Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: Year In Review

January - Brought in the New Year in Memphis with my bff (3 days). Went to what seemed like countless birthday events for #CapricornSeason. I don't know why I'm friends with so many of them. LOL! Got laid off from my job [womp].

February - Phoenix to meet my youngest niece and hang with my brother's family (5 days). Chicago (10 days). 

March - Job interview in NYC (1 day).

April - Job interviews in NYC (7 days). Lesley's bachelorette weekend in NOLA (3 days). Job interviews in NYC (2 days).

May - New York to look for an apartment (3 days). I MOVED TO NEW YORK! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Lesley's wedding in Chicago (3 days)

June - Went to Ohio for work (2 days)

July -Went to Pittsburgh for Joy's baby shower (3 days).

August -Went to Ohio for work (1 day)

September - Lesley visited from Memphis (3 days)

October -Went to Ohio for work (2 days), Went to St. Louis for work (2 days)

November - Went to Chicago for Cam's wedding & family visits (7 days), Mom came to visit me in New York for Thanksgiving (5 days). I hosted my first Thanksgiving in my little NY apartment! 

December -Went to Chicago for Christmas (8 days)

And somewhere in there I found out I'd be giving birth to twins [WHOA!] in 2016. What a year of twists and turns! What was your best memory from 2015? Or, if you did a 2015 roundup on your blog, please drop the link the comments.

Have a Safe and Happy New Year! XOXO

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Back of the Plane

I made a lot of decisions methodically. I'm robotic even, but it works for me. I rather enjoy sitting on the back of the plane. Here's why:

10. Quicker access to the bathroom on the plane.
9. When you have a carryon, there's usually more overhead bin space in the back.
8. When you have checked luggage, by the time you get off the plane your luggage waiting for you. 
7. You're closer to the flight attendants, so if you need help/extra goodies you are more likely to catch them.
6. People don't stare at you when they get on the plane (if you're in a middle or window seat).
5. People don't put their behinds on your shoulder when they get on the plane (if you're in an aisle seat).
4. The likelihood of their being an open seat next to you is WAY higher, so you can stretch out more times than not.
3. Somehow you avoid the long bathroom lines when you get OFF the plane. Probably the people in the middle opted out of going to the bathroom on the plane and by the time you get off, they're long gone.

2. People in the back of the plane are more chill. They're less likely to have a plane to catch or some important something to do, so they're not knocking you over to get off the plane. It makes for an overall better flying experience. 
1.  When the plane lanes you have time to check your email (if you're on a work trip) and your social media (when you're on a personal trip) BEFORE getting off the plane, so you don't have to walk through the airport with your head in your phone like all the other idiots.

Do you have an weird travel preferences? Where do you like to sit on planes?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Black Owned Businesses in Pittsburgh

One thing I appreciated about Pittsburgh is the people who have committed to stay in the city are committed to its improvements from a civic, economic and even social standpoint. I really appreciate their commitment and this year, as Black Lives Matter encouraged us to Buy Black this holiday season, I wanted to provide a guide to where to go in Pittsburgh to keep your dollars in the neighborhood.

(Also this has been in my drafts FOREVER and I just need to get it published, so...)

Here are the top 10 black owned businesses in entertainment, food, beauty and shopping to support and frequent in Pittsburgh.


  1.  The Hub Pgh - Website that keeps you up-to-date on the latest food and entertainment for young professionals in the 'Burgh. They're on Instagram too.
  2. Savoy- Restaurant during the day. Lounge during happy hour. Club at night. Pretty much the only reputable place to party in Pittsburgh.  
  3. Carmi Soul Food- People call it Carmi's because you know black people can't just say Jewel or Nordstrom. It's Jewel's or Nordstrom's. But I heard the food is good. Sad I never made it here while I lived there.
  4.  Dream Cream Ice Cream - I think I've talked about this before, but for every scoop you get, 25% of the proceeds goes to someone's dreams. I raised money for the Children's Sickle Cell Foundation here. And the ice cream is good! 
  5. Jerome Bettis' Grille 36 - It wouldn't be Pittsburgh without memories of the bus all over the city. This is close to PNC park and has good, reasonably priced (but not cheap), bar eats. Definitely a great before or after the game spot.
  6. Ultimate Beauty Spa - I never made it here, but made a note to add it to my list.
  7. Ambiance- Nice hair and nail salon on the northside. I went to JJ for a cut and blowout.
  8. Mark Anthony Salon - This is a family owned salon and everything in here is sweet as pie. They have a student discount day on Tuesdays and they are experts at cut and color. Get ready for prices that mirror salons in much larger markets, but you get what you pay for so I highly recommend them. Anyone there is good, but I went to Chardae.
  9. Society Men's Grooming Lounge - Upscale Barber Shop that actually opened since I left. I love to see black folks doing big things in the 'Burgh.
  10. Windy's Boutique - Ok, this is a bit of a stretch. The owner of this salon is Winter Ramos of LHHNY fame (I never saw the show when she was on it though). I happened upon it on the way to happy hour and came up on some great finds. It's in southside and worth the trip. I don't know if she's black or not, but she's a person of color and I needed to get this list to 10, so go support her. 
Also, not listed, is a bed and breakfast in pgh that's black owned. I wrote it down somewhere, but lost it. If anyone knows that place or finds that place, please let me know. I would like to support them on one of my trips back to the 'Burgh.

