Yesterday while cleaning my truck I saw this lying on the floor…
It’s one of my son’s toys. Now folks, even though I am Pro-Blackness/Advocate of Black Power this fist merely looks like infamous “Fist”…
It really isn’t; the toy is inadvertently propped that way.  For those of you that have forgotten the kid in you, or do not have male children; Venom in short became one of Spiderman’s nemeses. The character
is a Symbiote (a sentient alien) that requires to bond with a host for
survival. Spiderman was the Symbiote’s first host and his powers were
enhanced but Spiderman soon discovered that this power was evil. Eventually he separated himself from the creature who then merged with Eddie Brock; as a result, “Venom” was created. 

Okay, so back to  this toy. Scroll back up and take a lot at it; Venom is headless! He’s headless because I purchased this toy for my son when he was 2 or 3  years old. He’s 7 and a half now!
Not that I spoil my kids more than the average parent does but my kids have more toys than they can play with. There are toys in my son’s bin that I can’t recall purchasing; that’s how bad it’s gotten. Growing up, I didn’t have that luxury. Presents were few and far between. Not that I am trying to fill a void but I work hard so that I can provide a little more than the basic necessities for my children. 

I  digress…

“Venom” has been headless for at least the past 2 years. I’m cognizant of this because out of the hundreds of toys that he has; he plays with
this particular toy the most. My son plays super rough so while Venom is being defeated by the real Spiderman, his head is knocked off continuously so to avoid having to locate the head each time he starts a new play session; my son explained that “Venom doesn’t need a head”. 
 
Frankly, I’d gotten tired of putting the head back on but anyway; I couldn’t believe that after all the expensive gifts I’ve purchased that this one continues to get so much play time. 
 
A couple of months ago, I told my son that he should donate his toys to children who actually need them! Of course no child ‘needs’ toys, but there are those who are less fortunate and do not have the option to choose between toys. He agreed it was a great idea!
 
Fast forward to yesterday, I said, “You know we can find Spiderman’s head and you can add this to your donation toy box? He looked at me like I had four heads. He shrieked, then reached for Venom, “Mommy no! You can’t give him away; he’s my favorite toy!” Before I had a chance to react, he continued, “For the record, mom…this is Venom; not Spiderman!” He then went into the entire spiel about the difference. As a result I was able to explicate on it.
 
He held onto this headless thing like it meant the world to him. All the money I’ve spent on toys for him,

An Xbox  360…$200
Disney Infiniti… $80
 3DS cartridges…$40/$50 (each)…
 
This Venom Action-packed figure—doesn’t make cool sounds nor is it accompanied with a truck/bike or any bells and whistles! This thing was worth, $10 but the value of it in his mind is truly, PRICELESS!!!

Here’s my question to my readers. Was there a toy you were connected with in your childhood that you can remember? Share your story—feel free to comment below, post a message on Twitter or Facebook. I look forward to hearing from you.
 
Thanks again for reading, guys!
Nai’lah
 
 
Having a mini-me i.e. my almost 8-month old daughter, has been very adventurous. When people say, kids change your life, please believe them! LOL

I struggle with not knowing when/how to separate the ‘mommy’ role from my entirety.  Of course, if you’re a mother you’re always a mother in all that you do (at least that’s the way it should be). Whether you’re a wife, girlfriend or fiancée as women we tend to forget our significant other once we’ve been introduced to motherhood. 

In order for a relationship to continue to grow, both parties MUST be willing to put in the work. I’m guilty of this…as are most women so please don’t get defensive. We tend to give so much of ourselves to our kids when it’s time to enjoy our mates; we find that all we can talk about are the kids. If you want to maintain a healthy relationship, you have to put in the time. There’s no other way to say it. It may be a little difficult to do so now that you have a child/children but it’s important to make time for each other. I know, I know; it’s easier said than done. There’s so much to do, especially if you’re a working mom…heck, stay at home moms have it hard too: after working/being at home with the kids all day, you need a break! The last thing you want to do is appease to your mate. In your mind, you want your mate to do ninety-five percent of the work. You want him to ask how your day went. You want him to really pay attention to the conversation that may follow. You want him to hold you, rub your feet, cook dinner but guess what; he comes home exhausted from work too. Sometimes he takes the kids off your hands so that you are able to cook or do the things you were incapable of doing due to having the kids. By the time it’s all said and done, it’s time for bed then you wake up and do it all over again. 
 
