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Soapbox Saturday: Selfish People

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Relationships supposed to be give and take, right?

Then why I do I always seem to be stuck on the giving end with a whole lot of taking going on. I am surrounded by selfish people. The kind who only come around when they want something. All of them want a piece of me. The constant barrage is stressful and draining. Sometimes it feels like I'm being bled bone-dry.

Oh, I've wised-up. I've learned to say no. The selfish people don't like that word. They will use other means to try and get what they want like the guilt trip. I don't I fall for it, but it makes me mad that selfish people will resort to emotional manipulation to get their way.

For once I'd like to be on the receiving end of some good, old-fashioned giving and not the kind where someone offers you something under the pretense of giving, but then it turns out they have ulterior motives. I am talking genuine giving...no strings attached, no quid pro quo, no reciprocity.

Do you give with no expectations of anything in return?

Monday Morning Parenting: Mothers as Martyrs

Monday, July 26, 2010

I guess it's part of our culture as humans to put certain classes of people up on pedestals--movie stars, models...mothers. I have been straining under the weight of the motherhood mantle lately. The one where I am supposed to take care of my baby, keep my home immaculate, prepare a perfect dinner every night, make sure my husband gets some on the regular while maintaining perfectly coiffed hair, impeccable make-up, a fit body and wearing a cute sweater and tan pants. It's a voice that chants it's your job to do it all and make it look easy. The expectations are too high, unrealistic and practically inhumane. I would have to be superhuman to do it all. Oh, that's where the term supermom come from. Bump that foolishness. I am getting out of the trap.

See it's also our nature as humans to tear down those whom we build up. Read any comic books series and you'll see what I mean. I can't hop two feet on the Internet without tripping over an article vilifying mothers for doing a poor job of child-rearing. We pay our kids too little attention, we don't feed them the right foods, we don't engage them in the right enrichment activities, the list goes on. A mother can literally go insane trying to live up to a standard that is a moving target, and she will never be perfect. Accept that.

Which brings me to mommy guilt. I have read about mothers who feel bad when they buy themselves new clothes or go back to work because they feel their kid(s) are being robbed of something. So we get in the habit of sacrificing. We give up the manicures, the girls night out, the career. But the truth is that the price of too much self-sacrificing is very high. Your identity, even your sanity can quickly vanish in the name of giving your all to your child(ren).

You might wonder where all this is coming from. Last Monday I had a mommy meltdown (probably the first of many) brought on by exhaustion from being overworked. That day I did my usual with Marlie (fed her, played with her, put her down for her naps) and my usual chores (washed cloth diapers, cleaned the bathroom, tidied up the kitchen). Then evening came and Damon was not around to take over. I had to put Marlie to bed which is normally his thing. After a marathon day, I was not equipped to handle her resistance to going to sleep. From 6 pm to 10 am she put up a fight and was winning the battle. At one point, I plopped her down in her play yard and just started screaming. She was so frightened that she started to shake and cry. Then I started to cry. I went downstairs for a timeout. I was ashamed of myself. I had scared my baby. I scared myself. I felt an overwhelming sense of hopelessness because there was no one around to help me. I kept thinking this is not how it should be.

I was able to collect myself after calling Damon and I eventually got her to sleep, but I didn't get much rest that night. The same feelings of guilt and incompetence kept washing over me in waves. I recognized the feeling. It was burn out. I realized that I had to get off this supermom train that was destined for martyrdom. One resolution is that I am no longer going to spend entire days alone with Marlie when Damon goes out of town. The other is for me to get some more time out of the house doing stuff that makes me happy (not running errands or grocery shopping or chauffeuring Marlie to play dates).

I am not vying for sainthood.
I am only human. I am a mother.

