Monday, March 6, 2017

Parent vs. Grandparent

I have always heard people talk about being a grandparent as being completely different from being a parent.  I never  understood that until I had a grandchild.  Well, let me just tell you - there is a huge difference in being a grandparent as opposed to parent.  It's hard to put your finger on why this is.  It just is.  But at the same token, you know it's different.

I guess it's because as a parent you are "in" the rat race trying to balance the big trifecta - family, work, life.  It's hard for you to slow down.  You are in "work" mode always.  Working to take care of your family, working at your job, and working to have a little bit of fun in your life.  It's all about balance.  I worked before my first born (Chickie) and returned to work after she was born.  Honey-Buns and I tried to keep her out of daycare...He worked during the day and when he came home, I went to work, waitressing at night.  This worked really well for about six months when we realized we were tired of not seeing each other more.  That was also when he left his job as a meat-cutter and went into the family trucking business with his father.  I then switched from waitressing at night, to working as a cashier (same restaurant) during the day.  Chickie went to daycare.  I was lucky to find a small one and she was the only baby for an additional six months.  I believe she was more spoiled at this daycare than she would have been at home.

I had always told my husband that if possible, I would like to not work if we had more children.  When my son (Bubby) came along, I was able to stop working outside of the home.  This was so much fun.  I have always been one to play with my children, not just plop them in front of the t.v. and it really showed in their early knowledge.  Chickie recognized all letters of the alphabet by the age of two, could write her name at three, and was reading easy books at four.  Bubby was different - he didn't like to sit still, but he did like drawing and he would always make his own books - drawing the pictures and making up the stories.  I started babysitting my husband's cousin's baby - he was a year and half younger than Bubby.  From there, I started keeping kids after school.  This then led to me substitute teaching once Bubby started school and that led to a para-professional (teacher's aide) position at my children's elementary school.  I worked in the school system up until 2001 when I joined the family trucking business full time after my father-in-law passed away.  I still work for the business, I am just able to have my office located at home.  I am now babysitting my granddaughter, Munchkin on Tuesday-Friday.

I am the same type of grandparent as I was a parent - always playing, putting the child first, etc.  So what's so different?  I'm more patient.  I was always a patient parent - my son made me that way.  I had to parent him completely different from my daughter.  They didn't learn the same way, they didn't act the same way - completely different people.  Well, duh!  They ARE different people.  Munchie to me is a combination of both her mother (Chickie) and her uncle.  Raising both of my children and working in the school system helped me realize everyone is different.  And it's okay.  One of my favorite stories to tell about my children when they were little is about bed time.  As Chickie got older, her bed time would become later.  Bubby didn't like that one bit.  He wanted to have a later bed time too - even though most nights he was so tired he would be in bed asleep by 8:00 p.m. (if he even made it to then.)  Knowing he could not stay up later, I gave in and he was given a later bed time.  He even told his teacher his bedtime was midnight.  She asked me about that and I told her yes, that's what it was but...he never stayed up later than 7:30/8:00 unless he had a baseball game that ran later.  He still talks about having  a later bed time than his older sister.  You have to appreciate their differences.

I also seem to take my time more.  It seems like we always had somewhere to be/something to do.  I still do, but not as much.  Maybe it's not taking my time so much as it's enjoying our surroundings.  Usually when I go the our local Ingles grocery store, we have to stop at the balloon/flower area.  We have to look at the balloons and if Munchie feels the need, we have to hug the Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, monkey, Elsa, Anah, unicorn balloons.  It's okay to stop and look and hug.  She knows she's not going to get a balloon (her dog likes to eat them - not good) and she's happy hugging them.  We also have to go by the bakery and see what kind of cute cupcakes/cakes they have made.  Her favorites are the animal cupcakes - especially the ones that look like dogs.  If we're outside, we have to stop and look at the bugs and flowers and trees.  It's all fine with me.  It's okay to stop and wonder at your surroundings and I absolutely love watching her discover things. 

