Losing “Z”

Losing _Z_

 

 

Last week was rough.

We had our first foster child leave. It was super sudden and very abrupt.

We had been fostering this little guy since he was 3 months old, since last July.  He was our very first call. When we got the call it was the middle of the night. They give you very little details. They tell you why they are coming into care and the age and sex of the child and ask if you’re willing to take them in.

We had signed up to take newborn to 4 years old. Was I excited our first call was a baby?

Yep!

We got to watch this little guy grow from being so tiny, to walking and getting into everything. He had developed quite a feisty attitude, to which we had grown accustomed to love.

Baby “Z” had these adorable piercing blue eyes that made is turn to mush.

Although we were led to believe that he might not ever be “reunified” with his family, they ended up finding a distant relative to take him in.

After 9 months of being “mom” to two boys, it’s odd now in a way going back to being mom to just 1 child after 9 months.

Needless to say my husband, my son and I were sad to see him go. I never expected for our entire family (aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents) to become so attached to this kid.

We learned so many lessons being first time foster parents, but that’s a post for another time.

Until next time…

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Quarantine Blues

Quarantine Blues

 

Wow!

I haven’t posted in awhile…

Life has been quite a roller coaster, to put it lightly.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I had been diagnosed with Kidney Disease back in 2016. Well, back in 2018 I was at about 25% function.

They had advised that I eliminate salt and lower protein intake which I had been adhering to. However this diet, caused me to start loosing weight. For most this isn’t a problem. But for me since I was, and have always been a smaller woman it started to become a problem.

Then my Kidney function at the beginning of 2019 just started on a downward spiral. Regardless of this diet that was supposed help preserve my Kidney function, it just wasn’t helping at all.

In the Fall of 2019, I was told that I needed to start seeing about a transplant. I was at about 12% Kidney function and that I was headed toward Dialysis.

Now this word “Dialysis” has always scared me. I was so sad and angry! Why was this happening to me?

Most people ask, “How did you get to this point? Like, what caused this?”

I ask the same question. Dr’s have never been able to come to a definitive conclusion. Often times it’s Diabetes that causes Kidney Disease, but I don’t have that thankfully. Sometimes it can be an autoimmune disorder like Lupus. But I don’t have that either.

But long story short, I did have to start Dialysis in February of this year.

This Corona Virus has definitely been something scarier to deal with since I am considered, “Immunocompromised“.

I was having to be cautious anyway just in everyday life, now I’m having to use extra special caution especially since my husband works at a hospital.

I will be glad when this over!

I am by nature an introvert, but my goodness…being in the house with an almost 1-year old and 6-year old all day can wear a nerve sis.

I do pray all of my readers out there are safe and doing well at home.

Are y’all coping ok during the quarantine? If you have any tips about how to get through this, let me know in the comments.

Until next time…

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Upcoming Works: The Fall 2019 Edition

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Hey what’s going on?

It’s me again, Nicole Alicia coming to you from my living room, writing this blog this afternoon. I am trying to squeeze in a little post before I have to rush off to do my hair (so I don’t look to crazy for my friends baby shower tomorrow) and before I have to run and get my kids from daycare/school.

I just wanted to do a quick post about what I’m working on. Maybe for verification to myself that I am actually “getting back to the writing” as I say, and partially to update you, my lovely readers who continue to hang in there with me and read my ish (I really appreciate you ALL).

I had this idea come to me over a year and half ago that I started working on, but I got stuck and then health problems slipped in, making the decision to grow our family through fostering, life and yada yada yada.

I’m obsessed with vintage culture as many of you know I have two vintage shops online because of my obsession Dear Alice Co. and Blu-83 Vintage.,<———SHAMELESS PLUG 🙂

Because If I decided to keep all the cool stuff I find, my husband will kick me out LOL 🙂 Just joking, but I do have a slight vintage collecting problem, so I thought why not share, and sell some of the stuff I find right?

But in addition to the whole “vintage thing”, I love black history.

I love hearing stories from the elders on how life used to be or how things were when they were young. I also started researching my families ancestry Summer of 2018. Now on my mother’s mother’s side my Grandma Alice, there’s a lot of mystery and also not that many elders left to get information from, but it was interesting what I found out.

