My Wandering Heart






There's a saying, "When you become a mother, your heart no longer belongs to you; it wanders wherever your children go". There's no truer statement!

 Leaving Tempe, AZ after visiting and spending Thanksgiving with our two eldest is still a bittersweet moment for me. The younger two always enjoy spending time with and seeing their siblings. As a mother, I enjoy seeing my children with each other and with their Dad. Family is so important to me... It's where you learn the true meaning of love and sacrifice, right from wrong, as well as your foundation in morals and beliefs.

Regardless to whether or not we have a "traditional" Thanksgiving by standards of the world we live in, it is always a tradition for me to be with all my children and my husband on special occasions. While there are often times we can't be together, I soak up the times we are. My Thanksgiving was lovely and I hope yours was as well.

Will You Say, YES?




During one of my group discussions, the topic of allowing children choices came up. The OLD FASHIONED idea that "Children should be seen and not heard" is so antiquated to me. During the era of our parents and possibly their parents, that adage was acceptable. However, in this day and time, research has shown that allowing children to play a role in certain decisions is in fact healthy for their self-esteem, thus empowering them.

The particular conversation was about clothes and shoes and whether or not children should be allowed to choose what they want to wear. My two cents is this: I allowed my children to pick their own clothes out during their preschool years. I allow my children to tell me if they disagree with something I have said, and overall, I encourage communication between us. They know I'm in charge... they know it's my rules, but why should I abuse that power by not allowing them to have a say, a choice?

I hear them out, we weigh the pros and cons, and I bounce it back to them for reflection in regards to what the best choice is. There have been times I disagreed because I knew what the outcome would be, but I still allowed them the opportunity to experience the failure because it is a life lesson and a lesson in cause and effect.

Just because we hold a certain title... PARENTS, doesn't mean we know everything. There were times when our parents would say, "because I said so!" Think back, did that answer ever make you feel empowered? It most certainly did not empower me. Personally, I am attempting to raise well-rounded individuals who can stand for something and clearly state their wants, needs, and desires. They can't do that sitting in a corner or a room not being heard. Our President said it best: "YES, WE CAN!!!!"
Our children are our future and we have to invest in that future. So... next time your child asks you, "Mom, can I say something?" or "Mom, do you have a sec?" or "Mom, can we talk?" What will your response be? I hope it is, "Yes!"

Are you empowering your children? Or are you caught up in the land of yester-years?


Love on Top!

Work can be challenging some days and some days it can be so rewarding. Regardless to the type of day I'm having, I love to do it in style! I look forward to waking up and deciding what to wear on a daily basis. I love mixing and matching pieces, wearing something I created in my head, and seeing how "different" my choices turn out.
Then, there are those days I just feel like throwing on a hat and going on about my business. Yesterday was one of those days. While this is a short week for me, I didn't have that "get up and go" excited feeling of a short week. My field visits this week were not as rigid as they usually are, I basically just made support visits so I opted for a sporty look yesterday. I love hats! I own all sorts, but there's nothing like a cute baseball styled hat to add a bit of LOVE ON TOP of my head.
I kinda LOVE Victorias, it's no secret! If you haven't already, check out the PINK APP . There's all sorts of cool stuff you can do on the App like add a bit of Pink flare to your photos!
Isn't Michael Kors a doll for this pink faced watch?!
When you dress down for work, what's your favorite pieces?

Follow me on Pinterest and check out my board, Love on Top as well as other boards!
Until we chat again...

Seeing is Believing...

Do these names ring a "bell"?
Morris
Taye
Harold
Melissa
Regina
Monica
Terrence
Sanaa
Nia

This Holiday Season will be buzzing! The aforementioned are all starring in thee best holiday movie this season. While you can read reviews, take a peek on FaceBookTwitter, or any other site of your preference, there's nothing like seeing it for yourself.
You MUST see this movie if you haven't already. This film is very well written; it's relatable. Being married for the last 14 plus years, and in a relationship with my husband for over 16 years has brought with it many life experiences. Some overwhelmingly happy, some sad, some happy, some learning experiences...etc. This movie gives you all that in two hours.

