Thursday, December 30, 2010

Colonics For The Soul

Today's post is inspired by my good friend, Diane. She posted a hilarious statement as her Facebook status earlier today. It read "Here's hoping the year of 2011 has a Colon Cleanse that comes w/ it. No BS allowed!!!!!!" After chuckling out loud for a few seconds, I found myself deep in thought. See...her post (humorous as it is) has a deeper and more fundamental meaning to me. 

Here's the back story...

I stopped making New Year's resolutions a number of years ago because they just didn't work for me.  Add to that the feeling of failure at year's end...  Who needs that?  So instead, I use the end of a year t to reflect on choices that I made throughout the past 12 months, and to evaluate what worked...and what didn't.  A year ago, I vowed that in the new year I would not waste time on things that did not bring me joy.  I realized that I was spread thin, and that I was putting up with circumstances and people that were simply not good for me. So....I gave myself an emotional cleanse.  I vowed to do better about appreciating my time, value, and purpose. 

It seemed awkward at first, but one single event helped to catapult me in the right direction.  On January 12, 2010, CNN reported that a 7.0 magnitude earthquake had all but leveled the island of Haiti...my parents' birthplace   It was a tragedy that horrified the nation, and forever changed me.  I cried for weeks, and even broke down at work on a few occasions.  But...as terrible as this natural disaster was...it did help me to solidify a few things. 

1. True friends are there for you when you need them the most...Not when it's convenient
     for them. 
2. My family is incredibly resilient.
3. No day is promised, so I have to live life so that I have no regrets


After grasping the meaning of these realizations, I began the process of true self-reflection.  It was hard letting go of certain thoughts, behaviors and relationships.  However, sometimes you just need to clear out your emotional colon in order to be a better you.  Just as if I had a medical cleanse, I feel lighter, energized, and healthier.  As a result, I believe I am a better wife, psychologist...and mommy.  

Purging myself of all most things negative is sure to be a challenging and continuous process.  Yet, I look forward to the new year, and am eager to see what's in store for g.  So here's to 2011...with no B.S. ;-)

Happy New Year,

An open and honest blog about what matters most...children and families!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Year In a Nutshell: Baby Teeth & Oprah

Wow! What a year it has been (lol)! It seems like before you know it, we are celebrating the end of one year and ushering in a new one. I have so much to be thankful for in 2010 because I learned a lot about myself and others over the course of the last 12 months.  Yes...there were many highs, and a couple of low moments as well.  Yet, I wouldn't take anything back, or change any decision I made.

So here it is....my list of highs:

1.  Seeing my baby girl giggle with glee when she awoke to find that the Tooth fairy visited her for the first time. (Ist baby tooth finally wiggled to freedom)

2.  Watching my baby boy develop the confidence and swagger that his daddy has.

3.  Being asked to contribute my expertise to countless organizations and media outlets.

4.  Being able to sit in a room with four generations and taking great pictures of my babies and their great-grandmama.

5.  Watching my baby brother walk across a stage to receive his Law school diploma from Harvard.  (I used to change his poopie diapers and rock him to sleep)

6.  Sending in an audition video to Oprah's Own Show competition...and receiving a call from one of her producers a few days later.  Yep, I made the first cut.  He told me that they liked my  look and camera presence.  I had to send him a few extra things, and then proceeded to play the waiting game.  LOL...still waiting Oprah.   Haven't got the call yet...but I still consider this a high;)

My short list of lows:

1.  Losing my husband's grandmother suddenly and unexpectedly.


Sooo, I can honestly say that this was a GOOD year for g.  I hope, trust, and pray that my post next year at this time will also have more highs than lows.  I'm betting on it;)

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

Muuuuuuaaaaaaaaahhhh,

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An open and honest blog about what matters most...children and families!!!


Photos of 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Books For Kids


Hi Parents,

I wanted to write you a quick note about a product I think you might like to purchase for your kiddos.

STORY TIME FOR ME is a unique literary website designed specifically for toddlers and children in early elementary school, allowing them to read and listen to enjoyable, online interactive picture books. They also offer a one-of-a-kind animated personalized book. My 5-yr-old enjoyed being able to read along with the audio, and the use of highlighted text helped to strengthen her emerging reading skills.

In a day and time when our youngsters are quite savvy on the computer, a website designed to help them read is a wonderful idea.  Click this link (www.storytimeforme.com/2books) to receive two complimentary e-books for your munchkins, and let me know what you think:)

Happy Parenting,




I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sex, Lies...and Death

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview a dynamic woman by the name of Rae Lewis Thornton on the radio show. Her name was very familiar to me because I remembered seeing her on magazine covers, and on news shows several years ago. I was captivated by her, as she was young, beautiful, and vibrant. Which is why many were so surprised to hear that she has AIDS. "How could it be?" they wondered. Because at the time, H.I.V and AIDS was viewed as a Gay White man's disease."  However, in recent times we have learned that  AIDS is the leading cause of death for Black women aged 25 to 34, and not the "Gay man's disease" that many had made it out to be.
I recalled being inundated with Safe Sex messages in the 80s and 90s. At my undergraduate college, the R.A. kept a small basket of condoms in the ladies room for those who needed them. There were posters, commercials, and discussions about H.I.V. and how it is spread. However, I don't see as much of this anymore. In fact, I polled several of my middle school students, and not one of them could tell me what H.I.V. stood for! Perhaps this lack of awareness is why there is such an increase in the number of infections. African Americans alone account for more then 60% of all reported cases of H.I.V. This is most alarming since African Americans only comprise 13% of the population!

Just in case you didn't know, here is how the virus works:

Two weeks after exposure to H.I.V., some people develop flu-like symptoms (many people do not). After this phase, people experience no symptoms. They look healthy, and there is no obvious physical indication that they are carrying the H.I.V. virus. However, the virus is hard at work destroying the immune system. On average, infected individual begin experiencing physical ailments 8 to 10 years after being exposed. As Rae shared, she lost a considerable amount of weight in a very short period of time. A person's diagnosis is changed to AIDS when their immune system becomes so suppressed that they no longer fight of opportunistic infections. With the help to medications, people are able to survive for longer periods of time. But it is definitely not a glamorous life.

So what can be done about this epidemic? Hmm….. well for starters, it important to talk about it. Nothing can be solved if people refuse to acknowledge what is occurring. Secondly, it is critical that you get tested for H.I.V. if you are sexually active. As Rae indicated, early diagnosis and treatment is key. Lastly, educate your children about the reality of AIDS, and teach them to take ownership of their bodies and their lives. Although sex may be fun….its not worth dying for!

Be safe and Stay Blessed,

Gaetane

I wrote this blog over two years ago. Sadly...it is still relevant. Today is World's AIDS Day, and a time when the nation is reminded of the epidemic that faces us. Nothing is better than knowing your status! Get tested...today and ANY other day:) 

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