Friday, February 5, 2016

What We're Writing: Why Debs is NOT Writing This Week

DEBORAH CROMBIE: As much as we all love what we do, our books and our made-up characters, sometimes real life takes center stage.

Which bring us to...

My only daughter's first baby was due on February 28th. I very anxiously scheduled a three week trip to London, January 5th to the 26th, worried about being out of the country during most of my daughter's eighth month of pregnancy, but desperately needing some very concentrated "in place" work on Duncan and Gemma #17, Garden of Lamentations. I was working around my daughter's baby shower, planned for this last Sunday (January 31st,) and chewing my nails over the fact that before I knew about the baby I had registered for Left Coast Crime in Phoenix, which runs from February 25th to February 28th, my daughter's due date. 

I told my daughter she absolutely could NOT have this baby until I got back from Phoenix! (No Leap Year baby, either!) So I was betting on the first week in March.


The shower on Sunday was terrific, and huge. The hostesses organized a terrific party, and the gifts (it took four loaded SUVs to ferry them home) completely filled the nursery. 

On Monday I thought I would begin to get caught up from my trip to London.

On Tuesday, my daughter, who never misses work, said she was taking the day off to rest up from the shower and could I help her sort out the gifts? We spent a lovely few hours organizing baby things.

And on Wednesday morning at 3 a.m. my daughter went into labor.

My granddaughter was born at 1:57 p.m., Wednesday, February 3rd, at 36 weeks, weighing 6 lbs 1 oz and measuring 18 3/4 inches long!!!

I was so privileged to see her enter the world, and can't believe I might have missed this! Mom and baby are doing great, and my daughter and son-in-law are absolute champs. They were calm and cheerful and collected during the labor and birth--while the midwife kept reminding Grandma to breathe...

So here's the star of the show, little Wren.

She's so beautiful and so tiny!

Here she is with her dad

With her mom

And with Grammy Debs

Proud grandma! 

Here's to a new and wonderful life! 

(Anyone want to take bets on who's already buying books for the little one?)



  1. Congratulations!
    Little Wren is so precious [love the pictures] and having a grandbaby is a truly wonderful thing . . .

  2. Lucky grammy to have such a beautiful little Wren! I don't think you can top that, {{{Debs}}}.

    In a few years you can tell Wren all about she saved the reading universe with her early arrival. Book #17 was spared from spoilers by excited Grammy too tired and happy with her little new love bunny. xoxoxox

  3. Thank you for sharing! Preciosa! And 6 lbs is a perfect size--such a snuggle-bunny size!

    Congrats to the proud mama & papa, too!

  4. Oh my, and you were there! That is so special.

    Congratulations! Let the fun begin! You are now officially inducted into the Grandmothers' Club -- who knew we'd be having so much fun!? And then we get to sleep!

    I'm hoping to be in Brooklyn in early March, spoiling grandbaby #1 (a delicious and rambunctious nearly-three-year-old) while grandbaby #2 is coming into the world.

  5. What a delight! It's a real honor to be present at a birth. I attended many in my doula days. May Wren have a long and healthy life, and many special times with Grammy Debs.

  6. How are never too young for books!

  7. What a beautiful family! Congratulations Deb and daughter and son-in-law--this trumps writing any day!

  8. Congratulations Deb, what a gorgeous little girl! Enjoy.

  9. Congratulations on the precious addition to the family! I am so glad you were home to welcome her into the world!

  10. How wonderful! Congratulations to all of you and welcome to the world, baby Wren!

  11. How totally delicious! All the best to your family.

  12. Where Did You Come From Baby Dear?

    by George MacDonald

    Where did you come from, baby dear?
    Out of the everywhere into here.

    Where did you get your eyes so blue?
    Out of the sky as I came through.

    What makes the light in them sparkle and spin?
    Some of the starry spikes left in.

    Where did you get that little tear?
    I found it waiting when I got here.

    What makes your forehead so smooth and high?
    A soft hand stroked it as I went by.

    What makes your cheek like a warm white rose?
    I saw something better than anyone knows.

    Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss?
    Three angels gave me at once a kiss.

    Where did you get this pearly ear?
    God spoke, and it came out to hear.

    Where did you get those arms and hands?
    Love made itself into hooks and bands.

    Feet, whence did you come, you darling things?
    From the same box as the cherubs' wings.

