4 Ways to Soothe a Colicky Baby

#bsrealtalk #ariaismyboss #ariamalia #momlife #4waystosootheacolickybaby

Having a baby is a very joyous experience and frightening at the same time. Some mothers report being afraid to be left alone with their new baby, me being one of them. My sentiments were more worrisome. It’s only normal, but a colicky baby who cried and cried is a whole different story I soon learned. Some new mothers are lucky to have an experienced mother or family member stay with them for the first couple of days to a couple of weeks to ease the transition. Others like myself did not have this luxury. Being a single mother on top of this made it that much harder. I remember the day we left the hospital like yesterday. It was a beautiful day in July. I struggled to fit her in her car seat and remembered my sister laughing as we were getting ready to leave the hospital. I put her in the car seat but because I did not know about the cushiony inserts that secure the baby, my poor Aria slid down.

I quickly picked her up and my sister assisted. She had some experience with her godson who was born two years prior. Not to mention, my sister was not doped up on dilaudid from having a C-Section. What an experience! I remember mothers sharing one major thing that you lose when you become a parent: sleep. Who knew how much sleep would be lost? Coupled with an autoimmune illness, a genetic mutation, and single motherhood to a new colicky baby, I forgot what sleep was. I remembered being delirious ALL DAY LONG. I soon discovered ways to soothe her but wished I knew them from day one.

My daughter cried so hard that she screamed and appeared to be in agony. She would scream and then pause for a breath and then start all over again. Poor baby and poor mama. I felt helpless. What do I do? As most new mothers, I asked around to those more seasoned and called the doctor. She had approximately six doctor visits within her first three weeks of life and was eventually diagnosed with colic, where an otherwise healthy baby cries excessively for more than three hours, three days, and three weeks in a row. Before the colic diagnosis, the doctor ordered the works: an ultrasound of her spine, blood work at Yale Children’s Hospital to see if she was afflicted with my genetic mutation, and a visit to the gastroenterologist to name a few.

The gastroenterologist prescribed Ranitidine and when that wasn’t working a low dose of Nexium. Of course, I didn’t want to give her acid reducing drugs, but was desperate for relief and sleep. Her crying was piercing and she appeared to be in agony. So, I tried the medication. The Nexium seemed to help a little or maybe it was just a placebo effect. I started reading different articles and found a natural recipe that worked wonders.

1. Homemade Gripe Water. I boiled water for several minutes, steeped two bags of ginger tea and one bag of either Chamomile or Peppermint tea in 4 cups of water along with one tablespoon of fennel seeds and one teaspoon of all natural, organic cane sugar. I let this sit for approximately 30-45 minutes covered. I strained the mix to remove the fennel seeds.

I transferred the gripe water to several small bottles and froze about ten 60 ml bottles and refrigerated one to two. Before each feeding, I would give her about 5ml. If she wasn’t given the gripe water first, she would refuse a feeding and if you didn’t know better you wouldn’t know why she was crying. I quickly realized it was working and started getting more smiles from my pumpkin. I started doing this when she was about 3 months and the crying ceased.

She became a happy baby. By about 6 months her need for the gripe water faded. Today she is a thriving 20 month old happy baby. FYI: this remedy is much more cost effective than buying a small bottle of gripe water for $10 that would only last a couple of days. I also gave her diluted chamomile and peppermint tea in the morning and the evening. One bag for 16 ounces of water and 1 teaspoon of organic cane sugar. She would get a four to five ounce bottle.

2. Holding her up high with her head near my shoulders. She liked to be held up high so that she can see what was going on. Until this day, she wants to see what you are doing. Quite the inquisitive child.

3. Standing and walking with her. We would go for walks outside and around the house to change the scenery. The baby holder worked better than the stroller. She would cry hysterically in the stroller most days. Sometimes she would cooperate, but most days she wanted to be close to hear my heartbeat and to take in my smell.

4. Talking to her believe it or not. My paternal aunt and cousin were visiting one day and she just cried and cried. My aunt started talking to her and she stopped. I was in shock.

Don’t worry if you don’t know what to say, just talk about the day, what you are doing, anything. You can describe the room. To make it realistic for me, I would ask her, “What’s wrong baby? Why are you crying? Tell mommy what’s wrong.” Before I knew it, the crying would cease and she would just look at me. It was a great bonding moment.

I hope some of these will help soothe your little one. As a new mother, there is no handbook. We learn as we go and it can be quite a relief when someone else already figured it out and can help steer you in the right direction. These remedies are not meant to replace the advice of medical doctors. When in doubt, seek help. I tried these when the doctors could not figure out what was wrong and told me she would just cry like this for months. I was told to put her in her room and let her cry. I asked for how long and was told to try twenty minutes. One night before I discovered my gripe water solution, she had cried for an hour straight. I didn’t know what to do. I put her in her bassinet in her room and shut the door. I timed it. I felt horrible. I would go near her room but I didn’t take her out. At about the ten minute mark, I went to get her and she was shaking. I never did that again. Sometimes doctors don’t know. You have to take action after you have sought several medical opinions.

