Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Extended Family

When I refer to extended family, I am speaking of your significant others', spouses, secondary family etc., I think there is a misconception that all extended family dislike each other. I would like to know more perspectives. I really want to hear success stories. I love my extended family and often wonder if others are as blessed.

In many countries it is expected and acceptable for the married couple to move their parents into their home. American culture is a bit different. We tend to go the opposite of wanting to leave our parents home as soon as possible. I would love to know more of cultures that do this. That will be my next research project.

But lately I have just wondered why is it that if you are dating someone you can not get along with their family? Or why do people feel that everyone has to dislike their mother/father-in law?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Celebrating My Blessing

Today was one of the happiest days I've had in a long time. I celebrated my daughter's birthday. We were surrounded by family, extended family, and close friends. She was so grateful and happy. My heart smiled each time she laughed.

"Hello Kitty" was her co-star to this star filled event. I am sure this will be a day my little ladybug will never forget.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I Can't Sleep Baby....

Insomnia is something millions of people suffer with. I happen to be one of those people. Insomnia is the inability to sleep or stay asleep at night. It can be very dangerous and damaging to your health. Insomnia often takes a toll on how you function throughout the day. It effects your ability to concentrate and your overall mood. I am working on changing my sleeping habits. I decided to do some research to discover what natural cures exist to help me fall asleep. During my research, I discovered some alarming facts. Insomnia is the following:
  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Awakening during the night
  • Awakening too early
  • Not feeling well rested after a night's sleep
  • Daytime fatigue or sleepiness
  • Irritability, depression or anxiety
  • Difficulty paying attention or focusing on tasks
  • Increased errors or accidents
  • Tension headaches
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Ongoing worries about sleep

Complications of insomnia may include:

  • Lower performance on the job or at school
  • Slowed reaction time while driving and higher risk of accidents
  • Psychiatric problems, such as depression or an anxiety disorder
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Poor immune system function
  • Increased risk and severity of long-term diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes
Suggested lifestyle changes:
  • Stick to a sleep schedule. Keep your bedtime and wake time consistent from day to day, including on weekends.
  • Get out of bed when you're not sleeping. Sleep as much as needed to feel rested, and then get out of bed. If you can't sleep, get out of bed after 15 minutes and do something relaxing, such as reading.
  • Avoid trying to sleep. The harder you try, the more awake you'll become. Read or watch television until you become very drowsy, then go to bed to sleep.
  • Use your bed and bedroom only for sleeping or intimate relations. Don't read, watch TV, work or eat in bed.
  • Find ways to relax. A warm bath before bedtime can help prepare you for sleep. Having your partner give you a massage also may help relax you. Create a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as reading, soft music, breathing exercises, yoga or prayer.
  • Avoid or limit naps. Naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night. If you can't get by without one, try to limit a nap to no more than 30 minutes and don't nap after 3 p.m.
  • Make your bedroom comfortable for sleep. Close your bedroom door or create a subtle background noise, such as a running fan, to help drown out other noises. Keep your bedroom temperature comfortable, usually cooler than during the day, and dark. Don't keep a computer or TV in your bedroom.
  • Exercise and stay active. Get at least 20 to 30 minutes of vigorous exercise daily at least five to six hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid or limit caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. Caffeine after lunchtime and using nicotine can keep you from falling asleep at night. Alcohol, while it may initially make you feel sleepy, can cause unrestful sleep and frequent awakenings.
  • Avoid large meals and beverages before bed. A light snack is fine, but eating too much late in the evening can interfere with sleep. Drink less before bedtime so that you won't have to go to the toilet as often.
  • Check your medications. If you take medications regularly, check with your doctor to see if they may be contributing to your insomnia. Also check the labels of over-the-counter products to see if they contain caffeine or other stimulants, such as pseudoephedrine.
  • Don't put up with pain. If a painful condition bothers you, make sure the pain reliever you take is effective enough to control your pain while you're sleeping.
  • Hide the bedroom clocks. Set your alarm so that you know when to get up, but then hide all clocks in your bedroom. The less you know what time it is at night, the better you'll sleep.
I will be doing the following highlighted in red over the next week to see if a change comes.

I too will sleep again.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Huge Hair

I flat ironed my hair for the first time in a long time and it has seriously grown. It is much thicker and healthier, but it is huge (LOL). It is bigger than I am use to seeing and I did not get it as straight as I normally wear it.

I got a new blow dryer that I love. The comb is short enough to get the roots of my hair perfectly and the dryer is lightweight. I still need to get my blow drying technique down, but for now it will do.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Make it Fun

I have joined the gym twice in the past two years and each time I find that I don't have the time to go to the gym. No matter how I try to adjust my schedule I don't have two hours to spare (travel + workout=not enough time).

About a year and half ago I purchased this lovely little weighted hula hoop. It is great. I must say I lost about 6 inches around my waist doing this thing about 4 times a week.

Lately I have pumped up my workout and I dance to the Michael Jackson "Beat It" CD. Yes, the entire CD. I have it on my mp3 player, I turn it up and just go. I sweat so hard with this thing. It is the absolute best. Give it a try and let me know what you think. It retails for $28-$46 depending on the size you get.

