Our Black Reading Corner

With everything going on in the world I wanted to find a way to connect with the boys and teach them BLACK history as well as to help them understand the beauty in their skin. Reading has always been a fun escape for me I get lost in reading. I randomly said you know what I’m going to create an age appropriate Black Reading corner for the boys.

What do I mean by black? I mean black characters, authors and illustrators. Why? Well I could only compare my child hood to how the boys are being raised currently. I grew up knowing I was black but I was insecure about my skin about my hair everything about me. Although I was being raised by beautiful strong black woman and men I would go into other spaces or simply watch to much Disney where majority of the characters didn’t look like me or come from similar backgrounds.

I was in shock to find so many good books on amazon. I ordered the books right away and purchased the acrylic floating shelves from amazon. I preferred the shelves because Mahir is 2 and I was sure if I purchased a book shelf he would climb it. The books ranged from $3.99-$16.99. I added in a chair we had around the house from Ikea and boom it was complete.

I wanted to be sure that my children would not only actively read but read to understand. Words mean nothing if you aren’t taking your time to imagine the vision of what your reading. Reading became more personal after attending an HBCU. During undergrad I learned myself and began to appreciate and own what being black truly is.

Excuse me for the language but you won’t feel me unless I slide this tea in. One of my favorite poems “Fuck I look like” by Kai Davis she says “White people told us niggas not to read 300 years ago, and now niggas telling other niggas not to read, what are we afraid of”. When I listened to those words back in 2012 it spoke to me not only do I enjoy reading but my ancestors where purposely told not to read in fear of what WE could become. This is not to make everything racial or political but to inform others.

I’m teaching my boys daily that reading is cool and that the mind should never stop expanding and growing. This is not to knock others culture rather your Irish, Latino or in between giving our children diverse books or books they can relate to sets them up for a future of being confident in who they are and where they come from.

My favorites so far are “Woke Baby” by Mahogany Browne. This read is perfect for children 3 and under. My favorite for ages 5 and up would be “I am Positive affirmations for brown boys” by Ayesha Rodriguez. This book was essential with the current state in America with black lives matter and police brutality. I wanted my son to know he is valuable, loved and a King. What are you guys reading lately?

Fitness while Pregnant

I know, I know how dare me just show up with a random Tip Tuesday and not explain why I been gone so long and not consistent. Welp, this pregnancy has gotten the best of me but that’s a story for a different day. SOON! On today we are going to talk pregnancy and fitness I’m sharing five of my tips.

1. Find what works for you- I’ve tried pregnancy yoga which is not for me I just but then I took my normal aerobics routine and cut out ab workouts and notice that my body prefers that more than being zen. Even if your thing is walking start with maybe doing a slight 15 min a day.

2. Me time- When I’m at the gym yes people stare because of my belly but I’m pregnant not an alien. It’s completely normal to hit gym while pregnant just in moderation. Gives me my time to think ohhh and be toddler free to catch up on Greys Anatomy .

3. Labor and delivery- I delivered Kai at 35 weeks, he came out 7lbs 8 oz which is pretty big for a baby at his gestational age. The one thing I remember clearly is labor being a breeze 5 hrs. I can say remaining active was a big help during my labor I was able to push without getting tired and I was able to fight through majority of my contractions. I even went hiking in LA at 6 months pregnant last time.

4. Hydrate- I recommended just taking a whole gallon to the gym yes you will go potty a lot but you and baby will be hydrated. Being dehydrated can sometimes cause contractions I’ve learned the hard way.

5. Know your limits- Look your growing life so your goal should be to just be active and healthy. Don’t try to feed into social media and be the pregnant woman with abs.

Just get going, don’t wait. I will admit it’s easiest to workout during second trimester. I’m no fitness guru but I know what works for me and I hope these tips can help you.

Bonus Tip: The more active you are during pregnancy the easier snapping back will be.

Mommy & Kai take on Disneyland

Growing up I spent many holidays in Los Angeles with my family. I remember when we all packed up and went to Disney the only problem was I was afraid of rides and characters at the time.

My little one has had an obsession with Mickey Mouse since he could stand and we had already went to Disney on Ice countless times so what was next? Disneyland. Off we went on a 6am flight landed at LAX breakfast then on to Disneyland. What was even greater is that our tickets to the park where free talk about a savings and they came with fast pass so no waiting in line.

The park had plenty of rides for my little one who is thirty five inches tall. From turkey legs to the tea cups we had a blast. So much of a blast I looked into his stroller at only 7pm and he was sleeping mouth open and all.

