Family. Once upon a time it was only a wish.

This morning, on the patio, I was enjoying the early morning air. Not cool but definitely not the heat that will come later in the day.

Sipping my coffee while selecting photos to be uploaded to a drug store, via an app, then cropping each photo with the easy to use tool – the Walgreens App if anyone is interested – I had a pulse of enlightenment (if you will excuse the use of that word).

Via my children, and their marriages, that longed for family has been in my grasp for many years. 24 of them to be exact. Soon to be 25.

The family I had so craved and longed for has grown into quite a massive and far reaching one. To be part of a living dynamic that fluctuates and changes around me yet has a center core of love and acceptance is nothing short of a miracle. Well, to me it is quite miraculous.

For myself, knowing my grandchildren are in family units that love, cherish, and adore them is a rich blessing.

Going through the photos I was in the process of cropping a photo of Jaime’s mother holding one of the baby girls. She sweetly spoke in Spanish to the wee one while she held and caressed the baby. I have no idea what she said but I am sure it was about the same as what I tell the babies as I hold and feed them. They are loved very much.

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Jaime took the baby girl to change her diaper while Jaime’s dad held the other baby. The sweet look of pure love on his rugged face, along with the words he too spoke in Spanish, gave me a very profound feeling of contentment.

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Just how much love can a person’s heart contain before it bursts into a ball of pure white light? I don’t know but I am willing to find out.

These little girls are just so very precious. Photo credit goes to “Future Photo Group

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I hope you feel blessed on this Sunday, just as much as I have been.

Leslie

Stealing some inspiration from a friend.

Jaime took a photo of Carissa and her swollen belly the morning they went to the hospital to have those precious babies. I am using that photo in the New Mommy album.

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Using the date stamp thing for Smash Book I made an arrow pointing to that baby bump .

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While I looked at the photo of Carissa, as she sat next to me, I asked what she felt that morning. With a shudder of remembrance she whispered “I was so scared”.

I used that on the facing page. Jann Gray has some beautiful Instagram photos of her art work and I chose one to flagrantly copy and use.

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I made a pocket on this page with tags to journal and document this special day.

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This is the facing page with all the things I incorporated to tell my daughter’s story.

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Now I just wait for all the glitter stuff to dry before I can move on to the next page.

If you are a Mom, new or well seasoned, do you remember the torrent of emotions on the day of your first born? What would you enter as a journal note on a page like this?

Thanks for visiting me.

Leslie

Making a “New Mom” album using a Smash Book.

I am getting to do some scrapbooking. My skills are really rusty and I’m second guessing myself all the time. Like the rest of you I feel that my work leaves much room for improvement :/

Everyone makes baby albums. I’m going to be different. I’m making a “New Mommy” album. Using photos and hospital memorabilia in her album so she has a way of remembering the long road to motherhood.

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This started out being a baby album. The hospital leg bands and name cards for the girls is what I started the Smash book with. I’ve changed my mind and will be incorporating both mom and babies.

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I have a little pad of journal things for the Smash Book and decided to use this one item.

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I made pockets for the girls name cards and attached their leg bands to the top of each card.

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Behind the “Rank of Coolness” journal item I made a place for some notes Carissa can write a note or two.

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The facing page I used block letters from Graphic 45 to spell out their names. The leg bands say BabyAGirl and BabyBGirl.

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I have an embossing doo-hickey from 10-Two Studios.

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With my Big Shot I used black card stock to emboss the paper.

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Cutting around the pieces I wanted, inking them with VersaMark, and covering them with silver embossing powder I have made some faux metal tags.

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Just getting started and pushing through the jitters all the things I have forgotten that I can do is turning this project into fun instead of frustrating and angst.

What things can you pull out from your long forgotten stash and play around with?

That thing from 10-Two Studios is meant to emboss metal but can be used on paper. It tears in places if you aren’t careful. I’ve had that thing for about five or six years and haven’t used it much.

Those two babies are gorgeous and I love their sweet little sounds. Holding them and loving on them as they feed makes me one very happy grandmother.

