Baby Watch…. a year later…

A year ago I was planning a series of posts on Baby Watch, 2012.  I wrote about the trip up to wait the arrival of our grandson.  It was a fun time, the weather was much too hot to have fun outside, but we did manage to tour Gettysburg for three days and we did take several walks with our family in the D.C. area.

The baby was born and I went on with my posting.  Last week I began to think about this time last year.  I thought of the posts and smiled to  myself.  The baby watch became baby watching.  We have loved watching him grow this year.

He was an alert baby from the start.  His bright eyes captured our hearts immediately.  He seemed to smile sooner than I remember my own children smiling.  His smile is so heartwarming, and contagious.  Yes, I know, I am gushing, but he is so easy to gush over.

He has grown so much and with each visit via Skype, he changes.  He smiles and babbles on.  I know he is talking to me and telling me about his adventures with his Nana.  Nana watches him each morning while my daughter teaches preschool.  They share wonderful adventures and he loves to tell me about them.

He has eight teeth (at least I think that is the count now).  He smiles and you see them and have to laugh.  He loves to eat his fruit and veggies and recently he discovered the wonderous joy of carnitas (homemade, of course).  I guess he could not get enough of the pork pieces.

He is starting to venture out in walking now.  He has taken a couple of steps on his own, but with his quick smile, he realizes he is not just ready yet and reaches out for someone close by.

We get to visit him soon.  I am anxious for this, and keep checking the calendar to make  certain it’s still only June.  I have another month and a few days to go before we leave, and time is just not going fast enough for me to be there.

The baby watch will go on, I am afraid.  I will watch him until my eyes no longer work.  He will always be our little baby grandson.  He will always have that joy that infects our hearts with laughter.  A year ago, I thought I knew how I would feel when I saw him.  I was so wrong.  I thought I would be happy and joyful.  I was that, but this is so much more.  People warned me about being a grandparent.  I thought they were exaggerating.  Again, wrong!

I am so thankful for this gift in our life.  He teaches me so much when I see him and hold him.  Lessons I am learning can’t be put into words though.  I look at him and see the glory of God, for he is our precious gift from God.  I see a life starting to unfold.  A life beginning, a life ready to learn and explore and touch.  Through his eyes I see the beauty of a tree, the wonder of a cloud and the adventure of walking around a coffee table.

I feel the release to squeal with laughter over any accomplishment.  The delight to wave hello to people.  The freedom to give kisses on those you love.  These are lessons I needed to relearn.  I am so glad the Lord provided such a wonderful teacher in our little grandson.   Yes, I will continue with the baby watch… and will drag you, my dear blogging friends along with me.

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.  DAF

Saga (Everyone loves a neverending saga, right?)

Have you ever played on of those games where you pull one piece out and then everything crumbles and makes a mess?  It’s fun to try to keep everything up and steady, but it doesn’t always work that way.

We are renters.  We rent from a lovely couple who are currently residing overseas.  They have a beautiful home and we are blessed to be able to be here while they are gone.  They are considerate and kind and when they return home for visits we get together with them and invite neighbors whom they may not be able to visit with otherwise.

This past summer, before we left for Baby Watch 2012, they stopped by for a visit.  At the time, they determined it was time to replace the roof.  We had some minor leaks and it turned out that most of our neighborhood replaced roofs this summer.  I would say 2 out of every 3 homes now has a new roof.  The roof was put on while we were waiting for our precious grandson to be born.

We returned home to a beautiful new roof.  The colors we had picked out were great and all was well.

All was well until early fall when hurricane season came upon us.  We were not hit with hurricanes, but we did get some good storms from tropical storms running up the coast.  On one occasion, I was sitting in my livingroom listening to the rain and wind.  Both were strong.  The rain sounded so very clear and then I got up and realized why it sounded so clear.  It was raining in my dining room.  Water was pouring into the room.

The next few minutes were quite exciting as I grabbed towels, buckets, big soup pots and sheets of plastic.  Eventually we got everything moved, dried as best we could and covered as best we could.  The next couple hours found us emptying buckets and watching them fill as quickly as they emptied.  At least we got our exercise!

We contacted the owners and the roofing company.  The roofer came over, inspected their work, and determined it was not them.  The roof was intact and working.  However, and that is where the saga truly begins…

The pinning between the brick facade was chipped and broken.  This could  be it.  Called several people to come repair the pinning.  No luck.  Talked with the owners, tried more people.  No luck.  Replacing pinning in brick is an art form, and it is expensive and very few people do it.  We had one elderly gentleman come to look at the bricks.  It took him 45 minutes to find us from the main road (3 minute drive away). My dear hubby was on the phone with him the entire time.  He didn’t have room in his schedule.  Actually, I think he was on his last legs and we still don’t know if he made it out of the development, for all we know he is still driving his truck around trying to get out of here.

After a few months of trying to find someone, and fortunately no more leaks, the owners contacted a handyman who has worked with them in the past.  So, early last week, the handyman (will from now on refer to him as owner, as he owns his business) and his helper (will refer to him as helper) arrived at our home.

