Say Cheese!

‘Tis the season for family reunions! (falalalala lalalala) I love Christmas get togethers with my family! Opening presents around the tree, singing Christmas carols, eating a ton of food, sharing stories and making lasting memories always makes my Christmas special.

As the season approaches, I decided to start familiarizing Micah with all of my family members back in the Philippines…because…. we will be going home for the holidays!!! (yehey!) Nothing beats spending Christmas at home! It will be Micah’s first trip home too.

In order to prevent separation anxiety, I started introducing Micah to our family through pictures. I taped 3-4 pictures of different members of our family on his mirror. Every morning as part of our routine, he would crawl towards the mirror for our short “meet the family” session. I would introduce each person by telling him their names and pointing to their faces. We would go through each picture several times. I noticed that as he started to familiarize himself with the people, he showed more and more interest because he started to recognize their names and associate their faces. As I rotated the pictures, I observed that he would react differently to each set. He would often get more excited with the people he has seen rather than the ones he is “meeting” for the first time. I would always leave one familiar person so that he can always recognize someone. Since I can’t have everyone’s face on our mirror, I decided to have some of them in photo albums. I have several plastic (chewable/waterproof aka saliva proof) photo albums (from Walmart and Amazon) with inserted pictures of the other members of the family. To avoid confusion, I categorized the albums: a grandparents album, an aunties and uncles album and a cousins album.

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Here is a picture of my uncle Alan and my cousin Ethan with my Dad and I.

We used to sit and look at the albums together but lately, I have noticed that he would crawl towards his book box and take the photo album and start flipping through the pages independently. The movements of grabbing the album and turning pages are great ways for him to develop his pincer grasp. (developing a child’s pincer grasp is a great preparation for handwriting-Montessori method!) Sometimes he reacts to the familiar faces with excitement, other times he is just mesmerized by the parade of colorful images.  This has quickly become one of his favorite floor time activities!

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I’m learning how to flip through the pages!

What you would need:

A small photo album – the type where the photos slide into clear plastic pockets

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Here’s my photo book! We got it from Amazon.

4×6 snapshots of  your baby and the people in his life

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Micah’s focused on his picture with his Auntie Connie.

Here are some helpful tips:

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This is my Lola. Lola means grandma in Tagalog.

1. The photos I chose are of one family member and Micah. This helps him focus on the person instead of getting distracted with several other faces. (One photo per page is the best!)

2. In addition to relatives, you can add photos of your child’s favorite toys, activities, caregivers and pets.

3. I have several albums so we can look through different ones throughout the day without having to switch photos every time. The photos for the mirror are the only ones I rotate.

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A Mat, A Mirror and A Coffee Table

Welcome to our Montessori Living Room

You can set up your own Montessori living room with just a mat, a mirror and a coffee table! I am a firm believer of the Montessori method so I decided to try and create an environment that encourages independence in our home. I believe that you can equip your child by creating a safe place for him and then giving him the freedom to explore on his own. It’s really simple! All you need is a mat or blankets, a mirror (the one I use the full length mirror from Target…the ones they put on sale for college kids!) and a coffee table or a low shelf where your child can reach for his own toys. I just used my the bottom half of  our coffee table and placed 4-5 of the toys he can choose from. You can also the cube boxes (again from Target) and lay them on their sides so your child can reach in to grab a toy. My friend lent me this awesome mat. Otherwise I would have used blankets and laid them out or a huge rug. (Ikea usually have good ones) 🙂

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There’s the mirror, the mat and the bottom shelf of the coffee table with 4-5 toys to choose from.

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items on the shelfImageI use the cube box to hold his books.

