Sunday, August 30, 2009

What he sees. What you see

We women are always putting ourselves through the ringer. We spend tons of money on hair products, plucking, waxing, and all kinds of makeup. We buy cute but super-uncomfortable shoes and sling shot ourselves into too-small clothes, all in the name of looking good for a man. Too bad some of us don't know that most of this is unnecessary. Men aren't attracted to makeup and stilettos. They are attracted to women, which is what we are naturally. All this other stuff is just excess.

There's nothing wrong with liking makeup, heels and sexy clothes for yourself, but trust me, men don't need it. All they need is you. We jump through so many hoops to impress our mates when they're already sold. We are the ones that are hard to impress. We look at ourselves and other women-especially other women-like we're sitting on a judging panel. We can sniff out a flaw like a bloodhound. Ladies, we are entirely too hard on ourselves. Next time you're standing in the mirror taking flaw inventory, please remember the following.

While looking at your butt, you think...
OMG! Look at this thing. I have got to hit the stairmaster. It's way too big/small/flat/jiggly (choose your word).

He thinks...
Um um um, look at that thing, and its ALL MINE.

While looking at your thighs, you think...
I can't believe these chicken legs/thunder thighs. I'm throwing away every pair of shorts I own.

He thinks...
Aww, look at my honey's legs. She's so cute when she wears shorts.

While looking at your belly, you think...
This pudge is not cool.

He thinks...
I love her soft belly.

While looking at your hips, you think...
These hips are out. of. control. Or I have no hips. I look like a boy.

He thinks...
She got a BANGIN' shape

While looking at your breasts, you think...
This is crazy. Why is my left one bigger than the right? I look like a freak.

He thinks...
Oooooooh, boobies

While looking at your face, you think...
Is that a pimple I see? It's huge! I have a mountain on my face.

He thinks...
Is that a pimple I see? It's  huge! She has a mountain on her face, but she's still adorable.

Our men love us just the way we are. So stop tripping!!
Leelou Blogs

Zara's Mommy,
Nadirah Angail

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Green Smoothie, anyone?

Yes, I said green smoothie, and I'm not talking about food coloring. Veggie-based smoothies are delicious and nutritious way to get your daily dose of vegetables.  

I know what you’re thinking. “Gross, I don’t want any vegetables in my smoothie.” I thought the same thing at first. If it weren’t for my mother and her all-things-natural diet, I would have never considered drinking such an unconventional drink.
 I consider myself an honest person, so I have to tell you this: I didn’t like them at first. I didn’t down the first cup and say “YUM, more please!” I said… nothing. I just swallowed the green drink and told myself I was better off for it.

It wasn't nasty; it just wasn’t good. I love vegetables, but had never had them in liquid form. It took some getting used to, but now I LOVE it. I drink one every day.

There are tons of different green smoothie recipes, but I usually stick with spinach or a dark green lettuce (not Iceberg), an apple and a lemon. If you want to up your nutritional intake, use kale. It is one of the healthiest veggies you'll find.

Still not convinced? Let me appeal to your vanity. It is also great for your complexion and hair. I seriously noticed a glow about my face after drinking them for a few days. At first I thought I was imagining things, but my mother noticed it too.

**Update: Added 9/1/09**
Sunday night I was out at an event with a friend I hadn't seen in a while. One of the first things she said to me was "Your skin looks great! The best I've ever seen it." I told her it was the green smoothie.

My just-blended green smoothie. It was delish!
Leelou Blogs

Zara's Mommy,
Nadirah Angail

Sorry to bother you. I just really like my kid.

My cousins, who are already parents, told me this would happen, so I'm not surprised. I just find it odd. It seems like every day I take Zara out, I get a comment from someone about how spoiled she'll be (or already is) from me holding her. I don't just get these comments from friends and family members. I get them from complete strangers who obviously were so affected by my baby-holding that they felt the need to come inform me. You mean to tell me it's wrong to hold my child?! The hospital gave me all this baby literature, but I didn't see that part. Better go double check.

