Jenny White and LaMonique Hamilton blog about fashion, food, family, popular culture and more.
Spring, sweat and stilettos
By LaMonique Hamilton | Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 00:15
In exactly two weeks, I'll be taking my much-needed spring vacation. Hallelujah!
The time leading up to vacation always seems to be extra stressful, though. Will my work be covered? Will my red pens disappear? Does my son have swim trunks that fit? Did we budget enough for a nice dinner? Is the itinerary realistic? What in the world am I going to do with my hair? And, my favorite...
How do I look in my swimsuit?
Insert all the people who say that I should have been leading a healthy lifestyle all winter, that I should not have had the second helping of cake, and definitely should have worked out during these past cold months. Yeah yeah yeah...I see you. Now, please have a seat.
For the past few weeks, I've been working really hard to get back on track. I actually do feel much better when I'm eating healthy and working out. But, I have a toxic relationship with the gym. In fact, I just broke up with another one. I keep getting lured in by the shiny equipment and the thought that "This time I'm going to go hard," only to fizzle out after about a month.
However, I have found a group exercise class that I love -- Steel and Stilettos Fitness. It's a workout done partially in high heels that is strength training with sex appeal. First and foremost, it's a real workout. After my first class, I hurt for three days. But I felt strong, and I felt sexy. In my everyday life, both of those feelings are frequently in short supply.
I love the women in the class. We're wives, girlfirends, moms, entrepreneurs and employees of all shapes and sizes. We're stressed. Some of us, like me, have maybe fallen out of love with ourselves. But when we enter the studio, we are powerful. We are strong, sexy vixens. And every woman should feel that way every now and then.
I honestly can't wait for our next class on Friday. I never thought I'd feel that way about exercise. But I'm falling back in love with myself more with each class. And I'm not so worried about how I'm going to look in my swimsuit when we go on vacation.
Here's a link in case you want to try out Steel and Stilettos for yourself.
In my kitchen: Yummy brownies
By Jenny White | Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 16:31
Photo by Sally's Baking Addiction
These are regulars at my house.
Over the past few years, I've tried to cut down on buying Little Debbie Cakes and store-bought cookies and make a batch of sweets of some kind each week.
I like the idea of putting less processed foods in my kids. I mean if I'm going to sugar them up I want it to be real sugar and not high fructose corn syrup, you know?
The good news: These brownies are the best brownies you will ever eat. Once you make them a few times, it's pretty easy and you don't even have to look at the recipe.
The bad news: They're not inexpensive to make. It's cheaper to buy a boxed mix at the grocery store. The recipe calls for about $5 of chocolate alone. The recipe calls for two 4 oz bars of semi-sweet baking chocolate. I made mine once with only one bar of chocolate (that's all I had) and discovered they were great with just one bar. I usually melt a handful of chocolate chips with the single bar to make it more like the original recipe.
Reality Check: I usually make them on Sundays. There are four of us eating them. They're gone by Monday night. I always say I'm going to double recipe, but I forget to do it.
Kid Rating: So far I've not come across a kid who didn't like them and try to binge eat them. (Or an adult). And kids can help make them too - they love the stirring!
Recipe is below.
Here is the official recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction:
1/2 cup (115g) salted butter
8 ounces coarsely chopped quality semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Melt the butter and chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Or melt in a medium microwave safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring after each, in the microwave.
Remove from the heat, pour into a large mixing bowl, and allow to slightly cool for 10 minutes.
Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a 9x9 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
Whisk the granulated and brown sugars into the cooled chocolate/butter mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Once combined, fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 35-36 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the edges of the pan.
A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with only a few moist crumbs when the brownies are done. All ovens are different, so keep an eye on them after 30 minutes and use the toothpick test to see when yours are finished.
Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Once cooled, lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into squares. For neat squares, I use a very sharp knife and wipe it clean with a paper towel after each cut.
Cluttered closet, cluttered life
By LaMonique Hamilton | Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 00:17
Every spring, I find myself wanting to spruce up my surroundings. I blame my mother for this. However, there has been one area of the house that I have been reluctant to tackle -- my closet. It's overwhelming. I have no idea how I managed to accumulate so much stuff. Plus, I moved last year and gave away a lot of clothes and shoes. I wonder if they snuck back in while I was taking a nap.
