Let’s Go Fly A Kite

With only a couple more weeks of my Granny Nanny stint to go, I’m trying to drink in every delicious baby scent, every adorable baby coo, every moment of this very special time with baby Andy.

Andy

The days just fly by and I have that familiar feeling, a memory from the days when my own children were babies, “what on earth did I do all day?!”.

Each morning starts with a tour of the kitchen where we greet all the family members whose pictures are posted on the refrigerator.

We also give a “How do you do” to The First Lady or more accurately, to the Michelle Obama magnetic paper doll.

FLOTUS

Such a snappy dresser! Plus she is enjoying a slice of Chicago-style pizza – excellent taste!

We stop by the Disney posters and sing a rendition of The Mickey Mouse Club song and It’s A Small World.

The Disney indoctrination is well on its way.

(We have even booked Andy’s first trip to Disney World since he was too young to go along on our last pilgrimage.)

For some reason I’m a little obsessed with the soundtrack from Mary Poppins.

So many excellent songs: A Spoonful of Sugar, Chim Chim Cher-ee, I Love To Laugh…

I’m pretty sure that Andy’s first word is going to be

supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

 

My go-to lullaby is Stay Awake.

The song sounds slightly different in my “melodic” voice…

But my very favorite song, the one that we (and by we, I mean I) sing all day, is Let’s Go Fly A Kite.

I sing this while changing diapers, while putting Andy in his car seat and anytime the little guy needs to calm down. I don’t know why it is so effective but it sure is!

In addition to spending time with Andy, I’ve also enjoyed some adventures with Chip and Dale. Their little 2 1/2 year old selves seem like such big boys compared to their wee cousin, Andy.

Boston Aquarium

Chip and Dale at the Boston Aquarium

In a couple of weeks I will leave Boston and my Granny Nanny job to start working on our next big adventure: moving from California back to Chicago!! Never a dull moment.

I will always cherish this very special time with Andy, just as I do the many weeks I was able to spend with Chip and Dale when they were babies.

And I look forward to many, many more fun times with all of these guys.

Let’s go fly a kite!

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Granny Nanny

Well I have successfully completed the first week in my new (albeit temporary) job – Granny Nanny to this guy.

Grandson #3

Darling daughter, Annie, returned to work after a 3 month maternity leave and I’ve come to Boston to hang out with Andy for about six weeks.

Super bonus: I also get to see these guys.

Boys at Tower of Terror

I’m a very lucky gal.

Andy and I have pretty much spent the first week playing, reading books, singing songs, showering each other with kisses and watching the relentless snow fall.

This was Annie and Jerry’s adorable house when they moved in last summer.

new house

And this is what it looked like last Friday, after the record breaking 10 day snowfall.

snowy house

Crazy, right???

The good news for Annie’s first week back to work was that she had a snow day before she even started. The bad news was that she and Jerry had to struggle through a terrible week of commuting, including turning what should be a 45 minute commute into a 2 1/2 hour nightmare.

The really crazy thing is that we are due to get EVEN MORE SNOW.

According to my new BFF, Channel 7 weatherman J.R., we might have an additional 20 to 24 inches of snow by the time this storm wraps up on Tuesday.

More Snow

No problem for Andy and me. We will just stay tucked inside with The Little Blue Truck, Cows That Type and The Pout-Pout Fish.

We’ll be just fine.

Because neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail will hamper this granny nanny’s efforts in carrying out her important – and super fun – job.

Yep, I’m a very lucky gal.

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Road Trip!

I love road trips.

I have so many great memories of vacations on the road with our kids including one epic trip covering thousands of miles visiting a half dozen National Parks.

Sometimes, if Peter’s work schedule was too crazy, the kids and I would set off in the car and Peter would fly to meet us at our destination. A win-win for everyone.

My recent adventures  involved a road trip from Chicago to Boston and back again.

My sister-in-law, Kate, was kind enough to do the front end of the journey with me.

road trip

On Monday morning, in a car filled to the brim with goodies from my daughter’s baby shower, we hit the road.

We were well stocked with our road snacks of choice: Goldfish crackers, Twizzlers and Krispy Kreme donuts. Culinary bliss!

One of these days I would love to take a long, meandering road trip, stopping along the way as the spirit (and the local attractions) move me.

Although this was not that trip – we needed to get to Boston to get ready for the next baby shower and to spring Kate’s puppies from the kennel – we decided to take notes for the future.

Remember when I said my dream was to visit a winery in each of the 50 states? Along the way we saw signs for wineries in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts! I could check off five states in one trip!

We also passed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. I’ve never been there and would love to go.

