Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Giving Tree

I had gotten use to being half present in conversations about selecting the perfect tree, dusting off the many boxes of last year's holiday cheer, and of course, the holiday rush.

I had not expected the pint sized tree that was delivered to my desk, or the bag of decorations that was brought with it. The perfect showcase for the beautiful ornament that Emma made for me.

I was not ready for what happened next...
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Here Goes Nothin'

The application has been completed.

The documents have been compiled.

Copies have been made.

Money order will be included.

Outcome: an exchange of keys?

We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Well, She Did Ask

According to Emma, I never buy her any toys for birthdays or holidays. I'm guessing she must have forgotten that the majority, if not all, of the boxes marked Emma's Room are toys. I will admit that when it comes to gifts, I'm on the clothes buying end, but I wouldn't say that I never buy her any toys. Video games are toys, right? After a little thought, I'd decided that, given the fact that she has been separated from most of her things for the past 10 months, a few toys this Christmas couldn't hurt.

After looking at the couple of American Doll catalogs that we've gotten in the mail, Emma had added one to her list. Although I'm not a big fan of their baby doll accessories, I thought that maybe the American Doll could be a good investment for her since these dolls lean more toward reflecting the girl herself, rather than playing on that whole "mothering" dynamic. However, after realizing that the choices were really limited when it came to choosing a doll that reflected Emma, and after reading this, I was completely cool on spending my hard earned money with the company. Instead, like many of the other dissatisfied moms out there, I surveyed the dolls that Emma can better relate to. I shared the Journey Girls Taryn Doll with her and she loved her, AND, Taryn is a hell of a lot cheaper than the American Doll.

Word got around my office that a doll was on my daughter's Christmas list and my co-workers presented the idea of gifting one to my daughter to show their appreciation and understand of our situation during this holiday season. I accepted their generosity, and so Miss. Taryn and her 4x4 are on the way!

This week I spied a cute little drum set at Target that I could not pass up. My girl loves the drums. She is always drumming her little heart out, all over the place, with whatever she can get her hands on that resemble drum sticks. As much as it drives me insane sometimes, I never want to stunt her developing love for the arts, or her creativity, so drums have been an idea I have been playing around with for a while. When I saw the electronic drum pad on sale, and saw that it comes with headphones, hello! I knew it would be the perfect gift for her... And then I made the mistake of stopping in the doll isle.

I think the beautiful dark skinned Barbie in the Barbie Basics collection is such a must have, and since she was on sale, I picked her up. I think Emma will get a kick out of the fact that she has a hairstyle like mine.

Barbie Basics Doll #12

I noticed that Target had another natural Barbie on the shelf too, so I could just leave her behind now could I?
Barbie Red Dress Doll

After making an executive decision to leave the drum set that I had originally gone there for, I made a second executive decision to go back today and pick it up.

What can I say, I'm a sucker for my little girl's smile. Which is why I'll also be surprising her with the bike she is expecting, six months early.

What do your kids have on their Christmas List?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Just Like New

No more broken glass covering the back seat, and no more annoying plastic blocking our view of the free world. I know Emma will be very pleased to find things back to normal back there in her domain. Its been like driving Miss. Daisy. I've shared her level of frustration though, and then some. I've never been so happy to see glass in my entire life. This is an experience I don't wanna revisit. Hopefully the neighborhood crazies have found other things to do with themselves.

In other news... I couldn't be surrounded by more amazing people. There have been folks that I barely even know offering up their homes to us for the holidays. Its nice to feel that warm and fuzzy feeling, and to know that there will always be someone out there who genuinely cares. We'll probably be hanging at my grandmother's for Family Holiday Extravaganza part 2, but its nice to know that we now have options.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ask and Yee Shall Receive

I'm probably one of the worst sales people ever. I don't like being one of those people that you hate to see coming. You know the ones. The ones who are shoving their books and products in your hands before your butt even hits the sofa. That's overwhelming, and I definitely can't be the moderator of an overwhelming experience. That relation can make direct selling a delicate dance. You want exposure, you want to let everyone know that you exist, and you want to make sure that they don't forget, all while not sounding like a broken record or having a one track mind.

My approach is much more subtle. I put it out there and wait for things to happen, which isn't always the best option either. Balancing the two is the key to getting products out there without cramping them down folks throats. Even though Baby Squares has been doing very well here at my 9-5, I am still reluctant at times to push, to advertise, to ask. The holidays have given me a reason to get over that. I am being told to push, to advertise, to ask, so why not? By taking that extra step, my business will not be on vacation this holiday season. I'm grateful for that.

