Quest for the Perfect Kid-Chasing Mom Sneakers



I’ve got these blue Adidas running shoes that I love. I bought them for jogging but with two little ones, I can’t seem to figure out when to go for an honest-to-goodness jog anymore. Also, I might die if I tried. But, I do a lot of running around just chasing the kids. These kicks are my go-to if we’re planning on a good amount of walking, especially while I’m pregnant…and especially after I broke my toe and I need good support. They’re getting pretty tired-looking and my birthday is coming up so I started searching for a replacement. Naturally, the journey began with inspiration from Pinterest…

I’m liking the black!

Meet the candidates (AKA my top choices):


1. adidas NEO Men’s SE Daily Vulc Lifestyle Skateboarding Shoe (Black/Black/White)

2. New Balance Women’s WZ501V1 90’s Classic Sneaker

3. adidas NEO Men’s SE Daily Vulc Lifestyle Skateboarding Shoe (Navy/Clear Onix Grey/White)

4. adidas NEO Men’s Daily Lifestyle Skateboarding Sneaker (Black/Clear Onix Grey/Black)

5. New Balance Women’s WL574 Acrylic Pack Classic Sneaker

6. adidas NEO Men’s Daily Lifestyle Skateboarding Sneaker (Collegiate Navy/Collegiate Navy/Brown)

I’ll let you know what I end up with. I’m currently leaning toward #1.


I’m a Sewing Machine


I sort of wish I could nudge my nesting urges toward cleaning out the pantry or dusting and vacuuming but all I really want to do is sew baby-related things. Some of these things are for Isaiah. (I wrote about the paci clips, storage bag for the crib, door latch silencer here.) I’ve also been making lots of things that I intend to sell and/or give as gifts to friends. I’ve made a bunch of jersey knit nursing scarves (and haven’t photographed any yet). I’ve made 7 bandana bibs and have several more in the works. These pictured are small/newborn size.


I’ve made two pairs of suspenders and have supplies for several more in various colors.


I’m working on some prototypes for outfit sets (pants, hat, mittens/socks) for newborns made from recycled 100% cotton jersey. Here’s my first set. I made two hats because I’ll probably make a few matching sets and a few mixed pattern/color coordinating sets.



In the coming months I’ll be getting high quality photos done of these projects with models (for scale) and then they’ll be up for sale in my Etsy shop. I figure it will help to fund the unpaid time of work for my maternity leave. My job, like many, doesn’t offer any paid time off. I can take up to 12 weeks off with the FMLA but I have to use up all of my vacation and sick time first and it’s unpaid. Yaaaaayyy… Back to sewing I go!

I’m open to suggestions and requests if you have any ideas or if you’d be interested in purchasing something in the next few months. I recall several people mentioning the door latch silencer. I’ll put it on my list to make more.

A Coming Home Outfit for Baby Boy


coming home from the hospital outfit for a baby boy


In my excited anticipation of Baby Boy’s arrival in April I decided to start putting together an outfit for him to wear home from the hospital. I bought some black-and-white striped ribbon and sewed it onto a white onesie with faint blue stars to look like suspenders. I paired it with gray paints, no-scratch mittens and a hat that I made last summer for Firefly. I also made the bow tie for Firefly for a photo shoot. The onesie and little blue socks are the only pieces I didn’t make. Nothing inspires me to sew more than a new baby! Next up is a baby blanket.


PSA: The Most Comfortable Maternity Pants Ever


My mama blessed me with an early Christmas present two weeks ago because she knew I was running out of pants that fit. One pair of black pants that are suitable to wear to work and these sweats. These fabulous sweatpants that I have worn from the time I get home from work until I get dressed the next day. They really are that amazingly comfortable. I highly recommend them to any expectant mamas out there. They’re lightweight and slim fitting but not tight anywhere. And they have pockets!

MAMA sweatpants from H&M for $24.95






I actually like doing laundry. Especially folding all of the cute and colorful kids clothing. Pajamas and underwears are my favorites.


I know it goes against the flow of popular blog topics to rant about but I’ve always appreciated doing laundry, even when it was just Jason and me. I would imagine him wearing each article and be thankful that I could make it clean and fresh for him.

A Hat, My Heart and My Ego


On Tuesday, Buzz started daycare with shabby looking double strand twists in his hair. His mama called it “crazy hair” when we saw her on Saturday but also said “it’s not that bad.” By Tuesday it was looking even more crazy. His day care is 95% black people working there and attending so I was feeling pretty embarrassed when I dropped him off. I told his teacher that I know it looks bad and I have an appointment on Friday for him to get new cornrows done. That night, I unstyled it so I could wash and moisturize it.

