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Thank you for visiting Grandma's Briefs, where I write on the good, bad, humorous and heartwarming of being a baby boomer, grandparent, parent to adult children, wife and writer. Peruse the place, leave a comment or two, and feel free to email me any time at

Meet the family

 grandma and grandpa
Lisa (me) and Jim (aka PawDad)

blended family
Brianna (oldest daughter) and hubby Patrick with his son James 

 grandsons and parents
Megan (middle daughter) with hubby Preston and Declan, Camden, and Brayden

youngest and her fiance
Andrea (youngest daughter) and hubby Matt


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    Baby (Grand)Mama

    I've always thought I would do absolutely anything for my daughters. But a video I ran across this weekend has me questioning the lengths to which my altruism would go.

    The following video is an update on an Ohio woman who, at 56 years old, served as the surrogate mother for her daughter, carrying and giving birth to her daughter's triplets -- her grandchildren. Her daughter, a mother of two teens, had medical issues that prevented her from carry another child. And she and her second husband wanted a baby together oh-so-badly.

    So Mom/Grandma stepped in. "It's just another thing I'm doing for my daughter," she said.

    I really don't think I'm that big of a person. I truly love my daughters and would want to help in any way possible if they were unable to have children. I think. But maybe not. I honestly don't know -- and hope the girls never ask, if all truth be told.

    Luckily, getting pregnant has proved to be a pretty easy feat for the females in my family and Jim's, and it seems the ability has been passed down to our girls ... so far. Of course, Bubby is the only grandchild. And Megan and Preston have not yet given it a shot at a second kiddo. Brianna and Andie are not at a point in their lives where kids are even a consideration.

    But what if they do have problems having babies? Would I really go so far in helping out my girls that I'd carry their children for them?? My pregnancies and deliveries were all pretty easy ... and natural. And I'm still relatively young -- quite a bit younger than that Ohio woman. But I honestly don't know if if I'd be willing to go through it all again as a gift to one of my daughters, to ensure that I'll have more grandchildren.

    Apparently there was no question nor hesitation about it for the Ohio mother/grandmother. She even says she'd do it again if any of her other kids asked her to.

    This isn't new news and many of you may already know the story. But I thought the following interview with Meredith Viera was interesting, and the fact that the triplets are coming up on their first birthday Oct. 11 gives Grandma and Mom a little more perspective on what they did. If you didn't catch it on last week's Today Show, check it out. Then let me know if you think YOU would do such a thing for your daughter -- or if you younger readers would ask your mother to carry your kids for you if you couldn't.

    Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy


    Fave photo of the week

    Bubby visits a children's museum for the first time.


    The Saturday Post

    Tomorrow, Sept. 13, is National Grandparents Day. And contrary to the belief of most cynics (and I must include myself in that group on this particular belief), Grandparents Day was not created by Hallmark as a way to bump up their sales during a slow time of the year.

    Nope, chalk it up to the efforts of Mrs. Hermine Beckett Hana, who, in 1961, made it her life's goal to educate the young in the community about the important contributions senior citizens made in the community.

    After years of Hermine's valiant efforts, in 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation designating the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. The purpose of the day: "... to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer."

    Now, that's all fine and good, and it's info that's been clogging up my news feeds and Google alerts for the past week. But what I just learned this morning -- and what I want to pass along to everyone here -- is that, believe it or not, there is an official National Grandparents Day song! It's called, creatively enough, "A Song for Grandma and Grandpa," penned by songwriter Johnny Prill.

    And thanks to the wonder of the Internet, I can present to you this cheesy heartwarming video of precious children belting it out for Nana and Papa! Enjoy!


    Time for a haiku ... contest!

    Many of the websites and blogs I visit feature contests. There are photo caption contests, recipe contests, My Especially Adorable Kiddo contests and My Favorite First Line From a Book contests. (Okay, there's not really a contest for submitting a favorite first line -- at least not that I've found -- but that would be a cool one, if you ask me.)

    Therefore, I'd say it's high time for a contest component to be added to Grandma's Briefs.


    Starting today, each Friday post will feature an opportunity for one and all to enter their very own haiku and win fabulous (okay, not really all that fabulous) prizes from the Grandma's Briefs prize stash!

    Why haiku? I wanted my contest to give readers an opportunity to express themselves. But I wanted them to express themselves briefly ... to go along with the Briefs part of Grandma's Briefs. Haikus were the perfect solution!

    You all remember how a haiku works, right? Haikus consist of 17 syllables in three phrases of five, seven, five syllables. There's technically a whole lot more to it than that, but we'll leave the semantics to the haiku pros and work with the basics here.

    So each Friday, I'll post my very own haiku on the brand-new Grandma's Briefs Friday Haiku Contest page, along with a theme word for the week. Readers are encouraged to then comment to my post with their very own haiku that includes the theme word. (Only one entry per reader please; over achievers will have to hold Haikus 2-11 for following weeks.) Readers are also welcome to comment on haikus left by their fellow commenters, so come back regularly to check out your competition.

    I'll choose a winner at the end of each week and post the winning haiku on Fridays, right here for all to ooh and aah over!

