*Flashback Post*-November 3rd, 2013

I remember those days,

Timeless moments nothing could intercept,

Living for each moment, not thinking we had much time left,

Hours ran into days, ran into months into pains,

 

I remember those days,

Each day awoken with a smile,

Loving each second, each embrace,

Tethered by our souls, moving by grace,

 

I remember those days,

Time flew around us, yet our gaze stood still,

Time flew around us, but our traces lingered on each others skin,

Careless spirits, moving us through,

 

I remember those days,

Nothing ever mattered, nothing was our everything,

Talks that extended past wee hours,

No interests in seeing anything but each other

 

I remember those days,

Shamelessly submissive to your every word,

Fed from your words and your releases,

Full from all you embody and all you do,

 

I remember those days,

Falling into your arms was the single point I looked forward to in my days

Even just in candle light you seemed so great,

Naked and bare I still saw you as Adonis type gold

My every fibre focused on willing your eyes to just me

 

I remember those days,

If my tears would fall, so would yours too,

I’d be felt and heard and made to feel silly because you were there,

We were one being of burning heat and hope and love

We were open, our basic selves, feeding each others strengths

 

I remember those days,

Fingers tracing lightly on skin,

Tip toeing, stealing kisses, sneaking in,

Soft touches calls flutters in,

a glow and a constant happiness;grins

 

I remember those days

I ain’t felt that way in years.

*Flashback post*-Dec. 29th 2013

It is what’s in your soul that will be the only thing that will carry you through,

When faced with adversity, when your pureness has been compromised,

Fly, fly on…..just keep swimming, it’s not the end,

 

When you gave of yourself and received naught,

It is not the end for you, your kindness has not met defeat,

It has instead met tests for a stronger self, don’t forget.

 

Fly, carry on as you are,

Don’t change when met with grunge, debris and a witless heart,

You have done no ill in being kind, extending a hand and trying to change the times,

Never change because you’re hurt, be yourself someone will see your worth.

 

Never beat yourself up. Never expect a beast to give you a rose.

You introduced your naked soul and were rebuffed.

Life goes on, no matter how tough.

 

When the dust settles it will be clear,

You made a clearing in a dark place,

You loved the unloved.

!Diaper Yeast Attack!

You know how they say be careful what you post online as one day your child might see it?…. yah, I’ll spare you pictures of my sons diaper yeast. I don’t want to be the reason he becomes ridiculed in school, but this thing was bad. It looked like moss, lil booty eating moss. I’m not sure if it hurt as he didn’t scratch too much. Incidentally, I learned the hard way that Magnesium was the worst thing to put on it. I mixed colloidal silver with magnesium and rubbed it on and he jumped and started scratching and kicking up his legs. Thank God his nails were cut or he’d tear a cheek off. It was a battle to get him to stop moving long enough for me to wipe the shit off, but eventually it passed. Poor child! The doctor had diagnosed it as diaper yeast and gave me a cream. It worked for a little bit, but then the diaper yeast was back. It was here bigger and spreading wider. I read online about Boudreaux butt paste and used it on him and holy! He got a rash on his poor pecker. I finally said ok, back to the doctor. Hubs told them it was getting worse and somehow the doctor convinced him it was getting better. Even though he lives with us, and we are the ones cleaning that butt every damn day! She prescribed Polysporin and I was pissed! That was used for healing cuts sooner than time would and this wasn’t a regular ‘ol diaper rash. We also couldn’t use it everyday and to me a day missed not working on this is a day it gets to either get better or worse. I needed it to get better only. I used it and it worked a little bit, the Canesten cream worked way better than it did.

After taking a step back and tracking a timeline from when this first became an issue, I realized it was going on for far too long. I wanted it gone and off my kids bum. The ever nurturing Google was my refuge. This time I looked up natural methods of getting rid of this thing. I would wash his butt with warm water with 2 drops of tea tree oil added, then smear yogurt on. This was so messy! This was working and even our daycare lady did it every now and then. We changed him often and gave him lots of breaks (lots of clean-ups) to help offer some relief. He unfortunately got an eczema outbreak from the Greek Yogurt we were adding to his bottle at nights and when we pulled it from his diet, we were left with a tub of the stuff to finish. *facepalm*. Our previous solution worked on the eczema, it’s just now we couldn’t tell which was which easily in order to contain the diaper yeast.  Nevertheless, I was on the charge and started applying the Greek Yogurt to his butt. I want to say within a week, I could actually see the yeast drying up. I read somewhere that when it started drying up I should not apply the yogurt anymore, as it was on the mend. Every now and then though I’d do this routine at nights, when he’s sleeping. Especially if he pooped in his sleep. Hubs mentioned that it might be something he eats that triggered it, but for the life of us we can’t put out finger on this one. He would poo and then bam! His entire butt is in rashes. Sigh! Kudos to the natural mommy goddesses that share their magic. I am eternally grateful to the wave of naturopathic educators on the internet….my baby’s butt thanks you! ….xoxo

 

-Nic

Born a Crime….a review

The irony of using a $1 bill as a book marker….money is what it always comes down to; isn’t it?

