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

“Never give up, it’s such a wonderful life…”

Relationships end. That’s just how life goes. I feel like since I’ve turned 30, I’ve developed more of a “fuck it” attitude towards a myriad of things. Whether it be people or things, my tolerance level for “fuck shit” is nonexistent.

My life is amazing right now, and I honestly could not be happier (well, I kind of could but that’s beside the point). My son is healthy and thriving, hitting many milestones early. We’ve been spending every free moment together and there are so many more moments to come. The pumpkin patch last Saturday was absolutely joyous and it was a beautiful day outside.

I’m working on my health and the betterment of my livelihood. I’m not necessarily trying to lose weight, but I am trying to build my immune system and keep my stamina and energy up. My skin is clear and my head is even clearer when it comes to many things.

The relationship between my son’s father and I is getting better. We have actually been having civilized conversations. Are we friends? Of course not, but we are cordial for the sake of our child. That’s all that needs to happen: we have to be able to be a united front when it comes to Malakhai and his well being.

My family is stronger than ever, and I feel like the birth of my son brought us closer. As a single mom, and even as a married or in-a-relationship mom, it truly takes a village to raise children, and my village is built Ford tough (see what I did there? You’ll only get it if you live in Texas).

Work is work. I love teaching wholeheartedly, but I think it’s getting close to time to move elsewhere within the education system. I am working on some things behind the scenes that I am not quite ready to share yet, but I will soon. Sometime next year.

My bills are paid, my son is fed, there’s food in my fridge, we have clothes on our backs, and we are living life. So to those of you, and you know damn well who you are specifically, don’t try to ruin my joy with your bitterness and misery. My life is good, live yours and stay out of mine with your negativity. We are grown now and that childishness, you can miss me with that. It’s true that misery needs and loves company, but I’d rather stay to myself and be joyful and happy.

See, I’ve dealt with negativity from people for so long, from friends to even more so, family, but no longer. I have goals that I am trying to reach and anyone who knows what it’s like to be goal-oriented, knows that negative people will only bring you down and prolong reaching your success. I can see the peak of the mountain, and no one will be an obstacle on my way up. Stay at the bottom if you cannot be a positive rock in my life.

I say all this to say that, not everyone is going to be for you when it comes to your goals and being successful in whatever it is you are doing. Ctrl + Alt + del them with a quickness.

xoxo Moniqua Lashae

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

Closure

Closure is the closing of one chapter and beginning of another. Close one door, another opens. However, don’t mistake closure as burning bridges because it is not, well, depending upon how you go about getting closure.

Closure is more than just relationships. You can get closure from a job, career, friendship, a car, partnership, college, you name it. It’s not just for one specific thing. It can even be closure from a fight or situation. It’s basically you saying that you’re ready to move on from something or someone: letting them/it go.

Closure is single handedly how I’ve come to be where I am. It’s really therapeutic and saves on going to therapy. I see closure as being the final “hoorah” in a sense.

I wrote a letter to my biological father, who is in every sense of the word, a deadbeat black father. I won’t get into details of the letter but I want to talk about how I felt after writing it and sending it to him.

The letter was sent through FB Messenger, only because I don’t have his number or any other way to contact him. I saw that he read the letter but he didn’t respond, and that’s totally okay. See, closure for me is getting everything off my chest: saying what I need to say and being done. Getting everything out in the open is freeing to me, whether the other person responds back or not.

Now, do I think he’ll ever respond? Probably not, but I put it out there for him to should he decided to do so. Am I open to building a relationship? Absolutely not. He’s had 30 years to build one and numerous opportunities to take with me trying. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to build a relationship with him and writing that letter to let him know that I’m done trying and not willing to try in the future, was the closure I needed.

I don’t want to keep hanging on to hoping that one day he’ll come around. I have a son now who has an amazing father. I don’t want to harp on the past or have any resentment. I don’t want Boo to see that. I want him to see the relationship I have with my stepfather and know that mommy has a father figure.

Hatred is something that requires a lot of energy, energy that I am not willing to give anyone. It’s also negative energy. I have never hated him, mainly because I don’t even know him. I don’t know his age, birthday, favorite color, choice of music, nothing. The one thing I do know is he wants nothing to do with me. In essence, he’s not worth any of my energy anymore.

It’s always said to write someone a letter expressing your feelings, but never give it to them. Burn it or keep it and revisit it later and see if you still feel the same. I call horse shit. Write that letter, and as my mother said, “Push the got damn button!” What’s the purpose of writing a letter, expressing your feelings and never letting the person know? What does that solve? Not a damn thing. You can’t have closure by just washing your hands of someone without a word. You’ll then always think about what you should’ve said or what you wanted to say.