Operation: Nyumbani

Photo Credit

Nyumbani: Swahili term for Home

Somehow, I expected this whole apartment search process to bring about more glee than stress. Not so much. I rushed over to view a place after work yesterday that left me scratching my head. I tried not to look in the owner's direction during the viewing in an attempt to shield him from the "you've got to be fucking kidding me" expression that was stuck on my face. This space was advertised as "beautiful" and "move-in ready". The pictures in the listing did a hell of a job covering up the dirt and raggedy ass trimmings and fixings in that place. And the gigantic water heater located RIGHT NEXT TO THE FUCKING STOVE. It was beautiful alright. A beautiful disaster. And I thought the place with kitchen-so-small-I-could-possibly-light-my-ass-on-fired-while-cooking was bad. Ha!

In the few days that I've been searching and viewing, I have learned a couple of valuable lessons:

1. If a building looks old and rundown on the outside, chances are its gonna be the same way on the inside, no matter what story the pictures try to tell, apparently. I had been told good things about this guy's properties, so I was in "benefit of the doubt" mode. Didn't want to knock it until I saw it. Didn't want to judge the book by its cover. I should have just gone with my first damn instinct and saved myself a trip to hell. Lesson learned.

2. NEVER fall head over heels in love with a place, because after you've fallen head over heels in love, and you've made your very best impression, upon learning that you are coming from a low-income playing field, the owner will turn their nose up and tell you to take your broke ass elsewhere. Or at least that's what it'll feel like. I mean, I really did love that apartment. Everything about it was so right, and so right for us, or so I thought.

My grandmother says the right place is out there. I sure hope so.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Oh Merriment

Photo Credit

"So tonight gotta leave that nine to five upon the shelf,
And just enjoy yourself"
- Michael Jackson

I wasn't going to go.

Even though I was excited to see the email pop up in the inbox. I wasn't going to go. I wasn't going to ask if it was ok for me to go. Since I'm not exactly on the company's payroll, I wasn't sure if the invitation extended to me. My way of keeping a safe distance from this place and these people that I am really, really growing to like. My way of safeguarding myself against that familiar disappoint of thinking that I am a member of the team, only to be reminded otherwise. My very basic way of self sabotage. Apparent because I am the only person that I would be kidding by believing that I did not want to go. I love holiday office parties! I've gotten to hang with my bosses and co-workers in a more relaxed setting, get to know their families, gotten gifts and let's not even get started talking about that nice holiday bonus check, what's not to love about holiday parties?

I wasn't going to go.

But, my co-workers kept coming in, one by one, asking me if I was going, telling me that I should go. And when I asked the office manager if that invitation extended to me, her reply was "of course!" I was glad I went. The glass of wine with management was nice, meeting the husbands and wives was great, and getting Baby Squares orders in the process was the best. A true lesson to self to see every single opportunity, no matter how small, as one that can be beneficial. Lesson learned.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

In Baby Squares News...

Brimmed Beanies. Sizes 0-3mths and 6-12mths shown. Pattern courtesy of Crazy Socks Crochet.

I can cross another one off the list. Another pattern successfully read and executed, and well received, as I had just churned out a few samples of this hat and got 2 orders as soon as the photos hit the Baby Squares fan page on Facebook. Those hats are now warming their new owners heads! There is nothing greater than a happy customer, especially when that customer is a wee one.

I'm thinking of investing in a better camera soon. With this winter weather and my schedule, its just not possible to always get the best shots, in the best locations, exactly when I want them to be done. My camera does not take the best indoor pictures. But, I'm not gonna let that stop me from sharing my pieces or listing them. These hats are now available in the Facebook Storefront. I'm hoping to spend some more time with them as we head into winter break. Emma really wants one. I'll be finishing up the majority of my Christmas crafting, and making a few donation pieces too.

QuellyRue Designs

I was really excited when Karen of Naturally Beautiful Hair contacted me to let me know that I was the winner of this super cute tote! I have been sporting it ever since I took it from the packaging, which was equally as cute. The designer was so sweet to include a card and everything. I thank her for being generous enough to offer such a beautiful piece of art up for grabs. That's exactly what this bag is, with its hand painted reflection of natural black beauty. Natural or not, if you are a woman of pride, this bag will definitely state that as it hangs on your arm. I've thrown everything from my crochet projects to my Macbook in this bag!

If you're as in love with this bag as I am, you're in luck. QuellyRue has one available in her Etsy shop! Same great hand crafted statement of empowerment, different collaboration of beautiful color and color placement. Have a look. Also, check out all of the other cute accessories that QuellyRue Designs has to offer.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Picking Up the Pieces

My Saturday morning surprise

The fact that its Sunday morning, and I'm here at work peering out at my car, which still has a backseat covered in glass, means that I obviously shut down at some point yesterday. The fact that my backseat is still covered in glass, and I am due at my company Christmas party this evening before picking Emma up, obviously means that I'm internally overwhelmed by this experience.

