Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, project enterprise series, steampunk, humor
This is my country grandma in front of the log cabin where she raised her family.

Sometime in the next month, I’m going to become a grandmother for the first time. Twice. Yup. Twins. You probably know this because I’ve only mentioned it a few thousand times here, on Twitter and FaceBook and to random strangers who make the mistake of looking at me for one second. Yup, the hermit is talking to strangers.

I love being a mom but as the Big Moment approaches, I have realized that becoming a Grandma requires some preparation, because I don’t want to just be a grandmother, I want to be an awesome grandmother. I have great examples of awesome grandmas in my life, though my grandmothers were as different as two people could be.

Country grandma, pictured above, raised her children in a log cabin. For real. A visit to her house included trees to climb, a ditch to play in, a big bag of ginger snaps under the sink and a thousand cousins. Or it might have been fifty. I know it was a lot and we often picked up some non-related kids, too. There wasn’t much money, but there was lots of love. No one came to Country Grandma’s house and left without something, even if it was just a haircut. From her, I learned about charity that never failed. I used to make her homemade bread, until I moved to the South (that’s another blog post).

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, steampunk, humor, action adventure
She’d laugh over me calling her Urban Grandma, since she lived most of her life in a very small town.

Urban grandma grew up in the city, fell in love with a cowboy and moved to the wilds of Wyoming to raise her family. Her house was dim and cool, and kind of magical (I made it Mel’s home inΒ Out of Time). When I spent time at her house there was a drawer with crayons, coloring books and sometimes, paper dolls to play with. She taught me embroidery and tried to teach me to tat. I’d sit by her chair and stitch while she told me stories about the grandpa I never met (he died when my mom was five) and the uncle who died in WWII. Urban grandma loved to read romances. She shared her books with me and I typed my first story on the huge, old typewriter in her basement.

My own mother was an awesome grandma. She made it look easy, which is why I got lulled into thinking that because I’d been a mom, being a grandma would come naturally. Thanks to them, I know the love will be easy. But so much has changed since I was a mom of little ones. I went to BabyUSA with my daughter-in-law and there was stuff I’d never seen before! O.O

I could so see the point of the PeePee Teepees, but all that other stuff? Which is awesome and would really help, and which is all dazzle and no real use? Inquiring future grandma needs to know.

So, welcome to The Grandma Project. I’m sort of ready, so don’t panic.

I’ve made a few decisions about what kind of grandma I want to be. I’m going gray, for one thing. Both my grandmas sported their gray and white. I wouldn’t have minded being the skinny, gray grandma, but yeah, well…

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, steampunk, humor, action adventure
Waiting on return of natural color to know how much gray…

I rock cookies. So I’ll be the gray-haired, cookie-making, on the plump side, grandma. And we’ll hope the kids don’t find out everything else until they are old enough to handle it.

But I’m hoping all of you can help with the parts I don’t know, and didn’t know I needed to know:

  • My grandma name. I grew up in Wyoming. It was lovely, but as far as I know, everyone called their grandmas…grandma. To differentiate, we added a surname. Yeah, not too inspired. After living over 30 years in the south, I know grandma names can be pretty fun. Or quirky. Of course, I realize that choosing a grandma name, and getting the kids to use it…but I figure I should be prepared.
  • What’s the cool stuff a rocking, okay, lame jig grandma should have around the house? What great, new baby stuff is actually great? What are the hot, new reads in picture books? (I see Incognito Mosquito is out of print!)
  • Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, steampunk, humor, action adventure
    Nothing will be safe.

    I know we need to child proof the house, but what modern, unseen dangers, haven’t I heard about? (We’ll be moving the hubs rocks into storage and I’ll have to work not to do a jig for that.) When my kids were little, we didn’t have computer cords and such to worry about. Our son (who will be the father of the twins, btw) was hard on the appliances and such we did have back in my olden days. Is there cool, new child-proof stuff or is it the same old stuff?

  • I don’t want to just be an awesome grandmother, but I want to be a great mother-in-law to the mom of my grandchildren. What are the guidelines? How do I help in good ways? How do I adore and admire, without being annoying?
  • What are some questions I don’t even know to ask, but will need to know?

So, peeps, that’s the project. And I need your help. So give it to me straight. Help me be awesome, and suitably named, as I embrace grandma-hood heart and soul.

All comments are entered in my monthly drawing for a $10 AnaBanana gift card, suitable for grandmas and non-grandmas. Winners announced the first blog post of the new month. πŸ™‚

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, steampunk, humor, Project Enterprise

Perilously yours,

Pauline

If you have some time left over from thinking about the Grandma Project, and if you love to read, if you enjoy action, adventure, a little romance, and a little humor in your reading, then I hope you’ll pop over and check out my books on my website at paulinebjones.com. I’ve also started to post information about my upcoming release,Β Relatively Risky. It will be my first, new romantic suspense novel to release in six years!

The Grandma Project – Help!

14 thoughts on “The Grandma Project – Help!

  • April 28, 2013 at 10:34 pm
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  • January 31, 2013 at 10:10 pm
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    I can already tell you’re going to be an awesome grandma Pauline! This is such an exciting time and living it through you is making me look forward to that day in the future when it’s my turn. And good for you in wanting to be the type of mother-in-law your son and daughter-in-law need. They are lucky to have you as part of their family.

    I’m sorry I don’t have suggestions for a super-cool grandma name to offer. For me, I decided a long time ago to take the name of my favorite grandma – Ma-maw (the first ‘ma’ pronounced as in macaroni), if my grandkids will let me. They’ll probably give me their own name.

    I hope this next chapter in your life brings you more joy than you ever expected!

