Throwback Thursday: Thoughts on My Daughter's Miscarriage

Throwback Thursday: Thoughts on My Daughter's Miscarriage

This #TBT piece—originally published October 18, 2015 on Purple Clover—underscores the appreciable blessing of my daughter's recent pregnancy announcement. Thank you for reading.

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.

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Musing elsewhere: Thoughts on my daughter's miscarriage (

Thoughts on my daughter's miscarriage

Published October 18, 2015 on

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

Team with grandkids and National Wildlife Federation to create a wildlife habitat

certified wildlife habitat

Grandma and Grandpa's house is a magical place for a grandchild. Having your yard certified as a wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation can increase the magical factor tenfold and more.

Certifying your yard, no matter how big or how small, is much easier than...

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Musing elsewhere: 9 Personal Skills to Encourage in Grandchildren

compassion: children with ladybug 

Want to enhance your grandchildren's lives in ways that last a lifetime? Well put away your wallet and encourage kids to develop personal skills rather than accumulate playthings.

Grandparents are uniquely qualified in three specific ways to best encourage skills that make a world of difference when it comes to a child's future success:

  • boomeon bloggerWe have unconditional love for our grandchildren.
  • We support and supplement the values instilled by our grandchildren's parents.
  • We often have fewer work demands and outside obligations than the parents, hence more relaxed, one-on-one time with the grandkids.

Use your time, talents, and unique experiences to help instill important personal skills in your grandchildren by encouraging them to be:

Compassionate. Visit zoos—from open-range to petting—and animal shelters to discuss humane practices in caring for animals. Compassion for humans can be...

Continue reading 9 Personal Skills to Encourage in Grandchildren on

How to be a GRAND babysitter

grandfather and grandsons
PawDad masters being the most GRAND babysitter ever.

Kids just want to have fun, especially when spending time with a babysitter. Parents primarily want their kids to be safe. And therein lies the challenge for grandparents who have secured the babysitting gig: finding the perfect balance between delighting grandchildren while pleasing their parents.

Master the challenge—and be the best babysitter ever—by considering the following tips from seasoned babysitting grandmas.

1. Pack your bag of tricks
Every grandparent needs a Grandma (or Grandpa) Bag, a tote filled with goodies that comes out at special times for play, creativity, and entertainment. For long-distance grandparents like myself, that means when I’m visiting the kiddos. (It's the favored piece of luggage each of my grandsons can't wait to open.) For local parents, that may be when on regular babysitting duty.

Grandma or Grandpa Bags include...

Click to continue reading my article—with input from Grandma Kc—on

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

purple clover

How to NOT befriend a grandma... or, A passive-aggressive response to ignorance

frustrated woman

While awaiting a flight recently, I nabbed a spot at the airport charging station and proceeded to catch up on business on my laptop. A burger-carrying baby boomer woman soon secured a stool across from me and commenced consuming her sandwich with unabashed fervor.

Then things turned bad.

The woman began...

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Prayers and a post somewhere else

As a blogger, knowing how much private story to share with readers and how much to keep shuttered away for only those one knows in person can be a challenge. I sincerely want to share myself and be transparent with those who take the time to read Grandma's Briefs. If I shared here each and every personal struggle I face, though, I'm pretty darn sure you'd get sick and tired of reading about them. I know for a fact I would get sick and tired of sharing them.

So I've not yet shared the hell of the past 10 days with you. But today I will. I'm sharing today because I need to request healing thoughts and prayers from you and I need to explain why I'm sending you elsewhere — when bloggers are supposed to do all they can to keep visitors on their blog — to read a post written by me but published on another site. (Chalk it up to that whole "freelancer" thing I so want to be when I grow up.)

