Parenting With Intention

Over the last several weeks, I have been talking with parents about parenting and being intentional in the methods that they use to parent their children. I know that some people just mimic the tools and methods that their parents used to raise them, but what worked for them may not necessaily be what’s best for you and your child. Thus, I wanted to cover some ways that we could be intentional parents.

Figure out what works: I was raised on beatings. I was beat for just about any type of defiance. But that method didn’t work for me because I still did what I wanted to. The minute that I knew I could get away with something, I did it. I did NOT want that to be the same for myc hildren so I made the intentional and conscious decision to talk to my children about their actions BEFORE I punished them, and made the punishment fit the crime. For exmaple: my son loves to snack but doesn’t always finish his food. So if we sit to eat and he claims that he doesn’t want to finish his meal, we talk about WHY he doesn’t want to eat, and I let him know that if he doesn’t finish 80% of his food, he can’t have any snacks for the rest of the day. Or if one of the kids hits/pushes/talks mean to one another, we talk about WHY they felt the need to do that particular thing, and their punishment would be maybe they can’t participate in an activity that I am doing at the moment or they can’t get on their iPad for 30 minutes. Hitting my children is not my first option, and I was intentional on making sure that I created other routes to discpline my children.

Create a routine: with everyone having a busy schedule, sometimes it can be difficult to create a steady routine for and with your kids. But it is necessary! Even if your schedule is subjected to only the weekends, this gives your child(ren) the ability to count on you. This is extremely important! It allows us to teach our children that they can rely on us and other adults. Plus, it allows us the ability to spend time with our children. I know that I get out of work early at least 1 day a week, so on that day every week I do something fun with the kids. We cook together, go to the park, watch movies while eating popcorn- something. The kids know that they can count on me to pick them up from school and spend time with them. They look forward to it, and if it doesn’t happen I hear about it. We also have chores in the house that have to be completed on certain days. The kids started off not being too happy about that so I made it fun. We do the chores together, sing songs, play music, and dance around. It teaches the children responsibility and accountability- if their chore isn’t completed then they do not get their iPad. We haven’t has an issue yet.

Teach and reinforce healthy habits: my children have been subject to verbal, mental, and psychological abuse so I made the decision to put them in therapy. I also used that as a way to open uo communication with them about everything. We talk about feelings, how our day went, what bothers us about the other (my daughter had a rather long list of things that mommy does that she doesn’t like) and how to better handle situations when they arise. I was extremely intentional about talking to them about everything, specifically because when I was growing up I bottled everything. By the time I was 21, I was a walking/ticking time bomb. I did not want my children to have to deal with that pressure, anxiety, and stress, so we talk everything out. My daughter will probably tell you that I talk too much. I encourage the children to use different methods in handling issues (solving problems, tying shoes, figuring out why the tv stopped working, etc.). Our motto is “can’t isn’t a word- you CAN do anything, you just have to try”. The kids know that we don’t have to yell to get our point across, we don’t have to be mad if something doesn’t go our way, it’s ok to not always be the center of attention. Oh- and we hug and kiss for everything. I think I did that too much because now the kids won’t stop hugging me. My daughter tried to come into the shower to hug me this morning. Lol. We hug things out, we kiss to show affection, and we encourage each other daily.

Don’t be so hard on yourself: contrary to public misconceptions, there is no rule book to parenting. You do not have to do things the way your parents did, the way your brother/sister does, the way your friends do. Parent the way that works best FOR YOU! One thing that I learned in my 6 years of parenting is that everyone’s opinions don’t mean shit to me. I’m the person that has to be home with my children and deal with the consequences of my parenting style. The tantrums, the yelling, the doors being slammed- they are all directed towards ME. So I learned that only I could figure out how to coach these little people to be good, honest, caring, and well mannered little brats. Do I always get it right? Nope. There are days where I lay down and think “girl- you really could’ve handled that better earlier”. There are days when I know that if I sleep too hard my daughter is going to come into my room and smother me with a pillow while I’m asleep. And there are days when my kids make me feel like I am absolutely crushing this mom thing. But every single day I try to be the best parent and role model to them. And that’s all that matters!

Parenting isn’t easy. It’s never been easy, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. But I am always here for advice and an ear if you need it. And you can go to my podcast to listen to some insights and tips on how to try some new tips on parenting. You can find it here: https://kishnaj.buzzsprout.com or you can look up “Balancing Life & Kids” on any podcasting platform: Apple Podcats, Spotify, iHeart Radio, or Google podcasts.

