Thursday, October 18, 2012

Check out my new blog!

Song of These Streets is now


Please visit me at 
www.equisplace.com 
where I bravely tell it all with honesty and laughter.

Friday, October 14, 2011

GET UP. GET OUT! - Activities to Get You Out the Door (Top Five Friday)

Sometimes I stay inside for days. I moved into my new apartment a little over a week ago, and I've already managed to stay inside for two days straight at least twice. One might say that I am enjoying the new-found freedom of just being, as in being in my own space, but being inside for long lengths of time does not make me happy. During those days, I only saw sunlight through the solitary set of windows in my living room, deciding instead to organize the moving mess, take care of Baby Equis, watch television and eat.

As lovely as the view from my apartment is, I know that not going outside distresses me. I begin to feel frustrated and restless, yet I can't seem to motivate myself enough to just get up and get out. It is all too easy to fall into the routine of being a single stay-at-home-mother, waking with baby, feeding baby, changing baby's third pooped pamper, waiting for baby to nap so I can clean up after baby and repeating the steps as often as necessary until I crawl into bed, exhausted and anxious about doing it all again the next day.

I recognize that my tendency to remain in my home is an issue not only for my mental health but also my physical health: two years ago, I worked so much that I rarely saw the light of day, I became very depressed and suffered from a severe Vitamin D deficiency. I do not want to regress to such a state; besides, there is so much Equis and I do not see whe

n we stay indoors all day. Hence, I am presenting this week's Top Five Friday blog topic: "Get Up. GET OUT! - Activities to Get You Out the Door." This post is as much for me as it is for you.

READ TOP FIVE FRIDAY ACTIVITIES HERE.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Long Days and Short Years: Life as a Stay-at-Home-Mom

“The Days Are Long and the Years Are Short --Stay-at-Home Moms and Sex Workers.” No, I am not a sex worker, but I had to laugh when I read this chapter title in Tina Fey’s memoir Bossypants. I do know that daily life as a stay-at-home mom, particularly a single one, is HARD. Wait here a moment while I look up synonyms of hard so I don’t bore you with redundancy in this post....

Ok, I’m back.

If you are a single stay-at-home parent, you know how difficult it is to spend 24 hours of every day of every week of every month taking care of a tiny human being who wholly depends on you for food, love, diaper changes, entertainment and education. You know what an arduous task ANYTHING becomes when you have a 21 pound 11 ounce little one attached to your hip and pulling your hair. Showering is basically impossible (or is my baby boy the only one who screams as if he’s just lost his mother once I step behind the curtain?). Eating? It’s complicated, to say the least. Every chore that I found frustrating to make time for before having a baby (e.g. cleaning the living room, washing and folding laundry, checking emails and pooping) has become that much more irksome to complete while Equis is awake. Let me tell you, I thank God for the Kindle: Equis can no longer pull my books’ pages apart before my very eyes! ...

READ MORE HERE!

Friday, July 8, 2011

On Being A Single Mom

I told my therapist a few weeks ago, “I HATE being a single mom!” After a few moments of silence, I added, “It‘s hard,” and my therapist thanked me for my honesty.

My honesty? I was surprised by her reaction to my confession. She wasn’t going to throw stones at me for admitting that, as much as I love my son, I am depressed with my current state of motherhood? She wasn’t going to report me to ACS for neglecting to read to him every day? ...

Read more here at my NEW AND IMPROVED SITE.

Also, follow me on Twitter @XAMaldonado

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

CHECK OUT MY NEW SITE!!! Mom Blog, Poetry Blog & More!

Dear Followers,

As you may have noticed, I have been MIA for about a year and a half... ever since I discovered I was pregnant in January of 2010. Well, my son is now 10 months old, and I have returned to writing with an all new website at www.xiomaramaldonado.weebly.com. Check it out now!

My site features a MOM blog, Poetry Blog, Photo Gallery and Parent Freebies. READ IT! LOVE IT! COMMENT!

Also, you can now follow me on Twitter: @XAMaldonado

I will love to hear your thoughts about my latest work. It's been a long time; and I have missed my writing/reading community. Thanks so much for your support.

