>mom-mode post #111- on a lifetime of hairdressers

November 28, 2010 § 4 Comments

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Sit tight friends, ’cause you are about to read through the story of how I found all my hairdressers (or at least through the ones that really count!)
 Like any other women, it took me a while to find the right hairdresser for my type of hair and personal taste. Mom used to take me to our friendly neighborhood hairdresser. Her skills were up to par for when all you need is a trim for your otherwise extremely low-maintenance long locks.  But one day, when I was a teenager and mom couldn’t take me to get my haircut, she just set up an appointment and gave me enough money to go on my own. Off I went, savoring this little bit of independence my mom had entrusted me with, only to get to the end of my appointment with my hair still wet. I was sitting there, waiting for someone to come dry it. The lady then tells me they had added an extra charge to style the hair after a haircut. It wasn’t built in in the price anymore. I begginly replied: “m’am, my mom only gave me enough for the old price, could you go ahead and style it, please? I assure you my mom or myself will come by later and pay for the remainder.” Now mind you, this women had cut my hair ever since I was a little girl. In fact, she had cut my hair, my little sister’s hair, my mom’s hair, and even my dad’s hair on occasion. “Sorry, honey, we make no exceptions.” was her reply. So furiously and frustrated I left, on a humid, windy afternoon, wet-haired that quickly turned into Monica-on-a-Barbados-vacation-hair. I started crying half way home, as I started to feel the weight of all the humidity creep through every single strand. By the time I got home I was a royal mess. I had a party to go to that evening and no amount of at-home washing could fix it. It needed a professional. So my mom, being the understanding mom that she was, quickly made a few calls and soon, I had found the hairdresser that was going to style me through bad puberty hormones that made my hair extra curly, to the perfect ‘beach hair’-do on my wedding day.
One week after I got married, I moved out of the country and found myself desperately seeking for a new hairdresser. One that wouldn’t leave me hanging on a wet, rainy day. One that understood the peculiarities of my sometimes straight, sometimes wavy, thick black strands. After a few tries, I found one that suited my stipulations (stipulations adopted after the dreaded no-pay, no-style hairdresser incident):
-I feel pampered and not like I’ve been “handled” after I leave the salon.
-Keeps his/her own appearance very well-kept.
-Is familiar with modern haircuts.
-Gives you the perfect salon-style blowout, every time. The kind that you could never replicate at home.

So when I moved to yet another country, I was worried. Especially since I can barely communicate in the native language.Plus much like a teenager’s self-image, a new-moms self-image is a fragile thing to mess with. AND I had heard horror stories from other foreigners that had had some not-so wonderful experiences.The first time I got my haircut here, a Turkish friend took me and all went well. It was a simple trim, anyways. But this time, I went all by myself (with a non-native speaker for support) and communicated exactly how I wanted my haircut, all by myself. I was biting my teeth with nerves, before I got there but needless to say,  after I left, I felt like I could conquer the world. For I left the salon with exactly what I had asked for:

This is the day-after hair, I took pictures the day of, but they didn’t turn out so good.

And a gratuitous shot of my handsome 9-month-old! 

So this is all for now friends. I don’t anticipate having to find another hair stylist anytime soon. Insert ‘sigh of relief’ here.

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>mom-mode post #110 – on O’s current favorite things

November 18, 2010 § 2 Comments

>I am known for having a very good memory. You know, the kind that never forgets what happened ten, fifteen years ago. That stores useless trivia information, the kind that drove my sisters crazy when I would proceed to describe exactly what happened on a cold July afternoon. I tend to remember every minute detail, even though I may forget to get the clothes in the washer way more often than I’d like to admit. But just in case one day I suffer amnesia and forget what were O’s favorite things when he was eight and half months of age, here they are:

– his most favorite activity right now is top crawl up and down the hallway. He has his favorite stops: the hallway mirror, the guest bedroom door, his bedroom and the office. 
– whole-wheat pancakes have become a breakfast staple.
– as well as scrambled egg yolks for dinner. 
– his favorite sound to make? A clicking sound he makes with his tongue. And he smiles if you do it back at him.
– standing. Anywhere, everywhere, anyhow.
– he used to cry himself to sleep. Now he talks himself to sleep. We go by his room after we put him down and here him blabbing away until he’s out.
– pulling up on mommy’s or daddy’s pants.
– his favorite toy? a vintage Disney jack-in-the-box toy his Gram found for him, just like his daddy’s.
– parks. Any kind of park. As long as he’s outside.
– his favorite game? He cracks up when we play horse or peek-a-boo. Or tickle monster. 
His current not so favorite thing? Grass. He doesn’t like the texture of it at all. But we are working on that. We know we are currently raising him in the city, but a boy that doesn’t like grass just won’t make it in Galax, VA. I really do hope he will like sand. Because a boy who doesn’t like sand just won’t make it in Florianopolis, Brazil.

>mom-mode post #109 – on fashionable little finds

November 15, 2010 § 1 Comment

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When we were teenagers, my sisters and I had this thing. Every time one of us would come back from a shopping trip, we would open all the bags, try everything on and make comments on what each other got. As well as ask for permission to wear it should the occasion arise. As time went on, and distances grew farther, we continued on our tradition every time we saw each other. We would show off our new purchases, even if they had been bought six months before. It’s been too long since I’ve seen my sisters and shared with them my  pretty little buys. So I thought here would be as good as place as any to continue on our sisterly tradition.
Two vintage purses. The dark brown still had receipts in it dated 1945. Though I suspect this little beauty is only about 30 years old.

 Getting in on the leopard print trend on the cheap. Little five lira find form the local bazar.

Because I love  a good striped tee and a little collegiate blazer I scored from my sis-in-law stack of discards.

This down vest is my new Fall uniform. I never thought I’d be a proponent of down or vest, but I am completely sold. They give you warmth without the bulk. Just perfect for Fall. My sis-in-law got an adorable plaid number.

                                   New winter garb from my perennial  favorite, Forever 21.

I scored this little beauty on a little garage-sailing trip with my mom-in-law.  I just had to have it and it was super cheap.

Stripes and a cardi? Count me in. Especially if they come from the sis-in-law’s discard pile.

Nice little pin I got on the same day I got the necklace, from the same lady. I also got a couple of sterling silver bracelets from her, but I forgot to take a pic.

So here they are, my fashion little finds for my sisters and the world to see.

>mom-mode post #109 – on losing the weight and the flab #update#

November 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

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I can’t believe it’s Friday again. This week has flown! I’m not complaining though because after this weekend we get the whole week off from teaching! So excited. And the faster time goes by, the faster my sweet sister will be here. 
So here are this week’s stats:
the diet: I did fairly OK on this end. Kept portions small, tried to eat good-for-me stuff and only ate when I was hungry. Breakfast was a different story though. O woke up extra early most mornings this week. I just can’t eat that early. So it was just a bit harder to keep up the heart-healthy breakfast deal.
the exercise: again, still adjusting to my new schedule (it seems to change every other day – drives me crazy), so I was able to do a couple of days of DVDs and went on a couple of walks. Also, chasing my baby boy crawling and teaching preschoolers kept my heart-rate going!
the weight: minus 2.2 lb. I’m pretty content with this week’s weight loss. I still may not be able to meet my goal by Dec.31st, but at least I’m losing weight steadily…
Stay tuned for next week! I should have more time to exercise. I’ve been craving a really intense workout session like a spinning class or a good run. I’ll see what I can manage.:)

>mom-mode post #108 – on losing the milk

November 11, 2010 § 3 Comments

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Alright friends, brace yourselves for perhaps the most over sharing I’ve ever done on this blog. I think I’m on a TMI kick these days. So be warned, faint-hearted, now is the time to quit reading!

