Friday, August 10, 2012

Natural Hair Chronicles - Hair Loss Recovery

During pregnancy, like most women, my hair grew and thicken over the many months.  Supported by a healthy diet and pre-natal vitamins, my hair is always healthiest during pregnancy.

With the many benefits of pregnancy and childbirth, there are of course some things that aren't so great.  One of these things is the post-partum hair shedding.  I won't get into all the science and medical jargon in explaining the why and the how this happens.  

I'll just say my edges went from this in March...

to this by the end of May.

Typically, the natural shedding process doesn't begin until 2-3 months after giving birth, as your hormones start getting back to normal levels.  However, nursing staved off the process for me for a few weeks.

But when it did begin, it was relentless in the dramatic effect it had on my edges.  I have to say that with all the other necessary distractions and shift in focus that comes with being a mother and adding another child to our family, the change in my hair seemed to happen overnight.  I did notice a significant increase in the number of strands that collected in my comb and my fingers as I cared for my hair, but the final results, I never saw coming.

So now what?...

I doubled down on my hair care regimen.

First, I needed to directly address the issue of my edges.  After some research, I purchased a product recommended by Felicia of Loving Your Hair with Natural Care

*Organic Root Stimulator's Fertilizing Serum Herbal Scalp Formula

(This particular product is for natural hair textures, braids, and weaves.  
The Fertilizing Temple Balm is for relaxed, blow-dried, or pressed hair.)
Initially (first 2 weeks), I used the fertilizing serum along my edges twice a day.  After this initial period, I made sure to include the serum treatment in my standard hair regimen at least twice a week before bedtime.

In addition to my standard regimen, I upped my deep conditioning sessions from once a month to twice a month. Since my time is limited, I've forgone making my own conditioning mix and now using the Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque, as well as the shampoo and conditioner in the product line.  I've used these products in the past when I was "newly natural" and got great results.  


My hair steamer is still packed away since we just moved into our new home in June. But I stumbled upon the Hair Therapy Wrap I got a couple years ago.  It's the perfect fit for my demanding schedule.  I can continue multitasking and getting things done while treating my hair.  The results don't quite equal that as compared to steaming my hair, but something is better than nothing.

With my hair separated into six sections (2 front, 2 middle, 2 back), I saturate my hair with the Deep Treatment Masque, detangle each section with a wide-tooth comb and modified Denman brush, and then twist each section. 

I heat the head wrap up in the microwave for 2 minutes and put on a plastic cap before securing the wrap on my head.

I sport my fancy head gear for 45 minutes to an hour.  Hop in the shower. Shampoo, condition, and rinse each section. With my hair still damp, I apply my favorite leave-in conditioner and seal with a bit of my shea butter/coconut oil mix.

If I feel like it, a couple hours before bed, I set my hair in twists in preparation for a fresh twistout in the morning.

This has been my routine over the past six weeks and my hair has responded and rebounded quickly.  Check out the difference in my edges...

I'm so pleased with the results.  I'll provide another update as my hairline recovers.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Single Mommy Me

Okay, FML, I'm 32 years old, single, got two baby daddies and …. *sigh*

Yeah, I could have started this post off like, “I am the proud mother of two beautiful boys,”
but I know that most of us “social media” addicts are attracted to the so called “ratchetness” of situations... lol.

I have spent many nights wondering how in the world was this life as a super single mommy was going to work out for me. I haven't had time to even comb my hair today, let alone think about another man, another relationship, another somebody to cook for, entertain, and share space and time with every day. But the fact is, it's only human nature to think about these things.

Sometimes I have ask myself -

Will another man want a woman with my cargo? (I refuse to call my babies “baggage!”)

How will I deal with my sons’ fathers and the new man in my life meeting?

Can I balance being a mommy and dating someone new?

Will I find someone who will accept my sons equally?

Will any man ever be good enough for my sons?

Is marriage for me, at this point in my life?

Can I even trust another man to be in our lives?

Well, today I've decided to get over it! Though those questions will forever be in the back of my mind, I've found that dwelling on them only feeds the fear of change. I made the conscience decision to choose my happiness and the welfare of my sons over being foolishly in love with the idea of being in a relationship. 

I think I struggle so much with the notion of being “alone” because of my love and want for the “family life.” I have always had my parents plus some. The fact is that underneath all this "Ya Za-ism" is a nurturing and domestic homebody.

