Monday, January 31, 2011

Can you Tell which baby is a future comedian?

I'm Joining 2011 and Blogging.

I used to be a writer. Now I'm a blogger? Is there a difference? I'm tryin again to be with the cool kids and the kids are saying" Blog!" So buckle up kids..we're in for a bumpy ride!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Pomarolli Christmas 2010 - Guest Blogger: Kerri's Mom, Barb

 Christmas with the Pomarolli family usually involves a few memorable happenings and 2010 was no exception, but since most of the events involved the antics of big sister Lucy, this recounting will focus mostly on those events.

However I do have to tell you that Dick and I almost didn't make it to California for Christmas as Dick was stopped at security in the Atlanta airport trying to smuggle a camouflage pocket knife on the plane.  As I was gathering all my belongings from the sliding conveyor I heard Dick calling my name so I turned around and looked back to see 2 security guards removing something from his carryon case.  One of them held up a small knife and said something which I couldn't hear but I had visions of him being held up for hours or going to jail for being a terrorist and worst of all, us missing our flight.  Well about the time I got within hearing distance I heard one of the guards say to Dick while looking at his baseball cap with US Marine Corps on it, "were you in the Marines?".  Of course Dick replied "yes".  The guard then said, "then this knife must really be special to you" and Dick said "very special".  I'm about ready to say, "it's not that special, just give it to them so we can go".  The 2 guards started conferring with one another and finally the female guard said "why don't I walk you over to the post office and let you mail it home to yourself and then I'll bring you back up front so you won't have to go through the line again".   I asked how long that would take since I really wasn't attached to the knife at all in a sentimental way.  She said about 10 minutes so since we always allow 2 hours at the airport Dick decided to go with her and mail the knife.  I sat down and waited while watching the activities at the security line which made me glad I got through without being stopped and "patted down" as they say.  Eventually Dick returned and he and the security guard had become best friends.  Dick had related all my "war" experiences so she couldn't thank me enough for serving my country.  The thought crossed my mind as to how different the military if treated now as opposed to how the returning Vietnam veterans were treated.  At any rate, Dick's  Marine cap had probably saved us a lot of unpleasantness and I was grateful for that.

If you want the background of how the knife got in the carryon, it was just a "senior moment" when Dick put it in a music box for Lucy (just for protection; he wasn't going to give her a knife) planning to pack it in his checked luggage.  For some reason he decided to put it in the carry on and forgot about the knife.  Fortunately it had a good outcome, but you better believe he will be more careful with knives in the future.

We arrived in Los Angeles at 7:30 P.M. and as usual sat out on the runway since there was no gate available.  Then when we finally reached the gate, for some reason they couldn't get the equipment out to open the door so we had to wait another 20 minutes for the doors to open.  I had visions of 3 hours on the plane.  We walked a couple of miles (maybe that's a slight exaggeration) to the baggage claim only to wait longer as our luggage was the last off the conveyor belt.  I've decided that maybe we shouldn't get to the airport so early as they put our luggage on the bottom of the plane and it's always the last off.   By the time we got our luggage it was almost 9:00 and rain was coming down in torrents.  We made our way to the taxi stand and of course found a driver who spoke little or no English so it was a challenge to give him directions to Kerri and Ron's house, but miraculously God knew we were exhausted and must have helped with the translation because we arrived safely.  I quickly jumped out of the car and put up my flimsy little umbrella and ran for the house while Dick and the cab driver unloaded the luggage in the pouring rain.  Lucy met us at the door jumping up and down and screaming so that was worth all the small trials of the trip.  We gave everyone hugs, especially our new little angel Ruby who seemed to have grown a lot in the 3 weeks since we had seen her.  Needless to say we didn't get to bed until around 2:00 our time.  At around 6 the next morning I felt something tugging on my arm and looked down to see Lucy trying to get into our bed so she could snuggle with Nana.  So Lucy promptly went back to sleep but I can't say the same for Nana who had arms and legs kicking all over my body, but I didn't complain because it felt so good to have a little one who wanted to snuggle up so close.

