31 Mar 2013

Sunday Bloglovin' #2

HAPPY EASTER SUNDAY EVERYONE.
 
Now, let’s Sunday Bloglovin’ Hop begin.
 
only two things to do…
1. grab a badge to display on your blog {to help me spread the new Bloglovin’ Hope}
2. follow your host TOI on Bloglovin’
 
toibloglovinhop
 
Come July 1st Google Friend Connect will be in the blogging history books but, you can take your GFC to Bloglovin’ platform in just five steps.
 
Bloglovin’ it’s really an awesome way to keep up to date with my favourite blogs.
 
Every Sunday I will try to feature a new blogger that inspires me. It might be you or your BBF (best blogger friend), SO copy the badge and spread the news about this new Hop.
 
happy 

30 Mar 2013

Lover, You Should’ve Come Over by Jeff Buckley

buckeyI first heard his mesmerising voice in 1997, just few days after two locals spotted his lifeless body in the Mississippi River near a riverboat. Though I didn’t know much about him at the time, I was hit so hard that just a beautiful person was dead. I was sad I didn’t know his music before, maybe my love and prayers could have saved him my teenage self thought.
I love the suffering in his music that he beautifully narrate with his distinguishing range. Though his international career was short, I am glad he made his music available to the world because a legend lives on.
I normally listen to this song by lying down, letting his voice take me on the journey of the lover’s struggle.
Have a great weekend

29 Mar 2013

Portrait Of A Woman

poemwoman

As if we planned it, we are wearing similar colours in this portrait

In honour of March 8th Woman’s International Day, She Rocks Assignment #2 is dedicated to the WOMAN.

For this powerful assignment I went through my poetry achieve and retrieved a poem I wrote seven years ago {time really flies}.

I polished it a tiny bit to share it with the world. When it was time to put it together I went through my photos and found this one that speaks so much to me. Three generation of women. I titled the poem PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN because for generation woman is the vessel of humankind.

Until I became pregnant I didn’t feel like a real woman, I always felt awkward in my body of woman. During pregnancy I felt the glow and felt like a natural woman. It was also during that period that my mum and I bonded more. I love the complicity that can form among women and I would like to have a good relationship with my daughter and I believe the only way to achieve it is by living the example.

I appreciate my mother every time more and more and it’s all because I feel like a real woman.

I dedicate the words to every WOMAN on this planet and beyond.

HELP US REACH #1, one click a day

28 Mar 2013

#ProjectMilf: Week 8

Hello, hello my lovelies!

Week 8 of #ProjectMilf is all about Reviewing our progress. Looking at where we've come from and where we are coming. What we've learned about ourselves, our strength, our commitment to ourselves.

Every single time I feel like giving up on accomplishing my goals I thinking about my fellow MILFs and I press on. With the weekly updates I see that though sometimes I fall off the wagon, I always come up onto it and try my best to do better. I’ve completed the first edited version of my novel even before the deadline {29th March}. I am trying my best to be healthy and thinking wisely about using my small income to become people in need. I am feeling content in my life thanks to these little changes. I really I am happy Mrs Pancake and I came up with this #ProjectMilf because it’s keeping me accountable of my goals.

1projectmilfbadge2013review

Now the general update of Week 7

FITNESS/HEALTH

Last week’s challenge was to Motivate Someone , I tried to motivate my husband but he just let workload over take his mood so much. In the end I have to motivate myself alone and yesterday morning I got out of bed at 7:15am before AOI and kicked my own ass to Billy Blank’s workout video. 40 minutes later, I was sweating, tired and happy. While I was working out I had this on my mind eyes.

successquotes

Sometimes I want that body so bad that I am scared not to make it. Other times I just tell myself that maybe I should strive for that body after I have my last baby. Then again every little workout will help me to that body no matter what I decide. So I need to push through the 8 sets of leg kicks.

Still in the mood to motivate myself, last night I went to bed at a reasonable time, around 11pm. That was the first in ages. Woke up this morning and went to straight to do 40 minutes of combine yoga and Pilates.

I asked Erica @To The Sea to join this project because when it comes to fitness and health she is one of my inspirations. I can’t wait to see her here with us all.

I would like to encourage my readers to join me in #PROJECTMILF to inspire others!

FUND RAISING

I am so excited about this. Hubby is happy about it and he really wants us to help The Champ Progam(War Amps). So, after my contemplation I concluded that I am going to offer 60% of my blogging “income” to this cause and the PlanCanada.

