Hi sister, it’s nice to meet you.

I feel like I need to add a new tab to my blog called healing daddy issues. This is important work especially for those of us raising boys. I do believe King was sent to me to initiate that process. An unexpected consequence of fostering a relationship with my father is developing new relationships with siblings.

Surprise! I have two sisters. I met one this spring at her high school graduation. I was hesitant to go because I didn’t want to ruin her day. My father encouraged me to go. I wasn’t convinced that this was a good idea. You know me, I had a few questions. Would she be willing to meet another time? Does her Momma know I’m coming? Would meeting me make he anxious on her special day?

The baby bro calls asking me if I’m going. I started in with my questions and he promptly interrupted me by the second one. He suggested we call her and ask directly. Baby bro is a genius. Little sis followed up with me asking for my mailing address to send an invitation. It was settled. I was going.

I planned on meeting her after the graduation but fate would have it that we bumped into to each other during a bathroom run. She was sweet and embraced me. She looked very pretty. My dad makes good looking kids.

After the graduation there was a bunch of hurry up and wait. Dad tried to find little sis in crowd of people to take pictures. Baby bro and I hung around telling bad jokes. Here is an example:

Baby bro: If we grew up together you would be more fun.

Me: If we grew up together you would be more responsible.

The best humor stings. We all ended up at the graduation party which you know had me nervous. Then I found out it was out doors. It’s not that I don’t like nature, I respect mother earth and everything. It’s just that I don’t respect the mosquitos who feast on my body. I always leave outdoor events itchy and swollen. It was a lovely event and baby sister’s mother was especially kind to me. She asked about King and asked my opinion on the college little sis  was attending. By the end of our pleasant convo I promised I would keep an eye on her for the next 4 years.

Baby sis has sisters she grew up with. Of all the things I made up to worry about, I never concerned myself with the personalities of my sister’s sister. Big personality asked in a very loud voice if little sis wanted to help her STEP sister get some food. Both my father and little sis corrected her to say “half”. The odd thing is that big personality and little sis are also half sisters. Why did BP make such a big deal about that? I didn’t know but I took note.

While seated at a table with baby bro, dad, his wife and my husband; BP once again starts to loud talk. She turns around a points to baby bro and says to a guest “and that’s little sister’s brother.”

She turns back to her guest but not before making eye contact with me. Baby bro chuckles and says, “I see you have a fan.”

The husband was being super sweet and supportive or maybe he was just making sure I didn’t show out. Pranayama is a magical thing. Thank everything thats holy I have been doing my work. My little sister will be an hour away from me starting in September. I’m looking forward to getting to know her.

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Girls Trip: Movie Review

Before I actually talk about the movie I want to talk about the women that showed up to watch the movie. The day before the movie was released I tried to get tickets to go see it with my girlfriends. It was sold out. Then my husband and I decided to make it an early date night. We went to the 6:45 show. We arrived at 6:25 and there was not a decent seat left. We usually split up. Someone takes the concession line and the other finds an end seat. When I go to the movies by myself, I don’t have these problems because I bring my own snacks. There are levels to this.

Anyway, people were saving rows of seats with purses and sweaters. Annoyed, I found seats in the

Doing the most….

front of the theatre and in the middle of an aisle. The husband was heated. This also may not be a thorough review because I only heard 1/4th of the dialogue. Negroes like to talk to the screen and laugh longer than the joke requires. I paid my money to hear what was being said but I guess nobody cares about that.

The movie is hilarious. The stand out actress is Tiffany Haddish. Her career is about to take off. I don’t know how much she is really acting versus how much is just her being herself. She ain’t got no worries. Tyler Perry will keep her employed. Exhibit A:

It was great to see some of our favorite black actors together again. Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith are a recipe for success. Lorenz Tate gives us all the nostalgic feels and who doesn’t love Regina Hall?

For the eye candy we have Kofi Siriboe who is slowly coming for Idris’ spot. Along with the stellar cast; the plot also has substance.

The movie reminded me that women should make friendship a priority. Your girlfriends are the first relationships you have but it gets pushed to the back burner for spouses and children. Sisterhood is important for mental health.

