Combat boots recommended.

Ten days ago, I hopped on a plane to be with my daughter and her man. I had gotten too antsy to remain 997 miles away from them and their baby bump. All signs were pointing to his imminent arrival, and I did not want to fret for another single second about getting there in time.

What transpired upon my arrival? Several days of waiting. But not waiting from a distance, waiting with them. Those final days of pregnancy are miserable (especially if you go beyond the due date!), and I was glad to help with the cooking and cleaning and shopping and laundry. I’ve spent more time on domestic chores in this span than I have in the past six months. I wish I was kidding.

The flight may have been considered by some to be premature, including me occasionally. I adjusted to living with a dog, sleeping on an air mattress, and living out of my suitcase. All these details were expected, and totally fine with me. I was helpful and generous and tried to stay out of their way.

And then a couple of days ago, labor began FOR REAL. This was also expected. Duh. People don’t stay pregnant forever.

Kelsey and Tyler. Aren’t they adorable?

But what I was sort of prepared for, was completely falling in love with this tiny precious human baby. My first grandchild. My child’s child. What in the actual ___? I realize I seem too young for this, but apparently looks are deceiving, because it’s all true. And here he is…

So fresh! So tiny! And may I just say, perfect?
The nurses know how to swaddle them like burritos!

Meet Ellix Morgan, born at 5:37pm on Wednesday, October 30. He weighed in at 7 lbs, 7 oz, and measured 19.5 inches long. Most people enjoy such stats. You’re welcome.

The name is nearly original. Tyler met someone with the name Elixander, and they both instantly loved it, and modified it to be their own version. The middle name, though? That’s what has completely done me in.

Background: I have two daughters, Kelsey and Morgan.

Maybe the choosing of her sister’s name, as his middle name, is not a big deal to others. But to me, the floodgates opened and I sobbed.

If we can ugly cry like Brittany, is it still ugly?

The entire time these two daughters were growing up, my prayers were that they would love one another in their adult years. There was plenty of evidence that divine intervention would be necessary. They fought with each other, and with me. They competed for time and attention. They argued about clothes and cars and anything else nearby. There were rough patches for sure, I wasn’t sure it would ever cease.

And now, here we are. One loving the another enough to use her name. Miracles do happen. The next generation seems to be starting off with as much love as a grandmother could ever hope for.

It seems like tissues would be appropriate. So what’s up with combat boots?

Because life brings challenges, and it can feel like an all-out war. Prioritizing relationships and keeping close family ties is not for wimps. Overcoming disagreements. Having healthy boundaries. Knowing when to speak up and when to shut up. Forgiving each other. Understanding and having compassion for ourselves and others. All of these things are difficult, but so worth the fight.

Here’s to a new generation of love, wonder and joy!

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Sherri, aka JoJo

Any day now…

That is what we are telling ourselves anyway. Today, October 26 is one whole day past the official due date, but apparently the baby didn’t get that memo. Or care. All I know is that we are all kinda pacing about and getting a kick out of all the things known to send labor along its merry way.

This is what 40 weeks pregnant looks like.

Among the “tried and true” items to spur labor on include:
Eating French Onion Soup from Outback.
Having sex.
Eating pizza.
Drinking half a glass of red wine.
Going for walks.
Going for a bumpy ride.
Primrose oil.
Castor oil.
Raspberry leaf tea.
Eating pineapple.
Taking a hot bath.
Getting a facial.

Honestly, I think it’s all very coincidental and random and varies so much that there isn’t ONE thing. Whatever it was that someone was doing, at the moment she realized she was in labor, is the thing that worked for HER. Therefore, there are hundreds of things that we hear and read. All of them worked for someone, but none have worked for the someone who is my daughter.

The clock is definitely ticking, especially since I arrived 5 days ago. On Tuesday, in a fit of excitement, I boarded a plane to come be with my girl. She had been having major contractions and we felt certain she was in labor.

Exactly Phoebe!

There’s been plenty to do since my arrival, like helping her with a mountain of laundry, food shopping and cooking, strolling around various stores, and watching Netflix.

It’s been great to enjoy some cooler fall weather, and I am NOT missing the 90 degrees that Florida was serving up. There are even some lovely colors to enjoy. And I typically enjoy a trip this way in October just for those very reasons.

But not this trip.

This trip, the baby is supposed to arrive, and I get to be here. Except baby is not cooperating. So we wait patiently. We shop. We see the sights. We rearrange the baby’s wardrobe. We reminisce. And we continue to wait.

What is it about a new baby that keeps us so riveted?

I think it’s hope. Hope for a new life, and a new generation. Kelsey was the first grandchild on both sides of our family, and her child is a first grandchild for her dad and I. He actually arrived the day after me. There’s something very cool about all of us being here in support of this new life we are patiently waiting for.

Not so patiently waiting, if you must know.

It’s like we all get a do-over. As a parent, I was stressed out and overwhelmed and feeling so much pressure to get it right. To raise them right and too avoid looking like an idiot in the process. And THAT was before social media.

But as a JoJo (my grandma name), one generation removed, it’s easier. I can simply love my adult children and the grandchild. Is it a special bonus if I do some laundry or maybe make some soup? Yes it is, and it’s my joy to do it. (Also I live 1000 miles away, so I don’t have to worry about creating some sort of laundry dependency!)

