Birthday Surprise

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I am a fat chick in a skinny chick ‘s body. I love food and everything about it; it truly is the way to my heart.

My Mister decided to take me on a surprise run for my birthday. I was just getting off work and fell asleep for most of the 2+ hour drive. When I woke up a saw and a building with the word “GEORGETOWN” written on it. INSTANTLY, my response was, “Are we going to Georgetown Cupcakes?” He said, “What would make you say that you’ve been sleep, you have no idea where we are.”  I googled Georgetown Cupcake and it was .4 miles straight ahead.  The Smile on my face was priceless.

When we pulled up, as usual, the line was down the block, but I was ready to wait with my “bae” for cupcakes, but he was smart enough to order ahead.  I jumped in the passenger seat, he picked up the cupcakes, and off we went.

NOW let’s talk about these cupcakes. I SWEAR on EVERYTHING I LOVE, this place has PERFECTED the cupcake.  The icing is like silk. It’s not to heavy, not too sweet, not too whipped, but JUST FREAKING RIGHT! The cupcake is so moist my friend described it as “juicy”.  They are so soft and moist, you can barely pick them up out of the container

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The ingredients are fresh, evenly balanced, and match the name of the cupcake to the “T”. Their cupcakes are so good my favorite is Carrot Cake, and I don’t even like Carrot Cake! I ate 4 cupcakes on the ride home 3 for breakfast the next day, and 2 for a midnight snack.

If you are in the DC area, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you stop by. Here are a few tips if you do:

  1. ORDER AHEAD ONLINE IF AT ALL POSSIBLE- unless you want the experience of waiting in the line that is ALWAYS down the block and around the corner, this is by far the best tip I could ever give you.  Georgetown Cupcakes
  2. Some of my favs include
    1. Carrot Cake
    2. Red Velvet
    3. Strawberry
    4. Raspberry Lemonade
    5. Vanilla Birthday Cake

3.  Remember all flavors are rich, flavorful and  true to taste; you truly are going to get                what you ask for. 

Needless to say my birthday surprise was a hit, and I’m not even going to mention we went back the next weekend with his sister and some friends and family!!!

The Prince

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This is my second son, AKA Sonnie-Onie. This once little, now big fella is my everything.  He came into this world at 3 pounds 5 ounces on 3/5/05 and has been a determined individual from day one.

What I remember most about his first month in the NICU (neontal intensive care unit) was his temperament.  The only time he cried was when he was circumcised.  He was, and has always been, my most easy-going child.  I like to refer to him as my saving grace, because I honestly don’t know what I would do without his presence.

My prince is the best big-brother a sibling could ever ask for.  He’s a natural athlete, with baseball being his niche. Lastly, he’s the best helper a mom could get their hands on.  Whenever I need help with ANYTHING, he is there to lend a helping hand without any question.

Having him for a son, really makes me envy the lucky young lady who gets to call him her husband.  I just pray she is wise and mature enough to appreciate all he has to offer.  Mom’s who have son’s like him, often fear, their kindness will be taken for a weakness.

Until the time comes for him to leave my nest and make his own, he’s all mine, and I plan to cherish him.

Meet my Baseball SuperStar “The Prince”

The King

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This young fellow is the first of my off-spring.  I like to believe he is the reason I am where I am today.  Having him at the tender age of 16 changed my life in ways I never even knew.

Being a teen mom was hard, it was challenging, and it was the hardest test I ever had to take in life thus far.  Everyone in my life told me my life was ruined, and that I wouldn’t amount to anything.  The question was always asked, “What about school, or college? What are you gonna do now?!”

My answer was, “Survive, excel, and continue to be great.”  All that doubt from those who were suppose to be in my corner, was diesel fuel for my stride to success.  I became determined to finish school, go to college, and make something out  of myself, because that little person was depending on me.

My son is my everything, without him I don’t know what path I might have taken.  Without him, I wouldn’t have become an RN at the age of 22, or owned my house at the age of 23.  Without him, I wouldn’t still be striving to be great, because he looks to me the most for guidance on what success entails.

This young man has challenged me in ways I could never explain.  We have been on a rocky roller coaster with his health, his self-esteem, his academics, his work ethic and so on.  There are ups and downs, but we are muddling through them all with grace and dignity.

It’s hard to believe in 1 1/2 years he will be considered an adult.  My baby will be a man.  Until then, he’s just my nerve plucking teenager, who has tempted me to write a book titled “What to expect during the teenage year”.  I swear this is the most important book in parenting, that has yet to be published!

