Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Look who is here!

Welcome God's newest angel to the earth! Just in time for Christmas too! What an experience this has been. I'm still a bit sleep deprived but wanted to post some pictures and let everyone know that we're doing great. More coming soon!

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

The day my life changed...

We had the opportunity to have the 3D/4D ultrasound. I'm telling you, my life changed the moment I saw that little face. I was amazing to see her on the screen sleeping, opening and closing her eyes, sticking out her tongue, and making facial expressions. I was so emotional the following week, just thinking about how I am responsible for this little life. I pray that God would give us the wisdom and knowledge to be great parents to her.

Here she is yawning and sleeping. She was sleeping with her right arm around her neck, which is funny since I do the same at times. My husband thinks she looks like me. I think she has my lips and his nose. My husband calls her nugget. Now I really can't wait to see her in person! At the appointed time though of course. This little ladybug has tried to come early twice. I've been talking to her and telling her she has to hang in there for a few more weeks so she can come home with us from the hospital!
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First Baby Shower & Birthday Celebration

I wanted to share some pictures from our first baby shower. It was such a nice event. Check out the cake with the baby carriage on top. The cake was half carrot, half red velvet, and very delicious! For the menu, we had a fruit platter, mini crab balls, croissants, rice and peas, stew chicken, and two salad. The drinks were my three favorite Caribbean drinks: Sorrel, Mauby, and Ginger pine. My husband absolutely loves Mauby. It took awhile to get him use to West Indian foods, but he took to the drinks right away. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, he asks my mom to make him a special batch, just for him. Notice the balloon colors, purple and mint green? Yep, I'm serious with mine. No pink! :-)

My mom and my aunts from New York are cooking for the next shower so it's guaranteed to be a throw down. I always think back to a funny comment that my Bishop made after I got married. We had the wedding rehearsal dinner at our church and my aunts cooked. They got wind that Bishop liked oxtail so they cooked some. Bishop later said if only my dad had eleven more daughters, then he could have eleven more chances to eat such a wonderful meal. It was hilarious!
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So much hair, so little time...

Hi there! I know I've been away for quite some time. Thanks to n'drea for letting me know I was missed :-) So much has happened in the past couple of months. I've missed blogging so I'm happy to get have this quiet evening to do some catching up. Lets see, where do I begin? I am now 34 weeks pregnant. Oh what an experience that has been. I went into preterm labor twice but fortunately, my little blessing is still right where she should be. Yep, I said she, I'm having a girl! My husband and I are so excited! We decided to do her nursery on purple and mint green, and it is so pretty! I know I won't be able to avoid pink forever, but I'm starting out with a non-pink nursery. The furniture is black, wall paint color is called lavender lace, and we put up crown molding and painted it a soft shade of blue. You can sort of see the wall color in the second picture on the left, but I'll take a better picture this weekend.

I celebrated my 30th birthday in October, which was neat because we had our first baby shower the day before so it was a double celebration. My next shower is next Saturday and we're expecting a huge crowd since my family will be here for Thanksgiving. I can't wait!

My hair has grown like wildfire! These pictures don't show the current length, since these was taken in September so I'll have to add taking updated hair pics on my to do list for this weekend :-)

I got my first client call for a Sisterlocks consultation. Unfortunately, I had to refer her to someone else since I've been on modified bed rest. I was extremely disappointed, but I know there will be other opportunities. Since I haven't been able to retighten my own hair, I've been sticking with my duo team. Once I give birth, I plan to get back on track with things. Sometimes I tighten my hairline, but its been difficult since I can't stand for long periods, and I haven't mastered being able to retighten while lying down. So, I'll have much to look forward to at the start of the new year!
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Introducing some of the newest Sisterlocks Consultant Trainees!

I had the absolute best time at the Consultant Training class. I met some amazing women and learned a great wealth of knowledge. We got to speak with Dr. Cornwell over the phone which was a nice treat. This picture is from our third day of class. That's me with the blue scarf in the back with my head peeking up!