Many of us know these characters from the Prequel, The Best Man. Many of us can relate to these characters because we are very much like them, or we have friends who remind us of them.
 This film had a great mixture of both male and female bonding. It showed black men who possess the ability to express themselves without being aggressive or attacking one another. It showed vulnerability and strength. While there was a cat fight scene, there were also scenes which showed black women bonding and understanding the true meaning of friendship while not being so full of pride that they can't say "I'm sorry."
This movie showed a Sistah-Friend's ability to act out of unselfish love to ensure that her friends, who are pretty much like family, are together during a very difficult time of year. To ensure that old wounds are healed, love is not lost, and severed ties are mended. There are highs and lows throughout this movie. You will hear laughter and chuckling, you will hear oohs, and aaahs, you will hear silence, you may hear a few sniffles, or look out the corner of your eye at you wife, and see her gently wiping away tears.

Hubby and I saw this movie last night during our "Date Night" and we both loved it. If you haven't been to see this movie, "Seeing is Believing"... grab your spouse, your friends, your girlfriends, your boyfriends, your moms, your aunts, your sisters...grab someone (NOT THE KIDS)  and go see it today! You will NOT be disappointed.

Side note: I would love to see this come to television as a weekly show. I'd watch!

Until we chat again...

What?... Did... You... Just... Ask... Me... That?


Do you get angry when you're asked questions? Do you feel like looking that person straight in the eye and asking, "What did you say?! Did you just ask me that?!"
I have to admit that some questions can seem as if people are prying or being nosey, but in all honesty, there really isn't a stupid question. Honestly... There isn't a question out there that should not be asked. Now, the timing may be off sometimes, or it may not genuinely be any of your business, but you have a right to know and ask.
I recently had an experience where I really needed know why a decision was being made so I questioned it. The vibe  I got from the person was like, "why are you asking me?" Of course, me being me, I didn't care. You want me to spend my money, and give you my time and I can't ask you anything? I don't think so!
Sometimes, I find that my questions may present a challenge to some as they tend to make an individual think. My sole purpose in asking questions is for clarification, and sometimes motivate critical thinking.
In life, we deal with various types of people and we have to accept them for who they are. We have to understand that we cannot change people, but we can change how they deal with us. 
Asking clarifying questions and asking one to think a bit harder before just presenting something is not too much to ask ( pun intended) lol.
Is there a question that just irritates you? Have you found yourself asking clarifying questions but being met with resistance?
I'd like to hear from you.

Until we chat again!

A Dash of This, and a Dab of That!

WebMD has great tips regarding 12 remedies for colds

When I'm sick or my kids or hubby are sick, I usually kick into Nurse mode and I pull out the homemade remedies! Over the years, have you found any home remedies which work better than traditional medicine? Or are you an individual who does not believe in modern medicine and you'd rather heal using only natural products and herbs?

One of my favorite home remedies for a cold is: 
hot water
Two cough drops (your favorite flavor)
Cranberry juice 
Directions: 
Boil water in your tea kettle
Place the two cough drops in the bottom of your cup 
Pour hot water on top and allow cough drops to melt (you'll hear them cracking)
Add Cranberry Juice for flavor 
Sip slowly and enjoy!

Do you have a favorite home remedy?
I'd love to hear from you.



Tis' the Season

It's that time of the year... COLD SEASON is upon us; I don't mean the weather, I mean little runny noses, coughing, sneezing, allergies, and sometimes regurgitation. While I don't have "small" children at home anymore, my baby is 9 and she still comes home with occasional cooties!