Although nothing was stolen or even touched, I feel an extreme sense of violation. I tend to shut down when my personal space and/or personal things are violated. I want the situation to be remedied immediately or it all just becomes too much. Seems silly, but for me, that's just the way it is sometimes. It could have been a LOT worse than what it is. The car could have not been there when I came out yesterday or it could have been a window other than the smallest that was busted out, however, it doesn't exactly make this easier for me because it just adds one more thing to my already full list of to-dos. I'm working this weekend, and working tomorrow, which leaves my window covered with plastic until Tuesday! Not cool. This would be a perfect time for a clone. To be able to push a button and have her appear. Close my eyes, and when they opened everything would be like it was before the neighborhood Crazy decided it would relieve his stress by smashing a couple of car windows.

According to the officer on the scene, that's who was responsible. Break ins are not unusual in the area either. The neighborhood fiends like to break in cars from time to time. I was hoping that it wouldn't be just a matter of time before they picked mine out of the bunch. Which is another thing about this situation that pisses me off. If you're gonna come along and bust my shit up, at least have a fucking reason behind it. I can completely understand if you were looking for some shit to steal, but damn, just because you saw it there and you couldn't control yourself? THAT is some bitchassness, to like, the millionth power. Anyhoo...

So now I am literally left to pick up the pieces, which are covering my child's car seat. Berkeley, we can't get back to you fast enough!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Crafting

The beginnings of a scarf and a blanket

Its December! Since most of my funds will be going toward our new future apartment, I thought I should get started making a few gifts. You can never really go wrong with something handmade. Emma has been asking me to make her a blanket for the longest, so I finally spotted the perfect yarn and picked it up the other day. I started her new blanket last night. It will be a classic large granny square, in colors that coordinate with her Princess and the Frog bedding. Thought it would be a nice touch to her new room.

Along with this blanket, I'm making a puff stitch scarf as a gift for someone else. This is my first time trying the puff stitch. I got off to an interesting start, but as the rows progressed I started to see that I was right on target. Its gonna be a nice one. So grateful for Teresa's tutorials! I'll be throwing a few hats into the mix too, and my Christmas gifting will be complete.

How are you handling holiday gift giving this season? Will you be getting crafty? Will you be buying handmade?

Bits and Pieces

Each Thursday, for the past 5 weeks, we have been attending a class, in which we sit around in a group, without the kiddos, and listen to what the doctor has to tell us about conscious parenting. I like her, the doctor. She's unconventional. She has to be one of the most unorganized people in the world, yet extremely well put together in her thinking and delivery. Her approach is holistic, which I really dig. A nice break from those peer-over-their-glasses-at-you types. She's funny, yet serious, and she isn't afraid to be organic, which is a must when you realize that you've forgotten half your teaching materials at home. Each session just flows on its on, a collection of bits and pieces.

Last Thursday, the doctor asked me what I've gotten out of the class, the ways in which the class has helped me with my parenting. I struggled with the answer. Emma is only 7, so I clearly don't know all there is to know about parenting, however, I do feel that I kinda have this whole conscious parenting thing down. I am very much in tune with the little human being that once grew inside of me. Probably, even more now due to this journey we've been on for the past eight months. I struggled with the answer because I realize it is "me" that I am not in tune with. But that's nothing new.

I remember doing my grandmother's laundry, and noticing how many nice pieces she had. Remembering how, when I go to the store, I will often put everything I've picked for myself back, and end up over-buying for my daughter. Its not all about you anymore; The children come first. I never treat myself, I only buy out of necessity. And even when buying out of necessity I am trying to hit the best bargain possible, and grilling myself about if I really need those new underwear, or that new bra, or those work pants. Obviously I am also very conscious of putting everything and everyone else before my own needs.

Last week, as I removed my boots after work, I noticed why they don't quite wear the same.

I've literally walked the sole out of my boots.

So guess what goes on my list of things to buy?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins

1. The best thing about a birthday celebration is its atmosphere of appreciation.

2. If you aren't careful, you could get lost within the passage of time.

3. I went shopping recently and the most interesting thing I bought was the book, Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood by bell hooks.

4. My favorite child's game has always been Candy Land.

5. The reason is always important to know.

6. Its always exciting when the Bay Area experiences snow and cold.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finding a special place for my new plant, tomorrow my plans include shipping an order and Sunday, I want to get to bed early!

To participate in Friday Fill-Ins, click here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


- As I look at my latest crochet project, I'm trying not to feel defeated. If its not yet completed, why in the hell would it already look like what its supposed to be? Me and my need for instant gratification I guess. I would at least like it to appear to be going in the direction that I need it to. I'm gonna take a small break from it and come back to it after the holidays. In the meantime, a trip to Michael's is needed. I need new yarn in my space, a new kind of project on my hook... and some sun! So I can get pictures of the stuff that I've already made ::sips peppermint hot chocolate::

- Speaking of the fiber arts and new projects, its time to be out with the old and in the with new! Discounts and new pieces are coming soon to Baby Squares at ETSY!

