Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to my New Year's Eve Baby!!

Guess who turned One Year Old today?In true baby Diva style, we celebrated in the Caribbean with her dad's family in Trinidad with a Winnie the Pooh Pool Party!

I'm beat. Happy New Year's all! Be Blessed and Safe!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Soca Super star Fayann Lyons is pregnant

I am a fan of soca, music that originated in my hubby's native Trinidad and Tobago and I once did some legal work for the management team that manages soca phenom Fay Ann Lyons Alvarez, who is my body idol. She is normally is showing off rock hard abs and an ultra sleek and toned frame...not these days...

From the pages of a past client of mine....

Fay Ann was the 2008 Road March Queen and is now FIVE MONTHS PREGNANT!! The sexy Queen, who is married to Soca Monarch King Bunji Garlin (Ian Alvarez), has been wearing more conservative clothes.

Fay Ann, who is the daughter of Soca Monarch champion SuperBlue (Austin Lyons), will be seven months pregnant during the height of the Carnival season in February but has promised to meet all her contractual agreements once she is well.

The popular entertainer is said to be dealing with morning sickness and has been keeping a low profile. Both father and grandfather are said to be extremely excited about the upcoming birth.

The couple will celebrate their 2nd anniversary on Tuesday 23rd December.

and behold the hand on the belly the noticeable sign that a woman is with child. It's so hard to hide it because this is such a natural thing to do when you are preggers, as I pointed out about Mariah Carey before she and Nick confirmed the pregnancy!!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

from the folks at Bellyitch who didn't get to go home for the holidays, (crazy airline mix up will explain later) but are blessed for many things among which are family and friends, even our online and blogging family and friends.
photo credit

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Toddler Magazine

Yes, I saw this at my pediatrician's office today: A magazine dedicated to the world and psyche of Toddlers!! Yes, Toddler magazine is my new favorite mag...because my almost year old is definitely a bona fide Toddler! Well, technically, it's not a new magazine, but it's new to me and I'm loving it.

Look out now!

It's quarterly and choc full of tips, photos, outfit ideas, meal suggestions. Okay. Me loves it! :D

okay. I'm supposed to be packing for my Christmas vacation to visit the inlaws in the Islands. Warm sunny weather, here I come!

I have a short attention span and a eerie need to be sleep deprived. doh!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Mom of Three Kids Diet

When I read and/or heard Kelly Ripa announce one day that she doesn't diet or exercise much and that her three kids and hectic schedule keep her skinny, I was like, "yeah right, lady. Tell me another one!"Seen here with daughter, Lola.

but alas, for the last few months, amid a rather ridiculously hectic schedule, my family's loss, the frantic holiday season and all the normal mayhem that comes from trying to balance work life, a large family brood, I have managed not to pack on my usual extra 5-10 lbs for the Holiday season!!! I have even gone down at least one dress size (even though I do not believe I have lost any weight, per se).

Like today for example. I have to do holiday shopping. I have 3 hours of work meetings. I have a Christmas piano recital for my son. I will try my earnest to squeeze in a meal or a quick 30 minute run, but it's not looking good.

And as I post this, my 6 year old just said, "Oh well, mom, I guess I have to make breakfast by myself! (so, I gotta go) Keeping up with two blogs adds to the challenge too, I suppose.

Kelly Ripa is my "Mom of Three Kids" Muse!! I do believe genetics have something to do with it as well, I must admit.

I'm not complaining but I do miss working out and eating, but I am loving being able to fit in my size 4s Again!! yippee!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's GG Up to Now...

these days, GG has become quite the adventurous little girl.

She's quite social indeed as well. For example, she picks up my cell phone and has pretend conversations on it. It's the cutest thing.

She loves exploring and playing with toys. She's getting a kick out of cause and effect. Hitting a piano and listening to the keys make noise. Check out my little Alicia Keyes? or better yet Florence Beatrice PriceShe has two new teeth coming in on top and on account of it, she's been cranky, a little feverish and is pooping up a storm. My mom said I had similar symptoms when I was teething. TMI, I know. tee hee.

Oh and she is in total awe and in love with the Christmas tree. I must take a photo of her standing in front of it just staring. Too cute.

She is getting to become a daddy's girl and goes ga ga over her brothers, especially the 3 year old who she is closer in age with. He's a littlelot rough with her and she can take it but sometimes, she just wails and hollers at him to stop.

That's the other thing, she is a mimic. She has nailed down the art of mimicking sounds and hand and arm gestures. I was holding her in my arms the other day while fussing out the boys and wagging my finger and she copied my gestures and mocked my nagging sounds perfectly!

my my my! i have competition for being the queen of the house, I see! (BIG SMILE ON ME...until she turns into a totally defiant teenager/daddy's little girl. *sigh* let me enjoy these moments now and stop projecting the distant future)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Celebrity Pregnancy and Baby Making Announcements

Usher and Tameka Raymond had their second baby, another boy last Wednesday, December 10 who weighed 5 lbs., 13 oz. and is named Naviyd Ely Raymond. The new baby makes for five boys and zero girls for Tameka who has three boys from a previous relationship.
I hear our favorite beautiful humanitarian baby-making/adopting machines are expecting another baby and rumors are circulating that she's expecting another set of twins! Oh boy!
What fun! Good thing they have nannies. I love kids and all and my three bring me joy, but I'd be certified looney if I had to balance another set of three like the JoliePitts have. And now they're gonna add another 1-2 or maybe 3 to the mix! God Bless em!