One of my favorite photos of my sister Debbie as a young girl. She still has that smile, that light in her eyes.See, my younger sister Debbie — the second youngest of my four sisters — has been in and out of ICU since a week ago Monday... August 26. To make a long story a teensy bit shorter, Debbie was rushed by ambulance to the hospital when her lungs and heart went into distress early Monday morning. Things haven't been good ever since, at least not for very long. She'd get stable, then have a coughing fit that would stop her heart. Lifesaving measures have been instituted a time or two.

Yesterday Debbie was transported by ambulance to the ICU at a hospital in Denver. Today she faces a heart procedure to try and figure out what's happening and how to stop it.

My sister just turned 45 August 22. This is crazy. And scary.

So today I'm asking you to please send healing prayers for my sister and for all of us who love and adore the wacky woman. Thank you so very, very much.

Because of the situation with my sister, I'm unable to gather my wits enough to write a decent post of any sort for you today. That said, though, I did recently publish a decent post on another site. On, to be precise. So I'm sharing that with you here today in hopes you'll read it there. It's about sharing family stories with the grandchildren, and it begins like this:

My daughter, mother of my two grandsons, is an early childhood educator. Each school year, my daughter hosts a Grandparents Day celebration and encourages her students to invite a grandparent (or two) to attend school with them. One highlight of Grandparents Day is when the students "interview" their grandparents on what school was like for them at their grandchild’s age. The anecdotes shared by the grandparents, my daughter says, never fail to dazzle and often downright befuddle the rapt grandchildren.

There’s no need to wait until Grandparents Day to amaze and entertain – as well as enlighten and educate – grandchildren with stories of not only your past, but of their past, too. Children of all ages...Click here to continue reading 6 FAMILY STORIES TO TELL YOUR GRANDCHILDREN AGAIN AND AGAIN on

Thank you for reading. More importantly, thank you for your healing thoughts and prayers for my sister.

Where you'll find me

In light of this week's priority being hosting long-distance family members who are in town to attend my cousin's funeral, I began looking at older posts to see what I should re-publish for today instead of straining to be creative on a very full day. Then it hit me! I have several post on other sites, musings many of you may have never seen.

So today I'm sharing with you other places where you'll find me, other articles you might enjoy. Peruse as you please...

Grandparents.comGRANDPARENTS.COM —

What's a Grandma Worth?
Each Mother’s Day, releases figures on what a mom is worth, the salary mothers working outside the home and within should make based on the duties she performs. Esteemed outlets from Forbes to Working Mother magazine tout the results, highlighting the ultimately priceless job mothers perform.

I think a similar study should be done on what a grandmother...Continue reading on

To Move or Not to Move (Near the Grandkids)
I'm a long-distance grandma. On occasion, I complain about the many miles between my two grandsons and me. After a recent long-winded lamentation about what I miss out on by them living so far away, I was asked, by a non-grandma, Why don't you just move closer to them?

My short answer: Sheesh! I have a life!

My long answer: I have a life. A life filled with interests...Continue reading on

Remembering Grandma
I’m a relatively new grandma, on the job for just over four years. Though a novice, it took me no time at all to consider myself THE grandma in my family — the family matriarch.

In my self-centered state, mentions of grandparenting led me to consider only my grandma experience, my state of affairs, my revered status. I’d mull the myriad ways my daughter might encourage my young grandsons to remember...Continue reading on

7 Challenges Grandmas Face at Thanksgiving
Life becomes easier once we become grandmothers. With fewer obligations to meet, there’s more fun to be had. Except, that is, when it comes to the holidays, and none more so than Thanksgiving.

To wit:

1. We have to share. We were...Continue reading on

Grandma is a Hoarder
I keep a fairly neat and tidy home. I head right from the mailbox to the recycling bin to throw out junk mail before entering the house. I make regular donations of unused clothing, books, and household items to Goodwill. I empty the fridge, cupboards, and closets without restraint.