I have no regrets in writing nor sending that letter. I felt like he needed to know how I’ve felt over the years and what I’ve dealt with with him being absent. I swore to myself that from this day forward, I won’t let his absence ruin my present and future when it comes to relationships and when it comes to my son and his father. I really pushed for his father to be around and he’s come through every single time. I hope and pray that it stays that way.

Was your father absent in your life? How did it make you feel? Have you let him know? Gotten closure? If it wasn’t your father, but your mother, same questions. Let’s get the conversation going.

 

Product Reviews

We’re Going to Need More Wi…Sparkling Water

I made a vow this year to read 25 books. Well, starting on the first, I read one book, cover-to-cover. It was just that good. “We’re Going to Need More Wine…” by Gabrielle Union was a helluva read. It was nonstop laughter, sadness, anger and so much more. Fortunately, I had no plans to leave my house on Monday, so I figured, why not read a book that I digitally checked out from the library (checking out books is part of my journey to minimalism)?

I won’t get into too much detail, but majority of her book had a lot to do with her not being comfortable in her own skin as a dark skinned black woman. Growing up she felt like an outsider having gone to PW schools and being the only black girl, a dark skinned black girl at that. She talked about wanting to have her hair straight to make her less of a target to be bullied, which is something that I can relate to. I always wanted me hair straight and even though I was at a mixed school (Channelview), I was always picked on for some reason or another, but I think it mainly had to do with the fact that I was a dark skinned black girl who had long hair and spoke proper English.

She goes on to talk about the boys she dated, the boys she wanted to date, and the boys that didn’t show interest because of her skin. When she brought up the topic of her first husband, Chris, making it big in his career and how he wanted someone who more so fit the part, a lighter skinned woman, it made me think about how black men today and when they get a little bit of money, they go for the light skinned black women, Latinas, Asians and white women. It always baffles me how these men, our men, can think that we aren’t worthy enough to be on their arm when their status changes.

Union talked about how she found out her dad was cheating on her mom with a woman who looked exactly like her mom. Why cheat on your significant other with someone who favors them? I’m not seeing the sense in that. Then the fact that her mother knew but stayed because she loved the life they had. I think what parents don’t understand about their choices is that their kids see these choices and often times end up making the same poor decisions. It’s the domino effect that just keeps trickling down from generation to generation.

Rape is a huge part of this book and she explains how it has affected her life and her relationships. She was raped by someone she didn’t know, but often time that isn’t the case with rape victims and survivors. Coming from someone who knew their rapist, it’s not something you can move on from. You have to worry that you may one day run into this person, if your family will believe you, if they threatened to hurt you if you told. She talks about the kids that she mentors and the groups that she’s in and have worked with.

If you see Gabrielle Union and her resume of work, you would never know that she grow up hating herself, dealing with people who did and dealt drugs, binge drinking at a young age, having sex just because and so much more. I definitely will be reading this book again because it’s relatable and inspiring in so many ways.

I have always been a fiction reader, but over the past year, I have really gotten into nonfiction and memoirs, self-help, self-care, and anything to help better my life. If you haven’t read this book, I highly, highly recommend it.

My Life

I’m back!!

The holidays have past, and school has started again. These past couple of weeks have been nice being off from work. I am not one who cares much for holidays, but I do love spending time with my family. December was our first cold winter in a while. With temperatures in the 40s (that’s cold for us southerners). I stayed inside most of the break, which is what I normally do anyway.

I spent a lot of time working in my planner and getting things ready for the new year. I will show details of that at a later date in a YouTube video. I have recently gotten into heavy planning to really get my life together. I have a baby coming soon and I need to be prepared for their arrival. This will also help me to keep myself on track so that nothing changes when the baby gets here.

I also created a vision board (which will also be shown in at a later date in a video) so that I can visually see my goals and keep track as I achieve them. This method holds me accountable. I had a vision board on Pinterest but it just didn’t help because that meant every time I wanted to see it, I would have to log in to my phone. I should have created vision board before now, however, life sometimes gets in the way.

I have created a schedule for blog posts and YouTube videos, as well as planning out how I am going to work my Instagram. I have deleted a lot of photos (I have less than 100 now) and I want to start posting with intention, instead of how I was doing before (just posting to be posting). I want all content that I create across all of my platforms to be intentional and informational for those who watch, read and follow. I consider these to be leisure activities that provoke thought. I want to stay on a schedule and that is why I am intentionally planning with my planner.

