I’m the Mean Mom Who Has Never Thrown Her Kid a Party

The future is so bright, you've got to squint. Thanks for the tee, @sheenatatum! I love when my girl isn't covered in pink. Somehow it managed to be one of her favorite colors.

The future is so bright, you’ve got to squint. Thanks for the tee, @sheenatatum! I love when my girl isn’t covered in pink. Somehow it managed to be one of her favorite colors.

I’m supposed to be sharing my monthly parenting posts with you at least 2 times a month, but man, I’ve been so forgetful. If you’re bored enough and read some of these, you may come across a particular hidden treasure. Heheeee…

5 Signs I’m Not That Mom – I love writing posts about the other side of motherhood. You know, for us mothers who aren’t all Pinterest’y and NOT okay with sleeping with toddlers and working mamas who actually really like sending their kids to daycare. 

That Time I Wanted a Boy But Had a Girl – Ohmigoooodness, what kind of parent actually admits this? Hehe. Me. And unapologetically so. But then, check out this post on my fear of having a black son. 

4 Reasons Why I Refuse To Throw My Kid a Party – In a world where parents feel obligated to throw lavish parties for kids who can’t even speak yet, there are parents like me. Parents who refuse to shell out money for little people who won’t even know what’s going on. But that doesn’t mean I’m a total grinch who doesn’t celebrate her girl’s birthday in some way. Really, I blame Karen Alpert for this post because after reading this I was terrified to host (shoot, and even attend) a kid’s birthday party.

I Am the Only Mom of Color At Playdates. Why? – Look. It’s a fact that I hate I hate playdates. I’ve never been secretive about this. But shoot, why is it every time I attempt to show up at one, I notice that I’m the only mom of color? What’s with that?

Seen any cool parenting posts/thoughts/ideas out there in the e-space? Please share! I’d love to check ’em out! 

Happy 2nd Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Elle!

Guess who turned 2 today? Well, technically not until 5:29 pm EST (or somethin’ like that) but today 2 years ago, I gave birth to my first and only child.  I mean, WOW…I still look back at those pictures that were snapped immediately after she was born into her Daddy’s arms and I am amazed that my body did it all. And relatively easily.

I am truly one of those natural birthing free-spirited hippies who gets all emotional over things like that but seriously, it’s amazing stuff.

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Did I Tell Y’all That I am A Part Time Mommy Blogger?

Yep! I blog over at Mom.me and each week I toss up a post about…parenting stuff. I’ve been a mama for almost 2 years now (OMG!!) and it is the most time-consuming, hair pulling, stressfully rewarding experience ever. I mulled over starting a parenting blog but I didn’t like writing about parenting stuff THAT much. Being a contributor to Mom.me is great because it gives me a platform to share my thoughts and experiences without letting the entire world IN on our lives. Because y’all know how I hate sharing a ton of Elle’s pictures and experiences on the internet…

But from time to time, I think I will share a post over here with the Clumps family. I know that a lot of you all are parents (or parents to be) and knowing that you aren’t alone in the struggles is always so so helpful. That said, check out my most recent post

Notepad (1)

I put my heart and soul into that post and did a lot of crying while writing it. I know. I’m a sap.

And while you’re at it, check out 10 facts about Elle Belle. It has been forever since I’ve written about her on Clumps so I’m thinking these facts will give you a clue as to what kind of character we’re dealin’ it. 😉

  • Elle and I both have moles on our chins!
  • Elle’s name is mispronounced 80% of the time.
  • Elle’s bedroom is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom inspired.
  • Elle was born on the same day as Blue Ivy Carter.
  • 90% of Elle’s wardrobe are from consignment stores.
  • Elle is a picky eater and eats rice and eggs with spinach almost every day.
  • Elle learned her colors by playing with Mommy’s nail polishes.
  • Elle is the first and only grandchild on both sides.
  • Elle communicates with words and she also knows sign language.
  • Elle is almost 2 years old and barely weighs 20 lbs. She’s tiny but healthy!

That Time Mama Fell In Love With A Stroller #sponsored

GB ZuZu Stroller

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for GB. I received a gift card to purchase a GB stroller to both facilitate my review as well as thank me for my participation. It has been quite awhile since I’ve done a post on something baby related and when I was given the opportunity to test drive the GB Zuzu Stroller, I could not have been more excited. Despite having owned more than 4 different strollers, we have never really regularly used them. We’re a babywearing family so when it comes to getting around about about, Elle is usually wrapped on someone’s back or hip. Which sounds sweet ‘an all and it usually works well except um…it’s summer. In Florida. Like her Mama and Daddy, Elle has those overactive sweat genes and babywearing is uncomfortable for all when we’re doing outside activities.

GB ZuZu stroller review

The GB Zuzu has been more than perfect for our very active babe who lives a very active lifestyle. We head to a splash pad and farmer’s market every week and we would usually grab our very large so big it don’t make no sense stroller. It’s a pain. I hate it. But Zuzu in all of her lightweight’ness has been delightful. Grabbing it out of the car has been a breeze.

