Friday, January 30, 2015

baby pictures

 It's been a wonderful week, welcoming this child, so happy to have her with us.

 When they arrived the other day, Dannell told me to pluck her from the carseat.   I asked her if she was sure?  Yes, she needs to be waked up to eat.

So, that's enough for me.  But then p.j. was right there on the bench beside me, "Oh Gramma, look it!   Look at her little hands!"  She kissed her head.

The displaced brother is actually coping pretty well.  He likes her.  Life has changed, but it's going to be okay.

These are from today--she's a little jaundiced, so its important that she nurse.  But first she had to be unwrapped and undressed from her little cozy cocoon.

 Here she is, all dressed, ready to have her heel pricked again.  Dannell nursed her through this so she never even cried.

I like that method.

 Here they are, working the Etch-A-Sketch.

 And he showed up after work to meet his new niece.
It was a great, baby day.

Nothing but love, Val, aka GRANDMA


Okay, Julia is fancy.  See these fake fingernails she got at Target yesterday?   I have never had my nails done.   Not one single time.   I might file and buff them, or put on nail polish once in a while, but stick on fingernails?

Never.  Never even thought of it.

Jule has always has been this way, loves fancy things.

I have five daughters--three fancy, two not..

I am not fancy.
 Alicia and I have talked about this because she has a not-fancy mother, and a not-fancy grandma.
And yet Martha, one of her mom's sisters,  is very fancy.  Martha is just all kinds of elegant and beautiful.
Maybe it's genetic.  We don't know.

But one little girl has been born this week into the family, and two more are going to be soon.

We'll are so excited to get to know these people.

Oh my goodness.

love, Val

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

a little sister

The hours between the phone call until we were there with her in our arms?  It felt like a year.  As I was trying to get through the last of it and get on the road, a couple absurd obstacles appeared in my way. I was an inch from just plain primal screaming, right in the elevator.  But no, stay calm.

And then?

Then I was in the quiet, dark,  cool air, in the car, heading for our baby.
 Jay is delighted to turn his birthday over to this girl.

 She's tiny, not quite seven pounds, and fuzzy and warm.

Here are the relieved and happy parents with their baby:

Congratulations you guys and to your whole family.  What a wonderful day.

Welcome, Sweetheart.

We've been waiting for you.

Love, Grandma and Grandpa and Everybody

Sunday, January 25, 2015

a couple birthdays in January

 m.c.'s birthday was earlier in the month, and Jay's is now.

 So we had a party Saturday night for fun.

We haven't really all been together since Christmas time, so it was good to be together and eat and goof around for the evening.

 Here are all the ipad cousins, doing what they love to do:

 Grandpa had a lot of help with his gifts, enthusiastic people.

 Dannell's baby is going to be here any day.

 The costumes were a big hit.  Today Julia, Lydia and I went through them all and washed them and organized the whole blessed mess.  We had too many.  It was time to pare the volume down.

Eventually it was time for cake.

m.c., this has been a year of growing and change, and also confusion, and yet it's been okay too.    We hope being 15 in 2015 is a great year.  We love you, and  it was lovely to spend the evening with you yesterday.

And here's Jay with his candles:

Happy Birthday, Buddy.

It's been a long month, but we've made it to here.

We all love you a million times over.   love, Val and Everybody

Friday, January 23, 2015


 Tomorrow we're having a party for Jay's birthday, so the afternoon was spent cooking and cleaning.

The kids cleaned before we came home from vacation, and that's been a while already.

And it felt good to peel potatoes.  I used to do this constantly, but now?  Nope.  I haven't peeled a potato, could be possibly not in a whole year.

She's making her dad a birthday card.
 And even this little face was dusted.

John wanted to meet his dad at the boat show tonight, but then John's life became a little complicated and it didn't work out.

It's okay.

Onward.  I hope tomorrow is a fun day.

love, Val

Thursday, January 22, 2015

cute haircuts, too

That's what we're going to remember about this day:  cute haircuts.

We showed half an hour before they closed, and they still fit us in.

Love you guys, MOM

Monday, January 19, 2015

botanical garden

 My brain is still half on vacation.  We're back into the swing of reality, sort of, but not too much.

These are pictures from the botanical garden.
 I love this planter, and we could totally do this with old fallen logs at the lake.

 Okay, one person, no goofing around:

 The paths up and down are like walking in Puerto Vallarta anywhere--uneven, no railings.

It's fine, just be aware of where you're placing your steps.  Take your time.Pay attention.

That's the restaurant where we had a meal we couldn't even finish, and that's sad because it was scrumptious.
 But first we hiked down the hill:
And came to the place where this clear cold river was shallow and tame enough for swimming.  A guy was swimming there, but not us.

 A picture of the bathroom, just because it was fun:

 The koi pond:

 A whole stretch of chairs for relaxing in, looking out over the valley and the mountains:

 A bus stop shrine:
 The bus stop, waiting for a ride home:

And yeah, this was blossoming all over the roof of the bus stop.  We don't have anything like this in Minneapolis..
January is on the downhill side and yet  I'm so not caught up.

Today a bunch of rowdy kids came to play and have lunch, and we had  a very nice morning.

I could have taken at least ONE picture, but I did not.  We had some chicken vegetable macaroni cheese kit meal for lunch.   It's tasty.  I looked at the wrapper and all the nutrition seemed perfectly fine, except the sodium..  It was like half a day's worth of salt in one meal.

Yeah, well they balanced it out with ice cream treats and popsicles, and  I do love kids.

They ran around, and laughed like crazy, and fought a little, and screamed, and you know.

I love you guys.  Love, Grandma, aka Val, aka MOM