    • February 1, 2013 at 6:11 pm
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      Thank you so much, Karen. It is my plan (hope?) to be a good grandma AND a good mother in law. πŸ™‚ Your grandma name is cute, but yeah, I think the kids can mangle things and then they stick. LOL! Frankly, they could call me idiot brain and I’d love it. LOL!

  • January 28, 2013 at 3:10 pm
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    Pauline, you are going to be a fabulous grandmother. If you have a fun or quirky name that you want them to call you, then have the family use it. Don’t be surprised if the babies decide to call you something else. (My mom has two different names depending on the sibling sets. LOL.)

    I love that you want to be a great mom-in-law, too. That is such a loving and generous thing to want. Mostly, I think that requires a ton of listening to what the twins’ parents want (how they want to feed and clothe them and what movies/TV they will be allowed to watch and at what age–those kinds of things), especially when they are little. I have to admit that someone I know *cough* dealt with a MIL who cut her daughter’s hair for the first time without telling her or taking pictures. Then there’s the FIL who thought Snow White was a perfectly good movie for a 2.5 year old to watch (it’s not). My in-laws are the best, and I love them–so I forgive the overspoiling and the movie-induced night terrors and the haircuts (that doesn’t even bother me anymore) because they babysit my little one nearly everyday with so much love.

    And if you’re willing to babysit at all (I have a different friend who’s MIL wasn’t willing to babysit AT ALL, EVER and refused to babyproof her house for their short parent-accompanied visits), then just know how far you can spoil the twins before you send them home. πŸ™‚

    One thing I loved when I was first home with the baby was that my MIL asked for a list of things that I wanted her to do around the house. It was so helpful while I got to know my newborn (I figured this one out with our second baby).

    I could go on and on about some of the great things my MIL did. You will be great!

    • January 28, 2013 at 8:44 pm
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      What great suggestions! Thank you so much! I hadn’t thought of asking her for a list of things I can do. Your stories are awesome! Oh my. And I’m totally looking forward to babysitting and yes, the house will be child proofed!

      • January 29, 2013 at 8:04 am
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        You’re so welcome! I’m grateful to share them with you here because I can’t share them on my own blog (not really) because my in-laws read it. LOL.

        I can’t wait to hear all your new grandma stories!

        • January 30, 2013 at 8:52 am
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          LOLOL! I know the problem. I had to um, er, edit my comments when I recalled that the people involved might read them. LOL! We are literally on the countdown now. It hit me last night that my son was going to be a dad and my heart stopped! Then I started to remember him as a baby and my heart clutched. Amazing times!

  • January 28, 2013 at 11:04 am
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    I agree with the above comments! Somehow, it just happens! Being a grandma is THE BEST JOB EVER!!!! I adore my little sweeties! I am called “Nana, the party animal” and all I had to do to earn that title was have sleep overs on mattresses in front of the TV. We eat popcorn, watch movies and play video games that I am terrible at! Although you might be impressed with my skills at Just Dance!! The g’kids are impressed and that’s what counts!! We go swimming at midnight ( a perk of living in AZ), we ride bikes, we play at the park and one of our fav places to go is the trampoline place! They can literally bounce off the walls!! How fun is that?? The best part of being Nana is you can just play with them and have none of the other responsibilities! Of course, I didn’t know any of this……that’s the beauty of it, just have fun with them and they will love you! I know from personal experience you are tons of fun to hang with so you will be an awesome g’ma!! Hey, how about g’ma Penelope prune Pitt?? πŸ™‚ you will be amazing!!

    • January 28, 2013 at 1:20 pm
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      LOLOL! Yeah, that would be me, but not sure the kiddies could say! I’m not sure I could say it fast. LOLOL! You are a wonderful Nana, I know, because I’ve seen your daughter on FB! Thank you so much! πŸ˜€

  • January 28, 2013 at 9:55 am
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    I would suggest two things….first, don’t over-think it. You’re going to be just fine! Look at the wonderful role models you had! Let it just happen, because most of the fun of being a “Gramma” comes from constant surprise and innovation! And don’t be afraid to be a “Coco Puffs” gramma! When I ended up with full custody of two of my grand kids that’s what I missed the most! I had to be the “It’s meatloaf and green beans, and yes you will eat it” gramma instead of the “Well, why don’t we fix you some Coco Puffs for supper instead?” gramma. A bowl of empty calories on occasion doesn’t hurt anyone, and the giggles are so worth it! Oh, and for computer cords? Pick up some of that gray foam tube pipe insulation, thread the cords through that, tape the split shut, and then tuck the tube against the wall. They never even see it! I wish you the joyous, amazing, chaotic journey I’ve loved so much!

    • January 28, 2013 at 1:19 pm
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      Oh, that insulation thing is great idea! Going to pass that on to the son and d-i-l, too. They’ve been worrying about that! Thank you for awesome advice! I am pretty good at not thinking, so I should be able to manage that one. LOL! Thank you!

  • January 28, 2013 at 7:32 am
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    Pauline, I love your memories of your grandmothers and have no doubt that you will be a wonderful grandmother yourself. Grandmas and Grandpas are so important because they bestow unconditional love even when the cookie jar is empty and the culprit has chocolate all over her face (ask me how I know). And don’t worry about newfangled gadgets. My grandparents always searched for special toys, but our favorites were the big cardboard boxes the toys arrived in!

    • January 28, 2013 at 1:18 pm
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      Lynn, thank you so much for the kind comments. Both my grandmothers just rocked, so I’m like, how did they do that? LOL! Oh yes, I remember the boxes. Loved them. LOL!

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