I have a love hate relationship with yoga. I love it when I’m doing it, but I hate it when I’m thinking about doing it. Something about all the heavy breathing that really rots my cabbage. Even worse I feel like I’m always behind the hairy guy who passes gas all during class. My favorite type of yoga is Bikrhim which makes the gas passes even worse.
When I was incubating the mini I had to give up my Bikrhim yoga and take prenatal yoga. It was then I realized that the Vinyasa flow yoga wasn’t really that bad. My instructor was also very touchy which I loved. I got a scalp and neck massage during the last five minutes of class every class! The less people in class the longer the massage. Needless to say if more than 4 people were in class I was kind of cheesed. Selfish I know but, geez that lady’s hands were magic! There was also no gas! You would think that a bunch of pregnant women would light the joint up but nope. We did. We are ladies:)
After the baby, it has been difficult to get back into yoga because:
I have a baby.
I have a baby.
There is no one to watch the baby.
I can’t go to far from the house because I’m nursing.
I need to lose weight before I can put on yoga pants.
Who is going to watch the baby?
I mean there are at least 17 other legitimate reasons as well, I just chose not to list them.
Then here comes Cherished Life Yoga. The owner and one of the instructors Vanya is like a zen Duracell battery on the “you can do it” train. She convinced me that not only can I do yoga but how awesome I would be at it. To make her sell even easier the studio is less than 3 miles from me.
The Cherished Life studio is in the Café of life building and offers a variety of classes. I encourage all who live in the area to go! Cherished Life has a variety of Yoga classes which you can check out here.
Vanya also does juice cleanses for those who want to kick up the heath and well being!
I like most people was glued to the news outlets today after learning of the murders live on WDBJ this morning. I sat there really, really, confused. How could someone take the lives of two people in such a malicious and intentional manner? Why did this person tape his heinous actions and boastfully post them to social media? How did this person get to this point? So many questions that we may never have really clear answers to. I then thought how, as a parent can I help make my children people who will bring good and light into this world? What can I teach them that they may be people who can help others by just being themselves? Can I do anything to help my children be the people that help someone(s) who feel hopeless, have hope?
I thought about the values I currently teach them and what more I could do. My son is 7 and he is compassionate, honest, and extremely kind. I do my best to reinforce those values. I do also have to teach him to be aware and be sharp. He needs to be aware of the ugliness of the world and not let it dim his light.
As a parent I have to also be aware of the ugliness in the world and be mindful of that. I will always teach them self preservation above all. I was in St. Louis the day after the Michael Brown murder and a friend of mine wanted me to go to Ferguson with her to protest. It was something I felt strongly about, such an incredible injustice, blatant disrespectful treatment of the deceased, and in my opinion excessive force. As much as I wanted to go support, my children are always my number one priority. I was 5 months pregnant and there is nothing that I would do to put myself or my children in danger. Self preservation. I want to that to be second nature to them. Am I preventing them from being the next Dr. King by teaching them that? Possibly. As a selfish mother I’ll accept that. To be that kind a leader you have to be willing to die for your cause. I’m much rather they change the world in a different way that doesn’t make them a target.
How do you do all of this? How do you protect your kids? How do you teach your kids? What do you teach them? Maybe the answers are in that parenting handbook that never came with the baby. Knowing that you just have to trust yourself and do your best is insurmountable pressure.
I certainly pray that our landscape changes for the better as my children grow up. I don’t want them to be glued to MSNBC as I am for these types of reasons. I hope that the news they watch shows more love than hate. More philanthropy than robbery, and more life than death. I pray for them and the state of the world they will thrive in.
My prayers are with the families of Allison Parker and Adam Ward.
Part of getting a child to be open to different foods is to constantly present them to them. If you are always introducing new foods to them chances are they will be willing to try new things more consistently and who knows they may actually like some of them!
My son is now 7 and his favorite foods are sushi, butter chicken, pineapple fried rice, and of course macaroni and cheese. My son has been eating real sushi not just California rolls and indian food since about 2 years old. He loves Thai food, and demolish Korean lemongrass chicken wings without a second thought. I like to believe it’s because I exposed him to all of these different flavors as a kid. I never made a big production out of trying something new we just did it.
I am currently doing the same for my 8 month old. So far it looks like she may be following in her brothers very open to everything footsteps. This was the haul I came home from the farmers market with.
