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No, I am not making it up.

Being a gramma these days is a lot different than it was for MY gramma. I wonder how she would have reacted to the plethora of “must have” “developmental” gadgets available today?

Infant and toddler toys have evolved into practically a new species of child edu-tainment. They are flashier, noisier, and all promise psychological fulfillment, genius-in-the-making brainiac potential, not to mention parental pride in the accomplishment of all of the above. The come in more colors, more languages, more shapes, and new textures. They come in matching sets with books, CDs, stuffed creatures, and clothing.

Things as basic as the pacifier and teething rings have been enhanced with clips and covers so they are kept sanitized, off the floor, and within the reach of pudgy little digits.

And they have added a vibrator. Herewith an extract from the product info page:

The First Years Massaging Action Teether

Playful and child-friendly, this teether offers a different kind of comfort. The textured chewable star points produce a safe, soothing vibration whenever the child bites down on them. It’s powered by a small, long-life battery that’s sealed inside.

The First Years John Deere Massaging Corn Teether

The corn teether has double benefits for baby: gentle vibrations from the corn cob will soothe gums, and by activating the massage mechanism when he bites, baby begins to learn cause and effect.

When my grandson bit down on the teether I could feel the buzz of the vibrator. When he accidentally sat on it, setting off the vibrating component of the toy, he giggled to beat the band. No teeth yet and this kid already shows great potential in the sensory enjoyment field.

I wonder if Dolores has heard about these. I hear she is writing a book

And again…

Not that the puppies minded, of course. They bound and bounce throughout the yard and come back to say hello at the patio door before scampering off again in the piles of fresh white stuff. Come in? What for? With their feet and muzzles coated with golf-balled-sized wads of snow, they are an amusing sight.

Until they pause in pouncing outside to stop inside, hoping to encourage their humans outside for a romp.

Mind you, it is *still* snowing. I worked at home today and was grateful for the opportunity to do so since our road was a slushy, frozen mess despite the multiple plow runs. They served to smush snow to the sides but didn’t seem to be making much headway on the streets themselves. Of course, smushing it to the sides meant that the driveways recently excavated now had foot-high berms (if not higher) to navigate.

And we had just begun to see bare ground due to several days of above-freezing temps. It got above 60 one day and we were all out with light jackets open to the elements during breaks. Luxury!

I dug out the walkway and stairs. First I cleared out paths for the puppies from the decks…why, I have no idea. They don’t mind flouncing through the drifts! Hubby did the macho-thing with the snow-blower. Tomorrow it is off to the office for work.

First you get to frickin’ freezing and mountains of snow. Then you get the slush and ice mix so even temperatures that manage to get above freezing feel raw and colder than any wind chill #s they dream up.

As the sun works at melting the snow mountains still blocking views at corners, the downward plunge of mercury halts… hovers… and treats us to an early January thaw. Coats are flung open. Bare-headed tresses flash in joyous abandon. Hope renews that we WILL survive this winter season and our heating bills may not, after all, sink our financial ships.

Then again, it isn’t half through January, yet. February, the cruelest month, will arrive. With it will come more cold, more ice, and more winteryish weather.

I can wait.

Getting out of bed is REALLY hard to do. Getting out of the house is nigh onto torture.

While there are still (barely) three more days of Christmas to go (Epiphany is January 6th), I admit to being thoroughly ‘Christmassed’ out.

It’s been a wonderful holiday for me this season. I stayed home (for a change) and enjoyed waking up and celebrating the First Day of Christmas with my DH in our (finally) renovated family room. I got all the treats I longed for, and one I didn’t. DD Jess had an emergency appendectomy at 2AM Christmas morning. She is well and recovering, but it was NOT on the wish list of ANYONE, I assure you!

This giggle was in my holiday stocking this year. I have yet to plant her in water. I got a ‘Grow Your Own Boyfriend’ in the past and his size was …um…disappointing, to say the least (ahem). This one looks to be pure fun and I will check to see if she gets to be ‘600%’ size in the end. In the interests of science and all, I mean.

I live in New England. Snow is a given at some point in the holiday season. Not that it showed in significant force LAST season when I actively wished for it. This year it is here with a vengeance. We were only a fraction shy of the record snowfall for December.

I love the four seasons, but I am ready to be done with winter already, okay?

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