Friday, May 25, 2007

Baby Matthew
Now Matthew is 12 days old and he is doing very well. We have been here in New Jersey just 4 days and already we can see changes. He is getting stronger, especially holding up his head and looking around. He is a very good baby and doesn't fuss unless he has a reason. We are very happy with him!

More photos are
Matthew is my new grandson, born just 12 days ago. We are now at his house, arriving Tuesday after a 12 hour drive straight across on highway 80 from Michigan to New Jersey. The GPS is a big help, especially after arriving in New Jersey, telling us exactly when to turn and how far to go. How did we ever manage without a GPS?

Meeting Matthew was a magical moment. He is a beautiful baby with clear skin, fine features, medium brown hair and blond eyebrows. He's a very good baby, cooing and grunting when awake, looking around, especially focusing on his grandfather. He becomes just a little fussy when hungry but I have yet to hear him really full out cry. I love to sit with him and rock in the rocking chair. I think the rocking motion is very soothing for babies (and also grandmas?)

Kelly is doing very well, tired in the way that new mothers always are, getting used to the routine of waking up several times at night, recovering from all that has happened in the last few weeks. After she feeds Matthew, I try to get her to take naps herself. A new baby takes lots of energy.

Also I like to take a walk here when I have a few available moments. We are in Maplewood, New Jersey, a small and picturesque town only a train ride away from Times Square in NYC. We can see lots of trees, people walking, older homes with small well kept yards. A downtown area is a few blocks away with boutiques and upscale restaurants featuring various cuisines, one of which is Japanese. A large park is nearby where groups of school children are playing lacrosse, a game which Tom and Kelly say is big here, but consider too dangerous for Matthew when he is older.

Pictures will be in my next post.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Gabe's Birthday
Last Sunday Steve and Marta gave a party for Gabriel's third birthday. Many friends plus their parents came for the party, a very international group. I think everyone had a really good time.
First please see the birthday cake decorated with "Diego".

The house was decorated with balloons and Marta had prepared a delicious lunch.

Gabe's cousin Scarlett is in the red shirt.

Gabriel is a happy and energetic 3 year old.

Next we're off to New Jersey to meet our new grandson Matthew, born to Tom and Kelly on May 12.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Gabriel at 3 Years Old
Yesterday was Gabriel's third birthday. He celebrated at his school with cupcakes and treats for friends. Sunday there will be a bigger party at Steve and Marta's house. We will all enjoy ourselves. Now Gabriel understands birthdays, loves cakes and having the Happy Birthday song sung to him.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Last Weekend
We went to Cathy and Sasha's house and enjoyed spending some time with Scarlett. Last summer when we took her to the park, she was too small and afraid to enjoy sitting on the animal toys or swinging in the baby swings. Now she really loves it! In fact, she cried when I finally took her out of the baby swings. This is a very sweet 2 year old who loves animals and is really starting to talk. Best of all she calls me "Grandma", music to my ears.

Matthew's Fourth Day
In our family we've always enjoyed reading. Lots of books have always been around and everyone reads. My children started going to the library when they were babies. At bedtime they had a choice: read a few minutes or lights out and sleep. Of course they chose reading for a few minutes. It's never too early to begin a love of reading. Here's Matt's fourth day when he enjoyed a story with his dad.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

More of Matthew

Here are just a few more baby pictures. Grandmas always have to show our pictures. These are the first few days of a new life. Matthew looks like he's off to a good start. I am hoping for a good life for him and also his cousins Gabriel and Scarlett.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Matthew is Home
Baby Matthew and his parents went home from the hospital Monday afternoon. Everything is going well, but I understand both Mom and Dad are tired. He has been introduced to his house, his new carseat, and his new clothes. Dad is learning to diaper, doing reasonably well, I believe. Next week Grandpa and I will be going there to meet our new grandson and to help out, if possible.

Monday, May 14, 2007

We have a new member of the family! Our newest grandson, Matthew, arrived on Saturday, May 12. He is a big boy, weighing 8 pounds 8 ounces at birth. Kelly, his mom, and Tom, his dad, are both doing fine, although very tired as new parents so often are. They live in New Jersey so we plan to visit them, helping out if possible, in another 10 days or so. This is a beautiful baby and we are very happy.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Last weekend we went to Mackinaw City and Mackinaw Island. Every year we like to go there and spend a day on the island, walking its 8 mile circumference . Our trip this year was a little earlier than usual because we have lots of other things going on, most importantly the birth of our third grandchild any day now in New Jersey.
We went to Mackinaw City on Friday afternoon, staying at the Holiday Inn there. In the late evening there was a beautiful sunset with the Mackinaw Bridge showing in the picture above. Saturday morning we left on the ferry to the Island at 10 AM. Then we began our hike around the island. Tourist season has not begun there. It was very cool, especially when the wind was blowing, although it warmed up in the middle of the day. Our walk was finished in about 3 hours, so we relaxed and had a simple lunch. Then we took the 3:30 boat back to the mainland. Both Friday and Saturday evenings we enjoyed whitefish dinners, the specialty of the area. Sunday we returned home. It was a lovely weekend.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Little Ballerina

Here's Scarlett modeling a little sweater that Cathy, her mother, knit for her. My daughter Cathy loves to knit as much as I do (maybe more!) When Cathy was maybe 10 years old, I taught her to knit. She worked on a simple scarf but I can't remember if it was actually finished. Then when she was expecting Scarlett, she took it up again, remembered what I had taught her, and soon was adding to her skills. Knitting fits into her life (and mine) very well because it fills odd moments with a useful activity. There is something to do while riding in the car, waiting for an appointment, watching TV, etc. This little sweater is from yarn left over from a project Cathy made for herself. Scarlett's other grandmother who lives in South Korea was formerly a ballerina and a ballet teacher. Scarlett shows talent in this area; when she walks, she carries herself very gracefully plus if she hears music, she's up and dancing!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Here is my friend Donna modeling my latest knitting project, the lace leaf shawl. She has been a friend and coworker for about 35 years. We were both ESL teachers, sharing many students and experiencing many of the same challenges. Donna immigrated to the United States from Yugoslavia when she was in her early 40's and is a really proud American citizen. We share many interests including knitting, gardening, and education. Donna is a really good person and I am honored that she is my friend.

Also, in the bottom corner of the picture you can see Mickey, another really good friend who used to teach with us. There were 6 of us having lunch together that day when I grabbed my camera to take this picture.

Old friends are the best!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tractor Boy
My father had a big green John Deere tractor that he bought in 1948 when I was 5 years old. One of my enduring memories is my father on his tractor. When he passed away in 1981, there was an auction sale and the tractor was sold. Last year Steve was able to buy a John Deere riding lawn mower for his fairly large yard, enabling him to more quickly take care of the lawn mowing duties.
Gabriel is 100% boy, loving trucks, airplanes, and cars, so here he is, sitting on the John Deere. Gabe will be 3 years old in a couple of weeks. I wish my father could see him!

Kelly and Baby V
Kelly is almost ready to have her baby, due in less than 2 weeks. She is a tall and slender young lady so as you can see in the pictures, there has been quite a change! She says she's feeling fine and still working for one last week. There have been four baby showers plus Kelly says that even her company's clients have left gifts for her, quite unusual. People always respond to Kelly's warmth and friendliness. This is a much anticipated and well loved baby already!