Friday, July 20, 2012

Week 9... And Along Came "Bug"


This week, I would like to share with you a story that is very near and dear to my heart.  For a lot of you, I'm sure you will be able to relate with me on some level.  Maybe your timing was a little different than mine, but in the end, it's all about that little "bug(s)."

I came home from work one afternoon in 2005, just like any other day.  But on that particular day, Donna and her youngest daughter, Sami, living with us at the time, were there.  Donna quickly informed me that she needed to talk to me and we proceeded to our bedroom...  and she promptly shut the door.  Now, right there, "need to talk" and then "shutting the door," are two things that, when your wife is involved, can never, ever, be a good thing.  I'm just sayin'.  Immediately, thousands of thoughts start running through my mind regarding what we are fixing to talk about, but there are just a couple that shoot straight to the top of the list.  That dreadful "D" word(s)...  Divorce?  Or, did somebody Die?  Nope, on that day, something completely and totally unexpected...  it was all about the "P" word.  

Donna proceeded to tell me that Sami was pregnant.  Now, normally, this is good news, exciting news, you know, let's share a "toast" not Sami, not now news.  Except...  it was not time for this situation!!!  For crying out loud, Sami's "clock" had not yet even begun to "tick."  Hence, the "closed door meeting."  Now, I must say that under the circumstances, I kept my cool, stayed calm, and collected my thoughts, because now that I knew the subject of our meeting, I had a completely new set of a thousand thoughts running through my mind.  The top four?  The famous "Four W's":  Who, Why, When, and Where???

So, with all this "knowledge" now behind me, I had to get started on getting comfortable with the fact that in the year I would turn 50 years old, 2006, there would be a newborn baby living in my house...  seriously, no joke.  And don't you know that Donna was just "beaming," while I continued to struggle with the whole "seriously???" concept.  Along the way, you know... 9 months along the way bedroom walls were painted "pink" and crib(s) and diapers, etc., were brought into my our house.  Not exactly what I had in mind.

March 1, 2006, would prove to be a day that would forever provide both smiles and tears for our family.  For on that day, sometime that night, Riley Renee Bates, was born into this world and shortly after her birth, Donna would receive a call from her mother with the very sad news that Donna's Dad had just passed away...

Moving forward, life would get just a "little crazy" as we all adjusted to having three "big" people in the house and now, one new "little" person, and oh, did I mention we had four (4) dogs, one of which was a greyhound...  and of course, they were all inside dogs as well.  So, yeah, a "little crazy" became the new norm.

It has now been a little over six years since the little "munchkin" was born.  She and her mom, Sami, no longer live with us.  Nor do 3 of the 4 dogs.  Suffice to say that it is a lot quieter in the house now.  But the memories will live on.  There are so many, I certainly can't share them all here.  But there are a couple or so that I just have to... 

Sami and her baby girl...  smiling!!!

With legs crossed, at Pre-K Graduation...
As Riley slowly began learning how to talk, there was a period of time when she would ask a question or make a statement to Donna and/or I, and our names became just "one word" every time.  It was never "Nana" or "Papa," it was always "Nanapapa."  Nanapapa this or Nanapapa that.  If you are Grand-parents, what are you called?  Also, through the years, I have told all of the kids, and Riley too, jokingly, sometimes with my fist aimed directly at them, that I was "gonna put a knot on your head."  Well, one night while sitting in the house, from absolutely out of the blue, and for the very first time, Riley said (holding up her little fist), "Papa, I'm gonna put a knot on your head."  Ha!!!  And then, in Pre-K, Riley learned to sing various "color" songs.  There was blue, brown, red, pink, white, etc.  My absolute favorite was the "yellow" song.  

Now, obviously, simply typing these words does not do this song justice, but try to imagine a 4 and 5 year old little girl singing.  It would start off:  "Y-E-L-L-O-W spells Yellow, Y-E-L-L-O-W spells Yellow."  But to hear Riley sing it, well, it went like this:  "Y-E-L-L-O-W spells Lellow, Y-E-L-L-O-W spells Lellow."  Just too cool (and cute) for school.  And then...  one day recently, I picked her up from Day Care and as soon as she was buckled in, she said, "Papa, I have a surprise for you."  (she says that same quote every single time I pick her up from Day Care, and every single time, the surprise is exactly the same)  And I say, "What's that?"  And she sings the "Yellow" song.  But, recently, as she sang it, she actually pronounced the "Y" in Yellow.  In my mind, I screamed, "Noooooooooooooo!!!"  My cute "Lellow" word was now gone forever.  My "munchkin" was getting older. 

A Christmas morning with "munchkin"
"Munchkin" singing Happy Birthday to Papa...

Papa's little "munchkin" and Nana's little "peanut butter."  Together, they add up to our little "bug" and when I think back to that bedroom "closed door meeting" a little over 7 years ago, I never envisioned all the love and fun a little "bug" could bring into our lives.  And as of 8 months ago, we now have our second Grand-baby, a "little man" named George.  He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with proud parents, Justin and Courtney.