I introduce to you, my King!

 

The Duke

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I’m not sure how this little rascal made it here, but boy I am sure glad he did. This little dude (and little is an understatement) is like no child I have ever met in my life.  He TRULY marches to his own beat.

I have the privilege of being a Stay-At-Home-Mom (SAHM), to him Monday-Friday, and it is like parenting for the first time with him.  With him, NONE of the rules apply. All of my previous experience in parenting is useless.  EVERYTHING in the world of parenting tips is a joke as far as he is concerned. He challenges me to levels I never even knew existed! Although, I absolutely love it and wouldn’t trade a moment of his persistent, OCD, stubborn ways in for the world!

This face is sincerely, my sunshine on a rainy day, puts a smile on my face when I didn’t think I had anything to smile about, makes me laugh when I need it most, and amazes me with how intelligent he is on a daily basis.

Despite putting me over the edge being my fourth child, I wouldn’t trade him in for all the riches around…I mean, who else is going to sing an “ABC”, “I Love You” duet with me?!

I promise you this section will be full of laughs, surprises and amazement! I introduce to you, The Duke aka The Bud!

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The Princess

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After having 2 brothers and 2 sons, God felt I was special enough to have a female in my life to share my everything with.  In 2009, I was blessed to have a daughter.  Ironically, before she came along, it was my mom and I against the world.  God knew I needed someone to keep me company, because the following year my mother passed away.  Ever since, it’s been my daughter and I against the world.  Thankfully, my mother was able to spend a year with her granddaughter, because all she ever wanted was a granddaughter.

Raising a little girl, is by far the most challenging and rewarding experience at the same time.  One minute I’m in love, and the next, I’m ready to pull her hair out.

I remember having a conversation with my husband, at the time, about what I wanted in a girl child.  I recall saying, “She will be smart, giving, well-rounded, curly hair…basically a mini replica of me only better”.  I wanted a girl so bad, and then when her existence came about, I remember being overtaking with fear! I worried about her safety, her heart, her future, if I was a good enough role-model, and the list goes on.

When she finally arrived, it was like everything just fell into place.  Having a female counterpart in my life after being surrounded by boys for a great deal of my life, was like a breath of fresh air.  She was everything I envisioned her to be, and so much more.  It also made me realize how different it would be raising a daughter versus two sons…EASIER.

This section is all about the diva, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  She’s a gymnast, a dancer, and a gifted student.  She is wise beyond her years, and apparently inherited all the common sense her brothers left behind in my womb. It’s all or nothing with her, she either brings me pure joy, or pure chaos at random!

Ladies and gentleman, I introduce you to my princes, Zizah-The-Diva

My New Release On Life

Over the years, I have become addicted to traveling.  Every new country I visit gives me a new release and perspective on life.  Its a feeling and experience I have yet to be able to put into words.  In this section, I plan to share my adventures in an attempt to give what I feel when I travel words.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Although as amazing as some of my pictures and videos will be, I still don’t feel they capture how those moments radiated my heart, my mind, my soul and existence.

 

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"Mom why are you so tired?": A letter to my son

