Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Refuelling, Regaining Energy, and A Renewed Perspective

Hey Lovelies!

My life, both professionally and personally, has been pretty hectic right now. Not in the OMG-I'm-totally-about-to-have-a-nervous-breakdown kind of way. Nothing like that. But more in the I-could-totally-use-a-solo-vacation-or-a-trip-to-the-spa kind of way.

And since my life has been hectic, my patience with Aiden has not been like it normally is. When he acts as he should -- a super cute, rambunctious soon-to-be-3-year-old absolutely amazing boy, I've been finding myself taking more and more deep breaths and using the phrase "Aiden, didn't I tell you not to [insert anything that mommies usually have to say more than TWICE here]?"

And then he'd proceed to correct his behavior. For that moment. But then a few days later... please... who am I kidding?! A few HOURS later, we'd be back at it. The same thing. Again. So I figured something's gotta give.

The plan was simple. I'd get a babysitter Friday night, meet up with a few friends, have a drink or two, some adult conversation, and be nice and energized to handle anything that motherhood throws my way.

The first part of the plan worked like a charm. I had the babysitter and my friends and I picked a place and a time to meet up at a restaurant/lounge in NYC. The second part of the plan, eh, not so much. I blamed it on being jet-lagged. Because I just returned from vacation and being jet-lagged is a total b!*ch, I fell asleep and woke up WAY too late to hang out.

So... PLAN B was in full effect. I gave myself a facial and then I decided to read a book for the rest of the night. On All The Things That Make Me Beautiful by Nadirah Angail is an awesome and totally empowering book. And an easy read. I read the entire thing... in one day! After reading, I meditated and focused on postive ways to get my child to listen to me.

The problem wasn't so much that I had to repeat myself a zillion times. But it was more that Aiden had picked up on my attitude and was beginning to speak the exact same way. To me. In his high-pithced voice that could be Elmo's replica, he'd say "Mommy, I told you I don't want [insert anything that babies usually have to say more than TWICE here]!

And it wouldn't work to just tell him not to talk like that anymore because I'm guilty of talking like that. Plus he's too busy looking at what I'm doing to actually listen to what I have to say. Actions really DO speak louder than words!

So yea... time for a change. And time for me to model appropriate behavior... especially in the midst of my hectic life.

So I was true to my new take-care-of-myself-first mantra. I saw that there was an issue, scheduled "me time" to try to solve that issue, worked on Plan B when Plan A was shot, and I felt much better. Much. Better.

Four days later and I'm still going strong. Doing things like "using my nice voice" and "positive reinforcement," I have a renewed perspective and have been communicating MUCH better with my lovely Aiden.



Friday, August 27, 2010

Weekend Reads

Hey Lovelies!

Here are a few good reads for this weekend's link roundup.

Fall is quickly approaching, which means that your little one will need a fall jacket. Check out these cute ones from Mom Finds

Let's face it: it can be quite annoying when your children asks the same question a billion times, like "When are we going outside?" And when you answer "2pm," they always respond with "Is it 2pm yet?" NYC Single Mom has some tips on how to handle this situation.

Shiny Brite has got a treat for you this week: 8 questions for Karen Connell, mother and founder of the blog A Child Grows in Brooklyn.

And speaking of A Child Grows in Brooklyn, you can check it out here.

Culture Mom also has a treat for you: a CD giveaway! To enter, follow the directions on her blog.

Have a fun-filled weekend!



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In Case of An Emergency...

Take care of yourself first. Period.

Hey Lovelies!

No, I'm not advocating for young mommies to forget about our precious little ones and do our own thing. At all. But I am reminding us how important it is for us to take care of ourselves first.

On our way to Hawaii (loved, loved, loved it!), as we were on the airplane about to take off, American Airlines presented us with a safety video and all the things that we should do in case of a true emergency. One of the things presented in the video was that mothers should cover their own faces with the air masks FIRST and then help others in need. Including children.

Before having a baby, I never really paid attention to take part of the presentation. I know, I'm bad. But really, I didn't. However, on the way to this trip, I did pay attention. And I have to say, that from now on, I'm gonna take a tip from the American Airlines safety video.

I love my Aiden with every fiber of my being and would do absolutely anything for him, but... I am a woman first. First. And I need to take care of myself first. First. Or I would be absolutely useless to my little man. Like the saying goes, if mommy isn't happy... you get the point.

