31 Dec 2011

2012… Another Bee Year in God’s Resolution

As my review of 2011 revealed, this year was an AMAZING year for me and my family. Now 2012 is around the corner and I am serene, ready to welcome it with open arms and heart.

As per my usual, since 1995, I like to write down my wishes and like this year I am going to leave everything in God's hands for the coming year. He will be the one to guide me and my family while we work our best to let Him make our wishes come true.

I pray for: 

1. Health – for my family and friends

2. Peace – may everyone find innermost peace on daily basis {my will be through prayers, meditation, yoga and Pilates}

3. Marriage – I will work hard to keep a happy healthy marriage and keep praying for my loving husband to love and care for our family as much as I do

4. Motherhood – take extra care of my precious daughter and enjoy my seconds, minutes, hours and days with her

5. Myself – enjoy who I am and never forget that I am a human being

6. My writing career – read more to improve my writing skills, interact more with other writers, write and publish a short children's story for Miss AOI, get some of my poems published, finish editing my YA story and find an agent/publisher for it

7. Travelling  – go to UK, Italy and Ghana; may God protect us for our trips

8. Extended Family – may their heart desires come true

9. Blog-sphere – enjoy blogging, build a stronger relationship with my loyal bloggers and get to know new ones

10. Giving back to the society

11. For those who need healing

12. HAPPINESS and GREATNESS to everyone!!!

I am going to treat 2012 as a bee on honeycomb under God’s protective wings and I hope everyone does that too!

To a rich 2012…

full of joy, health, love, peace and life!!!

30 Dec 2011

Week 6 - 2011… Wishes Do Come True

Dear Miss AOI,
today I compiled a list of my top ten moments of 2011, but they don’t review each wish I prayed for, therefore I am taking your sixth week entry to look back at how 2011’s wishes were for me. To start I have to go back in time.
31st December 2009 we waited 2010 with some colleagues of daddy and it went not so well. For this reason 31st December 2010 I took matters in my own hands. However, we ended up having a third wheel – one of my old friends who’s date stood her up. After going for a Jamaican meal and some drinks in a pub, we took the bus back home from Brixton some minutes shy from midnight.We wanted to go home to wait for the new year, but were still on the bus when the clock chimed 2011.
In my hand I had a piece of paper on which I wrote all the negative thoughts and actions I was giving up in the new year. I shredded the paper while the clock was still chiming. Before the sound ended I threw the pieces out the window into the air. Shred_Paper Away went all the negativity I was giving up in 2011, a year in which I was giving all my wishes into the hands of God.
However, when we woke up the following day, I dreaded to have started the year on the wrong note. The sky was grey and my friend couldn’t get the hint that I wanted her out of the flat, I needed those early hours of 2011 to be alone with your daddy. Finally, posed by a new force, I took the courage and made it clear – I wanted to act on one of my 2011 prayers and God’s resolutions {2. A fulfilled, revival, happy life with my Husband!}.
For 2011 I prayed for:
1. Innermost Peace - meditation, yoga and Pilates!
I found the peace I was looking for. I took time to meditate now and again. I did Pilates and yoga to connect my body to my mind. This helped in many occasions during the year. For my pregnancy and writing, when I needed to get into a zone.
2. A fulfilled, revival, happy life with my Husband!
God helped me began the year by doing just that. Making sure that my friend didn’t stay for the day was good for my marriage. Sometimes certain friends have to be away for you to succeed in your marriage or life, because when some type of friends are around you, you can’t discuss or accomplish certain things.
3. Myself and to love who I am - always!
The previous year I learned to love the mature me and sure this year I LOVED myself even more. I feel confident in my new body and loving my post-partum self (more to come on this topic)
4. A healthy baby for my Husband and Myself!
My wish came SO true that I don’t know how to thank Almighty. Having my baby in November proved that giving everything into the capable hands of God is always the right resolution – just have your wish ready!
5. Healthy-happy life with my family!
The relationship with my family has always been good but this year I made the extra effort to keep the communication flowing. My mother {your grandmother} and I are always on the phone and we talk like two adults – when she remembers that I am a mother, and not just her child, LOL! But still I am and will always be her child. I wrote a poem for her and sent her a book of affirmation to know how much she means to me.
6. My writing career - to write at least 500wds a day for each one my of stories!
I didn’t write 500wds for each one of my stories but I worked hard on my main YA story, and I know where it ends. I started to let the writer in residence of my city read it and I know the importance of the story. I believe in it. I am still in the process of editing – I am on maternity leave from it until further notice.
7. My Blogging skills without compromising my offline life!I improved my blogging skills and never compromised my offline life – THANKS TO MY READERS and my favourite bloggers who took over with their awesome guest posts and comments? The community behind this blogsphere makes daddy happy for me and encourages me to write more. He was very impressed with the letters to berry I wrote while waiting for you.
8. Letting go of negative thoughts, so that I can enjoy each day in 2011!
The symbol of throwing away the shredded paper on which I wrote all the negative actions and thought was very important. During the year, each time I caught myself thinking about something bad I thought about that action which was positive and sure enough I was very positive throughout the year and maybe my positivity nauseated some offline friends and some readers. However being positive made me enjoy 2011, even in the moment when the world looked like collapsing on us!!! We managed to look at life through a half full glass.
9. Letting go of bad friendships!I am glad God guided me in this. He took away bad friendship [this friend stopped contacting me and made friends with another person] and I am keeping it in that way.
10. Surrounding myself with positive people!God brought into our lives positive people who in front of all the adversities look at life through half full glass.
11. A happy smile on my loved ones face - ALWAYS!God was loving to my sister and brought a big smile on her face during her perfect wonderful wedding with her awesome husband – wonderful BIL. Her happiness brought big smiles on our faces. Having you, sweet lovely daughter, brought big smiles on my face and daddy’s and everyone we know.
My heart goes all soft when I see your smiling face – which you won’t let me photograph yet – I can’t stop photographing you but you move alot so most come out of focus. 2011 was a year full of smiles, even when there were few tears but Almighty always wiped the tears and placed them with smiles.
12 Love AND live with all that come with!
I did and do LOVE and Live in full with all that come along. God is a loving kind God and never gives you more than you cannot handle (The Mrs – you reminded me of this quote which I’ve paraphrased). He gave me more than I wished for because He knows I can handle that. I am so happy in my life thanks to Almighty – don’t want to sound sappy but I truly am. I cannot believe that the little girl who used to run wild on the street of a little town in Ghana is now living and loving in this little town where she found out and birth to the greatest gift God can give.
I left my life in God’s hands and prayed for health, happiness and love for both my Husband, myself and our extended family. Health, happiness and love for EVERYONE that comes my way and beyond!
I lived 2011 second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day. I didn’t think about what the future held but I made 2011 my honey and many beautiful things came along the way!
Putting everything into perspective make me conclude that one has to have her wish-list ready because it’s said ask and you will be given, seek and you will find, Almighty give all you ask when the time is right.
I hope your 2011 in my womb and two months out are full of positivity and smiles! Under God’s wings I am looking forward to 2012 with all my heart and soul.
All my warming heart and love,
Mummy TOI

