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Monday Morning Parenting: What We Teach Our Children About Christmas

Monday, November 30, 2009

Santa Claus 1
By Jogytmathew (Own work) [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
Last week was Christ the King Sunday. Our pastor challenged us to think about what is not Christmas, so I blurted out "Santa!" Before I continue, let me note that our church is very interactive, and we discuss the scripture as a group. It's a very spiritually empowering experience! Now back to last Sunday...because I know you are wondering what's my beef with jolly, Saint Nick. It started two years ago when a family friend asked Damon for help assembling a regulation-size basketball hoop he bought for his son. The two of them spent five hours putting that hoop together and Santa got the credit on Christmas morning!
So last Sunday, I offered up the beloved Santa Claus as an example of the anti-Christmas because he has become synonymous with the deconstruction and complete commercialism of the holiday season.
Santa is competing with Jesus Christ for our attention, and Santa is winning! Christmas has been hijacked by the big box retailers and most of us worshiped Black Friday this weekend rather than the beginning of advent. Watching the news coverage of consumers lined up outside of stores at 3:00 am to purchase this year's must-have toy kind of made me sad and made me think about what we will teach Marlie about Christmas when she gets older. I enjoy the Christmas traditions of decorating a tree, exchanging gifts, and a big family dinner as much as the next Christian, but you have to agree that we have lost much of the spirit of season. How do we reclaim Christmas as a holy day while celebrating it as a holiday? Is it even possible to strike a balance? What do you teach your child(ren) about Christmas? If you are atheist, agnostic, Muslim, Jewish, etc...I want to hear from you, too!

Baby Log: Week 14

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I've been spotty with the blogging this week, but for good reason...I've been celebrating the holiday, welcoming relatives who are visiting, and just enjoying some quality family time. There is so much that I am thankful for and so much to cover in today's baby log: Marlie at 14 weeks
  • Little Miss Marlie is starting to notice other babies and wanting to interact with them. She is such a social butterfly!
  • She is also noticing food and following my fork when I eat. She has successfully put her hands in my plate or bowl twice and almost pulled it off the table once. I am going to take to her pediatrician about starting her on rice cereal.
  • Damon's new nickname for her is Lady Gaga, which is very fitting because she does say "gaga" a lot. She also has the cutest poker face!
  • She is exhibiting more signs of teething...diarrhea followed by...the dreaded diaper rash, which we healed with...warm soaks and the awesome Magic Stick!
  • She can sit upon her own for a few seconds now! (see above photo) Marlie eyeing turkey
  • Marlie spent her first Thanksgiving in her daddy's lap watching everyone eat and wondering why she couldn't have some. Next year, she'll get her own turkey leg!
  • Dawna at A Kiss and a Peck gave us the Lemonade Stand award
  • We decorated the Christmas tree with her for the first time. Marlie loves to look at the lights!
  • Marlie is getting baptized at church today. We have lots of family in town for the occasion. I will be reading a letter I wrote when I was pregnant with her. I will try not to cry (right!).
Marlie with Grandma Pam Marlie with Grandma Marge
Marlie with auntie Uncle Mookie

Flashback Friday: Thanksgiving 2008

Friday, November 27, 2009

Last year we spent our first Thanksgiving in our new home, in a new city--farther away from both of our families than we had ever been. We were all alone except for my cousin who came over from the Air Force base in Shreveport for dinner. He took this photo of us for our annual Christmas card. We didn't know it at the time, but there are actually four of us in this photo...we weren't going to be alone much longer!

Reminder: The 2010 Vertical Wall Calendar from Pamela Fugate Designs Giveaway Ends Tuesday, Dec. 1st

Thursdays with Teresha: Welcome to the Nut House!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Blogger TereshaThanks for tuning in for this very special Thanksgiving episode of Thursdays With Teresha! My guest this week was very gracious to take time out of her crazy holiday activities to appear on the show, so please show some love (in the form of comments!). Grab a turkey or tofurkery sandwich, sit down, and welcome...

