30 Nov 2012

Raising Givers - A Guest Post + Giveaway

Guest post by Darryl Nyznyk, author of Mary’s Son: A Tale of Christmas.
(Take a look below for contest details!)

________________________

My wife and I raised four daughters through school day traumas of isolation,
rejection, ostracism and dissociation, and bullying. While none of our daughters
were on the receiving end of all of these hateful practices, each experienced one or more personally, and each saw them foisted upon others. It was our duty, as parents, to guide them through these experiences by teaching them how to deal with the pain, and by helping rebuild their shattered psyches after each experience.

We found it was just as important to instil in them empathy and compassion for others suffering through the same trauma. We wanted to teach them to look less at the pain they were experiencing and more to the pain of others who they could help. Our belief was that our kids needed to learn how to give of their compassion, understanding, and love in their every day lives. Here are five basic concepts that helped us in our efforts.

1. You are a good person. One of the most important elements in a giving
heart is a sense of self worth that enables a person to step away from his own
problems and focus on the issues of others. To be true givers, children need to have confidence in themselves. Build their self-esteem, but not because they might be the “prettiest,” “smartest,” “best athlete,” or “most popular,” but rather because they are empathetic and compassionate people. If they cry when a person they know dies or they understand the pain when a friend gets hurt or they help a neighbour in need, it is these feelings and actions that make them good people.

2. Discuss issues of evil and sadness in the world. Getting children to sit and
carry on a discussion about the issues of the day can be virtually impossible. With homework, music lessons, sports practice, electronics, friends, and every other conceivable interference, it’s difficult to find a moment to have a conversation other than “hi.” But it’s vital that we do. It is our task to find those moments where we can say “Did you hear about …?” and “Do you think there’s anything we could (or should) do about …?” We need to ask them about any sad or evil events of which they are aware, and how they feel “we” should react. Despite the hesitation our child may express at first, the truth is that once we get them talking, we have moved them away from focus on self and to thoughts about the plight of others – an essential step in imprinting the concept of giving onto their hearts.

3. Think of someone at school who needs help. Encourage your child to think
of someone at school who might need empathy, compassion, or simply a friend. Suggest they look beyond their immediate circle of friends and identify someone who might be viewed as a “geek,” a “nerd,” an outcast. Talk to your child about how that person must feel; try to get your child to try on that person’s shoes so that they
understand how painful that person’s experiences are. Then discuss how your child might be able to help, even with something as simple as a kind word.

4. Talk to friends at school about those in need. Encourage your children to step
up in their peer groups to convince friends not to judge those previously deemed below them. “I heard his parents can’t afford to get him good soccer shoes; maybe we can figure out a way to help. He’s a pretty good player.” “Her mother’s been really sick. Maybe we should ask her to join us and see if she needs help.” Or just plain, “She looks weird, I know, but she’s a nice person, just a little shy.”

The point here is that our child steps up and gives herself to the pain and suffering of those ridiculed by her group. Peer pressure makes this one very difficult, and a parent’s discussion about the proper approach to the peers is essential. It doesn’t require that your child take over the leadership role from the “king” or “queen” of the group, but rather that she use her subtle influence and intelligence to move the leader to compassion that the others will follow.

5. Stand up against injustice even if alone. Our children know right from wrong
because we have taught and continue to teach them the difference. When they see bullying or other injustice in their schools or other social settings, they must step up to protect the weak and bullied.

The most difficult thing for the normal “non-leader” child is to become visible by
asserting themselves. It’s difficult because by standing up within the group or
outside the group, the child is challenging leadership and risks becoming the butt of jokes or the one who is bullied. This is why parental guidance in the art of subtlety within the group, and of strength of purpose outside the group is essential. In conjunction with that guidance, our child’s knowledge that we, as parents, have his back when he steps up, gives him the strength he needs to stand tall.

Teaching our children to give is the essence of our duty as parents. It’s an enormous undertaking, yet what better gift can we give our world than a child who “gives” herself in the fight against injustice, cruelty and inequality?

About the author

Darryl Nyznyk is a full-time storyteller and father of four grown daughters. As a
parent, he began to take a hard look at the world around him - one of extreme political and social divisiveness – and as an author, he wanted to share the message with the world that he had been telling in his own home for years....a message of hope, love and faith. He is the author of Mary’s Son: A Tale of Christmas.

Enter the Mary’s Son: A Tale of Christmas contest!
Readers: Comment on the post with what your favourite charity is and why. Darryl will choose a grand prize winner and match a donation of up to $100. The winner will also receive a signed copy of Mary’s Son.