Our Top 10 Moments of 2011

I am participating in Mrs Pancakes’ awesome link up, Our Top ten moments of 2011.

1. November - Giving Birth to Miss AOI, my beautiful daughter at home in Canada (birth story coming sometime in a January).

AO2

2. March - Finding out hubby and I were expecting our first baby test

3. July - Seeing our little angel through the ultrasound Berry1stpic_thumb4

4. January - The birth of our niece EFF (we went to see her in Scotland)  CIMG8165

5. April - My sister's wedding, I was a bridesmaid (we attended that in Maryland)

6. March - Receiving our visa for Canada (before taking the flight, we had a quick holiday in Italy and Croatia) villamare  7. March - Going to Toronto to visit family and party

8. May and October - Going to Canmore and Banff lake1_thumb7

9. July - Having our first Canadian holiday in Waskasiu (Prince Albert) – I love all the blue and green Canada has to offer. coolfisherwoman

10. December - Miss AOI's Christmas with us in Canada (paternal grandma came 8-21/12 and maternal uncle came 22/12 leaving 05/01/12)

There you have them, my top 10 Moments of 2011!!!TOP10

Wow, I just realised that 2011 was the year of many holidays!!! May 2012 top that up :)!

29 Dec 2011

Thank You Buddies

Monique’s post was the last guest post for my time off blogging – I was always online and I don’t think you missed my presence, LOL.

It is time for me to thank all the ladies who accepted to guest blog for me. I really appreciated it. Your posts have taught me so much.

Latorsha, thank you for sharing with me and my readers the journey towards your ideal weight after pregnancy and to remind us all that our “worth and value are not measured on a scale.

Keya, thank you for presenting us your lovely family. It was nice to read that race doesn’t really matter, because what matters is to raise children “who go on to be successful in life and accomplish their goals no matter how they look.

