Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Photo Dump Wednesday: They saw a mouse!

One of the advantages of having JOE & JAE at home is that they get to spend a ton of time together building their relationships while learning and having lots of adventures. I believe that people should learn not just while in class but also from their environment. Having them at home has definitely been a way to do this. 

JOE and JAE love spending time with each other. While occassionally they "fight" about things, I love how their eyes light up when they see each other after being apart. JOE will often ask "where is my baby?" and JAE often says "dan dan dan". They are the cutest pair.

Last week, they were home for the most part due to the blizzard we got in the area. J was home for a few days and I got to telework most of the week. It was nice to not have to commute into work because it gave me extra time with them. Part of being home also meant teaching JOE her numbers, learning how to use the abacus to count as well as learning 3-letter words. It was a little challenging but incentives in the form of cookies definitely make the process go much smoother :-D.  





This week, they were finally able to get out and enjoy the "warmer" weather. So they headed out to the mall. Yes, I dressed them similarly. I know I know...it is my way of justifying not dressing them the same :-D. I do think they look very cute though.



JAE is now at an age where she can chase JOE around and play with her. I love that they are doing more playing together. 



JAE is also more interactive and can do some things on her own. She loves to exert her independence whenever she can. I love her strong determined nature.




This week, they went to Chuck E. Cheese to see the mouse himself! As you can see, my fearless JAE got to "ride" a car.




While JOE got to play wackamole.




They both also enjoyed playing together.






After all was said and done, the girls got to enjoy some pizza and milk. Yum!




When their child care provider sent me this picture, I thought "hmmm...where was this? And I don't think I have this shirt!"
Then I took a closer look and realized this is NOT me!!! Apparently, this lady looked so much like me that my normally "stranger shy" JAE went to the lady! Yeah...I have a doppleganger out there!




And of course, here is JAE hanging out with the mouse himself!




She was not even afraid of him.




Fearless JAE again clapping for them. The performance must have been very good :-).



In other news, this is something else I enjoy doing on Sundays. When we go to church, I try to make sure we all wear complimenting colors :-D. JOE (her sweater is on the stairs behind us) and JAE had a similar (color-wise) outfit on. J also had a burnt orange sweater on as well. 
J never gets why I do this. I told him it is to ensure that when folks see us, they know we are a unit. I know...special...but I like it :-D.


I love this little girl! Her laughter is infectious!


And of course, a mommy/daughter selfie with my little ones. They are just so awesome and I am so thankful to God for making me their mom!


I hope you're having a pretty good week. I am hoping to get back into doing and posting more DIY stuff soon. I am waiting to be done pumping since that takes up a lot of my time. JAE is almost 10-months! I plan on pumping until she turns 1. I might go beyond but I'll only be doing it once a day for as long as I continue to produce enough for her. 
I can say though that I see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as "hanging up my horns"! Woohoo!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Photo Dump Wednesday: Moments in time

This year, I am doing a lot of reflection and reminding myself of all that I have to be thankful for. I am taking pictures both mentally and physically of all that is beautiful around me to remind myself that even in the midst of chaos, there is always a reason to smile and be thankful.

Here are just some of the moments I am thankful for over the last couple of weeks. 

I went to Wal-mart a couple of weeks ago and saw these. They looked so beautiful that I had to get them. And yes, these are real flowers. Obviously artificially dyed but still beautiful nonetheless. 








I am thankful for God's beautiful creation.



On MLK day, J had to work for part of the day. JOE told me "momma, you cook everyday so today, I will make you breakfast!" She proceeded to organize and have a tea party for JAE and I. 
I am thankful for this beautiful girl's consideration and her imagination.



We had a great time!




One night last week, we decided to take mommy/daughter selfies. I love that JOE now makes faces as well when I tell her to take selfies. JAE clearly thought we were both bonkers :-).



I am thankful for the silly faces and the smiley ones.



I am thankful for this moment almost 5-years ago. This picture recently reminded me of just how happy we were on our wedding day. This was at our wedding reception. 
I am also thankful for my sisters and niece and nephew in the background.




Last weekend, the DMV area had the first snow storm of the season. J, JOE and I had a great time playing the Wii! JOE actually did pretty good. I know not a lot of people still play the Wii but this was definitely a fun family activity especially since we were all snowed in. 
I am thankful for this precious father/daughter moment of J teaching JOE how to play.


We decided to build a snowman after the snow. JOE used to be scared of the snow. 
I am thankful for her growing up and overcoming her fears to enjoy the beautiful scenery.



I am thankful for the family moment with JOE, JAE and J and our first family snowman :-).



I am thankful for JOE experiencing/making her first snow angel. The concept was a little foreign to her but she enjoyed it and didn't want to go back in the house.



I am thankful for being able to be silly! Yes, I also wanted to make a snow angel :-D.



I am thankful for sisterly love. I asked them both to smile. JOE smiled and JAE decided to stick out her tongue. Goofy but cute!



I am thankful for quiet moments cuddled with this little princess. 



I am thankful for life, love and family. What are you thankful for today? Look around you? I am sure you can find something to be thankful for and if you can't, look at the screen. The fact that you have a computer or phone to read this post means you have a reason to be thankful...you can be thankful for the internet!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Photo Dump Wednesday: Milestones

I was planning on doing this post yesterday but of course, work took priority and I didn't get a chance to post it. 

We have had several milestones in the last few weeks!

