Shit just got real! I said Yaassss

It’s been one week since I got engaged and it feels exactly how I thought it would feel-simply amazing. I’ve been smiling from ear to ear this whole week. Just happy, gloating and drunk in love.

I’ve literally been playing Beyoncé’s “Love On Top” in my head on repeat. Hitting the high notes and everything. LOL. I’m making sure it gets played at my wedding (it’s never to soon to start planning) because I’m obsessed with it right now.

The lyrics hit different when you know exactly what Beyoncé means when she says finally you put my love on top. Man oh man, like this post if you understand.

This love shit is work. It’s easy to be single and selfish. To be in a relationship is hard work but to be able to depend on someone is the best feeling in the world. A lot of times you are all you got so to find someone you can be unapologetically you with to go through life with is a game changer.

To find someone that is funny, patient, forgiving, loving, a good father and a provider is a blessing.

To form a bond and a connection with someone was hard because I had so many walls up because of my upbringing. I remember in the beginning I used to compare my fiancé to my grandfather who was one of one. He was in my eyes the greatest man in the world.

My grandfather had so many good qualities that I looked for in a man and I never thought anyone was good enough. Nobody could fill his shoes or ever compare until my grandma shared some stories with me and humanized him.

I realized that I spent all this time fantasizing about this perfect love story that doesn’t exists. You can be a person with the greatest morals and values and someone will still think you ain’t shit. You could bend over backwards for someone and they still won’t think you are enough.

What I’ve learned is that pace is important. If someone is not ready to commit believe them. Don’t waste your time changing their mind because they will never see value in you if they don’t want to. Let go and don’t let them drag you down.

Focus on finding your own self happiness and if a man comes along he won’t disrupt your life. That way if things go south the same way he came is the same way he’ll leave empty handed.

And most importantly, love people who love you back. Don’t beg anyone for attention, affection, or respect. Don’t let loneliness have you expecting nothing less than the best from anyone. Never be anyone’s option. You a million dollar venture not some side hustle so don’t allow any one treat you as such.

Also, Everyone one loves differently and needs to be loved differently. We all have different love languages and you need to learn your partners and they need to make it a point to learn yours.

When you express what makes you happy and someone puts forth effort be grateful because they are taking the time to love you with all your flaws, even if they are not perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist so stop fixating on it.

My friends and I joke that about loving our ain’t shit men in peace. If you’ve been in a long term relationship you know that if you be with someone long enough there’s something you’ll find that will annoy the hell out of you about your partner although you love him to death. Like them leaving the toilet seat up, messing up the kitchen or never putting their clothes in the laundry basket. They are petty annoyances though because at the end of the day you can deal with them but that doesn’t mean you won’t talk your shit every time they do it.

At the end of the day love isn’t enough. I don’t care what anyone says you don’t have to go through the storm with anyone to prove you love them. If you can’t handle someone at their worst you don’t have to stick around and be a ride or die chick. There is no award for that. What some people may call stupid might be what you can handle but just ask yourself if the shoe was on the other foot would they ride for you just as hard?

I see so many people caught up on technicalities, looks and superficial shit but if someone is being real with you take them for face value and experience them without wanting anything in return unless it’s love and respect. I’m not saying don’t have a type but don’t fall for someone who clearly isn’t putting you first.

I want every girl in the world to feel love that is reciprocated.

My fiancé is tough but he has a huge heart. (OMG, I’m gushing as I write. I’m still getting used to saying that.) He’s a Gemini and he can be nice as hell or evil as fuck; you decide which side your going to get by your actions. I’ve had people be like he so mean and I think it’s funny because I really don’t care as long as he’s good to me.

I actually like that he comes off mean because I know that he’s not easy to get close to and that why I trust him and respect him. He’s also a really good judge of character so if he not fucking with you neither am I and vice versa. We really are team us.

He taught me to never settle and that I’m worth more. He never lets me give up on myself and he shows me that he loves me daily which makes me feel like I’m the baddest bitch in the world or at least in the 92119.

I seriously can’t even think of my life without him. He’s different-he’s real. I love the way he makes me feel. I feel complete when I’m with him. As if nothing is impossible when I’m with him.

He’s my best friend.

The person I get to wake up and go to sleep next to for the rest of my life. The ying to my yang, my partner in crime, my bodyguard, my future, my family, my plan A, my baby zaddy, and heart in human form. We’ve established a relationship that has been tried and tested and we win because we have each other.

To get proposed to reassured what I already knew but it’s more than that. We both cane from broken homes. Mine resulted in lots of half siblings, step sibling and extended family. His was a result of his father being on drugs and his mother tragically dying of cancer when he was 13. Yet together we teamed up to give our kids the fountain that we never had and life is amazing, it is what it should be.

