I Won’t Cry…

Today was the day! Today was Johanna’s first day of big girl school and she rocked it like a boss!


When she woke up this morning we clapped our hands and told her it was time to get ready for school and she was so excited! She smiled real big and smothered the cat in a hug, then she was off to get dressed. When we got downstairs I surprised her with her Doctor McStuffins backpack and she was over the moon. She did NOT want to put it down. When we got outside she did not want to get in the car because she thought she was going to walk to school lol. Ummm, Johanna, while the school is in the neighborhood, ma’am, it’s a mile walk. We’re not doing that today lol.


When we got to school she was all smiles. I helped her put on her backpack and she was ready to go! We took her to her classroom and the teachers were very welcoming. Johanna sat down and DH gave her the breakfast he prepared (pancakes, banana, and orange juice). Johanna slightly ate a banana, but didn’t really want it. She was too busy checking out the classroom. We put her things away, spoke to the teachers, then told her bye. I knew she was going to be fine when she gave me a kiss goodbye. We left to handle some administrative stuff, then returned to the classroom to peep in through the back door to see what she was doing. I love my daughter. I love her manners. She sat there eagerly watching the other kids play, but would turn around and place her hands in her lap patiently waiting to be dismissed from breakfast. Even at daycare she was like that. She would not get up from the table to go play until she was properly dismissed. DH and I went back in the classroom to help her pack up the breakfast and then she was excused to play and she started having a ball. She played cars with another little girl and enthusiastically ran up to me with two of them. She was so excited! I was so happy that she was happy. We told her we were leaving and she happily said bye mama! Bye dada! That warmed my heart. I was ok. Mama wasn’t gonna cry. Babygirl is going to rock school and I know they will take good care of her because seriously, who wants to deal with me if they don’t O_o.

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A moment ago DH called to ask me how I wasn’t crying lol. I sent him the pictures we took this morning and he was teary eyed. His baby was off to school. Normally I would be teary eyed, but I know that she is ok, so I’m ok. And by October school will be an everyday thing that we’re all used to.

I’m wishing all of the kids, especially those in the DMV area, a wonderful, prosperous, fantastic, super fun, super thought provoking new school year. I’m saying a prayer and sprinkling success dust on all of you.

D0495AD0BBB1CE657B5DAAC01B573AF6 LaDale-yellow

Mommy Guilt


This week was a bit of a whirlwind. Between finding Johanna a new school and being sick, I’m exhausted. On Monday Johanna had her very first dentist appointment and she did beautifully. As you can see, she was so full of glee that she couldn’t stand still. This dentist office was very fun looking and kid friendly. The dentist himself was very gentle with Johanna and we appreciated that. She was an angel for him, opening up wide for him to brush her teeth, which is exactly the opposite of what she does for us at home.


After the dentist appointment we visited the daycare facility in the city. Of course Johanna loved their playground like I thought she would lol. We didn’t have many reservations about the place but on this second visit it was a bit cluttered to me. At her current daycare they clean as they go so it’s never really a mess in there. Just an observation.

Lastly we visited the Christian Academy in our neighborhood. We met with the Executive Director and things were great. We went on a tour and mommy got sad a bit. Although she won’t be sitting at a desk, she will be in a real deal classroom. It is just a switch from the daycare to the classroom and I got a little emotional on the inside thinking of my baby growing up. I don’t like it lol.  It’s bad enough that her favorite saying right now is “I’ll do it, all by myself!”Le sigh.

PicMonkey Collage

Yesterday was Orientation at the new school. Johanna got to visit her classroom and meet her new teachers. She had a ball because the new classroom meant new toys lol. As the room started filling up she got a little shy and wanted to sit in my lap, but she was still smiling. That made me feel good. Maybe she’ll be just fine. We were also able to pick up some school uniforms for her and hear about some programs that the school offers. Johanna can participate in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program even at the PreK-2 level! I think that is fabulous. They will also teach her spanish and sign language, AND they take then for tumbling lessons once a week. Very cool if you ask me.

Well this morning brought with it mommy guilt. This is Johanna’s last day at Day Care. Of course I’m freaking out on the inside wondering if we are doing the right thing. I do NOT want to damage her in anyway. My worse nightmare is that this turns out to be really bad and she is scarred for life. I’ve tried explaining to her all week that this will be the last time she sees her teachers at the daycare and that she starts a new school on Monday. She says ok and nods her head, but she’s 2.5. I don’t know how much she really understands. Anyway, when her dad dropped her off this morning he said that the teachers were all really sad and in tears O_O. Thanks you guys. You’re making this so easy on me (NOT), I feel so bad. I know that she loves them and that they care for her. She’s been there for a whole year and she’s use to them. I feel evil now tossing her into a new program. However, as I explain to people the fact that the new program will be $250 less letting us exhale a tiny bit easier, that she will be in uniforms so we don’t have to spend as much on clothes, that her cousins go there and that the programs they offer are really good, I know we’re making the right decision. I just pray she sees it the same eventually. I guess this is one of those moments where the kids don’t understand why mom and dad did what they did, until they are older and have kids of their own.