Zuzu also gets points for being the only stroller that doesn’t take up MOST of my trunk space and actually stands up on its own after you take it out of the car. The latter is one of those features you don’t think really matters until you actually have a stroller that DOESN’T stand up upright. Oh, and I should also mention that it took less than 7 minutes to put together right out of the box. I would really label Zuzu has an umbrella stroller PLUS. It has many sweet features that parents would want in an umbrella stroller but have to sacrifice. Take the large canopy, for one…

GB ZuZu canopy

This is so so useful in the summer and I don’t think I’ve ever come across a canopy THIS large on a stroller this small. So yes, the oversized canopy with ventilated window is more than appreciated. Also appreciated is the durable material.


GB ZuZu
Easy to wipe down and practically immune to minor staining, I found the Zuzu to do really well at the splash pad. It stayed cool in the sun and dried quickly when it got wet. Esposo was all excited when he saw this stroller but really it was the maneuverability that really pumped him up.

GB ZuZu wheels
And seriously…this baby can move. Our jogging stroller was always our preferred stroller (even when jogging wasn’t taking place) but Esposo and I both appreciated how easy this moved. It tolerates quick turns and bumps and it’s just one smooth ride. Random as it sounds, but I dig the handles, too.

GB ZuZu stroller handles

They aren’t only comfortable but helloooo, I can hang a bag or two on them. This is a big deal in the lightweight stroller world. Trust me on this. While Zuzu is lightweight, she still holds a lot of cargo.

GB ZuZu stroller in action

Count the bags. There are two in the nice sized basket, there’s a bag on one handle, and a cloth diaper wet bag on the other handle. That’s 4 bags of stuff on that tiny stroller. And that’s when I knew the Zuzu would definitely be passed on to baby #2.

Calm down, y’all. There are no plans for baby #2 yet. If you didn’t know it, toddlers are pretty effective forms of birth control. Just sayin’…

Zuzu Pros

-Easy breakdown and set up. I mean CRAZY easy.
-Small and compact. Perfect for small homes and cars.
-Self-stands when folded. Biggest perk evaaaa!
-Compatible with select infant carriers.
-Can last from newborn up until babes of 50 lbs.

Zuzu Cons

-May be pricey for some at $199.
-No cup holder.
-Pulling the handles up when opening the stroller may take some getting used to.

I can’t say enough great things about this stroller. I am thrilled. Elle appreciates it because she gets the ease of quickly jumping in and out. I love being able to haul our life in it and being able to store it with without it taking up my entire trunk. It’s the little things in parenthood. Fellow parents know what I’m talkin’ about. You can get more details about this baby and purchase it at Babies ‘R Us.

 

So, parental units with littles…what strollers are you rollin’ with these days? 

Dental Beauty…For Toddlers!

Beauty starts when you’re young, gals. It’s true. I am a stickler about healthy teeth and dental care and will raise my wee babelets to be the same way. Through PopSugar and Aquafresh, Elle and I got the opportunity to play with their Training Toothpaste and toothbrush.

Aquafresh Training Toothpaste

And I say “playing” because have you ever tried to stick a toothbrush in a toddler’s mouth? It’s hard stuff, y’all. Especially when you’re dealing with Little Miss Independent. Elle is a lot like me in that she always wants to take control. Even if she doesn’t know what she’s doing. Haaaa!!!

Baby brushing teeth

Hey parental figures, did you know that compared to your tooth enamel, your baby’s enamel is 50% thinner? Craziness, right? Since these tiny humans aren’t aware of this fact, it is our job to ensure that they not only take it easy on the sweets but that they keep those budding teeth healthy, strong and white. Brushing baby and toddler teeth should happen as soon as their teeth come in. Not only does it get them used to creating healthy habits but it helps their teeth get the best first start. Or so says The little mouth experts ™.

Aquafresh toothbrush

Elle is a big fan of her toothbrush. While she loves nomm’ing on the handle more than anything, I dig how soft the bristles are. The handle is eye-catching enough for even the most distracted toddler and it fits comfortably in her little hands. And she can’t get enough of that toothpaste. I also love how the paste is clear and free from random color dyes. Consistency wise, the paste seemed to be perfect for little mouths. A little went a long way and I appreciate that the paste is formula-free. If she could put together a complete sentence, I’m pretty sure Elle would agree that Aquafresh’s  Training Toothpaste is pretty stellar for a Kid’s 1st Toothpaste.

Aquafresh Training Toothpaste tube

And you know what? I’m a mint girl, myself but I’ve got to admit, the Apple-Banana flavor isn’t half bad. Mamas, papas, Aunts, Uncles, Grams and friends with babes, I’m thinking this toothpaste will be a major hit for the little one in your life. As always, please use product as directed on label.

 

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Aquafresh through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Aquafresh, all opinions are my own.

The Woman With A Baby On Her Back

“Ohmigoodness…you NEVER feature Baby Elle anymore.”

