Thursday, July 30, 2009

E-Store Review: Oh Baby

Just recently, a random search led me here. Now I've always been bemoaning the fact that unlike persons in the states, many Jamaican stores did not offer a convenient online order system. Hence I was more than pleasantly surprised to stumble on

The store features a range of Baby products under the headers: Baby Gear, Baby Safety and Health, Bathing and grooming, Bedding and Decor, Clothing, Diapering and Potty, Feeding, Gift sets, Toys, Travel solutions and used items. While the site offers the convenience of doing home deliveries, there are limited items listed. However, they did promise to try sourcing items that may not be listed on the site. So while there is definately room for improvement as it relates to stock, this lil online store is indeed a great idea. So now i can hop off and order a new set of girly blankets for Kailee and give this venture 3stars out of a possible five for their lack of locally made products (The economy needs the help guys)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pickney Nah Hold yuh down

Pickney (Child/Children)nah hold yuh dung
Nuh man cawn tie yuh dung
- Beenie Man, Gimme Likkle

Before, you get to thinking I'm about to be on the bandwagon with the rhyhtm/vibe/words of this song, get that out of your mind. Now let's get to business. Don't get me wrong, I have a certain appreciation for Beenie man as a perfomer, but the words of his song "Gimme Likkle" as outlined above has been met with much displeasure from my end. Prior to this, I've heard that song continuously but never paid it much attention, until recently when my sisters and I hit the road for a girl's night out.

Here we are on our Ladies Night out (My Darling husband opted to Babysit)

But back to the point. While out, I saw a fellow schoolmate who's first words to me were "What? Pickney nah hold yuh down"..I smiled out of courtesy but actually didn't find it funny,amusing or encouraging.

I know in this age where younger moms are always trying to prove that they can still have a life (which is more often than not linked to being a partyholic), it becomes almost deafening as moms repeat over and over that "pickney nah hold them down". But come on guys, no one is saying that life as you know it stops when you become a mom. Sure you can still be the multitasker who makes proper arrangements for your little one or ones so you can still shower them with love and make enough time to have single and couple fun. But what I want to know though is if it's such a bad thing when your 'pickney' actually holds you down.

You may not get where I'm going just yet, but if a pickney holding you down means that your child's well being is at all times put before your own, don't you want your pickney to actually hold you down? If it means that you may have to miss Reggae Sum fest, ATI, Sting and the countless other parties held locally, Is it such a bad thing for your pickney to hold you down? If your plans for a romantic or casual dinner has been foiled because you couldn't find an apt babysitter, does this mean that your pickney is holding you down?

Now I know that many may choose to disagree with my line of reasoning (which is fine and I welcome your thoughts nonetheless) but when one makes the choice to become a mother, it automatically means that some, if not most elements of your life need to be altered (I deliberately chose not to use change since it suggests a drastic digression from what in essence makes you..YOU). But get this A major part of this 'life altering' move has a lot to do with making responsible choices that at ALL times ensures that your child or children are safe and well taken care of in your abscence (reasonable enough huh?)

So now you see exactly what i've been tooting about. Quintessentially, your child holding you down doesn't have to be ascribed the negative connotation that songs such as Beenie Man's would want you to believe. After all, every day we are bombarded by stories of young moms deserting their children and at the root of this is a belief that the child is stopping them dead in their tracks and 'holding them down'. What this view says to us is 1. These persons were not ready to become parents 2. Their support mechanisms are poor 3. They aren't coping too well with minding a baby while their friends have fun. This may sound harsh, but there's really no easy way to say this..once your child is here....HE OR SHE BECOMES YOUR BEST INTEREST/NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. I know it may be hard, but instead of doing drastic things such as tying you child in a cemetery to go to a party (remember that story about the young mom who wanted to go to Sting) speak to a counsellor about your challenges (Many churches offer free counselling), try to engage responsible family members to assist in properly caring for the child so you can get some ME time. and most of all in whatever you do, remember that your child did not choose to be here, hence please don't treat the child as an enemy.

