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Tuesday, November 27, 2012


2012 has been a rough year.  There have been many ups and downs and a few surprise bumps along the way. Regardless of the struggles, I find myself having to reach deep down inside and remind myself how lucky I am. I don’t live in a country, city, or neighborhood where I run from bombs flying overhead. I don’t worry that my trip to the local supermarket could result in me being shot by a sniper. I have food on my table. My son is clothed, fed, happy and healthy. My marriage surpasses every test it endures – after 10 years of dating, and 3 years married, we are standing stronger than ever. I have friends I can turn to when I am feeling incredibly stressed, tired, sad and happy. I have parents I can count on for anything. They never fail me. No matter how much we disagree, argue, butt heads; I have a family I can always turn to. They remind me that we come from a working class family. We are living the American Dream. The term “American dream” is used in many ways, but it essentially is an idea that suggests that anyone in the US can succeed through hard work and has the potential to lead a happy, successful life. Many people have expanded upon or refined the definition to include things such as freedom, fulfillment and meaningful relationships. Someone who manages to achieve his or her version of the American dream is often said to be “living the dream.” We are “living the dream.” And sometimes that dream consists of obstacles along the way. Nothing has ever been handed down to Avin and I, or spoon fed to us. Everything we have, we worked damn hard to have. What we don’t have, we can live without or will work hard to get, if we really want it. In the meantime, we make sacrifices, we work hard, we save; we put our love, our family and our son first and foremost. I needed to remind myself of how lucky I am. I have a roof over my head, and the home that roof shelters is full of love, laughter and joy. I am thankful for that this Thanksgiving, this holiday season and as this 2012 year creeps to an end.  I have to remind myself that I don’t have it all, I may never, but I will always overcome any hardships we may endure, I will always find the light – it will be okay. Breathe. Smile. Find solutions. You have a happy marriage, an amazing family, the best of friends, a beautiful home, and most of all, you have a beautiful, healthy, happy little boy who loves you with no limitations.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's been awhile...

November Update:
Life has been insanely busy these last couple of months.  Well, it’s always busy, but I haven’t had much time to blog…

For one, my son was sick with a fever, cold/cough, and an ear infection. I was exhausted.  Caring for a toddler is one thing, caring for a sick toddler is a whole other ball game.  Thankfully, he’s all better now.  I’ve also been going through some personal things. It was brought to my attention that I wasn’t there for someone in the way they needed me to be. At first, I got defensive.  I think it’s natural to put your guard up. Especially when I know, I’m a damn good friend. I take pride in being a great friend to others.  So naturally, I was upset when this was brought to my attention. And then, I thought about it. I ended up talking to three of my closest girlfriends and really got a grasp and understanding of the situation from another perspective. It helped me see that I can only do so much. Sometimes, we can only give so much of ourselves before we compromise who we are. I’ve also realized that being a mother is going to affect some of my friendships – because my son is my number one priority in life – I want to stand on a rooftop and shout out how much joy he brings to my life.  If my friends can’t prioritize me and the most important aspects of my life into their life (namely, my son) then that friendship isn’t based on solid grounds. I’m not sure what the future holds for that friendship, but I was content with my response and have realized that I have done all I can do. I’m at peace with that. I was also going through my own personal self-reflection regarding matters I’d rather not go into detail about. I had to really reevaluate myself, my life and my happiness.  It was rough, but I had to remind myself; I am resilient, I am a fighter and I won’t settle for anything less than happiness.  So that’s where I’m at; working on me, learning about my shortcomings, and finding ways to move forward.  And I feel great! Perfect timing as one of my favorite holidays is next week: Thanksgiving!
I love this time of year. The air is cool and crisp, the sun is still shining, the holidays are upon us… it’s a great time to reflect and be “thankful.” I have so much to be thankful for. Sometimes I lose sight of that… I have a husband who loves me dearly. I have the most amazing, beautiful son. I have family that is always by my side. And the best girlfriends I could ever ask for. I have a house we made into a home. A cute dog who makes me laugh. I don’t have fancy thousand dollar purses, I can’t afford to go on shopping sprees in Santana Row, but I’m happy.

And that, my friends, is good enough for me.
Now it’s crunch time. Like everyone else, we have plans with our families next week. I’m also trying to organize fun activities for Elijah and I (or the three of us, when Avin isn’t working) to do things to keep us busy and out of the house (weather permitting). I’m thinking of going to the Children’s Museum – I hear it’s great and haven’t been there yet.  I also heard of a great place called the Art Beast.  Apparently, Art Beast is a studio that provides “open studio space, arts exploration rooms, and loads of classes so that children can dig into the arts.”  I LOVE the idea and the pictures from their website of children covered in paint, and having the time of their lives is adorable!  I’m going to try to check it out during Thanksgiving break with Elijah. I think he’ll LOVE it.  

