Monthly Archives: December 2013

2013 Reflections on Motherhood

By: Davida Grant

On this last day of 2013, I can’t help but reflect on the year. 2013 was chock full of ups and downs, with the “ups” winning hands down. I learned ALOT about myself as a mother. I wouldn’t change a thing, but as always, there’s much room for improvement. Here are some of my favorite mommy moments of 2013.

Simone gave me my first card. I can’t tell you what she was trying to say. It was all gobbly gook. But that moment was priceless. She was literally beaming.

Grant was born. The love that enveloped me took my breath away. Who knew I could love another child as much as Simone.

Grant’s doctor gave him a clean bill of health. I can’t begin to describe the relief that coursed through my body, given all the health issues we had with Simone.

We took our first family trip to the beach. I can still see the expression on Simone’s face when she saw the ocean for the first time. I adore “firsts” with my babies.

Grant smiled. I still melt every time. He is just the cutest little boy ever.

Simone finally mastered “potty training.” No more wet sheets in the morning. Yay!

Simone mimicked my name for the hubby. Instead of saying, “daddy,” she said, “Hey, babe.” I still chuckle at this memory.

I embraced the concept of “time out” for me. I would get so frustrated with Simone, that I found myself raising my voice a wee bit too much. I learned to get up and leave the room until I calmed down. I’m still a work in progress though.

Simone is a fanatic for shoes already. I have so many memories of her prancing around the house in my heels.

I chose to be an active participant in Simone’s world, not just a bystander. Talk about a BIG change in my level of irritation. Massive, folks!

Grant laughed heartily for the first time. I was kissing him all over his neck and he laughed and laughed. His laughter is the most beautiful sound in the world.

I learned to accept and embrace my role as a mother of two and stepmom of one. Instead of focusing on what’s NOT happening the way I think it should, I chose to focus on what works for our family. I chose not to sweat the small stuff. There’s enough “Big” stuff.

I got my body back. Yes, I’m finally back to my pre-pregnancy weight range. Oh how I missed that Vida Marie. Glad she’s back and I can now fit into my clothes.

I started this mommy blog. It’s been cathartic in so many ways. I’ve tried to be transparent with my readers. “Baring my soul” has given me a path for growth. I’ve loved interacting with so many mommies.

What about you? Any mommy reflections you’d care to share? Happy New Year!

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Keeping memories of my dad alive for my daughter

By: Davida Grant

This was the first Christmas since my dad died in 2010 that I was not fighting back tears to get through the day. My dad LOVED Christmas and the memories of the many Christmas’ we shared always flood my thoughts during this time of year. Instead of trying to suppress my feelings, I decided to share them and my memories of him with my daughter.

At our house, we have a “picture” room where we display pictures of our family and close friends. One wall is dedicated to pictures of my parents, grandparents, and early childhood. Simone and I visit that wall so often that she can identify my dad by sight. “Papa” is the name she’s chosen to call him. I melt every time she says it, knowing my dad is smiling from ear-to-ear. Pictures are great, but for Simone to really get to know her “Papa,” I must share my memories. I must share his stories. So I did.

Simone was absolutely captivated. Her favorite was the one I shared of me shopping with my dad for Easter dresses. This was our ritual for many years and I absolutely loved it. Simone was ALL OVER this story, being the little fashionista she is. My heart was filled with joy as I answered her questions about the outings and the dresses Papa bought. Of course, Simone repeatedly asked if she could see Papa today. She doesn’t yet comprehend the concept of death and it’s a tall order trying to explain that to a 3-year old. So, I simply said, Papa is busy watching over us. Even though you can’t see him today, he loves you very much. Then I showed her the one picture I have of my dad holding her as an infant in the hospital. It was such a priceless moment seeing baby girl light up like a Christmas tree, just like he used to.

It’s so important to me that Simone know my dad, the man he was, the value he added to my life. I vow to pass on the stories he passed on to me. I vow to keep him alive for her. And it won’t be hard. I see so much of him in her. I am so blessed to have a daily reminder of him.

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Who Are My Daughter’s Role Models?

By:  Davida Grant

This week Beyonce released a new album and it sparked a number of interesting conversations with friends and associates about what music is appropriate for our children.  While we focused quite a bit on her album’s naughty lyrics, our conversations quickly morphed into who are the “role models” for our children, especially our girls.

The term “role model” apparently has many meanings.  I was frankly shocked at the divergent views my friends and I have on the meaning of this term.  So, being the analytical person I am, I had to dig in and figure out what a “role model” means to me.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines role model as “A person whose behavior serves as a model for another person.”  While I generally agree with this, I think there’s more to it.  This definition implies that anyone can be a role model simply by examining what they do.  What about their ideals and values?  What about their motivations?  These things are not always readily apparent.  Don’t they matter?  Aren’t they equally as important?  What about when an individual messes up in a profound way?  Is he or she no longer qualified to be a “role model?”

Many look to celebrities, politicians, and other public figures as role models.  Do I?  If I do, is that fair?  Do I want individuals with whom I have had no interaction to serve as role models for my daughter?