So now you know, if it means that I can only have outdoors fun 5 out of 365 days for the year, then I'm cool with my pickney holding me down, because at the end of the day, seeing this little face light up in love an appreciation makes me know whatever i have been doing is truly worth it. So let us know? How are you coping as a mother? Are you viewing motherhood as a reward or is it holding you down?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Guest Blogger #2- TORN

Today, the lovely Opie anderson, a fellow Jamaican mom is our guest blogger. She explores an issue with which us mommies are all too familiar-that of the dreaded return to work. This always becomes so much harder the longer it is delayed. Opie captures the feelings, emotions and the despair at having to leave your new found job, hobby and heartbeat at home. Feel free to share with us how it was for you to return to work.

In about two weeks my summer break will end and I will have to once again respond to my 6 o'clock alarm. Usually I hit snooze for 30 minutes and when that 30 minutes expires I then pop up from the bed and begin to move about lazily but deliberately until I am somewhat awake. On the last day before maternity leave I was on the edge of two great events. One was the hiatus I was taking from the morning alarm. The thought of it brought a huge grin on my face and all my brain cells danced their way into a desirable trance. The other event was the birth of our little baby. It was almost serendipitous I tell you, I was walking out of the building around 4 p.m. that Friday with a huge watermelon-like belly and I thought about how amazing God is. The experience of feeling another human being move inside me was mind blowing. The weekend passed and on Monday afternoon I became a mom. YES! The watermelon shrunk tremendously and I finally saw the little feet that kicked me and caused me to smile so many times, the little head that pushed against my ribs so much that I poked back a few times and the strong heartbeat that was so comforting to hear after many long days at work. Finally, I was able to look into the eyes of the little person and I saw love. That first look made me weak and I knew immediately that I was going to have a warm time parting with this look and those eyes.

Sure enough I pushed my return (to work) date back from 6 weeks to 8 weeks. I was in no way, shape or form trying to return to the 6 o' clock alarm just way Jose. Spring break added another week and I just thought the more the merrier. Needless to say that when it was time to go back I was beside myself mentally and emotionally. I was tough but I had many moments in the first week where I wanted to pick up my bag and walk out the door. I had to think about it seriously and settle myself in the comfy chair. As a result, I lived for the end of the school day. Many times I was there but not there. The fact that we would be out in 4 weeks kept me sane lol.

But alas, the break is coming to an end! I am torn. Torn because those eyes now know me. Those eyes search for me in a room full of people. Those eyes smile and laugh out loud at all the silly things I do and say. That look, those eyes tell me I am mom, lover, provider, rock, sidekick, a regular palette for drool, unwanted food from the stomach, cushion and preferred mode of transport. Those eyes tell me thank you but most of all those eyes tell me I love you every minute of the day. I do not want to be gone for any of those untraceable minutes. As of now, I am torn.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Operation Life- Changing the lives of troubled youths

Having Spoken to Kiki the other day, I did say she was one woman dynamo and proving us right, she has launched a new project, Operation Life. Operation life aims at reaching troubled youths. I'll not reinvent the wheel, so just have a look at the details below as listed on the project's face book Page.

Operation Life is the brainchild of Kerie-Ann "Kiki" Lewis. It's aimed at reaching "troubled youth as well as students in general in helping them accomplish their goals and giving them a chance to see that blessings do exist.

It will be an all island tour but I need to her from teens and teachers or parents which schools they think need to have some form of discipline or positive outlet for the children.

It's a rough world, it is, but not all children act violent just cause, there are reasons and often times violence indicates that they have given up on themselves or have just fallen "victim to the sytem".

Operation LIFE will incorporate, discipline, education, arts, entertainment, money management, how to make something of themselves, and the spoken word (freedom of speech).

Most of all it will open doors for children who are considered as "bad", "disruptive",children who have accepted society's labels and have not learnt that one bad behavioral issue does not define you.

As such I will be seeking the help and support of our entertainers, ministers, parents, teachers etc.

The launch will be happening soon but in the meantime I need persons to contact me so I can know which 13 schools island-wide to take the tour.

"Christ fed the multitude with only one loaf a bread, where there is a will there is a way.

