Life

The Love of a (Great) Grandmother

I love my grandmother like you wouldn’t believe! She’s a strong, hard working, caring person, and I just love her to death. I apparently was a complete shit-head to her growing up because she thought a box of musical “equipment” as we shall call it, for my children, was necessary.

Let’s back up.

Over Christmas break we stayed at my dad’s house for a few days. He has a player piano, the type you put the music in and it plays itself. My father probably knows three songs he can actually play, but the music coming out of the piano is impressive because it plays off the player music you put in.

Talia thinks this is cool as all hell. My dad likes to put her up on the piano bench with him and pretend to play. At 2 am on Christmas Eve, when Talia could not sleep for whatever reason, she decided to start playing the piano at my dad’s. My mother (who is divorced from my father) and grandmother think this is hysterical. Meanwhile, my father and his girlfriend think giving Talia a drum for Christmas is also cool….

1224162033e.jpg

I’m not really sure what I did to deserve this  but I must have been a miserable teenager and didn’t know it because that drum was filled with other musical instruments as well.

Anyway, last week my grandmother is out with my mother and she sees a keyboard. Apparently she thought Talia needed said keyboard, based on her 2 am escapade at my dad’s house.

0118171641.jpg

Talia LOVES this thing (apparently Tremor thinks it’s cool, too, as you see in the picture.)

Now look at this picture of my grandmother with Talia and Liam. See how innocent this little, old, Italian grandma looks? Don’t be fooled my friends….

1226161709d.jpg

Not to leave anyone out, my grandmother got something for Liam as well. Here’s where life fell apart last night.

Having to work in the morning (yes, I’ve gone back to work, but that is a whole other post), I was less than happy when Liam decided to wake up in the middle of the night and Bill just would not wake up. I climb over Bill and spend a great deal of time trying to get Liam back to sleep. The toy my grandmother bought him is in the crib with him, so I turn it on. It lights up on the “screen” but it also projects an image onto the ceiling for him to stare at. Liam LOVES this. I set the music mode to jungle sounds, and he drifts off to sleep. Success….or so I think.

I leave the timer on 20 minutes thinking it just shuts off like a normal child’s toy. Oh no my friends…..the toy goes off, and then 20 minutes later it comes back on! The picture is back on my ceiling, and the thing is now playing baby freaking show-tunes. Bill is between us, so after I’m startled awake, I now have to climb over a sleeping Marine to get to my kid…and the toy.

0118171626b.jpg

I don’t even have to get the image going the right way for you to see how annoying this is for me.

0117172155.jpg

Here is the image of Liam’s “friends” on the ceiling. You can see how scary they are, right?

There are at least a dozen buttons and switches on this thing and none of them seem to want to shut the whole thing down. Liam is now awake, and we are back to square one….only now Bill is awake and wants to know why the baby is playing Nintendo. I inform him he’s not helping, the baby is not in-fact playing Nintendo, and Bill rolls over so I can be between them. Once I get the thing shut off, Liam doesn’t want to go back to sleep until I get that stupid image of those smug looking cartoons back on the ceiling. ARGH! Dogs are also now awake and wanting to know what is happening, so they all start rotating on and off the bed.

This whole thing carries on for well over an hour. By the time everyone is asleep and happy, my alarm clock goes off. I honestly thought about calling my grandmother at one point, and just giving Liam the phone to scream into. I don’t want her to miss out on all the excitement since she started this whole thing in the first place. (I’m totally kidding, though she has a cell phone now and can’t work it. It would be a wasted call.)

Thankfully there was a counterbalance in the mail today. I was able to sign both kids up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. As if we need another reason to love Dolly, she has a program for children through age 5 to receive an age appropriate book every month, free of charge. When Talia was born, our zip code did not qualify, but just before Liam came, our zip code was included, so I signed them both up! Talia has received a few books, and Liam got his first one today! Talia came running and sat down as soon as I started reading!

