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Archive for the ‘Frankie’ Category

Who knew?  I mean really!  There was a time when this little blondie wouldn’t wear a dress or a skirt.  She eschewed pink sparkly Mary Janes, ruffles didn’t do it for her.  She loved pajamas and red rubber lady bug boots, lime green clogs  or sometimes when it was hot outside, she insisted that her tan suede Uggs were exactly and the only thing she wanted to wear on her feet.  Her blonde hair and angelic smile were antithetical to her garb.  She was not to be deterred;  You couldn’t convince her to wear sandals, bribes didn’t work and logic was certainly out of the question.

This little granddaughter of mine knows exactly what she wants;  I mailed two bead bracelets to the girls earlier this year, one was pink and white and the other was pink and purple because little Miss had previously informed me that purple was her favorite color.  Apparently that didn’t hold true for everything and since her bracelet was not exactly like her sister’s, she didn’t want it.  When I asked her if she liked it, she bluntly told me “NO”.  So I pushed back a little more and inquired if she ever wore it.  I was quickly informed that she gave it to the Nanny!  I mean, seriously??!!

A couple of weeks ago I sent a bright yellow and pink floral sun dress to each of the girls (matching) and WOW!  Was I ever surprised to learn that she wanted to put the dress on right away.  That was 2 weeks ago…. What follows is a pictorial diary.  Not every day is recorded in photos, however, I have it from the horse’s mouth (Mommy) that this is what she has worn every single day since it arrived.  Rest assured, it is getting washed in the evening.  Is it obsession or just a case of a girl knows what she wants.  I LOVE IT – I finally gave her something she really likes.  I’m very happy that she is enjoying it so much although I admit if left up to me, she would never get away with this – BUT then again I never had a middle child or one that was only two years younger than the first, so indulgence only goes so far with me.

Be that as it may, let me say again that these photos not only bring a smile to my face, they warm my heart because she looks so darn cute!!

Love Those Black Sneaks

                                                   Love Those Black Sneaks

Just Hanging Out

                                                        Just Hanging Out

Funny Face

                                          Funny Face

My Flower Dress

                                                       My Flower Dress

Here I Am!

                                                           Here I Am!

I'm A Middle Child

                                                  I’m A Middle Child

 

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Cruisin' in PJ's on Christmas morning

Cruisin’ in PJ’s on Christmas morning

Where's Frankie?

Where’s Frankie?

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That’s right, it’s over.  I had such a delightful time while staying with Chiara and Tom and the two girls;  I wish I could have spent more time with Finley which is what they expect me to say.  However, I spent considerable time with Francesca;  We read, we drove to school, we looked at 245 Halloween photos three times.  I made her a rubber band bracelet, dressed her, undressed her and brushed her teeth and hair. We had several chats about this and that and silly questions were answered and I have been trying all day to remember what some of her destinations and professions were for “This little piggy…”, because they were clever!

I had to blow a kiss goodbye to Chiara because she was in bed and insulated with baby on her left and a crib and cat on her legs.   Last night was a rough night for Mommy, Fletcher did not want to go to sleep!  It might have been the birthday cake!  

I left Tia in charge and headed off to the airport with Tom and the girls.  Good thing I packed last night!  We made it to the airport in good time;  Tom had checked me in last night.  I mentioned that maybe I would check my bag  outside but Tom quickly dissuaded me with the tale of Chiara’s missing sunglasses.  When we got to the airport, I noticed Tom was heading towards Terminal A to drop me off – No, he was going to premium parking and he and the girls were going to walk in with me.  Everybody out and we are in a part of the airport, I’ve never seen.  We’re headed up the escalator to the concourse level and Tom asks me if I just have these two bags? Two bags? NOOoooo, I have 3 bags, where’s my computer? In the car….YIKES!  Tom says, “no worry, I’ll get it”.  He directs me to turn left at the top of stairs and head to what I think is going to be the Jet Blue counter.   

