I’m So Proud Of You

As a mother of two, I try to make sure both my boys get some one on one time with me.

I usually treat them to something they’ve been asking to do, and I let them talk about whatever it is that is on their minds.

Two weeks ago, I surprised my oldest with crawfish and a slush after school. The night before, he displayed behavior that made me so proud of him.

My baby boy had an ingrown toenail, and he was super whiny about it (I would’ve been too).

As I’m doctoring on his toe, he began to cry a little. Big brother came right in and grabbed his face, one hand on each cheek and said “It’s okay brother. I know it hurts, but mama is tryna make it better”. Baby brother then whimpers out “Okay”. It was the sweetest thing I had ever witnessed.

While still holding his cheeks, he coached his brother through a series of deep breaths.

Before he knew it, I was done, and his toe felt better.

“See big brother told you it was gonna be okay”.

I couldn’t help but smile when I heard that.

As the eldest sibling, you naturally swoop in and save your siblings. I was so proud of that display of love and care.

During our date I let him talk as usual. When it was all said and done, he gave me a hug and said ” I love you mommy”.

Sometimes I feel like I’m surely messing up as a mother, there’s no official guide to motherhood. However these precious moments confirm that I’m doing something right.

I am so proud of my son and how much he’s grown over the years.

Being the oldest is a sucky job at times, but someone has to do it.

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Testing, Testing

A couple days ago, I woke up feeling some kind of way. As many of you know, Amir had 3 major head surgeries before he was a year old. The aftermath required him to have to go to different therapies to reach all his developmental milestones again (though thing for a parent to deal with). I remember at one of his neurology appointments, the neurologist told me “ You can have him tested to be put in special ed”. I told her that wouldn’t be necessary, but he was like two, so I was like what the fuck. That shit was always in the back of my mind. She was ready to label him without even really knowing him or assessing him.

Fast forward to now

He’s gearing up to attend Pre-K in the fall, and because he stutters occasionally, I went ahead and had him assessed. Ya know because I don’t want anything in the way of him learning.

The woman who assessed him took my concerns just as seriously as I did, and I appreciate that. I explained his medical history to her, and she was shocked. She stated how she never would’ve guessed he had gone through so much.

So boom, she begins assessing him. He’s ripping through these tests like it’s nothing. Answering everything with ease, and a bit of smartassness, (pretty sure I made that up). He even knew things I thought he didn’t know, things he’d tell me ” I don’t know” as an answer when we are reviewing material. Every so often she’d stop and say “Mom, I don’t know what you’re worried about, he’s really smart”.

I could see for myself she was thoroughly impressed, her body language said it all. She tested him for about 30 minutes, right. When she was done, she stated how he’s performing how they expect 6 year olds to perform. I was like what you talking about Willis. To me he was simply being smart ass Amir. (Insert gif)

She stated how she only heard him *insert technical name for stuttering here* once, and that it certainly does not affect his learning abilities.

Having him tested eased a lot of things for me. Knowing my 3-year and 9 month old perform how they expect 6-year olds to perform was quite comforting. My efforts of educating him have paid off.

After the assessment was done, I began to think about how the neurologist was ready to throw him into special education. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with special education, but I do have a problem with people labeling children, particularly black boys, before giving them a chance to display what they are capable of.

Parents should certainly get their children the help they need, but don’t let anyone label your children. You have to fight with and for your children. Don’t ever let anyone just throw labels on them.

I wonder where my baby would be now had I settled for what the neurologist suggested.

Nonetheless, I am super excited about my baby going to big boy school. He’s so elated to finally be going to school with his big brother. Hmm 🤔, I wonder what the results would show if I had my oldest tested, that kid is highly intelligent.

Each one of my children have taught me very different things, and that’s what motherhood is about. Not only are we to teach our children, but they teach us.

This journey with Prince Amir has been an extremely turbulent one at times, but oh so beautiful.

If you haven’t, you can read about it here

The Skin I’m In

I’m 2 months shy of being 30, and I can finally say I am comfortable with my body. I’m low key cringing now typing this.

In high school, guys used to tell me I was built like a man because of my athletic build 🙄. I’m one of those people who can noticeably tone their body after just a few days of exercise.

I have always had big legs, playing sports enhanced that, making that an insecurity for a LONG time.

After I had my second son, I had beaucoup stretch marks. Which I never really cared about, but I like wearing crop tops so 🤷🏾‍♀️.

I think as women we stress way too much over superficial things. I previously wrote about doing what makes you comfortable (Do You Boo), and that’s some advice I needed to take myself.