If your relationship/marriage is important to you, here are some tips to help balance both worlds:
 
1.     Talk to him. Sit down with your mate each night, after you’ve put the kids to bed and talk. Set this time aside—turn off the TV and even if it’s 15 minutes; talk to him about your day, ask him how was his. Tell him your plans for the next day. This time is just about you and him--not the kids.

2.     Make a date night once a week! If your ends are tight then do something at home. Set the table, light some candles, pull a bottle of wine off the shelf and enjoy each other’s company.

3.     Plan a getaway. Whether you can afford to go on a cruise once a year, or even if you use a vacation day at work; take some time to do something with your mate. Plan a surprise picnic for him in the spring; just tell him to be there. The flames/passion won’t die if you’re working at keeping things spicy. 
 
4.     Tell him you love him. When you’re at work or sitting at home wondering what to cook for dinner, stressed about the bills… send him a text or make a phone call just to say, “Baby, I love you.”


5.     Watch what he likes. Men are big kids. Sometimes we just have to break down and suffer through the basketball games or those ridiculous shows on ESPN that you know he’s seen at least two times. He’s going to talk to you about stats, and who’s getting recruited and all of that nonsense that we couldn’t care less about. Listen, nod and smile. I’m not saying sit on the couch all day because as women we always have things to do whether it’s the laundry, food shopping, whatever it may be, just take a minute to entertain him in his frivolities. For the young
couples, my husband can sit in front the TV playing his Xbox for hours at a time. If this is your mate, get a book, or get on the laptop then sit next to him. Pay attention off and on when he starts talking about how good his moves are, don’t roll your eyes; smile. 

6.     Don’t kill him! LOL. When he plucks your last nerve and you feel like you’re about to commit a murder, think back to when you first met and it was just the two of you. A relationship has to go through so many
journeys…so be patient.

7.     Laugh with him. My hubby and I are both nuts. We’re peas in a pod. Whether we’re talking about things that happened, or just being goofy; we laugh with each other. Laughter is great to the heart so laugh and be merry. 

8.     Enjoy him. Remember that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed so live it to the fullest. We are not promised another day so love him! When you have a disagreement, apologize and make amends before the day is over. 
 
Well, I hope this helps someone out there. Please feel free to share your stories. Love wholeheartedly!

Nai’lah
 
 
Before I begin my discourse on the issue, please understand that I’m not passing judgment. I have no clue how people can have more than one child. I don't know what I was thinking. I recently had a baby and I feel like I’m about to lose my mind at times. My 6-year old has no idea what the word: personal space means. Nor does he understand when I say, “Can you give me a minute?”

From the moment I step through the door, the talking is incessant! He’ll start telling me about his day, what he did with his best friend, how exciting this new book he got from the library has been, oh and how he wants me to visit this website and download this game and mommy what are you cooking, how was your day, you look nice, did you know that…AAAAAHHHHHH!!!! Losing my mind!

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not complaining about my kids but sometimes I have a lot on my mind or I just had a long day and I really need a second to think. Many times, I don’t have a moment to as much as…use the restroom. I get in, dish out the hugs and kisses to the family then head to the kitchen because I know if I sit down—nothing will get done. Of course the baby senses that I’m home so she starts whining and I have to give her some MORE attention.

Cook, clean, serve dinner, help with homework, bath time and oh yes…I still haven’t used the bathroom yet! Finally I can sit down for a second and exhale. My son is inches from my face. Wanting to be up under me 24-7 and it’s not that I don’t want him around—it’s just that I feel like there’s always something going on and I’m trying to keep up so my patience is thin. Sometimes I want to sew his lip shut or put him in timeout on the balcony—just for talking to me.

