Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mind Their Business

As a small business owner, I understand the importance of supporting other small businesses.  I know that sometimes the prices may be a tad bit more expensive than the big box stores, but I always notice that the quality is always much better than the big box stores.  When ever my husband and I can, we shop small business.  We also use the services of small businesses.  A lot of times we find out about these businesses because we know the people personally, or sometimes we use referrals from people we know.

There have been a few occasions where we've been let down by a small business, but I think that happens with any sized business.

My husband and I own a small massage therapy and skin care business, Fountain of You Therapy. We opened our doors in 2014 in a community that was accustomed to paying discount prices for sub par massage services, and were locked into contract for these services.  They looked at massage services as a luxury, and not something to help with overall health.  Over the last two years we worked on educating the community, and bringing a lot of awareness about the benefits of massage therapy and skin care treatments.

I decided to share a few of the small businesses that I know of that I can vouch for their product or services, by either personal use or from their reputation.   My social media sites are filled with support for celebrity products, but never with support for small businesses.  I haven't been compensated in any way to share these businesses with you.  I just REALLY REALLY love supporting others and networking.

If you have a small business, feel free to add them to the comments section!

Massage Therapy  & Skin Care

Fountain of You Therapy, LLC
FACEBOOK (check out our Reviews)
YELP (check out our Reviews)

Family Therapy Services

Helix Psychotherapeutic Solutions
(240) 253-6330

Amusement/Family Fun

Pump It Up!

TL Amusements

Bath & Body Products

Finger Bang Polish
(240) 343-2641

Lucy Lee Essentials

Travel Agent Services

Traveling With Nate



All Year Lawns, LLC

1 Cut Above

Food Services

Chef Ama

T-Shirt Guys LLC


NCee Photography
(301) 541-9172

Pasley Place Photography

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Here Comes The Boom!

It's been weeks, scratch that, months since I blogged about anything.  My intent was to blog about the rest of my pregnancy, but then life happened and that fell by the waist side.  The remainder of my pregnancy was up and down.

My Highest Low

I planned this pregnancy with my husband.  My dream was to do what I  haven't done with the other three kids.  Plan a pregnancy and do all that I couldn't do with the others.  With the other three, I wasn't financially ready, emotionally ready, or even mature enough...or so I thought.  But I loved my babies and wouldn't change the circumstances in which I had them at all.  But I figured, this go round, I was a bit more established career wise, relationship wise and sanity wise, that I'd make the leap.  I knew time wasn't on my side anymore, and I needed to make a decision to have another baby rather quickly.

Towards the end of my second trimester, my husband and I went through some major issues.  It took a huge toll on me and set the tone for the rest of my pregnancy.  I didn't talk to anyone about the issues we were having for a while, and I realized it was manifesting itself in other ways.  So when it finally all came to a head, my emotions were permanently in a funk.  Because of the downward spiral I felt my life was going with my husband, I didn't enjoy the rest of pregnancy.  I was mean and I resentful.  I didn't get to take my pregnancy pictures because I was upset.  I didn't do any of the things I planned to do and that I saw other people doing because I was depressed.  I began to fear that my emotions would transfer to the unborn baby, so I did what I could to be happy.  I began to pray more and read the bible more.  It helped, but I was still sad.  I had a great baby shower and my friends were so supportive, as I shared with them what was going on.  I honestly don't know what I would have done without my friends.

I was working full time, going to school for my 2nd bachelors full time, and making sure my family was taken care of.   My mom was going through her own medical issues and that took an even bigger chunk out of me.  I was stressed.  Beyond stressed, which led to me feeling depressed and alone.  I wasn't in a place where I wanted to hear people complaining about frivolous things.  That shit is draining.

Team Spirit

I went into labor at the beginning of March.  After several stints with false labor, I finally was having this baby.  I wasn't sleeping at all during the last month of pregnancy, so we scheduled an induction at 39 weeks.  My  other 3 deliveries were relatively smooth, so I decided my two oldest kids could witness me deliver their baby sister.  My mother and husband were there as well.  Once I had my epidural all was well.  When it was time to push the baby out, it was a trauma that I have never experienced.  I felt EVERYTHING with the epidural, while I pushed.  I have never been in so much pain.  I screamed. I cursed.  I shouted "GET HER OUT!" at the top of my lungs.  I really think all of the shyt I was going thru during the end of my pregnancy manifested itself into this pain during delivery.  I pray that I didn't scar the kids, although maybe this will dramatically decrease their chances of being a teen mom. LOL!

