Posts Tagged ‘siblings’

After ALL These Years….

September 19, 2012

After all these years, I have finally figured something out.  Please don’t hold your breath too long waiting in anticipation for this monumental, earth-shattering news.  The back-story first.

With two bathrooms upstairs and a newly acquired princess from Colombia in December 2010, I decided that she could brush her teeth and bathe in the master bathroom, so as to leave more room for her three siblings.  How nice of me.  I’m the nice mom, remember?  I figured it wouldn’t be that much of a hassle due to her usually preening at different hours than her father and me.  Fast-forward four months to me being completely grossed out by the blobby toothpaste all over the cap and drawer where the Crest is kept.

The gross-out feeling is mutual between my new daughter and me.  She is grossed out that hair is stuck in my hairbrush.  I am grossed out by dried, globby toothpaste on the cap and in the drawer.  Deciding not to mention the blue blobs, I got myself a brand spankin’ new tube of Crest ONLY for personal use, and cleared a spot in my medicine cabinet for MY toothpaste where it would remain clean and blob-free.

NOTHING gets past her big brown eyes!  NOTHING!  She asked me THE NEXT DAY, “Why do you have toothpaste up there on the shelf now?”

In a sweet voice (because I’m the nice mom) I replied, “It’s because someone left toothpaste on that tube in the drawer and I don’t want to touch it.”

Her response made me burst out laughing, “Maybe DAD left the toothpaste all over the cap!”  Hahahaha!

Her father and I have been sharing the same tube of toothpaste for 23 years.  If you are a germaphobe, I’m sorry that you now look down your sanitized nose at us.  We are what we are.  So, YES there were new clumps of toothpaste.  YES, the Colombian princess was the culprit…. but not the culprit willing to admit to the messiness.

So what did I figure out after all these years?  My husband is a very neat toothpaste user, for which I am thankful.   I would not be harboring these thankful thoughts if it weren’t for our Colombian Princess joining the family.  :o)  One more blessing of adoption.

 

I’m the one on the OUTSIDE???

July 11, 2011

Growing up in the 60s and 70s, I was a fortunate kid who had both sets of grandparents until my teens.  Most of our family vacations (in the station wagon with the 8-track tape of the singing Statesmen) were spent driving to and from one of my grandparents’ homes.  My maternal grandparents lived in White Rock, B.C. a block from the beach and they had a trampoline in the back yard and wild blackberry vines that grew down the hill from their home.  All of those were important items on my list as a kid.  They lived in a four-story yellow house that stood out like Big Bird when we were on the beach looking toward land.  The reason they lived in a four-story, gargantuan home was because my Grandmother took care of 10 women who had special needs, all who lived in the top floors of the canary-colored house. Grandma and Grandpa lived in the lower floor in two cramped bedrooms, a kitchen and livingroom.  I can’t remember where we slept when we stayed there, but I have fond memories of that house.

The Ladies ate at a large diningroom table in a window-laden room facing the ocean on the second floor.  It was a ways from the kitchen, where my grandmother cooked for all 17 of us inhabitants.  We ate at a squishy kitchen table that was at the back of the house in a nook with windows across the far wall.  Our view was the driveway and the neighbor’s fence. The table was formica with a gray and white pattern of triangles, and there were secured benches all the way around the table.  No chairs.  There was no room for chairs.  I felt like a sardine lined up with my siblings and sometimes my cousins. And I loved it.

The day we arrived, Grandma gave each of us a see-through pill bottle with a white snap-on lid with our name written on it in a rainbow-shaped curve. It was for vacation allowance.  Each and every day she handed out a quarter to me and my brother and sister.  The coins fit perfectly in the little bottles. I have always relished things that fit perfectly.  True to form, my brother would save his coins all week so on the last day he could carefully purchase a yo-yo, or a rubber coin purse that squeezed open or a candy bar.  I lavishly spent my quarter every day.  On junk candy.  And I was okay with that. Because the next morning, for at least 20 minutes, there would be another shiny quarter that would fit perfectly into the bottom of my pill bottle that said L-I-N-D-A in the rainbow-shaped curve.

There were “other” cousins that also came to Grandma’s yellow beach house on Buena Vista Drive.  Three girls, close to the same ages as us, but we weren’t “real” cousins.  We spent a Christmas or two together when we were very young, eating at Grandma’s, but we never swapped gifts.  I never gave it much thought but somehow felt sorry for them because they weren’t Grandma’s “real” grandchildren.  I considered them on the outside.

In my 16th year of life, I came to the realization that the Grandmother that I loved, was married to my Grandfather…. after my maternal Grandmother passed away years previously.  She was my STEP-Grandmother.  But how could that be?  She was not like Cinderella’s Step-anything!  She loved us and fed us and gave us vacation allowance.  THEN I realized that I was not a “real” grandchild…. I was on the outside!  The three girls were on the INSIDE! That shocked me for days.  It was my first real-life experience knowing unconditional non-blood related love.  We were family and that was all that mattered. And I loved it.

