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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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How much is too much TV baby time?

Published August 10, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

Victoria and Mommy 8-8-14If I read another article about how television damages our children’s way of thinking, I am literally going to scream. I mean, there is nothing wrong with watching an educational video with your grand child. Or am I wrong?

True, sitting your grand child in front of the TV so you can get the house done or chat with your friends online isn’t what this is about. Sure they want a bit of a break so they can do some personal things. Ok..ok this is what this article is about. I’ve read up on a few subjects and I think I have found an alternative way to appease both the parent and the child. I realize every generation after generation says the same thing: the younger generation is in a world of trouble. Yes. This is true as well. But as we help our children raise their children (in my case, they both live with me), I have to think like both a ‘grand parent’ and a ‘parent’ when Victoria is in my care. While my daughter is trying to spend quality time with her daughter before she goes to work or attends a class in college, I have to keep her mind occupied during my time with her.

I understand she is now 5 months old. Wow! Another month she will be half a year old! (But I digress.) I wish I had learn to do this when my daughter was her age. As many grandparents often do, I could kick myself in the seat of my pants when I think of all the things I feel like I ‘robbed’ my child when she was young. Thank (enter your deity here) I have been given the opportunity to rectify it through Victoria. I am not saying I was a neglectful mother. I was young and youthfulness isn’t always a good thing.

My sister who teaches children before they start kindergarten (to prepare them for that big milestone) told me before Victoria was born Victoria 8-8-14 IIthat their brains are evolving on a daily basis. That is kind of a ‘no-brainer’. In so many words, I believe the great Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You learn something new everyday”. But how can she learn something new if I don’t help initiate her learning process? Stick her in front of a television? That definitely won’t do. If I did that, I would be robbing another generation in my family of critical thinking and I don’t think that is fair. Not fair to my daughter, my grand daughter or to the world.

Schedules and routines are two different things I have found. A sleep schedule or an eating schedule is what Victoria follows (although it is very hard to follow when she is teething.) Routines are wonderful. They aren’t ‘time-pressing’ and easy to follow. I have a routine set up for her as soon as her mother leaves for work that doesn’t involve the television. I don’t want to fall into that trap which I rely on the television screen to occupy her time. I want her to imagine, explore and ponder. Yes. I realize that she is still 5 months…True eventually she will become engaged in her saturday morning cartoons or watch YouTube videos (under strict guidance) but I want to prolong this as long as I can. There is nothing wrong with playing with puzzles or reading a book. Giving them the initiative to use hand-and-eye coordination opens up a lot of new avenues. Self-disciple is paramount in anyone’s life and showing them early will help with their future. They also can become re-programmed to eventually become good listeners, learners, strengthen their fine motor skills, problem-solving abilities, become more creative and help them find a way to have self-worth with a better sense of self.

As a grandparent, giving presents is what we live for, is it not? Giving the gift of ‘focusing’, ‘creative thought’ and cultivating it through the years is a present that is sure to develop self-assurance.

Victoria Renee 8-1-14http://www.janetlansbury.com/2010/07/a-creative-alternative-to-baby-tv-time/

 

 

For the love of a sister

Published December 14, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

One of the most precious, genuine and melancholy relationships one can ever have will be with a sibling. If you attain one of these, your life will be filled with ups and downs but through it all, there is always someone who ‘knows you best’. Having a sister would make most relationships with other women very humdrum. She is always there on a rainy day, always there to see your triumphs and let-downs throughout your life.

My sister came into my life on a cold day in December while I was a 6 year old tomboy. I was so upset when my parents explained to me that they were going to welcome another bundle of joy in the family unit. I knew then that I had to start sharing my toys, offer hand-me-downs and learn how to deal with another type of personality. It was actually a good thing. I remember that I could hardly put her down when my mother allowed me to hold her on the couch. I used to rock her while she was in her bassinet with my foot while my mother was preparing dinner. I loved her more and more with each rocking of the foot. I was well into the year of kindergarten. I loved my family, friends and life.

Throughout the years of having a little sister was a very different experience. While she was just starting kindergarten herself, she was instructed to learn the basics, for instance, counting to 10, alphabet in the english language, color, etc. Our mother was a single parent which in turn, labelled us as ‘latch key’ kids of the 1980s. As the eldest child, I was instructed to walk my siblings home from the bus stop, make sure they finish their homework, clean the house the best I can, make simple dinners for them and (at times) make sure they take a bath and get prepared for the next day of school. Because of my attentiveness to my little sister’s needs, she walked into her first day of kindergarten with the knowledge of being able to count to one-hundred, knew her ABCs, knew how to differentiate between primary and secondary colors and could read and construct a few sentences at command. Not only did she benefit from this experience seeing her grow mentally, but I grew as well.

Fast forward to October 1987. I was in high school while she was in middle school. Our mother was still the glue that held my siblings together. I was still in charge of making sure everyone came home from school with all the other responsibilities that was mentioned earlier. Unfortunately, I was stricken with a stroke at the tender age of sixteen. My siblings had thought they had lost their big sister, especially my little sister. While I lay in bed, she wouldn’t know what to say or how to act towards me. Things were different between us. Physically, I am the big sister and she is the little sister. Unfortunately, from a mental aspect, she was the big sister. Most of the intellect that I have acquired over the years had left me in a vegetated state. As the months and years went by, I slowly regained my intelligence again, because of her. She was the one who would read with me, re-taught me the alphabet, re-taught me how to count, re-taught me how to differentiate between my primary and secondary colors and re-construct a few sentences at command. So if it weren’t for her, I would not be here to tell you my story.

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