Leslie

Thoughts on being a Mom and and Grandmother

As a new mother, I can relate to what my daughter Carissa is going through.

Being a first time parent is the biggest mystery/suspense thriller ever! An emotional roller coaster ride. One moment in total awe as we gaze at these tiny people. Another moment terrified when these little precious beings cry. Are they hungry? Are they wet or soiled? Will I hurt this little thing when I change the diaper? Oh God help me to not break a leg. Getting them dressed the fear is of breaking an arm as the parent struggles with the unbelievable strength in the arms of these little ones as they fight to not be part of the clothing ritual.

Always fearful of not supporting the neck of these newborns a fear that is gut wrenching surges through as this new parent watches others (nurses and grandmothers) flop the babies around like sacks of potatoes.

As a grandmother I know, from my own experience, how much these wee ones can be safely jostled around. I also know very well the fear in my daughter’s heart. Her protective instincts over her newborn babies will rear up and she will confront me fully if she feels her babies are in peril. It is as it should be. Carissa is bonding with her babies and claiming them as hers.

Awesome!

There are moments of extremely strong and powerful feelings of, for lack of a better word, ownership. Carissa uttered several times over the past couple days “I can’t believe they are mine”. The wonderment in her voice was tinged with a little fear. Sort of like she was dreaming and none of this was real.

The reality sets in when her girls cries are rich and loud. It is time to feed them. Night time is the worst for any new mother. A time when the sleep deprived body and mind longs for the surcease of sleep. Seemingly just as Carissa falls into the much needed sleep the air is split by the call of her daughters.

From my experience, the sounds of their suckling and little baby noises immediately change the feeling of frustration of being wakened into an all consuming and boundless well of love. Occasionally a longing for the feeding time to swiftly pass and a return to sleep.

I am here to ensure she does get her sleep in the daytime. Once the feeding and diaper changing has been completed in the early morning hours it is off to bed for Carissa for totally uninterrupted sleep. I can handle the feeding and diapering as my little girl recuperates in the safe embrace of her bed.

These two little girls….

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Are being loved on at home by a very proud and happy Grandpa and Grandma. This is just so sweet.

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Celebrate with me! I’m Grandma – AGAIN!

I’m so excited to announce that my (our) youngest daughter – Carissa – has given birth to a set of twins.  This has been a long and emotionally painful journey for Carissa and her husband, Jaime.  You can ready my post from my other blog – Foolishness and Mayhem – titled “GrannyCon alert level Orange!

As the often used quote states “Anything worth having is hard to come by”.

Carissa had been seeing her OB/GYN twice weekly for quite some time over the last couple months.  He stepped it up to three times a week because of her moderate level of Preeclampsia.  She also had been experiencing Gestational Diabetes.

While I was out on the road with my Day Job I kept in contact with  Carissa to find out when the doctor would be scheduling her delivery.  We had another week before I had to make plans to begin heading to Phoenix, Arizona.  I wanted to be with Carissa when she delivered the babies and stay for a month to help with the tasks of regular living that doesn’t stop just because a new baby – or two – is introduced in the mix.

Carissa called me on Saturday, June 11th, to inform me the doctor has decided she will deliver the babies the next day  June 12th.  Father’s Day!  We had picked up trucks in Fontana, California going to Grand Island, Nebraska.  We were in Colorado with our nurse daughter when we learned the news of the change of plans.  Joe and I were not even half way through with our delivery and I was not going to be there for Carissa and Jaime.  Well, I have a cell phone as do they.  I’d do what I could from the phone.

Sunday morning, June 12th, Carissa and Jaime were at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. as instructed.  The C-Section delivery was scheduled for 7:30 a.m.  As I drove toward Grand Island, Nebraska from Denver, Colorado I frequently looked at my watch.  Having the alone time in the truck I prayed.  Little did I know, but Joe was praying as well.  He was not very happy with  God at that time – he later told me.  He was afraid that our daughter was in imminent peril and we might lose her because of the Preeclampsia.  Poor Joe.