As always, be legendary QUEENS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Home Staging Tips for Busy Parents on a Budget

Selling a home is a lot of work on its own, but when you’ve got a small budget to work with and kids at your heels, prepping your home for sale can feel like a never-ending nightmare. But it’s far from impossible! Although you may not be able to remodel your kitchen or install a new roof, there are several budget-friendly methods you can use to sell your home more quickly and for a better price.

Stage Your Home for Showings

Staging your home for sale is one of the most important things you can do to influence potential buyers. While working with a professional could cost you thousands, if you do it on your own, it’s cheap! Before staging your home, visit some open houses in your area to get an idea how other sellers are staging their homes. While staging goes far beyond cleaning and redecorating, purchasing a few new items can help you add those little touches needed to make your home feel move-in ready. For example, you may want to pick up some new bathroom towels or some elegant candles from affordable retailers like Kohl’s. Just be sure to grab some coupons before you shop online to stretch your dollar even further, and if possible, shop when they’re having one of their beloved clearance sales.

Remove Clutter, and Make a Cleaning Plan

An important part of home staging is decluttering and deep cleaning. You want to turn your home into a blank slate in which potential buyers can picture their own lives. Plus, decluttering your possessions means you won’t have to spend money moving them—you may even make some money by selling them!

According to Early Bird Mom, there are a few key areas to focus on during your decluttering. First of all, remove anything that is personal, such as collections, family photos, and quirky décor. Take care of excess furniture that’s crowding your space and making your rooms feel smaller than they are. Don’t forget to declutter your storage spaces as well—overflowing closets give the impression that the home lacks storage. Get your kids to help out by sorting through their own possessions as they pack up their rooms.

Since it can be difficult to maintain a clean home for showings with kids running around, keep some items in strategic places around the house for last-minute cleanups. Position a couple of empty bins in a closet where you can quickly stash toys, clothing, papers, and other items lying around the home. Also, ask your family to use only one bathroom so the others stay clean for showings.

Make Cost-Effective Upgrades

Once you’ve given your home a thorough cleaning, consider making a few low-cost upgrades. Luckily, some of the most affordable home upgrades have the highest ROI for sellers. Give every room in your home a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color to boost your sale price—keep an eye out for weekly ads from home improvement stores like Lowe’s to pick up your paint at a bargain rate. If your carpets are looking a little too tattered to fix with a cleaning, replace them with cheap vinyl or laminate flooring. Additionally, replacing the hardware in your kitchen and bathroom will give these areas an instant modern upgrade. You may also want to replace light fixtures that look outdated.

Improve Your Curb Appeal

Finally, make your way outside. Of course, the exterior of your house is the first thing potential buyers will see. Good curb appeal can help your home sell more quickly and for a higher price. Fortunately, optimizing your curb appeal can be accomplished on any budget, and it’s a great way to get your whole family working together in the fresh air.

Start by tidying up your yard and front entrance, removing clutter and refreshing the paint on your door. Ensure your grass is uniform—you can fix bare patches by planting grass seed a few weeks before the first showing. Remove dead bushes, incorporate new plants into your landscaping, and add attractive mulch to your flower beds. For more budget-friendly ideas, check out this article from HGTV.

When your home is up for sale, keeping the place spotless is essential. Fortunately, decluttering, cleaning, and making a few affordable upgrades can go a long way toward finding a buyer. If time just isn’t on your side, get your kids involved in the tidying and staging processes. This may be the perfect opportunity to teach your kids valuable life lessons and make lasting memories!

Guest post by: Kris Louis

This Is Depression….

I woke up and just laid in the bed. I had to force myself to roll over and try to get up. I didn’t want to, I didn’t want to move. But I had to get the kids up for school and I didn’t have anyone to help me in the morning. I coached myself; move your left leg, then your right, then your arms. Sit up, stand up, now walk. I walked past the bathroom because I just didn’t have the energy to brush my teeth in that moment. I went into my daughters room, took a deep breath, then smiled as I proceeded to try to wake her up with kisses and a song. I repeated the same act for my son, sent them to the bathroom t brush their teeth and wash their face, and I laid back down on the bed. I was exhausted and the day hadn’t even started yet.

