Monday, August 20, 2012

Status Quo

I've written a million posts in my head while nursing Grace, or driving in the car.  I just never get to a computer in time to type them. Instead I'll treat you to a large dose of randomness. You're welcome in advance. ;)

"You think I'm cute? Merci!"
We are doing well over here, 3.5 months after the arrival of our little (um, not so little) girl.
95% for weight & 90th for height.  What a monster...

We go to Mother Goose nursery rhymes classes on Mondays, and we recently started baby massage classes on Tuesday- both in my new town. Grace loves them, when she can stay awake long enough to enjoy them that is... Three times out of the five sing-song classes she has insisted upon being held, or nursed or rocked until she passes out.. What a diva. I do wish I could take photos of it without looking/feeling like a creepster- it is so freaking cute!


Time is just speeding by. I remember when I counted the weeks by Sundays or Mondays or Tuesdays- by the dates when he became ill, he donated, or I last held them. Eventually enough time had passed that I could not say with any confidence how many weeks it had been... It was a relief not to know the particulars of how long it had been since he was here. In a similar way, I no longer remember how many weeks old Grace is- just that it seems she has been here forever and no time at all- all rolled up into one.

Momma's Cupcake
We transitioned Grace into her crib last week. You might wonder where she was sleeping prior to this. I'd like to say in the basinet as I had planned when I was pregnant (and justified the UppaBaby stroller buy by suggesting we'd "save money" by buying the stroller with the cot, ahem). But no, we've been co-sleeping since a few days after we brought her home. It's like we did it accidentally, and instead of hating it, I found I loved it and made any excuse possibly why I couldn't move her out of the bed. I felt safer having her by my side- we slept soundly, I loved the intimacy of it, and it's so convenient for nursing. In all honestly, this is creepy and weird and I think likely a part of PTSD or something, but I would think to myself that if I was going to lose her while we slept, I wanted her to remember being beside her mom... I didn't want her to be alone... I'm f'd.

Initially I had worried about smothering her, so when I discovered the Snuza Go was on sale for $30 at Costco (it's no longer available), I snapped it up.  I love this little gadget and it sits tucked on her diaper every night- I take comfort in this, and it helps me sleep. BTW, I also have an angel care, but haven't utilized it. I have a video camera monitor too, which I am looking forward to using when she eventually makes her way to the nursery like it will ever happen in November-ish .

Anyway, all this to tell you we transitioned her into her crib which I agreed we could have at the end of our bed- that was as far as I would allow Scott to move her. We had stopped sleeping as soundly, and Grace is quite the little grumpus in the morning and would awake us all by scratching my face, or kicking her legs in the air. So Scott put the crib together in our room and I nursed her until she passed out and started putting her in there last Tuesday or so. I fully expected to have her wake up screaming, but so far so good- I think she appreciates the space too! I'm still waking up "looking" for and waking up to feed her once during the night, but we are getting there. I'm happy with it- I feel like all signs point to this being the best thing for our little family right now.


Grandpa and my dad
Me and my Grandpappy
What else... Right, my 94 year old Grandfather passed away last weekend. My parents are both British, so my dad flew home to be with him in his last moments, but he was 30 minutes too late. My dad is a little heartbroken because he lost his own mother at an early age, and so he's really the only parent he had ever really known. My grandpa was a really great man- we are all so proud of him and his wonderful life- he self-taught himself to ski at 69 years of age- in the Swiss Alps. He began using a computer about 5 years ago and would type with the eraser on a pencil as his fingers were too thick from years of manual work as an electrician to type correctly. He was a funny man who often told inappropriate stories, but enjoyed seeing you blush as he told them. He was too cute and I will miss him for the rest of my life.

I thought I would be sad about his death, as that is the general reaction to the passing of someone you love so much.. But I found instead of sadness, I felt happiness FOR him. No more pain or being miserable (his health had been in decline for the past six months or so). He was reunited with the love of his life 50 years after her death... He was the last in his sibling line and I can't begin to imagine what the line-up at heaven's door would have looked like. When I spoke to my dad over Skype the morning after my Grandpa had passed, we both agreed he was lucky in that he got to have a big snuggle with my Jack...

Because of my grandpa's use of the internet, I was used to emailing him a few times a month- just little updates here and there because he was becoming hard of hearing and this frustrated him to the point he would refuse to talk on the phone. I went back to re-read some of our old posts and most of my last ones to him were about our anticipation on Jack's arrival- I had emailed him sonogram photos and told him of our plans for a name, a nursery, about our sheer joy in having him. My dad told me that he had two of my aunts in the UK sit him down to let him know we had lost Jack, my Grandpa lost it. He cried for days and was an absolute mess. He knew how much we had wanted that little boy, and couldn't come to grips with why he was able to live such a long life, and Jack barely any life at all.

