Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized

Dad, Are You and My Mom Going to Get Married Again? A Child’s Plea To Do Things Together With His Parents

Dad, are you and my mom going to get married again? A child’s plea to do things together with his parents

I can tell you off the top that I do not have the solution for this. My question to everyone else is, how do you address these questions? I was not prepared and I don’t know how to get prepared. I was prepared for all the other questions that I knew he would ask someday and I think I knocked those out of the park.

Kid, Children, Baby, Kiddie, Summer, Join, Barn, Dirty

As I’m about to drive away, after I had just picked up my son for the weekend, I was excited about the time we were about to have. I looked back and noticed that he was getting teary eyed, and his face was that of one holding back the tears. Confused, I told him that is was perfectly OK if he wanted to roll the window down to say bye to his dad.  

“Why are you sad?” I asked. “Because my dad looks sad. I want my dad to come too. I want to be with both of y’all at the same time.” he responded. My son had expressed this on several occasions before, when he asked me if I could come with him to his dad’s house. He’s cried several times upon being dropped back off at his dad’s house, because he wanted me to come too.

basket, blur, boy

Deep Breath** He took me up on my offer to roll the window down to say good-bye to his dad. However, he didn’t just say good-bye. He asked, “Dad, can you and my mom get married again because I want to be with both of yall?” My head fell… Not sure what his dad said. I began to back away.

Only recently, had my son began to ask me about us getting married again. Almost as if he’d been searching for a resolution and rested on this being the only answer to how we can all be together.

Never did I think he’d ask his dad or me, right there in the presence of one another, if we would get married again so that he can be with both of us, at the same time.

Car, Toy, Childhood, Child, Boy, Fun, Kid, Vehicle

I knew that it would not be much longer before I would have to ditch the kiddy talk and address the conversation head on. But is this considered something age-appropriate to discuss? He’s only 6. Well, he will be 7- years old in December. He’s a pretty quick-witted, smart and intelligent kid. I recognize that he is a lot more insightful about what is and has been going on. I knew he’d have questions, but not this one.

I did not think his request would be that his dad re-marries his mom. (Internal thoughts: Does he see this as the only possibility for us to do things together? Poor baby, this is his perception) Perhaps he doesn’t know that we can do things together and we don’t have to be married? But how can I drive that point, when we haven’t made it happen? (More internal thoughts) Do I just say to him that we are waiting on his dad to be comfortable with having me in the same room with his girlfriend? No, I can’t say that. Do I say that mommy has been trying to do this for years, but dad is afraid to bring us all together, for some reason? Nope, I definitely can’t say that. I cannot tell my son that it’s his dad that is standing in the way of this happening.

Doll, Clown, Sad, Bank, Sit, Colorful, Sweet, Funny

As I am driving away, looking at my sons’ face, I felt awful! “Your dad can come if he wants to.” I said. Besides, we were just headed for a quick bite to eat at that moment. I stopped when I got to the corner. I asked, “What do you want me to do? Should I invite dad to lunch with us?” He said, “Yes.” My son told me that I would have to be the one to ask, because dad would listen to me. (My inside jokester said, oh boy… you have no idea… no he won’t) But, I escaped from that being my response and I just did the dirty work.

Dialing*** He answered the phone, “What’s up, what do you need?” to which I replied, “Hi. Deon wants to know if you would like to grab lunch with us.” He explained that he had some other appointments and things he needed to do. He thanked me for the invite and that was it. I hung up the phone and my son asked, “Does he really have something to do or is he just saying that?” Geez! I am slapping my forehead at this point. All these questions. LOL.

All I could think to say was, “Well, what would we do with (xyz) dad’s girlfriend? My son responds, “IonKno” followed by a, ‘least of my concern, shoulder Scruggs and facial expression’. I thought that if I threw her into the mix, (reminding my son that xyz may get hurt and he shouldn’t want to hurt her because he already told me he likes her) that my son would consider the fact that his dad has a girlfriend that we all like. (Internal thought: My son told me one day that he was afraid to tell me that he liked xyz, because he did not want to hurt my feelings. Little did he know, but I assured him, this was music to my ears because it was all I was worried about) Man, I wish they knew how much this meant to him.

Little Boy, Child, Son, Play, Outdoors, Toys, Cars

But then I thought that if I used her, it would make it seem as if there was a possibility of his dad and I being together if xyz didn’t exist. And that’s not the case, so I tried to fix it. So, I asked, “Well what will mommy do with her fiancé?” Oops… had to take that back too, because again it sounds like if mommy was not in a relationship, that there was a possibility. Altogether, I didn’t want my son to become hopeful about there ever being a possibility. (Because doesn’t he need to know that there’s no possibility?) Or do I just address and work on the problem that he is having, which is trying to get us in the same room to do things together? Because if I fix that, wouldn’t he stop asking us to get remarried? – Stop me when I start over-thinking this!