NOVEL

Going to start writing the synopsis of my novel. I am so excited about this stage.

That’s me for week 7 update. It’s your turn!

Have yourself a great Week 9 of #ProjectMilf, looking forward to read our reviews of this venture!

27 Mar 2013

Teaching Tolerance

NOTE: I want to make my mission in raising awareness for people with differences: all kind of differences. I prayed for God’s help in finding my purpose in life and I believe He wants me to be an advocate for people who need help to stand up for themselves: bullied children and children with a difference. I didn’t know how to do it but slowly the answer came to me January 2013. Once a month I want to open my blog for posts that share parents thought on how they embrace their difference, how the teach their children to be tolerance towards everyone with a different… etc..different-is-awesome-small

{via}

________________

A guest post by Marcela De Vivo

viewer

Image courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Mommy?” My three-year old turned to me quizzically. “Why’re they staring?”

My ever-observant daughter had pointed out something I had noticed and endured for years, but had hoped that my children would never be subjected to it. Unfortunately, I knew that at some point they would be forced to acknowledge the unkindness of strangers.

Our eldest, Nathan, has cerebral palsy. When he was born he looked perfect. Big blue eyes framed with dark lashes. The most adorable little mouth. Ten fingers and ten toes and a healthy cry.

We noticed that his development was a little slow right around the year mark. And when the doctor came back with prognosis of cerebral palsy, I knew that we were in for hard times ahead. I Googled everything I could; read every book I could to prepare myself for endless rounds of therapy and tests, and for the physical, mental and emotional struggles of raising a child with a disability.

What I couldn’t prepare or I wasn’t prepared for the staring, intolerance, and uneducated comments. Some people were just genuinely curious, but afraid to ask questions or stare, so they would glance and then look away really quickly, like they were seeing something they weren’t supposed to look at. Others felt like they had a right to pass judgment on me and my child when they had no idea what was going on in our lives, what struggles we had dealt with.

When I had two more children, I knew at some point they would recognize that their older brother was different somehow and that other people would treat him differently and behave differently around him. I was determined, however, that they be more sensitive and accepting than the uneducated masses who treated my eldest like he was somehow contaminated instead of disabled.

I wasn’t worried about how they felt about their big brother; they adore him. But I wanted to make sure that they understood that all people, even the disabled ones, deserved to be treated with respect and kindness. Of course tolerance is a difficult subject to approach when my younger children are only three and two, respectively, but I do what I can. I lead by example and explain why I do the things I do, and answer any questions they have.

“You know your friend Amy? Her little brother James is in a wheelchair like Nathan, but they all got a cupcake at your birthday, right? We don’t exclude people just because they look different or act differently. It’s not good to judge people based on how they look. Because on the inside, we’re all the same.” viewer1Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Luckily for us, we live in a fairly diverse neighbourhood, so the kids are exposed to a variety of people. The more they see diversity, the less they seem to think someone who looks different than they do ARE different and somehow inferior. And because we have a strong group of parents who have children with disabilities who support each other, my younger two have been exposed to a group of people who are kind and loving, but don’t look like the rest of the mainstream.

I can only lead by example and hope that they follow, and understand the lesson I’m trying to teach them. If only other parents would do the same for their children, the world would be a kind, more accepting place and I wouldn’t have to answer Anne’s question as to why the world is staring.

________

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in the Los Angeles area. She has written everything from health & wellness, marketing, real estate, and technology. She currently works with special needs advocacy firm {www.csnlg.com} which has done great things for both her family and community.

26 Mar 2013

I Wanted Them Before I Found Out

firmoospecsYesterday, the little boy I tutor in Italian came to lesson wearing a pair of cool vintage looking glasses. He has such a cool sense of style. I thought, because the glasses he is wearing are similar to this one on Firmoo {the online eyewear shop}.

After lesson, I was talking to his mother when she asked me?

“How long have you been wearing glasses?”

“Since 1995… well, I found out I needed glasses when I went to secondary school but I wanted to wear them even before I found out. I was and I am still happy to wear them.” 

“Me too.” her son said.

