Waiting is over. And 8-week countdown starts!

The last time I blogged, I was waiting for my grandson to enter the world.

With just one extra 2 a.m. trip to the hospital, we got the word to come to watch the boys while Rachel and Sean headed to Kaiser Roseville. And finally a text, he is here!

Presenting Colton Levi Dennis (photo by Rachel or Sean)

Smooth delivery. Mom and baby are healthy. All the boys were excited to meet their baby brother, Colton Levi. Colton arrived on January 31, 2020, weighing in at 7 pounds 9 ounces and 20 inches in length. Reaction from everyone, he is so small and cute.

Meeting Baby Colton (photo by Rachel)

One day in the hospital and home. Sean was happy to be home to watch the Super Bowl and not in delivery as I predicted. Thought a February 2, Ground Hog day birthday would be fun. My daughter has a supportive husband in Sean. Good thing too!

Starting on February 2 my pup to be mama Ginger moved to Jo’s house in preparation for her upcoming birth of puppies. After an ultrasound Jo let me know that even though I am 5 or 6th on list Ginger was puppy full. My guess was 9 or 10.

Puppy Full (ultrasound)

Our preference is for a solid colored girl, but I will happily enjoy having a boy. Well On February 7th Ginger’s labor started. Grand total many hours later is 10 puppies – 7 boys and 3 girls.

Good job Ginger! (photographed by Jo)

I thought that I would not be high up on the list for a girl, but now I can get the third girl or a boy. I am so excited. Jo posts many photos of puppy piles. No individual portrait session yet. Pups are so busy nursing and sleeping. Moma Ginger is taking good care. Breeder “litterally” has her hands full. Jo sets up a Nest cam for part of the day, and I can check-in and see how much there is to do with a new litter. Silent tv on the corner of my computer screen.

Pile full of Puppy Love – Day 4 (photo taken by Jo)

Now I wait until I can meet the puppies in person, and then bring our puppy home. That date is April 1st. On March 13 I will meet the individual pups via facetime. Then, on March 22 we will visit the litter. Preparations now start. Decisions, purchases, and organizing the house.

So how will I pass the time? I am signed up for a 9-week beginner quilting class and my local quilting shop. I started last week. Even though there are plenty of tutorials, and answers on the Internet, I learn many tips and tricks from the interactions in class. Some of the blocks I am seeing online will make more sense in 9 weeks time, I hope!

My camera is getting a workout. Last week Colton had his first portrait session. Using my prime 35mm 1.4 lens I captured a perfect sleeping angel for his birth announcement.

Colton – one week old

This week my CTD (Camera Totin’ Days) group went to a familiar place, The Antique Trove. Usually, we find this is our go-to place when it is raining. But, alas the day felt more like Spring has sprung. This sunny day did allow us to spend time in The Antique Trove garden area. My focus here in the garden area was how to improve the decor outside. I have a succulent garden that I want to display attractively. So I am on the hunt for ideas.

My husband reminds me that we have too much stuff. But as long as I have a place for everything, and everything is in its place I disagree. Many items have been accumulated over the past almost 50 years. And I made a point of adding only good memories from my parent’s house. There are a couple of things that need changing in the house, but I will wait till puppy training is over.

While at the Trove I also enjoyed photo opportunities. Here are a few to enjoy.

Where did the time go?
Clown Garbage Can. Scarry looking.
Just liked this one!
Be sure to show some love!

Next week, I plan to go to Capay Valley to experience the almond trees in full bloom. Time to get out with the group. Last week after the baby arrived I thought I might have strep throat and so I kept away from everyone till I could be sure.

For the last week in February, my oldest grandson will be visiting from Knoxville, Tennessee for a week. He has plenty of restaurants he wants to visit, probably a trip to San Francisco and a family day celebrating my granddaughter’s 18th birthday. Time flies.

Traveling to New York City in March for a quick trip. Plan to see a show, eat some great food, and take in the sights.

