7 short years!

I didn’t write anything over the weekend or look at the writing prompt.

My son celebrated his 7th birthday! Time really flies!

I am so proud to be the mom of such a son. He is a kid who really knows and speaks his mind.

He is always hilarious and keeps me laughing. He’s a sweetie pie.

Here he is at Legoland.

Teen Age Idol(s)

Today’s prompt is asking who did I idolize as a teen. Who was my Teen Age Idol.

Ok. I can’t remember one person that I idolized above anyone else. I called my oldest friend who is sometimes my memory to ask her who was the one person that I idolized and she said that nobody stands out.

There is a long list of people, groups, songs, movies and ideas that I idolized as a teenager. I called my oldest friend who is sometimes my memory to ask her who was the one person I idolized and she said nobody stands out.

Here is a list in no particular order –

I was listening to

  • Tupac because go listen to 2pacalypse Now (especially Words of Wisdom)
  • Public Enemy because It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
  • Ice Cube because  go see Straight Out of Compton or listen to AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted
  • Madonna because because 80’s
  • Anita Baker because Giving You the Best that I’ve Got
  • MC Lyte, Salt & Pepa, Queen Latifah and any female rapper
  • Eric B. & Rakim because God MC
  • KRS One because edutainment
  • X Clan to the east blackwards!
  • Betty Wright  because I was already an old lady
  • Whininess and Commission were my gospel favorites

I was reading, watching and loving

  • Malcolm X because as soon as I saw clips of him speaking and read speeches and then the autobiography it was like I crossed a line. There was a Before Malcolm and an After Malcolm
  • Alice Walker. Still and always will
  • Nikki Giovanni because I was born in the Congo (ego trippin)
  • Spike Lee movies because Gator!
  • A Different World. Still and always will

That prompt has me going back down memory lane. I always visit anyway. Good stuff stays with you.

One luxury item

Today’s prompt,  Keeping up with the Jones’ wants me to describe one luxury item I wish I could afford.

My first thought was that I don’t want to keep up with no Jones’!! And I don’t like sit around and think if only I had a few hundred million dollars then I would…

 

But if I could get one luxury item, I would like to have a huge house on a lot of acreage of farmland. I would also need people to work the land and I would like to grow everything that I eat and make most things that I wear/use.

I would also need an expert to teach me how do all of this and to step in when I do I make mistakes.

I don’t want to have to worry about failed crops  or anything so I guess I would also need to be in control of the weather.

hmmm maybe I’ll just stick to going to the store.

I would love a house in Maui. A big beautiful house near Oprah’s.

Sink or Swim

So I’m trying to write at least once every day and when I saw the prompt for today Sink or Swim I was thinking that maybe I would skip a day.

Only on day two and I’m already like nah!!

Part of the reason is that I almost feel like life is one big Sink or Swim test that you go through and you either sink, swim or drown or a combination of the three.

Part of the reason is that all of these images and memories with my former organization of the last nine years came up and I miss work and working and I don’t want to be reminded of my high stress job that I both loved and hated and all of those terrifying times that I was thrown into situations, meetings, new assignments and had to make a go of it.

At some point I realized that by going through all of the reasons that I didn’t feel like doing this assignment, I might as well have posted about one of those reasons. Or about this process. Which is basically, what I’ve just done and what you’ve been reading 🙂

There was also that time that I joined the Navy.

I was the least athletic person that I knew and my day mostly consisted of reading and talking to my friends. I am also not very disciplined. So me going to boot camp was kind of laughable. I was also 22 years old and already a single parent. It was very hard leaving my young child with my family. I kept telling myself that it was for the pursuit of a better life. Surprisingly enough, boot camp wasn’t too bad. For boot camp. I found myself laughing every time I was yelled at for some minor offense. I remember cracking up one time when I had to drop and  do 20 push ups. They added more push ups to show me it was serious and I eventually stopped laughing because my arms were tired and hurting.

And then there was that time in boot camp where I literally did have to sink or swim to pass the swimming test. I wasn’t a great swimmer and was terrified of jumping off of the diving board. As I was floating on my back I kept saying  to myself “I can do it” over and over. And the water was in my ears and it made my voice seem really loud like maybe God was talking to me saying “You can do it” and before you knew it. I had done it. It was over.

Whenever I really get nervous about something like public speaking or giving birth, I press the padding of my pointer finger into the nail of my thumb and tell myself “I can do it” over and over again. And I usually find myself swimming along.

Yay, day 2 is done.

 

Resolved

Resolved

Although I didn’t make any New Year Resolutions, I did acknowledge that I wanted to continue being the best me that I can be. That is a resolution of sorts.

A part of that includes following my passion, passionately. For many years, I’ve been wanting to write. For just as many years, I have this fear of writing and of pursuing that passion. I once read that a writer writes. Daily. I do not write daily. When I am going through things, I do write an occasional poem. I have attempted to write quite a few novels and often don’t get past the first few pages even when I have the whole story fleshed out in my head.

