My grandson at 7 months old and growing, growing, growing!

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Today, we picked up our grandson at Daycare. We walked in and he smiled at us. The other little ones that were waiting for their mom and dads looked at us with adoring eyes. It sure would be easy to pick any one of them up and put them in your car. They’re all so trusting.  It’s been interesting watching them over the last few months. A real little one is crawling all over the place. My grandson is the only boy. I don’t think any of them realize this. They are all “too cute.”

We go in the room, and go through the ordeal of putting on his stuff and putting him in the car seat. He has almost as much luggage as I do when I go on a weekend trip. (The diaper bags, etc.) He stayed up longer than usual in the car. He didn’t take his eyes off me. I’m wondering if he remembers me from last week.  He just couldn’t make it though. He closed his eyes, just as we were pulling into the driveway. I noticed his jacket was getting little on him since he’s growing so much. He does have a variety of these jackets, so I’m not too worried .

I was happy he wanted me to carry him around when we got inside the house. I could smell his baby hair, and snuggle with him. He sat on my lap, pulled off his right sock, and  looked lovingly at my husband who was sitting next to me. He kind of bounces on my lap because he’s excited to see him. My husband is always moving, and who doesn’t want to watch that? He also tries his best to make him laugh with silly noises, etc.

Then, his daddy came in the door. We could just forget it after that. His daddy makes him laugh hysterically. All he has to do is just saying nonsensical words to him, make faces, and the child is a goner. Try as hard as he can, my husband only can get a smile out of the child, not a genuine laugh. I guess that’s the difference between being the parent and a grandparent.

We then got to watch this kid eat. We all take turns feeding him.  He can now sit in the high chair and is eating varieties of vegetables and cereal. There’s no problem with this. He will grab the bowl and spoon if you let him.  His cereal is a little hot, so he has to wait between courses. He is a big indignant and makes a frustrated noise. After he gets his cereal, he makes those mmm noises that babies make when they eat. While he’s eating, I can’t help but think about all the babies who are going hungry. It’s a sad thought. I’m glad this child has enough food to make him happy, healthy and keep him growing.

His mom is out-of-town for business, and she calls while he’s eating. He takes a little break and looks like he’d like to get inside the phone. He accidentally  turns it off trying to manipulate it.  At least with modern technology he can see her.  It’s a little heartbreaking, but she’s only on a short trip.  She’s lucky she has a good job and is successful.

After a while, we know this kid is getting tired. We know this because he starts pulling at his hair. He’s doing a little cry thing, so I take him in his room and rock and sing to him a little.  Like his mother before him, he likes this. I like it when he rests his little head on my shoulder and relaxes. He’s so tired tonight that I think he would be asleep in another minute or two. Usually, he likes to coo while I’m singing, but tonight he is just laying there listening.

Then its bath time. He’s getting big for that baby bath thing they use, but he still fits. He likes to kick and splash. The two men work as a team and wash him all up. I just sit and watch. He does a few kicks when I say kickee kick, but he’s getting water all over the place. I don’t see him staying in this bath thing much longer. Unless they want to flood the kitchen.

Finally, he’s about ready for bed. We say goodbye.  I’m happy I get to see him again tomorrow. Babies are nice when you’re older, especially when you have a frustrating day.  I might as well enjoy him as much as I can. I feel lucky to have this little one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking my grandson to The Columbus Zoo’s Wildlights

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Cover of "Goodnight Moon"

Cover of Goodnight Moon

I love my new grandson.  So do a lot of people.  This is the first grandchild on both sides of the family.

This kid has one huge following. I don’t think King George himself gets more attention.

Ever since he was born, we’ve all been clamoring for his attention. He’s already used to flashing cameras, and face time on the I-phone and I-Pad .  We all want him to adore each of us.  It doesn’t hurt that he is smiley, and pretty good-natured.  I’ve been excited about him since my son-in-law and daughter showed us that first ultrasound. He looked as big as a small tadpole. But, we fell in love with the idea of being grandma and grandpa right there and then. It was almost as exciting as finding out about the upcoming birth of your own kids.