To help with this project, offer ideas, suggestions etc, contact Kiki as outlined below.
Contact Info

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Guest Blogger-Getting your Bum into gear

Today I have a guest blogger as a part of our 20-something blogger swap day..Show her some love and be sure to check out the post I wrote for her blog here

Hi Everyone! I'm Habbala and as part of the 20something blogger's annual blog sway Shan and I are trading blogs for the day. I blog over here and this is my first blog swap! So hello, get comfy. Really excited to be guest posting for Shan, and while I am neither Jamaican nor a Mom; Shan agreed to be my partner anyhow. So hello!

Today I am doing a tutorial on getting your bum into gear. Which is generally applicable to everyone, you know? I was really lucky- there's nothing like a broken heart to get your butt into gear, but I am sure everyone can think of reasons why they need to get moving. So here are a couple of things that worked for me:

First Steps.

Honestly. The first step is the outfit. We don't want you looking like this do we?

And, in my experience, it is helpful for motivation to have some new gym clothes. It was totally the first thing I bought post-break up. Doesn't need to be expensive, I got the majority of my workout gear at Target or Old Navy. And as my wonderful personal training guru and friend told me, if you are going to run AT ALL, you need some good shoes. Do not think that Target and Walmart will cut it. In fact, go to a store where someone can look at how you move and recommend the best shoe for you. I personally love Asics, but that's just for MY feet. Mine are pink and lovely.

Oh, and if you're like me, it'll be SUPREMELY more comfortable for you if you buy a legit sports bra. Like whoa. We don't want anyone losing eyes while you're running, now do we?

Everyone is different. So find what works for you and stick to it. Are you a morning working out kind of person? Or night? The right answer is really what will make you keep going back.

I plan my workouts each week. I pick classes that I like, and times that will work and I stick them in my calender. It's cool if it takes some time to fine tune the schedule, but its worth it.

I am a proponent of spending money for classes, because there is something about actually having to pay that maintains motivation. Most towns now have fitness boot camps offered through the city rec department, and it's usually affordable.

Actually Moving
Seriously, just find what you like! What will get you going. You've heard it over and over: get a friend, take classes, a little bit goes a long way, don't stop till you get enough etc.

For example, my friend Olivia LOVES Zumba. Have you heard of Zumba? It looks like this:

Is it a work out? Oh yes. But I have a problem. I can't do this, and keep a straight face. I just can't. I giggle like I am at a middle school dance. It's embarassing. Not to mention that my mommy never signed me up for dance classes, so I am a little less then graceful most of the time... I may have stepped on people when I went. I also MAY have hit someone while casually flinging my arms in circles like a windmill. It might have looked like this:

I really like cardio classes. For example, indoor cycling. Love it! It kicks your butt. And before you go, you should know that the cycling shorts are not a fashion statement, they are 100% nessecary. Cycling shorts are there to guarantee you will be able to WALK the next day.

(I apologize for the yellow example, it just made me laugh really hard)

My final advice for you today is not be hard on yourself if you miss a day here or there. Life happens. But the truth is that working out and actually taking care of yourself is ADDDICTING. You see results, you feel better about yourself, and they were not lying about the endorphins. I started going, like I mentioned, when I got out of a really long relationship... and I went because I needed to do something and because somedays the endorphins from the gym were the only thing that made me feel right again.

So on that note. Thanks for stopping by. It was nice chatting. Feel free to come visit me again when you miss me, or you can email me (habbalablogs at gmail dot com).

Monday, July 20, 2009


Here's good news to clear the Monday Blues; I promised features on Jamaican celeb mommies and here's the first installment.

Meet Kerie- Ann 'Kiki' Thombs. Many of you may know her from the Rising Stars Chill room and as the previous host for TVJ's Intense. On and off screen Kiki exudes radiating charm and poise. She is as beautiful as she is talented and many comment on her 'vibesy' nature and how ideal she is to be a contestant in the Miss Jamaica competition. What many of you may not know is that this woman dynamo also has an off screen job as a mother. I was touched to see her in the New Kingston Shopping Centre once with her little one running rings around her legs and it was too cute.

