Grandbaby trip 2-28 to 3-6-19 plus moar pix

Sioned Helen Bartlett Campbell was born on 3/2/19 at 6:36am. Arthur and Raven’s daughter, she’s Tempus’ and my first grandchild. Tempus stayed home to tend the shop and I took the train to Everett to be with them for the birth.

I’m going to put this in chronological order and add pictures in galleries, so if you want, you can just skip to each gallery. Some of the pictures are awful, as far as quality. I’m keeping them as mementos.

…and there are galleries below *that* for her whole first year!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

This day day was very long and tiring. Tempus went over to the bank to make the deposit while I was finishing the newsletter. The next task was to get my ticket and to my surprise there was only one train available, since the trains coming from the south were all cancelled. It meant I had to take the bus from Albany into Portland, and we had to leave *right* *then* to catch it! I messaged Arthur to warn him to look for a call from Tempus. We scrambled everything into the car and got going, fussing at each other (just a little) in panic.

Once we were on the road we calmed down. I was a little sleepy, the way I get in the car, but not enough to doze, so we talked, off an on, mostly about what all we were going to need to be doing over the next day or so. The roads were all dry, but the closer we got to the Valley, the more snow there was beside the road and on the trees and as we were over Dudlee Hill, I started exclaiming about the snow on the trees. It was picture-postcard-perfect! Off and on it was snowing a little, too…. Well, it started as rain at home, but gradually shifted over.

We rolled into Albany at about 15 minutes before I had been told that I needed to get there, to find that the agent was wrong and there was an hour to wait. That was ok by me. I needed to use the bathroom and after my bags were checked in we sat down to wait.

The Albany Transit Station has a beautiful clock tower and is actually quite comfortable to wait in. As we sat there we saw the occasional snowflake drift pass the windows, and then more and then more until it was really coming down. I was reminded of the time when Baba went to stir up the featherbed at the shore house and gave it a brisk snap to settle it….and the seam popped. We were picking feathers out of the strangest places for a decade….

Snow in Albany

A guy came in to the station about 5 minutes before the bus was due, reeking of cigarette by-products so I headed outside and Tempus followed. I was catching snowflakes on my scarf and gazing at them before they melted. They were coming down in huge clumps, but one or two would always be on top, so the forms were plain. One that sticks in my mind was going on 1/4 inch across and the “classic” snowflake shape.

The bus was…. 7 huge steps up. That was distinctly unfunny, since I had been promised that I wouldn’t have to climb…. 1/2 the reason for taking the train, actually. I dozed all the way into Portland, opening my eyes to watch the snow, and then dozing back off.

When we rolled into Union Station, our train was already boarding. I grabbed my bags and started down the steps, but almost pitched into the driver. I set the bags back down, exclaimed “To hell with dignity!” and crawled down backwards to the applause of the people on the bus. A Redcap was *right* there, grinning, to help me down the last bit. He grabbed my bags and the driver fetched my walker. We got into one of the little carts and he went to nab the other disabled lady to take us over to the train. She got dropped off first, and then he helped my to my seat. I had a solo seat with plenty of leg room that was intended for wheelchairs, but accommodated my walker quite well.

We rolled on time with me avidly watching out the windows. There was a screen about 1/2-way down the car that I realized within a few minutes was showing the GPS of our locations. That was really cool! It was just rather grey at that point, no snow, but it made for great seeing as we crossed the Willamette and the various small streams and then the Columbia. I watched for places that I knew until we were through Vancouver and rolling through the farmland north of there.

Portland and the north industrial area

Trying to get pictures was a challenge.There were about 100 shots on the camera, but only a handful turned out to be usable. I tried some of the craft stuff that I brought with me, some reading, etc. during the afternoon, but I didn’t accomplish much. I kept getting distracted. When I’m doing handwork or reading I have to take my glasses off, so I was putting them on and taking them off, repeatedly. Eventually, too much of that and I have a headache.

Up to and crossing the Willamette

I needed to use the bathroom, but some woman decided to hog it for most of an hour, despite it being for the handicapped/disabled. They finally put her off the train after she got belligerent with the attendants. That was the first stop after Vancouver…. Kelso/Longview, maybe?

