Thursday, December 29, 2011

Young Mom Gives More Than Many

When people think about Teen Moms the first thought is usually filled with negative and horrible stereotypes however, not all Teen Moms are created equally, AT ALL!

This young 18 year old mother had a troubled pregnancy that was not typical in the slightest which ended in a bitter sweet story. You can read the article here. WARNING the waterworks will flow.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Paula Patton

Remember my post about the dysfunctional relationship I have had with my boobs?

Well today while I was on Facebook a friend of mine posted that he needed a women like Paula Patton in his life. Naturally I Googled Paula Patton and this is what came up:
Now while I watched this video all I could think was HOT DAM she's HOT! Then I realized she has SMALL BOOBS, JUST LiKE ME! LOL. Then I found out this is her POST baby body!
While surfing around YouTube to learn more about Paula Patton I realized she is Robin Thicke's wife, now I don't know about you all but I love me some Robin Thicke. Lol.

Then I found this video where she talks about getting back to "normal", confident and pretty after having a child.
SEE small bOObies are awesome and so is she of course!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Orlando Teen Mom Event

I have been pretty busy planning the First Annual Orlando Teen Mom Event. Although I am falling asleep as I type I want to provide you all with the URL to RSVP to the event!!!

I'm sooooooo excited and can't wait to see/meet you all!!

http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2625436752

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

PIzza = a ...Vegetable?

Remember the post I did about Congress wanting unhealthy kids?
Well Huffington Post agrees with EVERYONE but Congress and the major corporations behind calling pizza a vegetable.

They put together a great slide show stating if pizza is now a vegetable then so are Funyuns, vodka and other things. It's actually pretty funny!
Check it out 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tooth Number...4

The other day while eating a snack Leilani let out a blood curdling scream. I turned around and saw her with a mouth full of blood and she was crying: I don't want it to come out!

To be honest, I chuckled a bit. See, Leilani has had a loose tooth for sometime now. Then I had to remind her that this was going to be tooth number 4 which meant that we have already been through this three times.
Needless to say she didn't find comfort in these words and kept crying.

Finally, after several minutes she finally calmed down. I sat her on the toilet got some saline, a clean napkin and went to work. She was still crying and telling me no but unlike the first time this time went a lot smoother. In between the tears and trying to say no, while I had my had in her mouth, I slipped the tooth out no problem!

This tooth makes number 4!!! I must say that it gets relatively easier but still a bitter sweet reminder that my baby girl is growing up so FAST!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Buy and App, Save a Child's Life



While you shop around and stand in long lines to make your child's Christmas wish come true pull out your smart phone and help change the life of another child.

One of my lovely Tweeps @RuckusMedia emailed me about a great and EFFORTLESS and INEXPENSIVE way to help several children this Holiday season.

Here is an excerpt from the email:

Ruckus Media Group is proud to partner with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® for the annual Thanks and Giving campaign, a holiday program that asks shoppers to Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not,” while shopping this holiday season. When customers purchase any of Ruckus' classic Read-Play-and-Record-Along Rabbit Ears interactive storybooks on the App store (now until December 31st), we will donate 100% of the net proceeds ($1.39) to saving children with cancer and other deadly illnesses.


I hope you'll join us as we make a difference in not one child’s life, but many, by sharing this news with your readers.  We will also be putting our ENTIRE library on sale, with ALL proceeds going to the cause, the week of Thanksgiving, but that story doesn't go public until Tuesday.  We want to change the world, just like you.

Please make this easy and effortless donation that benefits and betters the lives of so many.  

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Me...Teen Mom 2 After Show

Below is the video where you can see my looking HORRIBLE in the Teen Mom 2 After Show taping. Lol.

Teen Mom 2 (Season 2) | Ep. 1 | After Show

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How Broadway Saved My Boobs

Before I got pregnant I was 110 pounds with a barely noticeable A cup. By the time I went into labor I was 185 pounds with a hot 36C cup. I finally had boobs!!! Although they were really Leilani's  they were HOT, big, and only cost me a child. *sarcasm*
I finally had boobs!!!
I breast-fed Leilani just short of two years. During this time my weight was fluctuating and all over the place. Finally, when I was 165 pounds one of my best male friends bluntly told me I had to loose weight. I looked in the mirror and realized he was right.

I decided it was time to start eating healthier and exercising regularly. I was feeling great, staring to look great but there were two small deflated problem, my boobs.
Then they looked like this.
When I finally decided to get breast implants I told all my sisters and they were split about 50/50.
One told me THANK GOD! While the other told me that it wasn't necessary and as I continued to work out the "problem" would go away.

NOPE! I was set... Well ... 80/20 in favor of the breast implants, then I was 70/30. Then one night I went and watched RENT on Off-Broadway.

I don't really have celebrities or a group of famous people I really look up to however, I do IDOLIZE the artist on Broadway and Olympic athletes. I personally believe these performers are the most amazing beings to walk the earth. They are 100% human, passionate, driven, successful, and at the top of their careers (amongst several other things). What more could you ask for in an "idol".