Monday, December 28, 2015

5 Months Pregnant

I'm 5 months pregnant today. Ooh wee, I'm freakin' out. In 3-4 months I will be responsible for not one, but two lives.

I'm so grateful for people who say things like: you're going to be a great mom. I wonder if they know I eat dessert before dinner. That I'm super messy... like I NEVER make up my bed and that I'm clumsy as all get out. I'm deathly afraid that I'm going to forget where I put a baby in the house or I'm going to drop them or something...

Seriously, I can never find my keys. And I break glass mugs all the time.

Also, where will they sleep?  And will I ever sleep again?

AND what if I snap on the nanny and/or daycare provider? Are they going to abuse my kids.

Lawd, there's always so much on my mind.

Seriously though. I know these thoughts are illogical and I have a lot more in place than I thought I would have at this point. A couple of baby showers, nursery decorating and a hospital bag to pack and I'm good to go. And a pediatrician. They need a pediatrician. So much to do.

Oh, and then I need to research how to raise future leaders, scholars and champions. There's that.




Saturday, December 26, 2015

September 26: Three Months Later

Around mid-September a Mesothelioma advocate emailed and asked if I would share some info with my readers about this rare cancer. I said yes, then life happened.

Mesothelioma Awareness Day was September 26th. I am two months late with the info, but I wanted to keep my work and better late than never.

Here are some facts you should know: 

Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. Asbestos is a carcinogen that was used widespread until with 1970's, but is still not banned in the U.S. and Canada today. Once diagnosed with mesothelioma, most patients are given about 10-15 months to live.
 
According to nyc.gov, asbestos can be found in:
  • building materials such as fireproofing products, pipe and boiler insulation, roofing materials, ceiling and floor tiles, and asbestos cement products
  • automobile brakes and clutches, and other friction products
  • heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant fabrics and materials.

The best way to prevent mesothelioma is to have any asbestos abatement carried out by a licensed professional. Note that abatement doesn't always remove the asbestos, it just makes it such that it can't emit fibers that could be harmful.

It's pretty scary to think that the air outside of my home is polluted, but the air inside of my home could be polluted as well. But licensed professionals can help to make sure the air we all breathe is safe.

Click on the infographic below for more details or for more info and resources visit www.mesothelioma.com or nyc.gov. 


Thursday, December 24, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

It's Christmas Eve! I don't have to work for four straight days. I'm at home with my family and the weather is not blistery cold. Life is good.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas with your family and friends and lots of hugs (the best gifts) this holiday season.

Be back on Friday!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Surviving a Spirit Airlines Flight

More on Spirit

My ticket was $121 one-way, which included all the "extras" I paid for including: 1 checked bag, zone 2 priority seating and choosing my own seat. I opted out of gate check in ($10) and a carry on ($55) and the big seat in the front ($40).

Here are my top 10 ways to survive a spirit flight:

10. Print your boarding pass BEFORE you get to the airport. Even if you check in online, if you use Spirit's printers to print your boarding pass, it will cost you $10

I checked in online only to find out they don't have electronic boarding passes. (Why would I play myself and think they would employ any technology whatsoever?) I don't have a printer at home and the flight was late on Saturday night, so 24 hours ahead of time I wasn't at work to print it out. I ended up going to my girl's house in the Bronx to print it out, which took like 45 minutes. But it was well worth it because when I got to the airport with maybe 5 people in line in front of me, I was accosted like a criminal by TWO employees talmbout: DO YOU HAVE YOUR BOARDING PASS?

I can only imagine how much less smoothly my evening would have went if the answer would have been no.

9. Get there early - My ticket said boarding time was 9:14 p.m. for a 9:59 p.m. departure. I figured it would board about about 9:30 p.m. and I was right. I was at the gate at about 8:30 p.m. and that eased some of my concern.

8. Sit in the adjacent seats while waiting to board - Spirit likely only has one gate that all of their flights go out of. (Why waste money on more than one gate?), so folks are packed into the seats like sardines. More reputable airlines have more space and you can stretch out.

7. Be nice to the flight staff. It's only one person who checks your bags, and checks you onto the plane and that person is probably the pilot, too. Be nice to them. They have been dealing with people who are either poor (and likely disgruntled) or cheap (and likely disgruntled) all day long.

6. Expect for folks ON THE PLANE to NOT know how to act. Refer to yesterday's posts about the woman who doesn't know D from F, the woman who sat RIGHT next to me despite there being an extra seat in our row and the men who couldn't wait their turn to get off of the plane. Just expect that foolishness.

5. Bring your own snacks and water - I don't think a snack or drink cart came around while I was on the plane. Maybe because it was a night flight, maybe because they're a janky airline, maybe I was sleep. I've heard hat they say Cup 'O' noodles on the plane, but I didn't see that. In any case, don't even expect to BUY sustenance. Just bring it with you.

4. Bring entertainment, and especially headphones - Despite it being a night flight it was unusually loud. Some in part to the

3. Pack your seabands, Dramamine, rosary beads and/or prayer journal - Chile, the flight was shaky from wheels up to feels down. Fortunately for me, I fly ALL THEE TIME, so turbulence doesn't bother me. Fortunately for everyone on the plane around me, I'm in my second trimester and these babies have settled down a bit. It could have been bad all around.