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the mat, the mirror and the cube

I didn’t think Micah would quite understand the concept of taking a toy from the shelf and playing with it. But I wanted to give it a shot. My son was about 4 months old when I started showing him how to do it. I would hand him a toy from the shelf while he was looking at the shelf during tummy time. When he was around 5 months and rolling around, I noticed he would “roll” himself towards the shelf but when he would reach for a toy, he would get frustrated because he wouldn’t be able to get it off the shelf. I would usually tell him I would help him and hand him the toy. We would practice this every day during tummy time. When he learned how to crawl, everything changed! As his legs got stronger, his arm muscles did too! Whenever I would put him down on the mat, he would prop himself up and crawl towards the shelf. He would look through the items on the shelf and carefully make his selection! haha It took him a few tries but last week, he just reached over and grabbed a toy by himself! I was shocked! I couldn’t believe it! I made him do it a couple more times because it was really fascinating to me! He didn’t think it was very cool though because I would put the toy back and move him farther away and then have him work his way back and do everything again! I just wanted to catch it on video! It was pretty cool to watch him gravitate towards the shelf and even pause (like he is choosing which toy he wants) before reaching for it. By the way, it always ends up in his mouth! (I do a wipe down of the mat, the toys and the shelf after his activities because he is a drool machine!) He is trying to reach for the books now but I think it’s still a little challenging but I can’t wait to see what he will do next!

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Micah crawls towards the wall and tries to reach the toy!

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Micah independently gets his toy! Great job buddy!

Guess what! You don’t have to wait till he is bigger to set this up! I used the mirror and mat set up since Micah was a newborn. Tummy time and reading time would happen here! He would entertain himself by looking in the mirror. The mirror helps the baby focus, track images and explore what his/ her face can do! Not to mention that it promotes social and emotional development as he/ she interacts with you. You can introduce your baby to the different parts of his/ her face and by touching his nose, stroking his hair or kissing his cheeks. Even though he/she may not know what these words mean, it delights him/her to just interact with you. 🙂

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Micah was only a few days old in this picture but he was already checking himself out!

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Micah was around 3 months in this picture.

Hope you have fun setting up your living room for your little one!

A Labor Story

The most intense 3 hours and 45 minutes of my life happened on April 27,2012. But everyday that I look back, I know I would go through it all over again because it was all worth it.