0118171659d.jpg

As you can see, he thought this was pretty cool! We’ve read it a few times, and I’m sure we will be reading it a lot more before the next book comes. He also got a lot of great books for Christmas, so he won’t be tired of any one book anytime soon!

I’m off to try and get some sleep to make up for the escapades last night. Right now I have the toy in the crib, with the directions close by! The moral of the story…be nice to your parents and grandparents because payback comes in the form of musical instruments and

Advertisements
Writing & Publishing

Book Club: A Man Called Ove

Have you ever read a book only to spend days after you finish, feeling sad because you miss the characters? This is how I feel about the book A Man Called Ove. While most of the book will make you laugh, the end made me cry my eyes out and left me feeling sad because it was over!

An older gentleman named Ove has worked his entire life, following the rules, taking care of the house and car, as well as caring for his wife. An absolute stickler for the rules, Ove feels as though the world has gone mad for doing things such as driving in residential areas and leaving bicycles in unattended under signs stating not to leave bikes. After suffering several losses, Ove decides things would be better if he just ended his life. The majority of the book is spent on Ove trying to kill himself, though his plan is always foiled. The man is clearly the neighborhood grump, but within the first few pages, you can’t help but love Ove!

Despite trying numerous times to end his life, Ove finds himself needed by some unlikely people and one ragged cat. Once you meet Ove, it will become clear he is the only man in Sweden (the setting of the story and home to the author, Fredrik Backman) who can back up a U-Haul. This leads to the overly happy new family next door depending on Ove, only to find out he needs them just as much.

This book was not at all what I expected from the cover, but I found lovable characters I will miss! I can’t wait to see what else this author has written and anticipate more great character driven stories.

1229161225a.jpg

 

Writing & Publishing

Book Club: The Girl on the Train

BOOK CLUB IS BACK!

I finally feel as though I have my $hi+ together enough to return to book club. Liam is still sleeping decently and Talia naps well, giving me time to read and write. I’m also a bit more organized since we found everyone a routine. Also, I am finally back to not needing to nap each day either. Thank goodness! That was getting old!

While we were in Illinois last week, I picked up the book “The Girl on the Train.” I had heard great things about the movie, and the book nerd in me wanted to know about the book. I’m happy to report, the book did not disappoint!

Rachel Watson rides the train each day past her old house and the home of the mysterious new neighbors down the street. Distraught over her divorce from Tom, she spends her days drinking away her sorrows on the train and focusing on the couple at house number 23 (she used to live at 15). The couple she watches each morning seem to have it all. Rachel has imaginary names and lives for them, and wishes she had what they had, until the train stops for less than a minute and she sees something that will change her life forever!

I’m not normally a reader of thrillers, but I may start exploring this genre more! I could not put this book down. The characters are well developed and the plot is character driven. I found myself not wanting to put the book aside until I had more answers. With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday, I still managed to read the book in 4 days because I HAD to know the truth. The author, Paula Hawkins managed to take a clip of less than a minute in the lifetime of a bystander on the train and turn it into a fabulous read.

There were two things I found frustrating with the book. One is stupidly silly. The author is from England and there were several words in the book I had no idea of the translation. For example, the off-license is a liquor store (packy, package store, ABC store, etc.) Thankfully the context around most words I did not know made it easy to figure out.

The second thing I found a bit irritating was the timeline. The book is told from the point of view of three characters and the timeline jumps around. You MUST pay attention to the date at the start of every chapter. Each person is telling the story from a different place in time, and it sometimes goes back several months from what you just read.

In the end, I highly recommend this book and give it the full 5 out of 5 stars. I was really excited when my niece said she had picked up the book over the weekend and was already drawn into the story.

img_20161123_002005.jpg

Because the book has been such a best seller, I imagine Ms. Hawkins will be writing another thriller. I won’t wait until it’s in mass market paperback, or a movie, to read it! I may see the movie out of curiosity, but the book was so good, I hate to ruin it!

What have you been reading? Share in the comments!