In the case of my sons’ fathers, I want to live out my days without the drama that comes with “forcing” a man to be a Man. That good ole baby mama/baby daddy drama is not in my blood.  I keep the stresses as low as possible by losing all expectations of them; so whatever, if ever, and whenever they do anything remotely close to what they should do, I will be amazed.

Not that either of them are bad guys, but some good people are just not meant to be together. I won't waste any energy (at least not in this post) putting them on “blast,” complaining or blaming. I look at them as half of the reason I am blessed with the gorgeous faces I get to look at daily.

So here’s to being single, strong, resilient, happy, open to change, and most of all the best mother that I can be… Here’s to Self-Love!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Of course, one of our favorite things to do together is shop. This is especially the case when we're on the hunt for accessories.

Accessory shopping is so different from apparel shopping. It's always fun and exciting. No need for a dressing room to haul items to and fro. There's no frustration and anxiety because everything fits. Plus, with the right accessories, any outfit can be transformed, enhanced, and revitalized.

Another important thing for us as working mothers on a budget is controlling cost on non-essential items. And no matter how essential and necessarily needed a pair of earrings or the set of rainbow bangles may seem, they are not a necessity.

So, imagine our excitement when I entered the doors of Charming Charlie. This store specializes in nothing but accessories at affordable prices. Can I say accessories galore!!! Bracelets, rings, necklaces, oh my... Scarves, handbags, shoes, I think I'm gonna die.

Everything is organized according to color.  Everything blue is here. Everything green is there.  There's red... there's pink... there's hot pink.  I found myself spinning in a circle, not knowing where to start.  Since I had not planned or budgeted for accessory purchases this month, I stopped and took a step back (Remember, responsibility and accountability).  I decided to only get one item each for myself, Mom, and Ya from the sales/clearance section. Just as a sample of what this place has to offer. Something that fit all of our different styles.  How much? Let's just saying I got change back from a $20!!!

Can't wait to go back with Mom and Ya!

Butterfly hoop earrings to add to my Butterfly Collection

Earrings and necklace set - colorful and classy for Mom

Fabric flower earrings to accentuate my sister's trendy style

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Contributors' Pages





Ya Za


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

As an education professional, it is exciting for me to discover new ways to integrate technology into my children's learning and development.  The iPad is a wonderful device and platform to enhance teaching and learning in many ways.

Granted, there are some apps that don't live up to my standards in regards to content, interactiveness, learning outcomes, and graphic design.  However, there are several noteworthy apps that provide a fun and engaging play-to-learn experience for my toddler. 

These apps provide a wealth of entertainment and learning opportunities with each activity.  These activities support her language development and enhance her memory and problem solving skills. We enjoy taking time to discover new apps, playing new games, and learning new things.  

(Click on the app name to be taken to the App Store page for each app.)

Curious George at the Zoo for iPad

#1 Education App! (April 2012)

Interactive Alphabet - ABC Flash Cards
Voted Best iPad Kids App of the Year 2010 at iLounge

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox

The #1 Preschool Game in the App Store

PBS Kids Video

She can watch her favorite episodes of Caillou via this safe, child-friendly viewing experience.  No need to worry about stumbling on altered videos with questionable content on YouTube.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally App-isode

This is an interactive Mickey Mouse Clubhouse full-length episode.  Completely with interactive activities (counting, problem solving, shapes, and memory skills).  And the app is FREE!!!

Easy Bake Treats

All the fun of baking your favorite treats without the mess and clean up!!!

Each of these apps offer an array of activities from finger painting to puzzles to sing-along songs from the three movies.  

Highlights of each app include:

Toy Story

Sound effects and character voices 
Clips from the original motion picture throughout the read-along experience

 Toy Story 2

Visual page index allows her to jump to her favorite part of the story

Toy Story 3

Record my voice reading the story and hear it read back as narration.  Can record her voice too! 
View select pages in 3D with touch-to-play exploration (required 3D glasses are free and available at Disney stores in the U.S. and Canada)

    With ease and confidence, she can maneuver from app to app without the need for constant over-the-shoulder supervision.  Allowing a small window of time for me to attend to household tasks, tend to her sister, or just do nothing...

    But I'm afraid it won't be long before she will have to put the sharing lessons in action.  Her five-month old sister is already curiously engaged and reaching for the iPad and iPhone.

    Next... favorite apps for infants!  Yes, they do exist.