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?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nights Like This Pt. 2

There are three distinctive sounds that run on replay each night: the sound of a motorcycle zooming down the block, the sound of car alarms going off in response to said motorcycle's powerful engine, and the sound of emergency sirens. Of the three, its the sirens that bother me the most.

Its been 7 years since I've lived amongst sirens. They are a reminder of why I said I never wanted to raise my daughter in this kind of environment, however, the people that I share my new community with, are a reminder of everything I loved about where I grew up!

Once you get a taste of what's on the other side of the fence, and you learn that things could be better than what you've lived in/grown up around, its hard to go back to where you came from, especially if you aren't taking resources back with you. Its hard for folks who do have resources to go back to where they came from, for fear of never being able to leave again or being stripped of everything they feel they have worked so hard for. I came into this situation with such a complex. I've been learned how to get past that though, because each day I realize that each time I open my mouth and talk with someone, whether they are in my shoes or not, I am giving back.

Nights Like This

Last night, I felt it again. That very specific kind of loneliness. That which only a parent knows. We are two weekends in to brand new child care arrangements and I am wondering how many more weekends it will take before I stop missing her in the way that I do. Without the sound of her breathing, the room is too quiet. Without her presence, the entire place is vacant to me. On any other day, when I felt I could use an adult centered break, I'd welcome her visiting with her aunt, or friends, or grandma, but, its something about me being in this new place, and her being absent, that keeps sending me into these depressive episodes.

It was really shocking to me last weekend. These feelings. Where in the hell did such separation anxiety come from? She's 7, and spending time with her aunt, being well taken care of, what the hell is my problem? I called over to my sister in-law's because I needed to hear Emma's voice. I needed to know what she was doing, if she was having fun, and I needed to tell her how much I missed her.

This weekend, I glanced over at her empty bed and wanted to cry. There was nothing within those huge four walls of emptiness to fill my evening with. I called to tell her good night and interupted her adventure. She was fine, I was not. I resorted to reading myself to sleep.

Have you ever experienced emotions so intense?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Memories Rewind: Let Me Take You on an Ice Capade

At the end of a long day, we arrived and pushed the door buzzer. That's the procedure for access to the facility. I imagine there is a monitor perched somewhere atop the double doors that lets the front desk attendant know who is ringing before access is granted. Past the cigarette breakers, through a second set of double doors, we always find a warm "welcome back" from behind the desk. And up the staircase, behind the second secured door buzzer entrance, we now find our 'temporary' new home.

After a day of work, I just wanted to retreat to our room, kick off my heels and climb into bed. No meeting with the case manager, no mandatory chore at 9pm, just me - in bed. Better go snag the computer before Emma does. I decided to head to the study center to check my email before putting my plan into action. As Emma was peering over my shoulder, a voice from around the corner called out, "You guys going to Disney on Ice?" I looked up to find one of the staff standing in the doorway holding a piece of paper. While my expression remained puzzled, Emma answered for the both of us, "Yes! Disney on Ice!" "If you want to go, be downstairs at 6:30." 6:30! But its 6:15! Who just springs an event on someone like that? Wait. I don't wanna go! I just wanna go to bed! Emma on the other hand was delighted with the news. I was still confused. Wait. 6:30 we're supposed to be down stairs? In 15 minutes? How are we getting there? But its a Thursday night...

Fastforward 30 minutes later...

Dressed for the night air, and a 9 block walk, two families and 3 singles headed to the show. I was still a little annoyed that this treat was so impromptu, but the staff person assured us that it was someone else's fault. The facility had been notified of the pending performance 2 days prior to all of us finding out about it. Someone dropped the ball somewhere, but you can't complain too much about free tickets, right?

"How many of you are there?", the ticket keeper for programs asked. "There are 9 of us", our staff person answered. "And how old is that little guy?" referring to the baby in his mother's arms. "He's 1", his mother answered. "Ok, he doesn't need a ticket. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7... I'll be right back, don't move. She came back, looked around and took one ticket from some other program's stash. Since we hadn't arrived on time, some of our tickets had been given to other programs who had shown up in larger-than-expected groups. We were handed tickets that were in various sections and told to make it work. Well, ok.

Purses were checked, the stroller was docked, and we were in search of our sections. As we took our seats, I began to feel a little less annoyed. Emma was excited, the show was already in progress, we were surrounded by happy families, life was momentarily good. On cue, Emma remembered the snack stand that we saw on the way in, so I offered to go get her something to munch on during the show. I approached the counter and surveyed the menu. "Can I get a pretzel, aaaaannnndddd, a Pepsi?" "Sure", said the woman behind the counter. "You guys take credit cards, right?", I asked, remembering that I had no cash on me. She told me yes, and rounded up my order. As I whipped out my card, I took a second look at the menu and couldn't quite focus my eyes on the prices. You have GOT to be kidding me! Sooooo... they actually want $5.50 for a $1.69 bottle of soda, and $6! for a bottle of water. This is what I get for not looking at the prices first. I literally stood in awe for a couple of minutes looking at the prices, and holding my card. I finally gave it to the clerk, got my two items that now seemed much less appetizing, and made my way back to our seats.

