Welcome, Benjamin! Plus, GRAND Social No. 325 link party for grandparents

Welcome, Benjamin! Plus, GRAND Social No. 325 link party for grandparents

Welcome, Benjamin!

My long-awaited (local) grandson has arrived! Last Wednesday, in fact. As his entry into the world—and Mama Brianna’s arms—didn’t go quite as planned, I’ve followed Brianna’s and Patrick’s lead in delaying celebratory announcements online and otherwise.

Jim and I did get to meet the amazing bundle of joy while word was still under wraps, though. (A true perk of being local grandparents for the first time!)

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Flashback: 9 things I've kept 'for the grandkids'

Flashback: 9 things I've kept 'for the grandkids'

Dear readers: This Flashback feature originally appeared on Grandma's Briefs July 22, 2010. Thank you for reading this updated rerun!

My daughters have been grown and gone for quite some time now, but there are a few useful and/or enjoyable things from their childhood that I just can't throw away..

I'm pretty sure—or at least I'm bound and determined—that these items will one day come in handy, that they'll one day provide fun and frivolity for my grandkids.

9 THINGS I'VE KEPT 'FOR THE GRANDKIDS'

1. VHS tapes of children's movies and shows. Space Jam, Fluke, Casper and more. I can't see throwing away tapes I know kids love, but I sure don't plan on replacing them with DVDs or Blu-Ray discs (except for the…

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Flashback Friday: Back in my day

Flashback Friday: Back in my day

Dear readers: Today is the day my firstborn learns the gender of her firstborn, scheduled for arrival in October. With all things pregnancy on my brain today, I thought this post—originally published June 13, 2011—a fitting Flashback Friday feature. Thank you for reading!

I had my youngest baby, Andrea, nearly 26 years ago (Flashback update: nearly 33 years ago!). Listening to Megan talk about pregnancy, labor, and newborn care, it's clear there have been some important—and some not-so-important—changes in the whole process since back in my day.

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Rapid recovery

late night phone call

Grandmothers and others know few things prompt panic in a parent's or grandparent's heart quite like a late-night phone call or text from a child. Even an adult child.

I received one such scary communication from my daughter Megan — mom to my grandsons — last Friday night. Granted, it was only 8:30 in the evening, 7:30 her time, but that's not a time my long-distance daughter and I typically talk or text. So my heart indeed flip-flopped a few times upon hearing her ringtone.

Camden hurt himself, she told me.

Long story short: The rambunctious kid had been rambunctioning about (my word) and demonstrating to big brother Brayden how awesome he was at holding his breath. Resulting in Camden — briefly — passing out. And landing, unconscious, on his head on the hard stone tile flooring found throughout much of their house. A tremendous goose egg on his head served as reward for the frightening feat.

Thankfully Megan's sister-in-law is a pediatrician, so...

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I say that shutting up is hard to do

Dear Mr. Sedaka,

You were so right. I know that it's true. Breaking up is hard to do. Especially for teens, when true love seems a fickle, heartbreaking foe.

I do know how difficult breaking up can be. I've been there, done that. Long, long ago, admittedly one of the billions of boomers who once sang away heartbreak blues crooning along to your catchy, comforting tune.

I'm decades removed from being a youngster longing for love. And in the years since breakups with beaus broke my heart, I've found something more difficult to do than breaking up, Mr. Sedaka. And that's shutting up.

Trust me: It's waaaay harder to do than breaking up.

I'm not talking about shutting up regarding social or personal injustice. No one should ...

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On adult children: Learning the boundaries of communication (guest post)

Dear readers: This guest post was written by my grandma friend and fellow GRANDparent Network member Donne Davis of GaGa Sisterhood. Thank you so much for sharing this wisdom on the tricky-at-times relationship between parents and their adult children, Donne.

mother and adult daughter

When it comes to communicating with your adult children, where do you get stuck? I posed this question to the 25 GaGas attending our January 15 meeting and added, is it around discipline, visitation, values or boundaries?

