Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Tale (Tail) to Remember

Everyday we get a call, or two, from Lindsay with some outrageous story. Most are about her interesting customers, but some are random sightings. Yesterday's story may have topped them all.

Kelly got the first call. I would love to have been in on that one. So here's the story, paraphrased. Lindsay stopped at AM/PM for a nutritious dinner of Doritos and sour cream on her way home from work. She notices an extremely thin girl looking at the beverage cooler. Her thinness caught Lindsay's eye first, but when she bent over she got the shock of her life. The girl had a tail! Yes, a real tail coming out the top of her jeans. Lindsay, being the cool chick she is, almost started heaving. But, she couldn't stop staring. As luck would have it, she got behind Lindsay at the checkout counter. Lindsay hadn't had quite enough, so she invited the girl to go ahead of her so she could check it out again. Yep, there is was! She almost broke her neck getting to the car so she could call Kelly. Her only regret was that she had left her phone in the we have no photo.

Just another day in Warnerville. We'll store it right beside the story of Kelly seeing a goat in a car in the Nordstrom's parking lot. And life goes on.

Photo posted by Kelly. I refused to be a part of it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

What I Learned (and Learned Again) This Summer

1. I'm a terrible blogger.

2. I never do the projects I plan to do in the summer.

3. The beach always sounds nicer than it is.

4. Babies take up lots of room.

5. There's nothing nicer than waking up every morning to the sweet sound of
Bailey saying, "Hi, Nanna!"

6. Kelly and I are addicted to Bannagrams.

7. Saturday lunch at Cafe Coyote in Old Town with the fam is a tradition worth
keeping - except we need Lindsay there....she works every Saturday.

8. I won't die if my house isn't clean.

9. A groomed yard without toys is overrated.

10. Everything tastes better when eaten on a patio.

11. Grilled anything tastes better.

12. It is possible for two families to live together and not kill each other.

13. No matter how many times I tell myself I'll work out in the summer, I never do.
Too hot!!

14. Flowers in my yard make me happy.

15. I still consider Pat Conroy my favorite author.

16. Summer TV is a joke.

17. No problem, Bailey. I don't need 8 dinner plates. 7 will work fine.

18. Nothing lights up a home like a child's laughter.

19. I haven't forgotten the moves to Hokey Pokey or The Ants Go Marching One by One.

20. There's a reason 56 year-olds don't have babies.

21. I never imagined I'd have a 17 month-old grandaughter who smacks her booty and
says, "What??? What???" Thanks Kelly and Lindz.

22. I always look forward to returning to teaching in the Fall.

23. I start looking forward to Halloween in July

24. Playing Ping-Pong with the family is a great way to spend summer afternoons.


Monday, August 3, 2009


My brain has been cooked by Summer, so connecting thoughts and paragraphs is way beyond my capacity. The following are some very random half-thoughts I've glimpsed as they've flown in one ear and out the other. Dare not try to make sense of them.

Random Thought #1: What happened to quality???

Several months ago Lindsay mentioned that while shopping at DI with her friend, Nick, she discovered a piece of vintage luggage. She loved it, but Nick laughed at her, so she didn't get it. She later found out that he went back and bought it himself (little sneak). Anyway that got my wheels turning because I happen to have an old set of Samsonite luggage that I received when I graduated high school. Don't was a long time ago. I thought it would make a great birthday present for her July 17th birthday, so I had it cleaned up and gave it to her. I think she really liked it. The photo below shows what it looked like in 1971. My thought is that I can't think of another thing I've owned that long. After all those years that Samsonite still looks pretty good. The inside isn't torn and all the locks work. To compare, the luggage I bought about five years ago looks like Jane Goodall shared it with her apes. It seems that everything I buy today has to be replaced often. Washing machines don't last very long. Furniture wears out more quickly. Even purses and clothes are short-lived. Is it just me or does anyone else miss quality?

Random Thought #2: I made it too easy for my kids, but I got lucky.

I was the only girl and oldest child in my family. Because of that revered position, I did lots of babysitting and lots of housework. I've wondered if my childhood wasn't cut a bit short by all the responsibility I was given. When I had kids of my own, I promised myself that I wouldn't overdo the chores. I didn't. As a matter of fact, I may have overshot my plan. They all had to clean their rooms and help with dishes and trash, but I don't remember them doing yard work or cleaning out the garage or scrubbing bathrooms. I've worried about this. But, somehow they all turned out to be fairly responsible and capable of taking care of themselves and functioning in the world. I think there's a fine line between too much and too little. Childhood is a precious time that cannot be relived so I don't believe there should be too much adult-like responsibility. And, I believe it is in the home that children are taught to be responsible. Hummmmmmm. I think I just got lucky.

