Mommy Chronicles: Life With Yari

 

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Happy 2016!! I would like to take the time out to acknowledge that I have not mistakenly written 2015 not even once since new year’s day. However, it’s only the 5th and there is still plenty of time to make mistakes. But I digress.

Typically, I loathe the idea of a resolution. Waiting until the 1st of the New Year to say that you are going to do something or improve is a little silly to me (but to each its own). BUT I did make a resolution for my daughter this year which is that she will no longer be a thumb sucker.

My now three-year-old daughter started sucking her thumb one random night when she realized that she could never lose her thumb and that she could put her thumb in her mouth faster than I could replace her ‘paci’. Admittedly I let the habit form and develop because quite frankly I was a new mom and my child was finally sleeping for good lengths of time all because she found a way to soothe herself. So ignoring my mother’s warning I deemed the thumb sucking cute and let her do her thing. But I knew one day it would have to end and I told myself that once the bustle of the holidays is over we would settle back into our routine minus the thumb sucking and I’m proud to say that so far so good. But like I said before there is still plenty of time to make mistakes and for her to fall back on her good old dependable thumb to help her fall asleep or calm her when she is upset.

Until then though Mavala Stop will continue to be applied to her thumb twice a day. Once in the morning before our day care drop off ad once before bed. Some people may think its cruel to do this but that’s quite alright because everyone parents differently. I have tried the thumb guard and it was a waste of money because it only frustrated her and she could wiggle out of it. The disgusting taste of this stuff (I’ve tried it myself) is quickly teaching her that putting her thumb in her mouth is a bad idea since it doesn’t go away without drinking or eating something.

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I bought this product from Amazon for about $12, a family member of mine used it on their daughter who kicked the habit and I hope my little one follows suite.

So wish me luck on the only resolution I have made for 2016.

 

Elephant Hugs & Violet Kisses

Love & Junk

I am a hopeless romantic; I believe in love, I believe that it endures all things. I believe in soul mates. I believe that there is one person in this world that our soul belongs too. I also believe that our soul mate may not always be romantic in nature, just someone who gets you, and see’s you like no one else can or will. But I don’t believe that anyone can or should make you whole. I believe that is a task for yourself and God.

I am married and although I love my husband more than I think he knows, I also know that he does not make me whole, he is not my entire world but instead just a very (and I mean very) important part of it. Some people may think that if that’s the case it’s not real or deep enough, but to me it’s actually more than enough. My husband compliments me he is an extra OOMPH, he is like the cherry on top of a perfectly good Sundae, bonus points on a test, or that curve a teacher throws in to help out students grades (weird metaphors I know), but the point is I’m good by myself. In fact I’m damn good, I’m extraordinary by myself.

Our world uses so many cute little sayings like “you complete me” and “my better half” which are all really nice to say. However, I think we have said it so much we start to convince ourselves and our children subsequently that we NEED someone to complete us. Especially, our young girls, we teach them that marriage and a good man are something to aspire to. As a raiser of a tiny female human I want to teach her more than that. My daughter is a masterpiece and she will be a masterpiece long before and long after anyone comes to tell her so. THAT is what I want her to carry with her that is what I want her to believe. It is my job to make sure that while she is seeing this and making it true for herself that she learns not to carry an air of arrogance around with her, not to make sure people like her, but to make sure that she is humbled secure with the masterpiece that she instead of making others think they are less than.

We want to believe that we are enough, so why do we constantly think we need to find someone else to make us whole? I loved exceptionally hard and I’ve given too much of myself to the wrong person and thought that I needed someone to complete me but that was a part of growing up for me. I know better now. Like I said I’m extraordinary by myself. And you are too.

 

Elephant Hugs & Violet Kisses

The Ultimate Match Up

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I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a wife, a mother, an education professional, an entrepreneur, a graduate student, a friend and so many other things that so many women are on a daily basis and they do just fine. However the problem is when being a mother and being a business/career women collide. Here is a quick run-down of my Monday-Thursday.

