…For some reason, I can’t get that “Dora” song worm out of my head.

We all survived….10 days with our 3 granddaughters – 3, 4 & just turned 6, 2 cats and 1 Siamese Fight Fish.  They were all delivered to their handlers safe and sound.  And here is what we learned:

  • We were out numbered..there were three of them and two of us.  Be afraid…be very afraid.14324682_10157488349785224_3752163654659767737_o
  • They are LOUD…except when they are sititng in the very back of the van and trying to tell you something important…then they speak very, very quietly…”Neema, I need to tell you something very important”…..blah, blah, blah
  • They all speak (scream) at you at the same time
  • They fight – especially when you are helpless to intervene…IN THE CAR
  • They miss their mommy and daddy; (not, we just did that to make them feel guilty..tee hee)

  • They are always hungry, yet never eat anything (see # 16)


  • There are never, ever enough baby dolls 14589823_10157705777445454_1820364636023239553_o
  • There is no loyalty to those babys dolls, as they will  trade babies between themselves constantly
  • They speak 90% of their time through their nose..Sounds like a song..“Tho n tho hnt me”….
  • We are on Premiere Kathleen Wynn’s Christmas card list now due to the amount of electricity we have consumed.  All lights, TV’s and electronic devices need always be operational at the same time.
  • Keep all electronic devices in a childproof case as they fling them without warningimg_9557
  • Never put out even remotely good towels.  When they find your makeup, they WILL put it on and remove it with said towels to rid themselves of the evidence
  • Hide your good bedding…see above.
  • Never, ever walk down the stairs with the lights out – there are babies on them and they are very slippery
  • You no longer have dibs on your favorite chair; babies now occupy it


  • Days after your sweet grandchildren leave your home, alarms will go off at mysterious times and your surround sound system will never sounds the same..
  • When you take them to feed the birds/chippie…they eat more than they share (perhaps we need to feed them seeds and nuts instead of proper meals?  See #5)14589652_10157705777750454_1760727356290736888_o


  • Never, ever leave a building without insisting on a bathroom visit (“Neema, I have to.. )smiling-poop
  • They love to bakeimg_9535img_9532img_9536
  • They allow you to be goofy img_3242img_3240
  • They really do love one another 14440965_10157687325540454_2848094078366563656_n

But most important, what they have reminded us is to be patient, to understand, to not make it personal (only 1 I hate you Neema!) and that our hearts are bursting even more with love for these little girls.


I’ll leave you with this…….Someone once said,

“Your Grandchildren Are Your Reward For Having Children”

…..I couldn’t agree more.

Life is good…..

Help! I’m in a puddle of tears……

It’s quite unusual for me to be arranging the beginning of another new fabulous day and be in a puddle of tears…but I am.

The first day back to school brings back so many cherished memories…with the realization that time slips by so quickly…

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As usual for third children…I cannot find one single picture of my Melissa on her first day of school!  This upsets me greatly, as a person that documents everything in photos.  Only thing I can think of is that I lost the original in the divorce (that is suppose to be funny). This official JK pic will have to do…


On this day, our Hannah is entering into Junior Kindergarten….her first day of school.  As you read this, I know you will be reflecting on each and every one of your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, being shuffled either onto a school bus or waiting in line eagerly awaiting the school bell and enter a whole new adventure…..with you trying to disguise your babbling, as you stock them until they disappear into a new world of learning.



14195438_1193460747392109_3073062359578049367_oAs a grandmother now, I have been there to see each of one of our grandkids off to their first day of school and document such via my pictures.




Abbey 1st day of school.jpgThis year, with Hannah, I decided to leave this special time to her mom and dad, as I worried it would be too overwhelming for her; based on Abbey’s first day last year.  We made such a big fuss and I think she was a little un-nerved…so….although I held myself back…I stepped back this year.  Mom and Dad had this…..





With a lump in my throat..I believe this momentous moment when your child steps into their own independence still this has to be the most emotional day for young parents…and young gramma’s too.  Beginnings.

I wish for all my babies to be kind, be focused, make new forever friends, learn, be respectful…and make memories that you will be happy to relive.

Love, Gramma

Life is Good……


Oh Summer of 2016…Thanks for the Memories!

It’s been a while since my last blog…and here’s why:-

It’s been a wild ride!!!

In looking back on this past Summer, it’s almost a blur.  It began with our visit with the Lewin’s to our Michigan “Golden Girls”….


check out the beautiful hand crafted bird houses Jann made for us!  The detail is amazing.

Visit with Jann & Nancy

Visit with Jann & Nancy-70


Then, our Formula 1 Gang

Photo Jun 11, 7 44 13 AM

Photo Jun 10, 7 42 40 AM







…and that was a wild ride (no pun intended!)

