Friday, November 27, 2009


When I started writing, I said I would never post or share any of the intimate details of my marriage via Blogspot....that was until my husband made me MAD yesterday!

I spent 2 days (3 if I include today's clean-up), cooking and cleaning in preparation for our family and friends who joined us for Thanksgiving yesterday.

Due to the nature of his work, my husband had to go in for a couple of hours yesterday morning. As I was leaving to pick up a few odds and ends before our guest arrived, my husband arrived home. (Now, I know that its not easy working a full day and then helping with kids before you relax and whine down...but yesterday was what I would consider an exception.) So anyway...I met my husband getting off the elevator as I was getting on. When I saw him, with a mixed sigh of relief and exhaustion I said: "Oh thank goodness...I'm so happy your home. I'm going to run out and pick up a few things, but when I get back do you think that you could help me with the kids? I should be back in 15-20 minutes." He said: "Okay" and I thought he meant "Okay." When I arrived home 20 minutes later, what do you think my husband was doing? Out, replacing his cellphone! It wasn't until I called him to determine where he was did I realize that when he said "Okay" he meant "Okay, after I finish running my errands." At that moment, I was drunk with confusion and anger and couldn't decide what to say next. I seriously thought that my head would explode! I mean...I still had to do some last minute straightening up around the house (that of course was clean until two hours before everyone was scheduled to arrive,) get both kids ready, make three types of gravy and get myself ready....but my husband had to replace his cellphone!

At times it appears that we speak in opposites. I say "Can you help me put the kids to sleep?" and he hears, "You should go to sleep." Or, I ask that he helps make our daughter a sandwich, he hears "Go eat a sandwich." Perhaps, I should ask him to eat a sandwich when I want him to make one for our daughter, or ask him to dirty the dishes when I want him to wash the dishes...

We have these communication blips often and it makes me wonder if I make this SAHM stuff look easy? Or, does my husband finds it difficult and would rather avoid it?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Quick Hits

Hello Moms -

As of November 2009, New York state has revised its child restraint laws. All children must remain in a child safety restraint until the age of 8 unless they weigh 100 pounds or more. Please log onto for more info or for other changes in states that you may be traveling to this holiday season, or if you live outside of NY.

I found this wonderful website that carries unique and hard to find bottles of wine called WinesTilSoldOut. Every day at 12 Midnight EST, they sell bottles of wine at 3o-70% off of store prices until their SOLD OUT! In addition to the great prices they ship your purchase for FREE!!!! You can become a member by visiting and don't worry because membership fees are also FREE!!!!

With the economy making a slow recovery and my desire to have great high quality brand name clothing and accessories, I'll be heading down to the warehouse sale next week for Rosa Cha (whose bathing suits I love and can once again fit into...) Elisa Atheniense, Maria Bonita Extra, Coven and many others. The sale is located at 52 Walker Street on the 5th floor (between Broadway & Church) in lower Manhattan. Log onto for subway/bus travel info or for driving directions (although I would not recommend...parking is not easy to find.) The sale runs from today, November 20th - November 30th, from 11am-6pm (M-F) and 12pm-5pm (Sat) and sorry ladies...they're closed on Thanksgiving and Sunday. Prices start at just $5 for swimwear, clothing and accessories. Happy Shopping!

And just in case you missed it last night, log onto for a jump start on Black Friday deals. Search your favorite stores or websites for price reductions!

Talk to you all next week! No blogging...the weekend is for family and MOMMY!!!!!!


Thursday, November 19, 2009


Hello MOMMIES and ANYONE looking for a headstart on Black Friday deals...check out this site! You get a heasds up on Black Friday Specials at all of your favorite stores so that you can map out your shopping trip and budget your cash$$$$$!

Happy Shopping!

Are You There God? Its Me, Latwan...

I wonder if anyone else has that one person in their life, a mother, a sister, an in-law, or a friend, who they absolutely love, but who drives them absolutely nuts????