The baby is now 6 months old, and is getting more interesting. Yesterday, we went along when they took him to the Columbus Zoo to see the Christmas lights. It was an elaborate display, and it was more crowded than usual.  My husband drove, and it took us an hour to drive 3 miles. Under ordinary circumstances, my husband would’ve turned the car around at the first opportunity and leave. (Neither of us have the patience for traffic.) But, we were with my daughter, and son-in-law, and our little prince. He didn’t mind the traffic. He took the opportunity to take a nap.

We finally got in the zoo. There were virtually a million or so lights on the grounds, maybe more. I looked at the baby’s reaction. He kept staring at his parents while they were strolling. He did take a look at all the lights, but who knew what he was thinking. He doesn’t talk yet.  We all kept looking at him. No wonder he was staring at all of us!

They had a big musical show, and the Christmas trees twinkled to music. My husband was so excited to show it to him. He did look straight ahead, and seemed somewhat interested. I couldn’t really tell.  My husband sure was animated, showing him the lights.

We finally went home, and his parents got him out of the crazy car seat they have these days. His mother took him into his bedroom, laid him on his changing table, and he spotted us. Suddenly, a look of some kind of recognition came across his face, and he smiled his sweet, big smile. Then she put him in his bed, and read “Goodnight Moon” to him like she does every night. He sure reacted to that. He was smiling and cooing all over the place.

She laid him in his crib and he kicked his feet with glee and happiness.  I think this is the reaction I was hoping to see at the zoo. But, I took this reaction instead. It was priceless.

The baby tastes real food. A tiny step toward independence.

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Today, my husband and I went to watch our grandson eat his first  bite of oatmeal. Why did we go to the other side of town to do this?  There’s something momentous about watching a human being eat their first solid food. It’s one tiny step toward growing independent.

He's getting bigger

He’s getting bigger

We all sat down at the table with a bowl of oatmeal mixed up with formula. He knew something was up because my husband and I were holding two different cameras, and we were grinning like goons. The child is used to us doing this, but we were especially silly about this. He looked at everyone at the table with a definite look of puzzlement. It was  almost like he was saying, “What’s going on family?” He had almost the same look when we tried to give him a bath in our too small sink last week.

My son-in-law had prepared his formula with the cereal mixed up in it. He is a very specific kind of guy, so I knew it was done to perfection. Then, they sat the kid down with his bib My daughter cradled him in her lap. . (He’s been wearing the bib in case he spits up, but tonight it was for real. )My daughter sat him on her lap, and the first spoonful went in his mouth. It’s always fun to see the look of surprise that comes across their faces when they taste that oatmeal stuff for the first time. It’s like, what is this stuff? Do I like it or not? Where’s my bottle that I guzzle down in 10 minutes flat?

It took a few times, but he seemed to get into the whole thing. (In between swallows, I noticed he was rolling up his tongue)  Some of it didn’t make it into his mouth. We were all excited about the whole thing. It was almost as much fun watching his parents, as it was him. For one thing, they are doing a terrific job being parents and love the baby to pieces. They were proud of their little son. ( That’s how it should be, but it doesn’t always work that way.)

He didn’t seem thrilled with how it sat in his stomach after he ate it. I actually walked around with him because he seemed to be happy in the vertical position.  It might be that he just likes to be carried around after he eats. Who knows? The child already weighs 15 pounds, which isn’t much, but is enough for me.( I don’t remember thinking my kids were heavy, but I was a lot younger and my back was a lot stronger. I can still do it with ease,  but I don’t know how much longer this is going to last. A good incentive to keep lifting those weights in the gym).

After a few more minutes, his mom was able to comfortably sit down with him, and we went through some of his toys he has accumulated. The cool thing is he’s actually playing with them now. His other grandfather sent him some musical toys for Christmas. He banged on the toy drum, and seemed very happy about the cool noise that it was generating. . It wasn’t so long ago that the child was sleeping 16 hours a day, but that’s not the case now. There’s no doubt that this kid is growing out of infancy. Only six months till he’s a year old, and this baby stage comes to an end.

