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

Will Do a Massive Update on Pictures and Videos Soon!

Finally, I got my USB cord to my phone back from SC! My parents came up surprisingly on Sunday to bring Zakiah her new high chair they bought for her. I was totally not expecting for them to actually go out and buy her one. I just mentioned to them last week to be on the look out for one to see if they can find a good deal (because things are usually cheaper in SC than NC). Anyway, I will post about her high chair experiences so far in an upcoming post. I have lots to upload and edit and put together so I can post them here. It is supposed to snow either tomorrow or Saturday so I need to run out to do some things first.

Let me tell you...

She.IS.pulling.UP.on.EVERYTHING!

There is no stopping her. She can even hold herself in a standing position for a second or two before falling on her bum bum. Why do I get the feeling that she is going to be walking soon?

It is cute how she can crawl after me when I leave from the living room to the kitchen.  So weird.



(My brother and his son Jayden. He is 2 already as of December! Glad I have some time before Zakiah hits that age because from what I hear, Jayden is a TRIP now. So.NOT.ready.)

Happy 7 Months Babe!

I know I have been slacking a lot with blogging lately but I'm getting lots done offline. I have reapplied for grad school, applied for financial aid, looked into child care for Zakiah, researched several biotechnology companies in the area, and submitted my resume to some (which is my goal everyday until God blesses me with an opportunity). I have also been working diligently making hair bows and earrings to sell online. I made over 25 earrings and 25 hair bows. I'm going to run to the craft store tomorrow to pick up a few more yards of ribbons to make some more bows before I put everything online. So excited! I have been couponing also to get free to cheap items from the grocery and drug stores to donate to my Church's food bank. I am hoping to one day organize a ministry at my Church for a group of us to get together to learn about how to use coupons to save money AND have extra items to donate to those in need. I think of couponing as a manifestation of how God can create abundance out of very little. He is AWESOME!

So my baby is 7 months! ::tear:: She is doing EVERYTHING except walking and speaking real words. She can repeat dada after me, she can pull up to her knees unless I reach out my hands for her to grab and pull up to her feet (which she absolutely LOVES to do), and she is getting so much better with her crawling! She does this grunting noise while crawling that tickles me because I just know whenever she is on the move! She moves diagonal sometimes while crawling but nevertheless she is getting it down pat and getting much faster. Put a plate of food down in front of her a few feet away and she goes charging. So cute.

She is eating stage 2 fruits and veggies and pretty much likes everything she eats. She has tried two jars of stage 3 oatmeal and fruit mix and ate that just fine even though it is thicker. But we are going to stick with stage 2 foods for a little while. I got some jars of stage 1 meats but haven't given her any yet. I will wait til next week to introduce those to her. We are still breast feeding exclusively. I don't know how long this will last but am totally fine with taking it one day at a time. She nurses 4-5 times a day and I am assuming she is getting about 5 to 7 ounces each time because that is how much my breasts can pump out! She likes drinking for my cup when I drink water. We are working with the sippy cup but she hasn't gotten the coordination down yet. I have packed all her bottles away since she hasn't used them in over three months. She doesn't take the pacifier nor does she suck her thumb. She does like a little extra nursing to satisfy her suckle needs.

She has been taking big girl baths and loves it! No desire to go back to the baby tub. She enjoys her space. She is still sleeping through the night although she sometimes get up as early as 5am. I have been putting her to bed as early as 7 to make sure she gets at least 10 hours of sleep. When she does get that much sleep, she is cranky. She can stay up for longer stretches now-about 3 hours at a time. She doesn't take her two hour nap as much as she used to but takes about 2-3 naps daily. We nap together sometimes and sometimes I just look at her while she is sleeping beautifully and peacefully. She cries bloody murder sometimes when she is in her crib too long after waking and when she is first but into it for a nap. She doesn't see the crib as a space to play most times. She doesn't like seeing me leave her in the crib by herself. Separation anxiety is rough sometimes.

She weighs 17 pounds and 12 ounces and is 26.08 inches so she is about average now for her age. She moves around SO much so I guess she is burning up lots of calories. She is still squeezing in her size 2 diapers since they go up to 18 pounds but wears a size 3 overnight to protect from leaks. She wears size 6-9 months clothing.

We are battling this diaper rash and I don't know how to clear it up. It is not bad and is pretty centralized in one area but I want to clear the area although she doesn't seem bothered by the rash. She have like major poops every two or so days. It is so yucky and smelly! The diaper genie has been doing a great job containing the smell of her poopy diapers. She goes through 5-6 diapers a day. Packages of diapers are truly stretching much longer.