Name: Shannon
Blog Name: Welcome to the Nut House!
Blog Address: http://shannonsnuthouse.blogspot.com
How many children do you have and what are their genders/ages? I have two girls; Michaela is 6 and Hannah is 8

  1. What is your kid(s) favorite toy? Each girl still has their special "lovey"... Hannah's is a doll named Sally and Michaela's is a stuffed dog appropriately named Puppy!
  2. What was your favorite toy when you were a child? A stuffed elephant my dad gave to me when I was 5. His name is Elmer... and I still have him!
  3. What is your favorite season of the year and why? Hands down, my favorite season is fall. I love the cool, crisp weather... watching the leaves change color... and my birthday and wedding anniversary both just happen to occur in the fall!
  4. What's on the menu for Thanksgiving? The usual fare... turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, sweet potato casserole, mac & cheese, green beans... and of course, lots of desserts!
  5. What was your family's holiday tradition when you were growing up? As far back as I can remember, my family opened presents on Christmas Eve. We'd attend the evening church service then go back home for a light supper. My parents would let my brother, sister and I open our stockings... and then it was back to church for the candlelight service. Since it was well after midnight by the time we got back home, we'd just change into our pajamas and open our gifts. Now that we're all grown, we still celebrate with my side of the family on Christmas Eve and spend Christmas day with my husband's family.
  6. What is a holiday tradition you've established with your own family? One thing we've started is on Christmas Eve, my mom reads a Christmas story to her grandkids... each year it's a different story.
  7. What is your lamest hobby? Ummmm... this is a hard question! I really don't have many hobbies... and I wouldn't call any of the ones I do have "lame"! I like to read, scrapbook... and blog, of course!
  8. Name one item you would put in a time capsule and why? A DVD of my all-time favorite movie... Roman Holiday. It's classic and timeless... it's one movie that should never disappear
  9. If you could build your dream shopping plaza, what 5 stores would you put in it? Old Navy, Target, Sephora, Kohl's, Starbucks
  10. Are you more attracted to hunks or geeks, and who is your perfect specimen? Another hard question! I'd say I'm equally attracted to hunks and geeks. Geeks (like Jim from "The Office") will always have a special place in my heart, but there's also nothing quite like a manly man. And my idea of the perfect male specimen? That would be my movie-boyfriend... Daniel Craig!
Next week on Thursdays with Teresha...the perfect tonic for your Black Friday hang over! Just kidding! Look out for a new set of questions answered by yours truly and Shannon pick for the next featured guest.

Tip(ful) Tuesday: Holiday Cards

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I look forward to giving and receiving greeting cards during the holiday season, but in these budget-tightening times I have to be smart about how much I spend to spread holiday cheer this year. Here are some ways to send holiday cards when you are on a budget:

  • Send an electronic card. Before you start squawking about how that would be tacky and cheap, think about the paper waste you will be preventing. Got Free Cards has some very cute e-cards!
  • Make your own. You don't have to be a graphic designer thanks to web sites like The Paper Mill Store and Southworth. Just download their templates, customize and print at home or at your local print shop.
  • If your heart is set on a professional job, then check out Vistaprint. They are are having a 50% off sale on many of their designs and you can get 10 FREE cards with some orders.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Many T.H.A.N.K.S.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I recently completed my second blog swap on Angie's Spot. The theme was T.H.A.N.K.S. and each participant had to purchase gifts for her swap partner starting with each letter in the word thanks. We all filled out a questionnaire about our favorite things so that we weren't shopping blind. My swap partner was Linda at COUNTRY PICKIN'S. Here is what she sent me:

Turkey doll and teacup to enjoy and relax
Harvest jug to remind me of the beauty of fall
Anti-anxiety tea to relieve me of stress
Note paper and cards to keep in touch
Kandle lights to light the way
Smores to enjoy while reading 1001 ways to be thankful

Linda also sent me some very cute Thanksgiving knick knacks. I made a nice centerpiece with all the goodies I received. THANKS Linda!
T.H.A.N.K.S. gift swap T.H.A.N.K.S. gift swap T.H.A.N.K.S. gift swap T.H.A.N.K.S. gift swap

Baby Log: Week 13

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Marlie at 13 weeksThe excitement of Marlie's first Thanksgiving and Christmas has got me in a tizzy with preparations for her baptism and hosting family for the holidays. I realized I was slacking on the journal-writing and picture-taking, but I got just enough content for this week's baby log:

  • Marlie has a nice layer of new growth on her bald head. I guess I can stop covering her head with pink hats so strangers can stop calling her "cute, little guy." I know she is happy about that (she hates hats)!
  • She is making progress on rolling over. She just gets her arm stuck underneath her and can't complete the rotation...we're working on that.
  • She has added sitting up to her "to-do list." I watch her and her daddy practicing leaning forward and balancing and think about her walking out the door for her first day of school, her first date, for college...*sniff*
  • She is getting better at napping in the daytime, still wants to be swaddled at night.
  • She is such a vocal baby! She coos, babbles, and just "talks" a blue streak except when she isasleep in granny's arms having a bowel movement...she gets really quiet, blinks rapidly and sticks out her tongue. I call it her "poo face."
  • We won a weehuggers AIO bamboo cloth diaper from the blog Newly Wed Newly Bred. I have to admit the all-in-one is very convenient and bamboo is a great material for cloth diapers (naturally absorbent and antibacterial).
  • Her grandmother arrived yesterday, which means...I got an extra pair of hands for diaper changes, and I can get some sleep! Hooray for granny Marge!

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Programming...

Friday, November 20, 2009

d...to bring you news that I am the Feature Friday Blogger today at The BlogRollers’!

featured blogger button
I am so excited that I insist everyone reading this at their computers do a little dance with me:

{bob your head from side to side}
{snap your fingers}
{do the Shakira Shimmy}

Christie and Lorraine, the dynamic social media duo behind The BlogRollers, are all about leveraging the power of the female blogger. I recommend you subscribe to their blog or RSS feed. Now go read my feature, leave comment love, and sign the BlogRollers' blogroll
so you can be in the running to be highlighted next.

Have a great weekend!

*postscript: The BlogRollers are asking everyone for prayers and support for fellow blogger Anissa and her family.

Thursdays with Teresha: 11/19/09

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blogger TereshaI've started my own talk show, which is just an excuse to shine the spotlight on myself. Kidding! ...but seriously, I'd like you to get to know me and other cool mommy (and daddy) bloggers. So, I post ten Q&As, and ask a blogger who has been tagged by my previous guest to also answer them. I post this blogger's responses on the following Thursdays With Teresha. Plus (this is the best part!), every guest gets a special blog button commemorating their appearance on my show. This week...

Name: Teresha
Blog Name: Marlie and Me
Blog Address: http://marlieandmommy.blogspot.com
How many children do you have and what are their genders/ages? 1 girl, 3 months-old

  1. What is your kid(s) favorite toy: her stuffed bunny
  2. What was your favorite toy when you were a child: my Monchichi
  3. What is your favorite season of the year and why: Spring because of all the pretty flowers
  4. What's on the menu for Thanksgiving: I fessed up that my husband is the better cook, so I think it goes without saying that he's handling Thanksgiving dinner. We are definitely having a turkey. He's been performing test runs of a wild rice and cranberry stuffing...yum! I do pitch in by making homemade cranberry sauce.
  5. What was your family's holiday tradition when you were growing up: up until age 5 or 6, it was taking pictures with Santa at the mall. Then, we didn't celebrate Christmas for a long time because my mother became a Jehovah's Witness. By the time she left the religion, we were too old to sit on Santa's knee!
  6. What is a holiday tradition you've established with your own family: me and my husband decorate a Christmas tree every Thanksgiving since we've been married. This year will be the first time we get to do it with Marlie.
  7. What is your lamest hobby: Back in college, I'd buy Happy Meals for lunch because it was all I could afford. I started to keep the toys that came with the meals, and now I have amassed a collection of more than 500 of those suckers...I like to think of them as heirloom pieces that will be passed down to Marlie.
  8. Name one item you would put in a time capsule and why: my Miseducation of Lauryn Hill CD. It pretty much sums up my life in the mid-90s.
  9. If you could build your dream shopping plaza, what 5 stores would you put in it: Big Lots, Target, Tuesday Morning, Ross, Whole Foods
  10. Are you more attracted to hunks or geeks, and who is your perfect specimen? Both, which is why I married my husband...he is a geek trapped in the body of 100% prime hunk!
Next week's guest is Shannon from Welcome to the Nuthouse. Make sure you all come back to read her responses, leave lots of comments and visit her blog!

