Baby

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Playing Catch-Up After a Busy Year

Published April 8, 2018 by The Hip Grandmother

Haven’t been here for a while. There is a WHOLE lot that has been going on. Victoria, Annabelle and Michael are growing like weeds. It astounds me how big they have gotten. Victoria and Annabelle are now potty-trained. It hasn’t even been a year yet and both of

the ladies are doing a great job! Victoria has been in school since August. She has tackled her ABCs and can count to 19. The number 20 is kind of hard for her but she will get it. Since she was a baby, I have been singing Nursery Rhymes to her so she has a head start in that. But her favorite song to date, the song she sings to her brother is Baa Baa Black Sheep. She also knows all her colors…well…the REQUIRED colors for Kindergarten. But that is a ways away.

Halloween was quiet this year. Both the girls acquired a new baby brother and their parents worked so it was hard for me to get out to bring Victoria to different events. But Victoria and Annabelle got to see each other.Thanksgiving was at my sister’s house and they got to see their cousins. There is nothing like being with family to get you in the mood for the holiday season. Christmas was a very good time in this house. The three kids went to Michael Sr.’s aunts house for their family christmas party. You wouldn’t 10-31-17 VIctoria and Annabelle Halloweenbelieve the gifts and toys those babies got!! Then the next day, Victoria and Michael had to contend with our house, soon, Victoria would have to open presents at her Daddy’s house, then her Papaw’s house. These kids got so much!

Through the months they all have grown to be wonderful little people. In March, Victoria had her 4th birthday. It happened to be on my OWN birthday. That is the kind of birthday I like. She had her brother and sister there, her father and his girlfriend there and many of her friends. Plus her mom and her step-dad was there. Her aunt, cousin and my mother was there as well. It was a good day, my birthday. Later in the month, my daughter decided to go visit her ailing grandfather down in South Florida. That was good for me because I am so homesick. We have been living here in Tennessee for a decade. This was the first time I had driven down to South Florida by myself…and I did it. But being down there was so 3-20-18 Michael Brian's first trip to Floridagood for my soul. I got to stay with my best friend. It didn’t even seem like time was against us. It was like I just saw her the day before. It was great hanging out on her patio watching the palm trees gently sway, drinking coffee and talking the day away. After we went to the beach to walk on the Lake Worth pier. I appreciate her letting me close my eyes and silently smell the fresh salty air. The wind whipped through my long hair as we sat in silence. When I opened my eyes, all I could see was far away ocean liners sailing in the distance. That is my home and I will always long for it until the day I die. Finally we went to my daughter’s big sister’s moms house. We met up with her children (which I absolutely adore). I am so glad the kids finally got to meet their cousins. We went to Moi’s house, their grandmother’s house. It just seemed like old times. All the neighbors got along, they would sit outside after the sun went down and talked. We had ribs and yellow rice for dinner. I had so much fun, I didn’t want to leave. But I had to. My mother and sister were up north. My black cat Shaddow was up north. So even though it was hard, I had to go back.

After a busy week, we head into another busy week. My daughter and her fiance decide 3-28-18 Sara and Michael Whaley weddingto get married! They have been talking and planning about it for years. But they finally did it. Now Victoria, Annabelle and Michael are a blended family. March has been a really good month for us this year. Now it is April and its back to normal. Victoria finishes her first year of headstart next month. Lets just hope the coming months will be calm.

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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

Absence makes a grandmother’s heart grow fonder…but Merry Christmas!!!

Published December 10, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

12-6-14 Victoria's first christmasMy 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.

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.

Here is mine!

12-5-14 Victoria's birth ornament

Creating a technological bond between great-grandmother and grandchild

Published November 16, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

September 7 2014On 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.11-13-14 Victoria being silly

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.

12 things I want to show you about my 8 month old grand daughter Victoria Renee

Published November 10, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

Ok…I didn’t write the 7 things I have learned about my grand daughter Victoria Renee. BUT she has made some improvements during the 7 month and I would love to show you the pictures instead. Today is Victoria’s 8th month of life. I want to show you now that she is starting to leave the infant world and go straight to becoming a little kid. Its hard to believe that my grand daughter isn’t a baby in a bassinet anymore. She is really growing up and I have become closer and closer to the little booger.

We have gone from this:Victoria 8-8-14 II

To this:

11-7-14 playing in her pack n play

Now we are to this:

11-7-14 busy playing

Somewhere in between 22-25 lbs, she is starting to lunge forward to position herself to crawl. One of these days she will do it and hopefully it will be in my presence. Her mother holds her up in a standing position as she holds on to the coffee table in the living room. She is definitely on her way.

From eating this way:

Kiss the hand of the Queen!

Kiss the hand of the Queen!

Eventually eating in a high chair:

Eating at Shoneys 8-6-14

And finally she is an ol’ pro!

Victoria at breakfast 9-17-14

As you know, I am her babysitter while her mother works. There have been times when things are kind of hard keeping her on a schedule but all in all, she is a very easy baby to deal with. I set a schedule for her sleeping and she has grown into it wonderfully.

We have gone from this:

Long day on the 10th of April

To this:

Sleeping Beauty 8-26-14

And at times…..I find her playing in her crib when she is supposed to be in dreamland

11-10-14 Victoria not sleeping during nap

She does a lot of things on her own, though.

11-7-14 holding her bottle

And she even tries to push herself by doing different things, such as holding the bottle in one hand then switching to the other hand……

11-7-14 holding her good night bottle for first time

She really thinks she is cool. Thats ok because I think she’s an awesome kid. Not a baby but a kid.

11-9-14 Victoria and Grandma Titi

A Wonderful Day at Shriner’s Circus

Published October 19, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

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 Victoria and her big girl car seat‘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 Victoria paying attention to the circus 10-18-14corridor 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's face painting 10-18-14

Victoria Renee had a great first-time experience with the Shriner’s Circus at 7 months old

My very first Grandparent’s Day (and I almost missed it)

Published September 23, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

Grandparents Day card 2014I am shaking my head to the fact that I almost missed my first Grandparents day. I mean, I really didn’t miss it, but it was a day just like any other day. Unfortunately it was too hot to take Victoria outside to sit and play on a blanket. Now that she sits up on her own, there are so many more things we can do together. Like I said before, it was my very first grandparents day and I almost missed it but my daughter didn’t.

As Victoria was sitting in her Pack N Play, I took the time to google what and when Grandparents day was really about. Yes it was earlier this month. It turns out that it is a new holiday that became recognized only 36 years ago in 1978. Marian McQuade of West Virginia was the original founder of Grandparents Day. Although there are many countries that recognize this event, it is usually celebrated on different days throughout the year. For instance, in France it is celebrated on the first sunday of March dating back to 1987. And out of all those different countries celebrating this day, some celebrate the grandmother and another day will be celebrated for the grandfather. This proves that grandparents are a very important part of their families lives…no matter what country you are from.Grandparents Day card 2014 II

I’ve also learned that there is a song that was written in our honor. I heard some of it. Its cute. It was written in 2004 in Chula Vista, California by Johnny Prill mandated by the National Grandparents Day Council. (I never knew anything like this existed!) He was presented with the National Songwriters award because of its highly popular composition. He named it “A Song for Grandma and Grandpa”. It was written to give children across the nation the opportunity to celebrate and show their appreciation for their grandparents. It tells of the unique relationship between children and their grandparents. I’m guessing I take this ‘grandparent’ thing very seriously! And I love it!!!

 

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