Image result for BLENDED FAMILY

I didn’t want my son to think that the reason that his dad and I were not together, was due to us being committed to other people. Because that’s not the reason. And for all I know, if he thought this, he could begin to resent our partners if he thought they were the reasons for his biological parents not being together. (Furthermore, he doesn’t need to know the real reason we are not together, right?)

Bottom line is this. I want my son to know that his dad and I do not have to be married for us all to do things together. But I am not able to show him this, as I am restricted. I want him to know that we can do things together with both individuals that we are involved with. I want him to know this so that he can abandon the idea of us ever getting married again, with ease.

Image result for KIMORA RUSSELL BLENDED FAMILY

I’d be remiss not to say that I notice when my son is happiest and it’s when he sees that his dad and I are in one place at one time, with him. Such as during his Baseball games. I want my son to be happy. With that in mind, there’s always a thought in my head about when the time will come that everyone will be able to blend.

I want my child’s underlying request to be granted, which is for us to have a cohesive relationship where we can have positive interactions as parents, in the presence of my son. I want to blend our families and have the luxury of them joining us for dinner or lunch, so that my son can know and feel that we are all part of one team. 

Advertisements
Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized

Give The Children What They Need, And Put A Little Something Extra In Your Child’s Lunchbox – It’s Time To Go Back-To-School

Image result for food productsA portion of my summer, was spent doing product trials with my child, to determine some of the best items to add to a kid’s lunchbox, or snack bag when school began again. And now that the time is upon us, I am confident that I will not have to be on the receiving end of the teachers concerned phone call or little handwritten note, to tell me that my child “seems to still be hungry, after lunch.”

Imagine how I felt, momentarily… that one time in April, when my child’s teacher reached out to me, via text, to give me a “heads-up.” She said that my child doesn’t appear to be getting enough to eat, and seems hungry. First thought, wow- I have been paying child support and my child does not have lunch? Second thought, who’s packing my child lunch and why were they not giving him enough? Third thought, dads claim to fame is how much money he makes, certainly he can afford to pack a healthy, hearty and wholesome snack and lunch for our son.

Ok, so then I calmed to a normal pace, to avoid jumping to conclusions and to try to understand what was going on. I got a little emotional, because I wanted to advise my sons dad of what the teacher said, as well as, to ask the appropriate questions regarding my child nutrition. However, due to the nature of our relationship being what it is, I walk on egg shells with what I say, out of concerns about how he will take it. For instance: Will he think I am taking jabs at him? Will he think that I am saying that he is not winning at parenting, if I relate this concern?

I paused, to allow the anxiety to subside, and to truly look at the situation, as one that could be an easy fix. Especially with the bottom line being, IT NEEDS TO BE FIXED, and I have no time to sugar-coat anything. I 86’d the above questions and I emailed him. I offered my assistance to find amazing snack ideas, if he had been too busy to do so himself. I offered to price them at three different stores that was near his home, to make shopping easier and most affordable for him. I offered to make the list for Monday-Friday, on what should be packed each day, where to get it and how much it would cost. While my proposal wasn’t accepted prior to the summer beginning, and before school ended; I will be pitching it again this week, in hopes that going forward, it will.

So, anyway, over the summer, during my quest to find something, I came across the following:

Black Forest Gummy Bears

Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears: “America’s Best Tasting Gummy Bears! Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears are made with thoughtful ingredients like lemon juice, organic cane sugar, potato starch, carrot and beet juice. These lovable little Gummy Bears are made with love and feature a taste YOU WILL LOVE. Every bag includes cherry, orange, lemon, apple and pineapple flavors. USDA Certified Organic. Gluten Free.” (http://www.blackforestusa.com/products/)

Image result for clifbar

CLIF Kids Zbar: “CLIF Kid Zbar® is an organic, baked whole grain energy snack, made with a blend of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fat to give kids energy so they can keep zipping and zooming along. Our products never include high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors.” (http://www.clifbar.com/products/clif-kid/zbar)

SunButter

SunButter: With nearly three pounds of shelled, roasted sunflower seeds in each jar, SunButter has 7 grams of protein per serving, and it has more vitamins and minerals than nut butter. SunButter provides 45% of the US recommended daily allowance for Vitamin E with no trans-fat and less saturated fat than the leading brand of almond butter.

SunButter is free from the top 8 food allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, eggs, wheat, fish, and crustacean shellfish. SunButter is also free from Canada’s ten priority food allergens, which include mustard, sulfites, and sesame.

