Copyright © Mixed Family Life
Design by Dzignine
Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dear Kid Saturday – For the Love of Nursing

It's Saturday! Time for a Dear Daniel letter

Dear Daniel

This morning we had another wrestling sessions over you wanting to nurse and me not letting you. I cant figure out what happened to the self weaning stage you went thru a few months back. We were doing so well. You were down to just night time nursing and some nights didn't even need it. But after the move we're back to you trying to nurse all the time. Hmm.

Please try and understand it's not that mommy doesn't want to comfort you. I know you nurse when your upset about something but we need to find other ways to calm you. I've tried hugging and rocking, singing and dancing ad even as a last resort...bribing with raisins. So far your favorite soothing method is the raisins but they will only last 1.05oz worth. Hmm

So for now we'll negotiate the nursing schedule. I'll allow it at night so I don't have to worry what the neighbors think of a child crying his headoff. Plus I want to get some sleep. But you have to ease up on the reaching in my shirt to grab a boobie when we're outside. Deal?

Love you always,
Your Umma

Our Shout-Out on YouTube

A few days ago I was contacted by Naomi on YouTube. Usually when people find one of my videos they'll send me a msg. The msgs are usually from another mother with a blasian child or from a blasian person. Of course they all want to say how adorable Daniel is. LOL. But this note from Naomi was a bit different since she wanted to make a shoutout video for both me and Daniel.

I wasn't sure what would be in Naomi's shoutout video but after watching them I was stunned. Naomi doesnt know this but just by making that simple video she has done an amazing thing. Through that video she will spread awareness to others about
  • Black women who date Asian men,
  • Families with biracial children or family members who have biracial children
  • Racial tolerance and acceptance
Watching Naomi's shoutout video brought me to tears. I never know how the things I do and blog about touches others. Sometimes I wonder if anyone outside my community even really cares. As I heard Naomi make comment's about blog posts I've written, product reviews I've done and how wonderful is was to see a mother documenting moments in a child life...I am encouraged to keep doing what I do. Thank you Naomi!

Like this article? Subscribe to the RSS feed or for email updates!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Learning How to Parent Alone

Parenting alone is a scary thing. I'll be the first to admit it. Yes, I did choose to be a single parent but that doesn't make it any easier. Parenting is still hard work! Now that Daniel and I are "officially" on our own, after moving away from my family, I'm trying to learn to do things on my own as a parent.

In one it's a wonderful thing to be free to train and raise my son in my own way. No more bickering about what he's eating, wearing, or doing. The first and final say is mine! But in other ways it's a little stressful not to have a little backup when I need it. Now if I need something from the store I have to dress Daniel and take him. Doesn't matter if it's cold, rainy or late night. Also what little free time I use to have is all gone. From morning to night Daniel demands my attention. Now I am his sole distraction and playmate.

The one area I find this being a real problem is when I need to blog. Trying to develop a thought has become a challenge when I constantly have to stop and tend to him in some way. Writing one blog use to take me a few hours now it takes me a whole day. Since I'm already backup in some areas blog-wise you can see how frustrating this is becoming. Some paying blog projects have deadlines and if I cant meet the deadlines then there's no payment. That's not acceptable.

As a single parent one of the scariest things is the fear I cant provide for my son. From food to medical I need to be able to cover these basics. If I cant then panic will set in.

Matter of fact Linda, a blog friend, who's a single mom through adoption, recently wrote in her "Therapy Thursday - Are my Hot Thoughts Killing Me" about having such a panic attack when she couldn't find a medical bill to pay. In that blog Linda outline some ways to focus and reduce the panicking feeling when going through an anxiety attack.

I found that info so helpful. As a single mom I do need "tools" to help me figure things out. What I learned from my own family wont work for us since I want to parent differently. I want to learn how to parent so I can figure out what works best for MY family.

Like this article? Subscribe to the RSS feed or for email updates!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - That Smile

This smile encourages me to be strong when dealing with a hard moment in life

Like this article? Subscribe to the RSS feed or for email updates!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We Are Not a Rarity

Today we made our usual trip to the laundromat. While waiting for the clothes to wash I followed Daniel as he walked around. As we walked past a black women asked "what is he mixed with"? I thought...that's a new spin on the "is that your baby"? question.


As I looked at her cooing at my son I could tell she was just curious. Besides, she also had a baby boy in a stroller. From his curly hair I suspected he might be biracial. So I told her my son is half korean. She replied "I knew he was half asian, my daughter is half Filipino". Once again I was found by another black mother with a blasian child

Being found by mothers with blasian children is happening to me more and more. Usually they find me online through facebook or the blog. I'm always amazed and proud when that happens. For so long I've been the one doing the stalking of other mothers. Now it's time for me to be stalked. LOL.