I was living 2 lives- 1 where I smiled at everyone and tried my best to act as if I was ok and 1 where I didn’t want to get out of the bed, eat, sleep, or do anything. I was always physically in pain, and I couldn’t sleep so I was always tired. I didn’t cook. The kids ate leftovers that I pilfered from someone’s house or frozen foods that I purchased for this specific reason. They didn’t seem to know- they always smiled and jumped on me and kissed me like everything was ok. Or maybe they did and I was just too depressed to notice. At that time, they always wanted to sleep in the bed with me and always wanted to sit next to me and hug/kiss me. But I didn’t want the affection, I just wanted to be left alone so I would always tell them to go play somewhere else and not to bother me. Of course they didn’t listen, but I didn’t have enough energy to yell at them to I just let them play.

I cried myself to sleep most nights. I couldn’t figure out how to climb out of this hole. I couldn’t figure out why someone would want to hurt me, would want to scare me, why someone would want to tarnish my name and ruin my brand. Of course I know the answer is because people are cruel but that didn’t stop me from struggling with this intense weight that was on my shoulders. I woke up everyday checking the whole house to make sure things were the way that I left it. I peeked out the window to make sure there wasn’t anything or anyone waiting for me. I looked over my shoulder when I walked to work. I was scared to be in my own house, and I was scared to leave out of it. I was in a lose-lose situation.

I lost weight. I couldn’t eat anything, and I had no appetite. My hair was shedding. I started to break out with pimples and blackheads. I was moody and grumpy. And whenever I stepped out of the house I plastered a smile on my face and made everything seem like it was ok. I tried to put a smile in my voice, and I did my best to hide what I was going through. After I was able to pull myself out of my depression, I asked my mom and my partner if they knew that I was depressed and they said no, they didn’t have a clue. I guess I did a good job at hiding it. Being a mom while dealing with depression was almost impossible. There was no way for me to completely come out of my depression to provide the kids with attention and affection. It took too much energy. The kids often went to bed early because I was tired and needed to sleep. The kids fetched their own foods to eat (thankfully lunchables and fruits were always readily available for them). They learned to take baths independently, and they often put themselves to bed. I used all of the little bit of energy that I had during the day at work and I had barely any left to be a mom.

I woke up one day and said “I”m done!” I was tired of being physically in pain. I was tired of not having the energy to be a mom. I was tired of being scared to be in my own house. No- my situation didn’t change. I was still under an immense amount of stress, and I was still dealing with the foolishness of the father of my children. But I made up my mind to not focus on all of the negative things that I was dealing with, rather to focus on the fact that I had children to raise and a business to run. 2019 was probably the hardest year for me emotionally, and many friendships suffered because of it. My business suffered, my cashflow suffered. I distanced myself from almost everyone because I just needed to find my peace. Of course, many people had issues and took it personally, but my mental sanity was more important to me than someone’s ego.

I was able to pull myself out of a hole. But it wasn’t easy. In fact, it was almost impossible. It took an immense amount of willpower and dedication to change my thinking and my outlook on the situation. And therapy. Talking to a therapist really helped me put things into perspective and understand that my situation wouldn’t last forever, and that I needed to start looking at tomorrow instead of focusing so much on today and right now. I HIGHLY recommend a therapist if you are suffering from depression (whether situational or clinical). I also recommend that you find help with your children. Suffering with depression is already hard enough; having to be a parent on top of it (ESPECIALLY a single parent) makes it unbearable. Find someone that you trust to take the kids for a while and allow you time to decompress as much as possible and try to relieve some of the pain that your body is feeling. I was in extreme physical pain when I was going through depression, so soaking in a bath helped me a lot. Massages did also. I didn’t attempt to keep up the same workload while I was suffering through my depression. It wasn’t going to happen. I was barely able to read 5 emails, let alone complete a grant or application. If I was able to complete 5 email, I was productive. Small and simple tastes are ok, and build up your energy until you can get better and go back to your normal routine. Give yourself a break and time to get better. It may take a week, and it may take a year. But allow yourself the time and opportunity to get better.

Depression is real, and depression can severely abrupt your life. Do what you need to get yourself better.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

New Yea, New Tings!

I am so excited to be announcing something new to you all! I have been going back and forth on whether or not I should start a podcast. It was something that I have been thinking about for several months, but wasn’t sure if it would be a good fit for me. Then, I had a few people reach out to me and let me know how much my blog has helped them deal with a situation, or how refreshing it is to have someone be so open and honest about parenting and dealing with the kids at home. I realized that I was helping people. That was my pushing point.

