November 26, 2009

Lootbags are for Losers


Friend: So, are you going to have a first birthday party for BABY?

Me: Yeah... I guess so....

Friend: You haven't thought about it?!

Me: Well she's BARELY seven months old. I wasn't thinking that far ahead.

Friend: Her birthday is in April. So after the holidays, you only have a few months. It will
catch up to you before you know it.

Me: (blink, blink)

Friend: So you should really think about it.

Me: Right. I should...

I will probably do something to mark the occasion that is my daughter's first birthday in the Spring. But at what point did planning a child's party turn into planning a wedding? Am I completely naive about how these things work? Is there something that I am missing here?

The scary part is that I have just right amount of mommy guilt to actually want a kick ass birthday - you know, to make up for other things. And, I love a good party as much as the next person.

Apart of the issue is that my idea of a good child's birthday is a grocery store cake and dollar store loot bags. Is that what people are doing nowadays? Do I need to step my game up? Are we talking petting zoo, inflatables, a variety of children-themed entertainment? Are we talking Super Sweet Sixteen portions here? Do I need to get on the phone with Beyonce?

My friend's little talk did the job. I am now thinking about it.


November 24, 2009

7 Months Old!

So a few minutes ago I commented on someone's blog, mentioning that I too have a six month old. That is a lie. As of today, I don't have a six month old. My little girl is now seven months old! I can't believe that she is growing up so quickly. It feels like just the other day I wrote this for her six month birthday, or this when she was born. 7 months ago...

7 hours ago - I was playing with BABY on the floor of my living room. The toys were spread out in all different directions but she wasn't interested in the toys. She mostly wanted to climb on top and all over me. And that was cool. I love playing with her, getting her to smile and getting her to laugh. After a few minutes her gaze focused across the room where her bouncy chair was. I was thinking about getting rid of it earlier today - giving it away or packing it up. I could see the determination through her focus. She leaned forward from sitting and started to crawl across the room - stomach on the ground - in a straight line for the bouncy chair. I have seen this before, but she is getting faster and faster with every attempt. So she crawled over, pulled herself up on the side, and started pressing all the buttons. Then she turned around, looked at me and smiled.

7 days ago - I was feeling terrible with a bad toothache. The kind that makes your head hurt, ears ring and neck tense up. And there is nothing worse than feeling terrible when you have a little baby that needs you. I looked at her and felt like I was in a fog. Two of my close friends came to the rescue. One of my friends who just started maternity leave and is due in a few weeks, took BABY for the afternoon so I could get some rest. Another friend came over after work and fed her, got her ready for bed, put her to sleep. That night, I held onto BABY extra tight. We didn't get to spend the day together like usual, and I didn't get to do all the night time things like usual, so I wanted to cuddle a little more than usual. It's amazing that we have such loving and caring friends and family. I couldn't do it - all of it - without them. While I was thinking about all of those things, I turned to BABY. Although she was in deep sleep, she smiled.

7 months ago - The most memorable times that I had in the hospital after BABY was born were those blocks of time that we had by ourselves. When everyone was gone. When I would wrap my robe tightly about myself, and pull myself out of bed. When I would look at this little baby wrapped in a blanket in the hospital-order bassinet - if you can call that thing a bassinet. I couldn't believe that I had a baby, a daughter, a person. She was so tiny but so bright. Is that the right word? I don't know. She was bright. It was like she sparkled. I wanted her to wake up. Partly because I wanted to pick her up so badly. I leaned in really close and watched her breath. I traced her check with my finger. I smiled.

7 years ago
- I was so far from where I am now. The thought of being a mom, seemed like light years away. If someone would have told me then that I would be on maternity leave, writing a post for my seven month old daughter on a mom blog, I would laughed hysterically. I wasn't even sure if that being a mom was in the cards for me at all. And that was fine. There's a lot of living to be had in your early twenties. I didn't know what I was missing. I didn't know how much I was capable of loving. I didn't know how quickly my perspective on what is important would change. Most importantly, until just recently, I didn't know the power of a baby's smile.

So now I'm the mom to a seven month old baby girl. I know a deep, dense, undeniable kind of love. The most important things to me are crystal clear. And I know that power of my daughter's smile.

Happy Birthday pumpkin.

November 21, 2009

Written With One Hand

There's a baby clinging to my boob as I write this.

Yeah, you read that correctly. There's a baby clinging to my boob. Luckily it's my baby. Luckily I'm fairly used to her holding on for dear life to that particular boob, and the one beside it, many times each day.

