I’m So Thankful

Pregnant Fun

So…it’s November. And next month we get to celebrate the last day of 2015. In.sane. I’ll spare you the “Whoa, this year went by fast!” comments, but seriously y’all…this year has gone by so very quickly. I ended 2014 with a renewing and refreshing state of mind. I finished a self-improvement program and had so many ideas and goals set for myself. Things that I wanted to do and accomplish. And well…

I didn’t do it ALL. And that’s okay. As long as I am granted another day to live, that means I’ve got the chance to keep going towards those goals. Right now, though? I just feel so incredibly thankful. The seasons has me feeling this way. Here I am on the brink of Thanksgiving and 39 weeks pregnant and I am just washed over and over with graciousness and satisfaction.

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5 Toddler-Friendly Road Trip Activities

This post is sponsored by Chevrolet Traverse.

5 Toddler-Friendly Road Trip Activities

It’s alllll about traveling with toddlers. Which, by the way, is no easy feat. It’s not for the faint of heart and really only seasoned parents should attempt this. You know I’m kidding, right? As parents, sometimes NOT traveling isn’t an option so if you’re going to do it with a wiggly, impatient kind-of-crazy, toddler, you should at least be prepared, right? July is the IT time for many Americans who are looking to road trip – since we love traveling, we are no exception. Truth be told, I wish we were cruising around in a Chevrolet Traverse, but until then, we’re happy to get around any we can. Geared up, of course!

For parents of toddlers and preschoolers, it is essential to keep the littles entertained every step of the way during the trip. Happy kids means happy and safe drivers. We do more flying than driving (and you would too if your kid talked as much as mine does) but, when we do hit the road, we’re carrying the following with us.

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Celebrating Summer (and other occasions) with a Coke

​Man, lemme tell you..it doesn’t even feel like summer JUST started. Remember, I’m in Florida. We are summer. We complain when it gets lower than 70 degrees outside and we complain when it’s hotter than 90 degrees outside. Yet we chose this life.Summer means spending more time outside soaking up Vitamin D (safely, of course) and spending time with friends and family. For the record, I did very little working out to prepare for this summer but whatever. You will still find me in a pool or beach somewhere; pudgy tummy and all. 
 
Beach
 
Summer also means celebrating Esposo’s birthday! 
 
Toasting
 

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Tips for Visiting Fort San Cristóbal in San Juan, Puerto Rico

I majored in Africana Studies when I was in college. Somewhere between my Journalism classes and Spanish minor classes, I fell in love with all things African and African American. I’m a American but I’m Black yet I had very little knowledge about Africa, the continent, the diaspora and how they impacted our world back then and today. I am still fascinated by history and so when it was suggested that we visit Fort San Cristóbal while vacationing in San Juan, Puerto Rico, I was ready to go!

Fort in Puerto Rico

Fort San Cristóbal

Truthfully, I’m proud that my pregnant butt managed to climb all of those stairs and slopes in that heat. The view was worth it and I was grateful to have experienced that with my family.

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Vacationing and Baby Baking

Mannnnn, you guys. 

I am soooo here for a stress-free life. I want to live it daily. I yearn for it. I crave it. But truthfully, I only get it when I’m on an exotic island, staying in a hotel and breathing beach air daily. So yeah. Our family vacation was in Puerto Rico this year and we had a blast.

Beach at Puerto Rico

EB didn’t want to leave the water or the pool and Esposo and I loved having so many helping hands assist with toddler duties. We were so excited to get away on a date but uh, we took a nap instead. Which was probably better than a date. Just sayin’. Good sleep is a GOOD thing. I would have also loved to take a ton of pictures of the property to come back and do a thorough post on it but geez, guys…I was a true bum in Puerto Rico. And I’m soooo okay with that! But I did take soooooome pictures.

20 Weeks Pregnant - Baby #2

I know, right? From the woman that was all like Isn’t 1 kid enough? and from the mother who never once in her life had baby fever comes a baking fetus. Isn’t life hilarious? I have to find the humor and joy in it all. Here I am still shocked that I’m a parent of 1 and I’m about to be parent of 2. Someone hold me.

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6 Things I Wish I Would Have Known About Being A First Time Parent

First Time Parent

It’s been a minute since I’ve done a baby post. I was inspired by the blog Baby Sideburns. If you haven’t read that blog, pleeeeease check it out. I love this lady’s approach to parenthood. She keeps it real and doesn’t care what you think about it. I’d much rather read parenting blogs like hers versus the ones that are all like, “I want to raise balanced children and practice attachment parenting, blah blah blah.” Whatever. I like when parents delve into the positives AND negatives of parenting.

