Great Grandparents

We all know that the Sheriff and Deputy are two extraordinarily well loved little ladies. Aside from Ace and Joker of course, they have grandparents who adore them, aunts who spoil them, cousins who love playing with them, great aunts and uncles who love them dearly.  And to add to their luck, they also have their great grandparents.

The Sheriff was lucky enough to know 3 of her 8 great grandparents.  Not bad given the fact that her parents didn’t get around to procreating until their mid-thirties!  Kids today!

From what Ace can tell, it seems as if Great Babci and Dziadziu Stapor would’ve had a lot in common with Great Babci and Dziadziu Z (Ace can’t spell Zag-ra-nitch-ski).  Hard-working Polaks who built honest, admirable lives for themselves in modest but faithful communities.  And if Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Ardini were still around, you bet Ace constantly would pepper them with questions about their family size — what was life like with 10 kids, how did they made it work, could they really name all their grandchildren, and how on earth did they manage to live happily ever after.  Pretty darn neat.

Ace and Joker won’t ever forget the first time, and the last time, they brought the Sheriff to see her great Babci Z, the Sheriff’s “middle name sake.”  From what Ace could see and what she is told, Babci was a wonderful, loving woman who adored her family, could sew a mean stitch and knew a nice Polish girl when she saw one (in Ace)!  When Babci met the little Sheriff when she was just a few months old, Babci smiled so much at the little baby.  You could tell the Sheriff made her so happy.  And the last time the Sheriff saw her, the Sheriff had a blast wheeling her around the nursing home, playing with balloons and singing songs.  It was a joyful time.  A really joyful time.

The Sheriff also has gotten to really know Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Baron.  When she recognized them for the first time, Ace’s heart pretty much melted.  Ace never dreamed that her grandparents would visit her at the hospital when her first-born arrived, or would watch her second-born walk.  It’s all pretty special.  And luckily Ace has captured some pretty neat pictures of her girls with Great Grandma and Great Grandpa the past couple of years.  Pictures she will always treasure.  Pictures of four generations that don’t come around too often.

As she’s turning 3, there is no question that the Sheriff knows her Great Grandma and Great Grandpa.  She wants to make them cards and brownies when they aren’t feeling well, she knows she needs to give Great Grandpa a kiss to get a Presidential dollar/coin from him, she quickly learned where the basket of toys was hidden at Normandy Ave., and she now knows we visit them at the nursing home.  And to see the smile on Great Grandpa’s face when the Sheriff bounces about, yelling “Matka-Boska,” you know she just made his day.

And to see the smile on Great Grandma’s face when she’s holding the Deputy so tightly on her lap, you can tell she loves her too…even if she can’t get her name quite right 🙂  The fact that the Sheriff and Deputy both have a handmade blanket from Great Grandma means so much.  A little piece of the past to keep close to them as they grow…a gift that was made years before they were born, in anticipation of their future arrivals.

The Sheriff sang Happy 93rd Birthday today to Great Grandpa, and Happy 94th Birthday to Great Grandma a couple weeks ago.  Both renditions were very sweet, and of course the Sheriff loves watching the iPhone videos of herself doing so.  Ace knows that she’ll show the girls those videos someday.  And she hopes they cherish them as much as she does right now.






New Year, New Adventures

If last Sunday is any indication of the year ahead, Ace and Joker and the girls are surely going to have some adventurous times.  It’s always something with this crew!  Before we get to that — let’s recap a whirlwind holiday season 2013, which was way too short this year with only three real weekends between the Thanksgiving “break” and Christmas.  And Ace and Joker were way too tired by the end, but it was all worth it.  The decorating, the shopping, the wrapping, the pierogi-making, the baking (just Toll House this year for Santa, next year he gets the Vera Bradley recipe!), the envelope licking, the occasional holiday cocktailing (Ace was destroyed by a neighbor’s stiff drink at AK’s Christmas party), the constantly trying to stay organized…and awake past 10pm.  On top of the every day working, parenting, second shifting, etc.  Next year, we are hiring an assistant for the month of December!  Heck, let’s be honest, we could use a life assistant every month of the year. (Ace now fully appreciates why the big law partners all had “house managers” even after outgrowing nannies.)

