29 Apr 2011

Adoption Nation: Does Race Matter?

Adoption is a delicate topic. Although in recently years people are a little bit more open minded about it, they are still some myths and controversies about it.

I’ve always being interested in the idea of adoption but never read about the process and the psychological impact that involves adoption until few weeks ago, when I received Adoption Nation: How The Adoption Revolution Is Transforming Our Families – and America by Adam Pertman to review.Book-cover-SMThis detailed book is dedicated to the stories and changes that adoption is bringing to American society. However, it also discusses the financial issues related to adoption in the States and abroad. In the book you can read about the stories of some birth parents and how in the past they had to hide their identities from their children, but how these days it is possible for a child to look for their birth parents if they choose to. In the past adoption was so secretive that some children lived their whole life thinking they were somebody else until they found about their true identity in later stage of their lives. This used to cause deep psychological traumas, but the new approach about adoption is making people more open in many ways.

It is from the book that I learnt that nowadays people are more open minded about adoption. And don’t view it as a bad thing. One example can be depicted by films such as Juno. In the book the author explains how in the past teenagers were forced to forget about the children they carried for nine months leaving these girls traumatised for life. Nowadays, when a teenage becomes pregnant by accident, she can securely and confidently opt to have her child adopted by approaching an adoption agency where they can fully be part of the decision to whom allow the child to go to. This was what happened when Sharon Stone adopted her first child, although in her case the adoption was private as opposed to through an adoption agency.

I read the book with interest because as I wrote before it is detailed but very easy to understand. However, the part I was very interested in reading was about the impact race and ethnic background can affect an adoption process. They are cases in which parents won’t adopt because the child is from a different background from their. This can be understandable because many of us like to stick to their comfort zone.

In the book the author points out that together with his wife, both have olive-toned, Jewish –looking, adopted a fair-skinned boy and a blond-haired girl. He argues that sometimes people stare but it is not as strong as when it come to children and parents from different ethic background. But he concludes that there is a successful story in all colour. Meaning people shouldn’t be discouraged from adopting children that don’t look like them or come from the same ethnic background. He points out that adoption has helped American society break race barriers but this doesn’t come with some people making nasty and mean comments.

I’ve always being curious about why for some people is an issue adopting a child who is not from the same ethnic background as theirs. This is so evident when it comes to celebrities adopting children from different nationality. But what really upsets me is when people, especially those who may never in million years think about adoption, make nasty comments about the children these parents decide to adopts a child who needs parental love.

Last year Sandra Bullock adopted the cutest and sweetest child you could possibly set your eyes on. He melts my heart, and I am sure he did the same thing to Sandra Bullock. babybullock Ms Bullock, being very private, kept the baby protected from paparazzi ratio. But when she finally showed us her beautiful baby Louis. What some other saw was his race and background. American but from African American not European American. Today, last year, Denene Millner at MyBrownBaby brought to our attention how on twitter some went far to to make nasty comments on the doption:

Sandra bullock loves black ppl. Blind side, Regina King in Ms Congeniality & now she adopted a black (american) baby. Clap 4 her LOL

Did Sandra Bullock adopt a black baby? I thought that fad had pass in Hollywood just like small dogs in LV bags.

Wish I cud adopt a black baby like Madonna, Angelina Jolie n Sandra Bullock...OH WAIT... I can produce dem frm ma own lovely uterus :)

Sandra Bullock is taking this "Blind Side" thing too far...

It was mean and nasty. Not many women can have children and when they decide to adopt a child, those standing aside make comments like those above. That’s was heart breaking for me to read, image the children that might hear these comments from ignorant people.

To that I commented:

MsBabyPlan said...

The baby is so, so CUTE.
I don't get it, when people vow to love somebody they complain! Come on. The boy could have been without the love of a parent and Sandra wants to give it to him. Plus the boy will always know who he is. Is the same folk that judge who will force him to lose his identity not the mother who adopts the child.
Please let the good people love!
CONGRAT Sandra and all the mothers who decide to love a child no matter the COLOR!

April 29, 2010 2:34 AM

I really do believe that colour shouldn’t matter in loving somebody and hope that the adoption revolution in the world can open peoples mind into embracing diverse culture and race.

27 Apr 2011

Dolce Candy and Languages

Hello everyone, how I missed you all.

I just re-settled into my old routine again. It is so difficult to get over jetlags. I know I am getting tired slowly and I can’t even realise it.

Maryland was lovely, we were busy going up and down the town. I met family members and as always, when it comes to family, we had our bad and good times. Well, I will come to that in another post.

Right now I am immersed in a fantastic world of Japanese cartoon. Oh, I can’t have enough of Candy Dolce Candy. dolce candy I love old time Japanese cartoons. I am not a Disney girl, apart from maybe four or five Disney cartoons, my heart is for Japanese cartoons. They are for older children, maybe from 9 years up. They are the best, but Candy brings lots of wonderful memories. Its takes me back to my childhood… well, also back to my teen-hood, yes, I was sad as that ;P!

I recently decided to watch them again and thank God youtube exist. Among all the awesome guys in the cartoon, I was in love with Terence – I can’t speak. Oh, Terence! I am not going to go into dept because I am so lost in Candy’s world, I am speechless. In fact this is another reason I have been away from blogging, but it’s nearly over. Yet, I’ve decided to watch all my favourite 1990s Japanese cartoons. I have a big list, Sailor Moon, E’ Quasi Magia Johnny, Magica Magica Emy, Occhi Di Gatto... and the list goes. Though this will not stop me from blogging, so don’t worry.