That day was Sunday and we were going to attend a Christmas party at Kerri and Ron's pastor's home in the afternoon.  The children were putting on the Christmas pageant and Lucy had 2 parts since there weren't too many children available.  She was the youngest child but as the inn keeper she knew her lines perfectly.  "I'm sorry, there's no room for you at the inn" and delivered them without hesitation.  They had a card table set up with tablecloth overhanging to look like the manger so Mary and Joseph and the baby were under the table after being turned away from the inn.  The children all stood up and sang "Silent Night" and Lucy had her paper with the words and sang the whole song in another language that no on understood.  We think maybe because she is exposed to so many languages and is learning quite a few that she just decided to make up her own because she speaks and sings and we don't have a clue what she is saying.  Anyway, after the singing was over, the shepherds  visited the baby and the Magi saw the star and went to find baby Jesus.  Lucy was the magi who carried the Myrrh in a precious jeweled box.  Well somewhere along the journey (I failed to mention that she didn't have a nap that day and that usually bodes for mishaps) she decided that she didn't want to give the Myrrh to the baby Jesus but wanted to pour it out and get in the manger with the family.  She proceeded to open the box and turn it upside down and dump the contents (I think it was empty thank goodness) on the carpet.  Kerri was standing in the background horrified and trying to get her to come out from under the table which she finally did all the while taking off her beautiful purple robe and leaving it in the manger.  For her the play was over and everyone watching was trying to act serious and not laugh but it was hard to do. We actually thought she did well for a 3 year old.

Her one other escapade at the party (at least the only one that I heard about) was when one of the little boys came in crying and saying that a little girl had grabbed his bag of candy (all the children were given a bag of candy) and gotten up under the covers on the bed and was  eating it.  Kerri went in to find Lucy under the covers with most of the candy gone and wrappers everywhere.  She proceeded to spank her and make her apologize to the little boy.  He probably got Lucy's candy.  Now I will say that I wasn't' t surprised at this antic, because Lucy has known how to hide and get into trouble since she was about 1 and she gets more creative the older she gets.  Dick thinks she will make a wonderful CIA or FBI agent as she is very secretive and clever.

The next day Dick and I planned to drive to San Diego with Lucy. When Kerri went in to get her dressed she called me to come into her room.  She said "Look, mom what she has done".  I looked and saw Desitin diaper cream rubbed all over the changing table, her sheets, and wall.  Kerri was mortified and promptly gave Lucy a spanking and sat her in her chair while I took the sheets and blankets to the washing machine. Diaper cream is not the easiest thing in the world to clean up so it took awhile to get it off the furniture and wall.  When Kerri asked Lucy why she did it she just said "because I wanted to"  Guess that was a good reason.  After awhile we settled down and got the car packed and started the drive in torrential rain.  We had to ride in the center lanes of the freeway because the water was draining down to the outside lanes and flooding them.  Thankfully we had rented a brand new Ford Taurus and Dick said it handled very well on the road, but I was still nervous and very thankful when we arrived at our hotel safely.  We checked in and then drove over to Mark's apt. where he and Lucy had a rip roaring reunion.  After awhile we trudged back out into the rain and had dinner at a new French restaurant near Mark's apt.  We weren't sure they would welcome Lucy but all the hostesses and waitresses made a big fuss over her and she behaved pretty well.  Since I don't read French I had to ask what most of the items were on the menu because I wanted to know what I was going to be eating.  It definitely wasn't going to be mussels or snails.  The food wasn't outstanding but was plentiful so no one went home hungry and Mark had a doggie bag with my leftovers for a midnight snack.  When I was putting Lucy to bed that night I unpacked her blanket and discovered it was covered with diaper cream.  Must have missed that one.

