Category Archives: motherhood

Favorite Parenting Podcasts

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You all know I love podcasts!! I have found soooooo many in so many of the subjects I am interested. So it should be no surprise that I have some parenting podcast favorites as well. These podcasts are both relatable and informative. I’ve even chuckled at an episode or two. They have made me think of myself as a parent differently which has led to be adjusting the way I parent my kids. I hope to find more podcasts to love but I the meant time here are a few I enjoy(in no particular order):

1)Spawned w/Kristen and Liz of coolmompicks


Show Info:

Hi, we’re Liz Gumbinner and Kristen Chase of CoolMomPicks.com. We’ve got a microphone and more than the two minutes the Today Show gives us, and we’re not afraid to use them. Join us (and some awesome celebrity guests) for candid parenting culture discussions, non-judgy (mostly) tips, and a good dose of humor, if we’ve had enough coffee. Which is always. Named a top podcast by The Washington Post, Mental Floss, Business Insider and Fatherly; 2016 Iris Award winner for best parenting podcast.

Latest episode: How To Make More Time So You Can Do More of What You Love

2) Mahogany Momology

Show Info: An online dialogue pertaining to the concerns and carefree parenting of Black motherhood

Latest episode:Common Law Marriage

3)That’s Inappropriate

Host(s): Meredith Masony and Tiffany Jenkins

Show Info:
Wife, Mother to three children, dog Mom of two, and founder of That’s Inappropriate and That’s Inappropriate Parents. I started this community back in October of 2014 because I felt alone and thought I was the only Mom who was losing her mind on a daily basis.

My mission is to educate parents about choosing their battles in life and helping women find themselves. As a parenting and women’s empowerment expert I strive to help every parent I can. My journey through illness and self-discovery has given me the insight necessary be able to help others. My book Scoop The Poop released in Nov. 2016 and it was a #1 new release in Parenting and Humor. I have traveled to conferences to speak on parenting, women’s empowerment, and how I created a business while juggling marriage and raising three kids. Join me in the Hot Mess Express Community for Perfectly Imperfect Parents.

Latest episode:Blowups at the Christmas Play, SAHM Mom Depression,and The “Nag”

4)Experiencing Motherhood Single and Black

Host: Kim Williams

Show Info: In the Experiencing Motherhood: Single & Black Podcast, Kim will be sharing her experiences throughout her single mom journey along with tips and tricks to inspire and uplift other moms. Kim will also bring on other guests to talk about various topics related to single parenting in the black community

Latest episode: Homebuying for Single Moms

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2019 Quarter One Goals

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2019 Quarter One Goals

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your families, friends,and significant others during the holidays. I also hope you’re ready to get down to business this year like I am.My theme/word for this year is consistency and so I’ve picked goals that will help me focus on that.

Now that I’ve given birth to my son, Avery, I’m ready to start earning some coin to support my children. I have been blogging for 7 years now and I haven’t earned a dime on my words. I’ve been hearing a lot about affiliate marketing and I actually have an Amazon affiliate account but I’m not sure how to use it for the blog. Thank goodness for YouTube and podcast because I plan on using them to learn just how to use affiliates successfully. I dont plan on making a whole lot of money but something is better than nothing.

I was also considering becoming a brand ambassador for baby brands or reviewing items for compensation. Dont misunderstand me, I will only review products I have actually used for my baby and I assume an added benefit is that I would get some items for free to do the reviews. Once again, I have no idea how to do that but I know who to ask about approaching brands.

I started a baby development series on Periscope called Oh,Baby! and it will follow my journey into motherhood a second time around as well as document Avery’s progress and growth. Already in the first episode I think I mention poop quite a bit and if I dont,dont worry it’s coming lol. I will go live every 5th of the month at 10 AM EST,with Avery as my co host.

Last but not least I’m restarting a second series on Periscope called The First 100,in which I review the first 100 pages of the book I’m currently reading. It’s not a long drawn out review just a little snippet to what your appetite and help you decided if you want to read it. It will premiere on Monday January 7th, 2019 at 10 AM EST.

I have quite a few social media goals I know but I have a personal goal as well. There is a real concern about health for my mother and her doctor us urging a lifestyle change,which includes healthier eating. My daughter’s doctor also is concerned about health issues for her due to weight gain and so I’ve decided to do a complete overhaul of my refrigerator and eat healthy via the recipes I make. Some of my family’s favorites can be made in a healthier way and so my plan is not to focus on losing weight but to focus on being healthier as a family. The weight loss will just be a bonus.