When she's sick, I have a number of remedies I use on her just as I use when my "bigger" babies get sick.
For fevers, I swear by Kirkland Children's Pain Relief
For Allergies, I swear by Kirkland's Aller-Tec for Children
Both come in great flavors and I don't have to fight with Haley to take them. I also buying at Costco because I get more bang for my buck, so to speak! Both packages come with two bottles inside for about the price of one bottle at most stores. I love saving money!
Being a mom of four, I have learned many "remedies" over the years that work. Some are from the advice of doctors, others from my mom, or grandmother, and some from other parents. However, as a parent, you usually know your child/ren and you know when they need to go to the doctor.
If you are unsure of what medicine your child may need, consult your doctor before giving any medication.

Make sure you head on over to Costco and stock up on medicine for the entire family! They have something for everyone and everything! www.costco.com 
Until we chat again!



Change is A Coming!!!

There comes a time when life is moving so fast that you rarely have time to sit still and do things you like. I'm finding myself in that position again. At one point I was a stay at home mom and I enjoyed it very much. I had time to get things done around the house, spend time with the girls, be there for field trips, help with homework, cook dinner every night, stayed on top of my chores... etc, etc.

While I love my job to death, there are some parts I don't "like" so to speak. The traveling to different cities on a daily basis begins to take its toll. I'm gone before the  Girlz wake up some mornings, and I'm late coming home. I know that working outside the home is what us 20th century women do, but I always feel guilty at some point. It's just my psrsonality. While working and helping provide for a family is something that can't change, how WE spend our time after school and work can. 

I've always supported my children and what they want to do, but within limits. I love that they love sports, but I also have to ensure that there is a balance and I'm raising well-rounded individuals who are aware of choices and who are not forgetting the simple things in life. 

Therefore, we have discussed being involved in activities, but not activities which take up so much time. As a parent, I am looking into organizations which meet my criteria as well. Keeping my Haley happy has, and always will be, my top priority when it comes to her, but at the end of the day, all she knows is that she wants to have fun with other little girls. As she gets older, it's my responsibility to teach her that life isn't always about fun; sometimes we have to make decisions based on our needs and not wants. 

Sometimes we stay involved with the same things because it's just what's  been done over the years. Sort of like traditions. Some traditions are meant to be broken as we change and evolve. These are life lessons I have to instill in my children now. 

Change is definitely ahead as I continue to raise these little ones. Jaedyn experienced a major change last season and she's still blossoming. It's time for Haley to learn about change as well.

A Different Cloth

Work has definitely been keeping me busy. I meet all sorts of people on a daily basis and I interact with various different personalities on a daily basis. Whether it's for business purposes, personal purposes, or leisure activities, I always try to remind myself that people come to you cut from a Different Cloth. People bring with them their baggage, so to speak. I have learned to not take personal, words that are spewed , their attitude, or their outlook on life. It's not about me. It's not personal. It's just who they are. 
I mean, think about it, if I spend too much time dwelling on what the next person says or thinks, I'm not giving myself the attention I need. Besides, you never know how horrible that persons day or life is going; your interaction could be the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak.
I become frustrated when people do not handle business in a professional manner, I speak on it and then I move on. What does that help? Who does that help? I can complain all day, or I can choose to not do business with them again, or... I can have empathy and understanding that they are cut from a Different Cloth and that is what they know to be the " norm". 
I always remember these words: " When people know better, they do better." My job as an educator has always been to educate; it's second nature. I don't think I'll ever stop educating, but at a certain point, you "can't teach an old dog new tricks"!
Until we chat again.

The Skin I'm In...

