I’m sure you can guess what is at the top of my Thankful list. The very top of a very long list (more on that below). I am thrilled to have so much to be thankful for this year. And being surrounded by the love of family. Many included as family are part of extended families and ex-families and almost families.
And that is not weird to me at all.
I grew up loving a Grandma that was not related to me by blood …I never knew until I fully grasped family trees….and she wasn’t on my branch or even my tree.
I had no clue.
She never acted like she wasn’t my Grandma. And you know what? She was. She was my Grandma. Blood relation or not. That is who I called Grandma and always will. I think of her most at this time of year. As children we made the trek from Oklahoma to Colorado to visit her every Thanksgiving. Most times it took the entire day to get there. She would cook and serve the big feast, then send us packing up the mountain to ski Monarch the next day. That was her Christmas present to us, always the same, a day together of snow, ski, and fun paid for by Grandma.
I will always treasure those Thanksgivings. I wrote about it on this blog in December of 2009 Timeless Treasures. She is my most special Grandma (that wasn’t my Grandma) who made our holidays joyful and bright. And she is who I look up to as a role model. Now that I am a grandma, I hope I can live up to her highest of standards.
I appreciate her these days more than I ever have. I hope I can give as much as my heart to my grandchildren as she did.
My most precious gift this year is my very own grandchild. She is growing so fast. Faster than I ever thought possible. I had no idea how much love a grandmothers soul could hold.
Oh man, is it a lot!
This little angel just turned three months old.
Three months in the blink of an eye. She now recognizes my face and voice. She smiles instantly when she sees me. She stares at me with those grey/blue eyes full of curiosity.
We talk and play and take lots and lots of pictures. She started cooing recently. It is not like the coo I have heard other babies say. Hers is like a musical note. It is so pretty! I swear it is not ooooo. This coo is like a note Snow White sings in the forest to all the wild animals that flock to her side. This music she strains to do by pursing her mouth just so and looking around with her big eyes (like…did I just do that?). Then, she smiles real big and kicks her legs because she knows she just did and it was awesome.
I wonder if she has inherited my mother and father’s musical talent. My mom toured singing Sound of Music as a teenager. She, also, won the crown of Miss Ada (the same Ada Blake Shelton is from). Her talent? Singing. My Dad toured with a 60’s garage band, they were invited to open for the Beach Boys. Musical talent gone wild in that pairing.
I didn’t get a smidge of musical talent. Sydney might have got just that, a smidge. But Averey. Wow. Looks like she may have got the full dose. I guess time will tell if she can carry a tune as a well as a coo. But dang if she isn’t cute doing it.
What she looks like talking…
Thinks Grammy is telling a story face…
I am so thankful.
To have this squishy little person as my musical serenader.
The way it changes?
Happy, HAPPY Thanksgiving to each and every one. May you be blessed beyond measure and treasured beyond time. And be so completely enamored by the life and love of a wonderful family (blood relations or not).
And thank-you for most for being part of my journey.
Six weeks. This precious little baby is six weeks old.
This is one of her newborn photographs that I am (still!) working on. Why? Why? Why?
Why can’t there be enough hours in the day for all I want to do? Why do I have to get soooo distracted by dogs, walks, the store, TV, my husband, zumba class and workworkworkworkwork?
I mean those are not allll my excuses. At first, I couldn’t choose which photos I liked best and wanted to edit. Then…..I thought…..might as well wait to post any until the announcements go out. Well, guess what? I mailed the announcements today!
Accomplishments – 1. Excuses – 0.
But honestly, look at this face. This itty bitty witty face. I get absolutely zero editing done when I get to visit with her. The dogs are completely ignored. I almost forget to eat, because I can’t put her down. Can’t! The other grandparents think I spoil her to death and I do. I fully admit it. I am powerless.
So I put off editing to hold her. To look at her. And to wonder how she is even possibly my grandbaby. Then I pinch myself.
This weekend I enjoyed a slew of baby Averey time. More than 24 hours since Brandon and Sydney let her overnight with me. A weekend with Grammy! I loved it so. I had to stock up on Averey time since I will be traveling to Milwaukee next week. It’s quite possible a WHOLE week or more will go by before I see her again (cry!). I hope she doesn’t change too much.
As for my lovely blog. It’s not near over. I completed an upgrade today and will be posting more. Truth is, I want to post all the time. About her. About life. About everything. But a thought turns into a day, a day turns into a week, and the next thing I know….six weeks have passed.
Finally, I understand how being a grandparent ages you so quickly.
But, I didn’t just want to post about Averey and how happy I am to meet her and her to meet me. I also wanted you to meet a dear blogger friend of mine.
We go way back in blogspast and she is doing a meet the blogger series. I am her second blogger featured. Me! On her blog (of course, I had to share!). I am sooooo very honored. Especially since I have been such a crappy blogger of late.
Please pop over and give her a shout out from me. She is a talented Mom, photographer, videographer, business owner, and shopper – Jean at Jean Has Been Shopping. She does it all. Go meet her and meet me. Uhhh, again.Heh.
Friday, August 23, 2013 – I turn 42 years old. I have the day off work. It is a FRIDAY! And on top of all that, I am invited to my daughter’s ultrasound with her and her boyfriend. In my life of beautiful things to count, it is one of the best birthday presents I could ask for. And I get to see her. There on the screen, all squishy cheeks with her head down and ready for GO time.
But the little booger is just not ready. Sydney has zero signs of labor. And that is OK by me. I want her here safe, and when it is time. It doesn’t have to be on MY birthday (although that would be so cool and totally trump my last gift).
But no. It’s not time. Or is it?
The ultrasound tech seems to think so. The fluid in Sydney’s amniotic sac has dropped significantly. So much so, she thinks the Doctor might go ahead and induce her labor before the baby runs out of juice….TODAY. On my Birthday! SHUT UP!
