A Style of Her Own: Nurturing Good Taste

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It is amazing to watch the intellectual prowess of Mademoiselle unfold. At 8 months, she already loves to emulate her mother often pretending to read by pointing at the pictures and words as she rambles in baby gibberish. Mademoiselle also loves to talk on the phone, which indicates that I’m on the phone way too much. She also tries desperately to put on my head scarf and is already trying to dress herself, sometimes in my clothes.

Like a good student of life, Mademoiselle is very observant, studying our every move with a stern look on her face. In fact, strangers constantly remark about how serious she is, but what they don’t seem to understand is that she is in the process of learning. Mademoiselle actions only proves what we already know about kids at this age; they’re like sponges, absorbing everything they see. From birth and beyond, it is within my power as her mother to cultivate not only a positive self image, but also a love of learning and music.  

Little Fashionista 2

I want my daughter to excel far beyond what I’ve accomplished. I want Mademoiselle to be an urbane girl, meaning to be polished: showing a high degree of refinement and the assurance that comes from a wide social experience. I want to expose her to things that will develop an exquisite taste in art and a high value in education and I want her to be a world traveler. In other words, it is my strong desire to build her social capital that will enable her to function effectively in society within all social classes. I also want Mademoiselle to be clear that no never means no. I want to empower her to go after what she wants in the face of rejection. And lastly, I want to nurture a sense of great style, an eye for high, sophisticated fashion that stems from her worldly experiences. My hope is to lay a strong enough foundation that will enable Mademoiselle to develop a style of her own.

*Outfit on top is from Ralph Lauren and the other is from Lucky Brand.

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Vaccinations: My Child, My Choice

I waited for several months before I allowed either of my boys to be vaccinated. Not only was I concerned about their well-being and all the possible side effects, but I didn’t really see the point in getting them vaccinated early since they were so young and their immune system so delicate. Besides, who comes down with two or three diseases at once? And, why would I allow a doctor to inject my child with two or more different viruses. I just was not willing to take that chance with my child’s life. Had I known a lot about holistic medicine, I would have opted out of having them vaccinated, though I could have taken the necessary steps to have them legally exempt.  

I bring this subject up because Mademoiselle is eight months now and yesterday she was given her third vaccine. I love my children’s new pediatrician. She listens and is willing to work with me as a team to ensure that my kids remain healthy. Every two months, we go over the list of vaccines and determine which one is needed the most at that particular time. I will not give Mademoiselle more than once shot because if she has a reaction I want to know which vaccine was the culprit. 

I mentioned that my children had a new doctor. Their old doctor got on my last nerves. I was tired of him thinking he knew more than I did because he was the doctor. I was sick of the tension between us that was created by me being right when he said I was wrong. Here’s a good example: I love nuts. I eat them on and in everything. Everyday I would prepare a salad with almonds for lunch, and sometimes I would have some eggs for breakfast. After eating the salad, I noticed that Mademoiselle would break out in a lot of tiny little bumps on her cheeks, neck, and stomach. I called the doctor and told him I thought she was allergic to nuts. This idiot tells me, “How do you know? I think you’re just wrapping her too tight. She has a heat rash.” First of all, this is my third child and I have a whole lot of common sense. I know how to put two and two together. 

When I got off the phone with him, I quickly scheduled a same day appointment with another doctor in his office who determined that the outbreak was due to an allergic reaction. I left a message on his voice-mail with my findings and a request to have my baby see an allergist (thanks to the advice of my friend, Nanora). Long story short, the allergist found that Mademoiselle is allergic to nuts, eggs, and dairy products, meaning I can’t have any of those things until I’m done nursing. Once the old doctor received the report we were at odds from that point on.  

The straw that broke the camel’s back came when he and another doctor in his office told me I had to have my two month old baby immunized or else I had to seek medical care some where else. “It is our office’s policy,” he said. Yeah, since when? It wasn’t a problem thirteen years ago. I told him if something was to happen to my child there is nothing you will be able to say to me besides a lousy I’m sorry. I am responsible for my child’s well-being. I gave birth to this child and I’m not only financially obligated to care for her, but I’m also responsible for her emotional and physical well-being. It’s my child and my choice! As a result, she had her first vaccine at four months old. She did not have a reaction to any so far; not even a fever.