We stopped in Sterling, Colorado for breakfast at the Village Inn.  The restaurant was pretty much populated with guests there to celebrate Father’s Day with their families.  Joe and I were at our table and in such a state of nerves that we couldn’t sit still.  Joe was trembling.  He was shaking so badly the table was jittering.  This photo arrived on my cell phone.  I burst into tears of joy as was Joe.

The birth of twins

The birth of twins

When he could catch his breath and get his nerves under control Joe stood at the table and tried to get the attention of everyone in the restaurant by tapping his fork on his water glass.  That didn’t work as well in real life as it does in the movies.  So he changed his plan to just loudly asking for everyone’s attention.  The entire building became quiet.  Most of them were afraid of what was to come.

Joe went on without missing a beat.  He declared “I don’t know how many grandfathers are represented here today, but I am thrilled to announce that my daughter has just now delivered twins and they are healthy.  Happy Father’s Day to all of you Dads and Granddads.”  This was immediately followed by a raucous round of applause and cheers from the restaurant diners and staff.

It was then, after Joe sat down, that the jitters stopped and he told me of his conversation with God.  Joe said “God, you caused this to happen.  You better make this right!”  I love my bear of a man who is, seemingly, afraid of nothing and no one.

I spent the next few hours on the road in tears and prayers of gratitude.  The babies were going to be monitored for 24 hours for any ill effects from the Gestational Diabetes.  Their blood sugar levels were closely watched by the hospital nurses and doctors.

Later that same day, Sunday, my other daughter in Arizona sent me pictures of the new girls.  They are beautiful and healthy babies.  Another round of prayers of gratitude and more tears.

Welcome Pearl

Welcome Pearl

Welcome Ruth

Welcome Ruth

I talked with Jaime on the phone not long after the delivery to see how the four of them were doing.  He was so good with  me as he updated me on all of the happenings.  He had to remain outside the operating room for the Spinal Block administered to Carissa.  Once that was over he was allowed in the room with her.  He stayed throughout the entire procedure.  Even standing to take a peek at the process of seeing his girls coming into this world.  Brave man and I am very proud of him.  I have heard, through several people, that Jaime has a “Manly” diaper bag that he has prepared.  I mentioned that to him and told him I was proud of him for stepping up to be a real Dad and not an absentee father.  Jaime’s response to me was

“I’m All In.  I’m All Over This Situation!”

Once back in the room where Carissa would be for her hospital stay there was a problem with the pain medication prescribed to her.  The medication caused her to go into such a deep sleep that her breathing was very shallow.  She would only waken from this state when her pain spiked to the point of needing more of the drug.  Jaime and the nursing staff were worried for her and a change was made to her medication.

Let me tell you how proud I am of Carissa.  Once the pain medication was changed and she was not so far in a fog she did sit up and hang her feet over the side of the bed after she had done the requisite time flat on her back from the Spinal Block.  Later that night she tried to stand but was too dizzy and had to lie back down.

The next day, Monday, Carissa was up and walking the maternity floor.  She took a shower later in the afternoon.  In preparation for having her two babies with her in the room to enjoy and nurse as needed.  The final update I received last night was a precious photo taken by Jaime.  He titled it “Sisters pushing sisters”.

"Sisters pushing sisters"

“Sisters pushing sisters”

I had to get this post done because I am so proud of my girl.  I am so very proud of both of my girls and the grandchildren they have blessed me with.  This is my 4 year old grandson that I love dearly.

My grandson, Simon

My grandson, Simon

The cycle of abuse and neglect that my sister, Pati, and I suffered as children has been broken by the both of us.  Our feeble attempts at love, since we didn’t even know what it was, have paid off.  My grandchildren are blessed with family that loves them unconditionally, protects them, cherishes them, and makes sure they know from the moment they are born they are surrounded by love.

Thank you God.  I am richly blessed.

The laundry is beeping at me now.  I am taking the time to get that done, repack for our trip to Arizona and I have to get in my craft room to get some packing done in there.  I have lots of scrapbooking to do once I get to Arizona and I’m going to take a whole bunch of stuff with  me!  Definitely more than my clothes packing, that is for sure 😀

I will leave you with two precious photos.  The new Dad with his baby girl and Aunt Heidi Jo with the other baby girl.

