Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Being direct, blunt, and/or "telling it like it is" should not automatically be equated or confused with being honest.  People will say, "I like her/him because she/he is honest" when what they really mean (in given contexts) is that they like the person because she/he is direct or has no problem expressing things as seen from her/his perspective while sometimes being rude, aggressive, or comical in doing so.  Sometimes not. 

Honesty, though, is something different, and while a person--in their quest to tell it like it is--can be honest, to do so is not an inherent quality or condition of being direct or blunt.

A person's record of being honest or dishonest is often traceable and should be taken into consideration with--if not in place of--their capacity to be direct in speech.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

On Perspectives

The other day I heard a woman describe a family who had lived in her neighborhood at one point in life. She accounted for them by saying something to the effect of:

"They didn't have the best clothes or the nicest things, but they had a lot of love between them."

While I've heard people refer to others in ways similar to this before, hearing it this most recent time brought to my mind something that may have not necessarily stood out to me in the past. Previously, I'd probably just heard such remarks and thought something about the bonds of love. This time, though, I reflected on perspectives.

The thing about perspectives is that they're the conceptions of the person who's giving them. They really have no bearing on those who they might seek to explain, define, or clarify.  It's not that they're true or based in reality on any level. They belong to you and me and us and oftentimes are completely unknown to him and her and them--the "subjects" who such perspectives aim to interpret.

So, a family who--from an outsider's perspective--lacks the best when it comes to clothing and material things, may actually be of the mindset that the material things that they do possess are the best and nicest, since both are essentially relative.  Not everyone has the same ideas of  what is or how things are.  Happiness and contentment are not rigid and unchanging.  They correlate to individual experiences, perceptions, and interpretations of life.  They might also vary between cultures and regions.

Perspectives are wonderful.  They add diversity to our existence, helping to keep things interesting.  They also allow us to feel like we have something to say.  With them we can take a position on matters that may or may not concern or affect us.  However, the world is continuing to turn and life is moving right on along whether or not we have or give them, and in the end it seems like the action of life is what grounds us in reality anyway.


Friday, January 29, 2016

One and a Half

So, Noni is 18-months-old today.  

Initially I was going to make a list of eighteen things that I've learned in eighteen months.  Then I decided that to make a list of a few of the most pertinent points would be more within the perimeters of the limited amount of time I have to write in the first place.  Eventually I concluded that despite all that could be said regarding my experiences as a new mother for the past year and a half, nothing  holds more weight than the realization that she and I are both fortunate to have each other, and we are both extremely fortunate to have her father.  

If I were raising her alone, there's no doubt in my mind that I could do it.  I'll even go out on a limb and say that I'd be extremely great at doing so. *goofy smile* 

But more so than anything that can be said about what I've experienced/learned in terms of parenting when it comes to matters such as health, play, elimination communication/potty training,  how socially awkward other parents can be at Library Playtime, etc., I'll say this:   there's nothing like having the support of someone who's there to hand the baby off to while I lie flat on my face, on any accommodating surface, and do nothing--if only for 3-5 minutes until said baby realizes I'm in exhausted, nothingness bliss and comes to interfere. 

But seriously (although I was very serious previously),  compared to that, I see everything else as just being a part of it all. You give birth, then you live it--figuring things out along the way.  But in terms of a partner who's present,  it's great to have him here to work through the process with, not to mention how exceptional he is as a cook and juice maker.     He hooks us UP!

It's been an eventful and energetic past 18 months, and I'm certain that it'll only get more intense from here!

Them at almost 5 months

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


(*Note: I started writing this post when Noni was 16-months-old. It took me the longest to get it to the point of wanting to share.  She'll be 18-month-old on Friday, January 29.)

When my family and I visit the local public library to scope out books, we like to look through the newest books first, and lately this has been the collection from which we make our picks.  Book sourcing in this way is very interesting, as it usually leaves us walking up to the check-out counter with books ranging in subject matter anywhere from permaculture to the politics of race and class.  We typically do not discriminate when choosing from the "new books" shelves, and as such, my man recently finished up a seemingly thousand-page book about the life and times of Kanye West--not written by the man himself.  At this point, the both of us have far more information about this person than I'm sure we'd ever hoped to!

One book that I recently picked up from those same shelves is entitled Thirty Million Words: Building a Child's Brain, written by Dana Suskind, MD. 

I was instantly attracted to this book.  Something that I've really been tuned into lately are the ways in which my daughter is learning language and meaning.  It's pretty amazing to witness  her grasp of words, ideas, and concepts, and at nearly 16-months-old (at least when I started this post, remember), she seems to be understanding it all exceptionally well and fast. This isn't coming from a place of vanity just because she is my child.  I'm mostly just in awe and am grateful for the opportunity to witness how she "gets" what is presented--consciously or not--to her. It truly is something to behold.  Those who've had the opportunity to witness it for themselves and who have really paid attention could likely attest to what I'm saying.

