My Life

Holiday Season

So today is Christmas Day and even though I’m not a celebratory person, I still get with family and enjoy their company. This will be the first holiday season for my son and my family is super excited about giving him gifts. I on the other hand, not so much.

We live in 661 sq ft and there’s barely room for us both, so lots of toys and clothes will take us to the rim. Trying to dictate (only word I can think of) on what to get him hasn’t faired well. So, I digressed.

I bought him a few things, which you can see here.

Having these next two weeks off is going to be great because I get to wake up and lay and bed with my mini each and every morning. I also get to spend time with him. I’m also going to be working my side hustle to save up money for a deep cleaning at the dentist and court fees.

How do you celebrate the holidays?

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?

My Life

Hello September…

It’s September and I couldn’t be more excited. My birthday is right around the corner. I’m still in the works of planning my bday but I think I’m going to book a local air bnb. Of course Malakhai will be with me. Can’t leave him out of my festivities.

I’ve finally accepted that I have some form of PPD and I have been talking to someone about it. I’ve been ignoring it and trying to make myself believe it was something else but it’s PPD and apparently, you can get it even when your child is an adult. Imagine that.

Last week I wrapped up my Boss Lady series and if you haven’t checked it out, click here. I will be beginning a new series either next month or in November, but I’ll be sure to keep you all posted.

I finished my first week of school (I’m a teacher) and I’m about to start the second week. Funny we have a three day weekend for Labor Day and next weekend will be another three day weekend. I’m wondering who I need to convince to make school four days a week instead of five because that extra day on the weekend is necessary.

Busgeting has been rough, especially for the month of August. I did not stick to the budget and went over in every category. However, I won’t dwell on the past. It’s a new month and that means I can start anew and try again. I’ve learned that with budgeting, it takes time. I can’t continue to beat myself up over the mistakes or going over in one or all categories. Also, I get my first check since coming off of my temporary leave of absence, tomorrow. So I’ll be setting up my budget based on that check for the next two weeks.

I’m renewing my lease in my apartment because I’ve decided it’s best I pay off my student loans before investing in a house. I also need to pay off that emergency personal loan I got over the summer to float me until I got paid. My budget was going so well and I budgeted from when I went on leave, up until now. Not sure where I went wrong, but I did mess up somewhere.

I’ve been making some goals that I want to seriously work towards, one being to pay off my student loans before 2021. It’s definitely feasible, but I need another side hustle, preferably one that brings in an extra $1,000 per month.

Malakhai is starting to try to roll over. He has the gist of it, he just needs to follow through. He’s getting so big now and it’s going faster than I’m ready for. He is definitely a mama’s boy.

Some of my goals for this month are:

• stick to the budget

• cut eating out to maybe 4 times this month

• meal plan every single week

• only but groceries that I’ll be eating that week

• limit my time on social media

• take Khai out more

• make a conscious effort to post at least two blog posts a week (this may be doable)

• be consistent with financial Friday’s and my money FB group

• make a schedule to post videos for IGTV

• workout (I’ve lost all motivation to lose this baby weight)

• go out at least two times to meet ups or take myself out

• better prepare my lessons each week and have materials ready for the week

• get better organized

I know this is a long list, but I do need to get better about a lot of these things.

What are some of your goals for September?

My Life

Back to Interviews

I really thought that my last interview would’ve been my last interview for A while. No such luck.  Due to being on maternity rave and not qualifying for FMLA (family medical leave), my position was given to someone else. I am a teacher and since I had to take a leave of absence to have my baby, my position was given away.

It’s bittersweet to say the least. I’m going to miss my principal, coworkers and students, however, I do want to be closer to home. So, I went ahead and applied to the district I live in in as well as applied to teach homeschooled students online, which is something I’ve wanted to do since I started teaching. That way, I can be home with Boo.

The commute to my old school wasn’t terrible, and there was no traffic, but say if something were to happen with Boo, it’s a bit of a distance to drive, even though he’ll be staying with my mom while I’m at work.

Of course there were things I disliked, but that goes with any job, no matter how much you love it. Somehow, someway, I think this is some sort of blessing in disguise. Not exactly sure how just yet, but I know it is.

