Becoming a Mom After Infertility

A baby miracle
Faith Quilt

Twenty-eight years ago my husband and I found out we were going to have a baby. We were ecstatic!  We waited ten years for our daughter to be born.

Years of waiting, wishing, and wondering had been difficult. The inability to have a child is devastating. One of the worst things to be faced with is being asked the question, “Don’t you want children?” You just want to cry or scream at the person asking.

In 1987, my husband and I went to Israel on a tour. We went with a group of ministers and their families. One day they formed a prayer line. A minister friend of my family approached me and said he felt impressed for me to go through the prayer line to be prayed for to have a baby. That same morning my oldest brother had a dream that I was in a room with several ladies, and we all wore maternity clothes.

In October ’87 I knelt down in the middle of my bedroom one day, held out my hands, and said, “God, I believe you’re going to give me a baby, but I just want to know when.” As soon as I got the last word out, the words came to me, “Your joy is going to come in January.”

Another time in a church service, I thought of the scripture about leaping for joy. Eyes closed, I moved out into the aisle and started leaping for joy (not joy that I presently felt but faith that I would receive that joy).

My mother called me one day and said she had gone to a craft fair and bought a little baby quilt. She called it my faith quilt.

Cristen “Chrissie” Joy was born one year after my prayer in the bedroom. Now I have two little granddaughters that I call my grand-joys. I happened to be babysitting and was holding the baby on the sofa when I noticed the “faith quilt” beside her. I grabbed my phone real quick and took a picture.  The smile she gave me makes me get choked up and teary-eyed with joy when I see that photo.

I share this testimony because I’m thankful, grateful, and so full of joy for the miracle of the little girl God blessed us with, the little girl that is now a woman of God and a loving mother. When she was born, my mother said, “You were my miracle. Now you are having your miracle.”

I wasn’t expected to live the day I was born, but people from our church stayed after service that night and prayed until the doctor called my dad and said, “She’s going to make it.” Twice within the first six months of my life, I stopped breathing and was rushed to the hospital. The second time I had not breathed for six minutes.

During my pregnancy, I was put on bedrest for three months. In an emergency room one night, the physician told me that even she had thought I had lost my child and was amazed that I had not.

God had a purpose for me to live. He had a purpose for my daughter to live. I’m so grateful to Him.

You may be reading this and have experienced infertility. Possibly, you didn’t have that child you wanted. Life seems unfair. Some women have many children (my grandmother had 10), some have one or two, and others never conceive. My heart grieves for the sorrow you have suffered. There is no easy answer. But there is one thing for sure. God created you, and He has a purpose for you.

Several factors can cause infertility such as:

  • Irregular or abnormal ovulation
  • Too little or too much weight
  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Fallopian tube damage

There are options couples with infertility can choose from. Treatments are available. Adoption is also an option. Both can be very expensive, yet rewarding for many couples.

Incidentally, my husband and I found out in January 1988 that we were expecting. Our “Joy in January” came true!

An addition has been born into the family. Chrissie, her husband, and their little daughters have a baby brother to spoil. This Grummy is over-the-top excited about her new grandson!

Want to share your amazing birth story on Grummy’s Adventures? Contact me at grummysadventures@gmail.com.

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.parents.com/getting-pregnant/infertility/causes/8-health-conditions-that-can-keep-you-from-getting-pregnant/
  2. http://www.parents.com/getting-pregnant/infertility/treatments/guide-to-fertility-methods/

Grandkids Say the Cutest Things

Have You Hugged Your Grandkid Today?

Grandparent, hug your grandchildren every chance you get. If you live close to them, spend as much time as you can with them.

Don’t live close? Call them. Do FaceTime with them if you both have access to an iPhone. But there are other ways to chat, so no worries if you don’t have an iPhone. Have conversations often with your grandkids. They do say the cutest things.

grandchildren and the things they say
My Oldest Little Grand with her Great-Papa

Continue reading Grandkids Say the Cutest Things

Making Memories on Memorial Day

families at the beach
Beach Day

Memorial Day has come and gone, all the grilled meat is eaten or put in the fridge as leftovers, and everyone is back to work. The holiday weekend is unofficially the beginning of summer for many, and the kiddos are ready to be out of school for summer break.

The fun thing for me about the Memorial Day holiday weekend was getting to see my daughter and her family – and, of course, loving every minute of enjoying my two little granddaughters. Leaving them the afternoon of the holiday was the hardest thing.