Then home to ready ourselves for our new addition.

So now you are kind of caught up. Well, there is a VERY important item I skipped over. That is to VOTE on Super Tuesday. I am registered. I received my ballot, and plan to vote. Got to stop the continuous destruction of democracy. Interfering with judges should not be allowed. I just can’t understand the people who can follow this amoral person. Impeached, but not removed. VOTE HIM OUT! Rant done.

Adding an addition

I am now on baby alert. My daughter is blessing me with a grandson. This will bless me with a 6th grandson, I have only 1 granddaughter. Birth plan calls for baby Colton Levi to be born on February 3rd or before. Here’s hoping that Mother Nature kicks into gear. Reading about the induction procedure is not comforting. With the 49ers in the Super Bowl next Sunday, and the excitement here in California I’m placing my bet on Super Bowl Sunday as a due date. I won’t be busy. With this pregnancy my daughter’s gestational diabetes makes the condition of a date due advisable. This is her second time with gestational diabetes. It skipped her last pregnancy.

So with four boys 8 years and under (8, 4 and 2 years old) she is ready with most of the baby stuff. But there always are things that are needed. Yesterday my daughter and I again headed to our Buy, Buy Baby Store. About 4 years ago I wrote a post about this experience. You may find it here. And like deja vu we were out buying a new mattress. I should be experienced at this. The mattress purchased the last time is being used by Wyatt, the two year old. But as you know progress must continue. Now there are layers (4-5) over the springs, foam mattress, hybrid coil/foam or dual foam mattresses and this strange looking web-like plastic stuff. The Newton Baby Wovenaire Crib Mattress tag line is “Born in water, designed to breathe”. If the crib sheet, and crib mattress cover gets wet you can not only wash this, but you can take the whole mattress out and hose it down. Then wait for everything to line dry. This mattress also offers peace of mind. If your baby turns over it will still be able to breathe with his/her face down. Wow. Not to be pulled into new age stuff we decided on a more traditional mattress. Baby needs a hard mattress for his growning bones. I told my daughter if the baby doesn’t sleep, don’t blame me for buying the mattress. LOL.

Next mattress I purchase will be mine. Still waiting for that perfect sleep. It would be nice if my husband woke up refreshed each day. I would like not to wake up in a puddle of sweat. TMI. Oh well.

Could not leave the store without buying a couple of newborn body suits with gloves. So many cute things. More fun to shop for baby than for myself.

While walking around the store I again was amazed at all those items out there for new parents to consume. Got out my iphone and here are a few. I call these consumer items, “maybe useful, but unnecessary. Agree? Disagree?

Where oh where to put that baby quieter?
In the dog world we call these poop bags. Maybe this is where I will go to get my holder.
They didn’t have one available to drop. Hummm. That would make for interesting entertainment.
Such an adorable name. I’m sure baby will be smiling when he or she sees this coming.
Just when checking out I spotted this lovely new gadget. And I love to look at gadgets.

So when expecting your new bundle of joy there are so many choices and decisions to be made, be sure to think. “Do I really need this? And where will I put it so I will use it when needed?

Now for some other news. I am hoping to bring a puppy into my home at the end of March. Ginger, an Australian Labradoodle is starting to show. Jo sent me some photos this weekend. I am either 5th or 6th on the list for this litter. Ginger has delivered big litters in the past two. (9 and 11). On February 3rd the ultrasound may give us more information.

My daughter is jealous. Gestation for a dog is 63 days. Ginger is more than half way there. I do hope that I will be lucky enough to welcome a pup into my house.

Expanding belly.
Such an adorable face.

Soon I will be out shopping and getting ready for my new arrival. I’m sure there are a bunch of things that I will need. Or will I? What are the must haves? What can I just skip? It has been 10 years since I brought my Liberty Love home. Still miss her so very much.