2. READ THE FINE PRINT. Everything costs extra on Spirit. If you don't want to sit in a middle seat, pay for it. If you want to check in at the gate, pay for it. If you want anything that's normal on another airline, pay for it. But don't get there are be surprised that it costs money. You will be mad!

1. Lower your expectations - Seriously. Across the board, if you expect 0 and they show up at 80, you will be pleasantly surprised. And that's better than expecting 100 and getting 80, which is a C, which is average, which is basic. And being basic and average is virtually failing.

Bonus Tip: Get up and walk around. My flight was only two hours, but if you play yourself with a true cross-country flight on Spirit, you're going to be rickety sitting in those made-for-toddler seats. Get up and walk around. Your body will thank you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Spirit Airlines... An Entire Mess

I'm a New Yorker now. I'm an expectant mother. I don't have extra funds to trick off on niceties, but I MUST be home for Christmas. I missed Thanksgiving in the Chi and while hosting my first Thanksgiving in my little New York apartment gave me all the feels, there is truly no place like home.

Holiday travel is expensive, so I've been sewing together airline points and miles trying to get home without it costing the sacrifice of one of my unborn children. I have a credit on Delta Airlines (in theory) and wanted to cash in that credit for my departure to Chicago. I ended up getting a Wanna Get Away fare on Southwest for the flight back. There's a break in communique between the Delta refund office and the Delta ticketing office which resulting in them saying something like:

"We see the credit, but we can't issue it. Can you ask refund for XYZ info." Of course, I can only email the refund department and their turnaround time is too long for me to be waiting to get a flight... This was weeks before I was set to travel.

So I broke down and got a Spirit Airlines flight. Despite reading Luvvie's first post and Luvvie's second post (and all the comments) and seeing this YouTube video (it's seriously worth all eight minutes of watching), I still broke down and did it.

As you can see from reading this post, I'm still alive. Tomorrow, I'll tell you how to survive. Since my expectations were so low and I had a cauldron of folks praying for me it wasn't THAT bad, but today, I'll tell you all the things that annoyed me about this flight.

  • There's no handicapped seating or priority boarding. As a pregnant woman this is paramount to me having a good flight. When I got to the gate, there were three flights going out before mine and people were just EVERY WHERE. It looks like a sleep in at a college campus. I took my bougie behind to sit in the Southwest seats adjacent to Spirit, so I wouldn't have to stare at people who looked down an out for an hour. 
  • Not only do the seats NOT recline, but they seem to be more upright than regular seats that don't recline. They really pack you onto the plane. I could feel the knees of the woman behind me in my back the whole flight and she didn't seem that tall. I was in an aisle seat and when she bent over to pick up her bag, I could feel her head graze my shoulder. Really Spirit? 
  • The flight attendants don't have anything to do. Since we're not getting drinks or snacks on this flight, they ensure your safety, then sit the hell down the entire rest of the flight. The ones on my plane TALKED THE ENTIRE TIME FROM NEW YORK TO CHICAGO. Yep, 2 hours of unprofessional folks yapping. They could have been swapping cookie recipes for all I know, but this is a night flight (took off at 10 p.m.) can you have SOME respect for customers. Read a book. 
  • And more about unprofessional flight attendants. I hate sitting in the aisle, but that's what happens when you're pregnant. If I need to make frequent bathroom trips I need access! I was woken up from my sleep so many times from someone's ass grazing my shoulder and I'm thinking "wow, a lot of people are using the bathroom on this flight." But no, it's unprofessional flight attendants on itty bitty planes who have no sense of their own body weight and no care for the "comfort" of their passengers. Note, comfort is different from safety. 
  • International passengers. I think when you're on a trip going a lot of different places your priority is on the cheapest form of travel. I live in New York, so I'm used to hearing different languages being spoken, but not so used to people not knowing or speaking English. OR knowing American customs. So I'm in the aisle. One foreign Asian girl in the middle seat. One presumably (from the accent) American woman in the window. 
  • FIRST, window chick walks up and assesses that I'm in the wrong seat. *clutches pearls* EVERYBODY KNOWS "F" is the window seat. Don't roll up on my with an F ticket talmbout you're supposed to be in the aisle. Like, is this your first flight ever? Might be. 
  • SECOND, window seat chick asked for an aisle elsewhere if one becomes available and it does. So I have to get my pregnant ass up, yet again to let her out. 
  • THIRD, Asian foreign chick does NOT move to the window seat. I wait for the plane door to close. Lights come down. I say "I don't think she's coming back." She says "I don't know." Then just stays in the middle seat. I fall asleep, wake up to her ass shifting in the seat TOUCHING ME UNNECESSARILY and I say "you don't want the window seat? She goes "no she might come back. Do you want the window seat?" I'm like no, because your ass is going to stay in the middle seat, still touching me and then when I have to get up and go pee, you're STILL going to be on my got damn nerves. I can't believe we sat on that two-hour flight right next to each other like we were married with NO ONE in the window seat. Complete waste of space.
  • Rude Passengers - And finally, this cooks my grits like you would not believe. I'm in aisle 28. Aisle 30 is the last row. As soon as the plane lands (11:23 p.m.), some dude from the last row walks his monkey ass up to the front of the plane like it's not 30 rows of people getting off in front of him. At this hour, there's no way there's a connecting flight. You're just rude. And just because you don't know better (first flight, international passenger) doesn't make you any less rude. About 5 more grown men did this to the point that people who DON'T know better thought they were supposed to. Your ride, your family, your business is not any more important than my ride, my family, my business. By going out of order, you eff of the flow in general, just wait your damn turn. 