I have a suitcase, handbag and two little girls in tow and walking and walking and walking.  Francesca is distracted by the gift shop that is selling Minnie Mouse dolls and the fountain with the Lion’s head spouting water.  I am wondering why I’m passing restaurants and stores in an area where the check-in counters are?  The answer is you are NOT in the area where the check-in counter are, you are now at security.  I only have to wait a few minutes before Tom shows up with my computer bag.  I tell him that we’re at security and I wanted to check my bag in.  He says, “Why, you can take this one onboard”.  “I can’t because then I have 3 bags and I can only get with two”.  Tom: “They won’t care”.  Lori: “Yes they will, they are very strict about this”.  So Tom says: “Well put one of those bags into the suitcase”.  So typical of a man, just solve the immediate problem.  I’m concerned my glasses will be crushed as he jams my handbag into the suitcase.  It’s getting hot in the airport or I’m getting stressed and sweating.  I think it was the latter.  

I wend my way through the zig zag maze of stanchions and black tape up to the first checkpoint, dropping my scarf along the way (thank you sir).   As soon as I get to the counter I realize I don’t have my photo ID.  It is in the g__d purse which is in the suitcase.  Flushed with stupid embarrassment, I tell the Officer that I forgot it’s in my handbag in my suitcase.  I plop the suitcase down on the floor and fumble with which end the zipper pull is at since it is one of those which open at either end!  The lady behind was NOT happy.  The gods must have been smiling down on me because I was able to unzip, reach into the handbag and actually put my hand on the case with my license. Check!  Next, off with the shoes, put the computer in one bin, the case in another with my scarf, and shove the suitcase up onto the conveyer belt.  I have to tell you I DO NOT LIKE putting the computer through the scanner and then finding out there is only ONE line going through the body scanner.  I am straining to lean over and keep an eye my stuff, “Please raise your arms over your head”!  I step out and am about to go over to pick up my computer when one of the TSA people say, “Excuse I have to pat down your shoulders, please put your arms straight out”.  My shoulders? I don’t even had shoulder pads on!  

When you’re already stressed and sweating you can rest assured that the Gate you’re supposed to go will be the farthest one   away, the last one in the concourse and of course mine was!  Did you know that the Starbucks in the West Palm airport does not carry those very important green picks?  The ones that protect your hand from being burned by hot coffee as it bounces out thru the sip top while you are walking the mile and half to your gate?  Yes it’s true.

Aha there was an upside to this long walk.  I figured out way to get my suitcase checked in.  The seating area was filled and there was no one at the Jet Blue counter BUT there was a man at the entrance of the jetway and I marched right up to him and threw my son-in-law under the bus – Sorry Tom I had to do it.  I told the man that my son-in-law thought we were late so he got us to the concourse instead of check in to save time but I really didn’t want to carry on this suitcase, can you help me (big smile)?  Of course he could and probably would have done so even without my fabrication.  Again, sorry Tom!  

Finally at the door to the plane and what do I see but this very tall man dressed in a ground personnel uniform standing there with my suitcase.  I ask him if that bag is going to be checked and he asks me if it is my bag? I say yes and he tells me I can take it onboard if I wish – NO I do not wish!  THEN he asks me what I have in the cup and immediately I wonder if one is not allowed to bring coffee onboard.  I look a little startled and say: “Coffee” – he smiles and says: “You could have gotten Dunkin’ Donuts coffee onboard and for free”. Music to your ears, Tom?

Dunkin Donuts logo

Dunkin Donuts logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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From the title of this blog you might not think that things are winding down, but today it does seem like they are.  Of course not having to start the day with the hectic madness of school clothes, hair brushing, breakfast and off to school, does make a difference.   When I went to bed last night which was REALLY early for me, I was looking forward to sleeping in this morning.   First of all , I figured the girls would sleep late because we didn’t return from the Ocean Club till about 9:00pm.

Last night we went to a Friday night buffet and pool party.  The kids had a blast jumping in and out and swimming and jumping off the diving board.  I wish I could have taken a picture of Francesca jumping off the diving board.  Unbelievable!  And this was not one of those diving boards that you step onto, this was one you had to climb up to.  I have never seen a child that small actually jump off a diving board and she didn’t even hold her nose.  Anyway, the party was a throwback in time for me. OMG it was retro to the old GCA; Golf Club of Avon.  Even the characters were the same.  We sat under the stars and brightly lit half moon that just hung in the sky over us all.  The weather was warm, the drinks were cold and the food was plentiful.  So familiar…even Chiara said, “I’m living your life all over again”.