Baby Log: Week 48

Sunday, July 25, 2010

This week I had a glimpse into my future with an independent-minded toddler and it wasn't pretty. The week started off brilliantly. Marlie slept the whole way during the drive back from Austin. Damon had to go to San Franciso the next day for work. No biggie, right? Wrong! The day was normal...eat, play, nap, eat, play, nap, eat, bath, b-e-d-t-i-m-errrr! That's the sound of the record screeching to a halt. I first attempted to put her to bed at 6:00 pm. Two friggin' hours later I'm getting a little worn out, but I'm not giving up. By 10 pm I'm having a mommy meltdown (more on that tomorrow). I call Damon in tears. SHE WON'T GO TO SLEEP! I'M EXHAUSTED. LOSING MY MIND. ON THE EDGE OVER HERE! He suggests I take her for a drive (way to throw my own advice back at me hubby). So, I strap her into her car seat and off we go over the Trinity River and into the woods. Not really, but go with me. We're driving and driving. I'm not paying attention to where we're going. An hour later, I realize she's asleep and I'm lost. It's past 11 o'clok at night. Nothing is open. I feel the panic creep into my throat. I look around in the darkness and I see salvation in the form of golden arches. I turn into the McDonald's drive thru and ask the nice lady how to get to the highway and then I order a medium fries because it was the right thing to do. hee! We get home close to midnight. I carry sleeping beauty inside and lay her down on the bed where she...promptly wakes up! I breathe deeply, pick her up in my sore arms and rock her for 15 more minutes. Back. to. Sleep. I never, ever want to feel that burned out again. I told Damon we have to make plans for me to have some assistance when he's out of town. I can't do it alone with no breaks. It's almost criminal to have one person on baby care duty 24 hours straight.
The rest of the week was much better:
  • We popped homemade popcorn with our new old-fashioned stove top popcorn maker. Marlie loved it.
  • I taught her to say "good" and "yum" when she likes something she ate. Sometimes is comes out as "gum" She also says "huh?" when you ask her a question. Daddy is still her favorite word. She kind of sings it when she sees him. Whereas "ma" is what she screams when she is having a nightmare or whines when she is hungry, sleepy or has general malaise. I'll take it.
  • She is obsessed with doors and light switches. Same with removing the velcro on her diaper covers. I now appreciate the design genius of the onesie.
  • I've been showing her how to build stuff with her blocks which she immediately knocks over. I built a castle and she just swatted and stomped on it. My new nickname for her is Godzilla. She screeches like Godzilla too. We had a screaming match on Friday. It was a tie.
  • She has become the little walker overnight. She can now turn and walk in a different direction. She had her first major spill this week, a face plant on the hardwood. I saw blood on the floor when I picked her up. She bit her lip when she fell. Ouchie! It took 10 seconds for her to expel the full force of her cry. I never heard her cry like that. I gave her a cool washcloth to suck on and she was right as rain. Check out her video debut:

The PERFECT 1st Birthday Outfit

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I hope it's no shock to you that I can get a little obsessed, downright compulsive even. Right now I am consumed with winning a $25 gift certificate to My Baby Clothes Boutique on the blog Babies Gotta Have It. Why, you ask? Because in this store is the outfit. What outfit, you ask? This dress...

What's so special about this dress, you ask? It's The.Perfect.Outfit for Marlie's 1st birthday party next month. I want it badly. So badly that I am writing this post to earn an extra entry into the giveaway. I am also writing this post to my detriment because if all of you enter too it will lower my odds of winning. See what I did there? Laid a little guilt on y'all, but don't let that stop you from entering the giveaway. By all means rob my baby of her perfect party dress for the only 1st birthday she will ever have. Nah, really, it's okay. I can draw a number 1 with a sharpie on a onesie and she'll wear that. Just kidding. I want that dress!

