Here We Go … Again!

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And so it begins. Post C-section Project Slim Down, that is. My doctor cleared me to start walking 4 weeks ago as I wanted to start 3 days after I got out of the hospital. However, I never actually got around to it. And, I don’t have any excuse since Pops Wei is at home helping, he takes night shift so that I get plenty of sleep, AND we have an angel baby who sleeps 1-2 hour stretches easy. However, I’m not beating myself up because … ya know … new baby. LOL! I know that there is still a new, dependent little person in the house and a new routine is needed. And, since hers is the most important, everything else needs to be worked around it.

All that being said, it is definitely time to start getting it together as I’ve putting weight on after having dropped all but 3 of the 25-26 pounds I gained. In full disclosure, I’ve also been eating horribly, so I’m up 10 pounds from my weight prior to pregnancy. My current weight is 147 lbs at 5’1″.

So, at my 6 week post-op appointment yesterday, I got the all clear to resume working out, albiet with the caveat that I need to start slowly.

My goal is to get at least 10 minutes of exercise daily, to regain my fitness and flexibility levels, and to get rid of the excess weight, of course. Hopefully, this stomach and back fat will go as I’ve never carried too much weight in my upper body (I’ve also been wearing a Bellefit corset and lubricating my stomach daily as I know the skin and abs needs assistance retracting).

That being said, today was Day 1 of another 10 Minutes A Day for 28 Days of Fitness! How apropos that my starting weight is only one pound less than it was when I did this in 2013 and turned it into 365 Days of Fitness. Hence the title of this post, “Here We Go…Again!”

Lata Gatas!

Sips Tea …

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This was shared with me on Instagram and now I’m paying it forward. At the Oscars on Sunday, Giuliana Rancic of Fashion Police said of Zendaya Coleman’s red carpet look, “I feel like she smells like patchouli oil and weed.” Zendaya was elegantly adorned and wearing faux locs.

Well done Zendaya. Well done.

1 Month of #DADDYDOM … A Few Things I’ve Learned and Observed

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IMG_8378by Weusi

In the past 30 days, what was formerly known as fatherhood and shall be called DADDYDOM henceforth, I have learned and been reminded about a few things … in no particular order … well except for the first being … God is GREAT and because of this, I am very blessed! And now … the rest of the list …

Little girls can direct their stream of pee.

People stay fakin’ the funk … talking about babies look so cute … WHATEVER! You know and I know that a lot of babies kinda look the same the first few weeks! It isn’t that they are cute … it’s that damn near all of ‘em kinda look the same and no one wants to call them anything other than cute. We could call them chubby, low-functioning, little pie-faced blobs of new human-ness. Don’t get me wrong … they are cute, but that’s really because we’ve been conditioned to see them that way. But honestly, it’s not a special look.

I don’t see my daughter as a cute little baby to play with and spoil. I see her as the child for whom I am responsible. I have to help mold and prepare her for the world.

Wyntr Abrihet may never know her name because, in addition to being summoned by Wyntr, Wyntr Abrihet or Abrihet, she has a plethora of nicknames! Shelli calls her … Pumpkin, Boobie, booga, booga-booga, Sweet Potato, Chunka Munka, boo-key and other things. I call her: Lil’ Sunshine, Sunshine (But not like the character Sunshine in Boomerang), Chicken Wing (she does this thing with her arms … kinda like that dance Kendrick Lamar does in the video for “i”), Lil’ Mama, Wyn Boogie, Hiccup (she has had them since before she got here), and Stinky Booty. She might be a little confused. I can’t wait until her personality kicks in and she earns a real nickname. Wyntr is one of the FRESHEST names ever! No vowels. Y is only a part-time vowel. It doesn’t count! Who remembers this?!

Freeez – I.O.U.

Sometimes you just have let a baby cry. Don’t let the babies cry … figure out why they are crying. Sleep is a PRICELESS commodity. Women are super humans … if you don’t know why, then you may have subhuman intelligence. Babies are milk-a-holics. Music makes the world go around. It can have a great influence on an individual. When combined with a plethora of other factors, it has the ability to influence various aspects of one’s life. In my case, as someone who DJ’d on college radio and in lounges, it not only shaped who I have become, it also helped me to inspire others. I love that, in addition to listening to A Love Supreme by John Coltrane, Wyntr has jewels like these to chill her when she starts to get a little moody when being changed. image

Having a measure of time to mark events and to try to schedule things is good … and needed … BUT … with babies, there are many moments that just happen without regard to time.

New fathers … you may never be the same after that first diaper of that merconium tar stuff! I still can’t comprehend how all that fit inside her. It must expand when it hits the air!

A baby’s immune system can easily be compromised, so you can’t really take them on road trips to DC and NC right away!

