EVERYONE DOESN’T AGREE WITH MY CHOICE TO HOMESCHOOL & I’M OKAY WITH THAT!

Everyone doesn’t agree with my choice to homeschool and I am okay with that. I am not in a place in my life where I have to please anyone except my child.  As long as I do right by her, that’s all that matters. She is 4 years old and extremely above average. She always has been according to her pediatrician. (It’s not just a mother’s love.) She is reading at a 2nd – 3rd grade level, doing fractions, bar graphs and 3 digit adding and subtracting. The kid can tell time, count money and speak Spanish. So, I don’t feel right putting her in preschool so she can “socialize” is the right choice for her. In fact, I feel it is an injustice. Her learning will not grow in a school environment. She will be stuck in a class with a group of children saying their ABC’s. FOR WHAT TO SOCIALIZE?  Socialize is the most common thing people love to bring up, as if she is a hermit with no friends, who I don’t allow out of the house. The kid has a slew of cousins, she takes Tae Kwon Do 4 days a week and has a much better social calendar than I ever have with weekends full of play dates and birthday parties.

I understand some adults live for the weekend and their time to socialize with friends. I hate to break it to you but that’s only the working class. The employees who spend their lives making other people’s dreams come true. No offense, but I am tryna raise a C.E.O, a boss, doctor, entrepreneur or an astronaut. I want my little person to live a life that is all her design, full of possibilities and opportunity. I want her to know you can live every day of the week, not just on the weekend.

Let’s face it… it doesn’t take 8 hours in school to complete the work they assign. Most of it is fluff. I cannot send her to school where she will read the words, SLAVE AND WETBACK in her school books but NOWHERE will she read the KLAN or KKK or the fact that white people were her oppressors! I am just not comfortable with the idea of her never understanding the true history of this country until she goes off to college and takes an awakening African American Studies class that turns her head around like it did for so many of us. I will teach her who she is before the world tries to tell her who they want her to be. 

I cannot leave her education in the hands of people who look at her as a number or a check instead of a person!

If your child is average and you are okay with sending them to school to learn the same bullshit you were fed, that’s okay with me. I am not going to try to talk you out of it. If school was great for you, I pray it’s great for them. Me…myself I wasn’t challenged! School didn’t teach me shit but to read a chapter and answer the 6 questions at the end of the chapter. It taught me that even my own teachers were racist, and I was just someone they had to put up with. My saving grace was my tutor Mrs. Ruthann-Crudup Brown. That 5’2” beautiful chocolate tyrant stayed on my ass and went above and beyond what the California school system had set out for me. I’m going to let you go now because I am starting to ramble. I BASICALLY WROTE ALL THIS TO SAY EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN DIFFERENT AND THAT’S OKAY.  STOP TRYNA PUT PEOPLE IN A BOX BECAUSE YOU WANT TO LIVE THE COOKIE CUTTER LIFE. It simply doesn’t work for everyone.

SOMETIMES I WONDER WHY MY DAUGHTER WAS BORN WITH NEGOTIATION SKILLS

School was not my thing. Kindergarten was a total drag. I didn’t understand why I had to sit in class for hours while people learned their ABCs and to count.  It all seemed like a major waste of my time. At 6 years old, I thought I had better things to do. My teacher got on my nerves. I remember this one time she wanted me to color Christopher Columbus and I refused. I thought it was stupid to spend all day talking about a man who supposedly discovered unknown land. You can’t discover anyplace where there were already people there. I chose to spend my coloring time with my head on my desk. My Grandma taught me about Native Americans, and how they were the first people here. I wasn’t about to participate in a celebration that honored the man who instigated the genocide of the indigenous peoples of North America. I got a chance to explain my view to the class and my teacher. Instead of my teacher respectfully challenging my views, all she said was, “Just color it,” in a stern tone.

I remember thinking to myself, “Talking to me like that is no way to get what you want from me.” I shut down completely. I pushed the paper to the side of my desk and put my head down. I wasn’t disruptive or rude, but I was frustrated and angry that she was teaching 16 young minds distorted facts. I mean, I had to be in that place 5 hours a day. And for what, to learn the wrong stuff?  At that moment, I didn’t care how my teacher felt, and I doubt she cared how I felt. I knew I wasn’t going to color because I didn’t want to. But I was even more peeved that she sent me home with a note.