CLOSED...Book Review: on all the things that make me beautiful

When it comes to books, I am like a treasurer hunter except that I like to share what I dig up with everyone around me. Fellow blogger Nadirah Angail has written and self-published a gem called on all the things that make me beautiful: short inspirational essays on life, love & self. Nadirah devotes every page to offering spiritual wisdom to women on their relationships with themselves, each other, and those around them. Nadirah shares some thoughts on her book in this author Q&A:
What motivated you to write this book?
This book started as a blog. I noticed a lot of people responding well to what I was writing. I also noticed a huge need for something like this. I saw a lot of women who just didn't even know how beautiful they are. That bothered me. I've always wanted to write a book, but never knew what it would be about. Finally, it all just came together.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
After talking to different people who have read it, I see that each person interprets it differently, and that's great. I've had people get things out of this book that I didn't even know I was putting in it! I love that. Create your own meaning and context. The one thing I do want people to get is that women are so much more than how we are often portrayed and that we DO NOT have to accept the standards others put on us!

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Well, the essays were already on my different blogs, so it wasn't hard to write. I just had to compile it and clean it up some. The hardest things was getting over the fear and actually doing it.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned how much self publishing has changed. It used to be hard, a real hassle, but now there are so many options, there really is no good reason for an aspiring author not to just jump in and do it.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I'd like my readers to know how much I appreciate them and how I truly hope they receive something meaningful from the book. Never doubt yourself. You're just too freakin' awesome for that

My take: In my opinion, on all the things that make me beautiful is more than a self-help book, it's a self-empowerment book. It is a magnifying glass that takes a closer look at the problems women struggle with everyday like body image, dating, marriage, work, child-rearing and self-esteem. If you are constantly asking yourself, "why can't I find a good man?" or "why am I unhappy?" then you should read this book. You just might find the answers you seek.Buy it: you can receive an autographed copy of on all the things that make me beautiful from NadirahAngail.com for $14Win It: One lucky Marlie and Me reader is going to receive her (or his) own copy of on all the things that make me beautiful!

Mandatory first entry: Visit NadirahAngail.com and tell me something you learned about the author. NOTE: You must be a current or new follower of Marlie and Me via Google Friend Connect before you leave this comment...
Extra Entries:
Earn one (1) extra entry for completing each of the following (leave separate comments for each):
  • Be a current or new subscriber of Marlie and Me via email (subscription must be activated)
  • Grab my button (leave the URL where I can find it)
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post (leave the URL where I can find it)
The rules:
  • This giveaway will end on 7/31/10 at 11:59 pm CST
  • Winner will be chosen randomly from all comments posted using Random.org
  • 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 be identified as such.The winner's mailing address will be forwarded to the sponsor for prize fulfillment.
  • In the event the prize is not claimed in the allotted time another winner will be chosen. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Must be at least 18 years of age to participate. Void where prohibited.
  • Entries that do not follow instructions or are falsified will be disqualified

CSN Stores Review: A Sneak Peek

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's CSN Stores! CSN is my superhero of online retailers because it saves me from the hassle of searching high and low all over the internet for great products. Where else are you going to find everything from art to briefcases to cribs and dining room sets in over 200 online stores?! Like this retro-inspired beauty:

I'm so excited to be working with CSN Stores again. So come back soon to see what item I picked for my review!

Our Wedding Song

Thursday, July 22, 2010

One of my sorority sisters and her friend sang Spend My Life With You as I walked down the aisle at my wedding. As the saying goes, "they put their foot in it." I think everyone in the church got goose bumps. I know I did.

I spent a lot of time searching for our wedding song. It was not easy considering that the most popular "love" song at the time was Let's Just Get Married (otherwise known as We Might As Well Do It). When Eric Benet released this single I knew we had our song. It was so unbelievably good and it underscored our commitment to spend our lives together. I wanted our witnesses to know that we were in it for the long haul, not just for the wedding day. It was the perfect song for our wedding day...for our marriage. We just celebrated our 10th anniversary last week! I still get chills when this song comes on the radio.

This post was written for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

Mama's Losin' It

Word(ful) Wednesday: Austin Trip

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Here are some photos from our weekend in Austin. Sorry...no pictures of me. I'm always behind the camera. go figure!

