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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.

10-31-16-victoria-public-library

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.

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.

Victoria’s 2015 experiences

Published January 19, 2016 by The Hip Grandmother
8-1-15 Victoria with piggytails

Last years chair, this year is a booster seat

Gosh things have changed since I’ve last talked to everyone. It has been a year since I posted my last blog and I hope it doesn’t happen again. Not that it is an excuse, but I have been very, very  busy with…well…life. We now have a toddler and she brings so much joy to our lives every day.  She’s always into new things and we are trying to show her the happiest and healthiest little person that she can be.

Although I can tell you she has been an absolute joy, we are starting to deal with that inevitable word, “No”. Even when the answer is “Yes”, she means no. There’s no in-between with this kid. Although she does say, “Thank you”, it does sound like “Dew-Dew” but we get the point. She even eats at the table on a booster seat rather than a high chair. Now we all have dinner together on the same table without the bulkiness of a high chair.

Victoria as Cinderella at 'Boo at the Zoo"

Victoria as Cinderella at ‘Boo at the Zoo”

Everyday has been an experience, yes. The places we have been….and she has been there right along with us. Out of all the places she has been, I would have to say that the Halloween season was the best time. At first I thought she would be too young to participate in all the festivities with the bigger kids, but her mother always tries to

First experience going down a big-kid slide

First experience going down a big-kid slide

include her into the mix. And with that, Victoria has given us many wonderful memories. One of the best parts about this whole scenario is that both Victoria’s mother and father were all included. This is how things should be.

We have had great experiences. And SHE has had many great experiences thus far. I love that they all join a group of friends to seek out all these fun things for the kids to do. Everyone is together and no one has any mixed feelings. It’s definitely for the kids to experience this. The adults know that any hard feelings can be saved for at a later date; this is only for the children to see both of their parents getting along.

Last year has been a real fun time learning about her like/dislikes and I am really enjoying the person that Victoria is becoming. As I always say,”Being a grandmother is a wild ride!”

Childhood never lasts, but everyone deserves one.” 

~ Wendy Dale

2015 Visit with Santa

2015 Visit with Santa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

4 month old check-up with Mommy and Daddy

Published July 9, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

 

Victoria Renee 7-6-14Today Victoria had her 4 month check-up! Everything went well and Victoria is developing just fine. We were pretty surprised that our little porker weighed in at 17 pounds! But the real surprise is that she is 25 inches which puts her among the 95 percentile of her peers. Hopefully she will be a tall woman and with the latest statistics, it’s a safe bet she will.

My daughter addressed her concerns about her head always pointing to the left. She told her that she mainly uses her left side of her body..discovering her left foot, extending her left hand and waving it in a psychedelic way. The doctor reassured her that all babies choose different sides of their bodies individually and she has chosen her left. Daddy, mommy and I all let out a comforting sigh. At least now we know that she is developing at a good rate and yes..I hope that she turns out to be a lefty.

We also found out that she has a birthmark behind her right ear on her head. This form of birthmarks are among 40,000 babies born each year. This birthmark is called Strawberry Hemangioma which appears shortly after birth. This type of birthmark soon disappears as the child reaches their seventh year of living. When my daughter observed it before, she was quite startled, thinking there was something growing on her child’s head. “Well, Miss Priss. You, yourself have a birthmark as well. Its called Nevus Sebaceous.” She really does.

As the day ended and my daughter was at work, Victoria was taking a nap in her crib. I’ve been wanting to set up her pack and play for so long. My bestie gave it to my daughter for Victoria. Fortunately I had time even though it kind of upset me. She is getting bigger. Growing upVictoria Renee 7-1-14. She isn’t that little newborn we brought home from the hospital. I let out a deep sigh and started to take apart the pack and play..or in my day (I’m really not that old) I have always called it a playpen. Isn’t that what it is?

http://www.everydayhealth.com/kids-health-pictures/10-types-of-birthmarks.aspx#/slide-1

 

Scheduling a seven week old

Published April 28, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

 

It seems like Victoria Renee came with instructions. Am I speaking too soon? Well, the child loves to sleep..and eat..and sleep some more. My daughter was like that. And Victoria’s Nana, Daddy’s mom confessed that he was a very easy child too. When people talk about ‘children do not come with instructions’, I assume they are speaking about their parental instinct. Some are stronger than others, I can imagine. But learning your child’s language before they can speak seems to be a feat my daughter and daddy has already learned. It seemed so simple that I would like to think I know what Victoria is saying. Victoria 6 weeks old

A few weeks ago, I was searching online on how one can start a sleeping schedule for their child. I’ve been racking my brain to remember how I put my daughter on a sleep schedule but unfortunately it has been too long. Luckily for my own forgetful mind, there is the internet. I’ve read almost every website dealing with ‘what to expect’ and I have come to the conclusion that this ‘scheduling’ is a personal thing. The cues I have learned from Victoria have been pretty easy to read. She prefers to be changed before eating?? (I thought that was the norm with babies.) She is also pretty active with the cooing and chatting, exploring and smiling after her bottle. I made it a habit to keep her upright for at least 20 minutes after eating. It has helped with the reflux which is now subsided.

She has also made a little friend! Mr. Clock! We have a clock hanging up in the living room. She absolutely loves it! She stares at it constantly and even tries to coo at it as if she is having a conversation with only two of them in the room. But the best part of this whole scenario is that she began to smile….and Grandma Titi was the first one she smiled at!! All in all, she has a way of communicating with me without crying. She uses her eyes and I see that, just before she starts to smile on her face, I can see it forming in her eyes first. She’s actually a pretty fun little person.

By now, Victoria can recognize different colors and shapes with detail. Just a little bit of detail. She mostly sits on her lounger to get a glimpse of Mr. Clock and her mother and I offer her rattles or hand-sized stuffed animals so she can become more stimulated with every new shape and design. After this, her mother lays a blanket on the floor, sets the toys around her and lays Victoria on Victoria trying on shadesher belly. I’ve heard this is a great way for them to get ready to crawl. I hear it is termed “Tummy Time”. It’s great to see her try to lift her head and her arms try to support her upper-body. It must take so much energy away from her because she falls fast asleep as soon as she’s done!

For right now, she is comfortable and happy. Next week she goes in for her two-month check-up and will have to have immunizations. That will not be fun but it will keep her healthy.

 

 

 

 

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