Also surrounding that, I specifically love hearing about Kansas City and how it was “back in the day”.

kcvintage

So, I decided to run with these two topics and began to write what is most of our grandparents story. How during the “Great Migration” if you will, during the late 1930’s and 40’s our Great-Grandparents and Grandparents  came from the South to the “Big City” to start a life.

I don’t of course want to give it all away, but I think you get where I’m going.

P.S. This will be a novel….not sure if it will be my second or third 😉

A lot of the time, we don’t want to look back. But if you look close enough you can see that really like the Bible and my Daddy say, “There’s nothing new under the sun”.

Until next time….

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Becoming Foster Mom

Today I am writing to you a little under the weather…

The hard part about being a mom is you rarely get days off. Like both of the kids are sick right now, and I am too. My husband had to go to work today, so guess who’s left to care for the kids?

Yep, you guessed it…ME!

I have been trying to get back to blogging… again.

This Summer has been interesting, to say the least. I’ll be updating you guys on some of the stuff I’ve been struggling with and some of the good things that happened this Summer.

My plate has been FULL and there’s so much to share.

But let’s jump into the topic for today…

My Husband and I decided earlier this year that we wanted to definitely go ahead and do the training and get licensed to be a Foster Family. So finally in July, we got a call for a baby boy who was 3 months old. We had signed up to foster newborns thru 4 years old, so this was perfect.

We got the call at midnight literally and I think I had just fallen asleep good. We had tried to be prepared up until this point with clothing and such, but my husband had to run to Walmart for diapers and formula.

They said they would be there to drop off baby boy in about an hour and a half. We had alot of clothing still from our son, crib, bassinet, toys, bouncer, play pen and swing. So we pulled all of what we had been storing, out of our attic frantically awaiting for his arrival.

When he arrived, he was just in a diaper strapped in a car seat. They had a hospital bag of things they tried to gather up at DCFS, which amounted to a couple of onesies and sample bottles of formula and a small package of diapers. The social worker had me sign papers and that was it.

So here me and this baby are sitting here looking at each other.

As a mom of a 5 year old, I almost had forgotten how small 3 month old babies are. I looked at him and he looked pretty healthy other than a rash under his neck. He gave me about 30 seconds before he began to cry.

I figured he was hungry so I fixed that sample bottle of formula and he drank that. Then 10 minutes later, baby boy starts waling again. So I give him another sample bottle of formula and he drank that.

Around 3am, we finally got him to settle down and we put him in the bassinet to sleep. I think we both slept until around 9am. Both of us had a loooonnng night. Baby boy sleeps through the night most nights, so we haven’t been tooo exhausted (thank God for my husband who gets up with Baby boy at 1am and 3am for feedings). But we have had our days!

For me going from just a 5 year old, to a 5 year old and a baby has been quite a learning experience. It’s sort of like being a new parent all of over again. Aside from becoming even busier, learning baby boy’s habits, his likes and dislikes, court dates, visitation, doctor visits things have been going amazingly well.

Although it’s been 5 years since I’ve cared for a baby full-time, it’s really neat how those motherly instinct kick in without hesitation.

Baby boy is almost 5 months and is almost crawling. We can’t believe how much he’s growing just in this short amount of time!

Becoming a Foster Mom has definitely been rewarding and yet has tugged heavily on heart strings. I am only two months in, but what an experience this has been so far.

Next time I’ll share about the day I went from 1 child to 3 kids within 24 hours,

Until then, be blessed…

“When They See Us”: From a Young Black Mother’s Prospective

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It’s taken me awhile to process, digest and write about “When They See Us” the Netflix film from director Ava Duvernay.

As a African-American mother to an African-American little boy, I have worried about his safety growing up since he was in my belly. I remember watching the Trayvon Martin case when I was pregnant with him, and feeling sick because of the outcome of the trial. I’ve witnessed time and time again the injustice of young black men in the country and it is truly horrible as a parent, as a mother to watch.

When the Central Park 5 or shall I say the “Exonerated Five”, case initially started back in April 1989, I was only 4 years old so I don’t remember it.