SunButter is made in the US from locally-grown, specially-roasted sunflower seeds, which are processed in our dedicated peanut free and tree nut free facility. Our sunflower seeds are grown in a region of the country where peanuts are not grown, eliminating the risk of cross contamination. SunButter is vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, non-GMO, and certified kosher.

This is not an ad for the companies above. I am sincerely recommending these products, because I have tried them for myself, and because I got the stamp pf approval, from my First-grader. The good thing is, these snacks don’t just work for the kids, they make great on-the-go snacks for the working mother.

Double check the lunch box, making sure that your child has something filling, and of nutritional value. Moms, I am not the mom Nazi! However, sometimes we just need reminders, from other moms who may have heard a suggestion or two from a teacher… and before hearing it in a less than sensitive memo, I am giving you the heads up.

Unfortunately, I won’t get to be the one who packs my child’s lunch box, to ensure that it is done with a lot of extra love to fill his belly. But it is with all my heart, that I hope he’s getting all he needs from it, when it’s time.

Here’s the perfect starter guide:

Fresh fruit.

Crunchy vegetables.

A meat or protein food such as slices of lean meat, hardboiled egg, peanut butter or nut paste*

Dairy food such as a cheese stick or slice, grated cheese, milk or yoghurt.

Starchy food such as bread, a roll, pita or flat bread, fruit bread or crackers.

Water.

Article Originally published HERE, at Working Mother

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

For Those Mean Kids, Here’s A Powerful Message From My Six-Year Old As He Heads Back To School

As repulsive as it is to think about bullies, bad kids and mean kids, which to me are all the same; as a mother, I do know that they exist, from what I have seen take place on playgrounds, in back yards, on school grounds and at events. As much as I love ALL children, no matter whom they belong, and from whence they come, I cringe when I hear some of the nasty and hurtful things they say. I grovel at some of the things that I see them do.

It’s beyond kids just being kids, expressions of personalities and clashes, behavioral differences and learning how to get along. It’s the line that they cross, when their words and actions resemble behavior that seems to be taught, engrained and instilled into them, by perhaps elders. Just an assumption about where it may come from….

Image result for racism

Where else, would kids these days come up with their sometime, pre-historic assessments, that someone can/cannot do, or can/cannot afford something, or be something; due to their skin color? And why would they feel this, at the tender age of 6 or 7…8…9 and 10, that being a certain color, means you’re ugly or not worthy of playing with? And why would they ‘feel’ that it’s ok, to pick on another child just because the other child has a different color skin?

Who is responsible for bestowing credence, in these children’s behavior; whereas they would think it’s anywhere near on the side of right, to discriminate against another child or person, for that matter? The nature of the comments and actions just don’t seem to be conceived in the mind of a child. IJS.

We don’t want to think of any child as being bad, or even mean, but that’s the translation sometimes. So, perhaps they are just misguided? Kids are adorable-that’s how they are born. They only become nasty through experiences and exposure. Their behavior is either replicated behavior or sublimated and emulated by imitation.

Image result for bullies

My child was outdoors today, and in his normal fashion of being highly energized, friendly and eager to play. He saw 4 kids, close to his age, one being a bit older, maybe 10- years old; and he asked if he could play with them. I said, yes of course. They were riding bikes, all except one. My son ran alongside of them. Shortly after, they said and did somethings that weren’t very nice. Later, I was told that my son endured it and continued to play. That’s just his nature. He loves everyone. When my parents took notice of what was going on, and how my son was being treated, I too became aware. I went outside to get him.

They hurt his feelings. His understanding was just that he wanted to play, and they were in return, being mean to him. That’s an innocent interpretation, until you hear about the entire ordeal. I summarize to say, I had a long talk with him. After-which, a long bubble bath fixed it for him. They may have hurt his feelings, but they didn’t break his spirit. This is what he had to sing to them, when it was all over. (Video Below- captions inside)

Let’s start at home, by doing the following:

Teach your own children first: Teach your children right from wrong. There’s so many ways to do this and so many books to read with good moral lessons, as well as PBS and other educational television shows, which teach children how to practice good manners, by introducing situations, where a child may learn what the right thing in those cases, are to do.

There are many value-lesson games which you can play together, as well as simply being an example yourself. Set the tone for your child. We must instill, into our children, that which we want to come out of them.

Sometimes, children can overhear us talking about other people or expressing language that is not fit for their ears, and when they leave the house, they repeat it. So, be mindful when the kids are watching. It’s just good manners.

Preparing your child: In a perfect world, your child won’t face any challenges at school with mean kids or bullies or racism. They will go off to school unhurt and they will return unhurt- especially when we feel that we’ve taught them how to act, so they will be ok.

