Life is good.

Life is good.

I’m in a really upbeat mood. Despite the fact that it’s the end of the month and my money is dwindling. Despite the fact that there’s one person who has a hopefully not permanent spot nagging the back of my brain. My mood is because I am so blessed that I simply can’t give more than a few seconds of thought at a time to what’s not awesome. In the last couple of weeks alone, I’ve gotten reassurance and encouragement from my mom, pastor, and friends. I’ve had friends give Frederick clothes, more and more books, and a box of diapers, treat me to dinner, help me with my baby scrapbook, and spend time chilling with me and the munchkin (giving me some adult time!). There was even an older sorority sister, who remembers me from college when she was a middle school teacher who helped me and my committee for a couple of years host science fairs, who called me out of the blue (or should I say out of the pink? 🙂 ) to check on me and get my address so she could send me a little something for Frederick. I hadn’t talked to her in YEARS, but she still has fond memories of me and was happy for me when she heard I’d had a little one.

I wake up every morning to a little boy who grins every time I kiss him. Smokie is still my sweet (and spoiled) honey baby who is getting used to sharing his attention with a manchild. My job has been the best at helping me transition back to work, and I haven’t had any problems tending to my mom stuff, like pumping. My son is with someone I know all day so I feel confident he’s ok. I have tons of pictures and videos to look at when I’m missing him. And the highlight of my day is seeing his face when he recognizes me when I pick him up in the evenings. We read books, have fun bath times, and he’s been going to sleep without fussing when I put him down at the end of the day. I have a groove in the evenings and a semi-groove when I start over again each morning. I’m eating well, and I’m even starting to enjoy cooking like I did years ago.

Truly, I am blessed. More and more, I believe it when people tell me I’m doing a great job as a new mommy. More and more, I know and can trust that the Lord is Jehovah Jireh and will provide even when I can’t see how. And more and more, I am able to be positive for others when they need it. I can’t adequately express how grateful I am to those who “loved me back to awesome” when feeling like crud was a normal part of my routine, and I am equally grateful to be able to return the favor and even pay it forward.

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Ok enough gushing–here’s some seriousness:

–Praying for safety for all who are dealing with Hurricane Isaac

–If you aren’t registered to vote, please do so. The deadline here in GA is October 9 to be able to vote on November 6. If you are registered, make sure you have the proper ID and know where your poll is.

Happy Wednesday, folks! Let’s get over the hump!

I Love Books

I Love Books

Today is National Book Lovers Day, so I decided to go over to my Shelfari page to reminisce on the books I’ve read recently. Here are the books I rated 5 stars (“I loved it”):

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho – This book just makes you put your path in life in perspective. It’s a book I probably need to read quarterly to remind myself that just because you can’t see the happy outcome doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Desert Flower by Waris Dirie – I prefer fiction, but I love a good autobiography. This book is about a Somalian nomad/runaway who becomes a supermodel and human rights ambassador. Very inspirational story.

Catfish Alley by Lynne Bryant – I almost didn’t read this one because it was a recommendation for those who loved The Help, which I didn’t love because of the rose-colored perspective of the author. This book was refreshingly balanced, though. Set in the Mississippi Delta, the characters, both black and white, really explore what it meant to live in Mississippi back in the day without a save-a-race white heroine. Matter of fact, there were many mutual benefits to the relationships created in this story.

Ninth Ward by Jewel Parker Rhodes – I actually picked up this book to see if I wanted to give it to my niece and ended up captivated. Written for younger audiences, its main character is a little girl who lives in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans with her elderly guardian, who has visions of Hurricane Katrina. This book illustrates how strong love can be and how strong kids can be.

32 Candles by Ernessa Carter – This is a book that is kind of like those old Rikki Lake “You bullied me in high school… well look at me now” episodes. It was a quick read, and I enjoyed the characters. It was lighthearted but reminded me that some people (like me) have to struggle to find their voice sometimes.

Makeda by Randall Robinson – This one piqued my interest in all things ancestral and African. This story of a boy in the 70s whose blind grandmother has dreams about her past lives set in places she’d never know about if they really weren’t her past lives had (has) me doing all kinds of research. It’s intriguing to read more about African culture, and this is a great intro if you never really delved into it.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – Okay, if you don’t know what this one is, you’ve been hiding under a rock. The movie was good, but the book was even better. I read it at lightning speed. I read the whole series, but book #1 was just superb. It was gruesome, yes, but it really makes you go hmmm and think about what a “civilization” is or means.

I may come back tomorrow if time allows to highlight a few books I rated 4 stars (“I really liked it”). In the meantime, how many of these books have you read? Do any of them strike your fancy? What have been your favorite books in the last year?

