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Tag Archives: Single Parenting

In the Hospital, in Jail, and at a Dark Parking Lot…

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There’s a Spanish saying that goes something like “Only in a hospital bed, and in a jail cell, will you know who your true friends are.” Would you not agree?   I would add one more: at a dark parking lot with a dead car battery. 

The other night, around 9:30pm, as I returned to my car after a full day of work, followed by the first day of my fall semester night class, my car greeted me with some bad news.  It would not start. Yes, I had left the headlights on the whole day.  Now, we do have a very friendly and helpful DPS department on campus; the only problem is that the charge box they use to jump cars never works on my van (that’s right this was not the first time I’ve done this).   Luckily, the friend that rescued me last time, gifted me a set of jumper cables.  Now I just needed to find a willing soul.  However, at that time of night on a weekday there is not much traffic on campus, and administrative offices are closed for the day.

After waiting several minutes, a guy who was parked diagonally across from me came by.  I asked for help and he graciously agreed.  Chris, that was his name, was so helpful he even pushed my van forward so the jumper cables would reach his car.  Now, he had no experience doing this, and guess what: neither did I.  Contrary to common sense, all the previous times my van needed a jump, it didn’t occurred to me that I should be watching in order to learn how to do this! Turns out Chris hooked the cables the wrong way and…. the cables got fried.  He was mortified and I felt so bad for him.  He promised to notify DPS of my distress on his way out of campus.

Back to the waiting game, about 20 minutes passed and nothing.  That was strange since we are a small campus and DPS is very prompt to respond.  I started to get nervous to be alone out in the dark, already my cellphone had given me a low battery warning, plus I had a babysitter watching my kids at home, who I was paying by the hour.  I called the DPS office but nobody answered.  I was hesitant to call on my friends since it was passed 10pm and most of them have kids to tend to, plus is a bit of a hike to the university.  Did not want to bother the guy friend who helped me last time either since he is married and I am sure his wife would not appreciate a female friend calling him at night. 

Fortunately, a new coworker of mine who happened to be working late that night, walked my way.  He parked his car as close to mine as he could but his cables were shorter than mine (which were fried.)  As Matt, my coworker,  was reassuring me saying we will find a solution, a DPS officer came to the rescue.  He tried charging my car with the charge box, which of course did not work.  Although, they are not supposed to use jumper cables since it might turn into a liability issue, he offered to do it.  Now both the officer and Matt pushed my car backwards in order to get it to a parking spot that would allow Matt’s cables to reach the officer’s car.  Whoever said that chivalry was dead?  The bad news is that my batteries did not charge, even after several minutes.  At this point I thanked both of them and told Matt it was ok for him to leave; he needed to get home.  The officer asked if there was someone I could call to come help me and I said yes; he then went back to his booth, not without advising me to invest on a AAA membership.

It was close to 11pm now and I began to feel hopeless again.  Wait a minute, there was this single male friend who could probably help!  Too bad he did not answer my call.  Now what? I was so drained and discouraged by this time that I started to cry like a little girl; which I rarely do.  Then I proceeded to wake up the only man who never says no to me; my dad, who promptly came to the rescue; and yes he was able to jump-start my car with his cables and his car.  Dads always know best.  He didn’t even complain, or remind me that he had performed this services for me recently, he didn’t even ask me to be more diligent about shutting off my headlights.  He just gave me a big hug and a kiss.  Thank God for good dads.

How about you; do you know how to jump-start a car?

Special Date: Brunch and Flowers

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I have come up with a very fun way to help me accomplish goal #4 on my bucket list, by scheduling one-on-one time with each of my kids; when we go out for  fun, talk about them and whatever wonderful things are occupying their minds at the moment.  We call these outings Special Dates.  I document some of those dates here, hoping as time goes by, that the memories will be “officially” preserved.  On this occasion, thanks to a Groupon I snatched a couple of months ago, my daughter and I were delighted to indulge our love for breakfast foods, by visiting The Breakfast Place in nearby Attleboro, MA.  Sunday brunch, that’s gotta be my favorite meal ever; and in such good company it just fills me with joy.  This cute little breakfast joint has a 60s air to it, and they play the oldies, which I believe Karla enjoyed.  Their service is great; it seems to be family operated and they really give you the special touch treatment; making you feel very welcomed.  The little lady and I spoke about the new school year and reuniting with friends, over a veggie omelette, with wheat toast for me, and scrambled eggs with a chocolate chip pancake for her.  We also shared an order of french toasts, which by the way, were the best I’ve had in a long time.  The servings were generous and we could not finish our meals so we took our leftovers to go.  Karla liked it so much she plans to ask her dad to bring her back soon. 

We then headed towards Roger Williams Park in Providence in order to cross off the last spot on my list of places to visit within the park, The Botanical Center.  I must say this is a beautiful and serene garden; I think it will be my new favorite spot to sit and relax while reading a book.  My princess also commented on how pretty and peaceful it was; she also enjoyed snapping pictures of the flowers and mom, among other things.