Unknow Mami thank you for sharing your experience as bilingual mum. Your post encourages me to gift my daughter the languages that I know no matter how discouraging it may be when she will respond to me in her prime language: English. Because just like you “I want [her] to have all the gifts that knowing more than one language has given me… to be able to think in more than one language, to understand in more than one language, to love in more than one language.

Mrs Pancakes, thank you for reminding us that godparenting  “is less about church and more about friendships so it's important as a godparents to model friendship and love. Be responsible to the child through friendship and love.” This encouraged me to be more in contact with my godchild.

Teresha, thank you for writing a beautiful post which reminded me and my readers that we should be parents but always remember that we should sometimes “take off the cape and be a human being.” I do too believe that motherhood, unlike pregnancy, is a life time journey and we better recognise that parents are humans too and enjoy what we love doing – writing and reading.

 Monique, thank you for delivering the sweet note your lovely niece and cute nephews wrote to Miss AOI. We are both looking forward to the day will make make a trip to NYC!

I loved reading what you all shared with me and my readers.

But I would have not being here without my READERS!

Every comment you left on this space filled my heart with happiness. Each comment made me aware that I was doing something write and I was not alone. This year I loved the interaction that happened between some of my readers and I.

Because of all the above, I wanted to thank everyone who stopped by my humble blog and took the time to write, read and comment.

Once again 2011 was super enjoyable because I was able to share my happiness with people who wanted to come along on my journey. thankyou

Thank you so much!

May 2012 be full of sunshine, life, great achievements and love!

28 Dec 2011

Guest Post: Monique from Tipa Tipa

Note To Baby AOI from Monique’s 5 years old niece and 8 year old nephews

Dear Baby A,

Greetings from Queens, NYC. We heard that you were born recently and wanted to welcome you in to the world with a little note to let you know what things are like for us hear in Queens. On Sundays, we go to church. After church we get our homework done and head over to the skate park.

Photo_1It's so much fun skating with an ocean view. The ocean also makes it really cold but we really love living in The Rockaways (a peninsula, that is
part of Queens). Photo_3What we love the most is being outside, riding our scooters, skateboarding and playing basketball or soccer. Photo_2We hope that you enjoy Canada as much as we love Queens. Welcome to the world baby A. We are sending love and hugs from Queens, NYC.

Love,

Niyah, Jerry, and Zion

________________________

Thank you very much Monique. the letter is touching, very sweet of Niyah, Jerry and Zion (love the names) to send such lovely note to Baby A.

Wait a sec… oh, Miss AOI just told me to tell her new friends that she will learn how to skateboard, rollerblade and skate here in Canada so that when, one day, she comes to NYC she can skate with Niyah, Jerry and Zion.

________________________

Ladies I am sure y’all know Monique and LOVE her as much as I do, so don’t forget and stop by Tipa Tipa. You will be enthralled like I am always.

25 Dec 2011

Happy Anniversary and Merry Christmas!!!

HURRAY my little space on the blogsphere turns two year old on this important day.happy birthday Yip yip hurray! Yip yip hurray!

Thank you everyone for your support and friendship over the past two years. Few of you have been following my journey towards the gift since the beginning.

It was two years ago that I took the courage and started to contemplate about a plan I had in mind: trying for baby.

Towards the fifth year of marriage Hubby and I felt ready to start building up our little family with babies. But life was unpredictable - we had rough rides, and conceiving didn't come easily.
However thanks to Almighty after nearly a year of trying we received our gift on 18th November 2011.

Although it is hard work to share my blog anniversary on a festivity, I am glad to share it with Christmas because it means so much to me. You can read Merry Christmas and the engagement ring for more info. Over the past two year this blog has proved itself so much. It is the space I escape to when I need extra support and place to rant. I am happy to be making amazing friends on the way – hope to meet some of you in the coming year. It is also thanks to this blog that I am coming out of my shell. I am always happy to read thoughtful comments and emails from ladies asking about my well being {The Mrs, thank you for the email} and Mama E for the lovely picture you sent me while expecting Berry. Last year I expressed my sincere appreciation in the first blog anniversary post.

This year I want to thank you all again for the amazing support you’ve given me through my journey towards full womanhood. Life is a journey with many turns and twists and I am always grateful to have great buddies to support and encourage me on the way.

To many more anniversaries!!!  I want to take this opportunity to wish you and family a very warm MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!…15509049b

…and fabulous festivities from the dept of my heart to you all!

