Why I Decided To Risk It All and Treat Myself

Okay, that title is being hella dramatic but bear with me here.

I get iffy about Mother’s Day. I still have a mother here and I’m one myself. But I always feel there’s someone missing. For those new to my blog, I lost our first son, Ethan, several years ago due to incompetent cervix and subsequent premature birth. He lived for two hours.

Ever since his untimely passing, I feel a bit awkward on Mother’s Day. I kinda treat it as any other day, honestly. I don’t go too out nor do I expect it from others. I’m sure to wish other mothers (including mine) a Happy Mother’s Day but that’s about the extent of it.

This year was a bit different.

I think I’m starting to turn over a new leaf in my life, a new page in a storied book. It seems things are finally settling down and everything I ever wanted is finally coming to fruition or within my reach. This is becoming one of my best years ever and it can only get better, honestly.

I decided to splurge.

I splurge once a year. If you were to look into my closet, you would see a variety of clothing from discounted Macy’s and it-had-to-be-on-sale Target. I only have 8 pairs of shoes (and trust me, I actually had to count them since two of them are winter shoes; I wear the hell out of my Sketchers.) I keep old, worn clothing because vintage is now in and I figured I can get a second life out of them shits.

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I do spend money on makeup but even I can admit I don’t wear a lot of makeup (honestly, I don’t. I’m actually makeup-free about 99% of the time). I decided this year, I was going to spend a bit of money and invest in something I’ve always wanted. My husband decided to treat me as well. It was a good weekend.

So, blah blah blah…here’s the loot:

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I’ve always wanted a pair of Uggs but let’s face it…I have to really love something in order spend a minimum of $100 on a pair of shoes, right? Not even my sneakers cost that much!

Still, when I was trying on the shoes and OMG, they feel so comfortable, I had to swallow my pride (and paycheck) and get them.

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I ended up getting the low ones because the higher ones I wanted were too hard to navigate my big ol’ clown feet in them (I’m a 10-11 women’s). I had a similar issue with the middle calf ones, but the low ones were perfect. I was bummed that the color I wanted – brown – was too tight on my feet but these black ones were perfect. I don’t get it, neither.

I also love how these really do look like typical boots so unless someone actually knows the brand or they’re staring a bit too hard at my feet (eh, why?), you can’t tell.

To purchase, click here.

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It’s been years since I’ve had a watch. I mean, at least 10. It’s been a very long time. I have nothing against watches but I also don’t waste my time buying an expensive one if I know it’s just going to look pretty collecting dust.

As I walk often (up to 20 miles a week), Maks has implored me to look into getting the Apple Watch to track my fitness. Previously, I was looking at getting a Fitbit. I wasn’t too sold on getting an Apple Watch for a few reasons. One, they’re very expensive and I was afraid it would’ve been an issue of me getting a watch that would collect dust.

Second, I don’t like to wear watches at all (of course, that brings the question why would I get a Fitbit since it kinda looks like a watch?).

I was finally convinced by reading this news story.

Apple Watches rely on photoplethysmography — a long, complicated sounding word with a fairly simple premise. Because blood with oxygen is red, it absorbs green light. The watch uses green LED lights paired with light‑sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through a person’s wrist, according to Apple’s website. During beats the amount of blood in the wrist is greater, and between beats it’s less. Flashing the LED lights hundreds of times per second calculates the number of times the heart beats. The sensor can support beats ranging from 30 to 210 per minute.

I decided I have a kid who depends on me and life is too short to keep waiting for the right time. It was time to get an Apple Watch.

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She’s purty, isn’t she?

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And it’s pretty accurate!

To purchase, click here. (You can also purchase through your cell phone provider if you have Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T)

So, this Mother’s Day has been better than the last years, but it’s not to say the last years were bad. They were pretty great as well. This year’s was pretty dope, tho. It just means I’m finally getting the peace I deserve.

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Eyes were intentionally closed. I was relishing in snuggles. 

