Thursday, March 29, 2018

Fixer Upper, Apartment Style: Living Room

It all started with the couch.

It's a black couch and it's HEB's black couch and he refused to get rid of his black couch. So I had to plan the living room decor around the black couch.

Oh, and the treadmill that quite literally doesn't fit anywhere else except for in the corner of the living room.

So after I finished the boys' bedroom, I got to work on the Living Room.

"Start each day with a grateful heart."
I knew I wanted there to be a gallery wall because I have a ton of pictures, wall decor, and inspirational sayings. I knew I wanted to have a shag rug because it's comfy. I knew I wanted gray walls because it's neutral and nice. And I knew I wanted faux plants for the bay windows because I have to keep humans alive so I cannot keep plants alive too.

Everything else was pretty much up in the air.

But once I painted the walls and bought a few plush pillows, the living slowly, but surely came together. I know that I'll probably change it a few more times over the next few months, but I'm really feeling this current version of the living room, especially with the black, gray, and pops of gold color scheme.

I also painted the radiator cover a blue hue to compliment the gray color on the wall. And my vases and balls and all the decor. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, but I'm digging it.

Can we talk about this TV stand now? It used to be brown, but the brown color no longer fit in with the color-scheme of my new living room. So... I sanded it, painted it, and a few coats later, it was white and black. (Shout-out to YouTube and all the design bloggers for helping a sistah out!) I'm totally feeling the end results and will totally take on another DIY project because of the way this came out.

This end table is also a new favorite of mine. I spotted it at Home Goods and just had to have it. The rustic, farmhouse vibe that it gives off makes my heart smile and I love, love love it!

I'll do a close-up of the gallery wall at some point -- I'm still rearranging the pictures and stuff, but I'm digging the current version of it.

What do you guys think?

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Why I Know I'm Getting This Motherhood Thing Right

Because I know I'm not perfect and I know that I mess some things up. Just check last week's post about all the things I do wrong in this Motherhood game. (Yes, the "M" should be capital. Always.)

Because I'm hella intentional and hella calculated and hella reflective about my parenting practices. And I'm always trying to be better tomorrow than I am today.

Because I've learned that meditation and "Me Time" is so important to my mental health. And I allow myself to indulge in it. Frequently. And freely.

Because I'm going to therapy and working on addressing my own ish. Because ain't nothing cute about raising these incredible babies if I'm not emotionally whole first.

Because my boys are incredible. All parts of them. Even the parts that I don't always like.

Because the way Aiden loves up on August makes my soul smile.

Because the tight hugs that August gives Aiden makes my heart happy.

Because when Aiden was going through his own drama, I didn't take the easy way out by just "spanking him one time". Because I think spanking is the easy way out.

Because I knew that it wasn't about me and all the things that I already did for him. Because I knew that he needed even more than I was already doing for him at the time. So I gathered a dream team of professionals to help me help him through.

Because I'm a Mama Bear during Aiden's IEP meetings. Because Speech Therapists and Occupational Therapists and Counselors and Psychologists are bae. All of 'em.


Because I learned phrases like, "pragmatic language skills" and "graphomotor skills" and "proprioceptive pressure activities" due to Aiden receiving various types of therapy throughout the week.

Because Aiden's dream team reminds me that he's perceptive, intelligent, athletic, and hardworking. Because they also remind me that he's extremely sensory/movement seeking... for the days when I'm at my wits end and need that gentle reminder.

Because I'm not ashamed that my baby needs these types of services because he's been hella successful academically and socially this year.

Because I'm fully aware that I'm privileged to even be able to have these types of services for Aiden because not every family has access to them.

Because August loves to read books and build blocks and knock blocks over and sing his ABC's.

Because August runs into my arms every morning when he sees me.

Because the way Aiden roots for August whenever he sings a song or says a new word or does just about anything is the very definition of Big Brother Magic.

Because my boys are happy and healthy and loved.

Because I know that that's all that really matters anyhow.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Why Sometimes I Think I'm Getting This Motherhood Thing All Wrong

Because August is 2-years-old and still uses his pacifier. And folks keep telling me that it's time for him to give it up, but I don't listen to them. I mean, I know he's not gonna walk into high school with a pacifier or go to college with it so I'm cool with him using it at two. But still...

