Aug 27, 2012

And the Award Goes To. . .Me!!

I received the Liebster Award from fellow single mom 0and super talented blogger, The Sexy Single Mommy (thanks again!)  I really appreciate you putting my blog out there for your readers to see!


 
When you receive the award, you post 11 random facts about yourself and answer 11 questions from the person who nominated you.  You pass the Award on to other blogs (make sure to let them know they were nominated) and ask them 11 questions.  You're not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated you!  (To get the button, right click the picture above and save the picture to your computer.  You can then upload to your blog.) 
 
My interesting facts:
  1. I have a thing about noses.  Some noses bother me, others I can live with.
  2. I don't like to look at feet.  Except mine.  And my kids' feet.  But no one else's.
  3. I used to love watching horror movies and was never scared.  Then I watched Paranormal Activity and I slept with the light on for 3 nights straight.  I haven't watched a scary movie since.
  4. I have a very sweet tooth.  Buy me a red velvet cupcake and I'll be your best friend for life.
  5. My biggest food craving when I was pregnant with my daughter was strawberry milkshakes.  With my son it was hot dogs and fries.  The strawberry milkshake craving continues to this day. 
  6. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving because I never got to celebrate while growing up in England and it always sounded so cool.  Plus it's close to my birthday.
  7. I love my iPhone.  This is the only phone I've ever had longer than a year without yearning for a new one and trying to convince myself that the early termination fee can somehow be worked into my budget.
  8. I did not purchase an HDTV until about a year ago because I didn't see the point.  But now that I have one, I wonder why I waited so long to make the change!
  9. I love reality tv way too much. Real Housewives of whatever city is currently on Bravo, Empire Girls, Hollywood Exes...to name a few.
  10. I have not gotten a relaxer in my hair since January 2012.  Embracing my curls!
  11. I'm a pretty aggressive driver.  If the driver in front of me turns without using their turn signal or drives more than 5mph under the speed limit, I lose it.

Here are the questions I am supposed to answer:
  1. If you were an instrument, what would you be and why?  I would be a flute because the sound is so beautiful, soft, smooth and feminine...just like me! lol kidding...
  2. Coke or pepsi?  Neither.  I don't drink soft drinks.  I usually drink water or some kind of wine, sangria or margarita.  From one extreme to the other right there lol.
  3. What was the last song you listened to?  "Next Lifetime" by Erykah Badu on my Jodeci Pandora station :)
  4. What purpose does blogging fulfill for you?  Blogging is my therapy.
  5. What did you want to be when you were 5? 10? 15?  5 - I think I wanted to be an astronaut or a flight attendant (I aimed "high"..haha get it, "high?!) 10 - I can't remember but probably a doctor or lawyer.  15 - I wanted to be an obstetrician.  Now? The best mom I can be to K and J!
  6. What is your favorite snack food?  guacamole and tortilla chips.
  7. What is one tradition your family had when you were growing up that you'd like to continue with your family?  Sunday dinners together.  Although I don't always cook on Sundays like my mom did, I love for us to eat dinner together.
  8. If you were a pirate searching for buried treasure, what would that treasure be?  Clothes and shoes!
  9. What is your favorite quote and why?  I don't really have one that I've chosen to be my favorite! 
  10. What is your favorite time of day?  It depends on the day.  Weekdays, 5pm when I get off work.  Weekends?  It doesn't matter.  Every hour is great because I'm off work!
  11. Do you prefer to use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram?  Instagram!
Now to the nominations!  I love to read all of these blogs and I think you will too!

Brummieknits - she also happens to be my sister :)
Beads, Braids & Beyond
Braid With Me
The Single Mom's Dating Diary
The Single Mother Diaries
Sing Your Own Song
Journey to Milfhood
not-your-average-mom.com
I put on lipgloss for this?

Congratulations ladies!


Aug 21, 2012

The Scariest 30 Minutes of My Life

A couple of weeks ago I experienced the scariest 30 minutes of my life.  I say it was 30 minutes but it felt more like 2 years. 

It all started when I went to K & J's school to eat lunch with them, as I usually do on the weeks they spend with their dad.  One week is so long to go without seeing their smiling faces, so I usually surprise them one day and eat lunch with them.  I signed in as usual, and walked into the cafeteria to see  J's class already seated and eating.  I see J's buddies...but no J.  Strange...maybe he went to the bathroom?  "Where's J?", I asked his number 1 bro.  "He's not here today", he replied looking a little uncertain.  Like he was thinking, "you're his mom, shouldn't you know that?"  Quite frankly, he was right.

I thought maybe J was sick and had to stay home and his dad just hadn't let me know yet, so I decided to wait for K's class.  But when they arrived at the cafeteria, her teacher informed me K also had not made it to school that morning.