Rosie & Connagh extended their vacation and Mikey took them for his 32nd visit to Niagara Falls!  Each time a friend and/or family member comes from England..the first thing they want to see is the Falls!

Connagh & Rosie's Visit-2

Connagh & Rosie's Visit-3

Connagh & Rosie's Visit-4

Connagh & Rosie's Visit-12

Oh wait!!!!  No Niagara Falls Pics..because..  Wait for it……I wasn’t there!

Did I mention our family keeps growing?????……

Michelle and Todd’s Gig

A Clockwork Concept (1 of 53)

A Clockwork Concept (2 of 53)

A Clockwork Concept (3 of 53)

A Clockwork Concept (6 of 53)

A Clockwork Concept (7 of 53)

A Clockwork Concept (10 of 53)

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A Clockwork Concept (33 of 53)

A Clockwork Concept (39 of 53)

In the mean-time, we try and make time with our grandchildren and neighbours…



First love…13524519_10157229869565454_3627471675704219753_n





And our beautiful Goddaughter’s confirmation….

2016 Michelle's Confirmation-121

2016 Michelle's Confirmation-15

Ade & Alina’s Visit

Ade & Alina Downton T.O-3

Ade & Alina Downton T.O-10

Ade & Alina's July Visit-34

Yep…yet another visit to the Falls…..Mikey 33rd!

Ade, Alina, Sal & Kevin visit to Niagara Falls-52

But it never gets old…

Ade, Alina, Sal & Kevin visit to Niagara Falls-78

Stopped in for a great dinner with our amazing friends, Kevin and Sally!

Ade, Alina, Sal & Kevin visit to Niagara Falls-146

Labour, Delivery and forever BFF’s!

Visit to the Lewin’s Lake House

Trev & Suz Trailer with Ade & Alina-24Trev & Suz Trailer with Ade & Alina-7Trev & Suz Trailer with Ade & Alina-21-2Trev & Suz Trailer with Ade & Alina-45Trev & Suz Trailer with Ade & Alina-73Trev & Suz Trailer with Ade & Alina-136-2Trev & Suz Trailer with Ade & Alina-17Trev & Suz Trailer with Ade & Alina-34Drop in for dinner @ Ruth & Ken’s…

Ruth & Ken's 2016-57-2Ruth & Ken's 2016-11Ruth & Ken's 2016-25Ruth & Ken's 2016-53Ruth & Ken's 2016-64

Fly in visit from our Golden Girls…

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Journey learning to swim!

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day 6!-5

……and the moment our grandkids wait for each year….The Tinker’s Cottage!

Tinker's Cottage 2016-62Tinker's Cottage 2016-28Tinker's Cottage 2016-169Tinker's Cottage 2016-159Tinker's Cottage 2016-157Tinker's Cottage 2016-144Tinker's Cottage 2016-141Tinker's Cottage 2016-139Tinker's Cottage 2016-65Tinker's Cottage 2016-54Tinker's Cottage 2016-23Tinker's Cottage 2016-15Tinker's Cottage 2016-8Tinker's Cottage 2016-3

Newest addition to the Tinker’s home…Maya!Tinker's Cottage 2016-107

Maddie and Jordan were delighted to ride the sea doo with Mike Tinker!Tinker's Cottage 2016-53

Tinker's Cottage 2016-84-2

Lisa (Tinker) looking on as everyone was enjoying themselves!Tinker's Cottage 2016-38Tinker's Cottage 2016-37


Tinker's Cottage 2016-20Tinker's Cottage 2016-82

One of the most memorable days of this Summer was when ALL of our children and ALL of our Grandchildren, daughters and son in laws and even Mum came to the cottage…AMAZING and melted my heart.  A day I will forever cherish.

day 6!-3day 6!-7day 6!-11day 6!-13day 6!-26day 6!-84

day 6!-28

Accomplishing new feats!  Rock Jumping!

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and there was this!  The infamous “outside shower” where it took Jordan 1/2 hour each day to arrange the towels so nobody would peek!  Best Shower EVER!day 6!-96

Here comes the music!day 6!-99day 6!-100

Amazing voice Maddie has!

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Joey enjoying the jammin

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day 6!-128day 6!-130

Brother and Sister Duetday 6!-136

day 6!-109day 6!-116day 6!-118

..Finally we spend some quality time with Mike and Lisa..

Lisa and Mike 2016Lisa and Mike 2016-3Lisa and Mike 2016-12Lisa and Mike 2016-17Lisa and Mike 2016-33

Thank you Mike and Lisa from the bottom of our hearts.  Your generosity made many of my family so very happy.

Lisa and Mike 2016-28

I have to stop here….and get out there and enjoy the day!