Other Halls of Fame available along the I-80/I-90 corridor include but are not limited to:

  • The Professional Football Hall of Fame
  • The Boxing Hall of Fame
  • The Wrestling Hall of Fame
  • The Baseball Hall of Fame
  • The Basketball Hall of Fame

Be still my Hall of Fame heart!

Are you a fan of the I Love Lucy show? Then you would want to know that the Lucy & Desi Museum in Jamesport, NY is on this route.

But the most exciting place, the attraction that almost made us throw our schedule out the window, taking every ounce of our willpower to resist:

The Jello Museum

I’m not kidding.

My bucket list just got a little longer.

We broke the road trip into two days but did not have a particular place picked out to stay for the night. We thought we’d just press on until we felt like stopping. After seeing a sign like this, though, we were compelled to drive on a bit further.

Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers

Alas, we made it to Boston safe and sound, unloaded all the baby gifts and kicked off another week of festivities.

Finally it was time for me to drive back to Chicago, solo this time.

Armed with my Garmin GPS and Google Maps on my iPhone I was ready to go.

I took a different route on the return trip so that I could stop overnight in Pittsburgh to see my pals Byff and Marie.

My GPS gave me great confidence even though I had never traveled that particular route. Great confidence until it went crazy in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania.

You know how the screen shows your car on the road, indicating your progress on the path? Well, on the screen my car was shown driving through the cornfields on the side of the road while the sweet voice of the Garmin launched into a soliloquy:

“Make a u-turn, recalculating, turn left on Butternut Lane, recalculating, bear right, recalculating, continue for 102 miles, recalculating, do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around, recalculating…”

Was I ever glad to have my iPhone and Google Maps as a back up. (And I was VERY glad I had not yet updated my IOS software.)

Phew…. back on track.

In the mountains of Pennsylvania, the fall foliage put on a beautiful show. I wish I could have taken some pictures but just as texting while driving is monumentally foolish, the same could be said for taking pictures while driving.

One of the most memorable sights along the way was when I crested a hill and saw an immense structure rising up in the middle of the valley.

What the heck is that, I thought.

I’ll give you a hint: It was a Happy Valley. The structure was the Penn State football stadium.

Now I’m from Notre Dame. We know football. We do football on a pretty grand scale. But this place – WOW! The stadium looked like a giant monument in the middle of the rolling Pennsylvania countryside.

(I still like our stadium better.)

After a lovely evening and a restful night at Byff and Marie’s, I was ready for the home stretch.

Although I passed more wineries along the way, I resisted the temptation to stop. I could just imagine the scene.

“Hi, I’m here by myself to do some wine tasting and then I’m going to get back on the interstate to continue my road trip.”

I’m pretty sure my next stop would have been the State Police facility.

Instead I traveled on, eventually rounding the curve in the road that revealed the most beautiful skyline in the world (even through the haze of Gary, Indiana pollution).

chicago skyline

Sweet home, Chicago.

Home, sweet home.

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Busy in Boston

Mocadeaux has been quiet for a few weeks.

Was I vacationing on a remote, tropical island with no access to technology? Was I engaged in a self-imposed silent meditation retreat?  (Hahaha!) Gleefully trapped in the wine cellar? (A more likely scenario.)

Even better!

I’ve been in Boston helping Annie and Jerry move into their new home.

I’m kind of an expert at packing and moving.

Anxious to move out of their apartment and into a neighborhood by the twins, Annie and Jerry have been up to their eyeballs in the red-hot real estate market for the last few months. They made offers on TEN houses before finally winning a bidding war.

Well, that’s not exactly true. They were the “successful bidders” on one other house but after the inspection uncovered about a trillion dollars in necessary repairs they declined the opportunity to call that moldy, mousey, termitey, structurally unsound, electric fire hazard house, home.

You know how they say things always work out as they should? This is the perfect example of that adage.

new house

Adorable, right? Don’t you love the red front door? And the window boxes?

We scurried around, made trips to IKEA, Home Depot and Bed, Bath & Beyond, unpacked, arranged, rearranged and got the house all pulled together just in time for Jerry’s surprise birthday party.

We also squeezed in lots of time with these guys.

Chip and Dale

How is it possible that they get more adorable every time I see them?

I spent an afternoon with my blog friend/now real life friend – the fabulous and hilarious Katie from Preppy Empty Nester. We shared a delicious lunch and an afternoon of laughter at a beautiful hotel in the city. We even discovered that she (who lives in Boston) and I (who live in San Diego) have a mutual friend in Chicago. Crazy, eh?!?!

Mo and Katie

My new pal has given me lots of great ideas and inspiration. I’m anxious to get back to work on the blog.

And hoping to take a break from boxes for a little while.

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