Monday, October 31, 2011

Is it Monday Again?! Home Again, Jiggety Jig!

♫  ..."Who told me? 

♫  So hold on loosely, ♪ 

♪  But don't let go..."  ♫

The forecast for Friday morning was cloudy and rainy in Alabama--it matched my mood as I kissed and hugged everyone good-bye in the early darkness and marched blindfolded by hot burning tears spurting from my eyes and hitting my glasses like a rainstorm-- to head for the car I had all loaded.  

I had rocked each baby the night before at their bedtime, reassuring them that I loved them, telling them papa loved them, too, whispering prayers into their soft, sweet hair:  prayers of protection and preservation,  knowing that it will be harder than ever to be so far away.  

Nana's eyes were still cloudy as I approached the Tennessee line and I scattered rain on the long way home, leaving each state with more of my salty precipitation.  

But I could also smile, as I remembered all the fun I had serving this little family by helping and the paycheck I got?  Well, we had a blast doing the normal everyday things, as well as the times of laughing ourselves silly and all the playing I got to do with Levi.  Smiling as I saw such a fun little boy, full of personality and character.  One of the best days was a visit to the pumpkin farm and oh, how he loved it!   

I had been blessed to spend almost four weeks helping my daughter and her husband welcome a new member to their family.  I loved it. She's healed and into a routine and confident and seems so energetic.

She's going to be busy, but with a sixteen-month-old and a newborn, that's to be expected.  Audrey and Levi are doing great.

I headed back with a heavy, but a happy heart, if that makes any sense.  So thrilled for FAMILY.  

Thankful that family means everything to this daughter of mine.  She gives it all that's she got--pushing that cart up the hill, carrying her family forward.  

She works hard every day to take care of the little ones, her home, her husband.  I cannot ask for more.  Her husband has made her and the kids his priority and I love to watch how proud he is of his little family.

And now I look forward to the next visit, when I can again dive right into the waters of the sweetness, softness and the pure wonder that is NEW LIFE.

Back to life at the old farmhouse, facing the wonderful holiday season with a smile on my face, and every now and then, I find myself whispering her name to myself...

"Audrey, Audrey, we have an Audrey!"

Pure JOY.

Stick around.  Onward we go now to November and December--the holidays that mean so much, and the very best time of the year!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pulling My Heartstrings...

My heart is tied in knots around these two little people.

So much to love, so much I want to give...

My heart is so full, I can barely contain it.

Thank you Lord, for these precious babies.

Friday, October 21, 2011

iPictures: Flowers for Mommy

Levi and I took a late afternoon walk up the lane to the mailbox.  You know the story:  the light was right and my subject was of course, adorable.  The iPhone is all I had with me.  It works just fine!  Of course, sunbeams are always welcome and add to the excellent conditions for smart phone photography!

I have a photo almost identical to these of Jamie bringing me a small handful of lilacs.  Such precious memories!

We took mommy flowers for when she woke from her afternoon nap.  It was a busy day with a pediatrician's visit first thing this morning for Audrey and then some errands.  

Levi and I had a nice day together while mommy was gone.  Jamie and I have been working to transition him from two naps a day down to one long nap.  The poor kid is cutting FOUR eyeteeth, so he has had a little trouble sleeping lately, but doing well overall with the change--each day gets a little better.

Baby Audrey will have her own post here soon.  We had a little photo session with her over the weekend.  She is a good little girl, and other than a lot of spitting up she's just the sweetest little doll.  

She has her daddy wrapped right around her finger, he just loves her to pieces and that hair of hers is the same shade as his, it's just beautiful.

Her brother also really loves her.  He kisses her tenderly whenever he has the chance and we help him "share" his toys with her.  Tonight, we had blanket time on the floor with Audrey, and Levi wanted to lay down beside her.  

Oh, my goodness he looked just huge next to her little tiny self.  It's so cute, he calls her "sista" in his little toddler talk.  

What has amazed me the most about this new little sibling, is that instinctively, Levi knows this little one is a person, not a doll or a toy.  

I wish more of our politicians "knew" this!  

I contend that we are all born with this knowledge inside of us, this instinct lays deep in our consciences, and that over time and with what some call "higher education" we are sold a lie about a "blob" or some such hooey and unfortunately, some believe the lie they are told by those who think they "know" more than God does.

In our state, I am ashamed to say that abortion is legal ALL NINE MONTHS of pregnancy.   It's terrible and I hope that before I die, I see abortion become illegal--not only in my own state but everywhere in the USA.