Their assumption is that holding babies a lot makes then spoiled because they'll never let you put them down. My assumption is that babies, especially little ones, need to be held a lot to develop a a sense of safety in the world. They need to know that they're going to be cared for. Plus, the contact and stimulation is great for their brain development. Besides, what's the big deal? She likes it, I like it and it's not harming either of us. (I'd like to say it's not harming anyone, but seeing the way people respond to it, I don't feel comfortable making that statement.)

I'll admit, she does love to be held and will pitch a fit if she doesn't feel like sitting down, but I don't let it bother me, because I know if I give her what she needs now, she'll be independent and well-adjusted later. Sometimes I see clingy, whiny, anxiety-ridden kids and wonder how much attention they got when they were babies. Who knows? I could be wrong, but I'm sure holding her is not going to do any harm. She'll only be little for a short period of time, anyway. Once she starts crawling and then walking, being held with be the last thing on her mind, so I'm going to get all my holds in while I can.
Me and Zara in the Moby Wrap (which I love)
P.S. Sorry to anyone my avid baby-holding has offended.

Leelou Blogs

Zara's Mommy,
Nadirah Angail

Birthday Green Beans?

My brother thought it was funny that I said I would give Zara some 1st birthday green beans. I guess it does sound funny, but I was serious. It's not like green beans would be the only thing she'd get. I'd also arrange a nice array of blueberries, strawberries, peaches and mango on a platter, but no cake.
Cake is a wonderful thing and I'm sure Zara will get her fair share, but not at age one. When she starts eating food, I want to introduce her to the types of healthy foods I'd like her to eat for the rest of her life. I'm not going to wait until she's 4 (and used to a steady diet of chicken nuggets, french fries and fish sticks) to give her veggies. By then, its practically a lost cause.

That reminds me of a Spaghettios commerical (I think it's Spaghettios) where the dad is trying to read aloud the nutrional information on the label, but can't because the mother keeps cutting him off. She doesnt' want the kids to hear that they're eating something healthy. I guess it's supposed to be a good way to sneak healthy food to your children. I guess its supposed to be funny and cute, but every time I see that commercial, all I can think is "That's crazy that you have to trick your children into eating healthy. And since when did processed pasta become healthy, anyway?" I also heard that Seinfeld's wife has a cookbook for moms that want to hide healthy ingredients in "kid friendly" foods.

I'm not down with all the trickery. If you start them on healthy food early enough and don't corrupt their palette with junk, you won't have to be "creative" and "artful" in your presentation.  The earlier the better. We start them early with sports and ballet. We start them early with school and peewee softball, but why not veggies? So, let this serve as fair warning. Should your children find themselves around Zara on her first birthday, I sure hope they like green beans.

Leelou Blogs

Zara's Mommy,

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why You Shouldn't Leave the House Looking CRAZY

Yesterday, my husband needed a ride. He just needed to be dropped off at a place that wasn't far from the house, so I decided to go "as is," which looked like this...

I had just finished taking some braids out of my hair and hadn't taken a shower yet, so I still had on my PJs. No biggie. I knew I wasn't going to be getting out of the car, so it didn't matter. Zara and I dropped him off and headed back home.

All was well, until I noticed that the "refuel now" sign was lit on the dashboard. The radio had been playing such good music that I was completely consumed by my driver's dancing and hadn't even noticed when it came on. Was it 2 seconds ago or 15 minutes? Plus, I was driving my mother's car--which I'm not familiar with--so I didn't feel comfortable chancing it. I've run out of gas 4 or 5 times in my own car (back when I had one) and know how frustrating it is to be stranded.

At this point I was really close to the house, but pulled into the next gas station anyway. It wasn't until I got out of the car that I remembered what I looked like. Too late. I was already out and wasn't leaving without some gas. I ignored the crazy looking men that obviously felt they had to stare at the big-haired lady in the bright blue bathrobe.

