Monday, December 19, 2016

One Year Down!


Ain't gonna lie: it's been a very trying and exhausting year as first-time mom of two. But... we're still here.

Surviving.

Thriving.

Totally giving new meaning to the term on-the-job training.





Above all else, this past year has really been such a joy to parent August. He has the biggest smile, the brightest personality, and when he's been in a room, everyone knows it because he leaves his mark!





Over the weekend, we celebrated August's birthday in an intimate and loving way, which, if you ask me, was pretty darn perfect. There were way too many pictures to share on social media so I'm compiling them all here.




Happy birthday, August. May you always smile big, shine bright, and own the space that you're in.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

12 Months of August Kingston



Whew!

Baby August is one-year-old and officially a toddler! He's a walking, babbling machine without a worry in the world and I love it!




August likes:

  • Food. Any food. From anyone's plate. At any time. Even if he just ate three minutes ago. 
  • Opening and shutting the kitchen cabinets. Over and over and over again.
  • Screaming. Especially on a crowded subway. (He likes to hear his own voice.)
  • Unraveling the toilet paper in the bathroom. (Gotta remember to keep that door shut!)
  • Walking up to mommy, Aiden, and HEB, resting his head on us, which is his definition of a hug
  • All things Mickey Mouse (which was surprising considering Aiden was a total Barney guy)
  • "Reading" books
  • Eating books
  • Pulling down books off of the shelves 

August dislikes:

  • Detangling his hair
  • Washing his hair
  • Whenever anyone touches his hair
  • Whenever someone doesn't share their food with him fast enough
  • Being strapped in his stroller when he doesn't want to be strapped in his stroller


It's been a year of ups and downs, hits and misses for me. But for August, it's been a year of joy, warmth, and love! And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Like my friend, Kelly said, "There's nothing like August in December!" Happy, happy to my little guy! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Grace


Today, August turns one-year-old.

Wow!

I still can't believe that I'm a mother of two. That I've been a mother of two for the past year. That I've survived motherhood with two kids (with equally different and equally demanding needs).

But here I am. Here we are. A year later. We made it.

We're making it.

When I think about this past year -- all the trials and triumphs, ups and downs, hits and many, many misses -- I can only think of one word: grace.

This year, more than ever before, I've learned to extend an incredible amount of grace to myself. I've reminded myself over and over again that I haven't been doing this a long time, that I'm still new to this, that there's a learning curve to this whole thing and that's quite alright.

Grace.

Because sometimes I showed up late for things. Sometimes I was absent-minded while at work or at home. Sometimes I was overwhelmed. Sometimes I was anxious. Sometimes I didn't make time for working out because a nap seemed so much better. Sometimes I was less than patient with my children. Sometimes I yelled at Aiden when I knew that all he needed was a time-out or a nap or alone time because he, too, was feeling overwhelmed.

Grace.

Because if I was kicking ass at home and being an awesome parent, I was failing at work and taking more hits than my Type-A personality is used to taking. Because if I was kicking ass at work, then I was less than stellar at home. Because if I was kicking ass at motherhood and at work, I was a negligent friend and girlfriend, ignoring my relationship with my boo and my girls. No doubt about it, there was always a trade-off. I really learned to stop worrying about being good at one thing and not-so-good at another thing because...

Grace.

But I learned to be okay with the imperfections. I learned to listen to the stress-related tension in my neck and shoulders. I learned to take deep breaths over and over again. And I learned that sometimes, it feels damn good to cry it out, shake it off, and get back up again.

I've learned to extend grace and compassion to myself because this ish ain't for the whips. And more often than not, I'm doing the best that I can.

Monday, November 14, 2016

August Kingston, 11 Months Old



It's official... I've got a walker on my hands! August isn't fully walking on his own, but he's taking more than three-four steps, he's walking across the room without falling, and he's figuring out how to turn around without dropping to the floor. He still crawls when he needs to get to something super fast, but he's very excited to try out his new trick every chance he gets.

He also still likes pulling down all of the things so walking just makes it more exciting for him...


Halloweening 


August likes:

  • Eating food (he's got four bottom teeth now -- and none on top!)
  • Yanking food off of your plate if you don't feed him fast enough
  • Going up to Aiden, HEB, and me and resting his head on us, which indicates that he either wants a hug, wants to be picked up, or just wants a little TLC
  • Making clucking noises with his tongue 
  • Attempting to make kisses noises ("Muah!")
  • Clapping 
  • All things Mickey Mouse
  • When you sing the ABC's to him


What hope looks like... #AandA

August doesn't like:
  • When Aiden closes the door to the kitchen -- or the bathroom -- so that August can't get in. (Can you say, "Waterworks"?)
  • Getting dressed. Still. Ugh... that baby just wants to move around all day, everyday. 
  • Getting strapped into his stroller when he's not in the mood
I had to snap this picture VERY fast because lil dude was on the move!
And... now it's time to start planning his first birthday party! All Mickey e'erythang! Who's ready?!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Embracing A Messy First Birthday with Bounty


There’s a saying that I always use when describing this thing called motherhood – “The days are long, but the months and years are short.” No matter how many things I still haven’t gotten done from my never-ending to-do list, or how exhausted I am at the end of each long day, in retrospect, the months and years always seem short.

Time flies when you’re a mom.

I cannot believe that this week Aiden turned nine-years-old. And I cannot believe that in just two short months, August will be turning one.


Aiden’s birthday has always been a very special day to me – not just because it’s a day that I celebrate his awesomeness, but it’s also a day that I celebrate single motherhood. I made it. Another year. He’s healthy and happy. Another year.

We made it. We’re making it.


August’s first birthday will be even more special. Not because I love him more or anything like that, but because it’ll be a celebration of surviving my first year as a single mom of two.

While I’m looking forward to the singing and dancing and taking pictures to capture special moments, the thing that I’m looking forward to the most is the first cake smashing!

Not gonna lie, there’s going to be cake and frosting all over his face, body, clothes, and high chair. And the cake may even find it’s way to the walls and floors. It’s gonna be a big ‘ol mess!

video

But luckily, I’ll have a roll of Bounty on hand to absorb the mess quickly. Not only is Bounty 2x more absorbent that the leading ordinary paper towel brand, it can also last 50% longer, which can save this delicious single momma a ton of money in the long run. 

In fact, just a couple weeks ago, Aiden, August, and I attended a Bounty event where we put the quicker picker upper paper towel through the ultimate test. There was a little bit of cake decorating (for Aiden) and a lot of cake smashing (for August). And spills, stains, and splashes. Usually this would have caused me to feel some anxiety (I mean, who wants to clean that up?!), but it literally took 2-3 minutes to clean up the messes and put a smile back on my face. Score! 


Even though the planning part of August’s first birthday celebration will add to my never-ending to-do list and leave me a little more exhausted at the end of my already long day, I know that the actual celebration will come and go in the blink of an eye.

And I don’t want to spend the entire celebration tackling food splats, water spills, and messy fingerprints – I want to be able to look back and say that I enjoyed this memorable moment. I want to be able to say that the day was filled with love and hugs and yummy treats.


Thanks to Bounty, I’ll be able to focus on capturing the perfect shot of August smashing his birthday cake – a sign that he’s happy and healthy, a sign that this single mom thing isn’t so bad, and a sign that we made it… another year.

Thanks to Bounty, I’ll be able to focus on the moment, not the mess.


{Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bounty. Thank you for support Mommy Delicious.}

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.

Naturally.

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? 

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."
#BuiltInBabysitter
#DontJudgeMe
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! 

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