Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sorry, but no thank you ice bucket challenge...

I'm not knocking anyone who's doing or done the ice bucket challenge. Matter of fact I think it's wonderful that social media can help bring awareness of any illness whether physical, mental or emotional. 

However, where's the challenge to end police brutality? Where's the challenge to bring awareness to the death of our young black boys and black men? Where's the challenge to educate ourselves and our youth on the laws that are supposed to protect them? I'm brought to tears watching all these ALS challenges not because I know anyone suffering but because there is a city burning and no one is doing any challenge. Sigh. 

Chilling and roller blading

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Dear Mom on the iPhone (Repost)


Dear Mom on the iPhone: You're Doing Fine

Dear Mom on the iPhone,

I see you at the park with your kids, phone in hand. Your cherubs are running around playing and calling out "Mommy, watch me!" They go down the slide squealing in delight, yelling "Mommy, watch this!" As they climb the ladder to go again, they shout "Mommy, I want you to watch me!! Mommy, watch! Mommy! Mommy!! MOMMY!!!!"

But you're not watching... because you're on your phone -- checking Facebook, email or Pinterest.

You're not watching... because you just spent every waking hour before arriving at the park watching everything your child did. Every. Little. Thing.

You watched as he ate his breakfast and "drove" his waffles around his plate. You watched as he held the fork upside down and stabbed at bites with the handle and said "Mommy, now watch me do this!" And then he picked up his napkin and put it on his head. And you were watching.

You also watched as your daughter picked out her clothes -- only the shirt with the monkey on it would do today. Then you watched as she got dressed. You watched while she struggled to put on her socks -- determined to do it herself. You watched -- sometimes helping and guiding, but knowing that letting her figure it out is an important part of learning and growing.

You watched when she twirled around her bedroom. You watched as she played with her stuffed animals. You watched as she put away her toys. Slowly. Stopping to play with most of them on the way to the toy box. You were watching it all.

You watched as your kids brushed their teeth and hair. You watched as they played blocks and Play-Doh and had a dance party. You joined in because you love being a part of their fun. You watched while they pooped and helped wipe their bottoms. You watched them wash their hands with too much soap -- or maybe not enough. You watched as they splattered water all over the sink. You watched them jump off the stool and run around the house with wet hands.

You've been watching your kids -- playing with them, helping them, singing and dancing with them all morning. All day. And now, at the park, when they can run around and play, you're taking a few minutes for yourself on your phone.

Maybe you work from home and you're still actually working, checking email, responding to clients, sending a proposal. Your lucky kids have the benefit of spending some of that time playing outside, making new friends, running off steam, enjoying the sunshine. Kudos to you for giving your kids such a fun way to spend part of their day while you take care of business.

Maybe you have a friend or family member who's been ill and you're taking some time while the kids are happily occupied to send some texts to check in on them, arranging the timing to know when you should drop off dinner at their house. Or you might be looking for the email follow-up for your own test results you've been waiting on. Maybe you're writing or reading kind messages on Facebook, offering condolences for the loss of a loved one. All while your kids are outside, enjoying some free time to play.

Maybe you're on Pinterest looking for ideas to help your kids adjust to their dad's latest deployment -- finding tools to help them stay connected or searching for party ideas to welcome him home.

Maybe you have an older child in school and his teacher emailed you about a concern with behavior that you need to address... and now that you have a few minutes with your younger kids happily playing at the park, you return a message.

Or maybe you realize that watching your kid every second of every day isn't necessary and that it's totally acceptable and actually good for everyone involved -- for you to have a few minutes to yourself. At the park. On your phone.

