How Benjamin rolls! Plus, GRAND Social No. 342 link party for grandparents

How Benjamin rolls! Plus, GRAND Social No. 342 link party for grandparents

How Benjamin rolls!

Saturday was Jim’s birthday, and Brianna and Patrick arranged a family gathering at a new burger spot in town in recognition of burgers being Jim’s forever favorite food.

It was great to have all our local immediate family in attendance.

Kudos to Tyler for managing to get a shot that included everyone at the table!

While we were all gathered together to celebrate Jim, we soon were raucously regaling Benjamin for a milestone move made right before our eyes.

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Big bro bonding! Plus GRAND Social No. 326 link party for grandparents

Big bro bonding! Plus GRAND Social No. 326 link party for grandparents

Big bro bonding!

James has for 10 years lived in the “little brother” position, having two older half brothers who are eight and eleven years his senior. It’s taken him no time at all, though, to settle in as Benjamin’s big brother, tenderly balancing his adored baby bro on the Bobby like a pro.

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Peak preggers pic! Plus GRAND Social No. 324 link party for grandparents

Peak preggers pic! Plus GRAND Social No. 324 link party for grandparents

Peak preggers pic!

James had his last regular season football game on Saturday and when Brianna came over before we all headed to the game—one determining whether James and his teammates make the league playoffs—I asked Brianna to pose for a final pre-baby pic.

With induction scheduled for Thursday, this is surely the peak of pregnancy for my girl, the final photo before baby arrives.

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Grand spinners from Krokotak! Plus GRAND Social No. 316 link party for grandparents

Grand spinners from Krokotak! Plus GRAND Social No. 316 link party for grandparents

Grand spinners from Krokotak!

I'm always on the lookout for cool and creative crafts for kids. My grandkids in particular. Because the majority of my grandkiddos live more than 800 miles away, I rarely execute said crafts with my grandsons, but I do love to collect ideas for "one day." (Much like I collect cookbooks and recipes... yet make the same standards again and again.)

Anyway, if you like Grandma's Briefs on Facebook, you may already know one of my favorite sources for clever activities for kids is Krokotak. I'm not sure what the name means or who's behind the magic, but I…

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Grandma challenge: How full can she fill forty-four hours?

Grandma challenge: How full can she fill forty-four hours?

My desert-dwelling grandsons and their parents visited my house last week—for forty-four hours. The family had taken a road trip to Vail for a wedding, and Jim and I were fortunate they fit in a stop at our place on their way back home.

I was thrilled to host them and was determined to squish as much into the visit as possible, unsure of when I'd see Brayden, Camden, and Declan (as well as Megan and Preston, too) again.

As all three boys have birthdays in June…

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Cruisin' Colorado in the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek

Cruisin' Colorado in the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek

Last month, I had the opportunity to drive a vehicle for review unlike any test drive auto I'd driven before: the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium.

Now, I have previously driven Subarus. And I've taken plenty of SUVs (small, large, crossover, mini and more) for spins for review. The novel aspect of this auto, though, was the color.

It was orange.

Sunshine Orange, to be exact.

Which threw me a bit at first, I must admit. But the sunny, sporty hue...

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Seeds and sanguine expectations

Seeds and sanguine expectations

Last week, James and I tackled the springtime task of starting a vegetable garden at Gramma's—something I've never attempted in the past due to an egregiously non-green thumb. After seeing how well Brianna's garden grew last summer, I decided to give it a shot at my place.

So James and I planned, prepped, and planted with sanguine expectations seedlings would soon sprout.

Our eventual bounty will include...

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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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