Wednesday, December 23, 2015

THE Amaya Papaya Turns 10

I always knew I would have a daughter so the day we found out that Amaya was a girl I wasn't surprised. When I was younger I saved my Barbie doll house and a few other childhood toys in anticipation for her to play with them one day. When my best friend passed away at 14 I remember thinking at her funeral that one day her spirit would live on through a daughter I would have.  It's no wonder that Amaya, like Deolonda, was born in December and that her spirit is so free. When she came into this world it was almost as if she knew the world needed her. My water broke at home, she moved herself into position, my labor was only 6 hours and she came out of utero after only two pushes in less than 15 minutes,  barely giving me any pain. I've never been able to get pregnant again. She is a destiny fulfilled. 

Amaya means: night rain. Her middle name means: gift of God. Her astrological sign is a Capricorn. We took inspiration to formulate her name from Maya Angelou who is one of my greatest inspirations. She is every bit of who she is destined to be already. 

I am honored to be Amaya's mom. To be in her presence is a blessings. I am grateful to God that he chose Thomas and I to be her parents. Their was no greater combination of people than us to create such a beautiful being and we take our jobs as parents very seriously to ensure that she becomes the woman that this world needs. 
The team exist to support our most important player. I am happy that we are conscious of our responsibility as parents to work together to ensure that her soul is nourished by us both as a unit (mother and father). Birth days are indeed a day of reflection as well as a celebration for the parents as they are for the child. 

Like in this picture, WE will always have her back. WE will always support her dreams. WE will always work towards helping her to fulfill her destiny. 

Happy Birth Day to my greatest achievement. THE Amaya Papaya!
She is officially a tween....may the force be with us and lawd have mercy! 

THE #amayapapaya TURNS 10

Monday, December 14, 2015

Bathroom Diaries - part 1

Where do you run to and hide when you come home? For me it's my bathroom. I admit it, sometimes I don't even need to relieve myself it's just a nice quiet place away from everyone and everything. Today as I was sitting on my throne I noticed a tiara waiting for me on the shelf. It dawned on me then that I was in the right place, doing the right thing, at the right time on my throne. Haha. I placed that tiara on my head and continued my facebooking while proclaiming my queendom to my social media world. All hail Queen Amaya Papaya's Mom! May she live long and have many breaks on her throne. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Be a friend

Have you ever heard someone say that they do more than the average person in a day? I used to say that all of the time and then I realized how selfish of a thought that was. How do I know what other people do? We are all working hard in our own personal lives doing whatever we do.  Every task completed is a great one. No task is bigger than the other.  We all do a lot. Not everyone you encounter is fighting a "battle" while doing those task, but some are. You never know who may be hiding unhappiness behind a smile or pain behind what appears as strength. Those people that you envy or look up to may be the very ones that need you to hold their hand so they can take another step. 

Have you ever had someone reach out to you only for you to turn your back or laugh because you didn't understand the explanation of their grasp? There are people that are hurting and you don't even know it. For some reason they choose you as a friend to lean on.  Do you care? Are the feelings of a stranger to much of a burden for you to bare? Are the feelings of a friend to "dramatic" or heavy for you to hold?  How are we to "be the change" when we don't even care to figure out what needs to be changed?  A simply gesture of love can mean so much. Take a moment to listen, to reach back or to understand. 

I'm often seen as a jovial free spirit. Happiness seems to Ooooz from my poors as some observers have put it. I refer to myself as an optimist always trying to see the best in everything. I'm a helper, a giver and a lover.   I'm often times a silent sufferer.  I don't often talk about or share my burdens with anyone in the human flesh.  Sometimes ️However, it's nice to have someone to lean on. I appreciate the true friends, to true soul holders. Those that listen and embrace even when they don't realize they are. Those that have my back how they say they will when I need them. Those receptive lovers, the prayer warriors, the girlfriends and the family (blood or not). I appreciate you. A Lot.  

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Our past shapes our future. There are things worth holding onto and things that need to be let go of. Be sure when letting go that it's not something of value less you'll regret it years later and may never be able to get it back or at the least if you do it may not be in the same condition.

