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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

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

 

Experiencing both sides of the generational fence

Published June 20, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

 

Mamae as a child

Mamae as a child 100 years ago

If there was one thing I have always wanted to do if Mamae was still alive would be to introduce her to the internet. I bet she would have loved the ability to chat with people from different countries or find that her inbox was filled with daily recipes for her to try…or critique. I have always heard from my mother that Mamae was an excellent cook. Not just excellent but rivaling with the likes of Anthony Bourdain, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck or Jamie Oliver. She was that good. Believe me when I tell you I have heard plenty of stories.

I was lucky enough to be born in a time when we didn’t have to worry about checking-in to our parents every 15 minutes to be sure that we are safe. We came home from playing hide-and-go-seek or ghost-in-the-graveyard well after the streetlights turned on. We were able to drink out of a garden hose and not have our parents worry if there is some kind of metallic poison running through the water hose. I can remember living in Ft. Carson, CO as a six year old sitting in the front seat of the car without a seatbelt.

But I am also very lucky to be a part of the technological age. There is no way I could live without my laptop or cell phone. I have departed ways with the days of cable television (or even rabbit ears for that matter). Like everyone else in the 21st century, my home phone is not attached to the wall…except when its charging. Even my own mother, who is a proud member of the ‘baby boomers’, would not be able to survive without her Netflix running through her Wii on her smartTV. Still…she needs her cable in her life. That is probably the only thing from her past that she still holds dear to her heart. I, however am trying to break free from the

I've always been an old cat lady.

I’ve always been an old cat lady.

cable company. Have you ever met a person in their 60s that texts with their loved ones on a regular basis? She Facetimes us when we are giving the baby a bath or other times when Victoria does something new and wonderful.

 

Technology is a wonderful thing so far. And I am so glad I got to experience both sides of the fence.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/16/grandparent-skills_n_5454383.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

http://listdose.com/top-10-best-chefs-world/

After a hard day, this smile cheers me up!

Published June 18, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

 

It seems as I get older its harder and harder to accept things. I don’t always mean to be such a snot, but I am. I want Victoria and I to have a very healthy relationship without any distractions from anyone, including my daughter. I know that sounds harsh but that is how I feel.

Today was the day that was decided who has custodial rights to Victoria. I woke up early in the morning to rush to Victoria’s crib while her mother was still sleeping in her bed. Her little diaper was full from her deep slumber through the hours of eight o’clock pm til six o’clock am. She has had this type of sleep schedule for a few months now and I am not changing it by sleeping in. My daughter wakes in my absence to take care of her so I am comforted to know that she will wake up at an appropriate hour every day. But today was an extra important day for me to spend with my Photon.Victoria Renee 13 weeks 6-16-14

As I am sitting on the couch in a quiet room, I feed her and she is looking directly into my eyes as if to tell me, “Everything will be alright today, Grandma Titi.” My eyes well up with tears trying to believe that they aren’t going to take my grand daughter away. I have invested so much time and energy into knowing her, having her know who I am. Holding on to her tight, I start crying but knowing that little girl will never know how scared I am and how heartbreaking it is to see her go.

But then I have to realize on how the other grandmother feels. Nana. She is and wants to be an important part of her first and only grand daughter’s life too. It’s hard to ‘share’. I never had to share my daughter with her father so this was really hard for me. Nana deserves to have special times with her grand daughter too. Why is that so hard for me to realize?

I stayed home babysitting Victoria and my two nephews while my bestie came over with her two children. We spent the day watching the boys play while we took turns holding Victoria, passing her back and forth as if it were our last time. My bestie is the best bestie I have ever had. She came over with her boys in a pirate ensemble to entice my nephews with a scavenger hunt. They came with eye-patches, pirate hats, scarves and a treasure map for the kids to discover a bounty full of gold coins hidden in the house.Victoria Renee 6-5-14

At the end of the day, I learn that the verdict is actually in everyone’s favor. My daughter gets full custody while Victoria’s father sees her part of the week. That is pretty fair. But why do I still feel stressed? I’ve been stressed throughout her little life of three months. But I have been extra stressed starting in the month of June. Now you know why I haven’t been adding many blog posts. I have to admit I have lost a lot of followers but my true followers have stayed tuned for my updates. And for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

It’s been a hard month but I promise I will provide more interesting reading material for my followers.

 

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).

 

 

 

 

 

“Golf-Ball Sized Hail, Tornado Warning, Severe Weather”

Published April 29, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

 

It’s going to be a long night. I sit with my daughter and Victoria in the living room while we watch anxiously at the television telling us that there are cyclonic activity in the atmosphere. Our cell phones have been screaming alerts with ‘severe thunderstorm warnings’ to ‘tornado warning’. All my neighbors have cleaned off their balconies and patios in preparation for this storm. It’s so empty out there. The weather channel sends updates on which counties are going to be effected from this storm. Unfortunately we are right in the middle of the storm. Thats to say that the bitch is heading right for us.

My daughter, cradling her baby, is scared. The weather station keeps prolonging the tornado warnings which is kind of scaring me too. Calmly, I prepared a diaper bag for Victoria and a bag for Shaddow in case we have to leave the apartment to run downstairs. Coming from hurricane alley, this is NOT a piece of cake.

Keep us in your prayers..

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Never Ending Sleepless Nights

Published April 12, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

 

Long day on the 10th of AprilThere inside a baby’s crib is a beautiful angel…an angel that refuses to sleep at night. How did this happen?? This little creature that I love to cuddle and hold against my body is an active night-owl in sheep’s clothing. There has to be a better way before I go insane. Before my daughter goes insane.

I understand that we couldn’t set a sleep schedule before because she was still a newborn. Thank heavens she has grown enough to step out of that category, or so I thought. It has been a ritual now that I go to bed early, my daughter stays up with Victoria til the wee hours of the morning. Then I wake up about 6 A.M. and let my daughter go to bed while I stay up and have bonding time with Victoria.

Those days might be over….

So now we have to get on task. In order to have this child become a day person (which I am not and never have been), I am going to have to get strict with myself and strict with my grand daughter. Having said that, I have taken the liberty to research on how to keep an infant awake during the day. This will not be a fun ride but I have a feeling that the outcome will benefit us all in the long run.Victoria Renee outside 4-8-14

I understand that I have to be patient with her; it won’t happen overnight. Even if she’s up most of the night, I have to stick with the time my daughter thinks is best. For right now, that time will be 8 A.M. We are instructed to keep the shades open while she attempts to fall back asleep. Gosh that seems so barbaric….she cries in frustration because she can’t get what she needs….or wants. I am going to have to play lively music during the day or even have the television on. Noise is going to happen in our home anyway. She will just have to deal with the fact that we aren’t censoring ourselves anymore.

As the days and/or weeks go on while we are striving for our goal of having her sleep at night rather than the day, we keep in mind that this feat isn’t going to happen overnight. Patience is going to play a big part in this scenario but united with my daughter, we will help my grand daughter through this.

http://www.babycenter.com/404_my-baby-is-up-all-night-and-sleeps-all-day-how-can-i-get-him_3129.bc

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