1I recently invited all four of my daughters-in law (who are practically my neighbors now), along with their combined 14 children, to my house for a luncheon/mother's day out/play date. I had this fantasy that my husband and I could send the bigger kids down to the basement to play unsupervised and we could watch the toddlers and babies upstairs, even for a little bit, so the girls could sit at the dining room table together in peace. You know, so they could relax and eat nice food and have some uninterrupted girl talk. I even set the table all fancy for them.
Only three of them were able to come, because son #1's wife Regina was dealing with a stomach bug at her house. (When there are 14 grandchildren aged 5 months to 7 years, it seems like someone is always sick. Or at least that's the way it's been this winter.)
I love it that our home is in a central location for everybody. Papa and Grammy's house is a great gathering place for our growing brood. (As a sign my d-i-l Preciosa made for us says, it's "where cousins become friends.")
2Remember how I said my fantasy was that the girls would be able to sit and chat in peace? It wasn't entirely the case! There were some little visitors in the dining room. They were having serious FOMO, thinking their moms were getting a better deal than they were. (But come on, Kraft mac 'n cheese at the kitchen table; what's not to like?!)
3Our house in VA is ideally located, and it's very nice; but it's a good bit smaller than our longtime family home in NH was. And our string of Pearls seems to be having new gems added to it all the time, so I'm anxious to get our basement finished off so that the kids have a big, safe area in which to play.
Not that the grandkids don't play in the basement already--they definitely do! All the time.
As you can see, there are plenty of toys to play with down there, and there's lots of space (and we even had a full bath put in). There's a couch to sit on, a table to draw at, and a TV to crowd around. It's not bad, as far as basements go. But I'll be happy when it is finally truly finished off--something we've been planning to do since we moved in two years ago. The toddlers are starting to get a little too interested in investigating the dangers hidden in the storage space. Not to mention Grammy's sewing area.
4Speaking of sewing, I have been working on a special project for our oldest grandchildren, identical twin girls who will be making their First Holy Communion next month. Their mom (knowing how much I enjoyed making christening gowns for all of our precious grandbabies) asked if I would be interested in making white dresses for their big day. Would I ever!
The dresses are about 90% finished--I just need to sew in the zippers, put elastic in the puff sleeves, and then add some embellishments, like big satin bows and perhaps some pearl buttons.
Yesterday, I took one of the dresses over to the girls' house so they could try it on. I wanted to make sure it fit and the length was okay. "It's perfect!" cried Bonny Babe (the older twin, by a few minutes), twirling and looking like she was on a cloud. How sweet was that reaction? And when Cutie Pie found out that it was made of satin, she oohed and aahed. "It's satin?!" It was adorable.
I'm hoping these dresses become family heirlooms and get used by lots of granddaughters.
5Speaking of heirloom garments (wow, my segue game is on point today), I have several special outfits worn by my boys when they were little that I put away many years ago to save for the grandchildren I dreamed I'd one day have. It is such a thrill to see this sailor suit, worn by son #2 in 1985, being worn by his three boys, Junior, Jedi, and Topper. (Thanks to my d-i-l Ginger, who put together this wonderful photo montage.)
6Seeing our grandchildren wearing clothing once worn by their dads is pretty touching; but what is even more amazing is seeing how much they look like our boys did when they were wee lads themselves.
I recently came across a photo of son #4 that reminded me so much of his identical twin boys Pumpkin and Peanut (who have a triplet sister, Paquita!), particularly Peanut. After I showed it to my d-i-l Braveheart, she sent me this side-by-side comparison that she'd made of our boy next to his boy Peanut.
What do you think of that resemblance?! The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?
7I just have one last tidbit of information to share here (now that I've shown you how cute my grandchildren are and what lovely daughters-in-law I have): My husband and I are taking a trip next week, to his favorite city...ROME!
He has been working as an airline pilot for over three decades, and flying internationally for much of that time. He estimates that he's probably been to Rome about 200 times in his life; but these trips were working trips. He would fly the plane over on the first day, have a one-day layover there, and the third day, he'd fly the plane back. Over the years, he was able to see many of the city's treasures. But he's never done it as an actual vacation. And he's never done it with me. Once our boys were mostly grown and I overcame my separation anxiety and fear of flying, I tagged along on a handful of his working trips to some beautiful European cities. But I've never been to Rome.
It will be the adventure of a lifetime! And you can be sure I'll be sharing pictures and stories about our trip here at String of Pearls when I can--and definitely on Instagram. (I'll be like those friends who invite you over and make you watch their vacation slide shows...but the beauty is, you can leave any time you want--and I won't know, so I won't be offended!)
That's it for me. Ciao!
(P.S. It's Friday now. Here's that link to the link-up!)