So here we go: 6 Things I Wish I Would Have Known About Being A First Time Parent

 

You really WILL miss being pregnant.

FACT: I didn’t enjoy pregnancy that much. I was practically dying the first 4 months and while 2nd trimester was fun, it flew by. And then 3rd trimester came along and brought back pains, heartburn and anxiety. Don’t listen to those women who are all like, “Pregnancy is soooo wonderful.” They’re lying. They didn’t tell you about the hemorrhoids, spontaneous diarrhea, random rashes, sciatic pain or insomnia. But the crazy thing is, even after the physical pains of pregnancy and labor/delivery, I actually MISSED being pregnant. It’s as if I forgot about the morning sickness. I missed the lovely things like feeling EB’s kicks and watching my tummy grow. I missed how powerful I felt. I really do like my body 1,000x better when I’m not with child because pregnancy will wear your body ouuuuut. 

 

Showers and baths are luxuries.

Actually someone did tell me there would be days when I wouldn’t have time to bathe and I didn’t believe them. But it’s so true! Judge me all you want but my longest stretch without bathing was 4 days. I smelled like fresh breast milk and regurgitated breast milk. And defeat. Yes, defeat has a smell. Sexy, uh? Who really has time for a shower when you’ve got a baby who gets up every hour or two? And when they aren’t sleeping, you’re either trying to stuff your face or you’re standing over their crib watching them breathe. So yeah. For all of you folx without kids and want to know what to get that new mom in your life – save the onesies and burp cloths. Come to her house and watch the baby while she showers. Oh, and bring food. In fact, if you were coming to visit me and EB during the early weeks, you weren’t allowed in my house without food.

 

A new baby may alter your marriage a bit.

A baby is a new and hard adjustment for a couple. I was physically tired and overwhelmed and while Esposo went to work a week after EB was born, he was dealing with the guilt of not being around enough WHILE trying to provide for his family. Neither one of us have any family in the area so we had very little help with EB. Our communication halted because I was an emotional wreck and couldn’t always vocalize when I needed help. In fact, things didn’t get better until months later. Every couple deals with this in their own way (and some couples never have adjustment issues…lucky ducks!) but it was definitely something I didn’t expect.

Falling Elle

 

 You will adapt to having little to no sleep.

I never thought I could do it. I’ve never been one to function without less than 6 hours of sleep. But honey….I am a pro at sleep deprivation now. I will forever toot my own horn because I not only catered to a newborn around the clock but I pumped every 2 hours, maintained a blog, kept the house decent AND had dinner cooked every night. I’m lying about that last part. Y’all know I married Esposo for his cookin’. 😎 But seriously, your body will adapt to the no sleep thing. Oh, and you’ll never sleep in again. Maybe when the kid is 5 or something but yeahhhh….those days of sleeping until 10am are over. Yeah. I cried about it, too.

You officially become one of them: A person with a child.

Parenthood is a club. And it really doesn’t feel like that until you become one. Before kids, I was just a person without kids. But now that I’m a parent, my social life is baby-based. When friends are all like, “Ooooh, let’s do dinner at 6pm.” I’m all like, “Um no! EB has to get picked up from the sitter.” Everything I want to do is surrounded around the bebe. And only friends with kids get this. They understand if I’m running 15 minutes behind because even though I was ready to leave EB had poop seeping out of her diaper and then spewed milk all over her dress. Friends with kids get it. Friends without kids aren’t always so understanding and I get it because I too used to be like “OMG…do your kids control your life?” Actually, they do.

If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll want to eat all the time.

I wasn’t the typical pregnant woman. I never had cravings, gained 9 lbs during pregnancy and lost 12 lbs shortly after giving birth. And although I exclusively pump for EB, I didn’t think I’d deal with the normal breastfeeding woes. Like the ravenous appetite. That appetite is unreal, y’all. It’s like, “Feed me now! Feed me everything in sight.” And I get it – pumping/breastfeeding burns a lot of calories but dang, I never expected to eat insane amounts of food. And the crazy thing is, you don’t even care. Like normally I’d be embarrassed about eating so much. Pfft. Whatever. The first time I went to brunch with a gal pal I ordered TWO meals to eat there and then a meal to eat on the way home. Because the 15 minutes it took to get home, I just knew I’d be starving again. True story.