I would love it if Berry would like to watch some of my favourite cartoons when she or he is old enough to be able to watch those cartons and able to understand Italian. I hope in this way Berry will learn the language. Also, I would like Berry to learn Twi (one of the Ghanaian languages), I would like to speak to Berry in Twi when is possible. I will try my best to find the balance.

Do you have a childhood cartoon that you still love watching? Do you speak more than one language? How do you teach your children or how would you teach your little one a different language?

18 Apr 2011

Daddy, Mummy and Berry go to Maryland

Yes, we are in Maryland because AMI has a conference here. I decided to come with him therefore Berry came along too. Paternal grandmother was worried thinking that it was dangerous to fly while pregnant, but Berry and I are fine. This is the second flight for Berry, the first one was the trip to Toronto.

This trip is making me miss so many things.

The first time I came here was summer 2002, we stayed in Baltimore. 9 years ago I didn’t have anyone of my family living here. This time I will see my mum, some of my brothers and sisters, nieces, nephews and brothers in law. This work trip came at a perfect time for both AMI and I because I haven’t seen some of family members since 1990s, wow! Plus, living away from Europe has made me realise how much I miss them and Love them. OMG, I am so happy to be here right now.

Berry’s paternal grandparents told me that today the weather is sunny and beautiful in Devon – I can nearly smell the sea and taste the sea salt on my lips. That revelation and this place are making me miss SPRING. Compared to where we live in Canada, the trees are in blossom and the weather is warm here. The roads are clean and dust free. Even when is not sunny, you can smell Spring in the air. I felt good as soon as we came out of the plane and the warm air kissed my face.

While driving our rented car from the airport, I saw a big round moon leading us to the centre. I also saw houses surrounded by million trees in blossom or bright green leafy trees. Being here makes me crave for warm sunny weather. Spring smell in the air, green grass on which I could lie and daydream. We are steadily approach the end of April but in Sask I can still see snow falling. I love living there, but Maryland makes me underline that in 5 years time I want to live somewhere that is warm by Spring time, because warmth makes me feel alive.

However, the beauty around me makes me miss my camera so so BAD. I really want to replace the broken one. I hope I can buy a new camera this week, because this place deserve some snaps. But until then I will enjoy the weather and mind picture around me.

Have you ever being to Maryland? Where do you suggest I visit?

lifeofTOI

15 Apr 2011

Week 8 – Pregnancy Update

First thing: THANKS to everyone who commented on The Secret Department post. Reading your comments reassured me that I am not alone in the fear of waxing and showing my lady bits to another person.

I read each tip and took note. I am not tormented by someone seeing me down there anymore, but I want to wait a little bit longer before waxing. Maybe when the weather is boiling, and I feel more sexy with a proper pregnant belly – because a pregnant woman is allowed anything, right :)?

I will opt to go to a beautician when I can’t see over my belly because when I said I wanted to wax, AMI “Are you sure? You shouldn’t worry about the hair.” Mmmm, my man, eh? For this reason, I know he will say everything is fine down there, if that will absolve him from working his barber hands there (I will ask him and report what he says, LOL :D).

For now, because my belly is not intruding the vision, I’ve decided to use old school style and shave – really, it is all because I am still nervous about the pain. But your comments gave me the courage to google about my nearest beautician, and I even phoned two centres to ask more information – just to break the ice :). In response to my question “I am two months pregnant and I’ve never done waxing before, but I would like to. What would you suggest?” One said “Wait until you are, maybe, in your fourth month and try.” The other said “You can wax at any stage of your pregnancy, but maybe try bikini before going for a full Brazilian.” I think I will combine the two and wait until later stage of my pregnancy and go try for bikini and full legs.

____________________

Now, unto the belly update. I am eight weeks. WOW, two months since my last circle. God bless!

Baby: is the size of green olive (2.54cm long), that’s what I read on my Apps. green_olives Well, well, Berry you are the size of green olives. Is a great honour because you are entering another stage of your formation, you’ve graduated from embryonic into the fetal period. Congratulations! Your head has straightened out and is more fully developed, the ears are more prominent and more organs (the liver, spleen and gallbladder) are forming. You are making spontaneous movements with your legs and arms and small muscles are developing – how sweet :).week8

I read that your heart beat can be heard through a Doppler, because it has developed and grown large enough.

I can also feel that is very strong, because I believe I can hear it even without a Doppler. For instance, this morning while in bed I could hear my heart drumming very fast against my chest and I thought Maybe I am hearing you instead! You see, I can feel you, not in kicking or anything like that but more to do with something moving within me. You are making wonders and miracle through my body each day and I can feel that. I feel blessed to have you in my womb.

Body: my jeans can still fit, apart from those I couldn’t fit into while living with my in-laws and I was eating too much bread and peanut butter. Now body can tell I am pregnant. My belly doesn’t look pregnant yet, but it is bigger from how it would have been if Berry wasn’t there.

I don’t feel tired in the normal sense of fatigue. My tiredness is more a desire to chill and read my fav books. Also, I don’t feel like sleeping all the time, instead I like to lose myself in a good novel – I’ve selected a great list :). However, I feel stiffness in my lower back because I need yoga and pilates in my life. I’ve signed up to the gym, and I hope swimming, doing light work outs, yoga and pilates will strengthen my core muscles, especially the pelvis floor.

I don’t go to the toilet 100 times a day. I wake up around five am for my first night pee and then I have to remember to go pee again during the morning. My pregnancy is not making me run to the toilet to pee every minute as I read should be the norm.

During my last conversation with my mum when she asked me “How is the belly?”