Wednesday, I put his hair in a ponytail against his wishes. But what were my options at that point? So off to day care with a pony tail. (Side note: ponytail was suggested by his mom if I couldn’t style it.) When I picked him up in the afternoon, only a tiny bit was still in the ponytail and the rest was all crazy wild and free. If that wasn’t bad enough, immediately upon seeing me he dropped down into the wood chips in the playground and rolled around. Yeah, wood chips all up in his crazy hair. Ugh.

So another bath and detangle and moisturize session that night. Getting the wood chips out of his hair was NO FUN AT ALL! Since the ponytail didn’t work out and he was scheduled to get cornrowed on Friday, I sent him to daycare on Thursday with an afro. Not a cute afro. A crazy wild, my-white-foster-mom-has-thrown-in-the-towel afro.

He could not have cared less. (Thankfully?) However I was feeling guilty. I went on to Target to run some errands. First stop: boys section to look for a hat for Buzz. I picked up a few in the toddler section…a blue and white striped conductor style one that I decided was too small, a straw fedora that was too hipster, a Spiderman one that Jason vetoed via picture text.


Finally I saw some adjustable hip hop/skater style hats over in the bigger boys section. I was on the phone with his case worker at the time and Ali was trying to open a bottle of allergy medication so I just grabbed one. I also found his hoodie sweatshirt on clearance. He only has one hooded sweater that fits and he loves it; especially with the hood up. I couldn’t resist this one with eyes, horns and teeth—even one good tooth! Oh, how it made me smile. I laid them out on the chair in his room and hoped he’d like them.


His crazy afro didn’t look any worse at the end of the day when Jason brought him home. No wood chips, Thank God! His immediate reaction to the hat was that he wanted me to take the tag off. He likes it! I thought. He ran off to go outside with Jason and Ali, hat in hand. I convinced him to let me put it on him and took some pictures so he could see how cute he looked. It lasted for a few second before he took it off and started running around the yard with it. He was swinging it around by the tabs in the back and smacking it against the driveway. He hates it! I thought. I’m not gonna lie. It hurt my feelings. It was a gift and he was treating it like trash. A few minutes later it was lying in the dirt and he was off doing something else.


After dinner we went to the playground. Again I was able to convince him to put the hat on when we got out of the van. It was mostly black folks at the park—can you tell this white mama is feeling self-conscious about not doing well with her black foster son’s hair? Again, it was on for a few seconds and then he handed it to me. I wore it for the rest of the park time so I could have my hands free to take photos. He hates it, I’m convinced. Thankfully, I didn’t hear a single critical comment about his hair.

Twenty minutes after putting him to bed that night, from where I was sitting in the living room I could hear him creeping down the hallway. He was looking down at his feet trying so hard to be quiet that he didn’t see me standing there waiting for him. He had put his bare feet into his sneakers—wrong feet, unlaced—and he had the hat on backwards. He looked like he was about to leave on an adventure (which is totally not funny because of an incident a few days prior…). Instead of scolding him, I said “I like your hat!” He likes it!

I got him back to bed with a snack. (He was looking for a cup of milk when I asked him what he was doing up). I agreed to sit with him for a while as he was getting settled. He snuggled up in bed…with his hat. Oh, he really likes it!

Jason got him up the next day to take him to some appointments. I was already at work so I texted and asked if he wore the hat. Jason said yes. He had been wearing it since he woke up and he loves it. My mama heart is so happy!

Disclaimer: (Because yes, I still have an ego…) I’m fully aware of how important hair care and style is within the black community. I have a whole slew of appropriate black hair products and have done a lot of research. I’ve gotten pointers from friends and from his mom, as well as product from his mom. It’s not so much a matter of not knowing what to do… it’s a matter of not having the time and energy to do the “practice, practice, practice” that it requires to get good at styling black hair. I fully intend to get good at doing it myself; but sometimes you need to know when it’s time to outsource. I’m feeling pretty good about the style I eeked out last week in my first attempt. This week it felt like there were so many other higher priorities. That is why I scheduled someone to put his hair into a longer term protective style for us…however he was not willing to sit for a styling.

Ali Mae: Fashionista


OK, the title is a little bit of an exaggeration. I have, however, started encouraging Ali to help pick out her outfits and I’m beyond excited about it! She doesn’t really care all that much. It’s mostly just fun to pull things out of the drawers and throw them. This is the first outfit she pulled…and truthfully, it was just based on whatever whatever she grabbed first.


