4 Things I Learned while Self-Publishing

Great tips from KE! Please read and share.

#1 Outsource your cover design; however, be mindful about how much you pay. The same person who designed the Kwoted cover also created The Unhappy Wife cover. This time around, she charged $265. Th…

Source: 4 Things I Learned while Self-Publishing

Releasing Expectations – Part II

In continuing with last Friday’s post about my expectations when it came to co-parenting my ex and I had another issue that came up…

Issue #2 – The Tutoring Program

The second week of school I had received a flyer in Munch’s book bag about a tutoring program in Math and Reading. The program said 12 weeks for $150 for children in K through 5th grade. I put it to the side and said I would call them to learn more about it.

We went out of town and I forgot about the flyer. I pulled it out last week and called the name on the flyer to learn more about the program. The gentleman that I spoke to was really nice and told me to come to the first session. He explained the program and that the first session is testing to see where the children test and then we have curriculum to support their learning.

I agreed and began the long task of speaking to my ex-husband about the program. Mainly because it is on Friday evenings from 6:30 to 8 pm. We transition Munch on Fridays. His dad gets his haircut every Friday evening and when Munch is due for a haircut he will usually schedule that as well. However, this educational opportunity was affordable and we needed to make sure that Munch stayed current with math.

So, I had to talk to my ex. I was thinking that this would be an awesome opportunity for us to help our son with his struggles in math before the year ended. Munch’s old tutor was a freshman in college and although he was local, he was trying to figure out college before jumping back into tutoring. He asked me to give him until November. I agreed. I understood what it was like to be a college student.

I talked to my ex about the program and he said, “No, that’s our time. That’s when we get our hair cut.” I paused. I asked “Can’t you change your appointments until another day? It’s 12 weeks.” We went back and forth with him saying no repeatedly. I offered to take my son every Friday and meet him after the session to exchange Munch.

The answer was still no.  I was hot. These haircuts are not more important than your son getting the help he needs in math. We were at an impasse.

I had thrown off the gloves and took the stance of take me to court and see if you will win because no judge will side with you on haircuts and a track record of math issues with me paying for tutor and the grades improving because he went. I was angry and heartbroken. Why in the heck was this man making my life miserable? What kind of father makes the decision to go and get haircuts instead of tutoring.

I was doing a f*uck You and everything you stand for stance. It was stressful. I couldn’t believe that my ex was acting like an ass. A big ole’ hairy ass. But, then I stopped to reflect. I wondered was the issue deeper than the program or more about the fact that we had a failure to communicate? It was easier to walk away from this man and just parallel parent instead of co-parent, but the ramifications to Munch would have been horrific.

Munch would be caught in the middle between two adults who can’t seem to get their stuff together. Was that fair to him? Was our inability to reach common ground going to destroy the best thing that ever happened to us? I sighed.

I hoped not. I gave it a few days and then revisited the subject in another phone call the day of the program. We needed to talk. I started off by reminding him that when we initially go together it was our values and morals that allowed us to align our spirits and become husband and wife. I told him that those same desires allowed us to become parents to Munch. He agreed.

I reminded him that if we share similar values and morals why couldn’t he understand that I wasn’t trying to take his son from him? Why couldn’t he see that no matter what I only want the best for our son and I know that he does too. I explained that we can’t allow extracurricular activities to impede his academic success. We need to make changes. However, we can. We both need to do it and I was willing to do it as well. I asked him to let me check out the program and I would let him know afterwards.

He agreed. I smiled. We had reached a decision that was beneficial to our son. I didn’t feel like I won and I’m sure he didn’t feel like he won. This battling was exhausting and we both needed to work on our communication. But, for the time being Munch was winning.

Which is why I realized that I can’t say “f*uck you” to my ex husband. I had to release my expectations and try to find a happy medium. I can’t just write off the other parent (even though I wanted to) out of frustration. My Munch would suffer. I couldn’t let that happen. I released my expectations and came up with the conclusion that for the next 8 years this would be my normal. I would have to find ways to communicate and reach a happy medium for as long as possible. If for no other reason that I didn’t want to see my Munch hurt by the foolishness of his parents.

 

Just an update: This math program is sponsored through the University of Maryland at College Park (my Alma Matter) and is led under the direction of a geology professor and a CPA who coaches the soccer program too. Their purpose for founding this program was due in part by the lack of Black and Latino children who were ill prepared for college and then when they got there and were not able to sustain at at Division I school. It is held weekly at the University of Maryland at College Park and gives children an opportunity to attend class on campus. I love it. I was walking the campus and showing Munch my dorm room, the library, my class building and the building where I graduated.

This program rocks! I’ll keep you updated

 

Purposeful Project

Munch had a school project for reading due yesterday. It was pretty basic because it was teaching your children how to do a reading project. However, Munch is in a French Immersion school that is working to obtain the International Baccalaureate (IB) designation that he’s done three projects this year already. But, this was an interesting one.

He had to create a poster for some school or community project. He had to have a title, draw or paste pictures and write sentences about the project on the poster board. I asked him what he wanted to do it on and he said classroom pets. “I think we should all have classroom pets” he said. I laughed and told him that we needed to do some research and get more specific.

So, we researched Pet Therapy and decided that would be a perfect initiative for the school to undertake. Munch loved the idea and I liked the underlining meaning that I was giving his reading teacher about my Munch’s anxiety and the benefits of pet therapy. Do I think they will incorporate it? Nope, but I anticipate that my baby will get a dang “A”.

I liked our purposeful project.
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My Baby is Black and Beautiful

Yes, he is. Can you tell that I’m proud? Just a little huh? This week has been a rough one, but I’m happy to say that we finished the PTSA program last night with my sweet munch doing an awesome job.