When I saw the trailer awhile back this year, I was intrigued on what this was about because I had never heard of this case or these young men before. However, I knew if Ms. Duvernay was shining a light on this, it must be good.

As a mother of a son, I believe was so hard to stomach because it was a matter that tugged at you heart. You really felt for these young men as soon as they were arrested and as a mother, you couldn’t help but put yourself in these boys mother’s shoes.

I only got 30 minutes into the first part and I became breathless.

At this point I, had not idea there were 3 more parts to this. I had to take a break. I felt helpless myself. Like what if my son, was detained by the police wrongfully and questioned and I had no idea about it?

They fact that these young men were randomly picked up, accused falsely, interrogated with out parental consent and charged with a crime unjustly just brought me to tears. They were so helpless, and it was such a witch hunt.

As a mom I think about when my son grows up. My husband has had conversations with me about what he was told as a young black man and so has my father. It makes me sick that someone could just snatch away these young men’s childhoods like that. The whole thing just seemed like an unimaginable nightmare, but it happened.

The fact that it took so long for justice to be served and these men had to endure six to thirteen years imprisoned is mind-boggling.

Although after the third part, my head was spinning, something told me to keep watching.

I knew there had to be some kind of justice in this. Some kind of happy ending this time. But, I know for many young men that are arrested falsely like Kalief Browder, the story doesn’t always end so happily.

Lastly, the title…”When They See Us” is so powerful. Because time and time again, it has been proven when they see a young black male, they see a threat. A Criminal. A Thug. I believe this was the perfect title for this movie.

After I watched, I told my husband “you gotta see this”. My husband, A black man, said it just hit to close to home for him. Although he has never been arrested or detained he just couldn’t find cause to watch just yet. He said it would be like, “watching a real-life horror story”. I get that babe, because it was.

Are you a mom? Did you see, “When They See Us”? What did you think? Leave a comment below.

Until next time…

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The Realest Post I Ever Wrote

I'm thinking of you

Life has been a busy blur these last 8 months. My son started school last Fall, my Dad started having health issues in October leaving my parents heavily dependent on me for transportation needs. Negative comments on my shop pages almost prompted me to quit selling Vintage all together (which is something I love) and the list of negative things just goes on and on.

Through all of this, I still managed to enjoy life and stay productive though.

Honestly, writing had been on the back burner you guys. 2019 has been interesting, to say the least.

Not writing however, always hurts me. It’s been a refreshing outlet for me for so long.  When I don’t do it, t’s literally like holding my breath underwater. Either I come up for air or risk blacking out and drowning.

My husband actually reminded me last week that I had sent him a finished manuscript for a Novel that I completed way back in 2016. I had totally forgotten that I actually have finished manuscripts just waiting to be edited and published. Crazy right?

But you know when life gets hectic and messy mess, it can be stifling to ones creativity.

Being a writer is hard!

Sometimes the ideas don’t flow like water out of the faucet. Sometimes you don’t write everyday. Heck, in my case sometimes you don’t write for weeks!

Writing does require a certain amount of focus.

Focus is what I have severely lacked due to all this other stuff going on in life.

It’s time for me to stop holding my breath though. Nobody wants to feel like they’re drowning in life itself.

I am hoping with the Summer months coming up I can get back to it. With me not having to utilize every moment of my 6 hours that I usually have from the time I dropped off Jr. at school, to the time I picked him up to actually relax and get some writing in.

Are you guys excited about Summer? I am for other reasons as well. I’ll share some next post.

Until next time…

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Book Review: Colored People-A Memoir By Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Book Review_ Colored People -A Memoir By Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

 

One Sunday I met with my cousin for lunch at D’Bronx Pizza down on 39th Street in Kansas City, Missouri. After we said our goodbyes, I was anxious to get across the street to one of my favorite bookstores in the city, Prosperos. I think my husband and I discovered this little spot, oh probably when we were dating about 12 or years ago. It’s a quaint little bookstore with a variety of books and a basement with books as well (side note: they have Plexiglass on the first level where you can see the basement through the floor. I’m not sure why that’s cool, but I like it).