I’ve always wanted to help people- that’s why I work in youth development and it was why I did direct care for years. Talking about my experiences has helped people, so why not broaden that platform? I am super excited about this venture. I’ve decided to not only do a podcast, but to record it as well and put it on YouTube. There will be plenty of ways to get what I am giving!

I have updated my website to include a space where the podcasts will be easy to access and listen to, but they will also be uploaded to iTunes, Spotify, and Soundcloud. And the YouTube channel will be live under Kishna J.

If you would like to be a guest on the podcast, please drop me a line! I would love to have you! In the meantime, check out my Facebook page where you can get a clip of one of the interviews. Just go to Facebook and look up Kishna J.!

Thank you all for reading my blogs, sharing my posts, and leaving such inspiring comments and notes! This is all possible because of you!

Happy Sunday!

Sex After Kids

Having a baby is one of the most amazing experiences in the world. Being able to give life is something I think that every mother should experience if they are capable. But what happens when you’re now a mom who has a little person on your tail with a husband or a boyfriend who’s starting to feel neglected? Or a vagina that starts to crave attention?

Having sex is a joyous act- at least, it used to be. Once I started having little people it became like a game of chess. When, where, for how long, how loud can I be- these are all questions that now have to be answered just to get a little dick action. And for a lot of women, their sex drive decreases and they can’t get wet. I can’t count how many times a mom has told me that she just doesn’t want to have sex anymore because it hurts or she’s too tired. Ladies: WE NEED TO GET OUR SEX ON! I am a huge advocator of sex, especially as a parent. Because if you can’t find any peace in your house, you gotta grab some. And sex is the perfect way to grab even just a small portion of peace. And dick. Let’s talk about it!

  1. Play with yourself! Get to know your vagina and your clitoris. Start off small- buy water-based lubrication. Go right to Walmart and get the KY Water-Based Gel lube (or the Walmart brand version for a couple of bucks cheaper). Pop the protective shield off, squirt some on a CLEAN finger! (because I’ve made the mistake of eating spicy hot wings, wiping my hands with the cleaning wipes, then deciding that I was horney and not actually washing my hands and almost ended up in the emergency room) and get to exploring. Or use a detachable shower head and spend a little extra time washing off your vagina area. You know, just to make sure she’s clean. Or you can buy a “bullet” vibrator from Amazon. You won’t need the lube, just a battery, and place it ever so gently against your clitoris until you’ve reached your satisfaction. Trust me- you’ll be happy that you did!
  2. Go on dates with your partner! One of the issues why sex and intimacy start to fade after a child is because the time spent being intimate with your partner decreases (sometimes even fading!). Bring back that oneness, that togetherness, make each other feel valued and important again. Alone time with other adults is important but alone time with your partner is crucial. Laugh, talk, cry, and learn each other again. It will make sex that much more special.
  3. Get some ME time (or in this case, YOU time)! Yes- you are an awesome mom but you need a break. Pack some clothes, diapers, wipes, bottles, toys, food- whatever. Pack it up for ALL of your kids and send them off somewhere. You need a break. You won’t feel sexy if you’re always tired and chasing after a kid. You need to sleep because no man wants a woman who’s going to lazily throw that ass back. Rest, take a long hot bath, light some candles, and relax. Get back your energy. Then throw something sexy on, do your hair and makeup, drink some wine, and fall in love with yourself again. You’ll be way more comfortable and way more open to sex once you are rested. You’ll have the energy too.
  4. If all else fails, watch some porn! I myself don’t particularly like porn but I have plenty of videos between myself and my ex-lover that we used to pass back and forth. Those always get me in the mood to be frisky. Mostly because I love watching myself have sex. Hey- kids didn’t stop my sex drive, what can I say? Record yourself! Even if you’re just dancing in the mirror- do something sexy and record it so that you can watch it later. Or record some porn. Something that definitely turns you on and will definitely get you in the mood.

The whole goal of this is to have sex! Release your body from the everyday stress of being a mom, and let go of pent up tension, aggression, and whatever else you are holding in your body. Sure, you could go to the gym and just work out but it won’t feel as good and it won’t bring you closer to your partner. Sex not only helps YOU out, but it brings you closer to your significant other, allows you to have a healthier relationship with the people around you (because if you are clear-headed, you can approach situations differently), it will help you burn calories, and it’ll at the very least give you a break from the kids. Whether it’s for 2 minutes or 45, that’s time spent in pure pleasure.

