Monthly Archives: September 2012

Time 4 A Checkup

Yesterday, I had my annual physical. I was excited when I got there and then……
In the first 5 minutes bad news. My doctor has been my doctor since I was 18. She knows my full medical background. Her staff was just as shocked as I was to see my Blood Pressure through the roof. I have never had high blood pressure not even during my pregnancies. I gained some weight but never had any real health issues until the swelling from my daughter. Now I know I’ve been dealing with stress lately but as high as my pressure was, they were concerned with me leaving. They decided to take it two more times before I left and each time it was considerably lower but not where me or my doctor wanted it to be. This has encouraged me more to complete my weight loss goals as well as heavily getting back into my yoga/meditation. It’s so nice to have support from my family. My son was hurt to hear something was wrong and his dad explained that everybody has to play a part in helping me get better. This is just another test and more proof of why I need to shed these unwanted pounds.

Not claiming anything just changing everything!

Categories: Weight Loss Journey | 1 Comment

Shedding my Weight

For about the past 9 years I have struggled with my weight. But last year was a clear eye opener that now I need to do something about it. I’ve known for 2 years that something was wrong but was heavily in denial. Even though I acknowledged what was going on, I never got myself to focus and do something about it. I will say that I have noticed after having my children, my life revolves around them. But over the past year I have realized maybe a little too much.

Earlier this year I started focusing back on my health. When I had my first appointment after my daughter, I was sent to a vein and heart specialist. I found out that my daughter was positioned on a major vein and caused 2 arterial blockages in each leg which was why my swelling continued. I was diagnosed with Lymphedema, which is the blockage of vessels that release fluid from tissue. Being 5’2″, the doctors biggest concern was my weight because this can lead to severe heart issues. So I lost about 42lbs last year now it’s time to grind on the other 50. Now that I have cut back on my food intake, it’s time to rev up my workouts.

Today was the beginning of my Crossfit training with United4DC . We did squats, push-ups, and burpees. Squats I’m okay with, but me and push-ups have had some issues in the past and I had never heard of a burpee, but it sure was a lot of work. I thought I would be passed out from the routine but I am full of energy. Who knows how I will feel tomorrow morning. Uh Oh!

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Categories: Weight Loss Journey | 2 Comments

Morning Inspiration

I wake up some days, not on the wrong side of the bed, not moody or unhappy, its a just a don’t feel like it day. But I get to work and feel inspired. My office is open 24 hours since we handle operations for schools and government facilities. I get in at 8am everyday. I have an 81 year old employee accompanied with a walker and cane that comes to work everyday at 3:00am. She handles most of our engineer material requests which is very tedious. She always smiles and cracks jokes about the numerous times she has fallen at work as she gets closer to retiring. She has been diagnosed with a disease similar to Parkinson’s, yet she keeps coming in to ensure things are taken care of. Her last day is the end of this week. But everyday she inspires me to come to work and do my best. She shakes as she is handing over all of her assignments and files yet she organized everything. Even though her doctor has put limits on her, she refuses to limit herself. My hat goes off to her!

Who inspired you today? Did you let them know?

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Organizing Me by Overcoming Obstacles

I grew up in a house full of hoarding and not even my momma’s house. My mom for the most part was a neat freak but because I spent a lot of my younger years at my grandparents, I have grown to understand that I picked up habits from them that I never realized. My grandparents grew up during the “Great Depression” which impacted things they did in their lives. But one thing they never grew out of was holding on to things “just in case”.

I would come home to my grandparents’ house from school in the evening and walk in to a living room buffet set up with food “just in case” people stopped by. Then my grandmother would be in the kitchen cooking more food “just in case” they didn’t like what was already available. They housed an overflowing freezer and deep freezer and even an extra pantry in a spare bedroom “just in case”. My grandfather was a man that got sucked in to every gimmick/ infomercial known to man and would have packages being delivered everyday, 24 hours a day. On top of this my grandmother was a shopper of everything. Groceries, arts and crafts, clothes, home decor, you name it- she bought it, “just in case”. Let me paint a picture…. Imagine walking into a home and for as long as you walk the hallway there is a mountain of any and everything next to you, every closet in the house is filled where the outside of the closets have become extra storage. Their are 2 adults in the house with 6 closets and all overflowing. So much jewelry, coin jars and trinkets that you can’t even look in the dresser mirror because the dresser is stacked to the top. And til their dying days, most of the items in their home still had tags on them or in original packaging. This my friends killed my organizational skills. And often made me frustrated to do things before I even started. This carried over until I got grown. Then I had to learn to check myself and breathe through it.