A letter to my son as to why I’m so tired.
Dear son,
You seem to think being a mom consist of taking you to school, going home, taking a nap, and picking you guys up.  Well I want to give you glimpse into how my day goes and why.
            My day started when my alarm went off at 6am.  I lay in my bed waiting to see how many times you’re going to hit the snooze button before you get up.  Thirty minutes later, I get up to get your sister up, and wake you up.   I lay back down because I’m exhausted (I didn’t’ go to bed until 1:30am-2am). Why you ask? I had to wash clothes, clean the kitchen, and get things done for me.  You see this is the only time in the day I have to myself.  While I’m lying down, I’m listening for the water to run to make sure you and your brother brushed your teeth (even though I shouldn’t have too).  I’m reminding your sister of her morning routine to teach her independence.  At the last possible minute, I finally get up, I fix your sister’s hair, throw something on to wear (appearance is nothing to me anymore), and go make her lunch.  I inspect her book-bag to make sure everything’s’ there, and proceed to get your brother up, on the potty, and dressed.  I pack his bag, grab my list, my purse, make your brother a quick breakfast fill his cup, fetch his Ipad, and head on out the door.  I check to make sure you have your lunch and homework.
            Now I drive from North Wilmington to Westside (15 mins) to drop you off at school. I drive back to North Wilmington (15 mins), to put your sister on the bus.  Now  I get to my list.  I have to prioritize because I can never get to everything in one day.  My first stop is Shoprite (15 mins).  I drive back to Westside to go grocery shopping for the next 2 weeks, with your sleeping baby brother in his sleepy wrap.  After about an hour, we are done, load up the car, he is awake and I have to STOP to give him his breakfast, ipad and cup of juice (30 mins).  Our next stop is BJ’s, but while sitting at a light I notice the Etteman’s Outlet store, and stop in to see what snacks I can get for a bargain for you, your brother and sister’s lunch.  I figure here’s a way to save money, because groceries are very expensive for a family of 5.   Next we head to BJ’s, pick up the big items on my list.  As I’m about to check out, I get a call from your school stating you hit your head and needed to be picked up.  No problem, my plans are never set in stone.
After leaving BJ’s I stop at Rush Uniform store to get your Long –Sleeved shirts I ordered a month ago, because the weather is changing and I don’t want you to be cold.  After learning its not in, I put on my list to get you long sleeved shirts to wear underneath until they arrive.  We now head to your school to pick you up.  I do a quick assessment to make sure you’re okay, and I don’t have to make a 2 for 1 trip at A.I Hospital today.  You check out, and home we go.  I sit on the couch and wait for you to bring the groceries in the house, and the next thing I remember is waking up. I fell asleep and I didn’t even know it. You call this a nap, but it’s really my body is purely exhausted from lack of sleep.  I get up finish putting the food away, heat up some spaghetti, grab a roll, pack some snacks for your baby brother, and head to the hospital with your big brother (while eating and driving).
Your brother gets the news he can walk (after 3 months of not walking..YAY!) and home we go.  Once home, I have to do some preparing for class (read my books). I make your brother lunch, entertain him, and attempt to read and retain something from my “reading” all at the same time. I pack my bag for school, pack your brother some snacks, get your sister clothes for her tumbling class, and her clothes to stay the night at Tiffany’s (because if I forget them she will have a total meltdown).

I wait for Damon to come get you guys, hand you off to him with distinct instructions, pray he follows them and drive to school.  From 4:30 to 9pm I’m in class bored, and annoyed working in a group, but I go to school to give you guys a better life.  I leave school, drive to the car shop to drop my car off (which is way past due on maintenance).  I come home talk to you about school, feed your brother dinner, and for the first time in a day use the bathroom.  I lay in my bed typing this after you asked me what did I do today besides take a nap.  I’m struggling to get up to shower, haven’t eaten anything since spaghetti, and I’m planning for my day tomorrow without my car.  When the day is all said and done, I still won’t go to bed until around 1-2am, because now I have to get things done for me and my house…by the way, it’s 11:08pm, you’re sound asleep.

I hope this give you some insight as to “Why I’m always so tired.”