I would live to hear some of your goals for 2019. Leave them in the comments or hit me up across all social media at mommyincolor(mommyincolor89 on Twitter) Let’s hold each other accountable

3 Thing I Learned During Pregnancy

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I am so glad to not be pregnant anymore. The last few weeks were really uncomfortable. I developed some weird pain in the top of my swollen foot along with a multitude of weird pain inducing and sometimes gross symptoms. But now Avery is here and I’m feeling a little reflective. This pregnancy was very different from the first one birth physically and mentally and I definitely learned a few things about myself and pregnancy:

1) Being dehydrated can cause preterm contractions. I went into the hospital 2 weeks ago because of contractions. They didnt hurt and I had been having them for a few days so I chalked it up to Braxton- Hicks contractions which are not a big deal and no cause for alarm. I was told that I was having contractions because I was dehydrated. (Of course I am Doc, I’m peeing every ten minutes🙄)You see,

Your uterus is a big muscle and, just like any other muscle in your body, it can cramp up when you don’t have enough water.
When someone is pregnant, their blood volume increases by almost two times its usual amount, she explains. If they become dehydrated, blood flow to the uterus is reduced, causing uterine cramping or contractions due to the lack of hydration. “The uterus’s response to the lack of blood volume and fluids is to cramp, which can result in menstrual-like cramping or contractions”- Shannon M. Clark, M.D.

I was encouraged to drink 10-12 glasses of water a day for the rest of my pregnancy and sent home. The water did make the pain disappear.

Dehydrated in the Labor and Delivery Unit

2)Asking for help is a must. When I used to see pregnant women being treated like a handicap person it made the feminist in me enraged. I was determined to be able to do all my normal tasks just as I had always done. Once I hit 7 months, I realized I just couldnt do things. I was too ashamed to admit that I needed help especially after I had been all “I am woman,hear me roar” the whole time. My brother came to me one day and said he had overheard me on the phone complaining about cleaning the house all by myself. He apologized for not realizing just how much assistance I needed and vowed to take out the garbage and clean the litter box for me. He did.

3)Lamaze breathing really does work. Avery’s birth was a scheduled c section but I was feeling more intense contractions and 2 hours after being admitted my water broke. I got nervous because I knew the contractions would only get worse. I immediately flashed back to Amani’s birth and the excruciating pain I experienced during labor. This time,I wanted to be more in control so I took deep breaths as the contractions hit. Surprisingly to me,they really helped. Focusing on my breathing helped distract me from the pain,which on a scale of 1-10 hit a 7.

All in all, I had a great pregnancy. Yeah I had a huge belly and painful edema but I learned that pregnancy is a delicate process you’re body goes through and asking for help not only takes the already heavy load off of you,but it helps bring together family for the preparation of a baby. I’m proud of myself for managing my pain and labor and delivery was quick(5hrs,15 minutes). My first pregnancy experience was full of shame and sadness. I couldnt enjoy watching Amani grow inside me but this time I was filled with overwhelming joy. I encourage all expecting moms to embrace the journey and listen to your body.

What To Expect: My Journal Entry

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What To Expect: My Journal Entry

If you are following me on Periscope then you remember when I got my copy of What To Expect When You’re Expecting Pregnancy Journal and Organizer back in my 10th week.

No one aside from me is going to see what I wrote in for a long time so I decided to share one of the prompt pages from the journal section. Also,I encourage all you mamas to be to use it as your own journal entry. Enjoy!

THE EIGHTH MONTH

memories&milestones

Baby’s Latest Moves: the kicking and punching is at an all time high, Avery is most active when I’m settling in for the night

I felt my first Braxton Hicks on: haven’t had any yet

Besides the obvious,this part of my body is swollen,too: my butt. Amani is always slapping me on it and talking about how huge its gotten 😬

How I’m Feeling About My Body: I like my growing belly but am self conscious about the bottom half of it because Avery’s head is not there so it’s just soft and jello like

How I’m Feeling In General: sometimes I panic about Avery coming and sometimes I’m just like “Its all good”

My most recent clumsy moment: tripped over my own foot(at least I think it was my foot, I can’t see my feet anymore)

Recently I dreamed: I was chasing my deceased cat down the block,but I couldn’t catch up to her. I woke up crying.

