Monday, May 21, 2012

Barbara: "The Lady in Red!"

Any woman that has lived within a 50 mile radius of her mother knows that when you start having children there is a magical exchange that takes place.  It's strange because you would think in all the years you've been alive that your mom would have told you that you are really one of the Marvel Comic X-Men.  Your mutant power suddenly kicks in or something because you COMPLETELY disappear and the only thing left are the grandchildren! Of course, since you have disappeared, your mother nobly takes it upon herself to open the very gates of Heaven (usually picking the locks thereof with a very long church hat pin) and pour out upon the children the very Riches of Glory!! (These riches usually manifest themselves in the forms of stuffed, fluffy items, frosted or chocolate chipped treats and/or anything bedazzled or glittery.)  She lavishes every whim of the cherished grandchildren (whether real of imagined) upon them that she can possibly muster.  If she could candy coat their baby booties, add a bubble gum center and keep them to give them back to the children at their respective wedding days, she would do it!  She sees it as her duty to reward the babies for simply having skin.....daily.  If any of this sounds familiar, you might have a Grammy.
My mother, Mrs. Barbara Jean Mills-Hamilton, is a 5'2'', red-headed, curly-haired, Bible verse quoting, Western Channel watching, "red is my favorite color" wearing, ice cream loving force of nature!  She is also "The Grammy", and being such is the emotional trump card to everything that happens at SRB!  As she feistily steps out of her Kia Sorrento, tells the dogs to shut up as she enters the yard, still stays on her phone conversation and holds her duffel bag she calls a purse over her elbow (as true ladies do) while balancing a foiled paper plate of goodies that she was given by her Service Club sister, you can't help but chuckle as she hot steps it to to porch.  You open the door because her hands are full (and because royalty demands these things) and she turns on her Superman X-ray vision (which apparently works even through bi-focals) and sees each of the grandchildren in their respective rooms and beelines for them.  I stand in awe as I swear she actually teleported THROUGH my body and straight to them!  Could she always do this stuff and I just missed it?
Here's the thing... a Grammy is just a little opinionated, nostalgic, paranoid, irreverent ball of sunshine that warms your heart...but blinds you!  I hate to admit it, but she is vital to the balance of our yin and yang!  When she is not here, Devon is miserable because he has no one to argue with!  When I need to watch a good chick flick, but have someone ask me questions through the WHOLE THING.....who can I call on?  The Grammy!  Who will insist that she is COMPLETELY neglected by EVERYONE in the house as she eats my last Greek yogurt with her feet up on the couch while watching her 3rd episode of Bonanza that YOU had to turn to for her because she just doesn't understand why you don't get a remote that works?  The Grammy!  When the kids need an "impartial" judge who will ALWAYS rule in their favor against the parents, where do they go?  The Grammy!  Grammy is an institution all to herself.........why?......Because she says so! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"Blooming Bundles!"

Posing above, in what may quite possibly be the winning photo for this season of America's Next Top Model, is The Bundles.  Addie is bigger than Madonna in this house.  No...really.  Winston Churchill, sliced bread and the Gutenberg Printing Press all pale in comparison to worldwide shock waves that this child sends out on a daily least in her head!
Addie came into this world telling us off the bat that being the youngest means NOTHING if you can't put some swag on with it!  And this fact was drilled home recently with the blessed event of Addie achieving the ripe old age of 3.  In an event that made Paris Hilton's 21st birthday run look like an archaeological dig in a gated community, Addie's house help (that would be us) whisked a birthday cake to a room full of demanding 2 and 3 year olds who were all awaiting the long promised cake of Marie Antoinette.  The grovelling peasant 4 year olds were allowed to glean the leftovers and the personal assistants (that would be the teachers) were encouraged to eat a piece touched by Her Majesty as it was rumored to heal broken hearts and internal discomforts.
All in all, I have to get a bit sentimental when I realize the last of our little clan is really trying to grow  Time waits for no man and if one doesn't take advantage of every moment that comes your way it is gone faster than a snowflake melting in your hand.  So watching her grow and discover the world with fresh and enthusiastic eyes is like watching a rare rose bloom at the end of the summer.  No matter the stage production involved in her expression of personality one thing is certain...the main character has a heart of gold....and we love her for it!
"Happy Birthday, Bundles!"