Tip(ful) Tuesday: FREE nursing cover

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Udder Covers is offering their patterned nursing covers for FREE. Just go to their web site, select your favorite pattern (some are already sold out) and type in promo code "thanks" or "thank you" to get your free Udder Cover (a $32 value). You just pay $8.95 for S/H. I ordered the Maria to have a spare. It would also make a great gift for a mommy-to-be. Happy Shopping!

Our Euro-Trek in Pictures

Monday, November 16, 2009

Per your request, here are more photos from our Summer 2008 trip to Europe...

First stop: London. Here we are making friends with the Bobbies.

Second stop: Zurich. We arrived at the height of World Cup mania.

Third stop: Rome. He were are at the Colosseum.

Fourth stop: Florence. We made sure to rub the Piggy Fountain for good luck.

Fifth stop: Venice. I nicknamed the canals the gondola straits.

Sixth stop: Croatia. Check out the beautiful Dalmatian Coast in the background.

Seventh stop: Montenegro. This is a view from the top of the city fortress.

Eight stop: Athens. Here we are in front of the Parthenon.

Ninth stop: The Greek Isle of Santorini. There are no words.

We stayed in the town of Oia. The food was so freakin' good!

I leave you with this picture of the majestic Oia sunset. The End.

Baby Log: Week 12

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I can't believe that Marlie is three months already! It feels like she was just born yesterday, but there is no denying that she is growing up...especially when you see all the things she is doing now:
  • Damon gave her a new nickname this week: Wolverine. That was my cue to clip those fingernails.
  • She can now pull the cord in her bouncy chair that activates the music. Go Marlie Go!
  • She has discovered the TV and computer screens.
  • She has started to lean toward things she wants to touch...like her daddy. So sweet!
  • I just noticed that she has her daddy's charming smile (see photo for proof).
  • We finally bought a stroller! Isn't it beautiful! The Jeep Liberty Limited Lightweight Stroller is not lightweight, but it's durable and easy to maneuver over the parts of our neighborhood that don't have sidewalks. The thing is like an all-terrain vehicle! Marlie loves to ride in it while mommy gets her exercise on.

6 stores at which I wish I could register for Christmas presents for myself

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This week's Small Talk Six topic is six stores at which you wish you could register for Christmas presents for yourself . This one is too easy:
  1. Tiffany & Co.
  2. Macy's
  3. Godiva
  4. DSW
  5. Target
  6. Scrapbook.com

CLOSED...Pamela Fugate Designs Giveaway

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pamela Fugate Designs LogoI am thrilled, geeked, tickled, stoked, and psyched to present my first sponsored giveaway! This one is extra special because I have known Pamela since our Hands On Atlanta days where she worked as a graphic designer. I have always admired the avant garde flair of her work. Now she has launched her own custom graphic design studio, Pamela Fugate Designs, which offers her fresh graphics on a variety of products including men's and women's apparel, baby clothing, housewares, greeting cards, and other goodies. You can buy holiday gifts for your entire family on her site (even your dog)! ...and one Marlie and Me reader is in for a treat because PFD is offering a lucky winner an Organically Grown Vertical Wall Calendar right in time for the new year! Organically Grown Vertical Wall Calendar
Mandatory first entry: Visit Pamela Fugate Designs, come back and comment on your favorite item
Earn one extra entry for completing each of the following (leave separate comments for each additional entry):

The rules:
  • This giveaway will end on 12/1/09 at 11:59 pm CST
  • Winner will be chosen randomly from all comments posted.
  • The winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond. Please make sure I can contact you either by having an email address visible on your blog profile or leave your email address in your comment(s). By accepting the prize, the winner is granting permission to have your name posted here.
  • In the event the prize is not claimed in the allotted time, another winner will be chosen.
  • Giveaway is open to US addresses only
  • entries that do not follow instructions or are falsified will be disqualified

Flashback Friday: Travel Buddy

vacation in LondonThis photo was taken last summer on the first leg of our 21-day trek through Europe. Can you guess where we are? This vacation meant so much to us. It was partly a family reunion because Damon had spent the previous two years attending graduate school in Virginia while I stayed in Atlanta. We planned this trip to celebrate his graduation and homecoming...you can call it a second honeymoon. It was our reward for working hard and achieving our goals, too. At the time, we were also getting ready to embark on some major life changes...moving to a new city and starting a family. We needed to get away, reconnect, and see some of the world before we became parents. A little over a year later, we welcomed Marlie into our lives.