I said “The belly is fine. I don’t even go to the toilet every often.” you see Berry is growing in me and I am living my life outside. God bless, my baby is a very good baby. Berry doesn’t make me go pee all the time, or feel nauseous or fatigue.

“Well, you have to go to the toilet. Force yourself to drink water. When you are sitting there and don’t feel thirsty go and drink water.”

“Okay.” So, now I have a bottle of water next to me while I write or watch some documentary on youtube – I’ve set myself a task, I am doing a research.

Appetite and food: I don’t have great appetite, but I am enjoying eating food. So far I’ve cooked spinach stew, baked jerk chicken served with rice or couscous. Spaghetti and pesto, boiled potatoes served with tuna, sweet corn mixed in mayonnaise – it was yummy, both AMI and I loved it :). I would have liked to go for second serving but I couldn’t because after every first potion I feel very full.

I am into spicy food more than ever. Berry is leaning to eat spicy food at early age. I am careful not to exaggerate. But I believe Berry is going to loved every food from the world, because I am eating variety of world cuisine.

I am not obsessed about cooking clips on youtube. I just get on with life and try to not let my little lack of appetite over take my mind.

Personal note: I am not writing very much in the small journal I bought when I found out I am pregnant with Berry. I am so absorbed in writing my book, reading other books and watching movies, for this reason I don’t go on about Berry all the time as I did in the first few weeks. I want to do well for myself as well as for my young family. So, I guess, while I don’t feel too tired to write and read, I will write and read as much as I can. Berry doesn’t bother me so I’ve decided to let Berry grow peacefully in the belly, while I do the things I enjoy doing :).

On a general note: You see, this week I am not sitting around doing nothing –I’ve ever done that before – what I mean is, I am doing a lot. On Monday I finished reading Half of Yellow Sun. Tuesday and Wednesday I went to inquire about doing my masters next year – I guess this is how my pregnancy is working me. I’ve signed up to the gym, I plan to go tomorrow to swim. I am not obsessed about food, I just cook and eat. In the early morning I let my lazy self lie in bed till nine o’clock and read without feeling guilty. Yesterday I felt dizzy after I walked to the library and back, but by the evening I was feeling alright again. Today I was up around four am and couldn’t sleep so I did a quick research for my book. Now I am chilling :).

Maybe I better go shave my legs and bikini sides for tomorrow swimming.

________________

Belly pictures will start coming soon, be patient with me :)!

Have a great weekend.

13 Apr 2011

The Secret Department

DISCLAIMER: I hope this post will not scare you or make you think I am crazy to voice it out in the open like this. Instead, I hope you will share your experience with me – I appreciate it.

__________________

I am freaking out about it right now, but I don’t know where I can turn to if not on my blog. Over the years I’ve thought about it many times. Is one of the things that scares me to voice out because I am shy about it. I know when the time comes for me to let the doctors and nurses do their business in that department, I will not have a choice but bare myself to them.

You’ve might guessed where I am leading. I want to talk about the secret department of the female, especially the hair.

Over the past weeks, a day hasn’t pass without me thinking about it. For years I’ve taken care of my personal ‘department’ by using shaving creams or sensitive skin hair removal. It was not always the best choice but it has done the work.

However, not that I am pregnant and I am also trying to stay away from chemicals, using hair removal creams is against my ethics. I also know that after the fourth month I might not be able to see anything over my big belly. So, I am considering going to the beautician for a professional, everlasting trim that does not involve chemicals.

It is easy said than done.

The idea that someone else might see me down there send me into panic. You never know what this person might think of you – I know it is silly from my part, but... Although my heart is pounding and I feel a little embarrassed writing about it, I know the time has come for me to be a grown and take this delicate and private matter into my hands. I would LOVE to go for my first waxing in the near future, but I feel as if my feet have turned into stones and I can’t go ask more information at the beauty centre.

If I went, I would ask how long should my hair be before the aesthetician is allowed to wax it? Would it harm my baby? Other than shaving, is there any non-chemical way available for trimming the secret ‘department’?

So  my lovely ladies, I would like to know your personal experience:

Have you ever waxed before? ______Did anyone freak out before going for their first secret department waxing? ______Do you ever feel embarrassed about going for one? ______How can I overcome this fear? _____Is it painful – you know, that pain that makes your white hair whiter? _____Shall I do it?

OMG, I really don’t know what to do!

Please share with me :).

lifeofTOI

12 Apr 2011

iLove Tuesday Tunes: Take A Minute

 
knaan Isn’t he cute? :)!
 
His artistic name is K'naan but he is born Keinan Abdi Warsame in Somalia 1978. He is a Somali-Canadian poet, rapper, singer, songwriter and instrumentalist. When he was thirteen, to escape from the Somali Civil War that began in 1991, he moved to New York together with his family. The family later moved to Toronto, where they still reside.
 
I first came across his music in 2006 when I signed up to Myspace. Before he became famous for the 2010 World Cup tune Wavin' Flags. His music has a political message in it, and he writes and sings about the struggle of Somali people and about his own life experiences. He really love his homeland and never lies about that in his lyrics and speeches. And although fame is knocking on his door each year, he is still true to his message – and I hope he keeps that up.
 
Today I want to present you one of my favourites tunes Take a Minute from the 2010 album Troubadour. The lyrics are well written, poetic, political, personal and the music is nostalgic. It makes me think about how some people cannot hate their homeland even if it treated you with hardship. You forgive but not forget.  
There is a word he tend to use which I don't like but all in all I like his message. For instance the lines:

"How did Mandela get the will to surpass the everyday

When injustice had him caged and trapped in every way?

