isaac's second birthday

i haven’t had much time to really reflect on isaac’s birthday. not because i was avoiding it or anything. we just haven’t had time to with business trips for keith and hospital visits. i am not sure that even now as i write i have the headspace to let myself really go there.

while on vacation, i got a call from the neurologist saying that boo bear’s routine eeg was normal and that they wanted to monitor him while he was awake. he was immediately scheduled the tuesday we returned for a twenty-four hour eeg. i didn’t have time to digest the fact that we would be in the hospital through the day of isaac’s birth.

boo bear charmed all the nurses immediately, much like his brother did and he did so well considering he had wires glued to his head and then covered in a long sock over his head. the room was smaller than our living room and we were expected to stay inside while they recorded him both through the monitor and camera.

the only thing on my mind was how to keep him entertained until bedtime. i had no space for anything else. as we waited today for our discharge papers, after baby boy was offline, i took him for a walk down the hallway until we hit the end. to my left were a pair of windows overlooking the hospital entrance to the labor and delivery facilities.

i pointed at the building. this is where you were born, i said. and you know who else was born here? your brother isaac was born here. we brought you home from here. i winced, realizing what i had said and was about to say. this was your brother’s only home. he never knew the one you know. somehow, this feels like home for us too.

those words stung like hornets, but i don’t regret saying them.

this is boo bear’s first year celebrating his brother’s birthday, although i am not sure it was an obvious celebration. with his birthday a month later, i have found it difficult to plan for it during may. eleven months. that is all that would have separated them had isaac remained with us. now the earth, moon, and stars stretch in between them.

two earth years, but a thousand years eternal. i love you. happy birthday.

Read More
project layout: guest room

my sister is going to kill me for this.

i don't know how many times i have changed the layout of this room, sure that all the furniture was finally in its right spot. if it was just me moving around a queen size bed in an 11x10 foot room, i would care less about my indecision on the flow of the room. but i know my sister has changed the layout for me at least three times, keith once. so i feel horrible for having to say that it needs to be rearranged again.

this time, i have been more intentional. i measured the room and the furniture that i want in it. i scoured the internet looking for a layout tool that would help me visualize where everything needed to go. i ended up doing a free seven day trial with smart draw. it took me a bit to figure out how everything worked (i am sure they have some sort of help tool, but i was too impatient for all of that). this is what it currently looks like.

Read More
#locherup 1.2

my roots started to grow out and the noticeable spaces between each twist grow smaller and smaller. the length has more or less been about the same. most days i pull the twists into a stubby ponytail or wear a hat and try my best to look like i tried to put an outfit together. i will say that these likes have been forcing me to try to be okay with how i look in them.

baby boy likes them. or i should say he loves playing with them when he can snatch a handful in his fat little hand. keith is supportive, but right now he seems pretty disinterested since nothing has really happened.

Read More
parenthood: chapter 10

our boy is going to be one soon. unreal.

as he becomes more mobile and more mischievous, reflecting on each month becomes harder and harder, but he is down for his first nap and i am on post number two right now, so i will attempt to get started early before monday.

a lot has been happening with boo boo this month. he hit the dreaded 8-10 month sleep regression and two leaps, and yet again made us feel incompetent in our parenting skills. there has also been some stuff going on with him physically, which i may share at a later date once we have all the facts, but what i will say is that the process has been a bit triggering for me as i am not looking forward to seeing my baby hooked up to monitors.

as stated in my birthday post, being a parent has made me painfully aware of how hard it is to take care of myself and sometimes even keith. it used to be easy to find a quiet moment to reflect, to meditate, to eat, to bathe to rest, but now i find myself unmotivated most days to achieve anything of real interest to me. i hate the feeling of apathy, but feel i sink further into the more i try to motivate myself to do something.

i made attempts last month to get us both out and participating in some baby activities as i find it refreshing that he can just crawl around without me having to tell him no. i wish there were more things for me to

Read More
birthday: thirty-five

you know you are getting old, when the first time you think about your birthday is when you remember that your tags are about to expire.

this year has been about reacting. about survival. i have given little thought to caring for myself both in mind and in body although i think i tried once or twice to invest some energy into both. my birthday came in the midst of a major regression for my son, which has left me exhausted and falling short of providing for him. i have so little time for myself that I am actually writing my birthday reflection three days after my birthday.

i woke up feeling pretty depressed which usually is never the case for my birthday but i felt so out of sync with myself that it almost seemed that i had become a stranger to myself. my son was refusing his first nap despite breaking my own rule for a moment to rock him. all i could think of to keep me pushing forward was that my sister was coming and i was going to spend some time with keith in the evening doing an escape room.

