Sunday, December 14, 2014

"You Go to Heaven, Mama!"



Children are no different than adults. Really.
When exhausted, hungry or jealous both kids and grown-ups seem to explode into a variety of complex, and often times, unacceptable moods that can only be viewed as eye-rolling.
The Cousin has a grandpa in Sonora, CA and she and 'Lil Sis, along with their parentals, spent the Thanksgiving holiday there.  On the long drive home, laden with exhaustion and out of her routine, I'm told she played a little "test" on her mom.
"Please stop squeezing that toy." Her mother politely asked, showing a great deal of restraint even though the high-pitched squeaky sound was ear piercing.
(If you want to really annoy your friends who have young children, give their kids loud and obnoxious toys during this holiday season.)
The Cousin continues to squeeze the toy, offering up full-on eye contact while doing so.
"I said, I need you to stop squeezing that. It's hurting mommy's ears."

Ignoring someone's words is such a fantastic weapon. It's strong, forceful and gets instant results.

The Cousin continues.
Her mom then reaches over and grabs the damn toy right out of her hands!

The Cousin bursts into a loud and uncontrollable cry that bounces off the walls of their vehicle. The tears flow like a mighty rain and the screaming is almost as bad as the squeaky toy.

With a beet red, puffed out face and an index finger shaking straight at her mother's nose, The Cousin responds like any of us would...

"YOU...YOU GO TO HEAVEN, MAMA!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When my friend, Barbara Tieken, first visited us in Monterey, I hosted a small gathering of whimsical and free-thinking women folk at our cozy abode on Hermann St and Barbara analyzed all of our handwriting.
It was quite interesting and made for some good laughs. My pal, Angela and I were told, due to the loop in the top half and the intentional line in the bottom, that we had the "Go to Hell K" in our writings.  She then asked us if that rang true to form. I can't speak for Ange, but as for me, well, if the shoe fits, proudly wear it.

The Cousin, in all her innocence, and thanks to her wonderful parents, has never heard the saying 
"go to hell" but she has heard that her great grandmother now resides in heaven.  Evidently, she wished her mama would join her.

I love this kid so much. Her little sister "Ginger" also. And for those of you who have been long-term, faithful followers, Sweet Pea is equally forever etched into my heart. There's a new one too. Sweet Pea's mom gave birth 3 days ago to a stocky little boy named Will who I have yet to meet...
Life, as they know it and as we know it, is changing. And isn't that really the only thing we can be certain of?  Change. Impermanence. Yet, though even when expected, it's not always easily accepted.
Perhaps this is why it is somewhat difficult to inform y'all of the change that is upon us.


As of this writing, the nanny gig comes to an end, at least in the form that we have all come to 
know and love.
Since many of you have followed this blog from its trailer park beginnings to the 3 girls, whom many you have told me you feel as if you've grown up with them, this is a closure that might be as sad for you as it is for me.
The news had been coming for sometime, so it wasn't a shock. But even when things of importance are "known" they still tug hard at your heartstrings. Not surprising, I burst into tears when The Cousin's mom told me they found a nanny who can work at least 3 days a week, comes highly recommended, lives up the street and, the most knife-stabbing, The Cousin instantly bonded with her! F*#@k! Is she the true Mary Poppins reincarnated?

I began taking care of Sweet Pea when she was 4 months old. She was rough and tough from the very day she shot out of the womb. I recall having to firmly lay my left forearm across her chest while I changed her diaper so that she wouldn't kick me in the face or fly off the changing table. The high chair was a scene as well with food flying every which way and laughter flying with it.  The nanny cleaned up everything from squash to applesauce off floors, chairs and hair. 
Bursting with personality from day one, Sweet Pea strengthened my patience, provided me the stamina to deal with the smelliest of green poops, prepped me for becoming an RN if I ever choose to take that route one day and basically captured my heart so snugly and tightly.  
I knew from the start, I would never be able to let go...