ImageI was 40 weeks and 3 days and our little Micah was cooking in the oven a little over due. I had a doctor’s appointment that morning (Thursday) and I was 4cm dilated. My OB told me it was going to happen anytime…today, tomorrow or over the weekend. I drove to our new house to check out the carpets that were going to be installed, drove my aunt and my mom back to their hotel in downtown SF, drove myself home and waited for Chris to get home. I had a feeling I was going to deliver soon so i kept walking to try to induce labor. I honestly couldn’t wait to get him out! hahaha Chris and I decided we would go the mall that night so we could walk more and while we were shopping, we were also praying I would go into labor that night! :)
God answered our prayer! I started contractions that went on every 5 mins at 2:45 am.  I decided to walk around the house since the pain wasn’t bad at all. Our desire was for me to deliver at Kaiser San Francisco not only because it was a great hospital but also because Chris was born there too. We wanted a first like father, like son experience. haha But we knew we would have to take a risk because there was a chance that I would have to share a post delivery room with someone else because they were always packed. I finally decided to call the hospital at 3:45 am and true enough…they told me they were full and I had to share a room if I decided to come anyway. I didn’t mind..but we prayed and asked God to be in every detail including the smallest ones such as room assignments. Hey! If He can create babies, a room in a hospital is a simple request! :) We got to hospital around 5 since we picked my mom and my aunt up at their hotel. I even put some foundation in the car because I didn’t want to look too pale for the pictures. (I know…I was vain!) We waited for about an hour before they finally admitted me. I was just sit-rolling on a birthing ball while my husband patiently massaged my back. At that point, I started to feel some back labor. When they finally checked me…my BP was starting to shoot up and I was 5CM dilated. Once I got settled in the triage room, my nightmare began! I started feeling horrible back labor, this caused my BP to increase rapidly. The nurse quickly asked (she kind of insisted) and suggested that I got some pain meds or even the epidural. Because my BP was getting higher and higher I was at risk of preclampsia. This is a disorder that only occurs in pregnant women when their blood pressure gets really high and it can cause seizure or stroke. The nurses were pushing for me to have an epidural because they said I wouldn’t last till 12 or 1pm, which is how long labor is typically for the first baby. But stubborn o’ me decided I could do it. I told Chris, my mom and my aunt that we will pray because I will not wait till 12 noon to deliver this baby! It was way too long!!! I was going to pass out because my back labor was so intense. I claimed that God could make this miracle happen!
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At 8 am I was 8cm! The doctors were so surprised! It was because of my Direct Line to heaven! They asked me after 5 minutes if i wanted them to break my water bag…and I yelled YES!!!  And minutes later I was at 10 and ready to push! I was in so much pain, BP was racing and my back was killing me!!! The nurses and doctors were amazed at the progress of my labor and dilation to push and rest and everything in between… All we did was pray! I don’t know where else I could have gotten the strength and endurance to get through it. My BP was now super high and Micah’s heart rate was dropping. By God’s grace he came out when he did because we were both in critical condition at that point but God’s loving hands pulled us through! A mom does know the right time to “push” when you really have to! Micah had to be vacuumed out at the last second because his heart rate was dropping way too fast while my BP was shooting off the roof and I was really in bad condition. But thank God because I don’t think I could have lasted another minute! It was the longest 45 minutes of my life! It was really only by the grace of God!!! It was such an awesome God-depending experience. Truly it was God’s hand upon my pregnancy, with my accident at 34 weeks, my crazy labor experience and now, my son’s life. :D  In the end… We got through 4 hours of labor and 45 mins of pushing!
I can’t express how much joy I have to be able to experienced it with Jesus! I had to focus on one thing the whole time and for some reason Blessed Be Your Name was the song I sang! I pushed for 45 mins… but on the “last set” of pushing… God told me to sing Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! And after 3 big pushes with this song going through my head….at 9:03am..with the help of a vacuum our son was born…crying and healthy with his little cheeky eyes open!!! My BP stabilized and I was back to normal in a matter of seconds. :DI knew we were both in critical condition because i heard the doctors say: This is was an acute emergency and that we need to get him out! She is going to have a stroke or a seizure. I remembered pushing with all my heart…then that first cry was the best noise I ever heard! I delivered him with a BP of 190/187. Crazy high! Everything I went through just reminded me that our lives are truly gifts from God and everything is in God’s hands! I couldn’t have done it without Him! No pain meds or epidural…but only  an overdose of the Grace and Strength of my Creator!!!
Praise God for He is the Giver of Life!!! Micah means he who is like the Lord! We pray that he will grow up to reflect his name and bring glory to God in every way! My husband was such an amazing birth coach and my mom’s constant prayers by my ears helped me get through it! I was so thankful my husband was by my side the whole time. The second Micah came out, Chris yelled OH MY GOSH about 5x at the top of his lungs and he kept saying great job babe!! He’s beautiful! He’s here!!! AHHHH!!!! It was such a relief!!! It was awesome to have him and my mom encouraging me the whole time. My aunt was outside praying for us made our miracle even more special! God is truly wonderful in every way! We stand in awe!
And oh, about the room sharing situation (such a little detail in the larger scheme of things but overwhelming such a great blessing as well) we were told an hour before we were going to get discharged from the labor room to the recovery room, the nurse told us that we had to share a room because they were full. Chris and I looked at each other and we prayed. We prayed and thanked God for the wonderful experience and asked him to do us another favor and give us our own room. The second (literally!) before they were going to wheel me up to the recovery floor, our nurse received a call from the reception desk and she said, oh someone just checked out, they have a private room for you! WOW! Chris and I looked at each other and we knew…God answered! What a great blessing it is to have God on our side!!! Chris got special treatment from the nurses too because they all liked him a lot and brought him meals and coffee everyday! (even though the other dads didn’t get it haha) Talk about God in every detail! We are just so thankful!
I know this is a super long story but it’s just amazing and I can’t help but share every detail of how amazing our God is and we just want to give HiM the glory! We rejoice in His precious gift! We pray that as we journey through parenthood with Micah, we will faithfully raise him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
I really encourage moms out there to write your birth story. It’s a great memory and a great experience to share because each of us has our own and it’s unique, special and beautiful. :)
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He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Parenthood

This show just gets me every time! I cry, I laugh, I sympathize, I relate and I struggle whenever I watch episodes of Parenthood. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this NBC TV series, here’s a summary in a nutshell.