As I was watching the show I realized that most of the women on stage have small breast and they were AMAZING. The amount of energy, emotion and talent that these women gave off was so overwhelming, in a good way. I decided then and there that yeah I have 21 year old boobs that have experienced the life of a 40 year old but who cares! They're mine and I CAN live with that.

I've also been challenging myself more when I work out and lo' and behold my second sister was right. My boobs are no long yuck they look good and I will be keeping them.
And now they look like this
Often times we look at the people/ celebrities on magazines/ billboards and feel if we don't look like them we aren't beautiful and then start to second guess ourselves. Think about Kim. K. Often times I find myself saying why is she even famous? Then I remember oh ...yeah... . Why the hell would I want to look like someone that doesn't even look like her self?
Be mindful of the people you choose to look up to. These people on magazines and in the media are COMPLETELY ALTERED thats why they look like that and guess what they have gotten surgeries and they are STILL UNHAPPY and bitter! Don't be either. Be yourself.

Now I'm not knocking women who have gotten a surgery or two at all. The ones i'm referring to are those that ALTER their entire body and STILL get photoshopped.

Link to Strawberry photos. Link

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Teen Mom 2

I'm going to be completely honest. I didn't/don't watch shows like MTV's Teen Mom for several reasons. Reasons ranging from I have no TV (a preference), I LIVE it and because I don't agree with how the girls act/ are portrayed.
Kailyn Lowry and I 

However, a months ago a got ane-mail in my inbox asking if I would like to be a part of MTV's Teen Mom 2 After-show taping. Of course I would! Lol. I was super excited to be selected for several reasons but above all to be able to meet some of these girls and see if they come across differently in person. In the back of my mind I was also worried about how the input I had to share would be edited or handled by MTV.

I used to think that the girls on the show were all spoiled little bitches that gave teen moms a horrible name and yet again I was BOLDLY corrected. After watching some of the footage for the upcoming season of Teen Mom 2 I began to change my mind and more importantly, open it!

The worst thing I was doing was judging these girls solely based on how they came across on the show, which I never watched. While I was in the audience with several other teen moms from all over the country and the cast of Teen Mom 2 I realized something; I'm doing to these girls what all of society does to me. I was judging them with out reason, with out knowing them and knowing where they come from.
Now I'm not saying that the cast of Teen Mom 2 is full of angles that do no wrong and that the girls are the best and coolest people in the world because I don't know them that well to say this nor do I agree with that statement. What I am saying is, in reality, these girls are not that different from me and my life as a teen mom. While I sat there and watched footage I realized that I could relate to every single one of the girls stories and struggles, why? Because we are all teen moms and although our lives a very different we all walked and are walking similar paths.
(After speaking to all the girls I was pleasantly surprised at how personable they were and listened to what we had to say and our input)

Leah Messer and I 
I also felt that MTV was biased and only showed the bad parts of being a Teen Mom, which lets face it is what most of America tunes in to see. Then I remembered that being a teen mom ISN'T always EASY, FUN or PLEASANT. I feel and people often tell me that I have come a LONG way from where I was as a 15 year old mom with a three day old daughter but the path that led to where I am today was F-cking HARD, NOT EASY, WASN'T ALWAYS FUN OR PLEASANT. In fact it was and has been full with A LOT of fear, tears, relationships lost, unhealthy relationships and trail and error.

I used to also believe that shows like Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2 glamorize the life of a teen mom. WRONG again! Anyone that watches the show and thinks "That's the life I want for myself." NEEDS TO seek the help and guidance of a licensed medical health professional right away!

Don't get me wrong the girls are compensated for their work and some reportedly earn up to six figures a show. To any body, especially a teen, being on TV and earning big bucks does look and sound great.

 I just don't see how ANY ONE can watch these shows and say that's the life they want.

In the end I'm not saying that being a teen mom is always horrible or always great. I'm saying that it has it's ups and downs and in the beginning it can be riddled with A LOT of downs. However, just like anything in life if you want to change your situation you will.
I'm not saying that the girls on Teen Mom 2 are all good or all bad I'm saying they're human! Often times teen moms get more flack for doing something young when "adult" parents can do the same thing but it's "okay because they are parents."
Then lastly I'm not saying that MTV is completely horrible and makes the girls look horrible they are simply putting a story out there that is NOT always great and sadly that's what people want to see.

So what the hell am I saying?! My way of thinking towards Teen Mom shows and the cast of Teen Mom 2 has definitely changed!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Iodine. Who Needs It?

Source

We've all see her before BUT have we read what the statement UNDER her says?
The small text under her reads:
" This salt does not supply Iodine, a necessary nutrient."
Who cares... right? We should care.
Iodine is necessary for growing kids and is vital to brain development. According to Suzanne Dixon a licensed medical public health doctor and a scientific experiment involving children and iodine "... the children who received iodine supplements had significantly greater improvements in the picture concepts and matrix-reasoning tests compared with the children receiving placebo (no iodine)."
To read more about the study click here.