The best pregnancy advice I’ve gotten lately: Rest when you need to

The worst pregnancy advice I’ve gotten lately: none

I’m most sick of hearing: Why did you wait ten years to have another baby?

The nicest thing my partner said to me: He told me my skin looked good

The nicest thing my partner has done for me: he is moving and will not move until his new place is approved by me. He wants to make sure I’m comfortable letting Avery be there.

What I’ll Miss Most About Being Pregnant: eating whatever I want without getting odd looks from people

What I’ll Miss Least: the constant peeing. I pride myself on peeing 2x a day tops but lately it’s been at least 10-20x a day.

What I’m Looking Forward To The Most About Being A Mom: trusting my own judgement when making decisions about Avery. I let other people dictate my decisions when Amani was first born and it made me less confident in myself as a mom.

My message to baby: I can’t wait to hold you

Dad’s message: N/A

MommyinColorExpects:34 Weeks

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MommyinColorExpects:34 Weeks

Hey everyone!!! I’m back!!! First, I really just want to thank all my followers old and new. I can’t believe I was able to get new readers despite the blog being stale for the last month or so. I am so thankful for that!

I was finally able to get a new phone after my old one had been dropped so much, it started malfunctioning. There are a million things I was unable to do with the old phone and I can do EVERYTHING with my new one so YAY! Let’s get into some baby business.

I am currently 34 weeks(approx. 8 months) and Avery is thriving. He is around 5 pounds and is developing at a normal pace. For those of you who follow me on Periscope, you know that there was a concern about Avery’s health when I was 5 months along. There were some cysts found on his brain which did not surprise me. I had the same issue with Amani when I was pregnant with her. Upon her birth, she was born completely healthy is and still is today. I had to have a total of 4 sonograms and a fetal MRI to monitor and determine the nature of the cysts. I went to my last sonogram about two weeks ago and there was no sign of the cysts on Avery’s brain. The sono tech was pleasantly surprised and relieved. I just responded that I knew everything would be fine. We also found out that Avery is in breech position. That means that his feet are still facing the bottom of my stomach and his head is at the top. He should actually be turned around. Here’s what I mean:

I had my last prenatal exam this week and since Avery is breech my o.b. thinks it’s best I get a c-section. Delivering him vaginally in his current position would be a hard and possibly risky delivery and because my prior birthing experience was also not vaginal, we want to be as safe as possible. I’ve been hearing and seeing a lot of articles regarding the mortality rates of Black moms giving birth and its honestly scared the crap out of me so now I just want a safe and quick delivery.

I plan on breastfeeding right from the beginning and so I have been reading up on it. The first thing I learned is that you can store breastmilk for up to a year. I was like ” Say what?!”. I have learned about storing it and that breastmilk develops in stages when you first start. Right now I’m expressing colostrum,which is a watery liquid and the starter milk for Avery. It will change a week or two after we’ve settled into our routine and there are benefits not just for him but me as well. I got a breast pump,too!

I still am not ready for Avery but I’m getting there. His crib and stroller have been ordered which were the most major purchases to be made. Now that it’s done, I’m breathing easier(not really because breathing gets harder week by week). Now all that’s left is a paint job,curtain changes, packing the hospital bag, and buying Avery a snow suit or 2, bibs,diapers,wipes, pacifiers,and just in case formula. I’m hesitant about buying formula because I’m so anxious for breastfeeding to work but I am going to be prepared for IF it doesn’t. This is my last month to do everything and I’m feeling a little pressure to get everything done. However, everything has fallen into place so I’m going to just relax and enjoy buying cute baby things.

2018 Hair Regimen

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A benefit I love about being pregnant is all the extra hair. The hormones are really making me look great(sometimes… there are acne breakouts). Around 90 percent of the hair grows during pregnancy,and you only lose 10 percent falls out. New hair grows in its place.However, I know this is a temporary blessing. I know I will lose hair post partum and if/when I stop breastfeeding

I love the thickness I’m getting. Even the stubborn patch in the back/middle of my head is growing WITH the rest of my hair. My thinking is that I can reduce how much I lose by upping my routine. I’m a lazy natural and have been for years and Im nit even going to kid myself about keeping it up post Avery. I will be lucky if I will be able to take a shower once a week. Oh trust me,I remember newborn days.