She looks like Josh overall in my opinion although in certain expressions I can claim that I see me in her. She is the perfect blend of us though. I cannot hear enough how beautiful she is by those who see her. Her hair is gradually getting thicker and curlier. I just let it do its own thing for the time being. She is also getting a little darker than my complexion.

Zakiah is such a sweet baby. Of course she has her fussy moments and her needy moments but that is what babies go through. She doesn't even look like a baby anymore especially when she is pulling herself on her knees. I guess one of the best parts of watching her grow is to experience the innocence and security she exudes! It is simply AMAZING! Thank God for seven challenging but highly rewarding months with Zakiah and hopefully there will be hundreds more!

Mommy loves you!

Side note: Please pray for Haiti! I'm am watching a special on NBC right now to help raise money for the victims. I can't even imagine what they are going through right now. It is heartbreaking knowing so many children are without their parents and little babies are suffering and dying. This mother dig through rubble with her bare hands for 50 hours to find her crying baby buried underneath as his cries were getting weaker. Fortunately help came and they were able to rescue her baby boy. It made me cry. A mother's love is such a powerful force! Beyonce just got finished singing Halo which is such a beautiful song. I can't even complain about my circumstances when those in Haiti lost the little they had and more. God has a plan. This will make Haiti stronger. Good can come through pain. Hold your babies tight. Tell others you love them. Do good for others. What happened down there could have happened ANYWHERE! Pray pray pray!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

The Thinkers

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sleeping Bottom Up

So cute!! This was last week during one of her naps.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

So Anxious About This Grad School Thing.

THIS.IS.ME.BEING.REAL. Bear with me.  (LONG VENT POST)

I feel like the devil got me wrapped around fear when I think about finishing up my thesis and defending it so I can graduate. I mean, goodness, it is the ONLY thing left I need to do. I guess what is big on my mind is how I got terminated after all these years because I couldn't get my financial aid cleared in time for the fall semester.  As a result of not being continuously registered in school, my graduate status has been dropped.  So disheartening. It was very hard for me to juggle everything over the summer with Zakiah being so young and me being a new parent and not having family close by. But anyway, I need to reapply for grad school, which is what I must get done very soon in order to meet the deadline this month.

Another thing that makes me anxious about grad school is that I disappointed my advisers time and time again.  Trust me. I have not been the ideal grad student by far.  If you looked at the Kristal in biomedical engineering in undergrad and the Kristal in biomedical engineering in grad school, you would be rest assured that I transformed into two different people.  I graduated in honors in undergrad with a great gpa and high expectations.  Now (although I have been done with my classes on time in 2007), I am barely making over a 3.0.  Grad school has been so grueling for me.  It was as if I lost my passion for biomedical engineering.  I didn't have much guidance at all and didn't know what direction I wanted to take (and still not sure now).  I felt like grad school just made me even more confused about my career path.  I guess that's why I haven't been so dedicated to my degree, dedicated to my research (which took way TOO long to complete), dedicated to my advisors, and dedicated to GOD (who has allowed me to be in grad school when so many can't).  Now I feel like I must tough it out just to get done with this degree so I can stop having it hang over my head and cause me grief.

I am nervous about reapplying because it has been a long time since I talked to my advisors.  At this point, they probably don't even think of me or care about how I am doing.  They are probably disappointed by my extended leave of absence without giving them any heads up, which is understandable because I have been irresponsible with my communication.  I guess it's because I was afraid of what they would think of me being unmarried, pregnant (then) and with child now, and still in school. Right now, I don't know how to confront them because of the fear of being judged especially since these are the people who have to sit and listen to me defend my thesis for an hour or so (which makes me CRINGE because I do not like presenting especially since my degree depends on it) and drill me with questions that I feel might cause me to stumble.  Me and one of my advisors already had some miscommunication issues which caused drama. And now we haven't spoken for a very long time. I don't even know what to say to him. UGH. God, I am in such a mess.

Being in this situation breaks my heart because it honestly have made me less confident about having a promising career in engineering.  I am drowning in debt and I have a beautiful girl to take care of.  I have applied to research and lab jobs that I feel like I could have gotten but believe that me not completing my degree is hindering me from getting at least one interview.

Right now, I just want to break down and cry. Here Josh is working during the day and at school during the night and trying to support us the best way he can.  He truly wants to finish school but is so drained from the demands of his job.  I am sitting here knowing I can potentially be bringing in at least 60,000 a year if I just get myself together. I mean HELLO!

