Artwork, Beauty, Cultures, Grandchildren, Hawaii, Parenting, photography, travel

Playdate with My Youngest Granddaughter, Lily

Yesterday was a very fun day. My youngest granddaughter, Lily, her mother, and I went to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. I had spent quite a bit of time with my other grandchildren this summer, but this was Lily’s time. It was a day of surprises, delights, and laughter.

There was a butterfly room where a guide would let you have a butterfly for a few minutes. Lily was excited. One flew over and landed on my shoulder.

Lily Ruth gets her middle name from me! She is a joy to our family and very precious. God sent Lily to us and we have learned so much from her. Before she was born, I knew I loved her! I was present at the ultrasound on her mother when it was discovered that Lily had spina bifida. But, that little glitch has not stopped Lily from making a big impression on the world she lives in and all of us! She is 10 and loves school, singing, and playing with Barbies! She also is great at playing tennis, basketball, and giving her brother a hard time!!

Lily’s father and siblings are currently on a long excursion with Grandpa to his tiny islands of Tonga in the South Pacific. Tonga is not very wheelchair friendly, so she stayed behind with her mother. So, we made a playdate to have some fun together.

People can be very curious about Lily but she is used to it, so she isn’t bothered by it. I’m so glad because it was annoying to me!

The local aquarium is located in Draper, Utah, not too far from where I live. You can more about it at thelivingplanet.com We got there around 1:00 pm and stepped into a world of wild and amazing creatures. I had bought Lily a blue dolphin and she carried it around the whole time we were there. She named it “Bubbles”. 

A crabby crab! Looking for a fight!

As you walk in, there are several huge whales hanging from the ceiling! The aquarium is huge and has many passageways into different areas. The first corridor we went down was entitled Discover Utah. It was cool! There were land turtles and huge river fish. Some fish had humps on their backs. Utah has a few endangered fish that are in the aquarium. There were also ducks, salamanders, tarantulas, and other land animals. 

Pretty jellyfish, but watch out – the sting is very painful!

I enjoyed the jellyfish display (could stare at them forever)! A running commentary about the critters and sea life went along with “oohs” and “awws”, and a few shrieks and cringes. Lily told us what she had learned at school about invasive frogs in Australia and the traps they make there. 

By far, my favorite displays (along with Lily’s) was a huge two level tropical room where birds flew around you and it felt like we had stepped back in time and space to Hawaii! The air was moist and warm. There was a tiny little sloth fast asleep in a little pouch. So cute!

Lily, you are a star in my book!

Also, there was a great wall where you could peer into the undersea world with sharks and other sealife. It is awe inspiring. 

Another favorite was the penguin window. The penguins wobbled, walked on water (it seemed), and swam to our delight except for one big chubby penguin that looked as though he thought he was the king of the lot (too funny)!

Lily and I at the aquarium enjoying God’s creations

We got to see two movies in 4D. One was about the melting glaciers and global warming. The other was a cartoon of Ice Age (hilarious). As you watched, air would blow at the back of your head from the chair! Just when I got relaxed, it would blow again (stop)!

There is so much to see at the aquarium and we loved seeing the variety of creations that God has made. The whole time I was taking video on Marco Polo (it’s an app) and sending it to Lily’s family in Tonga so they could experience some of it too.

In one station you could touch the round coral and see the stingrays and starfish (they felt like velcro). Lily got to hold a starfish! Then she wanted to get out of her chair and touch the huge turtle on the floor.

Lily loving on the turtle!

At one time, I asked a guide where the place was you could watch the dolphins jump! Silly me, that was Sea Life Park in Hawaii where we often took our older grandchildren. Maybe they should have one here any way.

Here’s Lily with an anaconda much longer than herself (cringe)! She felt bad for some of the turtles that were not moving under the water. 

Lily acting brave by the anaconda!

The last place we went was a tunnel under the water where you could see huge sharks swimming overhead. I felt a bit vulnerable, but tried to act normal for all of our sakes.

As for wheelchair access, the place was great, but some of the exhibits blocked the few at wheelchair level. That was very unfortunate. 

All in all, we had a marvelous experience! Love you tons, Lily!

Beauty, Cultures, Grandchildren, Hawaii, health, Parenting, travel

Seven is a Lucky Number!

