My Year in London, Uncategorized

On Facebook and David Beckham

This part of my London adventures really deserved a whole post of its’ own, because this was a turning point in my first couple of months in London– or my life, your call. Of all the people in this world, I certainly was not expecting to meet David Beckham. I just randomly entered this contest on a whim on Facebook, and hell I even forgot about it. As I received that first email that I had won the opportunity, at first I was like huh? What the..

Back to where I left off from the last installment of My Year in London series–the 49ers vs Jaguars game, which was on a Sunday. Now that I think about it, I made a mistake in my previous post, I believe I checked my email that Friday night and got the email about responding to the David Beckham event a day or two too late, but it was Friday or Saturday that I responded. I don’t know. The point is, I had missed the deadline in responding and I remember sending two emails back to back to the sender asking if they still had a spot open and that I had wanted to still attend. It was the football game that I saw that I got a confirmation email saying that it was OK and that they still had a spot for me, and that’s why I was so distracted.

…And because I don’t understand American football. That’s besides the point though.

That Wednesday was the day of the event. It was the first, and to my knowledge the only time, that Facebook was testing out this particular technology where they had a digital book signing all around the world. How it worked was that, they would have David in a studio in London signing autographs to fans’ Facebook timeline digitally with a tablet, while fans from other parts of the world would be able to video chat in with him live and ask questions. The autographs will be posted to fans’ timeline automatically. As for the fans in the audience, we got to stand in line after the taping of the event was over to meet him and ask him questions, one by one.

So the day comes, and I arrive to Air Studios in the northwest area of London, which was in the area where I lived but a much fancier part. The place was actually relatively close to me in mileage, but it took forever to get there by bus. I’m surprised I got there in time and didn’t get lost. God must has been on my side or something. Ha. So anyway, I get there, check in with security and everyone was directed towards a reception room with lots of food. In this room we watched the first part of the interview, and I remember wondering if that was it and if we were actually going to be able to meet David or not. After being there for a while, I whipped out my phone and started Facebooking– you know up until that point not a single person knew where I was or what I was doing. I like being full of surprises–or just secretive, your call.

Finally, after a couple of hours we all got escorted into this studio where David was and we got to be the audience during his interview. Following the ending of it everyone was lined up and got to talk to David and get a picture with him while he signed autographs. You know– I imagined a lot of things to say to him as I was standing in that line, I really did. I practiced in my head over and over because I was in the tail end of the line so I had some time and then he was in front of me and all I could muster up was “Hi”.. and then I proceeded to drooling on him and smiling like an idiot the whole time. I was so frozen, it was ridiculous. And footbal/soccer was actually the only sport I’ve ever played and the only sport I really understand so you would think that I’d have something to say to him but nothing came out. Hell, we even played the same position! Embarrassing.

See, this is exactly why I can’t date hot guys.

Anyway, he was really nice and seemed pretty used to the drooling. If you think he looks good on camera, in person he is unbelievably beautiful. I can’t. I couldn’t even, y’all. I wish my camera was more focused. I wish there wasn’t much space between us in that photo, but I was so disgustingly shy that day, he’s lucky I didn’t pass out on him. I had no words, and I didn’t know what to do with myself afterwards either. What do you do after that?!

We got copies of his new book and a copy of our autographs. Then that day I just remember going to a pizza shop by my flat, got a whole pizza but only ate half of it (like that sounds any better) and a glass of red wine. Because really, what could I possibly do after that? What is life after David Beckham?

Spoken like a true fan girl.

The significance of this though was that afterwards, I started liking London. Finally. I mean honestly, who wouldn’t?

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personally lyka

On Forgiving Myself

I don’t think motherhood has really changed the kind of person that I am. I still feel like myself, my real real self. I just have a little guy that looks kinda like me that is with me at all times and depends on me for everything. Aside from that, I am the same person. I really expected some kind of a transformation, and perhaps over time the changes will be obvious, but I feel no different from before I found out I was pregnant. Although, I do find that I am quicker to make better choices than lollygag and put things off, because time is really limited now.

I can say though that since becoming a parent, it has really made me stop and magnify the things in my life that I don’t really like about myself and want to change. Even though my son is really young, I know for a fact kids pick up the tiniest things. I can not help but think about the things I do that I don’t ever want any child of mine doing. I can’t help but think about the kind of person I want my son to be. You want your kids to be instilled with good virtues and not pick up nasty habits. One of the things about myself that I need to work on is forgiving. Forgiving others as well as myself.

I especially need to learn to forgive myself. I beat myself up a lot about things. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a perfectionist, because I never do anything perfectly– perhaps the better way to word it is, I hate being wrong. Anyone that knows me well is probably nodding their head at that sentence. People don’t understand how much it bothers me to be wrong about anything or someone. As I’ve gotten older, I’m better at this– especially with my close friends. I’ll forsake being right because I don’t like arguing with my friends. While forgiving myself has gotten slightly easier, I know I still have a lot of work to do with that.