What do you do to help with the difficulty of saying goodbye when you have to leave your family and your grandchildren? My sister-in-law gave me the sweetest idea. When her daughter lived in Holland, she would go out and purchase special gifts for each grandchild. They couldn’t open them ’til after she left. I loved this and decided to try it, too. It worked so well that I told my daughter, “They’ll be excited for me to leave every time I come now because they know I’m going to give them a gift.”

Last time I came for a visit I got two gifts, one for Little Bit and one for Big Sis. Big Sis loves pink, but I put her things in a red gift bag and Little Bit’s in a pink gift bag. My daughter told me later that Big Sis was upset because she wanted the pink bag. They said go ahead and open it (because they knew she wouldn’t want the baby’s things in the pink bag). She opened it and saw all the baby things. She quickly decided that she wanted the red gift bag after all. The Memorial Day visit worked out differently than the last visit. I

The Memorial Day visit worked out differently than the last visit. Friends with two little girls the same ages as my granddaughters came over for the day. The girls had their swimsuits on, ready to play in the water. After lunch, everyone went to the beach – except Grummy and Grumpy. We had to go. Grummy was the one who had the tears this time. No gift could change the heaviness in my heart with having to leave the grands. But I didn’t need to leave them a gift this time. They had a wonderful gift of going to the beach and playing with their little friends in the water.

Family and friends make life wonderful and fun. We have so much to be grateful for on this Memorial Day week. Because of all who lost their lives in war so we can have our freedom, we are free to enjoy Memorial Day as a holiday, grill, eat sweet watermelon, and laugh and have fun with our loved ones.

Live life with thankfulness. Laugh a lot. Love your children and grandchildren. Pray together. Play together. Have fun. Enjoy living.

 

God’s Little Girls

A Little Girl at Heart
Me as a toddler

Sometimes I wish I was a little girl again. In such moments, I miss my mom and dad and the comfort I felt from them. Now my parents are gone, and I’m having one of those moments. Am I okay with this melancholy? I don’t think so, yet somehow I find contentment in spite of it. What I’m not okay with is the finality of them being gone and not being able to see them or talk with them. It’s part of life. I know. Still not easy.

Grandmothers with their granddaughters
My Two Little Grand Joys

I was thinking these thoughts when lying down with my three-year-old and six-month-old granddaughters. These words suddenly popped into my mind as I observed the two of them sleeping, “We are all God’s little girls.” No matter how old I am (50+ and another + tomorrow on my birthday), I’m still His child. He cares and comforts, encourages with peace and joy, and answers prayers. He lets me be a little girl to Him. In fact, He encourages it.

“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matthew 18:2-3 NIV)”

Rather than dwell on the sadness or digging deeper the hole of lonesomeness for Mother and Daddy, I focus on being a loving grandmother to my two little grand-girls. When I’m visiting them, here are a few ways I love them:

  • Make them laugh and play with them. My three-year-old and I have a thing we do, certain goofy looks. I’ll get her attention, we’ll stare at each other, then bust up laughing. It’s hilarious.
  • Sing to them and with them. Singing with creates a playful atmosphere. Singing to can settle fussiness.
  • Prepare foods they like, especially healthy fruits and vegetables – and on very special occasions, my Pecan French Toast (my toddler grand REALLY likes it and would eat way more than she should if she’s allowed).

The most recent visit has included assistance with toddler grand’s potty training. This is territory I haven’t experienced in 20-something years. Any suggestions that work? I’ll be glad to pass them along to the parents.

I’ve read about several ways that have proven successful for others: set timers for potty time, do the potty dance, go bare bottom, go potty at the same time with the toddler until it becomes a habit to her/him, etc. Then I’ve read that the training can take three days or one week. Parents and toddlers can surely become frustrated with potty training. What I have discovered is that what works for one may not work for another and a toddler may seem afraid to go in the potty.

Parents and toddlers can surely become frustrated with potty training. It’s not supposed to be a marathon. What I have discovered is that what works for one may not work for another. Who knows why some learn early and others later. No matter what the reasons, whether toddlers are afraid to go in the potty or just not want to. This, too, will pass. Eventually, they will learn.

