Posts in Everyday
parenthood: chapter 12

one year. excuse me while i go and snatch my breath back!

this final month has been mostly enjoyable, i must say. holdy bear my mother’s nickname for him came out in rare form. personality fuh days. almost always finding something to laugh about, smile about, scream out about. he loves to look back at me when he is about to get into something he shouldn’t be in as if to provoke me to chase or race him. this boy.

alot has been going on with him developmentally. he was already starting to pull up on things, but climbing on furniture became a work of art. on occasion he would stand without assistance although he was completely unaware that he was doing it. he eventually took his first steps two weeks before his birthday, and any time keith and i can make a game out of it, we try to.

he finally started mastering his pincer grasp something i had been concerned about because he wasn’t eating a ton of food and mealtimes became less of a chore. this also increased his caloric intake and he suddenly began sleeping for eight hours straight before needing a feed early in the morning.

speaking of sleep, for the most part it definitely improved for most of the month except for the last two weeks of it where we were having to rock him to sleep because of teething and developmental milestones. we weren’t getting much sleep which made both keith and i vulnerable to whatever was going around. for me it was allergies, for keith, bronchitis. this lasted three weeks cumulatively. holdy bear remained as content as could be and thankfully didn’t get sick.

i started going to the gym as i get complimentary child care for two hours and i cannot tell you what a godsend that has been for both of us. even when i felt horrible, i took him to the gym just so that he could burn off some energy and i could get some reprieve. it has allowed me to enjoy him more when i get him back in my arms rather than dreading the three hour wake time of having to keep him entertained or out of trouble.

he looks more and more like a little boy each day and with his personality getting bigger, it is hard for me to recall what he was like before he began to really shine. i keep repeating to myself that he is going to be one soon, and i am not sure i am ready for that now that i am kind of getting the hang of him being a baby. i’ll miss his cute attempts at trying to kiss me. i miss seeing him discover a new skill for the first time. i’ll miss his partial toothy grin and his puckered face when he is focused on something intensely. some of those things may remain, but they will look different for sure, so i am holding on to these meteorites for as long as my memory will allow.

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road trip / baby and me

took another trip up to see my parents last weekend so that we could celebrate baby boy’s birthday with family. we want to do one back home with our friends, but since keith was going to have to be up here for work, i decided to head up with holdy bear a week early to make the trip worth it.

the last time i took a trip alone with this boy he was six months old and he wore me out for a two hour trip to see my sister. this time we were going about seven hours away. he slept poorly on the way up to my sister’s where we would be spending the night before driving five hours to my parents. he fought sleep for about two hours after we arrived and then woke up two hours early. i decided to just get up, get the car packed up again and leave.

we stopped off at my alma mater and walked around my old spots. it was surreal to be showing my son where i went to college. i felt eighteen all over again and yet felt the distance of those memories some seventeen years ago. those years were mostly good to me. i wish i would have discovered myself sooner there. we snagged a free breakfast from a tour group that had extra breakfast sandwiches so mega blessing because i hadn’t eaten breakfast in two days and i hadn’t had a solid three meals in three days. i definitely wasn’t kind to myself.

we finally arrived just before after one and i was exhausted. and by exhausted i mean i ran into my parent’s light post and then had a mini break down in the car while my parents kissed baby boy to pieces. i was already missing keith. thankfully it only took us two days to get into a rhythm. keith will get here today before his meeting tomorrow and i cannot wait to kiss his face. i am not sure i will do this by myself any time soon, but i hope it gets better.