It’s funny when my kids act up they become my husband’s children. I find myself saying, you need to talk to your son or your son is working my last nerves. My husband’s going out of town this weekend and I said; I hope you plan on taking your son with you. I can’t imagine being in the house with these kids alone all weekend; the 6 and 10 year old will be at the corner with a sign, “Will work for snacks and toys!”

I can’t imagine having 4 or 5 kids…how do you share yourself equally among 3/4/5 kids, a spouse/mate, and have a life of your own? I appreciate the support I receive from my spouse because sometimes I think I’d go insane!

Sometimes my kids would do some crazy stuff and my husband and I would catch ourselves before we snapped; we’d look at each other, shake our heads and laugh just to lighten the situation. It’s hard being a parent! My question is geared to other mothers with more than one child but mainly towards single mothers. How do you do it and make it seem so effortless? How do you go to school and work or go to school and be a stay at home mom with all those kids? What tips can you share? Again, I’m not complaining; I’m blessed to have beautiful and smart babies that want to be around me but how do you do it?

I look forward to your responses.
Nai’lah
 
 
Today on #AskNailah, someone is seeking parenting advice. Now, when the question was presented to me, I followed up with other questions in order to give an honest opinion. 
 
Here’s the situation,
 
A young woman has two kids: 4 and 7. Her 4-year old doesn’t listen to her at all. During a football game, she’s discussing problems that she’s been having with her kids’ father to another parent. Meanwhile her 4-year old walks on the football field and begins playing with another child. Oblivious to this because she’s so engrossed in her conversation; she has no idea of her son’s whereabouts. As other parents alert her about her child, she screams for him to get off the field. He ignores her, she starts yelling expletives and threatens him until he unwillingly obliges. Immediately she returns to her conversation. A few moments
after he knocks over a trash can and she yells for him to pick it up. He
refuses. She walks over to him and begins yelling again.  Throughout
the game, he continues to get himself into mischief—sometimes she disciplines him by grabbing then shaking him but other times; she ignores him. 

I asked her to explain her disciplining methods. She explained that sometimes in order for him to listen; she’ll promise to get him toys or candy. Also, she added that if she tells him to do something and he doesn’t; she’ll let him do as he chooses because it’s ‘easier that way’. Finally she ends the conversation with, what should I do?
 
Well, there are a few things I need to address. Our children know what actions are intolerable. If your son continues to do the same thing over and over then he knows that there are no repercussions to his actions. Of course, while in public you may not want to discipline him but there’s a way to get them back on track at least until you can appropriately handle the situation. For example, tell him that you will take away his TV time or his toys. As a parent you have to follow through with your actions. If you tell your kids you’re going to take away their toys due to bad behavior, then do it! Kids know when you’re calling a bluff and they won’t learn if you don’t follow through. 

As parents we need to understand that the same principle applies in regards to respect. Respect must be given in order for it to be received. I speak to my children and not at them. If you’re swearing and yelling at your children, they will fear you not respect you. When you speak to them, explain why they should do the right thing. If you bring them up this way, they will continue to do what is expected—in and out of your presence.

Lastly, you seem frustrated with other issues, which are keeping you from being the best mother you can be. I would advise you to keep your problems separate. Utilize the time at the football game to support your 7-year old son on the field. As for your 4-year old, it’s apparent that he’s seeking attention so give it to him—spend more time with him or find something that will gain his interest. 
  
Thanks for your question! Keep me posted.
Nai’lah

 
 
For the past two months I’ve been so sleep deprived that it’s beginning to affect my memory, my drive and my patience. I feel like a walking zombie. My daughter turned 8 weeks today and though I’ve figured out her sleeping/feeding cycle—there are intervals where those have patterns change. She’s eating more and I feel as if she’s depleting me of any energy left.

For those of you that haven’t been on Twitter, I mentioned that I’m back to work. I’m not too pleased about that but grateful that I have a place to return to with the way our economy has been.