Occasions when I’m grandparenting from a distance (way more often than I prefer), the best way of spending time with them is through FaceTime. The girls get grabby with the phone, so that is becoming a more challenging way to have grand-girl conversations. I love to mail fun surprise to them in packages. Grandparenting from a distance certainly requires creativity – and as many trips as I can make.

Loving my grand-girls brings me joy. I may not have the same energy level as they do, but I can keep up with them in one way – forever being a little girl at heart.

Little Girls at Heart
Me as a little girl

 

Making Memories with Puzzles During Christmas Season

Holiday traditions vary from one family to another. When couples get married, they learn quickly that each brings a hodgepodge of cultural holiday practices to the marriage. They don’t always blend. It just depends on what both individuals’ preferences are. For instance, I love to play Scrabble. My husband does not. One tradition that my husband’s family and my family both have liked as a holiday tradition, however, is work on a puzzle. My family always does the puzzle at the kitchen table.

Christmas Holiday Puzzle Fun
Puzzles for the holidays

Christmas season memory making often happens when little hands touch what they weren’t supposed to touch, little feet go where they were told not to go, and little mouths said what they were instructed not to say. We laugh later, but sometimes it isn’t so funny at the time of the occurrence.

For instance, my daughter and son-in-law bought a puzzle to work on during this Christmas season. It took hours, even days, to complete. Little Ivy couldn’t resist daring to touch it. She was told over and over to leave it alone. One time she touched a corner piece and looked up at me then quickly turned and walked away from the table.

After awhile, I  passed by the table and said, “Uh-oh.” I took a picture quickly. The moment for memories was not about to slip by me. This was one of those memory-making occasions to laugh about later. Puzzle pieces were scattered all over the table. Little hands had been quite busy when no one noticed.

Christmas season puzzle messed up

I asked my daughter if she wanted to see the picture I took of what her toddler had done. She said no and that she was afraid to look.
Finally, she braved a glance at the puzzle on the table and sat down to begin putting the pieces back together. Later, I helped and actually finished completing it the second time.

It’s always a good thing to buy at least two puzzles for family gatherings – one for the adults and one for the little ones.

When your family works on puzzles, do you frame them or put them back in the box to do another time?

Have a happy holiday – and go buy a puzzle for Christmas fun.

 

Angie also blogs about food, blogging, writing, and community. Read her other blogs at:

  • http://kitchenhospitality.com
  • http://angelahorn.com
  • http://highdesertblogging.com
  • http://houstonblognetwork.com

Toddler Cookie Cutting Memories

Horse Head Cookies
Horse Head Cookies Pair

What age were you when you first made cookies? I don’t even remember how old I was. In fact, I don’t remember doing anything in the kitchen as a little girl except eating and opening the frig to get my cup of milk. There is a vague memory of liking sugar. No wonder I like sweets too much.

My lil grand, Ivy, is a toddler and will soon have her 3rd birthday. On my October visit, I brought her an early birthday present – a horse head cookie cutter because she loves horses.

Horse Head Cookie Cutter & Recipe
Horse Head Cookie Cutter Set

The cookie cutter set comes with a sugar cookie recipe.

Sugar Cookie Recipe
Melt 1 Cup Butter
Sugar Cookie Recipe
Cream butter & 2/3 cup sugar
Sugar Cookie Recipe
Mix all ingredients and blend well.

Ingredients:

Cream the first two. I melted the butter for Ivy’s cookies.

1 Cup Butter

2/3 Cup Sugar

Beat in 1 egg.

Add:

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

2-1/2 cups sifted flour

Mix all ingredients ’til well blended. Chill the dough for two or three hours.

Sugar Cookie Dough
Rolling the dough

Now it’s Ivy’s turn to roll out the chilled dough. She LOVED this…

Sugar Cookie Dough
Cutting out the cookies

and cutting the cookies with her new cookie cutter.

Horse Head Cookies
Horse Head Cookies Pair

She got to cut most of the cookies by herself, and I helped only with a few. This was SOOO much fun for both of us. I love to make memories with my lil grand.

Are you a grummy  grandma? What are the most fun memories you have made with your grandchildren? Share them on GrummysAdventures.com in the reply section on this page.

Today’s blog parties:

Full Plate Thursday

Decorating with Kids’ Pumpkin Arts & Crafts

Toddler Pumpkin Arts & Crafts
Ivy’s Painted Pumpkins

I love fall decorating, and I love pumpkins. When my husband, daughter, and I used to live the RV lifestyle, we spent most months in the midwestern and northern states. They have the best pumpkin patches ever.

