Saturday, May 18, 2024

WE MISS YOU MARY

Happy Mother's day to one of my favorites,
my daughter-in-law's mother and my dear friend,
 Mary.

It's been two years now since she passed but it still seems like yesterday.
Her image is still so very clear in my mind.
A very beautiful woman both inside and out, 
with a wonderfully fiery spirit and personality.

I believe I remember that her son choose what to put on her tombstone 
and it captures her so perfectly.
And her daughter chose the images around the words.  
Again so very perfect, 
and a great tribute and send off for Mary.

The flowers are from her daughter's and my son's backyard garden.
Some are California natives (Poppies, Rockrose, and Salvia),
 and other delights that are more common 
like Geraniums, Dutch Iris, Carnations and Roses. 

These pictures are from our recent visit with lovely balmy weather.
 Mary is located in the most gorgeous and historical California surroundings,
the Santa Susana Mountains in an area called Rocky Peak Park 
where they filmed many a Western movie back in the day.
If you enlarge this last picture 
you can see the fabulous rock formations which are perfect for climbing.  
In fact there is a popular trail there that the kids want to take me climbing thru.
  They say it isn't too hard for this older lady.
Huh!
My knees get weak just looking at it.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

EASTER AND BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS

Funny,
 I never thought in a million years I'd be 68, 
but this is what it looks like after a lot of hard work in the gym, Pilates,
Intermittent Fasting and only 2 meals a day,
 one of which is a big vegie/fruit salad.
Seven pds. lost so far and going for at least 25 more.
I feel like I'm never going to make it,
and it's so hard not to give up.
Plus I love food and I live to eat my ex tells me. 
He on the other hands eats to live and has never has a weight problem.
Ugg!
Everyone tells me I hide it well,
but only because of big blousy shirts.

On another note,
I can only remember 2 other times in my life 
when Easter was on my birthday. 
So this year was double the celebration with my beautiful children,
and my bestest buddy Easton.
We celebrated with an Easter egg hunt 
while E was busy tummy timing it with his music and lights.
I love that my kids still want my ex and I to hide eggs for them.  
They continue to be very competitive siblings.
Can't wait for next year when Easton can participate too.
And color Easter eggs!

My ex hosted at his home
 and my husband drove down to be with his daughter and two grandsons.
It was a very rainy day but my son insisted we still do a barbeque.  
Because it was my birthday the kids did all the cooking 
and it was delicious.

Sadly my ex took a bad fall the day before Easter and was laid up in a sling.
He suffered a broken/cracked humorous and a very swollen leg.
He tripped on a polished wood floor while visiting a friend in the hospital.
It's such a shame because he is still recovering from his heart arrest
and has been doing really well in his physical therapy balance classes.

I had so much fun putting together an Easter bucket for E.  
All was thrifted from our local mountain thrift shop except a brush and comb set.
And if you look closely 
you can see two antique baby rattles from the 50's/60's.
 I picked them up for only 75 cents a piece.
It's so strange to handle plastic that old because it's very brittle.
And of course all the thrifted items got a bath including the stuffed bunny.
What was a little more challenging 
was to draw and watercolor Easton's Easter card.
I haven't done representational figures since I stopped teaching 4 years ago,
so I'm really out of practice.
But it turned out being super fun, 
and my kids thought it was store bought.
Hee hee 
I love when I can surprise them with something I've made.

Monday, March 25, 2024

 ANOTHER TRIP AROUND  THE MOON

or is it around the sun?
No really sure
 but what I do know is I just finished another baby sweater from
Alexandra at Two of Wands of Season 8 Knit Stars.
I love this demo pattern she shows and I had some left over yarn 
from another project,
so why not try it again?
The only bummer I encountered
 was that I ran out of yarn when knitting the first sleeve.
Oops!!
So I went thru my stash and found another similar yarn from Malabrigo.
But it was a slightly thinner structure and a slightly different color way.
Nooo!
So what to do?
I ripped out the entire sleeve that I was halfway thru with,
then alternated every other row with the thinner yarn.
If you have never knit with two yarns simultaneously,
I don't recommend it.  
It's constant Yarn Barf (tangles)
I also ran out for the collar and waistband.
So for those I swished to smaller needles and just knit them with the other yarn.
You can totally see the difference in the pix for the collar and waistband,
but I kind of like it.  
They are slightly darker in value which I think is a nice subtle contrast,
 and pleasing to the eye.

So now I need another baby to gift this to.
Whose going to be next?
Got my fingers crossed for my son and his wife.

