The end of an era

I’m not going to cry. I’m not. I’m not. I’m not.

Okay, yes, I cried.

Today is the first day of Pre-K for Twix. And, I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit this is a bittersweet day for both Entrepreneur and me. She has been with us since the day she was born. We were at the hospital when she arrived three weeks early, one day ahead of a February snowstorm.

She came home to our house when our daughter and Peanut were living with us. We were right there with her Mama when there were concerns about health issues stemming from her premature birth.

After our daughter went back to work, I transitioned to working my job from home so she didn’t have to worry about child care. And so my journey  with our second grand girl began.

Twix’s health issues improved and she flourished with so many caregivers watching over her. I made her baby food and she went everywhere with me. She took her first steps in our home and it was here she said her first words.

Even when they bought their own home and moved out, she continued to show up Monday through Friday at 7:30am while Mama went to work and Peanut went to school. We watched her grow from an infant into an inquisitive toddler…and now into a precocious preschooler.

I know she is, technically, not my daughter, but she has become such a part of me over these past four and a half years.

And now we have to let her go. As hard as this is for me, I believe it’s going to be doubly hard on Entrepreneur. She’s been his little shadow ever since she could walk, and a shining light in the middle of a very dark time for him.

She has her new backpack, new first day of school outfit, Nana-made quiet time blanket, pillow and small luvie. She is ready.

I’m just not sure I am.

Blog hopping with Happy Tuesday from Comedy Plus and Pictorial Tuesday from Peabea’s Photos ‘n Scribbles

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August Photo Challenge: Photographer’s Choice

August is over? Really? Wow.

And with that thought, it must be time for PJ’s monthly photo challenge. August was Photographer’s Choice. Which is a synonym for Anything Goes. This usually results in an eclectic collection of photos and interesting commentary.

August was (thankfully) easy for me. Seems like I was always on the back end of the viewfinder for some reason. Not that I’m complaining at all! My August photo folder is awfully large, and I did have a bit of a struggle paring down the options. So, of course, I adapted and pushed a few boundaries. Whaaaaattttt?????

Photographer’s Choice #1
Love is the greatest gift that one generation can give another. ~Richard Garnett

The month began with a neighbor’s request to come to their home and capture a few moments with three generations of fathers and sons. The youngest son is 5 months old and the oldest father is in his 70s.

Photographer’s Choice #2
Family is what happens when two people fall in love.

Next on the list took me to the botanical garden in town to recreate some wedding portraits of our daughter, her husband and their blended family. See my two previous posts for more on this event.

Photographer’s Choice #3
Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

We took the grand girls on a whirlwind tour of SE Missouri for a late summer vacay trip before school began. We stopped at a park called Elephant Rocks State Park in the St. Francois Mountains of the Ozark Plateau. These granite boulders are millions of years old. I was going to crop this top photo, but changed my mind as it gives some perspective to how large these boulders are in comparison to a human. And, these were the smallest ones.

Photographer’s Choice #4
Sometimes it feels so good to just sit by yourself, relax and not to talk to anyone. ~Kristen Butler

Peanut got in some last-minute relaxation time before beginning her 4th grade adventure.

Photographer’s Choice #5
Meanwhile, on the other side of the pool……
Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their minds called “All Things That Could Go Wrong.” ~ Marianne Williamson

Bonus choice
Learning is a treasure that follows its owner everywhere. ~Chinese Proverb

Yes, there is a bonus photo because I could not keep to just five this month (obviously). School officially began a couple weeks ago for Peanut. We take these shots for the first day of school and it’s amazing to see how she changes from year to year. Twix will begin Pre-K after Labor Day so we’ll start documenting her school years next month.

Those were my choices for this month. Please blog hop over to PJ’s to see what other participants chose. Better yet, join us and link up!

Conflicted

Well, they are on their way to stay with their dad for a month. The Recruiter, Peanut and Twix left this afternoon to make the trek to Nashville for the hand off for the second leg of their trip to Alabama.