I took a ‘leap of purchase’ based on a recommendation from a podcast I was listening to. I don’t really connect with a lot of people so I usually research things I hear on podcasts; typically if I am continuing to listen there is some trust there. *deep, I know* I wanted to get back in the groove of reading but this book was $35 at my bookstore. I didn’t make a purchase then as I wasn’t even sure I’d actually finish it. I still have books on my bookshelf I haven’t touched but lost interest in and tons unfinished. It’s bad, we fight a lot about my books in my home. I perused the bookstore site again a couple days after my visit and found it to be on sale for $17.  I said, ‘ok, fine, since you insist’ and made a purchase. Now, before I discuss the book, I’ve been battling issues and concerns of raising a black son in North America. I still drift off on a fear-filled wonder thanks to scenes from the movie ‘Get Out’. I’ve purposely steered away from news about Trump and American politics because I was becoming mentally drained. I also have loosened the grip on my parenting, mainly due to work stress, so there’s been some guilt about that too. Also, I’m currently in a financial rut. I needed a hobby, I needed this purchase to be a win. I was already lagging on working on my art with no strength to change. I needed to peruse someone else’s art and TV shows were starting to bore me. So, purchased at the same time, I read The Handmaid’s Tale and got caught up on the show. I don’t usually care for autobiographies as they’re obviously meant to be self-absorbing, but I already bought this one. I was still empty and so I decided to start Trevor Noah’s ‘Born A Crime’ before it made it to my book shelf unopened.

My God, I felt so full. It was so fairly written.The delusions of race, the viewpoint of life as a mixed child, the tales of Africa; the continent misrepresented. The appreciation and honesty about his mother and her life. The history lessons. The humor. The role of religion in his life, traditional living, the misjudgments of Domestic Abuse. Parenthood. The facets of love, relationships and life. The mere voice of the author. I knew nothing about this man and have never seen him on TV or watched his shows, so I was basically going in blind. Let me tell you, when I say I could hear how he spoke and see clearly and connect with the things of which he spoke about; nothing was missed.

This boy spoke of his mother the way I would want my son to speak of me. When I read ‘The Second Girl’ I connected with the distance that caused her to be who she was. I am not a traditional mother. There are no grand/great-grand parents instilling any archaic child rearing disciplines in my son’s life. There are no rules in my house either, and I absolutely DO NOT believe a child should be seen and not heard. I also do not hide ‘real life’ from my son. I cry, laugh, fight, play, be mad and sad around him. At 2yrs old I sometimes ask him what he thinks about many things and even go along with what he chooses. The only areas of his life that I try to control is his diet, who gets to discipline him and who comes and goes in his life. I am not blinded by love either and is sure to ‘stick it to him’ when he misbehaves and will shamelessly laugh at his misfortunes. The fact that this man has understood, respected, forgiven and accepted his mother for who she is and all she gave at such a young age, warmed my heart so much. The maturity of this child had me in awe as there are still things I grapple with in my personal life. A good mother will give you everything they have, down to their bare bones and all they want in return is for you to be grateful. There is so much about humility that came from their relationship; so much mutual respect.

  The way he spoke about race and the examples he gave made me sick to my stomach. Africa, as many know is all suffering, all the time. It’s what’s been fed to us on the media and even in schools. There is a stigma that comes with being African that lets people just not want to deal. The history lessons on Apartheid and the concepts of race and their division was so mind blowing. A couple ‘WTF?!’ left my mouth more than once. It made me think how current and needed his tutelage is. I wanted to get on a podium and scream into a mic “People please read this, IT IS intentionally being done; it isn’t in your mind. They think we should not have nice things!”. The political climate in America, the need for the BLM Toronto, the fact that a certain race that far out numbers many others and are becoming lawmakers in Canada, the segregation that comes with certain religions; it is all being called out in this book. You cannot possibly read this and say ‘Man South Africans are crazy and wack for that shit’ and not point a finger on the current state of things in many countries. There is a breakdown of poverty and awareness on ‘the black tax’; ‘the cycle of poverty and violence’ and the strong hand the government and law makers play in deciding the quality of life of others based on something they cannot control. You can bleach your skin, you can do surgery, you can assume a different identity and even start to talk funny; but there will also be the fact that you were born in the skin you’re in. That, you will have to take all that comes with it and deal; be quiet and slap a smile on while doing so.