"Oooooo, Mom, LOOK! Cotton Candy. Please, please can I have some?", Emma exclaimed. "Sorry, I don't have any cash with me. They only take cash." *annoyance resurfaces* After the show, Emma looked at all of the other children playing with their light sticks and repeatedly tried to sway me, as if it were in my control, by telling me how much she needed one because all of her toys are in storage. *cue depression* I felt horrible, and then I felt angry. Who the fuck invites homeless people to something like this! Keeping Emma's drama-queen abilities in mind, I was still sad that she was sad, all because we were let in on this trip with not enough time to stop by a bank. "Ooooo, look at the ears Mom!" Outside the arena gates sat groups of street vendors selling their versions of light sticks and mouse ears. "Light sticks and Mickey ears, $5 each", one vendor called out to the exiting crowd. FUCK! I don't have $5 on me. And then it happened... "Whistles, $3". I remembered that my grandmother had given Emma 'ice cream' money, which I stuck in my purse for safe keeping. "Excuse me, how much did you say the whistles were?", I asked the woman holding the blinking pieces of plastic. "$3". Emma's had exactly three rolled up dollar bills, I handed them to her. She gave them to the woman, and the woman gave her the whistle in return. Watching the exchange was almost like seeing a princess being crowned for the first time. Emma's eyes shined brighter than the colorful lights of her new whistle.

The night was saved from going to shit by a $3 whistle.

This post was written as part of the Making My Mark Memories Rewind Link-up. To participate, click on the link. Participation is open until October 22nd!

Open for Business!

That's right! Baby Squares is now open for business via Facebook. Thanks for the informative Jewery Rockstar, you can now purchase Baby Squares exclusives right from the fan page! That means that if you haven't already, you should "like" me there, and then suggest the fan page to all of the ladies on your friend list, especially those with wee ones! Don't the new hats look beautiful in their new home? I'd bet they'd look even more beautiful on YOU! Thus far, Tams by Baby Squares have been hot around my work place. I sold my forth one last week!! My co-workers are getting a head start on their holiday shopping.

Yesterday, the sun was shining, and I wanted to take full advantage. After dropping Emma at school, I took a trip down to the local Beauty Supply store to snatch up a wig head and a couple of hair care favs. It was my intention to capture my new hats in the early morning sun, get them uploaded into the storefront, and sit back and watch the magic happen. Due to an impromptu wedding invitation, which quickly turned into an ER visit, I captured the hats in late afternoon sunlight. I was scrambling to beat the sunset, but I'm satisfied with the shots, and so are Baby Squares fans. The place is a buzz! Hopefully the storefront will be a buzz with activity.

Feel free to click on the Baby Squares Facebook Badge in the sidebar to become a fan and get your holiday or personal shop on! Spread the word!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

So Far, So Good

Surprisingly, this place has some really good food. I'm always worried when it comes to food. Not necessarily about quantity, but more about taste, likes and dislikes. Emma happens to be a very, very, VERY picky eater. She'll look you dead in your face and let you know that what you've placed in front of her looks and/or smells disgusting; that your mashed potatoes aren't white enough; that your cat fish is NOT fried to the same consistency as granny's; or that she'd just about rather starve than eat... THAT! Can you imagine being at some facility, where the food is being prepared for you each day, without knowing what's gonna be on the menu? So far, so good though. I've only gotten one of the above reactions thus far, and that was to the first night's dinner of tuna casserole. I could completely feel her on that one!

Not only have the breakfast and dinner trays had foods that Emma likes, they've even had some meals that run a close second to grandma's cookin'. Food doesn't get any more comforting than grandma's, Emma will tell you so. There is a part of me that completely misses cooking, I mean, I have yet to have a pork chop come my way, BUT, in a way, this whole 3 meals a day thing is kind of an answer to my Personal Chef prayers.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Not Again

I really think my grandmother is crazy. I mean, I used to just think she was ambitious. Ambition is admirable. However, the trail of incomplete business plans that have been following her since before the time I began collecting memories, tell me otherwise. This woman has always been selling something. Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, Princess House, Watkins, Cookie Lee - it can all be found in her possession. Inventory past handed out at Christmas time, direct selling opportunities revisited time and time again.