How did Gandhi ever withstand the hunger strikes and all?

Didn't do it for power or money if I recall..."

and again

"This is K'naan and still reppin' the S

Comin' out of Mogadishu and still draped in the mess

And no matter how we strong, homie

It ain't easy comin' out from where we from, homie

And that's the reason why, I could never play for me

Tell 'em the truth is what my dead homies told me

Ooh yeah, I take the inspiration from the most heinous of situations

Creating medication out of my own tribulations

Dear Africa, you helped me write this

By showing me to give is priceless"

He writes from his personal experiences which I might not understand because I didn’t go through such pains and tribulations. But I can understand how that has inspired him to become who he is today. And also I can understand how that experience will always be part of him no matter how famous he becomes or not.
 
K’naan inspires me.
lifeofTOI

8 Apr 2011

Week 7 - Pregnancy Update

I can’t believe I am seven weeks and four days pregnant, today. My belly is not sticking out like a pregnant woman, but more like someone who hasn’t done exercises for ages.

I picked up some pregnancy books and downloaded more pregnancy Apps on my Ipod, I don’t lack information on how I should feel or what is happening to my Baby and my body at week seven.

Baby: is the size of raspberry, last week the size was blueberry – I love all kind of berries so the first nickname of the Baby will be Berry :)! raspberry

{via}

At this stage the baby look more like a baby and not anymore like a reptile – glad to hear that. The facial features are stating to develop, the upper lip, the protruding tip of a tiny cute button nose, and very tiny eyelids. If last week the baby had webbed fingers and toes, this week they are differentiating – hurray Berry, keep up the good work :).

The heart of the baby is beating at the rate of 150 times per minute – faster than my own. And the baby’s digs (what are they?) are growing. Amniotic fluid increases at the rate of two tablespoons per week to accommodate your womb’s growing tenant.week7Body: my uterus, which is normally the size of a fist, has grown to the size of an orange. Although it is normal to not look pregnant at seven weeks, I am supposed to feel pregnant from the inside. Nope, I am not feeling anything, this makes me want to pick up more pregnancy tests and check my pregnancy on weekly basis, but I am not going to do that because I know everything is going on well as it supposed to.

Some days, like Wednesday, I pee a lot. On other days, like yesterday, I was feeling like a normal person without the need to pee at every ten minute.

Appetite and food: Many pregnancy literature reads that morning sickness can happen to the expectant woman up to week 12. I am lucky, because at the moment I do NOT have that symptom. I haven’t being vomiting or anything, I just feel a little bit of nausea now and again, but nothing scary.

However, I don’t have appetite, and this is strange – I love to eat. The smell of food makes me not want to eat, it is only after the first spoonful that I realise the meal is not bad and it tastes quite good. I am also into spicy food, that takes away the taste of a sick person out of my mouth – my lack of appetite reminds me of when I am ill and I can’t eat my favourite meals.

The only recipe that makes me think “The food is nice.” is pasta and tomatoes sauce. The other day I was licking my lips because AMI cooked spaghetti and carrot and basil sauce, topped with grated cheese. I ate the whole plate…

Last week, to stop myself from thinking about food all the time, I watched Youtube videos on how to cook Italian and Ghanaian/Nigerian food. They were not enough clips for my liking :(. Yesterday I went to buy the ingredient to cook some Ghanaian spinach stew; so I am going to cook spinach stew.

The typical food I am eating are wholegrain fibre bread, activia yogurt all fruit taste, egg, weetabix and milk for breakfast. Burger, chips, ketchup, rice, potatoes, broccoli, spaghetti, tomatoes sauce, noodle soup, beef steak, pan-baked salmon and salad and tomatoes for lunch and dinner. Mango-banana, orange juice. Banana, pineapple and oranges. Lot of water. I am not into sweets at all – I just ate a little bit of milk chocolate, but that was last weekend.

I hope I am getting good nutrition through the list of food above. In addition I take the folic acid without fail – I forgot just once since discovering the pregnancy.

Personal note: My first scan is booked for 6th May 2011 – I can’t wait to hear the heart beat and see Berry on the screen. For the occasion I will start writing in the romantic journal I bought in 2007 for when I will become pregnant – call me romantic :)! I love this tenant in side my womb. She or he is the sweetest thing ever! I am so much in LOVE! I love you BERRY!

On a general note: I’ve decided not to let my laziness mood swings have the better of me. I went to the library and chose great list of literature to read, to be inspired to writer better. Today I finished reading The Worse Thing She Ever Did by Alice Kuipers – I need an inspiration for my teen novel. Tomorrow I am going to a creative writing workshop, I hope I will meet someone with whom I can talk about writing and exchange opinion on our art.

______________________

Does anyone know how to be less obsessed about food?

7 Apr 2011

Guest Blogger: The Secret by Jenni D.

Today I am so excited to have Jenni from Story of My Life guest blogging on my humble blog. I feel so honoured because she is one of the bloggers I admire. I fell in love with her blog as soon as I clicked her link some months ago. You cannot resist falling in love with Story of My Life.

Not just because the content of the blog and photos are great but also because she springs out rays of light. Do you know what I mean? There is an halo of positivity around her and I like that because in life I want to be around people who love life, and believe in positivity.

I was reading through her posts when I came across The Secret, a book that inspired her outlook on life and which reminded me of how I look the world around me. I was curious, so I asked her to talk a little bit more about it. And she granted my wish :)! I am over the moon :D!