Cloth Diaper My Experience: Part 3

i’ve been cloth diapering for a year now and i find it difficult to write about the last instalment of the cloth diaper experience. the one thing that i do most… the wash.

so i wash the diapers every other day and put them on a drying line and air dry over night. for the TWO IN ONE (2in1) and pockets diapers i can have them dry over couple of hours. 

before storing

i lightly shake any excess feces into the toilet, or using a bit of toilet paper, then i simply throw the diaper into the diaper pail. awhile back, when AOI was still drinking only breastmilk we would rinse the soil diaper.

how do i store the wet and soiled diapers

wet pail

i used to place the wet and soiled cloth diapers in a pail filled with water. it was good to prevent stains from setting. on the day of wash i would just pour everything into the washing machine. the only down side was the smell and the weight {heavy to carry from upstairs all the way to the basement} so i stopped.

i recently read that, apart from odour, this method has lost much of its popularity due to the potential messiness, and potential drowning hazard present by having a pail full of water in the vicinity of children.

dry pail

i place the wet and soiled in a waterproof diaper bags. unlike the wet pail method this one doesn’t stink the place and it is easy to carry down to the basement to do the laundry.

washing

detergent

PB307992i use Country Save {$8 CAD} because it’s fragrance, dye and additive free which is best for baby's skin.

i found out from diaperjungle that:

…children can develop severe allergies to coconut and citrus based products. These two items are often found in laundry detergents. Allergies to anything can develop at virtually any time. Changing your laundry detergent is one of the most simple changes you can make to start trying to figure out what is causing your child's reaction. Allergies can be aggressive in some cases, so don't waste time thinking your child might recover without intervention. To help you weed through a rash or possible allergic reaction in your child consider these: your detergent, possible teething, new foods in your child's diet, clothing materials they come into contact with, and how well your detergent is being rinsed from your child's diapers. Don't forget the amazing cleaning power of adding baking soda to your wash cycle and distilled white vinegar to your rinse cycle. Not only are they highly effective, but they are also cheap!
It is best to avoid detergents with whitening enzymes. These enzymes can actually attack baby's sensitive skin and cause horrible, blistering rashes! You should also avoid washing cloth diapers with soap products since repeated washing with soap creates a waxy build-up that reduces the absorbency of an material.

as i mentioned above, i wash the cloth diapers every other day. i pile about a dozen diapers at a time. i fasten all velcro tabs to avoid diaper chains. for detergent i used about 1/4 of the measuring cup {refer to Country Save laundry detergent measuring cup – big as a large egg}. PB307994

once the diapers are in the washing machine i set to large water, hot wash/cold rinse circle. normally after the wash, the diapers smell fresh and clean with no hint of urine, feces or other unpleasant odours. once in a while i do an extra rinse to help eliminate odours caused from a build-up of detergent.

i line dry them. while drying i leave them over our floor heating. sometimes when i need diapers quickly i put them in the dryer at low heat.

cloth diapers and summer are best friends because i can line dry in the summer breeze. also the sun removes tough stains leaving the diapers sparkling clean as if new.

i believe we are not spending a lot on electricity usage because i line dry them 95% of the time. research shows that line drying cloth diapers extend their life, especially All-In-Ones {AIOs} and covers.

things to avoid

  • Chlorine Bleach {will eat at the fibers}
  • Fabric Softener {leaves a water-repelling residue on the diapers, making them less absorbent and useless in the very purpose that they serve}
  • washing together with your normal laundry {will stain and there is a potential detergent build-ups}
  • leaving the washed diapers in the washing machine over nice {will stink and you’ll have to do another wash to get rid of the stink}

note: i really enjoy using cloth diapers, hubby loves it too and AOI looks great with her colourful and fun diapers. i haven’t bought a disposable diapers since September.

 

28 Nov 2012

It’s Time To Be Bold…

when something good comes onto the blog-sphere, one must admit it... Becky’s Women Connect '12 is such a great link-up.  i love projects that helps inspire and connect with other women, that’s why i started She Rocks… check it out and submit an inspiring story.

so the incredible Becky at FromMrstoMama came up with the Women Connect project, which she launched yesterday. the aim of the project is to connect with other women who has similar life journey as ours by just writing and pouring our hearts out. i love thoughtful link ups so i was over the moon to just write…

________________

lately I’ve been thinking about the path i want to follow as we approach 2013. i wasn’t going to share any thought on that until the beginning of the year but they are signs in my everyday life that urge me to share.

come 2013 i want TO BE BOLD, i want to live my life as if it’s my last. i started to have that need few months ago when i thought i was having internal bleeding, turns out Aunty Flo is making her appearance again after nearly two years absence due to pregnancy.

so i thought why wait until ‘tomorrow’ to share  my life story when i can share today? you may ask why don’t you already share your life? i do and most of you know bit and pieces about my life and my thoughts. yet, every time i sit in front of the screen i feel scared to push myself to share even more, to share the things that has shaped my life thus far in this journey.

i want be raw, i want to share my life experience but fear keeps them at bay

when i started blogging on this platform 3 years on Christmas day, i didn’t care about comments but i also set the record straight, i was keeping my identity and family’s identity private. i just wanted a platform on which to share my chaotic mind as i secretly planned my journey towards motherhood. since then i’ve given birth to the most adorable little girl i could ever dream having and every day i thank Almighty for the blessing she keeps sending onto our family.amoredimammapapa

i feel the time is ripe to be BOLD, to push myself out of my comfort zoneselfportrait

like everyone, i have a calling in this life. i pray each day to have the answer and God is pointing me there. i feel like my life purpose is to share my journey and encourage other people to do so. the only way to tell my story is to be bold and i feel that i don’t need to wait until 2013 to put it into action… 

 

 

you read about my journey to my daughter, my journey from UK to Canada, you will read about my journey to baby #2, but more than ever i will share the journey that took me to this point in my life; the time is right to free myself and if people want to judge me instead of living their own life it’s their own loss.

i don’t mind my poor english, i don’t care about how many comments i have at the end of the day… all i care from now on is to set aside fear, believe in myself, trust in God, know that my penny is worth more than all the gold in this world and be bold.AOIfirstcanoe

yes, i want to share our everyday life but i also want to be able to look back in 10 or more years time and know that whatever or however i lived my life it didn’t drizzle into air, but it made a better change for the future generation. walkinginsnow

so i want to use my blog to share my life for a good purpose.

questions: are you living your life purpose? does your blog help that purposeful life?

