Thanksgiving 2016

This year after we decided to do a non-traditional Thanksgiving. Instead of cooking or dinner at family's we took the Path train into the City. We had dinner and dessert in Chinatown.  The girls requested lo mein and tea. 

 Under the new Freedom Tower at the Path train station

Under the new Freedom Tower at the Path train station

After dinner and dessert we did a little shopping and headed back to New Jersey.

 

I haven't been feeling very festive in wake of the chaos and strife I read about happening around the world. Take your pick ... Hate crimes are rising... Donald Trump is our President elect... Natives in Dakota are being terrorized...Syria... The days are shorter... Less sunlight. Oh the list seems endless. Hopefully for our babies sake I will be out of this funk by Christmas.

 

The girls had a blast and got to experience an ethnic neighborhood other then their own.  I'd say  mission accomplished!

Visit to the Green Festival 2014

We ventured into the City to attend the Green Festival at Pier 94. The Festival is "America's Largest and Longest-Running Sustainability and Green Living Event". The mission and vision of the Festival 

Mission and Vision:

Green Festival is inspiring and empowering consumers, communities and businesses to work green, play green and live green.

At Green Festival, we are committed to:

  • Showcasing the best and latest green products and services in the market
  • Making ‘green’ practical, viable and accessible to everyone by promoting sustainability in everyday life choices and actions
  • Providing the ultimate marketplace for green brands and consumers who want to integrate sustainability into their lives
  • Striving to be a zero-waste marketplace where consumers can be assured that companies are committed to environmental sustainability
  • Representing a diverse, sustainable community that is socially and environmentally responsible
  • Encouraging companies to adopt green and fair trade principles through Green America’s certification process
  • Supporting vegan-vegetarian diets that are focused on organic, non-GMO and local artisanal foods as part of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle
  • Serving as a launching pad for Corporate Social Responsibility efforts and consumer programs in sustainability

 

Basma 2 + 10 Anniversary Party

Over the Veteran's Day weekend my family got together to celebrate my sister and brother-in-law's second wedding anniversary (+ 10 years together). We made the trip down to Baltimore, the event was in Bethesda, amid tantrums and bathroom breaks. CC got to met her Great Aunt Clara for the first time, so it was well worth the travel drama. I was super excited to finally fit a dress I purchased three years ago from Forever 21. I'm now down to 140 pounds. I gave myself nine months to loose the baby weight and through discipline I did it in six months. Nursing helped tremendously. Because I am nursing and don't want to continue to take a multi-vitamin daily (my life is already chaotic don't need to add a pill in the mix), I eat very wholesome, organic foods. I fall off the wagon one a week and have to have a slice of pizza or some baked ciabatta bread dipped in olive oil.

Always ready to take a pictures, SJ and I took several selfies in the bathroom mirror.

" African Time" or Selective Punctuality?


African time (or Africa time) is the perceived cultural tendency, in most parts of Africa, toward a more relaxed attitude to time . This is sometimes used in a pejorative sense, about tardiness in appointments, meetings and events.[1] This also includes the more leisurely, relaxed, and less rigorously-scheduled lifestyle found in African countries, especially as opposed to the more clock-bound pace of daily life in Western countries.[2] As such it is similar to time orientations in some other non-Western culture regions. {Source: Wikipedia}

 

It is well known (among Nigerians/Africans) that the invitation card of a typical Nigerian event (be it wedding, conference, meeting, fund raising or party) normally starts very late. It is common to witness a Saturday event, scheduled for "9:00 p.m. prompt," starting with the calling of Drs., Sirs, Chiefs, Alhajis, etc., to the "High Table," around 12:30 a.m., the next day, Sunday, especially among Nigerians in Houston. Consequently, a meeting that will take two hours ends up taking half a day or more. We are now familiar with the first opening remarks by the MC/Moderator, which goes like this: "Good evening or Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. We are running a little bit late; please bear with us". {Source here}

 

My sister married into an African family and it was been a bit of a culture shock for her (and the rest of our family for that matter). Primarily the manner in which her African family regard time. During the planning of her party we were vexed with her MIL's insistence of taking care of the catering. We felt it would be disorganized and completely not an effective management of time. Indeed it was. The party began at 7pm. Family members were bringing in food up until 8:45pm, this resulted in the buffet table not being completely set for dinner until 9:00 pm. Being the planner I am I took offensive to the lack of regard to hungry bellies and the non-Africans in attendance (i.e., people not used to waiting three hours to eat dinner). To make a long story show I complained and "offended" people, however soon after my diatribe the food was ready.

