Black Breastfeeding Week Brunch

It’s that time again.

When I flood your timeline with photos, blog posts, and articles about Black Breastfeeding Week…and why it’s needed. If you aren’t familiar with this week, and the desperate need for it, read up on it here.

Now that that’s out the way, let’s celebrate. You see, I was hesitant to host a Black Breastfeeding Week Brunch at my home for several reasons.

Would anyone come? Would too many come, and I wouldn’t have enough room? Will they enjoy the informal get together (because I don’t have a thing planned 🤣)?

But guess what? I decided to do it. I promoted it in various spaces online, and I personally invited some friends. These ladies showed up and showed out — including some new breastfriends!

This year’s theme was #LoveOnTop, and from the Black Breastfeeding Week website, here’s why that was chosen:

“This year, we say #LoveOnTop because love encompasses everything we do as parents from breastfeeding to nurturing others. Love is also how we survive grief, overcome breastfeeding and parenting challenges and why we practice good self-care. This year we invite you, your family and your community to put Love on Top of it all!”

We couldn’t leave out an important component of the theme — remembering the babies that are no longer with us. I invited any of the moms who lost their little one, whether they made it earth side or not, to write their names on a card and light of candle in memory of them. A child is never forgotten in a mom’s heart.

Happy 1st Birthday, Son!

To my third biological child — happy birthday to you!

It’s been said that the youngest child, or the last child, is the most spoiled.  They are typically the carefree ones, the risk-taker, because parents are less cautious by the time they have their third child (or last child).  I’m not sure if any of this is true just yet (except that we are definitely less cautious this time around).  One thing I do know, is that these last 365 days of the year have been THE TOUGHEST of all my parenting days.

“Have another baby,” they said.

“He’s cute,” they tell me.

I keep telling myself, “this won’t last forever.”

Except, when this baby isn’t like the others!  You would think we would know what we’re doing by the third baby, right?  Wrong.

I honestly, BARELY REMEMBER the first four months of his life.  I, we, were in literal survival mode.  Not only did we have a 2.5 year old to care for, but for 10 weeks straight, he would literally SCREAM for hours and hours and hours…and then some more.  Nothing worked — and I’m a babywearing, breastfeeding pro!  Or so I thought!  I had the most difficult time learning (yes, learning!) to breastfeed this boy.  It was painful.  It was tiring.  It was driving my insane.  Was I really going insane?  Is this what postpartum depression feels like??  As quickly as his screaming stopped, separation anxiety kicked in and now we have a STAGE 5 CLINGER.  Eeeek!

Life was getting crazy.  Hurricanes were coming (literally)!  I was losing myself and friendships.

But…

Here we are.  An entire year around the sun.  Though it was tough, I have SO MUCH to be grateful for.  I may have lost friendships, but I’ve also gained some beautiful friendships, too (something that many mothers will tell you, is difficult to do).  I’m volunteering and working in a community that I love.  We have a beautiful family and an amazing extended family that is always around.

So yes.  Nothing lasts forever.  But for now, I’ll celebrate this little guy that has completely changed our lives — Steele Lee Roy ❤

9 Kids, Every Year.

9 Kids.

Every year, in MY zip code in South Florida, 9 kids are removed from their homes and families!*

Now.  When I moved here a little over a year ago, it was by God’s grace that we found this beautiful home and were able to afford it. Let me give you a few facts about where I live:

 

  • My City’s Median Income: $71,000+ (compared to the US’ $65,000+)
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (compared to the US’s 5.2%)
  • Crime Rate: 16 (On a scale from 1 – 100, the US’s average is 31)
  • Education: 35% of Citizens hold 4-year degrees (29% of the US does)
  • Median Value of a Home: $313,000

 

I know those are just numbers, but it gives you a glimpse into my neighborhood. Like many, when we looked to buy a home, our first concern was LOCATION and SCHOOLS. My kids go to public school, and I want my home to be an investment.  Whether you agree with the public school ratings or not, living in a zone with A-rated schools, almost guarantees that your home’s value will increase over time.  It ALSO means that the cost of homes would be almost out of reach for us.

Stay with me here.

Its easy to look at our neighbors, our kid’s friends at school, the people we shop in grocery stores with, and those whom we attend church with…and think, “Wow, 9 kids will be taken from their homes before 2018 is over.”

Not to mention, less than 30 minutes from where I live, two neighboring zip codes have the highest rates of removal with over 100+ kids being removed each year.

Where will they go?? According to 4Kids — a non-profit child welfare agency, they will be placed in shelters, group homes, foster care families, and independent living homes.  They started the #CloseToHome4Kids social media Campaign, to bring light to this crisis.  Will you make a donation today?  Are you will to take the next step to fostering a child?

We did.  We are foster parents, and we’ll never regret the impact it’s made in our lives!

*According to 4Kids website.

Though She Be But Little…

For 8.5 years, she was my “only child.” Oddly enough, she’s always fit the stereotype (as much as I hate that concept of that) of THE OLDEST CHILD.

Shes beautiful. She’s smart…like ridiculously intelligent. She’s mature beyond her years. She’s witty. She’s intrinsically motivated. She’s competitive. She’s quiet and surprisingly, she’s an introvert. I find it hard to believe, that I’m describing someone, so opposite from me (except we both hate the color pink); but she’s MY CHILD ❤️

It’s no surprise here, that we attended another one of her ‘Straight A’ Honor Roll Ceremonies.

However, look closely at what my “middle schooler, who isn’t into fashion or trend-setting,” is wearing in this photo…

Yep. A kinda frumpy, size LARGE, Men’s T-Shirt.

After her Middle School decided last week, that they were changing the Dress Code rules to: If a girl wears leggings, her shirt must be as long as her fingertips.

This little future, activist of mine, decided that her and her friends would come to school wearing an oversized T-shirt “as long as their fingertips,” showing how ridiculous it looks!

As subtle as this stance may be, I’m proud of her!

Veteran’s Day

Vet Check

Today we get to honor Veterans. For our family, that means Daddy Daley.  When I met my husband, he was still in the Army but no longer active duty.  After spending 8+ years in the military and most of that career, as an Army ranger, we’re incredibly thankful that he’s one of the blessed ones who made it home.  For many former military members who served during wartime, though many came home, they’re still “fighting to return to normalcy.”

It’s ironic to pay homage to a military, government, and country who asks these men and women to “make a check payable to the USA, in the amount of ‘up to, and including their life,'” yet in return, a lot of them have to fight that same government and country to take care of their lives.  But as they will tell you, they didn’t serve with the expectation of getting anything in return.

They are selfless.  They are brave.  They are courageous.

They are U.S. Veterans.