Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Portrait Weekend

Grandma, Gramps, Mommy, Daddy, Smoochie and Uncle Matt met at Portrait Innovations in Mayfield Heights on Saturday afternoon, May 16. They were there for a family portrait. Numerous poses and pictures were taken. Photographer’s name was Alisha who took some terrific shots of Smoochie. This was not easy. She got him to smile but it lasted about a second. She had to be quick. We finally got finished. With digital pictures, we were able to chose the shots we like and pictures that we wanted. Mommy, Daddy, Smoochie and Uncle Matt left while Grandma and Gramps waited for the prints. Grandma and Gramps decided to head for the Tekavecs with the new pictures to show everyone. Gramps and Smoochie played while the grownups looked through the pictures. Grandma and Gramps went home to rest up for Sunday.

Grandma, Gramps, Mommy, Daddy, Smoochie, Uncle Matt and Auntie Sandy met for breakfast at 5th Avenue Deli. The little guy gave everyone big hugs. We ordered breakfast. Gramps and Blondie went off to wash hands. They had to wait while a maintenance man finished cleaning the room. They finally got in to wash hands. 5th Avenue now has an automatic towel dispenser. With clean hands, Gramps got the paper towels. Smoochie dried his hands and was going to throw away the paper towel when he discovered that the maintenance man had taken the waste basket leaving only the top. Jason tried to put the paper towel under the top. Gramps fetched the waste basket so Smoochie was able to put the paper towel in the waste basket. He liked this waste basket since the top has a swinging lid. He pushed down the lid on one side and the other side swung around and hit him in the back of the hand. He liked swinging the lid. After two washes and dries, the two went back to the table where breakfast was waiting. When breakfast was done, Smoochie and Gramps went back to wash hands. No incident but Jason waved his hand in the automatic dispenser to get the paper towels. After two washes and dries, Smoochie and Gramps returned to pay the check. They went out on the sidewalk to cruise. They walked backwards, sideways and jumped.

Uncle Matt went home but everyone else went to the Mayfield Heights park. Smoochie climbed over the equipment and slid down the slides. He and Daddy went down the big metal slide together. Young Jason had the playground almost to himself. He eventually went onto the swing. Gramps pushed for a while then Daddy pushed. Initially, Jason did not want to go too high but he got braver and was swinging over Gramps’ outstretched hands. Mommy got a call from her friend Sarah. It was decided that Mommy visit Sarah and Daddy would get the overnight stuff and Smoochie stop at Grandma’s and Gramps’ house. Jason and Gramps kicked the soccer ball. Jason helped Gramps pick up tree limbs. The three of them went for a walk. Grandma made lunch for Jason of peanut butter sandwich and brown (chocolate) milk followed by grapes which Smoochie shared with Grandma and Gramps on the patio.

Jason wanted to go in the house and play. He and Grandma played with the cobblers bench. Jason found he was able to push the pegs down with his thumb. Grandma got out the Matchbox cars which originally belonged to Smoochie’s uncle and Daddy. The little guy loved those. Then Grandma brought down the play set for the Matchbox cars. Smoochie adored that. He parked the cars in the two garages. He moved the cars up and down ramps. He had the cars get gas. The cars went on a lift. Daddy finally came to take Jason to pick up Mommy and then go to the Tekavecs for dinner before leaving for home. Jason did not want to go in Daddy’s car. He said, “Gramps car. RED CAR. RED CAR.” After hugs and kisses he got his meow piano and left with Daddy. He slept all the way home. Grandma and Gramps will have to visit this coming weekend.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Easter Outfit

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Swing and Slide

When Smoochie woke up on Saturday, April 25, he told his Mommy, “Grandma, Gramps red car go bye park.” He is getting to be quite verbal. When he went to bed the previous night, Mommy told him that Grandma and Gramps will visit the next day and take him to the park. He met Grandma and Gramps at the door when they arrived. He wanted to leave immediately for the park. Grandma said that she wanted to visit his Mommy and Daddy first. Gramps and Smoochie went to the nearby field to kick around the little guy’s soccer ball. They had fun kicking and throwing the ball for a while but had to return sooner than they wanted because a seam came apart on the ball. When they came home, Smoochie showed Grandma the ball and asked, “Grandma fix?” Debbie gave Jaci a needle, a thimble and dental floss. Jaci threaded the needle and started to sew the ball with a fascinated spectator. Blondie probably has not noticed a needle or thimble before. He was all set to help. He desperately wanted to hold the needle and thimble but Grandma was performing the operation by herself. It was not easy to sew when a little face is inches away. Grandma eventually finished. In a short time, Grandma, Gramps and Smoochie left for the park.

On the way to Columbus, Grandma asked original Jason if he wanted his parents to pick up burgers to grill that night. He said, “NO.” He and Debbie wanted Grandma and Gramps to have dinner with their grandson so that they had time by themselves. On the way to the park, Grandma and Gramps stopped at the grocery store to pick up sandwich fixings. They also got some bakery chocolate chip cookies. Grandma, Gramps and Smoochie arrived at the park to find it quite crowded. The swings were full so Blondie started on the slides. He no longer fears the big slides. He went down both big slides although he preferred the twisty green slide. The safety swing became available so we went over to the swings. Up to now, Jason had limits on how high he wanted to be pushed. No more limits. He was happy to go as high as Grandma could push. At one point, he was singing and smiling as he did what Grandma calls “cherry bumps.” He might have spent all afternoon on the swing but another young person wanted to get on so we went back to the slides. Jason found a new way of getting on the slide structure. He climbed up the rungs which are kind of like a ladder. He later got on the structure by walking across two rails. Grandma, Gramps and Smoochie broke for dinner. During dinner, Jason noted that Grandma’s juice had bubbles that went up. After dinner, Smoochie went back to the swings and slides. Grandma got a thorough workout pushing the swing. Eventually, Grandma, Gramps and Smoochie left.

