Transparent Tuesday-Diagnosis: Baby Fever

This is the second installment of Transparent Tuesday, my first post can be found here. My original vision for this theme was to share one of my personal fears and how I'm learning to deal with that fear but today I'm not going to share a fear, I'm just sharing.

I've been a little hesitant to post regarding this topic. I would like to believe a lot of my relatives that are sprawled out all over the country read my little humble blog as a way of being in the know of this little Tica's life. I'm a little paranoid that one of my relatives will conveniently misread information and dial my poor little Mama down South and say... "did you hear?"....so you guys can understand why I will have annoying disclaimers throughout this whole post. One can't be too sure with this habit most of us have to skim read, speed read and pick up keywords. So, please accept my apology ahead of time. I just need to take a moment to stand and be honest with myself. It's a little scary but...here it goes.

I've got baby fever.

DISCLAIMER: Tica is not pregnant.

It's about time I'm honest with myself. Something is really going on when I blog-stalk mommy bloggers, and live vicariously through women TTC- which I learned recently means Trying to Conceive. 65% of the blogs on my Blogger Dashboard are Veteran Mommas-New Mommies (like her)- Mami's to be (like her and her)- and some make a really good living with all the sponsors, online traffic and pregnancy-related websites they can feature their skills. I can't really remember when all of this started, probably within the last year. I've had a lot of friends around me get pregnant, it kind of makes me feel left out. Mostly, I blame my hormones. They seem to have a mind of their own now-a-days, prematurely steering me toward the path of maternity. My body is telling me I should have a baby right now, but unfortunately my current situation states all systems are a NO! (FYI: I'm an unmarried, home-cooked-meal-from-Grandma eating, public-transportation taking, still-haven't-landed-my-dream-job-and-not-even-sure-my-dream-job-is-my-dream-career, impulsive, penny-pinching to save for vacations 24 year old!)

DISCLAIMER: Tica no esta embarazada.

But really, the #1 and only reason why I can't even ponder about TTC is because I'm not married and that means I shouldn't be engaging in behavior that would allow me to be with child. This is very important to me, I believe God has ordained marriage, and all the blessings that ensue if you follow His divine order! I won't have it any other way!

You might be saying to yourself, you have my solution "just marry this boo you constantly talk about?" HA! It's sad but sometimes it seems being married is harder than having a baby (gasp). I don't know if I'm ready for marriage, not 100% sure when I'll catch the "marriage fever" although I'm suspicious that I've been bit by the bug in the past, but one thing I do know: Without a stable career where I see myself moving up I don't think I can contribute substantially to a marriage. Yup, it's partly an issue of money.

DISCLAIMER: Tica is not with child.

More symptoms:

  • Last month, I ran to see the Babies movie (cute, but could have Netflixed it). Then a couple of weeks later, the boo and I saw Mother and Child.
  • I'm constantly buying baby/children's books to "save" for the future. I'm afraid that next it'll be clothes, and maternity related paraphernalia.

I'm not sure what these symptoms mean, if they are even significant at all (and if you think they are totally normal, stop chuckling!). All I know is that, like the body temperature, these feelings fluctuate. There are times when I'm constantly looking at young couples and inconspicuously try to peak into their Maclaren strollers. I'm tickled by bi-racial couples and sometimes imagine what kind of characteristics (both physical and personality-wise) my own will have. So much to think about, so much to pray about, so much to write about (cha-ching!)

In deeper examination, I've also discovered that I want a baby "in theory."

This basically means that I like the "idea" of a baby, but really I'm not mature enough to really understand what that means at this time. I think lots of women fall into that sometimes, all the cute outfits, smiles of recognition and compliments can blind you sometimes. The real dark side (the stress, lack of sleep, disagreements between parents) of parenthood is what goes on behind closed doors, you know, after you say "Good night" and go on your merry way.


So what's a girl to do? What's my prescription?

Here are my self-prescribed solutions:

  • Trust God. Plan for tomorrow but live in today! This principle has been speaking to me for a couple of weeks. It was reiterated at our Young Adult Conference this past weekend. Matthew 6:34 states "Do not be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrows too. Live one day at at time." I think we are all culprits of living in the future. If you're a kid you want to "grow up," when you're in college you want to graduate and get a "real job," when you're single you want to be married, when you're married you want to be single (hehe, half kidding). But being present/being in the present is an art sometimes. Even if you're not exactly where you want to be, you can still find ways to make the most out of today. Don't take your blessings or current position for granted!
  • Focus my maternal-energies to family & friends (immediate and extended). I can start by pouring my love into this little pudgy marshmallow named Summer who I will officially be Godmother to come July 11th!

