Wednesday, September 19, 2012
As autumn arrives I thought it appropriate to share Dillan's breakfast menu. We have a pretty cool routine together on Monday and Tuesday and after he arrives, we take a walk around the neighborhood. When we get home, he enjoys his breakfast wholeheartedly. He has started to experiment with eating on his own and is showing signs of being ambidexterous.
Oatmeal for Dillan
I discovered a delicious embellishment to the everyday oatmeal recipe and it really makes a difference in taste. Instead of cooking old fashioned oats the old fashioned way, in a skillet, try toasting the oats in a tablespoon of butter for four minutes. Then I pour 2 1/2 cups toasted oats into a pot with 2 cups milk and 2 cups water and simmer for 25 minutes. Add applesauce, a dash of cinnamon and mushed banana to the mix. Hearty. He also has a piece of toast and sips a little juice to wash things down. He likes to feed some of his toast to me and giggles when I make a big deal out of how good it tastes.. As he would suggest...mmmmmm.
When Grandpa comes by during his lunch break, words cannot describe the bond these two guys have formed, so this photo will have to do. All day long he asks for his Grandpa and even points to a photo in his favorite book that kinda sorta looks like him. It's amazing and beautiful to witness.
We spend our day looking at the garden, walking outside with the doggies, listening and dancing to his Bingo music, turning the lights on and off and basically, checking out how things work in his world. He will spend 20 minutes playing with the pots and pans, sorting the lids and pretending they are drums, since his uncle no longer keeps his here. Our dogs are bonding with him as well and I am amazed at how they are learning to respect boundaries and how he enjoys giving them treats and brushing their hair. His biggest thrill is playing peekaboo, I'm gonna get you. Screams galore!
When Uncle Steve is not in school, Dillan (Buddy) knocks on his door and squeals when he sees him for he knows all the fun games they play together. They check out the garden and he also likes his music and bops around listening to it, especially Lady Gaga.
Uncle Dan stopped by on his birthday and entertained the little guy for a bit. Dillan and the doggies sang to him. He keeps looking downstairs wondering where they went but he had a recent visit to his new place. Eventually, he'll put the pieces together.
Daddy and Dillan. No words necessary: priceless.
As he continues to amaze us with his cuteness, I must share this little clip depicting his personality. Hope it brings a smile and even a little chuckle. Magnify that by a million and you will know our bliss.
Happy fall, y'all xo
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Darcy and Dan
If anyone doubts the power of patience and persistance, just ask this couple and they will testify that determination can move mountains. Their journey to find the perfect place to nest began the beginning of this year and once they locked into a home with endless possibilities, it was full steam ahead. They played the waiting game like no one else when it came to negotiating contracts and closing the deal. Their realtor, Sally, Kraska, helped appease any anxiety during this process, but let me tell you, it was not easy. Once Wayne decided it will get done his way, all bets were off and he made it happen. Despite the fact they finally closed and paid for the home, they still were not able to move in or do anything to the dwelling for a couple more days until a signature was executed by the seller. That was painful, but once everything was signed, sealed and delivered, it took one month to bring beauty back to their home on Bluebird Drive.
Wayne secured a great crew headed by Juan to perform the priming, painting and spackling of what seems like a million holes, but in less than a week it all came together. Initially, Dan was hesitant about the place but his Dad has vision after all the restorations we did in the past, and Dan put his faith in his folks that it could be done. He saved every penny for half a year to be able to purchase everything needed to get his home ready once it was truly his and methinks it was actually a good thing there were so many delays for it gave him time to pull in more funds. As we all know, owning a home is not cheap and there is always something lurking around that needs repairs or replacement.
Our friends, Tom Block and Mark Glista, gave us the green light with their inspection and both approved the place as structurally sound and safe. They tweaked up the broken exhaust fan, made sure all the plumbing was in order and heating and air conditioning worked and went through the place and offered their expertise as to what needed to be repaired.