I locked myself in the bathroom while my mother read the note. I was too scared to come out. She spoke to me through the door for a while until I felt comfortable enough to come out. When I got out, she sat me down at the kitchen table and asked me again if I wanted to color the paper the teacher sent home or get a bad grade. I told her, “Mommy, I just can’t do it. I don’t believe in it.” She said “Well, you’re never supposed to do anything you don’t believe in.” She kissed me on my head and got up out of her chair, while she was pushing it in, I said, “Mommy, I don’t want to do the Pledge of Allegiance.” “What’s wrong with the Pledge of Allegiance, Cherie?” she asked. “It’s just lame, Mommy. We are not one nation under God. If we were, people wouldn’t kill people and hurt children. I believe in God, Mom, but everyone doesn’t.” She just looked and me then finally said, “No, Cherie you do not have to say it, but you have to stand up with the rest of the class, ok.” “Ok, Mommy but I’m not putting my hand over my heart either.” “Fine, Cherie,” she said as she walked away to make dinner. I felt like I won! That is the earliest memory I have of negotiating.

Maybe some things are in your genes….

MY DAUGHTER DECIDED SHE DIDN’T WANT TO ACT BAD ANYMORE, SO SHE BAPTIZED HERSELF

You read it right. My 4-year-old baptized herself. It seems I don’t get PMS anymore but the week before I start my period, my daughter seems to really have a hard week. Well, after getting punished for talking back during math, saying the answer is, “Eiiiiggght,” real sassy and having a hard day in Taekwondo, we were both happy the day was coming to an end. We started our night time routine by getting her in the bath. At this point, I was quiet and so was she. We were both irritated with one another and ready to go to bed. While soaking, she looked up at me and said, “Mommy, I am ready to wash all my sins away,” very matter of fact. I said, “Oh, okay are you ready to wash up?” I got on my knees in front of the tub ready to assist her washing up. She then said, “NO, MOMMY.  I’ma baptize myself!”  I said, “Oh, okay.” Just like that, she grabbed her nose and dunked her head under water.  When she came up, she had both her hands straight up to the sky, like an old lady in a black church.  She screamed, “My Sins are washed away!” I was in shock and trying everything I could to hold back my laugh. She then looked at me and said, “Nope, I need to do it again.” Lol.  She held her nose and dunked her head, then came up on her knees with her hands once again pointing to the sky. Then she said, “It worked, my sins are gone and from now on Ima be an angel because God lives in me.”

I paused and giggled and said, “Yes, he does boo…yes, he does.”

Smh, just like that I was over it as she was. I giggled and washed her up. She wanted to hug snuggle to sleep so we did…that was days ago and so far, so good. She’s been my angel on earth. Hahahaa.

What it taught me is Baptism is a personal choice, if, when and where is totally up to your children, not you. Lol. I am NOT baptized myself. I’m saving that for the Nile River…but that’s a totally different story about my personal goals.

Not only is being baptized a choice but she has figured out misbehaving is also a choice. Hahahaha.  Aww, 4 years old. One day soon, I’m sure I will miss 4.

JUST LIKE THAT I HAVE A LIL CHAMPIONS GREEN BELT

I’m amazed and proud my daughter is so committed at the tender age of 4 years old. Just a month shy of her 1-year anniversary of taking Tae Kwon Do, she took her green belt test. I was really worried because we moved after her first 2 months of taking class and she had to start at a new dojo with new masters. She earned 2 white belts with numerous stripes, but I was afraid she was going to be discouraged. My fears were not projected onto her because she felt none of the pressure that I did for her. (Again, my anxiety is not hers. Thank God.) Her Tia Jacelyn bought her a belt rack for her birthday and she loves it. She looks at it daily and it’s helping her count down the time to her black belt! When she is in her room playing, it is a reminder of her goals.

4 days a week my daughter is at Tae Kwon Do on time, dressed, on the mat in first position, focused and ready to start class. Often, she is the only kid who shows up for her class and she has learned to take advantage of the one on one time with her master. To my surprise she said to him, “I’m ready. I know I can pass my green belt test”. He allowed her to do it. It took 7 LONG minutes. She was focused and determined though the whole test. I don’t know if I have ever been so nervous and proud at the same time. The look on her face when he said, “Good job,” was everything! She turned around and looked at me with the biggest smile when he walked away to get the green belt. Then she turned back around and tried to look focused, but she was smiling so hard her Master couldn’t help but to smile back.

I always tell her, “Mommy is proud of you baby but it’s more important for you to be proud of yourself.” At that moment, I could see it. She was super proud of herself! After he put the green belt on her he handed her the yellow belt and said, “Take this to your mom.” I got a chance to hug and kiss her and say, “Good job.”  It was only a second before she was running back on the mat to continue class. It was only a few seconds but those seconds, I will remember forever. She teaches me so much about life.

