Playing Catch-Up After a Busy Year

Published April 8, 2018 by The Hip Grandmother

Haven’t been here for a while. There is a WHOLE lot that has been going on. Victoria, Annabelle and Michael are growing like weeds. It astounds me how big they have gotten. Victoria and Annabelle are now potty-trained. It hasn’t even been a year yet and both of

the ladies are doing a great job! Victoria has been in school since August. She has tackled her ABCs and can count to 19. The number 20 is kind of hard for her but she will get it. Since she was a baby, I have been singing Nursery Rhymes to her so she has a head start in that. But her favorite song to date, the song she sings to her brother is Baa Baa Black Sheep. She also knows all her colors…well…the REQUIRED colors for Kindergarten. But that is a ways away.

Halloween was quiet this year. Both the girls acquired a new baby brother and their parents worked so it was hard for me to get out to bring Victoria to different events. But Victoria and Annabelle got to see each other.Thanksgiving was at my sister’s house and they got to see their cousins. There is nothing like being with family to get you in the mood for the holiday season. Christmas was a very good time in this house. The three kids went to Michael Sr.’s aunts house for their family christmas party. You wouldn’t 10-31-17 VIctoria and Annabelle Halloweenbelieve the gifts and toys those babies got!! Then the next day, Victoria and Michael had to contend with our house, soon, Victoria would have to open presents at her Daddy’s house, then her Papaw’s house. These kids got so much!

Through the months they all have grown to be wonderful little people. In March, Victoria had her 4th birthday. It happened to be on my OWN birthday. That is the kind of birthday I like. She had her brother and sister there, her father and his girlfriend there and many of her friends. Plus her mom and her step-dad was there. Her aunt, cousin and my mother was there as well. It was a good day, my birthday. Later in the month, my daughter decided to go visit her ailing grandfather down in South Florida. That was good for me because I am so homesick. We have been living here in Tennessee for a decade. This was the first time I had driven down to South Florida by myself…and I did it. But being down there was so 3-20-18 Michael Brian's first trip to Floridagood for my soul. I got to stay with my best friend. It didn’t even seem like time was against us. It was like I just saw her the day before. It was great hanging out on her patio watching the palm trees gently sway, drinking coffee and talking the day away. After we went to the beach to walk on the Lake Worth pier. I appreciate her letting me close my eyes and silently smell the fresh salty air. The wind whipped through my long hair as we sat in silence. When I opened my eyes, all I could see was far away ocean liners sailing in the distance. That is my home and I will always long for it until the day I die. Finally we went to my daughter’s big sister’s moms house. We met up with her children (which I absolutely adore). I am so glad the kids finally got to meet their cousins. We went to Moi’s house, their grandmother’s house. It just seemed like old times. All the neighbors got along, they would sit outside after the sun went down and talked. We had ribs and yellow rice for dinner. I had so much fun, I didn’t want to leave. But I had to. My mother and sister were up north. My black cat Shaddow was up north. So even though it was hard, I had to go back.

After a busy week, we head into another busy week. My daughter and her fiance decide 3-28-18 Sara and Michael Whaley weddingto get married! They have been talking and planning about it for years. But they finally did it. Now Victoria, Annabelle and Michael are a blended family. March has been a really good month for us this year. Now it is April and its back to normal. Victoria finishes her first year of headstart next month. Lets just hope the coming months will be calm.

Victoria’s Adventures

Published June 8, 2017 by The Hip Grandmother

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The last few months have been a blessing. But at the same time they have been such a busy time for me. Most of the time, we have stayed home but only because Victoria prefers having ‘alone time’ in her room. I really don’t know what to make of it but I am not worried about it. She just sits on her twin bed and plays with her Barbies. She has collected a lot of Barbie items throughout the months and keeps them safely in an old diaper bag (backpack). She carries that around all the time. Her Barbies mean so much to her.

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Of course Victoria has done many other things these past few months. She has spent time with her sister Annabelle, Mommy’s fiance’s daughter. Victoria calls him ‘TwoDaddy’. She loves her sister so much. I think it is great that they are only 8 months apart. I’m sure in the future they are going to have many ups and downs as siblings; but they will be doing this together.