I have been pretty upfront about my love for breastfeeding, since BABY was born over six months ago. Our routine - co-sleeping for part of the night - has worked really well for us. For me mostly. But for her too. Since it's just the two of us, and I am also extra careful almost to the blistering levels of OCD, I felt comfortable. Safe. It worked for late night feedings, sleeping through the night, bonding and it was so damn cute. Cuddling with her meant that I could drink in all of the baby-ness while she was still a baby. However, too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

I'm afraid that I have created a monster.

We're right in the middle of sleep regression. A few weeks ago she would take naps in the crib (astonishing since she wanted no part of that for her first few months) and I put her down there at bedtime. A few weeks ago, I would bring her into bed for a nighttime feeding and we slept together until morning. A few weeks ago, she would use a pacifier for sleep support - even reaching for it herself if I left it in the crib.

Now she wants no part of cribs, pacifiers, being by herself. Now she wants me - and importantly my boobs - all the time! She wants to nurse to sleep and during sleep. She wants to nurse all the time. She wants to sleep with me. She wants me to hold her. Whether it's teething or a growth spurt, I don't know. I'm hoping it's a phase. I'm not sure if all this breastfeeding will be cool when she starts high school.

So, if you haven't seen me on Facebook, there's no word on Twitter, or I'm not responding to emails, just know that there's a baby clinging to my boob. I'll get back to you when she lets go.

~ humps

November 18, 2009

I See Myself In You

You're a little girl that steals hearts, brings joy and loves. Loves so much for being so little. Loves unconditionally. These qualities contrast starkly with my cynicism, self doubt, social trepidation. It is remarkable to me that I made you. It is remarkable to me that you have me flowing threw your vains. But everyday that passes I see more of me in you.

When I hold you and bring you to the mirror, and make faces and hold our heads together, I see myself in you. The curls that are forming at the top of your head, and attempting to form at the sides. The way your eyebrows frame your brown eyes. The way your eyelashes clump in small segments and curl. The outline of your upper lip. Your smile. The complexion of the skin on your toes. The palm of your hands. I see myself in you.

And one night when it was too late for little babies to still be awake, you played in protest. So I took you and few board books to bed with me. While I was propped up on one side, engrossed in a novel from the library, I looked over to my left. There you were laying on your stomach, with a book in front of you. Your head moved back and forth, like you were reading that little book, sounding out the words, admiring the pictures, engrossed in that story. It was all too much for a little six month old baby. I was stunned, and without missing a beat you focused your energies on turning the page. I saw myself in you.

And when the sweet breath of sleep kissed your forehead, I watched. Your eyes closed slowly. Grudgingly. You raised your eyebrows in hopes that this last ditch attempt would cement your eyes open. Because, you only sleep on your terms. If you miss anything, there will be trouble. So I kissed your plump cheeks. Whispered goodnight. I understand my darling. I see myself in you.

XOXO humps

November 9, 2009

A Lifetime of Yelling, "Don't Touch That!"

There is a critical point in the development of a young child where you can't just put 'em down and expect them to be there when you turn around. Trust me - I know. That point in my home was a few weeks ago.

Until recently I have been living in what I now know is a big ol' parenting delusion - complete with feelings that I had everything under control. I know now that until you are trying to keep up with a curious, moving, wanting to put everything in her mouth when you're not looking baby, life is easy. Hell, all you really needed to do was keep that kid fed, changed and entertained. All of which increases in complexity as the months go on.

And although I can and very shortly will do a bit of baby proofing in our condo, I'm much more worried about the things / places / people that we run into outside of the home. Worried as in full fledged anxiety. I'm sure that for many years to come I will feel this high level of anxiety that BABY is gonna get her little curious ass into something, fall into something, or hurt herself against something.

So I would like to warn everyone, that if BABY and I happen to be visiting you, out to lunch with you, having you over at our place, attending an event with you - basically anything, anywhere, with anyone - please don't be alarmed by the look of terror that I have on my face when I see these:

- a glass table
- a sharp corner
- a steaming hot beverage perched on an edge
- an open toilet seat
- a large vase placed on the floor
- (any sized) vase on any surface
- marbles, pebbles or other chocking hazards
- knives
- place settings
- electrical outlets
- stacks of newpaper
- any paper that you don't want a baby to eat
- stoves
- electrical wires
- open windows
- open doors
- pretty much anything and everything

It's a scary new world. Excuse me while I go after my baby. "DON'T TOUCH THAT!!"

~ humps

November 5, 2009

Be That Woman

One of my favorite blogs EVAH is Bad Mommy Moments. Just a few days ago CK posted this Public Service Announcement that I had to share. It got me weepy.