One of my favorite fruits is a Lychee. Anyway you can prepare Lychee I will eat it. The Longan, is very similar to a Lycee so when I saw them I pounced and literally got the last bag. We snack on these and I peel them and put them in my son’s lunch. You can make a little salad with cherries, and mangos. MMMMM! Let’s explore the Longan shall we?
The longan; literally: “Dragon Eye”), is so named because it resembles an eyeball when its fruit is shelled (the black seed shows through the translucent flesh like a pupil/iris). The seed is small, round and hard, and of an enamel-like, lacquered black. The fully ripened, freshly harvested shell is bark-like, thin, and firm, making the fruit easy to shell by squeezing the fruit out as if one is “cracking” a sunflower seed. When the shell has more moisture content and is more tender, the fruit becomes less convenient to shell. The tenderness of the shell varies due to either premature harvest, variety, weather conditions, or transport/storage conditions.
Next we have the yuca!
Yuca root, or occasionally Yucca root (Manihot esculenta), usually known as ‘cassava’ or ‘manioc’ (also tapioca plant, sago, boba), is the tuber of a large shrub. The tuberous roots, with a bark-like skin and white starchy flesh, is a tropical vegetable that is now widely grown and consumed in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. In many countries, yucca root is a dietary staple usually eaten boiled, steamed, and in flour form as thickeners or additional ingredients for noodles, cakes, and pastries. Tapioca is a starch extracted from the root, and cassareep is a thick syrupy flavoring made from cassava juice. It is also ground into a meal to make bread. Cassareep is a key ingredient in Jamaican Pepper Pot. The leaves are also eaten as a vegetable. Here is a video for one of my favorite Yuca recipes, Yuca con mojo
The guinep is grown and cultivated for its ovoid, green fruit, which grow in bunches. The fruit, somewhat like a cross between a lychee and a lime, has a tight and thin, but rigid layer of skin, traditionally opened by biting into with the teeth. Inside the skin is the tart, tangy, creamy pulp (technically the seed coat, or aril), which is sucked by putting the whole fruit inside the mouth (hence the name mamoncillo as mamar means “to suck”) because the seed takes most of the volume of what is inside the skin. Despite the light color of the fruit’s flesh, the juice stains a dark brown color, and was often used by indigenous Arawak natives to dye cloth.
Asian Pear or Nashi.
Despite having a texture similar to that of apples, Asian pears closely resemble other pear varieties in their nutritional profile. These fruits are high in fiber, low in calories and contain a number of micronutrients that are important for blood, bone and cardiovascular health. Although delicious on their own, the light sweetness and crispy texture of Asian pears makes them a unique addition to any salad or stir fry.
The West Indian avocado.
The West Indian avocado tree produces enormous, smooth round, glossy green fruits that are low in oil and weigh up to 2 pounds. They are summer- or fall-ripening. They have leathery, pliable, non-granular skin. The leaves are not aromatic. Grown in Florida, West Indies, Bahamas, Bermuda, and the tropics of the Old World. Not grown in California. They taste almost the same as a Hass avocado just bigger.
I saw this video and had to share. This woman is 7 centimeters dilated and is freaking dancing!!! This is how big 7 centimeters is for those of you who are not familiar.
When a woman is 7 centimeters she is in what is called transition. Transition is aside from the actual birth one of the most intense portions of labor. Here is a detailed definition of transition:
“Transition is the most difficult phase of labor for most women; however, it is also the shortest phase generally lasting ½ hour to 1½ hours in length.
Physically, mom is experiencing contractions 2-3 minutes apart, lasting 60-90 seconds, and are very strong in intensity. Contractions may even “piggy-back” which means one contraction may start to fade away and another one comes along immediately. During this phase she may notice increased bloody show; nausea, vomiting, burping, or hiccups; shaking; hot/cold feelings; fatigue; and sensitivity to touch. Additionally, she may indicate increased pressure on the perineum and/or rectum.
Emotionally, mom can become restless, irritable, discouraged, and confused. She may find that she focuses inward as she works with her labor. She may have a hard time communicating her wishes. This is the point in labor when she usually needs the most support.