Oh- and have sex when you’re angry. I know that almost every woman that I know says the complete opposite, but that’s when I have sex the most. I can be in the middle of an argument with my partner and I’ll just blurt out “come fuck me right now!” Why? Because 1- the argument probably is something that can easily be solved if we both take our emotions out of it (which sex will help with), 2- now I am frustrated and angry and need to release all of my anger (which sex will help with), and 3- that allows me to gain back power and control over the situation and the argument because me down on my knees with my man’s penis in my mouth, his balls in one hand, and his nipple in between my fingers will get me whatever I want.

I could go a lot further into detail, but we’ll leave this post as PG-18 as possible. Have sex, I know I will. Matter of fact, let me call my boy toy now. I’ll catch up with you moms (and dads) later.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Surviving My 6-Year-Old Daughter

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Six years ago when I found out that I was having a daughter, I was the happiest mother-to-be in the world. I thought “this is going to be so much fun! I can dress her up in tutu’s, braid her hair, making her look so cute all the time!” While that has been true for the most part, no one prepared me for the monster that is clothed as a young girl.

My daughter is amazing! She’s extremely smart, very friendly, can hold a conversation, loves to try new things, dances and sings like she’s a rockstar (even though she can’t hold a tune or twirl to save her life) and she loves to help me cook and clean around the house. This very same amazing daughter of mine rolls her eyes at me, talks back, disobeys my orders, talks with her hands, and defies my orders. Blatantly. Then lies about it to my face. I don’t remember signing up for this part of parenting. To make matters worse, she is a big sister. Well, more like she’s a big terror to him. And nothing that I try works in getting ger to be nicer to him.

So, you’re probably saying “it can’t be that bad!” Well, let me tell you a few stories about this beautiful little monster of mine. Story 1: both of the kids were laying on my king-sized pillow top mattress bed (because the fact that I bought them their OWN pillow-top beds to lay on and their own 65″ PROJECTOR tv to watch means absolutely nothing) watching a movie. The boy was jumping up and down and irritated the princess. His toy fell, so he asked her to move her leg so that he can get it. She moved her leg alright- when he tried to go over her, she lifted her leg and tripped him. He went tumbling down off the bed and busted his lip. There was blood everywhere. When I asked her why she did it, she replied “he was bothering me. He should’ve gone another way down.” Story 2: just a few days ago, I sat her down to braid her hair. I had to take out her old braids to do new braids because she had school the next day. As I am taking the ballies out of her hair, small chunks of hair are coming out with it. I paused, thought for a second (because just the night before we had an incident with scissors) and asked her “did you cut your hair?!” She replies “yea, I felt like I needed a trim.” Very plainly and matter-of-factly. Then she turns around and continues to watch tv. Meanwhile, I’m sitting behind her wondering how long it would take for someone to notice that her body is missing.

I love being a mom! But my daughter can be an asshole. LMAO! I was always told that if a child is well behaved while they are young, they’ll be hell when they get into their teen years and if a child is hell when they are young, they’ll be amazing as a teenager. I have absolutely no clue if that is true or not, but I do know that I cannot take this sassy little thing growing into her teen years like this. I’ve already been prepping my mom to know that she will have a live-in teenager if she grows with this mini ‘tude that she has. Even my mom sees it now- the other day she told her nana “what do you want to talk to me about so badly?” When she told me what my daughter said, I instantly burst into laughter. I’ve been telling her about my daughter for a while now, so now she gets to see live and in person what a little brat this kid can be. What makes matters even worse is the fact that she’s me! She is a miniature version of me! And I cannot stand it! One time I asked her to do something and she gave me the smartest rudest answer ever! But it was an intelligent response that was filled with logic and rationality! And she’s only 6! I was stuck- I couldn’t even answer her back and in my mind, I’m thinking “this little heffer really just got over on me!” LMAO!

She makes it really hard to deal with her sometimes, then she does small things like come up to me and tell me how much of a great mother I am, or she’ll snuggle up next to me while we’re watching a movie. Or she’ll come home with a homemade card and I’ll be this superhero mom that always saves her day. I have no idea if I should be sleeping with one eye open or if she’s doing a pre-puberty-lets-see-how-much-estrogen-I-can-pump-out-before-I-turn-10 thing. I don’t have this issue with my son. My biggest issue with him is that he keeps eating everything out of my damn house and he is the most active little person that I have ever encountered in my life. Make that strong-willed and active. There’s nothing worse than a 5-year-old who’s determined to try to find a way to slide down the steps on his tiny toy race car track while watching his iPad on his way to go rob my snack cabinet. The number of toys that I have tripped over and the numerous wrappers that I’ve found around the house are enough to warn me that we’re going to have at least 2 hospital visits before he turns 18 and that I need to make my budget for groceries a lot higher. I can handle those issues. My daughter on the other, sometimes I have to double-check her birth certificate to make sure that she really is only 6 years old.

