Sunday, August 17, 2008

I need to practice!

I was so happy to do some babysitting the other night. My son and daughter-in-law had to make arrangements for the christening, so I volunteered to get Emma to sleep. She has established a great nighttime routine- the 4 B's- including, bath, book, bottle and then bed. When I got there she had already gotten the bath and book so my job was pajamas, bottle and then bed. I had done this once before with her and all was well so I was confident! The jammies went on fine, and I had the bottle ready. I quietly went into the master bedroom and sat on bed with the lights off. Emma was happy to get her bottle and I settled in with her. Before very long, the bottle was empty and I was thinking that she really must have been hungry since it went down really quickly!! I prepared to put her into her bassinet when I realized that she felt wet. After a full examination, it appeared the the front and back of her pajamas were wet. The bottle had apparently leaked and she did not get to drink her full amount. I debated whether I should take her back into her room and change her there, but after full consideration, I didn't want her disturbed and back into a bright room when she was pretty relaxed and sleepy. I quickly ran to warm another bottled, dashed in to find another pair of sleepers and then proceeded to change her IN THE DARK! I was thinking to myself that I had done this hundreds of times with my own children, and really how hard can it be?? So I gently took off the wet pajama when clung to her as if it had a life of its own. I laid her on top of the new one and tried to dress her in a soothing way. Her arms, which were very lax at this point, worked their way into each sleeve and I started snapping at the neck. So far so good, I thought. Then I reached the dreaded crotch! I had much more difficulty pairing up the snaps around the legs and crotch. I had to try several times and always managed to wind up with ones that didn't seem to go together. At last, I did get it together, and gave her the new bottle, after having checked the top several times. She finished half of the second bottle and went to sleep. I confessed to her parents what had happened when they got home and I promised I would get better about my grand parenting skills. The next day I asked how the rest of the night fared, and Suzy, my daughter-in-law, said she did wake up and took the rest of bottle number two after I had gone. She said that she also had experienced the leaking problem since that night and found it to be a loosened nipple. So now we both check before we begin...every time! I guess I have gotten rusty and will get better with practice. Thank goodness babies are forgiving.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


It is amazing to me that a small three month old baby, now weighing only 15 pounds, needs seemingly several hundred pounds of furniture! I guess I had forgotten how much "stuff" we had when my kids were babies. Besides what my son and daughter-in-law have at their apartment, there is a ever growing array of items at my house. Because I am so lucky to have her visit often, I need quite a few things to keep her happy. We all know it is Grandma duty to see that the grandchildren are always happy. I started with the car seat base and then the "family bassinet" which need some tuning up but provides a great place for changing diapers. I have a case of diapers and one of wipes sitting under it ( sure don't want to run out of those ). Next came the "happy chair" or bouncy seat which vibrates. I'm not exactly sure which prenatal experience that is supposed to replicate, but she does seem happy in it especially with the music playing and the toys swinging overhead. It's great to take out on the deck also so we can get some fresh air. That isn't too large but didn't really supply a good place to nap. So, once again, I did the " go to town to stock up on supplies" run to Babies R Us and purchased a swing. The old one which I had for my kids needed periodic cranking up and caused such a terrible racket that any baby would be wide awake when you were done. The new ones however, are electric ( now why didn't I think of that ) and so I can keep it plugged in and swinging for the entire nap with nature sounds playing softly in the background. The only sounds my children heard was the dog barking. It also has great padding and head support ( no more rolling up blankets ) and is just prettier. So I brought it home and placed that in the living room. It takes up more space than I expected but it is a life-saver. Now, we are transitioning to napping in a crib. So I went to my attic storage area and looked for my children's crib. After speaking with my daughter, a lobbyist for SafeKids Worldwide in Washington DC, ( ) I made sure to measure the slats of the crib to make sure it was safe ( if a soda can fits through, it isn't) and I checked the metal brackets that allow the side to go up and down. Now I just need to find a place it fits! Considering that I refurnished one of my children's room as a guest room, and one as a sewing/scrapbooking room, I have no room for a crib. My family has volunteered to help me rearrange so that it will all fit. I also know that bumpers, toys and blankets are no longer allowed in her crib and that she must be put to sleep on her back. Boy, new grandma's have a lot to learn. Thank God we have our children to teach us!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

First Day

Today is the first day for my blog. I am looking forward to recording and sharing the joys and trials of being a first time grandmother. I know that there are lots of other grandparents and caregivers who have wonderful ideas and experiences to share. As my precious little granddaughter Emma Claire grows, I'm sure that she will teach me a lot too. Many things have changes since I had my children ( my son is 31 and my daughter is 27 ) but I already see that some things have stayed the same. I know that the road ahead with be filled with tons of smiles and tears of joy and I am happy that I can record them all right here.