I originally posted about this on the Facebook page and realized that I had not posted about it on the blog, I sincerly apologize for that.
You might notice a new tab on the blog’s menu “Crucian with Mami” well that’s there because I started a mini-series in an attempt to teach my children Crucian.
On December 19, 2020, I decided I was going to do something about the fact that my son doesn’t speak the local creole from where we were born, this is what I posted on Facebook:
Being an Expat parent is not easy especially when your child speaks only the community language and not your mother tongue so today I’m starting a mini-series: Crucian with MamiIn Crucian (the creole of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, where I’m from) we call our mother’s Mami. My son stopped calling me Mami when we moved to France in 2015, social pressure, everyone calls their grandmother Mamie and their mother Maman. It’s an indescribable feeling going through a terrible pregnancy, waiting 9+ months for your child to finally call you Mami, and then just like that in the blink of an eye, it’s taken from you. It felt like he forgot me. I understand fitting in when out and about in public but I had hoped that we could still keep a little of our culture at home. As it is now my son doesn’t talk to any of my family, he says he doesn’t understand them because he only speaks French. I don’t want this for my children so from today, we are going to be doing Crucian classes with Mami. My classes will teach the difference between standard English and Crucian, we’ll listen to Crucian music, hopefully, eat Crucian food, and read Crucian literature. As we say in Crucian “Leh we go!” (Let’s go!)
Once Upon a Dovy
I started going over the language and trying to figure out the most important aspects of it so that I could teach the children. I decided I would starte with the word Deh, I recorded a sound clip and soon realized that it would be much better to start with pronouns in Crucian.
For the first lesson I covered the two forms of I used in Crucian.
The month of both Naveen and his father’s birthday as well as several other family members. The month of Halloween which I have to admit I don’t really pay attention to. We’ve never celebrated it when I was growing up but Naveen has been big on doing the whole dressing up and trick or treating but not this year for obvious reasons.
Since the 25th of September I’ve been using the Multi-Restore Gel Cream and Multi-Restore Facial Sleeping Oil from Garnier Bio. I spoke a bit about it here. This was my first time using a Gel Cream and a Facial Sleeping Oil, normally I wash my face and apply a cream then go to sleep so this really was a new experience for me, here’s my thoughts on the products:
Multi-Restore Gel Cream
First of all, what is a Gel Cream?
A Gel Cream is water based, it has lighter and more fluid texture compared to regular creams which is why they provide better hydration without leaving your skin feeling heavy or greasy. They are aimed towards people with oily skin.
The first thing I noticed about the Gel Cream was how light and easy it was to spread it on my face and neck, the second thign I noticed was the scent, I really don’t like the smell of hemp and this was no exception, whenever I get a whiff of hemp it reminds me of some kind of musty old thing you’d find in the back of your grandmother’s house. Disgusting.
Thankfully the scent does not linger at all.
Once the Gel Cream is applied it absorbs into the skin rapidly and you forget all about that terrible scent and are left with a very moisturized face.
Multi-Restore Facial Sleeping Oil
Facial Sleeping Oils or Night Oils are oils designed to be used before you go to bed. They are usually too heavy to wear during the day or under makeup.
When using a Facial oil a little goes a long way, trust me, when I first applied the oil I used it like I would a cream and it left my face feeling very very greasy, the next day I applied less and it was much better. Once again the scent is terrible but doesn’t last long. I never remember that I applied anything with Hemp let alone two products which in my opinion is great.
I can’t say for certain that the products were behind my lack of pms pimples, pms is the only time I get pimples and this month I had 0 pimples! If it was because of the products then great but it could easily have been just a coincidence. I will only have to keep using it for a couple more months to see if I skip the pimples for the next two or three months to see.