If you want to look into it, here are the links: Art Beast Studio or Sacramento Children's Museum.

 Here are pictures from Elijah this morning. Enjoy!
And thanks for visiting my blog!

Friday, November 2, 2012

20 Things a Mother Should Tell Her Son

I found this on pinterest and LOVED it! A list of 20 things every mother should tell her son.  I will definitely be doing many, if not all, of these with Elijah. It's important to me that I raise a kind young man. 
20 Things a Mother Should Tell Her Son

1. You will set the tone for the sexual relationship, so don't take something away from her that you can't give back.

2. Play a sport. It will teach you how to win honorably, lose gracefully, respect authority, work with others, manage your time and stay out of trouble. And maybe even throw or catch.

3. Use careful aim when you pee. Somebody's got to clean that up, you know.

4. Save money when you're young because you're going to need it some day.

5. Allow me to introduce you to the dishwasher, oven, washing machine, iron, vacuum, mop and broom. Now please go use them.

6. Pray and be a spiritual leader.

7. Don't ever be a bully and don't ever start a fight, but if some idiot clocks you, please defend yourself.

8. Your knowledge and education is something that nobody can take away from you.

9. Treat women kindly. Forever is a long time to live alone and it's even longer to live with somebody who hates your guts.

10. Take pride in your appearance.

11. Be strong and tender at the same time.

12. A woman can do everything that you can do. This includes her having a successful career and you changing diapers at 3 A.M. Mutual respect is the key to a good relationship.

13. "Yes ma'am" and "yes sir" still go a long way.

14. The reason that they're called "private parts" is because they're "private". Please do not scratch them in public.

15. Peer pressure is a scary thing. Be a good leader and others will follow.

16. Bringing her flowers for no reason is always a good idea.

17. Be patriotic.

18. Potty humor isn't the only thing that's humorous.

19. Please choose your spouse wisely. My daughter-in-law will be the gatekeeper for me spending time with you and my grandchildren.

20. Remember to call your mother because I might be missing you.

Read the original post here: 20 Things a Mother Should Tell Her Son

Friday, October 12, 2012


I received an email from a friend (passed on to her) regarding a great event – Cuts for a Cause!

Lace Salon, in Old Sacramento, will be hosting a “Sustainable Beauty Day” on Monday, October 15, 2012, from 10am-7pm.  Lace stylists will offer haircuts for a $20 minimum donation.  All proceeds will go toward planting trees in impoverished areas.
How awesome is that! IHair cuts usually run $40-50 here. I’ve set my appointment, you should too!
For additional information about this event, or any other event, please visit Lace Salon or call (916) 205-0206.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


As my son gets older - he is now 16 months old - I am excited for all that comes with parenting and toddlerhood. I always here people frowning upon this time in our childrens lives. I get it - tantrums, fights, their at an age where they are testing us - "the terrible two's." I firmly believe that it's only "terrible" if we make it so. I don't look at this age as a negative step I will undoubtingly go through. I look forward to it.  Elijah is growing so fast. I remember when he used to fit into my arms - his entire body. Now his long legs dangle over my arms.  It makes me sad to see his infancy passing by but I'm also excited to watch him grow. My son is so much fun!

As I did during my pregnancy, I continue to research, read and explore ideas I can incorporate into my family, with my son, my home, etc.  As a sociologist, researching comes with the territory. 

Lately, I've been pinning like crazy (pinterest) and I've found a ton of great resources I'm pinning related to toddlerhood.  Here are some great activities I think parents with toddlers will enjoy! Try them out, and leave a comment, if you get a chance, and tell me what you think!


Disciplining WITHOUT Yelling

10 Chore Ideas For Toddlers

50 Activities Just For Your Toddler

100 Ways to Entertain a Toddler

How-To Teach Your Toddler All 50 States (numbers, ABCs, etc)

Make Edible (cool whip) Paint! - Great for Babies and Toddlers!

10 Creative Ways to Make Time For Your Kids - Great for working/busy parents!

Sensory Play For Kids

5 Things To Help In Potty Training

Play Through the Day - Great blog with toddler activities by an early childhood educator!

Best Tantrum Tricks!

15 SUPER FUN Baths for Kids

How To Teach Your Baby To Swim!

Here's a fun fall craft you can do with your toddler - all you need is paper, water colors and their cute hand/arm!!!
Pinned Image

To see all the other great things I've pinned in regards to kids, follow me on pinterest and check out my "KIDS STUFF" board (link to follow me is on left-hand column) :)


"To see life through the eyes of a child is to be truly free" - Anonymous.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Slugs and snails and puppy-dogs' tails, that's what little boys are made of...