Last weekend, in honor of the new season and after many self-pep talks, I dealt with my closet. I bought new velvet hangers, got out the black garbage bags to
throw out crap give unused items to charity and bought an outlet oil warmer to give the space a little ambience. Then I got to work.
It took a few hours, but I noticed as I started to clean that I felt better. As I packed away clothes and shoes that I no longer wear, I peeled off pieces of my life that no longer fit my current situation. I could see my closet floor, and the next phase of my life, once I organized what I needed and threw away what I didn't.
Sometimes, I'm guilty of wanting the things that are in someone else's closet. But once I cleaned out my own, I realized that I have some pretty great pieces that belong to me. I just had to clean out the junk to get to it.
Afternoon Craving: Zac Posen purse
By Jenny White | Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 11:03
I'm looking for a new purse for spring. I love the winter-blah-busting color of this pink Zac Posen bag.
Afternoon Craving by jennykw
All that glitters
By Jenny White | Monday, March 16, 2015 - 11:05
I am so tempted to turn the radio station.
It's on Radio Disney and the only thing more annoying than annoying morning DJs, are morning DJs on the Disney channel.
"What are your plans if you find a leprechaun in your house tomorrow morning?" the DJ asks some kid, who strangely has time to chat on a Monday morning before school.
It gets worse. The kid recounts how he's going to set a trap for the leprechaun and then hang him up by this toes until he tells where his gold is hidden.
Nice, I think. Great job Disney.
Have you ever wondered why your child seems to lose his/her mind in the mornings?
I wonder it quite frequently.
And I think it's specifically to make me lose my mind.
My 15-year-old, who has been getting ready for school for TEN YEARS now, seemingly suffers from memory loss between the hour of 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. He can't seem to remember the whole point of this hour is to get ready for school.
I have to tell him four times to come to breakfast; I have to break his staring contest with his dresser to tell him to get dressed; I have to steer him from laying back down to go brush his teeth.
"Do you not remember how to do this Thomas?! Like, from yesterday and every weekday since you were five?" I yell. "Your ride will be here in five minutes - PUT ON YOUR SHOES."
And my six-year-old is just as bad. But instead of dozing or staring blankly at the sock drawer, she's bee-bopping around arranging her stuffies for a day of play while she's away, coordinating a gymnastics routine in the living room or going through her craft box trying to find some glitter for an art project that has to be finished RIGHT NOW.
I will go into my room to get dressed, leaving her with appropriate threats and explanations about how she must be dressed when I come out so I can get her to school.
I come out.
And there she is. Undressed.
Still with the glitter.
Sometimes by the time I get her in the car to take her to school, I feel like I am about to break.
We're almost to the drop-off spot and Emmy is unbuckled getting her backpack on.
"That guy is so silly," she says
"What guy?" I ask looking around, thinking she's talking about some kid running into school.
"On the radio – about the leprechaun," she says
"Everyone knows the gold is at the end of the rainbow," she adds, smiling at me in the rearview mirror.
"That's right," I say, feeling the stress from the morning fade away.
We're almost to the dropoff spot. The car line lady is reaching for the door.
I look back to make sure she's not forgetting anything, right as she leans forward.
"I don't need a leprechaun, Momma," she whispers. "I got you."
Mrs. Lancaster opens the door, "Good morning Emmy!" she says leaning in, reaching in to help Emmy out of the car.
I brush her hair behind her ear and we smile at each other.
I notice the gold glitter on her cheek and I try to rub it off.
But it doesn't come off.
And she's out of the car, waving goodbye.
Shinier and more precious than a thousand pieces of gold.
The Charm Chicks blog is back in business. Check back for another post on Wednesday. Cheers!
By Jenny White | Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 10:33
I am all about finding some boots for this winter. I have had two pair, one in black , one in brown, that I wore almost every day last fall and winter. I've had them for a few years and both have virtually no sole left.
