Thursday, October 20, 2016

August Kingston, 10 Months Old

August is eating all the things (he's got three teeth now!), dragging all the things, pulling down all the things, and vocalizing about all the things he approves or disapproves of. In other words, he's really coming into his own. It's been fun -- and exhausting! -- to witness.

He recently went through a growth spurt so we've had to buy him all new clothes. That wasn't so fun for my bank account, but kids fashion is kinda my thing, so hey...

August likes:

  • Eating. Real food, not just that baby puree stuff anymore. And he yells when you don't give him the food on your plate. Or when you don't give it to him fast enough. 
  • Bouncing up and down while holding on to things. His crib railing, the edge of the sofa, my legs. 
  • Biting. (Let's just leave it at that.)
  • Standing, attempting to balance and take a step, before falling and crawling to get there faster. 
  • Clapping while giggling.
  • Attempting to taste people's feet. (Is that weird? Don't answer that!)
  • Taking pots, pans, and containers out of the kitchen cabinets.

August doesn't like:
  • Getting dressed. There's something about having to sit still for longer than five seconds that rubs this baby the wrong way.
  • When Aiden takes his soccer balls, footballs, and other toys away from August.
  • When he eats all the food and there's nothing left to feed him. (Brace yourself for tears and get ready to distract him with something fun!)

I can't believe we're so close to him being a one-year-old and that we'll be planning his first birthday celebration soon. Time truly flies when you're having fun!

Podcasting On Dating, Relationships, and Love

All this time, I thought I was only interested in writing... blogging... communicating online. So when I was invited to be interviewed on DRL Dating, Relationships, and Love with Tennesha Wood, I hesitated.


I thought, What can I possibly say to a young, single mother that I didn't already write in a blog post?

And... What if I don't have anything to say? What if I suck at this whole 'talking-it-out' thing?

And when Tennesha told me that she doesn't provide guests with questions in advance, I was thisclose to canceling.

Word up!

But I stopped myself from sabotaging myself, I got out of my own way, I acknowledged my fears and insecurities... And I did it anyway.

And you know what?

It was so much fun!

Over amaretto sours, Tennesha and I chatted about so much! How I thought I was at the top of my game at 22 having graduated from Columbia, landed a job, and lived in a hip Brooklyn neighborhood. (Man... 22-year-olds think they know e'rything! I didn't know nothing!) How I got pregnant and hit rock bottom. But most importantly, how I picked up the pieces, started dating as a single mother, and became known as Mommy Delicious.

I also talked about a few things that I've never shared here before, like how I found out Aiden's other parent was cheating on me (hint: Myspace was involved) and I dropped a few gems as well about how to maintain your sanity and sense of self as a single momma tryna find her own way and raise healthy babies.

Turns out, I don't only like writing and blogging on the Internets. I like talking too! And I don't suck at it. At all.

Check out Dear Mama, the latest podcast on DRL Dating, Relationships, and Love with Tennesha Wood featuring yours truly! You will laugh, you might get angry (in solidarity with ya girl!), and you will feel inspired.

Oh, and tell a friend to tell a friend!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

On Scrapping Your Knees, But Getting Back Up Again

 Not gonna lie, I have a lot of scars. 

Some physical ones, but mostly emotional ones. There are from all the wars and battles and bumps and bruises that I've had to soldier through, push pass, fall down and get back up again.

But... how? 

That's the question that I get a lot from folks.

Alicia, how did you find yourself in an abusive relationship? Alicia, how did you come to terms with being a single mom? Alicia, how did you get through grad school as a single mom who'd recently broken up with Aiden's other parent? Alicia, how did you find it in you to unapologetically pursue your career goals?

Alicia... how? 


How did you get back up again and start to put the pieces of your life back together?

Not gonna lie, that fall from seemingly being in relationship nirvana and having the perfect family to, well, not, was painful. It hurt. A lot. Both physically and emotionally. But one thing that I've learned about myself is that I can get back up again. Gracefully. Over and over and over again.

The scars may still be there, I may still have some scrapes on my knees, but I can always get back up again.

Which is why I was so excited when someone that I admire and trust very much told me about his new book. Entitled Scraped Knees: How to Get Up Once You've Fallen by Ernst Cochy, the book is chock-full of gems on identifying the different types of falls in you may experience in your life.

But Pastor Cochy takes it a step further.