They both came into the diningroom.  Talked with hubby and I about what has happened.  They were shown pictures of the leaks, and could see the water damage on the walls and floors.  They began to get busy.  First the room was covered in plastic. If they would had used yellow tape instead of blue painters tape, it would have looked like a crime scene. Next, the ceiling had a hole cut into it and the ceiling removed (well about 4 feet of it).  Next a ladder appeared inside the dining room.

This was the beginning of the ‘water test’.  A ladder was raised outside the dining room.  The owner climbed that ladder and held a garden hose on full force.  The helper was up the ladder in the dining room.  His job was to stick his head between the ceiling and the sub flooring of the second floor.  The owner began to pour water onto the side of the house.  The helper knocked on the wall.  They had found the leaks.  The leaks were sealed and dried and retested.  Ahh… done.  Right?  Wrong.

The owner was not satisfied that was the only problem.  Up the ladder her went again, this time going up a little more.  The hose was once more on.  The helper, his head in between the ceiling and the floor was in place.  I heard the water and then I heard the helper, not knocking, but pounding on the wall!  He emerged drenched.  Problem area two found.  Fixed, left to dry.

By this time it was pouring outside.  Good test of their handiwork.  They left and we were left with a plastic enclosed dining room.  We could almost hear the theme song for CSI playing in the background.

Next day, they returned.  The hose was once more turned on.  Viola!!  No leaks.  Yay!

They replaced the ceiling and removed some of the plastic.  It was starting to look like normal, well, almost.

The following day they finished the ceiling.  It looked like it had never been disturbed.  Again, a round of applause.  We found the paint that matched the dining room and the repairs on the walls began.  Things were moving in the right direction.  I would have my dining room back to normal within hours.  I could see it, I was excited.

The walls were about done when the owner leaned down by the base board to cut into the wall.  He touched the baseboard and his fingers went through the base board.  Uh-oh… not good.

A call was made to the owners of the house.  It was 2 a.m. where they were.  They heard the new news.  Termites.  Active termites.  Termite damage.  What a nightmare, literally.

The handyman finished up his part of the job.  He did a great job.  We love a dry home.

This week began with a well-known termite company coming to visit us… again.  They hadn’t completed their task from the last time they were here (before we moved in).

We have just one section of baseboard missing now.  They removed it and did a preliminary treatment.

Tomorrow morning I get to fly up to spend a week with my grandson.  I cannot wait.  I will be met at the airport by my dear friend who is the other grandma.  I cannot wait to hug on Nana.  I cannot wait to see my kids and my baby.  It is going to be such a wonderful, wonderful day.

Tomorrow morning, my dear hubby will get to see this termite company come in and tear out the wall of the dining room.  They will also be tearing up the hardwood flooring in part of the dining room and in our entry way.   It looks like we will have some brick replaced outside and some major repairs going on.

I think I have the better schedule tomorrow, don’t you?  I have no idea what else they will find as they tear into my newly painted dining room walls.  It’s sort of like that game where you pull sticks out of a pile?    Only I don’t hear anyone hollering Jenga yet!

Thanks for stopping by.  Pray for my dear hubby…   DAF

Baby Watching 2012 ~ Day 2

This will be short.  I am busy watching my baby’s baby.  He is absolutely gorgeous, all 8 lbs 1 oz and 21 inches long.

He coos, he squeals, he cries, and he is the proud owner of my heart.  It no longer belongs to me, it is his.  His little fingers have wrapped their way around my heart and there they will stay.

That’s it for now, I am busy revelling in the glory of our God in giving our family such a gift.

Thanks for stopping by…. DAF

Baby Watch 2012 ~ Day 17 ~ 19 ~~~ And we are waiting…

When God forms an infant in our lives, He creates them with such perfection.  I know the last touches are forming and growing and I admit, I am so anxious to see that perfection.

The weekend came and went.  It was filled with times of laughter and happiness.  It was a weekend with family.  It was good.

We are all waiting, and waiting.  We know we cannot rush these things.  We know that babies come at the exact time they are supposed to.  But, I confess, I walk into my daughter and son in law’s place and longingly look at all the things set up for our dear little baby.  I have several times leaned over his little chair and imagined talking with him.  I can picture him there sitting, fussing, smiling.  His little high chair is waiting to be encrusted with cheerio’s or other finger food.  The place is ready, our hearts are ready.  Our arms are open to hold and touch.  I know the end is in sight.

Today I ventured onto the Olympic site and there was a countdown, rapidly ticking off seconds and minutes.  I thought to myself, man, I wish we had one of those for the baby.  I think we do, it is in heaven and the seconds and minutes are ticking away.  His birthday is soon, and this grandma is anxious to celebrate.