More tomorrow, on my beloved Grandmother.

Let the Good Times ROLL

March 18, 2008

tp

Toilet paper is an American family enigma that is not going away anytime soon.  I have yet to meet a family that consists of two or more family members, where one is NOT a Toilet Paper Nazi.  I mean, really.  If you’re going to buy cheap, flimsy, poke-my-fingers-through TP, then I need to use at least one-and-a-half good spins to adequately polish off the job.

I have fond teenage memories of gathering around the dinner table with Dad, Mom, my older brother and younger sister, and listening to my father’s lecture about toilet paper usage violations.  Distinctly I can still hear the deep, baritone voice commanding, “If you are a scruncher, you need to become a folder.”  And thus I embarked on my folding days, which have served me well for twenty-something years.  (I have saved my husband million$ of dollar$ during the past 21 years, thanks to my father’s wisdom.)

Yesterday, I asked my brother if he remembered that family “talk.”  He replied in his money-minded, business-like manner, “No, but I’ve always been a folder, so it wasn’t something that applied to me.”  Then he proceeded to tell me that everyone in his family uses too much bathroom tissue, exceptions include only himself and his diapered son.  (See!  He’s the TP Nazi in his house.)  He mentioned one infraction when he heard the roll spin faster than a centrifuge.  He wanted to yell, “I hope you’re cleaning the whole bathroom with that!”  But didn’t.

Since my conversion to Coupon Sense, we have, for the first time in our married life, purchased QUALITY toilet paper.  (It was on sale AND there was a coupon, making it less expensive than the bargain brand!)  Only being familiar with the cheap goods, this new stuff feels like 12 ply.  Sweet luxury at my disposal.  Unknowingly, I married a TP Nazi, and he stood true to form after the new flannel-soft privy paper appeared in our powder room.  Rick yelled from the john one night, “I hope you’re using less of this toilet paper now that we have this good stuff.”   I assured him that I was still a folder, ….but only twice now.

In the early hours of the morning, necessity called and I made enough movements getting out of bed to ensure Rick’s wakeful state.  After sitting there in the dark for several minutes, I yanked on the paper harder than I ever have and that baby spun as fast as my front-loading washing machine on full tilt.  Rick hollered from the bed, “I bet you had to put your arm way over your head to make it spin that fast.”  Oh, did we laugh.  Undeviating from his economical character he added, “You better be rolling that back on there!”  I could not stop laughing.  O.K., I was really overtired, but it still makes me smile.

Who’s the TP Nazi in your home?  If you can’t think of anyone else, it’s probably YOU!

Happy 50th Anniversary, Dad and Mom! (Wow!)

February 15, 2008

Dad and Mom’s 50th

Please join me in wishing my parents, Ed and Grace, a Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary today!   Wooo hooo!  Yes, they were 13 and 12 when they got married. They are superb parents who have an impressive parenting resume with only a few mishaps, entirely at the fault of my siblings.  I was the child who ran around at 3 years old yelling, “I be good!  I be good!” and haven’t caused a day of heartache since.  :o)  (Fortunately for me, Mom and Dad can’t remember anything different.)

My dad lived up to his nickname, Steady Eddie.  I don’t know if that actually was his nickname, but he did live up to it nonetheless.  He is easy going, level headed, kind hearted, a Mr. Fix-It, has a great dry sense of humor, and cries at long-distant telephone commercials.  He has supplied his three children and their spouses with wisdom and a Godly example that we’ve all depended on.  Plus he’s kept Mom happy for over 50 years.  If that isn’t amazing in this day and age, please tell me what is.

Mom has been the life of the party, whether she wanted to be or not.  She has provided us with laughs and love and learning all the days of our lives.  We have fond memories of her orange, polyester karate outfit, her jazzy piano playing of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and her attempts at beating her children in fierce games of Scrabble.  She knows more two letter Scottish, Burmese and Taiwanese words than Mr. Webster.  She is a talented artist, home decorator and fashion shopping guru.

My siblings and I were truly blessed by being raised by these fine folks.  Thanks, Mom and Dad.

What else happened in 1958, you ask?  Let me expound:

The U.S. Army inducted Elvis Presley, transforming The King Of Rock & Roll into U.S. private #53310761

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act into United States law.

First International House of Pancakes (IHOP) opened in Toluca Lake, Calif.

The U.S. Congress formally created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Instant noodles went on sale for the first time.

The first successful American satellite, Explorer I, was launched into orbit.

Edward Nikander married Gracie Chauncey in a cheery, Valentine-decorated ceremony in Vancouver, BC.  The bride wore an off the shoulder gown with netted layers with v-shaped trim.  The groom sported a trim, white dinner jacket.  The couple honeymooned at the first motel they found that didn’t have weeds.  (If the establishment doesn’t take care of the grounds, imagine what the rooms must look like! ~ Mom’s lesson #47)