Other reasons to make the change to Iodine include increased metabolism and increase in ENERGY levels. The latter is something we can ALL benefit from.
PLEASE note that Iodine needs to be ingested and taking responsibly. Just like anything else in life too much of something is a bad thing.
This is our table salt. Which reads: "This salt supplies Iodine, a necessary nutrient."

Make sure that the salt you buy and use at home supplies you and your little ones with Iodine.

To read more health benefits of buying Iodized salt read here. You can also read The New York Times piece written by Nicholas Kristof's about the connection between salt and IQ .

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Meet Precious

I know I said I was going to close out Youth Homeless Awareness Month, November, with two stories from two amazing teen moms who were homeless. However, I realized something very important, Youth Homelessness is NOT a month. Unfortunately it's a reality to several youth and teen moms in America. 
                                                                                                        

I went back to Covenant House and this time it was in the evening hours. A lot more mothers and
children where around and the atmosphere was like a "normal" after work/ school evening in any home.

I got to see and chat with Diamond while she was working on some things for the Candle Light Vigil. I also got to meet her daughter (whom I didn't meet last time) and a few of the staff. 
Diamond introduced me to another mother that is in the Right of Passage program, Precious. 

Precious and I sat down in the "living room" of the floor and got to talking.


I was 19 when I found I was pregnant, my father told me about Covenant House but I didn't listen. Emotionally I was all over the place. I only had tunnel vision for two things: Working to have enough money when my son got here and going to school. You know how it is when you're pregnant, you don't want to hear anything that will add more pressure and chaos to your life, especially to go to a shelter. I actually called here doing the whole "my friend bit" but still couldn't make myself come.

My pregnancy was crazy! I was working as much as possible as a hostess at Applebees which meant I was on my feet all day, going to school taking 6 classes and trying to figure out my living situation. 
I lived with my son's father's family for a  little bit but space was limited and our relationship was strained. I was five months when I moved out into a different place, a one bedroom apartment with five people, I soon realized I couldn't stay there. My son would've been the sixth person living there and that was impossible to imagine let alone let happen. My friend and her family helped me find a place. 

They knew this women who had an illegal basement apartment. Although it was illegal it was a place, the only thing that stopped me was the price. The women wanted $600 a month. I told her that I couldn't do that much and we agreed on $500. I moved all my stuff into her place and that was my sanctuary whenever I wasn't at work or school of course. I was working during the day in the Bronx, going to school in Manhattan at night and realizing that my son would be here very soon. 

All of the pressure and roles caught up to me and I ended up failing one of my classes. Because this wasn't the first time I had to fill out an academic appeal asking them to forgive me and allow me back into school. 

I imagine it was the crushing news that my father delivered and told me that the school had denied my appeal because afterwards I had horrible pains in my stomach. Although it was my first pregnancy I knew something was wrong so I went straight to the hospital. They were about to discharge me but by the grace of God they decided to give me a sonogram. They came back and told me they were going to induce me right away. They informed me that I was low on amniotic fluid and that if they waited any longer my son would be in danger of several health complications. 

I had my son however, he had problems breathing and had to stay in an incubator for five days until he was able to come home. I finally bought him home, fell in love with him but was afraid if the state would come do a "house check" and find me in an illegal basement apartment which at this point was mildewy. At this time I was living life on fast forward. I wasn't living. I was constantly on the go and wasn't the best I should've been for my son and myself. 

Finally one day I put it in my mind and I called Covenant House. Unfortunately, they didn't have any space. I was crushed but I left them my contact information. Not too long afterwards they called me and I literally, baby in arm, ran for my bed at Covenant House. 

Presently I'm no longer at Applebees. I had to quit because of Tony's father. However, I am a home health aid which is a lot better. My son, Tony, is 18 months old and we've been here since he was 2 months old. 

Since I have 39 credits in CUNY I'm going back to school in Fall 2012. Although my GPA is very low right now I'm not worried! I know I can do it. I made it through my pregnancy being homeless, working and emotionally drained. Now that I have Covenant House and I'm in a new place in life I know I can get my GPA back up in no time. 

Precious is a wonderful teen mom and is very determined. She starts Hunter College in Fall 2012 and I'm confident she'll have her GPA and diploma in no time. Like she said, if she can make it through a pregnancy, six classes, uncertain living conditions and emotional roller coasters she'll be just fine now.
I am so glad that I was able to meet her and share a little bit of both of our stories with one another. Although all teen pregnancies are different it's nice and refreshing to hear another teen mom's story. 

I do not own this image

Remember that there is ALWAYS a reason to volunteer and Covenant House has several volunteer opportunities. 

