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

The Last Day of 2009




Well. I am sitting here with Josh, baking some cookies, and watching new year eve specials on TV. Zakiah is sound asleep finally after Josh and I got our last pics of her for 2009.

Never would have imagined that we will have a 6 month baby by the end of this year. I truly thought that by this time I would be a graduate with my MS in biomedical engineering, a career woman halfway through my first year at a pharmaceutical or medical device company, and a first time homeowner. I had planned to get married no earlier than 30 and start a family at 31.

Guess I got a 5 year head start on starting a family. It shows that life is so full of unexpected turns. Now I need to accomplish the rest of the items mentioned above.

At first, I was a little disappointed in bringing Zakiah up in the situation I am: still in grad school, unemployed, financially dependent on my oh so giving parents (who have been nothing but understanding, supportive, and nonjudgmental), still staying in an one bedroom apartment, and most of all, UNMARRIED. But as time passed, I realized that I have no reason to be disappointed! Life happens. I'm not perfect. Josh is not perfect. God could have chosen a much earlier opportunity to bring a baby in our lives. But He chose 2009 to bring us one of the best life changes. Zakiah is definitely no mistake, and I am so glad we have her here right now. Just can't imagine it any other way right now. She gives me motivation to do better. To be a better person. To be a better mom. To be a better Christian.

Maybe God brought Zakiah in my life to help me focus on not always thinking about myself. I thought I was on a breakthrough last summer toward being that top notch independent woman who didn't have to worry about anyone but herself. I was a sexy size seven with my high heels, skinny jeans from forever 21, and tight tops. People would look at me and call me diva because I was so confident in my style and who I was. On top of that, I thought I had this abstinence thing on lock. I mean it had been over eight months since Josh and I had done anything.

But September 20, 2009 happened. The devil found his way. Why did I have to look too good for him to resist? LOL I guess losing a few extra pounds would make those jeans look a little better than before.

Anyway, this time last year, Josh and I were at Church for the night service to bring in 2009. We were at Church trying to figure out how our lives were about to change. Trying out how to break the news to everyone. How to go about preparing for a baby. She was only a little over 3 months inside me last year around this time. So little. Hardly noticeable.

And now she is in my room sleeping. So big. Hard to miss.

Only a few more minutes til 2009 is over and 2010 rolls in.

O.M.G. Zakiah will be SO big this time next year. Walking. Talking. Hanging with mommy and daddy while waiting for 2011. Crazy.

2010 is going to be a great year! I am looking forward to it!

Happy New Year!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Testing with Pictures




Just seeing how which way the pictures will show up to see which way I need to turn my phone when taking pictures.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

ETA: The pictures seem to turn out fine no matter which way I turn my phone AS long as I post them soon after they are taken. For some reason, my pictures seem to turn sideways after some time. I have not figured out why they do that.

Testing Blogger's Mobile Feature


I am testing this feature out to see exactly how a post will turn out when I do it via email from my phone. I think it will be more convenient when I don't have access to a computer but have something I want to post real quick. I will have to check back to see how this post is published once I send it by email.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Zakiah's 6th Month Highlights



