School Days!

Well this coming Monday is the beginning of a new school year in The Burg.  The University of Central Missouri begins classes and I begin watching my wee grand girls once again.

Am I ready?  Well, it depends what perspective you take.  I think I’ll take God’s perspective and just love on them.  It’s the best I can give them and me.

This year the oldest – four years old – will be gong to a pre-school, in September, a few days a week.  I think she will enjoy that and that means Penny June and I can bond deeper.

I love the transitional period when school begins for all ages.  I love driving through campus and seeing the parents carrying refrigerators and boxes and bedding and sad faces trying to look happy when they say good bye to the children.  I don’t take pleasure in their conflict but I am excited for the students and sad for the parents.  I had many tears when we drove away from our kids. 😦

Our campus here just opened new dorms overlooking the football field and a Starbucks (for those who have yet to experience real coffee) and a Spin Pizza – all open to the public for all to enjoy!

University of Central Missouri - store
University of Central Missouri – store
New dorms and shops - UCM
New dorms and shops – UCM

Any of you have university campuses in your town?

What are your experiences?

Enjoy!

cate b

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What Uma’s Do

It is now my summer time.  It actually started about two weeks ago.  The university is pretty quiet now and I don’t have my sweet grand girls five days a week.  I am still adjusting to the quiet and the freedom to stay in my pjs for hours.

The girls did come over for a few hours the other day.  Since the first one was born, Lucy, I sang to her.  She liked to fuss a lot with me and singing certain songs always worked to comfort her.  They still do at the age of four.  One song I sang to her was Sloop John B – I changed the words a little so I wasn’t giving her ideas to drink all night and get into a fight to: Singing all night – till it was nearly daylight.  It works.  Her other favorite is JJ Heller’s song, The Boat Song.  She both loved the song and the music video on youtube.

Penny, however, didn’t take to those songs.  Her comfort songs became How Much Is That Doggie In The Window, Jesus Loves Me, and Shake it Off by Taylor Swift.  She can watch that video over and over.  She travels to a different beat.

Since I took up the Ukulele a couple of years ago, I play their songs for them (except for shake it off – I do that a cappella).  Well, I must show you what Penny June did with my uke.  I normally don’t let them play it.  But I put her hands in position and off she went……. I am bragging, I have that right, I think she is a natural.

Drum roll please…….. Penny June singing and playing How Much is That Doggie in the Window……..

Enjoy!

cate b

Love Is Stronger Than Snot

For those who know, I care for our two grand daughters while our son and lovely wife attend university full time.  Finals are over and we all collapsed yesterday.

A very busy semester just ended.  This past week our little Penny June (eighteen months), AKA \, came down with a cold.  Kids tend to hate having their noses wiped.  And why should they like it when they have Uma’s shirt to just rub on back and forth until the problem is solved?

As my title strongly states – Love IS stronger than snot.  It’s a good thing I love her to pieces.  After raising four kids I’ve learned there isn’t a mess that can’t be cleaned.  Well, except for the black oil pastels our middle son used on the rug in his room so that when you lifted his art work up from the floor there was a tan rug “picture” framed in back on the carpet.  Nothing got that up………. But all else is a piece of cake.

I didn’t always see it that way.  I cleaned up constantly when my kids were growing.  But there came a day, somewhere in my past, that I really realized that “crying over spilt milk” is not the end of the world.  It’s just a minor inconvenience.

Love wins.  Look at my life.  I’m a great complainer to God (and husband) and they still love me.  God loves me so much that I have a picture implanted in my head of Him laughing loudly with arms folded over his chest.  A real gut-type belly laugh just because He loves me and enjoys my antics. Please note:  I have many antics and strive daily to overcome my bad attitudes.

And that, my friends, is how I try to enjoy my grand girls.  Just laugh and enjoy their antics.  Why?  Because they will grow up and become their own adults and enjoying their growth while I can is delightful!  All the things I think are problems that need solving in my life become very small when I actively try to not sweat the messes and other little things in life.

Life is short.  It really is.  And if I can accomplish one thing in my life I want it to be that I didn’t sweat the small things and that I took the time to enjoy the snot on my favorite shirt…….. because I am totally washable!

Enjoy!

cate b

Road Trip!

Two weeks ago my husband and I plopped ourselves in the back seat of our son’s car.  Road Trip!  We were heading to the east coast, a two day drive.  We were greeted with, “Are you ready?  Let’s go!”, spoken by our lovely two year old grand daughter, Lucy.  She was so excited.  Of course she was not fully aware of what exactly we were doing, but the excitement of Papa and Mammy coming too was delightful.

We left at night so she would sleep.  It worked well.  As daylight dawned this is what I saw sitting next to me:

IMG_3368IMG_3369She will get even when she hits about thirteen.

 

 

 

After cleaning up the throw up in the car – contained in her car seat, thank goodness, we were on our way for day two of driving.

