Welcome to Grandbaby Blues

A place to share your blues, missing your grandbabies. Tell me how you keep that close bond of a grandparent. Share how you've kept in touch from a distance.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Today is my grandson's birthday. I was there at his mama's side when he arrived. I wanted a little granddaughter and to the last minute, denied that it was going to be a boy-according to the ultrasound. He was nearly 9 pounds, round and beautiful. I loved him fiercely from the start. He loved to cook and bake with me. Whenever he was in trouble with his mom, he'd run to me to save him. I loved him and spoiled him. Now, I'll travel 8 hours to visit him on Christmas. I'll treasure every minute of our visit and leave him with enough kisses to last until our next visit.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pro Ball Player

My grandson plays ball. Whatever the sport, he throws himself into it wholeheartedly. He watches every game on tv. and studies the moves. I had the pleasure of watching him in action this summer. He pitched like a pro from the mound. He stood motionless for a few moments before the wind up, bent forward, hands behind his back, ball in his glove, looking the catcher in the eye, then wound up, one leg in the air and threw the ball--exactly like a pro! It was impressive. His summers are filled with baseball. In the winter he lives for Hockey. His future will definitely be in sports, and he is destined for PRO.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Growing up is inevitable. At least physically. Seeing my grandchildren on my recent visit after last year's visit was testament to that fact. My grandson was taller and had slimmed significantly from his involvement with sports. This was also evidenced by his T-shirt which read, "Eat, Drink, Sleep, HOCKEY". My 20 month old granddaughter has learned to walk since my last visit, and is now speaking in 2 - 3 word sentences. Her personality is engaging--she is quite a tease. When we try to get her to say grandma, her eyes twinkle and she smilingly says, "Papa" in a little sweet voice. During my week-long visit, I caught only glimpses of my grandson. He spent most of his time in the Arizona Room playing his Playstation, or off with friends somewhere playing. He is ten now, so I know that is typical behavior. It seems the more he grows, the harder it is to connect with him. I should know this also from raising my own two children. I find myself needing to grow in this area. I need to give him the time to grow, and accept the time we do spend together. Rather than grieving time lost, I am determined to be grateful for time spent. Time is fleeting and fickle. Hang onto those precious moments, and treasure them in your heart.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Outgrowing Gubba

Here I am visiting my grandkids in New York. A year has grown my grandson three inches and handsomer than ever. At ten and headed for fifth grade, he has little time for his doting grandmother. There are Play Station and XBox games, hockey and baseball drawing him away... He is a loving brother to his 20 month old little sister, a loving son, and responsible young man at home and school. Each year will take him further from his Gubba's loving arms. That is as it shoulg be. I just sit back and watch, loving each new and wonderful phase of his growing.

Friday, June 5, 2009


When we were planning my trip to New York this Summer, I asked my grandson, "What should we do together while I'm visiting?" He began to list: "Go for walks, bake cookies...", all the things we did together when he still lived here in Arizona. Recently when his mom asked him what he wanted to do when Gubba comes, he said, "She can bake peanutbutter cookies." Why peanutbutter cookies? I thought. What memory does that hold? He always enjoyed baking cookies with me. Why this particular kind? Is he just hungry for them? Or is there a memory connection? When we baked peanutbutter cookies it was his job to make the crisscross marks in the tops of the cookies with a fork. I wonder if he is remembering that. When I get there we will be making more cookies. And more memories.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Getting Ready

A little wooden rocking chair sits in front of the fireplace, overflowing with gifts, awaiting my grandkids visit. A rag doll with blanket, books (of course), music CD of lullabies, hockey, hockey, and more hockey stuff. A new car seat, a second-hand playpen, a doll highchair, teddybears everywhere waiting to play. We'll need new chains on the swings out back, clean off the porch. Ready the bedrooms, clean out the tub. We'll celebrate all their birthdays at once while they are here. Cook a Thanksgiving turkey, holding thankfulness in our hearts. The arms of the rocking chair, openly inviting. Gubba's arms and heart, waiting, wide-open.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Grand Slam