But even as I meet other mothers I still deal with people thinking my community is a "rarity". When I talk about my community to other people they have a hard time seeing it. I think some people think I talk and write about race as a hobby instead of a real life experience. A few times I've seen comments on my blogs where people say a black women with a half asian child is so "rare, special or unique". Hmm. I don't agree with all of that. Neither my son or I are some sort of mutated species of humanity. I doubt people realize what they're saying or what labeling us "rare" implies.

I recently wrote a blog about how people should take the red pill (hat tip to the Matrix movie) so they can SEE the blasian community because we're not some secret sect. Blasian are everywhere and Im sure part of many people's family tree. Not to mention at the rate that asians and blacks are making blasian babies we're a growing force in the population. It's exciting to see! After chatting with this other mother of a blasian child I came home encouraged. We both prove that blasian families are far from being a rarity.

Like this article? Subscribe to the RSS feed or for email updates!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Phantom Presence of My Baby Daddy

I talk very little about my son's father. Im not trying to hide anything or keep secrets, it's more that there's nothing really to share. Currently he hasn't made any efforts to be part of his son's life. I did email him last xmas a photo of our son with Santa. That was my small steps towards trying to include him. But no return response came back from his side....cyber or real life. So I've accepted that's how it is and I've gone on living. But still his phantom presence lingers

Phantom Baby Daddy

I see him everyday in my son from the way he smiles to the way he scratches his head when he's upset/tired/bored. The head scratching/rubbing is SO his dad's trait. While he mostly has my features there's no denying his fathers asian "mark" on my son. I wondered if as my son grew he would become more "black" looking. I've accepted it aint gonna happen. Except for his legs becoming a darker shade of caramel and his hair becoming just a bit more curly....he still has asian features.

As my son grows he's going to become aware that's he's different looking then mommy...what then? I've been thinking about this since he was born. I've tried to lay a base of examples through books, TV shows and taking him to different culture events. I hope he will understand from a young age that the world is made of many different people and it's a good thing to be from different cultures. But still I worry it might not be enough.

At a recent single mom support group there was a guest speaker, a clinical psychologist who specializes in family therapy and parent/child relationships, who came to speak to the moms about "Connection & Conflict In Separated And Divorced Couples." I went to cover the event for the blog but ended up taking part in the discussion. I shared how lately I've been thinking of once again trying to make contact with my son's dad but the thought of dealing with conflict holds me back.

My son's father and I didn't exactly breakup on good terms. Nor did we have good communications after the breakup. For weeks after over emails, voice mail and txt msg we fought bitterly. But really when it comes to our son what does it matter? Cant we find a successful way to co-parent the child we both wanted so badly!?

I discussed the pros and cons with the moms and psychologist. Having his father in his life would help him see why he looks different and let him know he's part of someone else. But having a father who's struggling with issue of maturity and alcoholism might be damaging. Can he teach my son how to be a man and father from his example?

In the end it's up to me and what I want for my son. What that is...Im still struggling with. But I feel I need to decide soon cause I cant deal with the unresolved haunting presence of my son's father for much longer

Like this article? Subscribe to the RSS feed or for email updates!

My Photo is Part of Cheerios Mosaic of Bloggers

My photo is on a special-edition Honey Nut Cheerios box! How exciting is that.

A few months back I was one of many in the Bloggers In Caring program who participated in Blog It Forward To Fight Hunger campaign. I blogged about how we can Fight Hunger w General Mills and ShopRite. The box will be on sale exclusively in ShopRite stores the week of January 24th for everyone to see!

Wish you could also have your photo on a special-edition Cheerios box? You can if you help raise awareness of the issue of hunger. Read my blog on the Photo Mosaic of Bloggers In Caring Against Hunger and learn how. Then let me know when you'll have your photo on a cereal box =)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dear Kid Saturday – You're a Great Kid

It's Saturday! Time for a Dear Daniel letter

Dear Daniel

You're a great kid! From day one you started out this way. You were such a great baby. You had your own sleeping schedule and hardly stayed awake all night. I didn't have the long months of crying and fussiness other moms spoke about. You ate well and took to breastfeeding with no issue. Later you took to solid foods also without issue. As long as I kept the snacks coming you were happy :)

Now your a toddler and still a great kid! Yes like other toddlers you test your boundaries and love doing all things your not suppose to do. Yes, like other toddlers you can have meltdowns and temper tantrums. But even with all that...your still a great kid. Your meltdowns and tantrums hardly last a few minutes and after you always come to give me a hug and kiss. I learned this is your way of saying sorry mommy.