#ariaismyboss #momlife #momlifeisthebest #bsrealtalk
Full of personality- Aria Malia at 3 months.

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This baby carrier really helped!

baby-wear

 

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I am Visible: Unboxing with Spoonie Essentials

I was excited to receive my Spoonie Essentials Box! My daughter, Aria, helped me check out its contents. The idea of the box was born to help, Spoonies, chronic illnesses sufferers who go in and out of the hospital. A Spoonie is someone who suffers from a chronic illness or invisible illness. I currently suffer from Graves’ Disease and a genetic mutation which makes treating my illness difficult. I call myself a pill poppin animal because I take supplements and medication all day. Even so, my energy levels still suffer.

Spoons refer to our energy level. Most people have unlimited spoons or energy to accomplish daily tasks where someone with a chronic illness does not. For instance, a chronic illness sufferer starts his or her day with fewer spoons than those who are not ill, As the day nears, someone with an invisible illness like me will have to decide what tasks gets completed whether it is dinner, bathing, eating, taking care of children, laundry etcetera. If we only have two spoons remaining, something will not get done.

Living with a chronic illness is a daily struggle. Getting out of bed for most is taxing and one less spoon for the day. Therefore, a monthly subscription geared towards Spoonies is special. Before I received the box, I was asked about my allergies and medical conditions. The idea of a subscription service tailored to my needs as a Spoonie is fabulous. Watch the video below to see me unbox my Spoonie Essentials!

The box included the following items:

1. Psi Bands for nausea: Great for those who suffer from motion sickness, morning sickness, or effects of chemotherapy. As I get older, motion bothers me. I will be sure take these on the road with me.

2. Two colorful Ouchless Hair Ties: I am always searching for hair ties for both my daughter and I that does not tangle our hair. Glad this was part of the package.

3. Spoonie Bracelet available here: Love this bracelet. It’s  a great everyday wear decorated with spoons. In solidarity, we stand: Spoonies.

4. Caramel Popcorn available here: I love popcorn. Need I say more.

5. Spoonie Planner- Medical Diary to keep track of doctor appointments, medication, side effects, allergies and much more. My doctors have been telling me over the years to keep track of my ailments and what works and what doesn’t. This is an awesome way to do just that!

6.  Chronically Cute Mask made by McKenna Rodriguez: Get yours here. Spoonies tend to have immune deficiencies that decrease the body’s ability to fight sickness and foreign invaders. In other words, we get sick often and a mask as such can help protect us in crowded places and hospitals.

7. Gin Gin candies great for combating a cold or staying healthy. I mince ginger now, but the candies are much more mobile.

8. Highlighter syringes which are super cute made by Kat Crawford get your Syringe Highlers here. Many spoonies have to administer medication themselves. I thought it was clever to include them.

8. I also received a Spoonie decal, a thank you card and motivational quotes. As a spoonie, getting through the day can be very taxing. It is important to have faith and never surrender.

Get your Spoonie Box today! spoonies, bsrealtalk, napsand netflix, areviewbybsrealtalk

What’s in the box? Click here for Spoonie Essential Box contents. Thanks so much for allowing me to review your product.

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5 Ways to Stay Healthy as the Seasons Change

waystostayhealthyasseasonschange, bsrealtalk, 5waystobehealthy

It’s cold outside! Brrrr! Cold weather tends to make our noses run. When a runny nose, sneezing and coughing commence, before we know it- we’re sick. Over the years as the seasons changed, I’ve learned tried and true methods to stay one step ahead. Some remedies I’ve read about, while others were shared through word of mouth. Although reluctant to try some, I have found success with all of them. I had to do something, I was sick every other month with a horrific runny nose. So the next time, you feel that tickle in your throat or nose run, try one of these to solutions.

1. Mince ginger: cut up small pieces of ginger and chew on it. If you have a sore throat, you will feel instant relief. FYI: this is not a remedy for strep throat.

2. Drink a small shot of apple cider vinegar with a water (about 2-3 ounces). You could start with two capfuls in an ounce or two of water. I will do this several times a day if I am not feeling well or I feel a cold coming. Some people doctor up the apple cider vinegar with honey and cinnamon, but not me. Get your Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar here.:apple cider vinegar3. Coconut oil: I love this oil. I keep a container in the kitchen and a separate one in my bedroom to moisturize my skin and my daughter’s. Recently, I’ve started coconut oil coffee. One to two teaspons in a cup of coffee with a spoon of organic cane sugar in a blender or NutriBullet eliminates the need for creamer, creates a latte like coffee and powerful health benefits. Coconut oil contains Lauric acid which is found in breast milk. Need I say more. It also is a medium-chain fatty acid that translates into a powerful fat burner, anti-fungal, and healer. For more benefits of coconut oil, click here.

