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Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year

With a new year comes the opportunity to start anew - to finally do some of the things you've been putting off. For me, it will be getting better control of my finances. Having a baby really takes a toll on you financially, and I really wasn't prepared for the scale it affected me on. I'd already been virtually living paycheck to paycheck, having a kid just exacerbated that. But fret not, now that we are in our 2nd year together Ethan and I have a better financial rhythm. I still make the money and he still reaps more benefits from it than I do - but it will likely be like that for a long time to come. We have, however come to a better place. A place where he doesn't really need as much as he did back when he was an infant. A place where I can buy clothes for him and they might actually last for two seasons instead of two months. A place where he eats what I eat, and I no longer have to buy/make him baby food or formula. So, while caring for a toddler still has its expenses, they are nowhere NEAR as exorbitant as newborn & infant expenses.

So with that said, here's my plan: I'm going to save money. Sounds simple, but that's all I really plan to do this year in a nutshell. I'm NOT calling it a resolution, because I just don't believe in those things. Why wait for a new year to change something you don't like about yourself? I'm only starting this with a new year because it feels cleaner in my usually cluttered brain to start with a new year of paychecks. Alright, so I totally just contradicted myself - but don't judge me. That first paragraph was so 15 minutes ago.

This year will hopefully be the start of my financial stability. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yep... I Suck...

I realized it had been quite a while since my last update, but jeez, Sakinah. 9 frikkin months? Well, just in case you were wondering - I totally overspent on that first birthday party. Ethan barely remembers last week, so I'm well aware that he will not remember it. But it's been immortalized with pictures and everyone had a blast. Ethan himself was a little cranky, but he enjoyed some of the day. It was the "Happy Birthday" song that did him in though. To this day, he will literally BURST OUT CRYING whenever he hears people singing it. I usually have to leave the room with him when they sing it at birthday parties. Yes, it's that bad.

We have been doing quite well. We're moving at the end of the month from the only "home" he's known since birth to stay with my mom for a few months while I figure some things out. Wish me luck... because this could really head south fast! My mom and I have a great relationship, but it gets tested a great deal whenever we live under the same roof. Someone, say a prayer for me!

I've also decided to get my butt back in school so that I can finally finish. I'd like to graduate at some point before Ethan does. Actually my English class is what reminded me of the fact that I have a neglected blog out there in the blogosphere. Just lonely and in need of some attention. Let's just hope I can keep giving it.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Its Been a While...

Time. It is not my friend. I've been trying to make time work for me lately, but it just seems to refuse my advances. I sometimes wonder how I find the time to sleep! Well, in any event... here's what's been going on lately.

Ethan will be 11 months old on Sunday. Can you believe my little angel is practically a big boy now? Time, once again, not my friend, flies by so fast! I feel like I've been dancing through these 11 months only partially conscious of what's been going on. My baby won't be a baby any more very soon. 11 months is just 4 weeks away from 1 year old. Good grief!

Lately we've been dealing with his desire to challenge authority. He doesn't believe that the word "no" applies to him. Whenever I say it, I'm obviously talking to myself. He can't even walk yet, how has he become a rebel already? He's a cute rebel though, so he gets away with murder.

Some of the milestones we have mastered are cruising, waving bye bye (again - he stopped doing this for a good while), saying "baby" with meaning (while talking about nearby babies), saying "bah bah," crawling and dancing (my personal favorite)! He'll dance to practically anything, Sesame Street songs, the Franklin theme song, commercials... you name it. He's got rhythm. I'm just hoping he'll start walking soon, like within the next week while I'm still home on vacation from work! Probably not likely, but a girl can hope, can't she?