I know, guys. Sorry, not sorry. I was serious when I said I wasn’t going to be posting a ton of pictures of her online anymore. This is why I can’t have a baby blog. Motherhood has brought about a new wave of paranoia, y’all. Law & Order SVU and Lifetime movies have already made me crazy but now knowing that I’ve got a cub to protect means that I am ready to pounce at any given moment.

Girasol Double Rainbow capitan

But what I will do is do a post on babywearing. Surprisingly, I get a lot of emails about this. Babywearing isn’t new, y’all. Mothers have been carrying their babies on their fronts, hips and backs since the beginning of time. If I can manage to catch Esposo when he isn’t working, I’ll have him photograph Elle and I in different carriers. Because Elle has never been a big cuddler, I’ve found that babywearing is the one way that I can snuggle her without much opposition. Oh, and then there’s that convenience thing. I’ve worked out, led meetings, shopped, traveled and worked in an office all with a baby strapped to my body. And since she was a newborn. I feel so ridiculously empowered when I wear my baby. It’s not just for us hippies. Epsoso has become an avid babywearing and so has Grandma Clumps!

Stay tuned for a post where I feature ring slings, a mei tai, soft structured carrier and wraps. You’re just so excited, aren’t you? I know. I know.

Life With A Toddler…and a Shaved Head.

African American baby

I just realized that I never wrote Elle a letter last month. I am severely slacking. Oh well. Not stressing it. Because that’s my new mantra in life “To not stress the small stuff.” So what if I didn’t write her a letter last month. That doesn’t make me a bad mama. Just a busy one. Whatever yo.

Last week was a crazy week. Between Matron of Honor duties, a sick Elle and lots of work at work, I didn’t have much time to run or sleep. But I’m hoping things are a little better this week. I’m attempting to take it one day at a time. Just one day. I think I’m going to start doing a list of weekly goals. Y’know…just a list of attainable, practical and simple goals. I NEED to feel accomplished at the end of each week.

I’ve also got wedding brain! Esposo and I eloped and I think it was romantic, and fun and cheap but I don’t know…after being in my cousin’s wedding, I’ve been thinking about how I too want to a rock a gorgeous dress and have all our family members surround us as they support our love. But I don’t want to plan anything. I kinda just want to show up and have a beautiful affair. For free. Doesn’t David Tutera do pro-bono work? Ha! A girl can dream.

Here’s hoping to a great start of the weekend! I’m totally missing that hour of sleep but I’m going to tryyyyyy to go to bed early tonight.

Oh and I shaved my hair off again.

Short natural hair

Esposo wasn’t happy. But girls, I ROCK the short cut. And it feels good to literally wash and go. I think I’ll keep it until the end of the summer and then grow it out…*sigh*

Let’s see if I can crank out 2 posts this week. I have SO much that I want to share with and I hope that I have the time to get it out.

Have a fantastic upcoming week!

I Can’t Do It All. So I Won’t.

Baby in stroller

I’m a stubborn woman. I ignore sleep when I’m exhausted. If it doesn’t work the first time, I keep trying. I overwhelm myself with promises and responsibilities and then get into mental clusters. Some would say, well…“Welcome to Motherhood”. But honestly, I was like this before my sweet girl graced my life. My Type A personality enjoys taking over and it wasn’t until a friend told me “You can do it all.” that I realized, well…that I CAN’T do it all.

Oh, but honey, I’ve tried. Attempting to raise a sweet toddler who understands English, Spanish, sign language and who gets enough exposure to nature, diversity, music and healthy food? Done. Work full-time at a job that sends me on trips and requires my undivided attention the entire time I am there? No problem. Maintain a 6-year old beauty blog by keeping up with new products and trends, draft posts, connect with the world on social media, take 1,000 pictures of a mascara and polish my nails 5 times in 20 minutes? Cool. Sign up and train for 4 races before April? Easy peasy. Be a loving and supportive wife to my workaholic husband, attend church regularly, volunteer at events on the weekend, plan and prepare healthy meals for my family, be active in social groups, keep up with friendships, find time for “me”. Um…how? How can I do all of that?

I’ve tried. And honestly? I’m failing at it. I want so badly to be MORE than “just a Mom”. I’m trying to be everything to everyone and…failing. I am beginning to scale back. Which is why you may notice sporadic posts on Clumps of Mascara. It’s the reason why sometimes I post on Instagram and sometimes I don’t. I stopped going to so many social meetings. Life can be simple. We complicate it. Oftentimes, WE are our own problems. My goal is to simplify as much as I can.

To spend time with my baby instead of rushing to post a picture of her.
To enjoy that date with my husband without snapping shots of food to upload to Instagram.
To enjoy training for my races without posting an update each time I put on my kicks.
To live disconnected.

And that’s tough considering my day job requires me to be connected aaaaand, my night job requires me to be connected. To share, to comment, to post, to snap. I don’t want to. I just want to be…

Being is easier and most times more gratifying than doing.

Thank you so much for understanding that I can’t do it all. And for supporting me through my faults.