  
                                      














The Cousin was skeptical of me from the start and insisted grandma come to our first few "sessions." She was the polar opposite of Sweet Pea, timid, cautious, reserved. I won her over with my dance moves, storytelling and infamous "project time" where we would create with play-doh, paints, paper mache, and other various artist tools. She and I soon became the best of pals. She endured my singing, humored me by drawing on sidewalks and enjoyed our routine trips to "our" coffee shop for hot cocoa and cinnamon cookies.
Her love for literature, music, art and conversation (and cookies) made us the best of friends. It's a seal that can't be broken.  (Not even by the new "Ms. Perfect" nanny. ;)
When 'Lil Sis arrived on the scene, I thought I had enough training under my belt. Clearly, I live in a dream world. She was a red hot firecracker from day 1 and I almost threw in the towel in the first hour. Armed with piss and vinegar and a very high pitched scream, she made it clear at the early age of 3 months, that I was not her mommy, that she hated that cage we grown-ups refer to as a crib and if my boobs didn't have milk, she wanted nothing to do with the fake rubbery nipple of a bottle. I have never sang a song, especially one as sweet as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, with so much tension in my jaw that it actually throbbed.  She and I battled. Duked it out.  But, then as if magic does exist, I learned to listen to her in a different way. I learned that if I take her outside, that she loved the cool breeze on her face. I learned that she enjoyed the birds chirping and the grass beneath her bare feet. I learned that my chest, though it was not a meal ticket, was an awesome and comfortable mattress for her at nap time. "Ginger", as she will always be to me, etched her way into my heart and it is there she will always remain. After months of sad, pout-face greetings, I am now greeted with a huge smile. She's walking now. And that, my friends, sets her free!




And Will makes 4. Four small beings on this planet; small beings with big ideas. Four little humans full of wonder, curiosity, laughter, love. Four people who hold no prejudices or hate. I think these traits are why I love young children so much. That hippie song, "Teach Your Children Well" resonates because we big folks have the power to make or break kids. But we also have the opportunity to teach them about honoring and respecting differences, about compassion and kindness. We hold so many keys for them if we don't mess it up.
As my role changes with these children from nanny to friend, I feel so hopeful because they have such wonderful parents and role models in their lives. Indeed. And I feel very fortunate to know them and their families.
I'd like to take this moment to thank you all for your following of this blog over the years. It's been a fun ride, hasn't it? From trailer park to nanny...What's next? you might ask.
Well, a haiku/photo book is in the works for me and it will be hot off of some damn press, hopefully, in January 2015! There is a website that I am building as we speak and on that website, though a whole different feel, will be (of course)  a blog.

Stay tuned. Be well. Walk in joy.  And GO TO HEAVEN, Y'ALL!
~tpg


"No, I don't have a penis. I just need a diaper change." said 'Lil Sis

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Cousin Runs a Tight Ship

The Cousin is more mature than most adults. She sails this weekly ship single-handedly with Ginger and I sniffling and whining down in the hole.
She's in charge and that leadership goes into full force every Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. Using well-derived sentences that begin with words like "Actually, Val..." and "First of all..." and "Well, this is how it works..." We begin our day.
My name has evolved over the last 1.5 years too.
First came "Wallery" which, over time, formed into "Valerie."
Now, she's taken a more direct usage.  I'm simply "Val."

"Val, you need to remove your shoes before you rest on the couch."
Duh.
"Val, actually, my sister doesn't like spinach and rice baby food anymore. She eats people food but you have to break it into small pieces."
Another duh.
There are commands that are truly helpful though.
"Val, do you need me to make her laugh so her crying doesn't bother you?"
Ahh, that would be an affirmative.

And now she's in school. That has lifted her confidence and strengthened her forte in dictatorship to a whole new level.
"Val, you sit over there and criss-cross applesauce your legs." (My teacher pals know this lingo, eh?)

So, as I mentioned, The Cousin goes to preschool.
Her mom gets her ready in the morning and Ginger and I pick her up at noon.  She even directs while she's getting ready...
"Don't let her put the toys in her mouth today, Val." And she questions everything... "What are you going to do when I'm at school?" "Val, you need to wait for me to do projects, okay?"

Oh, I don't know what we'll do without you, but somehow we'll try to survive. It'll be tough.

And we do survive while The Cousin is learning how to gain her confidence and use her words, learn her numbers, criss- cross applesauce on the carpet for calendar and circle time, etc...
We do more than survive. The bonding is getting thick and we're becoming quite close. It's a cool connection really except for at nap time, which is a full-on 30 minute screaming session until she wears herself, and me, out.
But except for "n-time,"  this is one happy kid!



