- Turns out, the old lady couldn't let the turkey stay in the freezer afterall. Looks like we'll be heading to grandma's house for Thanksgiving dinner. I think this is just another step in her plan to stage an intervention between me and my granddaddy. This should be interesting.

- This whole re-housing thing is just rolling right along. I'm really amazed. Shoot, we could be settled in time to break out the ornaments and the tree!

- In a couple of hours, I'll be grabbing the girl, and we'll be heading back into the theater for Mommy Daughter Date take 2. Movie of choice: Tangled. She's really excited about seeing it, and I am excited about spending the afternoon with her, a couple of pretzels and a couple of ICEEs.

Let the fun begin!

I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Notes to Emma

Maybe they're just really good friends.

Maybe Little Miss M is just really affectionate.

(name of the affectionate one has been removed from love notes art work)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chasing the Holidays

I'd almost forgotten just how much I love bows. It's what I spend the most of my time on when I'm doing holiday gift wrapping. I'll surround myself with a bag of the colorful adhesive kind, like a little kid, picking through them, matching them up with my wrapping paper selections. Then I'll grab some ribbon and a pair of scissors, curling away for the finishing touches.

I'd also forgotten that learning how to make them with yarn was on my to-do list, until I came across the Creative Yarn blog. Homegirl makes some really cute stuff, and is generous enough to share her patterns. I am more of a video tutorial girl, which is why I completely failed the first time around at making this cute headband, but I eventually got it! For practice, I added one to my hats.

Since we have officially entered the slow season here in the office, I had plenty of time to try, try, try until I got it just right.

Last night I whipped up a couple in Wine and Berry. They are really cute and functional. I am hoping to add these to Baby Squares for the holidays. In between churning out some beanies for my little boys (my shop is really quite sexist isn't it?).

What do you think?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chasing Home

Photo Credit

I wonder how many miles I've put on my car since February. How many hours have I logged while on the grind? Can the amount of shit that I've had to put up with, navigate, and discard really be calculated? As I peer out of Starbucks' picture window, at the wind wrestling through the trees, and the wet pavement on this cool Fall afternoon, I have an abundance of gratitude. The same level of gratitude that I have each time I exit the freeway to find the man or the woman standing there, holding his or her sign, hoping that someone in the line of cars will power down their window and extend an offering. An offering is usually made, and a momentary expression of accomplishment and Thanks comes across the face of the person on the receiving end. The moment ends, and the accomplishment is tucked away to free his or her hands and mind for the next offering.

This is reminiscent of my experience thus far. From house to house, organization to organization, failure to accomplishment, its really hard to focus on what all of those little accomplishments will ultimately add up to in the end, when your sole focus is to be at the right place, at the right time to receive. Well, upon review of all of those little accomplishments, I can now say that I have all of the pieces to the puzzle, and that they are falling into their respective places. The new year will bring with it an end to my homeless journey, and the beginning of the rest of our lives. Steadfast gratitude.

Outfit of the Day

It wasn't until I took my eyes off the road, that I realized, up until that moment, I had never witnessed them at work. As many years as I've studied their place within society, and advocated their respect and protection, I'd had yet to actually speak with, or observe a woman who dons a particular kind of nightly uniform and takes to the streets.

It was almost a moment of exoticization. My reaction to seeing her, and then another and another - in the frigid evening air - booty shorts, heels, no jacket. I remember thinking, "isn't it a little cold for those?" Not once considering the fact that she was not at all out of place, but right on the track. Their corner is one without a traffic signal, which means you have to know exactly where to look if you want to encounter them. Every day since then, I've glanced, at just about that block, to see if I could catch a quick glimpse. To see if maybe I could see who else is watching or perhaps partaking of their time. Obviously not the police, since they are usually congregating a few blocks ahead of the action. Devoting their attention to more important matters. And periodically I will fall into deep thought about what I'd do, the ways in which I'd react - spring into action - should I be crossing their block and one of these women suddenly become distressed. The scene leaves me quite mixed emotional.

On one hand, as an advocate of sex work (prostitution falling under that category), I would not call for the harrassment of these women, but rather their protection. However, without sex work being recognized under the law, with it in fact being a violation of the law, I'm guessing the only protection that these women are receiving is from the police patrols ability to look the other way as business is conducted. On the other hand, with Oakland being a huge player in human trafficking, specifically the trafficking of children, when it comes to street prostitution, police involvement is vital. When it comes to street prostitution as a business, it is not the workers who are profiting, but their pimps/captures/abusers.