23 Dec 2011

Week 5 – All I Want For Christmas

Dear sweet AOI,
in two days you will celebrate your first Christmas with us. I am so excited for the occasion because in my 2011 resolution I asked God for a baby and He was so kind He gave us you, an angel. The one that makes parenthood a bliss. You suit your name so well.
All I Want For Christmas by Mariah Carey on Grooveshark
I don’t know how sad I would have been if you didn’t come this year, you are really all I want for Christmas.  PC146566
{my favourite gift}
I will never stop saying how glad I am to be your mother because you make motherhood so nice and cosy. You have great lungs when you are hungry and wet and sleepy but other than that you give me time to enjoy my hobbies. Sometimes I don’t want to put you down because I feel like I need you close by each minute, I am learning to let you sleep in your bouncer. In that way I can organise the house.
You are very young so you will not remember this Christmas but I am going to take load of pictures so we can remember together when you are older.
Today last year I wrote my ideal Christmas. In the post I shared how I would like you and future sibling to know the true meaning of Christmas is more than the gifts. For me Christmas is about giving back without expecting anything in return. But most importantly to be together with family and God, as opposed to focus on materialism.
Your uncle G. wanted to come over here even if he didn’t have the money but he wanted to be with family so he found the means to come. I am happy he is here and he was so happy to hold you while saying “You are worth every penny.” AOIuncle   I must confess, it is touching to watch him talk to you, he is a good loving uncle. I am glad he made it for Christmas in Canada with us, especially for you. That shows how important we are to him.
I better stop here before I become all emotional – must be the hormones. But really, having a family member for Christmas is a blessing.
Happy first Christmas. All the family love and mine times trillion.
Your Mummy TOI

X Factor The Winner

I am still watching the show, but from what I’ve seen so far Melanie Amaro is the winner.

Let’s see if my predictions are true.

22 Dec 2011

Our First…

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas by Christmas on Grooveshark

{one of my favourite Xmas songs}

since 2001 AMI and I have been, alternatively, going to each other’s family for Christmas. Every Christmas tree that I’ve decorated was bought by someone else, my mother or hubby’s family.

but this year there are many first things for both.

our first baby, our first Christmas away from family {apart from my younger brother who is coming for the festivity}, our first Christmas  in Canada  and our first tree. PC096445

i am not sure if we would have bought it if it wasn’t because we wanted to celebrate an early Christmas with AMI’s mum when she was here {she left yesterday, i couldn’t go to the airport because our car broke down and they had to take the taxi :(}. now, i am excited to have this Christmas tree because it is a symbol for our growing young family, we are starting our own tree tradition. 

we opted to buy a real tree as oppose to fake due to costs {three times cheaper}, though it causes ten times mess with all the pine leafs on the floor.  because it is our first tree we kept the decoration simple hoping to add more items each Christmas {making some ornaments myself thanks to some inspiration i am pinning along}. PC106457 thinking about Miss AOI we bought some handpainted wood ornaments which we hope to use each year to decorate the tree. page

ornaments they will remind us of our her first Christmas. we hope to preserve them for as long as we can.

i also added the elephant card Miss AOI’s future babysitter gave her.PC226889

for the top of the tree i made a pink ribbon to represent Miss AOIPC226891 our own angel.

Questions: what is your favourite Christmas song? how many Christmas you and your other half have spent together? which ornament do you have to remind you of your children’s first Christmas?

20 Dec 2011

Guest Post: Teresha from Marlie and Me

Parents Are People Too

When I became pregnant the first time I just knew that I was going to be the #1 mom on the planet. I was going to breastfeed, use cloth diapers, make homemade baby food, teach my daughter two languages, potty train her by 18 months, throw the best birthday parties, and blog about how super I was all while keeping an immaculate house. Then harsh reality quickly set in. I did accomplish some of my parenting goals, but I was also sacrificing myself trying to do too much. I realized that didn't have to cram everything in at once, some things could wait so that I could budget some "me-time" (and some "couple time" too!).

When I look back I wonder why I put myself under so much pressure to be a mombot. Maybe it was subliminal messages I received from TV shows that portray moms as superheroes who wear designer jeans and rock salon-gorgeous hair. Maybe it was the need to fit in with the moms in my neighbourhood who seem to do it all, take care of their families, run businesses, and hold leadership positions in the PTA. Wherever I got the idea doesn't matter. What matters is that it is an unrealistic standard.