I’ve made it this far people! We’ve made it to 6 glorious years in which I haven’t given her up for adoption. Or at least, sent her to go live with my mom. I was on the phone with my mom the other day and I said “mom, please tell me that she’ll get better as she gets older”, and she said, “I can’t make any promises”. Great. Just freaking great. And I’m not one of those parents that kick their child out at 18, so if she decides to stay home while going to college… Lord, please let this just be a phase that she’ll grow out of; PLEASE!! I am absolutely in love with the little person that I created. But sometimes, she’s a little shit. A smart, pretty, helpful little shit, but a little shit nonetheless. I guess that means that I’m a big shit huh, since she literally acts just like me. Oh God- now I need to re-evaluate my lifestyle choices and somehow be less of a shit so that she can follow that example. LMAO. Please provide me with tips because I can’t take very much more of this!

*Disclaimer* This blog post was made in FUN and HUMOR!! Yes, dealing with a daughter that has a mini ‘tude is frustrating, but I wanted to bring humor to it. Please- no radical comments about how I shouldn’t be a mother if I feel this way because you’re a mother that struggles with your kids as well. Parenting isn’t perfect nor is it always pretty flowers and sunshine so if you don’t deal with THIS particular issue, just laugh and keep it moving. Thanks love!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary MOMS!

-tootles!

xoxo

For The Love Of My Belly

I am a mom of 2 amazing children. They aren’t amazing every day, but overall they do a good job maintaining that title. What wasn’t amazing was the state in which they left my stomach. It’s been 5 years since I gave birth to my last child, but it has been a struggle to get my stomach to go back to a size that I am comfortable with.

Now, if I am being honest, my work schedule doesn’t always allow me the opportunity to work out and stay active the way that I would like. And my stress and eating habits aren’t always the best. I could probably do a lot better with eating healthier and working out more. With that being said, I am not big. I still maintain a slim-ish figure and I am in a healthy shape. But pregnancy destroyed my stomach. I’m talking stretch marks, stretched skin, stretched everything!

I often had people ask me if I was carrying twins in my stomach because it was so big. Now, I am very self-conscious about it. I wear loose-fitting clothes to try to hide it, I wear high-waisted jeans, and wearing 2-piece bikinis in the summer is out of the question. Realistically my stomach probably isn’t that bad, but in my head, I look pregnant again. And I hate it. I have been to the gym (until I found out that I had arthritis in BOTH of my knees and had to stop) but I didn’t see any change in my stomach. Everywhere else toned up nicely, but the baby belly still stayed. This fupa-pouch is a determined little sucker.

This issue played on my self-esteem. I’m not fit enough to wear certain outfits, my stomach is too big to be attractive, people are going to think that I’m pregnant. These are all thoughts that constantly swam around in my head. Then, I met someone who completely changed that. After 2 years of giving birth to my last child and dealing with this belly issue, someone walked into my life and changed the way I looked at myself. He knew I wasn’t too thrilled with the way it looked and always went out of his way to kiss my belly, hold my belly, and tell me how beautiful I looked without any clothes on. He took me out of my own head and showed me how beautiful I was despite what I thought about myself. His favorite line was “but you gave birth to 2 kids and you still look sexy as shit”. He would get mad at me for calling myself fat, would hate when I wore a waist trainer, and always snuck me snacks and foods. He didn’t see anything wrong with how I looked, so why did I? Let’s not mention the fact that my kids think that my “squishy” belly is the best toy in the house. I told my daughter that I was going to cut my belly off and she became visibly sad. I asked her why and she responded, “now I won’t have anything to lay on when we’re having movie night”. I had to quickly run out of the room and burst into laughter.

