Monday, April 27, 2015

Zaria was here

Zaria is my eight year old cousin.  My first aunt (my mom's sister) is married to her uncle (her grandmother's brother).

Zaria was such a beautiful, old soul. From the time both of my babies were born, she would pick them up and carry them around. She wanted to take care of them, just like she did with her two younger brothers, and that's what's she told me once, "but I fed my brothers!"  (sweet girl.)  The last time we saw her alive, about two weeks before her death, she was outside playing with my daughter and niece.  

She spent a great portion of her life in and out of the hospital, but you would have never known that.  She was always smiling, even when she was sick. She was so smart and so ahead of her time.

A few weeks ago, Zaria got very sick.  She ended up coding in the hospital and she never recovered. Her parents removed her from the machines and she breathed her last breath on Saturday morning. 

I have shed a few tears... not only because a child of 8 has lost her battle, but most of all, a mother has lost her child.   

Journey (Zaria's mom) has been admirably strong.  I was not at the hospital but my aunt told me that every time the doctors came in and delivered bad news after worse news, she took a deep breath and said ok.... she never crumbled.  She's been responding to people on FB and it just amazing to me-in her saddest moment, she is STILL making other people feel ok.  I went to the visitation (because I knew I couldn't personally handle the funeral) and her mom was so strong for every one else.  She was so beautiful. 

I have been thinking Journey every day.  When the dust settles and everyone leaves, it'll just be her, at home with her boys and their questions and her thoughts. 

I never want to forget to check on her.  I am praying that God reigns down special blessings upon her.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Every Once In A While

Every once in a while, a song  comes on that takes me there. 

I am at work tuning out everything else, and was transported to 2000, when I was a 20 year old girl with my first car- rolling in my Ford ZX2 (because you drove for no reason back then when the gas didn't equal a small mortgage) with the windows down,

sun shining and my long locks (because I had long hair back then) whipped in the wind.

This song made it possible. Take a listen. Your soul will be happy.  (The entire album is dope too!)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

We've Got Toddler

There's been a 2 week lull since my last post.  Has it really been that long?  (Yep.) 

One major thing has happened in that time span- B is now 1!  

I want my kids to have special birthdays but I also want them to be stress-free (well, as much as they can be) so that I can enjoy that day with them.  We went hard for Zoe's first birthday and  ever since then, we haven't. She cried pretty much the whole day, so we don't fool with it.

So, taking a note from hers- this is what we did:

J  and I took the day off from work on Friday and coincidentally they were running a special at Newport Aquarium.  We got two kids free with the purchase of one parent ticket.  The aquarium is about a 1.5 hours drive. 

The kids were perfect up and back- they slept.  Since it was a Friday, and most people were at work, it was a fabulous experience.   B got to toddle and "walk" (because even starting at 10 months old, he still trips and falls a lot), without me having to worry that we were in someone's way or that a kid was going to run over him (resulting in me getting in a fight with a parent because I throat punched a child.  AHEM.)

The next day was B's birthday get together/party.

My hubby took him to Kid O Cuts to get his hair chopped. Although my husband really wasn't ready to get his hair lopped off, I was persistent- B HATES when I comb his hair and it started to get pretty wild (I had begun calling him Frederick Douglas).  

I didn't go. I knew it was going to be bad and from what my husband said, it was nothing short of horrible. He said B squealed and screamed the entire time. He even threw up a little.  iCAN'T.  

The barber was really patient and encouraged my husband by saying all kids go through it and it would get better. I hear he wasn't the only kid in there crying to the heavens either.

First haircut, and first sucker.  

This wasn't exactly the cut we wanted, I wanted him to look like this:

 But you don't bargain with a screaming child.  

Better luck next time.

Like I said, we kept his birthday simple. There's only one show B will watch (which is the same show Zoe was obsessed with) and that's Yo Gabba Gabba, so boom! There's our theme.

We ordered Pizza and had chicken and potato wedges.  

Here are his cakes that I did NOT make:

And here are more pics of the day: 

 Because what's a 1st birthday without an exhausted baby?

His fave gift from my aunt. 

A family moment. 

Trying to help him dig into the cake that he wanted NOTHING to do with. 
We ended up throwing it away. He tasted it and then screamed because he wanted the "dirty" off of his fingers.  

B had a great birthday!!!!  I just noticed, he had about three outfit changes- my little piece of fashion.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sleep Deprived

I thought I had a good night of sleep last night. I woke up this morning, not pissed that my alarm went off.  I was at work functioning regularly (no coffee necessary).

Then, we had one of our monthly lunch and learns and someone came in to talk to us about meditation and mindfulness.

We did a mindfulness exercise.  Her voice was so dang on melodic and soothing, I think she hypnotized me.

After it was over she asked if anyone had anything to share and no one immediately spoke up, so I said, "I think I got so relaxed that I fell asleep."  She said, "you did."  Welp! That confirmed it.  Someone else said, "I think you snorted." 



