Dear Readers,

Recently, I started thinking about family relationships and how grandparents fit into this dynamic.  When brainstorming, my Grandmother, Lucy, comes to mind immediately given our close relationship and that I am her namesake as a Lucia.  Yes, she is the inspiration behind Bedtime Lucy Bear and she too loved pink.  I could write endlessly of all the fond memories of her from the pot of tomato sauce always warming on the back right burner of her stove to the milk chocolate cadberry bars in dresser drawer of her dining room.  Beyond these warm memories there are many benefits that come from this relationship not only for your child but also for you as the parent.

1.    Learning to bond and communicate with others. Grandparents provide the opportunity for child to bond with another adult figure.  All of us communicate differently and extended family is safe way to expose your child to these various communication patterns.

2.    Sharing heritage and family memories.  With age comes knowledge and a Grandparent has the leverage to share stories and traditions from past generations.

3.    Teaching various skills.  Children often learn skills through repetition as well as trial and error. Grandparents are a great role model for reinforcement whether it be learning to cook in the kitchen or build something in the workshop.   

4.    Alternate source of childcare.  Childcare can encompass many occasions ranging from work hours, date nights, time with friends, to personal time.  This choice provides quality time for your child and grandparent as well as an opportunity for you to nurture the other relationships in your life whether it is your spouse, friends, or you yourself.  We all wired to belong and every community/ relationship we are in needs nourishment.  

5.    Unconditional Love.  It can be generally agreed that Grandparents are a source constant love.  Having already raised a previous generation, they have gift of experiencing every milestone with the knowledge of their past parenting experiences.  

Every family is different and some factors will be stronger in some dynamics than others and it’s important to be mindful and communicate our needs to each other.  (Much easier said than done!).  The positive is that research shows that healthy relationships between a child and grandparent strengthen the overall health of the family.   Another beautiful aspect is that each child will have a unique experience with their grandparent.  Speaking from my own personal experience, I believe this to be very true.   

Love Always, 

Kristina Lucia xoxo

P.S.  July was my Grandmother’s birthday month which is what drew me to this topic.  In honor of her birthday I wanted to share with you a recipe for chocolate cake. My Grandmother showed up to every family gathering with a chocolate sheet cake covered in chocolate frosting and sprinkles and a smile on her face!  This is one is for you Grandma.  Love you now and always- Your Granddaughter Kristina Lucia xoxoxo

Chocolate Cake

INGREDIENTS:

·       ½  cup butter, softened

·       3/4 cup packed browned sugar

·       1/4 cup packed browned sugar 

·       1  eggs

·       1 teaspoon Vanilla

·       Greek  Yogurt

·       1 cups of four

·       ½ cup of  cocoa powder

·       1 teaspoon baking powder 

·       ½  teaspoon baking soda 

·       ¼  teaspoon salt

·       ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

·       ¼ teaspoon  nutmeg

PREPARATION

1.    Preheat oven to 350°F.

2.    In stand mixer, cream butter till light and fluffy.  Add white and brown sugars.

3.    Beat in the egg and then stir in vanilla and  yogurt.  Once combined, add dry ingredients (baking powder/ soda, salt, flour, and seasonings). 

4.    Prepare cake pan and place in the oven.

5.    Bake for 25-30 minutes or until done.

6.    Eat and enjoy with loved ones (My favorite step!)