Love Letters – Cousins

 

My niece is spending some time with my Munch and they’re having a ball. She’s 17 and headed to college next month. He’s 8 and headed to the third grade.

My niece and I are very close. She’s the oldest grandchild.  She’s pretty special. That being said my son has been missing her like crazy.

He asked what if she goes away and forgets about me? “She won’t” I responded. He was really serious though. So, they’re playing together and hanging out for a couple of days. He’s ecstatic. But, they do get on each other’s nerves. But reading this makes my heart melt.

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Whose Your Daddy?

This post is prompted by what I witnessed earlier this month when the internet was all upset over the fact that R&B singer and model, Ciara, shared a video of her family. She’s newly married and in the video her son asks Momma for a kiss. She gives him one. He then asks “Poppa” for a kiss. His new stepfather, Russell Wilson, is whom he is affectionately referring to as Poppa. Men were so upset at this. They felt as though the mother should stop her son from calling him Poppa because he’s not the biological dad.

So, I wondered what is appropriate for children to call the new spouse of their parent?  Do you find it offensive if a child refers to the other parent as momma, dad, poppa, mommy? Would you be okay with your son or daughter calling the new parent Mom, Dad, Poppa, etc? Does age matter? Ciara’s son is only 2 years old and she has primary custody.

In my opinion I think it boils down to ego. How we as adults handle what we perceive as someone coming in and taking our spot. Munch is 8 and my ego is not going to prevent my son from having a relationship with his new parent. I don’t say “step” because I don’t want my son to feel like there is some sort of irregularity with the new situation. It’s another person to love and share in the upbringing of him.

I could care less if Munch wants to call another woman mom. Why? Because I’m Munch’s mommy. That’s it and that’s all. That’s what he calls me. Honestly, if his dad should remarry and my son wanted to refer to the new parent as “Mom” because he calls me Mommy. I would be okay with it.

I wouldn’t feel threatened that my role is somehow diminished if my son wanted to call his dad’s new wife Mom. Nothing will ever change the fact that he’s my son. It just means that he has two moms who love the heck out of him.

Now, Mr. C said “Whatever, T. It’s a man thing. Your ex-husband wouldn’t be cool with your son calling another man Dad.” I laughed and said, “He’d be fine.” But, I really wanted to know. So, I asked him and you know what? He was fine with it.

He said that whatever Munch felt comfortable calling my new spouse he would support. It wouldn’t bother him because he knows that he’s Munch’s father and now Munch has someone else loving and taking care of him.

Pretty amazing huh? He wasn’t threatened. He felt that another parent loving our son is awesome and Munch would be blessed to have two dads. I liked that.

There are still some things that matter to us and one of those is what is best for Munch. Co-parenting has its own struggles but when you have two parents striving to love the heck out of their kids regardless of their own egos, it makes it easier. Don’t worry what your child chooses to call the new parent and just work on making the new parent feel included.

It won’t be easy, but trust me when I tell you that it really does take a village. That bonus parent is now a part of that village.

Random Photos in My Cell Phone – 7/28/2016

Here are some random photos in my phone from the last couple of months:

My nieces and nephews with Munch
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Munch & Me after church.
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Munch after getting his face painted at the UniverSoul Circus
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Munch getting his soccer trophy for Spring soccer.
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Munch practicing his bike riding skills
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The beautiful beach and clouds in Miami.
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The flower bouquet that I picked up at the Farmer’s Market for my desk.
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My daily breakfast of yogurt with granola and cinnamon to reduce my glucose.
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The crack in the windshield of the rental car I just picked up. Thank God I got the rental insurance.
Munch and my nephew wrestling
My nephew showing his camera ready smile

What Are We Waiting For?

All these atrocities occurring all over the world have definitely put a damper on blogging and in all actuality reading some of your blogs. I get it. We are so exhausted from the fact that it seems like non-stop tragedy after tragedy. We appear to be on a roller coaster of highs and lows and when will it end? When will we stop feeling like we are watching a horror film play on the nightly news or on our cell phone alerts? Can we catch a break?

