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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Mom's Place in A Father-Son Relationship

Because of situations surrounding the Wasband's leaving, I made up in my mind that Chunks and I would move forward without him and try to just make the best of it. I told myself, when Chunks was older I would just be honest with him about why his father couldn't be around and pray he would get it and not be scarred by it.

As time has gone on, I've done my share of keeping photos around him and telling him fun stories whenever he'd ask about his dad. Last year I allowed a few phone calls on birthdays and holidays and I watched how Chunks handled it all and how the Wasband behaved, too. So far he's ok, he can speak to his dad whenever he wants and for now that works.

On Saturday we went back to swimming lessons through which Chunks screamed and shivered, LOUDLY. THE ENTIRE TIME! smh did I mention my guy is a scaredy cat?? When the class was over I took him to the family pool so we could get used to the water one on one and he remembered a pic of his dad swimming in Puerto Rico and said "Will I swim like my dad?" I jumped on the opportunity and said "You've got to try to get it".

Lesson #1, Dad is always a superhero and mom's gotta be ok with that.

On the way home, he asked to speak to his dad, so I called. They spoke for a little while, the Wasband told him he'd like to see him swim soon (he hasn't seen Chunks since he was 1). After this call, Chunks is willing to go back to class next weekend.

Lesson #2, A dad's voice can get a message through that all of mom's trying just cannot ::shrug:: and mom's gotta be ok with that.

Later that evening, the Wasband thanked me for letting Chunks call, he said it meant a lot to him.

Lesson #3, Making it difficult for a Father to speak to his child is petty (if doesn't mean any harm) and since men hate confrontation, sometimes Mom has to open the lines so everyone knows it's ok.

Since this, we've discussed him coming up to see Chunks one weekend. I haven't told Chunks, just in case, but I'm also planning the day out to make sure everything is ok. Opening the lines to my son is a big deal to me and ANYONE, including his Father, meaning him harm will have a problem! But I'm open for a few reasons: Chunks is pretty balanced and isn't coming for a place of "need" or "missing out" when it comes to his dad it's kind of a "fun relative" mindset (sad, but whatever works). Secondly, because I made it a point NOT to speak badly about his dad, Chunks has no bias so while I'll be watching like a hawk and side-eyeing I'm sure, all with a smile lol, he won't know why-it's just mom being mom. Third, at the end of it all I want to know and Chunks to know, I did everything in my power to make him whole with his other parent. We have a great relationship so him having the same (or kinda close to it) with his other parent is only right, right?

Lesson #4, there's a place for dad. Them having a bond, has nothing to do with our relationship so there's no competition.

I honestly don't think this would be possible if I hadn't made peace with the relationship and owned my part in it all, I have a few friends who are having a hard time letting their children's father have their place in the child's lives because they're still mad about the relationship, even men who didn't just walk out and disappear, and it's sad but everyone has their own journey. My plan for motherhood is to release a whole man into the world for a woman to love with as little childhood baggage as possible.

Dear Daughter In Law,

I'm thinking of you.

currently


feeling: COLD! November brought winter in just the way I hate it: cold, rainy, with crazy winds here in NY. Hermit Season has officially arrived.

listening to: blue eyed soul. Sam Smith, James Morrison, and of course Robin Thicke. Great albums between all three.

obsessing over: getting gone. i've got the travel bug really badly lately, but for places like Ireland and Greece. I need some travel buddies. oh and a new camera body, there's one I've been playing with in Adorama's show room but the way this budget is set up...

loving: it's holiday season so of course, the Hallmark Channel's countdown to Christmas. Most weekends you may or may not find my snuggled up with something warm to drink and Hallmark on.

admitting: my kid annoys me sometimes. I love him dearly but OMG! LOL I know mother's aren't supposed to say this but Lord, how many times can you say "Stop that", "Let's try something else", "Get down", etc or hear "Mommy look"?? ::sigh::

looking forward to: now that it's red cup weather, definitely Eggnog Lattes.