Yes I have stretch marks, yes my legs are huge, yes I have a lil gut (don’t be fooled by the pics), and I’m not the most curvy woman, but 🖕🏾 it.

I love my lil body, all one hundred and 80lbs of it. A part of my mission is encouraging other women to feel comfortable with themselves. Truth is we’re all working on getting over insecurities. Take it a day at a time. It’s taken me roughly 12 years to be completely comfortable with mybody.

Take Off 🚀

I attended my first Houston Rockets game yesterday, and it was pretty cool.

I can say New Orleans Pelicans fans are completely different than Rockets fans.

As I was getting dressed to leave, my youngest son said ” Mama I wanna go with you”, and to my surprise my oldest replied ” Can mama get a break from us”. In that moment I realized how much my son does care about my well being.

Once I was dressed, in rolled the boys and their commentary. “Ooooo mama, you look cute”. “Mama you look bourgeois (boujee)”.

My babies tickle me, I don’t know where I’d be without these characters.

As a mom, we tend to buy for our children, even when they don’t need it, before we buy for ourselves.

With the exception of my boots, everything I had on was purchased on sale/clearance.

Looking great doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. I’m not saying don’t pay full price for items, but if you don’t have to, why should you?

This blog post actually went into a different direction as originally planned. 🤷🏾‍♀️

I had fun at the Rockets game. I’ll definitely be attending more. I have to learn about the players on the team, so I can fully be into the games.

I’m going to put together a list of my sale shopping tips, so be on the look out for that.

Boots: Shoedazzle

Hat and bag : GoJane

Jeans: Fashion Nova

Sweater: Walmart

❄️ Snow Day ❄️

Yesterday was a snow day in Southeast Texas, but we only got sleet. I’m a little salty about that. We were indoors pigging our on king cake and chips and salsa 😩. Our first and last true snow day was back in December, and my sons and I had a blast.

We don’t get snow days often, so when we do, they’re extremely memorable. So because we were snow-less, I’ll show some of our pics from the last snow day.

Baby boy was truly amazed.

He was super excited about a snowball fight

He’s not too fond of the snow.

Even though we had no snow day yesterday, our December snow day was pretty cool. It inspired me to plan a vacation to somewhere with better snow. As a kid I lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and I think it’d be pretty cool to take the boys. I vividly remember our snow days there.

Do you enjoy snow days? What are some of your favorite winter destinations? Do you live in a place that gets snow regularly during the winter?

I’d love to make friends with other moms in various cities. I just think it’d be cool to say “Hey! We’re going to visit insert name here over in DC this winter”.

In the age of social media, we have opportunities to make friends all over, but I think we’re all scared for whatever reasons.

Anyhow, I’m still salty about no snow yesterday! 

 10 Facts About Me

Sending positive energy everyone’s way.

I haven’t been writing much lately, and I miss it. One thing I have always wanted to do was give my readers some insight on who I am. What better way than to give you all some facts about me.

Let’s jump right in.

#1. Not that interesting, but worth noting,  I am the oldest sibling. At times I really hate it, because I’m often put in situations where i have to rescue my siblings. Oftentimes when I give advice, they don’t listen, and then I have to hit them with the “I told you so”. It’s a stressful job but somebody has to do it.

#2. Nobody believes me at first, but I wear a size 11 shoe. Once I convince people that its true, they always say my feet don’t look that big. I mean they are pretty proportionate to the rest of my body, so it doesn’t look strange. Here’s a post I’ve previously written on where I get most of my shoes, 6 Inch.

#3. I am a huge Future fan 🙈. I freakin love that man, he has a song for any mood that I may be in. I’m not sure why so many people dislike him and his music. Not only do I love his music, but he’s easy on the eyes. My friends tell me every time they see a post of his come up in their newsfeeds, they know it’s because I liked it.

I finally had a chance to meet him, and he said he liked my hair 😁

 

 

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Performing his hit song “Mask off” June 22nd 2017, The Woodlands TX

#4. I am constantly changing my hair. I love trying new looks, it’s fun. People assume that people who change their hair a lot have no sense of self, and I completely disagree with that. I know who I am, and I simply like having different hairstyles and colors. 🤷🏾‍♀️

My current hair
My natural hair in twists

I miss my box braids
Feed-in braids

#5. Mental health is a serious issue to me. People very frequently brush mental health off,  and it’s not something to be taken lightly. I am highly upset when I hear people make jokes about the mental health of others. Inner peace is something everyone deserves to have. People should address issues they may have and not let anyone convince them that they’re crazy, making things up, or what have you. Seek the help that you need, you’ll love yourself for that. Your mental wellness is a great part of who you are. #6. ​I’ll probably be a forever student. My mom used to tell me as a teenager, that I’d probably be in school the rest of my life. I thoroughly enjoy school. Presently I have a Bachelors degree in History from the University of Louisiana Monroe (Go Hawks Go), I am currently working on my Masters in Public Administration. Once I finish my masters program, I plan to go to massage therapy school. I also have plans to become a certified doula. I do my best to let others know that you can accomplish any and everything you desire to do in life.