Since I get to do some October fun with my little grand-girls, the agenda includes going to a pumpkin patch with them. The girls have already been there with their mom, and Ivy got to paint some pumpkins. When I go with them, she’ll be able to pick out more pumpkins – one for pumpkin bars and some small ones for arts and crafts.

It’s amazing what all you can make from pumpkins. Try some of these fun art and crafty ideas:

Aren’t those the cutest little crafts? Share pumpkin crafts that you’ve made for your  toddler. Lil Grand Ivy and I can put it on our to-do-list.

Decorate your house for Halloween with pumpkins galore with crazy, fun designs, fruit, candy – and don’t forget the spiders. You can find cute pumpkin spider holders like this one I saw at HEB or even a spider wagon.

NOTE: This post contains an affiliate link which means if you click on it and make a purchase, I make a commission. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free, so thank you!

Pumpkin Spider Holder
Spider Pumpkin Holder

Do a tablescape of candy corn, painted pumpkins, and apples. Is too much candy tempting your toddler? Hide it on top of the frig and offer apple slices.

Harvest Decor
Painted Pumpkin, Candy Corn & Peanut Medley, & Pink Lady Apple

and more Pink Ladies (from the kitchenhospitality.com tablescape blog post)…

Fall Apple Tablescape
Pink Lady Apples

Harvestime with nature’s colors of leaves, pumpkins, apples, burlap or hay bales is a “buddyful” (as my little grand two-year-old says) time of the year.

 

Making a Difference in People’s Lives

Happy Birthday to Chrissie, my daughter!

Misspelled words
Chrissie and Ivy

This past Sunday morning I was able to hear Pastor Jim Kilgore,  Life Church in Houston, teach on making a difference in people’s lives. Pastor Jim commissioned my daughter and son-in-law as missionaries in that service to the field God has called them to. Am I proud? Yes. Proud of my daughter, the miracle baby God gave my husband and me. Proud of my son-in-law that God gave to my daughter. I’m proud of the parents that they are, and I’m so in love with their beautiful baby girls (my Grand-Joys). But even more, I’m proud of the awesome Sovereign God I serve.

You know what I love about Chrissie? She loves God and loves His Word. I like to talk to people who like to talk about God’s goodness. Chrissie is one of those people. We enjoy talking about His miracles, direction, and purpose.

About those little girls God gave to Chrissie and Elvin, let me tell you a little funny. You know how babies speak certain sounds, their baby talk? I have been on a mission. One of the baby’s sounds is “Guh.” So, when she and I talk, I tell her to say, “Guh-Gr-ummy!” I told her mommy that she’s going to say, “Grummy” first. The first part of that story, though, is how the term “Grummy” came into the family. When Chrissie’s oldest daughter tried to say “Grandmommy,” it would come out “Grummy.” She had already learned what to call all the other grandparents.  Finally, I had a name – Grummy, and I’m sticking to it.

God gave me joy when He gave me Chrissie. In fact, about a year before she was born (I had prayed and prayed for a baby for years), God spoke to me one day and said, “Your joy is coming in January.”

“God, is that you?” I asked. I knew I didn’t just think those words. Sure enough, January arrived and I found out that I was going to have a baby. On the following October 6, my Joy was born.

You’ll read a lot about joy in this blog. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, and the joy of the Lord is my strength! One of my joys is reading to my granddaughters, making sure they have books to read and learn from. Often, I think of Lois and Eunice in the Bible, Timothy’s mother and grandmother. Timothy was what he was because they prayed for him. Grandparents can truly make a difference in the lives of their grandchildren.

Grandmothers with their granddaughters
My Two Little Grand Joys

You and I can make a difference wherever we go. What is your purpose? Find a place to do what God wants you to do.

Finding Joy with a Parent or Grandparent with Dementia

Ivy Joy & Papa Ivy Joy & PapaOne of the sweetest treasures I’ve found lately is spending time with my dad. Daddy is 90 years old and experiencing a form of dementia. I find joy just by hearing him say my name when he sees me. Seeing him, hearing his voice, watching him smile, and being near him means a lot to me.