A recent post on pinterest titled "20 Things no one told you about raising a boy" inspired this blog post.
Parenting is a learning process, and Elijah teaches me something new daily.  The way a boy loves his mother is so amazing, I can’t get enough of it. I’ve become obsessed with him.  I just adore him. 
Reading the article 20 Things No One Told You About Raising A boy from was great! It made me laugh (especially the part about the “penis obsession” and those infant/toddler boners! Hahahaha, so true). It made me smile and it made me even excited about raising a son. 

As many of you know, I had my first child on my wedding anniversary, May 23, 2011.  A boy. A beautiful, healthy, happy baby boy.  You may not have known that all my life, I wanted a girl, at least first.  I don’t know why. Maybe because I’ve always considered myself a feminist.  Maybe because I hoped to raise a little girl to be more than a pink obsessed barbie-doll. When I found out I was having a boy, I was NEVER disappointed.  I just immediately thought it was going to be a challenge because I didn’t know much about raising a boy (I was around to see my nieces grow up in their infant-toddler years and a lot about raising girls).  Needless to say, having a baby boy changed my life in the most amazing ways.

If you have a son, are pregnant with a boy, or love little boys as much as I do, read the article! It’s pretty awesome!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ladies Only!

Ladies: What Do YOU Do When You Have Your Period?

Today I'm feeling lazy, unmotivated, tired, and I’m emotionally eating – I feel like crap, so why not eat like crap? Right? Wrong.

Well, Aunt Flo decided to bring her ugly ass back into town this month and with her visit, she brings a fluctuation of hormones that makes me feel like crap! For one, I’m bloated (unfortunately, I was bloated on my birthday and it shows in my pictures). All of a sudden, the 16 lbs. I lost recently feel like they’re all back on. Feeling like I look like crap makes me so unmotivated – I missed my 5am workout this morning.  I tried. I really did.  But I woke up, hit snooze 7,000 times, and stayed in bed with an aching back, and all the yuckiness of that once a month annoyance that comes with being a woman.

I just want to sit on the couch and be fat and lazy and eeeeeeat. Or have a couple drinks and lay around being completely unproductive.  Luckily, my house is stocked with healthier foods. Unluckily, I haven’t gotten rid of the rest of my birthday cake yet, so it was staring at me last night when I was feeling like crap and craving chocolate and lo and behold, I caved.

Knowing the reason why doesn't make the sluggishness go away, but it does give me more determination to push through it. So that is what I’m going to try to do for the rest of the day today, tomorrow and the rest of the week.  Usually when I get my period, I let these feelings linger for a week. ONE WHOLE WEEK! One whole week of eating poorly, not exercising much, and just feeling like poop… I just can’t do that anymore. 

If you're like me, that time of month is a week of weakness. How do you not give into that desire to be a lazy bum? To be quite honest, sometimes it's not so bad to use menstruation as an excuse to slow down and become more introverted.

No, this doesn't mean its okay to stuff our faces full of chocolate in the name of expelling cramps. But it does mean its okay to pamper yourself.

I’ve used my excuse – I had Sunday and Monday to be essentially a lazy bum all day.  Tuesday morning came and I didn’t work out but I am going to take a walk this afternoon and get back to the more intense workouts tomorrow morning (as a means to not waste the whole week being a lazy bum).

Ladies – What do YOU do when you’re combatting all the woes of your monthly visitor?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

This MUST stop!

When is enough, enough? Does another child have to die because a serious lack of action?
What am I talking about? Bullying. 
In the last two days, I have seen two major headlines online regarding bullying.  Bullying has become a tidal wave of epic proportions. Although bullying was once considered a rite of passage, parents, educators, and community leaders now see bullying as a devastating form of abuse that can have long-term effects on youth victims, robbing them of self-esteem, isolating them from their peers, causing them to drop out of school, and even prompting health problems and suicide.
A recent study by the Family and Work Institute reported that one-third of youth are bullied at least once a month, while others say six out of 10 American teens witness bullying at least once a day. Witnessing bullying can be harmful, too, as it may make the witness feel helpless - or that he or she is the next target.  Children who are bullied are often singled out because of a perceived difference between them and others, whether because of appearance (size, weight, or clothes), intellect, or, increasingly, ethnic or religious affiliation and sexual orientation.
And bullying can be a gateway behavior, teaching the perpetrator that threats and aggression are acceptable even in adulthood.  In one study by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, nearly 60 percent of boys whom researchers classified as bullies in grades six to nine were convicted of at least one crime by the age of 24, while 40 percent had three or more convictions.