If I wasn’t wearing glasses for the purpose to correct my myopia, I believe by now I would have bought a non-prescription frames to look intellectual anyway.Firmoogeeky

These days wearing glasses is cool, the geeky look is so IT. The truth is, depending on the frame a person chooses, a spectacle can upgrade your look to any fashion statement you want to claim. Sexy, girl next door, vintage, geeky or intellectual, you can be whoever by selecting a different styles of frames. The beauty about Firmoo is that they are affordable yet they have a great range of styles and prices to choose from. If they gave me that chance I could easily open a small shop in my house…

As I mentioned last month, I LOVE glasses. Due to this love, I couldn’t refuse another pair of glasses when Antonio from Firmoo contacted me to write an honest opinion about their products. I was also over the moon because I’ve seen some bloggers rocking their Firmoo eyewear and browsing the website I saw a pair of F-Designer frames I liked, they remind me of the expensive Oliver Peoples, I couldn’t afford even when I was working as an Optical assistant.

However, Antonio sent me a link of frames option to choose from and I selected these pairs. {I was too shy to ask him about the F-Designers}.

I received my new antiglare prescription plastic frame in a hard case, together with a screwdriver, two screws and micro-fiber lens cleaning cloth. I felt so spoilt. firmoodetails

I really love the geeky-intellectual look. I also like the translucent/purple/tortoiseshell  colour because it’s perfect for spring that will come to my part of the world sometime soon.

One little thing.

I am annoyed with myself because I wish I virtually "tried on" their glasses by uploading a photo of myself. I didn’t use the tool, for this reason my frames are a little loose on my face {next time I am definitely going to use it to get the perfect fit}.

The coolest thing? Firmoo offers a first pair FREE GLASSES program available to anyone worldwide! That’s how cool they are.

25 Mar 2013

Week 12: Getting to Know Daddy Again

Hello everyone. Hope your week 12 went well.

As you read my humble words, listen to this poetic music by Lucio Dalla, an Italian great songwriter. This is a poem in music, beautiful, beautiful… enjoy!

Caruso (originale) by Lucio Dalla on Grooveshark

This morning my daughter woke up before me and she started to poke my cheek while calling me by my earned name “Mammi, mammi, mammi!” She managed to wake me up after some attempts. I was so tired, but once up the tiredness vanished.

Yesterday was warm. We went to church, then food shopping. This last thing disrupted AOI’s nap routine. She couldn’t go back to sleep the whole afternoon, for this reason she went to bed at 7:30pm {unusual for her}. Hubby was happy to be back into our family weekend routine, AOI got used to him being part of our routine again.

For the rest, ours week was made of the usual routine with few things added. AOIdaddyreading

  • Monday we went swimming in the morning. Once back we baked cookies. I couldn’t tutor the little boy I am tutoring in Italian because I was too late in getting myself organise.
  • Tuesday morning we went to the French playgroup. The current host is going away because she’s found a new job as a director at a preschool. For this reason we did a potluck. AOI was tired but I didn’t allow her to sleep because getting out of the house is good for her mood later in the day. Most of time she was annoyed with the activities. She began to be interested again when the coordinator started to play the alphabet song {she selects the initials of all the children and then sings and gives them the letter to put back into the box of alphabet} and the parachute game {she blew more colourful balloons to the joy of the children}. At one point two mothers with their babies came into the room. AOI was so happy to see the babies. She makes my heart swell of pride when I see her with babies. She kneels at their level and whispers “Hello”… so sweet. I haven’t seen any toddler of just 16 months being fascinated by babies as much as my daughter is. She’s been like this for as long as I can remember. In fact her first word was baby. I really pray for a sibling for her, I am sure she will love her sibling very much.

AOI playgroup

In the evening we went to pick daddy from the airport. AOI goes to pick daddyShe was happy to see him but she wanted mummy more. When we got home he wanted to sooth AOI to sleep but his little girl didn’t want to cooperate because she was used to having me wrap her in a sling on my back. The rest of the week was hard for AOI to get used to daddy being part of our routine. She didn’t allow him to run her a bath, or sing her lullabies to sleep. She wanted mummy all the time and poor mummy was tired but she did her best.

  • Wednesday we didn’t do much, we didn’t have a play date with our friends
  • Thursday was playgroup.
  • Friday we went to the swimming pool again. AOI has made a new friend there, a little boy of five. It was funny to see her say “Ducky” and the little boy repeats “Ducky.” while jumping and AOI repeats what he does and laughs and it went on for some time until the little boy’s mum asked him to go. He started to cry but in the end they left happy after we said see you next week. In the evening we went to our church for dinner {we paid $20 dollars for a ham and vegetables meal}. AOI drunk so much she wet through her outfit. We didn’t take a change of cloth so we had to change her diaper and put her in her snowsuit, thank goodness we were going home already. 
  • Saturday, was the first weekend together as a family after long time. After two bad nights because maybe a toddle is teething again, we relaxed in the morning.

