Category Archives: Grandchildren

Grandma Update: Who’s in Charge Here?

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Barbara and Grandson

Menopause shouts empowerment.

It’s all about taking control.

Learning to be your own boss.

Menopause Power!

That is, until a new force comes into you life.

You can’t fight it.

Best not to try.

When I’m at Mazen’s house, guess who’s the boss?

The boss of playing, that is.

Who decides

Whether to feed cheddar bunnies to Elmo or roll trucks along the sofa edge…

When to ride the tricycle and when to engage in a fast game of chase….

If it’s time to sing or no singing is allowed?

Who’s the boss of playing?

Maze.

How come?

Because that little boy is the best boss I’ve ever had.

The Book:  No battle of wills on this one. Maze and I both love  to read (over and over) Jane Yolen and Mark Teague’s How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight. ROAR!!

Dinosaurs

Grandma Update: Mazen’s Favorite Toys

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Toys A guest post by my daughter, blogger Kath Younger, for those of you with babies and toddlers on your shopping list:

1. Tegu Blocks. We went to our local toy store, Shenanigan’s, looking for first birthday gifts and I asked the woman: “Of all the toys in the store, what would you buy for a one year old?” Without hesitation she recommended these magnetic wooden blocks from Honduras. They are sustainably sourced, non-toxic, and made by a company with many honorable missions. M loves to carry them around the basement and smack them together. Someday soon he will be building towers like his dad! They are a bit pricey, but they seem like they will last – both in quality and in interest.

2. Manhattan Toy Stow and Go Cart. This cart is perfect for learning to walk, pushing around the yard and giving Pumpkin rides.

3. VTech Baby’s Learning Laptop. Karen, my mother-in-law, bought Mazen this laptop when he was young and it’s been one of his most beloved toys. When he was just learning to sit up he liked to open and close the lid over and over, and now that he can stand he dances to the music it plays! I don’t think he has written any blog posts on it yet…

4. Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb. Our current favorite book! Matt taught M to pat his tummy as the drum, and now if you show him the book he pats his tummy on command. He smiles his way through this one.

5. Kidoozie Funtime Tractor. This one was another first birthday gift from us and M LOVES it. So do most kids who come over to play. The animals and Old MacDonald make noises when you push them, and if you touch the orange button in the front the whole tractor moves forward. Pumpkin likes to ride on it! What a clever toy this one is.

6. Kid-O Tip Truck. M loves this truck and also has the red car of the same brand. They have a timeless quality about them, and they are fun to roll on the ground.

7. Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper. M didn’t quite get this popper until he could walk, but now that he can it’s one of his favorites. He pops it all around the house!

8. Orange Tabby Kitten Puppet AKA PUMPKIN! I can’t believe Pumpkin is on Amazon! We bought M this cat puppet after he fell in love with it in a toy store. Of course she is named after our neighbor cat of the same color. M hasn’t shown much interest in any stuff animals except this one. He has started to cuddle with her and pets her. And he loves to walk around holding her by her tail.

Maze and Cart

 Kath  Younger writes a healthy food and lifestyle blog read by over 15,000 visitors a day from around the world. Kath Eats Real Food, which you’ll find at www.KathEats.com, is a celebration of life through the lens of food. Kath writes about everything from recipes to organization tips to encouraging readers to try new “real” foods, including wheatberries, kale chips, chia seeds, and her famous whipped banana oatmeal. Having lost over 30 pounds after graduating from college, Kath is a Registered Dietitian and owns a Great Harvest Bread Company with her husband in Charlottesville, VA. She has been writing KERF since 2007. She also writes at Baby KERF documenting her journey to motherhood. Follow @Katheats on Instagram and Twitter.

Maze and Kath

Grandma Versus Gen Y

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larbsmaze_thumb

A guest post by my daughter Laura Allen:

“If you don’t find a job after a couple of months in Dallas, you could always get going on starting a family.”

These were my mom’s words right after I got married and settled into my new home in Texas.

A bit annoyed that she’d mentioned this yet again, I responded, “And where would I put a baby in my small apartment? In the kitchen? Babies need space and cost money!”

My mom was blessed with her first grandchild last year, and she is head-over-heels.  I can definitely see why, as my nephew only gets more adorable every week.

But, me?  I’m only 28! I’m a newlywed. I need to have a career, a savings plan, a house. I need to go back to Europe!!

What is it about my generation that makes us think there is a perfect time to start a family – that all these external conditions need to be met before having a baby?

In my mom’s day, it sounds like the only requirement before trying to start a family was a husband.  But my generation seems to think we need to have it all. We want more than the American dream. Some have even called generation Y entitled.

I like to think we are just fortunate enough to have options.  Sometimes, though, there are so many choices, that it’s impossible to make decisions.  I’m hoping that the decision to start a family will just happen one day. That I will have a birthday, eat cake, and think ‘This year, I’m ready for a baby!’

Who knows if I will ever truly feel ready or if I will even be able to produce offspring.

One thing’s for sure though. If Matt and I have a baby on the way, my mom will be one of  the first to know, but only if she stops bugging me now!

Laura Allen was recently married on Bald Head Island and lives with her husband in Dallas. She hopes to continue her career in education and enjoys exploring new restaurants, cooking, and blogging in her free time.

Laura and Me

Photo Top: Laura and nephew Maze during wedding week on Bald Head Island.

Photo Bottom: Laura and I before the wedding.  Photos courtesy Katherine Younger. 

Grandma Update: Board Books!

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Mazen, right from the start, liked books.  What more could a writer grandma ask for?

Here are some winners!

His mom and dad read this one with amazing gusto. Lots of clippity clopping along with happy chaos!

Clip Clop

 Sturdy tabs help small hands turn the pages in Baby Colors.

Colors

Who doesn’t love  a peek-a-boo book combined with rhymes and a surprise mirror at the end?

Peek a Who

Baby’s face becomes a fox’s: “Good night, my little fox,”  a candy: “Good night, my sweet,” a dumpling: “Good night, my little dumping,” and plenty of others.

Good Night

Llama’s got all the cool moves!  Mazen is learning to zoom right along with him.


Llama

Delicious foods and familiar endearments are just the recipe in these two titles.

You Are My Cupcake

Babies adore looking at other babies. Voila!  Babies everywhere!

Babies Everywhere

Sometimes toddlers are lickety quick, and other times they are slow, slow, slow. Celebrate  the concept of speed with Duck and Snail.
Quick Duck

Slow Snail

Celebrities often miss the mark when they write children’s books, but Spike Lee and his wife are right on!  They capture the personality of a very determined baby.

Please Baby Please

Bathtime, lift-the-flap, and touch and feel splash together in these bright photographs.

Bathtime Peekaboo

Babies are babies all over the world!

Global Babies

And two classics!

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See features the tissue paper collages of the beloved Eric Carle.

Brown Bear

And last but not least, meet the creatures who love Little Gorilla. And since this book ends with a first birthday party,Little Gorilla makes the perfect gift for that landmark occasion.

Gorilla

Speaking of first birthdays, look who’s turning ONE:

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This grandma is on her way to the bookstore soon. I’m going to scout out some new books to add to my pile of presents.

What about you grandmas and moms and aunts and caregivers out there?  Any titles to suggest?