Gramps drove to Graeter’s. Smoochie was quite mellow on the ride. He made it through the day without a nap. After the car pulled into a parking space, Jason saw where he was. He perked up and said, “Eat ice cream.” While Gramps paid, Grandma and Smoochie sat on a bench on the patio eating their ice cream. Jason made his way through his ice cream while dripping ice cream all over himself. They went through a huge number of napkins. Before the ice cream was finished, Mommy and Daddy showed up. They all went back to Mommy and Daddy’s. Grandma and Smoochie sang songs and danced. Grandma and Gramps had to leave. Grandma got to kiss and hug a sweaty and stinky boy. There were three tired individuals after that fun day. Grandma and Gramps crashed the whole next day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Easter Candy Yum

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Two Year Old Sense of Humor

On the day Smoochie became 2 and one-half, Saturday, April 18, Grandma and Gramps are met at the door by Smoochie who checks to make sure that Grandma, Gramps and the red car have arrived. Since Smoochie and his parents did not come to Cleveland on Easter because of his cold, Grandma and Gramps brought some gifts for the little guy. Grandma knitted a ball bag for him. He opened the ball bag to find what is in it. He pulled out a soft soccer ball. He was all set to play with that. Grandma told Blondie to keep looking in the bag. He pulled out big boy underwear which he handed to Mommy and promptly forgot about. He took out a book. Grandma told him that there was one more object. Jason kept grabbing and finally pulled out a package of M & Ms. At this point, Blizzard was interested. Smoochie is well aware of M & Ms which were put aside to remove temptation from the dog. Gramps then showed him a box with a Bubble Mower. Gramps and Smoochie put the mower together and took it outside with Grandma. Smoochie pushed the mower around without many bubbles. The mower needed to move faster to get the bubbles out. Guess who got to push the mower? Grandma pushed the mower and the bubbles flew out. Jason chased the bubbles. Then Gramps got to push the mower. Smoochie chased more bubbles. After a few minutes, Grandma and Gramps had enough of the bubble mower. Gramps told Smoochie to get the soccer ball and they could go kick the ball. Blondie and Gramps walked over to a nearby field and kicked the ball around.

On the way back to Jason and Debbie’s house, Smoochie picked a dandelion and gave it to Mommy when he got home. Everybody decided to have steaks for dinner so they all went off to Costco. Jason and Debbie went in their car. Smoochie went with Grandma and Gramps in the big red car. Jason put on his sunglasses while in his seat. He put them on upside down and off center. Blondie and Grandma sang B-I-N-G-O and the ABC song. He refers to himself more as Jason and not as “you.” At Costco, the family picked up bacon wrapped filets, green beans, diapers, dessert and other stuff for Jason and Debbie. Original Jason decided to fix garlic mashed potatoes to go with the steaks and green beans. Smoochie had no problems sitting in the cart looking at all the bright objects. In the middle of the store, he said “Mommy bunk!” He then laughed. Debbie said that is a new term for him. Debbie had called Blizzard, “Shminky bunk.” One day Smoochie said “Mommy bunk” and thought it was a great joke. For the rest of the time in Costco, we heard, “Mommy bunk. Daddy bunk.” Debbie told Smoochie, “Jason bunk.” On the way home, Jason and Debbie stopped to pick up a cylinder of propane. Smoochie got real mellow on the ride home. For the first time since Grandma and Gramps arrived in Columbus that day, he had his binkie. He worked on that while his eyelids were at half mast. It was a quiet ride back to Jason and Debbie’s.

We all helped prepare dinner while original Jason watched the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey game. Grandma started the green beans. Original Jason fixed the mashed potatoes while Gramps grilled the steaks. Grandma and Smoochie danced the Hokey Pokey. Smoochie knows all the Hokey Pokey moves. The family sat down to dinner. Smoochie is not a steak person. He is not a complete Hoagland male, yet. For a change, Mommy had to work on him to finish his green beans and potatoes. At one point Mommy told him that he had to eat five more bites of beans and potatoes. Smoochie said one more but Mommy prevailed. After slowly working his way through the beans and potatoes, Blondie was given dessert. Suddenly, his had no problems eating. When dinner was finished, Grandma and Gramps took Smoochie off for a bath while Mommy and Daddy cleaned up. Bath over and Smoochie in jammies, Grandma and Gramps had to leave so that Jason could go to bed. Grandma kissed Smoochie’s face off. The little guy needed a binkie while saying goodbye. Grandma and Gramps left with still more memories including “Mommy bunk.”

