Winter Gear

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North Face jacket – $50 – TJ Maxx
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Nike Air Max Zero SE – $30 – Champs
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Fall in the Park

Sweater – Savannah – Marshall’s $12.99

Jeans – Lucky Brand –  Marshall’s  $9.99

Shoes – Converse – Rack Room – $24.99

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5 Things I’ve learned from My 3 Year Old

I have been a stay-at-home mom for almost six months and I must say it has been interesting.  My daughter is three going on sixty.  I like to tell people she’s an old lady stuck in a toddler’s body.  Sometimes, I think she is my grandmother reincarnated. Being home with her 24 hrs a day, I have learned a great deal about how the her mind works. She is very cunning, sneaky, and calculating.  She is also sarcastic and very blunt. So, her is a list of things I’ve learned from her since we’ve been tied to the hip.

1)  What I ate and liked yesterday (or even the week before) is not what I like today. – Yeah, this chick’s appetite changes like the wind.  Sometimes from one day to another or even from one hour to another.  She went from eating spaghetti and peanut butter crackers regularly to hating them overnight.  I’m like really, you were just begging for peanut butter crackers last night and now it’s yuck. This really makes grocery shopping hell.

2)  Don’t let strangers ask her questions because 3yr olds are very blunt.  –  My daughter is very quiet and to herself and doesn’t really do people.  But, every time we go the store an unknowing target approaches and start asking questions and, as I said, my daughter is very blunt and sometimes the answers can come off as mean or hurtful. This can lead to awkward  moments and glares at me. So, I try to limit the questions people ask for their sake and mine.

3)  There is no such thing as privacy or alone time. – Who knew once you had kids you would no longer be able to use the bathroom alone or even go downstairs without being followed.  I didn’t  know I would have two shadows.  IT SUCKS.  Especially when you just want to pee or poop alone.  Like really kid, this is not the time for conversations. I’m trying to concentrate here.

4)  I will watch the same movie or cartoon over and over and over again, because it’s funny (umm no it’s not kid). – I’m all for a good movie or cartoon. Heck I miss Saturday morning cartoons, but these cartoons out now are just blah.  Like really the Bubble Guppies live underwater but light fires and carry umbrellas when it rains. WHY – YOU’RE UNDER WATER?  And if I watch the Minion movie one more time…. (deep breaths, deep breaths)

5)  Don’t ever tell a child you will do or buy something and don’t because they will never forget and will never let you forget. – Kid, sometimes I just agree to the things you say so you will stop asking. I don’t really expect you to remember that two weeks ago mommy said she would buy you a Doc McStuffins’ ambulance and ask did I buy it every time I come in the house.  I also wasn’t prepared for you to ask me  are we going to the beach a thousand times a day.  But as I look back, I know I set myself up for this.

Honestly, being a stay-at-home mom is great.  I get to spend so much time with my little one and travel with her.  We wake up together and go to bed together which makes it easy to keep her on a schedule.  But, there are times when it really tests my patience and I have to remember she is three and this stage will pass.  She’s growing so fast and each day it seems like there is something new.  I know I will look back on this time and wish these moments would have lasted forever (except the not using the bathroom alone).

Museum of Life and Science

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Della and I decided we needed to get out the house, after a long week, so what better place to go, on a dreary day, than the museum.  I have not been to the Museum of Life and Science since I was is in grade school and that’s been a long darn time.  It was exciting to share this experience with her and discover new things together.

The Museum of Life and Science is in Durham, NC.  Looking from the outside, you would never expect the amazing adventures that lie ahead.  We started the day with some music in the musical instrument section outside. Della loved the drums and I must say, my baby got rhythm. We then moved over to the farmyard, to look at the baby animals, before heading off to the train.

The train makes two circles around the park. While riding you can spot dinosaurs in between the trees, animals statues, a giant tree house, and wonderful artwork.  Right before pulling into the the train station, the train enters a tunnel and every one is encouraged to scream as loud as they can. Della and I definitely got our scream on.

The Magical Wings Butterfly House was amazing.  Who knew so many types of butterflies existed.  The museum has a butterfly conservatory that feels like a tropical paradise. All I needed was a beach and I would have been in heaven.

Inside the museum, there is an art gallery and a place for kids to create their own art pieces.  Della’s favorite part was definitely the weather center.  She got to see how clouds and tornadoes form and how changes in the atmosphere affect our weather.

There’s so much to do in at the Museum of Life and Science but we couldn’t fit it all in one day.  After a good three hours, we  were exhausted.  I see us spending many days here this summer.  Since we love going to different museums and science centers, I signed up for a membership.  The membership has great benefits, such as – free entry into the center, early entry for special exhibits, discounts at the center store and cafe’, and discounts or free entry into affiliated science centers around the world.

So, if you’re bored and looking for something fun and educational, check out your local museum or science center. It’s a great way to play and learn at the same time.

 

Yes Della, Your Feelings do Matter

As a mother of a three year old, I know first hand  kids crying is not the most joyous sound to hear.  I know it can get on a person’s nerves and make them uncomfortable.  I know I just want it to stop as soon as possible.  I know I am making it about me and my comfort and not about comforting my daughter. I also know, I am wrong for doing this.

Today, as I listened to my daughter cry because she couldn’t have a piece of chocolate (she’d just had chocolate ice cream) and I told her to stop because I didn’t want to hear her cry, I realized I was not letting her acknowledge her feelings about her circumstances at the moment.  When she decided to go upstairs and cry by herself, I listened to my sister tell her to go back downstairs and cry because she didn’t want to hear it, I realized she was not letting my Della acknowledge her feelings.  When Della came back downstairs looking lost and defeated, I realized I had taken away her power to express her sadness and frustration. I and my sister were telling her, her feelings didn’t matter.

