I 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.
We all love to save money. I get so excited to know how much money I saved on my receipt monthly. I think of it as a present to my household; to me. I came across Dollar Shave Club a razor subscription company that prides itself on shaving time and money for its members by sending quality razorsto their door for as little as $1 a month. This got me so excited to know how much money I saved on my receipt monthly. Not only do I like to save money but what I do have, I like to recycle the things that I often use. There are plenty of ways to recycle the things you use daily. When you are out at the local grocery store, make sure to remember to grab a few more plastic bags for kitty litter.
Cleaning your felines litter daily helps keep the house smelling better. I realize it can be a PITA sometimes when you forget or have other things to do. But you have to think about your furry baby; he/she can’t flush like we can and their own special territory does need to be cleaned so they can have room. Think about the close proximity of their genitals to the litter. It is a much more safer and cleaner way for them. No one wants their furry babies to get an infection due to lack of hygiene of the feline kind.
Speaking of hygiene, children and babies often have accidents in their clothes that you can not foresee. Bring a few bags (just in case) in their diaper bag or in the car. We even use those trash bags to pick up the accumulation of trash during those long drives. They are easy to obtain and easy to dispose of. Another way those bags can be recycled into good use is if you forget your umbrella at home but there is a downpour outside, use one of these as a temporary umbrella so you don’t get wet and eventually sick.
Come to think of it, using and recycling these plastic bags can save you money in the long run. And what of those cloth bags that you can buy for $.99 at the store? I have a million of them stuffed in my closet somewhere. Then one day as I was looking at Victoria’s play corner, I thought to myself “She will never play with all these toys”. So I have decided to kill two birds with one stone (in the long run). I watched to see what toys she likes to play with on a constant basis. Then that night I put the toys in one of those cloth bags and kept it next to her toy box. When she plays on the living room floor (she is currently trying her hand at crawling) she ‘discovers’ what toys are in the bag. Then, when floor time is over, I sit with her and the bag. We both grab toys littered on the living room floor back in the back. I am trying to teach her to clean up.
I like to do most things ahead of time. It saves my time to do the things I like to do so I can play with my grand daughter or hang out and watch a movie with my daughter. Doing things early can save time and money. My daughter likes to prepare the ‘next-day’ bottles for Victoria each night after she gets home from work. She makes 24 to 30 ounces-worth instead of one by one. It is easier for her because she knows that if she has to get up in the middle of the night (yes that does happen once in a while), she doesn’t have to pinpoint how many scoops to mix with where the water level is in the bottle. She doesn’t have to make a bottle with one eye open; being so sleepy. Everyone is happy (especially me because I am sleeping!) This makes it easier to just grab a bottle before she wakes, warm it up, and it will be welcoming when she is alert. Simple.
I have never been good about keeping up with the house. But I do know that you can only eat an elephant a bite at a time. So while I clean the house, I pick my domestic battles. Monday I choose to clean the living room and hallway closets plus do my dishes. Tuesday I prefer the kitchen and bathroom probably because they are easier to put together with the mopping and same basic cleaning supplies. I also do my dishes that day as well. On Wednesday I tend to drop it a few notches by cleaning my bedroom and the balcony as well as doing the day’s dishes. Thursday its off to a fun-filled day down at the laundry mat. Finally it is Friday and I decide to clean up in the living room some more and finish the never-ending pile of dishes.
Weekends everyone picks up after themselves! I’m done!!!
My heart goes out to all the custodial and non-custodial parents who are without their child when it isn’t their visitation time. But what about the grandparents who, trying to bite their tongue on different situations, have to watch them go as well? Saturday night Victoria gets to spend the night at her Father’s house. From the time she leaves to her Father and Papaw’s house til the time she comes home I have to literally sit and think of things I have to do (or want to do) while shes gone.
Sure….there is laundry to do. And I really can get to those lunch dishes. Or, in my bedroom..my own bedroom needs cleaning and a bit rearranging. Come to think of it, I haven’t been able to get my winter clothes out of the closet in exchange for my summer clothes. But I will get to it. In the meantime I want to make sure that Victoria has as much of my time as I can give her.
Usually on Saturdays, I run to my friend’s house to have a few cups of coffee, finding out what is going on in their world and the world around them. Its kind of nice to be able to have ‘adult conversation’ once in a while. Sometimes I stay home and make a list of things that I could do such as vacuum (which I try not to do while she is there) and dust or mop…or both. Its not a blast but it sure does kill time. I’m also not a big believer in cable although I do have a laptop. Many times I watch movies or just simply listen to music while I am dusting or doing dishes. At least I know she will come home to a clean cozy house.