The PTSA program was a hit. All the children and performances were wonderful. I love his school. They encourage these children and let me tell you that the PTSA is very active and encouraging to me as a parent. For that, I am thankful.

Munch looked handsome for the ladies last night. Which is what he said. He actually told me that he wanted to wear this shirt and tie because he would say “Good-bye men and Hello Ladies!” WTH? I was floored.

He did look handsome though and his black is beautiful.

Here are some pictures:
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If you would like to check out his video of the performance, you can watch it below:

 

And So It Begins

Today is going to be a L-O-N-G day. Munch’s project was due today. No exceptions. It was another rainy day in Maryland and I had to use a large trash bag to cover his project up so that it didn’t get wet. We worried over that this morning at 7 am. But, I’m happy to say that we completed it.
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I told Munch to return the trash bag today so that we waste not want not. LOL. Don’t judge me. I ran outside to tell the before care driver to please make sure that Munch doesn’t leave his project in the van. It can’t be late or he will get a zero. He said okay. Kisses good-bye to my beautiful son and then I had to rush to get ready.

I had a follow-up doctor’s appointment on my right shoulder that’s been bothering me for the last month. I had the MRI’s done on Monday so I was anxious to find out what the heck is going on with me. The pain was subdued now because of the medications. I can actually go a whole 24 hours without a pain pill.

The results were inconclusive. No major damage. No spinal damage. No pinched nerves. He recommended therapy 2 times a week for the next 4 weeks and then follow-up again. Ugh! I then rushed to work in another rainy mess of a day.

I get to work and begin working and looked down to check my messages and found out that my son left his book bag in the van. The front office called me. Ugh! A call and a couple of text messages to the director of the center. He needs his book bag. His lunch and Tae Kwan Do uniform are in it. The director called back to say he would bring it. I called the school and said that Munch can eat at the cafeteria because I have money on his account.

Tonight is his presentation on Maya Angelou for the PTSA’s Black History Month Program. I’m excited. I wrote the speech yesterday and we worked on it last night. My best friend said, “Let me see it. She was your literary hero so the report is probably too long.” He cut it in half. Ugh! Munch will probably like it better.

I will let you know how it worked out tomorrow. Wish us luck!

 

Mommy Am I Black?

I’m still keeping with my love theme up through Valentine’s Day, but this post is about love of self, innocence of children and Black History.

A couple of nights ago, Munch was doing his daily reading log for school. He has to read a minimum of 20 minutes each night and write a synopsis on his log about the book.  We had just gone to the library the day before and checked out 6 books. I chose 5 books on Black History and he chose a book on Amphibians. So, I selected one of the books that I wanted him to read for the school log called “Seeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama”.

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Munch read this book and had a lot of questions.  These two stuck out in my head. He asked:

  • “Am I black mommy?” “Yes, baby you are” I replied.
  • “Is it bad being black Mommy?” “Not at all baby, but your skin color matters to some people.”

“Oh” he replied. It was like his little heart grew up with that one word. He was now seeing himself as a different color than his peers. I wasn’t ready. I wanted to keep his innocence locked up in his 7 year old spirit for as long as I could. But, it was time to talk to him about the color of his skin.

I began to explain to him that his skin color is a reflection of his race. That I’m black. His dad is black and his immediate family is black. I told him “Except your cousin Cameron.” He looked at me quizzically. “Cameron is half black/half white. Your uncle Kenny is black and auntie Danyelle is white. Cameron is half of both his parents.” He laughed and said “I love that cute little one year old Cameron.”

He asked questions about why black children were not allowed to try on shoes in the store or sit at the lunch counters. He wanted to know why we marched. Why were children taken to jail? Why were dogs attacking us and why did the white people hate us?

Sigh.

“History. It is part of our country’s history, Munch. We have to know our history to make sure that we don’t repeat it. There is a thing called racism when people hate you because of the color of your skin. That hate allows them to treat you as though you are not as good as them. That you’re less than.

But, you’re not Munch. Never ever believe that.

God created us all equal. Not all white people hate black people. We have a blended family. Your friends are different colors and races. We’re a rainbow and we’re all God’s children. We just need to learn to get along.”

Was it too simple? Probably. I have to balance what I teach him to make sure that he doesn’t have nightmares. That he loves the color of his skin and not consider it a curse. That he sees all people with their various hues and remembers that we’re all God’s children.

Because we are. He’s black. I’m black and it’s time to learn about black history, American History, our history.

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Powerball is the Work of the Devil

Okay, now that I have your attention… Let me just say that the Powerball is the work of the devil.

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Powerball phenomenon has captured this country’s time, attention and in some cases intelligence. Everyone is running out to stand in line to buy tickets, planning their “I’m rich b**ch quit speech” and how they are going to help folks once they win. Why? We all know that the odds of winning are one in 292 million.

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That’s one in freaking 292 million! 

Let me give it to you further…

Because mathematically the odds aren’t in your favor and you won’t be able to solve poverty no matter who says so. See this picture circulating on Facebook? People are literally trying to justify the need for the Powerball.

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By giving you “mathematical” reasoning on how we could end poverty. Don’t fall for it people! Still not convinced that you can end poverty with the Powerball winnings? Then you my friend need to go back to school. Why?

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You may get close in your number choices and think “Please Sweet Baby Jesus” just let me win. You won’t. You will look down at your ticket and think dang “I was close”

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But, you can dream right? There’s nothing wrong with dreaming of winning.

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If you should choose to partake of this mania, do so with a positive attitude…

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Whew! Ya’ll taking this too seriously. So, look at your losing ticket and calmly stare at it for hours trying to rationalize your loss…

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Accept it and move on. But, before you do…PLEASE make sure you delete your “I quit because I’m rich b**ch” text or video that you planned to send to your boss tonight.

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Good luck!