Grandma Hollywood and the minis

During Grandma Hollywood's recent visit to oh-Alison-it's-too-cold-here Ohio, I spent a morning with her and my two minis. The nearly 90 years between them brought forth a range of encounters, some endearing, some frustrating, and some just plain hysterical.

For starters, my kids don't perceive age. They see Grandma Hollywood's thin coarse white hair and say, "Great Grams' hair is funny." Nor do they perceive the limitations that come with age. They expect her to scoop them up to her level, and bless her still beating heart, she tries. And it breaks mine to watch her disappointment when she realizes that her ability to lift a small child is forever in her past. My spunky and gregarious daughter is unaware that when she barrels into Grandma Hollywood's 90 year old legs, she risks knocking my grandmother to the floor, a fall from which Grandma literally might not recover.

And yet Grandma Hollywood lives as if the life-threatening fall would be worth it. When Miss Harper Lynn looked at her and said, "Chase me, Great Grams," Grandma Hollywood looked at me and said, "What did she say?" I responded, "She wants you to chase her." Grandma only grinned, and sure enough, she started her feeble chase, a snail's pace behind my hare of a daughter. And my 2 year old baby girl only knew one thing, she was being chased. The burst of squeals and giggles that ensued were as dramatic and effervescent as if the chase might actually result in a catch.

As I sat with my grandmother listening to her repeat the stories I had heard dozens of times before, I juggled my annoyance of her faulty memory with the constant needs of my kids, "I need to poop! I need to poop! I keep tooting and I need to poop!" No matter how high her hearing aids were turned up, Grandma Hollywood needed clarification on almost everything the kids said, "What is he talking about, Alison?"

Well, Grandma, do you really want to know?

Though I'd love for you to believe that each exchange between my grandmother and children results in pure joy and laughter, there is much harmony to be desired.

Typical of most three year old boys, my son sees pillows and immediately thinks fort. As he pulled the decorative pillows from the couch, Grandma Hollywood became intensely concerned. "Alison, do you see what he's doing?"

Me: "Yes, he's fine, Grandma."
Grandma Hollywood: "But he's pulled all of the pillows off of the couch."
Me: "I know Grandma; he's just playing."

Grandma Hollywood walked away in obvious disapproval of my son's creativity and my kids-these-days parenting. And typical of most three year old boys, it was a mere five minutes before Henry was distracted, leaving the pillow fort glaring at my grandmother. She wasted no time. I've never seen feeble bones move so fast. In record time, she had each of those pillows fluffed and positioned back on the couch ready for a magazine cover shoot, thankyouverymuch.

There wasn't much to say when my son ran back into the room and blurted, "What happened to my fort?!"

I took one look at my now-playing-dumb grandmother and turned back to my son, saying what every good granddaughter would say, "Go play."

As I sat across from my 90 year old grandmother, a woman whose grace has deteriorated while her opinions have intensified, I wonder if she remembers the days when her four children were small, imaginative bursts of energy. "Alison, Henry didn't finish his lunch." "Alison, what is that noise?" "Alison, where did Harper go?" "Alison, don't your children wear socks?" "Alison, Henry went into the bathroom." "Alison, Harper is climbing on the table." Alison. Alison. Alison. The thoughts swirling in my mind were not of a very good granddaughter.

The sweet and gentle Mrs. Claus of a grandmother who I remember has evolved into a nosey, nagging, negative Nancy. And yet as I gather my minis to say goodbye to the woman who still travels solo 2000+ miles from California to spend time with us, she clasps her thin-skinned hands around my face and directs her macular degenerated eyes directly into mine. With pure sincerity and warmth, she says to me, "Alison, I love you and your family so so much." She doesn't let go. She stays there for what seems like minutes. And I begin to melt, remembering only a fraction of what she has survived in a near century: the loss of a twin and mother during birth, the horrors of a wicked stepmother, the passing of a spouse, and the sudden death of a child.

And it's no surprise that within minutes of her departure, I long for her company once again, kicking myself for the moments squandered because of my irritability and impatience. The distance now between us truly does cause my heart to swell, and I become saddened as I think of her now home alone, her only companion the chiming clock that strikes every 15 minutes, a sobering reminder of the minutes passing, her memory fading, her brain diminishing, and her body failing.

