Big sister 

I was going to just post this on Facebook but I felt it needed more space. 

My sister. My big sister. She has been a staple of my life since the beginning. The one true constant. My memories of her go far back to when I was two. She’s my first memory. 

When you think of the oldest, the first; she fits the description perfectly. 

She’s ambitious, determined, strong, a perfectionist, independent, and hard working. She’s also very loving and kind. Just don’t tell her that. 

She’s a fixer. When I see Olivia Pope, I think of my sister. (Just without all the sex, and killing people) when my dad died and my mom was not mentally able to take care of us. My sister took care of us. Miles away. She was a freshman in college. And instead of going out drinking which I’m sure she did, since she was the one who got me drunk for the first time. She was ordering pizza for us, from college, because we had no dinner. She was helping me fill out fasfa while filling out her own. She was helping me get scholarships, and helping me advance my education because she wanted better for us. 

Not only was she helping her family, but she was, and is paving the way for other minorities. I can’t even begin to list all the things she has accomplished in her line of work as a woman of color. 

We both are trying to make this world an equal opportunity for our kids and others. She through her career, me through family. Both working to prove We, woman of color, are not what you see on TV. We aren’t neck rolling, gum smacking baby mamas, taking advantage of the system. We are hard working, educated, women who want just as much, if not more, as our counterpart. 

As of late, my sister has found, that not every person wants to be better. People are fine living the stigma. They are fine with status quo. And it’s breaking her heart. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s heart breaking to me also. I want more for my boys, I want more for me. I’ve just came to the conclusion that there’s got to be someone out there doing the things that the go getters aren’t going to do. 

Being that she’s the fixer, this is unexceptable to her. 

“I know it just disappointed me so much.  It hurt my heart to read it.  I just don’t understand.” Big sister  

I wish I could give her the answers. But I don’t have them. All I can do is keep on fighting. Fighting for more, fighting to show her that there are people who are striving for the same goal. 

I love you big sis. Thank you for giving me the knowledge to know I’m worth more.

  

Just clicks

We are on our third year of homeschooling, and believe it or not I still question myself about putting him in public school. I know sounds crazy. I know this is what is right for our family, but I’m a mommy. And the last thing I ever want to do is harm my son’s education. I’m not a teacher, with state regulations to follow. So how do I know I’m doing it right?

Well it’s gonna seem stupid, but it’s such a big deal to me.

Today I was walking into the living room after changing lil’s explosive diaper. Big was playing on the DS, jumped off the couch SO excited and ran to me.

“Mommy mommy I can read!!!”
“You can?! Well that’s cool.” Half ignoring him with other things on my mind.
“That says press start to play!” I look at the screen, and by god that’s what it said.
“Wow you did read it! Very good sweetie!”
“I’m gonna go tell dad.” And he runs off.

Now you may say big whoop, but it is to us. No one ever told him the words on the screen. He was playing angry birds. So there wasn’t really anything to read. So he read the words, and understood what that meant.
That is exciting to me. It’s like reading finally clicked and made sense.

The best part, was that he liked it and wanted to do it again. So at bath time, he read a book to lil…. Twice.

I’m so proud. Proud that he likes reading now, but I’m more proud that I’m the one who taught him.

So exciting. Just another way I’m being reminded that I’m doing something right.

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The prize

Last year I participated in a labyrinth walk at church. It was a rough year. Our electric got turned off, and we had to seek help from our lovely church to provide a thanksgiving dinner for us. This made me question the decision about staying home. Maybe I should at least get a part time job. We wouldn’t have to worry about money.
But when I finished this walk; God had spoke to me. He told me to stop… This is the exact path I’m supposed to be on. He never said it would be easy but it’s what he/she wants me to do.

Last month my baby boy got really sick. Was put in the ICU. And we’re there for ten days. I was able to be by his side for all ten days.

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Now hubs was able to be there, but he did have to go into work 2 days and bring work to the hospital another day. I remember telling him that I was glad I didn’t work. Missing 10 days would have gotten me replaced. And there was NO way I would have not been there. I didn’t like leaving the hour a day to come home and shower.