I was supposed to go to a writer’s workshop but couldn’t go because the past two days the weather have been very bad. Instead, while AOI was taking her late morning nap, I went to see my friend’s daughter who was acting in a play put together by her acting school.

I got back home just before AOI woke up to have her lunch. After lunch hubby suggested we go to the zoo {I didn’t want to go but in the end for the good of fresh air and being together with my family, I went to the zoo too}. AOI was so happy to see the bears. After the visit we stopped at the library for some minutes. Once back home AOI and daddy started to bond a little bit more. As I took some minutes for myself, daddy read books and played the guitar to AOI. For our bedtime routine she allowed him to run her a bath, dress her, sing her lullaby to sleep. She was asleep by 8:06pm. She woke up just once around 5am, but went back to sleep after a quick feed, in our bed. 

that’s how our week 12 went by.The Beetle Shack 

This is week 12’s iPhone photo dumpWeek 12 iPhone Photo Dump

Have a great week 13

HELP US REACH #1

24 Mar 2013

Sunday Bloglovin’ Hop #1

This is it.
 
Let’s Sunday Bloglovin’ Hop begin.
 
but the only two things are… you have grab a badge and follow your host TOI on Bloglovin’
 
toibloglovinhop
 
We all know that come July 1st Google Friend Connect will be in the blogging history books. But don’t fear a thing because, you can take your GFC to Bloglovin’ platform in just five steps.
 
I am loving Bloglovin’ because it’s an awesome way to keep up to date with my favourite blogs. When I open my page {on their website} I find all the posts of the bloggers I follow in one place as if my favourite magazines are at a rendezvous.
 
Every Sunday I will try to feature a new blogger that inspires me. It might be you or your BBF (best blogger friend), SO copy the badge and spread the news about this new Hop.
 
happy 

23 Mar 2013

Portrait of My Child #3

Week 9AOI yummy toes
AOI: to eat or not to eat yummy toes
Week 10AOI changes
AOI: she is changing so much. can’t believe that just over two years ago she was growing in my belly. now is walking, talking, pretend reading...
changes are bittersweet!
Week 11 PTM Week 11 - Play
AOI: playing in the park with a friend
Week 12playing as the giant
AOI: playing as a giant. this pictures makes me smile, because it captures her sense of humour – her bubbly personality is shining through
"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."
I want to capture precious moments this year, for this reason I am taking part in various photo projects.
Above are the portraits of March
52-portraits14
please take a second to vote for us, just click the link
HELP US REACH #1

22 Mar 2013

Announcements

  • Sunday I am starting a new blog hop dedicated to Bloglovin’. It’s a way to get to know more people and hopefully make great friends.toibloglovinhop

Hope you will stop by to link up your bloglovin’ address.

Contact me if you would like to co-host {msbabyplan @ gmail.com}

  • The She Rocks Assignment #2 is due March 29th. The theme is WOMAN. she rocks assign #2

I am looking forward to read your entries

21 Mar 2013

Bye-bye GFC/Welcome Bloglovin’

SO I am sure by now most of you bloggers out there are aware that come July 1st Google Friend Connect will close down.
But don’t worry because Bloglovin’ is going take over.bloglovinwidget_fashion
in just 5 clicks you can relocate all the blogs you follow into bloglovin’
1. Click on the Account section {top right of the screen}
2. Go on Settings
3. Click on Others
4. Click on Import Blogs
5. Choose the option "from Google  reader" and accept the conditions.
Simples! While you are there you can Follow my blog with Bloglovin too Smile

 

P.S:

Every Sunday, starting March 24th, you can link your Bloglovin' account to get more followers toibloglovinhop

#ProjectMilf: Week 7

Hello, hello… or shall I say CIAO in honour of Brandi’s great news.

So, last night I went to bed at a reasonable time, around 11pm. That was the first in ages.

The challenge for Week 7, which we will update next week, is Motivate Someone {if you have to motivate someone to join #projectmilf what would be your message? How do you encourage and motivate yourself? What do you say or do to meet your goals on a daily, weekly basis}.

This challenge is difficult, because sometimes I feel like when I try to motivate people my passion for the cause is mistaken for bossiness. But for #projectmilf I want to take challenges and carry them through. 