Friday, March 27, 2009

St. Patrick's Outfit

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Overnight in Columbus

On March 21 and 22, Grandma and Gramps got to Columbus. They left Cleveland after Grandma’s work so they arrived in Columbus while Smoochie was napping. His sleeping habits have been off lately. Gramps got a big hug after waking the little guy up. Mommy and Daddy left to go to a restaurant to have time of their own. Smoochie knows that when Grandma and Gramps show up, fun times follow. No problems with Mommy and Daddy leaving. Grandma and Gramps decided to go to the Noodle Company for dinner. Borrowing Mommy’s garage door opener, Grandma, Gramps and Blondie left by way of the garage. The little guy made sure that the garage door closed. They arrived at Noodle Company and put in their orders and sat down at a table. Gramps and Smoochie went to wash hands. The men’s room was dark. Gramps turned on the light. Smoochie pointed to the ceiling and said, “two lights.” The little guy and Gramps washed hands. The paper towels were in reach so Smoochie and Gramps took two each. Blondie wanted to wash again. They repeated the process. Gramps decided that dinner was coming to the table so they left. Smoochie turned off the lights when they left. Jason is getting more used to silverware. He ate his mac and cheese with a fork without much help. The top level was cool but Smoochie put his fork all the way in. Grandma stirred the meal to cool it off. The three finished their meal and Jason told Gramps that they needed to wash hands. Off to men’s room they went. Smoochie turned the light on and announced, “two lights.” They washed hands and Blondie and Gramps used two paper towels each to dry hands. Smoochie needed to wash hands again, so the process repeated. Gramps took one paper towel, so Smoochie got him another. Smoochie was all set to do it one more time when Gramps said it was time to leave. Jason turned off the lights as they left. Outside Noodle Company, Jason and Gramps walked up and down the walk, backwards and sideways. They ran back to Grandma. The car stopped at Graeter’s for ice cream. Smoochie got a vanilla ice cream cone and Grandma and Gramps got bowls of ice cream. Jason knows how to lick ice cream from a cone. Lots of napkins were used. Smoochie ate his ice cream with a little help from Grandma and Gramps. Grandma had to take the paper wrapping off the cone so the little guy could finish. Towards the end, he started from the bottom of the cone. This was fun for the little guy but required more napkins. Grandma and Gramps were lucky they were not charged for the number of napkins used. When finished, Jason and Gramps went off the men’s room. They washed and dried hands twice. Gramps decided twice was enough. Smoochie wanted to turn off the light but Gramps said it was on when they entered, so it stays on when they leave. Gramps and Blondie walked backwards and sideways on the sidewalk at Graeter’s, entertaining people in their cars. They ran back to Grandma. Jason and Grandma sang songs on the way back to Mommy’s and Daddy’s house. They all trooped through the garage to get in the house. Grandma and Jason sang and danced. Smoochie’s favorite songs are the Hokey Pokey and the Fishy song. Mommy and Daddy came home and Smoochie went off to bed.

Grandma and Gramps slept in the living room on the air mattress. Smoochie woke up twice in the night so Gramps and he snuggled while he calmed down. The family got a late start on Sunday morning. They headed to First Watch. Grandma, Gramps and Smoochie had to leave through the garage. While waiting at First Watch, Jason, Daddy and Gramps walked and ran up and down the sidewalk. After they were seated and given their orders, Smoochie and Gramps went off to the men’s room. They washed and dried hands twice. First Watch has an automatic towel dispenser, so Gramps got the towels. Next time, Jason will be confident enough to get the towels. After breakfast, Grandma, Gramps and Blondie went to Friendship Park. They started off with the swing. Jason told Grandma to push. His confidence has grown on the swing, since he had Grandma push him higher than before. They did the slides and other play objects and it was time to leave. Gramps had to pick up Jason and carry him out. They made it back home. Gramps and Jason decided to go for a walk. Gramps, Smoochie, Blizzard and White Doggie went for a long walk around the development. When they returned, they had to walk to the back to put the poop bag in the garbage. Smoochie stood in front of the garage door and said, ”open garage.” Gramps said that he did not have the garage door opener. Gramps had to pull Jason to the front door. Smoochie took his lawn mower out front. Grandma and Gramps decided to leave. Smoochie hollered, “NO GO. NO GO.” Grandma told him that if they do not leave, they cannot return. Smoochie knew there was something wrong there but not sure what. Grandma and Gramps eventually left and look forward to the end of tax season.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

What did he say?

Only Goosh went to Columbus on Wednesday. He and original Jason were going to the U.S. – Mexico soccer match. Goosh arrived around 4 p.m. He woke up Smoochie from his nap. Goosh and Smoochie gave each other back rubs and hugs. Goosh offered to take the family to Ruby Tuesday for dinner since he had a coupon. Original Jason, Goosh and Smoochie left in the new car and Debbie drove in her car. The idea being that Debbie and Blondie would come home after dinner while the other two left for the match. However, with the bad weather, traffic was so bad that they returned home. Original Jason and Goosh left for the soccer stadium, deciding to get a hot dog at the game. With the cold, rain and wind, cars were directed to park at the state fairgrounds parking lots. The U.S. won, 2 – 0. Jason and Goosh had to walk back to the car. The temperature had dropped and they battled a head wind all the way to the car. Enough of a wind to draw tears. Fortunately, they managed to get out of a rear exit and got back to the house in no time at all. Smoochie greeted Goosh by taking his scarf and coat off. He did not want Goosh to leave. Blondie was drinking milk from his cup when he tried to drink from the bottom of the cup. With a two year old sense of humor, he thought this was funny. He pretended to drink from the bottom and laugh. He repeated that a few times. Smoochie wanted to stand on his head so he made Goosh hold him upside down. Goosh does not know why the little guy likes that. Goosh had to leave, so he put on his scarf and coat. Smoochie zipped up his coat and then said, “bye Gramps.” His grandfather went WHOOO-OOOO. He said GRAMPS. No more Goosh. Gramps had pleasant memories on the drive home. He looks forward to another trip to Columbus.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Smoochie Extra Time

