My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Behind the Scenes of Oliver and Cosette's Visit To Their Great-Great-Grandma

I wanted to share a few photos with you... some of these - almost all of them, actually - have been on my Facebook but I thought it would be fun to share the "behind the scenes" of some of them.

First off... this sassy miss... performing all over the place. This photo is when she was in a Christmas program at church... then she sang with the adult choir at the lighting of the big tree in Helen... then she performed in a community production of Beauty and the Beast... which I ended up not being able to see. Due to other commitments there were really only two performances that would have worked for me. Both days were higher than average pain levels and I've long since learned that if I am in pain that I might as well not be there because I am in such a fog of pain that nothing, no matter how wonderful, can break through.

I fell in the cat room last week while holding Cosy. I landed on a really rough homemade cat tree with lots of sharp angles, flat on my back while suspending Cosy in mid-air so that she didn't make contact with anything. She was fine. I screwed up a whole new part of my spine so that I'm having a painful numbness in my arms... all the way to my finger tips. I pushed through the pain to be able to take the babies to see my grandma on Saturday but that was the straw that broke this camel's back. By Sunday, my last chance to see Beauty and the Beast, I was miserable. Plus... and this is the bigger reason... my dad really wanted to see the show with my mom. He had already seen it once but really wanted to see it again so he could share the experience with my mom. Somebody needed to stay with the dog so I volunteered and I'm so glad they got to go together. I know every moment together is precious to them and I want them to have the opportunity to share as much life together as they can.

I am so proud of Jamie. At 11 years old (12 this month!) she is fearless. She follows her dreams. She loves performing and she's good at it. It was a huge commitment to perform in Beauty and the Beast but she did everything she needed to do to make it work (including suffering through Pop's lame jokes while he drove her from her school in Habersham County to the school in White County where they held rehearsal... ha!)  Sarabeth made the school basketball team this year after trying twice before and not making it. I remember the disappointment and frustration when I didn't make the cheerleading team at school for my 8th grade year but I wanted it so bad that I swallowed my pride and tried again for 9th grade and made it. I think when you have to work a little harder for something, it makes it more precious to you when it happens. Despite being really sick around Thanksgiving, she pushed through and played as soon as the doctor cleared her, even when I'm sure she still didn't feel great. . I love having a beautiful tiny miss in our lives now but these two were my first baby girls and I am LOVING watching them grow into two amazing young women. I am so blessed to share their lives! (Actually... my cousin Christie who was born the day before my 13th birthday was probably my first baby girl but you get the point).

I shared a lot of photos on Facebook from our visit to see my grandmother last Saturday but these are a few that have a back story that makes them more precious to me...

in this one Oliver is looking at some toys that Grandma has on her window sill. What you don't know is that Austin had fussed at Cosy earlier about touching the toys and Cosy is a RULE FOLLOWER! If her daddy says no... she minds him. She's got a bit of OCD going on and she really takes "no-no's" to heart. Austin is pointing at her because of the way she is holding her hands close to her and studying what Oliver is doing.

Then here... when Oliver's mommy got on to him and made him move away from the window... Cosy is still holding her hands close to her because she is NOT TOUCHING the toys. She's looking at her dad to see what he is going to say to Oliver since he touched the toys.

We joke that throughout their lives Cosy is going to be the voice of reason for Oliver... "you shouldn't do that..." "I don't think that's a good idea... " You can already see it starting with them!

Oliver has learned his body parts. He is checking out Cosy's hand...

and her hair....

she is looking at me. She's not irritated with him. She is pretty passive and tolerant and generally will let him do whatever as long as it doesn't involve touching a toy that she's particularly possessive of - mainly anything from Frozen.

While we were at lunch Oliver was feeding her broccoli. He calls her "baby" and she calls him "Ol".

This picture ... I love so much that I had it blown up to a large sized black and white.

She's not angry... angry with Cosy involves whining, tears, drama, sometimes laying on the floor face down in protest... she lets you know when she is unhappy with a situation. So even though she looks like, "make it stop"... she really wasn't bothered. She was just letting Ol be Ol.

And Oliver is looking at his mom to see if he is going to get in trouble. He's a curious little fella. They both are just amazed that there is another person around who is their size. I can't wait to add my brother's baby - Finn, who is going to be right around 10 months old while they're here - to the mix. Finn is bigger than my babies and just beginning to be mobile. Finn LOVES bigger kids. I think we have lots of adorable moments ahead this Christmas! Finn doesn't have a social media presence so I'm going to have to be careful about angles but I will share whatever pictures I can of the three musketeers.

I think these shots were before the all the other photos I've shared in this post. You can see that she is voluntarily in his space. It almost looks like she is holding his arm to keep him from touching the toys on the windowsill but I'm not entirely sure that was the case. But you can definitely tell that she doesn't mind him being near here, even if she looks a bit "over it" in the picture of his finger in her ear.

See her hands? She is in full on "Keep my hands to myself" mode. She isn't one hundred percent compliant in every little thing... and her dad isn't necessarily strict with her but there are a few things he doesn't allow. #1 rule is nothing goes in the mouth but food and the pacifier. That rule is so deeply ingrained in her little spirit that I can whisper to her, "what does daddy say" if she starts to put something in her mouth and she stops.

