Dear Ellie Belly,
So the other amazing father that I wanted to tell you about is your Poppy. You can say Poppy so clearly and he loves to hear it over Skype. Sometimes, we call him Crazy Ed too. It's hard for me to find the right words to describe your grandfather because I've never met anyone quite like him. So I'll try to do justice of describing a man I completely admire and love by making a list of his very quirky and endearing personality:
1. He has biggest heart of anyone I know (he buys you anything you touch at Babies-R-Us)
2. He is obsessed with Disney (he turns into the biggest kid there, he literally runs for the Magic Kingdom!)
3. He is extremely protective of his family (your Poppy came with me on my first date, it was awful!)
4. He is a problem-solver (call him anytime day or night with a problem and he will figure out a solution)
5. He is very sentimental (Kyle is always close to his heart)
6. He is a perfectionist (I always have my car detailed before he comes to visit so as not to hear him complain...)
7. He is a little bit anal (He never sets his watch backward when he comes to Denver, he leaves it on "real time" and tends to follow meal and sleeping times of the east coast)
8. Name brands do matter to him (which is good for you because he only buys the best and usually the most expensive!)
9. He really likes to shop (whenever he comes out, suggest a mall outing and he will be thrilled!)
10. He is super shy (which many people mistake for snobbery)
11. He can tell a funny story better than anyone and make you pee your pants laughing so hard
12. He is extremely cynical and political (unless you want an earful or a million forwards in your email inbox, don't ask him about the government)
13. He is still working on technology (he is the only person I know with a dial-up connection and an IPhone at the same time)
14. He can be cool (he started a monogrammed trend with you Ellie and it all began with this hat he had made before you were born. We gave it to the nurses in the delivery room for you to wear as soon as you arrived and you wore it for quite some time!)
15. He is a city boy that moved to the country (and still fights with the wildlife... yes, I had to bring friends over and explain why we had rat traps going up our front steps... my Dad thought he was onto something new on how to get rid of chipmunks eating his flowers). Mimi, please tell Ellie the skunk story and Dad's ongoing war with the gophers!
My Dad is the epitome of juxtaposition if I ever saw one. But Ellie, he would give you his right arm if you needed it, which he would do for anyone he loves. When Kyle was sick, it just about killed him that he couldn't fix it, or find someone who could not matter how much money would be involved. My Dad would whisper into Kyle's ears during those 11 days to get better and if he did, he would take him to Disney World. To give Kyle a glimpse of Disney, my Dad brought a giant (well giant compared to Kyle's 4 pound body) stuffed animal of Mickey Mouse. I'm sure if Kyle did live to see Disney World, he would have been so scared of that mouse!
Besides Kyle, he loves you more than anyone. Family is my Dad's life. Every day, you and I call him on the way to daycare and we Skype with him when we get home. You, Ellie, bring out a side of him that I never saw. My Dad worked very hard when I was little, often working many hours in overtime. So to watch him sing to you, read to you, and play on the floor with you when he visits (and he is a big guy) makes my heart melt.
For my Dad's birthday, we celebrated when he came to visit in December. Like I've said before, in our family the birthday person gets to choose the restaurant of their choice to spend the evening. My Dad enjoys good food and he picked a fancy steakhouse, Shanahan's, to go to. You were only 9 months old and I offered to get you a babysitter but he wouldn't have it (he said his birthday was meant to be with the people he cares most about). You came with us, and although he walked you around to keep you busy while we waited for the food to come, you were a good girl and your Poppy was so happy that you spent the evening with him on his special night.
I will save Disney World for a later blog but just know that I never saw your Poppy so excited than having him show you the Magic Kingdom. It was him and your Mimi that took you on Winnie the Pooh and the Teacups.
Never underestimate how much he loves you. You have taken up a huge chunk of his heart.
Like I keep saying, you are one loved child girlfriend!
Love you Ellie Girl!