What is great about being a Grandparent is you get to watch this stuff, but it’s at a bit of a distance. It was time for us to go home.  As we were leaving, the child was drinking his bottle. He seemed happy to be drinking his old friend, the formula. He doesn’t have to work hard at drinking that. Another plus about the Grandparent gig; we won’t have to change the diaper when it all comes together at the end.

How a 6 month old baby managed his grandparents

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IMG_0165 My husband and I were flattered when my daughter and  son-in-law asked us to babysit. I guess they decided  we had  figured out the new diapers and ways of doing things after 6 months. So they brought  the precious little one over our house. They  thought it would be a good idea for him to stay overnight. No big deal, right? After all, he can’t go anywhere yet. He hasn’t figured out how to move around on his own. So what’s the worst that can happen?

So, the little guy has been here 3 times  overnight.( I hit the high points in this post.) My husband  strapped  him  in  his  portable  car seat, and connected him to the car. I honestly haven’t mastered the new-fangled car seats. I figure I’ll really try when he changes his car seat in a year. Anyway, we strap him in, and I sit beside him. He earnestly looks at me in a very trusting, innocent way. We take him out of the car, undo his three layers of clothes, and he is looking at both of us with a big smile. He acts like he’s absolutely delighted to be at our house.  So, we do all the baby stuff we used to do. My husband takes out his guitar, plays the harmonica, and we both sing songs from 30 years ago.  We don’t know the new ones, so what else can we do? We get on the floor. We rattle rattles, read books, and take him on a walking tour of our house. I want him to know where he is and who we are.

We don’t put on the TV because my daughter says he shouldn’t watch it till he’s 2.  The pediatrician said “TV might hinder his development.” I look this up, and find that experts do recommend children not watch TV. I guess the main reason is because the adults will be tempted to use it as a babysitter and not interact with the kid. I don’t want to go against his parent’s wishes, so I keep the monster TV off. (I should probably do that on a regular basis anyway.)

So, we are busy interacting with the kid who rewards us with big smiles that we are thrilled about. Naturally, we think this kid is amazing because he is our descendant. After all,  we are indirectly responsible for his existence. If it wasn’t for us, there wouldn’t have been my daughter, who married my son-in-law, and had the baby. (  After all, life is pretty random and accidental.)

Everything is cool until we put him in bed. The first thing my husband fools around with is a baby monitor. We never had one of those. We heard the babies cry from the other rooms. My husband who is mechanically inclined and likes to fool around with gadgets takes too long to  set up  the monitor so we can  watch  the baby’s  every move.  The thing is we don’t want to take any chances with this kid because he’s not really ours. It’s a bigger responsibility. Anyway, he has the thing set up, and I am supposed to put him in the portacrib. I am feeling badly about this. He’s not at his house, and the room isn’t exactly inviting.( Like a 6 month old is going to care about the decor.) So, I put him way down in his portacrib, and he smiles at me. Then, I try to leave the room. I hear him kicking his feet, then I hear his going to sleep noise. It’s not exactly a cry, but it’s  sad. Teachers at the daycare call it his Tarzan yell. I know he does this when he’s going to sleep, but I can’t stand it.  How would it feel to be in a strange undecorated room in the dark? I can’t take it, so I pick him up.

Even though he’s only 6 months old, he gets my husband and I figured out quickly. If he kicks his feet and does his Tarzan yell, we will pick him up. My husband can’t stand it any more than I can. As a matter of fact, he’s much worse. If he hears the kid make a sound, he’s in there.  Not only that, I decide I have to rock him in the old rocking chair that needs a new pad.  After  about 15 minutes of this, I give him a bottle, but he doesn’t seem that hungry. My husband is afraid he might choke after the bottle, so we give him time to digest it.  It’s getting later and later.