If you have a baby and you have a partner, wife, husband, special friend, significant other, etc. … communicate with them! And do it in a manner where you just assume that both parties are sleep deprived, hungry, and borderline insane. Meaning, be conscious about the pace, tone, wording, and non-verbal presentation of information.

Did I already say something about sleep having incredible value in a parent’s life?

goodnight …

SHiNE

A Moment in Time

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Wyntr_1month

Hi y’all. Just popping in for a quick minute to let you know that baby girl is a month old now and doing very well! She is such a sweet, easy-going baby and we are so in love. Of course, it’s all about her right now. Eat, sleep, change and repeat. Man, everyone told us that we would need a ton of diapers, but I don’t think anyone explained the collateral damage diapers!! You know, the ones that never actually make it ON the baby because they are getting dirty catching stuff coming OUT of the baby WHILE you are changing the baby. Man … a case of 100+ diapers gone in less than 2 weeks?!?! What the … what?? LOL! But, it’s all good as she’s so worth it. Of course, this laid back demeanor is possible because baby girl is such an angel and Mommy is getting PLENTY of sleep as Pops started taking the night shift at 2 weeks (but think we need to switch off sometimes so Pops can get some quality daylight time).

Okay, gotta go! But, before I do, here are a couple of pics from our newborn photo shoot! Can’t share them all yet as the baby announcements haven’t been sent. But, once they are, I’ll post more!

Lata Gatas!

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Welcome Wyntr Abrihet!!

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WyntrDay4by Shelli and Weusi

The world’s newest superhero is here …

At 9:11 am on Friday, January 16th, the worlds newest superhero emerged to bless the planet in the form of the daughter of Shelli and Weusi. Her super powers have not yet been revealed, but her eyes seem to be hinting at something extraordinary!

Her bio …

  • First Name: Wyntr
    • a “W” name like her Pops
  • Middle Name: Abrihet
    • pronounced: Ah-bri-Het
    • origin: Ethiopian
    • meaning: “She Shines”
  • Weight: 6 lbs 1 oz
  • Length: 18″
  • Eye Color: Brown
  • Code Name: Classified

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

LOL!!  Wei put together most of the above announcement before Miss Wyntr entered her new world! I stole it to try to do this quick post while baby girl is asleep.

Just wanted to let you all know that the C-section went off without a hitch and, after Wyntr spent a 2 day stay in the NICU due to low glucose from sleeping rather than eating, all three of us came home last night as planned. Our first night went pretty well in that we all got a nice little extended four hours of sleep (should have been three though). This was appreciated as the prior night in the hospital, Miss Wyntr decided she wasn’t going to sleep from 2 am to 8 am. Sooooo … needless to say after a busy discharge day, I think we all needed the rest to recover. However, I know not to expect that on the regular … at least not for a few months!

Okay, here are a few more pics before I get out of here!!

We feel beyond blessed and favored and can’t help but fall more in love with her each day that passes. As always, thank you for all of the love, support, well-wishes, encouragement and, most importantly prayers. They are beyond appreciated.

SHiNE

The Countdown Continues

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IAN_0355by Weusi

More things on my mind …

  • People take the miracle of pregnancy for granted. Pregnancy isn’t an easy thing. Although science can describe many things about it, there are still moments in the process that happen and science can’t tell you how or why. So many things need to be in alignment for it to happen that it in my eyes it is nothing short of a miracle.

send me a text

28 weeks

  • Because I believe in the Nguzu Saba Principle of Kujichagulia, which is the Kwanzaa principle that says we define ourselves … I am redefining fatherhood … I am calling it DADDYDOM! Because, when you are a daddy, you are responsible for another’s well-being, like a king. The other parallel is that often others look at the position as one of power, but it is really about responsibility. I know this is a little stretch, but it’s a fun word to say … “DADDYDOM!”
  • At the last ultrasound, the technician said that Baby Girl had a head of hair. I feel comfortable doing a ponytail or afro-puffs, but gotta learn how to cornrow hair, do box braids and flat braids now! Awww hell, I’m not fooling anyone … I gotta learn the difference!
  • In the future, more fathers will be called Pops and it will be a term for older fathers that are cool because they are who they are, not because they are trying to be young and cool.
  • I have times when I lack tact. It’s not often, but it happens at times. I think part of it is because I come from a  family where we talked more about being honest and not much about being nice. Being nice was something that was expected as a norm. But “niceness” is something that is taught. How will I teach it? Hmmm … how about, “Do like your mother.”
  • I will have to make more decisions on aesthetics without Shelli’s assistance.
  • The other day, we saw the movie Selma. Without giving anything away, let me just say that everyone should go see this beautiful movie. And don’t get there late because you are trying not to see all the trailers and previews. Make sure that you see it from start to finish! The movie moved me to tears more than once for a variety of reasons. In the end, it was the reality that my generation of Black people is the first to have the FREEDOM to move around the country and to vote. We’ve had the right, but it wasn’t until LBJ passed the Civil Rights Act outlawing public racial discrimination in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that we had the national governments support to engage us to experience these FREEDOMS. Afterward, I cried in anger, sorrow, and in angst. The feeling that I haven’t done enough hurt SOOOOOO bad. My daughter still has to deal with those who are resistant to the dismantling of the “good ol’ boy” systems and have infiltrated the fields of politics, academia, media, military, and underground covert movements in their quest to maintain the ways and ideologies of the Old South. This isn’t a depressing thought. It is inspiring. Please see this movie and allow yourself to be moved to tears and to take action.