I am glad to have worked with such amazing people and even formed friendships. Now I guess it’s time to think about the future and what that may hold. I wouldn’t even mind getting a clerical or secretarial kind of position in the district.

Have you ever been laid off from a job? What did you do? How did you feel?

Health + Wellness, My Life

Fast Food for Standardized Testing? Nah.

Yesterday my students took their standardized test for the subject I teach (writing). Every year on standardized testing day, some fast food restaurant gives free breakfast. Now I’m all for free, however, the restaurants giving the free breakfast are terrible. This year, it happened to be the worst fast food place of all: McDeath…I mean McDonald’s.

McDonald’s has to be the worst fast food place of all fast food places. Their food is fake, full of chemicals, MSG, and a host of other things that should not be ingested. Everyone knows that they should not go there. Not only that, because everyone was waiting in line for their free meal, kids ended up being late.

Another reason I hate that these places give free fast food on testing day is that the parents will take their kids and give them this terrible food, which causes them to be sluggish, unfocused and sick. They won’t perform as well on their test because of the chemicals affecting their brain and ability to concentrate.

I really wish parents would stop giving their kids fast food. I have a student who gets donuts every morning for breakfast and for lunch they have some kind of animal on steroids because I have never seen meat that big. Then the parent wonders why this child is always sleep. The shit you’re feeding them is slowing them down and shutting their system down. To me, giving your child fast food is child abuse. People never think about what they’re feeding their child is child abuse. Child abuse comes in different forms but that’s a topic for another post.

How do you feel about children eating fast food? If you feed your child fast food, why? Would love to get a healthy discussion going.

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Getting an Abortion

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was devastated. During that time, I was set to move to China and start a new life and career. I had my visa documents and everything. All I was waiting on was my plane ticket. Then I found out I was pregnant. That brought everything to a screeching halt.

I was getting medical checks regularly because you have to be in good health. The doctor kept saying my blood pressure was high and I have never had high blood pressure. I thought maybe because I was stressed and I also didn’t like her. Unbeknownst to me, I was pregnant.

I found out I was pregnant on August 13, 2017. My period was late by a day or two and I just knew I was pregnant. I took a pregnancy test and it came back positive. I laughed it off and took another. It came back positive too. I immediately stopped breathing. I literally felt my heart stop. I wasn’t ready to be a mom nor did I want to be one. I didn’t want kids.

My first stop was to my mother’s house because I was going painting with her and my grandmother that day. I told my mom through my tears and trying to catch my breath. If you know my mom, you know she was hella excited, this being her first grandbaby and all. I also told my brother and stepdad who were there. They were all supportive. Then I told my baby’s father and that’s when things changed.

We agreed upon me getting an abortion because I had life plans and so did he. I was going to fucking China!!! So, I called the abortion clinic and went the next day. I just knew I was doing the right thing until I got there. I won’t mention the clinic but it was small and not very attractive. I waited in the waiting room for what felt like hours.

Once I was called back, I sat in this hallway with a bunch of other women. The woman sitting next to me was telling a woman who was crying that she’ll be fine. She had had several abortions with her boyfriend and she turns out fine every time. That’s when reality set in. Women actually do this to fix what they consider a “mistake”. Some even do it repeatedly with no remorse. At that point I wanted to leave, but I stayed. Something told me to stay.

I looked a few seats down and there was this room I kept seeing women come out of with a nurse. These women were in a daze and could barely walk. That’s when I realized we were by the operating room. We were also by the back door where the women went out of once the abortion was done.

I started to really panic. By that point a nurse called me in to get an ultrasound. They couldn’t find the baby on the screen. I began to breathe hoping that meant those pregnancy tests were wrong. Then they made me take a pre test and blood test. The pee test came back as a light positive and I had to wait 24 hours for the blood test.

After that I went and saw a counselor and she explained to my how the operation worked and how the pill worked. Both options sounded horrific. I was mortified. I made my appointment for two days later, on a Wednesday. I came out and passed this room that was dark and I saw all these women in there. Some curled up, some crying and some sleeping. These women were waiting for their rides to come pick them up. They had already had their procedure. I quickly left the building.