Ever since my son was born, I’ve beaten myself up every single day about his “father”–and I’m using that term really loosely here. I can see why some single parents can have such hatred for their child’s other parent, because I have never felt such hatred and disgust for another person before this. And I really hate myself for it.

I’m one of those people that believe who you surround yourself with is a reflection of you. And I just can’t believe I ever let someone in my life that doesn’t do anything for their child and thinks parenting is a choice. I can’t believe one day I have to explain this to my son. I have no words for this. I know this scenario isn’t a new one or anything, but it’s just one of those things you think will never happen to you until it happens. And I’m having a hard time with it because while this whole situation disgusts me and is appalling, when I think about it– I’m not really surprised. Just because you expect someone to do the right thing, doesn’t mean they will.

The thing I’m having a hard time with is, in the very beginning, I knew I should have just not pursued this relationship. I just knew I shouldn’t’ve done it. I made so many excuses, ignored the red flags that I knew were there from the very first date. While I know it isn’t all my fault, I can’t help but tell myself that I knew this would happen over and over again.

I must say, I love my son, and I don’t regret him. That’s not what I’m mad about. I just wish things were different for my son, because one day he’ll ask about this period in his life and I don’t have a logical answer. I know there’s nothing I can do but forgive myself and move on, and I want to– but it’s like I’m staring in a tunnel and the light is so distant. I don’t want my son to see me this way. I don’t ever want to see my son beat himself up the way I do.

So I’m going to work on it. I don’t intend to be mad about this or at myself for forever, but I sure wish I was much better at forgiving myself right now, because I can see that this is going to be a very long road ahead of me.

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Mommyhood, Uncategorized

On The Mommy Hook – Giveaway

One of the recent challenges I’ve had with being a new mom is trying to maneuver a trip to the store with a newborn. After much trial and error I think I’ve gotten it down to a manageable level. One of the products that has helped me is The Mommy Hook.

The Mommy Hook is a must have accessory for any parent. It makes carrying your purses, groceries, diaper bags, even sports equipment simple by just hooking it onto the back of your stroller or shopping cart. I have two hooks, so I like using it to carry a hand basket at the store. I can’t put anything extremely heavy in the hand basket otherwise it’ll tip over the stroller, but I haven’t ran across that yet!

Also, if you’re the kind of person* who would rather use every ounce of strength you have taking all the bags of groceries out of your car in one trip than go back to your car and make a second trip for those last two bags, then The Mommy Hook is also really helpful with that. I just hook my bags onto it, and the foam nonslip grip makes it so much easier than having a ton of bag handles practically cutting off the circulation in my hands. On the days when I require more things than a hand basket can carry, these are super helpful. This would have really helped me while I was in London and I needed a place to store my many stretch/workout bands. Seriously.

Lucky for you, I am giving away 2 Mommy Hooks! The giveaway will run from now until Thursday at 11:59 PM EST. This is open to US residents only.

To enter here use the widget below:

Lyka Boss Mommy Hook Giveaway
https://js.gleam.io/e.js

The winner will be announced here and be contacted via email address. They have 48 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen. I will forward the information over to The Mommy Hook who will send the prize directly to the address given by the winner.

*Let’s be honest, that’s most of us– am I right?

This is not a sponsored post, I just received The Mommy Hook in exchange for a review. The words expressed here are my own opinion.

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My Year in London

On Chris Hemsworth and Football

Like any major city, we have this impression in our head of what it was like, and then there’s the reality. Truth be told I never really.. imagined London as a city I’d ever visit prior to applying to grad school. I have a lot of places on my list, but for whatever reason it lacks English-speaking places. It just happened to have a program that was not to be found in the US, or at least not one I could apply to in time. There was a very short time between me finding this program and finding out I got accepted, so I had little time to process the thought of what living in London would be like.

Thor Premiere - London - Leicester SquareI had no experience in living in another big city for a long period of time, but I did live in Madrid for five weeks in 2010. This was my first time being in an environment like this and I can say it was not for me–not for forever at least. Nothing against London, but I just realized I’m not a big city person. I’d feel the same way about living in any other huge city like that. I much prefer a slower pace of life. I do love big cities to visit, because there is no shortage of things to do–and more importantly, good food to eat. Since I only had 6 hours of class time per week for each term, I had a lot of time to explore.