Parenthood is a show that revolves around the Braverman family, which has expanded to three generations, featuring patriarch Zeek Braverman and matriarch Camille Braverman, their oldest son Adam, his wife, Christina and three children, their daughter Sarah and her two children, their second son Crosby, his new wife Jasmine and their young son Jabbar, and finally their youngest daughter Julia, her husband, their daughter Sydney, and their newly adopted young boy, Victor. The series is set in Berkeley, California and the San Francisco Bay Area. (This is from Wikipedia!) Great summary I thought! 🙂

Watching this show reminds me so much of my own family. It encapsulates a wonderful and loving family who goes through their daily lives together and are crazily involved (oh yes they are!) with one another. It is warm and funny but at the same time drama filled because of the life issues the family members face. Another thing I like is also that it is thought provoking. I say this because I always find myself thinking about the issues being brought up in the show. It is able to portray life as we know it today. Struggles of families with different situations, parental relationships, husband and wife relationships, sibling relationships, cousins, adoption, financial difficulties, special needs, even cross cultural differences are all tackled in this show. I think the producers, directors and writers do a pretty good job in capturing daily circumstances that families go through today. Not only does it make me think of how I was raised and how my family confronted similar instances but it also makes me think about how I would respond  to my son and his issues in the future. As I watch and follow this heartwarming show, it never fails to remind that each of our own family situation is unique and special in its own way. I love how Christina and Adam handled Max’s Aspergers Syndrome. I think they explained it to him in a wise and respectful manner. I also liked how Jasmine explained to Jabbar about African-American situations, it was clear, to the point and something a 5 year old would understand. It made me think about how I would handle Micah’s issues when he becomes a teenager and how I should or would react to actions and relationships (NO GIRLFRIENDS EVER!–JK!)  because of Sarah’s situations with Amber and Drew. I also understand how hard it must be for Marc to adjust and find his place as a step father in the lives of Sarah’s kids. I have a stepmom too and she’s amazing but we did have to go through a lot before we were able to establish this wonderful relationship that we share today! I cried buckets as I watched Zeek fight for his grandson’s turn at a baseball and how their entire family showed Victor that he is a part of their family by sitting through his entire game even though he wasn’t even playing. Thank God that coach put him in at the end! My family would have done the same…(only we don’t play baseball)…but everyone being supportive…that is guaranteed! My brother who we adopted when he was a baby is a very gifted singer has been asked to perform for different shows multiple times…and just like the Bravermans, our family is always there to support him…FULL FORCE! Now that’s what I call a stage family! 🙂 I love how Adam protects Christina and supports her through her struggle with cancer and how their whole family was shattered with when they shared the news. I remembered hearing about my aunt’s cancer diagnosis a year and a half ago weeks before my wedding. My heart broke into a million pieces and I remembered just how close our family got because we all came together to support her and love her. Different family members flew out to Vancouver to visit and took turns taking her to doctor appointments and chemotherapy. I was even willing to move our wedding date just in case she had an appointment. The close bond of the Bravermans is a constant reminder of how close mine is too. I miss them daily because we are so far away. It saddens me that they can’t watch my son grow up…like they did with me.  But thank God for technology! FaceTime, Skype and Viber are our best friends! I love it when my parents and my aunts call just to see how we are doing and how my son is growing. Just last night, right before bed time, my aunts from Vancouver called to FaceTime with Micah because I sent them a picture of his new haircut. They laughed as he crawled and drooled and played. It just made my heart smile. Nothing could come between the love our family has for each other…no distance is too far for love to travel!  I also loved the episode when Hattie was about to leave for college and everyone gather to say their goodbyes. It reminded me of my goodbye party before my final move to the US.  It was my last flight out as a single family member. Even though we will see each other in 6 months, we knew in our hearts it will never be the same again. That was the year I was getting married. I remembered crying so much that I could hardly talk. It was the only time none of my family members took me to the airport. As the van door closed, my tears rolled. My then fiance didn’t know how to comfort me. I knew in my heart that things were about to change. Good change though but still, I wanted to hold on as long as I could. My family is one of the best gifts God gave me. And just like the show, their family is made up of the grandparents, parents, aunties, uncles and cousins….just like mine! 🙂 Not everyone can say that..but I am proud to say I can. It can be crazy, everyone can and will be involved…opinions, welcomed or unwelcomed will be shared… but nothing beats having them around. It just makes me appreciate what I have even more. Can’t wait to see everyone in December! Counting down!!! 

