Vegan Mommy Things

MyGym @ Atascocita

Saturday, Malakhai and I went to a class at MyGym. It’s a little gym for our tiny humans. There were about six other little tykes there. We began with some warm ups then stretches with out minis. Afterwards, we had free time to roam around the gym and enjoy all that they had. There were slides, a ball pit, a parachute ride down a ramp, swings and so much more. Towards the end, there’s what’s called separation time where the parents leave the kids in the circle to play with toys and each other. Malakhai did so well!

I’m going to see if I can work MyGym into my budget. It’s only $82 a month which is awesome and we would be going every week. It’s worth the investment. I bonded with two other moms there and it’s a great way for Malakhai to meet other kiddos outside of daycare. If you have a MyGym near you, I highly suggest it. The first class is always free.

Playing in the circus!
Doing a flip on the bar. Of course he cried.
He didn’t too much like the ball pit.
He seemed to like one of the teachers.
Clearly he loved the swing.
He did not like the parachute ride lol.
Separation time.
He did amazingly well!
Just chillin!
Vegan Mommy Things

Sensory Time: DIY Paint

So, Malakhai has reached that age that he wants to touch any and everything. I open the fridge, he has to touch everything in the door. Anything I have in my hand, he has to touch. I figured it was time to start some sensory activities, and I can’t wait to continue this series.

I wanted to start with painting but I didn’t want to use actual paint because it’s toxic and he’s at that age where everything goes in his mouth. I wanted to make something that I knew I wouldn’t care if he ate it. I chose vegan vanilla yogurt. I got just a small cup and I split it between two containers: one for red and one for blue, although they came out a pinkish red and purple.

1 container of vegan vanilla yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, clothes you don’t mind messing up, and a fun attitude

I squeezed 3 strawberries in one container and stirred it with a spoon. In the other, I tried mashing blueberries, but they weren’t juicy like I expected. So, I took a handful and put them in a small pot. I added water just to cover and let them boil until they popped. This made the water a dark blue. I poured that in the other container of yogurt. It actually turned out purple but oh well.

I tried getting Malakhai to paint on paper but he just wanted to rip it up, so I poured some paint on the towel between his legs and let him have at it. He rubbed his hands and feet in it. It was a new feeling for him and he thoroughly enjoyed it. He even decided to paint me as well. Here are some pictures from our painting session.

Vegan Mommy Things

Will He Hate Me?

This thought has run through my head time and time again, sometimes all day. When Malakhai gets older, will he hate me?

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know that Khai’s dad and I don’t have the best relationship. In fact, we don’t have a relationship at all. We don’t coparent. I won’t get into all of the reasons why, but I always wonder of when Khai becomes old enough to understand, will he blame me for the lack of coparentship his father and I have.

Granted I will tell him the truth of everything, but will he forgive me? Will his father and his father’s wife say things about me to make it hard for him to believe me?

I always think about these things because if Khai ever resented me, I don’t think I could handle that. Granted as I grew older, I came to my own conclusion about my biological father and I’m hoping to do the same with Khai, let him see for himself.

If you are in a similar situation with your child’s other parent, how are you coping? Are your kids old enough to understand? How are they handling it?

Vegan Mommy Things

Narcissism

Dealing with a narcissist is probably one of the hardest things to do if you don’t know how to handle them. My son’s father is a narcissist. He’s very controlling and demanding. He wants everything to go his way or no way. Well, the thing is, he has yet to control me.

Sometimes dealing with him aggravated me, but I have to take a deep breath and then react in a way that he least expects. Narcissistic people tend to want to get you riled up. It fuels their behavior. The best way to deal with them is to react the opposite of what they want.

I’ll give you some examples. My son’s father, let’s call him Tyrone (I know right?). Tyrone likes to give me a deadline of when something needs to be done and usually he wants whatever it is done that day. Me being the petty person I am, depending on level of importance, I’ll do it a day, or two, or three, hell even a week later. I’m a grown ass woman. Nobody demands anything from me aside from my son. He can make demands from his wife and our son, but not from me. I bow down to no one.

Another example is when he gives me ultimatums. First of all, if you know me, you know I don’t take well to being required to make a choice. He gives me a choice of A or B and I take F. This is how our “relationship” has been for quite some time.