This test was a big deal! It wasn’t scheduled but she took control in the direction of her goals. Her Master also believed in her enough to follow her direction. That’s trust and the fact that he believes in her is everything. It was more confirmation for me that our move was right. Prior, she was in a class with 30 other children, so she wasn’t getting the 1 on 1 time with a master I was paying $150 a month for. We lucked up and found the right school this time.

I truly believe this world would be a marvelous place if everyone knew how powerful they really are. For my child, Tae Kwon Do helps her connect with her power. I hope you all help your children find an interest that helps them connect with their power.

MOMMY IS PROUD OF YOU SCOOTCHA. KEEP LIVING YOUR DREAMS!

SHE’S 4 AND ALREADY KNOWS WHO SHE IS

As I iron my daughter’s Gi, I am overwhelmed with emotions! I am so proud because at 3 years old she told me, “No more ballet.  I want to take Tae Kwon Do.” It’s been a year and she has made a commitment to herself and stuck with it! 4 days a week she is there and ready to go. Focused and eager to learn.

The emotion is not just about me being proud, but that fact that she is 4 and knows who she is and what she wants. One thing I wanted was for her to be her own person and not walk in my shadow. To figure out what it was that would make her happy. I so badly didn’t want her to say, “I wanna be an actress” because before she was born people started with the, “Are you gonna put her in acting?” She was 5 weeks old and my agent called her for an audition. It was too much. I prayed she would develop her own sense of self. Her own identity. Me leaving Los Angeles was a huge part of fostering that!

 

Little-GiI’m proud she’s figuring out her way! What makes her happy! That makes me happy. In fact, while I’m writing this, she is over there practicing counting to 10 in Korean so she can surprise her Master on Thursday. She’s learning not because she has to but because she wants to. To me that’s everything!

I SO BADLY WANTED TO BE THE CRUNCHY “GRANOLA” HOMESCHOOLING MOM!

I so badly wanted to be the crunchy “granola” homeschooling mom!

I am a total hippie at heart but… Life doesn’t always go as planned and I am a realist. I purchased $300 worth of beautiful cloth diapers aka Nappies before my daughter was born. That lasted for about a week. Then I went to Costco and started buying the biggest box of Huggies I could find. Let’s just say washing newborn poop wasn’t my thing. Trashing it worked better for me.

I planned on extended breast feeding.  Well, let’s just say after 3 months I wasn’t meeting her demand and I was pumping air. In hindsight, I did make all her “organic” baby food thanks to my trusted Baby Brezza food blender and steamer, which I still love, and she is 4 years old. Organic baby food ended up actually being a lot cheaper than any store-bought brands on the market. No preservatives and pure fruits and veggies for under $10 bucks a week. Yes, I would do it all over again! You would be surprised how much time it did NOT take to prepare, too.

I did manage to continue to co-sleep (even though she turns sideways in bed every night and once bit me – see other post about that) but I wouldn’t change these last four years of cuddle time for anything in the world. She won’t be little long, and I will absorb and enjoy every moment. Plus, I’ve never lost out on sleep like moms complain about. In fact, I sleep more since she’s been here than I ever did before. I have to play sleep, to get her to sleep, which in return puts me to sleep.

Yes, we eat pretty healthy, BUT I still make homemade Pizzas every month with white flour and tons of cheese ;).

My daughter hates bugs, like hates, and if there is a mosquito within 20 miles, it always finds me. So, unless it’s a beach or a farm we really aren’t the nature outdoorsy type. Our back yard is as real as it gets for us.

So Crunchy Granola naw… aint me, in actuality, but in spirit I’m all for it! I’m saying all this to say: be unique! Be you, stop comparing! Motherhood takes us all in different directions. Even if you aren’t doing motherhood exactly as planned, as long as your kid is smiling, that’s all that matters. Make memories, mom, and rest assure your little one thinks you’re the best and that’s really all that matters!

MY DAUGHTER’S FIRST REAL PUMPKIN!

This year I was really excited about my daughter being old enough to really pick out her own pumpkin! I purchased a safety knife, so she could cut it out herself after cleaning it. (She was hesitant about sticking her fingers in.) I told her it was ewwwweeee gooey fun, so she dug in! Still, she wasn’t thrilled about the texture. Being a homeschool mom, I made a really big deal of it.  Not only was it a field trip to the pumpkin patch but it was also a whole Pumpkin Unit Study! We talked about the life cycle of a pumpkin and she learned vocabulary words. We read 4 different books about pumpkins. Her pumpkin investigation worksheet is below.