It finally happened. The thing I feared the most as a nursing mother. My milk is gone. It happened seemingly overnight. Blindsided me, really. We got back from our US trip, dealing with the stress of jet lag and the trip. Next thing I know, my baby is acting hungrier and hungrier.
I did a lot of research and asked my friends that had gone through something similar before for tips on how to get my milk back. I thought it was just a phase and that things would go back to normal soon. But they didn’t.
Ultimately, the husband and I had a decision to make. He is always reminding me that although our goal is to do everything we can to take the best care of baby O, in the end we have to make the decision that is best for the well-being of the whole family. Not just mine, or O’s or the husband’s.
I could have tried a little longer, a little harder, I thought. But the stress of it all was taking a toll on me (and therefore affecting the well-being of my family). So we decided to stop. As we made this decision, I kept hearing the crowds of La Leche league consultants telling me not to give up, that it was too soon. Oh well. We don’t always get what we want, not matter how hard we may try.
O transitioned smoothly into a bottle. In fact he is even sleeping better. For I think my milk supply had decreased way before I had ever noticed. He is so busy exploring the world around him, that he as content as ever to be able to eat and look around at the same time.
I, on the other hand, am still mourning. Although not the most pleasant thing in the world in the beginning, I loved being so closed to my baby, sharing in that unique and precious bond that is breastfeeding. I was so thrilled to be able to nurse. My mom (and so many other women like her) although try hard as she did, she never got her milk in with any of us. I was so ecstatic that I was able to do it. I’m so sad it is over.
But I did it. Eight months of it. It counts, doesn’t it? (Please tell me it does)
So now what? Now we move on, confidently in the decision we made as a family. Watching O thrive as he busily crawls from corner to corner of our place, hurrying as to not to miss a thing. And I, hurry behind him, because I don’t want to miss a thing either

>mom-mode post #107- on things that are inspiring me these days

November 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

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I saw this here and I thought I’d write about what’s inspiring me these days. I’ve been in despereate need to get my creative juices going, as the holiday season approaches and with it the gray and cold winter that seems to take away my peace so easily. So here they are:


image from thenester.com

COLOR : It’s actually more like a color combination. Light blue and beige. Actually more like a seafom blueish color. I’ve been redecorating my living room in my mind and these are the colors I want to redo it in!




FONT : Daniel via dafont.com. Loads of free fonts over there people! I’m thinking of making my Christmas cards in this font.

image from Designer Stencils

SHAPE : I still love a good quadrefoil. I want to incorporate it into my Christmas decor this year.

NUMBER : 13 – Because that’s the date my sister arrives next month. ‘Cause if I can go to the island, the next best thing is a little piece of the island coming to me!

WORD :Process. A quote from my Esther bible study that has had me praising the Lord for putting me exactly where I am today: 


“As painful as the process may be, that which shatters our superficiality also shatters the fetters of our fragility and frees us to walk with dignity and might to our destinies.”

Want to play along? I’d love to hear what’s inspiring you.

>mom-mode #106 – on trying out the swing

November 6, 2010 § 1 Comment

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I dreamed of days like this. Of taking my baby O to the park, playing on the swings, going down the slides…
Simple little moments of childhood memories being made. So this one is for the books: O’s first time on a playground swing:

I dressed him in little curdoroy overalls because that’s what I imagine little boys wear when going out to the playground. It seems to me that overalls are the quintessential playground outfit. I also added a couple more layers because I didn’t want to be called out on not dressing my child warm enough for such a ‘cold’ day…

After some swing time, we sat down for a little snack. Cheerios and banana.

Days like this make the winter seem a bit more bearable. Days like this make the longings for home a little less stronger.
Days like this, help this mommy feel a little more ‘normal’, and a WHOLE lot happier.

~Thankful for a God that blesses me with some warm sunnny days and the most precious little boy of all.~

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