Narcissistic people get gratification from everything being centered around them and everyone doing what they want, how they want, and when they want. I can’t see myself letting someone try to belittle me that way.

Always meet narcissism with pettiness. That’s the only way to combat it. I could just not deal with him at all, but that would be me hurting my son and I’m not willing to do that. Yeah, my son is young, but I’m just not willing to start a habit that continues on to when he does understand and then I’m the bad guy.

Have you dealt with a narcissistic person? If so, how did you handle them?

Vegan Mommy Things

Missing You…

One thing about my mom having been watching Boo is I received numerous pics and videos throughout the day. Now that he’s in daycare, I miss that. I feel like I miss him even more because I don’t get those updates (well, I do now).

Today was hard. I was super emotional (no I’m not on my period) and felt like crying all day. All I wanted was to hold my baby in my arms. I just love my little boy so much.

The best part of my day is when I go to pick him up from my moms house (she gets him from daycare) and he is about to jump out her arms because he’s so happy to see me. I honestly think I’m always more happy to see him than he is to see me, but you probably wouldn’t be able to tell.

I know daycare is great to build a child’s social skills and for them to become more independent, however, I feel like he’s moving too fast or I’m moving too slow. I’m not ready to let go of him always needing me.

How have you been able to cope with your child(ren) growing older?

Vegan Mommy Things

Broccoli and Farts

You may or may not know that I’m vegan. I’ve been vegan 5 years now and I consume the hell out of fruits and veggies. Since having Khai, I’ve revamped the way I’ve been eating specifically to cater to his nutritional needs. Little did I know, some foods make him gassy, the kind of gas that can make you want to vomit.

For such a tiny human he sure let’s off rounds of carbon dioxide. One food in particular that makes him super gassy is broccoli (which also makes me gassy so idk why I eat it. It’s also a hybrid food).  Needless to say, after this week (because I’m not one to throw food away) I will not consume it until after he stops breastfeeding.

If you breastfed your child(ren), what are some foods you had to cut out?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Daycare

Today my son started daycare. He was supposed tos tart awhile ago, but I wasn’t ready. I never wanted him to go to daycare, but he needs social skills now that he’s getting older. He’s becoming more mobile and talkative (baby talk that is). Luckily, his daycare is owned by a friend of the family (it’s a long story but there’s much history).

My mom drops him off and picks him up since I work late and have to be at work early. I also work clear across town, so her doing that for me helps a ton.

He had a good time and I received a great report. He refused to eat his baby food, only drank the breast milk. He just doesn’t like food which is fine by me. He gets all he needs from me anyway.

Today was only the first day so I’m not exactly sire how to feel just yet. Of course, I was a nervous wreck all day, but he adjusted fairly quickly. Actually, there weren’t any adjustments for him. He took to the daycare owner very well.

How did you feel about your child(ren) attending daycare for the first time? Any tips to combat this “mommy worry?”

confessions, Vegan Mommy Things

Confessions of a Single Mom #11: I Thought My Son Would Be Ugly

Since I was in elementary, I always thought I was ugly. I always looked in the mirror and felt I was unattractive. It didn’t matter what my parents, friends or boyfriends would say, in my eyes I was ugly, and sometimes I still feel that way today. It stems from me being unhappy with how I look. 

I’ve always been chubby with big breasts and no ass. Boys hit on me all the time, but I was too hell bent on obsessing over trying to make sure my hair was always straight and my stomach was compressed with a silk head scarf. 

As I got older, my confidence continued to dwindle away. To this day, my confidence isn’t where I want it to be, but it’s further along than where it was. During my pregnancy, I stressed about how my son would come out looking. Granted his father is very attractive, I still felt he may have taken my genes. 

Looking at him today, built my confidence. He is the perfect combination of us both, though he’s starting to look a lot more like me. 

I know all of this may sound superficial and shallow, but that security of feeling attractive is something that I struggle with. Yes, I know my son does not determine my attractiveness, nor does he determine how others see me. 

Since turning 30, I’ve realized that regardless of how I feel about my body and my appearance, I’m still easy on the eyes. I look pretty damn good for just having had a baby. My body I can work on to be where I am comfortable being, but this face won’t change (it may get slimmer). 

Despite my insecurities, my son won’t care what I look like because I’m his mother. He’s always going to love me and think I’m beautiful, and that’s all that matters. I do feel guilt for pushing my insecurities off on him and caring about how he looks. In essence, I don’t care. I was just happy he came out healthy and he’s such a happy baby, growing and developing at an exponentially fast rate. How dare I do that to him?

What is something that you are self conscious about, or have you ever felt unattractive? How did you overcome it?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Don’t Complain if You aren’t Doing Anything to Change

It’s thanksgiving break and all I can think about ishow happy I am to be at home and not at work. The only thing I’m happy about in my life right now is being a mom to my son. 

I don’t hate my job. I love my job, but it doesn’t make me happy. I’m tired of living in this apartment, throwing money away towards something I’ll never own ($1000 a month). 

I’m not happy that I haven’t been writing another novel, or finishing one I’ve already started. It’s just maddening how quickly I’ve lost motivation to continue writing novels. My last novel was published in 2016: two years ago! I’ve started several since then, but I haven’t even made it halfway through one. 

I thought of writing a novel based on my life, but have I sat down to write it? No. 

I’m unhappy with my postpartum body, and I go back and forth between loving it and not even wanting to look in the mirror.

I think about all of these things that I’m not happy about and how I’ve not done a single thing to change my circumstances. So how can I even complain?

My point is, and I should take this advice myself, don’t complain about your circumstances and not being happy if you aren’t doing anything about them. 

Don’t be like me and say I’m going to start making changes tomorrow or the next day, or the next day. Do it today. Do what makes you happy, but first, find happiness from within.

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Before Work Routine

  1. Wake up @ 4:30 am.
  2. Take a shower.
  3. Brush my teeth.
  4. Get dressed.
  5. Put coconut milk on to boil for my oatmeal.
  6. Pack up everything in my wagon.
  7. Put oatmeal in the pot.
  8. Fill up gallon water bottle.
  9. Pour oatmeal and toppings in a bowl.
  10. Wake up Malakhai.
  11. Change his diaper.
  12. Lotion him up.
  13. Nurse him.
  14. Bundle him up (weather is crazy cold right now)
  15. Strap him to me in his carrier.
  16. Turn alarm off and then back on.
  17. Load the car. 
  18. Head to my mom’s house to drop off Malakhai. 
  19. Head to work.
  20. Pump before school starts.
My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

After Work Checklist

1. Pick up Khai.

2. Nurse Khai.

3. Take him home.

4. Unload everything in the wagon and bring him in the carrier.

5. Spend time with Khai (watch his fave shows, play with toys, read a bedtime story.)

6. Bathe Khai.

7. Nurse Khai to sleep.

8. Change Vick’s pad in humidifier.

9. Shower.

10. Sterilize breast pump parts and then repack in work breast pump bag.

11. Layout clothes for tomorrow.

12. Clean kitchen.

13. Clean up bedroom.

14. Eat dinner.

15. Me time (journal, yoga, read, drink tea or golden milk, budget planner, catch up on YouTube videos, watch a show on the fire stick,  meditate)

16. Say a prayer over Khai, then myself.

17. Tie hair up, wash face, brush teeth.

18. Turnoff all lights.

19. Recheck everything is ready for in the morning and turn alarm on.

20. Go to bed.

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Bitter Baby Mama

There’s this notion that all single mom’s are bitter. This stems from people assuming we are mad because we can’t be with the father of our child(ren) or we are made that they don’t want us. Speaking for me and me only, both are false.

I am in no way bitter about anything, but me wanting my son and his father to have a relationship and me being passionate about it, comes off as being bitter. I didn’t, and still don’t, have a relationship with my father and I don’t want that for my son.

I think, and don’t quote me on this, most men who are on child support, are on child support because they aren’t financially helping the mother of their child(ren) take care of their child(ren). Because women are mainly the ones giving care to the child, men don’t see how expensive it can be to do it alone. They want to say we just want to take their money or we are trying to live off of them, when that it most certainly not the case.

Can I financially take care of my child on my own? Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean I should have to, being that I didn’t get pregnant by myself.

My son is breastfed so in order for him to eat, I have to eat. I wash his clothes everyday since he has to be in cloth diapers. That’s water and electricity being used every single day. He has to bathe, right? That’s water again. Then, I have to be able to get him to my moms house and be able to get to work to afford a rough over our heads. That’s gas. He also has to have his booty wiped, his skin cleaned and conditioned, and his hair done. Then there’s toys and clothes.

See how that can get expensive? Then you have a man who doesn’t want to help financially, and thinks that all that’s important and being a good father is sololey just spending time with a child. No, dead wrong. A child needs emotional, physical, mental, and financial support.

As mothers, we want what is best for our children. We are natural born nurturers, whereas men, they just aren’t. I will spend my last dollar on my child for whatever he needs and wants, but I shouldn’t have to.

Next time you want to call the mother of your child(ren) bitter, don’t. Ask her what she needs and how you can help. Make her life easier, not harder. I can guarantee a myriad of men wouldn’t be on child support if they took the time out to sit down with the mother and laid out all expenses to see where he can contribute. All it takes is a conversation.

Now the flipside is there are many women who are bitter and vindictive towards the father, and do file child support to get back at him. What this does is make other women who file for financial reasons only, look like they’re bitter and vindictive.

Mamas, if he doesn’t want you, he doesn’t want you. Let that man and those feelings go. Worry about your child(ren) and your child(ren) only. You can’t be worrying about this man who not only doesn’t want you, but doesn’t want to be a father. Don’t battle with him. There’s a man out there who is going to love you and your child(ren) like his own. I’ve witnessed it numerous times.

What are your thoughts on the term “bitter baby mama?”

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

“I Ain’t Ever Scared…”

Of course about 5 months ago I didn’t have this mindset. I was scared shitless. I had spent two months at my mom’s house  after having my son, and I had had so much help between my mom and my stepdad. It was then finally time for me to go home. I was petrified at the thought of it just being me and Malakhai,

I wonder if I could do everything I was doing on my own, without the safety net of having someone there 24/7. Granted, they only live five minutes away, but I would be home…alone…with my child. How could I not be scared? What if something had happened? What if I messed up? What if he didn’t like me anymore because he was so (and still very much is) attached to my mom?

As you can see, a lot was going through my head back then. Now here we are, striving and thriving. We’ve settled in to a routine, I’ve become accustomed to it not just being me, and motherhood is suiting me well might I add. We play, he naps, I clean, he messes up a diaper, he nurses, we play, I clean, and it just continues, but I must say, it’s never boring. With Malakhai, there’s never a dull moment.

Sometimes I wonder how I could I be so scared of someone so precious and small that my body knew how to create? This little human loves me, he wants to always be around me and on me. How could I be scared of him? Not only that, I love him to pieces, a love that I never knew existed until I felt him kick, and then saw his face.

I say all of this to say mamas, it gets better, easier and less terrifying. What was/is something you are/were scared of when it came/comes to your child(ren)?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Bedtime with Khai

Each night, I make it my mission to ensure Khai gets an excellent night’s slumber. I give him a bath in his new tub. He’s in a big boy tub now (cue the water works). I bathe him, wash his hair, let the water out and then fill it with clean water up to his waist. I let him play with his toys and I stand back and admire how much he has grown in the past six months.

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When we’re all done, I pat him dry. His hair is so curly and silky, that I have to make sure it stays healthy, as well as his scalp. I use either mineral oil or grapeseed oil in his hair. I rake it through with my fingers and then comb small sections at a time. Next, I lotion him up and put his footie pjs on. He either sleeps in a silk bonnet or one of his hats so his pores can close.

 

Now is my favorite part: bedtime stories. He loves for me to read to him, especially The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I think he likes all of the colors and my animated voices.

By story’s end, he’s sleepy. I lay him down to nurse until he falls asleep. Once he’s sound asleep, it’s me time. I tend to clean up from his bath time and clean whatever else I need to. I also spend this time writing and scheduling blogs, journaling, meditating, taking long baths, or reading. Bedtime for Khai is usually around 7 o’clock, so I start getting him ready for a bath around 6 or 6:30. During the time from when I get off work until bath time, we are playing, watching Puppy Dog Pals, or singing.

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What is your night time routine with your little one(s)?

xoxo Moniqua LaShae and Malakhai Lee

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Old Time Christmas Tree Farm

This past Saturday, I took Malakhai to the pumpkin patch and as you can see below, we had a grand ol’ time. He loved touching the pumpkins and pulling up the hay.

It was $5 to get in, and they had numerous activities to do such as a hay ride, vendors to eat or buy things from, as well as thugs for kids to do. Of course, Malakhai is too young for much of the activities, but I did think the hay ride would be fine, however, I brought his stroller I’m not thinking, and there was no way I was going to be able to get it up on the car.

They also grow Christmas trees, so if you need a Christmas tree, you are more than welcome to purchase one, but you do have to cut it down yourself.

The farm is located in Spring, Texas off of Spring Cypress Rd.

All in all, it was a successful and well spent day with my baby love. Do you go to the pumpkin patch during pumpkin season?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Dating as a Single Mom and Dirty 30

With my 30th birthday expeditiously approaching (it’s in 6 days), I’ve been thinking about being a single mother and dating. I’m not opposed to dating, I just am loving the space I’m in at this moment. But when it comes to dating, here are a few things I need the potential suitor to know:

1. Can’t have me without my son. Period. We go together like peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, beans and rice, guacamole and tortilla chips, Mickey and Minnie. Catch my drift? There’s no me without him. You want to be with me, he comes with it. A combo meal.

2. Malakhai will always come first, no matter the situation. He is my number one and only priority at the moment. Should we get married, he’d still be number one, but you would then be a priority as well. I will always, first and foremost, be a mother, above all else.

3. I’m pushing 30 (again, in 6 freaking days, damn I’m old), so all the games and FWB and childish shit can miss me. I’m looking to get married, not waste time. What kind of mother would I be to just be hanging out with a man with no intentions of marrying him?

4. My son doesn’t need a father, he already has one. To whomever I shall date, you need to be a role model, a friend, someone my son can talk to. Stepdads play an important role in a child’s life and I was blessed to have two that loved me dearly. Granted my biological father was nowhere in sight, these two men stepped in and did what he should’ve done. Now when it comes to my son, he needs someone to look up to who can teach him things that not I nor his father can.

5. I pay a good $2000+ in bills per month, so “wyd” texts won’t cut it. I’m not looking for handouts or anyone to pay my bills, but I pay too much per month to be entertaining someone who can’t tell me to get dressed because we’re going out just because. Woe me. Date me. Show me that I’m not sitting at the table alone.

6. I’m an upfront kind of person and I don’t like to beat around the bush. I would expect to be treated the same. From the jump, tell me what you’re intentions are with me. I don’t believe in leading someone on until you get what you want and then leaving. If sex is what you’re looking for, I’m not the one. Like I said before, I don’t need friends. I have all the friends I need.

7. I made a vow that after I had my son, shop would be closed, meaning, no sex, and it’s not up for discussion. I’ve made this vow numerous times even before sleeping with my son’s father. I’m scared to get pregnant again in a noncommittef relationship. Also, should we eventually get to the point of thinking about sex, a full STD check with be required. I know someone who has been an inspiration to me, just let it be known that she has HIV. I’m not playing with my life. So I’m short, sex is off the table.

8. When I’m not being a homebody, I like going to low key places like the park, library, museum, cafes, black owned businesses, vegan restaurants, and just places with an intimate setting. Now of course as Malakhai gets older, children friendly places will be required. I don’t want to meet you at a bar (I don’t drink) or go to the club or lounge. I need you to understand I’m an introvert and I don’t like being around a bunch of people with varying energies.

9. Our families must like each other and they must like us. Family is important to me and it’s important that who I’m dating gets along with my family and vice versa.

10. I’m not dead set on if I want more kids, but doesn’t mean I’m opposed to it either. I feel like my son is enough for me and idk if I want to be pregnant again. It’s not that my pregnancy was hard or the birth, I just don’t think more kids are in the cards right now, but you never know.

11. Ambition and creativity go a long way. I am a content creator both in social media and my blog. My blog is like my second child who I often neglect (don’t call CPS on me). I want us to be able to share passions. I think two creative people can come together and make something magical.

12. Family outings are a must. When dating, it can’t just always be us. Now it will for a while before I’m ready for you to meet my son, but once he’s in the picture, most dates need to be all of us. I hate being away from him and he hates being away from me.

These are just the basics and of course there’s more, but what I need to men to see is that when dating a single mother, you have to be on your P’s and Q’s. We already have a lot going on keeping a child’s love boy ourselves, we don’t need the added stress.

As a single mother, what are some of y’alls dating rules?

Breastfeeding, Vegan Mommy Things

Evenflow Manual Electric Pump

When I became I pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed, so I knew I’d need a pump. Well, at the time, I didn’t know manual pumps existed (I know right?!). I went with my mom to Just Between Friends which is like a thrift shop for baby and kid stuff. I found a bunch of bottles and pieces for my breast pump that was coming through my insurance.

In this pack was a manual breast pump part, one that you do by hand. I was intimidated by it and let it sit up for months. After a while, I pulled it out to use because I knew I’d soon be going back to work and didn’t want to bring my electric pump. I needed something mobile.

I tested out the pump and it was a game changer. It cut my time in half and I got out more milk. So when I went back to work, I used that one. After a while, I noticed that I had to use two hands and couldn’t multitask at work, which is something I need to be able to do. My breasts are too large to only hold the pump with one hand. So, I went in the hunt for an electric manual pump and low and behold, Walmart came through.

I stumbled upon the Evenflow breast pump by accident. Medela had the one I really wanted but it was $300 (gasp). I then saw this pump and the color of the box caught my eye (bright colors drive marketing). It was a manual, elective breast pump that you could use with the cord or could be cordless (insert batteries). I was too stoked.

I bought it and sterilized it at home. The next stay, I took it to work and used it for each of my pump breaks. It works like a gem and I don’t have to use both hands. It expresses more milk than my Medela manual one and the electric one.

The only con is it takes much longer, 20 minutes for each side. At work, I pump before school, mid morning (an aide steps in) and during my planning time. My mid morning break is only 15 minutes so that definitely won’t work. So I use the Evenflow at home, during nights where Malakhai sleeps longer than usual, and I still use my Medela at work.

The Evenflow pump can also be used when I’m driving since I only need one hand. For my breastfeeding moms, what breast pump do/did you use?

Vegan Mommy Things

No Days Off

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Today was a student holiday so the kids didn’t have to go to school. Today was supposed to be a PD day however, we too got the day off. And low and behold, yours truly gets sick. Not sure if it’s due to allergies, getting wet in the rain and then entering into the cold of my apartment and not changing clothes immediately. Who knows? All I know is I keep sneezing, I had a sore throat (it’s gone now), and I’ve been blowing my brains out (I wonder if you can pop a blood vessel from blowing your nose too hard).

Even though I had today off from work, I didn’t have today off from being a mother. As a parent, there are no days off, even if your kids are with relatives. You still worry if they’re  okay and anxiously waiting to be reunited. I knew this is true for me.

It’s hard being sick and having a four month old who still needs you to take care of them. My son wants to play with me and laugh and have fun, and all I want to do is sleep. However, I had to push through. Sure I could’ve dropped him off at my parents, but they keep him everyday while I’m at work. I know they need a break too (though they’ll never admit it).

Along side of needing to take care of my son, I had to do laundry, meal prep, speak with the people to get my Child Safety Kit, sign up for life insurance and re-enroll for health insurance. Today has been quite busy, as have been the last two days.

All in all, I perservered through the day and now it’s finally time to go to sleep. I’m hopping this ginger tea and the humidifier will knock whatever this is out.

Fun fact: when a breastfeeding mother is sick, she should still nurse her child. The antibodies that are fighting her illness will pass to the child through her milk to build up their immune system and antibodies.

How do you handle being sick and being a mother/parent?

Breastfeeding, Vegan Mommy Things

Black Breastfeeding Week

Today begins Black Breastfeeding Week and I have a short story to share. Earlier today, Malakhai and I met up with some ladies from this Facebook group that I’m in, Awkward Black Ladies. We met at this coffee shop called ThroughGood Coffee, which is black owned (though I saw no one black working there). It’s a nice quaint cafe off W 27th street.

After I sat down and mingled with the ladies, Khai became restless. So I tried to nurse him but he wasn’t hungry. I went to change him and there wasn’t a changing table in the restroom (I find that to be poor customer service but whatever). Three of the ladies left and that left just me, the moderator of the group (let’s call her Malissa since I didn’t ask permission to use her name), and Khai.

By this point, he had become hungry and so I nursed him. Then out of nowhere, I felt someone tap me on my shoulder. It was white woman in her maybe early 30s. She said to me, “I just saw that it was Black Breastfeeding Week and I just wanted to come over and offer my support and tell you to keep doing your thing.” I thanked her as I was in shock because I’ve heard such horror stories of white women coming up to black women breastfeeding and saying some atrocious things that include racial slurs.

Malissa just smiled and when the woman walked away, we both looked at each other surprised. Next thing I know the woman comes back and says, “Sorry to bother you again but I’m a doula and I just came from seeing a new mom and helping her to breastfeed, so that’s why I cam over and I’m glad you’re doing that.” I smiled back and thanked her again.

I just want to say how appreciative I am to see that there are still some decent white people in this world. From police brutality to the cops being called on us to us being called “nigger” for just being black, I was beginning to wonder. So to kick off Black Breastfeeding Week, here are some photos from today.

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Vegan Mommy Things

Back to work…

Today was my first day back to work and I thought it would be a disaster since I’d be leaving Khai for longer than I ever have before. I expected tears, withdrawals, constant fidgeting and lack of focus. I experienced all of that minus the tears.

Luckily, I’m still decorating my classroom so my mom brought him up there. I got to play with him and my coworkers got to see him. It was perfect. Now tomorrow on the other hand will be a different story since my mom is not coming.

I did end up pumping two full bottles because I missed him so much and thought about him constantly. I thought it would be hard to pump but I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

I think I’m going to survive this year. For my mamas who went back to work after having your first child, what was your experience like?

confessions, Vegan Mommy Things

Confessions of a Single Mom #10: I Finally Took a Bath

 

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Yes, you read that right. I finally took a bath. I haven’t taken a bath since before I was pregnant. I know many of you are probably wondering, “WTF? She doesn’t take baths?!” I know many people who use bath and shower synonymously, however, I’m specifically talking about taking a bath. Ya know, running water, adding bubbles, sitting in the tub,  soaking for 30 min.

I cant blame Boo for me not taking a bath. It’s my own fault really. I’m always trying to be so quiet when he’s napping since my apartment is so small. Then since he takes cat naps, I try to shower and be out before he wakes up, but not today. I turned the water on and added the bubbles and while it ran, I rocked him to sleep. Once asleep, I quickly undressed and hopped in the tub. It was so refreshing and much needed. I definiently need to do that more often.

What is something that you rarely get a chance to do for yourself due to having kids?

Vegan Mommy Things

Live in the moment…

I went to the Houston vegfest on saturday and you may notice there are no photos, that’s because I didn’t take any. I wanted to just enjoy being there. Just because you didn’t take photos, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen or you weren’t there. I’ve gone to 3 out of the 6 that there have been and I’m hoping next year, they get a bigger venue like Reliant Arena. There was way too many people for such a small space.

I enjoyed the food and got to spend some time with Boys, Toys and Things Blog and one of her kiddos. I had a bistro burger, Mac n cheese, nachos, ice cream, a cupcake, a Mac n cheese veggie burger, ham and cheese kolache, cookies and a pop tart. Needless to say, my belly was happy and so was Boo’s.

After the Vegfest, we went to my parent’s house and got in the pool that my stepdad bought for Boo. Since we waited until it had cooled off, the water was chilly and the air was a smidge breezy, not ideal for an exhausted 3 month old.

He was good for about 30-45 min. but then became cranky and kept dozing off so we came home. Next time we’ll try when he’s fully awake and it’s warmer outside.

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Also, Boo turned 3 months and I’m not too happy that he’s growing so fast. My little tink tink.

How did you spend your weekend?

Breastfeeding, mommy must haves, Vegan Mommy Things

Breastfeeding Series: Stop Wasting Breast Milk!! (Mommy Must Have #2)

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Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pumps Milk Pump Suction with Lid,Breast Milk Saving Made Easy,Flexible & Lightweight ,Pack of 2

 

 

If I tell y’all, every time I nurse Boo, I waste so much breast milk. How, you might ask? Well, the let down of the milk when he’s feeding on one side, leaks out the other. I legit waste 2 oz of milk every feeding. My breasts were not created equal. At any given time, I can pump a full bottle from my left breast but my right breast, I get 2 oz at best.

