Tag Archive | baby

First Daughter ~

I had the unprecedented pleasure and experience of becoming a grandmother on Wednesday… for the eighth time.  It affected me in ways none of the other grandchildren’s births have.  I’m not sure why.

Perhaps in part because I’ve had so much contact with my first born daughter throughout her pregnancy, this time.  Having two sons, ages 5 and 12, the knowledge and anticipation of having a daughter this time was very exciting… for everyone.

I thought, in the past week, that she had begun to noticeably “glow” ~ you know, like they say pregnant women do.  She quickly denounced it, preferring to compare herself  to a troll.  I think it was the hormones.

Tiny Riley Rose came into our lives on Wednesday, 7-10-13 at 12:28 p.m.  Grandpa Al and I took the new Big Brothers up to the hospital to see their sister that evening after dinner.  I think it was love at first sight, for all involved.  Weighing only 6 lbs 1 oz, she’s a little peanut swaddled in a receiving blanket wearing a warm hat.  Under her hat is a mass of dark hair.  (a source of constant indigestion for my Number 1 throughout the pregnancy ~ so “they” say). 

Photo: Instead of a big dark blur, I see a big light blur.

She was asleep, happy and warm in Mama’s arms.  The atmosphere in the private room was one of calm, joy and love, by both new mother and father.  A vast difference from Number 1’s (it’s a Star Trek thing) first birth in 2001, which was rather chaotic (after laboring for 3 days), harried and exhausting.  This was way different, and welcomed.


Mama & Daughter get to know each other.

Mama & Daughter get to know each other.

Each of us took turns holding Riley, starting with her Big Brothers, who were so gentle and seemingly in awe of this tiny little bundle of sleeping sister.  I watched them, and their parents, as everyone took their time in these first moments of getting to know this new family member.  But I was stunned by my daughter’s transformation.  Even after being awake for at least the past twelve hours while things progressed and the pregnancy turned into birth, she exuded confidence, maternal love that I hadn’t seen before, strength and joy as her family gathered around her to celebrate and welcome her.  It was incredibly beautiful to experience.  And I remembered all the struggles this family has been through, and how they’ve pushed forward and are just entering into the “homeowner’s” status.

As I witnessed my first daughter cuddling her first daughter, it appeared to me that she has turned a corner in her life that will forever be changed, and cherished.  As a mother always worries over her children, I can worry a little bit less about Number 1, I think, and concentrate more on being “The Grandmother” now.  Okay, I’ll work on it!

Until next time, thanks for stopping by and visiting.

TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting ~

They were there, and then all too soon they were gone.

Robin's eggs

Robin’s eggs

Baby Robins

Baby Robins

Empty Robin's nest

Empty Robin’s nest

     Thank you for stopping by in this fleeting moment.   Until next time, TTFN                                                         ~ Tamara

Robin’s Eggs ~


The American Robin (Turdus migratorius), also known as the Robin or Common Robin, is a migratory songbird of the thrush family. It is named after the European Robin because of its reddish-orange breast, though the two species are not closely related, with the European robin belonging to the flycatcher family. 

The American Robin is active mostly during the day and assembles in large flocks at night. Its diet consists of invertebrates (such as beetle grubs, earthworms, and caterpillars), fruits and berries. It is one of the earliest bird species to lay eggs, beginning to breed shortly after returning to its summer range from its winter range. Its nest consists of long coarse grass, twigs, paper, and feathers, and is smeared with mud and often cushioned with grass or other soft materials. It is among the first birds to sing at dawn, and its song consists of several discrete units that are repeated.  (from Wikipedia)

On April 29, 2013, Al and I discovered a robin’s nest in the arborvitae we have planted just off our front deck, but right in front of a window situated in our dining room.  We had noticed a pair of robins that were particularly aggressive around our front yard recently, and finally caught the mother bird darting into the brush near the house where she ordinarily would never go.  Al got suspicious and investigated, finding this beautiful little perfectly-formed nest.

robins empty nest


On May 7th, Al checked the nest and sure enough!  there were four little blue eggs in there!  Well, we knew we’d simply have to “fix” the dining room window so we could readily peek into this miracle of nature nest at random.  Al took the outside screen off, and snipped a couple of the branches of the arborvitae that were potentially in the way.  We still would have to gently move a branch to peer into the nest for updates, but at least it would be easier!  Except we were faced with the mother and/or father robin screeching at us from the grond and warning us to stay away!

