Why I Will NEVER Get A Dog

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I have to say, I am a dog lover. There is something that warms my heart when I see a furry silhouette walking by me. I actually grew up owning dogs at several times in my childhood. My dogs were not my pets, they were pretty much my friends. As a teenager, I spent many a day petting, brushing and spoiling my doggies. But sadly, my dogs eventually succumbed to old age and had to be put to sleep because they were in so much pain and were so sick that no one could do anything for them. It was the humane thing to do. I remember the day my mom called me to tell me that the dogs had to be put to sleep. I tell you, my mind was in agony for a while. Both dogs were about 10 years old, so they had been in my life for quite a while.

Now let’s fast forward 5 years later. My son is now dog obsessed and begs me constantly for a dog. Being that he is 5, he will not bear any of the burden that comes with caring for a dog. Look, I have 2 kids and a husband and I have no desire to take on the responsibility of caring for another being. As much as a dog will bring joy to our household, who will wash said dog? Who will bathe him/her? I cannot imagine what will become of me when the friendly dog reaches a ripe old age. Will I have to endure the trauma of losing my dog all over again? My weary heart does not grieve well. I also shudder at the thought of scooping up mounds of animal waste. No thank you sir!! My life is busy enough with juggling family and career that I can’t make space in my heart for one more thing.

Might I also add that my husband and daughter are not the most dog friendly people? My husband shudders every time a four legged creature looks in his direction, and our daughter pretty much has an anxiety attack at the sound of a barking dog. So you see boys and girls, although I love dogs and I think they are God’s gift to us, I will NEVER EVER become a dog owner.

Any thoughts on owning a dog? As usual, comment below 🙂 .

Non-Dog-Owning Thinking Momma

Is Breastfeeding Gross?

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When I was growing up, I must have seen thousands of women breastfeeding their kids. The African woman is not ashamed to feed her child on command. Because I grew up seeing this, I thought nothing of it. When I became a mom, it was a no brainer for me to breastfeed. It was just what all the women around me had done. I knew it had many benefits, and since my body was producing so much of nature’s wonderful nectar, I decided to give it a go.

Now breastfeeding had so many ups and downs. The up part for me was that breast milk eliminated all colic signs from both my kids. My son, who had the most sensitive tummy of all, went through so many different types and brands of formula. After a while he was put on hypoallergenic formula, but when I got sick of it all, I just gave him breast milk exclusively. He loved the taste of breast milk, it never upset his tummy, and he was gaining weight like normal. My daughter also had digestive issues which breast milk also eliminated. It was a win win. 

The down part was just weird. First of all, I had days when I was just sore sore sore. My son would latch on with full jaw power and my lovely lady udders would just burn with pain. Also, for some reason, people looked at me like I was a pervert. What is so wrong about a person breastfeeding in public? If I am all covered up and doing it discreetly, is it still bad? Some restaurants won’t let women breastfeed in their establishment. So I can enjoy your wonderful gourmet food but my baby needs to starve? How does that make sense? Some people think women should breastfeed in the bathroom. Would you eat in a nasty public restroom? Why should my baby have to do so? Others argue and say, “Why don’t you pump?” Well pumping isn’t for everyone. I say, “If you don’t like me breastfeeding my child and providing him or her with natural wholesome milk, then look away.”

Word to the wise: There is nothing sexual or wrong with breast feeding. It is completely natural and healthy for babies. If a mom chooses to do so, please do not make her feel like a leper. Let the woman live.

I have had to hide in my car, I’ve had to hide in changing rooms and I’ve had to sneak around like a thief so that my kids could be provided with nourishment. Luckily with my second child, I was able to pump for a whole year and I did not have to endure weird looks from people.

Breast feeding is not gross in my own opinion. It is simply a woman providing her precious little one with nourishment. Breast feeding has multiple benefits and a woman should not be punished for making that choice. I, luckily, was able to breastfeed both my kids for a year each and I’m proud of it.

To all the breast feeding mamas- More power to you!! Don’t let weirdos make you feel bad for your choice. What are your honest thoughts about breast feeding?

Happy Thinking Momma.

P:S: As usual, like my post and place comments below. I read and reply each one.

Potty Training Success

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My daughter will be 2 years old next month and I really can’t believe how fast she’s growing. She has been a little chatterbox for the past 6 months. She can tell us all her wants and needs, express her feelings in clear words and basically rule a small country (okay I exaggerate, but we know every mother thinks her child is Einstein’s descendant).