At my last group prenatal, one lady had a version of Haakaa, which is a manual breast pump but is like a suction cup to catch the milk from the side you’re not feeding on. Mind was blown so of course I went to Amazon to buy one. Works like an effing charm and now, I can stop wasting breast milk.

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Vegan Mommy Things

Group Prenatal: Signs of Labor

If you didn’t know, I had what is considered a home birth, though I didn’t have my son at home. I had him at a birthing center and you can read my birthing story here.

Even though I am not longer pregnant, I still attend group prenatal to give advice to to currently pregnant first time moms. This past Sunday, the topic was signs of labor. Each women shared her signs of labor. For me, my signs were pretty basic: contractions, loss of mucus plug, and water breaking, in that order.

I love going to group prenatal to see the moms that I used to be pregnant with and to see the moms who will soon meet their mini. It’s also a reason for Boo and me to get out the house and interact with other adults. Plus, there’s always vegan food, and as a breastfeeding mama, I needs the food.

Breastfeeding, Vegan Mommy Things

Breastfeeding Series: Discrimination and Harrassment

I was listening to the Badass Breastfeeder podcast and they brought up something that I find mind-boggling. People turn their noses up to women breastfeeding in public and are even offended, but it’s okay for women to walk around half naked. Where’s the logic?

Women have been asked to cover up, go somewhere private (often the unsanitary and disgusting bathroom stall), or to leave an establishment for breastfeeding, but let a woman walk in with cleavage and nipples about to pop out, no one bats an eye, except for men of course, specializing her. Why is there this stigma around breastfeeding? People act as if it’s just not natural.

I think most people don’t know that a woman’s breasts are first and foremost for breastfeeding. I can’t express that enough. Yes, it is pleasurable in sexual situations to have them fondled, nibbles or sucked, but breastfeeding was and is their initial function. It’s funny that it’s women that have more of an issue of a woman breastfeeding than men. That’s the part where I am completely baffled. WOMEN!! What the hell???

Is it because you couldn’t breastfeed and this woman breastfeeding makes you feel inferior or jealous? Is it because your SO is staring and you feel that it’s inappropriate (which any man getting arouse by another woman breastfeeding is creepy, weird, perverted and pedophile status)? Is it because you lack the knowledge about breastfeeding? Is it because it was something that was frowned upon in your family? What is it that makes women shame other women for feeding their babies the natural way they know how?

Even before I had my son, before I was pregnant, I never saw anything wrong with a woman breastfeeding. I didn’t even blink or think twice about it. In my mind, it has always been natural. So where does this stigma come from?

Even in the work place, though by law employers are to have spaces for women to breastfeed and allow them to, many make women feel so uncomfortable or inconvenienced for breastfeeding that the either quit or stop breastfeeding altogether because it’s next to impossible. I truly believe in word of mouth and using social media to get the word out about jobs and establishments like these.

Employers should be glad that us women come back to our jobs. Some of us want to while others don’t have a choice. As far as stores, restaurants and other places, making a woman feel uncomfortable or bad for breastfeeding, is bad for business. There are many advocates like myself who will speak up.

One example on the podcast was a woman was asked to go to the restroom stall to breastfeed her child at her brother-in-law’s high school graduation at her alma later. To me that would’ve been a slap in the face. Not only am I here for a graduation, but I paid damn good money to get a degree hear and you’re going to belittle me by asking to take my baby into a nasty bathroom stall to feed them? Instead of speaking up or asking for a manager, she went into the stall. I know she probably felt shamed already. The kicker is she was covered up. Her breast wasn’t hanging out.

Another example was a woman who went back to work after her maternity leave and her employer made it next to impossible for her to pump other than to go into the men’s restroom. The men’s restroom? Do you know how filthy that is? With the urinals and all kinds of stuff floating around. She wrote a letter to HR and the higher ups and never heard a single word back. That’s bad business. Atrocious even.

Luckily, I live in the great state of Texas and for other Texans, you can find the breastfeeding laws here. We also have the Texas Mother-Friendly Worksites. To find out more about that, you can go to http://texasmotherfriendly.org.