Tag Archives: Oma & Opa

Don’t Know What You Got Until It’s Gone

As per usual, Cinderella (the band, not the princess) had it right. It was just last Wednesday that we had our last summer Wednesday at Oma and Opa’s. It happened to be a rainy day and past Labor Day, so we didn’t go to the pool (or wear white). I told my mom we’d have to come up with a Plan B and she reminded me about her brilliant parenting philosophy, “you don’t always have to do something.” [Editor’s note: that could also be a great Cinderella song.] So we just hung out, and you know what? It was great.

The kids played Hors-opoly with Oma. (It’s dumb. You try learning to say “Go to stable. Do not pass Giddy Up” instead of “Go to jail. Do not pass Go.” without sounding like an idiot.)

Horsopoly They also enhanced the enjoyment of Hors-opoly with their new discovery: arm farts.

Hors-opoly and arm farts
Arm farts are a million times funner than Percheron, which is the Boardwalk of Hors-opoly.

We completed this puzzle:

Star Wars puzzle
And by “we”, I mean me, with the littlest bit of help from Hazy (20%), George (5%), and Oma (1%, and that’s generous).

Rosie and Teddy established a truce (i.e. she stopped bullying him for a short time).

dog relatives sharing bed
Rosie’s pissed she has to share the bed she stole from Teddy with him.

We had one more epic dinner by Opa: wontons and bok choy. Even though I use my dad’s exact same recipe when I make wontons, they’re never as good.

homemade wontons
Hazy and George asked Opa why he doesn’t open a restaurant. “Because I don’t like cooking for people I don’t like.” Fair enough.

Not to be outdone, Oma made her famous Peach Roll, which is very much like her famous Strawberry Roll, except you can probably figure out the difference.

Ask my friend Beth what happened to the strawberry roll my mom brought to our college dorm with instructions to “make sure I share it.” (Spoiler alert: I didn’t. Other spoiler alert: I gained more than the Freshman 15.)

It appears George has inherited his father’s flatulence problem. The emissions are frequent and smelly, enough that Oma had to institute a “No Farting At The Dinner Table” rule. So, George would frequently say, “Excuse me” and then we’d hear a big fart and an “Ahhhh” from the bathroom down the hall.

fart run
The Fart Run in action

I know I say this every “one summer at home,” but we are so fortunate to have Oma and Opa in our lives. I love that my kids have inside jokes with them, that we have lame games that we only play at their house, and that they’re stricter about certain things than I am. And I love love love all the incredible food we were spoiled with every week. I’m definitely gonna miss our weekly time together, but there’s always the weekends…

I’ll leave you with these words from Cinderella:

I count the falling tears
They fall before my eyes
Seems like a thousand years
Since we broke the ties

Also, I’m sorry that Rosie peed on your rug (again), mom.

4 Grandies, 3 Bodies of Water, 2 Days

My kids are blessed in many ways (see: our summer ice cream count), but especially in that they have two grandmothers and a grandfather whom they get to see frequently. This week, we were lucky enough to see Grammy on Tuesday and Oma & Opa on Wednesday (with special bonus Skype with my grandmother, Nana, speaking of lucky). I feel so fortunate to have family nearby to help. When you’re taking care of people/turds all day every day, it’s such a gift to have someone else take care of you.

On Tuesday, we spent the day lounging by/in/around the pool with Grammy. The pool is cool, clean, stocked with rafts and toys, and we’re almost always the only ones there.

Between George’s survival stroke and Hazy’s raft-steering abilities, we’re ready for a shipwreck.

I had to get some work done, and I couldn’t have picked a nicer home office.

Don’t worry, I only use 12 on my legs.

As if it wasn’t enough that Grammy entertained the kids while I worked and made them their favorite lunches, she also made me this restaurant-worthy salad.

She doesn’t even let me help with the dishes after. Swoon.

Grammy had an event to get to, so we left before dinner. At home, the kids helped me make my semi-famous tofu and rice. George mainly wore this cute outfit and pressed down the rice cooker button; Hazy learned to smash garlic and cut the ginger. (She still had a slightly swollen face, so was not ready for face photos.) I’d show you more, but it’s a secret family recipe. (Rest assured, magnesium is not an ingredient.)

Wednesday, we headed down to Oma & Opa’s. We spent the morning at the pond, which we had all to ourselves for a little while.

There are fish in this pond. I know this because one bit me on a scab that’s on my foot. I had to pretend it didn’t hurt so I wouldn’t scare the kids, but between us, IT HURT.

We enjoyed swimming, digging holes, modeling the tubes, and fighting/crying over who got to put their tube in the backseat first and whose had to be jammed in second. All equally fun activities! Next time we might play “Imma Shank Your Tube With a Pen And See Who’s Crying.” Just an idea, could be fun.

Apparently, a few weeks ago, George called my dad “brah.” If you know my dad, this is hilarious. He’s just not a “brah” type; he’s not even a “bro” type. But, Opa took it in stride, and asked George if “brah” was short for “broccolini,” and now that is George and Opa’s nickname for each other. So, naturally George wore his “#BROS4LIFE” shirt and he and Opa recreated it.

Opa gets to be the hamburger, because, duh, mustache.

So that happened.

Also, Oma has been branching out and making her crack cookies for non-family members, despite my strong objections. However, this time we were cool with it, because she used the extra dough to make us this batch.

Why so serious, Oma? Is it because you’re regretting making non-family members the cookies? I get it.

Usually, Oma goes on our excursions with us, but on this day, my fur-brother, Teddy, was sick, so Oma had to stay home with him. So we headed to the beach solo in the afternoon. White Horse is an awesome beach, except for its dubious water conditions. There was a ton of reddish seaweed in the water, and also a lot of it semi-dried up on the beach. I say semi-dried up, because when you walk on it, your foot sinks down like you’re walking in spoiled chocolate pudding with a thin crab-scented creme brulée crust. Even typing up that description makes me cringe. I wore my flip flops to walk down to the water, and it was still gross.

Just avoid all the dark areas and you’ll be fine!

There’s also this somewhat ominous shark sign, but hey, good photo acting opportunity:

Not sure what the Crocs add to the photo acting, but I believe in leaving the actor to his craft.

Once you’re past the crab pudding section, it’s actually quite nice. There’s a sandy beach and while there’s lots of reddish seaweed in the water, it’s quite dispersed and you don’t really feel it.

The sand was perfect for making sand castles, sand sea turtles, or you know, a classic sand toilet. Hazy was very proud of her sand toilet, complete with plumbing that opened up to a tank in the back.

Not a live demonstration.

The kids enjoyed burying each other in rocks and finding a bunch of “special” rocks to add to their collections. These special rocks, by the way, get added to the Mac Wagon, which I have to painstakingly drag through the sand back to the car. This is why I limit them to only the most special one cupful.


Family Portrait (Sand Toys Bag subbing poorly for Matty)

We capped off a great day with spaghetti and homemade meatballs, followed by – what else? – ice cream. Then we had our Skype session with Nana, my 100-year old grandmother and undisputed Cutest Person On Earth, and my wonderful Auntie Julie (“Auntie Juju”). George spent the entire session trying to fill the camera lens with his eye.

Thank you, Grammy, Oma, Opa, Nana and Auntie Juju, for reminding us how incredibly lucky we are.