Check it out:

~ humps

November 4, 2009

The Ultimate Mom-Baby Playlist

On Sunday, I had a little get together for family and friends after BABY's baptism. Just a little brunch at my place. I didn't want to do anything too fussy. I wanted it to be low key, casual and comfortable.

And that's how I approached the planning.

I started by inviting an intimidate group of my really close friends and family. The ones that I see and talk to regularly. The people that are really connected to BABY and see her often. I skipped the catering, and planned a menu of appetizers, sandwiches and salads that I could prepare the day before. While I would never call myself an expert chef, I do enjoy cooking for people.

But before groceries were bought, or a pan was put on the stove, I was preparing for the most important part. The music. I made the ultimate of Baptism after party playlists, that began as one celebrating the love between moms and their daughters.

Since I am very much a giving, generous and good spirited blogger, I will share this with you - in hopes that it too can be the foundation for the parties you are having. Baptisms, birthday parties, baby showers, Mother's Day, Labor Playlists, whatever the need maybe. I got cha!

On this playlist, it was important to me that the songs represent different eras, different artists - you know, since that's how I roll! I wanted it to be something that my older family members and younger friends could sing along to. So you will see that there is everything from Jackson Five, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations to Dixie Chicks, Michael Buble, Whitney Houston to Jay-Z, Lauryn Hill, Kanye West.

The songs also included "love songs" - such as This Magic Moment and No Air - but I felt that it still fit the theme.

Check it out:

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones!

You can either build the playlist so that the sequence of songs is perfect, or hit "shuffle" for more spontaneity.

For the Baptism I added to that some more reggae - as a tribute to my West Indian family, which included some Beres Hammond, Tony Rebel, Tarrus Riley, Sizzla, more Bob Marley. I also added another playlist that I had with some of my favorite gospel from Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams and even 'Jesus Walks' from Kayne West and 'Faithful' from Common. (Unfortunately didn't have all of the songs that I used.)

Hope you enjoy!
~ humps

November 2, 2009


On Sunday, my little angel was baptized. While I haven't talked about religious beliefs - and all that jazz - on this blog, I couldn't help but celebrate this day in her life. In both of our lives. It was an emotional day for me.

You see, I started going to this church less than a year before I got knocked up with BABY - for lack of a better description. It was a time when I was just beginning to explore the possibility of moving to US, when a close friend and I were having a conversation about church. We talked about going to church as a child and what that was like. We talked about how long it has been since we have been back and how life - just being a young adult in the city - so easily got in the way. We talked about a lot.

There were a handful of beautiful old churches in the city. We decided that we would check a few out and see what it was like. See if we could make a church connection and maybe give this whole "religious" thing a try. I mean it is one thing to believe in a maker and another thing entirely to be a full fledged church member!

One Sunday morning I ironed my clothes, broke open a new box of pantyhose, put on a nice but not sexually suggestive pair of heels. It was like I was going on a very conservative date: wanting it go well, a natural connection, to be comfortable and not wanting to say something stupid. "Please don't swear, please don't swear, please don't swear!" Add to that the unique dance that is church going: standing and sitting at the right moments, singing at the right volume.

We arrived at the church and found a place to sit a few rows from the back. We smiled at the people sitting around us. We stood and sat at the appropriate moments. We sung all of the hymns with the appropriate level of volume and enthusiasm. We didn't swear. Most importantly we listened. The pastor was a younger man standing in front of the backdrop of an older church - I would learn later that he was a thirty-something new father. He was starting a sermon series. When he talked, I felt like he was talking to us. It was just that relevant. I had Goosebumps. When it was over, before we got up to gather our things, we looked at each other. We came back the following week.

When the time came, I was more scared about telling people at my new church that I was pregnant than anyone in my life, because well nothing says SINNER than having a baby out of wedlock. I mean, really! Isn't that their whole deal?! I felt like having a baby was my own Scarlet Letter.

I am happy to say that it wasn't like that at all. And I now believe that having my little girl is a blessing. That I was given the most incredible gift. That God doesn't make mistakes. That I was suppose to find this church before I had her. That there is something to learn in all that I have and continue to go through.

And this weekend, when we stood beside the other families who were baptizing their children that day, I was trying really hard to hold in emotions. To the right of me were these families that I have grown to know, with a mom and dad. A small part of me pained that this wasn't the picture that I was presenting to the world. But to the left were my daughter's God Parents and all of my family and friends that were there to support us. I looked at them, and they smiled back at us. I looked out into the crowd and saw all of the people's faces that I now know. I looked down at this little girl that I held who looked back at me with big brown eyes. And I knew that it was perfect. And I exhaled.

My little angel. In. Every. Way.

~ humps
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