Evolution: Heiddi 2.0

Evolution?

I should say so. After a year-long hiatus preceded by a two year hiatus, you figure why do I keep doing this to myself? Haven’t I figured out what I’ve wanted to do yet?

Frankly, no. Here I am a college graduate and bilingual licensed mental health counselor working with low-income families in New York City. As of 2011, when I received my licensure, I also accomplished my goals. Which is an amazing feeling and a proud moment for me.

Turning Point

But, with all my accomplishments and achieved goals as of 2011, comes what next? For the past few years, I’ve been trying to find out. I’ve reduced a lot of my extra-curricular activities such as playing guitar at my local church (12 years), paid blogging (6 years) and writing in general (too many years to count).

Self-Evaluation

I’ve been spending more time in self-evaluation mode while also prepping for the arrival of my second son, Benjamin who arrived on June 21, 2014. Yes, Andy’s a big brother now and I’m still the single mom of now two amazing boys. I’m a very happy mom.

While being a proud mom is great, I still have goals simmering within me waiting to be unleashed in the world. I’ve found that I need to set new goals and discover new passions.

IMG-20120607-00467

What I hope to share on this website is positivity and wellness – whether I’m writing about mental health or the simple things that bring me joy. I’d like to keep writing and sharing these with you.

The Heiddi 2.0 Evolution is here – will you join me?

Self-Care: Using Creative Projects

Self-Care is very important to me. I talk about it at work, home and online. But, I do that because I find that people just don’t take good care of their emotional and physical health. I find parents and anyone working with families tend to feel very stressed out. Taking care of yourself allows you to live happy and healthy.

Continue reading

Black Friday – Not for Me

As the Black Friday commercials stream on my television, radio and computer, I’m still confounded as to the point of this weird-to-me tradition. Yes, I find it strange that people would get up in the middle of the night to go shopping just to save some money.  Especially since the last few years of Black Friday literally became Black Friday when people began dying due to stampedes at the door.

I only heard about Black Friday for the first time in 2007 from a friendly co-worker at the time. She asked me how early I’d be up shopping for Black Friday. I, a native New Yorker, had NEVER heard of it.  She was nice enough to tell me what it was about sharing some of her Black Friday tips. As soon as she told me that she got up at 2am to go shopping, I knew that Black Friday was out for me. I wouldn’t get up that early except to get on a plane for vacation.

This year, I decided to do some research on this so-called holiday. Doing a Google search for “where did black friday come from?’ brought me the usual Wikipedia page, but led me to others.  In the Mental Floss archives, the start date  of the actual day is unclear, though it has roots in the early 19th Century. Wow, day-after Thanksgiving holiday madness way back then? That’s crazy to me.

And it also seems that pr companies were hard at work in the eighties to put a positive spin on Black Friday by pushing around the new meaning of the day writing “getting in the black” as a way for retailers to recoup sales lost on Thanksgiving (when people traditionally did NOT do any shopping). Back then, people let themselves be knocked into tryptophan food comas.

On News Blaze, I found a list of various “Black Fridays” full of tragic stories and events from stock market crashes to battles to natural disasters to the assassination of John F. Kennedy (d. 1963). After reading that list, I feel okay with NOT being comfortable with Black Friday as a positive shopping holiday.

Once again, the madness is here and even madder than before as stores are opening Thanksgiving night. Black Friday is not even here yet and already I’m over it. Please be safe out there and remember that Thanksgiving isn’t about holiday sales, but about spending time with family. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Feel free to share your thoughts about Black Friday in the comments.

This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Read Heiddi’s Full Disclosure here.

Happy 10th in Heaven Mami

If you’ve visited me within the last two weeks (thanks btw), you’ve probably seen that I’ve fallen off the writing bandwagon. I’ve not been so busy that I couldn’t write. I’ve chosen not to.

Mami in her heyday.

See this picture – she’s the reason why I’ve been offline. It’s been ten years since I’ve not hugged her or heard her voice. Some days the memories are so clear that it’s like she’s sitting next to me. And other days – it’s so hard to remember how she did the things she did.