Wake up at 5 a.m. to get ready

Wake up child at 5:30 a.m. out the door at 6 a.m. to drop her off and make it work by 7 a.m.

Leave work at 5:30 p.m. pick up child at 6p.m.

Make it home by about 6:30 to feed myself, child, and husband who usually comes in after me.

Daughter in bed by 8:30 the latest.

Start homework once she is asleep.

If you read through that you will see that I spend approximately 3 hours in this whole day with my daughter (typing that brought tears to my eyes, she deserves more) and about 3 hours with my husband who wakes up earlier and only wakes me to kiss me goodbye (this hurts too because he deserves more). Truth is my entire family deserves more of each other, but our schedule doesn’t permit it outside of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And sometimes Friday and Saturday mommy goes off for her photography sessions.

My ovaries are crying from a high temperature. I have baby fever but can’t have another child right now unless I give up being a working woman. So there it is the battle between being a mother and being a career woman. I know plenty of women do so successfully but I would love a deeper look into their lives. I need to take notes I need pointers. How do they do it all and is there an area of their life that is lacking?

I’m not the only one with this problem right? Someone knows exactly how it feels right?  If no one can relate I know Mary Jane Paul can. I’m not going to freeze my eggs, and my clock isn’t ticking, but this is exactly why when people ask when I’m going to make my daughter a big sister I cringe a little. I cringe because they have NO idea what my days are like. I cringe because the thought of having another child and giving him or her only 3 hours out of my work day is unacceptable. I cringe because I cant image being more tired than I am now.

I would love your thoughts!

Elephant Hugs & Violet Kisses!

BreastFeeding Awareness Week!

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August 1-7th is Breastfeeding week, and honestly I did not know this until a few weeks ago. But nonetheless it’s an awesome thing to celebrate. There is almost nothing more rewarding than bonding with your child and nourishing them at the same time.

When I had my daughter it felt like I was back at work in no time. Maternity leave simply did not last long enough. Not only was I back to work in no time, but the amount of breastfeeding I could do was dwindling. It was a new job and taking time outs to pump was just not an option. That was unfortunate for me and my newborn but fortunately for moms now there are laws protecting us as employees and moms here is an excerpt from the Department of Labor:

“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148, known as the “Affordable Care Act”) amended section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to require employers to provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.” Employers are also required to provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.” See 29 U.S.C. 207(r). The break time requirement became effective when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010.”

View FAQs from the site here: http://www.dol.gov/whd/nursingmothers/faqBTNM.htm

  
Last Friday (July 31st) I had the chance to meet Victoria and her son Kaydence who isn’t even a full month old yet. We did a nursing photography session in her home so we could have some images to share along with others in World Breastfeeding week. Victoria is a Columbus, Georgia native and a first time mom, but she is already a pro. It’s so amazing to watch how careful and a sweet mom can be with their child. With so much negativity and wrong doing that we often see children go through its awesome to see parents who know how blessed they to be chosen to bring life into the world and know it’s their job to protect and nurture this life. These are just two images from our session, but to view the gallery with a few more please visit www.o-shootphotography.com
   

 A second nursing session with another mom will be coming to the site Next Tuesday (August 11th). Book your session today!

On Friends

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Growing old and growing up are two completely different things in my eyes. We all grow old, its just the way of life, but we don’t all grow up, certainly not at the same rate anyway. The beautiful things about God and life is that the right people are always in your life when you need them most. This applies to family, friends, and even that stranger on the side of road who seemed nonthreatening and helped you change your flat tire. The mechanic whose heart was just so warmed to you that he would complete services and just asked you to thank him with a smile (maybe it was flirting). Or the friends that you meet into adulthood who come into your life make your heart feel as if they had a place there all along. (All of these scenarios have played out for me) God has a way of making the right people available to you at the right time. So if someone isn’t in your life at the moment it may be because it’s just not their season to be. Your spring and their winter just dont mix.

