In memory of my mom

My dear mom´s birthday was on February 14th. She died 8 years ago (only 11 days after her 59th birthday).

I always felt lucky for having Sonia as my mother. When I was little, I once wrote her a card that said ¨You are my favorite mom¨. She and my sister always made fun of that card, but I still think it makes perfect sense. I wouldn’t have traded her for any other mom. Just wish you were here.

As a quick glance about her, I can say that she was a funny person, an optimistic, a problem solver, an animal and plants lover (not a beach lover like me, she preferred the country) and an endless curious one. She read more books than I can imagine and every time she wanted to know about something, she would get a book on the subject. That’s where I got this certainty that we can learn anything on our own. She was an unstoppable learner.

When I was around 7-8, every night I would lay with her on her bed reading books and each night we took turns on rubbing each other backs.

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Christmas 2018

I’m not religious. I don’t really mind if there’s a God. Officially, I don’t celebrate Christmas. But, probably 99% of the people I know do, so I always end up in a Christmas party, with or without presents. So this year, we put up a Christmas Tree!

Oliver only had 4 Christmas in his life, 2 of which he went to bed at his usual 6 pm time and me at 9 pm. The other two, we had dinner with people and not any exchange of presents or Christmas tree or typical Christmas tree or winter climate. But a lot of the human exchange that it’s so amazing.

I don’t even talk about the subject with him (Christmas), it kind of doesn’t exist for us.

Only that it does. The 24th, we will be working at a volunteer lunch as usual. Only that this Monday it will be a special dinner with maybe more than 100 people and everyone receiving presents. Oliver will take a present and receive one, it might be the first he relates to the word ¨Christmas¨ (although he probably received presents at Christmas before from his grandma).

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Why Ask Yourself These Significant Questions in Life?

The weekend is almost over, so take some time out and answer some completely pointless questions!!

How much does getting old bother you?
What year of your life did you waste?
How do you choose what books to read?
What news story has made your blood boil this week?
Have you ever broken a window?
Do you forgive and forget?
Gay rights – discuss?
Have your parents ever been disappointed in you?
When did you last travel by train?

Do you think you’re a kind person? How much does getting old bother you?
Not at all, but I’m 21 so I’m enjoying all the things that come with getting older at the moment.

Read moreWhy Ask Yourself These Significant Questions in Life?

Travel Preparations For Working Single Moms

Some jobs require travel from their employees and some do on a frequent basis. Many employees view this as a perk that comes with the job but for working single moms, business travel can be a nightmare.

You can take the stress out of traveling for work by having a plan ready for those preplanned or impromptu trips. Travel preparations will allow you to travel with a lot less worry.

Child Care

This is your first and foremost concern when you have to travel for business. For trips where you are given some advance notice, you have a little flexibility in finding a caregiver. It is the unexpected trips that can really play havoc with your life.

You need a support person who can step up at such times. Ideally, the children’s father would be the best choice. If however, that is not an option, a grandparent, aunt or uncle who understands your situation and has agreed to be on standby for these types of situations is your next bet. With an understanding in place, a quick phone call should take care of the details.

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Should Kids Scrapbook Too?

Why can’t I be that crafty and creative? I’ve always prayed that someday her skills will rub off on me as though it’s just in our blood. {She would disagree with being called crafty, by the way.}

I still have the scrapbook she made for me. My girls LOVE to look through it! Mostly because they like to laugh at how funny mommy looked like a child. But they also love to look through all of the scrapbooks we have for our family, which sadly, are mostly empty!

When I was pregnant with Faith, my nesting urges were mostly creative and had nothing to do with housecleaning. Instead, I had a burning {must complete now!} desire to put together a scrapbook for my step-daughter, Lauren. She had been through a difficult time with the divorce of her parents and was about to have her world totally turned upside down again when her baby sister arrived.

It was so important to me that she had something as a constant reminder of how special her talent for literacy was to us and how very much we loved her. The running joke had always been that someday we’d get around to putting a scrapbook together for her with all of her childhood memories in it. I was determined that it would no longer be a joke and that “someday” was going to be before Faith arrived. That was the last scrapbook I completed. I wish I had pictures of it to share with you.

