Friday, April 23, 2010

Vegas....Kelly, Kyler, and Kyle

4-14-10 Wednesday

I woke up listening to baby Kyler talking with his mom and dad. Kyle had already been to personal training and home for a short break before returning to work. Kyler was lying on his tummy in the middle of his parents’ bed, kicking his feet and look at me like “grandma you are still here!”

Kelly had a hair appointment and left about 12:30 PM. I read to Kyler, he played on his floor mat, moved around in his walker, bounced in his jumper, played in his crib watching and listening to his mobile, and we snuggled up for nap time. Kyler is such a good baby and I am not saying that just because he is my grandson.

Kelly came home with a new cut and color and she looks amazing as always. She fixed chicken coated in French fried onion rings and steamed broccoli for dinner. We then spent a quiet evening watching television and playing with Kyler while Kyle went off to train at the gym for his upcoming fight.

4-15-2010 Thursday

Today was a shopping day. Kelly had asked to wait for her birthday present until I came down and we could spend a girls’ day with the baby shopping. Kelly zipped us down to the south side of Vegas to Town Square. First stop H&M. Bellingham needs an H&M. After a little shopping we had lunch at Tommy Bahamas restaurant. A little more shopping and we were off to Costco.

Starbucks-- ready to drink coffee! Kelly and Kyle don’t drink coffee and I need a morning fix or two. Kelly wanted gummies and baby bell cheese as a treat so we stocked up. Now it was time to go home and fix dinner and let Kyler take a real nap.

Kyle left for the gym after dinner and Kelly, Kyler, and I went out to run a few errands. Back home we had a quiet evening spending time with each other and playing with the baby.

4-16-2010 Friday

Well it looks like we wore baby Kyler out yesterday because he needed a really long nap in the morning before we headed out to run errands.

A new phone for Kelly because hers quit functioning properly, some window shopping, then Kelly had an appointment before we headed home again. Kyler had a bottle and fell asleep in Kelly’s arms and I fell asleep on the sofa next to them.

Kelly fixed a Mexican chicken and bean dish for dinner, which was really good and I will have to try it for Larry.

Kyler and I spent the evening at home while Kelly went to the gym to take photos of Kyle and film video of him for his MMA fight coming up in May.

Kyler stopped on the way home and bought ice cream and Kelly got a movie. Kyler had his cereal, a bath, and was ready for bed and then we kicked back on the sofa to watch the movie. Because Kyle is in training he didn’t get any ice cream so it was really sweet of him to buy it for us and then have to sit there and watch us eat it.

4-17-2010 Saturday

We had a late morning before Kyle headed off to the gym and Kelly and I took baby Kyler shopping again. Kelly bought a cute little pair of grey pants and a green tank top to wear tomorrow night when Kyle and Kelly celebrate their first anniversary.

I bought the cutest little black sandals with studs and rhinestones. I like bling.

Kelly and Kyler took a nap after we got home to rest up for the crawfish feed we were going to that night. One of Kyle’s co-workers ordered crawfish from Louisiana, just like Larry does when we have our crawfish boil. Larry said “it was just wrong” when I told him where we were going. He loves crawfish while I like a couple and I am done. Larry said we just might have to have our own crawfish feed this year when I get home from California.

Kelly and Kyle brought baby Kyler and me home and then they went to a Creedence Clearwater Revival concert. Of course Kelly knew all the songs and sang along which surprised Kyle. Kyle is more of a rock and roll, heavy metal kind of guy and Kelly is classic rock, oldies, country, Sinatra, sixties, disco, eighties, kind of girl.

Baby Kyler and I cuddled up on the sofa while I fed him a bottle and held him until he fell asleep. I had him tucked in his bed when his mom and dad got home.

4-18-2010 Sunday

Happy anniversary Kelly and Kyle. And many more!

Kelly and Kyler surprised me with morning smiles and laughs today. Kyler was trying to crawl over grandma. Kyle had already left for the guy and Kelly and the baby had already been up since 6:00 AM. It was time for grandma to get up.

Kyler returned with flowers (tulips, Kelly’s favorite flower) and a card for Kelly. Then changed clothes and they left for the pro rodeo bull riding event at UNLV.

When the kids returned I let them take a nap while baby Kyler slept in my arms. There are things you forget about having babies, like when they are asleep and snuggled into the crook of your neck and you can feel their warm breath as they slowly exhale. It is a sweet moment to savor. I think Kelly and I must have worn the little guy out shopping the last few days. When he woke up, Kyle came and got him, change his diaper, and Kyler was ready for a bottle and play time.

Kelly and Kyle are going out to dinner and a movie to celebrate their anniversary so I have more grandma time with Kyler. Yippee!

The CMA awards were on the television and I thought Kyler might like the music, which he did, singing along, watching, and dancing with grandma. When I had worn him out and almost had him asleep, his head turned towards me, his eyes almost completely closed, his eyes popped open, his turned his head to the TV and tried to move his body around. Seems like the little guy likes Carrie Underwood and wanted to see her perform before he gave up and went to sleep.