In the early part of December, we decided to put up a tree to celebrate Victoria’s first christmas. We did have fun. I put up the lights while my daughter decorated it with garland and different type of ornaments. Earlier that morning, I made Victoria a special hand-made ornament that I saw in a Facebook posting. Usually I find
The face says it all..grabbed a branch.
my creativity through a pencil or oils. But this time I wanted to make something for her and eventually starting a tradition from Grandmother to Granddaughter.
I decided to make her a ‘keepsake’ ornament every year to put on the Christmas tree. Obviously this year she cannot do it so I started the tradition for her. I went to Target and bought a big plastic bulb that I can put things into the top of the hole. I had some pieces of the decorations from on top of my daughter’s baby shower cake that I have been saving for something creative..something like this. I also saved the baby bracelet/anklet from when Victoria was in the hospital being born. Its important to note that you shouldn’t put too much inside the bulb not to make it too heavy but enough to keep it buoyant on a branch of the tree. Finally I found a pink ribbon (or blue for a boy) and tied it around the stem of the ornament. Voila! You have a homemade First Christmas keepsake ornament that is filled with personal memories that you can look back to in years to come. Its quick and easy and does not cost a lot, maybe a few bucks.
On one of my other postings, I have talked about how I am so thankful and blessed for being a part of the generation that I am in. We are after the Baby Boomers and before Generation Y. I heard that they are called ‘Generation Y’ for a reason. “Y move out of my parents house? Y pay my own bills?” But I joke….kind of.
My mother is a part of the baby-boomer generation. She is also very close to Victoria. But she is really close to my daughter. So close that my daughter named my grandchild after her. What an honor that must be! We want to make sure that she is a part of this baby’s life as we are. Unfortunately she lives about 25 miles away so she cannot see her precious great-granddaughter as much as she would like. But we have found a way that we can connect on a daily basis: Facetime.
Having the special incentive to use this technology means she can be there to view the milestones at the tips of her fingers at any time. This is a great way to keep in touch with what is going on in the family, not only with Victoria but us too. There is a survey that shows 20% of the grandparents that were interviewed use such technology to ‘touch base’ with their grandchildren at least once or twice a week.
Grandparents of a generation or two ago would probably not accept anything other than the telephone for communication with their children and/or grandchildren (if the internet were available back then). But the grandparents of this day and age frequent social networks anyway; so using programs such as Skype, Facetime or Google Hangouts on any device they own in the form of a laptop, desktop, tablet or cell phone is easier to keep in touch with their babies’ babies.
That brings me to my own mother. She wants to make sure she stays in my daughter’s life as much as possible (as she should). When my daughter was in high school, they would spend hours (literally hours) on the phone like teenagers chatting away to each other. They are so close, they share the same likeness of music thus going to concerts of that genre together. They are that close. So you can see how much my daughter wants to share special moments of Victoria with my mother. It is almost a daily occurrence that there is communication on Facetime. Be it lunchtime or bath time, my mother gets to see my grand daughter and my daughter, Victoria gets to actually see and get to know her great grandmother and I get to see my mother daily. As her adult-child, it brings me comfort knowing that my mother is okay.
The alarm blared next to my bed as I struggled to find my glasses on my nightstand. The sun had already broke through the clouds and the sky became clear. As I lay in bed, I hear commotion in the kitchen with Victoria sitting in her high chair and her mother feeding her oatmeal with fruit. She has been ‘finding her voice’ for days now and shrieks (screaming out loud) to hear her own voice.
Two wonderful faces to wake up to. (And my black cat Shaddow as well!)
Today was the day we are going to the Shriner’s Circus with Victoria. I kinda had the feeling that she would do well with crowds but with the loud noise I wasn’t sure about. Today was also the day that she was promoted from her carrier to a ‘big girl’ car seat. Not the ‘big, big girl’ kind of car seat but the kind that toddlers are in. She is a husky 21 lbs. But she is also over 27 inches long. Big girl! But I bet when she starts crawling (which she is showing signs) that weight will melt off her. Fat babies are cute babies!
As we were walking into the Thomson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN there were people with children everywhere. I was kind of nervous, myself being in large crowds. And I had my grand daughter in my arms so I had to make sure I kept a straight face and took care of the task at hand. We searched for our seats in the dark in the nose-bleed section. Yes it was packed with children screaming from excitement everywhere! My daughter found seats for us and I handed Victoria to her so I could take pictures of her first experience with the circus. There were tigers balancing on beams jumping through fiery hoops and elephants dancing. There were trained dogs balancing on the backs of their trainer wowing the crowds. Victoria did enjoy it but the loud acoustics and flashing lights bothered her. After a few attempts to get her to look, we decided to retreat to the corridor of the arena so Victoria will feel a bit easier with all the hoopla that was before her.