So yeah, I didn't have the plane delays, cut up seats, mean flight attendants (they were unprofessional, but friendly as hell) or unplanned overage fees that other people complain about (mostly due to the corporate prayer I called for before I took off), but the issued I had on this flight are specific to the types of people who choose to fly this raggedy airline. I made it safely. I was just plain annoyed.


Monday, December 21, 2015

I'm SO SORRY!

I am terribly sorry for all of the things I said to or thought about pregnant women while I was not pregnant. Here are a few of them:

  • Sleep when the baby sleeps. This is dumb and I'm sorry I said it. I heard someone else give that advice... Probably a grandmother. Grandmothers are great, except for the fact that they haven't had newborns in um... 20-30 YEARS! They romance so much stuff. I have no business as a younger woman spewing that trash. 
  • She's not on maternity leave YET. This is something I said to myself...in my head when a manager would tell me they were letting up the workload on a coworker because she expecting. I always felt like the single, unmarried person has to pick up the slack for everyone who has life events. Just because I wasn't planning a wedding or planning a new life, didn't mean I deserved to be in the office all night either. I thought carrying a baby was like growing hair. Like it just happens... and outside of your belly getting bigger (or hair growing longer) there's no physical toll on the body. Boy, was I wrong. Expecting mothers actually need to rest and need stress-free lives. I know that now and I'm sorry for thinking these mean things before.
  • I wish I had a husband and/or kids, so I could leave at 5 p.m. too - This is me being selfish and self-centered FOR SURE (And it's my own time management issue of not respecting my single, no kids activities enough to let them take precedence over my work). Because when you have to care for a new life (or align your life to another human's in marriage) there are SO MANY more important things than work and deadlines. And I'd rather give 85% at work, so I can show up for my family, than to give 110% at work and be raggedy as hell at home. When I drop these shorties, I can't see myself staying past 5 p.m. at work ever. 1, because daycare has late fees, but 2. Because I just would rather be with them than at the office. I never fully grasped that concept before.  

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Manners: Get Some!

When I had the idea to start a mommy blog (it's still an idea), I was just going to write one post every day about my adventures of riding the MTA while pregnant. IT SUCKS!

During the first trimester when I knew I was pregnant, but there were no visible signs, it was the worst.
  • I would squeeze into any train car like I did before. Moving fast was my priority. 
  • I would stand up the entire time from 135th to 23rd St. 
  • I would walk two Avenues from the 1 to 5th Avenue, so I wouldn't have to change platforms - you know, to move faster.
  • And every day I would spend the first 20 minutes of the day in the bathroom at work as a result. Just sick as hell because my body wasn't supposed to be producing two babies AND commuting like an on-the-go New Yorker.  

As I noticed my morning getting harder and harder, I changed my priorities.
  •  Now I go to the front or back of the car (most likely to get a seat there).
  • I'll let three trains pass before getting on (I'm not about to be arguing with people for bumping into my belly). 
  • I cross over to the train that includes the least amount of walking from the last stop to my destination. This adds 10 minutes to my commute, but makes sure I don't have to smell the smells of NY before going into the office. And yes, it is cleaner air in the subway than above ground. New York is disgusting. 
  • And most boldly, I just ask people to let me sit down. This, is by far, the most upsetting part of my day every day. For every person who lets me sit down when I politely ask to sit down, followed up by: I'm XX months pregnant with twins, there are between 3 and 10 people who just do not care. They do not BLINK when I say I'm pregnant. They do not shift their seats. They do not ACT like they're about to get up. They just look at me like "you're pregnant and I'm sitting down. Now that we've established facts, wtf do you want me to do about it?"
New Yorkers are so rude, when I use phrases like "Do you mind if I sit down?" they don't even know what "do you mind" means. I wish I was making this up.

You all know I don't rock with the south, but never more in my life have I desired to be in a place where people have manners. I could just imagine the men and boys tripping over themselves to make sure I don't have to carry anything or open any doors, and that I always have a place to sit.

If you want to be more independent, move to New York. You will swiftly find out that you don't matter, no one cares about you and even if they do, you are never exempt from the hustle. You don't get any special treatment for being a pregnant woman. You're out here just like everyone else, tryna make a dollar outta 15 cents: a dime and a nickel. (echoes: a dime and a nickel.) LOL!

This city is hard, folks. I can't see a long-term future here, but I'm here now, so I'll make it work. If I can give birth to twins in New York, I'm going to be basically invincible. There won't be a task you present me with that I cannot conquer. Of this much, I am convinced.

Where have you given birth? Were the people nice and accommodating or self-centered and obnoxious like New Yorkers?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Elastic and Such

Side Note: I've been replying to your pregnancy post comments via blog comments (Go figure). I haven't replied to blog comments in years, but I figured you all might not want to get a text every single time I have a response or thought about YOUR response to this blog. 

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When I look at my clothes, there's elastic in a lot of things. I almost want to invest in elastic, that's how much there is. I never noticed it before I was pregnant. They just seemed like regular clothes.