4-19-2010 Monday

Kyle left early for the gym. Kelly got up and cooked his breakfast and a couple of extra hard boiled eggs for me when I got up. No, I am not a 6:00 AM kind of person anymore, unless we are on a Harley ride with the group. A bottle of Starbucks coffee and I was ready for the day.

Kelly and I talked while Kyler took his morning nap. Kyle came home and they filled the baby pool with water and put Kyler in it. He didn’t like this and let them know loud and clear it was not a big warm pool at Hooters, like last weekend. We tried warming the water up but he still wasn’t a fan of the outdoor baby pool. So back inside for a splash in the bathtub and then nap time for the three of them.

Kyle headed back to the gym and Kelly and I took Kyler grocery shopping Kyler had peas for the first time and while he didn’t hate them as much as the green beans, they are definitely not high on his favorite foods list.

4-20-2010 Tuesday

Kyler took his mid morning nap snuggled in my arms. After he woke up and had his bottle he played in his red GT race car walker. It was playing “When the Saints Go Marching In” and I told Kelly the grandpa Larry would be so proud. I thought it was pretty cool that Kyler could turn the sounds on and Kelly laughed saying Kyler probably pushed that button by chewing on it.

It was just a kicked back ordinary day, household chores, playing with the baby, and spending time with Kelly. Kelly fixed chicken with asparagus, spinach, onions, with a red sauce for dinner.

After Kyle came home he spent some guy time…watching fighting shows in the living room while Kelly, Kyler, and I snuggled up in the big bed to watch “chick shows” and Kyler had his last bottle of the day and drifted off to sleep- and Kelly and I had popcorn.

4-21-2010 Wednesday

Kelly is sending baby clothes home with me for the girls at GRADS. She has more than she can use and duplicates, and things Kyler has outgrown. We dropped off a large box at FedEx rather than trying to overstuff my suitcase and pay a penalty at the airport.

We stopped at Lowe’s to pick up supplies to cover Kyler’s windows with film to block the light. I told Kelly when it was done that I wouldn’t give up my day job to be an installer. No cutting mat, no rotary cutter, no yardstick….don’t look to close and keep the shades pulled down.

Kelly fixed salmon for Kyle’s dinner, low fat, low carb, low calorie meals while in training. When Kyle was gone we had artichokes and pasta with butter and garlic. I fed Kyler his oatmeal before bath time.

I checked in online for my flight home, paid for my bag, laid out my clothes for tomorrow, and packed my suitcase.

It gets harder and harder to leave my family behind when I go home. It’s not that I don’t want to go home; I just wish I could put everyone within a few miles of each other instead of a few hours by plane.

It’s been a great trip holding my grandson Kyler. Being able to kiss him and play with him. He will come visit grandma in June ,but I am sure he will be much bigger and hope he still remembers grandma.

Watching Kelly with her son has been amazing. She is such a good mother, patient and calm even on Kyler’s fussiest of days. She lives on little sleep and just keeps going. If it doesn’t get done today, there is always tomorrow as long as her husband and baby are taken care of the other stuff can wait.

Kyle comes home for lunch, eats, and plays with his son. After work he comes straight in the house to find Kyler and play with him if he is awake. After Kyler’s evening cereal, it’s bath time and that is baby and daddy time. He changes diapers (even the dirty ones) and cleans up messy spit ups.

4-22-2010 Thursday

It’s getting dark outside. The rain clouds are blowing in and it looks like it will be a bumpy ride out of Vegas. Baby Kyler wakes grandma up by crawling on me. Kelly and I had our Starbucks coffee before we had to get ready to leave for the airport.

On the way to the airport it rained, it hailed, there was lighting. Traffic wasn’t too bad and Kelly chauffeured Kyler and grandma so we could spend more time in the back seat talking and bonding.

It was hard to kiss them both good-bye. Maybe Kelly didn’t notice the red eyes and I blamed the tears on the rain.

I checked my luggage, cleared security, bought lunch and was ready to board my plane and go home. Larry said it always takes me a few days to adjust when I get home. He’s right, but it’s not easy to leave those you love behind.

7-8 buckle my seat belt
9-10 here we go again
California here I come
Right back where I started from
But Vegas is calling
A soft lullaby
Then back again, back again
To WA state
To the man that I love
The cat that waits
The dog the wishes I would stay away
We’ll settle in for a summer of fun
Then I’ll start this madness
All over again

From my friend Michelle

My friend Michelle sent me this little poem.  It made me laugh and made my day.


He didn't like the casserole and he didn't like my cake.

He said my biscuits were too hard not like his mother used to make.

I didn't perk the coffee right He didn't like the stew.

I didn't mend his socks the way his mother used to do.

I pondered for an answer I was looking for a clue.

Then I turned around and smacked the shit out of him...

