The Story of Grandma’s Heart

My story started with this…

A poem called “Grandma’s Heart.”

These words penned nearly 20 years ago have shaped my life and led me on the path I have walked since then. And who would have known.

I was a newly-married wife, preparing for a family. My mom was a new Grandma, thanks to my sister, and was ready to enjoy the fruits of her labors. (4 labors to be exact!). A Grandma’s gushing, turned into a suggestion to start a business- a business that would be all things “Grandma”.

But what would those “things” be?

T-shirts, mugs, toys?

Not really what I had in mind. What I had in mind was capturing the “heart” of Grandma. What I had in mind had to do with the sweet memories I had of my Grandma. The little love pats, the candy dish, the Christmas’ and summers spent at her house. How do you bottle that?

My best bottle came in the form of words and eventually things that captured and held those words. Words which over the years have resonated with many who share the same thoughts about grandmas, moms, babies and family.

I initially wanted to do a children’s book with Grandma’s Heart, but in those early days, lack of experience and resources forced me to think of other alternatives. The first product was a matted print we sold to a few children’s stores. The feedback and reorders allowed us to eventually offer frames and greeting cards and a entire collection of “Heart” poems.

Grandma’s were crying and buying!

In addition to the poem, we added other features to the mats and frames, like sweet organdy ribbons and our special envelope to hold a letter from Grandma stored on the frame back.    (20 years ago, this ribbon thing was really new!)

GrandmaHeartCLASSIC

The envelope on the back of the poems was a sentimental touch that allowed each Grandma to really make this gift to her grandbaby her own. The envelope had a little poem and Grandma would write a letter from her heart and store it on the back of the frame. Those first Grandma’s who wrote these letters, now have grown grandchildren with handwritten words they will treasure. Customers have shared stories with me about how special this part of the gift has become. One young mother lost her mother several years after her first child was born. She was so thankful to have that letter written to her child from her mother- a memory beyond words.

GMHEART-letter

 As the years passed, the market and product demands changed. As saving and displaying ultrasound images became popular, we added Grandma’s Heart ultrasound cards and frames. We also found many Grandma’s buying Grandma’s Heart for themselves and their grandma friends, so we added a home decor styled frame. We also coupled Grandma’s Heart and Grandpa’s Heart poems for a single frame for baby’s room.

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The latest introduction has been framed prints with a more current nursery theme and ones that can also be personalized with Grandma’s own unique name…Mimi, Gigi, Gran. We can customize the name, as we address the gift needs of today’s Grandmas.

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As we near the 20th anniversay of Grandma’s Heart. I am reflecting on the journey.

So much has come from Grandma’s Heart. Much has changed in the world, and in my world yet in some ways… nothing has changed. Changing design trends, marketing, competition, the internet, these things have changed. I’ve changed too. Over two decades, I have gone from that newly married young woman to an experienced mother of 4 growing children. Ironically, I am still not a Grandma much to people’s surprise! (oh, we thought you were a grandma to write all these things!)

There is one thing that hasn’t changed.

Grandma’s Heart

The sentiment written nearly 20 years ago still captures the heart of grandmas. How fortunate for all the grandbabies and the grandbabies to come that they will still enter a world with grandmas. To celebrate the past, present and future, this year I am working on my dream of a children’s book and a few other special products to share with grandmas everywhere.

Another chapter being written…

Teri

Do you have any ideas for Grandma’s Heart gifts you would like me to create? Do you have a story of Grandma’s Heart to share? Share with me on Facebook, in comments or email info@grandparentgiftco.com.

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Give us your input in our Grandma’s Heart Giveaway, March 10-31 by following this link here

How to Hold a Grandma Shower: The Sprinkle

Why sprinkle? What’s a sprinkle?

My sentiments exactly.

I am very familiar with Grandma showers and have written about them in the past. There are many opinions about Grandma’s showers. Are they fun celebratory events or over the top,” it’s not about the grandma” celebrations? Regardless of the camp you fall into, I think both will agree, a Grandma “sprinkle”, if done following the guidelines below, can be a wonderful way to welcome in the second half of motherhood.

Before the guidelines, a little thought regarding the word sprinkle as opposed to shower. A shower has always been for babies and brides and so it should be. A sprinkle, is a cute little word. When I think “sprinkle”, I see adorable cupcakes and tiny droplets of water freshening a flower petal on an early spring day. I didn’t coin the phrase and I am not sure who did, but I like it.

Guidelines for a Successful Grandma Shower

It’s not a Shower

I think this one is clear. The shower is for the mom-to-be. The most negative comments I have read on Grandma Showers are from the moms-to-be. Many feel the expectant Grandma has had her time and it isn’t about her. I think this opinion says more about the quality of the relationship or lack of, more than anything. When there is a great relationship between the expectant mom and expectant grandma, a lot of this “stuff” never surfaces. With my Mom, her second half of motherhood has been 25 years of diapering, babysitting, cooking, hosting, gifting and more! A little sprinkle would be well deserved. As seriously and as lovingly as she took motherhood, she has also taken “grandmahood”. I know there are LOTS of these kinds of Grandmas out there!

How to Hold a Grandma Shower | The Orange Slice

The Hostess is a Friend or Coworker

The expectant mom should never be expected to host a grandma shower or sprinkle. The sprinkle should be hosted by one of the new grandma’s friends or co-workers. (couples can sprinkle too!) Ideally your celebrations should not include the expectant mom, unless you know her well enough to think she might like to be included. We all know it is better safe than sorry to ask the opinion of the pregnant mommy. If you have been one- you know! Grandma sprinkles are easy to do when the grandma and mommy do not live too close to one another. There is no overlapping of guests and the emotions are a little further apart. If you are in a tight knit community, you will have to ponder on this one.

