Wednesday, December 19, 2012


You'll have to forgive me if I am not in an inspirational mood today. My perspective is a little different and this is all about the good AND the bad so here it goes:

How crappy does it feel when someone is your friend and supports you only when in their eyes you are doing "the right thing"? Do the wrong thing though.. and their support is pulled out from underneath you because strings were always attached to their friendship anyway.

How crappy does it feel when you are in a very difficult life moment and someone turns their back on you?

How crappy does it feel when you are about to jump off the ledge and rather than "talk you down", someone just gives you a good, hard, kick?!

How crappy does it feel when you know you have made a mistake and someone verbally and emotionally abuses you because they can't get over their own disappointment and think for a second about how you must be feeling?

I'll tell you... it feels supremely, utterly, enormously, CRAPPY.

If you want to be a judge, go to freakin law school and invest in a gavel... otherwise, LEARN HOW TO LOVE because I guarantee you will find yourself in a position one day, where you will need to cash in on some love and support in your darkest times.

End of rant. We can now resume our regularly scheduled programming and be inspirational and positive for the remainder of the day.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012



A picture drawn in such a way, esp. one appearing to enlarge or extend the actual space, or to give the effect of distance.

I've always loved the arts... I love to spend my time immersed in music, theater and literature. I love a good story and whether I am listening to a favorite song or reading an exciting book, it's all about the good stories. That's probably why I love to write.. I need to write... because there's always a story to tell. While I appreciate fine art and love to visit museums to look at paintings and drawings, I have no artistic talent whatsoever. Just ask my Sunday School students -- I am known for silly stick-figures. 

I have to admit that drawing and painting is something I've always wished I could do. When I think about perspective, I actually envy artists. The ability to paint a picture in such a way that actually changes the way the eye will view it... I think that is an amazing ability. I wish I could pick up a pencil and do that... I wish I could change perspective not just on paper, but in life. 

Because really... it's all about your perspective isn't it? Whether you choose to count your hardships or count your blessings, whether the glass is half full or half empty, your own personal vista of the world and life around you. Vista... I think that will be my word for 2013.

There is a God who loves me...
Grace like rain ... I can dance in it, I can play in it, I am constantly washed with it.. Hallelujah!

 I have an unconditionally loving partnership with the world's best husband... 

I have a small, tight circle of friends who support me even in my darkest hours... 

I have a roof over my head, a warm blanket to hide under at night, and food on my table... 

I have a job in this crazy economy and a generous employer who God has used to supply all my needs... 

I have coffee... every day.... yes, it is a big deal. 

I have a happy, healthy little boy who is home safe...
I simply cannot find the strength to write an entire blog post about this, but when reading about the devastating loss of 20 BABIES in Connecticut this week, I find it hard to complain about any of my own hardships. This weekend I got to ride the carousel with my baby. He lit up as soon as he saw the thing... he was so happy! After his ride he got a stamp on his hand of a horse and even now (days later) he runs up to show it to me with pride. What a blessing that I am able to enjoy my sweet, innocent, perfect little baby. My heart is heavy and I am praying for those parents who have had to say goodbye to their babies. 

Even as I face some of the hardest times I've ever had to, as I cry and try to pick up the pieces of so much brokenness,  I simply cannot change my perspective..

My perspective... my vista...  life is pretty blessed... pretty full... pretty amazing and I won't stop feeling grateful for it. Through it all, I am glad to have some perspective because there are so many reasons to smile.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Impossible Layers

Have you ever gotten to the point where sadness constantly lingers and your heart aches but you can't pinpoint exactly why? I'll tell you why... it's the layers...

And when I say layers, I mean the events, the words, the actions that hurt and were then buried over time... in hopes that they would go away but they don't. They build, one on top of the other like the sedimentation of rock and minerals at the earth's surface. The result is a strong, sturdy bed of rock that although looks and feels like one solid piece... was actually built in layers.

Impossible layers...  layers that have come together so well and you can't figure out how to break them apart. Layers that overwhelm and confuse you to the point where it just doesn't feel worth it to get out of bed in the morning. Sadness is all about the layers.

I was reading the bible this morning because these layers are just impossible. The only thing that has a fighting chance of penetrating them are the very words of God himself. The words that are quick, powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword that pierces into the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit...  piercing...the very thought of that piercing is like a rope slowly being lowered into a hole of blackness. That powerful, sharp piercing that can make it through even the most impossible of layers.

Maybe they aren't so impossible after all...

 Matthew 19:26 - Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Catch Up Post: Holidays and Family Traditions

Why, HELLO Blog world! Have I missed you!

With the new position at work, my personal writing, family, and ministry projects it has been nearly impossible to find blogging time but I wanted to touch base and also ramble a bit about the Holidays.

Thanksgiving was wonderful!! We spent most of the day at our church serving a Thanksgiving meal to the community. Nearly 200 people came and were fed a warm meal that day. We also had a mini pantry so that they can take groceries home, live music, crayons and coloring sheets for the kids.. it was so much fun to be a part of. Here are some pics from that event:

All ready to get started. Green Beans!!
Awesome team of servers.

After church, we went to my mom's for dinner and some family time.  My aunt is visiting from Arizona so it was nice to spend a Thanksgiving with her after so many years. I can truly say that I am thankful for so much and it was amazing to be able to give back on this day. It really made me start to think about my little family and the traditions we are starting with Aiden. He is 19 months old now - such a big boy!

I want to make sure that we teach him to give back and perhaps make it a Thanksgiving tradition to volunteer or help out in some way. I think it is an important thing to teach him so I look forward to serving with my husband and our son in the future.

And speaking of traditions... what are your holiday traditions? I have so many that I grew up with and ever since creating a family of my own, we have been working on incorporating our old traditions but also coming up with some brand new ones! The beauty of family traditions are that you can enjoy them as a family. One thing I don't want are for my traditions to become a routine or even worse.. an obligation. What we do, should always be out of LOVE and not a sense of feeling obligated to attend a function or guilted into it for that matter.  I would hate for Aiden to grow up and feel like he "has no choice" but to come  home for the Holidays. I want him to have fond memories of the Holidays and his traditions as a child... it's time to make memories!!