4. Tea: Chamomile, Peppermint, or Ginger. Steep two bags in hot water, cover the cup for several minutes and drink. If you need to add a sweetener, add a teaspoon of honey, organic brown cane sugar, or agave.

5. Aromatherapy: I diffuse oils all the time and apply them topically after diluting with a carrier oil, such as coconut. Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, and Oregano oils are superb for colds or sinus issues and opens your nasal passages. I apply them to my chest or bottom of my feet. I also apply them to my daughter, Aria, as well when she’s sick (I use a couple drops and dilute it well). Lavendar oil helps her settle for bed at night too.

I have even taken a couple of drops of therapeutic Oregano oil under the tongue with coconut oil to help with bacterial or viral (flu-like) infections. I just bought empty veggie caps to drop in the therapeutic and coconut oils. It allows the oil to reach the small intestines better and help with digestion.

Get your Empty Veggie Caps and Diffuser:


There you have it: 5 natural ways to stay healthy as the seasons change. I am not against real medication either. Sometimes we need a powerful punch. One time while on vacation in Montreal, my nose would not stop running. It was a nuisance and embarrassing. I was there visiting with a cutie. After a day of non-stop running, I went to the pharmacy was directed to Chlorpheniramine / (Chlor-Trimeton). Thanks to my natural remedies, I no longer rely on Chlor-Trimeton but when in need I will take one for a severe runny nose.

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Ladyboss Blogger Interview: Real Advice on Entrepreneurship

bsrealtalk, ladybossblogger, adviceonentrepreneurship

Elaine Rau is an international blogger who interviews female entrepreneurs all over the world and highlights their businesses on her popular blog, http://www.ladybossblogger.com. You can find her sitting on her balcony overlooking the city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, while drinking lemonade, eating apples with nutella, listening to smooth jazz and blogging all at the same time! Here is Elaine’s interview:

Tell me about yourself and what motivated you to start blogging?
I am half Chinese and half American and grew up in Taiwan. I moved to the states when I was a junior in high school then attended Wheaton College and went on to work after graduation in the wedding industry. I climbed the corporate ladder quickly and within 2 short years, I was the National Wedding Sales Manager of one of the largest wedding companies in the Midwest. During that time, I also wrote for Halfstack Magazine in Chicago and covered press events for them all over the city. I got to attend private parties, review new restaurants and interview TV stars… I absolutely loved it! However, I wasn’t making any money and realized that a lot of bloggers create content for free on a daily basis because they love it. But I wanted to figure out how to blog for money and make it a full time job so that I could be my own boss and have time freedom. My chance came when I decided to quit my job since I had hit the glass ceiling and moved to Honduras to be with my fiancé while he worked on getting a visa to get back to the states.

Since I didn’t have anything else to do, due to being in a new environment with no job and no friends, I had all the time in the world to work on creating a blog. However, it was also a really lonely time. I am an extremely social person and not being able to go to networking events or even speak the same language as other people to communicate was really difficult, so I decided to interview the people who I like meeting and networking with, which is female entrepreneurs, and started making new friends online! A few weeks after the blog’s launch and after I had some content on my site, I created a sales packet, sent it out to a handful of leads and a few days later earned my first $5! The money, the fact that I can work 100% for myself whenever I want, and elevate females in the process have been the motivating factors!

Describe your experiences with some of the people you’ve met while blogging?
I love it when I actually get a chance to meet the ladies I blog about since I live in Central America and the majority of my following is from the states, specifically the three big cities: Chicago, New York, and California. I went back to Chicago to visit my besties in October where they threw me an amazing surprise bachelorette party. One of my clients (Dominique Jones aka Chef Nikki) personally delivered 8 mouth-watering cupcakes made from scratch to my party and that was the first time I met her; I was so delighted! Not only did I get to meet her and share some funny stories, but I also got to taste her cupcakes that she made from scratch, which by the way… after going scratch, I can never go back!

What networking do you do that helps your blogging business?
Honestly, if I could go to a networking event I would! This year is a bit restricting since I live overseas, but come August when I move back to Chicago, I will definitely be out there networking! Currently everything I do is online, which is a very accepted form of networking and connecting nowadays. I connect with people on Instagram for the most part and about 1 out of 10 of my followers have become my clients!