Finally we were standing in the corridor looking at the action that was happening inside the arena. I noticed a stand that sold wands that light-up. I decided to buy Victoria a big pink light-up wand. She was mesmerized by the flashing lights. It was great! She seemed so excited to see her new present come to life with just a push of a button. Fortunately that diverted her attention from the flashing lights and the loud noises coming from inside the arena. Then an announcement came on the speakers saying that there will be an intermission and a display of pony rides and elephant rides were presented to the little children. My daughter was so excited that she grabbed Victoria and announced that she will go down to see if she is old enough to ride a pony. I told her that she was probably too young and the clowns will probably scare the crap out of her.
Like always, she paid no attention to me and walked down to the bottom of the arena where the pony rides were. I stayed up in the corridor searching for them to just get a glimpse of my baby and her baby within the crowds of other parents. I noticed that my daughter was next to a crowd of people strapping on harnesses for Victoria to ride a pony. I honestly couldn’t believe it! She is only 7 months old and she is enjoying what other kids way-older than her- are enjoying. My daughter and a helper walked in a circular-motion following a circle of ponies attached to one another. Victoria enjoyed every minute! Soon the ride was over and she had to leave her pony. I was hoping that she would come back up to where I was standing but they were surrounded by a bunch of clowns that took pictures with my grand daughter. If she was scared she never let it show. Then my daughter took her to get her face painted in the form of a cat. Yes she was young but I am so glad that my daughter introduced her to that type of social action. She didn’t cry or become irritated. She just smiled and was very attentive. Basically she people-watched.
As I sit here trying to find the words to put into this blog, I smile to the fact that my daughter had shown me what a true parent does. Its never too early to make memories with your babies. I am proud of the mummy that she is becoming.
Victoria Renee had a great first-time experience with the Shriner’s Circus at 7 months old
….And we are back! Its that time again that Victoria is teething. Really. But this time there is something showing up on her lower gum. After I wash my hands, I feel around on her lower gum and I believe I felt a small bump….I wasn’t sure. But throughout every smile, she never whined. Although my daughter was at the end of her seventh month of life, the first tooth (or teeth) that arose were both upper lateral incisors. But that was so long ago. I had forgotten what babies go through during this hard time. I was wondering why Victoria barely slept (or couldn’t stay asleep at night.) Thank goodness there are the two of us (my daughter and myself) taking care of Victoria. When she hears Victoria crying in her crib, she retrieves her while I turn on the pot of water on the stove to warm up her bottle.
We do make a great team. 🙂
Later that night and into the morning hours, my daughter had so much trouble trying to get her to rest. I could hear Victoria whining in the monitor with my daughter rushing through the hall to get to her room. Victoria has scooted up from the bottom of the crib right up to the top. And she’s crying. Between each cry, she chomps her gums like shes eating something. She can’t rest herself. Wanting to sleep in the worse way, Victoria drools and has her fingers in her mouth as to point in the direction of the pain. I don’t know how to make it stop. My daughter administers a bit of baby Tylenol (because I will not be the one to give her meds) but she is still in pain. I then feel the bottom of her gums. There are two (*two*) teeth trying to break the skin of my poor grand daughters gums. I feel like I am doing this all over again, first with my daughter as a baby, now Victoria. As my daughter rocks her to sleep on her shoulder, I have nothing else to do but bring myself to my bed, feeling helpless. There is nothing I can do to remove the pain from my Victoria.
If 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 youthfulnessisn’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 that 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.
Celebrating my grand daughter’s up-coming 5th month of living (I can’t believe 5 months!!) I have learned a lot of things about her that are very individual. Being so young and having such a strong personality so soon, she has given me the wonderful chance to learn about what her likes and dislikes are.
1. No matter how she sleeps (always on her back), Victoria finds a way to have her feet sticking out of the blanket with both arms high above her head.
2. Her favorite toy is a “Glow Worm” that my bestie gave her. Followed by a cloth maraca and a cloth rattle in the form of Winnie the Pooh. She also loves her stuffed animal “Prince George” or just “George” when she sleeps.
3. Victoria has a bad habit of pulling her hair when she is sleepy. Now she is starting to suck her thumb. We are desperately trying to refrain this.
4. I am an avid watcher of ‘The Big Bang Theory”. 9 times out of 10, she is watching it with me. At any moment, i.e. changing her diaper, feeding her or just having tummy time on the floor, she hears the theme song and stops whatever she is doing just to watch the opening credits.
5. Her mother has successfully found all her ticklish spots. Originally I would guess that she would be ticklish on her chunky thighs but no. Mostly on her sides and her tummy followed by the bottom of her feet.