Thursday, October 14, 2010

Definition of a Super Mom

Super Mom- n. a person who gets up at 5:30 am, takes a shower, gets completely ready (make up and all), throws a load of laundry into dryer and another into the washer, makes a pot of coffee and a bottle, delivers said bottle to bright eyed bushy tailed baby at 6:30 am, gets wiggly jibber jabbery baby dressed and hair done by 6:50, coffee in mug, bag in hand, baby in arm, and out the door by 7:00 am.  A supermom then drops baby off at daycare and heads to work by 7:10, entering the work site by 7:15-7:20 and getting straight to work. Super mom works until 4:30-5:00 until at which time she then leaves to go home where super dad and super baby are waiting. Take shoes off, spend an hour with kisses, hugs, and catch up, then time for baby to have a bottle and dinner. After which super mom takes baby to the bathtub where she supervises the crazy splashing and loud screeches of said baby. 6:45 baby is lotioned up, diapered, and pajamas are on.  Quick bed time story, prayers are said (by Super Mom for baby), and then baby is placed into the bed with pink teddy bear and pink blanket. Super Mom then runs around picking up the house and doing another load of laundry before returning to the computer where she resumes working on school work until 10 pm- 12 am. (Super Dad gives up and goes to bed by 9-10 pm) 12 am crawl into bed and pass out for 5.5 hrs.

If you cannot reach me...please see definition again for Super Mom.  I'm pretty sure it does not entail anything about phone call time. :)

Love you all,

Super Mom

My Social Identity Matrix---or whatever.

When I was eleven years old I remember riding in the car with my mom and saying something a long these line, “Mom sometimes I feel so weird.  Like…I think to myself Who Am I?  Then I feel strange inside because I don’t know…Who Am I?”  Being the teacher I am today I can look back on that conversation with my mom, and I can see how profound that level of thinking was for an eleven year old. The part I find the most astounding though is that I find myself still asking that question.  Today when I ask myself “Who Am I”, I don’t get the insecure feeling that follows a deep silence. I have many answers to who I am, but I do not feel any of my answers are complete. I believe this is because who we are is constantly evolving, we may not change drastically but parts of who we are will change. Not all of my the experiences in my life up to this point were positive, in fact while taking this course I am beginning to see how negative many of them were, but they still contributed to shaping the person I am today and I believe should be examined due to this reason.
I claim to be a southerner because I was raised in Charleston, SC. Some people in my family say Supper instead of Dinner, and we all say y’all. However, I do not have what I consider to be a southern accent.  I choose to claim being a southerner because I appreciate the values along with being southern and because it made me feel closer to my mom whom I look nothing like. Yet, if someone met me, they would and normally do immediately believe I am from some place far away which they have never ventured.  Every time I meet someone new the first thing out of their mouth is, “AND where are you from?”  “Well you see dear stranger, I am from The United States, born and raised in Charleston, SC.”  Usually, they look very confused about this and when I was younger the confused stare was enough for me to give in and tell them a long explanation about how my Daddy is from India originally, but my Mother’s family ancestry dates back to Ireland, and SO I have dark hair, dark eyes, tan skin, but not a single Indian facial feature.  I think this explanation makes people feel safer somehow, but I don’t normally offer it anymore, because the truth is I am from America and that is all you need to know.
I went to a prestigious all girl school from kindergarten through fifth grade, and I hated it.  I hated it because although my family was wealthy we weren’t wealthy enough, but even if we were I still wouldn’t have fit. The special girls were blonde, and had creamy white skin. Another memory of mine is coming home in first grade and crying to my older brother (half brother) who IS creamy white, how I wanted to have his skin, and be pale like him. Fortunately, I was blessed with an amazing older brother who at the age of fifteen had sense enough to tell me I was beautiful and one day I would realize how awesome tan skin was.  After all, those girls I went to school with were going to grow up and spend lots of money trying to make their skin the same color as mine in a tanning bed. I couldn’t see that though…all I could see is that I was different and different had to be bad because they wouldn’t accept me.
At school we would open our textbooks in Social Studies and there would be some small paragraph about India and the only picture would be a very scrawny dark woman with a big red dot on her forehead in the middle of a very dirty road.  This was the representation.  We talked about how poor it was and oh Mahatma Ghandi was from there, and the Taj Mahal…and moving on. I used to feel angry inside even as a little kid because this was wrong. I had been to India three times from the time I was born until age ten, and I had never seen this.  Not to mention, my grandparents came from India often and they weren’t skinny at all. They also didn’t wear dots, and not to be rude or anything but grandma was a CLEAN FREAK.  What was this India they were talking about?  It wasn’t my India and I really hated my teachers for telling all my classmates that stuff, because then they thought that was me and hello I am clean, I don’t wear a dot, I believe in Jesus not many gods, AND NO  my parents do not run a gas station.  I received every slurpee joke, every “Thank You Come Again” joke I could stand growing up.  I hated being Indian…until the day I loved it.
One day the pale girls realized they did not have a colorful culture to call their own, and I did. And On that day…I realized I loved who I was. I am American, and Indian, and Irish, and probably a bunch of other things too. I am intelligent, fun to be around, and passionate about so many things.  These are the important details I have to remember about my students. As I sit here and type this I feel guilty because I think in the rush of the school day I forget to stop and LOVE my students for who they are. I’m so afraid I won’t teach them what needs to be taught in the time period I’m given, but now I’m sitting here realizing that if I spend some time just appreciating them for them perhaps my time would be better spent, and maybe I would be able to teach them better. I know I was disadvantage in school because I was different, but at some point being different became my advantage. How can I change my students’ lives so that their disadvantages are suddenly advantages?  How can I make them love coming to my class because it is a place of acceptance, and love, but at the same time demand respect and responsibility? This is what I am working on every day. It is a journey, perhaps one of the hardest I have ever undertaken. I have never before felt so motivated to not give up, because now when I look at my students I see myself 15 years ago…wishing I could be pale and blonde. I wanted to fit, and now I want my students to KNOW they fit. 