Next My sweet 10 month old took his first steps yesterday (dec 8th 2014). The first was while I was on the phone working out details with my sister. I thought it was just a fluke. One step from one couch to another.
The next was no fluke. He stood up and took four steps to his brother. Four steps!!! Lil even saw it happen.

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I was reminded once again this is the right path. My poor hubs is in Boston on a business trip. If he wasn’t there he would have been home to see. I finally got baby boy to do it again so I could video it, but it’s not the same as the first. I would have been absolutely devastated if I would have missed it. If someone else would have gotten to see that first.
Now it’s not always flowers and candy. It’s hard hard work, and teething, and 4 year olds who don’t listen make it even harder. There is no sick days or paid vacations. But the reward of seeing these firsts, and being able to be there when they need me without worrying….
It’s worth more than anything.

Closer

I’m laying on a hard pull out couch and you on a plastic rolling recliner. You are holding my hand. You look over and say I love you.
My hair’s a mess, I haven’t showered in two days, yet for some reason you still say I’m sexy.
This is not how I imagined we would be spending our 6th wedding anniversary. Our boy got really sick, I was scared, and you were there. My unwavering rock. Your work needed you, big things were happening, yet family came first and you were here. I can’t believe you were here. I’m so thankful you were here. You held me together when I was ready to crumble so that I could be strong for our boy.

When we said our vows we said for better for worse for richer for poor. Although we never been rich in money I know we are rich in love. From day one we always said “As long as we have each other we can get through anything.” And once again that was true.
We are strong when we are better, but the worse has brought us closer. Closer than we have been in a while. This worse has made me look at you in new eyes. Eyes that make me love you more than I thought impossible.
So as you stroke my messy, in need of a freshening hair, I just want to say

Happy Anniversary my sweet! I love you!

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When I grow up

Lil: mom what do you want to be when you grow up?
Me: A mommy
Lil: No mom for real, what do you want to be.
Me: ….

When I was younger if you asked me that question I would have said a Veterinarian. Then when I got into college to become a Veterinarian, and realized the likelihood of that happening (too much chemistry) I decided to be a teacher. I graduated from college, and was gonna be a teacher then realized ehh I don’t like the rules and regulations; I decided to become a ABA Therapist. I loved that job. And sometimes miss it.

But then I had lil

And I finally finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up…

I wanted to be a mommy. I wanted to stay home and take care of my kids. I wanted to be there when they left in the morning, and came home after school. (Mind you this was before the homeschool decision)

So when he said that I don’t know why it stung. Because it did. Maybe because my hubs goes to work and he’s still a daddy, or because the neighbor goes to work and she’s still a mommy is the reason he was wondering?

I get that, but this IS what I want to be. I guess I feel bad, and deflected because he doesn’t see me as he sees others? I’m not as good as everyone in his eyes.

I know this is the path I’m supposed to be on, but what do I tell my children, so that they think it’s great also?

I’m still pondering this.

All I know is that when I grow up, and look back on this, I want to be the best darn mommy I could have possibly been. Always been there when they needed me. Gave them what I didn’t have in a mom. To have been firm, and compassionate, but most of, to have been loving. For them to be proud to have me as a mommy.

So I guess if that’s not a job to have when you grow up, I don’t know what to do.

As I’m showing hubs video of our hum drum day (I thought it was a lazy day)

Hubs: I love you…
Me: I love you too…. What was that for?
Hubs: because you’re a good mom.. You’re fun.. Our boys are lucky
Me: (*blush*)
He totally made my week

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Speaker of the day

Do you ever get sick of being around people?

I’m having one of those moments.  The introvert in me is screaming right now.  I’m becoming more and more involved in things, and now my introverted self just wants to stay home.
I dont mind being out and about amongst others, because I don’t have to speak to them.  I can just keep my head down and fade into the background. I’m not on anyone’s time, but my own.
With these things I’m involved in,  I have to be present.  I have to participate.

I have to speak……..

You don’t understand how hard it is for me to speak.

It is the ultimate battle in my head. I’ve always been shy. Since I can remember, I’ve always been shy. It is now that I’m older,  I have the courage to speak to others….

In front of others.