I don't see how it's possible for God to bless a country whose most innocent ones are allowed to be slaughtered for the convenience of another.  

Every life is precious. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Balancing Act

Jamie and the baby have been home for about five days.  Life is settling into a routine, somewhat, once again. With two kids under two, life is about a lot of diaper changing, a lot of feedings, and putting ourselves last.  

Some days as a young mother, you're lucky to get a shower and get dressed and you've hit the jackpot if you get to dry or style your hair and put on a little makeup.

I told Jamie and Thad tonight, it might not seem like it now, but THESE are the BEST days of their lives.  Hands down.  

They may only realize this once they are looking backward, but oh, the sweet times with these babies, the kisses, the hugs, the sweet sleepy eyes in the morning, the tussled hair that is so soft and smells so good, the little hands reaching for yours, the innocent trust these little souls have for us who have been blessed with their very existence.

I have to balance staying long enough with staying too long.

I have to be sure that mama is feeling healthy and strong again, and confident in being alone with two little ones before I take that 750 mile trip back home.

It's hard.

I love being a grandma, I just hate being so far away.

But, I have a family back home that I must return to, and I am hoping for the right signal to beep and tell me it's time to go back.  Those at home have made it possible for me to be here and I so appreciate the sacrifices they've willingly made.

I have to say, I feel lucky to be here, because it's enjoyable to watch your children become parents, to grow with their children into their role and to perform their responsibilities well--to learn about selflessness and sacrifice.  To watch the attitudes of youth fall to the wayside as adulthood and parenthood are fully embraced....

I tell them in the best way I know how that they will never, ever be sorry for giving it all that they've got.

For proof, I must back this up with my actions, my service,my gifts of time and attention, daily proving that family is the most important thing in the world, hands down.

Lake Guntersville, Alabama January 2010

Have our children seen us demonstrate compassion?  Have they seen us take a meal to someone who's sick?  Be kind to a stray animal or person?  Make a special meal or dessert  for them just because?  

Have they heard us not only pray, but also mention the answered prayer?  Have they seen us take care of our home, and everyone in it even when we didn't feel like it?   

These are the little big things that they see, when, as moms--we're immersed in the "daily-ness" of life when--sometimes we feel like "no one is looking"...they truly are.  They watch us.

Those little eyes see us.

(As soon as I have a chance, I'll upload some new pics of Audrey and Levi!)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vintage Nursery: Finale!

My nickname for her is little bitty...
Mama had a little fun yesterday playing "dress up" with little Audrey!

Today we conclude our tour of Audrey's little nursery.  She will be coming home tomorrow, it will be a wonderful day! 

These are a a pair of vintage birdies that I found at a thrift-type shop and Jamie primed them with spray primer and then repainted them in more soft pastel colors, they were oddly bizarre in their previous paint scheme--70-ish and garish.  

But they were birdies after all, so they had to come to this nursery!  I knew we could work with the basics of the pieces.

Now they appear to be the little birdies right out of the movie "Bambi"...and they greet you as you enter Audrey's room--hanging right above the light switch. 

I thought Jamie did a great job with a paint brush.

This shelf was made by Jamie's aunt Mary and it hung in Jamie's room when she was a little girl.  I dug it out of the attic and Jamie primed and then spray painted it and it now hangs over the changing table to hold life's little necessities for a tiny baby girl.

The pegs will be used to hang her little hooded bath towels and bathrobe from.

On top are little buckets that came from the Dollar General, found by Jamie while they were on clearance--we just changed the ribbon out to pink gingham.  

They hold little items such as Q-tips and come in handy to reach up and take down after bath time instead of bending over to dig through the shelves underneath.  Daddy is 6'4" so these hang right at his level.

The vintage baby shoe planters on this shelf I found at a garage sale where a sweet grandma was selling off all of her own stuff.  I couldn't believe the price:  fifty cents for each pair!  They were HERS!

There's some little burp cloths I made before we even knew we were going to get a little Audrey!  

Love the blue birds, and this served as an inspiration piece, too, for the nursery well as the ones below... Jamie and I just loved the prints!  So feminine!

To save money, Jamie doesn't use the Diaper Genie for anything but the messy diapers.  The ones with no mess will go into this little fourteen quart pail like her brother has.  The plastic sacks from stores fit perfectly for liners so they can be recycled.  