I say all of this to say 2 things. 1- we put way too much pressure on how we are supposed to look. We pluck, tweeze, squeeze, pinch, prod, and cover up a body that literally brings life into the world. We are amazing people and we need to accept and love our bodies. And 2- get out of your head! We tend to think the worst of ourselves, and if something is wrong and you really don’t like it, make a change. You are worth it, and then some. So stop limiting yourself, and go out and get it done! No one will ever love you more than you love yourself, so make you sure you fall in love with YOU over and over again!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Pregnancy And Nausea

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Being pregnant was something that I never thought that I would experience. I was overjoyed when I found out that I was pregnant. I didn’t care if I was having a girl or boy or alien- I was just excited to be bringing in life. Then, the symptoms hit me and I wasn’t so overjoyed anymore.

Both of my pregnancies caught me by surprise, but the pregnancy with my daughter gave me a run for my money. I was pregnant for almost 8 weeks before I found out, but the minute the pregnancy was confirmed my body started acting up. And I mean something MAJOR! At the time, I was living with my ex. I couldn’t stand the smell of him, of his cooking, of his cologne- nothing. I could not be anywhere where someone was cooking because it would make me throw up. I couldn’t eat or drink anything because it would make me throw up. If you looked at me for too long I would throw up! *Ok, that was an exaggeration, but you get the point.* This was my first ever pregnancy so I didn’t know if it was normal or not so I didn’t say anything to my doctor. But I couldn’t keep anything down. And I could only eat 1 thing- fried chicken wings PLAIN! No sauce, no salt, no seasoning. And I could NOT be in the house while it was being cooked. (I specifically remember the one time the kids’ father was cooking it for me and I had to go into the bedroom, open up all the windows, and put towels under the door just so I wouldn’t smell it. I think I even lit a candle to mask the smell. It was BAD!) And if it wasn’t fried hard- if the skin was any type of soft or mushy- I was throwing up. This means that I couldn’t eat any wings from the Chinese store, the corner store, the restaurant- none of them. Why- because the oil had flavor on it and guess what? I would throw up. You could imagine that this made it very difficult for me, my ex, and anyone else who was around me at the time. It got to a point where my doctor became concerned because I lost a total of 30 pounds within the first 4-5 months of my pregnancy.

Finally, my OB stepped in and was like “I think you’re having a problem keeping foods down, so let’s try something”. Or something like that, I don’t remember exactly but come on this should’ve been a red flag the minute I didn’t gain ANY weight within the first few months. (Ok, in his defense I also had other medical issues that we were dealing with like panic attacks, heart murmurs, fainting and dizzy spells…. Yeah- my daughter was a little pain in my side since the womb. Let’s not even mention how she made my hair fall out…) Where was I? Oh- the cure. This tiny little minty pill called Zofran that saved my life! One pill on my tongue, let it dissolve, and I could eat again. Pizza, mozzarella sticks, legume with red rice and beans, lemon pepper chicken wings- you name it, I now could eat it. I think I might have kissed my doctor at the next appointment. Lol. I started holding food down and gaining weight. I lost 30 pounds but I only gained back 20. I didn’t care though- I could eat! And my favorite things to eat were vanilla milkshakes from Crown Fried Chicken and a Haitian meal called lalo. I could eat it with white rice, red rice and beans, bread, by its self, with avocado- you name it, I was eating the lalo with it.

If you are feeling nauseous during your pregnancy, ASK YOUR DOCTOR FOR ZOFRAN! It will save your life and your eating habits. Thank me later. (They really need to add emoji’s into this thing!)

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Snackin in Peace!

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As a mom of 2 younger children, my house stays stocked up with snacks. The rule is as long as you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner you can snack as much as you want. I just never thought that meant that I wouldn’t be allowed to have my own snacks anymore…

I have recently found myself eating my snacks while hiding. Or when the kids are asleep. Because otherwise, I won’t be able to eat my stuff in peace. You would think that them having their own stash of stuff would allow mine to be off-limits right? Wrong! Apparently, my stuff is an aphrodisiac and must be consumed by little stubby fingered people because “it tastes better than ours!” Even though it’s the same thing. I made shrimp for everyone as a snack, mine was done first. I bought ice cream for them and ice cream for me. Which one was finished first? I now buy my food and snacks while I am driving home, park in the driveway, and eat it all before I walk into the house. I even have gum to chew on so they can’t smell it on my breathe. Yes- it’s really that serious.

