24 In Women Now

Women Now: Preparing for the Next Generation’s Arrival

Everyone’s waiting for Baby Foxy


The mother-to-be had plenty of worries about her baby shower starting with the weather. Records showed that March 31st had been a warm and sunny day last year and we expected nothing less this year. Caitlin’s longest friend (known her since birth) was hosting the baby shower in her apartment in the Mission of San Francisco. Molly reassured Caitlin that her huge deck would easily fit round tables to hold the thirty guests.

But as the day got closer, my hormonal daughter was swimming in tears. “It’s supposed to be raining and thirty people is too many for inside Molly’s apartment. We need the deck!”

“Honey,” I said, “weather forecasts always change. We can’t control the weather. What are you planning to wear?”

Did you see that wise maneuver, how I took her mind off the weather and put it on outfits?

The group outfit texts started coming in. Her big sister Erin and I were getting variations on Caitlin’s floral dress. I joined in and started texting possibilities that involved the pink gingham shirt that Caitlin wanted me to wear. Oh, did I tell you? It’s a girl! Our baby is due on Mother’s Day. My friends have been saying to me, “I’m excited for her but I’m REALLY excited for you!”

I’ve never been a grandma. I’m not even sure what to expect!


Texting Caitlin porch pictures

Caitlin is the most steady, grounded person you can imagine. If there’s a big job to do or you’re in an emergency, she’s the one you want around. She takes care of whatever needs taking care of and she does it quickly, right under your nose, with no fanfare. Like during the Sonoma County fires in 2017: We’re evacuating our home and I’m anxiously fretting over what to get out of the house. She arrives with long file boxes to transport my business files out of my office. I’m trying to think while all 5’2″ of her is lugging heavy, filled boxes to her car and coming back for more.


Wine Country fires

Caitlin manages the evacuation project


Right now while she’s making a baby, I’m sensing when it’s best to give her space or take responsibilities away from her. She’s a little touchy. When she told me to wear the pink gingham shirt to her shower, I wasn’t going to challenge her request—no way!

I wanted to please her, to please her like crazy, so I sent texts of gingham shirt outfits.

“You said you wanted me to wear the shirt with white jeans, but really?” Can you see my lack of enthusiasm in this first porch pic?



“Or, what about orange and pink together?” I said.



What I didn’t tell her about this next picture is that I’m wearing the white pants I showed her a few days earlier, ones she nixed because “Those look too gramma.” Was that a moment to remind her that I’m going to be a gramma? Of course not!


Saying yes to the baby shower outfit

This outfit got a yes from Caitlin


This last picture got double hearts. Erin hearted it after Caitlin hearted it. Whew! I got two things I wanted—to wear the gramma pants and make her happy.


Blue skies in the Mission and all is perfect

My girl didn’t have to worry about the weather after all. Look at those skies! And it was warm outside!


San Francisco blue skies

On a rooftop in the Mission


And the good times just kept rolling in

Caitlin’s Aunt Wendy from Fergus Falls, MN made her this quilt. Wendy bought the fabric in a great quilt store in Perham where Dad lives. I got a peek at it earlier in the week. I couldn’t wait for her to open this gift!


Wendy’s homemade quilt for Baby Foxy


And there were stories friends shared about Caitlin. I shared one of her heroic moments in my life and we all insisted she make a speech.



Next up, here’s Caitlin with her second mom, Pamela who flew in from Tucson, AZ to be there. Pamela and her family lived in the house on the other side of our backyard. Pamela’s husband, Slim, made a gate between the two yards called Caitlin’s Gate. It made it easy for Caitlin to go visit her bestie, Molly. They are only three months apart. Pamela and I were both pregnant when we moved to San Anselmo from the Central Coast.



I have the honor of being Molly’s second mom. So there’s the family of women: Molly, Pamela, Caitlin, Me, and big sister, Erin. It was fun to see this pic on Molly’s Instagram where she wrote, “Yesterday we celebrated family. These are my sisters, not by blood but by consistently showing up for each other and always being there no matter what. For unconditional love by choice. Spending a weekend with my mom and also my second mom made me the happiest.” Me too!



Here’s my friend Joan, one of my besties who became a grandmother last July.


