Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
"Mirror Mirror, on the wall"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

10 Best Babysitting Tips for Grandparents

My Energizer Bunny!
I babysat for my granddaughter a few weeks ago when my daughter and son-in-law went to an out of town wedding. It went so well and while I loved my special time with Olivia, I can't lie, by the end of the weekend, I was so tired I felt like a big pile of blubber. From the moment Olivia opened her beautiful blue eyes in the morning until the moment she went to sleep, I needed to be in a state of readiness, strong, clear-thinking, fast reacting and loving.  Babies do not have a manual or a rule book to set guide-lines for them and they will push every limit and cross every line, and they will do it all in the sweetest, most adorable manner.  I hope that you will find the following advice helpful.

1.    You must train in advance.  I suggest that you work on strength, stamina and agility, as you will need all three skills.  You must prepare for lots of time on the floor, some crawling, some heavy lifting and a lot of very fast moving.  I also suggest that you warm-up before every outing. 
2.    Get good nights sleep and be well rested.
3.    Never turn your back or underestimate what a baby is capable of doing.  I turned around for a moment when I thought that she was fastened in to her high chair and found that she had squirmed out!
4.    Wear washable clothing.  You can expect to be spit up on or peed on at best.  Good news!  Rice cereal does not stain.
5.    Wear sensible shoes.  Must be sturdy enough to withstand miles of pacing, rocking and chasing.
6.    Make sure your driver’s license is up to date.  A drive around the neighborhood with the baby in the carseat can give you a short respite while the baby is safe in a confined space.  The drive will also put a fussy baby to sleep.
7.    Learn to use the technology.  I have found Elmo on you-tube can amuse the most distressed baby. 
8.    Sing!  I promise that the baby doesn’t care if you have a good voice, and will be amused by your singing.  Three little ducks and If you’re happy and you know it are two of Olivia’s favorites.  Whenever you just don’t know what to do, sing. 
9.    Never tell your children when your when you don't follow their directions.  What they don’t know won’t hurt them and as I always say, you get what you pay for.
10.                  Have lots of fun! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's easier to get through to President Obama than it is Alexis!

More Mangos please!

It is easier to get through to President Obama than it is to get through to Alexis by phone.  I get it!  I remember how busy you are when you have a baby.  Olivia, in particular is beautiful and happy baby, but very active and not much of a napper.  Alexis says that Olivia has lots of time to work on all her baby tricks because she never sleeps.  By 7 months, she was crawling at the speed of light. Whenever I put her down, I could hear the music of impending doom playing in the background as she looked to her left,  she looked to her right and zeroed in on the  dirtiest thing in sight to put in her mouth or the most treacherous place to climb.  I get it that you can’t take your eyes off her for a moment.  (Why don’t they use playpens anymore?)  In addition, Alexis has just gone back to work and started a brand new job. I get it that she is busy! 

Now to the point, what can I expect from Alexis?  I have adopted a policy that restricts my phone calls to my children because I never seem to call at a good time.  If they call me, it is at their convenience.  Now however, it has been a week since I have heard from her.   The whole weekend went by without any contact, not a single e-mail, text message, letter or even a singing telegram.  I know that there are families that would not think this is out of the ordinary, but this is not usual for us.   We have always been close and I am so sad to be missing out on the details of her life and Olivia’s.   I want to hear about the toys she plays with, baby dates and music classes.   I want to know what new foods she is eating and how she looks the first time she tries them.  I want to hear about the way she greets Alexis when she comes home from work. I would find  great fascination in every mundane detail.

I don’t want to be angry or to demand her attention.  I don’t want to give her a minimum weekly requirement of phone calls or cry and whine.   I don’t want her to think that there are strings attached to anything that I do for her either.  So what do I do????? 

Ding a ling a ling………..

Hey Mom, what’s up?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tot- Mom was acquitted; Caylee’s grandmother faces a life-sentence!

I have been obsessed with the beautiful little girl with the big brown eyes and my heart aches for the grandmother who lost her.

Is little Caylee’s Grandma any different than you or me?  I cannot condemn Cindy Anthony for loving her daughter and trying to find any reason to excuse the inexcusable! I can only imagine how hard it must be for her to get her brain around the reality that her child is a sociopath, and a narcissist.  Cindy had given birth to her, loved her and cared for her. She tried to meet the challenges of a strong-willed adolescent and supported her as best she could when Casey became a single mother.  Caylee’s Grandma, Cindy spoke to Dr. Phil as honestly as the mother of Tot-mom knew how to be.  Caylee’s Grandma has experienced inconceivable loss and will probably never fill the void.

