My mom and dad took care of our two kids while Kev and I worked full-time. I always knew how very fortunate we were to have Joyce and Sam cared for by their grandparents. Without them willing to do so, our lives would have taken a very different course. I wouldn't have worked full-time, and we've had a lot of fun through the years paid for by that income. Opportunities and experiences that wouldn't have been possible otherwise.
My dream was to be able to babysit my grandchildren. Back in 2010 when I turned 50, I had all the points I needed to be able to retire with full pension benefits. I didn't retire then because Sam was still in high school and our mortgage was (and is) still alive and kicking. Then Joyce and Mike married in 2012, and I began to feel pressure (of my own making)... worried I wouldn't be able to retire before those two gave me a grandbaby.
Unexpectedly, but very, very happily, I did retire toward the end of 2012, and then waited until late in 2014 for my babysitting years to commence. Nora Grace was born on September 26, 2014.
Nora is the love of my life. Kev is completely smitten as well. I keep telling my daughter that she and Mike must procreate again soon, because this much love is gonna suffocate our little Nora.
Nora is almost 10 months old. She is a happy, beautiful, smart little baby girl. She's almost walking, seriously, any minute now. She's waving bye-bye and saying bye; she's blowing kisses. She dances to music, especially when the theme to "Doc McStuffins" comes on the TV. She is too adorable for words.
I love, love, love babysitting her every weekday. It's a lot more work and commitment than I thought it'd be, and I believe I had a pretty good idea beforehand. But it's made me so happy. Too happy for words. I'm livin' the dream.
It's also made me appreciate my mom and dad so much more, and my appreciation for them already ran very deep.
Nora is very observant; she is constantly watching everything. Her resting face is very serious, so her smiles really light her up. She has 5 teeth already. She never took to a pacifier. When she's tired, she loves to suck on the end of her blankets... whichever one is handy. When I rock her to sleep, I hum the Christmas carol, "We Three Kings," and this week, she's begun to hum with me. She's well used to being photographed already, and she loves to see photos of herself. And videos. I've given her toys that belonged to her momma and her Uncle Sam as babies, and she loves them. Makes my heart flip-flop.
From the very beginning, Nora has screeched with happiness. Joyce and Mike make her screech a great deal! I love watching the three of them together. Nora screeching with gusto and so happy that her little body is just jumping and wiggling. The more we laugh, the more she screeches. Her screeches can get pretty piercing. I'm enjoying them, even with bleeding ear drums... soon enough, I think her screeches will be replaced with words as she learns more and more verbal communication. Or at least that's the plan... sometime before Kindergarten anyway.