I loved this video when it would air in the middle of my morning programing as a kid. It is such a warm memory of the simplicity of the past. It reminds me that no matter how much things change that a memory can instantly transfer you back to that same warm place if just for a moment.

I cherish memories. Even the ones that hurt. I learn daily to let go, but to never forget. Each memory shapes who I am as a person. Yes, live for today but don't forget the past for it defines every moment of the present....even a minute ago.

I am ever grateful for the past. The Throw Back Thursday's of everyday.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Be Inspired

You want to be inspired to be your greatest self?

This is one of greatest documentaries about some of the most influential black people in our community.  Take an hour out of your life to watch it whether you black, white, purple, red or blue.  I remember watching this a few years ago and feeling like I could do and be anything just like one of them.  A quote that I am reminded of and try to live by daily is one by Keenan Ivory Wayans. In a conversation with his father while discussing wether or not he'd complete his engineering degree instead of pursuing comedy.........
"If I have a cushion that I know I can fall on, I'll allow myself to fall, but if I know there's nothing but hard concrete, I'm gonna do my best to stay standing"

I am grateful for those great people that came before me and that influence me to be my best self.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

History on my mind

I woke up this morning with history on my mind. If you don't know your history it's hard to understand the present.  History has always been my favorite subject.  Learning about the past gives you knowledge of self and a greater understanding of the world.  Talk to your elders, figure out how you shape history yourself and tell those younger than you the stories of old.
In the song strange fruit by Billie Holiday she sings about the lynchings of our black men during her time.  Recently,  Jill Scott was given the task to do it again in relation to current happenings of our day.  Listen to both renditions for yourself and understand. Be awake and know history. If you pray, pray that the history we create today creates peace, if you hope, hope for a better day for our children and their children.  If you wish, wish for privilege for all and not just those that were born with it.

I am thankful for history.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Running on E

Hello all. I'm back! I've taken a little break from my full social media sharing as I did not know how to express my feelings regarding the last few weeks.  For months I've been back and forth to the Dr. trying to figure out why I've not been feeling well.  I've had LOTS of blood drawn and have been poked in places that I never want to have poked again.  Last week I got a call from my Dr's. office who delivered some great news. The most recent test that they did came back normal! Awesome.  I'm relieved.  Now can I get back to my normally scheduled life? Not so fast! For the past year I've slowly gone from the girl that ran a 1/2 marathon to a girl that is afraid to run a block from home in fear of passing out.  A new normal is called for.  My body is talking to me and I need to listen.

Over the past few years I've not taken care of myself as I should.  Sound familiar?  Moms, why do we do this to ourselves?  I've allowed stress to get the best of me. When I should have said no, I smiled and said yes not knowing that saying yes so much would cause my health to slowly decline.  I've learned that sugars do not agree with my body, so the weekend binge of cupcakes while I'm working birthday parties are not a smart idea for me. Not eating enough, yep……….not eating enough causes my blood sugar to have crazy internal disco parties.  And for once my husband is right (joking), not drinking enough water has caused me on several occasions to be dehydrated, which I'm sure disguised itself as some other phantom of illness that I felt I had to endure.

Over the past few months I've made some changes to my diet, I've started a regimen of medication and vitamins that make me feel a heck of a lot better and I'm going to bed way earlier than I did in the past. Fibroids, cyst, anemia and no gall bladder are my frienenemies. As of right now we will need to live cohesively with one another. I will either complain or take care of us and move forward.  I have been stuck in this medical mystery mess for the past year.   I need to listen to what my body is telling me and stop trying to "figure out" what the deal is.  I've started strength training over the past few weeks and I'll begin running (ok…walking) again this week.   I've had to end a few friendships and limit my level of involvement in some organizations I belong to.   Running on E is no longer acceptable. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


    So, I admit it, I'm a slacker. I let the toilet paper run out at AP for the 2nd time in the past two months. I'm also out of socks for my customers to purchase. I have no black ink in my printer, so printing  waivers or a sign in sheet today for that matter was out of the question. 

