Category Archives: motherhood

Weekly Wrap Up: 8/6-8/13

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Hey, there!!! Thanks for stopping in for my first EVER weekly round up!!! I read so may articles, watch a lot of videos,and look at beautiful images every day for research. I’ve come across some stuff I think you guys might like so every Sunday at 10pm EST, I’m going to share my favorites from around the web. Enjoy!!!
Amani will be going back to school in a little less than a month’s time and I want to start making her lunch myself so I looked around for some ways I can make things easier. Here’s what I dug up:

Tasty Junior- Hacks To Make Packing Lunches Easier 

Mama Kat- 7 Steps To Lunchbox Joy!

The Pioneer Woman- How To Prep Veggies for The Week

The Young Mommy Life- 6 Tips To Wean Your Kids off Sugar

I recently started an Instagram account featuring my favorite things,books! I follow MANY bookstagram accounts and here are a few of my fave images this week:

The Roaming Reader

Concrete Rose Reads

Blue Eyes Biblio

Book Briefs

I seemed to have turned into a podcast junkie. I have a ton of favorites but here are the ones that stuck in my head:

The Arkham Sessions- The Pyschology of Batman: The Animated Series at SAN Diego Comic Con

The NoSleep Podcast-Season 9,episode 14

PRINCE: Dig If You Will The Podcast- Baby,He’s A Star:A Snapshot of Fandom

My Miracle Morning

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I’m not usually one for self help books. In fact, I think they’re mostly a load of crap. I can count on less than five fingers how many I’ve actually read cover to cover. They just aren’t my thing. 

However,  I stumbled upon a Facebook page called Ditch the Diet,Find JOY in fitness and LIVE A F*UCK YES LIFE which is run by Amanda Katherine Loy . I listened to a live feed she did where she discussed her new book club pick, The Miracle Morning: THE NOT-SO OBVIOUS SECRET GUARANTEED TO TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE BEFORE 8AM. She talks about how the book has helped her get some self care done before she starts her own day. THAT peaked my interest.
As a SAHM, I always have felt like I had no reason for self care because I’m home all day. I only have one child and she doesn’t stir up a fuss so why do I need time for self care? The answer: because not taking care of myself mentally or emotionally has taken away my motivation and confidence. I’m taking an exam for a job soon and although I’ve been studying, I have already defeated myself about it in my head.

I don’t like that feeling so I figured that I have  to change something. During the school year,from the time I wake up I’m rushing to get my daughter out of the door. I snap at her when its5not necessary and I really don’t like that. I started wondering if there isnt a way for me to start the day off right before I engage with anyone. And then I found The Miracle Morning.

I just got my hands on my copy Tuesday evening but I did attempt it (using Amanda’s guidelines) that morning and yesterday as well. Mentally, I feel better but physically,not so much. From what I understand if the Life S.A.V.E.R.S method used,there is an exercise component to the Miracle Morning. That’s an issue for me because I can’t afford a gym membership…AT ALL.So to compensate I will be doing yoga via YouTube. I haven’t done yoga since high school so twisting my body around feels awkward and unnatural. But I’m going to stick with it.

Selecting a journal and writing my affirmations

My goal is to become a happier,calmer,more energized and driven woman by the time Amani goes back to school next month. I do have things I need to take care of career wise and personally and my hope is that the Miracle Morning will help. Have any of you tried the Miracle Morning? Did it help? If you haven’t tried it, do you have a solid morning routine?

Tales of A Fourth Grader…

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Amani will be going to 4th grade come September.  I am very proud of her accomplishment because 3rd grade was her first year having to take the state exams for reading and math. I knew she had some areas she struggled in and I just prayed everything would work out. And it did. Not only will she be going to 4th grade,she got this as a memento of the third grade:

Most Likely to Excel in Life

Not to mention the two medals she won on Field Day. How could I not be proud?

When I was in 4th grade, I had a strict teacher,Mrs.Rios. I remember she wore this monochromatic pink lipstick that would slide into the corners of her mouth. She had a thick Spanish accent and even thicker black hair. She always had this uninterested scowl on her face but she knew everything that went on in class 401. I was a good student  but my Math suffered and it made me hate Math. I would always let my mind wander during our multiplication drills and I paid for it by having to write the table 1-12 twenty five times each. 

