On being a Grandma, part three

A few months ago (four to be exact) I shared the joyous news that we had welcomed another grandchild into our family.  After spending a lovely Father’s Day dinner with my family tonight, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have my three precious grandchildren nearby.

#51 @ 3months

They are all growing up so fast!  This picture was taken a month ago already, on Mother’s Day, just as the gang was leaving our home, exhausted from their busy weekend.  That’s one happy Grandma!

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National Siblings Day

Although National Siblings Day is purported to be an American thing, I am taking it international today, making it a Canadian tradition as well.  It seems that large families are a thing of the past.  However, when I was young it was much more common.  Most of my friends and relatives were members of a large family.  This was mine..

Siblings Day

In keeping with the times, (but not with the Jones’, that was something different) my poor mother had six children within eight years, as many other mothers did then. My siblings were my first friends, teachers, co-conspirators, adversaries and sometimes even (so we thought at the time) enemies. I cannot imagine being raised in a different dynamic. I am convinced that being raised in such a tight environment turned us all into hard working, ambitious, successful adults.  The fact that money was tight and very frugally spent also had a huge impact on the adults we have become.

Siblings Day

 

This picture was taken (almost) 24 years ago, the summer our mother was diagnosed with and died of lung cancer.  Living far away from each other, this was the last time all six of us siblings have been together.  We came the closest last summer when five of six of us got together to celebrate my eldest son’s wedding. This next picture is of our extended families (minus one sister and hers) at the wedding.

Siblings Day

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca

Que sera sera

“Que sera sera,

Whatever will be will be,

The future’s not ours to see,

Que sera sera.”

That was the chorus of a song my mother used to sing all the time back in the 60s and 70s.  I was reminded of it recently when observing my grandson’s attention to detail.  I started wondering what he might do for a career, way down the road.  He did just turn one.  I am fascinated that he has always been fascinated with textures and gadgets like door pulls, door stops, light switches, openings or holes.

The next part of the song went like this…

“I asked my mother, what will I be?”

“Will I be handsome?”  (Of course you will)

“Will I be rich?”  (Who knows)

“Here’s what she said to me…”

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca

Sticks and stones

Sticks and stones will break your bones,  but names will never hurt you.  That’s what I was always taught as a youngster, but times have changed.  It is now obvious that those names do and have done more damage than we gave them credit for.  It is now referred to as bullying.  Names do hurt, the damage is just buried deep and not as visible.

I don’t think of myself as over sensitive, but I do admit I can remember every mean thing ever said to me.  For example, I remember a boy taunting me at the age of 12 because I was wearing a training bra.  I was an obvious late bloomer and very self-conscious about it. Did the insensitive comment ruin my life?  No, but it did hurt enough for me to remember it 45 years later.  I have never been at the (intentional) receiving end of the proverbial sticks and stones, so cannot compare the two hurts.

Bullying is rampant in today’s society.  Suicide rates are skyrocketing with bullying the leading cause.  With the availability and popularity of so many forms of social media, bullies can strike anywhere, anytime, without ever having to meet their victim in person, face to face.

When social media first came to be my eldest son was ten years old.  That was in 1999, the year AOL, Yahoo and MSN all released their own messenger services.  All of a sudden it became very easy to (bully) say hurtful things to classmates, (former) friends, acquaintances, even strangers.  His teacher was so concerned about the hurtful comments that were going around she organized a parent meeting to warn parents and curb the bullying behaviour.   I remember telling my son then “you should never message someone things that you do not have the nerve to say to their face”

That was before every child over the age of six had their own cell phone, in fact many parents did not yet have one.  Most of the messages sent, both good and bad, were done on a home computer.  Parents had some control over what and when their children were communicating and who they were communicating with.

Today our teens and preteens (and many adults) are glued to their cell phones, with access to everyone and everything, anywhere.  The advances in technology make it easier to do just about anything on a cell phone.

Everything except communicate face to face.

An inspirational message shared by a childhood friend on Facebook inspired this post:

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Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca

 

On being a Grandma, part two

Last year at this time I became a grandmother for the first time.  We have been enjoying the presence of my son’s precocious, now four year old step-daughter in our lives and could not have been more thrilled to welcome her little brother. A few days ago this Grandma was equally thrilled to add another baby to this new generation of our family.  As promised, (by ultrasound) she is a beautiful baby girl.  The proud parents are my son and his wife that you heard about in all my wedding posts last spring.

There are no words special enough to express the emotions of being a grandparent although love, joy and pride might be a start.  We are so fortunate to have all three grandchildren to love and spoil. With them all living close by, I hope to do so as often as their parents let me!