So I didn’t think it was too far-fetched to think that after hours of swimming and eating (a lot of sugar), those kids would sleep late and so would I.  And that Daddy was home so he would entertain them in the morning.  At 7:20am Francesca came into my room.  She climbed up to be with me, but not for long because the purpose of her visit was really to get me out of bed and into the living room where Daddy was laying down on the couch to watch cartoons with them.  I saw that there was little to no chance of me remaining in bed so I got up.  Tom proposed we go out to breakfast and then pick up Tia who was arriving this morning.     I didn’t think we had that much time; Tom thought she was arriving at 10:30 but I knew it was 9:30.  So Tom and girls headed  out to the airport and I stayed behind to make Chiara a really good breakfast, something she has been sort of skimping on this week due to Fletch’s feeding schedule.  I’m going to post the recipe which came from Confessions of a Pioneer WomanRee Drummond‘s famous blog.

We spent the afternoon at the Ocean Club, hence the SUN and SAND which was plentiful.  Lunch at poolside and once again I was taken back in time to Avon.  The kids spent time in the pool and then we went to the ocean.  The sun was glorious, Tom signed up for a surf board and Finley and two friends spent 2 hours getting up and falling off the board!  Finley did stay up long enough to float into shore – Uncle Joel and Uncle Justin take note!  SURFERS in the making.  We wound up the afternoon at the pool with a SANGRIA Blanco, NICE!

Tonight we are going to have a mini-birthday party for Francesca who turns 3 on Tuesday.  Since I’m leaving tomorrow, Chiara decided we could celebrate with dinner and invited her best friend who has 2 children fairly close in age to Finley and Francesca and so we had 4 kids plus Fletcher and 6 adults (you can get the picture).   The kids had pizza and we had SALMON!  And cake of course! Francesca had a ball opening gifts.  It wasn’t the gift that actually seemed to thrill her but rather the opening of the gift.  We had to hold off the older kids who so desperately wanted to help her.  Several threats of no dessert, a time out and the possibility of going to bed NOW were all invoked to keep the other 3 away from the presents.  Tia came through for them all;  She had assembled Halloween goodie bags for all 4 kids which amused them and held their attention for all of 2 minutes.

Well as you can see, things really have wound down.  There wasn’t any high drama today, there wasn’t anything too unusual going on around here, it was simply SATURDAY!  There was a very funny moment this evening when Chiara was discussing with Tom what Halloween costume would they wear when they went to a party with the theme:  Enchanted Halloween.  Ki has been online searching for appropriate attire and came up with a fairy-like outfit adorned with leaves.  Since they want to match somewhat, what does that leave (no pun intended) Tom to dress as?  The suggestion of stump came up but that was quickly withdrawn.  Chiara found a sort of shawl and hat that looked medieval and after ALL of the laughter died down, we all began firing out suggestions;  Maybe he could be a wizard, or a gnome or The Grim Reaper which put Chiara into hysterics, not to mention Tom who was more hysterical at the thought!  How about a Leprechaun? 

Pasha was quite evident tonight.  Wherever Mommy went or the baby, Pasha was soon to follow. Did you know that in Egypt Siamese cats were used to guard the throne of the King of Siam?  Pasha stands watch over our Prince.

Pasha Guards Fletcher

Pasha Guards Fletcher

Mommy, baby Fletch and Pasha

Mommy, baby Fletch and Pasha

It’s a wrap tomorrow morning!  I’m flying home, Peter will pick me up in Newark and we’ll head down to the shore.  LIfe just won’t be as exciting or as interesting to read about as it has been these past few days!  Oh well….

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I thought my 5 hour walk down Table Mountain in South Africa was one of the greatest feats of my life.  Truly, it was an amazing experience fraught with anticipation, anxiety, fear, determination and adrenaline.  I’ve just had my second life-altering experience.

Let me just fill in a few back-story details because I do believe lack of sleep exacerbates every other emotion.  I woke up at 5:50am – God only knows why?  And then I couldn’t fall back to sleep…I knew I had to get up around 7am to make sure the girls got up, brushed their teeth and got dressed and fed.  Well sometime around 6:45am I heard screams!  I also heard heavy footsteps above me so I didn’t jump up.  Regardless, the idea of a 10 minute doze was out of the question.  Turns out Finley decided to lock Francesca in the room.  Of course, she screamed, poor thing!

