yeah yeah. I am a bit behind in my photo albums. Now, on to the last half of 2012. Stay Tuned!
yeah yeah. I am a bit behind in my photo albums. Now, on to the last half of 2012. Stay Tuned!
Ricky and Mateo and Marluce left early in the morning for the airport and their return trip to beautiful northern Virginia. The paints and crafts were all back in their rightful place. The house was too quiet. Nobody asking for snacks. Nobody asking to play in the water. Nobody trying to talk their daddy into a little more screen time. Just the quiet.
I do not accompany my kids to airports, if I can avoid it. I am too emotional. Watching them walk into the building and having them beyond my grasp is just too much. So, I leave that to the other son or the husband. Although, I am certain you wouldn’t have to look too close to see a tear in Jeffry’s eye as the glass doors of TIA closed behind them.
I remember the many times we would leave Grandma Tabor’s house for our return trip to Grand Junction, and we silently giggled at the fact that “uh oh. Grandma is crying again”. I think I can hear her voice in my ear asking “well, how do YOU like it?”
I don’t, Gram. I don’t like it at all.
Waking up in Northern Virginia to five and one half inches of snow on the ground. Brrrr. Back in Arizona, this is our Springtime! I had forgotten how the northeast cold can sting. I heard the grandkids getting ready to play out in the snow. Mateo and his Abuela, Gloria, made a snowman in the backyard and then safely transported it on a sled all the while gingerly maneuvering the gentle “hill”. Once safely in place at the front of the house, the sled was removed and the little guy stood to greet all who passed by.
Since this was the beginning of Spring break, I was hoping to spend the day packing and playing with the grandkids. Before I could engage them, they were packed up in the truck and whisked off to places unknown – probably to enjoy the day sledding or making snowballs. I guess this would be the time to mention that not all was quiet on the Virginia front. Ricky and Katia are in the beginnings of divorce proceedings. My stay was not always welcome by my daughter in law. There were biting comments and hurt feelings. There had been several times over the past 14 years when a darker side had spewed ugly and mean words my way, but this was different. This time there was a sort of finality. I have never been accustomed to a child screaming at a parent – no matter the age. Being chastised and degraded by a child whom you have loved is not an easy thing to face. And, frankly, it was never attempted in my childhood – let alone tolerated! But, there it was. And the sting of the words burned in a way that the icy weather never could.
I spent my last day working on some accounting issues and folding and picking up. The curtains were open and the bright snow under the sun spilled a soul cleansing brightness over the room.
Rick picked me up after work and we headed to a home cooked meal graciously offered by Isabel and a welcome reprieve from the tension. The children were entertaining, and after watching half of their beloved “the Voice”, they performed a dance routine for the grown-ups.
Ricky and I returned to his house where he succumbed to sleep. I had chosen to stay awake and work on my accounting. We were leaving the house at 3 a.m. and I could sleep on the plane. But not before venturing upstairs to kiss my grandkids goodnight and good-bye “until next time”. Mateo is a philosophical child when it comes to good-byes and a tender one at heart. Both of our eyes filled as we said our farewells and hugged and kissed and vowed that it would not be long before we spent time together again. Marluce is my tough “I am a wanna be tomboy who loves to dress like a princess” mini-me (although I never wanted to be a tomboy!). But her good-bye hugs are heartwarming and her words of wishing I did not have to leave her, are heartfelt. Again with the tears and hugs and kisses and I had to tear myself away from her before I could not.
I have not felt as social in a very long time! Up and ready – set – go! To Mateo’s belated birthday party at Cyber Club! 11 a.m. until 1 pm and 15 kids are thrilled to be dancing to Wii games, playing Mario Bros. and challenging each other to air hockey. Nice alternative for a 9 year old’s
Mateo tries his hand at air hockey and is quite successful.
Marluce and Abuela Gloria show off their dancing finesse.
After blowing out the candle on his Angry Birds Cake, he is officially NINE years old.
Playing and teamwork and comradery and laughter rated this party an A+ event.
2:30 pm and we are now attending party number 2 of the day. Valeria is turning five years old and we have all been invited to her birthday blowout, complete with a puppet show, DJ, Dancers, Goofy and Minnie and Mickey Mouse! Very fun party; Valeria was adorable, Estevan was funny and Nydia, Carlos and Carolina were as charming as ever. So nice to see their family again.
Nydia, Carolina, Estevan, Valeria & Carlos
Dancers and Bubbles and Games and Prizes!
Ricky, Minnie, Marluce, Mateo, Mickey & Me
Group photo with the mouses!
Oh, you think the day was over? Au contraire! To dinner with Ricky and the grand kids at Blue Ridge Grille. The prime rib was phenomenal, Ricky said his steak was the same, Marluce enjoyed her chicken tenders and sautéed Portobello mushrooms while Mateo dined on his ala carte grilled cheese, sliced apples and milk! Wonderful day ending with a relaxing dinner listening to grand kids talk about school and friends and parties.
Ricky goes to work. First day at his new job.
Katia goes to work.
Kids go to school.