To encourage myself I live by inspirational quotes. To recruit a potential Motivating Inspiring Leading Females I would share these quotes

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

OPEN YOUR MIND, ARMS, AND HEART TO NEW THINGS AND PEOPLE, WE ARE UNITED IN OUR DIFFERENCES. ASK THE NEXT PERSON YOU SEE WHAT THEIR PASSION IS, AND SHARE YOUR INSPIRING DREAM WITH THEM…

LIFE IS SHORT. LIVE YOUR DREAM AND SHARE YOUR PASSION. 

I believe in #projectmilf because apart from letting me accountable of my goals, it helps me share my dreams and passion. Also, I want to be purposeful about my blogging experience and be proud of myself when I will look back on my blog posts twenty years from now.

And I would like at least two of my loyal readers to join me in this venture. PLEASE JOIN #PROJECTMILF to inspire others!

Now, unto Week 6 Update

FITNESS/HEALTH

Week 6 prompt of #projectmilf was Subtracting Something. I subtracted sleeping less, the aim was to sleep more but instead I ended up sleeping less for real. I must say it went well, because I didn’t feel guilty not sleeping enough.

I didn’t doing any physical activity, because the weather hasn’t helped and I was tired from lack of sleep {contradictions I know, I know}.

FAIL regarding clean eating. I bought some tortilla chips, bad, bad!

FUND RAISING

I am contemplating how to get more fund into the pot for this cause I want to raise funds for.

My NOVEL

I finished the first editing. I am really proud of myself. I would lie if I don’t say working on this story has been hard but I know it’s going to be worthwhile. I can vision my near future as a published author. Every second counts.

That’s me for week 6 update.

Have yourself a great Week 7 of #ProjectMilf!1projectmilfbadge2013_thumb2_thumb1_

20 Mar 2013

The Importance of a Father

Yesterday AOI’s daddy arrival home sound and safe. She looks happy and content again.

Every time I watch AMI with AOI, I miss my daddy and I wonder if he was this present when I was AOI’s age.

My daddy died when I was very young but I still write poems dedicated to him and miss him a lot, especially when I see elderly people {he would be in his early 90s if he was alive}. My mother did a great job filling in both as a mother and father, but even she would agree about the importance of a father in a child’s life.

Yesterday, when AOI saw her daddy she wanted to be in his arms all the time. She didn’t want him out of sight. She cried when he turned to go pick his luggage {she also cried when I had to go and pay for the parking, she doesn’t want us to be away from her anymore}. At just 16 months of age she knows how it feels to not have your daddy for some time.

The first work trip, which was in Alberta, every time daddy phoned AOI would look at the screen and occasionally say daddy but I could tell she was sad. She would point at the door and say “Daddy?” as to to ask when is daddy coming back?

I missed my husband but her pure love for daddy made me miss AMI so much.

The second work trip, this time AMI went to Ghana, she didn’t seem to mind but she didn’t like speaking to him when he facetimed or skyped. Those were signs that she missed him.

Her daddy takes the time to read, sing, play the guitar, bath her and soothe her to sleep every evening and during the weekend.AOIdaddytime

She loves their bonding time, when she knows that daddy will dedicate her all the attention she needs from him.

I love looking at my two loves. It makes me happy to see the beauty of having a daddy.

19 Mar 2013

Bright Now! Dental - Family Choice in Sterling, Va Dentists

Guest Post by Quincy W

Sterling, Virginia is quite the place of geographic convenience. Nestled closely to Washington DC, Baltimore, and Bethesda, Sterling walks the line well between country community and modernized city-center. And when it comes to many of the area human services, this same comfortable feel and philosophy often applies. You can certainly say this of Bright Now! Dental.


Bright Now! Dental is the premier, sterling, va dentist, with office located just off Route-7 between Claude Moore Park and the GWU campus. Bright Now! is all about providing a family friendly experience while also giving the very best in modern dentistry to every patient. Dr. Mazin Alayssami and Dr. Mohammad Eghtessad provide the practice’s exceptional general dentistry services, and Dr. Pisa Chaddad specializes in periodontics. And whether you are a young, first-timer, wiggly and nervous, or a seasoned veteran of dental visits, Bright Now!’s entire expert team will make sure your visit is as comfortable and pleasant as possible.