Prior to me returning to work, her pediatrician wanted me to feed her every two hours but she’d wake up at 3:00AM and refused to sleep until 6:00AM. The difference here was that I was on maternity leave so I was able to have frequent naps throughout the day. Now, I’m up by 3.30AM; feed her then get myself dressed for worked. By 4:45/5:00AM I’m at work. I pick her up from daycare at 1.31PM. When I get home, I clean/cook then get my son off the school bus at 3:43PM. From there it’s homework/reading/mental stimulation ‘time’, then I get him ready for football practice. At 5:00PM my husband takes him to his practice, thankfully!

Now, for the next two hours she gets a bath and hopefully takes a nap. Sometimes it works in my favor but other times…well, I take it as it comes. During this time, I can either utilize for writing/nap time. At 8:30PM my son gets home and either my husband or I give him a bath. We have dinner and by 9:30 it’s bed time (for my son). By this time I’m on the verge of “E” i.e. empty. I get her things ready: her clothes, diaper bag and prepare my son’s lunchbox for the next day because my husband gets them ready and drops them off prior to going to work. So around 10/10:30PM I can’t think, I’m confused, I’m irritated and very impatient—mostly with my spouse—who else am I supposed to take my frustrations out on? (Joke!)

My question to other mothers is: how can I make time to write? How can I make time for me when so much is expected of me? Sometimes I become so frustrated because the moment I sit down to put a dent in some writing or just to relax; she wakes up. Then the next day while I’m at work I just ponder about how unproductive I’ve become. It’s not that I’m not inspired or motivated—I don’t have the time nor energy to do anything outside of my children. I’ve heard of stories where moms return to school to attain degrees with four or five kids. How the heck do they do it?

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that what I do isn’t a lot; I’m just trying to figure out how I can be more productive throughout the day. I can use a few pointers here.

Looking forward to your responses,
Nai’lah

 
 
For those who have been keeping up with my blogs or following me on Twitter, I expressed that I was taking some time off in preparation to the arrival of my daughter. She was due on 8/1 but on 7/25 she was on her way. I started having contractions at 8.30pm but they subsided after about thirty minutes. Unfortunately for me, this ‘false alarm’ has been triggered so often during this pregnancy; I didn’t pay any attention to it. I went to bed and couldn’t stop tossing and turning throughout the night. At 2.30am I was awaken with strong pains in my stomach. I looked at my clock and began timing the contractions that now lasted for about an hour and got stronger and stronger by the minute. Still, I didn’t think that it was “time” but my husband advised that we should go to the hospital. I obliged.

We arrived at there at 4.30am. After the doctor checked my cervix, she said, “you’re 6 centimeters dilated” and I thought OMG…I’m going to have this baby today. This pregnancy was a challenge: I had symptoms I didn’t experience with my first pregnancy and I know you all are going to say it, “every pregnancy is different”! Yes, I know but geesh. I experienced nausea for the first five months and lost about fifteen pounds as if I could afford to lose weight.

Anyway, my contractions became so severe I opted to lie on my back. Whoever thought that something so minute would cause problems? From throwing up to becoming incoherent; my doctors had to alter my medications. It took a while for me to return to my normal state. The nurses inserted a catheter that I didn’t feel thank goodness to the epidural then my doctor said to my husband, “we’ll have this doctor by noon.” You’d think my husband was the one that had been pregnant or was in delivery. LOL. He was more excited/relieved than me.

I didn’t want to get emotional like I did during my first pregnancy but I was worst. I was checked two more times then finally my doctor said, “It’s time!” I started crying. The thought of me being able to finally meet my daughter was so overwhelming. “Push and hold for ten seconds!” the nurse said…I was exhausted. “The baby’s heart rate is dropping!” I heard the doctor say; I was worried. I’m not sure where I got the energy or strength but I was ready to push even if it meant I’d pass out after I had her…LOL. The doctor had to use a vacuum extractor along with me and I pushed and pushed until I heard the sounds every mother yearned to hear: her baby crying. My tears were uncontrollable and copious—I was filled with so many different emotions…mostly joy. The nurse rested my daughter on my chest. I couldn’t see her face and barely had enough strength to lift her. I remember asking my husband “Is she beautiful?” He replied, “Of course! She looks just like you.” He tries to be so tough especially when I’m down; I caught a glimpse of my husband looking at us with tears welled up in his eyes. It was a sentimental moment for us.

