Tag Archives: FEATURED

Steelers tried to Ruin my Date Night

So when you achieve certain goals, like marriage, great career, say like having 4 kids; you enter a world very people have lived. There’s no normal. You’re in a perpetual state of a “new” normal.

Fortunately (I think) our daughter’s volleyball tournaments take us all over the country. The boys tend to stay with my in laws, which used to mean the hotel room to ourselves. And you know what that means… Napping. Lots of napping. Except with the baby, since I’m still her food (aka I’m breastfeeding), we can’t “nap” and being by ourselves is just a lot more difficult. This one trip to Richmond, my mom went to and agreed to watch her for a few hours. Soooo, after a quick pumping, we were free to go. IMG_1388

I did not anticipate the Steelers sabotaging my date before it even started.  I mean they didn’t lose, they got destroyed. And being married to one of the biggest Steelers’ fan, meant my night was screwed.

He did try to act like everything was okay. He took me to CineBistro at Stony Point Fashion Park.

It was pretty cool inside. Dark though. Sorta hard to see your menu. IMG_0381I just had to get used to the ambience, obviously not your typical movie theater.  So you can eat while you wait for the movie to start; or once you’re in the theater they’ll be waiters/waitresses ready to take your order and bring you your meal before the movie begins (remember you must arrive 30 minutes before the movie)

While we waited 45 minutes for Jumanji (I love what the Rock is cooking), I decided to have my first drink since well election day (got pregnant that night while on a cruise lol).  There was definitely a lot to chose from.  The Berry Breeze would be my first drink in a year and a half, and it did not disappoint! We ordered some perfectly seasoned wings, which we devoured in minutes lol.

The movie theater wasn’t too big, all seats were great seats basically. The chairs lounged back and were very comfy.

I know when you go to an upscale movie theater, the last thing you order should be popcorn. But I’ve never seen a movie without eating popcorn, and I wasn’t about to start now.  I want to say more about the in theater dining experience, but it was pretty seamless, didn’t take away from the movie experience, which is surprising because everyone in the theater was basically getting their meals at the same time. You would think it would be disruptive but no, it was just well run. IMG_0393(Hubs order a hamburger which he said was fantastic.)

The movie was fun, you really can’t go wrong with the Rock and Kevin Hart, like ever. Afterwards, it seemed like Hubs spirits were uplifted, we played a little chess, laughed even held hands.

But then we turned our phones back on, reality set back in, he became a sad Steelers’ fan and I went back to being a Ravens’ fan secretly laughing inside (Boooo, Steelers !!!)

 

Naomi

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Face your Fears better yet, Embrace them!

Easier said than done, am I right? Recently I’ve seen this in action, from an incredibly strong black woman who you wouldn’t think feared anything… my beautiful mother-in-law.  In September, she married her high school sweetheart. IMG_0112
Their paths diverged while in college.  Both of them are succeeding in their careers. Both of them have personal achievements, he married for decades and had 4 children, now is widowed; she had an amazing child, Brent, who is now my hot and wonderful husband. IMG_0084 From when they were separated, they grew through their separated lives, to the confident people they are today. Despite fears of the past, future, potential judgment of others, they pursued their newfound love. IMG_0034

So Commendable!

As a woman, despite my parents doing the best they can (I mean my dad still calls me his princess) … I have insecurities. While my mother-in-law was branching into real-life unchartered territory, it actually made me realize my fears are so minimal.  I grew up an athlete, pretty much fit, even with previous pregnancies, my body bounced back pretty well.  My mother-in-law’s wedding was 5 weeks after having a baby.  Making motherhood look good is kinda my thing.  Fashion is kinda my thing.  And yet, I was nervous about how I looked. Knowing that no-one would even care, I just was quietly fixated on it.