So this is my thank you to all the wonderful people who have certainly played a part in the woman I’ve become and definitely helped to shape my views a bit into the woman I am becoming. When people fade out of your life so long as It was not by force, conflict, or some disaster then smile at their fading. They have served their purpose and you have served yours in their life.  To the people actively in my life now, may our season together never end, but know I appreciate you now and will appreciate you should that day ever come. To the people who have already exited my life… Thank you. You were awesome. I hope you think I was awesome and beneficial to you.

“We aren’t friends, we are strangers with memories” (Saw this quote in a post, and it made me smile) Some may see negativity or hate in that quote but I can appreciate the truth in it.

 

-Elephant Hugs and Violet Kisses

Just.O.

White People Quick Review

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I just wrapped up watching the MTV documentary “White People” that aired a few days ago on July 22. This documentary although interesting was chalk full of commercials that thank God, Direct TV Genie allows me to fast forward through, but I digress. This film was full of lots of good questions, conversations, and opinions. However, I was a bit disappointed that there were practically no black opinions in this show. Of course it is entitled White people, but it was really one sided and lacked the “black opinion” it needed. Perhaps my expectations were just too high.

A few of the interviewees expressed how they felt discriminated against when looking for academic scholarships and felt as though they were at a disadvantage because of their skin color. However with over 21 million financial aid applicants a year, over 70% of those who received merit based aid are white and that white students are 40% MORE likely than any other race to receive this aid. So the questions begs to be answered. How in the world can you feel discriminated against when this system is obviously set up for you … white people? But one young woman (white) put it very simply “maybe white people just expect to get all the scholarships.” This expectation is just another facet of privilege.

It was reported that three out of four young white people consider themselves colorblind. And one young white male on the film called being color blind a cop out and ignoring the real issues. Talking about race is scary for a lot of people so they avoid it at all costs, but that in itself is a problem. We have to stop being afraid, we have to stop tip toeing around people’s feelings, stop thinking if this person will feel attacked. Perhaps we need to offend, we need to stomp, and need to attack. We have to stop being afraid to make people uncomfortable.

It is projected that within the next few decades whites will comprise less than 50% of the population and of course change is hard. America is known as a “melting pot” however it seems more like a salad bowl than anything, nothing really ever truly mixes. America we have work to do.

I am hoping that this is a series and there will be more to see soon from this one sided conversation. Or maybe there will be a Black People, Asian People, Hispanic People documentary.

Be Good Enough For You

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My friends and I have often said things like “I’ve put in too much work to let someone else have him” speaking in terms of a man (boy in some cases) that we have invested time, love, effort, our bodies, and minds into. I’m not too proud to say that I have held on to someone for far too long because I didn’t know how to cut my losses and move on from someone I knew would never be good enough for me. Yup I said it… GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME. As women we tend to blame ourselves a lot and fill our own hearts with shame. We sometimes invest so much into a relationship giving everything and then getting frustrated when we don’t feel we are getting back as much as we put in. But we have to learn to cut our losses. The return on your investment in a relationship may never be what we expected and that’s okay. Don’t beg anyone to love you.

You can be the greatest cook, great sense of humor, love sports, and a phenomenal lover, but if that man does not have his heart set on you none of that will ever be enough. But that does not mean that there is something wrong with you. It doesn’t even mean there is something wrong with him. It only means there is something wrong with your union and it doesn’t need to exist. Don’t ever sell yourself short waiting on love from someone who doesn’t see it fit to love you intensely. Cut your losses when you don’t see a return on your investment.

