Friday, March 14, 2014

It's been seven years

Tomorrow is the anniversary of my grandmother's death.  It's been seven years. I still miss her so much. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about her, wishing she were here to enjoy her many great-grandchildren.  I found an old post that I did a few years ago about how I imagined my grandmother reacting to today's technology.  I was reading through it today, and it made me laugh. So I thought I'd post it as a re-run post.

With my finger?  Really?

So today was Afton's day with me.  She and I headed out to the mall and hit all of her favorite stores.  We were buying a couple of shirts at Nordstrom, and while the salesgirl was ringing me up, I swiped my credit card (you know, through the credit/debit machine)  and the girl pushed this little hand-held device at me and asked me to sign with my finger.   I was like, "What?  Sign what with my finger?"  and she said, "The screen.  Just sign your name with your finger."  So I looked at what she was talking about, and it was this little tiny computer screen.  Instead of signing a piece of paper or signing in the little credit/debit machine, now we are signing our name WITH OUR FINGER on some little hand-held device that looks like an iPhone.  Crazy times we are in!  The technology blows me away sometimes.  Honestly, I felt silly signing my name with my finger.  I felt like a five-year-old finger painting in Kindergarten class. 

Anyway, for some reason my grandmother came to  mind, right about the time I was signing my name with my finger, and I tried to image how my grandmother would react, if she were still alive, if she were asked to sign her name with her finger while paying for something at Nordstroms.  I imagine the conversation going something like this:

salesgirl:  (holding out the iPhone-like device for a signature) ...and just sign your name right here, with your finger. 

Then there would be silence as my gram's 83-year-old mind tried to make sense of what the girl just asked  her to do.

gram:  I'm sorry...what was that you said? 
salesgirl:  Just sign your name right here on the screen, with your finger.

The salesgirl would then hold out the iPhone screen further towards my grandmother, prompting her to sign it.

gram:  With my --  with my FINGER?  Whaddaya mean, with my finger...I never heard of such a thing.
salesgirl:  Yea, you just sign it...right here...using your finger.

Then there would be more silence as my gram tried to figure out if the salesgirl was trying to be funny or not.

gram:  Oh come on...you aren't serious.  You're joking with me.
salesgirl:  No, it's new.  Really.  You just sign it with your finger.
gram:  Oh, who ever heard of such a thing....
salesgirl:  Yea, it's new.

My gram would stare at the salesgirl for another second or two.

gram:  With my finger?  On this little thing, right here? 
salesgirl:  Yes.  Just sign right here, on the screen.
gram:  Oh, I don't believe it.

Then my gram would start to write her name on the tiny screen, using her finger and feeling slightly ridiculous...all the while expecting Alan Funt from Candid Camera to pop out from behind the counter and say, "Smile! You're on Candid Camera!"  (does anyone else remember that show from way back?  or did I just age myself?)

gram:  (as she's signing her name) You mean right here, just like this?  Am I doing it right?
salesgirl:   Yes.
gram:  Well, this is silly. You mean to tell me this works?  I don't believe it.  Who ever heard of such a thing!  

Anyway, it would've taken my gram about 10 minutes to sign that thing with her finger because she would have talked it to death first.  I almost did, too, but I didn't want to embarrass Afton.  So I kept my comments and questions to myself.  But I shot Afton a quick look as I was signing my name with my finger...and the look clearly said, "I can't believe I'm signing my name with my finger."  Afton rolled her eyes at me.  Of course.

Has anyone recently been asked to sign their name with their finger?  Is this happening everywhere now, or only at Nordstroms?   

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Nine Months!

So this is my sweet baby boy at nine months old.  His new thing: chomping down on the spoon when we feed him.  He thinks he's so clever!

Grrrrr!!  I pity the fool who tries to take this spoon from my mouth!

He's been a busy boy.  Lots of new things going on with him.  

He pulls himself up into a standing position every chance that he gets.



He enjoys being carried around by his mommy!

while she sells Girl Scout cookies

while she shops at Tilly's with big brother Alex

while she makes mashed potatoes

Okay, let me just stop right here to say that I love, love, LOVE our new Ergo carrier!   I can carry Aiden around for days in this thing and my shoulders never get sore, my back never hurts -- it's the BEST!   I hardly ever use a stroller anymore.  Instead, I wear him everywhere.  

taking a stroll down at the harbor

He loves to eat!  Aiden has a healthy appetite.  
Sometimes the kids help me feed him.
Andrew had a rough go at it on this day.  No worries ~ nothing a bath couldn't fix!


Meanwhile in the bedroom...
a few months ago we took apart our bed frame and put the king mattress on the floor.