Tuesday, February 10, 2015


I have been a mommy of two for 11 months! 

Brax.  Braxton Beanie.  Braxie, Brach (as sissy says).  Mommy's son. Braxton Reezy.  

You are 11 months old.  You are adorable. You are sweet.  I love to watch you walk-belly out, legs bowed.  You have even started mixing in quick step runs if I bark at you and pretend to chase.  I'm your jungle gym; any time you catch me on the floor, my body is your playground- which means my workouts are cut short.  

I love you so much.  You like to be down and around, pulling non-toys out of drawers.  You've decided you aren't eating baby food any longer and will take anyone's food within your reach.  You often climb into my lap and curl into the crook of my neck. When you're in my lap, I kiss your thick head of curls.  You are beautiful, you are a miracle.

Zoe.  Mommy's Zoe. Zoedas. Zoe-Zoe.  Mama's Girl. 

You are 3.  You are beautiful.  You are sensitive. You are strong.  You have a such a wide range of emotions and I hope you never change.  You get shy in crowds until you warm up (just like Mommy!)   But you also tune the entire class out in Sunday School, stand in the middle of the circle and sing your quiet song and spin with your eyes closed as if no one is there.  You cry if someone else is hurt. 

You love fashion (already, just like Mommy).  You play in everyone's clothes, even your baby clothes.  Mommy loves your inquisitiveness.  You are Mommy's best first and I love you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

#leStruggle No More

1.  I'm overweight, but I love food.  (Going out to eat is my best thing!) 
2.   I'm overweight, but I hate workout out.
3.  I'm need to work out, but who has time?
4.  I need some new clothes, but I don't want to shop for a bigger size.

All reasons things pointed to GO! (to workout)

I asked my husband a few times if we could get a family membership to the Y.  He said no, it's too expensive.  I agree, it IS a lot of money, especially when my husband already has two gym memberships that are under $20/month.  The Y is way higher than that for one person. 

But the benefits outweigh the cost- they have a child care center and they have classes.  I hate working out and need something that is going to smash all of my excuses to pieces.

So I did something for me,  I bought myself a single membership and have been Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday. 

I started off with cardio on the elliptical and failed out after 10 minutes, I couldn't make it. Then I finished up riding the bike for 20. 

Monday, I took a BodyPump Class. (a good torture)

Yesterday, we did Aqua Burn. (#meh)

I have a friend who has become a gym rat and thankfully, she encourages me and works out with me.  If it weren't for her, I'd probably not have made it Monday and Tuesday- there was too much drama with B getting a stomach virus and all.  (Gym buddies are essential.)

I'm determined to stick with it this time.  I need to be the best me for LaToya.... for my kids who look up to me, for the girl power.

You're not seeing things, I have a new hair color.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

"You're Sort of Like a Grandma..."

One of my co-workers said this to me this morning and it was the sweetest thing she could say. I truly appreciated it.  Prior to her saying that, she prefaced it with her hopes that I wouldn't be offended.

She said it after a conversation we had this morning. As you know, I work in a pretty big law firm. I'm a legal secretary/assistant, as she is, and we have great conversations over the wall that separates us. She has daughters my age and I appreciate the wisdom that she shares with me.  We're like Tim the Tool man Taylor and Wilson, only we cannot see each other:

This morning, I was venting to her that my son woke up at 3 a.m. and I'd been up since. I am in a zombie like state at work.

She said that I had the patience of a saint and as much as I wish I could accept the compliment, I couldn't.

My patience sucks. If there is one thing that my mom yells at me to this very day, it's "Toya!  Be patient." Well, it's hard.  I can't. 

I'd admitted that it was simply love.  I'm enamored with him (as I am with my daughter). As sleepy as I was, I didn't have an ounce of anger because he was up.

Initially, I sleepily tried to nurse him back to slumber but when that didn't work, I just sat up and joined him.  I rested my face in his curls and looked down at his long eyelashes.  I played with his baby toes.  I let him bite my chin (he's teething).  I just love him.  How can I be mad that he wanted to get up and spend some time with me?   I'm lucky.

H wasn't quiet, he was babbling loudly and doing his new trick, WTF hands:

My husband woke up from his catnap state (he'd just returned to our bed because Zoe has been waking him up nightly- crying or calling him to her room) and shushed him, to which he replied by crawling up to his head and yell-babbling. It was so sweet and it was so early, but how could I be mad?

One thing that I've done is listen to those around me and the phrase I've heard over and over is, "it all goes so fast, enjoy every moment."  That's exactly what I'm trying to do.  I want to fully embrace parenthood. I want to be present, I don't want to miss a thing and I won't rush them.  I want to enjoy, be calm and be still (like grandma), even if it's at 3 a.m. on a work day.