ADHD Through The Eyes of A Parent

Many people know (or think they know) what ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is all about.  I have been dealing with ADHD for 10 years or so.  What I have come to realize is like most mental health illnesses, I feel since it is not “seen” by the naked eye, people have a hard time understanding and believing it exist. There also are people who believe it is a “made up diagnosis” for “lazy” “bad” kids.  However, I will give my testimony to ANYONE willing to listen, it’s REAL, and it’s HEART BREAKING as a mother, and SOUL CRUSHING for my 15 year old son.
The stress this condition puts on me, as a mother of 4 is so overwhelming, I ONLY work weekends.  I do this to keep my sanity. Also, I MUST be available to my son during the school week from sun up to sun down because I’m the only one who can bring him back from his days of darkness.
There are days I am called to school because he’s having a total melt down in class. He will get so fixated on one thing (usually a bad grade), and just go over the deep end. When I get to him, he’s rambling, repeating himself over and over again, crying, rocking back and forth and just falling apart inside.
When I wake up and roam my house, without a doubt I know every room my son has been in.  If I want to know if he took his medicine like he should have, I just walk into the kitchen and look for his medicine bottle to be left open on the island with a half drunken glass of something sweet.
If I want to know if he managed his personal hygiene CORRECTLY (he is still a boy), I go in the bathroom and see if the toothpaste and deodorant has the cap on, and if the brush is where it belongs.
At the end of a school day, if I wonder if he actually took his medication or dumped it, I simply ask him if he wants something to eat.  WHY, because he never has an appetite if he took his afternoon dose.  His other give away, is when he walks up to my car with a million and one things to say; typically on medication he has about 5 words the whole 30 minute ride home.
Once we get home from school, I wait for him to get out the car so I can see what he has left behind in my car that I’m pretty sure he’ll need for homework.
Every night his stepfather or I have to do book bag checks to make sure his work is in their corresponding folders.  Otherwise his book bag will be filled with bent, crumbled, folded papers everywhere but in the folders labeled and color coded for each class.  We also spend countless hours doing homework that should take only one and a half hours top, because he has difficulty following the directions, or interprets them incorrectly.
Whenever I want to send a child on an errand he is always a last resort because I know he won’t complete the task entirely or correctly.
I’ll ask him to clean the kitchen and remind him to use the laminated step-by-step list of EXACTLY HOW to clean the kitchen.  I’ll then remind him 3-4 times to go back and check and make sure he followed EVERY DIRECTION CORRECTLY.  And guess what?? The kitchen is never done correctly. He’ll ask me did he follow the directions and I explain to him what steps he miss, and he walks away with defeat.
Some days, I just want to say yes, because “that look” in his eyes tears me up inside.  However, I have to be honest with him, because that is what he asks for.  I always put a positive spin on it, and assure him he’ll get it next time.  Although, that doesn’t change the fact he feels like he is incapable of doing anything right.  To try and compensate for this, I try my best to bring out the best in him, to assure him he is great despite his shortcomings.  He’s an excellent cook, statistician, mathematician, and memory keeper.  On days when I know he’s feeling down, I’ll have him cook dinner, because it always lifts his spirits.  Or I’ll give him a list of things I need to remember and take him on errands with me to remind me.  When I praise him for such a good meal, or tell him, “I don’t know what I’d do without your memory,” the smile and glimmer of hope in his eye is priceless.
The worst part of ADHD is my son being labeled a “lazy” “average” student, when his IQ is off the charts.  I have to fight with teachers, administrators, principals, and even superintendents to get my son the services he needs to be successful in school. The way they treat him does nothing for his self-esteem and makes me have to work ten times as hard to assure him he’s just as smart if not smarter than every student in his class.
While it may seem like I’m complaining, I’m not.  I love my son with every breath in my body, and accept him for who he is.  I know he will one day learn to compensate for his condition and be a very successful man in society. My only intention is to help others “see” a glimpse of a disability not seen by the naked eye.

How Do You Deal With UGLY BABIES?

Let’s face it, ALL BABIES ARE NOT CUTE. There I said it.  I mean it too.  I even felt this way about a couple kids of my own.  I think all babies go through an ugly phase.  I KNOW mine did.

My Daughter @ 2 Weeks

I wasn’t in denial, but I had hope.  Hope that I couldn’t produce such an ugly human being, and this too shall pass.

What is even funnier is when people would tell me my baby was cute, I would say, “No she’s not, she’s going through a phase right now. No need for lies.”  With a straight face.  They would look at me like I was pure crazy!

What I was, was pure honest.

I always wondered if people with ugly babies REALIZED their baby was UGLY?  Can a mother’s/father’s love really be so deep, they’re blinded by the obvious?!

Now don’t take this the wrong way.  Just the other day I was teaching my now 5 year old daughter about how beauty is within and not what the eye can see.  However, to myself, I know that sometimes people with beautiful personalities and souls still can be a little hard on the eyes.

When I see an ugly baby, I won’t lie to the parent and say, “Awwwww, he/she is so cute” or “Awww how adorable!”  I hit them with a pure, “Awwwwwww.” That’s it.  My honest Abe self won’t allow me to lead people along with false pretenses.

On a brighter note, like I said, my daughter went through a phase, because now she is just as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside!

 

She recovered!
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My 5 Year Old LOVES MAKE-UP!

My daughter is the most girly girl I could ever think up!  She loves dresses, heels, and yes MAKE-UP!

I don’t know where she gets this from! I hated all of the above, and as far as make-up goes, I only have lip-gloss under my belt.
However my future SIL is a make-up pro, and whenever she is in town, my daughter stands in the bathroom door and watches her in amazement. I think she even allows her to assist her.
Last September I took my daughter to Disney and we did the BBB dress up and she was given make-up as a going away prize.  I tried my best to hide it but…I failed.
She came in my room last night all did up, so proud of herself and all I could do was take a picture and laugh.
Then today she was in the bathroom putting it on again.  When the house feel utterly quiet I called for her and she said..
“I’m in the bathroom putting my make-up on..I LOVE THIS STUFF, I look BEAUTIFUL..please DON’T JUDGE ME MOM!”
I DIED laughing!! She then came downstairs and said, if you think this is funny, let me show you something and this is what she showed me!
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