Friday Lunch

Gamma and Goosh met Smoochie and Mommy at Bakers Square in Mentor for lunch. Gamma and Goosh took Friday afternoon off. Goosh dropped Gamma at the door and parked the car. Getting out of the car, Goosh saw Debbie and Blondie park their original Jason and Debbie’s new car. He walked over. Smoochie saw his Gramps before Mommy and yelled, “Gampsh!” Gramps. Smoochie and Mommy walked into Bakers Square. Smoochie hollered “Gamma!” He ran up to his Gamma and gave her a hug. They went to their table. After ordering the meal, Goosh and the little guy went to the men’s room to wash hands. The paper towels were manually dispensed, so Jason grabbed a couple to dry his hands. We washed hands twice. We would have stayed but Goosh told Smoochie that Gamma needed to see clean hands. Smoochie walked up to Gamma and shoved his hands in her face. Smoochie sat on Gamma’s lap. Mommy offered Blondie snacks but he did not want those. Gamma asked him if he wanted her to look for snacks in her purse. He said, “Yes.” He now says the s in yes. Gamma gave Smoochie a bag of Teddy Grahams. That is what he wanted. He ate his snacks happily. He shared his Teddy Grahams with Mommy, Gamma and Goosh. Gamma sang while we waited. Our meal arrived so Jason sat in the high chair. Mommy got him french toast sticks but he preferred Mommy’s lunch of alfredo pasta. At one time he leaned back and put the back of his hand over his eyes. After everyone had eaten, Goosh and Smoochie washed their hands again. The toilet in the men’s room was running. As we left, Jason waved bye to the toilet. Goosh gave the check to Jason and the two of them paid the check. Off we went to Great Lakes mall.

We parked by J. C. Penney, and went in. Smoochie helped to open the doors and held them open. We got to the play area and Jason knew what to do. He immediately took off his shoes. The group in the play area on this Friday afternoon consisted of kids 4 years old and younger so no big kids to knock Jason over. At one time Jason ran around and out of the play area. This freaked Gamma out so she told him that if he did it again, he was going in time out. He still moved tentatively around the play area. He did not want to go down the slide. He did get up on an object shaped like a large half of a baseball. He stood up with no hands. He eventually climbed over a short wall. That gave him confidence to climb the steps and go down the slide. We told him two more minutes. He went down the slide and Gamma told him one more time. He went down and then ran back again for another time. Gamma told him he was a sneaky pete. He was going to do down again but Mommy grabbed him and put his shoes and coat on. We left. Mommy and Smoochie went back to auntie Sandy’s where they stayed and Gamma Goosh went home and collapsed.

Saturday birthday party

Saturday afternoon was a birthday party for Smoochie’s cousin, Justin. The party was at Dan and Cathy’s house in Parma. Jaci and I were invited along with the entire Tekavec side of the family. Justin is three years old. We brought a vegetable tray. Jason, Debbie and Jason arrived late since Jason and Debbie waited until the little guy woke from his nap. Tables and chairs were set up in the basement. Goosh took the little guy downstairs while Mommy got him his dinner. Smoochie got his dinner but did not eat much since there was a lot happening. Justin opened his gifts. Jason got a few gifts so as not to feel left out. He got a can of Play Doh. Jason, Daddy, Gamma and Goosh played with the purple Play Doh. Blondie likes to make balls. Daddy made small balls and large balls while Gamma helped Smoochie count them. Daddy made a purple person but Jason preferred a ball. Jason helped his cousin blow out the birthday candles. I do not think that he knew what the candles were for. He knew the frosting. He dipped his fingers in the frosting and put them in his mouth. The cake had all these finger streaks. We had dessert. Smoochie did not want cake on a fork or spoon. He wanted to lick frosting off his fingers. After dessert Goosh and Smoochie had to wash hands. Cathy and Dan have four soaps in their bathroom. Smoochie used them all. Back downstairs to show his clean hands to Gamma. We get to sing and dance with Gamma. Smoochie is very picky in his choice of songs. Gamma had to perform Where is Thumbkin and the Hokey-Pokey.

Meal over. We all trooped upstairs. Justin shared his toys with Jason. Justin is a huge fan of the Pixar movie, Cars. Jason played with a helicopter with Mater, the tow truck in it. Every time the helicopter door opened and Mater was pushed out, Mater said, “I am as happy as a tornado in a trailer park.” After playing with the helicopter for about 20 minutes, Goosh showed him Justin’s vacuum cleaner. Jason and Justin took turns vacuuming. Jason took a break with auntie Sandy. The two of them washed their hands in the bathroom. They washed their hands using each soap twice. The little guy went searching through Justin’s toys. Goosh found one that when a button is pushed, a wheel with gears goes round. The gears connect to other wheeled gears which go around. The gears have different colors and can be moved around. The toy is called Hasbro Playskool Busy Gears. Jason found this fascinating. There are noises, lights and movement but not an excessive amount of any. Blondie played with this toy for 45 minutes. Gamma and Goosh left with more memories. They wonder how one little person can wear out so many adults.