It's been 4 days and I finally spoke with my mother. While I was avoiding her, she was off throwing a silent tantrum in protest of a recent conversation. I called to check-in, to be sure she was doing okay and without thinking, mentioned that we are planning to hire a housekeeper. Why did I do that? Immediately she jumped in with: "I can't understand why some women can't keep up with their homes!" As if the months of deliberation wasn't enough. Did I really need her to reinforce what I'd been thinking for so long...that I'm failing if I hire someone to help around the house, despite the fact that I stay at home?! Thanks Ma!

My relationship with my mother is interesting.

In her world, she's perfect.

In my world, she's wonderful but imperfect.

So, I'll continue to pray...

Are you there God? It's me, Latwan. Please give me all that is good from my mother and let her keep the rest. Please allow open and honest conversations with my daughter as she grows into a woman and learns about life. Please make us both happy with the decisions she makes for herself and her family. And please, please, please provide us with focused conversations that do not journey off to the faraway land of "I Know What's Best For You!" That's where all of the well intentioned mothers live who believe they know what's best for their daughters' lives. I do not wish to take up residency there at any point in my life.

Thanks in advance for listening and granting my prayer.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Desparately Seeking Validation

How do you know when your doing a good job as a mother? Do your children tell you? Will your husband let you know? Are there clues and/or other signals from passerbys, in-laws or the like that let you know when your meeting expectations?

During my 13 year career, no matter what position I held, from Manager to HR Generalist, I always knew when my performance was a needs improvement, meeting expectation or outstanding. Job responsibilities were clearly laid out, feedback was free-flowing and continuous and there were some very concrete measurements that let me know whether or not my work was valued, i.e. a paycheck every week and a merit increase once a year.

Not so obvious as a mother. Throughout the day, I'm constantly surveying my environment and the people in it, my actions, thoughts and emotions for clues on whether or not I am doing a good job.

A couple of weeks ago, while driving home from a family outing, I asked my husband whether or not he thought I was a good mom? My husband who is usually quick, well-thought out and all-knowing of the right thing to say...was stumped. After a long pause and a 15 second mental scan he said " should ask your children." At first it sounded like a good idea but then I remembered, that my 8 month old couldn't talk and my 5 year old tends to be a bit temperamental, usually accessing whether things are good or bad based on if they go her way or not. So, I was back at square one, but also wondering what did my husband think? Why couldn't he answer the question? I guess, I expected him to say, "you are a great mother" but he didn't, so now I'm wondering why didn't he? Does he question my ability as a mother as much as I do? What does a good mother look like to him?

Am I a good mother if I:

- keep an immaculately clean home.
- make sure that my children eat the healthiest organic products on the market.
- make sure that I use all green products - only natural ingredients - hold the dyes and fragrances please!
- make only wholesome homecooked meals each day served at the exact same time in the exact same order.
- maintain a tight routine of daily activities.
- attend every PTA meeting, parent workshop, outside festival, school trip, museum, and zoo.
- bake cookies and teach my daughter to bake pies.
- not cringe at my daughter's meltdowns during play dates.
- organize every play date and play date activity for my 5 year old and participate in mommy and me classes or reading with mommy at our local library once a week.
-didn't love paper plates, plastic serveware and juice boxes (100% juice of course) because they eliminated the need to do dishes.
-sing the alphabet, read The Very Hunger Caterpillar 5 times in a row, make animal sounds and funny faces no matter who's looking and laughing.
-make up words that are not a part of the English language but rhyme because they make my kids laugh.
-didn't have as many secret meltdowns as my 5 year old and her best friend combined.
-didn't envy my husband because he goes to bed before me every night and can enjoy his meals at restaurants because I'm on bathroom and diaper duty; or can always eat his food while it's hot and never eats the scraps off of the kids plates because of a lack of time.
-could remain completely engaged while my 5 year old recited every last detail of who used what color crayon to color what, who didn't color in the line during class, and all of the kids who were moved from green to red on the class' behavior chart, while attending to my 8 month old who is rolling around during a diaper change or wailing at the top of his lungs to be picked up, answering my husband's question about what's for dinner, or where one of his (fill-in blank here) misplaced items is, at the same time, making the mental note to take the dog out who is long overdue for a walk and circling like she's about to go in the house.