Read This if You Have a Daughter OR if You Like to Run Around the House Naked

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Public Service Announcement:

…On Nakedness
I don’t know about you but I just love taking off my clothes; not in a “sexy stripper” way but in a “liberating my body” kind of way.   After a long day of work, parenting, running errands, and such, one of my favorite things to do is getting home, shutting the door and taking all the layers off – packages, accessories, clothing, shoes, undies, everything! Ahhhh what a sensational feeling of relief. 

Click on this Picture to go to Dove's Self-Esteem Page

 Yes, I love being naked within the privacy and comfort of my home.  Going about my chores and to-do’s without the extra weight and restrain has become part of my daily routine.  As my elementary school age kids grow, their approach to my bare body changes.  Of course, from infancy to their early pre-school years it didn’t even face them. As they grew a little older and became more aware of their own bodies, and of society’s views on nudity, they seemed a bit rattled by my running naked around the house, so for a long while I restricted my being completely bare for when I was home alone, and would wear undies and a tank when they were present.

Recently, I have retaken to wearing my Eve custom while my kids are around.  Why? Karla is much more preoccupied with her physical appearance and the shape of her body.  I’ve always shot for physical appearance not to play a significant role within our family conversations.  Knowing that my children (especially my daughter) would sooner rather than later get bombarded with the narrow views of beauty that our society upholds, I wanted home to be a safe heaven in that sense.  Unfortunately, media, and the opinions of family and friends force our children, girls specially, to second guess their opinion of themselves at every moment.  At her young 8 years my little princess is worried that her belly is not flat enough; that just breaks my heart.  So, as the most important female figure in her life, I’ve decided to model a positive personal image of myself.  My goal is for her to know that although my body does not fit media’s rigid mold of “beautiful” , I think of myself as a Hot Mama, curves & love handles included.  At first my kids did not know what to make of my walking around naked again; so I would just start dancing around happily, or shout out little phrases like “Beautiful Naked Mama Coming Through”; they would laugh and giggle.  Now, little miss Karla walks naked around our home sometimes too, which puts a big smile on my face, seeing that she is more comfortable with her own beautiful body. 

I am including a link to a heartwarming video, which is part of the  Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty.  It’s a shame our young girls do not get more messages like this both on the media and through us, the adults in their lives. 

If you have a young daughter, niece or sister, please model a positive view of female beauty by not stressing topics such as being thin, and dieting while you are around her.  You will do her a huge favor and possibly prevent her from dealing with low self-esteem issues and eating disorders in the future.

Here’s a link to the National Eating Disorders Association’s website: NEDA

Special Date: Carousel Village

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For our last special date Karla chose to use her Feinstein Jr. Scholar Card at Roger Williams Park Carousel Village.  This card grants her a free ride on the carousel, free pop-corn, and a free face painting.  As I love Roger Williams Park, I was happy to please her.  We got on the carousel and went round and round giggling away.  Afterwards we stumbled upon a nice gentleman who was showing his parrots and letting people take pictures with the birds.  Karla was cautious about the parrot and did not want a picture with it; but of course, I couldn’t miss this opportunity.  The bird climbed on my arm, and even pecked at my sunglasses, which were resting on top of my head, while my daughter snapped a few shots. 

Karla went on to the bouncy house.  I would have loved to go in as well but the one that supports grownup use was out-of-order that day, so I just watched her have fun.  As she was the only one in the bouncy house at the moment, Karla quickly got tired and wanted to go on to the next station.  A jumping thingamajig; she patiently waited in line until it was her turn.  Then she was strapped, lifted, and given the instruction to start jumping.  She did, and then her giggles got the best of her making her knees weak and unable to jump as hard as she is capable of.  Still she seemed to be enjoying herself.  Lastly, we went for her pop-corn, and got some Del’s Lemonade.  We walked around the Japanese garden a bit before heading off to pickup Aleck.  I am really enjoying these special dates with both of my kids.  Not only will we cherish those moments for years to come, but it also lets them know how special they are to me, which is a great piece of goal #4 on my list.


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Progress Report:

 On # 11 Completing my Bachelor’s Degree
Happy to report that I have completed my Summer course on Studies in Narrative with a final grade of B+, which puts my overall GPA at a 3.33.  I am very excited about the fact that completing this course contributed towards 3 of the items on my list: #11, #20, and #35.

On The List 

Ready, Set, Go

 I have recently added 3 new items to my list #33, #34, & #35, and I am up to a good start on each of those goals.  In addition, some of the other objectives on my list have been further defined, which has helped me in advancing on those areas as well, for example: #4, #14,  #20, and #24.


Facing Challenges:

On #5 Growing in Faith
From the 5 steps I had commited to in order to move towards this goal, I have found one of them especially challenging: Praying everyday.  Although I do it most days,am  finding myself still unable to reach a deeper level of connection with God.  My friend Michael recommended a book, which probably will be the next book that makes it to my Read 2011 list.   On the other 4 basic steps towards this goal, I am doing mostly good, but not 100%.