Say a little prayer to Jesus for me and Johanna. I think dad is fine. But mom is having a bit of a meltdown :-/


Kidriffic Events for August 16-18, 2013

Hello my luvs. I hope everyone had a great week and has great things planned for the weekend. If you don’t, I have your weekend events right here. Tomorrow Johanna and I are meeting friends for lunch, then hopefully we’ll kick the soccer ball around for a while. Sunday is made for Church and relaxation. Enjoy your weekend!

Montgomery County Fair
596 N. Frederick Ave.
When: Now – Saturday, August 17
Admission: $10, Children 11 & Under Free
Enjoy the fair before time is up! Fair food, great rides, and cute animals. What more could you ask for?

Arts & Humanities Festival
St. Elizabeth’s East
1100 Alabama Avenue SE
When: Saturday-Sunday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free
A festival to celebrate the history and culture of Ward 8. There will be live performances, plenty of activities and workshops.


1st Johannas Mama Giveaway Winner!


Eek! I can’t believe I just hosted my first giveaway! It was so much fun. I have a very exciting one planned for all the mamas out there in the near future that I can’t wait to tell you about. But for now, let’s get to the H&M Meets Back-To-School Giveaway.



Congratulations my luv! I will be in touch with you to discuss how you want to receive your prize. Thank you for participating and I hope your little one has a great first day of school!


Need a Daycare? Save Your Pennies

1303685261_187932135_1-Pictures-of--Family-Day-Care-Home-Homestead-FLI just got back from touring a new daycare facility for Johanna. I really like the Director and teachers at her current daycare, but I’m afraid they aren’t equipped to help her get where she needs to be in a few areas. Her speech is fine, but it could be much better, as well as a few other things. This is going to be hard because she adores her teachers, and you all know about the separation anxiety she was suffering. I’m not looking forward to this adjustment period.

On this search for daycare a second time around, I got frustrated all over again. I ended up exclaiming to a friend that it should not be this hard to find good daycare! Daycare should NOT be this expensive! A good Education and Daycare should be free for all. A parent shouldn’t have to decide whether they are going to sacrifice having electricity or live in a shoebox in order to afford daycare. From my search the average cost of daycare in DC is about $1650. That’s right, $1650. And I said that was about average. Some daycare’s cost $2200/m! That’s right. That’s a mortgage and some more stuff. That is ri-damn-diculous! Now, Johanna is in a two parent, two income household. How in the world do single mothers afford having kids? My hats off to them because we feel like we’re drowning with the two of us. We need for Johanna to get a job. She’s cute, she can model. I kid! Sort of. Ok, probably not, but whatevs, judge me.

While a lot of parents do want to leave their kids and put them in daycare, there are a lot that don’t and find it a necessary evil because they have to get back to work. Something has to give. Caregivers are being paid $10/hr and it leaves you to wonder where exactly the rest of that money goes. Think about it. If a center is making $1650 per child, and in one classroom alone there are 12 students, that is 19800. That’s $6600 per month per teacher in that classroom. Yet they bring home $1600 a month (this is all untaxed of course). Where da heck does the rest go? Because most daycares are not just one classroom, there are at least 3 other classes with 12 kids in there. Also, if you are bringing your child in as an infant you are paying even more. It’s bananas. I really wish society would refocus. I understand that nfl, nba, etc. players entertain us, but honestly, we need to pay those industries less and put more money and time into education.

My rants over, for now. All I know is that it took me quite sometime to find daycare options in my price range and even with I did find them, I had to worry about wait-lists. Did you know you could be on a wait-list for a daycare for years? Seriously. Someone told me they were on a wait-list so long that their son wasn’t able to benefit from the daycare (he is now in 2nd grade), but his little brother who was recently born will be able to because that spot that their mother signed up for years ago JUST became open O_O.

The moral of this story? If you plan on ever having kids, research daycare centers now. When you think you may want to try for a baby, put yourself on the waiting lists out there. There’s a good chance a spot won’t be available by the time you give birth. Save your pennies now. I’m not being facetious. The struggle for good, affordable daycare is real. Be prepared. And lastly, pay attention to what’s happening with education in this country and let your voice be heard. Nothings going to change unless we are proactive in our own lives.

Johanna visits the daycare on Monday. Wish us luck. We’re going to need it.

D0495AD0BBB1CE657B5DAAC01B573AF6LaDale-yellowHave you entered my giveaway yet? Hurry up, you only have until 9am August 16!