Thank you, Jesus, for Grandma Hollywood. Wrap her in Your comfort and peace as she suffers the countless losses that come with her age. Help me to remember the blessing it is to still have a living grandparent. And give me patience and a controlled tongue in those moments when I want to load her back on a plane destined for California.

Proud to be a Buckeye MOM!

We are 13+ years away from the day Henry will declare his commitment to The Ohio State University, accepting a full athletic scholarship, thankyouverymuch. And I imagine that will be one of my proudest days as a Buckeye mom.

But even at 3 years old, my little Buckeye is already making his mother's scarlet and gray heart swell.

For those of you who don't know, my incredible husband recently cycled 100 miles in the Pelotonia - an event that raised money for cancer research. Matt was a member of Team Buckeye, and two weeks before the ride, Team Buckeye hosted a Biking with Brutus event at the Horseshoe.

It. Was. Awesome.


One end of the stadium was converted into a carnival with tons of activities for kids. The highlight of the evening was a bike ride for children, allowing the kids to ride the perimeter of the football field. Present that evening were plenty of Buckeye All-Stars: Brutus, the cheerleaders, the pep band, Dr. Gordon Gee, and ARCHIE!!! The event was only open to families of Team Buckeye, making for an intimate atmosphere.

I tell you what, the riders had to raise a LOT of money for Pelotonia, but each rider committed $100 of their own to cover the cost of the ride (that allowed for all financial support raised to go directly to cancer research). The Team Buckeye event alone was worth the $100 - it was such a blast.

Brutus & Henry - my heart skips a beat.

Though Harper loves Brutus, she was a bit skeptical of the live-and-in-person version.

My son in the end zone. Surely this is a glimpse into his future :)

Oma & Opa joined us. Opa was also a member of Team Buckeye.

Henry plays OSUMB daily. Lately he's been obsessed with the sousaphones. I tear up just thinking of him dotting the i.

Brutus, Archie and a few other characters rode on giant tricycles. Brutus was such a good sport - slowing down so that each kid passed him. Henry still talks about how he beat Brutus in the race.

Every good sporting event needs a cute cheerleader.

Notice my Dad pointing? He's telling Dr. Gee, "That's my grandson!"

And they're off!

Typical Henry, distracted by an airplane.

The final stretch.

You see a medal. I see a Heisman Trophy.

By far the best picture of the evening. Even you freaks non-Buckeye fans can appreciate the awesomeness of this moment.

Thank you, Team Buckeye! And thank you to all the Pelotonia riders. I adore you all for making such a commitment to eliminate this horrific disease.

Grandma Hollywood turns NINETY!

Remember Grandma Hollywood? The matriarch and queen bee of my family? Did I mention that twice a year she travels over 2000 miles from beautifully pleasant California to Grandma-really-likes-to-complain-about-the-weather Ohio - and she travels ALONE?! I know, I know, she's amazing.

So this year she flew out in June, one month before her 90th birthday. And let me tell you, my grandma looks damn good for 90. When I realized that my maternal grandmother was turning 90, I first thought, "Crap. I don't want those genes. I don't want to live until 90." But then I looked at the gal and thought, "Shoot! Screw 90. I'll live until 100 if it means looking like that." She's pretty hot, a fact that has been confirmed by her neighbor who has offered to "keep her company" if she's ever interested. The man can't keep his paws off of her. But don't you worry. Grandma Hollywoood's lived in Southeast LA for over 50 years making her the Mamacita de Samoline Avenue Locos and she ain't messin' wit no hombre.

So where was I? Yes, my hottie-bo-bottie almost 90-year-old Grandma flew out for a visit, and my always hospitable mamma decided to throw Grandma a surprise birthday bash. It was touching to see how many people gave up their Friday night to celebrate my Grandma - most of these people only knowing her from Grandma's occasional visits.

Her actual birthday isn't until July 24th, so she was obviously surprised to know that all these people showing up were there to honor her.

It was one of those amazing nights where I sat back and breathed in all the love that my family shares.

And I thank God that Grandma Hollywood is still around to share in that love.

While everyone was gathering outside, my parents' dog, Heidi, sampled the birthday cake.

And naturally, these two had to sample the key lime pie. It's a good thing that the dog and kids are cute.

We spent most of the night in my parents' backyard. It was beautiful.