So without further ado, I will let the beautiful Jenni speak :)Wildflower_Center_033

Hey ladies (and gentlemen? maybe?)! I am so happy to be chatting with you today!

Our lady TOI asked me to write about the book The Secret, so write about The Secret I will! You see, every now and then, on my own blog, I've mentioned this book because it really changed my outlook on life. Not so much the book itself or how it was written, but more the major concept within the book: the law of attraction. Which, actually, isn't a new concept. It's been spoken of and written about for centuries, in many different ways.

I'm not one of those who believes in miracle diets or fad religions or even cure-all books that hold every secret to a happy life. Guess that's just the cynic in me. So, WHY, you ask, do I often mention the book The Secret and the law of attraction? Sounds kind of contradictory, doesn't it?

Basically, it just made a lot of sense to me. There's nothing magical about it, nothing scientific, per se, and yet implementing awareness of the law of attraction is life altering. Once you become aware of what you're attracting into you life, you can work towards attracting what you REALLY want.

The concepts are simple: like attracts like and thoughts become things. "The Secret" is that almost everything that happens to you in your life you are attracting through your thoughts and actions.

So often we do a whole lot of thinking about what we DON'T want. We don't want to be poor. We don't want to be sick. We don't want to be fat. We don't want to have a crappy job. We don't want to date someone who is a jerk.

Well, the law of attraction states that by focusing so much on what you DON'T want, you are attracting what you don't want into your life. In order to have what you DO want, you must focus only on that. Act like it's already yours. Prepare your life for it. Thank God for it every day.

Positivity is an amazing and powerful thing. People want to be around positive people - people who make others feel good. People want to do things for positive people. If you begin to live your life with confidence and peace and kindness, if you smile at random strangers and give others the benefit of the doubt, if you act as if you already have all that you desire and simply begin to be thankful for it in advance, you will watch as amazing things begin to trickle into your life.

The law of attraction is about paying attention to your energy. The "vibe" that you give others and that you send out into the Universe. Because it WILL come back. And you know what they say! Karma is a... well, you know. :)

I'll leave you with one small example that might help you to understand the law of attraction at it's most basic level.

Have you ever worked in customer service? Maybe as a server in a restaurant or a cashier at some type of retail store, etc? If not, surely you have BEEN to a restaurant or a retail store! Just think of the different feelings a person's energy can evoke in you. To someone friendly and kind, you want to be friendly and kind right back. Towards someone scowling and cursing and rude, you become defensive and maybe even angry! That negative person is attracting more negativity. It's an endless, vicious cycle when there is negativity involved, but really beautiful things can happen when we take responsibility for the level of control we really DO have on the world around us.

I'm not saying that bad things never happen to good people, or that amazing things will show up at your doorstep because you thought them into existence. But I AM saying that the law of attraction is a real and simple force, and learning to use it to your advantage is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

I hope you'll read The Secret! And thanks so much for having me today. :)

{via}
 
lifeofTOI

5 Apr 2011

iLove Tueday Tunes: Badly Drawn Boy

Today I want to present you one of my favourite musicians: Badly Drawn Boy.
{via}


Click the music to go on a romantic journey.

You don’t have to listen to all 12 tracks, I know they are many – I couldn’t choose just one.

I recommend tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8.


As you can read from the picture above he is born in UK – Dunstable, Bedforshire. He is a quirky British songwriter, whose music have being widely praised. His trademark is his woolly hat.

He is musically talented, can play practically all the instruments you can hear in a song. And his lyrics are short novels. His voice is deep and musically reassuring – if you get me.

When I listen to him I go on a journey…

The opening of The Shining (track 1) is a small orchestra in my ears. I feel like closing my eyes while I lie down on a flat surface and travel through the British countryside. I remember going from Somerset to Devon, to see AMI’s hometown. Then waking up next to AMI in Cardiff, November 2001. Or waking up next to AMI on his single bed, winter mornings in Ealing. Or again summer holidays, 2004, in St Katherine's Dock, Tower Bridge –Wapping. I heart the lyrics, especially the lines:
“Remembering when I saw your face
Shining my way, pure timing
Soleil all over you, warm sun pours all over me,
Soleil all over you, warm sun…
And suddenly you are in love with everything.”

This will be on my Baby birth playlist. And I love this song so much that I would like to use the name Soleil – but AMI has to agree on that.


I Love NYE (track 2) is instrumental, another modern orchestra on your ipod, it is soon followed by Silent Sigh (track 3). This one is not like a poem or anything but the tune is al tempo and melodic. Perfect to twill in your open living room :).


Once Around The Block (track 5) is another al tempo, truly music-poem. The lines that make me think are:

“You quiver like candle on fire,I'm putting you out
Maybe tonight we could be the last shout
But I'm fascinated by your style
Your beauty will last for a while…”

I believe a song is close to poetry when the lyrics are not repetitive and there is a hidden meaning in each line. Anyway, that’s how I feel about this song.

Well, this iLove Tuesday Tunes has taken many lines. All in all, the two albums that stand out from his many studio albums are The Hour of Bewilderbeast and About A Boy. The last album is the soundtrack of the British comedy-drama film About A Boy, based on a novel by Nick Hornby. Hugh Grant, Rachel Weisz and Nicholas Hoult stars in the film.

I hope you’ve learnt a little bit about why I like Badly Drawn Boy and quirky sounds.

Stay tuned, because every Tuesday you will hear a little of my taste in music and what might end up on our Baby birth playlist.