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father's day

father’s day started pretty early for us, with our son being pretty cranky from a rough night of sleep. upon keith waking up, our boy took his first steps toward his papa today! what a gift! after that it was off to eat at a local cuban restaurant where we feasted on cuban bread and eggs and croquetas and quesitos. we made it back to the house in time for boo bear’s nap and spent most of the time just reflecting about what today means.

two years ago, we were hopeful that isaac would be far enough along in his progress to have keith hold him by father’s day. we got our wish, two weeks early but it was not how we would have hoped it to go. i had imagined tears of joy as i watched my husband holding our firstborn for the first time; instead it was tears of fear, pain, and dismay as i insisted keith hold isaac while he was still living.

this is the first father’s day that we celebrate him holding his son in his arms. a son full of life and hope for us as a family. a son who lets keith know every day he walks through the door that he is loved. a son that is inches away from celebrating a year earth side. the weight of this moment has been so heavy, so rich, so good. because even though its almost been a year with boo bear, keith has been a father for two years now.

i love this man, so much. we have had our differences, but i still feel peace in the mist of the conflict because i know that despite the tension, we still see each other and love each other. i love how keith loves on our son even when he at the brink of exhaustion. i wish he would care for himself a little better, but it is comforting to know that his love is so great and wide.

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parenthood: chapter 11

i come heavily medicated for this chapter. extreme allergies kicked in last week and i have been on the mend ever since. i am thankful it wasn’t anything bacterial or viral to where i would have to take some antibiotics, but it does mean i will have to ride it out. #secondhandsmokekills.

eleven months.

so much happened in one month that i hardly know where to begin. while sleep continues to be a struggle for us, we or rather i have learned to expect it so that i am not as frustrated by it. some of it was due to two top teeth coming in around the same time, and the other parts were due to travel and overnight stays at the hospital.

i mentioned earlier that we took our youngest to see a neurologist because i was concerned that some of his jerky movements might indicate seizures. but after two rounds of eeg one resulting in an overnight stay all that was concluded was that he has myoclonus of infancy which is common and something he should outgrow. praying that is all there is.

boo bear is becoming more vocal these days which is quite humorous as he is always interrupting me when i am on the phone with someone and if it isn’t on speaker he feels left out. he is understanding certain words and knows what they mean like when i tell him to back it up instead diving head first off of my bed he actually will push himself backwards!

this month keith got us signed up for the ymca and i am pretty sure i use it more than keith does. two hours of alone time to take care of myself has boosted my energy and sociability with others as well as my son. the childcare is beautiful there’s even a polish worker who is in love with him and is teaching him polish per my request. this time has allowed me to pursue my spiritual walk in a more ritualistic way which has been good for me. i know pray at nap time and not only has that been good for me to surrender my day, but it has been so soothing for boo bear to hear me pray truth and love over his sweet being.

i still struggle with my confidence not only as a mum but as a woman. i know the comparison game is toxic, but i have become aware of how inadequate i feel around other mothers who work and seem to have it all together when it comes to raising their kids. i don’t talk about myself for fear that no one is actually interested or listening. instead i talk about nap schedules and how to get my son to eat more. i hate that this is what it feels i have been reduced to, but honestly there isn’t much in my world that i feel compelled or safe enough to share with a group of mothers. i feel like i am in hiding and i am not sure how to come out and show the world who i am. maybe its the pressure i feel to look or be awesome all of the time. it isn’t me, and i need people who can rest in that and accept my boring, normal bits too.

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#locherup 2.1

Its been almost two weeks since my retwist and i wanted to wait a week before i took a photo update. in the meantime i did some more research on what i would like my locs to do and how to maintain them. for one, i don’t want to retwist my hair as frequently as every three weeks. my hair just doesn’t grow that fast and i don’t want my scalp becoming too tender.

there were varying bits of info out there on how long to wait in between retwists and washes, but i think in the end it is somewhat up to my hair and scalps needs. currently i am waiting another week three weeks exactly to actually wash and shampoo my hair. since i am going a total of seven weeks in between my last retwist and the second one, my scalp cannot afford to go that long without a decent scrub. i have been spritzing it with water and the oil mix that i made just so that it feels a bit more fluffy.

my hair is already starting to bud at the point where my new growth ends and the two strand twist begins. i am also able to do half up/down styles which makes my hair look less like a mop on my head. i try not to do that too often so that my hair will loc instead of just stretch out.

still finding it a challenge to feel feminine with my starter locs. that might be because i am still struggling with my overall style. part of that issue is that i am a stay at home mum, and not bringing in any income myself, so i feel guilty if i want to splurge on clothes that make me feel okay at the moment. but all of that is for another day and another totally different post.

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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.

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#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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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