Monday, August 27, 2018

Vivian Visit

It is great than our son Dan currently has some project management jobs he needs to monitor up in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are getting to see him more often and, the last two times he has come, he has brought a granddaughter along for us to enjoy. In late July it was two-year old Lillian who was here for a week. I blogged about that visit in my post for July 31, 2018. This past week four-year old Vivian was here for two full days, arriving late Tuesday night August 22nd (and going straight to bed) and leaving on a Friday August 25th mid-morning flight. All day Wednesday and Thursday was totally ours to spend with her, though. We crammed in a lot.

Wednesday morning Dan was off to his job and Frank, Vivian, and I were off to the library for a 10:15 story, music, and movement time. We arrived early to get our ticket for entry and then Vivian did puzzles until the door opened. She liked this abstract split shapes one.

Like her sister Lillian, Vivian loves the song Baby Shark. Here she is acting act out the motion for Grandma Shark. Note that the fists with fingers curled-in symbolize that Grandma shark has no teeth.

With her arms outstretched because Grandpa Shark is bigger, but still toothless, Vivian dutifully does the hand gestures for that verse.

The class size is generous and Frank took a turn sitting on the floor up front with Vivian. The real Grandma (me – not Grandma Shark) needed help rising from the floor for an earlier song so the real Grandpa took my position.

After the session is over, the kiddos file up for hand stamps.This week it was some sort of winged insect.

Not to be outdone, Frank and I get stamps on both hands as well.

Vivian picked three books and used the barcode scanner to check them out on my card.

These were Vivian's choices. When I read her the books, we did have a lengthy discussion on how flamingos and ostriches were alike and how they were different. I'd never really thought about that before.

In the afternoon we hung out in my sewing room and I gave Vivian her first sewing lesson on my machine. We practiced first with a scrap.

Then we moved on to quilting the blanket to a Hansel and Gretel doll set I had made for her to share with her sister Lillian.

We started hand over hand with me guiding her, but she caught on quickly and was soon guiding the mini-quilt through the throat of the Pfaff sewing machine by herself. More details and photos are in my DianeLoves2Quilt blog post for 8/24/18.

She stuffed a pillow I had pre-sewn from the Hansel and Gretel set. Judging from her facial expression, I would surmise that tongue motion helps in getting that stuffing into just the right places.

Later the evening Vivian lounged with her completed doll set of Hansel, Gretel, bear, bunny, pillow she stuffed, and mini-quilt she stitched.

Vivian also stuffed an Ariel print doll pillow. I had picked up the soft flannel scrap from the freebie table at my quilt guild meeting, knowing the mermaid character would appeal.

Vivian picked bright purple to close up the Ariel pillow. She chooses colors that are her favorite rather than those that might blend in.

Later that day, Vivian and I assembled a 2' x 3' jumbo 48-piece Tyrannosaurus Rex puzzle. It had an irregular shape and was therefore a more challenging than the average rectangular puzzle of the same number of pieces. Note how her hand positioning is mimicking the dinosaur. Believe me; there were plenty of loud "RAWR's..." throughout the process, also.

Vivian also got very engrossed in some foam and button manipulative game I had kept from Alex's occupational therapy days.

Wednesday evening is Frank's train night, so Vivian got to enjoy his layout for a while out in the garage.

After Frank's train buddies left, several times in the remaining evening she would call out, "Come on Grandpa. Let's go on an adventure." This was the cue to walk the perimeter of the back yard where Vivian picked up twigs, stones, and special shiny white stones she called "crystals. Those went into her back pack to take back home with her.

The last activity before bedtime Wednesday was a trip to our local ice cream parlor Loard's, It can be scene in the background of the next photo; note the pink ice cream parlor decor.

Vivian picked chocolate ice cream with sprinkles and whipped cream. She clarified with the waiter that those would be "rainbow sprinkles, right?" She had a slight look of dismay on her face when her order came, seemingly sprinkle-less. I pointed out to her that the sprinkles were hiding under the whipped cream. Her face brightened when the waiter offered to take back the order and add sprinkles on top of the whipped cream, also.

We had packed a lot into Wednesday. Thursday we stayed closer to home, got up late and lounged in PJs for a while. Vivian watched a Lion King video pretty independently, although she welcomed my company during the scary parts. Mid-afternoon, when the weather was warmer, Frank and I planned to take her to the water park where we had taken her and her sister on previous visits. Timing was unfortunate. School had resumed session the week of her visit and so the water activities park was only open on weekends, not the weekdays when she was here. We needed a change of plan. Instead, Frank and I took Vivian to a pool, associated with a medical center, where Frank had joined to use a therapy pool when he'd has his emergency hip replacement November 2017. Vivian proudly signed herself in as a guest. Good thing her signature was the last one on the page.

We got in another pool at the facility (non-therapy) which had mostly shallow sections and was heated to 80°F. Ah, how relaxing! There was a chair lift at the pool to help swimmers with disabilities to get in and out. Vivian watched with interest as a women was lowered into the pool and proceeded to walk about the pool with the help of an aide. Vivian asked why she was doing that. I answered, "The women is practicing walking so she will get better at it. It is easier for her in the pool because the water helps her to weigh less." I continued with examples. "You practice swimming so you can get better at it, right? And Grandma practices singing so she can get better at it." I then launched into belting out an exaggerated arpeggio of "La-la-la-la" (going up) and "La-la-laaah" (going down). To which Vivian muttered, "Grandma, you're not getting any better." Everybody's a critic...

After dinner of lasagna we played a couple games of Sequence™ and Splendor™ with Dan. Vivian amused herself with making patterns with the tiles from our Quirkle™ game.

Dan and Vivian had a 10:20 flight to return home on Friday morning. We took our requisite last-day-before-leaving picture.

At the airport I got out at the terminal for yet another "one last" goodbye. It was heartwarming to see the father/daughter bond between Dan and Vivian traveling together as they were about to get into the line to pass through security.

I took one final photo before Vivian trotted off with her dad. I just love this pose. A woman standing beside me watching Vivian skipping off smiled and commented, "I guess you can never have too much pink."  Or too much granddaughter I mused silently to myself. Ya gotta love the pose!

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad that you got some special time with Vivian this summer. She really, really loved visiting you guys. I think it was especially neat that she got to sew with you (and so did she!). Thank you for taking such good care of her and for making some wonderful memories with her (and a few more little pillows!).