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June 1, 2015

AJ fetching balls on the putting green for Daddy and Jerry Rice.

My husband plays golf…a lot of golf. He is a scratch golfer, which, for those of you who don’t watch the game, is equivalent to a baseball player being able to hit a 90-mph baseball with ease. In other words, he’s really good…and I’m not just saying that because he’s my husband! Fortunately, I enjoy golf as well. (During college, I worked as a golf caddy in the summer months and picked up the game then.) Even though Alfonso takes it far more seriously than I, it’s still a fun activity we can enjoy playing together. Pre-babies, we played at least once or twice a week. Post-babies, he continues to play the same amount, but I unfortunately do not. I’m sure I won’t be out there regularly again until our kids are in school, but in the meantime, AJ and I (and now Anders) still enjoy cheering him on from the sidelines. (My stepdaughter, Sienna, on the other hand, generally considers golf to be the most boring sport known to man. I’m sure I felt the same as a 12-year old!)

Since my husband is addicted to golf and super competitive, he plays in several celebrity golf tournaments throughout the year. We just returned from one of these tournaments, the annual Celebrity Championship in San Diego, of which Alfonso has participated in for years. It involved four days of golf, galas, and trying to teach a toddler how to be quiet during golfers’ backswings – not an easy undertaking! Typically, these events are only a day or two, but this was one of the larger events that many of the players on the celebrity circuit use as a practice before the ‘Superbowl’ of celebrity golf tournaments –the annual American Century Celebrity Championship in Lake Tahoe. In addition, there’s prize money at stake that always serves as an extra incentive for the players. (Note: Most of the players on the celebrity circuit are former and current professional athletes. Needless to say, these guys aren’t messing around and treating it like a leisure round of Sunday golf with a cigar and a Coors beer. At times, I think some of them actually think they’re playing in the Masters. Words of advice should you ever attend one…put your phone on silent and Do. Not. Talk.)

The tournament marked Anders’ first golf experience. My parents, who accompanied us, walked and rode with AJ in Alfonso’s golf cart. (I usually prefer to walk for the exercise.) Instead of usIMG_8593ing the stroller to navigate the course, I opted for my Lalabu Soothe Shirt, which proved to be much easier than a stroller or one of my bulky carriers. You feel like a kangaroo with your little one snuggled up in your little pouch. The best part is the built-in nursing bra that makes it incredibly easy to nurse in a concealed manner. I only wish they had these when AJ was a newborn. (They started selling them the month AJ was born, but I hadn’t heard about them until recently.) I had a wrap and a regular carrier for AJ, but they both got hot and I was never a fan of wrapping 20-feet of fabric in a complex fashion around my body. The Lalabu has been a much easier option for me, especially at this stage. Since the pouch holds babies up to 15 lbs, I’m planning to use it a lot in the next several months!

Sadly, my husband didn’t play nearly as well as he had hoped. (To his defense, he hasn’t played much in the past eight months due to Dancing With The Stars and the DWTS Live! Tour.) He definitely plans to work on getting his game back on track before the big tournament in Tahoe next month. And you can bet I will be wearing my Lalabu during that tournament with my husband’s newest golf fan, lil’ Anders. (At least, we hope he becomes a fan!)




May 15, 2015

IMG_4683Welcome to the world, Anders Reyn Ribeiro! Our little bundle of joy was born on April 30th at 6:16am weighing in at 7.7 lbs and 19 inches. He is a little beauty with his daddy’s features, his mommy’s blue eyes, and a very chill and pleasant disposition. We couldn’t be more blessed and excited to add this little angel to our growing family.

My first labor was 48-hours, 36 of which I spent attempting to have a natural childbirth. With the recommendation of my doctor and husband, I finally gave in and received an epidural. This time around, I was in labor for nine hours, which, compared to my first labor, seemed like minutes. One thing that was the same, however, was the pure joy experienced at the sight of seeing my baby open his eyes for the very first time. It’s truly amazing to see your baby search for your familiar voice as they open their tiny little eyelids. What a powerful moment we as parents have the pleasure of experiencing! That was one of the many milestone moments during those first hours that I was sure to soak in as much as I could.

Fortunately, since his birth, Anders has been a dream baby. Breastfeeding is going great. He poops, pees, and sleeps all like a champ. It’s been easier on me since I feel more laid back this time around. I let Anders sleep as long as he wants during the night rather than waking him every 3-4 hours like I did religiously with my firstborn. I don’t constantly check on Anders’s chest to make sure he’s still breathing throughout the night. (Oh the paranoia I had with my first baby after reading about all of those horror stories!) Needless to say, I feel better equipped to enjoy the little things with Anders. I find myself constantly taking more moments to smell his head knowing that sweet newborn smell doesn’t last forever. I find myself admiring just how teeny-tiny this beautiful little being is. (Perhaps I’m just accustomed to carrying my 18-month old everywhere, but Anders just feels like a little peanut.) I even take a moment to appreciate how quiet a newborn can be, especially compared to a toddler!