I turned the above in as an assignment for one of graduate classes.  When I actually have the time to sit down and do some school work for me, I truly enjoy it.  It is amazing what an hour of reflection can do for your motivation and confidence.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

If you are wondering, I never made it to IKEA.  I went all that way but I never made it. I think my need to organize absolutely everything with labels, by color, and type, would have found many wonderful things there but like I said I didn't make it.  So to avoid dwelling I'll move on.

Steven and I have been very busy redecorating, rearranging, and organizing.  However, if you visited right this second you would never know it.  Every room in our house is a complete mess.  I suppose that is what they mean when they say "things usually get worse before they get better".  I can see a light at the end of the tunnel but it is in the far distance and we have many hurdles to get over first, and don't forget we are lugging along an 8 month old.  So, Baby Bjorn or not she is heavy and she puts EVERYTHING in her mouth, which means a day project is taking us more like 3 days. Remember our cabinets?  Well those things are STILL without a single door.  We have figured out what we are doing with them, and we THINK we can get them finished some time in the near future.  Maybe by Christmas.  :)  As soon as those are finished the counter tops are next.  We have received a few estimates lately, and let me tell you those numbers are big enough to choke on. Renovating is not anywhere near as easy as they show you on TV.

 In saying all of that, as part of our redecorating we finally purchased a mirror to go over the console table in the entry.  Unfortunately for me, Steven does not like it.  I do though and I was curious how many other people thought it looked as AMAZING as I think it does.  Either way it stays, since every time I see it I feel happy inside. 

Now off to chasing the baby who is crawling down the hallway saying "Dada Dada Dada".

Check back later for the new job update.

Friday, September 10, 2010

It's Been A Long Time

BUT Here I am AGAIN!  Blogging blogging blogging.  Ok so I never really did that to begin with, but I am going to attempt to do so now.  My problem with blogging is that I myself find my life to be a bit dry, but everyone seems to think I should and I guess I am going to do what they say. :)


Currently, Lainey and I are in Augusta, GA visiting with my Mom. Tomorrow morning we leave for the hectic world of Atlanta.  We are going to meet up with my sister Asha and my niece Ellora AND THEN (cue the Star Wars music) I am FINALLY going to go explore IKEA.  Yes, I have never been!  I KNOW I know, how can that be? Well, it CAN BE because Steven and I are stationed in a hole in the world in North Carolina. We have to drive 20 minutes to get to Wal-Mart people, so I think you can cut me some slack.

Moving on...we are going to IKEA. I'll tell you all about our adventure there after it occurs.  We won't have tons and tons of time to disappear into IKEA's three story building because at 2:00 it is sweet Ella's very FIRST birthday!  What a fun filled day tomorrow brings!

See you all again real soon.  I promise.

Friday, April 16, 2010

My Own Personal Revolution.

"I'm drowning you out now..."

I think there comes a time in your life when you have to carefully take both of your hands and place them over both of your ears...and walk away. I think there comes a time when everyone elses advice means nothing and you have to listen to the voice whispering inside your heart. I think there comes a time when you realize that all of the advice you have been getting doesn't even fit YOUR life. I think there comes a time when being nice is the same as swallowing glass and you'd rather just say exactly what you're feeling and thinking.  I think that Time has come.

What am I talking about?  I'm talking about the pale face staring back at me this morning. I'm talking about the fussing baby as I walked out the door. I'm talking about my students blank faces as they stare at me wondering what the hell I'm talking about...and me thinking the same thing.

The Time has come for me to stop trying to make everyone else happy and to do what I feel is best. I'm tired of everyone handing out their opinions as if I even asked for them.  I'm tired of the fact that I have ACTUALLY been listening, like a fool who has no idea how to direct her own life.

