Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Meeting Bibble

The most beautiful baby in the world . . .

Bob and I are just back from the States where we met our granddaughter Bibble.

Megan has recovered well from the birth and is a brilliant mother. She is handling breastfeeding and diapering like a veteran. We have often noted that several Flemish Renaissance artists painted faces that very much resembled Megan in their Madonna portraits.

Here we have our very own Madonna and Child portrait.

Bibble was a few days short of three weeks old when we arrived. She was already a bundle of energy. Kicking her legs, punching the air. She hated to be swaddled. She had already flipped herself from stomach to back. By the time we left two weeks later, she was exercising her neck muscles and regularly practicing turning her head from side to side. Here Grandma tries to hold Bibs while she tosses her head and body from side to side. All those stored memories of how wonderful babies are soon came back -- the peachy skin, the downy hair, the warm little bodies, the perfect fingernails.

While she is generally easy going and a good sleeper, she did have an occasional crying jag, and Grandpa was always happy to provide a comfy bed to calm her down. Bob got lots of reading done -- notice the open book next to him -- while Lavinia slept.

Also -- notice the empty blue book shelves behind the sofa? In his spare time Bob sorted through books and donated several boxes of them to a non-profit group which distributes them to schools and institutions.

And here is a very happy baby girl. She is smiling already -- here she smiles at her favourite toy the Piglet given to her by my much more efficient counterpart -- , Grandma Diana -- who also made the pretty yellow quilt that Bibs is laying on.
Bibs has a fabulous wardrobe. She has received so many beautiful gifts from friends -- the dress she is wearing is from friends in New Jersey. Frank was one of my grad school professors, and we have been friends since Megan was five years old. We didn't have time to visit New Jersey, but we met up in New Haven -- half way between Masssachusetts and New Jersey -- for a pass through the Mellon Collection of British Art and a delicious lunch at an atmospheric old restaurant recommended to us by a dedicated Yalie friend. It turned out that neither Bob nor Frank had ever been to Yale -- and Deborah and I not since college mixers 40 years ago -- so we wandered through the campus and various colleges and buildings on a gorgeous sunny afternoon. We all agreed that Yale wins the Ivy championship
for the most beautiful campus -- and decided Bibble should put it at the top of her list.

And here is Daddy wearing the Baby Bjorn carry-pack --- successor to the Snugli pack that Bob and I remember well.
He is a great Dad already. He had to take on all of the work -- except for feeding -- while Megan recuperated from her C-section. So he was the chief diaper changer from the start. Although he had no statutory paternity leave (working at a firm with fewer than 50 employees), he was able to take some holiday time -- and was able to work from home on some days while they adjusted to all the big changes in their lives. They very much wanted to be just the three of them together during the early days -- and Bob and I agreed that was a very special time for family bonding -- so that is why we planned our trip to be a few weeks after the birth.

By the time we arrived they were ready to face the big world in their new circumstances. Grandma and Grandpa were able and willing hands on outside excursions. Megan wanted to go into Boston so we loaded the car up -- remembering the piles of equipment needed for what was once a simple trip. The weather was beautiful, and here are the new parents walking through the Common. The afternoon trip was very successful with Bibble alternating between the pram and the front pack. Sadly she was not happy in either the yarn shop or the Border's bookstore. I think she will have to work on a little attitude adjustment for the future.

And finally here she is -- the most beautiful baby in the world -- the day before we left for London. I have to say it was very, very hard to leave. Fortunately we were all only half awake at 5 am!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

B is for Begin, B is for Blog

They said it was easy to set up a blog, and here we are mere minutes later. No time to deep think names and titles and signatures. Fortunately for me, there seems to be no other Jenni blogging in London — or at least who wants to link their blog and London. So we even have a title that is about as easy to remember as anything could be.