  • has cut TWO teeth. One on the 22nd and another on the 24th of December. I guess we can say that she got her two front teeth for Christmas (along with a whole lot of toys and clothes!)
  • can say baba, mumu, and dada.
  • can scoot back and roll around like a champ. 
  • can rock back and forth on all fours (hands and knees).
  • is trying BADLY to crawl. She has the leg coordination down pat but is still trying to figure out how to move her arms forward. She has lunged forward a few times but I think it is by accident and by conscious.
  • can hold a squeal for a long time when very excited.
  • is not very ticklish (or at least not to the point where it makes her giggle)
  • can get from her tummy to a sitting position and vice versa.
  • can stand on her own while holding on to an object (like a foot stool).
  • weighed 16 pounds and 15 ounces at her 6th month appointment (12/28)
  • measured out to 25.75 inches. 
  • is eating oatmeal, bananas, and butternut squash as of today. 
  • managed ONCE to suck a little bit of dark chocolate through the candy foil wrapper while no one was looking. She is sneaky!
  • still has a funky hair style. Her hair is definitely growing but has super long hair patches at the peak of her head and at the back. Her hair grade is a mix: straight on the top of her head and curly at the sides and back.
  • is now pooping some really stinky poo. So long to the mild smelling liquid mustard poo. It was nice knowing you. 
  • is VERY gassy.
  • LOVES playing with her toys.
  • still sleeps through the night for the most part. On most occasions, she can put herself back to sleep if she wakes up crying. She still wakes up around 5am for some reason. I think it is out of habit but like I mentioned, she can put herself back to sleep after a few minutes of fussing.
  • still takes 2-3 naps daily.
  • is still being breastfed.
  • razzes like crazy!
  • babbles a lot when she gets tired.
  • only cries when she is VERY tired or wants to get out the carseat.
  • found her thumb but not for sucking. She likes to use it like a teether.
  • has one of the prettiest smiles!
  • loves to scratch mommy while breastfeeding. She also loves to reach out for my face while breastfeeding.
  • wears size 3 pampers overnight and squeezes into size 2 diapers during the day.  She goes through about 5-6 diapers a day.
  • is still called by the name baby boo or bookie.
  • is really starting to look more like Josh (in my opinion).
  • likes to bounce up and down while in my arms.  She is such a strong little girl.
  • doesn't like to sit on mommy's lap for too long these days.  She much rather be on the floor playing on her own.
  • wears size 6 and 9 month clothing.
  • has never worn a pair of baby shoes so far.  She wears knitted stockings and socks when we go out.
  • loves her bath!!! Tried skipping her bath one night and wouldn't settle to sleep until we got her up and gave her a bath.  It is a must clearly!
  • is very much loved by those around her!
Can't wait to see what is in store for the 7th month!


Time Out For Mommy

Wow, I found this on one of my many deserted blogs.


So much for my dreams of becoming America's Next Top Model...LOL. I was going to apply this year to see if I would make the cut for one of the oldest participants on the show. Oh well, I feel like the show is too old for me anyway, and I would be too big to even qualify as a "plus size" model on that show. Shoot, I probably would have been considered plus size before Zakiah. Ah, whatever. At least I know I can model locally since I have seen some great models over 30 in local runway shows, magazines, and clothing catalogs. It is not over. I still have more time to shine my eye for the FRONT of the camera. ::wink::

Anyway, I finally realized that in the midst of all the things that have dramatically changed in my life over the past year, I have not put a pair of scissors to my hair in over 12 months:



EEK! My hair is such a mess. If you can't tell, I am natural meaning that I do not put any relaxers or chemical agents in my hair to make it bone straight. Don't get me wrong, I used to before 2003 but only because my mom thought my hair would be more manageable with it back in 3rd grade. Now if I want straight hair, I either buy it (LOL) or use a flat iron (hard work).

Pregnancy has changed my hair. Of course while I was pregnant, I had minimal hair loss so my hair was thick. Once Zakiah made her lovely presence, so did my hair into the drain of my shower. (I complimented Draino (on its website) how effective one of its products was and the costumer service department was nice enough to mail me a coupon for a free Draino product). Anyway, my hairline has thinned out some on the sides, which I am not too happy about since I always had a thin hairline already.

So in 2010, along with losing all my pregnancy weight, I want to take better care of my hair to restore it to a healthy state. I guess with a baby, I kind of took my focus away from taking care of myself like I should. Not good. Not good at all.

I am in the process of figuring out what hair routine I want to stick with in 2010. I am leaning towards wearing lots of flexi-rod curl sets this upcoming year. I will post an update once I figure out what I want to do.

Zakiah Tries Butternut Squash for the First Time

This was recorded last Tuesday:


Now she gulps the stuff up like water...lol.