As I am gearing up to exit the community, I feel an urge to act.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dear Bigmama

I remember your 76th birthday. It fell on Thanksgiving back then, same as this year, and the year before you left us. I had not yet left you for Cal, had not yet become a mother, and you were not yet fighting. We were all gathered at Mama's house, comforted by the aroma of her soulful cooking, laughing out loud from a collective familial humor, genuinely feeding off of and enjoying the company of each other. Aunt Shalonda and aunt Vicki were there, and so was uncle John. The babies of the family were still babies back then, running around doing their thing, having to be told a time or two to stay out of the way. Those were the days.

You loved to wear your dresses. You were wearing one that day. You had your hair hanging in your signature press 'n curl and a big smile on your face. Plates were non-traditionally being served and reserved between the aunts and granddaddy, and wrapped up to be taken home by uncle. You made your way down the hall behind granddaddy as he had something to show you. It was then that Mama and I made our move. She placed your cake on the table, and I strategically placed a 7 and a 6 on top. Seeing you coming, aunt Vicki met you at the end of the hallway before you could make your entrance back into the party, with both hands cupped over your eyes. I can still hear the two of you. "I can't see!", you blurted out. "Hush woman", she replied in a laugh. She held you steady, until we were ready, and when she lifted her hands, we broke out in song. Happy Birthday to You. This moment forever lives on - when it is on its last breath, I revive the memory via visual media.

I asked Mama for this year's Thanksgiving plan. She said there wasn't one. She said she wasn't feeling it like she used to. Its true. Nothing is like it used to be. You, aunt Vicki and uncle John are no longer with us. I don't think this family has had any celebration like that since you began your fight and lost. I suspect there will be no gathering at Mama's house, or comforting aroma of her cooking because your absence is much too painful for her. To celebrate, would be to acknowledge that which we can not change.

Here's to wishing you were here.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

When the Comments Section Isn't Enough: Final Thoughts

Oh cute and colorful Ana Gazawi, your comment about "big girl panties" was very entertaining. In case you're still snooping, I'd like you to know that I actually never leave home without them. I was thinking that perhaps I could put em' on a postcard for you, that way, my ass would always be readily available for you to kiss it.

Moving right along in no particular order...

1. The last I checked, this --->here<--- was "my" personal space, which means by default, I get to say, state, share, mention, etc whatever the fuck I want, whether it be a minute by minute account or a recollection from 20 years ago.

2. This blog is not commercial or here to attract a following or writing for an audience or focused on making the blogosphere happy or changing the world or any of that shit. In other words, I'm not writing for you or even to you, I'm writing for myself, because its therapeutic (ie. if I wanna purge within my own space, you can read it, however, don't feel the need to tell me I shouldn't be doing it). MY thoughts, MY feelings. Now, if you so happen to read what I've written and it doesn't sit well with you , either poke your own eyes out or, as my great-grandmother use to say, scratch your ass and get glad. Your choice. Or, if you don't feel like making a lot of effort, you can just make a note to self not to come back by here. See, problem solved.

3. For the folks who were having a hard time understanding why I chose the words I did and why I delivered them the way that I did, aside from what has already been stated in #1, the post in question did have "continued" in the title, which means that there was a post preceding it. Its ok if you hadn't noticed, really it is. Anyhoo... post in question was the ass end of bitchassness that was much more current than that of the asshole collective.

4. Let's talk even more about blog posts. I think they're awesome. We all have a voice and we all get to use it how we see fit. You'll get no arguement from me there. In fact, I don't think we should even ever censor our writing, just let the true YOU shine through, whoever that may be. Its just better that way isn't it? I have no issue with differing views and opinions in blog posts. I, as all of us do, have the choice not to read/participate in them if I don't want to. However, when you have placed a badge/button in support of a cause all up and through your site, without informing those whom it may be offensive to who are also a part of the site, the element of choice is eliminated. A member does not get to choose whether or not they are in support because the decision has already been made and displayed. But, who gives a fuck, right?

5. To date, I have never been released, asked to leave, denied access to anything MOH related (sorry Ana and company). I simply made the decision not to move forward with them because I was no longer comfortable doing so, which included not signing on with the We of Hue network when invited.

Did I miss anything? If so, let me know.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Categorizing, Universalizing and Labeling Continued

A month before becoming invested in the latest babbling bus load of bullshit, I was emotionally invested in trying to figure out why the fuck the folks behind the No Wedding No Womb campaign, and their followers, were so invested in “putting the padlock on our panties.” Why was it so hard for any of them to admit that the language heading their campaign was flawed and disrespectful? Why was it so hard for any of them to recognize why single mothers by circumstance and by choice were so upset and turned off by the launch of their attack? Why was it so hard for married supporters of the campaign to realize that not all married mothers were supporters of the campaign? Hello. And finally, why and HOW did the launching of this campaign get some single mothers to drink the Kool Aid and start viewing themselves as bad mothers for having a failed marriage, or choosing to become single mothers, or never seeking marriage to begin with, or being o-damn-k with the term “baby mama” because they have realized that it is actually a term that is free to be appropriated?