"Every silver lining has its cloud...can I be yours now?" -TAT

I QUIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That felt...AMAZING.

Monday, March 29, 2010

This thing we call Friendship...

"False friends are like our shadow, keeping close to us while we walk in the sunshine, but leaving us when we cross into the shade." -Unknown

I have been thinking for days now about a comment that was made to me about friends:

 "I have to say, when I got pregnant and then had a baby...I really discovered who my true friends were."

It is interesting to sit back and watch as your life unfolds, as people are brought into the light, as you see things through a clear lense as opposed to a rose colored one. It is disheartening and tear jerking to discover that people you held dear to your heart were merely leeches sucking on the good times until they ran dry, then moving onto to the next innocent bystander.

However, in all of these contemplations I am able to find a greater peace and a perfect stillness because I realize I have two true friends that make up for any shortcomings I find in others.  God, first and foremost, and do not sigh because you know that was coming or because it is as I will admit quite corny sounding.  Either way it is the truth and even though I find times when I ignore him, in my times of sorrow and repentenance is he not there?

Second, only after Him, my husband. It was not always easy to call him my friend.  In the beginning, before life stuck its claws into many aspects of our relationship, he was my husband and I loved him.  Today, he is my husband and I love him, but more importantly a representation of true friendship. Who can see you at your worse?  Shattered, beaten, tired, hideous, smelly, emotional, broken, fragile, evil, and vengeful...who can see you like this in the depths of sin and remorse and still love you?  (Besides God) We have both seen each other this way and every time we have come back with a deeper love and appreciation for the other. This is where most marriages fail. Some people don't understand that true love means "locking the door behind you and throwing away the key".

So as I sat there contemplating friendship and those who are not your real friends, I feel not a single bit of loss.  For what I have gained in return is greater and richer than a million wannabe friendships.  This is where God comes through, this is Him answering prayers and mending hearts. You just have to be ready to receive and open your eyes and your heart to the simple silent answers he is constantly whispering.

To my best heart and soul: 
"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. I'll always be with you.”  -Winnie the Pooh

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Theories Schmeories

Stupid parenting theories...bottom line nobody knows what the heck they are doing so they make up a theory based on what worked for them and that is relative. I mean did it or is it REALLY working if you are sending your kid a negative message about marriage and their ability to cope in life without you?

I listen to many parents say things like "this is what is best for my child"...or... "this is what makes them happy", but from where I'm sitting I have to ask myself whether or not that is true.  Is it really best for them and what makes them happy, or is it what makes that particular parent happy.  I mean if sleeping with your child is best for your child does that mean that NOT sleeping with your husband and having time to connect with them is also BEST for your child.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that so many parents try to live through their children and project their own emotions onto their child.  The PARENT wants to cuddle with their child so they say their child needs to sleep with them. So the parent is the one benefiting and not the child because the child does not learn how to sleep independently and the child believes mommy and daddy do not need time alone together that is sacred and cherished.

I really believe every parent should ask themselves this question whenever they are making decisions about how to handle their child, "What message am I sending my child?" It is important for me to always send the message to Lainey that her daddy and I love her, but just as important we love each other and we are family.  Our family does not revolve around HER, our family revolves around her, daddy, and mommy.  All of us are in this together and all of our needs are equally important in the equation.  She is PART of our family and not THE family. 

That being said, on one side people say attachment parenting is best and that babywise could harm your child psychologically.  AND of course on the otherside babywise claims the same about attachment parenting.  Again I say do what you think is best for your FAMILY.  Not for you, not just for your child...for your FAMILY. Hopefully, I'm right in saying that but I guess we'll just have to see in 25 years how my Laineybug turns out.  I have a feeling though that no matter what she will be just fine because she is very loved and cared for and at the end of the day isn't that what counts?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ala Family Art

Waking up to this face has proven to be the perfect remedy for a head full of grumpy angry thoughts. And believe me, when you are working on very little sleep AND the cat is clawing at the blinds trying to get to the window (because for some reason he thinks your backyard changed since yesterday) AND the baby is screaming for you AND you HAVE to get out of your warm perfectly made bed (haha yeah right!), you can come up with some pretty awful grumpy angry thoughts. But seriously though, how can anyone stay grumpy with two eyes like this staring them down even if it IS 4 am and even if they did JUST manage to poop all over themselves and the table they are laying on? Not to mention, after the climatic event passes they suddenly light up with smiles meant especially for you.

AND that is how my day starts. AND that is pretty much how I imagine it will end. BUT we draw on. Steven, Alaina, and I. Armed with markers, crayons, pens, and paintbrushes, we color our life the way we see fit and all of the boo boos we make along the way, well they are part of what we happily refer to as... the Ala Family Art. I hope you will enjoy our art as much as we enjoy making it.