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How do you come up with material/content for your blog and keep ideas fresh?
Even though my interview questions are the same, every single blog post is about a different person and a different profession so it is always fresh. Everyone also has their own take on the answers they provide even if they are in the same industry, so it keeps readers interested and engaged.

What’s your strategy with your blog in general?
Being consistent with content and branding. I post at least twice a day to my blog, once in the afternoon and once at night. That means I have to always make sure I am ahead of the game and have several interviews lined up a few days ahead of schedule so I can stay on track. I also post to all my social media accounts in the same manner at the same time and everything that is created has the same color scheme, theme and simplicity to it so that my followers know what to expect. I want people to start recognizing things like “oh that must be a ladybossblogger post” because of the same look and feel to everything.

What’s the best thing a blogger can give to his / her readers?
Providing content that is engaging and filled with insight that makes the reader want to come back for more and check in every day!

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What are some tips for people interested in making money from blogging? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
a) Your target audience must have money to spend. For example, if your target market is a teenager, it may be harder because you actually need to be marketing to their parents.

b) I am still learning about affiliate marketing myself and haven’t picked that up yet, but what I have done is create a platform where people pay to get featured on my site. Every post gets tons of traffic and traction due to me having lots of subscribers and followers interested in my content, so I created a sales packet with my stats that I send to potential leads I collect from my various social media outlets.

c) Look at your blog from someone else’s eyes, does someone really want to know “What I did with my cat today?” or would they prefer to read about “5 ways my cat taught me to write.” Your titles should provoke curiosity and intrigue as well as your content. When people are interested, they will pay to see more. You could have a section that is for the public and the juicer articles are for paying members only or something like that.

What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?
Post on all social media outlets, even those that aren’t quite as apparent or popular, such as Google+ and LinkedIn because it helps with your SEO.

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What was the most challenging moment in your blog content development process and why?
At the very beginning before I got a rhythm going, I wanted to do everything and not narrow my content down (like all blogging pros advise you to do) because I wanted to cater to a wider audience. However, as ironic as it is, the more niche your blog is, the better and more engaged your following will be. So I stuck to doing one thing, interviewing female entrepreneurs, honed the process and created a very systematic way of generating content, and magically it began to work like a clock and I stopped running off on rabbit trails trying to please everyone because I had found my niche. It is rapidly becoming a hub where women come to get interviewed and recognized for their hard work in their relative fields of work.

If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?
a) Choose a topic you would like to talk about 5 years from now.
b) If you find you like talking and writing about a certain topic, stick on one aspect of it and create a system to produce content.
c) Always have something in your pending folder and be ready to post every single day.

Connect with the Ladybossblogger:
Blog http://www.ladybossblogger.com
Instagram www.instagram.com/ladybossblogger
Twitter www.twitter.com/ladybossblogger
Facebook www.facebook.com/ladybossblogger
Facebook Group www.facebook.com/groups/ladybossblogger
Google+ https://plus.google.com/collection/ISyInB
LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/elainerau
YouTube www.youtube.com/channel/UCgjw_7BW-GoOMMHp6RQEWdg
Email ladybossblogger@gmail.com

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Outskirts Press Announces the Release of Oh What Will You Do? — Juvenile Nonfiction by Arlene Garcia, Ph.D.

childrensmotivationbook, bsrealtalk, girlsandcareers, juvenilenonfiction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      

Educator and author publishes new children’s book aimed specifically toward young girls. Oh What Will You Do? explores some of the numerous career choices little girls can aspire to and encourages them to dream big! PRWrite

Outskirts Press Announces the Release of Oh What Will You Do? — Juvenile Nonfiction by Arlene Garcia, Ph.D.

February 14, 2017 – Denver, CO and Danbury, CT – In a new children’s book, Oh What Will You Do? Arlene Garcia, Ph.D. describes in rhyming prose the countless career options available to young girls. The underlying theme is one of empowerment; the book inspires a positive attitude, a love of learning and the motivation to strive for success. Oh What Will You Do? has been published by Outskirts Press—the fastest-growing full-service self-publishing and book marketing company.

This beautifully illustrated picture book helps young girls explore numerous career paths that will impact the world in a positive way. Parents can use the book to help open their daughters’ minds and feel good about their future, all while imparting a love of reading and spending quality time together.

The author, Arlene Garcia, is an educator and humanitarian who inspires young people to reach their potential every day. She was born with pneumonia, with a slim chance of survival, and as an adult she struggles with an autoimmune illness—but she believes in a fighting spirit.

“Desire, dedication and determination are at my core, and this is what I want to instill in young girls,” she says.

Oh What Will You Do? strikes just the right tone for this young audience, with its positive message and appealing pictures and rhymes—and it’s a cheerful introduction to a broader career horizon.

For more information, visit  Barnes & Noble or Amazon. Ebook options.