Now onto my Voxbox or should I say lack of Voxbox…
I know, it’s been 4 weeks since my last post and I’m still without my Opi Rainbow Voxbox…
A lot of people in the UK as well as some in France for their boxes but I’m among the unlucky few who have still not received their boxes. The campaign ended earlier this week and literally disappeared off my dashboard, I was pretty anxious to say the least. If you don’t complete your missions for a campaign you can be excluded from ever receiving one again and I really didn’t want that to happen. Two days later the campaign reappeared and have been extended again! It should last until November but to be honest I’m losing hope that I will ever receive this box. I’ve been a member on the site for 6 years and this is the first time I’ve ever had this kind of problem. I don’t know if Covid is to blame for the terrible shipping or if this will be the norm now.
So, you remember those false nails I bought to use with the Voxbox?
I already started using them. I have painted my nails a few times thinking “Oh no! What if my box comes now?” It never does though so I’ll continue to use the nails and color my nails something new every few weeks.
The nails are very long in my opinion, I can’t leave them too long or I start to feel like I can’t do anything so I trimmed them down to the perfect length for me.
I guess we’ll see if i get my box next week or if I never get it…
Welcome back or if you’re visiting for the first time hello.
The last time I posted “The Last of them” my grandfather had just passed away and I was not in a good frame of mind. I’m doing better now, not 100% but I don’t feel like closing myself up in a deep dark hole, I got the space I needed to grieve and I’m thankful for that.
One of my nieces went on vacation to the beach and my son wanted so badly join her but the closest beach to us is almost 5 hours away! There’s no way we travel that far to go to the beach. Or so I thought…
On Monday, all smug like, my son said to me “we’re going to the beach tomorrow”, Yeah right, I thought, we’re not going anywhere but his father didn’t say anything to me, then again his father waits until the very last minute to tell me anything. I’m sitting there contemplating this information and whether or not I can trust it when Marvin comes home and asks Naveen if he told me.
Told me what?
Naveen said “yes, I tell Mama”, you mean it’s true? We’re going to the beach tomorrow?
I had a rough night, Oyanie kept waking up even though she was sleeping for a good six hours, this night she decided four hours was good enough. So there I was on Tuesday morning, tired as hell and have to get up to start packing and making sure we don’t forget anything.
Everything checked and double checked, we were on our way, on our to where? I didn’t know. I just knew we were going to the beach. I mentioned before that my husband doesn’t tell me anything until last minute? Well for trips he doesn’t tell me where we are going at all… I think he works under the misinformation that I like surprises, nothing could be further from the truth, after 10 years I’ve just accepted that he likes surprising me. I’ve never hated any of his surprises so I’ll allow it.
First we stopped to get gas, can’t drive for so long on an empty tank eh, that done we started our long drive to the beach, at first I was admiring the scenery as we drove but that quickly turned to fatigue as we continued driving, we’d been driving for almost two hours when I felt the car slowing down, I didn’t see it ok, I feel asleep, it was a very long drive. We took a little break so we could stretch our legs, eat and drink, and just rest for a bit. We stil had about two hours left of driving to go. I was curious about what kind of hotel we would be staying in this time and anticipating just dropping onto the bed and staying there for however long I would need. Sitting in the car for so long had made my back ache like there was no tomorrow.
Our little stop over we were back on the road again, this passed by like a blur, I remember a lot of trees and building and then water, some of the water was greenish colored but the closer we got to our destination the more blue the color became.
Finally, we arrived at our destination, this wasn’t like any hotel I’d ever seen before, because it wasn’t, we were staying in someone’s air b&b?
It was an apartment of sorts, the door was one of those really old European doors, ancient wooden panel with a round knob that looks like it might fall off at any moment, it didn’t though, these doors are pretty strong despite their appearance. Inside was a kitchen slash dinning slash living area. Kind of like what we have at home, there’s no definition of space in the homes I’ve visited here in France. There was an upstairs, where I assume was the bedrooms and bathroom but there was one problem.
The stairs looked like something out of my worst nightmare..
