Copyright © While They Sleep

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Are YOU Ready for Parenthood?

A friend of mine posted a hilarious article/blog post from Renagade Mama... I had to share!

Click here to go directly to the blog posting: Are You Ready For Parenting?

Are you ready for parenthood? A Helpful Checklist just for you!

by renegademama

So occasionally I come across some little quiz or whatever “helping” people determine if they’re ready to become a parent. This is, of course, fucking ridiculous, because there is no possible way anybody could ever be “ready” for the train wreck that is New Parenthood.
You can’t prepare for that shit. (Neither the joys nor the horrors.)
Go ahead, read Babycenter and Parenting magazine, buy all the books, let them lull you into a space of confidence and security…but get ready to fall EVEN HARDER once that kid comes and you realize they sold you LIES.
There is no preparing for this. None.
There are, of course, our super over-achieving types who make spreadsheets to record poops and pees and have money coming out their ears and therefore buy all the gear and DO EVERYTHING PERFECTLY – but, in my experience, those are usually the people who suffer the most, especially when their kid turns out to be the most non-spreadsheet-adaptable human on the planet. Invariably, they end up with the kid that defies all logic, routine or reason.  They have the freaking nutjob baby who sleeps like one hour a week and wails the rest of the time. (While watching Baby Einstein and doing flashcards, of course.) By the way, Baby Einstein is like the only thing Georgia will watch for more than 12 seconds…SCORE!
But if a checklist actually existed that may actually help people determine whether they are ready for day-to-day, on-the-ground parenthood, it would (in my [dark, twisted] opinion) look something like this:
Are you ready to be a parent? Let’s find out! Mark all the items on the below list that are true for you. If you choose 20 or more, you’re ready for parenthood!
  1. I only like to sleep when other people tell me I can sleep.
  2. I enjoy using the restroom in the company of others.
  3. I like poop.
  4. I like poop on my hands.
  5. If I were to, say, find silly putty stuck between my bed sheets, I’d think it was cute.
  6. My greatest pleasure in life is driving humans around in a hurry.
  7. I believe money should be spent on character-building activities of questionable value and Starbucks.
  8. Quarterly sex will totally suffice.
  9. I enjoy receiving unsolicited advice from toothless women who smell like gin.
  10. I also like it when they touch my belly.
  11. I seek opportunities to engage in outrageously high-stakes activities for which I am totally underprepared.
  12. If I could, I would wash approximately 12,000 garments a day.
  13. I like guilt.
  14. I like constant talking and a low hum of irritating, indecipherable noise.
  15. I prefer my tits closer to my knees.
  16. When walking around my house barefoot, I throw food and small toys on the ground because I like the feel of them between my toes.
  17. I prefer to work during vacations.
  18. In restaurants, I like to walk around every four minutes and eat my food standing up while chasing a squirrel on crack.
  19. My goal in life is to act every day exactly like my mother even though I think I’m not.
  20. I’m okay with never seeing the floor of my car again.
  21. I’m ready to want to stab myself in the eye with a toothpick on a sometimes hourly basis then somehow, at the end of the day, cry because I realize my kids are going to be gone one day.
  22. In short, I’M READY FOR MADNESS.
Now why don’t they write THAT on BabyCenter?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

President Obama's State of the Union Address

...was amazing! And the political madness begins!

I look forward (not really) to Republicans refuting everything the President said in order to gain some sort of advantage for the GOP seat come this fall. Everything the President had to say made complete sense and gave me goosebumps. For one, why are those that are making $1 million dollars or more paying as much in taxes as those that are only making $40k? How does this make sense to Republicans? How does this seem fair? I loved the Presidents affirmation that this country needs to get on track in a fair and equal way. That does not mean we all pay the same in taxes when 90% of Americans are struggling. It's time we get this economy back on track, focus on skills training, job growth, legal immigration, and ending wars instead of starting them.

Listening to President Obama gives me hope. Hope for a stable future for my son. One in which he has fair opportunities and a good (and affordable) chance to a higher education.

President Obama, you have my vote.

Sacramento County Child Death Review Team

In 2009, the Sacramento County Child Death Review Team (CDRT) marked its twentieth year investigating, analyzing and documenting the circumstances surrounding all child deaths in Sacramento County. The Sacramento County CDRT is unique in that it investigates, analyzes and reviews the deaths of all children that died in Sacramento County and is not limited to homicides or injury-related deaths. The Sacramento County CDRT finds that a thorough review of all child deaths in this county helps to identify abuse and neglect in cases where it may not have been originally identified. With the major commitment of time and expertise from the comprehensive membership of the CDRT, as well as the Youth Death Review Subcommittee and the Prevention Advisory Committee, these dedicated professionals, and the agencies they represent are able to thoroughly investigate any pertinent case information to come to a consensus on the manner and classification of each child death. Only case specific information obtained from CDRT members is used for the production of this report.