At 28 pages, Oh What Will You Do? is available online through Outskirts Press at http://www.outskirtspress.com/bookstore. It is sold through Amazon and Barnes and Noble for a maximum trade discount in quantities of 10 or more, and is being aggressively promoted to appropriate markets with a focus on the juvenile nonfiction category, with a target audience of 0-7.

ISBN: 978-1-4787-7986-5    Format: 8.5 x 8.5 color paperback glossy   Retail: $12.95

Genre: JUVENILE NONFICTION / School & Education

About the Author: Arlene Garcia, Ph.D. is an educator who loves traveling, reading, writing and inspiring young people. She is also the author of A Coed With A Will Keeps It Real and The Gatekeeping Behind Meritocracy: Voices of NYC High School Students, and she’s the founder and editor of BitterSweet: Real Talk, whose mission is to help others turn adversity into triumph. Arlene resides in Danbury, CT, with her daughter Aria and family.

About Outskirts Press, Inc.: Outskirts Press offers full-service, custom self-publishing and book marketing services for authors seeking a cost-effective, fast, and flexible way to publish and distribute their books worldwide while retaining all their rights and full creative control. Available for authors globally at http://www.outskirtspress.com and located on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, Outskirts Press, Inc. represents the future of book publishing, today.

# # #

Outskirts Press, Inc., 10940 S. Parker Rd – 515, Parker, Colorado 80134

1-888-OP-BOOKS

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10 Ways I Rock Motherhood Despite a Chronic Illness

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I was nominated to contribute to the #RockingMotherhood series by Chelle Del Rosario – the blogger behind Coffeeheartmind! She was one of my first blogger friends, since I’ve started this new endeavor! You should definitely check out her blog. I dig all she has going on from Motivational Mondays to Feature Fridays (where I was a guest blogger). Thanks again for that awesome experience, Chelle.

While excited to be nominated, I began wondering how much can I add to this Rocking Motherhood Challenge. My daughter is barely 20 months old and she is my only child. What could I possibly add to this conversation, I thought? Then with some reflection I realized that I can share my experiences even if she isn’t two years old yet. I’ve learned so much over the past 20 months and know I will gain more knowledge as the years pass because motherhood is an ongoing learning process. There is no handbook. We talk to other mothers, read, implement and evaluate to see what works. My background as an educator helps for sure, but there is nothing like having my own child. I can’t send her home at the end of the day! Even so, I proudly rock being Aria’s mommy.

Here are the 10 ways that I Proudly Rock Motherhood Despite a Chronic Illness: #RockingMotherhood 

1. Unconditional Love: I remember a seasoned mother said to me when she was about six months old, “You never knew you could love someone so much, huh?” I couldn’t agree more. Aria Malia, the love of my life and miracle child, has definitely made me a better person. I am much more patient because I have to be. She is constantly moving and teaching me about life. She adds so much life to the house. Having her changed me in so many ways, physically and emotionally. I never knew I could love someone so much. My joy and heart has taught me about unconditional love.

2. Creating Happiness: Aria is a happy baby who is always smiling, laughing and singing, which signifies she is content. I must be doing something right. Aria is surrounded by so much love from my family to her babysitter. She is truly a blessing.

3. Education is key: Learning is constant in our household. When she was two months old, I began reading to her. When I ask her to read me a book now, she opens it and starts to identify the objects in the book. She knows what the letter A looks like and sings her entire alphabet. Our next step is to put meaning behind the letters and to identify sounds.

4. Health and wellness: Aria is a healthy and thriving girl for that I am so grateful. Having an autoimmune illness and a genetic disorder, I was afraid my daughter would inherit some of these traits, but she didn’t. I had her tested at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital when she was two months old. I made it a point to tell her pediatrician about my conditions, Graves’ Disease which is a thyroid disorder that proved difficult to treat because to make matters worse, I have a genetic mutation that prevented my medication from working properly. Being compound heterozygous, due to the MTHFR genetic mutation, wreaked havoc on my body. This mutation caused methylation issues that prevented my body from digesting food and functioning properly. I am currently a pill poppin’ animal: I take thyroid medication and supplements all day long just to function. It is not easy. I never leave home without my pill box. Even though I am chronically ill, which most people don’t recognize because I look “okay” on the outside, I still find time to play with her and do activities on the weekend. One activity will exhaust me for the day, but it’s well worth it to see my baby girl smile.