Random Thought #3: Never Give Up

I have been the only active member of the church in my family for most of my life. My two brothers were baptized, but were never really involved. My oldest brother, Rick, will turn 50 soon and my younger brother, Rob, is 42. Several months ago Rick had a heart attack and was forced to spend quite a bit of time at home recuperating. As many do when they come face to face with mortality, he started evaluating his life. That led him to read the Book of Mormon. That led to the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. Soon, he had read them all including the Old and New Testaments, The Miracle of Forgiveness and Jesus the Christ. Now he's reading the BOM for the second or third time and he's half-way through the biography of President Ezra T. Benson. His conversion is far too personal for me to share, but I can say that angels have intervened. He has experienced miracles and I have had years of prayers answered. I'm glad I never gave up.

Final Random Thought: A weekend with the "girls" is just what the doctor ordered.

I've always had good friends. It's a great blessing....and it saves a lot of time on a psychiatrist's couch. Husbands are great, but women need women in their lives. A few days aways with a bunch of crazy women can cure about anything that ails you. It's the best, least expensive therapy I know.

Such was the case last week. Three of my friends and I left right after church and headed to Newport Beach for a couple days. Equipped with games, Diet Coke, a navigator, and a great driver, we managed to crawl our way to Orange County in about 4 hours. Thanks to the son of my friend, Christina, we stayed in connecting suites at the Marriott for $59 a night! We ate, went to Crystal Cove (a must), played games, went to Balboa Island, ate, went to Fashion Island, ate, played games, and laughed like a bunch of fools. It was just what the doctor ordered and plans are in the making for our next adventure. Thanks, Girlfriends!!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bailey Goes to Utah

Last week Kelly and I took Bailey to Utah to visit Grandma and Grandpa Warner and to attend Angel Sadie's viewing. It's one of the first trips to Utah that did not end in someone being sick - ooops - that's not right. Bailey got an ear infection two days after we got home. Anyway, the weather was great. There were a couple great thunder storms (which I crave) and all our visits were great. We indulged twice in a Caramel Cashew Concrete. I'm so happy we don't have those here. They are truly the treat of the gods.

Here's how Bailey fared in Utah.

Finding some serious TP entertainment five minutes after entering hotel room

Taking a foot bath - a daily routine!

A princess poses on her throne.

Taking a dip into the icy water at Sugarhouse Park

Hanging around at the park

Lunch at Training Table with Balmforth cousins, Jaxson and Lydia

Cousin Ryan and Bailey - two of the cutest kids ever!

Seriously taking notes on Ryan's escape techniques!!

So happy to see Grandma and Grandpa Warner! Bailey, showing off her goofy grin.

Bailey - still with goofy grin - loving Nanna's lap.

Looking a little shy on handsome Grandpa's lap.

Getting a love from Grandma.

Playing Grandma's piano. Goofy grin alive and well.

Such visits really make us miss our family in Utah. The invite is always open for visits to San Diego. Please come!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Prayer for the Huish Family

We just received word that our sweet little friend, Sadie Huish, is in her last hours. She has fought long and hard and is now ready to go Home. We love you, Sadie, and will miss you terribly.

Please remember Sadie, her parents, Zach and Tiffany, and her little sisters, Sam and Olivia, in your prayers.

For more information about Sadie and to learn about DIPG log on to her blog at

We will never forget you, Sadie.

Note: Precious little Sadie passed away at 7:11 am Thursday morning. She went peacefully in the arms of her loving parents. Our hearts are broken.

Check It Out

I rarely recommend movies, but I couldn't resist this time. My friend Shelley and I saw The Proposal yesterday and loved it. It's a little more than your typical chick-flick (I am not knocking chick-flicks) and I laughed hysterically at some scenes.

Combined with popcorn and a Diet Coke (no Pepsi at my theater) it was a great afternoon escape. I highly recommend such diversions.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lady Bai

Kelly and I decided to take some pictures of Bailey today and we were shocked to realize how grown-up she looks. It's really hard to do a post on your grandaughter and not be absolutely obnoxious - so I'm not going to worry about it. I'm perfectly okay with being obnoxious. I waited a long time for a grandchild and I intend to finally take full advantage of the perks.

Bailey will be 15 months old on Saturday. I still pinch myself when I see her - she's almost too good to be true. When a rare day goes by that I don't see her I physically ache to hold her and get those sloppy kisses and hugs. There's a small, low window by our front door that is just the right size for Bailey to reach. Her routine is to put her face up to the window and wait for Nannas to open the door. The minute she sees me she screams with excitement. Can't get better than that.