Early March my husband and I will head to New York City for a 10 day vacation before (I hope) my puppy arrives at 8 weeks old. Plan to play tourist, and see some family. Staying on the upper West Side, but plan to venture out to Brooklyn and Nassau County. Any places I should stop and see? Last visited in 2014.

Exciting stuff ahead. Now to my sewing machine. Time to quilt.

How fast they grow, how time goes by.

I don’t always have enough time to grab that perfect shot when it comes to family photographs. I really don’t know why. When I got married photographs were mostly taken when we went places, or during noted events. When I started my family I remember getting a simple Kodak camera. We took one roll of film, and returned the camera because I didn’t like the results.  My next camera was a point and shoot Fuji and I was satisfied with the pictures. I paid attention to the limitations of the camera and usually shot in natural light.  I kept the subject simple and focused on my family. With my family I am part of the interaction, and I take mostly snapshots.  But I try to keep my wits about me and focus on keeping the photo sessions short and fun for all.

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Smiling, happy baby

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Getting ready to throw his ball

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Happy four month old

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Not another photograph. Ema put away the camera.

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Two happy brothers

Needs of the baby changes so quickly.

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Eli doesn’t quite know why the sad face. Probably ready to eat!

And a few more weeks and Lucas is flipping over, and holding himself up for a 5 month pose.

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Lucas can flip himself over!

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5 month old and holding steady

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Eli tries to fit into Papa’s hat

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Alyssa taking care of Lucas

Looking at all these photos I am reminded that my pets are needing some camera time. Got to get to it.

The move to my Nikon N80 film camera, and then to digital DSLR has taken my focus away from documenting family exclusively. When I pick up my camera I use it to explore my surroundings. I use it to help me relax. I use it to connect with other photographers. I use it to share my thoughts. My perspective is one of observer. I try to create artistic renditions of the world around me.

So what do I do with all the images that I take?  My Facebook friends, my Flickr site, and emails replace the family album. There is still something special about looking through albums, but some of my albums are falling apart. Never got into the family photos on the walls. Now I  scrapbook with a focus on both family, and documenting my photo journey. A Photo’s Worth is another outlet for me. What do you do with your photographs?

The following still life, landscapes, and animal images are a sample of what now hangs in my room.  I am collecting more photos every week. Feels great!

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Nicki’s Silver

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Wash Day Company

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Sea Gull Stands Guard

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Peeking

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Mono Lake at Sunset

With my Camera Totin’ Tuesday group and growing grandchildren I will soon have another group of photographs to share on my wall, with my friends, and with fellow enjoyers of all things photographic.

 

 

 

 

Baby Time

One month ago I welcomed my grandson Lucas. This is my daughter’s fourth child and her experience makes a big difference. My first grandson  18 years ago came to my home from the hospital and I was completely involved.

This time I visit and get to take photographs. As a newborn Lucas spends most of his time sleeping. It is not a quiet kind of sleep.

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Don’t bother me, I’m sleeping

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Feeling full

I forgot how much one baby moves and grunts in his sleep. Watching a sleeping baby can be like watching a tv program.

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Baby Thoughts

His expressions change, and I wonder what he is thinking about. Sometimes, a red face then a relaxed face.

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Is that a yawn?

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Now I’m ready. Where’s my Mom? I’m hungry.

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Sweet Face

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A Private Joke

 

It is sweet to see Eli come over, kiss the baby’s head, and say, “He is so cute!”

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Big Brother Love

For these photographs I used my Nikon D7100 with a 35mm 1.8 lens. I know I should use my reflector to improve my portraits, but I don’t often have a helper. This time my grandson, Eli helped. For the second session, I didn’t have his assistance, and I can see the difference.

My mirrorless camera, Olympus OMD E5 grabbed this last shot. For a smaller camera I still like to capture quality images and since it is smaller than my dslr I have this camera with me all the time. Natural light was used to capture this picture.

4 weeks old and totally content!

4 weeks old and totally content!

Other siblings will get in the picture tomorrow. Big sister is getting over a cold.
Next capture may have Lucas looking around?