Like his mother used to do.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day 2...Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

I woke up listening to baby Kyler talking with his mom and dad. Kyle had already been to personal training and returned home for a short break before he reported back to work. Kyler was laying on his tummy in the middle of Kelly and Kyles bed, kicking his feet and look at me, like, "Grandma you're still here!"

Kelly had a hair appointment and left about 2:30 PM. Baby Kyler and I read books, he played on his floor mat, scooted about in his little red car walker, bounced in his jumper, layed in his crib and watched and listened to his moblile, and we snuggled up for his nap time. Kyler is such a good baby.

Kelly fixed chicken dredged in french fried onion ring crumbles, and steamed broccoli for dinner. She is a really good cook and quite creative. Kyle went to the gym to train for his fight in May and Kelly and Kyler and grandma visited. Kyler did better eating his dinner with me out of the room, so I watched from the dinning room. Messy face, fingers, tummy, was bath time when he was done.

Tuesday April 11th, 2010...I'm off to see my grandbaby Kyler

It’s 7:00 AM and I just want to go back to sleep and I can’t wait to get on the plane to see my daughter Kelly, grandson Kyler, and son-in-law Kyle. The cat is pacing, demanding attention, and marking my suitcase for the umpteenth time. Ally knows I’m leaving. Downstairs the dog is siddled up as close to larry as he can get when I came downstairs. Deuce looks at me and back to Larry. He knows something is up, but unlike the cat, he hasn’t figured out what a suitcase means.

Larry drops me a the airport, helps me get my bags inside, but I then sent him home rather than wait around for security to open up. If I wasn’t so excited to get to Vegas, I could have taken a later flight and received a free ticket because the plane is over sold. Maybe on the way home it they need someone to bump, I’ll take them up on the offer.
As I wait for my plane to arrive, I see the Alaksa Airlines painted in University of Washington colors. I’m not a UW fan but my youngest son Michael will be attending UW to earn his masters in the fall of 2010.
A short thirty minute hop and I am in Seattle waiting for the second leg o fmy trip to Vegas. I slept the whole way from Bellingham to Seattle and will probably sleep all the way to Vegas. I am only hours from hlding my precious grandson. Kyler is truly a gift from God whose hand held him and cradled him in those first three months of life when he was born three months premature and just under 3 pounds. Now he is almost 16 pounds at seven months and doing just fine.
When I stepped off the escalator and looked straight ahead, Kelly and Kyler were waiting for me. Kyler smiled when I talked to him but he was so busy looking all around the airport at the lights, the advertisements, and sounds, just mezmerzied. A quick trip home and we stopped at Poppeyes on base to get Kelly lunch and a surprise snack for Kyle. We Larry will be so sad because we don’t have a poppeyes at home.
Kyle arrived shortly after did and we spent a quiet evening playing with Kyler and watching tv. I watched Kelly feed Kyler his cereal and sweep potato and then watched Kyler gave Kyler a bath. While Kelly fed Kyler is last bottle of the evening, I started a load of laundry and folded clothes.

Not the Vegas nightlife most people think of when they say I’m going to Vegas, but it’s all I need…family.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul.

And sings the tune

Without the words,

And never stops at all.

Emily Dickinson

Friday, April 09, 2010

Macaroni and Tomato Juice Side Dish...Ozark Southern Comfort

When I was little one of my favorite side dishes that my mom would fix for dinner was macaroni with onions and tomato juice. Don’t scrunch up your nose if you have never tried it. In fact I would fill my plate with the pasta and just skip everything else if I could get away with it. This is one of my comfort foods when you live far from family, you are having one of those days, or nothing else sounds good, this is it for me.

I tried fixing it for my kids when they were little, but they are the pasta and butter or white sauce kind of eaters. That was okay with me because then I didn’t have to share and I had leftovers for several days. And yes it is better the next day or the next.

I love tomatoes! Tomatoes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, sliced with salt sprinkled on them, on a sandwich, on a hamburger, or whole tomatoes right out of the garden, just rinsed off and ready to enjoy.

Today is one of those days…I’m tired, moving kind of slow, lots of little things to do and not getting them done fast, hungry but don’t really want anything…except mom’s macaroni and tomato juice casserole.


1 pkg. pasta, elbows, bowties, macaroni, your choice

1 large sweet onion

1 - 46 oz. can tomato juice

Salt & pepper

Dice onion finely and add to a 2 qt casserole.

Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Add to casserole.

Add tomato juice to cover, it should not soupy but definitely should not be dry. (You may need to add more tomato juice during cooking).

Salt and pepper to taste. (My grandmother Chloe loved black pepper so I use learned to love pepper at a young age. My friend eggs always had a nice black coating over them. Pepper just makes everything better).

Cover casserole dish and bake at 3250 for 45 minutes. Check during baking time to make sure pasta does not absorb all the tomato juice.

I hope you enjoy this recipe from our simple Missouri Southern roots.
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