I’m currently weighing in at 188lbs, but used to hovering at 160lbs,

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NYFW last yr

This meant my dresses no longer fit.  I usually encourage myself to workout and lose weight in an healthy way, by not giving in and buying a larger clothing size.  But obviously, my hand was forced in this event.  First, I can’t or shouldn’t really try to lose weight while breastfeeding, I fear I’d lose my supply.  Second, with four kids and now I’m back to work, I’m really struggling to see when I have the time or energy to workout.  Basically when I’m at work, my hubs has the newborn and when he’s at work, I have the newborn.  I’m sure I’ll figure it out. But for now, what to wear???

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At work the other day, a nurse said while looking at pictures of the newborn, “Don’t worry you’ll lose your belly… why arent you wearing Spanx?” Now, I consider work a safe place to be yourself, after all I’ve dedicated my life to medicine and taking care of patients.  My gut shouldn’t matter.  I definitely felt self-conscious, as everyone then looked at my belly.   I don’t own Spanx but I thought maybe I should invest, save myself from these unsolicited comments.

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As a great personal stylist, to myself lol, I thought, Bold colors, Patterns, the louder the better! I went to my go-to sites, I wasn’t sure of my size, I kinda assumed a 12.  I checked out Rue-la-la, Zara, Gilt, but it wasn’t until ASOS that I hit the jackpot.   Now that I had my blue dress, I had to dress my cute accessories, aka my kids lol.

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3 of the 4 kids

I tried it on, and it fit well! I’m 5’10” and it was perfectly below the knee, the color looked just like the picture, I mean when does that ever happen?!? IMG_0094

So, I felt I looked good, hubs approved, I got compliments at the wedding. All good right? But I looked at some wedding pictures and I was bit horrified.

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You could see the complete lower outline of my gut, and my belly button! (I’m one of those people with an outie, and am extremely self-conscious about it.) I was thinking Oh Why, didn’t I buy some Spanx.

Then I thought…

Motherhood is a blessing.  My body imperfections are a badge of honor. Like my mother-in-law, you got to not only Face your Fears but Embrace them.  And try your darndest not to be paralyzed by them.  Inspiration is everywhere, I hope this post gave you a little.

Naomi

 

 

Our Fantastic Fourth! Introducing, Sadie Jean…

Sadie Sweet Sadie Jean… On August 2nd at 0236, in glorious fashion, we welcomed our 4th kid, aka heavyweight champion, weighing in at 8lbs 4oz (largest of the 4) and 21.5in.

IMG_3633My ob/gyn so kindly followed my birth plan but young Sadie did not as much, you know how girls are, lol. I was induced early morning August 1st, was in labor 13hrs, not the tortuous kind (until the end). I had my lil one the same hospital as all the others, I like consistency.  Its nice because 6 people are allowed in the birth suite at the same time, which totally passes the time.

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My Dad and I

I waited until 4 cm dilated to get my epidural, even though I didn’t feel I needed it at the time, but I was too nervous to sway away from my birth plan.  Despite me telling the anesthesiologist, that this is my 4th epidural and I’ve had the complications of the others: spinal headache, spinal not epidural, and it numbing only the left not right, she didn’t really listen. So while she was putting it in, I felt a tingle in the right, so I told her.  Instead of her adjusting it, she asked if I had scoliosis, I mean God forbid she admits to not being midline in my back.

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My brother arrived around midnite!

So, I asked her to keep on the lowest setting, the contractions became a lot more intense at 11pm, lasting about 2 minutes about 2 minute apart, well thats all I was feeling, for the right side was numb and the left I could feel full blown.  This time I decided that I’m going to allow myself to feel it, it should help with pushing. I’m notorious for running out of steam while pushing mostly from not being able to feel it well and pushing ineffectively.  IMG_3651But not this time, I was a pro, I told the doctor when it was time to push, after about 8 min, the baby was out!!! I tried the immediate skin to skin thing since that’s hot right now.  Super gooey but super awesome!

IMG_3648So I gave my husband, Brent, his baby girl…

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Fantastic Four!