During the twenty year period from 1990 through 2009 there were a total of 3,633 Sacramento County resident child deaths. These deaths included 2,587 (71%) natural deaths, 945 (26%) injuryrelated deaths and 101 (3%) deaths of an undetermined manner. The overall child death rate during the twenty year time period was 53.20 per 100,000 Sacramento County resident children. The five leading causes of deaths during this time period were: perinatal conditions (1,041); congenital anomalies (581); infant sleep-related deaths (420); homicides (296); and motor vehicle collisions (272).

As Project Manager of the CDRT in Sacramento County, I was proud to attend the presentation of the Twenty Year CDRT Report to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors (BOS) today.

Here is a link from KCRA News, who attended today's presentation: KCRA reports on child death presentation to BOS

To read more regarding child deaths over the twenty year time period discussed in the presentation to the BOS, visit The Child Abuse Prevention Center: Analysis of Child Deaths

To read the full twenty year report, visit: Twenty Year CDRT Report

If you would like a hard copy of the Twenty Year CDRT Report, please contact me via the "Contact Me" page.

For the life of a child,

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Mom, I'm fat!"

Rachel Simmons, author of the New York Times bestsellers Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, and The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence, as well as an educator working internationally to develop strategies to reduce bullying and empower girls, wrote a great article in her blog ( in which she discusses her daughter's growing grievance with her body image. In her blog, titled "Mom, I'm fat!" -- Rachel unfolds a story in which she tries to educate and teach her child to love herself as she is, beautiful. The heartwarming story touched me, especially in a day and age where young girls (and women of all ages) have redefined the standards of beauty.  Seeing curvy women as beautiful has fluctuated during recent years -- The Marilyn Monroe's of our generation became the Kate Moss', Lindsay Lohan's and Britney Spears' -- the latter of two have openly spoken on their struggles with weight and eating disorders as they fight to fit into Hollywood's definition of beauty.

Simmons story reminds us that we are beautiful for everything we are, chubby thighs and all. And how important it is to constantly reinstate this message to our children, specifically young girls. The National Eating Disorders Association states:
In the United States,
as many as 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Millions more are struggling with binge eating disorder (Crowther et al., 1992; Fairburn et al., 1993; Gordon, 1990; Hoek, 1995; Shisslak etal., 1995). Because of the secretiveness and shame associated with eating disorders, many cases are probably not reported. In addition, many individuals struggle with body dissatisfaction and sub-clinical disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. For example, it has been shown that 80% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance (Smolak, 1996).
More and more women and young girls have found a false realization that skin and bones equals beautiful and any "pudge" on your body is a clear sign that you are fat, unattactive and therefore will be unpopular and unwanted.  More and more children suffer from bullying, low self esteem, alcohol and drug use, early age sex, and although a direct correlation may not be there, it's pretty obvious that our own self worth really impacts our lives in a slough of ways.

This story really touched me. And I urge anyone reading this to keep in mind that possitive affirmations to young girls and women of all age about their body image can be crucial to a healthy, happy growth. Cheers to a great mom and for raising awareness and sharing such a personal story.

Check out the story here!

8 months flew by...

Happy 8 month birthday to my lil' man!!!!

Eight months ago, my life changed forever. And the journey since then has been AMAZING. I got truly lucky with my son. Minus a few growth spurts and "moments" he has been an overall easy baby for this first time mom. It astonishes me that 8 months have already zoomed by and that before we know it, we'll be celebrating his 1 year birthday. Every moment I think of him, I thank God. There's nothing more precious and amazing in this world. Happy birthday, son! Momma loves you!!!! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012


LOVING his bubble machine :)) bath time is the BEST!

Personalized ringtone :)

There's nothing more wondrous than the sound of a baby laughing. So why not make it a ringtone? That's what I did. Now every time my cell phone rings, I hear the beautiful sound of my son laughing. And it makes me smile each time.

If you want to personalize your ringtone too, check out, a great FREE website to create any ringtone you want. I simply recorded his laugh as a voice memo, emailed that memo to myself, saved it to my pc, downloaded it to the above website and created a ringtone out of it. Then I followed the directions, like I have to create other ringtones, and uploaded it to iTunes, synced to my iPhone and VOILA! A great personalized ringtone of Eju laughing :)


Friday, January 20, 2012

Never been in love like this...

