My heart is breaking.

The tension in this country is thick. It’s deafening.

It’s like waking up on a summer morning and the fog is so thick you can’t even see a car length. You have no idea what’s ahead. This is how African-Americans feel every morning when we wake up in this country.

We don’t feel safe in our homes, not even in our churches.

Is this what someone living in America who is a law abiding citizen should worry about?

This is the height of racial tensioned that I’ve witness and raising four black children in America. I’m scared for their future. My heart breaks because I have no idea what they will endure.

Before you smy husband serves the military (14 years), his sister, cousins even his late dad served the Vietnam War. Clearly we’re a family who respects and honor this country.

While I’m at it let me point out THE POINT OF THE KNEELING NFL PROTESTERS IS NOT AGAINST THE FLAG IT’S AGAINST RACIAL INJUSTICES, OPRESSION AND INEQUALITY.
We’re tired of posting articles and videos that shed light on the racial biases and injustices in this great nation and you’re tired of seeing and or reading. I get it.

So how do we fix it?

In my opinion the first step is accepting that WHITE PRIVILEGE EXISTS. If you can’t comprehend that then there’s no point in having a conversation.

The step is acknowledging that EQUALITY DOES NOT EXIST FOR ALL. If you’re of the “superior” race and you’re forcing your opinion on someone who shows you indisputable facts that says otherwise and you still refute. There’s no conversation to be had.

And before you say we ought to be glad we’re in this country that affords us these rights just remember we were once slaves and we weren’t free simply because white Americans thought it was the right thing to do. Many people lost there lives fighting for this freedom for which we were supposedly inhertied upon us by the founding fathers. THIS FREEDOM WHICH ALLOWS US TO PEACEFULLY PROTEST.

“All men are created equal…”
Again.

What will it take for you to stand up for equality and racial oppression?

Is it hearing pastors and let’s not forget all those loss of life at those to protect and setve. The list goes on and or.

Maybe, just maybe it’s the lynching of an 8 year old boy by white boys IN 2017. No These are the things I read about in history books. I NEVER thought for a second these things would happen in my lifetime. We shoukd be making progress but instead if feels we are moving towards resegregation.

Empathy goes ablong way but we don’t want to hear empty sentiments. Because you can’t truly understand because you’ll never be abke to walk in our shoes. You want to help? Those that understand the cause and see racial injustices and speaking up for others. Calling out their friends and making them uncomfortable. That’s how you can help.

It’s not often I voice my political viewpoints but I’m sick and tired of scrooling along my social media feeds, biting my tongue and telling myself to just breathe.

These are your friends, colleagues, heck even your family and you’re looking at them with disdain like how are you not understanding my plight? How are you not outrage with the utter disregard for human life?

Until we truly want the very best for each other. Not the mentality of I want what’s best for you as long as it’s not a threat to my popularity or success. I’m talking true selflessness. Then and only then can we start making american the greatest nation.
A concerned mom, wife, citizen.

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Fortress Monroe

Fort Monroe was the largest , in 2011 it was declared as a National Monument by our 4th President Barack Obama.

The oldest operational lighthouse in the Chesapeake built in 1802

The Grand Contraband Camp

During the Civil War fort Monroe became a beacon of freedom in the south. Many slaves endured hazardous journey in hopes of becoming freemen.

Robert E Lee

Lt. Jefferson Davis was imprisoned here
~TOODLES~
Stacey

Mommy and Me :- July

Two months in a row! I like that. Little sis has extended her stay. I think she’s having a good time.

At last month’s event we made it through the door about half way through the scheduled program so this time I made sure I had ample time so we arrived fifteen minutes early. In my world that’s quite a feat!

Also last time I followed instructions by leaving the twins stroller in the waiting area. That was a disaster trying to keep them from getting into other kids snacks, grabbing their sippy cups and trying to take the bigger kids craft. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Needless to say this time I walked right in with the stroller.

The only regret I had from this month’s event was letting my daughter bring home the puddie she made. I don’t know which was worse the glitter on it or just the mere fact that it got everywhere!
~TOODLES~
Stacey

Panda World

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Last weekend the rave was all about the Pandas at the Smithsonian National Zoo. People came out by the thousands. The line was long, everyone waiting anxiously in the cold to get a view of the newest member of the panda family, Bei Bei, making his grand entrance to the public at four months old.

Bei Bei, whose name means precious treasure, was born August 22, 2016.

Naming ceremony September 25th

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We finally made it to the front of the line

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Inside, the kids tried to get a better view of Bao Bao (Big sister)

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During my research, I was surprised to learn that Bei Bei had a sister, Mei Xiang (May-SHONG)…YES! making them fraternal twins.

According to the National Zoo’s website, giant pandas give birth to twins approximately 50 percent of the time. Mei’s birth was only the third time a giant panda living in the United States has given birth to twins and only two other successful twins around the world.

Human intervention was crucial during the first week; they nursed (bottle and tube) and cared for the cubs when they weren’t with mom, Mei. Panda moms typically do better with single pregnancies. Unfortunately, the smaller cub passed away at just 4 days old.

The story of these Panda cubs will forever hold dear to my heart as I reflect on the first few weeks after giving birth to my fraternal twins. I wouldn’t have survived without the support of the nursing staff and my family.