This is my first time REALLY putting my thoughts and feelings about what is going on personally outside of the trials and joys of raising Zakiah out on my blog.  I need some encouragement and prayers. Please. The newness of being a first time mom has dwindled away and I need to move forward with my life outside of motherhood.  In the Bible, they say nothing is new underneath the sun.

Why do I feel like I am the only one who has gone through what I have gone through and still going through right now?

I know. Because the devil makes it SEEM that way.  I need to get it stuck in my heart that the devil is a liar.  God has a great track record of bringing people out of some pretty grim situations. I just need to go by faith that God is true to Romans 2:28 and not depend on how bad I see my situation.  There is good in every situation.  When I can't see it, it is because I allowed the devil to blind my spiritual sight. It is sad because he has blinded me for a long time with the grad school situation.

I need to change my perspective because if I don't make moves towards God's Will, then I deny God from doing amazing works through me. He might have plans for me to be this great biomedical engineer while I am sitting here doubting myself and Him.  I am tired of grieving God because I don't trust Him like I should to bring me through school.  He brought me too far to leave me now. I need to stop acting like He has left me. He loves me more than I can ever love myself. He continues to bless me even when I have drifted off like the prodigal son. He is waiting for me to return to Him. He has a celebration waiting for me.  I just need to return back to Him.

O.M.G (goodness). God loves ME that much! I am feeling better already. Thank You, Father for just being AWESOME and PATIENT when you could have just wiped my life away in a snap because I don't deserve to be here today. No one does.  It is because of Your Grace and Mercy that we all are here at this moment. Thank You again because I can't say it enough!  Thank You, Jesus for dying on the cross so that MY sins can be washed away, and I can have the hope for eternal life.  Thank You Lord for being that mediator so I can talk to our Father.  Thank You, Holy Spirit for being the best comforter ever and speaking through me and to me.  You are the One helping me get through my carnal fears and thoughts. What a breath of fresh air!

Sorry for sounding all ramble but this is how I try to sort through my feelings, which are hardly straightforward. I can start writing one thought and then all of a sudden another thought pops up and I proceed with that one. It may sound like I am replying to some of my own questions, fears, doubts, and concerns but I must do whatever it takes to get my focus back on God and not on my circumstances surrounding me (which I do often). I need to remember that life on this crazy world is temporary (thank Goodness), but I must complete what God has started in me so He can be pleased and receive the glory.

Aw, I am SO glad that when I am feeling down, I can sit down with my thoughts and rationalize through them spiritually to encourage myself.  I need to do this more often. There is so much I can bottle inside. This stuff bottled inside is JUNK and it is unhealthy.  I am working on getting rid of it because input determines output.  I surely don't want anything negative to come out of me because it can affect the people around me who loves me.

Ok.  A lot said in this post. I can definitely tell that my mood has changed from a negative one in the beginning of this post to a more positive one near the end. I am going to stop, however, because I have things I need to get done for God. I need to live up to my name and work towards being a good steward for God.  If you can't relate to what I talked about in this post, that's ok.  It was meant for me to vent and to ask for prayers of encouragement. I am definitely a work in progress. Under construction. I hope to read back on this months from now and praise God for bringing so much farther than where I am right now.

Thanks for reading this far!

Zakiah is doing great by the way.  She has figured out how to move forward now so she is basically on the go in her own creeping way!  She has also figured out how push herself backwards in the walker.  She is learning so fast. Gosh, I love this girl!  Thank You God for her!

Be blessed and include God in EVERY situation.  Put Him first as a matter of fact!  He is the best way to go into any trial and tribulation.  To all the single moms and dads, keep your heads up! It is hard for me with a partner by my side so I can only imagine how hard things can get sometimes without the other parent around. But no matter what, everything will work out just fine (more than fine according to Eph 3:20) for those who love God (Romans 8:28).

All for $0.51 at Harris Teeter

Everything was free with $26.61 worth of coupons. All I had to pay was tax, hence the $0.51! Fantastic!

I am going to make one more trip with the coupons I have left. I want to get some more Special K bars and Lysol products for free.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Why Must She Put Everything In Her Mouth?

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Testing to see if Videos Will Post on Blogger from Smartphone

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

ETA: I guess not. :(

I left my USB cord to my blackberry at home (in SC) so I can't upload any videos right now until my parents mail me the cord.