As much as I love my husband, a husband isn't guaranteed for life. Granted, we all hope our marriages will last through the years, but marriages (and most relationships in general) are not guaranteed.

What is guaranteed is my love for my son. <3

Last night, while he slept, I held him and gazed for what felt like forever. His little legs dangled over my arms as he barely fit.  His chest gracefully rose and fell, his long eyelashes curled, his little nose warm to the touch. His lips made sucking motions as he tried to cling onto his paci. I just sat there and stared (which I often do). And I thought to myself, I don't think I could ever love someone as much as I love Elijah.

I do plan on having more children in the future, but something about Elijah has affected me in a way I don't think I can ever describe or duplicate. He has completely changed my world. He has made a once very impatient woman, a patient mother. He has made giving up certain vices (including certain friendships) an easy process, where I once would have felt broken. Everything has been clarified as I stare at him. He is my world. And although I have maintained myself while becoming a mother, I know that my role in life is just that, to be his mother. To guide him, build confidence in him, help him explore, learn, love, laugh and grow.

This is now my primary role and job in life and nothing else is more important.

I've never been in love like this. And I can't thank God enough for giving me this amazing gift.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

what a day :(

Ever wake up and just the thought of going to work makes you want to vomit? That was me this morning. After a shitty 2 weeks of working more hours than I will get paid (the joys of being a "exempt" employee), I knew that Tuesday was going to be an even shittier day. Lo and behold, half the day has gone by and I've contemplated running out of the building with all my belongings in hand at least a dozen times. I haven't though. I haven't run out of the building. I'm still here. Because the rational, sane ME knows I need a job and the "I don't give a shit about this place" ME knows that this too shall pass.

What keeps me going is that there are only a few more hours left in my "work" day and I'm home to the most beautiful smile... I can see his lil' booty wobbling over to me as he crawls as fast as he can to the door to greet me. I can see it like he's right in front of me. And that keeps me going...

Here's a pic of us over the weekend... eating pasta (don't mind me: no makeup and looking a raggedy mess) =)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The 100 Foods Dr. Oz Wants in Your Shopping Cart

As promised from my post the other day, here is the link to the article regarding an episode of Dr. Oz in which he details the 100 foods he wants you to add to your grocery shopping list. He created this list to ensure you are eating healthy foods and making sound dietary decisions without putting too much thought into it. I thought it was SUPER helpful!

The 100 Foods Dr. Oz Wants in Your Shopping Cart!

Maker sure you click on the link to PRINT out the full list of 100 items:
Dr. Oz's Printable List

I thought it was interesting how he distinguished "Tree Fruits," "Citrus," and "Stone Fruits" -- I don't think I've even heard of people describing fruits as "stone" fruits. Apaprently, he only recommends two fruits from the "Tree Fruits" category and a handful from the "Stone Fruits" list. Sadly, my favorites are tropical fruits that are NOT on the list. No surprise there as they are full of sugar.

Enjoy! And happy shopping!


I'm literally typing this as they sleep. My husband to my right, my little one in the middle of us. Which is precisely what my post this morning is about: him sleeping with us, or better known as, co-sleeping.

Co-sleeping is a pretty controversial topic. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) lists several factors related to the sleep environment of an infant as being associated with a higher risk of SIDS/SUIDS and other infant sleep-related deaths, such as being placed to sleep in a prone position, a soft sleep surface, co-sleeping, or being put to sleep with items that could cover the head or face.

As the Project Manager of the Child Death Review Team (CDRT), I, along with a multidisciplinary team of professionals in the community, review the deaths of children in this county. In our review, we often see the deaths of infants who co-slept. Because of what I do, the fact that I work with some of the best pediatricians in the state from each major hospital system, and the AAP's recommendations, I chose not to co-sleep with my son. Since we brought him home, he has slept in a bassinet next to my side of our bed and now he sleeps in a crib that's in our room.

Problem is, although I chose NOT to co-sleep with Elijah, but at 7 months, he has chosen to co-sleep with us.

My predicament is that my infant wants to co-sleep, but I (while I love the closeness and enjoy him being in my arms) know firsthand the potential dangers and risks of co-sleeping.  So how do I explain that all to a 7 month old? How do I balance, being a Sociologist/Epidemiologist/Statistician and being a Mom?

As a professional, I advocate parents and people in the community to not co-sleep with their infants. After reviewing countless child deaths where co-sleeping was a factor, how could I advocate anything else? Problem is, how do you get a 7 month old to understand that what he naturally wants, to be next to his mother while he sleeps like he did for 10 months in her womb, can be dangerous to his life?