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


For those of you who have never had puppies...I am realizing that it is very much like having kids.  They are all sweet and cuddly for the longest time.  It seems as if they will remain little balls of fluff forever!!  They look up to you with love and admiration in their eyes.  'Tis heavenly! They hang on every word you say....they melt in your arms...and then, something happens.....there is a paradigm shift....a disturbance in the force....they wake up one morning......and they develop.....

They are 7 weeks old now.  So, the "In the Beginning" litter has now relocated to more spacious accommodations in our west kennel.  Complete with native stone construction, plush interior furnishings and a generous courtyard that could well accommodate a full day of rough housing, sunbathing or entertaining several guests, these pups have it MADE!!  However, upon moving in and sniffing out the new digs, I realized that they had very definite "opinions" on their penthouse suite...and developed massive "puppy-tude"!  I tried to blame it on their first shot and the worming medicine, which would make ANYBODY a bit touchy...right?  But no, I really think these jokers are developing entitlement issues!

"Opinions", I have learned, are the enemy of all puppy rearing efforts.  This little mob has decided that they have "opinions" on just about everything these days.  Hence, they have moved into a stage in their lives, very similar to human teenagers.  They need you....but they will ask you condescending questions to try to diminish your relevance, and ultimately, your intelligence.
Roll the evidence:
 "What do you want?"
"Umm...what is that?"
"Can I help you?"
"Do you really want me to use this?"
"No seriously.....what is that?"
"Do you mind?"
Mmmm-hmmmm.  More to come, y'all....

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time..."

Where has the time gone???  Ok, so we left you hangin' a little at here is the quick update:
The kids are out of school for Easter Break and they are crawling up the walls!!!  Chaiya has confirmed that the "Ch" is here to stay!  Jo was kind enough to inform me yesterday that "Puppies are baby dogs."....he is finally acknowledging that they are in his world!  Really? After 6 weeks?  Addie is OBSESSED with dressing the puppies in pink!  Sigh.  Consequently we are now keeping the latch on the front door as Addie has often been found in their kennel transporting them from one end to the other!

Now these photos are actually their 5 week I am a little late! But next week I PROMISE I will take the 7 week shots and you can see the cuteness in all its exponential power!! LOL!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

'The Artist' Formerly Known As....Kaiya?

I think everyone kind of just sat there and blinked silently when the entertainment news media announced that the Pop/R&B icon, Prince, had officially changed his name to simply, "The Artist".  I mean, what were we supposed to feel at that time....shock?...confusion?...outrage?.....a foreboding feeling that all in the world will never be right again?  Well, I am sure the world breathed a tear stained sigh of relief when he graciously changed it back to Prince. Once again, all was right with the universe! For goodness sake!!  I wish these people would think about the trauma they put us through before they follow their creative natures and disassemble the constructs of our well ordered worlds!
Indeed, history repeats itself.  So, I walk into the playroom to observe the latest chalk mural designed by Kaiya.  She has written everyone's names on the walls....including, what I can only assume, is her own?  "Chaiya."  Really?  Already establishing your renegade identity?  At 6?  No, I couldn't resist:
"Honey! Is this how you spell your nickname?"
(thoughtful pause) "Yes, Mommy."
"But, Mommy spells it with a 'K'........don't you like the 'K'."
(thoughtful pause) "Not really."
"You prefer the 'C-h'?"
(thoughtful pause) "Yes, Mommy.  'C-h' is really me."
For all of you breaking into a cold, deja vu sweat, I'll keep you posted on this development...

Hey.....What time is it?  PUPPY TIME!!!
Firstly...let me say that it is IMPOSSIBLE to take proper pictures of three 4 week old puppies all at one time!  ARE YOU KIDDING?  The first thing they did was anoint the carpet with liquid joy!  Enoch even took it upon himself to bless us with puppy poo while Eli and Eve distracted us with hide and go pee!
Let the montage begin...