Meet Diamond

With Youth Homeless Awareness month coming to an end I want to close it out with two stories from homeless teen moms who found help, shelter and hope at Covenant House.

photo credit
*DIAMOND*
" I was homeless, I didn't have a job and didn't know what career path I wanted to do or where I was going. Covenant House has been a major successful avenue to me and my daughter." 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I came to Covenant House pregnant, homeless and without clothing or direction. Thanks to Covenant House I now have my CNA, security license, OSHA ten certificate and on Thursday I begin working towards my phlebotomy license. My daughter and I have a room, a bed, food, clothes and a family. Through Covenant House I've gotten my life back on track,  I'm learning how to save and learning a lot about myself. I've learned that I truly have a passion for helping people reach their full potential. I've been "there" before,  I want to be what Covenant House was to me for someone else.

That is amazing! Could you share your story of homelessness with us?

I was living in Georgia with my mother and found out I was pregnant, at that time I was scared and didn't know what to do. My mother was very blunt with me and told me that I had two options; 
have my child and leave or find a way to pay for an abortion and stay. 
I choose to get an abortion, which my aunt paid for. After getting my abortion my relationship with my family didn't get any better, the environment was just very negative. However, I was able to earn my G.E.D. After dealing with constant put downs and rude comments I ran away. When I came back three days later she wouldn't even let me back in the house. She paid for a train ticket for me to go live with my aunt in Pennsylvania. I lived with my aunt for three months and was putting myself through college when my aunt kicked me out. 

Oh my goodness, that's crazy! So what did you do after she kicked you out?

After living in and out of homes and public places I got a job with Amazon.com and thats how I got my first apartment. However, the work was only temporary so when the checks stopped coming in the apartment was gone too. At that point I was homeless again, didn't know I was pregnant and on my way to New York City. I moved in with another aunt and once she found out I was pregnant she insisted that I get on welfare and have the state take care of my child. I refused, so she kicked me out. 
After that I moved in with a friend but couldn't stay long term. 

What were your options at this point? I mean you're homeless, pregnant and in one of the toughest cities to survive in.

I decided I had to go to a shelter. However, Path (a NYC based homeless/ shelter program) found me ineligible to go into a shelter. They gave me an ultimatum either I go back to my aunts house, which I wasn't allowed there, live on the street or go to The Covenant House.

I came to Covenant House in October 31st, 2009. I was here for a month and they helped me decide what to do in order to be better prepared for when my daughter was born. They helped me get my security license, I left (because my 30 days were up) and went back to Path and was found eligible. At this time I had my daughter, had a small studio type temporary housing but my mother was in the city. Her and everyone else telling me Path wasn't any good led me to leaving. 

So what happened?
The combination of people telling me that the program I was in was no good and the sound of wonderful promises can do that to you. I didn't move back to Georgia with my mom because that didn't work out,"  so I was back at my friend's house. I was depressed and at a lost. The environment at my friend's house was not safe and I couldn't have that around me or my daughter. I remembered that Covenant House had a CNA program and how much they helped me out before so I came back.

Wow. You have truly come a long ways! How did you survive emotionally ?
I remind myself although I have been through somethings my story in reality is not that bad. I find inspiration and positivity in everything. Being positive and surrounding yourself with positive people is the ONLY way to be.


credit
Diamond is AMAZING! While listening to her heart wrenching story all I saw in front of me was a strong, POSITIVE, determined young mother and women. I would like to point out that Diamond is ONLY 21 years old and has already defied so many odds. I am confident that she is and will be the best role model for her and her daughter. 

If you are a pregnant and homeless or know some one who is one or the other PLEASE refer them to Covenant House! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

You and I... GAGA



Lately I have been super overwhelmed with life, school and motherhood but above else my emotions have been ALL over the PLACE and I've been having very vivid dreams.
As usual I find my solace in music. One song in particular that has been in my head and I've actually been singing as I walk down the street is Lady Gaga's You and I.
I have literally fallen asleep singing it, woken up singing it and I'm singing it right now. Whenever a song or certain event gets stuck in my head I truly think its for a reason and try to find out the meaning of it.

Like I said I have been very emotional lately which is unusual for me, anyone that knows me knows I do NOT do emotions... in the slightest. The fact that I was waiting for my train the other day and tears were forming in my eyes truly scared the crap out of me. Lol.
Then the other day when I watched one of my favorite shows, Glee, they were singing You and I by Lady Gaga! What are the chances? I had to get to the bottom of the reason as to why this song was on my mind so much.

After evaluating my dreams and truly thinking about them I came to the conclusion that I need to release and face some of the hurt and anger I thought I done a good job at suppressing. On top of that I've been realizing that because I had to grow up very fast, even before becoming a mom, I never got the chance to come into my own person.

Now I am not a self declared "Little Monster" ( die hard Lady Gaga fan) but I do love and respect the fact that Lady Gaga is fearlessly, fiercely and above else UNapolgetically her. Call her weird, strange or whatever but you can not deny that she does what she wants, when she wants and doesn't care what people think because thats just who she is. This is what I am working towards achieving. I'm not all the way there and although I have come a long way to getting there I have a few things to take care of before I can be there 100%.

I know the song is mostly about her relationship with a man but it is also about her relationship with herself. The way I am taking the meaning of the song is I need to get to the place where I am me! All me, fearlessly me and freely me. After googling the meaning and finding this I felt better for some reason...?


