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 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...

Read More

How Grandma sees it: Changes in parenting from the firstborn to the second

Bubby, my first grandson, at nine months old:

Baby hair everywhere.

 Baby Mac, my second grandson, at nine months old:

Baby hair buzzed.

 To be continued ... !

Today's question:

When did you last cut someone else's hair and how did it turn out?

Photographs and memories

You surely can tell from this blog that I love to take photos of my grandsons. As a long-distance grandma, I take advantage of the times we have together in many ways, but a priority always involves stocking up on lots of shots of memorable moments during our visits.

Often, though, I don't have my camera on hand for some of the most memorable moments of all. For example, when bedraggled Mommy Megan and the boys first came into view at the airport, Bubby beelined it for Gramma. As I picked him up, he held me tight and said, "I missed you so much." It was and likely always will be one of my all-time favorite moments with him, yet not one accompanied by a photo.

Another memorable-but-not-recorded moment was when Bubby and I sat in the hot tub together. Although I did take pictures of the experience—and had Megan take a few, too—the funniest, surely most memorable moment of all was when I was putting the camera down. I stood up out of the hot tub and leaned over the edge to put my camera in a safe, dry place. When I turned back around to sit once again next to Bubby, he wore a huge grin from ear to ear and looked guilty as all get-out. For what, I didn't know. Until I began to sit. Bubby giggled and told me, "I said 'that's Gramma's big booty patooty'!" Apparently Bubby got a giggle-worthy shot of his own as Gramma leaned over the edge.

I've mentioned before that Bubby and I like to have dance parties of a sort when we're together. During the most recent visit he and Baby Mac made to our house, the dance party was larger than usual, made especially memorable with the addition of Baby Mac in my arms. I bopped with Baby Mac as Bubby rolled with Rock Dog. Another moment not caught on film.

The day before our house guests were scheduled to leave, I mentioned to Bubby that he'd be heading home the next day. "But I want to stay here," he said. I told him that he couldn't do that because his friends were all at home, and he had to go to school. "But I can go to school here," he said. My heart melted at the idea that Bubby was willing to give up his beloved friends and great times at school in favor of staying at Gramma's.

Similarly, the day Bubby and Mommy were packing up the luggage, Bubby passed me in the hallway and woefully told me, "I will miss you so much." A second mention to match the first when he arrived, sweet sentiments to bookend the visit.

Those sentiments and other equally memorable moments may not have been captured in photos, but they're definitely imprinted on my heart. Which makes them longer lasting and not likely to ever fade.

Today's question:

What recent moment(s) for you were not caught on film but imprinted on your heart?

October expedition: The North Pole

As you likely deduced if you saw yesterday's photo, our family made the highly anticipated trek to the North Pole last week. What a jolly time it was! So much to see and do, including a ride or two with Bubby down the Peppermint Candy Cane Slide I waxed once upon a time.

This slideshow was a casualty of my site makeover but you can find it in my Brag Book: NORTH POLE — 2011.

After the delightful outing, I've decided October is definitely the best time to visit the North Pole. Not only is the early autumn weather perfect for an afternoon halfway up Pikes Peak, the aspens on the hillsides all around are just beginning to change, lines for the rides are non-existent, and Santa has plenty of time for long visits plus strolls throughout the park during his breaks—which meant we ran into the Big Guy on several occasions, and each time he remembered Bubby by name.


I'm so thankful for the holiday-themed expedition with my very most favorite people. 'Twas a memorably festive occasion, indeed.

Today's question:

What percentage of your holiday shopping have you completed...or considered?

The Saturday Post: So Long, Farewell edition

Last night was Bubby's last night at Gramma's house. As he, Baby Mac, and Mommy headed up the stairs to bed, I couldn't help but think of this from the Von Trapp kiddos (ignore the glaring error in name by whomever posted this video on YouTube):

So long, farewell!

Today's fill-in-the-blank:

My favorite song from "The Sound of Music" is _______________.


Author and illustrator Ian Falconer has created a beloved picture book character named Olivia. She's a pig. A delightful pig who stars in a series of picture books.

Olivia does all kinds of things that capture the imaginations of pint-sized readers (and their parents) such as forming a band, going to Venice, saving the circus, and more. The ever-charming Olivia has earned Caldecott honors for her creator.

Bubby loves Olivia.

I tell you that not as a review of the Olivia series in any way. I tell you that because Bubby got a new babysitter.

And her name is Olivia.

And Bubby was thrilled by the news! He thought Olivia—the pig!—would be coming to his house to watch over him and Baby Mac while Mommy was away.

Of course, Mommy had to ruin the fun by explaining the reality of the situation to Bubby. Olivia, the new sitter and the first Bubby would have outside of family and friends, was a high-school girl. Not a pig.

So, once Olivia—the girl—arrived for duty, introductions were made, and Mommy spent some time acquainting Olivia with Bubby, with Baby Mac.

Then Mommy was out the door for her tennis lesson.

When Mommy returned, all reports were great.

Olivia loved Bubby. Olivia loved Baby Mac.

(Although, how could she not, with charges as precious as Gramma's favorite little TV watchers.)

And everyone loved her back:

Megan loved Olivia.

Baby Mac loved Olivia.

Best of all, Bubby loved Olivia.

Even though she's not a pig.

Olivia graphic courtesy Simon & Shuster.

Today's question:

How old were you when you started making money as a babysitter?