I've managed to get through the holidays without completely breaking the bank, just partially. I've used some Krazy Glue to get it back together temporarily, until I finish paying for this birthday party that I'm clearly overspending on!! I read so many parenting mags and blogs that advised me not to go overboard for the first birthday party. Friends and family told me not to go too crazy because essentially he won't remember it. But of course, little ol' me couldn't do something like this on a small scale.. so I have officially gone overboard! Hopefully I can reign in some of this spending, but for now we're in the middle of what I will dub from here on out as the Post Holiday Birthday Moneypalooza. No dead president is safe!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Single Mother's Wish List

Sometimes, I worry about him. I worry myself sick. I hold him in my arms, and look down at him while he sleeps, wondering what life has in store for him. I worry because there is so much that I can't control. I worry because he is already at a disadvantage; he is a fatherless African American child who will one day be a black man. He will eventually have to navigate his own way through life, without me to protect him. I worry for him every single night, and every single day. Sometimes, it brings me to tears, but I have to be strong. I have to be strong for him.

I want him to be the most well-rounded person I will ever meet. Even more so than his mother. I want him to be comfortable with being on the block as well as in the boardroom. I want him to never be afraid to love, and to live. I want him to embrace who he is and never apologize for being different. I want him to realize that having one parent can sometimes be a blessing, because that one parent is guaranteed to love him even more. I want him to love himself first and foremost, and to be a better person for it. I want him to be open minded, to never settle for less than what he deserves and to forgive people for their transgressions. I want him to go to places that I can only dream of in this lifetime.

I am his mother, his father, his confidante, his best friend, his stability and his provider. I am everything to him, and he is to me, for he is my son, and I would rather die before I deny him a fair chance at living the life he was destined to live. He is the one true love of my life, and I will always be by his side.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

No Rest for the Weary...

So Ethan and I have made it through the first six months. I think I've done a pretty good job! Not a scar, scab or scrape on him, and he's pretty healthy. A whopping 19 pounds! He's doing a ton of new things, he seems to change every day. His newest thing now is attempting to crawl. He wants to be mobile so bad, you can see it. He'll be moving around soon, so I need to get to the gym and lose some of this baby fat!

But the one new thing Ethan's doing that's not so cool is this: waking up FREQUENTLY at night after I've put him down. If I lie him down in his crib, he may sleep for all of an hour before he wakes himself up and starts crying. As if to say aloud "MOM! WHAT am I doing in HERE??!" I try putting the pacifier in his mouth, shhing, I even try rubbing his tummy. Nothing works with the exception of mommy's arms (and bed). He'll only sleep for long periods of time if he's in MY bed. While I love cuddling with him, I feel that during his sleepytime, he should be in his own bed (which is all of 3 feet away from mine!).

I think I'm going to try to tire him out for a little while before I put him down, and push back his down time a tad. Maybe that will make him tired enough to stay asleep! *sigh* stay tuned.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Early Days

Becoming a mom for the first time is one of the single most amazing things that has ever happened to me. It's changed my life and given me a purpose that I never imagined possible. But it was one helluva bumpy ride to start off!! I can remember the day he was born, thinking that we'd take over the world: just me and him. Ethan's father checked out very early in my pregnancy, so I knew what I was getting myself into, and I was prepared. Or so I thought.

We spent 4 days in the hospital with those angelic nurses who kept the percocets comin'! While I was there I didn't even give being at home alone with Ethan a second thought. I figured we'd do fine! I was ready, right? WRONG.

No one told me how hard it would be during those first few months. No one explained that the hospital shouldn't be my frame of reference even if baby roomed with me 100% of the time because while I was taking care of him, SOMEONE was taking care of me (did I mention that I had great nurses?). People had mentioned that recovering from a (-n emergency) c-section was hard, but NO ONE told me that taking care of a baby WHILE recovering was 25 times harder! No one explained how sleep deprivation could really turn you into an unrecognizable person, even to yourself. I was completely and totally DELIRIOUS for a few months. Not to mention hormonal, exhausted, depressed and out of sorts. I was in no condition to care for myself, let alone a newborn.

But there he was, in all his innocence. How could I deny him the love and affection he deserved? Especially since I was the only parent there to give it to him. I had to get over myself. For his sake. So Ethan and I pretty much needed each other, because without him I would have had no purpose, and without me he would have had no food. LOL!