And I’m oddly conflicted.

On one hand, with all that’s happened since February, Entrepreneur and I need a break from the endless energy and incessant “whys” of a three year old. And, having both of them since mid-May when the after-school sitter left college for summer break has been both a joy and a challenge. AND, add the fur baby that arrived the beginning of June and…..well…are you tired yet? We are. We really do need this time to regroup and Entrepreneur needs this time to rest due to chemo fatigue. So, we’re down two children….but training a fur baby.

But, on the other hand, each time they leave, the relief is replaced with worry and concern. Call it parental paranoia or whatever. I’m counting the days until their return. When they hit the door again in mid-July, there won’t be much summer left before those back-to-school and after-school activities begin again. In the meantime, my house will be void of munchkin-size clothing lying around, half-drank beverages in the frig, books, crayons, pencils and toys on every surface in every room. Gone will be the bath toys in my soaker tub, and luvies within arms reach of every bed.

I feel guilty about looking forward to the break…knowing the time we have with them is a gift not afforded to every grandparent. Am I ungrateful for that gift if I’m relieved to be relieved of those child care responsibilities? What if something happens to them while they are gone? I would be devastated knowing I was looking forward to time in the empty nest…even if it was only temporarily.

Such is the life of long-distance visitation.

So we try to pack as much as we can into the few weeks of summer before they have to leave. We did picnics and playgrounds; pool time and popsicles; Peanut and I visited a museum and took in a movie; went to our church’s version of VBS (on steroids); and scheduled horseback riding lessons. Plus, we made sure there were times for just hanging out with nothing organized so the mind could wander uninterrupted.

Please enjoy a few early summer childhood captures of our grandbabykins.


A nosefull of posies.


Yes, she is that high. Zoom lens required.


Picnic pupper and his pal.


The University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archeology; artifacts and art ranging from circa 1550 BCE to the 20th century.


Pool time with Papa.


Sittin’ pretty in the saddle.


He loves me……..


An uninterrupted afternoon.


Mermaids do exist!


She was a little uncontrollable at the sprayground!


The epitome of summer relaxation.


Litter mates.

I think I got a little carried away with my pics. But, I’m sure you’ll forgive me. 🙂 I hope everyone’s summer is off to a wonderful start.

xoxo

One part fun; two parts silly

Our recent vacay couldn’t have come at a better time. With the recent challenges of Entrepreneur’s diagnosis and surgery, we all were on the short side of sanity. Add to that the daily grind of work, the incessant paper blizzard from school, homework, at-home nightly reading, parental disciplining (which. Is. Exhausting) and….oh yeah….an attention demanding, soon-to-be toddler, it’s not hard to see how fun ends up being waaaay down on the list of priorities. Entrepreneur does his fair share of silly at home, but, understandably, he’s been feeling the stress of life these days.

So when we arrived in Cancun, The Golfer/Godmom rose to the occasion and provided some much-needed comic relief! Focusing mainly on Peanut’s need for some silliness, she and KW seemed happy to take the reigns.

silly 4

If people did not sometimes do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done. ~Ludwig Wittgenstein

silly 5

Silliness makes your soul smile ~Doe Zantamata

silly 6

No one looks stupid when they’re having fun. ~Amy Poehler

silly 7

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. ~Dr. Seuss

silly 8

Put something silly in the world that ain’t been there before.  ~Shel Silverstein

Even The Investigator let down her guard and enjoyed a bit of silly.

silly 1

There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do. ~Amy Poehler

silly 3

Mark Twain once wrote, The human race has only one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. I believe he hit the nail square on the head. Laughter and silliness has miraculous healing powers. It lightens the heart and mind, and can help smooth out those bumps in life that cause us to stumble emotionally and psychologically. Laughter is like a piercing light in the darkness that can relieve tension and combat depression. I’m sure it’s a scientific fact somewhere that you simply cannot be depressed or anxious while laughing and being silly. Choosing to laugh and be silly releases endorphins, the anti-stress hormone that can help keep us healthy. It connects people and builds relationships…family, friends and even acquaintances.

