The Life of Riley

My little grandaughter had quite the day today, lots of new experiences and new things to be discovered. Just as she fell asleep for a nap, I had to wake her up. Her dad and my son, Uncle Bryce, were working on the now famous "re-model" which is a long story for another time! The front porch on the house was finally poured today at Katie & Vinnie's house. They wanted to have Riley's handprints and footprints in the fresh cement on the porch. It would be special memory to have. Vinnie and Bryce were in charge of the above, and me, I drove Riley over to the house and took the pictures.
As you can see, its not always the best idea to wake up a sleepy toddler and put their hands and feet in wet cement. Let's just say it wasn't a "quiet" event, to say the least. And was somewhat of a task for "the boys" to get those prints and then get the wet cement off her hands and feet!!

Riley has always loved to dance. When she was an infant, her and I would spend many of our days together and we always danced! And for some unknown reason, and where it came from I don't even know, but every time I hum the theme song to the old Muppet Show, she starts dancing. What can I say, the kid just loves to dance!! This afternoon, after being put in wet cement, being bitten by one of my cats because she pulled his ears "really" hard, she figured out how to climb up on the coffee table in my bedroom. And off course, what did she do. . . DANCE! Not even two years old and she's already dancin' on tables. Riley was really into the dancing until the tragic moment occured! Nope, she didn't fall of the table, but when she looked down at those dancing feets of hers, she saw her SHADOW!! The faster she danced, that damn shadow kept following her, there was no escaping it. So, being Riley in a crisis, she did what she always does, SCREAM at the top of her lungs. But after a few minutes, even that shadow couldn't stop her from dancing on the table.

You know, little kids are really busy. And in our crazy world, I feel really grateful to have entire days to spend with Riley as she discovers and learns about the little things in life. Like how gross it feels to have wet cement on you, and even if your shadow scares you, never quit dancing!!


When Your Grandpa Dies

A couple of weeks ago, two friends in my Country Roads family that I care a lot about, lost their grandpa’s. They both passed away days within each other. I don’t care how old you are, there is something really tough about losing a grandparent. I was nine years old when my grandpa died. My grandpa and my grandma had gone back to their home state of Missouri to visit relatives. At nine years old, you are able to understand that you won’t see your grandparent anymore, but I’m not sure you grasp the whole concept of “death”. My grandma died when I was 21 years old. And I remember that heartbreak still. I refused to go to her funeral, and instead had driven down to the beach to spend the day grieving in my own way. Below is a picture of me, my grandpa, and my sister Teri. The smiles tell our story!

A couple of Saturdays ago, Brad who works at the store, got a phone call at work that his grandpa had died. He came up to me with tears in his eyes, saying he hated to do this but he needed to leave because his grandpa had died. Brad is huge, being about 6ft 5in, but is like a big teddy bear. It broke my heart to see the pain in his eyes. I remember when my own kids had lost their grandparents (my mom & dad) within months of each other. I sometimes think losing a grandparent, no matter how old you are, is the toughest. There is this special bond between kids and their grandparents.

A couple days later after Brad’s grandpa died, I got an e-mail from Stacey, who is a friend and dealer at the store. Her grandpa had died too. As I read the e-mail I thought about how much Stacey had done for her grandpa in the past few years as his health began to fail him. It reminded me of my own parents and knowing what you go through when bodies and minds starting failing with those you love. There are no words to describe it. Its a day at a time, hoping for the best when there isn't much left to hope for.

Brad told me that he was really going to really miss his grandpa on Labor Day. They always went hunting together on that week-end, every year. Stacey told me about her grandpa, he was a fireman in Santa Ana for 30 years! You always remember the special things your grandparents did for you as you grew up. When I was a kid, I use to spend the night at my grandma’s a lot. Every morning she would always make me oatmeal and chocolate milk for breakfast and I got to sit in front of the tv as I ate it! There is just something really special about our grandparents. Maybe its the unconditional love they give us and just the "time" they always make for us. If you are still lucky enough to have your grandparents around, make some time for time them. After all, their grandchildren mean the world to them! I now know this very well since I'm lucky enough now to experience that love with my own little Riley!