He focuses on the how. He understands that it's not enough to dwell on the actual fall (be it a painful fall, an embarrassing fall, or other types of falls we may experience), but that the victory comes from getting back up again. The victory comes picking up the pieces, from dusting ourselves off again, and soldiering on.

That part of the book was most helpful. And yet, that's not what I love most about the it. What I love the most is that it's a very quick and easy read. In fact, I read it in about 45 minutes (and that's only because I kept stopping to highlight, reflect, and scream, "Yes!! This is SO my life!"

Pastor Cochy gets it. And he's using all of "it" to help us be successful in this journey called life.

Do yourself a favor and buy up the book. (It's literally $7.) You'll be a little stronger, faster, and wiser because of it.

{Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed herein are my own -- the book is really a dope read!}

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

So... We're In Family Therapy

via google
The past year-and-a-half has been filled with ups and downs, trials and triumphs, stresses and some successes. Especially where it pertains to Aiden. He's had a lot of challenges to deal with -- from the resurfacing of his "other" parent, meeting with the child attorney, supervised visitation with his "other" parent at Safe Horizon, custody hearings, unsupervised visits, a new baby, a new title as a big brother, and... and... and...

He's been acting out. He's been trying to find a sense of control in a world that he can't control. Behaviorally, he's regressed, at times. He'll have streaks of really great weeks and streaks of not-so-great weeks.

Ups and downs.

Trials and triumphs.

Stresses and some successes.

It's been hard, to say the least. For the both of us, if I could be completely honest.

And while I've been trying to help him feel worthy and loved and successful and cared for in the midst of turmoil, while I've been trying to be the one constant that he has in the midst of confusion, while I've been trying to muster up the strength to keep on fighting for him until he's fully thriving... it's been hard.

I'm still trying though.

I'm meeting with his teachers, school psychologist, and principal. We're making plans for him and re-evaluating the plans that are already in place. I'm talking to him about school and, even though he doesn't like it all the time, reiterating that it's important. I'm texting and calling and checking in with him throughout the day. I'm giving him small goals to meet every day, every few days, and every week. I'm celebrating him when he's successful. I'm talking to him when he makes bad choices. I'm trying to consistently hold him accountable for his actions and let him see how his actions affects those around him (at home and at school).

But... it's a lot. And it's been hard.

Exhausting at times.

Overwhelming at times.

And, quite frankly, this ish is above my pay grade.

And so.

I'm vulnerable enough (and smart enough?) to recognize when I need help. And not just venting-to-my-homegirl-during-Friday-night-happy-hour-or-Saturday-afternoon-brunch help.

But professional help.

Co-parenting had failed. Miserably. But, I've said this before: I've got to put things in place so that Aiden can deal with this loss or this void or this... stuff in an effective way.

So last month, I called my insurance, got recommendations for family therapists, interviewed a couple of them, and picked one that my soul attached to. It's been a few weeks that she's seen Aiden and me so far, and I've got to say... I shoulda thought of this sooner!

The great thing about kids is that they are exactly who they are, no matter who is around them. So she gets to see exactly who Aiden is and exactly how he acts when he's upset or uncomfortable or frustrated. And she's been very helpful in giving him tips (and me tips!) that'll help him thrive.

The scars are still there. The stuff is still there. But now we can focus on how to deal with it all. And how to heal.

After all, that's the goal, right?

Monday, September 26, 2016

I'm Still Trying

I've been kind of in a weird space lately. . Maybe you'd even call it a funk. But it's been consuming my thoughts and invading my head space. Especially at night when I should be sleeping.

But I'm still trying.

I'm getting up out of bed every morning, getting myself ready for work, waking Aiden up so he can get ready for school, packing his lunch, and leaving "you can do it!" pep talk notes in his lunch box.

I'm so over my morning commute where I have to get Aiden to school and zip back downtown to get to work. I know, I know... it's only September. But I'm exhausted.

But I'm still trying.

I do it every morning. With a smile on my face. And I take solace in the fact that I get to read to him during that time and we can talk about funny stories and school and books.

By night, I'm so tired from the long day at work and the commute home that I just want to chill out on the couch and rest.

But I'm still trying.

Both kids always eat a warm dinner (whether it's take-out or not is a different story.) Aiden gets help with his homework, August gets played with on the floor, both kids get a bath. Aiden gets a half hour of "mommy and me" time after I put August to bed, and we both love it. When it's his bedtime, Aiden gets tucked in and we say our prayers and we talk about plans for tomorrow.