These will be emptied every couple days and then the diaper genie liners last much, much longer and seem too expensive to use for the easy diapers.  So, for Audrey, we decorated her little pail with this vintage print and trimmed it out with lacy ribbon.

And you know Nana just loves that laundry line in the picture!  Too sweet!

The soft chenille change table cover came from Amazon.  The little bitty Care Bear is from a garage sale for a quarter.  I tossed her in the washer in a lingerie bag, and she's like NEW!

Years ago, I bought this decorator-weight gingham fabric for $2 a yard.  It was perfect for the drapes and bed skirt, the rest of the gingham accessories came from Target or Amazon.  

None of the gingham is carried in Target stores but they have a really great selection of colors of gingham online --what Amazon didn't carry, Target did, and between the two we got the bed outfitted with sheets, a quilt, as well as a cute diaper stacker.  Their bed skirt was ugly and their curtains were thin but we were satisfied with the bedding itself, so only the ugly items were sent back.

The weight of the fabric made gathers difficult so a nice pleat did the job on each side of the crib skirt.  It saved a lot of time, and I think it looks really nice tailored like this.

Hanging on the crib are several sweet blankies:  the one on the left in soft swirly chenille is made for Audrey by my mom and is trimmed in aqua and pink--how perfect and she had NO IDEA what colors the nursery would be!  Wait until you see the dress she made Audrey!  That's it's own post!!

The other blankies are vintage bought at yard sales for $1.  The one that is crocheted is the perfect rainbow addition to the room in all the colors we used!  The one on the very end on the right is too cute for words!  ONE DOLLAR!!  

The aqua bunny with the floppy ears was Jamie's!  It sat on her bed for years!

This sweet pillowcase, made from genuine vintage fabric, was given to us by my friend, Julie.  It has little bunnies, elephants and other animals, all with flowers on their heads!  Too precious!  (Thanks so much, Julie!)

Above the crib and to the side is an old plate rack we are using to store and display Jamie's own vintage Little Golden books I kept in our attic for years after she grew out of them.  They each have her name printed in them, in her little Denelian hand writing she learned in Kindergarten.  

The rack is anchored to the wall, and I bet this thing holds around forty books and it's not really full yet!  

I will dish more of the details on this little dress on the right soon! 
 My mom is still quite the seamstress at 79!  The dress on the left is a Bryant (I think) brand pinafore dress from the 1980's trimmed in tiny rosebuds, ribbon, and lace.  The tag is cut out, but these were VERY popular when Jamie was a baby in the early eighties.  I don't think I ever bought her one, they were what I called pricey even then.

This old plate rack serves as decoration because the artwork on the book covers is gorgeous and can be switched out, and it's useful to keep her vintage books just out of reach of messy hands.  Mama will have to help the little one choose which book to take down.  

When I found them, they came as a pair, the other one will be put up in Levi's retro cowboy bedroom to hold his growing collection of vintage cowboy books.

The gene has been passed in the bloodstream --it comes from two generations on BOTH SIDES of the family.  It just so happens that Jamie had this little shelf in her stash in their attic and she spray painted it and this holds her collection of vintage baby flower planters.

I bought the one on the right for a quarter at a yard sale, her cousin Autumn sent her the one in the center, and she bought that cute lil' donkey one at her local thrift store for just a couple dollars. 


Such fun these little pieces of pottery are to find!  All summer, it was what I stayed on the lookout for as I went to sales.

I think Jamie enjoyed the hunt once the nursery started to take shape and she was amazed that the thrift store in her tiny little town had several the ONE day she went in there this year looking for exactly these!

The curtains are just lengths of the fabric trimmed, hemmed and then outlined with lengths of pink rick rack.  EASY!  They hang from curtain clips and darken the room to JUST RIGHT for nap
time.   RICK RACK IS FUN.  

The curtains weren't hanging exactly like I hoped they would, so I hand-sewed some good sized washers from the hardware store into the corners of each panel on the bottom.  They are hanging much better now with that little bit of weight.

I think we are all set and ready for "Little Bitty" to come live in her new nursery!

We are all excited!

Babies are sweetest way to start people.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

To Be Little Bitty

She's here!  She arrived on 10.10.11 and is teeny tiny at 7# 1 oz.  Her name is Audrey Lynne and she's absolutely stolen my heart.  

She's not showing you right now, but she has a full head of AUBURN hair!  I am giddy with excitement, especially about that color!

Isn't she perfection?  

Jamie went from 1-10 im just a couple hours, and pushed for fifteen minutes, and is such a little trouper she makes mama and daddy so proud.

