*Hair : Our Personal Brand of Perfect *

       Ever since I decided I was going “natural”, I believed I had what it took my make my hair like others I’ve seen. I wanted to be seen as a person with ‘good hair’ (stupid, I know). I thought I would succeed with flying colors. On Dec 13th, 2011 I decided to follow my little Chi and do my big chop.

    Chi was super young and I asked her what she would like me to do with her hair the following November. She said “Can you cut it? I wanna poof” . Her hair at this point was permed, Samsunge G3 Import 1 15 2013 261 dry and dammaged. She would ask why she didn’t have long flowing hair like the girls at school. After I gave the “you are beautiful the way you are”  speech, she later asked me to cut it. So, I did… and I wont lie… at first, I was not a big fan. I was mad at myself and thought she wouldn’t like it (no mirrors until the cut was done). But, like the picture, she smiled. She loved it. She wanted to wear earrings again and all.

    Such courage, my Chi has. So, a month later, I followed suit. I thought it would be easy. I thought, short, it would only take me a few minutes to do my hair in the morning. Boy was I wrong…

   Samsunge G3 Import 1 15 2013 356 In the beginning there wasn’t much of a curl- just a lot of gel, hope, and prayer. I felt really good about it though. There were many days filled with a curl here and there. But there were more days of loving it and experimenting with it. An oil here, a homemade flax seed gel there. Creams or butters? “Silicone” this and “Curly girl method” that. There were a lot of days trying to figure out the best way to do my hair and save time. I had so many days filled with frustration and tears. That’s when I decided to stop comparing myself to other naturals. I loved them all, but I forgot all the time that MY hair was different. And at first I wasn’t quite sure what to do. It was just doing more harm than good and turning me into a product junkie in the wrong way. But once I stopped feeling sorry for myself, my psoriasis and tried new things, it started to look up for me and Chi.

        2013-01-15 Samsunge G3 Import 1 15 20131Chi loved her hair changes. The different ways I did it and the time we spent together every Sunday during “doo time” (Harry Potter Day, anyone? J ) Everyone complemented her in a great way and watched her blossom. I later paid for that though. >:-p) As for me, my curls were piglet tails and I loved it. I could gel it one day and make it last a week – which is great for a full time single mom – at least at the time.

    Then there came the major mid stage : the beautiful curls but the lack of length. Issues with dryness and the ‘routines’ – don’t even get me started. But when I stayed up on it, our hair looked great and I couldn’t wait to watch it grow.Hair Journey

Though Chi was a little tender-headed, Hair Journey1she loved the results of her hair and I loved her more. So, I spent the time, tired and all, and made sure she looked her best at school … most of the time. 😉  Her extreme happiness made me extremely happy.  Then, came the big move part two back to Florida and my fairy

tale – meeting the love of my life and having another baby (now 3 months). Before Little Opa 20141201_144910  was born, I noticed – though the curls were beautiful – they were time consuming.  So, imagine three times a week spending two hours on a style, wash, and sometimes the L.O.C Method. Now, times that by two (me). Not only that, I really wanted to see my length growth. And with me having a newborn in the house, there was no way I was going to manage AND keep up with the hair for us both. So, I decided to do something different – for length and for saving time once the little ninja was born.

Texturizer: And just like that… Chi

   We are now both texturized and Loving it.Chichis Text-Lax The time it takes to do our hair is cut in half and then some. Not only that, the amount of product we use is cut in half as well – saving me loads of (couponed) money.

    In addition to this, I’m seeing my hair in a different light and I see hair care in a whole new way. I feel ashamed for feeling the way I did about betraying ‘natural chics’ and thinking all chemicals are bad (well, they kinda are). But on the flip side, who cares what we do to our hair. Who cares if we don’t look like the beautiful people on the cream bottles and boxes everywhere. But That’s the beauty of it. We all have our own personal brand of perfect and there is nothing more rewarding or fun than unlocking that perfect. Four years later and we are still on out way. I have dreams on long locks. I’m thinking more … super <– Courtesy of MARVEL.COM

  Yeah, that’s more like it. Inside and out. L 

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You Didn’t Tell Me This Would Happen, DOC?!