I like the look of the bootie boots, but wonder if they'd be as warm or as comfortable as a pair of riding style boots.
Are you investing in some boots for this winter? Tall or short ones? Where are you looking? Found any winners?
Boots I want
featuring rain boots
Calvin Klein wide calf high heel boots
Steven by Steve Madden western boots
Afternoon Craving: Tangerine and leather
By Jenny White | Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 15:52
I am not really a leather pants person, but I've been thinking about these leather jean skinnnies since last season. I mean if you're going to wear skin-tight pants (that's what leggings are) – why not add in some leather to the mix? Very rock-n-roll. Reminds me of Jon Bon Jovi, remember him?
I saw a commercial for a Bon Jovi concert at the PNC arena, coming up this fall. Made me think of Julia, a blue Impala, Pizza Hut and "Living on a Prayer."
OK. Now I've got that song in my head.......
featuring diesel jeans
$170 - farfetch.com
Lanvin glitter ballet flat
By Jenny White | Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 12:51
The Scene: Sunday, walking into church, after a drama-filled, whine-laden, 10 minute trip from home to the church parking lot.
The Characters: Me - stressed, not feeling church-like; my 14-year-old, pouting, after just telling me his 4-year-old sister gets EVERYTHING her way and he wishes he had her life of being spoiled rotten; Emmy - Four and spoiled rotten.
Tate: OK, I take it back. I would not want Emmy's life. She's got a major problem.
Me: Yeah, what's that?
Tate: Emmy - what's today?
Emmy: (Thinking, then excited) THURSDAY!
Tate: OK. And what time is it?
Emmy: (thinking, skipping in circles) 13 43 O'CLOCK!
Me: (Looking puzzled)
Tate: (Raising his eyebrows) Mom, she's a complete idiot.
Me: (Laughing, wrapping him in a hug) I'm so glad I have you. She drives me crazy sometimes too.
Me: And don't call your sister an idiot......
Afternoon Craving: Brown and Boots
By Jenny White | Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 12:50
Brrr....it's cold out there.
Where did all this cold air come from?
It's a good day for a sweater dress and boots. (And warm sweater tights, not shown)
Afternoon Craving: Brown and Boots
featuring a slip dress
Stella McCartney slip dress
Dollhouse knee high heel boots
Burberry genuine leather handbag
Ashley Pittman horn jewelry
$540 - net-a-porter.com
DANNIJO chain jewelry
In My Kitchen: Chex/Snack Mix
By Jenny White | Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 15:51
I usually make my mom's recipe for snack mix (known as Chex mix to some) once a year at Christmas time.
But, it's so good, so why only have it once a year? This is a good after-school or weekend snack to have around. Or a snow-day necessity (hopeful, maybe?).
This is a tad different from my mom's recipe, but the crux of the seasoning "sauce" you make is the same. Feel free to tinker with it to your liking.
Also, just go ahead and get out your biggest pot to stir it all in. I always start out with the next size smaller and end up pouring it out of that pot and into my big stock pot to get it all in and mixed. And then I have an extra dish to wash, so I'm trying to save you the trouble.
Party/Chex Mix Recipe
3 cups of each: Rice Chex, Wheat Chex, Cheerios, Kix (they are balls)
1 cup of peanuts or mixed nuts
2 cups of pretzels
1.5 sticks of margarine, melted
3 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of Lawry's seasoned salt
.5 tsp of onion powder
Preheat oven to 250 degrees
Pour cereals, pretzels and nuts in to big stock pot.
Stir melted margarine, Worcestershire, garlic, Lawry's and onion powder in mixing bowl, then pour in pot on top of cereals. Stir it in well, coating cereals with the mixture.
Spread out onto cookie sheets so you can't see the bottom of the pan, but everything is single stacked, not on top of each other.
Place in oven and stir every 15 minutes for 1 hour.
I think it takes me three cookie sheets and two hours to get them all cooked.
It's SO good!
Being the bow
By Jenny White | Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 12:10
Photo by Diana Bradley Photography
I've noticed, lately, when I put Emmy in my lap to put her socks on, I can't reach over and get the sock over the top of her toes.
