Pregnancy

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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

Things I want my granddaughter to know

Published May 24, 2016 by The Hip Grandmother

4-21-16 Victoria and the parkI wasn’t in the room when my granddaughter was born. My daughter had to have an emergency C-section and could choose a person in the family to coach her. A lot of people would ask why my only daughter didn’t choose me…why I had to stand outside and wait for this beautiful entity to come into the world.

I am glad she chose my mother. And now I have Victoria.

Not only do they share the same name, but in my family it seems the granddaughter and the grandmother are extremely close. I’ve never turned my back on my daughter and we do have a strong bond because of that. But hearing my mother’s voice daily to get advice or just chat makes my daughter feel good. And in turn that makes me feel good. I am hoping that Victoria will do the same with me one day.

I want to be there. I want to be there to remind her that when she is in high school walking through the halls to hold her head up high no matter what. I want to remind her that she has the right to say NO and to not apologize about it. She will encounter difficult professors, boyfriends or pushy salespeople. I want her to be able to walk to the beat of her own drum, not become a follower in the masses. To have her own opinions and know when is the appropriate time to share them. There is so many things I need to remember to tell her before I forget myself.

Even though I would love it if she is close to me like my daughter is close to my mother, I would love to see her have a strong bond with her own mother. They both deserve that.

Co-existing with a baby and a kitty cat

Published July 14, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

 

Moder and Shaddow in 2011Want to harness physical, social, emotional and cognitive development from your child? It can all be found by encouraging interaction with the family pet. It doesn’t matter if it is a dog, cat, horse or goldfish, the main ingredient is a sense of companionship that is offered by animals. Having a pet is sometimes what everyone had as a child as they get interaction with warm fuzzy entertainment given by the animal. My ‘pet of choice’ was always a feline. As long as I can remember, I have always had a cat by my side. In bad times and good, my feline friends were always there for me when I felt like I was alone.

We have a feline, as you know. His name is Shaddow. I have always loved all my cats in my past. But this cat has a very special place in my heart. I originally adopted/rescued him from the local Humane society in Palm Beach county along with my mother and daughter down in South Florida. Shaddow was originally rescued for my daughter but chose me as his favorite. We got him at six months although by the looks of body which dealt with malnutrition, he looked four months old. By the time he was nine months old, he had already learned how to fetch. We had taught him with cloth kitty toy balls as we threw them up the stairs, he would catch them and bring them downstairs to us.

Now he is just a Tomcat, and old man. He has had his day.

During the 6 of the 9 months, we made sure that we left blankets out for Shaddow to smell. Now, Victoria’s scent wasn’t on the items at this time but the smell of baby items were around so he would get used to knowing that our scents were different than the scent that was on the items. I wasn’t expecting him to rub his face on these items but to understand that something or someone is arriving soon and to understand that our family is expanding, not excluding him. I really want him to learn this.

While my daughter was pregnant, she would work on the computer working on her college classes. She would invite Shaddow to sleep next to her so the touch and scent obviously comforted him because he would sit by her constantly. Seeing them both sit on the couch made me think back to when she was a little girl and he was a kitten. My daughter played violin and cello. She went to a performing arts school during that time. Every time..and I mean every time she practiced her craft, Shaddow would come running from any place in the house just to sit in her empty case to sit and listen to her play. There are times when he would meow with the music as she ran the bow across the strings. We have Meeting Shaddow:Victoriawonderful memories with this feline.

Finally the day to return home with our new bundle of joy, Shaddow was hanging around the house (probably sleeping in his makeshift bed I prepared for him in my bedroom closet). After the family and friends have left us alone with our little entity, Shaddow came out of his secluded lair and came up to sniff Victoria’s foot. Then he walked away uninterested. And that is what we wanted to happen. Still, even now the baby’s bedroom room is closed during sleep, including naps. Because even though we love him with all our hearts, he is still a feline.

On a positive note, Shaddow is going to give her so many responsibilities. True, I did rescue Shaddow for my daughter to learn responsibilities but that was a moot point. Shaddow decided that I am going to be his alpha female or maybe he just views me as another cat. Whatever the case, he is going to do his part to help her grow. Emotionally, physically and mentally he will be there. All she has to do is grow.

 

 

http://pets.webmd.com/video/puppy-and-children-playing

http://www.sheknows.com/pets-and-animals/articles/2212/kids-and-pets

Please visit his blog (for cat lovers)

http://www.reflectionsofashaddow.wordpress.com

Grampa’s Visit

Published March 10, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

As I look out the window, I can see the sun rise above the clouds. It has been unseasonably warm on a wednesday and I knew just the style of clothes I wanted to wear when we pick up my daughter’s father from the airport. He came up from West Palm Beach, Florida (my hometown) in hopes that the baby will be born during his stay. Unfortunately he would have to return on Sunday but there is so much we can do during his stay.Day 1- At the airport

 Walking into the airport to the escalators, I notice there are not very many people running around to grab their bags or check in at the rental cars area. Soon my daughter will be able to see her father who she hasn’t been able to hug in two years. We finally found some comfortable benches to sit and wait until he gets off the plane. We notice a lady (maybe in her 20s) waiting for her boyfriend to come off the same plane. My daughter strikes up a conversation with her while I look on. Just to joke with my daughter, I tell her. “There he is!” My daughter jumps up, looking at the empty ramp and giggles “No he isn’t” with a smile. I continued to do that two or three more times until she stops paying attention to me. Suddenly there are people walking down the ramp that just got off the plane, the same one her father is getting off. “There he is! There he is!” I shouted. She didn’t even turn her head from not believing me. He walked up to me, gave me a hug and turn to her. She jumped up in his arms like a child. “Daddy! I’ve missed you!” I whispered in her ear, “Told you he was coming.”