4 Apr 2011

4 Positives and I Told Him

Yes, I am PREGNANT! I announced it here, and some thought it was an April Fools joke, LOL :)!
Maybe some of you want to read how I found out and how I told AMI :).
Just read on.
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The testing adventure began on 12-03-2011.
On that morning I didn’t have any intension to test, because I didn’t think I was pregnant and also I was scared to see my monthly blood – which has being causing disappointments since TTC began. They’ve been months in which I’ve thought my sore breasts were a sign of pregnancy. But whenever I tested the results were negative. Therefore, after wishing for something for so long, and seeing negative tests, I have started to lose vision of the day in which I will see a positive sign.
On that particular morning I didn’t want to test because I was not feeling any symptoms – no sore breasts or frequent need to pee. However, two nights in a roll I went to bed quite early, but I blamed my tiredness on yet lag and driving up and down the town looking for a place to live.
On the second night of my early bedtime, AMI came in the bedroom and asked me “Can I have your iPod?”, he looked at something then said “You are pregnant.”
“Why you say that?”
“I just looked at your circle calendar and you don’t have your period.”sc {via}
“It says my period is due tomorrow!”
I couldn’t imagine being pregnant; especially after the last hectic weeks before moving to Canada. Plus, I was not under any pressure of becoming pregnant. In fact I was looking forward to go and sign up to the gym. I wanted to tone up my recent floppy belly!
So, on that Saturday morning I went to pee. After that I looked at myself in the mirror and then voted against testing. I went back to bed. I was laying there thinking: “My period is not here yet… but it could come later on today. But normally it comes in the morning and not in the afternoon. I don’t feel any period symptoms or any other symptoms. I don’t go to pee as a pregnant woman is supposed to… but I don’t have that fastidious lower back pain I normally have during the first few days of my circle. Mmmm, although I’ve just being to the toilet… I will go and test.”
I had some pregnancy test stripes I bought from a 99pence shop in London in my bag. I took one out and when to the bathroom while thinking at the words a doctor told in July, when my period was late but not I was not pregnant, “If you are pregnant even a drop of pee will show positive…”
I managed to drop few pee in the plastic testing cup. I immersed the stripe in and surprise-surprise the second line appeared few seconds later.
I was shocked, because it has never happened. And I’ve always believed that those tests don’t work because they are cheap. Instead of jumping up high in happiness, I was scared because I thought “Could this be a false result caused by my pregnant obsessed mind.” then again my thoughts switched to “OMG, wait! This test could be too old. This might be a bad test. Wait, maybe my imminent period is causing the level of my HCG to show positive although I am not pregnant. Shall I test again? Maybe, I didn’t do this right.”
AMI was busy working on his laptop so he didn’t see my OMG smile when I went from the bathroom to the bedroom and then back to the bathroom.
I tested for the second time. It was positive again. A blink of hope appeared in my heart “omg, I am pregnant.” My heart jump of joy and I would have told AMI if it was not that I really felt like I was dreaming. I was so scared to find out later that I was not pregnant. So I waited to tell him.
That afternoon we went cross-country skiing. CIMG9255
I was euphoric, because I had a secret in me. But behind those happy thoughts, I was still scared it was an illusion. I skied and did not worry for some time. After two hours of skiing I felt tired and breathless.
When we got back to our friends’ house, I went to their bathroom to check if my happiness was destroyed by a red mark. But it wasn’t. I went back to have dinner and enjoy the rest of the evening.
After that Saturday I promised myself “I will believe I am pregnant only after Monday.”
Monday came and went without blood.
Tuesday I posted about how we were excited to have found the house. After that post, I went to the nearest Dollarama shop. I came back with various items and a $1.25 pregnancy test. I refused to use a digital pregnancy test, because I had one coming with our shipping stuff from UK. Plus, in September 2010, a digital test predicted I was pregnant. AMI told his parents straight away, sadly by 11am that morning my period was present as a soldier on duty. It was due to that episode that I was sceptical about the previous two positive tests and I was waiting to be 100% sure before telling AMI.
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At 17:00 I go to the bathroom. I think “If this late afternoon tests are positive then I am finally going to believe I am pregnant.”

I pee in the plastic testing cup, I take few drops out and drizzle on the $1.25 pregnancy test. Then I immerse the stripe in the cup. Both tests warn read after 3mins, no more than 10mins.

At 17:01 I hear AMI entering the house. I get out of the bathroom. I kiss him and with a big smile on my face I say “Come up.”
He looks at me strange, but follows me up. We enter the bathroom and both tests are double lined. We look at each other and…
…we don’t scream. We hug and you could see happiness spreading all over our faces. AMI says “I knew all along that you are pregnant. Wow, how did that happened.”
“Maybe in Istria when our mind was perfectly in peace?”
“Maybe, but what a perfect timing. With this house and us settled here. WOW!”
We were both so happy and surprised.
I was speechless, because I could only believe I was pregnant after 4 positives – although this didn’t sink in until two weeks ago. I was speechless because planning about TTC was not something in my power and God proved that round and clear. And I was speechless because although I’ve written here “…when one is TTC, she listens to her body more than when she is not TTC?”
I can conclude say, no you can listen to their body 100% God works through us in mysterious ways. He masked my body in a way that my pregnancy came to me as complete surprise.
God is good all the time :)!
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If you are not following me yet, then subscribe or follow my blog in this journey, because it is going to be a rollercoaster.
lifeofTOI

2 Apr 2011

I Gotta Feeling 2011 UBP Party is dedicated to ME…

I truly feel like 5minutesformom has dedicated their 2011 Ultimate Blog Party (UBP) to me and AMI (my sweet husband).

First thing: today is one of our 6th wedding anniversaries (we had two weddings, a council wedding on April 2nd and a church wedding on July 30th).