I left the theme park with memories to last a life time. To see his smile and him jumping for joy was well worth the exhaustion that my body is feeling right now. Now we are on to Knotts Berry Farm to see Snoopie.

hoUSton August 28

hoUSton August 28

I must admit that this is something that you can’t prepare for, something you could never guess was coming. To see a city that have grown to love over the past seven years under water still doesn’t feel like reality. Not being able to go to the grocery store, school or down the road due to flood waters. Hearing tornado sirens all through the night, the amount of uncertainty that we’ve experienced these past five days. Being a young mom to a toddler and remaining calm in the situation but I’m forever grateful.

 

To see a family with a young child carrying everything they own in a pack and play my heart broke into pieces. I will never take the simple things for granted. Which brings us to today we have gathered our family we will volunteer. We will help in any way to rebuild our city and we will continue to pray. Yes many can not donate this we understand but if you can pray or even be a helping hand. hoUSton will show this country how to come together no matter race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. For all those who have reached out thank you.

How to Distress T-Shirts

How to Distress T-Shirts

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TIP TUESDAY

For the past two years we have worn matching shirts for Kai's birthday. Not sure where I got the idea from but this year I wanted to put a spin on things. We had a Lion Guard birthday theme. Dad loves Kanye fashion style and had me distress old t-shirts for him in the past. I decided last min I would distress out family shirts the night before Kai's second birthday. Below find out exactly how I did it.
1. Went to Etsy to find the perfect Lion Guard logo I wanted the full cast not just one character.
2. Got plain tees from Target
3. Found a local print shop to print our names and the Lion Guard logos on to the shirts.
4. Took bleach and an old towel to the shirts and put bleach in random spots.
5. Washed and Dried shirts to get the smell of bleach out.

This was a very cheap and creative way to take our shirts from simple to a little edgy. So what will you distress? Shirts, jeans get creative. Be sure to like and follow.

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5 Tips to deal with Eczema

I would always moisturize Kai’s skin after bath time and just lay and smell him. Who doesn’t love the smell of a fresh baby? Once Kai turned six months we took a weekend trip to Toronto to visit grandma. We live in warm Houston,Texas and Toronto is not the most tropical of places. I grew up in the Midwest so I prepared myself and little baby for the snow and cold weather. I began to notice a change in his skin and rashes. Nervously as a first time mom I ran to google searching for answers. I assumed he had chicken pox or something serious his pediatrician calmed my panic when she said he has eczema. Eczema is very common and to sum it up it’s just dry patches of skin. Here are my 5 tips when dealing with eczema.

1.Always moisturize  and leave skin a little damp  before applying lotion this helps to lock in more moisture.    

2.Find the product that works best for you, For my little guy we use Aveeno. Other products that are recommended are Euccerin and Cetaphil.

3.Trying natural or home remedies such as apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, or even epson salt can help.

4.Foods that help are foods high in iron like spinach, asparagus and if you prefer something sweet grab an apple.

5.Foods to stay away from or eat less of ,would be grains and dairy these could cause more outbreaks.

The best thing I did was learned what works for my baby the best. He has more out breaks in the winter than the summer as well as I changed all of our household products to more natural products such as the Honest company or the Method company. Lastly don’t panic Eczema is very common. Google will have you in the Emergency room for a simple paper cut. Thats all for Tip Tuesday be sure to share and like.

The Baby Factory

When are you having another baby? If I had a dollar for each time that question is asked I’d be one rich momma. Its like once you have one baby then “BABY FACTORY” becomes painted across your forehead.So I guess its time to let the cat out of the bag.

photo credit: eslamoda.com

When I got pregnant with Kai it wasn’t planned. Before we left the hospital the nurses joked “We will see you all next year”. Before having a child I always dreamed of having children back to back so that my kids could be close in age. Then came Kai my adventurous dare-devil, who makes me questioned if I could add-on a brother or sister. How would he adjust? Is he to young? Are we ready? All of these questions and the only one I can truly answer is “Are we ready” yes and no. No matter if you read or take classes the only thing that can prepare you for becoming a mom/dad is the journey I’m not knocking the books or parenting classes they help. I mean Google helps.

So now Kai is approaching two transitioning from baby to toddler, when will his title change from only child to big brother?Well family planning is the route we are taking. I have so many goals to accomplish before adding another bundle of joy. Kai wont be an only child but it will be a few more years of him getting all the perks of being the first-born/only child. The pressure is on with so many of my friends and family expanding, seems like everyone around is going to the double stroller. The decision to have more children shouldn’t be based on the “norm” or planned upon when others think you should have another. If you want a wait a year or ten years in between children do what works for you, everything doesn’t always go as planned. So for now the baby factory is closed until further notice and I will be enjoying the journey of terrible 2’s very soon.