Sunday breakfast

Sunday breakfast was scheduled for 10:00 at 5th Avenue Deli. Jaci and King arrived early to get a table for seven. Original Jason, Debbie, Sandy and Smoochie came into the parking lot a short time later. Smoochie decided that he now wants to get out of the car seat by himself. Goosh asked Smoochie to hold the door for everybody but he ran in to give Gamma a hug. Gammas run on hugs. Smoochie sat on Goosh’s lap while waiting for Uncle Matt to show. Uncle Matt got a big hug when he came in. We all sat down. Mommy ordered hot chocolate with whipped cream. Smoochie got the whipped cream and Mommy got the hot chocolate. We gave the server our order and Smoochie knew what came next. We had to go wash hands. We needed to walk sideways to get out from between the tables. We kept walking sideways even when we got to the middle of the floor. We got to the men’s room. The faucet was another one handle faucet. That type is more difficult for the little guy to work. He turned the water on and put his hand under it and said that it was too cold. Goosh showed him how to adjust the temperature. Then it was too hot. Eventually, they got to the right temperature. Goosh pushed the button for the soap. The soap on Jason’s hand was clear (how dull). After cleaning our hands and turning the water off, we went to the paper towel. This was an automatic dispenser. Goosh asked Jason if he wanted to wave his hand in front of the little red light. Jason said, “no. Gampsh get paper towel.” Goosh waved his hand. The paper towel came down. Goosh ripped it off and gave it to Smoochie. Smoochie said, “more paper towel.” After four more times of this, Goosh told Smoochie to show his clean hands to Gamma. Goosh and Smoochie went back to the table where Smoochie shoved his hands in Gamma’s face. Gamma and Smoochie san songs until breakfast appeared. Smoochie ate his eggs and toast. He did not want his potatoes. He had some of Gamma’s blueberry pancakes. He rejected strawberry jam on his toast. He wanted plain toast. After everyone finished their meal, Smoochie and Goosh went off to wash hands again. They both walked sideways leaving the table. The hand wash process went smoothly. Smoochie and Goosh dried their hands with only four paper towels. Goosh was ready to leave but Smoochie told Goosh, “wash hands.” They did the same thing all over again. (what demented individual started Smoochie on this hand washing kick?) They finally left the men’s room and Smoochie pointed to the door and said, “baffroom.” They walked past the ladie’s room and Smoochie said, “baffroom.” Past another door and Smoochie said, “baffroom.” Goosh said that was the door to the kitchen. When they got to the table area, Goosh lifted Jason so he could see the people making the breakfasts. He found that fascinating. Goosh told Smoochie that Gamma needed to see clean hands. After the hand inspection, Gamma gave Smoochie the check so he and Goosh could pay. They went to the cashier. Smoochie was willing to work the cash register. Everybody left.

Smoochie and Goosh took a walk down the store fronts. When they walked back to the group, they walked backwards. Daddy tried to get him to jump. Gramps said that Hoaglands are known for their jumping ability(everyone picked up on that sarcasm). Daddy told Smoochie to give Gamma, Gramps and Uncle Matt a hug. Smoochie hollered ,”no hug, no hug!” Two year old logic, no one can leave until they get a hug. Finally, Uncle Matt got a hug and squeeze, Goosh got a hug and squeeze and Gamma got hugs and kisses. Grandma and Gramps had to go home to rest. This was a busy weekend. Gramps will go to Columbus on Wednesday but no telling when Grandma will next get to see her grandson. Tax season has started.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Like Father, Like Son


Songs and Dinner

Off again to Columbus on Saturday. We called while we were on our way. Grandma told Smoochie that Grandma and Gramps will be at his house when he wakes up from his nap. When we arrived around 3 p.m., Debbie was putting the little guy in for his nap. We had to be very quiet until he dropped off which eventually occurred. Debbie and Jason left to pick up their new car and afterwards, have dinner at the fondue restaurant. When young Jason woke from his nap, he found Grandma and Gramps waiting for him. It was only about nine months ago that he was shy around Grandma and Gramps and needed Mommy all the time. He discovered that when Gamma and Goosh show up, he does fun stuff at different places and they give him good food to eat. He was quite happy and relaxed with no Mommy or Daddy. When we heard the little guy wake up, Grandma went up to his room because the previous day, he emptied his dresser drawers. Some time later, we headed off.

Our first stop was Half-Price Books where Jaci bought a gift card. On the way, Blondie was helping Gramps drive by pointing out red lights and green lights. He speaks in longer sentences each week. During all the various journeys this day, Grandma and Smoochie sang songs. They included the ABC Song, There Was a Farmer Had a Dog and Bingo Was His Name-O, Old McDonald and The Farmer in the Dell. From Half-Price Books, we headed for a local McDonald’s. We were not happy with the location, so we ended up in a McDonald’s in Westerville. This was a relatively new MickeyD’s with a fireplace. The little guy knows McDonald’s and says it, pronouncing all the consonants. However, it was not real clean but it was getting late. As you know, Smoochie loves to wash his hands so off he and Goosh went to the Men’s room. McDonald’s rest rooms are no fun. The water turns on automatically and there are no paper towels. We washed our hands and headed out to order food. We got our dinners and sat down at the table. Jason got a Happy Meal with a hamburger and apple slices. Grandma got a hamburger and an apple walnut salad. Gramps picked out a Quarter Pounder and fries. Jason slowly got through his hamburger. When Jason and Grandma were done with their hamburgers, Grandma gave Jason his apples and she opened her fruit. Jason saw the walnuts in Grandma’s salad and helped himself to one. Over time, he has discovered that whatever Grandma is eating must be good. He then shared Grandma’s walnuts with her. He dropped a walnut in Grandma’s hand and she popped it in her mouth. Smoochie liked that move so he did it too, most of the time successfully. Grandma’s salad contained yogurt which Grandma does not eat but Jason got to dip his apple slices in it. After the slices were gone, Jason finished off the yogurt. Jason tossed out all the garbage and off we went.

Our initial plan was to go to Graeter’s for ice cream after McDonald’s. We felt it was too late for that. Gramps went into Kroger’s for ice cream while Grandma and Smoochie sang songs. With ice cream in trunk, the three of us went back to Jason and Debbie’s house. We had our dessert. Afterwards, Grandma and Blondie sang the action songs that were not possible in a car. They did the Hokey-Pokey, The People on the Bus and Grandma taught him Where is Thumbkin. After a bunch of songs, Jason was getting tired and his civilization center got turned off. He grabbed Grandma’s knitting which caused Goosh to holler at him. He needed to get into bed so we said our goodbyes and left. The Columbus group will be in Cleveland next weekend for a birthday party for Smoochie’s cousin, Justin. We will see the new car in daylight then. Grandma and Gramps got home around 1 a.m. They look forward to next weekend to see what the little guy will learn in another week.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Small and In Charge

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That's What It's All About

Saturday started off on the wrong foot or wheel. Jason and Debbie had an appointment at the local Hyundai dealer at 3 p.m. so Jaci and I needed to be in Columbus at 2:30. We set off around 12:15 with the weather being cloudy and cold. Suddenly, on I-271 we hit a snowstorm. Around the rest area, at mile marker 8, all traffic stops. We pulled through the rest area and wait on the entrance ramp for over an hour. We see two ambulances and tow trucks go by. Over an hour goes by, eventually three middle schoolers play hockey on the interstate. People get out of their cars and go to the rest area. Jaci called Debbie and told her that we will be late. Jason rescheduled the appt. When we finally got past the accident, only one vehicle was left. Within a half mile we are on dry pavement. Five mile later sunlight hits the car. We must have hit a cell at the wrong time. We arrived in Columbus around 3:15 while the little guy is taking his nap.