Have you ever gone through this, wanting to have a baby before the time was right? How did you self-medicate?

PS- Did I mention I'm not carrying?


My First Blog Award: About Time!

To put it plainly, blogging consistently ain't no joke. It's a job that doesn't involve a direct deposit at the end of the week (for most of us) so the reward or compensation is different. That also means the motivation is internal. Everyone blogs for different reasons, whether they be self-serving or people-serving or a mixture of the two. We can all admit that sometimes it's taxing, especially when you're wondering if anyone out there is reading/learning/growing/changing or appreciating your expense of brain cells, time and loyalty. It's hard when you don't get many comments to measure these insecurities. And then the Blog Awards is born (cue 20th Century Fox music) a virtual pat on the back, an intellectual compliment and future motivation.

I titled this post- About Time! because that's my honest first response. I guess that automatically makes me ineligible for the "Humble Writer" Award but I've been blogging for almost 6 months now and counting down the days until I can run home and say... "Look Mommy!" Ironically, there's dual meaning in my title... This blogging thing is about time! If you're a new blogger, don't get discouraged by the number of followers or lack of comments, post to your heart's content and know that the more time you spend blog-hopping, spreading virtual hugs and compliments the more you'll get out of blogging. You'll find yourself meeting great people, sharing journeys and making your experience much more worth it.

Like my past favorite character, Stuart, from MAD TV, here's my first "Look what I can do" moment....

Aww... WATCH OUT NOW! I'm going places...

The rule for this award is to write down where you see yourself in 10 years: At age 34, I see myself married, with at least one mini-me and kidnapping my then 9 year old (gasp) goddaughter for the summer time!

Special thanks to NYC Island Gal for this honor. Check out her blog, the musings of a "NYC girl with an island heart." Her content is honest, fun and she hosts great giveaways!
She also hosts a Friday Follow where you can make great bloggy friends!

I'm passing this award on to:

Ladies please copy and paste the code (above), state 3 things you see yourself doing in 10 years, and pass the award on to whoever you think is worthy!

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Tica's Summer Guide: FREE Concerts NYC

The one thing all of us New Yorkers take for granted is the overwhelming amount of free concerts, plays, screenings and festivals the summer brings. With a little research and some patience (or by just following some amazing blogs that do all the work for you!), you can be in the know, enjoying the cultural diversity and warm weather in the Big Apple!

Since I'm spending most of my summer in NYC, here are just some artists I hope to be checking out (in other words, you should too!):

WHO: Esperanza Spalding among other jazz artists. I was introduced to this American songstress and bassist through Pandora. At 25 years old, she masters the perfect blend of soul and spunk!

WHEN: Wed, June 23rd @ 7pm! (tomorrow!)

WHERE: Central Park's Mainstage for Summer Stage.

WHO: Chrisette Michele is so fierce with her new cut and although I haven't heard her latest album, Epiphany, in its entirety I hope she will do some classic songs from her first album!

WHEN: Mon, July 25th.

WHERE: Wingate Field for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Concert Series in BK.

WHO: Raphael Saadiq, former member of Tony Toni Tone! has been solo for awhile now. I've always loved his voice and his retro sense of style.

WHEN: Wed, July 17th

WHERE: Central Park for Summer Stage.

WHO: ALICIA KEYS and MARY J. BLIGE, respectively. I really just want to see how Ms. Keys looks pregnant!

WHEN: Friday, June 25th and July 2nd @ 6AM!

WHERE: Summer Stage- Rumsey Playfield for Good Morning America's Summer Concert Series.

And NOW... (*drum roll*) the concert I'm really looking forward to, although it's not free:

WHO: Corinne Bailey Rae

WHEN: Sun, Aug. 8th

WHERE: The Beach @ Governor's Island. Tickets can be purchased here.

Happy Listening!

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What am I up to?

I'm guest blogging over at Jill's Life After College Blog today- It's her 3rd installment of the "What have you been up to?" Series. Sheck it out! Leave your two cents! Gracias!

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Unsuspecting Read: Young Adult Fiction

For some reason, everytime I'm around books in the public library or books for sale- the lovely $1 racks at Strand or any New York Public Library in the City I'm always led to the Young Adult/Children's Section. Besides having some infatuation for buying these harmless resources waay ahead of time for my future kids, I'm really distracted by all the colors, fun cover graphics, odd-book sizes, and crazy titles I see now-a-days.