Crossing the Columbia into Washington

I spent quite a lot of the time watching the scenery, particularly waterbirds, in the sloughs around the Columbia. The tracks run closer to the water than I-5 does. I saw a lot of herons, two flying, one of them *very* close to the train. There were several egrets, scads of ducks of many varieties and lots of geese. One of the ducks that I have a distinct mental picture of was a bufflehead that was about 10 feet from the edge of the rail-bed in a small pond. His black and white plumage was striking and he was just at the perfect angle to show it off. There were some of the long-legged waterbirds of many varieties. I ought to remember the name of one that walks like a heron, but is more horizontal to the water surface and speckled.

There was a flock of what I am pretty certain were white swans near some of the concrete and catwalk industrial installations. They were just far enough away to not be certain and not in the “traditional” swan pose, since many were sitting on the bank or huddled up together and the ones on the water were facing away from me. Raven also thinks they were probably swans.

I needed to use the bathroom, but some woman decided to hog it for most of an hour, despite it being for the handicapped/disabled. They finally put her off the train after she got belligerent with the attendants. That was the first stop after Vancouver…. Kelso/Longview, maybe?

 Centralia and on

(From this point on not a single picture turned out!!!)

We rolled on through farmland, and lots of trees, older forests and younger clumps, after we (sortof) left the water behind…. left the river, anyway. The landscape is wildly varied from there to the beginning of the Sound area. Sometimes we traveled high above the rest of the ground, sometimes went through tunnels or through long cuts. In some of those the invasive ivy was hanging nearly to the ground in along strands that blew in the wind of our passage.

I tried to head back to the “Bistro” car, but didn’t make it. I couldn’t get the walker through. The space was just about 2 inches too narrow. I was unwilling to try to grab along the seat backs because how would I carry anything? I finally asked the attendant, a small, sweet lady who must have some oriental ancestry from her lovely eyes and tiny stature, if should get nab something for me. I had a ginger ale and a turkey club sandwich, which was tasty, if a bit soggy. I nibbled on it until about the time I started seeing the lakes and sloughs at the south end of Puget Sound.

As soon as we could see across the Sound, the Olympic Range came into sight. Those are an *awesome* sight. I watched the water and the various structures, lots of houses built  up on cliffs that don’t look all that stable. There’s a long curve around the end of the Sound where we were curving around an island. Dunno what the name of it is,,,. I haven’t looked at a map, yet, but not long after that the sunset started and the Olympics became even more spectacular as the sunset reddened the snow, then the sky and then even the gilded edges finally began to fade into night.

I dozed after that as the twilight faded until we were pulling into Seattle. The Redcaps weren’t right there, the way they had been at the start of the trip and a couple of the other passengers pulled my walker down the steps while I got a good hold on the grab bars and backed down. I thanked them and as they started on their way a Redcaps trotted up, also thanked them and then helped me into the station.

A couple pictures of Raven and Kimberly that Billy took.

Arthur was waiting right at the door. He went to get his car into the loading zone and the Redcap fetched my bags and helped me out to the loading zone. Arthur and I had a nice drive to Everett, although I was  a little foggy with fatigue by then. We went straight to one of their favorite Vietnamese restaurants and had supper with Raven, Kimberly and Billy. I had bubble tea for the first time and I really liked it. I also had a lemongrass/ginger chicken stir-fry with pickled veg that were quite tasty if not as “loud” as I make mine. It was more like they were marinated than pickled.

Afterwards he got me settled at the motel, the Days Inn in Everett, which was within 5 miles of everything we did on this visit. …and I had a good night’s sleep, waking to the news that Raven was in labor!

Saturday, March 1, 2019

Kimberly and Billy took a lot of pictures of Raven and themselves. I totally forgot! But even with that there’s only one picture from Saturday. This one is from mid-day before Raven went into active labor.

Arthur called not long after I woke up and came to pick me up not long after that. He’s only a few minutes away. He took me to his bowling alley for breakfast and got in a few bits of practice in between eating. We sat with a friend of his from the same team who was doing that, too.

