Tag Archives: nigerian

Why I love that I had a small wedding!

Why I love that I had a small wedding
Me on my wedding day, I will never forget!

I am Nigerian, and one of the landmark events in life is the Wedding. The coming together of two families to form another family. Such a blessing indeed to start a new life together, despite leaving the family you cam from. Leaving your fathers house, is a truly celebrated event. Big or small, it will be the most memorable event of your life.  Continue reading Why I love that I had a small wedding!

Erinma Turns One

Can you believe I have been a mother for one whole year? I definitely cannot, it flew by so fast!

I still remember bringing my baby  home and wondering if I would ever sleep again, wondering if I would ever hear the sounds of bird chirping outside the window, wondering if I would ever regain my sanity. Now I have watched her crawl, fall and take her first steps.

  • She runs across the living room and into my arms.
  • She squeals with so much emotion, babbling in her baby jargon.
  • She still isn’t eating, she refuses solid food or anything not in her bottle.
  • She is in the 99th percentile for height, the 87ile for weight. Her pediatrician is worried about her speech, but we feel she is doing just fine. She has the motor skills of an 18 month old.
  • She chases the big kids.
  • She investigates everything, opens the toilet and tries to reach for the water before I swoop her away and make a bee-line for the nearest sink.
  • She has the most perplexed expression when she is pulling clothes out of drawers and papers out of binders. Determined, she sets out to pull items of low counters.
  • She only lets you make her hair when she is watching ChuChuTV.
  • She enjoys long walks in her stroller and cries when you arrive back home.
  • She has 10 little teeth that she will not allow you to brush.
  • The only word she says is “Daddy” but anything can be “Daddy” so we are waiting for her to use the term correctly.
  • She always steals the show.

Many say she is such a cute baby, but all babies are cute, however I would love to think my babe is the Queen of Cute.

I have been a mother for one year! I still can’t believe this. We made it!! And  we are gonna keep making it!

Tips For Your Baby’s First Birthday Party!

No one wants to spend too much money, and no one wants to look like a joke when that special day comes. But to be honest, at the end of the day, you are celebrating one year of motherhood and your baby surviving through one complete year. What a feat! But it shouldn’t depress you, nor should it be something that brings you troubles.

1.  Keep your celebration to your budget!

We have all heard of the extravaganzas and celebrations, with the celebrity set-ups, thrones and golden high chairs, bounce houses, snow cone machines, clowns and larger than life characters. Some folks spend upwards of $5000 on these parties. And while it may sound great, if it isn’t in your budget, why fret over it? There are many affordable ways to throw a memorable birthday party that your friend and family will cherish with you.

2. Try to decorate yourself

You can search many online party retailers like: Oriental Trading Company, where many party decorations are sold in bulk or at a discount. They have several themes you can choose from and many of their items are color coded to make it easy for you. If you are planning on shopping in person, ask around, there may be a party retailer in the area that sells items at half the price of the Party City store. You can save some money on table cloths, streamers, balloons and all the little things you never thought could come so much. Get a disposable helium tank for under $50 and blow up all your own balloons! I was able to save on decor and use the money elsewhere, I decorated myself!

3. Hire some entertainment.

Its a one year birthday party so expect children to be there. If you are anything like me, and you don’t have a bubbling personality that can entertain both adults and littles for hours, then hire a clown, fairy, or entertained. Usually they charge for 3 hours, which can range from $100 – $300 depending on what you want them to do. Our entertainers painted faces, blew balloons into creatures, brought crafts and played with the kids the whole day! They were so excited. And it took a lot off of my hands that day.

4. Choose a low-cost venue

If you can host it in your house, so be it, if not then consider a park, community activity center or a nearby neighborhood clubhouse. You won’t believe the prices they will quote you. Be prepared to make a deposit and be prepared to clean up!

5. Hire a photographer

You have to have some way of capturing those precious memories. If you can’t, then there are so many apps that allow you and your guests to upload pictures of the day into one place to be accessed later. You don’t need a wedding photographer, ask around and you can find someone reasonable who will charge by the hour. If you are in Houston, contact me and I can refer you to someone great!

6. DIY (Do it yourself)

What you don’t want to buy, make it yourself. Youtube is full of instructional videos, and with a little bit of elbow-grease and craft spirit you can create props that you never thought you could. I actually created these giant photo frames from styrofoam.

