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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Friday flashback: Tie-dye for tots... and older kids, too

I've been publishing Grandma's Briefs for eight years. Which means I have an archive jam-packed with activities and other grandparenting goodies I posted long ago that deserve to be shared again for those grandmothers and others who may have missed them the first time around.

The following is one of my favorite — most simple and most colorful — crafts I've done with my grandsons. Which is why I've chosen it for my first Friday flashback feature.

Enjoy!

TIE-DYE FOR TOTS... AND OLDER KIDS, TOO
Originally published April 23, 2013

My youngest grandson, Mac, doesn't have the penchant for craft-making that his older brother does. Bubby's attention span can handle a craft that has, say, six or eight steps, knowing there's a grand payoff at the end. Mac, on the other hand — because he's younger and always on the go, go, go — can handle a craft with one quarter that number of steps, and instant payoff of some sort is key.

Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), finding a craft that pleases both can be a challenge. This one, though — a tie-dye project of sorts — was a success. Mac created one or two and was done; Bubby made one after another until the food coloring bottles were nearly empty. Yes, success!

tie-dye-craft-for-kids

What you need:

• Coffee filters

• Food coloring...

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A grand St. Patrick's Day performance: Get Your Green On!

st. patrick's day jibjab

In preparation for St. Patrick's Day, my grandsons, Jim, and I have been putting in long hours of practice on a special performance for our Grandma's Briefs friends.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Bubby, Mac, Jak, PawDad and Gramma in Get Your Green...

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7 things long-distance grandparents do that local grandparents don't

My name is Lisa and I'm a long-distance grandparent.

My grandsons live more than 800 miles away.

Following are a smattering of things — seven, to be exact — that I and other long-distance grandparents do that grandparents who live near their grandkiddos likely don't.

(Featuring photos from my grandsons' most recent visit in November.)

long-distance grandparents

SEVEN
Stock up on Priority Mail Flat-Rate shipping boxes.

The mailman delivers empty boxes to my house. Free...

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Running for funds... and fun! Plus, GRAND Social No. 227 link party for grandparents

Running for funds... and fun!

When my daughters were in school, fundraising typically revolved around candy bars. Moms and dads, grandparents and other friends and family were encouraged to purchase a chocolate bar — or a boxful for the really enthusiastic supporters — to help cover the costs of school activities, sporting equipment, and so forth.

Kids nowadays (yeah, I sound like a grandma, don't I?) raise funds in a far more healthy manner. At least that's the case with my grandsons. The school both Bubby and Mac attend makes their students run for the money. Run laps, that is. And grandparents and others sponsor the children on a per lap basis or a lump sum, if preferred.

It's a far more healthy way of raising money for one's school. Far more healthy for the students as well as avid supporters.

Bubby and Mac ran for funds — and fun — last week. And racked up thirty-five plus laps each!

brothers fundraising run

Such accomplished little runners, those kiddos are. Thanks heavens Jim and I...

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Grandma's love is SO big!

From the time my first baby girl was born, I had a penchant for grabbing the arms of beloved little ones — especially teensy tiny ones — holding them above the babe's head and professing the sing-song sentiment of how big she or he is.

Brianna Lee is SO big! I'd trill.

Then, Megan Rae is SO big!

Andrea Lynn is SO big!

Followed by Bubby, then Mac, then Jak being oh SO big, too, as each tiny one grew into being not so tiny at all.

I haven't sing-songed the SO Big song in quite some time. Yet, when I saw on Facebook the photo Megan posted last week of Bubby and Mac's first day of school — Bubby entering third grade, Mac full-week morning prekindergarten* — my first thought was, "Bubby and Mac are SO big!"

brothers back to school 

Oh, how I would have loved to...

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Wherein Facebook eases Grandma's eyes

I haven't seen my grandsons in two months and nine days, give or take an hour or two.

I miss the goofballs, to say the least.

With no visits currently on the calendar — neither them to my place nor me to theirs — a social media share such as this one that Megan posted yesterday on Facebook is a...

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Pinterest prize find: Build a Dinosaur

What in the world did grandmas do before Pinterest? I'd be half the grandma I am — at least in terms of the eats and activities I share with my grandsons — if not for the food and fun pinned and promoted by folks far more crafty then me.

Take for instance the super simple puzzle fun I shared with my dino-loving middle grandson, Mac. Without my stumbling upon a Pinterest pin leading to this post by a clever mama, Mac would have never had the opportunity to see how a few circles, triangles, and squares can be pieced together to create his favorite creature.

Now, I surely could simply say: Check out that post cuz it's perty darn cool. But then I'd have to come up with a post of some other sort to fill this space today. More importantly, though, I'd have no reason to share the photos of Mac making his dinos, photos that prove how Pinterest-worthy this quick, easy, and inexpensive activity actually is.

With that in mind, here are pics of the day Mac and I created the clever, captivating cutouts during my desert visit in April.

build a dinosaur

What you need:

• 1 sheet of craft foam (green...

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