Sincerely,
Xiomara

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bedside Sojourns

A nurse wags her finger in my mother’s face:
“Do you know what your father did?”
(Grandpa had ripped the IV from his arm last night
and slunk to the bathroom bleeding.)

Her chastising words - “Young immune systems
cannot combat death!” then chase me into the elevator
and out on to First Avenue’s black-speckled streets.

I study the stroller canopy while I walk, fighting to replace
the nurse’s scolding eyes with those of a proud man smiling
as his great-grandson touches his shaking hand.

“You're my favorite grandpa.”
    “I’m your only.”

I am not there when he gasps he cannot breathe,
when residents rush a crash cart to his body.
I am not there until later, when one uncle cracks
jokes as he cries, another talks of sleep and work,
and the last insists we move Pop to the Upper East Side.
My mother consults her brothers before she decides
to sign to let the doctor prep his neck and put in lines.

We wait where the carpet is dull and the Bible passes
from hand to hand. We glare at the black television,
its Out of Order sign and at nurses’ aides who talk
loudly into their phones, excitedly slipping green
bills into the vending machine.

Two weeks later, in yet another ICU waiting room,
my son woos visitors with his lamp-like eyes
and his toothless giggle. He blows raspberries
from an oblivious mouth; and, as a magician
finds flowers in a sleeve, his coos cull sorrow
from our brows and wake our dormant laughs.

Soon it is my turn to sit at Grandpa's bedside.
I pass through automatic doors, then white bed
after occupied bed until I reach his threshold.

His thinly veiled chest inflates… collapses;
and between his teeth, a piece of yellow plastic lies
as still as a tree frog in hiding.
I had forgotten growing up means
the people I love get older too.

My mother has taped photographs of us to the wall.
In one my grandfather grins because it is his birthday.
He stands straight, his capable hands (that once counted
taxi fare change) gripping the top of an unseen cane.
Behind large glasses and below a New York
Yankees cap, his eyes crinkle for the camera.

I hold my grandfather’s swollen hand and slick back
 sparse unruly hairs to kiss his sweating forehead.

I try to hide the heaving in my eyes
when a nurse asks me to leave
in order to switch his lifted side.

Copyright 2011 Xiomara A. Maldonado

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Top Online Reads & Sees From The Root

I know that I haven't written in several months, but I found these articles from The Root so interesting, I thought I'd share them with you. The Root describes itself as "a daily online magazine that provides thought-provoking commentary on today's news from a variety of black perspectives." Enjoy!

The New Middle Passage
By: Malika Saada Saar Posted: June 17, 2010
Think Abraham Lincoln freed all the slaves back in 1863? Think again. And then get angry. Very, very angry.

On this Juneteenth, I am thinking of those who are not yet free. Most of them are girls. Born in America.
Every year in this country, between 100,000 and 300,000 children--most of whom are astonishingly between the ages of 11 to 14 years old-- are sold for sex by pimp-captors, according to government statistics. ...

Photo courtesy of ThinkStock.com
What Will Happen to Juneteenth?
By: Erin Evans Posted: June 18, 2010
Gen Y seems less than enthused about the day that slaves in Texas found out they were free. How will Black Independence Day fare in 2050?

"So how do you celebrate Juneteenth?" I asked my Twitter friends a few weeks ago. After a dead-tweet silence, I retweeted myself for emphasis. Even then, just a handful of my 300 or so Twitter friends responded with a few half-baked answers. "Go to some crappy festival," one Californian said. "I celebrate by doing nothing," said a childhood friend from Texas. ...
The Miseducation of Texas Schoolkids
By: Afi-Odelia Scruggs Posted: May 26, 2010
There's a reason why Carter G. Woodson established a Negro History Week in 1928.

See, a bunch of guys needed something to do in 1865 and 1866, right after the Civil War. It wasn't like they could go back to their plantations; Northerners had seen to that. So these good ole boys amused themselves by dressing up in sheets and riding through the countryside pulling pranks. Just good, clean hijinks, until they discovered their antics terrorized former slaves. Then, things turned naughty and nasty. But in the beginning, the Klan was just a social club. ...