Okay, it wasn’t quite this much…

Any suggestions on how to pass the time? Or how to get labor going? Or how to politely answer all the calls asking if the baby is here yet?

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Sherri

APSTCICOB

What kind of typo/title is this? It’s how I’m signing off on everything these days.

This stands for All Plans Subject To Cancellation In Case Of Baby. Moms everywhere get to use this from now on. JoJos and Mimis and Grammys too. I always felt like I’d make some great contribution to the world. This just may be it.

Sure, my friend, I’d love to have coffee and catch up. Next Wednesday? I may not be here, but sure, let’s pencil it in. But remember, APSTCICOB. Hair appointment? Sure, let’s do it, but then, obviously, APSTCICOB.

Yeah, I know patience is a virtue. It’s also scarce these days. I am restless and edgy and I’m not even the pregnant one. I’m just the JoJo who wants to be there already.

What is there to do? I can’t make any commitments or appointments or plans. I can only be in the moment. In the day. Present. Sounds easy, right?

Do you even know me?

Tom, you sang it so well. The waiting IS the hardest part.

Yesterday I was so antsy that I took myself to the beach for several hours. Here was the reward for WAITING for the sunset. And the afterglow, which is almost without fail, the best part. I’ve learned to not rush off as soon as the sun dips below the waves. See, I have a tiny bit of patience.

Part of me wants to hop in the car and just make my way north. It would give me something to do. No wonder women feel the need to nest. Cleaning and organizing are fabulous ways to pass the time. I’ve done all mine, and the girl has done all of hers, too. It’s maddening to just wait around for labor.

It would be nice if the baby were on a schedule. Hahahaha! Three people predicted that he would arrive tomorrow (Oct. 22). He is due on Friday, but we all know that babies come when THEY are ready. And me being anxious about getting myself there will not change any of it. I’m supposed to be the calm and wise one, right? Yeah, I don’t know that I will ever fit that description. Like ever.

I like to be in charge. I like to plan and control. I like to have a sense of power. As if. I once heard that no one has control anyway, it’s just the illusion of control.

I think I’d be okay with even that. But I’ve got none of it.

So I think I’ll get my laundry done, pack my suitcase, and curl up with a good book. And wait patiently anxiously by the phone.

Stay tuned, and thanks for reading, until next time!
Sherri

No news, is _____ _____.

I love old sayings. My friend Susan has gobs of them. Some are more like funny descriptors, as in “it was darker than a gorilla’s armpit”. Is that even dark? How does anyone know? I doubt anyone has investigated this as in, “Hi there Mr. Gorilla, mind showing me your armpit?” It’s just an imaginative way of making a point. Entertainment > accuracy.

My daughter, who is still with child as of this writing (38.5 weeks!) has been bombarded with sayings, or old wives’ tales, or whatever they are. Heartburn means the baby will have lots of hair, and if you opt in for the miracle that an epidural is, it can make breastfeeding more difficult. Who are these old wives anyway?

Sometimes sayings get handed down without explanation. Like this one, “The proof is in the pudding.” Really? I guess that would apply to pudding makers, but I’m not sure how to make it relevant in my own non-pudding world.

This blog is about many things, but pudding isn’t one. It’s about sayings, and my current battle is with the one almost in the title, “No news is good news”. What that could mean is don’t talk to me.

Wow, rude.

No, it means to assume the best when you don’t hear or don’t know some important fact. It largely applies to medical ailments, hospitalizations and other such events.

Like at this exact moment. I have been staying so close to my phone in case when my daughter calls to tell me she’s in labor and ready for me to come. It’s so hard to sit here and wait for the call. But each time I answer in full anticipation of springing into action. My suitcase can be packed in about 3 minutes. I’ve been practicing like I’m in a pit crew at the Daytona 500.

In this instance, no news actually IS good news. Waiting for a baby to be born is a perfect example of not calling someone every five minutes to ask if you are still pregnant, or how are you feeling, or are you having any contractions yet and if so how far apart are they and what else are you feeling and should I come now???

My sister called me every day during the final two weeks of my last pregnancy. Or at least it seemed like every day. I finally snapped back with, “Actually, I had the baby a week ago. I’m just not telling you.” I was hormonal, and my sister has endured decades of my smart-assiness. “No news is good news” is definitely for the protection of those kind and innocent folks who call (a little too) often, simply because they mean well.

But what if your family operated in this mode all the time, like my family sometimes? Also, this is true for my friend Kevin. The only time he hears from a certain family member is when that person calls to report a death, like he’s on a beat with the local paper. The other day, Kevin got a call from this person, and no one had died. It was just a call to say hello. He was shocked, as were the rest of the family when the call wasn’t actually about bad news, but connection.

When there is distance between people, as in my family and Kevin’s, it’s even more important to call with good news. Silence is not always golden. Sometimes we need to hear from those we love, and it’s so beautiful when it can drop right in from the clear blue sky.

But alas, I am learning to take responsibility for my own self. When I am missing anyone, it’s up to me to reach out and initiate the connection. It’s okay to call to say, “Hello, how are you? I don’t have any news, good or bad, but I’m thinking of you and wanted you to know.” Easy enough, right?

Maybe your call or text would be good news to someone. There’s only one way to find out. Who do you need to reach out to today?

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Sherri