Life gets stressful at times. And in times of stress, I tend to forget about myself and focus on my son. But that has to stop. Now. NOW. I'm making a vow to start worrying about me first. ME FIRST. And then everything and everyone else. No, it's not being selfish or anything because in the long run, it'll actually help because when I'm tending to Aiden, I will be able to give him 1000% without all the thinking and worrying that goes on in the back of my mind.

And... it'll make me a more effective mommy. I guarentee it.

What are some of the things you guys can do (even if it's a teeny tiny thing) to put yourself first? Please share!



PS: That's a picture of tulips because it's something that I love. See... I'm starting already.

Monday, August 23, 2010

You Are Not Alone

Hey Lovelies!

I thought about starting this blog for months before actually getting the courage to start it. Before starting it, I knew that I wanted a place and space for young mommies to "get together," voice our opinion, share our hopes, fears, disappointments, and triumphs, and most of all... show the world that we are capable. And strong.

And responsible parents who love our children and would do anything for them... despite what the media depicts about young mothers. Basically, we kick ass. And the world needs to know about us.

I must say that I love, love LOVE blogging. But I love the community WE've created even more. I love sharing my stories -- be them good or eh, not-so-good; funny or frustrating, light-hearted or dramatic.

But what I love more is all the responses that I receive from you lovelies. Every. Last. One. Of. Them.

The comments, the emails, the facebook messages that come from you guys sharing your stories with our community... one word: WOWSA!

Our circumstances may be different, but our sentiments towards motherhood are quite the same. You are not alone. This small place and space on the world wide web is what connects us, makes us stronger, and helps us grow just a little bit more.

We all need a support system and since I was like the first gal out of all my friends to have a baby, I'm happy to say that I've found my support network... in you guys. I have to say that you guys encourage me to work harder and push further. Thank you.

Cheers to an absolutely fantabulous community! You guys rock. Big time.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Check Me Out

Hey Lovelies!

I was given the fabulous opportunity to write a guest post on The Young Mommy Life (one of my fave blogs for young mothers!) where I talk about the challenges, trials, and triumphs of being kidnapped into motherhood. This post is real and all me -- raw and exposed.

And although we're in Hawaii this week (woohoo!), because I love you guys THAT much, I'm writing this post before heading to the beach. POW!

Hope you guys can check it out!


Monday, August 16, 2010

As Long As I Get To Keep My 4-inch Heels!

This summer Aiden's been going through a really cute phase. Well isn't every phase cute, you ask? Why yes! But this one is particularly delicious.

I call it, The Pronoun Phase. What's a pronoun phase, you ask? It's the "he, she, him, her" phase. And the "ladies and gents" and the "women and men" and the "boys and girls" phase. He used to mix 'em up a lot, like say "he" when pointing to a woman or little girl, but now he's improved so much this summer.

This past weekend, he said to me, "Mommy a girl; daddy a boy; Aiden a BOY!" So cute... loves it! And I responded, "Yes, Aiden's a boy." And believe me ya'll, he's all boy. I so totally don't want to sound all stereotypical and whatnot, but he really is the epitome of a boy. ALL boy.

Jumping on the couch. Running after dogs. Looking for ants. Finding rocks. Throwing the rocks. Playing with his cars, trains, trucks, and "ah-mi-nals," as he likes to put it when playing with his animals and farm house. Giving mommy kisses, oh... you gotta love the kisses!

Jumping in every single puddle he sees. Every. Single. Puddle. Flipping and doing karate moves. Where does he learn these karate moves from?! "Ouch, I have a boo-boo. See mommy... Aiden fall down. I running too fast!" Going down the spiral slide at the playground. Head first. On his stomach. Climbing up the stairs and jumping -- jumping! -- down. "Aiden... watch out! Don't give mommy a heart attack. I'm too young!"

Seeing a friend and running towards them. Fast. Very fast. Hugging them so tight and falling to the floor with them still in his grasp. "Aiden, please be gentle," mommy says. Then I look up at the victim's parent, "I'm so sorry." And they respond, "It's okay... That's Aiden for ya!" Yup! How did they know this?!

Being one of the only dare-devils at Gymboree who climbs high. Very high. And then jumps down and runs fast. "Watch out for the other kids," the teacher says. Then she looks at me, "you definitely have your hands full!" Oh yea.