Kimberly and Billy had talked Raven into going to the hospital instead of going to work. She was in *really* early labor, but her water broke, that’s a gotta-go scenario. We nabbed coffee and headed over there. It was a very long day.

The embroidery, started

I spent awhile discussing embroidery with the kids, making sure that what I had in mind was going to work ok for them and then started on it. The light wasn’t so good, so I eventually stopped and pulled out some small sewing things, instead.

We all took turns staying with Raven, or wandering to the waiting room and back. Kimberly and Billy went out and ran some errands. Arthur went back to the house to tend their fur-babies.

Raven and I watched the sunset together. She still wasn’t very far along. We discussed the view and chatted.

Not long after that Arthur took me out to get some supper. We went to a Gamer pub, which was pretty cool. I had a “Witch King” burger. 🙂 It’s got a restaurant in one end and a bar in the other and several pockets of game machines, plus large tables for RPG’s and so on. Gonna mention this one at home.

Once we were back there was more waiting and more waiting and yet more waiting. Raven was actually getting somewhere by then…. but it was glacially slow, the way many labors are…..

Sunday, March 2, 2019, Morning

We all started taking turns napping on the couch in the room, or the couches in the waiting area. I kept dozing, sitting on my walker.

…and then at 6am it became obvious in an exam that Sioned was going to be lots safer if they did a C-section. Everything went really quickly, then. Raven went down to the surgical center. We went to the recovery room she was going to be in, with all the stuff. Arthur got into “clean gear” so he could be with her and went off and then we waited again.

At 6:36am we heard the howls coming out of the op theater! Sioned was hollering before she was all the way out. 6lbs 15 oz, 20 inches. She’s tiny and perfect and had the cord wrapped around her head….. No wonder she was having the issues that finally had them do the C-section. …..but all is well.

Raven came out of it just fine. Ouching, but they have pain meds for that, and she’s a strong, healthy woman, who was running just a few days before baby. She was *very* tired afterwards, so we all went out to the waiting area while she and Arthur rested for awhile.

The various docs gave us progress reports and a few more details as they were heading out. We finally got to see Sioned for just a moment and to tell Raven and Arthur what a good job they did and they finally sent us home after more waiting. Kimberly and Billy drove me back to the motel to sleep…. and I really did!

Sunday, March 2, 2019, Afternoon and Evening.

I woke, far too early, to someone in the motel using the floor as drumset, upstairs. I was not a happy camper, but I dozed back off for awhile, only to wake again to the same thing. I called the front desk and they got ’em to stop, but I was awake, and *very* grumpy about it. That was at about 3pm. I got a shower and then got the computer up and answered some messages, hearing back from the kids, still in the hospital and congratulations of various sorts.

I finally ordered some food delivered from Ming’s restaurant. I can recommend their lemon chicken, in particular, but it was all good. I had enough for lunch on Monday and snacks and used the lemon chicken sauce as a dip for some rolls that I had.

I wrote for awhile, never quite getting caught up. I talked to Tempus, online, then dozed off….

Arthur called and woke me.  Raven and Sioned were ok for visitors. Kimberly and Billy had already been by, and were going to stay for a little, so Arthur came to pick me up and we did a store run, so I wouldn’t have to do any more expensive ordering.

So when we got to the hospital, Kimberly and Billy went for their own supper and to get some sleep.

I got to hold baby!!!!! Finally, I held her and kept her happy for a little, changed her diaper and helped Raven with some nursing tips, at which point Arthur was back. We visited for another hour, then he took me home, since everyone was tired.

I got a snack, caught up on messages, and went to bed.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

I had just awakened when Arthur called. Kimberly and Billy are early risers so they had been at the hospital with Raven and Sioned. Arthur picked me up and I took their place while they and he went baby-shopping. 🙂 Apparently it was a typical grandparent shopping trip. 🙂

Raven and baby were snoozing when I got there, so I pulled out my embroidery and pecked away at it until sunset, in between baby and chatting. I got to hold Sioned for quite a bit of the time, since Raven really needed some snooze time and it was fun to interact with the baby and give Raven a break. When she was awake we chatted and a told her a lot of the family stories.