I'm trying.

I'm tired, but I'm trying.

I'm doing the work. I'm in the trenches. I'm falling and failing and making mistakes... but I'm still trying. I'm remembering to not be so hard on myself and to extend grace to myself from time to time.

I repeat certain things to myself over and over again: August is only nine months. You've never been a mother of two before. You've only been doing this for nine months. You're still figuring things out. Things aren't perfect and that's okay because... you're trying. Still. 

I know that this feeling won't last forever, that this too shall pass. I know that this has an expiration date, that I'll overcome this too.

But, in the mean time, all I can do... is try.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

August Kingston, 9 Months Old

August is incredibly mobile now and is quite literally crawling all over the place, from the time he wakes up at 5:30/6 in the morning till the time he goes to bed at 7/7:30 in the evening. I'm kinda used to the crawling around, but the touching of all of my things? Eh, not so much!

Caught red-handed!
Two teeth!
Aiden crawled all around when he was August's age, but he didn't touch my decorative things. Like, the house still looked like a grown-up house. But August? Lil man touches e'rything! And he's not satisfied until everything is on the floor. Seriously... he pulls down all of the things.

All. Of. The. Things.

And he's resourceful! Even if I block him off from certain parts of the house, he finds a way around the blockage. Needless to say, momma's got her work cut out for her!

When I'm not chasing him all around the house, it is great to see him blossoming and showing more and more of his personality everyday. He's really such a joyful baby and a lot of fun to be around. (Except when he's ruining Aiden's play things.)

New fave toy
Watching Aiden Phelps-it-up at Saturday swim
"I *think* I'm making him fall asleep, mommy."
August likes:

  • Finger foods (cooked carrots, cheerios, superfood puffs, strawberries, the list goes on and on)
  • Crawling over to everyone who has food in their hands and babbling until he gets their attention and they get the hint that he wants some of their food
  • The kitchen (seriously... what is it with babies and kitchen cabinets?! I can't keep him out of there!)
  • Sucking my cheeks and then biting them (ouch!)
  • Climbing on HEB
  • While on the couch in a seated position, flipping onto his stomach, and sliding off the couch feet first 
  • Crawling over to the air conditioner when it's on and tasting it (#DontAsk)
  • Playing with Aiden's basketball and soccer and football
  • Playing with Aiden's farmhouse and farm animals
  • Destroying Playing with Aiden's play area
  • Being rocked to sleep by Aiden 
  • Cruising all of the furniture 
  • Babbling "dah-dah-dah"

August doesn't like:

  • When you close the kitchen or bathroom or bedroom door and don't allow him to go in there (ask me how I know)
  • When he's crawling full speed towards something and you pick him up and redirect him towards something else (again... ask me how I know)
  • Getting dressed (still)
  • Banana chunks (I'm gonna try to offer it to him again in a few days though)
Otherwise known as "baby bliss"

I think this dude is gonna walk pretty soon -- he's on a mission! Stay tuned, everyone! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

{Kids Style} Vingino Jeans

Aiden's a pretty stylish and fashion-forward kid. No doubt about that. But, he's also very rambunctious, playful, and loves to get down and dirty.

Needless to say, I'm always on the hunt for pieces that are not only stylish and functional, but also durable. When I'm shopping for kids clothing, durability is a big thing for this delicious single momma! Oh, and the price has got to be right too because I will not spend all of my hard-earned coins on just one or two pieces of clothing. No ma'am!

Enter Vingino.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to check out their showroom, as well as chat with the their designer and marketing team, and I really fell in love with their denim. A love like, are-these-made-for-girls-and-do-they-come-in-my-size?

Founded in 2001 in Holland, Vingino has since become a very popular brand in many countries in Europe. I mean, with it's well-tailored clothes, bright colors, and unique attention to detail, I can totally see why parents and kids have loved it season after season.

But now... the good news: After years of being in the Europe-only club, Vingino is now venturing into the USA! Not only is it quality denim, but the fabric is stretchy, which means that Aiden can do it all in these bad boys -- run, jump, skip, hop, get down and dirty... and still maintain his style factor.

Needless to say, it's a win for us all! I'm smiling too, kiddo. I'm smiling too.

Visit the Vingino website or social channels in order to get you a piece of the action, er, denim!

{Disclosure: I was provided with Vingino denim jeans and accessories in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}


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