And that is exactly what they do. Admit her to the hospital, put her in a delivery bed, and give her the medicine to start the contractions.
I’m in disbelief. There is NO way this is happening…ON MY BIRTHDAY.
Let me tell ya, I am giddy! Ridiculously! So! THIS is the best birthday present EVER!
The night wears on and the clock hand is nearing midnight. I tell my sweet grand girl it is okay if she is born the next day. No matter what, she is still the best birthday ever. And in my heart, I know this little one wants her own special day and that brings me so much joy.
I post a poll on Facebook to predict the time of birth. Hey, if it’s gonna be a long all-niter then at least I can do something to pass the time. So many of my sweet friends choose before midnight. HA. My prediction? 5:30am
Midnight passes and my birthday ends, but the labor does not and the night goes on. Sydney is given less than a 1/2 teaspoon of pitocin. The previous medicine given at Noon the day before is still working and she doesn’t need the pitocin. This is good. This is more natural (even though it is not). If anyone has been induced before (raising my hand) with pitocin. That stuff is a beast. ::shudder::
As we go into the wee hours of the early morning August 24th. The labor is steady, but not too strong. Sydney tries to stay comfortable. My mind drifts, and my eyes start to close.
Quiet hours go by until, finally, the nurse begins moving the bed and moving extra people out of the room. Baby is ready. Sydney is ready. And it is time to begin the push phase. Brandon and Sydney allow me to stay as the one additional person that can be in the room (shhhhhtup….best day after my birthday present ever). Not only do I get to see my grand child be born into this world, I also have my camera (of course). Having given birth, I know the moment is fast and fuzzy. Emotions are high, moms are tired. I want them to have photographs to cherish. To re-live that moment again and again. Birth Photography is becoming more popular (although it’s expensive). I studied the ins and outs online. What lenses to use….What settings…..Where to stand. I just prayed I would get it right.
5:30AM – It’s GO time for baby. Let the pushing begin.
I am a little amazed my time prediction is thissss close.
Sydney had an epidural earlier for the pain. She is given oxygen for the health of both of them. It is so hard to push when you are numb, but she does. It takes a lot of strength and resilience. She gives all she has every contraction. Brandon is at her side coaching her all the way through. It is exhausting. Exhausting to watch. Exhausting to wait. My stomach is in knots because it is sooo hard watching your child struggle and strain. A friend did warn me that I would be torn up by this and I am.
The baby’s head is RIGHT there. The only thing holding her back is her Daddy’s ears (HA! Kidding! But really funny when the doctor actually said that).
At 608am, Averey Elizabeth enters our lives with the most beautiful cry. She sounds just like her Mama and looks just like her Daddy. My heart springs from my chest. So amazing. So beautiful.
Averey’s first moment of life.
Getting Dad to cut the cord of his new baby girl.
Brandon cuts the cord of his baby girl.
She is beautiful.
And a little upset with all of us…haha.
Daddy and his baby girl.
Averey on the scale. She is only 5lbs 4oz and 18inches long. So tiny!
Dad holds his baby for the first time.
Mom holds baby skin to skin. A precious new family.
I am really glad the camera is in my hand and in front of my face. I am pretty sure it is keeping me grounded. I think I would be a blubbering puddle if I didn’t have a “job” to do.
I follow baby while Brandon pushes her crib to her first bath and we join what I call the Grandpa Brigade – Great Grandpawpaw, Grandpaw, and Poppy (Brandon’s Grandpa, Dad, and my husband Jason). It is completely adorable to watch all these big boys – who waited all day and night at the hospital – melt into a puddle over their tiny new baby girl. Did you see that? She already has them wrapped around her bitty finger. Just. Like. That.
I melt too. My eyes are googly and misty and OHMYGOSH we have a new baby in the family. Then, I realize I should go check on my baby! My little girl who just gave birth. Ooops my bad!.
I go to Sydney and stay with her while they get her clean and move her to the mom and baby room. The new room is exactly like the delivery room except the bed does not have a piece that comes off at the bottom and it is on the other side of the hall. Although it is not different, it is different. There is something in the air on that side. See, this is the place where babies cry and moms listen. They are held, fed, and loved. But most of all, they get to learn about their new parents, grandparents, family, and friends.
One second we are unpacking in the new room, the next second, they bring in a freshly clean bundle of joy. I swear… I forget to breathe.
She is so incredibly beautiful. I love every inch of her. And what they say is true. It is an incredible kind of love when you hold your grandchild for the first time. One that can not be described in words or pictures.
Me (Grammy), my daughter Sydney, and Miss Averey Elizabeth.
Poppy Jason holds Averey. Gosh doesn’t she look tiny?
Poppy and ANOTHER girl to spoil.
Mom, Dad, and Baby make three.
Auntie Bridget holds Averey. She is a little pro at holding her. I heard she has been practicing for months.
Poppy Jason, Auntie Bridget, and Auntie Molly with Averey. This is the only photo we have of Molly holding her.
And THIS. This little package, wrapped all in pink and tied with a hat bow, is why I had the most crazy, beautiful birthday EVER.
How could I not?
“A Grandmother’s Prayer”
Oh Lord, I do not ask for much,
Eternal beauty, or youth, or such.
Just give me a little hand to hold,
And I’ll forget that I’m growing old.
I do not ask for cloudless skies,
A life that’s free from tears and sighs.
Just give me a little face to kiss,
And anxious moments will turn to bliss.
For what is there, really, that means so much
As little hands that reach and touch,
As little eyes that search and see
Only the best in fragile me?
So let me grow more loving and wise
By looking at life through their wide eyes.
For through these little ones, you have given
This grateful grandmother a glimpse of Heaven.
Author: Barbara Burrows