Week 1

After delivering the baby, my emotions were still all over the place.  I literally had a baby only hours ago, and I was still worrying about other people.  My mom.  My kids. My husband.  I didn't even consider my recovery.  After dealing with my 11 year old who started getting cold like symptoms after the baby was born, and started crying because I didn't want her to hold the baby.  Then dealing with my mom on some other shyt, I literally cried in my room that whole night when everyone left.  Thank goodness the baby was in her bassinet sleep.  I was all alone.  And I cried.  I just felt drained.  I felt like I had NOTHING left to give, and how was I going to be emotionally ready to care for a new baby.  Was I suffering from postpartum depression?  I don't think so.  I think a person can only take but so much! And when others are too self absorbed to see that, it just makes for a messy situation.  

The rest of the stay in the hospital was pretty meh. I really wasn't up for visitors.  I was bleeding pretty heavy and even some trips to the bathroom required a follow up call to the custodial staff to clean up the blood bath from my bed to the room.  Imagine that if you have guests in the room.   Plus the hospital staff, while pleasant, seemed to ALWAYS be coming in my room.  So I never got to really rest.  I was tired.  I was annoyed. I just wanted to go home.  

When I did get home, I think I still had a little bit of the angry vibes in me, and was basically a bitch to everyone for the remainder of the week.  I didn't care either.  I was in a lot of pain and felt like I had been hit by a bus. I could barely walk without assistance.

Week 2

I still felt like I had been hit by bus, I was popping pain pills to the point where I thought I might get addicted to them.  My muscles ached all over from the traumatic delivery.  I was worried that I'd feel like this forever.  I couldn't see a future without the pain.  Plus my 11 year old was still a bit sick and had now infected her older sister.  So two kids sick, new baby and a touchy 6 year old all wearing me out.  I hated that the kids were sick, because I know they wanted to really hold the baby.  I just couldn't take the chance of them getting her sick.   I know they felt shut out, but I just kept trying to tell them that she wasn't going anywhere, and that I wanted to protect everyone in the house.  My mamma bear mode was pretty strong during week 2.  I didn't really want anyone to pick up the baby.  She was mine!  LOL!  

Week 3

Spring Break!?!?    OMG, I completely didn't factor in Spring Break and a new baby.  My 6 year old had come down with what ever her sisters had late last week.  And it finally infiltrated my immune system during this week.  I felt miserable.  But I had to still get it together.  I was learning the baby's habits, and that helped with planning trips out the house.  She doesn't particularly like the car, except when it's moving.  And it has to be going at least 40 for her to be satisfied.  So I am thinking this one may have a lead foot like her mama.  My emotions have definitely settled by this week.  I gave the kids the clear to interact more with the baby.  I finally started giving the baby 1 bottle a day so that my husband could feed her the breast milk I pumped.  My in laws helped a lot with the other kids.  They let them spend a few nights/days at their house so I wouldn't have to worry about them.  It helped not having to worry about feeding people.

Week 4
I am finally wrapping up week 4, and I definitely feel much better.  I feel like I have charge of my well being again.  I'm open to visitors now.  Yay!  I'm not in pain anymore. Yay!  I don't feel bitchy anymore.  Woohaaaaaaaaaah!  

It's funny, I never imagined my pregnancy and postpartum experience to be this way.  I mean I have had my lows in my life.  I've been depressed before, but never during this time of my life.  It was weird.  I don't feel bad for feeling and reacting how I did.  I'm human.  If I didn't react this way, I'd think I'd need some type of medication because something's off.  Can I learn to express myself a little better when I am stressed out?  ABSO-FUGGIN-LUTELY!  That's always been something I've had to work on, but this experience was really good for me.  I mean I'm still "going thru the motions", but I feel better.  