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca

Tickled pink

I am tickled pink that my eldest son and his wife are expecting a baby girl next month.  Yesterday this excited grandma hosted a very pink baby shower to celebrate the upcoming addition to our family…

 

You can find many of these decorating ideas on my Pinterest page.  The fact that we have raised three sons makes the arrival of a baby girl that much more special.  Pink looks good in this house!

Christmas flu bug

This Christmas I gave you the flu, the very next day, you gave it away….this song, sung to the tune of Last Christmas is the theme this week.  My whole family has been sick with a flu bug, starting with my grandson on Christmas Eve.  He then passed it on to his sister, then his mom and dad, then his two uncles and other set of grandparents.  My husband and I have not come down with it….yet.  I did get the flu shot early November, so I may or may not be proof that it does work.

For the children, Pedialyte freezies (with electrolytes) helped to keep them hydrated and children’s Tylenol, borrowed from my neighbour, helped with the fever.  My youngest son favored Gatorade and ginger ale.   I have since stocked up on all of these products…

 

 

Sorry Carter, but I think I like Andrew Waines’ version of Last Christmas better!   Because this was your very first Christmas and you are soooo adorable, you are forgiven, but next year we would prefer something different!!

 

 

The ghost of Christmas past

Every year I try to simplify things and reduce the commercialism in our family Christmas.  That’s because every year it seems to get worse.  The stores are crowded, people spend money because they feel they have to, everyone seems anxious and stressed, and then it’s over.  Until next year.

Christmas, when I was young, was about visiting family and friends, delicious baked goods and candy, homes full of cheer and love and excitement.  This picture describes one of my fondest memories of past Christmases.

 

Christmas

 

 

With grandchildren part of my family now, I really wanted to bring the special back to the holiday season.  I started off with good intentions and actually made (with my own hands!) some presents this year, but am still running around buying things as the big day gets closer.

So why do we do it?  The commercialized, overcomplicated part I mean.  I’m sure my parents, with six children, spent money buying us each something special to go under the tree.  And, I’m sure they felt the pinch financially in January.  But it seemed worth it then, and not just because I was not paying the bills.  The excitement built for months beforehand and lasted for months afterward.

Then there is the whole politically correct thing.  Not saying “Merry Christmas” because it might offend someone.  Have you ever heard of anyone actually being offended when strangers wish each other Merry Christmas?  No one is forcing anyone to celebrate Christmas by wishing them a Merry Christmas.  The greeting is simply to spread the joy and spirit of what Christmas is supposed to mean.  To me having  Christmas spirit means being kind(er) and (more) tolerant and generous towards others.  It does (should) not matter what God you believe in or pray to, what color your skin is, where in the world you live, or how much money you have (spend).

 

Christmas

 

If the Grinch can get it, why can’t we humans?

Christmas miracle born twenty-eight years ago today

My own personal miracle was born twenty-eight years ago today and was undeniably the best Christmas present ever.  Of course, the subsequent births of his two brothers were equally miraculous.  Many of my previous posts have described the ordeal my husband and I went through to achieve the family of three sons we have today.  You can read them here…

G9P3A3; My Book about my Miscarriages, Stillbirths and Healthy Pregnancies

 

The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back meets G9P3A3

G9P3A3…..My Book has been Published!

My three sons are all happy, healthy adults today.  The Christmas miracle I speak of is currently expecting a miracle (baby) of his own to cherish.

 

miracle
new family addition

 

What more can a mother ask for?

Senate of Canada Sesquicentennial Medal for community service

My nephew, James Sliter, was recently awarded a Sesquicentennial Medal from the Senate of Canada for his volunteer role in making our community a better place to live.  He was nominated by current Senator and former police chief of Ottawa, Vern White.

James has shown dedication and commitment towards the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Ottawa organization (BBBSO) for many years.  He is a former big brother, a former Board President and currently sits on the business development committee.

Unfortunately, there was controversy swirling around the dispersion of the rest of the medals. These awards were supposed to honor community activists and volunteers or unsung heroes.  The Canadian Mint created the medals as part of our 150 birthday celebration.  That’s where the word sesquicentennial comes in.  Our 93 Canadian Senators were each supposed to nominate 12 deserving individuals to receive the 1500 medals.  However, many of the Senators, 47 to be exact, kept the medals for themselves or gave them to former senators.  The last time I checked no senators can be termed volunteers or unsung heroes.  This is pure greed on their part.

sesquicentennial medal

 

Regardless of the controversy, Vern White got it right with his nomination of James.  The rest of my family and I are extremely proud of him!

 

sesquicentennial medal
L to R my brother Jeff, James, and Vern White

sesquicentennial medal sesquicentennial medal