Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ray and Chay's Great Grandma

Ray and Chay have been lucky to have their Great Grandma in their lives, and they are her "Pride and Joy." She loves them with all her heart, even if she couldn't keep up with their energy the past few months.

Great Grandma and The Bull

Great Grandma swears that Chay is crazier than a bed bug. Her nickname for him is "The Little Shit." She knows crazy best...she's the oldest of 14 crazy Canadian brothers and sisters. Great Grandma is a hard working, hard headed, and absolutely beautiful woman.

Great Grandma and Ray at Easter

Ray is Great Grandma's love of her life. My grandpa is Ray's namesake, and therefore, a constant reminder of my Grandma's great love of her life. Ray and Great Grandma were so sweet together, always giving hugs, holding hands and blowing kisses to each other.

Great Grandma passed away yesterday morning. While we were sitting with her saying our final goodbyes, Nana wondered how I was going to explain Great Grandma's passing to Ray and Chay. My response, "I'm going to be honest."

I received the call from my mom at 6:30 Monday morning, so the kids weren't awake yet. I raced around getting dressed as quickly as possible, and Ray woke up and was curious why I was leaving and not getting ready for work. I explained that I was going to see Great Grandma and had to hurry. I didn't have time to sit down and tell her fully what had happened, and I planned to do it later in the evening when we could all sit down and have a serious talk.

Ray had a different plan. She is so perceptive, it throws me off sometimes. Later that afternoon, I went to pick Ray and Chay up from their school, and the first thing Ray asked after we pulled out of the parking lot, was this: "Mommy, what happened to Great Grandma?"

Luckily, I was at a red light, so I could glance into the rear view mirror. What I saw shook me. Beauty had tears in her eyes. How did my baby know?

I told them there and then that Great Grandma died and was now in heaven dancing with their Great Grandpa. Then I handed out presents that I told them Great Grandma had left them. I gave Chay a stuffed dog that Great Grandma's brother had given her that has USA stuff all over it, and I told Ray that Great Grandma gave her the PURPLE blanket she had been using to keep her legs warm.

Chay carries that stuffed dog with him everywhere, and Ray now sleeps with that blanket. They are sad, but not fully understanding the concept of death. Yet, Great Grandma will be with them forever, and I cannot think of a better way for them to remember her than through her many gifts that she has passed on to them, whether they be stuffed, metal or just memories.

Cheers, Grandma. You are already missed, but I know you are dancing with Grandpa in heaven. I love you.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day on My Wrist

I received extra special Mother's Day presents from Ray and Chay; gorgeous and expensive bracelets with colorful jewels and meaningful charms that represent just how much they love me. I am a lucky woman.

OK, maybe not so fancy and expensive. And, not so gorgeous either. But truly made with love.

Ray walked me through every bead on her bracelet and explained to me what each one represents (her bracelet is the one closer to my hand). From right to left:

*A purple glass bead - She loves purple and it was the fanciest there was.

*A small silver rose - She's the baby rose.

*A gold bead - Because its GOLD, mommy, and really expensive!

*A big silver rose - I'm the mommy rose.

*A hot pink dolphin - Because its a dolphin and they are cute.

*A red heart - Because she loves me. Duh.

*A pink butterfly - They are pretty, just like us.

*A purple bow - Because she loves purple and hair bows. It just made sense.

*A silver flower - Flowers are pretty and I wear a lot of silver.

*A black bead - I also wear a lot of black and its one of my favorite colors (I do, in fact, wear a lot of black. But I never made a deal about it, so I'm impressed that she is working on her observation skills).

*A sparkly pink heart - Her teachers didn't have any diamonds, so this heart was the sparkliest thing she could find. And its pink.

I love the thought process that she went through as she put it together. I can just imagine her facial expressions and the conversation she had with CG while they made their bracelets.

I asked Chay to explain his bracelet to me kind of in the same way that Ray did. He said, "It has a dice on it," then walked away. So, I guess it represents that I like to gamble? Great! (I don't have a gambling issue. I swear.)

He came up to me last evening and told me he was happy I was wearing his bracelet. I said, "Of course, I'm wearing it. Its beautiful and its from you."

His response was, "Its beautiful just like you, Mommy," and gave me a kiss.

I truly am a lucky woman.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day According to Ray and Chay

Yesterday, Ray and Chay wanted to do something special for me for Mother's Day. Ray's original idea was to go on roller coasters. That got nixed because we're going back to Disney in a couple weeks, so economically, E couldn't justify spending the money on yet another amusement park (a good decision on his part!). Then she wanted to go to Sun-n-Fun Lagoon for Mother's Day. That was nixed because, while fun, its not relaxing for me. Neither kid can swim yet, so I am a nervous nelly the entire time we're there.

After much hand wringing on E and Ray's part, and at my suggestion, of course, we ended up going up to Lindo Beach for the day. We swam, enjoyed the sun and relaxed. Then we headed to the Columbia Restaurant for tapas and Sangrias. My favorite. Ray and Chay knew that, of course, that's why they picked it. At least, that's how they will tell the story if you ask them.

I have so many favorite, and not so favorite, stories to tell from yesterday. But my first is a short little tale involving The Bull and a man with a dog.

Chay to a man walking a German Shepherd: "Hey, look, its a puppy dog!"

The man walking the German Shepherd (while puffing up his chest): "Yes, and he's a BIG DOG!"

Chay: (Shrugs.) "Huh. My dog's bigger."

Truth is, he's right.

Sampson, The Bull's Best Friend

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Maybe Telemundo Really Is Teaching Them Something?

We went for a family dinner at an authentic Mexican restaurant this evening to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. No, not Iguana Mia or Casa Laredo, both of which we like, but not what we consider authentic. And, we know, Cinco de Mayo is essentially an American holiday. But, hey, I like to celebrate when Mexico resisted French occupation and won!

The restaurant was all dressed up in red, white and green balloons and streamers with "Fiesta" posters all over the walls. They had Mexican music playing and bull riding on the TV. Cheesetastic. The food was great - spicy, fresh and delicioso. My kind of food.

As we sat down to eat, Ray and Chay wanted to know why we were eating out on a school night. We explained to them that it was Cinco de Mayo, and we were really craving some good Mexican meals. Ray burst out with, "Cinco means five, and de May0 means May. So Cinco de Mayo must mean its May 5!"

Impressed, we praised Ray for translating Spanish to English. Then Chay had to get in on the action.

"I can speak Spanish! Bagalo balafo balago de mayo!" He yelled. "See, that was Spanish." Then the whole restaurant laughed. (He can't seem to say anything without the whole restaurant hearing him, regardless of where we are.) Of course, he couldn't tell us what "Bagalo balafo balago de mayo" meant.

Chay did count to ten in Spanish though, so I'll give him props. Not to be outdone, Ray proceeded to say "Hello" in three other languages - Spanish, French, and Chinese. The competition between these two never ceases to amaze me, but if it keeps each one challenged and learning, I am not going to complain.

Maybe watching Spanish soap operas on Telemundo really have taught them something?