Bailey is definitely her mother's child. She never walks. She runs...and climbs, and tries very hard to jump. She is never still. Never has a child been so excited to land on this planet. Her curiosity is insatiable and she greets every day with genuine anticipation for her next discovery. Seeing the world through her eyes has given me new perspective. Rocks and leaves and water and lizards are a little more interesting. It's a wonderful gift to witness the beauty of discovery.

Here are some facts you may not know about Bailey.

1. She's such a girl. She loves shoes and jewelry. Yesterday at Nordstrom Aunt
Lindsay put a necklace around her neck. She promptly walked over to a mirror,
smiled, and patted her hair. Three women said, "She is adorable and she knows
it, doesn't she?". Can't argue with that

2. She's a girl who knows what she wants - and she's quite vocal when she doesn't
get it. If yelling doesn't work, she falls back on her stand-by - bite anything
and anyone. Very cute.

3. She's been using sign language since she was about 8 months old. She knows about
15 signs. We mostly see "more" and "please" - even when she doesn't know what
she wants! Kelly says she wakes up every morning and, with her eyes barely open,
signs "MORE!"

4. She gives the greatest kisses in the world. But, Jon gets a head butt.

5. Her language includes lots of vowels, but almost no consonants. She can give the
sounds of most animals, but insists that the cow says, "BAAAA". Who am I to

6. She loves books. She'll pick out a book, back up until she's snuggled in my
lap, lean against my chest, and turn the pages until she's "read" the book. The
whole process takes about 2 minutes, but is repeated several times.

7. She loves to be outside. When I go to her house, she grabs my finger and walks
me to the door. At my house, she's outside most of the time, usually playing
in the fountain until her fingers freeze.

8. Her favorite thing to do is drive my car. She knows how to find the nob for the wipers (and window wash), how to open the door, how to move the seat up and back, how to flip the seat warmers on, and how to turn on the signal. What she doesn't know is that she can't "drive" two hours a day.

9. Her favorite foods are spaghetti, mac and cheese, any juice, ice-cream, Nillas,
fruit, and french fries. Sounds kinda like my diet.

10. I could stare at her all day. There's finally someone in my family who can
live up to my Irish roots. She's very fair, has big brown eyes, and red hair - and a great-great grandmother named McAllister. She's absolutely the most
beautiful thing I've ever seen. We're never going to let her see a bottle of

11. I've never seen such a light sleeper. Circulating air wakes her up. I remember
my kids sleeping in the car, on the stairs, on the sofa, and about anywhere else.
Bailey only sleeps when the Earth stops spinning.

12. She loves escalators, but mostly the down part. I think she likes the people at
the bottom saying, "Look how cute!".

13. She likes to push, pull, and haul. We're quite sure she could challenge Baby
Huey. Once, she walked through the house carrying both of Dave's five-pound
weights. No kidding.

14. She loves Lindsay, but we figured out it's because Lindsay does her make-up.

15. Everywhere she goes people stop and talk to her. She, however, will not be
bothered with the serfs. This breaks Kelly's heart.

16. Kelly always wanted a cuddly, social child. She got a kid who doesn't liked to
be touched and only likes HER people.

17. Bailey believes that anything that looks like hers, is hers. And, she doesn't
hesitate to reclaim it.

18. She thinks she's a grown-up. Strollers are for her to push and high chairs are
for babies. She prefers a big person chair.

19. Her laugh is pure music...and she laughs constantly.

20. She loves the Black-Eyed Peas and chimes in with "Boom Boom Boom" when she hears
"Boom Boom Pow".

21. She does lunges every morning with Kelly. Her thighs have definition.

22. When Kelly tells her it's time to get dressed, she runs to her dresser to pick
out her outfit, then she chooses her shoes. When she's completely dressed she
checks herself out in the mirror.

23. She watches Handy Manny every morning. She actually brings the remote to Kelly.

24. She's intrigued by other children. I think she thinks they're dogs. She treats
them just like she does Oakley.

25. She's the closest thing to perfect I've ever seen.

Submitted by a truly obnoxious, totally smitten Nanna.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fancy Dancin'

Please tell me there are some So You Think You Can Dance followers out there! I'm addicted already and I think this season might be the best ever. If you're not watching, you should. Holler back if you're a fan!

Just a Little Jealous

Lindsay has had an exciting couple of weeks. First, she was forced, at her doctor's request, to move from her apartment. Seems Lindsay and mold don't get along. That left her with less than two weeks to find another apartment and/or a roommate. Then, on Friday her Nordstrom's store manager told her there was a assistant manager's job opening at Fashion Valley in the jewelry department AND asked if she was interested. It's the opportunity she's been waiting for, so she didn't hesitate for a minute. With no interview or forewarning, she got a call on the next Friday from her current manager telling her that she had been offered the job. So, on Monday she became assistant manager of the fourth largest jewelry department in the Nordstrom's chain. She gets to tell people what to do, so she loves it.