But it’s just like being on the road. The lesson is, to watch out for the “other driver” because you can be as safe as possible, and still find yourself in an accident that was unavoidable. So, while our children are outdoors doing the right thing, we cannot always count on other children doing the right thing. We should however, foster a community where every child is looked after, as it was way back when…

Preparation is key in just teaching them that it’s not always something that they do or have done, which will cause someone to do something to them.

Having age appropriate conversations: Deciding on the best time to have any discussions about what may or may not occurs is up to the parent and the situations that their children are facing. But we do have to take into account age and timing. When is the time right? You’ll know. I didn’t think it was appropriate to discuss bullying or racism, for instance, until he came face to face with it. When he encountered a situation, where he would need answers or understanding, that’s when it would be necessary. Or if someone begins to pick at him, for no reason, taunting him and harassing him, then he needs to know what this is. And he needs to know that it’s not right, so that he will know the steps he needs to take, regarding reporting the behavior.

Letting them know it’s not their fault: I think that when your child comes home, after being taunted about their skin color, or their shoes, or their hair, their reading glasses, their clothes, facial or body features; it’s important for us as parents, being the closest people to them, to constantly be building their morale. This is where their self-esteem rest. These are the years that those mean comments can shape and mold a child, causing them to retreat to the inside, finding something wrong with themselves and then begin to dislike how they were made. It may even manifest into adulthood, where they too become bullies. We have to combat this as much as we can as parents, by building them back up, if someone tries to break them down. But to keep it in the road as well, (balance) so that they do not become full of themselves.

Let’s do our due diligence, when setting expectations of teachers to uphold a standard in what will not be tolerated in school, as it relates to bullying someone, beit due to their race or gender.

After we’ve done this, we hope that in the school that we selected for our children to attend, that there will be teachers who will also reinforce good behavior. We hope that teachers practice good behavior also, and do not discriminate against any child or use intimidation tactics to demolish our children’s esteem. We hope that teachers exercise their ability to teach manners and how good manners are what make people feel good. Doing good, being good and having that returned, is the ideal situation.

Originally posted here. On CAFEMOM

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel, Uncategorized

Why Moving Out Of My Home Was Bitter Sweet and Why My New Situation Is Sweet As Pie

I moved into my home, in the Sienna Plantation Subdivision of Sugarland, Texas; in April of 2012. I had every intention of making it home for at least the following 5 years. I wanted a place for my son to grow, to call his own and to run around with all the freedom a One-Year old could want. I wanted a community, where extra-curricular activities, in a family-oriented environment and a family-friendly neighborhood; were in plethora. I wanted the security of knowing that my son was in a safe neighborhood (as safe as it could be anyway – little to no crime) and in a home where he had a large backyard, to run wild in the grass. I thought of that land that our home sat on when I was in grade school, and how we could go outside in the backyard and have the time of our life, without being in harm’s way. I wanted this for my child.

I accomplished that when I picked out the house, April of that year. Even though the move was a sudden and quick move, only looking at two other homes before deciding on this one, I was completely satisfied. I found the house on a Friday and I had moved in within a week. When I looked at this house, I saw myself in the kitchen being able to see the entire backyard, as my child was playing outside.

As I walked through the downstairs, admiring the open kitchen and bar area, the entertainment living room, which had floor to ceiling windows that stretched over 16 feet, allowing natural light to illuminate the entire downstairs area; I settled at the fireplace. I gazed over the backyard, from corner to corner, while standing indoors, at the fireplace. The whole back of the home, was wide-open. I envisioned a flat screen TV above the fireplace, accompanied by fancy art, which would anchor both sides for symmetrical purpose. I am a person who often seek balance, and it penetrates each part of my life. The living room was just one. I fancied the idea of raw paintings, that would adorn the collar bones of the home.

The walls had yet to be painted. Just the way I like it… A blank canvas. I knew that I wouldn’t paint them either, because there’s something about the look of clean, white walls, throughout a wide-open home. I took noticed the multiple options that I had, for placement of family portraits and moments, which would be captured between my son and me, for the duration of our stay.

I moved beyond the living room, into the downstairs Master Bedroom, which had a window seat and another large, open window area. It was just the right size, just what I was used to. The Master-Bath was to my liking, as well as the walk-in closet that would support alllll the clothes, shoes and purses that I would be bringing. From there, I moved throughout the breakfast area and dining room, just before heading upstairs. Once upstairs, on the catwalk, I had a choice to go left or right to decide which room would suit my son. But I took a pause, for that breath-taking moment, as I looked down, over the living area. The tall windows allowed me to see beyond the fence in the backyard, into the bayou. The privacy was just what I needed.