26 Nov 2012

Guest Post + Giveaway

today i have Nicole Fonovich, co-creator of the “Luca Lashes” app/eBook Series taking over my blog and to make her appearance on my blog even sweeter she offering a fun Luca Lashes contest!

read on to find out more

_____________________

Taking your child to the doctor? Five tips to help them say “Ah” with
confidence.

Winter is on its way and everyone knows what that means. Not skiing, not hot
chocolate, not kissing under the mistletoe. Colder temps bring cold and flu season, sick kids and doctor’s offices. (Cue sniffles and sneezing.) Any self-preserving individual will avoid sick people like the plague. But if you’re the parent of a young child you might not have a choice. Here are five life-changing tips for bringing your sick child to the doctor’s office and surviving the sniffle season ahead.

1. Avoid it at all costs

Crying babies, snotty noses, heat-seeking germ missiles that love to embed
themselves inside busy working mothers. These are all the things that await you at the doctor’s office. So if you can avoid it, do. The most efficient way is to have your child immunized. This requires some pre-emptive planning. Go early, the sooner the better. That way you can avoid all the mayhem of bringing a sick child to a doctor’s office full of other sick kids.

2. Choose wisely

When it comes to sticking sharp things into your child’s skin, the friendlier the
better. Don’t just settle for the first paediatrician that accepts your health insurance. Look for a doctor who works well with your child’s personality. Ideally it is someone who is great at distractions. “Dear sick little baby, here is a cute, fuzzy little bear.”
The needle will be in and out before your baby knows what hit her. Be picky when it comes to your child’s doctor. You’re the one who will end up paying in the car ride home.

3. When all else fails…play doctor!

So, you’ve done your best. You got your child immunized; you disinfected every
surface in your house; you even kept her away from the coughing kid at the
playground. But, she still came down with the flu. What's worse than a sick, irritable kid? A sick kid who is terrified of the doctor. You have no choice. She’s spiked a fever and it’s not coming down. Before you drag baby to the doctor, prepare her for what to expect. Buy a toy doctor kit with things like a stethoscope, shot dispenser, and a fake plastic hammer. She will become familiar with the sites and sounds of the doctor and associate them with fun rather than fear.

4. In the waiting room, play some more.

Waiting rooms are germy places, and the last thing you want is to get infected
yourself or to make your child even sicker. This is where your handy dandy iPad
comes in use. It can provide great entertainment and distraction without having to share any germs.

5. Take control for your baby.

Be a model for your child. Project confidence, not fear when at the doctor. Make sure to ask plenty of questions and get all the answers you need. Bring a pen and paper, take notes, and be inquisitive. This helps your child see the doctor as a resource for help and information. There’s no need for nervousness here.

With these tips you can turn a potentially dreadful experience into a lot of fun
for your child (and yourself), one that they will be eager to repeat in the future.
Regular doctor’s visits will be a piece of cake after this, allowing children to enjoy an important part of a lifetime of health benefits.

Nicole and Damir Fonovich are co-authors of Luca Lashes Visits the Doctor,
available at all app/ebook marketplaces. For more helpful suggestions, visit
the Luca Lashes YouTube Channel and l
ucalashes.com

How to enter the Luca Lashes contest?

simple!

just comment in the comment box with your most interesting story of taking your kid(s) to the doctor and you’ll be entered to win a gift pack complete with a toy doctor kit, fun bandaids and a $20 Baskin Robbins gift card for use after their next appointment!

