Monthly Archives: February 2013

Technology Takeover…AAAHHH!!

20130224-235344.jpgReading in the morning

More recently I have been a bit bothered by the way Bean can operate most electronic devices (iPad, iPhone, play station). AND the amount that he whines when he is told he may not play on them. He seems to think these are HIS devices and wants to be on them from the time he wakes up til the time he goes to sleep.

We were using the phones to keep him calm in the car. And I even thought I was REALLY doing a good thing when I downloaded ONLY educational apps. I figured why not let him play, electronically, if he’s learning?!?! Right?😏

Well I think we need to fall back on this electronic thing. He used to love reading books, now I’m beginning to notice that he doesn’t pay attention as long as he did before. He’s only 18 months old but I figured now is a good time to pay attention to habits. He very rarely plays with is flash cards and will stop anything if he hears/sees someone on a device.

So we’ve made a bit of a change in my house. We’ve decided that even us parents must spend less time on devices or watching television and more time reading on our own or with Bean. We only have 13 channels and spend loads of time watching Netflix but its time to scale it down.

Just this weekend we decided not to have the TV on for most of the day. I would say we watched about 4 hours of television and I can remember what we watched, Sesame Street, Maya & Miguel en español, a bit of 2 basketball games and a bit of the Oscars. Not bad. The TV was off for most meals and we had a chance to chat. Chatting with Bean is the best right now as he works of figuring out new sounds, tones and words.

Bean enjoyed “coloring”, reading/listening to a few books, and running around laughing uncontrollably as he was chased from one room to another. He loves his basketball and soccer ball so we rolled them a bit and played catch (well I caught the balls he threw and rolled it back to him). I’ve also noticed that he enjoys playing alone sometimes as I read, cleaned or just observed. Oh and I can’t forget he even had time for the potty this weekend!! YES!! I guess his potty strike is over.

I do want my children to be tech savvy especially since that’s what this world is coming to. Don’t want them to be left behind. At the same time, I’d like to instill some values and balance that can’t come from being “teched-out” MOST of the time. I hear parents of older children talking about the need for instant gratification and lack of focus or communication skills (even from some of my peers) and I’d like to make a conscious effort to create a balance in life.

So here’s to putting technology aside for while. I think this will be a good challenge for my hubby and I as well. For now we may just try this on the weekends and maybe cutting things off during the week a bit earlier. I loved not having the background noise during meals too. So we’ll see how it goes. I’ll be sure to keep you posted😉.

How often do you find yourself or your children consumed by technology? Do you have tech-free time in your house?

20130224-235204.jpgWatching a basketball game during lunch

20130224-235319.jpgColoring/drawing/reading

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HAPPY NEW YEAR (AGAIN!!)

20130220-084031.jpg Our wedding day, Botswana, 2009!!

Today is the 1st day of my 5th year of marriage to my hubby. HAPPY NEW YEAR to us, y’all know I love anniversaries and new year celebrations. Time to reflect and rejuvenate. Woohoo!! I must thank God for bringing us and keeping us together.

These last four years have been full of excitement with challenges as well. I’m still learning how to be a great wife and he’s still learning how to be a great husband. We married quick (only 1 1/2 years after meeting) and young, not to mention adding the cross cultural dynamic in the mix. So you can imagine what this journey has been like.

Our love for each other continues to grow and with the help of elders in our circle we have been able to work things out. Each year we have reached a few milestones in our relationship. Moved to a new country, extended our education This year will be better than last for us and I’m excited to see where we are led as a family!!

20130220-084054.jpg 4 year anniversary date night New Jersey, 2013!!

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Ntozke Shange

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Last night I went to a program at Barnard College that honored the great elder and poet Ntozake Shange. I CANNOT stop thinking about what little bit I heard. We arrived a bit late to the performance and I had to step out for the last hour with Bean but what I did hear of the panel discussion was very inspiring.

