Hi There!

Welcome to my blog! This space has been used over the past several years to document mainly my natural hair journey and several different aspects of my life such as spiritual matters, my jewelry design, and parenting. I will from time to time post on this blog but my newly revamped blog can be found at BeautifullyCurled.com. Here you will find much recent updates about my hair journey along with my daughter's and so much more. Hope you will come by and visit and thanks for stopping by this blog. Be blessed. -Kris

Daddy's Little Champion of the World

Vacation Update

Shhh, don't tell anybody--we are bootlegging wireless internet from the neighbors...LOL

First off, I made her first bow as you can see on the left. I made it in 3 minutes and attached it to a black headband with a bobby pin. I plan to get really serious with making headbows as soon as I get all the supplies I need.

Anyway, I just wanted to do a quick post about how things are going so far on our trip. Well, we left a few hours LATER than intended on Monday, which made it rough on Zakiah. She was quite fussy during certain periods of the LONG ten hour ride up to Jersey mainly because she is not a car seat sleeper so she was not getting decent rest during her usual nap times. We ended up getting to Jersey a little before 11 that night, which was WAY past her bedtime. But nevertheless, she managed to sleep through the night and get back up around her usual wake up time of 7ish the next morning. She has been sleeping pretty great in her pack and play since she got here to Jersey.

She has really been enjoying seeing her family. Everyone couldn't help saying how beautiful she is. God did an awesome work in forming Zakiah. She is amazing and everyone noticed how active of a baby she is. She loves when her grandma (Josh's mom) talks to her because she makes Zakiah smile.

Thanksgiving was great! Josh's mom threw it down in the kitchen. Tasted just like it would if it came from the South. Turkey really does make you sleepy. At least it did for me.


Today, we took a little road trip to Atlantic City. It was pretty awesome seeing the big casino resorts. We were not able to walk along the boardwalk for a long time because it was very chilly and windy. We had to keep Zakiah bundled up in the stroller so she would say warm. We stayed in Atlantic City for a few hours before headed back. I quickly put together a video slide show of Zakiah's first trip out there. I probably won't do another update until we get back but we will see. Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday weekend and is recouping from the Thanksgiving feast and/or Black Friday shopping.

P.S. Zakiah is REALLY into food. A little too much now. She is starting to go toward plates of food. We noticed this while we were at the Chinese buffet tonight. She is also razzing more constantly and spitting all over the place. She must really be teething because she has been gumming her finger like crazy and sucking on her bottom lip lately. Oh, and today was the first time we put her in a high chair at the Chinese restaurant. Grandpa was really concerned that she was going to bounce and swirm her way out that chair but she did okay for a few moments until she was really ready to get out that thing.

Slideshow of Pictures from Zakiah's Second Month

Slideshow of Pictures from Zakiah's First Month

I am Still UP...

It is 2:30am, and I am STILL packing up my stuff for the trip to New Jersey. Ugh, it is so much easier packing for a baby. Zakiah's stuff was packed within 45 minutes. I am still washing clothes and haven't even started on my hair. I might have to do the wig thing. I don't know. Josh doesn't like the wig...haha. But we will see. Good thing Zakiah is sleep WELL in her pack and play right now. We wanted her to adjust to it so she can hopefully sleep well for the week up North.

I am SO excited about this trip. I hope all goes well and that we have safe travel. Hopefully we will beat most of the holiday travel by leaving in a few hours instead of on tomorrow or Wednesday.

I have a few posts scheduled to post on the blog over the course of the week. (Did that sound weird?) They are just some slide shows of pictures from Zakiah's first three months of life. There are stories behind many of those pictures that I would like to catch up on and post about, but I don't have the time right now.

I might do a post via my blackberry. I have never done that before but I figured since the ride is going to be LONG, I will have plenty of time to figure it out! LOL

Hope you all have a safe, wonderful, and BLESSED Thanksgiving with your families and friends! :) Cherish every moment with your loved ones because another day with them is NEVER promised. Please keep Shaniya Davis' family in prayer.

P.S. Zakiah is entering into her SIXTH month. Wow!!!

Some Little Things I Have Noticed Over the Past Week

Zakiah is getting good with her hands. She can reach and aim for a toy with pretty good accuracy! Another thing I notice is that she is also SOOOOO fascinated by facial features. She would grab for the nose and mouth whenever she is close enough to our faces to do so. She particularly likes trying to put her fingers in our mouths or in our noses. I have been noticing, too, that she is starting to become a little more ticklish on her sides and belly. She is not at the point where we can tickle her and she laughs hysterically but she does flinch her body when I tickle those areas.