On my last visit to her house, I tried really hard to convince myself that the Tupperware boxes in her livingroom were old finds from storage, up until the moment she placed a catalog in my hand. I'm thinking, "what in THEE hell am "I" gonna do with this?" I mean, HELLO! I'm homeless! That means that I wont be stocking a kitchen anytime soon. But that's always the experience at grandma's house. There are very little relaxed visits, and a whole lotta business, business, business! She'll start a business and expect it to take off with minimal physical investment, and when it doesn't she's on to the next "job". I can't even keep up, nor do I want to. I think this is why I have such a hard time pushing my wares. I don't want to be a pusher. I don't wanna be that person that you dread coming in your direction because you know they will try to make you buy something. Up until the time I opened my shop, I had a hard time even asking people to pay me for my handiwork!

I'm glad that I found the confidence to see what I make as valuable enough for monetary gain, and that I have a better business sense than she does, in the way that I know that in order for any business to "take off", there will be a lot of work involved. Work that YOU will have to do yourself.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Newness Preview

Chocolate Chip Cookie. Oatmeal Cookie. Mint Cookie.

Berry. Midnight. Forest. Navy. Wine.

The colors above are more representative than the colors in the photo - cell phone camera, BUT, better pictures are in store (I said "preview", remember?), and these babies are now available!!

Take your pick!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

How ironic is it to find out that you are in stage 3 of breast cancer during a month that has been set aside to fight this cancer? Some distant fight, now your own personal battle. A co-worker's friend will now have to suit up and arm herself for the fight of her life as she explores all of the options available to her.

I still remember when a lump was found in one of my breasts during a routine physical exam. My doctor and I were shooting the breeze about right and wrong ways to do self exams, and what to look for, when she found it. A small round something that felt nothing like any of my other breast tissue. I wasn't immediately alarmed, but concerned. My doctor thought the lump was most likely a blocked duct since I had not breast fed my daughter for a lengthy time after birth. After months and months of monitoring, 4 breast ultrasounds, and no growth, we know nothing about the lump, except that its not cancerous. I can live with that, and to ensure that I continue to live I pay close attention to my breast health. Us 20-somethings are not exempt from developing breast cancer. Just because our breast tissue is too dense for the mechines, DOES NOT mean that it can't be there. It is on us to be aware of our bodies and any changes. Feel your breasts every month for changes, and then don't sit on those changes, but discuss them with your doctor. Early detection and treatment lends a better chance of survival!

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

I think I've been aware of, and struggling against, domestic violence since before the age of 8.

I recall hearing my mother crying out as her boyfriend had her pinned down to her bed. As I kept swinging the bedroom door open, I could see that he was on top of her with his hands around her neck. Each time I would swing the door open, he would swing it back toward me, trying to shut me out of the altercation. However, I would not be shut out. I could not be shut out. Even at that early age, my first instinct was to protect my mother. From somewhere in the house I retrieved one of those big thick novelty pencils, returned to my mother's room and swung the door open one last time. I rushed in and started beating her boyfriend in the back with the pencil. He released his hold on her neck, rose and turned toward me. Afraid, I backed off, retreated from the room and the door was slammed shut. It was time to call for help, except I couldn't, because he had ripped the phone cord from the wall. I had to resort to fleeing the apartment to a neighbor's house, leaving my mother with her abuser. I dialed great-grandma. She showed up to that upstairs apartment, gun in hand.

Now the mother of a 7 year old, I realize how small I was, what could have happened to me had he turned his rage toward me, what could have happened to my mother had I not intervened. As a small child, I should not have had to be so brave, however, my bravery saved a life that day. In the end, Bigmama didn't shoot him, although, as a woman who didn't play that shit, that's what she came there to do. In the end, my mother stayed in the relationship. In the end, I vowed that I'd NEVER be hit by a man and stay. Thus far, I have never been hit by any man, but I have been emotionally abused and raped, and stayed, and raped again. It took the second rape for me to recognize that I was in an abusive relationship, and it was then that I ended that relationship. My second vow: for my daughter to NEVER have to be as brave as I was when I was her size, and for her to NEVER witness her father's mistreatment of me.

I'd encourage us all to take our awareness a bit further and transform it into action. If you know a woman or man who is being abused (physical,mental, emotional, sexual) get involved! Many of us are afraid to get involved. Afraid that if we do get involved we may loose a friend. Well, if you don't get involved, you may still loose a friend!

Be aware. Be vigilant. Be brave!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Feeling Like Home

After loading what I thought we couldn't live without back into my car, we were off to our new living space on Sunday. Based on the description from the organization's website, I knew a little of what to expect, but was kind of blown away by what I saw when I walked through the door. Nestled away on its own floor lies an inviting dorm-like space. Its like a private family loft. A huge living room area with enough space for 5 families to settle in for a movie, a cute little kitchenette, a nice sized kids space with library, toys, tables and chairs, a computer and study room, AND a laundry room. Everything we need all in one space!