For Christmas Eve, we will be letting Aiden open up gifts from extended family and friends. Eventually, this will happen at midnight but while he is still a baby, he can open gifts before bed. We'll have dinner and some fun and maybe we'll even leave cookies and milk out for Santa :)

On Christmas morning, we will have a family breakfast and open up gifts together under the tree. Aiden can get his gifts from "Santa" (mama and dada) and we can spend the day in our PJ's, just us.

Our Tree- Christmas 2012 :)

I'd like to eventually start some Holiday activities together... maybe an art project or a favorite recipe we create together. Who knows... but for now, I think our traditions are starting to shape up. I am so very grateful for my little family and the opportunity to celebrate and be together during these special times. I just LOVE the holidays!!

Catch ya later,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I was Sweet Sixteen...

I wasn't feeling well and decided to stay home from school that day...  I still planned to make it to my part-time job at a law firm a few towns away. I woke up and smelled coffee that my grandfather had made and headed to the kitchen to grab a cup. My grandmother was sitting in front of the television, crying and holding her face in her hands. Immediately, I felt a sense of "something is very, very wrong". When I asked her what was the matter, she pointed to the television and there it was...

A plane had crashed into the world trade center... the twin towers...  people were scrambling, desperate to make it out... even jumping from  the building. My heart threatened to come right up out of my chest and my knees started to buckle. How could something like this happen? I thought we were safe here?

After the shock settled in, I realized something even scarier than all of this ... my mother was working on 17th street in Manhattan. My mom had gone to work that morning and we hadn't heard from her. I picked up the phone, fumbled over the keypad and typed in her office number. Busy... busy...  I tried her cell phone... busy... I tried to call my boyfriend's phone... busy...  I couldn't  get in touch with anyone and I had no idea what was going on outside my home.

Were we under attack?
Would more buildings be destroyed?
Who was doing this?

My mind and heart racing, I started to get dressed. I would take my grandmother's car and drive into Manhattan (I had no license) if that is what it took. I would find my mom and bring her home. Hysterical, tears flowing down my face I finally remembered that I could pray.

That was one of the first conversations I had ever had with God where I really wasn't sure he was listening... where I really doubted him ...  Even through all the turmoil of my childhood, I had that innocent blind faith in God and knew he would take care of me and my family... this time, I wasn't so sure.

The truth is, God did take care of my family that day. My mom walked 6 hours from Manhattan along with countless others that day. She was safe.. my loved ones were safe and no-one I knew died in the towers that day. But still, too many of my fellow New Yorkers did... too many lost a Mother, or a Father... a Son or a Daughter...  and we would never be the same.

The truth is, God did take care of all of them too... even if not in the way we would have chosen. He holds this world in the palm of his hands and it is not always easy, but we have to choose to believe that.  For those lost and for ourselves... we can't loose faith, we can't stop saying as a nation --  "In God we Trust".

Never forget September 11th, 2011 ... but never lose FAITH... he is present, he is constant, he will never leave us.

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Free Haircut - shortest of my life!

I just needed to quickly take to my blog because today I got a SHORT haircut!  It was part of a class being offered for hairstylists at the L'Oreal studio in Soho. I saw a Facebook post a few weeks ago, that the studio was looking for hair models. You basically volunteer to come sit, let a stylist go scissor happy on your hair and in return you get a free haircut and a goodie bag of products. I sent my picture in to be considered and what do you know... they picked me!

It's kind of silly because I was conflicted about this all weekend. I have never had my hair shorter than my shoulders and I just knew they were going to want to go short with it. I've always wanted to try a shorter style but have never had the guts to go above the shoulder.

The instructor of the class was very convincing... very British... and very fabulous. He basically went around to each hair model and informed us what type of style would go with our face. He terrified me! LOL

But I decided that if I signed on for this experience, I would go with the flow and let them do their thing. I  had an amazing stylist who was from Philadelphia and he made me feel very comfortable. He kept asking me throughout my haircut "are you okay?" because I continued to fidget nervously in the chair as he snipped away.

It took about 3 hours which was annoying but overall, a really, really, fun experience and I would so do it again! I love my haircut too! 

Shameless self pic in the bathroom =)

 I am signed up to their mailing list for future events... interested? Hit me up!

Happy Monday people!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The truth is never easy

Ya know, I am far from perfect... and at times, I am far from honorable, or good.... but there is one thing I simply have never been able to stray too far from... the truth.

I have always been true to who I am and true to how I feel. I don't pretend to be someone I'm not, I don't pretend anything actually. Pretending is just too hard and I don't honestly understand why people do it. Why sweep things under the rug and pretend that everything is dandelions? That kind of life must be exhausting. I just can't do it. And honestly, I find it very difficult to respect people who do. Scratch that, I DO NOT respect or trust people who do. Sorry.

The truth is never easy... and I get why sometimes we just don't want to face it. But sitting down and speaking truthfully (though painful as it might be at times) is a stepping stone to something even better - to wholeness. And isn't being whole... and I don't mean being "civil" or being "courteous" I mean being truly whole again... isn't being whole so much better?

I may be a lot of things.. and trust me, I am not always good things... but fake... fake is NEVER one of them.   The truth is never easy.... but easier is not always better. Actually, it hardly ever is.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Babies: The New Fashion Accessory?


A thing that can be added to something else in order to make it more useful, versatile, or attractive.

In a society that values appearance and how much of something we have, it can be very easy to get caught up in the need for more. We want all the latest and greatest accessories to add to our lives because everyone else has them too! From gadgets, to fashion, to homes, to cars, to .... even babies? 

Lately, it feels like babies are the hottest new accessory and I simply cannot find all the words that describe how uncool with that I am. Pregnancy and babies are all over in the media - celebrity babies are constantly on magazine covers and the whole "getting pregnant and having a baby" thing is glorified to the umpteenth power. Now, please don't get me wrong - having a baby is a beautiful, amazing, glorious thing but it almost feels like it is also the TRENDY thing to do. When did the decision to bring a human being into the world become a trend? 