An Awakening with Jill Scott

If you remember, a few weeks ago in this post I mentioned that Jill Scott would be doing a talk here in DC at the Native American Museum. I was hyped! I love Jill Scott. All of her songs make me feel like we are having a personal conversation about our experiences. About life, love, being a woman. I love it! I love her. Every time she comes to the area I go to see her. It just happened to be that this time she was giving a talk instead of singing. I was totally cool with that. One of my daughters daycare teachers asked me what she was going to be talking about. “*Blink* *blink*I have no clue, but I’m there!” Because honestly, it’s Jill Scott! She could stand there as a piece of art and I would still be there to watch. Luv me sum her!

That night I learned a lot about Jill Scott, but I also learned a lot about myself. She talked about not wanting the fame and recognition. She just wants to sing and be herself. The fame was too overwhelming for her in the beginning so she did what many would consider to be the unthinkable – she tried to sabotage her sophomore album. Because then we would forget about her and she could just go back to loving singing and no one recognizing her. Uhh, well, too late. Also, she just happened to have that golden nugget of a song called Golden on the album. Woooo chile! Golden is my feel good song! More than that though, look at God! He basically said you can TRY to shut down the gift I gave you, but I’m not here for that. I love it! She still shined.

What most of my readers don’t  know about me is that I have a love for acting. Always have. I acted from the age of 5-24. I stopped because I had a director who was pretty emotionally abusive and it made me not want to go on the stage anymore. So now I act in my head in my living room. I memorize lines from my favorite shows. I imagine the different roles I can play. Then I stop. It becomes painful and I stop. The stage was my home. I left all of me there every time I was on it. Not acting is like living with very little oxygen everyday. It feels very weird not to act. It makes me feel a little lost. I don’t like that feeling, but the stage, the experience, it still scares me. I was reminded of this when Jill mentioned that she had to sing. Had to. Like, she doesn’t actually have a choice.

This whole talk with Jill encouraged me to strip the layers of fear and live my authentic life. Continue to grow into the me that God wanted me to be, and pursue those things that scare the crap out of me. It’s there that I’ll find the growth I desire!

If you weren’t there, I wish you could’ve been. It was pretty inspirational. Lucky for you, there’s a video of her talk available, yay!

Shout out to Curvey CEO, Danielle of Songs in the Key of Life, and Mahoganie. It was great to be in the place with you. Love your energy ladies!

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Have you entered my giveaway?

Kidriffic Events for August 10-11, 2013

Hello my luvs! I honestly don’t see a lot of events for kids this weekend that I love. I usually try to post free or low cost events and I’m striking out this time. So, here’s my suggestions. Head to the Zoo because honestly, what kid doesn’t like animals? Visit a museum! I suggest the Museum of african Art or the National Museum of the american Indian. Checkout a Nats game. Goldstar.com usually has cheap tickets for the game.

As for me, I’m going outside to play soccer with Johanna before having some grown up time tonight. Have a great weekend and be safe! Oh, and don’t forget to enter my giveaway!


Separation Anxiety…or Something More?

When I had Johanna, I could only be off of work for 3 months, then it was time to find her a daycare to attend while I went back to the ho hum of my work day. Don’t get me wrong, I was ready to go back, but I wasn’t. Leaving my baby was scary for me because I couldn’t see what she was doing every minute of the day. Well, as life would have it, two months after getting back I was laid off. I saw it as a blessing in disguise. I got severance pay and then unemployment, so I was able to sit home with Johanna.For the next 15 months it was just me and her day in and day out. Towards the end of our time together, I was itching and scratching to get back to work. I felt like I was losing my identity and purpose and becoming nothing more than, well, Johanna’s Mama. This scared me. When I found a job I was ecstatic. It didn’t pay me my dream salary, but at least I was going to be productive again. But what about Johanna?

After trying desperately to find daycare’s in our price range, we finally found one that we liked. It was secure and parents dropped in all the time. The director was always there and visible. They provided meals and well rounded lessons. This was good for us, but for Johanna…

As I explained before, Johanna is an introvert. She prefers to be around those that she knows really really really well. That would be us, her parents. Other acceptable folks are her grandparents, aunts and cousins. That’s it. She suffered separation anxiety in the worse way when she first got to daycare. I mean falling out screaming! I would leave to put her stroller away and when I was done, I was still able to hear her crying in the classroom. There was no pacifying her. She doesn’t fall out that bad now, thank God, but a year later, she does still cry when being dropped off. The somewhat embarrassing part is that she is the only one. All of the kids look at her and ask if she’s ok. We can’t quite understand why she is still like this. When we leave now, she does stop crying and is just fine. When I pick her up in the evenings and ask her if she had a good day, she always yells “yes!”. So why is the drop-off still so hard? We get down on her level and tell her that we love her and we’ll be back to get her at the end of the day. Then we give her a hug and kiss and tell her bye – cue the tears and the NO MAMA! or NO DADA! We leave out as quickly as possible after that. What exactly are we doing wrong? I ask her about her day and she talks about all of her teachers and friends and she’s really happy. I don’t understand.

Is this anxiety or something more? Have you experienced this? How did you cope?

Don’t forget to enter my Back to School Giveaway here.