It would have been an in and out deal if I could get the gas tank door open. My mother drives a Mercedez, so I figured there was some fancy trick to opening it. I got back in the car and looked around for a button with a picture of a gas tank on it.


I checked in the usual places that I had seen it in on other cars.

No success.

I checked in crazy places that I already knew I wouldn't find it in (like the glove compartment, sun visor, and floorboard).

Still no luck.

By this point, I had been there 10 minutes, it was getting hot and more and more crazy/killer/rapist/cannibal/hooligan/kipnapper types were rolling through. I called my mother to ask her where the button was and she couldn't tell me. (She has another car and doesn't drive this one much.)She said she didn't know the exact spot, but that it was somewhere on the driver's door. I searched that door over and over and pushed every button on it, but none opened the gas tank.

Then Zara started to cry. Great. I'm looking crazy in a hot gas station, surrounded by jail escapees and my daughter is WAILING. I hopped in the back seat and fed her, which was so awkward considering the situation. I know she was as hot as I was, but I had to cover her with her blanket to keep from giving the weirdos a peep show. I begged her to make it a quick snack, and luckily she did.

I put her back in her seat and got back out the car to tackle this door. I marched around to the other side of the car like I was ready to fight and started trying to slip my fingers in that tiny gap to pry the door open. You already know that didn't work. I kept fooling around with the door and praying that none of these scary onlookers offered help.

They didn't, the jerks.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of pressing on the door, hoping that it would magically pop open, I decided to press the other side. Voila. It was that simple. The door swung open with ease, almost mocking me. I could just hear it squeaking "You big dummy."

I quickly got my gas and drove the last two minutes home. I learned my lesson.

Leelou Blogs
Zara's Mommy,

On Diaper bags, Care Bears, and Justmoms


*This is an old post from my other blog. Originally posted May 26, 09*

As an almost-mom, I’d have to say that the hardest decision I’ve had to make so far has been choosing a diaper bag. It seemed like it’d be an easy and effortless task, as I love purses and diaper bags are nothing more than big purses, but my diaper bag search has proved to be much harder than I expected.

I don’t consider myself a diva, a fashionista, or any of those other trendy terms people like to throw around, but I do like to look nice and care about the way I present myself. So when I found myself standing in the diaper bag aisle, surrounded by Elmo, Care Bears and that hunny-addicted Pooh, I knew I had a problem. Does becoming a mother mean I all of a sudden have to revert to my childhood preferences? Because if I was still 5 or 6, I would have been all over that pink and purple Care Bears bag with the matching changing pad; but now, twenty years later, I’m not as interested. My likes and interests have matured and evolved to now include looks that don’t scream “I’ve been watching PBS and Noggin all day.”

My issue with the character bags is more than just aesthetic. It also has to do with the fact that I do not want to become a Justmom. A Justmom is a wonderful, multidimensional woman who, after becoming a mother, puts her entire life on the back burner to focus exclusively on being a parent. These are good-intentioned women who end up deserting their friends, families, husbands, interests, hobbies and, themselves for motherhood. They spend all day cutting carrots, cleaning rooms, checking homework, washing clothes, joining mothers’ groups online, buying children’s clothes and items, taking trips to parks and zoos, and many other child-centered activities. There is nothing wrong with doing any of these things. In fact, they’re all signs of good parenting, but what pushes these moms into the ranks of Justmoms is that they do these types of things only, at the exclusion of the many other parts of themselves that also need to be engaged.

I don’t want to pathologize Justmoms. They’re very caring, nurturing, forgiving, and all around sweet women. My concern is that they don’t put nearly as much energy into their own maintenance as they do into their children’s. They become shells of their former selves as their marriages, social lives, self images, and mental states suffer. Consider the research. According to Ariel Gores’s The Mother Trip, mothers are more likely to be affected by depression that any other demographic group nationwide. I doubt that all of these depressed moms are Justmoms, but I’m sure being a Justmom increases the chances of being included in that group.