This little bitty girl is just as precious as she can be, sent straight from heaven.  What a little blessing to us all!

Oh...wait, did you want to see all her glorious hair?

My heart is total MUSH.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Vintage Baby Nursery: Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice!

This is the first in a series of posts about the vintage nursery we put together for Jamie and Thad's new baby, and TODAY is the BIG DAY!!   We will start in one corner of the nursery and work our way around the room.  

We spent the last week getting a nursery finished up for Levi's Little Sis...what fun we had!

I think the most  fun was finding the goodies.  I had lots of help.  Sisters and friends enjoyed finding stuff and either bringing it to me or telling me where to find it, because they knew the baby's nursery was going to be "vintage".  

I just kind of let them know what kind of colors we thought we'd use, and they went to town.  

Of course, I had some things already, I just had to go into the attic and pull them out.


This is an old expanding peg rack I paid a dollar for, and Jamie dressed it up with some satin spray paint; Krylon's "Ballet Slipper" in satin finish.

From it, we hung sweet things for baby girl, all of them are usable, yet they are just adorable waiting to be used out in the open where anyone in the nursery can appreciate them.

On the left hangs an vintage flannel baby bathrobe and nightie, bought for the nursery by Jamie's Aunt Pam.  It has variegated trim hand crocheted on it in a delicate little stitch.  Thanks Aunt Pam!


Next to that is a vintage "bed jacket" that is embroidered with tiny storks and has a scalloped trim.  Jamie found it at the small thrift store in her town for half off and paid $1.

Ahem!  When did our babies quit wearing flannel bathrobes and bed jackets?  ;0)

Source info for this vintage-style wooden baby hanger:  Go here.  
She has several colors to choose from.

To the right of that is a tiny pink frock made by Polly Flinders circa 1980's.  

Above it is a tiny pair of little knitted booties in pink I picked up for a quarter at a garage sale.  I hung them from satin ribbon and and used tiny safety pins to hold them to it.

Jamie wore dresses like this one when she was little!  
$1 at a garage sale!

On the top rack on the left is a pair of tiny vintage baby rattles, hung from a ribbon.  

In the center is a lace bonnet made for the baby by my mom, Jamie's grandmother.  (She takes orders!)  I can't wait to see Little Sis in that one!

Next to that is a tiny hand-embroidered handmade baby bib with crocheted trim.  It features little yellow birds!  I found it at an antique store in the tiny town full of antique stores where my sister, Pam, lives!  (The same store where Levi got his tractor.)

The unique thing about decorating this room that posed a slight problem is that it must serve a dual purpose:  it has to be a functioning guest room at the moment. 

So we found a comforter on clearance at TJ Maxx that would work to blend with the nursery colors.  To accommodate a spare mattress for her uncles when they come to stay, the guest bed was heightened off the floor using bed risers.  

I custom made an extra long bed skirt to hide all this using a pristine eyelet-trimmed king-sized bed sheet from a garage sale that was $3.50.  

The bed only shows on one side, so the eyelet trim piece from the top of the king sheet faces out and at the end of the bed.  I pieced it using the trim off one pillowcase to finish the foot board end.

The king pillow cases that matched this sheet were $1.50 for the set and they are the exact perfect size to use for cradle mattress sheets!   The extra one was washed and put into the stack of linens for baby.  

The mattress can now be stored underneath the bed, and when it's used, we slide our luggage underneath and out of the way.

Jamie printed these sweet vintage prints to hang laundry-line style over the bed using ribbon on some, and on others, leftover spray paint -- makes for some sweet wooden clothespins.

In the center hangs an authentic vintage baby card sent to Jamie by her cousin Autumn.  It is sO CuTe!  

(Autumn is due with a little girl in December.  She's doing a vintage-themed nursery, too!)

The dresser was found by my sister in her neighborhood one evening while she was walking during the week Jamie was home visiting this summer, she told Jamie about it so we went over and bought it for $50!  It was just the sort of dresser she was looking for and is very similar to Levi's.  

All we added to freshen it up was new milk glass blue pulls.  Jamie spray painted a mirror she already had around with Krylon in Blue Ocean Breeze gloss finish.   

The Bakelite vintage circle-stacking toy shown below was found for Jamie by her Aunt Pam. It's a welcome pop of color in the pastel room.

 The vintage aqua Beatrix Potter books underneath the lamp were given to me for Jamie by my dear friend, Shelley.  The full-page illustrations inside it could be scanned and framed if we wanted to, they're that cute.