Apparently Naveen felt the same because he refused to climb the stairs, we had no choice though, the beds were upstairs and the toilet which we would need sooner or later. His father helped him climb the ladder, I refuse to call it stairs, I followed behind gingerly placing my feet on each rung and holding onto the railing like my life depended on it. If you think going up that monstrosity was bad, going down it was worse, each rung was so narrow I had to try to climb down sideways so my feet could find purchase on each slender step. The worse thing about this was when I had to go up or down with Oyanie in my arms, There I was with my tiny bady held tightly in one arm and the other wrapped around the railing and trying to gauge how far down each step was from the other.
Naveen became a pro at the stairs, he went up and down like they were nothing, me? No such thing, I took the stairs only if I really needed to otherwise I was fine to stay upstairs or downstairs wherever I was at the moment.
We didn’t end up going to the beachthe first day because it would take another hour and we had reacher too late to go to the beach. We did visit an old wash station where there was a river flowing through. Naveen told his father he didn’t want to go to the beahc anymore, he was content to stay here and enjoy the river, we didn’t come all this way for the river though. We were going to drive to the beach the next day.
A semi good nights sleep, Ms Oyanie was up every four hour again, we had breakfast and relaxed a bit before heading to the beach around noon. The drive was interesting, we followed a canal of water along a very small road, you literally had to ride the wall to let another car pass, at the end of the canal was the beach.
I’ll be completely honest, being from the Caribbean I grew up with white sand, blue waters, literally beaches of your dreams, this, was not it. First things first, the sand, more like dirt was speckled with something gold that felt like dust on your skin if it touched you. The water was not beckoning at all, add in that there was so many people there, my anxiety went sky high and I was content to stay on the bench we scored under the very shady tree. Marvin asked me if I wanted to go in the water and it was a big no. I’m fine love.
We spent about two hours there, Naveen enjoyed himself immensely, Oyanie stayed with me mostly, and Marvin went in the water with Naveen, everybody enjoyed themself and it was time to drive back to the apartment.
Had an okay night, it was time to head back home which meant another long drive, strangely, going up and down those horrifying stairs gave me muscle aches in my legs, I will not miss them at all. And because I completely forgot that Oyanie made five months yesterday I decided to take some pictures, she was not cooperating at all so I got many many very similar pictures lol. I thought I had settled on the best picture but I felt like the background was too busy and you couldn’t see her face well enough so I moved locations and voilà, the month 5 picture.
This drive I did better, I didn’t fall asleep so I saw some cool things like this church? ontop of the hill, not sure you can really see it in the picture.
Also saw this really cute tiny castle on a roundabout.
Finally we were back home!
This trip wasn’t the only thing I was up to, I also found this really interesting app on the appstore, you upload a picture and people try to guess where you are from, it said to input the furthest back your ancestry went so I entered France and Nigeria. Trying out the app I realized that I really can’t tell where people are from, I get lucky soemtimes but for the most part I guess very wrongly.
Here’s what people guessed for me:
The last interesting thing I have to talk about is a secret campaign I was selected for. I can’t say what I’m supposed to review yet but when the package arrived I’ll write a post about it. Stay tuned for that!
That’s what my grandfather would call me. Said in his Dominican (Dominica) accented English.
I have so many wonderful memories of him and with him. I can still hear him calling my brother Andre Champagne or hear him playing the guitar with us children gathered round in that little house in Peter’s Rest.
I can see his photography hanging on the walls of my parent’s home. It was through him that I developed a love of photography, I always hoped that I could someday be as good as he was, I haven’t used my camera in a very long time and that makes this so much more worse to me.
I remember the Werther’s candy he always had for us kids. I loved them and will always think of my Grandpa when I see them. They don’t taste the same but I’ll buy a pack the next time I see one and just pretend for a moment that it’s the same one you used to share.
I remember that one year when you had so many Sonic the Hedgehog tops, my brothers and I would color on a piece of paper, cut it out to fit in top of the top and watch the pretty patterns it would make as it spun in a circle.
I remember the last time I saw you, 2015, my mother brought me and my son to see you before we left the Island for France. You held onto us and prayed for our safe journey.
I didn’t grow up knowing my great grandparents but I’ll be damned if my children don’t know about their great grandfather Norbert.
