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One Haute Mommi presents…The Adventures of Taylor & Morgan!

Hello Everyone!

My daughters love YouTube, I know for a fact my youngest has contributed to thousands of views of children’s programming! They have been asking me for quite a while to film their own video and we finally did. These two have so much personality as you will see in this video and I hope you will support them by watching, sharing with your friends and family, leaving a comment, and of course by subscribing so you won’t miss any future videos!

Thanks so much for always supporting One Haute Mommi and now “The Adventures of Taylor & Morgan! Enjoy!

Click the video below to view or visit YouTube.com/Onehautemommi

Lessons I want my child to learn this summer

Learn, the word my 7-year old doesn’t care to hear this summer. At the conclusion of every school year, children across America look forward to unplugging from school and having fun. Words like book and work become foreign in their minds. I agree, they work hard all year long and deserve a break from early bedtimes and even earlier rings of the alarm clock, and the pressure of homework and test. Summers are supposed to be fun, laid back, and not as strenuous as the school year, but if I can be honest as parents the summer also gives us a break from the strict schedules we also face during the school year with helping with homework, projects, and activities. It’s up to us to make sure they have adequate learning opportunities during summer break. According to the National Summer Learning Association, “most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months.” I don’t know about you, but my girls can’t afford to lose any skills, we work too hard to allow the summer months to steal their precious capacity for growth. There are some lessons I would like our daughters to learn this summer, not only academic skills they can use during the school year, but also life lessons we don’t necessarily get a lot of time to focus in on.

Here are five lessons I want my kids to learn this summer. I hope some of these lessons you can incorporate into your child’s summer learning.

1. LEARNING JUST DOESN’T HAPPEN AT SCHOOL OR DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR.

Every parent would like for their child to take an interest in learning. This summer I think it’s important for it to be instilled into our children, that learning isn’t just something that happens in school or during the school year, but a lifelong activity. There are some adults who still need to grasp this concept, there are people who haven’t picked up a book since they were in school…but that’s another post. I don’t want learning to feel like a chore or something we make them do, but a choice to grow and develop new and existing skills.

2. TO HELP AROUND THE HOUSE.

During the summer months, we are on a more relaxed schedule and spend more time at home especially during the day. I would like to take these opportunities to help develop and grow their household responsibilities. We always tell the girls we are a team and as members of the team it’s important for them to feel responsible for taking care of our home as we do. For them, it means cleaning up their room without me having to scream my head off and picking up after themselves.

3. LEARN SOMETHING NEW.

When kids learn something new, it builds their self-confidence. I want my girls especially my 7-year old to learn something new this summer. The older children become, the tougher it is to keep them motivated through the many outside influences. Learning something new is a valuable life lesson, it gives the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. This summer I would like them to begin learning a new language, grow a small garden or even indoor plant, and for my youngest to learn to ride her bike without training wheels.

4. DEVELOP THEIR TALENTS AND INTERESTS.

On a good day, my oldest daughters mention 5-6 times a day that she wants to be five different careers when she grows up. As parents, my husband and I are always thinking about how we can develop those talents and interests. When you notice what your child is good at or take an interest in an activity, it’s important to develop those skills and give them the support they need to learn. Summer activities are very expensive; most park districts have summer programs taught by the industries best at lower costs. This summer our girls will be moving from doing handstands on my bedroom wall to taking gymnastic classes at our local park district.

5. JUST BE KIDS.

The pressure is constantly on children to grow up and to be responsible. This summer I want my kids to be kids. I want them to be free, to laugh, to run, play, do handstands on my wall and let their imagination run. They have all of their lives for pressure, stress, and responsibility. I believe as adults we can take a page out of our children’s books and just be free, willing to learn, and to relax and have fun this summer.

As a parent, what lesson would you like for your child to learn this summer? Leave me a comment below.learnSummer-1

Little Miss question asker

photo(2)My almost six-year old is a human question asker! She has the ability to fire off questions left and right about any random subject, person, place, thing, or the well-known how do babies come out of the mommi’s tummy (out of the belly-button…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

I take most of the blame for all the questions; I’m pretty open with her about world events, disasters, and our local Chicago violence. I don’t want her to be afraid but aware of what’s going on in the world around her. Although it was my goal for her to be more aware than afraid, she has is very inquisitive especially when it comes to tornadoes.

This week alone I have been asked questions like:

What happens when it rains on a plane?

What if a tornado happens while you’re on a plane?

Can we have tornadoes in Chicago?

Are there tornadoes in Mexico?

It’s raining, will there be a tornado?

Pray for me……

I consider myself pretty curious…. well more curious than most (just ask my friends).  When I was a child there wasn’t Google where information is seconds away from our fingertips…we had a stack of encyclopedias! It was frowned upon when a kid asked to many questions to adults. I ran out of fingers and toes trying to count how many times I heard an adult tell a child “You don’t question grown folks”. Imagine if my curiosity was nurtured into adulthood. I would be more open-minded, handle challenges differently, and gain a different appreciation for our world.

