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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

The things we saw at the mall…

Published June 3, 2016 by The Hip Grandmother

Foothills Mall LogoIt was a very, very muggy day when we dropped Victoria’s mother off to work. The pavement was blistering hot and there was not a cloud in sight. I didn’t feel like going home and I wanted Victoria to play, but I wanted it in a cool atmosphere. So I decided to take her to the mall. I know being there will make her tired after and she will sleep better tonight. Plus she always sees some things that are new to her every time we go. have a special recipe in mind that I want to make the girls for tomorrow night. So I had to get the item at the local grocery store. Then I thought, ‘While I’m there, I can get a 6” sub and two bottles of water..that would be fun to eat in the Food Court just her and her hip grandmother.

We drove up to the mall and parked in our favorite parking spot. Well…it’s my favorite because it’s close to the kid park and I don’t have to walk too far. I decided that this time I was going to get her stroller from the 20160602_162719.jpgtrunk. It’s easier so I don’t have to carry everything or if she gets tired there is a place for her to rest. She was so excited to get out! I think this is the first time I had seen her put her shoes on by herself in anticipation to get out to see other kids. The stroller was packed to the brim (with her in it) and we marched into the mall.

As we were walking down the way, Victoria looked up and pointed to the floor, indicating to me she wants to
get out and walk. She loves to lead the way into different stores and look at the different displays. They are always changing every time we go there. Besides the clerks like to see her and watch her cautiously as she walks around with her hands behind her back. A couple of months ago, one clerk gave her one of her favorite animals. There were ducks on display during easter and because she ABSOLUTELY loves ducks. She ran up to the display with such delight and the lady behind the desk asked her if she wanted a life-sized cardboard duck. She welcomed it with open arms and wouldn’t let go (even through lunch). She even slept with it that night.20160602_162518-1.jpg Victoria can be a weird child.

Soon we came to the end of the mall and Victoria decides to run ahead of me (which makes me so nervous that she is starting to run.) She found a display of assorted bubblegum machines. Unfortunately I had to explain to her that she is way too young for bubblegum so a tantrum ensued. That lasted for about 2 minutes until she looked up, stood back up, picked up her blanket (that she carries like Linus from the Peanuts gang) and looked at the bubblegum machines again. Part II of the tantrum began. An elderly couple came by and told her to be a good girl or she isn’t going to get any bubblegum out of the machines. I told them, yes, because she is only two years old. And no, her grandmother isn’t going to let her have any bubblegum. They both just smiled and continued walking.

Thunder crashed and we felt the vibrations beneath our feet. Not a second after that, we heard rain falling hard on the roof. The lights began to flicker on and off throughout the mall. Suddenly the movie ‘Dawn of the Dead’ came to my mind. Thats ok. I absolutely love walking with her through the mall anyway. She waves to 20160602_162810.jpgas many people as she sees. In the mall, there are many things to do. Theres an area that lets you jump on trampolines so high (almost to the ceiling of the mall itself) with harnesses attached to the sides of your body. Now…I’m ok with letting Victoria grow up a little before she sets her sights on riding this ride but she wants to do it NOW. A couple of months ago she did try to go on the Mall Jump but was afraid once she got on the trampoline. Now I think she has toughened up a bit and wants to ‘give it a go’ again. Oy vey!

Finally we walked to the inside park where many children and parents gather to watch their babies play. VICTORIA LOVES THIS PART! I did, however, notice that Victoria is still into the ‘parallel playing’, which means she likes to be around other kids but play by herself. She is still too young for total social contact but that’s ok. The more she is around other children the more she will be able to conduct herself in the appropriate manner with a large group of kids. There were older girls that thought she was the cutest thing and played with her copying and following her around the playground. Victoria would scream as if she was so excited when she would see other children chasing each other around the slide and along the benches where the parents sat. We must have stayed in that area for about 2-3 hours. When we were ready to go home, she was happy. Tired but happy. I was happy to be with her too.20160602_170035-1.jpg

Victoria Renee: A look back at her life

Published May 24, 2016 by The Hip Grandmother

1-22-15 At Park in MallIts been a busy month since Christmas for my family so far. Positive things have happened and negative things have happened. I would like to focus on the positive. A lot has changed yet a lot has stayed the same. Victoria has pulled herself up and is trying to walk. She’s also eating table food now. Can you believe it? Table food! She has always been the apple of my eye, my photon, my ray of sunshine in a dark room..but she has come to be in the age of fun. Tomorrow is my 44th birthday. Throughout the year I did entertain the idea that she and I would share a cake, one side decorations of Disney and the other side a simple ‘happy birthday’. But I know it is actually her special day and I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to take some of her ‘first birthday’ thunder away.