The first article I read today about bullying was about a young teen named Whitney Kropp.  Whitney is a sophmore at a Michigan high school in a small farming town.  She was nominated for the homecoming court at her high school.  Incredibly excited, that all changed when she learned that she was nominated as a joke.  The "popular" kids at school felt the need to humiliate her in a backhanded way - let's nominate her, then make fun of her and totally ridicule her during homecoming. 
What they didn’t realize is that Whitney is quite resilient and these bullies have learned that she isn't going to let them ruin homecoming for her.  As news of this story gained national attention, the small town in Michigan is rallying behind Whitney.  Donations from local business have poured in and a local salon owner will be cutting, coloring and styling Whitney's hair for free for her big day.  Others have paid for her dress, shoes and even a limo! Good for Whitney for standing up to bullies! Whitney will be going to homecoming with her boyfriend, who does not attend the same school, but has been quiet yet supportive of her. 
You can also see the Facebook page created by a her neighbor: Support Whitney Kropp
The second story is about Katie Uffens, a high school cheerleader in San Diego, Ca.  Katie may not appear to be the likely target of bullying but her bullies have been quoted as saying that she was not popular and they didn't mean any real harm when they started the "KKK - Kill Katie Klub." 
Really? The Kill Katie Klub? No harm? Bullshit. As Katie's mom learned of this, she spoke to school administrators and even the bullies parents. “I asked him straight up can your son really hurt my daughter, do you think it's a joke and he paused and he hesitated and it scared me” said Giselle Uffen, Katie's mother. 
The hesitation would have scared me as well, because at that moment, the parent of the bully couldn't with any certainty say that his son wouldn't really hurt Katie. He had to think about it. And that chance is one most parents would not be willing to take.  Katie's mom pulled her daughter out of the school the bullying was occurring at and she is now being home schooled.  Quite unfortunate as I'm sure Katie, like most other young teens, looked forward to the many social events and aspects of high school.  And even though this was a measure to help stop the situation, the bullying has continued online through social media, ie: cyber bullying. Her mother has pressed charges, two of the bullies have been arrested and are sobbing their side of the story on the news, claiming to be victims of humiliation.  Ha! Isn’t that the biggest load of crap ever? Katie’s mother has also hired an attorney and will be pursuing charges against those who have caused her daughter so much pain.  Good for Katie's mom!
As a parent, it is our responsibility to protect our children.  Bullying is a HUGE problem, and not just amongst homosexual teens who in recent news have taken their own lives in outrageous numbers as a desperate means of dealing with their sorrow, pain and desperation. 
I am going to make the assumption that in Katie's case, these bullies came from upper-middle class families living in affluent areas of San Diego.  I'm also going to make the assumption that they are probably a bunch of snot-nosed brats who get what they want, when they want.  There is probably no accountability.  And the parents likely let their spoiled teens get away with quite a bit, including the disrespectful attitudes I bet they have toward their parents and anyone who isn't as cool and popular as them. 

I was a victim of bullying, once.  During my sophomore year at Laguna Creek High School in Elk Grove, Ca., I learned that two girls (one a sophomore also and one a senior) absolutely hated me and wanted to beat my ass. I didn’t know them. I didn’t even know their names.  I couldn’t figure out why they hated me so much.  I remember hearing about it in the halls, I remember ducking and dodging and feeling scared that I would bump into them.  I had never been in a fight, I was a pretty straight-edged teen, for the most part.  I didn’t know how to handle this.  It didn’t help when you hear people talking about it and saying things like “their coming, their right over there” scaring you even more.  The only time I really would see them was during PE class.  The sophomore bully had PE at the same time as I did, but wasn’t in my class – the senior also had PE at the same time I did. I hated PE because of them.  Because I was scared.  While running track or playing basketball, they would say things to me, purposely bump into me, hard.  I tried to “ignore it” as my friends and classmates kept saying. I know they were trying to be helpful, and I kept trying to ignore it.  I didn’t tell my teachers, my parents or any school official fearful I would get labeled as a “snitch” or a pansy or a bitch.  I didn’t want that.  So I just kept ignoring it, dodging them and trying to just stay out of their way.  Then one day, that all changed.  Two classes were in the weight room at the same time – mine and the other sophomore bully's.  I stayed with my friends and group of classmates trying to stay far away from her.  She was bigger and appeared stronger than me. And I was scared of her.  I noticed the teachers left the weight room and went outside somewhere.  Right at that moment, I turned around and bammmmm… there she was, we were nose to nose.  “I heard you were talking shit about me and my girl!” Of course I wasn’t, but earlier conversations with class mates about not understanding why they hated me so much were enough of an excuse for her to come up to me and want to beat my ass.  This was her opportunity – no teacher in sight. She pushed me and I fell into the mirrored wall.  She grabbed me again and threw me to the ground, got on top of me and started punching me, mostly on my body not my face.  Something snapped. I snapped.  This hugely abundant adrenaline rush came over me. It was fight or flight. I chose to fight. I pushed her off of me, with every ounce of energy in me.  I got on top of her and started punching her.  I truly felt I snapped.  I even grabbed a weight off the nearby weight tree and started beating her with it.  The teacher was called in the room by classmates and pulled me off of her, while I looked dead in the eye of my bully and said “you will NEVER intimidate me again!” She didn’t. She was expelled. I was suspended. Her friend was warned to stay away from me or she would also be expelled. 