The thing I notice most of all is that Zakiah is getting bigger every time I think about it. And the bigger she gets, the more beautiful she becomes! I can't believe tomorrow she will be 5 months!

Zakiah Enjoys Her Books!

I have been giving Zakiah her Tiny Bear Bible and Leapfrog's ABC Animal Orchestra book during play time so she can look at the pictures and get accustomed to interacting with books. She really enjoys looking at the pictures, flipping the pages (or at least trying to), and trying to put the books in her mouth, of course! LOL She can focus on the images now and even tries to reach toward them as if she is trying to pick them up off the page. She is working on that hand-eye coordination. Here is a video of interactioning with the Tiny Bear Bible:

I try to make sure I carry both of her books with me when we go out. Here is her with one of her books while we were out shopping:


Hopefully she will get some more books in the upcoming month. Since she is so inquisitive, I think I would to consistently incorporate reading in her bedtime routine. She is a smart little baby! :)

Zakiah's Coat Fitting

Why is it SO hard to find a coat for babies under 6 months??? We are going to Jersey and were looking everywhere to find a nice warm coat for Zakiah. Babies R Us had the largest selection of outerwear we have seen but only less than a handful of coats there where for babies under 6 months. The bulk was for older babies. It is like babies under 6 months are not supposed to go out in the cold or either they have to wear a bunny/bear suit if they do. Well, not this baby!

Since the coats were marked down 30% of the original price, we decided on getting a brown puff coat that was for 6-9 month old babies so she can grow into it as the winter progresses. We got the coat and tried it on Zakiah. Well, this is how the coat ended up looking on her:

I didn't know we signed her up for cheerleading tryouts! LOL The sleeves on this coat are WAY TOO LONG on Zakiah. There's like 3 inches of extra space between the opening on the sleeves and her hands. She couldn't even put her arms down. Man, it was a struggle to get that coat on just for it to not even remotely fit decently on her.

Well, we went back to Babies R Us to look for a better coat. There just had to be something. And then, at last, we found this cute red peacoat like coat with a hood. And it was on sale to our surprise for $9 and some change. What a great deal AND it fits her just fine. I will post a picture of her in it soon after we come back from our trip.

Rolling on with Life!

So on last Monday, the 9th, I caught Zakiah rolling over from her back to her tummy for the first time:

This was not the first time she has rolled over from back to tummy clearly because she has been flipping herself over ever since we ditched the swaddle in her crib.

NOW she is rolling like crazy. It is truly becoming second nature. A few days ago, she managed to roll herself in the bathroom sink following her bath:

(Yes, I caught you! LOL)


No longer can I leave her unattended for even a split second because she can roll over SO fast. Like I said before...second nature. It is crazy to think that a few months ago, she was struggling to even lift up her head. I haven't recorded it yet, but today, she was rolling herself back and forth, from back to belly to back to belly to get to her toys. It was SO funny and AMAZING! I can't wait til the day when she can roll to mommy and daddy! Or maybe I CAN wait a little while longer...lol. ::wink:: :-p

Get 50 Free Photo Cards with Free Shipping!

Thanks to Freebies4mom, you can create and order 50 4x8 photo cards over at SeeHere.com. I did my cards last week, ordered them Saturday, and got them via Fed Ex yesterday morning. I must say that these cards turned out GREAT!!! I worked on them for awhile but am very pleased on the quality of the cards and how they turned out! You can create holiday photo cards or any theme you would like. I did 8 designs.

Visit Freebies4mom to find out more about this deal. You must order your cards by Monday, November 30th. Use the code freebies4mom-1109 to get your 50 cards free including free shipping.

Knock Knock...Who's There?

It's me! I am back! I took a little hiatus from blogging to focus on some other things but haven't stopped recording and taking pictures of my precious little girl. I will say that me and the blackberry have been going through this love-hate relationship for the past few weeks ever since I downloaded the latest update on my phone. All my contacts were deleted in the process and my camera quality has decreased. I am going by Verizon this weekend to get these issues evaluated before Josh, Zakiah, and I head off to New Jersey this coming week to visit Josh's family for Thanksgiving. This will be Zakiah's first long road trip ever...so nervous but excited. I will discuss that in another post...