It’s pretty exhausting, this internal fight. 

Right now I am feeling pretty overwhelmed about it. I’m starting to want to hermit. Just be here with my family. Where there is no pressure.

Then I look at my friends who are out doing things,

with others, each other

And I get a little jealous,  but know darn well I would rather be home.

I have always told my hubs that we were wild extroverts when we were young, so that we could meet each other and be introverts together. 

So we weren’t alone.

I truly believe that was part of the Lord’s plan for us.

I don’t know.  All I know is this is going to keep me up tonight, if the teething baby doesn’t.

I’ll figure it out I hope.

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Been avoiding

No I haven’t been under a rock lately, I’ve just been avoiding the news. Avoiding what has been happening in Missouri. Why? Because it pains me. Pains me to still see the injustice brown boys are facing. Pains me, because I look at my precious boys, who right now the only care they have is which angry bird set he wants, who wants to be a pilot when he grows up, who’s only fear is of the spider webs in the sand box, who loves the police cars…..

Who’s heart I will have to break when I tell him that no, police are not good, they aren’t nice, and a matter of fact THEY are the ones you should fear.

I will have to explain that yes even though your white friends next door can still love cops, and think that they are cool, you my sweet boy, who wakes up everyday with nothing but love for everyone and everything, will have to know that cops are scary, cops should make you nervous, cops are not cool.

My sweet boy who runs around the house saving the day, when you are older the police will not give you high fives, they will not wave to you when you wave, that in fact those same police are going to pull you over for no reason while you are driving, arrest you when you have done no wrong, and shoot you even when you are unarmed.

Who wants to tell their sons this?

I don’t..

But I will have to.

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30 year & review

As I lay here counting down the mins to my birthday, I just wanna say WOW! It has been a crazy busy year!

At the beginning of this year I was a few weeks pregnant and no one knew. We new we had to move but we didn’t know where. And we were just trying to get through the day.
Lots can change in a year. And thanks to the grace of God it has been a very good year.
We are in our very own house. It’s a small little thing, but it’s ours!! We have two raised garden beds, and lil has the indepence to run in his own backyard. And I was able to keep my promise to my dog. She no longer has to be chained up. No more wondering when the lease will be up, where we are gonna live none of that. Hubs has a garage!!!!
The sweet little seed, that no one knew about, that gave me horrid morning sickness, who’s brother named him duck; is now my sweet, happy, chubby baby boy. Who we didn’t name duck. He’s laying here on me now. Happy 5 months my sweet boy.

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I’m so in love with him. My lil 3 1/2 year old is in the throws of his horrible 3’s. No one really prepares you for THIS age. He LOVES his baby brother though. He is very loving and sweet to him.

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My hubs is still working hard. Hopefully all this hard work will pay off in the end. Time will tell.
I’m still doing Sunday school. Which I loved!!!! Speaking of church, let me tell you about how beautiful, how wonderful, how awesome my church is! The love they have showed my family and I, is something I have never witnessed in all the churches I have been apart of.
I’ve made new friends, and I have a besty! I’m in love with her just so you know.

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She’s my kindred spirt.
We’ve had our downs, but the love and strength I have experienced mean so much more than the lows we have had.
So bring it on 31 I’m rocking and ready to dance my way into you. Let’s do this.
Lord don’t make it hurt please!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!

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Breastfeeding image

When you think of breastfeeding what picture pops into your head?

Are the pictures of the woman and baby that you see of women who are Caucasian?

If you answered yes, it’s ok you are not alone. Those are the same pictures I see also. As a matter of fact besides my mom and sister I have never seen a picture of a minority breastfeeding.

All of the pamphlets I received in the hospital are pictures of Caucasian women breastfeeding. Do you know how discouraging that can be as a new mom of color? As a matter of fact if I didn’t do my own research I wouldn’t know the wonders of breastfeeding and just how great breast milk is for babies.
(DO NOT GET ME WRONG HERE! How ever you get food to your baby is a wonderful thing. And a decision YOU must decide for yourself. So I’m not here trying to bash nor start a formula verse breastfeeding war. I understand both sides of the coin a believe you have to do what your have to do. Happy mommy, fed baby, all is well in the world)

Coming from my background it was never pushed to breastfeed. My earliest memory of breastfeeding is of my mom feeding my little sister, and that didn’t last long. As soon as she could my sister was switched to formula. (I think she was 4 months? Maybe younger) I don’t think my mother was educated enough to know to know the benefits of breastfeeding.

