Friday, September 17, 2010

Sitting around with my grandsons today

We were going to go to the library today. However, I didn't get up till 10 a.m. and didn't get over to Katie's till 11:30 a.m. Miles was spitty-uppy and Katie was sleep deprived. Miles wanted to eat (again) and we finally decided to bag the library trip for another day.

After Katie went up for a much needed snooze, I held Miles for a bit and then put him in the bouncy chair with his binky. He finally dropped off for a much needed nap. I put the chair down by my foot and sat with Oliver on the couch. If Miles fussed, I bounced the chair with my toe and he proceeded to slumber away. He did smile at me a bit today, but had been up all morning, so I was glad he could settle down for awhile.

Oliver, in the meantime, was busy with letters and spelling. He loves his magnetic letters, which he carries around in a metal bucket, and differentiates between lower case and upper case with Oliver-like specificity. You cannot ever substitute a lower for an upper case. He just won't have it. He has in his mind what he wants to create and nothing will sway him. Ever since he has started watching Word World on PBS Kids he has soaked up verbiage and spelling like the proverbial child-like sponge. Katie bought him a new computerized spelling type electronic toy that has words and spelling games in both English and Spanish. He knows the latter alphabet quite well and seems to understand some of the Spanish words on the toy (which grandma does not, unfortunately). The words they threw out to spell were somewhat astonishing (the toy is listed as for kids 3+ years of age). Katie and I cracked up at the words ogre and windsurf and yacht. Who decides on the words in these databases anyway?? How many adults can spell ogre?

After I switched off the kids' shows for a cooking show respite, Oliver went to work with his magnetic letters in earnest. He was insistent on upper case letters. After awhile he laid out what he was looking for: W G T E. This is the station's call letters that we were watching. I am quite impressed with his attention to detail.

We also played a counting game where I would lightly take his wrist and pat it on a pillow while counting to 100. Sometimes I would count slow, fast loud or soft. His anticipation of what might come next led him to laugh and giggle. Once we got to 100 he said, "Go to 100 again Gamma?" which of course we did.

I thoroughly enjoy our grandchildren and can't think of any better way to spend my afternoon. Thank you, Katie, for having me over. You can take a nap anytime :-).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Don't Smoke!

Unfortunately, another former smoker in the family has developed lung cancer. My cousin, (her dad is my mom's brother) had her right middle lobe removed today. She quit about ten years ago. However, her 2-3 pack-a-day habit caught up with her. The surgeon has said they got it all and she shouldn't have to have either chemo or radiation. I hope that is the case and I wish her the best.

There is, unfortunately, a long line of lung cancer on your grandpa's side of the family. Your great grandfather had small cell carcinoma, and died in early 1992. His sister had part of a lung removed years ago. She is gone now, but not from the lung cancer. His other sister also had lung cancer, and her daughter had throat cancer. My grandfather had bladder cancer (he was a life-long tobacco user, and died at age 92). My mother had a malignant growth removed from her larynx in 2009. As of today, when she visited her ENT doc, nothing has reappeared. All of these relatives smoked.

Cigarettes are NOT cool and they are NOT healthy. I hope neither of my grandsons smoke, and I am very thankful my daughter or my husband no longer do so.

Apparently, when I was four years old, I was curious about my parents' cigarettes. Back in the 1950's, most adults smoked, having gotten addicted during World War II, when the government gave the soldiers cigarettes in their rations. I guess she let me take a puff. I sucked in so hard I got tobacco in my mouth and throat. That did it for me. It was NOT cool. I don't remember the specific incident but I do remember thinking, at an early age, that it seemed stupid to just burn up money on them. I remember telling my mother that I would never go and buy her cigarettes nor would I ever loan her money for cigarettes. She was fine with that. Back then, you could send your kids to the drug store to buy them for you. It seems pretty incredible nowadays. The drug store also ran a tab for my parents and they paid them by the month. I can't imagine that happening nowadays either.

So, let's review: smoking is a dumb thing to do! The smokers in the family seem to develop problems that unfortunately can become fatal.

Addendum: Turns out my cousin's tumor is a carcinoid tumor. That means it was NOT caused by smoking, which is good news for her. Carcinoids are a different type of tumor altogether. Surgical removal is the treatment of choice. Chemotherapy does nothing for carcinoids. I am very happy for my cousin!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Miles has joined the family

On August 7, 2010, Miles Robert joined the family. He was 6 pounds, 14 ounces, but now (Sept. 12, 2010) he is up over eight pounds. Miles is a sweetheart - very content to have his bottle and loves to be held almost constantly. He is not yet sleeping through the night, but is up to four ounces of formula at a feeding and is pretty much on schedule to wake at 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. I don't think it will be long before he is sleeping through the night.

Oliver is learning at a lightning fast pace. He will be four on Nov. 15. He knows all his letters (upper AND lower case), and all his numbers, shapes, and colors. Since he has started watching "Word World" on PBS, he is spelling lots of words with his magnetic letters (carried around in a bucket). I'm told he insists on "little case" letters sometimes and won't take upper case substitutes. He can print his name so it is recognizable. He still loves Maisy books and doesn't sit still very long. He figured out the potty in late July and has proceeded well with no accidents for the past month. He is tall for his age and most people think he is older than he is. If you ask him something for which he doesn't know the answer, his reply is "peanut butter." He likes making jokes with the "peanut butter" phrase thrown in and he knows when he is saying silly things and enjoys it quite well.

I cannot begin to express how much I enjoy being around both my grandsons. It is so exciting to see them grow up and learn.