The beauty of living in a big city is that there is no shortage of surprises like walking in the middle of Leicester Square (FYI– it’s pronounced “Lester”) and seeing a movie premiere. This happened in October 2013, I was just walking around Chinatown foraging for food as usual. I ended up walking right behind a stage and I look up and not even 20 feet away was Natalie Portman. No big deal. Then I see this huge hammer and quickly realize it’s the Thor premiere. More importantly, Chris Hemsworth was there. And while he wasn’t close enough for me to get a good photo, I did see him. Besides, I’m convinced if I would have gotten too close, next thing you know I’d be a home-wrecker– and my conscience couldn’t allow me to break up a family. You’re welcome, Chris Hemsworth’s wife.

Later that month, some American friends flew in from Spain for the weekend to see the 49ers and Jaguars play in London. Now, I know nothing about American football, but I wanted to go to the game. It also gave me a good reason to feel somewhat American again. It was weird going through central London and seeing NFL signs everywhere. Apparently, they’re trying to make the NFL a thing over there. I don’t know. So anyway, my friends were visiting, which also gave me a good reason to do touristy things. I had been there for a month, and I believe this was the first time I actually went to see Big Ben and the London Eye. I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan, because I mentally check out of movie series’ when they space them out too much, but I did go take a picture at Platform 9 3/4. The odd thing is, I passed by that all the time because I had to switch at Kings’ Cross to get to my university or most places. There was never a shortage of tourists there.

So fast forward to Sunday of that weekend, we’re at the football game at Wembley. I was surprised at how many people were there, considering it’s American football, but there was no shortage of fans there. I’m at the game, I think I looked bored, but like I said before, I had no idea what was going on– and I really don’t think I’ll ever get it. This was my second NFL game I had been to that year, by the way. One of my guy friends at the game did explain something to me, and at that moment I did get it, but now I can’t even remember what it was. Happens every single time. Ne-Yo sang the national anthem and for whatever reason I randomly checked my second e-mail account. By second account, I mean the one with so much crap in it it’s not worth using but I still have it. I got this message from Facebook saying I won this contest that I randomly entered to meet David Beckham and that I needed to respond by Friday–it was Sunday. Panic ensued silently as I stared at that email, and I quickly responded to that person pleading that I missed the e-mail and was still interested in going, I even e-mailed the person twice back to back.

I didn’t say a word to anyone I was at the game with about that e-mail, but it was probably the only thing on my mind for the rest of the game. Talk about distracted.

In case you wanted to know, the 49ers beat the Jaguars 42-10.

As for the David Beckham thing, I’ll save that for next the next installment!

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Mommyhood

On Hot Tea and a Baby

PhotoGrid_1422924920060 I’ve never blogged from my phone before. This is a first for me. It’s only 8PM here in Charlotte and it feels like midnight for me. Today, I made a cup of tea– perhaps because I was feeling nostalgic for London because I’m typically an avid coffee drinker. I did not get to drink said tea while it was hot because Niko needed my attention right as it had finish brewing. No hot tea for this mama. Things like this happen often now. It really makes me appreciate the tiny moments in a day without interruptions. I’m not here to complain though, because aside from my first time blogging via cell phone another first happened today and I didn’t want to forget it. Niko smiled at me, voluntarily and not as a reflex, for the first time. I poked his little nose and my little baby boy smiled back at me. I wish I could have gotten a photo, but the image is stuck in my head. Good enough. This photo is unrelated to today, but it’s my favorite photo I have of him so far.

These tiny things really do make it worth, even if I didn’t get my hot tea, that smile was worth everything. Hot beverages are overrated anyway, it’s a good thing I prefer iced coffee.

On a completely unrelated note, my first contributor blog post was posted today at The Nudge Blog. It’s about something I absolutely love doing– traveling! Go take a peek, and I hope it inspires you. Also don’t forget this Thursday I have the next installment to My Year in London series up on the blog.

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Uncategorized

On My One-Month Old

I cannot believe one month ago, my little baby boy made his debut into this world. This has been the longest month of my life, mainly because he has colic– help. me. At the same time it felt like I just blinked and Niko started growing out of his newborn diapers and clothes. What happened?! Aside from being completely sleep deprived and fueled by caffeine and questionably running on little food, because I never have time to really eat, I can say at this point I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. By “it” I mean functioning while being fueled by caffeine and questionably running on little food, because I never have time to really eat. I have also become quite adept to doing things with my one free hand, while balancing a baby in the other hand! I’m quite proud of that, and terrified at the same time.

Niko at 1 day old and 3 weeks old
Niko at 1 day old in the hospital versus 3 weeks old

Enough about me though, it’s really about Niko and this milestone of his. In this relatively short amount of time I’ve learned a lot about him. Without further ado, here’s a recap of him in the past month.