With two children there is no time for being unorganized. And for a while I used to kick myself in the butt during my cause and effect moments. During my reflection I realized that when I had my kids, I literally was just realizing my responsibility to myself. Then It dawned on me that I never wanted them to feel as overwhelmed as I had.

I had to first acknowledge why I shopped non-stop and why when it became too much I felt like I couldn’t handle it. I grew up in a house of 70+ year old individuals and for them, they couldn’t handle it. But catching myself in my 20s, I knew that I could and I had to. I don’t think my sisters were as heavily effected. We all grew up under the same roof but we all were raised and experienced things at different parts of our parents lives. My oldest sister had the family unit until she was 10. A mom, a dad, and siblings. At age 13 she left home for boarding school and never fully returned. My middle sister experienced the family unit until she was 7, and at 16 she left for boarding school, came back home for senior year and off to college. Me, I was 2 when our parents broke up and don’t remember a household with both parents. When I turned 5, my oldest sister left home for boarding school so our relationship became strained. And as my mom put in more hours to ensure bills were paid and tuition was paid I was raised in an old folks home. Unless I was in activities or staying at a friends house, I was held hostage by the 70+ year old community. I always felt that i was left behind or there to pick up the pieces. In some ways it helped me and in some it hurt me. This was one of those hurt moments. But I accepted it, got through it and have moved on.

I realized as I got older that I have a lot of characteristics like my grandmother. I also knew as my grandmother got older and sick, she carried a lot of resentment with herself for things she wished she would have done different. I never want to carry that burden. And I knew now why I got so flustered when a large household tasks came my way. I would do the same thing I did at my grandparents house. Find a space, a corner, or area to clear my thoughts and stay put until time to go or go to bed. Basically paralyzingly myself because it was too much to deal with. I hated inviting friends over because I would have explain why they were tripping over everything or why my grandmother was forcing food down their throat.

It took me a long time to come to terms with why I was that way. And in a way it was also how i held on to pieces of them. But now I focus on fixing it. I have done so much to work on myself in the past couple of years that I love sharing that information with others. Let me tell you some tricks I use to stay organized. I used to be great at making homes but not keeping them. Now I do both by making time work for me.

– Calendars- All calendars get combined on 1 (school calendars, extra curriculum activities, family events, appointments, etc.)

– Appointments- All family doctor and dentists appointments are scheduled on days school is closed to ensure least amount of days missed for them and you using leave.

-Wash Laundry -Once a Week, those small busy kids stay needing something washed

– I workout during the kids extra curriculum activities or do workouts they can do with me, it helps motivate them to stay active

– We all assist with household chores and the chore schedule shows on the calendar as well. They learn from actions not just talking.

– We usually discuss and plan meals for the week. Dad and I compile the grocery list together to cover two- three weeks. While the kids help organize the coupons.

-Holidays, birthday parties, baby showers, school donations…Now I start months in advance so I’ll never be running around last minute. Because with kids anything could happen. As you find deals on hot items, buy while their cheap. Buy 4 or 5 because it’s always somebody you forgot. Clearance sales on books, toys, and educational items are a must. My trunk always has a bag of children’s gifts because I hate going anywhere I’m invited empty handed.

My Biggest Accomplishment is Clean as You Go. I used to wait until the mess was made to clean, but that’s what overwhelmed me in the first place. Now before my kids can make a mess, they are being lectured before hand or I’m there to clean it up. I have also decided to shop my own closet for the remainder of the year, thanks to great advice from my Bloggers Like Me Sisters.

I used to think my mother-in-law was crazy for cleaning up after grown people. Until I realized she was doing it to keep her own sense of sanity.

Wow look at how we’ve grown.

“Organizing the clutter within will change the clutter without”

How do you keep yourself organized with a busy schedule?

Categories: Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Being Happy Being You

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Last week our BLM Founder Leslie Hendricks Young posed a question about what type of teasing you want to shield your kids from or help them understand. Right now dealing with my kids there are two things that come to mind. Loving Yourself and Being Yourself.

This weekend as my 3 year old pranced around the house in my shoes, I realized how much I want her to love herself and never be influenced by what others think. When I look at her, she’s built like me. A 3 year old with thick legs, hips, a booty and solid as a rock. Thick hair, full of personality, and just as happy as she wants to be.

When I was around 5 I became self conscious about wearing skirts cause boys used to look up my dress. They joked that I had baseball bat legs because my calfs were so thick. And from there the self esteem issues began. I don’t think I put a skirt back on until I was 16, unless I was forced.

