Introducing my real grandsons

When I first bandied about the idea of blogging about being a grandma in 2009, my one and only grandson was one year old. As he'd be the star of the show, I asked my middle daughter — Megan, mother to my grandboy — if I could post photos of him and stories about him... as long as I didn't use his real name, didn't reveal where he lived. For safety reasons.

Megan not only gave me permission to share stories and such about my grandson with the world, she allowed me to use his nickname, too, in place of his real name. Thus Bubby made his debut on Gramma's blog, on Grandma's Briefs.

Three years later came grandson No. 2. I initially dubbed him Birdya nickname Megan hated and had no qualms about telling me so. Just call him Mac because it's kinda sorta like his name, she urged. Mac it was!

Three years after Mac came another grandson. I nicknamed him Jak. Which had absolutely nothing to do with his real name, but it rolled off the tongue (and blog posts) when naming the three boys: Bubby, Mac, and Jak.

I've been quite diligent about using those nicknames for my grandsons. At times I'd have to scurry to the computer hours after a post had been published when upon rereading, I'd notice I screwed up and used one or more boys' real name and needed to quickly correct it. If photos of the boys included a name on a T-shirt, artwork, awards, gift tags or such, I blurred them out with photo editing software of some sort.

I was determined to never reveal the reality of my grandsons' long deliberated over names. Adorable one carefully chosen according to Megan's parameters that demanded her kids' names have two syllables, like Mom's and Dad's names, and ended with the same sound, like Mom's and Dad's names. (Which will make sense once you see their names.)

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a writer for Upworthy.com. She wanted to interview me about how I stay connected with my long-distance dearies using techy sorts of stuff. And she wanted to use the real names of those dearies with whom I connect in the article.

Names I'd never shared online. Gah!

I asked Megan if that might be okay. It was more than okay, she expressed. In fact, Preston couldn't stand the nicknames I used for his sons, she revealed, and would be pleased as punch if I'd just use their real names in everything published about them. Including my blog posts.

So I provided the real names for that article. Which you can read by clicking the title below — after reading the rest of this post, of course:

One grandmother has found a way to help her daughter out from miles away

Upworthy article on grandmother

Well, now that the real names...

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A cautionary tale: Look before they leap

Poor Bud — and Brianna — learned a painful lesson the hard way not too long ago. A lesson in something I never really considered, as a parent or as a grandparent.

See, on a recent sunny day, Bud and Brianna headed to the local skatepark. Bud, a budding skateboarder, was excited to spend a couple hours trying out a park he'd not yet frequented. (Truth be told, I think he had frequented very few skate parks — if any — since his passion for boarding began.)

I had babysat Bud that morning, and he mentioned several times the fun he looked forward to that afternoon.

To say the kid was pumped is an understatement.

After lunch that day, Brianna and Bud headed to the skate park. As soon as they arrived, Bud could contain himself no longer. He quickly donned his helmet, grabbed his board, and raced to his first obstacle: an awesome, amazing, yet seemingly (relatively) safe jump.

It looked like this:

skatepark obstacle 

Bud figured he'd go up the angled ramp on the front side and down...

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Bonus grandma

making paper dinosaur

My three desert-dwelling grandsons — Bubby, Mac, and Jak — call me Gramma. I am their grandma, and they call me Gramma.

My local step-grandson — Bud, whom I see only every once in a while as he lives with Patrick (his dad) and Brianna every other week — calls me Lisa. Which is what I told him he's welcome to call me. He calls Jim by his first name, too. He used our first names when we first met, when his dad was dating...

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Grandma takes on Tarzan

When a mother becomes a grandmother, she welcomes into her brood not only the human children of her children but the four-legged lovies of those kids and grandkids, too.

I'm talking grandpets.

I've taken care of grandpets galore throughout the eight-plus years I've been a grandma. Mostly canine critters such as Andrea's Luke and Brianna's Hunter and Max.

Over Labor Day Weekend, Brianna, Patrick, and Bud travelled to the desert to play in the pool and hike through hot, dry hills with Bubby, Mac, Jak, and their parents. I was charged with watching granddogs Hunter and Max plus their feline family members, my grandcats Alice and Mackenzie.

Plus another grandpet, one that belongs to Bud.

Meet Tarzan, Bud's "crested eyelash gecko":

crested eyelash gecko 

When I became grandma to kids and critters, I never...

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Super zuke! Plus, GRAND Social No. 167 link party for grandparents

Super zuke!

I'm not the greatest at gardening, but before I left to visit Bubby, Mac, and Jak nearly two weeks ago, I did notice I had a few zucchini growing in my garden. They weren't all that big, so I decided to just let them grow while I was away.

From the looks of this one, I probably should have pulled it before I left:

large zucchini 

Bud held up the super zuke for me to photograph before he, Brianna, and...

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Operation Wasp Annihilation

My husband and I ate dinner outside on our deck on Saturday evening. As we noshed on our nummy gyros from our favorite Greek restaurant, I had to keep swatting away what I thought were bees.

"What the heck's up with all the freakin' bees?" I asked Jim.

One quick look around—and up—told us exactly what was up... and that it wasn't bees. It was wasps! A huge melon-sized hive of them just above the door to our garage.

The size of the hive floored me! I immediately...

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Q-tips® Darts Knock Down

Have some bored kids on your hands?

Need a quick way to entertain them using materials you have on hand?

Are the kids about seven years old or older?

If you answered yes, yes, and yes, this is exactly what you were looking for: Q-tips® Darts Knock Down. It's simple carnival-style fun for everyone. Well, at least those old enough to not inhale the Q-tips® darts while blowing them through a straw.

Q-tips® darts knock down game

What you need...

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