Monday, March 18, 2024

A NEW HOBBY

EASTON'S AQUARIUM

Back in November of 2023
 I was visiting with my son and his wife admiring their aquariums,
 especially Nicole's Freshwater one. 
 My son's is a Salt Water tank and too huge & difficult to manage.
But I thought I might be able to try a Freshwater one on a much smaller scale.
Tah Dah!

So the kids set me up with a 10 gallon tank when I was visiting,
putting in the dirt, rock and water.
I left it with them so they could monitor the progress of it getting all settled in,
and they brought it to me for my Xmas present,
along with a few snails, shrimps, plant life, and a piece of wood.
And I'm in love with it.

Since Xmas I've very slowly added 5 guppies, 2 neon tetras, 
and 3 other cuties that I forgot what they are called.
They are white with black and white checkered tails.
So cool!
I also added another piece of wood that I unburied in my son's backyard
(of course I cleaned it completely before I planted it in the rocks
and it has a very beautiful arch to it),
an Asian pagoda, a couple more of Nicole's snails that I adored
 because of their unusual coloring, 
and some multicolored baby rocks for more interest.
I've lost several other fish in the process 
who just didn't survive for one reason or another.
Probably at least 5 now.
One actually jumped out to his death.  :(
Oh,
 and my most recent addition were 2 catfish for eating up all the fish poop.

And the last time Nicole was by
 she brought me another piece of wood 
along with 2 really cute natural ball thingies.
They kind of look like tiny unopened pine cone balls.  
The snails love them and climb aboard and roll them 
around the bottom of the tank.
Everything has been relatively inexpensive,
 which I love, 
and so pretty to look at in our front room.

So you might be wondering why I call it Easton's Aquarium?
Because when he is old enough,
my plan is to take him to the fish store
 and buy whatever his heart desires to put into it.
And of course he will be in charge of feeding the fish when he comes to visit.
And perhaps when he gets even older,
and it's ok with mom and dad,
the aquarium can go into his sweet little bedroom.
But I have a funny feeling it will never be ok with them
Ha ha

Monday, March 11, 2024

VINTAGE ON DISPLAY

I love my button boxes and sometimes I find real treasures.
But for some reason I can't remember where this one came from.
Was it on a card someone sent me?
Or something I bought at an Antique Mall?
Did I frame it with the white surround and then stitch around it?
Sadly,
 I have no clue.
Aging sucks!
Anyways,
whoever sent it my way or wherever I found it,
 I love this treasure which now hangs in my little house/studio entry alcove.

I was just chatting with Nancy of Pomegranite Trail
and she was telling me how she has saved all her Mother's sewing things 
for many years,
 but is now ready to find new homes for them.
I bet there are some real treasures there!
Over the years I have parted with several of my mother's things,
but lately,
 I've started putting more of her things on display throughout our home.
I've got her favorite perfume bottle that I adored as a child,
 as well as her last pair of reading glasses with a pair of her earrings
displayed on a nightstand at the little house.
I just love seeing little vignettes of her scattered here and there.
I dedicated an entire bedroom to her up at our cabin.
I could have sworn I posted about it,
 but I looked thru at least 100 posts of the Crestline cabin and still haven't found it.
Maybe next time we are up there I'll reshoot it.
I even recently found an old but perfect pink chenille bedspread
covered in a floral pattern that reminded me of her
that now rests on the Crestline bed.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

XMAS IN SPRINGTIME

 

I woke up to this surprise today when I opened the patio door.
These gorgeous amaryllis blooms that must have been buds yesterday.
I must admit they were partially hidden beneath some other leaves
 that I pulled away to get this shot.
What's funny is I don't remember planting this variety,
 but I'm thrilled that I did.
And usually my indoor amaryllis bloom at Xmas time, right??
Maybe this is a spring bloomer?
But who cares,
these would be lovely to capture in watercolor.
One day.
Ha!

