Friday, January 30, 2009

The Gift Quilts

Most years recently, somebody has gotten a quilt as a Christmas gift from me. This year I made two of for each of the grand kids. Now I realize that no 3 or 6 year old is going to climb up on Santa's lap and say they want a quilt for Christmas, but I do hope they will enjoy using their quilts. Some time ago I had asked Savannah if we should make her a pink and white quilt. I had already been collecting some pink fabrics. She said, "Oh, yes. And purple (okay) and red (stop right there). So I made her a pink and white and purple quilt. And, actually, when she opened it she was very happy with it. We were sitting on the floor and she wrapper it around herself and curled up in my lap and said, "It makes me want to go back to sleep." That's as good a reaction as I could hope for. The other day we snuggled up in it on her bed for a photo op.

Emery's quilt is a bunch of fish bowls. It was a lot of fun to collect all the different fish and mermaid and underwater fabrics for this one. He was pretty busy with superheros, toys, games and candy on Christmas morning and didn't pay much attention to it. But when we got it out to look at it the other day, he was pretty fascinated. It's like looking in a lot of little windows at the aquarium.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Didn't Even Know it Was His Birthday

We had the grand kids for the weekend, and that's always fun...and interesting. On Saturday they were both busy for quite a while. I was vaguely aware that they were getting out all their favorite toys from one end of the house to the other. That's normal. Then, after a bit, they came in and announced to Grampy that it was his birthday and they had set up a party for him -- with surprises. All that was required of him was to close his eyes so they could lead him to where they had set up the festivities.

In this first picture, you can see that along with a couple of plates of plastic food, Emery is "gifting" Grampy with a small, fuzzy white evening bag. In the background, Savannah is getting the little Sammy Sosa bear fitted with his Cubs' hat. What becomes more clear in this second picture is that the whole shindig took place in our bathroom! You can see more party food set out on plates on the toilet...and heaven only knows what Savannah is showing him in the "surprise box".
Maybe it's me. Maybe I misunderstood. Maybe they said they were having a "birthday potty". I guess I need to play closer attention when I'm baby sitting.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fashion Update

Grampy and I were going to watch the kids on Saturday, but Jodi and Jeremy each had to be up and on their ways in different directions early, so we got the kids Friday night. It was late when they got here, but Savannah had to see all the doll clothes before she went to bed. She took them all out of the box and "oohed" and "aahed" over each one. Then she put some of them on Meo. Here's Meo...sporting a pink nightgown, a blue cape, a light green floppy-brimmed hat and carrying a red tote...and looking so fine.
When the kids spend the night, Emery sleeps with Grampy and I sleep with Savannah. In the morning as we were laying in bed, Savannah said, "Nanny -- Meo is so excited. Today is the first day of all her new clothes!" I said that I thought Meo looked pretty comfortable in her nightgown (the cape and accessories were removed for sleeping) and I asked if she slept well. Savannah said, "Oh, yes. I think she was pretty tired. She fell asleep before I did, because I asked her a question and she didn't answer me."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The "Circle" of Life

Back in the 70s some time, I decided my girls were at an age where I could get them each a nice doll that they would take care of and that I could then hand down to their children. Fisher Price had just the thing...My Friend Mandy and My Friend Jenny. One Christmas I got the Mandy doll for Jodi and the Jenny for Jessica. Then I got the "official" patterns and made lots of clothes for them.

But it wasn't long before reality bit. One day I discovered that Jodi had cut Mandy's bangs! (Did she think they were going to grow back???) And not long after that, Jessica was playing with a smurf stamp and decided Jenny's forehead was a good place to try it out! Getting ink off of a vinyl doll's face isn't easy...and in trying many types of removers I managed to remove not only the smurf, but Jenny's painted-0n eyes as well!! So then I decided to keep the dolls anyway to show my girls' children just how awful they had been. I still have Mandy and Jenny and they are still friends. That's Mandy - on the left - having a perpetual bad hair day...and Jenny - on the right - who sweetly doesn't seem to "see" any flaws in her dear friend.

