She's getting to be a little pro! That's my smart little girl! Excuse the sideways thing. I can't figure it out. And yes, that is a Tent in our living room. The boys were camping "in" this weekend.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
my baby sister (really, I was just changing her diapers yesterday it seems as she is 15 years my junior) delivered her first child, A boy, yesterday!! A healthy 7 lbs 3 ounces. I can't STOP smiling this morning!
She had a very grueling and challenging pregnancy because she has sickle cell disease. For most of her life, the disease did not interrupt her life AT ALL. She had been blessed because we know of several people with the disease who have suffered horrible crises all their lives. Famous sickle cell patients include TBoz of the now-defunct top selling girl group TLC. An estimated 80,000 Americans are living with the disease which is common among black people. It is in my family because we are from Africa and in Africa, having the genetic blood cell mutation, which is what sickle cell anemia is, means that you can fight Malaria, an even worse disease that plagues tropical areas in Africa. It's a given that with two parents carrying a sickle cell trait (as with my parents) one in four children would be at risk of contracting the actual disease. Too bad for baby sister that she had to be that fourth child born to my carrier parents to prove that GENETICS are a fascinating thing and can very much come true!!!
Unfortunately however, one of the side effects of the disease, where it attacks organs and joints, is often triggered by certain conditions, one of them being PREGNANCY!! ACK!!
So, we (the family) have spent a better part of my sister's pregnancy taking her back and forth to the hospital. She has been admitted numerous times for long stints too. She's had blood transfusions and blood transfers. Toward the end, she even had to have a version (where they manually turn the baby from the outside to be head down) to increase the odds of her delivering vaginally. Surgery, for someone with a horrible blood disease would be the absolute worst thing. As the stars and charts would have it, we believe the version, which worked in record 5 minutes by the way, caused the cord to wrap around baby's neck. So last night, after being induced, the monitors showed that every time she had a contraction, the baby's heart rate would drop.
America, being the lawsuit conscious and of course out of natural concern for the well being and safety of the baby, she ended up getting a C-section anyway. So....we are blessed this Thanksgiving holiday season to be able to welcome a healthy baby into this world!!
Because my sister had this baby at a relatively very young age, compared to recent trends and not planned at all, she was just starting college, we are all counting our blessings and thanking God she was able to pull this off. Had she been older and perhaps in a better position financially and mature-wise, as we would have hoped, the flip side is she may not even had been able to carry the child to term. She may have had an even more difficult time coping because of a more advanced age. I say that because after doing some research, I've learned that women with Sickle Cell Disease have a difficult time getting pregnant, maintaining a pregnancy, carrying a child to term and when they do get pregnant are often saddled with the extra excruciating pains and pangs associated with the disease. Her body was literally attacking her on account of that foreign invading fetus she was carrying. Fortunately for me, just having the trait, I wasn't susceptible to that same kind of problems.
The National Institute for Health has an excellent Report on the management of the disease including an in depth section pregnancy that seems to be a worthwhile read. Luckily, there are studies and foundations working towards learning more about this hereditary blood disease.
All is well. I am very excited she is okay. I won't get into the fact that she used to complain about the hospital where she was treated until I reminded her that she could have given birth in our native Sierra Leone where these days 1 in 8 women DIE during childbirth! What a sobering reality check! She and we are blessed indeed!
stamp photo credit
Monday, November 24, 2008
EVERY WOMAN, especially EVERY PREGNANT woman (or anyone who has spent a lot of time with a pregnant woman), knows that a SURE FIRE SIGN that someone is carrying a child is THAT ever present hand on the tummy!!! and some gossip sites are reporting that during her recent Mexican vacation, Carey was spotted relaxing outside her hotel room. And the usually scantily-clad Mimi was almost fully covered up!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
- A quality constructed durable handbag or briefcase. No logos necessary. Logos are an obession of the "common" man/woman. Kate Spade, Coach, Marc by Marc Jacobs and even some styles of Guess come in the $100-$150 range in retail. Michael Kors and Dior are pricier, but you can find vintage or discount pieces that are genuine. Chanel, Yve Saint Laurent and Fendi are favorites of old rich women, but are a bit too frousy for my taste, though they are classic.
- The classic black dress. Should be knee length or calf length. Again, in a good quality construction. I think Ralph Lauren makes great dresses and can be found in many discount stores. ABS, Alexander McQueen and Anne Klein make decent priced dresses I like.