As an educator, I have taught many "little people" about self-esteem over the years. Self-esteem is a key part of acceptance of self and others.
Lately, I have been so very busy with work that I haven't had an opportunity to blog about anything. It's a good kind of busy, it's work busy! LOL. I have noticed that I don't have time to do things I once  did when I didn't have a job but I am finding ways to squeeze things in.
My "thing" right now is trying to eat more healthy. I have decided to try Herbalife because there is so much hoopla about it. However, I don't think I'm getting the true Herbalife experience because I don't feel this overwhelming urge to be fit or healthy like I thought I would. It may be because my schedule is so busy and my priorities often take precedence over things like working out.
Don't get me wrong, I think exercise is important, but I also am a firm believer that being a Mommy and being there for my kids when they need me is more important. So after a long day at work, I just want to see my babies and see how their day went and help them with homework. I miss a great deal of time with them due to work, so any opportunity to be near them, whether it's at Cheer practice or Basketball practice, I'm taking advantage of that time.
I only get one chance to be a Mom, but I get many chances to try a different "thing" when I want! Besides, I'm comfortable in The Skin I'm In. There's always room for improvement in every aspect of my life, but self-esteem is something I do not lack. I love me just the way I am, curves and all! I would love to lose a couple curves in this belly, but I love being a Mommy more!
It's a struggle to find balance in my daily life, but when the time is right, it will come to me and I will have the perfect answer. But for now, there is no amount of weight that compares to my joy of being there for my children when it counts.
Do you love the skin you're in?

Until we chat again...

My Instagram Life

I absolutely LOVE Instagram!
What better way to express yourself... a picture is worth a thousand words. Come on over and follow me on Instagram...

http://instagram.com/nickiesniche

Lost Time...

"Lost Time is Never Found Again"-Benjamin Franklin

Lately, I have been working so darn hard! I am so blessed and thankful and to be doing something I truly love. On top of that, I am making a great impression on my bosses with my work ethics so all is well. EXCEPT I don't have time to breathe sometimes; at least that's how I feel lately. I'm slowly but surely getting back into the swings of things as a working mommy and wife again.

Working from a home office is truly a blessing but when my job calls for field visits... whew! I'm in the field all day everyday! LOL

On a serious note, I recently lost a very dear friend named Linda. I attended her funeral today and my heart was so heavy with pain and sadness. Why? If I could only have had more time with Linda. Lately, I have become bad at picking up the phone calling anyone. My life is phoning and emailing all day everyday so when I hear a phone or a notification sound... you get the point. However, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, "Lost Time is Never Found Again". Linda knew how much I loved her, but I'm sure she would've loved to hear from me one last time. I sure would've loved to hear her voice last week!

Will you do as I will and make time?


We Can All Get It

One thing about me, is I love to inspire. Whether directly or indirectly, it warms my heart to see ideas and or feelings being expressed; especially after I post something. This is one of many reasons why I try to remain positive. Am I perfect? Absolutely not!!!! I am human and I do fall short many times, but my flaws and weaknesses do not define me. How I choose to respond or ignore...depending on the situation is what defines me.
Remaining positive and attempting to see the positive in others is something I continue to strive at. Keep in mind, our thoughts become our actions... Pay attention to that voice in your head... There's enough love out there for all of us... We can all get it; but can we receive and give love from others if we don't have it for ourselves? Something to think about....
Until we chat again....

The Madness of it All

I am really enjoying my new job! I'm enjoying it so much that I have neglected to post here on my blog for several weeks. I'm not proud of this, but I am admitting that I am human. Returning to the working world after several months of not working has proved to be a bit challenging.
One thing I learned from my recent journey in life is that's am not a super woman! Finding the proper balance in the midst of the madness of it all... Family, kids, husband, work, personal time with friends, cheer, basketball, and more work...can be very challenging. Currently, I am trying to find that balance that I once mastered without even blinking.
Personally, I am my worst critic and I am finding myself feeling overwhelmed and feeling like I'm not being a great mom. Even though my logical side of the brain is telling me my thoughts are far from the truth, the dramatic side of the brain wants me to stress out. Nope! I'm not giving in to that side of the brain. Stress is no longer welcomed to occupy space in my head or body.
Therefore, I'm going back to the basics and will begin to create my To Do lists as I've done countless times in the past. Sometimes we forget that keeping things simple and routine are the very foundations which keep us grounded. Making time for the important things by listing them first on my lists will guarantee I find the balance I am seeking.
I am determined to get back to being that organized woman I once was. With time and patience and prayer...all things are possible!
Until we chat again...