First o all I have to mention that there is something about the Barnard campus that is just empowering. My sistercousin is an alum and now her sister is there now so I’ve had the pleasure of attending a few functions over the past years. Barnard is a women’s college and the women who have chosen to attend that school seem to enter and exit with loads of pride, ready to challenge and be challenged by what is happening in society. I’m not a Barnard alum but I definitely appreciate the contributions that many of them have contributed to our world. AND I’m so proud of my cousins to be part of that crew!!

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Doula or No Doula? Hmm!?!?

Now with baby number 2 on the way and more knowledge about the birthing world I am now debating whether I should have a doula for this birth or not. As much as I’d love to have a home birth I can’t afford it 😒 and my insurance will cover the cost of a midwife as long as she is under an OB (womp womp). So I’ll be giving birth in a birthing center in a hospital, Morristown. I’m pretty excited about this hospital so far. I hear its like going to the spa, I would love to be in a spa-state-of-mind while giving birth. They even give a FREE massage to all new moms before they leave. Oh yeah!

Any way, since I’ll be in a hospital and have a midwife (plus probably my mom, aunt, at least 1sistercousin, possibly my brother and can’t forget about hubby present [yeah we roll deep😊]) will I REALLY NEED a doula? Part of me says “sure, why not have that passionate person present”, although I share loads of info with my fam, a doula brings a different type of support. Plus adding a doula to the fam gives me an opportunity to add to the positive stats of women (especially of color) using doulas and committing to positive natural birth experiences.

After reading The Loation Commotion post Free (Doula & Placenta Pills) is for Me about hiring a doula-in-training FOR FREE, I’m even more inclined to enlist the services of a doula. I’ll get to help add another woman to the assisted birthing world (doulas are required to attend a certain number of births before they can receive their certification). Plus I’m sure I’ll learn even more about birthing. I’m still kind of thinking about becoming a doula some time in the near future. Brown skin doulas are hard to come by and SO needed!!

The only negative not so positive thing I can think of is adding one more person to the room. But this could be so worth it!! Hhmmm Decisions…decisions.

Did you have a doula present at your birth? What would you recommend? Do you know any doulas-in-training?

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DARN FEVER!!!

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So it’s happening AGAIN!! It seems like Bean battles some type of virus/infection/something every month. DARN IT!! He’s had a fever off and on for about 2 days now. The good thing about it is that now I completely understand that a fever is not necessarily a BAD thing. Rather it’s a sign that the body is working on getting rid of the BAD thing. So we allow the fever to do its thang.

Thank God it hasn’t gotten super high to the point where we have to take him to the doctor. I’ll admit, last night, I was a little spooked when the thermometer read 103.1 (GASP!). As much as I HATE turning to medicine, we decided to give him some infant Advil and allow him to just be free of all things unnecessary for a bit. No PJs, no diaper and no blankets for a bit just to help the body cool down. It worked and the fever dropped a great deal.

I also forgot about the elderberry syrup we were giving him not too long ago. I didn’t realize until recently that its good for fevers too. SOO we will use that INSTEAD of the Advil. At least the elderberry syrup will also give him some virus fighting nutrients, get rid of some of this mucus AND help with the fever. Thank God for the mama’s with Holistic Moms Network and all of their knowledge and insight on holistic remedies. I don’t know what I’d do if they weren’t just an email away!!

I am so grateful that Bean’s energy, appetite, diaper changes haven’t changed through this ordeal. Yet another sign that he’s a fighter. It’s times like this that confirm that I’ve made the right decision (for us) to continue breast feeding. It’s been very comforting for Bean and I know the nutrients can’t be beat😉.

How do you comfort you not so well baby? Do you use any nontraditional remedies?

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A few of our essentials.

20130207-225348.jpg Next I’m going to make my own elderberry syrup. (I have a recipe from a fellow holistic mama.)

…making progress😉!

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Guess What?!?!

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When I was pregnant with Littleone and didn’t want to know the sex, my school friends gave my growing bundle the name Bean. I kinda liked that. Their explanation was that he/she would start as a little bean and continue to grow. I think my love for beans may have also had a little to do with that too😉. So I think that’s what I’ll refer to Littleone as, Bean. And now with another addition on the way I’ll have to come up with another name maybe Sprout or Seed. We’ll see. What are you thoughts?