Caitlin and Gramma Joan

Wrapping up the day

Caitlin had a day full of friends, family, and fun. The party was officially over when the after-party began. Matt, the baby daddy came over as well as Erin’s boyfriend. We spent three more hours sitting on the deck laughing and telling stories. Caitlin’s pals have known each other since grade school. They’ve played softball and basketball together, traveled together, and continue to be loyal friends.


Chelsea, Caitlin, and Karson who traveled in for the day from Hawaii


Caitlin and her friends

Friends forever!


It’s funny, sitting around the table while they recounted tales going way back, I was time traveling. I had the feeling of being a little kid sitting with the grownups listening to them teach each other and tell stories. I see myself out on the North Dakota prairies at Aunt Amy’s farmhouse kitchen table. Tall, lean, handsome Uncle Ernest is there with Mom and Dad. The adults have just finished playing cards and are drinking hot black coffee. The laughs and giggles continue as they travel down memory lane probably some stretching the truth every so often. At six or seven years old, I don’t want to be anywhere other than around this table with this group of characters called family.

Back in the Mission on this sunny day, I’m sitting with my girls, their beaus, Pamela, and the girls’ friends. I don’t want to be anywhere else. I’m so happy to belong to this vibrant group with deep ties. Caitlin says it best. “Baby girl has a strong village.” Oh, she does.


Heading back to Sonoma

Before I left, I changed into my setup outfit (although everyone else did most of the work) and packed the car with flowers Erin had arranged and ordered me to take home. Caitlin said, “Wait, I want a picture of my family.”

I don’t know if I’ve heard a more beautiful sentence.

Here we are, the family.


Matt, Caitlin and baby girl, soon-to-be gramma, and Auntie Erin



Pretty soon the world will turn upside down. There will be a baby girl with a stunning wardrobe, her own idea of sleep times, and new parents will ride the highs and lows of being Mom and Dad. The beat goes on.

All I feel right now is love. I’ll keep you posted!

I know there are veteran grandmas in this community. I’ll be joining you soon! As always, I love to hear your shares.


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  • Reply
    Susan D
    April 3, 2019 at 12:43 am

    How did I miss this news? I read all your blogs. Congratulations to you all. I look forward to seeing the new addition to your lovely family.
    Susan D

  • Reply
    Mary Dana
    April 3, 2019 at 2:15 am

    Oh, Brenda! That baby girl is going to have a beautiful, crazy-caring grandma! Just think of all the wonderful memories you’ll soon be making with her. You’ll be a treasure for her, in the now and in her future.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2019 at 3:14 am

    Congratulations! This is the best of times! We became grandparents for the first time in January. I’m totally in love all over again! Such joy…your heart will burst with happiness. The best part is we don’t have to be responsible for them! We get to just enjoy! Here’s to you gram! As I told my daughter-in-law, you don’t have to be a perfect mom, because perfect is boring. You are however the perfect mother for your child!!! I am applying that same wisdom to being our little girls grandma. Now go shopping and buy lots of books to read her!!!!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2019 at 4:15 am

    Congratulations! I am so excited for y’all!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2019 at 5:27 am

    Being a grandma is absolutely the best thing in life ! Enjoy every moment . Your loving presence in your granddaughter’s life will be in her heart forever. It’s a powerful role for us as grandmothers !

  • Reply
    Diane B
    April 3, 2019 at 5:32 am

    Congrats to you all! The first is magical. I have 7 now and although I shouldn’t admit it, the first was a very special bond. I could not get enough of him and as he grew up all these years, I still feel it when we are together. We can sit and talk about anything and my heart sings. As the others came there was love but it was not the same ( the rest came rather quickly and not the same time to spend with each individually). I can remember once in particular at a family gathering someone finding us tucked away in another room chatting and he was only 3 or 4. His mom says ” I knew it” Are you talking to her now so she knows you voice when she arrives? So happy for you.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2019 at 5:33 am

    “Grandma” is the best title ever. We are expecting our sixth in Sept. I love this post. Congratulations to you all!

  • Reply
    Janine Welsh
    April 3, 2019 at 6:15 am

    What a magical time for your family❤️! I remember when my first grandson was born (23 years ago ) how beautifully emotional it was. Enjoy the ride, it is like no other you have ever taken!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Beautiful day for a beautiful soon to be mommy! Love you all so much! ❤️❤️xoxoxo

  • Reply
    April 3, 2019 at 6:30 am

    WHAT A GIFT for BABY to be due on MOTHERS DAY!!!!!!
    I have a feeling THAT Golden Gate Bridge and The ROBIN WILLIAMS tunnel will be seeing A LOT of YOU!
    I said my FIRST words in that TUNNEL!!!!!!!!!!!
    “WHATS DAT?”
    The Bridge cost 50 cents to cross too!!!!!!

