Stop Wishing Sleepless Nights on New Parents

When I was pregnant all people could tell me was to get sleep now because my child was going to keep me up all hours of the night. I mean you hear so much that it almost becomes like a broken record. One thing that helped me was at my baby shower, a close friend of mines came up to me and said “Don’t worry about sleep, you will adjust and your baby can sleep through the night.” She actually sat there and gave me advice as to how and when to start sleep training my baby. Just knowing that it was possible gave me such a positive attitude towards whether or not my child would sleep and if I would be able to maintain my sanity. 
We have been blessed that outside of the first few nights in the hospital where my sleep was moreso disturbed by the early morning changing of the nurses and their checks on me and the baby versus the baby waking up – she has been a pretty good sleeper. Since birth, Gracia has only gotten up one time in the middle of the night to eat, which her feeding would last about 30 mins at most and she would be right back to sleep. Knowing that she is showing signs of teething means that she can be introduced to a half a spoonful of rice cereal at night which may help her sleep at least 6-7 hours at night versus her present 4 hours. 
So what was my friends advice you may be asking?
Simply talking to your baby. She said that she would literally tell her babies (she has twins) – “Mommy and Daddy like to sleep so we want you to sleep too.” or “Sleep is a good thing.” It doesn’t seem like much but it helped, so she things. For us these are the things that worked:
Soft speaking voice if you have to get up in the night, not turning on the lights while feeding in the middle of the night, allowing her to sleep through loud noises during the day and soft noises at night- we played soft music for all of us to go sleep with during her first few weeks. I believe it helped her understand the difference between night and day (although I can honestly say that she didn’t have day and nights confused for too long). We had a nightlight in the room so that we could still see her and change her in the middle of the night, so that we didn’t have to have all the lights on in case we had a blow out diaper in the middle of the night. Find what works for you early on and get a hang of the feeding schedule – it got to a point where I would wake up five minutes before her next bottle and could prepare that way by the time she starts whimpering like she was about to cry, mommy was already prepared with bottle and she was back to sleep within 15-30 mins.
Sleep is absolutely possible – I simply had to find the position that she liked the best. 
Of course back is best. However, my child loves to sleep on her side. She gets the longest sleep on her stomach but I do not let her sleep on her stomach unless I am awake and seated next to her just in case. Now that she can lift her shoulders and her head, sleeping on her stomach is safer but I am still being cautious. Until then, she sleeps on her side and back depending on the time of day. If she is fussy, its not because of lack of sleep thats for sure. 
So since I am a proponent of speaking things into the atmosphere, one things for sure, I was determined to encourage my daughter to be a good sleeper and so far she has done great. No middle of the night play times for Miss Gracia.

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Love Letters to Gracia: 1st Valentine’s Day

Dear Gracia, 
Today is your First Valentine’s Day. It is a day where we are supposed to recognize the ones that we love the most and shower them with gifts and affection – or so they say.. I see in your facial expression above that you are just as convinced of this holiday as I am. Either way, its a day for love. Just know that your parents love you so much, in ways and amounts that we never thought possible. Believe it or not, we sit around and still say to ourselves “this is our daughter” as if it is something new and talk about how when people used to say to us, “just wait until you have a child…” that statement and everything that followed it all makes sense now. 
You are our world and you have our heart like none other (next to Jesus of course). With each day you learn something new or become more expressive, you bring the biggest smiles to our faces. 
On this your first Valentine’s Day I just want you to know your parents are your first secret admirers. If your dad could have it his way, he will always be your first and only valentine, but no worries, when you get old enough mom has your back – we don’t want you to end up alone.
We love you baby girl. 
Happy Valentine’s Day! 

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Weekend Shenanigans : The BET Honors

I am a freelance make up artist. I was doing make up literally the day before I went into the hospital to have my daughter. I absolutely love doing make up, which is so funny because I never really liked to wear make up when I was younger, nor do I really wear a full face of make up everyday. I finally accepted my first make up gig post-baby. It felt great to get back at it again. 