Granted, I don’t think the answer is for Whitney or Katie to fight their bullies. Each situation, each child is different. But for me, at that moment, my instinct told me to fight. Fight to defend myself, not just against this one bully, but because I in general did not deserve to be treated this way. So I chose to fight.  My parents were very proud of me.  I know that some parents would not have been proud of their children for fighting back. My mom was called into the principal’s office where she continued to say she was proud of me and was glad I stood up for myself and that my parents supported my decision to do so. That event changed the course of how I handled intimidation from that day forward. I vowed I would never let anyone intimidate me like that again - because they were bigger than me, a different race, age, etc.  And to this day, I have kept that promise to myself.

As I mentioned earlier, the study by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, stated that nearly 60% of boys whom researchers classified as bullies in grades six through nine were convicted of at least one crime by the age of 24, and 40% had three or more convictions. I'm not sure what the criminal records of the bullies I encountered were, but I do know that I saw them the summer after my incident occurred.  They were at the California State Fair - the sophmore was pushing a stroller and was also pregnant. 

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) states that bullying is a common experience for many children and adolescents.  Surveys indicate that as many as half of all children are bullied at some time during their school years, and at least 10% are bullied on a regular basis.  AACAP's helpful information for families regarding bullying.
According to the AACAP, bullying behavior can be physical or verbal. Boys tend to use physical intimidation or threats, regardless of the gender of their victims.  Bullying by girls is more often verbal, usually with another girl as the target. Bullying has even been reported in online chat rooms, through e-mail and on social networking sites.  Children who are bullied experience real suffering that can interfere with their social and emotional development, as well as their school performance. Some victims of bullying have even attempted suicide rather than continue to endure such harassment and punishment.

I strongly feel bullying has something to do with parenting, or the lack thereof.Our children learn from example.They learn about the world and how to treat others by what we teach them, and if we don't bother to teach them anything, they will learn this behavior from someone else.THESE ARE OUR CHILDREN! We must, as parents, make sure that we raise them by example, teaching them the importance of respecting themselves and others.

I’m curious. How would other parents handle a bully bullying their child(ren)?  Personally, we have agreed to teach Elijah to defend himself.  And with all the recent stories of bullying become so incredibly common, and in many cases the teens being bullied commit suicide, my stance on teaching my son to stand up for himself is even more firm.  Elijah will be enrolled in some form of martial arts at a very young age.  We will teach him to not throw the first punch, but if you are punched, you punch back. Many parents won’t agree, and that’s fine.  I’m curious what you would do…

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First-World Problems

As I was checking my emails at work, I saw a story regarding a lifejacket donation in Fiji Islands (where I was born).  It truly warmed my heart.

I hope it reminds usto be grateful for all we have.

These amazing young Fijian children travel by BOAT daily to get to school, rain or shine. Until recently, they didn't even have lifejackets to keep them safe while making the daily trip.  Thanks to a generous donor by a local business owner, they now each have a lifejacket and can make the journey safely. 

In the 1960s, children would make the same daily journey, but would have to paddle themselves. Can you imagine? We definitely have “first-world problems” in America, as I myself have countlessly witnessed young children (as young as two years old) walking around with their iPads, iPhones, Kindles, and everything else electronic and expensive. So many of those same children are not even grateful for their dozen expensive material possessions – often doting a snotty attitude, showing disrespect toward their parents and elders and the wanting of everything in sight without understanding the value and struggle it takes to get it (at least for the averagemiddle-class American).

The story made me think of my son. He is a FIRST-GENERATION American citizen, as Avin and I, along with our parents and families were all born in Fiji. We didn't grow up like the average American child. There was often only one television in an entire village, that had only one channel. If you were fortunate enough to live in the city, like we did, you had a TV, and even a washer and drier. You were considered "elite." My parents had great jobs, they were college educated – both of which in Fiji are a rarity.  Both of which put us in a different class rank.  Yet, we still danced in the rain, literally. We played with pots and pans, dirt and rocks, swung on swings hanging from mango trees in our nani's backyard. My brothers, cousins and I would eat from one LARGE plate. Not because we had to, but because we loved to. I remember this fondly. My nani would sit us all down in her backyard and put a mound of food on a plate that was the equivalent to seven or eight plates. We would all sit around the circular plate and chow down. We loved eating together... all of us digging in, smiling and laughing.