Now, I don't like any clothing item hugging my belly. Loose, flowy shirts are awesome. I see lots of moms to be in tank tops, man hell naw. I've also heard of these things called belly bands that help you wear your pants for longer. Essentially, the zipper and button is wide open and the band holds them up discretely under your clothes. Again, the idea of a zipper, button, rivet, string, belt, anything pressing up against my belly all day sounds torturous.

My uniform is long shirt, leggings. Or dress or tunic (That is now just a long shirt) and leggings. If it's warm enough, I'll wear a maxi skirt and cotton shirt or flowy shirt. I have rules about them too. If they have elastic on the waistband, they gotta go.

When I get home, it's all about the moo moo. Wide enough to hold me. Short enough to make bathroom trips. Modest enough that all of my neighbors aren't getting crotch shots regularly.

What I found is that some of the things I need to wear still have too much elastic. I have become an expert in cutting it out. So far here's a list of what works and what doesn't when it comes to cutting out elastic

I can cut the elastic - No problem 
- Leggings
- Mini skirts (worn over leggings under shirts that are too short)
- Boy shorts from H&M

I cannot cut the elastic. I'd played myself. 
- Tights - OMG, you should have seen me hiking these things up towards the end of the day on the train. They were around my knees. Ass all out.
- Basketball shorts - It seems they stitch the elastic throughout the entire pair of shorts, so it's not worth it to try to cut it off.
- Well made yoga or workout pants - They have the super stitching too like basketball.

I just took a pair of scissors into the bathroom at work and did a DIY job on a skirt. I'll buy more clothes when I'm not pregnant. I'm not about to be uncomfortable all day long. (These are cheap things anyway: tights, leggings, boyshorts... I'm not going Martha Stewart on any quality gear.)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Sleepless Nights

It's 2:22 a.m. in Harlem. That's not true. It's 3:08 a.m. When I had the idea to write this blog, it was 2:22 a.m. I've been up since 1:35 a.m. I can't sleep.

There aren't any sirens blazing. Although there are two cops who have stopped someone downstairs, which explains the flashing lights in my building.

There aren't any radios blasting.

There aren't any couples fighting.

There aren't any bums screaming.

There aren't any low lives rapping at the top of their lungs and interrupting my sleep.

Those are the things that usually wake me up at night.

No, tonight, I'm just pregnant. And after I got up to go to the bathroom for the second time tonight, dehydrated as all hell because I can't actually drink water in my sleep, I couldn't go back to sleep.

Harlem is the quietest that I've ever heard it and I can't sleep.

This will hurt in the morning, when I have to get up and go to work. When I'll be more nauseated than usual because I didn't get a full night's sleep. It will hurt at noon when I'm at work and need to take a nap and can't. It will hurt at 3 p.m. when I'm at work and need to go home, but can't. It will hurt at 6 p.m. when I have to announce that I'm pregnant on a crowded NYC subway to get a seat. It will hurt even worse at 7 p.m. when I get home and inevitably puke everything I ate that day because I couldn't get to sleep the night before.

It seems like having a baby is like Men In Black. You see their little smiling faces and forget about all of this. I've seen it happen. Friends who have complained in confidence to me for 9 months on end about how hard pregnancy is will have toddlers and tell our friends who have never been pregnant that it's not that bad.

I hope with twins I get a double MIB erasure because this process is miserable. I don't want to remember it. I don't want to think about it ever again.

Everyone always says "sleep now because when the babies come, you won't get any rest." I just want to punch people in their faces when they give me advice like that. How could they not remember that pregnant nights are sleepless too.

Welp, Quiet time in Harlem is over. I just heard a bum screaming about nothing. Maybe I'll be able to get some rest now.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Dancing Helps

My belly is heavy! If I sit for too long, my legs lock up. If I stand for two long, my legs lock up. If I don't have a pillow under my butt, my belly digs into my pubic area and it hurts like hell, like I got punched. Gravity is a MF.

Another thing my doctor pointed out to me when I told him I attempted to [gasp!] exercise in my first trimester is that as a mom of twins, I don't have to exercise. Actually, I should stop immediately. (By that time, I had already canceled my membership and gotten my money back). Just breathing is hard work. When I wake up in the morning, I'm pumping blood for three people. And it's bad now (walking up one flight of stairs on the train has me winded, virtually in tears), but he said at about 30 weeks it's going to be insane. That's why you see so many twin moms on bed rest. This ish is no joke.

So I'm learning how to walk and move and just be in this new awkwardly shaped (and ever growing) body.

Do you know what helps, juking? Yep, bending it over and backing it up. I can't exactly go to the club pregnant. I can't even stay up past 8:30 p.m. at night, so I dance by myself. I don't even let my boyfriend see me doing it.

But most days when I get home from work, I take off my clothes (I effing hate clothes now), put on a moo moo (I need my crouch covered and no seams touching my body. Yes, I have moo moo requirements) and throw dat azz in a circle.

I imagine it's the funniest thing anyone would ever see, if I ever let anyone see it. But I won't. Like my shoe parties, you just have to take my word for it. 

Oh, the moments. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

This Christmas

If you've been reading my blog for some time, you know that I get stressed out around Christmas time. Trying to figure out if I should be superwoman and give the best gifts or be super frugal and do what I can.

I was so stressed one year, one of my Jewish friends told me I should just convert. She goes "Hannukah isn't that big of a deal. You could save money." I love my friends so much.

