Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer Blog Tour '10

I want to thank Holly and Abbey of The Work at Home Woman and Living My Moment for selecting my blog as one of the stops in this sixty day fabulousness known as the Summer Blog Tour! I'm so excited to be a part of this.

Hi. Welcome. Take a read around! Laugh, cry, laugh some's my life. It's not all rainbows and ponies some days there are typhoons, blizzards and sizzling temperatures, but this is my adventure. I've gone from your resident party girl to single mom navigating this thing called life the best way I know how. I'm unashamedly "one of those" mom's! I've got a school picked out, found Spanish & piano lessons and circled and highlighted my way through summer camps, I guess the question is all girl or co-ed? For the time being I've got time on my hands after all Elle is only six months! But one day my little babe isn't going to be so little and well mom's gotta have a plan of action. The thought of raising and shaping the life of my daughter is scary, challenging and beyond rewarding.

Letting the love and craziness flow freely...


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Week #4-Freebie (i.e. Mom Needs to Re-Group)

I was really excited to take on this ch allege because I thought it'd help me keep myself accountable. Well...when you're both sergeant and cheering section things can become a lil' blurred. I'm giving out lashings and hi-fives and let's not forget making excuses too. I'm not really where I should be but all is not lost because well because I say so, damnit!

This weeks question is "How you think you are doing? And are you happy with your results thus far? Is there anything I can do to help you with your goals --- topic you would like to see in the upcoming weeks, etc.?"

I could certainly be doing better. I think the positive in that is that there's room for improvement. As it go, a lot of room! When it comes to the various areas of my life I think focus is where I'm falling short. I know what I want but it seems that I'm ready to get going when I've fallen behind. So that's what I'm going to work on addressing this week. Really coming up with a plan that I can put into full effect and be successful at. It would also help to not see things as "win or lose" it's easy to say to myself "You didn't go to the gym yesterday, not going today isn't that a big a deal" or "I've got to do this, this and this and there's no time for the gym."

I have a question, what is this point system all about? That piece of the puzzle totally escapes me.

I can't think of a topic I'd like to see covered in the upcoming weeks but I am looking forward turning things around...


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Elle for the Win!

When it comes Elle and bedtime let's just say that Operation Graco is still in full force. It goes without saying, the girl wears me out! During the week it's not so much of an issue because I've got to get up for work and well getting two beautiful gals ready for the day takes it's due time. I've recently discovered the joys of coffee and must admit it's my savior! A cup of Maxwell House, chocolate creamer, and some sugar and this mom is ready to take on the day that is until I hit my afternoon slump, but even then a little fresh air and it's five o'clock before you know it.

Elle's hit a new developmental milestone and the girl can't lay still to save her life. She's rolling all by herself! And just because you put her down in one place that doesn't mean that's where she'll be a blink of an eye later. This is proving to be a MAJOR problem when it comes to her sleeping in her crib. She's moving around so much that she's waking up tangled up in herself and she's not sleeping as soundly. Last night was the perfect example of this. She initially fell asleep in my arms and once I thought the coast was clear she went in her crib and mom got to eat dinner! Not long after that I was asleep myself and just like that Elle was awake and crying. I found her in the upper left hand corner of her crib wailing at the top of her lungs. After some formula and the soothing sounds of the womb bear she was back out and placed ever so gently back in her crib. As soon as her pretty brown skin hit the crib she was already trying to fight me. Well, I resisted the urge to pick her back up and stuck the passy in her mouth and she was headed right back to snooze ville! GO MOM! In what was under about two hours she was up and back soundly asleep in my arms in just a matter of minutes. Are you seeing a pattern here too?! Well I can honestly say I gave her all the fight I had because when I woken up again this time at the stroke of midnight, I decided that Elle was the winner of this battle. I got her back to sleep and placed her next to me and she proceeded to take up the ENTIRE bed, which might I add is a queen! As I worked my way to the very edge all I think about was how nice it was to have it all to myself.

Well, not tonight mom!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Welcome to Braves Country!

Sunday we took in a Braves game as a family. That basically means that at any given point emotions are going to run high and tempers are sure to flare. The good news is we didn't let each other down :)

Just leaving the house was a feat. First, I woke up to a hangover. It's been quite sometime since I woke up head pounding and in desperate need of water and aspirin. I don't think it had anything to do with the amount I drank more so then that's just the affect of cheap alcohol, LOL! After getting my Elle gorgeous for the day ahead I moved on to readying myself; in between feeding, changing and picking up Elle, she's high maintenance but I wouldn't have it any other way. After triple checking that I had everything Elle would need: diapers & wipes, formula & water, an extra outfit, toys, sunscreen, passy's, teeth medicine and all I needed was my camera, phone, license and debit card, we were good to go and rounding up the rest of the crew.