I cried all the rest of that day and that night, into the next morning. I was scared and didn’t know what to do. One thing was for sure. I can’t remember at which moment it was: the woman telling about her numerous abortions, the operating room, the counselor or the room full of post-op women, but I knew I was going to keep my baby. I knew for certain I was not going to go through with the abortion. That morning the clinic called me back to confirm my blood test came back positive for being pregnant.

The morning of when I was supposed to get my procedure, I got a phone call from a school to come and have me interview for a teaching position. I ended up getting an interview and hired the same day. I realize now that had I gone through with the abortion, I wouldn’t have gotten this job. I would also be in China right now. This job was a job I had been wanting: it was a writing position. I was going to be teaching writing and I was happier than anyone could ever know.

I share this story because I know women contemplate abortions every second of every day and I know women who actually go through with them. Either way, both are difficult decisions: either keep or get rid of your baby. Ultimately, my decision to keep my baby was that there are no mistakes. I knew the outcomes of having unprotected sex with no birth control. This baby is not at fault and therefore, having an abortion, was not a solution because being pregnant wasn’t a problem. This was an unplanned planned pregnancy, meaning it wasn’t intentional but I also didn’t try to prevent it.

Now, almost 7 months later, I am in a better, happier place. I have an amazing job, a new car (not fancy though), a new apartment and a bundle of joy who will arrive in April. My child’s father is now on board and excited about having a child. This is a first for the both of us so we will be learning as we go. We have the support of family and friends. Even though I am single mom, the relationship I have with my child’s father is going to make for an awesome coparenting relationship.

Every time I feel my baby kick, I get more and more excited. I’m at the stage in my pregnancy where the baby is moving around a lot and making their little presence known. I know as I get into my third trimester, I will feel the baby kick and move even more. I keep thinking what if I had gone through with the abortion, what my life would be like now. Then I think about how my life is now and I’m happy. I can’t keep living in the what if’s or the past.

Granted, I could’ve still gone to China with my baby, but being a single, FTM in a country that I’ve never been to, that just didn’t seem logical. Plus, here, I have the help of family and friends.

It’s interesting to look back on how I started at the beginning of my pregnancy and how I felt, to now. I feel like I’m a completely different person. I’m already in mommy mode and my baby isn’t even here yet.

If you have a story to share, share it below or feel free to contact me if you want it to be private.

I want to let women know that they are not alone in whatever decisions they make. There is always someone who has been through or is going through the same thing. It may seem scary right now and like it’s not the right time, but everything happens for a reason. I think me getting pregnant and deciding to keep my baby, is going to make me a better woman, someone whom I never thought I could or would be.

So this is my story and I hope that it helps someone else.

All Black Everything, My Life

Black Girls Teach

I came across this Instagram page when I searched #blackteachers and #blackeducators. A whole page dedicated to black female educators! I am all about black women empowerment. It is something that is near and dear, simply because I too am a black female educator. I am in my second year teaching and I love working with students and getting to see them grow and grasp new concepts. I have high expectations of my students and they know I do, and it’s only the third week of school.

Being a black educator is more common than most people think. What we do lack is black male educators, which I feel is an impertinent part of educating black students, more specifically and importantly, black boys. Many black boys do not have that positive male role model to look up to, therefore, they tend to stray off towards a path of self destruction, or follow in the footsteps of negative male behaviors (i.e. drugs, alcohol, gangs, crime, jail, victims of police brutality).

Granted that there are enough black female teachers, I still feel like we need to do so much more for our young girls. I have been in education for four years, and the things I have seen and heard among young black girls is heartbreaking. Working in a high school setting you hear about body counts (sexual partners, not murders), twerking, baby daddies, gossiping and just girls tearing themselves and others down. This is why I feel my job as an educator is so important.

Yesterday, one of my female students came up to me and said that one of my male students said to her and her friends “girl love.” Now she took it offensively (I teach 4th grade) in a way that would have the boy suggest they were gay or liked each other. I told her that I don’t think that is what he meant (given the personality of the young male student), and I told her that he more than likely meant “girl love” as in you all are friends and love each other. I explained to her that “girl love” is about women and girls lifting each other up and helping each other. It’s about not picking on each other or bullying, but being kind and supportive. She walked away annoyed that the boy didn’t get in trouble and she was completely untouched by my speech, but I felt great explaining that to her (though she probably thought I was crazy).