Now, I'm sure everyone is wondering why I aired my business to the world like this.  *shrug*  I don't know.  It was something that I wanted and needed to express in writing and opted to share it.  Y'all still don't know my business.  You only know what I wanted you to know.  I know there are other mother's around that have gone thru what I am going thru.  I'm going to come out on top of my situation.  

Thank God for family!

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Pics of my beautiful family and friends.

Friday, January 8, 2016

The BIG 3-0!

I made it to 30 weeks pregnant!  Whoop Whoop!  This is the most active child I've ever had in utero. I'm kind of nervous to see how active she'll be once born.  I had a little bit of morning sickness creep back up on me, but it's back to normal now.

I had my glucose test two weeks ago and failed it by 8 points.  So they made me do the 3 hour fast glucose test and I passed!  I don't got the sugar-beetus!

I have a secret.... Despite my best efforts, this pregnancy has me acting like a straight up BIIIIIIIIITCH!! I mean like fire breathing dragon, who moved the remote control over there, why are you blinking so loud- bitch!   I just want everything done, when I want it done and that's usually like yesterday!  I don't want to hear nothing. I don't want to see anything.   I just want to play Angry Birds and eat ice all day.

I've heard on more than one occassion from my own mama "I'll be happy when you have this baby because you're meaner than usual".  The NERVE!! *breathes fire*

I mean I just went off on the kids girl scout leader, and she's a reverend.  I know yall saying, "not the Rev, Crys!!"  But yea.  I did.  I mean she deserved to get the business, but still.

I mean I've fussed out repair men, nurses, bill collectors, the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker.

Then stuff is breaking left and right at my house, so that is stressing me out more. I've got over $4k in damage from a water leak and my house is in turmoil.  Then the fridge decided it wanted to keep beach weather on the inside.  The TV in my bedroom said "f*ck this shyt* and died on me.  Like, what's really good.

Is my house on some old ancient Indian burial ground?  Have I been chosen to birth something not from here!?!

I've been trying to read the bible more.  To help calm my nerves.  I've prayed. I have bitten my tongue.  But if I bite my tongue any harder, that thang is going  to fly across the room.  iCant.

I don't want to be a pregnant bytch.

Below is the picture of what evil looks like.  Don't look to hard, it may rub off on you.  :-(

Friday, December 4, 2015

Week 7

I'z tired boss!  I have been sooooooooooo sleepy! I feel bad, because I know the kids are wondering what the heck is going on.  I've been laying in the bed as soon as I get thru cooking dinner.  The other day Amari had slices of lunch meat and juice for dinner.  (don't judge me)  I just couldn't do it.  That on top of being on a saltine and water diet because I can't stomach to each much else, is just wiping me out.
I need energy.
Then I was getting bad heartburn, so I bought rolaids (liquid).  Then I was super constipated so I got some Metamucil.  But that gave me gas (I think I over did it), so I had to buy gas X.  It's a vicious cycle.  I backed off the Metamucil.  I've been taking my prenatal vitamins, and lucky me they have a stool softener as an added bonus.  Whoop Whoop!
I'm also on 4000 iu of Vitamin D because my levels were super low.  19.  The normal range is 32-100.
I'm going to go to the high school track tomorrow morning and do some brisk walking.  I need to get my energy levels up and I think laying in the bed is just making it worse.

Only 33 more weeks!  HA!

Pregnancy Links
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8 & 9
Week 10
Week 11 & 12
Week 14

Week 5

Constipated. Insomnia. Swollen boobs.  I'm already annoyed. Lol. I haven't had morning sickness yet, but if my previous pregnancies are any precursor, I'm definitely in for a doozy.
I went for my first appointment yesterday. I decided to use the same doctor that delivered my last two.  Since she didn't have an appointment when I wanted it, I settled with anyone in the Office that had an opening.  It was a guy, which is fine but I forgot how much bigger men's hands are than women's.  That exam was no joke.  I have a tilted uterus, so it makes my exams that much uncomfortable.  The doctor mentioned that my uterus was big for how far along I was. He said it could mean multiples. I told him he was a lie.
I got some blood drawn and then was told that my age puts me in the high risk category. *how rude* so I'll have to get some special sonogram at 11weeks.  Next week I'll have my first sono. I'll finally get to meet my sesame seed.

