Playtime Past Midnight

Nine times out of ten, Savannah sleeps through the night. The child plays hard, so she sleeps harder! But that one time when she doesn’t sleep through the night, it’s pretty much an adventure. Most times when she doesn’t sleep through the night, it’s courtesy of the noisy upstairs tenant. But the nights that are really fun are when Matt and I are the reason she woke up. We tend to watch stand-up comedy sometimes after we put her to sleep. Most times it’s Kevin Hart and when it’s Kevin Hart that means loud and frequent laughter take place. I know what you’re thinking, dumb rookie parents. But really it’s smart low-key savage baby! Yes, I just called my 15-month-old a savage! 

Savannah waits until the apartment is quiet and Matt and I are preparing to go to bed. I mean fall right into bed before she makes it known that she isn’t sleep (hence me calling her a savage. It’s well-played on her part). There isn’t any crying. Just a few yelps to alert us. And when we walk in the room, she has the biggest smile on that little face of hers. She gets a bottle and a fresh diaper, and then comes the fun -convincing her that it’s bedtime and not playtime! It’s usually a 30-minute ordeal that feels a lot longer when the parents are tired!  

However, she goes back to sleep with a smile and then wakes up at her normal time, even happier! I’d call it a loss, but that’s why coffee was invented, right?! 

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Bow My Head

Bow My Head

I bow my head, but don’t close my eyes

For some reason I have to see the faces

Of everyone in the prayer circle

I wonder what they are really feeling

What are they going through

That they haven’t shared with another

Then I think about myself

And why I remain quiet during prayer time

There are just some things too deep for speaking

Too deep for comprehension in these young lives

I bow my head, but still don’t close my eyes

Because I just have to see if I see

The reflection of my pain in the faces of my peers

So that I know I’m not going through this alone

Too many broken families and unsafe streets

Expected to grow up so fast

But still treated like a child

I bow my head and try to pray for us all

But I can’t find the words

So all my prayers are general, scratching the surface

When it’s everything beneath that needs the prayer

I bow my head and close my eyes

And speak the words on my heart

© 2007 All Rights Reserved

 

2007

A Journey to Minimizing 

It is very safe to say that the 986-square foot apartment we live in has too much stuff! I’m talking panic-attack-too-much-stuff in that apartment. And I never realized it until I started going through stuff and determining what was trash, what was worth selling, and what could be donated. I could fund an entire vacation from just selling my stuff alone!

Which has brought me to this point of minimizing. And I ask myself the following questions: 

-When was the last time I used this? 

-When is the next time I’ll use it?

If the answers to the questions exceed six months, then it’s got to go! And seeing as how my husband and I are doing the millennial thing and moving in with his parents, we really are going to be downsizing. And we basically decided to just sell anything we aren’t bringing with us to his parents’ house. We’re tired of being tied up in things. I’m also tired of tripping over things as well. Our daughter’s things are more important than most of the things we have. The less wrapped up we are in maintaining our material possessions, the more we can focus on blowing bubbles outside or slapping rubber balls up and down the hallway. 

I used to be under the impression that the more I had, the more relevant I was. Now I’m realizing that relevance isn’t in things for me. The things that matter lie in making memories with my husband and daughter. I just need the basic necessities of life now. Well, I’m working towards getting to that point. And I have a nice little road ahead of me in minimizing my possessions. A plethora of memories is what I’m wanting more than anything now! And I have the power to make that happen!

A Load a Day

Did you know that getting married will double your laundry? 

Did you also know that having a kid multiplies your laundry by ten? That’s just for a singular child.

laundromat-1524270_1280God bless you parents with more than one child! 

 I never knew that so much laundry could be produced by a tiny human! I’ve actually begun downsizing my wardrobe just so that I won’t have as much laundry to do for myself. And my husband being the saint that he is, has a small wardrobe to begin with! 

 I used to think parents were crazy to want these washers and dryers out of sci-fi films, but it makes so much sense now! Children are messy and dirty and disgusting, which means the parents are messy and dirty and disgusting! Sci-fi washers and dryers are definitely the way to go. And that’s the direction I’m headed because my child has recently discovered dirt –playing in it and eating it!  

When I was single, owning a washer and dryer was basically a luxury. Now I’m a wife and mother, and a washer and dryer is a lifeline! Oh, how life changes how you look at appliances! 

Armchair Travel: Honolulu, HI

My love for travel is way bigger than my bank account right now, but there’s always the adventure of being able to plan out the places I would like to go in the future!

