Grandparents

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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.

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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

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.

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

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