Elephant Hugs & Violet Kisses

{Hip Hop}

Lupus Awareness Month

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May is Lupus Awareness Month and although it isn’t an illness that has touched me and my family personally, but it is one that I have seen a couple of my friends hurt and affected by it severely. It is more severe and brutal than people think it is. There is a game on www.knowlupus.org that challenges you to test your knowledge, and for each time you complete a level the National Board Chairs family makes a donation towards Lupus research. Here are some surprising and hair raising facts I learned by playing

  1. Women make up about 90% of all those who suffer with Lupus. And develop symptoms between the ages of 15 and 44.
  2. It is called “The Cruel Mystery” because it comes out of nowhere has a range of symptoms and has not known cause or cure.
  3. The medications used to treat the disease can cause increased rates of heart disease, seizure, infection, and inflammation of the lungs.
  4. The beautiful purple butterfly that is used as a symbol is not because It’s pretty. See fact number 5
  5. About 30% of patients develop what is called a butterfly rash across the bridge of their nose.

I scored 56% on the first level of the game on www.knowlupus.org (Terrible score but I learned so much). I also learned that on average it takes about 6 years for a patient to be diagnosed once they have developed symptoms. That’s a long time. I want to encourage everyone to be aware play the game and know the facts.

~Elephant Hugs & Violet Kisses~

Is Immitation the Highest Form of Flattery?

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Whenever I would do something wrong that my mom did not like she would never get angry, loud or upset. She is the quiet type, so she would call or wait until I got home and calmly say “Denise (that’s what my family calls me), I have a rit against you”.

Well America, in the words of my mother “I have a rit against YOU”!

Kylie Jenners lips absolutely do not impress me. And I know she is not the first white girl who America has gone completely gaga over for her lips (Artificial or Natural). The problem still remains and then root is neither Kylie nor Angelina. African Americans have had luscious full lips for EVER! But our mainstream European standard of beauty never allowed for these features to be glorified. Not on a black woman anyway.

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but America I am not impressed.

What infuriates me even further is this video I saw this morning of various kids, (I say kids because anyone who attempts this is seriously lacking any solid form of identity and therefore still a child), using a bottle of some sort sticking their lips into it and waiting for it to swell so they too could look like Gabriel Union… I’m sorry I mean Kylie Jenner. But hold the phone this wasn’t a video full of young white teens trying this, but young black girls as well.

I’m lost didn’t we just have Black Girls Rock? Weren’t we just reminded nationally how unique, powerful, and beautiful we are? But yet these lost little black girls are trying the next stupid… I mean big thing to have lips like Michele… I’m sorry I mean Kylie? Sweethearts don’t you realize Kylie and the rest of the world is trying to have lips like YOU?? Trying to be YOU?? If no one has told you, YOU ARE IT. And how blissful it will be when you realize this.

You Fear What You Dont Understand

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“You’re scared of me because you don’t control me. You can’t, and you never will. But that doesn’t make me your enemy,” – Superman

This is a quote from Clark Kent in the Man of Steel Movie. Today after watching the video of Walter Scott being shot to death by South Carolina’s finest this quote came to mind. Our black men are hated but hatred is bred from fear. They fear what they cannot control, what they will never be able to control… again. It hurts my heart that this is such a constant reoccurring theme in our country. And it’s not isolated to one region or area. It’s everywhere. A Facebook (and real life) friend of mine posted today that her very young son asked her how to tell the difference between a good cop that will help you and a bad cop that might hurt you. But there is no answer. Their badge looks the same, their cars aren’t marked with white pointed hats or big red beware signs. You just can’t tell.

I see my 16 year old nephew on Instagram in the streets and at parks having fun with his friends and I don’t see a young teen enjoying his youth. I see a piece of my heart who the cops might deem a target if he doesn’t play his cards right. I use to be one of those “no not me” or “not my family” kind of naïve person, but I can’t afford to be her anymore. My brothers, my nephews, my unborn nephews, my husband, my future sons could all be Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, Ezell Ford, Oscar Grant, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford, or Walter Scott. And what can I do? What do we do?

How do we teach them that just because they can’t control us does not mean they must hate and fear us? How do we eliminate the need for sides that make “them” a bad term? This can’t be life!