Strong platonic bonds make life meaningful. I am also reminded that errybody got problems. No matter how your life looks from the outside looking in, there are always cracks in the wall. That is what makes us human, imperfection. It is important to be authentic in our friendships. When we are authentic, we can be vulnerable, when we are vulnerable, we grow. Trust is also important in friendship. A true friend knows where the bodies are buried. They will not tell your secrets or throw past transgressions in your face.

All of these aspects of friendship were explored in Girls Trip under a comedic guise, which is also important. My friends are funny, all in different ways, sometimes without trying. We have got this one life, it should be fun!

If you have girlfriends that are authentic, trustworthy and hilarious; cherish them, you are a rich woman.

Epilogue:

At the end of  movie when the ladies front line dance down New Orleans’ streets, an audience member got up out her seat and joined them. She told us she would show us how it really should be done and asked “anyone have a white rag.”

How to survive a road trip with a 4 year old.

My first road trip with King occurred when he was a toddler and we travelled from Virginia to Kentucky. This is a ten hour drive. With the short person it was fourteen. After one of the stops King refused to get back into the carseat. His back stiffened refusing to move. Then his entire body went limp. I couldn’t blame him, we were ill prepared.

My mother, King  and I just got back from a road trip. Based on this experience, I have figured out that the trip should correspond to the child’s age. King is four so roads trips including him should be no longer than four hours. Now enter Big momma, yemoja energy into the room. Yeye bullied me into taking a 6 hour trip to Charolette, North Carolina to visit my great aunt. My great aunt is the oldest living relative out of the 9 children my great grandmother gave birth to. She is 89; she can out walk you, will fight you to wash the dishes and expects to be carried to the hairdresser every two weeks to cover her gray.

For this trip I tried to be a little more prepared. We still had to make more stops than usually making the trip 7 hours instead of 6.  First tip, pack snacks! This seems obvious but being trapped in a car with a short person who is confined to a car seat will require food. Lots of food! If you think you have over packed, pack some more. I made turkey sandwiches, packed apple sauce, oranges, graham crackers, carrots, yogurt, granola, juice and water. That was for King alone. Then I packed snacks for Yeye and I. We had two bags full of snacks.

Invest in electronics. More than one option is preferable because kids like options. Again for emphasis, it is necessary since they are trapped in a carseat. King had his personal ipad kindle and we bought a portable dvd player. Also make a child friendly playlist so that you can sing songs together to past the time. King’s favorite song right now is “Larry Boy”. It’s very catchy and reminds me of a show tune but after hearing it for the 413th time, I’m good on family road trips for the rest of the summer.

I also recommend buying a backseat organizer so that your backseat won’t end up looking like the inside of a dump truck. I still haven’t figured out how to NOT have french fries buried in every crevice. Not eating in the car is not a reasonable option when you’re stuck in traffic with a hungry and tired child. To remedy this King vacuums my backseat every weekend. He thinks its fun and I revel in it. I know there will come a time where he will abhor doing any chore I request of him.

 

Also, make frequent bathroom stops. Even if the short person says they don’t have to go, insist that they try. I guarantee you that ten minutes after you leave the rest stop your child will start whining that they have to go pee. For my very trill parents bring along a portable toilet if you wish. That life is not for me. I have a boy so he can piss on the street if I’m under pressure………. judge yourself!

Thanksgiving will probably be the first time King travels on a plane. Moms (or Dads) out there do you have any tips? Leave them in the comments. And remember, I love you and want the best for you. Namaste!

 

 

But are you having fun though? 7 ways to add more fun into your life.

Hey Party People,

I am officially on summer break. Thank ya! The good Lawd ended the school year right before I passed out from exhaustion. I don’t appreciate being dragged to the edge like this! This school year we buried a principal and a student. I spent so much time taking care of others meanwhile I was being held together with cheap scotch tape. Ole church people teach you not to question God but that has never made any sense to me. I got questions, lot’s of them! Why lawd?

In an effort to fill the holes that were poked in my spirit I am being deliberate about having fun. Everyday this summer I am waking up with the desire to find more joy. You know I’m a social scientist and I love being my own guinea pig. You know I am a social scientist and I love being my own guinea pig. Click To Tweet Here are seven ways that I plan on having fun this summer, on purpose.

