All posts for the month January, 2014

Well THAT was a treat!

Published January 31, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

“Time to get out of bed, Bug”, I called out to my daughter who was still sleeping. Today she has a doctor’s appointment for a baby check-up. As she gets out of bed, the nausea feeling begins to take hold, especially when she stood up straight. Unfortunately all she has been able to keep down is peanut butter toast with fruit cocktail on the side in the morning hours and mashed potatoes with steak (and sometimes a veggie). She has been known to eat a little bit of snacks in between meals but has only gained 8-10 pounds throughout the whole pregnancy. It has been the case of trial and error to see what she likes, what Victoria likes, or nothing at all. You must know that I have been up at 8 am fixing breakfast….or 2:30 in the morning flipping pancakes because she was hungry at the time and  I knew there was only a little window to get some type of nourishment in her body. Believe me, I have been trying.

As we arrive at the OBGYN, my daughter and I took the elevator to the fourth floor. In triage, she admitted to the nurse that it is hard to keep food down still even when she drinks water. The nurse directs us to a small room where she will finally see her doctor. I thought everything was going well when they were checking Victoria’s heartbeat with the Doppler. The doctor has a confused (and startling) look on her face. “The heartbeats should be between 155-160, Victoria’s is 148.” My heart fell down to my toes. Why is her heartbeat slow? As my daughter was getting dressed, a nurse came into the room to direct my daughter in the direction of getting an NST (Fetal Non-Stress Test). Unfortunately there was no room for me to wait with her in the room so I went outside, still a bit nervous.

After 15 minutes, my daughter texts me to tell me that they are going to order an emergency ultrasound. She also informs me that Victoria is fine and we have nothing to worry about. Someone told my daughter that she will get a 3D ultrasound to see about the movements of the little miss.

So alive (which she is), my mouth fell to the floor! All the petrified feelings that I had felt only a few minutes prior were now diminished when I saw that baby’s face. Can this be true? Is she really coming into our lives? And…why is she sucking on her toe? 🙂 I think I’m in love. 🙂

Victoria Renne 34 weeks in mommys womb

34 weeks with toe in face!

Wanna know a great place to shop for baby supplies? Remember to hit this consignment shop!

Published January 26, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

When I just moved up to Tennessee to be with my sister and her family, she gave me some really good advice on where to go to buy baby and children’s clothes and equipment. I would see her come home from shopping capturing really good deals for her boys to wear to school, church functions and on weekend outings. I couldn’t believe she told me about a consignment shop. Where I come from, the consignment shops are very small and do not have much to offer in cleanliness and quality.“Have you ever heard of ‘Once Upon a Child?” she asked. To be truthful, my daughter was in high school and I never predicted that I would have to shop for children’s clothes in the near future. So here I am helping my daughter ‘hunt and gather’ baby supplies for my grand daughter Victoria. As I am scouring the internet or Brick and Mortar shops, I then remembered the advice my sister gave me years ago.

Victoria's BouncerOnce Upon a Child is a consignment shop that buys and sells gently used toys, clothing and baby furnishings that allow you to acquire quality merchandise for such a great price. These products that they sell are of value and they always meet the standards with their products to be sure they are not on recall. Remember, these products are from your area, as in they buy products that are gently used from local parents whose children grew out of these stages of clothes. Once Upon a Child buys them for a good price and all you have to do is stop in to one of their many consignment shops and browse. It isso nice to finally find a children’s boutique that will buy your gently used children’s items by making an offer, selling the items for you. It is their way of ‘paying it forward’ for the rest of society. Personally while I was walking in the aisles of their store, I found so many cute baby clothes, children’s clothes (both boy and girl), baby strollers, carriers, baby bathtubs and so much more. I did buy a few onsies from the infants aisle for little-to-nothing. And I also purchased a bouncer for $6! It is a steal! I couldn’t believe how affordable Once Upon a Child is on my wallet.

Think of shopping for your children. Think of an up-coming baby shower that you are invited to. Think of your nieces or nephews that could benefit from Once Upon a Child. Think of being able to give back to your neighborhood consignment shop called Once Upon a Child. You will be glad that you did.


Grandmother Name

Published January 25, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

Here is a great story. Nice to know I will be in good company this spring! 🙂

The Grandmother Club

Before I knew my daughter was pregnant with my first grandchild, I picked out my Grandmother name.

It was:  Gramma Nettie

Getting it to stick, now, two years afterwards — well we shall see.  Grandson #1 is beginning to talk, but really doesn’t address me as anything.  I think I scare him.  I can tell because of his body language when I approach him — wide eyes, stiff body, loud crying.  His FLACC score is about a 6/10.