5. Source of my inspiration, my muse: While pregnant with Aria, I thought of the many ways she will impact this world and wrote Oh What Will You Do? It is an empowering book that describes in rhyming prose and with lovely illustration the countless career options available to young girls. It is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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6. Self-help: Having a baby is a very joyous experience and frightening at the same time. Some mothers report being afraid to be left alone with their new baby, me being one of them. My sentiments were more worrisome. It’s only normal, but a colicky baby who cried and cried is a whole different story I soon learned. After visiting the doctors to no avail, I started reading different articles and found a natural recipe that worked wonders. Homemade Gripe Water. I boiled water for several minutes, steeped two bags of ginger tea and one bag of either Chamomile or Peppermint tea in 4 cups of water along with one tablespoon of fennel seeds and one teaspoon of all natural, organic cane sugar. I let this sit for approximately 30-45 minutes covered. I strained the mix to remove the fennel seeds. Before each feeding, I would give her about 5ml. If she wasn’t given the gripe water first, she would refuse a feeding and if you didn’t know any better you wouldn’t know why she was crying. I quickly realized it was working and started getting more smiles from my pumpkin. I started doing this when she was about 3 months and the crying ceased.

7. Inspiring others: I know the mind is powerful and convey this to the students whom I teach: If you believe it, you can do it. The mind can be limiting and fulfilling: you choose. Every day I am in some type of pain, whether it be my head, my back as I suffer from two herniated discs L4, L5, my feet from the two foot surgeries I had, but I have to survive. The thing is I will do more than survive. I will to thrive. On March 25th, I along with two others will be hosting the area’s first Mind, Body, Soul Connection and the power of spoken word will be one of the topics. Aria is being taught the power of words and self-esteem.

8. Showing her the world: Coming from very humble beginnings, I wasn’t able to travel until I could afford it. Each year in my Advance Placement class, the students would converse about upcoming trips. These students were from a different social class and had the luxury of taking real vacations. I will never forget one day before spring break in eleventh grade, students were talking about their upcoming trips. One student said he was going to Hawaii with his parents, the others mentioned going to Madrid with the school. When the question found me, I would simply state that I had to work. It was true, but inside I burned. I wanted to go to Spain and Hawaii. I never wanted to feel like that way again, so I made a vow to myself at 16 years old that when I got some real money, I would go wherever I wanted to go, whenever: PERIOD. With gainful employment and an awesome travel club, I’ve been to Mexico, Barcelona, Madrid, China, England, Holland, Czech Republic, Austria, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Belize (Our first official family trip in 2010, my father’s homeland), Barbados, Chile, Argentina, Colombia and numerous big cities in the East, Midwest, South, and West coasts. So far, Aria has been to South Florida, Jamaica, Mexico, and Maui (Hawaii).


This list is not exhaustive; there’s so much more of the world I want to see and show my daughter. I would like her to see the world beyond her inner circle. I don’t want her to be that student in the classroom, when they go around the room discussing upcoming trips, say she has no travel plans. I want her to return to school and provide first-hand knowledge about the Forbidden City in China. And tell them about the pyramids that she visited in Egypt when the lesson calls. She will be well- versed in the world around her beyond the books she has to read.

9. Participating in Activities: We started swim lessons last Saturday and completed lessons and baby gymnastics last summer. Class begins promptly at 9:35 am and afterwards I am exhausted. One activity for the day wears me out and people who know me know that I do not enjoy being in the water. Ironic because I desire to live near the water in a warm climate, preferably South Florida. I find it calming and relish the idea of the water, e.g. jet ski, yacht, boat just not sailing (gives me a queasy feeling). Very particular, I know. I can’t stand that wrinkly feeling after being in the water for so long. Still, I’ve made it my mission to expose my daughter to the water while she is young and capitalize off of her fearlessness. She loves the water and she will LEARN to swim.

10. Diversifying my portfolio: Living day to day with low energy, I have learned to let things go, ignore the dust bunnies, find humor in her toddler behavior, or buy dinner when I just don’t have energy beyond taking care of her and me. Therefore, it is imperative to diversify my portfolio and increase my financial education so that I can leave a legacy for my daughter and take care of us now. I’m currently teaching despite my doctor’s request, but insurance is a necessity when you have chronic conditions. In addition to teaching, I am also an entrepreneur with an amazing travel club, author, professional speaker and editor who founded BitterSweet: Real Talk. In the coming months, I will be unleashing my new plan to raise awareness for chronic illness sufferers also identified as invisible disabilities.

I am supposed to nominate other outstanding mommy bloggers, so I nominate:
Mommy @mommyisntfeelingwell, Dr. Momma @mommaaddict, & Melissa @mommychronicles (and anyone else who would like to participate).

Here are the guidelines:

1. Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog.
2. List at least 10 Things you believe make you a good mother or less if you want.
3. Tag some bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood tag.
4. Grab the #RockingMotherhood badge and add it to your post or sidebar.