Thank you for reading.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Why I Hate Disney

I'm sure by now you all are aware of the fact that I HATE the Disney Princesses.
I dislike them for several reasons but these two pictures are definitely a start. 

Photo Credit
Photo Credit

Then of course there is this video. She is rambling a bit but the VALID POINT she is making is that the Disney Princess's sell UNREALISTIC expectations to children and promote prejudice. 



Saturday, November 26, 2011

Meet Tiffany


Tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Tiffany. I have two children, JR and Kmaya. I’m a strong, young mommy who is currently  a stay at home mom who really wants to get back to working.

You said you want to start working again, what is stopping you from going back?

My health. I suffer from crippling headaches and need to take medications to keep them away. Although the medicines help I hate the way they make me feel. I feel drowsy and like a zombie when I take them. I can’t be like that when I have two kids and a household to look after.

Oh my goodness, I’m sorry to hear that. Why do have such horrible headaches?

During my first pregnancy everything was going great until I got the epidural. My son was born and after returning back home I had horrible headaches that would literally leave my sight blurry. After feeling especially bad one day my family took me to the hospital. While I was there I had 22 seizures and was in the hospital for the next 3-4 months.

HOLD ON! Wait…what!... Huh? 22?!

(Laughing) Yes, I had 22 seizures while in the hospital. Then I had to learn some of my basic motor skills all over again. I listen to some of the stories my family tells me now and I can’t believe what they tell me half the time. For instance when I blacked out and starting seizing at the hospital the medical staff told my family and myself, while I was seizing, that I was faking it and they didn’t have time for this.

You have to be kidding me!?

No. I couldn’t believe at first but why would my family make that up? What’s worse is during this time I was completely away from my son. I never got to have those first three months with him and I’ll never get them back.

I didn’t even think about that! Who was taking care of Jr.during that time?

My family was. My sister has been a huge help. Thankfully my family understands what I’ve been through and they know that although I want to do things on my own I do need help.

Family support is awesome. What is life like now?

Now I have two bright amazing children and a great fiance. Jr. and Kmaya get along great they compliment one another so well. The cutest thing is that Jr.is already the protective big brother over Kmaya. I love it.
Although I still get my headaches I remain positive and realize I truly am blessed.

I love your positivity! Where do you get it?

After going through such a crazy, hard time I realized that every moment counts. No one should take anything, any person or moment for granted. I love my kids, my family and the life I have. I know that with my strength and them by my side I’m capable of many things. After my medical problems go away I want to get back to work and school. I want and will make my children proud.

I LOVE it! Is there any advice you would like to give anyother teen moms?

I would urge you to not take medical problems lightly. You never know what it can be! If I hadn’t went to the hospital that day I don’t know where I would be at today. I also advise you to do your own medical research before agreeing to anything. All of the doctors and nurses agree that it WAS the epidural that caused so many medical issues.

Tiffany is obviously an incredibly strong young women and mother. While listening to her story I was BLOWN away. I would have never guessed that she has been through so much. Her story is a reminder of many things. A reminder that we are all BLESSED beyond measure, that we are all stronger than we could ever imagine, that slight things like a headache can be a sign of A LOT worse and above all else to STAY POSITIVE!






Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Tradition

Making hand turkeys is an unofficial Thanksgiving and  all know that the best way to make a turkey is to trace your hand!
My horrible hand turkey
While making hand turkeys with Leilani one year I decided to turn the unofficial hand turkey tradition into an official one, with a twist. I traced Leilani's hand and then had her give me 5 things she was thankful for, things she was into or milestones she met that year.

I believe I started the tradition in 2008 but unfortunately I lost her 2008 hand. I do however, have her 2009 and 2010 hand turkeys. Looking back I'm reminded that in 2009 Leilani was into Disney Princess's (which I soon "ended" for several reasons) and in 2010 she was thankful for the museums in New York City (This was the year we moved to NYC).

Making annual hand turkeys has become a tradition for several reasons. By making the annual hand turkeys I am documenting and reminded how much she has grown both emotionally and physically in one year.

Eventually I will gather all her hand turkeys and make a book of them. This way when she's 16 and driving or 18 and going off to college we can pull out the book on Thanksgiving, add a new page and look back at how much she has grown.
You and your family can make hand turkeys and decorate them to the style of your family.

Do you and your family have an Thanksgiving tradition? If so share them with us.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 

Time Lapse

I've been feeling bad for not posting in so long. However, life, school, emotions and everything has got me all over the place. As a result my room looks like this:
As you can see I haven't even had time to clean my room let alone collect my thoughts and post.
FEAR NOT! My room is now CLEAN and my most demanding exams are over so I can FINALLY get to editing several post and contributions.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING BREAK!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Congress Wants Unhealthy Kids

Last January the United States Department of Agricultre propsed a new bill that would make school lunches healthier for children.
Photo Cred


The bill asked for simple things like more tomato sauce on pizza so children could get one full serving of vegetables when eating school pizza. The bill also asked for a reduction in the amount of potatoes, which are mostly fried, that would be fed to children.