And when I sit down in my usual spot on the living room ottoman to brush her hair, with her standing between my knees, I can't see the top of her head anymore.
She is almost four - in a couple more weeks.
Sometimes at night, usually after a particularly trying evening, she'll whisper to me, before she goes to sleep, "Am I your baby?"
And I say, "Yes, you're my precious baby."
I found this poem somewhere – I think one of my FB friends posted it – after the Newtown school shooting.
I have read it almost everyday for the last month. It comforts me and reminds me, on my bad mothering days or when the news makes me weep with grief for other mothers, I – we – are not in this alone.
On Children - by Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Afternoon Craving: Weekend Ease
By Jenny White | Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 11:33
I really need to spruce up my weekend ensembles. My go-to foundation seems to be Yoga pants these days. I know from my trusted style pundits Stacey and Clinton of 'What Not to Wear' - that is very frowned upon.
It's never good when your three-year old asks you if you're wearing your pajamas.
On the way to the grocery store.
So if you see me in the aforementioned yoga pants this weekend at the HT, just imagine I'm wearing this:
Afternoon Craving: Weekend Casual
featuring leather cross body handbags
J Crew chunky knit sweater
Hudson Jeans low rise bootcut jeans
$185 - the-dressingroom.com
Madison Harding bootie boots
Burberry leather cross body handbag
Afternoon Craving: In Black and White
By Jenny White | Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 14:18
I'm becoming braver, mixing up prints. I like the black and white dots of the H&M sweater, mixed with the nubby tweed of this pretty winter skirt. Reminds me of newsprint.....
And the shoes......it's all about the shoes, no?
Afternoon Craving: Black and White chic
$56 - hm.com
Jigsaw a line skirt
$145 - jigsaw-online.com
There will be oxblood
By Jenny White | Monday, November 5, 2012 - 17:51
Trends seen on the 2012/2013 Fall runways
When I was checking out all the fall and winter fashion trends for a feature story in the November Charm, I noticed everything is about the color "oxblood."
All things magenta, burgundy, reddish-brown and brownish purplish are hot for the cold months coming up.
What a strange color name for a trend to latch on to.
When I was telling Emma, our photographer, that we were shooting some "oxblood" stuff – it just sounded stupid.
"Magenta colors," I added on, "I don't know why they call it 'oxblood,'" I apologized.
Anyway, I'm rebelling and calling this color magenta or burgundy, from now on.
Unless I'm watching my favorite zombie show, "Walking Dead."
Last night during a particularly gruesome scene, I was quite proud of myself when I remarked, "That's a lot of ox-blood colored dye they used...."
I'm such a rebel-rouser.
Here are some pretty things in the color in question:
Oxblood for all
featuring a ruched dress
Diane von Furstenberg ruched dress
Mango ruched dress
Vintage mink coat
Fendi platform pumps
Cole haan shoes
$56 - theiconic.com.au
Jigsaw floral scarve
$95 - jigsaw-online.com
By Jenny White | Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 13:18
Photo by Diana Bradley
Sometimes Emmy and I play The Kissing Game.
I hold on to her wriggly, writhing body, kissing her all over as she tries to get away from me.
"Oh no!" I say in a worried voice, "it's the Kissing Monster. He – Just – Can't – Stop – Kissing – You....." as I cover her in kisses and the wrestling turns into hugging.
"Mommy! No! Don't pway the Kissing Game!" she'll giggle, as every time she makes a break away from me, I pull her back closer.
But it's not really a game to me. Sometimes, I really can't stop kissing and hugging her. I just keep pulling her tight, and pretend it's the Kissing Monster and not me, trying to hold onto sunshine.
By Jenny White | Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 11:22
It's time to carve the pumpkins...or just poke holes in them (I really like this idea better)! Click here for some great pumpkin decorating ideas
When did Halloween become so fraught with morals?
I've got a 3-year old sweet girl that is eschewing the princess costume for Batman regalia. And a 13-year-old that wants to terrorize the neighborhood for fun on Halloween night, since I think he's too old for trick-or-treating.
Batman vs Snow White
Me: Don't you want to wear your Snow White costume. It's got a cape....