All of the above, and more, they answered. One member said: “All I have to do is open my mouth and my son misinterprets what I’m saying.” Another joked: “OMG! Just asking ‘how are you’ can trigger...

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Pool party! Plus, GRAND Social No. 219 link party for grandparents

Pool party!

Pool parties have long been a favorite way for kids to celebrate their birthdays, whether it be in their own backyard swimming pool or a paid party option at the local public swimming spot.

My daughters never got to have a pool party for their birthdays when I was in charge of party planning. In part because I can't swim and the thought of being reponsible for little ones bobbing about in a body of water, large or small, scared the bejeezus out of me.

My oldest daughter turned 34 last week. This weekend she had a birthday party. A pool party! Because she was in charge of the planning. And because she has a pool in her backyard.

pool party 

I'm still not a swimmer but I did get in the pool for a bit. Because the...

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Musing elsewhere: Thoughts on my daughter's miscarriage (PurpleClover.com)

Thoughts on my daughter's miscarriage

Published October 18, 2015 on PurpleClover.com

purpleclover.com

My daughter lost her baby last week. A miscarriage in the first trimester.

Coming from an abundantly fertile family, it's hard to wrap my head around that. My mom had seven children. Three of my sisters had several children, and a number of those kids had kids. I had three children myself, and my middle child had three children, too.

All of us had no problem. Yet it's a problem for my oldest child, Brianna.

"Problem" doesn't come close to accurately describing the fertility challenge for my daughter. A dead baby is far more than a problem. It's a painful, traumatic, inexplicable loss.

My 33-year-old daughter, who learned just this past year that her chances for conceiving and delivering a child are sadly...

Click to continue reading on PurpleClover.com...

Musing elsewhere: When a teen mom hits midlife

In the summer of 1982, I graduated from high school, got married, turned 18, and had a baby. I went from kid to wife and mother in the span of three months, just like that.

teen mom and baby

My husband was 21 at the time. Now, 33 years later, we're empty-nesters. We've patted ourselves on the back for a job well done. We beat the odds and raised three lovely and amazing daughters from diapers to dorm rooms and into the real world. Our journey featured little outside the typical bumps, bruises and pains of parenthood, despite the fact that we were mere children ourselves at the outset. Our girls are grown and gone—one has even made us grandparents.

Time to rejoice! Time to enjoy midlife!

Time for an unexpected reality check, is more like it.

Once my kids split and I recovered from the initial empty-nest jitters, it became clear that having been a teen mother would...Click here to continue reading my article published on PurpleClover.com.

purple clover

Christmas and how the empty nest gets harder after college

I used to be one of those moms whose child — or children, plural — recently left for college. You know... the moms walking around with a dazed, how-the-heck-did-this-happen-so-fast look in their eyes, virtually visible cracks in their hearts as they miss the once little ones who have flown their nest. They're the moms who live for holiday breaks, spring breaks, summer breaks, for that's when their loved ones return home, back to the safety of the nest where mom can hold each one in her arms and savor the sweet scents and sounds of her babies all around.

family christmas stockings

I was one of those moms. That first year my daughters were scattered afar for schooling and such was rough. It got easier, though, as it does for all moms (and dads) whose kiddos have gone off for enrichment and enlightenment on the road to becoming full-fledged adults. I found new...

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Middle child of my middle child

 The Middle Child
Even though you're not the oldest,
or the youngest, you see,
Being in the middle is a really neat place to be!
The middle of a sandwich
is the most important part,
And in the middle of your body,
you will find your heart.
The engine in the middle
is what runs a good machine;
And our family wouldn't be the same
without you in between.
~Unknown

middle child

I know labeling children isn't an appropriate thing for grandmothers...

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Looking back: 9 things we did right as parents

carpenter family portrait

I didn't support my youngest when she wanted to change majors — and universities — midway through her college career.

I didn't call parents to tattle on their mean girls (and boys) who made a living hell of several academic years for my middle daughter.

I didn't demand my oldest...

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