At the end of day four, we had the pleasure of being shown some styles for locked hair. Check out these beautiful Sisterlocks in a pretty style. My classmates nicknamed me "mega locks" because of "my massive amount of hair". It was funny. I wore my hair down one day and everyone asked if they could play in it. Our live models didn't show up so we had to volunteer as models. Everyone was eyeing my hair for practice, but I had a retightening recently so I had to decline. They were disappointed :-)

The picture below shows the completion of my first 4 rows, yeah for me! I need a lot more practice on my mannequin head, but I'm getting the hang of the technique more and more.

I took this class to learn everything I could to better maintain my hair. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to be certified, but I think I will pursue it now. By the way, for those on the East Coast (and other areas too of course), one of the Master Trainers will be sending out information on having a gathering in our area (possibly Philly) and having Dr. Cornwell join us for a meet and greet. In addition, they are are going to see if they can get approval to possibly have the Sisterlocks Homecoming planned for the East Coast in an upcoming year. No promises yet, but I'm hopeful that they will pull it off. I think this would be great, although I admit I am biased living in MD :-)

I'll be sure to pass along all info I receive!
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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sisterlocks Certification, here I come!!!

I did it! I registered for the Sisterlocks Consultant Training program being offered this month. This last experience (see my last two posts below) was the final push i needed to go forward with this. I really need to learn to do this for myself, and be in a position where I can help others in similar situations. I pray that it will be a great experience for me, and should I develop a clientele, that I will be kept humble in remembering what I have been through. Thank you Lord for giving me and courage to press on. Thanks to all of you who encouraged so graciously, and thanks to my husband who never let me quit and helped to find a way to make this financially possible. I can't wait to share about my experience!

Update Part 4

Disclaimer: I am a very positive person who really tries to avoid drama in my life. Lately, it seems that my hair has been involved in one drama story after another. I was hesitant to post this before getting all of the facts straight. I really don't like to speak negatively about people, however, I felt this was important to post so here goes :

My mother/daughter duo charges $85 for the first 3 hours, then $25 an hour afterwards. It takes them a little under 3 hours to finish my hair. When I went for my retightening Monday, i was told that "to be fair, and given the amount of hair that you have, we think the price really should be adjusted". They reasoned that if I was going to one person, it would take at least 6 hours to finish my hair and I would pay much more than $85. While this is true, the reason why I sought them out is because they advertise the fact that there are two of them which will shorten your retightening time. So whether you have 300 locks, 450 locks, or 600 locks, you pay the set price. But, just because I have 680 locks, I should pay more off the top? Wow.....

Well, needless to say, I was blown away. I felt that there was more to this then they were letting on. It turns out that they had a conversation with my previous consultant and found out how much I use to pay when going to her. Based on another conversation I was made privy to, I believe that they used this as a basis to up my price. For the sake of background info, my last consultant charged $85 for the first 3 hours and $15 an hour afterwards. But, she wanted to split my appointments into two days at $85 the first day and $25 an hour the second day which would have been $185 out of my pocket. Besides conflicts to my schedule, I am a new home owner on a extremely tight budget (due to my nice mortgage bill) and could not fit $185 in my budget for hair every 5 weeks.

Now, I do understand that people have to make their bread and butter. Sisterlocks can be very time consuming for the client and the consultant. As you know from my previous experience, my first consultant took 12-13 hours to retighten my hair. I stuck with her for awhile because I didn't know any better at the time. But now, I don't want to be played for a fool. The biggest problem i have with paying by the hour is that the consultants don't work consistently yet don't stop the clock. On Monday, both consultants stopped for at least 20 minutes to do other things and that added time to my count. Was that fair? I don't think so. For a 3 hour interval, they get paid the same amount of money despite the number of locks. Is $85 fair for two people? Probably not, but they set that price and after my 3 1/2 hour session (which should have been 3 hours flat), they moved right on to the next person. So why should I be charged more if they are doing my hair in the same amount of time as someone with 300 locks?