Statehood: August 21 1959 (50th State) 

State Nickname: Aloha State 

State Capital: Honolulu 

Largest Cities: Honolulu, Pearl City, Hilo, Kailua, Waipahu, Kaneohe, Mililani, Kahului, Ewa Gentry, Mililani Mauka 

State Bird: Nene 

State Flower: Hibiscus or Pua Aloalo 

State Tree: Candlenut Tree 

waikiki-beach-553621_1280
Waikiki Beach

Method of Travel: Flying (Delta or Southwest) 

 Type of Vacation: Just me and my husband! 

 Where to Stay: (AinbnbSo the place that caught my attention the most is the Contemporary Waikiki Oasis w. Full Kitchen/Laundry. I absolutely love that it’s surrounded by beaches. It feels like vacation, and that’s just from the pictures. It’s also $90 a night, so that would make our stay longer! 

 What to Do: (TripAdvisor) 

-USS Arizona Memorial (USS Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri Group Tour from Waikiki, options from $93.20) 

-Hawaii State Art Museum (Free Admission) 

-Diamond Head State Monument (Diamond Head Crater Adventure from $36.65) 

-Iolani Palace (Monarch’s Tour: Bishop Museum & Iolani Palace Combo Tour, from $114.14) 

 Where to Eat: (Yelp) 

Coffee: Island Vintage Coffee, Island Brew Coffeehouse, Teapresso Bar 

Donuts: Leonard’s Bakery, Liliha Bakery 

Breakfast & Brunch: Sweet E’s Café, Hula Grill Waikiki, The Taro Leaf, Joe’s Grill Express 

Restaurants: Murakame Udon, Helena’s Hawaiian Food, Ono Seafood, Lucky Belly, Rain Honolulu, Livestock Tavern 

Ice Cream: 8 Half Desserts, Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha 

Cuddles and Playtime

I have a bubble.  As do most people.  And I still have that bubble, except it’s not as pronounced anymore.  My daughter has completely shattered the boundaries of personal space, but what else should I expect of a 14-month-old? By far the most shattering of those boundaries is when she stuck her tongue in my mouth because she wanted the brownie I just ate.  Yes, I know, “EW!”  But it was also very funny.  She wanted that brownie, by any means necessary.

That’s how she is with cuddles too.  When she wants to be cuddled she will sit on me with her thumb in her mouth and a fleece blanket sprawled across her.  I have delayed going to the bathroom by 30 minutes to enjoy those cuddles.  Same thing with her bottle.  She used to not hold her bottle (even though she could) and would cuddle against me or my husband while we fed her. Now she still does the same thing, except she takes the bottle from us now.  And I know you’re wondering, what does this have to do with my bubble? It’s been popped! That little girl doesn’t care, especially when it comes to cuddles.  I can be in the middle of writing something and she’ll hold those arms up knowing I’m going to stop and pick her up.  Sometimes she’s being curious or nosy (there’s a difference with her) and sometimes she just wants a little extra love and attention before she gets into something.  Either way, I’m not going to reject those little arms reaching up to me.  Whatever is going on in my bubble can wait.  She takes top priority!

Now comes the playtime! Outside, in the front yard, she’s a wild child on a mission to run across the street and play in a field full of tall grass and God knows how many different bugs!  It’s exhausting and hilarious at the same time, especially when she tries to run from me and my husband! Getting across the street is a game for her, so we always give her a head start and she actually tries to run! In the backyard, she has a half acre of space and opportunity and always finds the one thing she doesn’t need to be around, like her grandmother’s garden!  We live near a municipal airport, so planes are always flying over the house.  She likes to look at them (obviously) and she also loves to yell at them!  And when we’re inside, even more space and opportunity! Her new form of playing is throwing all her toys at one time and yelling (because acoustics) and then picking the one toy to use as a drumstick! So, what does this have to do with my bubble you wonder? The noise level! I like a certain level of noise, inside and outside, and my tiny tot always finds a way to hit the decibel level I least like.  But what can one do, except laugh as she discovers the different levels of loudness she can achieve.

I have a bubble.  But it’s a pointless bubble because my baby need quiet cuddles and noisy playtimes!

