Gran? Grandma? Grandiose? Grandiloquent? Which do you think best describes me?

Great news on the home front: My daughter and her husband are expecting a baby in August.

Some women freak out when they’re told they are soon to be grandmas. They think it means they’re old, or something.

Two thoughts about that:

  • You’re young only once but you can be immature forever. (And that is my plan.)
  • When my grandmother was my age, she was a great-grandmother.

The pregnancy was planned — just not for a little while yet. They were going to start trying for a baby within the next year. As the old saying goes, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

Read more about it in Abby’s post, “Oops.”

I’d had a quiet fear that Abby would be unable to conceive due to residual health issues from her near-fatal bout of Guillain-Barre Syndrome. More about that can be found in “You can’t even tell perfect bodies apart.”

Thus I’m delighted beyond the capacity for rational sentences. The tough part for me is not living close enough to offer help and hotdish and, yeah, to spoil the dickens out of the grandbaby. Arizona and I are not a match, however.

So I’ll be looking for discount plane tickets – I plan to use the CheapoAir affiliate widget here on the site – and squirreling away those Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks. After all, I’ll need to buy diapers and maybe Vol. 1 of “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” for bedtime reading. Baby geeks R us.

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  1. Congratulations! Best wishes to mommy & baby for an easy, healthy pregnancy. You are about to enter a wonderful time of life! The love you will feel for your grandchild is HUGE, yet so different from the love you feel for your children.

    A friend of mine has a credit card that pays great air miles. She uses is for EVERYTHING and pays it off at the end of the month. She uses the miles to fly cross country to see her grand-daughter twice a year. Just a thought.

    VERY happy for you all!!

    • Donna Freedman

      @Mary L: Thanks! I’ve already felt amazing delight for my niece’s two boys; since I helped raise her, I consider them de facto grandkids. But I expect my heart, like the Grinch’s, will grow 10 sizes plus two with this new arrival.
      I’ll be saving those frequent flier miles, yes indeed I will.
      Thanks for your good wishes.

  2. Reta Davis

    Well, wowee wow! Congratulations, dearie. I go by Granny Reta because we have such an extended family: Grammy, Noni (Nini), Grandma. Words for me.

  3. Congratulations! It did not bother me at all be be a grandmother at the age of 48. I was just glad my daughter waited until she was 25 and married for a few years. Some people asked me if it made me feel old. Nope. You will love being a grandmother! My wish for her is an easy and health pregnancy.

    Is Arizona too hot for you?

  4. One Frugal Girl

    Congratulations! That’s big news.

    • Donna Freedman

      @One Frugal Girl: Thank you! I’ll have Abby read your site for updates on frugal motherhood.

  5. Congratulations! My mother-in-law is called “Flat Grandma” because she lives in Arkansas and we in Virginia, so we Skype a lot. My son just turned 1 on Friday and she got to watch him eat his first piece of cake and get *a little* messy.

    Tell mama to get all the sleep she can now. She will sorely miss it when the little one arrives!! Congrats again Donna!

    • Donna Freedman

      @Melinda: “Flat Grandma” — I love it!
      And the sleep is particularly important due to Abby’s residuals from Guillain-Barre syndrome. Fortunately she has three live-in child minders. 🙂
      Thanks for reading, and for leaving a comment.

  6. lostAnnfound

    Congratulations, Donna! that’s fantastic news!

  7. Marcia Carli

    Congratulations!! I am so happy for all of you! Such a happy way to start the new year!!!!!

  8. Congratulations to Abby, Tim, and YOU! It feels like yesterday that I was reading your articles about how they were planning a frugal wedding. I hope you’ll share with us your frugal pregnancy and baby ideas too.

    As for what the baby calls you, I like the traditional Grandma, but my friend’s mother goes by Diva to her grandchildren, which I think is pretty funny. (Although, you don’t strike me as the diva type.) I think the best grandparent names are the ones the kids think of themselves…often by mispronouncing another word.

