I am a single Grandma of 5 kids and 7 grandkids. My home nest is in Queen Creek, Arizona where I have a beautiful view of the San Tan Mountains. After living my entire life in California my son gifted me with a beautiful 2 story nest almost 4 years ago. My days are spent in semi-retirement taking care of my 4 year old grandson, Caydon. My favorite times are when my entire family gets together!
I do not know how it happened but 2010 has arrived and somebody correct me if I am wrong but am I correct in bidding adieu two months already? Wow! How did that happen? At our house we count the months according to how many times I have changed the little table cloths on the kids tea table that sits in the reading corner of my living room. I have a different tablecloth for each month of the year. I have already put away the snowflake cloth for January and am late changing out the Valentine cloth for February. Hmmmm! Guess I should go take care of that when I am done here. Time to find the Saint Paddy's cloth with the leprechauns on it. My mother used to tell me that the older you get the faster the time passes. She does not have to tell me that anymore. Why? Well because she knows that I have finally realized that in her infinite wisdom she is totally and completely correct. Time flies and let me tell you it does not necessarily have to be while you are having fun. Although the fun things do help here and there. Which brings me to the antics of our beginning of 2010. At Christmas time I found four of Santa's reindeer hanging around my house here in Arizona. The day after Christmas found us Arizona folk heading to California. We left caught up in the excitement of taking Caydon for his first trip to Disneyland. We could not wait to see everyone and celebrate Christmas with the rest of my kids there. If that was not enough I was crazy with the anticipation of the arrival of Audra's fourth child and my seventh grandchild. The trip was amazing and full of the fun that happens when we are all together as a family. Once in Cali I did manage to find more of Santa's reindeer in Torrance. Did not however find Rudolf! Christmas together was a blast. As usual loud and silly and all the things I adore in our holiday season get togethers. It was enough of a gift just to be with all my loved ones. Our trip to Disneyland ended up in what I have labeled as the worst trip in my entire life to the not-so-magic Kingdom. As we struggled to keep all 6 grandchildren together tempers began to flare. It was like a giant ocean of fish. If you stepped accidentally into the wrong stream you were heading to Never Neverland never-never to be seen again by your loved ones. We finally ended up in the line for the Haunted Mansion after being in the park for a few hours and we had only gone on one ride and eaten lunch. Ask poor Sienna about waiting for a clean spoon to eat her soup with? Are we having fun yet? Absolutely not! We finally all looked at each other and decided to leave the park. If you can believe it the park was closed to capacity. We marched our party down to the town hall and requested our money back. Okay we were bad, but at those prices it was definitely not worth staying. We were given passes to return at another time. How did we manage that? We told them Audra was in labor. Okay! Bad? Yes! But....it worked. We all went to the Disney Walk and shopped and ate ice cream and in general had more fun doing that then standing in hours of lines. So much for Caydon's first trip to Disneyland. He did however love the tram ride and Pirates of the Carribean. Poor guy left wondering what all the hoop-la was all about! Later I did get to spend time with my wonderful Mom and then it was time to go to the hospital for Audra's new little one to arrive. New Year's Eve for me was one of the most different I have spent in my entire life time. Audra at the last minute asked me to be with her during her C section and I even got to cut the cord. We greeted our little baby girl into the world and I had the honor of cutting the cord. It was an incredible experience. The rest of my trip I spent in the hospital with Audra and the baby. Then it was time to return home. I returned home to Arizona tired but filled to the brim with the joy of being with family and in my book there will never be anything better! We celebrated Little Miss Aisy's First Birthday. Guess who is walking now? Cupcakes and presents and once again me thinking about how the year slipped by so fast and how could Aisy possibly be one year old? During January Joy and Destiny announced that they would be moving out and leaving to go to Washington Joy's home state. So we squeezed in as much fun and together time as possible during this time. Looking back we have managed to do a gazillion things and make a bazillion memories in just the beginning of 2010. It leaves me wondering what the rest of the year will hold! Happy Blessed New Year! Enjoy it and make a bouquet of memories to last a life time.
Our year as a family began with the birth of our little Miss Aisy, Jenna and Bryan's little one. From there the year has flown faster than reindeer toward Christmas. It has been a year of financial challenges for most of us and the creation of a zillion memories.
Jenna and Bryan went through many changes as Conlan went off to Kindergarten, Aisy grew through her first year phases, Bryan faced a fast paced work schedule, and Jenna went back to college working toward a degree in Interior Architecture and Design.