And the kid has a tongue-thing going on. It's in every picture I take, as if she has a mouth full of novocaine and her tongue becomes too big to fit.  She and I have some good times when The Cousin is at school, truth be known, but I dare not tell The Cousin because there is a jealousy thing slightly brewing. When she needs my attention now, she crawls or whimpers like her little sister. And when Sweet Pea hangs out with us, it's even more amplified. I suppose y'all are wondering how Sweet Pea is doing? Well, she's got the personality of rock star and the guts of a US Marine. Here's some rock star action...

video


I'm gonna tell you something. Sweet Pea's mom will give birth (again) in 4 weeks and for the life of me, I don't know how she's going to manage two.  Hell, really it's going to be 4 all under the age of 3 for this tight-knit family. What the hell were they thinking?! Certainly not birth control.
Okay, I get it. They're young. They've got stamina, but it's their damn conscientious way of parenting that gets me. I mean, of course, they're "all natural" moms and they breast feed.  But that equates to zero wine for the 9 months preceding the grand entrance of the kid and for an additional year or so after!!! Their wine well is dry for almost two fucking years!! No can do. Though Sweet Pea's mom did inform me recently that there can be some pumping during that year, that often times, gives way to a glass every now and then. I guess it's all about the pumping and the timing. That exhausts me just thinking about it.

"I got your number, Val."

"I can do it myself. Back off."
"Watch out, cuz this red hair means business."



































So, we made it through Halloween. You'd think a girl like me would be aware of implementing only age-appropriate activities, and yet, I ended up carving the whole damn pumpkin sola.   "It's taking too long to become a jack-o-lantern, Val."
I know because you're 3 and you can't use knives or matches, says the ex school teacher who appears to be suffering memory loss. In addition, The Cousin hates to get her hands sticky/dirty. What the hell kind of artist are you, sister!?
"Val, it's too yucky inside the pumpkin. I'm done."

Yea, of course you're done. And I've got a screaming baby on the floor and slimey seeds and pulp all over the damn kitchen.
"I've had it."

"Ok, I'll smile for the pic and then I'm getting my hand the hell out of this."




"A little Himalayan Pink Salt and we're good to go."




Sweet Pea changed her mind a dozen times as to what she would be for Halloween; a princess, Curious George, and finally, a dolphin.  But The Cousin never deviated. It was always the Wicked Witch of the West.
 
"Ah, my pretty! I'll get you and your little dog Toto too!"


She digs the story too and has me tell it to her, over and over and all the while, I must act out every damn turn on the yellow brick road before she'll take her nap. And if I leave out any detail, she makes me go back and start over.
At the end of the day, when my feet are up and my right hand grips the stem of a glass and brings it habitually to my mouth, I must admit these 3 are worth every second of being pee'd on, pooped on, cried at and bossed around. There's a smirk at the corner of my smile right now, like there is on yours, because the truth is, they rock my world, once in week, in such an awesome way.

~tpg



Monday, September 29, 2014

I Miss You, Leonilda, When You Don't Call


This was written in March of 2011, when we were trailer park managers in Prunedale, CA...



I think I “get” Leonilda at unit 18.
She reminds me of one of my long lost relations from the hills of Sweetwater, Tennessee.
Perhaps one that would likely slam the cellar door when she saw me comin!
At times, she reminds me of one of the women on the television series, Big Love.
One of the sister-wives that lives out on the compound, wears her hair long, her bonnet tight and has her hands elbow-deep in cannin' apples before winter done hits.

Leonilda doesn’t like me and I understand that.
Last spring, when she called to let me know “someone” was shooting at her because the side of her 1979 mobile had fresh bullet holes in the skirting, I did in fact burst out laughing.
I didn’t mean to.
I was just lacking in the self-control department in that moment.

Then there was the time she called to let me know “someone” had been trespassing in her carport and left a cherry pit in the crack of asphalt near her back door.
She informed me she hadn’t eaten cherries since high school when she got sick on ‘em, so therefore, she knew it had to be a trespasser.
I sent my partner to investigate that situation and she did in fact locate a single cherry pit in the exact location as Leonilda stated it was.
As a trained professional, I know that I need to show restraint, as well as, compassion but as the years roll on, I find it a bit of a challenge.
And Leonilda knows it. She ain’t no dummie.
She can hear it in my voice, see it in my eyes and that’s exactly why the other night when she phoned and I answered, she immediately asked for my partner. She don't want to talk with me anymore!
I put on my sweet, soft-toned, sympathetic voice and offered my assistance and willingness
to meet her every need. After all, isn't that what I get paid for?
She asks if we had received a package in the mail that belonged to her.
I told her that I hadn’t checked the mail today but I would go right out, check and bring any mail that belonged to her, right down. Mind you, Leonilda and her brother, Leo (No lie, that's his real name) don’t live next door to us. They actually live on the other side of the park, so why we'd have her mail is beyond me, but I question nothing.
She informs me that it wouldn’t have been in today’s mail. “Someone” took it a month ago.
(RIGHT, LEONILDA! LIKE I HAVE BEEN HOARDING A PACKAGE OF YOURS FOR 30 ‘EFFIN DAYS! OR THIS "MYSTERY SOMEONE" IS OUT TO GET YOU, YOU PARANOID WEIRDO!)