The only thing missing was the rest of the family. My Grandma has three daughters and one son (her son has passed). Aside from my mom, her family, and my cousin Jared's family, everyone else lives in Southern California. The California family would celebrate Grandma's birthday at a later date.

9 candles - one for each decade.

Grandma with her youngest great-grandbaby. 88 years between them - amazing.

It's not easy shopping for a woman who has already started giving away many of her valuables. Nonetheless she had some wonderful gifts to open.

Bless my mom's heart. She read each and every card to my Grandma. Grandma can only read when wearing her magnifying eyeglasses and she can't hear unless her hearing aids are cranked to the max.

Grandma laughed a lot. It was such a blessing to watch her so joyful.

That's Pauline playing with Jenson. Pauline is one of my mom's dearest friends, and Pauline just happened to be my middle school guidance counselor. Pauline is really really good with middle schoolers and toddlers. It's peculiar, really.

My sister and dad. Love.

If you want your face to look thin in a photograph, stick your neck out. See?

I gave my grandmother a framed picture of all 7 of her great-grandbabies. Needless to say she couldn't tell who was who in the picture. She said, "I'll have to get out my magnifying glass and look at this later."

This is what happens when you give a 90-year-old a pair of white capri pants, elastic waist, size 8. She was ELATED. No seriously, she was so thrilled to be given those darn pants. Apparently my mom and Grandma had been to several stores only days before and could not find a pair to save their lives. All it took my fashionably savvy sister was a visit to ONE store to find the perfect pair. Thank you Penny's!

Here Morgan explains how she is awesome and found the magical pants. My Grandma's face says, "I'm in disbelief that you found white capri pants, elastic waist, size 8."

What kids don't love a party? Our friend, Aaron, came over with his niece, Audrey. The four minis were instant friends.

Getting four minis to sit still on a hammock proved impossible as you can see by how blurry the kids are in this picture.

I'm fairly certain this was their second helping of cake.

Harper had some very important "older women" questions to ask Audrey.

Crazy cuteness.

That's Susie. Another dear friend of my mom's. I just adore these women for loving on my Grandma so stinkin' well.

Did I mention that Pauline is also really funny? At least my 90 year old Grandma thinks so.

Audrey really wanted to be in our family picture. We kindly kicked her out.

Grandma with the Nameth clan.

Grandma with her Ohio family. Jared was in Cambodia and Ella & Jake were in California so only Lisa and Jenson made it to the party. Pauline is standing behind the camera trying to get the kids to smile. She was playing peek-a-boo, and instead of smiling, Harper was imitating.

Happy Birthday, Grandma Hollywood. I would not be surprised if in 10 years we are celebrating your 100th. You're a lifer.

The Hooper Family

What can I say? The Hooper Family - they are so so so dear to me.

They are my husband's family. Technically they are my husband's family on his dad's side. My father-in-law, Roger, has one brother and a half sister. Between them there are 7 kids and 10 grandbabies.

What I love most about them is that they have loved this sheltered city girl from the minute they met me. These folks are country bred, still living and breathing the sweet country breeze, and yet they don't treat me like the foreigner I am. Not only have they embraced me, but they've opened my eyes to a different way of life, where slowin' down means savoring each moment and simplicity brings a greater appreciation of each opportunity.

Memorial Day weekend we traveled south for the annual Shrimp Boil at Matt's cousin's Scott's house. The first time I went to Scott's house we came home with one of Scott's dead birds - alive only minutes before we loaded up for home. Scott gave it to Matt so that Matt could train our new pup to fetch birds. It was a learning curve for me like no other. Not only was I learning that my sweet labrador puppy needed a freshly-whacked bird to fetch if he was gonna be a huntin' dog, but I was also learning that it wasn't uncommon to keep birds for the purpose of training dogs. Like raising a rat to feed a snake or keeping live crickets to feed a pet lizard, some folks keep birds as eventual bait for training dogs. And now our cooler full of Stella Artois had been overtaken by a very dead and bloody bird.

I remember driving home that night in disbelief. I was raised in the 'burbs, for goodness sakes. We lived on a cul-de-sac ruled by pages of zoning laws and building codes - uniform mailboxes, three-inch grass lawns, city-approved fencing, and absolutely no hunting.

Now I'm married to a man who moved a refrigerator-size gun safe into my home. There was a time when I celebrated seasons by shopping Banana Republic's new fall line. Now the seasons in my life are defined by doves and ducks and deer.