Religion was a very big part of his life growing up and for many of us. I connected with him with many things that happened in his childhood and laughed at how much a West Indian life was so similar. We just basically have different name or places for things. Friends, here is a young person that grew up in a racist time under a racist regime, portraying it as the tool it is. Information and the way generations grow and change will even religion out. There are many dark places in every religious sect and the youth are not falling for it anymore. He also vividly showed how misused it is.

Part 2 of his book lost me a bit but I read on as the writing was very good. The voice of the author was very clear and easy-going, so you could cruise through and not lose interest.  The aspects of his life that had to do with love and relationships were lost on me because I was a ‘prime’, wild child. I’d been kissing boys for years and you can imagine what else. I wasn’t much for impressions either and the one childhood crush I had, I fell in front of him outside of church one evening and that pretty much humbled me for life. Still, I read on. The love I wanted to explode was that between his mother and father. Why can’t people love who they love and be with who they want to? What does the government and religion have to do with love? This organic, natural uncontrollable emotion; why are those two so disgusting at being controlling. Why do they exist as a factor here? The relationship with his father and the way his mother handled it annoyed me to no end. There was also her own marriage to a monster that drove me nuts. In an effort to not offend those suffered/suffering from abuse and domestic abuse there won’t be much I’ll say there. Just that an unhappy life does not have to be your forever. A man that can turn his back on his own child can never be trusted and that love should never hurt.

There is a ray of hope that comes from this book in the Chapters ‘Chameleon’, ‘Outsider’ and ‘My Mother’s Life’. There is also a sick, sad detriment a CHILD was going through. Don’t become a victim of your circumstance.  It is so easy to say ‘woe is me’ and to harp on where you place blame. However, we are our choices, be conscious and alert. Every move you make is your own responsibility and determines your own future. Look ahead and see the bigger picture and keep it moving. Most importantly, accept things. We are often taught to not settle, but there are situations that you will have to accept and work with until you can do better. Fight the social/societal constructs with your brain and not your fist. Adulthood will give you a lot of clarity on this; especially in an environment like the workplace.

This memoir was worth the purchase. One I will save for my children to read. My only regret is the curry stain on the pages from when my roti fell out of my hand one day at lunch…xoxo

-Nic

Night time Babba woes…

*Sigh* …Our food drama continues…

Since lately baby (2 yr. old) has been waking up multiple times throughout the night screaming for a bottle. We were trying to wean him off bottles, formulas and bedtime ‘babbas’ but the child was legitimately starving.

We tried giving him water, rocking him back to sleep, letting him wake up, turning on his favorite videos on his tablets, singing songs etc. None of it works as fast as a warm bottle does.  Truth be told, most times we needed to go back to bed as well. When our efforts failed we tried to find ways to full his stomach. We only use almond and coconut milk and so we figured they weren’t holding him as long as we needed. Plus, frequently waking up meant he wasn’t hitting deep a sleep to me. one night he woke up 6 times and he polished off his bottle each time. We knew we needed to make a change. We needed to make baby fuller, longer. We figured he was tired of the Pediasure, so I looked at other things.  I perused the supermarket aisle and was considering a baby cereal but there wasn’t any that went up to his age.  A quick Google search suggested that greek yogurt is one food that keeps you fuller longer. I figured that it couldn’t hurt to try even though he was technically limited when it came to dairy.

I bought a small tub of organic plain to try and it worked like a charm! One tablespoon in his night time bottle and he only woke up 1 time for the night looking for his fill. He even seemed more well rested. I especially loved that this wasn’t a filler like the cereal would be but a great healthy addition with lots of Calcium benefits!

Score!

The Skinny on Cuba….

Stop what you’re doing and download the Maps.me app and the Cuba map that goes along with it. This app works very well offline. To maximize your experience, you will need to be proactive and plan like hell. Here’s the thing, Havana is an extremely safe walking city. You can walk through streets and alley ways to get to where you’re going regardless of the time. There’s a lot of ways to get around but it will add up, especially when they realise you’re a tourist. Review your map and walk when you can. There’s also a lot of monuments you will zoom past in a car and each stop will cost yah! We walked a lot and enjoyed the many gems we ‘accidentally’ landed on.

If you aren’t a business person, you won’t need a lot of internet. We bought 3 cards, each with an hour and almost came back with 1. We shared 1 card each time and had more than enough to check in with loved ones. If you find yourself constantly buying cards to contact family, then they should have come with you as this cost does add up as well. We didn’t make any phone calls outside of the country, to family or friends. We used the phone in our casa to call the owner who came to see us when we had questions about things we wanted to do.