 

Pen the Perfect Poem

Metaphors

Similes

Clichés

Just be me

Feel the joy

Feel the pain

Show the growrh

Reveal the change

Loud on the paper

But quiet with the vocals

Movin’ peopl world wide

But anonymous among the locals

Ain’t no point in tryin’

To pen the perfect poem

‘Cause there’s really nothin’ perfect

That’s why the poetry collection keeps growin’

 

© 2007 All Rights Reserved.

 

What Motherhood Has Taught Me So Far

Oh, wow! Um, where to begin on the things that I have learned since becoming a mother?

Sleep is beautiful!

Showers are beautiful!

Drinking coffee while it’s hot becomes rare.

The microwave is a blessing for the numerous cold plates of food that need to be reheated!

But in all seriousness (okay, actual seriousness) becoming a mother has changed my entire perspective on life! It truly is amazing that such a tiny human can have an enormous impact on the world around them, without them realizing it! They make you softer, more loving, more patient, and more aware.

It’s not about me. This has always been a problem for me. I was a self-centered person. Sure, I did a lot of nice things for people and I was caring, but for the most part it was for show. I want people to see how good I am. I didn’t have to look out for anyone else except myself. But that’s not the case anymore. Sometimes, I don’t get to finish my plate of food because my teething toddler is having a rough day. Sometimes, I don’t get to sleep through the night because my bundle of joy decided playtime was at one in the morning. Sometimes, I don’t go to the bathroom immediately because my baby girl wants to snuggle against her mama just a little while longer. Sometimes, I go a day without a shower because my terror on wheels has discovered dirt and doorknobs, how to open cabinets and drawers, and how to stealthily exit a room to go get into something she shouldn’t be in. In all these things, I don’t get to think about myself first. I don’t get to be immediately frustrated because I can’t have my eight hours of sleep or finish my dinner in one sitting. My priority with my child is to make sure she lives to see another day!

I know absolutely nothing. Kids are smarter than we tend to give them credit for. We also tend to give ourselves too much credit with our academic intelligence when it comes to children. I love English! I love writing! I love expressing myself with words! But my daughter has reduced my vocabulary to “Dude!,” “Really?!,” “Stop!,” and “No!” I don’t even complete sentences anymore! I was fairly certain that my vocabulary would be glorious enough to get a rambunctious toddler to listen to me the first time around! But that’s not the case. And that’s just one example of the many things I wasn’t prepared for once I became a mother. I didn’t expect feeding, bathing, and bedtime to be a struggle. I didn’t expect to watch the same freaking cartoon over and over for more than three hours a day! I didn’t expect to have an unnecessary amount of fleece blankets because my daughter loves them to the point of obsession. But I also didn’t expect to love someone more than I could ever love myself. I didn’t know that hopes and dreams could quickly change for something far better. I didn’t know that for me, life really wouldn’t begin until I became a mother.

Mistakes are part of the process. My child has fallen off of couches. She has busted her lip. She has walked into the side of the refrigerator. She turns up with cuts and scraps that are discovered hours later. She gets into things she’s not supposed to. Sometimes I’m too wrapped up in my phone. Sometimes she manages to sneak away. Sometimes she’s left unattended for one second and mayhem ensues. Sometimes the bottle is a tad too hot. Sometimes the bath water is a bit too hot. Sometimes Mommy and Daddy are the reason her bedtime sleep gets interrupted. Sometimes I feel I can’t watch her close enough when she falls and I’m right there! But I’m realizing that my shortcomings don’t make me a bad mother. Some things happen that are out of my control. But each day I strive to be a better mother than the day before and that counts for everything! My child is a daredevil and I know there will be some definite Pediatric ER visits in the future. I just have to remember not to beat myself up every time something goes wrong!

Every single day is an adventure! I have been enjoying discovering the world around me as my daughter discovers it for the first time. Watching her interact with things I have long since taken for granted has a freshness to it. She makes me enjoy the little things around me. She makes me remember that life is an adventure and far from boring!

 

 

Sharing a video of me working on a painting, which has become another passion of mine in the recent months!