Bases were loaded. It was the top of the 6th inning. Cedric was up to bat. He had 3 balls, 2 strikes. He swung. He hit it deep into right field. One, two, three runners home. Cedric made it to third. The pitcher had the ball again. The runs tipped the score in their favor and the game was called before Ced could make it home. Now, I'm not a baseball officianado, but in my book, that was a GRAND SLAM!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Little Angel

My grandson, from time to time, would get into a little trouble. My daughter and I would discuss the issue, and I would give her some advice on how she could handle the situation. During a conversation with my daughter, she made some remark about Cedric's recent behavior. When I questioned her further, she told me that Cedric didn't want her to tell me about his bad behavior, because "she thinks I'm an angel." I have always been the one he runs to when in trouble. No matter what the behavior, I always love him. Not that his parent don't, I think it's just that when he's in trouble with his parents, he feels that for awhile. He may have chores or consequences afterwards, and probably feels disappointed with himself. With his gubba, he gets that immediate comfort of unconditional love. I don't have to dole out the punishment, just love. And I LOVE doing just that!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


My grandson, Cedric loves PopTarts! He has ever since he was a toddler. He knew exactly where we kept all the snacks. He'd sneak into the kitchen before we got up, to get his favorite PopTart. We'd find him crouched under the table munching away. Once when we couldn't find him, we noticed the coat closet door ajar. There he was inside amidst the coats, eating probably a second or third PopTart! His favorite, as well as mine, is brown sugar cinnamon. YUM! Guess what's in the box on the way to New York? My grandson's favorite PopTarts!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


After having my appendix out one Christmas, I received some nice gifts from my colleagues. One of those gifts was a coupon book, full of coupons to give to my grandson. Some of the coupons were more suited for parents to give their children. Others I could give and my grandson could redeem from me. Now that he lives so far away, I thought the coupons would be ineffective. Not so. I could still send him a coupon that says; Redeemable when visiting Gubba, or, I could customize the coupon and send money/items to my daughter to redeem the coupons in my absence. My son's grandma did a very special thing when she visited us from Ohio. She wrote little notes on tiny pieces of blue paper and hid them in my son's room. For months after she had left, he would find these sweet notes in odd places. They made him feel special and loved. She also sent a calendar one year with special notes written on different days of the year; "Today's your birthday! Have Fun!" or "I'm thinking of you" or "I miss you soooo much!" Wonderful ways to show someone they are special to you.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Photo Journal

As time goes on, I feel my relationship with my grandson slipping away. We still talk on the phone, but the conversations feel stilted. I started this blog, hoping people would add to my ideas,which are becoming fewer. I send the boxes that I know the kids enjoy, but I don't want the relationship to be just 'things my Gubba sends me'. I had suggested to my daughter to have my grandson keep a small pocket notebook to jot down things he'd like to tell me on our next phone call. Writing in the middle of having fun probably feels too much like work/school. I'd toyed with this new idea for my class; Let him take pictures to send me, sharing events or those simple beautiful moments when you wish the other person were there to see it. He can download and attach with comments in an email. It will be as if I were there.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I'll Pray for You

During our last phone conversation, I told my grandson about my writing class and finishing a story to send out for publishing. He sweetly responded, "I'll pray for you, Gubba." Just like the little mouse in the movie, "An American Tale" when you are far from each other, it's nice to know you are both gazing at the same stars, at the same time, thinking of each other. Set a time together to stop and think of each other at the same time, connecting thoughts and hearts in love.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Everyone gets caught up with living. I'm busy with teaching, writing, and my grandson is busy with school, hockey, church, sports, play. Writing has always been important to me. I've always kept a journal. One thing I've tried to do is keep a separate journal just for my grandson. I write funny things he's said or done. I'll save the journal to give on some special future occasion. I also share entries from my journal with him. In doing so I send the message that writing is important, and hopefully inspire him to keep his own journal.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Call

