How We Met

Thankful for those flashback Friday’s and tbt’s because we met with the help of those popular hashtags. A friend of hers had posted a flashback of her and a few of their friends. After I had seen the pic and noticed we were in the same faith and shared common friends from our church community, I was immediately interested in knowing who she was. I reached out to of ours friends and she helped to bridge the gap between us. After I was introduced to keepitonthe_lolo, I was thrown off because she was reluctant to give me her number but I had to slide through her dm (??). It made no sense to me, and til this day we still go back and fourth about it. Pressing on, I learned that she had come out of a long past relationship and had been single for sometime. Even more, it was refreshing to know how she maneuvered through the breakup because she always sought Divine counsel and confirmation for answers. That said a lot to me.

I was happy to know we were both on the same page and our morals and values were aligned for what would make a healthy life together. We exercised transparency for one another through communication. Some other ways were through books like devotionals designed for couples who are seeking marriage. One we found helpful was, 101 Questions Before You Get Engaged by H. Norman Wright. There isn’t a question that we faced without prayer, and we made a commitment to one another that the questions would be presented new and answered with honesty. Of course, like any relationship we had some challenges. The obstacles we faced were from deep wounds that surfaced from the past which we were able to overcome together, as partners. That was not only therapeutic but it was also the precursor that empowered us to be better for each other. Those challenges bought us together even closer making our union even stronger. We are big on honesty and transparency. We dated for a few months and were exclusive for almost a year until we found out we were going to be expecting parents. I guess I can say the passion between us bought us an early gift.

We knew we wanted to share the rest of our lives together and raise our child in a structural environment. So we agreed and became legally married with a wedding celebration underway. We are not perfect and sometimes we get on each other’s nerves, that’s expected when two different people come together. However, we strive to make love the center of our home. God has blessed us with each other in a way that we balance one another. We’re both happily married aspiring to build a positive image of the black family. To add to our joy, we have healthy and beautiful daughter with a motivated desire to live out a love that inspires many.

Fatherhood

              Being a father has been such an amazing adventure so far. It has not only taught me so much about the impact of presence, but also the importance of time. When my daughter was born, I spoke to her and watched her cries settle as she found comfort in the sound of my voice. There was a chill that came over me because for the first time in my life I was totally responsible for someone's well being. After witnessing my wife's womb develop over the course of 9 months; after feeling the movements, attending frequent prenatal appointments, seeing the sonogram and watching my wife go into labor, I remember being overwhelmed with emotion. It was at that very moment that I'd realize there already existed this innate responsibility to be present in my daughter's life.

When I reflect on the journey thus far, I can't help but to reference the relationship that I have with my father in order to find meaning in the experience of fatherhood. My father and I have not always had the greatest relationship but I always knew that he loved me and his actions were with great regard for the family overall. Before I was birthed, my father left Haiti and ventured to the US in efforts to make a better living for the family. This resulted in many years passed where time between father and son (still in tender young ages) to go unspent, and those priceless yet valuable moments that the two deserved became empty memories. Therefore, because of this, the product from our lack of bonding resulted in a strained and estranged relationship,

To me being a father means spending the time to raise your child like no one else can, providing when it may not always seem possible, protecting when you may be at your weakest. There will be no greater reward than to watch your child soak up all the lessons you poured into them and watch them bloom into the King or Queen you raised them to be. That is the joys of fatherhood... and this is my journey.

Black Breast Feeding Awareness Week

   I never thought that after giving birth to Zu that I’d encounter so many problems with breastfeeding. Truth is, the hard part had just begun. Breastfeeding is an enduring process that requires a great deal of perseverance and commitment.
Moms out there know what I mean with the challenges us superwomen face when nurturing our little ones. I faced just about every hurtle; the painful latching process, the decrease in milk production, the heartache in trying to soothe a colicky baby, and having to throw away liquid gold (breast milk) due to failed storing techniques. Like many first time moms, I was unaware that after every 20 minutes of pumping fresh milk, bacteria multiplies! Who knew?! However, when I was introduced to Nanobébé products, I couldn’t help to think why didn’t I know of them sooner?! First off, their bottles mimic the shape of a real breast that only made transitioning a breeze for the little Miss who tends to be super dependent on boob.
Secondly, the Nanobébé storage bags conveniently allow breast milk to spread in a thin layer making the freezing and thawing process a rapid one. This way my Zu received all the nutrients made by momma in full density...not to mention, the bags are space savers! Also, because Zu was colicky in the early stage of breastfeeding, I was very skeptical in using just any bottle so it was refreshing to know that Nanobébé bottles are designed with an anti-colic system.
Nanobébé products are approved by this momma! And if you’re looking for a great registry or baby shower purchase, you can find their products at Target, Buy Buy Baby, or Amazon... Don’t say I didn’t put you on.  
 