To Be Continued……………

As you can see…



Recap of a cottage get away with our SIX grandchildren ages 3-14

First let me say that we have amazing friends that in return for caring for their fur babies,  insist that we take over their “cottage” (I use that word lightly, as it’s more like a gorgeous house) for a week right smack in the middle of the prime time summer.  Not only do they open the cottage life to Mikey and I, they also include our large family – 6 beautiful grandchildren, their parents and our wonderful Brody dog.  Ok, for those that are counting…that is well, a lot of people.

The first day we arrived, Mr. & Mrs. Tinker (as the kids refer to them) were there to greet us and quickly watch as we completely took over their home away from home.  Three cars/suv’s full of “stuff”….bedding, food, toys, DVD’s for those raining days (of which there were none!) fishing gear, (did I mention the toys?).  Bedroom were quickly filled with pre teen clothing (hello, all you need is a bathing suit and pjs)…and electronics.  Guess what?  No Wifi….you’re unplugged baby!

In a blink of the eye, Mr. (Mike) Tinker was spot on taking the kids sea doo-ing (well, I did go too) and boating…

Tinker's Cottage 2016-84-2

Tinker's Cottage 2016-53

Mrs. (Lisa) Tinker looks on as the kids are enjoying all the elements of cottage life..

Tinker's Cottage 2016-38

Tinker's Cottage 2016-37

CourageTinker's Cottage 2016-169

SuccessTinker's Cottage 2016-141

FreedomTinker's Cottage 2016-3

Tinker's Cottage 2016-8

Tinker's Cottage 2016-157

DeterminationTinker's Cottage 2016-159


Tinker's Cottage 2016-139

CousinsTinker's Cottage 2016-65

PeaceTinker's Cottage 2016-62

ApprehensionTinker's Cottage 2016-23

Catching up Tinker's Cottage 2016-15

JoyTinker's Cottage 2016-28

HappinessTinker's Cottage 2016-144

After the plethora of fun, we sit down to a meal of lasagna prepared ahead of time to feed a small army.  Mr. (Mike) Tinker sits at the head of his table and tells us, the 11 of us sitting there is the most they have ever had.  I’m sitting around the busy chaotic table and feel blessed, happy and proud of my family and my friends.

After claiming favorite beds (the top bunk is like calling shotgun!), donning pj’s, (ok, a little bit of over tired crying) comes peace to the end of day 1.



We’re “Pooped”

It’s been a few weeks since the last blog…so much has happened that I really didn’t know where to start.

So let’s start on a rather smelly note…”Poop”…  As a Grandmother, I really don’t have to be involved wth a lot of poop (other than picking up Brody the dogs).  Yes, I will run them to the bathroom when they are over or assist them when we are at their homes…but I forget the golden rule….Don’t leave home without it…a poop that is.

Youngest daughter, Melissa and her husband Lucas needed to spend some special time with their middle daughter, Hannah as most middle kids do, and we agreed to a sleepover with Abbey 5 and Emma 3.  We have a young family a couple doors down with children about the same ages and they get along quite well…Actually, Abbey is in love with Max and has been for the past year…here’s a then and now:-

We had a little campfire and roasted S’mores (don’t do it..they really don’t like them and what a MESS!).  I bought this contraption that is suppose to cook them already assembled…NOT!  All that does is burn the snot out of the cookie, which results in turned up noses.  Just do the marshmallows like we used to!



I digress…back to the poop.

During the campfire, Heidi (the mom of the “boy next door” and her little daughter, Malia) suggested that we take the kids to the park in the morning to work off some energy.  So off we went:-


…without insisting on a bathroom break beforehand.

I only just get to the park, set up my camera for some fun shots…and I hear from Emma (littlest)..”Neema, I have to go pee”….so, I put down my camera with Heidi promising to watch over it with her life and take Emma back the 5 houses for a pee.  She was successful and we trotted (no pun intended) back to the park.  I get ready for some serious fun shots with the Nikon…and I hear – “Neema, I have to….poop”…back we go, Emma in toe, back the 5 houses for a poop.  Unfortunately, there was no success.  However, when a 3 year old tells you they have to poop, you don’t mess around.  Back to the park.

Enters Hannah…the middle-est that that had a fun one on one with her parents who have come to collect the other two of their charges.  I see them pull in and go to meet her and bring her to the park….We only just get down there and I hear those dreaded words…”Neema, I have to POOP”!…..Back I “trot” the 5 houses for a poop.  Hannah insists that I accompany her and stay with her during her “movement”.  “Sit right there on the bathtub, Neema”…to which I comply with her demand.  “Neema…I have to tell you something”….(me) “What is it Hannah?”….”Neema, I need to….FOCUS”, and she scrunches up her nose and forms a complete “O” with her little mouth, raises her hands and touches her thumb to her forefingers and out of the little “O” mouth comes a ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww sound.  I almost fell off the bathtub trying to subdue my laughter….