25 Nov 2012

12 months + 7days: I Love You

Dear AOI,
last Sunday we celebrated 12 months since your birth. today you are seven days on top of those 12 months.
i still can’t believe how fast the year went by so fast. it really feels like yesterday when your slippery body made her debut one snowy November evening {18th November 2011, 8:32pm} it felt so natural to fall in love with you. The moment i set my eyes on your sweet face my heart melted deeply  in love with you. Since that moment I'm in love each day even when you are frustrated and slap or don't want to sleep unless I hold you on my tired shoulders.
i love you so much it beautifully hurt.
i love everything thing about you. your faces, your hands, your voice, your strength, your mind… Oh, and I love your personality.
Your sense of humour is infectious. I don't know how to describe it… I laugh when I see you, and smile more from the blessing i feel when you waddle your tiny self up and down the house. You are such a busy body. Sometimes you try to sneak past me because you are trying your best to hide something you know you can't have. In those occasions you laugh, then I can't resist your belly laugh. Gosh, I love those moments. I pray you always keep your sense of humour
sometimes you lift things up and when your granny (my mummy) was here she was worried that i let you lift things up, but i can’t stop you from discovering your surroundings and i think you’re able to lift only things your strength allows you to. also you don’t let other children push you around.
i love how you are kind to other children. i’ve noticed how you are able to share your toys with other children. you don’t pull things out of other children’s hands, maybe you are still young to do than but i hope you will learn to ask to play with toys as you grow older.
there is a little girl, C, i would love you to have as bff. you are just 6 days older than her {yesterday was her birthday}. I already like her mother and we have  playdates and also attend the same indoor playgroup.  Daddy was saying that he can imagine you one day encouraging C playground. I love to think that you like to take care of people. Always be compassionate and kind.
My mummy says you have the same strong personality as i, i'm so flattered and feel blessed because i love my personality. She was telling a story about how i used to defend my elder sister when the children used to bully her. she said i would go to the children who made her cry and would smack them back because they hurt my sister. this anecdote makes me crave for the moment i will feel read to start trying for a sibling for you.
i can feel you are going to be the best sister ever and love your sibling so much. though sometimes you shy away, you are a people person.
i love to watch you play alone in your playpen or around the house.AOIplaypenone day I was going through your closet when you saw dancing Elmo standing on the shelf and you exclaimed "Momo". Initially i thought you were saying mo' your version of more. but you were looking up and insisting with Momo! So i looked to find Elmo looking down at us, since then you like dancing to the chicken song by Elmo. But you still love, LOVE watching Elmo and India Irie sing ABC, that clip always brings a smile even when you are cross with something
couple weeks ago i decided to teach you how to climb on and off the stairs because you started following me up the stair. AOIstairsyou picked up the mechanism very quickly. i still don't let you up or down without having either daddy and i with you.
another thing you picked up quickly was answering to the questions "How old are you?" or in italian "Quanti anni hai?" on the morning you turned one, before going downstairs, i saw daddy teaching you how to answer to that question, lift index finger to say you’re 1. so now, when we ask either of those questions or a question that sounds like “how” or “quant’” you lift your index to show us you're 1. maybe you don’t connect the meaning but it’s so sweet to see your enthusiasm.
you’re like sponge near water, you are picking up words so fast we have to be careful what we say and watch in front of you, i just love your beautiful mind
one evening you made your father's day when he came home to the lovely sound of your voice saying "Daddee, Daddee." while welcoming him at the door. oh, gosh, that’s so sweet to experience. you come running to me the evenings when i return from my italian tutoring. i love to see the smile on your face.
you are always so sweet but sometimes you are such a mischievous little girl and you don’t listen to me when i tell you to stop doing something that you oughtn’t to. for instance i don’t like it when you go through the kitchen drawers and empty half of its content onto the floor. that’s such a work load for both, i look at it as your dedicated way of helping me stay active. another thing you do when you are in your mischievous state is taking clothes off the drying line and using it to clean the floor. you make me  smile. right now you are allowed to be this mischievous. in fact you have time until you are 24 months old then you won’t be allowed no more.
throughout the day you are busy, playing or keeping me on my toes. you cool down only when you are soundly asleepAOIsleepyi love watching you sleep. being a mum is a hard work but it’s made easy with you. you are a fun girl to have as a daughter. I LOVE YOU so much, i pray you’ll always love me because you are my everything.
always mummy

22 Nov 2012

Blog Like a Pro

Have you wondered how some bloggers get those beautifully edited pictures, all watermarked and colour popped, big as their blog or careful of typos?

I asked myself the same question until i found about Windows Live Writer.

Source: Google.ca via TOI on Pinterest

 

This is my attempt to share with you all how Window Live Writer made my blogging experience easy with a flair of professional.

This software is FREE and it’s like writing on your window program with the only difference that you can publish to which ever blog you manage. On the same software you can edit your pictures without needing any photo editing software. What really made me download the free program was the fact that I can increase the size of my pictures without losing the quality.

I hope you will try the software and let me know how you like it.

Until then keep safe and enjoy the rest of the week

 

19 Nov 2012

Our Weekend: Colourful Balloons + Pink Birthday Cake

hope your weeks started with right foot.

i still have butterflies in my stomach {my heart is in my throat and is pulsing fast, those are the butterflies sensation} for how our weekend went.

where do i begin?

friday: i ordered the birthday cake the1cakeonce back home and AOI got up from her nap i decided to shoot her first birthday smash cake. it was fun experience. once i finish the shoot she wanted more cake so i let her wash herself with the messy cake.

that evening we went to pick my mother from the airport. it’s so nice of her to be here for AOI’s first birthday, she still feels bad for not being here when i was a new mum but i’m okay with that because i loved the bonding between hubby and i during the early days of AOI’s infancy.

saturday: stress kicked in because we went party food shopping and finally it hit hubby that the party was going to happen. he was worried that maybe nobody will turn up and we would just be buying things for nothing. also we were indecisive about party favour bags.

sunday morning:  we talked to one of my sisters in law who suggested we do party favour bags. so after church we stopped by homesense, dollarama and walmart to buy few items for the bag, flowers and cupcakes toppers.