It was a little difficult in the hospital, since I kept her the entire time, and I was exhausted and barely able to walk the first few days, but hubs and my mom were super helpful.  Sadie Jean did have slightly elevated bilirubin, didn’t require Phototherapy or anything, but they told me its because I wasn’t breastfeeding enough. Wasn’t sure how I could breast feed anymore, it was every hour… And she latched on well!IMG_3663Since I had her early Tuesday am, my doctor had me stay til Friday.  Which I did not anticipate, fortunately my mom was super helpful with the other 3 kids…

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The 5 yr old finally a big brother or as he calls it “the Boss” of the baby

I’m not gonna lie, we are a bit nervous for we are in charge of 4 children, Four!!!!

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But we are so blessed. And with four, ages 17, 9, 5 and newbie; we dont have time to be anxious, we have one already committed to college for volleyball, 4th grade to get ready for, and the youngest boy gearing up for “big boy” school aka kindergarten.

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Can’t leave the Hospital w/o her 1st selfie!

Life feels like its moving rapidly, we’re holding on tight, enjoying the ride.

Naomi

Rekindling our love, Fogo-style… Our 5th Wedding Anniversary!!!

So it’s hard to celebrate when work schedules do not permit. On our 5th wedding anniversary (Shout out to us!), I was working 12 hr nightshifts and hubs was working during the day.  Since this is pretty normal us, usually happens once a month, we vowed to try to go out together soon.  We exchanged gifts when I got home from work Saturday morning before he went to work.  The theme was wood, as usual Brent, made my gift look just dumb. He got me a carved cutting board, and we’re just not even going to discuss my weak gift, lol.  IMG_2015

Hubs seemed pretty satisfied with yet again destroying me the gift department, and I felt bad vowing to do better next year.

*Just to give you an idea of how stellar he is; 6 yrs ago on Christmas morning, he proposed to me with build-a-bears, dressed with a wedding gown and tux; and I gave him UGG mocassins 😦 *

Apparently our lackadasical attitude was unacceptable to my mother-in-law, and rightfully so.  We’ve been bogged down with life stuff,  kid’s tuitions, baby on the way, new house search… Still as she said so eloquently to me,” that’s no excuse.” So she bought us a Fogo de Chao (brazilian steakhouse) gift card, which also so happens to be our 1st anniversary spot.

2 weeks later, despite the fact the opposite work schedules again, we went on a hot date to Fogo.  To maximize my experience of salad perfection, and fine meat galore, I only ate cream of wheat that morning, oh my stomach was going to be sufficiently empty to take it alllllll in!

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If you haven’t been, and even if you’re a vegetarian, I highly recommend Fogo de Chao.

It is an upscale experience, and somehow made fine dining and buffet synonymous.  In Baltimore, ours is located in the Inner Harbor downtown, right near the water.

How it works: Once you get seated, you’re served drinks of your choosing, then you can immediately start at the beautiful salad bar.

Everything looks so fresh and crisp, you almost dont want to touch it and ruin the display.

Then once seated again, you get a circular card, green on one side and red on the other.  IMG_2214If green side up, the “gaucho” will continue to bring various meat dishes  around, slice the amount you request, and move along. Red side up, means you need a break or you are incredibly full.

My favorite is the bacon-wrapped anything lol.

Delectable pork, lamb, chicken dishes menu here.  Steak options include: Beef Ancho (ribeye), Filet Mignon, Picanha (prime sirloin) and more!

Of course, made room for dessert!

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They were so thoughtful!

So, sufficiently full, we made a pact to do better, make time for each other. Then we rushed home because the teenager was watching her little brothers and had to study for a big test in the morn.

Naomi

Maybe not so Wicked, just Misunderstood – NYC Chronicles Finale

Sooo, the Couture Fashion Week show lasted about 45 minutes, which gave us ampleimg_1748 time, to run upstairs to our hotel room and change for… Broadway!!!