 This time I was going to be assisting one of my fellow artists who booked a gig in Crystal City, VA doing runway make up for a fashion show. There’s such an energy when you are doing make up for 20 models because you are literally doing a full face of make up in a short amount of time. It also helped me get more hands on experience and time doing make up not only to learn but to confirm for me that I really had retained the skills that I learned taking make up classes. 

 I had to rush from that event and get to D.C. to attend the BET Honors. Its always fun going back to attend shows that I used to work on when I used to work at BET and see some of my old coworkers. This time I got the chance to go out with my sister. It was a good time had by all… Good times!  

 We had to at least get one “usie” in before the taping began because we were constantly being harrassed by the usher who decided to post up near us to put our phones away. We had to pretty much had to sneak even checking our instagram during commercial breaks.   

 They honored Ice Cube this year – awesome guy, and his speech was such a sweet dedication to his wife and family. So it was only befitting that we take thug-dizzle usies during that commercial break.  

 When it ended, the honorees came up on stage, it was only befitting that I would take a picture of the seat filler that sat in front of me taking a picture. Something he was NOT supposed to be doing.  

 After the show is the After Party! 

 The after party was at the Howard Theater. I love a good after party hosted by BET. Only downside was one bar on the main level for majority of the attendees. With it being open bar it meant that most of the party was jammed into one little area just trying to get the party started. I just wish that they had at least 6 bartenders instead of the 2 bartenders and 1 bar back that I saw. 

 
We were lucky to be able to go upstairs to the balcony where we could get a table, have better access to another open bar upstairs and the buffet. We got the chance to literally party with Janelle Monae, Tamar and Vince (who also had her whole entourage with her), Wayne Brady, Anthony Anderson (who was really on some other stuff- like a person who thought he was so darn funny in a sarcastic way, but you dont get a pass for being that way because you think you are a celebrity).
 
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Caught Wolf Blitzer jamming in the corner as well. It really was a great night and an exhausting day. It was also great to see Joe Morton! His stint on Scandal has brought him back to the forefront as a great actor… long way from the days of him being Byron Douglass on A Different World.

 

 

I can’t really say too much really about the show itself because it was a taping that will air later on this month. But I will say that Wayne Brady was a great choice in host for this event. If it werent for him.. lets just say it would’ve been worse.  And of course to close out the evening, its only right that you take a picture in the bathroom.  Displaying photo 5.JPG Hope you had a wonderful weekend.     post signature

Gracia’s Two Months Old

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Happy Two Months Baby Girl!

How Big Am I?

Weight/Height/Head: 

Last month, Gracia weighed 7 lbs. 8 oz., we had just introduced formula just prior to her doctors appt. so we expected that she would gain weight this month a lot quicker. This month, Gracia’s weight is 11 lbs. 6.2 oz (53rd percentile – up from the 4th percentile last month).Height: 23 inches long (68th percentile – up from the 44th percentile last month).Head Circumference: 15.75 inches (91st percentile – up from 65th percentile last month).Needless to say our baby has grown overnight! I tease her but its true, she has a big ol’ head.  But thats only because she is so smart!

Clothes: 

Gracia was still in Carter’s brand newborn sized clothing up until about three days ago. There’s such a jump from newborn size to 0-3 clothing, which at times just seems like 3 month sized clothing so she is in tighter newborn clothes versus really big and baggy 0-3 sized clothing. When I tried her first 0-3 outfit on her, I was so surprised that it actually fit her length.. thats when I realized that she had really grown in her sleep. 

What’s My Routine?

Routine: 

Now that I am back at work, my routine has become a little more carved out in a unique way. My sister in law has come to stay with us this month, which has totally allowed for me to have so much help. I get up for work around 5:30 am, around the time that Gracia gets up for a feeding. As I am getting dressed and making my coffee, I can warm her bottle and bring it to my sister in law just in time to say my goodbyes before she goes back to sleep. When I come home from work, she is just about to nap again, so mommy gets to have a post-work nap while my sister in law cooks and I get to spend time with my daughter until its time for me to go to bed and her as well. Outside of the morning routine, my usual routine is several trips exchanging things at Babies R Us and Target. Its kinda become my norm. I love having gift cards and things that don’t need anymore to exchange for things. 