The movie, I don't Know How She Does It is the perfect illustration of my argument. i-dont-know-how-she-does-it-poster In the film Sarah Jessica Parker plays a working mom trying to prove that she can juggle work and family without dropping any balls. I have not seen the movie, but I have read several reviews. From what I gather the secret to her "success" is that she takes a lot of shortcuts while pretending that her life is seamless. Of course it all comes a part and she has to face the fact that she is simply human.

That is the truth I discovered after I nearly ran myself ragged trying to maintain a supermom lifestyle. I was exhausted, cranky and sad. I told myself it shouldn't be this way. Parenting is a journey, not a race. Yes, it has its challenges, but it shouldn't leave you gasping for air.

I have since re-prioritized my time. I asked myself what are the things that are most important to get done on mom watch? On the list is to make sure that I spend quality time with my daughter doing the things that she loves like reading and watering the plants; that the family has home cooked nutritious meals and snacks every day; that I carve out a coulee of hours daily for myself to do something I enjoy. So I make time for these activities and leave everything else for later (attend PTA meetings...later, become a social media guru...later). My new parenting attitude is take off the cape and be a human being.

_______________

what a beautiful post. I do too believe that motherhood, unlike pregnancy, is a life time journey and we better recognise that we are humans too.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with me and my readers.

teresha Teresha is a wife, stay-at-home mom to a feisty 2-year-old girl and is expecting her second child in April. She blogs about her experiences as an urban hippie mom at Marlie and Me, don’t forget to visit.

18 Dec 2011

1 Month

Dear Miss AOI,
what a busy week we’ve had.
we’ve been out and about. i must admit having visitors makes life busy more than having a baby – wait, i have to correct myself, having our families visiting makes life busy than having you as a baby, i believe you are going to be adventurous because you are doing so much already. at the moment all you need is food and a change and if we can do these two things you are happy to go anywhere with us.
last Sunday we went to church for the first time since your birth. everyone wanted to have a peak at you. they marvelled at your beautiful face and lovely long hair and how good you were, sleeping throughout the service and tea afterward. but as soon as we walked into our house you woke up ready for a feed and a change.
on thursday daddy bought a pair of ice skates and we went to watch him skate. skate well you slept. i think you have so many pictures of you sleeping {just because the way you stretch your arms and legs is so sweet to observe},but i also love photographing you when you are wide awake, alert and moving. well, i love photographing you every moment. sometimes you surprise me with your smile, those little moments melt my heart and i can’t wait to see the big grin i believe you will have very soon.
i love your lovely sparkling dark brown eyes, browneyedgirl i lose myself in them when you fix them on me and follow my movements intently, i guess, trying to make up your mind about me. i love you so much and i hope you love me too.
On Friday we went to see the paediatrician, then in the afternoon the midwife came and you are 8lb 14oz, such a healthy weight. then we went to our local art gallery, then in the evening we went to see some friends who have two children a boy who is two and half years old and a girl who is eight weeks older than you. she grinned when she saw you, i hope one day you will become friends. then dad went to skate with his friend and we stayed with his friend’s wife to chat. she is a nice lady, from january we will start to organising play dates.
Saturday we attended the 10th birthday party of my friend’s daughter, PC176705 PC176744 who wants to be your babysitter when she is old enough and her mother would love to have you as her own – it is nice to know that although we are far away from home and families there are people who will look after and love you if anything has to happen to us, but i pray with all my might  there was so much noise and at a point you found it difficult to sleep. today we are not going to church but going to lunch with some friends.
grandma (dad’s mum) is here until thursday, she is already missing you and thinking how to smuggle you into Britain, i don’t think she will manage under my vigilant eyes. it is nice to have your grandmother here, she cooks some English meals and pasties, but…grandma this visit and the question when is your mother coming? make me miss my mother being here {ohhh, did i say that out loud?}. well, yes, i miss my mother being here because she is the only visitor who will not make a mess, will wash dishes the way i do they and cook me some of her Ghanaian stews and pastries – well, i hope she can come sometimes soon.
when grandma leaves one of your uncles wants to come. he really wants to be together with us for your first christmas and he doesn’t care spending a fortune on flight. i hope he gets a cheap one to come over.
gosh, time flies, today you are one month old. ! Happy one month old,
Love,
Mummy TOI.

15 Dec 2011

Guest Post: Mrs Pancakes from Team Pancakes

Godparenting

Thank you TOI for inviting me to speak about my role as a godparent. Hope motherhood is in everyway as magical as i have heard! And you are falling in madly with the little one!

