Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I'm Gonna Be a Grandma!

Big news: We're going to be grandparents! At last, I'm going to be a new grandma!
It wasn't long ago that the phone rang and on the other end of the call was our second son and his wife with an announcement: "You're going to be grandparents!"

After several exclamations of, "Really?! REALLY?! Are you sure?" my husband and I were finally convinced that the news was true.

To be honest, it took quite a few weeks before we allowed ourselves to be excited. Simply, the news took a while to sink in. We knew it would happen eventually, but when "eventually" finally arrived it just didn't seem real.

As the baby bump has grown, though, our excitement level has progressed, too.

Today, the proud parents learned if they're having a boy or a girl. Formal gender reveal isn't until Saturday, and now we really are excited!

I got this email from #2 son this afternoon: "Well the gender has been determined! Please try not to call so Hannah and I don't use a gender-specific pronoun and give it away.  Looking forward to Saturday!"

The idea of calling actually had crossed my mind...

I'll share the good news on Sunday. And it will be good news, no matter whether it's a girl or a boy. I know it's cliché, but truly, all we want is a healthy baby.

A healthy grand-baby.

At last, it's my turn to be a grand!

P.S. To celebrate my new status as a "grand," I treated myself to the pendant pictured above. The message reads, "Every time a baby is born, so is a Grandma." I loved that and couldn't resist. If you're a new grandma or know one, this would make a really great "grand" gift. Custom order your pendant at this link.

(Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.)


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Silence: One of Those Wonderful Grandmother Memories

by Lorelei Cohen
Silence: One of Those Wonderful Grandmother Memories
Making Memories with the Grands
I generally don’t get much done when my tiny grandchildren come to visit. They are born each a year apart and all are preschool so the house can get quite busy when they visit. I work from home and don’t usually have deadlines but it turns out that on this morning I did, so when my daughter phoned to ask if I could take the kids for a couple hours I was a little hesitant but agreed.

The kids dashed into the playroom as soon as they arrived so that was a bit of a relief. I grabbed a cup of coffee and just as I sat back down to delve back into my assignment the two girls came racing out and plopped down by my feet. Amazingly this is when the silence begins.

Alysha is three years old, Hana is four, and they are mad at each other. They sit on the floor by my feet, arms crossed over their chests, top lips stuck intentionally out in distinct pouts. Glaring at each other without saying a word. They aren’t talking to each other. I glance over at them every now and then but keep working on the computer.

I know that their positioning themselves where I can’t help but see them is part of the plan. Someone needs to know exactly how angry they are with each other for it to be worth while. So there they sit. Not talking to each other and I love it. This is one of the easiest and quietest days of babysitting that Grandma has had in a long time.

Little Jordon who is one year old has discovered that he is alone in the toy room so he comes out to investigate the disappearance of his sisters. He looks around, cocks his head to one side as he looks at the immobile features of the statues that were once his sisters. Then he sneaks over close enough to tug silently at my dress.

With everyone else quiet, Jordon isn’t sure whether or not he should speak so he uses his eyes and hands to communicate with me. His little eyebrows go up and his tiny shoulders shrug in confusion. His eyes are silently asking me “what the heck is going on?” I smile but I don’t say anything. Who be I to break the silence. It just wouldn’t be right.

Alysha sticks her tongue out at her sister, Hana crinkles her nose in a scowl and tightens her arms across her chest. Jordon looks again at me to see if I am going to interfere. Nope, and the silence continues.

Jordon’s little hand is still tightly clinging to my dress as his mind tries to figure the situation out. It seems that he knows that he shouldn’t talk till he knows what’s going on. His eyes flash back and forth between the two girls and myself. I’m wondering how long they can all keep it up.
Silence: One of Those Wonderful Grandmother Memories. Lorelei's perfect angels.
Three perfect little angels.

I am so enjoying the silence as it allows me time to continue working. The only sound in the room is the now very loud clicking of the keys on my keyboard as I type.

Jordon tugs on my dress. I reach down, pick him up, and put him on my knee. As I embrace him in a great big hug he looks up at me with the most exaggerated pitiful pout that I have ever seen. I am finding it really hard not to laugh. I think that he has figured out how to play this game.

I hear my daughter coming in the door, she calls for the kids as she walks through into the living room. Then she stops and sensing something amiss she looks around and says, “What’s up?”