- A wrap dress for business casual functions (Diane Von Furstenberg would do. Her stuff can be found aplenty at Loehmann's)
- A nice pair of riding boots. Cole Haan, Calvin Klein and Kenneth Cole have a nice selection of well constructed, durable and fashion forward boots that when maintained (read: polished regularly and not worn too often) will last you years!
- A wool coat. I like Searle, but they are a bit pricey, but you can get a good bargain at discount stores for like Calvin Klein or Anne Klein brands.
- A cashmere or Angora wool sweater.
- A string of pearls or faux fresh water pearls
- A pair of diamond studs or a good quality cubic zirconium
- A tailored suit or one that fits you to a T.
- A blazer. I've lucked out in getting nice expensive looking blazers at consignment stores located in wealthy areas
- A nice multicolored scarf or two made with geometric shapes. When you have a so so outfit on, nothing more can have you standing out than a great scarf wrapped or draped around you or tied on your neck. H&M sells great scarves for cheap!
- A classic white long sleeve collared shirt. I like the make that Brooks Brothers sell. Calvin Klein makes a good classic shirt that works well too.
- A silk black turtleneck is great to wear under a blazer.
- Tiffany style chunky jewelry like the classic toggle bracelet or charm bracelet. A fat chunky ring and some long costume jewelry from top lines. Not the crap they sell at Express, NY & Company, and definitely not the teenie boppy stuff that stores like Claire's sell.
- Smell good. If you go with a nice fragrance that works with your body chemistry, invest in the bath gel and lotion that way the scent will last almost all day on you, versus if you just spray it on your pressure fragrance points (wrist, behind ears, naval, back of neck, ankles). Carry a handbag mini diffuser version in your purse.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
What's the big deal?
A person might know 60,000 words but can't make 60,000 sounds. We only make a limited number of sounds. Linguists call these sounds phonemes (/fo-nemes/). We combine and recombine groups of phonemes to make all the different words we use.
The English language has approximately 42 sounds that combined creates over 250,000 different words. Guess what you arrogant Americans?? That leaves roughly 100 phonemes that are used in all of the world's languages that we English speakers don't use. Doh!!! That is what makes learning a new language difficult...because other languages contain a lot of sounds that are unfamiliar to us.
Spanish uses 10 other phonemes that we don't use in English. French has another 10 unique ones and the Japanese language has 6 unique ones.
Bad news for us adults, Good news for fetuses (in utero) and babies who are just learning language.
So how do you "hard wire" your fetus or newly born baby or toddler to learn these phonemes?
I'm thinking the womb is a good place to start. (wow, who says "womb" anymore?) Listen to books on tape of another language. Rosetta Stone anyone? In the car, while asleep, get your daily dose of Mandarin or Cantonese a la sublimial placenta messages. woo saaah. While baby grows in her teeth buds and hair follicles, she can be learning a little Konichi wa or Guten tag.
Or you can just search and find The Babbler. The idea is the Babbler helps brand-new minds get a grip on various foreign-language building blocks while they are young and truly open minded. My middle boy pronounces Spanish words with eerie precision and very naturally. The eldest recalls his spanish flashcard words like a pro. I took 3 years of High School and 4 years of College Spanish and if you drop me in Madrid, Havana or any other random Spanish-speaking country or Miami, Florida, I'm doing alright, but probably gonna be suckered unknowingly into paying $75.00 for my dulce de leche ice cream cone!
Unfortunately, the product isn't sold any longer and it is hard to find. And it was pricey to boot at $49.99. You can find it at some auction sites much cheaper or if you get lucky, you might strike it rich at a consignment shop or a thrift store... but only those in neighborhoods where you'll find neurotic obsessive, over educated and finicky anal moms like I
From a 2000 G4 Review: Having the appearance of a cuddly toy about the size of a small pillow with bright colors and interesting textures, the Babbler proclaims "hola" when first touched or gently moved. Keeping the child's attention with multicolored lights and touch the device continues to cover sounds unique to non-English languages such as rolling Rs in the word "rana" or the "ko" sound in the Japanese word "koto." The unique phoneme is then repeated three times before the word is given to reinforce retention. If the infant waits five minutes, the Babbler will move onto from Spanish to French with an upbeat "Bonjour" followed by Japanese and so on. The essential idea of the Babbler is very simple. It provides repetitious reinforcement of those basic sounds needed to develop the neural pathways to future language learning. Since children develop millions of synaptic connections in their first few months of life, providing exposure to sounds and basic language building blocks early can be helpful to cognitive learning in the future.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
what is FREEDOM? Freedom is getting to be selfish again and consume whatever I want. Pop whatever diet pill, drink booze or other take in any other legal vice I want without fear of it possibly affecting GG. I'm proud of myself for dropping over 40 lbs the natural way through exercise and dieting alone. I've managed to tighten and tone a great bit by running and training for road races. But some stuff just won't bounce back through diet and exercise alone. Saggy stretched out skin for example. That will take a visit to my local Dr. 90210. I am a poor narcissist. I'm old school money in a wanna be new school money frame of mind. Ha!