The next morning Dick was not feeling well so opted to stay in bed while Mark, Lucy, and I went shopping.  It was still raining and we tried 3 routes to get to the nearby mall and all the roads were flooded so we made an alternate plan and went to Target and Marshalls.   After lunch we went back to the hotel so Lucy and Nana could take a nap.  That night Dick felt well enough to venture out to Mark's favorite Italian restaurant where we had a delicious meal.  Once again Mark got my leftovers.

We left the next morning and drove back to LA with off and on rain for most of the drive.  We made a stop at Stein Mart's and Michael's and after lunch drove back to Kerri's.   During the drive, Lucy looked out the window and yelled "look at the rainbow" ( not sure how she knew what it was but must have seen it in a book)  and we saw the largest and most beautiful rainbow I've ever seen.  She was fascinated with all the colors and it kept her occupied until we couldn't see it any more.  It reminded us of God's rainbow in the bible and the rain ended soon afterwards.

The next day Kerri and I decided to spend some mother/daughter time at the mall.  She had not been shopping since Ruby was born so she enjoyed looking at everything.  We bought a few Christmas presents for Dick and Ron, had a nice lunch and went home.  That evening Dick and I started wrapping presents and even though we said we weren't going to have tons of presents, somehow that wasn't the case and the wrapping lasted for hours.  In the process I started looking for the 2 presents that I had bought for Ron's mom in Ga. and supposedly packed in Dick's luggage.  They were no where to be found.  I began to have a small panic attack because we had no presents for Ron's mom and only one day left to shop.

Some time in the midst of our wrapping I noticed one of the small Christmas paper packages that I had wrapped for one of Kerri's friends and the bottom was torn open.  It had contained some lotion, soap, and a little candle in a box.  Those items were nowhere to be found.  I started looking around and decided to check under the bed (Lucy's favorite hiding place) and sure enough there were the gifts with the candle box torn open, lotion out the package but thankfully not open.  Maybe she heard us coming and decided to cease her clandestine activities.  I also found several of Dick's magic markers and rolls of tape which she has stored there but not used.

The next morning Dick and I went to the grocery store and happened to see a Chico's nearby so I decided to go in and try and find a present for Ron's mom.  They were having a sale on jewelry and jackets so I picked out a necklace that I thought she would like and then a beautiful off white jacket that I liked and assumed she would as well.  I felt very relieved to have found those presents although they weren't in my original plan.  I'll jump ahead to Christmas morning to tell you that when Kerri was opening one of her presents in a Philosophy box she found the turquoise necklace and bracelet and beautiful Ga. peach candle that I had bought for Ron's mom.  Dick has packed it carefully so it wouldn't get broken on the plane and we just assumed it was for Kerri because I had bought her some shampoos from Philosophy.  So we wrapped it without looking inside the box.  Another example of "senior moments".  Although I was relieved to find the gifts I was also frustrated that I had spent a morning buying new gifts that weren't needed.  In the end I wrapped the original jewelry and gave her the jacket, kept the candle and took the other necklace back to Chico's.  Ron's mom seemed to love her presents so that was good ending to the story.

One morning while Ron and Dick were off on an errand,  Kerri and I were in the kitchen sorting through plastic containers trying to find tops to match bottoms and toss a lot of them in the garbage.  She was very blessed to have lots of friends who were still bringing over meals but that meant she accumulated tons of plastic ware.  Anyway as we were working I mentioned to Kerri that Lucy was awfully quiet and I thought she should go check on her. She left the kitchen and in a minute I heard a loud "MOM, COME HERE".  I went running into our bedroom and there on the wall was a huge Picasso drawing with a magic marker.  I went around the bed and found more drawing on the carpet and a few marks on the drapes.  Lucy was no where in sight.  Kerri went into her room and found her in her favorite hiding place behind the rocking chair.  She always hides when she knows she's in trouble and she knew this was big time trouble.  Kerri took her back into our room and pointed to the drawing and asked her why she did it and she replied her usual "because I wanted to".  She then got the spanking and "time out" but so far those things hadn't made a huge difference in her behavior.   About that time Ron and Dick came home and when they saw the damage they said it was going to be very difficult to get magic marker off the wall and it might need repainting.  Well that night when Dick and I were getting ready for bed he remarked that he thought the drawing resembled a painting that Kerri and Ron had in one of their rooms so he went out to try and find the painting.  I don't know if he was trying to see some budding artistic talent or trying to excuse Lucy's actions but I really couldn't see any resemblance to any of the Masters.  Both Dick and Ron tried various cleansers to remove the masterpiece, but the drawing was still on the wall when we left to come home so I don't know how Ron will deal with getting it off.