  1. Taking dance classes. Dance reminds me of my childhood. Growing up I took classes and performed. Dance allows me to be free and creative. It is also a beautiful place to channel my fire. Raqs shaqui aka belly dance, is a style of dance that I discovered as an adult. I have practiced off and on for years. This dance allows me to celebrate myself. In belly dance class I smile at myself in the mirror moving in the most natural feminine ways and having the best time!
  2. Yoga in nature. The emphasis is on my own personal practice. I know that placing my feet in grass is very grounding for me. The vitamin D is the best medicine for my depression. Early morning yoga in the park is a great way to start the day.
  3. Going to the pool more with the short person. I love spending time with the short person. At the pool King can practice what he is learning at his swim classes. I can stare at him in awe as his makes friends quickly and easily with other short people and adults. It is fun to play with your kids.
  4. Family field trips. We are going to the beach. The guys can build sand castles and I can sip adult beverages while catching up on my reading. Big fun!
  5. Grown up time with the hubby. Gets your mind out of the gutter, but you can leave your body there. Ha! I don’t necessarily mean doing the grownup although that is always a bonus, I simply mean dating. I want to go out with my husband and have a good time, doing things that we like to do without the short person. Sorry King, you can’t go!
  6. Playing in makeup. My look is flawless natural. This look requires makeup. Never mind the contradiction. I have been having a ball finding which concealer, foundation and lipsticks look best on me. I am learning what my facial assets are and where I need to embellish. This summer I am going to try different highlighters. When the sun  hits my face I want to shimmer and catch your eye. Make you look again! LOL, such foolishness, but that’s the point!
  7. I’m going to create more content! Blogging is fun for me. Yes, it’s a tool to journal my healing and a place to offer tried and true resources to help mothers stay sane while working fulltime. But it is also a place where I get to try new things, take chances and improve. That’s fun for me.

Shakira, my belly dancer sister sums it up best:  “If I can contribute to people having fun, I would feel very fulfilled as an artist.”

Start watching at 2:23 for the hot dance sequence. This video is dated and the old technology may annoy you. The the choreography will last a lifetime.

I love you and want the best for you. Namaste!

~Thembi

So you want to read more but don’t have the time?

As a working mother I live by my schedule. I’m a full time counselor, a part-time yoga instructor and full time mom and wife. I also have to fit in exercise which is no longer for vanity but for optimal health. And let us not forget that the short person and my husband want to eat. I like to say that I don’t watch much TV but the truth is I have no time during the week and the weekends are for family. Even though I teach folks to stay present, I often feel nostalgia for the times when I could finish reading a book in a day without interruption.

I know myself well enough to know that reading is important to me. Even though I feel like I have less time to do the things I enjoy, I have to figure out a way to make it happen. Prioritize joy! Click To Tweet Here are some ways I was able to fit more reading time into my life.

Read during your lunch break.

Sometimes I sit in the break room and fraternize with my colleagues but at least 2 times out of the week I go to my car to read my book and eat my lunch. The silence is blissful. I am currently reading You Are A Badass. I highly recommend it.

Keep books in the bathroom. 

My son has been known to follow me into the bathroom but he is quiet as long as he is near me. There are also times when I lock him out because sometimes you just want to shit in peace. Depending on how your colon is set up you can get 30-45 minutes of reading in. And for you super regular people who BM in 10 minutes; stay on the pot nobody knows what you are doing.

Take the train instead of flying.

This is a twofer. You save money by taking the train and you gain time to read because it will take you longer to get to your destination. This is a perfect way to get more reading time in when traveling for work. Train rides are my favorite way to cuddle up with a book. Click To Tweet 

Read during your pedicure.

I get regular pedicures. I spend a lot of time barefoot as a yoga instructor and I want something pretty to look at. I use this time to relax and read. I purposely leave my cellphone in the car. Gasp! So that I am not tempted to get on my device. This time is specifically for reading. I have also had to tell the lovely lady removing dry skin and ingrown nails to stop talking to me. I know she is being chatty because she wants a nice tip. Ma’am its unnecessary, shut your pie hole. Your tip is the same no matter what.

Try audio books.

This is kind of cheating but moms have to create short cuts all the time for our sanity. I have a nice commute to and from work. Big Magic is kind of thick and I need something inspirational playing in the background as I navigate traffic. There is also a better chance that I will finish it as an audible book. There are at least four unfinished books sitting on my nightstand. Summer break is coming, so maybe I’ll be able to finish a book or two.

Working moms, how do you prioritize reading?