Single-Minded: Sending My Mom Love on Father's Day
By: Helena Andrews Posted: June 18, 2010
No one can be both a 'mother and a father' to their kids. I'm so glad that my mom knew this.

I don't get those single women who say they've had to be ''the mother and the father'' to their kids. Nobody can be two people. Not even Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde could pull it off, and they had mad science on their side. Thing is you're either someone's mother or father, the two roles are mutually exclusive for a reason. ...

Florida Christian-School Teacher Fired for Premarital Sex
By The Buzz Posted: June 14, 2010
Fresh from our "Wow file," a former fourth-grade teacher at Southland Christian School in St. Cloud, Florida, was fired for conceiving several weeks before getting married. Oh, the shame -- getting pregnant by your fiance a few weeks before the actual marriage. ...
The Myth of Black-on-Black Violence
By Natalie Hopkinson Posted: June 16, 2010
As we head into another long, hot summer, the media -- and black folks -- need to retire this loaded term.

This year's Black History Month was a particularly bloody one in Shelby County, S.C. Sergio Leary, Ja'cole Wilson, Karon Barrow and Leon Thurman Jr., all young people in their 20s, were all shot dead, according to local news reports.

The Shelby Star's analysis of the burst of violence, hit on all the usual crime reporting clich├ęs: ''black,'' ''at-risk youth,'' ''subcultures that don't value'' life. And then, there's the clincher. ''Despite overall crime numbers falling in recent years, black-on-black [emphasis added] violence remains a prevalent issue,'' the newspaper reported. ...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Top Online Reads & Sees: JOBS & MONEY

10 Careers That Didn't Exist 10 Years Ago
By Rachel Zupek, CareerBuilder.com writer
Every so often, you meet someone with a job title that makes you go, "Huh?" Either it's too technical to understand, too hard to describe or in some cases, people just may not have heard of it. But, why would someone not have heard about a job's existence? ...
Sneaky coupon tricks: 6 hacks to help you fight back
Don't let the fine print stop you from saving.
Posted by DonnaFreedman on Monday, October 26, 2009 2:47 AM
A recent Safeway ad had a coupon for a dozen eggs for $1, a swell deal these days.... However, the coupon's fine print -- there's always fine print -- said shoppers needed to spend at least $10 to use the dollar-a-dozen coupon. The thing was, I didn't need $10 worth of stuff. Just eggs. But I wasn't about to let a teeny-tiny disclaimer keep me from getting cheap protein. I have a frugal hack for just such an occasion. ...
 9 Sneaky Tips for Saving More
First trick yourself into building a cash cushion, and then trick yourself into keeping it. The process is profitable and might even be fun.
By DonnaFreedman, MSN Money
In a perfect world, we wouldn't need tricks to save money. Life isn't perfect, though. The national savings rate in November was 4.7%, which actually is an improvement over recent years. That means Americans, on average, tucked away about a nickel of every dollar.

Did you?

Top Online Reads & Sees: WEATHER

Even fish can't escape Sunshine State's cold
100,000 killed, wiping out farmer; hard freeze warning for South Florida
AP Associated Press, updated 8:02 a.m. ET, Mon., Jan. 11, 2010
MIAMI - Freakish cold weather continued to grip the South, with snow flurries spotted around Orlando and a record low set for Miami, and forecasters said Sunday that more of the same was expected.
Deep Freeze Costing Americans Big Bucks
Jan. 11: Farmers in Florida are battling crop-destroying cold and heating bills in the Northeast are skyrocketing as a record-breaking cold snap. NBC’s Ron Mott reports from Atlanta.


Top Online Reads & Sees: RELATIONSHIPS

How to Make Romance Last
By Helen Fisher, Ph.D., from "O, The Oprah Magazine"

There's nothing like young love, is there? Actually, long-term love can be pretty similar, with one key difference. Learn more about what keeps marriages together.
Should You Give an Ultimatum?
By Diana Vilibert and Abraham Lloyd

Is it ever a good idea to throw down the ultimatum gauntlet in a relationship? Ultimatums are examined from a male and a female writer's perspectives.