In the back of my mind, I know that discipline is a necessary requirement to pursuing a writing life. I have to make myself write. Every day. That is so challenging. I’ve had a blog of some sorts for about 7 years now.  I started on blogger and you can find that first one  here . But I’ve never been a very consistent blogger.

I have been trying to take it more seriously in the past few months and I recently signed up for a daily post from WordPress just to learn more of the ins and outs but also to remind me that – hey, I have a blog!

I just found out today that there is a daily writing prompt and this is my first. The word was Resolve. I guess I now have a new years resolution.

Hopefully, my efforts won’t have fizzled out by the middle of the month.

New Year, Same Ole Me

I just finished reading my last post of 2014. It was a reflection on what I learned throughout the year. It was a good reminder of where I was and what I had going on and that was good to read.

I didn’t make an end of the year post for 2015 though. 2015 spoke for itself in my life. It was a year of change and adjustment for me.

In case you’re new to me or this blog, these are the major life events that I had in 2015

  • Quit my job of 9 years that I both loved and hated
  • Moved from West Michigan to Chicago
  • Got married (to the love of my love – I can hear Erykah singing now)
  • Had a baby at 40!
  • Started my journey back to writing
  • Became a Stay At Home Mom (what a surprise)

After all of that change, the only thing that I needed to do at the end of the year was to sit down. I just enjoyed my self with my hubby and baby (my son was with his father). I really just marveled at my life. I feel blessed and I’m thankful for that.

Going into this new year, I didn’t make any resolutions. I didn’t write out any specific goals for the year (I already had those). I didn’t start a new diet. I didn’t start a new exercise plan.

What I realized though is that I don’t need to be a new me in this new year. I’ve been a pretty good me for a long time. While my circumstances have changed – a lot –  my mind, heart and soul are still me through and through. That’s a great thing because I spent many years trying to be the best me that I could be. I’ll just keep on doing that.

 

Picture Post

So I take pictures every day. Selfies; Ussies  with Kaeden; Ussies with my husband and pictures upon pictures of Meridian. Because growing baby!!!

I try to post pictures sparingly of my baby. I’m not sure exactly of the reason why since I am a social media junkie.

So even though I will post a pic (and I usually take about 20 pics just to post one …I am only slightly exaggerating) from today, I will only be posting one.

Except that I decided to post some more here. Because Blog. Natural Brown Momma. What could be more natural than a momma posting pics of her baby.

 

Nothing, I say!

 

Up-to-date Update

image image image image imageI haven’t posted as often as I should, so I just wanted to give an update on the goings on of this natural brown momma.

My son, Kaeden is a new karate champion! Ok, well he has his white belt and he did participate in his very first tournament and even though I was afraid that he would be afraid, he was eager to participate and came in second place. I am so proud. He has also lost his two front teeth and I can’t help but think his smile is adorable.

Meridian is a growing nicugrad! She had an appointment with the NICU follow up clinic and she is pretty much right on time for her adjusted age. They gave me some things to work on for her development and she is a whopping 11 lbs and 15 oz!!

My soul mate sisters/friends came for a visit and we all got to catch up and I got out of the house for a bit.

We went back home to Michigan to spend Thanksgiving with my husband’s family and had a great time. I always love that time of year for the gathering of family and friends.

In breastfeeding news, I have five months in but while in Michigan, I pumped a lot and my daughter started really enjoying the bottle (over the nipple) so we are in a new area and trying to figure that out.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I saw Hunger Games: Mockingjay pt 2 and Creed. Hunger Games was a good wrap up to the series, although a bit too long and Creed was an awesome opening to a new Rocky franchise.

In Babywearing news, I have a new Mei Tai carrier from CatBirdBaby that I am excited about but haven’t really started using. I have started using my Maya Wrap Ring sling with the help of my visiting friend/sister/fellow natural brown momma.

On the baby wearing product list – I now have 1 lalubu soothe shirt, 2 happy wraps, 1 boba wrap, 1 maya wrap ring sling, 1 tula carrier and 1 mei tai carrier. If I get another one, I may have to smuggle it in the house so my husband won’t see.

I have halloween, thanksgiving and Christmas tree decoration pictures.

I am considering going back to school to get a masters degree in communications.

My family watched and loved The Wiz Live! We also love the movie the Wiz so I was a little afraid, but the cast did a wonderful job. My son is still wondering where was Toto though.

My husband and I went to see Chi-Raq yesterday and he hated it and I am perplexed, so no review of that as of yet.

That just about brings us up to date!

What have you been up to?

 

Mothers Are Superheroes

I was reminiscing today about my oldest child and her battle with brain cancer. On another blog site that I used to use, I wrote a few posts about it.

This is an old post from April of 2011 called Mothers Are Superheroes. At the time, I wrote it because people kept remarking about how strong I was. I remember thinking then that there was something about being a mother that brought out a special type of inner strength and resiliency in women. Mothers really are superheroes.

Mothers Are Superheroes 4/2011

This experience has been the most emotional, horrendous, moving, exhausting experience in my life.