So I asked what the new price would be and I was told $125 flat was fair. They also said that they wont be upset if i decide not to come back. To be honest, I don't think $125 is unfair, I just don't like the reasoning behind the change especially since they never complained about my hair before now. Man, discouragement comes in many forms.....

Monday, June 04, 2007

Update Parts 1, 2, & 3

Part 1: As an update to my last post: We had agreed that I could come to the class and my hair would be evaluated. However, I was asked to make the full payment the night before. I didn't feel comfortable making the full payment given the fact that I could still be turned away in person and I would have to wait to get my money back. I had already paid a non-refundable deposit, and I felt it was fair to be allowed to make the full payment in person if i could stay for the class. The instructor did not agree, so I said forget it (plus my husband was pissed and thought it was bad business). So i lost $75....

Part 2: I went for my retightning today and my mother/daughter duo asked how the class was. I told them that I didn't go. They said they did not give any indication that I was not ready to take the class. In fact, they said they told the instructor that they encourage all of their clients to learn the retightening technique. So, that led me to believe that my former consultant must have been the one to provide negative feedback. A friend of mine who goes to my former consultant said that she mentioned to her that the instructor had called her and that they had some in depth conversation about my hair, so who knows what really went down.

Part 3: After this experience, I desperately needed to find a way to let go of all the negative feelings I had bottled up. I felt like once again, I was being "punished" for having thick hair. I felt completely hopeless. I made the decision to get Sisterlocks so I could be free from the demands held on my hair in the past; yet, I felt like I was in bondage and subject to other people's rules and opinions. For a brief moment, I seriously contemplated cutting my hair, all 680 locks. But I snapped back to reality and determined that I couldn't let others take away my joy, my freedom, and my hard earned investment. So, I considered taking the retightning class offered by the home office. But then it hit me: why not take the full training class? I've always had an interest and now would be a great time (before I give birth). I'm sure there are other women who have experienced situations similar to mine, and maybe I can be the person to help them. I've have received so much love and encouragement from the comments left on my blog and I want to be able to do the same for someone else. What better way than to be fully trained? And, it would be a great investment for me in return. So, I plan to make a final decision by Wednesday. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Retightening class: Denied

I registered to take the retightening class this Saturday. In order to successfully register, you have to meet the following requirements :
• Sisterlocks®/Brotherlocks® that are older than 6 months AND completely settled
• 3/4 inches or 3-5 weeks of new growth (since last retightening)
• Know your personal locking pattern (from your most recent consultant)
You must also provide your current consultant's name and phone number so that the condition of your hair can be verified. As of June 23rd, my Sisterlocks will reach their 1 yr anniversary. According to my consultant from my last session, my locks are completely settled. I know my locking pattern (4). So why was I initially denied from taking this class???

I was told that my consultant suggested that now was not a good time for me to take the class. She said that since I have many locks, taking the class now may not work for me. In addition, she said I have soft spots. This disturbed me greatly because 1) When i mentioned during my last re-tight (3 wks ago mind you) that I had planned to take the class, she said she thought it was a good idea. So why tell the instructor otherwise? 2) Why should I be turned away from taking the class just because I have "many locks"? I surely wasn't aware that people with "many locks" should be discouraged from learning the retightening method. 3) Where are these soft spots and why have I not heard of them before? I knew of two locks by my left temple that use to slip, but they were combined and have not slipped since (3 months).

Maybe my consultant thought that I would cancel the rest of my appointments once I took the class (I'm scheduled through August). This was not my intention, but even if it was, isn't that my prerogative?