We prefer to stay at B&Bs or rent when we travel. It's so much more adventurous. This time was no different. This is a
street level view of the treehouse where we lodged.

This is a view of the treehouse from our deck. I just love how the home owner built this upper addition around this tree!

This is Marlie and Damon looking at the chickens at Boggy Creek Farm. She screamed when he tried to put her down. She wanted nothing to do with the chickens.

The farm also grew flowers. I managed to capture this butterfly with my riny-dink camera.

We had lunch with an old friend who rows on the Austin rowing team. This was his first time meeting Marlie. She was quite taken with him.

Baby Log: Week 47

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Aloha from Austin, TX! The family got away for some R&R this weekend. Marlie did pretty good on her first road trip. She got tired of being in the car seat about two and half hours in and we had about an hour left to drive. I climbed into the back seat and kept her entertained for awhile, but she stopped playing along after about 45 minutes and then she had a fire-and-brimstone meltdown. We might have to schedule future long distance drives overnight when she is fast asleep. Luckily we only had 15 minutes to go before we reached our destination...a treehouse. Yep. we are staying in a treehouse. While here, I dreamed that we had a play date with Sandra Bullock and her little boy. Me and my crazy dreams. It's been a wonderful weekend! Lots of big things happened this week:
  • Marlie is officially a walker! The big breakthrough happened on Thursday. She just stood up in the middle of our bedroom and took five steps forward. I startled her with my loud screaming and clapping. She loved the praise so much that she kept practing the rest of the day. When her daddy came home, she climbed down from the trampoline (her new favorite hangout spot), gained her balance and walked straight into his arms! It was like a scene from a movie! I am going to try to capture her walking on video to post.
  • What else? She been singing a lot lately. Her favorite lyrics are bree bree ba ba bree bree. She has quite an octave. Marlie might give Mariah Carey a run for her money. At least that's what the patrons at the restaurant said on Friday when she gave them an improptu performance of her ear-splitting falsetto note.
  • In Austin, she tried coconut milk ice cream (sweetened with Agave nectar). We took her to Barton Springs and Boggy Creek farm where she got freaked out by the chickens. I forgot to bring the camera cord, so I'll post pics this Wednesday.

We get back this afternoon, so I will catch up with all my bloggy friends later today.

Friday Date Night Movie Must-See: TiMER

Friday, July 16, 2010

If going to the movie theater is not your cup of joe (costly tickets, price-gouging snacks, crowded aisles, ringing cell phones) or if you just cannot spring for a babysitter...do what I do and make Fridays your movie night in the comfort of your own home. You will need the following:
  • a television
  • a DVD or Blu-Ray player or Netflix Roku box
  • a movie service (I alternate between Netflix and redbox)
  • popcorn (I just Damon an old-fashioned stove-top popcorn maker)
  • your loved one
After you put the kid(s) to bed, grab all your supplies, pop in your movie, sit back and enjoy the show!

This week I recommend: TiMER

Synopsis: In a not-so-far-away future people get timers implanted on their wrists that countdown to when they will meet their soul mate.

My Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this movie's take on digital love. It left me wondering if getting "chipped" to avoid all the bad relationships is a good or bad thing.

It's My Aluminum Wedding Anniversary!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I've been married for ten years as of today! Count 'em with me...1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10!

I won't get all cliche and say that it seems like only yesterday that Damon and I got married. In fact, it seems longer than 10 years. Maybe it's because we were together for five years (with a pause in the middle) before we got married. All I know is that this is forever. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. Join me as I take a take a trip down memory lane...

