Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Grandmother’s Club

When I was expecting Brittany I felt like I was joining The Moms’ Club. Something I’d never known existed until I started letting women know I was pregnant.

Suddenly ladies who were already moms seemed more interested in me. They fell all over themselves offering me advice, maternity clothes and inviting me to do things with them. It was a little surreal.

Well, guess what? Now that I’ve found out I’m going to become a grandmother, I’ve discovered there’s a Grandmothers’ Club too! Everyone I know who is a grandparent has rushed to tell me “There is nothing like it” and “Just wait! It’s the best thing ever!”

So I’ve happily joined the club and while I’m waiting, I’m shopping. But only to keep Brittany from shopping.

Let me explain.

Brittany and Dan had just come up with a very strict budget before finding out they were expecting. And knowing Brittany like I do I knew the baby would be a wonderful reason for her to go on shopping sprees. So I suggested she wait until after her baby-shower to see what she needed. She agreed that was a good idea.

Not long after saying that, John and I went to visit them and Brittany and I decided to just “take a peek” at the Carters Outlet. And I bought two sets of clothes. I could tell that if at least one of us bought something for the baby Brittany could hold off. (And I must say it was a good thing we didn’t know the sex at that point because the little boy and little girl items were beyond precious!)

On our next weekend visit we knew the baby was a girl and again just stopped into a baby store to “look.” They were having a sale and Brittany kept picking up things that were both adorable and “a steal”, so again I bought. (I’m going to her shower after all and will need a gift.)

A couple weeks later she visited us and I took her to a baby store a friend had told me about. This time I was the one pulling tiny dresses off the rack to show her. I had to stop myself because really they are labeled 0-3 months and 3-6 months for a reason. They outgrow that size in about 90 days or less! So we shouldn’t fill her closet with more outfits then days in that size!

Brittany agreed with that too. But, the next time we were at her house she asked if John would go with Dan to pick up a dresser for the baby’s room that she had ordered. Later that day we went to Lowe’s to buy a closet system for the nursery. And soon after we returned to Hickory she called to tell me “the rocking chair for the baby’s room just came in.”

And I decided to stop trying to intervene. Brittany has always been able to outspend me, I can’t keep up. It’s against my nature. So I’m going to sit back and wait for little Kennedy to make her appearance. Because I’ve heard that one of those “best things ever” about being a grandparent is being able to watch your own child “handle” theirs!

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Names, Names, Names

Almost the first question people ask when they find out Brittany and Dan are expecting (besides “when are they due?”) is, “Have they picked out names yet?”

And they’ve worked hard at it! Nearly everyday Brittany would call me to see what I thought about a name. It was surprisingly hard to find a middle name that sounded good with the first names she was coming up with. It was also hard because they had to come up with names for both sexes even though they’d only be using one.

Then invariably Dan wouldn’t like the name or one of her friends wouldn’t so eventually she decided she and Dan would decide alone and “announce” the name as a “done deal”.

Good idea!

They chose the boy name first and when she called to tell me I held my breath hoping I would like it. I did!

Later when she called me with the decision on the girl’s name she said, “And the monogram for that one is really nice!”

She IS a southern girl after all!

So with that taken care of I could get down to the business of picking my Grandma name!
(There are so many things our parents didn’t have to worry about that we do!)

I asked every woman I knew who had grandchildren what their Grandma name was. Who knew there was such a variety? Lady Bug, Bitsy, Miss Betty, along with the more common ones: Gigi, Cici, Nana. Nana of course makes the most sense given that my name is Nancy, but a LOT of grandmas are called Nana. I thought the whole reason you pick Grandma names was to show your relationship was special! Different!

I even Googled “modern grandma names” “foreign grandma names”  “trendy grandma names”. Nothing hit me!

Someone suggested to wait and see what the baby calls me, but does that mean its parents won’t refer to me for the first year of its life? Or say, “Baby, look at that lady over there!”

Another friend who will soon be a grandma says she wants to be called “Favorite” which would leave “Other” for the …other…grandma. While I thought that was a fun idea I’m not sure I could do that!

For now I’m trying out Nana.

But we have a few months left before KENNEDY RAE arrives so if you have a great idea for a name for me let me know!

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Thursday, December 25, 2014


Brittany called on her way home from work one night and the first thing she said was, “Promise you won’t get mad?”

Of course my mind started racing wondering what she could have done that would cause her to ask. Before I could say anything she started sobbing.

Now I was really concerned! “Brittany, are you ok?”

“I’m pregnant!”

“Well, you’ve always wanted kids! And you wanted them before your second anniversary. So why are you crying?”

