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Carine’s Blog

  • 5 Years in a Blink

    Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012

    Five Years in a Blink

    On the 25th, as hard as it is to believe, our older grandson Dylan turned 5.  I'm not sure how it happened so quickly, but it did.  In a few more days, our younger grandson Aidan will turn 4.   Not quite sure how either boy got this far in life in such a "blink" amount of seconds.

    I still remember our daughter going in and having to be induced due to her high blood pressure.    The room was dark to keep her as calm as possible.  Steve, my parents, my sister, Alex's mother and even a friend of Sarah's were all in a very small waiting room trying to keep ourselves busy and our nerve levels down.  

    Dylan was born at 4 pounds, 14 ounces-and because of his jaundice and size he went right into an incubator and under heat lamps.  Sarah had lost a lot of blood, was exhausted from both labor and the various drugs and they were monitoring her in a different part of labor/delivery.  

    We all took turns to go peek at our little dividend.  Adam, the new uncle, was upset because he was both working and in the midst of mid-terms and couldn't see either one until after they got home.

    What a world of difference has happened in these years.  Both young parents were out of jobs living from one unemployment check to another and praying for someone, anyone to ask them in for an interview.  

    In these five years, our son-in-law found a couple of jobs, only to be down-sized out of them within a few months after being hired.  Sarah found herself expecting Aidan before she knew it could happen so fast.

    2-1/2 years ago, they took a completely brave leap of faith and left the state to take temp jobs in their field.  Luckily both are excellent at what they do and have re-bounded.

    Today, they own a home and enjoy being what is called "transplants" in Arizona.  We find ourselves missing them terribly and just thrilled that things have turned out so well for them.  

    We've found ourselves going out as much as our wallets and time afford which while not enough has to do for the time being.

    Thank goodness for cell phones, computers and Skype.  We talk, see them in person and stay in close proximity-if only by cyber-space.

    In about 2 weeks, we'll take the trek out to them and help celebrate their birthdays.  It will be way too brief, but action packed.  Then we'll have to "squeeze the stuffing" out of the boys, our daughter and son-in-law, because it will have to hold us until we host them in April for a week.

    I understand that we've been more fortunate than many other grandparents-some live across the country, not just 350 miles and a state over.  But we're a close clan and absence makes the heart tug.

    But for now, Happy Birthday Dylan Brian-may this start of your 6th year brings you more joy and happiness.

    Love you and Aidan buckets.  Aidan-more on your birthday next week!

    Love, Grandma Carine

    9 Replies
  • There's No Place Like Home

    Posted on Friday, January 20, 2012

    No Place Like Home

    Glinda, the Good Witch of the North was right-there really isn't a place as wonderful as home.  No matter how much you love where you visit, no matter how much you'll miss those you leave behind or the sites you wish you could just look at for a bit more, once you're on your way home, you can't wait until you've arrived.  It doesn't matter how you want to drink in every moment of your time with those you love and no longer live near you either.

    At least for me it works out that way.  I could hardly wait to see our daughter, son-in-law and grandkids.  Really.  I was doing a countdown.  The bags were packed, I was on the airline site 30 seconds before the 24 hour mark to print up my boarding pass and I could hardly wait until I saw our daughter in the pick-up lane of Sky Harbor Airport.

    The week went by so fast I thought it was the clich├ęd "blink of an eye" and then, before I knew what was happening-I found my alarm going off at the ungodly hour of 5:20 a.m. and there I was back at the airport!

    I found that first I missed my husband's snoring.   That happened on the second night.  Then I realized that despite our daughter's little American Eskimo cuddling up to me all night long-she wasn't the same as having my arm pinned into a position that allowed our tabby to sleep alongside my body with his paws wrapped around my neck while he slept and sighed in my face all night.  


    Nope, not the same.  

    It was also not the same to have my precious little dividends come in at 7:30 and ask me ever so quietly, "Grandma-is that you in there sleeping?  Are you up yet Grandma?" instead of hearing my husband's ringtone of an Avril Lavigne song jar me out of a sound sleep.  

    Nicer, but definitely not the same.

    And despite the trip to Wal-Mart to buy myself a mock version of the temper-pedic pillow like the one  I sleep on at home-it was not the same to my neck and back as the authentic one that allows me to wake up without feeling as if I've somehow medically severed my neck from my spinal column.  The bed wasn't exactly lulling me to sleep either.

    Skyping isn't the same as talking to my husband face-to-face or kissing him goodnight.   Making dinner in our daughter's kitchen doesn't have the same appeal as working in my own space either.  And I'm not even going to discuss the differences in the master shower or the laundry room.

    Having our daughter live so far away is lonely and troublesome-I miss her and the family desperately, but when I'm there, all I can think about is that I miss my husband/home and my life in Orange County.

    I'm a creature of habit as well as a complete and utterly boring homebody-in a good way.

    At least to me.

    4 Replies
  • Embarrassed

    Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2012


    I was on Twitter earlier this week and someone commented on being embarrassed.

    Looking at my life, I started thinking-embarrassed? Maybe it's my life's experiences, but I don't think I've been caught red-faced or shamed.

    Angry, yes. Disgusted, definitely. Frustrated? Hey, I'm a parent. But not embarrassed.

    I know what you're all thinking; I can "see" it. You're thinking, "Her memory's gone, I'm sure she was embarrassed when 'child' (fill in the blank with one of the names you've heard over the years) decided to break free and get lost in the mall.

    Nope. I was frustrated and scared-not embarrassed.

    One of you out there is probably thinking back to one of my anecdotes about a certain older person who we've been asked not to bring back into any given establishment.

