May 2018

May 2018

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Reya Update

It appears God answered my prayers and blessed us with a healthy happy baby. There's absolutely no sign of colic or acid reflux. Plus Reya's a good sleeper who doesn't even need swaddling!

Approximately every 2-3 hours, Reya cries mildly, signaling a need to be fed. After being changed, fed, and changed, again, she easily falls back asleep whether held or placed in her bassinet. And she already appears to understand night versus day. Her longest periods between feedings are at night. And her longest periods of observing the world around her after a feeding are during the day.

Of course, it's still early days. But since by now both of our grandsons were struggling with either colic or acid reflux, we're feeling encouraged Reya will continue to be our easy grandchild. And, as a bonus, she's absolutely beautiful!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Drum Roll Please!

Our granddaughter finally has a name – Reya (ray-a) Booni (boon-E) Gerken – and I love it!

Booni was the name of Reya's maternal great-grandmother, so speaks to her Korean heritage. I don't know where Reya came from, but I love its nod to current pop culture. For those who don't know, Rey was the strong woman character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I find that perfect since Reya's dad was a big Star Wars fan as a child. He still has several large plastic tubs filled with, now vintage, Star Wars toys.

I'm just so thrilled about granddaughter's name. Some of the names considered where hard to pronounce, spell, and/or just plain bad. Thank you God!

The new family came home today. Reya still needs the Bilibed due to a little jaundice, but should come off it in a day or two. It's so great that there are now portable beds that can go home with baby. When I had babies, a jaundice infant could only be treated in the hospital, so it sometimes extended their stay.

Thankfully, so far Reya is fine with sleeping on her own, so doesn't mind the Bilibed. It's harder on her parents and grandparents because she can't be cuddled. She can only be off the bed a maximum of 30 minutes each feeding. She goes back to the hospital in the morning to have her numbers checked. I'm hoping she'll be released from the bed then because grandma needs much more cuddle time.

Mom is doing great, almost too well. She has to keep reminding herself she's recovering from surgery and needs to take it easy. But she's just so thrilled to no longer be suffering with the nausea she had her entire pregnancy.

Dad is behaving like an overprotective new father, something I never expected. He's done 98% of the diaper changes; is constantly concerned about Reya's temperature and comfort; and can't stand to be away from her, even for a quick shower. Frankly, he's driving us a bit crazy, but I much prefer this behavior over him leaving it all up to mom. And I'm sure he'll calm down eventually.

So it's all good and I'm very grateful :)

I decorated the new family's front doors
for the homecoming thanks to Dollar Tree.
Here's Reya ready for her first car ride.
And here she is chilling on the Bilibed
at home. See how stressed she is after
going through discharge and being strapped
in a car seat? *LOL* So far so good!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Oldest Grandson Meets Granddaughter

Today our granddaughter met her oldest cousin, Elliott. These pictures make my heart burst with love!

(FYI: Last I heard, granddaughter's name's been decided,
but now the parents are working on the spelling.)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Happy Birthday, Granddaughter!

Our granddaughter was born today via c-section – 8 pounds 7 ounces and 19.2 inches long. She's healthy and beautiful, and I'm so grateful. Mom is also doing well.

The parents promise to decide on a name tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some birthday shots of our sweet baby girl.

Proud daddy!
Her eyes are a little Asian,
but she mostly looks like my son.

Happy grandma! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


I'm doing very well on my July Spending Diet. I've successfully ignored all the email offers of drastic discounts. And I've shopped at Target for essentials without looking at what's on sale or clearance. Plus, to further get a handle on expenses, I've started using EveryDollar and think I've finally found a way to simply and easily track my budget.

We're still expecting granddaughter's arrival on Thursday, July 14. The c-section is scheduled for 1:15 P.M. However, I won't be surprised if DIL's water breaks before then. The baby dropped Sunday night and she's doing a lot of moving :)

Over the weekend I read The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Denise Hazime. John Goodman recently visited his and my hometown, St. Louis. After seeing pictures, I was curious to learn about the diet he used to lose, and keep off, 100+ pounds. Since I've been primarily eating fresh for roughly 15 months, I learned it would take only a few adjustments to adopt the mediterranean diet, which has been proven to greatly improve overall health.

The biggest adjustment would be eating fish twice a week. I am not a fan of seafood, so I'm starting with simple recipes. Fortunately Hazime's cookbook included several. So far I've successfully prepared her Pan-Seared Cod With Cherry Tomatoes.

Another adjustment is to use more spices, making vegetable and low fat dishes much more appetizing. Yesterday I prepared the book's Chicken Quinoa Pilaf and shared it with my son, DIL, and their roommate. Thumbs up all around! And today I prepared Hazime's Greek Salad (minus the yucky olives) for my lunch. I can hardly wait to eat it, again, tomorrow.

It feels really good to enjoy cooking again. I'd been in a slump for several months, cooking the same 5-6 boring recipes over and over. But now I'm loving using so many of my spices with such good results. I'm getting my cooking mojo back!

I've also been reading again. I read a lot last summer, but stopped when I got busy with the holidays and started cross-stitching again. Now I'm back at it with four library books on my nightstand.

But the last thing I do at night is watch TV shows and YouTube on my iPad. After finishing Orange Is the New BlackVeep, Mrs. Biggs, and Suspects I was having trouble finding another series. Then last night I decided to try Six Feet Under. Wow! I had forgotten how good that show was. Now I'm set for another few weeks.

So, in addition to researching a fall trip to the Seattle, WA area, that's how I've been keeping myself busy while eagerly waiting to meet my granddaughter. Just two more days – yay!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Movie Reviews

Today I saw The BFG with my daughter and grandsons. Last week we saw Finding Dory. I much preferred The BFG and, apparently, so did the audience. No one clapped after Finding Dory, but most of the audience did after The BFG.

The BFG is a sweet movie about a little girl and good and bad giants. It's Melissa Mathison's last project before her passing in 2015. And I rank it on the same level as Mathison's most famous screenplay, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. The ending of both movies brought tears to my eyes. Mathison was a true talent with a special gift for relating to children and touching people's hearts.

My recommendation is to forget Finding Dory and rewatch Finding Nemo, which is much better, and add The BFG to your must-see list.