The role of a godparenting is an important one in the life of a child. If you think about it you are entrusted with taking care of this child if something happens to their parents. That's a big responsibility. I am a godmother (GM) to two lovely children and i was blessed when my friends asked me to be a godparent. That meant i am their bestest and dearest friend! It also meant i am the most responsible person they know!

I think the excitement of being named the godmother blinded my deeper understanding of the role. As my godchildren are getting older (almost 3 and 2), i am realizing that the role of modern godparenting is different.

According to definition: traditionally, godparents were informally responsible for ensuring the child's religious education was carried out, and for caring for the child should he/she be orphaned.

According to definition: today, the word godparent might not have explicitly religious overtones. The modern view of a godparent tends to be an individual chosen by the parents to take an interest in the child's upbringing and personal development.

The today's definition of godparenting is where i have failed. I know my godchildren and they know me however aside from sending birthday gifts and calling on occasion, i have not taken an interest in the child's upbringing and personal development.

But then do all godparents take such an active role in the lives of their godchildren? I am probably writing with a lot of guilt because one of my godchildren, i live an airplane ride away and another i live fifteen minutes away. The one i live closest too, i probably could take more of an interest than i do. I should be able to take him every weekend and spend some quality time with him. I should be able to go to his swimming lessons. But unfortunately life gets in the way sometimes.

I read an article recently in the NY Times entitled: The Godparent Trap and the author said: most godparents these days are neither godly nor parental. And that hit close to home because i am being neither. How can i expect my godchild to refer to me affectionately as "GM-godmother" when i don't even see him on a regular basis?

After reading this article and rethinking my current role as GM, i am thinking i need to be present in the lives of my godchildren because i was chosen to act as a present person now and not when. Learning from my mistakes, here are some tips i learned through reading the article so that Toi will choose the best possible godparent for her precious little one.

1. Choose many godparents. It reduces the burden on any individual, increases the number of voices and forms a new community. After all, it takes a village to raise a child.

2. Assign each godparent a specific task. I love this idea of giving individuals roles for the child including Travel, Values, Sports. I always dreamed of taking my godchildren to museums when they were older and not necessarily doing stuff with them when they are babies.

3. It’s never too late to add new godparents. There’s no reason godparents should be chosen only at birth. People's lives change...before my godchildren came along, i wasn't married and now i am with very little time to spare.

The article does a good job of saying that godparents is less about church and more about friendships so it's important as a godparents to model friendship and love. Be responsible to the child through friendship and love.

And as my godchildren get older and they refer to me affectionately as GM--i will know i earned the title because i was an important part of their lives. caleb7

_____________________________________

Thank you Mrs Pancakes, this is a sweet reminder of our duty not only as parents but also as godparents.

Ladies you must meet Mrs Pancakes @ Adventures of Team Pancakes, I love her and her blog, she has always something controversial to trigger our minds :), always in a good way. Say hello.

13 Dec 2011

So Bad It Feels Good

I am not going to make sense in this post. i am going to write all the random stuff that pop into my head and then press publish without thinking.

they call it stream of consciousness…

i am not commenting as I wish, not because Miss AOI is taking all my time. oh she is incredibly good, she gives me time to do everything I want, really – time that some new mothers are dreaming of. I could sit for hours and blog if i wanted to… she’s already settled into her own routine, eating and wanting to be changed circa every three hours. when she is awake she is wonderful, cuddly and talkative (me doing more of the talking) – she is alert and makes noises, I can see her smile sometimes.

SO why oh why can’t I comment on all the posts I have been reading on my favourite blogs?

Because I have a visitor from UK and I don’t feel like blogging in front of her. i feel judged by doing it in front of my visitor or any other visitor who doesn’t know about my hobby. And I don’t want to hide and write something that I am supposed to enjoy freely. Plus, a big part of me would like to write something that I can send out for publishing when my thoughtful daughter gives me all the time to perfect my writing skills, but I am postponing until next year, because although I have beautiful stories in my head, they don’t want to come onto the computer yet… 

Instead of keeping up on the healthy eating regime, after my delivery, I am eating comforting food and postponing my healthy eating until next year. all bad food snacks that make one feel good, plus there are some of the things that I like during the Christmas season.sobadsogood i know, it is alright to be bad sometimes ;)…

12 Dec 2011

Guest Post: Unknown Mami

The Languages I have to Give languages

{via}

I don’t remember learning to speak. I’d venture to say most people don’t. The first words I heard came to me via my family and I’m sure the first words I spoke were to my family.