Splashing at himself and every other toddler in the water at swim class. And jumping in the pool. Taking a few weeks to warm up to the idea of swimming, but then loving it. Getting his face wet when no other kid would. The instructor using him to illustrate all of his examples.

Getting the nickname "Mr. Busy" within the first two days of daycare. The first TWO days! And the name has stuck with him from the Infants' class to the Toddlers' Class to the 2's Class and now in the 3's Class. Oh yea... he's ALL boy.

And mommy. Well mommy loves her some Aiden. But mommy's the epitome of a girly-girl. ALL girl. Mani-pedi's. Scented candles. PINK. Love all things pink! Mac makeup. Sweet-and-sexy smelling perfumes. Stilettos! 4-inch pumps. Facials. Spa treatments. Lip gloss. Eye shadow. Rings! Big rings. And all other accessories that have taken over entire sections of my bedroom. What can I say, they complete the outfit! Purple. Love all things purple. Pencil skirts. Mini skirts. ALL skirts! Clutch purses. Big purses. ALL purses. Mini dresses. Victoria Secret. Tulips! Shopping... let's not forget the shopping! Mascara. Yea... mommy's ALL girl.

Being polar opposites does not affect our relationship. At all. Sure, I can't wear my stilettos on the playground. Sure, I have to get down and dirty and all mixed up in the mess to play with Aiden. And sure, it was a bit of an adjustment learning what "all boy" truly meant.

But I got to keep my shoes! And it's been totally awesome. And I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Weekend Reads

Hey Lovelies!

Here are some fabulous reads for this weekend's link round up.

Can you believe that it's already the 2nd week in August and school is just around the corner? Neither can I. Check out Mom Finds for some fabulous back to school deals and steals. They did the shopping so that you can do the buying. 

In keeping up with the back-to-school season, Shiny Brite has awesome BPA-free lunch box solutions that you're sure to love. 

Ever felt like you were the only mom stressed out? Well... you're not. Check out The Young Mommy Life's stress triggers and tips on how to ease them.

Have a fantabulous weekend loves!



Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Little Mr. Independent

Hey Lovelies!

When Aiden was in the 2's class, I always felt as though his teachers were a bit strict. And here's why: they always require the children to do just about every thing on their own. Call me a total sucker or softy, but I've always felt that the teachers should assist the children with certain things a little bit more.

And my reason has always been so simple: because the kids are so small.
How can they expect 'em to eat properly with a spoon? They are so small?!
How can they expect 'em to pull their pants up and down during potty time on their own? They are so small?!
Now that he's in the 3's class, my "But their so small!" thinking has transferred over to this class as well. Until this summer.

Last week, I started arriving a bit early at the preschool to pick Aiden up. As I watched during snack time, clean up, and bathroom time, I was totally flabbergasted. The boy eats on his own (with a spoon!), cleans up, says when he needs to go to the potty, pulls his pants down, uses the potty, flushes, washes his hands, and announces, "I finish!"


Is this MY son?!

Don't get me wrong, he does most of those things at home. But most of the time, it's done after a little prompting from me.
Me: Aiden, do you have to go to the potty?
Aiden: Nope.
Me: (Eyebrows raised) Aiden...
Aiden: Umm...yes.

And then he goes.
Aiden: (Attempts to pull his pants and pull-ups down) Mommy, I can't do it; I need help.

And then he proceeds to use the potty, wash his hands, and announce, "I finish!" [It's never a, "I'M finished," but always a "I finish." Those two-year-olds.]

When it's time to eat, he attempts to use the spoon, makes a bit of a mess at his little table, and then says, "Mommy, I need help. Pleeaaasseee."

How can I say no to those eyes?

So I end up feeding him.

And let me tell ya'll, the list goes on and on...
I must admit, I'm the culprit of my little Mr. Independent-and-I-can-proudly-
do-it-all-by-myself-at-school being not-so-Mr.-Independent-and-mommy-I-need-help-at-home.
Like I said, I'm a total softy and have always felt like he was too small to do certain things. But obviously he's not. So my new rule of thumb is... if he's big enough to do it at school, then he's big enough to do it at home. All by his lonesome.

No matter how old he is, his teachers will always expect him to be self-sufficient in certain aspects. And as a former teacher, I should know this. But as a mommy... eh. I love him to pieces and maybe a part of me doesn't want him to grow out of that toddler phase. But he'll always need my help with some things, right?