I would like to shout out the city of New York and my two impending deliveries for helping me make the decisions this year.

I am completely done with my shopping because no one's getting anything.

That's not entirely true. I have a bag of stuff that I've either won or been gifted and those will go to nieces, aunts, folks who are probably expecting something (but don't really need anything).

My mom knows I'm saving up for two little ones. And my siblings can make due with a hug. Honestly, I want to ask everyone to pitch in and put 5 on my plane ticket. (I can't believe I haven't [at the time I wrote this post] booked it yet. I'm crazy, I know).

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Are you cutting back this year due to funds, principles [#BlackLivesMatter]? Or are you rolling in the dough and singlehandedly helping the economy one loved one's gift at at a time? 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

More on this excited business

This is how I explained pregnancy to a few friends of mine. I think it's a good analogy.

Being pregnant is like waiting to file your taxes when you know you're going to get a return.

  • You have to get all the receipts together 
  • You have to pay someone (or several people) to do it for you or weigh the stress and benefits of doing it yourself
  • You have to figure out what you're doing to do with the money when you get it... Some people say save, some say invest, some say spend. Ultimately, the decision is yours, but whatever you decide will have an impact for years to come. 
So you know there's something to look forward to (even though you don't yet know how big or small it will be), but the prep for it is exhausting and the decisions you have to make about it are overwhelming and even though everyone acts like you should be thrilled about preparing and filing taxes, you just don't have the same warm, fuzzy feeling about April 15.
I think that will help some folks understand how women who aren't exactly excited about being  pregnant feel.

And I'm so happy for the women who are thrilled about pregnancy (they clearly exist). They got this extra does of glitter that I never received.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Are You Excited?

Sometimes I think I'm too pragmatic to be pregnant. People CONSTANTLY ask me if I'm excited. And I'm not angry with them for the question. It's the EXACT question I would ask a person about pregnancy before I got pregnant. When I talk to other pregnant people (who are honest), they are not excited either. It's just not a feeling you can fake. I hope I get excited. I am not excited right now.

Side note: If you know someone who's pregnant, be sure to ask her how she's feeling (and be prepared for an honest answer). She will totally appreciate the concern for her health and well being. I certainly would. 

If a friend asks, I tell the truth. No, I'm not excited, I'm concerned.

If it's a coworker or an associate (or a family member), I just lie. It's so much easier to do so.

Here are the top 10 responses I WANT to give but, don't, when folks ask me if I'm excited about being pregnant.

10. Yep, the hemmorhoids, especially, are a highlight of my days and night.

9. Yeah, two heads are going to come out of something, that I've tried for 32 years to keep tight. Apparently, it will tear so badly that they'll have to stitch it back up. And if for some reason that can't happen, they'll slice my belly open to the white meat and pick out weird-face children and I'll be in pain recovering for me. I absolutely cannot wait.

8. Yep, I haven't been up past 8:30 p.m. in four months. Seeing as how my favorite things to do include networking, drinking, partying and hanging with friends, nothing makes me happier than being unable to do so now.

7. I am. I'm most looking forward to tuition costs for two children at a time. I really think my budget can handle it.

6. Yep, more than anything, I'm looking forward to unsolicited questions and advice from strangers. You know me, I LOVE small talk. 

5.  Hell yeah. Waddling around like a penguin with two humans sitting on my bladder is AWESOME!

4.  Yes, I moved to the biggest, fastest, most expensive city in America to slow down. It was exactly what I had in mind.

3. Yes, I cannot wait to go from being upper middle class to poor. It's really what I've worked all these 60-hour weeks for leading up to now, it's great. 

2. Yep, I really enjoy begging New Yorkers to let me sit down on the train. Since I'm naturally slim I have to prove that my belly isn't just a pastrami sandwich every day and it really makes my commute awesome.

1. I am. I think we've done all that we need to do as a society to equalize things and my children will definitely NOT be gunned down by police or hung in their jail cells because of the color of their skin. It's a phenomenal feeling.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Eating For Three

I always thought it would be fun to eat constantly as a pregnant woman and gain as much weight as you like. What I didn't know (or realize) is that if I DON'T, I'm going to be sick. Here's a list of foods I can eat (this list is MUCH shorter than the list of food I cannot eat).

10. Fruit
9. MOST veggies, I'm especially fond of avocado right now.
8. Chicken
7. Ground or roasted turkey (I can't have an deli meats)
6. Bread and Baked goods (this actually makes me happy since I didn't used to keep bread in my house). Now I eat Hawaiian bread to stave off nausea and these children haven't taken donuts from me. For that I am grateful.
5. Cheese... sometimes and usually with something mac & cheese, cheese and crackers, grilled cheese (but no soft cheeses, those are not good for the babies). Cheese pizza. Can you believe this. I think cheese pizza is sacrilegious. PIZZA NEEDS MEAT... but not while I'm pregnant 
4. Oatmeal and cereal. I have to drink soymilk now though because I need the calcium, but these kids ARE NOT GOING when it comes to cow's milk. Y'all know I stan for cow's milk, ah well.
3. Bacon and breakfast sausage. Sausage on pizza will have me in the bathroom all night.
2. SIMPLE, SIMPLE, SIMPLE pasta dishes. Limited meat. Limited spices. I went to Cheesecake Factory and asked for pasta and marinara sauce and that's it. They put basil in my joint... I thought I was going to die. Give me BLAND or give me death.
1. Eggs. I really enjoy eggs during this pregnancy.