7 Words: IT SHOULDN'T HURT TO BE A CHILD

I came across this poem today and it spoke volumes to me. As a child advocate, it is so very important to me to constantly get the word out that children have rights and need to be respected just as adults. The number of cases involving children who are being abused both physically and mentally are alarming. Are we doing our part to stop violence against children? Are we advocating for children?

Ask yourself: Have you hugged a child today?

Black And Blue

© J.D



Sitting alone under the night sky so black,
Nobody knows what she's holding back,
Pulling her sleeves past the black and blue,
Once these bruises fade they'll come back anew.

Looking up at the stars so high,
Sometimes she wishes she could melt into the sky,
Out of her eye drops a single tear,
As she realizes she has to face her worst fear.

At the thought of home she shutters,
And a prayer for help she mutters,
Her angry father's face shakes in her head,
And her broken heart fills with dread.

The front door creaks as she steps inside,
Jumping over beer bottles she runs to hide,
Sliding under her bed she tries not to make a sound,
Too late: the floor creaks as she touches the ground.

She tries to hold back the tears, he hits her harder when she cries,
But they slip out as the heavy steps get closer, she's terrified,
The door slams open, the pain is about to come,
Her dad's clothes smell like smoke and rum.

He lifts her up by a chunk of her hair,
Taking the first punch he begins to swear,
She cries for help, but it's to late,
He won't stop till he's got out all the hate.

A daily routine, but tonight it's not the same,
Tonight the end of the beating never came,
A few hours later the ambulance arrives,
Her life is over at the age of 5. 

Common Core State Standards: A New Foundation for Student Success (Stand...



Follow me at Bloglovin'!!!!


Bloglovin'







Google Reader is gone. Please follow me At Bloglovin'





I REALLY Have to Play Catch-Up!!... 30 Days...30 Things...

If you all remember, at the beginning of the month, I began with this POST. Since then, a great deal has happened and now the month is over!!! Therefore, this post will catch me up on my responses for the remainder of the month. My apologies fir such a lengthy post.


19. How did you feel the moment you became a parent?
Overwhelmed, scared, happy, excited, curious, and LOVE

20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
My relationship with my oldest sister, My Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Zarubica, and My father's beard scratching my face every time I kissed him. (I miss my father)

21. Describe your relationship with your parents.
My father is deceased. I am learning everyday the importance of a mother-daughter relationship

22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
I have learned to take each day as it comes, enjoy quiet walks and moments, and be in control of my JOY. I see myself joyous and content

23. What’s your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas. Everyone is so kind, thoughtful, and giving and the lights are simply beautiful.

24. What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about parenthood?
My favorite is: watching them grow and mature. My least favorite: dealing with with them while they grow and mature! If you're a mom, you understand exactly what I mean!

25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
If I could have dinner with Rosa Parks, we would have Fried chicken, greens, cornbread, yams, and peach cobbler.

26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
"You can sleep when you're dead". It's important to listen to your body when it says its tired.

27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
Hmmm... I'd say my fingers. They always get the job done!

28. What’s your favorite quality in your spouse?
He's willing.

29. What are your hopes and dreams for your prosperity?
To have complete Joy. Kurt Franklin said it best when he said, "I don't want to have happiness because that means something has to be happening. I want Joy because no one can take my Joy from me."

30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.
My role as a mother
My role as a wife
My role as a friend
My role in life through Gods' eyes
My role as an educator
My role as a friend
My role as a person
My role as a learner
My heart
My imprint on life

KEEP LOOKING...


I was on Pinterest looking for a quote about life to express exactly how I'm feeling right now... this was perfect!

Yesterday, June 17, 2013, I received a call that I was being offered the job of my dreams. LITERALLY. If you regularly follow my blog you know how I've been on a journey to find true happiness in doing great work with and for children. There were times when I wanted to give up, times I did give up, times I questioned my own abilities. Nevertheless, God kept sending me signs that everything was going to be okay. I doubted if that was true but HE never forsook me; he always walked with me and carried me when I needed it.