We are all getting burned out. Waiting for the next tragedy. Waiting for the next police shooting. Waiting.

It didn’t help that as soon as I came back from a wonderful weekend of sun and fun I had to attend an Active Shooter Training at my job. Really? All this tragedy in the world and I need to attend this right now? Ugh!

The officer who taught the class was very thorough and it was informative, but it really dampened my mood. I started worrying and waiting for the next dang tragedy or atrocity to occur. I mean isn’t this what we’re all doing? Waiting.

We need to stop waiting for tragedy and just wait on the Lord. I had to accept that. I’m waiting for man, when I should be waiting on God.

Isaiah 40:31 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.

Tragedy is going to happen, but we can’t get so consumed that we forget to live. We have to live. We have to have fun. We have to do silly things. We have to have meaningless conversations. We have to stop waiting for more tragedy and just rejoice in the fact that we are alive and blessed.

Here’s 5 Things You Can Do Instead of Wait:

  1. Learn a new hobby or craft. I decided to journal. Journal random thoughts or pictures of interest. Quirks or phrases. Hey, they might actually make a blog topic sometime.
  2. It’s the summer. Even if your funds are limited take day trips to places. Munch and I are doing a day trip to the beach early next month. Can’t wait.
  3. Read an interesting book. I love the smell of books even though I read a lot of books on my IPad, but check around some of your bloggers may have books that are out that you can read and review.
  4. Spend time with friends and family. Yes, remember that this is the season for cookouts and reunions. Share some fun and laughter with your friends and family. Just get out of the house and experience life by taking photos with your loved ones.
  5. Volunteer work. This is an excellent opportunity to give back to your community and realize how blessed you are. There are people who are homeless, sick or need mentors. Whatever your heart’s desire, be compelled to spend some time with others in need. It helps renew you on the fact that we have real issues that we need to focus on.

There you have it. Stop waiting and start living. Start enjoying the life you have because you only get one.

 

 

The Bike Riding Chronicles

So, a couple of weeks ago I began teaching my son how to ride his bike. Yes, I’m late. No, I don’t have an excuse. Yes, I actually do have an excuse…he didn’t understand how to peddle. LOL!

Not a good excuse huh?

Well, I actually bought him another bike in May because he was too tall for the other bike. I got an 18 inch bike with training wheels. It’s the tallest bike that they had a Toys R’Us that has training wheels. But, he was excited.

We bought the helmet, but I passed on the arm and shin guards thinking that a little scrape never hurt no body. Okay, not true. I was being cheap. My munch was so happy to get a new bike and helmet he didn’t care. He just wanted to ride.

We finally took the bike out and began practicing and it was a hot dang mess. Can you believe it? He complained the entire time and couldn’t figure out the circular motion of pedaling. I was hot, tired and frustrated. He wasn’t even trying.

I literally got in my car and cut the AC up and made him practice without me while I called Mr. C to complain. He laughed, “I’ve been there, but you have to keep at it. He’ll get it.” I sighed. “No he won’t” I said. “Do you think riding a bike is important?” he asked. “No” I responded. He told me that it is and I needed patience.

He wasn’t out here in the baking sun with his hair curling up trying to teach Munch how to ride a bike. He was at home in the AC. He suggested that I push Munch while he’s pedaling so that he can see the pedaling at work. I agreed and that worked. Can you believe it?

Munch started pedaling by himself. I was so super proud. I shot a video and sent it to his dad and Mr. C. His dad was so happy. Our son was getting it. We felt like we were doing something. Wow!

Mr. C on the other hand told me that the seat was too low and that’s why my Munch was struggling. “You need to raise the seat” he said. “I don’t know how to do that” I stated. “He replied, “I’ll do it”. Umm, I liked that.