I have to say this child was a trooper.  She was excellent in the car and she loved Cracker Barrel –

http://www.crackerbarrel.com/

 

 

My husband and I usually go to the east coast about once a year to visit our son and family.  We were just there in October, but when our youngest son suggested we come along with him and his wife and daughter we couldn’t resist.

This particular area of the eastern seaboard is where we spent over twenty years.  That is the longest we have lived as a family.  I was born and raised in New Jersey and the Jersey shore is familiar to me.  I love it.  Living there, however, was harder than visiting.  It is a tourist county all summer long for Philadelphia, New York, Quebec, etc.  I loved being a tourist and this was the first time my son’s wife was there to see where her husband grew up and to meet the rest of the immediate family.  Same with Lucy.

But on a particular day walking “The Promenade” along the beach (it’s equivalent to a boardwalk but paved, no boards – they washed away years ago in a storm and replaced with pavement) I broke down when my son asked if I was enjoying myself.  Truth was – I was enjoying myself.  So much that I didn’t want to go home to the mid-west.  I’m old enough to know this was a passing emotional moment.  I knew the difference in being a tourist and a local.  It’s just that I miss the familiar so much sometimes.  And the most part of that is my family there.

I’ve only been in the mid west a little over four years (see my blog entitled Cate, Plain and Tall).  I really do like it here and as in any form of culture shock I am finding my new familiars.  Let’s face it, there is no beach or ocean here or really good pizza.  So I am adjusting.  I have new loves.

So after that little meltdown I moved forward.  The time with our family was fantastic and aw old friends as well.  Then came the day to pile back into the backseat of the car……… with little miss Lu.  She is one of the loves of my life and can do practically no wrong……. but waking up in a moving vehicle and seeing large blue eyes staring at your face can be quite unnerving.  Shiver.  She was delightful and I forgive her for throwing various items into my face from time to time.  No blood, I’m OK.

When we would settle into a hotel on the halfway points she would pace while us adults fell asleep.  It was lovely to find her in between Papa and I sound asleep.

Such sweetness to being a grand parent.  Lucy fell in love with her much older boy cousins and her aunt and uncle.  Such memories to treasure.

I would jump back in the car in a heart beat to travel again with these kids – well, give me a week to stretch out.

Here are a few pics to bore – I mean share with you 😉

IMG_3380

IMG_3386Her is her first beach experience – not liking

the sand in her toes.

On right – it got a little better.

Oh, and here is where I got stuck on the beach.  Yes, stuck.  I couldn’t get the stroller through the deep sand and over the sand dune.  I couldn’t carry her – that would have been much like carrying a large tree in deep snow and I’m way to old for that!  I actually called her dad to carry her over the dune and then walked her home the two blocks!  And for the record, he did agree how hard it was!

 

 

IMG_3389

IMG_3394Cousin snuggles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3465IMG_3479

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3471And finally, on the last day, success!  The sand was good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!  Make memories!

cate b

Don’t Call Me Grandma

I’m a grandmother.  Three of my grandchildren call me Uma.  The fourth one calls me Mammy.  Call me anything but Grandma.  I think that is because my grandmother, the one I knew, was old.  Times were different.  Most grandparents were older than they are now, when I was a kid.  Even the styles were older.  They never wore blue jeans or even pants.  They did not know how to operate a computer or smart phone – didn’t even have them yet.  They crocheted and knitted and baked pies and cookies from scratch.  Yummy.

My husband’s grandmother came across the country in a covered wagon and lived to see the first man on the moon!  All in one life time.  That amazes me.

As a grandparent we have bragging rights and I believe we have spoiling rights.  If we say cookies for breakfast then so be it, and so on.

This past weekend we celebrated our youngest grand child’s second birthday.  To wrap up the weekend we arranged a ride on a horse.

A picture is worth a thousand words…….

and a video….

215232_10151340143427820_302916488_n  486832_10151341418012820_718931087_nFirst Horse Ride

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was perfect.

Enjoy!

cate b.

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet

It seems like the simplicity of the “Happy Days” (aka the 50’s) is gone. We called our Grandmother, Grandma. Grandfather, Grandpa.
My kids called their Grandmother, Grandma and Grandfather, Grandpa.
My first 3 grandchildren call me Uma and their Grandfather, Pop-Pop. The other side of the family is Nana and Grampy.
Second son and his wonderful wife to have a child (due next Spring) decided we needed to be called Mammy and Boompa.
To quote Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation – who was also called Boompa by one of his Grandchildren – “BOOM-Pa????”
I think my husband has a bit of a harder time than I do with the name choices. I tend to be a bit more creative and silly and fun loving of the out of the ordinary in life. Could my son have gotten that from me? Hmmmm.
First daughter-in-law called today to state that the first Grandchildren get to name us and Uma and Pop-Pop it is!
Let the games begin! This could be interesting. I think I will get some popcorn and hot chocolate and sit back and enjoy.
I love being a Grandma- Uma – Mammy. 😉