Step 1: Naked Baby—I let my little one run around and play naked while I intently and purposefully played with him and watched him for his signs and tells that he needed to potty. This was the hardest part for me because messes will happen. He pooped on the floor; he peed on the floor. He did it over and over again until I learned his signs and began to anticipate his pattern.
Step 2: Commando Baby—Then I had to put him in pants with not diaper and no underwear. The washing machine became my best friend. I contemplated buying more clothes for him because I felt like I couldn’t keep up, but I remained strong and focused that this time would pass. We stayed at home initially most of the time because I was afraid of what would happen outside. But I learned that we couldn’t stay locked in the house forever. I learned to pack extra clothes, and to monitor and time his fluids if we had a planned outing. I learned how to pull over on the side of the road and help him pee outside.
Step 3: Emerging Independence—it was so cute how after he started getting the hang of things he started wanting to help empty his own potty and wanted to flush the big commode. I eventually learned to let go while he carried the bowl to the bathroom. I learned to move the potty further away from me and allow him dignity and privacy (though he often calls me into the bathroom and often sits in the bathroom with me ??♀️)
Step 4: Growing in Steps—we tried moving his step stool to the big commode however with no handles I got worried about his turns and transitioning so I went to Amazon and bought Potty Toilet Trainer Seat with Step Stool Ladder. This has him using the adult commode like a champ!
I know that eventually I will need to teach him how to potty standing up and will need to work on night time potty training but as this process has taught me. Everything in its season! ?
As a parent and a single mom my life significantly changed with the arrival of my son but I will say I NEVER thought I’d have to change my face cleansing routine!
BONUS:::LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask:::
I love this sleep mask for my lips. I don’t know where it’s been all my life!!! I put it on at night and in the morning my lips as so kissably ? smooth.
As I go through the process of trying to rid my life of things that I no longer need I am surrounded by lots of things that I purchased in anticipation of my newborn that looking back almost 3 years later I never used or hardly used.
Here are my 5 top purchase regrets:
Hope this list is helpful on saving you from traveling down the road I did but if you are anything like me you might just do what I did. Read them, chuckle, and say…”I’ll be different she just didn’t know what she was doing” LOL! 😂🤦🏾♀️😂
While my house may be messy since my little one I’m still a neat freak at heart. I’ve SLOWLY been learning to embrace a state chaos and mess with earnest strive for organization.
I used my breakfast table as the hard surface and opened up the lawn trash bag and then taped it down to the table on the underside. That’s it! Really simple. Put the paint directly on the trash bag surface or on a plate. Then sit back and enjoy the wonderful chaos and beautiful mess that follows. When the paint session is done use wipes to wipe down not only your toddler but also the trash bag and your surface is ready to go again.
I hope that this DIY hack works as well for you as it has for me. Let the painting and mess begin! 💚👨🏾🎨
It was my birthday so you know I had to go into the closet and create a special look or two 😘. This year my birthday plans were pretty low key. I had lunch with a “friend” and dinner with my awesome family so I only needed two outfit changes.
For my late lunch outfit I drew inspiration from @GarnerStyle. However $300 dollar jeans were not in my budget. Thanks to Lane Bryant I was able to find something comparable in my price range. I’m wearing an 18P because ya girl is “shorty by nature”. I’m thinking about getting another pair in non-petite size to have a wider cuff. What do you think?
The top was courtesy from my closet from long ago. I’m not sure where I got it from but you can get a similar look here. I accessorized the outfit with a necklace from Zulily and earrings I’ve had for years. I pulled the necklace into the look with a cute and surprisingly comfortable pair shoes from Target and a lovely MKF purse from Zulily (don’t sleep on Zulily). But if you slept on Zulily here is a comparable purse also at Target that you can get while you pick up the shoes 😁
Summer time has come and the pools have opened up! It’s the time for skin exposure. Getting my wardrobe ready for summer is fun and this year it called for new swimsuits. This year I decided to step out of my comfort zone and look for a two piece 👙. While I technically I have worn a two piece in the past it’s usually been a tankini style to cover my belly and rolls of fat. This year I vowed not to purchase a tankini and to purchase a true two piece and become more comfortable with my new body. On my hunt I found 2–one that was sporty and one that was sexy. I was done but a surprising one-piece suit caught my eye and begged to to be worn 😇
Now I think all I need is a splash of water 💦, a martini 🍸, and a man to fan me and I’m all set. 🥰
What the heck! No wonder I went into a slight depression when I took my newborn son home. Here I am charged with raising a child on my own. Which I was all fire ready and prepared to do and now I have a son the the haunting sound in the back of my mind was that you “cannot raise a man on your own”. I prayed nightly and daily for strength. Finally my prayers were answered through a conversation that I had with another mother. She asked me to write down what attributes that I looked for in a good man.
So let me start off by saying that I am not your doctor. I am not advocating that you follow what I do. Let me also state that as parents our job is hard, the decisions we make for our family is even harder and while you may not agree with my decision I ask that you respect my choice to make it...if you can’t do that then this blog post is not for you so you may just want to skip this one but hopefully you’ll come back for my other content 😃
I stopped putting him in the bassinet and put him in the bed with me and my mother—she was sleeping with me at the time to help me🤦🏾♀️. In an effort to try to be as safe as possible in my decision my mother suggested that I buy an Owlet. For those who have not heard of this product let me give you a quick rundown. It’s a device that goes on your little ones foot that tracks their oxygen saturation and heart rate. If there is abnormal readings based on set parameters it will alert you and it will also alarm on your cell phone if you have it programmed. While this device is not intended to be used in the manner that I did; it did bring me peace of mind and helped me rest a bit easier with my little on by my side.