Pondering Over Laundry...

We are back to NC and wireless internet! Woohoo!  I miss blogging so much but can't blog long right now because I have tons to clean up and organize before the new year. I always like starting the new year on a fresh clean start. 

Anyway, I just put Zakiah down for her nap and decided to get a bulk of her clothes cleaned, sorted, and folded.  I was going through some of her onesies, pulling out what is too small for her to make room for the HUGE new wardrobe she got over the holiday. God is good!  I found a few of her 3 months Gerber onesies at the bottom of her drawer and saw how small they are. I can distinctly remember while she was wearing these how I couldn't wait until she got bigger so she can wear all her super cute 6 months clothing. Now I am looking back wishing that she could fit back into her newborn and 3 months clothing and stay that way forever...

Growing.Too.Fast.

Since Zakiah is my first, I am trying to decide what to keep for keepsake and what to give away.  I don't want to go overboard and keep EVERYTHING because I don't have the space first of all, and secondly, I don't plan on having another little one anytime within the next 3-4 years.

What are you doing with all your baby's outgrown clothing?

Hopefully I will be back tonight for a few more updates.

Half a year later and a tooth finally appears!

I wanted to post yesterday but it was such a busy day for us. I can't believe Zakiah is 6 months.  I looked over some pictures last night from her first day in the world and she has changed so much into this beautiful spirit. I love you boo boo! You are truly amazing (can't say that enough).

We took pictures yesterday at Photo Innovations Studio. Grandma, Mom, me, and Zakiah. Four Generations. Awesome! They came out great! We were able to get our prints thirty minutes after taking the pictures. No wonder why the studio was super busy.  We all wore red and white outfits. My mom picked them out so they were very basic...lol. I love you, mom! hehe. Anyway, Zakiah had on this cute little dress with white cuffs. My mom made her headband which completed her outfit. Zakiah is such a photogenic little girl. I guess that is not such a surprise given that I am constantly in her face with a camera...lol.

So guess what???

Zakiah cut her FIRST tooth! OMG...






For the past several days, she has been munching so hard on her fingers, toys, spoons, and teething rings. Bless her heart. She is a trooper because she rarely cried at all because of teething. She would just sit and munch all day long. Anyway, I noticed her tooth on the way to the studio. She was just a cheesing as usual when I happened to noticed something white. I wasn't sure what it was but thought maybe she had a little spit up in her mouth. I checked her mouth with my finger and sure enough, I felt it. Her first tooth!!!

I was so excited that I called Josh right away to tell him the news.  I took some pictures with my phone to see if I can capture her first tooth bud on camera. I had to zoom in to see her tooth in the picture above.

Anyway, I will do a six month update soon.

Happy Holidays!

Mmmm, Beech Nut Chiquita Banana tastes YUMMY!



No wonder Zakiah is gulping this stuff down! I have been eating what Zakiah does not finish, and I love the taste of it...lol.  So since last Friday morning, we have been feeding Zakiah banana (mashed and from the jar) and she LOVES it! I recorded a video of her eating it on Friday but will have to wait til I get back to NC and faster internet connection to upload it so I post it here. It was SO cute! She actually grabbed a hold of the spoon from our hands because she liked the banana so much. The picture above was from today when I fed her a tablespoon of oatmeal (mixed with some hand expressed breastmilk since I forgot to bring my pump home). She made the yucky face at first like "What is this mess you are feeding me and where is my banana???" but she eventually got used to the taste and ate all of what I prepared.