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Almost Another Night of Sleep

It was another night of sleep. Almost. You see, My girl has learned how to open doors. I am proud of her. I thought it seemed to be taking her a little longer than needed to do this, and I wanted her to be able to open the bathroom door, etc on her own; a little more independence. Really, I don’t know that it was ‘her’ fault she didn’t know.

I’m so used to her making me look good and just figuring out how to do things like dreaming of horses on her own that I didn’t take the time to show her. So I decided to ensure she learned this and within a few days (seriously), it happened. She opens doors.

This is great for independence with the potty, etc (which I don’t know if I mentioned she trained herself at 22 months – see…she makes me look good). However, in my haste to have her more independent, I neglected to consider the bed factor. Ahhh yes, the bed factor.

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A Chihuahua Striving To Be a Pit Bull

Mother’s Day is this weekend and I’ve been thinking about my mom a lot this week. We couldn’t be more different.

My mom is outspoken and doesn’t take any crap from anybody. I can still hear her arguing on the phone with incompetent insurance agents or in the customer service lines of department stores arguing with sales associates who neglected to honor their sales prices or return policies.

I used to slink surreptitiously away, my face burning with embarrassment, hoping against hope she’d let it go. She never did. What’s fair is fair. If you make a promise, you darn well better keep it. If you have a job to do, you better do it right. I guess she was overwhelmed by motherhood back then as I am these days. You just need to learn to cope with it.

When I was twelve I didn’t recognize my mom for what she was–A champion of the little guy. My champion. When my second-grade teacher made fun of me in front of the entire class because I still sucked my thumb, I’m sure she wasn’t prepared for the s**t-storm that awaited her when my mother paid her a visit. (s**t-storm is a word my mom would use and really, there’s no other way to say it without losing a certain nuance.)

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Less internet life more real life

It´s been a while since I have been living with less of what I used to have when I lived in a big city. I’ve been living way more frugally and with less stuff for 8 years now. This is part of a group writing project. Check at the end of this post what the other families on the move have to say on this topic.

Having less is a choice on minimalism for me. In everything that I can find to go minimal, I do it. I find that having, also when it comes to education, less stuff makes me live more. I don’t I have to worry or work to maintain some things, I can use that time to do things I love instead, and that don’t require stuff or money to do, like hanging out with friends.

Even though I was living with less already, traveling with a backpack really limits the stuff you own. I’ll be practical. Since I left my home in Brazil, 10 months ago:

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Letting go a little

Oliver started with a cold this weekend and coupled with the giant boulders he’s cutting, he’s been quite crabby at times. The thing with him, though, is that even though he’s a right stinker when he’s in a pissy mood, he’s so bloody cute that it’s hard not to want to fold him up in your arms and smother him with slobbery kisses, even after he’s walked up to you and spontaneously punched the mug you were cradling, knocking coffee all over you. Just take a look at his (somewhat outdated) picture:

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a big difference in Oliver, and I think part of it has to do with the fact that I have changed the way I react to him. I’ve tried to stop hovering over him and shadowing his every move in order to prevent him from hurting himself or making a catastrophic mess. But at the same time, I realize I want to have a bit of a life for myself, too, just like my friend who came to the U.S. some years ago told me.

One the one hand, I am so proud of the boy he is becoming. I marvel at his newfound abilities – how he sits down and, with his tongue curled outside of his lip in great concentration, slowly puts his socks on, or the excited way he recognizes shapes and colors. On the other hand, how can I keep a little life for myself at the same time?

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Can mothers have a life of their own?

When did you start having a life?” asked me a mother of a six-month-old. We were talking about how we spend all the time caring for the babies and have little room left for other things. This is especially true in the first months of a baby´s life.

But when she asked that, I paused for a moment and then said that she can forget about what life was before. Instead, it’s time to redefine your life.

You are not one anymore

I remember reading about how the baby feels that he/she and the mother are the same things for a long time (at least two years). This becomes clear when you witness or experience situations where you can see that mother and baby feel the same.

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