I Do – Take Two!

So, Lee and I have decided that we will renew our wedding vows next year. We have been through a lot over the last 9 years and didn’t want to wait. Since, it is not our wedding (part 2), it will be easier to plan and execute by next year. It will be a small gathering of close family and friends. Intimate ceremony with dinner planned afterwards. I am already starting to plan our vow renewal ceremony and I can’t wait. Look for more information in the coming weeks!


Brennan Turns 2!

Wow! Can you believe that he is already two years old? Time surely has flown. He is such an amazing little boy. He is talking up a storm now. Most things are still unclear, but he is fascinated by dogs, Elmo and Sprout TV (on PBS). He is running and jumping and enjoying his independence. He moved into his new classroom this week and it’s amazing the schedule that they follow in the 2 year old room. More structured. He still has the binky, refuses to sleep in his room and won’t use the potty. He really has his own opinion.

He went to both the dentist and the doctor on his birthday. My boss said I was being mean by taking him to doctor’s appointments on his birthday. I told her I was a mom and he had shots to get and an oral evaluation/examination by a dentist. Both appointments went okay. He got 3 shots. He is off the charts on height, weight and in the 90th percentile on head circumference. He grew 2 1/2 inches since his 18 month check-up. The doctor said he is amazing, but that we need to set some structure with his sleeping habits. She said that Brennan needs to be in the bed by 8:30 pm at the latest and down for at least 11 hours. So, of course Lee has been an iron fist with the bed time. I cried the first few nights, but thank God for my husband. He really knows how to be the head of the household.

We gave Brennan a great part on Saturday, May 1st. We had a lot of folks and it was a puppy themed party. We were once again overwhelmed by the love and support of the family and we were blessed by the outpouring of gifts. Check out the flicks!

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2010. I can’t believe another year has already passed and we are gearing up for a fresh new start. I must say that 2009 wasn’t bad, but I was ready for a change. I think that with each year we try to usher in new resolutions to either lose weight, stop drinking, smoking or whatever other vices we have. I didn’t make a resolution this year. I thought it was important to focus on me and what I stand for. What kind of mark will I leave on this world when I die? What kind of person am I?

I turned 35 last week and I started to say “I’m 35 and all the way live”. It means that I am changing and evolving right before your eyes. I am not the same person I was last year or even last week. I will be better than last year and have more style and sophistication now that I am older. I will represent who I am and want to be at all times. I will not succumb to pettiness or hold grudges. I will evaluate relationships and determine if they are relevant or not. I will choose who I will have in my inner circle and who will be in the stands. I will not lie or keep secrets to spare your pain. I will be open and honest with you so that we both can move on.

I’m blessed to have survived 35 years with minimal scars. I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful and rambunctious toddler and many family and friends who always have my back. I need to stand up and be and do better. Recognize and rejoice in your blessings and success and remember that in 2010 it comes from within.

Positive Parenting

One of the things that Lee and I are finding out is that parenting is hard. It’s just like our folks said, “There is no manual that comes for raising children”. It’s true. We find it difficult to find a balance in our household for the type of parent that we want to be for Brennan. I want him to grow up in a warm and loving household with lots of hugs and kisses and laughter. Lee wants that as well, but he wants structure and discipline. Lee constantly reminds me that we are raising a black boy who will become a black man. He wants to lay the iron fist down.

We had dinner with friends the other night and Lee mentioned that Brennan is not afraid of me. I simply replied “So, he’s afraid of you.” Lee feels that Brennan should be afraid of both of us. My friend interjected and said, “It’s okay that Brennan is afraid of one of you. One should be the nurturer and one should be the disciplinarian.” She explained that because Lee and I both grew up in single parent homes we only had one person to truly fear. If you are a single parent, you spend a lot of time disciplining your children to make sure that they grow up “right” and not a lot of time nurturing them. I told Lee that we are doing it together, so Brennan will have the best of what we didn’t get and all of what we want. I found this great article on positive parenting and I think that is what we’re trying to do.

You can give hugs, kisses, laughter and discipline and still raise a beautiful well mannered child. Check out the below article for the 10 Golden Rules of Positive Parenting.

Positive parenting encompasses everything from being patient to setting limits. Find out how you can learn to be a more positive mom or dad.

Rantings on Domestic Violence

Daul Kim: Boyfriend Believed to Have Had Hand in Death by Jessica Conatser – News – StyleCaster

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I found this article regarding a model found hanging and police looked to her boyfriend as a suspect because she was a victim of domestic violence. Please note that her “murder” was in fact listed as a suicide and the boyfriend was not charged. However, this got me to thinking about domestic violence as a whole. Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Emotional abuse is often minimized, yet it can leave deep and lasting scars.

No one should live in fear of the person they love. In today’s economic times, many people are staying in abusive relationships out of money. This should never be the case. I told my girlfriend one time, “I wish you loved you as much as I love you”. Psychological or verbal abuse destroys your self-esteem. When you love the abuser more than yourself, you don’t value your self-worth. You don’t believe that you are worthy for a better life, a better future or a better right now. Remember to surround yourself with people who love you, because they will support you when you need them. Signs that you are in an abusive relationship:

Does your partner:
humiliate or yell at you?
criticize you and put you down?
treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
blame you for his own abusive behavior?
see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?

Remember that our bodies are temples and once we respect the temple, few people can enter and destroy the temple. Love yourselves first. Oh, and my friend: left her spouse for a better life.

Thanksgiving Bound

So, Lee and I are getting ready to go to Danville, VA on Tuesday with the baby. This is his 4th trip to Danville and we are excited to have him spend time with Lee’s godmother. This holiday, I’m more concerned about the other folks in America that will go hungry. The children who won’t have a turkey, dressing, collared greens, sweet potatoes and mounds of other food to chow down on. What will they eat? Who will help them? The fact of the matter is that there are so many Americans unemployed and living without food that it is a crying shame. My friend told me yesterday that a woman at her church was car jacked at the grocery store. The next day the police found her car. The only thing missing was her groceries. My mom told me about her friend who shops at the food bank and how hard it is to get meat at the food bank. She said on this trip to the food bank, they gave her some steaks. She was so happy to get those steaks and went about thinking how she was going to prepare them. She said the procedure is to finish shopping at the food bank and then leave your cart and pull your car up to the door. The volunteers will help you load your car. When she returned to get her groceries, she didn’t notice that someone had stolen her steaks. This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for many things: health, happiness, family, shelter and food. I never took the small things for granted, but this year, I never realized how blessed I am. We have survived! Let’s pray for those and help those who are less fortunate.

Check out this video on CNN: http://us.cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2009/11/18/rowlands.hunger.report.cnn