Tian Tian (Dad)

Mei Xiang (Mom)

Bao Bao (Big sister)

So where are the pics of Bei Bei. Unfortunately the adorable little panda decided he’d rather have a nap. We didn’t even get a glimpse.

I guess this only means one thing – we’ll have to visit again soon. ☺

Stay warm my friends! Winter has awakened.
~TOODLES~
Stacey

School is in Session

I really was looking forward to my baby girl starting her educational journey, but these prices are an atrocity! I know she needs the social development aspect, but honestly, she won’t be learning anything I couldn’t teach her at home. Why is the cost of early education so expensive?

My daughter will be three next month! 😥 She has not spent a day in daycare which means her educational foundation rests with us.

She’ll be off to school before I know it. Actually, if it was up to her she would be getting her backpack and getting on a school bus EVERY day. She has an infatuation with school buses; whenever she sees one she asks can she go to school. I dismiss this yearning by telling her all the things (ABCs, numbers, counting, shapes, etc) she must learn before she can actually go to school. This explanation seems to be working, at least for now.

I am a firm believer that EVERYTHING begins at home. Schools are merely there to aid our children’s development, not create it. Their first teacher should be home…whether that be mom or dad the role will vary in your household. With hubby working, I’ve been her main teacher. I have and will continue to work profusely with my daughter to ensure she’s ready for school when that time comes.

This post by no means is meant to brag nor am I eluding that I have all the answers, because I DON’T. We all have different teaching styles and our kids also learn differently. This post is meant to document this time in my daughter’s life. To share this wonderful moment with you. I am very proud of her accomplishments.

It has NOT been easy. At times I’ve yelled more than I should have, but which mama hasn’t? Today I’m proud to say my daughter has mastered the alphabet; not just by memory, but also by recognition.

She’s taught me so much during this process. I’ve learned what various animal babies are called. For instance, a kangaroo baby is called a joey. I learned about newts , umbrellabirds and wapiti . Do you even know what they are? Wapiti has been a big infatuation for the past few weeks. She constantly asks for us to show her pictures on our phones.

I haven’t used any formal books or curriculum. A lot of what she knows is from educational shows. I know they say too much screen time is bad for kid, but my daughter has been an avid television watcher from birth. Now I focus on educational shows such as Super Why, Wallykazam , Team Uomizoomi, Sesame Place, and Mickey Mouse and I interact with her while she’s watching television. Also, we identify shapes and letters every where we go and everywhere around the house.

My next focus is teaching her the difference between capital letters and lower case letters, number recognition and how to write. If you have any tips that worked for your toddler, please share.

The other night we picked up this workbook from BJs. I can’t wait for her to try it out!

WE’RE SO PROUD OF YOU JAYLA!!
~TOODLES~
Stacey

Unexpected Joy, Island Drive

Two roads diverged in a woods and I, I took the one less traveled, and that has made all the difference” ~Robert Frost

This quote summed up our day perfectly. We couldn’t have asked for a better winter day (Did those words just come out of my mouth?) Well, its true.

It was a picturesque day, majestic blue skies hovered above, the sun shining brightly. We had to make a decision between the short or the long tour drive. We chose the long drive; it was only two extra miles. Besides, its not like we were walking and we had nowhere else to be. We were on vacation 🙂

The long road led us to this sign, when we started down the trails we had no idea what to expect.

It was such a treat! The kids could’ve stayed here all day long. We searched for sea shells and we did everything we could to keep them from jumping in the water. Seeing the joy on my kids faces makes me enjoy being able to spend all my days with them even if sometimes I want to pull my hair out.

Go, adventure on, you never know what awaits…

Happy Saturday!

My fave photo…Our very own beach, per my daughter.
~TOODLES~
Stacey

Hello, Goodbye New York

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Roller coaster

It was a spur of the moment drive to New Jersey and my girls were busy so I figured why not take a ride into the ??? New York.

It was another perfect fall day minus all the clouds that hugged the sky. There was no blue in sight! Was I going to let that damper my spirit? Absolutely not!

However, My spirit was quickly dampened when I called our fave restaurant in the city, Isabella’s, to my dismay, they were closed for a private function. I offered to do a pick up order. I held my breath while the receptionist checked on the feasibility. Zero. Zelch. Nada. The kitchen was CLOSED. (These words echoed in my head like a broken record)

She offered her apologies and suggested a similar restaurant but the damage was done. The heart wanted what the heart wanted or in this case my stomach wanted a crab cake sandwich from Isabella’s and Nothing else would do. Hubby said it best “The nerve of rich people” yes the Idignity!

Upon stepping onto the lawn in Central park I hit another high as I was by the views. Kids running around, friends enjoying lunch on the green while others read a book. New York once again captured your heart.

The kids were getting a little cold, we settled on a place called Tavern on the Green. It was the closest restaurant in sight.

While we waited in the lobby we enjoyed live music. My youngest was feeling the beat.

The menu selection was limiting but the prices were anything but limiting. You could feast on for a cold $195 or .

I had the French Toast because I wanted to see how it compared relative to Pierre’s in Southampton.

The was grandiose. Floor to ceiling glass doors that views of Central park. Little did I know this is synonymous with Central Park.
~TOODLES~
Stacey