But more importantly, I don't want him to become totally dependent on me to the point where he cannot function when I'm not around. That would do him a HUGE disservice. So yea... If he can do it at school, he can do it at home. All by his lonesome.

And in the end, it'll make both our lives a little bit easier.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Having A Baby In My 20's Means...

Learning how to cook a meal. Or two.

Hey Lovelies!

So... I have never wanted to learn how to cook. Ever. From the time I was in high school up until umm...last year most of my friends would talk about these fabulous meals that they made. But not me. Don't judge me! I have always been cooking impaired. Always.

Ever since my college days when I was fully on my own, I've been a take-out and restaurant kinda gal. And I'm not just talking Chinese and pizza here. I'm talking Mexican, Thai, Spanish, and Southern Soul Food from restaurants all over NYC. The only nights that I DIDN'T eat out were the ones when my old roommate cooked. Bless her!

Once when I was home alone and wanted to try my luck at mac and cheese, I called my sister and asked, "how do you make mac and cheese, again?" And I'm not talking about the super yummy baked macaroni and cheese pie, I'm talking Kraft mac n cheese... from the box! The one where you boil, drain the water, and add the cheese from the packet. Yea. Pathetic.

And since old habits die hard, I was not about to let motherhood turn me into some Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray type gal.

"But, what are you going to feed him?" people would ask me when Aiden was still a baby. I'd respond, "Well, right now he eats baby food and Gerber takes care of that. When he gets older, he'll eat what I eat. I'm a pretty healthy eater so he should be fine." And then I'd get the blank stares, which probably meant what the heck is she thinking?

My biggest "problem" with cooking is that it requires me to slave over a hot stove, as I like to call it. But motherhood means learning how to cook for your child. Especially since my income is not as disposable as it once was BC, before child.

My first attempt at cooking rice, chicken and corn was an EPIC FAIL. "But that's such a simple meal, how do you mess THAT up?" you ask. Yea... I'm seriously cooking impaired.

The rice was very lumpy and clumpy. And NOT edible looking. The chicken was well seasoned, as in way way way too salty. And the corn... how can you screw up corn?... oh, I can! The food looked bad, but I wanted to taste it to see if it was as bad as it looked. Plus, I'm not a fan of wasting food. Problem is, I dragged Aiden into the taste test too.

I fed him two spoonfuls of the rice and chicken. With a this does NOT taste good look on his face, in a very matter-of-factly way, he said, "Mommy... I need juice please."

Couldn't blame the boy. The dinner was A-W-F-U-L! So I gave him some apple juice and ordered take-out.

But I was determined for him to taste -- and LIKE!-- my cooking. Plus, when he gets older, I don't want him to be the only kid in school who says, "my mommy can't cook." So... since then, I've learned how to cook steak, pork chops, pasta, spaghetti and meatballs, mashed potatoes from scratch, and chicken (baked, fried, and grilled).

And Aiden loves 'em all. Or at least pretends to.

But I still can't make good-tasting, edible-looking, that's-so-yummy-in-my-tummy rice. I know, I'm terrible, but eh, maybe one day...

Got any fave recipes that I must try. Leave 'em in the comments!


Friday, August 6, 2010

Weekend Reads

Hey Lovelies!

Here are some good reads for this week's link roundup. 

Although Angelina Jolie and Madonna have adopted internationally, some people, like NYC Single Mom, have actually embraced adopting domestically. And she's loving it!

Can you believe that school is just around the corner? Don't let your little one start the school year off without one of these cool lunch boxes from Mom Finds.

Need to throw a birthday party for your precious baby? Check out how Shiny Brite easily celebrated both kids' birthday in the span of one week. Note: think sweet, simple, and cheap!

It's not easy being a young mother, especially when planning a summer vacation. Read The Young Mommy Life's take on it.

Happy reading and enjoy your weekend! Do something fun and fabulous! You guys deserve it.



Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Appreciating My New Body... One Stretch Mark At A Time

Hey Lovelies!

Our trip to Hawaii is exactly two weeks away and I'm super duper excited! Woohoo!

Notice that I didn't say "our vacation to Hawaii" because my idea of a relaxing vacation does not equal running around Waikiki beach chasing after a toddler. But, at this point, I'll take what I can get. After juggling work, grad school (5 classes both fall and spring semester), taking care of Aiden, keeping our house together, and trying my best to take care of myself, I'm really looking forward to this amazing trip. Ahhh!