Guess what? He did it too.

My baby is getting more confident on that bike and I don’t feel we’re ready to take the training wheels off just yet, but I can’t be happier. I love that he’s crossed two major milestones this year…learning to tie his shoes and to ride a bike. Baby steps that are finally paying off.

Yay Munch!

Respect My Boundaries

I received a lot of feedback on my post yesterday Dear Sis – F*ck Them and I wanted to explain some things to those who may feel that my words were too harsh. Women (myself included) were brought up to be nice and such and that will sometimes hurt us more than anything. It means that we allow people into our space that will disrespect us to the point of no return.

Why? Because we were taught to always be polite. As I’ve aged I realized that is the biggest bunch of S*it! I don’t have to be polite to the point that I am a walking mat for those in my life. That’s not what life is about. We need to teach our young women that it is okay not to be polite.

I’m not saying that you teach her to be mean. She just doesn’t need to lay down and play nice with everyone. Teach her that boundaries are okay and explain how she should handle it when her boundaries are crossed. I never understood that.

My girlfriend said to me that her daughter doesn’t like to speak to people. I knew this. Her daughter often ignored me. I was cool with it. I can ignore with the best of them. I didn’t have any ill will towards this little girl, but I respected her decision to not engage and truth be told, sometimes I didn’t want to engage.

But, how many of us teach our children (especially little girls) that they should always smile, always speak and always be polite? Why? The world isn’t always polite to us and we don’t owe anyone anything. Sometimes I don’t want to speak. Sometimes I don’t want to smile and sometimes I just want to go about my merry way without feeling the need to “play nice”.

Now, there is nothing wrong with having manners. I’m not saying that you don’t teach your children how to respect people and not curse folks out, but you don’t have to teach them to hug or speak to folks when they don’t want to.  Why are we teaching our little girls to smile at everyone and everything?

Not everyone deserves my smile, time or attention.

I want people in my life and in my space who I have a symbiotic relationship with. People who bring me joy and whom genuinely care about my well being. I don’t want to put up with anymore BS from people that want drama and want me to engage in childish games. I’m to old for that. I don’t owe you any niceties. I don’t have to be nice when you call or text if you call or text every couple of months for random stuff. I don’t have to spare your feelings when I talk about what a jerk you were to me and how you weren’t man enough for me.

I don’t care. You don’t like it? Kick rocks! No skin off my back. You see, I’ve learned that the only person that I have to be good to is me. By being good to me and clearly defining and sticking to my boundaries I don’t allow BS to penetrate my circle anymore. I don’t owe you anything. You think I do? Well F*ck you and the high horse you rode in. Life’s too short!

I’m done putting up with BS people and BS situations. I’m all about the positive and engaging in meaningful relationships. Not every interaction will bring that but I am old enough and wise enough to stay the hell away from those that don’t.

 

Malicious Comments

Hey Folks,

Can I ask a question? What do you do when you receive malicious comments on your site that are hate filled? Do you publish them? Do you respond to ignorance or do you ignore?

The reason that I’m asking is because I received this comment from my post on the transgender bathroom issue: My 2 Cents: Transgender Restroom Issue

Here’s the comment I received this weekend:

Malicious

All those transgender are no more than a pervert and lovers of perversion sexual immoral and sexual immorality.
Now there is no cite that can even prove that a person is even born in the wrong body, for it is impossible to be born in the wrong body.
It is just evil and wrong if a person says that it should be okay for a boy to use the girls bathroom and it is just wrong for a girl to use the boys’bathroom.
Now if you like the idea of having a girl using the boys’ bathroom them why not say there is no such thing as a sex crime, for the same thing should be correct if you like the idea of having a boy us the girls’ bathroom and say there should be no sex crime as well.
Are you saying that rape should be legal too if a boy is to be allowed to use the girls’ bathroom. Is rape to be allowed if a girl is to be use the boys’ bathroom?
Those that are saying it is and there is no harm allowing a girl to use the boys’ bathroom are saying rape is legal, and by allowing a boy to use the girls’ bathroom the very same thing.
The people that agree that a girl should be allowed to use the boys’bathroom happen to say it is okay for anyone to view the girl’s private body parts too. The ones that agree that a boy can use the girls’ bathroom are saying it is okay to view a boy’s private body parts too.
Okay now that must be the truth to what I am seeing in these post that happen to agree and say it is okay, for they are the perverts that love the idea of having sex crimes legals.
Now you cannot have it two ways, for either you like sex crimes or being a pervert say it is okay to allow boys to use the girls bathroom and a girl to use the boys bathroom and to have and allow others to view the opposite genders private body parts.
I am against the idea of having a girl use the boys bathroom and the boys using the girls bathroom because of the reason that in order to prevent rape and unwanted viewing of a private body parts or either a boy or a girl. I feel that we should protect the children from such things and the perverts of the world.
The one problem with having a girl use the boys bathroom is how does she pee standing up?
That is right I would never want to see a girl in the men bathroom when I am in there using it.

Now, I don’t believe that everyone should agree on everything. I know and respect differences of opinions, but what I don’t like is hate. Why would you ever refer to transgenders as “perverts and lovers of perversion sexual immoral or sexual immorality?” That’s not true. That’s hateful and the person that responded needs a reality check.

I was wondering if I should approve the comment and let all my readers/bloggers respond to this hateful imbecile? I mean would you do it? Would you stand up for what is right?

Here’s my response to the person who posted this:

Sir, I’ve used a man’s bathroom when the line at the ladies room was around the corner and I had to go really bad. I didn’t stand up. I actually went in the stall and hunched over the toilet seat afraid I’d catch something. That didn’t make me perverted, but smart. I had to pee. So, guess what…pee is what I did.

As I said in my post, I still have my 8 year old son come to the ladies room with me for the most part because I’m worried about pedophiles not transgenders. I don’t want a man who is a pedophile looking at my son. I don’t let him shower after swim class. I take him to the family bathroom and dry him off and we shower at home. You’re worried about transgenders? You should be doing more to protect the children from the pedophiles that are lurking in our society. Better yet? Your own neighborhood or family. Those sickos are not transgender so please stop confusing it.

 

Dear Sis – F*ck Them

Dear Sis,

I know that you are hurting. I know that life right now seems unbearable. The pain that you feel when people who love you seem to disrespect you and your feelings has you wondering what the hell did you do. You cry. You try to explain. You become emotionally drained. You blame you.

You think that there is something wrong with you. What could you have done to make people treat you so bad? When will joy come? Why can’t people just be of good character? You toss and turn and try to find joy in the little things so people don’t see your tears. So, your friends don’t see the pain behind your fictitious smile.

But, I want to tell you this sis…F*CK THEM!

You have to stop trying to figure out what you did and start eliminating people from your life that don’t wish you well. See sis, you only have one life to live and you don’t have time for folks wishing to destroy your happiness. Not everyone will be happy for you. Some will envy you. Some will turn their own unhappiness with life on you and make you think that it is your fault.

But, it’s not.

You need to understand that no matter how fair that you are or how fairly you treat people that some people need you to be miserable with them. It’s in times of chaos that I want you to remember how intricately and divinely made you are. I need you to seek comfort in knowing that if you live your best life and be a good person then F*CK what other people say or do.

How do you know if you should say F*CK You?