Eating: 

Gracia is up to 5oz of Similac every 3 hours or so at this point. At times she cries at the end of the bottle as if she wants more, but when we give it to her she is so full that she barely eats it. I thought about switching her bottle nipples down to size 0 on her Tommee Tippee Bottles because she was getting more milk on herself then in her mouth but after a few weeks she has gotten the hang of it and so we kept the size 1 nipples on the bottle. We tried some bottles of Enfamil Newborn readymade just because that was all we had while we were out.. needless to say, she did not like that too well and it passed through her rather quickly and all over her clothes. We have so much Similac advanced in our house and luckily her pediatrician even gave us some more when we went to her well check appointment.

Sleeping: 

Gracia’s sleep schedule is fairly the same except she may be awake longer during the day. Outside of her naps, she goes to bed around 10pm and will wake for her midnight feeding, 3 am and 6 am feeding. She gets up for the day around 9am for longer periods of time. When she sleeps at night, she sleeps in the guest room with my sister in law, still in her Boppy since my sister in law is feeding her through the night. When I come from work, she will nap with me and she will lay in the bed without the Boppy, as I am trying to get her used to sleeping on a mattress in order to transition her to her crib when my sister in law leaves.

What Milestones Have I Hit?

She Can Talk!Gracia has entered her second wonder week. She has discovered her voice. Around 9pm is her talkative hour. She goes on and on until she talks herself to sleep. She can stand on her legs assisted. She can hold her head up a lot longer. She can sit up as well if placed on a chair for a brief moment. She’s Up A Size in Diapers!She has graduated from Newborn sized diapers at 9 weeks 3 days. She is now in Pampers size 1 diapers. I wish I didn’t split a large box all over the house before I realized they were too small because now I can’t return them. Its ok because a friend of mine will be getting a really nice diaper cake. I did find an unopened box in linen closet so I got to return those.
She’s Teething!

Gracia’s pediatrician confirmed for us what we were somewhat thinking – she is teething! I can not believe that my two month old is teething already. 
Her doctor said that since she is teething so soon, she will soon want to have food. 
I am SO not ready for her to start eating already.

Her pediatrician was amazed at how much she has developed and even commented that she is acting like a 6 month old. Gracie can hold her head up on her own. She does very well on her tummy with holding her head up. She coos and talks a lot! She is trying to stand up on her own – of course she can not but it makes me think that she is almost ready for an excersaucer. She can also follow you if you are talking to her with alert, focused eyes.


Events: Gracia’s went to her First Birthday Party

Gracia was a guest at my friend’s twin’s 1st Birthday Party at The Little Gym. 


These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things!

Baby Gear/ Toys: 

Disclaimer: None of these reviews are sponsored and are just my personal preference, however, I have attached affiliate sponsor links so you can see how you can purchase them yourself.

After much research, I went ahead and purchased this travel system. I read reviews, looked on youtube and it came down to people watching that helped me make my decision. While waiting for Gracie’s arrival, I found myself in the mall during Christmas shopping season and I watched moms attempt to get around in tight spaces and with crowds with various strollers and this one stuck out to me. Finally I asked one mom what she loved about it and when she said it was lightweight and that she could open it with one hand, I was sold! I love mines just the same. It has proven to be so easy to use and absolutely lightweight and doesn’t take up a whole lot of space in the trunk either.

4MOMs Infant Bath Tub

 One of my favorite things about this tub is that its idiot proof. I don’t have to think about whether or not the water is too hot or too cold for Gracie. I literally hit the button and the thermometer glows Blue if its too cold, yellow if its just right and Red if its too warm. I love it!