Jason and Debbie go off to take a test drive in an Elantra. Jason woke up and gave Grandma a long snuggle. Jason and Debbie came back before we left. They both liked the car, so it looks like they will get it. Dealers are desperate so now is a good time to get a car. Jason asked me whether they should trade in the Lumina or the Focus since the two of them disagree on which car to get rid of. I said to take both to the dealer and whichever one has the higher trade value, trade that in. Time will tell what decision they make. Jason and Debbie were unable to get reservations at the fondue restaurant, so they headed off to Texas Roadhouse for supper. The little guy knows that when Grandma and Goosh come, he has fun, so no problem with Mommy and Daddy leaving. Jaci, Smoochie and I made for Polaris Mall with Smoochie helping Gramps drive. Jason kept track of the red lights and green lights telling Gramps, “red stop” and “green go.” He counted two or three lights. He had problems getting past three. When we go on the freeway, Grandma sang to him. We had multiple performances of There Was a Farmer Had a Dog and Bingo Was His Name-O.

We had dinner at the food court. Jason can get his chicken nuggets there and make as much noise as he wants. After the meal, Smoochie and Gramps went to the men’s room to wash hands. We limited the hand washing to one but used a handful of paper towels to dry. We used up one towel dispenser and had to go to another. Going back to Grandma, Jason did the weak knee bit. That is the one where the kid is suddenly unable to walk. Gramps gets tired of THAT real quick. We all went to the play area which has things to climb on and go under and slides. Smoochie had fun for over an hour although he was intimidated by all the loud hyper-active kids. And he finally said, “Grandma.” Standing on a big rock, he said, “hi Gamma.” A lot happens in a couple of weeks. We put our coats on outside of Sears and Grandma thought that she heard him say, “S E.” He did not repeat that. On the way back to home, Jason wanted Grandma to sing B I N G O. Jason clapped and sang with her.

Back in Jason and Debbie’s house, Grandma and Gramps taught Jason a new song, the Hokey-Pokey. The first time, Goosh moved Blondie’s body parts. Smoochie wanted to do it again, so Grandma, Smoochie and Gramps lined up for the song. Smoochie had a blast moving although he mixed up left and right. Jason and Debbie returned while the performance was going on. They applauded when it was over and the little guy gave his Mommy a hug. Grandma and Gramps had given Blondie a Step 2 Cottage for Christmas along with a extra people. This cottage is about the size of a dollhouse and contains bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathroom. We did not know it when we bought it but the cottage makes noises. The door bell rings, the TV blasts, the phone rings and the stove sizzles. Smoochie showed Grandma and Gramps how everything works. There is one baby but the male figures are Daddy and all the female ones are Mommy. Smoochie had two Mommies and one Daddy go into the house, close the door and ring the doorbell. He had the Daddy watch television and have the phone ring. Then Daddy went to bed for a nap. He put each person on the potty and describe what happened followed by the stove sound which sounds like a toilet flushing. He played with his cottage for a while. Grandma sang the People on the Bus. Grandma now has Smoochie facing her when she sings so that she does not get clobbered when the wipers go swish, swish, swish and the driver says “move on back.” We finally left after 10:00. We got home tired but happy. We hope to return next Saturday, if Jaci does not work.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Stuck Inside

Jaci and I traveled to Columbus on Sunday since the weather on Saturday was too bad for driving. Jaci read at 8 a.m. Mass and we left shortly afterward. We decided to meet Jason, Debbie and Jason for breakfast at First Watch. Jaci and I arrived at 12:30 and I put our name among a huge crowd. 20 minutes later, Debbie’s Focus pulled into the parking lot. I went out to get Smoochie. While I was out, our name was called and Jaci went to our table. Four Hoaglands walked in and sat down at the table. After we ordered, off went Smoochie and Goosh to the men’s room. We washed and dried our hands twice. The little guy liked seeing the paper towels come out of the automatic towel dispenser. He wanted Goosh to keep the towels coming. Goosh decided that two paper towels were enough. Goosh showed Smoochie how to toss paper towels in the waste basket. Blondie stuck to just putting the paper towels in the basket. He was all set to wash a third time when Goosh told him that he had to show Grandma his clean hands. That was how we got out of the men’s room with no complaint. Smoochie walked up to Grandma and stuck his hands in her face. She had to admire the cleanest hands of any two-year-old. We got through breakfast with Smoochie saying hi to the servers. After breakfast, Smoochie and Goosh had to wash their hands, again. This time, Blondie brought a napkin with him to put in the waster basket. We once again completely washed our hands twice. We went back to the table to show Grandma clean hands that she had to admire, again. Then Jason Jr went with Grandma and Goosh to his home with the little guy telling Goosh to stop at red lights and go at green lights. At home, Goosh took Smoochie to his room for a nap. Smoochie listens to a CD during nap time but Goosh was not allowed to turn the CD on. Jason had to turn the CD on, start play and push the repeat button. Then he had to turn the night light on. After reading an Elmo book, Smoochie laid down to rest.