Mothers seem to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders, and not having healthy outlets to help shoulder that load is nothing more than a recipe for disaster. We all want to be good moms. We want to give our children the best, protect them from harm, prepare them for the future and reassure them of their value. That’s great and admirable. (No wonder Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) said “paradise lies at the foot of the mother.”) But, in our haste to feed and protect our children, we often forget that one of the best gifts we can give a child is an honest image of a healthy, balanced mother, one that is so much more than a bodyguard/servant. Healthy and whole moms teach their children the benefits of helping self along with those of helping others. They laugh more, handle frustration better, become angered less easily and are pleasant to be around.

For me, the idea of being a Justmom is scary; but I understand that, for some women, the idea of not being one is even scarier. Many of us have a romanticized image of the perfect mom in our heads. We grow up either wanting to be just like our own mothers, who some of us feel were perfect, or the exact opposite of our mothers, who some of us feel were neglectful. The truth is most moms fall somewhere between perfect and neglectful. Either way, the image of the Justmom becomes glorified and normalized. So once the children start to arrive, your date nights with the husband disappear, your biweekly girls’ nights vanish, the salsa lessons you loved are discontinued, your paint dries up and your brushes harden, the instrument you used to play begins to collect dust, your sense of style somehow gets lost, and your overall personality dulls. Basically, you lose your zest and unique qualities. These are some of the affects of becoming a Justmom.

There was a time in my life when I thought being a Justmom was inevitable. I thought being a good mother meant sacrificing all else. Lucky for me my understanding has changed. I now know that it’s not a bad thing to continue to have a life outside of my child. I know that my husband can continue to be my husband instead of just being my co parent. And if nothing else, I know that it’s ok to hate the Care Bears diaper bag.

Nadirah Angail

Monday, August 24, 2009

Stubborn Baby Stains?


Anyone with a baby knows what its like to take a fresh load out of the washing machine and find a bunch of your child's clothes still stained. This used to be frustrating. Not anymore. Thanks to my mother, I've found a natural way to clean stubborn baby poo from fabrics. All you have to do is wash the item by hand to get out the excess. Then put the wet item in the hot sun and leave it for a few hours. That's it. The sun will do all the work! To the right is a picture of a sun-bleached cloth diaper that was DIR-TY (and I mean really dirty). As you can see, its looks brand new, and it hasn't even been through the washer yet.
Note: You may not want to do this with brightly colored clothes because that sun is a power thing. It'll turn your red to pink and your black to grey.

Leelou Blogs
Zara's Mommy,

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The New Talents Being a Mom Has Helped Me Discover

I've always thought of myself as a pretty talented person, but who knew I could do all this? I am skilled at:

1. Sleeping on the very edge of the bed without falling off. Zara likes to curl up under me and force me toward the edge. I've had a couple close calls, but I've never fallen.

2. Doing things with one hand (because the other one almost always has a baby in it). She loves to be held, and I love to hold her. So that leaves little time for two-handed activities. So far, I've been able to type, cook and clean all with one hand.

3. Walking down a busy street and breastfeeding at the same time. It's nice to be able sit and relax while I feed her, but sometimes that isn't possible. It's not like I can say "Wait until I can sit down." When she's ready to eat, she wants to eat NOW. Oh, and in case you re wondering, I do have one of those covers, so I'm not showing my goods everywhere.

4. Seeing incredibly cute baby clothes at the store and NOT buy them. Anyone with a daughter knows that it takes some real talent to resist all the adorable things they have for baby girls. I'd love to buy it, but I know I'll just be giving it away in a month a so. This girl is growing like crazy!

5. Quieting her cries when no one else can. I guess all moms can do this, but, for some reason, I feel like I'm really special when I do it, like I have magic powers or something. Of course, this doesn't always work.

6. Wrapping my Moby Wrap. If you have one of these, then you know they're not the easiest things to wrap at first. It took a lot of Youtube tutorials and practice to get it just right on the first try. Now that I know what I'm doing, I love it!