So a few posts ago, I mentioned how I was so confused about how to go about introducing solids because I found so much conflicting literature out there about it. Well, I lurked around the Baby Whisperer message boards to seek answers since I have been using the Baby Whisperer method to help get Zakiah on an E.A.S.Y. routine that has been working so well for us. After reading plenty of posts, I decided that I will feed her based on this schedule:

7am-Breastfeed
730-Oatmeal
9-11-Nap

11-Breastfeed
1130-Banana (and eventually venture out to other fruits)
1-3-Nap

3-Breastfeed
330-Butternut Squash (and eventually venture out to other veggies)
5-6-Catnap

7-Breasfeed
730-8-Bath
8-Top off with Breastmilk before bed
830-bed

Of course, this is not a definitive schedule because we don't live in a perfect world, but I have gotten a whole lot better at being flexible and just going by Zakiah's cues. We will see how this works for the next week or so. This solids thing is so exciting EXCEPT for the fact that she is now pooping some weird stuff out and is developing more diaper rash.

Well, I will keep posted on Zakiah's progress! Can't you believe Zakiah will be 6 months tomorrow???!

O.M.G.

(She already has nine presents underneath the Christmas tree and how many do I have??? Zip. None. Zero. lol)

Thank You Bouncy Seat...

for entertaining my daughter long enough for me to take a nice HOT 20 minute shower in PEACE!

That's is all...


("Mom, can't you see that I am playing? Geesh!!!"  Go put some clothes on!!!)

Post It Note Tuesday

For the past few days, Zakiah has been on some funky stuff (besides having major poopage blowouts almost everyday now). She has been waking up either around 1-2am in the morning OR super early like around 5ish early. Now I know some big things happen around the 6th months but I can't quite put my hand on it. Oh well, life goes on. So yes, I have been up with a playful baby before the sun today.

Anyway, I LOVE blog hopping! You just NEVER know what you might come across. Well, I found my way to SupahMommy's blog and she has this thing called Post It Note Tuesday. I thought this would be something cute to participate in. So here are my posties:


 
 
 
 



--------------------
Came back to edit:  O.M.G. This has got to be one of the cutest things.  You know how we can blog with the baby in our laps because baby is demanding attention, but you want to get that post published "real quick".  Well, I had Zakiah sitting on the couch playing with her toys when I first started this post. As I was wrapping up, Zakiah was getting a little antsy because she was getting tired.  So I grabbed her and put her on my lap to see if she would calm down just for a few moments so I can finish and get her to bed for her nap.  Well, bless her heart, she calmed down to the  point where she was literally dosing off.  So wished I could have gotten a picture of it.  What is happening to my baby?  She usually would fuss into a meltdown if I didn't get her to bed.  But instead, she gave mommy a few more moments to finish this post and peacefully drifted to sleep.  She is such a sweet baby...Gawd, I LOVE HER!!! Thank you, Father! :)

Some Pictures From Today

For some reason, I am not able to upload pictures to my posts. The uploads have been REAAAAAALY slow. So I just created a quick slide show of some pictures from today.

There Are SO Many Out There...

..who are NOT as fortunate to cherish the experience of having children.  I was blog hopping and some way, some how found myself on several blogs of mothers reflecting, mourning, grieving over the lost of their precious babies.  I read about how these mothers hurt many days, months, and years after the death of a child and how a part of them left with the departing child. Their stories are so heart wrenching...to carry a child full term and in anticipation of loving a brand new creation just to lose him or her during or soon after birth or in some cases even before the child is born. You would think it's unbearable to go through this once but some unfortunately experience the same pain again.

UGH...I can't EVEN imagine my life without Zakiah yet there are so many who are living what they thought they could never imagine.  After spending an hour reading through so many stories, I stopped to go pick up Zakiah and give her a great big embrace and a long loving kiss on her sweet cheek.  Zakiah didn't have to be here.  When the nurses told me that Zakiah's blood pressure was dropping and that it was time to deliver, 101 million things could have gone wrong in the delivery process. BUT.  BUT GOD gave us HIS grace and mercy to bless my family with Zakiah.  Thank You, Father!

My heart goes out to these women and their families for having to experience such great loses at a time where there should be celebration and joy.  Many times, there are no answers to why such untimely events happen to such sweet, innocent, precious little babies.  But one thing for sure is that they are in the best place anyone can be and that is with the Heavenly Father.