trying: Everyday Eyecandy's #ThankfulEveryday challenge on Instagram. I always try these challenges and fall off, but better to try right?? 

thinking about: making my social media accounts public, namely Instagram. with all the crazies out there i'm leery of putting Chunks's face out there so much but there are so many photography projects I'd love to get into that I can't because it's a private account...still thinking.

reading: more photography books and quickly finding my favorites, learning to think slower and visually.

smelling: sage. a friend of mine gave me a bundle and told me how to use it, i was feeling overwhelmed and just down last week so i decided to unplug this weekend and burn it throughout my space and it really helped. The smell is relaxing.

planning: my christmas shopping, did you know Toys R Us has online lay-away?? since someone yells, "I want that" every time a new commercial comes on, getting started early will help with this year's budget.

Here's to a good week and a happy, new November!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Why a Boo-Boo Made Me Proud

As a new mom I remember another mom telling me not to flinch when Chunks fell because if it's just a little fall, my flinch will make him believe it's the end of the world and I think that had to be the best piece of parenting advice I'd ever been given because to know my child is to know DRAMA! I quickly learned that if I reacted to any little thing, child bones were falling off and someone was going to die quick!

I would watch him take a spill and decided early that if it wasn't a hard fall, meaning blood and bad scrapes, I would let him get himself up, brush it off, and keep on having fun. No need crying if it isn't that bad, right? I would tell him "You're ok" or "Ahh it wasn't so bad" and we'd get on with life, little did I know this "life lesson" would be tossed back at me after coming home and finding...



WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?!?!

Ok, after I took a few breaths and brought it down a few Chunks told me he took a spill on the playground. After a few "Oh My God, lemme see!" I asked what happened and my scaredy cat son told me he tried to jump off the monkey bars, part me was still shocked but that was quickly getting swept away by the thought that he went on the monkey bars!

Did I mention he's a scaredy cat??? lol MAJOR accomplishment!

So I made the rest of the conversation about that and how proud I was that he tried something that used to scare him, how that was his "big boy" coming out and I watched as he stood a little straighter and then told me "Mommy, it wasn't so bad, I didn't get dead" and hit me with the Kanye shrug and went back to his Dino Netflix stream.

Roll with the punches kid, we roll with the punches.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Weekend In the Life

It was warm, it was sunny, it was windy, it was rainy. It was one of the Fall days that New York goes through right before Old Man Winter takes over where it's unseasonably warm to start and then ended up with wrap up in a cozy blanket and stay in with Netflix kind of chill, so let's start from the beginning of what we got into this weekend!

 *Stealing a quiet moment before the boss wakes up...

Then we headed to the city for a museum day at the Whitney, Jeff Koons's exhibit was so fun and cool, just FYI parents: avoid the 3rd floor with the little ones, things get a little X-rated.


















We made one stop to the mad house that is Dylan's Candy Bar and headed back to Brooklyn.


 Ahhhh, Sunday


Wind and rain be damned, laundry and grocery shopping still needs to get done, so off we go! 


We met up with an old friend of mine and her son for some Chuckie Cheese fun...




Then back home to get ready to start another week. Can't believe it's hump day already but I'm glad Friday is so near. What weekend plans do you have? We haven't even been to a pumpkin patch yet, hmmm...


Monday, October 20, 2014

A Night That Inspired with C.O.O.K.I.E. Cocktails and ChicBusyMom


Moderator Renae Bluitt and Mommy Blogger Candace Montgomery
via The CookieLife
There's something about being in the presence of creatives that gets your own creative juices flowing, pair that with some ambitious and fierce women and you have the power to run the WORLD! Last Thursday a gorgeous room of female entrepreneurs got together at the newly improved 40/40 Club in the Flatiron District to brainstorm and get tips on ways to get your brand out of your head and into existence SERVING. 

The night's open forum was moderated by the fab Renae Bluitt of In Her Shoes who interviewed one of my favorite mommy bloggers (and namesake ;-)) Candace Montgomery of ChicBusyMom. On top of being a mommy blogger, Candace is of course a mom of 3, a wife, AND the Event Marketing Director of ESSENCE Magazine, you might remember my time with the ESSENCEMoms group a little while back. The night was filled with gems on how to manage life and get your business and brand off the ground.

