education

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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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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/

 

 

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

What? Grandmothers and more Grandmothers!

Published January 20, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

It seems like EVERYONE loves their grandmother. I had a grandmother once. He had a grandmother once. She had a grandmother once. Grandmothers are a very important part of society. Lets rejoice and celebrate how wonderful it is to be a grandmother. After all, they are known to display humor as well as passing the baton to their children for giving birth to ‘our reason for living’.

Here are a few examples of ‘the humorous grandmother’. Just to let you kiddies know, we still can be funny as well as responsible.

Ok. Ok. So that wasn’t THAT responsible. But it was funny! No one would expect that from a ‘little ol’ lady’ (which I am not!) But it shows you, my faithful follower that Grandmothers can have a humorous side to them.We love our children’s children and want to spend as much time as God will allow to see them grow. This especially goes for holidays. I am lucky enough to have my daughter live with me. So that means I will have my grand daughter live with me! Yay!

Yes, having the two of them live with me will have many ups and downs but knowing they both have a safe roof over their head and food in their bellies is the utmost importance. While she finishes college, I can make sure everything else is taken care of. Of course, my energy level has gotten lower in the past few years..but I will find a way to regain that much-needed energy. Maybe this next clip can shed some light on regaining strength that I thought I’ve lost so many years ago with the Fibromyalgia!

Grandmothers are a very important part of the family (even more-so now). In my family, the grandmother is the Matriarch and her word is law (or at least, considered). As a Native American proverb says, “Treat the Earth well, it was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children.”

A Survivor’s Story During the Season

Published December 18, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

HeatherLily-1On a winter’s day in 2005, she gave birth to a beautiful daughter Lily Rose. Three month later, she was diagnosed with a life-altering disease called Pleural Mesothelioma. Knowing this is the beginning of a long and tiresome journey, her husband  and my friend searched to find the best treatment care for Mesothelioma available. The three finally crossed paths with a renowned mesothelioma surgeon named Dr. David Sugarbaker based in Boston at the Brigham and Women’s hospital.

As a seven-year mesothelioma cancer survivor, she has made it her mission to help other victims of mesothelioma around the world. Raising awareness for other’s that are going through this, she is sharing her personal story in hopes that one day no one will have to go through this terrible and life-altering cancer. Here is her story.

                             See more at: http://www.mesothelioma.com/heather/#.UrB-wGRDvPw

Now the fun begins…..

Published September 27, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

Funny how time seems to heal…even for the scenarios that you can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. Learning to accept the way things are is easier for me now. The baby is now 5.12 inches resting comfortably (and healthy from what I know so far) in her mommy’s belly. We are now ready to learn about the gender although we will find out later in the month of October. After that, it will be time to start shopping for that certain gender.

As of today, she is now 16 weeks pregnant and starting her 2nd trimester. Her baby is at the size of an avocado. That little angel can hear her mommy’s voice echoing through her body. Tiny bones have formed in her ears. She is growing hair and has lashes with eyebrows. And she is also forming taste buds. 🙂 The baby is moving around my daughter’s belly and this is the time that she will start actually feeling it. Reality is finally going to set in for my daughter. The nausea days have passed and we are now looking forward to her little belly getting even bigger with love.

School is going splendidly for my daughter as she is getting the straight As in each class. The saying in this house is ‘maintain those As!’ every morning that she walks out the door. With an on-going habit of studying, she will hopefully fulfill this semester with flying colors. I am thankful that she is concentrating on going to school. I can remember when I graduated with my G.E.D. at 30 years old. I have pictures of how proud she was for me. I was proud she was able to actually see me graduate and continue on with college. I remember telling her that “not even two strokes can keep me from furthering my education.” With ‘community’, a pregnancy will not hinder her as well. I can honestly say I am proud of her.

http://pregnant.thebump.com/pregnancy-week-by-week/16-weeks-pregnant.aspx?MsdVisit=1

Off to college but still at home….

Published September 2, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

School has finally returned for my daughter. As I stay at home alone, I wonder how she is dealing with life during her busy day, even while she is pregnant. Unfortunately, the morning sickness came back. Either it was that, or nerves. Doesn’t matter, she will have to go anyway. I’m sure seeing her friends from last semester was a great meeting. I, on the other hand, stayed home and cleaned. That seems all I do. That and blogging. I really need to get a life or at least a friend. But hoping that she excels in college is worth it.

Today seems like a good day. She didn’t have morning sickness and was able to attend all her classes. She got to see friends from the last semester and told me how excited she was to see them again.

I am happy that she is going back to college to fulfill what she wanted to do before she became pregnant. It shows that she is persistent in making sure this child has a better life than I could ever give her. She wants to make sure that her child will grow up to be proud and that nothing, not even pregnancy can stand in the way of getting an education.

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