Emmy: No. Batman.
Me: But you can twirl..
Emmy: No. Batman.
Candy<Hanging out in trees terrorizing little trick-or-treaters
Me: Ummmm....I think you might be too old to trick-or-treat this year. I'll make sure Emmy shares with you, though.
Him: I know!!! (unexpectantly excited) Me and T are going to climb some trees near his house and scare all the little kids when they walk by!
Me: Ummmmm....I don't think so. That's a terrible idea! How would you like that if someone did that to your little sister when she's out trick-or-treating?
Him: Haaaaaa - she'd shoot them witih her Batman gun or something.
Luckily for me, our church is having a Trunk or Treat event (First Methodist on Church Street 5:30 to 7 p.m. - please come), so I think I'm safe on both fronts.
Her good friends at church, know my Emmy well and won't think too much about her Batman costume.
And there are no trees in the parking lot.
What are you doing for Halloween? What are your kids dressing up as?
Afternoon Craving: Cardigan of champions
By Jenny White | Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - 16:57
This cardigan is perfect for dressing up an outfit. I love the tailored cut, the color and the thickness. Would look great with jeans, a black pencil skirt or my black yoga pants!
Afternoon craving: Ladylike staples
featuring asymmetrical tops
Pringle of Scotland asymmetrical top
Rebecca Minkoff pumps
By Jenny White | Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - 11:57
Scene of the discussion - THE BED
The last few weeks, it's been a real battle to get my youngest to sleep.
She's three and not only likes to make me suffer trying to get her to go to sleep - but then I have to deal with her when she's not had enough sleep.
Can you see how this would be a very frustrating cycle?
I don't know if it's the late summer sunsets or her personality, but she is becoming more and more adamant - she doesn't want to sleep.
It's a real pain. Because I need her to sleep so I can have some peace and do things like watch The Real Housewives and have phone conversations for more than 30 seconds at a time without an interruption.
Oh, and the need for toddlers to have 10 - 12 hours of sleep, blah, blah, blah – that's important too.
For several weekends in a row, I've given up on a nap on at least one day. I'm really torn because, if she skips a nap, at least she'll be more likely to go to bed at night.
But the hours of 5 to 8 p.m. are not pleasant with a 3-year old running on empty.
The good thing about her propensity to avoid sleep – her creativity is really thriving with excuses and harebrained ideas of why sleep is not necessary for her.
To get the full effect, imagine her saying these things completely earnestly, with a lisp, looking at you like you are an idiot and she can't believe she's having to explain this to you, AGAIN:
"I don't like sweep, mommy. I only like candy, books and ice cweam."
"I don't need to sweep, mommy, because it's summa vacation."
"I need some watar"
'I neeeeeeed ICE water."
"I don't want my hair to get tangles, so I need to stay up. You can't keep your hair good if you are waying down, Mommy."
"It's my turn to stay up."
"Thomas told me I could stay up" (probably true, but too bad)
"I have to read books to monkey/hunny-bunny/Marcie/Robin." (her lovies)
"Sompthin scared me."
At night, the good thing is that usually on about the second or third time she gets out of bed, she puts her blanket over her head as she wanders out of her room. It's a nice touch to break the tension.
I'm not sure if she knows this makes me laugh every time or if she really thinks I won't notice her wandering down the hallway if she has a blanket over her head.
Either way, it always makes me smile and usually I go in with her, one more time, to kiss, hug and tuck her in.
And then I tell her if she doesn't go the &^#@ to sleep, I am going to spank her little behind and she will NOT get any treats or desserts the next day.
Unfortunately, crying herself to sleep seems to be the solution these days.
I hate that.
Afternoon Craving: Sunshine dots
By Jenny White | Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - 14:02
By Jenny White | Friday, August 10, 2012 - 15:29
Emmy has been all about jumping around doing gymnastics (lots of flips), fencing (if it involves a sword, she's in), wrestling (lifetime of practice), and – her new favorite – JUDO!!!
She is the winning Judo athlete in our house. In fact, no one wants to take her on anymore.
"No!" her brother yelled at her this morning, guarding his shins.