I'm attracted to young adult fiction because I'm still in touch with that very sensitive part of my life, and can relate to writing from that perspective. I try to look for books that I wouldn't be too embarrased to parade on buses and trains during my morning and evening commute. You know, nothing that's entitled "TTYL8R ALLIGATOR" or "Diary of A Wimpy Kid" although I have to admit, I would soooo read the latter if I wasn't that ashamed of checking it out of the library (I love books that have actual "handwriting" and letters embedded in the print). I guess adult books don't usually have the same appeal visually, or creatively. They focus more on the content, when arguably the front cover and title are what draw readers first.

During my last visit at Strand, I found the perfect book (see picture below). The cover didn't attract me as much as the size of the book, which is the handy-dandy size of my outstretched hand. Cute enough to fit right in my bag. When I turned the book, it had this excerpt "When I stared at the mirror and tried to recognize the girl without eyebrows, eyelashes, and bangs as myself and failed, I knew something had gone horribly wrong." Interesting enough, no?

Marni, written by Marni Bates, is a real life story written in fiction form (in other words, it doesn't read like a formal autobiography) of a young girl who responds to mounting stress at home and school by pulling out her hair. Not in the figurative form but the compulsive form. She begins just before entering High School and by the time anyone notices her missing eyebrows, eyelashes and patches of missing bangs and hairs-- she admits her problem to her mother, and they both discover the medical term for this form of addiction known as trichotillomania (or "trich" for short).

What I like most about the book is that it doesn't solely revolve around Marni's trich. Although it's supposed to be the "selling point" of the book, Marni (who writes in first person) doesn't characterize herself as a victim. She writes in a light-hearted spirit about her eccentricities, her family relationships and delicate middle school and H.S. situations. There were plenty of literal LOL moments for me in this book, and ironically, her family takes 2 vacations to Costa Rica.

The author penned this book at 19 years of age, which in it of itself is a noteworthy detail. The book is the third installment of a "Louder than Words" series which is described as a "powerfully penned series of true-life stories by teen girls." The other 2 books, Chelsey and Emily can be found on the Louder Than Words Books website.
Here's a sneak peek inside:

"Looking back, I can make a pretty good guess as to why I pretended I couldn't read. It wasn't because I didn't want my dad to think of me as intelligent. I wanted him to love me. I lied because I knew that intellect wasn't the way to his heart. After all, he didn't like my sister Shayna, and she read voraciously as well. Since he wasn't impressed with that, I thought maybe illiteracy would do the trick. I didn't realize at the time it was a desperate ploy for attention... So, I stuttered and bumbled through picture books I could have read upside down with one eye closed and felt rewarded with his attention. My dayd had no idea I was acting, which is no compliment to his intelligence as I have always been a lousy liar."

Marni is available on Amazon or the Louder than Words Books website. She even blogs here, a refreshing read I suggest you check her out!

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What does Summer Time mean for you?

This summer, I'm a little sad without the prospect of a major trip. By major I mean a getaway longer than 3 or 4 days. Last year I spent 8 days driving around Costa Rica in a little Toyota Yaris with the best pilot/company a girl can ask for. This year, things are different. I took a vacation in April and will most likely wait until after September to take a second week off and use one of my lovely Future Flight Credits with Spirit Airlines (btw, did you hear their pilots are on strike?). It'll be an interesting task packing a carry-on with clothes that will still fit underneath the seat in front of me to avoid being charged. But it doesn't take away from the joys of traveling for me!

Summer, in the past, has meant different things for me. Some years, it meant summer school (short, scrutinous and sweet). Other years it meant quiet and short days at the office. But one thing has remained constant- the sweetest topping/reward in the summer has been time away from the city. So to make up for this I'll probably be taking short road trips on 3 day weekends and any other random weekends where I'm craving to drive on the open road. Driving, at times, is therapeutic. I just have to figure out the cheapest way to maneuver these desires, to rent cars, to include my dearest and nearest and to re-up my energy and spirits so as to keep on pushing when it's time to come back home.

For those of you spending summer in the NYC, check out Vanity Fair's annual Summer Guide-- equipped with recommended Dining, Outside events, and Bars.

What do you look forward to the most in the summer?

Here's a little journal excerpt of the Urban Nomad's regarding his best vacation yet!

"The Best place I went this year was Costa Rica. Specifically El Verde Mar. It wasn't the best in accommodations, meaning I wasn't jumping for joy at the amenities or the aesthetics of the place, but it represented the First place of my adult life that I was going strictly for the goal of vacation and relaxation. Tracey did a great job planning the trip, for where we would stay and we worked together to get there, but getting there was a huge victory for us, and namely for me. Driving in a place that was new meant that I was out of my element/comfort zone and the resulting feeling was pure excitement. I'm proud to have been able to go to such a beautiful country to kick off my adult life of exploring and learning new places."

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Post-It NoteLess Tuesday: Summer, Summer, Summer Time!