Next post will be the creative ways I used some of the products in the latest Shea Moisture box! Post on Wednesday!

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A Journey – From Being the Only Black Student to Being the Only Black Mother

It’s funny how life can sometimes do a complete 180.

You never quite know where you’ll finally end up. You don’t know the many twists and turns life will take you. Something you once thought was in the bag, may not be so secure, after all. Life is funny that way. No matter how much you use your planner, how predictable and mundane your routine is, you can never be too prepared for what life brings at you.

Growing up in a two-parent, upper-middle class family, I was used to being the only black kid. In my neighborhood. In my classes. At slumber parties. I was just used to it. Looking back at it, I never felt uncomfortable. I never felt I was the lone one out. I was just…well, there.

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In high school, I was one out of four black students in AP classes and we all knew each other and we all sat near each other, LOL. You become acutely aware in high school about race and class.

In college, I went to a predominantly white institution. I had a lot of black friends in college, was involved in the Black Student Union, and hung out with those girls regularly. We’re still friends.

I live in L.A., specifically Highland Park where it’s predominantly Latino and has been (long story on how it used to have more black residents but I’ll save that  – as well as my controversial opinion on gentrification – for another post). While more white people have moved into my neighborhood, there aren’t that many black faces. In fact, one of my black neighbors just moved out and although I’m happy she’s found a new place, I’m low-key upset she’s gone.

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That brings me to today’s topic – being the lone black parent.

I noticed it when Maks and I went to childbirth classes when I was pregnant with Bear. I was the only expectant black mother. When I told my mother this, she said she had the same experience when she was pregnant with me.

Bear goes to preschool and it’s pretty diverse. There are kids from many different backgrounds and cultures. One of Bear’s best friends is a Muslim boy named Tee (protecting his full name for privacy).

And while I’m not the lone black parent at the school, I am the lone black mother there.

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It’s something I knew from the jump so it’s not a surprise. There are other biracial children there so it’s not like Bear is the only one. As I participate in preschool activities with my son and accept invites to play dates and birthday parties, I become acutely aware of my status.

I don’t act any different when I’m around the teachers or anyone else. Several of the parents know I run a blog and *hopefully* they can attest I’m pretty much the same way on here as I am IRL.

My status is also rare – I’m a working at-home mother so I’m able to free up time to go to Bear’s preschool and do all sorts of activities. Even when I go out with Bear during the weekdays, I still get questions about what is it that I do (and it’s usually questions by my skinfolk).

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Now, I need to make this absolutely clear  – no parent has made me feel uncomfortable nor has there been any shading or passive-aggressiveness of any kind. If anything, I’ve received a lot of love. We all share the same ideals and values, no matter what our backgrounds or social-economic statuses are.

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Bear at his classmate’s birthday party over the weekend. He got to meet a stormtrooper in person!

It’s one of those things where as a parent and an adult, you notice it a bit more. You want your children to grow up in the best possible conditions and environment but you also want to expose them to as much diversity as possible. And sometimes, that means you’ll be the only black parent in the room.

I’m reminded of my mother. She was a nurse and was able to have a flexible schedule so she can attend my games, meets, and whatever else I had going on. And as I remember high school days, it dawned on me that my mother was also sometimes, the lone black parent at the PTA meetings, at the games, and at the meets. She handled it with pride and dignity.

I hope in the future things might change a little bit and I’ll see other mothers who look a bit more like me when I go events at school. But for now, the priority is to make sure Bear feels safe, happy, and loved no matter where he goes.

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#TBT – Me and Bear

It’s been a while since we’ve done a Throwback Thursday here so here’s a cute then and now photo of us:

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Three years ago, in our kitchen. It was rather hot so we both were in our underwear. This is one of my favorite pictures because it reminds me of how naturally happy Bear is.

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Yesterday, in our parking garage. Same happy Bear with happy Mommy.

Good times.