Ironically, I received an article via email at work the other day in which a Salt Lake City, Utah couple was charged for child neglect after their child died while co-sleeping. Read story here: Court upholds charges in "co-sleeping" baby death. Although, charging parents who are already mourning the loss of their infant seems harsh to me, it made me really think about co-sleeping being a form of child neglect. When you know their are warranted risk factors, backed by the AAP, renowned medical doctors, and statistics, but you chose to do it anyway, should it be considered child neglect? Can you see where the topic gets so controversial?

For now, I struggle with the stats and facts, recommendations from those I respect in the field vs being a Mother who enjoys her baby near her while he sleeps. However, I have chosen to "semi-cosleep" (my own terminology). Meaning: He sleeps in bed with us until I feel he is sound asleep and then I move him to his crib.
My life revolves around my son and everything I do, I do for his best interest. This one thing though, I struggle with. What's best, what he naturally wants or what's proven to be safe?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I am trying to be diligent about exercising and eating well. I haven't been tracking my food as much as I should, but I have been very conscious of what I'm consuming. Which is a HUGE step for me. Last night, we made a delicious homemade chicken soup with tons of yummy veggies and potatoes. I ate it with taro (or "dalo" as Fijians would say). It was delicious, low/no carbs and filling. This morning, I worked out again. I've been keeping up with my Hi Intensity Interval Trainings (HIIT) and I can already see some small (but mighty) changes! Wooooohooooooo!!!! My muscles are sore and I LOVE it. I love feeling like things are working.

Tonight we need to go grocery shopping and stock up on veggies and fruits since we are all out. I also need to buy more protein powder so I can get back to having a protein shake in the mornings after my early morning workouts. Everything I've read has said that having a protein shake after working out is very good for you and your body.

Oh and Dr. Oz had a show a week or so ago abou the "must have items for your grocery shopping list." I dvr'ed it but haven't watched it yet. I'm going to try to look it up and post it here for others to also utilize :)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy New Year

  • turned 30...check
  • bought our first home...check
  • had a baby...check, check, check!
2011 was a life changing year. First, we bought a house. I was very pregnant during the home buying process and 9 months pregnant when we moved in, so this was an exhausting and stressful process, to say the least. One week after moving in, I gave birth to the most beautiful little person ever, my son Elijah. As I'm sure you can imagine, becoming a mother has been the most amazing experience, and I know it's only the beginning of my new (and most important) journey. I'm sure there will be many surprises, moments of absolute joy and a share of downfalls too.

Surprisingly, I once thought that turning 30 would be the huge milestone I couldn't stop talking about, but it in all honesty, came and went. I thought I would throw a lavish party, or go on a fancy trip.  You know, all the things you see people who didn't get to do some of things they wanted to before 30, do. But 30 came and went, and I think I may have slept through it.  Probably because I was some what sleep deprived. But to be honest, after becoming a mom, turning 30 didn't really seem that important anymore.

Everything has changed. What once was important, isn't. What once wasn't important, is.

Elijah has taken over my world. He's in my thoughts morning, noon and night. And every decision I make circles around his happiness and existence. Going back to work full-time, after working part-time for 2 months and a 5 month maternity leave, was only one of those decisions. As much as my heart told me to quit and stay home with him, I knew that financially it wouldn't be the best call.  I want Elijah to have all the things I didn't get to have, because money was tight growing up in a household with two immigrant parents. Although the last thing I want is for my son to be materialistic and care more about how many pairs of Jordan's he owns then social activism and being a good person, I do want him to have nice things. What parent doesn't want to give their children to have nice things? So I decided to go back to work full-time. The staying at home plan hasn't been completely taken off the table. In fact, I'm pre-planning for a second child (in the next year or two) and possibly staying home at that point.

I have lots of goals and "resolutions," for lack of a better word, for 2012. But the three most important would be:
  1. Getting into the best shape of my life. I would consider myself a generally healthy person, although I'm no where where I want to be with my weight. This is the year. This is the year I get into the best shape of my life! I have to. Not only for myself, but for Elijah. How can I teach him healthy habits and implement an active lifestyle if I myself don't live one?
  2. Get on financial track. Avin and I want to make sure we can get to a point, by the end of 2012, where if I wanted to stay home with Elijah (and our future children), that I can.
  3. Start the process of laying down a foundation to working from home. I'm a pretty savvy person. I know I can put together ideas of something I can do while staying at home, once we get to that point.
The truth is, I never wanted to be a "stay-at-home mom" but becoming a mom completely changed my life. He is my world. And I only hope I can make him proud as I grow as his mother and we grow as a family.

Happy New Year!