Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Musings on Becoming a Grandparent (By Lori)

Today it became official: We are happily anticipating the arrival of a new family member. I had already figured out that my daughter was expecting when she and her husband were here for Christmas Eve. (Really? You’re not drinking your favorite soda with dinner, and instead you want water? Really? Something’s afoot!) But we were summoned to the Emergency Room on the day after Christmas, and after the loss that we all experienced last summer, it was a little hard to get excited, even when we were told that the doctors were cautiously hopeful. The silent prayer of every heart was, “Please, Lord, let this baby be all right. We can’t go through this again.”

Well, today it was officially okay. My Little Foo Foo has successfully carried it through the first trimester, and the doctor heard a strong heartbeat today, so this grandmother can start getting excited! I am excited for my daughter and her husband, for they have not come to this point easily, and it means so much to them. I am tickled for their happiness.

Mandy and Jeromy: My Grandbaby's Parents

My daughter does not complain about the discomforts of pregnancy. She delights in her morning sickness, for that means that she still has a baby. She has told me, “Even the worst day of your pregnancy is better than the day that you miscarry.” She has a grateful heart.

I must admit that I’m tickled for my happiness, too, for I have always heard that grandchildren are the reward that you reap for surviving parenthood. I am ready to start reaping!

I have already started making plans for “Pod”. I have begun hand quilting the John Deere quilt and am prepared to switch gears and work on the floral/paisley quilt if the next ultrasound dictates. And, oh, the cute baby things out there! I may stimulate an economic recovery all by myself!

That’s the wonderful thing about grandchildren: you get to do the things that you wanted to do for your own kids, but were too busy being responsible parents to do them. Tons of toys? I wish I could have done that for my kids, but I was occupied with buying school supplies, and clothes, and food. Tons of fun? I’m sure we could have had more fun, but I was busy checking their homework, making them brush their teeth, and trying to mold them into wonderful people. That’s their job now, and I get to do the fun stuff!

I can’t wait until Pod gets to come to my house for sleepovers. Pod and I will revel in our decadence by eating dessert without finishing dinner first and by staying up two hours past our bedtime. Finally! Someone who will watch “Snow Buddies” and “Santa Buddies” with me (the greatest movies ever made, by the way). Oh, the fun we will have!

I truly will be able to tell Pod that I was madly in love with Pod before he/she was ever born. I am hopelessly smitten, and so very, very grateful. To all of those who have yet to live this dream I would say, “Keep the faith. Hold fast to your dream. One way or another, it can come true. And when it does, it will mean even more.”

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Little Taste of “Home”

To most people in other parts of the country, our little 5 or 6 inches of snow probably seems laughable. After all, when I watch the news, I’m starting to get the idea that anything less than a foot hardly seems worth mentioning. But you have to realize that here in Texas, this is quite a big deal.

The snow itself wasn’t totally unexpected: each year we seem to get our one dusting of snow for the year either on, or around, Valentine’s Day. So today’s snow wasn’t the big surprise. The big surprise had already come on Christmas Eve – our first white Christmas in this area for over 80 years. Today’s surprise was related to the amount of snow that we had. The 5:00 news report was saying that if we got just ½ inch more, today would be the snowiest day on record for our area, and we have already had the fifth snowiest winter ever recorded. Wow! (For the record, I say, “So much for global warming.” If the polar ice caps are still melting after this, we can just relocate all of the polar bears to the lower 48 states, and they’ll feel right at home!)

Toffee went out in the snow a little bit, but he was content to watch mostly from the porch:

Cookie, on the other hand, was all over the yard, sniffing and hunting:

I trudged out and put out some bird seed. Word soon spread, and the birds waited in the trees for those stinking dogs to go back inside:

Cookie decided to make them wait, and she parked her fanny right next to the bird seed:

What was Chewka Marie’s reaction to the snow? She had totally disappeared under her “linens”:

After lifting the corner, I could see just a little sliver of tail:

Then, a little face popped up:

Then, a truly annoyed little squirrel told her mother to leave her alone and let her sleep!

I have to say, I love this winter, and not just because the snow is pretty; it’s more than that for me. It truly is one of those small blessings that can lift my spirits. You see, we went to Wyoming a couple of years ago on a trip, and I fell in love with that area. Texas just does not feel like home anymore – it’s growing more crowded by the day, with our wonderful air quality I have sinus infections all the time, and the 101 degree days (for ten days in a row) in the summer are just killing me. So I’ve been dreaming of Wyoming, or Idaho, or Montana, for quite some time now. Whenever I read my “country living” magazines, I also find places like Virginia, Wisconsin, or Minnesota intriguing. There’s just something about living in a place that actually has seasons that appeals to me. However, I am often reminded by my husband and others that his job is here, and our family is here, and we own a home here, etc.

And I am often reminded that all of those places that I love have quite a bit of snow.

“Do you think you could actually handle that?” people will often ask me. “Your arthritis would probably be even worse than it is now.”

“I don’t know if I would like it or not,” I used to answer.

Now I feel like I’m at least getting the chance to have a small “test run” at living elsewhere, and so far, it’s okay. If nothing else, at least I can stomp through the snow, and for just a moment, I am “home”