-Momma Lo
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Love Thy Self

                   Sounds like such a no brainer right? But honestly there are so many of us that struggle with self love. If you've read my previous blog post entitled "My Dark Skin" you know that I dealt with some bullying that affected how I perceived my complexion. For a long time in my life it left me in a depreciated state and made it difficult for me to love myself. I'm sure if any of you are from the Caribbean then you know that our parents use reverse psychology as a tool to motivate; so let me give you guys some examples. Imagine two very religious old school Haitian parents who expected you to be perfectly obedient children, and then imagine a child like me who was dealing with bullies teasing me about my skin while struggling to be accepted at school. Now that you all have this pictured (hopefully), can you understand how it made me feel about myself when my parents would call me stupid thinking that it would motivate me to prove them wrong? Now bless their hearts because I know the intent and strategy they used to strengthen me, but it didn't exactly reap the positive results they expected. For me, I can say that things started turning around when I strengthened my relationship with God. So here are a few things I believe can help to improve how you perceive yourself.

 

  1.  Establish a relationship with God - when you know who's you are, you know who you are
  2.  know your history for better self identity - the past can uncover so much knowledge that can empower you
  3. Be positive - keep a positive attitude
  4. Surround yourself with love - keep those who want the best for you around (its good for your psyche)
  5. Avoid Negativity - protect the energy around you. it is vital that you cancel out the noise

 

What other suggestions can you think of to improve/combat a lack of self love?

 

 

 

 

My Dark Skin

       

            " Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you." That is one of the biggest lies we have been told as children to help us deal with name calling and bullying, but the reality is that words do hurt and they can effect you for the rest of your life. I learned this truth early on in life and didn't realize until recently how much being teased during my childhood shaped how I viewed my dark skin. I've been called midnight, blacky, and shadow, just to name a few. Kids would turn the lights off with laughter asking where I went. With my limited english I would laugh along with them and internalize everything, but looking back now I know it was those experiences in my youth that effected how I embodied my skin. For many years I resented being dark. I would only come outside in the summer when the sun set, I would shower with hot water and scrub wishing my skin tone would lighten but it never worked. I felt so insecure about my skin for the majority of my life until later in my early adult years. I realized how beautiful my tone was, how it lusters in the sun, how bright colors compliment me so well & how much my complexion has helped build my character. If I could go back and talk to my old self, I would tell the younger me all the things that I know now. I would counsel myself on the importance of self love, educate myself on the true history of black people. Sticks and stones....its funny how you heal quicker from that then the words.

Letter

Letter To My Unborn Daughter

                            

             I love you. I opened my letter to you with that so you will always know first and foremost that daddy loves you. I cant wait to hold you in my arms for the first time, to hear your little cries, to see your little smile , to hear you say dada, to watch you sleep peacefully and to chase the boys away. I will not be a perfect father. I will make mistakes, but I will strive to make sure that I provide for you in every way. Know that you are a child of God, you are a Queen and no one can tell you any different. Know that you will be born in a world that fears your potential, a world where your skin color will be a reason for you to receive hate, but you will learn that love trumps all hate. I promise to teach you about who you are, introduce you to God, I promise to be an example of what a man should be, I promise to pick you up when you fall and kiss your bruises, I promise to love your mother and work on our union daily, I promise to lead our family, I promise to protect you and mommy from any and everything that tries to harm our family, I promise to make Love the biggest and most important word in our home, and most of all I promise to always love you, my Zu, my zucchini, my first born, my legacy.


                                                                                                                              Love,
                                                                                                                                  Daddy