I am trying to figure out how I even came to the point of hiding my stuff in MY house! Lol. I hide chips, chocolate, ice cream, popcorn- all stuff I probably shouldn’t be eating anyway since I am trying to lose this 5-year-old baby belly. That’s beside the point though- I should be able to eat in peace in my own house gosh darn it! I just bought chocolate-filled marshmallows to make smores. For myself. I wonder how long those will last. Which is how I came up with my rules- if you don’t eat all of your regular food, you can’t have snacks. At all. Don’t even look at the snack cabinet! Has it worked? Of course not because kids are sneaky little people who lie about eating snacks when I go to looking for some to eat. I need to find new hiding spots.

Want some good hiding spots to eat snacks in? At this point, I’ve mastered it. Here are my 4 favorite spots:

  1. in my car in the driveway. They can’t come outside without an adult so there’s absolutely no way for me to get caught. I just need to make sure my breath doesn’t give me away so I have to chew gum or candy to hide the scent
  2. in the bathroom with the door locked. Maybe even inside the tub for that matter. And make sure you clean all the crumbs because their eyes are trained to see the slightest bit of evidence!
  3. in the closet! This one only gives me a few minutes of hiding (because my kids are dependant little things who can’t go 5 minutes without seeing my face) so they start looking for me really quickly. This is only for small quick snacks.
  4. in my room AFTER they’ve gone to sleep. But I have to wait until they are asleep for at least 30 minutes to make sure they won’t hear me opening up the bag of snack

These spots have helped me consume many a snack in peace without detection. But you need to be careful- the kids that are trained know how to smell it on your breath. Those kids are tricky- they even count the number of snacks that are in the closet to know how many are missing (if any). That’s my daughter. She’s a hard one to deal with. So now I just buy extra and don’t put my snacks in the snack cabinet. She just can’t be in the kitchen when I’m putting everything away so she won’t catch me. Lol. The life of a mom, huh?

If you have any tips and tricks, please share! Because at this point I’m running out of ideas! Kids, huh? Lol!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Mastering Carrides With Kids

As a mother who is always on the go with her kids, trying to get them not to fight in the back of the car has been the hardest thing to master. Even with the 2 car seats on opposite sides of the car, they still manage to find a way to kick and punch one another. So how did I become a super mom and calm the storm that is my backseat?

1. Music! I love to sing and dance and make up silly songs with the kids in the house, so naturally, my children love music. I purchased an FM radio transmitter from Amazon for under $20 and plugged it in, dialed my radio to the selected channel and BOOM- we have kids songs. I wanted to see just how effective it was, so one day I didn’t turn on the music and within 3 minutes they were arguing and fighting. I waited for another 5 to see if they would calm down (and they didn’t) so I turned the radio on and BINGO! We have happy singing kids. Works wonders!

2. Storytelling. I have been reading to mu children since before they were born, so we love stories and books. When I want to try something fun, we take turns making up stories and characters and tell silly stories to each other. They love this because the come up with the silliest stories.

3. I spy with my little eye. I just started playing this game in the car with my kids, and it has turned into the most outrageously fun game that we have ever played! Mostly because kids do NOT follow rules and make up their own as we go. But it’s ok because we are having fun.

4. Talking! It sounds crazy, but I actually talk to my kids while we are driving. I turn the radio low and we pick a topic and we talk. We even created a mantra that we say every morning now- “I am smart; I am talented; I can do anything I want to do; I can be anything I want to be; I am amazing!” Then we talk about what the kids want to be, how we treat others, how we want others to treat us, and how we can all be superheroes. When I told my kids that we all have superpowers, they told me that I was crazy, until I explained to them that our superpowers were being kind to people, and how that can have a positive effect on them. Now they are walking bodies of kindness.

5. Snacks! I saved the best for last. Lol. If I pack snacks with me (even if it’s just a short 30-minute car ride) and let them munch on something they tend to calm down and not fight (unless one finishes their snack before the other and now they want the other to share and they’ve said no). I’m not sure if your kid(s) is/are like mine, but they can literally JUST finish eating dinner and still ask me for a snack (eye roll). My car has suffered because of it, but the kids are happy and I don’t have World War 3 in my backseat so hey- it works.

These methods have work wonders for me! Try them if you haven’t. I know that I could easily just toss them an iPad and let them play (and I have a time or two) but I don’t like my kids having too much screen time. They become little zombies and I can’t talk to them. I am old school- I like talking to my kids and having constant contact with them. I want them to be comfortable with talking to me about anything now so that we can try to maintain that as they grow older. And I want to be the fun parent. Dads and step-dads always hold that title. I’m taking it back, a small step at a time.

Let me know if these tricks work for you moms!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary KINGS!

-tootles!

xoxo