Lets not take for granted what precious gifts children are in this world.  Love them. Cherish them. Raise them in the right direction. Nourish them. Embrace them.


Flower Power


Post Church Shots


Flaunting that cheesy grin!


So adorably cute!!!


Wearing one of mommy's designed bows!


Picture perfect except for my leg positioning in the background...ugh! lol


Such a sweet blessing from God! (Excuse the mess in the background. Today is cleaning day.)

It Finally Came Back...

...on Wednesday the 9th. If you don't know what I am talking about, that is fine. This is basically for my own reference. ;)

And What About Me???

I am usually the one snapping fifty million pictures of Zakiah that I rarely get any snaps of me and her together.  Hmph, that is something we really need to work on. (Ahem, Josh...lol).  But I did manage to find these:





November 30th, 2009 (After our long trip back home from Jersey)


And sometimes, I just need a little ME time:


November 23, 2009 (On the way up to Jersey)

My Favorite Pictures from Yesterday


Daddy and Zakiah showing off their beautiful smiles!


Zakiah sporting her gummy smile and bubbly chin!


Zakiah in her sleep sack aka the hot pocket (daddy named that)

Googly Moogly...

...there is something about that phrase that cracks Zakiah up! She loves hearing me say it.  It is too funny.  Also she loves playing peek-a-boo, FINALLY.  She will search all around until me or Josh pops up from behind a pillow or object and then smile. It is truly amazing how much she is attached to us and how she knows that we are her mommy and daddy.

Tonight as I was getting Zakiah ready for bed, she started crying because she was hungry.  She was trying to seek me out for milk as I was trying to get her pajamas on.  She came close to her goal but I stopped her because the routine is to get her dressed after her bath and before her bedtime feeding.  Boy, did she ball out crying.  I kept reassuring her that the milk was coming but first thing first...we had to get those jammies on.  She cried the entire time as I was dressing her up until the time she finally got what she wanted and was so satisfied afterwards.

I mentioned this because when I take the time out to realize, the relationship Zakiah and I have resembles the relationship between me and God on so many levels.  God knows what is ahead in my journey and promised to supply my basic necessities along the way (Philippians 4:19) .  I knew that Zakiah was going to be fed real soon, but she was caught up in not getting her milk now.  Many times, I cry out to God when I don't see things going my way right then and there. I fail to remember that God is always on time and will meet my needs according to when He sees fit in His plan.  I just need to keep faith in Him and not depend on what I see (or don't see) at the moment.  God knows that certain things must be accomplished FIRST before my blessings can come so when they do come, I can be fully prepared to receive them and can truly give Him the praise and glory.

Thank you, Father for helping me see the lessons in the small things that go on around me!



Breastfeeding Hasn't Always Been Easy

I was looking back through Josh's camera since I plan on using it to take better pictures of Zakiah for now own and noticed some pictures I have totally forgotten about it. On his camera were several pictures taken of Zakiah when we were dealing with our battle of thrush several months ago. For those who don't know, thrush is, in simplest terms, a yeast infection inside a baby's mouth and on his tongue. Sometimes in vaginal deliveries, babies can contract a yeast infection orally and cause an overgrowth of the yeast on their tongue over time. Many times, this does not cause any discomfort to the baby but to the breastfeeding mother...oh me, oh my. A baby can pass thrust to the mother via suckling at the breast, which can translate to throbbing, radiating pain deep inside the mother's breast tissue.

I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE!

The pain hurt so bad that I really thought I was going to have to give up breastfeeding. But deep inside and despite the pain, I knew I wanted to give Zakiah the best source of food possible. She depended on my milk supply to satisfy her hunger and to provide her soothing comfort although simultaneously I had tears down my eyes with my toes clinched in pain. PLUS, I didn't want to give up the bonding experience that is associated with breastfeeding so soon. Therefore, I went through several different methods to treat this condition.