Sioned also got her hearing test. She was *not* happy about the contacts being attached to her head and over her ears but calmed right down as the “music” started. The nurse exclaimed over it afterwards, saying that she didn’t go to sleep (the way most babies do) but was concentrating hard. 🙂 She did sleep for quite awhile afterwards and I accomplished some more embroidery.

Billy and Kimberly got back 7-ish and we talked for quite awhile. Arthur had stopped to clean up a few things at the house and when he got to the hospital, he nabbed the baby and curled up with her. Kimberly and Billy took me back to the motel and I got something to eat and then crashed for several hours, getting up to write in the middle of the night.

Monday, March 4, 2019 – Raven’s Birthday

I had spent so much time during the night up and down that when I tried to get up for breakfast it just wasn’t going to happen. I did manage to get up at 9 to wait for the housekeeping people, but I finally had to call the front desk twice to get them to the room around 12:30. While I was waiting I was working on various sewing projects that I brought with me, things that just took tracing and cutting out, rather than a functional brain.

Arthur called just after housekeeping was done to say that they were back at the house and he was heading for the store. I told him I was going to take a nap. He said he’d call back at 4 when the cooking was partway done.

I woke and got back to work on my projects and he finally called around 5. Billy and Kimberley picked me up and we headed for the house. I got to prowl around a little while supper was finishing up. They have a nice space.

Arthur cooked a soup that he calls, “Lemonyi” and a lamb roast and they were delicious. Arthur also pulled out some of the wines that he’s been making, also very good. I managed to give everyone their batches of the spice mixes that I had made for them and they were appreciative. We had Raven’s birthday cake and talked and told family stories.

By 9pm, though, everyone was getting tired, so I got dropped back off at the motel and got a nap. When I woke, around 11, I talked to Tempus for awhile on Facebook, and then fought the computer, trying to get it to cooperate. In between I was embroidering.

I kept getting colder and colder. For some reason the room was cooling off really fast during the evening. I think I ran the heat at least once every hour while I was up. I finally ran it for quite awhile, one last time, then went to bed.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

I got a decent night’s sleep, although I woke once when some bozo decided to rev his engines right outside the door around 4am.

I got my train ticket and start packing up the things that I had strewn from one end of the room the other. I spent most of the day at the motel, sewing and embroidering. I accomplished a lot.

There were several doctor appointments on this day and more on the next, because Sioned was not doing quite as well as she could. Losing too much weight. Nothing too scary, just, scary because we’re talking about *my* grandbaby. Know what I mean?

In the evening, after a howling session that left poor Raven and Arthur really wrung out, once Sioned calmed down, they picked me up and we had supper at the AFK pub. Sioned slept through all but the last 10 minutes, and I held her while they were getting the check, the car, etc. She was an *annoyed* little bundle, apparently hungry. 🙂

The poor kids were exhausted, since they’re hitting the “sleep deprivation” part of parenting really hard. They dropped me back at the hotel and I sat down and managed to finish that tissue cover that I’d been pecking at…well, mostly… I still needed some ribbon for the ties.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Today was head-home day! It was almost an endurance test for me. I was up at about 5am because one of my legs cramped, so I went and got waffles at 6 from the continental breakfast. I asked for a 10am wake-up call because I was mostly packed and went back to bed, after. When I got back up I washed, changed and packed the little that was left and by 10:50 I was out of the room heading for the lobby through light snow. One of the cleaners helped me with the suitcases.

I handed in my key and sat where the light was good, sewing another bag for myself, which helped a lot on the trip since I put all the snack foods in it. It meant that I was only pulling out one bag instead of fluffing through everything in my stuffed carry-on.

The snow picked up before Arthur got there and we drove through a couple of places that he wanted me to see, (like the I-90 tunnel) in a lot of snow that wasn’t sticking. We stopped where he works, so he could show off baby pix, and pick up some equipment for a class that he was taking later in the day. We got to the station and I got my tickets, then he helped me to the gate. We said our goodbyes and he headed out.