My next memory would be of my older sister breastfeeding. And bless her heart, she tried to make it to a year, but with the demands if her job and pumping and breastfeeding laws up in the air, I think she made it to 9 months, which is still a great thing.

So when I had my first, I was determined to make if to a year, yet with me being sick right after we left the hospital, a baby with jaundice, and him also having reflux, formula was being pushed on us left and right. We used formula with him several times. Lucky for me I had a baby who didn’t do so great on formula, and really didn’t like it. So when he could he went straight back to breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding saved my life. It is what helped me get through PPD. At the time I thought I was doing EVERYTHING WRONG as a mommy. Those were the thoughts that went through my head thanks to evil PPD.

The thoughts would tell me that I’m a horrible mom, that I shouldn’t be a mom, that I was stupid, failing and my child was better off with a different mother. That’s what PPD can do to a person. Lie.

The one thing, the only thing that I knew/felt I was doing right was feeding my baby. When ever I would feed him those thoughts would dissipate. This gave us a bond that I couldn’t get with him at the time. I am very thankful for those moments.
I made it to 13 months breastfeeding my first. With knee surgery and the meds I was on, we ended up stopping, and I morn that still to this day.

This baby was different. With more knowledge, the support of my hubs, and a wonderful doula, Sharon Goulay , I got to watch the miracle of nature happen. They put my baby boy on my chest, and I got to watch him instinctually crawl to my breast and naturally latch on. With no help or intervention from me or anyone else. What a beautiful thing to see. We have been feeding ever since.

I am more confident in breastfeeding this time around. I don’t hide it anymore. I breastfeed anywhere and everywhere we are, and I’m not ashamed of it. I’m gonna feed him until we both are ready to be done, not forced by any medical reasons. I have even educated my big 3 year old that breast are for feeding babies. That babies need mamas milk. So that when he sees other breastfeeding moms it’s just as natural to him as a baby being fed a bottle. So that he can grow up and be a supportive partner/friend/family member.

I found out about a project being held here in my town. A group of wonderful women are trying to promote breastfeeding in the minority community. They are taking pictures of minorities in their homes breastfeeding their babies. To show that hey it’s just as natural for us as our Caucasian counterpart. I got to be a participant. They came to my home and took beautiful pictures of baby and me. The pictures are then going to be used in an exhibit to raise awareness in the minority community during breastfeeding awareness month. (August)

So please check out their site, and enjoy pictures of me and my baby and another mommy with her baby.

They are looking for more mommies. So if you are a breastfeeding minority who lives in the Columbus, Ohio area please feel free to contact them if your spirit moves you.

http://happyelyafter.com/blog/2014/5/27/shades-of-nurture-personal-2014-breastfeeding-project

Not all class room

Little had a doctor appointment today (his 4 month check-up) and on a whim decided to take the boys to the park after.
So I stopped at home, whipped up some quick pb&j’s and got back on the road.
We went to this small park that I use to take my clients to. I always like going to this park because it was always quiet, and doesn’t really have lots of kids. We got there and was quite disappointed to find that the main slide was boarded up. how can you have a playground without a slide Needless to say big didn’t play long there.

There is this path next to the play area, that I’ve never been on before. So I told big “lets go exploring.” We went on our “adventure” and big enjoyed it. I think little did too. On the walk I told big to pay attention to what he heard, and what he saw so that we could write it down when we got home. Big then chimes up and says we could make a map.

Ding Ding

And that is what we came home and did. Granted I did most of the drawing, but big had to remember what we heard and saw. He had to show me where we heard and saw these things. Big also picked the color of everything. (Blue green nasty water as he says)

I wasn’t planning on have a school lesson but we ended up having one anyways. And it still counts even if it wasn’t in the classroom. Homeschooling is pretty awesome.

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