I’m up and not in a good mood at all, tolerance level way below normal so any long-winded whiney discussion about hair bows or outfits was going to be cut short.  Finally with everyone fed and ready to roll, we left for school drop-offs and Belle came with me.  First bit of drama was that usually on Fridays, Finley wears her dress uniform and we see lots of girls going into school wearing dresses (and you know how much Finley likes to dress up) and Belle is saying “uh oh” because she thinks we made a mistake. NOT – Finley already had a dress-up day this week when she went to the museum.  Dropped Frankie off, no problem. 

Image representing Siri as depicted in CrunchBase

Image by None via CrunchBase

I’m off to Starbucks to get coffee for Chiara and me. God, do I need caffeine!  Note: Since I’ve been here I’ve had to up my intake – It’s no longer Grandé Americano with a light splash of steamed brevi – NO, it’ Venti now!  I turn to the GPS so Siri my new best friend can direct me to Starbucks but Siri is silent!  Yesterday Chiara turned off the voice prompts and I can’t figure out to get them back on.  Ok, so I’ll try to follow the map which might require taking glasses on and off which is never a good thing when you’re driving.  I look to punch in the Starbucks location which Tom had programmed for me and that’s gone too!  Yikes!  Belle assures (as best she can in a language I don’t understand) that there is  no problemo.  Really?  

Belle is directing me where to turn and when to go straight and I mention to her that this is not the way Tom and I went to Starbucks.  Again, no problemo.  She says in English, “Atlantic Avenue”.  OH NO! I know Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.  It is the main commercial thoroughfare.  Yes there is a Starbucks there BUT where do you think I can park the car?  Again, no problemo.  I look at Belle and with hand gestures and some Spanglish I inform her that of course it’s no problem for Belle, Belle is NOT driving!  Sure enough we get there and she points to a parking space and I shudder no.  I head for a parking lot that I know is down the street and I don’t mind walking and remember that Chiara parked there once.  However, I see the sign as I pull in that clearly states this a RESERVED ONLY parking lot and ALL OTHERS WILL BE TOWED.   Naturally, being half-German,  I turn around and leave, I’m not parking there.

We are now headed back to the Starbucks we passed and sure enough, there is a parking spot just near the store.  It’s a PARALLEL PARKING spot!  “Si, si, ”  Belle points to the spot.  Are you f________g kidding me?  I’m not going to park there!!!! Apparently I am 😦  – I have no choice but to bite the bullet so to speak.  This is a horror;  there is a car in front of and behind the spot.  17 ‘ long 7’ wide and sitting up a mile high on the opposite side of the car from the curb.  I try to back in and end up parallel but about 4′ from the curb.  I see in the rear view mirror that the car behind me is going to pull out.  I just sit there.  He just sits there.  He is waiting for me to pull out, I’m waiting for him to pull out.  I look in my rear-view mirror and he’s staring at me. Finally, he pulls out and stops alongside to give me a dirty look.  I don’t care, I’m so happy he moved;  Now I gingerly move the car backwards trying to trust the electronic back-up guide and not my instinct which is to look over my shoulder.  Actually you have to both but the latter is so hard to do considering the car has 3 rows of seats!  I’m pretty sure I’ve backed in close enough to the curb and not hit the tree so I pull forward and stop.  BREATHE, I’m exhausted and literally a bit shaky.  Starbucks here I come, I need the caffeine to calm me down, the parking was enough of an adrenaline boost!

I don’t think it was my imagination but there were a couple of men sitting at table outside of Starbucks and they all looked at me when I walked past them and into the store.  No, NOT that kind of look;  more like why is this lady driving a car she can’t park and why is someone this old driving a Tahoe??