Speaking of my toddler, we’ve experienced some challenges with AJ adjusting to the new baby. We had hoped our efforts preparing him would be helpful, but 18-months is still quite young to expect him to understand. Up until today, he had been acting out with never-before-seen tantrums that usually started after witnessing me nurse Anders. He routinely gives me the ‘sad eyes’ look anytime he notices me holding or singing to Anders. And he simply just hasn’t been his normal self since the baby was born. Thankfully, I feel we had a breakthrough today as he attempted to put the pacifier in Ander’s mouth a few times when he cried, and he actually kissed the baby’s head. Both my husband and I erupted in pure joy – after a moment of shock, of course – and excitedly gave AJ ‘high-fives’ for his sweet gesture. After seeing how his kiss created praise, he kissed Anders again before resuming play with his toys. This was an enormous improvement based on his previous behavior. I truly hope this is a sign that we are finally heading down a road to success! Fingers crossed!






April 19, 2015



Prior to being pregnant with my first baby, I remembered hearing about this thing called “pregnancy brain” as a real condition causing memory loss and clumsiness. To me, it seemed absurd. I dismissed my pregnant friends inability to remember our lunch dates, or their newfound habit of never returning calls in a timely manner from sleep-deprivation. This momnesia ailment that produced verbal and physical deficits they talked so much about was something I was certain I would never succumb to. After all, I was always an astute, quick-thinking woman. I could never be that forgetful and clutsy.

Boy was I wrong. Very wrong.

During my first pregnancy, I had a series of uncharacteristic mishaps thanks to this thing called “pregnancy brain.” While curling my hair at four months pregnant, I grabbed my curling iron… on the hot iron part. Then, instead of dropping it like a normal person, I grabbed it with my other hand (yes, again on the hot iron part) producing second-degree burns on both hands. At seven months pregnant, I was attempting to give our handyman a can of varnish when I fumbled and spilled it all over myself and our newly remodeled kitchen. I was on my hands and knees for hours scrubbing the Kona-colored varnish from the crevices of our lightly-colored tiles, as well as from the cabinets and stainless steel appliances. (Essentially, I took a bath in varnish – a product they tell pregnant women to stay far away from- as I was covered in it from head to toe.)

I asked several of my mommy friends how quickly after pregnancy their brains returned to normal. Almost all of them said they didn’t resume normal functioning until they were finished breastfeeding. Great, I thought. My goal was to breastfeed for a year so I made the assumption I wouldn’t be back to normal again until October of 2014. I think back to that and just laugh. Not only did I end up breastfeeding for 15 months, but I found out I was pregnant with our second baby when my son AJ was ten-months old. My quest for my brain to return to normalcy would have to wait.

Even though this pregnancy has been a breeze compared to my first considering I’ve had zero morning sickness (hallelujah!), my bout with “pregnancy brain” has not been much better. For starters, the reason I decided to take a pregnancy test in the first place was due to the seeming return of this dreaded brain dysfunction. Over a three day period, I fell – actually tumbled/cartwheeled/crashed – down the stairs with my nine-month old (AJ) in my arms. (Don’t worry. My tumbles were a result of protecting AJ who escaped the incident unscathed. I, on the other hand, walked away with some black and blue bruises and a very sore bum.) The following day, I left my husband, Alfonso’s, car unlocked and it was broken into. The day after that, which happened to be Alfonso’s very first day of rehearsals for Dancing With The Stars, I somehow managed to send his bowl of cooked oatmeal flying across the room while attempting to merely set it on the table. The bowl shattered into hundreds of pieces with cooked oatmeal splattered everywhere. I simply looked at the mess, looked at the clock, and then at my husband. I apologized and literally ran out the door with AJ to his MyGym class (for which we were already late), leaving the disaster for my husband to clean up. He made the comment to me later in the day, “What is your deal lately? It’s as if you’re pregnant or something.” Basically, when I’m pregnant, my brain function is so bad that I need a team of bodyguards around me at all times to protect myself, my family, and everyone around me.

I have been journaling the past couple of years specifically about my pregnancies and of my adventures being a mommy. Journaling, along with regular chats with my fabulous fellow mommy friends, have been very therapeutic – especially in dealing with pregnancy brain, mommy brain, and both simultaneously. I recently felt inclined to convert my journaling into a blog in hopes of creating an open line of communication with other moms to learn from and potentially help or inspire new moms-to-be. I will be sharing my journey of being a wife, mother, stepmother, and a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) living in Los Angeles. I will share my trials and tribulations as I try to balance it all with an 18-month old son, a very pregnant belly (I will join the ‘two under two’ club in a week or two), a 12-year old stepdaughter, a husband in show business, and an often crazy and hectic travel schedule.

I look forward to sharing my ‘Mommyhood Tales’ and experiences with you. Any and all suggestions, advice or feedback are always welcome!