Nana Has Wrinkles

Learning, laughing and loving in a world that tells it like it is.
Browsing On Being a Nana

Micah

February11

 

Micah James Post was born on July 18, 2012. He is coming up on six months old, so why am I just now writing about him? It’s surely not due to indifference or taking the family newborns for granted, but it’s all about a lack of discipline on my part. Sorry, Micah Pie. You’re a wonderful, cuddly, happy little guy, and you deserve much better. Like a well-adjusted third baby, you roll with the punches and happily accept love from everyone willing to share. Welcome to the tribe, little guy!

Amelia

April2

 Amelia is four today. Four is serious kid stuff, isn’t it? She’s a kid now, not a toddler, not a little kid, but a full-fledged kid. Amelia is a fabulous combination of thoughtfulness, boldness, curiosity and love This is what I have learned from her over the past several years:

•When you hug someone, really hug them. Let them you  know you mean it.

•Saying goodbye should always include multiple declarations of love peppered with sincere kisses and the aforementioned hugs.

•The three-letter word “why” can be a very powerful way to cut to the heart of a matter.

•Running, jumping, climbing and enjoying an occasional mud puddle are good balms for the soul.           

•Clothes are sometimes overrated.

•Passionately cling to your beliefs.

•Seek treasures, pick flowers, and build castles.

Love you, AJP. I hope you have the best birthday ever.

Caroline

March13

Today is Caroline’s second birthday. The very thought of her makes me smile. In the past two years, Caroline has taught me the following things:

•Always ask for more, please.

•At least once a day, be sure to throw your head back, open your mouth, close your eyes, and have a really good belly laugh. 

•Be a follower every now and then.

•Go off and do your own thing from time to time.

•Let your hair fly wildly about your head.

•Love your bed.

•Enjoy your bath.

•Snuggle with the people you love when they very least expect it.

•Read dozens of good books every single day.

Happy birthday, Caroline (CareBear, Chunkoline, Chompobar, the list of your nicknames goes on and on). We love you more than you can even imagine.

You make me happy when skies are grey…

February9

Wilma is a steady Eddie. She is always pleasant, soft-spoken and kind. However, when the grands and great grands come a-calling, a special sparkle is visible in her eyes. It’s a sweet moment, even when observed through a camera lens.

What will they think of next?

January31

Strollers and swings have been standard baby gear for decades. The people at 4Moms.com have taken this equipment to a whole new level.

This is their Origami Stroller. It folds itself, having a built in generator to power that mechanism. It also has an LCD screen that monitors temperature, mileage covered on each trip around the neighborhood, and the child’s position in the stroller. (I am mildly offended by  the comment about grandmas on the LCD picture. Come on, now!) Here are a few pictures:

The 4Moms swing is called a Mamaroo. It was designed to mimic the soothing motions made by parents trying to comfort a fussy baby.  I’m intrigued by this one, but puzzled by the list of replacement parts. After paying a good sum of money for this product, one would hope replacement parts would not be necessary for years.

All you need is love (and a few good carseats)

January24

Grandparenting is a glorious thing. There are so many wonderful aspects to this role in life that it is difficult to capture my thoughts in writing. My husband and I are astounded by the plethora of deep emotions we experience as grandparents. On a  macro-level, the circle of life archetype is astounding.  Bearing witness to our children parenting their children, and taking such joy in doing so, makes our hearts overflow with joy. Watching our kids dote on their nieces sometimes brings tears to our eyes. Having little people around allows everyone to see the world through fresh eyes. The constant barrage of questions, the wonder displayed at the smallest of discoveries, the belly laughs, and the silliness all smooth out the rough edges of this wild and crazy world. Since these two munchkins currently live out of state, we’ve tried to combine the equipment we already own with a few strategic purchases to make their visits more comfortable for everyone.

