Blending and Bonuses

Tuxedos are hanging in my closets upstairs!

This weekend my oldest son is getting married. He has two kids. He is marrying a wonderful, gorgeous, loving, sweet, caring mother of four kids. The Hubs and I are beyond excited for them.

My family is blended. My oldest son is from my first marriage. My middle and youngest son are from my current (and final!) marriage. When my kids were younger it took a bit of doing to work my oldest son’s visitations with his dad into our schedule, but it was manageable.

Can you imagine the scheduling that my son and my new daughter-in-love have to deal with having six kids and four separate sets of parents! Oh my. I have observed them over the past year as they were getting ready to blend their family, and I have to hand it to them……. they do an excellent job!

They have about six hours on Thursday night that they have to themselves as a couple. They always make it a priority to have a date night. Of course, we would watch the kids whenever they wanted us to but with their kids being with them only fifty percent of the time, they just don’t want to be apart from them when they do have them. Not as many sleepovers with gramma and grandpa but totally understandable.

So, on Saturday, we will officially have four new grandchildren. Bringing our total to eight. How will we treat these new grandchildren? The same as we treat our other four.

These four are our bonus grandchildren. No, we weren’t there for their births. We didn’t get to rock them to sleep when they were babies. And we didn’t get to see their first steps or hear their first words. But now we get to welcome them into our family and share ing their milestones and accomplishments. They will now be our grandchildren for reals!

We are a family of 16 now and I can remember when I was a single mom, with just my oldest, and I so longed for a big, intact, loving family. I had some pretty tough days. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine the family that I now have. I am truly blessed.

We are not the traditional two parent, never divorced family that was typical in the past. We sit at kids baseball games with our son’s ex and her spouse. And sometimes my ex and his spouse as well! We are flexible when scheduling events and we don’t expect everyone to be at everything. We try not to put expectations on anyone. Is it hard sometimes? Most definitely. Do we bite our tongues sometimes often. Of course! But we are committed to loving each other and helping each other get through this big, glorious, wonderful thing called life.

Our children have so many people that love them and call them family and our grandchildren have even more! Aren’t we the lucky ones!

 

Bonus Love!

Here’s the thing. I have four bonus grandkids. Our oldest son is getting  married in May. He has two children, she has four. Brady Bunch anyone?!

They got engaged on Thanksgiving of 2015 and that day her kids started calling us Gramma and Grandpa. Love it! The number of grandkids we had doubled. Just like that. In the blink of an eye. Lucky us! Eight grandkids to love.

I have never cared for the term “step”, as in stepmom or stepchild. A while back I was reading a blog and came across the term “bonus child”. Doesn’t that sound so much nicer? I think so. So now I have four bonus grandkids!

Last weekend I volunteered to drive up to Disneyland in the late afternoon and pick up one of the older grandsons and his friends who were there for a band concert. Long story. My oldest granddaughter volunteered to ride along with me for company.

We drove up and hung out at Downtown Disney until it was time  to pick up the boys.

My granddaughter and I had so much fun just hanging out together. It was fun walking around and checking out what ever store we wanted and just being silly. And being girls!

We also had some pretty good eats as well. We started out at LaBrea Express Bakery. We had the clam chowder bread bowl and the turkey mozzarella panini and both were really good and not super expensive. The clam chowder was very rich and smooth. So yummy!

Of course we hit up the Jazz Cafe………..because beignets! This was my granddaughter’s first introduction to these treats and they were a hit. Four of them come in the small order and it was a perfect amount for the two of us. My lo carb day flew right out the door when we bought these!

Our last stop was to see the new Beauty and the Beast movie. There is an AMC movie theater at Downtown Disney. It was fun to see it there on opening weekend. We both agreed that it was a good movie and the Emma Watson looks just like one of my DILs.

It was so nice to have a companion with me for the trip up to Disneyland. I am trying to do one on one time with each grandchild and to find out what is going on in their lives. The hubs and I try to make all the baseball games, school performances, piano recitals, etc that we can, but I believe that there is nothing like that one on one time.

We are so thankful for these four “bonus” grandchildren and the many memories we will make with them.

What about you? Do you have bonus grandchildren? How have you embraced them into your family? What are some ideas you have to get to know them? Let’s talk!