At about 2 a.m., my husband decides what he needs is a little music, so he takes out his guitar again, and we sing to him. Not only that, my husband decides we ought to record the whole thing. Finally, the child stops fighting sleep and closes his eyes. I put him in the portacrib and he wakes up and starts crying. After rocking him in the uncomfortable rocking chair, he finally falls asleep.

The next morning when we go into to get him, he gives us the biggest smile ever. He is so happy to see us. I guess he forgot all about being left in the dark in a strange room. He knows we are rusty at changing diapers, and putting on the new outfits. He knows we are suckers for him, and will do whatever he wants. No wonder he is so happy.

Babies are worth it though. Where else are you going to get that smile? We’ll work for it. Wonder what is going to happen when he starts crawling. I know it won’t be long. I can’t wait for him to visit us again!

 

 

 

 

Showing respect for different religions and traditions: my 10 month old grandson celebrates his heritage

Our little sweet grandson, Aidan, celebrated both Passover and Easter this weekend. Nothing like an innocent child to bring families together in one way or the other.  Nobody got converted to the other side, but showed respect for each family’s traditions.

Our grandchild spends time with his family on both sides

The baby came over for a postponed Seder. We didn’t tell him it was the wrong day. ( I was sick on the right day.) We went through the Egyptian Exodus Story in an abbreviated fashion. There’s just something about doing it on the wrong day that takes the pomp and circumstance out. Aidan, our grandson, was sitting in his High Chair and looked at his 8 year old cousin, Caden, read his part of the Seder in true hero worship. It seemed like he’d know him forever. It was priceless.

Later on, Caden got on the floor with the baby and read him some stories, and paid attention to him. I think Aiden sensed that Caden is much older than him, but not as old as his aunts, uncle, and grandparents.

Our grandson has another side of the family, and they love him as much as we do. We went for a lovely luncheon at their house. His other grandma is a very giving person, and she made us a delicious luncheon . She is also a devout Catholic.  She invited  us to share her Easter with her.  We do the same exchange on Christmas and Chanukah. Without him knowing it,  this sweet child has made us all into  an extended family.

The Easter Luncheon

When he saw us come in the house, Aidan was at his usual place, the floor. He looked up and gave us  big smiles. We all sat down around him and watched him to his routine. Right now, at almost 10 months he takes one toy and bangs it against another. He also got way up on his arms to look at all of us. He still gets on his stomach and bounces his arms and legs together. He was on a blanket and there is a floor blanket underneath. He was trying to get to the fringe. His grandma Gigi didn’t want him to put it in his mouth, so they kept directing him away from it. He was determined, but he lost that battle.

He seems to like examining carpet under the blankets he’s laying on. He does it our house too. Maybe he will be an investigative type, or he’ll be a carpet cleaner.

He’s still not crawling, but is getting around on his tummy anyway. I hear his daddy “slithered and didn’t really crawl,” so maybe he’s taking after him. We happily watched him for 3 hours. He thought it was a great time. So did all of us. There’s just something about it, that is entertaining. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all could go through life with that constant support? But, maybe we wouldn’t learn any life lessons. He has heard the word no, and seems to know what it means.

He also “bops it out.” When he hears music he knows how to show the beat. He moves his head and upper body to the beat. It’s so cute.

His mommy decided, it was time for a nap since he barely slept all day. She even took him for a power walk in his stroller, but he wasn’t going to go to sleep, not with all his fans around. Finally, he gave in and took a nap at 4:00. He sure did resist it though. Who can blame him? Who doesn’t want to be the center of attention?

He also babbled more, saying “mama, dada, and ninini. He also showed excitement by his inflection. Nobody can believe how fast he’s growing. He’s now 29 inches long, and 20 pounds.

Till the next time. Only 2 months to go until he’s  a 1 year old. Going fast isn’t it?