Thursdays With Teresha: Angie's Spot

Thursday, November 12, 2009

If you are wondering WTH is going on read this post.

Blogger TereshaThis is the premiere of Thursdays With Teresha, and I am excited to have my first guest! I met her while participating in her Christmas in July Swap. She writes these cool blog posts called Monday Morning Eye Candy (guaranteed to satisfy your sweet spot for beef-cake!). Without further adieu, please welcome...

Blog Name: Angie's Spot, but it's going to be changing soon to match my blog address
Blog Address: http://www.anticswithangie.com
How many children do you have and what are their genders/ages? 2 girls, 3 yrs and 5 yrs old

  1. First name of the first person you kissed romantically: Steve (I think...it's been so long ago that I'm having trouble remembering!)
  2. First name of the person you last kissed: Ailey
  3. 3 adjectives that describe you: crafty, workaholic, giver
  4. 3 nouns that describe you: night-owl, multi-tasker, accountant
  5. 3 things your parent(s) taught you that you plan to teach your child(ren): family dinners are vital, keeping your word is paramount, hard work will make you appreciate things a lot
  6. 3 things you wish your parent(s) taught you that you plan to teach your child(ren): the importance of saving money, establishing of family holiday traditions, how to drive a straight shift
  7. Your worst kept secret: that I've turned procrastination into a lifestyle
  8. Your best kept secret: Now, if I share it with you, then it's not my best kept secret anymore?! OK, seriously, I'm a machine when I put my mind to getting something done. It's a little scary. I become obsessed with getting a task done and have trouble focusing outside of that.
  9. A romantic comedy movie that best describes your life: This one is very hard to answer and after thinking for a couple of days, I still have no answer. However, my favorite romantic comedy of all time is Four Weddings and a Funeral. I big puffy ♥ Hugh Grant.
  10. Celebrity parent you'd trade places with and why: Victoria Beckham. Except, I would actually eat. She has fab clothes, homes in the States and London, and that amazingly gorgeous Brit hubby. Yeah, I think I could deal with that.
Next week on Thursdays with Teresha...parents who blog when they should be exercising. Just kidding! Look out for a new set of questions answered by yours truly and Angie's pick for the next featured guest.

Wordless Wednesday: Pretty in Pink

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

pretty in pink baby

Mid-Week Pick Me Up

I've been feeling a little down this past week with what my husband affectionately calls general malaise. Don't worry, I have already scheduled an appointment with my pastoral care counselor to make sure it doesn't become full-blown depression. Still, there is no better therapy than a friend who knows how to cheer you up.


This Friendship Award from The Redhead Riter
came just in the nick of time to remind me that there are people who care about me and that I'm never alone. "This award is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to six bloggers who must choose six more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award." I'm going to give this award to these women and tell you why the deserve it (my own personal touch):

Akilah@ Execumamas, I hear ya! (for reassuring me during my new mommy freak-outs)
Jen @ Jael Custom Designs (for showing me that you can have it all, a family, career...a life)
Kim @ What's That Smell (for always leaving me comment luv with insight)
Stesha @ Hot Chocolate Caramel Mocha (for making me laugh with her posts)
Teresa @ ♥ Too Many Heartbeats ♥
(for reminding me to see the silver lining)
...last, but not least, The Redhead Riter (back at ya, babe!)

...and I would be remiss if I didn't thank Betty at Cut and Dry for my second Superior Scribbler Award!

superior scribbler award

Tip(ful) Tuesday: Take Control of Your Immunity

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

steel cut oatsA foreword disclaimer: I am not a doctor. The tips provided are based on my personal experience. Talk to your primary care physician about ways you can enhance your immunity with supplements and natural foods.