Some popular celebrity baby magazine covers 

 And please, again, don't get me wrong - these celebrities have the right to celebrate their babies... by all means, go ahead and celebrate! But could this be a fad? Could it be that babies are popular right now, celebrities are interesting so 1+1 equals a gazillion magazines sold?  People even has a whole section of their magazine called celebrity babies where you can see who is due next in a handy dandy calendar. I mean, come on people!

My problem with this - is just like any "must have" accessory that is splashed all over magazine covers, young women everywhere are falling for it and caving into the pressure to get pregnant BEFORE THEY ARE READY. 

Parenting is a lifetime responsibility... the decision to bring a child into this world that you will be providing for - a child who needs to eat (whether you have eaten or not), needs an education (whether you have one or not), needs healthcare (whether you have sick days or not), needs a roof (whether you have a place of your own or not) and unconditional love (whether you are having a good day or not) is a heavy decision to make! 

When I found out I was pregnant, I had been married for almost three years... I was in a healthy, thriving marriage Thank GOD with a wonderful man who works hard and is intelligent and responsible. I had my college degree, I had a stable job, I had a good support system --- I was terrified and did not feel ready.  My plan was to wait until I had been married 5 years, to travel, to do a few things first but Aiden was coming regardless. 

Aiden has been the most wonderful surprise of my life... he is better than any plan I have ever made and then some... but parenting is hard, hard work. I  have not slept an entire night in 14 months, I have a little person who constantly needs me, and I hardly ever get a moment to myself. Sometimes I cry out of exhaustion and my mommy friends can all attest. It ain't easy! 

I wish that teenagers and young people who read magazines would really think about the severity of becoming a parent before deciding to do so. Being pregnant is "so cute" and babies are treated almost like little dolls and it truly sickens me. I know that sounds severe but when I am constantly hearing news of pregnancies and babies...I can't help but wonder - "do they know how hard it is?" 

Getting prepared for a baby is more than buying a pack-n-play and diaper genie. Getting prepared means being emotionally, spiritually, physically, financially ready to take on this huge responsibility. The biggest job of your life! Being married and self-sustaining, I have found it to be the hardest (and yes, most rewarding) thing I have ever attempted. I could not imagine doing it without a supportive partner, without an income, without a drinking age ID card! 

Disclaimer: I know that teen pregnancies happen... I know many amazing young women (some of my own relatives) who have come up strong from a teen pregnancy, who have been successful, outstanding mothers and have learned from the experience. This is not what I am referring to in this blog post. I am talking about young girls who intentionally make the decision to get pregnant because it is the trendy thing to do.This also does not only apply to teenagers.

There are so many things that can fill our lives... that can be added to our lives (accessories) to make us have a more rich life experience. But a baby? No, a baby is NOT an accessory. Think about it people, please... just think about it. 

On a lighter note -- No, he is not a fashion accessory but he is cute huh?! LOL

Monday, June 25, 2012

I'm not much of a blogger lately...

You guys! I have missed blogging so much!!! Where has the time gone? There are a ton of things I have been dying to take out on the keyboard but there has just been no time... no time... until NOW =)

So what's been going on with me? I just got back from a family vacation in California & Arizona. The hubster, the babe, and I went along with my mother for a trip to visit family and go to Disneyland... that sort of thing. I have a niece who is 13 years old now who I hadn't seen in years so that in itself was what made the trip all worth it. We had so much fun hanging out with her and I would totally post pics but since my blog is public and I haven't cleared it with her mom, I won't.

Anyway, we left on Friday the 15th and got back yesterday morning. Aiden was such a trooper on the airplane. We had a connecting flight on our way there and a direct flight on the way back. He did great on both with minimal tears. He did get upset a few times because he wanted to get out of his seat but overall he did great. Nursing made the take off and the descending a lot easier on him and we had no issues with discomfort in his ears. Yippee!

The entire vacation was pretty much "get up and go" and visiting family I hadn't seen in years which was great. We had my mom along and she is always a tremendous help with the baby but for some reason, he was super clingy to me. The boy did not let me out of his sight. I started calling him "my shadow" because every time I left a room, Aiden would follow. If I went into the bathroom he would knock at the door and since we got back this has not stopped. I do not know what to do about this people! I get it that he was out of his usual environment and lots of people were around... he had an absolute blast with all the kids that were around but so long as I was in eye's reach.

Overall it was really a fun week away but I am so exhausted. I need a real LAZY getaway soon with just my hubby and baby. I love my family and everything but sometimes you just need to get away... that plan is in the works already.

We did have a lazy beach day... my two boys enjoyed playing in the sand

Besides the vacation, I have been working on another writing project so the time for blogging has been scarce. I will have to remain vague on this because it is still in the works and writing is sacred to me. But details will come eventually!

Work has been insanely busy... I spent the whole first two weeks of June getting things ready before I left for vacation and now that I am back, I will actually have a lull few days. I have been contemplating my career in the recent month especially in regards to corporate America and office politics. Somehow, my need to pay the bills and provide enough for my family always wins over my need to be happy and fulfilled with my life's work. It is just the work ethic that was engrained in me -- you do what you have to do... you commit and stick it through no matter what. I admit, I am growing weary of that approach and am looking for guidance. As I approach my 30's, I know I want to find a way to do what I LOVE while still providing for my family. So far, I have no ideas but if you have any advice, I'd love to hear it.

Speaking of what I love...  I cannot wait to go back to church. I missed my church family while I was away immensely and I especially missed the ministry work I am involved in.. I am currently teaching our "connection course" which is a class for newcomers to the church and the new cycle just started a few weeks ago. I taught the whole previous cycle and absolutely LOVED it so I am excited to teach this new one. It is so great to  get to know the new people and connect with them in such a unique way. The young adult ministry has also been amazing and I love, love, love those young people. We are going out bowling this weekend and it will be great to just spend time with my YA peeps. Yay!