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She even named her pumpkin” Spookly”! It was a great way to end a productive school week. It also made me realize how much children can really learn while keeping homeschool fun. As she was washing the pumpkin seeds, so we could roast them, she counted each and every one of them! So, math, science, english, home economics and reading were all covered just by a simple trip to the pumpkin patch.  There is a whole world out there to explore with your kiddos and keep it fun! I’d love to learn some of your homeschool tricks.  Please share.

GOOSEBUMPS 2: A FUN STARTER SCARY MOVIE

I was hesitant to take my daughter to the movies until she was old enough to actually sit through the whole movie and actually watch it. It took her 3 years to have interest in watching a whole movie, but even those had singing every 5 minutes.

The other day, she was extremely well behaved. She finished 14 lessons of school work by 10:20 a.m. and read all the pages herself. She’s 4! So as her mother, I felt she was owed a special treat. I got her dressed, we left the house, and she was excited. I had no clue where I was going to take her honestly. We just moved not too long ago, so I have no idea where anything is yet. She was just excited to be out of the house and on an adventure.

I pulled up in a shopping center looking for ice cream.  While I didn’t find ice cream, I found a movie theater. I pulled up and parked she said, “Mom, is this my treat?” I said, “Yup.” She screamed, “Yeaaahhh,” then asked, “Where are we?” I giggled and said, “The movies.” As we walked in, she looked at the posters on the walls and she stopped at Goosebumps 2. She pointed and said, “Mommy, I want to see that.” I said, “Baby, that is a scary movie. Are you sure?”  She got excited, jumped up and down and said, “Yes, yes, yes.”  She has been really into scary things and scary movies all month, thanks to my mother. My mother is one of those people who go all out for holidays.  She has a 7-foot-tall Frankenstein in her entryway and a headless bride, coffins and bones and a slew of other scary things everywhere in her home. My daughter LOVES them.

So, we walked inside and my luck it was 12:12 and Goosebumps 2 started at 12! So, we got our tickets. I asked her if she wanted popcorn or candy and snacks. She was turned off by the long line and was eager to get inside, so we went straight in. Her eyes lit up. First, she wanted to sit close, so we did. Then she looked back and saw those stadium seats and said, “Mom, we shoulda sat up there.” I looked at her and said, “Well, let’s go. You lead the way.” Thank God, it wasn’t crowded.  About 4 other families were in the theater. She walked 5 rows from the top turned around and with her loud whisper she said, “Momma, let’s sit here!” So, we did.

She wiggled in the seat, played with the arm rest, sat on my lap, then went back to her seat. Then the scary doll came to life and the movie got her! For a good 20 minutes, her eyes were peeled to the screen. She wasn’t scared at all.  In fact, there was a part when other kids screamed, and she was busy laughing. I looked down and was proud. I truly birthed my little spawn! I used to love scary movies. In fact, many of weekends Soleil and I had scary movie marathons while eating pizzas and spaghetti. Scary movies happen to be my favorite genre of films! So, I was loving every minute of her enthusiasm.

Then the gummy bears came alive and she looked at me and screamed, “Mommy, they are gonna kills those boys!”  While telling her, “Shhh,” I was holding back my laughter. Shortly after that exciting scene was over she looked at me and said, “Mom, now I need snacks.” Hahaha.  We ran down and I let her pick out what she wanted – a Cherry Icee, a small snack pack of popcorn and it came with M&Ms! She was excited all over again. Her Uncle D turned her onto M&Ms a couple years ago. We went back to the theater, she marched right back to the same seats and she laughed and giggled all the way until the end. She even wanted to watch the credits. We sat there till the lights came on and she was excited that we were the only ones left inside.

As we were walking out. I said, “Hey, boo, are you scared?” She said, “No, Mommy, but why those people didn’t clean up after themselves?” as she pointed at popcorn and wrappers on the floor. I giggled and said, “Because they have no home training, my love.” She smiled and said, “But we do, Mommy because we throw our trash away!” I smiled big and said, “Yes, we do babe.”  I was so proud.

People started telling me, “Oh, she’s not going to sleep tonight, she’s gonna be scared.  FALSE, she slept awesomely!!!  A whole 12 hours. See, I actually took the time when she was 2 years old watching Mickey Mouse to tell her, “Nothing on TV is real, it’s just entertainment!” Yes, at 2 years old and she hasn’t forgotten that. She watches YouTube and I tell her the same thing.  “Baby, that’s just entertainment, it’s not real, okay.”

So, unlike a lot of people, she knows it’s not real. That’s a lesson I wish more parents of my generation woulda taught their children then I may not think people are so stupid and less adults would call me “Max” and think I’m still in a relationship with Waldo, but that’s a whole other story!