I also kept a juny desk in fourth grade. Every week, Mrs.Rios made me clean out all the junk in front of the entire class. It embarrassed me the first couple of times,which was probably the intent, but then it just became routine. She eventually gave up and let me clean out my desk in my normal spot.  She wasn’t my favorite teacher because she tried to break my hard headed nature. Even now, I still resent her. Here’s to Amani having a better experience!

Out of Sight…Out of the Loop

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When Bubba started 1st graded we got two surprises: the first was that the 1st grade teacher that we were acquainted with was NOT going to be Bubba’s teacher (she already had an idea of Bubba’s academic struggles and I was comfortable in the knowledge that she was going to do her best to help Bubba out) and the second was that Bubba was so nervous about being in first grade, she cried on the first day of school and begged me to take her home. On that  day, I knew my baby girl was really going to need me for moral and academic support. And I had made myself a lot of promises to be on that PTA Board and attend all the school meetings and fundraisers, and volunteer all of my free time so that Bubba would know that I took her education seriously. I figured Bubba’s teacher was going to do her part, so I had to do mine.

Only a few months into the year, I started questioning Bubba’s teacher’s (Mrs. T) dedication to the educational well being of my daughter. The first red flag was when my mom went to go pick up Bubba in my absence ( I was at work) , Mrs. T almost didn’t release Bubba into my mother’s care because she said she had never seen my mom before. WTF?! My mom and myself are the only ones who pick this child up from school and at that point, Mom had picked her up plenty of times as well as introduced herself as Bubba’s grandmother. It pissed me off, but I let it go. The second red flag was on Bubba’s school picture day,which required her to be in uniform , I sent her to school looking like the quintessential school girl. I asked her how it went and she said her class didn’t take pictures. I asked Mrs. T about it and she said her classwas never called down to the auditorium. I informed Mrs, G ( who is in charge of scheduling events for the school) and she was totally unaware that Mrs. T’s class didn’t take pictures and said she would have to reschedule them to take it. I was furious because I couldn’t understand why Mrs T, who was fully aware that the entire school was taking class pictures, did not simply call down to Mrs. G and tell her that 208 had yet to take their pictures. Now, I wouldn’t know when the photographers would be back and Bubba won’t be ready. She could be absent, or not looking photo ready.Aside from those incidents and a few others, in general I just didn’t feel a real connection with Mrs. T. Bubba was indifferent to her and that worried me a little because she was so in love with Mrs. S, her kindergarten teacher.

The vibes I got from Mrs. T were frustrating and they prompted me to slack off a little with Bubba. The unwritten partnership between myself and the teacher just seemed one sided and I was done breaking my back with no reciprocation. Unfortunately, Bubba was the one paying for my frustrations with Mrs T. Last week, I finally had an opportunity to sit down with Mrs. T for an impromptu parent/teacher conference. She said that Bubba was very wise for her age, insightful, and is full of great ideas. She was very respectful to her teachers and peers and was a very delightful student. Of course I grinned ear to ear when hearing those things. Mrs T was simply confirming what I already knew but of course I could never tire of hearing good things about Bubba.Then the bottom fell out.

Mrs, T presented me with Bubba’s report card and her grades in Math and reading were atrocious. Her schools’s grading system uses the numbers 1 through 4, with 1 being below standard and 4 being above standard. Bubba’s report card contained mostly 1s and 2s and I was just so crestfallen, I held my head down like I was in front of the principal’s office. Mrs. T explained that Bubba had improved in Reading and Math since the school year started her grades were bad because of her poor attendance. I immediately wanted to kick my own ass when I heard that. Mrs. T explained that because Bubba had poor attendance, she misses new topics and the reviews for those topics. When its time to be tested, she is lost and usually fails. Mrs. T said it upsets her that Bubba fails the quizzes because she is sure that had she been in school when the material was being taught, she would have aced them.

I thought about Bubba’s recent week long absence from school due to ringworm and then I thought about her week long absence a few weeks before that. She’s been absent at least one week each month. In my mind the reasons for her absences made sense to me but in reality I knew they wouldn’t fly with Mrs. T. So, I just sat at the tiny little desk that usually made me feel ten feet tall and started feeling about a foot tall.Bubba had been absent when she exhibited any sign of a cold, or if her usual sleep schedule was off and she went to bed at 4am when she had to be up at 6:45am, when I was so exhausted from work and just didn’t have the strength to get myself out of bed at that unGodly hour, or simply because my mom and Bubba would gang upon me and beg me to let her stay home.