Breathe in. Breathe out.
After a mini-Zen-breathing exercise, I find my polite button, press it, and tell her that I haven’t seen any mail of hers, but if there was a tracking number, perhaps the post office could attempt to locate it for her.  But Leonilda feels quite strongly that our postal service does not lose packages and that “someone” either stole it or is holding it.
Hostage I suppose.
Holding it hostage for some kind of trailer treasure ransom that I’m sure will allow us all to buy Boardwalk AND Park Avenue, maybe even all four railroads.

My partner’s jaw never clinches like mine in these situations.
I remember one late afternoon last summer, I phoned Leonilda because I received a call from one of her neighbors reporting she was getting ready to spray paint her mobile with a small hand-held sprayer, not an industrial. The neighbor was concerned the paint would get on his unit.

Before I could explain the rules with regard to painting the trailers at our park, she asked me this, “Can you please call back later… I’m drunk right now.”
That's when I "got" Leonilda.
I actually clung to a tiny, thin thread of commonality in that moment.
I wished her a relaxing afternoon, hung up the phone and poured myself a strong one.

It doesn’t get any better than this, people.
-tpg

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I Fell in Love Today

I haven't written a blog in quite sometime; been testing the waters of other genres a bit, but I'm returning here this morning, not by choice, but by an excruciating and forceful pull that has made it impossible not to share the details with y'all...

I fell in love today.  Deeply in love.

The story is a simple one that began several months ago. 
I didn't care for her at first.
The feeling was mutual for her. She was set in her ways and I in mine.
I'd arrive, once a week, at 8:00 a.m.  She'd see me and instantly, like some sort of flammable combustion, burst into tears. The tears would lead to notable sobbing, which would later, as the 9 hours dragged on, become high-pitched screams. 
True, there were small windows of silence. During those times, I'd throw myself on the couch and down bourbon shots and hope the duct tape would stay on a few more minutes.

She disliked me and I think it's fair to say, I didn't particularly see any positive traits.
Her sissy, you might recall, would say, "Don't worry, Valerie. She just has to get used to you.
(I can't really argue with that. I've heard that from friends, lovers, family members before;
that I take some getting used to.)

Then something happened.  Something unexpected and quite magical if you believe in that kind of stuff...
I took a long vacation. She came to her senses.
And today, we fell in love. Big time.

Love's a phenomenal thing.  It's thick like cake batter. It strengthens and connects like Gorilla Glue. It's flexible like Silly Putty. It surprises you.
It tugs at your heartstrings and even when you want to shrug it off, your attempts are futile because once true love takes hold of you, it never ever lets go.

I know this because it happened to me today. And to her too.
Her name is 'Lil Sis, but I call her Ginger.  We spent 3 hours alone today, because if you can believe how rapidly time flies by, The Cousin is now in pre-school!

Here's what I want to tell about her. Here's what I love about Ginger:

She's domestic.



She likes owls.


She has a mischievous streak.


video





She's a hippie, nature-lovin mama.




She likes to break a few rules now and then.




Perhaps the sweetest thing about this "burst of spunk" is her babbling. Her language is a blender filled with a mish mash of sounds, syllables, garble and breaths that say more to me than any adult of late.  She "talks" non-stop and laughs at her own conclusions. Everything is something and something is everywhere! She's always up for a discussion. 

We took a spin in the stroller yesterday. The sun was out. The birds too. As I pushed her across the street, a woman rolled down her car window and pointed at the stroller. I couldn't quite understand what she was telling me, so when I reached the sidewalk, I stopped and looked in on Ginger. She was babbling away, carefree and pleased with herself; tugging and tickling both of her feet, laughing at the sky.  
I looked back at the woman in the car, "Life is good." I said.
"Yes, it is." she replied with a smile.


Take care, good people. It's nice to be with y'all here again.
This blog is brought to you, in part, by the folks (and the children) who remind us, on a daily basis, that life is blessed and good.

