Friday, May 11, 2018

My Book Review

Far from the Tree

Far from the Tree is a contemporary (YA) Young Adult novel about three teenage siblings that had each been adopted and living with three different families.  They find each other when the only sibling adopted at birth Grace found herself faced with a unplanned pregnancy and the desire to want to find her birth mother.  Maya the youngest sibling is experiencing life with her first girlfriend and a dysfunctional/alcoholic mother of her own.  Joaquin, the oldest of them both, living in a family that genuinely loves him, struggles with believing that can be true.  Will these three siblings bond and find equal ground to want to find their birth mother?
I loved reading Far from the Tree! This book had both a remembrance that was familiar to me of being a teenager and an uninhabited closer look at adoption of three teenagers.  All three teenagers were siblings whom had each been placed in the care of three different families at an early age.  I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone that loves a good book about love, family and coming of age.

If I had to say something that I did not like I guess I’d say that Joaquin’s expression of what his emotional conflict was could have been quicker to get to.  I would often times feel like I was drowning in his wallowing of emotions.  I kept trying to figure out what the issue was to the point that I just didn’t care anymore.  When we finally learn that his mistrust of others love and his feeling of not deserving to be loved finally come out I felt disappointed that this wasn’t made known earlier.
I thought the story was especially strong in discussing family.  The author illustrated each of their current family lives and then the coming together of them all to create another family.  This book divulged lots of emotion for me deeper than other books I’ve read to the point of bringing me to tears.   I also especially loved all the many themes: adoption, foster care, alcoholism, divorce, immigration, teen pregnancy.  Each of these themes were brought to life in the book that I felt like I could imagine myself as each character.  This was my first book that I read by Robin Benway and I was beyond impressed.

You can follow my reading on Goodreads.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

My 90 Day Vegan and Fitness Challenge

This was me March 30, 2016.   In this picture of my 5' 3' stature I weighted about 207 pounds (yup that's right I'm disclosing the actual number).  I'm 39 years old currently but will be turning 40 on August 9th which will be just a few days past my 90 days get fitness and healthy eating challenge.  I want to get healthy and stay healthy.  I've had a lot of inspiration and decided to put it to work. 

I haven't always been overweight...

But it has been a good 10 plus years that I started to gain above a healthy weight or above my healthy BMI range.  As the years went on I slowly gained more and more.  As many other moms I fell victim to taking care of my family and not making time for myself.  But what I started to realize was that if I don't take care of myself I'm not investing in my future with my family I worked so hard to take care of. 

My son Mikey has been one source of inspiration to me.  He has always been into staying physically fit.  Since January of this year he started a vegetarian diet.  He is surrounded by many other vegetarians while at school.  After different talks with him about how humans don't need meat in their diet I started doing my own research.  Amongst other reasons I found that being a vegan will force me to make healthier choices in my diet.

My daughter Josie had also become my inspiration to take on a challenge like this.  

Josie is 7 and she started swimming with a swim team for the first time about a month ago.  Prior to the swim team she would swim once a week in a typical swim lesson class with about 4 -5 other kids for a half an hour.  The swim team practice 4 days a week for an hour.  Now Josie is only doing 3 days a week for an hour so far because of another commitment (CCD), but she was/is really struggling.  It is very hard for her and she would have her eyes filled with tears trying not to cry but still express to me that she just doesn't want to do it anymore.  It was so hard for me to encourage her to push and keep going but I'm doing it.  

I then thought what better way for me to join her in her challenge.  I may be crying and frustrated but I'm determined to challenge myself to do something that is hard but is also so good for my health too!

So here it begins on Monday, May 9,2016 I will be on a strict 90 days vegan only diet.  I will be exercising no less than 5 days a week for 30 minutes.  

Check back for updates.  I plan to post weekly at minimum.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

And Away He Goes

I helped move my son into his dorm this last Saturday.  At the time it was just another task I was working through to check off my to do list.  It wasn't until I got back home and sat down to think about what else I had to do for the rest of the day that I felt a jolt of emotion.  I literally got up from the couch and walked to his room to see all his things boxed up when I felt a surge of sadness.

I am still taken back at how I was blindsided by these emotions.  I thought to myself that I knew this day was coming and just the night before I predicted nothing but space and freedom to come into my life.  Other friends and family often asked both of us if we were sad and anxious for the big day of separation, but we both couldn't be happier to part ways.  Boy was I wrong!

I began to have mommy guilt thoughts.  My thoughts going from birth to now questioning and shaming myself for all my parenting wrong doings.  I felt an immense bout of guilt thinking I didn't do enough and wanting to reach out to my son to apologize and ask for forgiveness or understanding.
It is an incredible feeling.  Happiness and sadness of this great day all at one time.

I have so much to be thankful for.  The fact that he is going to college is prime.  He is going to UC Berkeley which was a reach school for him and he never thought beyond his wildest dreams that he'd get in.  To top it off he was given a full scholarship!  I never made very much money and for most of his life I was a single mom so figuring out how to pay for college was a huge stress for me.

As early as preschool my son Michael was a difficult child to raise.  His preschool director, his pediatrician and I all thought he had ADHD, but today we now know that was a misdiagnosis.  It wasn't until about middle school that I learned he was more gifted or spirited than anything else. I have never felt that he was academically challenged and I couldn't afford to enroll him in provincial schools that promised that academic challenge my son was longing for nor were there enrichment programs available in our underprivileged neighborhood.  The response I would get was most of the kids are struggling and we have to cater our programs to the majority of the students.

As the days go on I'm adjusting to the quieter evenings, the lack of mental processing of when he will be where and what I need to do for him.  I cry less and less and smile more knowing now that things will never be exactly the same between us again but does anything ever really stay the same anyway?

The sad feeling is real but so is the joy when your once baby literally leaves the nest!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Welcome! A little about me

Hello - I'm a 30 something mom of a unique blended family. It's unique because I'm not legally married but our love, devotion and commitment speaks for that marriage certificate. We have three children in all. My partner and I both have son's from previous relationships and seven and a half years ago we welcomed our daughter into our family. I love my family and am constantly looking for balance. We live in the Bay Area of California. Some of my interest are reading, making lists, checks and balances, learning to garden (ha ha stress on learning), DIY, knitting/crocheting, organizing, and being frugal. I work full time (outside of my home) and wanted to create this blog to share my life challenges and joys of being a full time working mom, of a busy blended family. Before I created this blog I enjoyed reading other people's blogs, but I had yet to find someone that's situation is similar to mine. I hope you enjoy reading my blog and thank you for stopping by.