    And yes, there will be prizes! I'll award the weekly winner of the Friday Haiku something from my prize stash. It may be sweet, it may be silly, it may be something cool from the antique store or it may be something cheap and stupid from the Walgreen's checkout aisle. Who knows! But I'll surely award you accordingly for your creative efforts, posting a photo of the prize right alongside the winning entry of the week.

    So get your creative juices flowing and head over to the Friday Haiku Contest page. Make me laugh, make me cry, make me want to give you a tchotchke!


    Royal briefs

    I've had a few people ask me if the briefs in the photo header above are mine. No, they're not; that's a picture I purchased. But if I had chosen to photograph and display my real undies to the world, that would have been my choice, not the doings of some disrespectful public.

    Not the case with Queen Victoria. Seems the discovery of a royal set of briefs -- bloomers and matching chemise -- has created quite a hubbub across the globe.

    The undergarments, apparently handed down to a servant after the queen's death, will be on display at Kensington Palace in the near future as they're now considered to be of "national importance."

    Importance? Yeah, right. I think it's more the shock and awe of seeing the 52-inch waist on the bloomers that will attract gawkers.

    Poor Victoria. I'm sure that's something Britain's longest-reigning monarch would surely rather have kept secret.


    Fast food firsts

    As I've mentioned before, I'm so thankful for the technology that allows Megan to share with me the big -- and the small -- moments of Bubby's daily existence. One of the shared moments this week was of the small variety, but still pretty darn cute.

    Bubby had his first taste of fast food over the weekend, by way of his very own kids' meal!

    The lemonade was a little difficult to reach with a straw (his first experience with a straw, too):

    But the chicken nuggets were to die for:

    "The big guy ate all of those, no joke!" Megan said. "He LOVES chicken nuggets!"


    A new role

    Jim and I joined millions of other Americans and hit the road for the long Labor Day weekend. Our destination: South Dakota to visit some of his family.

    Visits to "the heads" -- aka Mount Rushmore -- or Crazy Horse weren't on the agenda; we've done that tourist trip more times than we can count. Instead, we spent precious time with precious relatives.

    We hung out at the ranch, where we were treated by Jim's sister Sue to heaping dishes of homemade potato salad, cucumber pickles (yum!), watermelon, cantaloupe, corn on the cob, juicy ribs, pork steaks, burgers and more, all served with a generous side of great (and sometimes goofy) conversation.

    We visited with Granny, who took leave from the nursing home for a few hours each day and who, at times, looked a little more like the pre-stroke Granny we remember.

    We were invited to an impromptu, BYOB garage concert by a band of jovial elderly guitar gurus, picking and a strumming away on tunes they've likely played for more years than I've been alive. The highlight of the show was when their young drummer, a gorgeous and soft-spoken gal of 21, picked up her own guitar and belted out songs eerily reminiscent of Janis Joplin. This slight little thing from small town South Dakota outperformed every up-and-coming musician I've ever seen or heard on America's Got Talent or American Idol. Keep your eyes and ears open for this sure-to-be-a-star named Kristen.

    And we were surprised to find our relatives were fellow fans of HGTV's Design Star -- and we all gathered in front of the TV Sunday evening to watch another nail-biting episode and find out which of the wannabe designers would be the most recent to have their show canceled. (You go, Antonio!!)

    But one of the main things Jim and I did over the weekend was get a little more practice at one of our newest roles in life. Because we'd taken the trip without any of our kids, we weren't Mom and Dad, we weren't Grandma and Grandpa. There was no child -- young or adult -- who was immediately related to us nor for which we were responsible for their well-being, happiness, contentment or questions. Nope, we were simply Aunt Lisa and Uncle Jim. And Great Aunt Lisa and Great Uncle Jim. In fact, with the littlest one there being the baby of Jim's great nephew, we were even GREAT Great Aunt Lisa and GREAT Great Uncle Jim.


    And we loved every minute of it! We felt privileged to be a part of the holiday weekend goings on of Jim's sister and her husband, along with three of their sons and wives and families of youngsters -- which included a few of the teen and early adult variety, who probably wouldn't appreciate being called youngsters.

    Our greatest joy in life is being parents and grandparents, but Jim and I are finding that it's also nice, every once in a while, to take a back seat and just be the background relatives, the ones that are not main players in a child's life -- but can still be a worthy competitor in a mean round of thumb wrestling. We don't always have to be the one answering to "Mom" or "Dad" or blowing out a sizzling marshmallow before it falls off the stick. Or keeping the tummies filled and the necessary naptimes on the agenda.

    Of course, being ever the grandma, I did get a few pointers to add to my bag of tricks for that role, though. I learned from Grandma Sue that colored tin cups are great to have around when several grandkids visit at once so they each have one to claim for the visit and that mini boxes of breakfast cereal make super, portable snacks for the kiddos. And I learned from nephew Justin how to make a campfire starter from cotton balls and Vaseline so the marshmallow roasting can quickly get underway.

    I hope you all had an equally enjoyable -- and enlightening -- Labor Day weekend!


    Days of Labor

    In recognition of Labor Day, I thought I'd share with you my most bountiful blessings that have come from past days of labor:

    1982 -- Brianna


    1983 -- Megan


    1985 -- Andrea


    2008 -- Bubby


    Have a safe and happy Labor Day!