Daughter to a Mexican family, I was born and raised in California. My family spoke Spanish so the words coming and going were in Spanish. I learned to speak Spanish before English. I don’t really remember learning to speak English either; it came after Spanish, but not much after and it was easy to absorb because my mind was a sponge and that’s what sponges do.

As I got older, my schooling was in English then I would come home to a world spoken in Spanish. Time passed and my world changed. The Spanish in my life shrank as English became more of my day to day language.

Now I am a mother of two girls married to a man that is not Latino and does not speak Spanish. Before we had children our home was filled with English sounds only.

The only access my daughters have to Spanish on a daily basis is me. It is up to me to teach them the language I first learned to speak and it is HARD. It’s hard when I’m the only one teaching.

Still, I will keep speaking to them in Spanish even though at times it is discouraging, even though my 3-year-old almost always answers me in English. Why? Because I want them to have all the gifts that knowing more than one language has given me. I want them to be able to think in more than one language, to understand in more than one language, to love in more than one language.

All languages are beautiful and I will gift my daughters with the languages I have to give.

___________________

Thank you Mami for this lovely post. I love Mami and I am sure you will too by clicking here

Unknown Mami

.*****

Question: Do you and your family speak any other language apart from English? 

P.S: to learn more about bringing up a multi-lingual baby read here.

9 Dec 2011

Week 3 – I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing

Dear sweet Berry pie,
my heart is beating fast from the emotions as I write this entry.
We made it to three weeks, oh gosh I am so proud of us. When the midwife came for your weekly check up she informed us that you’ve gained your birth weight 8 lb 3oz plus 4oz. This made me so happy because it means you are feeding well and I am producing enough milk and you don’t need formula.
I read somewhere that breastfeeding is like learning to dance with your baby and by the fact that we managed to get through three weeks means a lot. My nipples are not sensitive when you latch. Milk is coming beautifully and it tastes quite nice {yes i licked off some that fell on my arms}. I am so SOO proud of us.
Sometimes after the night feed we both fall asleep. When I wake up in the morning I watch you sleep in disbelieve to have such a lovely daughter like you. I like the way you stretch so much. The other morning I woke few seconds before you (my body is so attuned to yours) and after watching your mesmerising sleep I found myself mentally singing I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing…
Dont Wanna Miss A Thing by Aerosmith on Grooveshark
The whole week the song kept popping into my head when I caught myself watching you sleep and I couldn’t stop photographing you.   sleepingberry You look so beautiful and serene. The lyrics are like written for how I am feeling every moment since you entered into our lives:
I could lie awake just to hear you breathing
Watch you smile while you are sleeping
While you're far away dreaming
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender
And just stay here lost in this moment forever
Well, every moment spent with you
Is a moment I treasure
[Chorus]
I don't wanna close my eyes
I don't wanna fall asleep
'Cause I'd miss you, babe
And I don't wanna miss a thing'Cause even when I dream of you
The sweetest dream will never do
I'd still miss you, babe
And I don't wanna miss a thing
I really want to capture each moment. Wow, I don’t know how to describe the feelings you bring to me. And I know it is a cliche but they are right when they say it impossible to describe the love a mother feels for her child. I LOVE YOU so much and don’t want to miss a thing about each moment I spend with you. theembrace Thank you so much for choosing me as your mother.
All my love, all my love, all my love,
Mummy TOI.

7 Dec 2011

My Memories {a giveaway}

yes, you read right {{{a giveaway}}}!!!

What a great way to celebrate my 500 followers by doing a GIVEAWAY?! mymemories Well, aren’t I so excited about this giveaway? I can’t stop saying giveaway.

Just to be my boring normal self I want to say it once more…

I have a great giveaway for one of my lovely ladies but first check this out…

48001259b64644956b61502417b    23047273b 61478514b

I know,  I can be VERY annoying boring sometimes. But I am SOOO excited to have this giveaway that I can’t resist showing more of my old Berry belly and new Miss AOI and her daddy. 37686062b {you can make your own cute collages}

Now that Christmas is approaching how fantastic to be able to make your own festivity cards. And MyMemories suite is there to help you.

I created this temporary card as sample50301689b (ugly card! it took me 5secs to put picture up and write the message., i can do better!!!)

I am happy to team up with MyMemories, an award winning digital scrapbook software, to bring one of my lucky ladies. It is rated #1 by Amazon and TopTen Reviews. This software is extremely easy and fun to use to create beautiful digital scrapbooks, photobooks, cards, calendars, videos and gifts without having to buy expensive and complicated software programs. 