we made a dash visit to the baby shower happened at hubby’s colleague’s house. we stayed for about an hour, just in time for a nibble, photos and gift unwrapping. it was such a great feeling because, as hosts mentioned, just last year we were the couple sitting there unwrapping baby gifts.

i was still setting the table when we had to welcome early party comers. anyway this is how the table turned outpartytableblur

the pictures are bit blurring and i’m so annoyed but thank goodness i managed to get few in focus {this the moment i wish a pro photographer was at disposition}

partytableindetails

AOI could take she was the center of the party, she was happy most of the time. she cried after we all sung happy birthday song. she was about to touch the flame of the candle when in a roar everyone said NO! i took her upstairs to comfort her and once she was back she was her happy self again. i believe child’s party is never the same without a little cry.

as parents we enjoyed the afternoon.

when people started pouring into our living room hubby was relieved and happy to see all the friends AOI and I are making thanks to the playgroup. initially he thought the only children coming were five children, all from his work colleagues, but in the end five more children, three the same age group as AOI, from the playgroup came at the party. i was so happy to have my own friends over. not friends acquired thanks to hubby but friends that only AOI and I have made.

our living room floor was an ocean of multi-coloured blanket and colourful toys to play withplayingkids

we were tight in the house but i love that atmosphere when it comes to parties. being in people’s faces allow the invitees to get to know each other fast, lol! we felt blessed to have everyone over to help us celebrate the first year of our precious girl.

happybirthdaywithout each one of them the party would have being full colour i it was. AOI loved it when everyone sung happy birthday. she clapped and grinned.birthdaygirlgrins

this weekend was the best of our weekends in our city. amoredimammapapaGod bless our angel and all the children/friends in her life.

18 Nov 2012

ONE Year Ago Tonight…

note1

around this time last year i was a new mother of about one hour, some minutes and some second...

my heart was beating fast not for the birth which happened few hours before but for the love for the little girl in the hands of two midwives and a doula turn photographer.

the midwives were checking and taking measurements of my wee tiny berry, AOI, i was laying on the bed excited. my new mummy mind alert, making sure every their turn and twist of that baby was carefully executed

the little girl, who just few minutes ago was in my womb now that my eyes were on her were never ever going to be away for too long, she is my angel. but in that moment she was in good care. AOI sucked her little thump {which were found out just when she was born}, her first baby cries were adorable, my heart stirred in my soul and my arms itched to have her there

after all the professional checks, the midwives gave me my daughter for the first important feed, or was it after i fed her… it doesn’t matter. all that matters is that a year ago today my daughter made her debut into this world and i fell hard in love, a love that no-body can condition.

i want to relive each moment and for that reason i am re-reading/re-living the birth story. for the very first time i want to share the link to the full unedited version published on thegreenparent.co.uk. enjoy and GOD BLESS.

Thank You all for being part of our life journey.

16 Nov 2012

I Can’t Wait Until Sunday 18th November

last night i felt like a kid on the night before the arrival of Christmas. i was thinking about the first birthday party for our daughter and how my mum will be here to celebrate with us, plus i was excited because i want her to see our city and our everyday life.

well, this morning i was over the moon… when i got downstairs i said “happy birthday!" that was a Freudian slip because what i really wanted to say was “Good morning.” i’m still feeling the butterflies dancing in my stomach.

i can’t believe it! in just two days our daughter,our lovely baby, our first born will turn one. gosh, i really, really can’t believe how time went by so fast. i know i’ve been saying this a lot with each monthly post but i think i’ll never stop saying that because time is flashing by far too fast for my liking.

as we all know babies don’t care about birthday parties but as a new mum all i want to do is to celebrate her and gives thanks to Almighty for looking after our little angel and allowing us to be her parents.

i also want the party for the purpose of pictures taking. one day when AOI is older and wants to see her first birthday pictures i can show her. i want to do this because i don’t have my own babyhood pictures but my mum just confirmed that my daddy was very much into celebrating our birthdays so we had birthday parties.

this is the first birthday party i’m personally planning for a little kid. thanks for pinterest, my organisational came to good use. today i ordered the birthday cake {in pink}

 

i hope they bake it if not, i have to do it myself and is not going to taste good {well, my mum is in town so she would do a great work}

today i took pictures of AOI’s first birthday smash cake and i tried the decoration i want for the party, i really can’t wait until Sunday 18th Smilefirstsmashcakecheck out that lovely garland my sister in law sent us all the way from Scotland. it came two days ago, just in time to celebrate AOI’s big 1! oh, i can’t wait for the party to happen. tomorrow we’ll go food shopping and pick up the yummy cake.

off to bed, night-night!

have a great weekend.

14 Nov 2012

Can She Play The Piano?

note: the following conversation happened few months ago but i want to share it because i feel like we are making great progress about our decisions as new parents

“i don’t know if she can play the piano properly.” he was talking to someone on skype when i walked into the living room

“who is it?” i mouthed

“my mum.” he mouthed back 

“you have to tell her she is capable of everything.” his mother responded. i had the broom in one hand, the mop in the other ready to tidy the house while my sleepy baby was wrapped to my back.

i silently agreed with her. my mother-in-law continued “she more or less does everything with her left hand, doesn’t she?.”