Second thing, which is very IMPORTANT for us is… I am PREGNANT! We recently found out that we are expecting our first Baby. But today I will not talk about that - I know, I am cruel, aren’t I? LOL ;)!

My lovely old blog buddies, I know you’ve being waiting for this announcement since forever! And I am sure some of you are wondering what-when-how did she announce it?

I announced it YESTERDAY, but I am sure you thought it was an April Fools joke. Nope, nope, nope… I couldn’t joke with my feelings and yours in that way.

I am really PREGNANT, more details will follow… in another post ;P!

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

Today I am blog partying!!! And it feels great!

Every party has music, so Click play…

… if you want to be in the party mood :)!

Then have a glass of CHAMPAGNE, meanwhile I will have ORANGE JUICE because I AM PREGNANT – do I sound like a broken record :)?

We are partying and I going to talk a lot, so be prepared :D!

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Around this time last year I’ve just started seriously contemplating trying for Baby. My blog, just like me has been through many transformations. Initially this place was known as The Baby Plan. I recently changed it into Life of TOI [life is more than The Baby Plan], because I thought I was blogging under a title which screams baby-baby and the Baby I wanted to write about was taking time to come, LOL :)! Life has its own way of laughing… now, I am PREGNANT.

The main title Life of TOI will remain. However, the subtitle [life is more than The Baby Plan] might change – this is how I roll ;)!

_____blog history_____

My blog started documenting about the journey to motherhood before I became PREGNANT. I documented about my fitness. I’ve expressed the desire to become a yummy mummy and the things I will enjoy when I am pregnant. I wrote Thoughtful Wednesday’s posts in which I posed my inquisitive mind. In some of the posts I questioned aspects of motherhood, feminism and life.

In other posts, I’ve contemplated about some of the names we might choose for our Baby. In another post, I confessed my teenage crush: Leonardo DiCaprio. I’ve shared the beautiful places I’ve travelled to. But most importantly I’ve shared my life changing experiences. And I’ve learnt a lot from everyone around me in the blog-sphere, this journey is ongoing.

_____about the Baby journey_____

During last year’s UBP party I said:

I have been preparing physically for the journey [to motherhood] since January 2010. So far I have managed to tone up my body. However, I must keep taking care of myself. Also deep in my heart I am ready but sometimes I have cold feet because OUR lives will change forever (I hope for the better). When I think about TTC I get panicky. There are few things that I might not be able to control: How long will it take us to put the TWO things together? What if I am ... (do you know the scary WORD I can’t say)? Would it hurt...(to push)? Would my body swell up? How can I get my stress under control and still be fit and healthy for my journey!

To conclude I commented:

I also know that you can’t PLAN having babies but you can prepare your body, mind, and life so that the surprise is ENJOYABLE. I also know that with the Almighty everything I desire will come through, therefore I want to put together the best wish I can possibly dream of. I don’t want to blame anyone for losing my shape, mind and personality; I want to be prepared and would like to be a yummy-mummy! I really hope women/parents like you can share the secrets of parenthood, help me as you follow me on my journey toward motherhood.

This year I can answer some of these questions:

How long will it take us to put the TWO things together?

It took us eleven months to put the TWO things together. We officially started for Bebe (baby) after my circle on April 22 2010. I believe it took us all that time due to stress and other life changing experiences. Bad timing – we were travelling for work every other month and I was away when I was most fertile. But I believe STRESS was the killer in the journey.

I am happy it took less than a year because during this journey I’ve learnt that I am quite sensitive and I can get upset fairly easily. I was recently feeling low, but as it turned out it was for a good reason: pregnancy hormones, LOL ;)!

What if I am ... (do you know the scary WORD I can’t say)?

Infertile, that’s the word I was scared to say. But thanks to the Almighty Lord, I am not. AMI is not. We give grace to our Lord every day and night because HE is wonderful in the way he set people’s life. He has promised a child to every woman and you will have yours, you just have to be patient.

Patience is another virtue I learnt when I started my journey to motherhood. I believe, it was exactly a month after I wrote Pregnancy?... No pressure!, that the Baby decided to stay because she or he could tell I’ve learnt something important. To be patient, because GOD’s time is the best!

Would it hurt...(to push)?

This I don’t know yet but, so far, apart from last week’s mood swings and a little bit of nausea (no vomiting), I haven’t had any major symptoms. I don’t have back pain, my bladder seems normal. I began doing moderate workout to improve my mood, but I hope this will prepare my body to deliver our baby without too much pain.

I am not toned as I was here, due to unhealthy eating :(. Now, I am going to eat everything in moderation.

Would my body swell up?

I DON’T care if my body swells up (well, I am scared of big ankles, yuk), because that will mean that the baby is healthy and rocking :). However, I want to be fit during this pregnancy. At the moment I walk circa 40mins a day.

Once I am 100% sure everything is fine with the development of our Baby (the first scan is in 6 weeks time. On week 12), I will start the gym and do swimming, yoga and pilates classes. Hopefully these exercises will help my weight stay low and my body work in favour of good delivery. But there is time for that.

How can I get my stress under control and still be fit and healthy for my journey!

I know Circle+Bloom is one thing that I will keep using. It’s perfect to de-stress my soul. Also, doing pilates, yoga, reading and writing will sure help me on this journey. I am working on my healthy. I feel quite healthy at the moment. I am reading few books that give me tips on what to eat and what not to eat while pregnant. Also, there are online database that gives information on nutrition, fitness, fashion and love relationship during pregnancy.