Some of my fondest memories as a child are in Fiji, growing up with little yet feeling like I had the world at my fingertips. We were taught respect at a VERY young age.  We were taught the value of everything we owned, and shared even the little we had.  My father, for example, grew up in a household with very humble beginnings.  There were eight children in his family, including him.  I remember him telling me stories of how his family could only afford ONE candy bar, yet they would cut into small pieces and share it amongst all eight children.  This always makes me smile.

I want this for my son, Elijah. I don't want him to be consumed with electronics, glued to the TV, uninterested in sports and playing outside, getting dirty, riding his bike or reading a book. Most of all, I want him to be closely connected to his roots. I cannot emphasize how crucial this is for me.  And it will be a greater challenge as our families in Fiji have almost all migrated to other countries – going back now will not be the same as the yearly trips my brothers and I would make to reconnect with our families and stay true to our roots.
Elijah may be American, but he will always be Fijian (and Nepali) first and foremost.

The story in the Fiji Times made me take a moment this morning to reflect and be thankful. I hope I can teach my son to do the same. Always be thankful. Never be greedy, spiteful and disrespectful. It’ll be a struggle in a first-world country surrounded by luxuries we forget to be thankful for, but it will be a priority in my life, as a parent.

Have a great Tuesday and a great week!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Proud Mama!

There are always moments as a Momma that make you especially proud. I had many of those moments this weekend. I was able to spend quality time with my son all weekend. Even while we cleaned the house all day Saturday, Elijah was right there with us, helping in his own way. Our positive reinforcement and discipline tactics are working well on him. It makes me proud when he is receptive to us.

I don’t like spanking my child. It’s just not for me. Although I have lightly patted his hand and bottom before, I prefer not to go there. I feel like it belittles him, truly hurts his feelings and isn’t that greatly effective. Probably because I grew up in a household where a “whooping” was very normal. Picking out my belt happened on more than one occasion. I hated that. And after I told my father, for the first and only time in my life, that I hated him, he never spanked me again.  I know it broke his heart to hear his little girl say that, and he never every spanked me again.  That was when I was 7 years old. Although we feared our parents because we didn’t want to get spanked, eat chili peppers or get yelled at, I don’t want my child to fear me. I want him to respect me. To each is their own, but I personally prefer getting down to his eye level, being very firm in my voice and what I’m trying to convey to him, and holding his hands with a firm grip so that he knows I mean business. It’s been working very well.

In fact, a friend came over a couple weeks ago and was surprised we had so many things still in his reach (on our bookshelf). I explained to her that I think one of the BIGGEST mistakes parents make is trying to overly “baby-proof” their homes, instead of teaching their children, from a very early age, what is acceptable and what is not. Taking things off bookshelves, side tables, etc, is NOT acceptable. Sure, he still does it to some extent, but not so much so that it’s a problem. That is always the toughest thing for me when people bring their children to our home – because not everyone does what we do, and therefore, not everyone’s children respond as my child does.

Several people have told us that our backyard (which was “crashed” by DIY’s Yard Crashers) is not baby friendly.  And I agree, to some extent. Although, I kind of feel like some people just say things because they have to be kill-joys. For the average parent who baby proofs everything in sight, our backyard definitely is not baby/toddler friendly. But for us, it’s been great!  We wanted a tropical paradise to replicate what it feels like to be back home in Fiji.  There are lots of rocks in our backyard, and a ton of tropical plants.  A lot of “nature” for Elijah to play in, just as we did.  Truth is, growing up in Fiji, no one really baby proofed their homes or backyards.  Granted, I think it’s important to make some necessary safety precautions (we don’t have flowing water in our backyard for that very reason), we grew up playing with dirt, rocks, and lots of nature.  That’s what I want for my son.  Elijah is only 16 months old, so he doesn’t play unsupervised (in or out of the house) but he has become VERY good at listening to us when we tell him to put things back, and is receptive on not putting things in his mouth as much as he used to.  He still does, but it isn’t as crazy as it once was.  This takes patience, determination and good parenting.  His receptiveness has made me very proud!

Elijah has been a very finicky eater lately, but I get the idea that it’s because he misses Momma. Because all weekend, in my care, he ate exceptionally well. I made him a delicious egg and veggie scramble on Saturday morning with a ½ piece of toast spread with real peanut butter. He gobbled it up. For a snack, he ate fruit and a granola bar (both of which he loves). His great eating continued through the day and weekend.

When he played with things he wasn’t supposed to, he responded quickly and quite well when I told him “no.”

In fact, this weekend, Elijah made me very proud, countless times.