I look at my son and see how much he’s grown. It is in looking at him that I’m reminded of the passage of ten years. He was just a year and a half when she died. And she loved him SO much! I just wanted to share that Mami was the strongest woman I’ve ever met and there will NEVER be another mom like her. My mom, my role model, my pain in the ass. I love you Mami. Until we meet again.

Frances Reyes (1942 – 2002)

This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Read Heiddi’s Full Disclosure here.

Thanks for the laughs Sherman – A Tribute

“Well, I’m moving on up! To the East side!” Some of my first memories of family night with my mom came from watching Sherman Helmsley as George Jefferson in The Jeffersons. I don’t know what made us laugh harder – his trademark dancing, yelling at Weezy or his verbal sparring with Florence.

I was instantly brought back to those nights with my mom when I heard the sad news of Helmsley’s passing. As George, Sherman was hilarious, arrogant and self-centered. But he was also the character you loved to hate and still loved anyway.

I remember Helmsley’s amazing work in the racism episode where George gave cpr to a man who was a racist (ie super negative) towards him. George saved the man’s life. And Sherman Helmsley was endeared to me forever.

After the Jeffersons, I saw Helmsley in Amen (loved him there, too) and in various other spots. But, my love for Helmsley started on The Jeffersons. Thanks Sherman for all of the laughs.
RIP Sherman Helmsley (1938 – 2012)

And the man and his dance. Enjoy!

The Real George Jefferson Dance

It’s Official: I’m in the Sandwich Generation

It’s official, I am now part of the sandwich generation. This week, I was bombarded with a sick child and a sick parent.

My father had kidney stones and went in for a procedure today (he’s totally fine). I’m glad his lady companion is so attentive of him. I called Pop before heading out for the day. Though he was a bit down, he perked up when I said I’d call to check on him this afternoon, which I did. I got the report that he was doing well and would be good enough to go back to work next week.

And kiddo, well, he picked up a virus from somewhere. It’s not harmful, but according to his pediatrician, it’s an epidemic among kids. Kiddo had a raging fever Saturday morning that stayed until Sunday morning. The fever medication brought it down so he was fine. But, kiddo woke up Monday morning with small warts on his hands and elbows!  A couple of them popped, gross! Kiddo said that they hurt, but the doc gave me a week’s worth of antibiotics so he’ll be just fine.

And all of this with less than two months on the new job. Fun right? Onto the next sandwich generation adventure!

This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Read Heiddi’s Disclosure Policy.

Riding the Banana Boat Wave (Sponsored Post)

Summertime is here and the Banana Boat has sailed in with new products. When I received the invite for the event from fellow blogger, SelfishMom aka Amy, I was instantly reminded of the Banana Boat sunscreen that I’ve used for my son.

Last Saturday, I had the chance to check out Banana Boat’s new product – Natural Reflect – an new organic product designed to provide great protection without all of the harmful ingredients.With games and activities for the kids, Banana Boat gave us parents the chance to check out how well Natural Reflect worked. I didn’t get that chance as my pre-teen took up a spot on Amy’s couch.

Natural Reflect was set up outside in Amy’s backyard. One thing I noticed right away was the SPF of 50. My son is much lighter in complexion than I am, so I always look to a higher SPF to keep him protected and out in the sun longer. I also noted that there were two types of Natural Reflect Sunscreen – one just for kids and one for adults. The more I learned about it, the more I tweeted about it.

For years, Banana Boat has taken up residence in my home. Every summer, I get new sunscreen for kiddo to use to enjoy the sun without the harmful effects. It’s great to know that Banana Boat continues to share great, new products. All in all, I had a great time learning about Natural Reflect from Banana Boat and hanging out with my fellow bloggers. Thanks Banana Boat and thanks Amy!

This post has a Compensation Level of 6 & 13. Read Heiddi’s Full Disclosure Policy.