#7. I love to travel. My travels began in undergrad with study abroad. If you or anyone close to you has the opportunity to do so, GO FOR IT! My primary goal is to visit all states 2-3 times with a different adventure in mind every time. I include my children when deciding on what to do on our adventures. They come up with pretty sweet ideas, might I add. I have a Cabo and Korea trip in the works, so stay tuned for that. You should know travel really is not expensive with the right amount of planning.  Our latest adventure was to Lawn and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I encourage everyone to travel, even if its no mare than exploring other cities in the area you live.

I got to stop by Geronimo’s grave in Fort Sill

#8. I hate taking pictures! I would much rather be the person behind the camera. I find posing for pics extremely awkward. So I guess I could say I don/t like taking pics because I never know what how to pose. It’s not so bad when I have some direction on what to do.

#9. I can very easily unplug form the world. When I feel overwhelmed with life, my phone is the first thing to get the boot. I will put it on do not disturb and spend as much time alone as possible ( it can seem impossible with a 3 and 5 year old).  Hmm, I guess this goes back to number 5. My friends know that once I have figured it all out, I come back to society. Some would say that a Pisces thing. ♓️
#10.

And They’re Off!

31 days into the new year, and my oldest son gives us a scare. 
I was asleep, and I was a awakened by several phone calls from his father. I return them. Still half sleep, I’m listening to him tell me how he’s about to take my baby to the emergency room. I was like “Whaaat? Wait why?!?” 

Trying to wake up and process what he was telling me is funny to me now, but it wasn’t when it was happening. 

I jumped up, threw some clothes on, and drove briskly to the ER. 

Google Images

When I arrive, dad was answering questions, and the kid was lying in the bed watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. In my mind I’m like “ok he’s nice and comfy while I’m panicked”. I mean he was just chilling. 

Google Images

So the doc basically tells us that the kid has something lodged in his ear, it’s not a toy though. Hmm ok. Son what’s in your ear. The doctor leaves to get his colleague to come take a look. 

While he was gone, dad and I are asking questions, attempting to figure out how he got something in his ear. As most may know, 5-year olds are elaborate storytellers. We got several different stories, some were funny, and some we were like ok son, that’s an extreme exaggeration.

The doctors come back, one had his campers light in tow. He managed to get a good look into my sons ear. Low and behold, the mystery item is a red bead. It’s Mardi Gras season here in Louisiana, so maybe he was feeling festive.

Google Images

Now I’m thinking what would possess my child to put a bead in his ear. Even before we questioned him, I knew he did it. Even with his ever changing story, I knew he did it. You just know your children. 

So the docs go on to tell us how they’re gonna attempt to get it out, if not, he has to go to an ENT specialist. Great! Let’s hope they can get it out. 

No luck! The kid was too fidgety. Oh! I forgot to mention they gave him some medication to relax him, and it still didn’t work. Great! I hate, hate, hate giving my kids medication, so I was feeling a way about that. 

I will say we got some great laughs from this ordeal. He goes to the ENT soon, so I wonder what memories will come from that. 

Dad and I joked about how we’ll be in the ER a lot as we both have two sons. My two are certainly a force to be reckoned with. As a mother of boys, I’ve accepted that I’ll be in the hospital a many of days as my boys are curious and extremely rough. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

So 2017 has already been filled with adventure from the boys, I’m curious to see what else they can potentially get into this year. 

My boys

What are some things your child(ren) have done to give you a great scare?  
As the adventures unfold, I’ll keep you guys posted.

For more, follow me on Twitter and Instagram

Thanks for reading!