Oh wait I’m jumping ahead of myself a bit here. Did I tell you all that I’m pregnant again😍😊😄?!?! Yup, Bean is going to be a big brother in approximately 7 months. WOOHOO!!! It was kind of funny to hear Bean the entire week before I confirmed my pregnancy constantly saying, in a British accent, bébé…bébé!! I guess God works in mysterious ways.

I’m about 15 weeks pregnant and this pregnancy is a lot different than the last one so far. I was extremely nauseous for a while and that wasn’t the case the last time. And I have had a lot less energy. I’m not sure if it’s because this time around I’m working 1 job and not as physically active. Or maybe it’s because I’m still nursing and running after a 1 1/2 year old. During my last pregnancy I was working 1 1/2 jobs, commuting to NY for school as a full time student and running regularly for the first 7 or 8 months. Who knows but it’s DIFFERENT.

At this point I’ve decided to take it for what it is and learn to manage all that pops up. After all I LOVE all that pregnancy represents!! Ginger tea has been helping with the nausea. When I’m feeling extra tight I do a few yoga stretches, squats and even a rare push up here and there. I can’t wait for it to warm up so I can get back on the pavement. Walks have been helpful even if they are really short. I choose to take the 15/20 min walk home with Bean all bundled up instead of jumping on the bus or catching a ride as often as I can (about 2 or 3 days a week). The walks feel REALLY good. As they say a body in motion…well I can’t remember the rest but you know what I mean (heehee).

I look forward to sharing my experiences as I make my way through pregnancy number 2. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences.

…still a work in progress😉.

20130204-084000.jpgBundled up or our walks home in the cold. Yeah there’s a warm nursing baby in there😄!!
20130204-084139.jpgAnother way to get some exercise. I wear Bean while doing housework and even throw in a few squats when I drop something.

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Time To Get it Together

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For the month of January I have had such HORRIBLE eating habits. Not my norm AT ALL!! I’ve had Mac-n-cheese (couldn’t resist my moms goodness this time), pizza, ice cream and even a Wendy’s crispy chicken sandwich (my first time eating meat since 2002 and it was not what I thought it would be). And my body has been feeling the changes!

I’ve been a vegetarian since 2002 and became a vegan when i got pregnant with Littleone. Going from vegan (for about a year) and gluten free (strong for about 5 months) to eating all of these “goodies”, I have been feeling the load. Don’t know why I just HAD to have these things but I gave in and allowed myself to “binge” for the month.

Oh I’ve seen the difference in my son as well. He only had what he could get from me, since he still nurses as much as possible aside from the pizza crust here and there. But in the last week I’ve realized he’s been loaded with mucus and even developed this horrible cough (thank goodness for elderberry syrup). Not a good mommy move I tell ya😒.

Physically, I went from training for a marathon to no activity at all since October. Well I did go for a 1mile run TWICE and did yoga for about 15 mins, ha! That should count for something, right? LOL

Well my little siesta has come to an end!! It’s February 1 and I’ve had enough of these uncomfortable days of constipation, tightness in my body, loads of mucus and a few winded moments. So I’m getting it back together!!

We are going to try the meal plan thing AGAIN! And I’m going to set a few realistic fitness goals. Especially since running outside just isn’t an option for me in the cold (I just can’t take it), and I’m going to feel GREAT again.

Food is so amazing and so are our bodies. I am still amazed by the changes from just a few weeks of an adjustment. But actually that’s what lead me to keep up the vegan lifestyle. Now I have to admit the gluten free part continues to be a challenge. I absolutely LOVE bread. The vegan gluten free bread just isn’t doing it for me. I have even been contemplating if being vegan AND gluten free is just too much for my family. What do you think?

Blood work results showed that I’m very healthy and I’m scheduled to see a nutritionist at the end of the month so I’ll have to get more advice from her. I guess this is all a part of finding what works for your family. WHAT AN ADVENTURE!

Lets go February I’m ready to get it together!!

Until next time…
Still a work in progress😊

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