Baby??? Maybe. Maybe Not.

I haven’t talked much about children much on my blog, partially because it’s me and my husband’s private business and partially because there isn’t much to report.

I just turned 40 and we looked into IVF but we can’t afford it. It’s ridiculously expensive, even if you make a decent living like we do.  In June, we went to a training session and got some information about adoption. We are not interested in foster care at all, as I do not want my home to become a revolving door for children that we get attached to and then they go back to their family of origin.  Yet, the application to begin the process sits on the kitchen table, uncompleted.

The upside to having kids is of course being able to carry on your family name, and being able to shape and mold the next generation as well as having a little person around to bring you the remote when you don’t feel like getting up to look for it (lol). Let’s not forget how entertaining and fun kids can be as well. I have 2 little people in my life right now (my niece and nephew) that I absolutely love to pieces.

I remain conflicted about having kids, whether naturally or via adoption to be honest. I like my married, childfree life more than I thought I would. I observe with amusement my friends children and love how cute they are, but note how they can be demanding and time consuming. My parent friends entire weekends are consumed with sports and other kid activities. Some of my parent friends complain about having little time for themselves, and if they are married, for their marriages once kids come along. But perhaps parents also felt like I do, prior to having their children. But the default is to have children, especially if you are married and if you don’t, people either eye you with suspicion or treat you with pity.

My husband is, blessedly, open to whatever I decide. I am very grateful for that. But I realize time isn’t on my side at this point and I need to make up my mind. Will I regret it if we don’t have children? Will I regret it if we do?

I just don’t know right now.

Thirty Nine

Today is the last day of my fourth decade on this planet. I turn 40 tomorrow. I’m still unpacking that in my head. I. AM. TURNING. FORTY. YEARS. OLD.

I feel some kind of way about it ..I think.

It seems like yesterday that I was graduating from college, then hustling to find a job, then moving to Dallas for said job, then hating Dallas and running back home after 6 months, leaving my college boyfriend in the process. Then I dated a good friend that I’d known since college, then broke up with him, started and finished grad school, bought a house, ran the streets with my sorors and other girlfriends, traveled out of the country for the first time, had good dates and horrible ones and suddenly I was 30. It’s like my twenties were a blur.

At 39, the memories of my fourth decade are more crystalline, more frozen in time, more focused. I guess as you get older, you want to trap more of those memories in your subconscious.

In my thirties I:

• Sold my house
• Moved to Minnesota for my then boyfriend
• Proved to myself I could live somewhere else and have a good life
• Left a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere and moved back home
• Dated an ex (for the second time) that I shouldn’t have
• Got therapy when I needed it
• Went to the Bahamas and swam with dolphins
• Saw Prince in concert
• Bought another house
• Got laid off/fired a couple of times
• Lost my final remaining grandparent
• Met the coolest dude on the planet
• Planned and pulled off a wedding for 150 people
• Married that really cool dude
• Got a lesson about who is a true friend and who wasn’t
• Saw the Grand Canyon
• Became an aunt to my brother’s 2 adorable children
• Put my feet in the Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico
• Supported my spouse in the loss of his dear mother
• And really for the most part came into my own

I’m sure my life event list could be longer but those are some of the ones that really stick out to me. And that’s what is so wild, that’s just ten years’ worth of stuff. Now that I read that, I guess I don’t feel so uneasy about turning the big four oh after all. It might be just another day, but it’s another day I get to learn, growth, evolve and LIVE.

Now that’s worth celebrating, don’t you think?

I’m Still Here

My life hasn’t had too many words as of late but perhaps the pictures can speak for me.

We had a very good Easter:


My mom and my niece in their Easter dresses.


Miss Chandler is missing some front teeth!


Happy Easter from the Macks!


Daddy’s little girl.

It’s spring time in Houston (FINALLY) and Lent is over so it’s time for crawfish!! We went to the Pearland Crawfish Festival this weekend.


Corn, potatoes and bugs..10 pounds worth!


Lots of ducks to win a prize.


The brothers Mack: middle, oldest, youngest.

And of course, everyone loves a Carnival!





Hopefully it’s warming up where you are!

Sacrificial Lamb

There was a meeting last night to discuss the fact that Houston ISD is planning to close the high school I went to and merge it with another high school, build a new school and then adopt the mascot and name of the other high school. Folks in the community are upset and rightfully so. Who wants to see their alma mater shut down??  This meeting was supposed to be to gather community “input” but many folks acknowledge that unless a miracle happens, it’s pretty much a done deal.