Monday, March 4, 2024

ANOTHER SWEATER FOR MOLLY

KNIT STAR ALEXANDRA TAVEL
of  Two of Wands 
created this sweater pattern for her Knit Stars Debut in Season 8.
Her course is called the Duality of Knits and Crochet.
So she demos her pattern in both styles of handwork.
It has become one of my very favorite patterns to knit up.
It looks a bit difficult in it's textural Andalusian Pattern Stitch,
but it's super easy!
I like it so much that I'm almost done with another one.
Will I ever do an adult size of this pattern?
Probably not because I'd be scared I wouldn't finish it.
Baby/child size are more doable for me.
In Season 8 of Knit Stars,
 Alexander demos on a baby sweater so I just followed her demo.
and changed up the neck a bit.
It's supposed to be a full turtleneck
 but I thought it would be a bit uncomfortable for a baby,
so I altered it to a half turtleneck with a stockinette roll over finish.
This baby demo will probably fit up to 12 months.
I also learned a new bind-off called a Tubular Bind Off
 which is super stretchy and so much fun to do.
This photo is a truer example of the colors 
even though I took both pix at same time in same light.
Weird??
Can't remember where I got the yarn but it's a worsted weight 
in a super soft Merino wool.
And it washes up in the sink (wool wash) and dries beautifully.
And I felt the colors could be worn by either a girl or a boy,
although I'm not even sure if that's a thing anymore??
Ha ha

Saturday, March 2, 2024

COMING UP HEARTS

After seeing my recent post on watercolor and woven hearts,
fiber artist Liz Ackert and dear blogger friend in Texas,
wove one for her granddaughter's birthday.
I sent her my little demo heart  (above left) I used to teach with,
along with a piece of the background fabric middle) she had admired.
And another blogger superstar and fiber artist Deborah Lacativa sent her 
that gorgeous embroidered heart that she sells in her shop.
I adore Deb's hearts so much that I've already purchased two.
Plus Deb dyes her own embroidery threads that she calls "Dirty Threads"
and sells those as well.
But they go fast!
Many of us here in blog land and elsewhere use her threads in our projects
because they are stunning and add so much to our beauty to our work.

Here you can see that Liz used hand dyed fabric strips to weave with.
And she stitched them together for a longer weft.
It's so colorful and happy.
Your granddaughter is going to love it Liz!

Thursday, February 29, 2024

FORGOT TO SHARE THIS

Easton's Baby Blanket

I wanted to make sure my daughter Dani had input into the baby blanket 
that I wanted to make for our little man,
so I had her chose a pattern and the yarn.
I knew she would never like what I would have chosen.
Our tastes are very different so I played it safe.
Both yarn and pattern were from Shelly Brander's Knitstars shop. 
Have I talked about Knit Stars?
Can't remember,
but it is the most wonderful knitting/crochet store/community
of famous knit stars from all over the world.
And I mean really famous!!
Every year Shelly and her very professional crew
 travel the whirrled to find knitters who are trending.
Then she films their beautiful landscape surroundings,
their studio space, 
and the pro knitter demonstrating their trending patterns and designs.
I have done (paid for) all 8 seasons/years
 and have currently signed up for number 9 at her early bird pricing.
And you have the Seasons forever!
I feel the pricing is very reasonable for all that you get.
I have now traveled the world by armchair with Shelly and her team 
to some of the most amazing locations on earth
 to watch these incredibly prolific fiber artists.
And oh my,
I've learned so much in the process!!
Tomorrow I will show off a baby sweater I knit for sweet Molly.
Just finished it last week and I'm hoping the weather continues to be chilly.
The Knit Star was featured recently in season 8.
And it's probably one of my most favorite patterns to date.
So stay turned dear friends as I try very hard to be more present on my blog.
 
A side note:
After some recent blood work,
 2 of my doctors told me to get my butt to the gym.
:( :(
I have a fatty liver and pre-diabetes 
which I understand is something else that is trending here in America. 
Realistically,
 I need to shed at least 30 pds. 
which as of late,
 I disguise rather well under baggy tops.
I've gained that weight since I married my husband 12ish years ago.
He is a fast food junky because he worked in that industry his whole life,
and he's been a very bad influence on me.
When he had his gallbladder removed a few years back his doctor told me
it was the "biggest shit show he'd ever seen."
Ha ha!!
LOL  :):):)
So I'm not the only one who needs to loose weight in this household,
but that's a whole other story for another time.