Pregnancy Links
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8 & 9
Week 10
Week 11 & 12
Week 14

Cold Turkey

With the holidays upon us, mostly everyone is looking to meeting up with family and sharing quality time with one another.  This time of year is one of my favorites.  My birthday month (May) being number 1.

My mother jokes with me every year, because I am always super excited about gathering with family. Growing up, it was just my mother, brother and I.  When my aunt moved to MD from Brooklyn, NY, she would have large family gatherings over the holidays.  It was everything I always wanted.  Cousins acting up, aunts in the kitchen and uncles playing cards or watching the game.  Then things changed after she passed away from cancer.

While my fathers side of the family is extremely large, they are in Philly and Florida, so driving out so far wasn't really what I like to do over the holiday.  Then I met my husband who has a very large family, and I was back in my peaceful place.  Surrounded by loved ones, and including my own family in their gatherings was the icing on the cake.

This year, I completely flipped the script.  I chose to be alone over the Thanksgiving holiday.  I wanted no parts of driving to anyone's house, and eating with a bunch of family.  It wasn't a hard decision to make, just a hard decision to express to my loved ones without them taking it personal.  I've been going through some things personally, and I'm also pregnant (read about the first few weeks here).  Maybe it was my hormones and emotions clashing at once, but whatever it was, I felt convicted to abide by my thoughts.

I shared my plans with a few close friends who were actually jealous of the idea that I had my own "Me Day" ON A MAJOR HOLIDAY!  When I told my mom, she was excited.  I invited her to dinner with me, and we searched for restaurants.  My husband didn't say much and my kids didn't even care.  When they go to see their cousins, I'm never a factor once they walk thru the door unless they need me to make them a plate of food.  My oldest did seem a little jelly and said she wanted to come with me, but I nixed that really fast.

I ended up making reservations for the buffet at Sequoia's restaurant in Georgetown (Washington, DC).  The buffet was AHHH-MAZING!  Our waitress was so sweet, and the place was kind of packed.  I don't know why I assumed there would either be a bunch of tables of 1, or a bunch of single sex tables filling the restaurant.  [shame on me for thinking that]   The place had tons of people, from parties of 2 to parties of 12.

My boo mama!

Some of the food!  These pictures don't do the buffet any justice.  There was way more than pictured.

Did I walk into something that may have altered my Thanksgiving plans for years to come?  NO more worrying about what I am going to bring?  Or who's hosting what?   Possibly.  I'll have to ponder that as possibly an every other year tradition.

So after an awesome dinner, it was time to go where all the magic happens... my hotel room.  It took me a good 3 days to decide on a hotel, and I finally found one using my Expedia mobile app, that gave me a $20 off coupon code, off the already reduced hotel rate.  It was a definite win win for me.

I stayed at The Melrose Georgetown Hotel.  The hotel stood out from the other buildings adjoined to it.  I was immediately impressed when I parked (on the street because valet was $48!!!).  Since it was a holiday street parking was free.  I walked up and the doorman was soooo pleasant and welcomed me in.  When you first walk in, there is a quaint bar to the left, and a seating/food area to the right.   Nothing fancy, but very modern and simplistic.  I loved it.  Walking down the hallway, past a lovely spiral staircase, I was then greeted by the concierge.  To the left was a beautiful lobby/waiting area.  The pictures don't really do this hotel justice.  Every one was just soooooo nice and friendly.  I did notice that most of the staff (from the doorman to the manager)  appeared to be originally from some country in Africa.  There deep chocolate skin hue and accents gave me that impression.  This just made me smile even harder.  It just felt like I was coming to stay with family, that just so happened to live in a hotel! LOL. Not sure if the staff is indicative of the ownership of the property, but it was definitely a pleasant surprise.  They offered to carry my bag upstairs, and I refused!  I only had a small bag since I was only there for 1 night.

The elevators were probably the smallest things in the hotel.  It was actually weird how small they were.  That's probably why they asked to carry my bag.  They were afraid I wouldn't fit with my purse, let alone a small overnight bag.