So many people have called me strong. That word has stuck with me through out this experience. It always makes me want to kind of step back and say, no I’m not. I’m just a mom. The word keeps coming up and keeps sticking with me. So much so that I just have to address it.

I have always thought that there is a special and unique spirit that only a mother possesses. There are mothers and there are mothers. So not every woman that has a child and is called mother is a mother. This I know. But when I speak about mothers, I am talking about that special gift to a person’s world that is essential to a persons being. It’s spiritual.

I have always been thankful for mothers. Women who carry a baby in their womb and think and worry and pray and cry and shout and laugh over that baby/child’s life and future. Like God, a mother loves their child from the womb. And it is often all encompassing.

With that said, a year ago when we found out that my first born child had a brain tumor. It rocked my world. Because I knew it would change my child’s world. But we have been on this journey and fighting this fight for this past year. And among all other things, a mother is a fighter. She is a soldier. She surveys the landscape and circumstance of her child and prepares to meet the coming enemy with her might. Sometimes she will win and sometimes she will lose. But she fights nonetheless. And sometimes, she has a whole army with her. I have had so much support from my family and friends and even strangers. A whole army of people with well wishes, kind thoughts and words.

Through out this year, I have had my mind set against the Big “C” word. Hopefully, the tumor is not cancer. That was my mantra. But then the tumor was cancer. But it is a “curable cancer” it responds well to chemo and radiation and they believe they can get it all. Now the radiation may cause problems 20 years or so down the line but even those should respond well to chemo/radiation.

So now, we have a name. The enemy has a face. And we face the enemy. My daughter is strong. She takes this and keeps on going and planning. That makes me stronger.

Sometimes, I cry. But I don’t allow myself to wallow in a river of tears. Sometimes, I look at my daughter and feel sad at her laying in the hospital bed. But then I think about how blessed we are that it is not worse. We have seen other children in this hospital on this floor who’s story breaks my heart. My heart goes out to their mothers. They are so strong. And the children are always smiling.

I think that says a lot. It says that you can deal with what is placed in your path. It may be hard. It may make you cry. But you still put one foot in front of the other and walk.

So to everyone who thinks I am strong. You should know that I am just a mother. And I’ve always known that mother’s are super hero’s.

Baby wearing Week 2015

Last week was International Babywearing Week – another thing that I had never heard of with my two older children but Motherhood 3.0 brings all kinds of information and goodies.

Now I have seen women carrying their babies on their backs or in these backpack like contraptions but it never piqued my interest.

Having each of my children so far apart (I have a 21-year-old, 6-year-old and 3 month old) has meant that with each of them, I’ve been in different places in life and have a host of new experiences to draw on. With this child, I find myself as a stay at home mom and I have time to dedicate to exploring things like cloth diapering before trying it (expect a post about that). When I first began to research cloth diapering on google and through my social media accounts, I came across beautiful photo’s of moms wearing their babies. I dare you to go to Instagram and look up the hashtag #babywearing or #wearallthebabies! You might even find my picture.

My first experience with baby wearing was with Lalabu’s Soothe Shirt which is a shirt with a built-in pouch (think kangaroo) that allows you to wear your newborn. It’s nice and simple and I loved it. This shirt is mostly for bonding with and soothing your baby.

Once I wore it, I had to find a carrier that would allow me to be hands free and carry my baby around with me. Studies indicate that wearing your baby is good for moms dads and caregivers and baby.

Once I was hooked on the idea, it took a lot of research to find the right carrier/style for me.

There’s the wraps – the ones that are simply a nice fabric that is literally wrapped around in a way that your baby is snug and secure on your back, your hip or in a front carrying position and you can walk about with your hands free.

There’s the ring slings – kind of wrap-like but with a set of rings that the fabric goes through which allow for easy adjustments and versatility.

There’s the pouch slings – it’s a pouch (I do not own one).

There’s the Mei Tai (May Tie) that is essentially a piece a fabric with four straps that you use to secure the baby.

There’s the Soft Structured Carrier which is the one that looks backpack like that allows you to carry your baby in a way that distributes the weight and is comfortable.

I am now the proud owner of 3 wraps, 1 ring sling and I’m waiting for the delivery of my brand new SSC.

I have spent countless hours on youtube and various blogs trying to learn how to wear these carriers – the complicated wrapping, threading the ring slings and learning the differences between all of them.

While I feel like I’ve got the basics down for the front cross carry for my wraps.

I have not mastered the ring sling. I am still on youtube looking at moms threading the rings, adjusting them and it’s not going so well for me. But I refuse to give up!

I spent countless hours research Soft Structured Carriers and landed on one from TULA.

As with cloth diapering, you fall in love with the different prints and you get easily sucked in to making purchases. Unlike cloth diapers though, you could end up spending hundreds of dollars on a baby carrier so take your time.

The descriptions that I have given are pretty generic and are my own. If you are interested in learning more and would like to start wearing your baby, check out Babywearing International. There is lots of info, instructions and you can connect with local chapters to meet other moms and expert baby wearers (I’m still learning).

Babywearing International