Anyways,
in the last month I joined a Pilates club and average 2-3 times a week there,
 as well as 2-3 times a week at the gym for weights and cardio.
Love going to Pilates which really surprised me,
but I still HATE going to the gym.
That I have to force myself to do.
Have I noticed a difference?
YES!!!!
I've lost my first 5 pds which thrills me
 and an inch in my hips and another inch in my big old tummy.
My arms are looking way more toned and defined,
oh,
and I also lost weight thru my legs which look slimmer thru the thighs.
Woo Hoo!!!!
Now to just keep it up.
I also feel different when I walk.
I'm standing up straighter
 and my thighs are not rubbing together as much.
But let me tell you I'm spending a fortune at the Pilates Club.
Over $200 a month.
They are all very expensive in our community,
but I talked them into giving me a senior retiree discount,
but it's still a ridiculous amount of money.
:(

Thursday, February 22, 2024

AN ADD ON

One of you emailed
 and asked if I had used an antique button on top of the pin cushion in the last post.
As a matter of fact I did.  
I honestly don't remember whose button box I found this bit of button treasure,
my mom's, 
my grandmothers (best guess)
my husbands mother,
 or perhaps a donated box from a past Principal at Whitney
 by the name of Patti Hager.
But the thin cardboard these are housed on is very old and worn,
with thin rusty metal wire holding them on.
I adore old finds like this
 and try to make use of them rather then buying new. 
My guess is that they are over 100 years old.
I showed this packet to my husband
 and he was so very distressed I had pulled one off to use.
He told me it's a valuable antique and should be preserved.
Oh well I told him.
 I  had pulled one off a few years back to use,
so I had already destroyed it's integrity. 
Oops! 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

ON A ROLL

A CORINNE LAPIERRE KIT
from French Needle or Loop London

I just couldn't resist this delightful felt embroidery kit from Corinne's collection.
I liked it so much that I also purchased another smaller one,
 possibly even cuter,
 for one of my Tuesday Nite gals,
Aileen,
who has been with me now for 4 years.
She is still working on hers.
Back seam side

It came with wonderful color instructions,
and also encourages you to add your own touches which I did.
In fact,
 I pretty much changed up the entire top here and a couple goodies on the sides.
And recently I gifted it to Alyssa,
yes Molly's mommy,
when Alyssa brought Molly over to meet me.
And because Alyssa is very crafty,
 I wanted her to have a pair of bird scissors from the Gingher collection.
I also added the special heart & circular pins from Dritz on Amazon,
plus,
 of course,
 a variety of pre-threaded needles.

Monday, February 19, 2024

INTRODUCING LIL' MOLLY

Amalia Rose has arrived to my ex-student and art assistant Alyssa
and her husband Lucien,
and named after Alyssa's great grandmother who was called Molly.
She was 9 lbs and 1 ounce,
 and poor Alyssa had a very difficult time pushing her out,
 2 and a half hours.
Her little lungs were struggling a bit after all that pushing 
so Molly spent her first night in the ICU but then was doing fine. 
This is who the little knit sweater went to that I posted about recently.
When she grows into it I know mom will send me a picture to post.
She is such a little doll and Alyssa always has her dressed so adorably.
You can see below how much she filled out after only one month below.


And here is the little Princess on Valentines day.

I'm so happy for you both Alyssa and Lucien, 
and can't wait for Molly to meet Easton.
Much love to you both and your families.
 xoxoxo

Saturday, February 17, 2024

WILL YOU BE MINE?

HANDWOVEN & WATERCOLORED VALENTINE CARDS
Misc. Scrap Yarns, Watercolors and Papers, Pearl Cottons Size 5 or 8, 
Mixed Media Paper, and both Yarn Darner and Tapestry Needles

This project is a standby when I'm in a hurry,
which I always am.
Ha!
I can do it in one night on watercolor paper at least 140 pd weight.
Using 90 pds. will curl too badly and punched holes might rip.
I precut various sizes of watercolor paper that I knew I'd be folding into cards,
 and using a wet into wet technique,
dripped various colors onto the papers
 that I felt might look nice with my scrap yarns.
Underneath me I had some mixed media paper to catch drips and overflow
which I cut up into various size hearts to be glued inside card
 to cover all my pearle cotton holes, warp thread (pearle cotton) and knots.

This first card went to my new Grandson Easton,
and the yarn was leftover from a skein I had dyed
 and demonstrated with food colorfor my students some years back.
I think I used Kool Aide and Wilton's Cake dyes.
I really liked how the watercolors moved along the wetted surface.
And knowing me I probably dropped some water droplets 
into the color on the paper 
to make the pigment move even more.

This next one I gifted to my husband.
To my long legged,
 big hearted,
 guitar pickin' man.
From his big mouth woman.
Hee hee
Love that Johhny and June Carter Cash hit.

The yarn was a leftover ball of chuncky handspun 
which consisted of wool and Angora Mohair goat fleece.
I really like how it wove up and the way the Mohair curls.