“Because the timing’s so bad!”

And then I started doing the math. She will be 7 months pregnant when John and I take she and Dan to Punta Cana for all of our birthdays in the spring.

And Dan had just taken on a loan to buy into another Jersey Mike’s store and they were just starting a new very strict budget.

I told her we’d make the trip a “last time it’s just the four of us” celebration. And she’d just have to re-do her budget to include a baby!

She cheered up, but said, “This wasn’t how I always planned on telling you!” I laughed knowing she had collected all the clever Facebook and Pinterest announcements people have done and told her she could use them on the rest of the family.

Except John, who she decided to call next.

When he walked into the kitchen that evening I turned to look at the expression on his face. I sort of expected him to be shaking his head over the timing. (Not about the trip, but about the money.)

But he had a huge grin on his face and said as he came up to hug me “Isn’t it exciting?”

I said, “You’re happy?” And his eyes teared up as he said, “Yes! It’s amazing!”

So we are in the throws of expecting! And it’s different from when I went through it 27 years ago. For one thing she went to the doctor when she was about three and a half weeks along and had an ultra sound a week later where she saw the heart beat.

My doctor didn’t want me to come in until I thought I was at two months and had only one ultra sound when I was six months.

And I didn’t get a print out picture of her! Brittany emailed me this first one and I printed it for my new baby book and labeled it:

“November 12th. Baby Oops”.

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Dog Sitting

Brittany and Dan weren’t able to see his parents over the Christmas holidays and had planned on visiting them in February. (Dan works most Saturdays so scheduling weekends away is hard.)

In mid January they started planning the trip beginning with what to do with their two dogs. They had had a bad experience with the kennel the last time they left them and Brittany couldn’t find anyone she trusted to come and stay with them.

After talking to John… or maybe I didn’t ask him, I forget…. I called Brittany and said, “It’s far enough out that we don’t have plans yet for that weekend. We can come watch the pups.”

Then we went through all the “Are you sure?” and “You don’t have to!” and “It’s no big deal!” and “It will be fun!” comments.

It really worked out well. John ended up working with one of his sales guys in Charleston that Friday so we were able to get to her house by late afternoon to let Charlie and Ava out in the yard to run a bit before heading downtown for one of my favorite Charleston events, the monthly Art Crawl.

Usually the dogs have the run of the house when Brittany and Dan are out, but she was concerned about them running out the front door when we came in, so told us to keep them in the master bedroom whenever we weren’t there and overnight.

The first night everything went smoothly. The next morning when I opened their bedroom door they knocked me over heading to the back door, but turned around, taking a flying leap to lick my face “good morning” before heading out to take care of business.

We were in and out that day, so lots of luring them with treats up to the bedroom. (At least they were getting exercise going back and forth.)

That night however, after cuddling with them on the couch watching a movie we practically had to carry the lab, Ava, upstairs to go to bed. (And she weighs 70 lbs.)

About thirty minutes later I heard her whining. On and on and on. I got up to let them both out again, then tried to get them to go back upstairs. They were having none of that! So I said, “OK, your mom lets you sleep on the sofa during the day. You can just stay down here for the night.” I pointed to it and they walked over, turned to look at me with cocked heads and I said, “Lay down.”

Without waiting to see if they did or not (and pretty sure they didn’t) I turned off the light and started upstairs. As I got to the guestroom where I assumed John had been sleeping through all this, I heard him say, “Why are you licking my face?”

I turned on the light and somehow Ava had gotten by me on the dark steps and jumped on top of John and was licking him for all she was worth. I felt something at my ankle and of course little shadow Charlie had followed.

So I caved. I told them they could sleep on the bed with us, but AT THE BOTTOM!

Then I turned off the light, got under the covers, felt Charlie settle at my feet and Ava lay full across my body.

And I at least didn’t move for the rest of the night!

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Visiting the Newlyweds

A few weeks after their wedding John and I took all the wedding presents down to Brittany and Dan’s in Charleston. Since they had left from our house for their honeymoon and went straight home afterwards our car was packed to the gills!

While we were there the newlyweds had a Pig Pickin so they could use some of their new stuff and we could visit with their friends. We had stayed with them quite a bit before the wedding, but this seemed like a new beginning. From here on we were in-laws and of course we wanted our new son-in-law to want us to visit as much as our daughter did.    

(Or at the very least not mind too much!) At the end I was pleased with how smooth the trip went.

A month later we went back for Christmas. When we stay with them we like to take them out to eat one night. This time we picked a restaurant downtown that we had tried once before and really liked. We also decided to go on Christmas Eve and Brittany would cook the Christmas Day dinner.