But here's a secret. And please don't tell my husband (because there's a gorgeous leather purse at BR that I've been drooling over), but I actually like my city girl meets country boy life. I like it a lot a lot a lot. I love that my husband taught me to shoot a gun in his parents backyard. I love that my kids are growing up surrounded by four-wheelers and above-ground pools. Even though I'm still learning to stomach some of the country life, I'm so thankful that my kids will have exposure to both the city and the country - making memories that I never had the opportunity to make.

Honestly, I didn't think I'd feel this way when I married Matt. I assumed our urban surroundings would gradually take their toll, pulling him farther away from his firm country roots. But God has shown me that He has no such plans. In fact, God has slowly tugged on my heart, revealing Himself to me in the most precious ways on my in-laws 400-acre property in a small town that the Hoopers have called home for well over a century.

Through my marriage, I have been given the blessing of experiencing a different culture. And it is an honor to watch as that culture seeps its way into my own, a merger were the dividing lines are blurring, creating a family that has a love for things both here and there.

For that I am so thankful.

I love this family.

I gave in.

Here's the truth:

I'm a lot more over-protective than I'd like to admit.

Helicopter parenting makes me bonkers, while the term free-range-parent is music to my ears.

But that was all before my son met the four-wheeler.

I first heard about it after a weekend away from my son. He and his father (I refer to my husband as "his father" anytime the two of them are getting into trouble, which happens to be more and more frequently) had gone down home (my in-laws' house) for a weekend of hunting and shooting and other city-absent activities.

I called my in-laws' house to check-in, and it was no surprise that my son and his father were unable to talk because 400 acres of pure nature are much too inviting for two trouble-making boys (I refer to my husband as a boy when he is getting into trouble with my other boy. Again, this happens to be the case more and more frequently.)

So my in-laws gave me a few updates, assuring me that both boys were doing well and having too much fun to be missing me (as evidenced by the neglect to check-in with us girls).

But in talking to my in-laws, I was suddenly blindsided with a tidbit of information that only a city-girl can appreciate.

My son, my itty-bitty baby boy, had been on the 4-wheeler. And by 4-wheeler, I mean 500 pounds of off-roading DANGER.

Oi vey.

I tried to pull myself together. Inside, I was spinning. All I could think about . . . Was he strapped in? Was he wearing a helmet? Was he, was he, was he ALIVE?

Can you tell I was raised in the city?

Fast-forward to that evening when I FINALLY spoke with my boys, and I was able to address my irrational and ridiculous rational and normal concern excitedly and fervently calmly and gently with the boy's father my husband. He listened (bless his heart), and he agreed to waiting until I was ready before my sweet, sweet boy could ride the death machine again.

You would think we were deciding on whether or not our son was old enough to ride his bike all by himself to Seven Eleven. Or use his allowance to buy a M-rated video game. Or borrow the car to take his girlfriend to a late night movie.

Breathe, Ali, breathe.

Needless to say, I had some settling down to do.

But something happened as I began to settle.

I started to realize that I wasn't really afraid of what could happen. In fact, my fear had nothing to do with my baby falling off the beast-on-wheels.

No, instead of fearing head trauma, my fear had everything to do with letting go. Letting go of my baby. And knowing that part of my job as parent is allowing him to have experiences that have nothing to do with me.


Sure, there was the possibility that something terrible could happen to him. But he was in the care of his grandparents and daddy who love him more than words can express.

And it's that very love that makes letting go of my little man so heartbreaking.

Knowing that my baby is beginning his journey as Henry, not as my baby. And the fact of the matter is that I won't be there for every Henry moment.

So when my son and his father went back down home for another weekend of weapons and dead turkeys, I didn't fuss. I didn't whine and search for excuses why my baby shouldn't ride the four-wheeler.

Nope. I gave in.

And if I couldn't be there to witness another of my son's Henry moments, I insisted that they at least take lots of pictures.

I love you, boys . . . both my son and his father :)

Aching for Mardi Gras

Three years ago I went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. It was my fifth Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and I PRAY that it was not my last.

I love Mardi Gras in New Orleans. LOVE it. Everything about it.

I love the city. There is no place quite like New Orleans.

I love the anticipation of the next parade.