I made one of the toughest decisions in my life, to walk away from my job in search of happiness in doing great work. I prayed on it and I walked away and I've been blessed for my efforts. Without the support of my loving family and friends and God putting them there for me, I could have easily given up altogether but I didn't. I didn't settle for mediocre, I wanted greatness.

In my heart, I knew this day would come, and now it has arrived and I feel so GREAT!!!!

Day 18: 30 Things

What do you think your spouse loves most about you?

I think that Ed loves everything about me!!!
If I had to choose one thing, it would be... My heart. I care a lot about EVERYONE. Sometimes he calls me Mother Teresa.

Day 17: 30 Things

What is the thing you most wish you were great at?

Being the best Mom I can be.

Day 16: 30 Things

What are your five greatest accomplishments?

1. Preon
2. Prettie
3. Jaedyn
4. Haley
5. Landing my dream job today!!!!

Day 15: 30 Things...

When I Knew He Was The One:

I MARRIED HIM!

30 Things... I'm Playing Catchup!!

I wrote a post about a week or so ago entitled 30 Things... I am responsible for writing something different everyday. Needless to say, life happens sometimes! I've been busy trying to land my dream job; I've fallen behind in the process. Today, I am going to play catchup....

I left off on Day 7:

8. What are 5 passions you have?
My five passions are: Being a mother, being a wife, being an educator, being a mentor, and being a life-long learner
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
Wow... 10 People...
1. My husband. My life changed when I met him
2. The little people in my life. They made me want to be a better person; as their Mother, I try hard everyday.
3. My Mother. The life experiences learned through her have made me a better wife, mother, and confidant
4. Nakitta. My life changed when I met her; she's adventurous. Sometimes she makes me try new things.
5. Dannella Bonville. One of the BEST mentors I've ever had
6. Dr. Michael Haggood. My mentor, my friend, my family.
7. Co-workers. The lazy ones and the driven ones have influenced my hunger to give children we educate exactly what they need
8. My family. All of you have taught me valuable lessons
9. ME...I have learned a great deal about ME and I am my biggest influencer
#1.  I don't see this next one as a person... GOD, the most powerful, has TREMENDOUSLY influenced my life in a major way!!!!

10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
Hmmm... My hubby and I were staying at a Hotel... something happened that neither of us will EVER forget! He even named a song after me after that night. I'm too embarrassed to write what actually happened. He knows...LOL

11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
1. Liars
2. Cheaters
3. Thieves
4. Dirty dishes
5. Dirty house
6. Musty little girls or ladies
7. Un-groomed toes and fingernails
8. Ashy feet, arms, legs...ashy anything!
9. Unfit parents
10. Children being disrespected

12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
Currently: Look for jobs, blog, take care of kids, take kids to cheer and basketball related events, take naps, cook, clean, enjoy life to the fullest!

13. What’s the hardest part of growing up?
Growing up!

14. Describe 5 and weaknesses strengths you have.
Weaknesses:
I care too much about Everybody!
I'm a workaholic when I'm employed
I try to be a perfect mother (they don't exist)
I try to be a perfect wife (they don't exist)
I love hard and I'm loyal

Strengths:
The five listed weaknesses above are my strengths. My weaknesses make me the person I am; always striving for better.

Until we chat again...


Alopecia. What? Why? How?.... The Journey of Haley

Our youngest daughter, Haley, the Cheerleader, the Gymnast, the American Girl Doll lover, an all around cool little DIVA, was diagnosed with Alopecia about eight months ago. Keep in mind, we never knew what happening when it started back in 2011 (December). I initially noticed a very small bald spot in Haley's head (near the top on the right side) but "assumed" I'd pulled her hair too tight in that one spot. That was not the case; my baby's hair continued to fall out. Bald spots began popping up up everywhere. I sought advice from her hairdresser who braided her hair for me, from my hairdresser, from my mom, mother-in-law, blogs, etc. You name it, I looked it up!