These simple changes would ultimately mean the estimated 11.3 million children who eat school  breakfast and or lunches would be getting more nutrition and less fat.

The cost for this nutritious overhaul would amount to a $.14 increase in school lunch prices.

However on Monday November 14, instead of passing this bill Congress voted it down because of the frozen pizza companies, and several others that fund these politicians campaigns.
Unfortunately congress has proven that they are more worried about their campaigns which are funded by private interest groups than the health and well being of the Americans that elect them to their positions.

To read more about this horribly true story go  here

Friday, November 18, 2011

Candle Light Vigil Event

Last night was the Covenant House Candle Light Vigil that was held at Times Square. Here are a few photos from the event.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Candle Light Vigil

On November 17th 2011 Leilani and I will be participating in Covenant House's 21st Candle Light Vigil.

The vigil is held annually to raise awareness of both youth homelessness and human trafficking. ANYONE is welcome to join and I would love to have all of you come out and support the vigil. Anyone interesting in attending can meet at Covenant House at 460 West 41st Street New York, NY at 5pm and walk as a large group to Times Square. Upon entering Times Square participants will enjoy a performance by Natalie Grant and hear stories from some of the youth at Covenant House.

I have only been to Covenant House twice but so far I already feel welcomed and ready to be a part of the Covenant House Family.
PLEASE COME OUT to meet and support these incredible strong determined young adults.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gray or Stars?

My little girl is growing up so fast!
Tomorrow she is going to have her first picture day!
As we all know picture day is a HUGE DEAL. Even as adults we make it a priority to pick out the perfect outfit, hair style, make up and fall asleep at a decent time to look refreshed for a photo. This is no different for a First grader and super excited mom. We picked out the perfect outfit, washed and moisturized her hair and were off to bed.

I am so excited to see how her photos turn out! Since she lost another tooth recently they will be extra adorable with her gap. Thanks to my father I was able to purchase her school photos to keep "for a lifetime."
Initially when the envelope came home I thought: DAM IT, I have no money but we both really want these photos. My dad gave me the money to get her photos so Leilani and I spent minutes looking at the background she wants.
We all know the background makes the difference. I remember seeing everyone getting awesome backgrounds, because they paid, and me getting the BORING, BLAND gray. I'm not saying that the background make or breaks a kid but its cool to be able to pick a background. I remember not knowing that the awesome backgrounds were only given to the children that were paying and sat down and confidently asked for stars only to be bluntly told, no.


However, I am proud to report that tomorrow Leilani will have a RAINBOW background!

Thank you for reading!

First Grade Sex Education

As you may have read before Leilani is now in the first grade.
The fact that she is five and most of her classmates are seven did cause some discomfort with me. The fact of the matter is the older children get the more they know. As a mother I didn't want Leilani exposed to certain things until she was of a certain age.

On several different occasions Leilani and I have talked about respecting ones body, loving yourself and I am ALWAYS trying to undo the mess of distorted reality that fairy tales present children with. Things like love at first sight, prince charming saving you and the UNSETTLING fact that most of the disney princess are teenagers!

However, none of these things prepared me for what Leilani told me over lunch this past weekend.

As we were eating lunch and talking Leilani informed me that one of her classmates, we'll call Sam, told her that she has sex dreams. Now you can imagine the shock I felt from hearing Leilani say sex then her saying SEXDREAMS. However I remained "calm" and said Huh?!
"Yes mommy, Sam told me in the lunch line and at our desk that she has sex dreams."
I asked her to tell me exactly what Sam had told her.
"She told me that she has dreams that her and "Tom", a boy in class, were kissing on the mouth, then they take their clothes off and then they have sex."
DON'T let this happen


I was shocked! Not only is this little girl talking about sex but fully describing the actions that lead up TO sex.
Not to mention with MY daughter!

I asked Leilani what she thought about Sam's dream. Much to my delight she told me that Sam was too young to have sex and to be having such nasty dreams. ... But it's ok because Sam loves Tom.

This knocked me out of my chair more than her saying sex. My daughter believes that Sam is too young to be having sex but "love" makes it okay.
Sadly enough this type of thinking that a FIVE YEAR OLD has is the same thinking that many people, not just women and/or young women, have.
If a FIVE YEAR old girl is already thinking this way what will change it BEFORE she is a teenager?
PARENTS, thats who.

I realized A LOT during this conversation with Leilani.

  • I realized that I need to work more in teaching Leilani about love, the different types of love and when to realize and identify real love.
  • I realized that it is obviously NEVER too early to talk to your children about SEX, LOVE and SELF RESPECT/WORTH
  • I had to question what the heck Sam's parents are not or are telling and exposing her to.
On Monday I went straight to the teacher and spoke to her. She was shocked and informed me that the little girl never even speaks during lessons but did not under mind what Leilani told me and what I was telling her.

In conclusion TALK TO YOUR KIDS!!! NOW! 
Don't wait until they are going through puberty, don't wait until your daughter gets her period or your son is a "man."  
Don't wait, don't wait, DON"T WAIT.

