As we sat at the table looking over the menu, Sarah handed the smaller version of the day’s offerings to Asher. He held it up in front of his face perusing the choices as if he knew exactly what his would be. Then an older couple moved over to the table across from us and he turned and said, “Hi!” The gentlemen took his hand and responded in kind, as Asher flashed those beautiful long eyelashes accompanied by a smile. What a hoot! During lunch he played with a miniature Batman, Darth Vader, and some other red clothed guy while he jabbered and ate. That’s how we communicate. He talks and I pretend I understand completely. After lunch, as we headed for the car, he waved and said “Bye” to the restaurant.

So, that was two times that I heard him say the appropriate word, at the appropriate time. Hi, and bye. What a rush!  Probably all grandparents feel this way. Early on his parents taught him a bit of sign language. The first time I saw the spark of understanding was when he had finished eating, and let me know it by waving his hands over the tray to the high chair. Shortly after, while we were shopping he patiently allowed me to push him in the stroller while Sarah and I contemplated floral selections for a Christmas swag. Finally he had enough, and waved his hands over his lap to let me know he was done. And that too, was a rush.

When I was a kid, longing for something in the not too distant future, my mother would tell me not to wish my life away. I often remember that thought, and then remind myself to savor the moment. But at the same time, I long for the day when I can talk with my grandson. There are so many things I want to tell him about. Like pollywogs and how they become frogs, and all about the cool things that live under fallen timber. And how important it is to walk carefully around the wildflowers. I want to tell him about snowflakes and raindrops. And how everyone is special, including him.

Sarah will probably say, “Soon, Grasshopper.” And she’s right. I know that because as I buckled him into his car seat, put his lovey (gauze blanket) on his lap, and moved toward his mouth with the pacifier (gear for travel and sleeping mode) he put his hand up and said “Nooooo!” Usually he just turns his head away when offered something he does not want. I looked at his mom, but she didn’t share my shock and awe – just a big smile. So then I did what any self-respecting grandmother would do. I tried it two more times and the response was the same…”Nooooo!” I did the happy dance right there in the parking lot.

Yesterday my grandson told me “No”. Maybe some day I won’t like that so much, but for now it’s a happy little song that I loved to hear.

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Grandma! Again!

March 2, 2010

That’s right! There’s another on the way!

I’ve been given the green light to share my sunshine…

Nestled safely inside that warm and comfy space is a wonderful little baby. An ultrasound today confirms that our grandberry is ten weeks old, with a nice steady heartbeat. Sarah, Mark, and Asher will welcome an addition to their family, our family, sometime around September 28th.

Sarah is doing great with this news. Laid back and patient. Grandma, on the other hand, is thinking about onesies, the Carter’s coupons I got in the mail last week, and trying to remember how it is to have a two year old and an infant. Breathe deep, grandma. Sarah’s got the right idea. All in due time. No pun intended.

Road Trip

February 18, 2010

Traveling North last weekend was a great and wonderful adventure for us. We’ve been on many trips together, some with John’s children when they were younger, but for the most part it’s just been the two of us. We’ve developed a sort of a rhythm to traveling together. Up early, out on the road, usually without much of a plan. We stop when we find something interesting, eat when we are hungry, and are in bed pre-midnight, adjusting as needed. Footloose and fancy free. This was our first trip in many years with a toddler.

We made reservations a month ago at Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, Michigan, for four. And a half. We conceded to bringing Asher’s parents along for the ride. Just kidding. There’s no way I would have even attempted this without his parents. It would have been like traveling to a foreign land. Without a translator.

Thanks to a good friend, who has a son, who works for a car rental agency, we got a tremendous deal on a vehicle that would hold luggage, a pack and play, a stroller, food, four adults, and a car seat. And several bottles of wine on the return trip. John was in road warrior heaven. He began his period of mourning the minute we returned the auto Monday night.

It had eight cylinders, four wheel drive, and all kinds of bells and whistles that I was not the least bit interested in. It made a big roar when he stepped on the gas. He did, too. Even Asher couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel. It’s a man thing.

The indoor water park was outstanding. So outstanding that I didn’t stop to take any pictures. Fail, as Sarah would say. By time I realized I didn’t have any, it was five minutes to closing on the last night. But the pictures I have in my mind will last a lifetime. His trunks were bright blue and orange, and he wore a navy latex short-sleeved shirt. The lodge provided a bright yellow life jacket with an inflated collar, and a handy little black loop on the back that was just perfect for tethering a toddler. His smile was contagious, yummy, and forever. He never stopped, from the first time his little feet hit the water soaked floor, until we lifted him up for the last time to head back to the room. Each of us took turns following him from the toddler pool, to the fort – complete with all kinds of water filled fun, to the adult pool, back to the fort, then to the toddler pool, then to the fort…get the idea?

He spent most of his time in the room trying to get out the door to get back to the park. No kidding. We had to use the bolt, and when he figured that out, we used the latch, which allowed enough of an opening to make the longing even worse. Not to mention pinched fingers. We were pretty lucky to come away unscathed.