As Jeremy got better with latching it made breastfeeding easier. As he got older he would find the nipple all on his own and I would wake up to his suckling 🤱🏽. Now that he’s weaned from breastfeeding we co-sleep for necessity due to out inter generational living situation (i.e. I’m staying with my parents house—stay tuned for a vlog about that 🤣).
However, I also continue to co-sleep because it gave me a bit more time with him as a working mother with late hours. The freedom to hug, kiss, and pray over him during the night all from the comfort of my bed is a joy. For me waking up to hear him laugh in his sleep is reward from the months of being awakened by him crying needing to be fed and changed and cuddled. Laying in the bed with my eyes clothes while he stirs is such s joy. It’s so cute to experience all the different moods and ways he wakes up. Sometimes he wakes up because of a bad dream. Other times he wakes up with a “Hello! How are you?” as he turns uses his hands to force my eyelids open.
Now of course I miss being able to sprawl and sleep all over the king sized bed by myself. I miss relaxing and sleeping in lazily. I miss getting up and going to the bathroom without fear of arousing him (he’s a light sleeper at times). I miss having the pillows and covers to myself. I definitely could do without the intermittent foot kicks to my belly and occasionally my face when he turns to lay perpendicular to me 👣👶🏾. I miss watching the news first thing in the morning in favor of watching Paw Patrol and learning all about what is going on in Afventure Bay 🤦🏾♀️.
While I would not recommend co-sleeping for everyone I will say that it was the best decisions for me and my family. I would advocate for always operating in what’s best for your family mode, taking care to try and mitigate possible pitfalls with decisions that go against the grain and always be prepared and educated in regards to the risks that you are taking. While I’m sure I’m making some cringe I hope I empower and support others who have made this difficult choice and feel judged by others for their decisions.
It’s fast approaching…Mother’s Day. I used to think that it was over commercialized and not necessary because isn’t every day a day for a mother???!!!! Heck no!!! After having my little one I realized that there are very few days that are for mothers and sometimes even Mother’s Day is not for mothers.
A lot of us are hoping to be asked what we want for Mother’s Day because we know that the people in our lives have no clue about what we want or really need for Mother’s Day because if they did—Mother’s Day would be more a frequent occurrence than just once a year.
However, I know some are still not going to ask because then there would be no “surprise”. So here are some suggestions I have based on some of the mothers that are in my life. While mothers are typically a great meld of many different strengths hopefully this will spark inspiration depending on the “type” of mother you are celebrating:
THE TIRED MOTHER:
For this mother I would suggest a dinner out at her favorite restaurant (NOT ON MOTHER’S DAY) because as we all know service on Mother’s Day tends to suck and the restaurants are packed. Another option if she has expressed interest (that’s where it pays to listen) is a cooking class. If funds are a factor try cooking her favorite meal—just make sure you clean up the kitchen after you wine and dine her. 😉 Another present that’s is sure to please would be a coupon book (yep it’s been done before) but this would be coupons for free cleanup of the kitchen, free help in the kitchen, or even a coupon for breakfast or dinner in bed.
THE CREATIVE/ARTISTIC MOTHER:
Creativity is a must for most mothers, as we creatively juggle a 36 hour day worth of activities into a 24 hour day. This mother however had a penchant for making things, or repurposing items and making arts projects. She may even have a side business centered around something she makes or does-like a blog, book, bath salt bombs, soaps, lotions , or hair products. She is always ready to see the potential in mess and clutter. She is the one that the kids run to for last minute projects that are due and she is always able to make something work.
THE SINGLE MOTHER:
Time alone is typically at the top of this mom’s list. Just a moment to void in peace, actually take a bath/shower without racing through to beat the little ones from destroying the house or fighting with each other. A night out with the friends, time to curl up with one of the many good books on her nightstand table that she has every good intention of reading but can’t stay awake long enough to get past page 3. This mother would probably like most mothers love the gift of a photoshoot with her children as she is typically found behind the camera and rarely in front of the camera during memorable times.
THE ORGANIZED MOTHER:
Whatever you do...DO NOT buy her an organizer! You will likely get the wrong kind. With all the things she juggles in the air she is likely putting herself last as most mothers/parents due. Giving her an opportunity to put herself first would be a great gift. Shuttling the little ones to play dates, the library, sleep overs, etc would be an awesome gift. This mom also might love a massage, pedicure, manicure, or all-in-one spa day.
I hope you found inspiration in the paragraphs above for gift giving to that special mother in your life. Good luck and give your mother a hug for me on her special day!
Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” — Frederick Douglass.
Education has always been a core fundamental principle in my family and one that I strive to instill in my son. When I found out I was pregnant I was ecstatic. One of the first things I purchased for my little one was a book. (The actual first thing I purchased for my baby was a set of onesies with Star Trek themes as a way to announce my pregnancy to my father).
I constantly search for books for my little one that will appeal to him, grow his vocabulary, and provide him with new exposures and cultures. I also look for books where he can find himself represented and reflected in the stories. It is so important for me that the stories be authentic and imaginative. I don’t look for the stereotypical story about slavery, segregation, and black historical figures I search beyond that. I search and long for stories that will engage my son and spark his imagination, cultivate his sense of wonderment.
Here are a few that I’ve collected:
THE KING OF TOO MANY THINGS
A LULLABY OF SUMMER THINGS
WHOSE KNEES ARE THESE
THE WORLD IS AWAKE
Embracing my imperfection and striving for perfection through grace.