So....Until, I can put in my telephone call to Dr. 90210 for my mommy lift and tummy tuck.( No. I'm serious.)
I'm trying out this product, called Anew, that Avon makes to smooth and erase stretch marks. I gained so much weight for my first pregnancy that I got marks not only on the usual tummy and buttock areas, but on my arms too! EEK!! Three kids later, I think it is finally time to start "OPERATION GET MY FAB PRE BABIES BODY BACK"
I have been too cheap to drop the $100 or so for the Strivectin D (see left) the much buzzed about stretchmark cream that thousands rave about and that is sold in Department stores and at a discount at some online outlets.
My trainer told me his wife uses this and its working. It's a comparably modest $25.00. So far, after like 3 weeks of use, I can say it is actually fading them and making them lighter. Here's what else is said about the product in a site that sells it.
Description: 9 out of 10 women have stretch marks... now you don't have to be one of them ... regardless of the age of the stretch marks...regardless of their color. Each stretch mark is actually visible discolored scar tissue caused by stretching and a breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin. Moisturizers, vitamin E, aloe or cocoa butter alone can't fade stretch marks. Avon's new revolutionary treatment, with patented technology, can. Patented Trilaser technology formulated to help, Stimulate collagen to correct the look of stretch marks. Boost elastin to help prevent new stretch marks from forming. Plus, powered with Butea, a natural plant extract to help lighten & fade stretch marks. Apply AM and PM to stretch mark areas. For use on thighs, hips, arms and buttocks. 5 fl. oz. In 2 weeks, 75% of women showed a visible improvement in length & depths of their oldest stretch marks . In 4 weeks, 86% of women showed an improvement in the skin tone of their stretch marks. In 8 weeks, 91% of women showed an improvement in the appearance of cellulite. Results not comparable to professional procedures.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Yes sir, ladies and gents, GG is walking!!! First she took 3 tentative steps. These days she'll take 5-8 at a time before plopping on her cushy diapered bottom. It's the cutest thing, but unfortunately, her walking development has coincided with her new found skill of climbing stairs.
Yup, no longer can we leave her on the first floor to run up to check the computer or change clothes or anything. Twice already we found her on the fourth step. I'm going to look for a gate that can attach to our bottom stairs to match the one we have had on the top of the stairs since she learned to crawl.
Her climbing is not limited to climbing up stairs. Oh no! She climbs on the tiny steps that we have about the house for the boys to brush their teeth on the sink or climb onto our California King bed which is pretty high off the ground. She'll just climb on top and stand there and dance. So that means, we have had to round up all those little stair stools and chuck them under the bed temporarily until this phase passes. She climbs into laundry baskets and toy chests. She climbs down from sofas and beds.
So not only do we now have to do a better job at keeping the floor clean. Every other hour, we find her with some inanimate object in her mouth and thank God we get it out just in time, but now we have to be extra vigilant with this climbing kick she's on.
Oh and she's also vocalizing a lot these days too. She said her first word, "Bye" today and she repeats sounds. I think she is an early talker too because there are so many people talking around her. I love to talk a lot and am always talking to her dad or on the phone. Her brothers jab all day. I listen only to talk radio and so she's getting pretty comfortable with phonemes and is practing all the time. Everyday, I make an effort to look her face to face and repeat sounds she makes to reinforce them. I think I will start with the picture books and start naming objects now. She seems ready for that step. What a smart lucky Girl!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I know I'm late.
"I have some wonderful news to report," the 14-times major champion told his website (www.tigerwoods.com) in September. "Elin and I are proud to announce we are expecting our second child in late winter."
