Consistency

I’ve learned that my job as a mother is to be the glue that holds this little crazy family together. On the days when I “sleep in” or have errands to “run”, I can understand how vital my role is to my family’s survivial. My husband is a great father and enjoys devoting his time to both of our children (fur babies too). He is so wonderful that he often has to encourage me to go out and do those things that normal adults do like buying something for themselves or engaging socially with each other. 

However, that moment when I stop pretending to be sleep (by covering my face with a pillow), I see my phone ringing before I’ve even started the car, or tiptoeing back through the front door during nap time, I’m bombarded with conversations, questions, hugs, shouts, etc.- I know they can’t survive without me. 

I do my best to make their lives easier by staying one step ahead of them (mostly). 

Daughter: “Mom, have you seen my…” 

Me: *Gives her what she’s looking for before she finishes her sentence.*

Son: *Walks into room behind husband. * “Morning, Mommy. Morning!”

Me: “Hey son, let’s go get you a snack.”

Husband: “Hey, you remember when we were talking last night…”

Me: “Your pants are in the dryer, here’s your water, lunch is in the fridge.”  

I would rather stay ahead of their needs than trying to catch up, which means more planning and preparation for me (yayyy). This reminds me of when the kids were younger, I would try to prep bottles and boobs before they even realized they were hungry (they both were SUPER greedy, but I  really tried). I can’t take all the credit for having a relatively peaceful and well run home (thanx honey 💜), but I must give some credit to planning, preparation, and a consistent routine

We have (had) a great morning routine until we welcomed our puppy to our home a few weeks ago. We’re still working to get back on track! Anyway, let’s start with our morning. I usually get up with the puppy at 5:30am to cuddle, walk, and feed. By the time I get back, my son is usually in my bed with my husband or calling out for me from his crib. Depending on his mood, we get back in bed or go downstairs for a snack because I need to take a few deep breaths and wake myself up before indulging in such whole body moving. 

If the kids are home during the midday (eek), I keep a few fruits, crackers, and chips available for them to nibble on. I’ve noticed that they are more snackers than full meal eaters. Most kids right? Once they filled most of their nutritional needs on snacks they have a little room for lunch. Chicken fingers, hotdogs, sandwiches, etc. 

Once late afternoon arrives I am usually all tuckered out from house training the puppy, changing/potty training my son, and all the other things in between. Making sure we get in some time outside is important or we atleast do some type of physical activity. (My son might be the next Usher or Bruno Mars because he requests and watches their movies daily, lookout!) Luckily, my dinners are usually quick and simple! I’ve mastered the art of 30 minute or less meals. A few of my favorites are fajitas, turkey burgers, or spaghetti. 

After dinner is mandatory digestion! We usually sit and read or watch television for a few minutes before heading up for bath time. Some days are long baths where we sing songs and play, but most days we are in and out to ensure we don’t exhaust ourselves! Believe me, exhaustion is the devil (seriously). When my son gets exhausted he gets super whiney and cranky, my daughter gets sluggish and delirious. Either way, I don’t want any parts of either- so bed time it is. 

The key here is sticking to a schedule that works for you. Some days will definitely be easier than others, but the more you consciously think about how you want your day to go, the more likely you are to stay on the schedule. This is especially true when you have children because deviating from your schedule can cause major melt downs for you and your child(ren)

May the force be with you! 

-Jay

Footsteps

Knock, knock. 

It’s someone at the door. 

Who could it be? 

Is it that Amazon package you’ve been hoping for?

Open up. 

Nothing’s there.

“What’s going on?”

You whisper to no one there. 

Slam that door. 

“Man…I’m hungry.”

Walking to the kitchen, looking for some grub. 

A tap on the shoulder. 

“Turn around.”

“What the hell is going on?” 

No time for games. 

Footsteps tapping on the ground. 

Turn left, turn right.

Still no one around. 

“I’m here for you.

When you least expect it that’s when I appear.”

She. 

She bever knew what to be.

Any doubt she had, multiply it by 3.

Years went by, the pain faded away. 

She tried and tried, but had to stay.

Words weren’t easy, but she found them.

Her voice was low, muffled and tame.

They could hear, but weren’t truly listening.

What she said didn’t make sense.

She asked them one thing.

“Do you believe in this?”

They honestly said, “no”. 

That is, until they saw her persist.

She did it without hesitation.

She did it without doubt.

She did it in time, enough to move out. 

A better world, could their be such a place?

She thought she could handle it. 

She needed a saving grace. 