Anyway my secret weapon to keeping my preggo growth is Jamaican Black Castor oil(JBCO). It promotes thickness and I promise you it works. I’ve had my current bottle (which also has lavender oil in it) for about a month. I use it in my shampoo because it helps a good lather going(slip). I’m currently using Shea Moisture brand Moisture Retention shampoo. I won a sample in a giveaway,fell in love with it all over again,then bought a full sized bottle. I shampoo my hair in sections to make sure all if my hair gets proper attention. I don’t put shampoo anywhere else other than my scalp. As I rinse the shampoo runs down the length of my hair, cleans it, and I Don’t have to use extra shampoo.

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After I wash, I deep condition. Protein conditioner s strengthen the hair and help with breakage and I alternate between that and a moisturizing conditioning treatment. Lately, I like Creme of Nature w/ Argan Oil Intense Conditioning Treatment. It helps strengthen hair, prevent breakage,and adds moisture. I also do that still in sections,cover with a conditioning cap and silk scarf. Those of you who follow me on Periscope have seen my various scarves. I leave it in for about half an hour then rinse.

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Before styling,I add a leave in conditioner. Going to be honest with you, I sometimes skip deep conditioning because I’m lazy or out of conditioner and money,but I never skip the leave in. My favorite to use is also by Creme of Nature. It’s with argan oil as well and comes in spray form. It definitely makes the hsir soft and shiny. Amani’s hsir loves it! After the leave in,I put in oil. I don’t use hair grease and haven’t in 6 years. Many of them tend to have petrolatum as an ingredient which blocks the hair follicle from growing. If I am out of JBCO, I will use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or extra virgin coconut oil (EVCO). Most times,I mix them together. The applicator bottle you see pictured has JBCO and EVCO in it. Get one because it makes it easier to apply to the scalp.

The last step is to apply a water based cream moisturizer. Since I’m cheap I like a moisturizer that can double as a styler for my twists. Right now I like Eden Bodyworks Coconut Shea All Natural Pudding Souffle. It reduces frizz,enhances my twists out and has a light hold to keep the twists neat looking. While I like the double duty it offers I don’t like the white residue it leaves behind. If I use too much or if I use it paired with my Eco Styler gel, when I take my twists out,the white flakes make it look like I have dandruff. But I DON’T waste any products so I add some more oil during take down snd that helps.

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For styling, I usually twist or braid my hair,leave it in for 3 or 4 days, then rock a twist out for another few days or so. That’s it! I hope using these products faithfully in my routine (wash, deep condition, moisturize,and style)post partum shedding won’t be as severe.

Expectant moms, what is your current hair care routine? What products do you use?

10 Fall Activities in NYC

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10 Fall Activities in NYC

So, my favorite time of year is fast approaching: Autumn/Fall. I love everything about it…and yeah, I’m biased.Amani’s birthday is in November. I’m expecting Avery before the official start of Winter. So yeah, definitely biased.

NYC has a million activities going on everyday in every season in every borough. I may have to sit some of these out because I’ll be 7-8 months and I’ll be too paranoid to travel too far. However, that’s why I have you. I’m just going to live vicariously through you. Take pictures if you’re going to be partaking in anything I suggest. I will come up with a hashtag so I can see your pics on IG. I’ll let you know by the end of September. One more thing: I’m a frugalista mom,so a lot of these events are FREE 99. You’re welcome!

1)The Medieval Festival @Fort Tryon Park- Amani was just saying to me the other day that she wanted us to do more Fall themed  things this year and I’ve been to this festival as a kid. It screams Fall. First of all, you can dress as a medieval person. That’s a bonus for costume lovers like me and Amani. There is also period piece music for authenticity and magic( Amani loves the hidden camera magic TV show, The Carbonaro Effect). Plus,there is a joust! I think I may go back this year.

WHEN: September 30, 2018

WHERE: Fort Tryon Park

Riverside Drive

NY,NY

AGES: All

PRICE: FREE

CONTACT: (212)795-1600image

2)Harry Potter: A History of Magic- HP continues to have millions of hardcore even over a decade since it hit bookshelves. Although I have read every book in the series, it did not keep its magical hold on me. What turned my head to this event was the books, manuscripts, and other goodies from The British Library, NY Historical Society, Scholastic, and other sources. This event continues into the new year.

