About Me

PA, United States
For now, I work as a stay-at-home mom of three beautiful children (a boy who is 2, a girl who is 4, and a step-daughter who is 18 and currently attending American University, Go Alex!!) while trying desperately to finish my dissertation in sociology. My husband and I have been together for 10 wonderful years and he works as a software architect. While he helped me design this blog, he cannot be liable for its content. I decided to start blogging because: 1) Many of my mommy friends have blogs and I was tired feeling left out, 2) I needed a place to vent my frustrations about my graduate program and rave about my children and my husband, 3) a blog can keep our extended family (who live very far away) updated, and 4) as fellow mommy blogger once told me (thanks Patty), a blog is a historical record that can later be shared with your children.

Favorite Quotes

  • The phrase "working mother" is redundant. Jane Sellman
  • How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! Maya Angelou, African American poet
  • Be careful what you give children, for sooner or later you are sure to get it back. Barbara Kingsolver
  • The development of a tree depends on where it is planted. Edward Joyner, Yale Univ. School
  • We have been the benefactors of our cultural heritage and the victims of our cultural narrowness. Stanley Kripper, Psychologist
  • Being 'educated' means knowing how little I really know. Carol T Lloyd
  • Life shrinks or expands in proportion to ones courage. Anais Nin
  • We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are. Anais Nin Diarist
  • We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as in insoluble problems. John W Gardner
  • Age is a high price to pay for maturity. Anon

My Reading List

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009


The story of Armani Osbaldo Feliciano

Armani was born on March 17, 2006 in West Chester, PA. Armani is my St. Patrick’s Day baby and while having his birthday on St. Patty’s day is fun for now, I know I will dread the fact that his birthday falls on St. Patty’s day once he becomes a young adult. Armani was a pretty big baby (9.4 pounds and 21.5 inches long) and is still a big boy for his age. Today at age three he often gets mistaken as a 4 or 5 year old and wears a size 5.

As a baby, I loved nursing Armani and rocking him to sleep on his blue-cloud Boppy pillow. He was such a good sleeper and really a pretty easy baby. At around 6 months, Armani started eating solid foods and up until his 2nd birthday Armani loved vegetables and sometimes would eat just veggies for a meal. Today, however, I’m lucky if I can get Armani to eat a very small bowl of corn or peas.

By 6 months of age, Armani could sit up all by himself, smile and laugh. Armani was such a happy baby. He just loved to smile and I think he loved all the attention he got when he did so. Around this age, Armani also started crawling and would stand and play in his exersaucer for hours.

When Armani was 8 ½ months old, he started walking and this is when parenting stepped in to high gear because we had to watch him constantly. There were many falls, most of them not serious, however two falls have been embedded in my mind. One particularly bad fall was along the fireplace’s brick edge (we covered the edges with foam but he kept pulling the foam off). With this fall he got a nice cut/bump on his forehead and we had a nice trip to the doctor. Another particularly bad fall was when he fell face/mouth first on a wooden waste basket in the bathroom, which pushed his front tooth back a bit (this tooth ended up having to be extracted when he was two).

When Armani was around a year old he was the very curious sort. He loved pushing buttons and opening drawers and cupboards. In fact, on our flight to Washington State to visit family, Armani found the one button on the plane that disabled XM radio to all passengers. Oh, he was quite a handful.

At 2 years old, Armani really started to understand words and his vocabulary accelerated at an unbelievable pace. I could ask him to find any object in a book, or any letter of the alphabet or any number between 1-20 and he could do so easily. He LOVED looking through books and LOVED to be read to. In fact, he still LOVES his books (this cannot be understated, he is definitely my little bookworm). Armani also loves puzzles and started putting together 3 year old puzzles at the age of 2. A weird quirk of Armani’s at this age (and actually continues to this day) is his infatuation with putting blankets over his head and running/walking around. Very dangerous! In fact, once everyone wakes up in the morning, I usually have to go into each bedroom and pull all the blankets off the beds and hide them. Yet, he always seems to find one and we end up having a tug-a-war over “his” blanket. I can’t tell you how many times he has walked into a wall with a blanket covering his head. At age two, Armani also started going to preschool and started becoming much more independent. He likes to hang up his jacket at school and put away his lunchbox. He also likes storytime and when coach Lesley visits on Tuesdays and of course he loves playing outside on the playground. He also likes handing out cups and napkins to his classmates during snacktime.

Armani is such a wonderful and affectionate child. He has never been aggressive, strange as that may be for a boy, plays nicely with his sister (has never hit her as far as I know), shares his toys and snacks with her, tries to comfort her when she’s upset and loves to hold her hand and follow her around. Armani also loves giving kisses and being hugged and my heart just melts everytime I see him displaying affection.