I would like to say that after considerable prodding, on the last evening I did go down one of the water slides in a double inner tube with John. Twice. Sarah said she could hear us screaming all the way down. Both times. I loved it. Naturally, he hit the slides as soon as we got there. That’s one of the things I love about him.

As for traveling with a toddler, I would do it again in a heartbeat. It took some adjustment, on his part as well as ours, but he was a trooper. As for John and I, a wise old soul named Jane once told me when I struggled with my first child, “The best parent is one that has been there before.” After all these years, it’s perfectly clear. We understand all of the bumps and grinds that are a toddler. We’ve been there before, and love going there again.

Ah, so good…

April 27, 2009

Here is my new favorite picture.

mommy-and-asher-reading

I don’t really have a whole lot to say here, except that it is such a rush for me to see how my daughter “mothers” my grandson. He is happy and healthy and she does all in her power to make sure he stays that way. It just doesn’t get any better than this. At least not in this Grandma’s eyes. And heart.

Just once around the block.

December 15, 2008

This is a little like riding a bike. I can remember how, even though it has been awhile. But now that my feet are back on the pedals, where do we go? A gazillion things have happened since the last time I posted on a regular basis, and I still don’t know where to point the handlebars, which is why you haven’t seen much of me in awhile.

Probably the best place to start is with an Asher update. He’s nearing the three month mark and every time I see him there is something new and exciting happening. He’s holding his head up pretty good now. In fact he turns his head to follow voice, or motion. And I am happy to report that he has a great smile that can no longer be attributed to gas.

I was a little hurt to see that he found his pout, and used it on me a few weeks ago. But then last week he used it on someone else and was happy back in my arms, so I guess that’s ok.

bumbo

There’s some pretty cool stuff out there for moms these days. This seat is formed from a soft rubber kind of stuff that supports the baby so he can sit up, when in reality he’s really not ready yet. It allowed us to have a bit of a conversation while I got dinner ready not too long ago.

I’ve also been experimenting with Sarah’s slings, which are kind of like a papoose, except the baby is in the front rather than the back.  I had my first real experience with this last week at the grocery store. Within minutes he went from fussy to sound asleep. I could carry him, but have my hands free to fill the cart. How cool is that?

mom-to-asher

The thing that I have enjoyed the most really doesn’t have a thing to do with me, except as an observer. Maybe even an intruder. Every so often I witness a moment where the only two people that matter are a mother and her child. No one else is in the crowded room, but the two of them. What a rush.

asher-to-mom

So, there you have it. That is where my mind has been lately – a pretty good place to be.

So what did you think about that journalist throwing his shoes at the President?

Baby Update – Willi Style

September 17, 2008

I received this e-mail from one of my friends at work a few minutes ago. Willi had stopped by to give all of the ladies in my office the most recent news…

Subject: Update from Granddaddy…
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 8:09 AM

OK – Here was the birth update we received from your eloquent husband,

“They started the deduction last night.”
“The balloon popped then it dropped”

Then after our laughter subsided, he explained that Sarah was given the pitocin this morning, which is not the coffee substitute made of hickory……huh?

I swear we need a translator when John explains things.

Anyway, we thought this birth update would make a cute story in your grandson’s baby book.

I’m praying that this process goes quickly and with minimum discomfort and that he is born as healthy as can be.

God Bless,
Cara

Then I got a call from him admonishing me to better prepare him next time. Really I prefer his take on it – Willi’s Standard Operating Procedure…When in doubt, make ’em laugh!

No real news as of yet. I imagine things are in full tilt boogie and I’m waiting for the call. I know she is in great and caring hands. Thanks for your thoughts. And I’ll report back, hopefully soon.

The waiting

September 16, 2008

is the hardest part. According to the little ticker on the lower right hand corner of the monitor its 11:23 p.m. Make that 11:24. Sarah and Mark made their way to the hospital at 7:00 to induce labor. Contractions reached the 5 minute mark at 8:30 and have since subsided. So they relax and wait. And so do the rest of us that patiently watch. And wait.

It is such a mixed bag of emotions. Excitement, anxiety, love, hope and dreams. It is so hard to be here when my daughter is there. To be the mom from a distance, even though she is minutes away, has to have been the most difficult part of her growing up for me to get comfortable with. I’m not altogether there yet. This is a feeling that she too will have one of these days. And it seems to have come so fast. Too fast.

It looks like it will be awhile. I’ve been keeping up with her Twitter posts and they’re “maxin and relaxin”. So I will, too. But you can bet I will have one eye open and the phone next to the bed. You never know when the call might come that means pull your pants on and come runnin. And I will.

Sarah, if you read this, you’ll get a giggle. I was wasting time over on YouTube and came across a couple of songs from the search “baby”… here, and here. I knew you would like the second one. And here’s the one I was looking for when I got sidetracked. I don’t think this was what Tom Petty had in mind, but I’ve been singing it over and over again these last few days…

“The waiting is the hardest part. Every day you get one more yard. You take it on faith, you take it from the heart. The waiting is the hardest part. Yeah, yeah!”

I love you, honey.