...to when Damon and I first met. I was living in a scholarship house off-campus (a co-op for nerdy, nerds). He was friends with one of my roommates. He came over to hangout. I liked him immediately. After he left I asked her about his "situation." She said she didn't think he had a girlfriend, but would find out. I badgered her for two days until she finally admitted that she talked to him but that he was not interested because he thought light-skin girls were stuck up. I looked up his phone number and called his dorm. He barely answered the phone before I launched into a tirade of who-do-you-think-you are-to-judge-me-you-don't-even-know-me-where-do-you-get-off? Somehow he managed to get a word in edgewise (a talent he skillfully employs to this day) and asked where I got the idea that he didn't like me because I was light-skinned? I told him my roommate said so. He said that was a lie and then asked me out. We've been inseparable ever since (except for that pause). Interestingly, we stayed friends with my former roommate and even visited her in Zurich when we went traveling through Europe two summers ago.

...to the first time he told me he loved me. We were at the movie theater watching some silly romantic-comedy. The lead actors were engaged in a heart-to-heart about sex before marriage. I turned to him and asked in a whisper if he thought we were sinning by having premarital sex. Without pausing, he said, "no, because I love you." just.like.that. He said it so casually, but with so much confidence that I was stunned into silence. My mind was screaming HE LOVES ME!

...to our disastrous first engagement. Senior year was drawing to a close. My mind was preoccupied with the big question. Not THAT question. I was wondering what would become of us after graduation.
I wanted to know where we stood. We had an argument, he came back with a ring, I stupidly said yes. A week later, he admitted it was a mistake. The ring went back to the jewelry store, and I was left humiliated and heartbroken. He went to Atlanta alone. It took almost two years to find our way back to each other. Along the way, many lessons were learned. The most important being that we belonged together.

...to our wedding day. I was annoyed because no one seemed to be acting like it was MY wedding day. His cousin woke me up early that morning to inform me that he missed his flight (so?! was my reply). My bridesmaids were crowding my dressing room and hogging my make-up artist and hair stylist. As I was getting ready I kept kicking myself for not taking Damon up on his offer to elope while we were in Vegas. When I finally started walking up the aisle I saw him standing at the front of the church and everyone else ceased to exist. That's when I realized that from then on it was just me and him.

...to when we became parents. 11 months ago on the same date (Marlie was born on August 15), we welcomed our baby girl into our lives. I didn't think it was possible to love my husband any more, until I saw him become a father. When I see the two of them together my heart swells to the point where it feels like it will burst. Before Marlie it felt like we were one, but now it feels like we are a family.

I am excited to see what will the next decade will bring!

Baby Log: Week 46

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I am exhausted! Marlie has been a handful lately. I had to pick her up early from school on Wednesday because she was crying inconsolably. The week went downhill from there including fighting naps/sleep, throwing her food to the dog, wanting to play at 3'oclock in the morning, and just generally being uncooperative. I know what you're thinking...babies are not supposed to cooperate. True, but don't tell that to my battered psyche. She's fragile and in recovery from all the blood-curdling screaming. Nothing much else to report this week...
  • Marlie's new favorite thing to do is to walk up the stairs (with help of course)
  • She also likes to go in between spaces. If she sees a gap somewhere, she takes it as an invitation to squeeze through. I have watched her go behind the bed, the nightstand, underneath the desk. Maybe this means she'll be a cave explorer.
  • We had our first major thunderstorm and the clap of thunder scared the beetle juice out of her. One minute she is sitting in the middle of the floor and then the thunder roars and she is suddenly scrambling up in my arms. Mommy will always keep you safe baby girl.
  • Check out my little monkey climbing up the side of my craft table:

Review: NOVICA...Home Decor, Jewelry & Gifts From Around the World

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I am beyond thrilled to share with you my new online shopping destination. It's called Novica. Have you heard about Novica? They are a mission-driven website associated with National Geographic working with thousands of talented artisans around the world. I am passionate about companies with a social mission, so when Novica asked me to do a review I said absolutely, yes!

