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Thank you for visiting Grandma's Briefs, where I write on the good, bad, humorous and heartwarming of being a baby boomer, grandparent, parent to adult children, wife and writer. Peruse the place, leave a comment or two, and feel free to email me any time at

Meet the family

 grandma and grandpa
Lisa (me) and Jim (aka PawDad)

blended family
Brianna (oldest daughter) and hubby Patrick with his son James 

 grandsons and parents
Megan (middle daughter) with hubby Preston and Declan, Camden, and Brayden

youngest and her fiance
Andrea (youngest daughter) and hubby Matt


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    The Saturday Post

    Megan e-mailed yesterday afternoon to let me know how terribly wrong I was in saying in yesterday's post that Bubby knows five words. No, no, no, she said. He knows way more than that.

    Per Megan:

    Bubby's official word list 8/21

    1. Buh-bye

    2. All Done (he thinks it's one word)

    3. Mama

    4. Dada

    5. Uh-oh

    6. Baba

    7. Num-Num

    8. Diaper

    9. More

    10. Bird

    11. Ow (he says this one really whiny sounding and usually when he's rolling around on the floor throwing a fit)

    12. Mmmmm (okay, I know that's a stretch but every time he eats something he REALLY likes that's what he says)

    I stand corrected. And I expect this word list to be twice as long by the time I visit Bubby in October! (I did tell you he's a genius, didn't I?)


    Time out

    Bubby got his "first official time out" yesterday. Megan called, rather upset, to tell me that their houseguest had left the bathroom door open, Bubby got in there, and he made a mess. I imagined lotion squirted everywhere, maybe some lipstick drawings on the cabinets, garbage strewn across the room.

    Nope. None of the above. It was the age-old toilet paper unrolling.

    Kids have been fascinated by toilet paper since its invention, I believe. Andrea was our biggest toilet paper fan when the girls were little. It prompted me to purchase this picture that hung in our main bathroom for years:

    Andie was caught in a similarly red-handed fashion many times. Apparently we mentioned it so often as she grew older that she honestly believed that was a picture of her—something I learned only after hearing her point out the picture to a friend she was showing around the house. Many years and bathrooms later, I don't have the heart to get rid of Andie's potty picture so it now hangs in a spare bathroom downstairs.

    For Bubby's first hands-on toilet paper unrolling, he was more organized about his chaos: He placed all the unrolled sheets directly into the toilet. (At least he understands a small portion of the potty process! I'm tellin' ya, the kid's a genius.)

    Megan busted him fairly quickly, prevented a clogged toilet and placed Bubby in a time out. Being the ever-conscientious pre-K teacher that she is, Megan followed the timeout rules and Bubby's punishment lasted one minute. (For the unenlightened, the rule is one minute per year in age.)

    It was a very traumatic minute—for Megan. Other than minor admonishments when Bubby tries to climb as high as he can possibly find a foothold or when he's making a diaper change a difficult and dirty time, Megan hasn't had to do much disciplining of her baby.

    So that one minute was about 59 seconds too long for Megan. Bubby, on the other hand, survived it without major psychological harm, it seems. He may have even learned something ("No play!" as Megan firmly stated in her best stern-teacher tone).

    When the time was up, Bubby wrapped his arms around his mommy and gave her three big kisses; a sincere apology, I'd say, coming from a kiddo with a vocabulary of fewer than five (very unclear) words.

    Still, Megan needed assurance from her mom that she did the right thing, and she was on the phone with me before the slobbery kisses from Bubby had dried.

    You did the right thing, Megan. I promise.

    (But I'd make sure the bathroom door stays shut going forward, if I were you.)

    Great Grandma Idea #23: I'm thinking I need to make our longtime bathroom picture a traveling display, bestowing it on each of the girls' households as the grandkids take turns mimicking their Auntie Andie. With Bubby being the only grandchild so far, it's a pretty safe bet Megan's house will be the first awarded such an honor.


    Grandma got won over by a pit bull

    I never in my wildest imagination thought I'd be someone to own a pit bull. Horror stories abound of the vicious canines terrorizing innocent people and there was no way I'd even consider having such a dangerous dog around my loved ones.