We did this so that Aiden will not fall out of our bed.  He sleeps with us, and with the bed frame our bed is about 3 feet off the ground.  I was tired of constantly worrying that he might roll off the bed, so our fix was to just have the mattress on the floor.  Problem solved!

Here he is standing on the mattress while holding onto the back of our bedroom couch (that used to back up against the footboard of the bed frame but now it just backs up against the mattress)  Yes, it looks strange this way, but who cares?  I don't care.  

And here he is standing on the floor and getting ready to "climb" into bed.  

Afton came home from college during the Christmas break.  She walked into our room and saw the mattress on the floor. 

"What happened to your bed?"
"Oh, we dismantled it.  It's stored in the garage right now."  
Silence.
"Why did you do that?" 
"We just want the mattress on the floor right now. Safer for the baby, you know, so he won't get hurt if he rolls off the bed."  
Silence.  Then she shook her head.
"Who does that?!!! You guys are so weird, I swear..."


In this picture Aiden is thinking, Yeah, I got my parents wrapped around my little finger.  Check out what they did to their bed!

But doesn't he look so cozy, sleeping on the great big mattress on the floor?  This photo was taken just the other morning.  I got out of bed, and in his sleep he scooted right into my spot, put his head on my pillow, and continued sleeping.  Normally he doesn't sleep on a pillow, so I had to take a picture of him before I took the pillow away.  He looked too cute not to take a picture.

Another thing he does lately is make the "Vroooom! Vroooom!" sound when he plays with his toy cars.  He also does this with Aria's Barbie jeep, when he can get his hands on it.  And Andrew's Thomas the Train engines.  Basically, anything that can roll when he pushes it warrants the "Vroooom! Vroooom!"  sound.

He's a happy, happy baby boy!  Lots of smiles for us every day.


Nine months!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Old Maid

My Kindergartener gets out of school each day two hours before her siblings do.  During that time she eats lunch, plays with the baby for a few, and then it's all about "Mommy, will you play with me?"  

Today she wanted to play Old Maid.  I told her that Old Maid is best played with more than two players because it's all about trying to get pairs and passing the Old Maid card around and around and trying to guess who is holding it so that you won't pick it.  But with only two players there is no mystery at all and it kind of defeats the purpose of the game.  So she heard all that and was like, blah blah blah I don't care I wanna play Old Maid.

So, we played.

This made her happy.


The cards got delved out and we sorted through our hands and set down any pairs that we had. Since I did not have the Old Maid, I knew that Aria did.  I'm clever like that.  I wondered how she would handle having the Old Maid in her deck.  Would she be secretive about it, or obvious?

I found out when it was my turn to pick a card from her deck.


Hmmmmm.  I wonder where the Old Maid card is?

The thing about playing with only two people is that the game goes really, really quick.  This is because the cards you need to make a pair are in the other player's hand.  So with each turn, you put down a pair. Aria and I took turns picking a card from each other's deck, putting down pairs and passing that Old Maid card back and forth.  Each time one of us picked the Old Maid card from the other, the other would say, "Ahhhhhhh!!! You got the Old Maid!!! Ahhhhhh!" pointing and laughing.  We had no mercy for the holder of the Old Maid.

Then it came down to three cards:  one in my hand, and two in hers.  The two in her hand was the card that I needed to make a pair (and win the game)  and the Old Maid card.  She was hoping that I'd select the card on the right.  But I didn't.  I picked the card on the left.  And I left her holding the Old Maid card.

And this, my friends, is the face of the loser.  See the smile behind the card?  She was a good sport!

So we played again.


I lost the second time.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

fancy lunch bags are overrated

For Christmas Aislynn got a really nice lunch bag that she had been wanting for a long time. You know the kind.  They have zippers and pockets and the fancy matching thermos.  For months she would point it out whenever we were in Target and would say, "Mom...I really, really want this bag for my school lunch! Pleeeease buy it?" and I would always pass it up because I knew that if I bought it, she'd take it to school maybe two or three times and then she'd leave it there and we'd never see it again.  I thought this not because I'm a Negative Nelly or a Doomsday Dora, but rather because I'm a Been-There-Done-That Mommy of Ten.  These fancy lunch bags with their fancy matching thermoses do not last in this family.  Every kid before Aislynn has had one, and they get lost and misplaced and taken home by another kid in class within the first two weeks of school, and that makes them just not worth the money. I personally like the brown sacks for lunches.  They are cheap and they are disposable.  No cleaning necessary.  Easy.  I'm all about easy.