At first I felt anger.  Why weren't they at school??  And why hadn't I been told they weren't at school??  I called and texted their dad...no answer.  So I headed over to his place.  I figured if they weren't at school, they had to be sick at home with him.  My anger was slowly turning into worry though I tried not to panic.  Surely there had to be a logical explanation for what was happening.  But when I pulled up outside his house and his car wasn't there...and no one answered when I knocked at the door...I lost it.  Where were my kids????  The most helpless feeling in the world overtook me and tears began streaming down my face.  Where in the world could they be?  For some reason, the thought of them trapped inside a car when it was 90 degrees outside kept coming to mind.  Even though I know they're old enough to unlock the car and get out, for some reason I couldn't shake that feeling.

My hands were shaking as I called the police.  Seems irrational now, but at the time all I could think about was doing whatever I had to to find my kids.  I explained the situation to the dispatcher and she told me the police were on the way.  That's when I finally got the call from my ex, saying the kids were with him, they were fine and he was dropping them off at school right then...at 12:30pm...but that's another blog post for another day...

The point I want to make is this.  I was uncertain of my children's whereabouts for 30 minutes at the most, and in that short space of time I almost lost my mind.  The feeling of not knowing where they were and not having the power to do anything about it is one I hope to never experience ever again.  I can't imagine how parents cope when their children are missing for days, weeks, months, years, decades even...and they have no idea where they are.  How do you ever get past the pain of losing a child?  How do you continue living your life, not knowing where your child is?  I hope I never have to find out.

Since that day, I take the time to tell my kids I love them more than usual, hug them a little tighter and cherish every single second I have with them.  I pay special attention to every word that comes out of their mouth to savor the sound of their sweet little voices while I can.  I praise them for even the smallest of achievements. 

I encourage you to do the same.

Top 10 Empowering/Revenge Songs for Women...In No Particular Order


On my way home from work today, the TLC song "No Scrubs" came on my Jodeci Pandora station.  While singing along, letting all other drivers within close proximity to my car know that I don't want no scrub cos a scrub is a guy that can't get no love from me, I started thinking about all of the great songs out there that empower women...or speak of revenge against the men who did them wrong.  Why not come up with a list, I thought?  And so this blog post was born...

Here are my top 10 empowering/revenge songs for women, along with my favorite lyrics from each...in no particular order.  Let me know which ones are your favorites!

1.  Bust Your Windows - Jazmine Sullivan
"Yeah I did it/You should know it/I ain't sorry/You deserved it/After what you did to me, you deserved it/I ain't sorry, no, no, no"

2.  Irreplaceable - Beyonce
"You can pack all your things, we're finished/'Cause you made your bed now lay in it/I could have another you by tomorrow/So don't you ever for a second get to thinking you're irreplaceable"

3.  Luv Back - Jazmine Sullivan
"It's funny when I think about the past/When I was so naive to think that things would last/But now that I can see that you were never good for me/And it's over so you can give my love back"  (if only it were so easy...!)

5.  Be OK - Chrisette Michele
"Ever sentimental/And my crying's detrimental/Tell me what I'm getting into/I can't lose my mind/Think it's time for me to let go/Cos my heart can't take it no more/You were all I lived for but I leave you behind"

6.  Miss Independent - Ne-Yo (I love the remix with Jamie Foxx and Fabolous!)
"And everything she got she work for it/Good life made for it/She take pride in saying that she paid for it/Only kinda girl I want/Independent queen working for her throne, I love her cos she got her own"

7.  Independent Women - Destiny's Child (I love Part II best!)
"Try to control me boy you get dismissed/Pay my own fun, oh and I pay my own bills/Always 50/50 in relationships..."
8.  Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood (the ultimate anthem for a woman scorned - and I don't even like country music!)
"I dug my key into the side/Of his pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive/Carved my name into his leather seat/I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights/Slashed a hole in all 4 tires/And maybe next time he'll think before he cheats"

9.  No Scrubs - TLC
Pretty much every word in this song is classic.  I can't choose my favorite line!

10.  Epihany (I'm Leaving) - Chrisette Michele
"So I think I'm just about over being your girlfriend/I'm leaving, I'm leaving/No more wondering what you've been doing, where you been sleeping (it's over)/I'm leaving, I'm leaving"

Aug 14, 2012

Case Highlight: Ev & Ocho

By now, you have probably heard about the alleged domestic altercation that took place between NFL player Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson and reality star Evelyn Lozada on Saturday, August 11, but in case you haven't, you can catch up on the story here.  The couple married in a lavish ceremony in the Caribbean on July 4.  Although the ceremony was recorded and planned to be broadcast on their spin-off reality show, "Ev & Ocho", those plans were scrapped by VH1 on Monday; 2 days after the alleged incident.

Now let's just be real.  We've all seen or heard about Evelyn's fiery temper, often graphically portrayed on the VH1 reality show "Basketball Wives".  We know she threw a bottle of champagne at Kenya, narrowly missing Shaunie's head.  And of course, there was the famous jump from the table as she launched herself at Jen.  As a result of these incidents and several others broadcast on the show, many are less than sympathetic when hearing of the alleged incident between Ev and Ocho.  Perhaps she deserved it?  Or maybe Ocho is telling the truth and Ev really did headbutt him?  Is that really hard to believe given her apparent lack of control over her temper?