Last week, JOE had her first official visit to the dentist. She went with me 6-months ago to get a feel for the place as recommended by my dentist. Then last week, she got to sit in the chair and have her teeth observed. It was so cool. JOE asked A TON of questions and wouldn't stop talking. The dentist was very impressed with her. 
She did great!











Then there's my other little sunshine JAE aka "speedracer" cause she is racing through all of her milestones at lightening speed!

JAE started crawling just before she turned 5-months. She started going up the stairs a little before she was 6-months and then started pulling herself up to stand at 7-months. At 8-months, she decided to take her first steps! JOE didn't start making attempts to walk until closer to 10-months so she is well ahead of her sister. She started with a step here and there and as of last night, she is taking 6-8 steps at a time. 

She still doesn't have any teeth yet but you couldn't tell from the way she gnaws on her food! Of course I have to chew it for her some to make it softer and only give her smaller pieces but she really loves to eat "grown folks food!" 

I also started doing her hair since it has been getting in her eyes. Nothing too tight or too labor intensive but I find that she can't just do the "wash and go" anymore. :-). 
She LOVES to smile and is just an all around happy baby. She also LOVES to explore her environment and find out why things happen the way they do. For example, everytime she watches the iPAD (which isn't very often), she will turn it around to find out where the characters are coming from. Of course she is too little to understand but I love that she is curious. 
Although, J and I have found ourselves child-proofing areas we never had to with JOE. We still count it all joy :-).

My little princess turned 9-months last Sunday.
















I love that they now spend more time playing together. JAE is content just being around her sister and loves to chase her around where possible. I love to watching the growing bond between my daughters. 





And here is a goofy picture of me and the girls. Our mommy daughter selfie. Feeling very blessed!


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

3Ehairupdate - 2015 hair update for me and my minis

I began my transitioning journey in February of 2014. Although, my last texlax was in October of 2013. 
I big chopped in October of 2014 and have officially been fully natural for 16-months! The time has FLOWN by and I have enjoyed the journey so far because it has been a really easy one for me.

When I first thought about going natural, my other 3 sisters were already natural. My youngest sister encouraged me to do it. Seeing how all of their hair was thriving encouraged me to do the same. We all share DNA afterall and I figured if it was working for them, it would work for me as well. 
They have been really supportive throughout my hair journey. 

Check us out. 4 natural sisters.  





While visiting NC for Christmas, I decided to do an impromptu length check. Boy, was I surprised when I saw the length!



Check out the 14-months difference below. 


While in NC, I primarily had my hair in a loose puff but for Church on Sunday, I decided to do a bun using my handy bun maker. I have to say I love the way it turned out. 



I haven't flat ironed my hair since making the decision to go natural and as a result, I haven't done a real length check. So on New Year's Eve, I decided to get my hair flat ironed. 
I have to admit that for me, it was more a curiosity thing and I wanted to have a week of straightened "easier to manage" hair. 
So first, I water washed my hair at home and applied my home oil mix to my scalp. Then I put a tee-shirt around my head and headed out.



I went to a Dominican Hair Salon. I have often heard people talk about the high temperature of the heat they use and I was a little scared since I didn't want to suffer heat damage. 
The experience was definitely different. Not different as in bad. Just different. 
And to be honest, they do use a lot of heat. Considering no heat protectant was used there, I was a little concerned about what would happen after I washed my hair. 





The lady who did my hair was very nice and also patient. And this was the final result. I liked the way it turned out and I was really surprised of how much my hair has grown!






Here is a side by side of my hair. The picture on the left is the last picture I took of my hair while it was texlaxed and still healthy. The one on the right is from NYE. I am AMAZED of how much my hair has grown in 26 months (since my last texlax in October 2013)! Can you believe that?


Anyways, I came to realize quickly why going natural was an awesome decision for me. I don't know how to maintain straightened hair and I ended up putting it in a bun and trying to figure out what to do with it. It took me more time to figure it out than it does regularly when my hair is in its natural state. Plus I now know why women with straight hair don't like moisture! Within a couple of days, I had puff closer to my scalp and straight ends. Not pretty.
This was one of the styles I decided to do. I wore it for 4 out of 5-days last week. I really liked the way it turned out. 







At the end of the day, I now know I really love being natural and I won't be straightening my hair anytime soon. Perhaps at the end of the year for another length check. 

 I was very concerned though that my hair wouldn't revert. But thankfully, all I had to do was lather my hair with conditioner, put on my conditioning cap for an hour and co-wash it. 



I then applied my staple leave in conditioner and some coconut oil.


And it was back! My curls were back! YAY!!!






My minis:
JOE's hair continues to grow and grow and grow. It is still a struggle to get her hair done. I am trying to come up with ways to get her to be more involved with doing her hair in hopes that it would encourage her to relax when I do her hair. So far, it isn't working but I will continue to try.





Every now and then, I ask her if she would like to cut her hair and she says "no momma, I like my hair, I am Sapunzel!" Sapunzel = Rapunzel :-).






JAE's hair is also growing fast! Now, it gets in her eyes so I often put it in pigtails or use a clip to hold it back after loosely braiding it. I avoid holding it too tight. So far, she is much better when it comes to doing her hair. It isn't as much of a struggle as it is with JOE. 















This year, I plan to continue doing what I've been doing with my hair. As they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! 
You can also find my hair updates on Instagram using the hashtag "#3EHairupdate".