Thanks for stopping by and checking in.  As always, DAF

Baby Watch 2012 ~ Day 14 ~ Day 16 ~~~ First Ladies, Pedicures and Laundry

I could get used to not having to do much.  Living in a hotel does have its perks.  I like being able to go to the lobby and get coffee any time of the day or night.  It’s always decaf and they have those wonderful little flavored creamers.  What’s not to like?

Well, the other day my dear hubby and I ventured into the Capital.  We spent several hours investigating one tiny wing of one Smithsonian.  We spent most of that time looking at engines and light bulbs and transportation in the United States.  Hubby loved it.  I was itching to get to the third floor and look at the First Ladies’ gowns.  We spent about a half hour there.  It made me feel good about myself.  As the gowns were on mannequins and most looked larger than my size, I felt, well, good.  The shoes were all larger too, and that again, made me feel good.

I walked away from the exhibition loving Pat Nixon’s gown and Abigail Adam’s china.  What a mix, huh?

The following day I took my baby for a pedicure.  It was interesting, as the person doing her nails did not speak to her.  She told her that it takes a couple of minutes for the chair to turn off, but that was the total of conversation.  The woman doing my pedicure made up for it.  She talked with me and with my daughter and kept us amused.  All in all, it was a delightful time, with both of us walking away with some form of red on our toes.

Later that evening the family got together, most of us, that is.  The four grandparents and the expectant parents.  We munched, we talked, we laughed and enjoyed these moments of waiting.  Our dear little grandson seems content where he is.  He rolled and moved while conversation went on around him.  He is completely unaware of how anxious we are to meet him.

Today is my dash of reality.  Laundry.  Even in the midst of hotels and babies and museums there lurks the real life drama of running out of clothes.  Our days are numbered by the amount of underwear packed.  So, off to the little laundry here at the hotel.  I am hoping we are the only ones to run out as there is only one washer and one dryer and I really want to be able to just stay put until I have something presentable to put on.

The one thing that has occurred to me during this time is the patterns of life.  The people in hotels all have a purpose for being here.  As I go to breakfast in the morning I see people in business suits with their game face on.  You can look at them and know they have a mind racing with schedules, plans, and ideas.  They walk purposefully and directly.  There are people lazily eating their breakfast and going over pamphlets of tours and metro schedules.  They are loaded with cameras and tour books.  Then there are those families with sleepy-eyed children who just want juice and some cereal and some semblance of normal.  You look at them and know they are in for a very long day.

These people become a part of you as you visit this hotel.  You notice them every day.  But, when they leave and we leave we will never think of them again.  This may be the days where they have saved for years for this little respite.  We see the outside never knowing how much these few days mean to them.    And, likewise, they have no idea we are waiting for the most precious delivery of all.  Museums and monuments pale in comparison for what we are waiting for.  I love looking at the difference.

So, as I leave this little room in search of quarters I will continue to people watch and dream of the hour when our little man makes his grand entrance.  I am certain everyone will see the difference in us as we look like grandpa and grandma for the first time.

Thanks for stopping by, I so appreciate it.  DAF

Baby Watch 2012–Day 3~Day 9–From Wedding Bells to Lightening Bugs to Sister Talks

Wow!  It seems like forever since I had a moment to sit and write.  I have thought about blogs all this week and am looking forward to blogging about them.

I still haven’t downloaded any pictures (that’s next on my to do list), but when I do, I will post them.

My nephew’s wedding was wonderful.  The bride was gorgeous and all went well.  All went well except that it was a late afternoon wedding in 100 degree weather.  The attendants and the groomsmen and the lovely couple were in the “shade” such as it was.  The seating was in the full blazing afternoon sun.  Fortunately, it was a short ceremony and the reception was air-conditioned.  Most people, when asked how the wedding was first reply, HOT!.  At least they will have lots of stories for when ever my great-niece or nephew is born a few years from now.

After the wedding weekend we made our way to Gettysburg, PA.  We pitched our tent (literally) and spent the next couple days in the battlefield.  My dear hubby was able to take pictures of each and every statue.  Unfortunately, I was only able to photograph Lincoln’s big toe and every statue I saw of Lee was on a horse on top of a pillar of concrete and I just couldn’t focus that far up.  Then, as I had mentioned in a earlier post that my dear hubby could take pictures of Lee and Sherman I do have to correct myself. (I think any history buffs out there should have corrected me sooner)  Meade was the other general opposite Lee.  Shame on me…

Anyhow, so grateful for little fans in our tent and that we were only in a tent for a couple of nights.  We moved a bit farther south and are enjoying a great visit with my sister.  There is nothing like being able to hang out with your sister.  To laugh and talk and just be.  I sit here in her kitchen and think of all the conversations we have had while sitting on these chairs.  The laughter, the tears and even mourning the loss of her husband while sitting around this table.  I know if furniture could talk, this table would have tales to tell that would keep me entertained forever.

But, for now, we continue Baby Watch 2012.  I know the time is coming soon when he will be here and all the lovely memories I  have made up  to this point will pale in comparison.  Until I get to write again, thanks for stopping by.  DAF