And our room?


Its amazing! We have tons of space for our things, comfy beds - no more sleeping all bunched up on a couch, and our own private bathroom! This place is like heaven for a homeless family. While I am still a little on edge, you know, a bunch of newness all at once with meeting 4 new families and learning the break down of the rules and regulations and getting into new routines, BUT, I see this space, this facility, this opportunity as one that will aid in our recovery from this stage in our lives. The staff have made it clear that they are there to help us as long as we are willing to stay in the fight. I'm ready!

Here's how we've settled into our new space thus far...

This is what my bed looked like on our first night. Borrowed linens comfort!

But, a new pillow and linens from "home" always will!

Emma's first night included a little more familiarity

And we took it a step further by bringing in the new Princess and the Frog bedding she got for Christmas!

And for her second night... She slept like royalty!

What newness have you taken on this week?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

In Baby Squares News...

Slouch hats will be making an appearance very soon. I went on a Michael's haul recently, stocking my yarn supply in various colors, as sort of a trial run, based on colors that have been requested and colors that feel like Fall. With the scorching weather we've been having here in the Bay Area, its been kind of difficult to be excited about hats. Today though, is a leaves on the ground-cool breeze kind of day. I think Fall is finally upon us!

Dispite the bright sun warming my skin, I broke out my skeins and got to work on the new inventory. I was 3 hats in when I decided to show them off to one of my co-workers. She snatched up 2 of the 3, inquired about addition colors for her holiday shopping, and proceeded to tell everyone who was in the office about my work! See why I love this place! I am thrilled about the warm welcome in the work place - merging worlds and getting paid. So, a little delayed virtually, but expect their arrival shortly. Please feel free to leave comments below or email me at babysquares@gmail if you are interested in purchasing!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Moving On... Out

Vintage Skeleton Key Pin Set from Pretty in Peace

My heart temporarily sank when I listened to her message. I had gotten a call back from the woman who would be informing me of the panel's decision of whether or not to induct us into the transitional family. She had said the decision reached was a "yes and no". Huh? What the hell does that mean? Part of me deciphered that as they really really wanted to help us, BUT, for some reason or another we didn't meet the requirements. I've always been met with those feelings after researching or inquiring about a service that is geared toward women with families or women who have been victims of domestic violence. Because I've always fallen short under the law, I can't help but always feel that I will fall short under their definitions. Negative thoughts aside, I eagerly redialed her number.

She told me that we had not been chosen to move forward with their program, however that didn't mean that we hadn't been chosen. There was a mixture of excitement and rue in her voice, so not only was I anxious, but confused. Turns out, we've been accepted into another program, which will be a stepping stone to being accepted into their program. For the homeless, a prerequisite for getting into many housing programs is that you've been referred by a shelter or other shelter-esk facility. Since we've had no prolonged shelter stays, I frequently find myself explaining up and down how the lack of a shelter stay still classifies us as homeless and in need of services from whatever housing agency I am seeking. In a nutshell, this organization has cleverly made arrangements with their sister organization, a shelter, one that I am assuming will not be anxiety inducing so that we can be referred back to them at a later date.

Tomorrow, to the facility we will go, where beds and privacy await us. Unlike the initial program that I applied to, this facility will be free of charge, allowing me to save and prepare for the phases ahead. Let the games begin!

Lights, Camera, Action!

Yesterday, Emma had her annual school-days rite of passage: Picture Day. Its one of those school events that you either really look forward to or really dread... the dread probably doesn't kick in until middle school and high school. Luckily for us, its a day that we both look forward to.

For the first 12 months of her life, Emma was in front of the camera. I did not let a single month go by without capturing her growth, her personality, her milestones... it was all nurtured through the viewfinder, and birthed into scrapbooks and look books. She was a favorite at our local photography studio, often seeing herself on display in pretty frames. I'd like to think that experience shaped her budding relationship with the camera. She is just all about it. The girl can go from frowns to smiles in 0.5 seconds if you point your lens in her direction.

She was very excited about Picture Day. She wanted to wear something "pretty" and requested that her hair be pretty. And then I reminded her that she is ALWAYS pretty so she didn't have to worry about that. We picked a pose, a background color and a wardrobe. I had big plans for Picture Day hair, because yes, Picture Day hair is important. However, I got a case of the mommy brain and completely forgot about said day until the day before. So, my shampooed-conditioned-well moisturized BAA (big ass afro) with hair candy became old-slightly moisturized-box braids-swept to the side in a BAC (big ass cornrow) with hair candy instead. Nonetheless, I am sure that my girl's million dollar smile will be the highlight of those pictures when we get them back.