I called the instructor and told her that I was being done a disservice. She said that there would be another class in August and maybe I should wait. What difference will it make between now and August? I'll still have "many locks" then. Now, I understand the reasoning behind verifying the condition of the individuals hair. However, I think that this can really mess a person up if the consultant gives conflicting information. I could see if I had slippage, unsettled locks, or no new growth. But to say because I have many locks, I shouldn't take the class? I don't understand. Anyway, the instructor agreed that I could come on Saturday and she will evaluate my hair herself. I understand where she is coming from and that she doesn't want to be responsible for teaching me the method if the time is not right. If she approves, I can stay. If not, she will apply my deposit towards the next class in August. I told her that was fair. If I could, I would cancel altogether and take the class offered by Sisterlocks in June, but I fear I'll be in the same boat as I believe they also contact your consultant. Plus, the deposit I paid is non-refundable. So I guess we will see. What do you think?
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Addendum: I am considering calling the Sisterlocks home office to ask whether having thick hair can be used as a reason to not be eligible for taking the class. I don't believe that the comment about the soft spots is accurate since it was never mentioned before and I would think that the consultant would have discouraged me when I mentioned my interest in the class instead of telling me it was a good idea. I get the impression that this particular class is taught with the expectation that the individual will maintain their own locks without the assistance of a consultant ever; so maybe they think I'm not ready to handle my hair on my own. However, my reason, as stated on the Sisterlocks website, is to have the flexibility to maintain my own hair in between appointments. I understand that the class teaches you your pattern only, not how to fix trouble spots like slippage (which I don't have). If my hair meets the requirements, then shouldn't I be allowed to learn? Can you tell this is really bugging me? To be continued...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Totally unrelated to hair, but still good news...

Well, it is official! My husband and I are going to be parents!!! I feel so unbelievably blessed beyond meausure right now. Before the start of the new year, my husband and talked about starting a family. I had been on birth control for quite some time and stopped to allow my cycle to regulate itself. Well, that didnt happen. After stopping birth control, I went 45 days without a period. After it finally came, I went another 35 days without a period. Again, after it came, it was no where to be seen for 60 days! On the 50th day, I saw an OB. She assured me that this does happen to alot of women once they stop birth control. My body did not ovulate. No ovulation, no period. She started me on progesterone pills to "force" my cycle to start, which it did ten days later. The experience was discouraging because I felt as if I had done something wrong. It really made me re-consider whether I will try birth control again in the future. I know it's necessary but it can do a number on the body.

I decided to use the Clear Blue Easy Fertility monitor to see whether I would ovulate this time. This is when I really got a lesson in fertility. Women are normally taught that the average cycle is 28 days with ovulation occurring on day 14. Well, this doesn't take into account those of us with irregular cycles. According to the monitor, for this cycle, ovulation occurred day 24, not day 14. Interesting indeed.
So, here I am 7 weeks pregnant and feeling great! I've had no morning sickness, nausea, dizziness, or anything of the sort. But, I have had crucial bloating, gas, and a little, shall I say, slowness of the bowels. Oh, and my breasts are huge!!! Before getting pregnant, I made some real important decisions about my health. I completely cut out sodas, fast foods, high fructose anything, and partially hydrogenated everything. I started the Special K Challenge and replaced two meals with a bowl of cereal (I switched to an Organic cereal from the grocery once I realized Special K contained my banned ingredients). My third meal varied between salads and sandwiches. I've tweaked it now to include a little more calories, from healthy foods of course! I snack on fresh fruits and vegetables. I've stepped up my game and exercise every day for at least 30 minutes (my OB said I can continue to exercise as long as I don't experience discomfort).

My hair is holding up very well. I had a retight on Monday and my mother/daughter duo team finished in 2hrs and 20 minutes. They are so awesome! I had some more of the tiny locks on my hairline combined. I think that's enough combining for now. I'm taking the retight class this month; I decided not to wait until June. Next month will be my one year anniversary. I can't wait!
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Monday, April 02, 2007

What is the reason?

What is the reason for the happy look on my face??? Can you guess??? Yep, you guessed it, I had my hair retightened. Guess how long it took??? Four hours!!! How awesome is that? I had the pleasure of visiting a mother/daughter Sisterlocks Retightening team in my area and they finished my hair in four hours. They estimated that it should only take 3 hours during my next visit. They both have Sisterlocks and their hair is absolutely beautiful. They recommended combining some of the tiny locks around my hairline, for fear that they may break off. I agreed since I have already lost two (yep, two) locks on my right side. I still plan to take the retightening class in June, just so that I can learn the technique and do my front rows. Thanks so much for all of the encouragement. I look forward to continuing to provide updates. Three more months to go until my one year anniversary. I'm still counting down the days to wearing a nice long ponytail!
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Thursday, March 01, 2007

HELP... I need encouragement....