but until then, i was alone with an overtired baby and my only outlet at the moment was reflecting briefly on my ig stories. it must have been an out of body experience, because i was crying by the end of the video, which i wasn’t aware i had been recording that long until after i posted it. about an hour later, i received some of the sweetest mama messages that made me feel less alone in my heartache. shortly after, my sister arrived…with my parents in tow!

the reprieve i needed!

the day grew brighter as i spent some time with my sister celebrating my birthday, encouraging her, drinking coffee and lemon and lavender cake oh my word. i swear this was made by the unicorns. and avoiding tornado watch. yep. happy berfday. then as my husband and i made our way to the escape room that evening, we stopped off at our neighbors’ house because keith said the kids wanted to say happy birthday.

lies. all lies.

i ended up being surprised by a small group of friends who had made me feel safe this past year. and then. and then those people made me touch your hand for stupid reasons. no they just made me cry with thoughts on what i meant to them in very specific ways. i had been secretly wondering what sort of impact that i had on people, because i always felt like i wasn’t exciting or endearing enough for people to want to either stick it out or at least put forth a real effort to be friends with me.

it was all overwhelming honestly. i didn’t know what to do with all of their words. with all of the genuine love that has been difficult to receive and accept because it always seemed to slip through my fingers. it made me want to love myself better so that i could love them better.

love my neighbor as i love myself.

i think that is my cta this year. to love myself more so that i might love those around me better.

Read More
reclaiming my style: hair journey

my hair was never a convenience, but has always been a process.

childhood kitchen beautician: shampoo, rinse, shampoo, rinse, detangle, ultra sheen, braid. repeat once a week.

adolescent military beautician: shampoo, rinse, condition, rinse, roller set, hooded dryer, style. repeat every four weeks.

college budget friendly beautician: always been a process. repeat every eight weeks.

graduate support a hustling beautician: ten packs of bob marley hair in #4, sitting for 6 hours, part, twist, hot water dip. repeat every twelve weeks.

going natural self-made beautician: deep condition, detangle, shampoo, condition, leave in conditioner, seal the ends with whatever oil i had in my cupboards, style. repeat once a week.

the last process has continued on for ten years, but began deteriorating after both pregnancies. i was short on time and patience and my disheveled appearance made me less motivated to get out into the world postpartum. i had enjoyed the process of watching my hair thrive under my stewardship and even saw my sense of style flourish as i gained more confidence in the hair i was born with.

it wasn’t until this moment in my life that i realized how connected my creativity was to my hair. i felt put together and having my hair kept made me actually want to put forth the effort in other areas. i couldn’t keep on this path for much longer and seriously began to consider locs. but like going natural, locs are a commitment.

i took to pinterest, hoping to find some inspiration and the kick i needed to go ahead and get this done.

Read More
wonder weeks: leap 6

welcome to week 42 nine months and some change and leap six in the wonder weeks book. we are now in the process of discovering what hank is learning in this leap. it has mostly been a continuation of what he started to learn in the previous leap, with a few new items to add to his super suit.

hank has been pulling up on everything. when he wakes up in the morning the first thing he does is want to stand in his crib and babble until he realizes he cannot get back down. he started about two weeks ago in his room on the floor, and after a few falls and bumps he has figured out how not to fall.

army crawls are slowly turning into the standard crawl. his balance still isn’t great so the knee crawling gets tiresome for him. but man does he still get around and quickly. i let him explore the safe places in our house just so he feels like he has some independence. he is on his way to being a cruiser and my bet is that he starts walking by next month around the time i started.

he still shows minimal interest in solids, mostly because he is distracted by the wind or his seat buckle, or the crumb on the floor. in general he is not eating as frequently as he used to which means i can get out of the house a little more with him without him having a meltdown in the car.

to date he has waved at four people, none of those waves directed at keith or me. he claps at random times but never when you ask him to clap. he loves playing hide and seek. OMG watch out for me to post it on my IG stories! the cutest thing ever.

his naps were improving up until his leaps while night time had gotten way worse. after the leap though, his naps began to get worse again while his night time rest has gotten way better. can’t have my cake and eat it i guess.

he prefers keith to me, which i think is awesome given the fact that he hardly sees keith all day. but when keith is not around, hank is particularly clingy with me. apparently, this is supposed to be the calm period before the next leap, but i have seen none of that and hear that the next leap is relentless.

pray. for. me.