I want her to own and wear her confidence and love for self until the wheels fall off. She already has a sense of style and if she could, she would rock that bush to school. But who knows what would come back home in it. Lol

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Now my son is very sensitive and loving. Although as he’s getting older he tries putting on this hard exterior. I really want him to never lose being sensitive, loving and considerate. This is something too many men fight or hide because they feel it makes you less of a man. To me, a man being in touch with his feelings is better than a man not dealing with his feelings at all. We all have to learn to balance our male and female energy. There is nothing wrong with showing emotion and being true about your feelings. So I pray that growing older and peer pressure doesn’t make him change who he is.

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“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone

Categories: Couples Session | 6 Comments

Welcome to Sweetie Pies Meet and Greet Event

Earlier this week, my big sister ichoosethesun invited me to go with to the Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s Premiere Viewing And Cast Meet and Greet. The Event was hosted by Candice Mackel, Owner of CNPR at Indulj on 13th and U Street. I was excited because I really like the show and the fact that Miss Robbie keeps it real and believes in strong family values. And at the Meet and Greet you get that vibe in talking with Jenae and Charles. At first I was a little disappointed that Miss Robbie wasn’t able to make it, cause I sure wanted to discuss food and recipes.

Regardless, the space was nice and open,the event was full of networking and both cast members were pulled in by the positive energy of the attendees. Both very humble and personable. Even while holding Tim Jr, Jenae worked the room in heels. That handsome baby boy deserves an award for tolerating all of our mouths, the camera flashes, and all the access noise without one single tear. It was soo good to see how he has grown and his health issues are almost non existent. As we discussed family, men and new found fame, Janae made me feel like we had been girls for years. She talked about supporting your spouse, making it work and balancing hectic schedules. But as she explained even with the tv recognition, that they are regular people. They all still get up to go to work like the rest of us. Charles explained that he still can’t believe how big the show has become. And is amazed when he meets celebrities that recognize him. All this said, you are in for a treat this season.

With the opening of their new restaurant, The Upper Crust, taking on new staff, contemplating changes to the menu, and more issues arising between Miss Robbie and her son, Tim there is never a dull moment. So tune in tonight for the Season 3 Premiere of Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s on the OWN Network at 9pm.

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Thank you to Patricia McDougall Photography and Anwaa Kong for my photos.

Categories: Out and About | 2 Comments

Friday Funny

Last night was Back to School night and due to the fact that it’s the beginning of the school year, all week we have been getting yearly reminders from the school. One of the reminders we received actually had both of us as well as some of the other parents cracking up. This document said “NO SPANKING WITH BELTS”……. LMAO. The letter explained the schools low tolerance for child abuse along with a policy explanation. Now I’m pretty sure we all know the difference between abuse and a little hard discipline. But the funny part was how on the back of this letter they proceed to advice other methods of discipline inclusive of heart to heart talks, time outs, compromise, other strategies even a parental time out.

One thing I love is good parenting advice but let me explain my thoughts on this letter. Every example told you how to talk to Johnny and ensure Johnny understands the issue. Well don’t know damn Johnny live up in my house. It is these 2 stubborn, hard headed, can be off the hook at times jokers up in here. And usually if a belt has to be included in the punishment is after I have spoken 4 or 5 times, given chance after chance and even threatened with the belt and still treated like a joke. Then once that “Bye Bye Mommy, Hello Darth Vader” voice comes out they looking shook but still gotta test the waters.

Time out for these two ends up being a new play time. Standing in a corner, even with the light off ends up a hand puppet show, miming, singing the itsy bitsy spider walking their hands up the wall. Somedays I have to go laugh in another room and come back being mommy meany.

So teachers lets switch places for just one day and see if your patience doesn’t go out the window. We know our children and the majority of us truly Love our children. When they come to school they play nice and basically sedate their personality for 8 hours. Like another parent said yesterday, “then they get home and are ALL the Way Turned Up”.

We work all day and have to keep that same hard working momentum when we get home. So maybe y’all see Johnny at school but we see the kids that carry traits we know very well and sometimes “belt” has to make an appearance. It’s very rare but things happen.

Check out this hilarious YouTube video by Bricklin Page, my co-workers and I used to die laughing at this clip on child abuse. Now I don’t agree with cussing at children but this made me laugh.

Categories: Parenting/The Kids | 1 Comment

Parenting and Education

As a parent, what are things you look forward to your child learning in school? Are their things you learned that you hope your child will experience too?