What talents have you discovered?

Zara's Mommy,

Using the Potty at 2 Months Old?


Zara is 2 months old, and she used the potty twice today, and it wasn't her first time. I've put her on the toilet successfully before, but never twice in one day. For those that are wondering what I'm talking about, its called Elimination Communication (EC), or Natural Infant Hygiene. To the right is a picture of a 3-month old getting his EC on. You go, boy!

It all started when I read Ingrid Bauer's Diaper Free. In the book, she talked about how she traveled overseas and noticed that many mother had small undiapered babies and no "accident" stains on their clothes. She would ask them, "What do you do when they have to use the bathroom?" They would would look at her like she was stupid and reply. "Take him to the potty, stupid." Ok, I added that "stupid" on there, but I'm pretty sure that's how it felt.

Anyway, I read the book and learned a lot about how to recognize the signals of a baby that has to use the problem. We assume that a baby can let us know when he wants to eat, when he's sleepy, when he's hurt, and when he wants to be held, but we never consider that he might be able to tell us when he has to use the bathroom, too. If you're interested I suggest you read the book , but here are the 4 basic steps:

Timing- Most babies use the bathroom around similar times every day. Pay attention to these times.

Signals- You have to pay attention, but babies do give signals when they need to go. They vary from baby to baby, but can include, fidgeting, whining, crying, making a "concentrating face," etc.

Intuition- Once you start paying more attention to your babies elimination schedule, you'll develop intuition, where you can sense or "feel" that the baby has to go. I know, sounds wierd, but its true.

Cueing- This is the final step. You make a cueing noise when you have the baby in position and ready to go. Of course the baby has to learn this cueing sound, so it won't work at first, but keep it up and after a while, the baby will associate the sound with knowing that its now ok to release. Your cueing sound can be whatever you like, but a lot of people like to use the "psssssss" sounds because it sounds like someone is peeing.

PS This is not easy. It takes a lot of time and patience. It probably won't work at first, but keep it up and you'll have success for sure!
Resources- Interested? Learn more!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hanna Montana/Miley Cyrus Will Not Be in This Home


It is hard to turn on the TV or go to the store and not see some type of Hanna Montana paraphernalia. Other than the Disney Channel show, there are posters, shoes, clothes, dolls, purses, lunch boxes, you name it. Now, I don't have a problem with Hanna. I actually think she has a great voice, but when my daughter gets older and starts to take interest in those sorts of things, it won't be Hanna Montana.

It's not because of that over-18 boyfriend she's got (or had, I don't really follow much what she's up to) or those in-her-undies photos that surfaced on the web. It's because she's white. Before you get upset and write me off as a racist, hear me out. There's nothing wrong with white people or being white, but my daughter is brown; and as a good mother, it's my duty to surround her with self-affirming images that would never make her question her worth and beauty.

It would be a different issue if it was just Hanna Montana, but its not. It's practically every girl on Disney channel (and Nickelodeon, and Noggin). It's majority of the dolls at the store. It's most of the faces in the magazines. It's many of the illustrations in library books. I can't allow this society to saddle my daughter with all these images that look nothing like her and think it won't have an affect. I've seen too many beautiful little brown girls wish away their brownness (blackness). That's more brown confidence shot to the ether.

I remember my mother searching through the library books to make sure they had enough brown faces in them. I remember her buying me brown dolls and refusing to let me "perm" my hair (no matter how much I begged). I didn't realize it at the time, but she was arming me with tools I needed to form a healthy, solid sense of self worth and acceptance.

This wouldn't be an issue if we lived in a world that loved everyone equally, but we don't. Our world is one that has infected the black community-and other communities as well-with the diseased notions of "good-hair" and the "paper bag test." Our world is one that makes otherwise beautiful people bleach their skin in the hopes if making it lighter. Our world is one that has black women buying up every hair product they can that promises to make their tresses straighter and silkier. It's a tough world. I'm bringing my armor.