The tables had turned and the teacher that I thought was so nonchalant and lazy had now become the hero and me the villain. How did I let this happen? Me…who is always freakishly worried about being on time? Me…who had just been fired from her job for attendance issues? I felt like the worst mom ever and I wanted to cry. The final nail in the coffin was when Mrs. T revealed to me that Scholastic had published an actual book of the class’ original stories written by the students. Bubba had written a first draft but was absent from school so another student had to edit and rewrite it for the book, so Bubba’s original story was written in the book in another student’s handwriting. I had also learned that Bubba missed the week when the children started learning how to write a personal narrative. I would have loved to have seen my baby being a writer like her mom and I was so proud of her for becoming a published author. I still haven’t done that!

I vowed right then and there that Bubba would never miss another day of school until the end of the school year. I don’t know how I let my personal (almost personal?) gripes against mrs. T make me lose sight of what was most important: Bubba. Bubba now has a “promotion in doubt’ and she will only stand a chance of going to second grade if she misses absolutely NO more school until June.I learned a lesson in all this: Mrs. T was not an incompetent moron like I thought but rather a person who had to take time away from the entire class to give extra help to Bubba because of my irresponsible behavior. That caused her to sometimes miss the broader details. I apologized profusely to Bubba but she didn’t seem to understand why. If Bubba doesn’t get promoted it will break her heart and I will be the one who did it.Way to go, mom…

School is Back in Session

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So school has been back I’m session for three weeks now and I think Bubba has adjusted well to 1st grade. On her first day, she cried when she realized her teacher was not who she wanted it to be. I assured her that Mrs.T was just as good as Miss J.would have been. She wasn’t convinced until I picked her up from school. She said Mrs. T was the best teacher and she was sweet and nice, etc…I was just happy that I wouldn’t have to live the nightmare of a child who cries every time I drop her off.
At this time last year, my family was mourning the loss of my biological mother and I wasn unable to give Bubba the attention she really needed in those first few weeks. Now that our family has healed a little,Im in a better place to be the cherrleader Bubba needs. My work hours have gone to evening hours so that for thr most part I can drop off and pick her up from school. However,I have missed Meet the Teacher night and a PTA meeting. They are held on the evenings and I cant call out for awhile so…you know.
I know the school year isnt going to be perfect but I will tweak it a little so I feel a like Im in control. Only the Lord really knows…
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Bubba on the first day of school. She’s gotten so big!
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Little Miss Thang

HOW IS THE SCHOOL YEAR LOOKING SO FAR FOR YOUR CHILDREN?


The Love Blanket

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I’m sure most moms have that one item from their child’s baby days that they just can’t part with.I’ve seen these things vary among my mom friends: a pacifier,a shoe, a lock of hair,etc.Well for me,its a baby blanket.
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I remember getting the blanket as a babu shower gift although I don’t remember who gave it to me.After Bubba was born I used it as soon as I bought her home from the hospital.I’ve used it to keep her warm in her crib,to wrap her up in after a bath.It’s been peed,pooped,and thrown up on.I’ve let her wrap her baby dolls up in it and walk around the house with.

Recently, I threw out the majority of Bubba’s too small clothes and I ran across the blanket.I couldn’t believe I still had it after all these years and I didn’t need it,so I tossed it in the garbage pile. Then I remembered when Bubba got her first cold at two months old. She was so fussy and miserable and I was overcome with guilt.How can I have let her catch a cold?Who does that? Anyway, her nose was running and she looked so pitiful,I took a corner of the blanket and swiped at her nose with it.

While thinking about that I came to the conclusion that I did need the blanket.I needed it for when she’s 16 and decides I’m not cool anymore and I need a reminder of the little girl who couldn’t get enough of me. I’ll need it when she moves out and I need to look at something that is proof that she was there.I’ll need it when she has her own daughter and I hold my granddaughter for the first time.
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THANK YOU TO MRS SHUGAR(SHUGAR LOVE AND HER ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE PROJECT FOR THIS LOVELY BLOG HOP!

Growing Up

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Recently,I went to my best friend’s baby shower. She just had a gorgeous little girl& I wanted to see how motherhood was changing her. I remember how it changed me (for the better) and it was she seemed so happy with her new role in life.

