Celebrating Earth Day in Style

It’s the day after Earth Day, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to write about how Princess celebrated the day – in style. Sometimes I feel like a mom to a teenager, rather than a preschooler. Princess has been wanting to dress herself lately, which is great. I love that she’s becoming more independent. But, it can also be a daunting task.

There are those moments when I want to pull my hair out because this teen preschooler tries to negotiate everything from what I should make for breakfast to the clothes she wears.

“Can I have pancakes?” she asks.
“No there’s not enough time for pancakes. You’re having oatmeal today,” I respond.
“But, what if I can have oatmeal tomorrow and pancakes today?” she asks.

We’d go back and forth until either she cries, I cave in, or both.

At some point, I’ll have to pick her up eye level to the closet, so that she can physically pick out her outfit for the day. Sometimes I’m so exhausted from working the night before, that I have trouble balancing her on my back.

After I suggest the long-sleeve teal dress, she expresses her disapproval and chooses a bright neon green dress with a bright yellow sewn-in slip.

“Are you sure you want to wear this dress? It’s for summer,” I say to her.

“Yes,” she insists.

It’s still a bit too cool for sleeveless dresses. Knowing how I feel about it, she goes on to say that she’ll wear it with her black tights and black patent leather shoes. She also tells me that she’ll wear her black sweater. Then adds that since it’s Earth Day, the green with yellow is perfect. I guess she’s referring to the trees and the sun, which isn’t such a bad idea when you think about it.

I then pick out a cute, yet simple neon green headband for her to wear. However, little Miss Fashionista declines and reaches for the light pink princess tiara favor from a previous birthday party.

“It’s seems a bit much. Do you really want to wear this,” I ask.
“Yes,” she answers.

I reluctantly say ok, while secretly praying that she doesn’t look hideous.

She places the crown on top of her head and walks into the kitchen to watch her iPad (a.ka. her ‘little TV’) and eats her oatmeal.

I stand back and reflect on how she amazes me each day. Princess has such a beaming personality that shines through. I can’t believe how much she grown. Despite my reluctance of her sporting this get up, I realize it looks pretty cute – crown and all.

tiara

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After dropping her off at school, I take a peak at her as she plays with classmates on the playground. She takes off her crown and asks her friends if they want to try it on. One by one, they all place it on their heads. While some parents may express concern that one of these kids could have head lice, I think to myself, “how nice.” My daughter is really something special.

 

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Preschooler Reads From A to Z

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Happy Siblings Day!

When I first heard about today being “Siblings Day,” I was like ‘word?’ I immediately texted my brother and sister, who both had no idea there is such a day. It seems fitting to write this post to not only celebrate being a sibling, but to also my two little munchkins.

Last year Princess was the only child, unless you count the fact that I was preggers with Baby O. Nevertheless, I wanted to take a moment celebrate the connection they’ve already formed. We have many years ahead of us, but I hope that they’ll always remain close.

Check out my tips on how to create a strong sibling bond on my BabyCenter blog.

happy siblings day

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Is it possible to be your daughter’s best friend and strict disciplinarian?

Back in the day my friends and I would often plan these extravagant excursions. Okay, I admit our plans were pretty lame. But to us, they were super exciting. It consisted of things like walking to the mall. I know it sounds pretty boring, but it wasn’t to us. Those walks were literally like five hours long each way! But, some of the plans we came up with were put on hold because my strict disciplinarian mom just wouldn’t allow it.

In fact, the thought getting permission from her to do something gave me anxiety. I remember some of my friends planning a slumber party. We’d put together a presentation explaining the reasons and benefits to me attending the sleepover. I’d wait until she was in a good mood, before attempting to lay out my proposal. But before I could finish my sentence, she’d say no.

Then there was the time I wanted to go out on dates. Yeah, those conversations didn’t go over so well either. I remember telling her that a guy wanted to take me to the movies. The look she shot me said it all, and I knew the answer was no. Then there were those conversations about relationships.

I remember telling her, “I’m going out with him.”
With her thick Jamaican accent she’d respond in patois, “A way ya go?” She didn’t understand that the phrase meant ‘dating.’ Going out with someone – to her – meant actually going somewhere.

Having been born in Jamaica and raised in America, I often felt stuck between two cultures. That said, my mom kept me on a tight leash. In retrospect, I totally get it. We were in a foreign land, learning new customs, and some things she really didn’t understand.

I grew up during a time when the Internet wasn’t as popular. The only social media I knew of at the time was Black Planet. Needless to say, our idea of fun mostly involved being outdoors.

My relationship with my mom back then was a struggle. We were far from being best friends. Instead, we were two type A personalities that didn’t mesh well. Now that I’m grown, the tables have turned. We get along great! We talk on the phone everyday and she’s always spending time with my kids.

grandma

Now that I’m a mom of a daughter, I wonder how our relationship will be. Princess is only three, but she’ll one day be a teenager one day. She’s smart, witty, and quick with her words. She’s already negotiating bedtime, treats, and whatnot. I find myself thinking back to when I was a kid and the struggles I had with my mom. Some would call this history repeating itself, and that’s probably right. I’ve definitely met my match with my daughter in more ways that one.

Despite the challenges, I hope that we can talk through them. I want her to feel comfortable talking to me about anything. I know there are going to be things I may not understand, but I’ll try to have an open mind. But let’s not get it twisted, if she gets out of line, there will be consequences.

Like my mom, I just have to do the best I can and hope that everything turns out ok. I guess when it comes down to choosing between being my daughter’s best friend, and a strict disciplinarian, I feel both is possible.

me & a

mommy and daughter

Do you think it’s possible to be your daughter’s best friend and strict disciplinarian?

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5 Reasons why I’m freaking out about traveling with my kids

Last summer I accomplished something I never thought I could do. I got on a plane with my newborn. The trip was a success. Baby O and I had a blast. Now, My hubby and I are gearing up for a trip in a few weeks, and I’m going nuts. Here are five reasons why I’m freaking out about traveling with my kids:

1. Baby O is no longer a newborn. Traveling with a two-month-old was a piece of cake. I kept him in the baby carrier most of the time. He was so quiet that people were surprised to learn that I had a baby the entire flight.

baby O
2. The four of us will be getting on the plane, but we won’t be together. My husband will have to take a separate flight, which means that I’ll be traveling with the kids alone. I equate this to zone defense. How the heck am I gonna be able to keep both kids in check.
3. Kids are unpredictable. Baby O is usually no fuss, but get him on the wrong day, fuggetabboutit! Oh, and his big sis too. There’s no telling when or why she’ll have a meltdown.
4. Carrying all this stuff with two kids! My husband said he’ll take some things. But you know how it is traveling with kids. They need a lot of stuff. How am I gonna carry it all?
5. I’ve never done it before. It’s easy to pack your own things. But when you’re responsible for little ones, that’s a whole other story. We’ll need to pack the car seats, diapers, wipes, gadgets, and the list goes on.

I know we’ll get through this. I’m gonna start my having a long conversation with Princess, and make a list. We’ll just have to take baby steps. This trip should be interesting. Stay tuned.

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What Message Am I Sending My Preschooler?

It’s crazy how much of myself I see in my daughter. Whenever she goes through one of her “I think I’m grown moods,” my Mom or Hubby (sometimes both) are quick to chime in saying, “She gets it from you!”

How can I argue with that? They’re absolutely right. That said, I’ve been thinking a lot about the message I send my kids, especially my daughter.

I often write about my natural hair journey, and the reason behind it. In case you’re new to my blog, I decided to go natural two years ago because I want to set a good example for my kids. I also had a lot of damage from relaxing my hair. Since then, I’ve been sporting my God given curls off-camera, but you can still find me wearing my wig on-camera.

Princess has grown accustom to the switch, but the other day she threw me for a loop when she asked if she could try it on my wigs.

“Am I perpetuating that fake hair is better by letting try it on?” I asked myself. Rather than over think the situation, I got one of the wigs from my room and place it on her head. She giggled and pranced around the house showing off her new look to Daddy. She tried on one after another, and the little comedian she is started impersonating me.

true indian hair

true indian hair

We couldn’t stop laughing. But, I later went back to thinking about the message I’m sending. Does she think mommy wears a wig because she doesn’t like her own hair? Is she going to want to change her hair too? I know you’re probably thinking I’m over analyzing the situation, and you may be right.

But just for kicks, I decided to ask her what she thinks of Mommy wigs.
“Do you like Mommy’s wig?” I asked.
Grinning from ear to ear, “yeah,” she responded.
“Do you like Mommy’s real hair?” I asked.
Still smiling she said, “Yeah.”
“Which do you like better?” I asked.
“I like them both,” she replied.
“Me too,” I said.

So there you have it. She likes them both and she loves her curls too. I guess that puts all my concerns to rest. She had fun playing dress up.

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