His Grandfather, now that is a different story.  When those two boys see each other, they both throw their arms in the air and yell to each other, give each other huge hugs.  Then they go play cars.  Because Grampa also shares a fascination with cars that go zoom, I am trying to get Number One to call him ZOOMpa.  I think it is kinda cute, don’t you?  I think it might…

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To My Grandmother Mamae

Published January 23, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

Life continues to move on. I listen to my daughter and her ‘health nurse’ sitting in the living room as my daughter asks her questions about her pregnancy. As a woman on her 33rd week of pregnancy, she has been dealing with ‘those nasty Braxton-Hicks’ but still dealing with nausea and leg cramps. Victoria is almost here and I seriously can not wait! My daughter will be a good mother, great individual and a strong woman.

Mame as a child

Speaking of strong women, today is my Mamae’s 104th birthday. I’ve decided to honor her by letting everyone know how much she means to me. She is my maternal grandmother who I have always wanted to meet; alas she passed before I was born. I’ve always wanted to be able to go spend the night over at Grandma’s house like my other friends who have had wonderful memories of being with their grandparents. The more older I get, the more I realize how important having grandparents in your life is. How they don’t have to become the disciplinarian, how they can form strong bonds offriendship on a level that no one can break. My mother and my daughter are the best of friends. (My daughter tells me that they are and my mother agrees).

I didn’t get to know Mamae on a personal level, I hear stories of the things she used to do, her style, her cooking (and I hear her cooking skills could rival with the likes of Julia Child) and how loving and comforting she would make her children feel. Yes, I have heard she was very possessively kind with her children, (a very loving woman). She loved animals. She had a Corgi dog decades ago which I heard that the animal was a force to be reckon with. But still, she loved the dog. And obviously the dog loved her. I could imagine how easy it would be to fall in love with my grandmother. I could imagine her being with me although I have always felt her presence since I was a little girl.

Mame and Cobi

Imagine sitting here having a lovely conversation over a cup of coffee with her asking as many questions that time would allow for us to be together…or just looking at her beautifully youthful face while tears well up in my eyes…or introducing the inventions that she never got to be influenced by since her untimely death. Of course, I would love to show her the internet. She would have loved to google the latest recipes or build her own website (after a while of internet-experience) about cooking with a few ingredients to ‘How to host a dinner’. I miss her although I have never met her. (It might sound strange but its a feeling I’ve always had). And I think she would have wanted to meet me. I wonder if she had a french accent, her daily disposition and what made her tick. I wonder of so many things about her but I see them through my mother: the youthful gene that my mother possesses, the love that ‘no matter what, I will always love you, even if you are wrong’ attitude and bending over backwards to make sure you get what you need done. That is my family and I continue to honor Mamae by being the best grandmother I know she would want me to be.

 Happy birthday, Mamae. I love you so…

What? Grandmothers and more Grandmothers!

Published January 20, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

It seems like EVERYONE loves their grandmother. I had a grandmother once. He had a grandmother once. She had a grandmother once. Grandmothers are a very important part of society. Lets rejoice and celebrate how wonderful it is to be a grandmother. After all, they are known to display humor as well as passing the baton to their children for giving birth to ‘our reason for living’.

Here are a few examples of ‘the humorous grandmother’. Just to let you kiddies know, we still can be funny as well as responsible.

Ok. Ok. So that wasn’t THAT responsible. But it was funny! No one would expect that from a ‘little ol’ lady’ (which I am not!) But it shows you, my faithful follower that Grandmothers can have a humorous side to them.We love our children’s children and want to spend as much time as God will allow to see them grow. This especially goes for holidays. I am lucky enough to have my daughter live with me. So that means I will have my grand daughter live with me! Yay!

Yes, having the two of them live with me will have many ups and downs but knowing they both have a safe roof over their head and food in their bellies is the utmost importance. While she finishes college, I can make sure everything else is taken care of. Of course, my energy level has gotten lower in the past few years..but I will find a way to regain that much-needed energy. Maybe this next clip can shed some light on regaining strength that I thought I’ve lost so many years ago with the Fibromyalgia!

Grandmothers are a very important part of the family (even more-so now). In my family, the grandmother is the Matriarch and her word is law (or at least, considered). As a Native American proverb says, “Treat the Earth well, it was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children.”

Baby..It’s a Polar Vortex outside!

Published January 15, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

This has been an exceptionally long two weeks. First, my daughter had a prenatal appointment scheduled for 8 A.M. 20 minutes away from our house. A few days later we, like much of the Northwestern hemisphere, got to experience what is called the Polar Vortex of 2014. Like you, I have never been in a Polar Vortex. So, with my inquisitive mind, I decided to The midnight snowinvestigate about this amazing meteorological phenomenon and I have come to understand what it is and how it has affected me and the community around me.

During the Polar Vortex it was safe to assume that most, if not all of the population in my small town had stayed inside. The wind chill was brutally cold for the most of us (even my friends and family down in South Florida got to experience this!) and the wind currents seemed to strike you down through to your soul, it was that bad. Fortunately my daughter and I had to (and I hate these words) hunker down before this atmospheric episode was upon us by shopping for the staples that we needed to fill our cupboards and refrigerator.. But what makes it such a tremendous scenario?