Being his mother is by far the greatest accomplishment of my life. He makes me proud daily. He makes me smile every second. Even when I’m tired, frustrated, and annoyed, nothing brings me more joy than being his mother.

Here are some pix from over the weekend. PS: Most of them are while he is eating because that’s when I can get him to sit still and look at the camera ;)

Eating his egg and veggie scramble and PB on whole wheat toast :)

Posing with Daddy in his TUX onesie ;)

Getting down on some rice :)

Munching on granola

Showing off his Fiji pride (t-shirt) at the Greek Festival

Playing with his activity flash cards

Monday Morning Ramblings

I have definitely been spoiled by a baby who has slept through the night since he was about two months old (he’s now 16 months old). Last night, that was not the case. Elijah was very restless and when he did sleep, he wanted to be practically on top of me (or in my bosom/arm pit). Not to mention he woke up at 3:30am, sat up and tried to wake me up to talk. Yes, talk. He was babbling something in baby talk, which I took as “Momma, I want some milk.” Which I gave to him and he finally fell back asleep. Problem is, I didn’t. Not until almost 4am, which is about ½ an hour before I usually wake up to work out and start my day. It was a tough night for sure. I ended up sleeping until 5:30am, nearly skipping my morning workout. But I didn’t. I dragged my butt out of bed, brushed my teeth, threw my hair in some ugly bun, put on some workout clothes and headed to the living room for a good session on the treadmill. Since I woke up late, I had to cut my 1 hour workout to 30 mins. I decided to make that 30 minutes extra intense, and ended up burning a ton of calories in that ½ an hour. Problem is, I over did a bit. After my workout, even with a cool down, I threw up. My heart was beating out of my chest. 

Rough start to my Monday, for sure. But I’m proud of myself for getting up regardless of the restless sleep, working out, making my breakfast and lunch and trying to maintain a positive attitude. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure lunch is going to require a nap in my car.

Oh well – the glass is always half full!

That being said, I’m looking forward to a short work week. I took this coming Friday and the following Monday off. Saturday is my 31stbirthday and I’m having a bash with close friends. My best friend and my nephew are coming up from Oakland and I’m dying to see them! I’m looking forward to celebrating my birthday with a crab feed at home. Should be a LOT of fun! =)

Moral of my blog posting – don’t let a bad night, a rough morning and a tiring start to the day get you down! It’s Monday, which means new beginnings. Granted, mine started out rough, but I’m not going to let that set the tone for my week. Hope all my homies have a GREAT Monday, and a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A little obsessed...

I have a confession to make.

I think my love for my son is actually a lightweight obsession. I stayed up late tonight just so I could watch him sleep. The little things he does, the way he can smell me and moves around that way also... I've never been so madly in love in my life!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Turning 31!

I can’t believe that in a little over a week, I’m going to be 31! 31.

No more 30. It’s kind of mind boggling to me. I loved being 30.  Thirty was a great year. We bought and moved into our first house.  And we’re enjoying making it our home. We also had our “yard crashed” while I was 30.  That was a pretty awesome experience. Being on DIY’s Yard Crashers, we got an amazing tropical backyard where we could spend endless summer nights hanging out in front of a fire pit, lounging in the palapa and bbqing with friends and family. All thanks to a pretty little red head.  But best of all, I spent my 30th year of life being a new mommy to the most amazing little boy I could ever ask for.  This was by far the best part of my 30th year. Becoming a mother changed my life in a million ways.  I don’t remember what life was like before him. And I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him.  

I can’t believe all of these huge changes in my life happened in this one amazing year – I will miss it. But I’m hoping, wishing and praying for a blessed, happy, healthy, and exciting 31st year.  One more week… cheers!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ideas. Ideas. Ideas.

I love pinterest.
No seriously, I’m addicted. 
It is exactly what I need – I’m constantly thinking of things I want to do, am trying to do, want to cook, make, build, construct – and the ideas come a mile a minute, often causing me to forget many of them later.  I love that I can get browse through tons of ideas, pin them, and read them (or try them) later.  I love all the inspiration – the motivational quotes, the  reminders of living life to the fullest, of far-away places I want to travel to someday. 
As my friends know, I’ve been pretty focused on a healthier, leaner lifestyle.  No dieting. I don’t believe in dieting. I just want to be healthy, happy and set a good example for my son.  I came across a great page on pinterest that lists 62 great tips to achieving your health and fitness goals.  If you’re interested, here it is:
I also really like this 40 minute beginner treadmill work-out to get you more into running.  I’m a beginner to running, but I have a goal to be able to run a marathon with a long term goal of running more and more marathons.  Most of my treadmill workouts recently have been similar to this AND I also alternate with days where I walk at a slower speed, but at a high incline for 45-60 minutes (3.2-3.5 speed, 6.0-8.0 incline, 45-60 mins). If you’re interested, here is the beginner treadmill work-out:


Follow ME on pinterest here!