Jordon squeals out, "Mommy!" and holds out his arms for her. Hana and Alysha both start complaining at once. Alysha did this and Hana did that. Life is suddenly glaringly back to normal.

My daughter asks if the kids were good and I reply, “Perfect, they were just perfect angels today.” She smiles and I can tell that she thinks that I am being sarcastic. As the three now very noisy little voices clamor in unison around her perfect is kind of hard for her to imagine her children being. After they leave I go back to typing but I can’t get the smile off my face. Easiest babysitting day ever.

My grandchildren are older now but I can't help but chuckle every time I think back on that memory.

My name is Lorelei but on the internet I am also known as Ladymermaid. I am the mother of two beautiful daughters and 5 amazing grandchildren. I am a writer and enjoy managing my websites Lady Mermaid and The Gift Ideas List Site.

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Thanks so much to Lorelei for sharing one of her favorite grandmother memories. If you have a grandparent or grandchild memory you'd like to share on Oh, How Grand!, visit our Guest Grands page for more information.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Relative Charts: I'm a Great-Great Aunt!

Oh, my but relative names and titles are confusing once you get a couple of generations into the greats and grands on the family tree and in the relative charts.
Are you a great? A grand? It's all relative!
Or is it a great grand-aunt?

Oh, my but relative names and titles are confusing once you get a couple of generations into the greats and grands on the family tree and in the relative charts. In any case, my sister's granddaughter is having a baby today. She's my niece's little girl (not so little anymore). After poring over charts all morning I finally have the relationship titles figured out.

I'll be a great-great aunt to little Claira and little Claira will be a great-grandniece to me.

That's three greats and one grand. And a partridge in a pear tree given that today is Christmas Eve.

If you need to figure out how you're related to the relatives you'll be sitting around the table with tomorrow at Christmas dinner, here's some information that should help.

The chart that gave me the answer I was seeking is from MyRelative.com and shown in the picture above. It's an interactive relative chart, so hover over "Me" on the chart and follow the path to the relative in question. Click when you get there (I clicked on "G Grand Nephew" which represents my great-grandniece) and the Relationships will be shown in a box, giving your titles and those of your relative. It's not (quite) as confusing as it sounds and gave me exactly the answer I was looking for.



I found this relatives chart on Wikimedia Commons. It wasn't quite as simple for me to interpret and, in fact, I think it might have an error, unless the first one is wrong - is it "great-great aunt" or "great-grand aunt"? If you know for sure, please let me know.

Another page I explored is from GenealogyInTime.com, called The Key to Understanding Family Relationships. If you're not sure if your first cousin's grandson is your first cousin twice-removed (he is), this page might help you understand how to figure it out.

Of course online sites such as Ancestry.com can help you trace and identify your relation to everyone on your family tree.

I can't wait to see a picture of baby Claira (it'll be a couple of months until I see her in person) and find out her middle name. I'm sure she'll be a beautiful baby and grow up to be a grand little girl. Make that great-grand. Her whole family is looking forward to seeing her, too. Hard to believe my sister will be a great-grandmother and my parents will be great-great grandparents. Our family is truly blessed.

Are you a great? A grand? Still confused? Tell me about it! Hope this information helps!

P.S. She's here and she's healthy! Welcome, Claira Elizabeth! 


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Photo Blankets: A Unique Gift for Grandparents

Gifts That Grandparents Love and Actually Use!


Photo blankets are unique gifts that the grandparents in our family truly love and use. Easy to customize, too!

A couple of years ago, I made one of the best and most unique gifts ever for the grandparents in our family, my mom and dad: Personalized photo blankets!

Personalized Blanket Throw: A Unique Gift that Grandparents Will Love and Actually Use
One-of-a-Kind Personalized Fleece Blanket with
Monogram and Black and White Photos

I'm not very artistic, so I was a bit skeptical going into the project. It turned out that the blankets were easy to design and the finished products definitely met and even surpassed my expectations. Both my parents couldn't stop talking about them. In fact, these are unique gifts that my mom and my dad like, enjoy, and actually use.

I chose Walmart.com's Photos and Gifts department when I made mine. They make it easy to choose a template, upload photos, and put together an attractive design using anywhere from one to thirty of your best photos along with optional text. I chose a monogram pattern when I made mine and I really like the look. The quality is excellent, too. I chose fleece; you might prefer a woven blanket or plush fleece fabric.