Monday, November 14, 2011

TAMPON RECALL!

Tampons are often under of scrutiny for the potential health risk they pose to women, specifically women under 30 years of age. 
Hopefully we are educated and aware of the PROPER and SAFEST way to use a tampon to reduce the chances of getting Toxic Shock Syndrome.  
However, Kotex recently recalled several tampons because of a bacteria that can cause UTIs, pelvic inflammatory disease, and potentially life-threatening vaginal infections. 
I had NO IDEA that tampons could get recalled! 
Read the full article here at Parenting. com

Thursday, November 10, 2011

3rd Tooth and Counting

Today Leilani lost her third tooth!
However, unlike last time, it fell out all on it's own! At school! At lunchtime!

In her words "I didn't even cry"
Which is surprising because she's been crying about loosing that tooth since she realized it was lose.

Center for Pregnant Homeless Youth

November is Youth Homeless Awareness Month.

Homelessness is a major problem in the teen mom community and yet it is often unrecognized and underserved.

I've had teen moms tell me, on several occasions, that when they finally found the courage to tell their parent(s) they were pregnant they parents replied with a heart breaking reply:

You can't live here anymore

For those who decided to have their child they are now: pregnant, scared, lonely and suddenly homeless.

Thankfully Covenant House, an all youth homeless shelter, has a Mother Child program in New York City and across the United States.

Within the Mother and Child program homeless pregnant teens and teen moms can find help, security and shelter.

Covenant house has two 24hour walk-in crisis centers in New York City.

The 52nd and 10th avenue location is specifically for pregnant teens and mothers. The other location on 41st between 8th and 9th avenue is for all other homeless youth.

After spending a month in a crisis / entry level program, completing requirements such as: getting a job and or enrolling in school and abiding to house rules, young mothers are granted into the Right of Passage program. In this one and half-two year program mothers learn the importance of saving money, paying bills and getting an education for them and their children.

Through the Right of Passage Program, Diamond, one of the young mothers I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking to, has earned a security training license, a culinary license and her Certified Nursing Assistant certificate in ONE year.

Diamond is a humorous, determined, bright 21 year old mother that will not let anything get in the way of ensuring a bright and prosperous future for her and her little girl. While listening to Diamond's story and realizing all that she has overcome you also realize that her positive character and sense of humor shine brighter than any obstacle she has faced.

If you are or know a teen mother that is pregnant or needing shelter PLEASE refer them to Covenant House.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Go Bulk or Go... Some Where Else?


What is most cost effective, shopping at Costco or BJ’s or shopping at Wal-Mart or Target?

Source
The answer to that question depends on one main question: How large is your family?

What Kind of Store is Costco and BJ’s
Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s are big box stores that sell items in bulk. They were created to give large families and business owners a source of goods and services for a lower price in a convenient place, their neighborhood.

Typical big box, or wholesale warehouses required licenses and large membership fees. The general public did not have access to them either. So Sam’s Club and Costco were created.

These stores were advertised as low cost leaders for bulk goods. They were initially for businesses but also for large families who need to buy a lot of food and household goods at a discount price.

How to Make the Most of Big Box Stores
These stores can be cost effective if you have a big family, meaning you have four or more children. If you have a good income you will do well for your family at this type of store.

To keep cost a bit lower on some items, if you are a member you will get coupons in the mail every month. Unfortunately you cannot use the regular manufacturer coupons you find in the weekly newspaper. You cannot double or triple coupons for bigger savings.

Beware the Budget-Busting Attraction of Big Box Stores
If you are on a tight budget, using coupons is a big cost savings and is very cost efficient. Shopping at Costco or BJ’s may undermine your budget because of all the great products they carry. You will likely spend the same amount of money on a hand full of items compared to a basketful of items from your local grocery store.

I’d say the big box stores are great for buying household items like detergent, electronic goods, paper goods, and frozen foods you eat regularly.

Keep in mind that when you buy in bulk you have to use it up before it expires (if it is a perishable item). If you family is small you may find you are throwing out more food than you thought you would.

How to Make it Cost Efficient
If you really want to shop at Costco or BJ’s, consider partnering with one or two other families who have the same food and household product taste you do. Split the cost of the membership card if possible. Shop together and split the cost and groceries. This will require commitment from all parties involved.

Shopping at Costco or BJ’s can be cost efficient if you have a large family or can split the cost of food and household products with one or two other families. Otherwise you may do better shopping at your local grocery story by catching good sales and using coupons on sale items.



This contribution is from Samantha Gregory. Gregory is an Atlanta mom, freelance writer, and editor at Rich Single Momma.com where she writes about single mom money issues. Follow her on Twitter @RichSingleMommaand @Samantha Gregory

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Truth About Coupons 3

This is the conclusion to the Truth About Coupon series.


I hope that you all have read the first and second installment in this series and are well on your way to couponing and SAVING MONEY.


