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Naming Grandparents!

Some new grandparents want to be called by their real names. My grandchildren call me Grandma Ruth which I find quite endearing, and I especially like the Grandma part.

I did think about it for a while before I officially became the third generation. I even called myself Granny, trying to get used to the term. Now that I have twelve dear ones, I do not mind whatever they call me as long as they are respectful!

I got a chuckle from one cute little grandson who used to call me “Grandpa Ruth” as he had a hard time saying Grandma.

Grandma Ruth (I’m her namesake!)

When I think of my own grandparents, I remember my mother’s mother (Grandma Ruth – after whom I am named) always having her hands busy with knitting. She made hundreds of beautifully knit blankets, sweaters, booties, bonnets and so many more. When she was not knitting, she was cooking, sewing or cleaning. She made the most delicious potato rolls, and although they never had much, she would stop whatever she was doing to feed you.

Grandma Gladys

My father’s mother (Grandma Gladys) baked yummy breads, preserved jams and jellies, and could cook up the most delicious mutton (they raised sheep). She had chickens, and would let me go out to the coop to get the newly laid eggs. She let me enjoy myself in her pea patch and the rest of her wonderful garden. Grandma Anderson spent much of her time tatting doilies (almost a lost art).

Tatting shuttle

Both of my grandmothers spent hours and hours sitting on their tush creating beautiful masterpieces with their hands. No gym, aerobics, just their hard labor cleaning and gardening. They both lived to be in their nineties! Lucky if I should live that long.

Although these are not the typical middle~aged people nowadays, I think the feelings between grandparents and grandchildren are pretty similar.

Could it be that we are more concerned with the way we look, and are hopeful that we look more like their mother than their grandmother? Are we fooling ourselves? As for myself, I sometimes look in the mirror and see my mother looking back!

In the United States and Canada, Grandma and Grandpa are more common. whereas in Britain, New England, Ireland and Australia they use Nan, Nana, Nanna, Ninny or Nanny. I’ve also heard of Tutu, Mamaw, Grammy, Lala, Ma or Mum. Grandfathers are also called Grampy, Granddaddy, Grandpappy, Gigi , Pop, Papa, Oggy, and many more.

Of course, each language has their own names for grandparents. In Hawaii, where I live, the grandfather is either Tutu kane or Kupuna Kane, and grandmother is Tutu wahine or Kupuna wahine. My grandchildren call their Filipino grandma Tutu and grandpa is Papa.

Often the first name that the baby calls their grandparents, while learning to speak, ends up being what they are known as from then on. The first grandchild usually is the one who sets the trend for the rest of the grandchildren.

Some really cute names for grandparents are Poppers, Poppie, Pepop, Pops, Popsie, Sasa, Sugar, Sweetie or Sweetums, and Grandpie.

Of course, when the children get older and want to introduce their grandparents to their friends, they usually fall back to the usual names of Grandma and Grandpa . So, these nicknames that are adopted are special terms of endearment. A special name between the children and their very own special grandparents. More often step grandparents are called by their first names, unless they have grown up with the children close by.

It is not uncommon to have four generations still alive in a family, and in some families five generations are not unusual either, depending mostly on how young the parents are when they have children. Six is a rare thing, but not impossible.

I don’t believe you have to be old and creaky to be called Grandpa or Grandma. I just feel lucky to still be alive and have the blessing to get to know and watch my grandchildren as they grow. I enjoy watching how my own grandchildren handle difficult situations as they become preteens, teens, and older. God bless them, please!

I love being just Grandma.

Beauty, Cultures, Grandchildren, Hawaii, health, home, Parenting, Religion, travel

The Twelfth Tribe of Israel

Since it is Sunday, I thought I would put a religious spin on the story of our 12th grandchild, Lily Ruth. You see, my husbands name is Israel – only in his language it is spelled ‘Isileli. And, to make it more exact, his proper name is ‘Isileli Tupou (so, said the Queen – no for real!). I can get into that later, but this is about Lily.

When we discovered that my third son and his wife were expecting their fourth child, we were elated. I was invited together with the parents and their three children to the doctors office for the sonogram. What an exciting time for all of us as we anticipated whether the baby would be a girl or boy. There could not be a happier bunch in the whole wide world!

After a short time in the waiting room we were escorted into the exam room. The children and I were all seated together in front of our very own monitor screen! The nurse began the sonogram and gave commentary on what she was seeing. Suddenly there was a hush in the room. I could see that the nurse was still proceeding with the exam but she was not saying anything. Soon, we were told to return to the waiting room.

I won’t go into the details, but this is the moment we found out that our new baby GIRL would be born with spina bifida. It was a big life decision that the parents made to bring Lily into the world knowing she would need continual daily care and possibly be in a wheelchair most of her life. The doctor tried very hard to convince them to terminate the pregnancy but since both parents high moral standards and strong religious beliefs, they took upon themselves the responsibility to love and care for this precious child.

We were so happy that we were able to welcome Lily into our family. She has taught us all so very much and brought much happiness to our lives. I feel honored to have my name as part of hers. I can on imagine how joyous she will be to be able to walk up to greet Jesus one day.