We are working on teaching her to share. The other day she got possessive with something and Austin took it away from her for a few minutes. When he gave it back she played a few minutes and then voluntarily gave it back to her dad without any prompting from him. We praised her and told her that was "good sharing". She's an only child and she's not around other kids much, other than in the church nursery and there aren't many kids there. She knows the word "mine" quite well!

This was also pretty cute. Austin changed Cosy out of her pretty party dress because it has a lot of crinoline and is not conducive to comfy napping in a car seat. We had an hour and a half drive back home so we were hoping that she would get some good napping time in. While she's getting changed on Grandma's bed Oliver is exploring the room. Nosy Cosy in the background is fascinated with what he's doing.

I have no idea why she's pointing to him. I probably said something like "where's Oliver" or... I don't know. I was in a good deal of pain as we had the long drive down and had gone to lunch which - I've been eating out a lot more than I did last year but it still stinking hurts every single time. I still end up taking most of my food home and having it later when I can be in my comfy nest. The pain from sitting makes me sick to my stomach and sometimes a little dizzy. We couldn't spend as much time as we would have all liked with Grandma because Pop was in a show that night at church and Cody and Marquee had other commitments too. But we had been trying ever since Oliver was born to get both babies together with Grandma and he's 16 months... so, seriously, I was just glad we were finally able to make it happen, even if it was a short visit. Also... my grandma is awesome but having two toddlers in her space has to be stressful!

This is Oliver pointing to Cosy which is why I think I must have asked something goofy like, "where is Cosy". Can't remember. Pain fog and all that.
I love this picture because... you know how usually if there are five generations living the oldest person is usually in a hospital bed or a wheelchair or looking like they're knocking on death's door. Not my grandma. She's standing there helping to restrain our spunky little Oliver! (Marquee was there just in case grandma needed a hand). Fun fact - Oliver has TWO great-great-grandmothers living! One on each side of the family!

This photo is precious to me for many reasons. I love that we ended up with Austin and Cosy matching and Cody and Oliver matching. I wanted the babies to both be in Christmas-y colors but the dad's matching with their babies was all them! Also... I have some good looking sons, don't I?

I posted two other pictures on Facebook of this little interaction between Cosette and her great-great-grandma... but this was also sweet because Cosy was genuinely interested in what Grandma was doing. Cosy loves to sit and look at pictures in photo albums. I prepared her for going to see "Our Leta" by showing her pictures of grandma. I used "Our Leta" with Cosy instead of "grandma" because Tasha's mom is Grandma to her and Cosy will rarely but sometimes want to see Mama/Grandma/Grandpa if we talk about them. It's only happened a few times but I didn't want to be in Woodstock - an hour and a half from home - and her decide she needed mama. Our practice has always been that if she wants her mama, we get her to her mama. We've done it that way so that Cosy doesn't worry about leaving mama because she knows that she can go back to mama whenever she wants. Cosy is always happy to go with us... and she is always happy to go back home. There are never tears during transition and it is important to me that she never has separation anxiety with any of us. I want her to be excited to be going wherever she is going. For that reason we didn't want to risk a "I want grandma" moment. I explained this all to my grandmother and she was fine with us calling her "Our Leta".

There are so many photos that I DIDN'T get... I didn't take any pictures at lunch - we went to O'Charleys. I just wanted to focus all my attention on visiting with everyone. I didn't take any pictures of Cosy interacting with the folks who live at grandma's Assisted Living place although there were many opportunities! Bring a toddler in a fancy dress into a nursing home and trust me... you will become the center of attention! Cosy is used to it and will smile and charm whomever is paying attention to her. She won't let anyone else hold her (and I'm ok with that!) but she will play up to a crowd. I also missed getting a picture when the babies kissed goodbye - melt my heart! Cosy has been warming up to Uncle Cody verrrrrrrrry slowly and finally - 19 months later - she voluntarily gave him a kiss. Still won't let him hold her... but that was a milestone moment for our family.

One last photo to share for those who aren't following the dozen other social media platforms I use (exaggerating... slightly)... this was Cosette's visit to Santa last Tuesday.

Hope you're all having a great week so far! Stay warm! Love and hugs, y'all!


monica said...

This is just great. I have an email account and a cellphone & internet access. That's all the social media that I have. Facebook kind of scares me. TMI there
about people. I under stand completely why your nephew is not in the limelight.
But, I am so glad that these 2 beautiful babies are. They are just adorable.
And your two nieces. They are grown.
Your sons are nice looking and make beautiful babies. Just precious.
I hope you are recovering from that cat related fall. That sounds very painful &
much like something I would do or have done. :0)Graceful I am not.
I'm sure your mom and dad will enjoy seeing the play together. Making memories.
Thanks again for sharing. It always makes my day.
xo monica

Heather said...

Thanks Monica! Thanks so much for being faithful to read and comment! I appreciate your insight. Merry Christmas! *hugs* Heather