As a family, we have gone on a few outings such as taking Victoria for her first visit to the Aquarium in the Smokies. It was a lovely place, crowded but we had fun. Perhaps she will remember only in spurts like I did when I was three years of age. I take that into account when we spend the day together; I want her to look back on life with Titi and smile. I might not have had the chance to meet my Mamae but I want to show Victoria the same love that I know Mamae would have shown me.

What I love about this whole set-up is that everyone gets along for the kids. Victoria’s parents make sure the other parent gets to spend quality time with Victoria, to make sure she understands (or if one day she understands) that both her parents love her so much and that she needs to know this from both her mom and dad. Most parents who aren’t together have a hard time putting their egos aside and thinking about the child. This isn’t a problem for Victoria’s parents.

6-4-17 Victoria and Papaw on the lawnmower

Cutting the grass with Papaw

5-3-17 Victoria and Daddy about to skateboard

About to go skateboarding with Daddy

4-10-17 About to get chocolate wasted with Daddy

About to get Chocolate wasted with Daddy

3-13-17 Victoria about to go out shopping

Getting ready to go shopping with Mommy

As an artist, I realize that Victoria is going to have to display some type of ability for art. I mean, I’ve been mediocre my whole life but still, I was an artist. We are giving Victoria the chance to find her niche of what would make her HER. She has experience in different types of media, her favorite at the moment would have to be finger painting. Both my mother and my sister have some of her works of art, her mother proudly displays the poster Victoria created about a year ago. Pretty soon I want to get her a sketch pad with an art box so she can store all her art supplies in one place.

 

In our part of the world we are in the middle of summer (or it just feels that way outside!) She has been able to sightsee some of her role models and has quickly become a little starstruck, if you ask me. So we took her to see her favorite puppy heroes Paw Patrol. She actually had a blast. Although the line was extremely long, snaking around the building of the store itself, we were greeted with happy children who were excited to get a glimpse of their favorite character.

At three years old, she is really starting to come into her own. She definitely has her own personality set in stone. She’s a wonderful girl who loves to dress up in fairy princess dresses with her best friend Lili, blow bubbles with her Titi, skateboarding with her Daddy and listen to thunder and lightening during spring storms with her Mommy.

Victoria and Annabelle get a new baby brother!

Published June 7, 2017 by The Hip Grandmother
2017 Michael and Sara with Baby Michael

Sara and Michael are expecting Michael Brian II in September 2017

We are getting a new addition to the family! Coming in September 10, 2017, Michael Brian II will be here! Mommy and baby are doing well so far and Victoria is getting excited more and more each day. She wants to be the one to get his diapers, wipes and any other item he needs from the baby shelf. She is already over-protective! Every time Mommy leaves the house to go to work, she gets a kiss and a hug then lifts Mommy’s shirt and gives ‘Bubby’ a kiss tenderly on Mommy’s belly. She asks many questions, ‘Is Bubby play wiff me?’ or ‘I seep wiff Bubby”referring to both of the kids are going to share a room. We keep reminding her that she is going to be a big sister and she needs to protect her brother. One day maybe he can do the same for her and Annabelle.

2017 My grandchildren Victoria and Michael

The Carnival Came To Town!

Published April 2, 2017 by The Hip Grandmother

The carnival came to town! The family all gathered together and had such a great time! I couldn’t believe the nerve these kids have! Victoria and her cousin Cayden had a wonderful day! 

Victoria’s handsome cousin Cayden

Victoria’s first ride with her Grandma Titi

Cayden and Victoria (please excuse my finger)

Victoria and Mommy on the Fun House

Mommy and Victoria sliding down

Loves her Ladybugs!

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Cayden’s first big person ride!!!!!

Cayden and Victoria in the Tilt-A-Whirl

The kids on the Dragon roller coaster

Soon the day was done and everyone went home. The best part of it all was we created memories together.

Doc Mcstuffins for her 3rd birthday!

Published April 2, 2017 by The Hip Grandmother

Victoria is finally 3 years old. Mommy always goes all out for her birthday. To her, every year is a milestone. That’s how she was brought up and she hopes Victoria will do the same if she has children. We had a big bash inviting all the neighborhood kids, friends and family alike. Here are some of the happenings that went on that day. 