When you visit Novica's website I promise you will instantly fall in love with their unique gifts, stylish jewelry, handcrafted furniture and home decor like this beautiful blown-glass decanter made by the Quirarte Family in Mexico I picked out as a wedding present for a friend:

blown-glass decanter
It doesn't end there. Novica sells accessories for you too. The jewelry is literally to.die.for. I went gaga in the sterling silver jewelry section and selected this textured ring created by Balinese designer Nyoman Rena for Damon:
sterling silver textured ring

Now you might be wondering if I got something for myself. Of course I did! Ever since I cut my hair short I have been looking for something to make my face standout. The answer is earrings and Novica has thousands! Take a look at these delightful Carnelian floral earrings made in Thailand that I snapped up to decorate my earlobes
Carnelian floral earrings

I ran out of money before I could purchase a necklace so I put a couple of hot, little numbers on my wish list like this dazzling pearl and chalcedony piece that I am hoping to receive for my upcoming wedding anniversary (Damon, if you are reading this...hint, hint):

pearl and chalcedony necklace

What I like most about Novica is that they take the anxiety out of gift shopping with their gift finder tool which helps you search by price, category, and even makes suggestions based on the person's interests or special occasion. Each purchase comes with an artisan story card and many are gift wrapped for free. Believe me when I say that the gift wrapping is just a beautiful as the item. I have already started making a Christmas shopping list and I'm checking it twice! My one recommendation for improving the Novica site would be to include the option to ship to multiple addresses in the checkout process. It would be nice to get all the Christmas shopping done in one order.
Shopping tip: standard shipping can take a couple of weeks so order early to ensure that your gifts arrive on time or you can check out the fast shipping gifts section for gifts that are ready for speedy delivery to U.S recipients.

So why shop at Novica?
  • they provide a HUGE selection of unique and one-of-a-kind decorations and accessories from all over the world for you and your home right at your fingertips!
  • normal shipping is just as affordable as domestic!
  • you will be supporting a wonderful cause!
Follow Novica on Facebook and Twitter to stay connected. Tell them that Teresha, their biggest fan, sent you!Photobucket

Love 'Em With Kindness

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

photo credit: kk+/cc 2.0

In honor of the Dalai Lama's 75th year on this planet Se'Lah author of NECESSARY ROOM, called upon her readers to perform random acts of kindness for a day. How did yours truly do?...
  • I let someone skip me in the line at the post office
  • I told my sister that I'm proud of her
  • I donated some of Marlie's blankets to help infants receiving a speech therapy in Lusaka, Zambia as part of C.L.A.S.P. International
  • I made a contribution to a charity I randomly selected on Charity Navigator
  • I told myself that I am a good person
My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” -Dalai Lama

Make kindness your religion!

Monday Morning Parenting: To Be An Only Child or Not To Be An Only Child

Monday, July 5, 2010

Marlie is turning 1 next month and that has got me thinking about another baby. I'll pause while some of you clap and some of you wipe the coffee off your computer screen. Okay. May I continue now?

Let me start off by saying that I don't get why people have such strong opinions on how many children you should have. From what I gather the rule of thumb is more than one, but less than four otherwise you get labeled an Octomom. Who gives a squirrel's tail if you have one or ten kids as long as they are healthy and happy?!

Damon and I made the very conscious decision to wait until we were at least 30 to start a family. This choice gave us the freedom to establish our careers, complete graduate degrees, save money, travel extensively and do pretty much what we wanted, when we wanted. But we never discussed when we'd complete our family, and now that I'm approaching 35 I think that should be the cutoff.

I also want at least 2 years separating my kids if I had more than one child. If I want a second child before I'm 35 with at least a two-year gap, I would need to start the baby making like yesterday! Don't go getting all excited, because the truth is...I'm not ready. The more I think about having another baby next year, the more I realize that it would only happen to stick to some arbitrary timeline. But I have to be realistic because, at 34, my eggos are not going to wait much longer for me to be "ready." That's a lot of pressure!

I stand behind my belief that the decision to have more children should be based on readiness, not a schedule (or public opinion). I honestly feel like our family is complete for now and I don't see that changing within a year's time. Do I worry that I will change my mind at 37 or 38 and run into that brutal, brick wall better known as infertility? Sure I do, but that's not going to push me into getting pregnant sooner than later. Do I fret about Marlie being an only child. No, not really. I am the oldest of six children and I always say that siblings are overrated.