When it comes to artwork from my grandkids, though, I simply...Continue reading on

Grandmothers Helping Others Through Activism
A popular concept of late is that of finding one’s tribe, the group with whom we fit, folks whose values and actions resonate with and reflect what’s in our hearts. Grandmother and photojournalist Paola Gianturco found her tribe in diverse women all across the globe. Then she wrote a book about them — the inspirational grandmothers facilitating...Continue reading on


Huffington PostHUFFINGTON POST —

Who Puts Baby in a Corner? Not This Grandma
My favorite grandma never spanked me. She also never yelled at me, reprimanded me or restricted me.

My not-so-favorite grandma? Well, she never spanked me, either. She did, though, once make me drink grape juice I didn't want. I immediately vomited up the purple stuff; grandma immediately yelled at me...Continue reading on Huffington Post (Also published on Better After 50)

Good Riddance, 2012: An Open Letter to One of the Worst Years Yet
Dear 2012,

I had high hopes for you. After the economic mess 2007 and 2008 left us in, I had heard you'd set things right, bring us back to the normal we citizens all across the globe had grown to know and love — even though we didn't know how...Continue reading on Huffington Post

The Perils of Pauline Multiplied: My Girly Girl Daughter Now Mothers All-Boy Boys
My grandsons live more than 800 miles away from me, so I see them only occasionally. One of the perks of being a long-distance grandma — and there are a few — is the obvious growth and maturing of my grandsons from one visit to the next.

I delight...Continue reading on Huffington Post (Also published on Better After 50)

Becoming Grandma Too Soon: Tips for Navigating an Unplanned Pregnancy
As our children become young adults and we envision our eventual role as Grandma, we all imagine a certain scene, a certain set of events leading up to the glorious title and tasks of family matriarch. The imagined scene doesn't usually include a teen daughter — or a teen son...Continue reading on Huffington Post



How to Help Your Unmarried Child Find Love
The current dating scene is a depressing place: too few suitable options and fewer still willing to commit. And far too many tears after yet another less-than-stellar first date.  

Such things should matter not one whit to me, a happily married 49-year-old grandmother. But they do matter — a lot. My heart breaks every time I witness, counsel and console my oldest, never-wed daughter...Continue reading on Next Avenue


While those above featured original content, you'll also find me and my previously published content here:


One Woman's Pleasure is Another's Worst Job Ever
I’ve been thinking a lot about jobs lately. I’m sure it has something to do with my friend Debbie’s retirement, my bloggy friend Tammy’s job search, and the quest of my former coworkers/current friends as they seek out freelance writing gigs to replace those drying up. Or it could have everything to do with the...Continue reading on Generation Fabulous

The Curse Takes Effect — Let the Gloating Begin
For centuries, or so I hear, mothers have placed upon the heads of their daughters The Curse. I’m talking about the doom and damnation of sorts that mothers pass along to their daughters, swearing that once they have children of their own, they will surely get their due for all the drama, trauma and heartache they once put their mothers through.

The Curse is such a cliché.

Well shiver me timbers...Continue reading on Generation Fabulous


Yep, that's where you'll find me when I'm not here on Grandma's Briefs. There are a few others, but those are the biggies. There's more coming up, too, as amidst the madness and sadness of this week, I had articles due for two of the biggies above. I'll share with you those links, too, once they're published.

Thank you for reading!

Today's question:

What are some of your favorite websites to visit (other than Grandma's Briefs, of course)?

From Huff/Post50: Who puts baby in a corner? Not this grandma

This post, sans the photos, was originally published on Huff/Post50, my first post as an official Huffington Post blogger.

Different grandmas, different styles

My favorite grandma never spanked me. She also never yelled at me, reprimanded me, restricted me.

My not-so-favorite grandma? Well, she never spanked me, either. She did, though, once make me drink grape juice I didn’t want. I immediately vomited up the purple stuff; Grandma immediately yelled at me for doing so. From that moment on, my “Favorite Grandma” title went to my other grandma—and my “Least Favorite Juice” designation went to grape.

