Hello all... it's been a while, hasn't it? I really don't even know how to write this post as part of my month of July spent in California was so wonderful and the other half was just plain sad...
But, let's start with the happy news, okay? I am a grandma!! Yes, my precious little grandson arrived in this big, crazy world on July 8, 2020 weighing in at 7 lbs. 1 oz. From the time we found out about the pregnancy back in November 2019, my husband and I were bound and determined to, somehow, get out to California to meet this newest family member. With the COVID-19 virus and all the restrictions that accompany it, we discussed many options. Should we drive, should we fly, should we take a train? I mean we live nearly 2500 miles away from my son and daughter-in-law--on the other side of the United States! We finally decided that flying would make the most sense with all the sanitation methods they are now using in airports and on planes. So we flew out in early July with the intent of quarantining in an AirBnb for two weeks and then, when the baby was due in mid-July, we would move in with my son and daughter-in-law for the last two weeks to help out. Well, the baby arrived a bit early so we weren't there for his homecoming, but I think it was nice for the new little family to have some time to themselves. By the time we were able to move in with them on the 16th--they were more than ready for some extra arms to help out!
Oh, I am hopelessly in love with this dark-haired, brown-eyed bundle of baby. I honestly could have held him all day (and pretty much did!). He is so alert and interested in the world already--even at one month old! I now understand what all of you grandmothers out there have been talking about... You have an entirely different perspective as a grandparent than you had as a parent. For one thing, you have more time and patience (not to mention years of experience!) to give to a grandchild. On Instagram, I posted the photo of my darling grandson surrounded by a collage of some of the lovely La Jolla, California scenery we saw on our walks during our quarantine time. It truly is a beautiful part of the world--and I'm just a bit biased, but I think it got even more lovely since this sweet boy made his appearance!
|My first grandson sleeping like an angel|
While in quarantine at the AirBnb, I was able to personalize the birth sampler that I shared with you in my last post. My son wants to limit my grandson's online exposure (which I totally understand) so he agreed to one photo which I posted above and on Instagram. (He has since said I could post a couple more which you'll see below). For privacy, I've blackened out the name in the sampler and will simply be calling him "Baby B" for now. I used a free alphabet font I found online and added the birth date along the giraffe's neck as well as the baby's weight, length, and time of birth underneath the baby's name. Baby B's parents chose a jungle animal / sloth theme for his nursery so I think this sampler fits in perfectly. I just may have to find something with sloths on it to stitch as well!
|How cute are all those smiling creatures!|
Luckily, I had a thrift store frame in my stash which was the perfect size so I painted it and added the green gingham fabric to a piece of sticky board before we flew to California. Once I had added my grandson's details, I mounted the stitched piece on sticky board that was padded with batting, attached some green ric-rac to the back of the stitching, and glued the entire thing in the center of the green gingham fabric.
|Baby B's birth Sampler all finished up: "Zoo Line-Up" by The Trilogy|
I'm very pleased with the finish and by the looks of the photo below, three-week old Baby B loves it, too! On the back of the frame, I wrote a personal message to my grandson and part of it mentioned that my hopes for him in life are that he would always be as "Reliable as a Rhino," "Loving as a Lion," "Happy as a Hippo," "Enthusiastic as an Elephant," "Zealous as a Zebra," Sincere as a Swan," "Personable as A Penguin," "Patient as a Panda," "Grateful as a Giraffe," and "Adventuresome as an Alligator." I have no idea if these traits apply to each animal--I just wanted adjectives that started with the same letter as the animal!
|I think he likes it!|
My grandson received two beautifully hand-knit blankets, one from my blogging friend Barb R. in Michigan and the other from my sister-in-law, Peggy in Ohio. Aren't these gorgeous? I really should teach myself to knit! A handmade baby gift is so special, isn't it? Something the grown "baby" can someday pass on to his or her own child when they become a parent. I still have some of the blankets that were knit for my first son when he was born and plan to use them for my grandson when he comes to visit... Thank you both so very much for the lovely blankets and for the love and thoughtfulness you knit into each one!
|Beautiful blue baby blanket from dear blogging friend Barb R.|
|Another lovely baby blanket in shades of blue, green, yellow, and white from my sweet sister-in-law, Peggy|
Who knew that new grandparents receive cards and gifts, as well?! As if that sweet baby wasn't the best gift ever? It touched our hearts to know our friends and family shared our joy. We had waited for a grandchild for so, so long, I'm sure all of my friends and relatives are very relieved that they won't have to hear me whining about not being a grandmother any longer. My husband received a cute coffee mug from my son and daughter-in-law and I received this lovely necklace engraved with a compass. The note from my daughter-in-law said that I was their compass and thanked me for my guidance. So sweet... They also gave us the cute "Welcome To Grandma and Grandpa's" sign. The Willow Tree statue of a grandmother holding up her grandson and the cute picture frame are from local friends.
And just look at this darling pillow, my friend in Spain, Edit, made for me! I love it, Edit. That was so sweet of you to stitch this for me! But, watch out--I never run out of things to talk about when it comes to my grandson. This is a Lizzie Kate design that Edit finished into a darling pillow--and her handmade card is lovely, too. Thank you so much, my friend!
Can you tell I'm in love? Such a cutie pie with those dark expressive eyes! And that hair! Oh, my... I honestly could sit and gaze at him all day. Below, is my favorite photo of us taken by my oldest son. The joy on my face says it all!
Sadly, our happiness and excitement over the birth was tempered by two events. Yes, the day I had been dreading for so long occurred on July 24, 2020. My dear mother passed away just 16 days after the baby was born. You see, she never fully came back from her near-death experience in early May. My middle sister and I had taken turns nursing her back to health in May and June and she was even released from hospice as she was doing so well. But, I could tell that on June 20, the last day I saw her as I drove away from caring for her in New York, that she wasn't back to her old self and probably wouldn't be. I honestly believe that she held on for so long to be able to see my grandson born. She knew that this sweet baby would help ease the pain of her death for me. And he has--somewhat...
I still miss her desperately, though, especially now that I'm home from California and don't have the baby to distract me. I have so much more to say about my mother's life--and death, that I will be doing a separate tribute post to her. She was my very best friend in the world whom I miss each and every day. I am just too tearful to put everything down into words right now. In the meantime, here is a collage of photos of her very special life--a life that touched so many with that beautiful smile of hers...
|Mom's smile lit up the world for 93 years!|
Unbelievably, just two days after my mother died, my dear daughter-in-law, the mother of my then 18-day-old baby grandson, lost her own father to Covid-19. How cruel life can be sometimes... This sweet 32-year-old woman lost both parents within 4 months of each other in what should have been one of the happiest periods of her life--the pregnancy and birth of her first child. I just have to shake my head and sigh at the unfairness of life sometimes... Both her father and my mother were able to FaceTime with us and see the baby a couple of times. My mother pronounced him the "most beautiful baby ever" (although, I'm sure she said that about each of her great-grandsons!). And my daughter-in-law's father was all smiles as he greeted his newest grandson on the screen. Just a few days after the final FaceTime session, both were gone...
I don't know... I'm really having trouble processing all of this sadness, but thank goodness dear Baby B is here for us and gives us hope for the future.
Thank you all for visiting me today--I've missed all of my blogging friends and hope to get back to visiting your blogs and commenting very soon. I've done very little stitching--just don't seem to be in the mood, but I know I need to go back to it as it does bring me such peace. I'll be back again before the end of the month--in the mean time, hold your loved ones close, try not to fret over the small things in life, and always remain hopeful. Some days it is harder than others, but there is always hope. Bye for now...