The real reason why Jaci and I went to Columbus was to return a microwave that we bought for Jason and Debbie. While the little guy was sleeping, Jason, Debbie and I went off to Costco. We returned the one microwave and they picked out a 1.2 cubic foot model. We did some more shopping and came back to Jason and Debbie’s house, following a Plymouth Acclaim on Stelzer and Agler. Jason replaced the current microwave with the new one and he set the counter space to how he wanted the kitchen utensils and such. The four grown-ups relaxed until the little guy woke up. Smoochie became the entertainment.

Goosh wants everyone to know that he is not the only one to teach the grandson habits that his parents do not want him to have. Grandma showed him how to slide down stairs on his bottom. I say no more. Grandma sang her songs to Smoochie: the Bus Song and Hootchie Kootchie Fishie Dance song. Blondie played for while in HIS kitchen. He poured coffee, which he calls “hot juice”, for Grandma and Goosh. Goosh got "milk" in his. Debbie got out the little guy’s Sit and Spin. He does not know how to work it. He fell off when it moved. He ran from the kitchen to the living room and back. He ran up to his father and pushed him down. The two of them do that somewhat regularly. With original Jason on his back, I picked up the younger version and held him about a foot above his Dad. I dropped the little guy much his Dad’s surprise. I asked Smoochie if wanted to do that again and he said no which was more than OK with the elder Jason. At one time, Blondie got so excited he stood in the living room and spun around for many times. He got thirsty, so he opened the fridge to get some juice but that is not allowed. We got a full blown temper tantrum. Grandma and Goosh were not impressed. They have seen plenty of tantrums. Goosh emptied the styrofoam and plastic pieces out of the microwave box and put it on the floor on its side. Grandma asked Smoochie if he wanted to hide. He crawled into the microwave box and closed the two flaps. Grandma asked, “where’s Jason?” Jason burst out of the box and ran up to Grandma and gave her a hug. He must be over his fear of enclosed places if he hide in a box with flaps closed. This went on for like 10 minutes. Jason got to a point where he snuck up on Grandma. We wonder what he is thinking, does he think that he is fooling his Grandma.

Original Jason fixed dinner. It was cream of potato soup from scratch. That was good. The little guy ate some. Grandma gave him a cookie which we bought earlier in the week. It was a sugar cookie with a frosting picture of Lightning McQueen from Cars. He ate the whole cookie. Grandma and Goosh had to leave because they had to go to work the next day. Jaci and King came home with more pleasant memories.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Holy Cow

On Sunday, Jason and Debbie put their Christmas decorations away. With the limited space available, they are stored in the garage on plywood that is lain across the beams under the roof. Original Jason uses a ladder to climb up and put things away. Smoochie decided that Daddy needed his help so he was all set to climb the ladder, too. Mommy convinced him not to climb the ladder so he spent his time running around the garage. While Jason was putting boxes away, he said, “Holy Cow!” Blondie immediately picked this up and went around saying, “Daddee holy cow, Daddee holy cow, Daddee holy cow.” He still refuses to say “Grandma” after months of prodding.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Smoochie in his Car (on the grass)

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At the Zoo

Jason and Debbie asked Jaci and I to come down on Saturday, January 3, for two reasons. The first was to help change Smoochie’s crib to a day bed and two to go to the zoo that evening. Jason wanted to alter the bed before nap time but, as usual, Jaci and I were delayed. We took the Altima since it has a bigger trunk than the Camry. I went to the Tekavecs the previous evening to load up on gifts that had been left behind at that house which included a bread machine. At the stately Hoagland manor, I put in the rocking chair and easel. The easel and bread machine were in the back seat. Jaci and I were going to stop for beakfast on the way but Jaci was uneasy about leaving the car in the parking lot with stuff visible in the back seat. Jaci called Debbie and asked if she and Jason would like to meet us for breakfast at First Watch near their house. We all agreed to meet at First Watch and for Jason and Debbie to bring an afghan to cover the items in the back seat. Jaci called when we got to Sunbury so that we could meet at the same time.

Jaci and I got to First Watch before Jason and Debbie. This was around 12:30. We found two empty parking spaces side-by-side. I put the Altima in both spots while we waited for Jason and Debbie to show up. By this time bunches of people came into the parking lot for lunch. I am sure everyone was annoyed with us although I did not see any hand gestures. Eventually, Debbie’s Focus arrived and we parked next to each other. The items in the back seat got covered and Jason put our name in. By now, we had a long wait. Original Jason and Goosh played a new game called Run the Smoochie. Jason and I stood apart. Blondie ran to his Dad and got a hug, Then Jason Junior ran to his Gramps and got a hug. Then to Dad, to Goosh and so on for about 10 minutes. Goosh and Smoochie demonstrated their backwards walk and sideways walk. The little guy needs to work on his sideways walk. After that we went for a walk along the storefronts. Jaci and Debbie followed us and I realized that no one was standing by the restaurant door. We all trooped inside First Watch to wait. Since we still had time, the little guy sat on Grandma’s lap and they sang “People on the Bus.” Smoochie’s favorite line is “the baby on the bus goes ‘waa waa waa.’” After what seemed like we had waited all afternoon, we sat at a table. We put in our order and Smoochie and Goosh went off to wash hands. We washed and dried and washed and dried. We got back to the table to show Grandma the cleanest hands of any two-year-old. Now Smoochie turned his charm on the servers. Anyone who went by got a hi with particular attention directed at the young ladies. They were charmed by him. I wonder if the charm will still work in sixteen years. After the meal, Smoochie and Goosh had to wash hands one more time. Original Jason paid the bill and we left for the Hoagland homestead.