Is it wacko to only want one child? What do you think?

Baby Log: Week 45

Sunday, July 4, 2010

As Marlie approaches age 1 I'm getting a little sad. She is growing up and there's no stopping it. Read what she did this week:
  • Marlie is teething again, but I can't tell if it's canines or molars since the whole area is swollen, maybe it's all of them erupting at once. I can't wait for the teething to be over.
  • She just started making fish lips. People will ask who taught her to do that. It wasn't either of her parents. Maybe she learned it at school.
  • Marlie is thoroughly enjoying her push walker, especially banging the dog on the head with the blocks that came with it.
  • It's official...chickpeas are now her favorite food. She eats them morning, noon and night. They are jammed packed with nutrition suchs 4 g of fat, 12 g dietary fiber, 15 g protein, 8% daily value of calcium, 26% daily value of iron! She is such a healthy eater...still no refined sugar, still no meat.
  • At her weigh-in at the pediatrician's office on Friday, she had gained a whopping 1 lb 2 ounces since last month. Pretty impressive for my feather-weight. She is right at 16 lbs. She got a DTaP shot and then we went home.
  • Saturday was a busy social day. We went to a cookout, a play date, IKEA (where we bumped in to Brandy, Brian and baby Orlaith), and then another cookout. Marlie held her own with the two boys on the play date. She loved the indoor play set, especially the slide. She showed no fear as she repeatedly came rushing down. She also showed no signs of tiring out after we left. I think she would have played all day if we let her.

Flashback Friday: Random Acts of Kindness

Friday, July 2, 2010

photo credit: apollonio&battista/cc 2.0

My bloggy friend Se-Lah over at NECESSARY ROOM is hosting a Random Act of Kindness Day on July 6 in honor of the Dalai Lama's 75th birthday. You know who is participating of course, and I hope you will too! I'm forcing myself not to think about it until Tuesday so that my kind act(s) will be truly random, but I am committed to participating. I have, however, been reflecting on the times I have been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness.

One such extraordinary gesture that sticks out in my mind is the time I almost lost my mother. I was a freshman in college and just returned to my scholarship co-op from Thanksgiving break when I got a call from home that my mom, who was 7 months pregnant with twins, began hemorrhaging in the middle of the night and had to be rushed to the hospital. I was ready to go to the Greyhound station and catch the next bus, but one of my roommates grabbed her car keys and offered to drive me to Miami. I was so struck by her generosity that I just bawled. We had only been living together a few months, we weren't even suite-mates. We hardly knew each other, but she didn't hesitate to help me in my time of need. I will always be grateful to her.

I have always equated kindness with having grace. My pastor once said that grace is having the power to slam a door in someone's face, but choosing to open it instead.
It's so easy to gloat, be cruel and kick people when they are down. Even worse, we often look the other way when we are in a position to help. Think how much better our world would be if we opted to exercise a little kindness everyday.

Marlie and Me Need a Favor

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Photo Credit: Theresa Thompson/CC 2.0

Okay. Here's the deal. I've entered Marlie's incomparably beautiful mug into several contests, and she's yet to win. What gives? A lesser stage mother would develop a complex (or kill someone). I jest. Seriously though, I am going to stump for votes for my baby once again because that's what we mothers do. This time it's for
the Flaimahmy Magazine’s Fly-Baby 2010 contest and the prize is $1,000 (which we'd promptly deposit into her college fund). So please click on over to the voting gallery and cast five stars for Marlie! She is photo #59. It's easiest to get to her photo by clicking backward...63, 60, 59. Notes on voting:
  • You have to be a Flaimahmy subscriber (pronounced fly-mommy) to vote. If you don't receive an email with your login information, got back to the website and hit forgot password.
  • You vote by filling in the blank stars above the photo.
  • You can only vote once

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