say cheese

group photo

Morning photo shoot with Kerri’s big Canadian Family (and a couple of American’s tossed in for good measure) at her Aunt Arlene’s home.  Afterwards, an old fashioned BBQ picnic at Aunt Linda’s.  I must say that the family was wonderful and the food was great.  But, oh … the amazing gorgeous outdoor area was a whole other story!  I cannot really call it her yard because it was so huge!

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This carrot cake was scrumptious – just a side note!

Doesn’t matter which country, Abby has Papa wrapped around her little little finger.

She knows it and he relishes it.

Chris Mundle rented a jumping castle for the day and kids of all ages enjoyed it.

Best idea ever.

There were lots of introductions and how are you related and great food.  There was water balloon fights between the cousins – a tradition as I understand it.  Lots of photography and clean up and long walks on a beautiful property with some really good people.  So happy to be invited along on this trip to our neighbor up north.

O Canada! Our home and native land!

Okay, it isn’t MY native land.  Still, when in Rome …

 

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We made it!  Calgary International Airport.  I feel more relaxed already.  After a short pause for a photo-op, we are on the way to the car rental for the not too far drive to Red Deer, Alberta.

And this charmer is our home for 6 days!

An immaculate 2 bedroom home complete with a well stocked refrig and lawn games for the kids.  All of the kids!  Perfect!  As we settled in with luggage and setting up our little spaces, I decided I would share the room with Max and Abby and let Jeffry & Kerri have a bit of a break with their own room.   Not really much sharing as our room was ginormous – I had a double bed on one side of the room and there were twin beds on the other side – one with blue linens and one with pink.  Abby arranged her toys and books on her side of the table and Maxwell found a little cabinet which suited his Pokemon collection just fine.  They each put their clothes in little cubbies in the closet and were well satisfied with their areas.  It was so cute to see them try to carefully put their items here and there, and although it kind of looked a hot mess to me, they stood back and studied the progress they made and I could tell they were thinking “well done”.  So what if Max hung his underwear on the little hooks in the closet?  To him it was logical as he could just grab one each day.  Very handy!  They didn’t have to be told what to do – they just did it.  There was no fighting and lots of “here, Abby – you can put some stuff right here”.  That’s my grand kids!

a crazy little thing called LIFE

I am getting way too familiar with all the wings at Tucson Medical Center.  I know how to get to each ward, the emergency room and (very important here) the cafeteria.  Not for their food as I compare all hospital food to my days at St Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction where you could get mashed potatoes (real ones) a fried chicken leg (so yummy) and a regular old piece of Holsum bread with real butter for a buck something and it was like having dinner at home.  This was a staple of mine during my employment as a nurse’s aide and later on working in the nursing office.  Nowadays in hospitals, there is always a conglomeration of some type of casserole,  Not my cup of tea.  So, no, it is not for the food.  It is because it has big tables and I know which ones have outlets near them so I can spread out my accounting and work while Bob is sleeping or in surgery.  It helps to have numbers bumping back and forth in my brain to counteract the medical jargon and talk of transplants and heart stents and blood sugars and more.  Numbers make sense to me.  Medicine, not so much.  So another 30 days with ambulances and 3 hospitalizations and surgery and waiting.  Hubs is home from the various hospital visits now and for the time being, is doing well.

Saturday I open the freezer door and see that the ice in the ice tray is melting.  WHAT?  I listen with ear pressed against the refrigerator door.  Nothing.  Not the usual compressor noise kicking on and off.  Must be the breaker.  Move everything away from the door to the fuse box.  All breakers are in their proper place.  Well, that can’t be good.  I hear something …  is it a bird?  Is it a plane?? NO – it’s SUPERSONS!  And a brand new refrigerator is delivered on the morning of Mother’s Day.  My boys saved me and what a relief having someone take care of me while Bob is in the hospital.  I am forever in their debt.

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Mothers Day Brunch for Kerri, Maggie and me at the University Marriott, where we were treated to a yummy buffet, a box of chocolates, Abby singing but also to watching Max riding in the glass elevator with Mahmaw waving until his little arm almost fell off!  Then, up to the Mundle’s room for Mimosa’s.  Yummy!2013 mothers day 1

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In the meantime, we are having our Friday Family Dinners and Abby visits on Monday and Tuesday while Max maintains his Thursday-Friday routine at Nana’s and Poppa’s house.

Look what I can do, nana!

Look what I can do, nana!

 Max pulls his shirt up over the back of his head and reminds me of those elves on JibJab!  He is proud of this new accomplishment and demonstrates various versions of this feat, shirt over the back of the head and the shirt over his face.  This goes on for much of the afternoon.  Amazing!

I announce the annual Camp NANA in chalk on the back patio.  Max is impressed.  Max is so impressed that shortly after he sees it, I hear the unmistakable sound of hose water and see that he has entirely washed my promo away.  Fame is so fleeting.

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Friends and family have been so supportive during this very trying past couple of weeks.  My gratitude to everyone!

Meanwhile … back east in Virginia, swimming lessons for Mateo and Marluce!  And they are flourishing in the water!  Cannot wait to watch them swim in person!  Love you kids!

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and the time WHOOSHES by …

Days fly by so fast that I can barely keep up!  Trying to get ready for my 2 week long trip to Virginia and a birthday moustache bash and still working my accounting and housework and laundry, OH MY!  Well, the 3rd birthday part for Mr Max was quite a success.  Moustaches and balloons were everywhere.  Kids were laughing and playing and Bob and Tom and Jeffry and Jamie were all kibitzing.  Mahmaw and O Canada Poppa were running back and forth making sure all of the guests were fed and recycle items picked up and in general, making the entire affaire seamless!  Kerri had everything so well thought out and executed.  Such a clever young lady!  Just look!

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complete with PB&J moustache sandwiches, Root Beer Floats and Warm Popcorn!  Max was a perfect gentleman, thanking each person for their gift and hugs all around!  On Monday, Miss Abigail came to visit and was charming as ever.  We strolled around the neighborhood and she was not shy about telling Nana what she thought when I had to stop to do something or wait for a car!

abbyCarriage 1While shopping for a snack to take on my plane trip to Virginia – I found this HUGE bag of carrots.  Just why  would someone need a 25 pound bag of carrots??  Have to think on that one.  really big carrots

My flights to Virginia were great!  Each leg I had a window seat and each leg, the aisle seat and I had the middle seat open so we could share it to hold our stuff  Bonus!  I could have sworn the guy on the 2nd leg of the flight was Anderson Cooper –  until he mentioned that he worked for Hilton Hotels!  Glad I did not ask for his autograph.

Landed at DCA Regan and Ricky was right there waiting for me.  Very late dinner at Amphora Diner and then home to hugs from Katia and Gloria and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.