After a small detour due to the GPS failing me we were parking the car and making our way to Turner Field! I recently bought Elle a very snazzy pair of sunglasses and some hats, both very appropriate given that we were about to spend the day under the blazing sun. She's not really there yet when it comes to the sunglasses. They kinda freak her out, like a lot! The first time she wore them was absolutely hysterical and my FLIP captured the whole thing. On our way into the park Elle was forward facing in her carrier and had quite the time. She laughed, giggled and brought a smile to everyone's face like she always does.

Right as we entered the stadium there was incident #1! My sister went off to take pictures of the pre-game parade going on but failed to tell anyone. So I'm standing there literally freaking out because I'm thinking the worst. In the blink of an eye anything could happen! So as I scan the crowd for my chocolate drop I see her making her way back to us. She went up front to get some pictures. All of the commotion also sent Elle into quite the tizzy. It was pretty much sensory overload. But after a few squeezes and smoooches she was back to herself. Here the three of us are with Homer, the Braves mascot. FYI-I just had to google that tidbit of information!

We finally started to making our way to our seats which were by the way fabulous! Don had got them from his boss who couldn't go. We ended up right at home plate and first base. And although the sun was relentless the seats made it worth it. I figure I knock out two birds with one stone with a picture of how close we were and of the man who is my favorite and cutest Brave of em' all...Jason Heyward! As the game geared up Elle was on her way to sleep. I re-applied sunscreen, adjusted her hat and let her nap. When they made there first home run it actually startled her out her sleep but after she realized she was okay she nodded right back off. We were somewhere around the fifth inning or so when baby girl decided to join us. I decided to go cool us down with a trip to the bathroom and drink carts! First up, a rather eventful trip to the bathroom. There wasn't a changing table. Big surprise there. This is the third instance where I had to take Elle into a stall to get her changed. It wasn't till' I was in there with her that I realized just how sweaty she was. Her back was soaked! So as I proceed to get her undressed she begins to scream at the top of her lungs. She's hungry! So everything comes to a screeching halt so I can get the girl fed. Six ounces of formula later the hunger pains have passed and I get back to what we went in there for. I get her diaper changed, her new outfit on and yes, use the restroom myself (all with one hand might I add) and we're washing our hands and mom is ready for a cold beer! Elle takes in the next few innings on the laps of her Gram-Gram and Paw-Paw.

We left around the 8th inning (FYI-we won 13-1). The Braves were winning and well I didn't really want to fight a bunch of traffic trying to leave, so the car we went! As we were exiting the stadium we ran into Dizzy! We usually spend Sunday's with her. We were supposed to go to the game with her but then Don got the tickets and it became a family affair. It was great to see her. I've really come to look forward to them & I know Elle has too. Dizzy is the only non-relative Elle's ever spent time away from us with too! I know I'm in trouble with those two when Elle starts talking! We snapped a quick picture together but it's on Dizzy's camera so when she gets it uploaded I'll be adding it!

It was honestly a great day! Even though my mom got a stain on her white tank, Auntie Sam had a mini meltdown from the heat, and as usual it all went over Don's head cause he still doesn't get what all the commotion is about...LOL!


Monday, May 17, 2010

Week #3-h2O

This week is all about the benefits of drinking water. It can really aid you in losing weight and can also help to curb those "hunger" pains that are more then likely "I'm bored and well ice cream just sounds good" pains...LOL! You know what I mean :)

The question this week is "How many ounces of water can you drink this week?"

I'm so proud of myself for making the time to do this, and especially today. I would have felt a little guilty had this been the middle of the week. Not to mention I've got a dress I'd like to fit just a wee bit better next week so maybe trading the soda for water couldn't have come at a better time. That being said I'm going to drink fifty-six ounces of water a day; which adds up to being 392 ounces from today through Sunday. I decided on fifty-six because it's always that last glass with me. Somehow it never happens so at least this way on days it does I can give myself a high five and on the days it doesn't I would have reached my goal for the day. It's a win-win, if you ask me!

Bottoms up! XOXO

Week #2-Change it Up

So I'm late. I've got more on my plate then can fit and well this is part of what fell off. I'll press pause on whining about any of that and get back to the topic at hand...dropping some pounds!

The question for last weeks was, "What have you tried or what are you planning to try to change it up a little?"

What I'd like to do to change my routine up is start walking at the park. Although I've got the fancy schmancy gym membership, this for me is a lil' outside of my comfort zone. For one I'm notorious for laughing at people who exercise outside. In most instances it's those who are running/walking. People do funny stuff. So before you judge me, I think it's only fair that people laugh at me as well. See there, balance...LOL! But seriously my goal is to go three times a week and walk two miles. I figure it's best to be realistic and set an attainable goal. Not to mention I can bring Elle along with me and it'll be some much needed mommy-daughter time injected into our week.