Quintuplets Born in Maryland

wow! God Bless the mom, 28 year old Sudanese native Adwai Malual, who carried the babies into their 30th week of gestation. They were born December 2., 2008.

The names of the four girls are: Nyantweny, Nyandeng, Abyei and Athei. The boy's name is Deng.

From my local MyFox network:

Mrs. Malual, whose husband serves in the Sudanese military, was visiting relatives in the U.S. when, four months into her pregnancy, she fell ill. After consulting with local Fetal Medicine Specialist William Sweeney, the mother entered the hospital for nine weeks of bed rest.

But Mrs. Malual insisted on walking into the delivery room. Dr. Sweeney told reporters the mother declared, "I will not be wheeled to my babies' birth. I will walk. I'm from Sudan, and we walk in Sudan."

Family members disclosed that the mother does not have health insurance. Hospital administrators said they do not expect to recover the costs of the multiple birth.

Administrators declined to say whether fertility drugs were used to aid the pregnancy, citing regulations protecting patient privacy.

i'm back

thank you for the kind words, thoughts and prayers.

my 22 year old cousin was tragically killed in a horrific car accident while visiting Sierra Leone recently. she was a very smart young woman. i remember holding her when she was a baby and watching her grow and flower into the strong determined and beautiful person she became.

her loss has been very difficult for the family not only because she was so young, but because she was filled with so much promise and she dedicated her young life to her country and encouraging the youth to return there and help build it. her dad, my uncle, is really messed up over it and i'm going to try to be there for him and her brother. no replacement, but one good thing that's come from her passing is the way the community and families have come together. i hope we can continue in this vein and it won't take another tragic loss to bring us back together.

she certainly was/is an inspiration to us all. she will be sorely missed, but I know she is in a better place and I will see her again.

i've found solace helping moderate her facebook memory page, helping plan her memorial and in setting up a scholarship fund in her memory and honor. please email me if you want a link and would like to donate to the fund.

in any event, she was laid to rest, finally today. there will be a Washington Post news article about her life in the coming weeks so that more people can know and learn more about this incredible phenomenal young woman.

Monday, December 8, 2008

on a short hiatus

hello readers. i had a tragic loss in my family recently. so i'm going to take a little break.

Friday, December 5, 2008

infant massages: calming and soothing for mom and baby!

Man, I forgot how wonderful and therapeutic it can be to give your infant a massage. Technically, GG is still an infant until she turns 1 this month. The other day she was cranky and fussy because she is getting a new set of teeth up top. It was a rough afternoon when I recalled how wonderful INFANT MASSAGES are for baby and mom. I did my old ritual and that worked to calm her down and get her back sleeping.

For my first born, who I admit got the benefit of getting the most massages, my ritual was the same:

First, if it was shampoo time, I'd give him a nice wash and a gentle scalp massage for over three minutes using a calming baby shampoo infused with soothing ingredients lavender, jojoba oil and lemongrass.

Second, I'd slip on a diaper and put him in one of those cute baby robes.(and you thought it was just cute for the baby shower. nope, it has real functional properties)

Third, I'd start with his legs, and use either Burt's Bees baby bee apricot massage oil or Johnson and Johnson's Lavender Bedtime lotion. I'd pour a small amount in my hands and rub vigorously so the lotion or oil wouldn't be cold. Then I slowly massage one leg, kneading it repeatedly. I'd start with the top of his tiny thigh then using both hands wring downwards until I got to his ankles. Then repeat with the other leg.

He'd coo when I'd get to his teenie tiny feet because I would put gentle pressure at the heal and press upwards several times. Sometimes, he'd close his eyes. His tiny toes would curl around my fingers. Other times, he smiled. It made me feel good to bond and know that he was doing okay.

Fourth, I'd move to his arms next and repeat the leg procedure with his arms, ending on his palms. Sometimes the palm massage tickled and he'd giggle a little, but remain at ease all the while.

Then, I'd turn him over, peel back the robe and massage some oil or lotion on his back.

Seventh, turning him back to his tummy, we'd start the healing aspect of the massage. Using my right hand, Id cup my hand like a backward "C" and then motion like I'm making an upside down U, and turning back as if I am turning a knob. That was/is the best remedy for relieving Gas bubbles which often gets trapped in tiny tummies not used to releasing gas on their own. Whenever my babies would cry uncontrollable and have a really hard tummy, I'd do that maneuver to break up some gas or encourage them to poop! It is also a must do treatmeant for a baby with an upset tummy, especially those that are exclusively breast fed and who's mothers don't give them water. I think those babies are more gassy and collicky than others. But I digress.