This is a follow-up to Sunday's post in which I mentioned that I had a cold last week that was so mild it hardly registered. I was largely asymptomatic except for that familiar scratchy throat and a day of sneezing/coughing. I decided to share my immune-strengthening program that I have been following since the summer in preparation for cold/flu season. I used to get a bad cold at least twice a year, but decided to start being proactive about my health once I learned a few things from a holistic practioner:

  • Did you know your immune system resides in your gut? By simply eating right, you can build a resistance to the cold and flu or minimize symptoms and the length of your illness. This means consuming foods that strengthen your immunity and avoiding those that suppress it--- like caffeine, sugar and processed foods. I make a cinnamon/honey spread that I eat on spelt bread once a day and boil a piece of ginger root in water and drink it as a tea. I also take a vitamins and herbal supplements in the form of 1,000 IU/daily of Vitamin D, an Echinacea/Goldenseal (take 10 days on and 3 days off), and probiotics. I took zinc lozenges while I was sick because zinc is known to shorten the length of colds.
  • Do you treat your body like a temple? Your body's cells, tissues and systems are constantly regenerating and needs its rest to perform this function. Getting enough sleep will help your immune system fight off an infection. If you do get sick, it will help you recover faster. This step was harder for me to follow while caring for an infant, which is probably why I came down with a cold in the first place. In addition to restorative sleep, you need to decrease stress (I'm not saying "stop stressing," that's impossible!)...just that you should find a way to combat stress so that it doesn't interfere with your health. Exercise is my weapon of choice. I get a mood boost from the endorphins and an immunity boost!
  • Do you practice good hygiene? I am shocked when I see a woman walk out of the ladies room without washing her hands. I am annoyed when I see sick people sneezing or coughing at the store without covering up. This is how the cold and flu spreads...poor sanitary habits. Wash your hands frequently; keep them away from your eyes, nose and mouth so you don't introduce an infection; and never sneeze or cough into them. I know the recommendation is to use a tissue or the crook of your arm (but this where I cradle my baby). If I didn't have a tissue nearby when I needed to cough or sneeze I would cover my mouth with my hands and sanitize immediately.
Get Healthy, Get Happy!

Baby Log: Week 11

Sunday, November 8, 2009

baby massage Miss Marlie gets more interactive with each passing day and I am thoroughly enjoying it:
  • She likes getting massages after a bath and let's us know by cooing the whole time
  • She now wraps her arms around my neck and sometimes squeezes {{{swoon!}}}
  • She likes to play (a lot). Her favorite playtime activities are button nose (when I push her nose and make a clicking sound) and bouncing on my leg. Both games result in big smiles and laughter.
  • She is obsessed with the ceiling fan. If she catches a glimpse of it, she will throw her head back to look up at it. Oh, and don't try to move away while she is staring at the whirling blades because she'll have a fit.
  • She is making attempts to roll over from her back onto her stomach. It's so much fun to watch!
  • I've been leaving her in her crib to play by herself so that I can get some housework done. She'll play for about 30 minutes before she gets tired of being alone, then she starts performing little tricks to get out of it. First she tries simple fussing, which elevates to shrieking when I don't come running to pick her up. If I am still a no-show after a few minutes, she starts to wail. When I go to check on her, she pulls out the show-stopper...she looks up at me with those big eyes, her lips quiver, then one big, fat tear will roll down her cheek. My heart melts. I scoop her up and whisper sweet-nothings in her ear. She stops crying. I look at her and she is smiling! She did this twice before I realize I was being conned. We are going to have to always be a step ahead of this one.
  • The cradle cap returned along with what looks like baby eczema all down her back. I did not want to repeat the Selsun Blue wash because of the harsh chemicals. I consulted my holistic childbirth educator who directed me to apply a salve of 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 5 drops of tea tree oil to her scalp, let soak and wash out with Dr. Bronner's Mild Baby Soap. Then gently comb out the flakes. I did this three times and voila! For her skin, I was told to increase my intake of Omega 3 supplements (great for skin ans hair) and to break open a capsule and give to her directly for a few days until the bumps cleared up. This is also working.
  • I noticed a bunch of small hairs on her crib sheet and realized that she is shedding. I wouldn't normally be concerned except that it all came out at once and from the same area on her head (she now has a pretty, little bald spot on her left side). I can't figure out if she is pulling them out (remember I mentioned last week that her hands are constantly in her head?) or if it's the friction from the sheets since she likes to sleep on that side of her head (despite our attempts to rotate sides, she always turns back the other way). I'm calling her doctor on Monday if the hair loss continues this weekend just to make sure it's not a symptom of something more serious (I warned her pediatrician that I would be one of those paranoid mommies).
  • I had a cold this week, but it was so mild that it's almost not worth mentioning, but I want to credit my immune-boosting regimen for minimizing the symptoms and helping me get over it so quickly. Look for details on the next Tip(ful) Tuesday post.