My grandfather was my last living grandparent, he fought that cancer for 18 long months, every message from home I dreaded those words, I knew it was coming but still…
Today is Father’s Day, a day I usually don’t care for because of my own weird relationship with my father, so, today I’m going to talk about the many father figures I’ve had in my life and how they lead me to the father in my children’s lives.
My father is not an easy man to understand, some days you wonder if he even cares, I’ve spoken a bit about this in The Useless Sibling and the truth is it was so much worse, the other day someone asked me what was the best feature of my father that I looked for in a man and I just couldn’t think of one. Almost everything I thought of was something I didn’t want. I didn’t want to be treated as a mistake in my partners life and I sure as hell didn’t want him to view or children as play things for his public persona. That saying that a father is a girl’s first love? Not even close to being true for me.
Two of my most vivid memories are of my parents fighting, one where my mother was going to leave the house and had her keys in her hand and my father grabbed her arm and was pulling it like he was going to break it, I jumped on his back and started pummeling him while I yelled for my brothers, my oldest brother came with a broom stick and my father finally let go of our mother. The second incident I don’t remember as well but I remember my mother bitting into his arm and he was hitting her in the head trying to get her loose.
These were just two extremes but they fully cemented in my head that I didn’t want a relationship like this. I didn’t want a man like this, I wasn’t even sure I ever wanted to get married, all the marriages in my life save one was toxic, cheating, children on the outside, fighting, just a lot of toxicity.
Now I’ll talk about that one good marriage in my life, one of my mother’s sisters, Aunty Cathy, married my Uncle Luis, from the very first time I remember meeting him he has always been very nice to me. With my Selective Mutism I didn’t speak to him, I remember feeling very shy around him for a long time but that didn’t change how he treated me, he would talk to me, show interest in my drawings, try my failed attempts at sodas haha, he did everything my father didn’t. My uncle out of everyone in my life is who I based the ideal mate on. My aunt and uncle lived with us for a while and those were good days, I felt heard and seen, I had a good male figure in my life and he treated my aunt really well.
The day they moved out was one of the saddest in my life, it meant I would go back to being ignored or yelled at for just existing. Even though he no longer lived with us I never forgot the way my uncle treated me, I would look forward to their visits every time.
Before I met my husband I wasn’t sure I wanted to get married or have children, I was pretty content in the fact that I would be single Aunty Lynnette, the cool and strict aunt. For whatever reasons my cousins believed I was a traveling girl? Meaning that I had many boyfriends and several sexual encounters. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, I didn’t do much as kiss a guy until my husband.
I mean sure I had lots of male friends but they were just friends, I also didn’t meet any of them in real life, my mother says I’m pretty unobservant because a lot of them were flirting with me but I never noticed it? I like my friends, they’re good men but not for me, they weren’t like my uncle none of the guys I met were like my uncle so definitely not someone I would be interested in forming a permanent bond with.
I spoke a bit on how I ended up with my husband in My Truths. Before we even had children I saw how he was with his niece and how he was with my nieces, it reminded me so much of my beloved uncle and they were both tall and wore glasses, if this wasn’t the universe talking to me I don’t know what it was.
One of my nieces was so taken with Marvin that she started calling him Daddy, I routinely call her his first child haha, I have to say that even though I was determined to find a man nothing like my father, Marvin and my father shared several similar tastes and qualities. I somehow found a man that was a balance between my father and my uncle.
The most notably quality between my father and Marvin? Determination. I swear I’ve never seen two people who would never give up until they have accomplished what they set out to do.
Annecy, a city found in the Haute-Savoie Department of France. It’s located in the southeastern part of France, where Lake Annecy feeds into the Thiou River, this city has been on my bucket list for a few years.
I especially wanted to see Lake Annecy, La Vieille Ville, Pont des Amours, and Palais de l’Ile.
We left on Saturday around 12pm, the drive took around 2hrs, the weather was not the best, it was overcast and pretty chilly, yes, chilly in June! We’ve been having temperatures in the 50s which is about 12° Celsius.