We know she is very much in the limelight and as with all well known moms, child rearing may be quite a task. Did we also mention that she is truly a DIVA mom and we will be sure to get the one on one about how she keeps looking like such a hot momma.. so here goes..My one on one with Kiki..

Name: Kerie-Ann Thombs "Kiki"
Job title: ALL WOMAN
Number of Kids: 2 and one on the way.

1. How do you manage being a celeb mom? Good support from family and friends and good children who know what I do and work with me if they have to come to work with me.

2. Are there ever clashes with work and family time? How do you handle this? Rarely though as the children come first, but it's really about scheduling, if I get booked for a job before I know the date of a school performance for example then I will try to stop by the performance for a second and head to work and vice versa, discretion is key.

3. What are some of the techniques you use to ensure that you have enough time with the fam? Techniques? None you just stop what your doing and spend time with the family.

4. Favourite Family place/Activity? Going to the country, allows kids to be kids, they are free to roam and explore safely plus learn about their roots.

5. Proven Disciplinary strategy?If it's something real bad, beyond the warning, stern tone, and naughty corner my younger son gets a slap or two, when he get older then privileges will get taken away, for now he's still in the boundary pushing stages and as a parent you have to be firm. If you set the foundation from early though you won't need to spank but i was blinded by my baby's charm so now I have to catch up on the sterness. :)

6. Fave thing about being a mom? Watching your child grow and loving them.

7. What are your major challenges as a mom? Being stern.

8. Most rewarding experience as a parent to date? Being able to have healthy children

9. What parent/child related development would you most like to see in Jamaica? Before child/parent related activities  are even developed,  I would like to see parenting skills being offered in high schools, try to teach the children about responsibility and have more parenting courses out there so younger parents can learn a thing or two about how to be a good parent and more importantly how to handle the stresses of being a parent, both male and female.

10. What advice do you have for other moms? Find time for you and for your other half ensure that's set and the rest usually falls into place. Involve and expose the children to various things in life, get them well rounded. God first, set your own rules and love them as much as you can.

How truly warming Keeks. I'm totally with you on introduction of parenting skills from an early age and I'm sure other Jamaican mommies will find comfort in knowing that with work committments and everything in between, family comes first.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Comic Relief

TGIF and just to give the Friday cheer that mommies need. Here are a few clips i found to be funny/true/ both. Happy Viewing.

You've probably seen this already, but this little boy is too cute, telling his mommy he doesn't like her all the time.

And the Evil

And another from Baby Blues, Just like kids huh? (Click on it to get a larger view)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Graceful Parenting

Being a Parent is probably one of the most delicate, yet rewarding experience. It can be quite frustrating however, when one becomes overwhelmed with the mammoth list of to dos and not to dos. But what remains most important is that in all your decisions, you treat your child with love and respect. These twin facets combined with this interesting list from Welcome Baby Home makes the once mammoth task not so overbearing.

Happy Parenting.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Self-Improvement for the 21st Century woman

So here's another reason why I love blog hopping: women every where love to feel strong, empowered, happy and sexy and when you're a mom that still remains applicable. Hence I thought Lesley's from All Women Stalk's list of Top 10 Self Improvement books were worth pursuing. I'd also love to add Steve Harvey's "Act like a lady, think like a Man" to the list. Go on, grab yourself a book and cheers to the sassy, confident and uber-improved mom.

Being the organized mom

Recently, I spoke about never seeming to have enough time to get my home biz under control as a 'professional mom' and having done my routine blog hop I was pleased to see that Paula from Stuff to be organized had free gifts to help mom become a pro organizer. I have since received my e-copies of 5 Must-Know Organizing Tips For Busy Moms and The Clutter-Free Gift Giving Guide: Giving Love, Not Stuff. I am now reading through and have been following some of the tips therein.

I also know that there must be other mommies out there who wish there were more hours in a day and so I'll be giving you the chance to receive your own copy, thanks to Paula. So just head on over to the Organizing tips and thoughts for mom blog and sign up here and get on your way to being clutter free.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Saying goodbye is never easy

As all of us who have ever loved and lost knows, its never easy saying goodbye. While I was caught up in the euphoria of Michael Jackson's passing and subsequent memorial on July 7th, the pangs of death hit closer to home and claimed my beloved grandmother.