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BLatina Shares Becoming an Entrepreneur

Guest Post: BLatina with the Good Hair

I was a former elementary school teacher for five years. After joining a travel club three years ago, traveling the world, and attending business events, I realized being a teacher for another 37 years wasn’t desirable. I wanted to enjoy life more and I wasn’t content with the amount of work I was putting into teaching with little pay. I also learned that relying solely on one income wasn’t smart, however that lesson was taught later on.

About 6 weeks before the school year ended, my principal sat me down and explained how she thought my heart wasn’t into teaching (she was right). As a result, she told me I wasn’t the correct fit for the direction the school was going (once again she was right). After the school year ended, I had feelings of resentment and betrayal towards her and the school. At the same time, my heart was relieved at the thought of not being a classroom teacher anymore. I’m a true believer that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. I’ve never been in the position where I lost something and God didn’t come through with an upgrade.

After a few months of being slightly depressed (slightly because I was still living and traveling), I decided to pursue my idea of BLatina with the Good Hair so I can bring in extra income and fulfill my dream of being a brand ambassador and influencer while traveling the world.

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The idea came from having so many encounters about my ethnicity. I had the idea to use educating others about the blatina culture while empowering women to be able to express themselves through interviews and apparel. Originally I started a blog called, “Am I not…Latina?” However, after researching about blogs and how to make money with it, I decided that it wasn’t the direction I wanted to go. Blogs require a lot of content writing and so much other stuff. I’m not a fan or writing, but I am a fan of creating things and making it look beautiful. That is when I took initiative to just do the thang and make BLatina with the Good Hair come to life.

 

Empower, Educate, & Express
Visit: www.blatinawiththegoodhair.com today!

 

The Power of Spoken Words

#drgarcia #inspirationalblog #blackgirlblogger #chronicillness
Words and beliefs have the meaning you give them. We have the power to control our words, frame our narratives, and create our lives. We can invoke or destroy our dreams by controlling our thoughts and actions. Therefore, we MUST tell the universe what we want and not just think about our desires. We need to speak our thoughts into existence and say them as if they were real. Any thought repeated over and over in the subconscious mind will begin to attract the people and circumstances that match the images within because the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between reality and fiction. Everything in the universe is made up of energy and our thoughts are the most dynamic and fluid. Like the Great Napoleon Hill said, “Whatever the mind of one can conceive and believe, one can achieve.” The mind is the most powerful tool a human possesses and it is essential to exercise it daily. We must have high expectations for ourselves. The power of spoken word requires that we speak our desires into existence.
Speak it into existence. Say it ALOUD. One way to do this is to look at yourself in the mirror and say whatever goal it is that you desire. For instance, you cannot simply say, “I want to be rich” for that is a general goal. You need to be specific. What do you want to do that will get you the financial freedom that you desire? Do you want to be an entrepreneur, a top-notch surgeon? Be specific. If it isn’t money you desire, what is it? Say it to yourself daily. It could be as simple as wanting to lose five pounds. Whatever it is, you have to believe it. Write sticky notes or notecards. Place them in key places where you will see them daily.
I’ve struggled with YEARS of ailments, an autoimmune illness, misdiagnoses, depression, and anxiety but instead of succumbing to the odds, I’ve made it my mission to turn adversity into triumph and live my best life now. I’ve always wanted to see the world and as a teenager made a promise to myself to do just that. I’ve been on a ROLL and the journey is nowhere near complete, GOD willing. I’ve also said since I was a young child that I would be a doctor when I grew up. I wanted to be a doctor just like Dr. Goldman, my pediatrician, but as I grew older realized I didn’t fancy blood. The desire never faded and I pursued a degree in criminology. In 2009, I received my doctorate. I put that positive energy into the universe and it became real.
#drgarcia #blackgirlblogger #inspirationalblog #bsrealtalk
The big day. I successfully defended my dissertation at John Jay College, CUNY.
A WILD EXAMPLE: Pablo Escobar, the notorious drug czar, hailed as an angel by some but a demon by most once told his cousin that he was the most important person in the world after the pope with a straight face. His cousin, Gustavo, who was his road dog looked at him as if he were crazy, but Pablo was serious. He believed it and used that mantra to become one of the richest men in the world. Clearly he used his energy in a negative manner but imagine if he channeled that energy towards fruitful goals. After watching his story, I was impressed by his confidence not his actions and will continue to apply this mantra to my life goals. I’ve always believed in myself and applied the principles of desire, determination, and dedication to my life, but watching his story took it to another level. I even recorded what he said to his cousin in Spanish in a playful manner:
I know the mind is powerful and convey to this to the students whom I teach: If you believe it, you can do it. The mind can be limiting and fulfilling: you choose. Every day I am in some type of pain, whether it be my head, my back as I suffer from two herniated discs L4, L5, my feet from the two foot surgeries I had, but I have to survive. The thing is I will do more than survive. I will to thrive.
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time-” Albert Einstein.
On March 25th, I along with two others will be hosting the area’s first Mind, Body, Soul Connection and the power of spoken word will be one of the topics. Get your tickets today on Eventbrite: She’s With Me or on my welcome page.