In one year (2003), we were blessed with three beautiful grandchildren! They grew up together and became good buddies. The following year we received our seventh grandchild and fourth granddaughter. Little Eryn was born in Hawaii and unlike her older sister, she was very mellow and low maintenance. At least that is what we thought…

Eryn Moana (her middle name means “ocean” in Hawaiian)

I remember when she was only a month old we went with her and her parents to Turtle Bay to watch the fireworks for the 4th of July. She slept through them all and never fussed at all. We were wondering why she wasn’t crying at all. When we felt her little head, she had a raging fever! Oh, no! She was taken to the emergency room at the nearest hospital. It was not very well known for excellent service, and our new baby was rushed to Kapiolani Hospital in Honolulu. That was pretty nerve shattering!

Eryn stayed in the hospital for quite some time. She had a bad urinary tract infection which would be the start of many more to come. We each have our trials and this appeared to be one of hers and her parents. We all took turns taking the long windy road from the North Shore of Oahu to visit or stay with Eryn during her time in the hospital. Thank goodness for modern medicine!

Eryn at the beach in Hawaii, Digital Art by Ruth Kongaika
Have a thermometer on hand for baby!
Cultures, Grandchildren, Hawaii, home, Parenting

My Third Grandchild and Second Granddaughter

Once I had one of each kind (boy and girl), I was not very particular about my third grandchild. I was very excited just the same! My daughter-in-law invited me to the birth. I wanted to be there since it was my son’s first child. She did great and we soon welcome little Anna Luiza.

Pretty Anna

This baby was special in that she had a very high-pitched cry that even got the attention of the nurses. Perhaps it was because her mother was a high soprano or because she wasn’t too happy to be here!

We soon knew who was going to be the boss in that home! Anna was born with reddish blond hair and cute little pixie ears. She also was my first grandchild to have blue eyes (like me)! Her middle name was after her great-grandmother Luisa, only the s was changed to z. That started our Z craze! Luiza, Zion, and Izabella! Oops, I am getting ahead of myself.

The only way we could get Anna to sleep was to bounce her up and down, so we made great use of our yoga ball. Cousin Ileina also enjoyed being bounced later on.

Let's all be friends!
Artwork, Beauty, Cultures, Grandchildren, Hawaii, health, holidays, home, Parenting, photography, travel, Uncategorized

Grandma Bloggers Welcome

A new day, and a new blog!

This is the place we can share our positive experiences with our grandchildren.

12 grandchildren

Recently, I realized that I have twelve beautiful grandchildren to dote on! It is quite the blessing as well as a responsibility. These precious souls range in age from 10 to 21 years. Of course, I have a birthday board with their months listed on it and a block that represents each grandchild (placed carefully according to the day). It helps remind me of whose birthday is coming up.

With so many birthdays to remember, I also keep a list with my calendar reminding me what year they were born. I don’t want to miss any milestones in their lives, and pray the good Lord will allow me sufficient health and memory to celebrate those special days with them.

I would love to hear how you remember your grandchildren’s birthdays and tell us about any of those special days you have spent with them.

Please click on “Leave a comment” at the top of the blog to post. Thanks!

Birthday Board – gifted to me by Meilani Kongaika Christmas 2018
Get Your Own Birthday Board
Uncategorized

Best Gift for Your Grandchildren

I have been a grandmother now for fifteen years and have twelve grandchildren. I feel very fortunate to be able to get to know my grandchildren and enjoy their unique personalities. When it comes to giving gifts to them, I have found that they usually do not remember from one Christmas to the next what we gave to them, so I have been trying to think of a gift that will last in their memories and be meaningful. It is very tempting to buy them expensive gifts so they think you are the greatest grandma in the world. But, that only spoils them, and then they all expect it – because the word gets out really quick to brothers, sisters and even cousins. So what are we grandparents to do?

http://elayne001.hubpages.com/hub/The-Best-Gifts-You-Can-Give-Your-Grandchildren

Grandchildren, Hawaii

Everybody Loves a Swing

http://hubpages.com/hub/Everybody-Loves-a-Swing

As each grandchild has come along, I have enjoyed spending time with them swinging.

We had a great swing and play center at our last home which I miss. I have many pleasant memories of the times we spent together there.

I have learned through the years that children do not really care about environments as much as they care about attention and love.

Also, children do not concern themselves about how something looks, but more about how things feel.

So here I share some of my pictures taken in swings either at our home, the park, or at a cabin we have used for family vacations.

I also discovered these great poems about swings.