Though sleep deprived, I’m enjoying every minute of it. I haven’t been able to get any writing done because I’m working around her schedule. However, I can promise that things will return to normal soon. I look forward to tweeting and #DropAline Thursdays once things fall into place. I’ll post pictures soon.

Thanks for reading!
Nai’lah

 
 
Readers,

The pregnancy has been adventurous but it seems like it will be lasting longer than expected. My doctor said that the baby hasn’t moved down in two weeks. My cervix isn’t even dilated. I scheduled another appointment for 8/3/2012 and if she’s not here by then my doctor will have to induce labor between 8/5 – 8/9.

Since I’m extremely low on energy and I haven’t been writing the way I should be, I decided to take a break from my writing at least until the baby gets here.

I hope that you all understand and will continue to support me as you’ve done in the past. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted on my progress.

Warm Regards,
Nai’lah
 
 
There’s no job in the world greater than being a mom. My kids give me a reason to live, to smile, to be better. I took my son to the water park last weekend and of course I took a thousand pictures because this time goes by so quickly; I aim at capturing all of it on camera/tape. I watched him being silly, making friends and just having a blast. Every time he did something he thought was amazing; he yelled, “mommy, look at me!”

When I look into my kid’s eyes, I feel overwhelmed with joy.  As a parent you want to give your them the things you didn’t have growing up. Sometimes I can overcompensate with the hugs and attention but hey…sue me! If I could catch my kids before they fall, I would. I’m becoming better though by allowing them to have their own experiences thus making their own mistakes.

Still, I cry like a big baby when I realize how fast the time is escaping me. My five year old graduated from Kindergarten this week and he reminded me all week as if I would miss it for the world.

I walked through the door and the Kindergarten classes were all assembled in the cafeteria seated quietly awaiting the commencement of the ceremony. My son’s face lit up when he saw me, he excitedly waved and my heart melted. He mouthed, “Where’s daddy?” As his dad walked in behind me, being the extrovert that he is, my son yelled, “Hey daddy!” I video taped the entire ceremony then parents were invited to the classroom where his teacher awarded special certificates to each student.

My son was awarded the “Sports Star” because he is so well versed about sports—a gift from his father no doubt. I remember when he graduated from Pre-School; each student expressed what they wanted to be when they grew up. He stood up and announced, “I want to be a football player!” and my husband smiled…of course by this time I was in tears. He played flag football last year but starts tackle football this year so let’s see if this athletic soul changes much by his next graduation.

I don’t care what he wants to do—I’m not one of those parents who impose their dreams on their kids. Whatever he aspires to be, I will support him. Seeing my kids happy is the greatest feeling in the world—nothing comes close to being as great as motherhood. Feel free to comment and/or share a mommy/daddy story.

I’m 8-weeks from doing this all over again and I’m so excited you guys. I appreciate all of your warm thoughts and wishes. I’ll keep you posted.

Nai’lah
 
 
When I was younger, I always wanted to be around children. The sound of their laughter would brighten my day. I really had the patience for them back then. Now that I have my own, I don’t particularly care for watching other people’s kids.

Now, let me set the record straight. If I agreed to watch your child, trust me: I’ve done some sort of surveillance of him or her while I was in your home i.e. watched the way he/she interacted with the parent and/or others. Because there’s no way (yes I had to emphasize) I’d agree to watch a child that I knew before hand would act like that kid, “Dennis, the Menace.’

When it comes to babies and toddlers, I don’t have any problems with them because their still learning and the only way they can cause any sort of havoc is if you aren’t watching them. What’s the worst a baby can do? Poop? Throw up? I can deal with that.

If your child comes to my home and acts like something that just escaped from a zoo—he/she will be packaged and shipped back to your home IMMEDIATELY! I have low tolerance for untrained children. Yes, I said untrained. I will not tolerate a kid that’s running around my house ready to tear stuff up because his/her parents will be on speed dial and I will be in front their door before they know it.