I took the right… Headed right to the room that I knew would be perfect for the little one. It was just off the open play area, where if I were downstairs in the living room, I could look up and see him always. The other side of the house, seated two additional bedrooms and a full-sized bath. So, there I was. 4 bedrooms, large walk-in closets, plenty of room, open kitchen, entertainment living-room, dining area, breakfast area, large laundry, open floor plan with lots of natural light, large, fenced-in backward, 2 car garages and the home was located at the end of the street, last house in the circle… on Story Book Trail. I was good. I was home.

Fast forward 5 years later, after I had hung my coat, and settled in over the years, making this home my resting place; I wondered through some old photos. It reminded me of the first day that I moved in. I sat in that timeless moment of nostalgia. I cried, I laughed, I danced. I thought about the reality of it being March 2017, and how the close of my custody trial had also brought a close to my story, on Story Book Trail. I would be moving out of the home in a week. I needed to get away. I thought about some not so great moments that happened in the home, which caused me to view to home a little differently, 1-year into being there. I loved the home, but shortly after I moved in and only after I revealed my address, some random acts of vandalism began to occur. At that moment, I wanted out of the house, but I had to make the best of the unpleasant situation and remain put, until the time was right to leave.

I was getting so much negative energy about being able to live in such a lovely home, (how could she afford it, that’s not her home, who’s paying for her home, it must be a rental or did she purchase it, she doesn’t have a job, she needs to get a job). (And the best one of all, “she’s using child support money to pay for it” ALTHOUGH, I wasn’t getting child support, I was paying child support) and all of this was creating a ball of hate, which was beginning to grow legs, arms, eyes and vicious teeth. It was hovering over my life unwarranted. It was crawling through my home, disturbing my peace. It was killing the spirit of joy throughout the walls of my home. Every time I looked around, something else was occurring.

It was almost like watching an apple decay. A beautiful apple, turning from red to black. From plump, to a soft and fetal position. A series of events were tarnishing my home. From break ins while I was out of town, to tampering with my phone lines and security systems, to people showing up disguised as delivery services and phone company representatives, who only wanted to get inside my home to plant wires… to the home being rummaged through while I was away. Even installing a security system didn’t work, because through the phone lines and my computer, my space had been invaded, violated and my privacy was destroyed.

But then I thought to myself, this is the 5th year, and all that I had planned for. Everything that was pushing me away from that home, was pushing me into the direction of something so much greater. I did not understand while it was happening. But I understand it now. I understood it while I was packing up and getting ready for greater. I had my last dance with the home, entertaining my son and his friends as they ran about outside, playing in water wars and washing the cars. I had my last rendezvous with the home the last night over a bottle of wine. I had my last affair with the home as I sat in the soaker. I walked the home corner to corner, as I had done when I moved in, taking in all the precious moments that were spent there- from room to room. I sat in each room and prayed. I walked upstairs and downstairs closing all the doors, as you would, a book once finished. I turned off all the lights, disconnected all services, closed all the blinds and locked the door for the last time. I was smiling and I never looked back, as I drove away.

Had I moved, prior to the season for me to move, I would be in a repeat situation. I am convinced, that it was by purpose, that I remained in that house until all the court hoopla came to a head, where I was then able to move at my leisure, unbothered and unfollowed. GOD is still good.

“There is always a sign that Precedes the move of GOD” That was the sound of those doors locking, one last time. That was the sound of me driving away from Story Book Trail, as that story was over.

Walking out of the house, I could hear only “One Sound.” That was the sound of “The Anthem” featuring Gospel Singer, William Murphy and the Full Baptist Church. Halleluiah, you have won the victory. You have won it all for me. Death could not hold you down, you are the risen king, seated in majesty, you are the risen King! I am grateful that GOD kept me in the valley, hid me from the rain… forever, he will reign.

Add A Comment

Lifestyle, Parenting, Uncategorized

3 Of My Sons Favorite Things To Eat And What I am Doing About It Because Frankly, I am Tired Of The Repeat

Have you ever heard the sound of a broken record playing? And if so, do you remember how you couldn’t get into the room quick enough to take the needle off the record? That is how I feel at dinner time these days, when it comes to feeding my 6-year old son. He’s a growing child, who needs to eat and as much as I care about his nutrition, it’s a challenge some nights to win. To my surprise, he is the one who is the cause of this broken record getting air time at the house. I thought he would be as tired as I am, about re-runs and threepeat meals.