"You won gold. The Olympics are OVER! Stop trying to judo me!" he begged.
Undeterred, she called to me, "Mommy, watch, WATCH!" as she tried to get in one more good kick.
I gave her a 9.88.
Light and fluffy coming right up
By Jenny White | Thursday, August 2, 2012 - 10:20
I used to love to blog. Write about things that I cared about – my family, fashion, books, cooking, community events – it was fun. I love to write and it was natural and effortless.
But since this is a "work" blog – tied into Carolina Charm and the Telegram – it's also meant to be light, fun and non-controversial. No heavy stuff, you know.
I have a lot of heavy stuff going on and thus, don't really feel like writing about what's on my mind. And it's kind of hard to write about happy, fluffy stuff when I don't feel happy and fluffy.
A few times I have sat down to write something light and fluffy and it's like my voice is too scratchy to talk from not talking for so long. Hard to start.
Anyway, that's why I've been a real slacker lately. I am fine and I am trying to get my voice back.
Also, my affinity for admiring expensive fashion I can't afford, hasn't waned:
featuring lace shorts
J Crew draped top
H&M lace shorts
$31 - hm.com
MICHAEL Michael Kors tall boots
Afternoon craving: Lanvin flats
By Jenny White | Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 15:09
Afternoon Craving: A little Grecian goddess
By Jenny White | Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 18:29
Keeping up with the Grandchildren
By Patsy Pridgen | Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 14:55
Any given 115 degree day this summer: "Grandma! Let's play in the attic!!"
“That's why young people have them.”
You've heard this expression before, no doubt, but the reason grandparents say these words over and over is because THEY ARE SO TRUE.
Grandchildren require high energy, and well, those of us now in our fifties and above just don't have the stamina that we had twenty and thirty years ago.
But grandchildren don't cut us any slack. At least, mine don't. They don't seem to understand that Grandma Patsy likes a nice quiet house. Time to sit down and just relax. A nap here and there.
Oh no, I love 'em, but these three sweet potatoes of mine want to be doing something every minute. Especially when they are at my house. After all, Grandma Patsy has different stuff from what they are used to playing with at home.
Like a sewing machine.
Why did I ever let these children know I can sew a simple seam? Often when they come for the afternoon, the first words out of those precious little mouths are, “Grandma, can we make something with fabric?”
And then before I can even answer, they are tearing up the steps to the upstairs linen closet where I keep my fabric scraps. By the time I get up there, they are tossing material and spools of thread all over the hall.
I know I might as well give up, find the sewing scissors, haul out the sewing machine, thread it, and then referee who's going first with the scissors. Last week, we made a pillow for Dad for Father's Day (girl item) and a race car (boy item).
Yes, who knew, but you can make a race car out of fabric. The four-year-old cut out what he thought looked like a race car, I cut out a matching back, we stitched it together, stuffed it, used red pipe cleaners for flames shooting out the back, and sewed on buttons for tires. Whew, I'm exhausted just thinking about that project.
Then there are the days when they want to go in the attic. Again, why did I ever let these children know I have a walk-in attic full of all the toys their mother and her sisters used to play with? It doesn't matter to them if it's 100 degrees up there (summer) or 10 degrees (winter).
Once I hear, “Grandma, can we go in the attic?” I know I might as well give in or be nagged for the next two hours. If I'm lucky, I can talk them into quickly picking out something to take back to play with in the air-conditioned or heated part of the house.
When the baby comes with the older two, then I really have to have my A game going. He's ten months old and crawling all over the place. And putting everything he gets his hands on into his mouth. The older two don't always seem to realize that Grandma Patsy has to first and foremost watch the baby. They want my attention too.
I once had three children myself. How did I do this?
I'll tell you how – I was younger.
And I wasn't putty in the hands of my own children. I would say no. A lot. I would send them in the yard to play by themselves.
But it's not a grandparent's job to say no. That's another platitude we grandpatents like to use. I can't say no to these precious children because as a mother looking back over the years, I know the time they are little is short and therefore needs to be special. The sewing machine and the attic will lose their magic soon enough.