(Photo Courtesy: World of EPI)
One year, my father stood in line for hours, braving the bitter cold, to buy my first Black Cabbage Patch doll. His name was Dickie Peyton. My dad selected the little brown boy from the store shelves, since they shared the same name—well nickname in my father’s case. Previously, my parents bought me what they “called” a Cabbage Patch. A woman they knew made knockoffs. Although I happily played with the doll I named Vena, I longed for the real deal. Then one Christmas morning, I looked under the tree and met my new best friend. After that day, I took Dickie everywhere! I even threw him a birthday party with a real cake. I’ll never forget the love my dad had for his daughter and the love I had for that doll. I’ve read that some parents dyed dolls to look like the children who loved them. And others made their own creations on their sewing machines. As the years passed, more and more dolls of color found their way onto the market. If you can’t find a pretty brown doll in person, you can tracked one down online. Diary of a First Time Mom tracked down doll maker Dr. Lisa Williams to thank her for creating Positively Perfect toys. (more…)
(Photo Courtesy: Bravo TV)
I moved into my apartment building because of my neighbors. Not the nice old lady living across the hall, rather the Thai, Italian, Irish and American families (eh, hem restaurants) around the corner. Yesterday, my daughter and I took a stroll to the coffee shop to buy brownies. The day before, we took a trip to Thailand, well the little piece of the Asian country transplanted here in Pittsburgh. My daughter has dined at most restaurants in town and even has a few favorites. She loves the one with French fries on the menu!
At first, I felt bad for not cooking for her at home on a regular basis. I felt worse when I served prepackaged meals. So, when I met a fellow mom I admired,Top Chef Carla, I thought I would walk away from our interview with my head down in shame. Surprisingly, we had more in common than I thought!
(Photo Courtesy: St. Jude)
Being a new mother can be overwhelming. Being a new, single mom can add even more stress to the job. But when I think about bills I forgot to pay or errands I didn’t run, I think about Elnora Lee–an amazing mother I met recently at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. When I complain about my hectic schedule, I mentally go over what Elnora does in a day. She wakes up before the sun comes up at 5 a.m. She gets four of her five children fed, dressed and dropped off at school. Her fifth child stays at home with her while she cooks, cleans and does laundry. She also takes the baby to doctor’s appointment and goes to physical therapy before picking her children up from school. She chauffeurs them back and forth to extracurricular activities and takes her two daughters to St. Jude. When they get home, she makes dinner, helps with homework and bathes the younger children. When she tucks them in, she irons clothes and fixes lunches for the following day. Then she spends time with her husband who works long hours. Her head doesn’t hit the pillow until midnight. Did I mention three of Elnora’s five children are battling brain cancer? And she’s fighting for her cancer not to return. I don’t know what I would do if I lived her life. I imagine I would fall out on the floor in agony and in tears. And then, like Elnora, I would fall to my knees in prayer. Diary of a First Time Mom is extremely honored and humbled to share her story of courage, survival and immeasurable faith. (more…)
Dear Diary, Chandra Wilson has a similar make up as her TV alter ego, Dr. Miranda Bailey. Both the fictional and real life versions are hardworking, driven, intelligent and talented. Like many working mothers, myself included, they juggle demanding careers and even more demanding children on little sleep and lots of love. Before Chandra became a huge hit on network television, she worked overnight and weekend shifts at Deutsche Bank. She was still an employee the day she auditioned for Grey’s Anatomy. She landed the role, and the following year, she got another announcement. She was pregnant with her third child, who later became a regular on the set during her breastfeeding breaks. By now, Chandra was experienced at being a multitasking mother. When she had her daughter about a decade earlier, she was starring in a stage play in New Jersey. She took time off to deliver her baby and went back to work five days later! Diary of a First Time Mom caught up with Chandra at the Disney Dreamers Academy to talk about chasing your dreams and your children. (more…)
(Photo Courtesy: Disney Dreamers Academy)
Doc Shaw didn’t always have a “suite life”. He wasn’t born a “king” or a Disney star. As a matter of fact, his dream wasn’t just to be on TV–it was to take care of his mom who was widowed. When Doc was only two-years-old, his father died in a car crash. But the dream Doc’s dad instilled in him, when he signed his son up to be a model, lived on. You see, Doc was in the car and survived the accident. A few years later at the tender age of six, he said, ”Mom I was left here for a reason. The word was spoken on my life, and I have unfinished work to do. I want to continue my career, so please find me an agent.” So she did, and she later became his manager. Ironically, he landed a role in a sitcom called “House of Pain”. But his pain was lessening, and his comedy–and his mother–kept a smile on his face.
Diary of a First Time Mom caught up with the Shaw’s at the Disney Dreamers Academy to find out how their dream of living a joyous life came true.