Each family faces their own set of challenges, but it is how you propose to deal with it is what keeps you together or tears you apart. Watch Parenthood on NBC, Tuesday nights at 10 PM. 🙂

Do you have a shoebox?

Join me in sending some love through Operation Christmas Child! What a great way to kick off your shopping spree this holiday season!

OCC is a ministry by Samaritan’s Purse that reaches out to less fortunate communities around the world by bringing them shoeboxes filled with gifts during the Christmas season. They hand out boxes to children of different ages. These children get the opportunity to not only receive a present but also hear about the amazing love of Jesus.

This ministry is so close to my heart. Videos and stories of the children who receive these gifts never fail to touch my heart. I CRY every single time!!!

I had the blessed opportunity to volunteer in one of their gift giving events one Christmas in the Philippines. I vividly remember going with my mom to the store to find things to pack for the shoeboxes that were laid out in our living room floor. I didn’t quite understand what they were for since my mom just said we were doing it to help out children who may not have any gifts that Christmas. That thought really saddened me because I didn’t really know what not receiving a present on Christmas Day felt like. I’ve always had gifts under the tree and there was always plenty to choose from. It was even a matter of which one I would open first. Christmas was always extra special when my family and I would all gather around the tree to see which boxes had our names on them. Little did I know that this seemingly insignificant shopping trip would change my life. As my mom picked up toothbrushes, toothpastes, hair brushes and wash clothes, I thought to myself…wow these kids don’t have essential things like these? Here I was busy listing what I wanted for Christmas while these children were happy with the things I took for granted everyday. Then she started picking out school supplies such as pencils, sharpeners, crayons and notebooks. These were the things I would replace when they are not in “great condition” or slightly broken. Wow! How selfish was I? I took so many things for granted while these children will hold on to them like treasures because they never know when they will get another one. After we were done shopping for the necessities, my mom and I also picked up some toys we were going to place in boxes. These were toys I wouldn’t have probably paid attention to since they were small and “looked cheap.” What a bratty attitude I had! After shopping, we went home and sorted these items and placed them in their respective boxes. When the Saturday of the outreach came, I felt lazy and considered backing out because the event started at 9AM! That was way too early for a Saturday! But I decided it was only one Saturday anyway and got ready to go. Upon reaching the hall where all them were made to gather, I saw a sea of children of various ages lined up eager to receive their presents. One by one, I handed each child a shoebox. As each of them slowly opened their boxes, the looks on their faces were priceless. Joy filled the place as smiles and laughter spread like wildfire across their faces. As I stood there and watched their faces light up, my heart felt ashamed. I felt so selfish and proud to think I was the one who was blessing these children because I brought the gifts. Instead, they blessed me. Their thankful faces and sincere smiles gave me the perfect picture of genuine joy and a grateful heart. A lesson of thankfulness and appreciation for everything I had were the lifelong lessons I learned that day. For the first time I embraced the real essence of giving. Every year since then, I have packed shoeboxes for children and till today it never fails to bless my heart. Though I am not able to physically deliver them anymore, I still rejoice in the fact that I know someone special across the world will smile when he or she opens my shoebox. What a wonderful feeling this is. More importantly, as the gifts are handed out to them the Gospel of Jesus is shared as well. Recently, Samaritan’s Purse also started a discipleship program that teaches these children how to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ. What an awesome way to bless a child physically and eternally! How about you? Would you like to help change a life of a child through a simple shoebox?

Anyone and everyone can do this! If you would like to join me in packing your own shoebox…here are 10 easy ways to do it! Remember! The more boxes you pack, the more children you will bless! 🙂 You can even this a family project and make it a Christmas tradition! As you pack your boxes, you can also remind your children that sharing is caring!