I feel that being a black female teacher is like the students having a second mother ( I can’t even count the times I’ve been called “mom” and “mama”), one who teaches them in ways that their parents either can’t because either they don’t have the resources or they don’t have the time. It’s kind of like a coparenting situation.

I encourage more black women, and men, to become educators and teach our youth in ways that they can’t be taught by those who don’t look like them. Having a familiar face in the classroom is significant to their learning.


You can find the t-shirt on Black Girls Teach website, and you can follow them on IG @blackgirlsteach.

My Life

2016 has been a great year

Around this time last year I did not think that I would be where I’m at in my life now. Last year this time I was:

-living paycheck to paycheck

-had a negative balance

-working as a substitute teacher

-couldn’t pay all my bills

-living at home

-depressed

-unhappy

I was a lot more things but those were the main things. Financially I was so unstable and that was hard for me even with living at home. My mom footed the bill as far as a roof over my head but for everything else, I had to pay all of that. I felt like I was hitting rock bottom. This may not sound like anything serious to anyone else, but it was a serious thing to me.

Things started looking up when I took my contract exam for my teacher certification at the beginning of this year, January 12 to be exact. I passed all parts except one, which apparently was not enough to to get hired as a teacher but whatever. So I retook that section I didn’t pass again a and I passed so I got my probationary certificate. I was so excited about that until I started applying for teaching positions and was being denied from each one. So I pushed that to the back of my mind.

The next thing that happened after that was I paid off a loan with my bank and the IRS. That freed up a great deal of money for me and I became somewhat stable until summer came and I w no longer working as a substitute. Substitute teachers do not get paid in the summer like teachers do. I was working part time as a tour and that was barely enough to eat off of, I had to ask my mom to help me until I could get back on my feet, and I’m not a prideful person but I hate depending on others even if it is my mom. 

June is when things really started looking up. I finally got a yes for a teaching positions to teach second grade and I was ecstatic. I was too happy to finally be able to find a job that I wanted. Not long after that, I moved into my first apartment, in August, a week before school started. 

Once I started working, I became happier and happier because it was what I wanted to do. I love teaching, I love working with kids and just knowing I’m making a difference in the life of a child. With that comes great pay which has helped me a great deal financially. I will have a credit card paid off in February and the other possibly before the school year ends. 

Another thing I’ve been able to do was write a new book and start on another. I’ve had a lot more creativity since I have been able to work doing something I love. I’ve been happier and I think that translates into some of the things I wrote in my book. 

I’ve also been able to reach and impact more people on social media through IG and YouTube. Those are two goals of mine in 2017 – to grow my rolling and reach more people.

With all of that being said, I can only imagine what great things are going to happen in2017. 2016 has been so great to me, and I am thankful for everything that has flourished in my life. With patience, faith and positivity, great things will happen. 

Let me know in the comments what great thing shave happened for you in 2016. 

My Life

Lunch at Sunshine’s Vegetarian Deli

Since this is the week of Thanksgiving, and I’m a teacher, I have the week off to enjoy with friends and family that I don’t normally get to see and spend time with. Yesterday, I went to Sunshine’s Vegetarian Deli with Jazzie. I hadn’t seen her in almost forever, so it was due time. We talked about things we want to accomplish within the next year or so, and how we need to get back on track with our eating and exercising. 

It is always great conversations with her. Talking to likeminded people always makes me want to do better, especially a Black business woman. That’s for another post. 

Sunshine’s Deli is one of my favorite restaurants. Every time I go I always get the vegan nachos. I have yet to try anything different. The cheese is made from cashews and has a sweet taste to it. The “meat” I believe is Beyond Meat, but I’m not 100% sure. It’s garnished with olives, jalapeños, cilantro and pico. I have to say that they are better than any nonvegan nachos I have ever tasted.

I’m actually going back on Saturday with another vegan friend and I will be trying something different. Send positive vibes y’all.