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Five Things Helping Me Meet My Fitness/Nutrition Goals

Patting myself on the back. I'm seeing results, slowly but surely with my fitness and nutrition lifestyle changes (no dieting here). It's exciting!
This morning, after my 5am sweat session which included 45 minutes of inclined training on my treadmill and some running on a lower incline, I was sweating like a wh*re in church. Which I LOVE, the sweating part that is. I feel accomplished when the sweat is dripping off my face, neck, chest and the rest of me.
Here are FIVE things that have been working for me that I thought I would share you:
1. 5am workouts: This has been what is most successful for me, when I'm consistent. 5am workouts once a week won't do anything. 5am workouts 5-6 days a week and I'm seeing changes after only a week.  Working out in the evening for me is pretty impossible.  With a toddler in tote, I rush home from work, pick him up from "day care," get him home, feed him dinner while I eat dinner, take him to the park (or do something else "active" with him), bathe him, give him a bottle, we cuddle and read a book together or chase each other around the house until he's ready for bed.  I usually curl up with him in bed and let him sleep with me until he's completely knocked out which is when I usually move him into his crib.  It's 9pm by that time, which means I'm pooped and not going to work out after that. IF I do, it’s usually while we're at the park, or if he falls asleep really early, but basically it’s an extra work out. The 5am workouts are doing wonders for me! I need to remember that the mornings where I snooze and don't get out of bed.
2. Treadmill at home: Best purchase recently, for sure.  I was leaving my house at 4:30am to drive to 24 hour fitness to work out at 5am.  Sometimes I wouldn't leave until almost 5, which means my workout would have to be cut short to allow me enough time to drive home and shower, get ready for work, etc.  The drive time (even if it was only 10 minutes each way), plus parking, getting into the gym, on a machine, etc. was just too much wasted time. So a couple months ago, I bought a used treadmill and I'm so happy with it. Now I crawl out of bed at 4:45-ish, brush my teeth, put my contacts on, throw my hair in some half assed pony-tail, some gym clothes and bam, into the living room I go. I put on some morning news with closed captions so I can peak at what's going on while I jam to Pandora for an hour. It's great!

3. Eating lean, green and often: Yes, often.  I didn’t want to diet. That doesn’t work for me. I wanted to change my LIFESTYLE so I could set a good example for my son, who is my world.  That is incredibly important to me and I’m proud that he prefers fruits over candy and crap.  With the healthy choices I’ve been making, my metabolism is on super charge right now so I'm hungry every 2-4 hours.  I usually start out in the morning with my post-workout protein shake, but lately I've moved that to about 9:30am.  I make it in the morning before I leave home but save it for my mid-morning meal at work. I started making a quick egg white and veggie scramble for breakfast. Takes the same time as it does to blend my shake together and it tastes delish! I use egg whites, usually zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes but I always change up the veggies.  After my mid-morning shake, I usually have a chicken and spinach salad for lunch.  I love a colorful salad, so I often include a few olives, garbanzo beans, beets, carrots, craisins, mushrooms, and 1/2 an avocado + shredded chicken breast with a little dressing.  Yum! Then I have a mid-afternoon snack (usually fruit or granola bar) and then I head home where I have dinner, which I have been prepping on Sundays for the work-week (more on that below).
4. Prepping and Preparing: Prepping and preparing my meals is a HUGE part of what's helping me.  On Sundays, I bake chicken breast or salmon to last me til about Wednesday.  On Wednesday, I'll re-bake some to last me Thursday and Friday.  I cut up veggies and stick them in Tupperware so they're easy to grill up before re-heating my chicken breast or salmon in the evening.  It tastes good and is good for me. Plus, I can’t use the excuse that I’m too tired to cook and end up eating something quick and crappy. Avin received a promotion at work which requires him to work longer hours.  As much as he loves to cook, he hasn’t been able to for a while and since I’m determined to meet my fitness goals, prepping and preparing my dinners in advance is great for this busy Mom’s lifestyle. I don't plan on doing this forever as I miss having carbs as sides, but for now, it is working and I plan on sticking to it. 
5. Great family and friends: Having supportive family and friends who eat healthy and work out make a HUGE difference.  I've been bogged down by people whose goals are not in line with mine and I'm glad that the friends I currently have aren't influencing me to be lazy and to eat like crap. Thank you.
I'm not at a point where I'm going to start posting pix of my body. That would be overzealous of me since the change isn’t significant at this point.   But I can definitely see the change in my face. My cheeks aren't as chubby - yay!

This was me this morning, feeling great!