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a GRAND x 2! insights from one Grand to another!

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

We don’t know about you,

but the month of May has always been a busy one in both of our households!

As retired teachers, we remember the years

of juggling our end-of-the-year responsibilities at school

along with the many May celebrations with our own kiddos!


For Laura there was always the addition of 

her daughters’ birthdays to consider,

with each often bookending Mother’s Day!


Happy birthday to Daughter J (our firstborn and very pregnant daughter) on May 6

and to our Daughter A who came along 5 years later on May 12!

Being their mama fills my heart!  🩷

Daughter J & Daughter A a year ago!


This year Daughter A celebrates her special day on Mother’s Day

and, who knows, 

we may be celebrating the arrival of 

a new Little to the family by then!


The excitement of welcoming a new Little is what led

to the focus of this week’s post…

As Grands we both have embraced this role in life!

Being a GRAND is just the best!

Last fall, Laurie became a Grand for the second time 

and, as Laura prepares to welcome grandchild # 2

(yes, another Little who will call her Bacco), 

some GRAND advice from a friend is needed!


So…  today Laurie is sharing her special message with us all!


When we were planning our Spring blog posts earlier this year,

the topic of becoming a Grand for a second time

obviously came up in our conversations!


A Forward from Laura…

I have ALWAYS valued Laurie’s wisdom!

While I’m older than she is, she became a mom before I did..

Her son (her youngest) is the same age as my daughter (my oldest)

and I always gleaned parenting advice from her

during our years on our church’s Children’s Ministry team.

When we reconnected after retirement, 

I learned that she had become a recent Grand

and I shared that I was expecting my first!

Once again I learned from her - this time with her Little D!

As we started to think about writing a blog

and ways we might reinvent past experiences as moms and kindergarten teachers

in this new and GRAND way,

I’ve been reminded over and over again just how much I value her perspective...

her GRAND perspective!

I’m guessing you will, too! 




Dear Laura (and everyone else, too),

When we were planning out our blog posts, you suggested a post on welcoming a second (or third, or fourth…) grandchild into your life.  You seemed to think that I was very wise by now having two Littles that call me Grammy! You asked for this wisdom since your own Little # 2 will be here soon!!  I’m not sure what advice I can give you.... you are a fabulous grandma already, but I am happy to give it a try.






I remember when I was pregnant with my second baby.  I worried I wouldn’t be able to love this new baby as much as I loved my daughter, my firstborn!  How could I? She was perfect!  But the minute my son showed up, I realized my heart was big enough for both my precious children.  I admit thinking the same thing while watching my daughter’s stomach grow with my second grandchild - did I still have enough room in my heart to love another grandbaby?  The minute I picked up that warm little body,  you know, the one that slumps against you like a big sack of rice, my heart - like the Grinch - grew three sizes that day!  Little P… we love you so much!







One of my first thoughts once Little P arrived, was how could I best support her mommy and daddy, our Daughter A and our SIL? As most moms, I want to be that perfect mom, also knowing that is impossible.  I lost my own mom right before Daughter A’s first birthday and during the year before that, she was slowly losing her battle with cancer. I thought of all the things I missed by not having my mom around during my days of raising a family..  The main thing I wished for was having someone else (besides my husband) who thought my kids were the best things in the world!  No one but a grandma really cares about the small things - when your child sleeps through the night, how that small rash is doing, or how the doctor appointment went that day.  So I try to check in with my daughter daily (if possible).  I ask questions (I really am interested!) and tell them how incredible their kids are (they are!). 


A Grand Tip!

As I age, I admit that sometimes,  I write myself notes 

(for a dr. appt, swimming lessons, etc.) 

so I check in on a timely manner!  

I do this not because I’m not interested, 

but because my memory is getting older, too!)


I try to reassure both Daughter A and SIL that they are wonderful parents (I really do believe that!)   I’m also working very hard on keeping advice to myself, unless I am asked.  As a Grammy, I am not raising those Littles, my job is to love them without judgment.





