Peak preggers pic! Plus GRAND Social No. 324 link party for grandparents

Peak preggers pic! Plus GRAND Social No. 324 link party for grandparents

Peak preggers pic!

James had his last regular season football game on Saturday and when Brianna came over before we all headed to the game—one determining whether James and his teammates make the league playoffs—I asked Brianna to pose for a final pre-baby pic.

With induction scheduled for Thursday, this is surely the peak of pregnancy for my girl, the final photo before baby arrives.

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When you really love ice cream! Plus GRAND Social No. 300 link party for grandparents

When you really love ice cream! Plus GRAND Social No. 300 link party for grandparents

When you really love ice cream!

At the start of last week's GRAND Social post, I shared with you my oh-so sad grandson Declan who oh-so-badly wanted to go to Disneyland.

Now, that video may misrepresent that particular grandkiddo a smidgen, as sad is oh-so far from Declan's typical disposition.

So today, at the start of this week's GRAND Social, I share with you a shot—four, actually—that better show the more common, more comedic side of my wacky youngest grandson.

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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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The 10 commandments for grandmothers

Commandments for Grandmas.JPG


Thou shall not put one grandchild above any other grandchild, in favor, gifts, deeds, or attention.


Thou shall not make for yourself a collection of images taken from the Facebook account, online photo-sharing service, or—heaven forbid—a physical photo album belonging to the parents of the grandchild without asking first.


Thou shall not take the name of the grandchild’s parents in vain for the manner in which they’re feeding, disciplining, spoiling, raising your grandchild(ren). At least not in front of the children.


Remember the Sabbath Day or whatever day may immediately follow a visit with the grandkids. Use it wisely to rest up, for you will surely need to recover from the energy depletion resulting from the constant attention, crafting, joking, cooking, and uncommon physical activity required—and fully enjoyed—while in the presence of a grandson or granddaughter.


Honor the father and mother of your grandchildren for in most cases, they really are trying their hardest to do right by the children.


Thou shall not murder the dietary and bedtime guidelines set forth by the grandchild’s parents. At least not often. And only when chocolate or a request for just one more bedtime story is involved.


Thou shall not commit adult-like expressions that demean the grandchild, no matter how challenging the child may be. Especially at an overdue bedtime—for the child or the grandma. Or during shopping excursions. Or when the little one won’t eat a special something you cooked up just for him or her, snarling and refusing to take even one single nibble because it’s too brown or too red or touching the food next to it.


Thou shall not steal all the time with the grandchild—especially a newborn—from other family members simply because you want to continue loving, touching and squeezing the little one, for others do, too. Volunteer, instead, to change the most stinkily soiled of diapers—something others refuse to do—then take your time doing it. 


Thou shall not bear false witness against the dog to keep a grandchild from getting in trouble for attempting to dig to China in the front yard or eating the last of the cookies from Mom’s cookie jar.


Thou shall not covet the time the other grandma has with your grandchildren, even if it’s far more than the time you are allotted. For regarding the moments grandmas and grandchildren share, the quality of the time not the quantity will be most memorably held in the hearts of the grandchildren—and the grandmother.

Today's question:

Which commandment are you most guilty of breaking? (Of the commandments above!)

Grandma's ultimate challenge

I cannot lie: The last couple days caring for my grandsons around the clock has been a bit of a challenge. Why? Because Baby Mac has got to be the most strong-willed bundle of energy I have ever come across.

Baby Mac's steadfast determination to keep up with brother Bubby—who will be four years old in June, compared to Baby Mac turning one year old the same month—has kept me hopping, to say the least. He thinks he should be able to do ab-so-lute-ly everything his brother does, despite lacking not only physical ability but also the common sense to know such feats at his age are sheer lunacy. And when I prevent him from risking life and limb in pursuit of his goal, Baby Mac throws fits reminiscent of my biggest battles with my daughters during their teen years.

Every once in a while, though, Baby Mac chooses to imitate his brother in something that isn't dangerous. For example, after watching Bubby place the ball on his T-ball stand several times, Baby Mac decided to give it a try himself with his own ball. This was the result:

Baby Mac's enthusiasm and obvious pride in himself for succeeding at the task at hand is exactly how I will feel, possibly even how I will babble, once I manage my own task at hand—that of making sure the little wild child survives safe and sound while his mom and dad are away.

Today's question:

What are your challenges—and successes!—of the past week?

Irrefutable proof

There's been much discussion and debate among family and friends as to whom Baby Mac takes after—Mommy Megan or Daddy Preston.

Since Baby Mac first arrived on the scene, I've always leaned toward him taking after Preston's side of the family. Many folks agreed. Even Megan.

This week, though, Megan stumbled across some old photos of herself at Baby Mac's age and matched up one of her photos with a recent one of her baby boy:

Megan on the left; Baby Mac on the right.

While the photo may be a tad blurry, the bottom line is crystal clear: Baby Mac irrefutably looks just like his mama!

Debate settled.

Today's question:

Do your children look more like their mom or their dad?

My dreams for my grandson

These are my dreams for my grandson as he grows:

That he always shows gratitude, curiosity, strength, forgiveness.

That he exercises his body and mind in equal proportions.

That he laughs daily, with others, at himself.

That he loves himself, is proud of himself, treats himself kindly, compassionately.

That he shows kindness and compassion to others, to animals, to nature.

That he turns a deaf ear to intimidation and ignorance when it comes to thinking and doing what's good, what's right.

That he understands the value of patience, compromise, silence, restraint.

That he always loves learning ... and teaching.

That he uses his hands for hugging not hurting.