But the best part so far is your love of travel. :) Like your mommy you love being out and about. Traveling with you is a joy. This might be because you started traveling with me when you were 3 days old. You always get comments on how well behaved you are...and it's true. Like most kids you love running around and sneaking things when your mom isn't looking. But unlike most kids you behave and listen when you need to. Maybe this might change later. But even so, I've learned enough about you to know that you'll still be a great kid! ;)

Love you always,
Your Umma

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - The Joker

My little joker wearing a hat from Wintuk Cirque du Soleil

Like this article? Subscribe to the RSS feed or for email updates!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Moms of Biracial Kids Featured on Twitter Moms

My "Moms of Biracial Kids" group was featured on the Twitter Moms website. I also saw a link to the group in this weeks Twitter Moms newsletter. I can not tell you how proud and excited I was to see all these notices. It was the most unexpected thing to happen but in another way something that happened right on time

It's so in harmony with my inner thoughts. I've been thinking of a few projects that would highlight this group of women. I've started compiling a very nice list of blogging moms with biracial kids. I also start more groups with the same theme on different ning sites. It was amazing to me that no one else offered a place for this group of blogging / tweeting/ social savvy women.

Still, while talking to another mom it became clear that this wasn't enough. Ana of Quiskaeya felt there is a need to find more different way to connect and bring exposure besides just through emails and blog visits. Recently I just freed myself up from some projects and wondered if I should direct my focus into this area. I think I have my answer don't you :)

Like this article? Subscribe to the RSS feed or for email updates!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dear Kid Saturday – Imagination

It's Saturday! Time for a Dear Daniel letter

Dear Daniel

How adorable that your learning to use you imagination more and more each day. I love watching you pretend to talk on the phone using all kinds of different objects. Yes even the tv remote control.

I'm so impressed when you line objects up in rows. I watched as you group first by size, the change your mind and regroup by randomness. I confess I don't exactly understand why you insist on doing it with the shoes. But I've learned to patiently wait until your done and then put them away again.

Still, I cant figure out what's the deal with you wanting to "collect" things in one corner of the room. Is that you imaginary secret treasure area? I dunno but can you please not "collect" things your mommy needs and put them there.

Love you always,
Your Umma

Mom Blogger Freedom of Speech

Today someone call me prejudice, the other day someone call me race crazy, along the way it's been implied I'm racist and a bit more. What starts all of this? It's simple really. I speak....and write.

I wrote a post on how race and freedom of speech are intertwined. It was inspired by drama I had on twitter with a pr person and online "friend". The whole ordeal was very upsetting.

What was all the anger for? Was this really because I asked people to unfollow me? What interest do pr people have in my tweets if it's not about their client or product? It was clear I was separating personal and pr related identities to make things easier for me and the pr people. Was that really something to become offended about or to start a twitter fight over?

Thinking about it...maybe. At the heart of the argument is right. Who has the right to do and say whatever. From their side I didn't have the right to do what I said or asked them. They felt the need to tell me what I should do...

Huh, well no one has the right to tell me how to live online or offline. More so when it comes to MY blog and the things I want to talk about...either you get it or you don't. I don't write for the masses of society. On twitter the pr person, unprofessionally, went on and on threating to tell all her friends about me and my racist views. Never mind she was saying some shady things also. Then she wrote a "mommy blogger" shouldn't act like that. Problem is she didn't realize while some people label me a "mommy blogger" I'm not one really.

I don't make a living or have contract deals because of my blog. My blog is not my business. What my blog my brand and community identity. When I started years ago it was just pr people, no online friends, no one else. I started blogging to give a voice for my community, not to become a famous "mom blogger"

It's interesting that the same online friend who is now sadden by my outspokenness, was the one who encouraged me into the "mom bloggers" world because she liked what I had to say. Seems becoming famous has a way of changing a person

I do not have the fear of losing my brand because I had a disagreement with a pr person or famous online friend. No pr person/famous mom blogger can take away who I am. What I fear losing is my voice, and my ability to be the voice for my community, because I'm trying to be "pr friendly".

There's value in who I am, what I have to say and what I can do. But it's not for everyone nor was it meant to be. It remains to be seem if the "pr media & mom blogging" community will respect my freedom of speech and continue to make a place for me.

Like this article? Subscribe to the RSS feed or for email updates!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Nikki's Interview on Watermelon Sushi World

I was recently interviewed by Yayoi Winfrey on her blog Watermelon Sushi World

Yayoi asked me about
  • why I blog about the blasian community,
  • how do I feel about black women who date interracially
  • what's the most common question asked by mothers with blasian children
Visit her blog and read what I have to say. Make sure to leave a comment! =)
Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Guyanese Pirate

My sister put a head-tie that has the flag of Guyana on Daniel. *sigh* He looks like a Guyanese pirate. BTW, Guyana doesn't have pirates
Monday, January 4, 2010

Writing Challenge 4: The Resolution : Be Selfish

So I recently joined Write-Of-Passage in harmony with my 2010 resolution to be more selfish. This year I want to turn the focus back towards my creative self. I know it sounds bad but really being selfish can be a good thing. Almost life saving if you think about it.