It has nothing to do with that fact that I grew up eating chicken on what seems like was every night of the week, even though it wasn’t every night. Ok… who am I fooling? Yes, Yes. It has everything to do with that. I became tired of chicken as a child, and so, I can’t understand this phenomenon at my dinner table. Why would a child want the same thing, night after night, when he has choices? I guess when you like what you like, you just like it. Of course, this is not what keeps me awake at night, but should I be concerned? It’s not that he doesn’t like anything else, because I have witnessed him indulge in everything from BBQ to Pasta. But he doesn’t seem to want it anymore. He doesn’t seem to want a variety. Which is why………………….

I am even more tired of the following 3 Things That My Son Loves To Eat. Those things are: Rice, Macaroni and Cheese, and Mashed Potatoes. All of which find their way to my dinner table at least 4 nights per week, during extended periods. There’s only so many ways I can cook and prepare rice, even with there being variations of rice, such as: Long-Grained, Brown-Rice, White Rice, Spanish Rice, Dirty Rice, and Jasmine Rice. I am all cooked out of rice! I like rice, I just don’t want to eat so much of it during one week time.

I remember when my son ate everything as an infant and toddler. It made my life and decisions on dinner so much easier, to be able to pick whatever I wanted, and to know that he would eat. I cannot explain how my son grew out of eating, rather than to have grown into eating more and more of it. Is this normal? I remember when people used to tell me how lucky I am that my child would eat anything that I put in his face, and that most children his age were so difficult when it came to finding something that they like to eat. I miss those days. I miss them because now, it’s more work involved and lots of food that goes to the trash. Well, unless it’s rice, mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese. rolls eyes because I do not want another grain of rice, nor another mac n cheese noodle and I could care less if I see another potato. Not to mention the amount of starch!

However, I did find some pretty awesome recipes online that made me second guess my decision to go on a rice, mashed potato and Mac n Cheese strike. See them below. Perhaps if you are in this dilemma as a mom, you can benefit in making something that you’ve never made before, with the food that your little one insist on having. Since rice is on the top of his list, I found a few recipes that were worth sharing- that I will try before giving it the final boot…..It’s coming though.

BAJA Black Beans, Corn and Rice: Serving size 6 Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients: 6 cups cooked brown rice 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained 4 fresh tomatoes, diced 1⁄2 cup red onion, chopped 1⁄2 cup cilantro, chopped 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon olive oil 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper 2 dashes hot sauce

Directions: Cook brown rice. In a medium bowl, combine black beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, oil, salt, pepper and hot sauce. To serve, Place a scoop of hot rice in a bowl or on a plate, top with a generous scoop of the black bean mixture. Stir together before eating.

Easy Fried Rice Ready in 30 Minutes, Serves 5

Ingredients: 3 cups cold leftover cooked rice 1⁄2-1 cup oleo (or butter) 1 medium onion (chopped) 2 stalks celery (chopped, or just use 3 cloves of garlic and) 2 carrots (diced) 1 cup frozen peas (or a small-medium part of ginger) 3 eggs (beaten, or 6) 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup soy sauce (to taste, and chicken msg) Pepper

Directions: Melt oleo in large non-stick skillet. Add onion, celery, and carrots. Saute until onions are transparent and carrots are crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Add peas and cook one minute more until peas are thawed. Push veggies to one side of skillet. Scramble eggs in empty side of skillet after the oleo spreads from veggies. Mix eggs into veggies and season with pepper. then put in small amount of rice and then. Add soy sauce. Then slowly mix in rice by the spoonful until all rice is added and all ingredients are well blended. Fry until steamy hot stirring often.

Jamacain Rice and Peas cook time 2 hours serves 8

Ingredients: 8 ounces small dried red beans or 8 ounces red kidney beans 1 quart water 16 ounces chicken broth or 16 ounces chicken stock or 16 ounces water 1⁄2 cup coconut cream 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves 1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice 2 scallions, finely chopped 1⁄2 cup white onion, chopped 2 minced garlic cloves 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 scotch bonnet pepper (left whole) 1 teaspoon brown sugar 2 1⁄4 cups uncooked long grain rice

Directions: Rinse and sort beans and place in a stockpot. Cover with several inches of water and soak overnight,-or- bring to a boil, boil gently for 3 minutes, then remove from heat, cover, and allow to sit undisturbed for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans. Bring to a boil with chicken stock, water, and coconut cream. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours or until beans are tender and creamy. Add the thyme, allspice, scallion, onion, garlic, scotch bonnet, brown sugar, uncooked rice, salt and pepper. Check the level of liquid over the rice and make sure there is at least one inch of liquid (if not, you may add water or broth to cover). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until rice is tender. Serve hot as a side dish, with Jamaican hot sauce as a condiment, if desired. For Vegetarian use water not the chicken broth or stock.