The one thing that stuck out for me was Candace's first response to Renae's question of how exactly does she balance it all to which she responded, 
"There is no balance!" 
THANK YOU!! You know how long it took me to be ok with not having everything 100% perfect?? So to hear that I'm not alone in this thought is so freeing. The gem in this was her advice, wherever you are give 110% because something is always going to feel cheated. 


The other million dollar piece of advice she gave was to have a plan. Make a 6 month plan for your blog, your business, your brand and as you go check back in with this plan and make sure you're doing what you said you would do and you are where you wanted to be. Candace advised us to own the voice of our blogs and treat them all like a business because there is a lane for all of us who give this thing our full 100%.

I am guilty of not having much a long term plan for this blog of mine more treating it as a way to chronicle raising this son of mine but more and more I am learning that the stories I share as his mom, raising a son in Brooklyn, in my hometown, doing this work on my own, while still living my own dreams out is meaningful and somewhat encouraging and has built relationships on and offline, so there is value in this space. This night helped me see it by one: surrounding myself with the creatives in the room from the fitness blogger, to the fashionistas, to the mommy bloggers and soaking up that energy and then hearing from some bloggers that they've followed me for a while and are loving hearing about what's going on with Chunks and me. So it's time to put pen to paper and consider the end game: Where exactly is New York State of Mom going?

I'm grateful for the night with ladies and all the encouragement and good vibes that filled that room. It really was a great night!


 Do you have a long term goal for you blog? What steps do you use to make sure you're staying on track with those goals?



Sunday, October 5, 2014

Project 52FIVE




You can't hear it but it's the face of a ROAR! To say he's a bit dinosaur obsessed is a COMPLETE understatement lol 

Everyone he meets gets a lesson on the latest dinosaur discovery and his favorite changes every week. 

This week it's the Spinosaurus! Thank God, you know how embarrassing it is to have your 5 year old breeze through some of those names while you fumble all over them, yea VERY!

Happy Saturday! 

HOMETOWN LOVE CRAFT



If you know anything about me you know I have a SERIOUS love for my borough. My family always laughs when I'm asked where I'm from and I never say New York- I'm from Brooklyn! The culture, the grit, the homey feeling, the vibe, the food, and just everything about anyone who grew up here-good and bad. I'm planning out a gallery wall and was searching for a print that represented NY just right but then found a really cute project on one of my favorite photographer's blog and knew I'd have to do it for Brooklyn.


I loved the idea of using glittery paper but I'm not too much of a gold girl so I headed to Michael's and found this gorgeous bluish-silver glitter scrapbook paper and a shadow box to frame it all in. So the supplies you would need are: a frame that best fits your space, a background form (you can easily use a 12 x 12 scrapbook paper or in my case the backing of the frame), a sheet of glitter paper, an outline of your hometown, cute pins, a pencil, a pair of scissors, and tacky glue.


So first thing, I just googled <> and just printed it out and cut the shape on regular printer paper. When the outline was just right, I traced it on the back of the glitter paper and took my time cutting that out next.





::MOM NOTE:: I loved that the outline I found was a breakdown of all of Brooklyn's neighborhoods so I could show Chunks where ours was and point out where we've been and where some of our friends live on a mini map, I think I might do something else with it for his space.





I found these amazing jeweled push pins on Etsy a while back when I made a cork-board for my desk and thought they would fit this project perfectly because a) they're my favorite color, b) now that I had a shadow box the 3-D effect would pop even better! WIN! :-) We used the map to find our neighborhood and the pin marks the spot.

I used the tacky glue to stick it all on the frame's backboard, once that is dry I popped it in the frame and I have to say I LOVE it! Whenever we move I can see adding smaller pins to mark it too, but since this is the neighborhood I grew up in and Chunks is getting his start as a Brooklyn boy here it's our home base.



Now to search Pinterest for a layout I'll love.

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