I am still fuzzy on why the campaign took up the term “baby mama” in the first place as a way to address single parenthood as a whole and/or unplanned pregnancy. I am fuzzy on how and why a campaign would take up entertainment (ie Maury Povich) as the driving reasoning behind the campaign and just why the hell these folks feel the need to “save the children of single mothers from single mothers." And if we really want to break the term “baby mama” down, and see the words for what they literally mean, then that would make every woman who has ever mothered a baby’s mother. My name is Barbara Henry, and as my sister Traci stated in her beautiful letter to her son, “I” am Emma’s mother and there is NOTHING about the state of my mothering that is wrong or should be undone or rethought. If I had it to do over again, I’d do it the same way. She continues to grow into an amazing person because of the start in life that "I" have given her, the unique dynamic that has shaped our lives. Emma was conceived in love and is being raised in love. Point. Blank. Period.

I was in complete shock when I went over to Moms of Hue to find the site in full support of the campaign against single motherhood. And yes, the campaign is a full on attack. I was thinking, “how could the site be in full support when there are members of the team who are not in support of the campaign at all?” It was hurtful to read what some of the people that I had been comfortable sharing my life and lifestyle with really thought about women who have had kids out of wedlock. When it comes to Moms of Hue, why wasn’t the team notified of this kind of considered endorsement? We'd always been notified of everything else. Why weren’t team members who were clearly offended contacted by leadership? And where in the fuck is my apology? For these reasons, and insensitive commentary from the site’s founder, I had to end my relationship with the “movement”, and I am publicly apologizing to all of my single mama friends that I even sent over there. Why stay on after it was made crystal clear that my status was not valued. If my status was not valued, why the fuck would my experiences be? Uh huh… BABBLING BUS LOAD OF BULLSHIT.

A Word on Categorization, Universalizing and Labeling

I’ve been told a time or two that I don’t play well with others. I don’t quite see it that way. I just simply have a low tolerance for generalizations, ignorance and elitism. I don’t think I’ll ever understand the need for some to state opinion and personal preference as fact; to stereotype and give tropes power by holding them over the heads of individuals just because they’ve been labeled statistics.

It makes me sad really, to be subjected to the hateful ideologies of others. So then I get too emotionally invested in the topic of discussion, throwing out my counterarguments, only to be met with 10 more motherfuckers backing the one. It’s exhausting.

The latest babbling bus load of bullshit is about welfare recipients and what they should and should not be able to buy with their benefits. More policing of the poor on the grounds that if you are poor, then you should ONLY be spending your government issued dollars on shelter, and since said government issued dollars are not even enough for shelter, then you shouldn’t be spending them elsewhere anyway. In other words, if you are on welfare, you do not have the right to spend your benefits on the same kinds of shit that folks who aren’t sucking society dry spend their hard earned cash on. Yeah, a BABBLING BUS LOAD OF BULLSHIT! Of course it isn't really the article itself that has my ass on fire, but reactions to it by a few Facebookers. I cannot tell you how tired I am of reading and hearing people unleash about tax payers and tax dollars. Why is it so hard to view the tax dollars that the welfare recipient spends as the tax dollars that s/he has already paid into the system? Why is the welfare recipient still being viewed as the scum of the earth, the one who is too lazy to work, and every other negative attribute imaginable?

I recently encountered a student-parent who is worrying herself to death about how she will combine a part time job with being a full time student and mother, because being viewed in the negative light of the welfare queen is so much worse to her than trading in time with her son for time spent in a position that wont even supplement her household’s income, which was cut in half by the recession. She has paid her hard earned money into a system that she is now afraid to utilize, and for what? Because people who are working from what they’ve heard, and a few things they’ve read, hold ill feelings toward people who are trying to survive in this fucked up society, and in addition to surviving, add a little normalcy into their everyday by stimulating the economy? Yeah, a BUS LOAD OF BULLSHIT!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Week In Review

- This week, I will have officially been with my new office for 2 months. I am really enjoying my time here. I am learning, growing and applying. This is definitely a stepping stone position, but one that came at the perfect time, with the perfect amount of responsibility, the perfect amount of freedom, and the perfect mix of personalities. I came into this place, thinking that my role here would be one dimensional, but instead found myself submerged within a setting of information, resources and support. Not bad for a part time "gig".

- I'm still a little in awe of the things that Baby Squares has been doing. I don't think I ever expected to be so widely received. To be liked and "liked" so well. The fans have been growing, business has been booming nationally, and my little fingers and bits of yarn have been doing a constant dance of warmth making. I have been learning how to enjoy the success and to question it a little bit less. I have been forced by my wonderful supporters to view myself as a business owner. As the days go by, and the sales continue, becoming a brand seems a little less scary.