Zakiah's pediatrician prescribed us some Nystatin to help resolve the thrush. However, as I was researching more about it, I noticed it was basically a sugary mixture that has basically lost half of its effectiveness over the years due to the increasing strength of the yeast strain. Besides, doesn't yeast THRIVE on sugar??? Anyway, Zakiah and I used Nystatin, and after two weeks, it didn't work. GO FIGURE!

I decided to pump like crazy and feed Zakiah with a bottle to provide me some relief from the stabbing pain in my breast. Um, how about I pumped so much that my poor nipples were raw. Yes, bloody raw. I guess that explains why I haven't really pumped much since then.

My mom gave me some Diflucan to help clear up the yeast orally over the course of three days. It helped with the pain, BUT since Zakiah still had the thrush in her mouth, she passed it right back to me after I took the Diflucan medication. Thrush must be treated for both mother and baby at the same time or else they can pass the infection back and forth in what can seem like a never ending cycle.

SOOOO, I decided to research some more and seek natural ways to treat thrush. I came across this solution called Gentian Violet. I even called the La Leche League for some more information about this solution. I was told that this solution was used commonly back in the day to treat thrush and was VERY effective (but later you will see...messy) method at doing so. I even mentioned it to Zakiah's pediatrician AND my mom and they both heard of it and recalled it being used several years ago. The pediatrician even said that their office used to carry it but stopped when all these other SO CLAIMED effective (aka NON-EFFECTIVE) medicines and treatments came out.

Anyway, Josh ordered some of this Gentian Violet from the local pharmacy for less than $2 for a couple ounces! And just to think we wasted over $30 for the Nystatin treatment. Well, I tell you, the Gentian Violet worked like a charm! It took about a week of treatment with a dab of the solution rubbed on my nipples and the inside of Zakiah's mouth daily. I immediately felt relief and the yeast began clearing from Zakiah's tongue.

I hope to never EVER have to experience the type of pain I experienced with thrush. But if I do, I definitely will use Gentian Violet again. Just to think that in a couple of weeks, Zakiah and I would have been on this breastfeeding journey for SIX months! Woot! Never thought I would be at this for this long. Thank God for the strength and endurance and PATIENCE to make it this far.

Oh, let me not forget to mention the drawback to using Gentian Violet: it left me stuck inside the house with a baby who looked like she took a big bite out of a big grape jelly doughnut!!!



LOL. Yes, my friends, Gentian Violet works, but it is messy and stains like crazy! This was taken on August 29, 2009. :)

Some of My Bow Designs

Since I have gotten a few more supplies for my bows, I made a batch of basic and ALMOST intermediate level bows. From what I have researched online, the techniques are fairly simple to follow. I have watched several youtube videos of women making bows so I got the basics down pat. Now it is time to let my creative juices flow.

The bows I have made so far are interchangeable with different colored headbands since Zakiah does not have enough hair to hold a big bow on her head. Here is Zakiah sporting one of my bows (sorry for the crappy Blackberry picture quality...I really hate to have to downgrade my software just to get my quality picture back):








Here are some others I have created:










What I like the best about creating your own bows is that you can design them to match every outfit your baby has. With SO many colors found in a little girl's outfit, the choices of color combination are virtually endless. I always loved creating accessories, and now I can add bows to my crafty resume.

One of my lifetime goals is to run a business selling some of my accessory creations. The question is...How do I get started??? Until I find out (or until someone kindly share with me some tips), I will continue to make a nice inventory of accessories for me and Zakiah. If anybody is interested in me designing a custom baby bow, please let me know. I am sure we can work something out! :)

Pigtails!

So Zakiah's hair is FINALLY starting to fill in at the spots where she used to rub her head bald in her bed! In addition to that, her hair texture is changing in the back of head. She has enough hair to put into five pigtails. I was trying to get a good shot of her and her new hairstyle, but Zakiah and the flash just didn't get it together.