  • Reply
    jodie filogomo
    April 3, 2019 at 6:54 am

    I laughed about the grandma pants. It goes to show that it’s how you combine things that can really change a look!!
    Congrats and how super fun!!

  • Reply
    Linda B
    April 3, 2019 at 7:25 am

    My first grandchild is due about three weeks after yours, Brenda! I cannot wait. . . In about three weeks I am headed to Corvallis for a weekend, so I can see my daughter at this advanced stage of pregnancy. Her friends kindly moved the shower they were planning to that weekend. So many people I know have echoed what earlier comments have said–that being a grandmother is the best! As soon as I retire at the end of next month, my husband and I are heading back to Oregon, for the whole summer. I hope this little girl doesn’t come earlier than I get there, but it’s her call, not mine!

  • Reply
    Sally Gregory
    April 3, 2019 at 7:51 am

    I love being a grandmother. My daughter was born on May 12th which this year is Mother’s day and she hates having her birthday so close to or on Mother’s Day each year. Just a heads up. Then she had twins born on Valentine’s Day so she lost out on that special day also. But she loves her boys.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2019 at 9:08 am

    Congratulations to all on the imminent arrival of a baby girl! I am a step grandma,not a blood one, but my four precious granddaughters are the loves of my life. I was blessed to be in the delivery room when two of them arrived. There is something so pure, sweet and intimate about these relationships. Treasure every moment. They do grow up fast although for those first sleepless months it may not seem so.

  • Reply
    Karen H.
    April 3, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Welcome to the special group called Grammas! You are going to be over the moon Brenda! So happy for you and your family. Looks like it was a fun day. Blessings to you all, and especially baby girl!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2019 at 10:09 am

    My five month old granddaughter (my first) squealed, grinned and reached out for me when I walked in the door the other day. You just wait…..there is a reason they are called bundles of joy. You are going to be blown away by how much more love you have to give. Congratulations to you all!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2019 at 10:38 am

    You and I are living parallel lives! My daughter is due April 22 and we had her shower March 17. I was worried about the weather, it had been raining cats and dogs here in So Cal and I didn’t think the house would hold 30 people. I monitored the weather and thankfully it was a beautiful sunny day so that we could expand out to the deck. I don’t know when I’ve seen my daughter so happy and she too is having a girl.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    Dear BK, this post lifted my heart. Thank you Xxxx <3

  • Reply
    Karen Winfield
    April 4, 2019 at 12:12 am

    I forget who said “You don’t love your grandchildren, you fall in love with them.” As a Nanna of two I say “brace yourself”

  • Reply
    La semaine d'une gourmette
    April 4, 2019 at 12:39 am

    Congratulations! I loved my grandmother so much, I can’t wait to be a grandmother myself, it’s a special bond!

  • Reply
    Chris from Indu
    April 4, 2019 at 3:29 am

    Congrats from a recent new Grammy here in Indy! So .Happy,

    BTW, love the outfit on your friend, Pamela! I’m thinking that might work for my summer style….if you happen to know the source of the dress/tunic I’d greatly appreciate a reference!

  • Reply
    April 4, 2019 at 4:46 am

    So excited for you & giganticly jealous! You all looked amazing at the baby shower. Miss you.

  • Reply
    April 5, 2019 at 2:59 am

    You have no concept of what’s ahead. The love u will feel is indescribable. What a wonder is in store for you. There is no other like it. Enjoy. The circle will be complete.

  • Reply
    Katherine Cramer
    April 5, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Exciting news and sweet anticipation for Brenda and all her Dear Ones. May you all find time to savour these days. Baby Foxy is in for such a circle of Beauty. I hope she loves it all. Do Tom Boys still love fashion? I am reminded of Billy Bigelow Soliloquy from Carousel. You know Baby Foxy is a girl. Surely Baby Foxy will love the family business. Only time will reveal. There is plenty of room for it all. Best Wishes to Family and embracing new roles.

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