Christmas Eve was the morning of my frantic search for Ron's mother's gift and also the day that Kerri I planned to do some last minute mall shopping and take Lucy to visit Santa.  In all the days leading up to Christmas they has just not found the time between doctor's visits with Ruby, etc to take her to the mall.  Well by the time we were ready to go it was after 5 in the afternoon, but fortunately the mall was only 10 minutes from their house.  So we dressed Lucy up in her Christmas dress and started out.  When we approached the mall entrance we noticed cars backed up trying to get into the packing lot and knew that was not a good sign.  We drove around for about 20 minutes without finding a parking spot and finally decided to call Ron and told him we were coming home and asked if he would drop us at Macy's.  He agreed so we picked him up and he dropped us off at about 5:45.  We decided to forego the Macy's shopping for the moment and go find Santa.  The line for Santa was extremely long and one of his "elves" told us he closed shop at 6 and there wasn't a pray that Lucy would get to see him.  Of  course we were disappointed but Kerri brought Lucy around so she could see Santa from a distance and told her to wave at him which she did and then proceeded to tell her she could go to the candy store and pick out any candy that she liked.  That worked like a charm and Lucy didn't seem to mind at all not sitting on Santa's lap.  Kerri explained that Santa had to leave so he could deliver all the toys to the boys and girls around the world and she accepted that explanation as she ate her candy.  Later she did ask why she couldn't go see Santa so Kerri gave the same explanation.

We decided to have dinner at the food court and then shop so we proceeded to choose some of their "delicious" choices which actually weren't so bad for mall food.  The food court was upstairs and after we ate we walked over towards Macy's and I noticed that the doors were closed.  When I pointed this out to Kerri she said "oh it's only the upstairs door" so we took the escalator down and discovered that those doors were closed as well.  Who would have thought that a store would have the nerve to close at 6:00 on Christmas Eve when there were shoppers like us who still had a few gifts to buy?  Plus the fact  that Ron was supposed to pick us up at one of the Macy's doors.  It's hard to explain but that is one of the craziest laid out malls I've ever seen and there aren't many entrances except through the underground parking structure.  We decided to walk to Target which was at the other end of the mall and by that time my feet and back were hurting from all the standing and walking, plus I was tired from a long day.  Kerri called Ron and told him to meet us outside of Target and allow a little time for us to shop since she needed to find a few last minutes presents, mostly for Ron.  So she managed to find what she was looking for in a short period of time and we were able to explain to Ron which door we would be exiting and we finally made it home around 8:00.

Lucy was so excited about Santa coming and kept asking why he had to come down the chimney and why couldn't we just open the door for him.  I left those explanations up to Ron and Kerri and I'm not sure she believed any of them.  Then she had to select the cookies to leave for Santa and decide where to leave them.  She wanted to leave them on coffee table since it was close to the chimney (that was pretty logical)  and we tried to get her to leave them on the kitchen.  In the end they were left on the coffee table.  Since  the living room is small,  Kerri and Ron decided to put their big screen television in front of the fireplace so in order to make the chimney explanation plausible Ron had to pull the TV out so Santa would have room to come down the chimney.  Understandably Lucy was very excited and it was chore to finally get her to go to sleep so it was after 10 when the rest of us could think of sleep.