  9. Though you won’t live near your grandchild, I just bet he or she is going to be begging to spend summers with you in the cool Pacific northwest rather than sweltering Arizona, so you have that to look forward to too.

  10. Oh, you are going to be the COOLEST grandma! Huge congrats, and my best wishes to your daughter for a healthy pregnancy.

  11. Oh, and I agree with Meghan. My husband and all his cousins call their grandma “Donno”, because her first grandchild connected her presence with donuts, but couldn’t quite pronounce the word.

  12. Now A Country Mouse

    Congrats Maw-Maw Donna! 🙂

  13. Ro in San Diego

    Congratulations Donna! Whatever you’re comfortable with I guess. I like Donno. When asked what the dear child shall call you: you “donno”.

  14. Holly Samlan

    I’m Gram to 4 – also I see a possible add on in the future (fall/winter 2012???). DD2 is likely to be going for #2 early next year.

    This is defiantly going to affect your frugality. You WILL see tons of stuff you want to get form the child. You WILL want to visit MUCH more often.

    NOTE: DD2 learned that joining Amazon Moms and ordering stuff like diapers & wipes on the regular shipping program was the cheapest way to go – even better than the drug store deals. It ls only about 8-9 months she has not needed diapers.

    If your daughter is planning to go back to work NOW is the time to start checking into daycare.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Holly: She works from home and has three built-in child care providers — husband (he’s disabled), mother-in-law and father-in-law. That will be her biggest saving by far, although she is aware of Amazon Moms and will probably join.
      I’ve made a kind of quiet deal with myself to convert most purchases into contributions for a college fund. How many toys does one kid need, anyway? Not that I expect it will be simple to fight down the urge to buy stuff. But I’d rather that money go toward something more lasting than yet another stuffed animal.

  15. Mazel Tov! What lovely news! I know you’ll make a fantastic grandma/meemaw/bubbie/nana. Skype is a fabulous way to stay in touch from another state. What on earth did our ancestors do?

  16. All of the above and brightest blessings, Donna! Extraordinare! I think you just received the bestest Christmas present ever.

  17. Congratulations Donna! All the G-Mothers on my Moms side of the family go my Nin. It’s a little different and actually easier for babies to say than Mom or Dad. So the first word from the new baby is often Nin. Wouldn’t that be cool.

  18. Congrats! That’s great news. Perhaps Mimi? (that’s the French grandma name :-))

  19. What wonderful news! Congratulations to you and your family!

  20. Congrats! Can we now look forward to more posts about how to save money on air travel?

  21. Congratulations on the happy news!!

  22. What a wonderful day!!! Woohoo!!!!

  23. Brilliant news Donna!! And a wonderful way to start the new year!!
    She is fortunate to have you as a mother.

  24. Sandra Gonzales

    Lucky kid will have a wise grandma.

  25. Exciting news! Best wishes to the family. You will be a fun Grammy! Skype will help you keep in touch.

  26. Many, many congrats! And as for being the far-away Grand, there was no one my daughter adored more than Nana and Marion, her maternal and paternal grandmothers, both of whom showered her with much love and still hold a special place in her heart, even from 3,000 miles away. Awesome news — looking forward to a unique and hilarious take on frugal grandparenting . . .

  27. Don’t not buy that one toy you love or want them to have, enjoy that splurge. Books are wonderful and clothing is always welcome. Since the baby will be a late summer baby, consider purchasing flannel material on sale after the holidays, edging it so it’s finished so there are lots of soft blankets for the cooler days coming. Look for baby “holiday” things on sale after the holidays, some are not dated. Have a wonderful time and enjoy this exciting life changing event.