Audra was laid off from her job of 10 years and will continue her job search after the birth of her baby girl. Sienna at 11+, now in middle school, finished for Christmas break with straight A's and is section leader in the band. She plays Baratone. Tristan is as always his energetic self at 8 years and is not a big fan of school. Video games are his favorite hobby to date. Kyla, age two is happy to have Mommy home while she awaits her new sisters arrival. I have yet to see it but have heard she does a mean dance to "All the Single Ladies" by Beyonce.
Jeremy is now living in his own place in Redondo Beach, California. He spends time in his recently acquired bachelor life between his job at Raytheon and time with friends.
Sasha (on the right) is working at the Physical Therapy office in Torrance. She will be managing the office sometime next year. She and boyfriend Izzy enjoy side trips to San Diego and Vegas.
Brianna works full time consulting for ICM on site at Honeywell. In May she started Massage Therapy. We lovingly refer to her as our "Anatomy Geek". If by chance you should hit a body part she is more than happy to give you the proper anatomy term for that part. Her 3 year old Caydon had some feeding issues this year, but with the help of our PT, OT, Speech/Feeding Therapists he has finally walked assisted in his walker, learned to roll from tummy to back and back to tummy, and we hope he will sit alone. Every step small or large is a miracle for us to treasure.
I spent 2009 searching for my cowboy. I found this one, but he was a bit too young.
Other than my cowboy search I have spent the majority of the year working with Caydon and his therapists, helping Jen with her kids while she attends school, began organizing my sewing/craft loft area, struggling to keep in shape during the heat with long walks, and squeezing in my handwork and crafts wherever possible. Always Grammy Nanny I spend as much time as I can with my grandkids. The highlight of my Halloween was creating the costume, at right, as the Which Way Witch. A slap at my own inadequacy in being directionally challenged! Thus the feet hanging at the bottom of my skirt.
Lessons Learned for the Year
We learned to get by with a little help from our friends.
Joy and Caydon (Thanks Joy for giving us Caydon's first experience ice skating)
We learned to be more creative. (A squirt bottle aka turkey baster) Thanks Jeremy!
To always honor our elders. This one is for you Grammie Barbara! Brianna and Jenna gave this turkey his last flight.
To try new foods and beverages.
Learned to give hugs freely.
Created solutions to major problems.
Conquered our fears!
Jumped a little higher!
The end of 2009 will be celebrated in California on New Year's Eve with the arrival of grandbaby #7. Making the score Boys: 3 Girls: 4.
As you walk into the New Year. . . . .
May you find it a glitter with love, peace, and happiness!
Things have been just a bit crazy here in AZ lately. So much for a relaxing summer. Between visits from Audra and kids, my friend Joy and daughter Destiny moving in with us, Joy traveling back and forth from Florida every two weeks and discovering termites in my dining room wall, garage, entry closet........well you get the picture. Crazy, busy, no matter what life throws our way we have managed to have some fun. So here are the highlights of our summer.
One of our more recent discoveries while searching Arizona for fun was finding Tempe Marketplace. It is an open air mall with couches and chairs, waterfalls, fireplaces, and a splash pad. It is fun to watch the kids cooling off from our 106 weather. You will also see an occasional adult stick a toe or two in the bubbling jumping water sprays.
Kyla Rayne finding the joy of water at Tempe Marketplace
What is your secret for longevity? This question was asked of a 104 year old Japanese woman on her birthday. She was quoted in Masaru Emoto's "The True Power of Water", as saying this. . . "I have ten experiences a day that touch my heart."
This picture also taken at the Marketplace did exactly that for me. Kyla seemed to find such joy in dancing through the water. Even though her face is covered it captured the moment for me and still touches my heart every time I look at it.
So I would ask you: What have you allowed to touch your heart lately? Can you find 10 things in one day that truly touch your heart? If not then maybe you should start looking!
Summer is not complete at Ga-Ga Nanny's without our annual summer production. This years performance was The Three Funky Pigs written, produced and directed by Sienna. We had 4 very memorable characters: Tristan as the Wolf - High Karate Conlan as the Pig - booger (yes he did pick his nose, but only pretend so his mom would not get mad) Sienna as Miss Piggy-Fru Fru (very voluptuous thanks to Nanny's bra stuffed with socks) Destiny as Brainy Pig-who saved the day with her brainy stop the wolf plan.
My dear friend Anita sent me this awesome sweatshirt. It has ladybugs with each of my grandkids names below. What Anita did not know is that granddaughter Sienna's nickname is "Bug", which is short for ladybug.
Sienna pointing to her bug.
Unfortunately friend Joy went a little buggy and . . .