When it came to being disciplined by my grandmothers, things could have been far worse. Back in the day—yes, that day—it was common for grandparents, heck, even neighbors and strangers, not to spare the rod when they deemed necessary, even when it came to children not their own.

I got lucky. Not in that I was a child above reproach and reprimand, but that my grandmothers pretty much left such things to my parents. Except when it came to drinking one’s juice.

Now that I’m a grandma, I consider those grandparenting styles, the disciplinary actions of my grandmothers, as well as the way the grandparents to my own children—my parents, my in-laws—conducted themselves with their grandkids.

The (step) patriarch of my husband’s family regularly swatted upside the heads those grandkids who committed minor infractions. I often wondered as a new member of my husband’s family if his step-dad’s popping kids for this and that was how he became known as “Pop” to the family.

My own mother, grandma to my three daughters, didn’t pop grandkids upside the head, but she often spanked on the rears the children of my younger sisters, regularly made them sit in the corner for misbehaving.

My sister-in-law and my sisters were okay with Pop and Grandma coming down hard on their kids. Both grandparents played a prominent role in helping the single moms raise the kiddos, so that may be why they were given more authority. It worked for their families. To each his own.

I, though, wasn’t okay with such disciplining of my own.

Not that my children were perfect by any means, or that they didn’t deserve to be disciplined upon breaking bad. But if the discipline necessary went beyond a stern look or word, perhaps a slight swat upon a diapered bottom for safety’s sake, we had an unspoken “hands off” policy. Nobody puts my babies in a corner—except for their dad and me.

Yet my husband and I didn’t put our kids in the corner. Nor did we pop them on the head now and then. We did, though, hand out some fairly strict disciplinary action when our daughters needed it. We sent them to their rooms, and we took away privileges. On occasion, we even spanked them.

When it comes to my grandsons, though—ages four-and-a-half and one-and-a-half— spanking, shaming, popping upside one’s head just isn’t my style. I know some grandmas do it, but I won’t. I simply cannot imagine inflicting the slightest bit of pain upon my grandsons.

That doesn’t mean I’ve not inflicted emotional pain, though. Unintentionally, I assure you, just as my not-so-favorite grandma did with the grape juice.

Case in point: As a long-distance grandma, I pack a pretty hefty lot of luggage when I visit my grandsons. In that luggage is always what we call my “Grandma Bag,” filled with crafts, books, and fun to fill the time with the boys. The rule is that my grandsons must wait until I share treasures from my bag, not go into it themselves.

Also in my luggage—as surely applies to many a grandparent—is medication. Pills and more that should never, ever be touched by little ones and one of the reasons my grandsons are not allowed in “Gramma’s room” unless I’m with them.

Most can likely guess what happened: I entered my room one morning to find my oldest grandson sitting on the floor, happily going through the goodies in my Grandma Bag, the bag that had been in my suitcase, right beside those other things he was to never, ever, touch. He peered up at me with a grin over all the fun Gramma had in store—then immediately realized the mistake he’d made. He burst into tears, I calmly reminded him that he’s to never, ever touch Gramma’s things without first asking.

After lots of tears from him and lots of lecturing from me, my grandson apologized for the bad choice he’d made. I, of course, forgave him. The question is, did he forgive me? I know firsthand that grudges toward grandmas can run deep, and I didn’t want my grandson to forever hold against me the Grandma Bag incident.

Regardless of whether my grandson forever revokes from me the “Favorite Grandma” designation or not, I hope he will eventually realize my response could have been far different, could have included a spanking.

With the holidays upon us, what other grandmas might do may be tested. Families will gather, kids will act up. Some grandparents will spank or send kids into corners, some parents will bristle. Or not. To each his own.

I just know that when it comes to my own, nobody puts my grandbabies in a corner—except, maybe, their own mom and dad.

Today's question:

What is your experience with grandparents disciplining your children or you disciplining your own grandchildren?