Keep it Simple, Keep it Fun

A Grandma sprinkle can be held at a home, restaurant or workplace. I see it as a get-together of friends to celebrate a new stage in life. It can be as simple as a dinner and toast after work or something with a bit more planning, such as a weekend afternoon luncheon. Decorations, if any, should be simple and gifts not extravagant. Read on for some great ideas on gifts with meaning.

How to Hold a Grandma Shower | The Orange Slice

Yes to Gifts, No to a Registry!

No registry needed! If the new Grandma is going to be watching her new grandbaby, baby gear would be a great gift. Whether it is a safe, in good condition, hand-me-down stroller or perhaps a joint gift from all, baby gear is always welcome. For long-distance grandmas-to-be, a camera or travel gift card would also be wonderful group gifts. If Grandma is an avid-anything…ie  runner, gardener, baker, reader, golfer etc…, I think having themed gifts would be fun. In the coming years, she can share her passion with her grandbaby, so how about a few of these ideas:

Reader: A book theme. Bring a classic children’s book, so she can build a library to share. Books are always great gifts and can be new or gently used.

Gardener: Children’s gardening tools, seed packets, bright pots, adorable boots or apron would outfit a little helper perfectly.

Golfer: a little set of gold clubs, balls, child-size putting green or cup, toddler golf clothing.

You have the idea- take her passion and help her pass it on to a new generation.

Sprinkle it with Meaning

One or two thoughtful activities would make the celebration memorable for the expectant grandma.  Compiling an advice or quote book where friends and guests pen their favorite life or grandparent quote, or add tidbit of advice, would be a keeper.

Since much has changed in the world of babies, compiling a “quiz” on the latest baby trends and advice would see if she is ready for her new role. It would probably provide some laughs and memories too.

If she hasn’t chosen a “Grandma” name, which seems to be a growing trend, maybe a little help from her friends would be fun. A sweet little new Grandma name book would also give her all kinds of names to consider.

Perhaps Grandma would like a memory book she can fill out or a brag book or grandchild journal. (that is if you think she is apt to brag in the future. 🙂  A sweet Life Story frame with photos of her journey to “grandmahood” or a special First Grandchild themed gift would be sentimental as well.

How to Hold a Grandma Shower | The Orange Slice

If you have involved the expectant parents in any way and they are all on board with the event, a special message or card written from them would require tissue be on hand.

 

What do you think about a Grandma Sprinkle? Have you hosted or been to one? How did you celebrate becoming a grandma with friends or co-workers? What was your favorite gift or activity?

 

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A New Mom’s Ah-ha Moment: A Mom’s Love

I still remember a telephone conversation I had years ago with one of my sales reps. We were talking work and the conversation turned to babies. She shared with me a conversation she had with her daughter, a recent new mom.  A conversation she will never forget.

It impacted me deeply, so I chose to write about it.

New Mom. Orange Slice. The Grandparent Gift Co.

This is her story…

One day her daughter called her out of the blue…sobbing. Not a little choked up, but bawling. You know the sniffling, stuttering, impaired type of crying.

Of course, her Mama Bear instincts took hold and in a brief second, her mind filled with terrible things. The new grandbaby was terribly sick. Her husband was in a car accident. She was calling with a devastating health diagnosis.

Is it only me, or does your Mommy brain work this way too?

Well, happily for her, none of her fears were realized. When her daughter gathered herself enough to speak, she told her Mom, she finally “got” it.

Yes she finally GOT IT.

She got the depth of how much her Mom loved her. It dawned on her that the indescribable love she felt for her baby, her mother felt for her. It was a moment of total clarity and understanding.

She got all the sacrifices, all the worry, ALL of it. To her core she was honored, humbled, amazed and profoundly changed.

I wrote, Mom, Now That I’m a Mother because I thought what seemed at first, to be a very personal revelation, was actually quite universal for those blessed with a loving mother.

I share it with you here and hope you can find a way to tell your mother you GET IT.

AND YOU LOVE HER!

 

Mom, Now That I’m a Mother…

Until I became a Mother,

I did not understand,

The profound sense of love,

in a Mother’s heart and hands.

As I whisper, “Mommy loves you”,

I rock my precious child to sleep.

Small perfection in my arms,

sweet breaths, slow & deep.

I now see me as a baby,

you’re rocking me to sleep.

You whisper, “Mommy loves you,

my heart is yours to keep.

At last I recognize your love,

as a Mother I now see.

As I hold and love my child,

you feel that love for me.

I will always be your baby,

despite the years that pass.

You have given me my life,

and a mother’s heart to last.

The greatest thanks I can offer,

more than words could ever say

is to give my child the love,

you have given me everyday.

copyright Teri Harrison

FIND THIS POEM in a card and frame on my website www.grandparentgiftcompany.com

What has been a profound realization for you when your baby was born? How has your relationship with your mom changed as you became a mother?

 

A Few Thoughts on Grandkids

I write a lot about grandkids and have for over 18 years. It is not that I am a grandparent myself, but that I am a grandchild and a great observer of my parents and grandparents. Here are a few thoughts about the special relationship between the generations.

Lessons from Grandkids… a few life observations…

That old on the outside, can still be young on the inside.

Never say “no” to seconds.

It’s OK to eat a little dirt occasionally.

The best gifts are hand drawn and heart spoken.

Simple walks make great moments.

A grandparent’s heart has super human powers.

It’s how we look at life…A dandelion is a flower.

Puddles never have no swimming signs.

Fingerprints on glass are stains on the heart.

“Why” is a perfectly good question.

Grandkids are like dessert, saving the best for last.

Naps are good for your mood at any age.

Comments about body parts aren’t mean, just honest observations.

The best compliment is grandkids fighting over your lap or your hand.