Halloween 2013

My next door neighbor, who is six months pregnant, wanted to have a celebration for the kids on Halloween. She decided to asked everyone to bring a pumpkin and we had a BYOP (bring your own pumpkin) party. The kids dressed in their costumes; ate pizza and a selection of dessrts; and painted pumpkins.

 

SJ was being her normal, quiet and reserved self.

 

My little cupcake drank this whole container of green Hawaiian Fruit Punch and went Ape Shit Crazy!!

 

Why Aren't You Married?! --- A Man's Perspective

My baby sister and I have this conversation about every other month, the conversation about why the pickings for suitable young, Black men is so slim. I remember her recounting one of her first days of work as an emergency room nurse. She told me there were several young nurses (<30 years old), and the majority of the White nurses were either married or engaged, but the Black nurses were not. In an effort to explain this phenomenon, an article titled 6 Reasons Black People Aren't Getting Married was written by Walter Ward III. 

Here are Walter's Six Reasons:

  1. Finances
  2. Too Many Choices
  3. Lack of Maturity
  4. Too Much Baggage
  5. Fear
  6. Dating Poorly

 "The lack of a healthy marriage in the home doesn’t just affect young men.  In fact, it may be difficult for women to identify the traits of a good future father and husband as a result.  This means that many women make poor choices in who they date and are hurt because of the experience."

Let me speak on this . . . D and I have had many rough patches in our relationship because of the simple fact that along with being his women I had to also be his teacher. His teacher in the way a healthy, vivable relationship should be. Yes, he has definitely been the catalyst for some disfunction in our relationship due to his upbringing. Our saving grace has been the fact that he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, at 20 years old, he wanted to marry me. No immaturity was involved, just Hood Ass Tendancies (HAT). I could have easily fallen into the category of woman trying to change an unfit man. I often think back to the first five years of our relationship and wonder what the hell was I thinking. In the end I knew he was worth the lessons and willing to change and learn new ways of doing things. I was unwilling to let the HAT color our relationship, I staged a war and in the end I won, but chile' the battle was long and hard. Knowing D was super ambitious, loyal, and in absolute love with me help tremendously. 

 

Father's Day Salute

27 months ago my husband became a father. In this short amount of time I have watched him accomplish and master a goal many with his background walk away from. Not having an example of what a good father and husband are didn't deter him. I often sit in amazement at how he loves our children so strongly and without reservations. How can he do this without any lasting memories of a man loving his offspring as a child? It's intrinsic! I always wondered how a man that endures your labor and delivery with you could ever abandon his child? I mean after seeing his woman's body expand and expel such a miracle, a miracle he helped to fertilize, how could you not put in the work to ensure the seed of his loins has the very best of everything? I love how D is resolute in his conviction to be the polar opposite of his father? This conscious decision has confirmed that his family name will thrive and continue in a wholesome, health way.

In the words of the tattoo on my back, "love never loses its way home". He and I worked overtime in the begining of our relationship to build an impenetrable foundation based on TRUE LOVE. A foundation that allows us to cuss, fuss, and argue but love just as hard and passionately. We had eleven years worth of mistakes and revisions before we were blessed with our eldest daughter. I offer these words of wisdom to all young women out there looking for their life partners:
  • Indeed love should not hurt, but being in a loving relationship will be hard and full of challenges. As long as you have reciprocity and respect you will be able to work through anything.
  • Let your man know you appreciate him with your words and actions.
  • Choose a man who you would want your son to emulate.
The "I haven't gotten any sleep in four days".
Two Year Old Drama

 

2012 Holiday Family Pictures

This Thanksgiving's dinner was really no frills, we all ate dinner in our pajamas. No one was inclined to get dressed or do any hair or makeup this year. We ate, laughed, and talked. Lil D got to sit at the table like a big girl and eat with everyone, this went over well considering she wanted to eat food off of D and my plate instead of hers. SMH ...  

 

Later that night my sisters, brother-in-law, uncle and mother went to various stores for their pre-Black Friday sales. My behind went to bed. I have been fatigued more than normal lately, so me going to bed by 9 o'clock is not uncommon. Of course, I'm up most of the night tossing and turning after having dreamt crazy dreams. Pregnancy is no friend to my nightly rest. Besides enjoying a wonderful dinner with the family we took our traditional holiday portraits, this year in Druid Hill Park. Check them out below:

Alie (my BIL) didn't want to be in the pictures... Sucka.

 The Cruz's 

PopPop, D, + Lil D-- Lil D insisted that she had to go down by the water, hence this picture.

 

Back @ PopPop + GMy's house