Robins eggs


Just yesterday, May 17,  we peeked again and found newly-hatched baby robins!  How exciting!  We will keep an eye (or two) on them as they continue to progress and fledge… despite parental objections.

Nest hatchlings ipiccy

Hope you enjoyed this peek into the world of the robin.  I’ll post updates as the babes progress.  Thank you for stopping by.  Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara



Mugwump ~

My "interpretation" of a Mugwump.

My “interpretation” of a Mugwump.

My Dad often called me “mugwump”, and just as often I’d ask him, “Daddy, what’s a “mugwump”?  He’d tell me that it was a little bird that sat on a fence with its mug on one side and its wump on the other.  The answer always made me giggle.  To date, I still remember it and it still makes me smile and giggle just a bit.  I think it’s the memory of the cheerful, mischievous tone in his voice when he answered my question that gets to me.

I adored my father when I was little.  I was the “baby” of my four siblings ~ the “baby of the family”.  But I can remember following my dad around wherever he went just to “see what he was doing”.  “Daddy, whatcha doin’?” I’d ask.  He’d say “Something to make little girls like you ask questions.” (with a grin)  From my father I learned the intricacies of gardening, what certain tools were and how to use them (like the lawn mower and grass clippers!), how to make peanut brittle from scratch and how to make the secret family recipe of “punch” ~ reserved mostly for weddings and such gatherings.  He also taught me, through his actions, how to respect and love my mother… which he did on a daily basis.  He adored my mother until, after 50 years of marriage, she passed away in 1994.  He followed her in 1998.

I think of him often, my mother too.  I remember all the ways he showed me he loved me without ever saying it, really.  Too many things to put into words ~ but they’re memories etched into my mind forever.  I’m glad I have them!  Love you, Daddy.


My Mom & Dad.

My Mom & Dad.

“Merry Christmas, I’m Pregnant”

Gavin & Liam ponder their new sibling, due in July 2013

Gavin & Liam ponder their new sibling, due in July 2013

You know how you watch “American’s Funniest Home Videos” and they inevitably have the clip(s) where the couple informs their parents (on video, of course) via some unexpected way that they are expecting a baby?  I always thought those clips were so phony and the people involved were actors, or just plain ridiculous.  Well, up until now, that is.

We had Christmas dinner at my eldest daughter’s family’s house, and my son-in-law’s parents also came down from Watertown to join in.  After the nice dinner of ham, potatoes, veggies, breads, olives etc., we all sat down in their livingroom to pass around/open Christmas presents each had gotten for the other.  The first thing received was a Christmas card in a beautiful red envelope, and both “mother’s” were urged to open them and read.  Upon opening mine, I became so enthralled with the OUTSIDE of the pretty card that I handed it off to my husband to share the pretty sentiment BEFORE I read the inside.  I saw that there was “something” loose on the inside of the card, figured it would’ve been a photo of my two gorgeous grandson’s, and waited for my husband to finish perusing the outside of the card before he would hand it back to me and I would admire the photo enclosed.  My husband took the time to look at the photo, AND the inside of the card before handing it back… and I’ll never forget that peculiar look on his face.  Meantime, a commotion started in the livingroom, as my son-in-law’s mom had taken the time to read the entire INSIDE of the card and it began to sink in.  I finally grabbed back the card from my husband and looked at the photo (as seen above).  It didn’t take me only about 3 seconds to realize I was looking at a sonogram!  This was something my husband had never seen, so he didn’t know what to make of the photo when he looked at it.  THEN I read the inside of the card and it became all too clear.

For a split second I thought maybe I was being punked.  After all, Kristen’s final words after hours of laboring with Gavin were “never again” in a seething, pained, rasping voice that could only be compared with Darth Vader… and true to her word at the time, Liam was adopted.  And now, could it be?  And then I remembered those silly people on AFV and realized I had just become one of them… without the advantage of being video-taped.  All I remember after that was pandemonium.  At one point, I thought maybe my head had exploded, but I kept checking and it was still intact.  It didn’t FEEL intact. 

 I think it was only about 1-2 months ago I was wistfully telling Al that I wanted to make another baby quilt for someone.  I remember actually searching for someone in my area of friends/acquaintances and even church friends looking for someone to bless with a new baby quilt.  Hallelujah!  Now I have a reason to make a baby quilt… or two or three.  We don’t know whether boy or girl yet, but I can put together something totally appropriate for either in the blink of an eye!  And, once we know for sure that it’s a girl, I can make more… in pink!  Did I say something about a “girl”?  Well, here’s hoping!