Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thursday: second day at grandma's

This is the kind of day you look forward to. It's spring's best and in fact, you could argue that it's the year's best -- a promise of sunshine, not too cool but not too warm and, unlike summer or even fall -- without the irritating bugs that make outside play or work less enjoyable.

Snowdrop was a tad clingy in the last minutes of her first day here, but as is her habit, she put herself to sleep beautifully once tucked and swaddled (just after 10).

It was a quiet night -- so much so that again I had to wonder if the baby sound monitor was working. It was.

In the morning, I am up before she is. By many hours. Now is the time to get my house and my thoughts in order. And to take a morning flower photo: the common iris today. I call it "common," because it came with the farmhouse, though I have since divided it many times so that it has a spot in most of the farmette flower fields.


By 8:30, Ed and I are ready for breakfast. Snowdrop is stirring, but not quite awake. He finds it impossible to move with the stealth that I demand so that she doesn't fully wake before we eat our morning meal (shh! not so loud! shhhhh!) and so we go out to the porch, keeping the window cracked to listen for her in case she wakens. It is a cool 52F outside, but the prospect of a sunny day warms the soul and a sweater easily takes away the chill.


As we eat, we talk about the porch door project. Ed doesn't want to move ahead with the work of the person I identified for the job. Too expensive, he says. He'd rather do the job himself.

I protest. He has far more interesting things that command his attention right now. Too, it would take him a while to study up on the techniques and ways of putting in something into such an old house. He agrees, but says (and I believe this) -- at least it will be done right. I promise to look at his selected door on Sunday and we'll decide then who should do the installation.

In the meantime, Snowdrop is now stirring. As I clean up in the kitchen, she is cooing to herself in her crib, keeping an ear to the kitchen noises. This so reminds me of my childhood, when I had the room off the kitchen in the Polish village house where my grandparents lived! I would listen to the kitchen sounds as my grandma stoked the fire and started in on the meals for the day. These were my favorite moments and I luxuriated in them every single morning. I hope Snowdrop is luxuriating as well!

When I finally approach the crib at just after 9 (yep, the babe sleeps a solid 11 hours every night... knock on wood), she is radiantly happy (if somehow magically unswaddled)!


May she always be so full of smiles in life...

There is the bathroom sink morning bath again and now she is ready to eat.


...and after --  play.

(by Ed)

...and play some more.


...and read (about that boisterous grandma who uses all sorts off crazy ways of travel to get to her Snowdrop, I mean grandchild).

(by Ed)

...and take baby steps (looking more like she's ready to soar!).

(by Ed)

...and practice scooting, while the sloth applauds.


...and finally, she sits next to Ed, right on top of his porch door quotes, as he studies installation guides. Perhaps finally he has someone here who will take an interest in learning how to do home projects.


The morning flies. The energy in the farmhouse is palpable. How is it that a beautiful sky and a good night's rest can spark up the day this much?(Or maybe it's Snowdrop who sparks the day?)

We go out to take stock, she and I. The cheepers demand their bread and I try to feed them holding onto her as well as the water gun. Oreo crows incessantly and if there is one thing she learned today, it is that roosters crow.

Satisfied, the cheepers wander away and I spread out a play mat for the two of us. Except we don't play. We lie down and look up at the willow and the crab -- the branches, each different, swaying overhead against a blue sky.

(by Ed)

I think I could have stayed there for a long long time.

(by Ed)

(Though Snowdrop is always happy to return to her quilt and engage her surroundings -- in this instance, Ed.)


In the afternoon, I pack up the stroller and return with Snowdrop to the neighborhood we drove through yesterday. I want to do a quick exchange at Wild Child. After, we walk the neighborhood -- a change from our usual stroll around her own home.



We happen to be close to the zoo and so we poke in (it's free in Madison). Many would be tempted to see the new arctic exhibit which just opened yesterday, but I'm saving that for a trip with her mommy. Today, we just look at the giraffes.

And actually, what really gets her attention is the presence of many children. It strikes me that she doesn't see young ones in the course of her day. She is a winter baby and with school still in session, there aren't many kids out in the street when we take our walks. At the zoo, she gawks at them with the same curiosity that she has for the giraffes.


(She is particularly spellbound by these two boys with their grandmas.)


Still later, we come back to the farmhouse in time for me to water the flower pots. I do this holding her and the hose, too, is a source of wonder. Water? For something other than the bathroom sink at bath-time? Really??

And now the afternoon is running away from us. I pause to feed the little one and then pack her in the car again. Our local farmers market is a must -- for the cheese curds and these days, the asparagus. It's a small market and most of the vendors recognize us by now. My toting Snowdrop comes as a delightful surprise especially to those who themselves are grandmas. Like this flower vendor. And another, older grandma who just makes Snowdrop smile and smile!


Evening. This is, I think, the toughest time for most infants and most parents of infants. But Snowdrop is that much older and that much easier to soothe and entertain. There will come a time when all those saved books will come off the shelf and we will spend the hours going from one story to the next. For now, there is music and the gentle sway of a grandma's shoulder. In the alternative, Sophie the giraffe will sooth sore gums.


On come the jammies, the swaddle.
'night, Snowdrop. Sleep well, okay?


  1. That's a cute outfit Snowdrop has on. I'm not usually all that big on orange but I really like that.

    It's sounding like Snowdrop is going to shortly be needing some play dates with children her own age, to socialize a little.

    1. I realized that it's the young child that's a missing link. She knows babies her own age, she knows adults. But kids? Not a whole lot!

  2. Wow, she is growing fast! She has a smile that lights up a room. She is precious. A happy baby embraced by love. So many blessings!

    1. Thank you Nora! And yes, very fast!

  3. This one makes my day too! How cool to lie out on the grass, to visit the zoo, to watch other kids, to have a toy sloth(!) to admire your crawling style and Sophie the guraffe to chew on after you've seen a real giraffe... hope the weather's just as good for the rest of your S time!

    1. Yes, thankfully so. It makes a huge difference in the way I approach the day. The rains will come, but not until Sunday, when the farmhouse grows quiet again.

  4. Beautifully choreographed. That wake up photo is sheer delight.

    1. ...says a grandma who has ust had a few of her own baby wake ups! :)

  5. I am amazed! What an easy baby. I didn't have a one who started his day without food FIRST THING! Smiles yes, but no time for bath or play first!

    When Mike learned to talk, very early "of course" ;) he would call from his crib: DOS! DOOS! (Toast and juice). He had to have that quickly because he could barely wait for me to cook his cereal! Well, I must be remembering a growth spurt.

    So your day got off to a relaxed start. The pic of you and S looking up through the trees should be in every HR office - to encourage people to retire :)

    The Blue Picture - what luminous eyes.

    The sporty grannies made me smile. I thought fondly of my own grandmother, her white hair in curls, soft and pretty in her pastel flowered dresses, back in the day when "stockings" were daily wear. I don't even own a pair!

    1. I sort of don't get her patience myself. She will not have eaten for twelve hours and yet she is not in a hurry. You suppose she'll be one of those who loves to skip breakfast? :)

      My own grandma wore roll up knee socks in summer and in the winter -- sweat pants. Oh, she was such a sweet and wonderful grandma, taking care of us, two infant girls, against all odds, no power, no water, no communication with the outside world, all love and tenderness and good fresh and honest food. An amazing woman.

    2. I absolutely love your description of your grandmother. It explains so much about you.

    3. She has been dead for nearly twenty years, but every now and then, she still comes back to me in my dreams.

    4. Yes, our dear grandmothers come back to us now that we are grandmothers too. They taught us well. Although I can't believe in "guardian angels", she will always be with me - a part of me.


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