So, to you, dear Mom on the iPhone, I say this:

I'm not going to judge you. I don't know you. I don't know your story. But I do know that you don't need to watch every hop, skip, jump, twirl, swing, bite, song, dance, blink or breath to be a good mom. There's a lot that demands our attention in this parenting life -- and a lot that we want to soak in and enjoy. There's also a lot that happens in our lives outside of parenting that we cannot neglect. While parenting might be our most important and rewarding job, it's not the only one.We're all working on balance and finding that area where we can be satisfied that we're making enough time for it all. For the record, we're all failing at that. Every single one of us wishes we were better at juggling our responsibilities... and many of us spend time beating ourselves up for how we're doing. You're doing fine. As long as you're doing your best to make it all work for your family, you're doing just fine, and that's what matters.

It's actually good for your kids to know they're not the center of your attention every second of every day. It's good for them to learn to play independently and do things on their own without accolades for Every. Little. Thing. That's good parenting -- allowing them to learn that some things are satisfying just for the fun and enjoyment of doing them, not for the praise or attention that comes with them.

So, find your balance. Be a mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, neighbor, mentor, employee -- wear all the hats you need to wear. Do what needs to be done... which sometimes includes taking a little time for yourself -- even if it's just checking Facebook while your kid runs around playing at the park.


This Mom with an iPhone who isn't judging you for yours

This post originally appeared onreallifeparentingblog.com

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Daughter's Birthday Post to Me...

Below is the tear inducing post my daughter wrote for me and the photo collage she created of the two of us. I live it so much!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

My Natural Hairstyles over the past few months

It's been a loooooonnnnnnnggggg time! I wanted to share some of my favorite hairstyles (including my first blow dry in over a year) during the Spring and early Summer.

Yes, I'm still loving my naturalness! My straightened hair now reaches past my bra strap which is longer than it was 4 years ago with a perm. I can't believe. It was that long ago! Two strand twists and twist outs are still my go-to style (both skinny and just recently chunky pictured). 

I now make my own oil and hair cream. I do a natural henna every 3 months, and once a month I do a homemade clay wash. There you have it. My hair update!
My magnificent Afro

My classy faux hawk Updo 

It was time for a cut and straighten. I still can't believe how long it is, and this was achieved with just the blow dryer. 

My twisted Bantu Knot-out

Skinny two strand twist out

And my new favorite: the chunky two strand twist-out

Friday, August 8, 2014

The teen and the tot Updates!

LMy teenager!!  She's 14 now and about to start high school! My goodness!

My Link! He's 5 now and best word to describe him would be precocious!

Popcorn and Coffee

Not the morning got drink nor the salty snack you have at the movies. These fun titles belong to Coffee, our 9 year old boxer/lab, and Popcorn, our latest addition, a 6 month old puggle.

It took us almost 2 months to get this happy sharing of bed quarters!

It was a rocky start. Popcorn kept pissing and pooping in Coffee's bed trying to assert herself as Queen, and Coffee would just stand there looking helpless.  Then if Popcorn wasn't doing that she was ripping Coffee's bed to shreds.  We went through 2 beds for Coffee, and 2 beds for Popcorn. Anything with stuffing was demolished! We asked her vet what we should do, his advice? Get rid of all bedding and only use blankets, which of course isn't fair to our old lady but it's either that or we keep buying beds.  

Then there was the 5am wake up calls in the morning from Popcorn in her crate, and I just couldn't take it anymore. So now we only crate Popcorn when we're out of the house, and her blanket became both of their beds. When we got Coffee, she was a year and fully trained and it is like having a baby all over again with Popcorn.  Lost teeth, potty training, crying in the middle of the night, etc. is all new to me.  I've been watching YouTube videos and reading lots of puppy blogs. 

Oh yeah, and she's quite the escape artist.  Not only did we have to put a harbinger on the crate but also a lock.  She figured out how to lift the handle and slide it open.  When we fixed that she figured out how to just push the gate door just enough to squeeze out the bottom of it. 

Friends and family were like "you're crazy to get a puppy this time in your life! That's TWO dogs?!" But I guess I was having a moment one day. Hysterectomy last year left me with a nagging feeling every time I was around new babies and I just felt I "needed" her in my life, you know? There you have it. I'll have to tell the story another time!