I can't wait to visit the spa, check out some water sports (surfing and jet skiing! Woop! Woop!), go to Pearl Harbor, and enjoy a luau. Ahhh!

With all the fun in the sun I plan to have, I'll have to find myself in a swimsuit. While shopping for a swimsuit, I started reminiscing about what my body looked like BC -- before child. And since my body doesn't look like this anymore (Me, on Paradise Island in the Bahamas), I'm not gonna wear a two-piece anymore.

Those darn stretch marks. I mean, beauty marks. LOL. Many times when I think about it, it gets me down. I'd think like really, I'm only 26! I should be able to strut my stuff in a two-piece! And look good in it! And feel comfortable in it! Darn it!!!

But not today. Today I refuse to let it get me down. I mean, sure I have stretch marks. But I'm also pretty fit, I work out several times a week, I try to eat right, I'm energetic, I'm happy, I have a good heart, I'm resilient and optimistic and I always try (try being the operative word here) to look at the bigger picture.

So I'm happy with this body. This new body. Stretch marks and all.

Because with this body, I carried my son for 9 months and pushed him out. All 7 pounds, 9 ounces of him. And when I was in my 8th month of pregnancy and thought that my uterus and hips couldn't possibly expand anymore (I mean, I really thought there was NO MORE ROOM in there!), it expanded enough to hold my son...with this body.

With this body, I nursed and nourished him daily.

With this body, I carry my bags, Aiden's bag, Aiden's stroller, AND Aiden up and down the stairs of the NYC subway stations.

With this body, I provide a loving touch that reassures and heals the "boo-boos."

So yea... now that I'm a mother, my body totally rocks!

And luckily, Victoria's Secret (love it!) makes awesomely sexy one-piece swimsuits. So, while in Hawaii, I'll be sporting this:

And this:


It's a win-win. I can strut my sexy NEW self, just like all my other 20-something year old childless friends, cover up my beauty marks, AND have a blast!


Monday, August 2, 2010

Doing It With Love

To say that my pregnancy was unplanned is an understatement. A huge one. I totally and completely, with every fiber of my being, did NOT plan to have a baby at my young age.

I mean, I knew it could happen because I was doing the deed and not taking precautions for it not to happen, but... I just didn't expect it to happen. To me.

At the first sign that I was pregnant when little miss flow did not make her special appearance, I was in denial. I just didn't believe it. I mean, it couldn't happen to ME, right?

At the second sign that I was pregnant when I was hovering over the toilet bowl at 5am throwing up what felt like all of my insides, I was still in denial. I chalked it up to the bad Mexican food that I ate the night before.

The third sign came a few days later. As I sat on the toilet and starred down at the positive sign on the pregnancy test, I was like DAMN! But I was still a bit in denial. I mean, it could have been a false positive, right?

So I went to see my GYN. And she tested me to see if I was pregnant. And I was. But of course. As I laid on the examination table for the first sonogram, she said, "There it is. That's your baby."

My most immediate thoughts: mother eff!! OMG!!! Sh#t!! Aww f#$*!!!

Then, with tears in my eyes, I thought, "Is that my baby? Am I going to be a mother?!"

Then the fear sank in. Along with some more less-than-appropriate words. Sh#t!! How am I gonna DO this? How am I gonna tell people? What about my life? What will others say?

I resented my pregnancy A LOT. In fact, I kept it a secret for about 5 1/2 months. Really. The only people who knew about it were my Ob/gyn, the father-to-be, and me. Really. It took me along time to muster up the courage to tell people. And sport my baby bump as proudly as I could.

As I wrote in a previous post, I still loved my unborn child. But maybe if I got to live and experience life a little more, I wouldn't have resented my pregnancy as much... maybe if I wasn't so ashamed that I wasn't yet married... maybe if I didn't pay attention to the stares and looks of pity from people... maybe if I wasn't so concerned with what others would say or think. Maybe, just maybe, I would have actually been able to -- GASP! -- enjoy my pregnancy.

But, at some point during my pregnancy, I decided that this WAS my life. And I decided that I was going to make LOVE be the driving force behind everything that I did for my unborn child. And after he came into this world.

So I decided to do right by him. I went to all my doctors appointments, read all the books and magazines, went to the birthing classes, ate right, exercised, and took a tour of the hospital.

I was determined to give this baby the best gosh darn life that I possibly could.

And I have.

And I am.


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