Oh, Woa is ME!! Seriously, I really REALLY wish there was a step-by-step on pregnancy. Not just the fancy stuff they have in stores, but a genuine ‘bug in your ear’ type of instruction. And with all instruction on the intake of anything, there are side-effects. The side-effects that are forever changing and making me question my sanity. Never would I think that spotting is normal during pregnancy, so of course I’m in the ER. Never would I think sleeping would be so difficult that I am at my most comfortable damn near sitting straight up. But, alas, it is… I guess… :-/ So if there are any women out there experiencing this and then some, or just unawares of what’s to come, here are some things I’ve learned – well, that fell into my lap so far –  during this pregnancy.

– Spots, Spots, Spots

So, there’s this condition called subchorionic hemorrhage  where the placenta may not be fully attached or is so close to the cervix that spotting happens. It’s apparently very common and usually goes away on its’ own. I was not aware and ended up in the ER at 3am for 6 hours. Still, I got to see the baby again. That’s always fun. Bed rest and a follow up visit showed everything was fine. Baby is still thriving though the spotting has not yet fully stopped for me. (ugh) Still, if the spotting gets heavy or is forever bright in color, then that raises a few alarms. God’s keeping a close eye on my so far.

– Bipolar? No way! ^_^ I SAID NO!!

We all know emotions can run pretty high during pregnancy. But what I’ve experienced all together is pretty close to criminal. I don’t think it’s okay to think about your significant other like a piece of meat one second and a foul soul the next. He’s seen the good and the bad. I’ve been able to keep the ugly at bay for now. Still, if ever you get the urge to chuck him (or her) our of a window, stop and breath. It’s only pregnancy.

-Sex Will Change/ Men’s Needs

Yeah, no secret there. It goes hand in hand with the hormone things we go through. I was having to turn my fiance’ down so often it became the only thing we argued about – and we DON’T argue. I’ve learned to just accept it and give him his few minutes of sex. Even if I’m not in the mood, he never disappoints me and he’s ridiculously happy afterwards. So why not. Like Lenard on Big Bang Theory said “It’ll shorten the war by five years and save millions of lives!”. I’m just saying. 🙂

– Sleep? What’s that?

I don’t sleep well at all. I thought being pregnant makes you sleepy all the time. Nope! At least not in my case. With my daughter I remember sleeping a lot before I found out I was pregnant. But this pregnancy is like the complete opposite. It’s to a point I worry I’ll fall asleep without knowing and wake up outside naked . True fear. I have this app on my phone I’ve been using for years for times when I couldn’t sleep. I started using it again. It’s called Lightning Bug and it plays all sorts of sounds and animals and instruments. You control what you want to hear, how loud (or soft) and how long. I love it.

– Sun burned Nipples anyone?

Another new spot for me there. I don’t even like my itty-bitty titties out of a sports bra. So why they alone feel like they’ve had a little too much Sun is beyond me. And it’s JUST the nipples. The whole boob is fine, but the nipps?! So, I hopped on babycenter.com and asked other moms if they’ve experienced this before. A few have. They recommended coconut oil, olive oil, and even nipple guards. I keep the oils on hand for my hair, so I’m giving it a shot. Stay tuned for those results.