6 reasons why I would be doomed if I were stranded on a deserted island all by myself

Saturday, November 7, 2009

small talk six buttonAnother round of Small Talk Six presented by MomDot:

  1. Alone in paradise? I would think that I had already died and went to heaven!
  2. I'm not The Professor and cannot build anything to sustain life or aid in rescue (shelter, water tower, raft, coconut phone)
  3. I'd probably eat the poison berries because I don't know anything about plants
  4. I would die from a lack of sex, television, and celebrity gossip
  5. I never watched an episode of Man vs. Wild
  6. After the novelty wore off, I would get bored to death!

Flashback Friday: Back to My Roots

Friday, November 6, 2009

Teresha as a child in JamaicaMy roots (heritage) are Jamaican (mother, father, maternal and paternal grandmothers, paternal grandfather), Cuban (maternal grandfather), West African (maternal great-grandmother), Jewish (maternal great-grandfather), and Indian (paternal great-grandmother). This is as far back as I can trace my family tree.

My other roots (hair) are thick and curly. I used to consider my hair unruly and begged for a relaxer at age 12. My aunts, with their bone-straight tresses, took my side and my mother caved. I wish she hadn't because this was the beginning of a 17-year sentence, during which I was a prisoner to the beautician's chair, the latest hair care products, and the weather (can't get your touch-up wet!). All this (plus thousands of dollars) in the name of achieving "good hair" status. In 2005, I finally decided enough was enough. I set myself free by growing out my processed hair and going natural. That was me taking ownership of my beauty and vowing never to allow someone else to define it for me, ever again. I know my daughter is going to have similar conflicted feelings about her hair. At just three months old, the texture of her hair receives much more attention from family members than her latest developmental milestone. But I am equipped to handle their comments and her inevitable questions about whether she has "pretty" hair or when can she get a permanent. My answers are simple: "yes, your hair is beautiful because no one else has hair like yours" and "no, you won't be getting any chemical hair processes while you are still a child living under my roof."
I will teach her to look past society's standards and see the beauty in the crown that God bestowed upon her head. I will honestly share my own struggle to love the hair on my head and hope she will appreciate her own and choose never to chemically change it.

You see that girl in the two-piece bathing suit? Yep, that's me at age 3, all set to go to the beach in Negril. Little did I know that 30 years later, I'd be sporting the same hairstyle.

Thursdays with Teresha

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Blogger TereshaI have always wanted my own talk show a la Oprah or Barbara. I dream of chatting with everyday people and celebrities, getting them to open up and share fascinating little tidbits about their lives with the audience, then making them my lifelong friends. In lieu of a multi-year, multimillion dollar contract and syndication deal with ABC, I am creating my own talk show right here...in this space. Every Thursday, I will post an interview with a mommy or daddy blogger who has been tagged to appear on my show (parents of fur-babies are also welcome).

If you are tagged, please email your responses
to the questions below by the following Wednesday to t_freckleton[at]yahoo[dot]com along with the web address of the blogger whom you are tagging (make it someone you don't already know pretty well). Your interview will be posted that Thursday as the featured guest on Thursdays with Teresha! For your participation, you get to post this lovely badge that I made on your blog (don't hyperventilate)! Let's get the ball rolling...