~tpg





Friday, June 13, 2014

Musings of a Pragmatic Nanny








"Valerie?" 
"Yes."
"You be Mary Poppins and I'll be Jane. Michael is living in the green house across the street."
"Ok, Jane. What do you want to do now?"
"Well, we have to clean our room and we have to snap fingers and sing A Spoon Full of Sugar."

And so our day begins.
I start singing the infamous A Spoon Full of Sugar, while snapping the fingers of my right hand, holding 'Lil Sis on my left hip and tossing toys in the toy basket with each snap.
"Pretend sissy isn't here because she's too little to be Michael."

Sure, that'll be easy.

I can do this for hours. I know I can.
I'm confident. Pragmatic. I know that this is the kind of thing the child needs.
I know imaginative play is developmentally correct and healthy. She's happy. And when she's happy, I'm happy.  Yet, there comes a point when it just becomes slightly annoying. It's when I mess up and don't change characters fast enough for her liking. Granted, I do my best. But I screw up sometimes and she gets quite irritated with me!

"No, Valerie! You aren't Mary any more!"
"I'm not?"
"No. Valerie, don't you know? You're now Valerie and I need to go poop and you have to wipe me." 
"Gotcha."



I presume Mary Poppins is too high-class to wipes asses. I presume she also keeps her composure.

I need to get with the program. I suppose I've struggled all my life with what's reality and what's fantasy...
She's in the zone:
"Ok. Ok. Valerie. Now, I'm Chrissy and you're Pooh."
"Sounds good. I love honey! Where's my pot of honey?"
"No. No. You can't eat honey now. We are going on an expedition right now."
"Ok. Where are we going?"
"Well, we're going across the street to visit Michael."

Seems she has pint-size amount of "fantasy confusion." Mary Poppins meets Winnie Pooh is totally normal for her and I am left standing at the peripheral asking, "WTF?"

And then the fantasy, as all good fantasies do, comes to a screeching halt when this one awakens:

"If she thinks she can contain me in this plastic prison, she's got another thing coming."

The laundry basket serves many purposes for a pragmatic nanny. 'Lil Sis actually likes it, to a point, and she remains entertained for awhile. I like the fact that there's no real escape route either, however, there will be in due time.

'Lil Sis and I made some breakthroughs this week. She's giving me an inch or two and I'm catching glimpses of her gingerly beauty. The meltdowns are less. The smiles are more. Do I dare say we might be bonding a bit?

"Thanks for the bags under my eyes, friend."    "Don't mention it."

It's a love thing in the making. I know it is. And now both The Cousin and I have to make those certain adjustments. The brutal, cruel fact is, The Cousin has to share Mary Poppins each week and this is cause for her to act out. She's become a hint more bossy and clingy and uses baby talk to get my attention. You parentals are shaking your heads in agreement. You understand. But all the baby talk, all the bossiness, all the "I can't be in two places at once, girls, but I know I have to" is beginning to take a toll on the nanny! And...
'Lil Sis is starting to talk! Soon she'll be barking out the orders at me as well.
Here's some of her "first barks":


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReTkRGRkIXo&feature=youtu.be


They're opposite birds, these two.  One is the dreamer, the artist, the reader of great works, the author. The other, the nature kid, (give her a good walk and some fresh air over a stuffed toy or book any day), the observer, the voice of contentment and discontentment, the new kid on the block.

The artist:

"Valerie! We made orange from yellow and red!"

"This is my pink M."



The dreamer:

"How many bites of my sandwich before I get my favorite thing: yogurt chips?"

Dreaming with Leo (who used to be Sweet Pea)
The nature kid:

"Ahhhh! The great outdoors!"

"Life is good."
The voice of content and discontent:

"Ok. What is this green crap you're shoveling in?"


A recent quote by a famous dad has me wishing I had said it myself. But the ticket is remaining calm, cool, skilled and yes, pragmatic, when the venue becomes a hellish frat house.

“Having children is like living in a frat house -- nobody sleeps, everything's broken, and there's a lot of throwing up.”

~tpg (aka Mary)









Thursday, May 29, 2014

Being Ginger, Fairy Dust Cookies & Matters of Such Importance

It's been awhile. I still have a pulse. So do they.  I told the mom yesterday, "Feel free to check the hidden cameras for verification that I'm not harming Lil Sis."  
It's been 4 weeks since our courtship began.  Four long weeks of this:


"This nanny is not what I ordered!"
And this:

"Where's my Grandma? My Momma? Anybody but the woman in glasses."