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel

What if The Word Why? Came With A Dollar? I would be rich off my one child alone.

One thing’s for sure, and that is, I am tired of hearing the word Why? So much, that I have considered telling my child that he has a one why maximum on the usage of the word why, per day. Or, if he uses it more than twice in a day, I am entitled to have the exclusive right to say, “I don’t know” even when I really do know. Plus, I should get to say, I don’t know, at least one time per every two why’s. Yea, that sounds like a plan. I think when you are over a certain age, your why’s should come with an Excel spreadsheet and payment on every third why in a day. Maybe, us parents can conduct a WHY Convention, where we answer all the children’s why’s in one day…. Headline: Bring your children on Friday to the Summit Beach House, and don’t ask us why. Boom! That’s it

Truth be told, I love my son’s thirst for knowledge, and the fact that he always asks me; even though it challenges me to channel my inner 6-year-old child, in which most cases, I find out that I am not smarter than a 5th grader. Juuuust kidding. But I really cannot remember anything from 5th grade. Does that make me less smart though? Hummm… I will have to think about that one before fully deflating my ego. At least when he asks why, I am forced to go into those rooms that have laid dormant in my body’s northern hemisphere, in the brain region. So, it’s not all bad. I do get a kick out of seeing if I can beat him to an explanation that will cancel all the following why’s. Just searching for something good enough for him, without having to tell a lie… and of course before resorting to saying that I don’t know. I think we should limit the times we tell our children that we don’t know something, to prevent them from growing up thinking we are dumb as a box of rocks. Or, to prevent them from asking other people and getting the wrong answers all together. I think if we do not know, we should try to find out WHY.

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” ― Phil Collins

As moms, we have all heard the expression that children are like sponges. All to say that they soak up a lot of knowledge as they grow into their personalities over the wonder years. It’s never a terrible thing that our children have so many questions about how things work, what they do and what they are used for. I am happy that my child wants to know if there are people in the back of the television. I am not so happy that he wants to take the TV apart just to find out. I am also happy that he wants to know exactly why he can jump up and down on the bed and bounce high. However, not too pleased when he tests just how high he can bounce, when it’s followed by a big fall off to the side of the bed.

I totally get it, that it’s extremely annoying to hear the word why, when it’s in response to something where the only answer is: Because I said so! Because there may not be an answer other than that to: Mom why can’t I go outside right now. Well, maybe it’s too late in the evening, maybe he’s already had his bath, maybe you are too tired to go outside with him and watch him, maybe you’re too busy to go out at that moment, maybe you don’t feel like getting him dressed appropriately to go out in certain weather conditions…. These reasons will still be responded to, with a why. Therefore, when he asks, why can’t I go outside, the answer is simply, Because I said so.

See, you must be smart about your response to the questions of why, because they have already planned their next why. You need to find ways to beat them to the punch and shut it down or it can go on for hours. Some children, like my own, will sit and deliberate on the answer, and use the Scientific Method without even being taught that in school just yet. He will began thinking it all the way through, forming a hypothesis, making an educated guess. And here we go again. Most recently, he asked to go outside and it was hi-noon in Houston. It was 58 degrees in the shade. It was a dry heat and no wind was blowing. Even your breath blew stifling air. If you saw anyone holding hands, it just made you hot because you are already sweating, shirt sticking to your back, your shades are even hot while they rest on your noses to see someone hugged up, was like scratching a chalk board. Yes, that hot. So, when he asked, I told him that it was ‘fainting weather” He asked what’s fainting weather. I explained and told him that it’s too hot, and it’s the kind of weather that you are liable to pass out in (faint) heat stroke. I told him that we needed to get some water so that we could stay hydrated while out in that kind of weather.

The next day, as a consolation prize for being indoors for the afternoon, on the day before; I took him to the park. It was just as hot. On the way, he asked, “Mom, is this fainting weather.” Me: Yes, baby. 40 Minutes later after silence in the car, he asked, “Mom, why did GOD make the sun so hot? Why would he want to kill the people he created?” I literally felt my mental elevator crash somewhere between my heart and head. I was totally defeated. I answered, He did not do it to kill anyone baby. He made it hot because the trees and grass need it. So, he asks, “Why?” By now, I am in the front seat banging on the dormant doors to my brain. No one would answer. I just told him that the trees and grass can take it. We can’t. But if we stay hydrated, we will be fine. He then asked, “Well, why can’t the trees and the grass stay hydrated?” All I know is, I was so happy to be pulling up to the park right around that time!

