Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Grandma's Mission Too See Her Grandbabies

I am at the end of an amazing journey to the mountains and high plains of America. I have driven over 3300 miles through Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Kansas on this mission to meet my new grandbabies and see my older ones. My rental car, which I got through Enterprise Car Rental at the Denver International Airport, is a Kia Soul, the hamster car from the commercials on TV. It is a rockin', cool car, handled great on the bad roads and bad weather which Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas threw at me (snow, blowing snow, ice, black ice, ground blizzards, high winds, road closures, accident delays, rain). It has excellent Bluetooth and a kickass stereo.

I saw Shane, aged 10 (son of Adam Mackley) first.  He has been my training grandkid.  He has been spoiled in ways the other ones won't be just because he was the only grandkid for 7 years.  I still didn't see near enough of him but the time we have spent together has been of the high quality kind.  He taught me that hotel swimming pools are a must for visiting grandparents who you don't know very well.  The water quickly washes away any insecurities or discomfort from not knowing each other very well.  Nervous with each other when we entered the pool - old buds by the time we climb out exhausted and hungry. We swam in the hotel pool, made finger puppets to put on shows for his new sister Cadence and made microwave cake in the room microwave. He loves his Ipod and sending and receiving emails. He is doing long division in school right now.

I also met Shane's new sister Cadence for the first time.  She was born on Halloween 2011. She wasn't too thrilled with having to deal with the new scary, lady who kept trying to hold her. But I didn't give up and held her even though she cried for her daddy. She is very opinionated even at this early stage but lights up the room when she blesses you with a smile.  She looks just like her dad and has the longest, curliest hair I have ever seen on a baby. I felt very blessed to be able to go the the doctor with her, her dad, her dad's attorney and girlfriend Mary Anne Ellis, Cadence's mom Adrian, her other grandma Shannon, and her Aunt Sherone (my sister). It felt like she had a whole army of people ready to stand behind her on her journey.

Henry is 3 now (son of Kaycee Mackley).  I spent lots of time with him until he was just under a year and then we hit the road in the RV.  I have only been back one other time but he still remembered me.  His mom does a good job of telling him about his grandparents so even though he was a little shy at first he warmed right up. He even snuggled with me the first two nights, a rare treat for a not-so-present grandma. His mom was kind enough to let me sleep on her comfy bed and I brought a blow-up mattress for her to sleep on, which we filled with air from a pump and set up in her living/dining room. Henry was certain I brought it to be his own indoor trampoline and you can see from the video that he made good use of it for that purpose. He loves his new school and is really descriptive when telling you what he did at the end of the day, though you have to listen very closely because he tells it in almost a whisper. He loves Spider Man and Wonder Pets.

Next came Memphis who is 21 months old (son of Matt & Kelsey Mackley). I had seen and held Memphis only briefly at my mom's funeral in September of 2010. He was just about 3 months old at the time. Now I finally was able to spend some time with him and watch him toddle, climb, play, sing, and throw things.  He has quite the arm for such a little tyke.  He is very tall for his age and is the spitting image of his dad except he has blond hair and his dad's hair is brown. He is generally a pretty laid back kid so his parents thought they could handle another and are pregnant again - Kelsey is due in October 2012! Memphis jabbers constantly, most of which I couldn't understand but that didn't stop him from conversing with me. He gives easy and open hugs and is generally pretty comfortable with people.  I definately was not scary to him. He is in constant motion at his age, except when a commercial comes on TV that has music in it - then he becomes mesmerized.

                                                                                                 Ultrasound 8 wk - newest Mackley

Finally, I drove across the endless plains to Junction City, KS to meet Logan aged 21 months (son of Amanda - my stepdaughter and her husband Brandon Falso). I haven't spent much time with Amanda and Brandon since I got married to her dad 9 years ago so I was a little nervous. I was nervous for no reason though. I was welcomed into their home with open arms and even Logan was climbing all over me in about half an hour. He shared all his toys with me and we played with the cars and the balls mostly. He has a little Leapster computer that he just loves. He fell asleep on the chair with his hand still on the keyboard - uh kinda like his Grandpa Walt really. He's a busy kid, constantly on the move and very opinionated. He's a grazer with food because he's just too busy to really stop and eat a meal.  He really gives his mom and dad a run for their money. I got to accompany Amanda and Logan to the hospital for an attempted barium swallow for Logan.  It didn't work because he wasn't too interested in swallowing icky gunk while lying down. It did feel good to be able to be there and support Amanda.

And lastly, to my surprise I met my friend Eric's roommate's cat Louie. I found out that meeting new cats is pretty darned similar to meeting new babies.  You just walk in a room and sit down and pretend like you are ignoring them but be holding their toy or a treat. Within 20 minutes their curiousity will have overwhelmed them and they will be over checking you out. Such was the case with Louie - a big, beautiful 13 lb striped cat, playful as can be. I didn't get a video or picture of Louie so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Copyright 2012 - Chardale Irvine.  You may not publish or reprint this article without the permission of Chardale Irvine.  Thank you.


  1. This is my first time I visit here. You spoke about some interesting points here.

    Thank You
    RNB Research

    1. Well, Welcome and thanks for visiting. I'm sorry it has taken so long to reply. Two factors at play: trying to understand/learn how Blogger works and...lots more family and health issues. Par for the course. I hope you come back and visit. Drop a note and say hi.