When people dismiss Cindy as a dysfunctional parent, I wonder what gives them such ownership of the high ground?  One thing I learned as a parent, was not to cast stones at another parent because you never know how you would act in an extreme situation.  Many adolescents face difficult times when they assert their independence and rebel against authority.  Even good kids will lie about where they go and what they do when they have defied rules.  Often, those years are traumatic and challenging to families but in most scenarios, the kids will come out on the other side. I imagine that Cindy may have believed, deep down in her heart, that her spirited daughter was going through a difficult stage?  I imagine that Cindy tried her best to raise Casey but that she was no match for Casey and her demonic core.  Her web of lies was so intricate that brilliant Doctors and Lawyers and Psychologists have been able to unravel them with any certainty to this day.  

I cannot cast stones at Cindy.  I can only imagine her heartache at the loss of her beloved grandchild.  No matter what she says about Casey publicly, as parents we know that she loves her daughter but must live with the realization that she is psychopath who may never tell her the truth about what happened to little Caylee.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ode to my visiting children; written for my own amusement!

The S.S. Olivia

Loving Summer living
I still hesitate before I serve them Liquor

Play Ball!
Girl friends
Olivia Chillin with her babie buddies

 In the summer, my children love to escape from the city and come to my house to enjoy some country pleasures.  I love when they come, but somehow, by the time they walk out the door; I am doing a happy-happy dance.

They love to hang out at our pool and they often bring friends with them.  Our “empty nest” gets filled to the brim and I truly love every minute.  In addition to my job as chairman of the “food and beverage committee”, I take the early morning Olivia shift. As much as I love her 5 a.m. smiles, I would not complain if she would just sleep until 6!

I giggled as I wrote this poem before their last visit and I hope that you will also be amused by my creative effort to rally some support!

I look forward to your visit with great anticipation
I hope that it will feel like a little vacation

I ‘ll help with the baby and hope you have fun
Play some golf and enjoy some sun.

We’ll bar-b-que some Ribs and drink some wine
I know we’ll have a really nice time

So I hope you’ll respect what I ask for me
What I need from you will be clear to see

Please use the trash, It might not seem a big deal
but my need for order, I assure you is real

Your glasses all over, Your towels on the floor.
Make me feel like a maid, your mother no more

Please don’t be angry, Please understand
It really isn’t an invalid demand.

I really love your visits, and wish for many more
So I ask for some consideration from the kids I adore.

My mother-in law came from Florida to see Olivia and my Brother and Sister-in-law came from New York to see my mother-in-law.  Every bed in the house was slept in.  We all had a great time, but when my house emptied out and the last sheet and towel had been washed, I felt like I could sleep for 20 years. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Welcome the new baby with Olivia's favorite toys!

I wanted to get a special gift for my friend's first grandchild.  I knew that both the nursery and the layette had been designed and delivered and that she would be getting so many more gifts too, so it wasn't easy to come up with an idea.  Finally, I came up with and idea that I think was a good one; I put together Olivia’s favorite toys and enclosed this message from my granddaughter.

Dear Benjamin,

It’s me; Olivia Grace and I wanted to give you a big “Welcome to the world!”  I have become somewhat of an authority on toys for babies from birth to almost 7 months old so my grandmother, Anyu, consulted with me closely when putting together this goodie bag of toys for you.  

The first couple of weeks, I didn’t do much, but I loved hanging out on my play mat and looking at all the toys.  My favorite thing to do was to look at myself in the mirror.  The mat was as good a place as any for some tummy-time, but I hated that. 

 The Woozit was a good thing to hang on my play mat, but it has lots of arms and it was the first toy I played with in my stroller.  The winkel was good too, because I could pass it from hand to hand easily and sometimes, didn’t even know that I was doing it.

The Whose house is really for older babies, but I loved the crinkly square and the other shapes with different textures.  I enjoyed playing with them on my play mat.  Now that I am almost a toddler, I like to take all the shapes out of the house and maybe soon, I will decide to put them back in and sort them into their openings.  I’ll keep you posted.

Anyu thinks that Sophie the giraffe looks like a dog toy but I told her, all my baby friends agree, she is very special to us.  We love to put her head in our mouths and tickle her ears and her neck is such a perfect handle.

My Dad says that I am reading at a 9-month level already.  If that means that I try to eat the books, it sounds right.   Where’s the bone? Is one of my favorites.  I love to eat that bone!

Every baby must have bath toys.  Nothing makes me giggle like I do when Anyu squirts my belly with these toys.

So that just about does it, except for Elmo.  He is the love of my life.  If I am hysterical crying in the car, my Mom plays Elmo songs on you-tube and I immediately calm down.   I really recommend the one with Andrea Boccelli.  My Mom and Dad love it, too. 

I love music and this is my favorite nursery rhyme CD.  My Mom also sings all these songs to me when she is trying to get me to eat that yucky rice cereal, so tell your Mom that it comes in handy to add these songs to her repertoire.

So, Benjamin, this is my greatest hits list.  I hope that you like them!  I can’t wait to meet you.  When you are a little bigger, I know that we will have lots of fun together.

                                      Olivia Grace