Now we have six granddaughters and six grandsons. How perfect! I feel very blessed to have each and every one of my grandchildren. They are each cherished for their own individual talents and personalities. I’m so glad that they love getting together and we look forward to a gathering soon.

Stay tuned as I shared some of our most memorable adventures together.

Lily doing a hula (sorry for my singing – blah)
Hula outfit for baby
Beauty, Grandchildren, Hawaii, health, home, Parenting, travel

Polynesian Maiden

Our only daughter came to live with us in Hawaii while her husband finished school. It seemed that sea level agreed with her when she announced she was pregnant with our sixth grandchild!

I had hoped for an easy birth for my daughter knowing that all of mine had been quite difficult. Her husband was a big Polynesian man and so I expected the baby would be pretty big. She had worked right up until her delivery as a nurse at a local hospital. Because her doctor was going on vacation, she was induced. This probably was not the best alternative.

I was with my daughter the whole time while she suffered with labor. Even though she was given Pitocin to help her labor move along, she was not progressing. After much labor without a baby, (just like I had experienced) the doctor suggested the other “C” word (Caesarean section). We were both a bit worried!

By then her doctor had left on holiday and another doctor took over to do the operation. Rachel Ileina made her appearance while I observed her through a small window into the operating room. It was not at all how we had expected it to go, but we were so grateful that the baby was healthy! She was a real beauty!

Baby was ready to go home, but mother was not doing as well. They both had to stay in the hospital for about a week to get Mommy’s vitals stable.

We were so grateful for our new Polynesian maiden and have loved watching her grow into a beautiful young lady.

Hula Girl, Digital Art by Ruth Kongaika

Baby Products

Baby Stuff on Amazon
Cultures, Grandchildren, home, Parenting

Two Girls and Two Boys

I came from a family of one boy and three girls, so I was surprised when our fourth grandchild was a boy. That made it even – two girls and two boys. We were waiting patiently outside of the hospital for the great news, and that is probably a good thing since little Jakey had the cord wrapped around his neck. I would have been terrified! He was a little squirt but had stolen my heart yet again.

Presenting… Jacob Tupou…

Jakey’s parents stayed with us for a while before they stole my little baby boy and moved to TVA! I become very attached to the babies when they are little. At least they didn’t live too far away.

I remember that Jakey had the saddest cry. But, he was a good little fella and didn’t give any of us much trouble. He didn’t want to speak for a long time and would tell us what he wanted by pointing. Our second son was like that. I now believe it was a sign of intelligence as they don’t want to spare words. My son ended up majoring in Communications and Jakey ended up being a writer!

Watercolor: Baby Jakey by Ruth Kongaika
Keep your baby save with a monitor


Beauty, Grandchildren, Hawaii, home, Parenting

My First Granddaughter

After totally spoiling my first grandchild and abusing his parents, I decided that I better learn how to be a proper grandmother. I purchased some books and looked online, joined a grandparent blog, and talked to other first-time grandmothers. I think I am better informed and hopefully will not make the same mistakes.

Princess

I enjoyed my firstborn grandson, but I wished for a little girl that I could dress up and play with. when I found out the next grand baby would be a little girl, I was thrilled. However, after the first experience, I believe her mother would just have her during lunch and not invite me again. So, she was born in just a few hours while I was at work.

My husband is from the royal line in his society, it was only fitting (and also a common name in her mother’s country) that our new granddaughter was named Princess. I loved her so much and she was as cute as could be. Princess was a happy, smiley little girl, and very easy to take care of. She seriously is a joy to all who know her, even now.

Cultures, Grandchildren, Hawaii, home, Parenting

The Oldest Grandchild

The day you officially become a grandmother is the day you will never forget! For me it was a little over 21 years ago! I was with my daughter-in-law who invited me to the birth. It was a gruesome few hours for her and I admire her strength and tenacity. When the baby finally decided to surrender (albeit the force of the suction cup), we were all in high spirits. The triumphant arrival of the first male grandchild and his parents first child and son is a moment that will live forever in my mind.

Isiboy

One moment I was just a Momma and just like that I was Grand!! How cool is that! I tend to think of it as having graduated from Mommy school. After all the laughter and tears of raising my four beautiful children, I had earned a degree sort of like a Bachelor of Motherhood. Maybe (if I am lucky) I can get my Masters of Motherhood (great-grandmother).

Grandma, Grandmother, Nana, Mama, or whatever the title is – I love it!

My little Isiboy stole my heart. I doted on him whenever he was around. I spent so much time showing him everything and teaching him all I knew. I talked to him constantly when he was with me. He was my new toy. I loved shopping for him and dressing him up. I don’t remember being this excited with my own children, but this was different – I had no labor pains, postnatal blues, or responsibility! This was totally fun!!

The only problem with all the attention I gave my first grandchild was that he became very attached to me. His parents had a hard time taking him to their own home. He would start crying when he knew he was leaving and kick and scream for Grandma all the way home. Sorry about that!

So, how did you feel about your first grandchild? Were you as crazily in love with yours as I was with mine? I feel so blessed to have this amazing experience of Grandmotherhood!

Please share your thoughts in the comment section please! Thanks!