“oh she does everything with her hands. she holds things with both hands like this” he showed his mother on the skype how she uses her little palm amd right hand together, then he continued “but i question if she can play the piano.”

before his mother could respond i mouthed “yes. i showed you the video.”

“not like that, i mean not for fun. but properly” he whispered to me. few months ago i showed him a video of Ryan playing the piano. {for those who don’t know, Ryan is a handed man who blogs about life and doing things one handed at livingonehanded.com}

we don’t talk about AOI’s hand very often so i was taken aback. why are they talking about A’s hands now? is he worried about something. why can’t he talk to me? i thought as i paced the room, trying to not throw a fit. there is nothing wrong if he wants to talk to his mother, he is not worried, just chill would you. i thought again as i left the room to carry on with my cleaning.

then i remembered. i went back to his computer “can i show you something?”

I typed in Nicholas McCarthy

point made and taken.

i believe that all we need to do, as parents, is to encourage and support our daughter all the way in this walk of life. we shouldn’t put limits to her abilities. she will try everything and she might not do everything because that’s NOT WHAT SHE WANTS to do and NOT BECAUSE SHE CAN’T DO IT.

you can learn a little bit about McCarthy's journey with these videos

“there are lot of people born without limbs… you can either willow in self pity or you can completely spin it to your advantage…” Nicholas McCarthy

we need open conversation and i think talking gives way to learn and teach from each other.

12 Nov 2012

Our Weekend: Up and Down the Snowy Streets

good monday everyone. happy remembrance day

today is sunny and bright but fresh snow started falling on friday and it didn’t stop until sunday morning.

saturday we were supposed to go to a bilingual family {french} learning program at one of our local french school but maybe due to the snow it was closed. instead, we decided to go to Walmart to buy a maxi doormat because getting into the house is annoying when our shoes are covered in snow. we also looked for a new car seat for AOI. We wanted this Graco 3-in-1, infant/child/booster car seatgracocarseatbut was out of stock. on our way home we decided to stop by babies’R’us where we found this Evenflo, an infant/child car seat, hubby believes this is the best choice especially if we have another babyevenflowe met with some friends to have sushi lunch, AOI’s second time at the place, she had some rice, veggies and fruit.

after lunch hubby changed AOI’s old car seat with the new one, her seat is so posh compared to our car.

the exciting part about our day up and down the snowy streets was cleaning our car windows each time we returned from the shops because the snow was like white blanket coving our city and the car screens.

also during this weekend i started organising AOI’s room with the purpose to finish the whole by the end of the month, this is a sneak peekAOI'sroom

check out my manicure colours for the week {i’m participating in this fun manicure monday linkup hosted by lipglossandbinky and lalynns in rotation}.MANICure-Monday-Badgemondaymanicure1

due to the fact that i’m knocking my hands into something, i wanted a manicure that is very low, low maintenance

i used two colours: colorplay107 c431 by debby Deborah Group, Milano and 430 coralicious by Rimmel, London – simple yet fun Smile

__________________

p.s: AOI’s scratch looks better than last week, it 80% healed, there is only a little white scar which  hope it disappears before friday AOI

hope your weekend was exciting, have a great and fruitful week

8 Nov 2012

Walk Off The Earth

i had a completely different post in mind for this entry then hubby walked in the room and showed me this video, a song by Gotye, one of the coolest handsome singers i am digging these days. his beautiful song is creativily performed by five peeps and one guitar

imagine my joy... i love quirky, talented people... people i would LOVE to brush shoulders with. i then went on to watch more videos.
i am sold – they remind me of my love for the Animal Collective, an experimental psychedelic band!!!
 
i like them all but i’m really drawn to three people in the band: the big bearded guy{his position in the band is unique plus he plays the instruments i used to play when i was little}, the long hair, big voice guy and the tiny pretty face female singer.
they are in the process of making it big so join their music career journey.

6 Nov 2012

She Rocks: Fearless a memoir by Maimah S. Karmo

last month was breast cancer awareness month, but i believe that when it comes to a cause we can raise awareness each passing day. 

i have to be honest, i don’t know much about breast cancer, i’ve never taken the time to learn about it but right this second i am reading Fearless, a compelling memoir by Maimah S. Karmo, a breast cancer survivor and the founder of the Tigerlily Foundation, an organization that educates, empowers and advocates for young women affected by breast cancer.

when she appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show to tell her story, Oprah's advice was emphatic: Maimah must write a book.

So Maimah did. Fearless: Awakening to My Life's Purpose Through Breast Cancer (Brown Books, October 2012) is about her transformation, and how she learned that a challenge can be a gift.

i hope her memoir will enlighten me on breast cancer. i’m looking forward to share the details of the book with you once i’m done with it. in the mean time read the following empowering interview and stay inspired.

So Oprah’s advice was emphatic, but what really inspired you to write Fearless? Karmo_Cov_S1

When you face your mortality in any way, it puts you at a crossroads – you either become a victim of the thing or a victor of it.

You also have the opportunity, if you survive, to start over, re-create yourself and your life, because you realize that you’re the artist and at your desire, you can draw anything you want on that canvas. My breast cancer diagnosis devastated me, but even more so, I know that many other things had to fall apart at once, for me to be pushed to the point where I begged God to show me my purpose, because I had nowhere to look but up. I had fallen so far so fast.