The rooms were a decent size and I loved the little chaise in the corner by the window.  The bed was sooo comfy that I almost dozed off as soon as my head hit the pillow.  I was content.  There was no noticeable hallway noise.  I couldn't hear the street traffic.  It was really nice.

I dozed off about 10:30p and woke up at 3am STARVING!!!!!!  Damn it!! The only downfall of this whole plan was not having a fridge to run down to and grab a piece of turkey and ham!!   DAMN YOU HUNGERRRRRRRRR!  I tried to fight it off.  I was also dying of thirst, and I refused to drink the DC tap water from the sink  (#JudgeYourMother) and their bottled water was like $4 from the mini bar.  So since this baby of mine was NOT letting me go to sleep unless I ate, and I confirmed with the front desk that they didn't have a vending machine, I got up. I dressed and googled the closest 24hour convenience store.  I found a Walgreen's a stone's throw away and drove over there. Unfortunately, there wasn't any parking near the store due to all the "Do Not Park" signs, so I chanced it and parked RIGHT IN FRONT of the store.  I don't know if it was the hunger or pregnancy, but I got an ice cream sandwich, some OJ, a bag of dried cranberries and some Cheez Its.  I crushed the ice cream sandwich in the car, and snacked on the other stuff in the room.  I tried to fall asleep but Lean on Me was on, and my brain was fixated on Crazy Joe.

I eventually did fall asleep.  I  woke up and left the hotel around 10:00am.   Again, it was an awesome stay and besides the tiny elevators and crazy expensive mini-bar & parking, I'd DEFINITELY recommend this hotel to anyone in the area.

So, am I happy with my choice to sit Thanksgiving out this year.  Ya Damn Skippy!  Did I miss my family?  Yasssssssssss!   But I have slowly, but surely begun to realize that I need to take time out for myself.  With my 4th baby on the way, that time is going to get smaller and smaller.  I won't always be able to get to a hotel, but I've been learning to take out at least one day ever other month to just DO ME outside of the house.  I've started taking myself out to lunch.  Window shopping. I even hit up some of the casinos in the area. I'm loving this freedom and STRONGLY encourage mom's and dad's to do the same!  Don't let these kids fool you into thinking that all your time needs to be devoted to them!

Week 14: The Results Are In!

It's a she.  She. S.H.E.   G.I.R. L.

Yes, I cried when they told me. I was sad briefly and I mourned the loss of the boy I will most likely never have.   4 GIRLS!!!

I don't even care if you judge my reaction. I swear I don't.  I don't want to hear about it.

But within, hours after finding out it was a girl, I was actually happy.  I changed my tune.  I started immediately looking at dresses and outfits, and hair bows.  I looked at names, etc.

I'm genuinely happy to be having my baby girl in March!!

Fast forward to Week 25 (pics below)

It's been about 11 weeks since my last post.  Life has been busy!! I don't even care to elaborate.  I'm still over joyed to be having my 4th baby girl.  My family is happy, and they are already talking to her.  I've started to get annoyed at people that laugh or pat my back when I say I am having another girl.  Don't do that to me.  I can do that to me, because it's my experience, but don't rain on my parade.  If I am not crying when I say I am having another girl, then you should be equally excited.

And I don't want anyone else touching my stomach.  My belly button is poking out, so it's sensitive as all get up.  My stomach is 1/2 way queasy, and 1/2 way OK on a day to day basis.  One wrong move and it's curtains.  I forgot how many questions you get when you're pregnant.  And of course, I am not mad at people, it's just a lot.

There have been a few comments about how I'm "keeping it together" from men.  I guess they are implying that since I am pregnant I should look like Shamu.  And yes, I am certain they were talking about my weight because of the discussions that ensued afterward regarding how woman let themselves go, blah blah blah.

I swear the day they make it possible for a man to forcibly squeeze a watermelon out their penises, I am gonna be FRONT and CENTER like this!  I am HERE for it.


Here are some updated pics over the last few weeks.  I go for another ultrasound in 3 weeks. Excited to see her witty bitty face.  
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Yes, I painted my belly as a pumpkin.  - Halloween in Miami

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