However, many of the more recent graduates pointed out  in comments on the FB meeting invite that the community around my high school is in decay (and to be frank was always low income when I was there 20 years ago), the school itself is bad shape as it was built right after World War II, and the enrollment is less than half (530) of what the capacity can hold (around 1200 students).  Test scores are horrible and there has been a revolving door of administrators.  Parental and alumni support has been negligible. In fact, many of  more recent alumni commented that they welcomed the merger and subsequent building of a new facility as they felt it would benefit the community and future students.

I feel somewhat guilty because I agree with them.

I did not grow up in the community where my high school is located. I got up every morning to catch a 6:20 AM bus crosstown because of the gifted and talented program located there. That was the only reason I went. I enjoyed my time there and the friends that I made, but I don’t really have a strong connection to my high school at all. In 2002, the parents of the students in the gifted and talented program lobbied the district to move the program out of my high school to make it a stand alone one, first at an unused elementary school and finally to a brand new high school located in a gentrifying area right near downtown Houston. When the GT programs moved, the death knell basically sounded for my high school.

I feel bad because I felt like perhaps I should have done more as an alumni, that perhaps I should be more up in arms about this. After all this is a predominately Black and Hispanic community that is about to lose their neighborhood school. On the other hand, my practical side thinks that if the school has basically gone to shit, why shouldn’t the folks in the area, who DO pay school taxes like every other resident of the District get a decent school for their children? Why should their hard earned dollars continue to be used to put lipstick on a pig??? But even worse, why are the people in the community getting outraged NOW? Especially when it’s pretty much too late.

I’ll always cherish the memories, but Myron made a good point when we were talking about it, sometimes growth requires sacrifice.

I wonder if I should have sacrificed a bit more myself.

What’s In A Name?

I didn’t watch the Academy Awards last night because they are too long and boring and I was tired from my out of town trip, but I did periodically check my Twitter account to see what my timeline had to say about the show. Mostly there were tweets about how Seth McFarlane pretty much sucked and that per the usual, the show ran WAY too long. So I got ready for bed and figured I didn’t miss much.

I got in bed and grabbed my phone (I have an addiction, I know), settled in and pulled up Twitter again to see folks final commentary and when I logged back it my feed was ON FIYAH. Apparently the Onion, a website known for its biting satire had called a 9 year old girl a very ugly name. I’m not going to link them but this blog post pretty much gives a good summary.

I typically don’t hop on the Twitter bandwagon about a lot of things because if you did, you’d be mad about something every 30 seconds and half the time it’s faux outrage but I have a 7 year old niece and I certainly wouldn’t want her called out of her name. It’s very telling that there have been other Oscar nominees who have been children who apparently are off limits, but when a little black girl dares to correct someone about how to pronounce her name, then it’s a problem. I get that Quevenzhane Wallis is a celebrity and is in the public eye, but she’s still a kid. There was a time in our society when kids were exempt from public ridicule and attack. Apparently that time has passed. This should be one of the happiest days of her life and it’s tarnished because some asshole on a Twitter account thinks it’s cute and funny to call out a kid in the name of laughs. I’ll be first to say that people, black folks especially, have a knack for coming up with some creative names for children. I have seen some names that have made me shake my head and wonder how to pronounce them. But the point is, a person’s name is a person’s name and they have to right to be called by that name. And calling children, be they celebrities or the 9 year old around the corner words used to crudely describe female genitals is bad business and out of line.

I’m getting tired of the coarseness of pop culture and the mindset that anything goes and you can’t tell folks shit cause they can do what they want. Unbeknownst to them there ARE boundaries and there are folks who still believe in common decency.

I took the time to drop a few sentences to the good, fine upstanding folks at the Onion and I hope you will too. Here’s how to get at them:

Please send all press inquiries to:

Chairman David Schafer (

President and CEO Steve Hannah (

COO Mike McAvoy (

Update: The Onion apologized. Yeah, no. The comments on the status are a mixed bag. Read at your own risk.

Odds And Ends: The Graduate Edition


I had a really good weekend. Friday night Myron and I went to a friend’s birthday party who was turning 21 for the 25th time! LOL! Her home was decorated so pretty for the holidays so we got in a pic by the Christmas tree. This might need to go on a card!

Saturday I was on proud sister duty as I saw my big little brother graduate from college with his BS in Architecture!! I am so proud of him. He is a single dad of two (see the cheery faces below who were super excited to see daddy graduate) and though he had a few setbacks along the way, he didn’t give up and kept his eye on the prize. Now that he has that paper, he needs a job! Ya’ll hiring??


Here is my brother and my dad. That is one happy parent!