    How did they all just come to be you?
    God thought about me, and so I grew.

    But how did you come to us, you dear?
    God thought about you, and so I am here.

    This is something I recited to each of my babies and grandbabies, wanted to share it with you Deb. Love, Ann

  13. Wonderful news and beautiful new life!! Congratulations to you, your daughter and son-in-law and the whole family!!

  14. Congratulations, Debs! She's beautiful. Enjoy grandmother-hood!

  15. I told the other Reds in email how envious I am of Debs' tiny Wren! I had my children late, so I'm the right AGE to be a grandmother, but they're most definitely at the right age to be parents.

    Also, Debs, I love "Grammy." That's what her grandkids call my mother. My college roommate recently became a grandmother and she announced she would be known as "Mimi." I like to tease her by calling her Grandma. :-)

  16. We hope they all get to come home today--and, boy, won't that be exciting! In the meantime, I am house-sitting, dog-sitting, and running back and forth to the hospital.

    Isn't it amazing to see how fast babies change in the first few days? And of course we're having lots of fun trying to guess who she's going to resemble most. I can't tell. Right now she just looks like perfect baby to me.

    Any grandma tips for this first-timer???

  17. Definitely NOT the right age to be parents, I mean!

  18. Being a grandma is the absolute best thing in the world, Debs. When she snuggles up to you and whispers "I do love you, Nana". No book award can equal that! Enjoy every moment. You are lucky that she is so close that you can watch her grow.

  19. Julia, I thought I'd like to be "Nana," because my grandmother was "Nanny", and because Nana is so very British. The parents weren't too keen on it, however, so I figured if they didn't like it, it wouldn't stick. So "Grammy" it is, and I'm very happy with that. Of course Wren may come up with something completely different!

    I'm still not sure I feel old enough to be a grandmother--although I certainly am!

  20. Oh, and Ann, I love the poem. We'll see if she has blue eyes:-)

  21. Beautiful family!!! Enjoy that sweet baby!!!❤️😘😍

  22. Congratulations! Grandbabies change everything -- in a good way!

  23. Wonderful pictures. I'm with Julia - want!

  24. Grammy Debs is perfect! And you will be the most perfect grandmother on God's green earth. Wren is an angel and I'm sending a sweet little kiss for the top of that perfectly sweet little head. Congratulations, Debs - to all of you.

  25. Thank you for sharing your joy! All of the pictures are fabulous. Enjoy!

  26. So glad you were there for the birth. I became a grammy 8 months ago. What joy!! And to watch your own child become a parent such a blessing

  27. Congratulations! Beng a grandmother is the best gig ever. Here's how I like to celebrate: each month for the first year, each grandson (all 4 are boys) receives a book from "Gammy's Book Club." First, When We Were Very Young, then high contrast board books, then touch and feel, then lift the flaps, with seasonal stories thrown in along the way. The idea was that I'd stop sending monthly after the first year, but turns out that my daughter produced 3 (preemie) boys in 33 months, so I got in the habit and haven't really stopped. We're moving on to picture books now ... 1/month for all three to enjoy. A great way to stay connected between visits. Enjoy every moment with Wren!

  28. If there's ever a great reason not to be writing, that's it! You look so happy in the photo. Congratulations! See you at LCC!

  29. Congratulations! That first "hold" of a new grand baby is something difficult to describe. Been there twice myself. Glad you were there to enjoy this and glad the next book is on the way.

  30. How wonderful!! Babies are so very precious. We are awaiting our fifth grandchild, due March 4. Just enjoy holding that sweet-smelling, delicious being.

  31. Congratulations Debs and family. Love your granddaughter's name, and she is absolutely beautiful. So happy for all of you and that everything time-wise just fell into place. Enjoy your new role; there's nothing more special.

  32. A new milepost for you! Congratulations Grammy. I'm Grandma, like all the women before me in our family. Works for us! Your daughter looks lovely with her new daughter. I looked like hell warmed over with my baby boy. Good for her!

  33. Congratulation! Grandchildren are the best! Best wishes to you & your lovely family!

  34. Beautiful Wren! There is absolutely nothing better than being a grandmother. Rhys is right on the mark with what she said. And how wonderful that you live so close. That has to be the best, grandchildren running over to your house from next door. I go by Grammy, too, and I enjoy that name. So, congratulations, Grammy Debs on starting the best part of your life. The pictures are wonderful. What a beautiful family all around!