The practice also shines when it comes to variety of services performed. Patients benefit from expert:
- Cleanings
- Checkups
- X-rays
- Dental crowns
- Fillings
- Bridges
- Implants
- Braces
- Dentures
- Root canals
- Whitening
- Veneers
- And much more

In addition, Bright Now! Dental is impressively flexible when it comes to billing and payment policies. For patients with less than perfect credit and income, the practice’s ConfiDent Plan is a great extension of assistance. Special offers and discounts are also regularly made available to new and existing patients. Bright Now! also works with a very wide variety of insurance providers and plans.
Those living in and near Sterling can rest assured – they have an excellent, all-in-one, family friendly dentist right in their backyard. Many other regions are not always so fortunate. Bright Now! Dental, the sterling, va dentist is a real winner.

18 Mar 2013

Letters To AOI # 3

AOI cuddleDear toddler AOI,

Today you are 16 months. Your energy is booming and sometimes it is too much for this 30something mummy of yours, especially after two weeks alone with you. My heart is beating fast as I write this because I am tired.

These two weeks that daddy have been away we bonded more. I had to do everything from bathing, feeding, changing your diaper {you even know how to say it} and soothing you to sleep. When daddy is here he takes over some hours when he gets back from work and that gives me the chance to recharge.

Today, before bedtime, I felt the tiredness kicking in. You wanted to play but I wanted to get things rolling. My frustration showed in the voice a little, but you laughed which didn’t help too much. In the end I had to take a break and let you stay in your crib for some minutes. That helped me recharge for a second. This is one of the reasons I miss your daddy {he is coming back tomorrow, hurray!}.

Being a mother can be hard at times but the rewards overweigh the hard times.

For instance you make my week when, in your clear distinct little sweet voice, you call me

“Mummy?”

It’s like a poem to my soul. I realise that I too I am a mother of someone, no other baby girl but you, my precious little angel. You really make me proud to be your mother. When we are in the house and we are both in our happy zone you run to me and hug my legs.

You are mischievous. Your latest idea of fun is climbing a chair in the dining room, dishwasher and coffee table. Apart from that, you love dancing, reading {in your own way, but you bring books to me to read to you and you turn the pages before I’ve done reading that page}, singing {yes, you are repeating words from some of the songs we listen to. The book of songs and rhymes your paternal grandmother wrote and painted for you is your #1 choice}, colouring, learning the names of the various animal, and repeating some words when we read together. You understand me when I speak both in Italian and English. A little in Ghanaian too, when you don’t understand you look at me attentively and try to translate it in your mind. And I am so proud to tell you that now you can say Au revoir, French word to say goodbye.AOIcolouring

You have a good memory.

You are altruist, you like to share toys with the other children at the playgroup and I pray that quality of your personality stays forever. You behave older than your 16 months of age. So wise and pensive.

My heart melts when I see you cuddle, kiss and try to feed your teddies. You talk to them as if they are real. When you see a car, trees, dogs anything that you like you stop to greet them. “Hello.” or “Bye-bye”.

You love your teddy bear and shares many things with itAOI and bear

The other day you found a box with a new Sophie in there. Since then, to change your diaper without complaint, I tell you “Let’s go find Sophie.”

“Sophie?” you respond excited.

Once on your changing table I give you Sophie and you start talking to your new friend.

That shows the nirvana of your soul. Just beautiful, I love your soul.

You are getting confident in the swimming pool again. Last Friday and today we went to the swimming pool and now you don’t mind putting your face in the water. You laugh and jump. It’s infectious to see your joy.

You love berries {all sort}, mangos, rice, pasta, cheese, yogurt, porridge, cheerios, crackers, apples, juice {all sort}, hummus, baked ripe plantain. You love all sort of fruits and veggies really.

I love you so much. If you weren’t mine I would be so sad.  I have said it before and I will say it again and again and again. Though, you are growing so fast {you are about 3/4 of my height}, you are still my tiny baby always.

Every time I hold you, I can’t process the idea that you used to be in my belly.

all my love always!AOI in the belly

Week 11: Home Alone 2

Hello Monday! How was your week 11?

Today the sun is shinning but the temperature is between –13* and –26* outside.sask weather 18th marchDO you remember this song by the *NSync?

Bye Bye Bye by *NSync on Grooveshark

That’s the first song that came up when I selected Girls Just Wanna Have Fun on Songza. It was fun to go back to the 90s with them. I am really enjoying this free music stream.