I'm lowkey shocked that I got to 10 foods that I can actually stomach.

For the 10 minutes I'm stuffing my face every hour, I am very happy because it's the only time where my body isn't spazzing out against me. As soon as I get to the last bite of a sandwich, I'm like watching and waiting. Shit might go well, might not.

What was your go-to food when you were pregnant?


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Daniel Holtzclaw

What Pleases Me
- That a jury made up of all white people, still saw fit to convict a former police officer of wrongdoing.
- The the OKC police department wrote a statement saying they are happy with outcome. This whole "above the law" attitude has to stop and they took a giant leap towards treating humans like humans instead of black people like animals and cops (and/or white men) like saints. 
- That there is some hope for a fair trial in America. After Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, I was starting to think there wasn't. Jordan Dunn's case shows a beacon of light in the justice system as well.


What Angers Me/Scares Me To Death
- That this happened in the first place. His victims ranged from females ages 17 to a grandmother. Reports said he grabbed the grandmother's breast and made her perform oral sex on him. Think about your grandmother, living or alive. Think about if someone did this to her. How angry are you right now? There aren't enough jail cells in the world to contain that anger.
- That he was charged in raping 13 women and only 8 of them got guilty charges. This doesn't mean he didn't rape the other 5. This means there wasn't enough evidence to show that he raped the other five. This scares me senseless because if they'd brought a case with just those 5 women, he would be walking free right now. And people would be screaming about how justice was served and how women (in these cases, poor black women) should stop lying on men for attention.
- THAT MAINSTREAM MEDIA DID NOT COVER THIS CASE - They had cameras in the courtroom with OJ. They are giving us 24 hour coverage on the bigoted, racist, Donald Trump. But they only wrote about this story AFTER there was a guilty verdict. I got all of my news about this case from alternative sources. Shame on CNN, MSNBC, FOX, hell CSPAN for not covering this case.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Fibroids: Here's What I Know

I probably should have wrote a whole post on this, but need to explicitly state, I'm not a big fan of people finding out I'm pregnant from other people. Like if my auntie tells my cousin, that's ok. But I don't like folks making mass announcements on my behalf. (I didn't let my mother tell my grandma - her mama - I was pregnant, that's how serious I am about this). 

That's a big part of why you won't see any baby bumps on Facebook, Twitter or Insta. And I won't be sharing my woes with more open networks or linking this blog to every social channel known to man. 

This blog is so limited (I'm not really trying to go viral), so I hope you all can refrain the mass social media congrats on platforms outside of this blog. Or you can always text me :) 

And my bad for not saying so earlier. I know this is a tricky subject. 