I was obsessing over the window treatments and after months of scouring stores and Overstock options, we had all the pieces ready to roll. It took Wayne a day to install them and they fit beautifully. As his confidence grew, he installed their ceiling fan, replaced the sink faucet, little plumbing replacements and tackled things he never did before. If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.
Tom had his buddy, Donny, replace over 20 tiles and regrout as Wayne continued to dabble in placing the rubber trim and breaking down splash tiles so they could install the microwave. All the appliances were installed without a hitch, which was amazing considering they needed everything. It's a good feeling to have a fresh start. I was chuckling, however, when Dan picked and purchased everything as sticker shock kicked in and he felt the pinch of his hard earned money being depleted from his account. He avidly budgeted for all that would be needed and when the time came, he was able to dispense the funds accordingly. These were great lessons for someone who never left the nest in 26 years. (Well, actually, he left for one week when he went to Southern Campus.)
I enjoyed finally being able to enhance the front of their home with a little landscape. It took Wayne two days to trim the out-of-control bushes but once he opened up the areas, it was easy to place a few plants around. One day I went to the St. Theresa chapel and prayed that all the concern about the house be uplifted and was told "all will be well and when it is I am to plant three pink roses in front of their home in honor of her". I did. Thanks to St. Theresa, St. Anthony, St. Jude and St. Joseph for all prayers answered.
The good thing about recycling items is that workable things can be new to someone else. These shades have been to a couple other dwellings and provided good energies. We had them in our summer home in Delavan and then they moved to my spa in Hinsdale and now, instead of hiding in storage, I pulled them out once again and they all fit perfectly. Our beloved dining room set graces their open area and if you look hard enough, we collect so many things that we don't need or use and someone else can utilize them. I was happy to supply whatever extras I had around the house so they could begin their lives together. The best part is I get to clear out my place, too! Win-win.
This spare bedroom will be furnished with the mahogany bedroom set left by Dan's Gramzie and when we were installing it, I kept smelling pickles. It was as if they were looking down from heaven and happy he would have a part of them. Their home is all set to move in comfortably with all the essentials. First timers can take their time to bring in their own artifacts and eventually they will grace their place with things they want and someday cherish and perhaps share some with their own children. That's the beauty of passing things down. The memories attached to them can continue. I have to admit, before the carpets were installed, I went through the entire dwelling and smudged to rid the place of any negative and unwanted energies.
Mike and Dan's buddy, Anthony, spent days replacing the tiles in both bathrooms and saved them a boatload of dough. Now all the old guff is gone, all the leaks secured and the best part is Dan now has a contact if he needs any work done down the road. It was interesting to begin the process and slowly transition so Dan makes the decisions and schedules regarding the repairs. All that is left is the garage repair and changing new locks. Steve came by often to move furniture and provided the muscle I could not and he is amazed at how it all turned out. Once Darcy and Dan moved in, she took off like a bat out of hell and enjoyed decorating with her special touch and filled the place with basic staples. The family room sectional from her parents should be delivered shortly so they won't have to watch TV on the floor. Bean bags might work til then. Dan and I dragged Wayne with us as we filled the cart at Trader Joe's so now both our fridges are filled with goodies from our favorite food store.
Warm wishes for a beautiful life together. Enjoy the silence. Bask in the quiet of no dogs barking, no dishwasher sounds, no clothes dryer churning, no footsteps imposing on your sleep, no Bingo. LOL. Now you can continue your masters degree in peace and quiet and Darcy can focus on graduating Lewis with ease. We are so happy for you both and please know our house will always be your home, too. Don't be strangers. Just because you have your own digs doesn't mean you can't pop in here whenever the spirit moves you, or if you miss my cooking. Besides, Ponti needs his head rubbed and Thumper needs to see you now and then.
Happy 26th birthday, Danny (a few days early) xo
Happy 26th birthday, Danny (a few days early) xo