    



As a Grand, it’s not much different, just a bit more chaotic and tiring!!  I am so fortunate to be retired and able to watch my Littles one day or more a week.  While Daughter A was still on maternity leave, I did try to take Little P a couple of times alone so I could get to know her better.  I love playing games, doing crafts and playing outside with my older Little (Little D), but oh, oh, oh, to have that time to stare at that baby’s face, sing to her, cuddle her and try to coax a smile, was a gift!

Once I started watching them both at the same time, I struggled with (and still do!) the guilt of “not spending enough time with either”!  But as my husband reminds me, there have been siblings since the beginning of time who have learned to share attention with loved ones, and they turned out fine!  So yes, Little P might spend a little more time under the play gym than her sister did while I make lunch, assist in potty breaks, etc, and at times, I ask Little D to look at books while I change her sister or make a bottle, but they take it all in stride and do great.

The first day I took care of both girls was quite chaotic but as time has passed I have settled into a routine and am doing quite well with my “D and P Day”!  Little P is exposed to many books and songs that are probably too old for her, and Little D is listening to “baby” books again, but we do it all together - every other book - and the snuggling and talking binds the three of us together.  Little P tried her hands at painting the other day - much earlier than Little D ever would have - so she could join her sister’s activity.  It was kind of a disaster, but we smiled and laughed, and probably went through a whole container of baby wipes cleaning it (and her) up!  (I went to bed EXTRA early that night!)  I am quite pleased with myself on most days and mentally pat myself on the back for doing a job I mastered 30 years ago!!



   

    

I was the youngest of three, and I was a very tired mom of two Littles, born close together, so I don’t know if I have realized the power big brothers and sisters can have! Little D can make her baby sister smile and laugh more than anyone else.  Little P loves watching her big sister and her eyes follow her around everywhere.  I try to play that up!  “Little P is learning how to clean up toys while watching you” or “Thank you for reading by yourself while I change Little P.  She is learning patience from her big sister”.  

A Word of Caution! I had spent the last two years telling Little P’s big sister (LIttle D) that she was my favorite girl - the best little girl in the world!   I had to retrain my brain once Little P came into the picture.  If you have just one little girl and one boy, you can still use girl and boy, but with two girls I had to be careful of saying “favorite girl”. Now I use the trick I used while teaching kindergarten. When kids told me I was their favorite teacher, and waited for me to respond,  I would reply with “And you are my favorite (insert name)!” They would skip away happy and secure with my response! 

I try hard to make sure each Little has their own identity with me.  I have a song that I have sung to Little D since her birth - “You Are My Sunshine”.  I sing it to Little D before her nap or bedtime and she will remind me if I forget.  The first time I sang it to Little P, her sister said “Grammy, that’s MY song.” So I began racking my brain for a new song to sing to Little P.  Luckily I found this book which gave me other verses for the same song, so now I sing “You Are My Starshine” to my youngest..  It even has more verses if I am blessed with more grandchildren!

A Grand Tip!

For Grands and parents alike -

 I really encourage you to have “a song” for your Little.  

I still remember the song “MaryAnne.” 

My mom sang to me when I was little, 

changing the words to Laurie Ann (Ann is my middle name).  

It made me feel so special - I often sing it to my own Littles!





   


I’m not sure what other bits of wisdom I have to share with you. 


 Oh yes - I get tired.  Very tired! 


My house becomes a mess.  The dishes pile up.  Sometimes my back aches from lifting children all day.  I spend the evenings when I have had the girls staring blankly at the TV,  counting the minutes ‘till bedtime.   

But….what a wonderful exhaustion and mess it is!  I cherish  Every!  Single!  Minute!  Yes, every single minute I get to spend with my Littles is a blessing and all is right in my world on my Little D & Little P Days”. 

So, my wonderful friend Bacco Laura - 

You will do great!  We all will do great!  Because the best thing we grandparents have to offer is LOVE!  We have SO much of it to share!  And I think all our hearts grow bigger and bigger with each Little that blesses our GRAND lives!


🩷Your Friend and Fellow Grand,

Grammy Laurie

Thanks so much for stopping by

and for taking the time to read Laurie's heartfelt post!


While her post is focused on her thoughts 

of being a GRAND to more than one Little,

Laurie's message is equally powerful as Mother’s Day approaches!