Because she always seems irritated when she soils her diaper and she can tell us before she goes in her diaper, I just assumed she was ready to potty train. Her brother wasn’t talking as well at that age, but he had been using the potty since he was 10 months old. I just thought, potty training would be a breeze for her. And so many moms claim that girls potty train easily. Nope!! It wouldn’t be my life if things ran as planned. My little opinionated princess has told me that the potty is “Eeeewwww!!! Dirty!!! Nasty!!!” Point well taken. I just knew the idea of relieving herself in a small pink princess potty was a no go. So I ditched the potty and chose to respect her wishes. My mom said I never went in a potty, so maybe there’s a genetic potty aversion syndrome in my family.

One day as my husband and I were walking the aisle at Big Lots we spotted a section that had lots of cushy toilet seats. We had her choose the one she liked (she chose Minnie Mouse) and we bought it. It was about $7 so we were both ecstatic (We meaning my husband and I. Our little girl couldn’t care less). From that day on we had her sit on the toilet and she didn’t make any disgusted remarks, so I thought “Wow! This might just work.” No it didn’t. The little miss can sit on the toilet all day but refuses to go.

Imagine my amazement when this morning as I’m applying eye makeup and getting ready for work, I hear my child say, “Help Mommy!” As I draw closer to the bathroom I smell something putrid. Alas my opinionated princess went number 2 IN THE TOILET!!! I can’t express enough how elated, excited, happy and overjoyed I was and still am.

Next thing she said was “Mad!!” Yes she was mad that I had the boldness to make her poop in the toilet. She refused to give me a high 5 and did not give me eye contact for about 5 minutes after that (her punishment for my cruel potty training ways). But there is hope. Maybe my baby will someday be potty trained. I was ready to resign to a life of diaper changes. I even had thoughts of her as a kindergartner still wearing diapers.

Moms and dads there is hope for you. If you are patient enough your little one will be potty trained some day (Just not at the speed, at the time or in the way you want. Those little ones know exactly what they want and we cannot rush the process).

Enjoy your Thursday

Happy Thinking Momma

Mommy Rage

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Ok, so maybe I exaggerate a little bit, but do other moms out there experience mommy rage? You know that thing that comes over your body and you flip out over stupid little things? Yesterday was the perfect day. I got back from work and all was well with the world. My kids were happy, there was no fighting or screaming going on, they ate their dinners happily and we were all able to make it to bed at a decent hour. Oh may I also add that I had the best muscle bending arm workout I’ve had ever? Let’s just say I was feeling so great. I went to bed feeling like a queen.

So today began and I was feeling good about my day, that is until for some weird reason I started running behind schedule and my son ran the risk of being tardy to school. Look, over my dead body will any child of mine be dropped off late by me. I just can’t do it, so every morning we have to hustle. I give myself an hour and twenty minutes to get my kids up and out of the door. I mean showers, teeth brushing, breakfast eating, packing of lunch, etc. It is all done within that time limit. I have my system and I am proud of it.

So tell me why my son (who is only 5) is dilly dallying at the breakfast table. He’s eating his pancakes slower than a snail on meds. Then I look to the floor and realize that half his food has not made it to his mouth. Boy oh boy, I started yelling like a crazy person. My son was looking at me like I was a lunatic, and my 1 year old just ignored me. Is it just me or do you flip over the littlest things some days? Be honest guys. It should be no surprise to me that my son is a messy eater, but why on earth did I flip this morning?

Well I felt like a loser driving him to school so I sheepishly apologized. I hate that I probably ruined his morning. I think he was still mad at me when he entered his class and I was secretly hoping he would tell his teacher that his mom has lost it. Do y’all think I’ve lost it? Be honest.

Slightly Demented Apologetic Thinking Momma

TGIF!!!!!!!!!

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It’s Friday!! My favorite day of the week. Afer work, it will be time to unwind, let my hair down, rent a movie and kick back with my hubster (my husband). I love Fridays because they remind me of the long weekend ahead and a life with no responsibilities. Actually the no responsibilities part is just a bold-faced lie. A parent will always have responsibilities. But Fridays sure do make me elated!!

One great thing that my husband and I have in common is our love for movies. We love comedies first, thrillers second, and then we love everything by Tyler Perry. From time to time I sneak in a good sci-fi movie. I am a sucker for anything X-men and Star Wars related. It is just my duty to pay attention to those.