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Today as compared to yesterday was fairly calm.  This morning Chiara, Fletcher and I drove the girls to school and then Fletcher went to the doctor’s office for his one week old check in.  He gained 10 ounces!  That’s a lot of nursing going on here!  Pediatrician said, take him outside, let him get some Vitamin D and he skillfully removed the last of belly button thing, you know it’s part of the umbilical  cord!  I’ve had two babies but I never wanted to deal with that and was fortunate enough to have my Grandma Schmidt stay with me once the babies were born and she took care of “that”.  When the doctor asked Chiara if she wanted that piece, I looked at him as if he were crazy.  However, it must be me who is so out of the loop!   I asked: “What do they do with it”? He said they put it in the baby book!  Ay yi yi!  A dark brown dried-up body part in the baby book!

By the time we got home, the first visitor of the day was in the driveway.  She’s the one who baked the delicious cake.  While Chiara chatted, Frankie decided sitting on my lap with Mommy’s iPad was a grand idea.  The fact that I was trying to type the previous blog seemed to be of absolutely no concern of hers.  

I have been trying for two days to get Belle’s recipe for Quinoa written down.  It has proven to be impossible even with the Translate app and the Voice Search app.  Many times the Voice Search does not hear my words correctly and you can’t believe what comes out!  Shallots came back in Spanish as a shower. Pretty much the way the auto-fill auto-complete feature on my cell phone sends messages complete with non-sequitors (if I don’t read what I wrote before I hit send).  So finally Belle went to the cabinet, grabbed the bag of quinoa and motioned for me to come and watch her so I would know how to make this dish.   It worked!  I wrote down what she was doing and hopefully I got it all right so I can recreate this tasty side dish.  Once I am home and I make it, if it comes out right, I’ll post the recipe.

 When Finley arrived home, she came with 3 kids and another Mom.  The decibel level rose at least 10 degrees!  One of the many gifts that arrived today was a box with two Princess costumes!  They were so pretty and it was very thoughtful of Tara to include the girls with presents because she sent Fletcher gifts.  As soon as the girls saw them they wanted to  put their own  on and the other’s.  You know where this is going,,,,pretty soon two girls are crying and the dresses gp upstairs to their bedroom and their 3 friends are playing and running around in the midst of it all.   

It’s now 9:00pm;  Tom has yet to come home from work.  The girls ate dinner before we did and had baths and books and went to bed.  Fletcher had his first bath tonight.  Belle bathed him talking and cooing to him in Spanish the whole time while she washed him.  By then Chiara laid down on the bed holding him in her arms to settle him down and of course she was the one who settled down, exhausted from getting up during the night and on the go since 7am this morning.  So as I write this she’s been sleeping for over an hour now.  That left Belle and I – so I said let’s eat.  The two of sat at the table enjoying her lentils with some rice and the quinoa.  It was so peaceful at the table, just two adults trying to talk in two different languages.  

It must be time for me to play a little Scrabble online and maybe Words of Wonder (don’t ask) ! 

Quinoa

Quinoa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I considered posting a picture of a baby with the “stump” still on the belly button but I was grossing myself out!

 

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OH, didn’t I tell you that my daughter’s Nanny does NOT speak English?  Oh yes, that little detail adds so much more to the running of the household, the raising of the kids, not to mention general communication.  It’s been a learning experience  for all.  I believe Belle joined the family in July, my daughter spoke no Spanish, my son-in-law speaks no Spanish, Francesca knew a little bit of Portuguese from the previous NY nanny and Finley was getting bits and pieces of Spanish at school.  That was then.

Fast forward to October and I find that my grandchildren can understand directions and instructions from Belle in Spanish, (most evident at mealtimes) and my daughter can have a conversation (albeit somewhat limited in subject matter) with her.  As for myself I am at a loss as to why only French words come to mind,  since I took in high school and you don’t really want to know how long ago that was!    I never took Spanish and never spent any time with someone who spoke it, but thought since French and Spanish were both Romance languages I would stand a chance communicating.  NOT SO!  There is very little resemblance between the words and of course the spoken word is completely foreign to me when pronounced with her Colombian accent.