I have to be very honest and say that going through this with my baby was very challenging. I think my kids re the best things since sliced bread and I invest all of me into raising them and making sure they're "good". To know that my baby who is known for her energy and enthusiasm was feeling sad watching her hair fall out and not having answers was very difficult. Not to mention, my vanity was at stake as well. (I'm being honest) I was like..."what am I going do? my baby's pretty hair is falling out!"

Haley's hair has always been fine and thin (like Ed's hair) but their were never any issues with it, it was always healthy like her sisters' hair.
Haley has always had a head full of hair..

The following photos were taken around March/April 2011
 Haley's hair several months after finding the first bald spot
 I washed it...
Here, I had her hold it just so we could see the actual size of the spots
They grew bigger and bigger...

I began trying different products like Dr. Miracle, Shea Moisture, Olive Oil, Baby Don't be Bald.... the list went on and on. I even tried home remedies that were suggested like: warm olive oil in the microwave and use a cotton ball to apply it to the bald spots, Glover's Mane, etc...
Just a "few" of the products used...

Although her hair was falling out, it was only falling out in the middle so I could disguise it. Haley was really worried about being made fun of and I was worried about her self-esteem taking a dive. I had to do every and anything in my power to make sure my baby knew that she was still the same remarkable girl before these bald spots began to appear. Boy, did I have my work cut out for me and I didn't even know it yet!
 Cheering for several months out of the year, Haley's hair is REQUIRED to be in one ponytail.
 This made disguising the bald spots a breeze.
 She didn't let those bald spots stop her from doing what she loves: CHEER
I made sure she knew she was still as Glamourous as ever. I told her: "True divas can make any hairstyle work!"

Even on picture day of the 2012-2013 Season, we pulled off disguising those spots because Haley wanted her pictures to be Big Girl pictures since it was "officially" her first season cheering as a NON-MASCOT!!!!
I think we did pretty good! She looks just like a BIG GIRL :-)
After a FULL day of traveling to her own game, she came home, changed, and went out to support her Sister-Friend Boogie at her game! This little girl eats, sleeps, and breathes CHEER. It was important for me to make sure things stayed as normal as possible. Check out her leopard boots! Get it Haley!!!

Eventually, we could no longer disguise the bald spots. We had to start explaining; that was so difficult. Haley did not want me showing or telling anyone but I had to talk to her and explain why we needed to let her Coaches know, her teacher know, and even family who lived outside of our home. My baby was so worried what people would think about her. The HARDEST part ever was weekly washes became a horror. Every time I'd wash or comb my baby's hair, it fell out like pulling a cotton ball apart. She would cry and I would want to cry with her, but I couldn't. I had to remain strong and tell my baby that everything would be okay; that no matter what, she was still as gorgeous as ever and that we would find a way to fix this. My heart ached for my baby. The truth is, I didn't know why this happening. 

The Dermatologists she was regularly seeing, kept prescribing all sorts of medicine (topical). I took my baby to about four (4) different dermatologists and I demanded that she an endocrinologist to cover all bases and find out if it was something internally wrong with my baby. Ed and I both never said it out loud until one day he couldn't hold it in any longer. He said, "I'd hate for this to be something bad..." I finished his sentence with, "I don't want my baby to have cancer". We sat there in silence for about 2-3 minutes (literally) and immediately got up and reached for the laptops! He began doing extensive research and so did I.

My next email to Haley's primary care physician was VERY specific and I demanded tests which Ed found online. Also, during his research, he came across ALOPECIA. I'd heard of it, but never took an interest in it. Why? Because it wasn't knocking on my front door until NOW! He found this wonderful site about Alopecia Areata . When I clicked on the link he sent me... I could not believe my eyes! There were so many babies like my baby who were suffering from this disease. 