A few weeks later,we had a phone conversation and we talked about how much our lives’ and our friends’ lives have changed. Two of my closest friends are married,my best friend is getting married next year,and most
of us are parents. All I can think is ‘When did we grow up? How did we go from cutting class in high school to becoming parents and spouses?’ Our lives aren’t turning out the way we planned (but then again you know what they say “When you make plans,God laughs”),life is just…happening to us.

I have to admit although I am the best mother I can be,I’m not just a mom.I used to be a teenager with dreams of taking the journalism world by storm. Now,I’m a woman in my almost(four months to be exact) mid-twenties who is running out of time to be all that she can be and is not as confident in her dream as she used to be. My friends are accomplishing so much and I’m just…stuck!As proud as I am of my friends,I am a tad jealous of them.

My best friend helped me focus on what I need to do.She reminded me that I’m not a little girl anymore and if I keep accepting the way things are now,they’ll NEVER change.She even gave me a three month deadline to get my self together(the audacity of that heifer). I’m going to pull myself out of this little rut,put my big girl panties on,and…GROW UP!!!
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The tall glass of chocolate milk in the back is one of my closest friends who is commited to his bachelor lifestyle( he doesn’t count regarding this post) and the lovely lady on the right is my bff.Doesn’t motherhood look good on her?

My 5 Parenting Tips to Young Moms

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Recently,a close friend of mine joined the mommy club and another friend of mine has mommy burn out.Their situations are different but in talking with them I noticed I gave them similar advice on how to deal with being a mom. I was given plenty of advice on how to raise my daughter(don’t  hold the baby all day, give her lots of fruits and veggies, limit her tv time,etc…)but parenting goes so much deeper than the child. As a young parent, you have to grow up too.With that being said here are 5 tips on how to deal with parenting and finding yourself.

1)SEEK ADVICE FROM YOUR PARENTS. Just because you are now a parent,doesn’t mean you don’t need your own parents. I have learned that when I have to make difficult parenting decisions,I seek my mother’s help first. Your mom and dad,aunties,uncles helped raised you so they have a wealth of knowledge on the subject as well as other things. Not only that, they are perfect when you need a shoulder to cry on when you are not having a good day.Use them not only for a sitter,but also when you temporarily want to revert back to being “Mama’s baby”.You’ll always need your mom and dad,I don’t care what you say.

2)TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. I know of some moms(myself included) who pour everything they have into their children and neglect themselves.When you go shopping,stop spending all your money on your child.Get yourself something even if its something small,like a bottle of nail polish or a tube of lipstick.Get your rest,go on a date,or just go hang out with yourself.When you’re stressed out,it affects how you raise your kids.Whether you became a mom at 17 or 37,we all need a breather.

3)TURN OFF THE TECH. I’m well aware that we live in the technology age.I am SSSSOOOO guilty of being addicted to my social media for my owm personal use as well as blog business,but even I know when to turn it off. When you turn off the tech, spend time with your kids. Read to them, play with them, and most importantly,LISTEN to them.When you do, you learn so much about them. Your attentive ear sends the message that what’s going on with their lives matters.Social media will always be around,your kids will only be little once.

4)STOP FREAKING OUT.When Bubba got her first cold at 2 months old,I bawled like…well,a baby.For some reason,I was convinced that I waa the sole reason my baby had a runny nose and a slightly high fever.How could I let this happen? My aunt explained to me that all children get sick and its unavoidable. In fact,she read an article that said colds build up immmunity.You’re not a terrible mom just because things like sickness, trips& falls,or naughty behavior happen. All these things are apart of growing up and sometimes no matter how careful you are, accidents are inevitable. Think of it this way: when you freak out,your child will freak out and think the worst which only makes the situation worse.You don’t want that do you? So,calm down.

5)ENJOY THE BABY STAGE. I just went shopping for my best friend’s newborn and being in the baby store bought back so many memories. I remember getting frustrated looking for misplaced pacifiers and warming bottles of formula. I miss lugging around an overpacked diaper bag every time I went out with her and rocking Bubba to sleep.Now I have a rambunctious independent big girl who doesn’t need me to feed her,change her,or hold her to get her to sleep.If you’re still iin the “baby stage”, savor every moment,because it’s gone in the blink of an eye.

WHAT ARE SOME OTHER TIPS YOUNGER MOMS COULD USE?WHAT DO YOU WISH SOMEONE WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU?

Where was the Good? Because it Was Bad, Then It Got Ugly

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Lately, I’ve been thinking about my pregnancy with Bubba. It was pretty ugly. I wasn’t happy and a good portion of the people involved weren’t either. Let me explain.