Our family crib is still in good shape and meets safety standards. A new mattress pad and a few new sheets, and we were ready to accommodate little sleepers in a comfortable way. The matching high chair purchased over 32 years ago sits in the dining room corner ready for action. The straps are long gone, so we use a TotSeat to keep the babies from sliding out. Don’t underestimate the magnetic attraction of measuring cups, pots, pans and plastic kitchen utensils as playtime objects and bathtub toys. Old step stools are present at the two bathroom sinks to help little hand washers reach the faucet, and a diaper changing station is set up on each floor. The coffee table is moved out of the family room when little ones come to call. It opens the room up for more play space on the floor and prevents falls against the hard edges.

The treasure trove in the basement finally came in handy as we unearthed a large set of wooden blocks, a Little Tikes dollhouse with people to populate it, one fairly complete Brio train set and board, Legos of various shapes and sizes, puzzles, and hundreds of children’s books. Old Halloween costumes and dance recital garb make a fun dress-up collection. My leftover stash of school supplies fill a well-equipped art box.

A few purchases were made to outfit our home for the grands. We invested in a good car seat when Amelia was born and bought another one when Caroline came along. Our children have thanked us for the carseats more than once. They are difficult to lug around and check through the airport. It makes traveling with kids just a bit easier not to have to worry about the seats, and we know we’ll use them for years to come.

We bought a a baby swing, a potty seat, and a bedrail.

In addition to the toys we brought up from the basement, just a few purchases have been made. Stacking blocks, musical instruments, a small tent, a tricycle, and a castle for reading are big winners with our littles.

Huge kudos, of course, to the parents who are raising these two children to respect and tend to the spaces of other people. They make our job as hosts very easy.

What equipment have you found to be essential when your grandchildren come to visit?

This Will Never be a Food Blog

June30

 

My daughter and son-in-law have a food blog. They are all about cooking—cooking magazines, cooking internet sites, cooking stores. They know everyone on the Food Network and search out new chefs and restaurants to try. My husband is also known around town as a very accomplished cook. People have been know to fake illnesses to get on the church prayer list and get a meal from him. Today, he is making a meal for some long-time friends. I offered to help! Here is what happened when I “whisked” the dry ingredients into the butter and eggs. Apparently, whisks are made for another purpose.

 

Problem Solving

March27

Caroline is now one and it’s amazing to watch her interact with the world and try to take care of her own needs and desires. Despite an excellent attempt at problem solving, she is also learning that her desires cannot always be met.

 


Puppet Shows and Birthday Cakes

March5

Amelia, almost three, has taken to calling us on the phone from time to time. Here is a partial list of this weeks questions: What kind of birthday cake did you have on your birthday, Nana? Are you and Pacah going to have a puppet show tonight because Mommy and Daddy and me are going to have one? Do you have any kids, Nana? What you and Pacah having for dinner, Nana? Where is Gracie, Nana? Did Gracie go out to eat with you on your birthday? Who stayed with Gracie when you went out to eat for your birthday?

What a joy that there exists a window in the life of every child, just a small snippet of time, when it is possible to observe their brain process the world. There is no filter, there is no agenda, there is no hidden layer of language–we get to watch and listen to very pure reactions to the world that spins around them. It’s a treat to witness the abundance of learning and thinking that takes place during this stage. I don’t think I appreciated this gift enough as a young mom, so I intend to savor it as a Nana.

And, not to be outdone, I must report that darling little Caroline, almost one, has the best pincer grasp I have ever seen. That child loves her food and doesn’t miss a crumb. 

 

Standing In the Gap

February22

They just walked out. Today, legislators in a second state got up and walked out. What a poor example this sets for the children who are watching the situation play out. It’s never okay to abandon a responsibility, particularly a civic responsibility bestowed upon so very few citizens. Leadership happens when ordinary people take a seemingly impossible situation and find a way to solve a problem that no one else even dared to dream. It happens when you work behind the scenes to mediate with all parties involved and navigate new paths down which former adversaries can walk side by side. Democracy is messy work. Who is going to stand up, stretch out a hand to the other side and commit to finding a solution to these difficult problems? No one has come out ahead in this situation, especially not our children.

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