on the road…wondering if all audiences would be as receptive as she was.  I told her that I had to go, that I had much more important things to do than talk to her. 

    She responded, “Humph, I doubt that!”

    Now you see where I get my sense of humor. 

    Living with Grace…and i’m grace

     

     

  • Reporting from the Top Bunk...

    As I lie here and look up I'm glad that my kids have a tall ceiling and that it is about four feet above me, because I am a bit claustrophobic...

    I enjoy being up here on the top bunk, surrounded by stuffed animals of all sorts and covered with a quilt that I made a few years ago for The C.  I chuckle as I remember a few months ago when I first visited after he got this bunk bed for his birthday.  He and I had a quite lengthy conversation about whether I was too old to climb up to the top bunk and sleep.  After I gave him my best sales pitch regarding my youth he cleared me for occupancy and I have slept up here on each visit since. 

    But this time is different.  Instead of my oldest grandchild being on the bottom bunk, this time it is occupied by my youngest grandchild, Pumpkin Baby.  Tonight my whole family is under the same roof and I am having difficulty falling asleep because I am so pleased to be smack dab in the middle of them.  We have adults and kids sleeping in every available space and I am so happy that a dad or a mom or grandchild didn’t take my favorite spot, up here! 

    Below I hear Pumpkin Baby’s rhythmic breathing as she peacefully sleeps.  From time to time I hear her wiggle, but she sleeps soundly, so I’m not worried about her waking until morning.  Last night was our first night to share this sleeping arrangement.  Yesterday she and I drove south together to visit her favorite aunt, uncle and cousins.  Our first road trip together and we had a fabo time!  We stopped about every 45 minutes to go to the bathroom when she needed to go or change her DVD or when she wanted to go to the bathroom when she didn’t need to go.  She is two and a half, and I was afraid to say, “You just went 20 minutes ago!” 

    Her parents arrived this morning and now the house is full.  Full of love and laughter and doll strollers and video game controls and scooters and assorted dolls and trucks and Legos and moms and dads and kids – and one very happy CeCe. 

    I now have to calm my mind and try to go to sleep.  I have to hush the memories of my two daughters when they were little and temper the excitement of seeing them with children of their own.  I have to accept that one day I blinked and somehow my children had children. 

                Where did time go?

    I can’t think of any place I’d rather be tonight than right her, up here, closer to God than usual and the happiest I remember being in ages. 

    I am truly blessed! 

    P.S.  Now I just need to figure out if I should descend on the ladder from the top bunk forwards or backwards…any suggestions?

    Excerpt from a recent post…

    *When my grandson, The C, was 5 years old he asked his parents for a bunk bed.  For about a year he asked and for about a year they patiently told him that they thought a bunk bed was probably better suited for a 6 year old.  So when his birthday rolled around they bought a bunk bed for him.  One day while he was out, his dad took his trundle bed apart and took it to the garage and the furniture store delivered The C’s new bunk bed.  When he got home, it was all set up ready for the unveiling.  As they directed him to the door of his room he immediately started to cry.  The bright, wide smiles on his parents’ faces faded and they asked him what was wrong.  Through his tears and heaving sounds he said, “Where is my other bed?”

    They answered, “In the garage,” and he immediately when to see it.  He knelt down beside it and cried like he’d lost his best friend.  His parents were in shock.  They thought that they had fulfilled one of his long anticipated dreams…

    When they asked him why he was crying he said, “I didn’t know you were going to take my bed away!” 

    In his little 6 year old mind, he wanted a bunk bed, but he hadn’t played the scenario out to the end and realized that that meant he would have to give up the bed he had had since he left his crib. 

    When that happened we all chuckled about how his little mind worked...

    Living with Grace...and i'm grace

     

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    Welcome. My name is Grace. I am a daughter, a friend, was a wife, then an ex-wife, a mother, once again an ex-wife (ugh!), and a grandmother.

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