Play, play, play!  I have always played with my children.  We play games, play outside, blow bubbles, draw with chalk, run and act silly, play in the water, play on the playground - all kinds of things.  I can remember playing with my children - always.  Yes, they had solo-play time as well, but I like to play.  I'm a kid at heart, and a silly one at that!  I broke two ceiling fan lights sword-fighting with my son when he was little.  The one in the living room broke when I jumped on the coffee table to fend him off and hit the light when I raised my sword.  Same thing happened in my bedroom when we sword-fighting on the bed.  I scraped my leg (major road rash) riding the wagon down the driveway.  I didn't crash when I rode the wagon, but when I tried to stop it when Bubby did and he was heading straight for the back of our vehicle parked in the driveway.  Anyway, this aspect of parenting hasn't stopped for me.  I love to play.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Hair ya go....

Today's topic is.....drum roll, please......body hair!  Yep.  Kinda yuck, kinda not.  I shaved my legs the other day and noticed that the hair on my legs is very blotchy and thought to myself, "Wouldn't it be great if it just quit growing back?"  I mean, you quit having your periods in menopause so why shouldn't your leg or underarm hair stop growing too?   Life would be perfect then.  Just think about it...EVERYONE would love to get to menopause if it meant you could stop shaving!  It wouldn't be this big ole secret that no one likes to talk about.  Just imagine it for a minute.  Go ahead.  I'll wait.  Pure bliss, right?

I've always said it was the German in me, but I could totally go without shaving my legs and not think twice about it.  Easily.  Really.  Who remembers the underarm hair craze?  Wasn't it just last year that movie stars and singers were dying their underarm hair?  I would NEVER go for that.  I do NOT like having hair under my arms.  It just looks gross and stinks.  I don't know about you, but my leg hair has NEVER been smelly.  lol  - Let's start a movement and stop shaving our legs.  Everyone with me?  Yeah.  Right up until short-wearing weather.  Yeah...I know.  Oh was fun while it lasted.  ;)

Friday, May 6, 2016


Hi and welcome to my new blog about life as a mother/grandmother going through menopause.  Let me start by introducing (or re-introducing) myself.  I am a 50 year old wife, mother, and grandmother.  I can't believe I am not only in my 50s, but that my first year of 50 will be over in July.  WHERE has the time gone?  I met my wonderful husband when I was a babe of 15 and married him when I was 17.  Incredible, right?  Just gets better.  I wasn't even pregnant!  lol  We married for lurrrrrve.  :)  I had my daughter when I was 21 and yes, I received a rocking chair for my 21st birthday.  It was awesome.  While my daughter was the easiest child ever  and made me think I was THE BEST mom, my son came along 28 months later with a hard dose of reality.  I have said ever since that if he had been my first child, he would have been my only child.  Yep.  You heard/read me correctly.  Chickie Baby came home from the hospital perfect.  She slept all through the night and would eat/sleep like clockwork.  I could taker her anywhere anytime.  Not a problem out of her.  She never met a stranger and had the funniest/best little personality.  My son?  Whole 'nother story.  He came home from the hospital and was up every two hours.  He screamed when he was hungry.  He screamed when he was wet.  He screamed when he was hot.  He screamed when he was cold.  Screaming was pretty much his first reaction to anything throughout the majority of his childhood.  Did I mention he was also a Mama's baby?  He wouldn't even stay with Daddy.  My daughter went to everyone's house - her grandparents, her aunt.  Bubby?  Nope.  Isn't life funny like that?  The one you desperately needed a break from just would NOT go anywhere without you!  Even at church, there was only one person he would stay in the nursery with and she just happened to be my husband's cousin.  As you can see, I survived their childhood.  Bubby grew up and is actually now my quiet child.  Looking back on his childhood and mannerisms, we believe he may have been high-functioning autistic - Aspbergers Syndrome to be exact.  He has most of the symptoms.  Both Chickie-Baby and Bubby graduated high school with honors.  I am so proud of them.  Chickie also graduated from college with a degree in Graphic Design.  Bubby completed one and a half years of college when he realized he did not want to be a high school history teacher after all.  He has always held down a job and seems to be happy at his current work location. Both of my children work at the same sign company.  Chickie is the designer on staff and Bubby is an installer.   I hope you have realized that is not their actual names, but their nicknames they have been given by my husband (Honey-Buns) and I since they were itty-bitty.  In the spring of Chickie's junior year in high school, my sister passed away from heart valve issues.  This brought her 11 year old daughter, my niece, into our immediate family fold.  Prissy has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair.  Lots of modifications and life style changes with that, but I had promised my sister that if anything had ever happened to her, I would take in Prissy. 