I love the white masks.

I love watching a less-than-sober individual stumble off a float in the hopes of finding a bathroom. Good luck with that.

I love scoring an enormous, light-up, colorful set of beads with a ten-pound medallion hanging from it. In any other setting, this would merely be plastic junk. But at Mardi Gras, the plastic-y-er, the better.

I love the lack of rules and inhibitions. It's nearly impossible to get arrested at Mardi Gras. I haven't tried, but I have SEEN IT ALL. And while I've witnessed some ridiculous debauchery, I've never seen anyone actually get arrested.

I love the casino buffet and bathrooms.

I love waking up to streets lined with broken beads, beer cans, and pop-up chairs. As crazy as this sounds, the trash-filled morning-after sights of Mardi Gras are part of its beautiful atmosphere.

I love beignets and cafe au lait. Heck, I love all the food.

I love watching small children perched atop a ladder in hopes of catching the best loot.

I love it all.

Here I am guarding our goods. Bags and bags and bags full of sacred beads and stuffed animals and cups and coins.

These are my people. Oh, how I miss these people. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Louisiana friends. This picture nearly brings me to tears, I miss them all so much.

This is B-Money (right) with a stranger. Best-friending all strangers is just a part of Mardi Gras. B-Money is brilliant at making new best friends.

One of the HUNDREDS of floats. "Throw me some beads, Mister!"

Don't ask me what is going on in this picture. It's Mardi Gras. Which means nothing makes sense. And I love it.

Honey, when can we go back? Let's take the kids next year, K?!

Mardi Gras, I miss you. I miss you. I miss you.

Let's meet again soon.


Ever since we found out that we were pregnant, Matt and I have pondered the question, "How will we possibly love two?"

It's not that we didn't think we could love two, but would we love them equally? Because our love for Henry grows more each day. We naturally thought that we would love our second child, but we assumed it would fall lower on the scale-of-love (if you will) than the love we have for Henry.

We had no idea.

There aren't words to express the immediate overwhelming love we have for this sweet little girl, but let me share with you a story that might begin to illustrate it.

Saturday evening was the first time Matt and I had been alone with Harper since her birth. She was one-day old, and as she slept in her hospital crib, we sat wondering, "So what now?" I could tell that Matt was antsy. It was 7:30pm, and I asked him, "Whatcha thinkin'?" He said, "Well (anytime he starts a sentence that way it means he has something he wants to do but is hesitant about asking), I'd like to go shopping."

Strange, I thought. I did not marry a shopper. Unless shopping results in a new firearm, my husband wants nothing to do with it. Many moons ago, I teased (though his friends insist it wasn't a joke) that with every baby we have, Matt could get a new gun. For a split second I thought maybe he was going to approach me about this idea, but I knew better. Actually, I knew that he knew better. So I just looked at him.

He continued, "Well, I thought I'd get her a blanket. I haven't been able to get anything for her yet, and I know you want her to have a blanket." He was right. I want a swaddling blanket for her that isn't blue or brown. "Great," I said, "In fact, I have a Target gift card you can use."

The reality is that we are having to rethink our budget as we bring another baby into our home. Babies aren't cheap, and we are sacrificing one income so that I can be home with our children. It's worth every sacrifice (and then some), but it makes for a lot of creative shopping.

So off to Target he went.

One hour later he returned. Sans Target bag.

"So, what did you get at Target?"

"Well (again, this means he has some explaining to do), I didn't get anything from Target."

I just looked at him.

In short, my husband, the non-shopper, went shopping. Like real shopping. And he didn't even get a blanket. Rather he returned with a dress. A D-R-E-S-S! From the third store he stopped in. Apparently nothing was "good enough" at the first two stores. He said the dress was a "Harper dress." And it is. It screams Harper. It's perfect.

But the pricetag read $24.


Look, I don't need to justify our spending habits, but $24 for a tiny cotton dress that she will soil and grow out of in less time it took for me to write this post? No, thank you.

I expressed my concern.

He assured me, "It wasn't $24; it was on sale."

Better-ish. It wasn't on final-markdown-clearance sale (the kind of shopping that I like to do), but it was better than full price.

And can I just say that is the proudest $24 sale item my husband has ever bought? Honest to goodness, he was beaming as he showed me this dress. Beaming.