I did finally capture some shots…









And finally…..the “FOCUSED POOPER’


I’ll leave you with this…




Stop Cooking With Cheese…..

Hello..My Name Is Robin Wilks and I am an Enabler. As self admitted enabler, I’d like to rant.

  * DISCLAIMER ALERT! *  To avoid nasty emails from my own children, I must say that they are and have been very independent for the most part… in light of my enabling habits.. This rant is not directed at them, but at the many parents out there that are experiencing adult children that just will not leave the nest.

We baby boomers are a different breed of parents.  Most of us were born to parents or grandparents who experienced WW2 (you know, the war AFTER the war to end all wars…ahem).  There wasn’t a lot of money, and in some cases, our parents experienced rationing..Times were tough.  Tough?  Tough?  A term that is foreign to many young adults today.  Oh I get the hardships of the economic times of today…but let’s be real – when the rubber hits the road – it can be very rewarding.

This blog (rant) is dedicated to the mental health of  my friends who are going around the twist trying to live out their much deserved retired years in peace and  their adult children who may not realizing they are preventing the same….

Actually, Psychologist Prof. Haim Omer describes the world-wide phenomenon of a dependence on parents that doesn’t stop.   He calls this “entitled dependence.”  He discovered that this is a worldwide phenomenon. Instead of leaving home to embark on an independent life, young adults remain dependent on their parents.  There are other terms for this phenomenon…bamboccioni [literally, big babies] in Italy, [living at] “hotel mama” in Germany, boomerang children in Australia, parasaito shinguru [single parasite] in Japan.

As a young adult, my dream was to “get the hell out of dodge”….I didn’t want to follow the house rules (they were strict back then).  I wanted to be independent; to forge out into the world and make my mark.  I moved into a bachelor apartment, by myself (well, I did have a bazillion cockroaches and a few mice to keep me company), over a stinky fish store in Cabbagetown (downtown Toronto).  I WORKED.  In a Factory – determined to make it on my own.  There were days back then that I had to push my way out of my tiny apartment and step over a homeless person.  I had no education at that time, hence the factory job, …just the motivation to make it on my own.  I was 15 years old.  I was the extreme opposite of the entitled dependence syndrome.  Would I NOT recommend leaving home at 15…of course not, but it did make me the person I am .  INDEPENDENT.

Do we as parents subconsciously want our son’s in particular to be dependent on us?  It seems that they are the worst perpetrators of  “entitled dependenced”. 

I didn’t realize when I was blessed with parenting my own children, is that learning lessons in life the hard way is what made me the person I am today. I didn’t want my kids leaving home at 15 –  I was over-protective.  My girls will say that I parented my son differently than I did them.  Looking back..I did.  When I looked at my daughters, I saw strength and independence…I just wanted to mother the hell out of my son…go figure. Shame on me for not seeing his own strength.  Throw in a particularly messy divorce…(GUILT.)..Give ’em everything they want, even before they knew they want it (GUILT) to suppress my own guilt for tearing them away from their cozy life with a mother and father that actually lived in the same household.  It’s a wonder my kids turned out as wonderful as they did.  We can only do our best.

Retired parents in their 60’s are looking forward to their reward for having worked hard most of their lives, yet many aren’t finished supporting their adult “kids”.  They are held hostage by anger, frustration, disappointment, guilt and fear the consequences of throwing their adult birdie out of the nest.  The reality is…we don’t have as many years left as the one’s that many are still supporting.  

To all of you bamboccioni (BIG BABIES), boomerang children and parasaito shinguru [single parasite] get out of bed before noon, get a job and


Too all of you enablers, here is my own recipe to get those little blood suckers to move into a more independent self. – 


Give them the tools and encouragement to move out into the world…Let’s treat them as adults instead of children…it’s really ok…there’s isn’t a boogey man out there..and if there is, there is a safety net.  As parents’ we will always be there for their emotion support and in these hard economic times, to assist financially…TO A POINT.  Set boundaries!  Set rules!  Insist on their participation in household chores!  Most important, together, create an exit strategy TOGETHER.  Otherwise, the loving and mature relationship that we strive to achieve with our adult children may indeed turn into a dysfunctional or even non existent one.

As a retired enabler, I’m  hoping that I will one day, somewhat turn the tables and hope that my children will be there for me when I need them!  When I’m too old to figure out how to open the frustrating plastic packaging to remove the tiny object that manufacturers feel the need to challenge us with.  When I need someone to clip the hedge, cut the lawn, clean the gutters – FOR FREE.  Payback’s a bitch kiddo’s. In return,  I promise I will remain independent and live as long as I can on my own and then, heck, I may even want to move into a senior home and play bingo with all the other old farts.

RANT OVER…just sayin.

I’ll leave you with this…


Life is Good…..