I’m in such a good space no one can rob me of this joy I feel. This feeling of being on the same page and in the same book as someone else. For all the dots to be connected and to finally be sure. I’ve never had this feeling of no doubts before.

I’m feeling myself.

I’ve gotten so many compliments, congratulations, and good for you two that my heart could explode. The love and support has been real and I’ve appreciated all of it. We legit can’t wait to be married.

There was never a rush to get married. Everyone has a timeline for when they are ready for the big step and for me my main focus was to be happy and feel fulfilled in my relationship.

I always knew we would get here but I’ll admit a sista was getting tired of waiting. Redd and I have been dating since I was 18 and I’m 33, you do the math. This engagement has been a long time coming but it couldn’t have came at a better time.

I’m going to be very transparent and say we were giving a million reasons to give up on each other. We were never suppose to last this long. We are not couple goals. We were not suppose to be where we are 3 kids later and living our best life together but God got us through. Black love does exist.

I feel accomplished.

Everything that should have destroyed our relationship from cheating, lies, disrespect, expectations, insecurities, depression, immaturity, being broke and struggling, major life changes, and growing pains only made us stronger and more confident that our love is real.

Our journey wasn’t easy. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone but I know that when he got down on one knee he was serious. I can’t remember everything he said when he was proposing because I was so shocked at the timing and to in awe of the ring but he said something to the affect that he wanted to spend forever with me and I said yaassss without hesitation.

I said yes to us continuing to grow together. I said yes to our happily ever after. I said yes to our perfect love story. Not the perfect where nothing will ever be wrong, but the perfect where the wrongs don’t matter until death do us apart.

Moral of the story is that you don’t give up on people you love.

Unfortunately, I haven’t wore my ring much because I’m a registered dental assistant and I wash my hands entirely to much that I’d ruin it or loose it. I worked to hard to get that ring I’ll be damned if something happens to it trying to flex for my coworkers.

I know it’s just a ring but the symbolism behind it is priceless so I going to continue to be cautious. Now on the weekends don’t be surprised if you see me going overboard making it known with every extra’d out hand motion that I’m taken. I’m somebody’s whole fiancé out here and I’m excited.

You can judge away.

I’ll still be parading my rock all through SoCal.

Yikes. I’m really someone’s future wifey. And it’s official. We are actually headed down the aisle. It was my dream and now my reality.

We grew up and leveled up and now that I got the ring it’s time to plan my dream beach wedding.

I promise I’ll try my hardest not to be a bridezilla.

#mstomrs

#bridetobe

#debtfreewedding

#Martindowntheaisle

#foreverthemartins

#familyovereverything

#bossmommy

Pumping at Work: Tips For Moms Going Back To Work

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So you decided to breastfeed and everything has been going great. You know all of your babies cues that he or she is hungry, the babies latching on with no problem but maternity leave will soon be over and you’ll have to go back to work.

Pumping at work seems complicated and it is if your not prepared.

These days moms in every line of work are continuing to breastfeed and with planning you can successfully return to work too and I’ll show you how.

Once you’ve decided that you want to continue breastfeeding when you go back to work communicate to your supervisor your plans. That way they can show you where the lactation room is in pand go over your company’s policy regarding breastfeeding at work.

Supportive Environment

A nice atmosphere and positive attitude from your coworkers makes a huge difference and will help your achieve your breastfeeding goals.

An encouraging and supportive environment will help make pumping at work much easier.

My job has this nice little setup to encourage breastfeeding moms.

Know your rights

I had a young girl recently tell me she stopped breastfeeding before she went back to work because she works at Pizza Hut and they don’t have a place for her to pump. I had to educate her about her rights because her employers didn’t.

Employers are required to provide breastfeeding employees:

  • A reasonable amount of break time to express breast milk for their child.
    A private place, other than the bathroom that may be used to express breastmilk.

If your employers don’t have a space for you to pump other than the bathroom contact your company’s HR right away.

Prepare ahead of time.

Photo by @heartsnatcha

Make sure that you pump like crazy to stockpile your milk. You want to have milk stored so your child will have enough while in daycare.

A good way to get started is by having a pump schedule and staying committed to it. I also recommend taking a nursing vacation.

Stay home a few days or weekends and pump as much as you can. If possible every two hours. The more milk stored the better. Then you won’t feel so pressured during your work week.

Your milk supply will go down once you return back to work since your not able to nurse as vigorously so you want to be prepare with plenty of milk on reserve on the days your milk production is low.

Checkout Pumpingexclusively.com for some some useful tips on how to maximize pumping output.

Before you return to work have baby bottle fed.

You want your baby to be adjusted to using the bottle to make the transition easier when they are away from you. That way you know they will getting the nutrients their bodies need.

At least two weeks before you start work practice bottle feeding.That way you can find which nipple and bottle shape your baby prefers.

