Sunday, March 30, 2008

3 Months

Since we last spoke, it snowed in Seattle- twice. Liliana rolled over- more than twice- I think we're up to seven or eight times now. She took a bath and dunked her head under the water. More family came to meet her, and more friends. I'm not sure if its how quickly Liliana passes milestones, but its been a very long and amazing 3 months. This installment includes the first shots of Logan and Liliana really getting to play together. There's pictures of Liliana in a very special gown sewn by her namesake Grandma Neva (We have heard that this gown was sewn from seven antique linen pillow cases!) Tonight she laughed- I mean really laughed- for the first time. Every day brings new richness, new marvels, and new ordinary moments, and they're all wonderful. Enjoy the pictures!

love. marita, ian, and liliana

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Week 11 - Nana!

We all waited anxiously for this birth and on Dec. 27th the waiting was over. A little Princess was born and the world became a better place. I watched her grow and develop from pictures and on March 6th I got to meet her, hold her in my arms, and my heart melted- My Great Grand Daughter. She looked at me seriously for a while and then. . . a big smile saying you are welcome, great grandma- and this is what Heaven is all about. It is hard for me to describe how I felt in those first moments holding her.....I was waiting a long time for this. I will try to describe that unforgettable weekend spent in Seattle. Marita and Ian, Rachael (Marita's sister), her husband Mike, and their adorable happy little boy Logan live in an environment only to be admired and envied. Not many family members can create this warm and secure place for children to grow unless they are as compatable and respectful as they are towards each other. Logan at 10 months is a very happy and funny little boy who runs all over the place giving his parents a work out, and in not so far distance Liliana will follow suit. I am confident she will grow up to be a strong, independent women given the kind of parents and grand parents she has. Good role models, but to me and in my heart she is always going to be my little Princess. Marita, Ian, Rachael and Mike I want to thank you for your kind hospitality. Special thanks to you Ian and Marita for arranging that surprise brunch which made me feel special and loved, and this whole experience unforgetable. I apologize for nagging you about the heat in the house, but at my age I feel more cold then you guys. It is a senior thing. One more thing, the house, one word fantastic. Beautiful as it is and lots of potencial if you need change. Take care of each other and my little princess and keep up the good work. I love you all very much.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

10 Weeks- Words from Grandma Alice

Hi everyone, Ian and Marita have instituted a visitor’s toll: if you visit them in Seattle, you have to offer up a guest blog entry. Let me assure you: it is the smallest of fees for the greatest of experiences. So here goes a blog from Gram-Alice:

I returned from Seattle on March 3rd and have been thinking a lot about my visit. It was especially wonderful for being so ordinary: I camped in the guest room, went to a Frisbee game, helped with the dishes, shopped at the mall, made my own coffee, sat in on Marita’s book club meeting. More than usual, I had the chance to be part of Ian and Marita’s everyday lives. As many of you know, they have a unique and, I think, enviable way of living. They live in a big, friendly, comfortable and welcoming house with Marita's sister Rachael and brother-in-law Mike. From what I could see, they share responsibilities and purchases and household chores, not in a self conscious, ideological, split-down-the-middle with everyone doing their exact fair share way, but more through an easygoing, generous and reciprocal sense of support. And, it is not that they are all just like each other---their styles and friends and priorities are different. But they each seem to have simply moved over a little to make room for one another's values and preferences, with love being the single constant. It is truly a loving household. Even as a guest arriving at the tail end of a long string of weekend visitors, I felt embraced by the easy generosity of my hosts and their warm home.
Then there are the children. Rachael and Mike’s boy Logan is the funniest, flirtiest, smartest, most curious little guy on the planet. He makes you forget that he’s ten months old: he just gets everything so immediately, you can see the gears turning as he figures out every single thing he comes upon. And about Liliana—what can I say? I am unabashedly astounded by the powerful feelings I have for my grandchild. Many new grandparents "warned" me, but I still got blindsided. Now, some people (ahem, my children) won’t believe this, but despite my tendency to cry easily and watch “Sound of Music” reruns, I actually think of myself as someone who doesn't go too overboard. Well, I am overboard and drowning in love. Don't save me! Liliana is amazing, a peaceful and contented baby whose default mode is joyful. She has a way of solemnly and thoroughly scanning your face as if reading the fine print; and then suddenly, sunshine! Her happy smile just lights you up, and captures your heart. She is a delight. And Ian and Marita are incredible parents. They are so natural and easygoing in the way they care for Liliana, and so obviously in love with her. When I see them leaning down together to tend to their baby girl, I feel the presence of all the generations--the Grunfelds and Neustadts, the Gallants and Shechters, all the elders of Marita’s mighty family lines—all gathered to have a peek at this child that their lives conspired to create, and to offer their many blessings.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Liliana is 2 months old!

Okay people, here are the newest set of pictures just a bit shy of her 2 month birthday. Notice how much closer in size Liliana is to her sock monkey already! Also, don't be confused about the change in pattern on her special monthly picture outfit . . . It's reversable!! We thought switching from one pattern to the other would be a fun way to distinguish her growth from month to month. We are also trying to post some videos (wish us luck)!

Also notice the pictures of her with her Aunty Meredith who visited us last weekend. We took Liliana on her first hike! It did turn out to be more of a walk in the snow, but it was still her introduction to the beauty of the outdoors. Plus, I guess it was her first true introduction to snow, as well. We also went on a road trip to Tacoma to take Meredith to Wintergrass. It is one of the big bluegrass festivals in Northwest. We had a lovely time listening to the many jam sessions in the lobby of the hotel. We are sure Liliana will be a musician like her daddy. Ian even bought his first banjo while we were there thanks to an early birthday present from his parents. So, Liliana will certainly be surrounded by music in her life. Anyway, thanks for visiting us Aunty Mer . . . we miss you already!

The nest blog will of course be written by Grandma Alice who has been visiting this past weekend! We hope you are all still enjoying Liliana's newest adventures!