Silly is you in a natural state,
and serious is something you have to do
until you can get silly again.
~Mike Myers

So keep your therapy, yoga and meditation. Maybe all we really need is a good dose of silly?

Linking up with LTTL
Life thru the lens

 

 

 

 

 

Random Friday Finds, March 7

Hello, and hope you all had a good week. Mine was a mixed bag, as usual. Some highs, some lows. That’s pretty much normal, isn’t it? But life goes on and it becomes a matter of how we react to those lows that really define us, isn’t it?

1. Well, March came in like a lion to middle Missouri. Titan was the name of this winter storm, and while the weather guessers didn’t get the snowfall accurate, there was enough ice to make for a driving mess. We didn’t leave the driveway from Saturday noon to Monday morning just to be on the safe side. This coming week’s teaser promise of temps in the 50sF can’t come soon enough.

2. Last Saturday afternoon we decided to go ahead and have The Investigator’s baby sprinkle and hope Titan would hold off until it was finished. This was rescheduled from February’s original date because of the last winter storm. Titan did oblige. A baby sprinkle is not a full-blown shower, but people come and bring a few of the essentials a new mom needs for her second child….and a few new, cute things for the baby, because every girl a few new, cute things. We also got an updated shot of four generations together in one place….and smiling at the same time.
four generation 2014

3. Been having some fun with nail art the past few weeks. I’ve done snowflakes, aqua/black/silver stripes and black/gold tiger stripes. Still getting the hang of painting details with my left hand. Yes boys and girls, cabin fever is in full force.
nail art

4. My Strategic Communications capstone class is going fairly well. Only one PIA client out of three. The teams are amazingly on schedule and I’m cautiously optimistic. Yesterday the teams gave in-class presentations in front of some of my industry professional friends who tore apart their proposed ideas offered constructive criticism and feedback on their strategic plans so far. Encore in two weeks.

5. Tanner really needs a bath. I’m hoping to hit a warm day soon so he can have a spa day. In winter, that involves taking him to the local farm and home store’s doggie wash, soaping him up, brushing him out and blow drying him as dry as I can get him. Think of it as a manual, coin-operated car wash….for dogs. Brilliant.
Tanner and Twix
Hmmmm, haven’t seen one of these for a while……

Those are my random finds for the week. Hope yours was a good one.

fridayfindsbutton2  random 5

 

Facing the future…together

big sis lil sis72
Texture by Kim Klassen: February Trio/Play 80% screen

To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.
~Barbara Bush

Peanut and Twix. They will forever be sisters. Whatever life throws at them, rocky or smooth, hopefully they’ll rely on each other and be a stabilizing force in each other’s lives.

As I look at them, I wonder what kind of sisters they will become. Five years apart, they won’t compete with each other in school, but Twix may always be measured by the impression Peanut makes on her teachers. Five years apart, Peanut may feel more protective of Twix, viciously defending her when threatened. But there will be times when they will scream at each other; fight with each other; and sometimes hate each other. It just goes with the territory…and lots of estrogen. I am a sister and have two daughters….so I know from first-hand experience! 🙂

But despite the difference in age, they will cry together over losses; laugh together over happy times; giggle together as they get into mischief; smile at each other with their secrets; and unite together against the evil parental empire. 🙂

They will be individual and unique, yet have a life-long connection with each other. The experiences they have as sisters will define them as women, and unite or divide them in ways they can’t comprehend right now.

My prayer for my two grand girls is that they will always be there for each other, whatever the future holds; that they will learn how to fight constructively, but forgive and extend grace when the dust settles; that they will always encourage each other through the bad times and rejoice with each other during the good; that they are willing to become each other’s security blanket when needed.

Mainly, my prayer is that they will be more than just siblings; that they will realize  the relationship they have is one born of God…a very special heavenly gift to each other for as long a they live.

Linking up with Texture Tuesday and Texture Twist
Texture Tuesday  texture-twist