What a Difference a Year Makes

December 22, 2014, a day I won’t forget. I was at work, and received a call from my sons pediatrician. He told me I needed to pick my son up NOW and get him to the emergency room. I stood up at my desk, and said “Ok. What’s going on?” He proceeded to tell me that my son had a skull fracture with bleeding on his brain. That he had called the emergency room and told them I’d be in with him. I remember telling my boss “I’m leaving and don’t know when I’d be back”. I called my mom while I was en route, and she was able to keep me a calm while I drive. I made it to daycare in 10 minutes tops. I sat in the car composing myself because I knew this could get ugly extremely fast. I walked in as another parent walked out. I went to where my son was sleeping and I stood there. His caregiver was changing another child or something, I really do not remember. When she turned around and saw me standing there, she tried to make conversation. I wasn’t having it. I asked had my son fallen or been dropped since he had been going there. She said no. Ok, I figured that would be your response. I walked out rudely, and sped to the hospital.

Sure enough, they were awaiting our arrival at the hospital. I was questioned by doctors, detectives, and Child Protective Services. I was highly upset because I knew I had not harmed my child, yet I was being interrogated to the point of aggravation. When I was told an investigation had to be done to see where my son would end up, it hurt my soul! My baby was still exclusively breastfeed, so I’m thinking he can only be with me, and I’ll be highly upset if someone gave him formula.

When the doctors showed me the scan of my sons head and told me he should have been in a coma because of all of the blood on his brain, I could have lost it. I was livid!! The up side of it was they also told me he showed no signs of shaken baby syndrome, so he had either fallen or been dropped, *sucks teeth*. They told me how some of the blood was old and some new. Whaaaaat?!? Are you serious? All types of thoughts are running through my mind. Who would harm a child? A very small child at that. It was concluded that he was injured between the ages of 4 and 6 months.

These people turned my life upside down! Interviewing anyone who had ever interacted with my son, questioning my abilities as a mother, the whole nine. Meanwhile doctors came up with a plan as to how they plan to remove the blood from his head. He was scheduled to have two drains inserted, one on each side of his head, to remove the excess blood. First my baby needed a blood transfusion because his was low.  W T F! Dad may not have known it then, but I’ll tell him now, he kept me sane while my son was in the hospital.

December 26th, surgery day. Needless to say I’m nervous as all get out. The hardest thing ever was watching my 6 month old be wheeled away and I couldn’t be right there next to him. Surgery went well. Of course I couldn’t pick him up because of the drains, which meant I couldn’t nurse him. I absolutely hate pumping, but I did it for my son. He was a busy baby, trying to pull the drains from his head out of curiosity. The drains were connected to these measuring tubes on each side of his bed, and I could see all of this blood being removed from his head. CRAZY! As the days went on, the doctor informed me that the nurse could close the tubing so I could nurse him. That was a great relief. I was more than cautious with him. Our bonding time was limited due to these drains. My son would not nurse for long, as he would just fall asleep. He was comforted just being in my arms.

 One of the drains my son was connected to.

Being in PICU was hard. I was away from my oldest son, and he could only visit 20 minutes a day because he is younger than 14. About a week goes by, and no improvement in his condition. The neurosurgeon told me how his next step was to install a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt.

A ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt is a medical device that relieves pressure on the brain caused by fluid accumulation. VP shunting is a surgical procedure that primarily treats a condition called hydrocephalus. This condition occurs when excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collects in the brain’s ventricles.

I’m not a person who panicks or overly stresses, but this disturbed me. The fact that my son had been injured, and all of this could have been avoided by  whomever the culprit was, simply telling me. Anywho, I agreed to the procedure. I was not at all happy about my baby being sedated and cut again, but his overall well being was the at risk.  The neurosurgeon informed me of how my son may need the shunt for the rest of his life, and may not be able to participate in sports because of it. I was saddened to know that there was a possibility he wouldn’t be able to participate in things because of his condition.

  Throughout it all, my son was always happy.   

Again surgery went well. We stayed in PICU, a couple weeks longer. My son began physical, occupational, and speech therapy, as a result of the surgery he lost most of his developmental milestones. That’s what took the greatest toll on me. As parents, we can’t wait for our children to meet milestones, as it is a sign of their growth. I was pissed and hurt that we pretty much had to start over.

Once discharged, we of course had to see the neurosurgeon for outpatient check ups. A few days before his first checkup my son began to have a twitch, which I soon learned were actually partial seizures. At his appointment, he had an episode. The ticking was so minor that the neurosurgeon didn’t think it was much to be up in arms about. It wasn’t until my little man had a checkup with his neurologist, that they concluded they were partial seizures. This was fixed with medication and another surgery for drainage purposes.

