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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ways to save and “shave” on your monthly budget

Published January 27, 2015 by The Hip Grandmother

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 razors to 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 Smiling Shaddowyou 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. 1-22-15 Victoria Renee on the swingEveryone 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!!!

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

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!!!

 

6 things I have learned about my grand daughter Victoria Renee

Published September 23, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother
  1. Victoria has only rolled over 5 times from her back to her stomach. Even though she tries and tries, she seems to have trouble getting that arm straight. But she sits up very well.Sitting up with a little help from pillows 8-21-14

  2. As you have read in my blog before, Victoria is teething. She likes to chomp her lips and give raspberries (I’m guessing to stop the pain of the tooth emerging from her gums).

  3. This month, Victoria’s favorite toy is her piano. She loves to pound on the keys and can sit there for almost a half an hour. She is also trying to snap her fingers.

  4. It’s safe to say that she has developed a wonderful sleeping schedule and eating schedule by 6 months.Victoria in her playpen 9-4-14

  5. At 6 months, she’s starting to recognize the people in her life which means she doesn’t like strangers. (Thank goodness)

  6. Every time I am changing her outfit, she is really happy when I am undressing her, laughing and giggling to become bare without clothes on. It’s when I have to put clothes on her that she gets really, really angry and I have to explain to her that American society frowns upon nudity and that she has to get dress. That’s just the way it is.

Victoria the Water Baby

Published May 30, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

Its summertime in the northern hemisphere of our wonderful home and with the beauty of the weather, we all want to go out and play. What? You say babies can’t? Oh they certainly can (with a lot of precautions). The leaves on the trees have finally emerged from their deep sleep, the bees (although very scarce) are buzzing around the flowers hoping to get pollen and spread it around. I guess that is why I love bees so much. There is a light breeze flowing in the air and the sun seems to dance around a few cirrus clouds in the sky. Yes, summertime is finally here for us to enjoy, even for babies.

She's definitely a pisces!

She’s definitely a pisces!

When I gave birth to my daughter, it was the middle of summer in South Florida. It was hot, humid and I was miserable. My only daily ensemble that I wore was a tank top with shorts (and as most natives do) wore nothing but flip-flops. The only comfort that I could find would be in a room with an air conditioner. That was it. That was all I needed. Fortunately my daughter gave birth right before spring. The days were often over-cast with a cool breeze at night. Given the earlier phenomenon of the Polar Vortex, the predictions of the weather haven’t been simple to forecast. The seasons are now upon us earlier on the East Coast of the US than before.

Getting her things together from room to room, I was following her with a mental checklist offering advice of what I would think she might need. After the advice was given to her, she prepared Victoria’s diaper bag that has Winnie the Pooh across the front. A family member bought her some “swimmer” diapers for Victoria to wear while she was in the pool. Donned with sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat, my grand daughter was almost ready to go to the party. With a full diaper bag of regular size 2 diapers, wipes, 5 empty bottles, powder formula and a bottle of drinking water, she was set into her carrier that is also “Winnie the Pooh” print. Her ride (from a family member) finally came to pick her up. She was so excited that she can finally get out of the house and spend some quality time with family.

Sitting comfortably on her throne.

Sitting comfortably on her throne.

Of course I was texting her every five minutes to ask if the air was on in the car on the way, was she too cold if the air, in fact, was on too much. I would ask if she was hungry or if it is time for her next feeding. Or even if she needed a diaper change and I am not there to do it.

Still, I am only the grandmother.

But my daughter came to her baby’s rescue. I was happy to learn that she only had her in the sun for approximately 5 minutes, (just to take a few pictures) that she was indeed in a pool setting. Dressed in her long onsie, hat (that covered her neck as well), sunglasses and sunscreen, my daughter walked with her across the shallow end of the pool. She knew that you shouldn’t keep a baby out in the direct sun and stayed for the next 10 minutes under the overhang of the pool deck. As soon as she got home, Victoria was whisked away to a bath. My daughter knew that sunscreen wasn’t good for baby’s skin so she carefully washed it away with a wash cloth. After careful examination, Victoria was ‘lotioned up’ and fitted with a brand-new onsie as she sat in her lounger (better known as her throne).

 

 

 

 

 

Week 10-11 of my grand baby’s growth

Published August 28, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

As I sit here watching the new “Star Trek”, I think about James T. Kirk not having his parents together. His father was on the Starship Enterprise and was attacked by enemies while his wife was on a pod leaving the ship, giving birth to their only child, never to see her husband again.

While I realize this is just a movie, I wonder how my grandchild will deal with (her) parents not living together. My daughter will not keep the child away from the other family. That was not how she was brought up. I am just hoping the other family will hold their end of the bargain. A child should not have to go through a situation without their other parent being absent..in any case. 

There are many positives in this week. My daughter has regained some energy back that she didn’t have from the weeks before. Her appetite has somewhat returned and things are looking better for her. She is now at week 10-11..and my grand baby is no bigger than a fig. This is wonderful news! The risk of congenital birth defects are now lessened which makes me (almost) breathe a sigh of relief. (Her) fingernails have slightly formed with the look of a ‘human fetus’ connected to the placenta, (which is now functioning.) My daughter found a really good app for her iPhone that describes what is happening to your body while you are making this transition to motherhood. The pregnancy app is on iPhone, iPod touch and android. It is free and it tracks your day-to-day growth.  

App reviewed by the BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board

The BabyCenter My Pregnancy Today app is everything that millions of women love about BabyCenter right in their purse.” – Linda Murray, BabyCenter editor-in-chief

BabyCenter My Pregnancy Today is the most comprehensive daily pregnancy app from the world’s most trusted pregnancy and parenting resource. Simply enter your baby’s due date, and BabyCenter My Pregnancy Today turns your phone into an expert guide for each day of your pregnancy. Feel more prepared for your baby’s birth and get the answers you need, whenever you need them.   Here’s what you’ll get:

  • My pregnancy day by day: BabyCenter’s renowned weekly guide to pregnancy is now optimized for your smart phone with daily information and advice.
  • Fetal development images: See your baby grow with our one-of-kind images developed by expert medical illustrators.
  • Pregnancy checklist:  This interactive to-do list is filled with activities and reminders to keep you on track with decisions, doctor appointments, and more.
  • Award-winning videos: Watch what’s happening inside the womb with breathtaking 3-D animations, or, get informed (and inspired) about your own delivery day with live-action birth videos.
  • Birth clubs: Meet other moms-to-be who are due at the same time as you and get instant advice and support.
  • Due date calculator: Figure out your due date and count down to the big day.
  • Nutrition guide: These tips and recipes will help you eat well and manage cravings.

Here is the address: http://www.babycenter.com/my-pregnancy-today-app or you can find it in the app store

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