I work on accounting and in early afternoon I get the bug to go outside – even though the air is still quite cold and crisp! I see leaves. I find a rake. And three hours later, I find myself finished. Back inside for a nice hot shower and more accounting. Ricky picks me up and then we retrieve the kids from Majest. Home so they can change and off we go to Wegmans for pizza and movie night. Some light grocery shopping afterwards and returning home, we find Katia hard at work on the goody bags for Mateo’s belated birthday party on Saturday morning. Mateo has made it somewhat of a tradition to be sick on his birthday of February 10th. This year it was strep throat. Not sure if he has ever actually celebrated his birthday ON his birthday!
Nearing evening time, Gloria and I left to pick up the kids at their after school program at Majest Martial Arts studio here in Ashburn. Each day they are picked up by a limo,(Yes, I said limo) from their elementary school and transported to the studio, where they do their homework and then have Taekwondo lessons.
The studio is immaculate and there are tables to use for homework and different classes for all ages. Here are my two little almost black belts (Okay, they are white belts but they have stripes!) getting ready to come home with us.
Stopped at the store on the way home. Gloria rented the kids a movie, which we all enjoyed, before the kids had their bedtime.
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!
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!
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.
Mateo’s 8th Birthday Adventure! Mateo has a passion for all things weather and absolutely loves watching the weather channel and learning about tornadoes and hurricanes and anything else to do with the weather. So, we thought this would be an ideal birthday adventure for him.
In March, Maxwell turned 2 and his mommy and daddy threw a huge birthday bash with lots of guests and food and a bazillion balloons. Safe to say that all of us had a wonderful time, but none more than the Birthday Boy himself.
Marluce and Mateo always enjoy getting packages in the mail – and Grandma here always enjoys sending them. Happy Easter with lots of Love!
Marluce turned 6 years old on March 30th, and her birthday adventure was customized just for her!
On April 5th, we quietly celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary. We didn’t need a big hoopla. Just each other. (an excerpt from my life story)
Mother’s Day was celebrated at the Doubletree Sunday Buffet with the Mundle Family and the lil Gardners. After the scrumptious buffet, Maxwell and I took a walk on the beautiful green grounds to work off a few calories.
In June, Max got to show off his computer savvy while Poppa was not around!
Max receives July mail in his very own mailbox! And he shows off his bounty!
Max continues his culinary career with his signature dish of milk, crackers, cereal grapes and strawberries. I think we all see, the Next Iron Chef.
Early September, Bob and I worked on laying a laminate maple flooring in the kitchen/dining area of the little house. Max decided to assist us placing the planks the way he thought they should go. After a hard days work, he relaxed in a livingroom tent.
Mid September was a great getaway to Oceanside California for the beach wedding of Kyle Harvey & Megan Mundle. Lots of fun activities, a beautiful wedding and a surprise baby shower for Kerri filled the entire week and I enjoyed every moment of the time. We shared a condo with the lil Gardners which was a little piece of heaven compared to staying in a hotel room. And the additional time playing with Max was just an added bonus.
We spent a day in October at the Agua Linda Farm. Went thru the pumpkin patch and climbed on the hay bales. We had a picnic and watched Max ride a horse for the very first time. We walked thru the petting zoo and made friends with the billy goats. A perfect way to kick off the fall season.
November brought the most amazing reason to give thanks … she is petite and opinionated and loved and her name is Abigail Anne; Abby to us. The sweetest little bundle ever.
Thanksgiving in Virginia has Marluce slaving away in the kitchen making her first pumpkin pie.
Family and Friends enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at Chris & Maggie’s with beautiful Tucson weather in their gorgeous and inviting backyard.
Finishing a midnight shower, I emerge in a towel wrap and my wet hair upon my head only to come face to face with …Mateo? I honestly could not speak and finally, after staring at the poor kid for what seemed like minutes, I was able to spit out “how did you get here?” “Hi Grandma! We drove here.”
I look over on the sofa and there sits a very travel weary Katia and her mom, Gloria. Katia explained that she and her mom had left northern Virginia on Friday and had been switching driving back and forth allowing one of them to relax and catch a bit of sleep. Nevertheless, they set aside their physical discomfort and allowed us a good memory of a most special Christmas Eve!
Hugs and Kisses and more hugs before walking them to the truck. Driving off I hear their still little kid voices “I love you Grandma. Good-bye. Until next time!” My heart is so full that I can barely sleep for a few hours. Thank you Gloria. Thank you Katia. Best Christmas Eve ever!!
In Virginia, Marluce and Mateo show off their Easter treats I sent to them. Apparently the calendar is different in Virginia and they are on Easter Treat savings time!! Max has not been introduced to a lot of candy, etc. I needed some large plastic eggs to hide for him on Easter Sunday Dinner, and the only ones I could find were ones holding lots of candies. I bought the eggs. Dumped all of the candy into the Easter box I was sending to Ashburn, and I got no complaints from the Virginia Gardners!
Max spends Thursday and Thursday nights with us during the kids kickball season. Daddy picks him up on Friday afternoons. Never a dull moment with Maxwell!
me: oh, don’t say that word.
Max: Dammit Dammit Dammit
(Nana & Poppa decide to ignore, thinking it will stop)
Bob: Call me Poppa or Poppy. You do not call me Bob
Max: Ahhhh Dammit Bob!
Meanwhile, back in Virginia, Marluce Andrea turns 6 years old and is treated to a tiara, feather boa, and a pedicure and manicure. Nothing like a day of beauty! Me? Well, I spent my days and evenings working on my client accounting, and trying to finish the kitchen island tile work before Easter dinner!