WHEN: 10/5/18-1/27/19

WHERE: New York Historical Society

170 Central Park West

NY,NY 10024

AGE:6+

PRICE: $21 adults, $16 seniors, $6 kids btwn 5&13,free 4&under,ticket includes admission to the museum

CONTACT: (212)873-3400nyhs-front-nyc-untapped-cities

3)Pumpkin Patch- We actually have a few farms throughout and right outside New York which is convenient. You need only pay for the pumpkin you choose, which varies by size. Pumpkin patches make great backdrops for baby pictures

WHEN: 10/6/18-10/27/18 @11AM-4PM

WHERE: Queens County Farm Museum

78-50 Little Neck Pkwy

Queens,NY

AGE: All

PRICE: FREE ADMISSION

CONTACT: (718)347-3276

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4)Annual Halloween Harvest @Luna Park- I love when there are activities that happen every year. It makes it easier to turn it into a family tradition. I was actually going to wait until Summer 2019 to take Avery for his first trip to a Powell family tradition, Luna Park(formerly Astro Land). But it still counts even if he’s not quite…here yet. I actually did not know that this existed but now I have an excuse to go to Coney Island Brooklyn twice a year.

WHEN:10/27/18

WHERE: Luna Park Coney Island

1000 Surf Avenue

Brooklyn, NY

PRICE: Free admission, fee for activities

CONTACT: (718)373-LUNA(5862)DSC_0208.JPG

5)Tours for Fours: People and Portraits- For my artsy fartsy types MOMA invites you to hear,see,and discuss ideas while admiring art in three dimensions.

WHEN: 10/6/18-10/28/18

WHERE:Museum of Modern Art

11 West 53rd Street

NY, NY 10019

AGES: 4 yr old and an adult

PRICE:FREE

CONTACT:(212)708-9400

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6) Con Edison Second Saturday Science! Soaring to New Heights- Mary Golda Ross was the first Native American female aeronautical engineer. Now you can make a hovercraft inspired by this pioneer of her time

WHEN: 11/10/18 @12PM-1PM

WHERE: Staten Island Children’s Museum @ Snug Harbor

1000 Richmond Terrace

Staten Island, NY 10301

AGES:1-9

PRICE: Free w/ $8 admission; Free for members

CONTACT:(212)637-8029staten-island-children

7) Pay As You Wish Wednesdays- I love going to the zoo and the Bronx Zoo is the biggest in all of NYC. I haven’t been there in years but I do remember that it is an all day experience, so get there early.

WHEN: 6/20/18-12/12/18

WHERE: Bronx Zoo

2300 Southern Boulevard

Bronx,NY 10460

AGES: All

PRICE: what ever you want,Wednesdays only

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8) Brooklyn Bridge Park:Environmental Education Center- This one is great because it has a couple things. It’s an aquarium with local sea fare from the East River, craft spot, reading corn and more.

WHEN:6/23/18-12/16/18,Tues.+ Thurs 3-5pm,Sat+ Sun 1-5pm

WHERE: Brooklyn Bridge Park

99 Plymouth Street

Brooklyn, NY

AGES: ALL

PRICE: FREE

CONTACT:(718)222-9939

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9)Holiday Train Show @ New York Botanical Garden- It’s the train show’s 27th showing. This year the focus is Lower Manhattan where NYC started. Some new additions to look for are One World Trade Center, the Battery Maritime Building and a couple of old school Staten Island Ferry boats.

WHEN: 11/17/18-1/21/19 @ 10AM-6PM

WHERE: New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Boulevard

Bronx,NY

AGES: ALL

PRICE: TBA

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10) Soweto Gospel Choir- Some inspirational music to start the winter holidays off right. These singers are from South Africa

WHEN: 12/4/18 @ 4PM

WHERE: Lehman College

250 Bedford Park Boulevard

Bronx,NY

AGES: ALL

PRICE: $25- $45; Children under 12, $10

CONTACT:(718)960-8025

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Which events will you be attending? Look out for the hashtag announcement!