But as Christmas drew near,  I softened.  So I bought her that fancy lunch bag with all the zippers and pockets and the fancy matching thermos, and Aislynn opened it up on Christmas morning and she was SO happy! SO excited! SO grateful!   She could hardly wait to go back to school with that new bag of hers. And guess what?  She used it twice.  It's been MIA at school for about 5 days now.    Yes, I wrote her name and phone number inside of it.  And yes, we checked the Lost &  Found.   It's not there.  

How does this happen?  I mean, if it's not at school where she left it, and it's not in the Lost & Found, then some other kid took it home, right?  And if some other kid took it home, didn't the parents notice that their kid who didn't have a lunch bag suddenly has a lunch bag?  with another kids's name inside of it??!!!?    I mean, I think I would notice something like that. 

So until her fancy lunch bag reappears,  Aislynn is forced back into the brown sack lunch line with the rest of her siblings, and of course she's not too happy about that.  

This is what our kitchen island looks like Monday ~ Friday at about 7:35am

Speaking of things going MIA, I'm back from my blog break.  I guess I should have written a post about me taking a break from blogging during the holidays but I just don't plan ahead like that. And I know I left you all hanging about those built-in boys' bunk beds.  I'd love to report that they are finished! and that they look awesome!  But the truth is that the project stalled right around our busy Christmas time.   We plan on working on their bunk beds again this week.  Of course when I say we I mean Rich.

Despite the bedroom not being finished, the boys started sleeping in their new beds in December, which was nice because the little vagabonds were cluttering up the house with their sleeping bags and pillows.  Here is a photo of what the room looked like back in December.


And right now it still looks like that except the wood flooring has been installed and they have their mattresses and bedding in the bunks.  The staircase will eventually have a wall on both sides and the top bunks will have railings, and of course the room needs painting.  And the moulding needs to be put in.  Yep, lots of work to be done.  I'd say we are about 60% finished right now.  It's a slow go because the guy I hired to do the work has a second and a third job (fire fighter and daddy) and can't work on it everyday like he'd like to! (or rather, like I'd like him to)

Aiden is now seven and a half months old.  This is a photo of him taken today when we were at A.J.'s soccer game.  Look at those long legs!  He's getting so big.


He crawls all over the house, and he can pull himself up into a standing position. He's a busy boy pulling up on everything.  He loves to stand.  He stands up in his crib and then screams when he can't figure out how to lower himself  into a sitting position again.  I will come into the room and he will be hanging onto the crib railing for dear life,  with this look on his face that says "HELP ME! I've stood up and I can't sit down!"  




He is so much fun!  He's played with and cherished and doted on every second he is awake, and sometimes even when he sleeps.  We all love him so much.  He gets so much attention around here.


Santa, baby!


And his eyes are still blue!  Just like his mama's!

Monday, November 25, 2013

progress

The boys' bedroom project is underway. It has been a slow go due to Rich's busy work schedule which keeps him away for days at a time. But on his days off he is in the boys' room, building those bunk beds. Alex is always in there, too, watching and learning, and helping when he can.  Rich has been showing him how to measure and cut the wood, how to use a level, and other things that go along with making these beds.


When Alex was a little boy and I'd ask him, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  he would always answer, "I want to be a builder!"  He was so enthusiastic about it, and it was so cute.  Now, at age 14, when I remind him of what he said, he claims he doesn't remember saying that, and that IF he said that it must have been because he watched the cartoon Bob the Builder so much.   


Hmmm.  I don't know about that.  I remember his early years quite well, and it had nothing to do with any Bob the Builder.  He never even watched that cartoon much.  He was more of a Rolie Polie Olie fan.

But whatever.

I'm really enjoying that the two of them are working on this project together.  I think it's a pretty neat father & son activity.  Alex is learning how to use the power tools, and he's learning skills that will be useful to him in later life....you know, like when his wife asks him to build their kids some bunk beds.


I'm trying to be patient with this project.  I want it done, like, yesterday.  The boys need to be back in their room!  They are like little drifters around here -- hobos who have no real place to call their own, just going from room to room each night, flopping wherever they can find a space.  At first it was fun...but now it's just getting old.  

So far the frames have been installed.  The space you see in between the two frames is where the stairs will be.

The wood strips on the ceiling are bolted into the rafters above, and the wood strips on the walls are bolted into the frame of the house.  Those bunks will be very secure!

Tomorrow they will work on building the frames that hold the four mattresses in place.  I'm excited! Hopefully the boys will be in their finished bedroom before Christmas.  That would be ideal.



My favorite sound lately is the power saw, and my favorite smell is wood.   That sound and that smell means PROGRESS!  Yay for progress!