After much reflection, I know where I stand.  I am my daughter’s primary role model and I embrace that.  It is my responsibility to make sure that my behavior reflects the values I hold dear.  I don’t want Simone to learn what it means to be a mother, sister, wife, friend, businesswoman, or Christian from others.  I don’t want her to learn what it means to have self-esteem, confidence, and integrity from Beyonce, Michelle Obama, Oprah or any other “public figure.”  I want her to learn these things from me because I can give her the appropriate context. 

Can I teach her everything? Of course not.  I know without question that I don’t embody all the qualities I cherish and want to instill in my daughter.  Thankfully, I am surrounded by women that can supplement what I teach my daughter.  What I lack, she’ll learn firsthand from them.   Simone will learn from my mom and Cledra what it means to be a fighter, when all the odds are against you.   Simone will learn from Andrea what it means to be genuine.  She’ll learn from Roslyn what it means to be sisterly.  Sherri will teach her how to work a room with style and flair, even when you don’t want to be there.  Wilma will teach her what it means to put Christ first, always. I will make sure that baby girl NEVER has to look to strangers as an example of what it means to be a woman.

What about you?  Who are your children’s role models?  Do we rely too much on strangers to serve as role models for our kids? 

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Grant has his first tooth!

By:  Davida Grant

Grant has been drooling and gnawing on his fingers something fierce the last two months.  I knew he was teething. I’ve been waiting and waiting for his first tooth to break through and yesterday it did.  We were playing and he was just a giggling when I noticed something in his mouth. I felt his gums and there it was, the top of a little tooth.  I started clapping and kissing him all over.  This is a first for me.  Simone was still in the hospital when she was this age, with tubes galore, so I missed this stage with her.  I was just tickled pink.

Despite all the excitement with this new “stage,” I was a little sad too.  The days of that toothless grin I’ve come to adore will soon be over and gone forever.  Grant is my last child, so I’ll never experience this “first” with another.  That realization hit me with a bolt and I  shed a tear or two.  But life moves on and I’m embracing it.  I can’t wait for the next “first.”

Look at this toothless grin.  Doesn’t it just melt your heart!!!!!

Grant image

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

By:  Davida Grant

The holiday season is my favorite time of the year. People seem to check their attitudes and grumpy dispositions at the door and embrace the spirit of giving, sharing, love and forgiveness. I previously shared that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it’s truly a day of reflection. Each December I continue in that vein, reflecting specifically on all the blessings bestowed during the year. Before I had kids, my yearly reflections centered on my career accomplishments. Did I satisfy each of my New Year’s goals? If not, why not? What would I do in the upcoming year to do better, be better? While I still reflect on these things, they are way down on my list. At the end of the day, my career does not bring me “joy.” It’s merely a means to an end. What I truly care about are the things that melt my heart and warm my soul. What’s that? You already know, my two beautiful kids, my amazing husband, my inspiring mother, and my fantastic friends. So on this Tuesday morning, all snowed in with my munchkins, I began my annual trip down Memory Lane.

The winter of 2013 was filled with excitement and anticipation. I was probably most excited that my mom was recovering nicely from her stroke. And to think her doctor said she’d be a vegetable. Ha! Science only goes so far. God has the ultimate say and clearly He said my mom has more to do here. I was also eagerly awaiting the birth of my son. I was scared to death that I wouldn’t and frankly couldn’t love him with the depth and intensity I had for Simone. All the same, I couldn’t wait to meet him.

Grant is on the way!

Grant is on the way!

Spring 2013 arrived with the birth of Grant Alexander on April 22. The hubby and I were overjoyed that he was healthy AND that he wasn’t born on April 17th, the birthday shared by both his sister Simone AND his brother Frankie. WHEW is all I can say about that. Our bouncing baby boy completely captivated us. With Simone, it was doctor after doctor and hospital after hospital as we battled her health issues. With Grant, we could relax and just enjoy him. My heart expanded and love engulfed me.

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Summer 2013 was a blur. I was a walking zombie. Taking care of two kids, and sometimes three, is WORK. Somehow, my 40+ behind found the strength. But there were some highlights. We finally took our honeymoon. We had a GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD time. Tropical breezes and libations can work wonders. It was on and popping. Ok, I think I’m blushing at the memories.

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Late Summer/Fall 2013 ushered in many firsts. We took our first family trip to the beach. Simone started her first day of preschool.  Simone started dance classes (she’s a ballerina in the making). Grant smiled at me for the first time, rolled over for the first time, sat up by himself for the first time, and stuffed his face with solid food for the first time. I smile every time I think of these moments.

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Simone at school

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December 2013, we’re still making memories. Simone woke up and saw the snow and began jumping with glee.  She’s seen snow before, but unlike last year, this time she was overjoyed. She couldn’t stop staring out the window. I was catapulted back to my childhood when I would dash to the window to stare at the falling snow. I love being able to relive my childhood through my children. I love remembering the happy child I was.

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Christmas is just around the corner. We already have Grant’s Christmas photo and will soon have the family Christmas card to share. I can’t wait to create even more memories to close out the year.

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