After my surgery, my fiancé walked away, unable to cope with my diagnosis. As my hair fell out and I lost my eyebrows, eyelashes, I felt parts of myself falling away. As I saw my career came to a standstill, I had to move in with my mother and give up my home, saw the way some of my friends now looked at me and watched my body become weak and frail, I learned that so much of what I had prioritized in life was unimportant. I had, first of all put other people, my career and material things first, and me and my passion last. I realized that so much of my life was a façade. Most of all, I realized that if I died, I would not have given a fraction of what I wanted to the world, and no one would really know me and the big, crazy love that I’d kept hidden so deeply inside, lest I be judged by others in some way for being too open with my heart.

Losing “everything” that wasn’t important showed me that I had everything to lose by not showing up. I began to live my life by giving all that I had away – my time, my love, my passion – to help others, through my organization, Tigerlily Foundation, and as I gave, God gave me more in return than I ever imagined. He gave me time with my daughter, blessed me with the ability to service others through my “work”, which isn’t really work to me, he gave me joy, faith, quadrupled all that I lost, and most of all, he gave me passion, and he restored me to the person I had been seeking all along. I also learned that life is not about wanting to take for oneself and garnering things, but about the moments we can commune with, affect and empower others.

Has writing Fearless changed you in anyway?

Yes, it freed me and helped me to heal. So many times, we live our lives hiding a part of who we are, and afraid to show the world all of ourselves. Writing this book allowed me to really see myself in entirety for the first time and stop and take a look at things that I needed to see, to face and to heal from. It also helped me to really appreciate myself so much more. Often times, we just go about our lives, not really seeing what we do and how we matter. I have often been hard on myself, as a child and then coming here as a refugee, I always had this drive to succeed, that never allowed me to just sit back and see what I had accomplished. Writing this book allowed me to love the little girl and woman I was and in many ways, have compassion for her and reflect that love and compassion onto myself, and others; it will allow me to give my daughter the gift of taking it easy on herself and hopefully, enable her and other young women to have more self love and resolve, knowing that our life is in the journey and not to be so much lived focused on the destination. I also think that particularly as it pertains to bullying or insecurity, we can be our own worst critics. Writing Fearless allowed me to delve deeper into myself and I came out of it with more self love, confidence and freedom. I know now, that “this is me”, and I love who I am. It allowed me to heal from a broken relationship that was emotionally not healthy for me, and it helped me to learn many new truths about myself, most of all, as I mentioned earlier, to practice self love and care first, as the basis for any healthy relationship.

You founded the Tigerlily Foundation. Tell us about that.

In 2006, I was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. I was 32 years old and had a 3-year old daughter. When I had initially gone to the doctor, I had been told I was too young to have breast cancer. She performed an aspiration, which was unsuccessful, but she insisted that I come back in six months, during which time the lump doubled in size. I began experiencing overwhelming fatigue and night sweats. When I went back, she insisted on a re-aspiration. I pushed for a biopsy. I was diagnosed the next day, then found out I had aggressive breast cancer. While undergoing my second round of chemotherapy, I would ask why this was happening to me; I was so afraid of the future. I learned that approximately 11,000 young women get diagnosed and approximately 1,100 of those women die because they are misdiagnosed. I thought of how many other young women were going through what I was experiencing. Then, I stopped asking why and began thinking how, and then what could I do to make a difference, instead of looking to someone else to make a change. I prayed about it and the next day, the vision for Tigerlily Foundation was born, with a mission to educate, advocate for, empower and provide hands-on support to young women – before, during and after breast cancer. What started as a promise and a dream is now a nationwide organization reaching thousands. Tigerlily Foundation provides education and empowerment to young women and their families, we educate healthcare practitioners, provide peer support to newly diagnosed young women, send young women in treatment breast cancer buddy bags, meals, pay their bills, and provide support to young women living with Stage 4 breast cancer.

I founded the organization while working a full-time job, and as a single mother. I did it because if it were not for the grace of God and a mother who taught me to do my breast exams at thirteen, I wouldn’t be here. I’m humbled to do this work, because I believe that when one is blessed with life, in some way, we must be of service to others. There is really no excuse to not give back or find the time to help others. There is so much we each can do to impact someone else’s life. I founded Tigerlily because I promised God that I would create something that would make a difference in the landscape of young women and breast cancer, and I promised my daughter that I would live – and I meant not just physically, but be truly alive, thereby giving her a legacy that would never die – hopefully an example of the importance of creating the life you want, pursuing your dreams, embracing life, loving the moment and walking along a path because you believe in something deeply, even if you can’t clearly see the way ahead.