Bonus: Baby blues are real.

I like to consider myself emotionally stable. Haha. Just kidding. But seriously, I’ve never dealt with depression so I just knew I wouldn’t have an issue with the baby blues. Please. I was an emotional, hot and cold, crying mess for 3 weeks straight. It felt unreal. I’ll never forget the day Esposo and I were chatting and I just burst out into tears. He’s all like, “What’s wrong?” “I don’t knowwwww.” I’m telling him. I was literally crying for no reason. None. This happened frequently. In fact, when I noticed that I hadn’t cried for an entire 3 days, I felt like throwing myself a party. Being a new mom is haaaaard. It just is. You are physically and emotionally overwhelmed ALL the time. You adore your baby but you kinda miss the free life, too. You want more help but you want to do everything yourself. You want to be the perfect mom but baby won’t stop crying. You want to poop but that whole “just had a baby” thing makes it difficult. Too much information? Whatever. These things are important to know and I wish someone would have told me. I was glad to know that several other girlfriends also dealt with baby blues and got over it. And those that didn’t, went and got professional help.

But through it all, being a Mom is awesome. And fun. Any first time parents out there?

An Open Letter from Godbaby Clumps

Guess who turned a year old the day before Valentine’s Day?

You guessed me? Sophie Simone? Alright!

You’re so smart. The other day Godmommy Clumps let me borrow her MacBook. And without her knowing I managed to prop her camera up and have a little photoshoot. What can I say? After watching her do it so many times, I wanted to try it myself.

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FOTD Friday:The Bahamian Edition


Happy Friday!!

[Really quickly—I just wanted to send out my thoughts and prayers to the Jackson family. Michael Jackson’s music was a staple in my household. He is a legend. And the beautiful thing about legends is that they live on forever. I believe in remembering the past and celebrating the present (Sankofa). He will join Luther Vandross, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Marian Anderson and others. This PYT will always love you, MJ!]

It just occurred to me that I never posted photos of my trip to the Bahamas. And since my skin is currently enduring burns in 3 places (brown skin DOES get sunburned….I’ll spare you the photos) I didn’t that that doing a FOTD would not be a good idea.

So let’s do a POTD–Place of the Day.

Welcome to Nassau, Bahamas.

I’ve been here once before but really got to explore the city THIS trip.

The first two days were nothing but this…..


I know. Uneventful, right? It rained. And rained. And rained. And rained. Somehow, it didn’t bother me. Being able to sleep beyond 6 a.m. was vacation enough for me! And then around the 2nd day we were there….the sun came out!

Hey there Carnival!

View from my hotel room.



Outside of Atlantis…



….and then inside. The designs are breathtaking.


Fishes!


The sisters posing…


Every single time I travel, I ALWAYS have a hard time taking pictures of everything. I am too busy “taking in” the sites to even think about snapping shots. *sigh* More of a reason to return!

Off to the streets!

Thank you, Courtney for being natural in this photo..


Here goes my Dad…

“Hey Brit, look….there’s a MAC.”

Funny.


But I didn’t buy anything. Wait….now that I think about it, I didn’t get any souvenirs from the Bahamas. Mannnn….

Senor Frogs!

This photo is currently the background on my laptop. Loves it! And I loved the conch fritters there. I will say the BEST conch fritters eeeever are at The Conch Shake in Provos, Turks. Amazing!


Look! It’s ClumpsTV. Or Clumpsivision. LOL! Yes, I spent $14 to check good ole’ Clumps and to tweet. It was hard being Blackberry-less for almost a week.


More random shots!

What to wear on Paradise Island? A color liner, mascara and a glittery Dazzleglass. That’s all! LOL @ what I was listening to.

Sister shots….


opps, forgot to “smile with my eyes”. Next time, next time.

These chicks are clearly loving their desserts. LOL!


Of course the nails STILL got polished everyday. I’m rockin‘ Diamond Cosmetics’ Hot Summer Pink!

….and then back to Miami. We stayed at the beautiful Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach. A terrible storm hit and what happens? Lights go off in the hotel. And they don’t come back on. For hours. And hours. We ended up being forced to leave.

The horror.


The commotion….

But what’s any family vacay without some random “something” happening?

Oh! I also swam with dolphins which was an amazing experience that everyone must do once in their life.

Another great trip!

Next?

Back to NYC and definitely Vegas.

Doing any summer traveling? Take me with you!

Have a wonderful weekend!