Is this really the way to look at it though?  What if she had been raped in a dark alley by a psychopathic stalker?  Would we then say she deserved it because (in fellow Basketball Wife, Kenya Bell's words), she's "loose"?  Of course not!  So why is it any different now she is a victim/survivor of domestic abuse?  Does she deserve to be physically abused because she has shown abusive behavior towards others in the past?  Does that necessarily mean she headbutted or otherwise physically attacked her husband?

On the other hand, let's not forget the reason why Ev supposedly got mad at Ocho in the first place, which led to the alleged headbutting.  She found a receipt in the trunk of their car for a box of condoms.  She obviously put 2 and 2 together and figured out Ocho was most likely cheating on her.  After only 6 weeks of marriage, I'm sure this was a huge disappointment to say the least.  But am I the only person that recalls the BBW episode where they were discussing what sounded like the possibility of them having an open marriage while he was on the road?  Did she really think he'd only mess around on her while he was away??  Or maybe she was only mad because he hadn't informed her of his intent to cheat on her prior to buying the condoms, as she had advised him to do on the show?

Regardless of what happened that night, we can try this case in the court of public opinion until another celebrity news story steals the spotlight, and we'll never know for sure what really happened.  Only Ev and Ocho know the truth, and since their stories are already conflicting I'd bet money we'll never hear it. 

Still, having experienced similar incidents in my past, I cannot help but feel sympathy for Evelyn, regardless of her past behavior.  I know how it feels to be hurt by the one person you truly believe should be your best friend and the closest person to you.  After listening to the 911 call, I couldn't help but feel sorry for her.  Even though I could hardly hear her speaking in the background on the recording, I could sense the fear and uncertainty in her voice.  She wasn't the loud, brash and overbearing Ev she is on BBW.  She sounded more like a scared little girl.

And who did she run to when she needed help?  Not Tami.  Not Shaunie.  And certainly not Jen.  She ran to her neighbor...possibly a stranger...anyone that could help her save her life.  How desperate she must have felt!

The fact remains, Ocho is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law by a judge and a jury of his peers. Until then, all opinions and judgments are purely speculation.  However, after only 3 days, the effects of domestic abuse are clear to me in this situation:
  1. Damage to reputation & finances: Ocho lost his job with the Miami Dolphins and supplemental income from the proposed reality show, "Ev & Ocho";
  2. Potential loss of freedom: Ocho was arrested and charged with simple battery, domestic violence after the incident took place and now faces up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine;
  3. Breakdown of a marriage: Ev filed for divorce today, claiming the marriage was "irretrievably broken"; and
  4. Effects on the children: Ev & Ocho have 5 children between them.  I can't imagine how traumatic this whole experience has been on them.
I'll be watching closely to see how this case plays out and passing along my two cents every now and then.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this too...

Aug 8, 2012

I Had A Dream

Last night I had a dream.  It was one of those dreams that left me fearful and anxious for a little while after I woke up.  I dreamed of a woman who was being physically abused by her father.  He would punch and kick her repeatedly for no apparent reason, tearing her down both physically and emotionally.  The trauma of it all forced me to open my eyes and return to reality.  But as I lay awake, I realized this woman is not confined to my dream.  She is a real, live person, struggling to maintain an outward appearance of normalcy while falling apart on the inside.  Is she you?  Or is she someone you know?  Please know that help is available...you just have to make that move.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please seek help by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE or by visiting their website at www.thehotline.org

You have more strength than you give yourself credit for.

Aug 5, 2012

Sickness & The Single Mom

I pride myself on being a pretty independent woman.  Like super-talented songstress and fellow single mom, Jill Scott said in her song "The Fact Is (I Need You)", "I can pay my own light bill baby...put my own gas in my own car...I can buy my own shoe collection...I've been blessed thus far..." 

Regardless of how independent I may be, there comes a time when I have to admit it would be nice to have a man around the house.  Of course, I already talked about this in my earlier post where I sure could have used a big, strong man to come and kill some unidentified creature that had found its way into my bathroom.  But there are also times like this weekend, when my head feels like its stuck in the clouds, my energy level is below zero and my kids have an uncanny resemblance to the Energizer Bunny, yet all I can think about is ensuring I have a steady supply of:


How sweet would it be to have some help at a time like this?!  Someone to fulfill K's request for Sunday morning pancakes?  Someone to play Wii tennis with J?  Or someone to run to the store to pick me up some more OJ?!

I have to say, I did have a couple of sweet offers to bring me some soup, which I really appreciated (thank you again!).  But considering I look a hot, steaming mess right now (think matted hair, runny nose, glassy eyes and jacked up voice, minus the energy to make myself look half decent), I felt I had no choice but to respectfully decline.  The adult company sure would have been nice though.

My only solace is found in knowing that this too shall pass, just like everything else.  My kids, bless their hearts, are doing their best to take care of Mommy with lots of hugs, kisses and "I hope you feel better" wishes.  Within a couple of days, I should be back to my normal self.  But for right now, the couch is my new best friend...