Well...are those the things that a good mom does?

On our way from school yesterday, my daughter described a new game that she learned to play at school called Mother and Daughter and it was her turn to be the mother. She describe in great detail what she did and why she was a nice mother to her daughter. It was really funny and cute but sadly, I also listened intently for any of my mommy behaviors that might help in my self-evaluation. She talked about going out to fun places, doing hair, dressing in pretty dresses and sharing. Was that my daughter's ideal of a good mommy? Definitely things that I do but isn't there more? Is that what she's extracted from the last 5 years together? What about the love, the discipline, the routine, the band-aids, late night bathroom trips, the morals and values we try to impart, or the care while sick, or the countless books we read, or the homework help?????

I read that children often act out what they see and experience, so I'll ask the question do you know when your a good mom? Is it something you feel and know like love, or are there more tangible measures?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mrs. Right

It's been about 2 days since the last time I spoke with my mother, although she's called 4 times since then. My mom is great! She's beautiful, smart and funny, organized and meticulously clean, and has all the answers for the worlds problems, especially all of the things that I either need or should do to become a better mom and wife.

Once upon a time, my mother and I were inseparable living in the same apartment building, one floor away from each other. We talked about everything, we shopped together, laughed at the same jokes, and spent countless hours reminiscing about the past. I would say that we were the best of friends. However, I knew that we were growing apart when one morning she climbed down my fire escape because I didn't answer her call or the door. At the time, I was young and single and just started dating my now husband who stayed over the night before and just wanted a little privacy.

But then...I had my daughter five and a half years ago and boy oh boy how things have changed.

Nowadays, I set a mental timer on our phone conversations and often prepare a distraction before hand so that I can end phone conversations when she starts to remind me of all the things she did when I was small that would help me get my house and kids in order.

According to my mother I "should have all of this down pact, especially since you stay at home now!" I can't decide whether or not I'm most irritated by the timing, or if being a mom and now a SAHM is one of the most challenging things I've done so far. Usually her advice springs up during the middle of one of my 5 year olds' meltdowns, or when I make a simple statement like "I'm about to cook dinner." She will jump in and say "you should've had your dinner cooked already!" It doesn't matter if I make the comment at 5am or 5pm. If the comment is made at 5am, I should've had dinner done the night before, if the comment comes at 5pm, I should've been up at 5am to do it. If I say that my family is going out for dinner, she'll say something like "You shouldn't eat out. You need to make some cornbread for your husband and son," which always makes me laugh and say "WHAT???? What are you talking about? I don't have time to make cornbread!"

As I write this, I'm starting to think back to my childhood when my mother would get up at 5am to have dinner prepared and did have all of this mother stuff "down pact" but she was always tired and although she didn't say it, she wasn't fulfilled simply working and caring for her household which is the total antithesis of what I want. I want to take care of my home but also fulfill my personal goals in addition to the things I want to do with my children and husband. Slaving over a stove, cleaning house, changing diapers and washing clothes is just not enough for me!

If anyone knows of a nice single good looking man seeking Mrs. Right, let me know so that I can pass his info on to my mom. In the meantime...can someone send me the number to a house cleaner and some good take out restaurants in my area?

I'll talk to her in another 2 days!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Look With Your Eyes and Not With Your Hands...

So, as a new SAHM, I spend more time than ever traveling around the city with my two children and I am always baffled and quite annoyed that strangers touch my children without my permission. In line at the grocery store, downtown or in my neighborhood, at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, at the museum or the mall...people feel comfortable touching my kids! Initially, I shoved off or snarled at anyone who would come within 3 feet of my kids, but it happens so often that I'm beginning to feel like it may be me???? I am not talking about a quick touch on the hand, I mean like, patting on the head caressing faces, pinching cheeks...what's that about? It's so bad that I now (even on days that its not raining) cover my son (who people touch the most) with his plastic stroller cover just so that strangers are not able to touch him.