As we were driving my son would get really excited seeing the clouds covering the mountains and driving through mist.
The most exciting thing though was driving through the mountains! I don’t mean over the mountains either, we drive through tunnels that went through the belly of the mountains, twice, and each time it was crazy.
Yeah, yeah, you might have don’t this before, probably many times, for us especially coming from an island without any mountains it was something really special to see and experience. I only wish I had taken a picture.
We reached the hotel about 2:55 or so, it was raining a bit and my husband realized we had forgotten the baby carrier, so there we were sans stroller and carrier so my husband had to heft the bag with our stuff and the little miss.
We hurried into the hotel and quickly got our room key, strangely enough there was only one key so we either had to all go out at the same time or some go and others stay behind. It was an ok hotel from the little I saw on our way to the room, there was a game room where Naveen wanted to spend some time. The elevator ride was terrible, it was so jerky, and I got bad motion sickness.
When we arrived at the room I noticed it was kind of small, there were two full size beds, one fairly close to the door and the other closer to the opposite wall, Naveen was only to happy to have such a big bed all to himself. I think miss lady believed the other one was for her.
We took a little rest, change Oyanie’s diaper and feed her then we were off!
First we stopped at Burger King so that the bigger people could eat then we visited the lake, the rain was still coming down, because we were closer to the lake the wind was really strong and those two things made it pretty cold.
Without the carrier, Oyanie ended up wrapped in her father’s coat, we tried to keep her as well as possible while taking in the sights.
The Pont des Amours wasn’t far from the lake, just had to keep walking and there we were, a little ways from the bridge I spotted a giant bow and arrow. I haven’t been able to find any information on it yet but I probably am not searching for the right terms.
Naveen was only too happy to have space to run around and explore. He wanted to keep walking but it was still raining and Oyanie was getting tired. We decided to head back to the hotel.
For dinner we had pizza from Domino’s, it’s been many years since I’ve had a pizza from there, I found the pizzas to be pretty small, we ordered two and had really tiny containers of ice cream and some kind of dessert with chocolate. I didn’t eat the chocolate dessert. The ice cream was enough for me.
It was a bit difficult to get Oyanie to sleep and after trying and trying she finally went to sleep but I ended up not being able to fall asleep, I don’t know if I was too hot or if I was just too wired to sleep, whatever it was I ended up just laying there twisting and turning the whole night.
My phone was charging in Marvin’s side of the bed and I didn’t want to wake anyone up trying to reach so I tried to wait patiently until everyone woke up. Thankfully Marvin woke up long enough to hand me my phone.
Finally everyone was up and it was time to check out of the hotel but first Oyanie got a bottle.
I hadn’t noticed it before when we arrived but downstairs in the lobby there’s a statue of a red cow.
Everyone was hungry do we decided to go to the bakery, unfortunately the bakery had a long line as they only allowed one customer in at a time, we were too hungry to wait in line do we took a walk looking for other places to eat.
Every so often Marvin would stop to look at menus or Naveen would watch stalls with people selling toys.
Finally, after waking for what seemed like forever, we went intoFrench Coffee Shop, Marvin asked me what I wanted and I looked over the offerings. There were lots of muffins and some other things but what caught my attention was the cheesecake. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it before but I love cheesecake, if I see it I will always want it, so when Marvin asked me again what I wanted without hesitation I said cheesecake.
Now, things could have gone either good or bad because not everyone can make cheesecake.
Thankfully, this was not the case, nope, this cheesecake was delicious, it was utterly divine, like if anyone would have tried to ask me to taste some I’d stuff the whole thing in my mouth or lick it.
I had to restrain myself from licking the cardboard but I sure did lick the spoon. Breakfast over with, we walked back to the car and began the drive to go home.
Now, we’re home, I’m very tired so will probably end this here.
This is going to be a heavy piece, it will involve speech about molestation, if that’s one of your triggers I’d suggest skipping this post, with that said I’m going to talk about something that I’ve talked a little about before but never in my blog. I want to change that, I want to speak my truth so others can understand certain aspects of my life and how I’ve processed it.