Debthas been a burden on me for many years and now that my baby will soon be here, I have to stick to a strict budget in order to pay off debts and give my child the best life possible. I don’t want to struggle. Even though my child’s father is supportive and I have my family, I still need to be able to do things on my own so when my child grows up, they will know that mommy worked her ass off to make sure that they want for nothing. I have a budget planner, a debt thermometer and a snowball calculator to keep me on track and hold me accountable. I have already input my data for all of these tools as well as my projections for savings each month. I will succeed.

The above items are what I have been working on over the past couple of weeks to make sure that I entered 2018 with clear intentions, a set plan, a changed mindset, and a confident attitude.

What are some things you have been working on in order to make sure 2018 is your best year yet?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Dear Bitter Moms

Since I’ve been pregnant, you have been projecting your opinions and oppositions at me. It’s like once women have had children, they always feel like experts, but that’s not the case. Not every woman is the same, nor is every birth or pregnancy. Just because I choose to have a different birthing experience than you, does not mean that I don’t know what I’m talking about, or that I’m young and dumb.

I made a post on Instagram about hospital births and one bitter mom said that us “young moms think (we) know it all.” She went in to say that she’s been a mom for 15 years and that “medications are in place for a reason.” Well, that’s how you feel but not how I feel. It’s almost as if it’s wrong to have a difference in opinion.

I feel like FTM are always getting attacked because we want something different for our experience. To be honest I don’t plan on having more kids, so I want this experience to be memorable. My age has nothing to do with my knowledge and I think that’s where you “bitter moms” get things twisted. Just because your birthing experience with medications and what not was great, that is not the case for everyone else.

Now before you get your panties in a twist and let your fingers pull the angrily typing trigger, I’m not saying that having babies in a hospital is bad, or makes you a bad parent, or that I’m better than you. What I’m saying is, not everyone wants that. If that’s what you felt was right for you, then by all means it was right for you. It’s just not right for me.

People tend to go along with what they’ve been taught, have always known/seen, or just with what society says. If you follow me on social media, you know I go against the so-called “norm”, especially in the black community. It’s not normal to be black and vegan, non-religious, having a midwife and water birth, and practicing natural remedies for healing.

Why should I conform to black societal norms when I can live my life the way I see fit for me and my baby?

In closing, to all you “bitter moms”, keep your opinions to yourself. Just because you have had experience being a mom and giving birth, does not mean shit to me. We are nothing alike; we aren’t even on the same damn frequency.

Signed,

A fed up FTM

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

First Trimester is Over!!!

I am finally out of the first trimester and I could not be happier. The extreme nausea, no appetite, fatigue like no other, just not feeling like myself. Hunger pains were torture and there were only certain foods that I could eat. Now that I am in the second trimester, all of that has gone away. What has stayed is the sore breasts and nipples, the pain in my sciatic nerve because baby is growing and my body is expanding, preparing for my little one.

I’ve been told by quite a few people that the second trimester you don’t even feel like your pregnant, except for the fact that your bump is getting bigger, however, you still feel pregnancy pains. I am looking forward to actually feeling my baby move. I felt little flutters in my first trimester, but in the second trimester, near the end, you’re supposed to actually feel the little human move.

I have become more excited about being a first time mom, and especially so that my baby is vegan and will continue to be vegan. Vegan from birth. There’s not too many people like that anymore.

As my pregnancy goes on, I will continue with updates.

My Life

My 15 Expectations of 2017

I made a video on my goals for 2017-2019.  So now I want to go year by year and we are going to start with 2017, which begins tomorrow. With 2016 coming to an end, I’ve been reflecting on all of the things that the year has brought me. I got my first apartment and a damn nice one at that and I also became a teacher. Those were two very big steps I took in my adult life; getting my own place and starting a career.

These were things that I have been working on for years and I never thought that they would happen within months of each other. Now that I am settling into things, I do have some expectations of the upcoming year.

  1. To be a bestselling author by the end of the year. I know it’s possible.
  2. Be able to write full time.
  3. Be able to begin the process of building a tiny home.
  4. Connect with my soulmate, fall in love and get pregnant.
  5. I want yoga to become more proficient in my life.
  6. My passport needs some loving so I am definitely all for chances to travel.
  7. Blogging has been a passion the past few years so if that could take off, finally, I’m all for it.
  8. Be a brand ambassador for Black brands that are relevant to me and beneficial.
  9. Collaborative efforts with other like-minded individuals.
  10. Network with other Blackpreneurs such as poets, bloggers, writers and authors.
  11. Move to a more climate friendly place for melanin rich people.
  12. Financial stability is a huge one for me. That was something I began working on in 2015 and so far, I am doing very well with it. I have paid off so much debt in 2016, it’s ridiculous and I have a little way to go before I start working on my student loans.
  13. Save more money for emergencies. I have never been a good saver, but I am also not a huge spender. I spend most of my checks on debt and now that I am coming to a good place with that, I can save more money.
  14. Build friendships and better the ones that I already have.
  15. Lastly, to step out of my comfort zone and go for what I want. I’m specifically talking about my dreams. In order for me to achieve them I have to push myself to do things that make me feel uncomfortable like open mic night at the poetry lounge, telling whoever I am in a relationship with exactly how I feel, be more aggressive with my wants and needs and put forth more effort into things.