What Marriage Has Taught Me So Far

My husband and I got married November 28, 2015.  We had that date set for a couple months and we were excited about the first couple years of our marriage.  We had all kinds of plans, right down to possibly moving to Portland or Chattanooga.  But November 18, 2015 we found out that I was pregnant and well, that threw a major wrench in all our plans! Now, I know what you’re thinking, “OMGoodness, you were pregnant on your wedding day (insert shocked expression)?!?!” Yes, yes I was, now let’s move along…

Learn to adjust to unexpected situations.  In one simple moment, our entire lives changed.  We were happy to be married, but we were freaking out about parenthood.  We both worked for Starbucks and that was nowhere near enough to raise a child. But by the grace of God, we had A LOT of help from family, especially Matt’s parents! We had to change our game plan.  Instead of moving to Oregon or Tennessee, we stayed in Alabama where we’d be close to family to help us when needed.  I wanted to go back to school, but that was put on hold (and still is on hold) while we tried to get our bearings with a tiny human in the midst.  Starbucks was no longer a feasible option and it took us both over a year to finally leave and find employment elsewhere.  We’re still getting it together and figuring out a new game plan that requires the unpredictability of being a parent.

Learn to understand one another.  Matt and I come from two different backgrounds.  I’m Black, he’s white, more specifically Italian decent.  I’m a Christian, he’s not.  I grew up in Southern California, he grew up in Germany, Virginia, New York, Utah, and Oklahoma.  I love sports, he loves video games.  I love English, he loves science.  I cook out of necessity, he cooks to create masterpieces.  I’m more figurative, he’s more literal.  And the list can go on.  Over the past three years we really had to learn how to talk to each other and not at each other.  Both of us can be stubborn and we would both try to force our viewpoints on each other (more me than him) and that drew a wedge between us.  When we got over ourselves (again, more me than him) we started listening to each other and asking questions to help us better understand.  As a result, we’ve both come to like and love things about our differences and we keep growing closer to each other the more we learn.

Be each other’s support system.  This doesn’t have to be in anything that’s simply major.  It comes with the everyday part of life.  It comes in the mundane things like naps and showers before dreams and life decisions.  Supporting each other starts small and then grows from there.  If my husband knows I won’t beat him up about feeling tired and needing a chance to rest in the middle of the day, then he won’t have any reservations about sharing his goals and aspirations.  Being each other’s support system requires trust, and trust is needed in every aspect of marriage.

Apologize.  Sometimes you’re wrong.  And your pride is not nearly as important as your marriage.  Your pride takes a backseat to your spouse’s feelings.  And apologize as soon as you realize where you were wrong.  Don’t draw out the apology and make the situation worse.  In marriage there is no room for pride and selfishness.  That went out the window the moment we both said, “I do.”

Remember why you fell in love in the first place.  There are so many reasons why I love my husband.  His smile, his eyes, his laugh, his goofiness, his nerdiness, and the list goes on.  But why I fell in love with him, is his heart.  He sees the good in me, when I don’t see it myself.  He’s seen the bad as well as the good and didn’t push me away, he pulled me closer.  He doesn’t make me feel like I have to change to be accepted.  I don’t have to keep secrets.  I can be completely vulnerable with him and he still loves me.

love-600488_1920We’re only heading towards our two-year wedding anniversary and definitely have a lot more to learn as the years go by.  But so far, I think we’re off to a pretty good start!

Consistency is Key

If there is one thing I have definitely struggled with is consistency!  And that probably has a lot to do with not getting myself organized like I should be in order to succeed.  So that’s the goal this time around. I’ll get myself organized and then become more consistent in my work by setting a schedule!  I have all my social media accounts setup.  There’s still some work to be done along the way, but I need to make sure I don’t neglect them this go around.  I have to remember that a lot is riding on this venture to be a full-time blogger. 

 The first thing I need to remember is that aspiring to be a full-time blogger is not a dumb idea.  I need to keep that thought out of my head.  And I also need to ignore anyone who thinks that as well.  People blog all the time.  It can be a full-time job.  Something can come of it.  And since I love writing and babbling, this is right up my alley!  But I have to make sure I produce content to be posted on a regular basis! 

 The second thing I have to remember is that success takes time.  Success comes from building brick by brick.  I can’t allow myself to become discouraged because I didn’t get as many views, likes, and comments as I would have liked.  I know myself well enough, that I should just set my expectations super low and then add from there.  I need to start with something attainable, like a practical human being. 

 The third thing I need to remember is that I am in control of my style and content.  I don’t have to answer to anyone about what I write about and how I write it.  I need to liberate myself from my own fears and doubts and that will help me sit down and write more and more!   

 The fourth thing I need to remember, which is pretty important is that I have a daughter.  And she’s going to grow up and have dreams of her own.  How can I possibly encourage to go after her dreams if I’ve never done it myself?  The whole point of this venture is to actually take a chance on what I love, but more importantly, leading by example for my little girl.