During meltdowns (mine not hers), I've actually pleaded with The Cousin as to why this is happening? "What am I doing wrong?" I pathetically ask the 3-year old. 
"She's just not used to you yet, Valerie." She replies matter-a-factly.

Well, that's bullshit! Kids love me! I wanna scream these words at the top of my amateurish nanny lungs and yet, I regroup in a mindful, yoga type pattern of breathing. 


"I'm not Cinderella. I'm the Fairy Godmother."
Thank God I have a Fairy Godmother! I'm on the verge of asking her to do some "bippity boppity boo" and make Lil Sis turn into a pumpkin.
She wore this outfit yesterday and proceeded to make me "fairy dust cookies." 
They were absolutely delicious! I tell her so. I tell her she can be anything she wants; an artist, a chef, a mechanic, an architect. She tells me she wants to "go on expeditions with Chrissy." 
(Christopher Robbins) This guy is her current favorite and I can see why. He's smart, kind, 
well-read, curious and adventurous. The Cousin and I have these discussions when Lil Sis is snoozing. They are now routinely interrupted when the vocal and independent "ginger" is awake.  
Whew! All fire, man!  If it wasn't me attempting to tame the flame, I'd find her quite charming I'm sure.

One week, Lil Sis slept for 3 hours.  (Nanny Confession: I didn't check to see if she was still breathing.)
Can one say, "Paradise?" It's paradise when she naps.  Let's just be honest. 
It's the fucking Garden of Eden. 
It's true, The Cousin and I are having to adjust. You see, pre-Lil Sis, she and I had lots of time to explore, create, discuss matters of such importance, get into trouble.  That's all changed slightly.
And, she's a bit irritated about the change and the whole "attention thing."  Can you blame her?

"Valerie?"
"Yes?"
"Let's give her privacy. Just put her in the other room and close the door."

I can see where The Cousin is coming from. 
The Cousin and I have a lot in common, as I've had the same thoughts. 

When I was in my junior college years, I studied child development and then went on to get my teaching credential. I was a pompous, 'know-it-all' when it came to children and other important matters and I swore, (even wrote papers about it) that I would never plop my child or any other person's child in front of a television, video, etc.  I spewed the research to anyone who would listen about "the evils and harm" of those types of distractions.

Let's just say things have changed.


"Valerie, I'll be done in a minute." 
"Go ahead and stay 5 more minutes." Hell, stay as long as you like.

I say this in order to get Lil Sis' diaper changed. I say this to give me time to feed Lil Sis. I say this because I have learned to carry Lil Sis in a pack on my chest while I do dishes and clean up the house. 
I say this because I'm not very good at doing all of the above and, simultaneously, engaging in conversations with a 3-year old.  
Lil Sis is a challenge, but there are others in this household...

Challenge # 104 for the nanny.

Challenge #105
This house is a diabetic wet dream.  
Each Wednesday, amidst the shitty diapers and screams of discontent, I fight off binging.  I can see why stay-at-home-parents do it. I can see why they down a box of Wheat Thins or a bag of Milano cookies, while listening to Ellen and looking at their Iphones.  Do I condone it? Hell no! Do I have a great understanding and appreciation for it now, hell yes! 

Folks, it is getting better. The Cousin loves to bake and a couple Wednesdays ago, we made her mom a Mother's Day cake.  (Let me be clear, though tempting, I did not partake in the bottles of red liquid behind the mixing bowl.)


"I don't crack eggs, Valerie."

"But I do shake, shake, shake the sprinkles."

"Happy Mother's Day, Momma!"
Yesterday, we met Sweet Pea and her mom at the park.  
Carrying a baby in one of those chest/back contraptions isn't easy, but I forged ahead because Sweet Pea's mom is young, energetic, in shape and I fully intended to take advantage of her being there.

First, I practiced...


"The bags under my eyes are well-earned."
Then, the real deal...

"This is gonna be interesting."
Caledonia Park, Pacific Grove, CA...





Sweet Pea aka "I can do it myself."

We made it home before the "tireds" set in, and in all honesty, it was a pretty good day.

Let's call it a "half bottle of red" rather than a "full bottle of red" kinda day. 
However, a question, to all you parentals out there, continues to loop through my brain-feed, 
"After having one, why in the hell would you have another?!"

Thanks for reading, y'all!
~tpg

"I'll ease up when I feel she gains an understanding of who's really in charge."