New Dad with his little girl

New Dad with his little girl

Aunt Heidi Jo with the other precious girl

Aunt Heidi Jo with the other precious girl

I have lots of scrapbooking to do!  Awesome.

Leslie

I’m in Las Vegas, Nevada….sleeping not gambling.

Since May 13th I have been on the road for my day job. My husband, Joe, a friend of ours, Jim, and I have been moving trucks from Tracy, California to Las Vegas, Nevada where they will be sold at auction.

We have moved 45 trucks and six trailers.

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We took five trucks at a time. I drove one truck and pulled a trailer.

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We finished the job on Monday. What kept me going all the days of 100 degree temps was the day I would spend in a scrapbook store in Las Vegas. Just before our last trip I read on the store’s website they were closing. Total bummer!

Yesterday I walked the aisles, already nearly bare, in search of things I could not live without. I set a budget of $150 – Joe figured I would bust my budget and we would have to rent a U-Haul. I went under budget and spent $112.

Paper was one thing I did not purchase. I have a big enough stash of paper already at home that barely gets used.

Are you ready for my “Haul”? Here we go.

A Tim Holtz die that I have been wanting for a long time. $16.09 – original price $22.99.

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An absolutely cute Sizzix Die (well used) that will be used for creations for my grandchildren. $1.

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At home, months ago, I went looking for a punch to use with my Zutter or Cinch to add paper pieces to the binding. Couldn’t find one. I did this time and put it in my basket. $11.89 – original price $16.99.

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I’ve been wanting a heat tool that doesn’t sound like a jet engine in my hands. My heat tool at home is LOUD! I’ve seen, and heard, the Heat It Tool from Ranger and have wanted one for several years. $18.89 – original price $26.99.

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Okay, the next items I didn’t even know were on the market. Tattered Angels Glimmer Glam Glitter Paint. I was ruthless. I took three of the five remaining. The other two were duplicates. $5.59 each – original price $$7.99 each.

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The Ranger Distress Stains had been picked clean. I found three colors I don’t already have. $3.84 each – originally $5.49.

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I have heard a lot of good things about these next items. Pearl Pens. Once again, not much left to choose from. I got one “Ice” and one “Gold”. $3.70 each – originally $5.29 each.

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One of my daughters is getting married next February. I found a sheet of journaling stickers by Bella Blvd. This is the only “paper” I bought. $3.00 – originally $4.29.

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Of course, no layout would be complete without a bridal dress and cake embellishments. Jolee’s bride $3.70 – original $5.29. Wedding cake embellishments $3.07 – original $4.39.

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The Ellison Die Cutting machine was out of my price range at $325. The dies were priced according to size and started at $100 for the giant dies then $50 to $15 for the smaller sizes. I settled for some cardboard mini album cutouts at $1.60 each and I bought two of them.

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I also found three chipboard mini album bases at $1.20 each.

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These nibs from Ranger I’ve never seen before. Probably because I don’t own a single Distress Marker. I thought I could use them with the Tattered Angles Glimmer Glam stuff. $3.84 – original $5.49.

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A small roll of Washi Tape to add to my small collection. This was the only roll of Washi Tape in the entire store. $2.

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In a large tub, stuffed under a piece of furniture was a stash of Grab Bags. What the heck. Might as well get three of them. I might be surprised. And I was.

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Baby themed items were in two of the bags. Woo Hoo! I have a daughter just about to deliver twins in the next few weeks. Two Grab Bags at $2.50 each.

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The last item in my Haul is a $5.00 Grab Bag. Clear epoxy letter squares, Ranger square pendents, and some Bind-It-All mini book covers. Bonus items for the new family!

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So, there you have it. My haul from Las Vegas. I still won’t be home to play with this stuff for another couple weeks. Boo Hoo :/. We are slated to take three trucks out of Fontana, California going to Grand Island, Nebraska. We will get home before the end of this month – I HOPE!

Hope you are enjoying your bright summer Wednesday.

Leslie