Be clear: This doesn't mean that I'm going to shield her from all things white. That would be dangerous and impossible. I want her to recognize the beauty of diversity and all the different colors of people there are. I just don't want her to ever forget how beautiful she is.

Zara's Mommy,
Nadirah Angail

Thursday, August 20, 2009

One of the Worst Things a Mother Can Hear


I was in the shower a few nights ago (something that has become a luxury for me since I don't always have time for it anymore) and heard a horrible sound: my daughter crying. I usually can't hear much over the roar of the rushing water, so you can imagine how loud it was. I jumped out of the shower, head full of shampoo, and sprung into action.

"What's wrong?" I asked her father as I scooped her from his arms.

"I don't know. She just started crying. She wouldn't take the bottle." I used my usual comforting techniques (talking to her, bouncing her, nursing her) but none of them worked. She only cried louder. After a minute, I was beginning to get worried. She doesn't usually cry when I'm holding her, especially not this loud. I inspected her body to see if maybe something was hurting her, because it was one of those piercing, "I'm hurt" cries. Nothing. I tried all my techniques again, this time making a little prayer with each one. Still nothing. The cries just got louder.

I could feel my heart ripping as the cries worsened. I couldn't take it. I felt like she was saying "Help me, PLEASE! Do something!" And all I wanted was to do something, but I didn't know what. I couldn't figure out what she needed. That's a horrible feeling for a parent, to know that your child has a need that you can't meet. The one job I have it so take care of her and give her everything she needs and at that moment I felt like I was failing miserably. Finally, after about 5 minutes (which felt like an eternity) she quieted herself down and began slurping down milk like nothing had happened. Other than the red eyes and tear-stained cheeks, there was no evidence of what had just happened. She was completely back to normal, and I was forever changed.

Zara's Mommy,

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pacifier and Bottle Help?


I breastfeed Zara, but do offer her a pacifier and pumped milk in a bottle. She'll take them every now and then, but for the most part, she makes a face like I'm trying to feed her something horrible. Does anyone have any tips on how to get a breastfed baby to take a bottle?

Zara's Mommy,

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Zara's First Blow Out


This is going to take some getting used to. I'm used to being able to go and come as I please, do what I want when I want. If I wanted to go somewhere, I'd just grab my cell phone and lip gloss and hit the streets. Those days are gone. Zara isn't really taking a pacifier or bottle yet, so I rarely get to leave her home. So when I got a call from my cousin to take a trip to the City Marker, Zara had to come with me, which isn't a problem really. She's a pleasant baby that I love to be around, but she definitely put an end to my carefree days.

After getting her dressed, packing her bag with a bunch of things I may or may not need, tracking down her car seat and getting it installed in the car, I was ready to go. It wasn't a long ride and we were almost there when she started to wail, big time. I tried the whole "calm her down with my voice" tactic, but she wasn't having it. I had to pull over. So there I was on the side of the road, nuring my daughter in the back seat of a running car. I'm so not used to this.

I guess she had to get that one good cry in, because after that, she went to sleep and stayed sleep the entire time we were at the market. Of course, she decided to wake up when we sat down to eat at a delicious Vietnamese restaurant. So, I began my "holding, bouncing, discreetly nursing, all while trying to eat" juggling act.

That's when I felt it, the gigantic swatch of wet fabric on the back of her shirt. I flipped her over and tried to figure out where all this water came from. (Yes, I thought it was water at first.) It was my cousin, mother of a two-year-old, who clued me in: She had had (drum roll please) her first blow out. I had heard other parents speak of this phenomenon before, but paid it little attention. I was childless then and had no reason to listen to their stories of booboo mishaps. Now I have my own story. Luckily, I happened to have an extra pair of clothes in her bag. I took her into the bathroom (which wasn't child friendly) and managed to get her cleaned up and changed. I wrapped her dirty clothes up, put them in my bag, and thanked the Almighty that her booboo is still relatively odorless. I went back out into the restaurant and ate my now-cold food. It was still good. I was still happy. Just another day as a new mom.