As unnormal as I’m feeling, it’s good to know that all of this is normal. Along with moderate cramps and snoring even if I’ve never snored before. Just baby getting a little more air, I guess. Pregnancy isn’t the end. Only the beginning. And as annoying as the symptoms are, they are worth it for this little blessing. Definitely worth it. Steph

 

Staying De-stressed When Stress Part of Pregnancy. How, I Say?!? Well…

 

 4/4/14 ; 13 and 1 week(s) Preggs

Watching the SADDEST episode of  “The ‘L’ Word” I’ve seen thus far. Tina and Bette lose their inseminated baby at 12 weeks. The Regular Doctor visit turned up no heartbeat… Ugh! All I need. Miscarriage worries. Yep! All I absolutely need. How does a preggs woman get over the fear of miscarriage without causing issues just TRYING not to? Is that even possible?! Not only are the hormones on the fringe and then some, but trying not to stress about something that I may or may not have control over (like miscarriage) is like putting a pregnant me in front of a jar of butter bread pickles and telling me and can’t touch them. Really?!

Alas, I guess it’s just one of those worries many mom questions we may never have answers to. For me, it kinda comes down to my faith. My faith is strong and I know everything happens for a reason. After my daughter was born, I was pretty assured that I couldn’t have any more kids. Heartbroken, I took it with a grain of salt and still didn’t believe. For 5 years, I tried for more with her father. Tried and tried. Nothing. I gave up. Luckily, I met the right guy, we got engaged, and ‘presto’ , baby on board!!! Just goes to show, God gets the last laugh and he made sure I was with the right guy before I made the mistake of having two (or more) kids with the wrong (Hell spawned) guy.

For the other daily stressors in my life, I’ve come to rely on a few things. Aaron, Charlie (the dog), and Chichi are a huge factor when I feel so low I worry there is no way out. But sometimes I have to figure the stress out on my own. Being a forced stay-at-home mom right now leaves me alone at home a lot of the time. So, here are some ideas I’ve used, that I hope other moms can pull from as well:

Drink Tea:

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Tea is not only an alternative to my undying love for coffee during pregnancy, but something about it is calming. I am a huge researcher, so I did that to get a little “scientific” on you all. ^_^  “Stress hormone levels fell by nearly twice as much in tea drinkers compared with those given a tea-like drink, after all had been put under stress.” (University of London). That’s as far as I’ll go there. Tea makes me feel a little more in control when I feel ready to tear some familiar heads off. The Tension Tamer is a distinct taste, just add more honey (and sugar) if you’d like.

Read:

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I have always been a huge reader. So, of course, my current choices are pregger books and magz!! 🙂  And I’m learning a lot. But more than that, reading about my continued role as a mom just excites me to no end! That alone, is enough to take my mind off my personal stressors.

Comfort Food… To a certain Extent:

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Okay, we all know pregnancy comes with cravings and the want  need to eat more and and eat healthy. This is a picture of my version a loaded baked potato (or two) and IT WAS GOOOOOOOOD. I had a rough day grocery shopping at more than one store and overdoing it. By the time me and little one got home, my back was on fire and my hunger was through the roof. I had passed irritation and gone straight to aggravation. By the time I’d made my food, I couldn’t be talked to without a hint of attitude. My fault. That meal, not only fixed my mood a smidge, but led to my next comfort…

Take a much needed nap:

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Yep. Give the sandman a call and take a 45 minute nap. I try to only go for 45 minutes because any longer, and I might not get up again. It’s like letting the body recharge. Which is a great natural way to de-stress.

Write is Down:

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My journal is my outlet. It keeps me going. It’s that person that I need who doesn’t give an opinion, just listens. And from what I’m learning about myself, writing things that are on my mind down REALLY clears the stress from my mind. How does the saying go? Out of Mind, out of pregnancy hormones – or something like that. ^_*

If You’re a Gamer:

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Then Game, I’m a huge gamer. Always have been. I’ve had the pleasure of working for Xbox for a short time too. So gaming has always been a huge stress reliever since I started grade school.

All in all, try new things and never give up when it comes to relieving stress. And if all else fails, just remind yourself that a happy mommy means a happy baby. I want to fill my unborn child with happy thoughts and feelings. Not the kind that could contribute to the creation of a serial killer. I’m Just saying. Steph