- I've been riding dirty for at least 6 months now, and thankfully my lawlessness comes to an end tomorrow! I will march into the DMV, hand over my proofs of this and that, retrieve my expensive little sticker and do the running man straight up outta there! We will officially be able to make longer distance trips again!

- This month, my TWA will turn 6 months old too! Yippie!! That will be a milestone for me. The first TWA only made it to month 5 before stress drove my head into the hands of the barber. Not this time though. This time, the curls are in for the long haul. I'm on my way to Emma status! I've been thinking protective styling, and on my next weekend off, I'm going to give myself some finger coils. I chickened out the first time I attempted them, but I'm going to stretch, break out the gel and put my fingers to work.

- One of my house mates pulled me to the side a couple of weeks ago, and told me that I was much too nice to be there. I told her that we all were.

What's been up with you?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins

Borrowed photo

1. While the cat's away the dog will play.

2. I think fishnet stockings are ultra fabuloso!

3. Children at times, are often MUCH smarter than adults.

4. I head straight to my room when I get home from work or shopping or what have you.

5. This may seem odd, but even though I hate sports with a passion, I am actually enjoying watching The Giants spank some Ranger ass in the World Series.

6. Its been suggested that I learn how to make mittens, and that seems like a fine idea to me!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to taking Emma to a Halloween festival, followed by a Corset Night out with the girls, tomorrow my plans include going to work and Sunday, I want to get as many pictures as possible of my little EmJay!

To participate in this week's Friday Fill-ins, click -->here<---

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Her Hair Makes My Hair Jealous

The Afro was a very good choice for Emma on Saturday. I was a little worried because it was raining, and I didn't know if her strands would shrink all the way up to her scalp, leaving us with a big matted nest perched on top of her head. What I found was that her hair actually loved the moisture in the air. By the end of the day her twist out looked even more fabulous than when we left the house!

I took some coconut oil in my hands and ran it down the length of each twist before untwisting. I separated each twists a bit for volume, threw a couple of green flower barrettes on the side and she was ready to rock her natural. We were pleasantly surprised when we entered the event. The room was filled with Afros, and it seemed like every sistah that walked threw the door thereafter brought her Afro with her!

I gotta say, the girl is *my* hair inspiration. She reminds me of myself when I was here age. My Afro was just as fabulous. I am looking very forward to getting back there. Seeing all of the other twist outs in the building, and admiring Emma's bounce, I am also looking forward to the days of mother-daughter twist outs!

Emma playing the role of Helper for a second time

When you were younger, did you ever have any mother-daughter hair days?

Natural Hair Meet Up: Bay Area Style!

Showcasing Tams by Baby Squares

Cassidy of Natural Selection recapped the day's events beautifully, complete with beautiful pictures that help tell the story of just how much fun we all had, chatting, eating, shopping and talking about hair. Simply put, we had a blast! I am so happy that Cassidy offers these opportunities, I have once again found myself already ready for the next event... which I've heard is November 21st, so SAVE THE DATE if you're in the Bay and wanna come hang out with us! You definitely will NOT regret doing so.

Being amongst other vendors wow, can't believe I'm actually in that category now! taught me a valuable lesson about presentation. I had not thought at all about how I would display my tams. I just grab my el cheapo wig head on our way out the door and figured I'd employ some creative placement on our table. It wasn't until I saw the set up of the other vendors that I realized my presentation really wasn't much of a presentation. I think I did pretty good for this being my first time out, and for only having 24 hours to prep, BUT, my products definitely had to speak for themselves. I was relieved as a few ladies tried them on and inquired about colors and sizes. And luckily, I didn't return home with the same amount of tams I left with. Just maybe I really do have a chance in hell of being successful. I'll be watching Tea and Honey Bread very closely as Tameka creates an economical display for her upcoming craft show. I clearly still have a lot to learn about showcase... and, um, about not spending all of my profits!

That last bit is kind of hard when you are surrounded by amazing women doing amazing things with natural materials! I can not pass on pretty colors and great scents. Enter Skincare by Feleciai and Fatemeh's Jewelry and Accessories.

I got this luxurious Peppermint Shea Butter Cream. Its so creamy and felt really good on my skin. After bath time, both Emma and I slathered some on and nearly slept through our alarm the next morning. Good stuff! Feleciai generously gave me a bar of her heavenly handmade soup with my shea purchase.

Lest I be found somewhere in a corner sniffing this thing, I am gonna be just as generous and pass this wonderful soap on to a momma friend who is with child and morning sickness. I think this will definitely give her a boost in the aromatherapy department!

I picked up a baaaaaaaadddd pair of crocheted purple hoops from Fatemeh and another pair of crocheted purple earrings for a friend who LOVES purple. I surprised her with them today. She couldn't get the pair she was wearing off fast enough so she could model her new pair. A very happy camper! I'll have to share pictures of these two at a later date!