Everything was looking better, he was getting his therapies and making improvements. Then one day at a physical therapy appointment, he vomitted on the therapist, and had to be rushed to the hospital. Because of the shunt, anytime he vomitted, he had to go to the ER. This go round I was told he had a fresh bleed on his brain. Now I’m panicking! It seemed as if we couldn’t catch a break. They monitor him of course, and his neurosurgeon comes up with a new plan to drain the excess fluid. They get the excess off his brain without having to resort to surgery, which was my greatest fear, another surgery. Once discharged this time, things began to look better quickly. EXCEPT for the fact that I was terminated from my job because of my attendance. That did not bother me in the slightest. If I had to choose work or my children, my children easily come first.

To eliminate having to schedule 3 therapies weekly, I placed my son in a daycare for medically fragile children. I looked for a job, went on interviews, and never seemed to be hired. This pushed me to find ways to generate income using my talents. I did pretty well for me and my children. There were good days and there were bad days, but that’s life. My son continued to make great strides in his development. The staff at his daycare were so very helpful, and I am forever grateful to them. Everything in our world had improved, and then…

On an October morning while working out, I receive a phone call from his daycare. They were concerned about his shunt, although he showed no signs of anything being wrong. I rushed him over to the ER. They examined him, took images of his head to see was the shunt functioning properly. GUESS WHAT?!?! His neurosurgeon found that there was no longer any need for the shunt and scheduled him for surgery to have it removed. This was a moment I thought wouldn’t come until some years down the line. I was so happy! My son thought my excitement was funny. Everything went well. He continued on at the daycare, and receiving his therapies. It seemed as if after the shunt was removed, his speech improved drastically. Shortly after that,  he began walking. That was a moment that brought tears to my eyes.

Everything he had acheived in these few short months did not come easily. There were nights when we were going over activities the therapists gave us to do, and I could see how sometimes he wanted to give up. I could’ve easily gotten frustrated, but I pushed him and myself to get through it. Yes, I wanted to swoop in and hug him, kiss him, and not continue with the activities, but I knew that would not have been beneficial to him, at all. There were times I tried to shelter him from certain activities because I kept thinking “what if he hurts himself”. I had to let him be a child, test boundaries, become self aware.  Those are things we have to let every child do, in order for them to become productive citizens of the world.

In the beginning I used to wonder why this happened to my child, but then I changed that to why not my child. This proved to me that no matter how much you vet a person or facility, things happen. Now I know things do in fact happen, but do NOT neglect to inform parents/guardians about what happened. As a parent I can respect a situation far better if you are upfront about it. Yes, I would have been mad at the incident, but I would’ve gotten over it. I don’t exactly hold a grudge now, but I occasionally become flustered when I think about it all. I am thankful for my sons, and glad that we can put all of this behind us. It took a toll on every member of my family.   With all of this said, I am not sure why it happened to us, but it did. I used to feel like it would not help anyone if I spoke about it, but now I’ll use any platform given to me. Parents please take your children to their respective checkups. Taking my son to his checkups on time was the only way we caught the injury, because he showed no signs.

This entire incident pushed me to think outside of the box when it came to generating income. I’ve come into contact with many mothers, and I have learned that we all struggle with figuring motherhood out. If we would stop trying to hide our struggles and openly discuss them, we can get the help needed. No matter how much help you do or do not have, being a mom is a journey. You discover so much about yourself. Be a fearless mama!  None of us have it totally figured out. Anything that you’ve been through, let it be a message to others. These are the things that make us who we are, none of us are the same. This is only a piece of our story, and I am open to answering any questions anyone may have. I just want to inspire people. I’ll leave you with a video that makes my heart smile every time I watch it.

To my oldest son, mommy loves you for being the brave, outspoken, wonderful big brother that you are. To my baby boy, mommy loves you for being the resilient, fearless, warrior that you are.

****UPDATE****

Here it is July 2017. My kiddo is now 3 years old and oh so amazing. I had actually forgotten about this blog post until I came across photos of him, as an infant, before he was injured.

My little man has become the epitome of what most of us think little boys are. He runs, jumps, fights, and eats EVERYTHING in sight.

Whenever people hear him speak, they’re surprised to learn that he’s only 3. We always get “he speaks so well for a 3-year old”. People truly don’t understand how happy that makes me. It affirms that all the work that was put into getting him back on track was not in vain.

I’ve spent this summer preparing my threenager for daycare/preschool, YIKES, as he has to go, now that I’ll be substitute teaching this upcoming school year, until I finish my Masters program. He’ll be in school with big brother next year, and big bro is excited about that.

My journey with my son has taught me that consistency is key. Stay consistent and you can achieve anything.

THANKS FOR READING!!