 

Which so happened to be a lovely 2 block walk from our hotel. Yeah I’m pretty awesome when it comes to planning. I admit I wanted to see Chicago, but my daughter runs the show and wanted to see Wicked. img_1749

So, naturally that’s what we saw. It was weird the last and only time we went to Broadway was when she was 8 and we saw the Little Mermaid!

Well, the famous Gershwin Theatre lived up to its name. img_1750

It was so awesome to be there. Little background to the show was the events that lead up to why the Wicked Witch of the East was the way she was in the Wizard of Oz.

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The 10pm show was hilariously entertaining, the actresses/actors were beyond talented and their voices were powerful and melodious.

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Obviously we’re not allowed to take pictures during the show, but the entire production, and costumes were perfection.

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Great seats! Orchestra Row Q Seat 34

Well, this the last post of our NYC Chronicles and although it was merely a night and a day, my daughter and I had a lot of fun.

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It was great having this bonding time before I have my 4th child later this summer, and she goes off to college in a year 😦

 

Naomi

The Tap Makes Me Want To Dance

Late night/early morning blog posts may just be the best way to describe Brentandnaomi.com. This post was meant to be a Tech Tuesday but due to a scheduling conflict this will be going out after midnight making it actually Wednesday. So Santa blessed me and my family with a few new tech products for the holiday season and one of those is the Amazon Tap. This gift was looked at in wonder and amazement when it finally got unwrapped and then almost immediately with profound confusion when the family realized they had no idea how it worked.

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But What Does It Do?

First off the Amazon Tap is summed up best as a smart bluetooth speaker, that can do basic tasks such as streaming music from a site or from another device via bluetooth and advanced tasks such work with home automation devices. The Amazon Tap is a smaller device with the height being about the same as an Iphone 7 plus

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Same Height As An Iphone 7 Plus

and no bigger in total dimensions than a standard drink cup. This makes the device sleek and easier to travel around with.

Second, the Tap is a lot of things and that makes it useful to a large amount of people and thus an amazing tech invention and a device that receieved many different votes for top tech gift of 2016. When I say a lot of things that is exactly what is meant we have a bluetooth speak, 3.5 mm jack compatible, built in rechargable battery with an included charging craddle,

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Charging Cradle

 

9 hour battery life, Alexa smart assistant, wifi compatible, and capable of learning new activies through the Alexa app for IOS and Android.

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Now the first few features  that were mentioned were nothing new but truly had not been combined together with a smart assistant such as Alexa. With this particular Amazon Alexa product the tap requires the user to physically tap the microphone button on the device to get Alexa activated and ready for use.

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The Amazon Tap must physcially be tapped to awaken Alexa

Once the button is pressed Alexa is ready for a command such as “Alexa play Childish Gambino”, “Alexa play my cooking playlist”, “Alexa play ‘hit jams’ on Pandora, “Alexa whats the weather like?”, “Alexa whats my news briefing”, and many other request or commands. The Alexa even allows users to add more personalized request and commands that take this device to the next level such as “Alexa ask Uber to request a ride” “Alexa ask Dominio’s for my last order”, “Alexa order more paper towels”. These request would reqire additional accounts to continue these more complex operations but really make for a great experience once fully set up.

I had a hard decision to make when we got the device because the Amazon Echo and Amazon Dot were also available and have similar feature sets. The Echo is the biggest Alexa device and features an always on set up that allows you to just say Alexa and the device becomes active and waits on your command. The main reason that we did not go with this device is because it had to always be plugged in and for a family of 5 that idea just did not seem to make sense.

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Amazon Echo

The Amazon Dot  is the smallest Amazon Alexa device that also feautures always on technology but speaker did not sound good enough to fill a house and wasnt a truly portable device either.

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Amazon Dot

Now truthfully I have not set most of the Tap’s features up but will definitely follow up with a 90 day review with more in depth features of the device. The overall device works great so far and with this nice night stand I got for the bedroom makes for a nice additon for the bedroom.Let me know your thoughts!

Brent

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Amazon Tap can be purchased on amazon.com here and the nightstand can be purchased on amazon.com here