By the time that we reached Jason and Debbie’s house, it was nap time. While the little guy rested, his Dad and I put together part of the low rails assembly. When Jason awoke, his Dad and I took the high rail down and installed the low rail. Actually, this was a five person job. Two people to install the new equipment, one little guy with a screwdriver and two people to make sure that no person or object was poked with a screwdriver. It was now evening so off we headed for the zoo. Smoochie and his grandparents followed his Mom and Dad. Young Jason displayed how much he learned in just one week. He knows the difference between three green lights and two green lights. He also knows that the green arrow means go for some people. He will go into management some day. When a traffic light changes from red to green, he says “GREEN! GO!” We have to be careful. If he decides he has waited long enough, he says “GREEN!” when the light is still red.

We got to the zoo with much of Columbus. The Columbus Zoo has an annual event called the Wildlights which has trees, bushes and buildings decorated with lights including LED lights. The highlight (pun intended) of the night is a light and music show around the pond. The entire Hoagland family enjoyed the show. Blondie’s two favorite zoo attractions were the aquarium and the petting area. At the aquarium, Goosh and Smoochie got right up to the window. The little guy stared at the big fish, yellow fish, odd shaped fish and all the other fish. At times he’d follow one fish and then a big fish would swim in front of him and he’d jump. He was not scared, just surprised. Goosh’s aging joints prevent him from squatting for long. The petting area had a goat out. Young Jason gently petted the animal. I do not think the goat frightened him but he had respect for it. We ended our visit around 9:00 and headed for Max and Erma’s for dinner.

At Max and Erma’s while original Jason and I gave the server the food and drink orders, Smoochie with Mom and Grandma went to the ladies room for a diaper change. After the little guy was put back together, he provided commentary of what Mom and Grandma were doing. A twenty something wearing six inch stilettos came in. Jason was all set to join her. I am sure that she thought that she was free from family time at 9:30 at night. The Hoaglands left and Jason was quite willing to turn the lights off. That would have been a big surpise. Blondie went with Dad and Goosh to wash hands when the meal was over. The families went their separate ways around 10:30. Jaci and King arrived home tired but happy with more memories.

Postscript: Debbie called Sunday and said that she and Jason forgot to tell us that the microwave that we got them has too big a footprint for their counter. Jaci and I said that we will have to come back this Saturday and return it to the local Costco. We can make it a family trip. We might as well get as many visits as we can before February rolls around.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Smoochie in Santa Hat

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A Smoochie Christmas

Jason, Debbie and Jason started Christmas day in Columbus with a gift exchange between the three of them. Piling gifts and family into Debbie’s Focus, early in the afternoon they traveled to the home of Debbie’s brother and sister-in-law, Dan and Cathy, in Parma for and a Christmas celebration between the sets of in-laws. Jason, Debbie and a sleeping Smoochie showed up at the stately Hoagland manor around 7 p.m. Blondie was carried in by Dad. In the vestibule, Jason heard the ticking of our grandfather clock. He whispered, “tick tock.” That was it. He was awake. We had the Hoagland gift exchange with the Columbus contingent, Matthew, and Jaci’s sister, Patti. The party broke up after 9 before all the gifts had been handed out. Debbie, Jason and Jason went to bed at the Tekavecs. We all met for breakfast the next morning. Young Jason flirted with the server by saying hi when she came by and bye when she left. He helped me pay the bill at the cash register. We retreated to home to distribute the remainder of the presents. Part 2 went well. Jason and Debbie received a microwave. The final gift was when Blondie opened a bag in the driveway to find a Toddle Tune Coupe. He fell in love immediately and went for a spin on the sidewalk. We had a tantrum when he was pulled from his car. He needed a nap.

The Tekavec Christmas celebration was on Saturday which started at the home of Debbie’s sister, Sandy. Jason and Jason left Sandy’s house in the Focus to go to the Tekavec house which involved passing the Hoagland house. The Focus stalled near Belwood. At this time, Jaci, Patti and I were at Jean’s house in Willoughby. The Focus ended up in our driveway. Smoochie knew where he was. He hollered, “OUT! OUT! OUT!” The two Jasons got a ride to the Tekavecs. That evening, Jason and his father-in-law, Matt, came by to check out the car. We found that Jason gave the Focus a Christmas gift of premium gas. We decided that the Focus’s computer chip could not handle the high octane gas and altered the fuel mixture and caused the stalling out. Jason and Matt drove the car to the Tekavecs and by Sunday, it was fine. Jason was able to meet Matthew for breakfast and Debbie, Blondie, Patti, Jaci and I met for breakfast at Original Pancake House.

Remember when I told you that Smoochie was scared of public bathrooms. No more. While waiting for our food, he and I went to the men’s room to wash our hands. We washed and dried our hands twice. I had to drag him out of the men’s room with a tantrum. Debbie heard this from a way’s off and said, “that is mine.” The food still had not arrived, so we went back to wash our hands one more time. Jason helped a gentleman at the sink by pointing out where the soap was. I now had a little guy with the cleanest hands of any two-year-old. Our server was the recipient of some flirting. We went to the cash register to pay although he was more interested in the waste basket than in paying. To distract him, I gave him the receipt to give to Grandma. We eventually left and dropped Debbie at her parent’s to get stuff together to go home. Patti, Jaci and I took Smoochie to our house to wear him out for the trip home. We let him ride in his car on the patio. He preferred riding on the grass and colliding with the house to going on the patio. Jason and Debbie came by with a very full car to pick up Jason. Jaci and I crashed when they left. Patti went back to Louisville on Monday and dropped off the car and microwave in Columbus. Jason drove it up and down the sidewalk. Jaci and I will go to Columbus on Saturday with the gifts that did not fit. Jaci and I continue to talk about our memories.