The pack hangs together...
Enoch is happy to be here!
"Look out!  That blankie looks dangerous..."
Starting to stack!
Elijah following his nose!
"Shhhh!  I'm stalking my prey..."
Preparing for his big entrance...
Eve, the little princess...
"Don't let the highlights fool ya!  I'm just as tough as the boys!"
Pretty Profile!
Even big bro can give kisses now and then!!
Guess who is stricken with puppy love?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Amy: "How Deep is Your Love?"

Lots of our friends and family wonder how in the world do we keep things half way in order with as much as we have going on in our lives.  Well, the answer is simple...we have a 5'2'' secret weapon:
This, my gracious readers, is Amy Zapata!  The original Thrilla from Manilla!!!  Amy has been a member of this family since 2008.  Forget the NBA....SHE is where AMAZING really happens!!  Her pet name in the house is Ate (pronounced 'Ah-Tay') which means "Big Sister" in Tagalog.  It is a term of endearment and great respect, and Amy has earned every drop of it!  The children cry for her when she is not here....heck, I cry for her when she is not here!!  Let's keep it real...SRB would be a hot mess without her! 
Having house assistance in the Turks and Caicos is a cultural norm.  But Amy transcends just being a "Nanny"...she is truly our Big Sister with comfort, organization, advice, laughter and a "Can Do" attitude that just doesn't stop.  If there is a need, Amy knows how to make it happen.  And that is a fact!  The truth is, she left her own family of 4 beautiful daughters and a husband behind in the Philippines to seek gainful employment here.  So, each day she labours with my family, I think of her family and pray that the Lord is guarding over her family the way she guards over mine. 
Now, before you get all gooey-eyed with the sentimental tributes, understand this:  This chick is no pushover!  She is one firecracker!  My favorite sport here at SRB is to start some mess between her and Devon...and then disappear!  One thing is for sure, we love her very much and owe her more than words can say.  It is because of her that I can devote my entire day to home therapy for Josiah.  What more can I say...that is more than most ever give in a lifetime.  "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
Ok, puppy addicts: Week 3 Updates!!
Oops! Wrong puppies!!
It is KILLING me how cute these kids are getting!  (Yes, I mean our little pumkins as well!) The eyes are all open and sensitive to light and dark. They are definitely recognizing specific scents and their hearing is begining to open as they respond to random noises with curiousity.  It is so incredible to watch.
Enoch is nothing if he is not a bundle of trouble waiting to happen!  He completely thinks that he is born to run things! Nail clipping and a comb through was complete AGONY.....for ME that is!  He grunted and wiggled almost the whole time!  Finally when the deed was done, he was more than content to waddle around sniffing at everything and everyone...I guess he was looking for more loyal servants to bring him milk if momma starts trippin'!  He is a go getter for sure...but what is so funny is watching him drag his pot belly across the floor as he shuffles over to push someone off a nipple to steal their turn at the milk bar!  A fat little gangster!
Eve, on the other hand, was more than happy to be pampered at her first beauty treatment!  The perfect little lady, she allowed me to clear out any dry skin and trim her nails with no complaints.  Devon has decided that he loves her coloring best of all.  The chocolate sable tan point combination is really unique.  She has a sweet temperament but is no pushover as she holds her own against the boys on many occasions when bitter family feuds break out over milk rights!
Now for our star of the Big Screen and Golden Globe Nominee: Elijah!  Eli knows how to bring the drama and has the looks to back it up!  He is definitely the most vocal in the whelping box and when he gets what he wants he has more facial expressions than any dog I've ever seen!  So, his screen name for this week is Idris Alba!  He also has the strut to back his acting chops.  He was the first to walk fully on all fours and is definitely the most athletic.  Only occasionally is he out powered by Enoch's weight or out manuvered by Eve's cleverness.  But if it is a clean race, he is definitely the front runner!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"My Favorite Favorites!"