Skip forward (so quickly) 30 years and I'm glad I kept the dolls and all the clothes I had made for them. For now I have a granddaughter! :) Delight of my life, but a girl who really has never been interested in playing with dolls. :( What she loves is animals. Stuffed animals, plastic animals, pictures of animals. If it has four legs and makes strange sounds she's in love with it and will imagine it to have all kinds of personality. Her very favorite and closest friend is Meo. Aunt Jessica gave it to her when she was a baby and it has been her constant companion for these last 6 years. It is a little lamb and we have no idea where the name came from...except from Savannah's imagination. Jess got the lamb at the gift shop where she works and Savannah has come to call that place "the Meo store".

No way to make this long story short, so I'll continue. The other day I was talking to Jodi on the phone and she said, "I meant to tell you that the dress for the Mandy doll fits Meo and Savannah loves to put it on her". I said, "Well, then, she's in for a real treat because there is a box with more of them in the basement." She told Savannah that and now Savannah is so excited about coming over here this weekend. For Christmas this year, Jessica got her a blue lamb (Fluffy) and a pink one (Bubblegum) just like Meo and now she's wanting to dress them all. So today I dug out the doll clothes and washed them all up. They are now ready for Savannah to get excited over on Saturday.

Looking at them again brought back memories. It really is amazing how quickly the 30+ years have gone by since I made those clothes. And in my imagination they would be played with again by a little girl who was fascinated to have her mommy's old doll to dress up. But in reality they will be worn by a pastel plethera of sweet little lambs by their even sweeter friend. Sometimes the circle of life isn't a circle at all, but more of an ellipse. But it still just keeps rolling merrily along.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Diet Starts Tomorrow

I wrote this poem over 20 years ago. And now I don't know which is sadder...the fact that it's just as true today, or the fact that I'd now kill to look like I did then.

The time is now! My diet I'll start!

This time it will work -- I know in my heart.

My resolve is firm, my desire is true.

I'll be a new person by March twenty-two.

A person whose taken control of her life,

Jerry won't know I'm the very same wife.

All of my power and courage I'll muster.

I'll challenge this thing like General Custer.

But unlike Mr. Custer, I won't fail.

I'll soon be looking all skinny and frail.

My clothes will fit. I'll be looking so fine.

By (at the latest) April twenty-nine.

If, indeed, we are what we eat

I've become chocolate from head to my feet.

A "No thank you" will be my battle cry

When tempted with cookies and cake and pie.

This is a worthy crusade that I'm on

For soon a swimming suit I must don.

Oh, what a ravishing sight I will be

In all of my clothes by -- May twenty-three?

I'll be nibbling on salads and sprouts and fruit

Thinking, meanwhile, of that revealing suit.

I've become a slave to all of my cravings.

To cherries and whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

But that's in the past, I'm a new person now.

See determination in the set of my brow.

If the fourth of July comes and then goes

And I still can't fit in my summertime clothes...

I won't falter, I won't give in

I will not quit until I'm thin.

This is an honorable challenge to me;

To be svelte by August twenty-three.

If I'm not skinny by this coming fall...

I'm eating again -- the hell with it all!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Do you know what that word means? If not, now you will. It might come in handy some time in a trivia game. I've been a Philatelist since I was in the 8th grade. No, I don't need a 12-step program. A Philatelist is a stamp collector!

Even though I haven't done anything with my stamp collection for many years, I'm still intrigued and notice the commemorative stamps on the mail I get. When I see one that's different or interesting, I tear off the corner of the envelope around the stamp and put it in a little box in my desk drawer. When the little box gets full -- like it did the other day -- I take them out and soak the stamps off the paper and dry them flat and get them ready for mounting.

Since most of my correspondence these days is by e-mail, most of my commemorative stamps are the Christmas issues for the past few years. But in going through what I had put in the box, I was pleasantly surprised to see some really neat ones again.

Of special interest were these three. When I got my 2006 Christmas card from Jodi and Jeremy, I was excited to see that she had a stamp on it that had the kids' picture on it! The U.S. Postal Service has never come up with a commemorative that's been anywhere near as cute as that. Maybe if they had a series with my grand kids' pictures on them, they wouldn't be in financial trouble. But that's just my opinion. That year I also got one from a friend of mine that had her granddaughter's picture on it, too. Too cute! (That's her -- Mary Catherin Dunne -- in the top right corner of this post). Then in 2007, Jodi again put the kids on the envelope.
She didn't send cards this year, so I don't have one for 2008...but it was such fun to see these stamps again. One of these days I'll get my albums out and play around and I will find a very special page for these very special stamps of these very special little people.
What could be more exciting than this for a Philatelist Nanny?