#bsrealtalk #sheswithme #womenempowerment

Real Talk

 

Q & A with Author of Fractured Angel

KEN WILLIAMS INTERVIEW

1.  WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO WRITE?

I must say it is life’s events.  The people I’ve worked with, the events that have shaped my life are my inspiration.  Serving in Vietnam as a combat grunt with the 9th Marines showed the best and the worst of human nature. Going through a war has inspired me to share the non-glorious nature of mankind’s most brutal invention with those who have not gone through war.  And the way the nation simply pretends that millions of veterans that have been forever changed by war are somehow excluded from the social fabric of our country inspires me everyday to put in print that terrible injustice.

Also, the friends I made among the homeless and the demonization that they put up with is always a well of inspiration. Their story of extreme poverty amongst so much wealth in Santa Barbara is the background of many of my stories.

Inspiration sometimes comes with a dark side. The horrors of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and especially Syria have pushed me to write numerous short fiction and poems. I wake up with images of the children and women maimed and slaughtered. I get up and write before I do anything else. Much of this has to do with what I experienced in Vietnam and aboard the hospital ship: USS Repose. A minister told me her Vietnam veteran husband has likewise been deeply affected by Aleppo.

I write because I must. It is the way of survival. 

2.  SHARE WITH US A LITTLE OF FRACTURED ANGEL.

FRACTURED ANGEL is the story of Lynne Swanson, mother, professional, middle class who is forced to visit the world of the homeless in Santa Barbara CA when her fifteen year old daughter, suffering her first psychotic break runs there.  To access this alien world she is forced to seek the help of Kyle Wilson, a social worker for the homeless. Their interaction: mistrustful at first and eventually romantic drives the story as does the shock of the often brutal world Lynne’s daughter now finds herself trapped in.  With the approach of the cold and wet winter, known as the “killing season” amongst those who serve the homeless the search takes a desperate and dramatic turn.

3. WHAT IS YOUR GOAL AS A WRITER?

I look to the writings such as John Steinbeck and Harriet Beecher Stowe—author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin as leaders in how novels change reality.  President Abraham Lincoln is rumored to have told Harriet Beecher Stowe when he met her: “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!”  In my small way I hope to be part of a wave that will challenge how people view the poor, the mentally ill and especially the homeless and help end this national disgrace.  

Especially with my poems and short fiction pieces I hope to tell the stories of those who suffer from the incredible brutality of war.  I try and write for the forgotten people:  Battered women.  The mentally ill.  Survivors of the powerful who have little regard for the pawns they play with.  I want Putin, Assad and others who rage war to face the faceless people who pay with their lives for their absurd notions of manhood.


4. WHAT OTHER WORKS ARE ON YOUR HORIZON?

I have two novels ready to be shopped around:  HOMELESSNESS, A COMBAT VETERAN, MENTAL ILLNESNSS, A LOVE STORY is in fact a love story between a Marine combat veteran of Afghanistan and a mentally ill Vietnamese-American.  The backdrop is an abandoned warehouse taken over by the homeless.

GAIA’S REVOLT takes place twenty years in the future when global warming is having devastating consequences in California and throughout the world.  It is a story of how the fabric of our society is brutalized by those events.  Conflict for natural resources, racial strafe, growing poverty and homelessness fuel unending war.  Sort of reads like today’s headlines doesn’t it?


5. WOULD YOU CARE TO SHARE A POEM WITH US?

MOTHER’S DAY, ALEPPO

Quiet!

Listen for the cries

of my baby

His Father

Brother

Sister

Beneath the crumbling rubble

only the icy snicker

of Death’s hallow laugh

echoes back

My tears

mixing with dust

cements my pain

Assad’s

Russia’s

Death planes

deliver as promised

Hush!

Is that a whimper

of my beloved son

or merely the

fabric of my heart

tearing in two

Further afield others

tumble death

from foul mouth

silver jets

Brave warriors all

who killed my baby

His Father

Brother

Sister

Wear those shiny medals

proud

Regale others with

your glories

Just do so quietly

so I can listen

for my baby’s cry

I’ll wander

haunted streets of Aleppo

cries of the innocent

driving me insane

ghostly apparitions

now my family

Homeless

beggar’s cup dangling

from arthritic hands

till Death is merciful

I care not

if I eat

I only care

To listen

For my baby’s

Cries

And that of his

Father

Brother

Sister

First posted on Huffington Post Blog.

Book available here.