"Little Man" George, in his UT shirt...

 Photos:  Here are a few more pics from various times of our little "bug."

"Peanut Butter" in Nana's lap...
Holy Smokes...  Is this a "bug" or what???
She wants to be a "surfer" girl...

A very recent pic...  now ready for the 1st grade

Recipe's:  I will share "Bug's" favorite:  two slices of bread, grape jam, not jelly and crunchy peanut butter:  and you have a classic "Peanut Butter & Jelly (jam) Sandwich."  Add a small "tub" of apple sauce, a glass of cold milk, and two chocolate chip cookies and you have made this "bug's" day...

Libation's Anyone???:  Ok, I love ice cold milk, but hey, this is for libations.  So, this week I am highlighting one of my favorite after dinner drinks:   A VSOP Cognac...  Claude Chatelier Cognac VSOP.  Served a little warm, if possible, is icing on the cake.  Now, if you just happen to be where you are able to step outside for about 30 to 45 minutes, well, then this libation goes very well with a good cigar...  If you get a chance, enjoy.

MusicLast week, I wrote about Stephen and Lauren.  Lauren introduced me to a new (for me) female singer that I gave a listen to and I was blown away by her music.  And so, this week I am sharing her information and I hope you will check her out:  Ani DiFranco

Market Watch:  Wow...  This week was another setback as Facebook dropped back below the 30 mark, closing Thursday at an even 29.00, now a full 9 points down below its opening number of 38.00.

The EndAs always, Thank You very much for stopping by.  I absolutely appreciate your time.  I hope you will check back next week as I have a little fun at my own expense. 

Be safe, be smart, and always smile...  It's "Happy Friday"



  1. Love it!!!!!
    Big Sis

    1. Thank you Big Sis... I so remember having Riley there in Tulsa with you & Howard when she was just a little over 4 months old. Where did the time go? Take care, "little bro"

  2. Slu, I love how you tell your stories. I myself, was a big surprise to a very young mother. My grandparents helped raise me my first few years. They are still pretty close to being my favorite people on the face of the earth. I was able to have my grandfather for 22 years of my life. What a blessing. Your "bug" is a very lucky girl. Grandparents rock.

    1. Michele... your words are very inspiring and I appreciate them more than you know. Your Grandparents sound like awesome people and I'm glad they were able to be such a big part of your life. Thanks again, take care... slu

  3. My week would be empty without an update from Slu's World. Another story with a happy ending. My favorite.
    So many parents freak out when getting news of an unplanned pregnancy. Once you get used to the idea, it is hard to help them without "taking over." Looks like you and Donna found the right balance between parenting your young adult and being terrific grandparents. I know exactly the place Riley and George live in your hearts. The same place my Haiden, Hailee, Charles, Avery, Cassandra and Bryn live in mine! Sounds like you are enjoying this time to the fullest. I love it! I invite you to read The Children's Hour to Riley if you have not done so. It is my favorite poem (read to me by my Dad throughout his life). I think you will find it fits how you feel about your little ones.
    Thanks for inviting me back for another lovely visit.
    Donna Scott

    1. Donna, I so appreciate your comments each week... You are so thoughtful. I will find that book. It sounds like you have more than enough for a basketball team: wow!! I know it makes you happy. Take care, Slu

  4. cuz love the story. We love our kids with all our hearts, but when grandkids come along - it is like there is another big heart inside for them. Your munchkin is the same age as my youngest grand daughter Kaden. But, the greatest reward I received was being in the delivery room when they were born. They didn't say a word until the last moment before my grandson was born, then in front of all the grandparents and kin assembled around, my son-in-law turn around to me and said, Nana are you ready to go in. I was livid - I got to hold my grandchildren first after the parents. I know nothing can ever match those days.

  5. thanks cuz... what a special feeling that must have been. they are absolutely something special. slu

  6. Aww, this is a great blog post! I had one of those closed-door conversations last year and here we are now with our first granddaughter who is 6 months old. So scary at first but then they become such a bright spot in our lives!! Still haven't decided what to be called yet---I like Nonna or Grammy, but my husband insists that little Izzy call him Poopy. That would totally confuse the poor kid every time she had a diaper change. So, we're back to the drawing board on that one. Anyhoo---LOVED the pics with your blog--the grandkids are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing such a heart warming blog post! P.S. I see that you finally got your GFC widget up, so I just joined (under the name Marcia Doyle).Great job!!!

    1. Thank you so much for both the kind words and GFC... You are in for a sweet "ride" for a long time with your new "Izzy." Congrats to you. Take care, slu

  7. aww.. thats a lovely story!!absolutely loved it.
    My niece just cannot say butterfly. It is always ballapy! :)

    1. Thank you Nina... I just re-read it myself and it stirs a lot of memories. Grand-Kids are pretty special.

      Thanks for checking in, Slu


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