Ok well, that is all for now.. I have lots of topics brewing and posts to come soon on:

*Traditions and Faith - when religious traditions are valued more than what REALLY matters

* Office Culture-"I'll meet you after 7th period" - have we truly left high school?

* Energy Vampires - those who suck the energy out of the room.

*Christian Facebook pages - are you a christian or is your facebook page?

*Weaning - I think it might be time and I have no idea how to go about it

*Summer Plans - We got a membership to the Wildlife Conservation Society and plan to make the most of the hot months in NYC. 

AND much, much, more... Stay tuned people! I have missed all of you in the blogging world =)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sounding Off: Ask me what I REALLY think about "Attachment Parenting"

Recently, TIME Magazine had a story about Dr. Sears and attachment parenting... you know the story, the one with "the cover" showing a mom breastfeeding her three year old son while standing on a stool. The image has been plastered everywhere but just in case you haven't seen it..

I read the article and it is not only about breastfeeding but "attachment parenting". Breastfeeding is one aspect of the attachment parenting method and it is obvious why they chose to play up this particular part of it. My friend Quiana recently posted a blog titled "Are you Gullible Enough" which really hit the nail on the head as far as describing what my feelings were about the cover. For weeks I've just been sharing her post and did not want to get into anything here on my blog... but those days are over folks!

Recently, Anderson Cooper had famous moms Rebbecca Romijn and Mayim Bialik on his show to discuss this cover and attachment parenting. I thought his show was very informative and it really brought to light the misconceptions about both sides of the "mommy wars" this cover has sparked. So what is attachment parenting? According to Dr. Sears' website, it is practicing the "7 Bs" -- Birth Bonding, Breastfeeding, Baby-wearing, Bedding Close by, Beware of Baby Trainers and Balance. Sounds simple enough right? Wrong! Moms everywhere are going nuts over this thing called attachment parenting.

Here's what I think -- labels.. I truly hate labels. Why do we as a society feel like we need to label everything and store it neatly in air-tight containers? Especially when it comes to parenting, this is just impossible! I happen to love Dr. Sears' website and it has been an incredibly useful resource for me since I was pregnant with Aiden but by no means do I put myself in the "attachment parenting" category. I am just a mom who tries to follow her instincts and make informed decisions for my son.  I read, I research, and at the end of the day I do what I FEEL is right for us. Sometimes, that includes aspects of the attachment parenting method and sometimes it does not.

I recently was having a conversation with someone and she chose to make some ignorant comments and pass some pretty mean judgments about my son. Nothing makes you "see red" as a mother more than when someone is speaking negatively about your child and/or your parenting method. Why do people feel they need to tell moms what they are doing wrong and more importantly, why do they need to make it a competition? You get to raise your kids, and I get to raise mine.

Yea, that's right I AM Mom Enough!

That is exactly what TIME magazine did with this cover -- "Are you Mom Enough?" They made it a competition about how to be the better mom and the sad thing is that moms all over the country fell right into that trap. The picture itself is very misleading about breastfeeding a toddler. The way his hands are dropped down to his sides, his facial expression and the awkward position he is standing in do not correctly represent extended breastfeeding in my opinion. I also think that the way the camera is angled, the way he is standing on that stool and even the clothes he is wearing were all intentionally done to make him look even older than he is.  He is 3 years old!

For me, I cannot see myself breastfeeding Aiden at 3 years old. My hope is to be completely done with it by his 2nd birthday and that is not because I think it is weird or gross... I simply feel that I selfishly want my boobs back.. I want some freedom, some space and it really is a decision that is all about ME rather than Aiden. And I am OKAY with that. I want to do what is best for him but I will not be a martyr mom either. Sometimes I will do what is best for ME too. Other moms feel just fine with breastfeeding well beyond the 2nd birthday and that is just wonderful in my opinion! There are so many benefits to both mother and baby with extended breastfeeding and if you still think that is crazy than you haven't done enough reading. The longer a mom can breastfeed, the better and baby-led weaning is actually proven to be the more natural, beneficial route. I hope Aiden weans himself but if it doesn't happen by the time he is 2, there will be some "mommy-led" weaning. Ha!

So here's what I REALLY think about the different aspects of attachment parenting:

1) Drug free birth -- Personally, I think it is kind of insane that women put so much pressure on themselves to labor completely free of pain medication. If men were the ones who gave birth this would never be an issue.. they would take the drugs! But us women, we are a different story. I say, if you can have a drug free birth and feel that is right for you, then go for it! But if you (like me) want to get an epidural, then take care of YOU mama! Delivering vaginally was more important to me than going drug free so at 2am when I was in so much and needed sleep, I got that heavenly epidural. I got some much needed shut-eye and in a few hours I was well rested and ready for the 2 hours of pushing (yes, that's right I had to push for 2 hours) it would take to deliver my child. I truly believe that had I not rested, I would have not had the strength and ultimately been taking in for C-section. I AM GLAD I got the epidural and I would do it again.

2) Breastfeeding -- this has truly been the best experience of my life and my proudest accomplishment. It was not easy and there are so many times I wanted to quit. For something so natural, it is also very, very difficult to get the hang of... I really think that every mom should at least try it and really commit for the first several weeks to trying.  Breast milk is the ideal food for babies, not man-made formula. Babies find the best possible nourishment and also comfort at the breast. Comfort in my opinion is just as important as nutrition so I do not agree with taking that comfort away from an infant who requires it. We value independence as a society way too much in my opinion. Infants are dependent on their mothers .. toddlers too... and small children... why the rush to make them independent? to make them self-soothe? I truly believe that they will learn that naturally and with time and most importantly at their own pace! Aiden will one day not need me for comfort but I do not think that I need to rush him. 13 months, we are still breastfeeding and I am okay with that.