So, here we go…
This is a memory that is clear as day in my head even though it happened over twenty years ago.
Imagine if you will, this thin, small child, five almost six years old, quiet, she doesn’t say a thing. Expressionless the whole day. This vulnerable innocent child was me.
It was a new school, new people, new everything, I was in first grade and still mute even though they said children are only shy at first. The class was about twenty students maybe more maybe less, the size didn’t important, the children aren’t either, except for two. A boy and a girl.
I had no interactions with these two, never sat near them, never played with them, but these two affected me in a way nothing else has ever done.
It was not a normal day, we were not in class, no, we were in the school’s cafeteria. There was an event going on but I can’t remember what it was about, doesn’t matter, I was sitting at a table far away from everyone except for the boy E and the girl K. I can’t remember the names of the other students but I remember these two, I don’t know how I feel about their names, a curious thing, I don’t hate it but I won’t speak it. Ever.
I don’t know why but K decided to notice me that day, maybe it’s because we were so far apart from everyone else but she was sitting right next to me.
It’s going to get a bit graphic and I apologise but she stuck her hand under my skirt and fondled me, she pulled her hand out and said “smell yourself”. I had never had the inappropriate touch talk, no, that came later, so, as you can no don’t tell I was confused and didn’t know what to do. The boy E never touched me but he did not tell her to stop either, instead what he did was laugh and I didn’t understand that either.
I never told anyone about what happened, not my best friend, not my parents, I think I wanted to forget it ever happened. I buried it so far that I just never thought about it. That is until I was in my early 20s. I was talking to someone about rape and molestation and it was like opening a door. I remembered everything all at once.
It explained why I had an aversion to being friends with girls, why I never felt comfortable around them, why I felt different to my peers.
I talked about being The Useless Sibling but now I knew why. I up to this day have trouble accepting hugs and being touched, I still feel a little uncomfortable around women and I honestly don’t feel attraction. I honestly thought I was asexual because I’ve had people I thought were attractive I’ve never envisioned anything other than being friends, I had one or two I’ve called boyfriend but in truth it was just in name. I have never wanted to be physical with any of them.
The day I met my husband was like being awoken, it’s corny as hell but I often wondered what it would feel like just to be held. We lived in different countries then so there was no way to find out. The day he asked to visit, I swear I almost fainted, I asked my parents and they were fine. Yes, I still lived at home so when my husband came to visit he met all my family at once.
That first day was full of nerves, this guy I’d spent two years chatting to was finally here, the first time in my life I felt like a woman and I wanted to explore.
Demisexual, you don’t feel attraction until you’ve formed a deep connection, I now had an answer for my lack of interest in guys other than being friends.
On the subject of friends, although I’m still a little uncomfortable, I now have a few women I call friend.
I won’t allow a girl who was most probably being molested herself to dictate who I can and can’t be friends with.
Oh, if you’re not following the Facebook page, I had mentioned that I would do a special post for Father’s day so be on the lookout for that.
I’m 21+1 today and feeling all the kicks and punches, stretches and rolls. My son recently got to feel the baby move and he was awe struck lol he asked me if I could feel it. Baby hasn’t cooperated for Papa yet but I’m sure he’ll feel the movements soon enough.
Aches and pains have blossomed in the form of round ligament pain in my pelvis. I’m in pain turning over in bed, walking, going up the stairs, basically anything. I’m hoping to get a pillow for between my legs to help with this pain.
We did find out that I’m having a girl which I’m excited and nervous about, thinking about all the hair fights I’m going to have to deal with!
Speaking of hair, I shaved my head again, not as bald as I was before but enough that I didn’t have to struggle to take care of it. I was really down about it’s state after my sickness and just decided a fresh start is what I needed.
I’ve been walking to the park with my son more since he’s on vacation and I think it’s doing me some good. I’m no longer super tired and run down when I get home but I am out of breath sometimes. I try to rest when we reach the house and let my body relax.
Things are going well for the meantime so I’ll end this on a good note.