Goosebumps 2 is an amazingly fun starter scary movie. Now, she is excited to read the books! It was an all-around Win Win!

TO SPANK OR NOT TO SPANK THAT IS MY QUESTION

Sooo as many of you know, I have this funny, intelligent 3-year-old daughter. Well today in Tae Kwon Do she didn’t want to listen to the 10-year-old assistant teacher. She felt she was bossing her around. To my embarrassment, after class she confessed she told the girl “If you do not stop telling me what to do, I will throw you in the wall and drown you”. I was in shock and couldn’t believe I was raising a 3-year-old bully.

As I sat her in her car seat, I explained that telling people she would drown them will not be tolerated! That probably hurt the girl’s feelings and she would be punished when we got home. She was quiet with her head down for 3 stop lights, then said “Mommy can you take me back so I can apologize to her?” A part of me wanted to turn around but I told her, “No, you apologize on Monday when you see her!” She began to cry and said, “Oh mommy, I don’t wanna be a bully and I don’t want to hurt her feelings.” “Too late you little bully,” I told her and the whole-time picturing how tall the little girl was towering over her. I had no idea she was so mouthy or brave.

When we got home I told her to march herself right in the room. I was just behind her. She sat on her bed and I said, “What do you think your punishment should be? Should I spank you or should I take Marie?” Marie is her kitty stuffed animal she got on a trip to Disneyland. She jumps up pulls down her cartwheel shorts and underwear, touches the ground with both of her hands and sticks bare ass in my face! (I’ve never pulled her pants down and spanked her. I don’t know where she got this from.)

It took every bit of my acting skills NOT to burst out laughing!  I turned around, picked up Marie and put Marie in the top of the closet. She busted out crying, ran in MY room and got in my bed under my covers and cried for 5 minutes. When she was finished, she wiped her face on my comforter… boogers and all and said, “Mommy I promise from now on I will have halos in my eyes. I’m going to be good!”

I remember saying to my mom “Hitting me doesn’t help. It doesn’t make me want to be good.” KARMA, I have a child just like me. Spanking won’t work. I have to stay alert and pay attention to what means a lot to her and take it away.  THAT she cares about. Creative discipline is going to be my friend. I’d love to hear what creative ways you have disciplined your children.

YES, MY BELLY WAS BIG

People would say “OMG! Do you think you could be having twins?”. I went from 130 to 180 pounds by the end of my pregnancy! Yes, my belly looked kinda big. I was baking a whole baby! Every woman’s body is different. Your belly will change in pregnancy. Sometimes a belly button will pop out. Some ladies’ belly buttons will cave inward and lay flat. Whatever your belly does, it’s natural and okay.

I was completely amazed by my pregnant belly. Never in life have I ever been that heavy (Never in life will I ever be again). I wish I would have done a belly cast but unfortunately for me I was on bed rest with contractions for 7 months, but we will talk about that later. Belly sizes are as different as people. They come in all different sizes and shapes. Everyone will have an opinion and tell you how they carried during their own pregnancy. For your sanity, learn to smile and not listen to half of what comes out of people’s mouths. Every pregnancy is unique, so no need to compare your own to others. As long as you are getting your check ups and your doctor says everything looks fine… No need to worry.

Stretch marks can happen to anyone but it doesn’t mean it will happen to you. It seems to be a genetic thing. My mother doesn’t have them, but my cousin did, so I was terrified. Stretch marks were one of my biggest fears. I listened to women scare me for years about how my stomach would never be the same and to enjoy it while it lasted because once I had a baby I would never snap back to the way I was before, and how my belly button would look messed up with loose skin. JOKE IS ON THEM! I DO NOT HAVE STRETCH MARKS ON MY STOMACH AND IT IS JUST AS FLAT AS IT WAS BEFORE I GOT PREGNANT!

True story: my brother walked in the house one day and said, “Why does it smell like salad in here?” I laughed and said “Salad?” Then at the same time we both looked on the dresser at the bottle of olive oil I had next to the bed. “What the hell is that doing in here?” he asked. I giggled to myself and said, ” YO, I oil myself down 3 times a day from my neck down to my toes.” He said, “Olive Oil?” ” Yes,” I said. “Everything you put on your skin absorbs in your blood stream within 26 seconds.  I’m trying to keep it all natural for my baby,” I told him. Yeah, he laughed at me but now he brags about it because my tummy is tight and right with no stretch marks. I don’t care how bad it itched I was told not to scratch, I didn’t scratch!

If you are interested in getting your body back after giving birth reach out to us at www.TeamCherieJ.com We are here to help you. Naturally with NO supplements and it will be safe during breast feeding.