The Praying Mom GiveAway

This is my first giveaway. If it works well then I’ll dive right in (see earlier post about learning about giveaways), if not, then I’ll support others but not do it myself…here it goes….

In honor of Lent, Women’s History Month, and Moms I’m giving away a Mom’s Devotional Bible and journal. What you have to do to win is:

1. Follow me on Twitter @MamiNgwa (2 points)

2. Tweet about the giveaway (1 point)

3. Leave a comment on my blog about this giveaway (3 points)

Giveaway ends on March 31st 11 p.m. EST. Winner announced on Blog, Twitter, and FB on April 6th.

I’m a Mom of a Black Boy in the U.S.: A brief rant

I have lots to share from events this past week and this week, but I’m going to start with this:

This week I’ve hugged, kissed, cuddled, and nurtured my son more than in past weeks. I’m feeling ultra protective. Now that I am a mom I understand that need/desire to protect your child from all harm in whatever way it takes to do so.  My heart feels so heavy and broken for Trayvon Martin’s family. I’ve been watching and listening to all the news about this incident and I’m trying to maintain a sense of calm and sanity. But as a mother of black boy in America it is difficult to not have all kinds of irrational thoughts and feelings.

I grew up in a diverse household (Black, White, Latino) and neighborhood. My parents (a mixed race couple) never mentioned race relations and when I encountered a situation that seemed rift with any kind of ism (race, sex, etc.) we talked about it. But prejudice, discrimination, oppression were not part of my vocabulary until I went off to college. I was pretty sheltered and naïve. In college I learned what it meant to be a minority in America.  Students of African descent made up almost 3% of the population at UCSB. It was possible that I could be the only face of color in a lecture hall of 300. I didn’t think twice about it. Then there was this incident that I will never forget. The short version: a good friend (African American) got into a fight with a Caucasian boy at a club and my friend ended up in jail. It was probably the 1st time in my life that “being black in America” really hit me.  After that my awareness was up and I noticed many things that I may not have noticed before.

Living in Atlanta I felt comforted by the number of people of color and especially the number of people of color in positions of authority and power. AND living in Atlanta I also got to see lots of racism and prejudice – after all it is the south and despite growth, population change, etc., etc., etc. there’s still plenty of racial tension

So now I’m a mom of a boy of African descent. I’m a worrier by nature although I’ve tried to quell my worrisome thoughts – they just interfere with reality. But the shooting of Trayvon Martin has me in worry-mode again. I can’t for the life of me begin to understand how an individual can shoot another one and not be arrested. I’m not a lawyer nor do I pretend to understand the intricacies of laws in different states, etc. But it just seems to be that murder is murder and requires some action.

I feel helpless, somewhat hopeless, scared for the future my son will live, worried that I cannot truly protect him from harm, and angry that authorities are slow to act. As a social worker and educator I teach justice, in my own life try to live a just life and create that type of world, but incidents like this leave me often speechless and wondering if what I (we) do is making a difference. If it were your child who had been shot by a man as he walked home from the store, would you not want someone to take action?All moms have these thoughts I’m sure, but only moms of black boys need worry that a white vigilante will shoot her son because….why?…

Wear a hoodie, sign the petition, make some noise for justice!


Remembering Kendra: The World of Giveaways and Prizes

Yesterday I was thinking about my former co-worker and friend Kendra. She is beautiful, funny, and had (probably still has) energy and enthusiasm that could rarely be matched!  That girl knew how to live and enjoy life!  Kendra are you reading?

Kendra & I often discussed our hair

I’ve been exploring the crazy world of giveaways. My friend L.G. told me that one way to increase blog readership is to participate in giveaways (we have a research project going on so I wanted to increase blog readership to get more study participants, otherwise I blog just for fun).  For those of you not in the know about giveaways – there is a whole world out there of mostly mom bloggers who review and giveaway products – all kinds of stuff for kids, household, garden, kitchen, trips, etc., etc., etc.  Most of the stuff is really good and/or useful, fun.  So what I’ve learned so far is that it requires you to be on FB and Twitter and to have a significant number of followers, you need a PayPal account, an active blog with a good number of followers, and often you need to use a program called Rafflecopter® that manages the giveaway entries.  You basically have a part-time job once you start blogging and joining in giveaways.  Yesterday I spent 2 hours just looking at all of the opportunities and trying to figure out how to use Rafflecopter.  I felt crazy…and then I remembered my former co-worker and friend Kendra.  Back before the internet, before cellphones & text messaging, before blogs, before any form of social media, Kendra was excited and obsessed with contests and giveaways.

Kendra would fill out (by hand) 3×5 cards with her name & address and mail them (via U.S. Postal mail in an envelope with a stamp – quaint huh?) to the party sponsoring the contest.  She would do this with great enthusiasm and religiously. It was amusing to watch and her excitement was quite contagious! But can you imagine sitting down and taking the time to hand-write hundreds of 3×5 cards and then mailing them out in an effort to win a prize?! I think she actually got to go on a show called Supermarket Sweep and she might of won a lipstick from Mac (my memory is kinda foggy but I know she did win something!).

I was complaining yesterday that I was getting confused by the instructions to join the giveaways (you have to fill out a form, post a comment on a blog, sometimes find a sponsor, pay $1-$5, follow someone on Twitter, “like” on FaceBook…) filling out 3×5 cards by hand seems so much simpler! Kudos to you Kendra for being a pioneer (in my eyes) back in the day before the onset of today’s technology that’s supposed to make winning prizes easier.

In the end, I’m on the fence about the giveaway world. It’s time consuming and with a full-time job, hubby, and toddler I’m not sure the payoff (more blog readers) is worth it.  But if you’re into winning free stuff and want to connect with a wide world of moms (and some dads too) then I encourage you to jump right in and join the world of giveaways.

The following shout-outs are unsolicited:

Here’s a small sample – Check out: Mom Giveaways, She Blogs, Mom Bloggers Club, and/or Mom Blog Society

There are also several bloggers that participate in giveaways, so if you follow their blog you can join in the fun: The Family That Laughs Together, Savvy Mommy, Family Focus Blog, Adventures of 8 (she’s my tribe chief),