_____questions-questions-questions_____

However, I still have many unanswered questions running through my head. Which kind of delivery is going to be the best for me? Caesarean or al natural...? Would I use natural remedies or medical remedies to ease the birth pain? Would I be a green mum or techno mum? Am I going to be a good mother? What is Crunchy?...

As you can read, now that I am PREGNANT, I need more tips than ever!

For instance, we’ve been living in Canada for nearly a month, and now that I know I am pregnant I want to work, because I would like to have a maternity leave. Silly me right?

Should I work after I’ve given birth? (I would like be with our Baby for at least her or his first three years of age). Am I going to be a SAHM (stay-at-home-mum) or a WAHM (write-at-home-mum)? Am I going wear a glove on the hand and hold a pen the other hand?

For me, the journey to motherhood is a journey to real womanhood and adulthood. I need to ask many questions to be able to learn more :).

_____future steps_____

I would like to find balance as a woman, wife and mother. I am going to voice my opinions on pregnancy, cloth diapers, what makes me tick and what not. I will try to find answers to my many questions.

I know my pregnancy is in its infancy, but I trust in God and I know he gave us this Baby, so everything will be fine :)! So, if you are new on my blog and decide to follow me you might learn how TOI became Mama TOI. I am still learning. And now that I am PREGNANT, I will like to share my journey with you and learn from you.

_____acknowledgements_____

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my LOYAL blog buddies. Over the past one and half years, you’ve given me tips and encouragement. If it was not for you, I would have being so lonely in this long journey. I want to THANK everyone and I hope you will sit next to me in this ride called PREGNANCY-MOTHERHOOD-WOMANHOOD-ADULTHOOD! I know soon many of you will be talking about diapers in your household.

Now that you are already here FOLLOW me and enjoy the journey together!

I am looking forward to read more blogs and learn from you!

_____become a sponsor_____

At the beginning of this year I opened my blog for sponsorship. If you would like to promote a small business or etsy shop on Life of TOI, please email me at msbabyplan @ gmail.com! You can read my i heart sponsors for more information. Read how I like to present my sponsors.

I HOPE YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE :)!

Please stay awhile…

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1 Apr 2011

The Baby is DUE in…

… November!

OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG…

this is it…

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Yes, I am PREGNANT and the baby is due in November!!!

Ladies, I guess the baby wanted to be part of this big life changing transition now rather than later :)!

i heart sponsors: alycia belle creations

Hello my lovely ladies, today I am so pleased to introduce you to another sponsor: alycia belle creations. Her creation are fashionable, girly and full of radiance. aquaheadband2

Well hello Toi readers! I am excited to be guest blogging over here today and introduce myself and my etsy shop alycia belle creations.

alycia belle creations

Toi sent me some questions to get the ball rolling, so here we go…

I know you are married and like yellow :), but it would be nice to learn how you were inspired to start the business.

This made me laugh, yes I am married, and yes, I love the colour yellow. In fact yellow was all over my wedding :)

It is interesting how I started my etsy shop. When I got engaged I took to the internet to get ideas for my wedding. This is where I was introduced to the beautiful blog world. I had no idea this other world existed of creativity and the sharing of life and stories. I started my own blog. It is hard to be in the blog world and not also be introduced to Etsy shops. aquaheadbandI was enamored with these beautiful handmade creations people were producing. I have always considered myself someone who likes to be creative, and I have always enjoyed making things. I realized how much I missed this part of my personality, and was lacking it in my life being swamped with school and work. This is why I started making cute fun headbands for me to wear, then I realized most of the supplies I was getting came with multiples, so I decided to open my own shop and sell them! This is how alyciabellecreations started. 

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The happiest moment of your life and why :).

Although I am sure my happiest moment will someday be having my own children, right now, it is the day I got married. It sounds cliché, I know, but really, it was a magical day where I was swept up in love and on cloud nine. I felt like me and Trevor were the only two people in the whole world, like time stopped just for us. Everyone should feel like that on their wedding day.

What is nice about marriage and what is not?

Being married is amazing, but it doesn't come without its challenges. Just like anything worth having in life, marriage takes hard work. Living with someone and realizing you have to put that other person first all the time, can be a big adjustment. The beauty of marriage is, that these types of challenges make you a better person, as well as strengthening your relationship. I love being married to my best friend, having that constant companionship, and of course... a snuggle buddy for the rest of my life!

The five things that make you smile.

My beautiful little nieces and nephews.

When I see small acts of kindness between people, and especially strangers.

My husband when he is caught up in playing guitar.

Looking through old photos and remembering the beautiful memories I have created with people.

When I have taught something to a student, when I see that "light" click on for them, that is the best feeling in the world.

When and how many babies would you like to have? - cheeky me;)!

I would like to be done with school and work for a bit before I have kids. I want four, two girls and two boys, but I will take whatever God gives me :) Trevor wants us to have all boys, and for me to have them all at once! Can you believe that? Coming from someone who doesn't have to give birth, right?! haha

Thanks for letting me stop by! :)

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Thank you so much Alycia for taking the time to answer my inquisitive questions :)

Apart from being pretty as a Disney princess, Alycia is very talented, she had a shiny smile, a good heart and very wise!

Getting to know her through this interview makes everything so special. I hope you enjoyed reading her words.

You can find here:

blog: Crowley Party ___ twitter: @alyciagrayce ___ etsy: alycia belle creations

Please show some love ;)!

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I am accepting few sponsors, so if you would like to sponsor Life of TOI, and showcase your Etsy shop or a small business, please contact me at msbabyplan @ gmail.com :)

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