While she has lived a full life, it remains true that one can never truly be prepared for the hurt, turmoil and instability that death creates. I was further made to feel the grips of guilt mixed with shame as I kept postponing visits and I am now being slaughtered by the possibility of what could have been-had I made an earlier trip, made an earlier phone call, taken that day off from work for a visit and the possibility lingers...What could have been will never be known as I await the routine plunge of one who I have so loved, into the bowels of this earth.

I will continue to battle with my share of guilt and the lingering sense of hypocrisy at how much one is honored in death, even when they weren't offered a minuscule portion of the post death tributes while they lived.

As my emotions rage, I quintessentially have willed myself to move beyond death and to treasure the memories-memories of a grandmother who loved until there was no more to give, the one who met us at her gate and welcomed us with open arms, then stood on her verandah waving, waving, waving until we could see no more....

Even now as tears fill my eyes, the memories bring a slight smile and in this my bittersweet moment, I know I truly hate death. With this sense of hatred, I wish beyond all things that for one more day, one more hour, one more minute, a mere second I could hold that hand, whisper my I Love yous and watch her drift peacefully off into eternal slumber. I hang on to the shred of hope that even though they never formally met, she would have seen the beautiful little girl I brought into this world and would have smiled at how much I, her little 'Shauna' had grown.

Death they say can be sweet release, but I guess that depends on who's dead and who's left to do the mourning, because at this moment, I refuse to say goodbye. I refuse just because goodbye is so final, so insignificant like the raindrop that gets lost in the pond or the stone that erodes and gets lost among the sands.

For this very reason, I wont say goodbye, but I'll dedicate me time to slowing the flow of a bleeding heart, I'll keep your memory alive, I'll let my child know just who you are and I'll take her to your home, so that if just by association she would have gotten a glimpse of who you are. Until then, I take life over death any day and somberly lean on the words of Ecclesiastes "Better a live Dog, than a dead Lion" RIP Adina Harris (aka Mum)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

That good ole underrated Fresh air

As I made my trek to the countryside this weekend, I was all set to give my little one a break from the toxic Kingston fumes. I spent much time reminiscing on how my mother would continuously expound on the benefits of Fresh air and I recall quite clearly how I have been the benefactor of this said air and how it helped me in a positive way. Many a times as a child when I was down with the flu, my mother's home remedy included an early morning walk and you can bet your bucks that the mini exercise combined with the cool, natural air did wonders for an ailing child.

All these memories got me thinking about Nature's gift of fresh air. Though it may be underrated, it deserves much credence for the many benefits it provides.

I do not claim to be a medical practitioner by any means, but can say what is a good article when I see one. So I found this useful article over at And do make it a priority to slot in at least a quarterly visit to the countryside for some of that invaluable country air. Take the kids out for the ride and lets continue being happy healthy families.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Babies rock...I thought this was mad Cute

This should come with a disclaimer: "No babies were harmed during the filming of this commercial" lol

Friday, July 3, 2009

Jamaican Woman among 8 for Commonwealth Antartic Expedition

I just wanted to share an inspirational Story to make women everywhere know that anything is possible. I will be working with Kim Marie via one of my company's clients (I work with an Advertising Firm). Currently, much buzz has been around Kim Marie's participation by virtue of her being the first Jamaican woman to venture to the Antarctic zone for an excursion of this nature. What also makes Kim Marie's story worth telling is that prior to her selection, she has never skied before and is the only Caribbean person on the excursion. Kim Marie joins persons from Cyprus, Ghana, India, Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand and the UK. Now that's pretty interesting and takes us back to the days of when Jamaicans competed in the Bobsled race at the Olympics. This just goes to show that with hard work, determination and the tenacity to succeed, there can be no barriers. I mean who would have thunk it? We constantly say Jamaicans don't like the cold, so it must have taken an explorative soul like Kim Marie to take up this challenge.