I just finished my Saturday call with my grandson. This time he called me. What a wonderful treat to pick up the phone and hear that sweet voice at the other end. Sometimes it feels like we don't have much to say to each other. I ask the standard questions; How're you doing in school? What have you been reading lately? Have you written in your journal? Can you make a picture for me? His responses are usually short. Doesn't matter. I understand. The news is old news to him. He's already lived it. I asked my daughter to help with this by having him keep a small pocket notebook to make a list of things to tell Gubba. Hearing his voice is the best gift. The things he says is the icing on the cake.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Web Cam

One of the things we've been meaning to do, is buy a webcam. With the arrival of the new baby, we thought it would be a great way to watch the kids grow. Now that we are deep in the recession and nothing is certain, we'll have to wait awhile. Maybe we could ask Santa...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Phone Date

When my grandson was faced with a new dad, new home in a new state, a new school with a new teacher and new classmates, and a new baby sister, it all spilled over into behaviors. He's always been very inquisitive, intelligent, and active. At times he can be a challenge, for his teachers and parents alike. He would spend a lot of time in trouble both at home and school. It seemed he would be grounded his whole life. When they lived close by, Gubba and Papa would rescue him, relieving his parents for awhile. He spent many weekends with us as his haven, a place to take a breath, a time out. We would love him and spoil him, then send him back home. Now that he is so far from us, he is without that escape. My daughter and I had many discussions when the behaviors started at the new school. We realized in addition to all the new additions in his life, he had experienced some loss as well. The loss of all those same things that were familiar and comfortable to him here in Arizona. We decided to reconnect him with his Gubba and Papa. We scheduled a phone date. Every weekend we make a call to New York, or they call us in Arizona. The call is just for him. I chat during the week with my daughter. We catch up. His voice always sounds melancholy, and he is always reluctant to say goodbye-blowing lots of kisses and waiting to be the last to hang up. We catch up on the latest hockey news, school happenings, grades, and friends. We encourage him, love and hug him with our voices. I like to think it's that extra dose of medicine that helps him feel better until the next time we call.

Monday, March 23, 2009


When my daughter and her family moved to New York, I wanted to assure my grandson that his Gubba was not going to forget him. I went to Target and bought several cards. They have a bigger and better selection there. I found cards like, "Wherever you are in the world, I'll always be close." and "Just peeking in to see how you're doing>" I sent one right away so it would be there when they arrived. Then I sent one every week at first. The cards were inexpensive and brought him the joy of receiving his own mail, and hearing from his loving Gubba.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Share Your Passion

From the time he was born, my grandson has been my kindred spirit. I was hoping for a little girl, someone to bake with, cook with, teach to sew... Right up to the last minute, I kept wishing for a girl. I was quite stubborn in my belief that the baby would be a girl. No matter. We couldn't be closer. My grandson loves to cook, bake, and has even sewn with me. I have shared my passions with him. He has a journal and everytime we talk I ask him if he's been writing in it. Of course most of the time he is busy with hockey, but he does manage to write in it once in awhile. I sent him a huge set of colored pencils for Christmas. He's quite an artist. When I visited last summer, I found a free art class in their town that we attended together. My son in law is his biggest fan. He supports his sports interests, sharing his own passion and stories from his LaCrosse days. I just sent him a subscription for Kids Sports Illustrated. When kids see our passion for things, it ignites their own interests. They get inspired and motivated in new directions of interest. Sharing your passions doesn't have to cost money. Hiking or walking has always been our favorite. We live outside of town, with beautiful views of the desert and mountains. We walk our neighbor in the evening, before it gets too dark (when it's cooling down). It is a wonderful way to stay fit and spend some time together. Now when I walk with my friend, I can still see my grandson racing ahead on his bike or scooter, chattering away.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I try to send a box every couple of months -- or at least on the holidays. I pick up the Flat Rate boxes, which come in several sizes. No matter how much I cram into it, or how much it weighs, the cost remains the same. Shipping can be costly. I know. The Christmas box cost me a fortune. Now I try to pack it myself. Shipping stores charge 3x's the amount I pay at the Post Office. I have sent packages to my great nieces for years. Two nieces at the beginning turned into three, then into four. When my own grandchildren came along and the economy took a dive, sadly I had to cut back the number of boxes I sent to my nieces. I pick up a small box and leave it sit out for a month or so, as I collect little things to put in it. I love finding cute little things at the dollar stores and in unexpected places. Some may consider it junk, but the child in me always saw "treasure". My nieces and nephew saw it that way too. Their mom told me that once while cleaning out my nephew's room she suggested he throw out a silly pen I'd sent him. He exclaimed, "No! Aunt Laurie sent me that." It had to have been years earlier, but he remembered, and it meant something to him.
The small flat rate boxes are perfect. It doesn't take long to fill it, and the cost is minimum. The pleasure receiving it is great. Kids love getting mail. My niece told me that the kids played for weeks with the little things I sent. A little thoughtfulness goes a long way.

