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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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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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