Here is the recap of our coupon series: 

  1. Coupons are cash because the store owner or manager gets cash back or credit from the manufacturer. 
  2. Extreme couponing to save hundreds of dollars is rare.
  3. You can start saving a significant amount with planning and patience. 
  4. Begin collecting coupons and watching sales cycles four to six weeks ahead of time. 
  5. Use a binder with baseball card and sheet protector inserts. 
  6. Start small and collect stock items while considering your family size and shelf-life. 
  7. Watch store coupon policies closely to stay ahead of the game.
I want to give and HUGE and SPECIAL thank you to Ms. Samantha Gregory for sharing such wonderful and insightful information with us all!

Ms. Gregory has also contributed a piece about bulk buying vs. retail shopping, so be on the look out for that!




This contribution is from Samantha Gregory. Gregory is an Atlanta mom, freelance writer, and editor at Rich Single Momma.com where she writes about single mom money issues. Follow her on Twitter @RichSingleMommaand @Samantha Gregory

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Covenant House NYC

As I said before, November is Youth Homeless Awareness month. 
Today I was able to go down to Covenant House, a homeless shelter that in New York City that is specifically for homeless youth. To say the least I was blown away at the amount of work and dedication both the staff and the youth in Covenant House have.

Another reason I want to raise awareness of youth homelessness is because homelessness is a MAJOR problem in the Teen Mom community. Covenant House actually has a GREAT mother and children program and while I was there I got to speak to a teen mom that is housed and in Covenant House's program. Her story and more in depth information about Covenant House is soon to follow. 



Thank you for reading!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Youth Homeless Awareness Month

This month we will be focusing on the problem that many youth and Teen Moms face everyday, Youth Homelessness.
Here is a short video letting you all see and hear a bit about the life of a homeless youth.

Monday, October 31, 2011

MTV Casting Call

This is a great opportunity to have YOUR voice to be heard and tell the world how important and hard we work for our children.


MTV is looking for Teen Mothers for their "Teen Mom" After show!

MTV’s hit series “Teen Mom” is getting ready to film a new after
show, with a brand new cast of Teen Moms,  and we are looking for real
Teen Mom’s, past Teen Mom’s, anyone with
close ties to a Teen Mom or any other story relatable to the show to join
in on
a discussion.

You will be a part of a discussion with the cast of “Teen Mom”. This is
NOT an
audience show. You will be asked your opinion on various topics of the show,
your own experiences and how you handled it, advice you have for the Teen
Mom’s on the show and a chance to ask the cast questions.

We are only looking for a small group, so this is a very exclusive
casting. You
MUST be outgoing, willing to talk on camera and share your experience and
stories, and be familiar with the series “Teen Mom”.

We will be shooting this on Sat and Sunday, Nov 5 & 6 2011 in New York
City. Please be
available before submitting.

This is an awesome opportunity to have your voice heard and to share your
experience for other girls in the country to hear.

If you are interested in this, and you fit what we are looking for, please do
the following:
Email us at RealityCasting@GothamCasting.com
and include the following:

NAME:
AGE: (Must be at least 16 years old)
PHONE:
EMAIL:
RECENT PHOTO:
YOUR STORY:

**Your Story should consist of a similar experience as the girls on the show.
Are you or were you a teen mom? How are you coping? Is your best friend a
teen
mom and do you see her struggle? Did you give your child up for adoption or
were you adopted?,etc**

Some examples we are looking for include having twins as a teen mom,
issues with your Mother, parents that are out of the picture, or any other
issue that you feel you have experience with that relates to the struggles
of the young women on “Teen Mom”.
Upon receiving your email, we will follow up with a Phone Interview and then
let you know if you’ve been chosen.

Early K Graduation !!

As you all know this year was Leilani's introduction to school.
Although she had been to daycares before this was her first time going to school!!

She and I were very excited about her first day of school  however, the honey moon soon ended.
Since I have been teaching Leilani at home for several years she was more advanced than the other children in her kindergarten class. I didn't want her to fall behind or worse become a distraction in class because she might develop a behavior problem since she is bored with the material.

I spoke to her teacher about this and she seemed like she really wanted to help but with a class of 26 students it would be understandably almost impossible for her to find time to specifically teach Leilani.

When I would pick Leilani up from school I would ask her the famous after school question: What did you learn in school today? Her answer was always nothing or I learned to sit quietly.
These answers did not sit well with me so I went to the director of Kindergarten and First grade and asked that Leilani be moved to the First grade.
After being tested and placing at a mid first grade level Leilani was promptly moved to the FIRST GRADE!!!

I am officially the proud mother of a five year old First Grader!!

Remember Mommies, you can and should fight for your children to always get the best they need and deserve.


This post is a bit dated. Leilani has been in the First grade for about two weeks now. She loves it!

Friday, October 28, 2011

One of my favorite songs

This is one of my ALL TIME favorite love songs!

The song is from the Broadway musical RENT!
Hell all the songs in that show are my favorite lol 
If you haven't seen it you SHOULD! You are not alive until you have seen RENT.

Thank you for reading :)