Day 2 of Grampa’s visit was rather exciting. We decided to ditch the Smokey Mountains and explore what Knoxville has to offer. As we are driving along, I have the great idea to drive to a place where I love to walk around and check out the local shops and art galleries. This is downtown Knoxville in a place called “Gay Street”. It has beautiful architecture of the different buildings. There is a place right beside it called “Market Square”. Its set in the middle of Day 2- Market Squaredowntown with a concrete stage and the shops are surrounding it. During early fall, the city of Knoxville provides a big screen that shows family-friendly movies so the whole family can have a wonderful evening sitting on blankets and sipping on soft drinks (if they wish). Today it is empty. Still…no baby.

Day 3 of Grampa’s visit was even more exciting. Although I personally prefer the city where there is civilization, my daughter and her father decided they wanted to go to the mountains. To me, it was a no-brainer to get my daughter to walk and hopefully dilate a little bit. When they asked me to go, I shrugged and said “Sure”. I made a few sandwiches, brought some fruit and packed my backpack with water. It was a beautiful day! Seems every time I go to Cade’s Cove, in the Smokey Mountains National Park, its always a beautiful day! A few cumulus here and there but no rain clouds. Being in the mountains, you still have to wear a light jacket though. It was a very old place. We toured a cemetery and the headstones were dated as far back as the 1880s. We also got to see some deer feeding on the grass and a lot of other wildlife. Still…no baby.

Day 3- Cades Cove Day 4 of Grampa’s visit was a cloudy, dreary day. I wanted to stay and clean up the house a bit and her father stayed in his hotel room. It wasn’t a very eventful day at all. Still…no baby.

Day 5 was Grampa’s last day to visit. We went to a few shops around town and drove to different places. His itinerary said that he needs to be at the airport by 5:00 pm so thats where we spent most of the time hanging out, talking and going down memory lane. As we three said our last goodbyes, my daughter shed a few tears, looked down at her belly and whispered in her father’s ear “Sorry Daddy, still no baby.”

The Baby Shower

Published February 27, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

Looking out the window, I see the sun has finally shown its face after a month and a half of cold bitter days. Many times I had promised never to venture out of my apartment in the snow and today was no different. Rewinding the clock back to the night before, I again watched the snow fall to the ground hoping that this would not ruin my daughter’s baby shower. We had to go to the next town over where my sister lives to celebrate. We had everything prepared for this day. As my daughter and I stared helplessly at the newly-fallen snow, we were both crossing our fingers in hopes that tomorrow will indeed be a day for us to remember.

The Baby Shower II

 As a rule, I never leave the house without cleaning up. I don’t want to come back home to a mess before I create a new mess. Both my daughter and I rush around back and forth throughout the house looking for last minute messes to clean, getting our outfits together or fixing our hair and make-up. As we run to catch our ride, I quickly feed our cat and grab the house key. She is already down in the car as I make sure my jacket is on zipping up the front. Looking around the ground, I can already see the snow melting which is actually making me smile.

We arrived at my sister’s house to see her and her best friend decorating the living/dining room with splashes of light pink and dark pink streamers. Both women always seemed to have the best attitude and the brightest smile on their faces….and it was only 9 a.m. Actually, the house seemed to radiate good feelings. I was with family and friends and it was going to be a great day. Everyone finally came who was originally invited. Family meeting friends for the first time was very entertaining. The guests played many games hosted by my sister. “How well do you know mommy” and “baby animal names” were just a fraction of the games that they all played. I was in the kitchen helping with preparation to set out the food on the tables.

Finally it was time to open up the baby shower gifts. Everyone sat around encircling my daughter who sat in the dead-center of the living room. Opening up the cards and carefully ripping the wrapping paper, I tried to take as many pictures as I could. Finally I had run out of space on my camera phone. Luckily my friend made sure she picked up where I left off. Everyone enjoyed cake and chattered back and forth with each other. It was a good time and a very successful baby shower. The Baby Shower

As the guests take their leave from my sister’s house, my best friend asks me if she can take me home to bring the vast amounts of presents for Victoria. I agreed that I would love to catch a ride back to town while my daughter stayed behind with my sister and my mother to finish cleaning the house. As we brought up all the gifts and compiled them into the baby’s room, we look at all the presents that were bought for Victoria and breathed a sigh of relief. Now we have everything we need to welcome the baby.

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.

http://www.onceuponachild.com/

 

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:

http://www.helpher.org/hyperemesis-gravidarum/

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/hyperemesisgravidarum.html

http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a1018905/hyperemesis-gravidarum

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