Bella just being cute!December 7th, 2012 became a new day to remember for my family and me. At 7:30 that morning, our daughter Bethany gave birth to Mike’s and my first grandchild, Isabella Parker Ring. With Bella’s first breath, I fell in love.

Being a grandparent has many responsibilities, one of the first being, what are we going to be called? When our children were little, we trained them to call us Mama and Papa, although over the years it has morphed into Mommy, Mom, Dad, or Daddy.

I wanted a unique name as a grandparent and, after much consideration, finally settled on Nona, the Italian word for ‘Grandmother.’ It is unique, it is beautiful, it is a nod to my Italian heritage, and it is easy to say. Of course, if little Bella – or any of her yet-to-be-born siblings or cousins – wish to get on my good side, they’ll call me Bella Nona, which means, ‘Beautiful Grandmother.’

Mike, on the other hand, has known for years what he wants our grandchildren to call him; The Great and Powerful Oz. I kid you not! After we all caught our breath from laughing, we realized the name fit Mike. Behind his scary-to-the-boys-who-date-our-daughters former Green Beret officer demeanor is a quiet, humble man who is ready to sacrifice for those he loves. We figure that Bella and her future siblings or cousins will call him Oz or Gapo.

So, Oz and I arm wrestle over who gets to hold Bella, copy/paste all of the pictures Bethy post on Facebook, learn how to make a video call on Skype and grin every time we walk down the baby aisle at the store. It can only get better from here.