During transition, labor support is crucial for the mom’s physical and emotional well-being. Partners should remain with the mom; give firm, clear, positive, and simple directions; remind her to change her positions; assist with breathing patterns; offer a cool washcloth for her brow and lip balm; and keep her hydrated with water and/or ice chips. Remind her to take one contraction at a time and not to give in to the panicky feelings. If Mom Panics: call her by name, take her face in your hands, develop and maintain eye contact, breathe with mom or talk her through the contraction, try variations in breathing patterns, and give lots of reassurance that she is near the end! Remember, any questions for mom should be asked BETWEEN contractions and not during. Watch for signs that she has to push (grunting or pushing sounds). If she indicates she needs to push, tell her to lift up her chin and pretend she is blowing out birthday candles one by one. She needs to be checked by her caregiver to see if her cervix is completely dilated. If not and she pushes prematurely, her cervix could swell or tear.”
Now, with that knowledge in mind, these brave men took on a labor simulator to experience what their wives felt. Imagine trying to dance through this!
This was me at 7 centimeters. I had a playlist planed and I had full intent on dancing and singing my way through birth. I was going to push and actually spit the kid out while Yellow by Coldplay was playing. Needless to say NONE of that happened. When the man tried to put music on I very passionately let him know that he need not do anything but figure out how to make my labor pains go away and prevent me from spontaneously combusting.
Dancing is actually a great way to lessen the labor pains. There are all sorts of ways to lessen labor pains, the issue becomes when you are actually in labor you are in too much pain to do any of them. My doula and midwife deserve medals. Without them I’m sure I would have ran naked through the hospital looking for drugs.
I was driving my car listening to the 90s station on XM radio and Do me by BBD came on. I immediately reverted back to my 14 year old self and sang at the top of my lungs despite the protest from my 7 year old. All of the memories came flooding right back as if it were yesterday.
One memory in particular stood out. I remember how my friends and I stayed in my backyard practicing our dance routine to this song for weeks. We wanted to have it perfected so that when song finally came on at the school dance we could kill it! We practiced daily until we were sweaty, tired, and hungry. After practice we had to talk about how we were going to get matching outfits so that we could really be dope. I was the artistic one so I took the overalls and did the Clorox/puff paint/razor blading so we could look like we just stepped off the video set.
Thinking about that made me realize none of my friends were overweight. Why? Maybe it’s because we had great music that commanded us to dance! I think the whole dance routine phase lasted up until Snoop dropped the Chronic. After that we just wanted to be fake gangsta. The whole new jack swing era was about dance routines. If you didn’t have a crew with names and possibly jackets you were wack! We probably stayed out of trouble because we were to busy trying to re-create every scene from House Party or trying to be the Fly Girls from In Living Color.
Kids these days don’t dance. I mean every now and then they will get a song that has a dance attached to it but they don’t have that discipline. Like sitting down and actually choreographing and counting out a routine. I think IF they did, maybe we wouldn’t have to fight them to be active and healthy. When you sweat you naturally want water. Boom, problem solved. You are not begging your kids to drink water. You don’t have to worry about where they are and what they are doing because they are in your back yard or recreation room, or friend’s house practicing their routine.
I long for the days of Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation, Guy, Bobby Brown, New Edition, and I could really go on. Good music really makes the difference in kids lives. So what TLC made us wear condoms on their clothes, at least we were just wearing them and not doing activities that warranted their use. We were to busy dancing.
I have been working on this for the past 7 years and finally completed it! When I first had my son 7 years ago I had a very difficult time nursing him. Most of my immediate friends didn’t have children and those who did, didn’t breastfeed. I was clueless and my baby was hungry. I ended up pumping and giving him formula until I had enough milk to give him. Eventually he was getting more formula than breast milk. I was pretty devastated but my kid had to eat, C’est la vie. About a month later I ran into a member of the LLL at a playdate, she made me whip out my boob and helped me get it together. From that day on we weren’t exclusively breastfeeding but we were doing a hell of a lot more than we were before!