    Until I met Mickey. And until I learned that the majority of horror stories about pit bulls are just that -- stories ... stories based on unfounded fears and an unfair bad rap.

    In 2005, the animal quota in our house was met. We had our black lab/collie mix Moses, a tabby cat named Abigail (Abby) and a goofy sorta calico/sorta black Halloween cat with a crooked tail and a bizarre way of drinking water (by dipping her paw in the bowl and sucking the water off) named Isabel. We didn't need any more animals.

    Then an e-mail went out at work about a dog who needed a home. A little brown and white puppy who, at 6 weeks old, had his back legs stepped on by his mentally challenged owner, breaking both back legs. That owner couldn't afford to repair the pup's legs and requested that he just be put down.

    The vet couldn't do it. She kept the dog, placed pins (LONG pins!) in each of his back legs, and searched for a home for him.

    After seeing the photo, I couldn't resist "just looking." And once we met him, Jim and I together couldn't resist just taking him home.

    We were responsible for keeping the recuperating patient from walking for several weeks, carrying him out to go potty then returning him to his kennel. He was on a schedule to slowly return to activity, and because of his sad eyes and penchant for snuggling, we agreed to it -- despite the vet telling us that she "thinks" he might have some pit bull in him, along with something else, possibly pointer.

    We took the little guy home, kept him kenneled, and kept him calmed with a CD of lullabies for dogs. We allowed Andie to choose his new name: Mickey, short for Macchiatto because his coloring was similar to carmel macchiattos, her favorite drink at the time. (No, I didn't let my little girl consume caffeine; she was a young adult, in college!)

    Within months, Mickey was good as new. And in no time, we learned to question all the scary reports about the horrors of pit bulls. I can honestly say he's the sweetest animal we've ever had -- and the biggest baby. He runs around the yard like a maniac all day, chasing squirrels and making up for the time he lost in his first few months of life. But he regularly makes pit stops on the deck or patio for some treats and tummy rubs. His most feared enemy: Brianna's little Hunter, the Chihuahua/Pomeranian mix with a Napoleon complex. Oh, and the ear drops I have to put in his ears occasionally; he shakes and cowers and crawls between Jim's legs to hide from me when it's time. But he always gives in and sweetly turns his head for me to administer the medication.

    Mickey is one of THE best animal addition we've ever made to our family. Everyone who takes the time to get to know him -- rather than succumbing to the sensationalized stories of dogs gone bad; stories that could be true of ANY animal trained to be vicious -- absolutely loves Mickey. He truly is the sweetest dog ever.

    A few days ago, I received an e-mail from a friend about a dog who needed a home. The e-mail included a picture of "Carly," who was recently found by an animal control officer and placed with an animal adoption organization. One of her front legs was severely injured and required amputation (done by the same vet office that rescued Mickey, by the same vet that recently showed incredible compassion when Jim and I had to put our Moses to sleep). She's now recuperating with a foster family until a new owner can be found. Reports are that she's sweet as can be and she loves to snuggle.




    She's also part pit bull.


    Jim and I are meeting her on Saturday.


    I'll let you know what happens.


    Just chillin'

    I've got a busy day ahead and not much time to post, so today's offering is just a photo of Bubby kickin' back in his Zeppelin jammies from Grandpa.

    He's got the right idea ... it's what we all should be doing -- or wish we were doing -- these last few days of summer!


    Auntie B's day

    Bubby and his Auntie BToday is Bubby's Auntie B's birthday. Yep, my Brianna is now 27 years old!

    Although it's been a few years since all my girls have been living at or near home, I'm still not completely used to having birthday celebrations with one or more family members MIA. Birthdays have always been an important day in our family, and it just feels funny not having all five of us -- plus our newest members, Preston and Bubby -- around for the festivities.

    The festivities aren't huge deals; in fact, they're usually relatively low key. But they're a special family time, and I've still not gotten a firm handle on "family" being fewer than five.