Chickie married her high school sweetheart the year after college graduation.  She and Anderson have given me my first and only (so far) grandchild, Munchkin or Munchie.  There are no words to describe how much I love this little girl.  She will be three in August.  I babysit her Tuesday through Friday.  She stays with her other grandmother on Mondays.  Munchie has so much of Chickie's personality but a lot of her Uncle Bubby's stubbornness thrown in.  She is such a joy to be around.  I know.  I know.  Sappy, sappy.  I can't help it.  She makes me smile and laugh and giggle and...well, you get the picture.  This blog will be about her and her funny stories. 

This blog will also be about changes.  It is crazy to me how well you get to know your body then one day all of that changes.  I'm not sure when it started, but I do know it's started.  Yes.  I'm talking about perimenopause...the beginning of the end.  The end of what?   IDK...I think they're talking about periods or something.  I do know I have NEVER in my life purchases so many pregnancy tests.  I buy them for peace of mind mostly.  I forgot to mention I'm a "late in life" baby of six.  The story goes that my mom went to her OB-GYN for her yearly check-up at the age of 40, only to be told she was pregnant.  Not planned and not easy.  She turned 41 in June of 1965 and I was born in July.  I know the delivery/recovery wasn't as easy as her others.  I only know this because I have the birth card/announcement Daddy sent to Grandma & Grandpa and he mentions that she "didn't have an easy time of it."  Sadly, Mama passed away in June, 1978.  I was a month shy of 13.  I haven't been able to ask her about menopause or any of those other great questions girls should be able to ask their moms and even though I have two older sisters, I can't ask them either.  My oldest sister was in a severe car accident with brain trauma.  She's fine now, she's just lost a lot of her childhood/younger memories.  My other sister is the one that passed away.  So, I'm just winging this whole thing and making sure I throw my wisdom at my daughter, so she won't be caught so completely off guard when it comes her turn to live a fabulous life.  lol

What have I learned?  It's still embarrassing to buy a pregnancy test.  I don't know if you ever get over the looks sent your way.  But, for peace of mind?  It's totally worth it.  I have even had Honey-Buns pick up a test or two while he was at the pharmacy getting his many asthma medications.  Apparently, you are in perimenopause until you go 12 months without a period, then you're in menopause.  I get so excited to go without my period.  I mean, WHO likes them?  Do you remember how you were SO crampy and achy when you first got your periods in your teens or pre-teens?  Well, they end up like that again.  SUPER crampy and SUPER painful.  So yeah...I get excited when they're not here even though my body goes through the same symptoms of PMS.  Crazy!  I have actually gone three whole months without my period.  It was awesome.  Then it hit last month.  Boo.  And again this month.  Boo.  And just when I thought it ended last week, it started again today.  I mean...are you kidding me?  So...for those of you getting ready for perimenopause, be prepared.  NOTHING is normal anymore.  NOTHING.  Lucky for you, my blog might just help you out some, wink-wink.

Okay...I think I rambled enough for my first blog and for the day.  I would just like to add that I have renewed my relationship with my treadmill.  We've been going strong for three days straight.  I really want to keep this relationship going, so please encourage me.  You may or may not know, but my other blog, Queenie Gets In Shape, was about me discovering CrossFit and actually doing it.  I plan to start back with that, just not right now.  I don't want to be sore when I wake up in the mornings.  I know that's a crazy reason for not exercising more, but it's the truth and I am doing my best to be brutally honest in my blogs. 

I will leave you with one Funny Munchkin Story:
I was working on my computer downstairs yesterday morning while Munchie was playing with her cars and car mat.  She got up and came over to me, holding out her hand and said, "Look what I got."  I held out my hand and asked her to let me have it.  She put it in my hand.  I looked at it, not really sure what she just put there and said, "What is it?"  She replied, "A booger."  YUCK!  YUCK!  YUCK!

Y'all enjoy your weekend and Happy Mother's Day to all!