Fast forward to my daughter 6 years later. I thought I knew a little bit more but that is what we get for thinking right? I had a terrible time nursing. I tried for two weeks and it was just painful and sad. I joined a Facebook support group and got ALL the help I needed to find a lactation consultant. I called one and she was nothing short of a milk angel. She worked with me until we were able to get a proper latch. From that day on it just got better. I am now 8 months in of exclusively breastfeeding!(except that one week when she had to have formula because she was starving)
Now, that I got a complete handle on breastfeeding, I figured it was time. It’s also national breastfeeding awareness month so obviously that was a sign that it was time to do it! I wanted to do a line of shirts to make the nursing mom feel proud of nursing but not in a militant way that makes moms who don’t nurse feel bad. At the end of the day all moms have one common goal and it’s to feed their kids. I called the LLL and told them my story and I got the go ahead! They truly are such an amazing company, therefore, we will be donating a portion of the proceeds to the LLL during National breastfeeding month.
Each shirt corresponds with your breast/bra size. What better way to get the conversation started than with the size of your boobs and what you use them for! Imagine if there really was coconut flavored milk coming out? Awwwwwwwwwwwesome!!!
Click on the link to purchase any of the shirts! All options come in a V-neck and a tank top.
I decided to start doing birth stories to promote understanding and tolerance for all birth methods. I also wanted for us to bask in the sheer beauty of bringing the life into the world. This is the story of the birth of Adrian.
For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a cycle that was so regular I could set my watch to it so only two days after my monthly friend didn’t make her arrival I knew before I snuck out of my cube and down the street to Target for a pregnancy test that I was going to be a mother for the first time. Truth be told knowing is one thing and seeing is another and when those two lines confirmed what I already knew I rode up the elevator with my thoughts all over the place wondering what turn my life was about to take. I mumbled over some excuse and got out of working that day. I’ll never forget that day, it was February 14.
Just a few days after that positive pregnancy test I turned 26, and while the pregnancy wasn’t planned we were engaged and planning for a wedding that November that we ended up cancelling. Finding it more financially responsible we decided to exchange our vows in front of a judge and a few friends at the Dekalb county courthouse on a random day in September.
I didn’t do anything special in preparation for D-day, other than making sure I ate well, and took care of myself. My pregnancy was perfect. I had heard of C-sections but never paid much attention because as dumb as it sounds, I was under the impression that it was something that applied to older women, not women just past the threshold of their mid twenties.
October 13, 2005 I went to the hospital thinking my water had broken only to have it really break in the waiting room all over the floor while filling out my paperwork. I should’ve known then things weren’t going to go as planned. It was a full moon and I nearly had to wait an hour to get a room. Once I finally made it to my room I labored naturally for nearly 6 hours before I was told that I was only at 2 cm. My doctor told me that I had a few options, I could continue to labor through the night or she could take the baby via C-section before she left the hospital for the evening.
I chose the prior I labored the rest of the night med free, and when she returned to check me in the morning I was only at 5cm. Then all hell broke loose. She explained to me that the baby had meconium and although they had given me a catheter, I was starting to run a fever and she feared the cord was around the baby’s neck based on his heart rate and she just didn’t want me to continue on much longer. She gave me another 3 hours to progress and when I barely moved another centimeter I knew there was no more buying time.
I just remember lying there, staring at the ceiling and crying hysterically with my tears running into my ears and wetting the side of the pillow while a rush of doctors and nurses rushed in consoling me and taking my temperature and sticking me and telling me that because the baby had meconium I wouldn’t see him right away because he would be whisked off to the NICU for observation and bright lights and my husband not being there as he got scrubbed it all seemed to happen so quickly that I didn’t have the time question anything.
October 14, at 10:42a my son was born, with the cord wrapped around his neck 3 times. He was fine, I wasn’t fine, but he was and that’s all that mattered. In excruciating pain I kept telling the nurses something wasn’t right and again like a tidal wave after I mentioned blood was trickling it was like déjà vu with a rush of nurses pushing on my stomach trying to stop the bleeding. Again, I lay there with no words just tears, all alone because my mother and husband had gone to see about my son. To have had such a perfect pregnancy, my birth story was a nightmare.
I’m not sure if there was anything I would change, other than educating myself more on C-sections prior to being rushed talked through one while getting prepped. I trusted my doctor and at the mention that my child might have had a cord around his neck as much as I didn’t want to, I was fine with the C-section. I just remember wanting to get him here safely and if that was the only way then that was the way. He’s a happy healthy 9 year old just like other happy healthy 9 year olds that may have made their entrance into the world via other birthing options. I believe the method by which we enter this world is nothing compared to what we do while we’re here.