When I first announced my pregnancy, I was sitting with my best friends at IHOP.It was the day of our senior breakfast bit we weren’t feeling what was being served,so we treated ourselves to a REAL breakfast. Somewhere between my fourth pancake and third sausage link,I told my friends I suspected I was pregnant. One of them suggested we buy a cheapie pregnancy test and then head to my friend’s house so I could take it. My best girlfriend had to help me because I had no clue how to take the test. As soon as the test read positive,she burst out laughing. How could she laugh when my whole world was shattered?

On my way home, a million thoughts were racing through my head. A baby? A human baby? What will the father say? What will my mothers say? How am I going to take care of a baby? I had moved out of my mom’s house and in with another relative a few months before I got pregnant. This other relative gave me the freedom I had wanted and felt I deserved being a teenage girl. But your girl was just a little too free.

I didn’t tell my relative for awhile and when we finally talked about it,she was pretty calm. She asked all the obligatory questions: Are you sure? Who is the father? What are you going to do? I knew she was hinting at abortion, but that was completely out of the question. She took me to the clinic and got me started on prenatal care. There was tension between us,but she still had not blown a fuse. Until the day after graduation.

Now,the details are a little fuzzy but I remember my relative getting upset about dirty dishes in the sink. It wasn’t her first time ranting about dishes left in the sink but this rant became verbally abusive. She went on to express her disappointment and disgust at my being pregnant. Of course I expected disappointment from her because I was disappointed in myself. However, I was called EVERY deragatory name you can call a woman. She even wished that I had contracted and STD and AIDS from Bubba’s father. I was so stunned but I figured that she just needed to get her hurt and anger out of her system and that she didn’t mean any of it. Dude, I was sooo wrong.

The abuse continued throughout my pregnancy. The attacks would always start with something unrelated and minute and escalate into a massive ball of hatred. Bubba’s dad would send me money and she would get upset over that and she also forbid me from seeing him. When I went for my 5 month sonogram,I got the news that Bubba may have Downs Syndrome. That is the worst news any mom, especially a first time mom, could receive. When I went home to tell my relative, she was very supportive. She said “Whatever happens, we’ll take care of the baby together” and “God will get us through”. For the first time in months,I thought I could maybe be happy about my impending motherhood. Psyche!

A few weeks after that sonogram, Relative cussed me out and said if my baby had Downs Syndrome it was my fault for being a whore. After that, my pregnancy was miserable. I told my relative to come to my baby shower,but she decided to stay home and get high. When I bought baby things home to show her,she looked at me like I had grown two heads. I was so depressed,I didn’t even take pregnancy pictures because why would I want pics of the shame I had bought on myself and family?

The day I went into labor everything was going okay until Relative showed up. I could feel the resentment and tension she was feeling. She even made fun of my excruciating contractions. She stood aroud my hospital bed and I remember her saying she wouldn’t have even come if her son hadn’t pitched a fit about it when they found out I was in labor. After Bubba came, she mumbled a “Congratulations” and left the hospital. I didn’t see her again until I went home with the baby.

I continued being verbally abused until my mother rescued me. I have forgiven my relative and it seems we’ve moved past it…for now. The point of this story is to let teen moms know they should NEVER allow anyone to abuse them in ANY way (yes,words count). Pregnancy is a blessing,no matter who its bestowed upon and its a joyous time. To the parents and relatives of teen parents,please don’t shame your children. It’s okay to be disappointed and angry,but verbally abusing them is NOT going to change the fact that they are going to be parents. Be loving and supportive so that they will be loving and supportive parents,too!!!

Party Over Here

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Today was Bubba’s 6th birthday party. I have to tell you, it almost didn’t happen. I was torn about doing it because I didn’t have enough money to give her the big bash she deserved. We were unable to throw her a 5th party last year and I wanted to make up for it this year. Plus, my family is still grieving over the sudden loss of my mother.
My adopted mom has been wrapped up in her grief,I didnt want to seem insensitive to that. My real mom’s birthday was the 7th and we all felt like we were starting the grief process all over again. I was really conflicted. Then,Mommy told me that she would be up to helping celebrate Bubna’s birthday,despite how heavy her heart felt.

So, we got her a fabulous cake and surprised her after school. Tomorrow is her actual birthday and we might be spending it with her father *gasp*

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Any November birthdays in your family?