Zara's Mommy,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Toddlers and Tiaras: Am I the only one grossed out by this show?


As if there weren't enough crazy reality shows, someone had to go and create Toddlers and Tiaras. For those that haven't seen it, it follows the lives of young girls (and I do mean young) and their mothers as they spend all their time, energy, and money on little girls' beauty pageants. And how do they win, you ask? By being their sweet, adorable selves? Perhaps I wouldn't be as grossed out by the show if that were the case, but it isn't. These young girls, that range anywhere from 3-10 years old, wear makeup, fake hair, fake tans, fake lashes, fake teeth, bikinis and short dresses as they prance and dance around the stage. And apparently no one sees a problem with this. Here's a clip.

Whatever happened to regular, unadorned little girls? You know, the loveable little creatures with frizzy ponytails, missing teeth and juice-stained tee shirts. Are they not enough anymore? I guess not, because these mothers are dressing their babies up, sometimes beyond recognition, and having them strut down a walkway, all in the hope of being crowd the best. Is it that important to these mothers to have their little girls acknowledged as pretty by complete strangers that they're willing to rob them of their innocence? By dressing them up in fake, adult accessories, they are teaching these girls that their looks are the most important part of them and that they should do everything to "perfect" them.

It's bad enough that the media is encouraging our precious girls to grow up too quickly, but to have their own mothers' endorsing this idea is a disease to our society. We're producing superficial, looks-obsessed girls that grow up into superficial, looks-obsessed women, women that are more likely to develop eating disorders, women that are at an increased risk of having low self esteem (though you wouldn't know it on the outside). When they develop a reality show about little girls and their academic, artistic, and athletic talents, I'll be the first to watch, but until then, I'm disgusted.

Zara's Mommy,

How to Love Your Baby


I've got some nerve, writing a how-to baby blog when my child is not even 60 days old yet. Oh well, it doesn't matter. I've been loving babies a lot longer than I've been a mother, so I've got a few skills. In general, loving babies comes naturally,but there are some tips that can make you even better at it. This is what my mother has taught me:

1.) Whatever baby wants, baby gets
My sweety is not even 2 full months yet, and I've already lost count of how many people have called her spoiled. But that doesn't stop me from holding her and comforting her as often as she'd like me to. Sure, it's time consuming, but I know that she needs it. Babies, especially new babies, need to know that the world is a safe place and that their needs will be met. Holding them a lot and answering their cries teaches them that. It calms them and does wonders for their brain development. Besides, everyone knows that babies grow like weeds and sooner or later, they won't want to be held at all.

2.) Talk to baby. She'll understand
It takes a while for babies to understand enough to respond, but they can feel the energy of your speech from birth. When you look into your honey's eyes and say "Mommy loves you sooo much!" she can feel that love, which leads me to the next tip.

3.)Be aware of your energy
Just as babies can feel your loving energy, they can also feel your anxiety and anger. Have you ever noticed that your baby cries when you're upset, sad or tense. Even if you don't say anything, they can feel that energy. If moma's happy, baby's happy. If moma's sad, baby's sad.

4.)Appreciate your baby
Having children is hard. I was told that before I became a parent and I'm learning that now that I am a parent. Between the sleepless nights, consistenly stained clothes and diminished free time, remember that your child is a blessing. Some people want children but can't have them. Others have had and lost them. So, to those of us that actually have them in our lives right now, be thankful.

Have any of these been helpful for you? Let me know. Leave a comment.
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Zara's Mommy,

The NONbeauty of Childbirth


Sorry to say, but childbirth is not beautiful. Ok, so it is in the philosphical, theoretical, a-new-life-is-entering-the-world sense, but in a this-hurts-like-hell, dear-Lord-help-me-please, I-think-I'm-going-to-die sense, it isn't beautiful at all. Don't misunderstand. I love my little darling dearly and would do it all again in a heartbeat, but that pain is something else.

Zara's mommy,
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