3) Sleeping arrangements -- Mammals sleep close to one another. This goes again with what I stated above about independence. Every child is different, every child has different needs and the best I can say here is -- follow your instincts. I will not put my child down to sleep and let him cry in a room alone. Does that make him spoiled? Again, if you want to label it then go ahead... but I am confident that if he is nurtured and comforted in the way he needs to be, he will eventually grow to be a strong, independent person. He won't be 18 years old and sleeping with me and Daddy..  co-sleeping facilities breastfeeding and I personally could not do one without the other. Wake up, turn the light on, walk across the hall and breastfeed in the middle of the night? NO WAY.. with co-sleeping I barely need to open my eyes to get feedings done. This arrangement benefits us both.

4) Baby-wearing -- I love wearing Aiden in his Moby wrap.. I love cruising him around in his stroller. I don't think wearing him in a sling constantly is necessary and I certainly put him down when he was newborn. I picked him up, snuggled, him, let him sleep on my chest and all that good stuff but I also put him down. Now that he is walking, he doesn't want to be held period ("Give me freedom!!") and we love that about him. That kid will not be confined!  I think the idea of wearing your baby in a sling while doing household chores for example is kind of unnecessary unless of course your baby is hysterical when you put him/her down. Then, I totally get it. Aiden has had moments where he does not want to be put down and rather than let him scream his head off, I will pick  him up. I believe in acknowledging his needs and responding to them. It may not be the biggest dilemma in the world but in HIS WORLD it is the biggest thing. I'm going to give that the attention it deserves. I hope I can continue to give him that when he gets made fun of at school, when he doesn't get picked for a team, and when he goes through his first heart break.

5) Gentle Discipline -- we aren't really there yet with discipline because a 13 month old just isn't ready to be disciplined but we are starting to teach him about certain boundaries. I want him to know he is safe and that boundaries are necessary to keep him safe. I want to MODEL good behavior so that things like "saying please and thank you" are second nature to him. I do not play to tell him to "sit down and shut up" nor do I plan to spank him. I do not see how hitting a child teaches him not to hit others and I know for a fact that hitting children leaves emotional wounds that last well into adulthood. I cannot tell you the number of  adults I have spoken to, who recount stories of being hit as a child and the pain (emotionally) that is caused them. I realize this is controversial and I am not saying that all spanking is child abuse, but I just know so many people who have told me their story of a "spanking" gone too far. I think adults need to learn to be adults and deal with their frustrations...not expect a child to bear the burden of those frustrations.  Discipline is about learning and as Aiden gets older I know we will figure out a gentle form of discipline that works for us.

6) Balance -- Last but not least! I think this is the key point here. Parenting is about learning how to balance... you read and you get advice and you observe the needs of your child and then you put all of that information through a giant filter and work out what is best for YOUR child. No one knows your child better than you and Mrs. Smith from down the block may swear to you that "if you just get him used to it" or "if you keep trying" that your child will adapt and conform to what you want him to do... but YOU as the parent know better. You know your child's personality, you know your own needs, and you know the culture of your family.  If your child is a heavy sleeper, then go ahead and take him out for errands while he naps on the go, if your child is a light sleeper, then go ahead and give him a quiet place to sleep. Don't forget about your needs as a mom, don't forget to take some time for yourself and don't worry about what other people think.

No matter what TIME magazine says, or what Dr. Sears says, or what Mrs. Smith from down the block says...  YOU ARE MOM ENOUGH and so am I :)  So there it is folks.... what I really think about some hot topics in the mommy world lately. Your thoughts/comments are always welcome!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Ever since Aiden turned 1, we have entered a totally different realm of babyhood.. we have actually come out of babyhood and entered the realm of (tun, ta ta) TODDLER! And I guess the definition of toddler would be "one who toddles" which he definitely does but it is so much more than that. Ever since his birthday, it's like the clouds have parted and he has discovered the world in a whole new way. It is like he has discovered himself and found his voice (literally and figuratively) and there is just no stopping him now!

Aiden is into EVERYTHING! He opens the cabinets, he goes into the toilet, he runs away from us,  he knows what we mean when we say NO and has a complete fit if we say it. He falls and bumps his head, cries about it and then gets back up to do the very same thing again -- such a boy!!  My favorite is actually when he'll pick something up off the floor and slowly bring it up to his mouth, waiting for one of us to tell him not to eat it.. it is so cute and funny to watch. The thing is, at only 13 months old Aiden is starting to assert himself and his personality is shining through.

So far I can tell you that he is a complete jokester - he loves to make us laugh and does so on purpose. He is cuddly and will just run up and give hugs when he feels like it. He is determined - once he sets his mind on a "project" he keeps going until achieving his goal. He is demanding - pay attention to him! And he is vocal about his current state of happiness. He is smart and curious and therefore requires a lot to keep him busy. Books, blocks, toys, music, and yes, ELMO (Sesame Street episodes) are all in full affect when we are at home.  He loves to explore and I love watching him discover more about the world around him.

I got some good advice from a friend about letting Aiden explore while still setting up boundaries. He said that it is just better to child-proof everything and create the safest environment possible. "Make it so that you don't have to say NO"  and I loved that advice. We still tell Aiden "no" but I do try my best to make his surroundings (at home) safe for him to explore freely. I love that he is a thinker and I want to always cultivate that and encourage it. I feel like constantly keeping him in a play pen or behind a gate just so that I won't have to bother is not the best way to do that.

Aiden loves to be outdoors too. He goes to the park almost daily, story time weekly at the library, and I am so excited for the weather warming up because we got a membership to the Bronx Zoo! He just loves to look at things and touch them and he is repeating words like crazy. I know that this is because he gets exposure to so many different things and I love that.  When it is necessary for him to be confined, like in the car seat for example, he is NOT happy about it. We've found that playing music in the car and giving him a book helps and even opening his window so he can gaze outside. That will usually settle him down for a car ride. Any additional tips on that are welcome! We have some road trips planned and I will take all the tips I can get!

Anyway, so far I really LOVE being mom to a toddler =) He is learning and growing so much and I still have no idea how this has happened so fast?!

Painting with Daddy... I made this paint from flour and water so he totally ate some and I was OK with it :)

Using crayons for the first time! 

Happy in the car seat - I was making him laugh!

Sigh... I just love him...   any ideas on how else to keep my little man busy? What do you think about setting boundaries for toddlers and giving them space to explore? I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Mother's Day!!