That he accepts responsibility.

That he does his part.

That he has -- and is -- a true and loyal friend.

That he makes time for silliness, pleasure, play.

That he appreciates and cultivates strong bonds with his siblings, from youth to old age.

That he embraces productivity and pursues careers that matter to him, to the world.

That always -- always -- people are more important to him than things.

That he keeps his word.

That home, family, tradition matter.

That he communicates -- in small ways, large ways and when it may not seem to matter ... but does.

That he never fails to see the beauty, the delightful, the admirable, the awesome.

That he never fails to see those less fortunate.

That he takes nothing for granted.

That his fears and nerves lead him to greatness not despair.

That he appreciates differences of opinion, culture, ideas.

That he has abundant supporters, cheering him on. When he can't hear them cheering, that he doesn't hesitate to cheer for himself.

That he finds a loving forever mate and together they create a loving forever family.

That he makes a positive difference in the world, be it as simple as a smile to a passing stranger or as complex as contributing to global change.

That he never breaks his mother's heart. Or his father's.

That he builds people up, not tear them down.

That he's slow to anger, quick to reason.

That he leads more than he follows, listens more than he speaks.

That his body, mind and soul stay strong, growing and bending but never breaking.

That he dances, sings, eats, enjoys, cries, giggles, dreams without worrying what others may think.

That he sets goals far and high and reaches them ... then goes beyond them.

That adversity makes him stronger not hopeless.

That he uses the words I will more often than I'll try or I can't.

That his heart is gentle and generous yet strong and resilient.

That he keeps an open mind.

That the words misogynist, racist, hateful, liar, addict, or bully are never used to describe him.

That he never, ever doubts he's loved.

That the love he gives in return is never in doubt.

That he travels.

That he dares.

That he excels.

That he lives.

That he depends on God's guidance, comfort, forgiveness, love always, in all ways.

That all who touch his life help make these dreams a reality.

More importantly, that he makes these dreams a reality. Plus every single dream of his own.

Holiday question of the day:

If you could give one gift that can't be wrapped -- the realization of a dream, goal, wish, trait -- to one person, what would you give and to whom would you give it?

This post linked to:

Grandma's got a brand-new bag

Related Posts with ThumbnailsFull disclosure here: Contrary to the post title, this grandma doesn't really have a brand-new bag. What I do have is an old bag filled with new fun to share with Bubby when I visit him next week.

Here's the deal: Soon after Megan first had Bubby, one little girl in her class regaled Megan with tales of her visiting grandma. A primary reason for the girl's excitement, Megan learned, was the special bag Grandma brought along every time she visited her grandchildren. The bag was filled with all kinds of goodies for the grandchildren to use and share and enjoy during the visit, but the fun was always packed up with Grandma to take home with her, keeping it fresh and exciting for the kids each time.

It sounded like a wonderful idea back when Megan told me, and now that Bubby has reached the age where he'd be delighted by such a thing, I'm copying the idea.

I've gathered together some goodies for the inaugural toting of my very own Gramma's bag to the desert, and here are the nine things I have inside it so far:

Disney movies. It'll take years and years before Bubby is caught up on the wonders of Walt Disney movies, but this time we'll likely fit in at least one, chosen from Wall-E, Robots and Monsters, Inc.

Picture books. I have piles of picture books to review, and a visit with Bubby is the perfect time to try them out on their intended audience.

A Hatch-N-Grow dinosaur egg. I'm willing to bet Bubby will no longer be afraid of the hatching egg and is ready for hatching his own. I think it'll make a difference for Gramma to be there to get things started ... and to bring along the dinosaur hatched from my practice run.

KIDZ BOP Dance Party video game for the Wii. This, too, is a review item I recently received. Considering Bubby's love for the KIDZ BOP CD -- and Megan and Preston's wish for some active games for their new Wii -- I'm thinking this will be the highlight of the bag.

"Mini Disco Set." Along with the dance party game above, I received a rotating mirror ball, LED light and three neon glow-in-the-dark party sticks to really set the dance party vibe. This grandma can't wait to get the party started!

The Original Squirmles. Okay, I still gotta figure out how to make these darn things squirm, but the young man at Bed, Bath and Beyond said they're all the rage with the kids nowadays.

A "Find-It" container. Hidden within a tube filled with beads are shells, nails, Bobby pins, pennys and more that Bubby and I will do our darndest to find all 47 on the list.

An Elmo flash drive for toddlers. Another review item, this nifty little USB drive is already loaded with a "Best of Elmo" video, with space left for me to add photos or videos for Bubby to enjoy anytime Megan will let him plug it in to a USB port on the computer. I'll teach my favorite toddler in the world how to plug it in -- or how to wear it on his wrist when not in use.

Caramel Apple Taffy. THIS is my favorite holiday candy, taffy that is available only for a short time (at least where I live) beginning around Halloween. I figure it can't hurt to share some of Gramma's favorite candy with her favorite grandson.

There's still a week before takeoff, so who knows what may be added. My plan is to keep the bag filled with these items and more so Bubby eagerly anticipates the opening of Gramma's bag during each visit, just as Megan's former student did with her grandma's bag.

Of course, I'm already thinking I may have to relax my rules just a tad and leave an item or two with Bubby when I head home. No sense having the fun (and Elmo flash drive) wasting away, unused in a bag in the closet for months, when a little boy (and his parents) could be enjoying it. Right?

Besides, leaving an item or two will give me more space to add something new to Gramma's bag -- just in time for the Thanksgiving visit!

Today's question:

What do you remember about your grandmother's or mother's bag or purse?