The couple's first baby, daughter Sam Alexis, was born on June 18, 2007.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
who is waaaaaaay cuter than Lil Wayne (see below). Must be for Love or Money, I say!According to my fav site to "borrow" news and pics from, Blackcelebkids.com: Rapper Lil Wayne spoke to Power 105.1 fm on Tuesday about the birth of his son. The rapper says that he was in the delivery room when his first son Dwayne Michael Carter III was born: “I delivered him. I held the left leg the whole time.It was nasty, very nasty, but it was wonderful.” Lil Wayne says that his son was born on “Oct. 22, 9:25 a.m., 7 lbs., 12 oz” and he adds, “He’s the best thing to ever happen to me, next to my daughter.” In all,Lil Wayne has two children:Dwayne Michael Carter III and Reginae Carter, 9, with ex-wife Antonia ‘Toya’ Johnson.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Bellyitch, thanks to those who find it doing various google searches, is listed as a top mom and pregnancy blog on Mommy Blips and AllTop.com! yay! I feel obligated to fix up this blog and put permanent links to the most popular posts. hmmm...there's a project for tonight!
Seeing as how popular my "Most Expensive Strollers" post is and has become, I think people have an appetite for knowing what the celebrities and the rich and famous purchase for their kids and how they outfit them. I know I'd like to know. Luxury for me is Gymboree. Gap is a treat. Old Navy and Target are standard. I go to consignment and thrift stores in the wealthy areas for some vintage finds for myself and I will peruse the children's aisles to see if I can get lucky. But someday....
Armani Baby is a couture designer that makes fabulous and phenomenal clothes for babies
Burberry Where else do they sell a onesie for $75.00?!! This cute boy's vest can be found at Bloomingdale's for $120.00. Okay. Moving along..
grew and today Il Gufo has stores throughout Italy and has distributors worldwide. I haven't personally seen this designer's stuff, but I do know for a fact it is featured in many magazine spreads and is favored by celebrities.
The Monnalisa brand name was established in 1968 and has grown into The Monnalisa group that today distributes its brands to over 50 countries worldwide through a large network of prestigious Boutiques and Department Stores, with corners and shop-in-shop, and in Monnalisa Flagship Shops.
Monday, November 10, 2008
*sigh* I keep thinking of NO DOUBT song, "I'm just a Girl" which starts with they lyric, "Take this pink ribbon off my eyes..."
Listen to the song and check the other lyrics here!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
As a mother of two young black boys, it means so much for me to see them have Barack Obama as a president. I mean this historic occasion is important for my baby girl too, but the image of black men and "the black man" is so often negative that it is a challenge to know whether your boys are self-aware and acknowledge that there are no limits to what they can be if they try and put their minds to anything...WOW!
Today, and these last 18 months have been a true testament to that ideal. I mean, for a man, to come from such humble beginnings and from such a disadvantaged background to build himself up, without the traditional political machines that create other public figures, and to learn from his mistakes and past failures and perfect the game....WOW!!
He's no Messiah and by all means I am well aware that he has a long road ahead of him and change will certainly NOT come overnight. Nonetheless, it is truly awe inspiring to witness the way he has been able to mobilize and energize so many people in this country and around the world. For 18 months, he has been at the center of many debates and discussions in my various email circles and around the water cooler. He's turn apathy into empathy and political action for many who had been educating themselves, getting involved, volunteering, spreading the message, and doing whatever they could to usher the much needed CHANGE that we need in this country.
I am hopeful for tomorrow and prayerful for his safety because Lord knows the seeds of hate sewn by the RNC, McCain, Palin and the Hannerty's, ORileys and Limbaughs of this world are also out there festering.
I was privileged to have made my small contribution to the cause when I traveled down to Richmond, Virginia on Tuesday with a friend. We endured an all day steady downpour of rain and getting soaked. I had to sneak little naps sitting on the toilet in the bathroom of the precinct I was assigned to monitor and just hang out in the warm bathroom to stay dry. I and the other 4,000 attorneys who volunteered to monitor voting practices for the Obama campaign did it because we did not want a repeat of Florida 2000 or Ohio 2004.
After 16 hours (including driving up there and back and spending 12 hours at the precinct), I was so elated to learn from a friend who woke me up at 11:05 pm last night, that it was the oringial confederate state of Virginia, good old Dixie, that delivered the deciding vote for Obama!
wow! That is all I can say. WOW!