    From the time the girls were itsy bitsy, we'd mark their special day with cake and gifts -- first thing in the morning! Jim worked two jobs for much of our first decade together, which meant he'd often leave before breakfast and return once the girls were in bed. Which meant birthdays had to be celebrated in the early hours of the day as there was no way we'd have cake and open gifts without Dad in attendance.

    As the girls got older, birthdays were usually celebrated twice: once with their friends in some sort of home-based theme party and again with just our family of five gathered around the dining room table. When the teen years hit, birthdays were typically outings to a restaurant of their choice, with the family plus a friend in tow.

    When Megan's first birthday away at college came (our only daughter with a birthday falling during the school year), I had her roommate write "Happy Birthday" in red lipstick on the bathroom mirror -- a tradition in our family, to greet the birthday gal first thing in the morning. Each college year after, I ordered birthday cakes from the Ladies Guild to be delivered to Megan to share with her college friends. Then, of course, we'd celebrate as a family when she came home for the holidays.

    When Megan married Preston and they moved hundreds of miles from our home base, her sisters hopped on a plane and surprised her for her first birthday away from the family. And when Bubby had his first birthday, the rest of us flew in for the party, making sure we were there for the can't-miss event.

    I understand that we won't always be able to do such things, that our shared birthdays (and holidays) are and will continue to be fewer and farther apart. That's okay. We're all coming to terms a little better with the newfangled way in which we celebrate special days. Megan's far away and Brianna and Andie work unconventional hours, so we do our best to fit in the festivities in whatever way we can. We make do, much like we did with birthday cake for breakfast when marking the girls' first few birthdays.

    So although we wish Bubby, Megan and Preston could join us, the rest of us are looking forward to dinner (grilled shrimp and couscous) and a movie ("The Time Traveler's Wife") in recognition of Brianna's special day. Only it'll take place tomorrow because Brianna has to work tonight.

    But that's okay ... we're all a little old now to get a kick out of eating birthday cake first thing in the morning!

    Happy Birthday, Nonner!


    Live, from the desert ...

    It's BUBBY!

    Not taken from our Skype conversation, but this is pretty darn close to how Bubby appeared on camera (sans the funky hairline).

    Megan got the web camera hooked up on their new computer Friday afternoon and, after a few false starts, we got the Skype to work. I got to see and hear my Bubby in real time!

    Bubby waved, he tried to share with me a Cheerio or two from his snack container, he handed me a hanger (a hanger??) and he got to see the "meow-meows" as my cats, Abby and Isabel, roamed in front of the webcam on my end. Bubby even got to see Grandpa as Jim arrived home from work while we were chatting.

    We'll have to work on the camera locations and angles a bit, as I'm sure I don't appear to be looking directly at Bubby as often as I should since the camera is on top of my monitor. If I'm looking at the camera, I'm not looking at my Bubby ... and I should probably be looking directly at him, so to speak, so he doesn't get the image of a grandma who's dazed and confused (or shifty and refusing to look him in the eye).

    A time or two Bubby did look directly at the camera on his end, which appeared to me as if he were looking directly at me. The rush of love and the grin on my face was, I'm sure, exactly the same reaction he has when his beloved Elmo looks out of the television screen directly at him.

    Isn't technology grand? 

    Thanks for hooking me up, Meggie! The cell phone situation no longer matters so much.


    Fave photo of the week

    Bubby finds a new place to explore!


    The Saturday Post

    A while back I mentioned film roles for grandmas, lauding Doris Roberts' portrayal of the Kung Fu Grandma.

    Well, Brianna brought this next grandma role to my attention -- and she trumps the Kung Fu Grandma, earning the award for Meanest (and Creepiest) Grandma Ever!

    Check out this trailer for the upcoming movie "Legion," starring Paul Bettany as the bad-ass archangel Michael and Dennis Quaid as the self-appointed leader of a motley group trying to survive the apocalypse. Oh, and the MGE (Meanest Grandma Ever) shows up at 2:30 minutes in.

    (Note: This is a red-screen, R-rated preview; it features violence, bad language and demonic images, so if you're offended by that, don't click here.)