My birthday birth stories began with you so I won't repeat it again. The other day, you mentioned that out of all your siblings, you're in the absolute middle of the family. You said it with such satisfaction. The thought stayed with me until I realized, you really are! In more ways than you think! You're in the middle of our hearts. We're grateful for your sweet and kind ways--God often uses your generosity to center us.
I asked myself this question over and over from the moment I realized I was pregnant with Mocha Baby. I was painfully aware of what a blessing it was to have healthy children. God had already given me four. Was I pushing it to expect any more? If I was faced with special challenges, would I be up to the task with 4 other children to care for? I knew I'd take the job regardless, but I wondered if I'd be able to do it well.
I think I fell prey to this kind of thinking because I was older than 35 when we conceived Mocha Baby, and the pressure to do more prenatal testing and be "extra" careful implied that something could go wrong for us now more than at any other time before. I appreciated the support if a challenge developed, but I felt robbed of a peaceful pregnancy.
I empowered myself by building up my support systems. I worked at accepting help from my friends. I hired a doula who offered pregnancy counseling, prenatal advic…
For some reason I was really worried about Mg3's delivery. Looking back, I'm perplexed as to why her delivery made me so anxious. My support system had improved from what it was like with previous births. We were finally living in our hometown where I could access my relatives AND friends. Perhaps it was because, our lifestyles had changed so much. People were busier and more difficult to access in NYC. People around me always seemed to be running. Their lives stretched them so much. I didn't think they were available, though I never doubted they loved me.
I worried a lot about who would be around to take me to the hospital, and if everything would work out for someone to stay with my 3 older children. If my husband was at work when labor started, I realized that under the best of circumstances it would take him a minimum of ninety minutes to reach me. Everyone worked, so I kept replaying this scenario over and over with everyone I knew. Maybe I could ask a fello…
I've been prepping myself for the possibility of one of my girls coming to me with this request for a long time. I thought I'd consider their motive from every angle. I thought I'd be ready.
I was wrong.
I've recently been in conversation with HmG about this very issue. You've watched her hair grow and flourish and flourish. She has ALOT of hair. I think it intimidates her. Sometimes it intimidates me!!!
She says she believes natural hair is beautiful.
She says she likes the look of natural hair more than the look of relaxed hair.
She asks me anyway, "Can I relax my hair?"
I shout WHY?
She says, "Because I just can't see myself spending all that time doing my hair!!! It's not worth it to me. I just think a relaxer will be easier." She finished by saying that the risk of damage to her hair is a risk she's willing to take.
I was floored. I JUST wasn't expecting that to be the reason.
HmG had a dance competition and was wearing her loose hair in a high bun. She has another competition coming up soon so I didn't want to give her a head full of small twists--while they are easier to take down than braids, I'd still have to plan a time in our busy schedule to do it. Half a head of large flat twists is MUCH easier to work with. Her hair gets a break from being loose and we can enjoy her massive bun a little longer.
Mg2 is the queen of twists. I honored her request to keep it flowing and free.
Mg2 wants what her sister wants. Ordinarily, I encourage her to pick braids over twists because her hair knots up easily if left too long in twists. She got me this time.
Mocha Baby surprised me. I thought I'd get away with a couple of puffs but she kept looking at her sisters and wanted to know when I was doing her hair for real. I was planning to cornrow the front and gather the back into a puff but she wasn't having…
My hair is fine. I have a lot of strands but when I weigh my hair down with a lot of product, I lose the volume. The longer my hair got as a loose natural, the harder it was to keep my hair looking as BIG as I like. I can't believe how thick my locs look. When people tell me how thick my hair is I can't believe they are talking to me. This is definitely a lock perk.
So you already know that my oldest daughter HMG has a passion for ballet. Well, for the first time this year we decided to try having her compete, because she wanted more opportunities to perform. Our first competition is today, but it's been an interesting experience so far.
After all of these years in the same school, where nappy hair was never an issue--it became an issue for competition.
HMG wears her hair in braids/twists/cornrows 99% of the time. Her hair is always styled in small braids or a combo cornrow and box braid style for recitals. I've never tried to style her hair loose, because a variety of hairstyles has always been required in costume. HMG had to be able to move from the sleek bun, to loose hanging hair, to updo styles in short minutes. I don't use heat--EVER...and she has A LOT of hair.
I'm not always close enough to help her when she's backstage. The braids were always easier and the school never complained.
The first time I saw her, she was laying on her stomach, with her face delicately resting on her two hands. It was like a rosy glow surrounded her. I thought she looked so feminine. Definitely a girl. I HAD A GIRL!!!!! But she was too big for her incubator. I knew she couldn't be, but wasn't she cold? She'd been without me for so many hours. I wanted to hold her.
HMG was 4 days late! At about 30 weeks of pregnancy I began to have strong contractions. My doctor was concerned I'd deliver early and quickly put me on bed rest. I was instructed to lay on my left side perpetually. I could stand to go to the bathroom and make myself a quick sandwich or set up prepared food for the baby--but that was all. I was advised to avoid the stairs as much as possible. My initial thought was, I'll finally get some rest!
Our son was 15 months old at the time, and I was truly exhausted chasing him around with my big belly and low energy. My husband was working 2 j…
Be sure to watch my YouTube video above on the subject. I won't repeat in detail what I shared there, but wanted to focus on my step by step approach of getting Mocha Baby to understand the steps.
In the past, I followed the model from the book Potty Training in Less than a Day by Nathan H. Azrin and Richard M. Foxx.
When I bought the book for training our son, I imagined he'd be a master at going potty and never have any accidents once we were done. Despite the clever title, the book lets the reader know up front that accidents will happen, but it does a good job of laying out a step by step method of communicating to your child what is expected and helping parents to have realistic expectations of what their child may be able to do. I still recommend it.
In following that book, we would set aside a day for potty training and select one parent to stay with the potty training child while the other parents leaves the house with the siblings for as long …