  28. I been wearing the Grandma label proudly since I was 46 and love every minute of it. Being a grandma is the best thing in the world, more magical than Disneyland! Congratulations to all of you…

  29. Holly Samlan

    I’ve made a kind of quiet deal with myself to convert most purchases into contributions for a college fund. How many toys does one kid need, anyway? Not that I expect it will be simple to fight down the urge to buy stuff. But I’d rather that money go toward something more lasting than yet another stuffed animal.

    I do something similar. i have a set budget for holiday & bday gifts but I also believe a kid needs something to open. So, I buy a bit (books, toys) and anything left of my budgeted amount becomes a college fund check.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Holly: I’m sure I will buy some toys and books. I just don’t want to go overboard. Yours sounds like a balanced approach, one I would like to make sure to emulate.

  30. Congratulations on the fantastic news!

  31. OMG, OMG, OMG, I am so happy for all of you!!!! That is going to be one cute and SUPER smart kid!!!!

    • Donna Freedman

      @SonyaAnn: Don’t forget “sarcastic.” Definitely sarcastic.
      And thanks.

  32. Congrats! Being a Grammy is the best job ever!!!

  33. Alane Farmer

    Time to sign up for Upromise. I happy for you beyond words. The baby is so lucky to have you for a grandma. My advice on the whole name thing is to let the baby come up with it. He/she will try to call you something on their own. And its usually funny. I like books too for children. Dr. Seuss is a must and that old Mother Goose book of rhymes. Congrats Donna!

  34. Congratulations! I hope for an uneventful pregnancy for a baby who is much-loved already!

  35. Congratulations!

  36. Congratulations!!

    My mom is “Nina” to my nephew (it’s a play on her first name) and my nephew has given my dad a few different names, all rather spontaneous and totally my nephew’s idea.

  37. Congrats on the new addition to your family. I hope all goes well during her pregnancy. It is a wonderful new chapter in your life. DW and I are G-parents and it’s a joy. DW just loves that “little man” …he’s almost 3 and quite the character. Spoiled rotten….Once again congrats!

  38. Congrats Donna,
    I’ll be interested to hear if the baby comes up with a name for you on his or her own. John’s first granddaughter called him Bapa which was her variation I imagine, on Grandpa. Loads of women here tend to be called Granny which is not something I would ever welcome. Gran might be okay or G-mom, a name I use with my daughter when referring to her Grandmom.

  39. 🙂

    That is so lovely! Congratulations to one and all.

    Chances are the baby will call you something no one can imagine now. My great-grandmother was called “Gree” and my great-aunt “Goo-Goo” because that’s how the little kids pronounced “grandma.” I didn’t learn what Gree’s real name was until I was in my 20s!

    • Donna Freedman

      @Funny About Money: I heard about one woman who wanted to be called “GiGi” for “great-grandmother.” Her husband instructed the great-grands to refer to him as “Papa Feeb,” a nod to his frailty. I think that’s hilarious: GiGi and Papa Feeb.

  40. I’m always happy to hear about a girl with an autoimmune disorder became pregnant!!! A big hug from Italy!!!

  41. shirley ehrlich

    My friend just became a Great Grand Father.

    so he has the kids call him – GG POP.

  42. Oh, I just remembered: my aunt is referred to as “G-maw” by her grandkids. Her mother, who I grew up calling Grandma, became “double-G-maw” to her great-grandkids from that branch of the family. One little dude shortened it to “double G”, which is both cute and hip sounding. 🙂

  43. Congratulations, Donna. You’re about to get the best job in the world!

    I am traditional (at least for my family) and go by “Grandma”.

  44. Still Hangin' In

    My very put together cousin became a grandmother at 55. We call her “Glam-a”. and her mom is GG, for great grandmother.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Still Hangin’ In: I’m not glamorous to carry off “Glam-a,” but I love the idea.

  45. Tammy Lane

    Grandiloquent is my favorite ;}
    Mamaw is the word most used by families in my neck of the woods.

  46. Tammy Lane

    Grandiloquent is my favorite ;}
    Mamaw is the word most used by families in my neck of the woods.

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