Anyways, I decided to venture into the basement where I discovered a section for Autobiographies. I personally love reading about other peoples lives, so this is a section I usually frequent in the library or bookstore. Plus, I had just finished Michelle Obama’s book, “Becoming” the month before and was still in the mode of learning about others.

While browsing this book stuck out, “Colored People”. I thought to myself, what an odd title. ‘Cause in 2019, we wouldn’t dare use that term to describe ourselves. As long as I’ve been alive we have referred to ourselves as “Black” or “African-American”, maybe even
“People of Color”. Any Black or other wouldn’t dare use that term, unless they were looking to get knocked out, right? Then I saw who it was by and I got it. Immediately, I decided that was my read for the month.

I have watched many episode of “Finding Your Roots” hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on PBS. It is show that actually prompted me to do some of my own research on my mother’s mom’s side of the family, which I didn’t know too much about (side note: this is my grandma Alice, who if you read this blog you know I talk about her quite often and I named one of my vintage shops after).

It’s quite interesting to find out where your family comes from and your heritage. In addition to that, I enjoy reading about, as well as, learning about black history and how things were “back in the day”. I guess that may have something to do with what I do for a living with vintage stuff. It’s just intriguing!

The book is a memoir about Mr. Gates’ life, a vivid walk down memory lane and a brief telling of how blacks have went from being called the N-word, to “Colored”, to “African-American”, to “Black”. It’s also a tale of how racism existed even in this small town and how color-ism existed in his own family with the Coleman’s (his mom’s side of the family) and the Gates’ (his dad’s side).

Mr. Gates grew up in the mill town of Piedmont, West Virginia during the 50’s and 60’s. Obviously a time of segregation. He recounts a relationship with a white girl he had liked since elementary school and how dangerous it was to be seen together when they started dating even in the early 70’s. His tales of his mother pressing hair,  and the double meaning of what the “kitchen” is for black folks. For me the way that Gates, Jr. tells these stories I would liken to the way my Dad tells stories.

His descriptions of different uncles and aunts, local neighbors and town people are so vivid you can almost see the person. Descriptions of Family Reunions, Sunday Dinners, how to make an old school du-rag out of pantyhose, faith and (“gaw-duh”) as well as, learning about taboo subjects like sex from your Barber were some of the highlight of his upbringing.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. It made me laugh and think. It was a good description of small town fun and how black families were and still are in many aspects. It was definitely relate-able for me.

Great read.

To check out what I’m currently reading, follow me @nicolealicia on Good Reads!

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Mommy Struggles: Living Up To Our Mother’s Expectations

Mommy Struggles_ Living Up To Our Mother's Expectations

My house is a mess.

It seems that I clean up one room and the next gets messy. Then magically, while the house is getting dirty, a mountainous pile of laundry has appeared out of thin air.

It’s a never ending battle!

Yet, week after week, while still working on my shops Blu-83 Vintage and Dear Alice Company , I some how manage to tidy up and have a functional home.

Many times when my mom decides to come over, isn’t up to her standards? I get the “you just let dishes pile up like this?” or the infamous “why are all these clothes just piled up and not hung up?”

While washing dishes the other day, I began to contemplate as I was overwhelmed by the amount of dishes and mess in our kitchen. Do you ever stop to think, “How on earth did my mother do all this?”

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My mom was not a stay-at-home mom my entire childhood, but worked off and on outside the home. Our house was almost always clean. Everything had a place, clothes were folded and put away and our sink hardly ever over flowed with dishes.

Then I took it back one more step, my Grandma Alice, my mom’s mom…her house was never ever dirty (well until she had 4 grand-kids…my cousins messed it up for me LOL). My mom has always told me stories of how my grandma kept a clean home, cooked and worked as a nurse with 3 kids and without the conveniences of today. (I don’t know about y’all but my calendar on my phone is a lifesaver and pick-up grocery service too. I don’t think they had that in the 60’s)

They didn’t have a dishwasher, nor did my grandfather ever help out (because that was “women’s work” to him).

Sometimes I can’t help, but wonder am I doing this right? Could I be doing more? I know I strive to keep a clean home, but let’s be honest ladies….it’s down right exhausting sometimes!

Are there any mom’s out there who can relate?

 

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