With our busy schedules we try hard to stay connected. All throughout the day, while we are both at work, we both like to check in to see how the other is doing. I will send a quick text or he will call me for 5 mins. Once we get home, we try to do a quick overview of how our days went. We have this grand rule: Leave your frustrations at the door. This means, no matter how horrible or tragic your work day was, when you walk into our home (our sanctuary, our place of peace), you will put on an armor of tranquility and not dirty our sacred space with your yucky feelings. We are able to talk things through and vent to one another, while maintaining a calm, and happy attitude. He is my sounding board, and I am the same for him, so it works well. Because I have been able to create a safe space at home, I think it leaves my husband wanting to rush home after work. I believe that if you treat your husband with uttermost care and make the house a home, he will long to come home to you daily.

I give him the respect that he is due, affirm him, support him and treat him like my buddy, my ally and my best friend. This formula has seemed to work for us. I believe this is the foundation for a happy marriage. We are also able to talk to one another about everything and anything. If he does or says something that irks me, I am able to pull him aside and lovingly air out my feelings. I do not talk down to him, yell at him or throw low blows. I have learned how to be civil and fair in our relationship. He does the same to me. We actually rarely argue or fight. We have learned to agree to disagree but still not let disagreements soil our mood. We strive for each day to be greater than the last and we aim for our kids to learn what it is to be a great spouse by watching both of us. My daughter will learn what a good woman is by watching me, and how a man should treat her by watching her dad. My son will learn how to talk to and treat a woman, by watching his dad and what a woman should be like by watching me.

Every step we make is important in building a good future for our kids. I’m so grateful that my marriage is at the point that it is. I have learned my husband and he has learned me, and we stay away from each other’s buttons. We laugh together, pray together and uplift each other. We are two goof balls who rarely take anything seriously and this keeps us sane. I know his hopes and dreams, he knows mine and we are walking to the top hand in hand.

What is your secret for a successful marriage?

TGIF!!!!

Happy Thinking Momma

Looking on the Bright Side

I woke up this morning, tired, cold and wishing I could turn back the clock. I was in no mood to go to work as I knew I had a long, busy day ahead of me. Once my alarm clock rang, I instantly had a bad attitude. I grudgingly got out of bed and got ready for the day.  I woke my son up and got him ready for school. Even though he did not want to wake up, he got up and appeared happy.

As we drove to school, I heard him murmur something to himself. I said to him, “What did you say?” He said, “It’s  so wonderful and beautiful. The sky is so wonderful and beautiful mommy.” I was happy he said that because that put me out of my misery. How  was it that I missed the amazing view? The air was crisp and clean, the breeze was cool and fresh, and the clouds were simply gorgeous. So many times, we let our stinky attitudes block us from enjoying the day.

Instead of worrying about your long day, how much work you have going on, and about all your problems, why not take some time  to just be grateful for what you do have. I am happy that I am healthy and have woken up to a beautiful day. Although I have a long day ahead of me, I will take it all in my stride with a positive attitude. I am also happy that I do have a job that can cover my bills. I’m also happy for my two healthy, rambunctious kiddies.

What are you thankful for?

Thankful Thinking Momma

Love for yourself

Hello everyone,

I hope you all are ready for a relaxing weekend. My weekend would have been off to an amazing start, as I have so much planned with my family, but I have to say there was a bump in the road for me today. Now, what I’m going to discuss is a very sensitive subject among Black people. For those of you that do not know, I am of African heritage. I moved to the United States a decade ago to further my education, and I decided to stay back because I loved it. No one forced me to stay. I chose to. I have built a family and I am building a career here and I am happy to be able to exist gracefully and peacefully in Africa and in North America. In my opinion, knowledge of various cultures and ways of life makes me more versatile in the world. Ignorance bugs me and I choose to be a student of the world forever.

When I got back home from work today, with a smile on my face, happy to see my kids, I thought all was well with the world. After all, it is Friday and I was looking forward to having a fun time with family. I proceeded to ask the lady that watches my kids how the kids were today. She then said to me, “It would have been fine, but we had  to leave the park early.” I asked her, why and she proceeded to tell me this jaw dropping, disgustingly ignorant story:

She said she and the kids were playing in the park, when an African American lady asked her, “Are these kids from a group home?” Apparently (in this strange woman’s mind), when a Caucasian woman is playing in the park with 2 Black kids, the only possibility for that scenario is that the Black kids must be from a group home.