So, life at SRB is as it should be...just on the fringes of sanity!  The girls have Devon wrapped around their sweet pinky fingers and Jojo has developed a new phrase that he uses on occasion: "Favorite, favorite!"  It's super cute because it just pops up at random times and we are never really ready for it!  "Jo, can I play train set with you?"  "Yes, trains are my favorite, favorite."  "Jo, do you want bananas or apples for snack?"  "I want bananas, please!  Its my favorite, favorite."  "Let's watch Dora, Jo."  "Oh, no! Dora is not my favorite, favorite!"  LOLOL!!! 

Well, I am gonna post up my "Favorite, favorite!" thing right now...week 2 of the puppies!  Eyes are opening, the legs are working hard to lift those fat bellies off the ground to get to momma and the yelps are getting much stronger when the milk isn't flowing fast enough!  It is amazing to watch how fast these babies grow.  Changes happen overnight...

Here is Eve catching a lovely cat nap!  She didn't even stir when I moved her for her photo shoot!

Her Tan Points under the Chocolate overlay blend so nicely on her back and give this really pretty reddish brown glow.  It makes it easy to tell her apart from Elijah.  Such a pretty girl!

Eli was NOT in the mood to take pictures tonight! Someone told him he was leading man material and it went straight to his head! He has really put on some weight and that lovely solid Chocolate coat of his is going to be absolutely striking.

By this time our little Denzel Washington was ready to go back to snoozing next to mom so we decided to cut it short and hope the A-lister is in a better mood next week!

Big daddy Enoch was a sugar pie tonight!  He should be after all the yelping he did today demanding his poor mother get back in the kitchen and bring him some more grub!!  He was the first to open his eyes yesterday, once again establishing himself as the leader of the pack...just incase anyone gets any bright ideas!
Here he decided to give a quick glance to make sure that all was right with us.  Afterwards, he was perfectly content to resume his dreamtime...
What a sweet life!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Extra, extra! Read all about it!"

Tuesday, February 21, 2012.....PUPPIES!!!  We are so proud of our Athena and Leo who have given us 3 cutie pies!!  Intensely concerned for their moral values, Kaiya has already confirmed with Devon that Leo and Athena are married so that she could fully enjoy the happy arrivals....seriously??!! 

The pups are very content as they have more milk than they know what to do with and have me waiting on them hand and foot! There are 3 of them, 2 boys and 1 girl. Inkeeping with traditional naming of litters in the dog fancy world, we will call this the "In the Beginning..." litter!  For inspiration we looked to the Old Testament in the Bible.  Each of the dogs will have an official "family name" which consists of the place where they were born and a formal, rather whimsical, name.  Then they have a casual call name which will be what they are known by in daily life. I have named the boys after the two persons in the Bible who lived forever!  Enoch, who walked so closely in line with God that the Lord simply took him straight to Heaven to be with him!  Then there was the mighty prophet, Elijah, who was caught up by a chariot of fire in a whirlwind and rode it all the way to Glory!  For our little diva, the name Eve was appropriate because eventhough Eve did eventually die, her name means "Life"!
Saltraker's Walk the Line
Here is a body shot of Enoch! He is the largest of the three and already throws his weight around with his brother and sister! He is traditional Black and Tan, just like his Rottie grandparent, with a white stripe down the center of his chest.
Just look at that mug!!
Saltraker's Walk in Paradise
Here is Eve...she is the shortest of the three, though she is not small at all!  It is typical in dogs for the female bone structure to be a bit finer than the male.  But this little lady is one chunky monkey with a mouth to match!  She does not hesitate to let her opinion be known!  She is Chocolate Shaded Sable with Tan Points and no white markings.  Basically that means she will have her father's coat color with her mother's coat pattern.
Pretty Baby Girl!
Saltraker's Walk the Whirlwind
And last but not least is Elijah!  He is just in between length of big bro Enoch and little sis Eve. He already seems like his bone structure will be less stocky than his siblings.  Elijah is a very laid back and loving guy and enjoys nothing more than a belly full of milk and a nap on his back!  He is solid Chocolate, like his dad, with 3 white spots on his chest.
Since Eli looks so much like his bro face on, I decided to give you a profile shot as he has a bit more length in the snout than Enoch.  So, here is his George Clooney shot! Total Hollywood status!!