  • People take living for granted. Each breath is a gift from God. We shouldn’t just cherish life, but figure out what it is to us as individuals that get us excited about life.

I am thankful for so much and yet I keep asking God for favor and to continue blessing me. I owe God a lot. Everything.

SHiNE

The Countdown!

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shower3by Weusi

Ok … over the next few days, I’m gonna give you a peek into the mind and the life of a 44 year old that is about to be a father for the first time. Right now, these are a few of the things on my mind …

First, I want to be done with the baby’s room. Like really done. Not the, “You’ll get it when we need it” done. Or, “We’ll just put some things on the walls” kinda done. I mean the, “We don’t have to think about it anymore” done. In a few days there will be NOTHING relevant to me except the well-being, health, and happiness of my baby girl and my wife. I already don’t care too much about aesthetics, so forgive me if … no, im not asking for forgiveness … now you’ll know why I may be lacking tact next week. I’m focused. And it’s not on anyone or anything but my wife and My Baby! The issue is that my wife is so nice that, to keep her happy, I have to be nice at times when I only want to be honest. It’s hard sometimes and has been one of the most valuable things I have (re-) learned about myself while with Shelli. And I know that this skill will be valuable as a father.

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Next thought … We picked a pediatrician. That was a reality check. My baby has a doctor.  She isn’t even here yet! Reality check … BOOM!

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And … we attended some classes last week on parenting and breastfeeding. More than the information that was shared, it was encouraging to see that other people felt like they could benefit from speaking to an expert about these processes. Science, technology, and access to information has changed so drastically and rapidly over the years that a new parent will always feel like there is something on which they need to be updated. I really appreciate parents of previous generations. I was born in 1970. Things were so different then. I knew that I was a preemie, but I just found out that I was only 4 lbs 3 ounces at birth. I stayed in the hospital about 3 weeks. I imagine that felt like an eternity for my parents … and that’s why they told me I was there for 6 weeks! Note: Grandparents’ exaggeration is entirely another blog! All that to say, I feel very blessed that My Baby Girl will be the beneficiary of all this informatiom and modern know how.

Then there’s the fact that … I really miss my community in DC and NC. I wish that people weren’t so far away. I really want to celebrate this with all those people that had a part in making me the person I am today. I’ve been been helped by many. And schooled by so many lessons from so many people. I think it would be incredible to raise a child with all those aunts and uncles around! Hopefully we will have plenty of playdates in DC and DC (Durham County, NC!). Parenthood has also made me re-evaluate my personal paradigms of community and my role in it (If anyone is interested, I’ll write about that as well).

And … the advice I most often get from parents is get some sleep now, because the first few months can be rough. But, it’s 6:30 am and I’m awake. I have been sleeping off and on for about a week now. Part of me feels like my body is being conditioned for the baby’s arrival and part of me is just excited to the point where I can’t sleep. This is WAY BETTER than the excitement of any holiday or any event in my life. I was tired the night before the wedding. I slept like a baby. I have a post about my perspective of the wedding experience. Shelli will post it eventually (Hint-Hint!).

Now … can I talk with you about “nesting?” It’s a dumb term! What it really should be called is what it is … getting your house ready for a baby. And I consider y’all my peoples, so why didn’t anyone warn me that this is when Shelli was going into “organizing/nesting” from an aesthetic to practical mentality, but I was focused on practicality and was gonna be happy that things were neat and safe with little regard to aesthetics! We are lucky that we love each other and that we both have the ability to articulate why we would prefer for something to be one way or dislike something when it is another way. I imagine that those conversations may have churned up some turmoil in some other couples lives!

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And finally … I have decided to be called Pop or Pops by my daughter. It won out over Baba, which is a term that many African-centered fathers use to maintain African cultural significance. I feel that our Blackness and connection to Africa will be manifested in other ways throughout her daily interactions. Dad or Daddy seem too regular for me. Plus, they start off as sounds. She will be calling everyone Da-Da just because that will be one of the first sounds she is able to create. I will work with her to develop the oratory skills necessary to say Pops. Plus it makes it logical that her grandfathers be called Pop-Pop because they are the Pop of her mom and Pop!

Ok … that’s more than enough for now. Sorry about that. I have more on my mind than I thought!

#SHiNE