The next morning around 8 Lucy came out of her room (at least she wasn't up at 5) yelling "Santa came, santa came" but she was afraid to actually open the living room door to go and see if he really came.  So we all got out of bed and went into the living room to watch her face as she all of her presents next to the tree.  Even Uncle Mark who had arrived the previous night got up to join us and it was so much fun to watch her excitement and surprise at each one of her presents.  She also checked to make sure Santa's cookies were gone and thanks to someone, probably Grandpa Dick or Rocco as she calls him they had disappeared.  Lucy big gift was full size trampoline which Ron had started assembling in the back yard at 4:30 in the morning but had not finished.  So after all the gift opening which took at couple of hours (our family believes in lots of presents) Ron went back outside to finish him project.  At around noon he came in and told Lucy that Santa had left a surprise in the back yard and when she saw it she ran yelling and screaming until daddy put her up in the trampoline.  To say that she loved it is an understatement because all she wants to do now is jump on the trampoline.  Kerri thinks she and Ron will use it as an exercise tool.

Ron's parents and sister and her husband and 2 children arrived shortly after noon and brought with them most of the Christmas dinner.  It included stuffed prime rib, turkey, sweet potatoes, salads, cakes, and pies as well a few Korean dishes.  Kerri had made her grandmother's stuffing the day before and Ron was going to make mashed potatoes.   My job was to set the table and get the china out; a nice role I thought.  Ron proceeded to a huge dish of mashed potatoes and set them on the kitchen table with all the other food.  Everyone seemed to be doing their own thing and as I was setting the dining room table I heard a yell from kitchen which went something like "Lucy what did you do?"  So naturally I rushed in to see what was happening.  Lucy was kneeling on the bench next to the table and it seems she had gotten a bottle of vanilla off the spice rack which Kerri keeps on a cart near the refrigerator and poured half of it into the dish of mashed potatoes.  Now mind you there were 4 adults in the small kitchen while this was happening so what they were doing that they didn't see this coming is beyond my comprehension.  Ron's sister quickly grabbed the dish and scooped out as much of the vanilla potatoes as possible and since it was such a large dish we still has plenty of potatoes for dinner.  Lucy got her customary spanking and time out, but I was beginning to realize that the spankings weren't a deterrent to our little creative 3 year old.  I actually was laughing because I just wondered what prompted her to pick the vanilla bottle out of 3 rows of spices.  She could easily have picked one of the peppers or other spices which probably would have ruined the whole batch of potatoes, but she must have thought a little vanilla would make any dish taste better.  Or why did she pick the bowl of potatoes to add it to instead of one of the other dishes openly displayed on the table.  We will never know because we got her usual answer, "I just wanted to".

Christmas dinner was a huge success and we all had a good laugh over the vanilla potatoes.  After stuffing ourselves we exchanged presents and thankfully everyone got the correct presents and seemed pleased.  After Ron's family departed we collapsed on the couch until it was time to eat leftovers later that evening.

Lucy's bedtime rituals seem to be different every night when Nana is visiting and usually I read her a story, sing to her, rub her back while she supposedly goes to sleep.  When I get up to leave she pops up and says "Nana, close the door" and that means she's going to get up and do something; usually read books to her dolls. Kerri and Ron thought they could stop this happening by removing the night light lamp but she would just read in the dark.  One night she said to Kerri,  "but mom if you turn out the light how I am going to see to read?"

Earlier Kerri had placed a monitor in Lucy room since Ruby will sharing her room once she is older.  Kerri and Ron wanted to make sure that it worked so one night they set it up high on the dresser and turned it on.  I guess it must have had a light because Kerri said they watched as Lucy looked at, climbed up on the dresser, turned it off and put it in a drawer.  Now how many 3 years olds would know when they were being spied upon and get rid of the spy equipment?  I'm not sure how they will solve that problem once Rudy moves in.