Another excellent option for making personalized blankets and throws is Zazzle. You'll find lots of ideas, all customizable, at this link. (Note that since I originally wrote this article I've ordered fleece blankets from Zazzle and have been very happy with the results, as was the gift recipient.)

Personalized Blanket Throw: One-of-a-Kind Gift that Grandparents Will Actually Use
This unique fleece throw features large color pictures.
The grandparents loved their gift!

Here are a few tips to consider when designing your own personalized blanket or throw.

  • When choosing photos, use the highest-resolution pictures that you have. I found the fabric to be amazingly forgiving, though, when I used a scan of a snapshot that was taken many years ago. It actually came out great.
  •  Color or black and white blanket? I made one of each and both are beautiful. Go with whichever looks best to you or whichever you think the recipient might prefer.
  • Note that the blankets are big and, therefore, the pictures look huge on the finished product, much bigger than a snapshot that you hold in your hand. The look was a good one, though, and I had no complaints. Just don't be afraid to add a larger number of photos than I did. The more pictures, the more entertaining the blanket will be to Nanny or Grandpa.
  • When you're choosing photos, don't forget to include pet pictures. Or dedicate an entire blanket to a grandparent's cherished dog or cat. Here's a cute example from Zazzle.


As I write this it's less than two weeks before Christmas, so perhaps too late to get the project done and delivered on time to beat Santa. Remember, though, that one-of-a-kind personalized photo blankets makes excellent gifts for a birthday, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day or Father's Day, Grandparent's Day, or just because you love them. 

It's your turn to talk. Have you ever given or received a photo blanket or throw as a gift? Grandparents, is this the type of present you would like to receive? Please chime in!
~ Susan

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Announcing a Pregnancy to the Future Grandparents

Announcing a pregnancy, telling the parents that you're pregnant and they'll soon be grandparents, is such an exciting time in a family's life. When you really want to surprise mom and dad, you might want to "freak out" the future grandparents with this pregnancy announcement keepsake ornament.


Isn't it fun? The design was created with the popular "Keep Calm" trend in mind but, as the designer says, "Who are we kidding, no one is calm when a new baby is on the way!"

It's a two-sided ornament with more of the pertinent pregnancy details on the back. Customize the due date or compose your own message. You'll find variations for aunts, uncles, grandma, and grandpa (separately) in the artist's store along with additional designs.

For a slightly more formal announcement, I like this card design, also customizable: 

Or, this artistic design on a high-quality card would make a beautiful keepsake, worthy of a frame or at least a prominent spot in the future baby's baby book:


You'll find more ideas for pregnancy announcements when you visit the links above. 

So now . . . What's your pregnancy announcement story? 

Our contributor Nancy Hardin shared this with us yesterday, on the day that this blog was born: "When my eldest daughter told me she was expecting, I was overjoyed. But that joy was magnified when after an ultra-sound, I learned she was expecting twins. My twin granddaughters were born, on the 9th of December, 1983, the very date of your new blog, but of course with a different year!"

I love that! Now it's your turn.

Do you have a "Gonna-be-a-grandma" or "How we told our parents we were expecting" story? Don't be shy! Our readers and I would love if you'd share it in a comment below. 

Grandparents' 100-Year-Old Wedding Cake Found

This 1-year-old cake is still delicious! The 100 year-old wedding cake? Eh, not so much.
This 1-year-old cake is still delicious!
The 100 year-old wedding cake? Eh, not so much. 

Did you hear about the man who found his grandparents' 100-year-old wedding cake in his garage? In a hatbox?

Weird, but true.

The top layer of the wedding cake was wrapped carefully after the wedding back in 1915 then stored in a freezer for many years. Eventually the cake was removed from the freezer but then disappeared. Recently, the 67-year-old grandson of the bride and groom was cleaning out his garage when he found a hatbox and opened it to reveal the surprise.

The cake is petrified and hollow, hard as porcelain, but otherwise intact.

The great-granddaughter of the bride and groom is next in line to receive what surely is one of the strangest family heirlooms ever.

Can you top this? What's the strangest heirloom that's been passed down in your family? Leave a comment to let us know!

Thanks to Yahoo News and Inside Edition (watch their video here) for this news story. 
Wedding cake photo from Austin White on Flickr, CC by 2.0 license