Victoria went with her mother to the park in the mall. It’s an indoor park so we like to go there while it is rainy or snowing outside. She made a few friends, even met up with kids that aren’t taught to share (although they should have learned this already) but all-in-all she had fun. She has a new best friend who also happens to be our neighbor. I just adore this little boy. He is my ‘handsome’ little man. 1-7-15 Victoria's first cake

That night, my daughter and Victoria decided to make a cake. It was a cute little cake. Victoria has never had experience when it comes to baking and her mom wanted to be the first to try this out.

Today May 24, 2016

Today Victoria is bright and happy and full of joy. Always with a smile and a giggle, she loves watching other kids play and loves Minnie Mouse. I firmly believe the reason she continues to be happy is that her parents can get along and isn’t exposed to arguments. This is very important in a child’s life and I am so thankful she has the parents that she has.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How much is too much TV baby time?

Published August 10, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

Victoria and Mommy 8-8-14If I read another article about how television damages our children’s way of thinking, I am literally going to scream. I mean, there is nothing wrong with watching an educational video with your grand child. Or am I wrong?

True, sitting your grand child in front of the TV so you can get the house done or chat with your friends online isn’t what this is about. Sure they want a bit of a break so they can do some personal things. Ok..ok this is what this article is about. I’ve read up on a few subjects and I think I have found an alternative way to appease both the parent and the child. I realize every generation after generation says the same thing: the younger generation is in a world of trouble. Yes. This is true as well. But as we help our children raise their children (in my case, they both live with me), I have to think like both a ‘grand parent’ and a ‘parent’ when Victoria is in my care. While my daughter is trying to spend quality time with her daughter before she goes to work or attends a class in college, I have to keep her mind occupied during my time with her.

I understand she is now 5 months old. Wow! Another month she will be half a year old! (But I digress.) I wish I had learn to do this when my daughter was her age. As many grandparents often do, I could kick myself in the seat of my pants when I think of all the things I feel like I ‘robbed’ my child when she was young. Thank (enter your deity here) I have been given the opportunity to rectify it through Victoria. I am not saying I was a neglectful mother. I was young and youthfulness isn’t always a good thing.

My sister who teaches children before they start kindergarten (to prepare them for that big milestone) told me before Victoria was born Victoria 8-8-14 IIthat their brains are evolving on a daily basis. That is kind of a ‘no-brainer’. In so many words, I believe the great Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You learn something new everyday”. But how can she learn something new if I don’t help initiate her learning process? Stick her in front of a television? That definitely won’t do. If I did that, I would be robbing another generation in my family of critical thinking and I don’t think that is fair. Not fair to my daughter, my grand daughter or to the world.

Schedules and routines are two different things I have found. A sleep schedule or an eating schedule is what Victoria follows (although it is very hard to follow when she is teething.) Routines are wonderful. They aren’t ‘time-pressing’ and easy to follow. I have a routine set up for her as soon as her mother leaves for work that doesn’t involve the television. I don’t want to fall into that trap which I rely on the television screen to occupy her time. I want her to imagine, explore and ponder. Yes. I realize that she is still 5 months…True eventually she will become engaged in her saturday morning cartoons or watch YouTube videos (under strict guidance) but I want to prolong this as long as I can. There is nothing wrong with playing with puzzles or reading a book. Giving them the initiative to use hand-and-eye coordination opens up a lot of new avenues. Self-disciple is paramount in anyone’s life and showing them early will help with their future. They also can become re-programmed to eventually become good listeners, learners, strengthen their fine motor skills, problem-solving abilities, become more creative and help them find a way to have self-worth with a better sense of self.

As a grandparent, giving presents is what we live for, is it not? Giving the gift of ‘focusing’, ‘creative thought’ and cultivating it through the years is a present that is sure to develop self-assurance.

Victoria Renee 8-1-14http://www.janetlansbury.com/2010/07/a-creative-alternative-to-baby-tv-time/

 

 

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/

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