Here is a summary taken directly from

Friday Comic Relief

Comic strips do make for a lovely little break. If its even to allow you to crack a little smile. This one from Six Chix is something i think moms can relate to so here goes.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Don't overschedule this summer

I know I have been focusing on getting your kids involved/busy this summer (here, here and here), but as the good advice goes, all things need to be done in moderation. Here's some advice I found to be pretty useful and would love to share. Paula Constable over at the Organizing Tips and thoughts for moms blog posted this little blurb that I think you'd love to know about. Check it out

Woot woot...Carib 5 now has 3D

Yes..Its about time. Carib has finally equipped one of its theaters with 3D equipment. So now we can all enjoy shows in this larger than life form. I am particularly pleased about this since i had to go all the way to Atlanta for my first 3D experience (Georgia Aquarium) and I look forward to taking in 3D movies, especially as my litle missy gets older..Woot Woot..way to go Carib.

For all the mommas out there, Ice Age is now being shown in 3D so go have a ball watching with the kids.

N.B. Movies in 3D bear a higher admissions cost. Its Adults $900 for regular seats and $ 1100 Box seats and kids are $600 regular and $800 box.

Link to Gleaner's story here

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Local summer programme for kids

Yayy its summer, school's out and the fun truly begins..or not, especially not when you're faced with troublesome tots and tweens and a bouncy baby in tow who's busy exploring the world. So what do you do? How do you keep your little and not so little ones meaningfully occupied this summer?

Locally, there have been adverts for an interesting mix of fun summer activities that you can choose from, knowing your child is made all the better for it.

The Gleaner in particular has an extensive listing of upcoming events (published on a Friday) that is worth perusing. so here goes.

For all the 'foreign' Jamaican mommas, remember to enter the country's area code (876) before the numbers listed and be sure to say you found out about them via

1. Saturdays-Art and Craft for kids at Grosvenor Galleries, 1 Grosvenor Terrace, Kgn 8; Tel: 924-6684; 10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, $1,000'

2. Gymnastics Summer camp at gym Liguanea, Old Hope Road, Kgn 6; Tel: 978-2197

3. Monday, June 6
Scottish Country Dancers of Jamaica presents its Summer Junior Dance Programme for youths eight yeras and older at Liguanea Club, New Kingston from 6:30 p.m to 8 pm. Cost $200 per night or $600 per week. Classes run until July 16

4. Monday, July 20
Tip Top Kids Wellness Summer Camp at Stella Maris, daily 8:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m.$7000 per week, lunch included. Comp includes yoga (instructor trained in India), dance, aerobics, nutrition counselling,social etiuette, and lots more. the camp ends August 28.

5. Kid's reading at Bookophilia, 92 Hope Rd, Kingston 6. Tel: 978-5248, 11 a.m to noon.

6. Teen Tone-Up at In Motion Dance and fitness Center, Shop #8, Villa Plaza, 24 constant Spring Rd, St. Andrew, Tel: 906-4612 for special times, $12,000 for six weeks.

7. UWI Summer Eco Camp July 6-31st, 2009 at Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory. Includes: Environmental Awareness, Swimming and snorkeling, Art and craft. field trips and has day and sleep over packages for ages 7-18 years. Tel: 973-2241, 973-2946

8. Edutech Summer Camp 2009: July 6-30 (Mon-Thurs, 8:30-2:30 p.m.)at the Constant Spring Golf Club, Ages 3-16, Register at Edutech Ltd, 10 Trafalgar Road. Contact: 978-5433, 927-5585, or email

9. Cooking Classes for Teens: Ages 13-19, July 20-31, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Contact Heather Little- White and Associates, 6 Windsor Avenue, Kingston 5 927-6845

10. Summer Art Experience: Ceramics, Photography, Paper Mache, Jewellery Making, Painting, Drawing- Ages 6 and up. July 6-August 27 (Mon-Thurs) Contact Sanaa Studios 977-4792, 822-7528.

11. Fearless Dance Summer Season Stretch Technique and Dance, Tuesdays-Saturdays, contact Cassandra 799-6444

Check out the Gleaner on Fridays for more detailed listing.
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