Another night Kerri was getting ready to give Lucy a bath in the bathroom that we use.  I guess she told Lucy to get ready to take a bath and while she was gathering the pajamas, diapers, etc. Lucy went into the bathroom alone.  All of a sudden I heard "Mom you have to come see this"  Of course I hurried into the bathroom where Kerri pointed to the shower curtain to show me where Lucy had smeared what looked like face cream or lotion all over the curtain.  Now I had kept all my cosmetics on a shelf in that bathroom for over a month and Lucy had had not touched a thing but for some reason that was the night to experiment.  Since we couldn't find a bottle we didn't know what the cream was and it took some threatening from Kerri before Lucy finally went into her room and went behind her rocking chair (you remember her favorite hiding place) and brought out my jar of $40 anti aging cream and the jar was completely empty.  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry but I just said that maybe it would help the shower curtain's wrinkles more than it had helped mine.  Kerri said at least she hadn't put it on the wall which she usually does.  Little did she know because the next morning Lucy came up to me with a little cream on her hands and said "Nana let me put this on your face".  I asked her where she got it and she proceeded to show me the wall behind her rocking chair and it had traces of cream all over it.  At least she was thoughtful enough to try and salvage some of the cream for me to use on my face.  I had to give her a hug for that.

Now I know I haven't mentioned Ruby very much but this was really supposed to be about Lucy's escapades so hopefully when's she an adult she can read and laugh and ask "did I really do all of those things?"  Rudy is such a little angel and never cries that sometimes I think we forgot that she was in her basinet.  Of course she was attached to a huge oxygen tank so she stayed in the living room in the midst of all the activity most of the time.  Sometimes we would put her in her little musical swing and she was happy as could be.  Now Lucy loves Ruby but we have to watch her every minute as she wants to help take care of her.  In fact when Ruby is sleeping and Lucy thinks she should be awake she stands next to the basinet and jumps up and down making noises until she wakes up.  She wants to help feed her and hold her so Kerri lets her help as much as she can while watching very closely every minute. We are all anxious to see how this big sister relationship will develop as Rudy gets older.

The next few days passed quickly and soon it was time to pack and return to Georgia.  I had said goodbye to Lucy the night before we were to leave because we planned to be up at 5:30 and leave by 6:45 and I didn't want her to wake up when we were leaving.  Well as we were getting dressed the next morning, Lucy came running out of her room and grabbed me around the legs and started crying, "don't go to the airport Nana, don't go to Ga because I want to snuggle with you in your bed."  So I put her in my bed and laid down next to her and Kerri came in and laid on the other side.  We were both hoping she would go back to sleep and we could leave quietly.  Well, that didn't happen and as we were trying to leave she ran and stood in front of the door with her arms out all the while yelling, "you can't go back to Ga."  Well I was about in tears at that point but Kerri said the magic words,  "would you like to watch a cartoon?"  Lucy quickly left the door and went over to the couch and it took about 5 minutes for her to engrossed in Dora and I'm not sure she even heard us leave.   Since they limit her television time, it's a treat for her to watch cartoon and she is absolutely captivated.  We all hope that she shows that much intense interest in her school work.

So we hugged Kerri and kissed Ruby and hurried out in the pouring rain to Ron's car to leave for the airport.  We had arrived in torrential rain and were leaving in the same conditions.  Fortunately we had some nice days in between.  We had no difficulty getting through security as Dick had no weapons in his bag or on his person.  We were both tired but Dick was exhausted so he sat down in the waiting area and promptly went to sleep.  He awoke to board the plane, put his head down and didn't wake up until we arrived in Atlanta.   That was probably the most sleep he'd had in a long time.  The flight was bumpy and the seat beat sign was on the entire flight so for me it was a long flight and I was glad to land safely.  The trip from the airport home always seems long especially at night and we were both thankful to arrive home and sleep in our own bed.  It was a wonderful visit and Christmas and we felt very blessed to have been able to spend so much time with our whole family.   There was never a dull moment with precious Lucy around and we can't wait for our next visit to California.