Jamie found the little vintage train wind-up musical planter in excellent condition at her local thrift store for half off and only paid a couple dollars. The vintage baby prints she found online to print and frame.

Jamie found the lampshade at a Dollar General store in pink gingham and used it on a base she already had.  I trimmed it using the pom-pom ball trim for a vintage look.  

I just cut the trim to fit, stitched the ends together and put it over the lampshade, pulling it down to the edges, it's stretchy enough to fit without gluing or stitching to the lampshade itself.  That way it can be taken off to toss into the wash if needed when it gets dusty.

I made this rug years ago, taught by my friend, Shelley, to match Jamie's Wizard of Oz room she had when she was single.  It was already in the room and matched our theme perfectly!

In one corner, Jamie reused a barrister bookshelf she already had to store items needed for baby.

On the top is a framed sepia-print she made on photo paper, using one of Levi's foot photos from when he was a newborn. She matted it using scrapbook paper.

 It says:

"Babies come to us to teach us
To be unselfish.
To love unconditionally.
And to sacrifice.
The payoff is immeasurable."

The chenille teddy was $1 and came from a garage sale.  I tossed it into the dryer to sanitize it (the beans in its bottom didn't allow for washing), then cut off the plaid ribbon that was hunter green, and replaced it with aqua grosgrain.

In front of the framed print is a tiny little vintage baby planter that I bought--had to have it because it was aqua and pink!

Thad's aunt sent this gorgeous little hand-crocheted sweater with cheerful daisy buttons.  It is worthy of its own little corner to shine, and it brightens up this one!

Aunt Pam found this little girl in aqua for Jamie in Grand Rapids, MI one day when she was there to drop one of her daughters off at college.   Isn't she cute?  

Since she's heading to school with her little red apple and her ABC book, we thought it would be perfect to put it next to the schoolroom style retro clock in aqua Jamie found on Amazon.  Here is a link to this style clock.  

The neat thing about all the furnishings in the room is that they will grow with the baby, and won't ever be too babyish to use.

A vintage "string style" baby quilt given to me by a friend a few years ago.  PERFECT for this nursery, it has been used on my porch each summer since I received it!

A handmade "I SPY" baby quilt I bought for $1 years ago at a yard sale.  I absolutely love it and of course being that it's been used, it is SO SOFT!

I bought this "Raw-edge circle quilt" years ago at a craft sale.  It is made using many many reproduction quilt fabrics from the 1930's and 1940's.  This was our inspiration piece for the room.  Levi used it, too so it's broken in for Little Sis.

Most of her shoes are, of course new or like brand new and were purchased for little at garage sales.  What fun!  The black pair in center were a gift from Great Grandma and the pink cowboy boots on the right were a gift that came from Thad's Aunt Elaine.

Another cute print Jamie made and framed, in front of it is a tiny pair of hand-knit mittens I bought at a garage sale this spring for a quarter, never used.  

I think Jamie should save these to hang on her Christmas tree once Little Sis is done with them, don't you?

In the center below, behind the wicker basket are more hand knit hats made by Thad's Aunt Elaine.  Is there anything cuter than a little one in a hat?  Anything more loving than handmade gifts?

These little wicker "cupcake baskets" were found at Dollar General on clearance, were already lined in pink gingham.  Jamie is using them to store little barrettes, infant hats, and other small items that need to be readily available without pulling out a dresser drawer.

In the foreground is an adorable little hat hand-knitted by my sweet friend, Marsha, whose daughter graduated from high school with Jamie!  How cute is this precious little thing?  The day she asked me for Jamie's address to mail it to her, I had just bought the baby her first little coat for the winter, and it was pink!  This is going to be so adorable on her little head!  Thanks, Marsha!  

All of these baby hats (and more!  I gave some to Autumn, too!) were purchased at a garage sale for a quarter each.  I can't wait to see that tiny little downy head fresh after a bath in one of these hats.  They make the most adorable tiny prints for baby girls, it makes me giggle, it's so much FUN!!

This vintage baby dish was found for decorative purposes by Jamie's Aunt Pam, just how cute is this?  It was a plate made so that a mom could put hot water in it order to keep baby's food warm!  It also lends a nice bright splash in a soft pastel room.

Well, we made it about halfway around the room.  I hope you enjoyed a peek into the nursery!  I'll be back with more shortly.  It was all too full of fun not to share all of the little details!

Have a great MONDAY!