A Change Gonna Come

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A Change Gonna Come

So for those of you who are following  me on Instagram (which should be ALL of you) you know that Tuesday night, I took Amani to WWE SmackDown Live. For my faithful followers you’re already tired of hearing about this but I do don’t care,this is probably going to be my favorite Mom win of all time!received_545597389211897

Amani is a HUGE wrestling fan! She watches it faithfully every week,plays 2K18, writes out story lines in her notebooks, has imaginary matches with her over sized stuffed dog,Bookie(poor Bookie),and is the proud owner of some cheaply made overpriced WWE merchandise. The girl LOVES IT!!! So she has been saying to me since May about what she wants to do with her Summer. She mentioned that going to a live event would be awesome and she knew that they would be in Brooklyn (30 mins subway ride from here) for SummerSlam weekend. I knew she would want to go and I thought “There is no way to make this happen. I am stretched to my financial limit preparing for Avery. I didn’t say no to her I just said  “Pray for a safe and happy Summer”. received_922360701285908.jpeg

Anyway, we got to go because God is just…GOD! We had an amazing time and Amani got a life long dream fufilled. Our family is going through changes and Amani is morphing into a pre teen. She is seeing that she is different from a lot of little girls she knows in that she is a tough girl who is larger than her classmates and enjoys wrestling. She thinks she is weird and is constantly asking me if I think she is weird. That tells me she values my opinion. Taking her to SmackDown was about letting her know that I support the young woman she is no matter what and so what if she is weird, Mom loves wrestling too…as evidenced by all my ridiculous yelling lol

Parents of Teens: How do you show your kids that whoever they are is cool?

Breakfast Blues

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You may see a simple breakfast plate but this delectable dish represents one thing I love to do for Amani: cooking her breskfast. I made this a few mornings ago and as I was setting up her plate,a sad thought occurred to me. I won’t be making her breskfasts for her like I have been once Avery is here. It’s not like I’m Betty Crocker over here making ALL her meals EVERY day but I like to do breakfast 3 times a week. Post Avery that will probably get cut in half. I would love to promise that I am going to do plan ahead frozen recipes like the ones pinned on my Food board on Pinterest,but that’s not going to happen. So the only options left are frozen waffles/breskfast sandwiches and breakfast at school. At least for the first few weeks after Avery comes home.

Making Amani’s favorite foods are one of the ways I show her love. She always praises her favorites and doubles the praise when I come up with new faves(last week it was pancakes w/ strawberry jelly and butter).

It is wonderful that I’m adding to our family but I hate the impending changes it will bring in our routine. Everyone has been telling me that our relationship will be fine but there is still that little tug in the back of my mind that questions if I’ll do or say one little thing and blow our whole relationship to smithereens.

HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN ROUTINE WHEN ADDING A NEW BABY TO THE HOUSEHOLD?

Up In Smoke Pt. 2

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No man can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true- Hawthorne

I saw this quote while watching The Sopranos believe it or not. So much of my written stuff is inspired by somethonf I saw on television.

At first I interpreted it as “you can’t keep being phony all your life without eventually forgetting who the real you is”. That statement all by itseld is enough to make you think about your authenticity. However, after mulling it over and even praying for deeper insight, I had an “aha” moment.

I am celebrating a year of quitting cigarettes. I quit on my mother’s birthday, June 21st. My mom had been beghing me to quit since she found out I started (which coincidentally was around her birthday in 2012)She had quit smoking cigarettes and marijuana in 1993. But whenever she asked me to quit, I brought up her past history. NOTE: NEVER THROW YOUR MOM’S PAST UP TO HER. IT’S A S****Y THING TO DO.

So anyway, I started feeling physically drained and I was tired and irritable and just off. I went to my doctor and after telling me I’m anemic, I told him I wanted to quit smoking. He put me on meds and about three weeks later, I felt better. The first two weeks were tortuous and I wanted to go on a rampage but I made it through.

I noticed that the person I was when I was smoking was far different from when I quit. I wasn’t so focused on when I could puff again or how I would pay for it. I could be the real me before I picked up the habit. I only picked up smoking because I had a stressful work and home life. My biological mom,stepfather, and youngest brother had moved in unannounced and my job demanded so much of my time, I was missing time with my rapidly growing three-year-old. I wanted to be care free and unbothered so I put on a mask. I smoked EVERY chance I got. Double time when I was out with friends. Now that I’m thinking about it, I was still missing time with my kid whenever I interrupted our play rime to smoke.

In the first two weeks of quitting, I was in a daze or fog a lot. I forgot who I was and what made me actually happy. I was bewildered as Hawthorne says. A year later and I’m physically healthier and God helped me quit in preparation to carry this life inside me. Everything works for His glory. Amen.