  • Do they pay your bills? Nope, then you should say F*CK you and your non-paying a**. I don’t need you to survive and you can kick rocks.
  • Do they pay your salary? Nope. Say – F*CK you because you are a non-important factor in my livelihood.
  • Do they provide any of your basic needs? Nope. Say – F*CK you and all that you think you are. Your opinions have no bearing on my survival.
  • Are they malicious in their words and deeds to you? Yes. Say – F*CK you and your selfish tail. I hope that you find someone who treats you ten times as bad as you treat me so you can hopefully learn the error of your ways.
  • Are they living a life in which you admire by being of good character? No. Say – F*CK you and get your own life. Grow up and take care of yourself for at least 3 years and maybe I will learn to respect you.
  • Are they disrespectful to you in written, verbal or in any physical form? Yes. Say – F*CK you and all that you are and stand for. I don’t have to take your BS and you should just go kick rocks, enroll in college and one day get a job where you can afford to buy a clue.

Little sis – Sometimes it’s easier to hold on to people and things that hurt us instead of walking away. But, you have to let go and love people from a distance. Don’t trust those that don’t wish you well. Don’t let them occupy space in your mind. You deserve to take care of your own mental health first.

When Your BFF Needs Love

Hey loves,

So, my BFF was feeling blue this weekend and I decided to stop by one of my favorite donut shops “The Fractured Prune” and get her some sugary love. I sent her the menu and told her to select her goodness because I was bringing it over after I picked up Munch from camp.

Look at this goodness:

 
It made her happy which is what I wanted.

Sometimes making someone else smile is the best thing you can do.

Behind the Scenes Blogging Tag

I saw this post on Stephanie’s Making Time for Me blog and wanted to participate. I thought it was a great way to get to know me and for me to know you. I want you to join in on the fun as well.

  1. Where Do You Blog?  Usually at work. I draft out my ideas and work on them at home. Rarely do I write a new post at home from beginning to end. I haven’t hooked up my desktop since I moved so I hate blogging on the laptop. Not sure why, but it is easier when I’m sitting at a desk to organize my thoughts.
  1. Where Do You Find Inspiration For Your Blog Posts? Everywhere. This blog is a reflection of me and my life and everything around me. I love being able to bring you into my world and walking with you on this journey.
  1. How Long Does It Take You To Write a Blog Post?  About an hour depending on the subject. If it’s a hot topic it may be longer. If not I pretty much know what I’m going to say.
  1. Do You Plan Your Blog Posts? How?  For the most part yes. I have an outline of topics that I want to talk about and then I write the posts and schedule them. If something news breaking happens I write those impromptu.
  1. What Kind of Camera Do You Use? What Editing Program?  Usually I take photos on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. I mainly edit them on Photo Grid and post them.
  1. Do You Use a Notebook To Track Your Ideas?  Yes, believe it or not. I have a journal that a friend gave me for Christmas and I journal my ideas and thoughts. I’m old school like that. LOL.
  1. How Do You Take Your Pictures?  My cell phone.
  1. What’s Your Favorite Type of Blog Post to Write?  My parenting stories are my favorite. Whether it be my co-parenting struggle or my son’s accomplishments, those are definitely my favorite.
  1. Who Knows About Your Blog?  Umm, I don’t know. Apparently a lot of my church friends read them. Some I didn’t even know of. It’s weird. My friends read my posts (the guy I dated a couple of years ago, my best friend Nikki and Mr. C). My cousins read my blog, but my siblings or mother don’t. That initially bothered me but I read a post on someone’s blog that said something like “your journey is not theirs and you can’t resent folks for not taking it with you.” That was pretty powerful and I stopped worrying about who didn’t read it. However, it is a requirement to be in a relationship with me.
  1. Are You an Organized or a Messy Blogger?  I would say organized. I’m a planner so I tend to utilize that need to plan out things to my advantage. I’ve not posted because I didn’t have anything to say so I don’t just do it for the clicks. I do it because I want to bring you into my world.
  1. Biggest Blogging Pet Peeve?  Bloggers that don’t engage with their readers. When I’m the only one reading and commenting on your posts and you never take the time to do the same, I stop reading. I read between 150-250 posts a day and although I don’t comment on every single one, I do like, tweet and reblog some great posts. I try to let the bloggers know that I’m engaged. I appreciate the same courtesy.