Well, yesterday we didn’t go anywhere. AOI was so bored she pushed down all her books from the shelf. I wanted to take her in the garden but it was snowing and I didn’t want to spend thirty minutes getting ready to just stay five minutes like we did on Saturday. So we stayed indoors while outside was snowing away.

The rest of the week was made of the usual activities.

  • Tuesday French playgroup.
  • Wednesday morning we had a lie in. AOI woke up few minutes before me and she wanted her porridge right away. Meanwhile I was stretchy my old bones. My daughter looked at me as to say “How lazy are you mummy?”

I was tired this day and I was about to call it off our play date appointment but in the end we walked to C’s house in the afternoon. It was a good dose of fresh air. My friend and I took the little girls to the playground. We were feeling happy and laughing.

AOI: playgroundAOI: playdate
  • Thursday was playgroup , got there just in time for snack.
  • Friday, another good sleep, because I went to bed early. We went to the swimming pool. When we got there AOI was asleep but I woke her up. It was fun, fun, fun. She wanted to jump and let go of me. She is getting into her confident self in the water again. A daddy pointed her determination to jump into the water to his child who didn’t want to do that.

I really had fun with her. Can’t wait to add that to our routine and go there on a regular basis with daddy too.

  • Saturday we stayed indoors the whole day. AOI started to climb the coffee table, dinning room chair and the dishwasher. We went into the garden for just 10 minutes. Getting ready took us more than thirty minutes. Once back in we danced to the playlist above. Just enjoying the little things in life for sure :)!AOI: the viewplaying as the giantAOI: snow day

that’s how our week 11 went by.The Beetle Shack

This is week 11’s iPhone photo dumpWeek 11 iPhone Photo Dump

Have a great week 12
HELP US REACH #1

16 Mar 2013

Empty by Ray LaMontagne

ray lamontagne

I discovered his voice and music just last month but I am already in love with it.

Empty by Ray LaMontagne on Grooveshark

This is such a painful music but pure beauty.

His voice is a hybrid between Van Morrison and Jeff Buckley. Listening to him my youthful romantic side kicks in, because he is a poet/storyteller and that always wins me over. I wish I could write like him. I know hubby will love his music because LaMontagne is very good with the guitar. I can’t wait to start listening more weekend music like this.

Have a great weekend.

15 Mar 2013

African-European: A Fiction

thelovetree
Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction, is a story about a little biracial girl, half African and half European, who at some point in her life she comes to the crossroad between choosing which race to belong. (For clarity, in the story European is predominantly white, and African is black)
*****

   "These Africans are taking over..." said my uncle while we were all eating one Sunday afternoon.
 
I was only seven years old at the time. He looked at me across the table. I smiled. He continued his conversation not giving much weight to me. That day my mother had combed my hair into two plaits and I was enjoying the summer weather with all my favourite people in the world, my mummy, my daddy my granny, my uncle and his new girlfriend. The conversation kept flowing and I kept myself busy eating my lime-yogurt ice-cream.
    "What do you mean?" my mum asked with an angry tone. Daddy always said that mummy is always cross. So I assumed she was her normal self.
    "What?" my uncle asked.
    "What do you mean by the Africans are taking over?..." mum asked again impatiently.
    "Just what I said, they are taking over these Africans... I'm not talking about you... you are like one of us, right?" my uncle said laughing.
Mummy didn’t take it well. She began her usual tantrum, as daddy pointed out. Sometimes I thought I was more grown up than she was. Daddy thinks so too. Sometimes mummy would say something like
     "You are more clever than me..."
Most of the time I did my homework with daddy, in the mean time my mummy would lay on the day-bed in the living room watching telly.
     "You better not..." mum laughed in the end, bringing me to reality. So they are just joking... I let out a relieved smile.

The following day, i
t was last day of school before the summer holiday, and due to the heat I decided to wear my favourite dress, the one my grandmother from Africa sent me for my birthday. It had tropical flowers, spaghetti sleeves with some material hanging from the sides. I loved it.
For the past week I’ve been looking forward for the snack break. This was kind of party held to celebrate the beginning of our summer break. When the bell rang, together with my best friend, we ran into the hall. I was looking around when I heard a guy from the senior year say:
      "You African, what are you doing here?"
 
I turned to look right and left to see who he was talking to but apart from me and my friend there was nobody else.
     "Is he talking to you?" I asked my friend, but she shook her head and pointed at me. I was surprised. What did he mean by that phrase? Nobody has ever told me I’m African and my uncle will never say something bad about Africans if I’m one.
    “You are mistaking me for somebody else.” I said as the seven-year-old-who-knows-everything would.
 