Although I earned and spent it was well worth it for what I walked away with and the experience in itself. Again, I can not wait for the next event. The only down side to being on duty at the Baby Squares table was not being able to get up and mingle with all of the other ladies who were there. I had to wait for them to come to me.

What suggestions do you have for ways that I can sell AND mingle at the next meet up?

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Today was filled with all kinds of awesomeness! As hats were picked up, examined, and then put back down, I thought that I would surely crash and burn. I made a list, checked it twice, crocheted until my hands cramped, and was afraid that I had done so for nothing. To walk away with all that I had brought. I'm glad to report that Baby Squares made friends, networked, put some smiles on some faces, some hats on some heads, and will be collecting custom orders next week! I came home with some great items too, from some great artists. Photos to come...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Confessions of a Connectoholic

Our new place is great and all, but the lack of wireless accessibility is driving me insane! I've been recently spoiled. Being able to sit up, 'til the wee hours of the morning, typing away the day's frustrations/joyful moments. And now? I'm reduced to a computer center where I have to work across two different computers because one has a timer and Facebook access has been blocked from the other! WiFi is available, but my location within the building makes for a shitty signal. How on earth am I supposed to stay on top of things working under these conditions? Geez.

I've missed spilling my guts on a daily basis. Just basically being able to say what I have to say virtually at the exact moment that it pops into my head. You know, the exact moment when I wanna go to bed and my housemate is blasting her damn radio through the floor, or when we are trying to have a nice dinner or breakfast and this one staff person feels the need to run down every single thing about the organization to us, as if its our first time in the dining area, oh, and how about the moment when said staff person comes back with a second bowl of pasta because she noticed that I had finished mine? She really does mean well, but uh, I seriously think that nobody is home upstairs, if you know what I mean.

Anyhoo... if you're reading now, don't stop here. I've been waiting to unload my chest, so this is like, the third post I've done in an hour, lol. Happy reading.

Time Sure Does Fly When You're Stylin'

It wasn't until I was commenting on Little B's beautiful braids, that I realized that Emma's box braids had been alive for 7 straight weeks! That's probably not a record for us, as we tend to not be weekly hairstyle people, but it caught my attention because Katie of Happy Girl Hair was saying how much she was hoping to get 2 good weeks out of Little B's braids. We've washed, conditioned and moisturize during the 7 weeks, and cornrowed, and ponytailed, and crinkled the box braids. They got a lot of wear and gave a lot of versatility.

Since we'll be heading to the natural hair meet up tomorrow, put on by Cassidy of Natural Selection, it was time to be out with the old and in with the new! We deep conditioned, washed and conditioned last week, leaving clean hair that was ready for a little more TLC. It took us a couple of days to transform old box braids into new chunky twists.

On day 1, we took care of the back. Basically removing each braid, moisturizing and detangling (getting rid of 7 weeks worth of shed hair), adding some Bee Mine Curly Butter and twisting. For school the next day I just gathered the remaining 6 braids in the front into a knot. On day 2 I got the rest of the braids down and detangled and into twists.

Emma was pretty happy with the finished result, especially because tomorrow we will be giving her a chunky twist out for the meet up. Its raining here, so I don't know how much shrinkage she will have at the end of the day, but all will be well.

We have been dressing her twists up with different head bands (which for some reason get left at school!!)

I'm looking forward to the return of her BAA. Stay tuned...

Baby Squares is in the Buildin'!

When I mentioned this weekend's natural hair meet up to Emma, she got SO excited. It was unexpected. I mean, she did work the room all on her own at our first meet up, and made a new friend, and became a little helper during the gathering, but I didn't expect her to be as thrilled as she was about an opportunity to do it all over again. I thought I would be the only thrilled one, but nope, she was all over the good news. Luckily, I was able to get my shift at work covered right in time to get prepared to go out and mingle, network and have some fun!

This time around, Baby Squares will be in the building, with hats! I've had a great week on Facebook, and I hope the activity carries over into tomorrow's event. I'll be setting up shop alongside the fabulous Fatemeh and her jewelry and accessories. Check out the hot earrings that I won from her shop!

Midnight Tam by Baby Squares. Available on Facebook!

We are supposed to be in for some Fall showers, so this little combination might be making an appearance. I'm excited to get back out amongst the ladies, meet some new curlies and share a part of myself with them. I heard there might be a few little naturals in the building too. That is very good news for Emma.


I also received my winnings from Pretty in Peace too! Have a look at the loot

A couple of pairs for me, and a super cute purple pair for Emma!

These shells are gonna become a part of my everyday earwear. I am head over heels in LOVE with cowrie shells!!!!

And how great are these Gwyn Hoops??! They have such a Bollywood flavor to them that I am gonna feel like I am on vacation each time they are dangling from my ears!

What do you have planned for this weekend?