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Babysitting for several days

Grandson at 9 months

Grandson at 9 months

I thought I’d help my daughter and son-in-law out by babysitting. My grandson had a little virus and couldn’t go to daycare. The fact that he caught it at daycare doesn’t mean they get any money back. Obviously, germs are quite intelligent because they know a daycare is a good place to be fruitful and multiply

To my surprise, I forgot how to change a diaper properly. After two days, I’m back up to snuff. I needed a refresher course. The diapers are sure cuter than they used to be: Sesame Street characters, etc. (Of course he doesn’t know what Sesame Street is because he isn’t allowed to watch TV until he’s 2). Then they have a heavy duty diaper for night time. Those diaper people are pretty smart. Maybe I should buy stock in their company.

Now that he’s eating big boy food, his output his much larger than previously. That is one glitch in the biologic system. Why don’t we come into the world fully trained? And why do our bodies fail us when we get too old? (Not there yet.)

The other problem I had was having the gumption to put him to sleep for his nap. Although I never felt guilty about putting my own kids to sleep, I felt like a mean grandmother doing this. Maybe it has something to do with me remembering that I hated to take naps. Plus, I want to spend as much time with him as possible when he’s around me.

Fun parts of grand-parenting

The fun part is practicing my music with this child. I participate in two choirs. I need to memorize all the music. Lately, I’ve been trying to learn the words to a Hebrew song. After 3 days when I sing it, he broadly smiles and claps his little hands together. He also keeps the beat with his body. Who can ask for anything more?

He is easily entertained. Giving him the same toys day after day doesn’t bother him. He loves banging things together. He is now scooting around and discovering new places to go. But, he’s not completely free yet. He still doesn’t know what to do with his legs. He will lay and the floor and flail both his legs and arms, but he ends up doing 360′s and dragging his feet. You can see the crawl coming soon!

The best part is feeding him. He does like his food. He is a pretty neat eater too. Nothing much on his bib. I should be so neat. He makes complimentary noises to accompany his meals. Something like “mmm.”

The other great part is this child’s smile. He could melt the heart of the meanest old lady. I take him outside and he smiles from ear to ear. I tell him to listen to the tweeting birds. I think my mother did this, I did this, and now I get to do it again. How lucky can you get?

So much for grand-parenting in the middle of month 9.

Grandson is 9 months old today

Tomorrow is my son-in-law’s birthday, so my daughter wanted us to babysit.

I haven’t see him for 2 weeks, and I can’t believe how he’s grown. He is moving around more, and it won’t be long before he’s investigating more and more.

When you have your own children, sometimes you are really looking forward to them being more independent. I notice a difference with this one. I am savoring each minute of his babyhood.

I did tell him Prince George was already crawling, and he’s younger than him by a few weeks. He didn’t seem to mind. I’m trying to remember when my own kids went through stages, but I honestly can’t remember. I guess I was just too busy sorting out all the baby socks, and running from point a to b.

Tonight, he fell asleep on my shoulder. There’s no better feeling for me than a child sleeping on me. I feel so content and happy when this happens. It’s a very maternal feeling.

I reluctantly put him in his own crib, but I figured he would be more comfortable in there.

Life goes on and on, and you can’t really put the pause button on it; that only happens in the movies.

Only 3 months till he’s one!

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The baby is becoming a toddler!

Originally posted on My Life in my 60's:

At 8 and a half months, we are babysitting the baby. He is becoming more mobile. He isn’t exactly crawling, but he’s going around in 360′s and manipulating himself to get where he’s going. He kicks his legs with a lot of energy, but has figured out exactly how to move them. His upper body is getting pretty strong.

Today we bought him a folding high chair. We figure if he’s going to stay overnight once in awhile, his majesty better have a place to dine.

I see him eyeing a table, so I’ll have to move it. I can also tell that he’d love to get to the sliding glass door leading out to the backyard. My husband has built a room to the back of it. His own mother stood up for the very first time holding onto it.)

He didn’t like the way I put him down…

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Are we used to people being homeless?

It seems crazy to be living in a country where there are people who don’t have anywhere to go at night. They don’t have anywhere to go because they’re homeless.

This winter was particularly difficult for people without any place to go. It was so cold, bitter and snowy in Ohio. It was dismal enough while having a place to live.