Grace would be nice, especially with a little hope. 

Can’t forget about faith

Nothing really matters when you’re walking such a tight rope. 

Her life is always changing. 

Why should it be the same?

These words are getting easier. 

Now there’s no one to blame. 
 

It’s a zoo!

Last Sunday we got a puppy! After many long conversations with my husband, we decided to make that jump! Well what did we get….

Benjamin

A black Labrador Retriever that I named Benjamin (Benji for short). He was about 8 weeks when we got him and there have been many long nights and early mornings since then, but it’s all so worth it.

I don’t have much experience with pets. In fact I never had a pet, so this is all new to me. When we first moved in we got our kitten, Biscuit. That was my first introduction to the life of pets that went relatively smooth, so I was ready to take on the world! Or so I thought.

Day 1- Quiet and observant.

Day 2- Slightly active, lethargic.

Day 3- Walking and exploring.

Day 4- Active, exploring, happy.

Day 5- Beast mode.

Day 6- All of the above!

Yup. That pretty much sums up Benji’s welcoming. So far all the kids have been getting along well, with a few pounces and nips between the furry ones. Trying to house train the puppy is hard work, but it reminds me of when I would work on potty training with my toddlers.

It’s really about the knowledge and timing. When they keep hearing the words, “go to the bathroom or go potty”, it will start to sink in and connect for them in their brain. They also need to get used to the sensation of having to go, but not releasing themselves immediately (self awareness). Taking them out every hour, after long drinks, when you think they have to go-just like a child! I pray in a few months we’ll have a minimal number of accidents (stay tuned).

For now we’ll enjoy this moments where he’s still small and can do this:

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Falling asleep with Mommy.

 

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Happiness.

 

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Riding in  the stroller.

 

-Jay

#mood

I’ve been moving.

So silent. 

I dream. 

All color. 

Voices I hear. 

No others. 

Come here friend. 

My brother. 

I’m walking. 

Strutting. 

Let’s do this. 

For sure. 

Don’t be scared. 

It’s yours. 

The time. 

Who cares. 

Further. 

Longer

More. 

Never done. 

Mmm…burger!

Hello world! As I’m typing this I realize that I haven’t taken the time to thank everyone for supporting my blog. Over the past few months, the likes, comments, and follows I have received has been more than I ever expected. If you’re not following, hit that button so you can stay up to date with all my posts. You never know when you’ll get some goodies. Thank you everyone! 

In this post I would like to share my favorite combination for turkey burgers. I like to call them “turkey burgers elevated”. With a few ingredients that you probably have in your house already, you can have a mouth watering burger that will have you craving them all the time. (These things are a staple in our house!)

Ingredients: 

Directions 

  1. Cook burgers using directions on package. I prefer to throw mine on my George Foreman Grill because it’s easy, I’m lazy, and it’s more healthy. 
  2. While the burgers are cooking, chop the onion and jalapeño into strips. I like mine thick, but you can chop yours smaller if you want, think bite/chew size. Remember, the amount of heat you get from the jalapeño depends on how much of the seeds and inner flesh you use. 
  3. Once you cook the desired amount of burgers, throw your veggies onto the grill. They cook really quickly so don’t walk away for too long!
  4. Serve your burger on a nice toasted potato bun or loaf that you have sitting around. Put a light layer of mayonnaise on both sides of the bread once it is lightly toasted. Add the barbecue sauce to one side of the bun, then add the desired amount of onions and jalapeños. Finally add your burger(s)!

I love this recipe because it tastes sooo good. It’s sweet, spicy, and has a slight tang. The mayonnaise also helps me forget that I don’t have cheese on my burger. Of course you could add cheese to your burger in addition to bacon, lettuce, or bell peppers. Yes, burgers can be healthy too with the right ingridents! 

    Happy eating, 

    Jay 🖖🏾

    Toddler negotiations 

    My son is is a year and a half….My son is 18 months….My son will be two this year! Where did the time go?? He was just this tiny thing, couldn’t hold his head up or sleep through the night. Now….

    My son wakes up around the same time each day, 6am. As soon as he wakes up he yells out, “Mommmmmm!!!” He keeps going until he hears my footsteps across the floor. I guess you could call him my personal alarm clock, but what about those days when I want a few extra minutes to lie in bed? Well, I don’t have a choice, I have to do something! I get him out the crib, change him, and then he gets right in the bed with us. Thanks to his new found sense of independence, he will lie there relatively quiet while profusely sucking his thumb or bothering his dad (oops). Once we finally get out of the bed (okay, it’s like 10-15mins tops) our day will be quiet no more (maybe a short time during his so called “nap”). 