Name: Teresha
Blog Name: Marlie and Me
Blog Address: http://marlieandmommy.blogspot.com
How many children do you have and what are their genders/ages? 1 girl, 3 months-old

  1. First name of the first person you kissed romantically: Elvin
  2. First name of the person you last kissed: Marlie
  3. 3 adjectives that describe you: over-achiever, fun-loving, practical
  4. 3 nouns that describe you: wife, mother, believer
  5. 3 things your parent(s) taught you that you plan to teach your child(ren): always write thank you notes, everything happens for a reason, don't air your dirty laundry
  6. 3 things you wish your parent(s) taught you that you plan to teach your child(ren): the importance of saving money, the difference between love and lust, how to say "no"
  7. Your worst kept secret: My husband cooks better than me
  8. Your best kept secret: My middle name
  9. A romantic comedy movie that best describes your life: Love Jones
  10. Celebrity parent you'd trade places with and why: Jada Pinkett Smith so I can live in that house!
Next week on Thursdays with Teresha is...Angie's Spot. Tag, you're it! Start thinking of your answers and get them to me by Wednesday. Oh, and don't forget to tag another blogger and send them the instructions!

Tip(ful) Tuesday: What Wear When You Are Breastfeeding

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Angelo Baldemor statue
Photo of Angelo Baldemor statue by bingbing

In preparation for breastfeeding I purchased four nursing bras and received one nursing tank as a gift. I was so focused on the undergarments that I completely forgot about tops. I didn't need to worry at first because the weather was still warm when I gave birth, so I just wore tank tops. Then it got cooler, and the idea of exposing my bare skin to the frigid air sent me running to the department store.

But when I got there I was clueless about what to buy...flannel button-downs, long-sleeved scoop necks, cardigans? Confused, I left without buying anything. I mentioned my dilemma to my pastor who shared this awesome tip with me: buy men's tank-style undershirts to wear over your nursing bra and under your top.
When you need to nurse your baby, just lift up or un-button your shirt and pull your boob through the extra-large arm holes of the men's tank. Now you have a cover-up layer between you and the elements (and curious onlookers).

I'm Calling a School Assembly...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Meet me in the auditorium class because I have BRAG-A-LICIOUS announcements and awards to pass out:mini fashionista

  • I won another pair of Ministar Fur Boots, this time from Mommy Mandy. Pictured to the left is Marlie wearing the first pair I won. I got the next pair in a size large so she can have them to wear next winter. The PR rep who mailed them to me suggested that I buy a lottery ticket, maybe I will!
  • I also won 100 UPrinting postcards from Jael Custom Designs just in time for the the holidays!
  • I tied for 1st place in the "So You Think You Can Decorate" pumpkin contest at Hot Chocolate Caramel Mocha's Facebook Fan PaMichael Jackson as a Pumkinge. My entry was Michael Jackson: the Billie Jean years. My prize is a $5 Starbucks gift card, which I am giving to hubby.
  • Our Halloween Costumes earned the title of "Best Homegrown Costume" at Parenting BY Dummies. We didn't make it onto the ballot, but I'm still proud of our effort. Go over there and check out the finalists and vote, there are some cool costumes!
  • I won last week's Freak Show Friday caption contest at Leigh vs. Laundry! Check out my winning caption! I told you I was hilarious, now I have proof!funny blogger award
  • Leigh also graced me with the Honest Scrap Award, which comes with the stipulation that I reveal 10 facts you don't know about me: honest scrap award1. I am the oldest of S-I-X children
    2. I have freckles
    3. I have a major crush on John Cusack
    4. I chickened out on my high school graduation speech because I was terrified of public speaking
    5. I never stopped watching cartoons
    6. I am addicted to the soap opera General Hospital
    7. I pursued my now-husband back when we were in college (people always assume he made the first move)
    8. I can do pretty much anything with my toes that I can do with my hands
    9. I have read all seven Harry Potter books and watched all the movies
    10. I voted for Barack Obama
    I now pass the hammer to these seven no-holds-barred bloggers:
    Straightjackets are Slimming
    Too Many Heartbeats
    The Redhead Riter
    Hot Chocolate Caramel Mocha
    Mocha Dad
    A Spiritual Connection
    Jill's Believe Ir Or Not
    Okay ladies and gent, post your award with your 10 personal facts, and pick your 7 recipients!
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