Read More
parenthood: chapter 9

happy april!

baby boy i will refer to him as hank from here on out as that is what his initials sound out haha turned nine months two saturdays ago and we continue to be grateful for the time God has blessed us with him. saturday there was a remembrance walk put on by now i lay me down to sleep near our house. keith and i decided to check it out since we heard about it last minute. seeing babies who had passed at various stages made me kiss hank all over and thank God even more. it also made me miss isaac all the more and the rest of the weekend i spent time looking through old photos and videos of our last days with him. this will forever be our normal.

this month has been challenging for me, i realized yesterday. i spend my whole day thinking of ways to socialize or entertain hank, trying to just make my house not look like a war zone, and trying to figure out how i am going to get a weeks worth of groceries while pushing around an itty bitty stroller. but when asked what do i want to do, i feel selfish, i feel unreasonable, for even knowing what i want let alone asking for what i want.

no one is putting the pressure on me except for myself. i find it hard to treat myself and take care of myself well, and i find it even harder to ask for it when there are more bigger priorities that need to be fulfilled. my son’s needs or my husband’s needs just automatically trump mine because i feel so vital to their success. of course i am not that vital, but it feels almost necessary for me to believe that because i am struggling to find my purpose apart from the role of mother and wife. i feel trapped somehow.

i have no thoughts as far as how to break out of this mindset, but am also not looking for a way to escape the process.

how were you able to overcome the guilt of taking care of yourself while still taking care of your family?

Read More
baby led weaning

i think its safe to say i have no idea what i am doing.

i read all the blogs, books, magazines i could find on nutrition and baby led weaning, but now that its here, i am a headless chicken. i look at all these mothers with children around my son’s age and i cannot help it to compare even though i know the game of comparison is dangerously consuming what their children can already do at eight months.

everything i have read says by now he should have his pincer grasp figured out. nope. he still grabs things with his whole hand. so getting him to try bite sized anything is frustrating for him and terrifying for me. he usually ends up just smashing his food all around and then refusing to eat from a spoon when i try to feed him. i know its all a part of exploring new textures, but i’ve noticed that if it isn’t toast, a teething cracker or something that he can just grab and gnaw on until it turns to mush, he is pretty disinterested.

however, i have noticed that he likes to grab at the food on my plate or in my bowl, and i have often let him try some of the vegetable soups that i have made from scratch. he absolutely loves it or maybe he just likes the fact that he thinks he is eating like the big kids.

so i am wondering, and throwing this question out to you all, what sort of big kid meals did you make that were baby friendly? i don’t add a lot of salt to most of my stuff, but i do like to add spices this kid loved the soup i made with a homemade harissa base, so yes he likes things with flavor i am discovering.

Read More
huckleberry: baby sleep app

those of you who have been following my road to motherhood, know that sleep has been a real challenge for keith and i. when i say we tried everything, i mean everything. i had resolved in my mind that baby boy was just going through a ton of developments and would need assistance until he had gotten through most of them.

we rocked, held, nursed, sang, bounced our boy to sleep through most of the night and day time naps, but last week i started to see the problem with having him rely on us for so much. not only was he overtired and waking up every two hours to be soothed in some fashion, but i noticed his progress with crawling and coordination had slowed down a lot. he wasn’t as alert either, and that all worried me. but it wasn’t just him all of this was having a profound affect on.

i mentioned this early on when we first brought baby boy home that parenthood can bring out the ugly. i found myself more irritable than normal, unable to communicate my thoughts and feelings to keith as i used to, and i could feel the tendrils of resentment starting to coil around my spirit. i felt stuck and i didn’t know how to kindly invite keith into helping me get our boy back on the right track.

while scrolling through my instagram feed, one of those promo posts popped up about baby sleep issues. i admit i think its extremely creepy that facebook and google know exactly what to bait me with. i read the mama’s blog (not sure if she got paid for

Read More
Parenthood: chapter 8

and just like that our boy is eight months old!

where do i even begin? baby boy achieved so many things this month that i will probably make a separate post about his leap 5 and 6 wonder weeks. sleep was also a hot topic again this month, but we decided to be proactive rather than reactive, with a few mental breakdowns in between. that will have its own posts coming shortly as that is a whole chapter in it of itself. what i will say about it, that it definitely improving as i am actually able to sit down and write a post!

Read More
DITL of a SAHM and 6 month old

it seems strange that anyone would even care to know about my day to day, but in an effort to get to blogging more, (#newyeargoals) i will overcome my own feeling of invisibility and write as though there is some amother out there who cares and appreciates the day to day. in all honesty, that is what this blog is meant to be about anyway, not the well curated moments that i can be guilty of posting. anyway, i’ll stop jawing about.

i would like to say that i get up at five or six am to start my day before he wakes up, but because he has been hitting all of these developmental and growth milestones back to back, i don’t get much sleep. so i usually get up closer to seven. and he just started teething this month, so there’s that.

i start my day by drinking at least twelve ounces of water. if i can get in twenty that would be splendid. the idea is that i can better hydrate before sticking food in me. i wash my face and brush my teeth and bird bath it—yes like i was eight years old again. mothers know at this stage you don’t have time to shower when its just you and baby, so bird bathing it is. then its time to put on a real bra. not the flimsy nursing bra, i’m talking about one that contours. i get dressed and i quickly make the bed before i grab a bite to eat.

Read More