For more information visit http://www.sports-hoop.com/main_howtochoose.html

Food for Thought #2

Can a leopard change his spots? Domestic violence..can a woman beater stop hitting his wife forever or does his "essential nature" to overpower the physically smaller species lurk deep in his mind, making it only a matter of time before it resurfaces? (Observations)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Coping With Feeling Overwhelmed

  • Have you ever felt rushed and hurried in everything you do, including eating a simple meal?
  • Does it feel as though you are late for everything?
  • Do you sometimes feel as though you literally can not sit in your chair?

If you can answer yes to most of these chances are you are overwhelmed. As a mother of a young girl, full-time employee, full-time student, and all around superwoman, sometimes I feel overwhelmed. You all know what I mean. The feeling of wanting to scream if the next person even thinks to ask you to lend your hand.

Sometimes we stretch ourselves too thin without taking a moment for ourselves. In the long run you do more harm than good for yourself and those that love you. You don't want to become the evil two headed snake monster about to explode any minute. I know this feeling all too well, wishing that someone would just give you a little time away. Here is the truth, are you listening, are you reading this very carefully?

Well here goes....

NO ONE is going to give you a moment. Everyone and everything needs your attention. So what you have to do is steal time away for yourself. Call it a "me hour", "a mini vacation", "a special moment", call it whatever you want. Just take it.

I know what you are thinking, there are not enough hours in the day for any of the above mentioned things. But there is. Here are a few tips:

  1. Go to bed 30 minutes earlier during the week
  2. Stay up an extra hour on the weekend to just relax (i.e, read, write, watch a movie, cuddle, etc.).
  3. Schedule a vacation day or half day off from work while the kids are in school (go see a matinee)
  4. Start a hobby that is yours and for you ( I am learning to crochet)
  5. My Favorite (Go for a 20 minute walk, even if it is on lunch)

I know these are not fabulous tips. But they each will make you feel better over time if done consistently. Try them and let me know what you think.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Food for Thought #1

"When was the last time you told your man or woman that he/she is appreciated?" As individuals it is often forgotten to just smile at the reasons you love someone, and remind them with a gentle hug around their waist..that you'll never let them go. Try it! You will make someone's time here a little more special. Hug love, and kiss while you can. We never know what tomorrow brings.

What Ya, Reading?

School can become overwhelming at times. That along with my other responsibilities leaves me limited time for myself. So, I have decided to read one non-school related book a week. I feel that I need this balance because I began to notice that I have long forgotten about my love for reading. Each month I will read one fictional book and post a short review. If you want a few good reads, follow my "What Ya Reading" post monthly.

This month I am reading "How to Bake a Cupcake" By H.L. Sweatte. Here is the editorial review from Amazon.

Editorial Reviews

Unpredictably sweet and oh so tempting... Jasmine Fairchild may be every guy's fantasy, but she's nobody's fool. As an English major at the University of California, Berkeley, Jasmine is blazing a path to success and craves a partner that shares her ambitious spirit. She has her heart set on Stacey Fisher, the dean's son and star quarterback of the football team, but the older and mysterious Jackson Taylor uses his undeniable good looks and charm to ensure she keeps her options open. Choosing between two men isn't Jasmine's biggest dilemma-overcoming a painful past and her current commitment-phobic ways proves much more difficult. Only time will tell if she can bear the right ingredients to form a solid love connection with the one that proves to be Mr. Right, for any seasoned dater knows that good looks and charm will only get you so far. After all, even a delectably enticing dessert can prove bitter to the taste once it's been burned.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Grown-Up Dora

So Dora has gotten a makeover and as the mother of a soon to be 6 year old. I love the doll. She is still kid friendly enough for 6 -8 year old but okay for 9-10 years old also.

In my opinion it keeps my child interested in playing with dolls as they grow older and their features change.

The only thing I don't like about the doll is that it does not look like the younger version of Dora enough.

If my daughter likes this new Dora, I will be purchasing it because it is just another step to help a young girl as she goes through those many stages of no longer feeling like a baby, but still loves her dolls.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Education is Power

Please be sure to view President Barack Obama's speech to encourage students to stay in school.


Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Back to School Event

Arlington, Virginia
September 8, 2009

The President: Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.
I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.
I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.
Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."
So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.
Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.
I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.
I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.
Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.
Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.
And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.
And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.
You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.
We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.
Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.
I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.
So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.
But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.
Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.
But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.
That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.
Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.
I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.
And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.
Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.
That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.
Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.
I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.
But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.
No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.
And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.
The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.
It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.
So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?
Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Food for thought!

"when was the last time you told your man or woman that he/she is appreciated?" As individuals it is often forgotten to just smile at the reasons you love someone, and remind them with a gentle hug around their waist..that you'll never let them go. Try it! You will make someone's time here a little more special. Hug love, and kiss while you can. We never know what tomorrow brings.

School Kicked Off This Week

School has started again. My class is extremely interesting so this should be great. I am taking Environmental health. My program is flying by and I am learning so much. On other notes it is getting close to my hair care anniversary. It will be one year 9/25 to the last time I went to a salon. Since that last year I have only straightened my hair twice. I am in a "take back your challenge" and i can only use heat twice do the challenge. That should be easy, I plan to straighten at my one year mark and not again until November.

I hope everyone is have a blast on the labor day weekend. I had a paper to write so no joy for me.

Talk to you all soon
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