My two-year-old granddaughter mesmerized him with her antics on a recent visit. He likes to wear hats. Little Grand saw his hat on a table, picked it up, and pranced around with the hat on her head. She would walk up to him where he sat in his rocker and talk to him. He watched her as she moved around the room, patted her on her hand or arm when she came up close chatting to him. I took pictures and videoed every little action and reaction between Little Grand and her Great-Papa, wanting to keep those special moments close to me for a lifetime.

After we visited Daddy when Little Grand was having fun with the hat, we all went to a cafeteria to eat lunch with my sister-in-law and niece with her children. While my niece’s children sat still at the table during lunch, my granddaughter (who had eaten too many Vanilla Wafers on the trip to see my family) was extremely hyper. She wouldn’t sit still for much more than five minutes at a time. At one point, my dad looked at me and slowly said (as if he was trying to choose his words carefully), “I don’t think you need to bring any more babies to the cafe.”

Every joy with a parent that has dementia means everything. My daddy is a preacher and has been since before I was born. His stories often get somewhat mixed up now when we talk, but that’s okay. I still want to hear them. They make sense to me because I understand that he’s remembering parts from different phases of his life, mixing them together.

The last conversation with Daddy was about church. He had just been to church, and our family friend who helps to care for my dad said that my brother (now the pastor of the church my dad pastored since 1969) had Daddy come up to the platform for a few minutes to speak. He still has that same enthusiasm he had when he was preaching and was sharing his excitement with me about a church being ready for revival.

Parents with Dementia
Daddy & Me

Dementia is disheartening to the loved ones of the family members of the one who has been diagnosed with the condition. It’s hard for the one who has it. My dad recognized that things were not the same for him in the beginning. He would talk to me about it, expressing his frustration. It seems to be kind of like a dream (more like a nightmare) when places, people, and things get all mixed up. It would be a miraculous joy for people with loved ones who have dementia if it was a dream and they could wake up out of it.

According to what I’ve read about dementia, it has various cognitive levels and includes impaired thinking and memory abilities. It is different than Alzheimer’s which can cause dementia. My grandfather had it, but back then we were told his condition was hardening of the arteries.

If you are a family member or caregiver of a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s, join a support group and/or obtain information to help you deal it. There are different forms of dementia which can be confused with Alzheimer’s. Should you feel that writing about your Alzheimer’s or dementia story, there is a website you can contact. You’re also welcome to share experiences or daily joys you have found (or have missed) with me in the reply section on this blog page.

 

Finding a Well of Joy

Grandmothers with their granddaughters
My Two Little Grand Joys

This morning while I was making breakfast I was listening to Joel Osteen on the XM radio. He was speaking about having a well of joy, being filled with the Spirit, keeping a song in your heart, and not having a pity party. The Bible verse, Acts 13:52, says, “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” When I looked up scriptures on the Internet about being filled with the Spirit and saw this verse, I noticed action on the left side of the page. It was an advertisement of a guy jumping around and the words, “Breakdancing Grow Your Business on YouTube  START ADVERTISING YouTube.” My first thought was the question, “What does breakdancing have to do with this scripture or anything else on this page?” The other things on the page were Bible Gateway, how to study the Bible, information about translating Bibles and recommendations by Bible Gateway, one of which was the NIV Sports Collection Bible–soft leather -look with soccer design. Ah, maybe that was it! Sports – breakdancing, an activity that brings certain people joy.

Joel also mentioned keeping your shoulders back, not slumped. It reminded me of my mother who used to remind me to hold my shoulders back, to stop slumping. Until this day, I sit up straight and put my shoulders back when I catch myself slumping.

I have a funny story about pity parties. One day while my daughter was running errands, I was watching my little two-year-old granddaughter.  We were sitting at the table eating, and she looked up at me and sweetly said, “You’re pitiful,” in a soft voice. Taken aback, I asked, “What?” Again, she said, “You’re pitiful,” smiling as she repeated the words. I was wondering what “pitiful” thing I had done but was a bit confused yet amused. I texted my daughter about the conversation. She texted back, “LOL. She is saying “beautiful”. I felt quite special then. Still, I get tickled when remembering that sweet memory with my little grand.

Find a well of joy each morning. Keep a song in your heart, whether in your mind or you’re singing aloud. Read a psalm from the Bible, think about good things like sweet times with your grandchildren, or do an activity – like breakdancing, things that fill you with a well of joy.

Adventures of Being a Grandparent