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

What Makes This Mother’s Day As Special As It Was The Last Six Years

What Makes This Mother’s Day As Special As It Was The Last Six Years

Throwback Thursday, I am in my closet, rummaging through some things and I found a Mother’s Day card that my son made for me last year. I had it hung up on our bedroom wall, until a few weeks ago when I decided to move out of our home. I came to it, while searching through a bag for something else, altogether. I stopped to reflect on the hand print that was within one of the cards, that he documented with finger paint. There was another one where he wrote, “I LOVE YOU” But, Love was in sign-language. On the inside, a special note: Happy Mother’s Day.

IMG_5165

I paused, yielding to a few tears of joy… lending my heart to some more than welcomed memories and thoughts that flickered through my mind, followed by revelations, of how I blessed I am to have someone call me MOM. It is such a wonderfully incredible and indescribable feeling all at once. What an Awe-Amazing place to be at 4 months before I turn 40! I am Mother. I am still Mother. And why in the world am I crying right now? LOL…. Those emotions are something that comes with being a mom. In fact, my best friend witnessed me cry once and I was 34 years old then… He starred at me, without saying a word. Then he finally said, I am trying to figure out what to say, because I have never seen you cry. LOL…. Anyway, in this most precious and beautiful moment of seeing these cards, feelings of joy rush in.

IMG_5167

So, when people ask the question, what do I want for Mother’s Day, I am still stuck in such a place, where my answer is, I already got it. My child. What do you give a woman who has everything she wants and everything she needs, loves and desires, whereas the answer is simply, love, love, love and love? I get it, and I understand that the entire world does not revolve around the happiness and joy that my son brings to me and that some people might argue that it could be unhealthy …. Please understand that I am truly just speaking about the overflowing love I have for my son and the gratefulness that I show to my creator for making it possible. I realize that a woman can find love and joy in many other things…but hey, for the record… I got that covered too – and everything is all good. But I am talking about the bean-misters right now. I don’t praise him, I just love him.

The last 3.5 years have been extremely bumpy…where my child was concerned, as his father and I, were in and out of court of some of the pettiest things you could ever think a pompous narcissistic and controlling father could do to the mother of his child. A 4-year cycle of erroneous motion after erroneous motion, which his father filed, almost made me throw in the towel.  However, when I look back on the fight that I put up, to save my son, I have no regrets. When I look back and see that I truly still came out on top- I am even more thankful that I could have had that kind of love in my heart to go as far as I did for my child. To look at him, is to see a reflection of me… and to know that it was all in the name of love, love, love love, and so, it was all worth it. Love is a language that stretches across barriers, breaking levies, steering through mountains, trudging through treacherous paths and untrodden territory; by which is only understood by people who have experienced motherhood… and people who have experiences true love, and for those who know what unconditional love is.

I was made for this. It only strengthened me and encouraged me, to be strong and to be here for my son. The struggle…It helped me survive. The sleepless nights…they are still here, and from what I hear, they will always be here, so long as I am a loving mother. With that, I rest in knowing that it’s only because I care so much and because I love him so much, that I want to make sure that he is ok, wherever he is and with every breath he takes.

I am happy today. I am happy knowing that I survived some of the worst times of my life. I survived some of the most devastating and heart breaking news, but I am still a Mother and I still have my child and that is the best Mother’s Day gift I could possibly ask for. When someone loves my child, and someone cares for my child and shows a vested interest in his well-being, that is the best gift I could receive as a mother. When someone ask, how my child is doing, and they call him by name or have been around long enough to know the nicknames I have given him (Prince Cornelius, Bambino, Bam-Bam) it makes me feel good all over again. When my friends ask, how’s Lil’ C doing, how’s Big C doing… my heart melts.

It is a pleasure and an honor to have been commissioned with the task of being a Mother. It is a Pleasure and an honor to have been assigned to this little boy. I could not imagine life without him. Even when I think about how much easier it would be, I reflect on the wonderful times we have shared over the years…I think of all the times that he has made me laugh, all the times he made me think outside the box, overcome some of my own fears as well as the times that he made me realize how much he needed me to survive….and nothing, not even peace, could replace that. I live for the chaos that the four- foot tornado brings. And though I cry a lot behind some of the things he does, this is my first stab at this parenting thing, so I can only imagine what he’s going through, taking his first stab at this co-parenting thing…So I have loosened the reigns a little. But what he doesn’t know is, my grip isn’t on the reign anyway. It’s on GOD, and GOD’s promises, to protect him, guide him and keep him safe. I am so fortunate. I am so thankful. And I am so blessed, to be celebrating my 7th Mother’s Day, as the mother to Deon Cornelius Kenny, AKA, Prince Cornelius …. Bam-Bam …My Bambino!