Della is three and three year olds cry.  Does she cry all day?  No. Does she throw temper tantrums? Rarely.  Does she gets sad and overwhelmed at times?  Yes.  But, she is a toddler and she is learning how to process her emotions.  She is learning how to express herself in a world of where it seems everyone can do what they want but her.  As a three year old, she cannot sit down and properly express to me how she’s feeling and control her emotions every day all day.  Usually, Della is pretty good as controlling her feelings.  If she’s upset and crying, she will go sit on the steps, cry, get herself together, and come talk to me afterwards, but, as she gets older, it’s getting harder for her to process and understand these new feelings.

As she looked up at me, with her big brown eyes, feeling defeated and emotionally drained, I realized I was letting my feelings and my emotions dictated how she should express herself.  It also made me look at myself and how I dealt with emotions and acknowledge the shadows of my past.  How I felt I needed to hide when I was feeling sad, when I cried, or was feeling frustrated because I knew my parents didn’t want to “hear that noise”.  I was reminded of how I felt my feelings and sadness didn’t matter and how I felt scared to show any emotion besides happiness for fear of making someone else uncomfortable.  It also reminded me of how alone I felt, as a child and teenage, because I didn’t have anyone to help me understand what I was feeling.  How alone I feel now.  How, as a society, the only emotion acceptable to show is happiness.

I refuse to let Della think the only time she can be around her family is when she is happy.  The only time we want her to show emotions is when she is entertaining us or other people.  The only time she is a good child is when she is happy.  I don’t want her to think she can’t be comfortable, expressing her sadness, in her own home.  I don’t want her to grow up with the belief that other’s feelings are more important than hers.  That she is not allowed to feel frustrated or sad. That she is only here to make other’s happy.

Does this mean I am going to let her throw temper tantrums all day?  No.  It means I am going to acknowledge her feels and her.  I am going to try to help her understand and process these feelings. Not because, I don’t want to hear her cry, but because I want her to understand she can cry and there is someone here to help and love her.  I want her to know and feel she has emotional support.  I want her to know my feelings are not more important than hers and she doesn’t have to hide her sadness. Della is not just my daughter, or a niece, or a granddaughter, she is her own person, who has feelings and insecurities just like everyone else.  As her mom, it’s my responsibility to help her become the best person she can be. Because, she’s too young to live in a world where no one cares.

 

 

 

 

 

When Kids Get Sick

The last two months have been the longest months of my  life.  Della has been sick for two months straight and I am not talking about a little sniffle.  We have fought two stomach viruses, croup, and pneumonia. She’s also been to the emergency room three times. You know you’ve visited the ER too much when the admin knows you on sight.  Thankfully, Della has a wonderful pediatrician and the ER doctors, nurses, and staff were amazing.

I understand kids get sick and it’s all part of growing up, but, honestly, it seems as if she has been sick the whole year.  It doesn’t help that she was a preemie and her immune system is still not quite up to par as term babies.  Also, it seems like every time I get her healthy, she goes back to daycare and gets sick again.  I know, as she gets older, her immune system will improve and she will get less illnesses.  I just hate to see her down and out, not laughing, playing, or eating. I miss her terrorizing her big cousins and leaving a trail of toys from one floor of the house to the other.  No parent wants to see their child ill or being stuck with needles in the ER. Every time she goes, I have flashbacks of her in NICU. So, hopefully, no more trips anytime soon.

As of today, my little one is finally healthy and back in daycare, playing with her friends.  She’s smiling, playing, and running around with more energy than ever. She’s giving cuddles and wiping kisses.  She’s being Della and I am loving every minute of it.

Heart to Heart with my Mom (MiMi)

Della and I are so blessed to  live in the same house with my mom.  It is a big help, to have her here, just to talk or when I need a break.  Sometimes, I think her and Della are more like two old women, who fuss all day, than grandmother and granddaughter (smile).

Now, my mom works full time and plans to retire in a couple of years.  May dad passed, a couple of years ago, so it’s just us girls (me, Della, mom, my sister and her daughter).

Saturday, I was talking to mom about her plans to buy a house, and I was telling her, I don’t think it’s the best idea for our family.  Now, I know, to some, buying a house is the ultimate goal for their family, but I don’t want my mom to spend her retirement years paying for a house, when she could be spending that money on the things she loves.

When we were growing up, my parents had a home and did everything they could to provide for us.  They worked long hours and sacrificed to make sure my sister and I had a good childhood.  I will forever be grateful to them.  They showed us how to achieve our dreams, through hard work and determination.  My sister and I have degrees, make a good living, and are able to provide for our kids.  Now, it is time for her to live her dreams.

It’s not like in my grandparents or great-grandparents’ days, when they barely had anything, worked endless days to provide a home for their kids, and the only thing they had to leave them were a family house and land.  For a black family, growing up in the south, times were hard then.

Times have changed and we have the opportunity to experience more in life.  My mom loves to travel, spend time with her friends, shop and spoil her grand kids. After all the things she has sacrificed, it’s time for her to enjoy life and enjoy her money.  She should not have to think about a mortgage after retirement.

To me, home is with family.  I would rather have the memories of my mom and daughter playing together, planting flowers, or shopping for a new dress.   I would rather have the pictures of us on vacation, at family cookouts, or spending days outside in the yard.   For me, those memories are more valuable than her leaving us a house.