Friday, March 20, 2009


computerPhones are our lifeline. It is our daily practice to call each other every morning. One or the other of us calls as I'm getting ready or on my way to work. This week I've been home on Spring Break, so my daughter and I have chatted quite a bit. Thanks to the camera feature, I've been able to see my new granddaughter grow. I've seen her smiles; heard her giggle and squeal; heard her first attempts to talk (she says papa in a sweet whisper, but she hasn't said "Gubba" for me yet) I've seen her silly antics as she plops her bucket upside down and sits on it in front of the tv. I've seen my grandson's hockey game/practice (and seen him sit in the penalty box) I've heard my daughter retell all the latest happenings in her home, with the background music of my precious grandkids playing while we talk. It's as if I am there while it's all going on. She calls for my advice when my grandson is in trouble, or to share a receipe, or ask me a question about cooking/baking. We are still close despite the long distance. Our long distance is free on the cell phone, although we use minutes when we call outside of the time parameters. We adjust when needed. I have 5 cents min. on my home landline. Even so, the cost is worth it. There is instant messaging on the computer, and even voice chat--if I can figure it out. I'll have to get my personal tech service to help me. (my son) Nothing can replace that personal connection when you hear your loved ones voices. Ahhhh, music to my ears.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fragrant Memories

Resurfacing Memories

Resurfacing memories
Floating into view
Held by long strings
Yanked into the present
By unlikely connections
Snatches of songs
A familiar wafting scent
Little vignettes
Reenacted afresh
Eliciting emotions
Long since grieved and buried
Connected now to a new circumstance
On a shorter string

I talked to my daughter this afternoon. She had gone shopping at the mall and bought a new fragrance at Bath and Body. When my grandson smelled it, he told her it smelled like Gubba.

My sis suggested I make a small pillow for his bed and spray it with my fragrance, to help him feel close to me when he's missing me.

Keeping in Touch

Ever since my daughter and her family moved to New York in 2007, I've been trying to keep in touch with my grandson from this heartaching distance. We have different time zones to contend with as well as different cell phone companies. On my grandson's first day in his new school, I set my alarm for 4:30 a.m. so I could talk to him before he left for school. He gets nervous facing new situations. We blew kisses back and forth, catching them on our heart. It was as if I were there in person, giving him a hug before he left.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Missing My Grandson

Going about my morning preparations for work, I encountered leftover evidence from my grandson's weekend visits. I was rattling around in the kitchen, preparing my lunch for the day, and as I opened the cabinet door, mini marshmallows came tumbling out. Memories of our weekends together came tumbling along with them; snuggling in bed together, morning chatter, starving for breakfast, sipping hot chocolate overflowing with mini marshmallows. My heart overflowing with reminiscences, tenderness, and love, my eyes spilling tears, I called my grandson, connecting Arizona and New York with love.