Here is me in proud sister mode. Say cheese!!


Other odds and ends that were on my mind –

  • The horrible tragedy that happened in Newtown, CT has been in my thoughts all weekend. I am not a parent but I was shocked and horrified to watch the terror on the news and I hugged my niece and nephew a lot this past weekend and got lots of kisses. Parents should be able to send their kids to school without fear and I hope the President follows through on his words regarding taking steps to end mass violence like this.
  • The comments by ESPN commentator Rob Parker just prove that stupidity knows no color. I’m not sure I agree with him being suspended for being an asshole but being in the public eye often means you suffer the consequences of living in a society that allows for free speech.
  • What I am about to say is petty and I am almost 40 years old and should be beyond this, but I’m not and I don’t care. Last night, I posted a congratulatory message on a friend’s FB wall. I did so on purpose because I didn’t want to comment on her status and get a flood of notifications. Why did someone decide to comment on MY wall post to congratulate my friend???? Is it that much extra effort to comment on the gotdamn FB wall yourself?? Is it two mouse clicks more than you have the strength to make?? Ya’ll for real I was soooooooo ANNOYED. I have had that happen to me before and I was feeling particularly evil that day so I deleted my original post and re-typed it. Post your own damn message! It isn’t that hard! *woosah* *takes deep breaths* *lays down*

So how was your weekend?? 


I’m not a mother, but I hope to be in the near future, and I know that quite a few of my readers are moms.

I read the Motherlode blog on the New York Times website pretty regularly and I came across this parental quandary today:

Can my daughter hang out with you guys after school?” That’s the question A. hears from a fellow mother nearly every week (and sometimes more often). After school, or when she needs to work a weekend or an evening shift, this mother seems to have settled on A. as her go-to emergency baby-sitting option.

In the great game of reciprocal child care, not all parents play fair. You may always be there for a friend who calls with “I’m running late,” or “I just got a last minute, hard-to-get doctor’s appointment,” but is she always there for you? This is A.’s quandary, and the mooching parent isn’t really a friend, but the single working mother of a friend of her 8-year-old daughter.

The result is that her daughter’s friend spends a lot of time at A.’s house. Her mother texts A. at the last minute, asking if A. can pick the little girl up from school with A.’s daughter, and keep her just until the end of the workday. The other woman is relatively new in town, with no local family, and A. thinks there’s no one else to help out — if she doesn’t pick the child up, who will?

But the requests are frequent, and rarely reciprocated. A. works too, and the extra little girl in the house on school nights, or coming along on after-school errands and weekend activities, can be a problem, not to mention a financial burden. A. finds herself with three kids in tow for meals and everything else, and her fellow parent, even with gentle reminders, never pitches in. As a final straw, the little girl is all too comfortable with A. She bickers with A.’s children, and begs for candy and treats on errands. These “play dates” aren’t even fun for A’s daughter anymore.

A. knows she needs to say something — but what, and how? She’d like to maintain her daughter’s friendship. She doesn’t mind helping out once in a while. And she suspects that there’s no money for a baby sitter there, and A. can relate to that.

Read the rest of the article and comments here:

The mother in this scenario is a working single mother, BUT this scenario could apply to any parent or caregiver. It does take a village to raise children, but at what point does a parent set boundaries that are necessary for their own kids?

What would you say? How would you handle? 


Odds And Ends: The Monday AM Edition

Geritol: for your fertility! *side eye*

  • So I went out Friday for a friend’s birthday. I had a good time, had a few lots of drinks, and got all the way TURNT up (@Melleaux, 2011) on Twitter. Drunken tweeting is hella fun!! LMAO!!! And my husband, saw me tweeting, and dropping it real low and was HIGHLY amused and tickled, which is why he did not take my phone away. Apparently, my parents knew about my foolery due to my younger snitch brother so my entire immediate family was amused and tickled as well.
  • So I’m listening to the radio on the way in (Mad Hatta Morning Show on 97.9 The BOXX, no judging dammit!) and so apparently what’s hot in the streets is for 2 chicks to get some girl on girl action going on in the VIP area at the club. I’m talking downtown type activities!! One of the morning show hosts was a living witness to it all this past Saturday night. You can’t blame that shit on the alcohol!!
  • I am probably the only black woman in America who will NOT be going to see the movie, The Help. Nerd Girl had an excellent discussion on it at her spot last week.
  • I need my mama to stop talking to folks at the beauty shop about my uterus. Apparently, the best way to get pregnant now is to take lots of Geritol. Yeah. Because it worked for that lady at the beauty shop. Um, okay then.
  • I mentioned this on Twitter last week but it bears repeating cause I know I have some Caucasian readers of the blog. White people readers (except Barista): GET YOURSELF SOME TANNER! I saw a teenage girl a week or so ago that was so pale, she looked like Casper. That’s not cute, ya’ll! She looked SICK. Now, don’t go in the opposite direction and tan yourself into looking like bacon, but damn it white people friends, at least look healthy and robust!!
  • I have a lot of loose pictures floating around. Do people still use photo albums? Am I old school if I get me a couple? And do you toss out pictures of you with ex-boyfriends even if you are looking real cute and foxy and THINNER in the picture? (Confidential to husband: I really am looking GOOD in some of these photos, dude!) Do ya’ll have photo albums of your kids?