On the flip side, while expecting our Gracie, my grandpa had been quite ill. He had days where he would be heavily medicated and when he would come out of it, he would ask whether "the baby" had arrived. Finally, she was here, and when he was told he let out a loud "yippee!" and had a huge smile on his face. He had seen several pictures of her as we had sent him our newborn pictures. When my dad arrived there this time, he had them set up on his digital photo frame, and my aunts told him he would beam whenever she was up. These are the memories I chose to hold onto, you know? Rather than the sadness he is gone, I chose to celebrate the wonderful life he led. I don't know that you can ask for much more than 94 years of life...


Daddy and his little baldy.
One of her fifty bathing suits. All necessary, of course.
Grace likes the water. She loves bath time, she loves time in the pool. She makes these little primitive gorilla sounds when she is first place in the water, or water is poured on her in the bathtub. I love them and she makes me smile more than I have in a long time. Also, water diapers are adorbs.

Okay, I think that's enough rambling for today.  I'll be back- sooner rather than later. :)


Veronica said...

Oh, Grace looks amazing. You sound like you're doing great with sleeping arrangements! (you're not f'd...sounds totally normal to me)

I love the way you talk about your grandfather. What a life, sounds like there was a lot of love. He was sent off on the wings of great love from everyone... Including the ones meeting him on the other side. Love to you, on that note

Molly said...

Aww, so sorry to hear about your grandfather. Im in tears. Such sweet stories about him. Glad Jack had him now. As always, G is huge and adorbs!

Dana said...

I have the same outfit for Emily that Grace is wearing in the first picture! It is one of my favourites. I found out recently that the snuza go had been on sale at Costco and wish I had known. We ended up paying full price on saturday as I couldn't sleep at all the night before. We are also cosleeping and it happened the same way it did for you.

Your grandpa sounds like a wonderful man. His reactions to jack and grace are really touching.

Caroline said...

Oh your grandpa is just precious. I'm sorry for your family's loss and the sadness that your dad feels but glad he had 94 beautiful years. Tears in my eyes thinking of him heartbroken over Jack and elated over Gracie .... What a guy.

So your parents are British? Are you? Where we're you born? Do you speak any French? (if so I am super jealous but also heart you more). Tell me about your heritage you little mutt :)

LookItsJessica said...

You're grandpa sounds like such an amazing person! Definitely many wonderful family members will be greeting him in heaven :)

Grace is a doll, btw. We have been planning to transition Avery to her crib for weeks now but I just feel best with her at our bedside. I think its fine and lovely. Our kids will have 80+ (God willing) years to sleep outside of our bed/room so I'm just enjoying the time we have together.

Party of Three Heads said...

So Sorry for your loss, but glad that you find comfort in knowing Jack is with him now. Grace is a ham! Just adorable!

Brooke said...

Oh, LJ. I'm sorry to hear about your grandpa, but I completely agree with you. He had a long, good life, and that should be celebrated. Reading about his reaction to Jack's death and Grace's birth made me cry. It's so good to know our pain and joys are shared, but also so hard to know that other people are sad and missing our babies, too.

I'm totally jealous that your parents are British.

Grace is just the sweetest. Maybe someday she and Caro can be penpal besties.

sarah said...

She is so gorgeous.

I loved reading about your grandfather. I lost my grandma when Owen was 6 months old and it was so much like you described - I felt an immense peace and happiness that she was no longer in pain or suffering - but I also felt selfishly sad that she wasn't going to be there to watch Owen grow up. And I also found solace thinking that she is cuddling Otis now, just as your grandpa is snuggling with Jack.


TanaLee Davis said...

Laura Jane,

I'm thinking of you. Sorry to hear about your grandfather but I think I should echo others and say that you have a great and might I add healthy attitude about his passing. Death is uncomfortable and awful experience for anyone involved. You try and look at the positives while remaining realistic. Just know that you remain in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs-

B. Wilson said...

Your grandfather. He just looks like a man of love and so much joy. I can't even begin to think of how his life of grief has been in losing your grandmother. And to hear all those details about his sadness when Jack died. :/ What a beautiful family you have-- every one of you. Jack and Grandpappy very much included.

Melissa said...

I love seeing Gracie's pictures. She might rival Alexa in the weight/height competition. 97th percentile over here!

I'm so sorry for your loss. <3

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