Again, everything went smoothly. Dinner was delicious, atmosphere delightful: we were having a terrific “first Christmas Eve” as a new family…until about 10:30 when we walked out of the restaurant and into the parking lot next door.

It was empty!

For a brief minute we wondered where we had parked. Then we all realized at the same moment we HAD parked there and the car was gone! In disbelief we walked around the empty lot thinking that the car would mysteriously reappear. No such luck. A sign was discovered instead at the very back of the lot which said “Private Parking” along with a phone number for the Tow Truck company!

After calling the Tow company to find out where they were we managed to get a cab and drive to North Charleston. $130.00 plus cab fare later we were in our car.

Brittany was feeling partially responsible because they go to that restaurant all the time and apparently have parked there before with no incident. I overheard her whisper to Dan in the taxi, asking if he had any money. But I told her it wasn’t her fault and to forget that.

Once in the car I realized this could either ruin Christmas or I could do something about it. So I mentioned a few times in the past we had left our car in questionable spots in various cities and then worried it would be towed the whole time we were gone until, relieved, I saw it again.

Then John mentioned something he had “gotten away with” in the past. Then Brittany. Finally I said, “Karma sucks!” And we all laughed.

While we all learned a lesson to always check carefully where we are leaving the car (especially in Charleston!) we also have a family memory that could have ended on a sour note, but didn’t.

I was also reminded that it is in my power to change my attitude and that makes all the difference in the world!

Maybe having a son-in-law is going to be a good influence on me!

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

My book is out in paperback on Amazon! You can preview it here

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Invading Their Space

Within minutes of walking through the door when Brittany comes home on a college break or for a weekend, her laptop gets turned on, set up and logged on to Facebook. I always ask her why she came home when all she did was “talk” to her friends back at school. (To her benefit she doesn’t say laundry.)

Facebook is a popular website, which until recently was only open to college students and alumni with a school email address, Brittany has 901 friends scattered all over the country. (I know this because every time we get together she shows them to me – after all they have put new pictures on and added funny new quotes since the last time she showed me!)

She told me once that it was hard to leave the site and said “I know what every one of my friends is doing this minute by their away messages!” The kids work hard at leaving interesting away messages!

My Space is probably the better-known site though. NPR reported on a program about MySpace.com that online communities are replacing malls where kids hang out. USA Today reported that My Space has become the dominant force in the social networking sphere. They have over 200 million members. In fact, one of the two founders, Tom, had 230,004,827 friends the last time I looked. (He comes with every person’s My Space page when they join). Do you suppose he makes his mom scroll through all his friends? His personal page has 793605 comments. Things like “You are my hero!”

I’ve seen all this because I joined MySpace.com too. Yep. Adults are members too. In fact it is well known that it’s a great place for people with online stores to advertise. (Which is why I’m there.) It takes awhile to figure it out. And there is a lot you just have to ignore. The site itself is kind of junky and at times incredibly slow, but you can post free classified ads, join groups (everything from fitness enthusiasts, vegetarians, sororities, fraternities, schools, “over 40s”, shopping addicts and a lot I wouldn’t want my mother to catch me looking at! (And I don’t!) You can also listen to new bands, download music, add music to your homepage, play games, rank friends from pictures they submit and blog.

Any adult who thinks there is something wrong with this hasn’t been on too many online forums. I read several different business related ones regularly and all of them have the ability for their members to join groups, private message other members, put people on their buddy list, add a picture and even a profile about themselves which include hobbies and interests. We seem to be a world of people looking for connection.

I wasn’t really thinking about Brittany when I was surfing around MySpace.com. I was pretty sure she was a member, but knew she spent most of her time and energy on keeping Facebook up to date. But, one day I typed her name into the “search for friends” bar and there she was in her low cut red formal. I typed a message to her: “Hi, I’m here to promote my site – what are you promoting? Mom”

I’m not on the site very much at all and really haven’t done much to my page. The only reason I put my picture on it was because the default picture was one of those head silhouettes like the police shoot at for target practice. Brittany’s page (besides the picture in that dress) has music and pink and brown polka dots!

She doesn’t mind me being there. She even asked to be on my “friend” list. (one of my 8…the rest are some of her sorority sisters and of course Tom.) In fact she also asked that I send her messages through MySpace.com rather then her regular email. She says they are easier and faster to get and respond to.

She has changed her picture though to one where she’s wearing an aqua sweater!

If you'd like to buy my book; 'In These Days of Cell Phones, Texting & Social Media ... Can the Nest Ever be Truly Empty?' visit: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I3RK534

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