We read and researched, and read and researched. I became very proactive for my baby in regards to doctors. I specifically asked for a Black dermatologist because I had doctors telling me that "WE" put too much fake hair in "our" kids' hair and "we" comb it too tight. Haley would get hair braided on occasion but not always with synthetic hair; even when I used synthetic hair, it never caused balding. I wanted someone who understood Black hair to talk to us about our Black hair. If you know me, you know that I will travel to the ends of the earth for my Precious Cargo, all four of them. So, asking for I wanted was no problem at all.
There was no more hiding it...
 We needed to share with those closest to us and...
 We needed answers. IMMEDIATELY


Haley visited an endocrinologist to ensure that everything on the "Inside" was working and functioning properly.
 No matter what, I made sure my baby was always in good spirits.
I reminded her to be thankful for life and everything else she was blessed to have. This journey with my baby also taught me something about myself as well...

The hardest part about the doctor visits came when she visited the Dermatologist and we learned that she needed injections in her head. OUCH! The first time Ed took her because I was working and he phoned me to tell me she had received these injections in her head. My stomach turned flips at the thought and I vowed to never miss another appointment with her no matter what.

This is what Haley's head looked like after receiving injections in her head

When I say holding my baby down (which was very necessary) and watching her get these injections and begging me to make the Dr. stop made me cry... I shed a few tears. Not where she could see me but I held my baby and I prayed over her right in my arms. I felt dizzy and lightheaded as if it were happening to me. However, when I looked at my baby's hair and saw this....



I knew we had NO OTHER CHOICE.

Haley endured about three different injection sessions. Each visit was more difficult because she knew what was coming. To make it somewhat better, I promised American Girl Doll clothes and accessories. No wonder her collection is so huge!
Haley underwent various treatments such as steroid prescription, topical prescriptions, and Ultra UV Ray treatments four days a week. Whatever it took, we did it. In the meantime, Haley had to wear hats. Ed went online and ordered her all sorts of hats; shiny ones, plain ones, fancy ones. Prettie purchased several fedoras for her and shipped them here from AZ. My sis in law Mia purchased hats for her as well. Picking outfits for her was no longer complete without a hat! The Dr. gave us a note for school so Haley could wear hats to school as well.

The Mindless Behavior Concert...and a hat!
 Cheer 2012-2013 Christmas Party...and a hat!
 Cheer Competition in Vegas...and a hat!
 My Baby still performed her heart out...with a hat on!
 Just let me say that our Cheer Director, Charnetta, her Coaches Rickeita and Kenyatta, and the parents of her teammates were so, so supportive of Haley. I asked if she could wear a hat to competition and they said, "If SHE wears a hat WE wear a hat. The entire team wore hats to competition to perform in, in support of Haley. Ed ordered the hats for the Cheer performance and I had them blinged with the word JETS on front. For the Hip Hop performance, the coaches ordered hats as part of their routine costume so it all worked out perfectly. For that, we will be forever grateful.

Haley is learning to adjust to her new look. There was a time when she refused to leave the house without a hat on her head. Look at her now...

Her hair has began growing back. For one week, I experimented by styling her hair in a DIVA MOHAWK. She left the house five days with no hat on!!!
 The following Monday, we headed to the Barber Shop and made it official!
I LOVE my BABY and I LOVE her Mohawk!!!!!

Also, Prettie researched and found this shampoo on Amazon. I've only been shampooing her hair with this. It's amazing!!!
 What I have learned through this journey with Haley is that there is no ONE specific way to deal with Alopecia Areata. You have to keep trying and never give up. You have to pray. You have to have excellent support in and out of the home. You have to know that no matter what, true Divas shine! My baby is one Glamourous Diva and she refuses to let anything (including Alopecia) stop her SHINE!!!!

Thanks for taking time out to read this. I asked Haley if she approved before I wrote this and shared it publicly. I explained to her that some people, like we were, have no clue what this disease is and this may help them. She agreed, and so it is...

Until we chat again...

Don't forget I'm on FB as well at NickiesNiche

If you like this post and others, subscribe by email and you'll get the most current topics and discussion right in your inbox!!!