We brought a camcorder, 2 cellphones, a huge Fiji cam and a mini Sony Vaio. We only used our cellphones. Hubs had an extra battery for his. The Maps.me app used up tons of battery so if possible print and highlight your routes so you don’t lose juice and miss pictures. Additionally, work out some storage. I backed up to Google drive when I signed on the net but one day I had no pics because my phone space was used up.

Baby was pretty ok in Cuba. Everywhere we went people were very accommodating. People were always lifting him up and playing with him. I didn’t worry about him for a minute and that was a HUGE bonus to me. He didn’t do us any favors when it came to food though. He wouldn’t eat much of anything and mainly drank his ‘babba’. We almost ran out and had to give him Ensure a time or two. We didn’t anticipate that he would revert to the bottle only as usually he only took the bottle at nights before bed. We brought 3 boxes of coconut milk, 1 box of almond and 11/2 tins of formula. We brought an ice tray that was always set so that we could keep the coconut milk chilled on the road with no issues. We brought 2 baby bullet containers for this purpose. A few mornings he ate the oatmeal we brought and 1 morning he had cereal. Fig bars, granola, crackers and yogurt pouches on the road. Otherwise, he picked at a few things we ate but not much made it past his lips. They don’t have potato fries (his fave) there and while he ate the plantains chips, he didn’t love them.

The online impression of Cuba is that they are very poor and living on next to nothing. Let me add some context to that. COMPARED to first world countries their standard of living isn’t as high. They are not in poverty. They maybe don’t make a lot but they aren’t poor. Now, I haven’t seen the underbelly of this country. As we lived like locals, on the surface it didn’t look like people are cowering for their lives. Their faces are plain but they will smile and be very helpful when approached. They are more ‘relaxed’ in their living than you would think. The low crime rate plays a factor here but perhaps I need to look into this more. 

Cuba is not a cheap destination. The exchange rate will absolutely disgust you. It is still affordable once you plan hard prior to going and do your research but it isn’t cheap. I didn’t concern myself with the CUP/CUC battle. I dealt strictly in CUC and was sure to check my change when I got it. Hubs got some CUP from our casa owner, which I guess was just for the experience. He used it to buy beer. I found some on the road and we hardly used it at the end of the day. Budgeting here is hard enough, especially when you want to try so many things! Keep one currency and call it a day!

It is very hard to give the gifts you brought with you away. Just keep your alms light. Ideally, they should be dropped off at an agency and they distribute them but the gratification comes from seeing the smiles on kid’s faces. On our day trip, they stopped the bus and I gave one bag to a little boy but I didn’t like the feeling. So, I dropped majority of the bags off at a school in Havana Vieja and to another school close to our casa. We just called a teacher to the gate, we didn’t go in as I knew it wasn’t allowed and would be very weird! We wouldn’t want strangers at our kid school!

Cuban toilets will probably be the worst part of your trip, next to dealing with taxis of course. Most don’t have lids, tissue or a proper handle to push or pull for you to flush. Some don’t flush at all. Carry your tissue or wipe, as a go around the roll will cost you! When I showed the attendant that I had my own tissue, she looked like she dam near wanted to kick me right into the fucking stall so that I could hurry up and get out.

Children are the pearl of the city. I ABSOLUTELY positively loved how they are fawned over. I felt so good. So at ease and we knew no one there. It isn’t uncommon for people to pass n play in baby’s hair or tickle him. We did the same when we could. Cubans are gorgeous people and the babies barefoot, barely clothed and running about freely made me so happy.

Mama Hotline Bling

Perhaps you will pause for a minute or scroll on by.

This Mother’s Day make sure you call your mother, at least to say ‘hi’.

Don’t send her a text, email or just a delivery.

Let her hear your voice or see your angel face physically.

Where she can touch and look upon you directly.

 

A mother can look into your eyes and know your lies.

It’s also the place that tells her you’re weak or how much you’ve tried.

She will always make your favorite meal on the fly.

Be the one that answers, Every. Single. Time.

 

Make sure you tell her you love and appreciate her

Hug up, squeeze up and draw nearer, nearer

Tell her you’re acknowledging her worth.

That you know you changed her life at your birth

Your words are heavy, make sure you don’t stutter

Joke about how you know you’re the best thing in her life

That you live happily, that will make her smile; her heart flutter.

 

Call your mother this Mother’s Day

Let the conversation linger on, let her say all she has to say

Somewhere in all the pleasantries your fears will be exposed

But do not feel guilt when she says ‘a mother always knows’.

Tell her you’re grateful she’s recognized you as an adult.

That you don’t intentionally mean to be difficult.

Before you run off the phone, say ‘I love YOU mama’.

You’re all I worry and think about

Remind her that for all 365 days, she’s all you care about.