Because despite all the books I read to him or all the songs I sing to him or all the talking I do with him, August is still not talking as much as Aiden was talking at his age. Heck, I used to forget that Aiden was only two because little dude was having big time conversations with me and his teachers and everyone around. August clearly understands what folks are saying and he's vocal about his wants and needs. But still...

Because somedays tantrums and backtalk are at the center of my life.

Because, speaking of backtalk, what the heck is in the water that these adolescents are drinking? And why the heck didn't anyone tell me that this phase of motherhood was coming down the pipeline? I mean, I know that Aiden is trying to assert himself and trying to assert his individuality (that's separate from me) and trying to find his way in the world that's scary and confusing and so many things. I "get" it. But still...

Because bedtime battles. 'Nuff said.

Because bath time battles.

Because I got Aiden interested in reading books and now he's excelling as a reader. But then we had to conquer math. And then I got him doing his thing in math and science and all that jazz. And now we have to conquer writing. And every time we get over one hurdle, there's another hurdle waiting like, "Hey y'all!".

Because it is a "we" thing and not a "he" thing because I'm in this with him. To guide him and cheer him on. Even when it's hard. But still...

Because it's always hard and never easy, especially if you wanna do this thing right.

Because there's always another mountain to climb.

Because once I master one phase of parenting, my kids seem to age-out of that phase and they're on to the next one. (That was a Jay-Z reference.)

Because I'm always playing catch-up with these ages and stages and phases and no one told me it would be like this.

Because I'm tired.

Because yesterday August was an infant and now homeboy's a full-on toddler. And yesterday was Aiden's first day of Pre-K and now he's about to graduate from elementary school and enter middle school.

Because middle schoolers in NYC travel to and from school by themselves and I'm not sure how I feel about that level of independence. Yet.

Because I still feel like I haven't told Aiden all the things he needs to know before he gets to middle school yet.

Because the days are long, but the years are short and I'm always racing against the clock to bottle it all up.

Even when I feel like I'm doing it all wrong. Sometimes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Spring Breaking in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale

I'm not a Winter person. In fact, I hate the cold weather with a passion. I tolerate in during the holidays, but I'm literally ready for warmer temps as soon as it hits January 2nd. Which makes Winter really, really brutal for me.

Also, seasonal depression is a real thing.

A couple weeks ago, I was so over Winter that I booked a fairly last-minute trip to Florida for the boys and me. I just needed a few days of sunshine and warmer temps to get me through these last few weeks of NYC Winter (and since it was our spring break, I figured why not.)

I really wanted to go to Miami, but the flights were too expensive for all three of us so we flew into Fort Lauderdale, spent a couple of days there, and then took the metro over to Miami. So for an hour of our time (how long it took to get from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami) and five extra bucks (the price of the train ticket), we were in Miami.


can't come to Florida without Mickey
Throughout our trip, we got to do all of the things that I love to do during the Summer -- dine outdoors, hang out at the playground, go to the beach, take long walks, and just sit in the sun. It was exactly what my spirit needed.

Except for when it got rough and I got tired of my kids and tired of being "on" 24/7 and tired of being the only one they could talk to all the time.

And tired of August's tantrums. I mean, it got to the point where I only fed him Pirate's Booty or cheetos because he would throw a tantrum for them and I was over it. But at least he had water and fruits, right?

And tired of Aiden's backtalk. I mean, is there something in the water for the pre-teens nowadays?! Dude's got a response for everything! Pray my strength and patience, y'all.

There's a reason that people go on trips with kids with more than one adult.

After a while, I needed a vacation from my kids. Comes with the territory, I suppose.

Needless to say, when we got back to NYC last week Friday, I sent August to daycare, sent Aiden to his bedroom, locked myself in my bedroom, and binge-watched TV shows while laying in bed and eating snacks.

Woot woot!

Talk about the perfect way to end my week off of work.

happiness is... 
Don't get me wrong: getting a little sunshine was exactly what this delicious momma needed to make it through these final weeks of Winter, but recharging after being "on" for so many days straight was also important.

Self-care y'all. Self-care.


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