 I am going to make this post short and sweet but I needed to write about my Mother's Day! I enjoyed a Guatemalan breakfast and a beautiful church service. I got gorgeous flowers from my hubby and adorable paper flowers at church. I got an awesome Android Tablet from my Mommy and new Converse from my hubby.  I spent the day surrounded by LOVE... it was amazing.

Here are the top 10 reasons my Mother's Day was PERFECTION:

1) Because I woke up late (9:30am) to smells of freshly brewed coffee and a yummy breakfast being prepared... to a baby who had been changed and was playing happily.

2) Because a good friend stood over the night before and we stood up chit-chatting until 2am. She was the maker of the yummy breakfast on Mother's Day morning.

3) Because my amazing, hero of a man woke up early with the baby and kept him occupied and entertained while I caught some much needed Z's.

4) Because that same man got me beautiful flowers, a heartfelt card and a new pair of converse! God bless him for knowing the way to my heart.

5) Because I got all dolled up for church and spent the morning worshiping my savior and hanging with my extraordinary church family.

6) Because I spent the evening with my sweet boy, and my beautiful mother and grandmother. We had a wonderful visit!

7) Because I got so many thoughtful, warm wishes from friends and family ... and they all made me feel so loved and appreciated.

8) Because I spent the day EXACTLY the way my heart desired. Around amazing people who lift me up, encourage me as a mother, and constantly bless me with their positive words and genuine care.

9) Because I had a day that was care free.. for that I thank my husband who took all my cares into his hands and let me do whatever would make me happy.

10) Because I chose to not care about anyone's expectations for just one day. I did what I wanted and what I felt was sincere. I just LET GO of all worries and things "I need to do" or people "I need to see"... I did exactly what I wanted and it felt sooooo good.

AND those are the ten reasons why I had the perfect Mother's Day. Sadly, I did not take any pictures because I was too busy having an awesome day. I know that makes me a bad blogger, sorry friends!

I hope all the Mommies had an amazing day too - it isn't an easy job and you are all so loved and appreciated!!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day Week: My Best Friend, My Mommy ...

She has taught me what it means to love unconditionally... to love sacrificially... to always forgive ... to be strong and courageous ...  My mom is my super-hero!

For most of my life, it was just the two of us... we usually shared a room and I remember countless nights spent snuggled in bed with a bowl of cereal watching a good chick flick. My mom has always been my best friend. She held me up during the most difficult times in my life.

When I came home with a broken heart, she listened to me recount the whole story and let me cry on her shoulder. She never judged me for my imperfections or turned her back on me when other people did...  she was always there, arms wide open and she still is.

When I became a mother, my bond with my own mom only got stronger. I could finally understand the way she loves me and I could finally share that feeling with her. During labor and my difficult recovery, my mom's presence was like a Godsend. She was as she has always been throughout my life -- she was my rock.

I think she is the most beautiful, kind, strong, fierce woman I know... she cries during sappy movies and when her car breaks down, she doesn't pull out her cell phone -- she gets out and looks under the hood! She is soft and nurturing but she is also tough and a force to be reckoned with.

I will always treasure our times together... our long talks, our times watching Lifetime movies or singing along with the radio in the car... on this Mother's day, I just want to say that I am so grateful for the amazing woman who is my mommy.. and I am beyond blessed to have her in my life. She is the best mom to me and grandma to my son .. and I simply could not be where I am without her.

Mommy, I love you so much.. Happy almost Mother's Day!

The Lamboys =) She is the glue that has held us together

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mother's Day Week: Selfishness gets a Reality Check

 As selfishness and complaint pervert the mind, so love with its joy clears and sharpens the vision. --Helen Keller

 This weekend is Mother's Day and I have lots of thoughts and feelings about it so I think I will write about them in a series of posts. Two, maybe three leading up to Mother's Day and of course a recap of how my celebrations went!

Something I've really been thinking about though has been selfishness. And not the kind that people usually talk about. Not the self-centered, narcissistic, lack of empathy kind that you immediately know is wrong. While that kind of selfishness certainly is out there, it isn't the kind that has me thinking. No, I'm thinking about our basic needs and desires .. the "selfishness" we exhibit on a daily basis by simply fulfilling those wants and needs.

There are times every single day, where I have put my own needs above other people. This is not something that anyone would say is wrong it is simply necessary. For example: if I have not had lunch and am hungry, but my friends want to go out I will say "I need to eat first". I have a basic need to fulfill and currently, that need goes above what others may want. You wouldn't normally call that selfishness, but according to the definition it does qualify. Sometimes it is necessary to put our own needs on the front lines.. it is prioritizing those needs along with the needs of others that can get tricky. Most people struggle with this in one way or another and I am sure you can think of times when you thought you needed to "take care of yourself" but took that a little too far. That is where selfishness overpowers empathy and consideration for others. That is where it can ugly!

Since I became a mom, I have been amazed at how quickly my selfishness has been cut out of the picture. There is simply no room for it anymore .. My basic needs and desires that I had once put on the front lines, have taken a back seat to the needs and desires of someone else and in every possible way imaginable! When my son needs something, there is no telling him "I need to eat first" or even "I need to use the bathroom first" --- now that's a reality check!

My basic needs for sleep, food, warmth, shelter, can all be met AFTER I have met them for Aiden. I'm sure many moms can relate when they think of the times they couldn't take a shower or had to scarf down a bowl of cereal because the baby needed them. Well, what has that done for your selfishness?

For me, it has caused me to see the world through completely different eyes. It has changed the way I relate to people, it has changed my reaction to news or even a sad movie.. it has changed my tolerance for others and the depth of my relationships. More importantly, it has caused me to see myself through different eyes. When I am willing to wipe the slate clean and put every  need and desire away to take care of my son, when I look at him and know that I would give up my very own life for him, I can see myself through eyes that are not my own.