Still, there was the apartment issue. She spent hours on the internet and we spent hours looking, but not much was happening. The places I would let her live in she couldn't afford. Rent here is ridiculous!!! Finally, last week Jon recommended a place near him in Mission Valley. We both loved it the minute we saw it. It doesn't look like an apartment complex, it looks like a resort. She got a one bedroom with a balcony and it's perfect for her.

I'm happy for her, but I couldn't help but think of the first apartment Mark and I had in Provo. It was probably about 500 square feet and had one bedroom, a living area, and a kitchen in a hallway. We used a card table and decorated with plywood and cinder blocks. We thought we were in heaven.

Lindsay's apartment complex has two pools, a hot tub, two gyms, a clubhouse, a grocery store, a spa, a couple of restaurants, a technology center, and a partridge in a pear tree. They provide cooking classes twice a week, an outdoor movie every Saturday night, a nutritionist, and every kind of workout class you can imagine. Her apartment is decorated to the hilt with furniture she bought a few years ago. Her balcony faces a courtyard with soothing fountains and tropical vegetation that could rival any resort I've ever seen.

I'm waiting for her to leave town so I can stay in her apartment. It's much nicer than my house.

Yes, I'm just a little jealous.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Take a Look at a Good Book

I few days ago I had a couple of hours to spare. That's a rare thing for me, so I took advantage of the situation and headed straight to Barnes and Noble. I meandered around the shelves for awhile, but wasn't desperate since I have a stack of 8 books on my dresser just waiting for me - a truly delicious state of being by the way.

After 10 minutes or so I headed to my ultimate destination and that, of course, was the children's section. I love children's books and have a rather admirable collection of well over 100 of my favorites. For several years, at Grossmont College, I taught a Language and Literature class and cultivated my love of children's books into a healthy obsession. Whenever I travel I bring two things home - one is a Christmas ornament and the other is a children's book. Every Christmas since the kids were very young I have selected and read a Christmas book to the family on Christmas Eve. It's one of our favorite traditions. Now that the kids are grown, I have had fewer opportunities to research new favorites. That was, of course, before Bailey was born. Now I have every excuse to return to my favorite obsession. That's how I ended up spending an hour reading children's books at Barnes and Noble.

There are good children's books and not so good. One thing I've learned, however, is that what I consider wonderful is not always in sync with kids. For example, Kelly loved Make Way for Ducklings. I found the illustrations boring and the story uneventful. Four-year-old Kelly would spend hours looking at the pictures and worrying about the baby ducks crossing the street. I left Barnes and Noble with only one book - one that I've loved for years. It's called The Carrot Seed. It's simple, but the story is so sweet. I was anxious to bring it home to Bailey and was thrilled when she signed "more" after the first reading - and after the second and third. She loves the book and enthusiastically shakes her head "no" when the parents say, "I'm afraid it won't come up." Since my children are not readers I sincerely hope that Bailey will grow to share my love of books. The signs are looking good.

I know you didn't ask, but I'd like to share some of my favorites with you. These are all for young children and are considered picture books. I'll have to come up with another list for older children.

1. The Napping House- my favorite picture book - or anything by Don and Audrey Wood
2. Good Night Moon
3. Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom

4. There's a Nightmare in my Closet
5. For slightly older children anything by Patricia Polacco
6. An authentic book of nursery rhymes
7. Any Spot book - for infants and toddlers
8. Caps for Sale
9. Any Corduroy or Curious George book

10. Any Elephant and Piggie book - I just discovered these and love them!
11. Amazing Grace
12. That Rain, That Sky - just because I love storms
13. Where the Wild Things Are
14. Tikki-Tikki Tembo
15. Are You My Mother?
16. Yo

17. Strega Nona
18. The Little Engine that Could
19. Rainbow Fish
20. Stone Soup
21. The Carrot Seed

22. The Paper Bag Princess - a must for young girls!
23. Swimmy
24. Jamberry
25. Any Fancy Nancy book - for girls
26. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie ...or a Pig a Pancake, etc.

27. Stellaluna
28. The Little House

29. Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing
30. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Actually, it's an impossible list to make. I haven't even touched on my favorites. I recommend an hour or two alone in a bookstore to discover your favorites. By the way, I left off Dr. Seuss, though I really like some of his books. And, you won't see Disney books on my list even though I think they have a place.

If you haven't read any of these, give them a shot. You won't be disappointed. And, I'd love to hear about your favorites.