A Mother for Choco

A few months ago, my parents came to visit for the weekend and hauled in box after box of childhood memories - from my elementary piano books to my much loved reading books.  We sorted through books, pulled out the ones that were age appropriate for Roland and stored the rest for later.

There is one book in particular that I would like to share with the Mommy Community, "A Mother for Choco" by Keiko Kasza.  It is by far my favorite, for multiple reasons...

The story details Choco's quest to find a Mommy and he realizes that his Mommy doesn't have to look just like him.  Mrs. Bear helps him recognize that its the mother's love and affection (hugging, kissing, playing) that is important in life - not that his mother must look just like him.  

As we progress through our nightly bedtime ritual which consists of at least 10 bedtime books, I often wonder how much Roland is remembering from the stories.  This week, I realized that he's retaining A LOT more than we thought. 

In the story, Choco is all alone and starts crying, "Mommy, mommy, I want my mommy!!" When I read the story, I try to invoke the feeling of the characters through my voice (just as my Grandma did for me!) So when I get to that part, I imitate a sad, sobbing Choco who is desperate to find his Mama.  Choco proceeds to tell Mrs. Bear that a Mommy would hug, kiss and sing and dance with him. 

On Wednesday morning, Roland woke up from his nightly slumber and called for Daddy - "Daddy, Daddy....Daddy" in the exact same voice I use to imitate Choco.  Coincidence...or so I thought...

That night, we were putting Roland to bed and once again, read 'A Mother for Choco.' We got to the part in the book and this time, he imitated Choco in the same voice that I use...'Mommy, Mommy....'  I looked down at him and realized he was in total actor mode - face all scrunched up, sad bottom lip extended - he had the part down.  Perhaps I have a little actor on my hands.

I started writing this blog post this morning.  I was sitting on the floor with the laptop on the coffee table and when Roland saw the image of the book,  he literally put one had on the lid of my laptop, forcing it closed and insisted we go upstairs to get the book.   We got the book and he sat in his rocking chair.  It was clear that he was going to read the book to me.  

He flipped to the page with the Mommy..."Mommy, Mommy...Mommy" he said in a sad voice (he can't say all the words yet. 

"Roland, what does a Mommy do?" I asked.  He immediately extended his hands and gave me a BIG BEAR hug! 

"Roland, what else does a Mommy do?" He puckered up, leaned in and planted a big kiss on me.  

"Roland, what else does a Mommy do?" And he rocked back and forth as though he was dancing. 

To my surprise, shock and amazement, he practically remembered the entire story!! I am absolutely amazed watching the entire learning process first hand.  

I hope you enjoy the book!! 

I would love recommendations on YOUR favorite books, too! 


Wordless Wednesday: JDRF Walk for a Cure

On Sunday, we participated in our 14th Annual (I'm starting to lose track) Walk for a Cure for Diabetes! 

In honor of my dear brother, Bear! Here's hoping for a cure and soon!! 

Little Roland in Uncle Bear's Cowboy Boots! 


Liebster Blog

Earlier this week, Miss Ashley from 'Modern Mommy Magic' selected 'The Diary of a Working Mother' for the Liebster Blog!

I was so excited, I screamed (yes, literally...it doesn't take much to excite this Mama) "I GOT MY FIRST BLOG AWARD!" So thank you my dear for making this Mama's day!!

Now, you may be curious, as was I, about the Liebster Blog.  The Liebster (German for friend or love) Award highlights up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.  And, by just typing it into Google, you can see the span of awardees!!

There are a few rules (but they aren't so bad!)
1. Show your gratitude to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the Internet - other writers (and in this case, a fellow Mama!)
5. Best of all...have fun!!

The Diary of a Working Mother's Liebster Awards Go To...

The Domesticated Mama A dear friend, and super-talented, crafty Mama of two adorable kiddos! Check out her blog for the latest crafts and easy recipes! Hard to believe this Mama has only been sewing for a few years.  She's one talented lady!

Ritty's Adventures in Writing Another dear friend, this time from high-school, who is an aspiring author. Join her on her journey and her Mid-week Writing Challenge (Rhonda - I promise I'll participate soon!)

Susan DiMickele, an inspirational mother who recently published her first book, 'Chasing Superwoman'.  Susan - I hope to follow in your footsteps one day! Susan shares her experience as a working (outside the home) mama at a law firm, has 3 kiddos and (like me) married her high-school sweetheart!

Our Little Bubble, join Christa and her beautiful family (soon to be expecting a 4th child) as she shares her experiences through life - documenting everything so she can remember it!  Wonderful, wonderful blog! (And inspirational too - fellow Mama who ran a 5k this summer!)

20 Going on 80 "A Twenty Year Old With Hobbies The Same As Your Grandma"...a blog about baking, cooking, knitting, crocheting and DIY crafting.  A blog I can relate to, and I hope you can too!!

Ladies - you have all been so inspirational and motivating in my blog journey thus far! Thank you for sharing your experiences.  Rhonda, if I may take from one of your favorite quotes...which is now one of mine:

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one." -C.S. Lewis


Recharge and Reenergize

My career path has been anything but normal. I didn't follow a traditional path to get to where I am today. What do I mean by that? Well, some people go to school because they know EXACTLY what they want to do - they like numbers, major in business and finance and end up as an accountant, or, they want to be a teacher so they pursue a degree in education.

When I started college, all I knew was that I wanted to be an IUP Majorette. That dream (or reality) was short lived, and after that period was over, I wondered from major to major - music education to math education to applied math. One thing was certain, I had no clue what I wanted to be 'when I grew up.'

I knew that having an internship was important however my department didn't have a formal internship program. What did I do? I blazed the trail for other students in my department and helped lay the foundation for establishing internships.

After I started my job with my current employer as an 'Engineer' (not formally trained working for a Defense Contractor), I found out about an organization called 'The Society of Women Engineers.' I thought it would be helpful to associate myself with an organization that had such a powerful message - 'Aspire. Advance. Achieve.'  I knew that I could learn a lot from an organization that focused on advancing the role women play in a predominately male driven field and encouraging women to pursue degrees in engineering.  Being that I worked in a male-dominated industry, I knew SWE was critical to my success.

I quickly became involved and participated in my first SWE Conference.  The conference was held in Kansas City and the theme was 'Women Blazing Technology Trails.' Quite fitting for my journey thus far.  I was absolutely amazed at the conference - the sessions on engineering, leadership, struggles and triumphs validated my reason for wanting to join such a wonderful society.

I wasn't getting the opportunity at work to develop my presentation skills, so I naturally looked to SWE to assist.  I submitted an abstract for the next National conference and imagine my surprise and delight when I was not only asked to present, but to make the session a 4 hour Career Enhancement Series.  Talk about a challenge!  For the past 5 years, I've developed, expanded and perfected my public speaking skills and all because SWE provided the opportunity and I decided to take advantage of it.

After taking a year off to experience the joys of motherhood without any added activities, I'm back at the conference speaking on 'Guilty: The Diary of a Working Mother' and sharing my lessons learned for navigating the first year of motherhood and parenthood.  

After participating in today's sessions, filled with wonderful information to take back to the work-place (and I do plan to share them with you, too!), I realized why I love participating in the 'sWE' National Conferences - motivated, engaged, and enthusiastic participants who feed off of the energy of the other participants and, knowingly or not, REENERGIZE, RECHARGE and INSPIRE their fellow SWEers to be the best they can be.  Yes, SWE Members, YOU are TRUE LEADERS!