My selfishness has changed since becoming a mother and that transition has not always been easy...  Sometimes a long shower or a trip to the nail salon has helped to balance things out.. but still, there is nothing that could be more important than taking care of that little boy of mine.. knowing he is happy and healthy is more than I could ever hope for.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I'm NOT a "shoe girl"...

Most of my blogging tends to cover topics like - marriage/babies/family, spirituality, friendship, current events, literature, film, and the occasional (not so occasional) rant about whatever frustrates me at the moment. Blogging is an excellent way to just get things off my chest or work through something I am pondering ... lately, I have not had much time to take to my blog and for those who follow and have missed me - I apologize! I have been very, very busy with work and with life and I have not had a moment to sit down and write about life. So I am making some time right now and guess what kind of post I have for ya? It is a post about SHOES. I know, I know, I hardly ever write about fashion except for saying that I wish someone would nominate me to be on "What Not to Wear" (Go ahead, sign me up I won't be offended)

Thing is, I am really not very fashionable... I don't have "a style", I just kind of wear what makes me feel comfortable. I have had some of my clothes for far too long and since I fluctuate so much between sizes 2-4-6-8 (who do we appreciate!!) nothing seems to fit me properly. This is why I DREAM of being on What Not to Wear. I want Stacy and Clinton to make me throw out all the crap in my closet and really set me straight. After my pregnancy, I have lost a bunch of weight and am actually thinner than I was pre-pregnancy so now I have no idea what to do. I have a bunch of old clothes and nothing really fits right. I need about 5 pairs of new jeans at least and thanks to breastfeeding, most of my tops are stretched out so it is time for a whole new wardrobe.

Since I don't have that kind of money, I have decided to slowly purge my closet of items that are just plain useless and buy a couple key things that might make me feel better. I will try to update on how that is going since I completely lack fashion sense but when going through my closet last night, I realized that even OLDER and outdated than my clothes are... MY SHOES!

I am just not a shoe girl... most women I know just LOVE to buy shoes and I actually kind of dread it. I don't enjoy the process of trying shoes on and pairing them with outfits.. and most of all, I hate to be uncomfortable in my shoes and it seems like the only shoes that are pretty are the uncomfortable ones. I inherited the "bad feet jean" from my grandmother and have always struggled with pain in my feet. I've got no arch (flat) feet and that has caused a bunch of other issues and I really, really just wish I can go barefoot.

For someone who prefers comfortable shoes you would think that I live in sneaks right? WRONG. I also do not like sneakers. Most sneakers just feel so heavy on my feet but more than that, I was raised wearing dresses/skirts every single day and never really felt like sneakers went with my dresses. This was before I discovered how much I love Converse sneakers which I think totally go with dresses. I still regret not wearing a pair of sparkly Converse slip-ons for my wedding.

I have a shoe dilemma don't I? but please, don't get it wrong - I DO WEAR SHOES. Here are some of my favorites:

Ballet flats! I actually have a polka dot pair just like these from J.Crew 

Loafers! I have a really cute navy pair from Delia's that I love

Gladiator Sandals - I have a few pairs in different colors 

My 2nd favorite type of footwear... FLIP FLOPS! I mean, come on, they are so easy and I love getting all colors from Old Navy. 

As you can see... comfort is  my main thing when it comes to shoes... so if flip-flops are my second favorite type of footwear, what is my first?? I'm surprised you haven't guessed it by now ---

UGGS!!! I don't care if you think they look ugly.. lol.. they are cute. Recently Victoria Beckham said she would never be caught wearing Uggs in public and I wanted to send her all kinds of hate mail. Listen Victoria, they are comfy and functional and lots of beautiful ladies wear them. 

Megan Fox.. yep, that is the hot chic from Transformers

SJP! Can you say "Sex and the City"??

Tina Fey - there is no one cooler than her
So now let me get back to the reason I started writing this post. I just bought myself a new pair of shoes and I THINK they might soon take a place in April's top 3 choices for footwear. They are comfy, they are adorable and they are available in all colors. They are the perfect "non-shoe girl" shoe and I am so excited...

TOM's! I ordered a black pair

I will test these Tom's shoes out and see how they measure up but so far it is looking good!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Aiden's 1st Birthday: Recap!

There is so much I want to say about this party... it was fun, it was amazing, Aiden really had a blast...

The morning of Aiden's birthday (and the party) we got up and I made him a birthday breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast. My mom came over to watch him so that me and the hubster could go to the church and start prepping for the party. We had a few awesome hands on deck - our children's director and a good friend who is a party planner actually took charge and what an amazing job she did! Aiden's God parents, his auntie, and his other grandma all came early to help with set up.

Cupcakes - my fondant toppers got lost in the mail! This was probably the worst thing that happened but I printed out pictures of the Wonder Pets, taped a tooth pick to each one and stuck them in the cupcakes. Then sprinkled each with a few M&Ms and viola! It still looked really cute though I did miss the fondant toppers.

Snacks - we spent a lot of the morning preparing ants on a log and fruit kabobs. We also had animal crackers with nutella as dip. Can you say yummy?!

Food - was super easy. I picked up sandwich platters from Subway and some great people contributed chicken wings and potato salad as sides. The kids got 100% juice boxes and the adults got water bottles.

Decor - was amazing! A friend of mine sketched a huge picture of the Wonder Pets and painted it. It looked awesome! Then we had balloon towers, inflatable animals, all kinds of amazing stuff.

Guests - we had about 25 kids, their parents, family and some close friends. I was so happy because two of my aunts who live in Arizona were actually in town and decided to come along with my Godparents from California. It was so wonderful to have them there.  It was kind of a big party and I really felt blessed because so many people love Aiden and came to celebrate with us. His next few birthdays will be much more low key but this was #1, we had to go big! The kids all seemed to have a great time - they had a ball pit, face painting, a Wonder Pets episode on the big screen and some fun goodie bags with their Wonder Pets t-shirts. 

My favorite parts of the day were 1) when Aiden arrived to his party. He immediately started pointing at everything and smiling and blabbing excitedly. 2) when we sang "Happy Birthday" and Aiden devoured his cake. It was his first time having cake and he loved it.