So with that said…I’m ready for Little Miss Question asker and Miss Question asker # 2.  They can fire away all the questions they want (except where do babies come from…nope not ready to deal with that yet). I know these questions are building up her little brain, encouraging her to explore the world, and enhancing her imagination.

How do you encourage your child’s natural curiosity?

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The problem with being the perfect parent

photo(1)“Perfect people lead to having perfect kids which make the perfect people perfect parents with a perfect life but in reality it puts plenty of profuse pressure on people.” –LaChaya D. Terry

Who told me I had to be a perfect mother? Sure weren’t my two girls! Did my husband tell me? Nope! Did my mother tell me she was a perfect mother and I should be one too? Nope!

I have come to the realization that I have put unrealistic expectations on my children and myself to be perfect, and it’s pretty stressful. When you start out at perfect what else is there to strive for and how much further up can you go?

1. “You don’t have to be perfect to be “the” perfect parent for your kids.” Parents make mistakes, fly off the handle, lose their patience, forget about a school trip, or lose a favorite toy. Don’t beat yourself up! Start new and fresh, learn from each opportunity, and make the necessary changes.

2. “Perfect can be dangerous.” I want to raise well-rounded children that aren’t afraid to mess up or to fail, but can dust themselves off, get back up, and not be afraid to try again. I’ve witnessed too many adults who never experienced disappointment until adulthood and it rocked them to the core.

3. “Don’t have comparisonitis” Your parenting style might not be the same as your family member, co-worker, or friend. Do what works best for your household and family!

4. “Kids will be kids” They will fight, cry, kick, scream, embarrass you, make you late, sleep in your bed, lose things, forget things, forget to use the potty, make bad decisions, giggle too much in class, like the wrong boy, say they hate you. IT’S ALL RIGHT! Be “their” perfect parent and not “the” perfect parent…love, hug, kiss, and embrace them for who they are, cherish every moment you have. They love you and you love them and it’s all that matters.

Before you know it they will grow up and strive to be perfect people with perfect kids being the perfect parents having the perfect life putting plenty of profuse pressure on them. Don’t pass it on.

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5 ways being a parent taught me to be a leader

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Family Matter’s is one of my favorite sitcoms from the 90s. The main character Steve Urkel filled the show with his unhelpful accidents, irritating snorts, and his famous “Did I do that?” The show also highlighted the Winslow family, who much like the Huxtable’s portrayed positive family values. In one episode, the mother Harriet went on a job interview and the interviewer asked her if she had supervisory experience and her response was yes, I have three children and a husband, I manage a household and it’s expenses, I cook meals, and manage several schedules! I am a leader!

Do you know you are leader? Yes, you…if you are a parent, can run a household, teach life lessons, mediate sibling rivalry, and still have something to smile about! You are a leader!

DISCLAIMER: I am not endorsing these thoughts to be used in an interview setting. These are merely my thoughts on how being a parent taught me to be a leader.

1. Know the who.

If you treat your 8-year-old like a 3-year-old it will blow up in your face like a bad science experiment. Know whom you are dealing with even adults.

2. BYOE (Bring your own energy)

Don’t let a screaming child or a difficult adult steal your energy or your joy for that matter. Bring your positive energy home and to work.

3. Manage the good.

See the good in people; it’s easy to focus on the bad parts. Write down 5 things you notice and admire about your children and your co-workers/employees.

4. Know who’s in charge.

Just as children need to be molded, corrected, and many times reeled back in, so do team members and employees. If you are in a position of leadership, use maturity and wisdom to communicate expectations.

5. Overnight Celebrity.

Embrace the process; don’t be discouraged if progress doesn’t happen overnight. Just as it takes 9 months to have a baby, it takes years to raise a child, and it also takes time to become a great and a respected leader.

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Armpits and Boobies

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Two words most parents don’t like to hear in regards to their daughter:

1. Deodorant

2. Training bras

(There are a few more, but we won’t go into that)

It’s not like those are bad words, but they are indicators that “your baby” is growing up, and if you’re anything like me, you don’t necessarily have a problem with your child getting older, but you do mind them growing up.

I have a lot of friends and family members that are now taking that dreaded trip to the mall to buy their daughter their first training bra. Is it me or does “the change” seem to be happening younger and younger. I am so happy “the real change” for my oldest daughter is at least 6 or 7 years from now (wishful thinking). I have to begin praying for my husband’s acceptance of “the change” right now! A couple of months ago we were in a department store and I was looking through the clearance rack and spotted some $.50 training bras, I joked and said maybe I should buy a few of these because of the deal for when she get’s older. He rapidly shook his head and said, “I don’t want to think about that right now!”

My oldest daughter who is almost 6 is experiencing a different type of change, instead of training bras I went shopping for deodorant. Last summer I started noticing a change, so I started paying extra attention to those areas and using baby powder to stay fresh during the warmer months. Now that the summer is almost here, I realized that powder just wouldn’t do! I ventured to our local Walgreens and purchased Tom’s of Maine natural deodorant for her to try out. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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I want to hear from you! How old did your child start wearing deodorant or need a training bra? How did you cope with “the change”?