Operation Christmas Child: How to Pack a Shoebox

  1. Find an empty shoebox. Wrap it if you wish, but please make sure to wrap the lid separately. You may also use a similarly sized plastic storage container with a removable lid or other similarly sized box.
  2. Decide on WHO you are packing the gift for.
    1. Boy/ Girl
    2. Age categories:

i.     2-4 years

ii.      5-9 years

iii.     10-14 years

3. Purchase gifts according to the gender & age

  • Gift Ideas:
  • Toy suggestions:
  • BOYS- mini cars, trucks, balls, flashlights with batteries, small stuff animals, Lego, yoyos
  •  GIRLS- small dolls, stuffed animals, hair accessories, jump rope, stickers
  • Necessity items: combs, mild bar soaps, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, t-shirt, underwear, socks, sunglasses, watches caps
  • School supplies
  • Art supplies- crayons, coloring books, markers
  • IF you will include HARD CANDY, please make sure to DOUBLE BAG them.

4. Write a letter from YOU! Don’t forget to write your address so they can write back! I have had children write my students back before and it made the experience extra special! This is a great way to get your family and your kids involved too!

5. Put a picture of You & Your Family.

6. Include a CHECK $7 or MORE (per box) in an envelope and place it where it will be VISIBLE inside the box. This covers shipping and other expenses the organization may need.

  • Checks can be made payable to SAMARITANS PURSE.
  • Memo line: OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
  • Write your NAME & ADDRESS on the envelope

7. TAPE the label for the BOY/ GIRL with the appropriate AGE BOX CHECKED on the LID of your box.

8. EZ GIVE (online): attach the bar code label on the lid of your box

9.  PACK & PRAY! PRAY PRAY PRAY for the special boy or girl that will receive your box!

10. Find a DONATION LOCATION near you! All you need to do is drop off your boxes and someone will take care of it from there! Go on the Samaritan’s Purse website and you can type in your zip code and the closest drop-off location will pop up!

IMPORTANT: DO NOT INCLUDE

  1. Liquid that can open, break or spill: shampoo, aerosols, mouthwash
  2. Avoid items that can easily break, spoil, old or USED! Food, chocolate, vitamins, medicines
  3. Avoid war related toys: guns, knives, military toys or figures holding weapons.

REMINDER: Do you want to know where your box will go? GO ONLINE and DONATE THERE! EZ GIVE allows you to make a financial donation online and FOLLOW your box to find out where your box is going! https://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/followyourbox/

 

A Hulky Halloween!

October 31, 2012 marked our first Halloween as a family. In my crazy attempts to make it a family event, I spent a lot of time researching which costumes would work best. I wanted us to go as a “team”. I wanted all of us to all dress up from the same “category.” This made my choices slim and oh so difficult. You see, I am not a creative person and arts and crafts are not my forte. I struggle to glue things together…let alone whip up a costume! I went back and forth between different cartoon characters that came in groups of 3 or more such as Popeye, Olive Oyl and Swee Pea or Batman, Robin and Catwoman or even Thing 1, Thing 2 and Cat in the Hat! I was wracking my brain thinking who we could dress up as. My husband suggested that we could be cereal boxes… I thought was a cool concept except, I didn’t want to walk around with a box over my head nor did I think my 6 month old son would approve. Maybe when he is a little older and I didn’t have to carry him in a box, we will take a shot at that idea.

