Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Babies and Birthdays and Bears--Oh My!

Tomorrow marks exactly one month since the birth of our three newest grandchildren, the triplets.

In yesterday's post, I told you that the two boys were coming home today, but unfortunately they didn't pass their car seat test yesterday so their stay in the hospital will have to be extended.  (I guess they have to be able to sit in their car seats for two hours without having any significant changes in their oxygen levels or heart rates, or else they cannot be deemed ready to go home.)  So it may be tomorrow or the next day, I'm not sure yet.

We started out our life as grandparents with identical twin girls just over six years ago, so I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about the ins and outs of life with multiples. But the twins were pretty much the size of singlets when they were born--5 lbs. 9 oz. and 6 lbs. 10 oz.--and they did not require a stay in the NICU.  Since these preemie triplets arrived by c-section at 32 weeks and were still not quite ready to breathe on their own without help, they had a tougher road to travel.  They, too, were good-sized, considering their gestational age and the fact that there were three of them growing inside my very petite daughter-in-law: one of the boys and the little girl were each a few ounces over 4 lbs. at birth, and the smaller of the two boys was 3 lbs.  But still, they all had to be on CPAP machines and had feeding tubes in their wee nostrils until they were strong enough to take their feedings from bottles. All three got jaundice, too (which is common in preemies), and had to spend some time under the UV lights.   But all that being said, every time we visited them the nurses assured us that they were NICU champs and were doing beautifully.

Apparently, preemie girls fare better than boys in general (something I hadn't heard before), so it isn't really a surprise that my son's little princess is already home and her brothers are lagging a little bit behind her.  Since she's going to be the lone female in their little trio, maybe it's a good thing she has that to lord over them if they ever gang up on her in the future.  (Although I'm sure our son will drill into their brains that the worst thing they could do would be to mess with daddy's little girl!)

I have some amazing pictures of the triplets from their time in the NICU, and I want to do an enormous "photo dump" post and share them with you; perhaps I'll save that for a 7 Quick Takes link-up post this coming Friday.

One thing about these babies is that even at their tiniest, when they still didn't have much flesh on their miniature bodies, they were astoundingly beautiful.  Their faces are all so perfect that they could be used for models to sculpt the faces of baby dolls.  I know I'm their Grammy, but it's true.  Even the NICU nurses agreed with me on this.  (And don't even try to tell me that they say that to all the proud grandparents!  Sometimes it's just so very true!)

Here are a few recent close-ups I've taken of the babies' ridiculously adorable faces.  (And I think I finally have their blog handles figured out!)

This first one is the "big" guy, triplet A.  (He already has chubby cheeks like his daddy did!)  In high school, the big bruiser on the football team was nicknamed "Moose."  (So was one of the elderly nuns who taught us, but that's a story for another post.)  So triplet A shall heretofore be known as
Triplet B, the only girl in the group, is already as beautiful as her mother (she looks like her mommy's mini-me, according to her maternal grandmother), and she will most likely be the most petite of the three.  So she shall be called

And finally there's the smallest of the group, Baby C, a little scrapper who fought from the beginning to thrive.  The doctors thought he might not make it, but boy did he ever prove them wrong.  Because he has a very Irish name, I'm going to call him
(I think that's the perfect moniker for this little peanut, because mac means son in Gaelic!)

When the father of these beautiful babies was a little boy, he told me that he wanted me to make him a teddy bear.  He didn't want me to buy him one, he wanted me to make it all by myself.  This son (#4 of our five) has always been a very creative and artistic guy, and someone who truly appreciates anything that is made with love by hand.  And he is an amazing artist himself.  Just to give you an idea of the level of his artistic talent, here is a piece of artwork that he created (which I might have shared here at the blog before) to announce his wife's pregnancy on Facebook.
Anyway, back to the bears.  Even though I'd been sewing since I was in high school, I'd never made a teddy bear and wasn't at all sure I would be able to do it.  But he persisted, because for some crazy reason, he though his mom could figure out a way to do just about anything (don't you love the innocent trust that children have?).  The funny thing is, when it came to my boys, I DID want to do just about anything, within reason.  So I went to JoAnn's and found a pattern for making jointed, weighted teddy bears, and I set out to make my son happy.  

I got really into it over the years.  If you've never made a homemade bear, you should try it.  As you put together the head and the face starts to emerge (and each one ends up having its own expression and its own personality--just like human beings do--as hard as you try to make them just alike), you'll probably find yourself talking to it.  I remember cooing at these bears, "Oh, aren't you just adorable?"

When we moved from our beloved house in NH back in March, I brought all the precious memorabilia and artifacts from our boys' childhoods along with us, stored in large plastic bins.  I knew that I had the bears that I'd made for my son in one of them, so this morning I rooted through a few bins and found a whole bunch of his teddies, big ones and small ones.  But these three little ones really got me excited.
Oh my goodness, won't they be perfect for the triplets?!

There's a bear dressed up as a bunny, which I think should go to Mac.
And a big-eyed angel, which of course is perfect for Minnie.
And there's an all-boy bear, wearing cargo pants and a sweater, that I think should go to Moose.
For a number of years, I had so much fun making bears that I thought about selling them in one of those shops that carries handcrafted items; but I never really got around to doing anything about it--other than thinking up a name for my line of creations and making little tags to put on the bears.
If Etsy had been around back then, maybe I would have opened up a shop.   But everything is timing, I believe.  And I was not meant to sell these "Fuzzy Buddies."   I was meant to give them to three precious new grandchildren.
More pictures of these darling triplets are coming soon.  Stay tuned!

And before I go, a shout-out to my sweet daughter-in-law Preciosa, mother of two-going-on-three, who celebrates her birthday today.  We love you and hope it's a special day for you!


  1. You're so crafty! I wish I could do something like that but those adorable bears are out of my league! I hope those adorable little gentlemen pass their car set test later this week so they can all head home and be together.

  2. Oh Laura, those bears are adorable and just perfect for the triplets!! And I love seeing you back to blogging!!

  3. Oh my goodness, those bears are adorable!! Great job, Laura! And if you were to open an Etsy shop and make and sell these I would definitely buy some! ;)

  4. Oh my how fast your life has changed in just 6 years!!! All these grandbabies!! You do know how to do things in style!!