Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I picked up Grant yesterday and he was playing basketball by himself. Just shooting some hoops. For whatever reason it dawned on me that we were down to the final days of school. G would be a first grader in a matter of moments.

So I did what I always do when I realize the obvious.

Got emotional. And took pictures so I can remember the moment I got all emotional for the millionth time while watching this little boy grow up.

We came home and I did my usual struggle to get him to eat ALL of his dinner. However, I am a total genius and made each area of dinner have a captain. Grant's into the newest ridiculous fab of Squinkies. Little mini plastic bouncy figures. It's weird. But, it keeps him occupied for awhile.

See. Each area has a captain. Green Latern at spinach, Captain
America at rice, some guy I don't know at meat and some other guy I don't
know at Olives.

Think what you will about me, but it worked.

We also reviewed his year end report card. He did great!
In everything. He was pleased and so am I.

And, here's some of his last art projects at school.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sweet Sissy/Auntie Lauren

Lauren graduated last night. I'm so very proud of her and the kind hearted, smart, beautiful and thoughtful person she has become.

Of course I cried. I tend to cry at events like these. I realized though, this was different. Here she was standing in front of me, with a perfect smile planted on her face despite the tremendous few years she's had. And how gracefully she handled the struggles thrown her way while trying to finish high school, apply to college, keep up with tennis and do all the other million things teenagers do at this point in their lives.

I cried because Dad wasn't there to see this amazing woman. A woman he spent his years raising, watching countless tennis matches, practices, communions, birthday parties. school functions and trips to the zoo. He was so proud of her. I was sad for her. Her Dad wasn't there. It was the first time in my life I understood both sides of something so significant; from the parent perspective, the child's and the sister.

But, as Dad would say, onward and upward. She's off to OU (there's still time to change your mind and go to OSU, just saying) in the fall. I can't wait to see what her future holds, and as someone at the long graduation ceremony said last night, what the rest of her story will be now that she'll be the author.

I love you, "Buttercup".

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sore Loser

Grant was extremely grouchy yesterday. Everything caused a huge sigh and whine and fit. After awhile I just went into his room, hugged him and said I would be glad to play with him, since all his friends weren't home at the time.

We sat down in the living room and started playing Uno. I realized quickly I had a fabulous hand. The best I've ever been dealt.

3 Draw Fours and One Wild Card. It's like an Uno Royal flush.

Things moved right along and the whining and complaining seemed to have subsided.....

See. Happy.

Then, it happened. I played my hand. I tried to not win quickly, as I knew with a hand like that it would be over fast. He came close to winning, until I played my Draw Four gauntlet.

Which resulted in this:

Clearly he's not happy for me with my fabulous win.

Enough said. Bad day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The "Graduate"

I made this last night:

I'm already upset just thinking about him graduating in 12 years from high school and leaving for college.

I realize I'm ridiculous.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ostrich's and Mama's

This weekend marked the 6th year Grant and I have attended the Ostrich Egg Breakfast with Nene and Mike's family. The kids did the usual eating hardly half of what they were given and running around. We attempted something different this year and fed the Lorakeets. It was a rainy morning and we didn't stay too long, but had fun none the less.

Sunday was Mother's Day and Grant woke me up with a big hug and kiss and then quickly asked to watch cartoons. We went to church and spent some time with Nanny and then went hiking at Martin Nature Park. We stopped by the Morgan's and brought them dinner (Hank is doing well and is happy to be home). We played Mancala (Grant's newest favorite game) all evening and watched a little Avatar. Pretty low key and perfect.

Mancala Game
This is Mancala. It's an ancient math game. Grant is way better than I am.
I've only won once. For real!

Ummm, well. This birdie went to the bathroom. On Bryan.
Which makes me laugh. A lot.

Everyone holding hands....

Grant and Edie Jane


Connor and Scout

Perfect Afternoon at Martin Nature Park
Grant making a path for the water to flow

Friday, May 11, 2012

Graduating Kindergarten Class of 2012

There he is. The last row, first one on the left.

Now, if only I knew where he would be attending school next year.

Keep your fingers crossed for Cleveland.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A few things I forgot to mention

The day before we left for our trip, Grant had his "test and interview" at Cleveland Elementary. I thought this would be something informal and simple.

No. It was not.

We pulled up to the school and walked in. And then I freaked out.

There were tons of kids and parents running around. Most parents were dressed up and their children were in their Sunday clothes. Everyone was trying to figure out where to go. Grant decided he was going to freak out too and hid behind me for a good 5 minutes.

We arrived at the designated time and place a little early, and so we stood outside the classroom where, there were other children already testing. Apparently Grant wasn't the only one who made the interview cut. Clearly, Grant should be allowed to go to school here and having to "prove" it bothered me even more.

Since when are essays from parents, teacher recommendation letters (3 of them were required), schmoozing at auctions and forcibly meeting strangers to try and "network", trying to make friends with the Principal so maybe your kid will stand out in the finals and testing your child BEHIND CLOSED DOORS necessary to transfer to an elementary school.... that's three blocks away from my house.

 I've been working this thing for months now.


And, hand writing a thank you note to the principal.

And, offering to present some type of program during dental hygiene month for kids.