 

7. Get your cake early

Many grocers like Sam’s Club and Costco sell beautiful cakes, with multiple tiers and well decorated for a fraction of the cost. Give them a call. Remember to set up your order at least 48 hours in advance. I personally like the taste of the Sam’s cake… very moist and decadent. Never fails.

8. Food, food, and food

If you don’t want to cater then make it yourself or order pizza. Fire up the grill. Make some finger food and appetizers. Chip bowls and Salad Bars are also easy inexpensive ways to feed your guest, they will appreciate you, trust me.  Little Caesars has a $5 pizza, if you order 10 of them you are good, you just have to like the taste of the pizza, lol.

9. Gift bags!

Gift bags for the kiddos does not need to be a drag. Head to the dollar store where you can stock up and lots of fun items to stuff into baggies that the kids will enjoy long after the party. We find small books, crayon packs and even dolls. Two words: Dollar Store.

10. Have fun! Take pictures. Dance Dance and Dance!!

Everything you work for will pay back. At the end of the day it will be a great event and you will cherish every moment of it. It was worth all the trouble for me.

Baby refusing the bottle!

The unthinkable just happened. My baby has refused her bottle.

We just hired a new nanny, our last nanny gave us notice so we had to move on. It seemed she had more interest in maintaining a tele-ministry that she was building from the ground up in our home… Her passion was elsewhere. It was best she moved on. While it was heartache searching again, my mother found someone just in time. It was a last minute decision, the flight was booked same day.

Let me tell you something about my mother. She is very rash. Often times I have difficulty figuring out if this is a good or a bad trait. She had a list of nannies she obtained from Lord-knows-where and God only knows if she interviewed or screened them, but we trusted her. Our nanny, isn’t the very best, but she is good and our daughter likes her.

Now. On her arrival, baby girl decided she was now too good for the bottle or any other device that could be employed to deliver my breast milk to her. What did this mean? Because she is awfully persistent, it meant that if I left the house she would cry for HOURS until I came home to breastfeed. Luckily, I have not found a permanent job so she can get away with this now. Unluckily, it meant I could not leave the house to do ANYTHING. Going to the gym was out of the questions. Grocery shopping, was now out of the questions. The nanny was frustrated, she insisted on many times to FORCE the bottle!

No Ma’am, no nanny of mine will be FORCING food into any child of mine! Not today, not tomorrow, not ever!

She got my point sharply. We would have to wait. I even book a pediatrician appointment to figure out if there was some sort of underlying illness causing my babe to act out. Nope, clean as a whistle. Just stubborn as an ox. The Pediatrician did tell me a daunting story about her own child refusing the bottle even when she worked, having her mother in law bring the baby to work for a midday feeding. Scary. Would not work for me as I work in a hospital with busy shift, and I am more concerned about the baby picking up MRSA or VRE… yuck.

Things we have tried

  1. Spoon: she knocked it out of our hand
  2. Solid: She purses her lips and knocks this out of our hands
  3. Fruit, baby held: She squishes it and rubs it into the carpet. Chai!
  4. Small cup with breast milk: She knocks down the cup. Breastmilk everywhere. This gehl oh!
  5. fresh breastmilk: She turns her head. What now?

We are trying everything. And we are still everything and offering her the bottle daily.  I am holding off on going back to work with hopes that she will take the bottle soon. She is almost 8 months. That is 8 months at home without income. I love being a stay at home mom, but I have to make some sort of income! Something has got to give.

My neighbor told me a story about her baby just refusing the breast one morning. She preferred the bottle and would cry like hell if her mother put her to the breast. It seems she had been in daycare since 10 weeks and had grown accustomed to bottle feeding with moms milk. But how sad and scary to have a child not want your teat. Im sure it happens all the time, and I even wondered if I would rather be faced with this challenge. Its too hard to delve into, I believe God gave me the challenge I could handle.

I pray for mommies struggling with baby feeding problems! Pray for me too!

Continue reading Baby refusing the bottle!

The Art of BabyWearing

Whether you believe in attachment parenting or you have been forced to comply, baby wearing is essential for being able to live your life.

Baby would love if you stared into their eyes and fed them on demand all 24 hours of the day, but if you run a home, that is just not practical. I still try to cook… clean… shower… and baby won’t let me out of her sight.