Spent $2.73 and Saved $57.74 in Coupons at Harris Teeter!

Today Harris Teeter started their Super Doubles where they double coupons up to $1.98. This means you can save up to $3.96 with a coupon. I had a coupon for EVERY product shown above. Most of the items were free with a coupon. Super doubles is awesome! I plan to make a couple more runs to Harris Teeter to stock up on some items. The event started at 7 and when I got to the store, some of the items were almost cleared out! I got the last pack of Chinet napkins for free which was a MUCH better deal than what I was looking for. I even saw a young guy shopping with coupons. Such a smart guy! You usually are women at the stores early with their coupon books.

Do a google search for Harris Teeter Super Double Deals January 2010 to find LOTS of blogs and websites listing deals and places to print off coupons to use to get free and really cheap items.

Baby was not included in the groceries. LOL
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Walgreens: Spent 2.06 and Saved 17.29 with Coupons

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Zakiah's Third Tooth Has Broken Through

This girl is on a roll! Her top front tooth was apparent last night at bath time. I knew it was coming soon because her gum was so white underneath. I think her second top tooth will come in about two weeks from the look of her gum. I haven't gotten a picture of it yet. The picture above is of her playing and trying to change into a crawling position. She still hasn't figured out the hand coordination.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Zakiah in Her BIG Winter coat...

...AND cramped in her car seat. LOL Poor baby can't even access her hands because the sleeves are REALLY long on her coat!

It is SO cold here!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Zakiah Threw Down on Her Sweet Peas

I didn't get a picture but recorded Zakiah eating sweet peas baby food for the first time. I just KNEW beforehand that she would NOT like the taste of it.  I tasted it myself before giving it to her and I thought it was HORRIBLE. Clearly, I am not a sweet pea fan. My parents even informed me that I did not eat the stuff unless they dipped something sweet (like pear) at the tip of the spoon with the sweet pea on it. LOL. Tactics parents use! But, I am more of a frozen garden pea fan.  Anyway, how about Zakiah ate a whole jar of the stuff in one sitting!  I am wondering whether she really liked it or if she was really hungry...lol.  Either way, she downed it like it was nothing. 

I bought some green bean baby food so I will see how she takes that in a few days.  Feeding her food is so fun!

Oh, tooth number 3 really seems to be on the verge of a breakthrough.  It is looking pretty white underneath the gum where her top front right tooth will soon be. :)

Bought $24.91 Worth of Items for $5.83 Today at Walmart

I had a coupon for every single item you see in the picture. I got the draino, three packs of razors, and the Kotex pantiliners for free! I love coupons! I started couponing back in October and have saved so much money. If you want to hop on the bandwagon of couponing, I suggest you buy a copy or two or three of tomorrow's paper! There will be over $400 worth of coupons in each paper! What a great way to start your coupon stockpile and begin saving huge this year!

Coupons are like free money! Use them! You will never want to go shopping without them once you realize their huge savings potential! Stay tune for more information about couponing and my shopping adventures!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wow, First Post of 2010!

This is huge for me since I never kept a blog active from one year to another. I guess it is not that hard when you have an ever so beautiful blossoming baby girl in your presence. Anyway, I want to wish all a Happy New Year! I don't think I mentioned it before (or maybe I did), but Josh and I came up with a motto to live by this year:

In It To Win in 2010!!!

Something about a new year that just makes you feel like you have a clean slate. It makes you feel like you have a chance to get your life back together again. I love this feeling. I am going to seize this moment. I am going to make a difference today.

I don't make out any more new years resolutions because I am already backed up with resolutions from previous years. No need to pile more on top of those.  Plus some of the resolutions I have made are usually carried on from year to year.  I will say that my main priorities are to:
  • strengthen my relationship with God
  • enjoy everyday as a gift from God
  • be a great mom to Zakiah
  • be a better girlfriend, daughter, sister, and friend
  • finish school
  • find a job
  • lose 40 pounds
  • take better care of my hair and body
  • move into a bigger space by the end of July
  • get my bowtique shop online open and running

I think I am going to post this list on my blog somewhere as a constant reminder of what my priorities are.  We all know how the devil can easily distract our focus from where God wants to take us.  I hope you all are ready for the new year.  Like I mentioned in the last post, 2010 is going to be a great year.  Go ahead and claim it.

The Bible Verse of the Day is SO appropriate for the new year.  Keep your eye on the prize.  Past mistakes don't matter.  It is how you get up from them and move forward that matters!