Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Welcome to the World, Beck, and Happy Birth Day

Sarah and Miles were up early this morning (I don't think Sarah really slept much at all) and out of the house in time to arrive at the hospital by 5:30 AM. Rich and I followed about 7:30, when the Csection was scheduled to begin. After sitting in the waiting room for a little bit, we were happy to see Miles come out, all smiles, to tell us that Robert Beck Durham had arrived safe and sound.

Miles took Elle in to meet Beck first. I'm sure it was a sweet moment for the family of four to have some private time together before the rest of us descended. Sarah and Miles had prepared a "big sister" bag of goodies for Elle to keep her busy during her hospital visit.

Next we got to come in and meet our new grandson! He is perfect and adorable! He weighed 8 lbs., 8 ounces, and is 20 1/4 inches long. He was born at 7:53 AM and has light hair and dark eyes. We can't tell who he looks like! But he is definitely a beautiful baby.

Miles, Elle, Beck and Sarah

Grandpa Rich helped keep Elle occupied while we all hung out in the Recovery Room. Things have really changed since I had my Csections. We certainly couldn't have lots of people and other children in the room!

My first time to hold Beck--what a happy moment!

Miles and Elle (wearing her Big Sister shirt)

Elle patting Beck's head while Miles' mom Suanne holds him. How cute! Elle is going to be a great big sis!

Sweet boy! We're so happy you're here and we love you very much!

Happy First Birthday, Emery Jane

As most of you know, Emery has had quite an ordeal this year, but we are so happy that she is doing just great and is celebrating her first birthday today! Last year, Rich and I were in Chicago for a couple of days before making our way to Amarillo to wait for this sweet girl to be born. Of course, she had other plans and we had to hop a plane early. :) We did not quite make it for her birth but got there soon after. What a beautiful baby she was. After a couple of weeks with Bonnie, David and their new little daughter, we headed home to Alaska without having any clue that something was happening in her tiny body. Those months in Houston were difficult but look at our girl now!

We have a lot to be thankful for during this Thanksgiving season! Happy birthday, Emery! We love you so much!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Elle's Last Day as an Only Child

When I got up this morning, the first thing Elle asked was, "Gigi, do you want to play with me?" Of course, that is music to a grandmother's ears! Lately she likes pretending that she is "sick" or her doll is "sick" and we have to take temperatures, administer shots and bandaids, give medicine by mouth, along with bottles of juice and milk, and then the last thing in the routine is sneezing VERY loudly into a cloth. She never tires of this game and we've done lots of doctoring. :) Today we talked about Beck coming in the morning and she continues to be very excited, though Sarah and I think she expects a 2 year old playmate and not a helpless infant. :)

She posed with her Mama and me and then we had to leave to return our rental car. Sarah and Elle followed us back to Enterprise, which, by the way, has the best customer service ever. I will put in a big plug for them right here. Every time we rent from Enterprise, we meet the nicest employees who go out of their way to take care of us. They must have a really good customer service training program or they just have a way of finding great people. We have been very impressed. Good job, Enterprise.

Elle went to spend the day and night with her other grandparents so Sarah could get a little rest today and also because she and Miles have to be at the hospital at the ungodly hour of 5:30 AM tomorrow. Several times we commented about how quiet it was around the house today. We missed our lively girl!
After dropping her off, we drove over to Old Navy to look at baby clothes. Rich walked down to Whole Foods and Sarah and I never made it to Old Navy because the Carter's store next door was having a 50%-60% off sale. Woohoo! I bought most of my Christmas gifts for the grandkids at a huge savings. Can't beat that, huh?
We then brought Rich home and I went with Sarah to her last doctor's appointment. She had a sonogram to confirm Beck's position before the Csection tomorrow. He is in a "frank breech" position, which means his legs are up by his head. We can't imagine how that could be comfortable!
After a quick trip to Half Price Books, we have spent the rest of the day at home, finishing laundry and getting ready for the big day tomorrow. Sarah's Csection is at 7:30 AM so I will post a message about Beck as soon as I can! We are excited to meet our new little grandson and welcome him to the great big world.
We'll also be wishing Emery a happy first birthday tomorrow! For those who have been keeping up with Emery, she had a checkup in October and all her scans were great. We are so thankful! She doesn't have to go to therapy any more and she's walking! What a big girl she's getting to be! She and her Mama are coming to Dallas the first weekend of December so I will have some photos to post then.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rich and Jane v. the Big City

We were hoping and planning to go to Amarillo to visit Bonnie, David and Emery during this trip. With Beck not here yet, we were reluctant to drive 6+ hours and risk having to turn around and come right back if Sarah went into labor. So we checked into plane tickets and were shocked to find out that they would be $335 each. Wow. For a 45 minute flight! So it looks like Amarillo is off the itinerary this time. Thankfully, Bonnie and Emery already have reservations to fly in on the first weekend of December or we would have had to figure something out. Can't come to Texas and not see all the kids and grandkids!

Sarah is still hanging in there, though she's really uncomfortable and more than ready for baby to arrive. She has an appointment with her doctor tomorrow morning and a Csection scheduled for Tuesday morning if nothing happens before. At this point, we are convinced that Beck is going to wait till the scheduled date.

So we decided to drive to Oklahoma City on Friday for a quick visit with Rich's sister in law Nadine and some of her family. It's only three hours so we figured we could turn around and come back without too much trouble if need be.

It was fun to see Nadine again and to reminisce about good times. Rich had not seen her since his brother George passed away, and it's been longer for me. We were glad to catch up!

I had never met Nadine's sons Danny and Jay or their wives. We visited with Danny when we first arrived but he had already planned a hunting trip for the weekend so had to head out and I didn't get any photos of him. This is his wife Kristie.

Nadine's son Jay and his wife Angie. We had a great time chatting with them and sharing stories.

Rich and Nadine saying goodbye. We just spent one night, went out to dinner, talked a lot, got up the next morning, visited awhile and then hit the road. Very quick trip but we are happy we were able to do it! We stopped for about 20 minutes at a casino on the way back, lost some money and left. haha

Here's sweet Elle with her Daddy. She loves hanging out with him and he puts her to bed most nights. On Saturday, we promised we would be back by evening so Sarah and Miles could go out one last time with their friends. Elle and I had great fun playing with her doll Sally and reading books, including her new favorite, Going on a Bear Hunt, complete with hand motions, expressive voices and lots of enthusiasm. She wanted her Mommy and Daddy at bedtime but didn't fuss too much. She called me back once to turn on the fan, then asked for Mommy and Daddy again. I told her they'd be home soon and would come in and check on her. She said, "I just want to cry." I said, "that's okay, you can cry a little bit if you want to." So she cried softly for a few minutes but didn't get too upset, eventually falling asleep.

We kept our rental car for the weekend so thought we would run some errands today. We left the house at 11:30 AM and did not get home till 5 PM! We had way too many Dallas traffic adventures for my taste, including getting backed up for an hour in a traffic jam. It literally took us an hour to go ONE MILE. I told Rich I am not leaving the house tomorrow! We went to Target, then drove to the Bishop Arts District to seek out a place called the Soda Gallery that Rich had read about. They have a big variety of classic and hard to find sodas so we stocked up on two six packs of various soft drinks--root beer and cream soda, orange and grape and ginger ale, etc. While down there, we had some lunch and browsed a few shops. Then came the nightmare of finding our way back and a stop at the grocery store. Can you believe it took us all day to do those few things?!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oh, there are not enough hours in the day!

Aidan and Ally spent the night with Gigi and Grandpa again on Saturday. We got up and walked over to McDonald's for breakfast and fun in the playroom. I am not a big McDonald's fan and don't typically eat there, but who can turn down these little sweethearts? Ally was Little Miss Friendly, saying "HI!" to everyone who walked in and then asking them, "What's YOUR name?"

Aidan enjoyed the games and flying off the slide at top speed.

Look at me!

Swimming at the hotel pool is always a good way to pass the time!

Rich and Aidan got back to work on the massive Lego project. Hurray!! All finished--what a job but they showed their perseverance!

All too soon, it was time to say goodbye again. We had a very quick trip but packed in all the fun we could handle. Here's my sweet girl, Ally.

And our big boy, Aidan

Susan and her sweet kiddos

My baby girl and me

Look at that face!

After the kids went home, I met my great friends Karen, Kelly and Connie for dinner, catch-up, and laughs. They are my girls!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Quick Trip to Abilene

We decided to spend the weekend in Abilene since Miles' mom was keeping Elle on Friday and baby's arrival seemed to be on hold. Friday morning we rented a car and hit the road. Encountering heavy rain and traffic slowed us down a bit, as did stopping to eat. We finally arrived after 3 PM and checked into our hotel in the Big A. Susan, Aidan and Ally met us soon after and we were SO happy to see them! We enjoyed dinner out and then they all spent the night with us at the hotel. Corey was working late and wasn't able to come along. We talked, drew pictures, told stories and caught up on news. Aidan has quite the imagination and kept us amused with his stories and drawings. He also let us in on the secret that he has a little girlfriend named Vivi. Rich asked him if his heart pounds when she's around and he shyly admitted "yes!" So cute.

Saturday we went to the Abilene Zoo and walked around in the sunshine.

I thought this was really sweet--Ally grabbed one of the tabs on Rich's pants while we were walking along.
Then to Target to pick up a few things we needed, and of course, to buy some presents for the kids. Aidan picked a 288-piece Lego project. It was really the only thing he wanted so I didn't want to say no. Rich tried to warn me off, seeing what the future would look like in the hotel room. The box was full of tiny pieces and confusing instructions. But Grandpa put aside his "I told you so" and went to work helping Aidan.

Later we met up with friends at Jim's house and went out for dinner. Most of the photos did not turn out but here are "the boys," Jim, Aidan and Rich. Does Aidan look like he is controlling these two or what?

Sherri, Susan, Jim, Karen and Jane with Aidan in front. It's always so great to see these friends who've been with me through thick and thin.

Back at the hotel, Ally is ready for bed

Ally is such a sweet girl. She almost always has a smile on her face and a big twinkle in her eyes. She enjoyed playing some kids' games on the computer and could recognize most of the letters of the alphabet. She also had fun singing songs and telling us about her friends, including her "boyfriend," Raleigh.
Whew! Two hours later, look what these guys accomplished! One Lego car down, one more to go!
Cute, happy boy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Just hanging out and waiting for Beck

We've been having lots of fun but haven't taken many more photos, for some reason. I'll have to remedy that! Today Elle and I took a walk, collected acorns, talked with a neighbor and played with a big ball outside while Sarah rested. Since I've been here, we've been to a couple of parks, to the bookstore, to Target several times, out to dinner with Miles' mom and another night with friends. We are definitely managing to fill up our days. Elle keeps us smiling and laughing throughout. Today she told me I am her best friend, which melted my heart. Of course, she has many, many best friends but I am happy to be included. :) She still prefers Mommy and Daddy to be with her for major events like bedtime but will let me "help" her with most other things.

I call this "Little Miss Hollywood II" because she reminds me so much of Sarah at the same age.

Rich arrives tomorrow afternoon--yay! Still no baby. We'll keep you posted!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Surprise! I'm in Dallas!

Rich and I were scheduled to leave Unalaska on November 8 to go to Texas for a month. Sarah and Miles are expecting baby Beck soon and we're planning to visit the rest of the kids and grandkids as well. Last week I talked with Sarah a couple of times and she was feeling more and more like this baby was going to come any day. She's been uncomfortable and having contractions and had to go and get checked a couple of times. I was really antsy that I was (once again) not going to get there in time. I've missed the last three grandchildren's births--the only one I witnessed was Aidan's. SO I just decided I would change my ticket and fly out early, not only for that reason but also because Sarah could use some help with Elle, a busy 2 year old! I left Saturday at 1 PM and arrived in Dallas Sunday around 1 PM, with the requisite plane changes and layovers and trying to sleep in airports and planes over a 24 hour period. Rich kept his original ticket and will join us on Tuesday.

I don't know what I was thinking but only packed winter clothes. I believe it was 80 degrees the day I arrived! We had a couple of nice, sunny days but then it turned cold and rainy and I was right at home in my Alaska hoodie.

We've been having lots of fun hanging out; Elle is a little performer and keeps us amused with her singing, dancing and talking. She is getting used to Gigi being here and lets me do some things for her but still prefers Mommy most of the time, and Daddy is even more adored. That girl loves her Daddy!

Elle was a "pretty princess" for Halloween and enjoyed dressing up. We were invited to a neighborhood party so joined in the festivities for a little while. Unfortunately, a bunch of little boys showed up in violent and scary costumes, which made Elle afraid. Although she played a bit in the beginning, as more kids arrived, she decided she'd rather watch from afar.

She soon had her fill and told us "I want to go to the Arboretum," where she'd been for other Halloween activities previously. I was impressed that she could say "arboretum" and use it in context. :) After the scary party, she was not in the mood for trick or treating and we just went home.

She's been really happy and full of smiles! Here she's posing for me.

Talking and singing at the table

After a couple of days of rain, it was sunny again today so we went for a walk.

There are peacocks roaming Sarah and Miles' neighborhood!

Later today, we met Sarah's friend Candace and her two boys Miles and Charlie at the park.

Elle and her BFF Miles

Sarah is feeling good but anxious for baby to arrive. We went to the doctor Tuesday and she doesn't expect Sarah to go much longer. We'll keep you posted!