These things I want to achieve by the end of 2017 and I have created a checklist and will make a video/post as I accomplish them. I want to keep track and record my accomplishments so I can look back on them and see how far I have come. See you all in the new year.

xoxo, Afro Hippie Vegan, Last day of 2016

My Life

What I Learned in 2016

Here are some things I learned this past year:

  1. Good things take time. I got an apartment and a new job. I have been speaking these things into the universe for years and they came within two months of each other.
  2. I found out what friendship really meant. I have a handful of good friends and they have really shown what it means to have a friend.
  3. I took a nude photo and posted it on IG. The feed back was so amazing and I’ve really stepped out of my shell.
  4. I learned that not all men are the same.  I’ve met some amazing guys through IG who aren’t after nudes or just sex, they really stimulated my mind through great conversation.
  5. I learned that sometimes you have to make the first move when it comes to relationships, romantic and non. I created a post on IG about how I wanted to be friends with quite a few people and turns out they wanted to be friends too!
  6. Don’t judge people by their appearance, judge them on their actions. I’ve met quite a few people this year and their actions proved their looks wrong. This is something I’ve always done and people’s actions have always told a different story.
  7. The best time for me to write is between the months of October and February. So from around the time of my birthday (October 7) through the end of February is when I have written all of my books. Something I should’ve been paying attention to.
  8. Consistency is a major issue I have. I haven’t been consistent with my writing, videos, posts, blogs, anything. I want to improve on all of those things an become better at them.
  9. I can’t keep dwelling on the past. I have a tendency to see what my ex’s are doing and how their lives have been since we’ve broken up. Some are fairing well and others, not so much. The problem with me thinking about what could have been is hindering me from moving forward with someone who could be my present and future.
  10. I am standing in my own way from doing a great many things, such as becoming a best seller. I don’t advertise or promote as much as I should and I don’t take advantage of all the social media platforms that are at my fingertips. I will be taking great advantage of that when I finish this book.
  11. I need to be more open to the idea of having a publisher. I have been an indie author for four years and though book sales have done well, I still need to be open to getting a publisher and soon.
  12. Love still exists. I thought love was dead and the possibility of love for me was something that was like a fairytale; make believe. I am starting to realize that love is a lot closer than I think.
  13. Let things go. I learned that you can’t hold on to things that have angered you or brought negativity into your life. When you do that, you are letting people/things have power over you. You have to let things go.
  14. Laugh more. I think I have laughed more in this year than I ever have in my entire life and laughing is a form of therapy. I don’t laugh much, and it also doesn’t take much for me to laugh. I plan to do a lot more laughing in 2017.
  15. Only write when you feel like writing. I’ve forced my hand so many times to write but my mind was just not having it. I only write when I feel like writing and when I have something to write about.
  16. I write best at night, late at night too. I have found myself many times up at 2 or 3 in the morning, writing. Waking up from a crazy dream and I turn that dream into a story or poem.
  17. It’s okay to cry. I have also cried many times this year, more in the past four months than any time in my life. Finally being out on my own has brought so many emotions to me and being able to be alone and be in solitude, I have released many pent up emotions.
  18. Live in the moment. I was always a planner and still am, somewhat. But I learned that there is nothing like being present in the here and now. I learned to put my phone away and that everything doesn’t need to be captured and posted on social media.
  19. Talk more. I have always been a quiet person but I think I’ve done a lot of talking. I am building up my courage to be able to do public speaking so that I can do spoken word and book tours and signings.
  20. Everything happens for a reason and in due time. I think this was the biggest lesson I learned this year as far as my books, job, apartment, friends, romantic encounters. There are no coincidences in life.
  21. Don’t be so hard on myself. I am my toughest critic, fan, enemy, you name it. I get so down on myself when I don’t accomplish something or something doesn’t go the way that I expected it to. I have to remember that I can always try again and do it differently the next time around.

What are some things that you have learned in 2016?