I’m so thankful that another doctor in the same office understands my concerns and is willing to do whatever it takes to see that my daughter and sons have a healthy future ahead.


Being Mama Daily

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I’m on a mission today; one that will ensure I’m well enough to function by tomorrow morning because the world is unforgiving to a mom who succumbs to the awful dreaded cold virus. The world has the audacity to continue moving without taking into consideration how I’m feeling physically and mentally. In other words, a mother just can’t afford to be sick.

When one child falls ill, I’m usually pretty good at protecting everyone else in the household from getting sick. How? I immediately quarantine the child by sending him to his room, granting permission to leave only to use the bathroom. Everything he touches gets disinfected with Lysol or Clorox wipes. He is allowed, for this one occassion only, to break one of the golden house rules while he is serving his time in isolation, and that is to eat in his room. However, being allowed to break the rules doesn’t seem to make this unsolicited alone time a joyous affair. Unfortunately, it’s something I feel has to be done in order to prevent a widespread household epidemic. Right?

Usually, I’m good at spotting the warning sign very early on, but I don’t know how I allowed myself to be fooled by Monsieur G’s cold this time. I guess because it was so beguiling in appearance, hiding behind the symptoms of an allergy that I was so easily tricked. My guard was down, which made everyone in the household susceptible to this unseen enemy.

Well, reality hit Saturday morning at around seven when I was awakened by Monsieur D’s loud voice yelling, “Mom, he’s throwing up all over the place. It’s so gross!” Only then was I alerted to the virus’s true identity. Let me just tell you right now, I have a very weak stomach.  And now, the first thing I have to do in the morning is clean up vomit. A couple months ago, when Monsieur D’s nose met the toilet bowl after he slipped in the shower, there was blood every where. Once I ran upstairs and caught sight of the blood splattered walls, I freaked out! He tried to calm me down by telling me he was fine and that I didn’t have to worry because he would clean the blood off the floor, walls, toilet, and tub. Phew! Though it was a relief to hear, I felt really bad because I’m suppose to have it together, be the tough one when something like this happens. Needless to say, I feared what awaited me downstairs.

Thank heavens it wasn’t as bad as Monsieur D made it seem. Since Monsieur G had nothing but water in his system there was nothing too disgusting to clean up. I simply pulled out my mini carpet cleaner, went work, and presto.

In the back of my mind, I knew it was already too late to quarantine this kid and that there was a great possibility we would all get sick. You know what comes next?? The hubby and Monsieur D, so far, seem to have swam through contaminated waters unscathed, but as far as I and Mademoiselle are concerned…we weren’t so fortunate.  

Before I continue, let me tell you that Mademoiselle is a trooper. She’s not letting a little cold slow her down. But I, on the other hand, woke up this morning so very sick. I couldn’t even get out of bed. I laid there flat on my back as I talked on the phone with my grandmother. She told me I needed to make a tea with grapefruit, lemons, and onions. “Onions?” I asked. “That doesn’t sound appealing,” I added. “Trust me,” she said. “You’ll feel 100% better,” she continued.

I followed her instructions somewhat. I ate half of the grapefruit and cut the other half into slices before placing it into a small sauce pan along with slices of a whole lemon, and spring water. I let it bowl on low for an hour. I poured eight ounces of the liquid in a cup then allowed it to steep with a bag of echinacea elder tea for 15 minutes. The tea was actually tasty after I put a little honey in it. I had a bowl of chicken and wild rice soup in which I included a handful of raw onions and cayenne pepper (loaded with vitamin c). Yum!

While I’m not yet feeling one hundred percent, I feel a whole lot better than I did. The thing that seems to linger is a scratchy throat and a slight headache, but other than that I feel I will be able to prepare breakfast and a bag lunch for Monsieur D and take him to school; clean the kitchen, wash a load of clothes, put some clothes away, tend to Mademoiselle and Monsieur G (he’s doing a lot better, but I want to make sure he’s okay so he’s staying home today), finish typing up new rental agreements, make doctor’s appointments, coordinate a year end party for G’s lacrosse team, schedule a meeting with D’s teacher, help with homework, create a grocery list, learn a new program for producing the school’s weekly newsletter (my new position on the Parent Faculty Club, since when did they stop calling it the PTA), and everything else that goes along with being mama daily.