Victoria and Annabelle playing and getting along. Hard thing for sissys to do 😇😇

Victoria’s 3rd birthday cake. Her idol.

A Week of Halloween Celebration

Published November 1, 2016 by The Hip Grandmother

This weekend marks the beginning of my most favorite holiday, Halloween! I love the whole season but I just view this as a ‘kick-off’ to a wonderful time of the year. Victoria is two and she is starting to enjoy this season just like every deserving child. I am so thankful that her parents allow me to be a part of the festivities!

10-23-16-victoria-and-annabelle-boo-at-the-zoo-%2216-2My daughter and her fiance took Victoria and Annabelle to ‘Boo at the Zoo’, a yearly Halloween event that she makes sure she attends. We think of it as a ‘kick-off’ to the Halloween celebration week. Sadly, we didn’t get any pictures because there were so many families with their children and my daughter wanted to make sure they could keep their eyes on the girls. It was a fun time, though. Victoria, Annabelle and Liliana (My daughter’s best friend’s daughter) went together.

 

On the 28th while my daughter was working, I took Victoria to a celebration in the historical district of the little town we live in. As I drove up in the car, I noticed the streets were blocked off and various people were 10-28-16-victoria-halloween-spooktacularsetting up their tables with Halloween-themed signs. Having just dropped her mother off to work, Victoria dressed in her pink surgeon costume had fallen asleep in her car seat. We followed the long line of cars down the twists and turns finally reaching our destination. We were directed to park in a garage that, honestly, I never really noticed before when I drove by. It wasn’t a very big garage; the town isn’t very big either. I walked around the SUV to retrieve sleeping Victoria from her car seat and noticed other children in their costumes running about. I was starting to get excited for Victoria to be able to partake in the upcoming events. Ok..ok. I was excited for myself, hee hee.

10-28-16-victoria-halloween-spooktacular-gamesAs we walk up to the event Victoria, fully awake by now, notices the games and play area. I notice the dreadfully-long line. We stand in line watching the different children in costumes running back and forth. There were many, many people. Some with babies in costumes, some with a big family all decked out in costumes and there were some people with their dogs on leashes. There was a pet contest in a few hours so many families dressed up their canines and submitted them in the contest. Victoria loved seeing all the puppies run around and bark and play. She loves animals.

Finally we start the long walk to retrieve candy. Victoria got a kick out of seeing all the other kids run up to 10-28-16-victoria-spooktacular-scary-restaurantthe different vendors in their creative costumes. Victoria participated in a lot of festivities, she even won a raffle at a karate school that was giving out candy: 6 weeks of free lessons. Unfortunately she wouldn’t be able to use it, being a toddler and all. Walking further down the street, Victoria and I notice many police officers with their cars parked and lights flashing. They, too were giving out candy in their patrol cars for the children. Everyone was screaming with excitement and running around their moms and dads. Carrying her purple plastic pumpkin, Victoria looked up at me with joy in her face, pointing at the many different costumes and seeing other children. Soon we scaled the whole street, walking up to the doors of many businesses with their decorative tables out on display. She really had a great time but it was time to go home.

 

10-29-16-victoria-and-mommy-kroger-pumpkin-decoratingMommy’s friend sent her a Facebook message about a costume gathering at the local grocery store. Actually this isn’t just a grocery store, its a mega-grocery store. Not only do they have foods of many different kinds; they have a section when they sell clothes from infants to adults, a pharmacy equip with a walk-in clinic and a doctor and nurse always on staff. Plus they have a bar. This bar allows people to actually drink alcohol while their S.O.s shop. I think that is a lovely idea. As they walk into the store, they noticed different displays of Halloween décor. 10-29-16-victoria-kroger-cookie-decoratingKnowing that we always take Victoria to the bakery for a free cookie first, that was the place she wanted to start. Her mother walked her up to a table with an assortment of flavors to choose from. After the two had finished decorating their individual cookies, they followed the signs that lead them to the pumpkin decorating table. She did get a bit of green paint on her costume but just a little. After she finished decorating her pumpkin, she was able to bring it home. Finally she participated in a costume contest. She was delighted to see the other children in their colorful costumes standing for a pose. I found myself lost in a crowd of 10-30-16-victoria-trunk-or-treatparents taking pictures of their babies on their cell phones and laughing with delight. Unfortunately mommy had to return to work so Victoria and I got back in the car for a fun drive home. That night, we went to a Trunk or Treat at a church on the other side of town. There were many games to play but mostly Cake Walks and other things that Victoria didn’t feel like participating in. She was tired and so were we.