Why do people like to touch other peoples' kids? I would they feel if I caressed their faces or pinched their cheeks? If I were a betting woman, I think they'd be freaked out and offended, so why touch my kids? I mean, I don't know where their hands have been. After working in an office with a shared bathroom, I've seen some pretty disgusting bathroom habits, such as not washing hands after using the toilet but shaking them off after coming out of the stall. I once overheard a female co-worker applying what sounded like some sort of feminine product in an adjoining stall and then left the bathroom without a drop of water touching her hands. Disgusting!!! Not to mention the gross nose and ear picking I witness everyday on the trains, in restaurants, or wherever or whenever someone thinks no one is looking.

I think the worst most recently, was someone rubbing my son's hair while examining my daughters' and asking the ridiculous question of whether or not they were my children...can you believe that? I was so pissed, that I snapped "keep your f!#$king hands off of my kids!" Completely out of character but I was so upset that someone had the audacity to touch my kids and then ask if they were mine!

It's happening so frequently that I often it me? What would you do if a stranger touched your child? Vote in my poll.

What Next?????

Okay, so its now 3:31 am, approximately one hour and 10 minutes since I've put my 8 month old down for the second time and I can't believe that I am still up. No one told me that being a stay at home mom or mother included being a complete insomniac!

Anyway, its been about, 485 days since I heard the words: "Due to a company reorganization, your position is being eliminated as of today. You can pack your things and go home." At the time, I was a few weeks pregnant with my 8 month old, so those words met a variety of thoughts and emotions. At first, I was really relieved because I had so much stuff on my to-do list (that I really didn't feel like doing), not to mention the annoying sensation of morning sickness and shear exhaustion from the first trimester,but I was also a bit excited. My cube mate and I had talked in great detail about what each of us wanted the next time around when we had children. She wanted to stay home with the kids, while I said that I wanted to work but also secretly desired to stay at home as well. During my chaotic upbringing, I was programmed that a woman should work outside of the home while also juggling kids and the household and anything less was considered failure. Anyway, so when I heard those words + severance package, I mentally kicked my heels up and rode out into the sunset of being a stay-at-home mom (hereafter known as a SAHM).

But now, here I sit wondering what the hell is next for me? Now, don't get me wrong being at home has been great! I've had the opportunity to spend time and reconnect with my husband and kids, relax during my pregnancy, make new friends start my own event decorating biz but I am still hungry for more...I just can't figure out what more is! Part of my insomnia comes from the swirling questions about what's next for me and my family. Do I continue to stay at home and manage the household with the potential sacrifice of reduced shopping, less eating out, shorter family vacations, no more special wax treatments at J-sisters or massages at Oasis, Old Navy instead of J-Crew, JC Penny's instead of Bloomingdale's or Saks, doing my own manicure or going to Pinky's???? I know, it sounds a bit superficial but I'm only a mom, not DEAD! Those are the small luxuries that I've worked for and must admit that I enjoy!

I love being at home with the kids. I realized there was so much I missed out on while working a full time job, going to school, managing doctor's appointments, cooking, cleaning, helping with homework, etc. Now that I am home, I can spend quality time with the kids (whatever that is) but I find it harder and harder to manage a schedule and appointments than ever before. The lack of a full schedule and other's demands has made it hard to decide what to do with the next minute, hour, day, month...

Along my 485 day journey, I have met some amazing people in small coffee shops, supermarkets, bookstores and cafes who have imparted special knowledge (some of which I'll share in later entries). But the people and knowledge that I find most fascinating are the SAHMs who've stayed home over the years and learned to cope with all of the sacrifices that I mentioned earlier. But no matter how long they talk and are excited about "living without all those things" as they aptly labeled them, I just can't get comfortable. Am I being a brat? Am I superficial? Is this the life for me are all questions that I've entertained recently.

How have you managed to cope?