Mocha Moms to the Rescue!

*peeks in*

Oh hey Sunflowers! It’s me, Nae ūüôā Y’all still there? I hope so. Life with Baby Sunshine Little Miss Sunshine is amazing. Two and a half (!) years in and I’m finally getting to a place where I can refocus some of my time and attention on things that have slipped away i.e. this blog, yay! Motherhood is a beast. It impacts every aspect of your life in ways that I could not fathom and was not prepared for. The right kind of support is essential. Mocha Moms has been that for me.

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from the website:

Mocha Moms, Inc. is the premier voice for mothers of color. Through chapters and online, Mocha Moms, Inc. provides support for women of color as they journey through all phases of motherhood while advocating for them nationally. Mocha Moms, Inc. also encourages the spirit of community activism and service among its members. Mocha Moms, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Mocha Moms, Inc. does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, socio-economic level, education, or religion. Anyone who supports the mission and purpose of Mocha Moms, Inc. is welcome to join.

I joined my local  Mocha Moms chapter during my last trimester and received support immediately. As hubby and I fumbled through those first few weeks at home with Baby Sunshine, the chapter showered us with meals when we needed them most. A few months later, I left the two of them at home alone for the first time to attend our chapter’s monthly Moms Night Out at a local restaurant. I was already feeling anxious and insecure when no less than 10 mins after I arrive, hubby calls and says that I need to come home because “something is wrong” with the baby. Riddled with guilt and embarrassment, I excused myself from the table ready to return home.

Or so I thought. After exchanging knowing glances, the Mochas sat me down and listened as I  explained.  At this point, all of the emotions and sleep deprivation from those first few months of motherhood came pouring out and I was now bawling me eyes out. Surrounded by women I’d never met before :-/ Without judgment, the Mochas encouraged me to stay and allow baby and Daddy to “figure it out”. * In that moment, I knew I had found my new tribe ūüôā

Next year marks the 20th anniversary for Mocha Moms, Inc. ! In celebration, they are kicking off a very special membership deal for the month of October. October is Mocha Month and for this month alone, you can join or renew your membership for $30! From support meetings to play groups to family celebrations, Mocha Moms has become a major support for our entire family. So, what are you waiting for? Head over to www.mochamoms.org, find your local chapter and join this amazing group of moms today!

Have you ever heard of Mocha Moms? Did you find a chapter and join yet? Leave your sunshine below!

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 *They were right, of course. Hubby and Baby Sunshine were fine and I believe that my decision to not leave that night was a defining moment for our growing family. More on that later ūüėČ

CATCHING UP: Where In the World Is Little Miss Sunshine?

Hello¬†Sunflowers! I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted. I could easily blame it on Baby Little Miss Sunshine but instead let’s just play catch up:

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Our baby is no longer a baby ūüôĀ After an amazing 1st birthday celebration sponsored by Disney at Home Celebrations, Little Miss Sunshine officially began walking at 13 months. She is a great eater. Her favorite foods are broccoli, berries (any kind) and chicken. She loves water but recently has become obsessed with ice LOL.¬†Although she definitely has a bit of social butterfly in her, she is also an introverted observer. It takes her some time to warm up but once she does, she is super charming ūüėČ She loves to talk and prides herself on repeating every word she hears. Most notably she can say AND spell her name, although she sometimes forget some letters. I mean it is 7 letters. ¬†She loves Mickey and Minnie Mouse but her absolute favorite is Daniel Tiger. She can recite every single episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.¬†She also loves music including playing her Daddy’s drums. Her favorite song is If You’re Happy and You Know It, totally my child right?

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At 18-months old she loves playing pretend, bossing her 15-month old cousin around O_o and as of the writing of this post, using the potty! ¬†Little Miss Sunshine is so perfectly the best of both Mr. Drummer Boy and I, and yet so much more. Everyone always compliments us on how beautiful, smart and sweet she is. While all true, what I’m most proud of is her individuality. At such a young age, she is fiercely independent and strong-willed. While I pray that her independence evolves into a healthy form of interdependence, I admire the confidence with which she walks through the world. It is a beautiful reminder that at some point in our lives, we all possessed such confidence and it is forever accessible to us. I pray that she retains her current sense of self-worth and power. Looking forward to what lies ahead for our girl wonder =D

Fromrestaurant reviews to Blogalicious to my 40th birthday so much has happened in recent months. Stay tuned for more Catch Up posts. What have you been up to? Can you believe Little Miss Sunshine is 18 months? What one word sums up your last few months? Leave your sunshine below?

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1st Year of Motherhood: 5 Must Haves

*Please note: this IS NOT a sponsored post and I have not been asked to endorse any of the following products. I am sharing my experience in hopes that it will benefit other new moms and as usual all opinions are my own.**

Alas, I have made it through my first year of motherhood! As promised, I invite you to join me as I reflect¬†on the “must-haves” that helped our family¬†through a sometimes rough, sometimes fun, but always adventurous¬†first year!

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BECO Soleil Carrier

I knew I wanted to practice babywearing and after testing a few different types of carriers, the BECO Soleil became our go-to. The carrier came with a snap-on hood and bag, perfect for protecting baby from the elements and carrying other essentials and an infant insert, which made carrying our petite newborn slightly more snug. If you’ve seen us out and about, chances are you’ve seen us in our BECO. I expect that we will continue to use this well into Baby Sunshine’s 2nd year!