Dear Summer,

I am so excited about today that I'm not even bothering with the Post-It Notes. Last week we had a blast! We had a strategy to combat your separation anxiety and although you instantaneously felt when your mother left-- you cried in short spurts until eventually you calmed yourself down and cried no more. You felt safe.

I felt like you were interested in getting to know us. You enjoyed Tio's singing as seen in Exhibit A:

And you appreciated how we let you hold "the rock" all night (aka the remote):

Although you were a little sick and the room was super-humid, you were such a trooper. You enjoyed watching Wonder Pets and almost everything on Nick Jr! Can you promise to remain like a warm bright day and keep the rainy clouds away? If so, we would keep you forever!
Can't wait until later!



I interrupt your regularly-scheduled weekends to report I officially made the CONTRIBUTOR'S LIST for CENTRIC TV's CULTURE LIST BLOG!! Check this lifestyle blog out for all the latest news, gossip, travel tips, fashion trends as it pertains to Black culture.

Check out my profile here! You can even leave me a comment using your Facebook profile. Can't wait to read what you have to say!

Also, while you're there, check out my latest article on ECUADOR entitled BOOK IT// NO LIMITS.

Let the Celebration Begin!!

Pura Vida,

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So you Want to See a Great Movie this Weekend?

Every now and again, I like to rub my little pennies together and fork up the big bucks to be suspended in reality for 2 hours. Recently, I saw online advertisements for this movie called "Mother and Child" with the cast collage including interesting shots of couples in bed, having dinner, and living everyday life. I said to myself, "hmm... I like to lay in bed and I like to eat, this looks interesting." I also noticed Kerry Washington and Naomi Watts in the mix, both women who I believe pick great roles and are pretty frickin' awesome actresses. Upon initial research, I found out that this movie was not wide-release. It took me a little while to find a theatre in Manhattan that was playing it, but all the research was worth it! [FYI- it's playing at the Quad Cinema on West 13th Street.] I suspect this movie is classified as independent although it's released by Sony Pictures and directed by Colombian Rodrigo Garcia. I don't really know what makes the difference between Hollywood and indy films, but I'm assuming it has to do with the amount of money the executive (producers, directors) invest in it.

So what's the big hoopla about, you ask? Maybe you're a man and you're like this movie seems pretty estrogen-driven, mother and child, aww...how touching. Maybe you're a woman who's a mother, and you think Lifetime offers enough drama-filled family-related story lines for your weekend. What's different about this story is that it touches EVERYBODY! I thought the boo would probably be bored mid-way through the movie but actually we were both anxious with knots in our stomachs at the edges of our seats. The only difference was at the end of the movie, I was on the verge of tears. I don't consider myself an emotional person, but this movie really takes the cake for working some common emotion/longing we all share-- forgiveness and family.

At the center of this story is adoption. The gist is basically that there's 3 women with 3 distinct adoption stories. The first woman, Annette Bening, plays an older woman who's haunted by her decision to give up her child for adoption. The second woman, Kerry Washington, wants to adopt. Naomi Watts' character was given up for adoption. These women have all been shaped by their experiences and their personalities are mirrors of their realities.

What I appreciated most about the film is that it's not a judgment on adoption. The ease in which these stories are told, the excellent screen shots, and the note-worthy lines in this movie are all great reasons to check it out. But the #1 reason why you should check it out is because I SAID SO! Really, I don't blog and put an APPROVAL stamp on too many things. But this movie definitely gets an "A" from me. If you have ever considered adopting, were adopted yourself or are just intrigued by the process, then I would definitely recommend you seek this movie out. If you do, I'd love to hear your feedback.

PS- Also, newcomer Shareeka Epps is in this film. She always gets to play the hard-core character but her flavor in the movie makes it fun. I loved her in Law & Order: SVU and another independent film with Ryan Gosling called "Half Nelson."

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Guest Bloggin': Real Book Reviews

I've been invited for tea & muffins over at Desi's Random Thoughts. I decided to stick around and since she saw I wasn't going away-- she gave me some work. I'll be doing thorough book reviews of what I'm reading at least once a month. It's a nice departure of my Shortest Book Reviews Ever, especially if you're interested in more about a book than 5-6 stickies can tell ya!

Here's my first review, hear my views on No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. Head on over and leave me a comment!

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Post-It Note Tuesday: A MidSummer's Night SCREAM

Here's my follow-up note to Summer, after the first night her parents left us (me and the Godfather aka Urban Nomad) with her for 2 hours. Let's just call that night... INITIATION (insert dramatic sound effect here).

Stick around for next week of the Godparent Chronicles, see if we have finally gotten approval from Baby Summer!

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