  • He is the kind of baby that needs “extra love”– in other words, you must be holding him while he’s awake. Some times it’s not just holding him, he likes to walk around with you, especially at 3-6AM in the morning. Fine. I’m a night person anyway. But is that even night? Nevermind..
  • He loves car rides. I love car rides with him. You know why? Because he’ll definitely fall asleep in the car. Of course the car has to be moving, and he will know the difference.
  • You would think a tiny person wouldn’t have more laundry than you. You would be WRONG. His hamper is full every week. Side note, I thought I received too many blankets to use, but I soon realized.. you cannot have too many receiving/swaddler blankets, because everything is a spit rag when you have a baby. No blanket? You better use your shirt before it gets ugly. Just saying. And I definitely go through many blankets.
  • He’s been able to hold his head up since he popped out of the womb, y’all! I didn’t even know babies could do that. I still have to hold his wobbly head, but he can lift it and hold it for a good few seconds without it jerking back like a bobble head.
  • I think he likes noise better than quiet. DANG IT!
  • He really likes baths. Thank God.
  • He enjoys using his walking reflex. He better enjoy it while he can before it disappears. That’s great for me that it’ll disappear soon, my arms are tired from holding him upright so he can “walk”.
  • Sometimes he makes these weird noises. He sounds like a baby velociraptor or cat or bird. I don’t know. It’s weird.
  • He has the best facial expressions. He can even raise both eyebrows separately. Not purposely, but I’m sure that’ll happen later on because I raise my eyebrows a lot. He cracks me up with them! He isn’t so amused by my amusement. Yet.
  • Since he’s been about two weeks old he’s been hitting his toys that make noises, usually with his right hand. At first I wasn’t sure it was a fluke, BUT he seems to be doing it purposely. I had to observe him doing it for a while to tell the difference. I didn’t want to be one of those parents, but basically my baby is a genius. I’m just letting you know this right now.

    With my one month old baby!
    Someone.. needed a nap in this photo. By someone I mean both of us.

    This month has been a whirlwind. I can’t even believe I went into labor and delivered him a month ago. When he was three weeks old I was feeding him and staring at him as usual, and I was thinking of the day he was born and how I said hello and happy birthday to him when we met. Cue the water works. It’s like a distant dream, really. It is true what other parents say, and even though it’s only been a month–time really does fly by!

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    My Year in London

    On My Year in London, Pt. 1

    Whenever I hear music from my workout playlist it instantly reminds me of London. I spent a year there and I know it is really weird that I barely ever mentioned it on this blog. Part of the reason was that I was busy having fun, because– HELLO I was in London, and the other parts I was having “moments” that I just did not want to talk about on my blog. But the good news is that I have a ton of pictures from my year there, my travels, and lots of blogging material. So now I’ll let people what I did there, besides I want to break up the baby blogging, my life is revolving around it right now and I can use the mental break.

    Anyway, after I got settled at my first (out of three) place in London, I spent a lot of free time working out at the gym on my street and running to Primrose Hill or Regent’s Park, because it was so close to my flat. I lived with the weirdest landlady, who I’m sure did not give me her real name and used a flip phone. The flat and location were perfect. I lived right above a Waitrose, which is the American equivalent of a fancy grocery store, but not as fancy as Whole Foods, because they had a Whole Foods in London that I went to.. and it was much more expensive. I still went anyway, because.. I’m American. I also had a really nice doorman (porter), and a sexy elevator that reminded me of Grey’s Anatomy. As soon as I opened the door to my flat building to go outside, right across the street was the Finchley Road tube station and also a small shopping center. Trust me, living really close to a nice flat next to a tube station was heaven sent and SO convenient. Half a mile down the road was my gym, which was pretty nice by my standards and had a hot trainer that was always friendly with me. I hate distractions at the gym, but.. if it’s a really good one, I’ll welcome it.

    ………….

    Basically, it was the perfect place for me, aside from the crazy landlady that I didn’t trust and the expensive price tag.

    Then there was university, which was the reason I came to London in the first place.  I don’t know what I was thinking leaving so much time in between undergrad and postgrad.  It had been about 3 and a half years since I had set foot inside a classroom, and I swear it took that whole first term for my brain to even get with the program.  Not to mention, my undergrad degree was in psychology and this program was based in sociology/political sciences.  My professors might as well have spoken French to me for a couple of months. Not having to use your brain in that way in years and then having to think critically all the time, especially about a different subject, was so difficult for me.  All of this on top of trying to adjust to a completely different culture.  I will say this though, even though it was a challenge, completing it was so rewarding.  Who knows maybe I’ll bite the bullet and get a doctorate.  Maybe.

    This post was more of a introduction to my year in London series.  I have a lot to cover, from my favorite places, meeting new people, meeting David Beckham*, traveling to other countries, the agonies of grad school, and general London information from my point of view.  My second installment will be on Thursday, and I’ll keep posting about London on Thursdays.. because TBT, naturally.  If by chance you want me to talk about anything specific feel free to contact me by the form on this page. Until next time..

    *Yea, you read that correctly.  And to my friends, I will NEVER let y’all forget it.  EVER!

     

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