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

The things we saw at the mall…

Published June 3, 2016 by The Hip Grandmother

Foothills Mall LogoIt was a very, very muggy day when we dropped Victoria’s mother off to work. The pavement was blistering hot and there was not a cloud in sight. I didn’t feel like going home and I wanted Victoria to play, but I wanted it in a cool atmosphere. So I decided to take her to the mall. I know being there will make her tired after and she will sleep better tonight. Plus she always sees some things that are new to her every time we go. have a special recipe in mind that I want to make the girls for tomorrow night. So I had to get the item at the local grocery store. Then I thought, ‘While I’m there, I can get a 6” sub and two bottles of water..that would be fun to eat in the Food Court just her and her hip grandmother.

We drove up to the mall and parked in our favorite parking spot. Well…it’s my favorite because it’s close to the kid park and I don’t have to walk too far. I decided that this time I was going to get her stroller from the 20160602_162719.jpgtrunk. It’s easier so I don’t have to carry everything or if she gets tired there is a place for her to rest. She was so excited to get out! I think this is the first time I had seen her put her shoes on by herself in anticipation to get out to see other kids. The stroller was packed to the brim (with her in it) and we marched into the mall.

As we were walking down the way, Victoria looked up and pointed to the floor, indicating to me she wants to
get out and walk. She loves to lead the way into different stores and look at the different displays. They are always changing every time we go there. Besides the clerks like to see her and watch her cautiously as she walks around with her hands behind her back. A couple of months ago, one clerk gave her one of her favorite animals. There were ducks on display during easter and because she ABSOLUTELY loves ducks. She ran up to the display with such delight and the lady behind the desk asked her if she wanted a life-sized cardboard duck. She welcomed it with open arms and wouldn’t let go (even through lunch). She even slept with it that night.20160602_162518-1.jpg Victoria can be a weird child.

Soon we came to the end of the mall and Victoria decides to run ahead of me (which makes me so nervous that she is starting to run.) She found a display of assorted bubblegum machines. Unfortunately I had to explain to her that she is way too young for bubblegum so a tantrum ensued. That lasted for about 2 minutes until she looked up, stood back up, picked up her blanket (that she carries like Linus from the Peanuts gang) and looked at the bubblegum machines again. Part II of the tantrum began. An elderly couple came by and told her to be a good girl or she isn’t going to get any bubblegum out of the machines. I told them, yes, because she is only two years old. And no, her grandmother isn’t going to let her have any bubblegum. They both just smiled and continued walking.

Thunder crashed and we felt the vibrations beneath our feet. Not a second after that, we heard rain falling hard on the roof. The lights began to flicker on and off throughout the mall. Suddenly the movie ‘Dawn of the Dead’ came to my mind. Thats ok. I absolutely love walking with her through the mall anyway. She waves to 20160602_162810.jpgas many people as she sees. In the mall, there are many things to do. Theres an area that lets you jump on trampolines so high (almost to the ceiling of the mall itself) with harnesses attached to the sides of your body. Now…I’m ok with letting Victoria grow up a little before she sets her sights on riding this ride but she wants to do it NOW. A couple of months ago she did try to go on the Mall Jump but was afraid once she got on the trampoline. Now I think she has toughened up a bit and wants to ‘give it a go’ again. Oy vey!

Finally we walked to the inside park where many children and parents gather to watch their babies play. VICTORIA LOVES THIS PART! I did, however, notice that Victoria is still into the ‘parallel playing’, which means she likes to be around other kids but play by herself. She is still too young for total social contact but that’s ok. The more she is around other children the more she will be able to conduct herself in the appropriate manner with a large group of kids. There were older girls that thought she was the cutest thing and played with her copying and following her around the playground. Victoria would scream as if she was so excited when she would see other children chasing each other around the slide and along the benches where the parents sat. We must have stayed in that area for about 2-3 hours. When we were ready to go home, she was happy. Tired but happy. I was happy to be with her too.20160602_170035-1.jpg

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.

Victoria Renee: A look back at her life

Published May 24, 2016 by The Hip Grandmother

1-22-15 At Park in MallIts been a busy month since Christmas for my family so far. Positive things have happened and negative things have happened. I would like to focus on the positive. A lot has changed yet a lot has stayed the same. Victoria has pulled herself up and is trying to walk. She’s also eating table food now. Can you believe it? Table food! She has always been the apple of my eye, my photon, my ray of sunshine in a dark room..but she has come to be in the age of fun. Tomorrow is my 44th birthday. Throughout the year I did entertain the idea that she and I would share a cake, one side decorations of Disney and the other side a simple ‘happy birthday’. But I know it is actually her special day and I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to take some of her ‘first birthday’ thunder away.

Victoria went with her mother to the park in the mall. It’s an indoor park so we like to go there while it is rainy or snowing outside. She made a few friends, even met up with kids that aren’t taught to share (although they should have learned this already) but all-in-all she had fun. She has a new best friend who also happens to be our neighbor. I just adore this little boy. He is my ‘handsome’ little man. 1-7-15 Victoria's first cake

That night, my daughter and Victoria decided to make a cake. It was a cute little cake. Victoria has never had experience when it comes to baking and her mom wanted to be the first to try this out.

Today May 24, 2016

Today Victoria is bright and happy and full of joy. Always with a smile and a giggle, she loves watching other kids play and loves Minnie Mouse. I firmly believe the reason she continues to be happy is that her parents can get along and isn’t exposed to arguments. This is very important in a child’s life and I am so thankful she has the parents that she has.

 

New Adventures of Victoria the Toddler!

Published April 29, 2016 by The Hip Grandmother

Sitting here with my granddaughter is such a wonderful thing to me. We had just dropped her mother off to work and now we can relax watching a little television and play on YouTube. Well…she is. She is fully capable to navigate throughout YouTube and it keeps her busy for an hour or two if I let her. (Which I never do, half an hour at the most).

4-15-16 Our new apartmentMost of you know that we have moved into a new apartment. Moving from a 2 bedroom to a 3 bedroom apartment makes for a lot of space. Victoria finally has her own room to do as she pleases. Her toys fit in 3 toy boxes lined up on the wall, her bookshelf stuffed with reading literature, Disney Princess table and chairs and her toddler bed on the other side. My friend brought her a foam mat so it would drowned out some of the noise for the people downstairs. (We have hardwood floors throughout the house).

As a family, we do a lot of things together. Since Victoria’s mom works a lot, it gives us more time to spend together. We do go out to friends houses. We also go to the park. I am planning to put together a picnic basket and spend a few hours at the Beltway Park that my small but quaint town has to offer.

Taking selfies while we shop.

Taking selfies while we shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some pictures I was able to capture on our adventures. Enjoy 🙂

Victoria went to the circus with the family.....

Victoria went to the circus with the family…..

Played outside in the grass with her wagon

Played outside in the grass with her wagon

Dressed up to see the easter bunny......

Dressed up to see the easter bunny……

....But fell asleep in his arms....

….But fell asleep in his arms….

Played with Mommy's make-up

Played with Mommy’s make-up

Stole a bite of Mommy's ice cream cone

Stole a bite of Mommy’s ice cream cone

Ended up waiting in the room for the dentist

Ended up waiting in the room for the dentist

First-time examination! She did GREAT!!!

First-time examination! She did GREAT!!!

Went to visit her best friend Paco.

Went to visit her best friend Paco.

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