    We get downstairs and he asks me, “(s)nack,  (s)nack” while he points to the cabinet where the snacks are. It’s so funny to see how I pull out and show him each snack and he will shake his head yes or no until we reach thee snack of the day. Thank God I try to make healthy choices for our snacks or I’d be screwed. But yes, you heard that right- I negotiate with my toddler. 

    Trust me there’s a constant raging war on the inside when we go through these complex situations. The teacher in me says: “You get what you get and you don’t get upset”. However, the mother in me says, “Give him a choice so can enjoy himself”. Which is right? BOTH

    You don’t have to be perfect with your kids. Always agreeing or disagreeing with them will teach them nothing, but teaching them to problem solve and regulate their emotions will last them a lifetime. How do you know when your toddler is ready to begin negotiations? Well, if they’re saying “snack” and ready to tell you what they like or don’t like, yes, they’re ready. So what’s the next step? 

    1. Provide them with the vocabulary to do so. My day care parents used to get so worried and upset when I would give them a report that their child bit another child or they were bit by a child. I would always assure them that this behavior is developmentally appropriate because children at this age lack the language to effiectively communicate. Therefore, to combat this challenging behavior, we must teach them relevant vocabulary that will reduce these less positive emotions and actions. Grow their vocabulary from: “mine (age 1) to I’m using that (age 2) to let’s take turns (age 3)

    2. Reinforce good behavior by providing them with compliments for positive actions.  Tell them you like the way they cleaned up when you asked or how they were so quiet while you were on the phone. Please note, the best reinforcements come from the heart. Your words and actions are the best tools to use because this gives them intrinsic motivation which builds them up on the inside and helps them grow. Relying solely on toys, treats, or food will actually hurt your child. 

    3. Give them choice(s) when appropriate so that they understand they have a voice. If you’re painting, let them choose the paint color or surface to paint on. Allow them to tell you when they are finished an activity or task and move on from there. Will there always be choices available? No. But if there is, let them on own it. 
    There’s a time and place for everything”. 
    Happy parenting, 

    Jay 🖖🏾

    #newday

    That itch. 

    Filled with desire. 

    Yearning for more. 

    Everything’s haywire. 

    Don’t laugh. 

    That frown. 

    It’s serious. 

    You’ll drown. 

    Hold your breath. 

    Let go. 

    Go down. 

    No fear. 

    Just sorrow. 

    Keep going.  

    Welcome your tomorrow. 

    #random

    This rain falling feels so good. It makes me remember you- 

    That time you kept on walking.

    I called your name…

    Something changed. 

    You just weren’t the same. 
    The things you said, I won’t forget. 

    So pressed, so whipped. 

    “Girl, why you even bother?”

    Food for thought, so I contemplated. 

    Our last date was a mistake. 
    I told my mother, she called your father. 

    “Don’t go back!”

    But for goodness sake, 

    I don’t have a choice. 

    This charade we play always ends the same. 
    I don’t care about the clothes. 

    Those things always change. 

    Your “love” keeps me going, 

    Even if you don’t understand what it means. 

    Reset

    Everyone knows that I was raised a “church girl”- I went every Sunday from sun up until sun down and many days in between. There wasn’t a banquet, luncheon, christening, revival, fundraiser, or funeral that I missed (to say the least). As a child I felt like a hostage because my weekends were shot and I could never have “fun”. I wanted to hang out with my friends, go out to eat, or see a good movie. I didn’t understand the foundation that was being laid because I was caught up in my wants. 

    It wasn’t my fault though because that’s what children do, but now as a parent I can see the true value of routine and consistency in a child’s life. A parent’s job is to share the knowledge they have with their children and pray that the children heed the information. (Literally pray because when this information is mixed with stuff from their peers and the internet, the result can be catastrophic!)

    But what is fun? Is fun being able to hang out with your friends shopping? Is fun spending hours glued to the television watching reality shows? Clearly fun is a relative term and I’ve come to realize that my fun is more about love these days. I want the love of my husband, teach my children how to love, and share my love with the world. One of the scriptures speak to this in 1 Corinthians 13: 11-13:

    11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

    I’m resetting my life to focus on my own growth. Letting go of childish thoughts and decisions will help substantially on this challenging journey. I hope that you too will look at those things in your life that are holding you back and let go of them so that you may grow. Oh, and love more. 

    Stay blessed, 

    Jay 🖖🏾