And, promising to be a member of the PTA and volunteering to garden at the school.

This is making me crazy.

And, I still don't know if he got in. My stomach is in knots.

My view of Grant. Behind closed doors. In a real school.
Testing on I don't even know what.

On the way to this awful experience, we stopped at the usual stop light at 10th and Penn coming back from YMCA downtown. Grant ALWAYS wants to go into this terrible, filthy and totally unsafe thrift store because they put half of their store items outside for everyone to see, which is basically a bunch of junk you wouldn't even buy at a garage sale.

Grant decides at the stop light that this is where he wants his 7th birthday party to take place.

At the disgusting, dirty and scary place.

I'm going to have to find a new route home.

The end.

Friday, May 4, 2012

April 29th. One year later.

Sunday marked the anniversary of  Dad's death. It's been a hard year. A lesson learning year. A heart breaking year.  A year of memories that will never leave me.

We decided it would be a good day to drive to Taos. We had a beautiful drive and stopped to shop and look around town. Poor little Grant had the worst allergies and sniffled the whole time. He was so well behaved as we shopped and made friends at each place we visited. We came home and had dinner at Il Piatto, my favorite Italian restaurant in Santa Fe. Grant had been there with me as a baby and it was neat to come back with him and create a new memory.

We each drew at our place setting  in honor of Dad. He was such a doodler. I found so many of his doodles on cards, bills, business documents...We each drew something we remembered of his. Of course, Grant drew something else. He didn't get to know Dad and his doodles, but I'm glad to say the doodle gene is indeed present in him. Dad would be proud.

It's a dinner setting. With spinach, broccoli, fish,
and chicken.

Dad's famous one legged man

Dad's dog doodles. Always a favorite.

After dinner we came home and went to the river one last time. To say goodbye. And to smash the urn. And at that moment it ended for me. Now it's time to carry on the good memories and teach Grant all the wonderful lessons Dad so lovingly taught me. I'll miss ya, Dad, but my chin is finally up again.

Santa Fe, Day Three and Four

We did a little shopping on day three while Uncle Dave and Aunt Paula hiked about. Grant wasn't thrilled with shopping, but was a trooper none the less. We cooked out again, Uncle Dave cooked pork chops and we had a nice time before they left the next day. Uncle Dave made a fan of pork chops out of me. Who knew I'd like them grilled.?Anyway, it was a quiet day and we went to bed early.

Saturday we decided to take Grant to Bandolier. It's one of Dad's favorite hiking spots. Grant wanted to go and see the "Indian Holes", so off we went.

Grant sticking his head out of one of the "windows"

One view from high up in the cliffs

Grant stuck between a rock and, well, a rock

Auntie Lauren and Grant in one of the largest dwellings.
This would be a Galardia kind of home back in the day.

Just too sweet!

Part of the hike

Grant managed the ladders on his own and did
very well. Some of them were pretty long.

We made it about half way back and Grant just "couldn't walk anymore".....Auntie Lauren ended up giving him a piggy back ride the rest of the way to the car. Thanks, Lauren. you totally saved my back on that one. We stayed in and watched Ratatouille and called it a night.

Santa Fe, Day Two

Day two was more serious. We spread Dad's ashes. It's been a very long and difficult year for me without him. I  feel now I can start to heal knowing he is finally at rest exactly where he wanted to be (and out of my dining room).

The forecast that day called for extreme high winds, which isn't something helpful given out task. We all woke up, had breakfast together and walked to the river near our little house. Dad always loved it there. Lauren and I had scoped it out the day before and the river was dry. We arrived there that morning and there was plenty of water. A running stream in fact. And the winds? Not a breeze to speak of. You know me, that was a sign. We were in the right place at the right time with the right people. The people who loved Dad. Always.
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I have no words. Tears of sadness and tears of
peace. I miss you, Dad. And will always love you.
With my whole heart.

We drove to Chimayo after this, another one of Dad's favorite places to finish his final resting place. We met Jill and Ridgely (no photo for reference, bummer). Jill and Grant made some crosses out of sticks and floated them down the river where placed Dad (we had a few places we thought he'd want to be). Aunt Paula read a few words from some lovely poems and into the river number two Dad went.

 The entrance to Chimayo.
 The river is behind these crosses.

Jill was kind of enough to treat us to lunch at the local restaurant right by Chimayo. We had a long leisurely lunch and good conversations. Lots of talking about cars, which Dad would have appreciated. (especially Jill's Mercedes AMG, holey smokes, lady)!

We came back to the ranch for a bit and who should show up but our most favorite ranch dogs, Pupup and Lulabelle. Dad loved these guys. We all do. They are the sweetest poodles you'll ever want to know. We hadn't seen them thus far on our trip and were worried about them. They've gotten a little older and move a bit slow, but are the same friends we've loved for years. And how appropriate they show up just as we pull in from Chimayo.

We had a nice family dinner at Pasqual's (thanks Uncle Dave and Aunt Paula). We even got our own table, which is tough there anymore. While the food was good, I discovered I'm not so hippie/organic as I thought I was. I've become slightly more "preppy" if you will, and think my Pasqual's days are over.
 Thanks for dinner, Pasqual's. You can keep your fish tostado next time. However, the brie was fantastic.