And here are some pics -- My wonderful friend came and played photographer for the party and she did an amazing job!!

Mama and Dada blew out the candle.. he laughed!

The cake table - cupcakes for all the guests and an applesauce "smash" cake on top for the birthday boy

He pointed at everything! My boy in his bday ensemble

There was a slide show with pictures of Aiden's 1st year on the big screen

Food table

Fruit Kabobs - they were a hit!

He made all the hard work worth it... he loves Wonder Pets

The water bottle labels were a last minute inspiration. I made them super quick and it was great!

My family :) We are so blessed with our Aiden

He didn't do much "smashing" to his smash cake.. but he did enjoy eating it! It was made with applesauce instead of sugar and all natural frosting. It was yummy - thanks to his God-mama!

 Ohhh yea and about the presents - we asked guests to consider giving a donation to a new after school program that our church is launching in the Fall. That worked out great! We are going to submit the money this Sunday and I am so glad people responded well to this. I want to start a tradition on Aiden's birthdays where he somehow gives back to a good cause instead of just receiving gifts. He did also get a bunch of great gifts - we have very kind, generous family and friends. Thank you all so much!

I am glad this party is over - Aiden had a blast and so did we!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mommy Emotions

My baby is turning ONE tomorrow.. 1! While I will still gladly state his age in months - "Aiden is 12 months, Aiden is 13 months, Aiden is 465 months" I cannot change the fact that he has been on this planet, in our home, in my life for one full year. I have been reflecting on this year and I admit, I have been doing a ton of crying.

When Aiden was first placed in my arms, I cannot say that the clouds parted and I had this glorious feeling of attachment and love for him. I have heard so many birth stories and have really felt guilty about not being able to say the same thing. I was crying and anxiously looking over at him while he was being weighed and evaluated. It was surreal... this little, tiny, baby had just come out of me. When he was placed on my chest, he was already rooting and lifting his head.. the nurse was wiping him down while I held him and I just kept saying "Hi sweetie, Hi Aiden"... at the same time, my doctor was stitching me up and my epidural had worn off so I felt EVERYTHING. I thought I was going to drop the baby because of the pain so I simply could not enjoy that moment.

Then came the recovery... boy was it a doozy. I had an overwhelming feeling of guilt because my body would not cooperate with what my mind wanted to do. Every time my baby cried, I wanted to run over to him but I could barely walk. My husband and my family did pitch in to help during those first few weeks and it was probably the most difficult couple of weeks I've ever experienced. I was in pain, I was emotional, I was overwhelmed and most of all I was TERRIFIED because this tiny life had been entrusted to me.

Move on past those first 2-3 weeks and I finally started to feel like a mommy. Aiden and I began to find our rhythm and all of those huge feelings of love and attachment came flooding in. I became a lioness, a protector, his comforter, his everything. And in that same way, he became my world as well. We spent countless moments together, cuddling on the couch or nursing in the rocker. I would stay awake at night just so that I could listen to him breathing and my heart would dance every time he cracked a tiny smile in his sleep.

I realize that my story may not be like that of most moms I know... or maybe it is, but they feel like they can't share about it truthfully. I don't think I instantly bonded with my baby and sometimes when I think about that I beat myself up about it... but then, I think of what we have now.. I think of how those eyes light up whenever he sees me and when he cries and says "Mama" because he has no doubt that I will be there to scoop him up into my arms. I think of that and I realize that it really doesn't matter how we started because look at how far we have come!!

Aiden came into my life and he changed the way I think about everything... he made me realize what is truly important and he gave me a new sense of who I want to be. He brought me even closer to my husband, he made us a family and he filled a void we never even realized we had.

This tiny baby who I brought home from the hospital one year ago, is now a growing, thriving, unique little person... I am so in awe of him and I am so thankful to God for bringing him into our lives.

Check out the video below to see what happened a few nights ago when we got home from work:


Just a little over 24 hours until his party tomorrow! I am working out all the tiny details and so excited to celebrate my baby boy. Pray for me people! Lol !!

Monday, April 16, 2012

5 Days Until BIRTHDAY!!

Aiden's party is on Saturday and it is going to drive me nuts!! I need a place to just run through and list what I have accomplished so far and what is still missing. What better place than my blog right?

The Ensemble...

Aiden's look for his party - "super hero chic". He is going to be rocking the Carter's birthday onesie with his best pair of jeans and a pair of Chucks. His fun piece will be the Wonder Pets cape! Girls get to wear a birthday tutu or tiara, well Aiden will wear his birthday cape :)
Carter's Birthday Boy Onesie

Red Wonder Pets Cape (Tuck)


The Eatables...

My goal is to keep the menu simple, healthy and kid friendly. I am going to buy water bottles and 100% juice boxes and there may be some potato salad / chicken wings added to this for adults. The cupcakes will really be the only sweets along with whatever candy I decide to put into the favor bags.


Ants on a Log

Fruit Kabobs

Wonder Pets cupcake toppers - Fondant

This Pic is my inspiration... cupcake tower with Aiden's smash cake on top. We'll see!
The Fun...

We have lots of fun activities planned. There will be a parachute play time, a soft play area for the crawlers, possibly a ball pit and an arts and crafts section. My main focus for this party is the kiddos and making sure they have a great time!

Labels for the kids goodie bags

Each goodie bag will have a Wonder Pets t-shirt for that kid!

We will probably play an episode on the big screen at the church
Aiden's aunt (my very talented sister-in-law) will be painting faces that day

I am going to be putting goodie bags together on Friday night and snacks on Saturday morning. My wonderful friend is helping by taking charge of the decorating and the T-shirts for the kids. My other wonderful friend is going to be our photographer that day and my husband will be putting together a slide show of pictures of Aiden throughout his first year.

I have to admit, I thought those people who planned big 1st birthday parties for their kids were kind of crazy but as I mentioned previously, that was before I became a parent myself and fell in love with this amazing, perfect little boy. I am totally crazy so don't judge me :) His next few birthdays will be super low-key, I promise!

Look at that face! I would do anything for that face!