Here's to taking on the concrete jungle!


Friday, May 7, 2010

A Bandaid Ain't Gonna Fix It!

I realized rather quickly last evening that I was in an all out battle with my mother. Prior to abruptly being told that I would be "dealt" with so to speak in a few days, I didn't understand the magnitude of what I created. In true Vanessa fashion...I cried. And I cried some more & then I called Tracy & you guessed it, cried just a lil' bit more. As my babe drifted off to sleep I decided that something, one thing in particular needed to change. It's hard to put into words but there's a part of me that feels underestimated by mother. Yes, I'm all for the "it's takes a village to raise a child" but I'm the leader of said village!

Although my mother doesn't quite care for my airing of what one would consider "private/personal" this blog is about my life. All of it, which she so cleverly pointed out I don't dish about things intimate nature. This is not one of "those" kinds of! I'm feel confident in having covered that. The last time I checked we all know how babies are made :) But on serious note I want to make sure I convey that I love my mother. She drives me crazy and I know I give it right back to her; but, this is the dynamic of our relationship. No, it's not all giggles, laughs and pony's. But it's honest maybe not open in the sense that we just hash it out right then and there but we're working on it.

With all of that said I've come to the decision to put in Elle in daycare. For the past six months Elle has been the very lucky recipient of first class care. But it's A LOT of work! I can only one day hope to be a stay at home mom but in the mean time this working mom is going to give her mom a break. I'm not gonna lie it freaks me out to imagine dropping my baby girl off but I know that she is going to be in very capable and caring hands. I've found a great deal at the daycare a family friend works at. It's honestly a big huge blessing because childcare is anything but cheap. Not only that she'll be the hands of someone that I trust and that is a huge relief. We've, that would be my mother & I have yet to come to decision on the specifics but come the beginning of next month Elle will be starting her passage on becoming a woman of the world. I just hope we each are able to understand this is just a natural progression of things. She's got social skills & independence to aquire and well I've got to learn how to help guide her without being a "helicopter" mom. So here's to a few days of tears on both our parts but more importantly here's to us making our way in the world, together!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Say what you Mean, and Mean what you say, but don't say it Mean

I can honestly say when it comes to talking open & honestly it's something that I'm still working on. It's not so much that it's hard to be open or honest it's the getting it out part. Thinking too much before you speak has got to be as bad as not thinking at all. At least this is the realization that I'm coming to.

When it comes the relationship I have with my mother it's one that means the world to me and frustrates the hell out of me, simultaneously. The entire purpose of this blog was share my triumphs and failures in way that allows me to get what I need off my chest and be honest with myself. It becomes challenging to do that when the people I write about are also the people who not only read this but who are a daily part of my life, i.e. my mother. There are times when I don't think she really understands the the affect of hers in a "grand scheme" of things kind of way. She's my biggest fan and critic all rolled up in one. It can all be too much at times and this is one of those times. Up to this point I haven't told anyone but my mother that she makes me feel like what I've termed "a deadbeat mom." In my pursuit to hold on and live the remainder of my single girl lifestyle I've heard some very hurtful things, all which I've expressed to her. It's our main point of contention and just when I think all is good and well I'm slapped in the face with the actuality that it couldn't be any further from the truth. It's aggravating but more than that it's hurtful.

Here's the thing: my mother is very much a homebody. I can remember being a little girl and she was Friday nights and weekends. I'm definitely a social butterfly to put it mildly. I enjoy nights out and time with my girlfriends. I don't think I do anything to the point where it's at the expense of Elle, but I could be mistaken. I thought we were finally reaching something that resembled balance. Balance between being a mom and being Vanessa (oh yeah, I'm still definitely someone's mother). Then in moments like this I feel like I'm back at square one and the only way to make things right is to grovel for forgiveness. I don't want to grovel. I want to be able to talk and even hear things I may not like if that means that we're moving forward. That's the problem in and of itself...communication. I'm sure if you asked my mother she'd admit that she is hardest on me mainly because she has a different level of expectation of me. That much I get.