On to the subject at hand.

~~~~~

I have fibroids. I have four of them and from what I understand they're about the size of golf balls. Right now, they are not in the way of my babies. It's my prayer that they will stay out of the way for the duration of my pregnancy and throughout delivery.

WHAT ARE FIBROIDS: Fibroids are benign growths in your uterus.

WHAT WERE [MY] PRE-PREGNANCY FIBROID SYMPTOMS Before I got pregnant, the worst they did was make me have bad cramps and heavy bleeding. At it's worst, I'd just have to change my tampon frequently and keep a tight ibuprofen regimen.

At their best, I forgot I even got fibroids.

WHAT ARE OTHER FIBROID SYMPTOMS: If you watch RHOA, you saw Cynthia deal with a growth in her stomach, increased pain, decreased libido. None of that happened to me

WHAT MY DOCTORS TOLD ME ABOUT FIBROIDS: No healthcare professional EVER told me I should do something about them because they might cause pregnancy complications. Perhaps [like my aunts and grandmother], they thought I was too much of a career woman to be worried about having kids [yes, people really say this stuff to me], and didn't see the need to talk to me about it. What flawed logic.

WHAT COULD HAPPEN NOW THAT I'M PREGNANT: Now, BOOM! I'm pregnant and I find out that fibroids cause pregnancy complications and there's nothing I can do about them. They might take blood from my babies. My babies may take blood from them. They may die and cause pain. They may get in the way of my babies' air supply, they may cause vaginal deliver issues.

They may do nothing.

WHAT I SUGGEST YOU DO: Stop NOT talking about your vaginal and uterine issues. We have to share information (and apparently when you're pregnant people love to talk about vaginas.) If you have fibroids and you've never had children, ask your doctor what your options are. AND if your doctor is all "Don't worry about it" go to another doctor. There are some folks who specialize in removing them via surgery or laser and from what I understand the risks of removing them are way fewer than the risks involved with having them AND a life (on in my case, two lives) in your uterus.

Also BlackDoctor.org, just sent a newsletter about how Chrisette Michele suffers from fibroids too and how she manages them. Way more info from them than I had to give. They are such a timely and relevant resource for black folks.

That's my soapbox for the day. I wish you all happy, healthy vaginas.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Silver Linings

Thanks folks for the congrats! 

Ok, so pregnancy sucks, but there are some amazing moments that I've experienced while being pregnant. Don't want to leave those out under the guise "keeping it real."

  • Bringing Joy - Life's hard and people need stuff to be excited about and look forward to. A bunch of my family members broke out into tears when I told them I was pregnant. They said it was like a breath of fresh air. To see them so happy for me was really touching. And when I dug a bit deeper I found out they each were *Kanye voice* dealing with some problems that you cain't believe. So me being knocked up made their problems seem smaller, if only for a moment and that's wonderful.
  • Connecting with Bae - I have these amazingly tender moments with my boyfriend about our hopes and dreams and fears for our children. I always think about how a baby (or two) would make me feel and didn't think about the fact that their father would have these strong feelings as well. It's fun to share that with another person. 
  • Bonding with twin moms - Did you know only 3% of all pregnancies in America are twins? So, when we meet each other, there's this built in support that you just can't find anywhere else. There are hugs and real advice (you don't ACTUALLY need two of everything) and free stuff and a general willingness to help. There aren't enough articles in the world to make others understand what it feels like to carry, and later give birth to, and later raise two kids #AtTheSameDamnTime. Twin moms get it. Happy to be in this super supportive club.
  • Letting Someone Else Handle It - From picking up boxes, to cooking, to planning baby showers, there are some things that I just don't have to do any more right now. For someone who bust out of the womb as an independent woman, it's nice to sit back and let other folks do things.   
  • Gifts and Such - People [mostly coworkers] randomly bring me baby stuff and food. It's so lovely to think that someone who you haven't even ever shared a meal with, thinks enough about your unborn children to shower you with goodies. Babies really turn folks into mush.  
  • Heartbeats - I heard my babies heartbeats on the first ultrasound. I think it was somewhere between 8-12 weeks. (As a twin mommy, I get ultrasounds every two weeks. I go to the doctor the way most folks go to the club. #AllTheTime). Anywho, those heartbeats melted me. I was like OSS, there are three hearts beating in my body. *Pastor Hannah voice* WOW!
  • BELLY RUBS! - Unlike most pregnant women, I love it when people rub my belly. Yep, even strangers. I'm usually in pain and human touch makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER. Seriously, get in there and make an impact! Since I've been preggers, I went home for about a week and my mom came to New York for about a week and both weeks, we start every day with her rubbing my belly for at least 10 minutes. SERIOUSLY, THE BEST FEELING EVER!
Twins or singleton, what was your favorite part about pregnancy? OR what are you most looking forward to if you plan to carry a child in the future? 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Pregnancy Sucks!

I'm 19 weeks pregnant today. The three of you that read this blog should know that already. Now that I've done most of my in-person announcements, I'm ready to start blogging about it.

I was going to start another blog, but overestimated my energy levels. I am capital T, Tired. But there's so much to tell you.

Starting with all of the things NO ONE TELLS YOU, about pregnancy. This post is gross, as is pregnancy.

Here's what I've experienced so far, and I'll try to go in order of arrival.

Nausea - Feels like I'm going to throw up every minute that I'm not force feeding myself with food.
Diarrhea - Nothing like the shits.
Constipation - Sometime in the same day as diarrhea, which is just wrong.
Fatigue -  This is not the same as "I'm sleepy." This is "I'm minding my own business in the middle of a conference call and BOOM! I can't keep my eyes open" I've never been this tired before (and apparently this is just the beginning)
Gas - From all ends. It's especially embarrassing, when I think I have to go number 2 in the bathroom at work, but really it's an orchestra of farts. I just don't even care anymore. What can I do...
Bloating - This is different from gas.
Indigestion - I seriously have to eat like a child. PB&J, grilled cheese, mac & cheese. Don't put more than three seasonings on my meat. The food is coming back up... better a cheese sandwich coming up than a curry dish. 
Vomiting - Unlike all the happy-go-lucky mom magazines and websites that tell you the second trimester will be SO MUCH BETTER, I actually have thrown up more in my 2nd trimester than in my first. 
Hemmorhoids - Yep. 
Sharting - yep.
Bacne (Back acne) - can I be honest and just say I'm glad it's not on my face
Swollen toes - My feet are so skinny, the whole foot hasn't swollen yet, but my poor little toothpick toes look like vienna sausages now. 
Increased sense of smell - This is NOT a benefit in the city of New York. Often leads to nausea, vomiting, sometimes diarrhea

Smelly urine - Actually, I can't tell if it stinks more or if my senses are just like "urine has never smelled nice"
Peeing a little bit when you laugh, cough, sneeze - It has begun
PAIN - Oh, the pain. I have fibroids. They hurt. My belly growing hurts. My hips spreading hurts. It hurts to wear clothes. Bras hurts. It all hurts.
Sleep Deprivation - Fortunately for me, I got a Leachco pregnancy pillow. These things are AMAZING!
Dehydration - I have to drink a gallon of water a day to feel even remotely human. I rarely make the goal. 
Decreased bladder capacity - The bathroom is my second home, folks. For 3-5 of the reasons I've mentioned above, but getting up 3-5x in the middle of the night, when it's already hard to get to sleep because of this big ass belly is the WORST.
Anxiety - My mother told me this would happen, but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about some new concern to get this world ready (and my life together) for these babies. This is the most important thing I've ever done and it's on my mind constantly.

Being pregnant [for me] is like getting off a 12-hour flight, immediately running a marathon, all while having food poisoning and two tumors in my stomach. Seriously, IT'S THAT BAD!

I'm so happy I'm having twins because I am never doing this again. My body is angry with me. 

Get ready for a bunch of posts that give you the real about what it's like to be pregnant. I'm trying to inform the masses.