I spoke to a person who was on the street, and now living in an apartment. Someone took the time to get him into transition housing, and now his very own home. He was very grateful that there was an agency available that helped him.

I asked him about living on the street. He said he went to those homeless shelters when it was really cold, but he felt like he was treated like a child. He had to be in at a certain time, like 7pm and out by 5am in the morning. He also said there were bed bugs jumping around, but it was better than freezing. He was happy they were there, but happy there was someone who took an interest, and got him where he was now. The person was from a governmental agency.

He was really grateful to have his own place now. ” I can go in there, lock the door if I want, and be by myself. I have a kitchen, a microwave, a big bathroom, and my own bed. It’s like heaven.”

So, be grateful for what you have. Help out the people who need it any way you can. No matter how lousy you think things are, remember, there is always a contribution you can make. It doesn’t always have to be about money either.

The baby cheers me up

I had one of those bizarre weeks. Let’s just say the planets were not in alignment for me lately. It just seemed one thing after the other happened.

I decided I had to go see the baby. I guess we won’t be able to use the term “baby” much longer. He seems to be plugged into what’s going on around him. I was going to go without my husband, but I knew he loves him as much as I do, so I waited for him to come home.

When we arrived, his majesty was eating his dinner. He is now eating both fruit and vegetables. The formula is down to 16 ounces a day. He gave us both a big smile. I was happy that he knew who we were. I guess we’ve finally made an impression on the kid.

His parents took this opportunity to go out to dinner together. (My idea). His majesty got off his high chair, and entertained himself on the floor for a while playing with his various toys. He does a fine job of amusing himself. My husband and I wanted to get in on the act, so we put ourselves on the floor. Although he sits by himself pretty well, he did bounce his head the other day. He actually cried, so we didn’t want a repeat of this. We don’t want any unhappiness when we’re around.

This kid does a little stretchy thing with his body when he is wet, so I changed his diaper. Those diaper companies were genius when they figured out how to register when the child is wet with a little blue line.

Our kids used to be really wet when we changed their diapers.My kids didn’t seem bothered by it like this grandson.

Then it was time for his majesty to get bathed. He’s still using one of those baby bathtubs. He must have figured out he gets too much water over everything when he kicks, so he was just splashing with his hands. He may know more than we think. I have a feeling he is going to be a considerate, organized kid. I hope so!

After the bath, it was music time. My husband took out a guitar, and we started singing. Our favorite is “You are my sunshine.” He also heard a variety of songs from the 70′s. We ended with camp songs like ” Kumbaya” , and his favorite “Old McDonald had a Farm.” He bounced up and down on my lap. He has a toy drum thing which he was beating in time. (Sort of).

Before I knew it, he was asleep stretched out on me. It felt so good. There’s nothing like it. All the crummy stuff that happened to me evaporated.

His parents came home, woke him up to feed him his last bottle. He opened his eyes, and started bouncing up and down. Obviously he didn’t realize he’d fallen asleep during our music session. It was so cute.

We said goodbye. By that time, we were getting a little tired from all that playing and entertaining.

The good part about grand parenting, you get to leave!

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Grandbaby at almost 8 months

I hadn’t seen the baby for two weeks because I went to Florida to get out of the ghastly cold in Ohio. It wasn’t easy coming back. I happen to like the ocean a lot, and never get tired of it. People in Florida aren’t looking as old as they used to because I’m catching up to all of them.

When returning, I couldn’t believe how much my grandbaby progressed. He’s eating more food, and saying “da da.” He sort of seemed to know who we were. I guess 2 weeks in a baby’s life is a long time.

He is now rocking and rolling so much more than before we left. He’s posed to crawl although he isn’t getting too far. He looks like he’s trying to swim on dry land.

I was so happy to see him! He is such a sweet, happy little guy, and his smile melts my heart. After taking his usual tour of the house, I think he remembered who we were.

We had such a nice day with him. I guess I won’t be moving to Florida any time soon!

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