Proud Mommy Moments

Just had to share that my son ROCKS! This year has been full of challenges, but also many amazing moments. As mother to a child with ADHD and a smartypants to boot, I’ve been challenged to step up and be a better mom. And while I’ve felt like the world’s worst mom sometimes, my son shows me how amazing he is and how truly blessed I am just to be his mom.

For the first time he received second honors in school with a 90 average.  He earned a ribbon also for “Most Improvement.” See how proud he is? I’m so very proud of him.

Even more awesome is his generous heart. Last Thursday, he won his class spelling bee and won two tickets to tonight’s Yankee game. And what did he do with them? He took his father to the game for a Father’s Day gift. And no, I’m not jealous that he didn’t take me. It’d be nice to go to a game with him someday, but I’m happy with knowing my son is a sweet, persevering kid who just doesn’t quit.

Mommy loves you kiddo!

Tribute to Mi Papi

This is weird for me, but it’s the first time I’ve thought to do a tribute to my father. Now before calling me a horrible daughter, let me share about this father-daughter relationship.
My father and I weren’t very close during my childhood. He worked many hours as a truck driver and only came home to have dinner and then sleep. We (my younger brother and I) tip-toed around the apartment to avoid getting into trouble (from both parents) for disturbing him. Summers were great because we took family trips to Lake Welch (NYS) and had a great time. Or we’d plop on the living room floor to have a crab picnic.
I spent even less time with him as a teen. With my parents arguing often, avoidance was my defense mechanism. My father left during my freshman year at college. Really, there was no relationship.
And there wasn’t one until after I had my son AND my mom died. Something happened inside of him when she passed away. A nurturing instinct kicked in. He began calling me, looking for me, coming to visit. WTF? I’d forgiven Papi years before and made peace with the fact that this was the father I’d been given. I didn’t expect him to change. He told me, “I need to watch over you because you’re the only girl and your mother’s not here.” At first, it was weird. I didn’t know how to react. It took me awhile to start calling him and visiting him more. I didn’t know how to feel. For years I didn’t even know HOW I felt about Papi. He had surgery for blood clots in his left leg six years ago. When I saw him unconscious in the hospital bed, I realized that I loved him.
And I do. Now that I’ve been single for over 2 years, he’s even more of a presence in my life and my son’s life. Over the nearly 10 years since Mami’s been gone, he’s slowly wiggled his way in my heart and redeemed himself for my youth. The fact that I had already forgiven him was what helped me see that I do love him SO very much and am blessed to have him in my life. So happy Father’s Day, Papi. This ones for you. From your negrita. 🙂

Avengers – Review

Hiya readers! I’m back to share my thoughts on the Avengers movie. I LOVED it!

I’ve never been a fan of comic books and so don’t read them at all. I do love anything superhero-related. Growing up, I was a fan of “He-Man” and “She-Ra” as well as Wonder Woman and Superman.

As a kid with low self-esteem, I use to dream often of having superpowers. Those superpowers came from watching my favorite superheroes. Fast-forward to today being a grown woman and mom of a son, I get my superhero fix more often. The Avengers was a huge fix for me. I hadn’t seen a superhero movie in a long time and was so glad to see this one. I was not disappointed.

I had several doses of hot superheroes (except the Black Widow – sorry Scarlett) and a bit of jealousy with Scarlett’s bodysuit. Yes, I’d love to have a body like that, but I digress.

Each of the superheroes with their unique talents kicked butt. Although Chris Hemsworth only had to speak to knock me out (I’m partial to a man with an accent. lol). Not to mention all the eye-candy. Each character brings great flavor to the film and now I’ve got a goal of catching up with all of them. I still need to watch Captain America, Thor and Iron Man – Part 2. The Avengers was so good that I’ve been inspired to see them all.

So even though this is something for kids, teens and boys in general – this girl DEFINITELY had a fabulous time with the Avengers. So go see it and tap into your superhero! (And when you do, stay through until the final credits for some extras.) Can’t wait until The Avengers comes out on DVD!

This post has a compensation Level of 0. Read Heiddi’s Disclosure Policy.