And so was I. My husband, the non-shopper, could hardly wait more than one day before proudly purchasing a dress (a dress!) for his baby girl. He is hopelessly smitten, and it moves me to tears.

Somehow God grew our hearts so that we would continue loving Henry even more each day while simultaneously loving Harper in such a way that we never thought we could.

And as I observe the father of my daughter, I'm awestruck at God's ability to fill my heart up even more with love for my husband. Watching Matt with our sweet girl has turned me into a weepy mess. She has snatched her daddy's heart, and I'm happy to let her have it.

God is crazy awesome. In less than 48 hours He has overwhelmed me beyond what I ever thought possible. Not only did He give me a heart for adoring two children and a precious husband, but I'm blown away by our family and friends who are loving and supporting us through this transition.

My parents have unconditionally cared for our sick son (Henry came down with croup over the weekend) as we spent time with our newborn. Matt's family will put more miles on their car and take more days off work in the next few weeks simply to give our family extra hands. My sister single-handedly bought out the entire pink side of Carter's. And our friends. Wow, our friends. They have overloaded our inboxes and mailbox with their words of encouragement, support, and sincere prayers. Not to mention hospital visits and an insane number of meal offers. Seriously, God? Seriously? You love my family this much? I can't even stand it.

As if all this wasn't enough to make me cry big-ugly tears as I type, my husband sent me right over my blubbery edge when he looked at me before bed last night and said, "I was going to pay $24 for the dress."

Of course he was.

Something tells me he didn't even see the pricetag on that dress. Because no matter what, it wouldn't have mattered.

Non-Maternal Instincts

Nonmaternal Instinct

Originally posted in Janurary, 2009

My Husband, the Potato Chip Runner

Once again, this week's post doesn't quite fall under non-maternal. Or maybe it does. What do I know? I'm just some crazy pregnant lady. But I warn you, don't mess with the pregnant lady.

If you have ever been pregnant, or hormonal, or menstrual, or, well, just a girl, then you know what it's like to crave potato chips. I don't know any girl who doesn't like potato chips. And if you are a girl and you don't like them, then you are probably really a man.

So yesterday, around dinner time, I WANTED potato chips. And I wanted them NOW (imagine Fat Bastard as he looks at his fried chicken, "Get in my belly!" Except that I didn't have any potato chips to threaten). So I unbuttoned a few of the buttons on my polo turned on my most pathetic and whiny voice and said, "I really want potato chips."

Hubs responded to my declaration, "I can go on a potato chip run." {ain't he the greatest?}

"Are you sure? You don't have to if you don't want to." {lying}

"Honey, I'm sure. What kind - Ruffles, Conn's, or Lay's?" {WOW, this guy is good!}

"Ruffles or Lay's," I responded excitedly.

"Okay, I'll be right back." {we live only a few blocks from a convenience store - it makes for a very convenient nine months}

5 minutes later

Hubs walks in the door, "I hope you like my selection."

He shows me a bag of Wavy Conn's potato chips.

I look at him, I look at the bag, and then I look at him, "I said Ruffles or Lay's."

He looks confused. "I thought you said Conn's."

"No, I hate Conn's." {I really don't care for them - they taste like old socks, whatever that tastes like}

"But, these are from Zanesville. I really thought you said Conn's." {okay, you just heard Conn's because you wanted Conn's. I don't care if you grew up near Zanesville. I'm pregnant, and I WANT RUFFLES OR LAY'S!}

And that's when my hormones exploded. I really tried to suppress them. But they weren't listening to me. It seems that the fig-sized being growing deep within my womb spits out hormones at cosmic force.

And then I throw a fit. You know, the usual girly game of, "No, don't go back out just for chips," "Okay, I really want chips," "No, I'll be fine," "Okay, I want Ruffles, please."

My potato chip runner then leaves for the second time that evening. But this time he's not back right away. It's at least fifteen minutes before he returns. {and don't think for a minute that this hungry preggo wasn't starting to really jones}

As it turns out, the convenient store down the street was out of Ruffles. So my I-better-get-it-right-this-time hubby drove all the way to the next nearest convenient store just to find the perfect potato chip.

He scored. {thank you, Jesus!}

And since he is all about staying out of trouble making me happy, he picked up a bag of Skittles and Sour Patch Kids while he was there.

Except that I was now craving Gummi Bears.