I went with the Kiinde system because you can put a nipple on your storage bag and it doubles as a bottle. This system was a space saver and a time saver. If you don’t want to mess around with a bunch of bottle parts and pieces you’ll like this system as much as I did.

Invest in a good electric pump and a good bag.

This is the pump I use and love.

Before a friend gave me hers I was using another brand and it was awful. I hated the loud noise it used to make so I wasn’t able to relax while I was pumping. The suction wasn’t quite right. There were way to many parts to put together for it to function properly. All in all, it was a nightmare.

The spectra is quiet and has plenty of settings to make pumping a breeze. I absolutely love the spectra and highly recommend it to any new mom who hasn’t purchased a pump yet.

Insurances are now covering breast pumps. Contact your insurance and see if you qualify for a free pump because you will need one.

A good bag will have lots of side pockets and storage for all your essentials-extra parts, cleaning instruments, snacks, hand sanitizer and storage bags.

Wear comfortable clothes.

Dress for pumping comfort. Two-piece outfits allow quicker access to your breast.

Get a nursing bra.

The nursing bra will allow you to express milk from both breasts at the same time. This way you’ll maximize how much milk you’ll get at each sitting. As a breastfeeding mom you will shortly learn that every ounce counts.

A little inside trick my best friend taught me is that you can take one of your regular sports bras and cut small holes by the nipple to make your own low cost nursing bra.

Being hands free also allows you to read, play games on your phone or just surf the web so that you can feel like you kinda took a break. I wouldn’t have been able to make it this far on my breastfeeding journey without one.

Insulated cooler

You will want to purchase one for transporting milk to and from your daycare provider. Also, if your job doesn’t have refrigerator specifically for your breastmilk to be stored in you will need it.

An insulated bag with ice packs can be used to store milk freshly expressed for up to 24 hours.

Keep extra parts of everything.

It is super important to have extras of everything. Keep them in the office or in car because mom brain is real.

I have ran out or forgotten a vital piece of my pump on several occasions and it was annoying especially since the way that breast pumps are put together one missing piece can cause your pump not to work.

Tip- You don’t have to clean your parts after every pump. Put them in the refrigerator to stop the development of bacteria.

Pack lunches and snacks that will promote lactation.

What maximizing your pump break looks like.

I know your busy working but you have to make sure that your eating and drinking lots of water. There’s a correlation in the amount of milk you will produce. The more you eat, the more you produce.

  • My go to foods that helped me with lactation were:
    • Almonds
      Coconut water
      Rice
      Beans
      Oatmeal
      Lactation cookies
      Salads

    Car charger

    You will need to pump during lunch during the first 6 months to have enough milk to meet your growing babies needs unless you’ve stockpiled.

    For the mom who loves to multitask there will be times when you just are not up to pumping at lunch. Perhaps, you want to run an errand or you forgot your lunch and need to pick something up. In those cases a car charger for you pump allows you to pump on the go.

    *Just so you know an ideal nursing schedule for pumping for an infant is before work, AM break, lunch, PM break and after work. That’s at least 5 times a day (The need to pump so frequently will drop once your baby begins to eat solid foods).

    Have an alternative location to pump.

    Just in case you’re not the only one pumping at work I suggest having a back up area. Once your breast get full your going to want to express it and having to wait for the lactation room may be too painful.

    Relax

    Looking at my baby boy helps me relax.

    The more relaxed you allow yourself to be the more milk you will be able to produce.

    Remember to put an occupied sign up and lock the door before pumping to avoid interruption.

    Bring photos or videos of your baby to stimulate your milk production.

    Do not look at the bottles to see how much milk you have produced. This will only make you anxious and stress you out.

    Tip- While pumping lean forward so your breastmilk won’t spill on your clothes.

    Keep going!

    Pumping at work has it’s challenges. You’ll have good days, and stressful days when it feels like a job in itself. Try and think about how your giving your baby a healthy start in order to remain motivated.

    Being a new mom is tough and a working mom tougher. I hope my real life tips make your pumping journey easier.

    I’ve made it to 9 months pumping and I couldn’t be prouder. I want you to learn from my rookie mistakes and be just as successful.

    How long have you been breastfeeding?

    How long do you plan on breastfeeding?

    #breastfeedingbadass

    #breastisbest

    #encouragebreastfeeding

    #momswhohustle

    #pumpingatwork

    Breastfeeding in public is by law a Mother’s right. A mother can breastfeed her child in any location, public or private as long as the child is authorized to be there.

    California civil code section 43.3

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    Right now the west coast is in a serious state of mourning. On March, 31, 2019 the west coast lost Grammy nominated Nipsey Hussle to senseless gun violence. If you ask many of my peers they’d say our generation lost our present day Tupac.

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