I find it unbelievable that some parents don’t know how to control their own kids. When walking through the mall, I hear children use expletives towards their parents. Or if a mother tells her child what to do, he/she will yell, NO! Or drop down and have a fit or worst yet, strike their parents. What is that about? When has that ever been accepted?

I’m glad the children that are close to me, knows sense from nonsense because there’s no way I would deal with that. That’s another reason I couldn’t be a teacher—I would catch a case! My hat goes off to teachers because a lot of these kids are not being raised correctly. Of course I have no intentions of addressing any of these issues within this blog because there isn’t enough time.

I think that a lot more parents should worry about being their children’s parent as opposed to being their friend. It’s a tough job being a parent and your responsibilities become graver the older they get. My kids are still young but at times I find it difficult being stern. I try to dish out the punishment and move to another room, “No toys” then I find something to clean. When your kids give you that, “I’m sorry…” look, your heart just melts but you can’t give in. Let me tell you a secret, your kids know your soft spot so don’t be fooled.

As a parent, try your best to be stern but fair/reasonable. Sometimes, we expect too much from them and we can be a little rough on them. We all want the best from them but we have to remember they’re children and even though we don’t want them make the same mistakes we made, sometimes you have to let go and allow them to fall.

I learn how to be a mom everyday. Sometimes, I panic and overreact but as a mother, I’ve learned to approach the little ones and say, “hey, mommy was wrong.” I think the key to being a parent is, talking to your kids not at them.

Good luck parenting!
Nai’lah

 
 
Something happened at work that really bothered me. Let me start from the beginning. I produce content for a CCTV that’s in the lobby of my building. There are no restrictions as to the content for the ‘monitor.’ The purpose of it is to discuss safety issues i.e. wear safety goggles when doing yard work, the importance of children wearing helmets or new events, the headquarters’ office is being relocated to Texas, the elevators that were fixed two weeks ago are broken again, so take the stairs…you get my drift. OK there are only so many ways a person can say the same thing before it becomes redundant. Soon, people will stop paying attention. Thinking outside of the box, I touched on issues such as depression, Women’s History Month, Earth day, Volunteer week, Mother’s day and so forth.

I follow @BraveKidsVoices and they posted a news headline from Boston, “Man gets life plus ten years sentence for molesting a four month old.”  I cannot begin to explain my disgust on the matter.


When I write, I try to not only tell a strong story but a purposeful one. I believe that so much can be done if people cared more but I digress. After reading the article, an idea spawned and immediately I began researching on child abuse—namely, sexual abuse. Knowing that this is a touchy subject and considering the environment, I meticulously packaged the message for the public.

Though not subject to approval, I always forward new materials to management so they are aware of how I spend my days. I receive a response, “nicely done.”

The next day there’s an email from someone else in management, expressing dissatisfaction with the topic. The line that had me boggled was…‘the content seem a little controversial and possibly offensive.’ Management decides to call Human Resource…yes, the dingbats of my company who have no clue about the business that we do. Not inferring people that work in HR are dingbats, only saying the ones in my company are clueless. I deviate again…management explained, there are no restrictions or guidelines to the material that can be displayed on the CCTV/monitor, however, I need to remove the material as it can incite emotional feelings or unintentionally harm an individual who was possibly a  victim or a pedophile.

With the “are you freaking kidding me?” look on my face, I try to regain composure at the absurdity of what is being asked of me. I responded, “so I cannot discuss social issues and even though there are no set boundaries, this material warns parents about predators cannot be displayed?” You all know the resolution of this situation.


Readers, I ask for objective opinions. Under the Portfolio tab, the presentation is labeled, “Protect your child from Predators” I would like to know what are your thoughts. Is there anything that is offensive? If so, offensive to who…a pedophile?!

Child-molestation is faux pas. It’s a pandemic issue but society will continue to treat it as if it’s not transcending race, age and gender lines. It’s happening! It’s real! Why aren’t we more concerned about this?