     The reason for this madness: I'm lazy. I barely have time to tie my own shoes.....actually I don't tie my shoes, I just slide my feet into the shoe and tuck the excess string. I'm tired. I've not had much time off from work. Or maybe. There are some crazy health issues that have been plaguing me for the past 5 months now that prevent me from doing everything I used to do so quickly. Grrrrrr. And oh yeah, I'm hiring again.  

   Whatever the reason, today I discovered how easy ordering supplies online is. Toilet paper and ink should be in tomorrow via a truck! I find peace in knowing that I am organized when in comes to the important stuff like remembering my customers names, keeping track of birthday parties, being super OCD in planning my schedule months in advance and I sanitize my place like a F-ing lunatic. Did I mention, my kid got all A's on her report card? I must be doing a little something right. 


The not so perfect business owner. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Never Drop Your Kids Off at School with Pajamas On!

For years Amaya has begged me not to drop her off at school while wearing my pajamas. For years my grandmother always told me never to go out of the house not wearing matching underwear or without a bra. My mother always warned against not doing my hair before going out. Today I avoided the request and advice of all three, and man did it backfire on me! I had just pulled into the drop off circle at Amaya's school when my car totally cut off. I tried to restart the car but I got nothing! So, there I was in my non working car, with my pajamas on, no bra and bed head in the middle of the car drop off line.  Amaya, with her helpful self, springs into action and ask if she can go get help. I reluctantly say yes and look into mirror to try to fix my Afro as she is on her mission to find help.  Did I mention that I'm a PTA mom and room parent at the school?
Help arrives. I'm happy, yet want to stick my head back in my car to hide. Luckily, I did brush my teeth before I decided to hop into the car. I am so thankful for the Vice Principal and the P.E Teacher for helping to move my car. I hope they don't remember the image of me this morning looking as if I had just rolled out of bed. Well......anyhow. Have I learned my lesson?  I think so. Only time will tell.  Most mornings it's just easier to get her ready and come back home to shower, eat and dress for the day.  All I know is that for now I'll take the extra five minutes to make myself presentable.......just in case! 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Vision Board Planning for the New Year

When I was a counselor one of the coolest things I did with my girls was to have them create vision boards.  A vision board is a really simple project that helps you to reflect on goals you may have or things you may want to manifest in life.  When I was in the preparation phase for Amaya Papaya I created a huge double sided vision board.  The board helped me to organize my ideas about various play areas and the type of toys I wanted to have at my facility. This really helped me in establishing my vision for Amaya Papaya as a creative play space called a playlounge that mostly offered kid powered & classic toys.

Creating a vision board is simple and only requires a few simple items that you most likely have sitting around your home. Gather the items below, set your intention and start creating!

Materials needed
Blank piece of card stock or poster board (8x10 or larger)
Various Magazines

To create a vision board follow these simple steps
1.) Set your intention, think about your goals and the things you want to manifest in your life. 

2.) Cut out pictures and words from magazines that related to your goals or things that you want to manifest in your life.

3.) Organize the cut outs how you would like to have them on your board.

4.) Glue the cut outs to your board

Putting your vision board to work

Once your board is created you can share it with your friends or keep it to yourself.   Ideas of sharing with friends are posting a photo of your board to social media and explaining your board in a post.  You can meet up with a friend or friends to discuss your goals and intentions. Talking about your goals can often times be therapeutic and help keep you accountable.  If you should decide to keep your board to yourself,  keep it in a place where you can see it and reflect on it often. The more you are reminded of your goals and have them organized the better it is to achieve them.  You can add items to your board over time if you would like or create a new board for various aspects of your life.

Today through next Friday at Amaya Papaya I will invite parents to create a vision board for 2015.  If you are in the area stop by to let the kids play and create a vision board for yourself.  If playtime at Amaya Papaya is not a part of your plans next week, set your intentions and create one for yourself at home! I plan to create a series of boards this week. My intention is to create a family board, personal board and business board. There will be some overlap as everything I do as a mom, wife and business owner make up my whole self and one would not be complete without the other.  Happy new year and happy vision board creating!