That’s all that’s random with me this morning. What’s going on with you?

I Have Questions..You Have Answers: Round 3

  • Do you have kids? If not, do you want them?
  • How many? Boys or girls?
  • How old are they?
  • How old were you when you became a parent?
  • What is the hardest part about becoming a parent?
  • What is the best part about becoming a parent?
  • What is your pet peeve about OTHER PEOPLE’S kids?

Ya’ll know the drill, drop your answer in the comments.

(Editor’s note: We are not pregnant but we are trying. We solicit all prayers and baby dust!)

Sparing The Rod

I was 15 years old when I got my last spanking (or whipping, if you prefer). I’d snuck off to see a boy in another neighborhood and gotten a few stolen kisses. My parents couldn’t find me for almost an hour and panicked. The welts on my ass and the embarrassment at being in high school and getting spanked by my daddy,  in hindsight, weren’t really worth  it.

So when I was perusing my Google Reader this morning, I came across this article at Racialicious, written by LaToya Peterson. In it, she talks about how the use of corporal punishment is viewed through a progressive/feminist lens, with the mindset that discipling children with violence, leads to children becoming violent or acting out in violent ways.

However, as LaToya points out, it’s not quite that simple when raising a black (or brown) child.

She writes:

Despite some parents desire to be peaceful, their children are still operating in a violent world. So even if you raise a home that is nonviolent, how do you keep violence away from your door? How do you teach your children to respond to a violent world? The idea that violence begets more violence is a true one – but at the same time, blocks and neighborhoods can be taken over by very small groups of determined and violent people. Suddenly, all the neighbors live in fear of a handful of people.


So discipline wasn’t all physical. Large parts of it are modeling, intervention, appealing to reason. But sometimes, kids don’t want to hear it. And it’s one thing to ask an eight year old to heed what you say – yet another to ask a willful fifteen year old to do the same.

So what should parents do, when words fail and their children are on a collision course with the criminal justice system?


To some, spanking is a cut and dry issue. Some will never, ever believe its necessary. Some people will never, ever believe you can raise a decent person without spanking. ….. Sometimes, you need your child to fear you because they cannot understand the consequences of the life they are choosing. I watched this happen time and time again, particularly with the men I knew. There was discipline, there were beatings, but then there were also those beatings with the undercurrent of fear behind them. Fear that you are going to lose control of your child to this other, evil, more seductive world. Fear that despite your best efforts as a parent, your child is heading down a path that leads to prison, drug addiction, or life as a drug dealer or street thug.


If the choice ever came down to putting my hands on my child because I am fighting for their life? I’d probably do the same thing I’ve seen all my relatives do.

I’m ultimately not inclined to use any kind of violence other people these days. I know how seductive and easy that starts to feel, the exertion of control through physical means. And I know how easy it is to just allow yourself to react and react and react. So my solution is not to do it at all.

But I’m not going to take some Leave It to Beaver style moral high ground. I’m going to be raising black children, and I need to make sure they survive. If my child is on the path to start having run ins with the police, they’re going to have to go through me first.

Because unlike the criminal justice system, I care.

Please go and read the whole piece because there are some reference to a movie that tie her article together but I didn’t want to get bogged down in that.

It got me to thinking about how I was raised and how my husband was raised and how discipline was administered to us. We got whippings and were placed on punishment. I also think about how parents have to instill discipline and respect for authority in black and brown children in order to for them to survive in a world where they are often stereotyped as soon as they walk out the door.

As ya’ll know, Myron and I are trying to start a family of our own and though we don’t have children yet, I am not so naive to think that we won’t have the same issues to deal with due to the fact that our society has not yet caught up with our idealism of all folks being viewed equally. The more things change, the more they stay the same it seems. Yet, you still have to raise and protect your kids.

If you are currently a parent, do you spank your children? If you don’t why not? If you aren’t yet a parent, would you spank your kids??