 

Finally it was October 31st, the day of actual trick or treating! During the day, we went to the county library. Different departments were giving out candy and we thought it would be fun for Victoria to go. She walked through the double doors, inquisitive of the long line of elderly people casting their votes early. Walking up to the main desk, she was allowed to have two pieces of candy and received a board book. She loves to read! 10-31-16-victoria-county-libraryThis was a great idea, I thought to myself. As she is skipping away towards the other departments, I am fumbling in my purse trying to get my camera phone ready. We scurry to the library cafe and she is greeted by a woman dressed as a witch who offers her a handful of lollypops. Not really knowing how to use her words correctly yet, she has a name for lollypops in her own little language. ‘Fwah’ is what she calls them. “Titi! Fwah’s! Fwah’s!” screamed 10-31-16-victoria-skateboarding-with-daddyVictoria in excitement. Soon she went to the children’s section of the library to play with various puzzles and board games. She met a few friends there and questioned about a ‘dinosaur’ computer wondering what a keyboard and mouse detached from the tower itself. She learned a new word, a word we have been waiting for but knew she would overuse: ‘Why?” “Why, Titi, why?” she would ask me. I explained that is how the computers looked when mommy was little. I suppose she accepted the answer and walked off with her father. It was his day off so he came to see her get candy and play with the other kids. After we were done with the library, we drove to my daughter’s friend’s house and went to a few houses there. After THAT, we went to a few apartments where we live and she had gotten more candy.

Now we are home and I am so tired. We have done a lot this past week but like I mentioned before, I am so thankful Victoria’s’ parents allow me to be a part of the festivities. Happy Halloween, Victoria Renee.

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An Open Letter To Donald Trump From Some Angry Women.

Published October 8, 2016 by The Hip Grandmother

I thought fellow men and women should see this. This man infuriates me.

Drifting Through

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Dear Mr. Trump… can I call you Mr. Trump? Is that ok? I want you to be happy, that’s very important to me.

Before I get started, let me say this letter isn’t from all women. The Trumpettes surely won’t approve of this message. But this is from most women.

We see right through you. We have all known you at some point. Your ways are not unfamiliar to us. We see through you because we’ve been dealing with you our whole lives.

We heard you call women pigs. And disgusting. And stupid. And bimbos.

We watched as you called a former Ms. Universe “Ms. Piggy” and then spent four days continuing to insult her.

We see your weakness. Your lust for attention at any cost, your need to denigrate women. We see all of it. And we’re mad.

Yes. We’re mad. And fired up. And here’s the thing about us……

View original post 1,086 more words

Today I found out I am Native American

Published September 10, 2016 by The Hip Grandmother

September 9th 2016 will go down in history for not only the Sioux tribe, but for all Native Americans. This is the day that our voices, Native or not, were finally heard for the Earth. This was the day that the government finally came to our aid, to see things from our perspective. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been labeled a ‘white girl’. Not that I mind. It did hurt my feelings when we were referred to having ‘white privilege’. The shunning from different cultures weighed heavy. I always had a sense of envy when different cultures shared their roots. The way they prepared and presented food, the different styles of their hair and clothes, and they had their own language. I knew that I was Native but there were some relatives and ancestors that were European. But I couldn’t get it through my mind that part of me is European (although there is nothing wrong with that.) I just knew that I didn’t belong. That it was not in my heart to accept it. Then again maybe I just thought there was more to my story. Most people ‘connect’ to their past. Funny thing about it was I never could. Now I feel connected more than ever.