This morning, Belle and I were the only ones up after the girls went to school.  We were in the kitchen together so we attempted some sort of conversation.  It’s amazing how much you can say and understand when you combine French, Italian and hand-gesture sign language.  BUT it’s not enough.  Galaxy4 to the rescue.  I have two apps on my new phone that have enabled to actually get a question answered or to say something to Belle.  One is Voice Search and that one is a riot.  Most of the time it gets it right but a couple of times the response were really crazy.  It operates on my voice asking how do you say___in Spanish.  Then the electronic voice ( I don’t know her name but she’s not Siri because this ain’t no Apple) comes on speaking my words in Spanish.  So I talk to the phone and then hand it over to Belle to listen to.  You can see how easily conversation flows NOT.  The second app is called Translate.  I type in a sentence and the phone translates it into Spanish, so again I’m on the phone and then I hand it to her.  This all makes for a discussion that no one else can hear.  Mmmm possibly a good thing!

We talked about the girls and about food and cooking.  We compared some notes and traded ideas.  She likes to cook with coconut oil and I’m into olive oil.  This morning I showed her how to fork split a Thomas’ english muffin so there would be nooks and crannies for the butter to ooze into.  We, as the older and wiser parental units, talked about child rearing and how the younger generation does things differently (do not read better).

Five friends are coming for lunch today to see the new baby.  Belle has been cooking quinoa with pistachio nuts, craisins, parsley and lemon juice as one of the dishes.  A vegetable lasagna is also prepared to be heated and there will be salad.  I’m not sure if I am included in this luncheon, but either way is fine with me.  I wouldn’t mind delving into my book for a while or actually going outside other than to get in a car to drive somewhere.  There is a pool outside but it appears to be black – the bottom is painted black Tom calls it The Black Lagoon.  No one is swimming in it, we think the filter is broken

INTERMISSION:

The Lake Ida gang of good friends arrived not just to meet and greet Fletcher BUT also to learn the gender of Leslie’s impending birth.  She brought dessert and very cleverly had one cup cake decorated in the appropriate colors.  Bets all around;  5 of us said it’s a boy and Chiara forecasted a girl.  You guessed it right?  The cupcake had pink frosting on it!

After the ladies left, there was maybe 15 minutes before the before the next visitor arrived;  I picked up Francesca at school (solo) (aren’t you impressed?) This visitor arrived with a bundt cake and 3 kids!  The cakes looked delicious and with a devil-may-care attitude, the mothers gave the kids slices of cake (Gigi does not approve of cake before dinner).  Now with 5 kids wired on sugar, let the fun begin!  Lots of racing around, lots of shrieks and then my sister called.  

Silly Putty

Silly Putty

She wanted to visit to see the new baby and the girls and me.  This would be the only time I would see her before she moved to Las  Vegas to marry her beau, Nick and start a new career as a hostess in the high roller room at a casino.  Nick has made all of the arrangements and she has assured me everything is on the up an up.  She needed directions to punch into her GPS.

This is when the real drama began;  Francesca needed me in the bathroom with her with the door closed.  About 4 minutes later I emerged to the sound of wailing, and I mean REAL loud crying.  What happened?  Well, if you’ve been to Florida you know the builders penchant for stone tile floors, granite counters and ceramic tile foyers?  Apparently during a wild chase through the rooms, one of the visiting kids slammed into the kitchen counter on the island AND knocked out a tooth!  She had a baggy of ice on her mouth which did little to muffle her crying!

Chiara says: ” I think Aunt Mardy called on your phone”.  I called her back and was greeted with: “It’s about time you picked up your phone”.  OHHHHHKAAY!  I just bit my tongue and calmly explained I had been otherwise occupied and did NOT bring my phone into the bathroom considering the fate of the iPhone5  the other night.  

She arrived laden with Halloween bags for the girls and gifts for Chiara, Tom and Fletcher.  And what do you think was in the goodie bags?  Glow in the dark Silly Putty – all the better to locate when stuck onto the couch, a microphone (batteries required) so one can be a Rock Star, Glo-sticks which she opened into glass jars with the girls to make Fairy Dust! and Hair Chalk!  Yes now the girls can paint their own hairs pink or purple, how convenient.  AND then the floor and leather chair were sprinkled with  blue powder! Fairy Dust? No, Finley opened up a small cylinder of this powder and spilled it.  She didn’t know it was the 2013 version of Pixie Dust which in my day, came encased in a straw – all the easier to suck up.  This innovation had a big sucker attached to a handle that after you sucked, you could dip it in the blue SUGAR!  Clearly by now you know my sister has NO children of her own!

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