This all stems from you guessed it, a miscommunication. What I would have done, what I wanted my mother to do and what my mother did are all three VERY different things. This all started with my Grams saying she'd take evening duties of Elle. Well, when dusk was upon us she wasn't exactly stepping up to the plate in a way which communicated to my mother that she was ready to take over. I would have just talked to Grams about it. She's the furthest from old and senile but there have been instances in the past where it either slipped her mind or she got her days confused. Like I said she's old...LOL! I wanted my mother to just talk to her! But that didn't happen. As I approached my destination I got a phone call that started like this, "Vee, I need you to go to some place quiet..." that can't be leading to anything good and it sure didn't! What my mother did , was unleash her frustration and tiredness (PS-she did have Elle all day) on yours truly. I was the recipient of what I think should have gone to someone else (i.e. Grams) but I guess that's part of being the mom. It all eventually circles back to me! I can honestly say I gave turning around and saying fuck it, some serious thought. It's like what's the point of making a plan when all falls apart and I'm the one to blame. All my mother hears is, "I don't not want to do things because I have Elle" now this is in context of something completely different but yet this is what was thrown at me. It's honestly how I feel. If there is something I want to do and Elle is a part of it, so be it. But I'm not NOT going to do something because I have her. She is a part of my life, like the biggest part. She lucked out and got a very social and happening mama. This she will come to know very soon. And for it she will have grace, style and sophistication very much like her mother.

As it stands like with every anger fueled exchange we're at the part where we aren't speaking to each other. I know sooner than later this will be just another "Vanette & Vanessa" moment but for the right now, it sucks! I don't want me and Elle to be like this. Sure some of it is normal, at least I think but if she isn't able to talk to me candidly, then who? That makes me laugh cause right now Elle can't talk...but one day my lil' baby is going to be a fiesty teenager, lord help me!


"To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” ~Anthony Robbins

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

You Can Run BUT You Can't Hide...

At least not for long!

When it comes to the baby making process one can not do it alone. Not surprisingly, in my case I didn't do it alone. However, when it comes to this thing called parenthood I'm very much in it alone. I've got a fabulous supporting cast and this would very much be a different experience without them but I don't have a teammate, as it goes it's Team Mom :)

I'll be the first proponent for the understanding that having a baby means doesn't mean togetherness on any level. It's a nice idea and all but that isn't necessarily how it works out.

Sidebar-I was watching the telly last night and saw this very interesting show. The woman was a paraplegic and she had a baby. It was actually an update. It had been four years & over this span of time she had gotten divorced, was dealing with not feeling/being back to how she felt pre-pregnancy and she could not have been a better example for what women will sacrifice for their kids. She in my opinion was the definition of strength. She required attendants to help her and aid in raising her son. But she saw the beauty and gift in life and although things weren't how she had pictured them ending up she was making the most of the life she had. It was actually very inspiring. It definitely put things in perspective. She was also venturing back out on to the dating scene. So there we have it...I'm not only going to love this thing called motherhood more then I thought I was capable of & I'm gonna find me a man!

I knew from the very beginning that DaddyWarBucks was not going to of his own free will hand over his money. I was going to have to rip it out of his hands. This marks the beginning of said ripping. From the looks of it it's going to be a long (albeit painful) tearing process. With a court date set my heart literally pounded out of my chest. All I could think was this is real. Really my life. This man really thinks he can choose to not be financially responsible for the life he took part in creating. That aside he's already a Dad! Evidently being responsible father of one doesn't mean when child number two comes along, the same will hold true. The day prior to the court appearance I called as stated on the paperwork and made sure that it was still on the calendar & was a go. After nearly having to give a urine sample to identify myself it took a matter of seconds to find out that the next step in the process would not be happening. As of yet he hasn't been served...Round #1-DaddyWarBucks. There is no way of knowing or predicting what the future holds. Elle is happy and healthy, that is matters to me most. Money is and will be just that, money. It's not time or love and when Elle looks back on her childhood those are two things that will matter more than anything can buy. Besides she's mesmerized by the simplest of things right now, $20 maracas that count, say colors and play music in english and spanish, not so much; BUT plastic QT cup to play with during bath time and the girl is in love!

There are moments when all I see when I look at Elle is him. It hurts my heart that this is the choice that he's making. He's missing out on knowing the most beautifully precious person.


Week #1-Focusing on the Positive

So as I begin the sendoff to this final 20lbs., week one rather fittingly begins with a glass half-full take on yourself. The question is: What is the one thing that you find makes you feel beautiful/good about yourself? And why?

At first I was anything but bombarded with answers, LOL! But after spending the majority of the day thinking about it I'd have say being bronze makes me feel good about myself. Yes, for those of you who are questioning my ethnicity; I indeed am black (and puerto-rican) and I love sunless tanner/bronzing lotion. I am not severely darker then my natural complexion but I have what I'd consider a lovely glow. Since I'm not able (and FYI-it's not healthy) to roast under the sun, I go this route. I've been doing it for years and normally start right around spring. I'd have to say Jennifer Lopez was my muse so to speak. I think she has gorgeous skin and to me there is nothing like pulling off a sunkissed glow.