    Nope. I was disgusted and angry, not embarrassed. Let's face it-I didn't behave poorly and I'm sure, as is the norm, we apologized before, during and after as well as over tipped for the situation.

    But embarrassed? Nope. Not a lick.

    I did come close once-and now looking back, I'm thinking it was mighty darned close and I'm so glad the place was a tad on the dark side.

    It was a very long time ago; I think our kids were maybe 6 and 8. We had family passes that year for Universal Studios, so we'd sometimes go to just see one of the shows. This was one of those times.

    As we got into the park, one of the local game shows (The Match Game, with Gene Rayburn) was giving away passes to a taping later that afternoon. We decided that would be fun, if they'd allow the kids in. The crew giving out the tickets called and got the okay and we were off!

    We got there; the kids were excited to see how a TV show was actually done. We took our seats. The stage had a few spots on the audience, but we were put in the back so it was pretty dark.

    That's when it happened. Sigh.

    The warm-up comedian started asking everyone questions and people were shouting out what they must have thought of as being funny answers and people were giggling.

    For whatever reason, the guy suddenly blurts out, "So was anyone here conceived in the back of a cab?"

    You know what's coming, don't you? Yes, our younger dividend raised his hand and shouted, "I was-do I get a prize?"

    The entire room busted up. Steve and I looked over at him and we both grabbed his arm and pulled it down.

    Too late, everyone (at least it felt like everyone) turned around and looked. The comedian deadpanned it and said, "Sorry kid, this is a cheap set and I can't even pay you for the great comeback."

    We hissed through our breath-"What on earth made you say that? What were you thinking?"

    Being 6, he was thinking he wanted to win a prize. And NO, he was not created in a cab or any other public place. Let me make sure that part is perfectly clear.

    And now, I leave you all to ponder as to whether or not any of you will ever take any of your living genetic material to a taping of a TV show ever, or at least until I get back from visiting our daughter and grandkids.

    6 Replies
  • I'm Just Saying...

    Posted on Thursday, January 5, 2012

    I'm Just Saying...

    Have you actually thought about why so many people have problems understanding the basics of life?

    Things such as:

    1-To lose weight; eat fewer calories that you burn.

    2-Don't spend money you don't have on things you don't need.

    3-If you take care of what you have, chances are-whatever it is will, in fact, take care of you.

    4-When your doctor says you need to exercise; you really need to get up and move your extremities.

    5-It's an unwritten law; every family has to endure at least 1 member that makes life harder than it really needs to be.

    Those are just five.  

    It never fails, when the obvious happens because of any of the above, whatever number-someone is flabbergasted by the outcome.

    Let's explore, shall we?

    1-This is a given.  Don't blame the holidays, your unsupportive significant other, and your unfortunate set of genes.   You gained weight because you ate more than you should-period.  Accept it and either go out and buy a bigger wardrobe or (depending on just how much you've padded your body) spend the money on joining a gym, buying a new set of walking/running shoes, signing up with WeightWatchers (Jenny Craig, Nutrisystems, etc.) and do something about it.

    2-This one is a bit tricky due to so many people being down-sized out of their jobs, but I'm not talking about this type of debt.  I'm talking about a person who knows that every month, come hell or high water, that they only have a certain amount of cash and still spends more than what's there and wants someone to "bail them out", since the government won't.

    We have someone like this-they've been told they can't afford to go to the movies more than once a month-and that it needs to be done without the purchase of soda, popcorn and candy.  Yet, there it is when the account is checked-4 trips with amenities.

    Why is this person surprised when the bailout isn't to be and then they are chewed out?  If you don't like being in debt-stick to a budget.

    3-This goes for cars, appliances, clothing and even relationships.  My example-we were visiting someone for a few days and for the umpteenth time saw that they were using their washer as a hamper as well as an appliance.  The method of laundry?  Stuff it until the door won't close, fill it with soap and turn it on.  

    No sorting.  Problem-besides the expected white items turning other colors?  The dirty and damp items cause the house to smell of mildew (actually reek), plus the washer itself groans.  It's a front loader-it needs to be wiped out at the end of the laundry session and the door should be left open a crack to let it "breathe".  The result-complete surprise when after a year, it broke down.

    Don't blame the machine-as with most situations like this, it's the operator at fault.

    4-For years, I tried to encourage my husband to do regular exercise.  I told him it has nothing to do with weight.  In the 31-1/2 years we've been together, he's never been anything but perfect weight wise, but last year, he went for a physical and was shocked to hear, "Steve, I'm going to have to treat you for high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  I want you to start watching what you eat, only 4-6 ounces of red meat in a week and you need to eat more fruits and vegetables."

    He was shocked!  Dumbfounded really.    I looked at him and shook my head.  "what have I been telling you all these years?  How can you be surprised at this?"  

    I must say though, it's been a year and he's still using the treadmill 4-5 times a week.  One person on the "lesson learned" list.

    And last,

    5-This is a pesky problem.  My feeling is this, instead of giving the person a "buy" and let them continue to embarrass, hurt, take advantage and disgust us-I say we all stand strong and together and do the famous Peter Finch line:  I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take  it anymore.

    Then let's give each other the strength and permission to not feel the least bit guilty about making the trouble-causers take responsibility for their lifetime of bad behavior (no matter what their age may be) and learn to live with the mess they've created for themselves.

    And now, I'm going to munch on some celery while clipping coupons.  I deserve it after my 45 minutes on the treadmill and cleaning my stainless steel appliances and ignoring the "problem" who lives 4 miles from my door.

    6 Replies