So now my handsome little man is 3 years old! I can’t believe it! These last three years have just flown by. If he follows in Maya’s footsteps (which he seems to be thus far) this year is going to be a big year for him (lots of milestones are coming)! Happy birthday, Armani!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


This morning we were getting ready to go to the gym and Maya grabs one of my old history books and starts thumbing through. She sees a few maps and says to me, "Mommy, after we go to the gym we have to go to North America." I couldn't stop laughing. She knows all her continents by name but doesn't quite get the full concept, yet.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Data collection delayed again

Right now I should be in St. Paul finally conducting interviews but alas another delay. Unfortunately, the executive director of the association I am working with fell and is out of commission so she asked if we could push the interviews back three weeks. “Of course” I said and while I’m very sympathetic (these things do happen), I guess I’m just a little frazzled with the time it takes to complete a dissertation. I realize that not all dissertations take 5 or more years to complete, but many of them do so I shouldn't be so hard on myself. However, it has been 4 years now of serious working and I’m just ready to move on. It seems like it has been one thing after another, first it took me 2 years just to find a topic, then another 6 months to put together a proposal, then the hardest part was putting together a committee, which took about a year and ½, then finding study participants (another 6 months), getting committee members to allow me to hold a proposal hearing and advance to candidacy (another 6 months). Ugh! Will it ever end! I’m venting but staying focused. I think this has been more than anything else, an endurance test. I just keep thinking and hoping that once I complete all the interviews and start analyzing the data the rest will be smooth sailing.

So now I leave for St. Paul on February 17th. I will be interviewing Hmong women who have been born in this country and those who have been here less than a year. I am truly excited to meet these women and listen to their stories. For those of you less familiar with Hmong people, their culture has recently been minimally showcased in the new Clint Eastwood movie “Gran Torino”. Hubby and I saw this movie on New Years Eve and Clint was absolutely spectacular. I also loved the fact that he did not hire professional established actors but instead looked to the Hmong community for aspiring actors. Well, the next time you hear from me writing about my dissertation it should be after my data has been collected. Until then...

Monday, January 19, 2009

The gift of voice

So I'm wondering how in the world a child can talk for so long and not have a sore throat, be hoarse or lose their voice. Fourteen months ago, I would never had believed that I had a chatterbox on my hands. I mean today our little Maya just doesn't stop talking. From the moment she wakes up till she goes to bed at night it is constant talking; mommy this... and mommy that... ALL DAY LONG! For those of you who don't know, Maya was a late talker, barley said a word before the age of three. We were very concerned and turned to family, friends and eventually the "experts". Friends and family would often try to comfort us telling us that it would come and that we had to just be patient. But between the ages of 2 and 3 1/2 we were baffled and couldn't understand why her "voice" hadn't developed. The "experts" were also very concerned. One particular specialist suggested that Maya was "on the autism spectrum scale". This of course not only terrified us but confused us as well for Maya showed no signs of autism. Well if that specialist could only see Maya now! Not only is she talking all the time, she is doing incredibly well in school. I met with Maya's teachers last week for her mid-year conference and they said that she was performing above average and they boasted about the 100% she got on her phonics work. We are so very proud of her. So even though there are times that my head feels like it is about to explode from the constant questions and statements, we have truly embraced her voice as the wonderful gift that it is.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

She's a sucker...

I picked up Maya from school today and since it was cold they didn't get to go outside to play on the playground. As we leave, we pass by the playground and Maya tells me she wants to go play. Well, it's cold, I'm carrying Armani along with a stack full of craft papers, Armani's backpack, and his lunch bag so I tell her NO and to hurry up. Maya then begins to cry. I have very little patience with her at this point since I'm about to drop everything I'm carrying and I tell her that I'm going to the car and that she'd better follow me. As I walk away, she sits down on the ground and begins to cry louder. I figure let me get Armani in the car, out of the cold, and then I will come back and deal with her. To my surprise, however, one of Maya's classmates (Ben) and his mother come out of the school and when Ben see's that Maya is crying and sitting on the ground he goes over to her, picks up her lunch box, and offers her his hand. Maya takes his hand, stands up and Ben walks her all the way to our car while holding her hand and carrying her lunch box. This was definitely a Kodak moment. Of course Maya completely stopped crying. She's such a sucker for sweet little boys. I wonder were she got that from?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In memory of Lex

Lex and her three sisters were the first babies to be born in our house, they were actually born in our linen closet 5 1/2 years ago. We have such fond memories of them. Alex, who was about 13 years old at the time, watched their birth in amazement. When they were less than two weeks old, I can remember watching them in awe as they all tried desperately to climb up and down our stairs. Unfortunately, we recently had to say goodbye Lex. Lex was a beautiful cat, very loved and will be missed!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thanksgiving playdate

Here are some pictures from our Thanksgiving playdate.

We made turkey cupcakes!

Armani is loving the camera in this picture. This is a very rare occurrence. He never, let me repeat NEVER, lets us take his picture. Maybe a new phase is on the horizon. Gosh, I hope so.

For Thanksgiving day at mama and papa's house, Maya and I made this turkey out of fruit. We had a lot of fun doing it and it held up pretty good except for the one feather (pepper) that wilted.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Feliciano Elves

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

I've got to thank my good friend, Nancy, for directing me to jibjab for this one. Check her out at


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