I know I did, until my bubble burst. As times change and technology evolves playing a key role in our lives, you know some of the basic classes have been dropped from grade level curriculums.

I remember in second grade getting a thick book with lined paper that housed fancy letters for me to practice. We would do some in the class and take our books home to practice some more. I was super excited to be able to sign my name and not just write it. I had a signature!

Now 25 years later our children will not have that learning experience. Most school curriculums have taken handwriting out of the syllabus. This is something we as parents will have to teach our children. My son is in 4th grade and he asked me about learning to write in cursive. I thought it was pretty weird that his school did not start teaching them last year, then I found out that they won’t do it at all.

I want to ensure my kids learned everything I did and more. Not a computer doing auto correct or spell check for them. But them actually working through and knowing how to solve their problems. What word tenses and spellings to use. How to type and how to write it out if needed. Not one or the other but both.

I think technology plays a role in how this new generation thinks. For example why shouldn’t our kids have the “want it now” attitude. Look at our society. We have DVR, TiVo to fast forward commercials/pause/and record anything you miss. Expedited shipping, promo codes and ticket availability online. Everything at your fingertips every second of the day. All of how to survive in a fast paced society. NOW!!! But not forever.

When i was growing up, Commercials taught us patience, no cell phones taught us patience, No computers taught us people skills and patience. Although we rely heavily on technology the brain holds more memory than a computer. So what are we teaching our children? Personal Knowledge can withstand fires, electrical outages, and some major collisions. So if you think your child is getting anywhere close to the education you were given, you may want to do research on what other items have fallen off of this Common Core Curriculum that our school systems follow. Be in the know. These are the type of things we as parents have to stay on top of, because we are their first teachers and the teacher that is stuck with them for life.

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Categories: Parenting/The Kids | 1 Comment

Blog to Fight Childhood Hunger

In this day and age kids across America wake up hungry everyday. As a child even though times were tough my mom made sure we had breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I only viewed child hunger by the few infomercials that came on television. As an adult, child hunger is a lot closer to home than 25 years ago. But either way, we can do something about it. Share Our Strength , a campaign to end childhood hunger, has teamed up with Macaroni Grill giving bloggers and their subscribers a chance to make a difference during the Month of September. All you have to do is write about your favorite Italian style recipe and meals will be provided for those in need. Just 1 blog post through September 1st- September 30th can make a difference. Even though I am watching my figure, one thing I love is helping our children and this particular campaign is near and dear to my heart. And those that know me well……. know that me, kids, and food are a great combination.

My favorite Italian meal is a large pan of Lasagna. Which I usually make to last a few days. But with our hectic schedule I also like making sure I’m not preparing half the night. Thanks to one of my favorite television personalities, Giada, I have learned a great tip that will still keep the family happy. My family loved our new take on Lasagna and I still had time to spend on dessert. Try it and let me know what you think.

2 bags frozen 3 cheese tortellini

1bag fresh baby spinach

2 bags of italian style meatballs

2 cups of shredded Parmesan reggiano

2 bottles of your favorite tomato sauce (I prefer chunky)

1/3 cup olive oil

oregano

pinch of salt & pepper

1/2 garlic clove

Instead of your regular lasagna noodles, buy and keep packs of cheese tortellini in the freezer. No boiling involved. Cut your meatballs in half. Poor a surface layer of olive oil in your pan then start layering. Tortellini, meatballs, spinach, tomato sauce, and cheese. Keep layering and on your top layer of cheese, sprinkle oregano and a pinch of salt and pepper. (I like adding fresh pressed garlic to my olive oil for pasta dishes)

All I can say is this came out delicious and took no more than 20 minutes."Tortellini Lasagna"
Share your favorite Italian dish and make a difference. Bloggers, write your post and send to macgrillgive@saegermediagroup.com. If you don’t blog, but want to support this magnificent campaign, head to your local Macaroni Grill or copy and paste the link into your browser http://www.macaronigrill.com/ and donate $2 and get $5 off your next meal. For my Tweeples and Instagrammers hashtag #macgrillgive to a message or photo of your favorite Macaroni Grill meal or share an artist inspired picture from the Mac Grill Give Facebook Gallery and another child in need will be connected to a meal. For every blog post Macaroni Grill will donate $50 to connect a child up to 500 meals. Everyone can get involved. Make sure you check the MacGrillGive site to find out the many ways you can help.

In this great country of ours no child should go hungry. Let’s make our voices heard ………”NO KID HUNGRY!!!!!!!!”

Categories: In the News, Out and About | 1 Comment

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