Exergen Termporal Thermometer

With a very active and growing little girl, I needed a thermometer that I can get a quick reading because she is definitely not letting me put foreign things in her mouth. This temporal thermometer has been a lifesaver!
Tommee Tippee Bottles
This has been the only bottle brand that I have purchased or received as a gift and thus far it has also been her favorite. She is just getting to the point where she is wanting to hold her own bottle. We LOVE Tommee Tippee in this house! Even have the Tommee Tippee manual pump (for when I tried breastfeeding), sterilizer and bottle warmer (which has been pointless, but still love).
 For the sake of my child’s hearing after seeing how much hearing can be diminished with loud music, which is my husbands job – these headphones were a must! At thee loudest of concerts, we can still attend and I can still support without worrying about whether or not her hearing will be compromised. Its not that she can not hear anything but it reduces the loud sound to a reasonable level.
Balboa Baby Sling

With my growing, heavier child – I NEED this sling to have a free hand when she won’t keep settled in a pack and play on her own. 

Paparazzi Got Me!

My Favorite Pics from this Month:

We constantly get compliments about Gracia’s eyes and how alert and captivating they are. As she changes daily, one thing that remains the same is her eyes. So we both search our baby pics to see where she got these eyes from. In a surprising turn of events, my mom sent me her baby picture this week and sure enough there are her eyes!  

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Happy Two Months Gracie!

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I’m Not A Single Mother

I hate that I have to even write a blog post like this, but it has come up so many times since having my daughter that I feel like I have to at this point, but “Hear Ye, Hear Ye – I am not a Single Mother!”
When we decided to start a family, one of the things that we have always said was that to the best of our ability, we will not lose ourselves just because we have children. We will still have a social life and we will still make time for each other. In part of not losing ourselves, one thing that has always been the case was that we “allow” (and I use that word very loosely) each other to have a social life outside of each other. If my husband wants to hang with his friends, I don’t have a problem with it because he may absolutely need that outlet in order to come home and be the best husband to me and vice versa. In addition we also hang with friends together with no issues. Thats what has been the best part of really marrying my best friend. 
Well, now that we have a daughter, its sad that people are so used to seeing single mothers that people truly think men are incapable of caring for children. Furthermore, they act like even if you are married that the women is the only one who is to care for the child and that men “babysit” their children. It is absolutely horrible that people do not give fathers credit. 
What made me get on my soapbox and say this?
Now, that maternity leave is over, I feel more comfortable taking time to have some “me” time. Do you know how many times pregnant me couldn’t take trips to Miami with my husband? Or random nights out to dinner? or just other fun things that pregnant women cannot do? I told him that I was going to start cashing in “mommy time” tickets.
As I cash in my tickets, people are starting to ask me questions like “Who is watching Gracie?” It started when I went back to work. First, I don’t get why it matters because I am no where near a child and who watches my child is a decision that me and my husband will make together… which brings me to my next point – I went out to the BET Honors and as I post pics of my night, someone asked “Who’s watching Gracie?”… my response is “I am not a single mother.”
My husband is a great husband and an even better father. He will do things to encourage me to go out when he knows it will make me happy, when I would rather choose to stay home with my daughter. But he is her father. He is not a babysitter and at times looks forward to having daddy-daughter bonding time. There have been only two times that I have been “out” without them and its only been for a few hours at most. Its already hard enough to go out because the moment that you leave, you are constantly thinking of your family. However, I know that she is ok – the same love and care that I give her, he provides to her. I don’t have to leave my house and say “now take care of my baby” and give him a list of what he needs to do because he has been there caring for her right alongside with me.  Its just a shame that its not a persons first thought that when a mother is out that she is well cared for because she has more than just her mother who has her best interest at heart. 
And let me say this, I shall reiterate this once more… I am a mom. That does not require me to HAVE to be home in order for me to be a good mom. A night out every so often with or without my family has no influence on whether or not I am a good mother. 
So fellow moms and dads, raise your glass… here’s to us, moms! heres to the good dads! and heres to not losing ourselves in our new role. 
In other words, stop asking “Who’s watching Gracie?”  She is cared for by her parent or by someone we have chosen for her and nobody else needs to be involved in that decision, but thanks for your concern. 

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