Finally, we usually ended the massage with a light temple and forehead stroke.

By the time I'm done, I have a much more relaxed and calm baby, ready for a long long nap or for bedtime!

That stuff works wonders! All natural, BABY!!

While searching for an image for this post, I discovered this company, Liddle Kidz, that has a school, teacher certification and parent classes all about infant massages! Imagine that!?!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

who's preggers: Celebrity roundup

Singer Deborah Cox revealed her pregnant 7-month belly in her video for Beautiful R U. Deborah and her husband Lascelles Stephens already have two children:son Isaiah,5, and daughter Sumayah,2.

British singer M.I.A., (aka Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam) who sings one of my favorite tunes these days, Paper Planes, is pregnant with her first child with her fiance Ben Brewer

Singer Usher revealed that he and his wife Tameka are expecting their second child next Week, on December 15. The family is seen here with their son Usher Raymond V and Tameka's three boys from a previous relationship.
Jill Scott is rumored to be pregnant with her first child with her fiance, drummer Lil John Roberts. Jill Scott announced her engagement to Lil John Roberts in June of this year.
Kimora is looking quite preggers here no, but this is an old photo so who knows? I believe she and Djimon have been trying so...

Diavian” from Sister Sister and “Alicia” from Moesha? She’s 29 year old Alexis Fields was due shortly after this photo appeared on YBF back in July. I'm sure she had a baby since then. Alexis is "Tuti" aka Kim Fields baby sister. They look so much alike!

YBF reported last month that Dave Chappelle is expecting again. Dave’s wife Elaine is 3 months pregnant. 35 year old Dave lives with his wife Elaine and two sons, Sulayman and Ibrahim, on a 65 acre farm just outside of Yellow Springs, Ohio. Those two names are very interesting and special to me.

Reality show chick Boots, Clarisse, from the Flavor of Love and Charm School is 3 months pregnant.Not pregnant, but I just found this pic of Monica and her kids on the YBF site that I love. They are beautiful.

Why you don't send narcissist out with Cameras!

So.... I asked my middle sister to take a photo of my baby sister and her baby in the neonatal intensive care unit and this is what I found on my camera today!
I mean, really, she could have gotten such a better photo had she not been trying to be all up in the photo herself, no!?!


He's out by the way, but not without having to first be monitored to ensure he hadn't developed a dependency to all the pain medicines his momma had to take while she was fighting off numerous sickle cell crises during the pregnancy! Poor baby! Both of them! They're up for a tough uphill battle, but he is SOOO WORTH IT!! I love that little butter bean with all my heart!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Got Maternity Leave?

I was a little surprised to read in the September/October issue of Pink magazine that the US is one of six countries WORLDWIDE without paid maternity leave. We share that honor with Australia, Lesotho, LIberia, Papua New Guinea and Swaziland. There are a slew of poor third world countries not on this list that at least recognize that women can be left behind without this type of benefit. Interesting.

All we have, guaranteed, in the US is the right to get your job back and not have it given away while you are away bonding with your baby!! According to the US Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Covered employers must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:
  • for the birth and care of the newborn child of the employee;
  • for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care;
  • to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
  • to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.
I was fortunate after my first child, when I was working for an international law firm, to be able to afford to tack on 2 months to my 3 months paid leave. That boy had it good. Because of that extensive amount of leave, I was able to:

1. Breastfeed exclusively the boy for 4 months. I mean he never left my side and I his. I didn't mind because breastfeeding was/is important for me.

2. Enjoy taking him on walks to the park and mall walk in rainy days. While in the mall, I had the privilege to splurge if I want to because paid leave meant I didn't have to scrimp and save my pennies to meet household basics.

3. Collect the first free class certificates that all the area baby gym classes offers and I took him on a world tour. We went to every Gymboree, My Gym and Little Gym class in the tri-state area...FREE!! I met a bunch of wonderful moms along the way and eventually settled at a nearby gym, but only after we had gotten about at least a dozen free classes! I highly recommend doing this "hustle" LOL

4. Really connect with my child, engage him and bond without the frantic worry about the bills and needing to go back.

That was indeed an honor and I see a unique privilege. With my second, I had changed jobs and was working for the US Federal Government who gave no paid leave, but I had accumulated a few weeks of my own which I used. So within 2 months of my second son's life, I had to up and return to work. At least I was comforted in knowing he was being cared for by my own mother. I did not have to go through the heartache and angst that those moms who have to drop their kids at daycare or with a care giver. Because when all is said and done, you find it really hard to let go to someone who is not your blood. With GG, she's got a work from home entrepreneurial mom and we've gone through two nannies, but are pretty settled. I am more flexible, but it is a shame that America does not step up and offer a little bit more.

photo credit: ACTU Right to Work Campaign
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