This one I gave to my dear daughter-in-law.
I just love her to pieces
 and ever since her mom Mary passed we have grown even closer.

And this last one I kept for myself cuz it was too funky to give away.
I was using it to demonstrate how to go about weaving the heart.
(to a student in my Tuesday Nite Craft Class)
All my watercolor paper was drying up 
yet still too wet to work on, 
so I pulled this envelop out of the trash (hence stamp), 
and wove a heart into it.  
I was really surprised the thin paper didn't rip as I was puncturing holes,
 warping and weaving.
And this envelop was white with no watercolor
 but I see here it photographed a pale pink.
The Pearle cotton you see embroidered around edge 
was done in a blanket stitch and a size 5 string 
just because I had some leftover on my needle.

Note:  The yarn on the last two cards was from a special scrap ball.
Every year when I taught hand spinning to my young ones, 
at the end of the class period I would go row by row 
and collect all the unspun pieces of wool
 the kids had accidently dropped onto the floor.
At the end of the unit I would load it onto my drum carder 
and make a huge rolag that I would then spin into yarn.
And you would never know what the end product would look like
 until it was spun.
So much fun!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

OUR LIL' VALENTINE

It's been a minute,
 I know,
more like 3 months since I posted our precious little man.
Easton reached the 4 month mark on February 11.
And it's going just way too fast for all of us.
He is adored by 6 grandparents and 1 great grandma.

He is growing like a weed,
 now fitting into his 3 to 6 month clothes
trying to catch up to other babies his age.
He is 14 pds and because he's a preemie only in the 20th percentile.
Our new goal is to build up his upper body strength thru tummy time.
I'm averaging 2 nites a week of babysitting which is a dream come true.
He is such a delight as well as a fairly easy baby.
He loves to go outside for a buggy ride with one of the pups alongside,
and is getting used to having his face licked by 3 large doggos.
The pup Tatum thinks the baby is hers.
Ha ha!
He also loves to eat and has gotten his chunky rolls on him.
And he is so expressive and seems to like to pose for the camera. 
Just like his mommy. 
I'm still not sure what he's going to call me but he loves to hear an "oh" sound
which fills him with delight and smiles.
He's trying so hard to mimic that sound,
so now I'm thinking I might be an Oma.
I love feeding and holding him as he falls asleep in my arms
and I never want to put him down.
I just stare at that sweet little face and my heart melts.
Speaking of melting Hearts,
Happy Valentines Day to All!

Friday, December 8, 2023

ANOTHER BABY ON THE WAY

Back when I was teaching,
 I featured my Art Assistant Alyssa Olea often. 
First as my Ceramics student, 
then T.A.,
and she actually came back after she graduated High School
and assisted me a few days a week as her second job 
while putting herself thru college.  
I featured her wedding to her High School sweetheart Lucien Morales 
but what I haven't shared yet is that they are pregnant.
The baby is due soon in December and for her shower I gifted her a baby sweater
 I had knit several years in this post.
Back when I posted about it I thought it was destined for my step daughter Julie,
but she seems to only produce boys and she and hubby have decided NO more.
And since my daughter Dani had a boy I thought it was time to let it fly away.
The original post of it is much brighter and nicer if you are interested. 
So anyways, 
 I'm super excited to see this on her little girl.
Probably won't be till later in 2024 as it is for a 3 month old or so.
I'll keep you updated when I receive that pix. 
Besides the yummy Noro yarn I used from Japan, 
my favorite part of the sweater were the antique buttons
 from my husbands mothe 's button box.
Her family called her Cappy. 
I never got to meet Cappy but her son tells me she sewed all her own clothes 
and was quite the fashion plate and as well as a character.
I love that !

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

HOLIDAY BLESSINGS

 HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL

There is so much to be Thankful for on this home front with the birth of our grandson and Jim and Inars continued good health and recovery. 

Once again thanks to all of you who have emailed, and asked about the baby.

 Is he here yet?

Oh my, YES!!

Little guy Easton arrived on October 11 at 12:15 a.m., 4 weeks early, but weighing in already at 6 pds. 1oz. and 19 inches long.  My daughter Dani had a very easy delivery once she asked for that epidural, and was able to push him out in less then 15 minutes.  I had the extreme pleasure of watching him being born, a brand new experience for me, and mom and dad wanted me to cut his cord.  They didn't want a glimpse of any of that down there.  LOLOL

How lucky for me!!

First time Easton is meeting mommy and daddy.