WELL, there is SO much I can update on. I have several videos I need to post and topics I want to discuss. I guess in this post I will touch base on some things I want to mention off the top of my head:

  • Pre-teens and the Hazards of Huffing??? I watched this story on the today show this morning and am in disbelief what CHILDREN are doing these days. Not too long ago I learned about the choking game. I never heard of such things during my pre-teen or teen days and just can't even imagine what kids will be doing when Zakiah gets around that age. That is why it is IMPORTANT to talk to your children and have that open line of communication. It is so easy for them to feel like we as parents can't possibly understand what they are going through and therefore turn to peers for comfort, which can in turn take them down the wrong road. Children are dying from things that can easily be prevented. This is a serious issue.
  • Shaynia Davis' death last week. Read up on her story here. What drives parents to harm or even torture and kill young children? I just don't understand. The mother offered her sweet 5 year old up for prostitution and the last footage of her seen was in the arms of a guy waiting to get on the elevator in a hotel. What possess you to want to do anything with a BABY who is innocent and not able to understand what's going on. And to find her little body dumped on the side of a country road...sighs. This story breaks my heart.
  • My coupon adventure so far. Josh loves me even more because I am now saving us over 65-80% in groceries. I rarely buy things over $1 because there are just too many coupons available out there to just waste money like that. Coupons are money and the key is to match coupons with sales. Doing so can land you some pretty great deals to stock up on. Timing of using your coupons can even get you free items such as toothpaste, razors, trial size items, and so on. So glad I got into the program. I will post a video slide show of the groceries I have gotten in separate trips and how much I spent on each shopping trip.
  • Anticipation on our upcoming trip to New Jersey. Still have to find a pack and play for Zakiah to sleep in while we are up there. My biggest anticipation is that she will be all out of whack once we come back. She naps pretty well and sleeps 10-11 hours at night now, which is beautiful. I feed her 4-5 times a day and am still exclusively breastfeeding. Yay, go me!!! No bottles either. Hopefully I will be able to transition straight to cup from breast without that extra step of the bottle.The trip is about 8 hours straight from where I live, but with a baby, who knows how long it will take.
  • Zakiah's milestones. She is my rollie pollie. I can't keep her on her back for nothing. She rolls in a split second. No more high counters! She loves reaching for ANYTHING she can get her hands on within reach. She scoots like crazy. She poops like every few days with her latest stretch being 5 days. Her hair is starting to grow in because she is sleeping on her tummy at night and during her naps. She enjoys looking at pictures in books and rubbing her fingers across the pictures. Going out with her has been so much better since she is eating every four hours and can stay awake between 1 hour 50 minutes-2 and a half hours before having a "I need to go to sleep" meltdown. She doesn't fuss too much when putting her into the car seat unless she is really tired. Then she tries to roll her way out of it. She is in size 2 diapers day and night and wears 3-6 month clothes. She doesn't spit up as often anymore and drools like crazy.
  • Zakiah and her fear of the singing toy of her play yard. I still haven't posted the video of this when I mentioned of this several weeks ago. I need to get that up because clearly she still doesn't like that toy. Yesterday, I pulled it out of her toy bag to see how she felt about it. I pulled the string to the toy and almost immediately, she frowned her lips and started crying. I chuckled because it is so cute but funny how simple things can upset children. I guess that is how I should look at it when adults get upset over simple things too. lol
  • I am no longer counting her age in weeks, FINALLY! Like now, I would say she is almost 5 months since she will be 5 months on Sunday. Oh my GEE, she will be 5 months already??? Ugh, slow down girl!!! But yeah, I lost count of her weeks. I think she is 22 weeks though but like I said, no more counting weeks. I will now label posts in terms of months.
  • I am hopefully going to get into making her own hair bows and head bands. The ones at the stores are not big enough for me or colorful enough. Soooooo, I have ordered some CUTE ribbon from ebay and can't wait to make some beautiful boutique type bows.
Ok, this is what is on the top of my head for now. I will feel in the blanks with subsequent posts. I hope all is well with all of you! Thanks for coming back and reading up on me and Zakiah. We are doing well!

OMG!

***Will fix grammatical errors later***

Zakiah can roll from her back to her belly!

So, for the past week, I have been swaddling Zakiah very loosely to help with the weaning process. The goal is to be able to just lay her in her crib and walk out the room. No rocking, no swaddling, no anything but her sound device and her new blankie!