Graco Pack N Play 

Although this was one of the first things that we added to our baby registry, I admit that I didn’t really¬†anticipate its use much. Boy, was I wrong! From nap time to playtime to bedtime, this pack n play continues to serve us well at home and on-the-go. The one thing¬†that was super helpful about this model in particular¬†was the bassinet option, which was perfect before¬†Baby Sunshine was mobile. Now that she’s mobile, it serves as our¬†crib-on-the go.

Shea Moisture Baby Line 

I had been hearing the buzz about this company from the natural hair community however given that am still highly dependent on my stylist for¬†hair maintenance, I never really had a reason to check them out. But then one of our good friends brought over a bag of Shea Moisture goodies. Who knew they had such an impressive baby line? Their fragrance-free baby wash and shampoo was a staple during the early months when Baby Sunshine’s skin was sensitive and now the Raw Shea Chamomile & Argan Oil collection is our bathing favorite. We also use the Coconut & Hibiscus curl creme on her hair. The fact that Shea Moisture is a black-owned, ethically and socially responsible company just further encourages my support ;-0.

Lily Jade Co. Diaper Bag

Stylish yet¬†functional diaper bags are aplenty. I’m just not willing to pay upwards of $300 for them. I think I first learned of Lily Jade on IG. I love handbags and remember thinking “Oh wow, what a nice bag. Too bad my handbag buying days are on hold for now”. And then I visited their page, to find that they are a diaper bag company \O/! This bag goes everywhere we go. Its removable, washable baby organizer and changing pad makes it super functional. It can be worn on my shoulder, cross-body¬†and¬†even attaches to the back of the stroller. It has just enough space for all of baby’s things plus my few essentials. Not to mention, it’s hella stylish.

NoseFrida

The smallest and seemingly silliest thing on the list, the nosefrida is everything!! Babies are too small to blow their nose or otherwise clear their nasal passages¬†when they are congested, making it hard for them to breathe. The first time that Baby Sunshine got sick, I hated watching her struggle to breathe and choke on her mucus. In fact, I cried. A lot. The hospital aspirator just wasn’t cutting it. I shared my woes with one of my mommy support group and was told to visit my local pharmacy and purchase the nosefrida STAT! Pinning her down was a bit of a chore at first but once Baby Sunshine¬†experienced¬†the magic that is the snotsucker, she slowly began allowing¬†Mommy to help¬†her feel better. We even purchased a second¬†one for when we’re on the go.

Now this list could have easily been 10, 15, or even 20 items long but when I think about it, these are the 5 things that have been the most effective tools for ushering us through that first year. As new parents, we are inundated with baby gear, but it’s really only the things that actually help make life easier for both you and baby so that you can focus on what’s important, that matters.

Stay tuned for my list of Wasted Space!

Did you use any of the things on this list? What would be on your list? Leave your sunshine below.

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Join Me at the Tots to Teens Expo!

 

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Attn DMV Sunflowers: Join Baby Sunshine and I this Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 10am to 6pm, at the Washington Convention Center for the 2015 Tots to Teens Expo! This¬†educational, entertaining and fun event for the entire family has¬†something for everyone:¬†Bumper Cars,¬†Basketball,¬†Face Painting,¬† Kids Zumba Classes,¬†and a special¬†Living Healthy and Eating Right¬†Stage featuring area chefs, restaurants and nutritionists. There will also be several¬†special workshops¬†on¬†Cyber Bullying, Teen Safe Driving and CPR Training and Certification. Other event activities include a¬†Kid‚Äôs Spa Retreat, Free Dental Exams, Free Eye Exams, Science Fair, Tot-lers and Tiaras pageant and opportunities to meet with some of the area‚Äôs¬†leading schools and educators. Oh and admission is FREE! Hope to see you there ūüėČ

 

Please click below to learn more about the sponsors of this exciting event:

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*I am a member of the Tots to Teens Blogger Team and this is a part f a paid campaign. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Happy 1st Birthday Baby Sunshine!

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Oh Happy¬†Day Sunflowers! It’s hard to believe, but a whole year has gone by since¬†Baby Sunshine¬†made her debut! She is the light of our world and this year has been so full of joy. I haven’t done a very good job of keeping you posted in this first year (forgive me), but here’s what she she’s been up to:

  • she loves to talk and says Mama, Dada, eat, bye bye, eyes, ears, eggs and about 20 more words that we understand and many more that we don’t LOL
  • she is very nosy observant and curious
  • she likes to read (stay tuned for a list of her favs!)
  • she is shy around new people
  • but once she warms up, she’s a regular Chatty Cathy
  • she loves to sing & dance and listening to music
  • she loves all animals, despite calling them all ducks ūüôā
  • she began¬†eating table food at¬†6 months; her favs are applesauce, sweet potato and salmon
  • she likes to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Daniel Tiger and Yo Gabba Gabba
  • she loves to make people laugh

She is our Girl Wonder so please join me in SCREAMING a very happy 1st birthday to the most beautiful girl in the world!

P.S. Although we originally planned a small family celebration, thanks to the generosity of #DisneySide at Home Celebrations, we will be having what has become a pretty massive¬†birthday celebration¬†this weekend O_o . I’m not even mad though, because¬†she deserves it. We deserve it.

P.P.S. Look out for a series of reflections on my first year of motherhood, coming next week!

Can you believe it’s been a year ? What else would you like¬†to know about Baby Sunshine? Leave your sunshine below.

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