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 ❤

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!

A Traveler?

Do you know what “a traveler” is? In the babywearing community, a traveler is a wrap that is sent to you, for a specified time, for you to use and try it out.

What is the purpose of a traveler?

For some, they may have purchased a new wrap yet their baby hasn’t arrived yet. What better way to “break in” a wrap so it’s nice and soft, than to send it traveling!

For brands/companies, maybe they are releasing a new kind of wrap that they’d like to create a buzz about…or want to parents to try their brand of carriers/wraps, then sending several travelers out allows people to touch and feel something they otherwise wouldn’t.

Why do I need a traveler?

Its kind of like driving new rental car, or a loaner car, and not having to buy it. We all like NEW things but we can’t always afford them. With a traveling wrap, you can try out different fabrics, different lengths, and different brands!

Guess who “traveled” to our home this week?

Emmeline Textiles “Meadowsweet Dots” came to visit us!

I know, I know. It’s a review, and I’m suppose to say great things about what I’m reviewing. However, if you know me, you’d know I’m the most blunt, straightforward person. EVER.

And although I’m the first to tell you that carriers are like shoes or jeans, and everyone has their favorites, here’s what I LOVE LOVE LOVE about Meadowsweet Dots.

Love:

It’s soft. ERMAGAWD it’s soft!! It’s 100% Pima Cotton and it’s like having a baby sit in marshmallows!

It’s “a natty,” meaning, it’s a neutral color — it goes with everything!

It’s “ace-bandagey.” Is that even a word? If it’s not, it is now. You know how an ace bandage wraps? Spongey, a little stretchy but still supportive? That’s Meadowsweet Dots.

Don’t Love:

It’s smooth. Although that’s not a reason that I don’t love it. It may be for those who like a wrap that is grippy…the kind that you can tie with a half knot, and it doesn’t slip at all.

Multiple passes needed. Because it’s soft and has bounce to it, I would recommend using a carry with more than one pass, for a heavier toddler. I put my 31 lb toddler in this, too, and a reinforced ruck with a candy cane chest belt was needed…versus the simple ruck for the baby.

It’s “a natty.” Ha ha ha! Hey, for some who want a beater wrap that can be dragged on the ground and used when outdoors, you may cringe at the thought of dirt showing up on this.

It truly is difficult to find something that I didn’t like about this wrap. The only difficult thing, will be for me to find this on the Swap, so I can be an owner of it…and not have it as a loaner.

Safer Co-Sleeping. Say What?

Do those two words even go together?  In the same sentence?  YES!

Here’s were my thoughts on co-sleeping:

Baby #1 – Hell no. It’s dangerous. [Setup a beautiful nursery while baby ended up sleeping in a bassinet in our room]

Baby #2 – Let’s setup the crib in our room. [Baby slept on my side of the room, in her crib until 17 months – WHEW!]

Baby #3 – “What crib? What nursery? I’m too exhausted and tired at this point.” [Baby sleeps in bed with me]

924044822bcb7d587092ede2e29ccbdb--co-sleeping-baby-bunting

First, lets define co-sleeping, since often times it’s misinterpreted.

Co-Sleeping is simply, “sleeping near to your baby,” literally.  For a lot of parents in other countries besides the United States, there isn’t a term to define co-sleeping because that is their norm, simply out of necessity.

Now, for some, that may look a little different.  Some may choose to bed share — having the child sleep in the same bed as the parent.  Others may choose to room share — the child sleeps in their own separate space, but in the same room as the parent.  Lastly, some choose a combination of these — maybe placing a bassinet or “side car” of some sort, in or right next to the side of the bed.

And guess what?  Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) actually recommends that you share a room with the baby for AT LEAST 6 months, but ideally, a year.

You’re worried about SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), right?  Interestingly enough, even Doctors and Researchers have NO CLUE why babies die of SIDS, hence, why it’s coined “sudden.”  In fact, a lot of deaths are incorrectly lumped into this category.

Here’s what Dr. James McKenna, a world-leading Dr who is recognized for his work with mother-infant co-sleeping in relationship to breastfeeding and SIDS, says:

“In sum, overwhelmingly, bedsharing deaths are associated with at least one independent risk factor associated with an infant dying. These include an infant being placed prone (on its stomach) and placed in an adult bed without supervision, or no breastfeeding, or other children in the bed, or infants being placed in an adult bed on top of a pillow, or who bedshare even though their mothers smoked during the pregnancy therein compromising potentially the infants ability to arouse (to terminate too little oxygen, or to terminate an apnea). Drug use and alcohol have historically been associated with poor outcomes for bedsharing babies so if drugs and/or alcohol are present, please don’t bedshare.”

Also, it’s been noted that many SIDS deaths occur when parents ACCIDENTALLY co-sleep with their child.  We’re all exhausted parents, right?  If co-sleeping is something you’re considering, check out these 7 tips on safer ways to co-sleep, a La Leche League International’s book, Sweet Sleep:

Safe_Sleep_7_leaflet-1000

***

Are you a co-sleeping parent/family?  What are your sleeping arrangements?