I used to work in a photo-shop and I always wanted to be able to print my own cards without having to go out of my house; now I have all the tools to create my own  and one of you can win the same software.  

{{{international giveaway}}}!!!

comment to enter {leave your email, please}:

+ become an official follower of my blog

++ visit MyMemories and leave a comment below letting me know your favourite digital paper pack or layout

+++ ENTER, ENTER ENTER {because this is my best giveaway to date :)!!!}

additional entries:

{separate comments!}

- like them on facebook **they are giving away an iPad when their FB page gets to 10,000 fans**

- follow them on twitter

- visit their blog and follow if you like

- follow me @TOItweets if you want

That is it!

You have until Saturday December 17th to enter. I will draw a winner randomly and announce the results on Sunday 18th December.

5 Dec 2011

Guest Post: Keya from The Daily Life of Me

Raising Mixed Race Babies

Being a new mother is one of the most exciting times in a woman's life. I remember when I held my son for the first time, I was so thrilled and proud to be a mommy. I was also very nervous. I had all sorts of questions in my head. Will I be a good mother? Will I be able to take care of my child? But low and behold everything went smoothly.

One of the things I never let become an issue in our house was race. We have an interracial family. I am African American and Jamaican. My husband is White American, but he calls himself a mutt because he is of Welsh, German, English, Irish, Dutch, & French decent.

Many wondered how our children would look.

Most say that my first son looks like me.011 When I was pregnant with my second son I was so convinced he would look just like my first son. I was wrong. He ended up with blond hair & blue eyes, just like my husband. 010

Genes are so tricky.

We have never had any issues as an interracial family. I hope that means that times are changing and people are looking past their differences and hopefully race isn't such a big issue as it used to be. I did have one lady say to me "he's so white," referring to my second son. I was in shock and didn't have a response. I guess everyone has in their mind what a biracial child should look like. Not too much like one race but a perfect blend of both. It doesn't always turn out like that and that's okay.

One day I asked my oldest "what colour is mommy," he said "brown."
"What colour are you," he said "brown."
"What colour is daddy," he said "white."
"What colour is your brother" he said "white."
I never knew what my 3 year old thought about colour. Apparently it doesn't phase him. That's a good thing.
It's nice to know at 3 years old everything is just plain and simple. I just hope as my kids get older race will stay simple.

In our house we are just family despite our different skin tones. We care about each other deeply.

Our goal is to raise children who go on to be successful in life and accomplish their goals no matter how they look. We want our children to appreciate their diverse background and let it be a plus.

_________

thank you so much Keya for this lovely post. the last paragraph sum up how both hubby and I want to raise Miss AOI.

You can find Keya at The Daily Life of Me! She also runs a group on yahoo for Black Women With Biracial Child, I was part of the group even before I was pregnant.

2 Dec 2011

Week 2

Dear sweet AOI,
I can’t let the week pass without a quick entry for you. You are doing well, apart from the baby pimples on your face. But thanks to my blog ladies, I am not worried because it is normal.
This week we did so much. Daddy loves to be close to use and now that you are not in my belly he can experience how it felt to have you in the womb. carrier He enjoys carrying you in one of the carriers we received from a work colleague. You love to be carried, maybe it reminds you of the cosiness of my belly just two weeks ago.
We went to buy booster juice and then we went to the library and borrowed some books we can read to you. Daddy is reading Treasure Island and I Three Views of Crystal Water.
Most times he plays the piano to youpiano You listen to the music with such attention and calmness.
Wednesday he went to work for the day and we both missed him a lot. You behaved so well. You had your feed and then slept. I managed to have a shower while you were soundly asleep. And take some pictures as I used to do couple of weeks ago with you in the belly.AOIAfter a good meal you love to sleep and I hope you are like your auntie N, who cherishes her sleep so much.
I love watching you stretch your muscles in your sleep and clicking your tongue together. It is so much fun to observe. You are like a little miniature of daddy and I – the cutest vision. I absorb in all the little details about you and I wish you stay like that. But obviously I want to see you grow healthy and strong, so keep up the great work. Eat well and sleep well.
Having you close by my heart as much as possible is all that fills my heart with join and I hope it fills your heart too.embrace
We are still two hearts that beat at one.
I love you so much you can’t imagine the strength of that love.
Always my #1 love,
Mummy TOI.
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