     “Listen to her, these Africans are all the same... they think they can hide behind beautiful masks, vu compra’. Have you ever seen your ancestors on the road side selling fake designer bags?” His words moved something inside me. I wanted to slap him but what he said next stopped in my track “That her nature. That’s what they do in Africa, they run after the predator...” he laughed.
Tears were streaming down my face I’m not African, I’m not African... my inside shouted at him but I didn’t find the word to let him stop hurting my feelings.
     “Look at how savagely she is dressed...” he pointed at my favourite dress.
 
His friends who have appeared from nowhere were laughing as well. My friend sneaked away from my side. I felt so alone. I was holding the drink I brought for the party. Instinctively I shook the bottle hard and before they could notice what I was about to do, I opened the tap. The content sprayed the hall and all the children in front of me. They started to scream and in less than a minute the dean and his assistant appeared.
 
    “What are you doing, you little African...” I’ve never seen the dean before but his words cut sharp through me. Instead of listening to the reasons why I had to do what I did, he called me little African. “I will call your mother straight away...”
    “Maybe you should phone the father, because the mother is African, she won’t understand.” His assistant whispered loudly in his ear.
I was livid from the situation. I had to wait in the corridor, so everyone was finger pointing me and whispering distasteful words into each other hear. My best friend was shyly hiding from the crowd. I lowered my head so that I didn’t have to witness the scene around me. I felt like a big circus joke.
When my father came I felt a little bit of relief. Everyone was more considerate, the dean kindly explained the situation.
 
    “No, we won’t treat it as misconduct, because after all she is a good... girl...”
    “I’m so sorry again; maybe it’s the mother who is having a bit of problems with her parents in Africa, that might be the reason why my little girl is easily irritated by certain words.” I heard my daddy giving reasons for what that boy had provoked in me.
Once in the car I asked him the burning question: “Am I African?”
    “No, you are European and never let your temper overtake you like you mother. Your mother is easily irritated because she’s African.”
    “So Africans are angrier than Europeans?” I asked.
    “Yes...” In that moment I thought daddy is trying to make me feel happy, so I didn’t question why if mummy is African, I’m solely European.
Once at home I told my mummy that I didn’t want to be always angry like her. She didn’t say anything, instead she went to my father and they begun to argue. My daddy is right Africans are angrier, I thought.

That way of thinking was part of me until I met my cousin, nine years later. He was exactly the same colour as me not too light or too dark skinned. He was about fourteen years and he was tall for his age. He was wearing his curly hair loose. He looked quite wild...
The instant he saw me he hugged me and said:
    “Oh, the little lucky girl... you are just like me...”
    “What do you mean I’m just like you?” I asked with my snorted voice. I had developed that voice since the school accident, I didn’t want anybody to think I was African, so I tried hard to speak completely different from my mother.
    “Hey, you are lucky because you are Afro-Euro just like me.” he had a bright smile.
    “What do you mean by Afro-Euro?” I rolled my eyes at the sound of Afro.
    “It’s means African-European...” he laughed throaty laugh
    “I’m not African...”
    “Hey, what do you mean you are not African... you are half African, half European...”
    “I’m European, full stop.” I don’t like this cousin. Somebody come and take him away. I screamed inside, but outside I was composed, just like an European.
    “Where is your mother from?” he asked, expecting me to answer.
    “Europe?”
    “Obviously, but originally?” he has patience, I thought smiling.
    “Okay, Africa?”
    “Right! And your father?”
    “Europe?”
    “Right again... so who are you?”
    “European?” I shrugged
    “Wrong answer... you are African-European.!” He said smiling hundred teeth.
    “I’m European and that is it, thank you very much.”
    “You don’t know how lucky you are to have both culture on your finger tips, girl.” He was quite funny. He wasn’t that bad after all. “So, why do you choose to be European, full stop?”
I looked at him blankly; I didn’t feel like I wanted to tell him about my bad childhood experience. But in the end his bubbly subtle ways convinced me to discuss with him my issues. He was still young but with adult mind. He told me about his aim in future and that sounded great. He believed that he could bring together the increasing community of two culture relationship and children into one big forum, where everyone could discuss the issues of being biracial.
I’m so glad that he is my cousin and thanks to him I love to be recognised as African-European.
 
The End
 
*****
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