The reason why it is such a tremendous scenario is because I grew up in a place where cyclones were the norm. This is not a tropical cyclone for what I am used to. This is a winter storm of epic proportions. So this has sparked my interests. I mean, come on! It was so cold in some parts of Canada that it brought on an earthquake in the tundra region. That must have been so frightening for the residents of that area. I’m pretty sure the citizens of the area in this day and age aren’t used to that sort of thing. Not only are they not used to earthquakes but did you know that the temperature in some parts of Canada was lower, (yes lower) than the not-too-distant planet of Mars. Can you believe this??

What I REALLY can’t believe is that my daughter was having a craving at 10 A.M.!! So as any good mother would do, I began to wrap my scarf around my neck, wore my cap and managed to find both my gloves while I took my heavy coat out of the closet. She wanted a jar of dill pickles and she ‘had to have them’. I walk downstairs to the outside of my building and struggle to breathe the low-density in the air. As I am passing the naked trees and bushes, a current of bone-chilling wind blows through my body and makes me lose my breath.

She better believe how much I love her. 🙂


Understanding Hypermesis and wanting it to stop…..NOW!

Published January 13, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

Having to watch my only child nauseous on a daily basis is so hard to look at. In a perfect world, I wish mothers-in-waiting would not have to deal with changes in their bodies or disruptions of their mental state. There would be fewer stories about the mother killing their own children or the notion that ‘they are going crazy’ only if they were given attention. Fortunately, my daughter has a very strong support system all around her to help her through such troubled times. Although she will Locket Grampa Joe and Grandma Cheryl got mommyhave to experience these things, she has a strong family that will always be there in her time of need. I hope she remembers that.

On our last visit to the OBGYN, we were told that she has been dealing with Hypermesis Gravidarum, or not ‘Morning Sickness’. This is not so simple to deal with. Although my daughter has actually gained a few pounds in her pregnancy (only 8 lbs due to the morning sickness since the beginning), she has been put on anti-nausea medicine and has been on bed-rest for the duration of her pregnancy. She has been able to eat a lot more and exercises frequently which I am glad and my stress-level has lowered a bit.

Much of the population does not understand how severe this Hypermesis Gravidarum can be to an expectant mother and her unborn child. Not only is this severe form of nausea and vomiting during a period (or like my daughter’s case) throughout the pregnancy term, but it has been described as preventing the adequate intake of the important foods and fluids that the mother and child need. If it is not treaded in a timely fashion, dehydration and nutritional deficiencies may happen, metabolic imbalances and difficulty with the daily activities can occur. Although HG is not fully understood and severely under examined, new theories and findings are emerging with every year. The finding are complex and it is thought to be a physiological disease caused by many factors.

As the symptoms of the HG bring on other new symptoms, repeated vomiting and severe nausea rears its ugly head for a whole new set of other problems we have to worry about. Common complications can include debilitating fatigue, gastric irritation, ketosis and malnutrition. That, my friends is scary. Scary of not knowing what is going on inside my daughter’s metabolism, scary to know this could potentially harm my grand daughter and scary to know there is little that I can do to combat it. How do you prevent this potentially life-threatening complications? As a mother, I want to take this pain and suffering that she is enduring…and experience it for myself so she doesn’t have to.

This is not over…

For more in-depth information about Hypermesis Gravidarum or Morning Sickness, please visit:

New Adventures in 2014

Published January 9, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

Sorry I haven’t been writing any stories lately. The whole house has been sick on and off since around the thanksgiving holiday. A lot of new things have happened but there are also things that haven’t changed at all. I want to plan a baby shower for my daughter only inviting my side of the family and a few of my friends. That’s all.

She was sick with the flu/sinus infection as bad (and maybe worse) than I was. Coughing and drainage everywhere from the both of us made it a very dreary situation to live in. The house was always dark and cold as the medicine stacked up on my bedside. I couldn’t find the strength to lift my head and make something to drink. Luckily my daughter felt well enough to serve me drinks on the days that she was able to get up and in turn, I was able to help her when I was well enough to get out of bed. Thank goodness the month was over and we can begin cleaning and sterilizing the house.

As I lay in bed, I had a lot of time to think. I thought about where we were going in the next few months…my daughter is going to continue in a long line of single mothers in my family. Monmae was basically a single mother (given the time in her generation when a woman wasn’t supposed to be raising children on her own), my mother Geema who was a single mother of three children which turned us into Latch-Key kids of the 1980s, I was the one who was responsible for raising my daughter on my own and finally, my daughter…who is about to do this alone. Most of the fathers were in the children’s lives, some were non-existent.

Now that we have a new year upon us, we can strengthen our minds and hearts with planning towards the future on the things that mean so much to us. What are the things that you are hoping for this coming year? Leave a comment about what you are planning this year for your family. 

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