Her words speak to any of us who are blessed to be called 

Grammy, Bacco, Grand anything OR Mommy!

If you are still looking for Mother’s Day inspiration

don’t forget that we’ve got three past posts for you,

devoted to this subject!


Our 2024 Post and Last Year’s Edition both offer fun gift ideas

and then our most recent post,  Mother’s Day Brunch Bites

outlines simple recipes you and your Little can recreate for Mom!

YUM!

Since we have babies on our minds so often these days(!)

we will be back next week with our post, 

We look forward to sharing easy and engaging activities,

specifically geared toward Littles, 0-6 months old!



If you have baby fever like we do,

feel free to check out these past posts from Our Grand Lives!

Becoming a Grand!  (February 2023)

AND

In our past posts on the topic,

we found ourselves taking a trip down memory lane!

We touched on the ways we celebrated our granddaughters’ births

and shared steps we took, as grandparents,

 to support our own kids (the new parents)

and ease the transition for all involved!

We invite you to follow us on any or all of our three social platforms!

We also invite you to subscribe to our blog!


You can find us on Instagram and Facebook

where we share ideas regularly!

 and you can find our growing collection of ideas on Pinterest, too!


Wishing you all a wonderful month of May

and a




SPECIAL THANKS TO

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18 Comments


Paula Short
Paula Short
May 29

This post is so full of tid bits of wisdom. I appreciate both of you sharing your wise words. This is so heartfelt and informative.

Thanks L&L for sharing this with Sweet Tea & Friends this month sweet friends.

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Our Grand Lives
May 30
Replying to

Thank you, Paula! That's one of our favorite things about our friendship... we learn so much from each other! We appreciate you and the Sweet Tea & Friends link up!

💕 Laura

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Guest
May 20

This is such beautiful advice! What a blessing to learn from your mom what it means to be a Grand, even when she's gone. My mom is gone, too, and I don't have Littles yet, but the perspective you're talking about here is one I hope to have. Thanks for sharing this post with us at the Will Blog for Comments #38 linkup this week. Hope to see you there next time, too. -Jennifer

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Our Grand Lives
May 21
Replying to

Awww... thank you, Jennifer! We're so grateful for each other and for the opportunities our friendship provides to share insights with each other... and we're grateful for readers like you, too! 💕

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Guest
May 13

These are wonderful tips. When I became a grand for the first time, it was a learning curve for me to keep my thoughts about how to raise a child to myself. You were on spot with that is the parents job. As time went by and grands are older, I do 'spoil' them. When I sit with the girls on Saturday evening while the parents go out on a date nignt, we will pick out a movie, eat popcorn and they end up falling asleep on the couch. Me right with them. . Saturday movie night is our special time. One I hope they will continue to share with me!

Take care and best wishes.

Debra | Gma'sPhoto

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Our Grand Lives
May 17
Replying to

Oh, Debra... your Saturday movie night ritual sounds wonderful! We each look forward to making memories like that with our own Littles! Talk to you soon! -Laura

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Guest
May 11

You both have very lucky grandchildren to have you in their lives. I have a granddaughter and a grandson at the moment, but am aware that favourite girl/boy may have to stop. Happy birthday to your two daughters, my eldest son celebrated his birthday in May also. Chickenruby

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Our Grand Lives
May 17
Replying to

Thank you so much, Suzanne, for your kind comments. Our Littles certainly enrich our lives! Let us know if you come up with a solution to the favorite dilemma... it may be in our futures, too! Happy birthday to your son, as well! May birthdays are wonderful! 💕

-Laura

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jviola79
May 11

This is a precious post both in thoughts and photos! Being a Mimi is quite special. Each one is unique and brings their own special memories to our families. I so agree, it is amazing how with each addition our hearts increase in size :) and for that I am most grateful! Happy Mother's Day to you both!

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Our Grand Lives
May 11
Replying to

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our post and for your kind comments, too. We agree with you, that there is nothing like the Grand life! We feel so blessed to not only be part of our grandchildren's lives but to watch our own children now parent their own Littles! Wishing you a beautiful Mother's day, too! 💕 -Laura & Laurie

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