I do this work because young women are needlessly losing their lives to a disease that many of them are not even aware of. Breast cancer floored me, but I made a decision to pick myself up and be even better than before – and I want other young women who are diagnosed to know that they have somewhere to turn, for support, love, empowerment and services. I want them to know that they can survive and thrive. I want young women who have not been diagnosed to know that they have a right to life and that they need to exercise their personal power and become their own best advocates. I will do whatever it takes to ensure that every young woman is aware of the issue of young women and breast cancer and I’ve dedicated my life to ensure that this happens. It is important to be living examples to our children. When my daughter was six, she woke me up one morning and asked me what she could do to “help the women too”. She asked me if she could have a fundraiser. The week she started first grade, she began planning, along with several of her friends to have her first fundraiser. In December of this year, she is holding a 100 person event at a local hotel. At six years old, she already knew she could make a difference. Imagine what the world would be like if little children grew up all wanting their lives to matter and wanting to give more than to get. That would be a wonderful thing. I hope to give this gift to others through my work.

You've connected with some amazing, inspirational women along your journey. What have you learned from them?

I have learned, as one of them said, “to eat life with a big spoon”. Life is so short, and we are so powerful. The women who make a difference don’t live scared – they show up and say what’s on their minds. They are passionate, purposeful, have faith and an amazing personal strength that comes from a sense of knowing oneself. They live with their heads held high and are never victims of this or that, but tend to see life with the glass half full, learning from mistakes, living with grace and knowing that their actions reverberate on a larger scale.

What was connecting with Oprah like? (Everyone always wants to know!)

She was amazing. She is a wonderful host – compassionate, kind and warm. You almost forget she is there, you feel like you’ve known her forever and that you’ve sat on that couch before with her in her living room. She has a way of focusing on each person and making them feel special. She was amazing. I love her even more after meeting her. She is 100% the real deal and is doing so much to help so many.

What's the one thing you'd want someone recently diagnosed with breast cancer to know immediately?

That being diagnosed with breast cancer is not a death sentence; and that you are not alone. Those two things are the most fearful feelings. There are so many women, more than 250,000 diagnosed annually, who survive and thrive after breast cancer. That means that you have thousands of other women who have walked the path before you and who can support, empower and inspire you. What shifted me was the knowledge that I was in charge, not breast cancer or anything else. Breast cancer sucks, but the reality of life is that we all have to go sometime – from breast cancer or something else. What breast cancer did for me was put my life in perspective. It gave me a wake-up call, and helped me to see that I was and we are all here temporarily. So I needed to own my life and find my purpose, so that I would live the rest of my life with meaning. With this in mind, I focused my energy and fears into making my life count – that is what we all want at the end of the day to make a difference, love a lot and life like there is no tomorrow. What was interesting is that helping others healed me in so many ways. It taught me compassion and gave me more wonderful friends than I could have imagined.

ladies, doesn’t Maimah rock? her words are so inspiring.

if you have any question for her please leave a comment below. the book review with come soon. 

5 Nov 2012

Our Weekend: Snow Wonderland

snowwonderlandwalkinginsnowAOIinsnowwalkinsnowAOIsled

no church. just chillaxing and walking about in the soft-white snow. AOI warmly tugged in a sled, mummy warm lady in red and daddy warm gentleman in blue.

just before bedtime AOI fell off daddy’s arms while he was outside throwing the rubbish away. she scratched her face, she cried but she’s fine apart from that horrible scratch…AOIscratchbowhich is there to remind us that we have to be extremely careful parents. daddy and i were feeling sooo bad due to the incident. we just hope it won’t leave a nasty scar.

hope your weekend was lovely without any incident.

Unknown Mami

have a great week Smile

 

2 Nov 2012

Points for November and Ramblings

Hello November.

OMG, just 60 days before the end of the year. Do you remember when you were young and around this time of year your class would set the task to cross off the days from the calendar until the beginning of the Christmas holidays? phew… i remember that so well...

So, i’m going to start crossing days off until the end of 2012. i’m looking forward to

  • Plan and celebrate AOI’s first birthday – 16days

these are some pins of food and decor i’m thinking about

Source: ontobaby.com via TOI on Pinterest

Source: ontobaby.com via TOI on Pinterest

Source: annies-eats.com via TOI on Pinterest

 

i’m still pinning away but you can check what i’ve got so far here

  • Write the last post about my Cloth Diapering Experience
  • Show AOI’s nursery decoration progression

with just three bullet points everything seems so simple and it feels like being at home is just a stroll on the sidewalk, but i have to add everyday life challenges, cooking, feeding, entertaining a baby {playgroups and home entertaining}, editing my novel, being an italian tutor and being a wife… the three points are great challenge

though it can be a challenge, being a stay at home woman {with all the activities listed above} is enjoyable. i mean, really, i like being at home with my baby and slowly I’m doing few things to bring a little very very little cash into the house, which makes me feel better with my conscience – i am so used to working at staying at home with bringing an income was making feel so bad about my status.

last month i posted an add on internet offering my knowledge of italian to help others improve theirs. it made me feel better and when two people replied my ego lifted. now twice a week i am going to tutor, then i have my writers’ group and then i have Pilates. as you can tell, i’m getting busy by the second.

i’m not complaining… i’m loving it.

when i go away for those few hours it feels good. but once i’m back home i LOVE doing my household duties as mother and wife.

yesterday on my way from the writers’ group i was scared. i held tighly to the stirring wheel for how thick the snow was falling, the window and screens were icy and it was hard to see anything from them. for precaution i drove 30-40km even on the highway. page

look, the snow is more than a feet high.

enough of rambling…

questions: are you looking forward to anything this month?

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