That said – here are the highlights from the 2013 Holidays to be recorded ever after in this blog: a yummy turkey day at Drakes Island, family photo shoot at MPS, QT with Auntie and G$ over the Thanksgiving “break,”  the Teddy Bear Tea at the Four Seasons with Babci, Wrights Chicken Farm and Kosciak Christmas party (first Santa visit), Babs got a new knee, a second Santa visit at the Burlington Mall, a snowstorm, snow angels on the sidewalk while Joker was in Miami, early Christmas at Drakes Island filled with ginger bread house making and train play, pierogi making at Goolie’s, the Disney “Christmas stories” in the car to and from school, Disney Christmas movies at home, Friday the Elf, teaching the Sheriff Christmas carols and all about the magic of Christmas (note:  Joker is responsible for teaching her Jingle Bells, Batman smells…), the red Christmas coats, an old fashioned Christmas Eve at Babci’s, a classic Lake Christmas and Baron Family Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa, a post-Christmas playdate, a memorable road trip to VA for HK’s beautiful christening and QT with Team Sherry, a low key New Years Eve at home where the Deputy took her first steps, a lovely birthday party for Ace with the Bowdoin gang on New Years Day and another snowstorm to extend the New Years “break” at home with “all the family.”  Phew.  A lot of fun and miles packed into a short month.  A lot of memories.  A lot to be grateful for.

So here we are in the first week of 2014 (sort of).   The Deputy has started walking and is moving all around!!!  She loves it.  Such a huge milestone — finally captured on video too.   She is so darn cute and sweet, and everyone just loves her signature happy smile.  She is  just about sleeping through the night — if 4:30/5am counts.  And, she responds and babbles her way through conversations.  Her vocab consists of dada, baba/mama (Ace), ball (she’s got great coordination), ut-oh, all done, and hi.  Thankfully, “no” hasn’t surfaced yet!  She has started swim class with Joker on Saturday AM while her sister is at dance with Ace.  It’s good Joker-Deputy bonding time, and she loves to splish-splash (and stand) in the tub so we’re sure the pool will be a big hit.

Meanwhile, the Sheriff partied her away into 2014 by attending her first TJX birthday party at a “gymnastics” center (aka, lots of things to bounce, run and balance on).  Of course, Ace and Joker failed to get her there on time because the JX ran out of gas on the MA Turnpike.  Yup.  No gas.  Parents of the year huh?  They are off to a rough start if they have any hope of winning that award this year.  It’s about 20 below outside with tractor trailers whizzing by them, their toddler and infant in the back seat, on a major interstate.  They better shape up!

As the car sputters to a stop right before Exit 13, Joker says to Ace, “what, you’ve never run out of gas before?” Um, no.  At least, not that she can remember.  It’s not like running out of gas is an everyday occurrence.  Boys!  Thankfully, Ace caught the Uber bug, and summonsed a car to the rescue.  The Sheriff granted herself a special exemption from the car seat laws for the 20 minutes that followed in order to attend the Birthday Party.  Strapped in like a big girl in the back seat of a town car — arriving in style — the Sheriff made it to the party, did some jumping, ate a couple pieces of pizza, licked a cupcake and called it a day.  By the grace of God, AK was able to rescue the Deputy from the turnpike and pick up Ace and the Sheriff at the party after which they were reunited with Joker at Cumby’s, the Sheriff’s favorite gas station and where we go when the “car is hungry,” as she says.  It’s always something with this crew!  Gas cards all around for the Christmas stockings next year.

January 2014 also has already brought some more good times:  Great Grandma’s 94th bday — more cake and a nice little family party, a quality visit with Babs as she rehabs the knee in Maine, a surprise morning visit by A-Choo, and a trip to the Garden with AK for the Olympic figure skating trials (so cool!  and the free tissues were a big hit!).

As 2014 gets started, Ace and Joker are excited about another year ahead with the girls — more laughs, more lessons, more adventures, maybe a move or two, more love.  It’s a good life.