As you know from my retightening updates, my sessions were 13 hrs long with my first loctician, and 7 hrs with my current loctician. I felt pretty good about this until my last retightening. I could feel that she was getting tired during my session. I don’t blame her; I do have a lot of hair. But the kicker was that when she was done, she said that we may have to start splitting my sessions into two days. I definitely don’t like the idea of doing that.

If I split the sessions, I estimate it will be 4 hours on day one and 3 hours on day two. This is not bad in general, but I do have other evening responsibilities. I would have to go after work which means I lose my work-out time for two days and risk running in to my class time. Having it done it one day allows me to go after work on the day that I don’t have class and still get other things done.

When I first started thinking about getting Sisterlocks, I did wonder whether maintenance would be troublesome due to my “high density” hair. When it came to lock size, I asked for large locks in the middle, and medium around the perimeter. Well, it turns out that I have medium locks in the middle, and small locks around the perimeter (688 locks total, yes, I counted). Now I’m wondering whether combining some of the smaller locks may be a solution. Only thing is, I don’t want to “mess up” the look of my locks at this point, especially since they are swelling.

It seems I just can’t escape the consequences of having thick hair. This was the reason that my mom put a relaxer in my hair at a young age. My hair was almost to my waist and she couldn’t handle it. She told me that she later regretted her decision and should have just put up with my crying and squirming while combing my hair. I can't fault her. Just last year before I got Sisterlocks, I use to cry when I had to blow dry my hair. The bottom line is that I didn't go into this all happy-go-lucky and thinking that this process would be maintenance free. But that doesn't stop me from feeling a little discouraged right now about the future and whether I can work out a hair schedule that doesn't interrupt my life.

I’ve really got to take the retightening class....

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Guess what?

I lost my first lock. I'm not too blown since it is a tiny one from my right temple, just dead hair. Oh well...... Posted by Picasa

My hair regimen

* Sisterlocks shampoo: still using at the advice of my loctician.
*Aveda Sapp Moss: I love this shampoo. I really see a difference in my hair being clean after use.
*Organic Root Herbal Cleanse and Shea Butter: I don't use the shea butter often, but do use the herbal cleanse after working out. It's good stuff.
*Aveda scalp remedy: this helps eliminate dandruff. Works pretty good so far but it smells a little weird.
*Rosa water and lavender water: I give my hair a spritz before going to work.
*Aveda reviving mist: I use this when I feel "the poof" trying to gain control.
*That's my lintless microfiber hair towel in the background

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Retightening Update Part II

I've been seeing a new SL Loctician (thank you CloudNine) and I'm very happy to report that the time for my retightening has reduced from 13 hours to 7. My locks in the back are retightened fairly quickly; the locks in the front and sides are the culprits. They are really small and take more time to work with. It doesn't help that I am very tenderheaded in the front either. But hey, I'll take that over 13 hours of sitting anyday. The best part is that I don't have to take the day off for appointments. This Thursday will be my 8th month anniversary and I would really like to take the retightning class (I didn't get to take the class in December). The training class will be offered in Baltimore on March 3rd and June 16th. I haven't decided which one to register for. Is anyone planning to take the training soon?
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Monday, January 08, 2007

Advice on cleansing

Lately, I've been wondering whether my hair is truly clean after washes. After washing, I still see little white clumps of dandruff at the base of the lock and new growth, sort of imbedded into the lock. Once my hair dries, it becomes really noticeable. I question whether the Sisterlocks shampoo is a good cleanser. I went to Aveda over the weekend and the sales associate recommended the sap moss shampoo for cleansing locks. I'm thinking of using it today since I'm going for a retightening tomorrow. Has anyone had the same issue? Are there any other products that you recommend? Posted by Picasa

Christmas in New York

There's nothing like it! I hope everyone had a great one! Posted by Picasa