All Right, OK, You Win

For the past several months, I have successfully managed to drive by Jenny’s Beauty Supply and, I might add, without entertaining the thought of making a certain purchase. Yay, me!

That is…until yesterday.

My hair has been in its natural state for almost nine years now, but I’ve also struggled with styling my hair for every one of those years. I just cannot do it, and let’s not even mention how lazy I am when it comes to dealing with my ultra thick and super coarse mane. I just hate dealing with it, yet I’m still determined to remain natural. So, the easiest and less time consuming solution for me is to either wear braids, a scarf, or a wig

However, all that came to a screeching halt when I noticed my thinning hair line. I mean, it was pretty close to bald. I could definitely see a lot of scalp. My hair was shedding due to post-pregnancy hormonal changes. After I freaked out a little bit, I started using Miss Jessie’s Baby Buttercreme every day to keep my hair moisturized and laid off the braids and wigs in an effort to prevent any further damage. I really didn’t know what else to do until someone suggested I try Phyto’s Phytocyane for thinning hair.

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I asked this unknown woman several times if the product actually worked because I was a little apprehensive about shelling out $48, but she insisted it did. Well she convinced me! I immediately purchased a box, and I’m glad I did. My hair has made some progress and is now starting to thicken around the edges once again. I’ve also been using Kinky Curly’s Curling Custard. This product is a good detangler and it makes my hair more managable and a whole lot easier to put in a ponytail. I’ll write up a full review in a much later post, but until then you can read about Afrobella’s experience with Kinky Curly.

I know you’re probably waiting for me to tell you what possessed me to go into Jenny’s Beauty Supply, right? Okay, I get this email in my inbox, telling me that I still have a chance to purchase tickets to attend this designer shopping event that includes cocktails, a goodie bag filled with free beauty products, and 60% off designer clothes and jewelry. I got excited, invited a friend, and purchased the tickets.

I really want to be cute for this event tonight, but with two busy boys and Baby Mademoiselle, I know I’m not going to have enough time to wash my hair and I don’t want to wear a scarf. As I’m driving down the street with all this on my mind I finally say to myself, “All right, ok, you win, Jenny.” And, I marched through the front door, straight to the back, sat down, and tried on some wigs. Oh what the heck, I figure my hair has recovered and I definitely need a brand new hair-do.  

Yay, for a quick and easy no fuss hair style for a busy mama.

    


This Month…

Mademoiselle got her first tooth, while this may be an exciting event for most, it isn’t for a nursing mother. She and I battle daily over biting issues. Mademoiselle just doesn’t bite, she locks down like a pit bull in a dog fight. She finds it rather funny when I say in a stern voice, “Don’t do that!” 

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Of course, teething makes Mademoiselle very irritable, resulting in me not being able to get anything done. It’s been pretty frustrating for me. I long for the time when the boys get home from school and the DH makes an appearance after working all day so I can take a tiny break.

I say a tiny break because even though Mademoiselle hasn’t been herself lately, she’s still a joy to be around. She loves to laugh. In fact, whenever I or the hubby laugh out loud she starts laughing too as if she understood the joke. It’s the funniest thing. Also, she loves to bounce up and down without music.

I feel so sorry for my youngest son, Monsieur G. because he works Mademoiselle’s nerve and she has no shame in letting him know that by screaming at him. Sometimes when I pick him up from school, as soon as he get into the car she screams, letting him know not to even think about talking to her.

dscn0127.JPGMademoiselle also took her first ride on a swing a few days ago. I was suppose to be walking around the entire 3 mile lake, but got side-tracked by all the strollers parked in one area. I got excited when I saw what I thought were other moms playing with their little ones since it meant I would get a chance to engage in some adult conversation; however, after I sat on the swing with Mademoiselle in my lap I quickly realized that those women were not the actual parents, but the babysitters who were either Ethopian or Latina. I say this to say that I still was unable to have a conversation with either of them because they were sitting amongst themselves speaking in their native tongues. I felt like a fish out of water.

As I sat and observed the caregivers and how they interacted with each child, I realized that even though being a SAHM can be challenging, there is no place I’d rather be than home with my own child.

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