Little by little over the years I learned about being selfish. When people think of the term, idea, action of selfishness it's in a negative way. To withhold in some manner is frown upon. But sometimes you need to withhold, sometimes it's better to keep for yourself, to put your interest first before others. Over the years I learned the hard way that giving without recharging will leave me...empty. If I'm empty then what good am I?

This year I want to live a selfish life. I want to return to putting myself and my interest before others. As a creative person my first aim is to pursue my goals, to give reality to my dreams and hopes. That is the one true purpose of my life. If I use most of myself doing something not related...then I am not living.

Since becoming a mother I've really been struggling with this concept. Motherhood can be considered the most unselfish role a woman can take upon herself. For years your life revolves around the needs of this little person. But for me I also see a way to pursue my goals.

My son has cemented my connection to a community I was only somewhat related to. While I shared the goal for awareness and support for the Asian and Black community, if I wasn't dating an asian man the issues didn't impact me as much.

But now I have a child who is a blend of both worlds. The need for awareness and support is woven into his life. As his mother his needs has become my needs. This year I put our needs first! I will make the promotion of this blog as well as our community blog where I put my energy. I will build a more aware world for my son. I will be selfish so my son can live as a regular person and not a rarity.

Read what other Write-Of-Passage participants had to say

Sunday, January 3, 2010

No, Not While The Baby Sleeps

I had a great idea to have a year in review post on all the fun things Daniel and I did this year. We've done some cool things, meet amazing people and had some funny experiences. I mean it's not every day the local McDonald's tries to giveaway Daniel to some random Asian man because they didn't think I'm his mommy. It's a funny story but my readers have to wait to hear about it because honestly I'm tired. No one told me as my son became more active I'd become more tired. What the heck?!

Over the holiday season I was checking in with my jewelry mentor. She tried getting me to have promotions to catch the holiday sales. I tried explaining to her that I have very little time to get most things done day to day. There was no way I had extra to put into my craft or holiday selling. I got very little support. Her answer for me to do it all? Do it when the baby is sleeping.

I have come to hate this saying and the naive people who say it. It seems so simple don't it? While the baby sleeps run around crossing stuff off your to-do-list as you magically complete tasks. But these people are usually either in their 20's (like my mentor) or have no children (again like me mentor). No other parent would dare utter those dreadful words and here is why

After caring for the demands of a child continuously for hours, when that same child takes a nap, this parent either also wants to nap or sit quietly starting into space. The last thing on my mind is project management of any sort. It's mentally tiring to figure out why he's crying this time, how to stop him from throwing things or why he insists on trying to open the front door. To switch gears from mommy to creative person is not that easy. Sometimes, I struggle just to put words together for this blog. To ask me to make jewelry or to think how to produce sales is a bit much.

I don't know how people think that such a great idea. Don't people think parents would love to do stuff "while the baby sleeps"? If they stopped to think about it, there's a reason why parents are tired and behind on projects even with all the napping our kids do. You see, while baby sleeps is the time for this parent to "breathe" and prepare for when baby wakes.

Racial Remembrance During Holiday Traditions

The time before the holiday is so hectic trying to get everything done so things can be perfect for family and friends. As I listen to friends share how they added elements from their cultural to make their holiday special...I wondered about my mixed race and multi cultured family.

During the 2008 holiday season my son was very young. I didn't celebrate Thanksgiving and beyond the obligatory photos with Santa, I really didn't do anything for Xmas either. In 2009 I started thinking how to add aspects from my son's three cultures so we can celebrate more as a family.

Last year, I still didn't follow the American custom for Thanksgiving. Instead I wanted to start a tradition of awareness about the Native American Indian and Alaska Native during this time. After some research, I found out about the exhibition IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas . I decided to take my son to The National Museum of the American Indian here in NYC to see their current exhibit. While he's young and cant fully understand, it's about starting our own tradition for the holidays. Besides he had fun =)

While changing traditions for Thanksgiving was simple enough, how to tackle Xmas since the whole family wants to be involved and celebrate with Daniel. To their credit my family knows that I try to do my own cultural things with my son. They may not fully understand why, but they'll indulge me as long as they can spend time with Daniel. LOL

For Xmas 2009, we didn't do a lot of the American Xmas things. We had no tree, no xmas decorations, no exchange of presents. But we did have the family gathering, eating, drinking and most important oral story telling. My family shared stories of life back in Guyana, the funny things family members did as children and finally their memories of my son life. I was really touched as each person shared their memory of my son from birth till now.

My son has forever changed the racial makeup of our family tree. My sons children will have African Caribbean, African American and Korean ancestors to remember. Yes, my son's biracial link to his fathers culture makes him unique within my somewhat monoracial family, but his story will always be added to the family tradition of remembrance.