I added the rainbow socks in an attempt to pull together the pink, green and purple. Later that day, we had a hair accessory party. She pulled out what she wanted and I put it on her head. I think she was up to 9 headbands at one point.


Then I discovered that she’s OK with hair clips now! Finally! I have so many cute ones made by kind friends and she’s always immediately pulled them out before. Maybe it’s because her hair is getting so long now. Or maybe it’s because she likes how they look. Regardless, I’m excited about all the new hair possibilities.


Here’s Ali’s second self-selected outfit. I’m really proud of this one. She chose the jeans and the black tee shirt. I suggested the pink furry vest since it was a cool day, and she enthusiastically said “Yeah!” When I opened her sock drawer, she went straight for the leg warmers. And they happen to match with pink and black stripes! Good one, Ali. And she chose her hot pink Dora socks and the green and purple hair clip. Oh my heart. When Jason saw this picture, he said, “She’s so cool!”


This outfit was all my doing. (We were in a hurry that morning so I picked it.) I love that she understands the concept of posing for pictures now. Right after I snap it, she runs over and says “Ali?” so she can see how it turned out.


Jason has a hoodie that shrank. It was too small for me, even, so we let Ali try it out.


Cuteness overload!


Oh, and girl loves some eyewear! She’s always after my glasses, which she calls “See” because I have to keep reminding her that I need them to see. (In other words, give them back!)


She can rock some sunglasses while we’re shopping, too.


And one time she even found Daddy’s glasses and gave them a try.


Oh, little girls are so much fun! I can’t wait until Ali starts dressing herself.

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Ready for Winter!


Ok, so we’re two full months away from winter coat weather here in Nashville, but I decided to try on Ali’s winter coat from last year. But not the one I wrote about here. At the end of January last year I bought a London Fog 2T gender neutral olive green (so it can be passed on) winter coat for Ali. It was huge on her but it was really intended for this coming winter. When my mom, who loves to keep her babies toasty warm, found out how cheap I got it for, she ordered Ali a 12 month size girls’ version in lime green. Turns out the 12 month size is a perfect fit right now.

I don’t have the link from last year’s coat, but this one is a similar style: London Fog “Glitterstar” Insulated Jacket (Sizes 12M – 24M) – periwinkle, 18 months

Here’s a picture of her wearing it at the end of last winter, at about 7 months old. It made propping her up in a shopping cart easier!

Grandma K (Jason’s mom) made Ali this adorable owl hat for this winter. It MELTS me!

Owlie Ali.

I’m not sure if it was on purpose or coincidence, but it’s purple and green so it matches either coat. Yay!

Lessons from the Thrift: Settling for Relative Best


Jason and I had a pretty decent thrifting weekend. With minimal effort—a couple of yard sales and a brief stop at the Goodwill—we walked away with a pair of mid-century lamps, a tiny hairpin leg footstool and a pair of sneakers for Ali.

If you do much thrift store / yard sale shopping, you’ve probably had moments like I had Sunday evening where I look at one of my purchases and say, “What was I thinking?!”

As we were walking through the used shoe section of the store, Jason spotted a pair of brown leather, slightly-dressy sneakers. They were clean and classy-looking but too small for him. They fit me! I bought them for $6. Later, when I tried them on at home I realized not only are they too tight, they’re most certainly mens’ shoes and I’m not sure I even really like them that much.

What happened? Compared to all the dirty, beat-up, well-loved shoes surrounding them, these sneakers practically jumped off the rack. They were the best shoes—relative to the crap surrounding them. I’m pretty sure there’s a bigger lesson here.

Jason, a passionate guitarist for almost 20 years, has often said, “If you’re the best one in the room—get out!” Best in the room doesn’t automatically equate to greatness. If you surround yourself with mediocrity, you’re in danger of lowering your standards and settling for less than the best. That’s exactly what I did.

All that to say, I need to constantly check my filter to make sure what I’m seeing as good is truly excellence and not just the relative best.

Lights, Hairpins and Little Kicks


Jason and I did a little casual pickin’ this weekend. We stopped at a couple of yard sales on Saturday and at one of them scored a deal on a pair of vintage lamps and a small square footstool with hairpin legs. Jason may or may not have an addiction to buying mid-century lamps…

Sunday after church we swung by the Goodwill for a quick look. Nothing MCM but I did snag a pair of navy blue sneaks for the kid for 2 bills. She’s quite close to walking which means crawling all over the place and pulling up/cruising along anything. Which means very dirty feet if we’re out in the public. I know they’ll only fit for a couple of months so I’m happy to pay $1.99.