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Amazingly, I currently weigh less than I did before my pregnancy. In an attempt to keep my slimmed down body while toning, I have started going to water aerobics, which I really really enjoy. Since I don’t know how to swim (no not because of my hair), I never fell in love with water the way I’ve seen in others, so I was really surprised at just how much I really like going to this fitness class. The time flies by, and even though I didn’t tire myself out in the pool, I can totally feel all that I’ve done once I get out.

Anywho, that’s actually not really the topic of this post. Music is! This past Saturday, during our class, which featured lots of oldies I sang along to while trying to keep up with a teacher many years older than I, this song came on. Although it was Stevie crooning on the mixtape, I was transported back to my childhood and my love of California Raisins. 🙂

I naturally have added it to the list of songs I sing to my baby at bath time, lol. Another flashback that I sing to my honey darling is this.

And then the other night I had my iTunes on random, and this one came on.

Last but not least, ever since he first started opening his eyes (for the first couple of weeks, my baby would only peek and we couldn’t really see what his eyes looked like), I always think of this song and most of the time I start singing it, lol (just a couple of bars since it’s not a “happy” song).

As you can see, this little guy has me wrapped around his little sweet fingers. 🙂 And daydreaming about him at work sometimes makes me daydream about my own childhood and special moments with my parents.  So here’s a record my daddy used to play for me all the time!

Back to My New Reality

Back to My New Reality

Wednesday, I wrote this long post updating you readers to my progress on my goals. Well, I lost it thanks to the stupid WordPress new post page that doesn’t autosave, so I learned a lesson–never write a post there. Go through my dashboard no matter what, where I can see “Draft saved at 2:07:38 pm.” without even moving my eyes.

The nonbeliever of coincidences, though, I decided that something about that post wasn’t supposed to be seen by the masses. I don’t know what. But no worries because today, I’m starting with a fresh slate, and I’m not going to try to rewrite that long juicy post I wrote Wednesday. 🙂 That being said, here goes!

Frederick on his first day of daycare. His smiles make my heart flutter!

My little family and I made it through our first week of a “new reality.” Frederick started daycare Monday, and I started work Wednesday. And Smokie is just dealing with whatever comes his way. I must say, although I felt a slight tinge of guilt every time I dropped him off and at least once through the day, and although I’ve never been a huge fan of routine, this new reality seems like it will do wonders for all three of us. Except for last night, Frederick sleeps soundly through the night except the two times he needs to eat. And actually twice this week, he only got up once to eat. So even though I could stand an eensy weensy bit more sleep, I definitely can’t complain because I got more sleep this past week than ever before (at night). I also had a good week of pumping milk–now I just have to make sure I don’t make the common mistake of not staying in routine this weekend and messing with my supply! Also, Im getting the hang of being productive in my home. Gasp! I’m not quite at doing a load of laundry every day, but I don’t have clothes spilling out of hampers like before when I was washing clothes when I was getting low on underwear, lol. It’ll be even better when I get over my dislike of folding clothes. 🙂 I have my morning and night routines almost downpat. After I pick up Frederick in the evenings, I cook or heat up leftovers, clean the kitchen (which includes first washing all of Frederick’s bottles of the day and then whatever dishes I used when I cooked and ate), get my lunch ready for the next day, get Frederick’s bottles ready for the next day, give him a bath, take my own bath (which includes my newest face and hair routines), iron our clothes (gasp!! I’m sure my dad would hesitate to believe this one!), feed him, and lay him down. Now, the order in which I do all of that depends on my baby and his sleepiness and/or fretfulness, but so far routine has been my friend. [Note: I also read to him if he’s awake long enough, and I always sing to him in the tub and whenever elsethe mood hits me!]

Mommy’s first day back at work
It’s finally Friday! Home after a full week. We made it!

I have learned so much about myself and my capacity to cope and move forward since I had my baby (and especially since my mom left us in Atlanta to get back to her reality). My baby really is an amazing miracle from above, and he has made all the difference in my life. I can’t focus too long on what I don’t like or have when I can just look at him and know that I’m blessed to have him. And although I know being a mom isn’t easy, I also know that God will provide for my son. After a long, tough pregnancy, I’m ready for this new journey. I look forward to seeing Frederick come into his personality even more, to seeing him and helping him learn, to waking up to his smiles (and mean mugs), to kissing him before he goes to sleep at night, to exposing him to the great things this world has to offer. I don’t look forward to not being able to shield him from all of life’s hurts and pains, but I do look forward in joining my mom in more of the experiences of motherhood.

And because music is one of my emotional outlets, here are some tunes for ya.

As soon as I stop worrying
Worrying how the story ends
I let go and I let God
Let God have His way
That’s when things start happening
I’ll stop looking at back then
I let go and I’ll let God have His way

One week down, a lifetime to go! Happy Friday!