  35. Congratulations! She is beautiful. And I really love the name Wren. I'm in the same boat as Julia, being the appropriate age to be a grandmother but not having an offspring at the right stage of life to make me one yet. So for now, I just vicariously enjoy other people's grand babies. Thanks for sharing!

  36. Wonderful wonderful! Oh what stories you can tell her! Congratulations -- and love to all!

  37. Congratulations Grammy Debs! In August we got to stay with our four-year-old granddaughter while her baby brother was born. Her parents had done such a fabulous job of preparing her for having a new little sibling who would take a lot of the time and attention that she had been having all to herself. We had to leave after a couple of days, and he'd barely opened his eyes by then, but we've been back and are looking forward to another visit soon.

    Papa Jim

  38. Congratulations to you all! My grandmother called grandchildren "the applause of life". Brava!

  39. The Universe knows how to work things out. Congratulations, wishing you all much joy.
    And look forward to seeing you in Phoenix!

  40. Sheila, yes! I will enjoy Phoenix a lot more now, I think:-)

    They will be home from the hospital soon. So excited for the new parents to bring Wren home for the first time...

  41. Talk about being born under a lucky star. All that love! So glad the fates worked things out for you, Debs:-)

  42. Big Congratulations to Grandma Debs and the whole family!! She's gorgeous.

  43. Grammy Deborah Crombie, a better post on Jungle Reds there never was.
    Re: books for Wren. My top pick for a shower gift a book, always, accompanied by those receiving blanket or onesie things.
    My mother, so the story goes, was discovered on the day after my birth to be reading the "welcome to the world" cards to me. Back in 1946, hospital stays were at least a week. We had plenty of time to read together and never really stopped.
    Blessings for Wren and all who love her. Elisabeth

  44. Grammy Deb, you are going to have so much fun with beautiful Wren! Grandchildren give us permission to have our second childhood and play again! Yes, books...that's one of the first things I bought for our four grands and more recently for our first great grandchild. As author Grammy, maybe you could write a book for Wren! Reading to little ones while cuddling up is so special. Congratulations to Mommy and Daddy and the whole family! Looking forward to your new Duncan and Gemma book. I've been missing them.
    Nana Carol xx

  45. congratulations and happiness to all. love the name Wren. lynne Delnegro

  46. Dear Grammy Debs,
    I looked you up to find out when your next book was coming out, but I found so much more!
    Your daughter had a baby girl named Wren... a beautiful song!
    And, you're a GRANDMA!!! The most wonderful and marvelous...honorable and fun thing in the whole wide world!
    Now you have to make time for playing, reading, cuddling, and more!
    Becoming a grand parent is your reward for being a parent! You do the fun stuff...and then you get to leave!
    Congrats to you and yours!
    Tina M. (Grandma Chris)

    P.S. I'll patiently wait for Duncan and Gemma. Grand babies take precedence!

  47. Oh, hooray Debs!!! I could NOT be happier for you and your family!!! My husband and I have no children, and therefor no grands, but I’ve been Aunt Lynda for over 50 years (we now have three great-great-nieces to our credit), so I do have a few tips to pass along.

    Children need time and attention WAY more than they do toys. In fact, children actually need very few toys.

    Children under age two should have little to no exposure to ‘screen time,’ such as TV, smartphones, tablets, etc., as it interferes with their development. There are studies to back this up, which you can find online. has wonderful books for children with informative, accurate annotations. and are terrific resources for imagination-building toys, many made of wood. The silk squares are amazing for children from one on up.

  48. Mazel tov, Debs! I wish her a long, healthy and happy life, and may she bring only more joy.

    And I love her name, its as beautiful as she is.

    My brother is about to become a grandfather for the first time, baby Bella is due on Valentine's Day. Mother and I had a shower for her and guests were asked to bring their favorite children's books. Bella's mom loved it

  49. Congratulations!

    A gift I always give to new moms is a large photo frame I've found online that chronicles the first 12 months of a baby's life. Much like the frames for K-12 but this is for the months 1 through 1 year. It is amazing to see the changes.

  50. Congratulations to the new parents and to the new grandma! I'm so glad you were able to be there.

  51. LOVe her name and that you were able to be there, so very special. Thanks for sharing the photos, too. New life is so very precious. You will adore being a Granny, I promise!