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Ask who not what

Last week I attended a bible study and we had a discussion around how most people as kids were only asked “What” they wanted to be when they grow up, as if the career or job title are the only method to define us as individuals. As I reflected I never remember being asked personality traits that I wanted to exude as an adult. If asked “What” am I, I could rattle off job titles, responsibilities, etc. etc. but if I was asked “Who” am I, that’s a different story, it would force me to think a little longer to come up with an answer.

So as parents I think it is equally important to have our kids set their sights on their dream job or career, but it’s also helpful to help them define who they are now and who they hope to be in the future. What are some traits that I want my daughters to have as teenagers and adults? I want them to be intelligent, honest, responsible, respectable women with integrity.

The other day my brother was having a conversation with my daughter about what she wanted for her birthday. She told him and he responded by asking her “what if you don’t get it” she responded and said “Well, I will be happy with whatever I get”. I immediately thought, we are doing something right! At 5 years old she already has what some people don’t have at age 25, a true sense of appreciation. It’s not always what you say to your children as much as it is the example that you set for them.

Keep focusing on the who…..

What more can I do?

This week I had a compelling personal call to action about my commitment to inspire people and to truly make a difference in the lives of others. This afternoon I felt like I had been punched in the gut after thinking about the unfortunate death of Florida Teen Trayvon Martin who was fatally shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman as he walked from the store, 6-year-old Aliyah Shell who was shot as she sat on her front porch with her mother, and the other 40 people shot last weekend in the City of Chicago. When does the madness stop! Almost four months into the year and Chicago has already hit the 100 homicide mark for 2012. This is the fastest in seven years.

So today I questioned myself, What more can I do? My answer was SOMETHING. I’ve watched the news, tweeted about it, and had countless conversations about it and at the end of the day, I had to ask myself, Have I made a difference in my community? I know that I am only one person and I can’t save the world, but if I can touch one person, maybe two, and if more people had this outlook, I think our city could be better. It’s not just up to the Parents, Pastors and Community leaders, Police, Mayor, President Obama, but it’s up to US too, whether it’s through motivational speaking, blogging, mentoring, rallying and other programs. So today I ask you, we all want it to stop, What more can you do?

 

Who has your kids attention?

Happy Monday! I hope you have a great and productive week!

“We do learn and develop when we are exposed to those who are greater than we are. Perhaps this is the chief way we mature.”
Madeleine L’Engle

Many times growing up I heard sayings like, “you are what you eat” and “birds of a feather flock together”. It wasn’t until I became an adult I realized that who you are surrounded by truly has an effect on your determination, drive, and focus. We grow and are inspired by who we associate ourselves with, places we go, what we read or watch on television, and what music we listen to. It’s amazing how those things have the power over how far we strive and even our mood. Have you ever been in a sad or solemn mood and listened to a really sad song, and started feeling worse?

So I ask, who has our kid’s attention? What are they watching? What music are they listening to? Who are they hanging out with? Who is giving them advice?

A report says that teenagers listen to on average 2.5 hours or more of music every day. This means that on a daily basis at a minimum of 2.5 hours a day, kids are listening to sexual references, drug references, and references of negative behavior every single day. This does not include the time spent watching music videos of the same type, movies, facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, myspace, and interacting with FRIENDS. Out of all of this time, how many hours as a parent or mentor are we spending pouring into their daily lives, with all that we have going on.

Let’s be sure as adults that we monitor what our kids are watching and listening to. It is so important even before the critical teenage years, that we are exposing our kids to positive images and positive people that will inspire them to want more and to be more. With all the images in the world, let make sure that the primary influence for kids are positive images of successful adults living their lives purposefully and successfully. Let’s not let Lil Wayne and Drake raise our kids and form their thinking and actions. Let’s show them the right way!

A True Picture of Love

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love can be a complicated thing, but as adults we can learn a lot about love and how to love more and on a deeper level from a child. A child’s love is one of the purest forms of love though man, it isn’t pretentious, misleading, or  boastful. A child’s love is unconditional. My daughter Taylor is 4 and she has the biggest heart. She is constantly thinking about other people and how she can make your day, whether it is saying something sweet or drawing you a picture. Taylor is the typical four-year old and sometimes she doesn’t listen and I will have to fuss at her about things.  One day she did something she shouldn’t have and I corrected her and while she was crying she said “But Mommy, I love you, you’re the best mommy in the whole world!”. That thing broke me down! I was like “Wow” even though she was in trouble and I yelled at her, she still loved  me so much, that in anger she could still say “I love you” and meant it. As adults we can write our spouse off when they make us angry and lose a friend over something petty, but if we could just learn how to love through the eyes of a child, unconditionally, unselfishly, with no motives or tricks, the world would be so much better. To a child love is simple, they don’t have to think about it, they just do it.

I am so blessed with a great husband and baby’s daddy 🙂 He is truly my best friend, he loves me unconditionally and is my support system. Thank you for showing me what real love is….Valentine’s Day is everyday. I love you!

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

The Message (MSG)

3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.