Anyway, how about last night, I placed her on her back, swaddled with her arm around her blankie (trying to get her accustomed to it). Well this morning, she managed to flip position in her crib meaning her head was where her feet were last night and her feet were where her head was. Not only that, she was on her tummy...OMG!!! Granted, I felt like she was on the verge of rolling over from back to tummy because most times when I wrap the towel around her after getting out the bath, it always seem like she is about to roll off the bathroom counter because she is twisting that waist and legs HARD from side to side. Last, but not least, the blanket used to swaddle her was wrapped around her waist like a tutu! LOL

I so wished I could have gotten a picture of her position this morning, but it was still dark in the room and I didn't want to turn the light on and disturb her sleep. It was so cute and funny at the same time!

She did fuss twice, I think, last night but settled within 5 minutes on her own. I guess she was busy repositioning herself and getting comfy. She has dropped her night feeds ever since she has slept in her crib so I rarely go into her room to check on her unless she has been crying for more than 5 minutes.

This is a time of celebration because she is one step closer to losing that swaddle. First she was double swaddled on her side in the sleep positioner. Then we ditched the sleep positioner and put her either on her side or on her back. Next, we took away the SwaddleMe swaddle and just used a lightweight blanket to wrap her up for the night. She has been adjusting to that very well and usually frees her arms by the time she gets up in the morning. But last night, like I said, OMG! LOL

Tonight I was like NO MORE SWADDLE! I fed her and placed her on her back in the crib with her little blankie, turned off the light, and walked out the room. She fussed for a few minutes and then there it was....SILENCE! It has been over 2 hours since she has been asleep and I am dying to see what position she is in right now. But I won't check...I am quite sure she is quite fine and comfy!

I am so proud of her...she is advancing so quickly. I guess the developmental ball is rolling. What is next?

I Need Some Encouragement!!!

This weaning Zakiah out the swaddle thing has been heavy on my mind for several weeks now. I am at a loss at whether or not she is ready to let go of the swaddle. She cries during the process of swaddling but most times falls right to sleep once I lay her to bed. Sometimes, however, she fights herself out the swaddle during her sleep and wakes up crying when her arms are flailing all over the place. Ugh, she is getting so strong that re-swaddling her is such a huge task especially when she is crying at the top of her lungs and resisting my attempt.

I have read and read and read so many forum posts about when and how to go about this thing. Some say if it isn't broken, then don't fix it. Some say drop the swaddle either gradual or cold turkey. Most say it depends on the baby and to just follow her cues.

Hmm, but what if I don't know what the heck Zakiah is trying to tell me??? It is like she has this love/hate relationship with the swaddle. The swaddle is definitely a STRONG cue that it is time to go to sleep. If she isn't fussing so bad, she sometimes drifts off while I am swaddling her.

The swaddle has been very effective to helping Zakiah nap for 2 hour stretches twice a day now and sleep through the night most times (since sleeping in her crib). If she wakes, it is because she has broken through the swaddle and can't settle back again. Unfortunately, the swaddle is a prop that needs to be STOPPED!

On the flip side, I am not looking forward to a lot of night wakings and crying when I decide to ditch this swaddling business for good. I am still contemplating how to attack this thing. I guess I have already started today by swaddling her in such a way that her right fist is close to her mouth for her to suck her fingers. Halfway through her nap, she started fussing. I didn't go in to check on her right way...I have the 5 minute rule: if she fusses for 5 minutes straight, I would go in and check on her. I do this to give her the opportunity to self soothe. Well, I am happy to say that she settled down on her own. I checked on her a few minutes ago and sure enough, that right arm is fully free from the swaddle BUT she is knocked out once again. Woot!

I guessing I will take the gradual approach. I know I have attempted this before but I truly felt like she wasn't ready back then. Now I want to try again to see if this will work. I just have to be consistent and not give in because that will only confuse her. But if things get too out of whack by the end of Sunday, back to fully swaddling her we go.

I will try to document my progress here for as many naps and nighttime sleep as I can. Pray for us as we go through this process. I am guessing it is more daunting on me than her.

Giggles before bed!

Just a quick clip of me making Zakiah giggle. She is so cute!

Week 19 Video Slideshow

Ugh, I am getting behind on getting these weekly videos posted on time (at least by Sunday nights since Zakiah's weeks begin on a Monday). I will try to do better. Nevertheless, here it is: