More to The Eye Than Black and White…..


She waddled a bit, her growing tummy leading the way. A black and white striped shirt stretched snug across the whole of her belly. Two rambunctious little ones, one with curls flailing to her shoulders, the other a tow-headed toddler of two leading the way to our finished lower level. There, near a fireplace waiting for short winter days, a tea party danced amid pink plastic china with baskets of assorted delights.

Raggedy Ann sat at the head of the scuffed green table where paint had peeled long ago, revealing a thick strong base of walnut brown. Mismatched chairs parked around the sides. Raggedy Andy sat in one, I in another and Toe Head to my right. Grandpa was finishing final computer work at a long table nearby while the belly rested in a plump corduroy sofa.

Soon, the doorbell sounded. Doodle dog barked while all chaos rang out. My son bounced down the stairway with his usual happy face, tossing kids in the air before kissing the belly of stretched stripes. Just then a wave of motion began with movements to the left, slightly up before swinging down. We could all see it.

Yes, there was a baby under the black and white stripes. Deep within my daughter-in-law’s tummy, not far under her heart of beating pink, she carried a mother’s love who had already become part of a family. A great big family…..

A few minutes later my younger daughter-in-law drove up with “Babies of Two” plus their older sister of three. Together, we all went out for an early dinner in a restaurant very much prepared for children of all ages. We needed three high chairs and a booster seat. To my left, a little lady of four-years-old, shared baskets of chicken strips, sides of mixed fruit or small bowls of macaroni & cheese.

Looking around the table, I caught sight of my husband, who sat at the opposite end.  I smiled, grasping the fact that WE began this great big family. For years and years, we were a small family of four, having only two sons. Eventually, they grew up and married, giving us the gift of daughters-in-law. Four became six. And, before I could blink an eye, grandbabies arrived, growing our family to eleven. Yes, you read that right…ELEVEN!!! This year, before the end of it, our family will have grown yet again with the arrival of tiny angel wings swaddled under blankets of flannel for me to rock around the Christmas tree.

By then my husband and I will have six grandchildren. All little ones, ages, 4, 3, 2, plus twins who turn 2 years old in December, and the new baby who will arrive about the same time.

Heaven sent from under stripes of black and white.

 

*striped shirt picture courtesy of Google Chrome

Loving Grandbabies


Anticipation was building the whole month of May. Finally, my grandbabies rolled in from South Carolina to spend a whole week at Grandma’s house last Saturday. Plans were made and parties were in place.

Grandpa and I met a mini-bus in the driveway to open sliding doors before the hum of an engine-turned off. Action heroes we were, straight from a giant movie screen except without the buttered popcorn or milk duds. “Babies of Two” tumbled out with their wee big sister of two and a half years. Yes, they were tired but thrilled to be FREE from the restraint of buckled car seats filled with crumbles of animal crackers. Grandpa lifted one grandchild while a toddler hugged his hairy, bare leg. Crying with joy, I picked up another who wrapped her arms and legs around me like a baby gorilla you’d see clinging to her mother at the zoo.

I lost my heart (times three) for all the neighbors to see. Right there and then on a driveway paved in burnt red bricks. Kissing silky hair, I soaked the warmth of soft, baby skin from tip to toe, never wanting to let them go. Soon, all drifted into a bubble bath, before being bundled in hooded towels. Then it was off to rock in a spindled chair. Little gorilla baby never left my lap, patting my back with her little hand to the rhythm of the chair. Pat…rocking back…pat…rocking forward…pat…rocking back…pat…rocking forward.

The next day it was a party at our favorite train venue where babies, toddlers, and kids played freely before eating pizza and breaking a piñata filled with unexpected treats. Later that night, the older cousins (ages 4 & 2) had a sleepover in front of our big screen where they snuggled under sheets of cotton blue to watch Barbie movies while sharing popcorn and sipping apple juice. In between, the girls of red hair and blonde curls put on a show while dancing and singing songs. I must say it was quite an impromptu production. If only I would have known in advance, surely I could have sold a few tickets within the neighborhood!

Yesterday, my younger daughter-in-law’s parents hosted a splendid BBQ with delicious food where everyone gathered from several sides of the family. Children of all ages played with toys, swam in the pool and bonded like never before.

I’ve always known how very blessed I am to have these little babies in my life. As my eyes darted around to catch sight of all five of them, I couldn’t help but ponder the beginning of their forever cousin relationships. The youngest two were dressed in twin polka dot bikinis while splish-splashing in a baby pool. Around and around, my only grandson tackled a riding toy while blowing kisses to all of the girls, and far to the right, feet of four jumped into a speckled pool so cool.

Seconds later, I glanced at my oldest son’s wife, who lightly traced her barely there belly bump. Yes, they’ve just announced a new baby-to-be expected around  Christmastime.

Another grandbaby to love for me. Oh, I can’t wait to see!

 

 

 

Miniature Miracles


A few days ago, I was invited by my dear friend to be a guest at a charity luncheon and fashion show, benefiting one of our leading hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU). An annual function, tremendous effort is put forth by a group of tireless volunteers who work to make everything perfect. Donations of graceful blooms are gathered together with assorted gift baskets that hold everything from hand-made jewels to trips to Disneyland. All are proudly displayed on tables of long, draped in berry and gold. Baskets are beautifully wrapped in clear cellophane, where admiring bidders drool while raising funds to save innocent babies born too soon.

Not long ago, another friend of mine suddenly found herself in the midst of a hospital NICU. There, she came to know it intimately. In the beginning, she was shocked with pain and grief. The feeling hit her, unexpectedly. Fast, like a freight train running off its tracks. At the time, my friend’s daughter was six months pregnant with twin boys. Snips and snails and puppy dog tails….Quietly, God whisked one tiny soul off to heaven, leaving behind his fragile brother within the quiet of his mother’s womb.

My friend’s daughter lay in a sterile hospital bed, following doctor’s orders while praying to bring her last little lamb to a full term of “40 weeks.” Tears flowed for the infant angel that had already left an emptiness inside of her. Still, each morning she woke without having delivered, she whispered tears of thankfulness to God as well as both of her sons. One unborn, the other in heaven above.

There may be risk factors or possible causes of premature labor, but very little anyone can do to prevent it. Mothers should never blame themselves. Only God decides when a baby comes into this world. http://www.marchofdimes.org. Still too soon, my friend’s first grandson was born weighing not much more than a pound of butter. Yet, he was breathing and alive! Doctors and nurses rushed him to the NICU, where the child of innocence fought for his life. The whole of his family spent the next three months on a hospital roller coaster ride, thankful for each breath the fragile child took, each beat his tiny heart drummed.

Truly, God works miracles. Through the skill a fine team of pediatric physicians and neonatal specialists together with nurses who surely wear hidden wings under their scrubs, the day finally came for my friend’s grandson to go home. There, an extended family eagerly waited to give the three-month-old newborn more loving care than any child could imagine. Today, the little toddler of curly hair and smiles of pearls is exactly where he needs to be on all of the doctor’s charts! He’s a darling boy loved by all and everyone.

When God’s seed is planted within a woman’s womb, a mother’s love is instinctual, pure and undeniable. It exists the moment she suspects a tiny life-force grows within her. She glows from that moment on, knowing she carries a miniature miracle deep inside while fingertips gently caress a growing belly. Friends and families get excited, fathers support their wives while future sibling’s eyes grow wide with wonder.

Yes, a bouncing baby boy. Truly a gift from God to be forever thankful for…..

*With many thanks to the physicians and nurses in NICU’s everywhere for saving little lives. Bless you each and every day.

premature baby pic

National Multiple Birth Awareness Month


Since I became a grandmother of twins, I’ve learned a lot about the joys and challenges of loving and living with more than one…b.a.b.y. For several months, I had the privilege of helping to care for my own grand-baby twos. Attending to their every need can be an exhaustive joy. Yet, a gift I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. Time passes quickly in life, and even sleepless nights for Mama and Daddy soon become a treasured memory.

Today, April first, represents the beginning of National Multiple Birth Awareness Month. One of the biggest lessons I learned while tending for multiples is that parents and caregivers can and should ask for help! Friends, family, and resources are available. Some parents simply don’t know where to turn, while others may think they should handle everything on their own.

I’d like to take this opportunity to make everyone aware of a fantastic organization entitled Multiples of America, also known as The National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, Inc. This is a non-profit organization whose goal is to support families and caregivers of multiple children through help from local support groups and health care providers, researchers, and educators.

To each and every one of you who has been gifted with two or three babies, four babies or more. I wish you tremendous blessings the whole of your lives. Celebrate this special month while feeling warm puffs of breaths near the crook of your neck. Rest when you can, to soak every second of their smiles before today disappears into tomorrow land.

*Thank you to Google Chrome for photographs.

Thank You


Thank you to Susan Heim, a most prolific writer of numerous books on twins and multiples, and a mother of twins herself, for this generous review of Babies of Two together with her Blog post and creative giveaway.

Don’t wait to visit her awesome Blog! Blogspot http://susanheim.blogspot.com

Thank you so very much, Susan!

 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Children’s Book Review and Signed Book Giveaway: “Babies of Two,” by Kim Gosselin (3 Winners)

 

My Thoughts:

I am the mother of twin boys, so it was fun to take a peek inside the womb once again to imagine the crowded world of twins! This book is unique because it’s told from the perspective of the babies who are about to be born and finally arrive in their parents’ arms at the end of the story. Reading Babies of Two would be a wonderful way to share the upcoming birth of twin siblings with an older brother or sister. It shows what the experience must be like for the babies, as well as for the mother who must go to the hospital when it’s time for their delivery. With its charming illustrations by Alisa Belzil and joyful text, Babies of Two will delight both children and their parents.

About the Author:
Kim Gosselin takes delight in bringing the magic of her imagination to the wonder of words. Babies of Two is her 17th picture book, inspired upon learning she was going to become the grandmother of twins. She has five grandchildren, four under the ages of two, including twins.

Kim is a proud member of The Author’s Guild, Inc., and The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

A Pleasurable Book Review


https://ellenbest24.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/a-pleasurable-book-review/#comments Such a treat to receive a positive review from across the pond. With a delightful picture of Ellen’s grand-baby, Ivy, ‘reading’ along. Thank you,Ellen Best.

Ellenbest24

image

The lovely Kim Gosselin award winning author and member of the society of children’s book writers and illustrators,  sent across the great sea her newest book  ” Babies Of Two”. I was thrilled to be sent the book the signed first edition will have pride of place in my forever bookcase.
The art work is superb the illustrations  fit each page perfectly thanks to Alisa Belzil.
The story flows with wonderful fluidity in a poetic form that is clear and holds a childs attention beautifully. The book speaks with the voices of the unborn twins, a unique depiction of childbirth tastefully portrayed.
I gave the book to my daughter in law to test out on my granddaughter Ivy, it is with Ivy’s seal of approval that I say… A fab book that would be enjoyed by all who read it including potential sibling of twins and any other child who…

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It’s Official!


Babies of Two are now in PRINT!

Yes, it’s true what they say about delivering two babies instead of one. The labor is much more intensive! In spite of their mother’s wishes, these wee newborns had minds of their own, deciding the exact moment when they would be depicted on paper pages for all the word to see. No, not even amazon.com knew for sure when Mollie and Maddie would arrive! But, today is officially their birthday in public print!

As a proud ‘Mama,’ I am sharing this official news with all who may love and care for them, together with my partner, Alisa Belzil. She too had an enormous part in bringing the twins into the world.  https://sweetafternoons.wordpress.com/

Yes, we carried them in the big of our bellies, but now both bundles are ready to be diapered and weighed, bottled and bathed.

Please love them with the whole of your hearts. Cuddle them close before sharing them with children and families everywhere.

Thank you so very much for your support.

***Special Kindle match price of only $1.99 with the purchase of the print edition at $9.95/amazon.com/author/2babiesauthor

 

*I have twenty copies of Babies of Two that I am giving away FREE if you are a Twin Blogger or Children’s Book Reviewer. Please email your request to kim@rockingchairpress.net. Please include all pertinent information including name, address, email address and blog link, etc.

Hughes Photo Challenge Week 13: Love!


http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2016/02/16/hughs-weekly-photo-challenge-week-13-love/

As all of you know my life is blessed with love, particularly my grandbabies of five who are all under the age of four. My eldest is about to turn another milestone next month, with her baby brother not far behind. In celebration of all the tremendous love I have for each and every one of my dear and darling grandbabies, I’m sharing them with you. This year I will have a four-year-old, two 2-year-old’s, and Babies of Two who recently turned one! I LOVE them all to pieces.

 

 

Sharing Credit


Dear Readers:

Today is a happy day for me and I must give credit where credit is due.

Finally, our children’s book Babies of Two is being released in print on March first, to children, parents, grandparents, and caregivers everywhere. Since our printed edition has been expanded with more pages and illustrations than we first anticipated, our Kindle version will be updated as well.

My dear and talented illustrator, Alisa Belzil https://sweetafternoons.wordpress.com/ has stuck by my side all the way, passing through many obstacles in this digital age of the 21st Century. Together, we have spent countless hours suffering setbacks and sifting through our mistakes while learning our craft. Alisa is not only an artist extraordinaire, but has learned to format as well, not an easy feat!

Together, Alisa and I edited, proofed, and re-proofed. We discovered typos that magically appeared months after everything seemed to be perfect. We submitted our work, only to receive a hard-copy with a cover that curled! Needless to say, our eyes became weary, yet it was all part of the job. Together, we are a team who handled, lest I say, everything in between? To say that Alisa is my angel from above does not seem nearly enough, yet those are the words in my head.

Our new book trailer for Babies of Two has been produced by our very own Great Ape himself, Chris @ http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/.  Authors who want or need a book trailer on any topic what-so-ever should not hesitate to call on him. Chris goes out of his way to make you happy at unbelievable prices. I am truly proud of the fantastic job he did. Won’t you please take a look? https://www.youtube.com/embed/GZw6TR_vDho

On a side note, a big Shout Out to Jo Robinson and her recent book, The Absolute Indie! It is an indispensable resource that guides Indie authors one step at a time through the myriad of formatting. Unfortunately, it was released too late for me regarding Babies of Two, but regardless, I’ve read it two or three times. To those who have half a brain (yes, there is still hope for me, Alisa), Jo Robinson will no doubt take you right to the front door of Kindle and CreateSpace. Please visit her site to pick up a copy today! https://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/

Finally, to all of you, my sincere thanks for your patience and support, and for always being here for me when it seems I am not. To say my life has changed since starting my blog is an understatement. My family has grown larger than ever before. My workload is heavy, yet spills with passion through and through. I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams, yet I wish there were more seconds in a single minute, more hours before dawn to dark.

Please know in my heart that I am filled with your presence. Each and every day I pray for more time to read your books and blogs, connect with you on a deeper level and show you more appreciation on the outside as well as the in.

With Sincere Thanks and Blessings,

Kim