Sure, my mother always told me I was Native from her side of the family. Believe me, I look just like her. And she could walk onto a reservation and no one would stop her. She looked like she belonged there. Then there was my father who also had quite a bit of Native blood running in his veins. He told me an indian princess was one of my ancestors. I was so excited to think that we have that honor in having pure blood. But then he would say, “You’re the whitest American indian anyone has ever met!” That confused me for years. I couldn’t understand that if we weren’t directly related to her, how could we have her blood running through our veins? Then I learned the reason after he had passed. It was her husband we were related to all along. I’ve always been told how Native I look. How I can keep a tan throughout the winter. Too bad my daughter could never hold a tan at all. She has beautiful blue eyes with blonde hair when she was young. Most people look at her, then look at me, then look back at her and can’t understand how a brown-eyed, dark-haired person could give birth to a blonde, blue-eyed baby. Unfortunately my granddaughter is the opposite of me as well.

I guess there are pros and cons to connecting to a certain group of people. A con being that I am in a minority. Or maybe that is a pro. I’m not for certain. But I do know this: I know I am predominantly Native American and I am SO PROUD of being a part of a culture that is finally opening up and being heard. So what if the government finally came to our aid and stopped the construction of the pipeline through sacred grounds and under the Missouri river. I am very proud of the tribes (yes! More than one tribe!!!) consistency and WITHOUT violence! We knew this could happen! With all the shootings happening in recent years and months, we did this without hostility. This should tell you that peace can reign. Good combats evil. You can get what you want and need without fighting. THIS is what the Native Americans are all about. What if this is the first day of the Environmental Revolution? That we clean up our acts with Mother Earth? We have a long road to go but if we, as the human race, are united, today has proven that we can win this fight for our children, grandchildren and their children.

I’m so very proud of all Natives today.

Saying ‘goodbye’ to her pacifier.

Published July 23, 2016 by The Hip Grandmother

Victoria and LilyIt is so easy to put Victoria to sleep at night. She has always been a great sleeper since she was born. This leads me to not want to wean her from her pacifier. My inner child can throw as many tantrums as she wants….but mommy calls the shots. When mommy was little, she never wanted a pacifier, even when she came home from the hospital. So I figured it wasn’t a big deal to let her have one; we can take it away from her at our leisure, right?

Wrong. Very wrong.

Yes, she is two years old and still sucks on a pacifier. Whats the big deal? The big deal is that it seems to bar her from talking. Yes Victoria is starting to use actual words to communicate instead of the grunts. But getting her to go to sleep each night is a task in itself without a pacifier. I couldn’t go to sleep knowing she was in bed crying because she wanted a pacifier. I REFUSE to relax when she was basically suffering being without her….* ahem *….addiction.

Mommy and Victoria’s best friends mommy had an idea: Victoria and Paco, (her best friend) will send the pacifiers to babies in Heaven via balloons. I mean, its not the most environmentally-conscious thing to do but the point has finally been understood that she has to let it go.

Here are some Facebook entries:

July 13 at 11:50pm

Night 1 @11:48  I can finally sleep….

Her mom felt so bad as she stayed in the living room with the lights out letting Victoria think that everyone went to bed so she should too. The neighbors must have had a new love for us. But this will help her speech.

July 14 at 11:32pm

Night 2: V is in her bed with toys all around her. She hasn’t ask for a Ree but won’t sleep. God help me.

Yes..so I forgot to mention that she calls her pacifier ‘Ree’. Ree is very important to her. She cries day in and day out for it. She’s constantly asking and I’m not sure what to tell her. I want to give her what she asks for but her mother refuses. She warns me that she had better not find one hidden. I know it will help her but all that crying to stop will help me. Oh well. I’ll get through it.

July 15 at 11:15pm · 

Night 3: Victoria isn’t having a very good night. She hasn’t cried for Ree but can’t seem to settle down. Is complaining about her teeth. Damn 2 year molars…..poor baby. Still won’t sleep.

Its been 3 days without a passy. I think she is starting to understand.

Days are passing as Victoria is learning how to live without what she holds dear. I can tell you that she has been saying more words than I would imagine. With her little blonde curls and her sassy little smile, she hops off to bed without any crying. Ahh “all” is right with the world.

July 16 at 11:21pm · 

Night 4: Victoria went to bed relatively well. She has stopped crying for herRee….she hasn’t even mentioned it! I think we are done now.

Update – It has been almost a week and she only asks for it in the morning. We remind her of the ‘heroic’ gesture she did and she says “Awww” and smiles because she feels she did a nice thing.

Victoria sleeping without a passy

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