Melissa Gilbert had been anxiously waiting for the call for days. “So, so happy to tell you…Ripley Lou Brinkman arrived!” she gushed on Instagram. “So proud of my son and his wife. She was a warrior through the whole process, and he was the perfect partner to her. [Tim] and I are Nana and Papa to this sweet Angel!”

Yes, believe it or not, Little House on the Prairie’s “Half-Pint” has become a grandma! The actress, 57, who rose to fame at age 9 playing Laura Ingalls, and her husband of eight years, actor Timothy Busfield, 64, delighted in the news of their granddaughter’s June 8 delivery.

Ripley Lou, who weighed 7 pounds, six ounces, is the daughter of Dakota Brinkman, 32, Melissa’s son from her previous marriage to actor Bo Brinkman, and his wife, Marissa.

Melissa Gilbert Who Recently Welcomed Granddaughter Ripley Has Wanted Be Grandma Forever
Courtesy of Melissa Gilbert/Instagram

Melissa Gilbert.

“Melissa has wanted to be a grandma forever,” confides a friend of the actress. “She loves kids and misses having babies around.”

Melissa and Timothy, who live in Highland Lake, N.Y., wasted no time making arrangements to visit newborn Ripley and her parents in Austin, Texas.

“Melissa’s only issue is that she wishes they lived closer,” admits the friend. “She jokes that if it were up to her, she’d move right in, but she doesn’t want to overstay her welcome.”

Fortunately, Melissa and Timothy get along really well with her son and daughter-in-law. “Melissa and Timothy are very lucky. Dakota is a great guy, and they adore Marissa, who’s like a daughter to them. They’re so happy the two found each other,” confides the friend, adding that life couldn’t be more perfect now that Ripley has come along.

“Melissa loves the name. The baby looks like a Ripley Lou. It’s a perfect fit.” It’s likely that Melissa’s fans will be hearing a lot more about her granddaughter in the coming months and years.

“My feed is going to get boring if you’re not into babies,” warned Melissa when she shared new photos of Ripley on Instagram. “I’m a very proud Nana!”