My kids’ nanny gasped in disbelief and said, “Actually, they live at home with their mom and their dad and I am their nanny.” The lady said, “But don’t you see her hair? She must be from a group home.” Also, according to the mind of said strange lady, when an 18 month old Black girl wears her hair in its natural afro state, it is a repulsive thing.

This is the point in the story where I do a little bit of educating. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Black people’s hair, it often does not grow out of our scalp straight. Some people like to wear their hair in its curly state, while others use several methods to straighten it. I have chosen not to straighten my daughter’s hair as she is only 18 months old. Even beyond that, I do not see the need to use harsh chemicals to permanently alter the structure of my daughter’s hair to please disgruntled strangers in the park. Some people who are advocates of straightening, sometimes think that our hair texture is ugly in its natural state. I believe our hair is just fine the way it is. But I digress.

Our nanny replied, “What is wrong with her hair? Is it because she does not have a relaxer? Her hair is in its natural state.” Strange lady repeats herself, “You really don’t see anything wrong with her hair?” Nanny says, “No I don’t.” Strange lady looks exasperated, walks off, and says, “I know you are probably going to tell her mother what happened here today, and when you do, let her know that I work for the county. I am sure they must be African.” Then she walked off. Our nanny was so dumbfounded that she too decided to leave the park for fear that she would lose her cool.

Please someone out there, explain to me why a stranger will take the time out of her hopefully busy day to make comments about a toddler’s hair. I am extremely confused. You see, I believe that all children are gorgeous regardless of skin color, hair texture, eye color, or any other physical attributes. I do not look down on other people’s children and there is nothing wrong with children who live in group homes. That is extremely snobbish and snooty. From her statements, I am guessing she looks down on Africans, children from group homes and children with their natural afro textured hair. I am also guessing that she is extremely excited that she has a county position. Kudos strange lady. I am glad you are gainfully employed.

Well, I wish that lady well, and I have been tossing and turning wondering what to say to her if indeed our paths ever crossed. You see, I am an educated and civilized African (as millions of us are). I believe in treating all humans with respect and dignity. I also believe in teaching my children to love everything about themselves- from their chocolate brown skin, to the curls and kinks in their hair. As I said in a previous post-my children are people of greatness that will go on to be successful in their endeavors. I will also (unfortunately) have to teach them that some people (even people who might look just like them) might take offense at their demeanor or physical attributes. When and if that happens, I will teach them how to stay calm, not take the comments personally, and keep on living life with pride and a head held high. I do not take a defeatist attitude in life. I also believe in befriending people from all nations and walks of life. If you are a person of character, I am more than happy to be your friend. I do not look at hair texture or skin color, for beneath all of that lies a similar genetic makeup. We are all human and outward appearance is simply a shell.

Shame on you stranger lady!! Shame on you. If we do meet, I will calmly explain to you why I am proud to be African, and why I do not feel the need to hide my daughter’s afro textured hair. If you do not like It, feel free to either close your eyes or look the other way. I will never look down on your children, so please accord my children the same respect.

Has a stranger ever crossed your path and knocked the lights out of you with his/her comments? If the above happened to you or someone close to you, how would you react?

Proud Thinking Momma

P.S: Remember that no one has the power to define you. Although some people might judge you before meeting you, know that if you take those comments in, then they have won. Live your life with grace. Treat all people fairly.

Living Out Your Dreams

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Hello All!!

I hope everyone is having  a fantastic and relaxing weekend. I was thinking last week about the importance of living out my dreams. Because of that, I decided to actually sit down and write out all the dreams I have for myself- I am talking financial, emotional, career, physical, health, marital, spiritual, etc. I wrote out every dream imaginable. I even wrote down those dreams that I really do not believe I will be able to accomplish. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always believed within myself that I was born to do something bigger than myself. Now, I am not talking about becoming rich and famous. I am talking about being born to do something greater than myself or my surroundings and circumstances. If I do not allow myself to dream bigger than what I can see with my eyes, then I will not allow my children to dream up things that are bigger than they are. I believe that people around me that achieve things that are noble and great, are no different than I am. They have two hands, two legs and one brain. Yes, a lot of them have been lucky to be able to rub shoulders with people of influence, however, they are human beings just like me.