Tiny but perfect in everyway, he has brought a whole new HUGE love to our family.  I have never felt this kind of joy before, and if I miss over 2 days of not seeing, holding and sniffing him, I need an Easton fix.

Luckily he is only 20 minutes away.

All cleaned up after his birth!


Dad taking charge right away.
Damn I love that!!!!

Meeting Grandma Deb and Grandpa Inars (my ex) for the first time.

Snuggling with mom
on the same day of Easton's birth in the afternoon, 
with tons of visitors popping in and out of the hospital room.  
Check out how large those newborn clothes are on him.

I was such a scared and timid mother with my first born Zach,
 never having babysat and knowing next to nothing about babies 
(no Google or Instagram at that time).
My mother was close by my side for a good week
as I was so overwhelmed.
 But Easton's mom and dad have taken to it like bees to honey.  
They aren't lowering their voices, the dogs are barking,
 and those loud noises don't seem to bother Little E at all. 
 
Day two of E's life and he's ready to leave the hospital.
They get the parents in and out quickly these days.
And what a cutie he is, so tiny in that big car seat!
In a lot of his pix you will see his right hand on his face.
His fingers are extra long and his feet are big for one so small.
Humm, baseball player like dad?  
First day home and in his crib.
You can see how even though he is stretched out here his clothes are just too big.
 So off to the store and a few preemie outfits found.
Home in his room with mom in their rocker for the first time.

Because so many women are pumping and have excess milk these days,
 it's really nice that the hospital
 gives the parents enough donated breast milk until mom's comes in.
I have no recollection of that when I left the hospital.

Easton sleeps thru everything,
I just can't get over that.
And he is such a good baby, 
so far he only cries when he is getting his diaper or clothes changed.
  
He thrives in very noisy places
 like watching his daddy play his weekly night baseball games,
 or watching dad bowl each week with the guys.
Just sleeps right thru everything and never makes a peep.
Dan takes him everywhere,
even going with mom to get her toes done
(she can actually she them again, haha!)
 Of course he loves being held,
swaddled,
 is a hearty burper and pooper, 
and really enjoys his stroller buggy rides with this grandma! 

 And to top it off,
he loves a party. 
On his 2nd day home he was off to a family party with his dads side of the family, meeting his cousins, uncles, aunts and great grandma Irene.

Step grandpa, Pop pop, fell in love with the little guy instantly
and is looking a bit like Jay Leno here.
It is so fun seeing the wonder on everyone's face as they meet Easton
or hold him.
I keep wondering what he will call me. 
 I'm kind of hoping for Mimi,
 that is what Jim's grandsons call me.  
Or maybe he will come up with a special sounding name.  
It's all good.

My son and daughter-n-law came up from L.A. in the Valley,
 brand new Auntie and Uncle,
to meet Easton and spend an afternoon with him and the new parentals.

His doggos are so over the moon in love with him,
 Granger, Tatum, and Kepler.
Kitty Lily is still not so sure.
Here are two of them on their way home from grandpas
 to met the baby for the first time.  
It was such a delight to watch that. 
 Just stretched my heart even more. 
 The dogs went crazy happy when they saw him 
and all wanted to give him sniffs and kisses.  
 Tatum has identified herself as his second momma in charge of many kisses,
 as well as face and neck clean up of any milk that has escaped 
down his chin and around his neck.  
Granger and Kepler are his constant companions and watchdogs 
who follow mom and dad from room to room with him
or lay by the bassinette while he naps. 

Mom,
 who gained 40 pds and worked out everyday while pregnant,
has lost 30 of it already,
 but shared with me today that she's struggling with those last 10.
I told her not to worry, 
she looks amazing and it will eventually come off.
And she is already back at the gym which is great for me because I get to babysit.

Dad had 3 weeks off but went back to work last week.
The minute he walks in the door he goes straight to the little guy
and smothers him with love and kisses.
Honestly I have never seen a dad take to a baby the way he does.
Just warms my heart.
These are two of my favorite photos so far in his bacon and egg preemie outfit.
In the top one my daughter captured one of his very first smiles.
The bottom is fresh out of the bath with his hair still slightly wet
and ready for bed.
I've gotten to watch a few of his bath videos and they melt my heart.

We continue to pray for our country and the peoples of the world, 
and are hoping peace will come soon for the many war torn countries.
  These are heartbreaking times for so many, 
so this year we are extra thankful and am feeling so very blessed 
to be here safe and snug in our beautiful community and home.

Wishing all a wonderful Holiday Season and Peace on Earth.