Throwback Thursday: The tunes they are a changin'

Throwback Thursday: The tunes they are a changin'

This #TBT piece by Lisa Carpenter originally published March 24, 2011 on Grandma's Briefs.

I'm proud to say my family is musical. We dabble in playing — a guitar and piano here, a recorder and ukulele there — but it's in the listening to music that we really excel. As a whole, our hearts, minds and ears are open to myriad genres, everything from classical to Christian, country to show tunes, hard rock to soft rock and many that aren't really rock at all. We even have our family favorites in the rap genre. (I must admit, though, jazz and easy listening rarely pass notes in our homes, our cars, our iPods, or Spotify queue.)

Music plays a prodigious and powerful role in our family, which is why...

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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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Text to Gramma: Jak and the Lord

I used to visit my three grandsons in the desert far more often than I have recently. Preston, the boys' dad, used to regularly attend work-related conferences, and Megan usually joined him. Which meant Gramma (that would be me) was flown to the desert to babysit the boys while Mom and Dad were away.

Add in a desert visit initiated by myself — sometimes with PawDad (that would be Jim) in tow — and the time between hugs and face-to-face fun were rather short. Which was fabulous for being aware and awed but not shocked by the growth of Bubby and Mac between visits.

That's not the case with Jak, who is now nearly 2 1/2 years old. Preston attends fewer conferences of late for various reasons; I haven't had the time or money to schedule many trips to see the boys myself. So I don't see Jak as often as I did his brothers during the toddler years.

Because of the limited in-person connecting with Jak, I'm regularly flabbergasted by how much he grows between Facetimes and photos and phone calls. He never fails to advance by leaps and bounds physically, socially, verbally, developmentally in myriad and magical ways.

A text from Megan on Monday demonstrated...

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Saturday movie review: Cyber-Seniors

I do most of my connecting with my grandsons and their mama (my daughter) in various long-distance manners, most of which are online or via FaceTime. So I fully understand the value of being online and the importance of helping seniors get online.

Which is why I believe the documentary CYBER-SENIORS should be viewed by anyone who has an elderly parent or other loved one who could connect with friends and family online but has been hesitant to learn how to do it.

Today, though, I'm actually with my grandsons and their mama—visiting them in the desert rather than seeing pictures online or chit-chatting over FaceTime—so this movie review must be quick...so I can get on with the visiting. Here goes:

Cyber-Seniors documentary

Bare bones, bottom line: CYBER-SENIORS is super! And the poignant...

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Baby bathtime: Wherein 'adorbs' doesn't even come close

My three grandsons have all approached bathtime differently as babies. Bubby always enjoyed playing in the tub, especially when I come up with fun ideas for water play.

Mac, well he hated...

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Three cheers for three years

My second grandson will turn three years old in a couple weeks.

Because I'm unable to attend Mac's birthday party or see him that day — par for the course for a long-distance grandma — I was delighted to have a chance to throw a mini celebration after dinner last night in honor of his birthday No. 3.

three year old

Even PawDad joined us from more than 800 miles away, thanks to Skype.

Three cheers for unexpected desert visits — and technology — for making it possible for PawDad and me to mark the milestone with Mac.

Today's question:

Whose birthday is next on the calendar in your family?