Baby wearing is ancient. In some places in the world like Africa, mothers carried their babies everywhere they went, whether it was working in the farm or fetching water, cooking over an open flame or sweeping out the compound, baby was intact with its little head peering over her shoulder contently. Attachment parenting worked just fine for them and they were much busier than we are give or take.

Luckily I received a Boba and Bjorn as gifts. The Bjorn is practical in that I can take it outside the house and not look like a ceiling curtain dancer when I’m trying to wrap it and baby around my body. The Boba, though I look like one of those ceiling curtain acrobatic dancers, it doesn’t put as much strain on my back and I feel more comfortable wearing it around the house to do tasks. But I sometimes wonder… what if I had neither, and what if I wanted to use neither (says the brat in me.)

This technique passed down from generations. The wrap and tie. The little one squirmed a bit, my husband had to help keep her sturdy and we both muscled and clenched to giant knots on my chest. Felt as natural as my husband putting on my glamour makeup. So I redid it. 

  1. Put baby on hip
  2. Slide her to your back
  3. Make sure her arms are sort of wrap around your chest (important if you have a little baby Houdini)
  4. Take the large rectangular wrap and cover her bottom to shoulders
  5. Wrap it tight like a towel up top
  6. Tie the bottom like a giant double knot
  7. Look at you masterpiece 

*make sure it’s tight and baby is snug, it may take a few tries to get it right. Also, as baby gets used to this it should get easier.

*some say this is hard on babies hips… use your own discretion.

* Please make sure it does not unravel. Should be nice and tight throughout, if not, alway re-wrap… laziness can lead to injury.

Enjoy!

From vegetable oil to coconut and palm oil

Which oil is in your cupboard?

There has been aimg_47451 big rave about coconuts in the health food sector and it is leaching into the minds of regular everyday consumers. Once sugar was outted for it dangerous ways and ties to obesity, metabolic syndrome and cancer then there needed to be a replacement and maybe coconut sugar was it. Then when wheat and flour was exposed and then when pesticides on the large mutant vegetable. What’s in your cabinet, what are you using to cook? Have you given it any thought. Have you thought even for a second that changing the oil you use to cook your food may lend to some nutritional benefits? I usually use the good old vegetable oil and olive oil for some dishes but I figured I could make us of coconut oil in my kitchen (and not just on my skin and hair).

Also, growing up in an immigrant Nigerian family meant that I had a relationship with palm oil from a young age. It was the red oil in stews, sauces and spice dips. It served as a side for boiled yams. Its thick consistency and liquidy appearance when on the flame before frying. Only problem… we were warned against using it for fear of high cholesterol. If only we knew it was one of the best oils in the WORLD. One of the only oils with nutritional benefits, unrefined, high smoke point, great taste and good for heart health recipes. Maybe then we wouldn’t have demonized it.

Benefits of palm oil:

  • Does not promote atherosclerosis. 50% saturated fate, 40% unsaturated and only 10% polysaturated.
  • Only 50% medium chain fatty acids compared to 90% in coconut oil
  • has the nutrients: carotenoids, sterols, vitamin E, antioxidants, phenolic acids and flavonoids.
  • Reduces the risk of Alzheimers, cancer, platelet aggregation and thrombosis, hypertension and high cholesterol.
  • Positive effects on inflammation
  • More vitamin A and E than any other oil

Benefits of coconut oil:

  • Reduced rates of alzheimers, hypertension, heart disease and high blood pressure.
  • Reduces inflammation and arthritis
  • Boosts the immune systems, fights candida and yeast infections
  • Positive effects on memory and brain function
  • Improves digestion and stomach ulcers
  • When used on the skin good for ailments like psoriasis and eczema
  • Anti-aging, good for balancing hormones

The benefits of coconut oil go far beyond cooking. I use coconut oil on my hair and skin.. even as a lubricant. You can also consume coconut oil as a supplement… which I have not tried yet. It is worth looking in to.

Like any oil it is best to avoid processed and hydrogenated types. Usually more processed means more exposure to toxicants. So always look for unrefined and cold-pressed on the label.

I am definitely adding these oils to my arsenal and sneaking them into my families foods. Will have to give mother a call and update her on these benefits as well.

Sources:

Is Palm Oild as Good as Coconut Oil. Dr. Axe Food is Medicine. Retrieved from www.draxe.com