In the book shared above, there is a particular excerpt that describes what I know to be true just being present with my daughter on a regular basis and always talking to and around her:  The author writes: 

I began to understand, thanks to the work of many dedicated scientists, that it takes more than the ability to hear sounds for language to develop; it is learning that the sounds have meaning that is critical.  And for that, a young child must live in a world rich with words and words and words. 

This book goes into detail about studies done and theories proved, and while it really all is useful information, it seems to all come down to what's said above. The understanding of words, phrases, and concepts from an early age--from what I've seen in my own child--has a lot to do with exposure. 
Just from being in the presence of people who talk and converse about different subject matter on a regular basis, and, as a result of having so many things pointed out and explained to her, Noni has a serious grasp on words and concepts.  I don't think it's extraordinary as much as I see it being a testament to the power of the mind and the capacity for learning in humans.

One example that I noticed immediately is when she started referencing herself as "I".  Some phrases that she uses often are "I see", "I need", "I want", and "I don't want".  What fascinates me is that we never consciously taught her anything about the pronoun 'I'.  Yet, if I point at an airplane (a word that she says very well, by the way) and ask, "You see?" she responds by saying, "I see". (Adding about ten more of the letter 'e' to the word would be more reflective of what she really says.)   How a child who's just learning to talk knows to say "I see" when questioned in that way is beyond me. I can only attribute it to her paying attention to how her father and I use language. 

Now.  While she does have a vast vocabulary and is developing impressively in the language department, a person who's in our presence and tries talking to her may not hear a single word from her mouth.  Instead, she has this thing of trying to divert their attention away from her by pointing at a random object and making a sound out of her throat indicating to them that they should look that way.  It's pretty peculiar. 


You wanna know the word that's probably her favorite to say???


She wakes up saying it, says it throughout the day, and might even say it a time or two after bathing and getting ready for bed. Mind you, I take her outside at least twice a day, but the child can not get enough of the outdoors.   I love it just as much, though, so I guess she's got it honest. :)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Acrobatic Breastfeeding

None of the breastfeeding-related information that I received during pregnancy or after giving birth mentioned anything about what I've called "acrobatic breastfeeding".  This is where a baby of a certain age assumes all kinds of positions while latched on.  She might balance herself on one foot, perform aerial toe touches, do leg curls, make attempts at headstands, and even throw in a few yoga moves, among other activities.  Yes, all while LATCHED.  I didn't know about this before, but my child has subjected me to it for many, many months now. (Not every time but often.)  Then one day out of curiosity I did some research and learned that it's not just us. Many babies do this eventually just to keep the process interesting.  Only thing I can say while she's doing back flips on my lap is, "For real Noni???" then kindly remove her leg(s) from over my shoulder.

But even though these antics are said to be the norm for some nursing babies, I'm convinced that my child has something even more substantial going on when it comes to acrobatics.  Numerous times on a daily basis, I'm having to prevent her from climbing up, flipping under or through, standing on,  or swinging from something in the house.  She attempts headstands down on the beach and rolls and/or slides down the sandy hills created out there by the ocean.  She's pretty good at all of it, I must admit, but of course I can never express this in her presence, as it would only be fuel for her to continue the shenanigans.

I can appreciate that she's got those qualities about herself, though, and I intend to enroll her in toddler gymnastics sometime in the coming year.   For a 16-month-old, she's got a pretty serious athleticism already.  It'll be interesting to see where it goes...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Baby Dresses

Just a quick update to share a couple more dresses that I made for Babygirl.

Hibiscus Batik

Most of my sewing has been for her lately, and that's fine by me!  After making clothing for women for so many years, it's a nice change to be making garments on a much smaller scale these days.  It takes almost no time at all.

Tan and White Leopard


I think she likes them. :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


It has been a fun, eventful, enlightening, exciting, nerve-wracking (only occasionally thank goodness), joyous, busy, emotional, and a-number-of-other-terms-that-would-describe-the-experience past year, but we are here! July 29, 2015. My child has lived out her first 12 months of life!

We have no plans for a huge celebration, although we are very grateful and happy to have reached this point and that she's exhibited great health and spirits so far on the journey.  Today will probably mostly be about playing outside, particularly in the sand--one of her favorite things to do as is evidenced by this photo collage:

Lately we've really had to be on top of keeping her on safe, since she's started climbing and just trying to get into all sorts of things that definitely aren't suitable, especially in our current place.  Thankfully we haven't had any major accidents as she's just been trying to do what developing babies do.  I remain vigilant! 


Thank you all who've read this blog up to this point.  I'm not sure how often I'll be writing from here going forward, BUT if you'd like you can send me a request at, where--from time to time--I share images and things she's into.

Like…her wearing some dresses made by me. :-D

In my 10+ year history of designing and making garments, I've never made and offered anything for babies.

Well, that's all changed.  The above two dresses are available for order in my Etsy shop!

Not only that.  I'll soon be offering a very limited quantity of baby dresses in this print

in honor of my baby girl's first name which means "of the leopards".

That's to come.

For now…we play!
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