I encourage everyone to sit one day and write out your goals for yourself or your goals for your kids and family. Have you stopped dreaming because of life’s circumstances? What message are you passing on to your kids? Do you give them the impression that the only thing they can achieve is mediocrity? Or do you make them believe that they can push the limits society and circumstance have placed upon them? Are you raising your kids to think that their lives should be lived within the boundaries of a square? Or that life is fluid and flexible? Why can’t your child be the one to cure cancer, to negotiate peace between nations or to be the first person in your family to get a doctorate degree ? Why can’t you be the first one in your family to break negative and hurtful cycles? I believe these dreams can all become reality, but we have to dream first. He who cannot dream will not be able to achieve much, for it is when we allow ourselves to dream, that we allow ourselves to fight to break down walls and do great things. I intend not to teach my kids to be helpless. I plan to help them to know who they are. And who they are is this- they are children of great ancestors who were able to overcome unmentionable trials and come out  unbroken. They are flawed people who regardless of those flaws, and regardless of what labels people put upon them, will be comfortable in who they are, walk with heads held high and achieve beyond their capability. But before I bring my kids to believe those words, I have to believe them, and I have to be able to dream for myself.

So parents, grandmas, grandpas, aunties, uncles and caretakers, I urge for you to dream and teach your kids that they are greater than the boundaries that have been built around them. For if you are not the one to tell them that, they might never believe it.

Have a restful weekend,

Thinking Inspired Momma

Potty Training Adventures

13868682_201308291502[1]Hello everyone!! Happy Monday!!

Let’s talk about potty training. Now potty training my son was quite easy. I actually started him on the potty at ten months and he took to it easily. By the age of 2, he was able to let me know when he needed to use the potty. After he got comfortable on the potty, we slowly transitioned to the actual toilet. Of course he had accidents here and there, but for the most part he did really well. I have heard several stories about how boys are not able to potty train as fast as girls, but that was not my experience.

Of course I know that no two kids are alike, so I decided not to start Muna off at 10 months like I did with her brother. Looking back, starting a child on the potty at ten months is extremely premature, however Ugo was ready and happy to use the potty. With Muna, I decided to start her off whenever I felt she was ready. When she was about 13 months, I decided to buy a potty just so she could get familiar with it. I had her just play around it and stare at it. She seemed intrigued by the contraption, but of course had no clue what it was. Now that she’s almost 18 months, I decided to have her sit on it daily. She sits on it, laughs, holds a book in her hand and has a jolly good time. So far she has only actually used it once, and when she did, she appeared to be terrified. She is comfortable sitting on it, but she won’t actually go number 1 or number 2.

This morning, as I was getting her brother ready for school, I had Muna sit on the potty as usual. She seemed happy enough, which made me happy. Lo and behold, I hear Muna scream, “Potty, oh no.” And it was as if my life flashed before my eyes. This was because My dear little Muna had pooped on the floor. The poor thing appeared embarrassed and started to cry for her daddy. She said out loud, “Daddy, eewwwww, Daddy, eewwww.” It was almost as if she was disgusted with herself. I felt so bad. All we could do was clean up the mess, hose her down and comfort her.

And so begins one of many stories I shall bring you about our potty training adventures….Brace yourselves.

Messy Thinking Momma

P.s: The potty pictured above is the Fisher Price stepstool potty. I got mine from Target.

I NEED SLEEP!!

Before I became a mom, I loved to sleep. I could easily sleep for 10 straight hours with no problem. I did like to be up early, but I would be in bed by 9pm. Even while I was in college, I was never much of a party girl ‘cos I loved my sleep. So of course, when I had my son, I was so surprised how little sleep I was getting. When I would have to feed my son every 2 to 3 hours, I thought I would go crazy. How on earth was I expected to function with little to no sleep? How on earth is that humanly possible? Then when I went back to school, I had to take care of my son, take care of my home, find time to study and still not get sleep while doing all those things. Now my son is almost 5 and he’s sleeping pretty well, but my 17 month old of course has decided that she is not interested in sleeping for 8 straight hours. I MISS MY SLEEP!!!! I dream of the day when I can be in bed by 10pm and wake up by 9am. Yes!! 11 hours of continuous sleep on the weekends will be the dream. But until that day comes, I will like to know how other parents cope with the strange sleep schedule that is a part of the parenting job description. I need all the advice I can get because this no sleep thing is rough on me.

Sleepy Thinking Momma