One Sunday afternoon, I randomly told my husband that we should just go Party City and get some inspiration. I just wanted us to check out the different pictures posted on the wall and maybe…just maybe we would find something that would interest us. It was to no avail. As we left, we decided to take a detour to the Ross right next door. We love strolling the aisles of Ross for random cheap things when we have nothing else more important to do. As we walked by a small rack of messed up costumes, we stumbled upon an infant Incredible Hulk costume for $4.99! I was ecstatic! My husband was still a little hesitant because he knew what was going on inside my head! He was right! We would be The Avengers! His heart sunk because he would have to pay for a costume for us to come in full gear! I quickly took the costume and asked the nice lady to put it on hold. We went back to Party City and I found a $9 Iron Man shirt. It was decided! He would be Iron Man, Micah would The Hulk and I would be….____? The obvious character would be Black Widow. But I told him I was going to decide later who I’d choose to be because honestly, I thought Black Widow was pretty boring! No one will know who I was and it wouldn’t allow me to dress up–actually that’s the main reason I didn’t want to be her! I wanted to be someone with whom I could recreate his/ her costume with the regular clothes. As we casually discussed our costumes, I decided I wanted to be Thor. I could recreate the hammer with some styrofoam and a stick and I could dress up in black and silver and use a red table-cloth as my cape! The table-cloth idea was a flop and I ended up just buying the cape. With a bit of work and help from my friend & my father-in-law…my Thor costume was completed just in time for Halloween!

With his red shirt, a brown suit and some cheap gloves, my husband was The Iron Man/ Tony Stark. With $4.99, a pair of scissors and a credit card, my son was The Incredible Hulk. I needed the scissors to cut up the bottom half of his costume since it was too small…but I figured..hey the real Hulk breaks through his clothes and so did our son! And with a metallic long sleeve top, a black tank top, a silver skirt, a pair of boots, a black belt, a red cape, some pin buttons and lots of aluminum foil…I was Lady Thor. And then we had a happy halloween!

Mommy MOMents

Life as I know it began 27 years ago when I was born to my parents on a fine day in January. It was a blissful 9 months of sharing life with them until today, when it all ended. Today, 27 years ago, was the last day I saw my mother. I hardly knew who she was and until today, questions about her linger in my mind. What was she like? What was her favorite color? What did she do when I took a nap? Questions about my infancy flood my mind even more so these days because I now share the same joy of motherhood she once did with me. Sadly, these questions will be left unanswered until the day I am reunited with her in heaven. At least I know it wasn’t our last goodbye, because heaven (the best place there is!) is where we get to say hello once again!

Hi! My name is Diane and I am a newbie in the world of blogging. Blogging has been on my mind for a while now. Expressing my thoughts in writing has always been a passion of mine.  I decided to start today. I thought maybe it would be a great way to remember my mom and pay tribute to her since it is my first year as a mom as well. There a million things I want to ask my mom about my infancy. Questions such as: Did I sleep through the night? When did I have my first taste of solids? When did I start crawling? Was I an “easy” baby? Did I smile a lot? These are some of the things my son and I are discovering. My in-laws would share about how my husband was as a baby and it would always leave me wondering how I was. Though my dad diligently kept a journal throughout my childhood, (which I thought is so awesome!) he left out the details of my life prior to my mom’s death. I guess he thought she would be the one to keep track of my mini milestones. I started reading my dad’s journal shortly after I gave birth to my son, Micah. A lot of my dad’s entries were about how much he missed my mom and the memories she had left behind. It would be mostly about how much I reminded him of her, how when I smiled, he would remember hers and sweet things such as those.

My mom’s sudden demise brought him many sleepless nights and buckets of tears. They have only been married for a year and 8 months and I was a honeymoon baby…according to my calculations. My mom was also pregnant with my 7 month old brother when her tragic death happened. I know..I thought they would wait a little longer and enjoy my existence before thinking of adding on but they didn’t! The double death broke my dad’s heart even more. I was too little to know what was going on. But for as long as I can remember, November 2 is always the day, we remember my mother.

So as I begin this new season in my life as a new mother, I want to begin by taking this time to thank my  late mom for the time she invested in my life. Though it was short and sweet, it was and will always be because of her that I now get to enjoy the joys of my journey as a mother. Mom, thank you for loving me for as long as you could and in the best way you knew how. This is a start of my adventures as a mom to Micah. I don’t know how long my time as a mom will be but thank you for bringing me into this world in order for me to enjoy it.

Since the beginning, God has had a special plan for our lives. I do not fully understand it yet, but I am excited to watch Him turn the pages of this new and exciting chapter.

This is one of the few pictures I have with my mom. 1-27-1985

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This was when it was my turn to hold my son. 4-27-2012

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