To any pregnant woman reading this post, I kid you not: those first few weeks are pretty intense. You can hardly find the time to shower and eat, and getting anything more than 2 hours of sleep becomes a distant memory (regardless as to whether you're a single parent or not, I guarantee that some of this at least will apply to you!). But soon, your angel gets a little older, and a little more independent. Before you know it, they're sleeping through the night and eating less, and THEN the party begins. Ethan and I have so much fun together. He truly is a miracle and a blessing for me.

I look back on those early days home with him and it seems like it happened so long ago, but it was just 6 months. Despite how depressed I was and how challenging an experience taking care of him was during that time, I'm grateful for it. The entire process has made me stronger, and I think I've become a better parent due to the fact that there was so much that I had to do all on my own. Looking back, I'd do it all again.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Meet Me...

Ok, I owe you a formal introduction, right? Right. I'm Sakinah. I'm a relatively "young" (hey, you're as young as you feel, right?) new mom of one who lives in New York City, Brooklyn to be exact. I've been working for the SAME not-for-profit for EIGHT YEARS (as of August 2, which happens to be my son's 6 month b-day). Can I just state for the record that I have never been faithful to ANYTHING (nor ANYONE) for that long! I feel like I should say that I love skiing, hiking and jogging here, but I don't. Life hasn't exactly been a walk in the park for me, but I make the best of what I have and try not to complain too much. Although now that I'm doing this blog thing... *insert diabolical laugh here*

I don't think I've ever had the desire to start a blog. I have plenty of friends who have them, and I don't even subscribe (sorry friends). I've read blog posts before, but have never been truly dedicated to any one blog. I guess you can say I'm sort of a blog whore. But with the birth of my son in February, a strange thing happened. I now find myself thinking random, myriad thoughts at various points throughout the day. I just wished I could carry my journal around so that I could capture them all. Then, recently (a whole SIX months after I had my son BTW), I thought to myself... "Self, why not start one of those blog thingies?" And here I am! :)

So you'll find that we wind up back-tracking a bit from time to time, and other times there just might be random things here regarding the myriad things I think about on a daily basis. You'll find here my opinions, reviews, anecdotal baby stories and other randomosity that I deem appropriate to share along this journey called Motherhood. I will be pouring my heart, mind and sometimes soul into this thing. So with that said, buckle your seat belt and get ready for the ride.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thank You

It's the most simple of phrases. We use it to show gratitude for myriad things. When people DON'T say it, we get offended. It's probably the single most used phrase, but I have a question: do we really mean it?

Ok, sorry for attempting to be deep here, but I just felt the need to expand a little on that. What I mean to say is - when someone GIVES you something, think about whether or not you REALLY want it.

Take for example, the JOYOUS adventure that is being with child. When you're pregnant, people want to literally LINE UP to give you used stuff. Random things - old strollers, clothes, car seats, PACIFIERS (come on people!?). I think it's less about you and your endeavor into the unknown that is parenthood and more about their need to pawn off their crap. Don't get me wrong, I was very appreciative when a very good friend of mine gave me an infant car seat. He'd used it for his own son, who could no longer use it and he was very gracious. However, hindsight is always 20/20, like they say.

While the car seat my friend gave me was functional, I probably would have purchased a different model for myself. Correction, I would have purchased a different model for myself. He's more of a minimalist, while I'm a hardcore lover of all things innovative in the baby gear genre. Also, the model he gave me holds an infant from 4-22lbs. This is great, but I would have sprung for a model that can handle a larger infant (there are some that can take a 35 pounder!! WHOA!). I have used and appreciated the model that I was given, however now that Ethan is surpassing the 20lb mark, I wish I could use the infant seat and my Uppababy Bubble and snap and go Maclaren that I have fallen in love with just a little longer. I also wish I would have been able to use my Uppababy Vista stroller frame AS a snap and go (with the car seat adapter). I would have been able to do this had I purchased one of three or four car seats (which obviously were not the one I was given).

I guess what I'm trying to say in this not-so-formal introduction is that you should really do your research on what it is YOU want for your new baby before you accept those gracious hand-me-downs. Sometimes, the better answer and/or response is "No, thank you."