Arthur had a class for work, and Kimberly and Billy were with Raven for her afternoon appointments. Arthur had been there for the morning one, verdict, “Sioned is disgustingly healthy!” …and I got told afterwards that she picked up 4 ounces between morning and the late afternoon weighing! 🙂 Btw, I got it wrong, Sioned’s birthweight was 6lb 15 ounces, not 3 ounces.

Kimberly and Billy have a couple of days with the kids, yet, but I had to get back on a day when it was not going to exhaust Tempus to do the drive to Albany and back.

Architectural Detail – Apparently the station is newly renovated.

I got some pix of the station and then chatted with some fellow passengers. Eventually, the redcaps got the “gimp squad” to our seats…. all in the same car and it was a business class car, not a coach, and right next to the bistro car, which was nice. We also had a couple of folks travelling with toddlers and some other less obviously gimps in the car.

Redcaps & Lift

I took a bunch of pictures at this point of train, cars and scenery, since someday I’m going to get my model railroad going again and I wanted some examples of even the graffiti!

I worked on my embroidery a little, in between watching the scenery. It’s kinda cool to rock along next to I-5 and realize that you’re going a bit faster than the cars. 🙂 Eventually, I went and got a sandwich and a hard cider, ate and then starting dozing. I dozed off and on from Olympia to Kelso, but there wasn’t much to see, other than close-up, between snow/rain and low cloud. After Kelso I alternated my cheese books with embroidery and watching outside as things started to look more and more familiar.

Portland was fun to watch. I lived there for so long. That’s a side of the city that I wasn’t as familiar with, and we left the station over the Steel Bridge as a Max with over it on an upper level! There’s some interesting architecture over there, in apartment building and business blocks. By then it was past sunset and gradually getting darker.

The toddler that was travelling to Oregon City with her grandmother was up and fussy. She had slept from Tacoma onward…. but wasn’t happy with waking up. Her grandmother got her interested in getting her boots and raincoat on (with little Matroshkas on it!) and packing away her toys and books. I talked with her (the toddler) for a bit, telling her about my new grandbaby. 🙂

By the time we were done in Oregon City it was dark. I got a snack from the bistro and settled back down, finishing my book and then just working on embroidery, finally packing everything away about 20 minutes from Albany.

The attendants helped me off, since the station was closed for the night. The lift didn’t want to work for some reason. We were 20 minutes late rolling in and Tempus had been driving back and forth in the parking lot when the train stopped, so he parked up close and appeared out of the shadows behind the station as they were getting me down. I needed to lift because I was really achy by that time.

We had a good drive home, even through the really thick fog, talking the whole way about my week. I told him about the funny with me getting back off the bus that he saw me get on as we started (Albany to Portland leg). I got down the first two steps and then couldn’t negotiate the drop to the third. I turned around, said, “The hell with dignity” and crawled down backwards, to applause from the other passengers!

Once we were home, we got stuff pulled in, got a late supper and went to bed.

My profile pic from 3/2

I’m going to keep adding pix of Sioned and family here.

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A few from 3/7-3/13

From 3/14-16

From 3/17-3/21

3/21/19 – 3/24

3/25-27

3/28-4/6

4/7-11

April 13-15

April 16-23

April 24-5/2

5/6

5/12-18 – Apparently they keep trying to catch her smiling, but as soon as she sees the camera, she’s too fascinated by it to smile again!

5/22-28 (Visit from Grandparents)

5/30-6/1

6/7-8

6/9 – Fishing trip to Big Eddy State Park.

6/12-25

7/5-14

7/15-8/2

8/3-8/9

8/10 to 8/21

8/31/19

9/1-9/19

9/20-30

10/1-10/17

10/26 – 11/4/19

11/9/19 to 11/17

11/22-4/19

11/24 & 25

Thanksgiving

 

More to come!

Page created on 3/12/19, published on 3/13/19 (C)M. Bartlett.

Last update 12/8/19